Yu-Gi-Oh! US Deal Terminated - Mania.com

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Yu-Gi-Oh! US Deal Terminated

4Kids sued for millions

By Chris Beveridge     March 29, 2011
Source: The Hollywood Reporter

© Warner Bros.

Anime fans have long had disdain for 4Kids Entertainment and its head honcho, but they're not the only ones as the Hollywood Reporter has word that the deal the Japanese have had with the company for Yu-Gi-Oh! has been terminated and a multi-million dollar lawsuit has been opened against them.

"[T]he Japanese animation studio that first created the anime hits is attacking, claiming that 4Kids owes it millions of dollars for making secret agreements with TV networks and home video distributors as well as making improper royalty deductions, including for the cost of the actual dubbing. As the result of alleged contractual breaches, the Japanese companies behind the show reveal they have just terminated their licensing agreements with 4Kids. They now want past money owed too."

TV Tokyo and Nihon Ad Systems have failed their suit in New York's federal court system. The piece provides some interesting examples and highlight's FUNimation's apparent role in it as well as indicating that Cartoon Network and others were caught up in the questionable deals that 4Kids Entertainment made.


For example, 4Kids is said to have made an agreement with  Funimation Productions, giving it the right to exploit the YGO series on home video. "4Kids conspired with Funimation to fraudulently hide from Plaintiffs more than 45% of the total income Funimation paid to 4Kids from the sale of the home videos," the complaint states.

Allegedly, 4Kids not only licensed YGO, but also several other Japanese animation series it didn't own. Under the terms of this supposedly secret deal, which allegedly included a strict confidentiality clause, 4Kids didn't have to do much besides perform certain marketing services. It was Funimation's job to produce and distribute the series, and for this right, Funimation paid a $1.3 million advance and gave over nearly $3 million in revenue, which was allegedly then hidden from the plaintiffs.


Attempts at getting things ironed out between the Japanese licensers and 4Kids did not go well when 4Kids abruptly terminated a meeting with them which had TV Tokyo and Nihon Ad Systems canceling the agreements that were in place and filing a $4+ million dollar lawsuit for breach of contract and damages.

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Calibur454 3/29/2011 9:52:41 AM

4kids entertainment has always acted rather stupidly when it comes to editing anime content and now it seems things are even worse. Wasn't it not to long ago that rumours were circling that they could go bankrupt?

Now revelations of shady dealings have emerged and Im sure to many this is no surprise.

The bad news is fans wont be able to see anything new on the yugioh franchise. The good news is that it could be picked up by someone like VIZ or Funimation and be released the right way. uncut

Betenoire 3/29/2011 10:00:37 AM

Boy, if FUNimation is found to have conspired to short the Japanese company, that could break really, really bad for FUNi seeing as how their business relies on dealing with Japanese companies.

Chris Beveridge 3/29/2011 10:38:57 AM

 Pretty unlikely FUNimation will have any problems from this as it was 4Kids that was making underhanded deals with peoples knowledge. They're not listed in the suit either.

Betenoire 3/29/2011 10:44:30 AM

So that part in the statement about "conspired with FUNimation" is not true?

CGLOVER 3/29/2011 11:11:37 AM

Didn't the former CEO retire from 4Kids not too long ago?  I wonder now if it was because he saw this coming.

Calibur454 3/29/2011 11:18:25 AM

betenoire- 4kids is the one who did all the underhanded dealing Funimation only put out the dvds. 4kids made deals with proerties that no one else new about. and they didnt have the rights to some of them either Funimation had no knowledge of this and thought that it was on the up and up.

perhaps shorterm funimation may recieve some backlash but it wont be severley hurt buy it.

I am rather surprised that this is happening now with so many yugioh properties out on the market. Perhaps the money just wasnt adding up and the japannese companies finally caught on.

KLevin26 3/29/2011 11:24:44 AM

Frankly, I'm still disappointed how 4Kids handled the animes. While it pains me to say this, I'm glad their Yu-Gi-Oh! deal is getting cut. Like how their One Piece got the axe as well.





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