Aniplex Inc. (株式会社アニプレックス, Kabushiki-gaisha Anipurekkusu), formerly known as Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) Music Publishing Inc. and Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) Visual Works Inc. and Sony Music Entertainment (SME) Visual Works Inc., is a Japanese anime and music production and distribution enterprise owned by Sony Music Entertainment Japan and established in September 1995. Aniplex has been involved in the planning, production and distribution of several anime series, Additionally, Aniplex produces and distributes music and soundtrack records, including the original soundtracks for all of Sony Computer Entertainment's computer and video games. Aniplex is also involved in retail merchandising, producing toys, games, stationery, food and other items featuring popular characters. Aniplex also puts together events to promote their anime franchises. For example, in 2005 Aniplex held the Fullmetal Alchemist Festival which began with the Fullmetal Alchemist Tour at Universal Studios Japan.
Originally known as Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) Visual Works Inc., it was established on September 1995 as a joint-venture between Sony Pictures Entertainment and Sony Music Entertainment Japan, and changed its name in January, 2001 to Sony Music Entertainment (SME) Visual Works Inc. after becoming a subsidiary completely owned by Sony Music Entertainment Japan. In April 2003, it changed its name to Aniplex Inc.
Aniplex are well known for anime series like Baccano!, Gurren Lagann, Fullmetal Alchemist, Rurouni Kenshin, Persona 4: The Animation, Angel Beats!, Sword Art Online, Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic, Madoka Magica, Read or Die, Blood+, Durarara!!, Working!!, The Idolm@ster and Cartoon Network's Powerpuff Girls Z.
For the Harmony Unleashed series, they produced 3 anime series (Harmony Unleashed: Human Ponidox Continuum Shift, Harmony Unleashed: Equestrian Trinity, Jaegermeisters) and co-produced japanese dubs of Uprising and Anthro Bunraku. In the future, they will produce another anime series (Crossing Arrows) and a japanese dub of Equestria Campus Supremacy, an Equestria Girls-universe spin-off of Anthro Bunraku.
Aniplex of AmericaEdit
Aniplex of America or Aniplex USA is an American affiliate studio of Japanese anime and music production and distribution enterprise Aniplex, established in March 2005 in Santa Monica, California, to reinforce their license business in the North American international anime market. Aniplex USA licensed titles as the article says, except Anime licensed by Sentai Filmworks (Persona 4: The Animation, Angel Beats!, Rurouni Kenshin: New Kyoto Arc, XAM'd: Lost Memories, etc.), NIS America (Wagnaria!!, Persona: Trinity Soul) and FUNimation Entertainment (Fullmetal Alchemist, Baccano!, Guilty Crown). Whenever Aniplex license anime for North America when it comes to home video, It leads a controversy towards anime fans due to its home video releases being very expensive.
Aniplex US licensed the Equestrian Trinity anime series along with Hasbro Studios and SPE for an english dub produced by NI97/AR97 ESI, but the company will not have its home video release, for which it goes to Sony Pictures Home Entertainment instead. Also, they have the streaming licensing rights for the Anthro Bunraku series to be on Hulu, Crunchyroll and YouTube, both English and Japanese dubbed.