After a false start in mid-January that left fans disappointed and scratching their heads, Nicktoons announced earlier this evening on Facebook that the Classic Yu-Gi-Oh! anime will indeed be coming to the popular cable network, with the premiere set for next Monday, March 11 at 8:00 pm EDT! The show will air each weeknight, Monday through Friday, at 8:00 and 8:30 EDT.
Yu-Gi-Oh! was originally slated to premiere on Nicktoons on January 14 earlier this year, but was abruptly pulled from the schedule at the last minute. The network did not release a statement explaining the change. Even after Yu-Gi-Oh! was removed from its line-up, Nicktoons left a link to the show’s dedicated page on its homepage and continued to update it with new content, adding additional character descriptions, details about the show, and improved graphics. (I, for one, am grief-stricken over the removal of the image of Yami’s giant hand!)
Here’s hoping Nicktoons follows through with its scheduling this time. Don’t let us down!
Tags: hulu, toonzaki, vortexx
Konami has completed a bit of housekeeping on Hulu, moving the videos of all four Yu-Gi-Oh! series from 4Kids‘ account to their new home with 4K Media, Konami’s wholly-owned subsidiary that manages the Yu-Gi-Oh! property rights it bought from 4Kids. The links for all of the episodes remain the same, thankfully.
Toonzaki? More Like Toonshabby
Over on Toonzaki.com, which partners with Hulu to embed the Yu-Gi-Oh! episodes published on the popular video streaming platform, the feeds for the Yu-Gi-Oh! series still haven’t been updated since prior to Konami’s new Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s and Zexal uploads two months ago. Worse yet, the episodes all display an ominous message when one attempts to view the videos: “This content is unavailable for playback.” Ugh, have they been like that for sometime now, or is that a result of the videos’ migration on Hulu? Either way, Toonzaki has really fallen into neglect, with missing images, nonfunctional videos, and a lack of fresh content and homepage updates all plaguing the once promising anime video portal.
Vortexx’s Website Gets a Makeover
On a more positive note, Saban unleashed a brand-new look for MyVortexx.com, the official website for its Saturday morning block Vortexx on The CW, back in mid-February. But wait — dedicated pages for Yu-Gi-Oh! and Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal are conspicuously missing from the website. (Or are they?!) Don’t worry, I’m sure something big is coming that will please many fans… Stay tuned!
Tomorrow evening, the classic Yu-Gi-Oh! anime makes a new home on the Nicktoons network, joining other popular brands like Avatar, Dragon Ball Z Kai, Monsuno, Power Rangers, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Yu-Gi-Oh! premieres at 9:00 pm EST with episode 1, “The Heart of the Cards.”
Licensing Yu-Gi-Oh! to the Viacom-owned cable network was one of the deals 4Kids sought to close in early 2011. The deal was precluded when licensors TV Tokyo and ADK/NAS sued 4Kids looking to take back 4Kids’ Yu-Gi-Oh! rights, which subsequently drove the company into bankruptcy protection. After all that, it’s great to see that Konami was able to pick up where 4Kids left off.
Don’t have cable? No problem! Don’t forget that you can also watch Yu-Gi-Oh! for free anytime you want on Hulu and Toonzaki!
Up until a few days ago, Nicktoon’s “Characters” and “About” pages for the Yu-Gi-Oh! show were filled with particularly amusing descriptions, typos, and spoilers. Although those peculiar blurbs have since been replaced with more official-looking text, everyone knows that nothing posted on the Internet ever truly disappears. Saved below are the original descriptions, preserved for the enjoyment of future generations.
The series centers on a timid boy named Yugi Muto. When Yugi solves a millennium puzzle after working on it for eight years, he unknowingly changes his life forever. The spirit residing within the puzzle merges with the boy, releasing an alter ego who is the King of Games. Now, when someone cruelly mistreats Yugi’s friends, the alter ego takes over and challenges them to a Shadow Game.
