FUNimation (previously known as FUNimation Productions and FUNimation Entertainment) 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 Dragon Ball Z
, its predecessor series Dragon Ball
and its sequel series Dragon Ball GT
as a way to survive the early 1990s
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 (to the point that FUNimation openly describes itself as "the house that Dragonball
built). 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 YuYu Hakusho
From the early 1990s to the 200s, FUNimation
was a respectably sized anime distributor but not considered one of the "Big Three" - which (depending on who you ask) were ADV, Geneon, and Bandai. The North American anime distributors, unfortunately, then went through a classic boom and bust cycle (like the video game industry in 1983 and comic book industry in 1993). It started with peak expansion in 2004-2005, which soon led to over-expansion, followed by the crash of 2008. Each of the Big Three had invested heavily in these expansion efforts to buy up most of the new titles, so they were hit the hardest. Geneon shut down in September 2007, and for the next full year, each week brought news of a new shutdown or cancelled project. Bandai also dwindled away, given that its parent company in Japan basically gave up on the North American market after realizing that they could never hope to sell anime there at the same prices they did in Japan (and ultimately Bandai shut down American operations in 2012). ADV dwindled away to almost nothing but clung to life for a while, with the meager remnants later reorganizing into other companies. When the dust settled, by 2009 FUNimation
was left as the only truly large and functional major anime distributor in North America. It bought up titles from the closed companies at fire sale prices, and soon came to dominate the North American anime market: the saying became that other companies can only buy licenses that FUNimation
had passed on after deeming them not worth the investment. Circa the New Tens, the only other large distributors are (more or less) Viz Media (which is also a major manga distributor) and Sentai Filmworks (a successor company for the remnants of ADV), but they only have a small fraction of the market share that FUNimation
enjoys (and there are a few other niche distributors).
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
In an effort to counter fansubs
, they make 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. 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 Corpse Princess
and Full Metal Panic: The Second Raid
and are now doing this with newer noitaminA
series and episodes of One Piece
. 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....less awesome
In the early years, FUNimation had a poor reputation amongst many anime fans. This was largely due to their only license at the time, Dragon Ball
, being heavily altered and censored. Today, the company is now held in very
high regard for their excellent staff and being faithful to their properties. Part of their marketing strategy is that they actually listen to the fans and take their suggestions into account, which does work. Dragon Ball
gradually became more faithful to the original and they have overall created a new standard in the proper English dubbing of anime
. 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. This all happened amidst an economic recession that shrunk the dubbing industry, which results in gaining a higher percentage of anime statewide than other studios. 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
, 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
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. FUNimation is currently in talks to possibly re-license titles that Bandai Entertainment
had before they ceased producing anything themselves, which could result in a mass acquisition very similar to GONZO.
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.
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.
FUNimation also releases Degrassi
on DVD, in addition to a small selection of live-action films made or filmed in Japan.
was revived in May 2012 onward, most of the block's new premieres are from FUNimation, which has developed a close business relationship with the Williams Street crew.
For a list of FUNimation regulars, head to Names to Know in Anime
\Dub Voice Actors\Texas\Primarily works in Dallas-Ft. Worth.
Series licensed by FUNimation includes:Series they localized themselves
Series acquired from ADV in Summer 2008License Rescues
- Aesthetics of a Rogue Hero
- Afro Samurai
- Appleseed XIII
- Aria the Scarlet Ammo
- Attack on Titan
- Axis Powers Hetalia (given a Gag Dub, first 5 seasons and the movie licensed)
- B Gata H Kei ("Yamada's First Time")
- Baka and Test: Summon the Beasts (both seasons and the OVA between them)
- Bamboo Blade
- BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad
- Big Windup (their last sports anime until Free Season 2)
- Binbogami Ga ("Good Luck Girl")
- Birdy the Mighty (DECODE TV series)
- Black Blood Brothers
- Black Butler
- Black Cat
- Black Lagoon: OVA - "Roberta's Blood Trail" (Dub recorded by The Ocean Group, rather than in house at FUNimation)
- BlazBlue: Alter Memory
- Blue Gender
- Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai ("Haganai")
- Buddy Complex
- Burst Angel
- Cat Planet Cuties
- El Cazador de la Bruja
- [C] - The Money of Soul and Possibility Control
- A Certain Magical Index (both seasons and the movie) (with Geneon-Universal)
- Casshern Sins
- Chrome Shelled Regios
- Corpse Princess
- Daimidaler the Sound Robot (Daimidaler: Prince VS. Penguin Empire)
- Dangan Ronpa: The Animation
- Dance in the Vampire Bund
- Darker Than Black
- Date A Live (season 1 licensed, season 2 streaming)
- Deadman Wonderland
- Desert Punk
- Detective Conan (known as Case Closed due to DC Comics's ironclad trademark on the name "Conan") (as of 2013, only the first 130 episodes and first 6 movies, license went to to CrunchyRoll)
- The Devil is a Part-Timer!
