Tags: nicktoons, toonzai, toonzaki, vortexx
After months of stagnation, anime video portal Toonzaki.com has finally updated its Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s and Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal offerings to include the latest episodes. It’s about time! Uploads of new subbed episodes of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s and dubbed and subbed episodes of Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal had resumed on Hulu back in January, but Toonzaki’s feeds had curiously stopped refreshing to display the latest videos until now.
Toonzaki has also patched up its many missing images and broken links, and has picked up several more shows from Crunchyroll, including Fate/Zero, Polar Bear Cafe, Space Brothers, and Sword Art Online. How many new titles can you spot?
Toonzaki had been heavily neglected since mid-2012 after the Yu-Gi-Oh! lawsuit wound down and 4Kids’ properties were changing hands. The site has even gone completely dark on a few occasions, most recently in late March. On Facebook, the Toonzaki crew remained optimistic and has long talked about improving its services, even mentioning a relaunch. In their most recent posts, they’ve casually discussed a “new Toonzaki” and offering “better functionality and more/new shows.”
With the launch of the Japanese-run anime video portal Daisuki.net right around the corner, the Toonzaki crew has picked a good time to polish their website and make sure it remains in the running to continually draw the attention of casual anime seekers.
Yu-Gi-Oh! on MyVortexx.com
Over on MyVortexx.com, the official website of Saban’s Saturday morning Vortexx block, links to the dedicated pages for Classic Yu-Gi-Oh! and Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal were finally set up in late March. When MyVortexx was revamped back in mid-February, both shows were missing from the website’s “Shows” page.
If you had noted my not-so-subtle hint and snooped around however, you would have discovered that pages for both shows had actually already been set up at the time MyVortexx’s new look was unveiled. The other main MyVortexx pages had simply not linked to them, for whatever reason.
So what’s new? Since then, the pages have seen the addition of the shows’ full episodes — most notably the subbed Japanese Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal videos. While this might not seem like a big deal to longtime Yu-Gi-Oh! fans, by deciding to post these videos, Saban has taken a momentous step forward. Younger Vortexx viewers, or other Vortexx fans who are browsing the website and who might not be as well-versed about what sorts of Yu-Gi-Oh! media are available out there, now have a chance to stumble upon the Japanese episodes and enlighten themselves with a slew of original uncut videos. Although official Japanese Yu-Gi-Oh! episodes have been around for a few years now, they had never previously been included side-by-side with other Saturday morning shows on Toonzai and 4Kids.TV’s websites.
Unfortunately, MyVortexx’s redesign suffers from a usability issue similar to that which plagued 4Kids.TV/Toonzai when that website was revamped in September 2010: its design is simply not suitable for linking to and posting full episodes. The organization of the videos is an absolute mess. Episodes aren’t numbered and aren’t listed in their proper orders, and dubbed and subbed episodes are all jumbled together.
4KidsTV/Toonzai eventually improved its layout to better accommodate its video listings. Will MyVortexx do the same?
The Last Traces of Toonzai Vanish
Speaking of Toonzai, the Facebook page of the former Saturday morning anime block managed by 4Kids was finally shuttered on March 22 — a little over seven months after its final broadcast. The last two wall posts were made on March 11 and directed fans to the official Yu-Gi-Oh! Facebook page and Toonzaki’s Facebook page.
Toonzai’s Facebook page was never very popular or heavily promoted. During its final days, it had a mere 691 Likes. Nevertheless, it was a window to an increasingly disregarded Saturday morning animation haven that many cherished, and it and the lifestyle the block embodied will be missed.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal to Premiere on Nicktoons This Friday
Let’s end on a happier note: Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal will be premiering on Nicktoons this Friday, April 12 at 9:00 pm EDT!
The newest series in the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise joins Classic Yu-Gi-Oh!, which premiered on the Viacom-owned cable network on March 11 and now airs seven days a week.
Tags: blip.tv, littlekuriboh
“Here we are at new episode release.” At MomoCon this past weekend, Little Kuriboh premiered the third episode of Yu-Gi-Oh! Season Zero Abridged, a tale of horrific violence, torture, death, and YouTube copyright violations! Yesterday evening, he uploaded the video for the rest of the world to enjoy! It’s only on Blip.tv (for now), so go check it out!
