SAN FRANCISCO, PARIS, LAUSANNE, BERLIN, September 6, 2019 — Crunchyroll, a subsidiary of Otter Media (a WarnerMedia company) serving anime fans in more than 200 countries and territories, and VIZ Media Europe Group, one of Europe’s established licensors and distributors of Japanese animation, have announced today the signing of an agreement to bring together Crunchyroll’s global platform with VIZ Media Europe Group’s EMEA-wide network of partners, distributors, and licensees. Through this strategic relationship, Crunchyroll will become the majority investor in VIZ Media Europe Group, with The Hitotsubashi Group (Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions, Co., Ltd.) retaining a minority stake in the company. Closing of the transaction will occur once closing conditions have been satisfied, including the receipt of required antitrust clearances.
Crunchyroll is obviously a major name in the Anime industry for providing fans of anime a legal option for viewing their favorite series. They also host their own Expo to further showcase their affection for the fandom and so much more!
VIZ Media Europe Group, comprised of VIZ Media Europe (VME), AV Visionen, Anime Versand and VIZ Media Switzerland (VMS), is an established licensor and distributor of Japanese content for the EMEA region, bringing fans a variety of 360° experiences, including:
Content Distribution – VME and VMS are the content suppliers for EMEA TV broadcasters and VOD platforms. More than 40,000 hours of animation of all ages have been distributed in 100+ countries.
Theatrical Distribution – Regular anime rendezvous at theaters in Europe and successful event screenings (Kazé Anime Night) in German-speaking territories.
Consumer Products – Licensing, brand management and retail development for all categories in EMEA.
Manga Publishing – VME and VMS started successfully under the brand Kazé Manga in 2010 in French Speaking Europe and in 2012 in German-speaking Europe.
“Crunchyroll and VIZ Media Europe Group will bring together significant expertise, capabilities, and dedication to grow and promote our respective licensed and original content,” said Joanne Waage, general manager of Crunchyroll. “We look forward to learning from and collaborating with our new colleagues in Paris, Lausanne and Berlin, so we can continuously create the most engaging experiences for anime and manga communities around the world.”
“Japanese manga and anime are now established as a unique culture throughout the world. Through VIZ Media Europe group, Shogakukan, Shueisha, and ShoPro strive to apply our collective expertise and experience to share and promote Japanese manga and anime throughout Europe,” said Nobuhiro Oga, senior managing director of Shogakukan. “The growth of the manga and anime market in Europe has been in thanks to the love and support given to Japanese content from our partners throughout Europe. Together with Crunchyroll, we intend to introduce even more of our works and better service to our European fans. We look forward to working together with our respected partners, to provide greater support to our growing audience.”
“We have built a large network in EMEA and beyond, expanding our manga and licensing expertise through multiple skills in various business lines: TV, DVD, Digital & Merchandising,” said Kazuyoshi Takeuchi, CEO of VIZ Media Europe Group. “Over the last decade, our team has shown a deep understanding of Japanese pop culture and adaptation within local markets, and I believe this relationship will strengthen our position and future growth, adapting to changes in the dynamic Japanese animation industry and global business climate.”
“We look forward to working with Crunchyroll, an established player in the anime industry worldwide, and hope to further the anime industry in Germany by sharing our experience,” said Mathias Nowoczin, managing director of AV Visionen. “With this relationship, we will be able to offer even more anime to our fans. Our brands KAZÉ Anime, KAZÉ Manga and Anime on Demand will be able to expand our recognized position as a German anime publisher through the varied and high-quality portfolio.”
“Crunchyroll has helped enable anime to become a mainstay in popular culture, and we are committed to this growing category. This transaction between Crunchyroll and VIZ Media will combine one of the major anime brands ex-Asia with a well-known and beloved manga and anime distributor,” said Tony Goncalves, CEO of Otter Media. “Together, we aim to create connections for passionate anime fans across Europe and beyond.”
We’re stoked to see this partnership happen because it can only mean that fans of Anime will benefit! We’ll stay tuned for further information as it comes in!