Why Funimation Removed "Interspecies Reviewers" (an Anime About Rating Monster Girl Prostitutes)

Did Funimation actually acquire a series that they didn't know anything about?


Funimation holds an awkward, complicated position within the larger anime fandom.

Best known for licensing and dubbing the Dragon Ball franchise in the US, Funimation is a powerhouse entertainment company that played a large part in changing the American anime market from an uber-niche medium into something close to mainstream. They continue to license, dub, and simulcast (airing subtitled episodes of current anime series at the same time that they air in Japan) popular series like My Hero Academia and Attack on Titan, all of which are available through their massive anime streaming service. The vast majority of anime fans, especially the heathens who prefer dubs over subs, will inevitably interact with Funimation.

Considering how vocal the anime community tends to be, that also means Funimation seems to be under constant scrutiny. Some faction of fans are always angry at Funimation for one reason or another, be it a poor translation, a botched merchandise release, or their failure to understand that their favorite voice actor was fired because he actually did make women feel uncomfortable, regardless of whether or not he realized what he was doing, and his countersuit failed in a court of law. Point being, people are always looking for a reason to jump on Funimation, and most of that criticism is undeserved.

But when it comes to Interspecies Reviewers, well, there's kind of no excuse.

Interspecies Reviewers is a new anime series that asks the question: What if there was an entire show centered around a group of men who have sex with giant-tiddy monster girl prostitutes in the red light district of a fantasy world...and then post their reviews of the sex?

So yeah, that's the show, and each episode is pretty much exactly what you'd expect. The main characters go to a different monster prostitute, have sex, and then review the experience.

Technically, Interspecies Reviewers isn't hentai. While the monster girls' boobs are drawn in full detail, genitals are never explicitly shown. Categorically, it's billed as shonen (manga for boys) with a strong ecchi (anime with sexual overtones) bend, meaning its main draw is fan service. But let's be clear here: It's closer to hentai than a lot of hentai.

Not that there's anything wrong with liking that. We're not here to kink-shame, and people are welcome to enjoy whatever gets them off (presuming it's consensual and doesn't hurt anybody, of course). But Funimation is not an adult content streaming service, and while they do have a good number of ecchi shows, none of it comes close to Interspecies Reviewers––again, a show that is explicitly about men reviewing monster prostitutes.

Funimation's decision to not only license and simulcast the first three episodes, but to actually dub the first episode in English, was a little bit jarring. Then, after three episodes, they pulled the show, stating:

"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."

The title of this article is a bit of a misnomer. The real question isn't why Funimation removed Interspecies Reviewers,but why Funimation acquired Interspecies Reviewers in the first place when it so obviously "falls outside of [their] standards."

We're not talking about a show that buries the lead. The very first episode revolves around the two main characters, a human man and an elf-man, ragging on each other for having sex with older women of the opposite species. The human man has sex with a 500-year-old elf who looks like a 20-year-old, and the elf man has sex with a 60-year-old human woman. Both think their partner is hotter and a better lay, and they proceed to debate the women's qualities.

This is the episode that Funimation dubbed. They brought voice actors into a studio to say lines like, "If you think of them like plump orc girls, older humans are pretty damn sexy, plus they're way softer than orcs, which is a big time boner bonus."

Oh, and there's also a manga which is significantly further along than the anime, and if anyone at Funimation did any vetting, they would have realized that yeah, it only gets worse. A lot worse.

All of this begs the question: Did Funimation actually acquire a series that they didn't know anything about?

On one hand, it's understandable that Funimation might be scrambling for content. They have more competition than ever before, with Crunchyroll still standing as the most prominent anime streaming platform and Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu setting their sights on anime audiences, too. But if they're going to claim they have standards, they really should have someone at least reading a series' description blurb before acquiring it.


ROLE PLAYGROUND | Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom

Somehow this game feels both traditional and totally new, and I'm loving it.

