Funimation Vs. Sentai/ADV: What separates them

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Oct 23, 2014
976
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#1
In North America, the two biggest production/distribution companies for anime are Funimation Productions, and Sentai Filmworks, formally ADV Films. Based in Texas (Dallas and Houston respectively), these two are responsible for a large chunk of anime that gets licensed in North America. Besides being located close to each-other in the same state, the two are also similar in their hands-on approach to English dubs. Unlike other distributors, Funimation and Sentai do all their ADR production in-house, using local voice talent, many of whom regularly work for both companies. They also have adopted the practice of dubbing their shows within just 2 weeks of their original broadcast episode by episode (Funimation with their SimulDubs and Sentai with DubCasts). For the many similarities they have, they're also quite different.

I think the biggest thing that separates Funimation from Sentai/ADV is the types of shows they license. Funimation has a large, and diverse catalog of shows under their belt, but they've also always had a keen eye for picking shows that can be mass market hits. The Dragon Ball franchise is Funimation's signature title and perhaps the biggest cash cow in anime history. Even when a show from Funimation fails, the profits from Dragon Ball DVD/Blu-Ray sales, FuniNow Streaming, merchandise, and Toonami airings alone can offset the losses. But it's not just Dragon Ball, Funimation also has other mainstream Shonen hits like One Piece, Attack on Titan, Full Metal Alchemist (Formally), and My Hero Academia. Funimation usually knows how to turn a special anime, into a mainstream hit.

Sentai and ADV on the other-hand, focus more on quantity. Sentai doesn't care about making a hit, rather they focus on getting a large library of shows to offer a diverse lineup, regardless of quality. This can be both a good and bad thing. Sentai gets good shows, but most of its catalog is pretty niche, some of their shows are even complete shit, same with ADV before them. They focus more smaller titles that are easier to release rather than trying to make a popular anime huge in North America. Back in the pre-Sentai days though, ADV was notorious for its bad habit of paying insane prices for incredibly niche shows. They spent $100 on Kuaru: Phantom Memory, which I don't even think most casual anime fans ever heard of. Neon Genesis: Evangelion was the closest to a poster-child the company had, but ADV never had mass market monster like Funimation did with DBZ. This, combined with what I mentioned earlier, was what I think led to its downfall, and sub-subsequent re-organization. Sentai's learned from ADV's overpaying habits, but they still lack a big mass market title compared to Funimation.

One last big difference is that Funimation's dubs are usually of consistent quality with their weaker dubs typically being mediocre at worst, while Sentai is more hit and miss with some dubs good, and others flat out terrible.

TL;DR - What separates Funimation from Sentai/ADV IMO, is that Funimation focuses of marketing a select few mass market anime to help them promote and license a wide range of titles, while Sentai/ADV focus more on promoting and marketing anime as a whole. Simply put, Sentai/ADV knows how to sell anime, but Funimation knows how to sell a hit.
 

Takao

Fight the darkness all around
Mar 17, 2010
4,616
Ratings
736 1
63
Canada
#2
I think your view on Sentai being a quantity over quality company is pretty outdated. They're not the ones dubbing 20 shows a season before a single one is finished ... Funimation's current strategy towards new IP is to throw a bunch of stuff at the wall and see what sticks. This is after all, the same company that had the genius idea to simuldub two children's shows exclusively for a video-on-demand service that features almost no content suitable for children.
 
Oct 23, 2014
976
Ratings
320 5
28
#3
I think your view on Sentai being a quantity over quality company is pretty outdated. They're not the ones dubbing 20 shows a season before a single one is finished ... Funimation's current strategy towards new IP is to throw a bunch of stuff at the wall and see what sticks. This is after all, the same company that had the genius idea to simuldub two children's shows exclusively for a video-on-demand service that features almost no content suitable for children.
What I mean by that is that Funimation focuses of keeping it's big name titles as profitable and relevant as possible, so that they can lead the way to a large amount of titles. Remember, Funimation didn't start out like ADV. For years, Dragon Ball Z was practically its only title, then they slowly began expanding to other shows, before finally ending up with the massive catalog and resources they have now. ADV meanwhile started, not with Evangellion, but with Devil Hunter Yohko, an obscure OVA, most people never heard of. Eva was ADV's signature title, but they were already licensing a ton of shows before hand, while Funimation back then was just DBZ.

My point was that Funimation focuses on a select series of big name titles to help carry a large lineup of anime, while Sentai and ADV before them focus on promoting a large library of anime as a whole rather than trying to find the next big hit. Funimation licenses and SimulDubs a lot of shows each season, but they can afford to do so thanks to the weight of Dragon Ball, Fairy Tail, One Piece, and Attack on Titan. Sentai wishes it could license as much as Funimation each year.
 

RDG

Aspiring animator/filmmaker and Ugliest Man Alive
Oct 2, 2014
1,706
Ratings
351 4
48
27
Bedford, OH
twitter.com
#5
I think your view on Sentai being a quantity over quality company is pretty outdated. They're not the ones dubbing 20 shows a season before a single one is finished ... Funimation's current strategy towards new IP is to throw a bunch of stuff at the wall and see what sticks. This is after all, the same company that had the genius idea to simuldub two children's shows exclusively for a video-on-demand service that features almost no content suitable for children.
Which 2 children's shows are you talking about?