FUNimation Announcements at New York Anime Festival

At the New York Anime Festival FUNimation Industry Panel, FUNimation announced that they have licensed X and X OVA. This is another Geneon license rescue and will use the original dub. Thanks to Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE-, I do have some mild interest in seeing the anime adaptation of CLAMP’s X, but I don’t think I have enough to actually make me go out and buy it. If FUNimation streams it in Japanese, I may take a peek though.

CLAMP X
FUNimation also licensed Initial D: First Stage, Initial D: Second Stage, Initial D: Third Stage, Initial D: Fourth Stage, and Initial D: Extra Stage. This too is a license rescue, only this time from TokyoPop, who briefly got into the anime licensing business. FUNimation will be redubbing the entire series which surprises me considering the age of the franchise. That FUNimation picked up the series doesn’t surprise me, only because I believe FUNimation was already handling the distribution part for TokyoPop, though no other aspect (to include marketing). No interest for me in this title.

Initial D
FUNimation also made the following announcements:

  • Dragon Box (Dragonball Z) will have both Japanese and English tracks + original Japanese opening and closings.
  • FMA: Brotherhood cast returns. Vic Mignogna is Ed but we have a new Al. Aaron Dismuke grew up and Al is now voiced by Maxey Whitehead.
  • Other new cast members include J. Michael Tatum as Scar and Bryan Massey as Isaac McDougal.
  • Aaron Dismuke will be back in a different role, something more suited for his new manly voice. No word on what that role will be.
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5 Responses to “FUNimation Announcements at New York Anime Festival”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Not interested in these licenses. Funimation is grabbing a lot of older animes it seems.

  2. AstroNerdBoy says:

    Yeah, FUNimation is involved in a lot of older titles, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Besides, I still think that their strategy is to get as much anime as possible to really get the FUNimation Channel off the ground.

  3. According to the Funimation blog (blog.funimation.com), FMA: Brotherhood will finally be released on DVD starting this coming Spring. That’s definitely on my list of new titles to get. That’s still a while off, though, so I may break down and start watching it online despite my general dislike of watching anime online (I can deal with fansubs or legit streams, but I vastly prefer DVDs). While I haven’t read the details so as to avoid spoilers, the episode summaries on this blog showed me that it turned out to not just be a total rehash of the first anime.

    As for the other announcements from Funimation, I’m glad to see that they’re still picking up old licenses for those that never got around to collecting them yet. I already have X, though. It was actually alright and had nice animation; definitely not a big disappointment like the movie (now if CLAMP will just finish the manga already now that Tsubasa is coming to an end). X is definitely one of Geneon’s “older” releases. In fact, yesterday marks the 7-year anniversary of the first volume’s release (coincidence?). That was before Pioneer LDC changed their name to Geneon. Other shows I was collecting along with X while they came out was Vandread, Hellsing, .hack//SIGN, Ai Yori Aoshi, and RahXephon.

    If I may go out on a tangent, this was all around the time anime releases on DVD were hitting their peak. Mania.com’s anime section (formerly AnimeOnDVD.com) lists 68individual DVD releases in 1999 (the year I started collecting anime DVDs, my first being Tenchi Forever), 148 in 2000, 385 in 2001, 492 in 2002, and 722 in 2003. Yearly releases remained over 700 until 2007, peaking at over 800 in 2005. It dropped to 625 last year, and this year there’s only been 359 releases so far. Assuming we get the same average number of releases over the next three months (about 40), we won’t even hit the 500 mark, and a sizable chunk of what’s come out this year is re-releases. OTOH, for new series, 2-DVD sets (e.g., Gundam 00) and half-season boxed sets are becoming common, so that drops the number of releases a good bit, but new releases are still fewer in number this year.

    Of course, events of the last two year such as Geneon ceasing distribution of anime and the reduction of licensing by and recent fracturing of ADV have a lot to do with the reduction in new releases. Losing two big licensors like that will definitely have an impact on the number of new series released, especially considering that a lot of money is being invested in picking up their old licenses (mostly by Funimation), which I presume would have an impact on the ability to purchase new licenses. Of course, there’s still quite a few old Geneon and ADV releases I never got around to buying due to lack of funds at the time, and we still are getting plenty of new quality series from Funi (and others), so I’m not complaining. The anime industry may have contracted noticeably over the last couple of years, but the remaining companies are still going strong and anime is still popular and viable in N. America.

    Well, that’s enough of that. Any word on spoilers for the new Negima chapter yet?

  4. O-chan says:

    I’m happy that Funimation got X because it seems that Funi’s goal is to preserve the better half of Geneon’s library. Which begs the question where the FRICK is the Tenchi OAVs 1 and 2, Tenchi Universe, Tenchi in Tokyo, the Tenchi movies, and the Pretty Sammy/Mihoshi special license saves?! While all the latter have at least had a recent release and are relatively easy to get the early OAV is NOT. I may have to bite the bullet and buy one of those expensive overpriced sets because I read on your Tenchi blog the reasoning as to why they may never get licensed again.

  5. GhostStalker says:

    So I was also at NYAF, but I missed all of these panels (getting to the Javits Center from Staten Island will do that to you). Glad to see that I can still get all the info from those panels that quickly.

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