Anime video streaming and E-commerce platform Daisuki.net is officially open for business! The website kicks off with episodes of Lupin III, Mobile Suit Gundam Seed HD, Mobile Suit Z Gundam, The Prince of Tennis: The National Tournament, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, and Sword Art Online. As part of its launch, Daisuki is inviting anime fans to participate in its giveaways of anime-related goods and to vote in a series of surveys for the titles that they would like to watch. Thus far, One Piece is listed as an upcoming addition to the website.
Alongside the free anime episodes, Daisuki is also set to offer paid videos and anime products, though both of those sections on the website are currently empty. It remains to be seen whether Daisuki will offer a subscription model similar to Crunchyroll or Hulu. Its user’s guide briefly mentions the availability of “discount package plan[s].”
Daisuki was first announced at the end of February and is a product born from the collaboration of Japanese Yu-Gi-Oh! licensors Asatsu-DK (ADK) and Nihon Ad Systems (NAS) with Aniplex, Dentsu, Sunrise, TMS Entertainment, and Toei Animation. ADK and NAS together own a 39 percent stake in the company.
A representative of Daisuki will appear on AnimeNewsNetwork’s ANNCast podcast later this week in a 30-minute segment.
Japanese advertising agency and media production company Asatsu-DK (ADK) announced today that it and six other anime production studios have partnered up to launch Daisuki.net, an anime video streaming service and E-commerce platform for overseas markets. The website plans to stream popular titles like One Piece, Mobile Suit Gundam, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, and Prince of Tennis, as well as sell animation-related goods. The other entities participating in this endeavor are ADK’s wholly-owned subsidiary Nihon Ad Systems (NAS), Aniplex, Dentsu, Sunrise, TMS Entertainment, and Toei Animation.
In addition to delivering existing content, Daisuki also plans to stream new titles concurrently with their broadcasts in Japan and stage live events. Daisuki is scheduled to launch this April.
ADK and NAS, of course, are members of a consortium that own and control the rights to the Yu-Gi-Oh! brand and were plaintiffs in the Yu-Gi-Oh! lawsuit. There’s no word yet whether their prized and guarded Yu-Gi-Oh! anime series will make an appearance on Daisuki.
Naturally, there are many questions about which countries Daisuki will be available in and how it will interact with existing companies and platforms offering similar services. Stay tuned for more information!
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: cd, ost
Music for the ages.
Left: Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters: Duel Vocal Best!! (2005)
Right: Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters: Vocal Best!! (2012)
Hardcore fans of the original Japanese Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters anime know that the show’s full collection of opening and ending theme songs have only been published on one definitive album: Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters: Duel Vocal Best!! Released in 2005 by Marvelous Entertainment (now MarvelousAQL), the CD contains 11 tracks of full-length OP and ED goodness. Although other Yu-Gi-Oh! soundtracks had previously been released, none had a compilation of all the theme songs. These days, if you want to pick up a new, unopened copy of the CD, you’d have to fork over an exorbitant amount of money — sometimes more than $150. Ouch! What is a fan to do? If you missed out on buying that CD back then and don’t want to shell out all that cash now, you’re in luck…
Tomorrow, September 19, a new Yu-Gi-Oh! soundtrack hits the streets, complete with all of the Japanese opening and ending themes that you know and love. Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters: Vocal Best!! (notice the slightly different title) comes from MarvelousAQL and contains the same tracks as the 2005 album.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters: Vocal Best!! track list:
- “voice” – OP for episodes 1-48
- “An Energizing Shower” – ED for episodes 1-48
- “Shuffle” – OP for episodes 49-80
- “The Afternoon of That Day” – ED for episodes 49-80
- “WILD DRIVE” – OP for episodes 81-131
- “Paradise” – ED for episodes 81-131
- “WARRIORS” – OP for episodes 132-189
- “Overflowing Emotions Never Stop” – ED for episodes 132-189
- “Overlap” – OP for episodes 190-224
- “EYE’S” – ED for episodes 190-224
- “Fire” – ED for Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie: Pyramid of Light
The retail price for the CD is about $30.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters GX and Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s Fans, you haven’t been forgotten!
