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NEWS: Variety: Funimation Founder Gen Fukunaga Steps Down as GM


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macattack



Joined: 07 May 2011
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 1:57 pm Reply with quote
There's been rumors of big changes coming for FUNimation, and this is probably the start of them. It's going to be incredibly interesting to see what happens next.
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KitKat1721



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 2:15 pm Reply with quote
I'd imagine dubbing might stay in Texas just because of how efficient (both cost and time-wise) it is, but I wouldn't be surprised, and would even expect, to see some major changes incoming.
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lycopene



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 2:17 pm Reply with quote
Expanding beyond 6 countries would be a great start
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Aresef



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 2:29 pm Reply with quote
Stick a pin in this. I don't think Fukunaga is retiring tomorrow--he's not that old--but you wonder if he's inching closer to letting go of his remaining foothold on the company and selling to Sony the sliver Sony doesn't own. And think of what that would mean for Funimation and the anime industry writ large.

I'd compare Funimation to Power Rangers in terms of the original owners and their sentimentality. Fukunaga and his partners sold the company to Navarre for big money, he rescued it from Navarre for peanuts and then flipped nearly all of it to Sony for $143 million. Haim Saban had to surrender Power Rangers when Disney paid him and Fox way too much money for Fox Family Worldwide, he got it back from Disney for lunch money years later, and Hasbro recently paid him $500 million for the whole mess.
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Greed1914
It's Over 9000!It's Over 9000!


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 2:42 pm Reply with quote
That is interesting to see. I'm kind of curious what level of oversight he will actually have? It sounds like he won't be overly involved with the day-to-day operations, and I'm sure he already had limits to his authority with Sony owning the vast majority of the company anyway.
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GeorgeC



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 3:26 pm Reply with quote
macattack wrote:
There's been rumors of big changes coming for FUNimation, and this is probably the start of them. It's going to be incredibly interesting to see what happens next.


Oh boy...
I hope it doesn't go downhill from here.

Sony has been doing some things that have people up in arms (see: the videogame section) and the company as a whole hasn't been that healthy in years. The only part of the company really doing well is the videogame division.

Despite the occasional quality control issue, Funi generally does license better titles than most of the other companies but they also license a lot of crap, too. They have the greatest retail presence by far in the stores that still carry substantial anime sections with the exception of Barnes & Noble. Pretty much the only anime you see in those stores are the Shout/GKids Ghibli releases...
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macattack



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 3:47 pm Reply with quote
KitKat1721 wrote:
I'd imagine dubbing might stay in Texas just because of how efficient (both cost and time-wise) it is, but I wouldn't be surprised, and would even expect, to see some major changes incoming.


There's literally no advantage to moving the dubbing from Dallas to Los Angeles. It's cheaper and faster to do it in Dallas, plus Los Angeles is heavily booked with Netflix, Crunchyroll, Aniplex, Viz, etc. all commissioning dubs from the various studios there. Sony moving FUNimation's dubs there will absolutely stretch the non-union LA talent thin unless they were to commission more (expensive) union dubs and pull from that pool. However, trying to run a simuldub under SAG-AFTRA regulations is madness, as the Durarara!! dubbers soon learned. So essentially doing that would cripple a top selling point from FUNimation the last couple of years.

Sony has done some seriously boneheaded moves over the years so it wouldn't shock me if they did move the dubbing, but I will marvel at the new low in stupidity if they went ahead with it.

GeorgeC wrote:
Oh boy...
I hope it doesn't go downhill from here.

Sony has been doing some things that have people up in arms (see: the videogame section) and the company as a whole hasn't been that healthy in years. The only part of the company really doing well is the videogame division.


Sony gonna Sony, for better or worse... I think we may see things outside of dubbing move from Dallas to California so that they can keep a better eye on their new acquisition, but who knows.
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Cardcaptor Takato



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 3:59 pm Reply with quote
For all the criticisms I've had with Gen Fukunaga over the years, he did build Funimation from the ground up and was a major player in making anime the mainstream entertainment medium it is today. I hope this decision won't have a negative impact for Funimation as the American anime industry and fandom wouldn't be the same without them at the top.
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Яeverse



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 4:02 pm Reply with quote
Probably got an offer from another media company.
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Chrono1000



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 4:14 pm Reply with quote
The main concern I have is that Sony might move Funimation dubbing from Texas to California which would be a horrible decision but given recent Sony history it would not be surprising. Sony has talked about making Funimation available on all of their platforms but they have never said anything about the amount of anime they will dub.
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MarshalBanana



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 4:55 pm Reply with quote
Chrono1000 wrote:
The main concern I have is that Sony might move Funimation dubbing from Texas to California which would be a horrible decision but given recent Sony history it would not be surprising. Sony has talked about making Funimation available on all of their platforms but they have never said anything about the amount of anime they will dub.
This was said before, just after they were brought. What I do not get is why? what benefit would there be in moving dubbing over to California? I've heard that it is cheaper to dub in Texas, so that's one reason not to move, and if they wanted to dub Anime from LA, they would have just brought Bang Zoom! or Studiopolis and set them up as publishers as well as recording studios.
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shinya-kou-kougami



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 5:27 pm Reply with quote
With Gen's eventuaI full retirement I don't think anyone should be surprised when Anime censoring returns to the dub scene and US streaming in general.
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digidragon
ANN Past Staff


Joined: 08 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 5:29 pm Reply with quote
Яeverse wrote:
Probably got an offer from another media company.


Almost certainly not since he is continuing as a chairman. His statement was pretty vague about what he's still going to be doing, but it sounds like he's still playing a major role.
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Advent_Nebula



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 5:36 pm Reply with quote
When Sony bought Funimation last year, and with the departure of a few of the long standing staff last October, I knew changes were coming. I am starting to wonder now if Sony may turn Funimation into a branch of Aniplex.
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Aresef



Joined: 22 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 6:09 pm Reply with quote
Advent_Nebula wrote:
When Sony bought Funimation last year, and with the departure of a few of the long standing staff last October, I knew changes were coming. I am starting to wonder now if Sony may turn Funimation into a branch of Aniplex.


As long as Sony doesn't own all of Funimation, they can't do that. It's like how Disney owns most of ESPN but not all of ESPN, so when ABC has college football, it's branded like "ESPN on ABC."

But if they did own all of Funimation, I'm not sure if they'd do that. Funimation is a name brand in and of itself, and what they do is more full-service than what Aniplex does and what Aniplex of America does. Right now, Aniplex is under SME Japan, a totally different branch of Sony.

It's possible they could find efficiencies. Bandai Entertainment (which was organized under Bandai America) absorbed Bandai Visual USA in 2008, but they were both more or less in the same business. Aniplex of America distributes Aniplex shows and other productions. But they don't make dubs in-house. They have to get another company like Bang Zoom to do that.

Disclosure: I work for the company that owns the rest of ESPN.
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