Episode 3 is also available for download in MP4 and M4V formats. (There’s no AVI file available this time.)
Another Anime Convention Update: Another Anime Convention
Little Kuriboh has added yet another stop to his ever-growing schedule of 2013 anime convention visits: Another Anime Convention (yes, that’s the name of the con!). As a guest at the Manchester, New Hampshire event, LK will share the stage with several other personalities from the anime industry, including J. Michael Tatum, Michele Knotz, Troy Baker, and Stephanie Young. AAC will take place from October 18 through 20.
Adding to his previous con announcements, LK has also revealed that he will participate in panels at Sakura-Con in Seattle, Washington (March 29 through 31) and Anime Expo in Los Angeles, California (July 4 through 7).
CardGamesFTW: Banned Again
As you’ve probably already noticed, Little Kuriboh’s primary YouTube channel, CardGamesFTW, has been suspended yet again. Sigh. This stopped being newsworthy after the third or so incident, but someone has to keep track of this nonsense! The channel was slapped with multiple copyright infringement claims on February 24 and was then terminated on February 25.
“The bad news is that YouTube just took down my YouTube account for the 45th time,” LK joked on Facebook. “I managed to counter claim some of the videos that got hit, so with any luck it’ll go back up in a week or two.” Curiously, LK did not receive any notices from YouTube when his videos were yanked, or after his account had been taken down.
Update (March 18): CardGamesFTW was unsuspended earlier today. Yay!
Update (April 4): Season Zero Abridged #3 is now on YouTube!
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!
Tags: blip.tv, littlekuriboh, youtube
Little Kuriboh has uploaded YGOTAS episode 58, titled “Desperately Dueling Susan,” on YouTube and Blip.tv. Yay! Episode 58 was previewed during LK’s charity live stream last Saturday, where the IRC chat clung on to mentions of card game hell and Mokusoft and baa’d at those annoying Scapegoats.
The final version of the episode is nearly identical to the previewed version, other than a few video edits and the addition of background music and effects. The only notable differences in the final version are the timing in Tristan’s CPR scene and the inclusion of the stinger and bloopers at the end.
Earlier this week, LK also uploaded YGOTAS Episode 2 – The Vagina Monologues, which he performed for the first time ever during the live stream. (Sadly, the YouTube upload was hit by an automated copyright claim, but I’m sure it’ll be back later.) The video was edited by RebornZombie and takes the audio straight from the live performance. The only thing that might have made the episode even better is if the video footage from his performance were overlaid in a corner. The laughs in the background came from voice actor Erin Fitzgerald’s, whose reactions during the monologue were priceless.
LK’s original Vagina Monologues recording took place on the Wha-Chow! podcast way back in 2010, but still remains one of his most memorable performances.
Update (December 16): Aaaaand there goes LK’s channel. If you’re still keeping track, this is now the ninth time the CardGamesFTW channel has been terminated thanks to those copyright infringement-sniffing “bots.” The last time it happened was on July 29, 2012. YouTube later restored his account on August 7. LK had already filed a counter-notification a few days ago for two videos that were wrongfully removed. Once that’s been processed, I’d imagine that his account will be restored once again.
Card Games For Charity #6 Highlights: Live Auctions, YGOTAS Episode 58, Bald Kuriboh, Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal L.A. DubDecember 9, 2012 at 11:48 pm | Posted in Other Stuff, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Yu-Gi-Oh: The Abridged Series | 4 Comments
Tags: auction, littlekuriboh, twitch.tv
It’s hard to tell from this image, but LK is actually smiling.
A huge congratulations goes out to Little Kuriboh, whose Card Games For Charity #6 live stream event yesterday raised $15,642.58 for Hurricane Sandy relief! The total makes CGFC 6 the most successful charity event yet, surpassing the $11.8K total achieved by CGFC 4 in April 2011.
