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Creator / Funimation

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Crunchyroll, LLC, previously known as FUNimation Productions, FUNimation Entertainment and Funimation Global Group, is an anime dubbing and distribution company owned by Sony Pictures Television. It is currently based in Coppell, Texas (a suburb of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex). Founded by Gen Fukunaga on May 9, 1994, 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 the company 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 2000s, Funimation was a respectably sized anime distributor but not considered one of the "Big Three" - which (depending on who you ask) were ADV Films, Geneon, and Bandai Entertainment. 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 used to have a small fraction of the market share that Funimation enjoys. Yet Sentai and newcomer Aniplex USA have risen tremendously and Funi's own share of the market and titles have decreased significantly. Also, Nozomi Entertainment, Discotek Media, and Crunchyroll (starting in 2016, due to actually starting to fund dubs in addition to home video releases) have also chipped away at Funimation's monopoly. However it's still the leading distributor of anime in the U.S.

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 had previously made a number of their titles available for free on their website, and 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 Noitamin A 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 ran their own digital cable channel, which was the only linear anime-exclusive, television network (before they ended their partnership with channel owner Olympusat, who subsequently replaced the linear network with TOKU in 2015, while Funimation relaunched the channel as a digital streaming service in 2016). 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 overlapping situations in all their shows, and who have gained growing popularity among fans.

Funimation currently holds the rights for almost all GONZO propertiesnote , 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. 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.

The company 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. The Dragon Box releases are, as of 2015, out of print.

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 established a joint venture, known as "Funico", where Nico Nico handled the online streaming while Funimation handled the home video distribution.

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

When Toonami 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.

On June 23, 2015, Funimation entered a multi year deal with Universal Studios Home Entertainment, in which it managed the distribution of all Funimation DVD and Blu-ray releases.

On September 9, 2016, Funimation entered a deal with Crunchyroll, in which they would distribute some of Crunchyroll's licensed shows on home video, in addition to creating dubs for them, while Crunchyroll would show some of Funimation's simulcast shows in a sub-only format. The business partnership formally ended on October 10, 2018, mainly due to the acquisition of Funimation by Sony Pictures (and vice versa with Crunchyroll's parent company acquired by AT&T). Coincidentally, this acquisition put Funimation under the same corporate roof as Aniplex and A-1 Pictures.

On July 31, 2017, Sony Pictures Television acquired a 95% stake in Funimation for $143 million while Fukunaga retained his position with a 5% share. Then, on December 9, 2020, AT&T agreed to sell Crunchyroll to Sony for $1.175 billion. It was eventually approved by regulators on August 9, 2021, finally bringing the Crunchyroll and Funimation properties under one roof.

On March 1, 2022, it was announced that Funimation's content would be migrating to Crunchyroll. It was also announced that the company would be renamed Crunchyroll, LLC, with the Funimation brand being phased out.

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:

    open/close all folders 

    Series Localized by Funimation 
Series they localized themselves (and released on home video)

    License Rescues 
Series dubbed and acquired from other, now defunct, distributors.

ADV Films Rescues

Bandai Entertainment Rescues

Geneon Rescues


    Expired Licenses 
Anime in which Funimation have at one point dubbed and distributed, but no longer hold the rights to.

Funimation's works provide examples of:

  • Advertising by Association: They use the "from the studio" variant in quite a few of its trailers, which is odd as it merely licenses and translates released works from a variety of companies.
  • Anime Accent Absence: Occasionally averted, as in Baccano! and Hetalia.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • The original video release of Sankarea included the censored TV broadcast instead of the uncensored version on the Japanese home video release. In 2015, Funimation re-released the series on home video with the uncensored version intact and the censored version has since been discontinued.
    • Averted with the release of Ben-To. Funimation almost included the censored version in the home video release but caught on to this before the release date. As such, the release was moved from summer 2014 to early 2015.
    • In their re-release for The Vision of Escaflowne, the initial plan was that only backers receiving the limited edition would get the original English dub on a separate DVD. However, it was then revealed that the original dub would be available on all editions of the release and not a backer exclusive.
    • Funimation's re-release of Code Geass R2 came out in a state where both audio channels were mono instead of being stereo. After enough fans addressed this, Funimation made an announcement that they would look into the issue and try to get stereo audio in future prints of the release.
    • After receiving a lot of complaints about the English dub of Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc for replacing everyone's voices from the game except for Naegi,note  they decided to bring most of the dub cast of Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair for the dub of Danganronpa 3 with only Gundham, Akane, Fuyuhiko, Ibuki, Peko and the ultimate impostor not coming back.
    • Their broadcast dub of Prison School received backlash for including a Gamergate reference.note  The home video release ended up removing the line in question.
    • The Dragon Boxes were this to the hardcore fans of Dragon Ball Z, especially the Japanese version, while the Level sets were this to the general Dragon Ball community due to the Orange Bricks being really bad and reviewed poorly by the fans that were videophiles. Unfortunately, the Dragon Boxes were limited while the Levels were cancelled after two volumes, even though they showed in a special feature and initial listings online that they had a lot more episodes ready to go, because they released them at a poor time after two back-to-back releases of the show that people already bought, which resulted in them not getting enough money back on their investment versus how much they spent to remaster the series into HD.
    • After being criticized for years for their refusal to maintain a presence in Latin America, in July 2020, Funimation announced that they would expand their service in Mexico and Brazil in Fall 2020.
  • Cast Full of Pretty Boys: Due to the number of shonen titles that they have licensed in the past, Funimation is very likely to license and dub anime titles that features this cast.
  • Completely Different Title: Funimation uses this for quite a few series. For example, Seto no Hanayome (The Inland Sea Bride) became My Bride is a Mermaid.
  • Digital Piracy Is 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, which has earned some criticism from some circles of the internet.
    • Their anti-piracy and fansub stance is pretty much the reason why they briefly lost simulcast rights for Fractale. Unlike Anime News Network where they got Oreimo back within several weeks, Funimation managed to get the Fractale simulcast back within a few days.
  • Doing It for the Art:
  • 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 Shōnen 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!".
  • Gag Dub:
  • Joshikousei: Their latest logo, which debuted in the late '10s, features a seifuku-wearing girl popping up for a second and flashing a V-Sign.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: Thanks to certain series rights expiring, they are either sold at outrageous prices, or are not available at all. Notable examples include:
    • A few of their old DVD distributions for 4Kids Entertainment ceased production.
    • In 2015, their license for Karin expired.
    • In 2016, their licenses to many of their Aniplex produced series note  ended up expiring.
    • Dragon Ball Z has this on multiple levels. The original 1990s dub was redone in certain places for the the 2000s Orange Bricks, and the Falcouner music was rearranged in some places as well; the only way to hear the originals is with the old Pioneer DVDs. Further, the first home release of the show in 4:3 without heavy DNR were the Dragon Boxes, which were released only in a single wave and fetch very high prices today. The second, the Level sets, were put out of circulation after only two volumes so that they could be replaced with something more marketable (a.k.a. cropped to widescreen and DNR'd to kingdom come).
  • Man of a Thousand Voices:
  • Money, Dear Boy: This is the reason why many of their actors only appear to stick around for a handful of years. For example, a number of the actors in the dub of Fullmetal Alchemist (2003) are all now in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, dubbing anime pays very little compared to other acting jobs, and most like to reach for union jobs instead of Funimation's non-union ones.
  • Network to the Rescue: Once they struck a business deal with Crunchyroll, Funimation focused a lot of their licensing efforts on securing the rights to popular series that had previously been floating in limbo such as Gosick and Hyouka. That's not to mention all of their license pickups from distributors that had went belly-up, which is listed on the main page.
  • Multiple Demographic Appeal: They license various titles that appeal to different demographics, not just the popular Shōnen shows.
  • No Budget: In the early days, this was very much the case: Part-way into DBZ, they dropped working with Canadian dubbing company Ocean to hire new, much cheaper voice actors practically off the street who could work locally in Texas.
  • No Export for You:
    • From its beginnings until 2022, Funimation was a very restrictive company with its licenses, especially outside the countries where it operates. For example, access to official information that was not available outside of the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Peru. Even after unification with Crunchyroll in 2022, many parts of Asia are still blocked from the Funimation website.
    • However, after its announcement of expansion into Latin America and Crunchyroll's subsequent purchase of Funimation, Funimation began expanding all of its licenses, including Spanish and Portuguese dubbing of older titles and its famous SimulDubs. Also, Funimation began to offer anime movies throughout Latin America along with Sony Pictures, which meant that countries like Ecuador, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Uruguay, the Dominican Republic or Venezuela, countries that don't have much anime movie releases because these licenses were managed by Mexican distributors and sold to cinema chain Cinepolis that doesn't operate in those markets, they can have access to said films as the rest of Latin America.
    • On March 1, 2022, after the announcement of the unification of its entire catalog and the catalog of all anime streaming platforms belonging to Sony Pictures with Crunchyroll, Funimation officially stops restricting its licenses to countries such as South Africa, Spain, Portugal and Italy and will offer them worldwide within Crunchyroll, except the ones that were licensed at the time by local distributors.
  • Old Shame:
    • There are several anime series Funimation licensed over the years they are not proud of. Mamotte! Lollipop is one of them. Anime fans who've seen it tend to agree with them.
    • After Funimation's business partnership with Crunchyroll ended, they still maintained the pages for all of the Crunchyroll series they were no longer hosting. All of them except for Hand Shakers, which immediately got nuked.
  • Passing the Torch: In cases when an older actor is retiring or in poor health, an effort is made to allow them to pick successors for their roles and let them gradually ease into them. For example, Pam Dougherty took over for Juli Erickson as Tsuru in One Piece after the latter's retirement.
  • Promoted Fanboy: Many of the company's voice actors are anime fans themselves, and translation and subtitling staff are frequently former fansubbers.
  • Schedule Slip:
    • Occasionally, a simulcast/broadcast-dub episode is late to be posted online due to production issues, but they're very good at notifying fans beforehand.
    • Due to releasing Season 2 of Heaven's Lost Property ahead of schedule,note  any titles distributed by Kadokawa in Japan were DVD-only until two years later when a separate Blu-ray release came out.
    • Funimation licensed both A Certain Magical Index and A Certain Scientific Railgun in 2010, but weren't able to get either series out on home video until 2012 since Geneon Universal ordered them to hold off on their release. Similar to the situation above, the initial releases for both seasons of both series were DVD-only since Geneon just released the Blu-rays in Japan around that time.
    • Thanks to the COVID-19 Pandemic, all of their dubs were put on hiatus for months starting in mid-March 2020 in order to arrange for their voice actors to record safely from home. Even after their dubs started up again, there is frequently an extra week or two between episodes being released.
  • Typecasting: 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.
  • Viewers Are Geniuses: They acquired and dubbed ×××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.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Funimation Entertainment


Skypiea's names changes

For the Cartoon Network broadcasts, Funimation's One Piece dub used an 'edited' set of names inherited from the 4Kids dub. The uncut DVD version replaced these with more accurate adaptations of the Japanese names.<br><br>The "IQ Love Test" becomes an "Ordeal of Love", the "Knights" becomes "Priests", "Loftra" becomes "Shandora", and "Wyler" becomes "Wyper"

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / DubNameChange

Media sources: