Funimation and its marketing

Funimation makes some pretty great dubs but sometimes they just need to work on their marketing. Not all of their marketing is poor, however. In fact, they produced some well designed trailers that do an excellent job in attracting an audience. The Summer Wars trailer and the Eden of the East trailer are edited very professionally, and the music composed for those trailers are an excellent listen as well. However, Funimation can screw up. They can easily mislead an audience with their advertising. What they show you in trailers might not be what you expect at all from a series.

Take this Sekirei dub promotion for the second season, as an example.

Now I have no problem with the dub or with any of its voice actors. The voice acting is completely fine, but how the trailer is put together is what bothers me. The first 21 seconds are edited just fine, showing just what the second season is about. The Sekirei are now labeled as terrorists and are being hunted down. And then there’s this:

The “Boobs are Back”? Is this how we’re labeling the Sekirei now? Why not just say “The Sekirei are back”? It’s almost as if they’re saying, “Hey, you like boobs? We got boobs. Boobies in Sekirei. Hehe. Boobies. Boobies are fun. So watch Sekirei!”. What is with this Sex in the City font and background.. and sparkles? This is just fucking degrading. Yeah Sekirei has fanservice, but it also has great action sequences too as well as a neat concept for a show. No one watches Sekirei for the breasts. Anyhow, what follows after this is 18 seconds of some of the fanservice moments of Sekirei all compiled together. It’s almost awkward in this sort of order. When it appeared in the show, it was there for only brief moments and then it moved on to some more plot. Again, this causes a misinterpretation of what this show is really about.

Alright, seriously now, Funimation. This shit’s getting old.

“Boobies for the win”? Who the fuck are you catering to anymore? 12 year olds? “Hyuck hyuck! Boobies!” Fuck you, I give up. It’s ok that Funimation acts a little silly every now and then, but this is just the wrong idea given about what Sekirei is. It really does sadden me, because I do find it a legitimately enjoyable series, despite the fanservice moments and sillyness involved.

Let’s take a look at the Chaos;Head Limited Edition DVDs they’re promoting:

Alright, right off the bat, two seconds in, there’s already a problem.

“From the Studio that brought you Death Note”. Ok, I’ve fully seen Chaos;Head and Death Note, and I can safely say that they are nothing alike. Yes, they both have murder and yes, they are both psychological shows. But guess what? Madhouse also did Paranoia Agent… which has murder… and is psychological. So do they bring up that!? No. Again, not very alike. You see… it’s a trap. They’ll convince you to watch this show, granted if you liked Death Note, but what they don’t tell you is that this series is mega-shit or  what this series is really about. It’s more or so like giving the audience a clip of the first few minutes of Inception and expecting them to be fully interested in the content. Sure, it looks interesting on the outside, but getting down to the core of it, it’s not revealing its true colors.

Honestly I prefer their Fairy Tail promo videos:

See, now this is great marketing. That narrator’s voice, the techno-ish beat? Remind you of something? Well, it certainly reminds me of those excellent, well-made Toonami trailers back in the day. Ya know, what it was still alive and kicking. This is what promos and marketing should be about. Including some of the greatest points of the show in one trailer without giving too much away. It grabs interest, tells the audience what in the hell the show is about, and accomplishes all the duties a good trailer should.

Those were golden days, man.


About davethezombie
I watch anime on nearly a daily basis. I also try to read some manga every now and then.

15 Responses to Funimation and its marketing

  1. joseqq says:

    C’mon Sekirei was all about the boobs. Pssst, even the manga.

    • If you watched it for the boobs, I feel bad for you son, I had 99 reasons to watch it but boobies ain’t one. :C

      • joseqq says:

        There’s nothing else to watch it… to see the results of the stupid actions the characters take? I guess, but there are only boobs in the show, anything else is just there to connect Boob Shot A with Ass Shot B and Boob Shot C.

  2. If that’s all you saw it as, then it sounds like just wasn’t up your alley. I still legitimately enjoyed the action sequences and the battles in Sekirei and I felt that was it’s strongest appeal. I didn’t let those other aspects lower my enjoyment of the show. Sekirei didn’t feel like it needed the most developed characters or a deep plotline. It was just a fun action show to me, all the while doing something interesting with it.

    • joseqq says:

      The fights are good, there’s not enough of them, their huge tits are all the time in my face, specially since they are larger than their heads they end up covering a fifth of the screen, add to that there are more than 2 characters on the screen at once many times… it’s tits everywhere.

      Focus on fights? yea, I’ll go watch DTB

      • Again, you focus too much on the negatives. I still found entertainment value in Sekirei, despite its abnormalities. It’d be like me saying all SYD is redundant, generic, unoriginal, sex jokes. Because really, that’s all that show is. But you can still find other entertainment value in that mediocre show (Unless you can’t, then congrats, you love mediocrity as much as I do).

        And hey, if we’re gonna compare two different action series, FMA had much better fights than DTB’s silly shit. Not that anyone cares, but ya know, clearly it’s the better action series. =3

  3. joseqq says:

    I can’t speak about FMA much because I have not finished it… you know that, there have been very few fights compared to the dialogue there is in it (which is good in its own way).

    And Sekirei is good in it’s own way too, but really you cannot expect the show to not be marketed this way. It really has almost the same feel that HOTD has with the exception of the tone but it can easily be marketed as ZOMBIES! TITS! BLOOD! TITS!

