Sony drops $143M for majority stake in 'Dragon Ball Z' distributor

Funimation Productions has distributed popular anime shows like "Dragon Ball Z" and "One Piece" to the US for years. Soon, it'll be 95 percent owned by Sony.

Zoey Chong Reporter
Zoey is CNET's Asia News Reporter based in Singapore. She prefers variety to monotony and owns an Android mobile device, a Windows PC and Apple's MacBook Pro all at the same time. Outside of the office, she can be found binging on Korean variety shows, if not chilling out with a book at a café recommended by a friend.
Zoey Chong

Want more Japanese anime? Sony could feed your growing appetite for them.

After acquiring a majority stake in Funimation Productions, Sony Pictures is now in charge of the Texas-based studio, which brings Japanese anime titles such as "Dragon Ball Z" and "One Piece" to the US in English, it announced Tuesday.

Sony Pictures Television Networks acquired a 95 percent stake in Funimation for $143 million, in a move that is expected to boost its global offering of anime. Sony already has a cable network called Animax that offers anime titles, available in 23 countries.

In addition to "Dragon Ball Z" and "One Piece," Funimation offers other titles such as "My Hero Academia" and "Attack on Titan" on its FunimationNOW subscription streaming service. The service is available via the PlayStation Store, iTunes Store, Google Play, Amazon Apps, Xbox Store and mobile devices.  

It's a good time for Sony to have made the deal, with the Dragon Ball franchise enjoying something of a resurgence. "Dragon Ball Super," the first new anime produced in the franchise in almost two decades, has been running for the past two years, and the upcoming Dragon Ball FighterZ game has stirred up nostalgia among many fans.