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Sentai Filmworks

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sentai Filmworks, LLC
IndustryMultimedia entertainment
PredecessorA.D. Vision
Founded2008; 13 years ago (2008)
FounderJohn Ledford
Headquarters10114 West Sam Houston Parkway
Alief, Houston, Texas 77099,
Area served
North America, Central America, South America, United Kingdom, Ireland
OwnerCool Japan Fund (unknown share)
ParentSentai Holdings, LLC

Sentai Filmworks, LLC, or just Sentai, is an American anime licensing company located in Houston, Texas which specializes in Japanese animation and Asian cinema.

The company has its origins in A.D. Vision, which was founded in 1992 by video game fan John Ledford and anime fans Matt Greenfield and David Williams. ADV collapsed due to low sales and eventually liquidated their assets in 2009. Ledford founded Sentai in 2008 and acquired the majority of ADV's titles. Its offices are in the International District in Southwest Houston.[1][2]



In 1990, John Ledford, native of Houston, Texas, started a Japanese video game and video console import business. He was introduced to anime when he watched My Neighbor Totoro at his friend's suggestion. His friend, Matt Greenfield, born in Sacramento, California, ran a local anime club called Anime NASA, which also included classmate David Williams.[3] Both men established A.D. Vision, which officially opened for business on August 17, 1992.[3] Ledford contacted Toho about optioning the rights to license Devil Hunter Yohko, which became the first title to be released by ADV.[3][4]

Ledford establishes Sentai

In June 2006, the Japanese Sojitz Corporation acquired a 20% stake in ADV Films. This was done as a means of acquiring more titles in the Japanese market.[5] From this point on, virtually all titles that ADV acquired were with Sojitz's help. The following year, Sojitz announced that Japan Content Investments (JCI), Development Bank of Japan, and film distribution company KlockWorx, planned to contribute money to A.D. Vision, in return for equity in the company. Ledford was to remain the majority shareholder and CEO. JCI subsidiary ARM also planned to contribute money for ADV to use in acquiring new distribution licenses. The investment was to ADV Films to raise its output of new anime titles, which had dropped in 2006, back to previous levels or above. In return, ADV planned to assist Sojitz with the acquisition of North American and European content for importation into Japan. According to ADV, they also reportedly had "big plans" for its manga line.[6]

However, in January 2008, ADV mysteriously removed a large number of titles from their website.[7] Among the titles were subsequently removed included Gurren Lagann, which had test disks sent out with dubbed episodes. As a result, A.D. Vision sued ARM Corporation and its parent Sojitz for a breach in a contract made previously. In the suit, the exact amount A.D. Vision paid to license twenty-nine titles was disclosed. The lawsuit was withdrawn and no ruling was made.[8] That July, Funimation announced the acquisition of thirty of these titles licensed by Sojitz from ADV.[9]

In an attempt to escape the anime distribution blacklist, Ledford, Greenfield and Williams established Sentai Filmworks in October 2008.[10] Among its first titles that were released included Clannad, Princess Resurrection, Indian Summer, Appleseed and Mahoromatic (formerly licensed by Geneon).[11][12] On September 1, 2009, ADV had closed its doors and sold off its assets, which included transferring distribution rights to Section23 Films.[13]

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.[14] 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.[15]

Recent history

In 2014, Sentai opened its in-house localization and recording facility, Sentai Studios.[16]

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.[17][18] 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.[19] Later that year, Parasyte -the maxim-, premiered on October 3.[20] Sentai has promoted the time that the two shows air as "#SentaiHour" on social media. On July 6, 2019, Food Wars!: Shokugeki no Soma began airing on Toonami.[21]

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.[22] After Anime Strike was shuttered in early 2018, all titles previously exclusive to the service were made available to Amazon Prime subscribers in the U.S at no extra charge.[23]

On July 18, 2019, Sentai Filmworks launched a GoFundMe appeal in the wake of the arson attack at Kyoto Animation.[24] 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.[25][26]

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".[27] On September 30, 2020, the Cool Japan Fund made an additional US$3.6 million available, stating that Sentai had achieved better financial results in 2019 compared to 2018, with plans for medium and long-term growth, and strategic changes following the COVID-19 pandemic.[28]

