FUNimation Entertainment (previously known as FUNimation Productions) is a United States entertainment company formed by Gen Fukunaga in 1994 to produce, merchandise, and distribute anime and other entertainment properties in the United States and international markets.
On May 11, 2005, FUNimation was acquired by Navarre Corporation and provides financial update and guidance.
FUNimation is headquartered in North Richland Hills, Texas, near Fort Worth, Texas, occupying one and a half floors of a four story office building.
FUNimation took the rights of dubbing One Piece to English in June 2007. They took off from where 4Kids abandoned the project in the Skypiea Arc and followed many of the trends established by the old dub. However, they had plans of re-releasing all the series from the very start in Uncut volumes of 12, 13, or 14 episodes. Each set so far includes an episode with alternative audio featuring a commentary from people working in the dub, denoted by a red background in the episode number. After releasing the first three seasons, FUNimation began releasing 4-disc collections containing two previous volumes in new packaging at a cheaper price; apart from the labels, the discs themselves are identical to the previous Voyage releases.
FUNimation English VersionEditFUNimation was one of the bidders in the original war over the rights to One Piece. FUNimation was noted to have registered the URL for One Piece, despite not owning the rights to the series at the time (along with other animes). A later announcement stated that though FUNimation had discussed and mentioned One Piece, the company had not received the license but remained in the top companies still in negotiations.
Following the cancellation of the 4Kids dub of One Piece, on April 12, 2007, FUNimation Entertainment announced they acquired the license to One Piece, and would produce an English version of the series to premiere on Cartoon Network in August. In an interview with AnimeOnline, marketing director Lance Heiskell claimed that the company had been aiming to license the series since before 4Kids had acquired it.
The series was given a brand new dub cast, the original background music, and lighter edits. Due to Cartoon Network's standards, the practice of altering Sanji's cigarette into a lollipop was changed to it being removed entirely. Premiering on September 29, 2007, the long-awaited FUNimation dub has been well-received for the voice acting, dialogue, and original music. Name changes such as "Zolo" used by 4Kids were only seen on the televised dub to keep continuity with casual viewers.
After the dub was cancelled on the North American Toonami block, it was being aired on Cartoon Network in Australia uncut. The last episode of the Skypiea Arc aired January 7, 2009, and has rerun once before being put on hiatus again.
Starting on May 19, 2013, Toonami added One Piece back to its schedule at 1 AM, starting with the Long Ring Long Land Arc (episode 206). The show airs uncut, but as per the new standard Toonami practice, the opening and ending are cut back to 30 seconds. Additionally, the previews for the following episodes are removed, also standard for the new Toonami. An "Ask Toonami" segment established that most of the intro/outro material the block receives from FUNimation and other sources is already cut down for broadcast, and was not their own doing.
FUNimation began to distribute the series uncut on bilingual DVD box sets, retailing for $49.98 and containing 13 to 14 episodes each, on May 27, 2008. On July 26, 2011, FUNimation began to re-release dub episodes on "collections" using a discounted MSRP of $24.99 for 26 episodes.
FUNimation Simulcast and Online StreamingEdit
FUNimation had planned to start simulcasting subbed One Piece episodes an hour after their original broadcast on their official website, starting May 30 with episode 403. On May 29 someone accessed their website and uploaded episode 403 before FUNimation had agreed to put it online. As FUNimation became aware of this they then shut down the video service and announced that fans will be "deprived" of One Piece for the "immediate future" and that they will also be trying to "locate and prosecute the perpetrators".The perpetrator was later caught and charged.
On August 18, 2009 FUNimation announced the return of the simulcast One Piece episodes starting Friday, August 21 with episode 391. They released 3 episodes daily at 9:00 pm CDT, leading up to the August 29th release of episode 415 one hour after the Japanese release, after which they continued releasing one episode per week. The simulcast episodes are streamed in SD. Additionally, FUNimation has also uploaded episodes 1-384 in both dubbed and subtitled formats; These episodes are available in HD (where applicable) for subscribers.
The simulcast episodes do not include their next episode previews, and skip the crossover episodes. Due to music licensing issues, FUNimation's simulcast substitutes the opening Hands Up! with We Go! and the ending Mirai Kōkai with Eternal pose.
On August 30, 2014 both FUNimation and Crunchyroll simulcasted the 8th television special 3D2Y.
Other Streaming ReleasesEdit
FUNimation's One Piece simulcast is also available on Hulu from episode 391 onwards, originally with a two day delay from their Japanese airing. Starting from episode 736, the episodes were posted on Hulu on the same day as the original broadcast. Eventually, after years of DVD releases, all the prior episodes were eventually added in as well when the seasons they were grouped in were released. Also available are a regularly changed selection of dubbed episodes. These are identical to the FUNimation.com versions, and are all in SD only.
Crunchyroll began simulcasting One Piece from episode 619 onwards in with English, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles, followed by HD versions a few hours later for premium members. These episodes would be identical to the ones on the FUNimation simulcast. Eventually all Japanese episodes were added with the exception of episode 590 (the Troriko/Dragon Ball Z crossover), as well as HD versions of episode 207 onwards for premium members. Episodes 619 onwards were re-uploaded and reinstated Hands Up! (for episodes 591-628), as well as the next episode previews. In addition to the substitution of Mirai Kōkai, Crunchyroll has also substituted the opening Crazy Rainbow with We Are! (Straw Hat Version), and the openings We Are! (2008) and Share The World! with Jungle P. From episode 671 onwards, crunchyroll began uploading the episodes with next episode previews. From May 2015, Crunchyroll also began streaming the "Special Edition HD" version of episodes 1-206 exclusively for premium members.
Daizuki also streams subtitled episodes, starting from episode 1 and adding a new episode each week.
In the wake of 4Kids abandonment of the show, FUNimation took over dubbing of One Piece. The fan dislike for the 4Kids dub made FUNimation's takeover seem almost "heroic" and a number of on-line fans praised the company even before its release. FUNimation were said to have their best "A-team" on the dubbing of the show and some of FUNimations popular voice actors were chosen for the cast. While editing and censorship continued for the TV version, the fact the DVDs were only being released in an uncut version seemed to please One Piece and anime fans most of all. The dub overall tends to receive good reviews and the contrast between 4Kids and FUNimation has been constantly noted.
- ↑ FUNimation mentioned as of owning the One Piece URL.
- ↑ FUNimation announces they do not have the Licence.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 the podcast noted
- ↑ Crunchyroll adds the Special Edition episodes.
- ↑ 'One Piece' - Amazon Instant Video
- http://www.onepieceofficial.com/ - Official FUNimation site about One Piece. (Be aware region restriction site)