It's very easy for a JRPG to become repetitious - it can fall back into the same old tropes and get lost in its faux-grand storyline.

It's not the games aren't trying their best to be original - usually they are, but when you boil everything down it's always the same: Some evil group or person is threatening the kingdom, so a group of ragtag rebels seek to take them down all the while - something eviler lurks beneath the surface.

It's a simple formula, but it's effective. Hell, Final Fantasy has made an entire franchise out recycling that plot over and over and over and over again. But Final Fantasy makes the right changes - they fix up the game play or add a few more elements that previous games have never had before. They attempt to improve.

Level 5's Ni No Kuni II doesn't just attempt to improve - it succeeds. It takes it's simple plot, and packs it with so much fun things to do that you don't even realize that you've definitely played something like it before. Whether your mustering up your troop or building up your town Dark Cloud-style - you'll never stop having fun.

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GAMING TOP 10 | Another Top 10 most anticipated video games of 2018

I cannot wait to play these freaking games!

Where The Water Tastes Like Wine - Story Trailer

Earlier last month, esteemed contributor Liam Berry released his Top 10 most anticipated games of 2018 - and I figured I had to put my hat in the ring! Kicking off our newest bi-weekly column, I am going to discuss some games that I am super hyped about that aren't out yet.

2017 was a great year for video games. We had some astounding horror releases, a bunch of amazing queer-oriented games, and some pretty top notch AAA juggernauts. And now that that year has come and went, it's time to take a look at just how amazing the rest of 2018 is going to be. We've got a slew of brilliant titles heading to the market this year, and I am cautiously optimistic about how all of these games are going to turn out!

6. Where the Water Tastes Like Wine (PC) Release Date: ???

This is one of the more unique games on the list, and I almost didn't include it, until I saw that it was made by Fullbright alum and Gone Home programmer, Johnnemann Nordhagen, under his new company, Dum Bulb productions. I'm not totally sure if this game is going to be my cup of tea, but I would be lying if I didn't say that both it's incredibly style and interesting premise to leave me wanting to at least give this new game a try.

What do you think?

10. Marvel' Spider-Man (PS4) Release Date: ???

Listen, I know we've been burned in the past. A good Spider-Man game hasn't been released since the PS2! But, there's no way you can look at this trailer and not think this is going to be amazing. It seems Insomniac is taking Rocksteady and WB Montreal's lead and giving the game an Arkham-esque treatment. It's got all the trimmings to be a fun action-oriented, open-world title with what look to be stealth elements.

But will it be too similar to the Batman series we've all come to love? I don't know, and frankly, I don't care. Not only does this look beautifully vibrant and colorful, but playing as the spunky web-slinger will definitely be a change of pace from the brooding Bruce Wayne.

Am I too excited? Maybe. Could it wind up being terrible? Heck yeah. But I did say I was cautiouslly optimistic.

9. Darksiders III (PC, PS4, XBOX ONE) Release Date: ???

I am die-hard Darksiders fan. I have played both games repeatedly and loved every second of it. I don't know what it is about post-Apocalyptic video games - especially ones with personifications of things like angels and the Four Horsemen - but I can't get enough of them. Are they the best games ever created? No, of course not, but I don't care! They're so much fun.

And the best part about this one is that it has a bad-ass female lead who isn't sexualized. She also appears to be on the same playing field as her other two brothers - and honestly looks like she could kick their asses.

Who else is pumped?

8. Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom (PS4) Release Date: 3/23/18

Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch was released and immediately became a modern classic - and finally, after years of waiting, we're about get a sequel. I'll always have mixed feelings about Ni No Kuni, but even I cannot deny that it was a beautiful game with an engaging story that can still keep you hooked despite the fact that you're still learning how to play it 60-minutes in.

It seems that Revenant Kingdom is focusing just as much energy on it's characters and visuals as it's predecessor. I can't say too much about anything else, but I can tell you that I'm pretty pumped to play it.

7. Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes (SWITCH) Release Date: ???

