An Absurdly Deep Dive into the History of 4Kids | Part 16: Yu-Gi-Oh No! (2005/2006 cont.)

In October 2005, Yu-Gi-Oh! GX was brought into the fray to replace the void left from the original Yu-Gi-Oh! series as it was ending the same year. However, instead of premiering it on Kids WB or 4Kids TV, 4Kids opted to premiere the show on Cartoon Network (on the programming block, Miguzi, which was basically Toonami if it was less cool and held underwater) for some reason. I’m not complaining, I’m just confused. Not airing it on Kids WB I get a little, but why wouldn’t they want it premiered on 4Kids TV? It would take until September 1, 2007 until it would air in syndication on 4Kids TV.

4Kids hoped GX would breathe new life into the franchise with new characters, new cards and a more casual and fun atmosphere with the new series taking place at a dueling academy. The show did suffer from the typical 4Kidsisms, including story changes, dialogue changes, a lot of visual edits in regards to transitions and splitscreens to make it seem more fast-paced and ‘cool,’ but it wouldn’t really be much more changed than the original Yu-Gi-Oh!.

Unfortunately, in 2008, 4Kids would wind up canceling GX without ever airing (or dubbing?) the final episode of season three or the entirety of season four. This was reportedly due to the fact that Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds had started airing in Japan, 4Kids had already acquired the first season and wanted to focus on releasing that instead.

According to an email response someone got from 4Kids around the time of cancellation;

“Thank you for writing to us about your interest in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX. Because a lot of our resources are dedicated to dubbing and airing 5Ds, we will not be dubbing season four of GX for this season.

However, this does not mean that we won’t ever dub it, it just means that it is not on the schedule for the near future.

The 4Kids.tv webmaster”

Basically, how this can be interpreted now is that 4Kids didn’t want to lag behind. Considering their dubbing plate wasn’t really all that full at the time either (see: all the shows they lost at this point) they easily could have dubbed GX alongside 5Ds, but I can bet they just didn’t want to bother.

It was also suggested that, since the new wave of 5Ds-based TCG releases was coming and 5Ds would still be around a year or more before release in the States if they decided to finish GX first, they just decided to bump up 5Ds and save some money by ditching GX on the side of the highway.

Other rumors theorize that 4Kids didn’t like the new direction the show was taking in the final season. The show had gotten notably darker and stood in stark contrast to the much lighter casual show it had started out as. Judai/Jaden himself also suffered from a personality change, making him much more brooding and serious than his trademark happy-go-lucky self was in earlier seasons.

It didn’t help that reception for the final season and the tail end of season three in Japan wasn’t nearly as good as it had been, and it was mostly for that very same tonal shift. Ratings for GX also weren’t as good in the west. They weren’t particularly bad, but they seemed to have paled in comparison to the original show. Either fans of the original didn’t like the new cast/vibe/setting in comparison to the original show, they didn’t like the way 4Kids had presented it, particularly in making Jaden this ‘radical’ main character who shouted out “Get your game on!” whenever he started a duel, the fact that many of Yu-Gi-Oh!‘s original fans had aged out of the target demo and the new generation of the demo wasn’t hooking in much yet or the lingering decline of Yu-Gi-Oh! as a whole was keeping it from finding a large audience.

There’s another rumor that Konami and TV Tokyo pressured 4Kids to dub 5Ds in order to capitalize on the new TCG releases, which makes some sense, but it doesn’t answer the question of why they couldn’t have also dubbed and aired GX at the same time.

Also, according to an email exchange from 4K Media, which was the division of Konami that took control of Yu-Gi-Oh! when 4Kids lost the rights after they went bankrupt (and is not, in fact, basically 4Kids in disguise as some people seem to believe), Konami didn’t have any say in 4Kids dumping GX. They claimed that they didn’t even know why 4Kids stopped dubbing GX.

Really, the only one who would suffer for keeping GX out there is 4Kids because they were the ones who would have to devote time, money and other resources to the show. Konami probably did pressure them to dub 5Ds as soon as possible, but how much pressure, I don’t know, and I sincerely doubt they told them to drop GX since that would just be additional advertising, basically, for Yu-Gi-Oh! as a whole.

Despite 4Kids claiming they might dub the rest of the series some day, they never did. They also retained the international license for several years, so no one else could take over at the time. It’s possible Konami could now dub and release the final episode of season three and all of season four, but I sincerely doubt it. It’d be a lot of work and fuss for something that probably wouldn’t be profitable.

You could argue that they just didn’t want two new Yu-Gi-Oh! shows airing at the same time.

Only they totally had two Yu-Gi-Oh! shows airing at the same time.

As Yu-Gi-Oh GX was airing on Cartoon Network, 4Kids also premiered a brand-new Yu-Gi-Oh! show on 4Kids TV….one that 4Kids had made from scratch.

Yu-Gi-Oh Capsule Monsters was a show commissioned from Studio Gallop by 4Kids based on the game, Capsule Monsters – a game introduced in the original pre-soft-reboot version of the manga and in Season Zero, which never aired in America. Because the last time 4Kids commissioned their own Yu-Gi-Oh! feature just went over so well, Twix said sarcastically.

