Crunchyroll is leaving HBO Max in the new year

Crunchyroll - HBO Max
by Keane Eacobellis

HBO Max subscribers will soon lose access to the services Crunchyroll Collection. A small message found on the WarnerMedia-owned streaming platform’s website notifies users looking for anime that “your favorites” will soon be found under the site’s new global animation page beginning on the first.

The fan-run Twitter account Animation on HBO Max first noticed the announcement on the HBO Max’s Crunchyroll Collection hub.

WarnerMedia’s parent company AT&T acquired Crunchyroll in 2018 through its acquisition of Otter Media. The Crunchyroll Collection was added to HBO Max in 2019 alongside “hubs” for other Warner Media owned animation brands like Cartoon Network and Adult swim.

The departure has been on its way since AT&T sold Crunchyroll to Sony-owned Funimation earlier this year. Sony bought the streaming site for $1.175 billion USD, further solidifying what some observers assess as the company’s global monopoly on anime distribution.

It’s unclear what anime series will remain after the move. HBO Max has focused primarily on expanding its collection of anime films, relying on big names from Crunchyroll like Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood and Your Lie In April to fill out the serial catalog. Many are curious if Toonami — Adult Swim’s retired light-night anime block — might make a revival in some form.

Last year, the platform added the entirety of Studio Ghibli’s filmography and has continued to add newer, popular anime films like Weathering With You, Promare, and Ride Your Wave. GKIDS holds the North American distribution for all the anime film on the platform, evidence of a strong but unofficial partnership.