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...
Jtaylor83on Aug. 3, 2010 at 6:57 p.m.
@hitsusatsu11:  That's enough, you troll. You just like to download, prefer watching and filesharing fansubs for your own personal use.   Fansubs hurt the anime industry.   Geneon closed down because of fansubs. Bang Zoom! CEO said that if people watch and download fansubs, he will cease dubbing anime.   I wonder if the site moderator bans trolls.
 
Back to topic: Saban Capital Group could buy FUNi since they both did DBZ, but Shin Chan would end up the same way like Vitello/Phuuz/Lacey did. 
 
But I don't want Harmony Gold USA buy Funimation because they'll revert the DBZ character names back (Ex: Goku to Zero, Korin to Whiskers The Wonder Cat, etc.)
hitsusatsu11on Aug. 3, 2010 at 7:09 p.m.
@Jtaylor83: Ocean Dub is far far superior to Funi dub of DBZ. Funimation fails at script choices and voice work, they change the original product in such a way as to butcher the anime. So unless your this J Taylor  http://www.miningstocks.com/ and can give me some small cap mining investment tips, I need no advice from you. 
Sonata moderator on Aug. 3, 2010 at 7:19 p.m.
@sora_thekey said:
" Disney should buy Funimation :P "
 Ugh I threw up a bit in my mouth.
Jtaylor83on Aug. 3, 2010 at 7:30 p.m.
Laura Bailey and Cynthia Cranz did well with Shin and Mitzi than Kath Soucie. Ocean may did well with DBZ but not possibly well in other anime like Powerpuff Girls Z.  And Funimation fails at script choices and voice work is bad criticism. Not to mention that mining harms your lungs.
 

KME93on Aug. 3, 2010 at 8:48 p.m.
Well I hope all of the wonderful people of FUNimation still get to work with whoever purchases the company
hitsusatsu11on Aug. 3, 2010 at 9:09 p.m.
@Jtaylor83: Not well in other anime's? I think Ocean did very well in the Gundams they've dubbed, Death Note, Black Lagoon and others. I don't think its an unfair criticism when Funi completely makes up entire scenes dialog instead of translating the Japanese. And Jay Taylor doesn't mine he invests. 
sotyfan16on Aug. 3, 2010 at 11:31 p.m.

Ok..Chris Sabat doesn't change his voice much for his characters but most of the time he suits. He's a nice guy, too. I met him by chance when I was at FUNi last year (he was bringing in DBZ Kai stuff). I was really in shock from the moment I saw him and if only I had gotten a picture with him... Oh, I had a talk with Adam Sheehan, too. Now, FUNi has had trouble with voice actors before due to their location and has done a lot of local hiring. If you work at FUNi you can sometimes get lucky and get a small part. Personally, I haven't had many qualms with FUNi's dubs and I'm a fan of many of the shows it licenses.

FUNi does good work with only about 100 employees at its HQ. The place works with the bare essentials from the looks. I hope a big entertainment company buys up FUNi so they can have access to more resources and maybe vertically integrate into anime production. FUNi has been the reason why Navarre has had positive financials recently. As for those of you who mention Disney; everything would go to hell if such a deal happened.

hitsusatsu11on Aug. 4, 2010 at 12:15 a.m.
@sotyfan16 said:
"

Ok..Chris Sabat doesn't change his voice much for his characters but most of the time he suits. 

If by "suits" you mean completely disregard what the character is supposed to sound like, then yes. Case in point Kuwabara from YHS. Also he narrates Negima!  (i'd post it but they removed it from youtube) and does it in his grunting voice-"Negi's journey....HAS JUST BEGUN!!" (In his loudest Vegeta voice, quite comical) 
 
Im sorry the man is simply not talented in voice performances. Also he's arrogant, in doing interview's for DBKai (which Funi re-named DBZKai for some reason) he says the new dialog and script fits the original manga so much better and he's had to cast new VA to fit the new mood (Freeza), but the only reason the dialog is changed, is because Funi is now actually translating all the lines and keeping them the same, instead of simply making up the dialogue for entire conversations like they did when they wrote the Z english script. He acts like what Funi says is actually canon for the Japanese anime they misconstrue . 
Jtaylor83on Aug. 4, 2010 at 12:18 a.m.
@hitsusatsu11:  That's because you rely on fansubs. Not dubs, or regular subs.  I am not a investor of coal. Coal harms mine and everybody's lungs. 
 
@sotyfan16: I agree Chris Sabat rocks. I haven't seen him until Nicktoons shown Behind the scenes of DBZ Kai.
 
