Manga Entertainment

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Manga Entertainment, LLC
IndustryEntertainment (anime)
FoundedJanuary 17, 1991; 31 years ago (1991-01-17) (UK branch)
1993; 29 years ago (1993) (U.S. branch)
Defunct2017; 5 years ago (2017) (U.S. branch)
April 19, 2021; 19 months ago (2021-04-19) (UK branch)
FateAbsorbed into Starz Inc. (later Lionsgate Home Entertainment) (U.S. branch)
Acquired by Funimation (now known as Crunchyroll, LLC) (UK branch)
SuccessorsStarz Inc./Lionsgate Home Entertainment (2011–present, U.S. branch)
Crunchyroll UK and Ireland (2021–present, UK branch)
HeadquartersLos Angeles, California, United States
ParentLionsgate Home Entertainment

Manga Entertainment was a producer, licensee, and distributor of anime in the United States and the United Kingdom. Originally founded in the UK in 1987, the UK branch became Funimation UK and Ireland in 2021, also currently known as Crunchyroll Ltd. since 2022, while its U.S. branch was absorbed into Starz Inc. (now owned by Lionsgate).[1]

Despite its name, the company's principal business was the distribution of anime rather than manga, although they have published some manga (such as Crying Freeman) under the Manga Books imprint.[2]


Manga Entertainment's original logo and initial imprint

Manga Entertainment (formerly Island World Communications) was founded in London in 1991 by Chris Blackwell and Laurence Guinness [3] as a subsidiary of Island Records' Island World Group. IWC took over the company number for Golden Square Music, but had no relationship to IWC or Manga.[4][5][6][7] Manga Entertainment expanded into North America in 1993 with the purchase of L.A. Hero, forming Manga U.S. while Manga UK entered the Australian market in late 1993 and began releasing titles in January 1994 in conjunction with the Australian division of Island's parent company, PolyGram and local independent distributor Siren Entertainment.

On May 13, 2004, IDT Entertainment announced they would purchase Manga U.S., becoming a subsidiary of IDT Entertainment.[8] In 2005, Manga UK and Manga U.S. began to operate independently from each other, but still remain under the same ownership.[5] Liberty Media would then purchase IDT Entertainment in 2006[9] and would be renamed as Starz Media.

In 2011, Manga U.S. ceased licensing new products after the release of Redline and was absorbed into Starz Media. On August 8, 2012, Liberty Media announced that it would spin-off Starz Media into a separate publicly traded company.[10] The spin-off of Starz Inc. was completed on January 15, 2013[11] which included all subsidiaries.


On February 26, 2015, the UK branch was acquired from Starz Media, alongside its parent Anchor Bay UK, by managing director Colin Lomax.[12] Anchor Bay UK was renamed to Platform Entertainment and went on to have exclusive rights to the Manga Entertainment branding and catalog in the UK and Ireland.[13]

In June 2016, Lionsgate announced they would acquire Starz Inc.[14][15] which would eventually be completed in December 2016, placing Manga U.S. under Lionsgate Home Entertainment. In the same month, Kaleidoscope Film Distribution announced they had purchased Platform Entertainment and confirmed that they would split Manga UK off to become separately operated.[16]

In 2017, Lionsgate Home Entertainment relaunched Manga U.S.' website and Facebook and Twitter page, and confirmed a re-launch in the near future. Lionsgate currently licenses the Manga Entertainment brand-name from the UK branch.[17] As of December 2020, the relaunch has yet to happen, with some of Manga's titles like Ghost in the Shell being rereleased under the main Lionsgate banner.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "About Us".
  2. ^ Shirow, Masamune (1995) [1985]. Appleseed Volume One: The Promethean Challenge. trans. Studio Proteus (UK ed.). London: Manga Publishing. ISBN 1-900097-01-X.
  3. ^ "Anime History - Manga Entertainment".
  4. ^ "MANGA ENTERTAINMENT LIMITED - Overview (free company information from Companies House)".
  5. ^ a b "Answerman - What Ever Happened to Manga Entertainment?". Anime News Network. Retrieved June 28, 2019.
  6. ^ "Akira: The story behind the film". Empire Online. Retrieved June 28, 2019.
  7. ^ Lent, John A. (2001). "Chapter 4: The Development of the Japanese Animation Audience in the UK and France by Helen McCarthy". Amazon Books Online. ISBN 0253340357.
  8. ^ "IDT Entertainment Acquires Manga Entertainment; Company Gains Extensive Library of Japanese Animation Programming". May 13, 2004.
  9. ^ "Liberty Media to Acquire IDT Entertainment; Starz's Top Premium Television Service to Join With IDT's Animation and Live Action Production and Home Entertainment Distribution Business". May 16, 2006.
  10. ^ "New York Deadline" Liberty Media Says It Will Spin Off Starz, Retrieved on August 8, 2012
  11. ^ "Yahoo Finance" Liberty Media Spins-off Starz Zacks Equity Research, Retrieved on January 24, 2013
  12. ^ "Starz Sells Manga Entertainment". Anime News Network. February 26, 2015. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
  13. ^ "Colin Lomax, former Anchor Bay UK chief, dies aged 56". Screen. Retrieved February 10, 2018.
  14. ^ Lieberman, David (June 30, 2016). "Lionsgate Agrees To Buy Starz For $4.4 Billion In Cash And Stock". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 30, 2016.
  15. ^ Schwindt, Oriana (December 8, 2016). "Lionsgate, Starz Close $4.4 Billion Acquisition". Variety. Retrieved December 8, 2016.
  16. ^ "Kaleidoscope buys distributor Platform Entertainment". Screen.
  17. ^ "Manga".

External links[edit]