Hundreds of titles from American anime distribution company Funimation have been removed from the anime video streaming service Crunchyroll. The major removal of titles comes as a result of a recent acquisition from Sony.
Prior to Sony Pictures Television acquiring Funimation in 2017, the company distributed a vast quantity of animation titles on Crunchyroll. These shows included everything from Dragon Ball Super to Eureka Seven. However, following the year-long buildup to their eventual split, Funimation will no longer be affiliated with third-party streaming services, meaning that Crunchyroll subscribers should now expect to see a decrease in titles. Affective November 9, 2018, hundreds of Funimation titles have now officially been removed from the service.
On November 9, Crunchyroll personally informed subscribers about the new change. After emailing them roughly a month ago to confirm that their partnership with Funimation would be coming to an end, according to Polygon, Crunchyroll relayed this information via the website's forums, explaining that "As of today at 5:00pm Pacific, all titles associated with Funimation’s departure from the partnership have been removed from Crunchyroll." However, while the end of their partnership resulted in the removal of titles like Akira, Hellsing, Witchblade, and Cowboy Bebop, there are still a number of shows that will remain on the streaming service on account of agreements made prior to the Sony acquisition, including Attack on Titan and My Hero Academia.
While the end of Crunchyroll and Funimation's partnership was set in stone well in advance of the recent removals, some subscribers on the Crunchyroll forums have pointed out that there is a lack of clarity regarding which titles will be removed. One user also noted some navigation issues, stating that shows that have been removed are still listed on the site, even though their respective pages are empty.
As jarring as these changes may be for Crunchyroll subscribers, most of the titles that have been removed will still be available for streaming elsewhere - assuming users are willing to subscribe to an additional service, FunimationNow. That said, on account of co-licensing agreements between the two services, it has yet to be confirmed which titles will be available. And, as frustrating as it might be for some users to subscribe to yet another streaming service, multiple streaming platforms are on their way to becoming the new norm. Between Disney Plus, DC Universe, and WarnerMedia, major studios are looking to bypass third-party services by releasing their own content on their own platforms.