TOHO To Launch An Anime E-Commerce Portal In North America, Appoints Ex-Crunchyroll Employees As Key-Staff

The website will be focusing on creating a new consumer business.

In an attempt to strengthen its international B2C business, TOHO’s international wing, TOHO INTERNATIONAL, INC. will be launching an E-commerce website in 2023.

The website will be focusing on creating a new consumer business.

In order to achieve their goals, TOHO has appointed ex-Crunchyroll employees with experience in the local animation & merchandise business as key staff.

Toho announced on December 6, 2022 that Kristin Parcell will be the General Manager of Business and Stacy Burt will be the Director of Marketing at this new website.

Parcell and Burt were previously employed as Vice President of E-Commerce and Director of Marketing at Crunchyroll, respectively.

In addition to them, Joanne Waage who previously worked as General Manager of Crunchyroll will also be joining as an advisor.

The website will initially be bringing products based on the popular Godzilla series and then further lineup more anime titles.

Toho International Inc. also plans to expand into video games and live events in addition to product development.

The only problem the company might face is due to lack of popular content as it has already licensed its popular series’ such has Jujutsu Kaisen, My Hero Academia, Spy X Family to other distribution companies.

Toho recently also overtook the animation company TIA studios to further improve their standing in animation business. Toho made the company its subsidiary on Sept 16, 2022.

It also changed the company’s name to TOHO Animation Studio Co. It’ll have Keiji Ota, Toho’s managing executive officer in charge of visual image business and digital content in the visual image division, as the President and representative director.

TIA was established in 2017 as I&A, a joint venture between two companies specializing in CG animation, Dolphin and Anima, and changed its name to TIA in 2019.

The company has previously produced “The Crocodile Who Lived for 100 Days” for Toho Productions.

Earlier, Toho owned 34.8%, and Dolphin and Anima each owned 32.6%. This time, Toho acquired an additional stake in Anima, increasing its shareholding to 67.4%, more than two-thirds of the total. Toho promises to focus its functions of creator training, original content planning and development, and video production.

Toho is Japan’s largest film company involved in production, distribution and box office. Whereas TOHO animation was established 10 years ago in 2012, and has been expanding and strengthening not only films but also TV series and animation production. It is now one of the leading players in the animation business in Japan.

However, it has never had an animation production capabilities within the group like Toei Animation of Toei, Sunrise of Namco Bandai Group, or A-1 Pictures of Aniplex.

In its mid-term management plan announced in April this year, Toho has stated that animation will be the fourth pillar of its business. This move can be said to be one of such efforts to strengthen animation.

Source: Animation Business Info

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