The End of the Yu-Gi-Oh! Anime on U.S. Television and the Future of that Anime Everywhere Else

RDG

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Now that Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS has ended in Japan, the dubbed version of that show's 2nd season has started airing in Canada, and we here in the US have only gotten the subbed version of that show, I thought I'd talk about what's been happening to the anime portion of the show over the years. We've already talked about what's happened with the more recent shows in other threads, but for those of you who may be lost in all of this, new to this, or forgotten, here's a rundown (most of this is taken from memory, though, but also from sites like TV IV, which archives schedules of blocks like 4KidsTV and Vortexx. If you think the following isn't completely accurate, let me know).

The Kids' WB! (2001-2006)

More than 1 year after Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters (the 2nd YGO anime show after Toei's 1998 anime) premiered in Japan, the now long-defunct 4Kids Entertainment, due to their success with the dub of the Pokémon anime, licensed the show in May 2001 and the edited dub of that series was set to air on the Kids' WB! on Saturday, 9/15/2001, along with The Mummy animated series and The Nightmare Room (Kids' WB!'s first live-action show), but all of them were pushed back to Sep. 29 (when they finally premiered) due to 9/11. The block's scheduling of the show was pretty much consistent, unlike the scheduling of all later shows in the series. The show then started being rerun on weekdays 3:30p on April 1, 2002 (yes, Apr. 1 aka April Fool's Day). Later on the show's weekday slot became 4:30p, sometimes airing from 4p-5p. The show took a break in May after the first 27 episodes, and new episodes returned a few months later. Starting on 9/14 (the block's new season), 2 new episodes aired every week, at 8am AND 11am, eventually finishing the 1st season on Nov. 2; S2 immediately began the week after. Yu-Gi-Oh! would continue to have 2 Saturday slots (8a/8:30a and 11a) for the majority of 2003 and much of 2004-2006. In June of 2004 however, Kids' WB! removed the show from its weekday lineup for a couple of months, then returned it to weekdays on Aug. 2, just days before Yu-Gi-Oh! the Movie: Pyramid of Light opened in theaters (a HUGE box-office flop, by the way, considering the height of the franchise's popularity back then, and due to the fact that the REAL cards were used in the movie). Later on in 2004, for a while, the show sometimes aired 4 days a week. After the failure of new show Da Boom Crew (that show having been permanently pulled from US airwaves after only 4 episodes), Kids' WB! aired 2 new episodes of YGO S4 every Sat. 11a-12n for the majority of the 2004-05 season. Kids' WB! removed the show from its weekday lineup for good in June 2005 (the weekday block at the time being rebranded as AfterToons, then AfterToons Show). The weekday block was discontinued at the end of 2005, and the Saturday block gained an extra hour (now airing 7a-12n) at the start of 2006. On Feb. 11 of that year, Kids' WB! removed the show from its lineup completely, replacing it with another episode of newcomer Johnny Test (originally a Warner Bros. show itself; then THAT show was replaced with reruns of 2 JammX Kids All-Star Dance Specials, the first and 2nd of which aired on 3/18 and 3/25, respectively; another rare instance of live-action programming on the block). YGO returned again on 4/1 (yes, April Fools again) to finish off the show's 5th and final season, which ended on 6/10 with all 224 episodes dubbed; it was a rarity for 4Kids to dub every episode of an anime (although there were merged versions each of episodes 4-5 and 14-15 which aired on the block (and it's successors) as well as on Cartoon Network; the latter merged episode is strangely on Hulu, while the originally separate episodes are on home video and also aired on 4Kids TV and Nicktoons). However, Kids' WB! brought the show back for one more go, rerunning the entirety of the Grand Championship arc of S5 at 7a-8a from July 8-Sep. 2, when the show left Kids' WB! for good.

The Cartoon Network (2001, 2002-2010)

Because Kids' WB! delayed Yu-Gi-Oh! to 9/29/2001, the first time the show came to the U.S. was technically on the CN. On Friday nights, from 8/31/2001-11/16/2001, CN did a Kids' WB! Spotlight Show Kids' WB Spotlight Show which was the first time YGO was officially shown anywhere in the US. In late 2002, however, the show started airing on CN proper in the form of reruns, weeknights 9:30p, right after reruns of Pokemon (they even made "on the next episode of" segments which aired after the end credits, similar to the original Japanese versions of those shows), although time slots would shift over time; sometimes airing it on weekday mornings and even on Sunday mornings. In late July 2005, the original CN version of Toonami aired Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie: POL only once. Eventually, CN removed the show from its lineup permanently in Sep. 2005, when they were just airing reruns of S4.
A month later, CN's short-lived Miguzi block started airing the dub of the first YGO spin-off, Yu-Gi-Oh! GX on Mon., Oct. 10. Initially, new episodes would air Mon.-Thurs. at 5p, while on Fridays, there was a 2-hour marathon of that week's episodes. The Miguzi block later expanded to Sat. and Sun., where GX would air 6p-7p also. Weeks after the 1st season ended (on April 6, 2006 actually), GX was removed from weekdays starting on May 15, now only airing on Saturdays, and replaced with Totally Spies!. GX returned to weekdays starting in August for its 2nd season, but was once again removed from weekdays starting in October and new episodes moved to the original Toonami. S2 returned to weekdays in Feb 2007, which is when that season ended. Then GX was removed from CN's lineup completely for all of March until the show returned on April 7 2007, once again part of Toonami, to start S3 (the final dubbed season of the show). In summer of that year, GX returned to weekdays, this time airing at 6am. In September, GX started airing on Saturday mornings 11:30a, but was again wiped from CN's schedule completely in November and never returned until August 2008, when the show resumed airing on weekday mornings for a while until leaving CN for good.

