AnimeLab Is Officially Becoming Funimation From Today

AnimeLab Is Officially Becoming Funimation From Today
Image: YouTube (Funimation)

Well, AnimeLab had a good run. The Australian anime streaming service will retire its existing name and brand, with AnimeLab to be simply known as Funimation.

Following the completion of Sony’s buyout of Crunchyroll for $US1.175 billion, a question always remained as to whether the AnimeLab name would continue in Australia. From June 17, that will no longer be the case.

Existing AnimeLab users will be able to log into Funimation using their existing AnimeLab details, although those who don’t have an existing account can sign up to Funimation instead. “Once the transition is complete, the AnimeLab blog will ultimately retire, and we’ll continue publishing our articles over at funimation.com/blog,” AnimeLab announced.

The Australians and New Zealanders behind AnimeLab are staying on, and Madman Anime will continue operating in Australia according to a support page. Future updates are planned to existing AnimeLab accounts, but Australians will start to see international-inspired changes pretty soon: the July Simulcast Season is now being called the “Summer Season”, mirroring the naming convention of Japan (and the Northern hemisphere).

“We are working to make sure that as many shows as possible are made available on Funimation as AnimeLab transitions over, including even more anime content, the dubs you know and love, and much more,” AnimeLab wrote.

Funimation’s online store won’t be going live in Australia to coincide with next week’s merger, although AnimeLab advised that people can still purchase manga, anime, collectibles and other merchandise through Madman instead.

There’s also an upcoming refresh of the AnimeLab app to coincide with the transition, although the support listing indicates that this won’t be ready straight away. “The AnimeLab and Funimation technical teams are working very closely together to bring you the best user experience on Funimation possible, including a brand-new app refresh,” the company announced.

AnimeLab first launched in Australia in May 2014, originally offering shows for free without ads as part of a beta program. A full launch kicked off in May 2015 with a freemium and subscription models, and the local service continued to grow its content in the years to come. Adult Swim titles joined the AnimeLab platform in 2017, and in 2020, AnimeLab managed to outlast its international counterpart after Funimation announced that access to FunimationNow would be shut down in Australia and New Zealand, with Funimation’s offering to be added to AnimeLab’s catalogue instead.

Comments

  • I just saw the email, and I’m really not happy, particularly if theres any link back to Crunchyroll. AnimeLab has had a really good reputation for showing the anime that the US streaming services either refuse to show or have cut short the runs of because of them being offended by the content (clearly not being familiar with series before picking up the licenses).

    That said, there are weird technical issues with AnimeLab, where I’ll have to swap to dubs because the sub versions refuse to load. So it’d be good if they can fix that.

  • Booo. I preferred Animelab’s display of simulcast schedule to Funimation’s more obtuse presentation of the catalogue, back when they were separate services and I had both.

    Also, Funimation continued billing me multiple months after my account was supposed to have been merged with Animelab, requiring multiple support tickets and charge-backs to resolve it.

    This isn’t super great news, not the least of which is seeing the death of an Aussie-specific platform. Bummer, man. Bummer.

  • Ugh…

    Guess this explains why the Funi app suddenly appeared on the local Switch Store last month. Truly a great partnership, when one side undercuts the other’s announcement weeks in advance. Stay classy, Funimation

    • i remember for a bit you were able to use adblockers on anime lab and get no ads without paying. Was good while it lasted.

  • So a couple of things. All of my watch history is now gone, and the UI only shows 3 shows at once— who knows if these are the most recent updated (it doesn’t look like it because there are some last season things here) so that means I need to go into each show I’m watching and figure out where I was up to, then mark all of the episodes as viewed to make this queue system work.

    Also, are all funimations apps as bad as their Apple TV one? It’s horrendous.

    • Theres also major gaps in what Funimation has compared to AnimeLab. I’d suggest finding whats missing and seeing it on AL before they take it down since they’ve said that ‘some’ of the shows might come across, but not all.

      Took me half an hour or so but I managed to get my AnimeLab and Funimation properly linked so that I still have my Funimation digital copies from Blu-rays. Not even remotely simple.

