With the deal having reportedly been under US Justice Department review earlier this year, there was debate over whether Sony would actually complete its acquisition of anime platform Crunchyroll. The buyout was officially announced back in December 2020, and now, the Japanese giant has confirmed that the purchase is done and dusted, around nine months later.
“We are very excited to welcome Crunchyroll to the Sony Group,” says Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida. "Anime is a rapidly growing medium that enthralls and inspires emotion among audiences around the globe. The alignment of Crunchyroll and Funimation will enable us to get even closer to the creators and fans who are the heart of the anime community. We look forward to delivering even more outstanding entertainment that fills the world with emotion through anime,” Yoshida continues.
Indeed, Sony now owns both Crunchyroll and Funimation — and that's why this deal was placed under some scrutiny. There have been fears that Sony is monopolising the anime market, but Sony Pictures CEO Tony Vinciquerra thinks that the acquisition makes sense for everyone involved: "With Crunchyroll and Funimation, we are committed to creating the ultimate anime experience for fans and presenting a unique opportunity for our key partners, publishers, and the immensely talented creators to continue to deliver their masterful content to audiences around the world."
For Sony, it's about unifying and subsequently strengthening its anime businesses — but it'll still be interesting to see how it handles all things anime from this point on.