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What is Funimation? Here's everything you need to know
Looking for some new anime series or hoping to rewatch old favorites? There are a couple of streaming services you’ll want to become intensely familiar with. Funimation is one of them. The company has actually been around a while, responsible in part for the anime resurgence in the US in the mid-90s, before making the inevitable jump into streaming.
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Here’s everything you need to know about Funimation! That includes what you need to know since its parent company Sony acquired rival Crunchyroll. You can sign up for the service at the link below:
What is Funimation?
Funimation is a Sony-owned entertainment company based in the US and involved in the distribution of various anime series. The company is also at the forefront of anime dubbing, with a lot of its exclusive content getting dubbed to English very quickly.
Anime fans will fondly remember Funimation as the company that brought the dubbed version of Dragonball Z to the Cartoon Network back in the 90s and led to a renewed interest in the art form. Given the current state of the entertainment world, it’s no surprise that Funimation eventually made the move to video streaming. Along with that, the website also has a lot of merch you can buy, ranging from T-shirts and action figures to DVD and Blu-Ray box sets.
You can easily access all of Funimation’s content, including a slew of exclusive new and old series, on almost any device. Its catalog is particularly great if you’re looking to nostalgically watch popular but old anime series. It also has tons of new shows, and the library continues to grow. It’s also the best place to go if you prefer “dubs” (shows dubbed into English) over “subs” (original Japanese voice actors and subtitles).
In early December 2020, Sony announced that its Funimation anime division would acquire its main streaming rival, Crunchyroll, from AT&T for $1.175 billion. The deal was approved and finalized in August, 2021.
While there are no stated plans to fully shutter Funimation, content has been slowly moving to Crunchyroll, making Funimation a lot less appealing. It would be safe to bet that Crunchyroll will stand alone following the end of existing licensing deal, though that could potentially take years.
Is Funimation worth it?
Major anime fans could once rely on Funimation as a great anime destination. Its library of both classic and current anime TV shows is extensive, and you can sign up for prices as low as $5.99 a month. In addition, there are yearly plans that allow you to save even more if you have the money upfront. You also get some extra benefits if you sign up for the more expensive plans. There is a totally free plan as well, although you will have to deal with ads, along with a smaller video library and lower resolutions.
Now that Sony is focusing its energy on Crunchyroll, though, new subscribers are likely to get a lot more out of that service.
How much is a Funimation subscription?
Funimation has three subscription plans to choose from. You can also take advantage of a 14-day free trial before your first payment gets charged. That’s more than enough time to see if the app is the right fit for you.
- The Premium plan is priced at $5.99 per month or $59.99 annually.
- This gets you ad-free access to the entire Funimation library across most devices and platforms.
- You get access to both dubbed and subbed content.
- You can simultaneously stream on two screens.
- Premium Plus:
- The Premium Plus subscription will set you back $7.99 per month or $79.99 annually.
- This includes everything you get with the Premium plan.
- You also get support for offline viewing on mobile devices.
- There’s early access to the special Funimation Shop sales. You also get free shipping on all orders above $20.
- You get access to exclusive members-only events and offers.
- Simultaneous streaming on up to five screens is allowed.
- Premium Plus Ultra:
- Only an annual subscription for the Premium Plus Ultra plan is available, priced at $99.99.
- It includes everything that is available with Premium Plus.
- Additionally, you will get two free rentals per year.
- Shipping is free on all orders without any minimum purchase value.
- You will also be sent an annual anniversary gift.
Is Funimation available for free?
In addition to the 14-day free trial offers for the Premium plans, there is a way to access some content on Funimation completely for free. However, you will have to watch shows with commercials, and the entire library of content is not available for free users.
Where is it available?
Access to the Funimation Now apps and the website is currently only available in the US, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand.
How to sign up
Signing up for Funimation is a generally quick and easy process. You can do so on either the mobile app or the website and tap on “Start your free trial” to get started. Choose a subscription plan and set up an account with an email address and password. There’s an option to sign up via Facebook as well. You will need to provide a credit card number or set up payment via PayPal to finish the signup process. You will only get charged after the 14-day trial period ends though.
If you want to try out a free account, with ads and a limited selection of shows, you’ll find it tucked away at the end of the page on the website or at the bottom of the app page. Simply set up login credentials with an email address and password and you’re good to go.
What platforms and devices support Funimation?
You’re certainly not going to have too much trouble watching anime on Funimation Now since almost every device and platform is supported. You can also enjoy direct access to all shows and films on the Funimation website.
