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Crunchyroll Going Strong With Anime Licensing

The specialty anime streaming service Crunchyroll is on a licensing tear this year, as its subscriber base has continued to surge and a key acquisition deal in the works.

“Crunchyroll is wrapping the first quarter of the new year with a full slate of licensing deals for a variety of anime series across categories including the smash-hit action series Jujutsu Kaisen,  which was recently named the Anime of the Year at the fifth annual Anime Awards, the adorable Bananya and the Crunchyroll Original series The God of High School, among many others,” the company said in a statement to TLL.

A “full slate” is actually an understatement, as Crunchyroll has released details on 18 separate deals for either global or European rights.

“We just wrapped our yearly Anime Awards with Jujutsu Kaisen taking home the night’s top honors and with nearly 15 million votes cast from fans all around the world,” said John Leonhardt, Head of Consumer Products at Crunchyroll. “Anime’s global popularity is showing no signs of slowing down and our latest roundup of deals demonstrates that there is an anime for every fan—from the adorable Bananya, to  The Junji Ito Collection of spooky stories or the high-energy sports series Haikyu!! to the Shonen-Jump hit series Dr. STONE, just to name a few.”

Waell Oueslati, the Director of Acquisitions and Licensing EMEA at Crunchyroll says, the European office has secured key deals with partnerships including Captain Tsubasa, My Hero Academia, One Punch Man, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, and  Great Teacher Onizuka, among others.

“Crunchyroll has been the world’s best home for anime for more than a decade and represents titles that can drive success to your category,” said Oueslati. “We’ll deliver strong merchandising programs for key IP in the year ahead.”

Crunchyroll has enjoyed increasingly rapid growth since it launched as a relatively small startup in 2006. By July of last year the company had reached 3 million subscribers, but as of this month that number had increased to 4 million. The company also has more than 100 million registered users in more than 200 countries and territories, with more than 50 million followers on social media.

Crunchyroll is currently a subsidiary of  Otter Media, which is a subsidiary of AT&T’s WarnerMedia, but Sony announced in December that its subsidiary Funimation will acquire Crunchyroll from AT&T for approximately US$1.175 billion. Funimation is a Crunchyroll competitor and one of the largest players in the global anime sector. However, the acquisition deal must go through regulatory approvals before it is confirmed.

In the meantime, Crunchyroll is losing no time in sewing up licensing deals. Crunchyroll’s latest round of international and domestic licensing partnerships include the following titles:

    •  Bananya, the adorable kitty who lives in a banana, was recently granted to Buffalo Games for puzzles and Japanime games for Board Games.

    •  Black Clover, the long running shonen action series, was recently signed to  Japanime Games for board games, Trademark Products for apparel, Traly Group for pins, and Tsume Art for Figurines.

    •  Burn the Witch, the new anime from the popular Bleach universe, was recently granted to Kitsune Statue for figures and statues.

    • The beautifully aesthetic  Cardcaptor Sakura was signed by Fukuya USA for plush.

    •  Dr. Stone, the shonen science series based on the popular Shonen Jump manga of the same name, was signed by Youtooz, Inc. for Figurines.

    • “Haikyu!!, the beloved volleyball series, was granted to Trademark Products for apparel.

    • Jujutsu Kaisen, the smash-hit Shonen Jump title, was recently granted to Trends International for posters and to Zumiez for skateboards and accessories. In Europe, the official French manga publisher will produce school diary.

    •  Mobile Suit Gundam, the iconic anime series that recently celebrated its 40th anniversary, was granted to Loot Crate for the Mobile Suit Gundam Loot boxes.

    • The popular Princess Connect Re:Dive was recently launched as the newest title from Crunchyroll Games and was granted to Ripple Junction for apparel.

    •  That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime, the heartwarming shonen series, was offered to Trademark Products for apparel and Youtooz, Inc. for figurines.

    •  The God of High School the action-packed Crunchyroll Original series animated by MAPPA (the studio also behind Jujutsu Kaisen among other hot titles) was granted to GB eye for beverage, housewares and home decor, to Great Eastern Entertainment for apparel and accessories and to Youtooz, Inc. for figurines.

    • The Junji Ito Collection, the spooky selection of stories from legendary horror manga artist Junji Ito, was recently granted to Pyramid International for stationery and home decor. Junji Ito’s designs were also granted to Ripple Junction for apparel, specifically for the Crunchyroll Loves collection featuring Junji Ito and the iconic punk band The Misfits.

    • Tower of God, the dark fantasy Crunchyroll Original series based on the WEBTOON title of the same name, was granted to Great Eastern Entertainment for apparel and accessories.

European-specific deals have also been closed for:

    • Captain Tsubasa – The football phenomenon that recently won the Licensing International France award for the best collaboration is partnering up with Rhinoshield for phone accessories, Barrado Toys for plushies for France and Spain and with Funko forPop! figures.

    • My Hero Academia – The hit superhero franchise will extend current products range with Studio JG for stationery and accessories in Poland, Barrado Toys for plushies for France and Spain, Jacob Company for back to school accessories, Rhinoshield for phone accessories and Aymax for homeware for Benelux.

    • One Punch Man – The undefeatable franchise was recently granted to Indiego Distribution for apparel in the UK.

    • JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure – The legendary franchise is now in partnership with Bioworld for apparel.

    • Great Teacher Onizuka – The most iconic teacher of all time is now in partnership with Abysse for gift and collectibles.

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