CGFC 6, which lasted over 13 straight hours and had 16 guests (12 in person visiting LK and Marianne’s home, four calling in over Skype), had over 1,000 viewers and 800 participants in the accompanying IRC chat at its peak. Many more participants came and went throughout the day.
In addition to organizing 12 eBay auctions for CGFC 6, LK and Marianne held 55 live auctions over the course of the live stream, with bidding being held in the IRC chat. The very first item auctioned off, a pack of Nyan Cat wrapping paper, also had the distinction of being the most expensive item, being sold for $1,000. The next highest winning bid was for the Battle City story arc Yu-Gi-Oh! Duelist manga at $280. Overall, the live auctions ran quite smoothly given the hundreds of potential bidders in the chat, with only six re-auctions needing to take place due to non-paying bidders. All eBay auction winners paid within five hours of the auctions’ end, surely a welcome sight for LK.
The entire CGFC 6 live stream video has been saved and is available for streaming on LK’s Twitch.tv account. For those of you who want to follow the action in the IRC chat as you watch the video, a log of the entire event is available for download thanks to the always generous Fox.
Below are some highlights for Yu-Gi-Oh! and Yu-Gi-Oh! Abridged fans.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Abridged Episode 58 Previewed, The Vagina Monologues Return
YGOTAS fans rejoiced when Little Kuriboh offered to show a preview of episode 58 if they reached $5,000 in donations. Thanks to the generosity of many, the milestone was reached less than three hours into the live stream. The new episode features the duel between Melvin and
Susan Joey, the return of Espa Roba’s baby, and the rise and fall of Mokuba’s company, Mokusoft. LK would replay the episode two more times before the live stream concluded.
In addition to showing YGOTAS episode 58, LK also performed, for the first time ever, the Vagina Monologues version of episodes 2 and 3. (LK actually asked if anyone would have any moral objections to his readings. I’m pretty sure his fans would only be offended if he didn’t do the readings!) Episode 2 was made considerably more hilarious thanks to voice actor guest Erin Fitzgerald, who laughed uncontrollably while LK deadpanned his performance.
Little Kuriboh Shaves His Head
In what is perhaps the crowning moment of CGFC 6, Little Kuriboh had his head shaved live when the donation total reached $9,001. They hit the mark while Kyle Hebert (the voice of adult Gohan and the narrator in Dragon Ball Z) was visiting, just as LK had hoped for. Hebert offered to buzz off LK’s hair, though he later noted that he had never given anyone a haircut before. (Good thing they weren’t using a razor!)
“Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god,” LK wept as the clippers ran over his head. The IRC chat went crazy as each strand of hair dropped to the floor. It was the first time LK had ever shaved his head. The funny thing was that LK had just paid for a haircut before doing the live stream!
The Other Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal English Dub
Among the guests of the live stream was Kristi Reed, a veteran of the anime and video game industries for over 10 years and who directed and wrote Durarara!! and Persona 4: The Animation. Reed provided some insight into the much whispered-about Los Angeles dub of Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal, clips of which have only been shown at Armageddon Expo 2012 in Melbourne and Auckland.
Prior to the conclusion of the Yu-Gi-Oh! lawsuit last year, the Japanese licensors of Yu-Gi-Oh! were confident of their chances at triumphing in court and taking back the rights to the franchise. Ignoring the court’s warnings not to exercise the rights to a product that it hadn’t yet secured, ADK proceeded to produce its own version of Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal. ADK tapped Reed to direct the series with an L.A.-based cast, including Johnny Yong Bosch (Yuma), Vic Mignogna (Shark), Richard Cansino (Bronk), Cassandra Morris, Sam Riegel, and Liam O’Brien. After nine months, the result was a full-fledged product that was ready for the airwaves.
“We cast it, we recorded up to 26 episodes of it, we stripped out the music, completely recomposed to picture with two amazing composers, re-sound designed it, reanimated some sequences, and it was one of the most big-budgeted things I’ve ever worked on as far as anime goes,” Reed explained. Oh, and Yuma actually says “Kattobing” in this version, haha.