On June 1, 2009, they started airing reruns of S1 of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's on weekday mornings and weekend afternoons, and, during the 2009-2010 season, airing TV premieres of dubbed episodes that previously appeared on 4Kids' websites. The show left CN for good in summer 2010 after finishing S1, and they have not aired a single Yu-Gi-Oh! series ever since.

The 4Kids blocks, The 2011 Lawsuit and Saban's Vortexx (2006-2014)

On the day of Yu-Gi-Oh!'s final broadcast on Kids' WB!, reruns of some Yu-Gi-Oh! DM episodes began airing on 4Kids TV on Sep. 2 (or 3 on some stations), starting with a 2-hour marathon of "The Final Duel". A week later, they started airing the 12-episode Western-only miniseries Yu-Gi-Oh! Capsule Monsters (which were previously released on home video as 2-part OVAs and are now officially considered part of S5). Then they reran some episodes of S1-S3 until the end of August 2007. A week later, they started airing reruns of GX S3 for a while until airing new episodes themselves until June 14/15, 2008.
The show moved to The CW4Kids on June 21, 2008 as part of its new "Super Summer Lineup" (The CW4Kids replaced Kids' WB! a month prior), airing new episodes (eventually a full hour 11a-12n) until August 23, 2008 (with Rise of the Supreme King, Pt. 3, which was the dub's series finale), then immediately airing reruns of the first 5 episodes of S1 until Sep. 6, advertising them as "new episodes".

A week later (Sep. 13), The CW4Kids' first fall schedule began, as well as the dub of the next YGO show, Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's. After the first 26 episodes of S1, reruns were aired until the " Earthbound Immortal " saga of that season started in May. In September, however, the show was removed from the schedule for most of the 2009-2010 season and replaced with reruns of YGO DM, and the rest of S1 was uploaded to 4Kids' websites and later aired on Cartoon Network. The show returned to the CW4Kids in May, however, but by then, the dub of S1 had already ended, therefore, the show was now completely in reruns. After the block became Toonzai on the CW4Kids (aka The CW4Kids' Toonzai, though people claim that The CW4Kids and Toonzai are separate blocks altogether), the dub of S2 began on Sep. 18.

The reason for 4Kids' return to strictly dubbing/airing Japanese/other Asian properties was because when they gave up dubbing rights to Pokemon (even having a small stake in that company for a while), despite the fact that it made 4Kids more money than anything else they dubbed or produced (and all the flak these dubs got, also), their financial troubles started to increase, and original properties such as Chaotic and Viva Pinata didn't help, either. This also resulted in the dubs of GX and 5D's being incomplete (the true S3 finale of GX as well as all of S4, and all of 5D's' Team Taiyo arc and the Divine Temple arc were skipped over). Even WORSE, on 3/29/2011, TV Tokyo and NAS, which have produced every YGO show since 2000, sued 4Kids for entering into illegal agreements with companies such as FUNimation and Majesco to collect royalties with paying a portion of it to the Japanese network, and attempted to terminate 4Kids' license of the anime, leading the company to file for Ch. 11 bankruptcy. Nevertheless, 4Kids brought over the next YGO series, ZEXAL, to the US airwaves on Oct. 15, 2011. 4Kids eventually settled things with ADK and TV Tokyo amicably, but the damage to 4Kids was already done.

In May 2012, Konami acquired all of 4Kids' rights to the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime, as well as 4Kids Productions, 4Kids Entertainment's subsidiary. Though 4Kids had dubbed the first 41 episodes of ZEXAL up to that point, Konami took 4Kids Productions and renamed it 4K Media, inc. (now known as Konami Cross Media NY since early this year), which dubbed the rest of ZEXAL.

CW4Kids' final broadcast was on August 18, 2012, and a week later, Saban (through Saban Brands) stepped back into the already-declining Saturday morning game with their new block, Vortexx on the CW, which even briefly aired reruns of Saban's flagship, Power Rangers. There, ZEXAL resumed airing new episodes, starting with episode 26. Initially new episodes aired at 8am, with the previous week's episodes at 11:30a; this was rectified later on, with new episodes moving to the latter timeslot. Also, Vortexx started airing reruns of DM starting with S4, but Vortexx skipped most episodes of that season and went straight to the final battle with Dartz. Afterwards, they went back to S1 (where they accidentally aired the complete episode 5 instead of merged 4-5) and then S2. In May 2014, Saban announced that Vortexx would be shut down in September (Sep. 27, to be exact) The last time a new episode was aired on the block was on June 7, 2014; after that, the rest of the series was moved to Hulu. While not all of ZEXAL was officially subbed for some reason (stopping at ep. 29), the dub eventually finished in February 2015 with all 146 dubbed episodes (the same number as the original Japanese version), making ZEXAL the first YGO series since DM to have all its episodes dubbed; unlike DM, however, not all episodes from every spin-off have been shown on U.S. TV.

