Oh Funi

Article — By on November 28, 2012 1:17 am

This post was written by Dark_Sage. He is Dark_Sage.

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So I was watching Jormungand, trying to catch up on the series for my season 2 reviews. Turns out deciding to watch it from Funimation wasn’t the best of ideas.

How Do I Watched Anime?

Finding out how to watch simulcasts on Funimation is a fucking process.

1. http://www.funimation.com/

2. Click Simulcast under the Videos menu http://www.funimation.com/videos/simulcast

3. Find the series you want to watch. http://www.funimation.com/jormungand/videos

4. Try to click on the episode you want to watch, then realize that clicking on the fucking video thumbnail won’t take you to the fucking show. No, you need to click the fucking link beneath it that looks more like episode information than an actual link.

5. Flip the fuck out because Funi won’t let you watch the show.

The fuck is this? I’m an American, goddammit!

6. Make a fucking Funimation account because maybe that’ll work.

Those are Funi’s mascots. This is what Funi actually thinks their audience will like.

7. Log in, cross fingers.

And it works! …for some reason.

Well, okay. I suppose if this was a one-time thing, I can deal. Just so long as I don’t have to deal with ads and stupidity.


Ads and Stupidity

So we start off with 30 seconds’ worth of ads. Okay, I can deal with that to watch some anime. Looks like their marketers are drinking some kind of kool-aid though, because they actually think I’m going to tweet this ad and say it’s relevant to me.

(Yeah, keep arguing that B-tier business school was so selective, you washed-up cunts.)


After the ads I was ready to start my fun, but what’s this?

Oh, that’s right. This is why I watch fansubs.

In case you’re trying to figure out what the singer was saying, she’s saying “Eenie meeny, miny, moe” in English.


Anyway, the OP finished playing and then I ran into another set of ads.

You aren’t NBC, Funi. This isn’t going to work.

90 seconds, great. All in all, it’s about 4 minutes’ worth of ads to watch this show. Yuck.


After I finished the show, I tried to watch the next episode and got this:

Well done, Funi.

What a great experience. This makes me want to watch more of this show from Funimation.com and not go out and download the series instead.


History Repeats Itself

For those of you who don’t remember Funi’s failed attempt at streaming on NicoNico, Funimation entered into a joint venture with NicoNico for simulcasts. It was 25 cents for a two-season pass, so I bought in. Ended up watching Last Exile – Fam on it (if you remember, SFWhine subbed the show) where each episode maxed out at 200 views. For those of you new to the internet, that’s really bad.

So quite obviously, the venture crashed and burned. They canceled their partnership, the links are all dead, and nothing was ever heard of the venture again (not even for us saps who put 25 cents into this fucking project).

For more information, have some CrunchyRoll gloating.


Why does this matter? Well, it doesn’t seem like their attempt at streaming on Hulu.com is working any better.


Numbers ‘n Shit

It’s been about 7 months since the episode I watched aired, and this is how well it’s done on social media:

Season 1, Episode 5

And here’s an episode from season 2, so you can’t blame it on being a new/unknown streaming service.

Season 2, Episode 7

Remember that this is an exclusive simulcast. I don’t have access to how many actual hits these episodes got, but I can assure you the numbers must be dismal if they were only able to persuade one twittard to like each ep. Who wants to bet it was a Funi staff member who tweeted both times?


For comparison, this is what the latest episode of Lychee Light Club got on Crunchyroll:

If you’ve even heard of this series, you probably ignored it or watched the first episode and dropped it because it was so shit. Yet somehow it managed to significantly outdo Funi’s Jormungand. Hilariously pathetic.



All in all, stop sucking shit, Funi. If you don’t develop some robust streaming offerings, Crunchyroll will have absolutely no competition at all. And from what we’ve seen of this season (CR’s 13 licensed shows), that’s not terribly good for anyone. Competition’s good, but you’re shit competition, Funi. Step it the fuck up.

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Xythar says:

I can’t even get Funi to work through a US proxy anymore. I’d almost think this was some brilliant move to defeat international viewers but I think it’s more likely that their player just sucks ass.

I wanted to go through and make a fixed gg batch of the first season before s2 began but I never had time :(

Nyangoro says:

Ugh, don’t even remind me about Lychee Light Club. After I heard it would be a comedy, I was a few vodka glasses away from learning how to construct nuclear missiles from empty toilet paper rolls and an unopened bottle of Dr. Pepper.

Starra says:

FUNi really doesn’t understand the Internet, do they?

shaneoyo says:

“In case you’re trying to figure out what the singer was saying, she’s saying “Eenie meeny, miny, moe” in English.”

To be fair, the fansub experience was similar at the time because of incomprehensible engrish.

However I’m confused – Don’t Funi have to play by the same rules as Crunchy, and not translate licensed songs until the official lyrics are released?

In any case they clearly couldn’t be bothered updating their script after the official lyrics came out, unlike CR does.

Xythar says:

No, they get official lyrics from the start. Someone fucked up, probably similar to this screenshot which I’m just gonna leave here.

Note: This was the last line of an otherwise unsubbed song.

shaneoyo says:

Oh, interesting.

Government says:

Try watching videos on Funimation’s YT channel. 3 or 4 whopping ads for each episode which is streamed in glorious 360p riddled with subtitle errors. It’s almost like Funi wants us to grab a fansub release.

Ryo says:

Fansubs > “Official” subs anyday. Has anyone ever bought a DVD that came with good subs?

Xythar says:

I wouldn’t know. When I watch DVDs I use the dub track ( ̄ー ̄)

animegio says:

Nozomi/RightStuf is generally pretty fine.

