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Crunchyroll, Funimation Reach Deal to Cross-License Anime Titles

Crunchyroll and Funimation, two of the top U.S.-based digital providers of anime, are bringing dozens of new titles to their respective services under a new cross-licensing agreement.

Under the partnership, each company will share anime titles across streaming, home video and electronic sell-through distribution. Crunchyroll will continue to focus on subtitled-streaming experiences for fans, while Funimation will deliver English-language dubbed content (“broadcast dubs”).

Starting Thursday, Crunchyroll viewers will have access to subtitled versions of Funimation’s summer simulcast titles, including “D.Gray-Man Hallow” (pictured above), “First Love Monster” and “Puzzles & Dragons X.” Over the next few weeks, FunimationNow — Funimation’s new subscription-streaming service — will add broadcast dubs of Crunchyroll’s summer titles, including “91 Days,” “Mob Psycho 100” and “Orange,” with release schedules yet to be announced.

In addition, a selection of catalog titles from FunimationNow — including “Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash,” “Cowboy Bebop” and “Psycho-Pass” — are now available on Crunchyroll. Conversely, “Free! – Iwatobi Swim Club” and “Testament of Sister New Devil” from Crunchyroll will be available on FunimationNow.

Funimation also will now distribute Crunchyroll’s titles through home video and a variety of EST outlets, with both dubbed and subtitled versions together. Current Crunchyroll titles slated for home-video and EST distribution include “Ace Attorney,” “Alderamin on the Sky,” “Bungo Stray Dogs,” “Joke Game,” “Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress” and “ReLIFE,” with more to be announced in the future.

“Funimation shares our passion of bringing amazing content to viewers,” Kun Gao, founder and GM of Crunchyroll, said in announcing the deal. “This partnership will allow Crunchyroll to continue making the best subtitled simulcast experience for all fans. Anime is a lifestyle experience shared by millions, and we look forward to new ways to delight fans together.”

Added Gen Fukunaga, founder and CEO of Funimation, “Our commitment is first and foremost to our fans — and by partnering with Crunchyroll, together we can expand the reach of anime by making shows available to an even larger audience around the world.”

Crunchyroll, which says it has more than 700,000 paying subscribers (and also offers free access with ads), is majority owned by Otter Media, a joint venture between AT&T and the Chernin Group. Funimation, founded in 1994, operates in-house anime studios along with technology and distribution partnerships.

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