Classic manga in general. Except for some Osamu Tezuka manga, there's no market for classic manga in the USA. It doesn't matter how big a manga is in Japan; if it's older than twenty years it almost certainly won't get released stateside.
Want to find a legal dub of Gintama in the United States that isn't a fandub or a parody? Good luck with that, because DVD distribution rights of Gintama lie solely with Sentai Filmworks, the manga rights lie with VIZ Media, and the only way to get a copy of Gintama stateside (legal or otherwise) is to find a subbed copy. Presumably the reason Sentai and Viz are taking so long with a dub is because a series like Gintama is just so hard to accurately translate, let alone find voice actors who would match the characters.
Now lightly averted due to the Gintama movie released with an English dub (due to a lighter budget, though, there were many multi-castings using the same actors), however, depends on how it sells is the way to know if it'll be dubbed or not.
And speaking of the manga, the series cannot be got more far away of Volume 23 in English after Viz cancelled it due to low sales and, of course, translation difficulty. Considering it's a long runner, too (with 51 volumes as of September 2013)...
Toei Animation notoriously won't release the fifth season of Sailor Moon, Sailor Stars, in the United States, or Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon outside Japan and Latin America. For some reason, a Mexican company (Inter-track) got to make a pretty decent dub of all of Sailor Moon's seasons. They've refused to license any of their Sailor Moon properties and have offered no explanation as to why, despite multiple licensees like Cloverway (who handled the dub), Geneon (before they went under) and ADV Films expressing open interest in licensing the entire series including Sailor Stars.
Toei in general tend to be infamous for licensing a series for the States, then pulling it on short notice. ADV was the victim of this in early 2004 shortly after they released the second season box.
FUNimation Entertainment's repeated attempts to license the franchise since 2005 have become a recurring joke in their panels at conventions.
Supposedly (according to the Sailor Moon panel at Otakon 2012) the reason Naoko Takeuchi pulled international rights was because of her dislike of the fact that the North American dub team didn't have any women on it, after she had insisted that at least 60% of the creative team in Japan be female. Doesn't really explain why she wanted to punish other countries for it, though...
The manga went out of print in 2005, according to rumour Naoko Takeuchi herself didn't really like what other countries did with her series, both anime and manga-wise. This apparently meant that the Sailor Moon manga couldn't be exported to any other country anymore, and Nakayoshi had troubles with the author herself, making the woman almost give up shoujo altogether. Perhaps it has a bit to do with the situation. However...
In March 2011, Kodansha USA announced its plans to rerelease the manga, as well as the never-before-seen in English Codename: Sailor V, starting the following September. Two years later, both series are completely available in English.
This may be indeed reversing everywhere because on July 6, 2012 Toei announced there will be a Sailor Moon anime remake with a international simultaneous release. As of September 2013, the series premiere has a tentative premier in the Winter 2014 anime season.
The trend does seem to be broken in Germany. Not only was the series aired on TV again, but finally the series is released on DVD as well. Interestingly enough, all episodes appear twice in these sets, once in the German version (which actually apart from the intro and outro was unchanged) and the original Japanese episodes (from the remastered episode masters). It however creates the question why they didn't simply put the German audio over the Japanese master, as this way they could have created full-season instead of half-season boxes.
A brain-breakingly moronic version of this trope is the state of Go Nagai's Super Robot anime Grendizer in the French-speaking world. When Toei Animation exported it to France in The Seventies, they conveniently "forgot" to notify Go Nagai of the fact and proceeded to reap a colossal fortune from merchandising without giving him one aluminum yen in royalties; since the series was only marginally popular in Japan, he only found out ten years later, which led to a long legal spat between Toei and Dynamic Planning (Nagai's personal publishing company), meaning rebroadcasts and video releases simply couldn't happen after 1985, to the chagrin of millions of fans (yes, it was that big). When they finally reconciled, it seemed that a DVD release would finally see the light of day... and then a French company issued an unauthorized box set, Toei and Dynamic sued the company, eBay, and even individual buyers for copyright violation, and it's been in limbo ever since. The entire fiasco has the French fanbase in tears.
On the bright side, this was finally subverted for the French-Canadian fanbase, when Toei and a Quebec-based company agreed on releasing complete remastered DVD box sets in 2012.
It sounds scarily similar to what happened in Spain with the series got the franchise started off. Mazinger Z was emited in 1978 and pulled out due to Moral Guardians after barely emitting thirty-two episodes of the original ninety-two. Thirty-five years later it still is popular enough licensers consider releasing the DVDs would be profitable. However, due to legal disputes between Dynamic Planning and Toei Animation, the series can not be licensed for TV broadcasts or DVD releases out of Japan. Selecta Vision has managed to publish Shin Mazinger -and made money of it- and have mentioned they would like getting Mazinkaiser licensed, and the original manga made by Go Nagai together with the Gosaku Ota version have been illegally published (the Go Nagai version twice), but releasing the original series is pretty much impossible right now. The Spanish and Latin American fanbases are very NOT pleased.
Because of Tokyopop closing down its North American division, many series will be left unfinished or not even started (including Kämpfer) and thus this trope will be invoked unless Tokyopop manages to outsource some of its titles to another company like Geneon did for Funimation when the former shut down its American operations. However, there may be a light at the end of the tunnel for some lucky titles, as Axis Powers Hetalia has been licensed by Right Stuf, who are now offering the first three volumes for their new Print on Demand service. If sales go well, they will look into getting the rights to other out-of-print series (not just series that were owned by Tokyo Pop) to publish as well.
While the 62-Episode TV Anime adaptation of Hunter × Hunter got an Ocean Group dub (a pretty good one too) and even a nice 4-piece DVD box set, the 3 OVA's have not been dubbed and there appear to be no plans to do so.
Viz Media did not release the first eight volumes of the Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo manga; Americans only got a compiled volume of the Halekulani story arc. Some shady sources claim it's due to author Yoshio Sawai being ashamed of the poor artwork of those volumes, but even as the anime grew very popular stateside, there was still no release. Around a year after the anime ended its syndicated run, Viz finally decided to release more manga...starting from the middle of the Cyber City story arc, with little to no promotion. They decided to then stop releasing the manga abruptly after volume 15. One might argue that it was due to poor sales and a shaky translation, but the major facepalm-ing factor is the fact that it was in high demand once, and Viz ignored it until that demand died down. It's rather jarring if you consider that numerous other countries (namely Spain and France) have full releases of both the manga and the anime.
Given that it was unpopular to begin with, the sequel manga, Shinsetsu Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo, probably won't be exported at all.
