Some of Funimation’s localizations of original Japanese animated cartoons contains sociopolitical commentary that was not present in the original. This issue came to a head recently when Hajimete no Gal (also known as My First Girlfriend is a Gal in English) had an episode that drastically altered the dialogue from what it was originally supposed to be, in order to include typical “Progressive” or SJW talking points. Many fans wrote to Funimation about the issue, made threads on Reddit, and tweeted at them on the official Twitter account about keeping personal politics out of the localization process. Well, Funimation responded by veering the conversation away from localization and onto the topic of harassment and doxing.
The message came about six days after the topic blew up and started making its way around the anime community. A lot of people began blaming a specific voice actress and writer at Funimation for the sociopolitical topics popping up in anime localizations that weren’t there in the original.
You can read the response below, which was made available via a tweet.
A message to our community 💜 pic.twitter.com/2d1mbM01En
— Funimation (@FUNimation) September 30, 2017
If you’re unable to read the message in the tweet, it states…
“We at Funimation want to have an open dialogue with fans. We welcome your praise, as well as your criticism and suggestions for improvement.
“As fans and members of the anime community, there will be things that we don’t all agree on and there is always room for discussion and vocalizing those viewpoints. However, harassment, doxxing, threats, or cruelty of any kind, are unacceptable and will be taken very seriously. There is no place for that in this community, from any side.
“We are always listening and always striving to be better. Let’s do it together.”
It’s an odd message because Funimation doesn’t add any context whatsoever as to why people have been sending them messages and what “criticisms” are even being addressed, nor does it explain the issue at hand regarding the localization.
The message is supposedly in response to the various boycott threads that were popping up after the Hajimete no Gal incident found its way around the regular anime community circles. Others organized communities to send messages and letters to Funimation about removing politicized agendas from the localization that do not appear in the original shows.
This is the third major incident involving an anime that was localized to reiterate common talking points found in Social Justice Warrior circles. One of the other more notorious moments that took place was in an episode of Prison School, where the writers decided to take a dig at the #Gamergate consumer revolt, as reported by Niche Gamer.
Many anime fans pointed out on the Twitter thread that the response from Funimation side-stepped the actual topic at hand, and creates deflection that refocuses the conversation on harassment instead of the politicized talking points making their way into the dubbed versions of the shows even though many of those talking points were not present in the original Japanese version.
Heres wot u should do 2 make your company better. I want more stricter policies on localization. No Shoving Unrelated Politics to your dubs.
— 第六人 (@That_Sixth_Guy) September 30, 2017
Fans have found instances where Funimation localizers have included using terms such as “SJW”, “Cuck”, “Patriarchy” and “Misogynist nerds” in the English dubs. These terms have become popularized in Western media outlets with strong Left-leaning biases.
Just like in gaming, many anime fans say that they escape to watch the shows to get away from the overly politicized nature of today’s media.