Manga Entertainment

Manga Entertainment is a producer, licensee, and distributor of Japanese animation in the United Kingdom and, previously, the United States that was founded in 1987. The UK branch is currently owned as a subsidiary of the U.S. licensor Funimation, while its U.S. branch is independently operated and owned by Lionsgate.[1]

Manga Entertainment Ltd.
IndustryEntertainment (anime)
HeadquartersLondon, England, United Kingdom
Key people
Jerome Mazandarani (General manager)
ProductsAnime theatrical and direct marketing and production; see list of titles
(Sony Pictures Entertainment)
Manga Entertainment, LLC
L.A. Hero (1991–1993)
IndustryEntertainment (anime)
PredecessorMalibu Pictures
HeadquartersLos Angeles, California, United States
ProductsAnime theatrical and direct marketing and production; see list of titles
ParentLionsgate Home Entertainment

Despite its name, the company's principal business is 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 Andy Frain 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.[3][4][5][6] Manga Entertainment expanded into North America in 1993 with the purchase of L.A. Hero, forming Manga USA. 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.

Andy Frain resigned from the company in 1996 as part of wider restructuring of Manga UK's business and budget cuts that were imposed by Island and PolyGram management, due to over-investment in the production of Ghost in the Shell and lack of an immediate financial windfall after its theatrical premiere in November 1995. In light of this, in the same year Manga's international headquarters were moved from London, UK to Manga USA's then-HQ in Chicago, and Manga UK handed its Australian operations to Madman Entertainment, which has remained an important partner since, collaborating on DVD & Blu-ray authoring and disc replication, and have co-funded and produced English dubs for anime films such as Millennium Actress and Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence.

On May 13, 2004, IDT Entertainment announced they would purchase Manga US, becoming a subsidiary of IDT Entertainment.[7] In 2005, Manga UK and Manga US began to operate independently from each other, but still remain under the same ownership.[4] Liberty Media would then purchase IDT Entertainment in 2006[8] and would be renamed as Starz Media.

In 2011, Manga US ceased licensing new products after the release of Redline and went dormant. On August 8, 2012, Liberty Media announced that it would spin-off Starz Media into a separate publicly-traded company.[9] The spin-off of Starz Inc. was completed on January 15, 2013[10] which included all subsidiaries.

In November 2014, it was revealed that Manga UK's Director of Marketing and Acquisitions Jerome Mazandarani, and product manager Andrew Hewson had left Manga Entertainment to form Animatsu Entertainment, a new anime licensing company. The company was registered on September 11, 2014, with Mazandarani becoming COO and Hewson becoming marketing manager.[11] On January 13, 2015, Animatsu announced that it had reached a licensing deal with Sentai Filmworks to distribute titles in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The company would also enter into a sales and marketing partnership with Manga UK. With the partnership, Animatsu was responsible for licensing, marketing, and brand management, whilst Manga UK was responsible for distribution and sales.[12]


On February 26, 2015, the UK branch was acquired from Starz Media, alongside its parent Anchor Bay UK, to managing director Colin Lomax.[13] 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.[14] In September of that year, Mazandarani revealed that Animatsu and Manga UK were in the process of merging operations.[15] The Animatsu brand would ultimately be phased out, with its final release being Hello! KINMOZA, released on July 2, 2018.[16] Animatsu Entertainment was dissolved on December 31, 2019.[17]

On June 17, 2016, it was announced that Animatsu had acquired the global rights to the film In This Corner of the World, with Mazandarani credited as "Overseas Manager" for the film.[18] Animatsu later announced that it had reached a distribution deal with Shout! Factory to distribute the film in North America.[19] That same month, Lionsgate announced they would acquire Starz Inc.[20][21] which would eventually be completed in December 2016, placing Manga US 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.[22]

In 2017, Lionsgate Home Entertainment relaunched Manga US' 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.[23]

On May 29, 2019, Funimation announced that they had acquired Manga UK, with the former merging its UK and Ireland operations into Manga.[24] Manga UK also announced that they were co-producing the anime television series Cannon Busters with Netflix.[25]

On September 24, 2019, Sony Pictures Television and Aniplex announced that they were consolidating their international anime streaming businesses, including Madman Anime Group and Wakanim, under a new joint venture, with Funimation as the leading company for the group and its general manager Colin Decker leading the joint venture.[24][26]

See alsoEdit


  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. ^ "MANGA ENTERTAINMENT LIMITED - Overview (free company information from Companies House)".
  4. ^ a b "Answerman - What Ever Happened to Manga Entertainment?". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2019-06-28.
  5. ^ "Akira: The story behind the film". Empire Online. Retrieved 2019-06-28.
  6. ^ "Chapter 4: The Development of the Japanese Animation Audience in the UK and France by Helen McCarthy". Amazon Books Online. Retrieved 2019-06-29.
  7. ^ "IDT Entertainment Acquires Manga Entertainment; Company Gains Extensive Library of Japanese Animation Programming". May 13, 2004.
  8. ^ "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.
  9. ^ "New York Deadline" Liberty Media Says It Will Spin Off Starz, Retrieved on August 8, 2012
  10. ^ "Yahoo Finance" Liberty Media Spins-off Starz Zacks Equity Research, Retrieved on January 24, 2013
  11. ^ Osmond, Andrew (November 13, 2014). "Jerome Mazandarani Leaves Manga Entertainment". Anime News Network. Retrieved February 18, 2020.
  12. ^ Osmond, Andrew (January 13, 2015). "Animatsu Announces First Titles and Marketing Partnership". Anime News Network. Retrieved February 18, 2020.
  13. ^ "Starz Sells Manga Entertainment". Anime News Network. February 26, 2015. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
  14. ^ "Colin Lomax, former Anchor Bay UK chief, dies aged 56". Screen. Retrieved 2018-02-10.
  15. ^ Sevakis, Justin (September 17, 2015). "What Ever Happened to Manga Entertainment? (PART TWO: UK Edition)". Anime News Network. Retrieved February 18, 2020.
  16. ^ "Manga UK Announces Their Summer 2018 Release Slate". Anime UK News. May 17, 2018. Retrieved February 18, 2020.
  17. ^ "ANIMATSU ENTERTAINMENT LIMITED". Companies House. Retrieved February 18, 2020.
  18. ^ Mayorga, Emilio (June 16, 2016). "Animatsu Picks Up Rights On 'Corner'". Variety. Retrieved February 18, 2020.
  19. ^ "Shout! Factory and Animatsu Entertainment Enter Film Distribution Deal" (Press release). Animatsu Entertainment. Anime News Network. February 4, 2017. Retrieved February 18, 2020.
  20. ^ Lieberman, David (June 30, 2016). "Lionsgate Agrees To Buy Starz For $4.4 Billion In Cash And Stock". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 30, 2016.
  21. ^ Schwindt, Oriana (December 8, 2016). "Lionsgate, Starz Close $4.4 Billion Acquisition". Variety. Retrieved December 8, 2016.
  22. ^ "Kaleidoscope buys distributor Platform Entertainment". Screen.
  23. ^ "Manga".
  24. ^ a b Wright, Marshall (May 29, 2019). "FUNIMATION ACQUIRES UK ANIME DISTRIBUTOR MANGA ENTERTAINMENT LIMITED". Funimation. Retrieved May 29, 2019.
  25. ^ "Reemsborko to Handle Netflix Original Cannon Busters". Licensing Magazine. May 30, 2019. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
  26. ^ Spangler, Todd (September 24, 2019). "Sony Merges Anime Streaming Businesses Under Funimation-Led Joint Venture (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved September 24, 2019.

External linksEdit