It’s possible that 4Kids was also basing this off of Yu-Gi-Oh! Capsule Monster Coliseum – a PS2 game that released two years prior. Capsule Monster Coliseum was not a successful game. While the very few reviews I can actually find on the game are somewhat positive, they all cite the high learning curve as a big negative, which is understandable considering it’s a game based on a game where even the writers had no idea how the actual hell it really worked.

I can’t even find any sales information on the title (best I could eek out is that it may have sold 220,000 units in America with 440,000 units overall, but I can’t be certain because the website on which I got this information has no information on the Japanese sales.

Basically, the game wasn’t a success. In fact, many extensive lists on Yu-Gi-Oh! video games frequently forget this title exists. People say the same about Dungeon Dice Monsters, but at least Dungeon Dice Monsters was actually explained and prominently featured in the main anime. I loved the Dungeon Dice Monsters GBA game.

I honestly don’t know why Capsule Monsters was created. It was set near the end of the original series, but considering GX was premiering right as the original series was airing its final handful of episodes, it can’t be that they intended for it to be some bridge between the two. The Lost Media Wiki says it was made to promote the toys that 4Kids had made, but one of the links that they cite as a source, an ICv2 article, claims the exact opposite.

“The game will be drawn from the Season 5 12-episode story arc that will begin airing in the States in January 2006.”

And if that’s true then…why was the show created? Was it really just to try and get a new toy line for a property that was literally about to end off the ground? Were they really desperate to milk the series for content considering Pokemon was out the door and Yu-Gi-Oh! was left holding the bag? I guess they could have eventually launched a GX version, but considering GX was already airing, why not just start there?

It’s such an oddity. Capsule Monsters had little promotion, little fanfare, no official announcement as far as I saw, but still spawned its own tabletop game, which was very much unsuccessful. It was canceled after only releasing two starter sets and one booster pack. I honestly wouldn’t have even known there was a Capsule Monsters game if I hadn’t seen it once or twice in stores when I was a kid. Even the IMDB page for the anime has a pitiful one review to its name.

It really didn’t help that they made the game entirely different from the way it was played in the manga/Season Zero and the video game. The game 4Kids made up was just as confusing as the other versions. The game is so confusing that they felt the need to release two versions – one basic and one advanced.

It was also released oddly. The figure game was leaked in December of 2005 on Talkinsportsweb.com, then episodes of the show were airing early on January 30, 2006, without any announcement, on the Irish children’s channel, RTE. In TV listings, it was just noted as Yu-Gi-Oh!, meaning viewers thought they’d be seeing normal Yu-Gi-Oh!, but got Capsule Monsters instead, all seemingly without the knowledge of 4Kids and completely by accident on RTE’s part. RTE would continue accidentally airing these Capsule Monsters episodes until February 2, 2006 when they would shift back to GX and keep Capsule Monsters under wraps until August (Ireland was typically able to air 4Kids shows a tiny bit earlier than the US.)

Viewers were both confused and confused. Confused because there was absolutely no information on this show anywhere, nor any Japanese source material, but the evidence was right there on a LiveJournal post that it existed. Confused because the show just seemed so weird. It was still Yu-Gi-Oh!, the main cast was front and center, but it was focused on an entirely new game that, for some reason, involved what looked like arm cannons.

To make things even more confusing, the show was not presented as a spin-off. The reason I say this is because it has the exact same theme song as Yu-Gi-Oh!, just with a few different background clips and the words “Capsule Monsters” put underneath the title, as if this was a different arc of the Yu-Gi-Oh! series, not a spin-off. In addition, at the start of each episode, Yami would just say “Previously on Yu-Gi-Oh!” not “Capsule Monsters.

Some sources claim it’s a spin-off, others claim it’s just a new arc to the original series that aired some time in the middle of the final season. US TV listings at the time said “Yu-Gi-Oh! Capsule Monsters” which implies a different series, because a different arc would still be the same series. It’s incredibly confusing.

To make matters even worse…..this series comes off like a huge Pokemon rip-off. I don’t like to throw around that word much anymore, but, at its core, this was damn near plagiarism. They kept these monsters in ‘capsules,’ they could be released outside of ‘games’ and follow them around like fairly sentient (but non-verbal) animals, or they could use them as modes of transportation. They were also recalled and released with beams of light and frequently just battled other monsters with no gameplay enacted besides things like type advantages and whatnot. It was really watered down to just “Monster has a weakness against (x), so we have to do (x)”

They also didn’t have actual Capsule Monster games against other people. Capsule Monsters is supposed to be a rough off-shoot of chess, which is why one of the original names for the game in the manga was Capumon/Capsule Monsters Chess. The real world game follows roughly the same-ish format. However, in the anime, they were always just battling head to head against other wild monsters. A lot of the time, the ‘game’ came off like, well, Pokemon battles. You just command the monsters to attack and strategize based purely on certain advantages. You also collect them. And by “collect them” I mean, most of the time, they just sorta stumble upon the capsules and get monsters for free….A few times, though, they did get monsters after battling them first. And some of them just followed them for no reason, which doesn’t sound familiar at all, no sirree.

