Animating Halloween | Yami Shibai 10 Episodes 1 and 2 Review

Episode 1: A Job to Quit

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Plot: A man asks his friend’s advice on quitting his job when he shares an emotionally draining aspect of his work.

Breakdown: New Animating Halloween, new Yami Shibai, let’s GO!

Our first episode of this season involves mannequins, so we’re already starting strong. A man works at a mannequin factory with the specific job of checking for defects. The defects in question are any mannequin heads with the ability to talk. He is forced to throw the mannequin heads into the incinerator if they can talk, forcing him to listen to their screams as they melt away. He asks his friend if he should quit his job because the emotional turmoil is getting to be too much for him, and that’s about all I feel like spoiling for this one.

I think this is a very strong episode to start us off on. Some really creepy visuals, some legitimately scary screams and it fits very well within the five minute format. It, for once, doesn’t leave off on a cliffhanger. I really enjoyed it.

Our opening this season is a rather blasé shot of the narrator in an empty playground presenting the story to no one. The ending is much more interesting. It shows the narrator in an empty auditorium and he takes his mask off as he’s about to leave. While we don’t see his face, we do see the inner side of the mask, and it’s all dark and has a few red seals in it.

The ED is okay. It’s a bit of a rough listen because it’s mostly just acoustic guitar with vocals. It’s like someone threw it together on the fly. But does that make it bad or does it add to the unsettling ambiance? You be the judge.

Episode 2: Ending Note

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Plot: A trio of siblings clean out the apartment of their estranged father after his passing until they find a heartbreaking note.

Breakdown: Excuse me. Let me just pick my jaw off the floor.

Sometimes, Yami Shibai can be quite sweet. In certain stories, the darkness of the tale lies in the sadness and tragedy or the bittersweet situation – not in horror. I really thought this one was heading in that direction.

Hoo boy, was I wrong.

I don’t want to spoil this one either besides saying that I’m not 100% certain on how much I like the twist at the end. It was indeed creepy and definitely shocking, but it was one of those endings where I ultimately felt more sad than anything. That’s not a bad thing, though, so I don’t know if I can find it within myself to ding it for that.

Overall, this episode was certainly well-written and managed to throw me for a loop in a fairly good way.

So far, I’m quite impressed with how this season is turning out, and it seems many fans are having similar responses. Hopefully, the season maintains this momentum throughout the entire run.


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Tokyo Mew Mew New | Episode 1: Wait, What?! I’m a Superhero Now?! Meow! Review

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Oh should I say re-MEW?! Ahahahahahahaha! Ahaha…Hah…..*cough*

Well, the Tokyo Mew Mew reboot came out recently. I wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t notice because it’s basically been silent on all fronts since it came out. That actually kinda concerned me. I mean, I guess no news is good news…..or good MEWS! Ahahahaha….hah….That 4Kids retrospective kinda broke me. I apologize.

But outside a few mentions here and there, I haven’t heard anyone actually discussing it. It’s like the Shaman King reboot. I barely heard a word about that once it was finally out even though people waited for it forever.

I, personally, was interested in what direction they would go with it. Would they rely more on the anime version, try to be more loyal to the manga or would they just do their own thing? Or even some melding of all three?

Well, after watching the first episode, I can tell you that it definitely seems like it’s trying to be more its own thing than anything while also trying to be more loyal to the manga than the original anime did. If it takes anything from the anime, it’s that it tries a lot harder to give the others girls spotlight, which I am very, very thankful for. So far, they’re actually getting more focus than they even got in the original anime, which is very nice.

I’m not going to be doing another AniManga Clash on this series for the reboot, but I will try to bring up the differences as much as memory allows.

As in the manga, all of the Mews are in the endangered species exhibit on the day that their powers are given to them. Ichigo is there with Aoyama on a date, and Shirogane and Akasaka choose this as their moment to shoot off their……Pbbbt Mew Mew beam or whatever that is. In the hubbub, Ichigo and Aoayama accidentally have their first kiss (which is unlike the original anime where it was changed to Quiche stealing her first kiss). After that, Ichigo wakes up to Aoyama checking up on her when a Chimera Anima attacks. I know I’ve called them Chimera AnimaLs in the past, but that was a habit born from the subs I was reading. I will refer to them as Chimera Animas from now on.

Aoyama is knocked unconscious, Shirogane saves Ichigo from the Chimera Anima and tells her about her transformation powers, telling her to transform into Mew Ichigo to defeat the Chimera Anima. She manages to do so and that’s pretty much it.

There are some key differences between the reboot and the manga and original anime, however.

Ichigo seemingly doesn’t know Aoyama at all during the start of this show. Their story is still roughly kept the same, but Ichigo seemingly knew Aoyama for a while and had a crush on him for some time at the start of both the manga and the original anime. They weren’t super close or anything, but she clearly had spoken to him a few times and had a crush on him, and she was confident enough in her standing with him to ask him out right at the start.

I’m not sure how much I care about this change. I think it kinda made their development go by a little too fast in this version. She goes from not knowing who he is to being intense about wanting to get to know him, leading her and her friends to basically covertly gather intel to asking him on a date in only a few minutes. Not saying it’s unrealistic because these are teenagers we’re dealing with, but I preferred the pacing that the original manga and anime went through is all.

However, to kinda balance that out, I did greatly appreciate that Ichigo was honest with Aoyama about the circumstances involving their date. Usually in situations like this, the protagonist would just lie and pretend that they’re interested in the stuff their crush is interested in just because they want to get all up in that goodness, especially when asked about the topic as Aoyama does to Ichigo here. However, Ichigo was actually honest with Aoyama when he asked how long she had been interested in conservation and told him that she just got the tickets to the exhibit and thought it would be interesting to go with him. She even got really into the subject matter when Aoyama started explaining everything to her.

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I do think it was kinda silly for a teenage girl to not know what “endangered” means. “Red data animal” I get because that’s not a common phrase, but most people know what “endangered” means.

Anyway, while it was the slightest bit preachy, I did like how much Ichigo got into it. Plus, this series just tends to be a tiny bit preachy by default, so it’s alright.

The second biggest change to the series kinda shocked me. Mint, for some reason and somehow, already has her powers and is teamed up with Shirogane and Akasaka before Ichigo even goes to the endangered animal exhibit. She also goes to her school and helped arrange Ichigo to be at the exhibit supposedly to set up her being imbued with the powers.

This confused me so much, and I still don’t know if I like it. In the manga and the original anime, Ichigo being given powers was like a matter of circumstance. She just happened to be the one who had a good match with an iriomote wild cat out of everyone who was there. She wasn’t a literal chosen one. However, here, it seems very much intentional. Mint even grabbed her and threw her into some other location somehow that didn’t seem like it was in the same area as the exhibit so she could test out her new powers.

On one hand, I kinda like the Mint change….at least I think I like it. I know so little about what’s actually going on there that it’s really hard for me to formulate any actual opinion on it. It does get at least one of the girls a little more invested in the overall story, and Mint got to help in the big battle sequence. Plus it doesn’t seem that Mint is nearly as abrasive as she usually is, so that’s good. I’m just wondering how this change impacts both her and the story as we move forward.

I’m also kinda confused because I sincerely doubt the other Mews got the same test-drive kind of experience, so are they getting kicked to the side again? Like “Oh we had to ensure Ichigo got to activate her powers first, because she’s the leader.” Does this mean they know who the other Mews are right now or was Ichigo the only ‘chosen one’? How did Mint wind up with Shirogane and Akasaka? Why is she with them?

I know all these questions will be answered in the future, but it really threw me for a loop. I’d think if anyone made sense to be in with Shirogane and Akasaka from the start, it’d be Zakuro given the way her character was introduced in the past, but I guess I’ll reserve judgment on how I feel about this until I know a bit more about it.

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A slight change that they made was giving Moe and Miwa stuff to do and personalities beyond just being Ichigo’s friends. One of them wants to be a journalist, and the other wants to be a counselor. Very minor, but I take what I can get. I also appreciate that they helped Ichigo learn more about Aoyama so she could have a chance with him. They seem like pretty good friends.

I like the new art and animation. I think everyone’s characters designs are pretty nice. I also like how the Mews have more different hair styles when they’re transformed. Before, they just kinda looked the same barring brighter colors, but now they get slightly different styles as well. I particularly like that Mint’s hair is being kept down in her normal state and only has the buns in her transformed state while also making her hair a little longer and wavier when transformed. I also like Mint’s dress. It finally doesn’t give off “towel” vibes. That little fringe at the bottom does so much. I also like the bows, I think those are cute.

I liked the new transformation for Ichigo. I love that the cat appears behind her when she poses. While I did think it looked really cool, I don’t think it was a good idea to have her body appear with a galaxy/starry sky pattern on her as she transforms because it comes off way too much like Sailor Moon. It also doesn’t make much sense. What do their powers have to do with space? I also liked the new animation for her attack. I thought that was cool.

The little sequence they tagged on at the end with her in the truck was funny. It was also amazing how well they captured Café Mew Mew. It looks dead on to how it is in the manga and original anime, at least on the outside. I was very impressed.

The music is pretty good. I like it. Not sure I’m fully onboard with the ED quite yet, but it’s alright.

The voice acting was also pretty good. We did lose Megumi Ogata as Aoyama, but I think his new VA, Yuuma Uchida, does a pretty good job. Despite not appearing in this episode, I also learned Daisuke Sakaguchi wasn’t back to voice Quiche (and yes, I’m switching to calling them Quiche, Tart and Pie as well) which sucks. He was so much fun in the role, but hopefully his new VA will be good. I think everyone got a voice change, but don’t quote me on that.

Not sure if it will ever see a dub. That’d be surreal, quite frankly. I’d love to see a new English dubbing studio take on TMM, but after going through all of the 4Kids dub, it’d be a very strange experience. Welcome, but strange.

So…yeah…I was pleasantly surprised by this. It’s actually getting my hopes up a bit. It seems like it might be answering quite of a few of the criticisms I had about the original manga and anime. But I am treading lightly. I don’t want to get ahead of myself. I look forward to more, and I hope this is the start of something really great for the franchise. See you in episode two!

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Or should I say, episode MEW?! Ahahahahah!….Hahah…ha…Is there some 4Kids detox I can do?


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An Absurdly Deep Dive Into the History of 4Kids | Table of Contents

Part 1 – 4Kids as a 4Baby (1970-1997)

Part 2 – Pokemon, I License You! (1998-1999)

Part 3 – 4Kids 2000 (2000)

Part 4 – Entering Unown Territory (2001)

Part 5 – I Summon Yu-Gi-Oh! In Attack Mode! (2001 cont.)

Part 6 – 4Kids 4Ever (2002)

Part 7 – A Fox in a Box and a 4Kids with a Block (2002 cont.)

Part 8 – Miramax Killed the Movie Theater Star (2003)

Part 9 – Be Careful What You Wish For (2004)

Part 10 – One Piece in Pieces (2004 cont.)