Spain isn't getting Shinsetsu despite the first series ending with a Sequel Hook. Combined with the Schedule Slip of nearly 2 years to finish the last 2 volumes, a lot of Spanish Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo fans are angry and trying to crush Planeta DeAgostini with their nosehairs.
Similarly, the anime only got two volumes released (the first eight episodes); the small company that was releasing it went kaput rather abruptly, and for whatever reason, Viz themselves won't take in the license. The only way to obtain all of the other episodes is via Keep Circulating the Tapes if someone else taped the episodes and uploaded them on the internet.
A third dvd volume was actually released but is extremely rare.
HOWEVER...A company known as S'more Entertainment has licensed the anime and will release the first set on March 2012, so there may still be hope. In the meantime, some of the US fanbase is thrilled by these news.
Which has become a case of Bad Export for You in that while it is a dual audio release, the Japanese audio track does not come with a English subtitle track.
Both averted and played completely straight in the aforementioned VIZ case. In 2008/2009, Viz began running chapters of the original Bo-Bobo manga arc in the U.S. edition of Shonen Jump, and, subsequently, releasing the individual volumes, but only for the first three, for some inexplicable reason, leaving the remaining five volumes a clear-cut case of No Export for You.
Any anime and manga adaptations of the Super Mario Bros. video game franchise, with the most noteworthy being the The Great Mission To Rescue Princess Peach OVA. While web users have made that particular film known to other fans, there are a bunch of others that never went past Japan, including three OVA videos of the Mario cast starring in three fairy tales and the Super Mario-kun manga (which is actually ongoing because of the fact that it draws from the games themselves).
The KZB (KanZen-Ban, "Perfect Edition") updated re-release of Shaman King took a year and half to start being published in Italy. That makes two countries/languages thus far. VIZ Media said they'd look into it but no word yet.
Most later manga adaptations of Slayers were never exported, possibly because of their drastic state among the series' Alternate Continuity; in particular, one manga has all six protagonists (including the two that would replace Zelgadis and Amelia in the novel series) together, which would probably create some confusion among fans. The Light Novel series had eight of its fifteen books published in English (with no promotion, so they all went out of print rather quickly) with the other seven (and a crapton of prequel novels and a crossover book) not released. There were also five video games that were never exported, but they would probably have bombed anyway because the first game was on the Super Famicom, making it outdated to audiences who would own the series in the states (the game came out in 1994, versus the anime coming out four years later), and only one (Slayers Wonderful) is on a mainstream console (the original PlayStation; one was a computer game, while the other two were for the Sega Saturn).
Although, with Macross Frontier, its incredible popularity works against it. Even if all the parties to the legal morass were to agree to let it get licensed at all, it would cost any licensor (especially an American one) several appendages and probably a few internal organs to get it, and that's before having to deal with Harmony Gold and their notorious price-gouging.
It's gotten so bad that some people with dogs in the fight have said that it could be that nobody knows who has international rights for some bits of the Macross franchise, particularly "Do You Remember Love?"
Robert Woodhead, AnimEigo's CEO, once said he does not expect to ever see a legal US release of Do You Remember Love because of the titanic, multi-side battle (yep it's not just Harmony Gold who's in the way, but apparently Shogakukan, Toho and a few others who have some sort of interest in the film).
As noted above, it's not specifically a Macross problem; it's an industry-wide phenomenon. Macross just takes the cake for being ensnarled not only inside Japan, but outside of it too.
For those readers who want to know how Harmony Gold (an American company) fits into the Japanese legal snarl, you can thank some nameless, dense California judge. Harmony Gold created the Frankenstein's monster that is Robotech (see its entry), and as the legal battles over international rights heated up in Japan, they got involved to try and keep from losing the series. The judge granted Harmony Gold not only exclusive control of the international distribution of the original Macross, but also inexplicably gave them permanent rights to license and distribute every Macross-related series that will ever exist. In other words, HG holds the copyright on Macross outside Japan and there's nothing the original creators can do about it except just refuse to license it out (which is exactly what they do) as a middle finger to Harmony Gold.
This legal snarl has caused some severe issues with the BattleTech franchise. When that was new, much of the game was found to be copyright infingement of the Robotech franchise. Despite a massive redesign, they keep getting sued occasionally. The confusing part is that nobody knows if the entities suing them still have any rights to the IP whatsoever.
Not quite true. FASA had bought (or they believed they had bought) rights to the designs in good faith, and used the designs without molestation for 10 years. HG got pissy in the '90s when both they and FASA were negotiating with PlayMates for toylines — that would have been based on the same designs (this was when the Battle Tech cartoon was about to be produced). Then, and only then, did HG's lawyers spring into action. In the end, HG was able to force FASA into not only stopping the use of the Macross designs but also those derived from Crusher Joe and Fang of the Sun Dougram, neither of which HG had the least bit of ownership in. Only now, in 2009, does Catalyst, the successor to FASA, feel comfortable in resurrecting the Dougram and Crusher Joe mechs (realizing that the law is most likely on their side there) — they were on the cusp of allowing the Macross mechs back in as well (in fact a trailer for an upcoming game used the Warhammer as the hero 'Mech — derived from Macross' Tomahawk Destroid), when Catalyst's lawyers said to leave those 11 alone.
On a side note, Tommy Yune, representative for Harmony Gold, has stated that they're willing to license Macross Zero and sublicense it to whoever wants to pay their price, but Big West took the license off the market.
Harmony Gold may charge sublicensors out the nose, but it's actually in their interests to have as much of the Macross franchise licensed as possible, so they can earn royalties on it (they don't get squat from anything in Japan). As such, they'd no doubt also love to bring 7 and Frontier to North America. However, the Japanese rightsholders, especially Big West, are quick to jump in and stop progress from happening. Again, Big West holds a grudge on the company just because of Robotech.
That leads to this question: Does Big West hate Harmony Gold and Tatsunoko SO BAD?
Not entirely. The original Gundam has never seen a bilingual DVD release outside of Japan A bilingual release of the original series was announced for 2011. However, there is one Missing Episode because Yoshiyuki Tomino specifically asked it be removed from circulation (mainly because it's horrendously Off Model).
Oddly enough, the eponymous island featured in that episode ("Kukurus Doan's Island") has appeared as a location in the Gundam VS Series of video games.
Also, Bandai has yet to export at least four three Gundam series (ZZ, V and X).
Except that Bandai's ownership of Gundam isn't "nice and clean" at all. For starters, beginning around the mid-2000s, most Gundam games became Bad Export for You since Bandai Namco couldn't/didn't bother to license the official music, meaning that they have to make do with a pool of generic tunes instead of the iconic theme songs and background tracks. Further, those three shows will probably never see any foreign release since 1) they flopped in Japan, and Sunrise would consider it a waste of time and money to try exporting them, 2) Sunrise seems to be trying their damnedest to forget that those failed shows even exist except for compilations and retrospectives (seriously, TRY to find decent merchandise for Gundam X), and 3) after their attempt to sell the West on the One Year War failed, they stopped caring, especially since Japanese merchandise sales are more than the entire rest of the world combined.
