Funimation launches Australian anime streaming service

Alex Kidman 12 April 2017

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All the Japanese animation your eyeballs can handle.

US anime streaming service Funimation has launched in Australia, offering a wide library of titles with a focus on already-dubbed Japanese anime. Funimation claims to offer 225 distinct anime series with around 5,000 hours of content to watch across the service, including popular series such as Ah My Goddess, Fairy Tail and My Hero Academia.

In terms of pricing, Funimation will provide new signups with a 30-day trial, after which access is priced at $5.99 per month, or if you’re especially keen, $59.99 for a year’s access, an $11.89 saving. That basic price buys you up to two simultaneous streams, with an additional $2.99 per month for up to four streams at once as the "friends and family" offer.

Anime fans in Australia have a wide variety of subscription anime services to pick from, with established heavyweight Crunchyroll already available, as well as home-grown Animelab also streaming to multiple devices on a subscription basis.

What differentiates Funimation is that while it offers a 30-day free trial, after that it’s subscription only, whereas both Animelab and Crunchyroll offer free access to a smaller portion of their streaming libraries to selected devices on an ad-supported basis. Crunchyroll and Funimation already have a content-sharing deal in place for selected series in the US, so if you’re already familiar with Crunchyroll, don’t be surprised to see some familiar series in Funimation’s library.

While it's not a focus of either service, both Stan and Netflix have had a rotating cast of anime titles available and it's not uncommon to see shows pop up on either ABC iView or SBS On Demand.

Speaking of Funimation’s library, it would appear that the dread spectre of territorial rights is also at play in terms of the overall Australian library selection. We haven't perused all of Funimation's local catalogue, but as an example, in the States, it offers access to Eiichiro Oda’s classic One Piece to view. In Australia, if you head to the show’s URL on the Funimation site, you’re hit with a notice that simply states, "Sorry, but this content isn’t available in your country".

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