Funimation

Funimation Productions, LLC[3] (commonly known as Funimation) is an American entertainment company that specializes in the dubbing and distribution of foreign content, most notably anime. Sony Pictures Entertainment, a division of the Japanese conglomerate Sony, is its majority owner. Based in Flower Mound, Texas, the studio is one of the leading distributors of anime and other foreign entertainment properties in North America alongside Viz Media, Sentai Filmworks, Aniplex of America, and more. Their most popular property is Toei Animation's action-adventure franchise Dragon Ball.

The company was founded on May 9, 1994 by Gen Fukunaga and his wife Cindy as FUNimation Productions, with funding by Daniel Cocanougher and his family, who became investors in the company. Funimation was acquired by Navarre Corporation on May 11, 2005 and the company was renamed FUNimation Entertainment.

In April 2011, Navarre sold Funimation to a group of investors including Fukunaga and John A. Kuelbs for $24 million.[4] Around the same time, the company's trademark ball, star and blue bar were dropped from its logo and the company was renamed to simply Funimation.[5] In May 2013, Funimation consolidated its divisions under its new holding company Group 1200 Media. Kuelbs became Chairman of Funimation/Group 1200 after the acquisition from Navarre. Kuelbs and Fukunaga continued to make additional investments into Funimation. A new senior management was brought on and a multi-year distribution deal was announced with Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. In January 2016 FunimationNow, a new ad free HD anime streaming service with Sony subscription, was announced at the CES show in Las Vegas. On July 31, 2017, Sony Pictures Television announced plans to acquire a 95% stake in Funimation for $143 million while Gen Fukunaga would retain his position with a 5% share.[6][7] The deal was closed on October 27, 2017.

From 2016–18, Funimation had a partnership agreement with Crunchyroll.[8]

Funimation Productions, LLC
Formerly
FUNimation Productions (1994–2005)
FUNimation Entertainment (2005–2011)
Subsidiary
IndustryEntertainment
FoundedMay 9, 1994[1]
FounderGen Fukunaga
Cindy Fukunaga
Headquarters,
U.S.
Area served
North America, British Isles
Key people
Gen Fukunaga (Chairman)
Colin Decker (General manager)
ProductsAnime, motion pictures, Japanese/Asian cinema
OwnerSony Pictures Entertainment (Sony)
ParentSony Pictures Television (95%)
Group 1200 Media (5%)
SubsidiariesFunimation Films[2]
Websitefunimation.com

History

Funimation Old Logo
The original Funimation logo used from 1994 to 2005

The company was founded on June 14, 1994 by Japanese-born businessman Gen Fukunaga.[9] Fukunaga's uncle, Nagafumi Hori, was working as a producer for Toei Company; Hori approached Gen about licensing Dragon Ball to the United States. He proposed that if Fukunaga could start a production company and raise enough money, Toei Animation would license the rights to the franchise. Fukunaga met with co-worker Daniel Cocanougher whose family owned a feed mill in Decatur, Texas and convinced Cocanougher's family to sell their business and serve as an investor for his company. The company was originally formed in Silicon Valley, California as Funimation Productions in 1994, but eventually relocated to Flower Mound, Texas, located near Fort Worth.[10] They initially collaborated with other companies on Dragon Ball, such as BLT Productions, Ocean Studios, Pioneer and Saban Entertainment. By 1998, after two aborted attempts to bring the Dragon Ball franchise to a U.S. audience via first-run syndication, it finally found success through Cartoon Network's broadcast of the Dragon Ball Z series on its Toonami programming block, and the Dragon Ball phenomenon quickly grew in the United States as it had elsewhere. This led Funimation to license other anime to the U.S.

