Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS Simulcast Begins: Everything You Need to Know

June 7, 2017 at 8:00 am | Posted in Japanese, Konami, VRAINS, Yu-Gi-Oh! | 10 Comments
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Close-up of Playmaker in Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 5

The first-ever Yu-Gi-Oh! simulcast is here! 4K Media and Crunchyroll’s Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS simulcast kicked off today with episode 5. Whether you are new to simulcasts, to Crunchyroll, or even to anime in general, here is everything that you need to know about this new streaming initiative.

New episodes of Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS premiere on Crunchyroll every Wednesday at 6:55 am ET/3:55 am PT. That’s exactly one hour after the broadcast of the new episode in Japan on TV Tokyo. Crunchyroll’s other simulcasts follow this same release time frame.

Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS is uncut and unedited, in Japanese with English subtitles. You are watching the same video that Japanese viewers watched. This really should go without saying, but 4K Media isn’t editing the video before it goes live on Crunchyroll. There’s no time for that anyway!

Yu-Gi-Oh! viewers in the West who watch their episodes on TV and home video are probably used to seeing a polished final product. But in Japan, TV anime are produced under tight deadlines; new episodes are sometimes completed and delivered to broadcasters mere hours before they air. In the rush to meet their deadlines, sometimes the production staff don’t have the time to do everything that they want to do. Animated sequences might be incomplete. Designs might look a little off model. Mistakes might slip through. What viewers see on TV and in a simulcast often isn’t the final version of the episode. So don’t fret if things don’t look as good as you expect. The animators will clean up the episodes for their reruns and home video releases.

Speaking of incompleteness, Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS has the distinction of having some rather special subtitles. Because of how far ahead of the Western Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG market this show is airing, there are cards present that don’t yet have official English names when the episodes are first picked up. The subtitles mark such cards by italicizing their translated (but unofficial) names. One example is Go Onizuka’s monster Gouki Headbutt (Gouki Heddobatto in Japanese), which saw its name in italics when it first appears in episode 4. By the time episode 5 came around, its official English name is revealed to be Gouki Headbatt. Look for these new cards and their official English names beginning this summer when they roll out in the West.

The newest episode is available exclusively to Crunchyroll premium members for one week. This is true not only for Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS, but for the vast majority of CR’s simulcasts. Non-premium members can still watch simulcast episodes after the exclusivity period for free with ads. If you’re not a premium member, why not consider joining? For the price of a cup of coffee and a dessert, you get to watch simulcasts the day they premiere in HD, indulge in CR’s library of manga and simulpubs, and enjoy discounts on anime goods in CR’s store. The anime and manga industries and their content creators thank you for your support!

Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS is available worldwide, except to viewers in Australia, Canada, France, Italy, San Marino, Vatican City, and most of Asia. 4K Media’s Yu-Gi-Oh! license doesn’t include Asia, so that’s to be expected. As for the other countries, many astute fans have noted that these are also the countries where Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V has or had a television presence. Perhaps a licensing deal is already in the works with broadcasters in these countries that would nix a stream on Crunchyroll. Ah, the joys of international licensing.

That’s all for now! I hope you support and enjoy 4K Media and Crunchyroll’s Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS simulcast.


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  1. This is stupid, why Italy can’t watch it just becasue we have an *ARC-V* dub? Especially since it’s on hold since December???

  2. Well, I don’t for sure that that is the reason why you can’t watch it. That’s only a guess. Maybe 4K Media and K2 are trying to make a deal (or have already reached a deal), and that deal requires that VRAINS not already be made available in Italy. A new TV show is much more valuable to a network than a show that people have already seen elsewhere. Again, this is just one possibility. We’ll never know the true reason unless we get to see the contracts 4K Media and other licensees are drawing up.

  3. Funny that Germany was not excluded together with the countries mentioned, since the ARC-V is also well under way there.

    Changing the subject, do you know anything about the new ARC-V dubbed episodes?

  4. Great point about Germany. So there’s probably something else going on that we don’t know about. As for the ARC-V dub, Billy Bob Thompson and Matt Shipman both recently pointed out that they’re not done recording yet. Oliver Wyman has recorded at least “4 or 5 episodes” as of last month. And Daniel J. Edwards might have gone in to record three weeks ago. So it appears that the dubbing is ongoing, but who knows when it will be finished and released.

  5. In Germany, Arc-V isn’t exactly doing well though. It frequently had unusually low audience shares, and it currently appears to have been cancelled at ep. 90 without even finishing the second season. Who knows whether VRAINS will be dubbed at all.

  6. So that was it? Interesting to know! It is worth mentioning that the ARC-V there in Germany went through two different TV stations: ProsiebenMAXX (which featured and still reprises the Season 1) and Nickelodeon (who acquired Season 2). The first one still lists all the previous animes of the franchise on your site, so why did not she get the Season 2?
    As for the Season 3 of the ARC-V, according to Wikia, is scheduled to start on June 23 in Canada by Teletoon, and episode 100 is titled as “The Cipher Hunter, Part 1”. Considering that June 9th aired the episode 95, and it seems that the display remains constant (1 per week), would you know anything?

  7. Someone added that June 23 date a few months ago, but you’ll notice that they did not cite a source. Don’t believe everything you read in the Wikia, especially if there is no source provided. Case in point, Matt Shipman said in a May interview on the Everything Geek Podcast that almost all of the English voice actors listed in the Wikia for the season 3 characters are wrong. (That show is streamed live so unfortunately I have no link to the interview, but he did say it.) Watch out when getting info from the Wikia.

  8. OK! The information was really weird, that’s why I asked you about it. Because by my calculations and knowing that Teletoon splice one season in the other, (if I’m not mistaken), episode 100 will only debut on July 14.

  9. 4K Media’s Yu-Gi-Oh! license doesn’t include Asia, so that’s to be expected.

    Hey, ravegrl! When the western company bought the rights anime and tokusatsu series such as Yu-Gi-Oh!, Pokémon (Pocket Monsters in Japan, South Korea and Chinese-speaking countries), Digimon, Ultraman, Pretty Cure, Bakugan Battle Brawlers, Beyblade, B-Daman, etc for worldwide release except Asian countries. Why the western licensors does not include anime and tokusatsu series for Asian countires? What does that mean in the context?

  10. That’s simply how the deals that the licensors made with the Western companies are structured. As you’ve pointed out, it is very, very common for licensors to exclude Asia. Maybe the licensors already have partners or subsidiaries in Asia and don’t need the help of the Western companies in that region. That’s a question to ask the licensors.

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