Saiyajin Fusion Empire
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Anti funimation



[FUNimation's Website][News Letter #1][News Letter #2]
[From FUNimation's FAQ][An Interview with Satan and his Wife]
[All-New 5" Dragonball Action Figures Announced][Interview with Gen][FUNimation FAQ]


A long interview with Mr. and Mrs. Beezlebub! (Sent in by Ryan on June 25, 2000)

In Japan, Dragon Ball has been one of the anime/manga world's greatest success stories for years, but here in America, it's (been torn to shreds by hungry banshees in the deepest, darkest, and otherwise smelliest bowels of what FUNimation likes to call, HFIL not to mention it) only just arrived. In this exclusive mini-interview, Animerica goes behind the scenes at San Jose-based FUNimation Productions and (finds hundreds of small, starving, naked Guatalupan children being tortured with white-hot pokers and made to watch the horrific dub with staples keeping their eyes open! The editor) talks to Gen and Cindy Fukunaga, the husband and wife team heading (Hell's government. Known to most as Lucifer and Nancy. FUNimation makes an absolute mockery of) Dragon Ball's U.S. production, (and) to get the real story behind Dragon Ball's journey west (you would have to sell your soul to Gen (aka Satan) himself! So we'll settle for bullshit and lies).

NOTE: [CBF]: Cindy Brennan Fukunaga; [GF]: Gen Fukunaga; ([S]: Satan; [BD]: Bob Dole).

Q. What made you want to bring the Dragon Ball series to America? Were you a fan of the series before you began working on it (or were you just in it for the money)?
A. We definitely were familiar with Dragon Ball, and were (not) fans of it, and (especially) knew of its huge popularity. We'd been told, actually, that here was this number-one hit show in Japan, the most popular ever, and that it hadn't yet come to the U.S. So we actually went in search of it (just like the dragonballs! Because we wanted to see "The Eternal Dragon" and) to find out why, and to try and bring it over(ruin it) ourselves. My husband, Gen(Satan), is an American, but he's of Japanese heritage, and he's very familiar with the Japanese shows(the essence of all that is evil). He went back and lived over there in the eighth grade (which makes him an expert on translating anime for fans in America! He wanted a ton of money), and just loved the Japanese animation style. It's gorgeous work. (Destroying it is actually more fun than watching it! You'd be surprised how much like killing a puppy it is.) [CBF]
Q. So why hasn't Dragon Ball been brought to the U.S. before now?
A. Basically, Toei, which is the shows' anime producer, together with Shueisha, its manga publisher, and Akira Toriyama(AKA God, the Messiah, all that is good and holy, the Untouchable Master, (or Muten Roshisama)), the creator (of life on Earth and the universe), all really wanted to make sure that they found a company who would treat the property properly. (Unfortunately, they failed miserably.) Because it is their flagship property, after all, and it's dear to their hearts, in more ways than one. They wanted to make sure it was treated properly in the U.S. (and we wanted to make sure our pockets were stuffed with $100 bills.) We try really, really hard (to dumb it down to a TV 7 rating so that we can appeal to the Pokemon crowd, and most of the time, we succeed). Obviously we have to censor (the living fuck out of) it somewhat for the U.S. market (between the ages of 4 and 7), in order to meet (the TV 7 rating of the) broadcast standards, but we're very careful to try and keep the stuff that really made the series great (out of the show). So we stay (as) true to the characters and the storylines (as our pockets are empty), because they're fabulous(ly fun to destroy). [CBF]