Starting in September 2003, Funimation, along with British company Maverick, has distributed titles from Canada-based Nelvana, including Redwall, Pecola, Tales from the Cryptkeeper, Timothy Goes to School and the Disney Channel TV special The Santa Claus Brothers.[11]

Purchase by Navarre Corporation

On May 11, 2005, Funimation was acquired by the now-defunct Navarre Corporation for US$100.4 million in cash and 1.8 million shares of Navarre stock. As part of the acquisition, the president Fukunaga was retained as head of the company, transitioning to the position of CEO, and the company's name was changed from Funimation Productions to Funimation Entertainment.[12][13]

In 2007, Funimation moved from North Richland Hills, Texas to Flower Mound.[14] Funimation moved into the Lakeside Business District with a ten-year lease.[15]

Acquisition of Geneon and ADV licenses and online streaming

According to an interview in February 2008 with Navarre Corporation CEO Cary Deacon, Funimation was in early stage negotiations to acquire some of the titles licensed through Geneon's USA division, which ceased operations in December 2007.[16] In July 2008, Funimation confirmed that they had acquired distribution rights to several Geneon titles, including some that Geneon had left unfinished when they ceased operations.[17]

At Anime Expo 2008, Funimation announced that it had acquired over 30 titles from the Sojitz catalog that had previously been licensed by ADV Films.[18]

In 2009, Funimation signed a deal with Toei Animation to stream several of its anime titles online through the Funimation website and Hulu.[19]

Sale from Navarre, Nico Nico partnership and distribution deal

In the first quarter of 2010, Navarre Corporation reclassified Funimation as "discounted operations" and began preparations to sell the company.[20] Navarre released a statement in April 2011 confirming that Funimation has been sold to a group of investors, including original owner Gen Fukunaga, for $24 million.[4] It is speculated that Funimation was sold at such a low cost (in comparison to how much it was originally purchased for, almost $100 million in cash and $15 million in stock in 2005) because Navarre wanted to continue distributing goods in relation to the products, but not handle the publishing. Navarre remained as exclusive distributor of Funimation's titles until 2013 when the company shutdown.

On October 14, 2011, Funimation announced a permanent partnership with Niconico, the English-language version of Nico Nico Douga, to form the 'Funico' brand for the licensing of anime for streaming and home video release. From this point on, virtually all titles simulcasted by Niconico were acquired by Funimation.[21] The deal has since been severed.

In 2014, Funimation released Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods to theatres in partnership with Screenvision.[22] Based on its success, Funimation launched its own theatrical division in December 2014.[23]

Funimation Logo
Funimation logo from May 11, 2005 to January 7, 2016. The colored version was used until April 2011.

On June 22, 2015, Funimation and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment announced a multi-year home video distribution deal. The deal will allow UPHE to manage distribution and sales of Funimation's catalog of titles.[24] Universal began distributing Funimation's titles in October of that year.[25]

FunimationNow and partnership with Crunchyroll

In January 2016, Funimation announced a new streaming service, FunimationNow, along with a new logo. The service also is available in the UK and Ireland, the first time the company has expanded beyond North America.

On September 8, 2016, Funimation announced a partnership with Crunchyroll.[8] Select Funimation titles will be streamed subtitled on Crunchyroll and select Crunchyroll titles will be streamed on FunimationNow, including upcoming dubbed content. In addition, Funimation and Universal will act as distributors for Crunchyroll's home video catalog.

On May 18, 2017, Shout! Factory acquired the North American distribution rights to In This Corner of the World, with a U.S. theatrical release to take place in August 11, 2017, co-released by Funimation Films.[26]

On October 18, 2018, Funimation announced that their partnership with Crunchyroll has ended as a result of Sony Pictures Television's acquisition of Funimation and AT&T's acquisition of Crunchyroll's parent company Otter Media.[27]

Acquisition by Sony Pictures

In May 2017, it was reported that Universal Studios and Sony Pictures Entertainment were interested in purchasing Funimation; however, Universal decided not to proceed with the bidding.[28] On July 31, 2017, Sony Pictures Television announced that it would buy a controlling 95% stake in Funimation for $143 million, a deal that was approved by the United States Department of Justice on August 22, 2017.[29] This deal allows Funimation to have synergies with Sony's Animax and Kids Station divisions and "direct access to the creative pipeline".[30] The deal was closed on October 27, 2017.