Part 11 – Playing Their Cards Wrong (2004 cont.)

Part 12 – Out of the Box (2005)

Part 13 – Pikachu’s Goodbye (2005 cont.)

Part 14 – (The Time Has Come) (2006)

Part 15 – The Chaotic Nature of Rumors (2005/2006 cont.)

Part 16 – Yu-Gi-Oh No! (2005/2006 cont.)

Part 17 – 4Kids TV 2: The Kidsening (2007)

Part 18 – 4Kids is No Longer Foxy (2008)

Part 19 – 4Kids’ Pre-Death Dead Period (2009-2010)

Part 20 – Get Your Game Revved Up! (2011)

Part 21 – It’s Time to S-S-S-S-S-S-S-S-SUE! (2011-2012)

Part 22 – Time 4 Change (2012-2017 | Closure)

Part 23 – Where in the World is Kahnmen Sandiego? (2012-Present)

Part 24 – Everything Changes (Conclusion)


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An Absurdly Deep Dive into the History of 4Kids | Part 24: Everything Changes (Conclusion)

So, class, what have we learned over the past 24 blog posts and 100 pages besides the fact that I desperately need a life?

All joking aside, this wasn’t really a passion project or anything, more of a long-standing curiosity that I wanted to explore, thought would just take a few days to research and write, not two months (even as all the parts were sitting in my scheduled posts queue for weeks after finishing the entire thing, I still went back and edited them many times), and wound up finding so many rabbit holes that I think I literally am a rabbit now.

However, I am very glad that I decided to write this up because it helped me understand a lot about why 4Kids was the way it was, a lot of their business practices, what was happening behind the scenes, why they truly died, and I even got to do some sleuthing and maybe clear up some rumors. Maybe you even learned something and had some fun. I hope so.

I think a big takeaway here, though, is that 4Kids, at the end of the day, wasn’t this big boogeyman of anime, when you get down to it. They were mostly just….grossly incompetent. I know it seems weird to say that of such a big name as 4Kids, but, they pretty much were. They propped up their business on a few big titles with no plan as to what they would do should those titles be taken away, they lucked out with a few huge licenses, especially Pokemon at the start, they greatly overestimated their skills and knowledge in the industry, and then whined that Japan didn’t consistently come up with more merchandisable cash cows for them to license on a regular basis as if that was in their control.

They disrespected their audience, which earned them ire, they disrespected anime and manga as a whole, which earned them ire, they disrespected their peers in the anime (and manga) industry, which earned them ire, they didn’t bother to do proper research on their own licenses before obtaining them or research into Japan and how their economy and content works despite working with their properties for years, which earned them ire, and they constantly wanted a pat on the back for doing so much for anime while also desperately not wanting their audience to know what they were consuming was anime….which earned them ire.

Even their production of merchandise and marketing, two things you’d think a licensing company that has existed for over four decades and has had several massive properties under its belt would be able to do quite well consistently, wasn’t all that good at times. From not properly advertising certain shows to supposedly not getting a toy deal for Mew Mew Power to their ridiculously spotty and frustrating release schedule for DVD and VHS releases, especially in regards to ‘uncut’ releases, to making a deal with Miramax and Harvey Weinstein for the Pokemon movies to the disaster that was Toonzaki. It’s amazing how they were both very good at marketing and advertising while also making some incredibly baffling and poor business decisions.

Some things were out of their control, of course, especially the financial crisis and the overall death of Saturday morning cartoon blocks, but many aspects of their downfall were their own doing. If you want to look at the Yu-Gi-Oh! lawsuit from a different perspective, the fact that they said they’d do anything to keep the Yu-Gi-Oh! license, including go bankrupt, was a little on the insane side. I get that Yu-Gi-Oh! was their top earner and losing the license would have been the death of them anyway, but it seems very immature and backwards to basically stamp their feet and say they’d rather kill themselves than let someone else do it. Even if they did rightfully win the lawsuit in the end, they didn’t get anything substantial from it, and they had to have known that.

I won’t really hold Chaotic’s situation against 4Kids because that was also largely out of their hands. It was just a financial gamble that failed in a time of economic turmoil. Again, even without the financial crisis at the time, Chaotic likely would have just been a fairly beneficial property to them through the rest of their years. I sincerely doubt revenue from it would have saved them from their eventual fate. They probably would have just sold it back to CUSA or someone else in the bankruptcy auction. Looking back, maybe one of the reasons 4Kids didn’t want to give up the license to CUSA was because they had injected so much of their own money into it that any offer CUSA gave probably didn’t seem like it was worth it, even though, ya know, it doesn’t make them ANY money by latching onto it forever.

I do think they also had a big issue with their all-or-nothing attitude. They were constantly dead set on finding the next huge thing – the things that would rake in insane profits and make them the top of their field – but they were very bad at long-term strategies. Let me be completely fair and clear – I don’t have a mind for business, much of it goes over my head, but even I can tell that they had a big problem with this. Even when they did say this property or another would be a big earner for years, they either dropped them early because they weren’t being massively successful immediately or they would keep the property but give up on it in spirit, so to speak, by just letting the license rot in their hands.

This reflected very well in their aforementioned attitudes towards Japan in which Al Kahn said anime and manga in Japan were dying because they hadn’t had any generation-defining merchandisable hits in over a decade, which was objectively wrong in a lot of ways. If he thinks an entire country is “over” just because their anime and manga sales were down for a bit, even to the point where he gave up on licensing anime for three years as a result, then it’s not surprising that he views his company in the same way.

This was even reflected when they tried to branch out a bit into female-oriented shows. Winx Club did well, but they had it taken from them because the creator didn’t like what they were doing with it. They gave it another go with Mew Mew Power, which also did well, but dropped it halfway through because they couldn’t get a toy deal for it. Magical DoReMi was good, but it wasn’t good enough so they dropped it. And they didn’t even dub Precure because they likely thought ‘Why bother? If there’s one thing we’ve learned here it’s that there’s no money with girl stuff.’ And then there was whatever the hell they were trying to achieve with Capsule Monsters, which comes off like they gave up on that idea almost immediately while also having no real direction on what they wanted it to be in the first place.

I do concede that a large amount of 4Kids’ edits, as with other child-demographic anime dubs at the time, were a result of FCC constraints and regulations, but I’ll only concede so far with that assessment. Yes, certain edits were necessary to meet broadcast standards, but many of their edits, such as their localization efforts, changing entire soundtracks and removal of all things text, were squarely on 4Kids. As far as I know, the FCC has no regulations about changing foreign content to better suit young American audiences. The only entity that really benefits is 4Kids. In their eyes, it made them more marketable and appealing, and the only people getting offended were the pre-existing fans who knew better, and most of those people weren’t in 4Kids’ target demo, so they didn’t care. Also, let’s not overlook the fact that some of their edits were just entirely nonsensical, and many of their content edits were still commonly present in their movies, which are not controlled by the FCC.

Let’s also not forget that many of their practices were a result of just being terribly condescending to their audience. From making things way too obvious through dialogue changes/additions, editing scenes around or even having new animation created to drive certain points home to thinking every single second of a show needed to have music or talking in it to keep kids’ attention to making mistakes in their dubs and not fixing them on purpose just because they didn’t care and then later claiming it was on purpose as a little weird Easter egg thing.

4Kids, as much as it sucks to say, weren’t entirely wrong when it came to those views, either. Looking back as fully grown anime fans, yeah, we see how bungled the dubs were for a variety of reasons, and we feel rightfully disrespected as fans, but, back when we were kids, most of us didn’t care. The fact that 4Kids, by design, made their shows to trick viewers into not thinking they were watching anime (which failed after a while) definitely had a hand there, but I can’t honestly say that my experiences looking back at enjoying these shows is in any way tarnished knowing what I know now because 4Kids, despite their backwards best efforts, helped make me an anime fan, and they wound up being a significant part of the anime boom in the late 90s and early 2000s.

I don’t attribute my being an anime fan to 4Kids because other shows dubbed by other companies, such as Sailor Moon (DiC), Digimon (Saban) and Dragon Ball and DBZ (Ocean/Funimation) and a slue of others certainly helped push me there too, but they were a big part of it. Plus, many of the shows that they dubbed are now available in high definition subbed versions (not all of them, admittedly), the ones that aren’t weren’t made unavailable or obscure because of 4Kids (It’s likely some people only know of a few obscure shows because 4Kids dubbed them once upon a time) and they also helped pioneer anime streaming options with 4Kids.tv, Toonzaki and even their Youtube channel.

4Kids isn’t even really special when it comes to them mangling their properties. As I’ve already covered in my Sub/Dub Comparison series, companies like DiC, Saban and Nelvana were awful in their own rights with similarly awful and confusing changes, but what makes 4Kids special was that they were the best damn manglers who left a trail of shows and movies in their wake. All of those other dubbing companies had rather limited libraries of anime compared to 4Kids. They wanted that kid anime market cornered, and they cornered it as much as they could. They were the kings of mangling, and I say that with legit praise because they were so much better at digital paint and editing magic than any of the aforementioned dubbing companies.

Even on Cartoon Network where they were more lax on that stuff because their anime was geared towards older kids and teens, and adults with Adult Swim, they had to make edits to suit airing. Some famous examples include Naruto and Yu Yu Hakusho. I specifically remember sloppy paint edits on Yu Yu Hakusho where you’d see the digital paint very obviously shaking as it was covering up wounds and middle fingers. And obviously there were awkward edits to replace Yusuke’s swearing. Even on Adult Swim there was some instances of editing for content. I remember Blue Gender had a sex scene hinted at in the next episode preview with a few clips between Marlene and Yuji, and it just wasn’t there in the episode on Adult Swim where it is there in the Japanese version.

This stuff happens. Sometimes, their dubs were just legitimately entertaining because the cast and writers were having a ball with the show. Their music could even be legitimately good. It was a crap shoot with them sometimes.

Speaking of the cast and crew of their shows, I really do want to emphasize that, in my opinion, they were the best parts of 4Kids. I poke fun at some 4Kids actors’ acting abilities and even just their voices sometimes, and I make fun of a lot of writing choices, but as far as I’ve seen the regular 4Kids cast and crews typically had a blast doing what they did and were proud of their work. For many of them, 4Kids productions were their first foray into mainstream voice acting work, and for some of them it was their first venture into voice acting period. They also seem to be good with the fans, happy to talk about their experiences and were understandably upset whenever a project they were working on fell through, especially in the situation with Pokemon where the rug was pulled out from under them from all angles. The main problem in 4Kids’ wheelhouse were almost always the executives, especially, yes, Al Kahn.

That being said…..there’s a reason 4Kids died when many other dubbing or licensing companies went through similar hardships and came out on the other side with their feet on the ground. As I just mentioned, 4Kids was terribly pigeon-holed. They were exclusively, well, for kids. Older kids and even teens and adults may have had a place in their audience, but their demographic was kids.

