The US is home to the best and biggest anime companies in the world… Outside of Japan, of course.
Outside of the US, there are only a handful of anime companies in business. And an even smaller amount who are “killing it” in so many words.
I’m not here to debate why (that’s for another day) but I’d like to share 9 US anime companies worth mentioning.
Some of these companies you’ll know of, and others you’ll be learning about for the first time.
The Biggest Anime Companies In The US:
1. Sentai Filmworks
Sentai Filmworks is huge in the USA. With some of the biggest licenses a company outside Japan has to offer.
The company started in 2008, founded by John Ledford.
They’ve licensed series like:
- Akame Ga Kill.
- Angel Beats.
- No Game No Life.
- Princess Principal.
- Food Wars,
And plenty of other anime like K-On. They’re a pretty big deal, with their releases sold in Wal-Mart, Amazon, and many other retailers.
Funimation goes without saying. After all – they’re literally the biggest anime streaming company on earth besides Crunchyroll.
The company began in 1994 by Gen Fukunaga.
if it weren’t for Funimation, anime shows like:
- Dragon Ball Z.
And other anime I’ve missed wouldn’t even exist today from an English dub stand point.
This is the era that kicked off anime and drove it to global fame, so we have a lot to thank companies like Funimation for. Since it’s an important company (historically speaking).
3. Aniplex of America
Aniplex of America is another massive US company in the anime space. With titles under their belt like:
- Grancrest War.
- Gun Gale Online.
- Fate Stay Night.
- Fate Apocrypha.
- Fullmetal Alchemist.
- God Eater.
And many more powerful anime titles. Making them an important company not just in the US, but worldwide.
Aniplex of America started in 2005, owned by Sony (like other anime companies).
Crunchyroll started out in 2006. And believe it or not, they were no better than Kiss Anime is today in 2018.
They pirated anime content and streamed it FREE for anime fans worldwide.
This lead to Crunchyroll being ironically funded 2+ years later, with them finally going the “legal” route about 3-5 years after that.
In 2018 Crunchyroll has over 1M+ Subscribers. A feat no other anime streaming company has achieved in history. As far as things stand, they’re success can’t be denied one way or the other.
As of today (16th June 2018) they have around 900+ anime shows in their catalogue. Which is about 3-4% of all the anime shows that have ever been created.
5. Viz Media
Viz Media started out in 1986, making it one of the oldest anime companies in the world AND the USA. Founded by Seiji Horibuchi.
They distribute shows/manga like:
- My Hero Academia.
- Yona Of The Dawn.
- Death Note.
- Sailor Moon.
And other recognizable, successful anime and manga. They also distribute graphic novels and books. Making them a key part of the US anime industry.
6. Manga Entertainment
Manga Entertainment is a company that distributes and sells anime DVD’S in the US and UK. And it’s the only distributor on this list to do so.
First started in 1987, Manga Entertainment is one of the oldest companies. And largest distributors of anime in the UK specifically.
7. Discotek Media
You might not have heard of Discotek Media, but they’re an important company in the US regardless.
They distribute anime series like
- Fist Of The North Star.
- The Adventures Of The Little Prince.
- Captain Harlock: Arcadia of my Youth – Endless Orbit SSX.
- Magic Knight Rayearth.
And tons of old school (and new-ish) anime shows that have played a role in building the industry.
Discotek Media started in 2005.
AnimEigo started out in 1988, founded by Robert Woodhead.
The company focuses on distributing and licensing Anime, Japanese, and Samurai films.
- Bubblegum Crisis.
- Riding Bean.
- Bubblegum Crash.
- The Great Killing.
Among other anime and Japanese films.
Bubble Gum Crisis was one of their most recent additions to their catalogue.
9. Media Blasters
First started in 1997, Media Blasters was founded by John Sirabella and Sam Liebowitz.
They distribute and release a mixture of Hentai and “clean” anime series.
Historically, they were involved with:
- Rurouni Kenshin.
- Ladies Vs Butlers.
- Knight Hunters.
And similar shows you’ve either heard of or you haven’t.
They’re still going strong as a business in 2018. And have contributed to the US anime market along with other companies on this list.
Which US anime company do you like/dislike and WHY?
Being from the UK I only have a certain amount of context on US companies… Or maybe that doesn’t matter.
I don’t know.
Either way, let me know which US anime company has been a big deal for you as a fan of anime. And why that is, if you have any thoughts…