Since it takes a Kickstarter to get anyting done apparently…



  • Where is our Kickstarter to get releases of all those things Funimation announced in August of 2014 that we still haven't gotten?

    Seriously, where?

    Yeah, I bring it up a lot, but this recent development of a Kickstarter to get Escaflowne dubbed and release is absurd.

    Who in the hell even asked for Escaflowne? No, seriously, I'd like to know who. There's only 50 instances of that title that come up in a forum search. None of those are asking for a dub release.

    Even so, for a series that apparently nobody really wanted, the Kickstarter for it is on par to be a success. I'm not saying its a bad series or people wont like it dubbed. It is a classic. I'm saying there are at least half a dozen unreleased items that people have stated they want, that Funimation has the power to make a reality, and yet nothing has happened. Can anyone even fathom how quickly kickstarters for those Otakon 2014 titles would be over? Or how about (insert random forum request here)? Who's to say it wouldn't be a success?

    Which makes it even more absurd that Funimation is willing to go this route to push out a series that has never really been brought up, but yet they continue to sit on half a dozen licenses people actually have asked for and shown interest in.

    Hell, I feel bad for the random forum poster that has gotten the nerve up to ask for their favorite unreleased anime. Sure half the time they ask for something that someone else already holds the rights and/or has released, but occasionally they don't, and where are kickstarters for those?.

    Please explain how Funimation can manage a Kickstarter to dub, create new packaging, stuff in extra content, and release Escaflowne (which is a Bandai series) in 9 months, but in 18 months they haven't been able to pull off releasing Lucky Star or Haruhi Suzumiya, both of which are also Bandai series, and both of which by comparison are finished and ready to go.

    It sure would be nice to get some insight from somone who actually works at Funimation as to how these events come to be. I know there will be the usual round of know-it-alls get on this thread and speak like they are insiders, but that's not of any value. Especially now, considering those "insiders" have made it quite clear previously that Bandai is difficult to work with, and expecting a timely release of one of their series is akin to finding a real life Pegasus in the Walmart parking lot. Except for this kickstarter which will likely see a release of Escaflowne years (sadly) before the other 2 Bandai properties I mentioned get their day.



  • One likely has nothing to do with the other.



  • @dougswisher:

    Please explain how Funimation can manage a Kickstarter to dub, create new packaging, stuff in extra content, and release Escaflowne (which is a Bandai series) in 9 months, but in 18 months they haven't been able to pull off releasing Lucky Star or Haruhi Suzumiya, both of which are also Bandai series, and both of which by comparison are finished and ready to go.

    Because not all licenses are created equal, goober



  • you may be right, but it would be nice to hear (from someone at Funimation) that release decisions aren't simply balls being drawn at random by a tank of manatees.



  • I mean, they're not, since it's a business



  • being a business does not prevent anyone from making nonsensical or misguided decisions, nor does it make anyone immune from criticism and requests for clarification for those choices.



  • As I am typing this, the Escaflowne kickstarter has raised $107,962 (or more than 70% of its $150,000 goal) with 691 backers. It basically will reach its intial goal sometime this week, and I foresee it reaching the first two stretch goals before the campaign ends.

    Escaflowne is a classic with the screenplay done by the legendary Shoji Kawamori (creator of Macross) and has an excellant soundtrack as composed by the legendary Yoko Kanno(Macross Plus; Cowboy Bebop). And to answer your question, almost all of AniTwitter has been asking for Escaflowne.

    Also, Haruhi and Lucky Star are both Kadokawa titles and have nothing to do with Escaflowne, a Sunrise title. For Haruhi, which will be 10 years old this year, approvals from the Japanese is not a quick process and given the age of both of those shows, tracking down those who were responsible for approvals back then is a challenge. FUNimation will release Haruhi and Lucky Star when they are ready.



  • @dougswisher:

    being a business does not prevent anyone from making nonsensical or misguided decisions, nor does it make anyone immune from criticism and requests for clarification for those choices.