On February 16, 2018, it was reported that Shout! Factory's Shout! Studios division acquired the U.S/Canadian distribution rights to Big Fish & Begonia and partnered with Funimation Films again for distribution.[31]

On July 12, 2018, it was announced that Funimation Films had picked up licensing rights for Dragon Ball Super: Broly in North America and that its English dub would premiere in theaters sometime in January 2019 in the United States and Canada, only around a month after its national premiere in Japan.[32]

In August 2018, WarnerMedia fully acquired Otter Media, owner of Crunchyroll. On October 18, 2018, Funimation and Sony Pictures announced that their partnership with Crunchyroll will end on November 9, 2018. Despite the home video releases being unaffected and still going on as planned, select Funimation content will be removed from Crunchyroll, and subtitled content will return to FunimationNow. Also, Funimation will be removed from Otter Media-owned streaming service VRV entirely, being replaced by Hidive.[33] On February 1, 2019, Gen Fukunaga announced that he would be stepping down as general manager, and transitioning to chairman of the company,[34] with Colin Decker assuming the role of general manager in May 2019.[35]

On December 4, 2018, Funimation inked an exclusive multi-year first-look SVOD deal with Hulu.[36]

On March 23, 2019 at AnimeJapan 2019, Funimation announced that they had partnered with Chinese streaming service Bilibili to jointly license anime titles for both US and Chinese markets.[37]

Legal actions

Anti-piracy

In 2005, Funimation's legal department began to pursue a more aggressive approach toward protecting the company's licensed properties. They started sending "cease and desist" (C&D) letters to sites offering links to fansubs of their titles. This move was similar to that taken by the now-defunct ADV Films several years before with several of the major torrent sites.

Funimation's legal department served C&D letters for series that had not yet been advertised or announced as licensed, including Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle, Black Cat, and SoltyRei, with a few known series also mentioned in the letter.[38] Funimation revealed more licenses on October 6, 2006 when it sent letters to torrent sites demanding that distribution of xxxHolic's TV series, Mushishi, Ragnarok the Animation, and other series cease.[39]

Since October 2009, Funimation has routinely filed DMCA takedown notices to get unauthorized distributions of its and its partners' properties removed from Google search results.[notes 1]

In January 2011, Funimation filed a lawsuit against BitTorrent users in the U.S. for allegedly downloading and uploading One Piece.[40] Funimation dropped the suit in March after a Northern Texas judge, having already indicated that the court would appoint attorneys for the defendants,[41] ruled that the defendants were not "acting in concert" and thus could not be sued as a group; each would have to be sued separately.[42]

The One Piece film at issue was a fansub, an unauthorized copy distributed with fan-produced, translated subtitles. Soon after the lawsuit was abandoned, Funimation was reported to have long been deriving dubs from fansubs.[43] Funimation nevertheless maintains that fansubbing is harmful to the anime industry, stating "The practices of illegal downloads and 'fansubbing' are very harmful to our Japanese partners and [...] we have been asked to monitor and take action against unauthorized distribution of these titles. Because we believe that this will benefit the industry, we have agreed to do so."[44] Sites which distribute fansubs or separate fan-created subtitles remain a frequent target of civil actions by Funimation and other anime companies, as well as criminal prosecution in at least one case.[45]

Two months after the failure to sue BitTorrent users in the North Texas district, Funimation engaged in forum shopping and proceeded to sue 1,427 defendants in the neighboring East Texas district for acting "in concert" to infringe copyright on The Legend Is Born: Ip Man. This case was allowed to proceed.[46]

Disputes with partners

In November 2011, Funimation sued A.D. Vision, AEsir Holdings, Section23 Films, Valkyrie Media Partners, Seraphim Studios, Sentai Filmworks and its CEO, John Ledford and Switchblade Pictures for a sum of $8 million, citing "breach of contracts" and other issues. Funimation said that ADV's transfer of assets were made with "the intent to defer, hinder or defraud the creditors of ADV [Films]." Funimation sought ADV's sale of assets as void.[47] The lawsuit was settled in mediation in 2014. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed.[48]