@KME93: I think it will likely be Saban Capital Group. They did DBZ with FUNi and they might likely want them to distribute Power Rangers. If Shin Chan would be under the Saban brand, then the character names would be as much similar to the Vitello/Phuuz/Lacey dub.
sotyfan16on Aug. 4, 2010 at 1:05 a.m.
@hitsusatsu11:
Major differences in how a character sounds and the vibe he/she gives off are going to happen when going from Japanese to English. Sabat's narration of Negima! is over-the-top but doesn't affect the story. I feel that Sabat also doesn't try to be the 'talented' guy. I think he typecast himself as he is a narrator or burly/gruff man majority of the time. As for FUNi being more precise in its translations, it's only professional that it be done and Chris doesn't exactly make the final decision. I don't know reasons but people now want anime to follow the manga more closely than before (which it should but some filler is good). Now, I'm sure it has been an issue for fans for decades but for all we know the companies are only now listening to the fans.
Jtaylor83on Aug. 4, 2010 at 1:32 a.m.
@sotyfan16:  Don't forget. He also may have narrated Shin Chan in "The House is Officially Unblown", and at the end of Season 2 "The Epicish Battle Commenceth" as well as Yonro.
CrazyCanuckon Aug. 4, 2010 at 5:22 a.m.
Let me just say that I love the funimation pool of voice actors but just say hypothetically if Disney were to buy Funimation what would that be like.  "IF" Funimation were to let them do there own thing wouldn't it be great if there was an anime localization company that had a CRAP tone of money behind them? 
 
Also people who are saying that Funi sucks because they screwed up Dragonball and Dragonball Z, did they really?  At the time Funi was relatively new and the writing wasn't great and on top of that the edits made were done to make it sell on T.V. and were given a thumbs up by the Japanese.   
PredatorPTon Aug. 4, 2010 at 5:34 a.m.
I really don't like dubbed anime, so I really couldn't care less.
Animedudeon Aug. 4, 2010 at 5:49 a.m.
I agree with the fan own, plan. Lets buy the company!
PenguinDuston Aug. 4, 2010 at 6:26 a.m.
These things happen in the business world from time to time.  A larger company will sell off parts of itself unrelated to its core in an effort to stabilize its finances and reduce its debt.  I'm not confident in who'd be the best candidate for buying FUNimation, but I wouldn't worry too much about them in the short term.  I don't believe Disney would be interested in the company since they're not a content creator unlike Marvel Entertainment.  Disney has been selling off parts of itself it can't exploit too such as Miramax Studios.  I believe a better candidate would be a cable channel conglomerate where the licenses can be utilized.  Liberty Media Corporation (Starz, Discovery, QVC) or Viacom (MTV, Nick, Spike) are reasonable buyers who might provide an outlet for the programming.  Of course, this is all conjecture since I'm not sure what type of ratings anime gets on mainstream TV to begin with.  I've heard it doesn't fair too well on Adult Swim in comparison to reruns of their original shows.
innocencedied2niteon Aug. 4, 2010 at 10:39 a.m.
@sora_thekey said:

" Disney should buy Funimation :P "

lol.. right. Then they can chop all their acquired animes like they did Shippuden. Seriously.. did anyone notice the huge differences in the 2nd opening? I for one will be watching closely, should have some interesting developments.
hitsusatsu11on Aug. 4, 2010 at 11:01 a.m.
@innocencedied2nite: You realize Funi hardly ever leaves in the original opening?
Jtaylor83on Aug. 4, 2010 at 11:03 a.m.
@PenguinDust said:

" These things happen in the business world from time to time.  A larger company will sell off parts of itself unrelated to its core in an effort to stabilize its finances and reduce its debt.  I'm not confident in who'd be the best candidate for buying FUNimation, but I wouldn't worry too much about them in the short term.  I don't believe Disney would be interested in the company since they're not a content creator unlike Marvel Entertainment.  Disney has been selling off parts of itself it can't exploit too such as Miramax Studios.  I believe a better candidate would be a cable channel conglomerate where the licenses can be utilized.  Liberty Media Corporation (Starz, Discovery, QVC) or Viacom (MTV, Nick, Spike) are reasonable buyers who might provide an outlet for the programming.  Of course, this is all conjecture since I'm not sure what type of ratings anime gets on mainstream TV to begin with.  I've heard it doesn't fair too well on Adult Swim in comparison to reruns of their original shows. "

I don't want Disney doing the same thing to Shin Chan like Vitello/Phuuz/Lacey did in 1994. Liberty Media doesn't even want FUNi because they're selling Starz Animation (Including Manga Entertainment) so that they can focus on their Starz/Encore channels. Viacom will probably liquidate FUNi and distribute the DBZ Kai series either through their subsidiary Nickelodeon or have Saban distribute it. I think Saban would be best candidate to buy FUNi and they might want FUNi to distribute the Power Rangers series onto DVD/Blu-ray even if all the good anime would be edited like character name changing (ex. Shin Chan, Ai to Sally, Miss Polly to Miss Agnes, etc.). I could handle it.
N15PCAon Aug. 4, 2010 at 12:11 p.m.

I don't if this is a bad thing or good.  It all depends who buys Funimation.
Theresonlyoneon Aug. 4, 2010 at 2:25 p.m.
I wish I had enough to buy it i'd love to revolutionise the anime and manga industry world wide.

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