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NEWS: Australia, New Zealand Anime Streaming Service AnimeLab Rebrands as Funimation




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KitKat1721



Joined: 03 Feb 2015
Posts: 472
PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2021 1:54 am Reply with quote
I don't think a single person is shocked by this, but its a shame that AUS/NZ users will have to switch to Funi's site most likely.

The newer Funi apps/updates (like for Switch) are definitely improvements, but Anime Lab's from what I've heard is great. Their word of mouth has been really solid from users (and since people are more vocal about any downsides of apps, that's more of a rarity).
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micpp



Joined: 10 Aug 2007
Posts: 7
PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2021 1:58 am Reply with quote
Looking at the FAQ on their site https://support.animelab.com/index.php/article-categories/funimation/ it seems like for a while they'll have both Animelab and Funimation running in parallel, but eventually the plan is to close Animelab and just have the Funimation app and website.

A few things about this make me a bit concerned:
- The Animelab app has in general been on the fairly stable and usable side, as far as streaming apps go. I'm not sure if the same is true of the Funimation app, though - last time it was available in Australia it was pretty janky, although it may have improved since then. Animelab's social media seems to have been hinting that some of their tech may be used to improve the Funimation app but it's kinda vague.
- More importantly perhaps would be shows that Animelab has but Funimation doesn't. Probably the most interesting example would be the infamous Interspecies Reviewers, which Animelab kept streaming after Funimation dropped - but there's also a lot of shows Animelab has that are owned by other licensors in the US, so like is the Australian version of the Funimation app going to have like Sailor Moon and Made In Abyss for example?

To be honest, I've been generally a bit confused about the sale of Madman's anime division to Funimation, largely because Madman's website still lists all their anime titles alongside the non-anime releases, even though that's apparently two separate companies now. I'm not sure if their physical releases are just still handled by the previous company or if it's some sort of situation where they're somehow sharing a website, but it's a bit confusing which company I'm actually dealing with if I buy a bluray from them haha.

Oh well presumably everything will make sense eventually
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Errinundra
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Joined: 14 Jun 2008
Posts: 5853
Location: Melbourne, Oz
PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2021 2:35 am Reply with quote
It's the end of an era. Madman has been around ever since I've became an anime fan, and much longer besides. I'll miss the name Madman, as well. It has an ironic or self-deprecating edge to it that's very Australian, whereas Funimation seems more corporate, anodyne and self-promoting. And forcing northern hemisphere season references on us? Urgh. That's an insult.

The good thing, and it outweighs by far the previous points, is that the internationalisation of anime distribution should make more content available and, hence, provide greater choice. One genuine fear is that the concentration of ownership may also have an impact on pricing.
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Erufailon4



Joined: 18 Jun 2019
Posts: 76
Location: Finland
PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2021 3:12 am Reply with quote
I hope they won't do the same for Wakanim - then again, Funimation as a brand is not very well known in Europe so they probably wouldn't benefit much from a rebrand.
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Lynx Raven Raide



Joined: 01 Nov 2017
Posts: 393
Location: Central Coast, AU
PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2021 4:33 am Reply with quote
micpp wrote:
To be honest, I've been generally a bit confused about the sale of Madman's anime division to Funimation

Aniplex JP bought it, not Funimation. It's even in the article.
Erufailon4 wrote:
I hope they won't do the same for Wakanim - then again, Funimation as a brand is not very well known in Europe so they probably wouldn't benefit much from a rebrand.

It's gunna happen, unfortunately. AnimeLab has such a strong brand, yet they are doing it, so it is inevitable Wakanim will follow suit.