Also hitting the streets tomorrow are Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters GX: Vocal Best!! and Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s: Vocal Best!!, both from MarvelousAQL. The two albums contain eight and 13 tracks, respectively.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters GX: Vocal Best!! track list:
- “Fine Weather · Rising · Hallelujah” – OP for episodes 1-33
- “Borderline Battle” – ED for episodes 1-33
- “99%” – OP for episodes 34-104
- “Wake Up Your Heart” – ED for episodes 34-104
- “Teardrop” – OP for episodes 105-156
- “Sun” – ED for episodes 105-156
- “Precious Time, Glory Days” – OP for episodes 157-180
- “Endless Dream” – ED for episodes 157-180
Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s: Vocal Best!! track list:
- “Bonds” – OP for episodes 1-26
- “START” – ED for episodes 1-26
- “LAST TRAIN -New Morning-” – OP for episodes 27-64
- “CROSS GAME” – ED for episodes 27-64
- “FREEDOM” – OP for episodes 65-103
- “-OZONE-” – ED for episodes 65-103
- “BELIEVE IN NEXUS” – OP for episodes 104-129
- “Close to you” – ED for episodes 104-129
- “Road to Tomorrow ~Going My Way!!~” – OP for episodes 130-153
- “Future Colors” – ED for episodes 130-154
- “You Say… To Tomorrow” – Insert song in episodes 72, 90, and 92
- “Clear Mind” – Insert song in episodes 109, 110, 122, 129, 134, and 154
- “The Melody of Promises” – Insert song in episode 154
All eight GX tracks and the first six 5D’s tracks had previously been compiled in Marvelous Entertainment’s 2009 album Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters: Duel Vocal Best!! 2.
Each of these CDs retails for about $30 as well.
Where To Buy?
All of the CDs are available for purchase from Japanese vendors like Amazon Japan, Neowing, and HMV Japan, and from English-speaking vendors like CD Japan (Neowing’s sister website), YesAsia, and Play-Asia.
The Japan-based anime goods retailer Animate is offering an exclusive storage box for buyers who purchase all three CDs in one order. Sadly, Animate doesn’t ship internationally, though there are some third-party services out there that can buy on your behalf and ship to you for a fee.
Regardless of who you buy from, the first pressing of each of the three albums contains a limited edition sticker. Snatch them up while supplies last!
(Note: The vendors’ links are provided as a convenience. I do not endorse or recommend any particular vendor.)
Tags: hulu, toonzaki
Rejoice, fans of Japanese-language Yu-Gi-Oh! episodes. Your cries for subtitled Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal episodes have been heard. 4Kids had been teasing fans with plans of speedy releases of Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal subbed. There was even a big ad campaign on Anime News Network last weekend that mentioned it. And now, it’s here!
Update (October 18): The English-dubbed version of Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal is now also up. Huzzah!
Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL, the upcoming new Yu-Gi-Oh! anime series, is coming to Crunchyroll! (Note: Nope, it doesn’t look like it. See the updates below.) A trailer for the fourth Yu-Gi-Oh! series (currently titled “Zearu” rather than “Zexal”) is available for viewing on the popular anime simulcast and streaming website. The show has yet to be officially announced on Crunchyroll’s spring lineup.
Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL premieres at 7:30 pm (JST) on Monday, April 11 in Japan. There’s currently no word when the series will make its debut on Crunchyroll. Other CR simulcasts are made available to their Premium Anime Membership users an hour after the show ends in Japan. General access to the episodes are then granted one week later. There is also no word whether the show will be added to Toonzaki.
Great news for Yu-Gi-Oh! fans? Definitely! But for Crunchyroll? Maybe not so much. Early last week, a whole slew of titles from their upcoming spring lineup was already leaked on their iOS app. Be careful, Crunchyroll. Don’t get into trouble with the licensors!
Update: After talking to some kind folks much more knowledgeable about anime and Crunchyroll than I am, I’m thinking that I should not have written so decisively about this announcement. Crunchyroll may or may not be carrying Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL this spring. The only way to really know is to wait for their announcements! Oh, Crunchyroll. You and your “leaks” and red-herrings! Honest mistakes, or marketing savvy? I wasn’t even paying that much attention to their announcements, but now I feel like I’ve been coaxed into following their growing vortex of anime releases, just to see if Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL makes it. Well played, CR!
Update #2 (March 31): There’s just one slot left in their spring lineup (unless Crunchyroll pulls a fast one and adds more). C’mon, Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL, get on there! These are uncertain times! Give fans some reassurance that the franchise will be okay!
Update #3 (April 1): Unfortunately, it looks like Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL won’t be making it onto Crunchyroll’s lineup. Early yesterday evening, the trailer for the new series, along with those of several other shows that were not picked up by CR, was removed from the website. Although there has been delay in announcing their final spring title, it does not appear that the fourth Yu-Gi-Oh! series will be selected.
While this news is disappointing in and of itself, the haplessness of this situation has been further heightened by the revelation that the Japanese producers of the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime have terminated their licensing agreements with 4Kids and are suing the American company. Before news of this lawsuit came to light, the absence of a Yu-Gi-Oh! simulcast on CR would have been disheartening, but ultimately not that big of a deal. Now, all things considered, the entire future of the global Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise could be in peril. For fans who only wanted a little reassurance that control of the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime is in stable hands, CR has sadly not been able to deliver any comfort. It thus remains unclear what sort of presence Yu-Gi-Oh! will have outside of Japan in the immediate future.