Vic Mignogna lawsuit

In early 2019, allegations of sexual misconduct against voice actor Vic Mignogna were brought forward on Twitter. Funimation conducted an internal investigation of the matter and announced on February 11, 2019 that they had ended their relations with Mignogna.[49] On April 19, 2019, Mignogna filed a civil suit against Funimation, and voice actors Jamie Marchi, Monica Rial, and Rial's fiancé, Ron Toye. Mignogna and his attorney are seeking a monetary relief of over $1 million.[50]

Foreign distribution

Funimation does not directly release its properties in non-North American (English language-speaking) markets, instead sublicensing to other companies such as Manga Entertainment until it was transferred in 2015 to Anime Limited in the United Kingdom and Madman Entertainment in Australia and New Zealand, Melanesia Region (PNG, Solomon Islands, Fiji). Funimation's former UK outlets include Revelation Films and MVM Films. Funimation has also attempted to distribute Dragon Ball Z to Spanish speaking audiences, and has released a number of Spanish-language DVDs of the series.

In 2016, Funimation began directly releasing some of its titles in the United Kingdom and Ireland with Funimation branding, with Funimation handling licensing and localization, and Anime Limited handling distribution and classification.[51] Funimation later distributed My Hero Academia in the region through Universal Pictures UK in 2017,[52] and later through Sony Pictures UK, along with other select titles, in 2018.[53]

Funimation also began directly distributing its titles in Australia and New Zealand in 2017. Similar to the UK and Ireland, select titles were released through Universal Sony Pictures Home Entertainment from 2017 to 2018. From September 2018, Funimation transferred distribution to Madman Entertainment, with Madman handling distribution and classification within the region.[54][55]

Funimation Channel

Funimation Entertainment, along with Olympusat, launched the Funimation Channel in September 2005, the second 24-hour anime digital cable network in North America (the first being A.D. Vision's Anime Network). Olympusat was the exclusive distributor of the channel.

When the channel first launched, it was available to a few cities via UHF digital signals.[56] The service was temporary as the channel was trying to gain a foothold in the already crowded digital cable landscape. Another short-term service was the syndication of a Funimation Channel block to one of OlympuSAT's affiliate networks – Colours TV.[57] Both services were discontinued in favor for a more successful expansion on digital cable, fiber optics and DBS systems. The channel launched its HD feed on September 27, 2010. On December 31, 2015, Funimation & Olympusat ended their deal and no longer broadcasts Funimation titles on the channel.[58] The channel relaunched as Toku, while Funimation announced plans to relaunch Funimation Channel in 2016.

Back in 2007, Funimation Entertainment licensed Revolutionary Girl Utena: The Movie, the Record of Lodoss War series, the Project A-ko series, Urusei Yatsura: Beautiful Dreamer and Grave of the Fireflies from Central Park Media and played them on the Funimation Channel on television in the United States.[59][60][61] In 2009, they licensed Buso Renkin, Honey and Clover, Hunter × Hunter, Nana and Monster from Viz Media (their fellow rival) for the channel.[62][63][64] They also licensed Ninja Nonsense and Boogiepop Phantom from Right Stuf Inc.'s Nozomi Entertainment division for it as well. The only title licensed for Funimation Channel which was not licensed by Funimation, neither Viz Media, nor Nozomi Entertainment or Central Park Media was Haré+Guu, which was licensed for North American distribution by AN Entertainment and Bang Zoom! Entertainment and had its North American DVD release published by Funimation, while its licensors were the producers. The only Enoki USA titles Funimation licensed for Funimation Channel were Revolutionary Girl Utena and His and Her Circumstances.[65]

Alternative distribution

In July 2008, Funimation and Red Planet Media announced the launch of a mobile video-on-demand service for AT&T Mobility and Sprint mobile phone subscribers.[66] Three titles were part of the launch, Gunslinger Girl, Tsukuyomi: Moon Phase, and The Galaxy Railways, with entire seasons of each made available.