Nicktoons (2013-2019), Teletoon (2015-), and Everything in Between

With their good treatment of anime such as Dragon Ball Z Kai and GT, Monsuno, Speed Racer: The Next Generation and Voltron Force (the latter 2 shows of which are technically based on anime), you'd think Nicktoons would treat Yu-Gi-Oh! the same way, right? WRONG! In late 2012, Nicktoons announced they had acquired cable airing rights to reruns of the original YGO DM, and would start airing them weeknights beginning on January 14. Unfortunately, Nick and its spin-off networks have dabbled in false promotion and last-minute scheduling before, and reruns were pushed back to March 11, when it eventually began airing. Initially, it aired every night 8p-9p, and later, gained extra timeslots: 5p-6p. Also, because 4Kids was no more at this point, Nicktoons' reruns of the show replaced the now-defunct company's logo at the end credits with... the Nickelodeon Productions logo (?). This was probably because 4K Media didn't have an official logo yet, and even then, it wasn't revealed until later that month on the Vortexx block. A month later, Nicktoons added reruns of ZEXAL to the lineup, initially airing them Fridays 9p-10p, then on Sunday mornings as part of the "UltraBlock" (where the new season of Monsuno also aired, and Huntik, another CW4Kids show, returned after 4 years, even premiering that show's 2nd season in this block), advertising them as "New episodes". The first season of DM would be repeated until June 2013, when they FINALLY reran S2, even bringing over reruns of S1 and 2 of Digimon to the lineup to promote Saban's upcoming dub of Digimon Fusion (Xros Wars in Japan). In July, YGO was removed from Fridays and replaced with NFL Rush Zone: Season of the Guardians. In September, YGO DM was removed from Mondays -Fridays completely, now only airing on weekends until it was removed from the lineup for good in early 2014, around the time they started rerunning S4. In August of 2014, ZEXAL started airing on weekdays 8:30a until September 26, and reruns continued on weekends only until that show also left Nicktoons for good in late 2015.

During this time, the dub of the next series, ARC-V, started airing on Teletoon over in Canada on July 24, 2015 and Australia 's 9Go! networks in October. It wouldn't air here in the US until it arrived on Nicktoons on Feb. 21 (President's Day) 2016, but by then the dub of S1 had already ended. To make matters worse, Nicktoons decided to divide S1 into smaller "seasons" , taking breaks between certain episodes, sometimes removing the show from its schedule completely during those breaks (by this time all of S1 was already put on DVD AND had officially subtitled episodes put on Crunchyroll), eventually skipping over ALL of dubbed S2 (all of which had already aired OUTSIDE of the U.S., AND which led the official Yu-Gi-Oh! YouTube channel to make a recap video of most of the events of S2), which was put on Hulu instead, along with all of S1. Though the dub of S3 (the final season) starting airing everywhere else starting in July 2017, Nicktoons, as aforementioned, skipped all of S2 and just went straight ahead to S3 in early 2018. All 148 episodes were dubbed, and the dub finally ended in other countries in spring 2018, and here on Dec. 22 of that year; however, reruns aired until January this year, when the show finally left Nicktoons for good, with no plans at all to air the dub of VRAINS, nor pretty much any future YGO shows for that matter. By this time, Spanish dubs of 5D's and ZEXAL starting airing every day on U.S. Spanish-language channels Ultra Kids and iSorpresa!, respectively (starting in June 2018), which continues to this very day.

The dub of VRAINS quietly premiered on Teletoon on Sep. 1, 2018; S1 ended on Feb. 3, earlier this year, with little promotion at all, indicating that Teletoon is also tired of the series. Nevertheless, dubbed S2 also quietly started airing not too long ago, on Sep. 8 of this year. Why air a show that you won't even promote (or you'll barely even promote?)


There have also been no plans to bring the dub over to the U.S., because Konami has been unable to get ANY U.S. TV network to air it (mainly due to the quality of the dubs of the later shows). I remember Konami wanting to get the dubs of the newer shows on TV, especially US TV, before getting it on any streaming services, in order to promote the newest cards. Unfortunately, NO U.S. TV network (with a couple of exceptions, as aforementioned) wants to touch ANY of the current, past, or future YGO shows, not even the original DM (which is the most popular) with a 100-ft. pole. It also doesn't help when the dubs are a year behind the original Japanese airings.


Also, despite the fact that all of S1 of VRAINS already aired on TV, the dub hasn't appeared on ANY streaming services, and it may take a long time for the dub to show up on DVD (Konami's "TV before Streaming " policy didn't mention DVDs, but we'll have to wait and see)