Well, the second one seemingly not so much anymore, what with the introduction of a fair number of new toys for Turn-A lately, including the honorary position of making the Turn-A itself the 100th Master Grade model kit produced, and the release of some toys from Victory Gundam as well. Mind you, it may still not be worth it to them, but hell, ADV Films brought over Aura Battler Dunbine (which apparently -also- was virtually unknown in Japan), and we've got other weird/failed Tomino stuff like Brain Powered, so really anything is possible. It might require the industry to, you know, recover first. On top of that, Bandai made an announcement on its Facebook page: An apparently random selection of Tropes that happen to be all on Turn A's page (and are somewhat unlikely to be found anywhere else).
Speaking of those music tracks, to show how titanic the legal situation is, the reason that the opening themes to Zeta Gundam became No Export for You was due to Neil Sedaka, who actually wrote them. Either he refused to allow them in either as an Old Shame or to keep charges of Japandering from being levelled at him, or Sunrise/Bandai/whoever assumed he'd ask too much for royalties and dropped the subject.
∀ Gundam is getting a US release, but sadly it won't be getting a dub. At least we're getting it, right?
Nope, nevermind, the NA release has been cancelled (Angrish).
Mobile Suit Gundam AGE played with the trope. Two years after its original airdate, the series has finally been released online with English subtitles in the United States and Canada. By then, however, Bandai has stopped releasing DVD, Blu-Ray and Manga, making a physical release to the North American markets very unlikely. AGE's poor reception on both sides of the Pacific adds insult to injury.
The TV series Armored Trooper VOTOMS originally via Central Park Media, but when they went under nobody picked it up again leaving it to fall out of print. None of the OVAs have been released in the States either.
More specifically, the reason that ADV gave for their dropping of Mermaid Melody was that the Japanese owners were requiring the show air on American TV (and ADV's own channel was not sufficient) before any home video release could happen. No network was willing to bite on the show, so ADV was forced to cut their losses and drop the license. The really annoying part was that they apparently dubbed all 52 episodes.
Except for the above paragraph's very last sentence, ADV had the same situation with Sgt. Frog. They dubbed the first few episodes three different ways and shopped the show around to several different kids networks, but nobody was willing to air it. The show sat in effective Development Hell for nearly 3 years, until Funimation got the series and was able to give it a proper DVD release.
4Kids reportedly had the same problem with Futari wa Pretty Cure, with the same results, despite the Pretty Cure franchise being much less "weird" than Pichi Pichi Pitch. Considering this company and their dub jobs with Tokyo Mew Mew and Ojamajo Doremi, the fandom was thankful. This seemed to be the last that we would hear of an English-licensed Precure, but Toei has released the first season in North America... but direct download is the only way to get it.
However, Canadian station YTVmanaged to grab the license to Pretty Cure and will be broadcasting it in 2009. Who knows if it will be as big a hit as their handling of Sailor Moon a decade ago?
On the other hand, you can watch a free sub version of Pretty Cure on FUNimation's website—but only in America. And it looks like an old VHS Tape.
Even so, most fans do wish for the YTV dub to make it south of the 49th parallel. Though it's highly unlikely.
The problem with Pretty Cure is that it's too violent for TV-Y7-FV level, but it's too kiddy for most older children. In that case, Why can't they just make a TV-G-FV rating, air it like that, and call it a day?
Nope, the true reason is that it falls on the fact that its a Magical Girl show and executives are very queasy about shows aimed at girls. The naked transformations MIGHT be a bit too much for American sensibilities, though. 4kids licensed the show but gave it back to Toei because they couldn't get a TV deal (in spite of already owning a SatAM block all to themselves.)
It's also region locked to America, making this a double NEFY for anyone who dares to darken Toei's doors with British money. This also applies to Fist of the North Star, Slam Dunk and Digimon Adventure 02 though, the sub quality is such that it might be a non-issue.
However, the Fist of the North Star movie was released in America, and so was its new video game.
The gods must have heard you, the Pretty Cure dub is available in the UK on cable satellite channel Pop Girl! And its actually one of the highest rated shows the channel has! But still no word on America airing the show.
In full effect with the sequel, Futari Wa Pretty Cure Max Heart, which has not been dubbed at all. Effectively making the English dub of the show end in a Downer Ending.
Saban has now liscened the series, according to an Italian fan. They also dubbed one of the series under the name Glitter Force.
Licensing rumors have been silent for years, and now it seems all but official: despite the Galaxy Angel anime, the manga and even Galaxy Angel Rune getting English releases (the last one sub-only), the games will probably never come out, even without a dub track.
There are plenty, plenty of doujin series that people outside of Japan can't import. There is at least one online seller that won't even accept your order unless they're able to confirm your credit card was issued to you in Japan.
Two exceptions: American Express and JCB cards from any country always show as Japan-issued when used in Japan due to the way they're processed. Only a detailed manual search will reveal the true issuing country.
Despite being available in animated form for close to twenty years, and the deluge of marginal manga titles hitting the shelves, Kimagure Orange Road has never been available in the US in printed form.
Are you living anywhere outside Japan and like Wild Knights Gulkeeva? Sucks to be you. There is a subbed version on YouTube, but that's it. The manga never got an English release, and that gives more backstory.
Legend of Galactic Heroes isn't about to officially leave Japan any time soon — but not for any malicious reasons. The series is so mind bogglingly gigantic that the logistics of releasing the entire series are completely staggering. Though the actual number of episodes (110) isn't that large, it's not the typical anime where a Kid Hero repeatedly saves the day; it's a show where one episode is dedicated to comparing the two superpowers' GDP, dozens are dedicated to explaining the backstory, etc. Besides, try to sell now in the Western world a series where the main villains are Space Talibans whose leader shares his name with a French politician, and where the democratic superpower is declining thanks to incompetent politicians getting elected thanks to cheap nationalistic rhetoric. Fan scuttlebutt posits that the main reason for LoGH not being brought over is that the Japanese owners are demanding exorbitant licensing fees for it.
It's not just anime and manga themselves: in Japan, EVERY, and I mean EVERY, franchise gets at least one line of collectible statues; then there's additionally one line of candy, jewelery, cosplay accessories, Transformation Trinket toys, etc., etc., etc. Also, there are countless untranslated manga to popular Video Game series. (Did you ever know that there were Super Mario Bros. and Sonic the Hedgehog manga? Well, now you know!) Most of this merchandise usually wouldn't leave Japan in a million years. But luckily, there are some export stores for otaku like us, who buy as much of this stuff as they can and sell it to us poor, merchandise-obsessed souls.
