Madman Entertainment

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Madman Entertainment
Industry Entertainment
Founded 1996; 21 years ago (1996)
Founders Tim Anderson, Paul Wiegard
Headquarters Richmond, Victoria, Australia
Area served
Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, and Papua New Guinea
Key people
Directors; Brett Chenoweth (Chairman), Tim Anderson, Paul Wiegard, Adrian Mackenzie, Charbel Nader
Products DVD, Blu-ray, Digital Video, Manga, Video on demand

Madman Entertainment is an Australian company that distributes Australian and foreign films as well as Japanese anime and manga in Australia, New Zealand, and Papua New Guinea. Madman is one of the major entertainment companies in Australia. It employs approx 100 people and has an annual turnover of around A$50 million.[1] Its headquarters is in Richmond, Victoria.[2][3]

Madman has secured the local release rights to popular titles including Sailor Moon, One Piece, Dragon Ball, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Akira, Steins;Gate and almost all of Studio Ghibli's catalogue. In addition to DVD sales, Madman manages the theatrical release of some of their titles, particularly the Studio Ghibli movies. According to market research, Madman accounts for 97% of the total anime home media market in Australia.[citation needed]


Madman Entertainment was founded in 1996 to release anime in Australia from Manga Entertainment UK, with Siren Entertainment acting as distributor after Siren lost the rights to most of Manga UK's catalogue. Later on in 1997, Madman started to distribute anime from ADV Films along with Siren Entertainment. In 2001 Madman Entertainment bought Siren's distribution equipment and established The AV Channel, allowing Madman to distribute their own titles. In the same year Madman Entertainment became the sole distributor of Manga Entertainment's UK and US titles in Australia & New Zealand after Polygram Australia relinquished their rights to Manga UK's back catalogue and Siren lost the rights to Street Fighter II V which was licensed from Manga USA.

Madman now sublicenses anime from ADV Films, Funimation, Harmony Gold, Viz Media, Bandai Entertainment, Media Blasters, formerly Geneon, & recently Sentai Filmworks, although Siren Visual licenses the majority of their English-dubbed titles as well as titles from Manga Entertainment. Madman has licensed titles that were sub-licensed to Madman by Geneon directly though the original Japanese licensors, and this practice is also applied when North American and British licensees do not have Australian rights to their titles. Madman is also the exclusive licensee and distributor of Anime from Namco Bandai Holdings in Australia, licensing titles through Bandai Entertainment, Sunrise and Emotion, despite Namco Bandai Holdings having an Australian subsidiary, Namco Bandai Partners.

As of 2008, only some of Manga Entertainment Australia's titles from the 1990s have been distributed by Madman. Battle Angel Alita was to be released in Australia by Manga and Madman in 2001, but this was cancelled because ADV Films had the rights to the OVAs in North America and tried to market it in Australia with a new dub, while Manga UK and Madman Entertainment had the rights in the UK, Australia and New Zealand.

Some of their DVD releases have been jointly mastered with Britain's MVM Films or Revelation Films to save costs, and are therefore dual-region (Region 2 and Region 4). A few DVD titles from Madman, such as the Oh My Goddess! OVAs, are all-region or multi-region DVDs in the NTSC format, imported from the US and repackaged for sale in Australia and New Zealand (which normally use PAL colour). Madman & Manga UK also work together on PAL DVD & Region B Blu-ray masters and video transfers, sometimes co-licensing titles due to a title's high cost.

A growing selection of manga titles translated by Tokyopop in the United States and Chuang Yi in Singapore are being imported and distributed through Madman Entertainment. In February 2008, Madman announced that they would also be distributing manga titles from Viz Media.[4] Madman currently distributes manga from Viz Media, Dark Horse Comics, Tokyopop, and recently from Yen Press with the 2012 release of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya.

Madman launched in 1996 solely as an anime distribution company, but has since expanded. They manage the distribution of live-action titles through their labels Madman Films, Directors Suite, Madman Sports, Madman Laughs, Madman Television, Bollywood Masala and Eastern Eye and also children's entertainment through their Planet Mad and Mad4Kids labels. Madman also has a theatrical distribution arm called Madman Cinema. In addition, the company distributes original series produced by Australia's Special Broadcasting Service on DVD.[5]

At the 2008 Supanova Pop Culture Expo, Madman announced plans to explore new distribution methods. The company now offers online streaming of selected anime episodes, beginning with the first episode of School Rumble.[6] Madman now has a sub-page, Madman Scereening Room, dedicated to video streaming.[7] Madman has also begun releasing Blu-ray Disc titles, starting with The Transformers: The Movie in June 2009.[8][9] On 1 June 2009, Madman Entertainment released an English adaption of Tamagotchi: The Movie, a 2007 film based on the Tamagotchi digital pets from Bandai and WiZ. Madman also intended to dub the film's sequel, Tamagotchi: Happiest Story in the Universe!, but the dub was cancelled for unknown reasons.

