Crunchyroll Becomes Majority Owner of VIZ Media Europe Group

John Easum appointed to new role of Head of Crunchyroll EMEA

Crunchyroll x VIZ Media Europe Group

Crunchyroll and VIZ Media Europe Group have announced the closing of a deal that brings the global platform of Crunchyroll together with VIZ Media Europe Group’s EMEA-wide network of partners, distributors, and licensees. With the transaction complete, Crunchyroll is officially the majority owner of VIZ Media Europe Group, and will now have offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Chisinau, Paris, Berlin, and Lausanne.


VIZ Media Europe Group—one of Europe’s most established anime licensors and distributors—encompasses VIZ Media Europe, VIZ Media Switzerland, AV Visionen, KAZÉ, KAZÉ Manga, Anime on Demand, and Anime Digital Network (in partnership with Citel, a subsidiary of Média-Participations).


Together, Crunchyroll and VIZ Media Europe Group are also announcing the appointment of John Easum in the new role of Head of Crunchyroll EMEA. Easum will steer the expansion of Crunchyroll’s international efforts, including overseeing VIZ Media Europe Group, managing new and existing content distribution deals, exploring and expanding international events and activations, and discovering new opportunities for growth.


Crunchyroll general manager Joanne Waage called this “an important moment in Crunchyroll’s history, indicative of our commitment to growing the global anime and manga communities.” On the topic of John Easum’s new role, Waage added, “As we move into this next chapter, we can think of no person better-suited to guide our strategy and team in EMEA than John Easum, who brings more than 25 years of experience growing the anime and manga industries internationally and who has served in leadership positions previously at VIZ Media Europe and VIZ Media USA.”


As part of this transition, Mr. Kazuyoshi Takeuchi, President of VIZ Media Europe, is stepping down from that role and will continue to support VIZ Media Europe Group as an Advisor.


Shogakukan and Shueisha Group will retain a minority stake in VIZ Media Europe Group and will also retain complete ownership of VIZ Media Europe’s Publishing Licensing Business through a transfer to VME PLB SAS, a new company created by Shogakukan and Shueisha group. VME PLB SAS will continue to introduce and license Manga for the EMEA and Latin American regions. Mr. Kazuyoshi Takeuchi is appointed as President and Mr. Kazuyuki Masuda is appointed as Managing Director.

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