I think that’s the main reason they came up with that ‘arm cannon’ gimmick for the series when it’s not present in any form of the game, either in the video game, manga or Season Zero. If they didn’t have the arm cannon thing, they’d either have to throw the capsules or open them to release the monsters, and I can bet even 4Kids thought that imagery would probably be a bit too on-the-nose.

Oh and one of Joey’s monsters is the Baby Dragon….and he’d blow fire on Joey. Baby Dragon looks a lot like a mini-Charizard. You piece that together.

YGCMSCREEN1

Also, fun fact, the rough draft version of Pokemon was called Capsule Monsters, and that was in 1989. I’m not sure I believe the original game in the manga was inspired by/ripped off from Pokemon as Capsule Monsters. The Yu-Gi-Oh! manga originally came out in 1996, and the first Pokemon games were released in Japan in 1996, but the game in the manga and Season Zero is so different that I can’t say anything with any degree of certainty. It is definitely weird is all I’ll say, especially when you take the releases of the video games into consideration.

This specific anime version, however, I’m much more comfortable suspecting as a Pokemon rip-off, especially because 4Kids called for it. Since the completed game was leaked in December of 2005 and the announcement of the license agreement ending was in December of 2005, they likely didn’t know quite yet that they’d be losing Pokemon when they commissioned this series, so I won’t say this was some attempt to fill the void. Maybe it was more like general laziness and mooching off of it, like they were trying to fuse Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh! and make some sort of super mutant merchandise baby.

There was only one actual game against a real person in the entire series, (even though it was still just a normal battle) and THAT ended up coming off like a rip-off of the duel against Pegasus because one of the main issues in that battle was that Alexander, the main villain, could read Yami’s mind, allowing him to predict his moves and change his game plan accordingly. And Yami responded by confusing him with the Millennium Puzzle because his mind is literally a labyrinth.

One interesting aspect of the series was the fact that the players were able to merge with their monsters and basically partake in battles themselves. And by “players” I mean Yugi 99% of the time. Joey was able to do it once (With Red-Eyes Black Dragon – and it was pretty sick) and everyone else got wings on one occasion, that was about it. This was not only something the main series had done a few times before, but it was also something that felt very much akin to either Digimon Tamers and Biomerging or Digimon Frontier and Spirit Evolution.

The most damning aspect of the show, however, was that it was flatout boring. Most of the monsters in the show were ones we had already seen in the main series, and there were really no fun strategies or, ya know, GAMEPLAY to hook you in. It was just a watered down series of Pokemon battles.

One of the bigger issues some gaming anime have in properly advertising their real-world games is over-fantasizing it. If you can’t even remotely emulate what’s happening in the show in real-life, the real-life game seems very boring by comparison. Yu-Gi-Oh! may involve a lot of fantasy aspects, magic and drama and whatnot, but, at the end of the day, they play the game like everyone else in real life. Capsule Monsters doesn’t do that. They only barely touch upon the actual game in the first episode.

The aspect of Yami becoming a monster himself (or really just him in various suits of armor) was cool, but it would’ve been cooler if everyone else did it regularly. Or, outside of Joey, literally even once. Not to mention the aspect of Capsule Monsters kinda loses something if the main attraction isn’t really the Capsule Monsters but Yami as the Capsule Monsters.

It probably also wasn’t a good move to make the monsters so real but still keep in the aspect of them being able to pretty much die in any battle. I’m not kidding. Their monster companions die near the end – even the tiny cute ones. Imagine Pokemon if you were worried Pikachu would die in any battle.

In addition, the art and animation were clearly either rushed or suffered a case of budget-fever. I’d wager both.

Capsule Monsters aired for 12 episodes, which did contain a full arc, but it’s obvious that 4Kids intended to build something here, otherwise they wouldn’t have tried to launch a whole game on the title. I don’t know if they planned to make a full series themselves or if they hoped Japan would be so hyped on the idea that Konami would run with it and they could just bank off of their stuff. If they really were trying to build something here, why did they do such an awful job promoting this? Did they just give up before they even started?

To be fair, as far as I saw, Capsule Monsters actually didn’t do too bad for itself in ratings. However, it’s pretty clear that it wasn’t generating much word of mouth outside of ‘What the hell is this?’, and just as quickly as it came into fans’ lives, it vanished. They did rerun the show once on Toonzai in 2012, but that was it.

4Kids technically never released the series on DVD either. By that I mean that they released the series on DVD, but only after it had been recut into two movies. The first movie was released on May 23, 2006 while the second was released on September 12, 2006. 4Kids and Konami offered a full free screening of the first movie on Yugioh.com the day before the DVD was released.

Japan would never air this series, presumably because they didn’t want people to think it was canon. As the Lost Media Wiki explained, it’s even questionable if a Japanese version exists. The series is on Studio Gallop’s website, but it’s labeled as Yu-Gi-Oh! ALEX. As far as fans who actually know about it are concerned, they pretty much see the series as being entirely non-canon.

