The holder of the Japanese rights to YuGiOh â€” TV Tokyo Corp and Nihon Ad Systems â€” has nixed its deal with 4Kids Entertainment alleging the company struck secret deals to defraud the Japanese companies of anime profits. Oh snap!
Let me explain a bit further.Â 4Kids is the U.S. company who gets the rights to Japanese anime and dubs it so it can be aired on U.S. television.Â For hits like YuGiOh, the Hollywood Reporter.com reports that 4Kids Ent made more than $152 million over 8 years which included merchandising related to the anime series.
So what happened?Â TV Tokyo and Nihon Ad Sys filed a lawsuit saying that after they audited 4Kids' accounting records, they learned that 4Kids cut deals with TV networks like Cartoon Network, and home video distributors like Funimation Productions... all while making "improper royalty deductions".
According to the lawsuit:
"4Kids conspired with Funimation to fraudulently hide from Plaintiffs more than 45% of the total income Funimation paid to 4Kids from the sales of the home videos."Â (The Plaintiffs are the Japanese companies suing 4Kids)
TV Tokyo and Nihon Ad Sys are asking for more than $4 Million dollars in damages for breach of contract and fraud.
At the Hollywood Reporter website, comments about this story include "HA! It serves 4Kids right" and "4Kids did ruin the series by making such a terrible dub".Â
Another comment slams Funimation, for attacking fansubbers while being involved in this:
"If this is true It will make it even more laughable when Funimation try to attack fansubbers/downloaders for "ruining the industry" when they have been doing all kinds of secretive stuff."
Don't quite know if Funimation was aware of 4Kids' alleged transgressions, though.Â My nephew used to love to watch YuGiOh... even if I found some of the English dub acting to be a bit ridiculous.