A shy, nerdy freshman whose body becomes the host of a 5,000 year-old Pharaoh after he solves the Millennium Puzzle. Yugi lives in his family’s game shop, Kame Game with his mother and grandfather. His grandfather taught him how to play Duel Monsters.
Kaiba is the majority shareholder and CEO of his own gaming company, KaibaCorp. He aims to become the world’s greatest player of Duel Monsters, but first he must defeat his arch-rival, Yugi Muto. He is the older brother of Mokuba. Priest Seto is his Egyptian incarnate.
There’s something refreshingly funny seeing an official source doing such a sloppy job. Try harder, Nicktoons! :P
Update (January 14): So much for tonight’s premiere. Check the comments below.
Tags: hulu, toonzaki
Why are we only seeing these episodes uploaded today when their English-language counterparts aired back in May 2012? Have the production of their subtitles only just been completed? Or is something amiss behind the scenes?
Since early July 2012 when Konami completed its takeover of the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise from 4Kids, uploads of Zexal videos have paused at episode 24 for dubbed episodes and episode 19 for subbed episodes. Prior to today’s update, the last new upload to Hulu came, uncoincidentally, in early July 2012. And while Konami does not allow any platform to exhibit any new Yu-Gi-Oh! episodes for 60 days after their initial broadcast on The CW, it has not discussed the reasons for such an extensive additional delay in uploading new episodes. (n.b. The first new Zexal episode to air following the change in ownership was episode 25 on August 18, 2012.)
C’mon Konami, what’s going on over there?
Assuming today’s new Zexal releases aren’t mistakes and don’t get yanked, expect them to appear on Toonzaki tomorrow once the feed updates.
I’ll continue to update this post with information about new Yu-Gi-Oh! videos, at least until Konami develops some coherence in its uploading decisions.
Update (January 8): Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal episode 25 dubbed was added to Hulu today. Curiously, the previous updates noted above haven’t made their way to Toonzaki yet.
Update (January 14): More dubbed episodes of Zexal have been added: 26 through 31. Good stuff! Toonzaki’s feed still hasn’t picked up the newest uploads though. I wonder if something’s wrong.
Update (January 15): English-dubbed versions of Zexal episodes 32 through 37 are now available. Additionally, the Toonzaki crew on Facebook has finally addressed the status of episode 13 subbed, noting that it has been stuck in some kind of “Hulu purgatory” for months now. Hopefully, a wise Hulu engineer will be able to dig it out! Toonzaki also confirmed that a few new subbed episodes of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s will be up soon!
Update (January 17): “We are back on a weekly subtitled episode release schedule for Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s until episode 136,” says the most recent wall post on the official Yu-Gi-Oh! Facebook page. Good stuff!
Looks like Konami and Toonzaki have dealt with and/or acknowledged most of the video uploading issues and things are beginning to get back to normal. So, I think this is going to be it from me for this post.
Be sure to subscribe to the Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s and Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal shows on Hulu to get word of all of the newest updates, and keep your eye on Toonzaki to see if these and other new videos make their way there!
This weekend is unusually eventful for Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal fans in both Japan and the United States. On Sunday, October 7, fans in Japan will be treated to Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal II (the “II” is pronounced “second”), a sequel to the first Zexal series, which ended on September 24 after a 73-episode run. Zexal II will continue the story of Yuma Tsukumo, Astral, and their friends following the conclusion of the World Duel Carnival tournament. The second series will air every Sunday at 5:30 pm on TV Tokyo and most of its sister stations.
Since the story is merely continuing without any significant changes, why did the first Zexal series need to “end,” necessitating the creation of Zexal II? That hasn’t happened in any of the previous Yu-Gi-Oh! series before (unless you include the 1998 Yu-Gi-Oh! series by Toei). Maybe fans who follow the series can share their insights.