- D.Gray-Man (as of May 2012, only the first 51 episodes)
- Dragon Ball
- Dragon Ball GT
- Dragon Ball Z
- Dragon Ball Z Kai
- Dragonaut: The Resonance
- Eden of the East
- Eureka Seven AO
- Fairy Tail (episodes 1-175 and the movie licensed, 176 onward streaming)
- Free! (season 2, season 1 currently licensed by CrunchyRoll)
- Freezing (both seasons)
- Fruits Basket (the first shojo series to be dubbed by FUNimation)
- Fullmetal Alchemist (series, movie, and all but one OVA)
- Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (series, movie and OVAs)
- Full Metal Panic: The Second Raid (sort of. Kadokawa Pictures USA [now defunct] held the license itself and outsourced localization — translation, subtitling, scripts, dubbing - to ADV in order to have consistency with the previous two series; FUNimation was in charge of packaging, DVD authoring, and distribution. Funi now hold this license outright, though)
- Future Diary
- Ga Rei Zero
- Gad Guard
- The Galaxy Railways
- Ghost in the Shell: Arise (First released sub-only, will be dubbed later)
- Guilty Crown
- Gunslinger Girl (first series as well as Il Teatrino and accompanying OVA)
- .hack//Quantum (the first .hack// to be released by FUNimation)
- Heaven's Lost Property (both seasons and the movie)
- Hell Girl (first season only) (license went to Sentai Filmworks)
- Hellsing Ultimate (episodes 5-10) (Dub recorded at New Generation Pictures, rather than in-house at FUNimation)
- High School D×D (both seasons)
- Hyperdimension Neptunia The Animation
- Is This a Zombie? (both seasons)
- Kamisama Kiss (So far, the first season, second season currently being streamed)
- Kaze no Stigma
- Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple
- Kiddy Grade
- King of Thorn
- Kodomo no Omocha (as Kodocha; first 51 episodes only, with some issues beyond their control. The license was dropped in 2012.)
- Last Exile: Fam, the Silver Wing
- Laughing Under the Clouds
- The Legend of the Legendary Heroes
- Lupin III
- Mahou Sensei Negima! (only the two TV series and the Spring/Summer OVAs)
- Maken-ki! (Both seasons)
- Master of Martial Hearts
- Michiko & Hatchin
- Mr. Stain On Junk Alley
- Mushishi (season 1 only)
- My Bride Is a Mermaid
- Nabari No Ou
- Oblivion Island: Haruka and the Magic Mirror
- Oh Edo Rocket
- One Piece (technically a license-snipe from 4Kids Entertainment, released uncut with a far more accurate dub; needless to say the fans rejoiced)
- Ore-tachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai ("We Without Wings")
- Ouran High School Host Club
- Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt
- Peach Girl
- Ping Pong
- Phantom ~Requiem for the Phantom~
- Princess Jellyfish
- Psycho-Pass (both seasons, the Extended Edition, and the movie)
- RDG: Red Data Girl
- Rebuild of Evangelion
- Ride Back
- Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles
- Romeo X Juliet
- Rumbling Hearts (a.k.a. Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien)
- Riddle Story of Devil
- Rosario + Vampire (both seasons)
- The Sacred Blacksmith
- Two Sakura Wars OVAs: Sakura Taisen: Sumire and Sakura Taisen: Ecole De Paris (The latter based on Sakura Wars 3) (FUNimation localized these themselves before rescuing the license to the movie)
- Samurai 7
- Sasami Magical Girls Club
- School Rumble (except for the 3rd Semester OVA)
- Sekai De Ichiban Tsuyoku Naritai (Wanna be the Strongest in the World!)
