Sony is in talks with AT&T to acquire the anime streaming service Crunchy Roll in a deal that could cost more than $900 million USD.
Originally reported by Nikkei Asia, the deal between Sony and AT&T is potentially nearing its final stages. Sony already owns localization company Funimation and the acquisition of Crunchyroll would make Sony a major competitor with other anime streaming services such as Netflix.
Sony has been making broad steps to unify its multimedia divisions. With video game publishing, anime publishing, and film publishing, Sony can keep an entire multimedia franchise in house between itself and its subsidiaries.
Sony and Funimation have come under recent criticism for censoring and altering content in games on their platform, and for their localization of anime series through Funimation. The changes that Sony and Funimation have affected on the industry are gone into detail on our sister site Niche Gamer.
“Ignoring an inaccurate and politically-charged moment in the English dub of Prison School in 2015, Funimation and Aniplex have both drawn ire for inaccurate subtitles and dubs.
Despite claiming to distance themselves from their own writers after the Prison School GamerGate incident, the trend would continue in 2017 with Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid.
There, the usually oblivious and flirty Lucoa said she had changed into a sweater to stop “pesky patriarchal societal demands”– while in the original she stated “Everyone always tried saying something to me, so I tried toning down the exposure”– in reference to characters asking her to dress more modestly as oppose to flirting or making lewd comments.
2017 also saw My First Girlfriend Is a Gal taking similar liberties, by parodying the speech style of President Donald Trump. The series also saw a character decry light novel-fans as “freaks who hate women” seeking “jailbait.” Neither lines are accurate (albeit the former featuring a bombastic speech, and the latter having the character speak poorly of light novel-fans).
In 2019, Interview With Monster Girls several bullies chastise a character defending another from their harassment by calling them a “social justice warrior.” The dub for YU-NO: A Girl Who Chants Love at the Bound of This World (YU-NO) saw issues in its first episode, changing a line to “you’re such a misogynist!“ instead of “how crude!”
This year, Funimation dropped the series Ishuzoku Reviewers (Interspecies Reviewers). The reason cited by Funimation (as we previously reported on Nicchiban) was that the series “falls outside of [their] standards”.
Finally, Funimation kicked up outrage when discussing their involvement with anime production committees in Japan. They discussed in a blog post on what being involved with an anime’s production committee meant.”
More details are forthcoming as Sony finalizes the deal to acquire Crunchyroll.