FUNimation Vs. Free!dom
The announcing of the English dub for Free! Eternal Summer had many, such as myself, excited, and perhaps curious as to who would be picked to play our beloved swimming boys. However, as soon as the casting became public, via the Funimation website, things began to fall apart.
Vic Mignogna has been cast as Rin Matsuoka. Now, normally with a cast list like Todd Haberkorn, Johnny Yong Bosh, Greg Ayres , J. Michael Tatum, Jerry Jewell and Josh Grelle, we’d be impressed. But, the announcement of Rin’s English voice actor has fans questioning FUNimation..
Now, normally with a cast list, this would please us. Yet, if you ask most cosplayers who their least favorite voice actor is, most would probably say Vic Mignogna. Here is why he is one of the most hated voice actors working for FUNimation.
1. He uses the same voice for just about every role. If it does change, it is so small you cannot even tell he changed it.
2. He is hard to work with. To clarify, at conventions and around his fans, he is friendly and nice. Backstage, he talks badly about his fans and how much they annoy him.
3. Sometimes during panels, he will preach to his attendees.
4. Being overly religious, he is possibly homophobic. This comes up as a problem when fans kindly ask him to sign yaoi-related photos of characters he has voiced. He is rude to those who bring him yaoi pictures to autograph. Or rather, rude to his fans in general.
5. He comes off as a bit creepy to teenage girls. He is known to “harass” his younger teenage female fans. Whether this is accidental or on purpose, I do not know. All stories are pointing to pedophilia, instead of homophobia.
*Multiple accounts of harassment are being reported throughout Tumblr by former fan girls from different conventions. From my experiences talking with people. I know these people are not lying. You cannot make something up like that in full detail.
This isn’t even half of the reasons as to why Vic is heavily disliked. His ego, all of the fame, etc., has gone to his head. This is the main reason he is disliked. *This is a key factor in why Vic is banned from certain cons. His rude attitude toward fans and con workers, as well as possible harassment of his younger teenage fans.
A petition has been brought to my attention. Said petition is requesting that FUNimation change Rin Matsuoka’s voice actor. If you haven’t seen it, the link is here. While it is petty, and dare I say it, immature, everyone is saying the same thing. Either it his voice or his past incidents with his teenage fans.
However, it has come to my attention that FUNimation (as of a few years ago when management was changed) DOES NOT hold auditions for roles anymore. They pick popular voice actors, without having them try out for said character. This is a problem, especially for voice actors looking for work, or new and upcoming voice actors. FUNimation has been going down hill for the past three years. AND, FUNimation heads are trying to make the once loved dubbing company into the new 4Kids. Those of you who remember 4Kids recall the censoring, script changes so it was less gay or bloody and appropriate for younger viewers.
Free! Eternal Summer’s script is /most likely/ being altered heavily to make it less “gay”. Now, from my understanding, many of us watched Free! Iwatobi Swim Club and Free! Eternal Summer for one thing that does not involve the plot. The fan service brought us in, even if the sexual tension was heavily hinted, but subtle. The hinted sexual tension. That is what drew us to Kyoto Animation and Free!. Take that away and censor it and you have just another series intended for children or pre-teen girls.
Mamoru Miyano voices Rin Matsuoka in Japanese. Vic voices most of the characters voiced by Mamoru Miyano. Most of them. There is a pattern here.
There are some solutions to fix this. One, we fight FUNimation on this and request that someone as terrible as Vic be taken off the cast roster and Rin’s voice actor be changed (which is not likely since FUNimation does not listen to its fans). Two, we completely avoid the English dub altogether and NOT support FUNimation, avoiding lit like it is a plague. Or, three. We suck it up and watch one episode or two, before judging it. If it is indeed horrible, just stick to just Japanese dialog with English subtitles, or watch “50% Off”. I wouldn’t suggest boycotting, but if you with to boycott FUNimation, be my guest.
It is bad enough CrunchyRoll is not releasing the rights to Free! Iwatobi Swim Club to Funimation. Though, this may be a blessing in disguise.
Octopimp’s “50% Off” is, at the moment, the preferred dub for the Free! series. Those who have lost faith in FUNimation (if you haven’t already) have switched over to English parodies on Youtube. 50% Off is one of the more popular ones currently being watched online.
Now, please, do me a favor. If you are angry at Vic for voicing Rin Matsuoka, please DO NOT send him death threats. That is not the way to voice your opinion. There are other ways. Peaceful ways. Voice actors are people too. People who have to work for a living.
Let me ask you this. Is it fair for FUNimation’s heads to not hold try outs for upcoming roles and give roles away to those who they feel are popular? Should dubbed series be censored to make it less “gay” or suitable for younger audiences? Should voice actors’s contracts be ripped up because they refuse to follow and/or read the script given to them by Funimation? How many more series will they butcher and kill it for that series fans?
Personally, my faith in FUNimation was lost when the D.Gray-man dub was released. Same with Ouran High School Host Club. I have my reasoning. The voices threw me off, or rather, they did not fit some of the characters. It was as if they weren’t even trying to find perfect voices for characters. Sure, some of FUNimation’s older dubs were perfect. This I will admit, but as of late, their dubs have been going down hill. The Attack on Titan dub is a prime example.
*If you honestly don’t believe me, I work for a convention review blog. I’m PRESS at cons. I see things most wouldn’t, besides the workers. I have my sources.
*Before I start getting hate, please note I do not support at what Vic has done, or possibly does, at conventions. I find it disgusting and unmoral, if these rumors are true. There is proof out there though, for those who think he is the best voice actor on the planet. I will find ALL of it and link it here. Would Vic supporters be happy with actual proof to verify these rumors?
*I’m neutral in this. It may sound like I’m not, but I really am. I wish for this issue to be resolved peacefully. I wish for proof to be presented to back up these allegations. This post was written because nobody has bothered to calmly write a decent post. Instead, every other post in the tag is yelling. Please calm down. This will be fixed (hopefully).
If you listen to me, then I thank you.
There may be hope for people yet.
Free! fandom. I beg you. Please do the right thing. Do it for our beloved series and characters. Please. We are better than this.