Crunchyroll Pty. Ltd.
Madman Anime
FormerlyMadman Anime Group Pty. Ltd. (2016–2022)
TypeSubsidiary
IndustryEntertainment
Founded
  • 1996; 26 years ago (1996) (as Madman Entertainment)
  • 12 October 2016; 6 years ago (2016-10-12) (incorporated as a separate company)
FounderTim Anderson
Paul Wiegard
Headquarters,
Australia
Area served
Australia, New Zealand
Key people
Brady McCollum (Crunchyroll SVP, International)
OwnerAniplex (2018–present)
Sony Pictures (2019–present)
ParentCrunchyroll
Websitemadman.com.au

Crunchyroll Pty. Ltd.,[1] trading as Madman Anime, is an Australian distribution company focused on anime and Japanese media. The company handles licensing and distribution of anime in Australia and New Zealand. Originally part of independent film distributor Madman Entertainment, the company is currently a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony Pictures and Aniplex's joint venture Crunchyroll.

History

See also: Madman Entertainment § History

As part of Madman Entertainment

Madman Entertainment was founded in 1996 by Tim Anderson and Paul Wiegard as a mail order business specialising in imported anime titles, after following the success of Manga Entertainment in the United States and the United Kingdom.[2] Originally selling titles on VHS, the company became the second Australian distributor to author DVDs in-house, with the 1995 film Ghost in the Shell being their first DVD release. In 1998, Madman began airing anime on television, with Neon Genesis Evangelion airing on SBS TV.

On 23 February 2008, Madman Entertainment announced that it had reached a distribution deal with Viz Media to distribute its manga titles in Australia and New Zealand.[3] The distribution deal ended in April 2016, with Simon & Schuster taking over distribution of Viz's catalogue, and Madman Entertainment ceasing distribution of all manga titles.[4]

At the 2008 Supanova Pop Culture Expo, Madman Entertainment announced plans to explore new distribution methods. Madman Entertainment launched the Madman Screening Room, a video on demand streaming service, with School Rumble being the first title on the platform.[5] Madman Entertainment also began releasing Blu-ray Disc titles, starting with The Transformers: The Movie in June 2009.[6] On 1 June 2009, Madman Entertainment produced an English adaption of Tamagotchi: The Movie, a 2007 film based on the Tamagotchi digital pets from Bandai and WiZ. Madman also intended to dub the film's sequel, Tamagotchi: Happiest Story in the Universe!, but the dub was cancelled for unknown reasons.

In early 2016, Madman Entertainment announced Madman Anime Festival, an annual anime convention to celebrate its 20th anniversary. The convention was held in Melbourne on 3–4 September of that year.[7] Following the inaugural convention, Madman announced that it would expand to Perth and Brisbane in 2017, and Sydney in 2019. The convention also became the host for the preliminary rounds of the Madman National Cosplay Championship in Perth and Brisbane.

As Madman Anime Group Pty. Ltd.

On 12 October 2016, Madman Anime Group Pty. Ltd. was incorporated as a separate company, being a wholly-owned subsidiary of Madman Entertainment.[8]

On 17 February 2018, Madman co-founder & CEO Tim Anderson confirmed that on 15 November 2017, Sony Music Entertainment Japan subsidiary Aniplex had acquired a minority interest in Madman Anime Group, and was issued an undisclosed number of shares.[9]

In late 2018, Madman Anime confirmed that they had reached a distribution deal with Funimation, with Madman Anime becoming the local distributors for select Funimation titles in Australia and New Zealand, and Funimation handling licensing and localisation for titles.[10][11]

On 6 February 2019, Madman Entertainment's owners Five V Capital sold Madman Anime Group to Aniplex for A$35 million.[12][13]

On 24 September 2019, Aniplex and Sony Pictures Television announced that they were consolidating their international anime streaming services under a new joint venture comprising Funimation, Madman Anime Group and Wakanim.[14] The consolidation reorganized AnimeLab as a direct subsidiary of Funimation.[15]

