In this article we will look into the notorious editing and dubbing by 4Kids, and their work with anime.
I want to start this article with this thought. If you don’t agree with it you can stop reading after this next sentence. READY…
4Kids is not as bad as everyone makes it out to be!
Now here me out, they have done things poorly or just plan wrong. Hence why they went bankrupt in 2012 and are not called 4Kids Entertainment anymore, but 4Licensing Corporation. They did butchered some of my favourite shows like One Piece, where they had the license to distribute the first 143 episodes. 4Kids did this, but cut the 143 episodes down to 104 episodes. This was done by removing scenes, editing scenes or mashing several episodes into one episode. This confused me entirely when I decided to start watching One Piece again. Other things that 4Kids was known for doing was editing scenes to make them “Culturally” sensitive. Examples of this would be labelling an Onigiri as a Donut or changing Sanji’s cigarette into a lollipop. They changed the opening songs from something that may have been great to something catchy to get the kids to watch
(In all honesty I enjoy some of the opening, the may not be as good as the original, but they weren’t terrible. They tried to make the show more marketable and as a kid watching these shows it worked).
These were all done under the misconception of making the show more kids friendly and it is a crime to do this to such well known shows.
I love this Opening it is so cheesy and 90’s it is awesome!
With listing some of the negatives about 4Kids I am going to list some shows that because of 4Kids licensing them and airing them I was introduced. Sure I may have saw them at a later time in life without them, but through 4Kids I saw them first.
- One Piece – This great series was first introduced to me by 4Kids. Sure it is a bastardized version of the original series, but it is still showing a young audience the wonders of anime.
- Fighting Foodons – This obscure and practically unknown series was introduced to me through 4Kids. With it being my only encounter with the series.
- Cubix – This interesting series was shown to me through 4Kids. This really cool and fun CG robot series was tons of fun to watch as a kid.
- Ultraman Tiga – I probably would have never started to watch the Ultraman series if it was not for this American adaptation of this show by 4Kids.
- Ultimate Muscle (Kinnikuman) – This was one of my favourite shows as a kid and because of it many people were introduced to the franchise in North America. It can be argued that the M.U.S.C.L.E. figurines did this as well, but I believe the show had a larger impact.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – This modernization improved on many aspects of the old show. It showed new characterization for some of the characters including Raphael, with his characters more serious tone being introduced.
- Yu-Gi-Oh – A show that inspired a generation to get into playing cards. Introducing them to the concept and in turn showing us how fun card games can be.
- Shaman King – One of the best series on 4Kids, with it having one of the more interesting storylines on the channel. It has become one of my favourite series, and this may be because I had the chance to watch it off 4Kids.
- Kamen Rider: Dragon Knight – This show was a good adaptation of Kamen Rider for a North American audience. Even winning a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Stunt Coordination.
- POKEMON – This video game, card game and television series would not have been nearly as popular if it was not licensed by 4Kids. Most children have played this series to the point where it is hard to find a kid who does not know about Pokemon.
Through 4Kids I was introduced many long standing loves, my love of Anime, Cartoons, Tokusatsu and Card Games. Without the contributions made by 4Kids many people may not have been influenced to play Pokemon, watch anime, or enjoy card games. 4Kids has had a large impact on many people’s childhoods and because of that we have to respect their contributions. They may have been in the wrong with several ideas of theirs, but they had a positive impact and did some good and for that we can’t keep calling them people who raped a series. Sure as adults we understand that what they did was wrong to some series, though when they edited these shows they were not thinking of us. Instead they focused on creating children friendly series and they accomplished that. They may not have done it in the best way, but they accomplished it. So please be a bit kinder to 4Kids, because even though they may have made some poor choices, they did some good in return.