Vortexx’s Yu-Gi-Oh! Broadcasts Decrease from Three to Two
The news is far less positive in the U.S., where Saban is dropping the 8:30 airing of Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal from its Saturday morning Vortexx lineup. The change begins today, October 6, and leaves fans with two broadcasts of Yu-Gi-Oh! on the block. The change comes just six weeks after Vortexx premiered on The CW.
After a tiny bit of shuffling, the 30-minute gap resulting from Zexal’s removal is filled by the perpetually popular Sonic X. The resulting lineup is as follows:
- 7:00 – Rescue Heroes
- 7:30 – Rescue Heroes
- 8:00 – Sonic X
- 8:30 – Power Rangers: Lost Galaxy
- 9:00 – Iron Man: Armored Adventures
- 9:30 – Justice League Unlimited
- 10:00 – WWE Saturday Morning Slam
- 10:30 – Dragon Ball Z Kai
- 11:00 – Yu-Gi-Oh! Classic
- 11:30 – Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal
There has been no official comment from Saban or Konami regarding Zexal’s removal.
Tags: hulu, toonzaki
English dub lovers, tonight is your turn to cheer! The dubbed version of Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal is now streaming on Hulu! Check out episode 1, “Go With the Flow,” right now, or swing by the Toonzaki anime portal tomorrow when the feed updates with this and other new videos.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal airs Saturday mornings at 9:30 on the CW4Kids Toonzai. (Check your local listings to find the exact time your CW affiliate airs the show.)
- Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal Subbed Now Streaming
Tags: 4kidstv.com, hulu
Have you been keeping up with the tidbits about Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal that have been trickling out? Since announcing the series’ October 15 premiere, 4Kids has been whetting the appetites of Yu-Gi-Oh! fans with details about the newest Yu-Gi-Oh! anime on the Toonzaki Facebook page. In addition to daily reveals of Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal’s cast, 4Kids also uploaded the opening sequence and a few clips of the show to 4KidsTV.com on Friday, as well as to Hulu earlier this morning. Check them out!
The biggest surprise from these video clips thus far? It might be the fact that the realistic-looking backs of the trading cards used in the Japanese version of Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal are still intact in the 4Kids production. Why didn’t the network censors ask 4Kids to change this, even though the fronts of the cards are still edited as usual? Curious. Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal is the first series whose card backs match the designs used in the real-life trading card game. Classic Yu-Gi-Oh!, Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, and Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s all depicted the backs of the cards as having a plain brown background with a grey oval in the center.
What Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal updates will we see this week? Keep your eyes on Facebook and keep counting down until the show’s premiere!
Tags: cw4kids, lawsuit, toonzai
Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal will make its U.S. debut on Saturday, October 15! In less than three weeks, the newest Yu-Gi-Oh! series will be added to the 9:30 am time slot on the CW4Kids Toonzai, joining episodes of classic Yu-Gi-Oh!, Sonic X, Dragon Ball Z Kai, Magi-Nation, and 4Kids’ other new series, Tai Chi Chasers! (Check your CW affiliate’s local listings for the exact schedules.) This announcement came earlier today via Toonzaki’s Facebook page and 4Kids’ newest video upload to YouTube.
Details about 4Kids’ production of Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal are still scarce, but Toonzaki is inviting everyone to chime in with their fantasy cast in its latest Facebook post. One thing is certain though: the “X” is no longer silent. It’s true! “Zexal” is now pronounced [zɛksəl], not [zil]. Gasp! I’m waiting for all of the ads and promos that take full advantage of the “X” in punny and extreme ways. C’mon, 4Kids, make it happen!
Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal premiered in Japan in April earlier this year. Confirmation that 4Kids had exercised its rights to obtain the Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal anime came to light in May, though it wasn’t immediately clear exactly when the company first picked up the series.
The Yu-Gi-Oh! Lawsuit: TV Tokyo and NAS v. 4Kids
Closing arguments for the first phase of the Yu-Gi-Oh! lawsuit were delivered on Friday, September 23. Finer details about the trial have not been released as of this writing. Check my “lawsuit” tag for my previous posts about this subject, and keep it tuned here for more information as it arises.