The production of VRAINS was a HUGE mess from top to bottom - the production, the characters, pacing, the plots, all of it (not only was it delayed from April 2017 to May 2017, there were 4 CLIP SHOW episodes in the 1st season alone, which led the director of the show to publicly apologize multiple times) and SHIN YOSHIDA (who has been criticized for his sexist writing for whatever manga and anime he touches). The series recently ended with 120 episodes; before that, a new YGO series was announced for spring 2020, to commemorate the show's 20th anniversary. During that time, there will be no YGO episodes on Japanese TV (unless something is announced). Hopefully there won't be any problems when we get more info on this new series. The question is, however, how will the West handle distribution of the series? Light Lucario once said that the TCG is now aimed at an older crowd (even though it says "6+ years" ) as well as the more recent games like Duel Generation, Duel Links and Link Evolution, all of which carry a T rating, as well as most of the manga (including the original); Konami should either make a more faithful dub of the next series and maybe get Toonami or another grown-up channel/block (depending on the tone, look and premise of the series); it might never actually happen, but anything would be better than not getting the VRAINS dub at all; or just go completely subtitled from now on, since the subbed version of VRAINS is the only version of that show legally available in the U.S. In fact, the only time we'll EVER get an official release of the VRAINS dub here was a sneak preview during the theatrical re-release of Pyramid of Light back in early 2018 (I wasn't there, though). Also, for some reason, random dubbed episodes of ZEXAL have been recently uploaded to the official YGO YouTube, which now also has a YGO News series; while they do use clips from the dubbed version of VRAINS, they don't say anything about WHEN the dub will finally come to the US, instead telling us to watch the subbed episodes on Crunchyroll, dubbed episodes of previous shows on the official YT (though Arc-V is absent from that AND the official YGO website). Konami may not want to admit that they can't get the dub of VRAINS to air here, but they'll have to say or do something sooner or later.

List of U.S. networks that won't air anything Yu-Gi-Oh! anytime soon
Disney Channel
Disney XD (they have enough anime)
Discovery Family (the kid portion of that channel is Hasbro territory)
Universal Kids
Cartoon Network
Boomerang
Nickelodeon
ESPECIALLY Nicktoons
TeenNick (unless the inevitable sub of the next series is a lot more faithful to the original; but airing there is still pretty much unlikely)

It seems that Yu-Gi-Oh!'s time on international (or at least U.S.) children's television is over now (or at least long over). Although the franchise won't go away anytime soon, its glory days are long behind it. The shows are no longer airing on U.S. TV (at least not in English), and it seems now more older fans watch the dubs elsewhere than younger viewers; teenagers were the franchise's main audience when the original manga began, and it looks like Konami may have to market the franchise strictly to that crowd from now on (just like other franchises like Digimon and Dragon Ball have been doing here in the West in recent years; the latter has been airing unedited on Adult Swim since 2014; and like Viz has been doing with the manga since THEY licensed it back in 2002). What do you think? Is Yu-Gi-Oh! pretty much dead on international TV, or do you think the franchise will return to US TV someday? Which US network do you think should've aired VRAINS, and how do you think Konami should handle the anime in the West from now on?
 
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Takao

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It's kind of hyperbolic to say the franchise is done on international TV when, as you pointed out, the VRAINS English dub airs on linear in both Australia and Canada. I also know that at least the first season of the show has been dubbed into Brazilian Portuguese, Italian and Latin American Spanish. It seems like the current woes are more localized to the United States (and maybe the UK, too, though nowadays they seem hostile to literally anything not named Pokemon).

However, the French dub might be dead. Arc-V had an infamously poor dub that seems to have stalled at season 2. At this point, it seems too late to start VRAINS.

I wouldn't be surprised if you see more interest in the next series if the rumours about it being a remake of DM hold true. I can easily see VRAINS being skipped over by U.S. TV in favour of a more recognizable rehash.
 
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Light Lucario

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It might be a bit of an exaggeration to describe this as the downfall of the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime when it does still air in multiple other countries. Granted, not having the newest dub air in the U.S. or be legally available online is still a pretty bad sign, but the dub still exists in other countries. From what I can remember, 4Kids didn't choose to give up the rights to Pokemon either. I think that Al Kahn made a statement about how their rights over the anime weren't as secure as they thought that they were, or something along those lines. It didn't sound like he was the smartest person to run 4Kids, but I don't think that they'd willingly give up a cash cow like Pokemon. I also don't recall saying that the card game is now aimed at an older crowd. I think that they recognize that they do have an older fanbase and cater to them, but I don't think that they've lost interest in appealing to children.

I think that there are a lot of different factors that led to Vrains not airing in any U.S. networks. The anime has generally been less popular since DM ended and none of the spin-off series have been able to attract nearly as much attention. There also isn't a lot of merchandise outside of the cards to keep the brand within the general public sphere. Pokemon having more merchandise definitely helps it out in that regard. I imagine that having more games, toys, cards and movies helps to bring more attention to the anime.

Starting from GX, there have been a lot of problems. There were hiatuses that lasted for months and in some cases, right in the middle of storylines. I still remember the unnecessarily long break in the middle of the Dark Signer arc. This happened even more frequently with Nicktoons, to the point where they'd skip entire seasons or arcs, but that happened with the other channels too. I don't remember any huge breaks during DM's run, but they also had reruns pretty frequently, so I don't think I would have noticed it as much as I did with the other series. It took so long for any new GX episodes to air during season three due to how frequently new episodes were pushed back on Cartoon Network and then they had to start at the beginning of season three when it moved to the CW4Kids. A part of me wonders if we could have at least gotten the last episode of season three dubbed if we didn't have to wait that long for new episodes.

