|North America, Central America, South America, United Kingdom, Ireland|
Sentai Filmworks, LLC is an American anime licensing company located in Houston, Texas. It was formed in 2008 by John Ledford, formerly of A.D. Vision. Its offices are in the International District in Southwest Houston.
Founded in 2008, Sentai had started releasing its first titles, which included Clannad, Princess Resurrection, Indian Summer, Appleseed and Mahoromatic (formerly licensed by Geneon). The company's titles were initially distributed by ADV Films. On September 1, 2009, A.D. Vision had closed its doors and sold off its assets, which included transferring distribution rights to Section23 Films.
On July 4, 2013, during its industry panel at Anime Expo, Sentai Filmworks announced its plans to release a number of classic titles from Tatsunoko Production. The current list of released titles from the partnership include the original Gatchaman series and movie, Time Bokan: Royal Revival, and Casshan, and more titles followed.
Sunrise announced a licensing deal with Sentai Filmworks that included a number of titles from Sunrise’s library that were formerly licensed by Bandai Entertainment during its Otakon panel on August 8, 2013.
In 2014, Sentai opened its in-house localization and recording facility, Sentai Studios.
On June 1, 2015, Sentai made an announcement on its Web site that Akame ga Kill! had been picked up by Adult Swim for broadcast on its Toonami block, almost one week after its announcement at MomoCon 2015. The show began airing on August 8, 2015, and its premiere night was one of the most watched programs in the block's history with over 1.8 million viewers. Later that year, Parasyte -the maxim-, premiered on October 3. Sentai has promoted the time that the two shows air as "#SentaiHour" on social media.
In March 2017, Sentai signed a deal with Amazon to stream the majority of its new licensees exclusively on its Anime Strike channel on Amazon Prime Video in the United States, starting with the Spring 2017 season. After Anime Strike was shuttered in early 2018, all titles previously exclusive to the service were made available to Amazon Prime subsribers in the U.S at no extra charge.
On July 18, 2019, Sentai Filmworks launched a GoFundMe appeal in the wake of the arson attack at Kyoto Animation. With a target of USD $750,000, it surpassed the $1 million donation mark within the first 24 hours, and reached $2,370,910 at closing.
On August 1, 2019, Sentai Filmworks' parent company Sentai Holdings, LLC announced that the Cool Japan Fund invested US$30 million for shares of the company, stating that "Sentai's independent status makes it a rarity in North America as a licensor of Japanese anime".
Sentai Filmworks does not directly release its properties outside of North America but instead sub-licenses to other companies. In 2011, MVM Entertainment licensed Mahoromatic: Something More Beautiful after Sentai's re-release of the series, and has done the same with Broken Blade.
In March 2018, it was revealed that Sentai holds distribution rights to the film No Game, No Life Zero that the company gave to the Mexican distributor Madness Entertainment. It was revealed that they directly commissioned a Spanish dubbed version for the movie. On March 15, Sentai announced the acquisition of Alice or Alice to Spain and Portugal.
After the discontinuation of Anime Network Online, HIDIVE LLC, a new company not affiliated with Anime Network, acquired the service's assets and spun them off into a new streaming service called HIDIVE. Former subscriptions for Anime Network Online were migrated over to HIDIVE.
HIDIVE is the exclusive carrier of selected licensed titles from Sentai and Section23, including English-language dubs, in addition to simulcasts, live-action titles, and older series. Following the closure of Anime Strike, HIDIVE began streaming titles that were previously exclusive to the former service.
On July 21, 2017, HIDIVE announced the service would start to offer selected anime titles with Spanish and Portuguese subtitles.
In April 2018, HIDIVE began offering "dubcasts" to compete against Funimation's simuldub program. Similar to simuldubs, HIDIVE streams dubs of simulcast titles approximately two to three weeks after the initial Japanese broadcast.
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