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our thoughts on...



FUNimation's Fad


 

70+ episodes in one season. 

Let me say that again: 70+ FREAKING EPISODES IN ONE SEASON.

 FUNimation just can't see any longivity in a US market, I guess. And you can't blame them, since Americans are so fickle. Remember Pokemon? 1997-2000. It won't live to the end of next year, and we know it. Power Rangers still airs, but has it done anything big outside of 1993-1996? And can we even name how many times someone has tried to revive TMNT, but to no avail? So the question stands: is FUNi doing the right thing? Are they even doing the right thing financially?

Well from what I've seen, FUNi is really trying to cash in. Lets assume that FUNi subtitles every episode for DVD. Let's cut them some slack, and say there will be four episodes on every DVD (even though most have three). Let's give each DVD a price of $20. That comes out to $1460 for all of DBZ subbed. Ouch. Or, if you do it by tapes that the avgerage American kid will buy, that equals $730 if each tape has 4 episodes (which we know isn't true) and if each tape costs $10 (unless you want "uncut" episodes, which comes out to $1195 if each tape is $15). Is this attitude productive for FUNi? Of course not. There is just too much to buy, and if they expect anyone to own all of DBZ (legally), they are gravely mistaken. If they want people to buy their tapes and still have money left to buy other "wonderful" DBZ merchandise, they need to do some inexpensive box sets.

FUNi faces serious problems in the coming years. They BETTER end DBZ with two 50 episode seasons, or people will just feel like FUNi's cramming it down their throat. If a person does not have the money to buy the tapes, what happens if they missed an episode? By the time they go through Cell Saga two more times, we'll almost be ready for Heaven's Tournament. You also have a multi-platform video game (instead, buy Quake III and d/l BFP when it's ready) coming out, and all those action figures. I think, besides us Otaku, the casual American DBZ fan really gets screwed here. With FUNi rushing through the series like this, the fan has to pick what DBZ stuff they really want, and they miss all the movies (FUNimation should be up to Movie 9, or at least 8. They haven't even finished 4, which I wouldn't wase my time on). It's going so fast that Gen thinks that movies 6 & 7 would make a good pair for a feature movie release, when it's 5& 6 that go together. All this rushing and stupidity just to combat this fad thing.

Aren't the Japanese fickle? Staying trendy there is HARDER than here, or at least the same. But DB was popular there from 1984-1995 (GT had abyssmal ratings). 11 years. I think that this proves that the only people who need to speed up are the folks at Viz. They really need to catch up with FUNi. . .and produce an uncensored version, those traitors. But I digress. FUNi could make MORE money if they just slow things down.

And then there are the otaku. Since the fansub supply is dwindeling, and since the quality keeps getting worse, we will have to pay those absurd amounts (see above) for our DB fix. Plus, we get the honor of becomming a backwards group that's "stuck in a dead fad", like MMPR fans, even thoug many of us have liked DB for 5 years plus.

Asking a few webmasters, "When will the US Dragon Ball 'Fad' die out?", I came up with the following:

(courtesy of Greg Werner, http://www.goes.com/~dbzinfo/)

Greg Werner: when GT is finished

Ronald Roland: so 2002?

GW: If that's what they do next 

GW: I think it will still be around, like Power Rangers is around today, but still, it's nothing compared to what it was

(courtesy of Sean Kendle, http://www.sjfempire.com)

 Sean Kendle: As soon as the fad dies out... I'll give it till half way through DBGT if FUNisatan is going to destroy that, too. 

RR: so, about what year? 

SK: No idea... you know how FUNiexcuseforarespectablecompany takes their damned time.... Season 5 won't be out for another couple months now... probably in March 2001 or so... then DBGT will start in a couple months after that... about mid-summer probably... 

SK: So... by Christmas time next year, DBZ will be spoken about in past tense in the States... of course Canada and Australia are still like, in the Furiza saga still or something... they're way behind 

RR: next x-mas? but they won't have all of DBZ done by then. 

SK: Whatever.

SK: I don't care about FUNcastration 

Yep. 2001 or 2002 is the year we become uncool. So send a message to FUNimation. Tell them to stop rushing before we all suffer. DB/Z/GT is being treated as a fad, when, really, it worked as a huge ten-year story. Too bad Gen thinks we're so fickle. If he were smarter he'd have more money, and I'd have more respect for him.

Ronald Roland is a columninst for the SJFE, a DBZ Otaku, and the co-webmaster of http://generaltso.cjb.net

(PS: Is a quality upgrade so important to you guys? VHS fansubs to DVD is a huge jump in quality, but so is cassette to CD. Did you re-buy all your cassettes when CD's became standard? Did it really change the music?)