  • Hmmm. By the looks of it they bought AnimeLab for the apps. Their new PlayStation app looks at its core to be the AnimeLab teams code sitting on top of the Funimation backend…

  • Had to follow the FAQs to see about how to merge my existing funimation/animelab accounts with each other, because it definitely wasn’t the ‘default migration.’ A few clicks and logins and it seemed relatively painless. Shame the watch lists weren’t ported over, but on the whole it’s not so bad. (Even if I dislike how Funimation presents its catalogue by comparison.)

    What I’m interested in finding out next is what’s going to happen with smart-tv apps. Animelab did pretty well getting supported on my Samsung TV, app works great and it means I don’t have to fire up a console and can just run it straight from the TV. Even Crunchyroll doesn’t do that on my TV, unfortunately. It’ll be sad to lose an app from the TV and be forced to turn on the console for anime.

  • Yeah as others have said this is not great so far.
    The website is well worse than the Animelab one.
    Slower, more convoluted to use.
    There are major gaps between the two (e.g. SAO and Overlord not on Funimation) and looks like differences in sub / dub options..
    I need to look at it closer but if this is going to be the case I may cancel and stick with crunchyroll.

  • It seems that Animelab is dead. Having noticed that it’s been a week or so since new dubbed episodes have been listed on Animelab, yet, are available to watch on the Funimation app, should you be able to get it to function correctly.

    So the 17th wasn’t so much a soft-date for starting to migrate, as a date they had no intention of supporting Animelab past, or at least that is how it would seem, to me.

    As someone who had membership on Animelab since 2015, and Funimation since 2016, my experiences haven’t been entirely pleasant, on either platform.

    Especially upon my acquisition of an Nvidia Shield, running Android TV. Neither apps were particularly well developed in the early days. It would also eventuate, that Funimation wouldn’t continue to officially support the Android TV app for very long, according to my memories of some correspondence in 2016 or 2017, after numerous support tickets lodged by myself, in regards to the abysmal performance of the app.

    Fast forward to the announcement that all funimation services in Australia and New Zealand would be terminated, and we should all move over to Animelab, little over a year ago, resulting in my termination of a Funimation account, at the old rates, which I had been grandfathered into, prior to the price rises. Then fast forward once again, to now, with Animelab effectively being abandoned, with no apparent consideration for existing long term customers, or any intention of fixing the app for the remaining “supported” service, which, according to the app info, received an update in May of this year (2021), but which experience tells me, really hasn’t seen any functional, or visible improvement, over the app I’d lodged numerous complaints about, and offered regular feedback on, prior to the Australian and New Zealand customer base being told to shift to Animelab in the first place.

    Upon first receiving the email notifying me of the migration back to Funimation, my first reaction was to reach out to Animelab support staff, querying the Funimation app, seeking assurance that it had indeed been updated, fixed, better than it was when I was “forced” off it. The answers, were very political, very customer-servicey.

    I was assured that the apps were being updated. That the transition would be smooth. That everything would be fine.

    It hasn’t, and I suspect, won’t be. I can’t definitively state what market percentage Android TV based devices occupy. However, a glance at available Android TV based Smart TVs and set-top-boxes would suggest that it’s not an insignificant percentage, to me.

    At this point. I’ve all but lost faith in, and hope for the anime streaming market, servicing the ANZ region. HiDive remains, offering limited content for the ANZ markets. Are there more that I’m unaware of? Or, is it down to boutique, or smaller providers, including ones operating in “shades of grey”?

    There really doesn’t seem to be much left, in the way of legitimate, licensed providers, offering regular content, let alone regular dubbed content.

    • There’s a big crossover too between anime fans and Android TV boxes, because many would use services like Plex for downloaded anime/containers that other TVs, consoles wouldn’t natively support.

  • I actually hate this corporate take-over, they’ve made a ton of the shows premium cucking anyone who plans to stay and transfer to pay for their subscription. I genuinely hate Funimation for this utter bs.

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