Anime Film ‘Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Hashira Training Arc’ Coming to Crunchyroll May 12

Aniplex of America and Crunchyroll will be exclusively streaming Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Hashira Training Arc beginning May 12.

The anime title is the second half of the omnibus theatrical release Demon Slayer: Kimestsu no Yaiba — To The Hashira Training, which included the last episode of “Demon Slayer: Kimestsu no Yaiba Swordsmith Village Arc” (season three of the TV series), and the first episode of “Demon Slayer: Kimestsu no Yaiba Hashira Training Arc” (season four of the upcoming season of the TV series).

The dark fantasy actioner, which generated $44.3 million at the global box office, is the third anime theatrical release following 2020’s hit Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba — The Movie: Mugen Train ($453.2 million at the global box office) and 2023’s Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba — To the Swordsmith Village ($56.3 million at the global box office).

As part of its previously announced spring season lineup, Crunchyroll will simulcast new episodes of the “Kimestsu no Yaiba Hashira Training Arc” series every week everywhere the service is available, and exclusively in North America, South America, and Europe. Crunchyroll is available on 15 platforms, including most video game consoles.

The streamer is a joint venture between U.S.-based Sony Pictures Entertainment and Japan’s Aniplex, a subsidiary of Sony Music Entertainment (Japan), both subsidiaries of Tokyo-based Sony Group.

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Cineverse Signs Multiyear Deal with Anime Streamer Konami Cross Media NY

Cineverse March 26 announced a multiyear extension of its partnership with Konami Cross Media NY, part of the media distributor’s foray into the streaming anime landscape.

Courtesy of Konami Cross Media NY, Inc. and Cineverse

Cineverse will continue its distribution of “Yu-Gi-Oh!,” the anime series, providing nearly 400 hours of content to various platforms and channel partners. This new agreement includes the recent series “Yu-Gi-Oh! SEVENS,” as well as the 2016 film Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions. Cineverse also operates a stand-alone “Yu-Gi-Oh!” linear streaming channel, which currently has distribution on Pluto TV.

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The new content will also be added to RetroCrush, Cineverse’s streaming anime channel.

“We are constantly looking for ways to keep and grow our fandom — now spanning multiple generations — engaged with the content in the streaming space,” Mark Kirk, SVP of distribution for KCMNY, said in a statement.

Born in 2019 as a YouTube social video channel, RetroCrush, which is approaching 1 million subscribers, boasts an audience of more than 2.2 million followers across social platforms, according to Cineverse. In the past year, RetroCrush’s engagement rate has seen growth, averaging 11.9% across Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, while the channel’s content has averaged more than 60 million video views in this past year across Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, according to Cineverse.

“Our partnership with Konami has helped us stay steadfast to that [anime] commitment,” Yolanda Macias, chief content officer at Cineverse, added in a statement.

Crunchyroll Now Available on Samsung Smart TVs

Anime application Crunchyroll is now available on Samsung Smart TVs in the United States, with users in other markets to gain access by the end of the week, according to the service.

The app is available on all 2017-2023 Samsung Smart TVs.

With the launch, Samsung Smart TV users can access Crunchyroll’s library of anime content, including more than 46,000 episodes and movies, 3,300 Japanese music videos and concert specials, and the latest shows available on Crunchyroll on-demand, all with the option of subtitles or dubs across more than 12 local languages including English, Spanish (Latin America and Spain/Castilian), Portuguese, French, German, Arabic, Italian, Hindi, Telugu, Tamil.

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“Anime is one of the fastest-growing entertainment mediums worldwide,” Kaliel Roberts, chief product officer at Crunchyroll, said in a statement. “We’re thrilled to enhance access to Crunchyroll for Samsung’s Smart TV users. Samsung is providing a seamless experience for both dedicated anime fans and the anime-curious, allowing them to easily sign up and access their favorite anime directly on their TV screens.”

Crunchyroll boasts the world’s largest selection of anime titles, according to the service, including “My Hero Academia,” “Jujutsu Kaisen,” “Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba,” “Chainsaw Man” and “Attack on Titan,” as well as classics such as “Cowboy Bebop” and “One Piece.”

Crunchyroll is available in more than 200 countries and territories, offering a dedicated anime library and new simulcast series shortly after they premiere in Japan.

Crunchyroll Anime Streaming Service Hits 13 Million Paid Subcribers

The anime streaming service Crunchyroll has reached 13 million paid subscribers.

The service is available on more than 14 platforms, including all gaming consoles and is subtitled and dubbed in more than 12 languages.

Crunchyroll boast the world’s largest anime library with 46,000 episodes.

The service also offers free ad-supported content.