When you’re dealing with a kid demographic, you have to work in a landscape that is probably the fastest changing landscape in media. Kids grow up super fast. They outgrow Kids WB and move on to Toonami. They outgrow Toonami and move on to Adult Swim. They may not move on to other anime at all. Within a few years you have an entirely new audience of kids you have to impress with things that are new and exciting, and in the world of licensing, especially when you’re primarily licensing imported shows, you’re chained to whatever is being offered/is available in other countries.

It’s true that trying to make certain properties more fitting for newer audiences helps keep properties alive for years, just look at some of the American kids’ properties that have existed for decades without changing a whole lot, but when you’re dealing with licensing other properties that you don’t have a whole lot of creative control over, you need to find different avenues to evolve.

The thing is that they recognized this. Their problems with having few big properties holding them up and focusing on a demographic that practically demands constant change was in nearly every single financial document as concerns about their company, but they very rarely presented anything that would help solve that issue.

They did create 4Sight, which would’ve been a fantastic move to branch out into older audiences and get a more stable income stream, but, as all-or-nothing attitudes go, they pretty much went the ‘nothing’ route with 4Sight. They didn’t make any big moves with it. They barely made any small moves with it. It pretty much just sat in a corner collecting cobwebs for half a decade.

Toonzaki was a weird outlier in this regard because it’s almost like they went too far in the other direction by having a streaming site where a lot of graphic titles were offered alongside uncut 4Kids properties with no parental controls or age confirmation that I could see. This would have been the perfect project for 4Sight, but they didn’t give it to them. It was entirely a 4Kids website.

Localization is an issue too, but not fully. Yes, some references and jokes need to be changed because they just don’t translate well in English, but that usually not the problem. They were worried their audience would be put off by foreign things. Or, for some reason, an American audience would never be able to connect with Japanese characters and settings. But then again, you’ll never know if the localization is what killed it in the States either. It was largely a matter of gambling with pretty much any property 4Kids acquired.

They were also largely stuck on broadcast TV. They had trouble with releasing movies after a point, and their DVD production and sales were incredibly inconsistent and lacking, something that got exponentially worse when they attempted to release uncut DVDs. Other companies also took to TV a lot, but they tended to be better about releasing uncut DVDs. For example, people complained a lot about Naruto’s censored airing on Cartoon Network, but the uncut version was made readily available as the series aired, starting when the series premiered and completing the DVD releases when Naruto ended its run on TV.

By the time 4Kids broke out into streaming, they just handled it badly. Streaming their edited shows on 4Kids.tv? That’s great. Streaming those and some uncut stuff on their Youtube channel? Awesome. Toonzaki, however, was a great idea that was also somehow a massive mess in practice. As I mentioned, it’s just weird to have a 4Kids streaming service that had so many graphic titles with seemingly no parental blocks or age confirmations. If they were comfortable streaming uncut Yu-Gi-Oh! titles on their Youtube channel, why did they feel the need to use that as a tentpole for Toonzaki? Why not just release the episodes on 4Kids.tv, maybe with a warning or something, and keep all non-4Kids stuff on Toonzaki?

Their official promotions, few of them as there were, didn’t push it as the place to get uncut Yu-Gi-Oh! episodes, just anime in general, but literally everywhere online that’s what it was being hyped as because the little information available, again, mostly from Mark Kirk’s interview, was that it was a 4Kids website for their uncut shows for general audiences. When you don’t have any other frame of reference, that’s what people are going to run with.

They also didn’t seem to realize that just being an aggregate site for anime sourced from other websites with only Yu-Gi-Oh! titles being unique wasn’t a good long-term plan. They acted as if they’d host more stuff directly on their website in the future, but they never did. Everything was hosted from Hulu, Crunchyroll, Funimation, Viz or other places for the entirety of its life.

That’s not entirely on them since the landscape for streaming was in its infancy back then, especially when it came to licensed properties, but still. It was a decent idea sitting on a bad execution. And while it came during a time when 4Kids really needed that opportunity to grow, it also came at the worst time because this was just a year before the Yu-Gi-Oh! lawsuit. If they had a longer lifespan, maybe they could have ironed out the kinks with Toonzaki, but I really doubt it.

A part of their downfall was also the death of Saturday morning cartoons. Animated shows were no longer something only available on Saturday mornings, making their inconvenience a bother. Why would I wake up early on a weekend to catch an anime that I can watch anytime streaming? Or get on DVD later? Or catch on syndication on another network? Or why watch those shows when cartoons are constantly on Cartoon Network, Disney Channel and Nickelodeon? Or why watch those cherry-picked kidified anime when I can watch a big variety of less edited shows on Toonami or Adult Swim, or, hell, even blocks like Anime Unleashed on G4 Tech TV?

They were also prisoners of their merchandise. They treated every property as a merchandise machine. Al Kahn and Mark Kirk said it straight out – if they can’t merchandise it, they’re not interested in it. A large portion of their money came from toys and other kids merchandise, which was also evolving at a breakneck speed as Al Kahn pointed out several times. The problem there was evaluating it improperly a good chunk of the time. I don’t really think they allowed a lot of these shows to have enough time to secure an audience before they decided the merchandise wasn’t worth it. They dropped so many shows because of merchandise when they barely had a few episodes to a full season under their belts.

Honestly, the lawsuit really was just the straw that broke the camel’s back. 4Kids was already on the ropes, they were teetering on the edge, and that lawsuit pushed them over and they couldn’t recover. If it wasn’t the lawsuit, it would have been something else very shortly, I guarantee it. It may seem overly pessimistic, but I just didn’t see 4Kids having a significant future anymore. They were consistently going down for years and could barely even glance up a few times. Either they would have died shortly on their own anyway or they would have stumbled into some miracle property that would save them from the Shadow Realm (and Tai Chi Chasers was not going to be it), and even then I can imagine that would only eek out a few more years for them. They just didn’t have the steam to go on.

At the end of the day, when everything is said and done, 4Kids was and still is an icon….an icon of what, is up to you, but it’s still an icon. Let’s be honest, we still have a blast with 4Kids shows just in poking fun at their ridiculousness, and some still enjoy them legitimately. I won’t deny for a second that, even though doing my SDCs of 4Kids shows chips away at my soul sometimes, the shows still commonly wind up being fun either because I’m legitimately enjoying it or I’m just laughing at the 4Kidsisms.

I’m not going to dance on 4Kids’ grave, but I’m also not going to mourn it. 4Kids was, somewhat fittingly, a product of its time. There’s just no way a company like 4Kids could survive today. There are too many sources of good, loyal dubbed anime, and there are plenty of kids anime that are dubbed just fine and made readily available to children because many dubbing companies today will dub a wide range of anime for a nearly endless demographic from kids to adults to every gender and across every genre. And if you don’t like dubs, subtitled anime, official or fansubs, are readily available at thousands of sources.

Maybe we could have seen an entirely different 4Kids over time, but I doubt it. Also, there was a certain charm with shows being on Saturday morning lineups that you really can’t get anymore, and I think 4Kids thrived on that one very specific area that we can’t replicate now. 4Kids cut out a niche for itself and dominated in that one area, and there just wasn’t a place for it once that niche was gone.

It’s an entirely new world for kids, and it’s not a world for 4Kids.

4Kids will always have a special place in my heart for helping me discover some of my favorite shows and helping spark my love of anime. I won’t excuse what they’re guilty of, and I won’t overexaggerate any good they did. I’ll just say “Thank you, 4Kids. As much for dying as for living.”


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Sailor Moon (DiC) | Episode 12 (9 for the Dub): I Want a Boyfriend, Too! The Luxury Cruise Ship is a Trap Sub/Dub Comparison

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Plot: Jadeite teams up with one of Beryl’s most trusted subordinates, a demon named Thetis, to steal energy from lovers on a lovers’ cruise ship. Rei wins a ticket on the boat and invites Ami to both spite Usagi and to find them both boyfriends. Usagi sneaks her way onto the ship disguised as a photographer to get in on the fun, but when they discover Jadeite’s trap they’ll have to defeat Thetis and save the lovers on the ship.

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Title Change: I Want a Boyfriend – The Luxury Cruise Ship is a Trap is changed to Cruise Blues…I just want to note that there are four episodes in this season that DiC named (Something) Blues….Truly masters of creativity…

The dub puts the footage of Serena attacking over the edited plasma ball thing Beryl has. In the original, it’s just a circle.

Subbed:

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Dubbed:

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The editing’s weird as a result because I guess they had to transition to the original footage due to the glow of the tiara.

In the original, Thetis, the demon of the week, seems to be above Jadeite and working directly under Queen Beryl. In the dub, Jadeite acts like Thetis is a lowly demon who has failed him once before.

The original commercial for the cruise is narrated by a woman instead of a man, and the commercial is much longer than it is in the dub though the same clips remain…

I guess they edited this part out because there’s a big closeup of the cruise’s advertisement that takes up all of the screen and has Japanese on it. Umino explains how nice the cruise ship is and says it would be great to fall in love on the ship as we transition to him imagining himself with Usagi on the boat with her suddenly elbowing him in the fantasy (which was hilarious).

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Also, in the dub, Melvin just says he can tell the girls how the ship was made.

Also, they omit that the ship has a capacity of 666…..which is kinda weird. I get that that’s considered an ‘evil’ number but it’s moreso a devil/Satan thing. I don’t think Beryl has anything to do with Satan…..right?

Umino doesn’t mention how he got the tickets whereas Melvin says he got them by entering a computer contest on the internet. A shot of the advertisement is edited out, I guess because there’s Japanese too close up. Umino says he gave the tickets to the lady next door because he didn’t want to do anything delinquent and shows the hours of departure for the cruise being 18:00-22:00 (6:00pm to 10:00pm) They also remove this explanation (they could’ve just said the hours but whatever) and said his parents wouldn’t let him go because he gets sea sick.

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They also edit out a shot of Naru and Usagi as Naru says that Umino has a weird sense of ethics.

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Umino says there’s a raffle in the shopping district for tickets. Melvin says there’s a raffle at the newsstand downtown.

This shot is edited out.

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A shot of the advertisement for the cruise is removed.

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Instead, both of these shots are replaced with a view of Tokyo Tower………Yeah, replace a shot of Japan with a Japanese landmark. Makes sense.

In the original, the consolation prize was tissues (I guess to be funny…or a jackass.) In the dub, since they’re blocks of white, they say the consolation prize is soap, which can also be jackassy when you think about it……But why? Why change that? Why? Are tissues bad? Next time you have a runny nose, blow it into SOAP. It’ll be gross, but at least your nose will smell nice.

Rei says they don’t have times for things like the cruise because of their responsibilities as Senshi. In the dub, Raye asks who Serena would bring because she has no boyfriend. Serena says she could bring a friend, and Raye asks if she’s talking about herself because why would she want to be stuck on a cruise with a brat like her? Yeesh. Who spit in her sacred fire?

