What We Know About the Funimation-Crunchyroll Mergerby The Anime News Network Editorial Team,
With Funimation's anime content heading to Crunchyroll, fans have raised many questions about how the transition will be handled from a consumer perspective. After speaking with representatives of Crunchyroll and Funimation, here is everything we know right now:
Which Funimation titles will be on Crunchyroll?
According to a Crunchyroll spokesman, the "overwhelming majority" of titles will make it Crunchyroll eventually. Funimation will continue to stream new episodes of existing Winter 2022 series, but all new series will be streaming on Crunchyroll, including all new titles within the Spring anime season.
Crunchyroll posted a list of all titles heading over to its service, which includes titles with English subtitles and English dubs. This list will continue to be updated as time passes.
For those who are already subscribed to Funimation, is there a way to get a refund or transfer the remaining time on their subscription to their Crunchyroll account?
Accounts for Funimation and Crunchyroll currently remain separate, but as this help page outlines, Funimation users who don't currently have a paid Crunchyroll subscription will get a free 60-day trial of Crunchyroll Premium. This offer has been sent directly to eligible Funimation users via email.
For those who already have a paid Crunchyroll subscription and want to transfer their time from their Funimation account, a Crunchyroll spokesman advised that they contact the Customer Service team directly for support. Some users have reported that they have successfully managed to get their time transferred this way.
Can we expect Crunchyroll streaming apps to be rolled out for other platforms that previously hosted Funimation's app?
The spokesman said that the company is currently "evaluating which legacy Funimation platforms make sense to explore."
The Crunchyroll app is currently available on over 15 platforms. Most recently, a Nintendo Switch app launched in February.
Will Crunchyroll incorporate closed caption subtitles for their dubbed anime, as Funimation's streams have done in the past?
The spokesman confirmed that closed caption support is one of the team's priorities. They also elaborated that Crunchyroll plans to "enhance the video player experiences within the Crunchyroll apps to have the features and functionality of all brands ... while also considering changes to the user experience on the platform."
Will Crunchyroll upload the home video versions of catalog shows for streaming, as Funimation's streams have done for some titles in the past?
The spokesman said that the titles will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, either for possible home video launches or for streaming.
Will language audio options be embedded into the videos themselves instead of having to choose them from a drop-down bar on the show's home page?
The spokesman confirmed that, like with closed caption subtitles, the team is "actively working on providing a unified sub and dub experience on our players," and asked users to wait for future updates on Crunchyroll.
Will the Funimation brand continue to be used for home video or other contexts?
A Funimation spokesman told ANN that although the Funimation service will continue with no current end date, home video will eventually move to the Crunchyroll brand internationally and domestically, with the exception of Germany and France where home video will continue to be released under the Kazé brand. Funimation's Europe streaming equivalent, Wakanim, will also be replaced by the Crunchyroll brand.
Will the Crunchyroll Originals line continue under the consolidated service?
Although the CR spokesman did not address the future of the "Crunchyroll Originals" brand specifically, they stated that the company will continue to invest in co-productions, and asked fans to "stay tuned" for more news on those titles.
It is our understanding that the pipeline for producing subtitle translations will also shift to Crunchyroll. Funimation subtitlers were known to be paid at higher rates than CR subtitlers, so will the rates for subtitle translation contractors reflect Crunchyroll's existing standards?
The CR spokesman claimed: "As the companies have come together, we're assessing translation editorial and production across both brands and in all languages and regions, and have established best practices for compensation that are aligned competitively. We don't discuss compensation specifics for our full-time staff or contractors."
A translator who worked on Funimation simulcast subtitles told ANN anonymously that they were informed two days before Christmas that they would no longer receive work from the company. The call came two months after their rates were raised while the translator was doing preproduction work on Winter 2022 simulcasts.
What is the company's content policy, especially for age-restricted content? Some viewers are worried that certain titles with risque/sexual content will either be removed from the service without warning or not licensed in the future.
The CR spokesman stated, "Our team works diligently to curate the Crunchyroll library with an assortment of content to suit our community's varying tastes," and highlighted that the service offers mature-gated content for users over 18 years of age.
What will happen to overlapping jobs between the two existing services? Will there be layoffs?
The spokesman neither confirmed nor denied that there were layoffs, but assured that "expertise across both brands will stay intact." Crunchyroll is currently recruiting more than 100 positions worldwide.
Update: further clarification added about future home video branding.
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