Q. Why did you decide to skip ahead to Dragon Ball Z for this fall's TV season? In other words, why did you decide not to continue producing English episodes of the earlier, first series? Do you ever intend to (grow brains and make the series good? Will you ever) go back and fill in some of the Dragon Ball episodes you skipped, perhaps for home video (or for Satan)? A. It was a combination of factors (such as: 7 year olds don't appreciate dirty humor and plot continuity. All they want are Power Ranger style action, horrible actors and soul-piercingly horrible bgm)-it doesn't mean that we'll never go back and do Dragon Ball again-'cause we may go back later and re-introduce Dragon Ball (because that's what they did in Japan... you know, run a series, then run the prequel... everything has to be ass backwards with us, or not at all). But Dragon Ball Z is much more action-packed, and so in some ways it's a really good fit for the U.S. market (between the ages of 5 and 7) today. Our desire would be not to do the other Dragon Ball episodes for video release only, but rather to have them (never) appear on television (or else we will go back with a team of bad artists consisting of our grandmothers, and re-draw Dragonball entirely, with stupid humor and corny bgm). [CBF]
Q. What challenges did you face in adapting Dragon Ball for U.S. television? Did television broadcast rules demand a lot of editing in the story? A. Actually, one of the things that the censoring body told us they considered to be really good about the show is that, often, in U.S. televsion episodes, there may be a suspenseful moment, but twenty minutes later the problem's solved and everything turns out all right. In Dragon Ball, however, sometimes you have to wait until the next episode. It's just like real life-things aren't always solved in twenty minutes. [LAUGHS] It's a valuable lesson for kids to learn, even besides the good-vs.-evil values of the show. (Another thing that I'd like to say is I really don't want to answer that question at all. In fact, I'll just make up some bullshit about the plot and ramble for a few minutes. [LAUGHS])[CBF]
Q. Would you say that Dragon Ball Z was harder to adapt to U.S. TV than Dragon Ball, or would you say that it was easier? A. That's probably a question that our producer should answer, but I myself don't see a great deal of difference in difficulty. (Even though we gave up on DB because it had mature themes, and we aren't targeting mature audiences...)[CBF]
Q. Can you tell us about the digital effects used for some scenes, such as Goku's "digital underwear"? Were these effects very expensive? What made you decide to do it this way? A. You know, it really is expensive. That work is done in our Texas (aka Hell) studios, and basically what it consists of is altering (altering - v. ruining. see also, reversioning) the image, one frame at a time (instead of just altering one frame and then "copy-pasting" the rest. Doing it one frame at a time gave it that funny bouncy style we all know and love). And so, even though it's expensive, we had reached the point in a lot of cases where there were things that weren't acceptable for U.S. children's television. (Of course, it is perfectly acceptable for teenagers and adults, most of whom have their own income and more money than 6 year old children), and it was either edit it (to all hell), slash it out (like wild, blood-thirsty pirates), or redo it. (By "redo it" I mean have a team of our grandmothers redraw the whole damned scene... and we all know how shitty that turns out.) Most of the time, we just ended up going with the extra expense and effort, (because we're just so damned nice,) and employed people to just sit there (on their asses) and digitally "paint," ("ruin the show,") frame-by-frame. [CBF] Q. Will the Japanese theme song be included at all in the U.S. broadcast of Dragon Ball Z? If not, how did you decide what type of music would be used? A. No, we composed a new (shitty) theme. It was done in Los Angeles. It's a very distinctive sound (distinctive - adj. shitty. see also; reversioning), and I'm told it's of the sort that's very popular among American children right now. (Of course, it is also very popular among asylem patients, rabid baboons, and Limp Bizkit fans). [CBF]

