It’s a good thing.
Last year saw the unfortunate separation of Funimation and Crunchyroll mostly as a result of new corporate owners for the both of them. Funimation had been purchased by Sony whereas Crunchyroll was purchased by AT&T. The original deal saw Crunchyroll and Funimation enter into a partnership that saw English dubs made available on Funimation and Japanese original language adaptations kept on Crunchyroll. Since the divorce, Crunchyroll has taken all of it’s anime back from Funimation has had Funimation in taking back the Japanese language produced efforts. When the Winter 2019 lineup was announced, both services featured announcements for Japanese and English language anime with Funimation actually getting the short end of the stick as, here it is March, and we still don’t have premiere dates for Simuldubs of Mob Psycho 100 II and The Rising of the Shield Hero whereas Crunchyroll has streamed the English dub of the latter. I hear the former could be heading to Adult Swim following the wrap of the show’s first season English dub which had previously been all streamed on Funimation, but that hasn’t been confirmed.
In any event, Crunchyroll and Adult Swim have announced a strengthening in ties that sounds a lot like what the Funimation/Crunchyroll deal used to be only with the same parent company which should help us avoid any messy divorces in the future. Better yet, we’re getting some new content like Blade Runner – Black Lotus, and with this new tag-team, original anime produced for Toonami could increase quite a bit which would be wonderful because as they’ve seen with competing anime networks like Netflix, Funimation, etc. Here’s what each of the VP’s have to say:
“Our partnership with Crunchyroll will open up exciting new possibilities for both of us,” Jason DeMarco, SVP and creative director for on-air at Adult Swim, said in the official announcement. “This will expand Toonami’s already great programming to include even more premiere and original anime. It’s a great time to be an anime fan!”
“Our mission is to grow anime globally, which makes Adult Swim the perfect partner as Toonami has been incredibly influential in the growth of anime here in the U.S.,” Crunchyroll GM Joanne Waage said. “We can’t wait to show our fans what we have in store for them through this new programming partnership. Expect new co-productions, expanded distribution of dubs, and generally more accessible anime!”
Just because you’re a huge company with cash, doesn’t mean JUST having anime is the answer here. Media arms for companies like Hulu, Amazon, and others have been on the wrong side of history as it pertains to trying to enter the marketplace, whereas, Toonami is an established TV network…key words here…TV network. With the increase of cord-cutting, will there be enough time to showcase the fruits, however bountiful they are, of the Crunchyroll/Adult Swim alliance to justify the cost? Yes, it’s an exciting time to be an anime fan, there’s SO much out there. But quality trumps quantity every time. I can tell you from an editor’s point of view, we’re MAYBE averaging one true diamond each anime season that’s typically flooded with content. The network that has the best anime? Find out here.