Message to Funimation with Much Love... and Concern...

  • Dear Funimation, I just wanted to start this post off by saying I really love you guys! As a big fan of anime since my teens, you guys have had some solid anime titles under your belt over the years, and have honestly given me a new appreciation for English Dubbed anime thanks to the majority of your VAs which not only have a wonderful sense of humor and are great people in general, but work hard to bring the characters they're playing to life and give them a certain charm that I honestly would not have gotten from the original Japanese dub...

    This is honestly one of the reasons I chose to subscribe to this service over the others, with the other reason being tied to a concern that arose due to a rather unfortunate PR Disaster so far being currently handled by one of the biggest anime streaming sites on the web, that alone should be a big hint as to what I am trying to point at...

    Anyhow, Censorship sucks... and I mean really sucks, as it often masquerades or even completely removes the original intention of the work being censored for the sole sake of protecting people that often don't know or even care about said work. I understand that at times it is indeed a neccesary evil to avoid unforseen disasters that would affect especially the fans in a very negative way, hence why I will often tolerate censorship if the circumstances, or at the very least, the excuse is right... So what point am I trying to get at here, what am I trying to say? I guess I've beat around the bush enough and will get straight to it...

    As some of you may already know, a mobile RPG game based on the series Danmachi was recently released and localized to the West by Crunchyroll, but unfortunately it also came with some heavy news... The English version of said game would have a feature that many western players got the game for completely removed... more on that here:

    Now the removal of said minigame from the US version is not what bothered me, heck, I honestly couldn't care less about it... what DOES bother me however is what a Crunchyroll rep had to say about it and how the situation as a whole is still being handled... Apparently, they believe they know what's best for their english audience when it comes to games depicting fanservice, took action and removed it, despite advertising the game as including it in the US release. Removing Risque content from imported media is one thing, but advertising said media as including the feature that was removed AFTER getting people hooked into buying it... well... this kind of censorship to me is absolutely unnacceptable! and has cemented my paranoia in Crunchyroll as a streaming service, as well as possibly even losing much of their loyal supporters in the proccess (I mean ffs, if this bait and switch were any more obvious you'd have to be blind not to see it...). This leads me to my second point as to why I chose Funimation as the streaming service to pay for...

    Since netflix was no longer cutting it as an anime service for me, I decided to do some research and at one point I strongly considered subscribing to Crunchyroll for my Anime fix due to how absurdly large their anime catalog is... Thing is however, once I found out that even paid subscribers only get access to the TV edits of Anime instead of the uncut versions, I was instantly turned off as for that I'd much rather just keep pirating anime so as not to deal with any of the Censorship BS...

    This is also the biggest reason I instantly considered Funimation. Because, like Netflix, not only would I get access to subbed AND dubbed versions of the same anime (and quality dubs at that), but it'd be the uncut versions for just a small monthy fee, what a Steal! Funny thing is, I almost didn't consider it because I read mentioned somewhere that the site still has censored versions of anime, but when I found out it was really only affecting simulcasts and non subscribers I was willing to deal with it and wait for the uncut versions since at the very least I was supporting a good cause...

    And now for why all the concerns... Crunchyroll is a huge streaming site and I mean HUGE, with tons of support and advertisement for it everywhere... so I honestly thought it very strange that even subscribers did not get access to uncut versions of anime. This recent event opened my eyes to Crunchyrolls true colors and made me glad I avoided making a big mistake in supporting them. That being said, I understand the possibilities of why they may have to have done this. I understand that a Company's reputation is very important, that letting things slide can cause serious problems, possibly even getting your company shut down. Push comes to shove, someday Funimation, you as a company may end up having to go through the same issue and make a very tough decision and censor something that people were really looking forward to... I will not blame you for it one bit...

    Be warned however, when that day comes, I will most definitely not hesitate to jump ship and seize to support you, as much as that'd break my heart. I say this because one of the biggest reasons I ever pirated anime (and many people still do) is because even if we DO have to watch the cut versions, we're at least not paying for them or having to watch millions of ads just to finish one episode, tho we're most likely to get the uncut versions this way, hassle free (somewhat...). Streaming has not only made anime an affordable hobby after it being a grossly overpriced one for years, but it has allowed us to support a good cause of getting everything we expect from japanime censorship free (or at the very least close to it...) and pay those helping to make it happen.

    I'll end this long winded post with this... as hard as it may be in the future, please PLEASE do your best to not buckle under media pressure and dictate what is and isn't right for your audience when anime stuff is concerned. I'd hate for another company's reputation to completely go down the gutter due to caving into peer pressure, especially one I really honest to God appreciate. I wish you the best of luck!

    -With much love, A Crazy Anime Fan...