Subverted with the Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann movies; they're being released, but because of the lack of network-airing demands, the company that distributed them doesn't want to bother with dubbing them in English.
Not releasing the first two parts may have been a smart business move by Araki. They greatly resemble Fist of the North Star stylistically and it's only in Part 3 where the series became a more unique one. Also the reason the latter arcs won't be released is most likely due to the amount of music-references causing copyright issues. So aside of the release of Rohan at the Louvre short story in 2012 it's unlikely there will be any more official English releases for the series.
Speaking of Viz, they are unable to release the last 7 volumes of the Zatch Bell! manga due to the nasty legal fight between creator Makoto Raiku and Shogakukan, which ended with Raiku having complete ownership and control of the series (and no desire to see it republished anywhere, including Japan). The side effect of this was that all international contracts immediately became null and void. Since Viz is partly owned by Raiku's enemy Shueisha, he probably would not even bother to return their calls.
Animal Crossing. The anime movie adaption of Wild World may never be dubbed.
And then there's Light Novels. Did you know that Maria-sama Ga Miteru was originally a book — not a manga, but a primarily text filled book-book? No? Then how about Record of Lodoss War? Crest of the Stars?Irresponsible Captain Tylor, perhaps? Probably not, because none of them have really been released in the US. Granted, the situation is slightly better than it was (for example, eight Slayers books have been released in the states so far... out of fifteen), but it definitely could be nicer seeing how most Light Novel releases get cancelled after about 3-6 volumes. Fan translators tend to lose interest in unlicensed projects after about the same amount of volumes with very few exceptions.
That's probably because novels don't do so well in the US, much less when compared to manga and anime.
It doesn't help that many bookstores put light novels in the manga section anyway, simultaneously driving away otaku who aren't interested in books and bookworms who aren't interested in manga. Even the English translations of the Spice and Wolf novels, which attempted to combat this by replacing the original manga-style cover with a more stereotypical one likely to draw in fantasy fans, is usually put in the manga section.
Another thing that doesn't help is that Light Novels from Japan often are at a low reading level and more wholesome than the original manga, making them uninteresting for some manga readers (such as the Fullmetal Alchemist and D. Gray-Man light novels). This troper wonders if this often matches the low end of the Japanese expected audience for a title, rather than the overseas one (many anime series have a lower-age mimimum for expected audience in Japan than in the States. For example, if a series' expected audience is 12 - 16 in the US, it may be rated for 8 - 18 in Japan. Sailor Moon did something like this).
There's also the issue that translating a light novel is a lot more work than translating a manga, because pictures don't need to be translated. And manga makes it easy to divide up the work: one person can translate dialog, one can translate sound effects, one can arrange text into bubbles, etc.; with a light novel, most of the work has to be done by one person to keep the result consistent, so it takes a lot longer. There's a reason translated light novel installments usually come out at least 6 months apart.
Although, even if more light novels get released, they may still have problems. Case in point: the previously-well-selling Vampire Hunter D series, whose translations have become more garbled with each new release.
Still have yet to see the release of the third light novel for Shakugan no Shana. It's been at least 3 years since the release of the second light novel and I have yet to hear a word on if it's going to continue or if it's been dropped...
More than two years passed between Tokyopop releasing the third Full Metal Panic! novel and the release of the fourth (technically the fourth and fifth bound in one volume, as it was a two part story, taking the novels to the end of the second season of the anime). Then Tokyopop went under, and there has been no word on whether or not any other publisher will try to translate the rest of the series.
Tokyopop on the other hand after ten years since the last Good Witch Of The West novel have given no comment whether or not they will publish the rest. And now they're out of business, so that series - like all their others - is officially dead in North America until further notice.
Dragon Magazine is a potential kick in the crotch for an anime fan who wants to read the source material, as a lot of the light novel originated anime come from here: Sorcerer Stabber Orphen, Slayers, Slayers x Orphen (bet when Orphen was compared to Slayers in its western release, no one thought they came from the same place), Full Metal Panic, Mahurabo, Scrapped Princess and Kaze no Stigma are the notable ones. It also printed the Chrono Crusade manga. Out of those, which one got a complete western release? Chrono Crusade, because it's a manga. Crotch hurting yet?
Worse still, anime adaptations of light novels almost never adapt the full series, usually stopping after the first few books. Want to see how much further the characters change and grow? Want to see what other adventures they go on? Want to find out how the engrossing Myth Arc is resolved? Well, sucks to be you.
Cutie Honey, despite being one of the most influential anime series ever and helping inspire the creation of the Magical Girl genre, as well as giving Japanese animation one if its first strong female leads, has had a mixed history outside of Japan. Only the second series (New Cutie Honey) and the live-action movie have made it to North America, although the original 1973 TV series is coming soon from Discotek Media. Despite this, two properties are still unlicensed: Cutie Honey Flash and Re: Cutie Honey.
Germany 'did' however get Cutie Honey Flash.
Transformers: Nearly all series produced exclusively for Japan haven't been exported, at least not in a timely manner. Car Robots only got exported as Transformers: Robots In Disguise because Hasbro needed a replacement for its abandoned TransTech line before Armada would be ready.
Transformers Zone (both the manga and OVA), Battlestars: Return of Convoy, Operation Combination, Beast Wars II, Beast Wars Neo, Robot Masters and Kiss Players will probably not be released outside Japan, and there are no English dubs for them. In the case of KISS Players, that's probably a mercy...
In the case of Zone, Shout! Factory was originally going to release the OVA for North American distribution. But Toei Animation, being one of the most notorious anime companies difficult to deal with, outright refused to release the episode as they did with Scramble City for no reason.
Several episodes of Transformers: Robots In Disguise were pulled from the US broadcast due to the events of 9/11, including one where Megatron smashes through a building resembling the World Trade Center (note that this was the first episode, which actually did air originally... on 9/8). DVD releases are also not forthcoming in North America, since the dub was created by Saban, and as a result Disney currently owns the rights to the RiD dub. Maximum Entertainment has released the series on DVD in the UK, though.
4Kids were forced to drop plans to release the uncut subtitled version of Yu-Gi-Oh!: Duel Monsters online (both Hulu and their own Toonzaki channel) when Yugi's seiyuu refused to clear the use of his voice (or something, it's rather unclear). 5Ds was released uncut on YouTube (along with uncut Sonic X on Hulu) but the first series of Duel Monsters will never get an unedited translation unless Shunsuke Kazama pulls his head out of his ass, which is highly unlikely. And while 4Kids announced plans to sub GX, nothing has come of it yet.
