This sounds snipey but…

Watch Episode # of Blah blah blah Now Streaming on @ http://www4.funimation.com/video…

These tweets are doing my head in.

Normally you’d see a podcast from us in the feed. And you will soon. But right now I have to talk about something that’s bugging me. And an upcoming show we recorded has me thinking about this. So it calls for the first editorial I’ve ever written for the site.

As most fans know we here at ECP try our level best to watch legit forms of anime wherever we can find them. Buying directly from Japan (if there’s English subs), buying UK and American released DVD and BD’s, Joost (when it had anime on it), official streams on Youtube and lately becoming a paid subscriber of Crunchyroll.

So when Funimation launched their video player on their official site I was so happy. I could now watch stuff that wasn’t even on DVD! Woo-hoo! But then came the big brouhaha when the simulcast of One Piece got hacked and the player was shut down while they beefed up security and put a man at the airport. OK, I thought, I can respect that. They’re only protecting their licensed material. But when the player finally became back up, I went back and was greeted with this:

This content is not available in your territory.

FUNimation® Entertainment manages a full spectrum of rights for anime series acquired from producers in Japan. These rights include broadcasting, licensing, production, home video sales and distribution, as well as internet. The rights agreed upon may vary per series or per region. If you are receiving this message, FUNimation does not have the internet rights for this series in your area.

If you believe you are currently in a territory to which FUNimation has rights, please e-mail us your current location at Webmaster[@]Funimation.com so we can investigate the discrepancy.

Thank you for your interest!

Huh!?! Why did Funimation have the rights to stream the videos to me before the break-in and now they didn’t? But soon FUNI came back with a satisfactory answer:

w00t!

FUNimation Entertainment has officially announced the return of its video portal after a brief hiatus. Included in this return is the newest episode of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. Head over to FUNimation.com/Video and watch episodes 1 – 12.

The new portal introduces many new backend features, including greater bandwidth, and we are continuing to develop and implement new features and functionality.

We are aware of issues in which some users are prompted to input a username and password to access the site. This is currently being investigated and will hopefully be resolved soon.

However, fans can let us know about any additional issues by posting on the Official FUNimation Video Portal thread here: http://community.funimation.com/tt.aspx?forumid=40

Unfortunately, UK-based visitors to the FUNimation video portal will be temporarily unable to access our content.

We are in the process of opening the video of each series which is approved for streaming in the UK, and this will take additional time to complete. Again, this is only temporary and we fully intend for these series to return for our fans in the UK.

OK, I can respect that as well. So I kept my eye on the twitter feed for Funimation and Funi’s video player fourms. They said they were:

…still in maintenance mode of the video player and are continuing to test on it. Once I find out, I’ll be sure to let you and all the UK users know.

Then it was:

There are still additional issues we are trying address before the video player becomes widely available again. I could give you an ETA but then I’d probably be lying. Sorry for the lack of information, but we’re working to get it right.

Finally, a ray of light started to appear in the form of:

We are working on determining the best way to address the issue. All videos will be geoblocked until we establish the best solution on a title-by-title basis. Unfortunately, there may be some shows previously viewable from the UK that no longer will be due to contractual obligations.

Believe me when I say we are not putting the video portal on the backburner. It is very high-priority within the company, and we hope to have everything at 100% as soon as possible

Read that last part back to yourselves:

Unfortunately, there may be some shows previously viewable from the UK that no longer will be due to contractual obligations.

That word again:

some

Now, I didn’t attend school in the Alliance in Firefly, nor went to a fancy uni like DCU but in my book, “some” would denote more than nothing and less than everything.

And still the saga continued. I felt like we here in the UK/Ireland were being ignored but Funi read my mind and the mind of the person who asked on the forum and came back with the reply of:

Trust me, you’re not being ignored.
But unfortunately the answer pretty much is “i dunno.”

The team is working on it.

Yeah…

Unfortunately there isn’t any new news on getting video to the UK. If you’ve been following along with the forum, we’ve apparently had some issues getting the video player to function at 100%. I would assume that there won’t be any UK accessibility until we work out some of the major kinks in the system.

Sorry – I know it’s not good news.

You’re right. It isn’t good news. And that last statement was on 19th of August last year.

Well, the way I see it, folks, only two things could have happened: Either Funimation walked themselves into the biggest legal red tape involving licences since the big Studio Nue/Tatsunoko Macross bust up of ’02

OR

There is a black hole whether their servers should be.

In either scenario, it’s a shame that Funimation is a small company with scant legal resources with no big parent company to help them…Er…

Please disregard my last statement.

In any case, if you’re looking at this post on the main site, you should see a little widget on the column on the right indicating how many days this has gone for. And I will continue to have this widget up till

..some..

of the videos are either restored or Funimation comes clean once and for all and puts us paying customers (me anyway) out of our misery.

Now before you think or might think that I don’t like Funimation, I do. I’ve bought loads of their DVD’s and will order some of their region free Blu Ray’s as soon as the money gods allow. But I can’t in good conscience recommend that you guys who can’t afford to buy DVD after DVD and who rely on Crunchyroll and Youtube and all the other sites for free, legal anime continue to beat your heads against a wall. At least site’s like Manga UK’s never ever tried to stream videos to everyone. The link to Funi’s video player forum is in one of the quotes. If you were enjoying the videos before and want them restored, then please leave a post on the site. Or contact the blog@funimation and address it to Justin Rojas. He can be found at http://blog.funimation.com/

And to think, this all started because Funimation kept asking me why I wasn’t watching Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood right on Funimation.com! Good God!

P.S. If anyone from Funimation wants to contact me and clarify the sit rep, I will only be too happy to pass this info along to the readers at ECP.

Anyways, that’s that. Next time, we’ll be taking a look at a new show that just finished up in Japan and tell all you UK/Ireland fans how Crunchyroll fares out. As always you can catch up with us through the comments and emails info in the sidebar. Till next time!