We’re almost rounding the corner into 2007, so we should probably cover the last development of 2006. The next subsidiary 4Kids launched – 4Sight Licensing Solutions. 4Kids had long since been a company aimed squarely at children, but since their scope was narrow and their business was going down, it was time to expand their horizons as much as possible. 4Sight would be geared towards licensing properties for older kids, tweens, teens and adults.

And….uh….eh….kinda? 4Sight licensed a lot of art, for use in apps, calendars, textiles, home décor, stationary etc. For instance, they licensed The Dog and Friends, which was a puppy photography series out of Japan by Artlist inc. that was known for their use of fish-eye lens. They also licensed the artwork of Japanese artist, Hokusai Katsushika, and they got at least three licenses for Pachanga art by Belen Mena. They handled the American Kennel Club license, which 4Kids had handled itself for many years before this, and Crufts, which is the UK version of the AKK basically. They had an agreement with Celestial Imports Ltd, which was largely centered on the Chicaloca brand fashion in Europe.

They got into other media a little. They released a fashion game based on the Chicaloca brand, which was released on mobile platforms and Facebook. It doesn’t seem like this game was very successful because there’s barely any information online about it. Searching for “Chicaloca game 4Sight” only brings up three pages of Google results, most of which are unrelated, and the ones that are related are just announcements for the game’s release.

Less than four months after 4Kids announced they had made a licensing agreement with Microsoft, 4Sight would reach a new multi-year agreement with Microsoft to “work in partnership with Microsoft’s Franchise Development team, exclusively handling all global brand development and merchandising deals for the XBox and XBox 360.” which, as far as I can see, really only amounted to handling the license to Viva Pinata – an XBox 360 game geared more towards kids as opposed to the more teen and adult audience XBox typically catered to, which is….kinda backwards given 4Kids’ intentions with 4Sight.

4Kids—err, excuse me, 4Sight created a cartoon series for the games (4Kids is credited for it practically everywhere), but as for anything else they did with Microsoft or XBox, that remains unclear. Besides mentioning Viva Pinata a few times in official documents and press releases, no other information regarding other Microsoft or XBox properties in relation to 4Kids/4Sight ever came up. They did have some 4Kids show-based games available on the XBox, but that’s not really the same.

As for Viva Pinata, I don’t remember a single lick of either the game or the cartoon, but both seemed to have enjoyed a good degree of success. The cartoon lasted for 91 episodes and three years. That’s pretty darn good. It also has very high ratings on IMDB, even if there are only five reviews.

It’s frustrating that there is such little information on 4Sight available, but I can only surmise that’s because they wound up not doing much with the subsidiary either because they didn’t really know what to do with it or they were afraid to actually enter waters geared towards older audiences. Even when I combed the financial reports for every year, the only mentions of 4Sight were just pointing out that it existed and was owned by 4Kids. I did find a supposedly insanely detailed business report online on 4Sight, but I could only access it if I paid $300, which, ahem…Lol.

4Sight would stay with 4Kids as a subsidiary until the absolute end of the company in 2017.

Also during this year came one of Al Kahn’s most infamous moments where he garnered quite a bit of backlash from the anime and manga fandom. In an ICv2 Graphic Novel Conference, Al Kahn was quoted as saying;

“I think manga is a problem because we’re in a culture that is not a reading culture. Kid’s today don’t read, they read less today. In every survey, we find that they’re watching more television, they’re on the Internet more, and that content, although being king, is very disposable. Because the way content gets put out now, it gets put out free. We’re streaming most of our shows. The reason why we’re streaming them is we want kids to watch them as much as they can, and get vested in the concept and go out and buy products. The products ain’t free. The content is going to be free. And manga in my mind is trying to put a square peg in a round hole in the U.S. It will never be a big deal here, for the kids that are in the computer or the Internet generation, because they’re not going to read. They haven’t read, and they’re not going to start now.”

To say his comments didn’t go over well is an understatement. According to some sources, people booed and hissed at several of his comments. I mean, I don’t really understand how you can go to a Graphic Novel Convention with over 125 panelists – in New York City – and then go on about how kids don’t read and manga is never going to be popular in America and not expect a bad reception, especially in 2006….ya know….when Harry Potter was exploding in popularity.

Reading rates for fun among children fluctuate quite a lot, and data about this specific query was unclear because of the way the studies were conducted and the fact that there were a surprisingly few amount of studies about it. Believe it or not, at least according to data in the decade in which he said this, children read for fun fairly often when they’re young, not as often when they’re teenagers, but then the rates increase again when they become adults. Reading rates among children for recreation did go down steadily as television and video games became more readily available and appealing (in addition to a variety of other factors we won’t explore here – including a noticeable discernment among the sexes.) but it wasn’t a drastic downturn, and upticks happened regularly for a variety of reasons, including reading online.

…..Oh and by the way, this comment would become especially weird in 2009 when 4Kids would become the licensing agent for WordWorld – a former PBS preschool show that promoted *drum roll* LITERACY.

