Manga Entertainment

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Manga Entertainment Ltd.
Manga Entertainment

Type Entertainment
Status Defunct (absorbed)
Founder(s) Chris Blackwell, Andy Frain
Founded 1987
Defunct 2011 (Manga U.S.), 2021 (Manga UK)
London, England, United Kingdom
Also known as Island World Communications (1987-1991)
Parent company
Preceded by L.A. Hero
Succeeded by Crunchyroll

Manga Entertainment Ltd. was an entertainment and media production, licensing, and distribution company primarily operating in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Despite its name, it mostly distributed anime, though it did publish some manga under its Manga Books imprint. Founded in London in 1987 as "Island World Communications" by Chris Blackwell and Andy Frain, it was originally a subsidiary of Island Records' Island World Group. It purchased L.A. Hero in 1993 to form its American branch Manga U.S., while it continued operating in the British Isles as Manga UK, eventually also expanding into the Australian market beginning later in 1993. The company distributed several kaiju films in the United Kingdom during its existence. Through its Manga Live label, the company released Toho's international versions of Gunhed and Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah and Godzilla vs. Mothra to VHS in 1994 and 1995, respectively. In 1999, it released Gamera the Guardian of the Universe to VHS and later to DVD in 2002 under its Manga Video label. Rather than use ADV Films' existing English-language version of the film which had been released in North American markets, Manga produced its own version with a new English dub produced by Arrival Films and a new techno music score provided by Truelove Label Collective. The company licensed Shin Godzilla from Funimation and released it to theaters, then to Blu-ray and DVD in 2017. This time, it included the English dub which had already been produced by Funimation, as well as the original Japanese audio track.

Manga was purchased by IDT Entertainment (now Starz) in 2004, after which the U.S. and UK branches began to operate mostly independently from each other despite being under the same ownership. Manga US was ultimately absorbed into Starz Media in 2011. Manga UK was acquired along with Anchor Bay UK by independent managing director Colin Lomax in 2015, while Manga U.S. was placed under Lionsgate Home Entertainment following its acquisition of Starz. Beginning in 2016, Manga UK began sublicensing anime titles from Funimation for distribution in the British Isles. Funimation ultimately acquired Manga UK on May 29, 2019. On April 19, 2021, Manga UK was officially rebranded as Funimation UK and Ireland, and continues to operate under this name, though select releases retain the Manga Entertainment brand name. In 2022, it was announced that Funimation itself would be rebranded as Crunchyroll following parent company Sony's acquisition of the latter company and the merging of the two.

Selected releases



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