  • Pretty horrible PR by the Memoria Freese rep.

    Either he's lying about the reason for the censorship, or he is being truthful and stating that English audiences need nannies to shield them from the evils of the game.

    It would be better PR to just say "sorry but we're more afraid that the main stream media will blow this out of proportion than we are that some of our fans won't buy this due to censorship." Maybe add "censorship sucks, but having MSN or the New York Times single out a small feature of our game to vilify us sucks even worse"

  • @HOOfan1 regardless of what the reason may be, this stunt will most definitely hurt consumer trust in their brand significantly and may even affect them badly subscription wise, so i'm honestly not so sure it was worth it, then again I don't own a company so what do I know ¯_(ツ)_/¯ ...

  • To be honest, if a degree of censorship will keep a work tasteful, i don't have a problem with it. There is plenty of that other "stuff" out there already for those who are proponents of uncensored (laughs) ;-)

    Take care,

  • @R3DBelmont I didn't know anything about that controversy so thanks for bringing it to my attention.

    Honestly it sounds like something we're better off not having. The fanservicey, borderline creepy aspect of anime isn't something I like to be showcased, and while some fans may be driven away by the absence of the feature, still other fans may have been driven away by its inclusion. As a business Crunchy probably had more in the PR department to lose by including it than facing backlash from taking it away.

    A fairer compromise may have been to make the feature optional via ingame menus rather than delete it altogether, but I have no idea what that would entail programming-wise and whatnot. Sounds like something they could have handled better, regardless.

    Also, for what it's worth, maybe someone on Funi's end cares to catalogue your feedback and conditions for subscribing, but in general, these big companies can't afford to micromanage the preferences of every individual customer, even the big spenders. The subscription service alone is only $72 a year, paid monthly. Not much leverage you got there, just saying.

  • @MyOnlyFarph I understand where you're coming from man, and to be frank, as long as a company is open and honest about localizing major changes BEFORE bringing the media in question over, I'll usually have no issues with it because I can then vote with my wallet before it gets here and just stick to what I like without having to make much fuss if at all (and if it's still good enough I may even check it out at the very least at some point)... what I AM NOT ok with is when companies blatantly lie to their fanbase by advertising said product as being intact and having everything in it, uncut and uncensored, only to remove what fans expected from said media after it releases and they already cashed in on intial sales and of course to make matters worse, damage controlling in the dumbest possible way they could... This is pretty much what Crunchyroll did in a nutshell when the mobile game in question was announced, if you're curious to know more about it from a mature and well researched source, this issue was already covered by Censored Gaming on youtube:

    I highly recommend you check it out as the video is not that long and covers why this issue can be a big problem in the long run for a popular brand of Anime Localizers such as Crunchyroll and Funimation... After all, once you make a mistake of this magnitude and it goes viral, can you really blame the fanbase you've fostered for so long all of a sudden becoming hostile and pretty much having a hard time believing stuff pertaining to future releases?

  • Hello Mr. Belmont:

    I have seen Is it wrong etc. in the bookstore, wasn't particularly drawn to it, have seen the advertisements for the mobile game haven't looked too much into it, but, did take the time to review the video link you posted. I don't know... it was reminding me once again (somewhat) of Gal Gun. That game, (Bostonian accent) i threw right in the garbage! Didn't even bother to re-sell it (laughs) All this being said, i still find myself leaning towards Farph's statement:

    "the creepy aspect of anime isn't something i like showcased..."

    Take care,

  • I agree they should have handled it better. Being clear that it was going to be removed ahead of time would have at least taken care of the false advertisement complaints. I read through some of those Reddit posts... It got ugly.

    I believe the people calling it censorship would have done so no matter how far in advance they were given notice though. People love these sorts of rallying calls. I say meh.

    I'll give that video a gander, I've seen a few from that channel before.

  • @MyOnlyFarph said in Message to Funimation with Much Love... and Concern...:

    I believe the people calling it censorship would have done so no matter how far in advance they were given notice though. People love these sorts of rallying calls. I say meh.

    It is censorship though...that's just a pure fact.

    "The suppression or prohibition of any parts of books, films, news, etc. that are considered obscene, politically unacceptable, or a threat to security"

    From the rep for the game

    "The "touching" feature was removed from the English version of the game...due to what is appropriate and not appropriate for English audiences."

    Any way you look at it, they straight up admitted they took it out of the game because they said it wasn't "appropriate for Western Audiences". It's quite obvious it was done because they consider it either obscene or politically unacceptable.

    Whether they are justified in censoring it is up for debate.

    I don't even own a smart phone, and I wouldn't have downloaded this game if I did, but it's ridiculous for the game rep to claim they have not censored the game, when they clearly have.

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