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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 Entertainment, while its U.S. branch is independently operated and owned by Lionsgate.

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.


Manga Entertainment (formerly Island World Communications) was founded in London in 1991 by Chris Blackwell and Andy Frain as a subsidiary of the Island World Group. IWC took over the company number for Golden Square Music, but had no relationship to IWC or Manga.

On May 13, 2004, IDT Entertainment announced they would purchase Manga US, becoming a subsidiary of IDT Entertainment. In 2005, Manga UK and Manga US began to operate independently from each other, but still remain under the same ownership. Liberty Media would then purchase IDT Entertainment in 2006 and would be renamed to 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. The spin-off of Starz Inc. was completed on January 15, 2013 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. 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.

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

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. Animatsu later announced that it had reached a distribution deal with Shout! Factory to distribute the film in North America. That same month, Lionsgate announced they would acquire Starz Inc. 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.

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 and also holds the distribution rights to some of the anime they licensed such as Ghost in the Shell.

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

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.

On April 12, 2021, it was announced Manga Entertainment UK would rebrand as FUNimation Entertainment in the United Kingdom and Ireland on April 19, 2021.[1]


United Kingdom Manga Entertainment, Ltd.



United States Manga Entertainment, Inc.





  • Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex - Tachikomatic Days (2002) (Animaze)



  • Red Hawk: Weapon of Death (1995) (Animaze)
  • Armageddon (1996) (Animaze)

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