Opinion Prone

My opinions, let me tell them to you.

I probably shouldn’t be as surprised as I am considering how much amazing progress this digital streaming and simulcast thing has seen in the last few months alone, but I am seriously applauding FUNimation for this move. Four days lag time between the Japanese broadcast and an official English sub (presumably) isn’t quite simultaneous, but it’s good enough for me. That’s about how long I generally waited to watch my weekly Soul Eater anyway, so it’s great to see FUNi stepping up like this and beating the fansubbers to the chase since they do already have the series licensed.

I’m really curious to see how many fansub groups this official stream deters. Since the stream is only available for those in the US and France, there will likely still be foreign language sub efforts. It’s probably presumptuous of me, but I feel at least a little confident in guessing that a significant portion of fansubbers and leechers reside in the US. I don’t usually keep up with these things, so I’m not sure if any major fansub groups have already announced FMA:Brotherhood as a project, but if there have been, I wonder if any will drop it out right following this announcement.

Dattebayo dropping Naruto when Viz started its simulcast was a big deal. It’s exciting to see FUNimation starting to do something similar with a new series — especially FMA, which is already wildly popular in the States.

As for this series… I’m still kind of pessimistic about it; its very existence right now annoys me. Even though I’m a little relieved that it isn’t a sequel after all, the fact that it’s a remake doesn’t help that much either. The bottom line I have to repeat is that the manga still isn’t finished; why are you remaking the series now? If you’re going to remake a series so it’s more faithful to its source, why don’t you wait until the source is actually complete so you aren’t inevitably forced to start making stuff up like you did the first time? What’s going to change in this remake? Seriously, what’s going to change?

Haha, honestly, I think I’m now more excited about FUNimation’s stream of the series than the series itself. There’s been a lot of experimenting with the digital streaming, and it’s been confusing because most companies will have a site stream in addition to a YouTube and Hulu channel. I actually really like FUNi’s video site though, so I definitely look forward to having a completely legitimate way of watching this series as it airs. I almost wish FUNi had more ads on its video site — I do want to support them, and if I can do it without actually buying anything (hey, we’re all struggling, y’know?), then all the better. These are still experiments — they are undoubtedly still messing around and seeing what works — but I want them to succeed.

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  1. Iknight on April 4, 2009 9:18 am

    It is an interesting move on Funimation’s part (and on the part of whichever companies had to give their permission for it to take place) and I hope it succeeds. I can certainly say that I’m more excited about the fact of the stream than I am about the anime, as I don’t plan to watch it!

    I don’t have many hard figures on quite where fansub users live, but we know that 36% of Crunchyroll’s users are (or were, until recent changes) from the US and 37% are from Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines (assuming the figures Crunchyroll put out are correct). And there are cases like the currently airing Sora Kake Girl, where the only group subtitling it in English who are (to my knowledge) up to date are actually Russian.

  2. Kiriska on April 4, 2009 12:10 pm

    I always seem to forget that so many other countries are superfluent in English and make/watch English subs anyway, though I do believe I also read that many of those South Asian and South Pacific countries were getting their own simulcast anyway, along with Australia. I guess that leaves Russia, most of Europe, and Central and South America (and perhaps Canada?) — Spanish subs have always been pretty prominent, so I don’t expect that they’ll disappear, but the number of English subs will probably go down.