The one thing most anime fans feared most was having a Liberal Progressive localization company in the ear of Japanese producers. Well, that’s exactly what’s happened now that Funimation has joined a Japanese production committee.
In a post published on March 12th, 2020 over on the Funimation blog, they announced that they are now working directly with and influencing Japanese anime productions.
The blog explains the role of a production committee, who basically work as the executive financiers over a production and come from various high-end corporate backgrounds. Their interest is in producing material that will give them a net return on their investment.
So what does this have to do with Funimation? Well, near the end of the post they explain the gist, writing…
“Funimation is listed on the production committee for three titles during the Winter 2020 season: Hatena Illusion, ID: INVADED and Plunderer. They’ve also been on the anime production committee for titles like Fruits Basket (2019), Fire Force and Dimension W.
“Due to the work they’ve done and the strong relationships the company has built with Japanese partners in licensing shows from them, they were invited to participate on these committees to help fund these productions directly.
“Instead of simply licensing the rights to a finished show (as companies usually do), Funimation is now able to take part ownership of some titles directly when bringing them to the rest of the world. There’s no fear about losing the rights to these shows either; they are here to stay in the Funimation library in perpetuity. Conversely, Funimation is trusted by the rest of the committee to use their international expertise to better market the show to foreign viewers and provide more detailed input to the other Japanese companies regarding what fans abroad would like to see. It’s a win-win.”
In reality it’s a lose-lose situation for real anime fans.
For anyone who has been paying attention to what’s going on in the anime industry, you would know that Funimation’s localizers have been running rampant with altering text and dialogue to suit their own sociopolitical agendas.
In the past, Funimation responded to their sociopolitical alterations by yelling out “harassment!” and hoping people would no longer pay attention, but now they decided to take things a step further by simply bypassing the localization process and dealing directly with influencing the Japanese studios directly at the source.
If they censor or change things during production, fans will never know.
This is what Sony decided to do with their PS4 censorship policies, forcing developers to alter clothing attire, CG sequences, or in-game assets to remove certain kinds of fan-service that appealed to straight males.
Funimation is essentially aiming to do the same thing, only instead of affecting games they’ll be affecting your anime.
In fact, Funimation was even brazen enough to admit they will be joining more committees and influencing more anime, rounding out the blog by writing…
“Anime is no longer focused solely on the Japanese market. Japanese companies are looking to foreign fans’ interest in titles more than ever before to increase the financial return on their investment as well as allow them to reinvest that money into new productions of ever higher animation quality. This means that subscriptions to Funimation and purchases of home video releases, digital downloads, and merchandise supervised by Funimation will help creators in Japan more directly than having a finished title licensed as-is would.
“And while it’s only been a handful of titles in the past, there’s a future where Funimation and companies like it are on the production committee for more and more shows. The more involved they get in helping these shows resonate around the world, the stronger these relationships grow, and the more people get to experience the brilliance of anime. That’s a future we’re here for!”
Centrists™ will attempt to deflect and defend this, using poorly constructed excuses like “Funimation just wants to bring more anime to Westerners!” and “Funimation did nothing wrong!”, but as I mentioned above, we’ve already seen what it looks like when the Japanese have their creative balls squeezed right at the source thanks to Sony’s censorship policies.
We’ll likely see small hints of Funimation’s influences affecting some of the anime they help produce coming out of Japan, with both the localization and the subbed versions being affected right at the source.
This is the nightmare we warned you about; this is the future you should have prevented.
(Thanks for the news tip Ebicentre)