In the past, watching anime outside of Japan (legally, at least) could be tricky. Fans often had to wait months for a show to appear online with fan-made subtitles, or wait even longer for an official English dub of a recently-aired anime.
Streaming services like Crunchyroll and Funimation have gone a long way toward remedying that problem by offering convenient and relatively inexpensive options for fans, and a new partnership between the two companies means that watching the latest and greatest anime has never been easier.
"Today, Funimation joins Crunchyroll in our common mission of bringing more anime to fans and more fans to anime," Crunchyroll writes in its announcement. "We are announcing a partnership that will expand the anime lineup on both services as well as provide more ways for anime fans to stream, purchase, download, and access more of the shows they love."
As of right now, Crunchyroll users have access to subtitled Funimtation simulcast shows, starting with D.Gray-man Hallow, Puzzle & Dragons X and First Love Monster, with even more on the way in the future. In addition, Funimation's subtitled catalog is also being transferred to Crunchyroll. Shows like Psycho-Pass, Cowboy Bebop and more are available on Crunchyroll now, with even more shows being added in the weeks and months ahead.
On the Funimation side of the equation, Crunchyroll titles like 91 Days, Mob Psycho 100 and Orange will be available with English language dubs on FunimationNow, with more to come in the future.
"Finally, we will be working together to distribute Crunchyroll titles through Blu-ray, DVD, and Download-to-Own, both dubbed and subbed," Crunchyroll states in its announcement. "Currently planned titles include Ace Attorney, Alderamin on the Sky, Bungo Stray Dogs, Joker Game, Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress and ReLIFE, with more to be announced in the future, so stay tuned for announcements on availability and street dates."
A Crunchyroll premium account isn't required to watch any of the newly-added Funimation titles either, though premium members can do so without commercials for $6.95 a month. FunimationNow pricing is changing to reflect the new status quo, with users being able to subscribe for $5.99 a month or $59.99 for a year, according to a Funimation FAQ.
It's a big win for western anime fans, though it remains to be seen if some of Funimation's heaviest hitters like Dragon Ball Z and One Piece will also appear on Crunchyroll in the future. Either way, fans on both services now have access to even more content than ever before, which is definitely something worth celebrating.