- Mobile: Android, iOS, Amazon Kindle
- Smart TV: Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Samsung smart TV, LG smart TV
- Gaming consoles: PS3, PS4, PS Vita, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Funimation and Hulu
A recent partnership between Funimation and Hulu is fantastic news for anyone who’s already subscribed to the latter. In fact, you’ll notice that quite a few of the shows listed on our roundup of the best anime series on Hulu are via Funimation. Of course, not all the content on Hulu is found on Funimation’s streaming service, and vice versa. Also, Funimation does simulcast and Hulu does not, which is an important distinction.
Funimation allows users to browse through its extensive anime collection, and filter its library by genre, language, and age rating. You can also filter shows to find out which ones are uncut and which shows are simulcast. It will also offer recommendations for viewing new content. It also has its own blog for upcoming anime news and releases. Finally, you can keep up with which new episodes of currently running series will appear on the service on the Schedule page.
Funimation does include some content that is considered mature and adult — meant for ages 18 and over. Parents with kids that want them to just watch content made for their age group can prevent them from watching the service’s mature anime titles. Here’s how to do it:
- Sign into your Funimation account.
- Click or tap on Preferences.
- Click or tap on Video Settings.
- Finally, you can set the Restrict Mature Content to “on.”
Keep in mind that if your kids know the login and password to your account, they could set the Restrict Mature Content setting back to “off.” You might want to keep that login information to yourself if you’re concerned.
Best anime on Funimation
There is plenty to watch on Funimation, but here are just a few of our favorites:
- My Hero Academia — My Hero Academia is an action-adventure shounen and one of the most popular series around. The story follows Izuku, who was born completely normal in a world where more than 80% of the population has some kind of superpower. He still enrolls in a hero academy and one day, his idol changes his life for the better.
- Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood — It follows the story of two disfigured brothers, Edward and Alphonse, as they experiment with forbidden magic, uncover sinister plots, and hunt down the Philosopher’s Stone. The series first premiered back in 2009 and enjoyed a 64-episode run. It definitely still holds up and is a great watch for fans of the original manga, as it closely follows it. This show is also intended for more mature audiences.
- Dragon Ball — Funimation has the entire Dragon Ball collection, including the regular Dragon Ball, Z, and Super. The show follows Goku and his friends and family and their journey to becoming the strongest saiyans in the world. I’m personally a bigger fan of the Dragon Ball Z series as it features grown and more mature characters.
- Attack on Titan — Attack on Titan is another personal favorite and an extremely popular anime series. It’s set in a world where people live behind walls and are afraid of the man-eating Titans that are found beyond. The story follows one man who vows revenge after the giant humanoids destroy his hometown and hurt his family. It’s fast-paced and even the 59-episode run and movie seem binge-worthy.
There are a couple of major anime streaming alternatives for Funimation fans. Here’s a look at them now:
Like Funimation, Sony-owned Crunchyroll has thousands of anime TV episodes and movies, including a number of exclusive titles to stream. It also has a free tier, and a number of paid subscription plans with extra features, although it doesn’t offer any yearly plans. As we mentioned, Sony has acquired Crunchyroll, so it shares its ownership with Funimation, and some kind of merger of the services may happen down the line.
The other major source of anime in the West is none other than Netflix. You can watch a lot of classic anime from Japan, as well as a number of exclusive shows made just for the service. While its library is not as extensive as Funimation’s, there’s plenty of new and exclusive anime on Netflix to watch, with more being added every month.
The answer depends on which plan you have. The completely free plan supports just one stream, with ads. However, the Premium plan supports up to two streams at once, and the Premium Plus and Premium Plus Ultra plans support up to six streams.
Unfortunately, none of the service’s anime shows or movies is available in 4K resolution.
The service does use ads in its Free membership tier, but you can get rid of them if you sign up for any of its paid plans.
Technically, sharing your account with anyone is against its Terms of Service. If you do decide to share your account, be aware you might get cut off if you abuse it.
The service can be watched in other parts of the world via a VPN, so you can access titles that are not normally available in your country.
If you sign up for either the Premium Plus and Premium Plus Ultra plans, you can use the service’s iOS and Android apps to download anime shows and movies to watch offline.
Sony has never revealed official subscriber or user numbers for Funimation.
Sony, which owns Funimation, did in fact acquire Crunchyroll. How the two services will co-exist in the long term under Sony is still unknown, but the deal was approved and finalized in August 2021.
That’s our look at Funimation. We will expand this article as more info on the service is added and changed.
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