Isn’t it cheating that Rei uses her priestess powers to win the contest?…..Actually, scratch the question, it flat out is. And you could make the argument that she’s just focusing hard and praying that she wins, but the gold marble comes out GLOWING so yeah, cheater cheater pumpkin eater. What’s funny is the dub actually points this out in a dialogue change.

Originally Usagi said Rei’s a big hypocrite for going through all that to win the cruise when she just said they don’t have time for it. In the dub, Serena says Raye’s a big cheat for using her powers to win and she should’ve been disqualified because of it. To be honest, though, while I agree, even if you called her out on it, who would really disqualify her? We know she really has powers, but you’d sound ridiculous trying to make that claim to others.

“I demand she be disqualified!”

“Why?”

“She used her supernatural priestess powers to will the gold marble from the machine!”

“……”

Usagi keeps harping on the suspicion that Rei has no boyfriend. Rei lies and says she has one or two. In the dub, Serena asks if she’ll take Grandpa, and Raye says she might invite Tuxedo Mask.

Usagi doesn’t call Ami a traitor for going with Rei like Serena does. Ami/Amy doesn’t even know what Rei/Raye’s talking about yet, how can she be a traitor?

Rei says she’s hoping to get Tuxedo mask for a boyfriend as she talks to Ami. In the dub, Raye just says she’s sure there will be lots of fun people there.

……I’m confused. This cruise keeps getting advertised as a great getaway for couples, yet they’re acting like this would be a great place to meet a boyfriend….unless Rei and Usagi have no qualms against dating a committed man, which would be dickish.

I’m surprised they didn’t edit out the close shot of a waiter pouring wine. I can bet many of these people are old enough to drink, but that’s still a scene with alcohol.

I love how Rei actually says that she knew this was a cruise for lovers but she didn’t think they’d be the only ones without dates. Even if there were SOME other people who went alone or with people who aren’t romantically involved with them, what are the odds that they would 1) be their age and 2) be someone they’d want to date?

Going on a lovers cruise on the off chance for some dating action is pretty pathetic when you think about it. I’m not saying going on a cruise by yourself or with friends is pathetic, but going on a cruise specifically meant for lovers to find boy/girlfriends is just weird. There are many better ways of finding a romantic partner.

I don’t even know how they got up the courage to do that. I’d be embarrassed out of my skull and depressed to be on a lovers cruise surrounded by couples by myself desperate for a date. This just seems like a poorly thought out excuse to get the girls on the boat.

You know what could’ve fixed that whole thing? Advertise it as a romantic cruise instead of a cruise for couples. There. You’ll not only get more people interested, you’ll also make more sense in the story.

Luna asks where they are, and Usagi responds that they’re in the engine room. Luna says that’s impossible because engines, especially for ships, are never this quiet. Usagi says the boat might be stopped, but Luna points out that the ship is moving at full speed. Usagi then says they probably have some state of the art engine that is super quiet and to stop worrying. In the dub, it’s just unimportant bickering, but Serena does claim that Luna should pretend to be her super important photography assistant.

What kind of disguise is that anyway? A camerawoman/photographer to get onto a lovers cruise? Wouldn’t a deckhand or waitress be a better disguise?

Luna originally senses a great evil aura while in the box. In the dub, she’s complaining about being in the box.

Jadeite thinks to himself that Usagi seems familiar. In the dub, he wonders why he’s being so nice to her. Well, I’d assume it’s to keep up appearances for your disguise but whatever.

Rei’s original idea was that since, for some reason, it’s inevitable that some of these couples will break up on the ship, they should keep an eye out for recently broken up guys and snatch them up. Ami then thinks she should’ve just stayed at home and studied.

That’s pretty mean and stupid of Rei to say, by the way. Wanting to benefit from someone else’s misfortune and wanting to be a rebound girl is bad enough, but why is it inevitable that one of these couples will break up on the trip?

First of all, it’s just a few hours long. If you’re so close to breakup that you’d break it off in a few hours, why did you even get on a romantic cruise ship for lovers anyway? Second of all, why is it inevitable at all? Is it totally unreasonable to believe that all of these lovers would stay together for a few hours? On a romantic trip?

In the dub, Raye says her great idea is to flirt with some of the male crew members, take pictures with them and show them to Serena to make her feel bad. Amy then says she wishes they’d stop feuding. I have to say, it’s a bit annoying to me as well, and Raye hasn’t even been around that long yet.

Jadeite in disguise tells Usagi that he wishes he could announce where she is to her staff over the intercom but he doesn’t want to ruin the romantic mood of the passengers. In the dub, he says he really has to go back to his captain’s quarters, but he invites her to dinner at the captain’s table.

As Ami and Rei get cornered by Slime Tokens—I mean Thetis’ goons who can regenerate, Ami says that they can’t transform in front of Jadeite and Thetis because then they’ll know who they are (but saying “we can’t transform” out loud is basically proof that you are Sailor Scouts. Just saying.) In the dub, Amy just says they need to stick together.

Thetis in the original says, despite the girls imposing on their lovers cruise, they still got plenty of energy for Queen Beryl, and Jadeite agrees. In the dub, Jadeite asks if there’s a faster way to get rid of the girls. Thetis responds that they can’t do that without using the energy they gathered. Jadeite then says they should wait.

When Usagi shows up and makes her regular speech, she berates Jadeite and Thetis for only stealing the energies of lovers and ignoring the girls without boyfriends while pointing to Rei which makes her pissed off. (Dunno why. Not like Usagi has a boyfriend either. Pot, Kettle.) In the dub, Serena just talks about her same shtick of righting wrongs etc. However, she still points to Raye and Raye still gives her a pissed off look so I dunno what she’s on about.

Originally, Rei says she wants to pay Usagi back for humiliating her while a tiny picture of Chibi Jadeite and Chibi Thetis pop up by Rei’s face. In the dub, Raye just says they need to help Sailor Moon beat Thetis and Jadeite and there’s no real purpose for the little chibi picture.

Jadeite is originally pulled from where he was on board the ship by Queen Beryl since she was getting fed up with him. Jadeite tries to blame the whole thing on Thetis by saying it was her idea, which it was, but she’ll hear nothing of it and goes off to decide his punishment. In the dub, it’s like Jadeite left of his own accord and was reporting in with Beryl. Jadeite blames his failure on the Sailor Scouts, and the rest of the scene plays out the same.

Rei and Usagi don’t fight over Tuxedo Mask in the ending fight–….Wow, Tuxedo Mask wasn’t even in this episode. I just now noticed. Hm. Anyway, they originally squabble about how the other can’t get a boyfriend and blah blah.

Here’s something a little surprising. Today’s Sailor Says is about getting out of abusive relationships. Gee, that’s a bit of a jump there. I know Usagi was enamored with disguised Jadeite for a bit there, but wow. Good message, but not something you’d really expect on a Sailor Says PSA.

Next up is apparently our last battle with Jadeite, and he seems to be on the front lines for a change. Will this really be the end of our heroines? 

…Previous Episode


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Space-Time Detective Genshi-Kun/Flint the Time Detective | Episode 20 (19 for the Dub): Elekin’s Super Robot Showdown Sub/Dub Comparison

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Plot: Genshi heads to the Edo period to find Elekin, an electricity-based Space-Time Monster, and Hiraga Gennai, a brilliant scientist who is currently experimenting with Elekin’s powers to make a giant mech. TP Lady aims to take the mech and Elekin for herself to get rid of Genshi once and for all.

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Title Change: Elekin’s Super Robot Showdown is changed to Elekin.

Putera is explaining Elekin’s powers in the original. In the dub, Old Timer is narrating about where they’re going and who they’re seeing. Oddly, despite this change, they remove a scene with Toki G watching the kids go through the time stream and cheering on Genshi. This is shifted this to after they emerge from the time stream.

They, for some reason, change the name of our historical figure of the day. They call him Ichiban Hiraga but he’s actually called Hiraga Gennai. I thought maybe they were referencing a nickname or his birth name or something, but no. He was born as Shiraishi Kunitomo, and he did go by various pen names, but as far as I could tell none of them were Ichiban Hiraga.

The only reason I can think of for why this change happened is because Saban dubbed another anime that had a character named after Hiraga Gennai. In Digimon, there’s a character named Gennai, and both series were dubbed at basically the same time. This might also be the reason why Sora is changed to Sarah here, but the character, Sora, in Digimon keeps her name in the dub. Don’t know why Digimon got dibs on the original names or why that would matter, but that’s the only reason I can think of.

Ichiban, by the way, actually means “number one” or “first” which may or may not be a poke at the seeming change they make to his character.

The dub claims he ‘stumbled upon’ electricity, which, uh. No. First, that frames it like he discovered electricity, which couldn’t be less true. He just created an elekiter, which was a device used to generate and store static electricity. Secondly, saying he stumbled upon it kinda gives off the vibe that he hadn’t been studying it or working with it or, ya know, knew what it was. Whether he really invented the elekiter is a bit up for debate. The elekiter was originally a Dutch creation he acquired that utilized a Leyden jar, but it didn’t work. He was able to make it work, however. He presented the working device in exhibitions.

Oddly, Saban actually gets the time period entirely wrong this time. They usually get it even more precise than the original, but here, they’re centuries off. In the original, they’re going to the Edo period in Japan, which started in 1603. However, I’m to assume we’re somewhere in the range of 1749-ish because Hiraga Gennai was born in 1729 and he’s an adult here, so let’s just say he’s around 20. The dub claims they’re going to 12th century Japan, which is 1100-1200…..

For some reason, after Pterry says they’re going to 12th century Japan, Old Timer butts in again to say “Oh, much to learn about electricity, yes.” Uhm…why did you say that?

When they finally get around to showing the scene with Toki G, they change the dialogue. Genshi originally says he’s excited about meeting Elekin, and Toki G cheers him on and reminds us that he has to collect all of the Space-Time Monsters. Then he randomly falls. Flint asks what an Elekin is, and, as normal, he asks if it’s something to eat. Did they go out without Flint being briefed? Old Timer explains that Elekin is a Time Shifter and he’s not something to eat. Then he rambles on about how Flint only thinks about his stomach before he randomly falls over.

Name Plate removed.

Subbed:

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Dubbed:

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Sora and Tokio apologize for the crash and say it was their fault. In the dub, Sarah asks what’s going on, and Tony asks where the giant robot came from.

Also, they make Getalong say “New friends! Meet new friends!” which is kinda weird to say at a time like this, but is especially awkward considering Love-Love/Getalong has a concerned expression right now, so it doesn’t match.

Dub!Elekin talks in third person for some reason.

