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 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. 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
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. 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 Corpse Princess
and Full Metal Panic: The Second Raid
and are now doing this with newer Noitamin A
series and 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....less awesome
Needless to say, the company is now held in very
high regard among anime fans, despite forming a base of hatedom for those very reasons listed above, and they seem determined to hold to their current course. 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. 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
, 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 Samurai7
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.
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.
For a list of FUNimation
regulars, head to Names to Know in Anime
\Dub Voice Actors\Texas.
Series licensed by this company include (takes a deep breath...):Series they localized themselves
Series acquired from ADV in Summer 2008License Rescues
- .hack//Quantum (The first .hack// to be released by FUNimation)
- Afro Samurai
- Appleseed XIII
- Aria The Scarlet Ammo
- Asobi Ni Iku Yo ("Cat Planet Cuties")
- Axis Powers Hetalia (given a Gag Dub)
- Aquarion and Aquarion Evol
- B Gata H Kei ("Yamadas First Time")
- Baka And Test Summon The Beasts (both seasons and the OVA between them)
- Bamboo Blade
- Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad
- Big Windup
- Birdy the Mighty (DECODE TV series)
- Black Blood Brothers
- Black Butler
- Black Cat
- Black Lagoon: OVA - "Roberta's Blood Trail"
- Blessing of the Campanella
- Blue Gender
- Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai ("Haganai")
- Burst Angel
- El Cazador de la Bruja
- Cube X Cursed X Curious
- C The Money And Soul Of Possibility
- A Certain Magical Index (as well as A Certain Scientific Railgun)
- Casshern Sins
- Chaos Head
- Chrome Shelled Regios
- Corpse Princess
- Dance in the Vampire Bund
- Darker Than Black
- Date A Live
- Deadman Wonderland
- Desert Punk
- Detective Conan (known as "Case Closed" due to DC Comics's ironclad trademark on the name "Conan")
- D.Gray-Man (as of May 2012, only the first 51 episodes)
- Dragon Ball
- Dragon Ball GT
- Dragon Ball Kai
- Dragon Ball Z
- Dragonaut The Resonance
- Eden Of The East
- Eureka Seven AO
- Fairy Tail (72 episodes and the movie)
- 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; Funi was in charge of packaging, DVD authoring, and distribution. Funi now hold this license outright, though)
- Ga-Rei -Zero-
- Gad Guard
- The Galaxy Railways
- Guilty Crown
- Gunslinger Girl (first series as well as Il Teatrino and accompanying OVA)
- Heaven's Lost Property
- Hell Girl (first season only)
- Hellsing Ultimate: Episodes 5-8
- Is This A Zombie (full rights for the first season, so far just streaming for the second)
- High School D×D
- Kamisama Kiss
- 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)
- Last Exile: Fam, the Silver Wing
- The Legend of The Legendary Heroes
- Lupin III (nine of the TV specials, "Dead or Alive" film, and The Woman Called Fujiko Mine)
- Mahou Sensei Negima! (only the two TV series and the Spring / Summer OVAs)
- Maken Ki
- Master Of Martial Hearts
- Michiko & Hatchin
- Mirai Nikki ("The Future Diary")
- Mr Stain On Junk Alley
- 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 far more accurate dub; needless to say the fans rejoiced)
- Oretachi Ni Tsubasa Wa Nai ("We Without Wings")
- Ouran High School Host Club
- Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt
- Peach Girl
- Phantom ~Requiem for the Phantom~
- Princess Jellyfish
- Rebuild of Evangelion
- Ride Back
- Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles
- Romeo X Juliet
- Rumbling Hearts (a.k.a. Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien)
- The Sacred Blacksmith
- Rosario + Vampire (both seasons)
- Samurai 7
- Sasami: Magical Girls Club
- School Rumble (except for the 3rd Semester OVA)
- Sengoku Basara
- Senran Kagura
- Shangri La
- Shigurui (quite possibly the most family-unfriendly show Funimation has ever distributed)
- Shingu: Secret of the Stellar Wars
- Shin Chan (as a Gag Dub)
- Slayers (seasons 4 and 5 of the TV series, Revolution and Evolution-R, dubbed with the original NYC cast)
- Solty Rei
- Soul Eater
- Space Battleship Yamato: Resurrection
- Speed Grapher
- Spice And Wolf
- Strike Witches
- Steins Gate
- STRAIN: STRategic Armored INfantry
- Summer Wars
- Tales Of Vesperia: The First Strike
- Tenchi Muyo GXP
- Tenchi Muyo!: Isekai No Seikishi Monogatari ("War on Geminar")
- Trigun: Badlands Rumble
- Trinity Blood
- Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE
- Tsukuyomi: Moon Phase
- xxxHOLiC (first TV series only; sales were said to be insufficient to justify releasing later installments)
- YuYu Hakusho
Streaming Rights OnlyOther
- Armitage III (from Geneon)
- AKIRA (expired Bandai rescue)
- Black Lagoon (the TV series, originally held by Geneon)
- Bubblegum Crisis (from ADV)
- Chobits (from Geneon)
- Disgaea (expired Geneon license rescue)
- Excel Saga (from ADV)
- Fafner In The Azure (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)
- Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu (ditto)
- FLCL (from Synch-Point)
- Gantz (from ADV)
- Girls Bravo (from Geneon)
- Gun X Sword (from Geneon)
- 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 OVA's. The specials are licensed but unreleased)
- 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)
- Sonic X (from 4Kids Entertainment)
- Tenchi Muyo! (the original OVA and TV series, from Geneon)
- Tenchi in Tokyo (from Geneon)
- Tenchi Universe (from Geneon)
- Texhnolyze (from Geneon)
- Trigun (TV series, from Geneon)
- When They Cry (from Geneon - now expired/dropped)
- 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 LA and New York based voice actors are willing to work with Funimation. Heck, they even got a Canadian guy to work on a small role in Fullmetal Alchemist.
- Fanservice: 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 to this trope. 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!".
- 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. 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 Shōnen 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.
- One of Us: Many of the staff and voice actors who worked with Funimation are anime, video games, and comic book geeks 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 Chris Sabat and Justin Cook, two of the original employees, were in rock bands for years prior!
- Production Posse
- Promoted Fanboy (or Fangirl): Many of the company's voice acting regulars are anime fans themselves, and translation and subtitling staff are frequently former fansubbers.
- 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.
- Sex Sells: See the Fanservice entry.
- 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 Xxx HO Li C 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.