    Do bear in mind, Haruhi and Lucky Star are only two of over a dozen-and-a-half rescue projects they've taken on from the now defunct Bandai Entertainment International that encompass over 300 episodes and two movies worth of content still on their plate. And this doesn't include the 52 episodes of Speed Racer they may or may not have received materials for and possibly even more rescues that haven't even been announced yet either. That's a lot of video post-production work to consider. Dubs have to be re-encoded to fit new HD (or otherwise SD remastered) masters, subtitles need to be re-encoded to new timestamps (possibly even re-translated from scratch). There's also the possibility Escaflowne isn't the only project Funimation is looking to redub. Tales of the Abyss in particular doesn't have one to begin with.

    One other thing to consider is UK anime distributor Anime Limited is planning a 2016 release for the first season of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. Since they acquired the show late last year, it would seem logical that Funimation's release would fall some time this year as well.



  • I do wonder if this Kickstarter is a sign of things to come. They even say that they have the funds to make Escaflowne, but they're trying to gauge the interest through this Kickstarter. So what about a show like Case Closed? Let's not pretend like its initial dub was handled well at all (in release). Why not try a Kickstarter with it to gauge interest? Seems that enough people ask about it to warrant a F.A.Q. answer and it's been over ten years since it was first tried. A new generation ready for some great mysteries solved by Detective Conan. Why not try it?



  • Well they were interviewed by animenewsnetwork, and they said if we liked it (the kikstarter crowd funding) they will consider doing it again in the future.



  • @dougswisher:

    being a business does not prevent anyone from making nonsensical or misguided decisions

    It does mean they aren't handling their back-catalog of license rescues in a completely random manner



  • @FatedTitan:

    I do wonder if this Kickstarter is a sign of things to come. They even say that they have the funds to make Escaflowne, but they're trying to gauge the interest through this Kickstarter. So what about a show like Case Closed? Let's not pretend like its initial dub was handled well at all (in release). Why not try a Kickstarter with it to gauge interest? Seems that enough people ask about it to warrant a F.A.Q. answer and it's been over ten years since it was first tried. A new generation ready for some great mysteries solved by Detective Conan. Why not try it?

    Because such a venture would probably still fail at the retail level, so any potential season/collection beyond that first one would likely have to be crowdsourced as well to equally likely diminished returns. Wouldn't be a problem for the first Kickstarter campaign or two, but each one would run just a little closer to the edge than the last until one eventually doesn't make the cap and fails, leaving Funimation to hold the bag on a number of episodes they couldn't justify the cost of printing onto discs that they will inevitably be hounded about at every turn.

    Now IF Funimation chooses to do another Kickstarter campaign (and looking at the fact Escaflowne is just $30,000 away from its initial goal in just two days that seems pretty likely), I'd rather they went back into their catalog and earmarked licenses they streamed but never released on home video to give those a legit shot at such. I'm talking about Symphogear, Minami-ke, Detective Opera Milky Holmes, RAINBOW, or (hopefully) The Tatami Galaxy. In fact, Tatami Galaxy would make for an interesting Kickstarter as it was through that process that director Masaaki Yuasa gained the attention of Cartoon Network and much of the notoriety he earned through the Adventure Time episode Food Chain. Maybe Funimation could find a way to cut a deal with him and the associated producers to stream and crowdsource a home video release (maybe even dub and Blu-Ray?) for Kaiba and Kemonozume while they're at it.



  • @Broko:

    Well they were interviewed by animenewsnetwork, and they said if we liked it (the kikstarter crowd funding) they will consider doing it again in the future.

    That too is a problem because it'll be a dark day if Funimation decides that customers taking somewhat extreme measures to get what they want equals "liking it."

    Typical Kickstarters are fantastic for helping to fund an experimental or new product, but this idea of a company using it as a means to eliminate their financial risk in product distribution is scary, and somewhat indicates that said company is out of touch with their customer base enough they cant feel confident making product release decisions.

    Yes, I would throw money at Kickstarters for 3-4 of those Otakon 2014 titles that haven't been released just to get them in my hands, and would probably spend twice as much for a re-dub of Shakugan no Shana season 1, but I sure as hell wouldn't ever write Funimation a thank you letter for allowing me to bankroll their product, which they'll make profit on well beyond the scope of the Kickstarter.

    In my opinion, any established company that uses Kickstarter as a crutch to release product should be legally bound to one of two options:

    Only deliver the goods to Kickstarter backers, and do not make the product avaliable to anyone else.