So, the next exchange is pretty much kept the same, but all of the bits and pieces are out of order. In the original, Gennai explains who he is before stating he knows the kids are from the future and asking them to help repair his robot. In the dub, he asks them to help repair his robot, then explains who he is then suggests they’re from the future. Also, they add in that he “invented” electricity, which, again, isn’t true. We really have to stop saying anyone invented electricity, because electricity is natural so no one invented it. Mentions of working with or manipulating electricity go as far back as 600 BC.

For the record, Hiraga Gennai was so much more than an inventor and builder. He was a writer, painter, pharmacologist, physician, ronin, herbalist, he worked in mining and pottery, and he was quite a notable gay figure at the time, writing a lot about homosexual life, guides on male prostitutes and several works highlighting gay sex.

Not downplaying his work as an inventor and scientist, but I’m just saying it’s worth mentioning……Well, okay, the sex stuff probably isn’t appropriate for this show, but everything else yeah.

Gennai asks what kind of response it is to say they’re too busy to help him repair his Gennai mech when they’re the ones who wrecked it in the first place. They have no response. In the dub, he asks how time travelers are too busy to help when, logically, they have all the time in the world. Then he asks if this is what has become of manners in the future.

In the original, Gennai specifically says he’s going to get them some treats where red beans pour out if you squeeze them. In the dub, he just offers them snacks. I feel like maybe he should be calling them manju because they were created way back in 1341, so they had to have been known as manju long before this point.

Tokio explains that the treats in question were actually steamed buns (manju) In the dub, Hiraga says his cook is off-duty so he made them something with fish eggs….

Genshi just enjoys the manju, and Sora says he was right since red beans do pour from them if you squeeze them. In the dub, Flint asks for ketchup. Sarah explains that it’s caviar, and you don’t put ketchup on caviar, but Flint says he does.

The original explains that Gennai is primarily a pharmacologist. The dub doesn’t mention this.

Putera knows exactly what the elekiter is (although she refers to it as just an electrostatic generator). Pterry says it’s “some rudimentary electronic device.”

Genshi starts cranking the elekiter because he’s curious. In the dub, since Pterry doesn’t know what it does, Flint wonders if it makes food, because of course he does, so he starts cranking the machine.

Sora and Tokio express actual concern for Genshi as he gets electrocuted. Sarah and Tony just yell “Stop clowning around!”

Going in the polar opposite direction 4Kids goes, the original makes a “shocking” pun while Flint just says “Ooh does it ever not make food.”

Sora asks Genshi if he’s okay, and Tokio tells him to be more careful. Sarah just tells Flint to behave himself when he’s a guest in someone’s home. Tony doesn’t have a line.

In the original, TP Lady says “If I fail again…” before trailing off into her fantasy. In the dub, she says “I’ll make him pay attention to me!”

The fantasy sequence is of the Masked Man leaving TP Lady because she keeps failing him. In the dub, it’s so weird, because it’s almost like they’re completely ignoring what’s happening on screen. The Masked Man has his back turned and is walking away from Petra while Petra is on the ground crying and reaching out. The Masked Man (Or I guess he’s supposed to be The Dark Lord?) says “Tell me, Petra Fina, what does the Dark Lord love above all else?” and she responds “Control, manipulation and power!” It just doesn’t match what we’re seeing.

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The sequence of TP Lady hitting Dyna in the head over and over is shortened. She originally told him to hurry and catch Elekin. Dyna responded asking why he’s the only one getting hit. They didn’t remove the hitting entirely, just shortened the scene of it. So hitting is fine but don’t do it too long?

This next change is 100% pointless and dumb. In the original, TP Lady dresses up in elegant Japanese clothing, and Dyna and Mite introduce her as the successor to the late general, Lord Tokugawa Ieharu. In the dub, Saban, for some reason, has Dino and Mite introduce her as a nameless princess of Saskatchewan…..Ya know….in Canada. What the hell is this, Saban? What are you doing? Why wouldn’t you just says she’s some vague Japanese princess, if you didn’t want to bring up Tokugawa Ieharu for some reason? Are you just trying to make these three seem even stupider than they actually are? I don’t get it.

TP Lady just asks Ammon and Elekin to kneel before her. In the dub, she requests for them to come closer. Also, they reverse and repeat the shot of her opening her eyes when her face is cloaked in shadow, so it can look like she then closed her eyes for some reason.

I don’t think Ammon knows this is TP Lady, Dyna and Mite in the original, but she definitely seems to know it in the dub.

Kyoichiro is entirely focused on Sora when the kids approach and babbles on about their unexpected meeting of fate when he’s all dreamy and sparkly. In the dub, he’s focused on Flint, acting as if he’s running to him to beg for help with the case.

The animation in this shot is awful. Since everyone’s just far enough away for all of the details to be off, Putera’s eyes bounce all over when he talks, and Kyoichiro loses his nose whenever his mouth moves.

The introduction to the newly changed mech is much less impacting in the dub. In the original, they have loud music cues and a pretty cool techno-ish track to go along with it. In the dub, they lazily put in the quietest of single drum beats with each new shot of the robot, and then the music that follows is simple boring bland background music, like the kind you’d hear in casual conversation, not seeing a massive missile-laden robot….

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TP Lady names her modified version of the Gennai, The Great Gennai, which is weird. I’d think she’d name it after herself, but whatever. In the dub, it doesn’t get a new name. Petra just says of course she’d be the one to take complete control with a giant robot.

I’m getting so confused with this. Elekin’s power doesn’t seem to actually be controlling or creating giant robots, like the preview implied. It’s literally just a walking elekiter. You need to crank him and everything. Why does TP Lady need him to power this robot? She has tons of robots and mechanical devices that run on electricity that comes from some unknown future-device source.

If his power really is just creating electricity, and this is a time period where Gennai already made the elekiter….why does Elekin have any impact on what he creates? Even if it is a matter of Elekin being able to generate more electricity than his elekiter, he shouldn’t have instantly made the jump from ‘box that generates static’ to ‘giant mech.’ This is especially weird in the case of the dub, because Ichiban specifically said he wanted this thing to help people…..How does this help people? It’s just a giant mech.

Gennai tells Elekin to stop. In the dub, he tells Petra that she can’t use the mech (or Elekin maybe?) for evil.

They repeat a shot of Elekin after showing the gears turning.

They add a shot of Ichiban talking to have him say “This is grotesque” after Elekin powers up the attack.

This actually seems so backwards. Like “Oh no, TP Lady, the person who usually has high-tech robots and all sorts of gadgets to help her with her plans is now using, GASP……a low-tech wooden mech that she needs to CRANK to power and uses ROPES to control……Dear god….help us all….”

I love how it takes Kyoichiro and Ammon an insanely long time to notice the giant mech attacking the town about 250 feet to their left.

The original doesn’t mention anything about TP Lady putting this moment in her book. I didn’t even know she was writing a book.

Also, I thought for sure Genshi was going to smack the mech with Ototan. Why did he try hopping into the cockpit?

They repeat and reverse the segment of TP Lady mocking and laughing at Genshi after we see the track coming towards Genshi.

Sora and Tokio just yell in concern for Genshi. Sarah and Tony point out how impressive Flint is being before we even see him getting back up to stop the mech.

TP Lady yells “Why is he so strong!?” In the dub, he tells Mite to keep cranking Elekin.

Sora and Tokio ask if the mech has any weak spots. Gennai says that any machine made by the great genius, Gennai, has no weak spots. In the dub, they ask if Ichiban can make anything to fight “the evil power” just once. Ichiban refuses, saying he doesn’t stoop to the hurly burly of politics. He builds machines to help the human race.

If you ask me, both versions are obnoxious. The first version is better, but it still has Gennai coming off like a total egotistical prick. Instead of actually trying to come up with a solution to this problem, he just gloats about how perfect his machine is. And, dude, it can’t be that perfect if it was so badly damaged just by falling over after trying to avoid Ridon. As far as I know, the more humorous side of this character definitely tracks with Gennai in real life, but I haven’t been able to find anything implying that he was a braggart who got blinded by his self-righteousness or ego.

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The dubbed version just seems flatout wrong on all accounts. You can’t state that your devices are tools of good for the betterment of humanity and then go on about how you don’t want to create a device that fights evil. That makes no sense. And what the hell does that have to do with politics? Being fair, Gennai was the type of guy who liked to distance himself from politics, but, as I just asked, what does making a device to beat an evil person’s robot have to do with politics?

And while we’re it, again, how does your giant mech help people!?

In the original, Putera asks why Gennai is gloating about that. In the dub, he says “If the universe is destroyed, who will see them?” which comes off like Ichiban only wants to help so his devices will get attention….

In the original, Gennai yells to Genshi that the one weak spot of the mech is Elekin. Since he’s powering the machine, removing him will stop it. In the dub, he just yells out to Petra that, as the mech’s creator, he protests against the use of the machine in such a way and demands they stop……I thought this guy was supposed to be smart.

Genshi tells Gennai that he understands. Flint tells Ichiban “Keep yellin’! I think it’s workin’!” Wha…what’s working? Him yelling at them? What are they doing different?

So Sora falls and just….doesn’t even try to kinda get up. She just accepts her missile-y fate…..What a protagonist.

Sora just says “Narukami” after he saves her. In the dub, Sarah says “Now I really feel silly.” Yeah, well….you should.

Kyoichiro asks if Sora’s alright. Merlock tells Sarah that she shouldn’t feel silly because it was a scary situation that scared him too…..Uh huh…

Kyoichiro says that, with her looking at him like that, he wouldn’t be cool if he refused her request. In the dub, he says that he can tell by the look in her eyes how much Flint means to her and that, in the spirit of friendship, he’ll help her.

Kyoichiro gives a speech to Genshi about how he’ll teach him the real way to fight. Genshi responds with “Kyoichiro, I’m counting on you!” In the dub, he gives a dramatic speech to…no one about how his enemies will tremble at his feet and blah blah. Flint then yells “STOP TALKIN’ AND DO SOMETHING, WILL YA!?” Way to make Flint obnoxious, Saban.

They again reverse and replay TP Lady talking after Flint’s line, for some reason.

Kyoichiro doesn’t have a line as he pole vaults over the missiles. He just goes “Aieeeeeeeeeeeeee!” Then he yells “Genshi, now!” In the dub, he says “A little grace under pressure….NOT WHILE MERLOCK’S AROUND!” Were you, uh, meant to be responding to someone in that second part of your line? Because, otherwise, it sounds like there will be no grace under pressure while you’re around….

Name Plate removed.

Subbed:

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Dubbed:

vlcsnap-2022-09-10-00h26m32s780

Name Change: Warukin is changed to Elekin-con.

So….Elekin’s bad transformation is mostly just a bigger version of himself with a different face on screen and plug hands? How boring.

Sora says “Hang in there, Ammon.” Sarah says “She’ll be okay. She’s in shock.” Get it?! Because she was electrocuted! HAHA!

As usual, Love-Love can’t talk, but Saban has Getalong say “All because of that robot!” No, it’s because of Elekin. The robot didn’t shock Bindi – Elekin did….