On September 19, 2006, Funimation created an official channel on YouTube where they upload advertisements for box sets, as well as clips and preview episodes of their licensed series. In September 2008, they began distributing full episodes of series on Hulu.[67] In December of the same year, Funimation added a video section to their main website with preview episodes of various series. In April 2009, they began distributing full episodes of series at Veoh.[68][69] Full episodes are also available on the YouTube channel as well as on Netflix, the PlayStation Network (PSN) Video Store and Xbox Live/Zune Marketplace.[70] The application launched for PlayStation 4 in March 2015.[71]

Simuldub program

In January 2014, Funimation dubbed episodes of Space Dandy and broadcast them on Adult Swim's Toonami block a day earlier than the Japanese broadcast. After the simuldub method gained success, Funimation announced a simuldub program in October 2014, which would be exclusive to subscribers on their website. For anime series, getting simuldubs confirms that the anime series will get US home video releases from Funimation.[72] The program first began with simuldub versions of Psycho-Pass 2 and Laughing Under the Clouds, episodes of which were streamed roughly three weeks to one month following their original Japanese broadcast.[73]

See also

  • Category:Funimation

Notes

  1. ^ As of October 2012, the Chilling Effects search engine is broken, but Google search results for site:chillingeffects.org funimation reveal the DMCA notices received and processed so far.

References

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External links

Media related to Funimation at Wikimedia Commons

Alexis Tipton

Alexis Tipton is an American voice actress affiliated with Funimation. She has provided voices for English-language versions of Japanese anime films and television series. Some of her roles in anime include Sun Seto in My Bride is a Mermaid, Mizuki Himeji in Baka and Test, Emi Kizaki in Linebarrels of Iron, Musubi in Sekirei, Moka Akashiya in Rosario + Vampire, Saya Kisaragi in Blood-C, Anya Hepburn in Soul Eater Not!, Inori Yuzuriha in Guilty Crown, Julia Crichton in Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos, Kurumi Tokisaki in Date A Live and Millianna in Fairy Tail.

Black Butler

Black Butler (Japanese: 黒執事, Hepburn: Kuroshitsuji) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Yana Toboso. Since its debut on September 16, 2006, it has been serialized in Gangan Comics' shōnen manga magazine Monthly GFantasy. The series follows Ciel Phantomhive, a thirteen-year-old boy head of the Phantomhive household, an aristocratic family known as the Queen's Guarddog. He is tasked with solving crimes in London's underworld. Ciel has formed a contract with Sebastian Michaelis to seek revenge against those who tortured him and murdered his parents. Sebastian is a demon who has taken on the disguise of a butler, and in exchange for his services, he will be allowed to consume Ciel's soul. The series has been licensed by Yen Press in North America and published in Yen Press' August 2009 issue for the magazine's first anniversary.

A 24-episode anime adaption, with 3 seasons, directed by Toshiya Shinohara and produced by A-1 Pictures, aired from October 2008 to March 2009. The second season, Kuroshitsuji II, aired in 2010 spanning 12 episodes with two new main characters, Alois Trancy and Claude Faustus, following the aftermath of the first season. This series had an original storyline and did not feature manga content. A live action film adaptation was released in Japan on January 18, 2014. A third anime series, titled Kuroshitsuji: Book of Circus, was broadcast between July 10 and September 12, 2014. A two-part theatrical OVA titled Kuroshitsuji: Book of Murder screened in Japanese theaters on October 25, and November 15, 2014. An animated film for the series, titled Black Butler: Book of the Atlantic, premiered in Japan on January 21, 2017 and in America on the selected dates of June 12th and 14th of 2017.

Black Clover

Black Clover (Japanese: ブラッククローバー, Hepburn: Burakku Kurōbā) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Yūki Tabata. It has been serialized in Shueisha's Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine since February 16, 2015, and has been collected into 20 tankōbon volumes. The story centers around Asta, a young boy seemingly born without any magic power, something that is unknown in the world he lives in. With his fellow mages from the Black Bulls, Asta plans to become the next Wizard King.