GX's last season was never dubbed; 4Kids skipped straight to 5Ds instead.
Toei's Yu-Gi-Oh anime (also known as "Season 0") will probably never be licensed or dubbed.
The 5D's OVA will probably be never dubbed, but its not a big deal since its non-canon and doesn't do anything besides show off the buster/assault modes of Stardust and Red Demon's.
It was feared that this would happen to future Yu-Gi-Oh series when 4Kids got into a court case, but they ended up keeping the licenses and releasing the Bonds Beyond Time movie and Yu Gi Oh Zexal.
Most of the older series don't go for the typical shonen tone, making them unlikely to sell much in America, while most of the newer ones are too short (some even being only a volume long), meaning that there isn't much point in licensing them. Other than Pocket Monsters (a gag manga), Pokémon Special is the only long-running Pokemon manga with no forseeable end, meaning that only that one has incentive to keep around.
However, it is worth noting that Pokémon: Diamond and Pearl Adventure did relatively well in America, it being eight volumes long and having a fairly engaging plot outside the games it was based on, making it a bit of an Ensemble Dark Horse in the Pokemon fandom. Also, the manga based on the anime movies also continue to sell.
However, Pokémon Special has had its annoying run with this trope. Its initial run in America didn't go too well as the volumes were overpriced during a non-friendly manga age, leading it to being canceled after 7 volumes. Years later, the manga was re-released in America with a more reasonable price tag, the fandom rejoiced when it went the GS arc reached American shores for the first time... and then the fandom cried when Viz announced that they had no plans to release the third generation arcs, skipping ahead to the fourth- and fifth-generation arcs instead. Though Viz is finally beginning the publication of the third generation arcs as of March 2013, the manga's fourth- and fifth-generation arcs are still being published simultaneously, and so many plot holes and spoilers are sure to come for any new readers.
A little info on why any manga besides Special and the movie adaptations will likely never leave Japan: Pokemon manga are usually seen as simply advertisements for the latest games and are published in monthly kids' magazines. By the time enough content has been collected into a volume and presentable for liscensing (usually a year), the hype for the game is long over and announcements for the new ones are probably already being made.
The UK has never got DVD releases of ANY of the main series. Movies eight and nine have never been released there either. However it DID get Pokémon Chronicles.
In the USA, Pokémon Chronicles still hasn't been released on DVD yet.
Neither have boxsets for the Johto seasons.
Except for Master Quest, but those are out of print for a few years now (they were last released in 2005).
In the UK, a deal HAD been struck up with Network DVD (A label that usually sells DVDs of old British shows) to release the series, but the only DVD they released for it was The Rise of Darkrai. Hell, the site even at one point HAD a Pokémon section, but that didn't last.
No Export for You might FINALLY be averted for the UK as Universal will be releasing Zoroark: Master of Illusions on DVD late April. If they'll distribute the anime DVD releases like they do in France is unknown at this point, but right now it's a start.
Now mostly averted, as Universal UK have released the Giratina and Arceus movies, with the Black and White movies not too far off, and if the inlay sheet with Poképark 2 suggests correctly, they will be re-releasing the Darkrai movie as well. Destiny Deoxys is also due for a release on Blu-Ray within the next week or two, as well as 4Ever and Heroes on Blu-Ray as well, just leaves the Lucario and Manaphy movies without a UK release. Seeing as the last two have recently had an airing on CITV, there may be hopes for a DVD release soon.
Australia never received releases for the sixth or seventh movies, even though all others have been or are still available.
Are you a Ranma ˝ fan? Living in the UK? Sucks to be you, doesn't it. The Manga is available, but the licence holder for the Anime is MVM Entertainment and the only thing they carry is the two movies.
If you like any anime series and live in the UK, the chances are it sucks to be you.
Are you a North American fan of Urusei Yatsura? Want to read the manga beyond the first couple dozen chapters (or unflipped at all)? Too bad. Viz never put out a 2nd edition of the manga - the only one of Takahashi's RomComs to be dropped before completion.
Doraemon never had an official release in North America even though the series has been around since the 70s, and still going. This is likely due to a combination of the insane length of the series (over 2000 TV episodes and more than 25 movies), and what is probably an insanely high license price for even a single season (the series is the second most popular anime in Japan, second only to Sazae-san). There actually was an official English release of the Doraemon manga, but it was in Singapore.
This is almost certainly because that series is very VERY weird and probably "too Japanese" for most foreign (or at least American) markets.
Not only has Good With Of The West only had the first two (out of eight) light novels translated, but only the first six of the manga volumes have been done. The thirteen episode Anime doesn't go any further in the story so unless you know Japanese, at the rate it is going the series will never get fully translated.
Japan is notorious for not releasing products for the international market, due to the belief that they wouldn't be understood well enough outside Japan, and therefore wouldn't sell. The producers originally considered Haruhi Suzumiya to be "too Japanese" for the international market, and had no intentions of licensing it anywhere else. They directly credited the huge cult following resulting from bootleg fansubs of the show as a major reason for the official US release (although these same fansubs no doubt crippled its sales potential). Other companies - particularly those producing licensed figures and similar toys - have stated that they're simply not interested in offering their products to the non-Japanese market.
Even the great Hayao Miyazaki has gone on record saying that, while he appreciates that his films are enjoyed by non-Japanese fans, he is surprised and baffled that non-Japanese can 'understand' them.
It doesn't look like Dennou Coil will be released outside Japan anytime soon, despite its high production values, which led to much critical acclaim. Of course, it may be hard to market a show in the West that's filled with bad-ass high-tech virtual reality action, but which at its core is still a girl's series.
Dennou Coil has been slated for release in Australia in September 2011
Neither the manga nor the anime of Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou have ever been officially released in the west—and they will likely never be.
While the series did have a presence on VHS back in the day, if you're expecting a DVD release of the dub or a sub of any Digimon instalment besides Savers, don't get your hopes up...unless you happento beAustralian.
The US will finally get Digimon on DVD (Adventure, 02, Tamers and Frontier)... except it's the edited, English dub. Cue anger from those who want to see the uncut one in the original JP audio.
The Legends of the True Savior movies and OVAs based on Fist of the North Star have yet to be licensed for an official English release, even though all five installments had already been dubbed in French and Italian. This may change in the future with Sentai Filmworks working on dubbing the Raoh-centric spinoff Legends of the Dark King (having already released a subbed-only DVD collection of the anime). Chances are that they may work on the True Savior movies too, but this remains to be seen.