Will says:

Yeah, 95% of the time they have better translations.

Niggz says:

Every single film festival animu ever. Also Madman’s got some great stuff.

colormekevo says:

Just an idea maybe to compete against CR… I think they should release all their series with the commercials encoded in the release. Make their site really easy to use internationally, then stream not only from that site but every major free streaming site around(youtube, veoh, etc). Then they would have the views to boast to their advertisers why it is a good idea to go with them. Hire great karaoke and typesetter guys(something they have needed to do for years)for their BD\DVD releases. Make a trailer early on of the series with these included in there and stream it on all sites they released on. They could have the dub voices in the trailer already and if it is only going to be a sub version, have a better style than the one streamed. Two seasons like this and then stream 1st episode of the series at all free sites with link to main site for more(provided they got that crap fixed). Two more seasons like that and add more series, then try to add pay membership at a cost that undercuts CR. Probably some holes in these ideas because it came off the top of my head. Tell me what they are.

mina says:

Heyoooo I work for FUNimation.

Definitely agree with a lot of the UI criticisms. Unfortunately, all I can say right now is “they’re working on it…” There’s some stuff coming down the pipeline that we can’t talk about, but we think it’ll be a big help. Of course, I know FUNi has to prove itself so certainly don’t take it from me.

PLEASE send your criticisms to [email protected] or [email protected]. I may have trolled around enough to find your page, but most in the building are too busy to do so. The people responsible actually read these things, and when you take the time to send it to them, they really think you’re serious about your opinions.

Anyway, to address a couple things:
– Funi does get the lyrics of songs from Japan, and they may not correct the Engrish on some of them :/ I’m personally a crazy sub purist so I do wish official subs were a little more Japanesey weeaboo, but unfortunately I don’t have much influence on that. This is a bit defensive, but I think it is kind of worth pointing out that fansubs currently are trending away from literal translation (in favor of more natural, localized speech) and from fancy karaoke– basically more like gg’s fansubs or whatever– so the gap between fansubs and official is actually decreasing quite a bit. I’d like it if official subs met halfway though, definitely.
– The ads are kind of required by the Japanese licensors. Funi splits ad revenue with the licensor, and Japan is currently still VERY wary of simulcasts (the “lost sale” mentality is still strong there, unfortunately). I can’t speak for Jormungand or any specific licensor, but ultimately, when a licensor deals with Funimation, they want a DVD release out of it, and an ad-free (or even ad-light) simulcast can seem counterproductive to this. Of course, when a venture is actually successful, North American companies have a lot more leverage with the licensor (e.g. Viz was able to get Shonen Jump Alpha to release simultaneously when its venture did well), so hopefully fixing the UI/web issues can lead to more viewership which can lead to less ads overall, or something.

mina says:

ANYWAY, yeah. Speaking VERY personally, I think subs should cater more to the fansub crowd, and dubs should be for the people who don’t want to see on-screen liner notes or Japanese pop culture references. I kind of joined the industry because I want to see stuff like this happen (www) and people like me are infiltrating the industry more, but it’s a slow process. Unfortunately, FUNi just does not have a good grasp on how much the people like me (or some of you people in the comments) who want their senpais and itadakimasus and stuff in their subs will actually buy their products. I firmly believe sub purists are a significant part of anime fandom, but it’s unclear if they’re a significant part of anime PURCHASERS, since statistically people who buy R1 anime either a) are more casual and don’t care or b) are more hardcore and buy for the show regardless of the adaptation, even if it means importing $80 DVDs (or c) are Japanese and reverse-importing, which is actually A Big Deal). I’d actually love to hear some of your thoughts on how, I guess, employees like me and people in fandom can convince companies like Funi that catering to sub fans will result in more sales– and likewise, how, if Funi does start doing those more literal subs, how they can convince fans to buy what they wanted for free.

dude says:

You are an idiot with no idea what proper translation involves. There’s a significant difference between a purist and a weeaboo, and you fall squarely into the latter camp. If you actually are part of the industry and people like you are “infiltrating” it, I weep for its future.

mina says:

All right, I took a guess at what rhetoric people-who-staunchly-prefer-fansubs would like, and I guessed wrong. I certainly apologize if you think I was calling you a weeaboo. All I’m trying to say is that I’d like to open up a dialogue between fans and industry regarding things that fans find important– translation style– but of course, that kind of thing is a two-way street.

At some level, people in industry believe that fans who make a big deal about not buying products due to translation style will never be satisfied, even when the industry hires fansubbers and scanlators, because they aren’t interested in paying money for anime in the first place. I would like to believe that is not the case, but I suppose I’m being a bit naive.

Dark_Sage says:

I think you’ll find the number of people who want senpais and itadakimasus in their subs are going to be significantly outnumbered on this site by those who don’t. While I will concede that it is more likely that people who are interested in watching subs over dubs will be more likely to enjoy more Japanesey subs, I don’t think it’s a deal breaker or a deal maker for them.

And I could write a long article about what makes me decide to purchase a given anime media product and I don’t think subtitle translation style would factor heavily in at all. Release quality? Yes, for sure. In fact, I refuse to buy Sentai products at retail because of their bottom-tier visual quality (their subtitles make my eyes bleed). But translation style (liberal vs. literal) wouldn’t even cross my mind.

In terms of purchasing, you may be surprised at how much the people who have strong opinions about subtitles actually buy. From a cursory glance at my collection, I have over 80 Funimation titles. We do buy anime, but if you’re wondering why we don’t buy enough as a whole, that’s an entirely different matter from the translation style discussion you’re interested in having. (Which I and (I’m sure) others would be glad to discuss if you’re still interested.)