And, of course, Al Kahn just saw this as little more than a money grab.

“WordWorld’s expertise in the creative and educational domains coupled with 4Kids Entertainment’s proven track record in developing entertainment brands is certain to produce exciting results – from a sales and innovation perspective.”

I also find it funny that one of the episodes of Kirby: Right Back at Ya! was shifted around to mooch off of the release of a new Harry Potter BOOK. Like, yeah, kids don’t read, but we also recognize that there’s a massively popular kids’ book series out now that we need to capitalize on.

As we can see now, he was obviously wrong as manga eventually did become incredibly popular in the west, among children as well, even if reading rates continue to fluctuate throughout the years. As recently as 2020, manga sales hit an all-time high.

He was also making these comments right next to many people who worked in the manga industry in America, including people from TokyoPop, Kodansha, and Viz Media. Al never dipped his toes into that world so he just sounded like someone who had no idea what he was talking about acting is if he was an authority on the matter.

It wasn’t just a commentary on how something like manga would never take off in the US – he was flat out saying kids these days were never interested in reading, they aren’t now and they never will be because of digital media, which is not true for a multitude of reasons. Like I said, you can definitely argue that children reading for fun wasn’t as common, but acting as if reading as a whole was dying among children was too outlandish of a claim.

To be completely fair, though, there was some validity in his statements. 2006 was a bad year for manga in Japan. Manga sales had been declining for over a decade at that point, and 2006 was the first year manga sales had dipped below ¥500bil. Print media as a whole was on the decline in Japan, and, basically, manga had just been as affected. Indeed, all commercial print media was down, and, yes, cell phones and digital media were a part of that decline (There were several reasons why both manga and anime were down in Japan at the time – such as two major financial crises for Japan preceding this, low birth rates and even their strict immigration practices.)

Japan was way ahead of us when it came to mobile technology, and they still are. The practice of spending time on your phone instead of reading a book while you’re on the bus or train was increasing. However, manga was available to consume digitally and had been for about three years at that point. It was a ¥9bil industry, and it was growing like wildfire. Consumers loved the low price point, the convenience and the discretion – considering enjoying manga, particularly hentai titles, was embarrassing in public, and reading on a cellphone allowed customers to read in public without having to worry too much about people seeing what they’re reading. The sales for manga this way, I believe, were not reported in the same manner as their print counterparts, so the manga industry was probably doing better than how it looked back then given the purely print numbers.

The fact that Al Kahn didn’t even bring up the concept of digital manga (he even speaks as though it’s not possible for manga to be digitized?) or even digital means of reading as a whole shows that he didn’t know much about what he was talking about, especially since he later comments on how, if you look at people in America, they’re all using MP3 players and cell phones while walking around, but, in Japan, everyone on the subway has a “3000 page manga.” I don’t know if he was exaggerating or being stupid. Most manga have around, I’ll say, between 150-300 pages. A 3000 page manga would be comically large. It is literally two and a half Bibles.

The digital age seemed like such a hindrance to reading in the eyes of older folks, but that wasn’t necessarily the case. The internet boom and the rise of mobile devices made it much easier for kids to learn how to read and gave them more access to different modes of reading – like ebooks, online articles, web comics and even video games.

And just to drive the point home – the American manga industry was doing very well, especially during the start of a major recession. In 2006, manga sales actually grew 22% from $7.5mil to $9.5mil, with sales jumping from $60mil in 2002 to at least $170mil in 2006, and roughly 44% of all graphic novels in bookstores and comic book stores were reported to be manga. Manga sales would see another rise by 10% in 2007. However, this would obviously go down sharply in 2008-2010 due to the worst of the financial crisis hitting as well as lack of big name titles being released and the closure of the Borders bookstore chain among several other factors, until they finally rebounded in 2013. The industry was also growing, albeit, admittedly, slowly. In fact, one of the ways the Japanese manga industry was helping ends meet was through international manga sales, particularly those in the US.

One of the other reasons his comments garnered backlash was because it made off like children were becoming illiterate and we should just….ya know….let them. There’s no profit in promoting reading to kids, so screw it. It really shines a bright light on why 4Kids does everything in their power to remove any and all text, no matter the language, from their shows. They think if they let kids see too many words their profit margins will go down or something. Obviously, basically outright saying “Don’t invest in books, manga or any other reading materials for American kids because kids here don’t read. Instead, let their brains rot and profit off of that.” is a hot take that will certainly not earn you any favors with pretty much damn near anyone in the anime industry, whether State-side or otherwise, considering basically all of them are tightly woven into the manga industry.

Liza Coppola, Vice President of Viz Media, responded by pointing out that Viz had recently partnered with the literacy campaign, Read for America, and stated that, “Manga is a great medium to bring kids back to reading.” Viz had seen a positive response from librarians and children from their manga, and they continue making partnerships for the sake of literacy campaigns to this day. Likewise, in June 2006, Tokyopop also launched a program with the LA Public Library using their manga to promote reading to kids and teens.