The original doesn’t mention anything about ballast….Why is Ichiban acting like this is a ship?

Kyoichiro tells Sora to take care of Ammon for him, and Sora agrees. In the dub, Merlock says Ichiban’s crazy because the robot can’t move on its own. Sarah then also chimes in asking if he doesn’t understand that the mech doesn’t have any energy. Yeah, apparently both versions are writing Gennai to be a dumbass now….

They somehow make him even more of a dumbass in the dub because they repeat shots of him pulling ropes and the robot not responding while he yells “Forward!….Backward!…..Any-ward!” before he realizes the mech doesn’t have power….In the original, he only pulls the rope once before realizing.

They remove the shot of the kids reacting to Gennai’s blunder and replace it with an earlier and much less funny non-reaction shot where they just blink in response, complete with a blink sound effect.

vlcsnap-2022-09-10-00h29m54s900

They also add in the slightly earlier shot of Sora yelling out as a means to getting Sarah to yell up to Elekin to remember that they’re his friends.

They remove the shot of Gennai, Kyoichiro and Genshi getting electrocuted before we cut to the lab.

vlcsnap-2022-09-10-00h30m19s548

The dub has Pterry mention that Flint’s in suspended animation, which….no? He’s not in suspended animation at all…What was that line? Were they trying to make some meta joke that didn’t land?

They remove the shot of Redman getting electrocuted.

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Sora tells Redman that the giant robot is on their side (after they attacked it and got electrocuted, thinking it was the enemy) Tokio then tells them to look closely and see that Genshi and Ototan are inside it. In the dub, Sarah tells them not to give up, and Tony tells Sarah that they probably don’t have any juice left after that.

The dub includes a split-second group shot of the Cardians right before they transform…for… some reason.

I can’t not mention this anymore – Ichiban here is voiced by Tom Fahn, who voiced Agumon in Digimon. I just had to mention this because he’s very obviously just doing his Agumon voice with no change whatsoever. It is very distracting.

Gennai tells Elekin that he’s really a good guy and asks him to change back. Ichiban tells Elekin that he believes his powers can be “applied and conducted” whatever the hell he means by the latter, for the good of everyone.

They add in a flashier shot of Petra flailing her whip around because I guess her torment of Elekin has to look better?

Also, TP Lady just asks what Warukin is doing. In the dub, Saban writes this insanely stupid line that I can’t believe made it to the final cut.

Petra: “The secret of electrical power comes with me!” The SECRET of ELECTRICAL POWER?! YOU’RE FROM THE GODDAMN FUTURE. You have a cat-themed spaceship that also turns into a mech. You have a mind-control stamp. YOU CAN TIME TRAVEL. What secrets of electrical power do you think this thing has? Go find a tesla coil or something. You’ll get the same experience. What is wrong with you?

Genshi tells Gennai that they need to run. Flint tells Ichiban to go get the box with the wires in it because Elekin’s gonna need it. Apparently he’s psychic now.

The reason he needed the elekiter was Elekin….fell down….and the elekiter’s power was used to…I dunno, revive him? Whatever.

Kyoichiro says he may have loaned Genshi his strength this time, but he shouldn’t rely on him being there all the time. Merlock says he liked teaming up with Flint and he’ll be sure to appreciate his friendship from now on.

Ya know, I’ll just say it…Kyoichiro didn’t do anything in this episode. He’s being praised for nothing. Yeah, sure, he saved Sora, but Sora was only in danger because she was an idiot. Then later he ‘helps’ Genshi by…..dodging missiles and telling him to attack the mech…?? Then he helps again by pull ropes to help power the mech, which, knowing how powerful and fast Genshi is, he surely could have done himself. It’s clear this episode was meant to be a sort of bonding time for them, or at least a means of showing that Kyoichiro was useful, but we know he’s useful, and they didn’t do a good enough job showing the teamwork side of that equation.

Ammon apologizes for knocking Kyoichiro off the tower. Bindi asks what he did that for, as if he fell off the tower on purpose….

Gennai asks if his words are remembered in the future. The kids assure him that they are and that he’s actually famous in the future. Gennai says Super Redman was pretty impressive. Then he asks Elekin and Redman if they’d like to combine and make a Super Great Gennai mech. This makes Elekin and the Red Redman excited before they excuse themselves to leave.

In the dub, Ichiban wishes there was some way he could visit them in the future. Tony says maybe he’ll invent something that will help him do that. Ichiban then says he might be barking up the wrong tree with the electricity stuff because then he’d have to invent an electric can opener which would mean he’d have to invent the tin can….*sigh*….*rubs temples* Somehow that makes Elekin and the Red Cardian start making random noises that sound like “bike bike bike”…I dunno.

Tokio bids farewell, and Genshi says he really liked the treats with the sweet red beans in them. In the dub, Tony says they make that noise when they want to say “Thanks” and Flint says he really liked the raw fish eggs.

The dub continues to piss me off. In the original, there’s no narration over the memory erasure scene. In the dub, Old Timer says there’s no benefit to Ichiban remembering this, and the electricity stuff should be left to Benjamin Franklin, Count Volta, whom I seriously doubt most kids learned about in school, and “The others.” But the elekiter exists. He’s already a note in the history of electric power. Why are you acting as if it would be a bad thing for him to continue working with electricity?

After Ichiban wonders what he’s doing they again reverse and repeat the shot to return his face back to a drowsy expression for some reason.

Genshi just says Gennai was an interesting person. Flint says he needed a bottle of ketchup.

Tokio says there are a lot of strange characters among scientists, then he asks Wing if he’s right, seemingly nudging at the Wright brothers? How were they weird? In the dub, Tony asks why Goodman would need or want to come along and meet other people like Ichiban when he has the Time Shifters as company. Yes, why would you want to meet an incredibly interesting historical figure when you can just sit around with a bunch of Time Shifters who generally don’t have much in the way of meaningful conversation and just want to play most of the time?

They remove the last two shots of Elekin electrocuting everyone.

vlcsnap-2022-09-10-00h42m27s502vlcsnap-2022-09-10-00h42m32s612

——————————————–

This episode is just terrible. They portrayed Gennai as an egotistical idiot. Elekin is a lazily designed Space-Time Monster whose sole power is to electrocute things – and it can only generate electricity in its base form if someone cranks it. Like I said, I really thought that it had the power to turn things into robots or giant mechs, but nope. It just generates electricity.

Its role in the story made no sense. I don’t understand how Elekin’s presence prompted Gennai to make a mech nor how such a thing was even made possible. I also don’t understand what gave him the idea or WHY he’d do such a thing. They never explain any of this. Getting access to more electricity is not a logical explanation for any of this by a long shot. By the way, did they somehow dispose of the mech when they left? Because I’m pretty sure that would raise all sorts of questions if it was left in the past.

The elekiter was basically just glossed over and used as a defibrillator to revive Elekin, who simply fell down. It wasn’t like he died.

Kyoichiro’s role in this episode was mostly pointless, as I discussed, and Ammon was mostly just an annoyance again.

TP Lady’s plan was underwhelming. When I thought Elekin had something to do with creating robots, I thought they might apply Elekin to their spaceship mech and make it a much more powerful robot, but nope. Just a wooden mech powered by a crank and operated by ropes. The fact that Genshi was actually nearly losing against this thing was pathetic. He’s taken on so many bigger and more powerful things. This should have been toothpicks in seconds. Warukin was a much bigger threat, but even that was pathetically felled by literally falling…..

They honestly couldn’t get me invested at all in a giant robot battle. Do you understand how easy it is for robots to amuse me? I adore robots. Tiny ones? Adorable. Human-sized ones? Cool. Giant ones? Awesome! Robot battles? Awesome-er! Giant robot battles!? You have my heart! You have to fail pretty hard at robots for me to not be interested in a giant robot battle.

About the only good thing about this episode was seeing Super Redman again. And they didn’t even beat Warukin. TP Lady defeated them all herself by wrapping her whip on a missile and accidentally exploding it, knocking down the mech, knocking down Warukin and sending them blasting off.

The dub was one the worst I’ve ever seen in this series. Not only did they change the historical figure to a nonexistent person for some reason beyond my scope of understanding (if it really is the Digimon thing, that couldn’t be dumber.) which means it’s drained of any educational value, but they also made him an even bigger idiot than he was before and even implied that he was so stupid that he shouldn’t be working with electricity anymore and should just leave that stuff up to other scientists. They even got the time period wrong.

They added in that bunk about him wanting to make the robot for the better of humanity without even explaining why it would help or what it even does besides be a giant robot. They also cut out pretty much any even slight moment between “Ichiban” and Elekin.

Not to mention that ridiculously stupid line about Petra wanting the secret to electric power.

They repeated and reversed more shots in this episode than any other, I believe, and I can’t find any reason for it.

Even the ending was made very abrupt and almost dark because it cuts immediately as they’re being electrocuted without the zoom out to make it even slightly humorous.

What a wasted opportunity of an episode.

Maybe we’ll have more fun next time. Let’s see what we got.

Next time, we meet the Space-Time Monster Musclun in ancient Greece. Musclun has the power to give people huge muscles…Hm….Takes place at the Olympics. Pretty interesting. Let’s check the Fandom page. *click* Mmmhm….Mmmhm……Mmmmmmm……Oh…goodie, we have to talk about blackface AND grossly inappropriate depictions of young girls….Fun…fun….

…..Previous Episode


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An Absurdly Deep Dive into the History of 4Kids | Part 22: Time 4 Change (2012-2017 | Closure)

4Kids had effectively been demolished after they had gone bankrupt. They adopted a new CEO so Michael Goldstein could finally collect himself. The new CEO, who would remain CEO until 2016 was Bruce R. Foster, who, before, was their Executive Vice President and CFO. They retained a few properties, but only seemingly because no one wanted to buy them, or, if they did, they didn’t offer enough money. As far as I could find, they retained the rights to Chaotic, Dinosaur King and Tai Chi Chasers. It’s possible they owned the rights to some other shows still, but it’s difficult to know for certain given the available information.

Still, 4Kids wasn’t giving up. They exited bankruptcy on December 13, 2012 and created 4Licensing Corporation as a new rebranding. They would also restart trading on the OTC Pink Sheets under the new symbol FOUR. They had previously been listed as KIDEQ.PK.

For four years, 4Licensing would live a rather quiet existence, mostly just existing for the sake of holding onto those licenses and getting whatever residual revenues could be obtained from them. They also planned on getting into licensing in the sports industry. As of December 31, 2013, they repaid all of their creditors, but other than that they were just barely managing to stay afloat. They had two entities under their control – 4LC Sports, their new sports division which was formerly 4Kids Ad Sales inc., and 4LC Technology, which was originally 4Kids Technology, Inc. Their main licensed product was the patented isoBLOX protective shock plates, which largely seem to be used for baseball caps and shin guards. I don’t know if this stuff exists anymore. It’s dead on social media, and there’s no way to buy any of it from their main website.

