Major US anime distributor Funimation has today launched ‘Funimation Now’, their streaming video-on-demand service for the UK and Ireland.
Operating a three-tier model, users can sign up for a basic account which offers free, ad-supported access to catalogue titles and simulcasts on a delayed basis, a paid ‘SubPass’, which offers all content in HD (where available) and instant access to simulcast titles, and the premium ‘All-AccessPass’, which includes English dubbed audio for shows where available, access to broadcast dubs produced during a show’s initial airing and other video extras.
Funimation Now’s simulcast titles from the current season include My Hero Academia, Assassination Classroom S2, Kuma Miko, Endride and Concrete Revoluitio S2, while their extensive back catalogue includes a wide variety of titles that have not been officially available to stream in the UK before, or have been restricted to paid services like Netflix. The full catalogue covers over 150 titles, including Dimension W, the first series of Assassination Classroom, Jormungand, Psycho-Pass, Danganronpa, Eden of the East, Noragami and Fairy Tail.
The website is currently in ‘beta’ at present, with both paid-for tiers offered free for the next 30 days. Some teething problems have been reported, however, with users in Ireland experiencing difficulties in signing up for the paid subscriptions and the promised iOS app being as yet unavailable. On a more general note, it’s also not immediately apparent from looking at the site which content is available at the basic level – as the video player initially defaults to English audio, it can appear that series are locked out, when they can in fact be played by switching the language to Japanese.
The service is available from www.funimationnow.com