    • At least with HSOTD it would mention, “Zombies” and “Blood”, but all this promo is, is just “Boobies, boobies, boobies.” Yeah, it’s there, but what about everything else about Sekirei? I would’ve been fine if they just mentioned it once, but they’re just running the joke to the ground in the promo. Even if I didn’t like Sekirei much, this feels pretty awkward.

  4. chibirob says:

    I think you’re argument is a bit off the mark. First of all we do need to clear one thing up, I liked Sekirei, both seasons, I’m looking forward to the 3rd when it comes out, but Sekirei Is a Boob anime, its a Boob anime that just happens to be greater than the sum if its silicon parts. I will agree that the commercial is a bit over the top, but I also laughed my butt off because it Was so over the top, and as its the advert for the sequel at this point we all know what we are getting so its really not so bad they are having fun with it. When it comes to Chaos Head of course they are going to promo it using the last big series that widely popular because it will catch the attention of the people who saw that, Madhouse also did Harmageddon/Genma Taisen but NOBODY wants to be linked to that movie, so its understandable that where Paranoia Agent was a good anime, its also older so not as big of an eyecatch. Now here is where I see your true argument being, not the misconception of what Sekirei is, but rather what Anime in general is. A commercial like this seen by someone who has no true vested interest in anime will look at this promo and go “see that’s what those Japanese cartoons are all about… boobs and sex” Which is a stigma that anime has still to shake, it was true back when Akira came out, they would run clips of Akira along with Urotsukidoji and you would think that all anime was about was sex and horrible violence. And at that time, sadly that is all that Was being brought to the US, it was either straight up Hentai or things like MD Geist, Fist of the North Star, Golgo 13, etc etc Big Violent movies and porn because they Knew it would sell. But like it or not its what opened the door back then and its a shame we live with to this day no matter how many great anime series they bring out there will be that one person who see’s a promo like this and just decides that “Yup this is what anime is all about, Pokemon and Porn”.

    btw… Chaos Head wasn’t That bad… don’t be such a fanboy dave :p

    • Even if it’s a “Boob” anime, this is still pretty poor marketing. The first 18 seconds of that promo are serious and give a good outline of what the season’s about and then moves into silly fanservice mode. It would be like if they made a promo for HSOTD and never made any mention of “Zombies” or “Gore” because its a “Boob” anime, while running 90% of the promo with fanservice scenes. Most of the girls in that show are just as large-chested. But here’s the thing though. I know people who watched HSOTD for the survival horror aspects of that show other than seeing the fanservice. You guys act like that’s only reason to watch Sekirei (which isn’t really true). I found the action and comedy to be enjoyable above all else. I don’t see why those things have to be ignored. The whole thing with Madhouse is very misleading. Of course they’ll use Death Note because people enjoyed that. It’s about as credible as marketing for those “(Any Movie Genre) Movie (Epic Movie, SuperHero Movie, Scary Movie, etc.), and yet, those turned out to be shit. It may be smart strategy to get people to watch the show, but it’s a dick move. It has very little comparisons to Death Note overall. If they keep attaching big names to very different shows, people would eventually lose trust in them. People stopped caring about those *Genre movies, even though it had one or two writers from Scary Movie, because it wasn’t the same and the jokes were worse.

      I just didn’t enjoy Chaos;Head anyhow. It had some nice ideas but never could properly execute them. How am I fanboy anyhow?

      • chibirob says:

        to the contrary I found Sekirei Was enjoyable, and I don’t disagree that there is more to it than just whats advertised, but even without Funi’s advertising it doesn’t change what the original market demo would be, there are lots of fanserv anime that are terrible, Sekirei just happened to be an exception. But that would be detracting from the core, which is marketing in general and when you are looking for the greatest amount of return you go for target marketing and big names to fuel sales. But when you look at it though there really isn’t “Credible Marketing” in any field, not just anime, usually when you get a good add its because someone might actually enjoy the product. But when you see a show “like” Sekirei your first market strategy is to focus on the male audience even at the expense of what could be a very good series. I actually didn’t watch HSOTD because of the adds I had seen on it, it was off putting, but at the same time I kept hearing about it so it was more of a word of mouth that got me to watch in the first place and enjoyed it for what it was, a play B movie zombie flicks. But then a 20yr younger me would most likely have watched it Just because it was what the adds made it appear to be.

        At the end of the day I actually Do agree with your sentiment, but feel its truly directed at the market and marketing in general rather than on a single series or company.

        LOL the “fanboy” reference is from your new side podcast

  5. Well there you go then, the male audience. The male audience isn’t always interested fanservice. I can see where they’re coming from but it just feels like adding more focus on the action parts of that series wouldn’t take away from it. In fact, it would add on to it, ya know? What’s better than just boobs? Boobs and Action! Yaaaay. Oh well. I did find the ads like Toonami had gave the audience interest in a series for the right reasons. It got the viewers engaged into the shows without taking away any of the essentials. There’s certainly better ways to go about it, rather just lazily adding in stuff just to appeal to the masses.

  6. chibirob says:

    But with Toonami that was broadcast television, you can’t market fanserv on a series thats on at 4pm on a weekday cause that WILL get the parent groups all over it. And anything that would be considered questionable or to hard core was edited, No blood in DBZ, Michiru and Haruka were “cousins”, the almost rape by the main character in Outlaw Star, all gone. But the editing rant can be saved for another post.

    Now were as with the 2nd season of Sekirei I think that the ad can be given a pass because its the 2nd season and you know what your getting… I WILL totally give you the Season 1 add which is actually 100x “worse” LOL

  7. chibirob says:

    LOL I tend not to read Youtube comments

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