Through a newly signed strategic partnership, Crunchyroll will become the majority investor in VIZ Media Europe Group, with The Hitotsubashi Group retaining a minority stake in the company.
Crunchyroll—a subsidiary of Otter Media, a WarnerMedia company—and VIZ Media Europe Group inked an agreement to bring together Crunchyroll’s global platform with VIZ Media Europe Group’s EMEA-wide network of partners, distributors and licensees.
Crunchyroll has an anime-fan community of more than 50 million registered users through a variety of 360-degree content experiences, including SVOD and AVOD services. VIZ Media Europe Group is a licensor and distributor of Japanese content for the EMEA region.
“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 and 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.”