It seems that UK anime fans are about to see something of a resurgence of the glory days of ten years ago when the market was booming with new regular titles from various distributors some of whom have now sadly fallen by the wayside. As recently as 2008, mainstays Manga Entertainment and MVM (most of whose latest titles you will find reviewed on this site) were sharing shelf space with the likes of ADV, Revelation and Beez on a regular basis providing UK anime fans with an endless supply of great series and films both old and new, while the likes of Studio Canal handled the Studio Ghibli films.

In the last two years Anime Limited aka All The Anime arrived and threw their hat in the ring and have made a name for themselves by not only picking up some of the hottest new titles shortly after their Japanese broadcast but also bringing back some old favourites and giving them the HD treatment for the Blu-ray generation. All The Anime have also embraced the Kickstarter crowd funding phenomenon by bringing acquiring licenses for and funding the English dub production and release of overlooked anime films such as Mai Mai Miracle and in creating special edition releases of the hit film Patema Inverted.

Now another UK distributor is about to make a splash in this small but cosy market Animatsu Entertainment! Formed by former Manga employees Jerome Mazandarani and Andrew Hewson the company today issued its press release which outlines their business plan, some of the titles they have acquisitioned and much more.

Here is the press release (courtesy of Fetch Publicity):




 LONDON ­ 13th January 2015 ­ Animatsu Entertainment Launch

The future of anime lives at Animatsu Entertainment Ltd ­ a new specialist UK distribution and production company primarily focusing on Japanese anime films and TV series. Spearheaded by Jerome Mazandarani as COO and Andrew Hewson as Marketing Manager, they both bring considerable experience with them as the two key players behind the last 10 years of success at Manga Entertainment’s UK operation.

“Animatsu combines our experience in marketing anime and other cult film and television brands with our enthusiasm for the modern pop­culture fan scene. Animatsu really is a fan­driven enterprise.”, comments COO Jerome Mazandarani.

Building upon Jerome’s expertise in anime licensing, Animatsu will be acquiring all rights for the UK and Ireland. In addition Animatsu will also explore acquiring distribution rights on a wider European basis, working with other experienced distributors in the territory. Moreover, Animatsu will assist Japanese and International anime filmmakers to develop and produce new films and TV series for the international market. In this context Animatsu has secured industry investment and acquisition funding.

Marketing Manager Andrew Hewson adds, “We can’t exist without anime fans and in an age where there’s so much content readily available on so many different platforms, we have to cut through all of that and justify why people should invest in one of our titles. We’ll be hand­picking and curating a collection that we hope fans will be proud to own.”

Animatsu will release its new titles from March 2015 on Digital, DVD and Blu­ray with the first home video launch of the highly anticipated live­action film Halo: Nightfall ­ the sequel to last year’s smash hit Halo: Forward Unto Dawn. Nightfall is from Executive Producer Ridley Scott and the director of Battlestar Galactica which tells the dramatic story of legendary manhunter Jameson Locke and his team as they are caught in a horrific biological attack. Halo: Nightfallwill be released through a joint partnership between Animatsu and Anchor Bay Entertainment on March 16.

“We know that what’s burning anime fans up right now is information on what our plans are”, comments Jerome, “but they can rest assured that we’ve been dying to tell them but couldn’t so here’s some of the good stuff!”

Animatsu has recently closed a UK license deal with Sentai Filmworks for 8 brand new anime licenses including Blade And Soul, Comic Artist and His Assistants and Coffin Princess and is in advanced negotiations on a number of other high profile licenses. Two more key titles acquired will be announced in forthcoming issues of Neo and MyM magazines ­ both out on store shelves 22nd Jan.

Animatsu has entered into an exclusive sales and marketing partnership with Manga Entertainment. Manga will provide Animatsu with key back­end services including sales and distribution while Animatsu will handle all marketing and brand management for both companies.

“Animatsu is the realisation of all of the exciting things I’ve wanted to do with anime and special interest licensing over the years including developing a successful digital sales model for anime brands. I am delighted that in addition to launching our own label we will also be able to continue working with our friends at Manga and help them to consolidate their position as the largest anime distributor in the United Kingdom”, comments COO Jerome Mazandarani.

