The end of the boss fight draws near and Funimation falls to the ground marking the end of a well-loved service—yes, Funimation is finally shutting down. The platform will be merged with the more popular anime service Crunchyroll, to result in one single streaming service intended to dominate the market. The news might come as a shock to some who were not aware that Funimation owner Sony had acquired Crunchyroll back in 2021 for $1.2 billion, and had later decided that one platform would suffice for the collective library of shows. The final date for Funimation shutting down has been set for 2 April 2024. Users will be automatically migrated to a Crunchyroll subscription plan after a few confirmation messages on your first log-in, but the details of the payment and pricing remain a little hazy—all we know is that the numbers are going up.
Funimation Is Shutting Down and No One Is Happy
It’s hard to keep track of who’s acquiring what as many of the big players are only growing more dominant every year by buying out their competitors. Sony acquired a 95 percent stake in Funimation in 2017 and shares the ownership between Sony Pictures Entertainment and Sony Music Entertainment Japan’s Aniplex. In 2021, Sony acquired Crunchyroll from AT&T to “get even closer to the creators and fans who are the heart of the anime community.” Instead of maintaining both platforms or dissolving Crunchyroll, the company decided to sunset the Funimation brand and keep Crunchyroll instead. It’s unclear why the move was made—the Funimation catalog and quality dubs were something to be cherished—but considering the Funimation UI was a little more outdated than its competitor and the Crunchyroll brand name was more well-known among new anime fans, it was likely the more valuable option.
Content Migration From Funimation to Crunchyroll
In 2022, Sony began the process of migrating content over from Funimation to Crunchyroll on the surface, this looks like a great idea considering one Crunchyroll subscription should be enough for all your anime needs rather than paying for multiple accounts for different parts of the shows you’re watching, but considering the prices are likely to go up for their new Funimation subscriptions, it might add up to the same expenses for anime fans. For legacy subscribers, the Crunchyroll plan will go up from $5.99 per month to $12.49 per month starting 15 April according to the service update. The changes will be felt during the next billing cycle and there’s still no update on how much the new Funimation subscribers will have to pay once the migration is complete.
“Most of the content has been migrated already! Please keep an eye on our news page and Anime Lineup for further updates. Our team is working daily to bring more content to all of our fans.”
As a consequence of Funimation shutting down, along with migrating content to Crunchyroll, the company is also transferring account histories such as watchlists and queue lists to the platform. All users have to do is log in with their same Funimation credentials on the Crunchyroll platform and confirm that they want their content migrated. If users already have an existing account on the new platform but with the same email ID, they can choose to merge their two accounts. For those with an existing Crunchyroll account on a different ID, they’ll just have to deal with having two Crunchyroll accounts as they will not be merged. The company’s help page asks users to contact their support team to see what they can do about different ID accounts but we’re assuming that there will unlikely be much they will be able to do to help.
Unfortunately for subscribers in Canada who are on the Funimation annual subscription, there is no equivalent plan available on Crunchyroll and their subscriptions will be cancelled as a result. Their data will still be migrated to the platform though, so they’ll have to take the extra step to start a new subscription plan. Those who just want a refund on their subscriptions can reach out to customer service before 2 April as well.
Funimation-Crunchyroll Transition Skips The Digital Copies Users Hold Dear
Most subscribers are not as mad about Funimation shutting down as they are about the one interesting element of the platform that they are choosing to leave out on Crunchyroll—Digital copies of anime DVDs and Blu-ray releases. Funimation’s promotion offered its users the chance to redeem digital copies of their physical purchases so that they could stream it at any given time but the platform the content is being migrated to does not support the service.
“We understand that you may have concerns about your digital copies from Funimation. These Digital copies available on Funimation were digital access to the content available on the DVDs or Blu-rays purchased.
Please note that Crunchyroll does not currently support Funimation Digital copies, which means that access to previously available digital copies will not be supported. However, we are continuously working to enhance our content offerings and provide you with an exceptional anime streaming experience. We appreciate your understanding and encourage you to explore the extensive anime library available on Crunchyroll.”
Essentially, the company understands that you’re worried but they’re shrugging their shoulders and calling it a no-go because the new platform that they own can’t support these copies. It doesn’t seem likely that this will change anytime soon and subscribers might just resort to dropping their plans and going back to the unruly world of torrenting. It won’t majorly affect the revenue of the merging platforms, however, as both are known for the simulcasting of major titles and holding some of the older animes in their catalog that you might not see anywhere else.
>CR merges with Funimation
>advertises it as “fans win”
>immediately following the merge, they stop the “watch seasonal shows for free” thing
>realizes theyre the only streaming service left
>triples the subscription prices
What a joke honestly https://t.co/P4dEP6dUCC
— Chise (@ChiseHatoriChad) February 7, 2024
Now that Funimation is shutting down Crunchyroll increases prices🤨
Time to go back to the old ways pic.twitter.com/6y19IAdRPy
— Selen (@SeIenties) February 8, 2024
For a comfortable viewing experience free from questionable ads and interruptions every few seconds, streaming had slowly grown to be the answer, especially at the more affordable prices that Funimation was offering. Considering the significant price hike of the Crunchyroll subscriptions, it seems all good things must soon come to an end. We’re quite sad to see Funimation shutting down, and worse still is that it’s going away while damaging the long-term relationship it had with its users.