It’s worth noting that, contrary to what you may have heard elsewhere, 4Kids’ production and debut of Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal are unrelated to the outcome of the trial. As I’ve briefly commented on in the past, both the Japanese licensors and 4Kids have been operating — and continue to operate — as though each of them are in the right. Since March, the licensors have maintained that they justifiably terminated their licensing agreements with 4Kids. The licensors had also been soliciting new licensees for the Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal property and would still be doing so today had the court not blocked their actions. Similarly, 4Kids has maintained that it did not violate its agreements with the licensors and continues to produce and market the Yu-Gi-Oh! property, business as usual.
It’s equally worth noting that should 4Kids eventually lose its rights to the Yu-Gi-Oh! property, the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime will not abruptly be yanked from the airwaves, nor will Yu-Gi-Oh! merchandise suddenly disappear from store shelves. Per the terms of the Yu-Gi-Oh! License, the termination of the License won’t affect any third-party contracts that the 4Kids may have entered into. Contracts with TV broadcasters and home video and merchandise sub-licensees, for example, remain in effect and 4Kids retains the right to continue to act under the terms of those contracts. 4Kids will also still be able to continue earning money that is generated from its sub-licensing of the rights to the Yu-Gi-Oh! property, so long as those contracts were in effect before the License was terminated. 4Kids can continue to collect this money for either two years or until its contracts with the sub-licensees expire, whichever is less.
So don’t sweat it! Forget it! Enjoy the show — Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal! Saturday, October 15!
Can’t get enough of the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime? All the episodes of Yu-Gi-Oh! and Yu-Gi-Oh! GX are now available on Hulu Plus! In addition to watching on your computer, you can now stream the shows from your mobile device, TV, gaming console, and more!
Hulu Plus is Hulu’s premium subscription service. Along with having a library of TV shows, episodes, and movies that exceeds its regular counterpart, Hulu Plus gives members the ability to watch select programs on a variety of devices, including the iPhone, iPad, PS3, Android, and a variety of TVs and Blu-ray players. Additional support for the Xbox 360, TiVo, and more are coming soon. A one-week trial of the service is available for free.
This great news came earlier today via Toonzaki’s Facebook page. In addition to classic Yu-Gi-Oh! and Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, Dinosaur King is also now available on Hulu Plus. There’s no word yet whether any of 4Kids’ other shows will be joining them.
Tags: hulu, toonzaki
All 224 episodes of classic Yu-Gi-Oh! and 12 episodes of Yu-Gi-Oh! Capsule Monsters are now on Hulu, completing the uploading of the newly re-encoded videos! The 52 English-dubbed episodes of season 5, including the Capsule Monsters story arc sandwiched between episodes 14 and 27, first hit the popular video streaming service Monday morning, though with a few snags. Most issues seem to have been resolved since then, so check it out!
Toonzaki has also updated their video embeds, removing 4Kids’ older self-hosted encodes for the new higher-quality Hulu streams. This process has changed the URLs to the Yu-Gi-Oh! video pages on Toonzaki. I will be updating my indexes for the streaming Yu-Gi-Oh! and Yu-Gi-Oh! Capsule Monsters episodes to reflect the new links shortly.
Season 5 takes Yugi and his friends through the KC Grand Championship, to ancient Egypt in the world of the pharaoh’s memories, and culminates with the final battle ritual between Yugi and the pharaoh. Capsule Monsters is about monsters in capsules.
The Toonzaki crew has done a great job re-encoding and uploading this series to Hulu (and finishing ahead of schedule, no less!). They’ve also continually been hooking us up with anime from Crunchyroll, The Anime Network, Toei Animation, Manga Entertainment, and more. Why not drop by their Facebook page, “Like” them, and thank them for all of their hard work? The Toonzaki Fan Drive 2011 is still on!
- Classic Yu-Gi-Oh! on Hulu – Season 4