Not happy to be honest. AnimeLab had the stronger brand with a better reputation, so ditching it in favour of Funi is not a good idea. Also, I am concerned about the catalogue due to the licences Madman/AnimeLab have, and especially if our viewing is dictated by Dallas over Melbourne I will be extremely pissed
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Cryten



Joined: 19 Jan 2019
Posts: 331
PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2021 6:47 am Reply with quote
Damn, are we gonna loose all the Australian only licenses for Madman's old anime content? Cause Anime Lab has access to a heap of older anime that Funi's licenses expired on or never acquired.
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CatSword



Joined: 01 Jul 2014
Posts: 1421
PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2021 1:12 pm Reply with quote
Cryten wrote:
Damn, are we gonna loose all the Australian only licenses for Madman's old anime content? Cause Anime Lab has access to a heap of older anime that Funi's licenses expired on or never acquired.


Exactly! As an American I had compared a lot of the streaming services both available here and internationally and realized that AnimeLab had the best legal English-language service out of any that I could find. Shame it's going to get stuck under the Funimation umbrella and the mediocrity that comes with it.
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Norbuck



Joined: 19 Apr 2021
Posts: 4
PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2021 3:09 pm Reply with quote
As someone who is currently subscribed to both services in NZ (Funimation relaunched here about 3 months ago) I think they will be able to manage the content differences fine.

I wanted to watch all the Monogatari series when Funimation acquired it, but they only ever put the first season on the Animelab service (this was around the time they said they were adding heaps of content to the Animelab library when they removed Funimation from our region) So I have a VPN service and switch my region from NZ to USA to watch the full catalog.
The content library in the app changes based on location so if they can region block me one way, I'm sure they can add all the AU/NZ exclusives to the service and region block the other way.

For all those in the rest of the world who use VPNs to subscribe to Animelab to get the additional content, this will hopefully mean you need to pay for one less subscription.
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micpp



Joined: 10 Aug 2007
Posts: 7
PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2021 4:14 pm Reply with quote
Lynx Raven Raid wrote:

Aniplex JP bought it, not Funimation. It's even in the article.


Ahh yeah, sorry brain fart. But yeah it does seem something of a messy split still.
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Lynx Raven Raide



Joined: 01 Nov 2017
Posts: 393
Location: Central Coast, AU
PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2021 7:04 pm Reply with quote
Just looking on social media to say this hasn't gone down well is an understatement, with some saying they would rather return to pirating. Hope Sony is taking note cause this is small compared to the shit show when Wakanim inevitably gets rebranded as FunimationEU. Personally, I don't think it would be as bad if the oversight was coming from Tokyo but we all know Dallas will call the shots
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Hiroki not Takuya



Joined: 17 Apr 2012
Posts: 1732
PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2021 9:53 am Reply with quote
Norbuck wrote:
...For all those in the rest of the world who use VPNs to subscribe to Animelab to get the additional content, this will hopefully mean you need to pay for one less subscription.
I do hope so because I do just that...
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Lynx Raven Raide



Joined: 01 Nov 2017
Posts: 393
Location: Central Coast, AU
PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2021 5:02 pm Reply with quote
Hiroki not Takuya wrote:
Norbuck wrote:
...For all those in the rest of the world who use VPNs to subscribe to Animelab to get the additional content, this will hopefully mean you need to pay for one less subscription.
I do hope so because I do just that...

Probably not. If it's anything like other streaming platforms you will probably need a sub for that region to access the content, much like Netflix or Disney+
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Norbuck



Joined: 19 Apr 2021
Posts: 4
PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2021 3:33 pm Reply with quote
Lynx Raven Raide wrote:
Hiroki not Takuya wrote:
Norbuck wrote:
...For all those in the rest of the world who use VPNs to subscribe to Animelab to get the additional content, this will hopefully mean you need to pay for one less subscription.
I do hope so because I do just that...

Probably not. If it's anything like other streaming platforms you will probably need a sub for that region to access the content, much like Netflix or Disney+

Funimation App currently doesn't do this. I have the one app on my phone and my content library changes based on my location. I get different material when I swap from NZ to US, and just confirmed I get some different titles again by changing the location to Canada.
Seems Funimations Geo blocking isn't as sophisticated as Netflix or Amazon Prime. (also with regards to Disney+ plus, we get additional Fox TV and movie content in NZ via Star which disappears when I set my region to USA)
FYI I use PIA as my VPN service.
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