    Consider backers as investors they indeed are, and return a percentage of the profits sold to non backers proportionate to funding amount.

    I bet companies wouldn't use Kickstarter if they had to share profits with the investors.

    Everyone would say that's awful to do that to an upstart company or individual, but why in the hell should the common customer have to play investor to an established company with no financial return? Seriously, why should a company get to exempt themselves from any financial risk and then free-roll on all sales to people who didn't fund the campaign?

    Sadly, Sega started that with Shenmue (and got mocked, but was still successful) and I'm sure Funimation wont be the last to do this. It doesn't make it right though.



  • @Rootsofjustice:

    Because such a venture would probably still fail at the retail level, so any potential season/collection beyond that first one would likely have to be crowdsourced as well to equally likely diminished returns. Wouldn't be a problem for the first Kickstarter campaign or two, but each one would run just a little closer to the edge than the last until one eventually doesn't make the cap and fails, leaving Funimation to hold the bag on a number of episodes they couldn't justify the cost of printing onto discs that they will inevitably be hounded about at every turn.

    Now IF Funimation chooses to do another Kickstarter campaign (and looking at the fact Escaflowne is just $30,000 away from its initial goal in just two days that seems pretty likely), I'd rather they went back into their catalog and earmarked licenses they streamed but never released on home video to give those a legit shot at such. I'm talking about Symphogear, Minami-ke, Detective Opera Milky Holmes, RAINBOW, or (hopefully) The Tatami Galaxy. In fact, Tatami Galaxy would make for an interesting Kickstarter as it was through that process that director Masaaki Yuasa gained the attention of Cartoon Network and much of the notoriety he earned through the Adventure Time episode Food Chain. Maybe Funimation could find a way to cut a deal with him and the associated producers to stream and crowdsource a home video release (maybe even dub and Blu-Ray?) for Kaiba and Kemonozume while they're at it.

    I would argue that there would be renewed interest in the show from people who have never watched it before if they did a Kickstarter, which was basically just preorders, then also released them in the DubbleTalk block each week.



  • @FatedTitan:

    which was basically just preorders

    That may have been true later into it, but I guarantee a good bit of it, at least at the very start, was people trying to get the voice acting role. Who needs to actually be an actor to get a role in a Funi dub? All you need is to pay them apparently since there was also the contest that required you to buy a subscription to enter.



  • @ForlornBeliever:

    That may have been true later into it, but I guarantee a good bit of it, at least at the very start, was people trying to get the voice acting role. Who needs to actually be an actor to get a role in a Funi dub? All you need is to pay them apparently since there was also the contest that required you to buy a subscription to enter.

    There's only one Kickstarter position that someone can be a VA in ($5,000) and that is only available to one person. The whole thing is more or less making sure they make their money back before they start to do it.



  • What some of you are missing….

    Is that the real reason kickstarter works is because it allows a company to go out on a limb... when everyone else is telling them... No that's in the past... you can't do it... it will never sell... etc etc... and spewing all kinds of BS...

    It allows them to go out... guarantee... what OTHERS consider a "risky" project... and prove them wrong...

    Either it makes the goal or it doesn't...

    The proof will be in the pudding... to see whether someone is lying or not about if a given product was overhyped as junk or "nich" product... rather than a real treasure that it may actually be...



  • Love it or hate it, the goal is already met. I didn't bother backing, but depending on what FUNi has planned for future release dates, Escaflowne might be my first purchase from them in quite a while.



  • I gave it $5 just to help the cause, but I've already got the original DVDs and I'm not in any hurry to upgrade. Odds are that when the new dub is done, they'll just upload it to the streaming service anyways, if I ever want to check it out.



  • @7jaws7:

    Love it or hate it, the goal is already met. I didn't bother backing, but depending on what FUNi has planned for future release dates, Escaflowne might be my first purchase from them in quite a while.

    wow that was really fast!



  • I found one guy asking for the blu ray for this show https://gyazo.com/0ffd615627a369912c1da8db1482c1ab Also this was announced at the same time as Code Geass, meaning that maybe code geass is on the way soonish :p


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