Fullmetal Alchemist License Expiring Soon
On February 1, 2016 the anime community in the Unites States, among other countries, took a blow to its viewing capabilities. It was announced that Funimation would lose the video streaming and home video license rights to both Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood and Fullmetal Alchemist The Movie-Conqueror of Shamballa on March 31, 2016. What does that mean for the normal anime viewer? Basically, it will be harder for you to watch or purchase these shows. They will be disappearing from Funimation’s website for streaming and purchasing. So, if you have been considering purchasing these anime be sure to do so before March 31, when they go out of print, because once that happens you can safely assume that there will be some sort of price hike.
For those that are curious, this happens because when anime is released in countries that are not Japan, the holder of the rights to the anime, in this scenario Aniplex, usually enters into an agreement or contract with a local licencor/distributor, in this case Funimation. These agreements usually last somewhere between five and seven years, at which point the contract can either be renewed or not renewed. In this scenario Aniplex has decided to not renew their contract with Funimation. Aniplex, who is a major player in the Japanese anime market, has probably decided it would be more beneficial for them to deal with the American market directly. This is also one contributing reason for why it is very difficult to find such shows as Gurren Lagann and Madoka Magica, which just so happen to also be owned by Aniplex. So until a re-release by Aniplex of these shows, expect them to be more difficult/expensive to get a hold of. Aniplex has several contracts that are up for renewal soon, many with Funimation, so keep up to date with your anime news to make sure you don’t miss out on some anime that you have been putting off watching or buying. Until next time every one, don’t forget to be awesome!