With regard to Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL’s future, there are now two basic scenarios that are possible. The first, and likely the most ideal, is that 4Kids Entertainment already secured the rights to the show before this entire lawsuit debacle ensued. Because 4Kids fully disputes the claims made by the Japanese licensors, 4Kids has no reason to alter its management of the Yu-Gi-Oh! property; everything is still business as usual. If this is the case, the new series would still be produced and broadcast following whatever plans 4Kids already has or will develop. Nothing would change unless the court intervenes.
While there have been a few clues that this first scenario is perhaps already in place (I’ll discuss this further in a later post), the obvious snag is that 4Kids itself has not announced or even alluded to their ownership of that show’s rights. Without hearing it straight from the horse’s mouth, fans have essentially nothing concrete to reassure them that Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL will have a presence outside of Japan.
The second scenario is that 4Kids was unable to secure the rights to the new series. If true, this, put simply, could be disastrous. The Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise must have a television presence to thrive. It needs someone to market the show to reach the eyes and ears of as many fans, new and old, as possible across the globe. Without this, the franchise is all but done for.
Of course, if this second scenario is true, the Japanese licensors won’t just let the property die. They will find someone else to take the reins and grow the franchise. Regardless of who that might be, ironing out a new deal will eat up valuable time and resources on all sides. This could not come at a worse time. The Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise is at such a crucial turning point in its history. A new television series is about to start up and there are products tied in with the series that are soon to be released. Any delay at all in transitioning the property to a new licensee will damage the health of the franchise. Most notably, a lack of a presence in the public eye will decrease its value. And again, the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise needs this presence. Unfortunately, there already is a delay: the lawsuit is eating up resources that could be otherwise be pumped back into the franchise.
These are uncertain times for Yu-Gi-Oh! fans. Crunchyroll wasn’t able to ease our anxieties. And sadly, because of how slowly big business and the legal system move, we may not receive any definite answers to our growing questions for quite a while. Ultimately, we can only wait and hope that all the parties make the best decisions possible for the longevity Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise.
If you like trading card games and are looking for something different, consider checking out Cardfight!! Vanguard, a new anime series coming to TV sets across Japan this weekend and being simulcast on Crunchyroll. The show will follow the story of Aichi Sendou, a timid but kind-hearted student whose life is changed by a card game called Vanguard. The stage of Vanguard is the planet Klay, a world where magic and science meld, and gods, demons, dragons, and fairies roam.
Crunchyroll users with a Premium Anime Membership can watch the new episodes as early as 7:30 pm EST on Fridays — one hour after the show ends in Japan. The episodes are accessible to everyone else after one week. Streaming begins this Friday evening, January 7.
Of course, trading card games are a dime a dozen and I wouldn’t even be mentioning this if it didn’t have some connection to Yu-Gi-Oh! (besides the obvious). The original concept for Cardfight!! Vanguard comes in part from Akira Itou, who authored the Yu-Gi-Oh! R manga. Itou is also working on the manga adaptation of this new series. Hatsuki Tsuji, who served as storyboarder and animation director for several episodes of Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters, director for the Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters: Pyramid of Light movie, and series director for Yu-Gi-Oh Duel Monsters GX, will straddle the director’s seat for this series as well.
Cardfight!! Vanguard was first introduced at the International Tokyo Toy Show 2010 last summer. The real-life card game will be debuting in Japan in late February with the release of two theme decks, followed by the first booster packs in March. Throughout January and February, hobby stores across Japan will be holding exhibitions to introduce people to the game. Informational TV and Internet radio programs, complete with interviews and news about the game, will also be broadcast.
Will Cardfight!! Vanguard be the next big one to watch? Or will it fall by the wayside like so many other TCG properties?
Early details about the fourth series of Yu-Gi-Oh! have emerged! Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal will debut in the spring of 2011 on TV Tokyo! A manga version of the new series will also begin serialization at the same time.
Taking place in the near future, Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal (pronounced like “Zale,” as in the name of the popular jewelry retailer) will follow students Yuuma Tsukumo and Ryouga Kamishiro, along with a mysterious being named Astral who appears during the pair’s duel.
Kazuki Takahashi is credited with the series’ original concept and character designs.
These latest revelations are thanks to a few early scans of the upcoming issue of V Jump magazine, via ANN. Initial details about the production of a new Yu-Gi-Oh! series were previously announced in Weekly Shounen Jump magazine, and further details are set to be released in February.
Some fans are already proclaiming Yuuma (遊馬), the protagonist of the new story, to be a fusion (or love child?!) of Yuugi (遊戯) and Kaiba (海馬). Please, no. Little Kuriboh, meanwhile, notes that “Zaxel” is more like “a bad scrabble hand.”
A fourth Yu-Gi-Oh! series is in the works! Production of the new series will be formally announced at a special encore screening of the Yu-Gi-Oh! 10th anniversary movie on February 20, 2011 in Yokohama, Japan.
Another Yu-Gi-Oh! series?! Gasp. Who didn’t see this coming? How are they going to outdo “card games on motorcycles”?