Funimation has abruptly dropped the anime series Interspecies Reviewers from its platforms after only three episodes following a company review of the ecchi-comedy series found that “this series falls outside of our standards.”
Interspecies Reviewers is based on the manga of the same name and follows three men, the human swordsman Stunk, the elven archer Zel, and the androgynous intersex angel Crimvael as they enjoy the services of and rate their experiences with prostitutes, or Succu-girls, across the wide spectrum of fantasy races.
The series centers around the various debates and reviews the three engage in with each other in an attempt to argue which species provides the best ‘services,’ and given the subject matter, features gratuitous amounts of ‘ecchi’ visuals that sometimes border on outright ‘hentai.’
The series premiered on January 11th in Japan and was licensed for a simulcast and English dub release by Funimation.
However, after airing the first three subtitled episodes of the series and producing an English language dub for at least the first episode, the series was abruptly pulled from Funimation’s streaming services and lineup.
Initially believing the series removal to be a technical issue, Reddit user /u/Winnah9000 reached out to Funimation’s support staff to inquire about the issue and received a response explaining that the series was removed “as it falls outside of our standards”:
“Hello Funimation User,
Thank you for contacting Funimation Support. We appreciate your business.
After careful consideration, the series was removed from the service as it falls outside of our standards. We have the utmost respect for our creators so rather than substantially alter the content, we felt taking it down was the most respectful choice.
Please let us know if you have any other questions or concerns.”
They provided a screenshot detailing Funimation’s response:
Funimation later confirmed the series’ removal in a similarly worded statement provided to Anime News Network:
“After careful consideration, we determined that this series falls outside of our standards. We have the utmost respect for our creators so rather than substantially alter the content, we felt taking it down was the most respectful choice.”
The reasoning that Funimation chose to remove the series rather than “substantially alter the content” is a curious explanation, as the company is notorious for making alterations to the dub scripts of their licensed series’ to inject ham-fisted references to Western political and social debates.
Funimation’s failure to specify which specific standards the company has violated has led some fans to reason that this sudden determination was due to Funimation either blindly licensed the series and failed to review the series before spending money producing an English dub or the studio faced external pressure from viewers who took offense to the series’ content.
As of writing, these explanations remain speculation, as no evidence to support these theories has currently been presented.