In April 2008, the company announced a collaboration with British company Warp Films. Warp and Madman plan to make "at least two films together over the next three years, starting with Tyrannosaur."[10]

In July 2014, Madman’s original founders Tim Anderson and Paul Wiegard, together with Brett Chenoweth, the former CEO of APN News & Media; Charbel Nader, an investment banker who is chairman of Metro Media Publishing; and Adrian McKenzie, the former CVC Asia Pacific managing partner who led the buyout of the Nine Network from PBL: completed a buyback of the business from Funtastic Limited (ASX:FUN).[11]

In early 2016, Madman announced an anime convention Madman Anime Festival to run annually from 3–4 September, starting on 2016 at Melbourne, with Madman Entertainment, AnimeLab and Bushiroad being the main sponsors of the convention.[12]


AnimeLab is a free and legal video on demand (VOD) service that provides online streaming of anime series and simulcasts direct from Japan.[13][14]

AnimeLab originally launched May 28, 2014 in Australia and New Zealand as a Madman Entertainment skunkworks project with 50 series and 700 episodes. It is the stand-alone successor to Madman's Screening Room.[15] AnimeLab now has over 450,000 signed up users in Australia and New Zealand, featuring over 6,000 episodes across 260 titles.

Shows on the AnimeLab website can be watched using a modern web browser on a range of platforms, as it uses an HTML 5-based video player.[16] AnimeLab also has an iOS app [17][18] and Android app [19] which allow users to stream anime on their mobile devices and tablets.

The AnimeLab app also launched on the Playstation 3 and 4 on October 19, 2015,[20] the following year it launched on Xbox One on December 5.,[21] however lacking the Kinect voice functionality. Madman has confirmed they're looking into implementing Kinect support.[22]

In AnimeLab's live-stream panel at Supanova in Perth, two AnimeLab staff members, Jess McCallum and Christine Busby discussed their new mascot 'Violet' who is named after Australian scientist Ruby Payne-Scott and has the personality of Akiho Senomiya from Robotics;Notes mixed with Kurisu Makise from Steins;Gate.[23]

AnimeLab On-Air[edit]

AnimeLab and C31 Melbourne announced an anime programming block called AnimeLab On-Air. AnimeLab On-Air is hosted by Jessica McCallum and Christine Busby and previews upcoming anime titles from AnimeLab and Madman Entertainment. The block currently airs on C31 Melbourne.[24]


On December 1, 2016 Madman launched DocPlay, a dedicated documentary streaming service.[25] The service has over 130 titles on it at launch, with it currently only available to view via web-browser, Android, Chromecast and iOS.[26] Unlike Animelab, the service is primarily subscription based with only a handful of titles available for free to watch.[27] The service was partly funded by Screen Australia due to the platform's ability to share revenue with local producers.[28] While DocPlay shares the same aesthetics and design to Animelab, the account systems are separate, meaning that those with an Animelab premium subscription are unable to access the premium selection inside DocPlay and visa-versa.


As of 2016, Madman Entertainment, is the sponsor for New Zealand and possible Australian Manga/Anime events.[29] And their own Madman Anime Festival for Melbourne in Australia.[30]


  1. ^ "About Us". Retrieved 26 July 2016. 
  2. ^ "Contact Information." Madman Entertainment. Retrieved on 29 March 2010.
  3. ^ "Map of the Ward Boundaries." City of Yarra. Retrieved on 29 March 2010.
  4. ^ "Madman Entertainment - Anime & Pop Culture Store". Retrieved 26 July 2016. 
  5. ^ "Madman Entertainment - Anime & Pop Culture Store". Retrieved 26 July 2016. 
  6. ^ "Madman News from Supanova Expo". Retrieved 26 July 2016. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Madman Entertainment". Retrieved 26 July 2016. 
  9. ^ "Blu-Ray Anime, Films, TV and more from Madman Entertainment". Retrieved 26 July 2016. 
  10. ^ "Madman Entertainment - Anime & Pop Culture Store". Retrieved 26 July 2016. 
  11. ^ "Madman sale closed". Retrieved 26 July 2016. 
  12. ^ "ANNOUNCING MADMAN ANIME FESTIVAL: Presented by Madman Entertainment and AnimeLab!". Retrieved 26 July 2016. 
  13. ^ Gizmodo - AnimeLab Is How You Do A Streaming Video Service Properly
  14. ^ Australia's Premiere Anime Streaming Site
  15. ^ AnimeLab
  16. ^ Digitally Downloaded - Madman's AnimeLab is going to be one of the best streaming services in Australia
  17. ^ ANN - AnimeLab launches iOS App
  18. ^ Gizmodo - AnimeLab Now Has A (Great) App For iPad And iPhone
  19. ^ ANN - AnimeLab launches Android App
  20. ^ "AnimeLab Is Now Available On PlayStation". Madman Entertainment. October 19, 2015. Retrieved December 19, 2016. 
  21. ^ "AnimeLab is Now Available On Xbox One". Madman Entertainment. December 14, 2016. Retrieved December 19, 2016. 
  22. ^ "Hey Mark! Our dev team will be looking into this this week. We'll let you know how they go.". Facebook. December 19, 2016. Retrieved December 19, 2016. 
  23. ^ AnimeLab panel
  24. ^ [1]
  25. ^ "About page". Madman Entertainment. Retrieved January 7, 2017. 
  26. ^ "Introducing DocPlay". Madman Entertainment. December 1, 2016. Retrieved January 7, 2017. 
  27. ^ "Free titles". Madman Entertainment. Retrieved January 7, 2017. 
  28. ^ "Screen Australia names recipients of $2.5 million in Enterprise funding". Inside Film. November 29, 2016. Retrieved January 7, 2017. 
  29. ^ Armageddon Expo NZ
  30. ^ Entertainment, Madman. "Madman Anime Festival - September 3rd & 4th 2016 - Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre". Retrieved 26 July 2016. 

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