An Open Letter to Funimation

Dear Funimation,

I’m concerned.

I’m concerned because it appears that Funimation dubbing staff have been permitted to “run wild,” so-to-speak with regards to the scripts in some of Funimation’s broadcast dubs. The fact that this has happened no less than three times in the past two years is alarming to me.

Back in the fall of 2015, the broadcast dub of Prison School aired with a particularly stand-out line referencing GamerGate. My views on the GamerGate controversy notwithstanding, the line quite frankly had no place in the show and not only made for a reference that will date the show in the future, but was also no doubt a cheap shot at a significant portion of the show’s audience.

When the show released on disc the following year, however, I’d found that the line was changed to something more appropriate, and immediately purchased the show once I found out.

Now I feel like that was the wrong thing to do.

They say once is once is an accident; twice is a coincidence; three times is enemy action.

Combined, the Prison School GamerGate line change in episode 7, the Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid line change in episode 12 (And others throughout the series), and the My First Girlfriend is a Gal line change in episode 7 tell me that, despite significant protest, Funimation is okay with its staff not only making significant changes to the works they’re adapting, but making those changes in ways that promote a particular ideological viewpoint (that the show was not originally promoting) and/or take mean-spirited shots at the fans of those works.

Make no mistake. I’m familiar with the challenges of localization and I’m in no way suggesting Funimation attempt to undertake the herculean task of a 1-to-1 translation. That wouldn’t be feasible or effective for the purpose of creating an entertaining product. I’m also sympathetic to the people who produce anime dubs, as much of the anime community seems to have nothing but contempt for dubs.

What happened with Prison School, Dragon Maid, and Hajimete no Gal, however, isn’t doing the dub market any favors. While I have nothing but respect for localization, dubbing, and ADR staff who do their jobs well and respect their audiences, I can’t say the same for those who use localization of a show they didn’t create as a platform to push their personal viewpoints.

My belief is that when significant changes are made in a translation/localization, it fundamentally robs the customer of the product they paid for. Reason being is when I buy, say, Gunslinger Girl, my intention is to get from the show the same experience the original creators wanted their audience to get, or as close as possible to that. My intention is not to get “Gunslinger Girl – As interpreted by Funimation.”

As a result, I don’t plan on purchasing any more Funimation products until your company addresses its localizations and makes a commitment to doing better. The lack of progress on this issue indicates to me a critical lack of respect for not only the anime fans consuming the works your company brings over, but for the people creating those works, as well.

Make no mistake: I am not one of these people who use these recent dub controversies as an excuse to spew vitriol against dubs and the people who make them on the internet. I am a customer of Funimation and hope to continue being so in the future, I can’t in good conscience continue buying from Funimation as long as there remains a significant possibility that I won’t be getting what I paid for, and as long as it remains unclear whether or not the company respects its audience.

All the Funimation releases I currently own.

I know several others who are like me and have made the same decision.

Please do the right thing.

Sincerely,

Chris Haughton
She’s Lost Control Media – NTR Radio – Shin-Akiba Anime Goods

The Anti-Moé Brigade and The “Loser” Narrative

Icon-MOEPathologization of otaku is a thread that runs deep in Anti-Moé Brigade rhetoric. It makes sense: If you can convince people that only terrible people can conceivably like a thing, you’ll succeed in vilifying that thing. As a result, people who subscribe to Anti-Moé Brigade thinking often fixate upon the most egregious and weird examples of otaku they can find, pushing a narrative that all moe fans are like that and feeding off of a public perception that these people are deficient because of the way they carry themselves and enjoy things.

Continue reading “The Anti-Moé Brigade and The “Loser” Narrative”

Announcing: Iyashikei!

Everyone, I have an announcement.

No, I’m not pregnant. I’ve just started a new project. I’m calling it “Iyashikei.” It’s sort of a side blog to She’s Lost Control, focusing on otaku lifestyle, convention culture, cosplay, figures, and models.

You can check it out here. It’s still a work in progress, but I’ve populated it with articles. Let me know what you think!

Anime Review: Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin I – Blue-Eyed Casval

A story with good worldbuilding leaves the viewer wanting more. When the characters and the setting have a compelling backstory, the viewer will have a craving to see that backstory, rather than just hearing about it. Universal Century Gundam has not only accomplishes this, but delivers on that desire for more.

Origin11Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin I – Blue-Eyed Casval is an animated film produced by Sunrise that tells the story of a young Char Aznable, eleven years before the events of Mobile Suit Gundam. Following the mysterious death of Chairman Zeon Zum Deikun, Side 3, the group of space colonies known as Munzo, is plunged into political unrest, with the late Chairman’s family caught in the middle.

