The Dream Team is dead. As reported earlier by Anime News Network, Funimation and Crunchyroll announced today that their partnership will be coming to a close next month on November 9th. After that date, the VRV service will be losing FunimationNow and HIDIVE will be joining the service.
You can read the full details over at ANN, but I’ve highlighted the main changes coming to VRV and the official memo from Funimation:
According to a memo to Funimation staff from Funimation’s president and CEO Gen Fukunaga, FunimationNow subscribers will gain access to the subtitled versions of “several hundred” titles on November 9, but will lose a “handful” of dubbed titles. Crunchyroll also noted that a number of titles will leave both services, and that the companies will update later on which titles will be impacted.
Crunchyroll clarified, however, that currently-airing simulcasts and series that premiered during the partnership (including Attack on Titan and My Hero Academia) will still be available on Crunchyroll, and all planned home video releases will still ship as scheduled. Fukunaga also said that all titles licensed during the partnership will still be shared between the two companies.
Crunchyroll explained that the partnership is ending because “Funimation has decided to go their separate way.” Fukunaga explained that Funimation’s decision to end the partnership was due to its acquisition by Sony Pictures Television Networks last year, as Sony is investing in Funimation to make it a “global sub and dub anime brand.” Fukunaga said that the partnership “ended amicably this month.”
With Sony’s TV branch acquiring Funimation, many predicted it was only a matter of time before they decided to pull the plug from one of their direct competitors. As someone who just recently discovered VRV and have been enjoying the service, the platform was a godsend to anyone who had even a remote interest in Anime. Hosting some the biggest and best anime from the both the sub and dub ends of the spectrum, it was the primary reason I signed up for the service, with the added bonus of having several additional channels that catered to some unique markets.
Given the fact that I primarily watch most of my anime dubbed, I’m not sure if I plan to keep my subscription at this time. I’ve been quite heavily invested in Shudder this month through the app in addition to my regular Anime simulcasts, so that would be the biggest loss if I pull out. There is always the option of getting individual plans for each service, but I hate the idea of spending more for less. In reality, I can see myself jumping between services as the need arises.