- Selector Infected Wixoss (Both seasons)
- Sengoku Basara (all three seasons and the movie)
- Senran Kagura (The anime adaptation, which was given a dub, unlike the original video game)
- Shakugan no Shana (Dubbed seasons 2 and 3, the OVA, and the movie) (With Geneon-Universal)
- Shigurui (quite possibly the most family-unfriendly show FUNimation has ever distributed)
- Shingu: Secret of the Stellar Wars
- Shin-chan (as a Gag Dub) (only the first series)
- Shonen Hollywood
- Slayers (seasons 4 and 5 of the TV series, Revolution and Evolution-R, dubbed with the original NYC cast at NYAV Post)
- Solty Rei
- Soul Eater
- Space Battleship Yamato: Resurrection
- Space Dandy
- Speed Grapher
- Spice and Wolf
- Strike Witches (both seasons and the movie, but not the OVAs)
- STRAIN: STRategic Armored INfantry
- Summer Wars
- Tales of Vesperia: The First Strike
- Tenchi Muyo GXP
- Tenchi Muyo: War on Geminar
- Terror in Resonance
- Tokyo ESP
- Tokyo Ghoul
- Tokyo Ravens
- Toriko (episodes 1-52)
- Trigun: Badlands Rumble
- Trinity Blood
- Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle
- Tsukuyomi Moon Phase
- Unbreakable Machine Doll
- Wolf Children Ame and Yuki (Wolf Children)
- Xxx Holic (first TV series only; sales were said to be insufficient to justify releasing later installments)
- Yona of the Dawn (got the home video license before they started the simulcast)
- YuYu Hakusho
Streaming Rights OnlyOther Releases and Sub-only Releases
- AKIRA (from Geneon and Bandai)
- Black Lagoon (the TV series, originally held by Geneon)
- Bubblegum Crisis (from ADV)
- Chobits (from Geneon)
- Code Geass (both seasons and Akito The Exiled)
- Cowboy Bebop (from Bandai)
- Crest of the Stars (main series, Banner of the Stars, and Passage of the Stars - Birth special from Bandai)
- Disgaea (expired Geneon license rescue)
- Eureka Seven (from Bandai)
- Excel Saga (from ADV)
- Fafner in the Azure: Dead Aggressor (from Geneon, along with the previously unlicensed movie)
- The Familiar of Zero (first season only; rights have since lapsed and been picked up by Sentai Filmworks)
- Full Metal Panic! (from ADV)
- FLCL (from Synch-Point)
- Gantz (from ADV)
- Girls Bravo (from Geneon)
- GUN×SWORD (from Geneon)
- Dot Hack (.hack//SIGN, .hack//Roots, .hack//Legend of the Twilight, and Dot Hack GU Trilogy from Bandai)
- Hellsing (from Geneon)
- Haibane Renmei (from Geneon)
- Ikki Tousen (Season 1 from Geneon, later picked up Great Guardians and Xtreme Xecutor in 2012)
- Initial D (from Tokyopop, and given a brand-new dub)
- Kamichu! (from Geneon)
- Karin (from Geneon)
- Last Exile (from Geneon, and later on the sequel Last Exile: Fam, the Silver Wing)
- Love Hina (from Bandai Entertainment, except the OVAs. The specials are licensed but unreleased)
- Lucky Star (from Bandai)
- Mai-HiME (from Bandai)
- The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (from Bandai, with the exception of the movie)
- Noir (From ADV)
- One Piece (from 4Kids Entertainment) (was also given a new dub)
- Outlaw Star (from Bandai)
- Sakura Wars The Movie (from Geneon)
- Samurai Champloo (from Geneon)
- Serial Experiments Lain (from Geneon)
- Shakugan no Shana (all three seasons, the OVA, and the movie, from Geneon)
- Shaman King (From 4Kids Entertainment; DVD released only)
- Slayers (the first 3 TV seasons, previously held by the now-liquidated Central Park Media)
- Tales of the Abyss (the anime, from Bandai)
- Tenchi Muyo! (the original OVA and TV series, from Geneon)
- Texhnolyze (from Geneon)
- Trigun (TV series, from Geneon)
- The Vision of Escaflowne (Both the TV series and its movie, from Bandai)
- When They Cry (from Geneon - now expired/dropped)
- Witch Hunter Robin (from Bandai)
Tropes relating to FUNimation:
- Anime Accent Absence: Occasionally averted, as in Baccano! and Hetalia.
