So for those that don’t use the Funimation streaming service it’s been rebranded as Funimation Now. It actually only recently made me update to the system. It happened maybe a few months ago. Fairly recent considering I’ve been using the streaming service for well over a year now, I know many people use Crunchyroll but I prefer the exclusives that Funimation has access to. Most were my legacy titles from my earliest Toonami days like DBZ and Yu Yu Hakusho. They just hold a special place in my heart.
Funimation has a long and storied history with Toonami going back nearly 2 decades now. So that’s why I jumped at the chance to join their stream service back when it was first announced. Plus it was cheap like 5 bucks a month. However I must call into question why they made the switch to Funimation Now.
It still has all the old shows on them but they are organized in a new format. I know it sounds nitpicky but it is actually a lot less user friendly. For instance instead of being able to scroll through their entire new lineup of shows for the season I have to go to a generic recently updated episodes list that tells me very little about the shows outside of maybe a 2 sentence description.
We can also no longer browse by letter. I know it sounds silly but browsing by letter cuts down on a lot of loading time that browsing by genre does not. Plus if it struck your fancy before you could just pick a random letter and find a show that looked interesting in that category. It’s how I found the awesome time travel anime Steins:Gate. I got whimsical and decided to go with the letter “S” that day.
I managed to do some digging online and it seems it was more a corporate decision. They basically partnered with Google to design this poor user interface. It was not for us fans at all. It was so they could track what we are watching and email us with products based on it. While I am not a usually a huge data mining protester, I can be here since it has led to a significant lag time on all shows and a less helpful user interface.
One thing that sticks out to me is featured shows. Before in the old app these were the new shows they were working on for the season. However in the Funimation Now we only get three shows to look at. Seems strange as they have a lot more than three they work on at a time. You would figure it would be something like Dragonball Super, Fairy Tail or one of their other big shows.
That’s where you’d be wrong the show that comes up every time you load the screen is Tales of Zestiria the X. I have no idea why. I can’t be the only one. It just seems illogical.
Nothing against Zestiria but it was a generic JRPG turned anime. I found nothing all that special about it to warrant this kind of push by Funimation. Not when they are sitting on new episodes of Dragonball Super or Attack on Titan Season 2. No one can seriously watch it and tell me Zestiria is in the same league as those two shows.
Matter of fact since its winter debut it was not even the best of the season. Drifters was better in the winter. Tanya the Evil was better in the spring. I simply cannot fathom why it is being pushed. Either they have some sort of back alley deal with the studio or some software engineer is too lazy to change the icons already. Marketing should really get on those guys.
I try not to post rant reviews. Or just talk trash. Zestiria was not the worst anime I have ever seen. It just wasn’t special. It was OK. Certainly not special enough to warrant a huge icon every time someone wants to see the latest episode of Attack on Titan.
It’s actually a shame the show is not the same as the game. I have heard the game focuses more on the character I was most interested in which was the girl who sought revenge. That’s a much better story than a vanilla JRPG hero tale about everyone getting along and the evil spirits being the cause of all our woes. Matter of fact if they remade the anime to focus on her eating demons with her beast arm I’d watch that in a heartbeat.
Here is what I don’t understand. I know they are pushing One Piece. Or they were before it got dropped from the Toonami block. That’s right if you were unaware One Piece has finally reached the end of syndication on Toonami here in the States.
They tried so hard for it to be the next DBZ. It really never lived up to the same expectations. I know it has some fans but not enough to be commercially viable in the same way DBZ became a cultural phenomenon. It is arguably bigger than DBZ back in Japan and it’s manga is still the bestselling manga every week.
This is the type of show I expected to be pushed on us. Yet it isn’t. Matter of fact it’s buried behind Chain Chronicle and Hand Shakers. Which I’ll watch One Piece over either of those shows any day of the week and I am not a One Piece fan at all.
Hmmmm. Well I’ll be honest I have no idea what they are thinking. It almost makes sense why they changed the format in order to better make use of the “free data” we were collecting for them to market to us. However they even do that badly, often sending me offers of anime I am not interested in.
Maybe the guy or gal who handles such things quit or died at their post? Maybe marketing just isn’t paying attention? Or perhaps the Studio is holding them all hostage and demanding their bland hero get a little more attention. In any case it makes no sense.