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Anime Thriller ‘Paprika’ Headed to 4K Steelbook Feb. 20 From Sony

Director Satoshi Kon’s anime thriller Paprika will be released on limited edition 4K Ultra HD Steelbook Feb. 20 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

The magical tale centers on a revolutionary machine that allows scientists to enter and record a subject’s dream. After it is stolen, a fearless detective and brilliant therapist join forces to recover the device before it falls into the hands of a “dream terrorist.” 

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Special features on in the 4K disc include “Restoring Paprika.” The included Blu-ray disc features bonuses including filmmaker commentary, a making-of documentary, “A Conversation About the ‘Dream,'” “The Dream CG World,” “The Art of Fantasy,” storyboards and original drawings, and theatrical trailers.

‘The Boy and the Heron’ Tops Slow Dec. 10 Weekend Box Office

With no major theatrical new releases, GKIDS’s anime feature film The Boy and the Heron topped the slow weekend box office with an estimated $12.3 million in North American debut ticket sales through Dec. 10.

The title from Japanese animator, filmmaker, and manga artist Hayao Miyazaki has now sold about $100 million in global ticket sales since its July 14 theatrical debut in Japan.

At No. 2 for the weekend, Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes took in an estimated $9.4 million in North America revenue, lifting the film’s four-weekend domestic tally to $135.66 million. Overseas, the movie took in another $11 million this weekend, upping the international box office total to $143.3 million for a global tally of $278.96 million.

Separately, director John Woo’s Silent Night took in another $1.72 million this weekend, lifting the holiday-themed horror film’s two-weekend total to approximately $5.84 million.
At No. 3, Toho Entertainment’s Godzilla Minus One added $8.3 million in second-weekend ticket sales to up its total past $25.3 million. That was followed by Universal Pictures’ Trolls Band Together, which upped its four-weekend tally past $83 million following an additional $6.2 million in ticket sales.
Disney’s animated musical Wish and the previous weekend’s chart topper, AMC Theatres’ music documentary Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé, entered Sunday in a virtual tie at more than $5 million in ticket sales — a near 75% drop in revenue for Beyoncé’s concert film.

Elsewhere, Paramount Pictures/Apple Studios’ Killers of the Flower Moon added $400,000 in revenue across in 44 markets on the film’s eighth international weekend. The foreign box office now stands at $83.1 million, upping the global tally past $155 million, including $71.9 million in North America. 

Finally, animated family title Paw Patrol: The Mighty Movie grossed $300,000, off 45% from the previous weekend, across 39 markets. The international tally now stands at $130.4 million, including $65 million across North American screens.

Crunchyroll Launching Fan Shops in Walmart Stores

Anime destination Crunchyroll will launch the Crunchyroll Fan Shop in more than 2,400 Walmart stores nationwide.

Through the new partnership, the Crunchyroll Fan Shop will include exclusive and other anime merchandise and items from series including “Dragon Ball Super,” “Dragon Ball Z,” “My Hero Academia,” “Akira” and more.  Products featured in the Crunchyroll Fan Shop will be continually refreshed throughout 2024. 

“Crunchyroll’s availability at Walmart will make anime more accessible than ever, inviting even more fans into this dynamic and exciting world,” Mitchel Berger, SVP, global commerce, Crunchyroll, said in a statement. “This launch reinforces our commitment to spreading the love of anime to an even wider audience, and we can’t wait to see the joy it brings to fans this holiday season.”

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The Crunchyroll Fan Shop features 16 home video products, including 10 Walmart exclusives and manga, vinyl and other items. Debuting at the Crunchyroll Fan Shop, Crunchyroll is introducing physical subscription cards to allow fans to sign up for one month, three months or 12 months of the streaming service. Subscription gift cards do not require a credit card for purchase.

Exclusive Walmart Blu-ray collections include: 

  • Dragon Ball Z — Seasons 1-3
  • Dragon Ball Z — Seasons 4-6
  • Dragon Ball Z — Seasons 7-9
  • Dragon Ball Super — Parts 1-2
  • Dragon Ball Super — Parts  3-4
  • Dragon Ball Super — Parts  5-6 
  • Dragon Ball Super — Parts  7-8
  • Dragon Ball Super — Parts  9-10 
  • My Hero Academia — Seasons 1-2
  • My Hero Academia — Seasons  3-4


Anime merchandise and collectibles include: 

