ICv2 Interviews Funimation Founder Gen Fukunaga

posted on 2008-01-21 13:36 EST by Egan Loo
CEO discusses illegal/legal downloads, season boxes, format wars, future plans

The ICv2 retailer information resource has posted a two-part interview with Gen Fukunaga, the founder and CEO of the anime distributor Funimation. Fukunaga discusses the impact that illegal downloads have had on the anime industry, and says if the industry "can find a way to get rid of the gap [between the Japanese release and North American release] or get rid of the fansubs themselves before they license it, that would make a huge difference." He notes that the Japanese companies have been discussing the download issues and have been readily giving the digital download rights to Funimation. The Japanese companies have even been charging no advance fee for some licenses, in light of the weakening North American and Japanese DVD sales.

Fukunaga also acknowledges that his company is shifting away from single discs and towards season box sets. While he foresees high-definition disc media as part of the future of the industry, he still sees the DVD format as the main commercial format for "quite a long time." Finally, he says that Funimation hopes to do more live-action titles, an Afro Samurai sequel, and some unannounced "biggest acquisitions yet for the year."

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