The quality of the dubs is most likely a factor. I don't think that was an issue for DM and maybe GX since that style of dubbing wasn't nearly as outdated at the time. But by 5D's, I think that changing the characters' personalities and altering the dialogue to force in more jokes just felt too dated. I think that they were just trying too hard to be funny for kids and I wouldn't be surprised if that just doesn't appeal to any new generation of kids watching the anime for the first time. Some characters come off more annoying than they should and other shows, even other anime aimed at kids, don't try to force in more bad dialogue or voices just to be funny. They keep basically using the same dubbing style that they've used since DM and either expect or hope for it to work again.

Going forward, I really hope that Konami does something to shorten the gap between the two versions. I'm somewhat surprised that they haven't shown any effort to do so when that does make the U.S. airings far behind the card releases. I still remember seeing the first Vrains starter deck when Nicktoons was still airing Arc V's first season. There does need to be some gap, but I think that three to four months like what Pokemon has is more reasonable than being over a year behind the Japanese version.

At this point, their best bet would probably just putting the series on a streaming site like Hulu or Crunchyroll. I still honestly can't see them putting the dub on a block aimed at adults. Even if the next series is a DM reboot, which I highly doubt for multiple reasons, I'm not sure if that would be appealing enough to work on something like Toonami. A streaming site would be a better option so that they could potentially upload as many episodes as they can, which would help to shorten the gap. Crunchyroll would probably be the best option considering that is where the legal subs are and it is available outside of the U.S. as well. Konami may not like it, but I'm not sure what other choice they have if other networks aren't interested in airing the series.

Disney XD would have been the perfect place to air Vrains. They would have included it as part of their small anime block and they'd eventually have all of the English dubs available on their website/On Demand section just like they've done with Pokemon and Beyblade. Maybe they'll get the next series instead, but I don't know how likely that is at this point. Since we don't know much of anything about the new series, it's hard to say if it is going to change anything for the U.S. airings. I definitely don't see any U.S. channels airing the Vrains dub as opposed to airing whatever comes next. The latter will be more recent and promote whatever new summoning mechanic Konami will develop next.
 
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RDG

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It's kind of hyperbolic to say the franchise is done on international TV when, as you pointed out, the VRAINS English dub airs on linear in both Australia and Canada. I also know that at least the first season of the show has been dubbed into Brazilian Portuguese, Italian and Latin American Spanish. It seems like the current woes are more localized to the United States (and maybe the UK, too, though nowadays they seem hostile to literally anything not named Pokemon).

However, the French dub might be dead. Arc-V had an infamously poor dub that seems to have stalled at season 2. At this point, it seems too late to start VRAINS.

I wouldn't be surprised if you see more interest in the next series if the rumours about it being a remake of DM hold true. I can easily see VRAINS being skipped over by U.S. TV in favour of a more recognizable rehash.

I've made some corrections to my post
 

RDG

Aspiring animator/filmmaker and Ugliest Man Alive
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It might be a bit of an exaggeration to describe this as the downfall of the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime when it does still air in multiple other countries. Granted, not having the newest dub air in the U.S. or be legally available online is still a pretty bad sign, but the dub still exists in other countries. From what I can remember, 4Kids didn't choose to give up the rights to Pokemon either. I think that Al Kahn made a statement about how their rights over the anime weren't as secure as they thought that they were, or something along those lines. It didn't sound like he was the smartest person to run 4Kids, but I don't think that they'd willingly give up a cash cow like Pokemon. I also don't recall saying that the card game is now aimed at an older crowd. I think that they recognize that they do have an older fanbase and cater to them, but I don't think that they've lost interest in appealing to children.

I think that there are a lot of different factors that led to Vrains not airing in any U.S. networks. The anime has generally been less popular since DM ended and none of the spin-off series have been able to attract nearly as much attention. There also isn't a lot of merchandise outside of the cards to keep the brand within the general public sphere. Pokemon having more merchandise definitely helps it out in that regard. I imagine that having more games, toys, cards and movies helps to bring more attention to the anime.

Starting from GX, there have been a lot of problems. There were hiatuses that lasted for months and in some cases, right in the middle of storylines. I still remember the unnecessarily long break in the middle of the Dark Signer arc. This happened even more frequently with Nicktoons, to the point where they'd skip entire seasons or arcs, but that happened with the other channels too. I don't remember any huge breaks during DM's run, but they also had reruns pretty frequently, so I don't think I would have noticed it as much as I did with the other series. It took so long for any new GX episodes to air during season three due to how frequently new episodes were pushed back on Cartoon Network and then they had to start at the beginning of season three when it moved to the CW4Kids. A part of me wonders if we could have at least gotten the last episode of season three dubbed if we didn't have to wait that long for new episodes.

The quality of the dubs is most likely a factor. I don't think that was an issue for DM and maybe GX since that style of dubbing wasn't nearly as outdated at the time. But by 5D's, I think that changing the characters' personalities and altering the dialogue to force in more jokes just felt too dated. I think that they were just trying too hard to be funny for kids and I wouldn't be surprised if that just doesn't appeal to any new generation of kids watching the anime for the first time. Some characters come off more annoying than they should and other shows, even other anime aimed at kids, don't try to force in more bad dialogue or voices just to be funny. They keep basically using the same dubbing style that they've used since DM and either expect or hope for it to work again.

Going forward, I really hope that Konami does something to shorten the gap between the two versions. I'm somewhat surprised that they haven't shown any effort to do so when that does make the U.S. airings far behind the card releases. I still remember seeing the first Vrains starter deck when Nicktoons was still airing Arc V's first season. There does need to be some gap, but I think that three to four months like what Pokemon has is more reasonable than being over a year behind the Japanese version.