The company changed its name to Crunchyroll Pty. Ltd. on 23 March 2022, following the rebranding of its parent company Funimation to Crunchyroll, LLC.[1]

On 29 March 2022, Madman Anime announced that Madman Anime Festival would be replaced with Crunchyroll Expo Australia, with the first event scheduled for Melbourne on 17–18 September 2022.[16]

AnimeLab

AnimeLab Pty. Ltd.
AnimeLab 2019.png
Logo used from 2019 to 2021
Type of businessSubsidiary
Type of site
Video on demand
Available inEnglish
Dissolved9 December 2021; 10 months ago (2021-12-09)
Predecessor(s)Madman Screening Room
Area servedAustralia and New Zealand
ParentFunimation Global Group
URLwww.animelab.com
CommercialYes
RegistrationRequired
Users1 million (2018)[17]
Launched28 May 2014; 8 years ago (2014-05-28)
Current statusClosed; content merged to Funimation

AnimeLab Pty. Ltd. was a video on demand service that specialised in the online streaming and simulcasting of Japanese anime series, serving the Australian and New Zealand market.[18]

AnimeLab originally launched in beta on 28 May 2014 as a Madman Entertainment skunkworks project with 50 series and 700 episodes, and replaced the Madman Screening Room. During its beta, AnimeLab streamed its series for free without advertisements.[18] Originally streaming titles exclusively from Madman's catalogue, on 4 September 2014, distributor Siren Visual announced that they would release titles on AnimeLab, starting with The Devil Is a Part-Timer!.[19] AnimeLab also simulcasted Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works, despite Hanabee acquiring the distribution license for the series.[20]

On 26 May 2015, AnimeLab announced that the website had exited beta, and introduced a paid subscription, alongside an ad-based free service.[21]

In August 2016, AnimeLab launched AnimeLab On-Air, an anime programming block airing on Friday nights on C31 Melbourne and C44 Adelaide.[22] The block later moved to a Monday night schedule.[23]

On 25 August 2017, AnimeLab announced that they would begin streaming select titles from Adult Swim's back catalogue.[24] The Adult Swim titles were later removed in 2020.

At Madman Anime Festival Melbourne 2018, AnimeLab announced that they had reached one million users.[17] AnimeLab also announced a collaboration with the Australian Red Cross to promote blood donations in Australia with the simulcast of Cells at Work!.[25]

On 24 January 2020, Funimation announced that it would be shutting down access to FunimationNow in Australia and New Zealand on 30 March, merging all of Funimation's titles onto AnimeLab.[26]

On 10 June 2021, AnimeLab announced that it would begin the process of rebranding as Funimation on 17 June, with current AnimeLab subscriber credentials being transitioned onto Funimation's website on that date, and staff transitioning to Funimation ANZ.[27][28] On 2 November 2021, AnimeLab announced that it would retire the service on 9 December 2021.[29]

