It looks like Sony’s acquisition of Crunchyroll is going to have consequences for more than just the anime streaming platform itself. HBO Max may just be the first of many to feel it.
HBO Max: No More Crunchyroll For You
Twitter user Animation managed to spot this little message on the Crunchyroll hub of HBO Max. It’s a short but significant notice. It reads simply:
“Our Anime Is Moving. Your favorites head to your new global animation page on Jan. 1.”
Note that HBO Max isn’t removing all of their anime series from Crunchyroll altogether. It just means that by January 1, 2022; all of their anime series will just be moving to their global animation page. It appears that they just simply can’t use the Crunchyroll brand anymore, instead of not being able to use the anime series from them altogether. I suppose that’s the good news here.
No More Crunchyroll For Anyone?
Now for the potentially bad news. It’s possible that this business with HBO Max losing the Crunchyroll brand is just the beginning. They don’t say why they’re dropping the brand, but you can guess that it likely has something to do with Sony’s finalization of their purchase of Crunchyroll from AT&T back in August 2021, which meant that they now owned both Crunchyroll and Funimation. If HBO Max is being made to drop the brand name, it’s possible other streaming services might also follow suit, and be made to do the same thing.
To be fair though, they’d only be dropping their brand name if they do. Like HBO Max, they don’t seem to be in danger of losing the actual anime series themselves. Just the right to use Crunchyroll’s name and brand. So it’s not like Funimation and Crunchyroll are going to be anime monopolies…yet. Of course, this is just speculation. Take it with a grain of anime salt.