Sentai Filmworks

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Sentai Filmworks, LLC
IndustryMultimedia entertainment
PredecessorA.D. Vision
Founded2008; 11 years ago (2008)
FounderJohn Ledford
Area served
North America, Central America, South America, United Kingdom, Ireland
ParentSentai Holdings, LLC

Sentai Filmworks, LLC is an American anime licensing company located in Houston, Texas. It was formed in 2008 by John Ledford, formerly of A.D. Vision.

Some of the notable licensed anime series include Clannad, K-On!, Highschool of the Dead, No Game No Life, Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions, WataMote, Akame ga Kill!, Parasyte -the maxim-, Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? and Made in Abyss; as well as the films Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honnêamise, Grave of the Fireflies, Ninja Scroll, The Garden of Words and Children Who Chase Lost Voices.


Founded in 2008, Sentai had started releasing its first titles, which included Clannad, Princess Resurrection, Indian Summer, Appleseed and Mahoromatic (formerly licensed by Geneon);[1] the company's titles were initially distributed by ADV Films.[2] On September 1, 2009, A.D. Vision had closed its doors and sold off its assets, which included transferring distribution rights to Section23 Films.[3]

Sunrise & Tatsunoko deals[edit]

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;[4] 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.[5]

Localization and dubbing[edit]

The anime titles were initially localized and produced by Seraphim Digital. Certain titles such as Queen's Blade Rebellion and Persona 4: The Animation were produced by NYAV Post and Bang Zoom! Entertainment, respectively. In 2014, the company had opened its in-house localization and recording facility, Sentai Studios.[6]

Toonami broadcasts[edit]

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.[7][8] The show began airing on August 8, 2015, and its premiere became the most watched in the block's history with over 1.8 million viewers.[9] Another licensed title, Parasyte -the maxim-, premiered on October 3, 2015.[10] Sentai has promoted the time that the two shows air as "#SentaiHour" on social media; as a result of Daylight Saving Time ending, Children Who Chase Lost Voices would air during the 1st week of the Intruder III event on November 5, 2016 at 3AM. Food Wars!: Shokugeki no Soma started airing on Toonami on July 6th, 2019.

Anime Strike deal[edit]

In March 2017, Sentai signed a deal with Amazon to stream the majority of its new licensees exclusively on Anime Strike in the United States and Prime Video in Canada, starting with the Spring 2017 season.[11]


After the discontinuation of Anime Network Online, HIDIVE LLC, a new company not affiliated with Anime Network, Section23, or Sentai Filmworks, acquired the service's assets and spun them off into a new streaming service called HIDIVE.[12][13] Former subscriptions for Anime Network Online were migrated over to HIDIVE.[14]

HIDIVE is the exclusive carrier of selected licensed titles from Sentai and Section23, including English-language dubs, in addition to simulcasts, live-action titles, and older series. Following the closure of Anime Strike, HIDIVE began streaming titles that were previously exclusive to the former service.[15][16]

On July 21, 2017, HIDIVE announced the service would start to offer selected anime titles with Spanish and Portuguese subtitles.[17]

In April 2018, HIDIVE launched a service called Dubcast to compete against Funimation's simuldub program and other online streaming services that distribute simultaneous English dubs, such as Netflix.[18] Similar to simuldubs, Dubcast streams dubs 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 will replace that of Funimation, which left the service on November 9, 2018.[19]

Kyoto Animation arson attack fundraiser[edit]

On July 18, 2019, Sentai Filmworks launched a GoFundMe appeal in the wake of the arson attack at Kyoto Animation.[20] 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.[21][22]

Investment by Cool Japan Fund[edit]

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".[23]

Foreign distribution[edit]

Sentai Filmworks does not directly release its properties in non-North American (English-speaking) markets as opposed to its predecessor, A.D. Vision. Instead it sub-licenses to other companies such as Manga Entertainment, MVM Entertainment, Anime Limited and Animatsu Entertainment in the United Kingdom and Siren Visual, Madman Entertainment, and Hanabee in Australia and New Zealand. In 2011, MVM licensed Mahoromatic: Something More Beautiful after Sentai's re-release of the series, and has done the same to Broken Blade,[24] Dream Eater Merry, Rozen Maiden and Bodacious Space Pirates for release in the UK.

In Latin America, Sentai Filmworks sub-licenses their titles to companies like Crunchyroll and Amazon Prime Video. On July 21, 2017, Hidive distributes selected Sentai Filmworks and simulcast titles with Spanish and Portuguese subtitles.[25] On March 2018, it was revealed that Sentai Filmworks 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 movie.[26] On March 15 of the same year, Sentai Filmworks announced the acquisition of the anime Alice or Alice to Spain and Portugal, making the first official announcement on Sentai's side of an anime title in these countries.[27]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Half-Season Princess Resurrection, Clannad Sets Slated". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on 2015-09-05. Retrieved 2015-09-05.
  2. ^ "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.
  3. ^ "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.
  4. ^ "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.
  5. ^ "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.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ Sentai Filmworks (1 June 2015). "Akame Ga Kill! Infiltrates Toonami". Sentai Filmworks. Archived from the original on 2016-03-05. Retrieved 31 January 2016.
  8. ^ "Adult Swim's Toonami to Run Akame ga Kill, Michiko & Hatchin". Archived from the original on 2016-03-13. Retrieved 2016-04-02.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ Sentai Filmworks (11 July 2015). "Anime Expo 2015 Announcements Rundown". Sentai Filmworks. Archived from the original on 2016-02-24. Retrieved 31 January 2016.
  11. ^ "Anime Strike Spring Season Schedule". Twitter. AnimeStrike. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  12. ^ "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.
  13. ^ "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.
  14. ^ "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.
  15. ^ "HIDIVE Streams 4 Former Anime Strike-Exclusive Titles". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on 2018-01-10. Retrieved 9 January 2018.
  16. ^ "HIDIVE Adds Armed Girl's Machiavellism Anime". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on 2018-01-10. Retrieved 9 January 2018.
  17. ^ "HIDIVE News". Hidive. Retrieved 2018-03-17.
  18. ^ "HIDIVE Reveals 'DUBCAST' & First Wave of Spring 2018 Simulcasts". Anime UK News. 2018-03-23. Retrieved 2018-12-24.
  19. ^ "Funimation, Crunchyroll End Content Sharing Partnership". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on 2018-10-18. Retrieved October 18, 2018.
  20. ^ 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. Retrieved 18 July 2019.
  21. ^ 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. Retrieved 19 July 2019.
  22. ^ "'You die!': Arson suspect's chilling scream". NewsComAu. 2019-07-19. Retrieved 2019-07-19.
  23. ^ Sherman, Jennifer (August 2, 2019). "Cool Japan Fund Invests US$30 Million in Sentai Holdings (Update)". Anime News Network. Retrieved August 8, 2019.
  24. ^ "MVM Licenses Broken Blade". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on 2015-12-11. Retrieved 2015-12-18.
  25. ^ "HIDIVE News". Hidive. Archived from the original on 2018-03-17. Retrieved 2018-03-17.
  26. ^ "Animes en HIDIVE - Catálogo Completo". Crunchyroll. Retrieved 2018-03-17.
  27. ^ "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.

External links[edit]