“If you like what we did while we were at Manga Entertainment you will love what we are going to do with Animatsu. That includes a huge presence at UK comic cons, an evolution of our social media activity and much more.” adds Jerome. “On that point we strongly recommend people start to follow the @AnimatsuEnt Twitter and AnimatsuEnt Facebook accounts, which in time are going to start coming to life with all sorts of exciting news.”


So is this good news for UK anime fans or is the market too small to be this crowded? Or we likely to be spoiled for choice with so many distributors fighting for our money? Whither Manga and MVM?

Feel free to discuss this in the comments section below.


Thanks for reading!

Man In Black


7 thoughts on “Breaking News: New UK Anime Distributor Arrives

  1. I’m less interested in the anime they have acquired and more interested in this line:

    Animatsu will assist Japanese and International anime filmmakers to develop and produce new films and TV series for the international market. In this context Animatsu has secured industry investment and acquisition funding.

    Interesting! Ghost in the Shell got made with the assistance of Manga Entertainment, what are we going to see for this new generation?


    1. I’m intrigued by the wording of “TV series for the international market”. Does this mean these shows will be shown on international TV or Japanese TV shows to be released via multimedia platforms internationally?

      And does “industry investment” mean they have money put aside for investing or someone else in the industry is putting up the money?

      It’s an interesting business model which I am wondering is as much as playing the middle man as it eliminating the middle man by getting in on a project at the ground floor.

      But as long as they can offer something new while bringing in titles that fans have been waiting for or new titles in less time (like All The Anime) they might have a secure place in the market – provided their prices are consumer friendly. 🙂


  2. I hope the company does well as I liked how forthcoming Jerome was with fans during his Manga days. Hopefully more anime distributors means more shows coming to the UK rather than one of the existing ones folding under the competition.


    1. My only concern about having more distributors is that issue of monopolising the licenses. If one label gets all the top titles that means the others will jump on any old rot just to have something sell (like ADV in their last years) which will backfire if they literally forced to pick from the dregs.

      I also hope that Animatsu can avoid having to go through the US before bringing titles to the UK, so we can avoid delays and other issue that current blight some release.

      Of course I refer largely to the English dubs which is the biggest offender – and the reason Eva 3.33 is delayed again!

      Animatsu’s business model also refers to marketing and the like, suggesting they are also acting as a third party for other distributors which could be either confusing when promoting their own name or about how much credit they deserve when working with other companies.

      I suspect however that they are banking on the online/multimedia aspect to be a success for the truly impatient anime fans, possibly on an international scale should the physical release market take a hit.

      Then again All The Anime and Pied Piper have shown that the anime community will get behind a Kickstarter campaign for physical releases so… 🙂


  3. Sadly in the business world its not uncommon for a company to best its competitors and monopolize the market. I’ll try to think positive and hope that the bigger company will just pick up the big name titles leaving the others to bring over good niche titles.

    I heard in a podcast that Funimation currently have a stranglehold in the US. Apparently some shows don’t appear on UK Crunchyroll because Funimation buys the UK rights but then doesn’t do anything with them.

    What is the deal with Eva? Reading between the lines it sounded like the dub was done but the Japanese distributor was demanding that they redo it. If that’s the case I don’t know if it’s because the translation was poor or if they were just being picky (which they have a history of doing such as quibbling about box art designs and how a show can be advertised.)


    1. That’s pretty much it, which strengthens my hatred for dubs.

      They are so time consuming with having to translate and re-write the script to make the dialogue fit the mouth movements and to dumb it down for the American audience. Then there is the recording which has to approved as in this instance… 😡

      Just sub it up and ship it out – and if people don’t like it they’ll have to man up and learn to read subs! It’s not difficult! 😛


      1. Given the choice I prefer dubs, but I have no issues with sub only releases for games and anime. If cutting out the expense of dubs means a series has a better chance of being released over here within a reasonable time frame I am all for it.


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