Genon entertainment was one of the leading licensors of anime in North America. However, in 2007, the company abruptly announced that it was discontinuing DVD distribution. This left several unfinished titles in limbo. The company was led by Hiroe Tsukamoto and Hideki “Henry” Goto, who had both worked for the company for decades. A new group was formed to take over the company’s production and distribution.
The company rebranded itself as Genon entertainment, USA, Inc., in an attempt to increase revenue. However, the company ran into financial problems. For instance, its first DVD release, Heat Guy J, cost nearly as much as Fullmetal Alchemist but only sold a fraction of the previous title. Geneon blames this financial setback on the fact that it failed to make money on its previous releases.
Pioneer Entertainment was acquired by the Japanese advertising company Dentsu in July 2003. After Dentsu bought the company, it renamed itself Geneon Entertainment Inc., which became the company’s North American division. The company’s name is a portmanteau of the words “generate” and “eon”. The company stopped manufacturing DVDs in late 2007, but maintained its licensing division. It licensed several titles to Funimation, and continued to distribute anime in different genres. In 2008, Dentsu sold 80.1% of the company to NBCUniversal.
The merger between Genon entertainment and Universal Pictures Japan was the first step in merging these two companies. The merged company was known as Geneon Universal Entertainment and later renamed to NBCUniversal Entertainment Japan. The company’s anime titles were then distributed by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment Australia. The company’s name also changed in 2013. The merger resulted in a change in name and distribution. The company now focuses on the creation of anime and other media.
The entertainment division of Pioneer Electronics was sold to Dentsu in 2003. The new company renamed Pioneer LDC and Pioneer Entertainment to Genon entertainment. The name is a portmanteau of the Japanese words “generate” and “eon”. Pioneer became the distributor of Toei Animation in 2005, and in 2007 the company signed a two-year agreement to distribute titles by Bandai Visual USA.
Geneon was known for a variety of shows and movies. It tended to produce fan-centric shows. Some of the shows were created by Pioneer’s Japanese animation division and others were developed by the AIC subsidiary of the company. Some of the company’s biggest hits were anime produced by Pioneer’s LDC. Its productions included seminal hits such as AKIRA and Lupin III. The company also produced movies, such as the acclaimed anime series Trigun.