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U.S. anime distributor Funimation just signed a deal with Hulu, meaning that Hulu users will soon have access to a much larger library of anime content.
Funimation, a Sony subsidiary, is one of the biggest English-language distributors of Japanese anime, delivering dubbed and subtitled versions of hit series like Attack on Titan and My Hero Academia. According to Deadline, the new deal with Hulu means that Hulu will have first look rights to new anime series released by Funimation, and the two platforms will share exclusive premieres of certain shows on the same day they premiere in Japan.
Hulu is already home to a lot of anime content, ranging from Tokyo Ghoul to Yuri on Ice. At the moment, anime fans still benefit from subscribing to anime-focused platforms like Crunchyroll, but this Funimation deal makes Hulu a more tempting option for fans who want to pay one fee for anime and live-action content at the same time.
With this deal signed, it looks like 2019 will be a big year for streaming services competing over anime content. Netflix is forging ahead with original anime content and the first legal online release of Neon Genesis Evangelion, but this Funimation deal definitely keeps Hulu in the running.
Gavia Baker-Whitelaw is a staff writer at the Daily Dot, covering geek culture and fandom. Specializing in sci-fi movies and superheroes, she also appears as a film and TV critic on BBC radio. Elsewhere, she co-hosts the pop culture podcast Overinvested.