HEADS UP: More Aniplex titles might be expiring soon!



  • User Tom Alvarez came across this on Hulu. These are the dates that the following titles in question will be expiring from that particular service:

    Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood - 3/31/2016
    Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shamballa - 3/31/2016
    Fullmetal Alchemist (03) - 7/31/2016

    Source: https://twitter.com/tomalvarez2326/status/693643529462001664

    Birdy the Mighty: Decode - 10/14/2016
    Sekirei (s1) - 2/9/2017
    Black Butler (s1) - 5/29/2017
    Black Butler II - 6/30/2018
    Shiki - 6/30/2018
    Black Butler: Book of Circus - 6/30/2022

    Source: https://twitter.com/tomalvarez2326/status/693648733284622336

    Also a few Sentai Filmworks titles:

    Angel Beats - 8/2/2017
    Night Raid 1931 - 8/2/2017
    Persona 4: The Animation - 10/2/2018

    Source: https://twitter.com/tomalvarez2326/status/693652646779969536

    Now granted, titles expiring off of Hulu don't necessarily mean they're going out of print entirely, but given the recent situation with both Darker Than Black and Baccano, you might want to get around to watching these if you haven't already.

    Just sayin'. It'd be a real shame if you missed out on owning FMA and Brotherhood. :hmm:

    Sophie, if we could possibly get an official comment on this development, that'd be really appreciated.



  • …starting to think I need to rethink the whole "Funimation master race" argument with Funimation "losing Power"... Hopefully only a temporary state nonetheless. Although if I remember correctly, this is a case that Japanese companies wanting to "take back control of its titles" for obvious profit reasons, and not necessarily a direct failure of Funimation it is so...

    Good thing I recently finished Sekirei... alas another example of a series that is canceled mid-story... cost of freedom it is so. The other ones... well GGWP move on it is all good here.



  • over all, the possible eventual loss of 9 titles is that big of a deal, still have over three hundred shows, with more than a dozen new ones every season. However, it does suck that Aniplex Japan no longer wants to share with everyone else, nor do they appear to have an intention of re-releasing these shows through AoA



  • @Getchman:

    over all, the possible eventual loss of 9 titles is that big of a deal, still have over three hundred shows, with more than a dozen new ones every season.

    Well that isn't the problem. The problem of a long-term one. If other Japan-based Anime companies try to do things themselves, it "sucks the life out of others (such as Funimation)".

    Like I stated in another thread, Funimation got to where it is today because everyone around them "went bankrupt" or otherwise and all the talent went to Texas. If Japanese people enter the market, they will start to "pull talent/staff" away from Funimation, which long term is bad for the industry. Been there, done that, we got to see how "profitable' it was trying to have 1234213423 anime titles on 189342341 companies.

    Funimation's sub service doesn't work if only a small amount of anime is on Funimation… would not be useful vs an "all access pass". To be fair it isn't like truly this now, however there is a vast catalog at the moment. IF Japanese companies slowly try to displace "unifiers" such as Funimation, and do what they do in Japan (compete ruthlessly), it will only make it much harder for non-Japanese to get access. Not to mention give a headache to people who are only casually-interested in Anime.

    Another way to explain this is to look at how Anime is in Japan: A no-holds barred competition amongst Anime companies and distributors (TV stations, the like). The reason Anime does so well in America is because you can have one or a few companies "gate the release of content" and not have 123431241798 anime companies fight for market share. With economies of scale, and in the case of English dub voice talent, there is a far superior advantage. The future of Anime in America, to appeal to more then Otaku's such as we, depends on a singular marketing strategy.

    Its like "Disney". And Pixar, DreamWorks: We all know them. But that is about it for America. Sure, there is plenty of "animation studios", nonetheless when you think of "American Animation" you think of one of these. Funimation, for Anime, is the same way. If you try to go back to the day the American Industry had 12349820174 companies all being "the face of Japan", in the end, nobody knows anything anymore.

    This does sound kind-of monopoly-sounding I know, nonetheless to promote ANime to a much larger American audience, requires a great deal of effort nonetheless. One that cannot be achieved if no one player is powerful enough to make it so.



  • Already own all of FMA on BD, and that's the only show on this list that I would actually hate to lose. Birdy was good, so I might pick that up, but at the same time I don't really see myself rewatching it at all.

    Anyway, thanks for posting this, Hardy. It should help people see which shows they might want to prioritize on both the streaming and buying ends.

    Funimation may have many more titles in their library, but losing shows like FMA, Sekirei, and Black Butler, shows that are fan favorites and good sellers, would sting regardless.



  • Appreciate the signal boost. I already bought FMA Brotherhood on DVD but I will probably be looking into buying the OVAs, as well as the original FMA on Blu-Ray too just for the sake of having all of FMA.



  • FMA would be quite the loss if it happens. I smell a conspiracy with the premium edition releases. First was Darker than Black, then Soul Eater and Fullmetal Alchemist. There is Black Lagoon's premium release, but I do enjoy a good conspiracy.



  • The only problems I have with Aniplex is the price of their releases (granted, almost the same as when we got 3-4 episodes per disk, and the dubs are good), and all the half-baked releases they do (which are also expensive). Some competition in the industry is good, but I just wish the newer higher price tag precedent would fade away…

    That being said, I just wish that since FunimationNow is partnered with Sony, maybe they would add some of their Aniplex titles (yeah, the streaming and anime may be different departments, but still Sony as a whole). Very wishful thinking, but it would be better than paying a bunch more for basically the same product...

