Manga Entertainment UK is fully merging with Funimation.
"As we continue to build the global Funimation brand, we want to celebrate a community and ethos where anime fans know they belong -- with us and with one another," said Tim Anderson, Senior Vice President of International for Funimation Global Group in a statement. "By unifying our brands, it will be apparent to fans, creators and the entire ecosystem that it is a winning formula to deliver more content, more experiences and more community in service to anime. By fully leveraging the global Funimation brand, it's a win for fans."
The rebrand begins April 19 and covers home video, theatrical and streaming releases. Manga Entertainment UK's social media will be completely merged with Funimation's by May 2021. To celebrate the merger, Funimation will stream Blue Exorcist and its sequel Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga exclusively in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Additional regional streaming exclusives are on the way.
Funimation began its expansion from an American anime licensing company to an international one in 2016. Its first releases in the United Kingdom and Ireland were distributed by Anime Limited. In 2019, Funimation acquired ownership of Manga Entertainment UK and began self-distributing its UK releases.
Manga Entertainment UK has been one of the United Kingdom's biggest anime distributors since 1991. An American branch, Manga Entertainment US, launched in 1993, but the UK and US companies split in 2005. Manga Entertainment US has not had any new releases since Redline in 2011; its library is currently owned by Lionsgate's Starz Inc.