(click here to see just how FUNimation made the music!)

Q. Since there are literally hundreds of episodes of Dragon Ball Z, may we ask how many episodes of Dragon Ball Z you're planning to produce? Will you be looking for complete "story arcs"? If so, which ones? A. We're producing (producing - v. ruining. see also, reversioning) 26 for the first season, and we intend to continue production; we'll probably do 26 for next season, as well. I don't know if we've made a firm commitment to next season as yet. (It all depends on how full our pockets are at the end of the day.) Actually, we are producing them in the same order in which the original Dragon Ball Z aired, since it's a continuing saga, so... (Editor's note: What the fuck was that supposed to mean? "Actually, we are producing them in the same order..." What other order would you produce them in? Baka yatsame....)[CBF]
The first "arc" will essentially (essentially - adj anything but, entirely different than) be the first storyline of the original series, where the basic nemesis of Vegeta (Editor's note: What the? "the basic nemesis of Vegeta"!? WTF? I'm not even going to touch that...) is introduced, along with his henchman Nappa (Editor's note: Nappa is not Bejita's henchman... he's his royal body guard), concluding with their big battle. We'll have improved syndication this time through Saban (aka Satan) TV, which means easier clearances, better timeslots, (a parking spot in the warmest place in Hell,) and broader coverage nationwide. As of now, we have 88% of the country covered (hypnotised). [GF]
Q. How would you say Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z differ from American animation?
A. One of the things we really feel is that it's unique. (Which is why we decided to, instead of keep the original, Japanese, music, make a new "hip" theme song that has a lyrical content of 7 words.) For most American cartoons, you can look at it, and say that it's just like five others, but we think that Dragon Ball is actually unique because the characters and story are so wonderfully drawn and have depth to them. (Which is also why we have painted over the wonderfully drawn characters and have created gaping plot holes that you could drive a frickin' planet through, like the Big Ghetti Star from movie 6.) It's a true epic that goes on and on (and on and on, we at FUNimation see it as boring and tedious; which is why we cut most of the scenes, and even full episodes for you stupid Americans); you (don't) meet Goku in Dragon Ball and he's a small boy (because we decided not to produce it... it wouldn't make us rich quick enough,) but then he grows up and has children of his own (all of the sudden! I mean, for 13 episodes he's a child, next thing you know, he's breeding like a damn rabbit! I wonder why that is.......) There's a history and richness that I think you have a hard time finding in American shows. (Including Dragonball Z, because we cut out the plot and storyline in substitute for concentrated action, from extract). [CBF]
Q. Will you be releasing (destroying) any of the Dragon Ball movies or TV specials? Any chance of releasing any of them theatrically? How about the current merchandise plans?
A. We'd very much like to, but we don't know our exact plans right now. It's certainly a desire of ours. They're wonderfully done, and we would certainly (love to get our blood-stained corporate hands on them, but the thing is, our pact with Satan only goes so far. There's a change we'd) have an audience for them, based on the television show (but Satan doesn't fuck around... if we didn't make at least 5 million, he'd tear out our reproductive organs). We've got our first TV videos in the stores right now. We've produced a "style guide," using original Dragon Ball art done for us by Toei, which gives the manufactureers guidelines for producing merchandise-to know what the characters look like, how they act and move. We're very particular that our licensees, when making Dragon Ball products, have to (make tons of money, not) stay true to the original artwork. They can re-draw the character, obviously, but what they come up with has to have a realistic pose and look accurate. (You know, in retrospect, when we "reversioned" Gohan's face in the desert training episodes, it looked like a big hairy monkey ass! [LAUGHS]) A lot of time when people make toys and so forth based on animated shows, they really change the look of the character, and that's not right, is it? [LAUGHS] (But the really funny part is that we did that! I mean, come on, look at most of the 'Vegeta' figures... I've taken better looking shits than that! [LAUGHS] And then Irwin added weapons and little red Dragonballs to sell the products more. [LAUGHS] Man... Satan was pissed...) [CBF]
For the purposes of merchandising, Nielsen ratings, (our pact with Satan,) and advertisements, we're targeting mainly 6-to-11 year old boys. But we also found, during our broadcast of the first Dragon Ball, that it was doing quite well with men, too, all the way up into their mid-20s. The story itself is actually for a higher age group than the basic audience target; in actuality, the characters are fairly deep. (Editor's note: You know what? I'd just like to take this time to bang on the keyboard in frustration: asklfglskgsdfklbjzdfioreajzsigbzdfkbhjklsrdzjhkgsdiozjd Thank you.) It's comparable to a number of comic books these days that are read by a higher age group than kids. We intend to leave in that depth of story and character that was present in the Japanese original (as opposed to dumbing it down a young adult show to a TV 7 rating... oh wait...). [GF]

----------------------------------------------------

Well, that was it. Now, they weren't lying... were they? Because Dragonball Z teaches us wholesome family values, and lying isn't one of them. Wait... I'm starting to sound like a dubbie! Ugh, there's nothing more painful then hearing my little brother talk with his friend about Krillen's Destructo Disks, and Piccolo's Special Beam Cannon, and how they were all going to Namek to wish everyone back to this dimension. Sad, that FUNimation is able to warp so many minds like that. There is a special place in the darkest, hottest regions of HFIL for all the bastards reponsible for DBZ's butchery. ANYWAY, thank you for reading my little rant, it's just a way of sharing my anger with someone equally as pissed. Have fun toying with the words of Gen and Cindy! And expect some more mail for you FUNimation is full of shit page. It's truly excellent. Keep up the good work!
Ryan

First things first: FUNimation is owned by two very ambiguously stupid bakame. That said, I'd like to thank Ryan for his addition to FFS and his satisfactory kissing of my ass. I really do appreciate when fans send stuff in to me, it's the fans that keep the Empire running and I love you guys for that. Anywho, it appears FUNimation doesn't "want to censor the life outta DBZ, but Satan makes them..." Bah, they're all fuckin' morons.

Goin' up?