Apr. 4th, 2009

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Any mouth-frothing anime fans on your flist may have heard of a little innocuous title (re: raging monster of awesomeness) called Fullmetal Alchemist.

"Not only is FUNimation announcing the acquisition of ‘the most anticipated series of 2009′, we’re also going to be streaming the subtitled episodes within days of the Japanese Television Debut. Crazy, huh?! The fans wanted more FMA - the fans got more FMA. What’s not to like?"

On April 9th, about as many days as one might wait anyway for a crappy-ass, poorly spelled amateur fansub, salivating American FMA fans can watch a professionally translated version of the new show for free, on FUNimation's website. I've suffered the dregs of bad fansubs enough to treasure this gesture for the good fortune it is. FUNimation is not only winning future consumers who will want to by the DVDs, but they're acknowledging that the vast majority of the same people who will buy an anime series on DVD have already seen fan-made subtitled versions of it as much as a year or two in advance. They're honing in on the fansub market, and good for them to think of it. That's using the fluidity of digital media transfer as a marketing tool instead of prosecuting it as a threat.

I'd happily sit through a 15 second commercial or two if it meant that the subtitles I watched were translated correctly and could be trusted to [mostly] accurately convey the Japanese dialogue. I suspect a lot of other people would, too. I have no idea if FUNimation's web content is available to folks outside the US, but I suspect these things get around somehow.

In the last few years, FUNimation has become my favorite dubbing studio. I loved the dubs for FMA, and Fruits Basket. They've come a long way since the craptastic DBZ dubbing of the 90s. I've always enjoyed the extras they put on the DVDs, and the verve and sense of fun they bring to fans at cons and such. I thought they put a lot of effort into the first FMA dub, and I expect them to treat this new FMA with the same quality.

Spread the good cheer!


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