Anime Vice News

FUNimation's Parent Company Prepares to Put It On the Auction Block

Don't panic, folks, your DBZ supply isn't going anywhere...yet.


It's no secret that sales of anime and manga are down thanks to the recession, prompting the closure of a handful of publishing houses and distributors. I'm not sure if Minneapolis-based Navarre Corporation never thought there would be lean times when they bought up FUNimation in 2005, but regardless the company began laying the foundation to sell their subsidiary back in May. Now that Navarre has released reports for the first-quarter of the fiscal year listing FUNimation as a "discontinued operation" it seems all but inevitable that its parent company will put it up for sale in the near future. 
 
What does this mean for FUNimation? So far, not a whole heck of a lot. Actually, the company made a tidy profit of over $3 million in the first quarter thanks to strong sales of Dragon Ball Z Kai. While I'm no Gordon Gecko-level businessman, it seems the only way this could go is badly for FUNimation if they're bought out by an interest whose only goal is to liquidate the company's assets by selling off properties, etc.--an idea that seems remote since the company looks poised to expand into the burgeoning sector of online streaming anime. 
 
Whadaya say, folks: if ten thousand of us collectively search our couch cushions for loose change and raid our retirement plans I'm sure we can come up with enough to buy the company out and establish a fan-owned co-op. A man can dream...
Oishi_47on Aug. 3, 2010 at 12:06 p.m.
Hopefully they'll get bought up by a company that actually deals in the area of media.
metalsnakezeroon Aug. 3, 2010 at 12:10 p.m.
If they were bought out by someone who would chop the company up in to pieces it would end most of the anime Funi has license and they have gotten a lot of anime I'm looking forward to. If they do get sold I hope its someone who will let Funi do what its been doing.
ShadowKnight508 moderator on Aug. 3, 2010 at 12:13 p.m.
@oishi_47 said:
" Hopefully they'll get bought up by a company that actually deals in the area of media. "
Agreed...it would be a shame to see some shady corperation buy it up and liquidate FUNimation. It would be a sad day indeed if FUNimation ceased to exist.
sotyfan16on Aug. 3, 2010 at 12:16 p.m.

First off, FUNi was bought for around $100 Million and I don't know what it's worth now. Navarre and FUNi do not mesh well with what they do as businesses. Hopefully FUNi gets bought by an entertainment company that will give it even more resources and thus give FUNi a big edge (like it needs more of an edge) in the industry. Things will go on as normal if Navarre isn't able to sell.

sora_thekey moderator on Aug. 3, 2010 at 2:37 p.m.
Disney should buy Funimation :P
Boddingtonon Aug. 3, 2010 at 2:38 p.m.
@oishi_47: The hope, as I understand it, is that FUNimation is bought by a company that can help it expand into new markets, like the online streaming one. Navarre certainly isn't that company and I hope their split is an amicable one.
hitsusatsu11on Aug. 3, 2010 at 2:38 p.m.
Good, I HATE Funi 
 
They screw up: 
 
Dragonball 
Yu Yu hakusho 
 
and everything else. 
 
I wish Funi went bankrupt instead of ADV.
Oishi_47on Aug. 3, 2010 at 2:55 p.m.
@Boddington: That's true. It would be preferable for them to be purchased by a company that has the resources to allow them to expand and doesn't come with a lot of baggage or red tape. I'd like to believe that something like that would be easier than it sounds. 
secretzfanon Aug. 3, 2010 at 3:22 p.m.
Aah funi was a pretty good dubbing comapny to me. Not as good as Viz Media, but not bad either. They did Dragonaball Z well to me. Anyway DBZ Kai will be on 4 Kids that is what I hear.
CrazyCanuckon Aug. 3, 2010 at 4:27 p.m.
What if Disney were to buy Funimation?  hmmmm........
FoxxFireArt moderator on Aug. 3, 2010 at 4:34 p.m.
@hitsusatsu11 said:

" Good, I HATE Funi  They screw up:  Dragonball Yu Yu hakusho  and everything else.  I wish Funi went bankrupt instead of ADV. "

