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Creator / Aniplex
aka: Aniplex USA

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Aniplex Inc. (known as Sony Pictures Entertainment Visual Works Inc. from 1995 to 2001 and Sony Music Entertainment Visual Works Inc. from 2001 to 2003) and is a Japanese anime and music producing company owned by Sony Music Entertainment (Japan).

Founded in 1995, Aniplex produces and distributes games and merchandise, holds events, and markets anything else related to their franchises. They provided music and other assets for shows produced by nearly every major anime studio.

The company also produces and animates their own anime titles through A-1 Pictures and CloverWorks. As of 2019, Aniplex also oversees Crunchyroll (formerly known as Funimation) as part of a internationally-consolidated joint-venture with Sony Pictures Television.

Titles Associated with Aniplex:

Aniplex of America

In a departure for many Japanese production companies, Aniplex decided to form their own American branch in order to keep their Western distributions in-house. This American division, also known as Aniplex USA, was established in 2005. The branch has been importing and distributing several notable non-Aniplex titles in the years since its founding, even producing several English dubs in association with Bang Zoom! Entertainment. Since 2019, when Funimation became jointly-operated by Sony Pictures and Aniplex, Funimation began to simuldub several Aniplex USA titles.

Titles exclusively distributed by Aniplex USA: "*" = has a dub

Aniplex USA provides examples of:

  • Executive Meddling: Before Aniplex USA was established, many of the shows the Japanese branch produced beforehand were licensed by either Funimation or Sentai Filmworks note  While Aniplex initially allowed these companies to continue their distribution of these shows, their American branch refused to allow Funimation to renew their licenses beyond 2016. That being said, between Funimation being acquired in 2017 by Aniplex's cooperate sibling, Sony Pictures, and Sony consolidating their international anime licensing businesses in 2019 under a joint venture with Funimation overseen by Aniplex, several Aniplex and Aniplex USA titles either returned to Funimation's streaming service or made their debut.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: Many of their older releases have started going out of print as of recently. They have responded to this however by releasing complete collections for Puella Magi Madoka Magica, and Durarara!!, and re-printing the standard edition DVD releases for Fate/Zero. However releases such as the Blu-ray of Baccano! have not seen a reprint.
  • Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition: They're rather fond of using bonus content as a way to jack up the price of their DVDs to obscene levels - usually around $80-$90 for a twelve-episode show and $140-$150 for a 24 episode show.
  • Lighter and Softer: They released Your Lie in April, which is their first non-action series to get a dub.
  • No Dub for You: A lot of their titles are sub only, but, unlike NIS America (at least prior to March 2014) and Nozomi Entertainment, they don't completely refuse to do so. Most of the titles they have are described as either too niche or too difficult to dub properly. Many of the titles they do dub are either big name action titles. They are the least likely to re-release titles with dubs (Blue Exorcist being an exception to this) or dub any romantic comedies and dramas (that was until Your Lie in April).
  • No Export for You: The fate of some of the more obscure shows in their catalog. There are many shows they've had licensed for years but have never seen the light of day on a home video release and are only available via streaming. Canadians have it worse since they never exported any of their series outside of streaming services.
  • Production Posse: Almost all of their English dubs are produced by Bang Zoom! Entertainment. The exceptions have been:
    • Kiznaiver, dubbed by The Ocean Group in Canada as Crunchyroll was on the show's production committee with control over the localisation whilst AoA only had disc rights.
    • Persona 5 The Animation, handled by the game's dubbing studio PCB Productions to retain the cast.
    • And their new relationship with Funimation meaning certain titles will be dubbed by them (Darwin's Game and Kaguya-sama being among the first).

Alternative Title(s): Aniplex USA