Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Funimation May Make Vampire Bund Available on DVD Unedited

In a follow up to my previous post regarding Funimation editing Dance in the Vampire Bund, Jackie Smith told ANN today that:

"based on the episodes we've seen," Funimation expects to be able to release the unedited version on DVD and Blu-ray, but Funimation has not yet seen the unaired episodes and will reserve final judgement until after it has considered those episodes. Explaining that Funimation has paid close attention to consumer feedback, Smith said that the company decided to take a closer look at the edited scenes and determined that the edited scenes, so far, will be acceptable for a DVD release in their unedited format.

Funi's official updated statement:

In the days since we announced the acquisition of the anime "Dance in the Vampire Bund," we have been following the varied responses from within the anime community to our decision to edit specific scenes from its streaming and later home entertainment release.

First, out of concern for our distribution partners and advertisers, we will continue to make minor edits to the episodes which are available via free streaming and television broadcast due to the readily accessible nature of these platforms. We will be careful to keep such edits to a minimum.

However, FUNimation is — as always — committed to bringing the best anime content to the United States in its unedited form on home video. Therefore, we are evaluating the release of the series in unedited and uncensored form for home video. Since only 7 episodes have broadcast in Japan, final determination must be reserved until all episodes can be reviewed to ensure compliance with current U.S. law.

We would like to thank everyone in the anime community for the feedback provided to us on this matter — your opinions count.

So they will continue to make minor edits in the episodes they are making available online (wise), but will release it later on DVD uncut if at all possible.

This does point out a weakness with trying to drop online streaming Anime releases into a 'paid for by advertising' model, which is really just the same model that applied to US TV broadcasts but in a different venue. When Anime is made available to the public for free and paid for by advertisements, the type and scope of the content will be dictated by the advertising partners that support the broadcasts or streams. With a home video release, it's the purchasers (you and me) who have more say in what is considered 'acceptable' content. Not to mention that your viewing is not interrupted by any stupid advertisements for car insurance, cel phone carriers, or other things you are not interested in. I've always been dubious of that whole model.

For a home video release of Vampire Bund, I had pointed to the current catalog of 'H' titles published by other Anime companies that we carry (and thus some of the 'lolicon-ish' content there of), and made the argument that whatever 'lolicon' concerns Funimation might have with Vampire Bund, I really don't think the material is troublesome for an uncut home video release as long as it's rated appropriately - i.e. for adults only. In fact, I felt a 17+ rating was appropriate for the title unedited and said we would be perfectly comfortable displaying an unedited version in our regular Anime catalog (as opposed to the adult section) with a 17+ age rating and perhaps a warning note about 'mature themes'.

Good news indeed. :-)

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