Dissatisfied with 4Kids’ work and not wanting to do business with it any more, ADK bent over backwards to make sure the L.A. team did well and were happy working on Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal. Reed described how ADK sent the L.A. team hard drives full of all of the animation layers and After Effect files, giving the American producers full rein to easily edit the video as they needed. Did they want to fix the mouth flaps to better fit the English dialogue? No problem! Did they need to edit an image so the network censors didn’t get on their case? Simple!
Within the American anime production industry, obtaining such resources from the Japanese studios is completely unheard of. The studios are very protective of their properties (and who wouldn’t be?) and licensees regularly need to adapt within the confines of the animation as it is presented.
Of course, we know how the lawsuit ultimately turned out. The Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal anime by 4Kids and Konami with the New York-based cast remains the de facto version of the show, while the version with the L.A.-based cast gathers dust inside a box.
The fun’s not done yet! As Little Kuriboh promised, for every $2,000 raised, one person in the live stream would have to take part in the Orochon Ramen “Special Number 2″ challenge, a punishment to the human digestive system made famous by Man v. Food on the Travel Channel.
Tomorrow, LK, Marianne, Erin Fitzgerald, Kaiji Tang, and some other unfortunate folks will each attempt to down one large bowl of ramen seasoned with a top secret, painfully-hot spice mix. Their adventure will be filmed and uploaded so that the rest of the world can relish in their misery.
But it’s all good, because it’s all for charity!
It’s time to duel!
A belated “Happy Thanksgiving” to everyone! I hope you all had an enjoyable weekend with your family and friends. Earlier today, Toonzaki.com, the anime video streaming portal previously managed by 4Kids (and now by Konami), came back online. Also making their glorious return were Toonzaki’s Hulu embeds of all of the Yu-Gi-Oh! episodes, as well as the videos from the Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, 5D’s, and Zexal series. Hooray!
All of the Yu-Gi-Oh! episodes had abruptly been removed in late August. Their disappearance was followed by two brief notices on Facebook about Toonzaki’s transition. The entire Toonzaki website then went offline at the beginning of this month.
The Toonzaki crew notes that the website will be relaunching early next year.
Tags: anime convention, blip.tv, littlekuriboh, youtube
Gah! Spoilers in the new intro! Sexy spoilers! But spoilers nonetheless!
I spy with my little eye something beginning with the letter oh mai gawd it’s a new episode! That’s right! Youmacon 2012 wrapped up last weekend and Little Kuriboh is at last back at home and has uploaded Yu-Gi-Oh! Abridged episode 57! Yugi, Kaiba, and the rest of the gang have finally left Noah and the virtual world. Now, on to the Battle City semifinals and the remainder of season 3! Check out “Reservoir Steves,” streaming on both YouTube and Blip.tv. Also available for direct download are the AVI, M4V, and MP4 versions.
If an October Tumblr post is of any indication, LK struggled a lot writing this episode, as seems to be the trend with many of his other recent episodes. Nevertheless, his hard work looks to have paid off.
“The positive response to the new ep makes me eager to release 58, which I personally like a lot more so far,” he tweeted.
Now then, when are we going to start seeing fan art of a grinning Marik caressing the hair of an unhappy Bakura while sitting in a swivel chair?
Anime Convention Update: 2013 and Beyond
It’s been over two months since I last wrote about Little Kuriboh and his future anime convention stops. Since then, LK has revealed that he will be guesting in Texas twice in 2013! First up is A-Kon 24, which will take place in Dallas between May 31 and June 2. Then, LK will make a return appearance at San Japan 6 in San Antonio from August 16 to 18.
And although he won’t be a guest at the next Anime Expo, LK has noted that he will be still attending the event, to be held over the July 4 holiday weekend in Los Angeles.
It’s hard to believe, but even though 2013 isn’t even here yet, LK has already confirmed several guest appearances for 2014! Aww, how could he tease us like this? It’ll probably be a long wait before any of those are announced. I’ll think of a better way to keep track of all of LK’s convention announcements for next year and beyond, I promise.
LK has one last con appearance in 2012 at Pacific Media Expo, which kicks off later today. As an industry guest, LK will be holding a focus panel on Saturday.