Lately there has been a trend of defending bad localization on the basis of localization being hard. A perfect word for word translation is impossible, but that shouldn't be used as a license to go wild and do whatever. I know most people won't read this, most will do the typical fanboy thing and mock me for caring in the first place, but never boycott in silence. And when I say boycott, I mean I've spent roughly $700 or so on anime in the last two months alone, and not a dime on funimation.
I'm not completely unforgiving, or unsympathetic, but let's think of this in terms of a coffee shop.
You go to a coffee shop and order caramel macchiato, the barista brings you an americano by mistake. If the barista apologizes and offers to fix the mistake, all is forgiven. If the barista starts making excuses about how their job is so difficult and stressful instead, I have no sympathy. Sincerity is important. This is the key factor, were they doing their best and making an honest mistake or slacking off doing whatever they felt like? It's an important detail, and making excuses is slacker mentality. Getting defensive instead of owning up means that the mistake wasn't acknowledged and will happen again.
Now let's consider the enhancement argument:
You go to a coffee shop and order a caramel macchiato, the barista adds whipped topping to the beverage. Some people will consider it a pleasant surprise, other people will be bothered with not getting their exact order. The whipped topping affects the flavor, for some it might make it too sweet, or may mask and dilute the flavor they were seeking, others may enjoy it. This is a grey area and is very much hit or miss, it should be tread lightly.
Now imagine if the barista decides to be artistic and add two pumps of chai and one pump of amaretto flavoring, the drink can no longer be called a caramel macchiato, it's an entirely new creation that nobody asked for. And someone will always say 'but what about Ghost Stories', forgetting that GS was a parody, it never had a true localization. People will then defend the lack of a faithful localization by calling the show trash. As someone who has been ridiculed for my hobbies my entire life, mocked for liking anime as a whole, this smug attitude of 'it sucked anyway, so who cares?' pisses me off. Guess what people used to say about Evangelion, Cowboy Bebop, or Trigun back in the day? 'They are just stupid cartoons, get a real hobby'. Do you really want something you care about and invest hundreds of dollars on handled by people with such a disrespectful attitude towards the product they are selling? I sure as hell don't.
Now let's consider injecting politics:
You walk in to the coffee shop wearing a Bernie Sanders shirt and order a caramel macchiato, the barista brings you the drink, looks you in the eye, spits in it, then says 'make america great again'. Injecting politics is exactly that, spitting on the product while waving a flag. I've heard people try to argue over which politics are being inserted or mocked and I could care less. We all have our political views and we all think we have it right, but there's a time and a place for the discussion, and rewriting someone else's work and forcing it on people is the wrong way to go about it. This is extremely unprofessional. In any other profession this would get you fired on the spot.
A business that allows this needs to be held accountable. Recent and not so recent events with funimation leave a lot of speculation and name dropping, but ultimately its funimations responsibility to do something about it. With that said, funimations most recent attempts to deflect criticism by playing the victim instead of taking responsibility is insulting.
Localization and culturalization:
Localization is minimizing miscommunication on account of language differences. Consider the word balls, it can refer to sports equipment or genitalia, localization is ensuring that statements are phrased in such a way that people don't get the wrong idea. Culturalization is whitewashing, it's where you get all the arguments of 'Japanese experience in English' excuses. Localization changes need to be a last resort, done when necessary, instead of being treated as a license to disregard the original work and do whatever.
Imagine having all the French words and references removed or "localized" in 'Les Miserables'. Imagine if they replaced the French revolution with the American Revolution to be more relevant to the target audience and give the French experience in English. As someone who has done theatre, I find it baffling how overzealous this is with Japanese entertainment in comparison to everything else.
Just watch subs:
Every time people point out dub inaccuracies they get told 'if you care about accuracy, watch sub'. There seems to be a broad misconception that people who prefer dubs don't care about accuracy. While that may be true of some localization teams, it does not reflect the views of the audience who put up with it. Every time people resort to subs for accuracy, the dub failed. The amount of people wanting to learn Japanese just so they can avoid this crap speaks volumes on the failure of localization.
There is no reason for the sub only crowd to support an industry that treats them with contempt. Funimation, Viz, Sentai, and all other companies licensing anime could go out of business and the sub only crowd wouldn't notice. They would easily get by on fan translations which were there before the industry and can survive without it. Hell, my first time watching Kenshin was on a friends fan translated VHS collection, before online streaming was a thing. It wasn't until a disclaimer by the fans translating it apologized for a few mistakes half way in that I realized it was a fan project. Perfect translation is impossible, but at least the fan teams are making an effort. To fight piracy you need to offer a better product, but as it stands people are being pushed towards piracy between crap dubs and the clusterfuck that is "premium" streaming services.
Lastly, two pet peeves I have, not related to my boycotting funimation, but this is as good a place as any to throw it out there. One; translating 'chan' as little. If honorifics are relevant (key word) then leave them in, we've had 'san' since the karate kid came out in the 80's so it's not exactly new or unheard of (Hell, funimation kept them in Basilisk, back when it seemed like they actually gave a damn, one of the best dubs of its time, of all time if you don't consider voice acting improvements). Two; using southern accents to represent the kansai dialect is absolute cringe. Seeing someone in traditional Japanese clothing talking like a redneck is absolutely jarring. Seriously, why hasn't anyone tried representing it with engurish?