FUNimation

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Funimation Entertainment (previously known as Funimation Productions) is an anime dubbing and distribution company currently based in Flower Mound, Texas (a suburb of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex). The company rose to prominence by acquiring the rights to the popular anime title Dragonball Z, its predecessor series Dragon Ball and its sequel series Dragon Ball GT as a way to survive the early '90s minor recession. By 1999, they were able to get widespread television exposure via Cartoon Network and the Dragon Ball phenomenon belatedly yet quickly grew in the United States as it had elsewhere. Two previous attempts by Funimation to release Dragon Ball to network television had previously been cancelled, before the series and the company found success on Cartoon Network. Over time, it's found success with other anime like the two Fullmetal Alchemist series and Yu Yu Hakusho.

In recent years, they have broadened their anime horizons far beyond their Shonen Jump roots, licensing series in nearly every possible genre (except Hentai).

In early July 2008, Funimation struck a deal with Geneon Entertainment to distribute many of the defunct company's unfinished ("orphaned") anime properties, including Rozen Maiden, Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, Black Lagoon, Hellsing, Kyou Kara Maou, Familiar of Zero and The Story of Saiunkoku. A couple of these shows would be license-rescued after Geneon's rights expired, but the rest have since faded into the ether.

Less than a week later, they also picked up over 30 titles from ADV Films as a result of a major falling-out between ADV and Japanese partner Sojitz. Those titles are indicated below.

At the end of 2008, Funimation went on a licensing binge called "New Show A-Go-Go!", during which they announced even more Geneon titles (such as Samurai Champloo), as well as new titles such as Soul Eater and the Rebuild of Evangelion films.

In an effort to counter fansubs, they have recently made a number of their titles available for free on their website (as well as YouTube), including new acquisitions that have never been sold legally in the United States before, like Fist of the North Star and the original Captain Harlock series. This is awesome. They have also begun a program to carry shows on their video site a few days after they air in Japan; they have done this with Shikabane Hime and Full Metal Panic!: The Second Raid and are now doing this with newer NoitaminA series and recent episodes of One Piece. This is really awesome. Unfortunately, they only have distribution rights for the USA and Canada for any of these, and have thus prevented people outside North America from watching those shows on their own website. This is anti-awesome.

Needless to say, the company is now held in very high regard among anime fans, despite forming an equal base of hatedom for those very reasons listed above (and for putting ads in the non-skippable part of their DVDs), and they seem determined to hold to their current course. This all happening amidst an economic recession that is shrinking the dubbing industry, which results in gaining a higher percentage of anime statewide than other studios. Part of their marketing strategy is that they actually listen to the fans and take their suggestions into account, which does work. They graciously make most of their titles available in full on their website, with links to which DVD they're on so they may be purchased. They also run their own digital cable channel, currently the only linear anime-exclusive, television network. Because of their insane amount of titles and the somewhat limited budget for dubs, 95% of the time they have to use the same actors who live in the area, leading to severe Relationship Voice Actor situations in all their shows, and who have gained growing popularity among fans.

FUNimation currently holds the rights for almost all GONZO properties,[1] and they have been releasing them in very appealing boxed sets with excellent production values and many extras (examples include their releases of Afro Samurai and Speed Grapher). They also have an imprint of sorts called The Viridian Collection, which they have designed as a sort of Criterion Collection for high-profile anime releases, such as Samurai 7, Basilisk and Desert Punk. These releases are budget priced, so it's very easy to amass a relatively large collection of good anime without breaking your pockets. S.A.V.E. Edition, where you can get a complete series for at most $30, takes this concept one step further.

Has done some interesting things regarding DVDs, especially involving Dragon Ball, such as starting a redubbed DVD series called the "Ultimate Uncut" Edition, only to abruptly drop that and subsequently announce new "Remastered" Season Box Sets of the entire series, cropped to Widescreen. Naturally, many fans weren't impressed with the cropping, and the so-called Orange Boxes became the best selling anime boxsets on DVD by far. Due in part to purist backlash over the cropping in the Orange Boxes, Funimation announced they had finally acquired the Super-High Quality Dragon Boxes from Japan, with the English dub remixed so that it retains the original background music, and Japanese voices selected by default for all those hardcore fans that didn't buy into the Widescreen Remasters. However, Funimation only holds the licensing rights in the US and Canada, so there's not much they can do legally for people outside of North America.

Funimation also releases Degrassi on DVD, in addition to a small selection of live-action films made or filmed in Japan.

In May of 2009, Funimation released a survey for their next project. Just by reading the comments, you can tell they made some... unexpected survey options. Even near the end of the year people are STILL commenting and voting. Unfortunately, Funimation has opted not to reveal the results.

In 2010, FUNimation entered their dubbed version of the feature anime Summer Wars for their first potential Oscar nomination. Sadly, they failed to get nominated. Recent news revealed that Summer Wars was rejected by Warner Brothers- who knows how much the chances of a nomination would've changed if that had happened!

There are talks of its parent owner possibly separating itself from them. It's official as of April 2011.

In October 2011, it was announced at New York Comic Con that Funimation and Nico Nico formed a joint partnership for streaming and home video releases. The partnership establishes a joint venture, known as "Funico", where Nico Nico handles the online streaming while Funimation handles the home video distribution.

At the same time as the above paragraph, there also arose a chance the company may suffer some collateral damage related to the 4Kids bankruptcy and lawsuit, due to TV Tokyo accusing them of conspiracy regarding a 2002 deal to distribute 4Kids' Yu-Gi-Oh! videos. In a similar sense, Funimation decided to file a lawsuit against numerous companies that was once ADV Films regarding to ADV's sale of assets in 2009.[2]. The suit was settled in May 2014 under undisclosed terms. Not to mention how both Verizon and Cablevision dropped the Funimation Channel within only two months of each other, which does not bode well for the only existing linear, all-anime channel in the US!