In fact, "Fist of the North Star" in general seems to have gotten screwed out of dubbing. Let's see, only the first nine volumes of the manga were published in America, we only got the first 36 episodes dubbed (it's taken us until 2010 when Discotek Media had announced that they will finally finish it), and let's not forget "The Legends of the True Savior." You know, it's ironic that of all animes, "Fist of the North Star" was one of the first to get an American live action adaptation.
Only one volume of Koi Cupid was released in America due to the publisher, Broccoli Books, going out of business.
Broccoli also screwed over the anime I'm Gonna be an Angel. They released half of the series - at a rate of one 4-episode volume every two years - then stopped due to low sales. People who worked on the American release said that they never dubbed the second half of the series at all.
Toei has not done well when it comes to pricing One Piece for UK distribution. What should have been a simple change of rights from 4kids/AB Groupe to Funimation has become a five year legal battle that has had some truly baffling twists like the 4kids One Piece airing on Cartoon Network Too for two weeks in 2009. One Piece has never had any home video release in the UK.
Manga Entertainment have since been releasing the uncut Funimation dub in the UK on DVD in 26-episode sets. Not bad considering the price tag.
Kilala Princess has become this. First off, Tokyopop released the volumes split in half. What was Volume 1 in in Japan is Volumes 1 and 2 in America. Then they didn't release anything past Volume 4—Volume 2 in Japan. There are 5 Japanese volumes.
The U.S. only got the first two seasons of RockMan.EXE (a.k.a. Mega Man NT Warrior). The remaining three seasons, Stream, Beast, and Beast + , and the movie were never licensed.
A particularly nasty one occurred with the final two volumes of Cannon God Exaxxion, which was more or less the fault of an extremely vocal internet Fan Dumb.
A little background: The first five volumes were released by Dark Horse Comics to generally positive reviews, with a brilliant translation and few if any edits to manga; it sometimes had, though never really gratuitous, level of sex and violence. There was even surprisingly little bitching about the fact Dark Horse had chosen to release the English version mirrored, a practice that was already falling out of favour when they began releasing in the early '00s. Then came Volume Five, featuring a sex scene between the hero and his girlfriend that had to be trimmed down for various reasons, mostly out of fear that since not only were both of them highschool-aged, but Hoichi was considerably more mature-looking than the childlike, moe Akane, it would open Dark Horse up to the depredations of increasingly fascistic law enforcement agencies trying to stamp out depictions of underage sex in the media. While nothing important to the story was cut, and some say the edits even improved the overall flow of the story, as the sex scene was a bit overlong and gratuitous, the fans still went ballistic. Dark Horse was flooded with hatemail. Frustrated by the fans turning on them after going to so much trouble to get the thing published in America in the first place, they dropped the entire series out of spite. While scanslations of the remaining chapters are available, the Woolseyism, sadly, is not. Depending on the chapter, the fan translations range in quality from So Okay, It's Average to Translation Trainwrecks that make you wonder just what the translator's first language actually was.
The M.U.S.C.L.E. toys and the NES game of the same name, both based on Kinnikuman, were exported to the US, but the anime was not. Its sequel series Kinnikuman Nisei was released stateside as Ultimate Muscle, after the toy line.
None of the Shin Chan movies have been released in the western world (apart from Spain).
Blue Comet SPT Layzner was actually licensed by Bandai Entertainment for a North American release, but Bandai received damaged, blue-tinted masters from Sunrise and didn't acquire replacements or put out any DVDs before their license expired in 2005.
The "Renewal" edition of the Neon Genesis Evangelion TV series, which featured greatly improved audio and video quality over the original DVD release, was distributed outside of Japan as the "Platinum Edition." The remastered versions of the movies Evangelion: Death and Rebirth and The End of Evangelion, however, have yet to be exported. Even worse, the rights to the movies themselves, originally held by Manga Entertainment, have now expired, meaning there is currently no legal way for Evangelion fans in the Western world to obtain the movies apart from tracking down old DVDs. Some fans are still holding out hope for Funimation (the distributor of the new movies) to rescue the license, as they have done with many other properties, but currently most are waiting for an eventual Blu-ray release of the series before seeing the original Eva movies in the West again.
This is (again) due to the absurdly high cost of the licenses. ADV passed on the movies when they were first available because Gainax was asking for over a million dollars. Although they could've afforded it at the time, they decided their money would be better spent on several TV shows instead. Itwasasmartmove.
Despite the fact that both seasons of Ah! My Goddess were popular enough to get a second DVD print run each, the Fighting Wings episode pair made for the manga's 20th anniversary has never been dubbed into English, or released subbed to Western markets. Further, an original 7-minute OVA and a new full-length episode to be included with volume 42 of the manga are under production, with no plans for an overseas release.
The Peacemaker Kurogane manga is now released through Japan-only mobile service, making scanslation pretty much impossible. This, after a four-year hiatus. *headdesk*
This also applies to the traditional manga release. ADV released the series started where the anime did (Volume 4) and printed 3 volumes before stopping. Tokyopop eventually picked up the license and printed the first 3 volumes, but nothing beyond Volume 6 has ever seen the light of day in North America.
Wonder Beat Scramble, a "Fantastic Voyage" Plot/Womb Level anime with a (big) touch of Edutainment, never saw release in the English-speaking parts of the world. Not even a Fan Sub is available. However, due to an odd twist of fate, it was broadcast across the russian-speaking territories, fully dubbed, which stupefies this troper to this day.
Ginga Nagareboshi Gin. Despite gathering a huge popularity in Japan and in Scandinavia, the series' chances making it to US are slim. The reason for this is, sadly, fairly sensible, the series is almost all about bloody violence directed towards animals, includes scenes of animal abuse by the heroes and promotes (Japanese) dogfighting.
Some Studio Ghibli movies fall victim to this: Disney has home-video rights (formerly theatrical rights) to all Ghibli movies in the US, and some simply don't make the cut.
Only Yesterday has only been shown a few times on Turner Classic Movies. Disney holds the license for the foreseeable future and refuses to release the film on home video at all. They won't even allow other North American companies to sublicense it. The only legal way for Americans and Canadians to see it - outside of the occasional TCM airing - is to region-hack their DVD players (or get a region-free one) and import the subtitled PAL-DVD from Australia or the UK.
Disney's reluctance towards Only Yesterday could be explained in various ways: either they were afraid for a film that openly discusses menstruation in young girls to be associated with them, or they found the film as a whole too artsy and not marketable. Frankly, as an arthouse movie aimed at twenty somethings the latter reason would have somewhat of a point.
And then there's Ocean Waves, a Studio Ghibli TV movie which has also never had a release in the United States.
Why? Well, we have New World and their Warriors of the Wind debacle to blame for it. The reason? Their God-awful hackjob resulted in Ghibli's strict "no edits" policy, meaning Disney is legally barred from cutting even a single frame from the film.