They are a right side better than VIZ. At least FUNimation offers alternatives to the audience. VIZ offers jack.
jrnemanichon Aug. 3, 2010 at 4:39 p.m.
@CrazyCanuck said:
" What if Disney were to buy Funimation?  hmmmm........ "
that would be the worst, then we will get dakota fanning and other big name stars for dubing
hitsusatsu11on Aug. 3, 2010 at 4:46 p.m.
@FoxxFireArt: Well VIZ sucks because they fail hard at translations. (Djinn Buu. Veggerot)  Funni also fails hard on their script, and also their voices are a joke. (ie Kuwabara).
Otaking66on Aug. 3, 2010 at 5:36 p.m.
As if the anime scene in the US wasn't already sketchy, now this. OK everyone, hold your collective breaths....
mediarighton Aug. 3, 2010 at 5:37 p.m.
First...this article is really poorly researched. If anyone had taken the time to read the ANN interview with Funi CEO Fukunaga when this all went down in May, you would have seen that this sale is purely about diverging interests. Funi wasn't doing horribly, and still isn't. Bad economies mean people don't buy DVD's as much. That's just how it is. 
 
Gen said that this was only because Navare is a software company, and knows little about media (especially new media). He said they are looking at a sale, but that it will not happen unless they find a buyer who has experience in areas Funi is getting into, and he also said he will not except any buyer who's going to let go any of their staff. NONE. So that's what this is really about. 
 
Second, you commenters disappoint me too. Anyone who said Funi sucks at dubbing hasn't seen anything by Funi in the last decade. They've really upped their quality, and they're now one of the best dubbing houses IMO. Their policy now-adays is to stay much closer to the Japanese intent and script, which is more than I can say for a number of Viz & BangZoom productions which still try to really Americanize everything. 
 
If you're a DBZ fan, look at Kai. If you're a FMA viewer, you already know what they're capable of.
Catolfon Aug. 3, 2010 at 5:51 p.m.
@sora_thekey said:
" Disney should buy Funimation :P "
@CrazyCanuck said:
" What if Disney were to buy Funimation?  hmmmm........ "
If you want your anime to be censored, cut and dubbed by crap disney actors... sure.
Bigheart711on Aug. 3, 2010 at 5:53 p.m.
@FoxxFireArt said:
" @hitsusatsu11 said:
" Good, I HATE Funi  They screw up:  Dragonball Yu Yu hakusho  and everything else.  I wish Funi went bankrupt instead of ADV. "
They are a right side better then VIZ. At least FUNimation offers alternatives to the audience. VIZ offers jack. "

That's what I was about to say. FUNimation had a lot of my fave titles. I'd be very sad too if they were to disappear from existence.
hitsusatsu11on Aug. 3, 2010 at 6:12 p.m.

If you want your anime to be censored, cut and dubbed by crap disney actors... sure. "
Hold on, I think you should re consider who has the crap actors. 
 
Consider Funni main man numero uno Christopher R. Sabat: 
 
  
sickVisionz moderator on Aug. 3, 2010 at 6:34 p.m.
@hitsusatsu11 said:

"

If you want your anime to be censored, cut and dubbed by crap disney actors... sure. "
Hold on, I think you should re consider who has the crap actors. 
 
Consider Funni main man numero uno Christopher R. Sabat: 
 
  
"
I'm glad somebody said this.  Saying that Disney has crap voice actors compared to anime dubs is loopy and I seriously question whether the people saying it have actually heard a Disney cartoon before. 
 
As far as the news, I could go either way.  If Funi stays, I'm happy.  If they get sold and some other company picks up their shows, I'm happy. 
 
@mediaright: I don't think they're doing that well and I'd label it as pretty bad when your parent company is willing to forgo any possible future profit in exchange for making a one time sell off. 
 
I was browsing through their financial report from 2009 a couple of months ago and there is some stuff in the possible concerns for the future that doesn't bode well for them in the future or make them attractive to a buyer.  The interesting thing is that the report was old and some of the things they mentioned actually happened like (paraphrasing and pulling from memory)
  • One or two series making up over 60% of their sales, so the loss of a license of those series would be a major issue
  • 2 retailers generating like 70% of their retail sales, so if one of them scaled back on their offerings, they'd be in a bad spot.  One of those retailers was Best Buy...
 
Those don't make them all that attractive of a purchase for a company that would be willing to pour resources into them, like some are hoping.
senoteon Aug. 3, 2010 at 6:52 p.m.
Interesting times indeed.

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