- Completely Different Title: Does this for quite a few shows. For example, The Inland Sea Bride became My Bride Is a Mermaid.
- 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.
- Doing It for the Art: One of the major reasons why some Los Angeles and New York based voice actors are willing to work with FUNimation, being that it's located a right-to-work state, thus cheaper prices and generally a more open environment compared to Los Angeles and New York (one of the advantages is that you can actually directly call up the company doing the casting auditions and have your name put on a list. Then, on audition day you go there and take your shot in person). Heck, they even got a Canadian guy to work on a small role in Fullmetal Alchemist and in Samurai 7, and recently One Piece Film: Strong World.
- Everything Is Big in Texas
- Fanservice / Sex Sells: 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 Dragon Ball Z and Fullmetal Alchemist), much to the very annoyance of the Anime News Network editors who are quite critical of this. It wouldn't be a surprise with the shows they've licensed.
- This is most apparent with their release of Sekirei, whose tagline is "Boobies for the win!".
- Friendly Rivalry: To the Houston based Sentai Filmworks/ADV Films. Despite the said infamous lawsuit mentioned above, their respective representatives and public relations managers like to tease each other through various social media websites and some are good friends with each other. Even some of the Houston based voice actor talents have worked with Funimation from time to time and vice versa with the Dallas based talents in rare extent.note .
- In this ANNCast, it was revealed that Funimation representatives actually approve of VIZ Media's online survey.
- Gag Dubs: While most of FUNimation's dubs attempt to stay reasonably faithful to their source material, some comedy series, such as Shin-chan, Sgt. Frog, and Hetalia, receive this treatment.
- Hey, It's That Voice!: Given the company's highly centralized talent roster, anyone who watches more than a couple of their dubs will start to recognize their regulars, and is probably the one complaint fans have with them. They do occasionally spring for new talent, however.
- 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. Some voice actors have stated that many of them are not specialized to be this, because it's not FUNimation's goal.
- 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.
- No Budget: Mostly averted. Being one of the largest anime licensors in North America (besides Viz Media), when compared to Sentai Filmworks and especially Media Blasters, they have more production capabilities and enough money to occasionally hire out of state actors (such as Patrick Seitz, Christopher Corey Smith and Carrie Savage, L.A.-based voice actors who are frequent regular at FUNimation), and/or on a few occasions, outsource their dubs to other anime companies (i.e. Hellsing Ultimate (episodes 5-10), Ikki Tousen: Great Guardians and Xtreme Xecutor being dubbed by the Los Angeles-based New Generation Picturesnote ).
- No Dub for You: Almost always averted. Almost all of their licensed retail titles have English dubs, but the only retail release title as of current is Oni Ai. Ever since then, they have been releasing more titles with sub-only releases (mainly on shows that either had low streaming numbers or incredibly niche shows), but Funimation encourage their fans to watch legal streams to help increase the chances for an anime getting a dub.
- One of Us: Many of the staff and voice actors who worked with FUNimation are anime, video games, and comic book fans themselves. Some of them are deviantARTists themselves like Micah Solusod and (formerly) Alexis Tipton. The reason many of them can scream for hours on end in shonen shows is because guys like Christopher Sabat and Justin Cook, two of the original employees, were in rock bands for years prior.
- Production Posse
- Promoted Fanboy/Fangirl: Many of the company's voice actors are anime fans themselves, and translation and subtitling staff are frequently former fansubbers.
- Role Reprisal: They do their level best to keep the dubbing of properties they acquire from other dubbing studios as consistent as possible. Cases in point: Rebuild of Evangelion retained the original voice actors for most principal characters such as Shinji and Asuka, while the episodes of Hellsing Ultimate they dubbed after Geneon's closure maintains all of the original voice actors for the series, including Crispin Freeman as Alucard.
- 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.
- Shōnen (Demographic): The vast majority of their titles.
- Viewers Are Geniuses: They acquired and dubbed Xxx Holic 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 were once ADV Films regarding to the sale of assets. This divided the anime fandom even further, considering that Section23 had already quickly rebuilt 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.