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.