4Kids Entertainment is an American company, responsible for the production of the English-language version of the Yu-Gi-Oh!, Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's and Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL anime series from 2000 to 2012. They also handle English production for a number of other anime series as well as creating original series.
Much of the content licensed and distributed by 4Kids Entertainment and presented on 4Kids TV is managed by 4Kids Productions, a wholly owned subsidiary of 4Kids Entertainment. First launched in 1992, 4Kids Productions deals primarily with television, film, home video, and music licenses, and manages the programming for 4Kids TV.
On September 14, 2002, after Fox Kids was dissolved following the purchase of Fox Family Worldwide by Disney, 4Kids Entertainment introduced FoxBox. In January 2005, the block was re-branded 4Kids TV. 4Kids Entertainment was wholly responsible for the content of the block and collected all advertising revenue from it, making it one of the main outlets in the United States for 4Kids licenses and properties.
In September 2008, 4Kids Entertainment bought a programming block on the CW, calling it the CW4kids. This block was run at the same time as 4KidsTV. All 5 seasons of Yu-Gi-Oh!, as well as many Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's and Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL episodes are available for viewing on their website. Many episodes of 5D's and ZEXAL are available in Japanese with English subtitles on their Toonzaki website. Currently, 4Kids Entertainment broadcasts Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL.
Later, its 4Kids TV block on Fox ended, so 4Kids now only broadcasts on the CW. Many of the shows from its 4KidsTV were moved online to its website.
On August 18, 2012 at 11:30 AM EDT, the dub of Episode 25 of Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL aired, marking 4Kids' final broadcast on a Saturday morning block and the final episode of Yu-Gi-Oh! to air on a 4Kids-produced network.
On August 25, 2012, Vortexx premiered, a programming block which features Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL.
On March 30, 2011, TV Tokyo planned to terminate all rights to Yu-Gi-Oh! from 4Kids and filed a lawsuit on "Illegal Transaction".
In June 2012, 4Kids sold the rights to their current assets, including the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime franchise, in a joint agreement, to Konami and Saban Brands. Konami received the Yu-Gi-Oh! rights; Saban received the rights to air what was previously the Toonzai Saturday morning block and all of the other programs associated with it, including Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL. 4Kids Entertainment retained the rights to dub the series until Episode 41; later episodes were dubbed by Konami.
Fans have criticized 4Kids due to the changes they make to the dubbed version of the Yu-Gi-Oh! series.
4Kids often completely change the musical score and sound effects (with many of the 4Kids dub sound effects being made from or sounding like the original Japanese sound effects).
In the 4Kids dub, the content is often censored and 'Americanized' to suit a younger English-speaking American audience. Written language characters (both Japanese and English) and typically removed or replaced with unreadable content. Some scenes that are removed do not appear to be for censorship reasons at all; some fans speculate that this is due to time constraints or FCC regulations.
- 4Kids Corporate
- 4Kids Home Video
- 4Kids TV
- 4Kids' explanation of lawsuit
- Source explaining deal involving Saban and Konami with 4Kids