I promised myself that I wasn’t going to talk about this anymore but the free! dub was trending and you know, I just had to check it out to see the awesome jokes and crictisms that people had for this horrendous assault on our ears and, while having found that, I also found a bunch of posts basically telling the fandom to stop critizing the dub and stop watching it if we don’t like it - that we shouldn’t be so hard on Funi, that Funi did the best it can and other stuff like that and I’ve just gotta say
No. Okay? Just no. Now, let me tell you a thing. Do you want to know what Funi’s job is? To liscense, regionalize and release anime (and other Japanese media) for Western audiences’ consumption. That is Funi’s purpose - it is how it makes money. It buys the rights to anime or whatever, and either just translates it or dubs it. And either way, the audience is, rightfully, expecting a reasonable and correct translation - not a one hundred percent word for word translation, mind you - but one close enough that the original story and characters are still intact. No matter what kind of story, no matter the contents or whatever else, they are expected to get it right. We, the audience, expect that because that is what Funi promises - when they announce that they are liscensing or dubbing an anime, they are inherently promising a dub that fits in close to the orignal dialogue and stays true to the story/character because that is the purpose of their entire fucking company. And we, the audience, have every right to expect and want that.
Funi did not deliver that with the Free! ES dub. I wouldn’t call this dub butchered but I am sure as hell not calling it acceptable either. Now, I don’t know what happened - I don’t know if the higher ups were putting pressure on the script writers/translators or if they just decide to go with a ‘joke’ dub to make it more popular or what but needless to say, they didn’t have a whole lot of respect for the original content and its characters. All the characters are wrong in this dub - they talk wrong, their dialogue is wrong, the way they interact with each other is wrong. Funi didn’t just mess up the dialogue but messed up the characters along with it. And for what reason? To make it less gay? Did they not realize what the original source material was?
Add into that extremely poor casting choices and you’ve got more reason for dissatisfaction. This is another thing that audiences have every right to expect from Funi - a good voice cast, solid acting and voices that max the characters - and again, Funi did not in any way deliver on this. The VAs, bless their hearts (expect for Dick Bolongas), are obviously trying their best but the majority of them should not have been cast and Funi should have sought out new or bloosming VAs (50% OFF’s VAs anyone? Anyone?) to fill in the roles.
See, we the consumers, have every right to be agitated about this and have every right to call Funi out on it. Why? Because this whole thing, all of it, makes it come off like Funi did not give two shits about Free!. And may I remind you that Funi isn’t some independent scamp doing this out of the kindness of their hearts - they are a fully fledged company with some of the most successful dubbed animes under their belt as well as some of the most highly sought after and most talented VAs. They are professionals - they are supposed to act like professionals and we expect them fucking act like professionals but they aren’t. Funi is only looking for the big bucks and Free! is sure as hell where the money is but the problem is, they didn’t care about the original content or the people who loved this anime. All they cared about is the money they thought they would make. And the thing is, that wouldn’t have mattered to many people as long as they had actually made a good dub but they didn’t. This dub is not good. It is a joke. The whole dub is a joke. No respect for the source material and sure as hell, no respect for the audience who they expect to buy their shitty ass dub.
Do not tell people that they can’t be upset or make fun of this. Funi is a professional company that should have handled Free! like any other popular anime but instead gave it the shit treatment (also, kind of offensive how hard they tried to make it as not gay as possible). They should have done better, they should have known to do better and put more effort into making it a dub that the audience would be happy with. Instead, we got a 4kids esque dub with all our main boys being turned into dudebros and a lackluster preformance. Funi should have known better, should have done better and deserves every joke, crictism and call out it gets for this.