On September 5, 2020, Crunchyroll announced that they had entered in a partnership with Sentai Filmworks to distribute Crunchyroll licensed titles onto home video and electronic sell-through, with Granbelm, Food Wars!: Shokugeki no Soma: The Fourth Plate, Ascendance of a Bookworm, and World Trigger being the first titles distributed through the partnership.[29]

Foreign distribution

Sentai Filmworks does not directly release its properties outside of 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.[30]

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 film.[31] On March 15, Sentai announced the acquisition of Alice or Alice to Spain and Portugal.[32]

Notable titles


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.[33][34] Former subscriptions for Anime Network Online were migrated over to HIDIVE.[35]

HIDIVE is the exclusive carrier of select licensed titles from Sentai and Section23. Following the closure of Anime Strike, HIDIVE began streaming titles that were previously exclusive to the former service.[36][37]

On July 21, 2017, HIDIVE announced the service would start to offer selected anime titles with Spanish and Portuguese subtitles.[38]

In April 2018, HIDIVE began offering "dubcasts" to compete against Funimation's simuldub program.[39] Similar to simuldubs, HIDIVE streams dubs of simulcast titles approximately two to three weeks after the initial Japanese broadcast.

On October 18, 2018, VRV announced that HIDIVE would be launching a channel on its service. HIDIVE's channel replaced that of Funimation, which left the service on November 9, 2018.[40]