Also, a few minutes’ worth of background research would probably give you a better idea as to what a given community would respond favorably to. That being said, thanks for taking your time to interact with us a representative of your company. I certainly appreciate your willingness to come here and talk to us.

mina says:

Funi does a lot of survey research, so I know the hard data certainly backs up everything you’ve said. It’s not something I like to say aloud, but it does seem translation quality is more often used as a reason to not buy a product that people were already uninterested in paying for… as opposed to the more legitimate concerns of people willing to buy quality products like yourself.

I guess that, as a fan who grew up on fansubs and always made the excuse that they were “good for the industry as free promotion,” I’m always a little disheartened to hear people say that they won’t buy official releases because of adaptation; it’s like I’m looking at myself from 10 years ago, mistakes of youth and all that. I am pretty interested in trying to capture the people who are between casual and hardcore– people who watch fansubs and have intense reasons to not buy products– and at some level I think this is just as important than getting people who buy to buy more, because the former grows the industry. I was That Kind of fan for most of my fanhood, but I started collecting after realizing how fun it is and feeling that I wanted to really be involved in anime, so I feel like “converting” is still possible… But perhaps this is a lost cause; I don’t know, but it seems to be the prevailing attitude that these people will never buy, which makes me sad. I’m still a greenhorn to the industry so I haven’t been jaded enough to lose hope yet, haha.

(Wow, maybe I’m speaking a little too candidly.) Anyway, apologies for not really doing my research on this site– kind of just found it on a link– but I’ll stick around and read more.

Dark_Sage says:

I don’t think fansubs limit the demand for physical products, I really don’t. Those terrible fansubs I watched back in the day introduced anime as a legitimate medium to me and I turned out to be an overzealous consumer, for example. Those same fansubs brought you into the anime industry. We’re both good examples of why that logic doesn’t work.

I do find it difficult to wrap my head around people making the argument that they won’t buy an anime because the subs aren’t wapanese enough. I don’t doubt that you’ve heard that from people, but I haven’t heard anything of the sort from the those who I talk to. I’m not even sure where they’d find these subs that are up to their expectations, because there are very few fansubs that cater exclusively to waps with very Japanesey subs (and I should know, since I watch *every* fansub). So, I’d wager their hesitation to buy physical product may be linked to something else.

Don’t worry about not looking around the site before posting. Just take it as advice if you want to visit other communities around the web in an official capacity, since they each have their own quirks.

mina says:

My personal belief on fansubs is that it’s impossible to say that they “help” or “hurt” spending. I know I bought a lot more anime than I would have otherwise because of fansubs. I also know that some people who would have bought anime decide they won’t because they can get it free– it’s not necessarily anything against them, everyone prioritizes their money differently. Sometimes these two types are the same person. Who knows?

My own preference in translation is highly specific, but I guess I kind of know it’s impossible to find a product that matches that exactly. Even if most fansubs aren’t very wapanesey (and the most popular groups seem to be pushing away from that), I think there’s still that overall impression that there is a significant difference between fansub and official. (Well, at the very least, we know Funimation would never put out hundreds of pages of PDFs with notes about every thing written on the blackboard in Pani Poni Dash.) I’ve heard things like “I won’t buy anime because the subtitles are yellow and there’s no karaoke” even from friends who know what I do for a living, and, well, I’d assume it’s not the real reason but only that person can know, I suppose…

ZEROibis says:

I often find that the reason I do not buy something like the Blu-Ray set is more of an issue with the medium. If I was to buy the Blu-Ray I would want to be able to organize the series in XBMC as individual files ie host it on my home server. So now I also got to break the encryption and jump though a bunch of hoops so it can be stored in a permanent easily accessible medium on my home server. As a result it is safer to just dl it b/c I know that I can have the viewing experience I want and then I use the money to buy figurines.

Honestly if I could officially buy anime on a flash drive or something where I can easily transfer the videos for playback I would buy it in a flash. However this is a limitation of distributions models.

As for the box sets I think they are great and I hope that we see more subbed box sets with art work n shit for more series. These are worth buying b/c even though I will likely never use the Disc that comes in there b/c of the medium, I will enjoy all the other shit.

One thing I will say about box sets is that the US market misses opportunities as to what sort of stuff to put in them to really boost demand. For example the lack of a metal upa in the Steins;Gate box set is a missed opportunity.

dude says:

I apologize for my harsh tone. But yes, while translation style is not an outright dealbreaker for me, I do care about the subject, and consider subtitles full of random untranslated Japanese annoying and distracting. A quality translation is supposed to bring across what as said in one language into another language. This doesn’t just boil down to the meaning of the words themselves, the tone, delivery, and general feel of the line needs to be carried across as well. Leaving pet words in untranslated Japanese goes completely against this, and it comes across as lazy and unprofessional. The industry should stay away from this practice at all costs.

mina says:

Hey, it’s cool; it’s the internet, after all, and outing myself as a Funi employee is kind of asking for it anyway. Thanks though, I appreciate it.