Origin13Blue-Eyed Casval is a classic origin story. It shows the environment young Char grew up in, the people he was surrounded by, and what he went through as a child. In addition, it also serves to illustrate the politics going on in the Universal Century at that time, both within Side 3 and between Side 3 and the Earth Federation. Side 3 has been pushing for independence and, with Chairman Deikun dead on the eve of his expected declaration of independence from the Federation, protesters line the streets, pushing at gates and throwing rocks at riot police until armored vehicles with water cannons disperse them.

Origin16The film does a good job of illustrating the class situation in Munzo that no doubt contributes to the unrest. While the film focuses on aristocratic characters like the Deikun, Ral, and Zabi families, there’s a palpable disconnect between them and the common folk of Munzo. There always seems to be a layer of clouds over Munzo’s cities, which I assume is smog or something similar. The city streets are dirty. As the Zabi family schemes, street gangs, toting assault rifles, submachineguns, and grenades, have taken to accosting passersby and destroying buildings.

Origin14The seriousness of Munzo’s situation is not without its moments of levity, however. Blue-Eyed Casval manages to accomplish the transition between humor and seriousness without the funny parts seeming tacked-on or the serious parts seeming phoned-in. The characters are genuine and true-to-form. It’s the kind of origin story where it’s not hard to see how each character came to become the way they are in Mobile Suit Gundam, even despite the fact that this is only part one.

Origin17Visually, the film looks fantastic. The colors are vibrant, and the environments are interesting to look at. Character-design-wise, the characters are, once again, true-to-form. Mobile Suit Gundam’s distinct characters make it simple to pick out who in the film is the younger version of whom from Mobile Suit Gundam.

Origin12The film makes use of CG for the mobile suits, spacecraft, armored vehicles, cars, and even horses one time. Those who are bothered by CG in mecha anime will no doubt be bothered by the CG in Blue-Eyed Casval. The CG certainly stands out, but not only does the interaction between it and the traditional animation work well, it allows for some intense combat. The opening scene takes place during the Battle of Loum, an early battle in Mobile Suit Gundam’s One Year War, and is one of the best depictions of Char in combat that I’ve yet seen. It’s the kind of thing that might perhaps have been nice to see in traditional animation, but would have been prohibitively resourse- and time-intensive to do.

For fans of the Universal Century Gundam world, Blue-Eyed Casval is a must-see. It’s not just Char’s origin story. It’s Sayla’s, and Ramba Ral’s, and Kycilia Zabi’s. It’s Zeon’s origin story. It’s Clamp’s origin story. Remember Clamp? Definitely check this one out if UC Gundam’s your thing. You won’t regret it.

Origin18

Why Yandere Girls Are the Best

This article is presented as a sample of what will be published in the first issue of NYAAN – The Magazine. You can read the full article in the magazine!

Kotonoha Katsura 3People call me crazy when I talk about yandere girls. I’ve gotten quite used to having to explain why they appeal to me so much.

They really are amazing.

Yanderes are characterized not only by their instability, insanity, and violent tendencies, but also by their obsession, undying loyalty, and boundless love for the target of their affections. Yandere girls are practically made of pure love. They ooze devotion. Everything a yandere girl does, she does for the love of her life, even if he might not notice her, or want her to, or even care about her.

Yandere girls are often excellent homemakers as well. The quickest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, after all. Not to mention, once her and her dream guy start living together, it’ll be her responsibility to keep the house clean, do the laundry, and be waiting for him as he returns home from work, ready to ask him, “Would you like your dinner first? Or your bath first? Or me first?”

Yandere love is true love. It’s unconditional love. It might not be rational, but then again, love isn’t rational. A yandere girl loves the guy in her sights without expecting anything in return. His love is its own reward. She exists to make him happy and will go to any length to do so. His happiness is her happiness, and all she wants is for the both of them to be happy together, forever.

Yuno1By any means necessary.

People focus on the violence and the insanity, but yanderes only use violence as a last resort. And even then, it’s only used in defense of her man or their relationship. If you think about it, yandere girls are stronger than they let on. They won’t let anything get in the way of their “happily ever after,” going to any length to protect the happy ending they have in their heads. Where most girls would give up and accept heartbreak, yanderes will go even further.

Just like the Yamato Nadeshiko, the yandere is not a doormat. She’s devoted to her lover and might come off as submissive, but she will not let anything come between them and ruin their relationship, even when the only solution is murder.

Kaede1It’s not just that she’s crazy, it’s that she’s crazy in love.

Kept assured that the one she loves also loves her and is happy with her, she doesn’t even need to resort to stalking him or killing her rivals. She doesn’t want to be weird, creepy, and violent, but she will if it means keeping the one she loves.

Yandere love is love unfiltered, love in its rawest, purest form. We should all hope to one day be loved by someone who loves like a yandere.

Read the rest in the first issue of NYAAN – The Magazine!