Really, they shouldn't be too scared to release it nowadays, since they have already released ten (fourteen, retroactively, if you count their acquisition of the rights to most of the Marvel Cinematic Universe effective September 2013) PG-13-rated movies as of July 2013 (including a later Ghibli film, Tales from Earthsea), not counting Touchstone or Hollywood releases.
From Up on Poppy Hill formerly fell under this trope, but fortunately GKids bought the theatrical rights and produced a dub, releasing the movie into North American theaters in March 2013 - two years after its original Japanese release.
Much of the Crunchyroll's catalogue, and almost everything licensed by other web simulcast companies, is available in North America (and sometimes UK) only. It may be for language issues, but many international fans would be happy enough to have English subtitles - but they can't, at least not legally.
Actually, a number of Crunchyroll's simulcasts and archives are available worldwide (except Japan, for obvious reasons). On a show-by-show basis, this can certainly apply, though.
Originally played straight for several years with Wandering Son. After several years it finally was licensed. Most likely played straight with the anime adaptation, due to the Values Dissonance and controversial subject (or the fact that it's a seinen; Western anime companies never seemed too fond of 'em).
Ratchet & Clank started off as an American video game series. Japan has a manga that has never managed to make it back to the states (there are, however, other American Ratchet comics; just none with Big Ol' Eyebrows).
Saint Seiya has an odd and frustrating variation: the first 60 episodes of the 114-episode original anime series were faithfully dubbed in English and released to the US on DVD. But that's all we're ever going to see, since the Bowderized Cartoon Network version completely ruined its chances. And since it's an older series, even finding fansubs of the remaining episodes (plus the 31-episode OVA and 5 movies) can be a real pain.
Even worst, the Playstation 3 game Saint Seiya Senki was only available in Japan, South America and Europe. No US date? blame it on the above. Averted with the upcoming game Saint Seiya Brave Soldiers which is coming out to North America as a Download-only release. (To be fair Namco Bandai are testing the game to find out how big is the anime's fanbase in the region.)
While the first two Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha series were released in the west, it seems that it was unusually unpopular and so the other seasons aren't going to be released for the following reasons. The two seasons sold badly and quietly went out of print.
Original licensor Geneon going belly-up before the show could even be dubbed, let alone released. Funimation released it as part of their distribution deal with Geneon (that included several other, far more popular, shows), but gave the show next to no advertisement of any kind.
There were some issues with the dub that probably hurt sales.
The series premise. It's geared at men, yet the covers show a anime full of cute girls, with The Protagonist as the youngest, that happens to be a Magical Girl series. That'd work well in Japan, but in the west that'd make most men put the box back on the shelf.
Despite the sound novel and manga popularity, along with the popularity of the series among the anime community as a whole, anything besides the first season of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni doesn't seem to be coming out anytime soon. Even with that, the first season — another late-era Geneon release it must be noted — is becoming increasingly hard to buy or find online.
Funimation's license has expired, meaning there's no import of Kai, Umineko etc on the way. Looks like it's back to the fansubs.
While the Future GPX Cyber Formula TV series have been licensed in the US, the OVA sequels and most of the video games based on the series are not. And the poor sales of the DVD box set in the US and it quietly went out of print ensures that the OVAs will never make it to US shores.
While Puerto Rico usually averts this, notable anime have not been released there. Notables include K-On! (on Blu-Ray), Durarara!! (luckily, at least it's on TV) and the third season of Koihime†Musou (despite releasing the first two seasons without a problem).
Azumanga Daioh is one of the most popular anime ever, yet the only other notable language version that isn't English? Just German.
The No Mercy OVA of You're Under Arrest! has yet to be licensed outside of Japan. It's an odd example. The original OVAs, first season, mini-specials, second season, movie, and fourth season were licensed but not that OVA.
All three DS games have never been released in North America.
The one-shot chapter has not been translated by Viz.
Four of the collector's figures from the DVD series have only been released in Japan - Soichiro, Mikami, Takada and the King of Shinigami.
Also as-yet unreleased is the anime guidebook.
Western releases of the Space Battleship Yamato TV series' in the original Japanese with English subtitles and uncut won't be seen soon in North America or anywhere else any time soon. Not so much because it's difficult to license. It's really because no ones asking for them. Star Blazers fans already have the version that they like. They want to preserve their memories of rushing home from school to watch Derek Wildstar, Captain Avatar, Dr. Sane drinking his spring water, and the Desslock with the funny voice. If they're in the mood for the Japanese version with English subtitles, they have the Yamato movie collection which like the Star Blazers series, is also available from Voyager Entertainment. Star Blazers fans already feel like they've got the best of both worlds.
None of the OVAs to Tales of Symphonia have been released outside of Japan. Fortunately, the fans have translated them.
Only 104 of the nearly 300 Hamtaro episodes were released outside of Japan. The four movies also stayed in Japan.
First 5 volumes of Tsukihime have been released in America, however the publisher doesn't seem to plan on releasing more after the series has finally finished its run in Japan. What's weird is that the publisher's site is still up and running with no updates since 2009.
America is stuck with the first 26 episodes of Ojamajo Doremi. Why? Because Toei pulled 4Kids's One Piece license as punishment for doing to it the one truly Godawful dub they've ever done, and given that Anime/Ojamajo Doremi (as well as another Toei show, Kinnikuman Nisei) was part of the package...
The other episodes of Season 1, save for episode 30, were dubbed by 4Kids and shown on their website.
The American Cartoon Network has yet to air Demashita! Powerpuff Girls Z. It's a bit ironic considering how the cartoon the anime is based off originated from that network. There was rumors saying that the creator of the PPG, Craig McCracken, disliked it and made sure it never, ever aired in the US.
However, some American satellite and cable providers have a Spanish Cartoon Network channel which shows Powerpuff Girls Z in Spanish occasionally.
On the French cartoon network channel it airs on a daily basis.
Similar to above Stitch! has yet to air on the American Disney XD or Disney Channel. It was meant to air but they pulled it at the last minute, only airing a few episodes.
Whilst the 02 sequel OVA for Super Dimension Century Orguss got released in the UK, the original series hasn't, despite getting an English-language dub released Stateside.note Though then again even that only seems to have been on VHS...
While Harmony Gold released a dub of the first Magical Princess Minky Momo OVA (as "Gigi and the Fountain of Youth"), the other OVAs and TV series were not so lucky. Harmony Gold had actually dubbed a portion of the first TV series, but the plans fell through due to the inability to get it picked up by a network. However, a few of the international Gigi dubs (such as those released in the Netherlands, Italy, and France) based their scripts from the English adaptation.