Indeed, this product is really the only thing 4Licensing really even talks about on its final quarterly report ever, which makes sense because it didn’t have the money to produce anything with its media licenses anymore, and, since it sold off most of its assets, it couldn’t receive any real substantial revenue from anything that was already out there. 4Kids Entertainment, Inc. and the previously mentioned 4Sight Licensing still stuck around to act as the entertainment and brand licensing division, but that was just for technical purposes. They really weren’t doing anything.

Can I be real with you, guys? Reading 4Licensing quarterly reports from 2012 onward is one of the most boring things you can imagine. It’s the same thing every quarter. Outside of minute differences in the specific numbers, it never changes. They’re always reporting a lot of losses, a significant amount of spending and very little revenue. According to their stock charts, they were doing their best at 2014, but, again, the quarterly reports were pretty much the same for that year as all others.

On February 29, 2016, Bruce Foster resigned as CEO, Executive Vice President and CFO of 4Licensing due to non-payment of wages. On September 21, 2016, 4Licensing filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy yet again. This time, it seems they recognized it was the end because they did not express any future plans for recovery efforts to shareholders. The bankruptcy plan was confirmed on January 20, 2017 and enacted February 7, 2017. Shortly afterward, 4Licensing would officially shut down all operations.

It was truly the end of an era.

4Kids was officially gone.

But our story still isn’t over. One unanswered question remains.

Part 23: Where in the World is Kahnmen Sandiego? (Coming Soon)


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One Piece (4Kids) | Episode 6: Desperate Situation! Beast Tamer Mohji vs. Luffy Sub/Dub Comparison

Plot: Zoro and Luffy manage to get away from Buggy with the help of Nami and the mayor of the town, but they’re not out of danger yet. They meet a small dog named Chouchou who seems to be guarding a local pet store fiercely. The mayor tells them that the dog’s owner recently passed away and he’s been feeding Chouchou in his place since his passing, but he won’t leave the store no matter what. When Buggy sends one of his goons, Mohji the Beast Tamer, to defeat Zoro and Luffy, they find that Chouchou’s both bark AND bite, but will that be enough to protect his pet shop?

—————————————-

Entire Show Edit: The recaps are always different and for some reason they are always presented in letterbox form in the dub.

The mention of Zoro being injured is kept the same, but it makes little sense in the dub. In the original, we constantly see blood spraying from Zoro’s wound and the blood stain on his clothes getting bigger. In the dub, there is no visible wound and he looks fine otherwise, so you’re left confused as to why they’re freaking out about an invisible wound.

Subbed: 

Dubbed:

In the next line, dub!Zoro says he’s fine besides his knee, which I guess we’re supposed to take as having gotten hurt when the Buggy Ball went off, despite having no damage to his pants. They even kinda point this out by having Luffy say his knee looks fine and then Nami saying it sounds awful. Because sounds are much easier to edit than visuals. Also, I guess they’re ignoring that he totally got stabbed earlier? Even if they didn’t show it outright, that’s what was implied.

They omit the part where Luffy introduces Nami to Zoro as their new navigator.

The line being said here, which is Nami asking why they’re so determined even though they’re pirates, is essentially the same, but the delivery loses the focus of the line. In the original, the line is said like Nami’s getting a whole new view on people who are pirates – like some of them have strength and determination to live on and fight for what’s right despite being pirates. In the dub, she’s all “They’re pretty determined, for pirates anyway.” which is really no change from how she’s been acting towards pirates this whole time.

Title Cards:

Subbed:

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Dubbed:

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Title Change: Desperate Situation! Beast Tamer Mohji vs. Luffy is changed to The Beast Breaker.

Originally, Luffy wonders if the unmoving dog is dead. Dub!Luffy wonders if he’s real.

They edit out a shot of the dog biting Luffy’s face. We can’t show that either? There’s not even any blood. It’s almost cartoony.

A shot of Luffy’s hand on the ground is edited out.

A shot of Nami talking to Luffy and another shot of Zoro smiling at the two of them is edited out.

After Chouchou eats the key, we get photo overlays of each of them looking in shock at what just happened. Then we see Luffy cartoonishly strangling the dog because he ate the key. This is all edited out.

They edit out:

  • A shot of Luffy holding the dog
  • Zoro asking who The Mayor is.
  • The Mayor explaining who he is.
  • The Mayor seeing the wound that Zoro has (the one that apparently it doesn’t exist in the dub)
  • A shot of the ‘closed’ sign on the side of the building.

They cut straight to Chouchou and Luffy staring at each other and then we get to the building.

The Mayor assumes the three are bullying Chouchou. In the dub, he’s telling Chouchou to not attack them.

In the original, The Mayor says that he offered Zoro medical attention, but he refused and said he just needed rest, so he’s sleeping at his house. In the dub, the same message is given, but it’s more like The Mayor thought the best medical attention was a nap instead of getting him a doctor….and I’m not lying, the dialogue says it, “I have the best medical equipment in the world – a bed.” Yeah, that’ll patch up a gaping gut wou—uh broken knee.

They edit out a shot of Nami petting Chouchou despite us seeing her petting him a few seconds later because…petting dogs is bad?……sometimes? They also edit out a shot of Luffy talking.

Urgh, 4Kids, I am amazed at how you have the innate ability to piss me off and impress me somewhat at the same time. Shockingly, the story about Chouchou’s owner dying and him guarding his owner’s store as his precious treasure is left in, but the music ruins it. It’s a very tragic story, 4Kids. The tone you’re looking for is ‘sad.’

They also shorten the scene of stillness and silence that is reflective upon the sad story because we wouldn’t want to have a moment of emotion, would we?

Also edited out:

  • Chouchou returning the dog bowl to The Mayor and going back to sit down.
  • Luffy sitting back with his face covered by his hat and looking up into the sky.
  • The ground shaking.
  • An extended shot of Luffy laying back.

The Mayor doesn’t speak baby talk to Chouchou originally.

How can Luffy not get out of that cage? I have a hard time believing a cage, especially one with fairly large gaps between the bars, can hold a rubber man. I mean, it may be painful, maybe, but he could easily squeeze through those gaps.

Name change: Mohji the Beast Tamer is changed to Mohji the Beast Breaker…Beast Breaker? That sounds awful. I have no clue why 4Kids sometimes makes things sound worse than they actually are. Sounds like he emotionally and physically tortures animals until they break and obey him.

They shortened the scene of the mayor flailing and running off with Nami.

They edit out a weird falling pane transition along with some dialogue from Mohji and a response from Luffy.

Dub!Nami: “Don’t you think it’s weird that you crashed through all those houses and you don’t have a mark on you?” He crashed through one house, Nami. Singular.

Blood is edited away from when Chouchou is hit and rolls away. Too fast for me to screencap. Plus it leaves the screen quickly, so you can just imagine a blood spray flashing around him in the dubbed version.

I’m actually not entirely bothered by the choice of song for the flashback scenes because, well, 4Kids sucks at sad songs and that’s really all the effort they’ll put into that. My expectations shall lower for you, 4Kids. Though the original song, that music box song….damn man, just damn.

Chouchou’s minor wounds are edited away.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Originally, in the flashback, the pet shop owner tells Chouchou that he’s getting old (though he really had an illness) and he needed to go to the hospital for a while and to watch the shop while he was gone. In the dub, it basically sounds like he’s dying right then and there and leaving the pet shop to Chouchou.

His wounds reappear during a zoom out. It’s like they didn’t digitally paint enough frames so it fades in for a second or two.

Originally, Chouchou gets hit off-screen and we see blood spatter on the pet store sign as Chouchou yelps. In the dub, we just see Chouchou lunge and cut to the next scene.

Original!Mohji shows us his bleeding bite wound, 4Kids shows us a band-aid. Because that tiny band-aid would cover a whole bite wound, right?

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Mohji yells out that the lion thing’s name is Richie when Luffy hits him with the Gomu Gomu no Tsuchi. In the dub, Mohji just screams.

I guess 4Kids had to paint away the embers in this next scene because they ‘had’ to paint away the wounds on the dog.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Nami originally wanted to kill Luffy before he started terrorizing people with a crew like Mohji. This is changed to just wanting to stop him. Also, Luffy originally stated that Nami would never be able to kill him. Nami then challenges Luffy to a fight, but Luffy stays silent. All of this scene is silent in the dub.

A still screen made in a hand drawn-style is edited out of the dub.

The sound mixing in the dub is really awful sometimes. The music can be deafening and can make it really hard to hear the dialogue.

Nami smiling at Luffy giving Chouchou the dog treats is edited out.

Mohji’s ‘wounds’ are painted off.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Nami originally points out that the mayor was crying before he ran off. Dub!Nami just says he’s not using his head.

Original!Zoro says that that things are getting pretty interesting and Luffy agrees. In the dub, Luffy responds to what Nami said about using his head by saying he’s using his heart. Zolo then follows it up and says ‘tough choice. Headache or heartache.’ Ha…hah.

I hate Dub!Luffy’s laugh, I really do. He’s always going hoohoohohoy! He has a more clown-ish laugh than damn Buggy.

———————————–

I really like this little mini-arc, even if it’s very sad. As and animal lover who has never lived without a dog, it breaks my heart. Poor Chouchou.

The enemy here is a severe threat, even if he looks ridiculous, and there’s plenty of tension to be had. Dub-wise, the episode loses a lot of its emotional impact, but I guess 4Kids could’ve done a lot worse.

Next episode, it’s a wounded Zoro vs. an acrobatic sword master named Cabaji, and a battle of devil fruits with Luffy vs. Buggy.

….Previous Episode


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An Absurdly Deep Dive into the History of 4Kids | Part 20: It’s Time to Get Your Game Revved Up! (2011)

That’s right everyone. It’s time to talk about Yu-Gi-Oh! in 2011.

It’s…..

Yu-Gi-Oh! Bonds Beyond Time.

What? What else Yu-Gi-Oh! related happened in 2011?

In the quarterly conference call for Q4 2009, taking place on March 24, 2010, Al Kahn told investors that they were in the process of dubbing the recently released Yu-Gi-Oh! 3D movie, Bonds Beyond Time. 4Kids made a really big deal out of the release, which was both fitting because it was a 10th anniversary event and because 4Kids was in dire straits and needed money. They showed a 20 minute preview at the San Diego ComicCon in July of 2010, and had Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG demonstrations, appearances by the voice actors, a cosplay contest, and a benefit for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. A new booster pack featuring a selection of nine limited edition cards for the movie would also be available in stores on February 2011.

The full film would have a limited release in Cinedigm 3D theaters on February 26 and 27 2011, a repeat set of viewings would be available on March 5 and 6. Theatergoers would receive a promotional Malefic Red-Eyes Black Dragon card upon ticket purchase. The American version of the release includes over ten minutes of footage recapping events from the three series in order to ensure everyone in the audience is caught up to follow along.