References

  1. ^ a b "Crunchyroll Pty Ltd ACN 615 305 587". Australian Securities & Investments Commission. Retrieved 25 March 2022.
  2. ^ Johnson, Travis (31 October 2016). "20 Years Of Madman Entertainment". FilmInk. Retrieved 18 April 2022.
  3. ^ "Viz Media Teams With Madman Entertainment on Manga". Anime News Network. Madman Entertainment. 23 February 2008. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  4. ^ Hayward, Jon (21 April 2016). "Simon & Schuster Australia Takes Over Distribution of Viz Manga in AU/NZ". Anime News Network. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  5. ^ Hayward, Jon (31 March 2008). "Madman News from Supanova Expo". Anime News Network. Retrieved 26 July 2016.
  6. ^ "Transformers - The Animated Movie (Blu-Ray)". Madman Entertainment. Retrieved 26 July 2016.
  7. ^ "Madman Entertainment Announces Madman Anime Festival 2016". Anime News Network. 23 March 2016. Retrieved 25 June 2017.
  8. ^ "Current details for ABN 50 615 305 587". Australian Business Register. Retrieved 18 April 2022.
  9. ^ Hodgkins, Crystalyn (17 February 2018). "Aniplex Invests in Australia's Madman Anime Distribution Company". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on 17 February 2018.
  10. ^ Slykura (14 December 2018). "Some insights". Madboards. Archived from the original on 12 February 2019. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  11. ^ Slykura (7 January 2019). "In short, we have a new distribution agreement with Funimation which means that we are their local distributors NOT licensee, but distributor for their products". Madboards. Archived from the original on 12 February 2019. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  12. ^ Thompson, Sarah; Macdonald, Anthony (6 February 2019). "Director's cut: MacKenzie's Five V Capital sells Madman anime arm to Sony". The Australian Financial Review. Retrieved 6 February 2019.
  13. ^ Antonio Pineda, Rafael (6 February 2019). "Aniplex Acquires Australian Distributor Madman Media's Anime Division". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on 6 February 2019. Retrieved 6 February 2019.
  14. ^ Spangler, Todd (24 September 2019). "Sony Merges Anime Streaming Businesses Under Funimation-Led Joint Venture (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
  15. ^ Sherman, Jennifer (25 January 2020). "FunimationNow Streaming Content Moves to AnimeLab in Australia, New Zealand". Anime News Network. Retrieved 29 January 2020. Madman Anime Group previously operated the AnimeLab service.
  16. ^ "First-Ever Crunchyroll Expo Australia Heads to Melbourne This September". Crunchyroll. 29 March 2022. Retrieved 18 April 2022.
  17. ^ a b MyAnimeList [@myanimelist] (15 September 2018). "In celebration of @AnimeLab's recent achievement of 1 million subscribers, a lucky fan won a lifetime subscription to the Australian anime streaming service #MadFest" (Tweet). Retrieved 10 February 2019 – via Twitter.
  18. ^ a b Hayward, Jon (28 May 2014). "Madman Entertainment Launch Anime Streaming Site AnimeLab". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on 25 August 2014. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
  19. ^ Hayward, Jon (4 September 2014). "Siren Visual to Stream The Devil is a Part-Timer! on AnimeLab". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on 14 September 2014. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
  20. ^ Hayward, Jon (14 October 2014). "Animelab Now Streaming When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace and Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on 22 December 2014. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
  21. ^ Hayward, Jon (28 May 2015). "AnimeLab Launches AnimeLab Premium Service". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on 15 November 2016. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
  22. ^ "NEW PROGRAM | AnimeLab On-Air". Facebook. 4 August 2016. Archived from the original on 26 February 2022. Retrieved 19 August 2019.
  23. ^ AnimeLab (7 June 2019). AnimeLab On Air - June 2019 Promo - C31 Melbourne (YouTube video). Archived from the original on 12 December 2021. Retrieved 19 August 2019.
  24. ^ Chirlin, Els (25 August 2017). "AnimeLab ♥'s Adult Swim". AnimeLab. Archived from the original on 30 May 2019. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  25. ^ Madman Anime Festival [@MadFest] (14 September 2018). "If you were at the @AnimeLab panel you would have seen the announcement of this amazing collaboration with @RedCrossAU ❤️ Let's see how much blood we can donate between now and Sydney Madfest! ❤️ #MadFest #SavingLives" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 6 March 2020. Retrieved 19 December 2019 – via Twitter.
  26. ^ Sherman, Jennifer (25 January 2020). "FunimationNow Streaming Content Moves to AnimeLab in Australia, New Zealand". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on 24 January 2020. Retrieved 25 January 2020.
  27. ^ "AnimeLab is Becoming Funimation in Australia and New Zealand". AnimeLab. 10 June 2021. Archived from the original on 10 June 2021. Retrieved 10 June 2021.
  28. ^ Antonio Pineda, Rafael (10 June 2021). "Australia, New Zealand Anime Streaming Service AnimeLab Rebrands as Funimation". Anime News Network. Retrieved 10 June 2021.
  29. ^ "A New Anime Era Begins as AnimeLab Retires on 9 December 2021". Funimation. 2 November 2021. Archived from the original on 1 December 2021. Retrieved 18 November 2021.