Today saw a shocking reveal from FUNimation as part of their rebranding; their new streaming service, FUNimationNow is to be made available in the UK starting in February. This comes as a pleasant surprise to UK anime viewers, especially considering how FUNimation reveals have in the past just meant more shows the UK doesn’t get to experience as a simulcast, though some have been available through other services when we were lucky. This announcement of expansion into the UK should hopefully allow for simulcasts that FUNimation acquire to be made available over here; if they give us access to their sizable back catalogue as well, the service should complement Crunchyroll nicely.
FUNimationNow is set to be rolled out between now and May this year. The FUNimation Now website has been launched today, and the trial period for FUNimation streaming has been increased from 14 days to 30 days to entice viewers. February will see the launch of redesigned apps for iOS, Android, and Amazon Fire, alongside all-new Apple TV and Fire TV apps. Airplay and Chromecast will allow yout to watch on your TV using mobile devices. A Windows 10 Universal App will be provided to complete the line-up of mobile apps.
In May, a fully responsive dynamic website will provide the FUNimationNow xperience on mobile phones and tablets easily. An advanced search will allow for finding and filtering shows. The highlight of the May updates lies in the console app updates; PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and Roku. Hopefully, by this point the apps will be available in the UK. The FUNimationNow website also teases that there is “Much more to come!.
With this announcement, hopefully future FUNimation simulcasts will spur UK anime fans to open their wallets to this streaming service, rather than lament the lack of availability and resort to unsavoury means of viewing FUNimation anime.