The manga has been adapted into an original video animation produced by Xebec, which was released in 2017, as well an anime television series produced by Pierrot, which also premiered in Japan in 2017. The manga series was licensed for an English language release in North America by Viz Media, while the anime series is licensed by Crunchyroll and Funimation.

Black Lagoon

Black Lagoon (Japanese: ブラック・ラグーン, Hepburn: Burakku Ragūn) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Rei Hiroe. It has been published in Shogakukan's Monthly Sunday Gene-X since 2002, and eleven collected volumes have been released so far. It was later adapted into an anime television series by Madhouse, that aired from April to June 2006 for twelve episodes. A second season, subtitled "The Second Barrage", ran for twelve weeks starting on October 2, 2006. A five volume original video animation series, titled Roberta's Blood Trail, was released from July 2010 to June 2011.

Viz Media began releasing an English translation of the manga in North America on August 12, 2008. The anime was dubbed and originally licensed in English by Geneon Entertainment in North America; it is now licensed by Funimation. Funimation later licensed the OVA, which also was licensed by Kazé in the UK, for release in spring 2013.

Caitlin Glass

Caitlin Tiffany Glass (born November 16, 1981) is an American voice actress, ADR director, and script writer at Funimation, New Generation Pictures and Bang Zoom! Entertainment who provides voices for English versions of Japanese anime series and video games.

Christopher Sabat

Christopher Robin Sabat (born April 22, 1973) is an American voice actor, producer, line producer and ADR director at Funimation and OkraTron 5000.

Colleen Clinkenbeard

Colleen Smith Clinkenbeard (born April 13, 1980) is an American voice actress, line producer, ADR director and script writer at Funimation who provides the voices for English versions of Japanese anime series. Having starred as Rachel Moore in the long-running detective series Case Closed, she then served as the ADR director on Fullmetal Alchemist which aired on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim and would star in many other popular anime shows including as Monkey D. Luffy in the Funimation dub of One Piece; the young Goku and Gohan in Dragon Ball Z Kai; Yuko Ichihara in xxxHolic, Riza Hawkeye in the Fullmetal Alchemist series and Erza Scarlet in Fairy Tail.

Crunchyroll

Crunchyroll is an American distributor, publisher, and licensing company focused on streaming anime, manga, and drama. Founded in 2006 by a group of University of California, Berkeley graduates, Crunchyroll's distribution channel and partnership program delivers content to over 35 million online community members worldwide. Crunchyroll is a subsidiary of Otter Media, which is a subsidiary of AT&T's WarnerMedia. Crunchyroll has offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chișinău and Tokyo, and is a member of the Association of Japanese Animations (AJA).Crunchyroll offers over 900 anime shows, more than 200 Asian dramas to users, and 50 manga titles, although not all programming is available worldwide due to licensing restrictions. In February 2017, Crunchyroll passed one million paid subscribers. Crunchyroll also selects some anime titles for release on Blu-ray/DVD through its distribution partners (Funimation in the United States, Anime Limited in the United Kingdom).

Dragon Ball Z

Dragon Ball Z (Japanese: ドラゴンボールZ (ゼット), Hepburn: Doragon Bōru Zetto, commonly abbreviated as DBZ) is a Japanese anime television series produced by Toei Animation. It is the sequel to the Dragon Ball anime and adapts the latter 325 chapters of the original 519-chapter Dragon Ball manga series created by Akira Toriyama which ran in Weekly Shōnen Jump from 1988-1995. Dragon Ball Z aired in Japan on Fuji TV from April 26, 1989 to January 31, 1996, before getting dubbed in territories including the United States, Canada, Australia, Europe, India, and Latin America. It was broadcast in at least 81 countries worldwide. It is part of the Dragon Ball media franchise.

