North America’s biggest anime publisher is kicking off their first Kickstarter.
Earlier today, Funimation kicked off a new Kickstarter campaign. The company aims to raise $150,000 in order to produce a new dub for an uncut edition of Vision of Escaflowne. The drive is currently scheduled to run through March 31. As of press time, the drive has raised $29,723 across 167 backers, with $177.98 being the average contribution.
If funded, Funimation will release both a standard edition and a collector’s edition for the series. The standard edition will include the series with the new dub, while the collector’s edition will include the new dub on Blu-Ray, as well as DVDs with the original dub.
Representatives from Funimation spoke with Anime News Network’s Zac Bertschy regarding the Kickstarter. When asked about the need for a new dub, Funimation brand manager Jennifer Fu noted:
So basically there was the original dub that came out and it’s based on SD materials that, as you’re aware, the director’s cut, the HD Japanese version that was released on Bluray more recently, has scenes that were not in the original materials that the original English dub was based on. So because of that it’s not possible for us to put the subtitled HD material which is what we’ve just received from Japan, on the same disc as the original dub, because otherwise it doesn’t line up correctly and there are some points where the dub just won’t have any dialogue or anything in it and it’d just be kind of strange.
Fu also noted that the $150,000 goal wouldn’t cover the full cost of a new English adaptation.
When asked about why Funimation took to Kickstarter for this project, social media coordinator Lauren Moore noted that :
[I]t’s not really looking at fans to help us do something that we couldn’t do or couldn’t achieve, it’s more “hey! If you really want this, almost consider this a preorder.” It’s not that we see it as a risk, this is more we wanted to create something neat where fans could be a part of bringing it back to life, this thing they’ve asked us for, and we’ve heard, like Jennifer mentioned, through forums or in person, it’s more kind of creating a platform where they can be a part of bringing it back.
It’s more saying “I helped Kickstart this to make this happen, I was part of this tier or part of that tier,” it’s allowing a little more ownership, and maybe not going the traditional route and just redubbing something and putting it out, that works great for certain titles. We’re basically going a bit of a different route that just allows fans a little bit more ownership.
Funimation noted that, if the Kickstarter is not successful, they will still release Escaflowne, albeit in a subtitle-only set.
Bandai Entertainment originally released The Vision of Escaflowne in 2000. Funimation announced that they acquired the domestic rights to the series in 2013, as well as several other Bandai Entertainment titles that include Outlaw Star and My-HiME.