Harmony Gold had released Demetan Croaker in the form of two compilation films in the '80s ("The Brave Frog"), and the TV series itself had been dubbed as "Adventures On Rainbow Pond" (yet also failed to get a network deal). It remains unlikely that any of this material will see a DVD release due to the license having reverted to Tatsunoko, and no one currently able to secure the rights. It should also be noted that many of Harmony Gold's master tapes for their '80s dubs were destroyed in a flood, sold back to the licensors (with some destroyed as part of the deal), or sold off in liquidation sales.
There is no current legal way of acquiring the Science Ninja Team Gatchaman sequels in the USA. It remains highly unlikely that there will be due to ADV's closure, as well as Sandy Frank's Gatchaman license having expired in 2007.
A book for Vandread called Vandread Extra Stage containing a number of short stories based before, during, and shortly after the anime was released. Want to know how Jura and Barnette met? Or what happened to Hibiki, Dita, and the others that went to Tarak? Sadly but not surprsingly, this book was never translated and released outside of the Japan.
Some American Sanrio stores are now selling some merchandise. Characters also show up in the NDS crossover game Loving Life with Hello Kitty & Friends.
Speaking of Sanrio, just about any anime series based on a Sanrio character (in America; Europe usually gets them). From My Melody, to the "Sugarbunnies" anime from 2007, and a 44 minute long movie called "Cinnamon the movie" released in 2007, which starred another popular Sanrio character named "Cinnamoroll". So far, Sanrio hasn't made any plans on exporting these anime stateside, even though it's the company where Hello Kitty comes from. However, VIZ Media did translate the manga called "Fluffy Fluffy Cinnamoroll" for western fans in 2012. The manga's been out in Japan since 2005.
Rurouni Kenshin has a few cases. While Rurouni Kenshin has proved to be successful in the West with Viz releasing the entire manga and then reprinting it in "Viz Big" wide-ban formats, several things have simply remained Japan exclusive. The official guidebook Kenshin Kaden was a Japan-only release, along with the three anime guidebooks. Later in 2007, the kanzenban volumes of the series was released in Japan, which included new art and character redesigns. With the recent "revival" of the Rurouni Kenshin franchise in Japan, two PSP games have been released as well as another reprinting of the manga in a bunkoban format. There have also been novelizations and one manga short that were not exported.
Fortunately, it appears that Aniplex has licensed the new Shin Kyoto Hen OVAs for a North American release.
Viz is also releasing the reboot manga, Rurouni Kenshin kinema-ban as Rurouni Kenshin: Restoration.
Though Media Blasters released GaoGaiGar to the States, its poor sales meant that it wasn't going to release its 7-part OVA sequel GaoGaiGar FINAL.
The same went for Mazinkaiser's OVA sequel, Deathmatch!! Great General of Darkness, as it was passed up by ADV despite them releasing the original OVA series prior.
Ryohgo Narita's first series, Vamp!, has no official translation. It has only recently received a proper fan translation.
The Hungarian anime market is dead, plain and simple, due to mishandled marketing, low ratings, catastrophic DVD sales and of course piracy and Moral Guardians. Discounting occasional reruns of older shows, a handful of kid-targeted anime and some relatively obscure, old (and again, child-friendly) series, nothing is released. But a few instances of denied export can be singled out from the time when anime still had a bigger presence. InuYasha's Final Act for example never made it to screens because the base-series got canceled, and they apparently couldn't be licensed separately. Seasons 2-5 of Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters and much of Beyblade, Metal Fight Beyblade and Poke Mon have also been simply glossed over. The potential licensing deals of Naruto: Shippuden and the later parts of Bleach, Detective Conan, D.Gray-Man, Kirarin Revolution and Full Metal Panic! likewise got the axe around the time that Animax, the TV station that they had aired on, stopped being an anime channel.
Further, although the Dragon Ball is still very popular in the country, the only animated movie that ever saw a release is Dragon Ball GT's TV special, even though many of the previous movies (or at least their edited forms) had been made available through the French AB Group's licenses. The rights for Dragon Ball Kai have also been sold to the Eastern European region, but it so far hasn't been picked up and dubbed in Hungary, probably due to budgetary issues, Japanese media's general unpopularity with the mainstream public, and the fact that there is currently no TV station that would air it.
The Jump Super Anime Tour 2008 special, Yo! Son Goku and His Friends Return! received an official English-dubbed streaming release, but no official home release in America, likely due to rights issues.
More recently, Battle of the Gods was co-funded by Fox as part of a deal in which Fox gets exclusive U.S. distribution rights for two years. Fox has announced no plans to distribute it in the U.S. themselves, nor to license the rights to another company such as Funimation, who have handled most of the U.S. DBZ localization for the past decade and change.
Most anime that have Kadokawa Shoten as their licensee seemingly don't get a Blu-Ray release in the United States. This is likely to combat "reverse importing" of the American version of the series back into Japan, which would mean less profit for an already-hurting anime industry.
A couple of examples of this are Haruhi Suzumiya and Future Diary. Averted with Full Metal Panic, although it could be argued that the whole franchise is so old (and hasn't seen a new series entry since 2005) that the risks of an international blu-ray release would be minimal to Kadokawa.
Though Kadokawa wasn't involved, Persona 4: The Animation has a provisional qualifier because of its odd circumstances. The series did indeed get a normal bilingual release in the USA, but only on DVD. The Blu-Ray release was dub-only at the licensor's insistence.
There's an odd irony in the fact that Heroman, arguably one of the most American anime out there, has no American release. The manga has been released outside of Japan but not the anime.
Thankfully manga didn't fell victim to it, as BENELUX manga are directly exported from France to those countries.
The Hunter × Hunter OVAs. They're a continuation of the 1999 anime adaptation after it Overtook the Manga and had to be Cut Short, but Viz Media never bothered licensing or dubbing them, even after getting through all 62 episodes of the television series.
Ashita no Nadja, despite being very popular in most of Europe and Asia, has not been aired in any English-speaking countries. Hoewever, Cartoon Network's Latin American service aired Nadja back in the 2000's, and William Winkler also dubbed the series as a movie.
Tama And Friends only had 13 episodes dubbed into English. The rest of the episodes are hard to find.
Attack No. 1 will probably never get released on DVD in the United States. It is puzzling, why, since the series is quite popular and an English dub does exist. That there's no licensing ban is proven by Germany, where all episodes got released on DVD.
Magic Tree House, despite being based on an popular North American franchise, hasn't been released there yet.
Saint Young Men reportedly will never see a U.S. release, either of the manga or the OAV series and movie, because creator Hikaru Nakamura didn't want to risk pissing off religious fundamentalists.