I probably read too much fuckyeahanimesubs to ever take the notion that fansubs are almost always better than official seriously, and no, I don’t actually think leaving itadakimasu is a good idea (“Who dares jama suru my taikanshiki?”). At the same time, there certainly are a lot of “Geez, if Funimation didn’t translate onee-sama as Sissy, this would actually be watchable!” comments, and, well, manga has trended a bit more purist lately and that seems to be working well for them? Not sure. Would love to know how publishers like Yen Press fare against Viz or ex-Tokyopop stuff, series and marketing spend aside, when readers have one less reason to not buy the stuff they’re reading on MangaFox.

lygerzero0zero says:

Personally, I’m glad people from companies are listening. A lot has changed about what fans want from a translation as the audience as a whole has become more familiar with the source culture (would licensors have even considered honorifics in the 90’s?), and I see nothing wrong with loosening up and allowing for a more liberal approach as opposed to sticking to the conservative, domesticating translation style that is standard for most publishers (inb4 people tell me I’m using the word “liberal” wrong).

There are things that I would argue against leaving untranslated (such as “itadakimasu”) but if references to mythology, religion, and culture will enhance the viewer’s enjoyment rather than detract from it, then I say why not? At the very least, it’s good to open up the subject for dialogue rather than just drawing lines, forming camps, and calling the other side names (hmm… sounds familiar).

Of course it all depends on what the (paying) audience -actually- wants, which is why it’s important to listen, and I’m glad somebody is or is at least trying to.

mina says:

Haha, the itadakimasus was kind of joke… (rub-a-dub-dub, thanks for the grub, right?) My (very personal) preference is light honorifics (-san/-chan yes, -dono/-buchou/-whatever no) if cultural context matters, localize wordplay if it will sound good in English, don’t draw over sound effects but rewrite signs and handwriting if it’s crucial to the plot in manga, and have some single-line liner notes on culture in manga margins or as an additional subtitle option on DVD, possibly with more in-depth notes in the back of the book or as a DVD extra. I really like the way Yen Press does dialogue and liner notes in some of their adaptations, so I guess that’s my model. That’s just me, though.

Nowadays, I think manga is way ahead of anime in getting the translation style people want, while anime is way ahead of manga in monetizing digital (but there’s still a long way to go!).

But yeah, certainly the industry is learning to listen more (Funi sends out soooo many surveys) but I think that a lot more fans are simply joining the industry! Crunchyroll’s had a lot of that influence, and I think they get a lot of stuff right as a result, for example.

Xythar says:

The only thing I want from my professional subs is for them to look like they were written by professionals. If the grammar is correct and the phrasing isn’t horribly awkward, it’s fine.

That being said, I’d also like to hold them to a higher standard than fansub writing, which isn’t something they always achieve – though Funi is usually better than most when it comes to that. I’d say Crunchyroll’s highs beat it, but Crunchyroll also has so many lows.

mina says:

Overall (and I have absolutely no data to back this up, so forgive me), I think fansubs have a wider range of quality– some are absolutely stellar, far and beyond anything I’ve ever seen officially, while some are fuckyeahanimesubs.tumblr.com. Official translations seem to have highs and lows in a somewhat more limited range (with some outliers of course, also MangaGamer what are you doing). Again, just speculating based on my own experience and anecdotal evidence (great idea on the internet, right?), but I don’t imagine that the average for both has a statistically significant difference. I am completely open to being wrong on that point, in case someone’s done some more research or something.

But yes, I do think official subs should be held to a higher standard. I don’t really know how one would go about telling a professional translator to “translate better,” though, especially without being rude, hahaha. I’d love it if Funi would hire good fansubbers… but I’m just a cog in the machine and have no idea how that would work.

Dark_Sage says:

Here, have some stats from my reviews for the fansub side at least (also keep in mind that a number of these are simulcast edits, which likely skews the grades upward).


I don’t have any official sub reviews that are comparable to that data, though.

Oh, and for what it’s worth, I’d be willing to bet Funi has hired fansubbers before. I know Crunchyroll has.

mina says:

Haha, awesome. I definitely need to follow your stuff.

Yeah, I know Crunchyroll pretty much mostly hires fansubbers. There may be a bit of a distinction with Funi though; if Funimation hired a fansubber, it was probably a “translator who also happened to be a fansubber” (I know Viz has those too), as opposed to Crunchy paying a below-market rate than only fansubbers will take…

Will says:

I’m curious as to if you know how Funi go about the subbing process? NISA recently revealed how they go about it, and I personally love their method and their subs.

Dark_Sage says:

Oh, NISA did? Reading material~

Edit: Where did they do this?

Will says:

I believe it was on ann a month or two ago.

Was pretty cut and dry from what I remember: TL -> Edit -> TLC -> QC -> etc.

Nothing really groundbreaking, but seems to follow the same format as fansubs, only difference being that they’re professionals.

Will says:

They also mentioned that they read all of the original material if it is in fact based on something else, be it a manga, novel, game, or whatever.

mina says:

I’m not in production, so I don’t know all the ins and outs, unfortunately. I do know that they essentially do one translation for simulcast and then go back again and tweak for DVD release (sort of like speedsubs), but I think the difference between the two is decreasing quite a bit lately. As far as I’ve seen, the translators mostly ask the licensor for help on official song lyrics. The translation has about the same turnaround as fansubs, but some shows are artificially delayed each week to have some breathing room in case materials aren’t delivered from the licensor in time.

I guess that’s not exactly what you were asking for though, sorry. I’d also love to see the NISA thing– really think Funi and Sentai should learn a lot from NIS and Aniplex.

corocoro says:

> I guess that, as a fan who grew up on fansubs and always made the excuse that they were “good for the industry as free promotion,” I’m always a little disheartened to hear people say that they won’t buy official releases because of adaptation; it’s like I’m looking at myself from 10 years ago, mistakes of youth and all that.

