As backlash continues to pile up against Funimation for their sudden dropping and removal of Interspecies Reviewers due to the series being “outside of our standards”, the studio’s silence and new allegations have sparked rampant speculation as to the series’ fate.
Following the February 1st announcement that the series had been dropped, complaints and calls for answers have been continual topics across social media, particularly on the official Funimation forums and Reddit.
Funimation forum user joshuajameswomack stated:
“I decided to cancel Funimation today. The Interspecies Reviewers anime was the only unique anime I could not get elsewhere. If they return it or add some unique anime that I cannot get from Crunchyroll, Netflix or Hulu then I will return. Really like the Interspecies Reviewers alot … I understood it was risky for Funimation to stream. Really sad too as I have been a long time subscriber. Censorship sucks.”
Another forum user J2K added:
What is the point of having an option to enable or disable adult content from showing?
So what if this isn’t for kids you have an option not to show it. This was very entertaining and this winter season is incredibly bland for anything that stands out in Anime and it was the one thing that was hilariously different.
If your viewers want to watch something lewd like this, and you have the settings for them to BLOCK anime with lewd content, there is no point to get rid of it, other than PANDERING TO STOCKHOLDERS INSTEAD OF YOUR VIEWERS.
Someone get HiDive to pick this up
And pokedude900 stated:
@TVLubber I don’t understand the question or its relevance to what I said. Being explicit means showing sexual content. You can have explicit sexual content while also telling a story. Ikki Tousen is another example that you ignored earlier in the thread.
Even IF this show is more explicit than anything else they have and would be considered R-18, so what? They’re a private company. They’re allowed to host anything they want on this site as long as it’s not illegal (which IR most definitely isn’t). What IS illegal is false advertising, which they’ve done here by promising to stream a shown and then removing it without warning or explanation.
On Reddit /u/PoniffofBlight wrote:
I know threads of these have already popped up and I’m beating a dead horse, but this is bullshit. Funimation had access to Passione’s script and I’m certain the Japanese liaison would’ve have told them what this show was about. They can’t claim ignorance of the show’s premise.
Secondly, they took no issue with having highschool dxd, mermaid overdrive, and other ecchi shows on their site. Yes, I know they don’t go as far as ishuzoku Reviewers but it’s still hypocritical to champion one over the other. Funimation is all about progressiveness? How about championing the sex-positivity that ishuzoku Reviewers promotes.
Thirdly, funimation can’t claim any form of “family friendliness” facade when they’re hosting ecchi shows on their site. Those aren’t family friendly so moralizing that the ishuzoku Reviewers is “out of their standards” is a moot point.
Reddit user /u/Phantomskyler also wrote:
This is coming from someone that (usually) gives Funi the benefit of the doubt and rolls my eyes at people brigading against them since I’ve just gotten used to weebs ready to tear Funi’s throat out for every little thing, especially those dipshits in Vic Mingnogna’s toxic bro cult.
But…yeah I see why people are pissed.
Ever since the new boom of anime becoming more (legally) accessible, new anime fans have been folks…not too keen on fanservice and lewd content that most of us either welcome or have become numb to.
And frankly, interspecies Romance is a full on censored hentai over an eechi imo.
Frankly I’m surprised Funi even touched it. But they did…and people who reasonably thought they added a porno to their line up got pissed.
Besides the fact this fiasco has really shown that we need some kind of “mature audiences” section for the “I cant believe it’s not Hentai” shows to make everyone happy, Funi really should have just slapped more censors on it and ran the show.
Better or worse, you guys licensed it, should at least see it through, for the people who were watching and for the actors already signed on I’m assuming aren’t getting paid for the rest of it.
With a complete lack of communication from Funimation, only two new sources of potential information have surfaced. On the Funimation forums, one poster stated that the decision to drop Interspecies Reviewers resulted in Funimation breaking their contract with the series’ translator:
User Shortygal1105 writes:
@MidnightAoshi It’s ANN they probably didn’t even talk to Funimation, they probably just copied the reddit post.
Also Funi broke their contract with the translator and Fired her a couple days ago and forced her to sign a NDA so she couldn’t tell anyone the show was cancelled it seems like Funi had planned to silently cancel it and say nothing.
However, this claim is currently unconfirmed, as the poster declined to provide any further details, stating that they did not “want to get anyone in trouble.” Shortygal1105 wrote, “I’m not going to post where I got the info about the translator because I don’t want to get anyone in trouble.”
They added, “Well I’m not making stuff up.”
The other source of information came from an Ask Me Anything hosted by voice actress Brittany Lauda, who provided the dub voice for Maydry the bartender. After being flooded with questions from fans looking for more information, Lauda edited the thread’s opening post and informed fans that she knew just as much as they did, stating that “the post going around saying it has been “dropped” was my first time hearing about it myself.”
“**REGARDING INTERSPECIES REVIEWERS**
Hey guys! Apparently in my absence there has been a huge influx of questions regarding Interspecies Reviewers. Instead of flooding the thread with them, I will answer once, here:
I am not a representative of Funimation. My words are not there words. I just show up and act in the shows when they hire me to. I am not part of these decisions.I, and anyone else acting on the show, have no more information than all of you do. The post going around saying it has been “dropped” was my first time hearing about it myself. I don’t know what happens next, what will happen with the sub/dub, etc. I enjoyed working on the show and am sad to hear this news too.”
These small bits of information have led to rampant speculation as to the reasons behind the series’ untimely dropping. Several theories in particular have gained more proponents than others, such as the theory that the series was dropped to protect Funimation in the ongoing legal battle with Vic Mignogna or that production staff were so unhappy with the first episode that it led to them refusing to continue, as summarized by anime news blog Nyannet:
Some of the popular theories about this situation right now;
Funimation liscenesed the IP to stop other companies from getting it.
Funi liscened the IP, not realizing what they got into. The material being more than ecchi.
(The most interesting to me) Part of Funimation didn’t have an issue with the IP, but another part did, and internal conflict ensued.
Funi was protecting themselves and VA’s involved with the Vic Mignogna litigation given the material of the I.P., fear of it negatively effecting the suit for them.
Production team ( VA’s, etc, ) were unhappy with the material once they recorded episode 1 and refused to continue.
As of writing, Funimation has not spoken to the controversy since their initial statement, and as such has not addressed these fan complaints or theories.