As a final note for this year, 4Kids also acquired the licensing rights to Futari wa Pretty Cure. However, they never seemingly recorded a dub for the series at all, presumably because Mew Mew Power hit a brick wall and Magical DoReMi didn’t take off well enough. They announced that they had the license to Precure and never said much about it again. They held onto the rights for about three years until the license was handed over to Ocean Productions so they could finally dub and release the show in English on Canada’s YTV.

All in all, 2006 was….not awful. It was down from 2005 with $71,787,000 in net revenues compared to $80,607,000 in 2005. Yu-Gi-Oh! was still noted as being their biggest contributing factor, though the show’s domestic broadcast returns were down, along with TMNT and Cabbage Patch Kids, despite the latter two recording lower revenue from last year. Revenue from Viva Pinata and Chaotic were noted as giving them a boost in that regard. However, they did end the year in the red with a net loss of $1,006,000 in comparison to 2005 with a net income of $5,069,000. Their stocks did enjoy a significant bump, though – seeing the first rise since 2002-2003.

Next – Part 17: 4Kids TV 2: The Kidsening

Previous – Part 15: The Chaotic Nature of Rumors


If you enjoy my work and would like to help support my blog, please consider donating at my Ko-Fi page. Thank you! ♥

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Yu-Gi-Oh GX Episode 4: A Quintuple Combination! VWXYZ | Sub/Dub Comparison

Plot: It’s the monthly exams, and advancement to the next rank is possible for our boys in red if they do well enough. In an effort to get rid of Judai (again…) Chronos snakes the new shipment of rare cards that just came in for the sake of giving them to Jun so he can make him face off against Judai in his practical test and wipe him out. However, Judai’s not going down so easily.

————————————-

The original doesn’t say that the ship has been fighting off attack subs or anything since they left. They just said they need to protect that case at all costs…..Wow, with several battleships and helicopters, that briefcase must hold something incredibly valuable and not something silly.

Oh they’re rare Duel Monsters cards….yeah, that’s worth tens maybe hundreds of millions of dollars in equipment and manpower to secure during a journey. Then again, Kaiba owns this place, so I can’t be too surprised that he’d burn this much money for cards.

Also, the captain says to prepare for landing not to speed up. Hope you like crashing, dub.

While I’m shocked that they left in Shou praying to Osiris for help, they leave out the reason why he has Monster Reborn cards everywhere. He’s being symbolic because passing the monthly exam and possibly advancing him to Ra Yellow will be like resurrecting him from the dead. Also, Shou doesn’t imply that not passing this test will leave him in Osiris Red forever like Syrus does.

Speaking of the test, why exactly are they having an advancement test so soon? I can’t imagine much real time has gone by in the series. They only just enrolled.

They remove a sweatdrop from Hayato as Shou leaves.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Judai just keeps repeating that he’s late whereas Jaden says that Chumley made him a five course breakfast presumably to make him miss the test. This was slightly poked at during a dub line insertion where Chumley said he’d go to plan B, however, this plan doesn’t make sense to me. If he’s partaking in the exam too (which he shows no indication of doing over the course of the rest of the episode. In fact, I’d be hard pressed to say that he ever leaves the dorm), cooking him all of that food and supposedly eating with him would make him just as late as Jaden.

The lady recognizes Judai as a duelist and points out that he’ll be late since he has a test today. He replies by saying it’s no matter because he can’t ignore an old lady in trouble. In the dub, the lady believes Jaden’s from the auto club, and Jaden says to not let the red jacket fool her because he’s just a person doing a good deed……Wait, red jacket? What does that have to do with an auto club? Am I missing something?

Daitokuji says nothing while Banner points out that they have 45 minutes left in the test.

As Shou sleeps, he keeps saying “Big bro, sorry.” I guess because he feels guilty for leaving instead of ensuring that Judai got up even though he did try several times. Judai walks up to him and whisper-yells “Unforgivable!” Shou wakes up, and Judai says that studying to the bone has no point if he’s just going to sleep through the test.

In the dub, Syrus keeps saying stuff about dueling in his sleep. Jaden walks up and says he didn’t know this was an oral exam. Syrus wakes up and Jaden says maybe Syrus should focus more on sleep instead of staying up all night holding Slifer séances…Oh, we’re passing that off as a séance and not prayer? I honestly don’t know how to respond to that because saying that’s skirting religion sounds incredibly dumb when he was praying to a poster of a Duel Monster.

Also, how did Jaden know he was doing that at all? He was asleep that entire time.

I don’t get it. If this exam is an advancement exam, why are the Obelisk Blues there? They can’t increase in rank anymore besides seniority or graduating. Is it just mandatory testing for them?

Asuka thinks to herself that Judai’s a half hour late and that shows lack of respect/concern over the importance of the written exam. Alexis thinks to herself that Jaden’s 15 minutes late, and he better hurry if he wants any chance at finishing.