I think you actually hit the core of the problem with that and didn’t realize it – the people who say they won’t buy official releases because of adaption concerns are usually young people who don’t have the spending money to buy those DVDs/BDs in the first place. And of course, it sounds much better to say “they suck” than “I am poor”.
Maybe it’s just me being naive, but I realized that as I and my friends grow older, we have developed a tendency to buy more anime and manga – simply because we can afford it now. I’d like to think that it’s outside circumstances keeping people from buying rather than actual believes about not supporting the industry they love. Not to say that there aren’t people like that, but you’ll never reach those to anyway, so they’re worthless (to think about).
And the best you can do when you have got people who can’t afford to buy full-prize is finding different ways of making money – be it low-cost flatrates ala CR, advertisement support, or any of a myriad other methods.

What I also found is that there is no one “right” way to translate/edit an anime. You will always have a very small, very vocal minority complaining about your editing choices. An example would be one of the shows that I worked on this season – there have been over 16 000 downloads on the first episode from Nyaa alone. There are also 69 comments on the release post, most of them about a single term being not liked. But those 69 comments can be traced back to discussions with merely 3 people – an insignificant number causing a very strong negative resonance.
The best you can do is experimenting until you find your own style and hope that it is responded to favorably – hiring from fansubbers seems a good choice to skip the experimentation stage which doesn’t really fit into a professional business (though you could test out some things with the streams, but that’s still pretty limited if you don’t want to risk pushing people away).
Oh, I’d also strongly advice to following a set mantra when it comes to translating anime. A show set in Europe is better off without honorifics whereas a show set in the Sengoku period should have them. Setting strict guides to work by when it comes to something as fluid as language is just inviting failure.

mina says:

Yeah, I’m totally the same; I really didn’t buy any anime until I graduated college and got a steady income, although after that, I binged. I think that’s pretty common, but I’m a little more worried about the young people who get annoyed of the “fansubs are stealing!” messages and start believing that R1 companies are incompetent/trying to rip them off; when they do get spending power, they won’t have an interest in using it. I’d like to think that with concentrated effort and some dialogue, we can overcome that, but you really may be right, and maybe it’s just not worth it.

I also totally believe in that mantra you got– if I recall correctly, I think Funi had some “Edward-sans” in a Fullmetal Alchemist release, which is kind of eeeeergh (don’t tell anyone I said that :P). But translations of French lit use “monsieur” instead of “Mr.” so why should very Japanese anime be any different? I’m still pretty low on the totem pole and don’t work in production, so it’s not like this one person to influence anything yet, so I encourage people to write to [email protected], since people in production actually read every email; if a lot of people write well-reasoned arguments for these kinds of changes instead of “I hate you and make more Naruto!” (lol), they do pay attention.

Vagoo says:

This is all personal opinion and no way expressive of any community as a whole:
When I’m making a choice about whether or not to buy a BD release, the sub vs. dub nuances play absolutely no role. Being honest, there’s no way I’m going to research the quality of either beforehand for a show I really want to own. I enjoy subs and I (occasionally) enjoy dubs, but have no real preference for either. What does matter to me is availability & a timely release. It’s hard to stay excited about a show waiting an extra year for a release when I don’t even care about the dub to begin with. I can understand fans of the more mainstream shows demanding a dub. However, I’d love it if the more niche shows could get released with as subs just for the sake of being released at all.

mina says:

This’ll probably be my last post on this thread; sorry to dark_sage for crapping up your site, haha. I’ll still lurk around though.

Concerning timely releases: this might be a surprise to some, but production for physical releases doesn’t even start until all the Japanese BDs are done AND released, because only then does Japan actually have the materials (and time) to send over. However, well, Sentai’s able to get a fast, sometimes 6 monthish turnaround on releases, so clearly speeding things up is not impossible. The head of production is pretty meticulous though, which is good but may make faster release schedules a slow move coming.

The absolute number one cause of delayed releases is that the materials don’t come in time. I definitely don’t want to sound like I’m faulting Japan on this though– after their Blu-ray releases are out, the studios and licensors are busy on their next anime, and the next after that, and while this is the right thing to prioritize, sometimes emails sit in their inboxes for a while… I know these are excuses, and it really sucks for fans, but it’s tough. I really want to see this changed, although not sure how, and when staff in Japanese companies and studios decrease, it gets even harder.

As for fast sub releases, I would totally love them (I always prefer subs, and I love what NISA and Aniplex do), but I can’t talk about that possibility. Right now, the vast majority of anime buyers still prefer dubs, but if attitudes among sub-watchers change (and I think, despite my pessimism, they are changing albeit slowly), that percentage may start to skew more sub, which would make fast-sub-release-later-dub-release more of a possibility. However, and I must preface this with “please don’t jump to any conclusions,” it’s worth pointing out that the latest Funimation survey asked whether respondents had purchased sub-only releases… I joined the industry because I wanted to see things like this happen (okay, and because I’m obsessed with anime), so the fact that Funi’s even asking about this makes me pretty excited for the future.

Dark_Sage says:

Feel free to stick around and comment whenever you want. We love discussion ’round these parts.

I’m surprised about the timing issue, since I always thought you artificially delayed the releases to prevent the reverse importation you were talking about. Surely there’s a process improvement opportunity in there somewhere if this isn’t the case.

When it comes to sub-only releases, you’ll have to forgive me since I do prefer dubs. (But I will pick up sub-only releases far more often dub-only releases.)

I’m willing to champion limited editions that are actually worth my money, though. In fact, I’d rather display one NISA release over ten Funimation ones because NISA knows how to visually impress. And I think Funi could really take advantage of my willingness to pay a lot of money for a longer cut of cardboard and maybe some styrofoam.

