Sentai Filmworks, one of North America’s premier anime distributors, is set to expand, after receiving an investment of $30 million. The cash injection comes from Cool Japan Fund, a public-private initiative set up to promote Japanese culture overseas.
The fund has put the money toward shares in Sentai Holdings, LLC, the parent company of Sentai Filmworks and its subsidiaries. The group licenses anime titles for theatrical distribution and home release, subscription-based streaming (HIDIVE), cable tv SVOD (Anime Network), merchandising, and more. It is also home to Sentai Studios, which oversees localization, subtitling, and dubbing. Sentai sub-licenses films and series to other companies outside North America.
The Houston, Texas-based firm has picked up more than 700 titles since its founding in 2008. Its catalogue includes plenty of classics and commercial hits, including Ninja Scroll, Made in Abyss, Food Wars!, Studio Ghibli’s Grave of the Fireflies, and K-On! (pictured above) by Kyoto Animation, the studio that was devastated by a recent arson attack. In the wake of the incident, Sentai set up a Gofundme fundraiser for the company, which raised $2.37 million before closing this week.