Daichi’s inner monologue is roughly the same, but he also states that it’s weird how Judai has such poor studying skills and manner in the classroom yet he’s still such a skillful duelist. The dub basically says that his lack of studying skills and poor classroom manner are keeping him from being a great duelist. I kinda prefer the dub line even if evidence shows the contrary. It’s just that Judai’s not really setting a good example for any kids in the audience if he slacks off, doesn’t think anything technical or studious is important but still ends up being the best.

They cut out a shot of an Osiris Red as he asks himself how a guy like Judai could beat Chronos.

Judai says that the practical test is what really matters, not the written exam, while Jaden says if there were a test in melodrama, Syrus would get an A. This seems so dumb to me. Why even have the written part if it can be offset at all times by practical duels? Judai/Jaden gets crappy grades, is a crappy student and he fails constantly in his written schoolwork, yet because he’s good in duels he constantly skates by, even supposedly being the closest one to advancement in Osiris Red since he beat Chronos in the entrance exams despite getting abysmal marks on the written portion of that too. I know practical skills do count for a lot, but you can’t make the written parts practically moot in exchange.

I find it funny, in a weird way, that the only students piling on top of each other and going crazy for the shipment of rare cards are the boys. I don’t even see any girls in the room.

The Group of Students Pounding the Door (dub): *robotically* “Guards! Guards! Guards!”

………….WHAT THE UNHOLY HELL WAS THAT!? Why were they talking like that?! What were they repeating “guards” in unison!? Why weren’t they raising their voices?! What the hell did I just witness?!

In the original, the students just ask what’s going on….

The envelope originally said ‘Sold’ in kanji whereas the dub envelope is predictably blank.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

The girl at the counter looks mad when Judai runs up to them because he calls her ‘old lady’ (maybe mistaking her for the lady from earlier) before correcting himself and saying ‘miss’. In the dub, Jaden does call her ‘counter girl’ which could be kinda offensive I guess, but it really just looks like she’s bitchy for no reason.

“SP-Pack” is removed from the booster pack.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Judai looks sad during the conversation about the booster pack because Shou accidentally calls Judai a mutual enemy, which is from his conversation with Hayato earlier. In the dub, he looks sad because Syrus implicates that without the booster pack Jaden may fail….I don’t see why. Jaden’s beat Crowler, I think he can beat other Slifer Reds…

Finishing off that conversation, Judai just tells Shou to take the deck so that they can use the time they have until the practical exam to perfect their decks together. In the dub, he says he may fail sometimes but he never fails.

The old lady, Tome, introduces herself properly to Judai and Shou while she doesn’t do that yet in the dub and instead calls Jaden ‘Auto-club’ while telling him that she owns the card shop.

Syrus: “How do you know her, Jay?”

Jaden: “Uhh, I think it was the carburetor.”

What the? That doesn’t answer his question at all.

You’re seriously telling me no one in the school recognized Crowler? I know he had on a hat and coat as a disguise, but he wasn’t changing his voice in the slightest, and you could still see his trademark long blonde hair.

Jun’s friends don’t clamor over Chronos’ ‘style’ with having a bunch of cards in his coat like the dub does.

Jun points out that it’s Chronos and includes that “It’s the guy who got beat by Judai.” In the dub, he says “You look better all covered up.” Yeah, make fun of your teachers. That’ll get you ahead.

Daichi originally thinks to himself that if Judai wins they’ll be in the same dorm, and it seems incredible that a first year rose up in rank so quickly. In the dub, he thinks the duel is a trap and only a fool would accept.

They insert shots of the characters talking to extend the scene.

Judai calls Jun ‘Manjoume’ while Jun corrects him and says ‘Manjoume-SAN’. This can’t be mirrored in the dub, really, so Chazz just says ‘Bring it!’

I guess the whole thing of calling Winged Kuriboh ‘partner/aibou’ like Yami and Yugi used to do to each other is never going to be included like it really never was in dub Yu-Gi-Oh either.

The duel is one turn in (just Judai/Jaden making a play) and all he did was summon Elemental Hero Clayman and we get those overly dramatic splitscreens with other characters gasping. *Gasp* ‘He made a very basic first move with an otherwise unimpressive monster! My heart can’t handle this excitement!’ I think they just wanted to pretend it was a really epic move or something since we were cutting to commercial, but come on, that’s just unreasonably lame.

Eyecatches:

A zoom in on Daichi as he’s talking and a far away shot of the duel is removed.

A kinda far shot of Jun talking is removed.

Jun has already explained the other special ability (Switching one of Judai’s creatures into attack mode) but this time we get the splitscreen on Shou, and the shot of Shou is him reacting to the fact that Clayman has such low attack and is now in attack mode. In the dub, since they removed the shot of Chazz talking, he had no time to explain the card before the splitscreen. Instead, the splitscreen basically interrupts Chazz, and Syrus just wishes his turn would end already before Chazz finally explains.

VW-Tiger Missile is changed to Heat-Seeker Blitz, which actually sounds better.

Chronos clamors over Jun’s skills while Crowler basically says Jaden’s not as impressive as everyone thought.