    ...And I had better get the original FMA on BD soon... and finally get the full series of Birdy (got the second half on sale way back when, never got the first)



  • Aniplex wasn't involved with Soul Eater, so that one is safe



  • @Getchman:

    Aniplex wasn't involved with Soul Eater, so that one is safe

    They're listed as a producer though I don't see them on the release boxes I have. They're also listed here as a producer for the show.



  • @CostlyAxis:

    They're listed as a producer. Though I don't see them on the release boxes I have. They're also listed here as a producer for the show.

    Aniplex is involved, but they're not the international media licensor of the series, that would instead be Media Factory. (Believe me I was worried too, granted I already own it on Blu-Ray but it still worries me)

    @CostlyAxis:

    There is Black Lagoon's premium release, but I do enjoy a good conspiracy.

    Black Lagoon doesn't have Aniplex on it at all. I just think they realized that Black Lagoon was getting a lot of newfound fandom and hype, so they decided to do a nice full collectors set. Same with Eden of the East now too.



  • @classyspartan:

    Black Lagoon doesn't have Aniplex on it at all. I just think they realized that Black Lagoon was getting a lot of newfound fandom and hype, so they decided to do a nice full collectors set. Same with Eden of the East now too.

    I meant that more as an exception in the conspiracy I was stirring.



  • Sounds like I better stock up on my FMA



  • Guess I'll have to watch FMA now. Boy that will take a while.



  • Hey Sophie, if you see this, can you let us know if there's any truth to this?

    Provided you're allowed to make an official comment without getting yourself or anyone in trouble, of course.



  • @thegrandalliance:

    Another way to explain this is to look at how Anime is in Japan: A no-holds barred competition amongst Anime companies and distributors (TV stations, the like). The reason Anime does so well in America is because you can have one or a few companies "gate the release of content" and not have 123431241798 anime companies fight for market share. With economies of scale, and in the case of English dub voice talent, there is a far superior advantage. The future of Anime in America, to appeal to more then Otaku's such as we, depends on a singular marketing strategy.

    Its like "Disney". And Pixar, DreamWorks: We all know them. But that is about it for America.

    First off, Monopolies are bad for consumers and is horrible for the industry long-term. Healthy competition between 3 to 5 equals is a better thing for everyone. Yes, FUNimation may be the biggest anime company in North America, but they are hardly the best. Having the likes of Sentai Filmworks, Viz and Aniplex USA being stable and strong enough to bring in a diverse pool of talent improves things. I like my yellow subs thank you very much, and I also like knowing that Aniplex USA will be providing me with the very best video quality possible(Aniplex also streams to Crunchyroll, which is the best streaming service there is.)

    I also like knowing that I can listen to Dallas or Houston or LA voice actors on any number of current releases, which if FUNimation were the only strong company then we'd see mostly Dallas casts. (Yes, I'm aware that Houston dubs use some of the Dallas talent)

    Also people know who Sony, Universal, Warner Brothers, Disney and Paramount are. People also know who Netflix, Amazon, FUNimation and Crunchyroll are. If FUNimation wants mindshare, they need to show that they are the best in the market. I hope they have a desire to be the best.



  • @SpacemanHardy:

    Hey Sophie, if you see this, can you let us know if there's any truth to this?

    Provided you're allowed to make an official comment without getting yourself or anyone in trouble, of course.

    I was waiting for this: http://www.funimation.com/blog/2016/02/01/fullmetal-alchemist-brotherhood-and-fullmetal-alchemist-the-movie-conqueror-of-shamballa-streaminghome-video-rights-to-expire-binge-and-buy-before-this-classic-is-gone-for-good/

    Yes, there is truth to Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood and to Conqueror of Shamballa. We'll keep everyone posted on any future expiring titles in our official blog and right here in the forum.



  • @Sophie:

    Yes, there is truth to Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood and to Conqueror of Shamballa. We'll keep everyone posted on any future expiring titles in our official blog and right here in the forum.

    Truly as sad as this is, I really am utterly grateful for you guys letting this information be public knowledge now. Licensing stuff is always rough, but this sincere openness really helps out everyone, and this allows everyone about two months to prepare too!

    Also just to let you know….I also went ahead and bought both collections on Amazon Plus the OVAs. So thank you very much for keeping us posted Sophie.



  • Yeah, I definitely want to thank you again for giving us the heads up on this Sophie. I've been putting off watching Brotherhood for years now, but after I caught wind of this I immediately went and bought up the entire collection.

    I still can hardly believe it. The FMA series has been a FUNimation staple for years now. It's arguably the company's second most-popular show, right under DBZ.

    FUNi losing the rights to FMA is like… well.... like losing an arm and a leg. :hmm:



  • Good thing i already have brotherhood but still need to pick the original series up before aniplex starts robbing people blind with their prices like they do on everything else they put out



  • @AbZeroNow:

    People also know who Netflix, Amazon, FUNimation and Crunchyroll are. If FUNimation wants mindshare, they need to show that they are the best in the market. I hope they have a desire to be the best.

    This logic only applies to people who watch Anime. For the millions and millions of Americans who don't they probably don't even know the last 2, let alone Funimation.

    For "anime' in general to ever hit larger markets, it needs a cheerleader. It also needs a focused marketing strategy. If you have a bunch of small industry players like you did in 2005 age you will never get there. Everyone too small, their total market cap makes a dent. To expand mass market appeal requires power and respect in an otherwise Hollywood-dominated industry.

    Can Funimation achieve this now with current size? Maybe… However if we ever go back to the 2005-2008 days that we had 2349087124 companies all slicing up the Anime pie too small... no one company will ever hit the critical mass to do this. Anime will forever be regulated to "Otaku" and that is all... such vast untapped markets such as Video Gamers, who are a natural fit, lost to ages once again...


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