The movie was basically as edited as anything 4Kids would usually release on TV, including editing the cards to once again not show the description, name etc. instead showing the picture, type and attack/defense points like normal – which was incredibly strange because the last Yu-Gi-Oh! movie, the one that was ordered by 4Kids, left the cards alone – and removing instances of text, which, from the Pokemon movie releases, they tended to not do on movies. These edits also included making an entirely new soundtrack, complete with new sound effects, which is another practice people thought 4Kids more or less stopped with the Pokemon movies, but I guess not.

The movie ended with a message saying “”Duelists, thank you for a decade of dueling…and the best is yet to come.””

Need I remind you that this movie was released in March of 2011….

This movie was also ridiculously short at 50 minutes, made to be 60-65 minutes on the American release. Meaning that the preview that was shown at ComicCon was really, not counting the recap, because I doubt they showed that there, nearly half the movie….

Reception for this movie was……uhm…bad. There were some good things to say about it, like how fun it was to see all three main protagonists of the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise to date teaming up with each other, that it was intense and the pacing was good…..That was about it. To be fair, people did praise the English version for including the recap because it helped older fans and non-fans go into the movie without being confused. However, the recap seems to be missing from streaming releases, and in the DVD releases the recap was marked as an extra, not part of the actual movie.

Criticisms for the movie ranged from it being too short overall to the final duel being too short to the original Gen (Yugi) not being given enough focus while the most recent Gen, at the time (Yusei), being given too much focus to the animation being mid quality (not really up to snuff for a feature film) to the plot being way too simple and yet still loaded with plot holes that “even kids will see through.” to the villain being a rip-off of either Anubis or Dartz. Overall, it was written off by many as a movie designed purely to sell cards and less of a true celebration of the franchise’s ten year legacy. At best, it was just simple fun that old fans and newer ones could enjoy, but at worst it was a 50 minute long commercial that even fans would have difficulty wanting to watch more than once.

The movie made $2,017,928 in the Japanese box office (Which would be about ¥268,968,614.16) coming at sixth in the Japanese box office that weekend. When it was released on DVD and Blu-Ray, it was the second most popular title of its genre.

Because of the limited release, box office returns of the movie in the US and the UK never surfaced. Worldwide, it had a box office return of $2.6mil but over $2mil of that is attributed to Japan’s theatrical release, and the other $600,000 was attributed to South Korea, so the actual figures seem incomplete to a certain degree.

To make matters even worse, 4Kids never released the movie on DVD. I don’t know if they were really able to at the time. *thunderclap* However, in the UK, Manga Entertainment, which had the distribution rights there, released the movie in theaters on May 14 and 21 in stereoscopic theaters, and then they released a DVD and Blu-Ray of the movie on May 30, 2011. The Blu-Ray would include the special promotional Malefic Red-Eyes Black Dragon card that wasn’t included in the UK theater release as it was in America, and the Japanese track with English subtitles. It had actually reached number two on Manga Entertainment’s best selling DVDs of the year, but Manga Entertainment pretty much spit at the success of the title claiming on their Twitter “I think [it was] because it was available in Asda and Morrisons, came with a free rare card and was stupidly cheap on [the] shelf.”

It wouldn’t be until 2014 when New Video Group would release the Blu-Ray and DVD in America, including the option to play the Japanese track with subtitles.

Honestly, I really feel like this was another instance of Al being a tiny bit delusional with how successful he thinks a title will be, or maybe, much more sadly, he knew how much Yu-Gi-Oh!’s revenues supported 4Kids and how they would likely be more reliant on the property in the future considering Pokemon was gone (but they were still getting residuals from it) so was TMNT, and Chaotic had fallen on its face. He probably really wanted the movie to be a huge success so he could maybe get a boost in sales and a big boost in interest before ZEXAL was released. At the very least, he was doing his damnedest to convince investors that 4Kids would be doing better this year. Maybe he didn’t really analyze the Japanese returns for the movie well enough or overestimated how successful it would be in America, which I can’t imagine how that’s possible considering how badly the first Yu-Gi-Oh! movie did.

But oh how devastatingly wrong he was either way. The call was a few months before the audit, and I feel like Al must’ve known that the hammer was being bought to put the final nail in the coffin…..And the nail would meet that hammer a mere three weeks after the movie had been released…..

Next – Part 21: It’s Time to S-S-S-S-S-S-SUE!

Previous – Part 19: 4Kids Pre-Death Dead Period


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AniManga Clash! Yu-Gi-Oh Season Zero Episode 15: Scary Woman! Can’t Transform! (Placeholder)

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Plot: Yugi suddenly finds himself with an admirer when he receives a love letter from a girl named Risa, much to Anzu’s annoyance. While she is a very nice girl, Yugi isn’t interested in her, but he can’t get the nerve to turn her down. When she shows her true colors, Yugi won’t have to worry about turning her down – he’ll be too busy fighting for the Millennium Puzzle.

Breakdown: When I first saw the preview for this episode, I thought it would be boring and annoying because it focused on Anzu being jealous of a girl who was romantically interested in Yugi. And yup, it’s about as boring as this series can manage, and Anzu delivers plenty of annoying.

So…….witches.

Risa and her two triplet sisters are witches…..I…guess? They perform some sort of ritual thing in the start of the episode, and they identify with a trio of witch sister cards, but they never perform any magic….so…I dunno. Risa also has an adverse reaction to touching the Puzzle, but it only happened once. She touches it several times after this and it does nothing.

In a free booster pack she got from Sugoroku, Anzu obtains a very rare Violet Hekate card, which she gives to Yugi because he likes it so much. Overhearing this exchange, Risa decides to pretend to be romantically interested in Yugi so she can get the card from him.

Anzu is not happy about this, especially when Yugi falls ill and Risa takes it upon herself to nurse him back to health. Anzu spends a majority of the episode being a grouch about the whole thing, even prompting him to reject Risa, because she likes Yugi. However, bear in mind, Anzu doesn’t actually like Yugi, at least not in that way – she likes “strong Yugi” and yes that’s the term she used to describe him in this episode. She always sees Yugi as a little kid with toys. She wants her dark mysterious Yugi. So, she’s getting in the way of Yugi’s possible romance just because she’s in love…..with his alter-ego….That sure is fair.

Granted, her concerns are warranted, just not in the ways she first thinks. What I really don’t understand is why Risa and her sisters took the time out to psychologically mess with Anzu for so long. Why bother prompting her to go run errands just to hear that Risa already did them when Anzu returned? Why bother pushing her down the escalator at the mall? They don’t want or need anything from Anzu, and they’re only making her more suspicious by doing these things.

Yugi doesn’t want to give Risa the card because Anzu gave it to him. Frustrated, Risa, or one of her sisters, resorts to trashing his room to steal it……really makes you wonder why they didn’t just do that in the first place.

One of the sisters takes his Puzzle as a hostage for the Violet Hekate card. They’ll duel for it. Whomever wins gets both the card and the Puzzle. Yugi agrees.

Which brings us to the…

Not Shadow Game

Yeah, this isn’t a Shadow Game. The sisters are using a ‘machine’ that is somehow entirely hidden from view to show projections of the cards and their attacks, but that’s about it. It’s a normal duel otherwise.

Yugi defends first with a Sleeping Worm, but they blast it away with one of the three witch cards, Red Hekate.

Yugi then uses the Clocks card, which somehow not only brings the worm back from the dead, but it also EVOLVES IT?! Can someone find a way to wrap my head around that?

Anyway, it doesn’t matter, because the newly evolved form of the worm, Iron Beetle, is no match for their second witch card, Yellow Hekate.

Yugi starts succumbing to his fever again when Kaiba shows up. He explains that the triplets are well known in the world of Duel Monsters for using any means necessary to obtain cards that they desire. Since Yugi is ill, Kaiba offers to sub for him, offering an entire briefcase of cards if he loses. He even offers to let them put the Violet Hekate in their deck.

They agree, and the duel continues. Kaiba starts with a Cyclops card, which is blasted away by the Hekate witches.

Kaiba loses. The end.

The end

What? I know how to do math. They started with 2000 LP. Yugi lost 800 LP when they killed his Iron Beetle (in attack mode) with Yellow Hekate. Then he lost 1300 when Kaiba’s Cyclops (1200 attack) fell to the Hekate sisters (Both were attacking it at the same time, but I’m only counting one because that’s illegal) with 2500 attack.

Kaiba was subbing for Yugi, not starting an entirely new duel. This much is shown when we see that both of the Hekate sisters are still on the field when Kaiba comes in.

Yugi/Kaiba lost. The end.

But, oh, silly me. I can’t math. Nor can I pay attention. I am but a mere viewer of Yu-Gi-Oh Season Zero, and apparently the writers can’t dig up an ounce of respect for my intelligence.

The duel continues once more – Kaiba summons a Blue Eyes, because of course he had one immediately, but they counter by summoning Violet Hekate, which is bullshit. Did ‘put Violet Hekate in your deck’ translate to ‘place Violet Hekate on the top of your deck so you can totally cheat’?

Anyhoo, the three Hekate cards automatically merge into Gorgon whose attack strength matches Blue Eyes. However, since it’s on a forest field, where witches thrive apparently (But…Gorgons aren’t witches….???) it won’t be destroyed if it’s in a stalemate attack. For some reason, she doesn’t choose to attack Blue Eyes right then to prove her point, leaving Kaiba open to summon his second Blue Eyes, because of course he got a second Blue Eyes on his third turn. And then, somehow, both Blue Eyes attack Gorgon, which….somehow defeats it? That shouldn’t have happened. They all have 3000 attack power, and the sisters said the Gorgon wouldn’t die in a stalemate while on forest land. Unless they somehow got a power boost from being together or something, there’s no reason this should be working like this.

With Gorgon gone, the sisters…..just….lose I guess.

Kaiba gathers his things and says he’d never let someone like the witch sisters defeat Yugi, especially in such a dishonorable manner. He’ll ensure that he’ll be the only one to defeat Yugi.

…..Then the episode just ends.

What a bunch of malarkey.

Boring plot, boring conflict, boring duel, boring enemies. You introduced witches to Yu-Gi-Oh and you give us nothing but jealous Anzu and a milquetoast duel that makes so little sense that, logically, the good guys should have lost? Also, it’s like they knew the duel was boring because they really shoehorned in that mysterious invisible ‘machine’ that makes holograms….oh excuse me – they call them ‘hallucinations.’ *eyeroll*

Not to mention Yami wasn’t even in this episode. And now I sound like Anzu, and that makes me pissed off. And being pissed off only makes me sound more like Anzu. 😐

Next time, more purely anime stories when we’re introduced to Shizuka, Jonouchi flirts with a nurse and the third Game Shitennou shows up.

..Previous Episode


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