FalseDawn says:

Correct me if I’m wrong (which I very well might be – my memory isn’t all that great), but didn’t Funi leak a simulcast before the airing in Japan, causing the studio to cancel the simulcast altogether? I forget which show it was. I can understand Japanese licensors being wary if things like that happen – though I don’t know how much of the “lost sale” mentality comes into it (or into the advertising side of things), because CR seem to simulcast a majority of shows each season and a lot of them go on to be licensed, so even if that was the mentality at the very beginning of legalised streaming, I’d imagine it’s not such a hot topic now.

Keven says:

That wasn’t Funi, it was TAN. They leaked TLRD 12 hours earlier than the airing in Japan.

FalseDawn says:

Aha, my mistake. I thought there was something with Funi too? I don’t think the studio pulled out of that one though. As I say, my memory isn’t the best >.>

Xythar says:

The best part was that people on their forum mentioned that it was 12 hours before the Japanese airtime and asked if it was right, and the TAN rep was just like “Yeah, all our broadcast times have been approved by the licensors. Are you sure you’re converting correctly from Japanese time?”

FalseDawn says:

Classic. Just goes to show, one major balls up can easily leave you looking redfaced. I wouldn’t be surprised if Funi has fewer simulcasts now because of the One Piece affair (and does TAN ever have anything?) – I think it’s actually notable that CR probably get most of the simulcasts each season because they haven’t made a cock up of that magnitude yet, to my knowledge (again, don’t quote me on that).

FalseDawn says:

I think I remember that one, actually – didn’t they pull that one ep and then the same thing happened a week later (but only by an hour or two) but the studio basically just went “fuck it, no-one’s watching it anyway.”

There is a very real possibility that I made that scenario up though.

mina says:

There’s Fractalegate too. I think it’s worth pointing out that the term “leak” as a verb is a little off, although certainly it’s a minor difference– there’s no reason AFAIK to think that this kind of thing was an internal leak, since HorribleSubs rips CR and Funi all the time anyway. But yes, that’s basically right. It’s definitely harder to negotiate simulcasts and streaming when leaks happen

The difference between CR and Funi/Sentai is that when CR licenses a show, they’re not also negotiating a material license. Attitudes in Japan are definitely changing because of CR’s success; it’s just kind of slow.

s.akki.rafish says:

If you’re so eager to have an open dialogue with the general population, why not open an IRC channel?

mina says:

Well~ IRC’s not exactly used by most of the general public, right…?

But I guess to actually answer the question, yeah, I think chat’s a pretty cool idea (although maaaybe not IRC). I know I personally probably couldn’t do it yet– I’m not exactly commenting here in an “official” context, and Funi has some more public “faces” of the company (Rojas, Sheehan, Heiskell, etc) who are higher up and, you know, trusted to know how to behave themselves when engaging the public. I do know that one of my hardcore Redditor coworkers has thrown around the idea of doing an AMA… asynchronous is obviously a bit easier. Otherwise, if you’re interested, I think ANN is doing an ANNcast Q&A and you can field some questions, and the more public folks have Twitter accounts. There’s also the (somewhat sparse) forum, Facebook, and conventions, although those can get muddled with a lot of “When’s season 2 of X show coming out?” kinds of questions. I guess I’m generally more interested in talking about generals than brand specifics (which I can’t talk about anyway, contracts and all that), so if chat were a possibility, it’d be imperative to find a way to make sure it isn’t inundated with questions that can’t actually be answered.

I know that in my department, a lot of the younger folks like myself really like to throw around the word “transparency”– there are a lot of grand but formless ideas that we want to do something to better engage with fans. I personally really kind of want to go to cons and run straight-up focus groups, but as with any market research technique, that has a lot of issues… selection bias is certainly a huge one.

And wow, that was a really long reply to a one-sentence question; apologies.

MrH says:

It’s good to see people in the industry finally listening!
As for me, the reason I quit buying DVDs wasn’t the liberal/literal nature of the translation. Instead, it was a bunch of little things; official translators leaving out recurring jokes/catchphrases…
Editing is also a huge thing; if you have time, check out some of [commie]’s shows. The editing they do really enhances the show for me; crunchyroll’s subs “feel” rough, and often contain errors.

The yellow subs are certainly annoying, though.

Honestly, the thing I would want the most out of the anime industry (other than better editing/more careful TL/prettier subs) would be a service like Steam; direct download (of encrypted files) from anywhere, anytime. The main reason why people aren’t buying is that $20 for 3 eps on a piece of plastic is just too much, especially so long after the broadcast. Streaming is a step in the right direction, but the video quality leaves a bit to be desired, and I don’t like the thought that I must maintain a subscription or lose access to anime I’ve paid for. If someone sold anime on steam, I could imagine coughing up as much as $1/HD episode – I’m just a sucker like that.
It’s not just that fansubbers are beating out the industry in terms of quality (though some are), it’s that the distribution means available to fansubbers are quite superior.
just my $0.02

also, irc

Dark_Sage says:

Funi doesn’t do yellow subs, that’s Sentai. And companies don’t usually sell single volumes anymore, it’s often now just complete series (12-13 episodes in a release). Kinda missed out on the past four years, huh?

And providing anime through a DDL? Well, that’s an interesting idea, but you’d have to convince anime companies that typesetting, styling, encoding, and karaoke are important enough to invest in, otherwise people will just download fansubs which are a superior digital product that’s provided at no cost to the viewer. Steam works because about the only way games could be improved is by removing DRM and that’s it. Fansubs add a whole lot more than DRM removal, which is why companies would have to seriously focus on visual quality to make it a worthwhile enterprise. And they won’t, because it’s too expensive to license songs and hire dedicated visual improvers on staff.