NO. MORE. HEROES! One of the most missed games in from Nintendo's Wii era, is getting a sequel and it looks like it's going to pack a pretty hilarious punch. It's been years since I picked up a Wii-mote to slash through the top ten assassins - but I can still remember the unabashed glee the experience gave.

I wish I could say more, but given the meta-humor of the trailer and the fun stylized visuals - I can definitely say that Travis Strikes Back is going to be one helluva ride.

5. System Shock (PC, PS4, XBOX ONE) Release Date: ???

Oh man. Oh man. Oh man. So, I'm a huge fan of System Shock II. Unfortunately, I haven't had the chance to play the original (don't shoot me), but I cannot wait to see this remake come to life. After raising about 1.3 million dollars on Kickstarter, this game is set for release at some point this year. AND DOESN'T IT LOOK TERRIFYING?

I have to say, even if it's Pre-Alpha phase, this game gives you a sense of dread. It's controls look a little funky, but I'm sure that's not going to be a problem during it's full release. I'm glad to see that System Shock make it's comeback into to gaming scene - and I can't wait to boot it up on my PC!

4. Far Cry 5 (PC, PS4, XBOX ONE) Release Date: 3/27/14

I've never been a huge fan of the Far Cry series - I know it's good, but it's never been something I've been super into. I played through Far Cry 4, and while it had some beautiful visuals, I just felt the whole game was a little... "meh." Still, I know that it's a good series, and I understand why people love it as much as they.

Far Cry 5, though, seems to be a bit of departure for the series. Instead of beautiful, exotic locales fighting against warring factions of and war bosses - we're fighting against a militant evangelical cult? This is both a bold and incredibly political choice for Ubisoft, and I can't wait to see if it's paid off.

3. God of War (PS4) Release Date: 4/20/2018

Listen. No, seriously, listen. I have never liked God of War. I have gotten into huge arguments about how it's gratuitous and obnoxiously sexual for no reason - but I'll be damned if this trailer didn't blow me away. Why? Because we're finally seeing something in Kratos, the main character of the series, besides some sort of blood-hungry monster.

There's a lot here that I love: The departure from Greek Mythology and the exploration of the Norse realm; Kratos being compassionate and at least somewhat emotionally vulnerable; Kratos' SON, who looks to be as much of a ball of rage as his father! It's incredible - and a major (but welcome) departure from the usual tone of the incredibly violent series.

1. 2. Red Dead Redemption 2 (PS4, XBOX ONE) Release Date: 10/26/18

So, full disclosure, I have never played Red Dead Redemption. I know, shoot me down and burn me in a pit with the rest of the fake gamers - but I never owned a PS3 and I live on a budget, so the opportunity never arose. I know all about it though. I've seen the many Let's Plays and think pieces about it's ending and it's main character. I am aware that it has a lot of significance in the gaming community (and I'm buying it when I get my next paycheck, okay).

Saying all of that, I understand the hype around it's sequel. But I have to wonder, will it carry the same weight as it's predecessor? It certainly looks beautiful, and the characters definitely kept me engaged throughout the trailer, but time will tell.

After all, this game has a lot to live up to.

1. Kingdom Hearts 3 (PS4, XBOX ONE) Release Date: ???

I'm dead. I have died. After all, that's the only logical explanation for this. There's no way Kingdom Hearts III is actually coming out this year, is there? I mean, it's not like it's been thirteen years since I first played Kingdom Hearts II. It's not like I've played every single goddamned title Square Enix and co. have released on every freaking handheld system. I have to be dreaming, right?


There you have it folks! My Top 10 most anticipated games of this year. I hope that you agree, and if you do not agree, then please leave me a constructive comment below. You can also go check out Liam's article, and see if your game is there! But let me tell you something, I think 2018 is going to be one of the biggest years for gaming yet - and I'm not just saying that because Kingdom Hearts III is getting released (JK, I totes am).
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