  • Attack on Titan: Attack on Titan 1 (Series No. 1) (Paperback)
  • Attack on Titan, Volume 34 (Paperback)
  • Fire Force: Fire Force 1 (Series No. 1)
  • Fire Force: Fire Force 2 (Series No. 2)
  • Toilet-bound Hanako-kun: Toilet-bound Hanako-kun, Vol. 17 (Series No. 17)
  • Toilet-bound Hanako-kun: Toilet-bound Hanako-kun, Vol. 18 (Series No. 18)
  • Blue Lock: Blue Lock 1 (Series No. 1) (Paperback)
  • Blue Lock 7
  • Demon Slayer Statues
  • Anime Plush
  • Naruto S.H. Figurarts
  • Dragonball Z S.H. Figurarts
  • Dragonball Z Banpresto Figures
  • Dragonball Z Ramen Bowl
  • Naruto Ramen Bowl
  • Jujutsu Kaisen Maxx Yume Capsules
  • Kanno Yugo – Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure Golden Wind (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) – Vinyl
  • Bleach Original Soundtrack – Vinyl

Crunchyroll Anime Streaming Service Available on Prime Video Channels

The Crunchyroll anime subscription service is now available via Prime Video Channels in the United States, Canada, Sweden and the United Kingdom with additional territories to follow throughout 2024.

Prime members can select from two Crunchyroll channel memberships: Fan ($7.99 per month in the U.S.) or Mega Fan ($9.99 per month in the U.S.), both of which allow customers to stream the entire Crunchyroll library ad-free, while enjoying new episodes shortly after release in Japan. At launch, Mega Fan subscribers can also download titles for offline viewing, with additional non-video benefits to be added shortly. Crunchyroll subscribers have access to a large library of anime of 24,000 hours, 46,000 episodes, and more than 1,300 series and films.

“Crunchyroll offers an anime adventure for every kind of fan. From sports to romantic comedy, horror and action to slice-of-life, even the anime-curious can get immersed in our library,” Terry Li, EVP of emerging business at Crunchyroll, said in a statement. “We look forward to welcoming new fans into the anime community through our launch on Prime Video Channels.”

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“Prime Video already offers an unparalleled collection of premium entertainment, including third-party channels so customers can enjoy their favorite movies and series directly on Prime Video,” Matt Cohen, head of content acquisition and partnerships, Prime Video Channels, said in a statement. “With the addition of Crunchyroll to Prime Video Channels, Prime members can now easily stream anime content on Prime Video.”

Crunchyroll serves fans in more than 200 countries and territories with a dedicated anime library, along with theatrical, events and experiential, games, consumer products, and more.

Crunchyroll and GSN Launch Crunchyroll FAST Channel

Anime supplier Crunchyroll and GSN have announced the launch of a new 24/7 FAST channel to promote anime carried on LG Channels, The Roku Channel and Vizio WatchFree+. The channel will launch on Amazon Freevee Oct. 17.

The Crunchyroll channel will immediately make a telecast schedule of catalog anime available. Series available at launch include “Horimiya,” “Ranking of Kings,” “Moriarty the Patriot,” “PSYCHO–PASS,” “Arifureta,” “Sugar Apple Fairytale,” “To Your Eternity’ and “Code Geass.” New and premium anime content will remain on Crunchyroll’s SVOD and AVOD services, according to a Crunchroll release.

The network will be programmed with dubbed series in English at launch. Other promotional, genre and themed programming blocks will be scheduled for viewers to sample the wide range of anime being created from Japan, according to the release.

“The Crunchyroll Channel is a gateway to the world of anime where we will guide viewers to discover new worlds, new stories and new characters,” Rahul Purini, president of Crunchyroll, said in a statement. “And thanks to our distribution partners at launch, millions of fans have easy access to the medium that is taking the world by storm.”

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“GSN is thrilled by the massive response from our platform partners for this channel, which is a testament to Crunchyroll’s brand and library,” Tim Carry, EVP of distribution for GSN, said in a statement. “We are grateful to bring this channel to market.”

Stage Adaptation of Anime Classic ‘Spirited Away’ Coming to Digital, Blu-ray Disc Nov. 14

Shout! Studios and GKIDS are bringing the stage adaptation of Hayao Miyazaki’s Academy Award-winning animated feature Spirited Away to home audiences.

Spirited Away: Live on Stage, filmed during the hit production’s 2022 run at the historic Imperial Theatre in Tokyo, will be released for digital rental and purchase and on Blu-ray Disc Nov. 14.

The stage adaptation from Tony Award winner John Caird is being released as two separate filmed performances of the production, starring renowned Japanese actresses Kanna Hashimoto and Mone Kamishiraishi, double-cast as the lead heroine Chihiro. Character actor Mari Natsuki, who voiced the sorceress Yubaba and her twin sister Zeniba in the original motion picture, returns to her original role accompanied by voice actor Romi Park double cast as the characters. They are accompanied by a star-studded cast of Japan’s finest actors.

The Spirited Away: Live on Stage home entertainment release follows the North American debut earlier this spring with the successful theatrical run at the 2023 Ghibli Fest.