At this point, their best bet would probably just putting the series on a streaming site like Hulu or Crunchyroll. I still honestly can't see them putting the dub on a block aimed at adults. Even if the next series is a DM reboot, which I highly doubt for multiple reasons, I'm not sure if that would be appealing enough to work on something like Toonami. A streaming site would be a better option so that they could potentially upload as many episodes as they can, which would help to shorten the gap. Crunchyroll would probably be the best option considering that is where the legal subs are and it is available outside of the U.S. as well. Konami may not like it, but I'm not sure what other choice they have if other networks aren't interested in airing the series.

Disney XD would have been the perfect place to air Vrains. They would have included it as part of their small anime block and they'd eventually have all of the English dubs available on their website/On Demand section just like they've done with Pokemon and Beyblade. Maybe they'll get the next series instead, but I don't know how likely that is at this point. Since we don't know much of anything about the new series, it's hard to say if it is going to change anything for the U.S. airings. I definitely don't see any U.S. channels airing the Vrains dub as opposed to airing whatever comes next. The latter will be more recent and promote whatever new summoning mechanic Konami will develop next.

Speaking of the quality of the dubs, there was an uncut dub of the original DM,


made available only on DVD, but it only lasted 3 volumes, since 4Kids felt the uncut dub would compete with their originally edited version. Years later, subtitled episodes from that same release were put up on 4Kids' official YouTube channel uncut edition – in the name of the pharaoh | by ravegrl

Then they were permanently removed, due to a rights issue in Japan with one of DM's original Japanese voice actors, Shunsuke Kazama (Yugi) [4Kids-YouTube] Official Japanese Yu-Gi-Oh! Episodes Removed from YouTube, Never to Return Again


That seemed to have been settled years later, as we now have official subtitled versions of every Yu-Gi-Oh! show ever produced since 2000 (DM is almost finished, though STREAMS / Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters – SUBBED Episodes , while ZEXAL dubs were strangely cut off at episode 29, as aforementioned STREAMS / Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL & ZEXAL II – SUBBED Episodes), which is the only way VRAINS, and pretty much the next, and all future (if any) series, can be legally made available here in the US.
 
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Light Lucario

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Speaking of the quality of the dubs, there was an uncut dub of the original DM,


made available only on DVD, but it only lasted 3 volumes, since 4Kids felt the uncut dub would compete with their originally edited version. Years later, subtitled episodes from that same release were put up on 4Kids' official YouTube channel uncut edition – in the name of the pharaoh | by ravegrl

Then they were permanently removed, due to a rights issue in Japan with one of DM's original Japanese voice actors, Shunsuke Kazama (Yugi) [4Kids-YouTube] Official Japanese Yu-Gi-Oh! Episodes Removed from YouTube, Never to Return Again


I think that the whole not wanting to compete with their edited dub was one of the public statements made as to why the uncut dubs were discontinued, but that wasn't the real reason. They were discontinued because of the legal issues in regards to some of the Japanese voice actors. It was mainly due to the contract for Yugi's Japanese voice actor, as well as Bakura's original Japanese voice actress sine I believe she passed on after Duelist Kingdom. I remember that Amazon had listings for uncut volumes four, five and maybe six for a long time. I don't know how much of DM they redubbed or if they wanted to cover the whole series, but they clearly had plans for future releases. I don't think that they wouldn't have stopped so early just because of possibly outselling the dub DVDs. I don't think that would have even really mattered when they'd still get money regardless and having uncut DVDs would have potentially made more people willing to buy the official release.

I also believe that this was confirmed either in an interview with a 4Kids employee or on their old YouTube channel when someone was asking questions back then. There was quite a bit of legal red tape over DM subs and I don't think that 4Kids could have handled dealing with it at the time due to their own financial problems. Plus, given what they were accused of during the lawsuit, trying to make it work could have easily revealed that they were keeping more money than they should have.

RDG said:
That seemed to have been settled years later, as we now have official subtitled versions of every Yu-Gi-Oh! show ever produced since 2000 (DM is almost finished, though STREAMS / Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters – SUBBED Episodes , while ZEXAL dubs were strangely cut off at episode 29, as aforementioned STREAMS / Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL & ZEXAL II – SUBBED Episodes), which is the only way VRAINS, and pretty much the next, and all future (if any) series, can be legally made available here in the US.

It definitely helped that they were able to sub some of the other spin-off series first. I think that showed them that there was enough demand for legal subs, which made the process to get DM subs potentially easier or at least more worthwhile. I'm sure it also helped that it was Konami Cross Media this time around as opposed to 4Kids trying to make it work. I just wish that they weren't so slow with updating DM subs. The release schedule for that is really inconsistent. I'm also a bit surprised that they haven't subbed the rest of Zexal yet. Nearly every other series has been completely subbed and they would have access to the DVD footage for Zexal, so I'm not sure why they haven't started work on that yet.

Hopefully, they'll have simulcast subs for the next series as well. As nice as it is to have them use DVD quality for the subs, it's also a bit of a double edge sword since that just means it will take longer for the subs to be available.
 
