Via Anime Insider: Competitive Bidding for Fullmetal Alchemist (August 2004)

A piece about Fullmetal Alchemist’s licencing for US release. The interesting quote here is one on the second page by Funimation president Gen Fukunaga; “Fullmetal Alchemist was a very hotly contested property. All of the top anime companies in the United States were bidding on it […]”

That poses a very interesting what if; what if one of those other companies had gotten FMA? If ADV gets it, do they then fortify their brand around that property and not wildly overbid for that series in the very near future? It’s possible, though not likely, that their overspending on B-listers was driven by the increasing need to get a real hit out of one of them, something exacerbated by Funimation’s cornering more of the A-list market. What if, say, Geneon or Bandai Visual, with their less-substantial connections to cable TV, got it and whiffed on the rollout? It’s food for aimless speculation, although I would love to see a timeline of who made what bids when.

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