Dragon Ball Z follows the adventures of Goku who, along with his companions, defend the Earth against villains ranging from aliens (Frieza), androids (Cell) and other creatures (Majin Buu). While the original Dragon Ball anime followed Goku from childhood to early adulthood, Dragon Ball Z is a continuation of his adult life, but at the same time parallels the life of his son, Gohan, as well as the development of his rival Vegeta from enemy to ally.

Due to the success of the anime in the United States, the manga chapters making up its story were initially released by Viz Media under the Dragon Ball Z title. Dragon Ball Z's popularity has spawned numerous releases which have come to represent the majority of content in the Dragon Ball franchise; including 15 movies, 2 TV specials, and 148 video games (many of them being only released in Japan), and a host of soundtracks stemming from this material. Dragon Ball Z remains a cultural icon through numerous adaptations and re-releases, including a more-recent remastered broadcast titled Dragon Ball Kai. There have also been two sequel series; Dragon Ball GT (1996–1997) and Dragon Ball Super (2015–2018).

Fruits Basket

Fruits Basket (Japanese: フルーツバスケット, Hepburn: Furūtsu Basuketto), sometimes abbreviated Furuba, or Furuba (フルバ), is a Japanese shōjo manga series written and illustrated by Natsuki Takaya. It was serialized in the semi-monthly Japanese magazine Hana to Yume, published by Hakusensha, from 1998 to 2006. The series' title comes from the name of a popular game played in Japanese elementary schools, which is alluded to in the series.

Fruits Basket tells the story of Tohru Honda, an orphan girl who, after meeting Yuki, Kyo, and Shigure Soma, learns that twelve members of the Soma family are possessed by the animals of the Chinese zodiac (十二支, Jūnishi) and are cursed to turn into their animal forms when they are weak, stressed, or when they are embraced by anyone of the opposite sex that is not possessed by a zodiacal spirit. As the series progresses, Tohru learns of the hardships and pain faced by the afflicted Somas, and through her own generous and loving nature, helps heal their emotional wounds. As she learns more about Yuki, Kyo, and the rest of the mysterious Soma family, Tohru also learns more about herself and how much others care for her.

The series was also adapted into a 26-episode anime series in 2001, directed by Akitaro Daichi. A new anime television series adaptation produced by TMS Entertainment and directed by Yoshihide Ibata premiered on April 2019, which will adapt the entire manga. The anime series is licensed in North America under the Crunchyroll-Funimation partnership.

J. Michael Tatum

John Michael Tatum (born May 25, 1976 in McKinney, Texas) is an American voice actor, ADR director and script writer working for Funimation/OkraTron 5000 who provides voices for a number of English versions of Japanese anime series and video games.

Jamie Marchi

Jamie Lynn Marchi (; born October 8, 1977) is an American voice actress, ADR director and script writer who works for Funimation and Sentai Filmworks. She has provided a number of voices for English-language versions of anime and video games.

List of Fairy Tail episodes

Fairy Tail is an anime series adapted from the manga of the same title by Hiro Mashima. Produced by A-1 Pictures and Satelight, and directed by Shinji Ishihira, it was broadcast on TV Tokyo from October 12, 2009, to March 30, 2013. It later continued its run on April 5, 2014, and ended on March 26, 2016. A third and final series will air on October 7, 2018 The series follows the adventures of Natsu Dragneel, a member of the Fairy Tail wizards' guild and mage who is searching for the dragon Igneel, and partners with Lucy Heartfilia, a celestial wizard.

The series uses 48 different pieces of theme music: 24 opening themes and 24 ending themes. Several CDs containing the theme music and other tracks have been released by Pony Canyon. The first DVD compilation was released on January 29, 2010, with individual volumes being released monthly. The Southeast Asian network Animax Asia aired part of the series locally in English.In 2011, Funimation licensed the first season for an English-language release in North America. The Funimation-dubbed episodes aired on the Funimation Channel. The first DVD set, containing 12 episodes, was released on November 22, 2011. Similarly sized sets followed, with 14 sets released as of December 2, 2014. Funimation also acquired the rights to simulcast the relaunched anime episodes.