ZEROibis says:

You could sell them drm free and compete directly if the “competitors” product is drm free and the people who will not pay will use that anyways your not actually losing any market share. Instead you begin to compete on a more direct level with a different pricing strategy. We have seen this done in music to some degree with artists selling flac files directly from their site.

mina says:

Yeah, yellow subs aren’t a thing anymore. (I used to call them urine subs, hahaha. That was before my time…) You’re certainly not the first to think that though; guess Funi hasn’t been very effective in telling people “Hey we don’t have yellow subs and also those S.A.V.E editions have reversible covers!”

And as Dark_Sage said, the single-stick DVDs for $20 have been out of vogue for quite a while. Nowadays, it’s usually $60ish for one cour, with the price dropping to as low as $30 for two cours if you wait long enough. If you read about the demise of Bandai Ent, you might have heard that they had a lot of trouble because they were being forced to charge prices closer to Japan’s level…

As for DDL, there’s iTunes; I know it’s not Steam though. They’re at the market price of $2.99 though, compared to music for $0.99. Before you think “well, Funimation should charge a lot cheaper to sell more units!” remember that revenue is still price times quantity… Would certainly like to hear if you have other thoughts on how that could be better for everyone though

Troyen says:

I want to second the digital argument, though I know it would be a really hard sell to the anime companies.

I used to buy DVDs of shows I really liked, but I stopped when I started getting much better quality from fansubs. A HD fansub release not only looks better than a DVD, but is more convenient to play. (I know Blu-Ray releases can match the video quality, but I don’t have a Blu-Ray player, and I don’t watch enough to justify buying one.)

When I was in college, I would download a lot of music from the internet. With the rise of digital music stores, it’s now really easy to buy an official music release, and those stores have done a good job setting quality expectations (you know what bitrate you’ll get up front, in contrast to song rips on torrent sites which are all over the place in audio quality). These days, when I want to buy a song, my first stop is the official music stores because they’re more convenient and more reliable than unofficial sources.

I hope the same will happen to video in the near future. The fansubs scene varies wildly in quality – a quick glance at this site will show you that. But as of right now, it’s still more convenient to go with a fansub, and some groups have established a reputation of generally good releases (editing, typesetting, encoding). When official subs can consistently match or surpass fansubs, you might become the go-to choice for more of the community, even if you charge a small price.

At least, that’s my take.

MrH says:

>As for DDL, there’s iTunes
I did a quick google search, did not know about this before.
It’s a step in the right direction, for sure, but this seems to be designed as an alternative to the Disc market.
forgive me if this information is out of date (itunes website wants me to install itunes before I can see the prices)
640×360 dub only files…(why not 1280×720?)

The idea I was trying to present was to release subtitled anime on DDL in “real time” ie around the time when the anime originally aired. Even with a product that is competitive on a quality level, you are losing out on sales because the fansubbers release so much sooner. The idea I had with Steam (idk about whether it’s possible with itunes) was to have the file preloadable, so that a viewer can watch their anime immediately upon release. This is the advantage that streaming offers, with the added advantage of working for people with slow internet. This sort of thing is already done with games on Steam.

Another question about the files: Has typesetting become a thing for official releases?

As for the price…$2.99 is getting there. For a show with no rewatch value, it’s still pricey, but for a BD-rip quality release of a good show, I would definitely pay that.

Funi site (http://www.funimation.com/faq#t571n658061) says episodes are available on Amazon…it this still the case? I can’t find any episodes…

Dark_Sage says:

It’s on the Instant Video section. If you play their promotions correctly you can get a decent amount of money to spend on this stuff. I already have $12 in promotional credit just from my Black Friday purchases.


Nemui says:

> This is a bit defensive, but I think it is kind of worth pointing out that fansubs currently are trending away from literal translation (in favor of more natural, localized speech)

2c on this topic.

Back in the dark ages, official English anime releases were almost always heavily edited, overall for the worse. Fans rightfully didn’t take to this, but the reaction turned into a paranoia against the industry, and out of that grew a fantasy that fan-made releases could provide a true alternative through translating shows with a dictionary and grammar book.

Nowadays the industry knows that Japanese shows can be successful in the English world without such drastic editing, and most fans trust official releases for that. Paranoia has become a minority position, and most people just want to enjoy the anime with decent translations.

Really, translation isn’t the biggest issue for official releases these days. If you want some data, read this: http://anxious-he.com/1934/kamihaji-dropped

I’ve talked to other fans of that show. I haven’t met anyone who has complained about Funimation’s translation of it. However, again and again I’ve heard complaints about the visual quality. For official releases in general, I’m talking about the encode, the sub fonts and the typesetting.

2ColouredEyes says:

If you just want to watch Jorm, I believe Koda can give you Jorm episodes. But you might need to prepare a Nexus 4 as payment.

random says:

Doesn’t Funi still only do 360p/480p too?

It’s laughable how far behind they are. They’re never going to catch up to Crunchyroll.

 says:

They do 720p presumably for paying members. I’m only guessing because HS ripped some of it.

Of course, that doesn’t stop them from completely ruining the video quality. Not only is everything filled with banding, but Psycho-Pass is ridiculously dark compared to the TV broadcasts.

Xythar says:

Latest episode (8) was especially bad for this. There were a couple of scenes where stuff was happening but you could barely see any of it in Funi’s encode.

