A Founder’s Thoughts with D.J. Lewis: The Sony/FUNimation Partnership!

The last couple days have been a bit on the wild side for Yours Truly, so A. Goldman and I apologize if we haven’t gotten the chance to deliver you guys (the fans) some of our weekly segments on the blog. If you haven’t noticed what’s been going on in recent current events, Sony is acquiring a majority stake from FUNimation, the leading North American anime distribution company. Upon hearing the news I’ve noticed that in the most recent comments from anime fans regarding this acquisition, there were some mixed feelings going around about this whole thing.

In my mind the reason for this might date back to the hacking incident of one of Sony’s comedy movie releases back in 2014, where Sony had no choice but to release “The Interview” through digital streaming. Right away fans had questions like, “What will this mean for FUNimation?” and “What kind of changes will take place?”. Even though what happened back in the year of 2014 is some that we’d all like to forget (including Sony), we also have to remember that the internet is not as safe as it used to be back when it was just in its infancy. Malware of all types, including Ransomware, are crawling around on the World Wide Web, and even have their own section of the internet known as “The Dark Web”. Believe me, no one likes to get hacked (not even Sony), which is why virus-killing software is so important in today’s modern technology age.

Anyway, back to what I was saying about the Sony and FUNimation partnership. I’m pretty sure FUNimation’s founder Gen Fukunaga has been receiving questions from fans about it, but after doing my own little slice of research, this partnership will not chance the way FUNimation does things. Gen is still in control as founder and CEO, the FUNimation/Crunchyroll partnership is still going, streaming services for FunimationNow are staying put, and no staff changes are going to be happening at the Texas Headquarters. FUNimation will remain as an independent company as it’s been doing for the past 23 years.

If that’s the case, then does the Sony/FUNi acquisition really mean anything? Well, I look at it like this. Sony Pictures Television Networks is a parent company to ANIMAX, a 24-hour anime channel, and they also operate channel brands and digital brands like AXN and Crackle. There might even be a few good perks from this deal; like Blu-Ray releases of some old anime classics that never released on Blu-Ray, or maybe even a live-action Panty & Stocking movie. (Just putting it out there Gainax.)

As long as Gen Fukunaga’s in charge, we shouldn’t have anything to worry about. We (the fans) are still in control over what we want to see from anime, and I have a feeling that FUNimation will continue to honor that. Although A. Goldman and I have been running D&A Anime Blog for 19 months, we share a dream and a vision that’s parallel to FUNimation in regards of bringing anime fans together, and keeping our love and passion that we have for it (and for one another) alive.

It’s not to say that there won’t be a few bumps down the road, but if anime has taught us anything, it’s to never give up and to see things through to the very end.

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