Monica Rial

Monica Jean Rial (born October 5, 1975) is an American voice actress, ADR director and script writer affiliated with Funimation and Seraphim Digital/Sentai Filmworks. She provides voices for English language versions of Japanese anime films and television series.

My Hero Academia

My Hero Academia (Japanese: 僕のヒーローアカデミア, Hepburn: Boku no Hīrō Akademia) is a Japanese superhero manga series written and illustrated by Kōhei Horikoshi. It has been serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump since July 2014, and, as of February 2019, 22 volumes have been collected in tankōbon format. The story follows Izuku Midoriya, a boy born without superpowers (called Quirks) in a world where they have become commonplace, but who still dreams of becoming a hero himself. He is scouted by Japan's greatest hero, who shares his quirk with Izuku after recognizing his potential, and later enrolls him in a high school for heroes in training.

The manga was adapted into an anime television series by Bones. Its first season aired in Japan from April 3 to June 26, 2016, followed by a second season from April 1 to September 30, 2017, then a third season from April 7 to September 29, 2018, with a fourth season set to premiere in October, 2019. An animated film titled My Hero Academia: Two Heroes was released on August 3, 2018. A second animated film is in production and there are plans for a live-action film by Legendary Entertainment.

The series has been licensed for English-language release by Viz Media and began serialization in their weekly digital manga anthology Weekly Shonen Jump on February 9, 2015. Shueisha began to simulpublish the series in english on the website and app Manga Plus in January 2019.

Todd Haberkorn

Todd Michael Haberkorn is an American voice actor and director who has provided voices for many English-language versions of Japanese anime series, as well as cartoons and video games. While he was working in theater, he joined Funimation as a voice actor, with some minor bits in Black Cat and Peach Girl. Since then he has voiced many leading characters, including Yamato Akitsuki in Suzuka, Kimihiro Watanuki in xxxHolic, Tsukune Aono in Rosario + Vampire, Death the Kid in Soul Eater, Allen Walker in D.Gray-man, Hikaru Hitachiin in Ouran High School Host Club, Natsu Dragneel in Fairy Tail and Italy in Hetalia: Axis Powers. Additionally, he has worked in Texas and California as an actor, director, producer and writer.

Toku (TV network)

Toku (stylised in all capital letters) is an American pay television network and streaming service dedicated to broadcast anime and Asian live-action programming. It is owned by Olympusat.

Formerly known as Funimation Channel, it adopted its current name on 31 December 2015, after Funimation ended their partnership with Olympusat. As such, Toku has not aired any Funimation titles since 1 January 2016. Tristan Leostar is the content aggregator for the Toku network.

Vic Mignogna

Victor Joseph Mignogna () is an American actor and musician known for his voice-over work in the English dubs of Japanese anime shows, the most notable being Edward Elric from the Fullmetal Alchemist series, for which he earned the American Anime Award for Best Actor in 2007. Other notable animation roles include Broly from the Dragon Ball films, Tamaki Suoh in Ouran High School Host Club, Fai D. Flowright in Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle, Dark in D.N.Angel, Kurz Weber in the Full Metal Panic! series, Zero and Ichiru Kiryu in the Vampire Knight series, Christopher Aonuma in Digimon Fusion, Nagato and Obito Uchiha in Naruto Shippuden, Ikkaku Madarame in Bleach, Qrow Branwen in RWBY, and Matt Ishida in Digimon Adventure tri. In video games, he is the voice of E-123 Omega in the Sonic the Hedgehog series and Junpei Iori from Persona 3. In live-action work, he has participated in several Star Trek fan productions, including Star Trek Continues where he plays Captain James T. Kirk.

In February 2019, studios Funimation and Rooster Teeth cut ties with Mignogna after a number of sexual harassment allegations surfaced. Mignogna has denied the allegations and filed a lawsuit against Funimation and several individuals in April 2019 allegeing defamation and tortious interference.

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