Mahjong says:

Is this Xythar? Because this is what I’m seeing:


Dark_Sage says:

Nope. Some other guy.

Not exactly sure how he got around the name requirement, since if you don’t put in a name it puts you as Anonymous, but I assume he used a special character or something that’s recognized by the system as something that exists but won’t display in the comments.

 says:


FalseDawn says:

The invisible man, obviously.

Dark_Sage says:

Looks like no.

Anonymous says:

Probably some HTML tag (or something related) then.

LeonHo says:

When will there be a fansub vs official subs release (as in an official competition)? That will be awesome if it were to happen.

Dark_Sage says:

I have absolutely no clue what that “if*” is meant to correct.

Anyway, I like the idea. I’ll have to buy a BD Drive for my computer first so the comparison would be fair. Time to go shopping…

LeonHo says:

i typo’d
>That will be awesome “i” it were to happen.
Shit, that “will” should be “would” too…

Dark_Sage says:

Oh, actually you didn’t typo that. For some reason the “f” got cut off. I generally just view replies through my admin dashboard so everything looks different to me. Didn’t realize the comments were cutting off…

How I saw it:


Anonymous says:

I never use the tweet and like buttons…

Dark_Sage says:

Most people don’t. But we can assume there is a correlation between the popularity of a given title and how many people use the social media plugins associated with the episode. For example, if you assume 1 in every 1,000 anime fans will utilize social media to express their support of a given media product they just finished consuming, you can roughly estimate how popular a given episode was.

I’m vastly oversimplifying it, but I don’t think it’s unfair to use these numbers as comparison tools between different streaming services when both services are attempting to target the same audience and we can expect each service’s consumers to act similarly.

stushi says:

2 days ago- 34 comments
Today- 75 comments

Well that escalated quickly. :P

Kamica says:

It is the most commented post in crymore history!

corocoro says:

Well, doesn’t come close to the 200+ comments drama fests that were on the old page, though.

P32L says:

To be fair, that was pretty much solely from entertaining a troll for the better part of a day. It is sad there is a greatly reduced lack of controversy and whinging over the reviews, though.

Dark_Sage says:

That’s because there are noticeable fewer visitors this season than we had last season on Whiners. I mean, I still have fansubbers coming up to me, asking when Whiners is gonna come back. :P

But I think I have some ideas for how to get us back up there. Hopefully we’ll get back up there though. More people, more fun.

corocoro says:

> I have some ideas for how to get us back up there.

More reviews getting done? :p
Though it does look like you might actually finish this season. :whistle:

Dark_Sage says:

1. New host which will allow me to use all the plugins I actually want to use. I think the Poll is a very useful and popular tool and I don’t want to give that up. This will also allow me to put in better security and SEO plugins. The SEO mainly so I can see the exact google searches that led people here and wonder why “sexy asian penguins” continues to be the number 1 search that leads to Crymore.
2. Full re-implementation of all features that were on Whiners — namely, the Review Queue and Review Summary. Those were both incredibly popular and contributed to a significant amount of the site’s traffic. I still haven’t bothered with this.
3. More effort into article/review output on my part.
4. Possibly something new for the site. I have a few ideas on what exactly could work, but we’ll see.
5. Just wait aka enter lazy mode. Word of mouth is how this site originally became popular and I don’t really have a way to directly influence this.

Those are the basic ones. Got more ideas?

2ColouredEyes says:

Review TLR-D and see more hits than usual. If a certain F-tier group subbed it, this site’s visitors will BTOOOM!

Change the name back to Whiners, forget crymore.
Took a month or so for a certain lurker, for instance, me, to find you new site.

Qrius says:

It took me like 2 months (just got here two days ago) – just imagine all the backlog I had to clear!

Seriously though, I think some of your regulars (or semi-regulars) might still don’t know that you’re back… And it’ll take time for them to get to this God-forsaken part of the Internet…

Dark_Sage says:

I’d stick with Whiners if I could. But Whiners.pro, while still being a domain owned by the former site admin of Whiners, was forcibly shut down by ICANN. We can’t use it.

Because we needed a new domain anyway, I chose a site rebrand rather than choosing something like whine.rs. The appeal of the Whiners.Pro name was always in the “.Pro” part of it, and “.Pro” is quite obviously off limits for me now because I won’t lose the site again. Both the site header and our description mention Whiners.Pro, not to mention all the articles on the site which still contain references to the name. So grabbing people who find the site off Google by searching for Whiners.Pro is about the best I can do.

Yes, this really grinds my gears, though it’s entirely my fault for not having a back-up already in place and having let the site stay dead for an entire month.

yo says:

I found the crymore a week ago. Perhaps it might have been faster if I searched ‘Dark_Sage’? I dunno. Though it probably didn’t help you didn’t make a new site for two months, if that’s correct. I gave up for a good while because of the useless search terms ‘Whiners.Pro’. Ah, how I have missed your reviews & other articles.

Ideally, ICANN would have let you have a redirect page or something so using the old links would at least give notice.

Dark_Sage says:

It was actually a month of me doing nothing, which I’m pretty pissed at Past_Me for.

Currently we’re #9 on Google for Whiners.pro and #4 on Google for Dark_Sage (the top result for both Dark_Sage and Whiners.pro is GotWoot, for some reason). Not sure how Google came to its conclusions. Maybe I should join up and fix their errant search engine ways.

FalseDawn says:

Or just get someone who can do SEO on here. The reason GotWoot is so high up is because of their links, by the looks of it. I only have a vague idea of SEO but I can’t imagine it’d take long to get this site top on both those keyword searches.

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