There is big news in the anime industry. Recently Funimation Global Group completed the acquisition of Crunchyroll. Funimation Global Group, owned by Sony, purchased Crunchyroll from At&t for $1.175 billion. A major anti-trust investigation was underway when the merger was announced some time ago, but the investigation concluded that everything was fine. We wanted to wait a few days to see what other news came out regarding this acquisition before we gave our thoughts on the situation. There has been a lot of discussion throughout social media on whether this merger is either a good thing or a bad thing. What does this mean for anime in the U.S.? Let's dive a bit deeper and see what could potentially happen, both good and bad.
Many people see this merger as the beginning of the end of anime as we know it. Most people feel that this merger feels more like a monopoly on the industry. Now that Funimation owns Crunchyroll, they can decide which anime is suitable for viewers and is "too aggressive or suggestive" for audiences. Also, because of a potential monopoly, there won't be any competition for other outlets bidding for anime IPs, such as HiDive. This all came right when Crunchyroll came out with their official trailer of High Guardian Spice. Many viewers say this "anime" is bland, unappealing, not original, and most important, invites politics into the mix. This is one of those instances where recent political views, cancel culture, and extreme views from social justice advocates have spoken up and demanded a change in the anime industry. If you haven't watched that trailer, here is the clip below.
In the last couple of years, we wanted to point this out because Twitter users have been on the rampage to cancel particular anime, such as Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out. The merger and the reveal of High Guardian Spice and Twitter user's attacks on Japanese anime culture lead to the decision of Kadokawa to start their Simulpup. Kadokawa wants to do all the translations of their manga and potentially their anime in-house. Japan has already stated on multiple occasions that they will not change anime to appeal to western audiences. The bottom line is that a massive majority of anime fans don't want the industry to be hurt due to social justice advocates' feelings and aggressive nature on Twitter. Here is an example of a dub translation for the anime Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid from a recent J-List article.
Another reason many anime fans are upset with the merger because Funimation can't seem to fix any of its problems. Whether it's Funimation improving their app or handling the Monica Rial and Vic Mignogna situation, people feel that Funimation does not know how o handle any problems correctly. We understand that the Funimation app has issues with some issues that haven't been resolved at all, despite the Funimation app getting a re-work. Overall, people are not happy with the merger, whether it be technical, potential monopoly, or even cultural concern.