Funimation Says Anime Interspecies Reviewers Goes Too Far, Stops Streaming It

Illustration for article titled Funimation Says Anime iInterspecies Reviewers/i Goes Too Far, Stops Streaming It
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Each season, I write short, one-sentence summaries of upcoming anime. Here is the one for Interspecies Reviewers: “An elf and a human visit various brothels to see which humanoid species they like best.”

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So, yeah, here’s a show about characters having sex with different human-like species to figure out which one is their favorite. The show’s premise and trailers seemed to indicate what was coming. Funimation went ahead and began streaming the program. But now, the company has decided to cease that, issuing this statement (via ANN):

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.

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Careful consideration might have been a good idea before localizing it.

“Obviously, it’s kind of a no-brainer why Funimation got rid of the show,” points out anime YouTuber Chibi at Chibi Reviews. “What shocks me the most—what shocks many the most—is why did they even add the show in the first place?”

As many have pointed out, the show did certainly push the envelope—so did the manga. To properly stream the program, as YouTuber Noble at Lost Pause points out, Funimation might have needed to revamp its site, adding an age gate. But that’s not ultimately the real problem with this whole situation. Noble asks, “How do you not know what’s going to go on in an anime even before you announce localizing it? You knew the manga was pretty extreme. You should’ve been prepared for what was going to go on in the anime.” That’s an excellent point.

I remember when I heard that Funimation was licensing this show. At the time, I was kind of surprised, but then again, I was not. Whenever the new anime season gears up, there always seems to be a mad rush to license shows asap so they can be streamed in real-time. Maybe Funimation really didn’t know what it was getting? Maybe it was just trying to lock up as many shows as possible? Maybe it should’ve held off?

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Even though Funimation has pulled the plug on Interspecies Reviewers, anime streaming services Wakanim in France and AnimeLab in Australia and New Zealand will continue to air the show.

Originally from Texas, Ashcraft has called Osaka home since 2001. He has authored six books, including most recently, The Japanese Sake Bible.

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DISCUSSION

The interesting thing about the show too, is that while it contains some of the usual exploitative anime tropes, it actually portrays the sex industry and sex in general in a very positive light. Everyone is consenting. Everyone is (mostly) having fun.

It ain’t perfect. Not by miles. But for a “I can’t believe it’s not Hentai!” type thing, it’s actually kind of refreshing so far.