For a list of FUNimation regulars, head to Names to Know in Anime - Dub Voice Actors - Texas.


Series licensed by this company include:

Series they localized themselves[edit | hide | hide all]

License Rescues[edit | hide]

Streaming Rights Only[edit | hide]

Other[edit | hide]


FUNimation provides examples of the following tropes:
  • Anime Accent Absence: Occasionally averted, as in Baccano! and Hetalia.
  • Digital Piracy and Fansubs are Evil: This is FUNimation's official stance and they encourage their fans to obtain anime through legal means. In fact, they even take legal action either through C&D letters to torrenters and fansubbers, or sue a large number of BiTorrent users over downloading One Piece episodes. They even take down fansub videos of many anime titles in YouTube, even in titles they do not directly own (e.g. Naruto and School Days). In fact, they are pretty much the policeman of the anime industry.
  • Fan Service: According to a Funimation representative as well as many of the Funimation voice actors, some of the highest selling shows happen to be ones with heavy fanservice (along with the said popular Shonen titles like Dragonball Z and Fullmetal Alchemist), much to the very annoyance of the ANN editors who are quite critical to this trope. It wouldn't be a surprise with the recent shows they've licensed.
    • This is most apparent with their release of Sekirei, whose tagline is "Boobies for the win!".
  • Gag Dubs: While most of Funimation's dubs attempt to stay reasonably faithful to their source material, some comedy series, such as Crayon Shin-chan, Sgt. Frog, and Hetalia, receive this treatment.
  • Man of a Thousand Voices: Many veteran Funimation voice actors tend to have this; Laura Bailey, Vic Mignogna, Troy Baker, Kyle Hebert, J Michael Tatum, Brina Palencia, Todd Haberkorn and Luci Christian deserve special mention.
    • This is played with a little though. Actors have stated that many of them are not specialized to be this trope, because it's not Funimation's goal. Their goal is to capture the emotion or personality of a character in a given scene, than construct a new funny voice.
      • Pigeonholed Voice Actor: because of the focus on capturing the emotion and personality of the character, it would not be a surprise for some Funimation voice actors to be completely good at the character archetypes they are typecast into.
  • Multiple Demographic Appeal: They license various titles that appeal to different demographics, not just the popular Shonen shows.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: You know that little thing with 4Kids on Yu-Gi-Oh!? Well, this will haunt them again in the future.
  • Safe Harbor: Their TV channel is on non-basic cable and is nowhere near as popular as the bigger cable channels, so every hour of the day is safe from censoring from the United States FCC, with curses left intact! The only censored word is "fuck", and the only blurred or blocked visual elements that appear are those that were left in the Japanese versions.
  • Scandalgate: Fractalegate, though not as severe as Oreimogate. And then, "Animegate".
  • Unions in Hollywood: averted, Funimation is non-union, and is based on Flower Mound, Texas. This can be justified though, since Texas is a right to work state, which prohibits union-only environments.
    • However, Funimation does occasionally hire voice actors from LA or New York, the most unionized places in the country when it comes to acting. Again, another justification, as many of these said voice actors either had worked with Funimation in the past (e.g. Vic Mignogna, Kyle Hebert, Laura Bailey, Travis Willingham, and Troy Baker), had lived and been raised in the Dallas area during their childhood years with family members still living around the area (e.g. Johnny Yong Bosch and Spike Spencer) or are used for continuity with previous works (e.g. Crispin Freeman and Sean Schemmel). It's also a possibility that the said voice actors had applied the financial core status, as many of them have worked in both union and non-union projects.
  • Viewers Are Geniuses: They acquired and dubbed xxxHolic and Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle at the same time because they knew characters crossed over into the other show at certain points, thus making sure no actor would voice more than one character in either show, lest fans would accuse them of casting two actors for the same character. This was beneficial to them when dubbing the Tsubasa OVA and each of their movies, where Watanuki, the black Mokona, and Yuuko have important roles.
  • What The Hell, FUNimation?: Funimation suing Section23 and other companies that was once ADV Films regarding to the sale of assets. This divided the anime fandom even further, considering that Section23 had already quickly rebuild themselves from the ashes of ADV Films and the fact that the anime industry in North America is suffering enough with the layoff of employees from Media Blasters and the downfall of Bandai Entertainment, Funimation suing Section23 is kinda seen as a very dicky move.
    • Even Chris Patton, who had worked in many Funimation titles in the past under ADV Films label, was completely disappointed at Funimation for their lawsuit in his Twitter. Justified, as he's predominately works at Houston, Texas where Sentai Filmworks/Section23 is headquartered at.
    • Then they had a bit of back-and-forth drama with Crunchyroll. Then...
    • In February 2019 they had a point-and-shriek witch hunt (with some accusations being bizarre on Monty Python level) and fired voice actor Vic Mignogna. Thus giving birth to hashtags #IStantWithVic. So they began a witch-hunt against the fans who objected, pulling strings and calling them "animenazi" [1] [2] [3] [4]. Unsurprisingly, at this point… how to put it delicately… mentions of "FUNimation" together with variations of "Get Woke Go Broke" sharply increased.
  1. (Exceptions: Gate Keepers and Gate Keepers 21 (Geneon); Blue Submarine No. 6, Melty Lancer, Yukikaze (Bandai Entertainment); Gravion, Final Fantasy Unlimited, Zaion I Wish You Were Here, Special A (ADV Films and its descendants); Real Bout High School (Tokyo Pop), and others that remain unlicensed.)
  2. Which is quite ironic considering Funimation had once lend their voice acting talents to ADV Films and vice versa