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Vuxovich

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I am so glad that the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime franchise suffered its downfall in the United States. I hope if the next Yu-Gi-Oh! anime ever gets dubbed, it will be uncut and it will also feature the voices of a different voice talent pool (either Bang Zoom!, NYAV Post or the Los Angeles + Vancouver mix). How about that?
 

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I am so glad that the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime franchise suffered its downfall in the United States. I hope if the next Yu-Gi-Oh! anime ever gets dubbed, it will be uncut and it will also feature the voices of a different voice talent pool (either Bang Zoom!, NYAV Post or the Los Angeles + Vancouver mix). How about that?

If it DOES get dubbed (which is inevitable), and if it IS uncut, it'll still likely use the same voice cast as all previous shows
 
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Light Lucario

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I am so glad that the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime franchise suffered its downfall in the United States. I hope if the next Yu-Gi-Oh! anime ever gets dubbed, it will be uncut and it will also feature the voices of a different voice talent pool (either Bang Zoom!, NYAV Post or the Los Angeles + Vancouver mix). How about that?

I'm not sure why you're glad that the anime has suffered its downfall in the United States. It's not really a good thing when it does affect how effective the anime can be at promoting the cards in the U.S. and it's hard to say if they'll finally change how they dub the anime as a result. The anime has been struggling for years in the U.S., so they could and frankly should have changed their strategy ages ago.

I'm sure that any Yu-Gi-Oh! series are still going to be dubbed. Konami Cross Media primarily exists to handle the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime, so they're probably going to dub it regardless. While it would be refreshing and nice to hear different voice actors for the dub, they are probably going to stick with the same talent pool they have in New York.
 

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If it DOES get dubbed (which is inevitable), and if it IS uncut, it'll still likely use the same voice cast as all previous shows

Then I hope NYAV Post will do such Yu-Gi-Oh! thing.

I'm not sure why you're glad that the anime has suffered its downfall in the United States. It's not really a good thing when it does affect how effective the anime can be at promoting the cards in the U.S. and it's hard to say if they'll finally change how they dub the anime as a result. The anime has been struggling for years in the U.S., so they could and frankly should have changed their strategy ages ago.

I'm sure that any Yu-Gi-Oh! series are still going to be dubbed. Konami Cross Media primarily exists to handle the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime, so they're probably going to dub it regardless. While it would be refreshing and nice to hear different voice actors for the dub, they are probably going to stick with the same talent pool they have in New York.

The reason why I am so glad is that most of the Yu-Gi-Oh! dubs are censored and the franchise's fandom is demanding the uncut one for years.
 

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The reason why I am so glad is that most of the Yu-Gi-Oh! dubs are censored and the franchise's fandom is demanding the uncut one for years.

Ah, that makes more sense. I'm still pretty doubtful that they'll finally start making uncut dubs. I'd be perfectly happy to be wrong here. I've wanted better dubs for a long time too and I think that there's a better chance that they could attract more of an audience if they made better quality dubs. It certainly couldn't hurt to try at this point considering that they couldn't even get Vrains on a U.S. channel.

I just don't see them taking this downfall, which still seems more like an exaggeration than anything else to me, as proof that they should be making better dubs. Like I've said before, none of the spin-off series have done well in the U.S. and the first two couldn't even have complete dubs. Granted, part of that was due to 4Kids' own financial problems, but their own lack of popularity definitely didn't help. They could have easily started making more faithful dubs well before now, but they're firmly stuck in the 90's with how they dub each series and I don't know if they'll finally start changing that even with possibly not landing a TV deal with a U.S. network.
 
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RDG

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Ah, that makes more sense. I'm still pretty doubtful that they'll finally start making uncut dubs. I'd be perfectly happy to be wrong here. I've wanted better dubs for a long time too and I think that there's a better chance that they could attract more of an audience if they made better quality dubs. It certainly couldn't hurt to try at this point considering that they couldn't even get Vrains on a U.S. channel.

I just don't see them taking this downfall, which still seems more like an exaggeration than anything else to me, as proof that they should be making better dubs. Like I've said before, none of the spin-off series have done well in the U.S. and the first two couldn't even have complete dubs. Granted, part of that was due to 4Kids' own financial problems, but their own lack of popularity definitely didn't help. They could have easily started making more faithful dubs well before now, but they're firmly stuck in the 90's with how they dub each series and I don't know if they'll finally start changing that even with possibly not landing a TV deal with a U.S. network.

You mean the 00's, but I see your point
 

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You mean the 00's, but I see your point

No, I meant the 90's. This way of dubbing started before 4Kids started to dub Yu-Gi-Oh! in the 2000's. Americanizing anime was pretty typical during the 90's too with shows like Sailor Moon and DBZ.

To be fair, I don't think that they have drastically changed the storylines in the spin-off series nearly as much as they did with DM, but the characterizations and dialogue are altered enough to where the dubs are still pretty much different shows compared to the Japanese versions.
 
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nitwit07man

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No, I meant the 90's. This way of dubbing started before 4Kids started to dub Yu-Gi-Oh! in the 2000's. Americanizing anime was pretty typical during the 90's too with shows like Sailor Moon and DBZ.

