FUNimation has a number of people that work on various brands within the company, focused on making sure those titles get the right treatment and manage them along their path. Today, we’re talking with one of the more recent hires within FUNimation that should be known to a number of anime fans with Georgia Manry. Georgia, or Gia as many know her, has been involved in the anime scene for quite a long time before coming to FUNimation. What would you consider the highlights?
Gia Manry: Well, at this point I’ve worked for Navarre’s animeOnline, followed by theOtaku, Anime Vice, and finally Anime News Network. I also had the honor to be one of few (or so I’m told) freelancers who got permission to write for both Anime Insider and Newtype USA, although I wrote about anime for one and manga for the other. It’s been an intense and fun road and I’ve been having a blast working with new friends and old at FUNimation. I am actually conducting this interview the day before my one-year anniversary here.
CB: What kind of shift did you have to do mentally once getting in at FUNimation and working with the industry from that side of it?
GM: Perhaps less of one than you might think; in both journalism and anime marketing I am ultimately trying to serve anime fans content that they will enjoy in a format they’ll like, after all.
In terms of practical execution it’s hugely different, of course; as a writer, I’m responsible for every element of the creation of my content. At ANN I also had an editor, and that was pretty much the whole process.
Working as a brand manager is very much about working with a lot of different people and working with them to get everyone on the same page—so that’s licensing, production, sales, media buying, PR, etc. We all have the same goal (put together a release that gets the most fans excited that we can), but working with such amazing and talented people, there are often a lot of different ideas for how to get there! So part of my job is taking in those ideas and working out a core strategy, and figuring out how (or if) each idea can fit into that strategy. Throw in the practical concerns of timing and budgets and every project is sort of a unique puzzle with an infinite number of possible outcomes.
It’s daunting, but it’s an incredible high when everyone works together and comes up with something that we all like. It’s comparable and maybe even stronger than that feeling when you turn out a piece of content that really hits; sure, you don’t get all the credit, but you have a lot more people to celebrate with.