Wow. Certainly was not expecting this kind of e-mail to hit my box this morning. This is the kind of wild prediction one of us should have made last podcast episode.
FUNimation Entertainment and Toei Animation Announce Online Streaming of Dragon Ball Z
Anime Leaders to Stream Episodes of Iconic Anime Series
Flower Mound, Texas – January 3, 2011 — FUNimation® Entertainment and Toei Animation Co., Ltd. have entered into an agreement giving the American anime leader exclusive rights to the U.S. and Canadian online streaming of the studios’ signature animated series “Dragon Ball Z.”
Starting Saturday, January 15th at 7:30 PM CDT preceding the One Piece simulcast at 8:00 PM CDT, FUNimation will stream the series from its beginning via the official Dragon Ball Z website www.dragonballz.com in addition to www.dragonballzkai.com , www.funimation.com and FUNimation partner site www.hulu.com.
FUNimation will offer its professionally-produced, uncut, English-tracked and English-subtitled adaptations of the hugely successful series beginning with the first episode as well as other chapters of the Dragon Ball franchise: Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball GT and Dragon Ball Z Kai.
“We are pleased to offer the first legal streaming of this seminal anime series,” said Gen Fukunaga, president and CEO of FUNimation Entertainment. “Dragon Ball Z and One Piece are the crown jewels of our digital content strategy and we are proud of the diverse selection of series that entertains established fans and new ones as well.”
So there you have it. Apparently the entire franchise will be making its way, both in its original Japanese incarnation (subtitled) along with an English dub, streaming online starting with the first episode of Dragon Ball Z, and it all goes down on January 15th.
The online coupling of Dragon Ball and One Piece mirrors the current “Dream 9” time slot on Fuji TV right now, which airs Dragon Ball Kai at 9:00 am, followed by One Piece at 9:30 am on Sunday mornings. This coupling appears to be in for some type of shift this coming April, however, with the series Toriko taking the Kai slot.
This is just hitting today, so we will of course continue to follow-up with additional information as it becomes available (items such as musical scores being used, possible availability outside North America, etc.).