To be fair, I don't think that they have drastically changed the storylines in the spin-off series nearly as much as they did with DM, but the characterizations and dialogue are altered enough to where the dubs are still pretty much different shows compared to the Japanese versions.
Well, given this is Konami who became so infamous that a hashtag was created for them after they fired Metal Gear Soild’s own creator (Who later on went to Sony to create a new IP after same Konami canceled Project PT) I’m not that shocked that America based children’s networks would even be against airing any new dubbed Yugioh anytime soon. As much as we joke about 4Kids and their past Practices? At least none of them got a got Hospitalized for gas poisoning. Right Konami? Oh brother. I’ll miss Yugioh it was fun while it lasted.
 

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Well, given this is Konami who became so infamous that a hashtag was created for them after they fired Metal Gear Soild’s own creator (Who later on went to Sony to create a new IP after same Konami canceled Project PT) I’m not that shocked that America based children’s networks would even be against airing any new dubbed Yugioh anytime soon. As much as we joke about 4Kids and their past Practices? At least none of them got a got Hospitalized for gas poisoning. Right Konami? Oh brother. I’ll miss Yugioh it was fun while it lasted.

I think that I vaguely recall the situation where they fired Metal Gear Solid's creator, but I don't remember the hashtag itself. I really doubt that would have affected the franchise being picked up on U.S. networks though. This was an issue well before Konami picked up the license for the anime. Even GX and 5D's had problems with frequent hiatuses and networks losing interest in both series. It's really telling that Cartoon Network only aired the first fifty-two episodes of 5D's. Plus, I'm not sure if networks would care that much about Konami's infamous reputation. They'd probably care more about whether they think that the series would be successful for their channel and/or how successful the brand is in general more than anything else.

I'm not sure what you're referring to with the hospitalized for gas poisoning comment. The Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise isn't going anywhere. Even the title of this thread mentions the next series that is set to release next year. Just because the franchise seemingly can't get a U.S. TV network deal doesn't mean that it is dead. All of Vrains was simulcasted on Crunchyroll and a new series was announced next year, so they are still making the anime.
 

nitwit07man

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I think that I vaguely recall the situation where they fired Metal Gear Solid's creator, but I don't remember the hashtag itself. I really doubt that would have affected the franchise being picked up on U.S. networks though. This was an issue well before Konami picked up the license for the anime. Even GX and 5D's had problems with frequent hiatuses and networks losing interest in both series. It's really telling that Cartoon Network only aired the first fifty-two episodes of 5D's. Plus, I'm not sure if networks would care that much about Konami's infamous reputation. They'd probably care more about whether they think that the series would be successful for their channel and/or how successful the brand is in general more than anything else.

I'm not sure what you're referring to with the hospitalized for gas poisoning comment. The Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise isn't going anywhere. Even the title of this thread mentions the next series that is set to release next year. Just because the franchise seemingly can't get a U.S. TV network deal doesn't mean that it is dead. All of Vrains was simulcasted on Crunchyroll and a new series was announced next year, so they are still making the anime.
I more referring to in Japan where Konami’s studios are infamous for their horrible workplace culture for their employees. It’s like very bad to work for Konami as there’s unreported Incidences that they want to cover up for image reasons and also one of their former CEOs used to work for the yakuza. I mean sure a children’s network is not gonna look up history of Konami before Yugioh. But it has been documented on sites like Kotaku that Konami of Japan is a HUGE mess so I more worried that Yugioh May get a bad rap if something bad happens to it with or without Konami involved.
 

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I more referring to in Japan where Konami’s studios are infamous for their horrible workplace culture for their employees. It’s like very bad to work for Konami as there’s unreported Incidences that they want to cover up for image reasons and also one of their former CEOs used to work for the yakuza. I mean sure a children’s network is not gonna look up history of Konami before Yugioh. But it has been documented on sites like Kotaku that Konami of Japan is a HUGE mess so I more worried that Yugioh May get a bad rap if something bad happens to it with or without Konami involved.

Ah, that makes more sense. Sadly, I think that horrible workplace environment is pretty typical in Japan. It's not uncommon for people to die overworked, especially in the animation industry. It still sounds pretty bad, but it may not stand out more than other workplace environments in that regard. Konami has been pretty infamous among fans for quite some time, so I'm not sure if the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise could get a bad reputation simply due to Konami. It's certainly possible, but I wouldn't worry about it too much since it doesn't seem that likely to me at the moment.
 

nitwit07man

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Ah, that makes more sense. Sadly, I think that horrible workplace environment is pretty typical in Japan. It's not uncommon for people to die overworked, especially in the animation industry. It still sounds pretty bad, but it may not stand out more than other workplace environments in that regard. Konami has been pretty infamous among fans for quite some time, so I'm not sure if the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise could get a bad reputation simply due to Konami. It's certainly possible, but I wouldn't worry about it too much since it doesn't seem that likely to me at the moment.
Hope you right fam. I just want Yugioh dubs to not have the main character played by Mark Zuckerberg as the title hero in Vrains! Oof!
 

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Because most of the stuff in my first post covered the U.S. side of things, I've changed the title of this thread
 
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2X POST ALERT: This has already been covered in the Places to Watch Yu-Gi-Oh! thread, but ZEXAL has been removed from iSorpresa! completely and permanently, and over on Ultra Kidz, 5D's is now only airing at 4p-5p and 4a-5a. Schedules - Olympusat
 
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