[4Kids-Toonzaki] Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s: “Card Games on Motorcycles”?

October 18, 2010 at 1:04 pm | Posted in Other Stuff, Yu-Gi-Oh: The Abridged Series | Leave a comment
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Varon scoffs at the possibility that Jounouchi might succeed in his duel in episode 153
“Humph. Why’d they tow my motorcycle?”

Whenever 4Kids and a certain Yu-Gi-Oh!-related fanbase interact, you know the day’s going to be another one for the books. Apparently, I wasn’t the only person who thought it’d be funny if Toonzaki used “Cards Games on Motorcycles!” as a tagline for Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s on its homepage…

Yesterday afternoon, Little Kuriboh also picked up the news that Toonzaki was welcoming submissions of fun, sarcastic taglines for their shows. But like in a game of Telephone, LK mistakenly (or perhaps intentionally) called the announcement a “contest” with a possibility that “Card Games on Motorcycles!” be adopted by Toonzaki if it amassed enough votes. Shortly after, helixD got word of LK’s Tweets and posted about this “campaign” on the YGOTAS Facebook page. You can probably guess what has happened since then.

Within only a few hours, an otherwise inconspicuous wall post on Toonzaki’s Facebook page was completely inundated with requests that “CARD GAMES ON MOTORCYCLES” be used to promote Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s. Go ahead and scroll down that page. Your eyes will glaze over!

Toonzaki was quick to respond with its own message: they’re already using a similar tagline for that anime! Bummer. “Strap on your helmets – it’s dueling on motorcycles! (Seriously, strap on your helmets. It’s the law.)” is its current promo line. Not ungrateful for the attention, Toonzaki added that they’d “take the buzz anytime” and, in good humor, set up their first poll: “What promo line do you want to see for Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s?” Choose carefully! The poll ends in two days.

LK’s fanbase has not been deterred. As of this writing, over 400 comments have been left on Toonzaki’s original announcement post, almost all requesting “CARD GAMES ON MOTORCYCLES” or some variation thereof. A few dozen more comments are scattered in other recent posts on their wall. At least the fans have the decency(?) not to assault the Facebook page by posting inappropriate stuff.

After some thought, perhaps it’s wise for Toonzaki not to borrow a line from a fandom that uses official video of their properties without permission. Toonzaki probably doesn’t want to unintentionally imply any sort of association with them. Nor would they want to suggest that they can be unduly influenced by them, regardless of how much fun the YGOTAS fandom would have with the result. After all, the fandom’s excitement comes from wanting to see 4Kids adopt one of their catchphrases, not so much from making a genuine contribution for Toonzaki’s welfare or from enjoying the actual anime.

Still, there’s nothing inherently wrong with the “Card Games on Motorcycles!” tagline. Though simplistic, it doesn’t seem overly demeaning to the show. It makes sense as a standalone, but also has value as an inside joke without being offensive. Perhaps a compromise could be to adopt it as one of many taglines for the show, all used in rotation. Toonzaki never did state that each show must only have one tagline.

One definite plus that has come from all of this is the exposure of Toonzaki to a flood of new faces. If the accumulation of fans on their Facebook page is of any indication, Toonzaki’s popularity has, up until now, grown slowly but steadily, all with little to no advertising. But in the 24 or so hours since Little Kuriboh first made his Tweets, Toonzaki’s number of fans has close to doubled!

Could this be the big boost in its user base that Toonzaki needs for its services to really get on the map? Only the Toonzaki crew knows if these events have translated into more traffic for the young video portal. There is certainly an overlap between LK’s fan base, anime fans, and U.S. residents. If some of them become familiar with and begin to use Toonzaki, and maybe even like it enough to share it, then greater good will have come from all this. As I mentioned back when Toonzaki first launched (near the bottom of that post), the direction this website goes lies very much in the hands of its users. The possibilities of more video content — and exclusive video content — can only happen if we continue to use and support it!

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