Shou says playing in defense mode isn’t like Judai. This line is omitted in the dub, and we just cut straight to Bastion explaining that this could be all he can do right now. I should mention that Syrus also says that it’s not fair, and I would fault this on 4Kids since that’s not the same line Shou had (he just said ‘B-but’ there) but Shou has also had a slight habit of saying certain legit moves weren’t fair and even said so earlier when Jun showcased the abilities of Frontline Base.

Asuka thinks to herself that this can’t be all Judai can do right now. In contrast, Alexis says the duel is a complete mismatch and asks “How can he duel when he doesn’t know what he’s fighting?” What does that line even mean? Cards are played in concealed manners (face down) all the time. It’s hardly a newly conceived tactic. Plus he only has one card face down right now.

Unless she’s talking about the fact that Chazz seems to have plenty of new cards in which case boo-friggety-hoo. Like anyone really shows their opponents their entire decks before dueling. Jaden also has new cards and has fought Chazz before, so I can’t make heads or tails about what she means by this.

They cut a shot of Chronos gushing over the battle and how Judai will lose soon.

Another mention of ‘Manjoume’ ‘Manjoume-SAN’ is omitted.

Eh…this next one is a change, but technically it’s hard to call it wrong. A Hero Emerges allows the opponent to select a card from the opponent’s hand to summon at random if it’s a monster. Jun chose the card on the far left while Chazz chose the far right. The shot of Judai grabbing the card is kept the same. The thing is, neither version indicates which perspective is supposed to be used here; Jun’s or Judai’s. The original chooses Judai’s (Judai’s left) while the dub chooses Chazz’s (Chazz’s right) yet both can be correct. I’m still going to fault 4Kids here though because they have the original script, and there’s really no need to change the line since it can make sense from both angles.

Another one I’m uncertain about noting, but here goes. Judai says he trusts his deck, and as long as he has monsters willing to fight by his side in his deck, he’ll never stop fighting. In the dub, Jaden says he’s not done because he has all sorts of ‘vicious monsters’ waiting to get at Chazz. The original instills loyalty and trust in his monsters and his deck as a whole while the dub is just macho “I’m gonna kick your ass with my scary monsters!” stuff.

Well, this is weird. Before, the SP-Pack text was the only text removed from the booster pack. The logo was left alone. In the dubbed flashback, the logo and text are both removed now. Guess they got digital paint happy.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Not TOO happy, though, because, before, the little white oval where ‘SP-Pack’ was written was also removed, but this time it’s not. Consistency is fun.

The dub omits mentioning that Winged Kuriboh can reduce an opponent’s attack to zero with its special ability with V-Z’s own special ability (I really hate cards that have a laundry list of special abilities. It’s understandable when the card is insanely difficult to summon, but seeing as how cards that are insanely difficult to summon constantly get miraculously summoned in this franchise, it’s hard to not get annoyed by it.)

Judai: “Our life points are the same at 1000 now. Wouldn’t it be funny if I drew a monster that had 1000 or more attack points right now?”

Jun: “What kind of crap are you spewing!? As if it’d be that easy!”

….It’d be pretty damn easy, really. It’s like…one of the easiest things ever if you have a well-balanced deck. It’s definitely a lot more believable than achieving the crap you’ve done in the span of two turns, Jun. This also isn’t present in the dub, it’s just Jaden gloating more or less.

Love the stock crowd gasp sound effects, 4Kids. You’re really amping up the quality.

I love how the other duels in the arena already concluded and absolutely no one was interested in watching them.

Samejima says the trust in Judai’s deck, the loyalty to his cards and his passionate dueling soul are the reasons that Judai is being promoted to Ra Yellow. In the dub, Sheppard just says that a Slifer Red has never fought an Obelisk Blue in the tests, and showing great courage to not only take the challenge but also to win is inspiring, thus he’s being promoted. But, again, he beat a PROFESSOR in Obelisk Blue for his entrance exam but was booted to Slifer. Why is beating a student of Obelisk Blue so much more impressive?

Both versions, nice CGI confetti. Hey, did none of the other duelists advance? Is this like a one spot kinda deal? Because, if it’s not, then that means the other duelists got no confetti for their advancement. Nice.

Hayato talks about how insane it is that an Osiris Red advanced so quickly whereas Chumley is talking about making an ad for a new roommate and tells Syrus to make him a grilled cheese.

Judai talks about how he loves red more than the other colors for the reasons mentioned in episode two. In the dub, he talks about how much better yellow seems compared to red, but it’s nothing without Syrus. I should also mention that Jaden says “Congrats on passing your practical exam” which means, yes, we completely skipped over Shou’s duel.

Judai says, in response to Shou’s emotional outburst, that this must be ‘passion red’. Jaden says it’s a good thing red doesn’t stain as bad as yellow……..wait, what? Tears don’t stain, do they? Also, even if they did, why would the stain be more apparent on yellow than red? Unless tears were red colored or—oh nevermind.

Next up, the group heads to a forbidden dorm to face a shadow duelist.

….Previous Episode


If you enjoy my work and would like to help support my blog, please consider donating at my Ko-Fi page. Thank you! ♥

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com