May 29, 2010

Funimation Up For Sale?

Oh my....

Well, THAT was meteoric.

After receiving a huge infusion of cash and clout following their acquisition by Navarre back in 2005, Funimation spent the last 5 years gobbling up the rights to a huge number of R1 releases, many of them from other distribution companies that were going under in 2005-7. Funi has been very very good about punctual, high quality  and respectful translations.

Now Funimation is reportedly up for sale.

I gather that the parent company, Navarre, is looking to focus primarily on software and...whateverthehellelse they do. Funimation is reportedly  taking money away from their primary business model.

As I understand it, Funimation is making money but that they require resources that Navarre doesn't want to develop. 

This is not necessarily the end of the world for them. In these scary economic times companies need to focus on their core competencies (assuming those competencies have a future) and husband resources.  Assuming Funimation is in fact doing well, it is possible that they could continue as they are given a buyer that wants to invest in the areas that Funimation needs development in.

 However, this sounds a lot like what happened with Geneon U.S.A., which was ultimately closed down (and became the source for many of Funimations region-1 acquisitions).

I know there are occasional readers of this blog who are far more knowledgeable of the industry than I have at it in the comments please.

UPDATE: Steven Den Beste links to this article which contains this  passage :

Navarre is pursuing a more focused strategy. Now that we have substantially reduced debt and improved operating margins, we are focusing our efforts on driving revenue, particularly in new product lines. We are concentrating all efforts on our distribution and software publishing businesses where we have significant expertise and considerable systems and physical assets that can be leveraged. The Punch! acquisition announced last week strengthens our software publishing business and demonstrates a step in our execution of this strategy," stated Cary L. Deacon, Chief Executive Officer.

FUNimation Entertainment's strategy and capital requirements are distinctly different from those of the Company's core business. While FUNimation's recent results have generally met expectations, the strategies required to grow the business include co-productions of original anime content, social networks and digital broadcasting. The Company anticipates that those plans are best executed with ownership that has assets or expertise in those areas.The Company will be discussing its going-forward strategy and financial outlook in greater detail next week in connection with its FY 2010 year end conference call.

 Emphasis mine to highlight a ray of optimism in the press release that puts forth a six sigma  effort at acquiring the low hanging fruit of press release-speak.

Steven also points tout  this post on the matter over at a retailers website.

Also: more here,  here and as I type this Funimation is offering 25% off everything...which does not fill me with the joy it normally would.

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May 11, 2010

Note to my Childhood ....CALL YOUR OFFICE!

The upcoming Space Battleship Yamato movie continues to look like it could be one of the most awesomest things in the history of awesome!

Pictures via. Hat tip to the Space Cruiser mailing list.

I see that Dr. Saito Sane is female now but she's still got 'spring water'. They've even got Mimi!

People often wonder why this old show made such an impression on some of us.

 To a 10 year old, adrift in the vast wasteland that was the UHF programming of 1980, Starblazers ( the American title of the show) was nothing short of astonishing. It was a 'cartoon' that did not pull its punches, had an intelligent and engaging story and was a science fiction show that had the space battles that Star Trek often lacked. The translation while not literal was very good and because it wasn't on the major networks it was able to slide things past standards and practices (like characters dieing dramatically). It was a show about honor, courage and heroes who willingly faced genuine peril. This was something almost nonexistant at the time.

Now why then is a 40 year old going all full metal fanboy over this? Well, partly because I'm a nerd, but also because this film looks to be a very faithful adaptation. This means it is aimed at least in part at those of us who ran home from school to see this show some 30 years ago.

 In other words it's aimed at my age for once I need feel neither dirty nor old.

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