Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal Premieres October 15 on the CW4Kids Toonzai

September 27, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Posted in 4Kids, English dubbed, Yu-Gi-Oh!, ZEXAL | 5 Comments
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Screenshot from the Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal teaser

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!


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  1. I was a little upset when they ended 5ds early for that Tai chi chasers show, but this is great news.

    Oh and something interesting to note, if you live in canada and get digital cable, you can see Yugioh and ZEXAL on the CW, then watch 5ds on YTV.

  2. I don’t know if Tai Chi Chasers played a role in ending 5D’s early. Actually, we really can’t really say for certain why 4Kids made that decision, but a rep did leave a comment on Facebook, saying to “check the ratings, not a lot of kids watched it.” He or she stops short of actually confirming that that was the reason though.
    And how lucky for you Canadians, getting to see three Yu-Gi-Oh! series on TV! :D

  3. I’m very excited to see ZEXAL! They were announcing voice actors on the Toonzaki Facebook page and even posted some short clips up on the 4Kids website now. Wasn’t too fond of the theme song, but it’s growing on me. I have to say that the voice acting from what I heard was a huge improvement over 5D’s… even though I thought the voice acting in 5D’s was excellent, too. =) Yuma sounds absolutely adorable and his English voice really fits him! I can’t wait to see more!

  4. YES finally we’re getting Zexal!! Man we’re waiting so long for it lol.

    But what about the lawsuit. So you mean they didn’t win but they get to keep Zexal?

  5. No, no. I brought up those two points because I wanted to preemptively address the two big questions that I knew would be asked after this Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal news surfaced: (1) Did 4Kids “win” the lawsuit? (2) What happens to the Yu-Gi-Oh! property if 4Kids “loses” the lawsuit? (Or, as might be asked by some of the more cynical individuals: What’s the point of working on Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal if 4Kids is going to lose the rights anyway?)

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