Crunchyroll ❤ Funimation

9:32 PM

At long last, we the sports draft-like season announcements are over! Or are they?

For those who haven't heard the news, Crunchyroll and Funimation are partnering up, sharing some of their exclusive titles to each other's service. What does this mean? Well, next season, you might be able to watch Classicaloid, a zany anime centered around mecha battling space historical composers reincarnated back from the 17 and 18th centuries, on Crunchyroll (it's a Sunrise title, so I'm expecting Funimation to pick it up), or Natsume Yuujinchou season 5, a series that you most certainly should watch, on Funimation (the previous 4 seasons are all on Crunchyroll).  What it probably doesn't mean is the end of service exclusives. The announcement definitely says that they'll be sharing some titles, and more titles, but higher profile current titles, like Love Live Sunshine will likely remain service locked. They're definitely going to make lots of anime cross-service, which is great because both services has impressive catalogues going way back. Card Captor Sakura (sub) is on Crunchyroll, while Funimation goes way back to titles like Excel Saga, which is a rollicking good time.

For those interested, here's a link to the announcement on Crunchyroll.

The first couple series are fairly high profile, but are definitely few and a little lacking, considering what each service has this season.

I'll be focusing on what Crunchyroll gets, as it's the service I'm subscribed to, but for those wondering here's a link to the news via Crunchyroll. Funimation gets 91 Days, Mob Psycho 100 and Orange as simulcasts, as well as Crunchyroll's dubs of various series, like Free!. For Crunchyroll users, First Love Monster, D Gray Man Hollows, and Puzzle and Dragons X travel over from Funi as simulcasts.

Here's where things get interesting. Crunchyroll gets the following catalogue titles: the absolutely spectacular and seminal Cowboy Bebop, Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash, a series that I've written about and still think that everybody should watch, and Urobochi's dystpian thriller, Psycho-PASS.

Cowboy Bebop is a real classic - it's one of those series that everyone points to when someone asks "how do I get into anime", and always occupies the top spots on favourite anime lists. The characters are really cool, the soundtrack, done by the supremely talented Yoko Kanno, is all jazz and blues. It's a series that just oozes cool, and it still holds up really well, even after almost 20 years.

Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash is a really, really good show. I've written about it in the past, and I apparently neglected to do a series reivew so I'll do it here.

There are few series that pull off what Grimgar does. Sure, it's using a well trodden trope, but Grimgar manages to craft itself into a powerful and painfully emotional series that's thematically so tight. It stumbles here and there, and when it comes to action sequences, there's definitely room for improvement, but the characters themselves and their interactions are what shine so brightly in this series. While SAO was a power fantasy, Grimgar takes an almost opposite approach in it's slow pace, and emotional drama. It's easy to sympathize with the cast. They deal with relatable problems, despite being in a fantasy land. I really want everybody reading this to watch this series. It's one of my favourite series this year, and it probably would have made it on my all time list, had it's production problems been less intrusive. Aforementioned problems primarily stem from the production company pushing the music of the frustratingly stylised (K)NoW_NAME, who do both the opening, ending and all of the insert songs that are in literally every episode. Also, I should mention that a bit of every episode becomes what's essentially a music video for the song, because it's silent animation with the song playing through it's entirety.

Watch Grimgar. It's great and has a gorgeous watercolour background that I should have mentioned earlier but forgot to, and now I'm not sure where to slot it in.

How about some dystopian fun? I haven't actually watched PSYCHO-PASS, but I've heard it's an excellent series, especially if you pretend that the second season and movie never happened. Maybe I'll get around to watching it, but I've just heard and read so much about it, that I don't know if I'd be able to watch it without being tempted to skip around to get to parts I haven't heard, seen or read about.

I'm excited to see what else migrates over from Funi's vast library to Crunchyroll. There's definitely been things that I've wanted to watch but couldn't in the past couple seasons, and the possibilities of older series from the catalogue coming over has me interested in what classics they might dig up, in addition to Cowboy Bebop. Excel Saga? Akira? Both would be welcome!

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