See also


  1. ^ "International District Boundaries". International District (Houston). 2015-07-01. Retrieved 2019-11-13.
  2. ^ "Terms of Use". Sentai Filmworks. Retrieved 2019-11-13. Copyright Agent c/o SENTAI FILMWORKS 10114 W Sam Houston Pkwy S Houston, Texas 77099-5109 and Privacy Policy states: "Attn: SENTAI FILMWORKS Privacy Administration, 10114 W. Sam Houston Parkway South, Suite 100, Houston, Texas 77099-5109"
  3. ^ a b c Hung, Melissa (August 2, 2001). "Tooned In To Anime". Houston Press. Archived from the original on August 27, 2016. Retrieved May 29, 2015.
  4. ^ "Why Grow Up?". Forbes. September 6, 2004. Archived from the original on August 8, 2009. Retrieved December 25, 2013.
  5. ^ "ADV Teams up with Sojitz – News". Anime News Network. 2006-06-27. Archived from the original on February 9, 2021. Retrieved December 25, 2013.
  6. ^ "Japanese Investment Bulks Up ADV". ICv2 News. June 27, 2006. Archived from the original on December 25, 2007. Retrieved December 23, 2007.
  7. ^ "ADV Films Removes Titles from Website – Update – News". Anime News Network. January 30, 2008. Archived from the original on May 23, 2012. Retrieved December 25, 2013.
  8. ^ "ADV Court Documents Reveal Amounts Paid for 29 Anime Titles". Anime News Network. January 30, 2012. Archived from the original on February 5, 2014. Retrieved February 6, 2021.
  9. ^ "Your Comic Book, Fantasy, SciFi, Horror & Anime Source -". Archived from the original on July 11, 2008. Retrieved April 14, 2015.
  10. ^ "ADV Films to Distribute Anime for Sentai Filmworks (Update 2) – News". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on September 23, 2015. Retrieved December 25, 2013.
  11. ^ "Half-Season Princess Resurrection, Clannad Sets Slated". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on 2015-09-05. Retrieved 2015-09-05.
  12. ^ "ADV Films to Distribute Anime for Sentai Filmworks". Anime News Network. October 20, 2008. Archived from the original on 2015-09-23. Retrieved September 9, 2015.
  13. ^ "ADV Films Shuts Down, Parent Transfers Assets to Other Companies". Anime News Network. September 1, 2009. Archived from the original on 2009-10-03. Retrieved 2015-09-05.
  14. ^ "Sentai Filmworks Signs Deal with Tatsunoko Production". Anime News Network. July 4, 2013. Archived from the original on 2015-09-22. Retrieved 2015-09-05.
  15. ^ "Sentai Filmworks Adds Sacred Seven, Big O, Kurokami, More". Anime News Network. August 8, 2013. Archived from the original on 2015-09-24. Retrieved 2015-09-05.
  16. ^ Sentai Filmworks (3 September 2015). "Ask Sentai #18: Nozaki-kun Box Sets and Sentai Studios". Sentai Filmworks. Archived from the original on 2016-03-09. Retrieved 31 January 2016.
  17. ^ Sentai Filmworks (1 June 2015). "Akame Ga Kill! Infiltrates Toonami". Sentai Filmworks. Archived from the original on 2016-03-05. Retrieved 31 January 2016.
  18. ^ "Adult Swim's Toonami to Run Akame ga Kill, Michiko & Hatchin". Archived from the original on 2016-03-13. Retrieved 2016-04-02.
  19. ^ Sentai Filmworks (13 August 2015). "AKAME GA KILL! BECOMES MOST WATCHED SERIES PREMIERE IN TOONAMI™ HISTORY". Sentai Filmworks. Archived from the original on 2016-05-06. Retrieved 31 January 2015.
  20. ^ Sentai Filmworks (11 July 2015). "Anime Expo 2015 Announcements Rundown". Sentai Filmworks. Archived from the original on 2016-02-24. Retrieved 31 January 2016.
  21. ^ Pineda, Rafael Antonio (June 28, 2019). "Toonami Premieres Food Wars! Anime on July 6". Anime News Network. Retrieved February 12, 2021.
  22. ^ "Anime Strike Spring Season Schedule". Twitter. AnimeStrike. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  23. ^ Amazon closes Anime Strike and includes exclusive anime in Prime Video
  24. ^ Dassanayake, Dion (18 July 2019). "Kyoto Animation fire: Fundraiser started after deadly anime studio 'arson attack'". Daily Express. Archived from the original on 18 July 2019.
  25. ^ Burke, Kelly (18 July 2019). "'You die!' Arsonist kills at least 33 people in Kyoto animation studio fire". 7News. Archived from the original on 19 July 2019.
  26. ^ "'You die!': Arson suspect's chilling scream". NewsComAu. 2019-07-19. Retrieved 2019-07-19.
  27. ^ Sherman, Jennifer (August 2, 2019). "Cool Japan Fund Invests US$30 Million in Sentai Holdings (Update)". Anime News Network. Retrieved August 8, 2019.
  28. ^ Hodgkins, Crystalyn (October 3, 2020). "Cool Japan Fund Makes Additional $3.6 Million Available to Sentai Holdings". Anime News Network. Retrieved October 4, 2020.
  29. ^ Antonio Pineda, Rafael (September 5, 2020). "Crunchyroll, Sentai Filmworks Partner for Home Video Releases". Anime News Network. Retrieved September 6, 2020.
  30. ^ "MVM Licenses Broken Blade". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on 2015-12-11. Retrieved 2015-12-18.
  31. ^ "Animes en HIDIVE – Catálogo Completo". Crunchyroll. Retrieved 2018-03-17.
  32. ^ "Sentai Filmworks' Acquires the Adorable Slice of Life Series ALICE or ALICE". Sentai Filmworks. Archived from the original on 2018-03-17. Retrieved 2018-03-17.
  33. ^ "HIDIVE Anime Streaming Service Launches With Legend of the Galactic Heroes (Update 3)". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on 2017-12-28. Retrieved 2018-01-10.
  34. ^ "New Anime Streaming Service, HIDIVE, Launches as Beta with Dubs, Live-Chat, and More". HIDIVE. News. Archived from the original on 2018-01-05. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  35. ^ "Anime Network Streaming Website Switches to Cable, Video on Demand Only (Updated)". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on 2017-09-22. Retrieved 2018-01-10.
  36. ^ "HIDIVE Streams 4 Former Anime Strike-Exclusive Titles". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on 2018-01-10. Retrieved 9 January 2018.
  37. ^ "HIDIVE Adds Armed Girl's Machiavellism Anime". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on 2018-01-10. Retrieved 9 January 2018.
  38. ^ "HIDIVE News". HIDIVE. Retrieved 2018-03-17.
  39. ^ "HIDIVE Reveals 'DUBCAST' & First Wave of Spring 2018 Simulcasts". Anime UK News. 2018-03-23. Retrieved 2018-12-24.
  40. ^ "Funimation, Crunchyroll End Content Sharing Partnership". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on 2018-10-18. Retrieved October 18, 2018.

External links

This page was last edited on 3 September 2021, at 13:53
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