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4Kids Entertainment was an American entertainment and licensing company based in New York City, responsible for several cartoons and English dubs of foreign programs. It later became a spin-off of 4Licensing Corporation.

4Kids was founded in 1970 as Leisure Concepts by Mike Germakian and G.I. Joe creator Stan Weston. The company notably assisted production of ThunderCats (1985) (Germakian was one of the show's artists), were involved with Star Wars merchandising, and signed an important marketing deal with Nintendo in 1987 that would pay massive dividends in the following decade. Their television subsidiary 4Kids Productions was founded in 1992, and changed its name to 4Kids Entertainment in 1995.

4Kids rose to prominence at the turn of the 21st century thanks to the decision to dub anime — specifically those with large merchandising potential aimed at kids — to air on network television. Their parent company already had a point of contact with Nintendo, so they obtained the rights to dub Pokémon: The Series and were allowed to dip their hands in the Pokémon franchise's marketing and merchandising in North America. Pokémon ended up being a huge international success, and 4Kids rode high on that initial wave of Pokémania. Shortly after, 4Kids acquired the dubbing rights to Yu-Gi-Oh!, an anime based on a manga centered around a Trading Card Game (which naturally had physical product) that was another huge hit. These back-to-back successes helped the company subsequently acquire more anime properties, and dubbing shows was solidified as the company's primary business model.

With the success of both anime dubs pushing the company to new heights, 4Kids reached an agreement with the Fox network in 2002 to take over programming duties for their Saturday morning time slot, replacing Fox's in-house block Fox Kids (which had sold its production houses as well as the Fox Family cable channel to Disney the year prior) after several years of being in ratings free-fall. The block, which launched in September as "FoxBox" before re-branding to 4KidsTV in January 2005, was handled entirely by 4Kids with all advertising revenue going to them, with Fox's only involvement pertaining to standards-and-practices guideline reviews. For much of the block's existence, its programming consisted primarily of anime that went through 4Kids' dubbing process.

4Kids was highly influential on the international popularity and profitability of anime. While dubbing anime had been a viable, if niche, business model for decades before they came along, it was largely restricted to home video releases of OVAs or late night television. 4Kids helped put anime in the mainstream by getting it to air during daytime timeslots and the coveted Saturday morning block. This exposure to the medium was very important in the early 2000s, as the internet was becoming a more prominent part of life and interested fans had an easier time discovering shows similar to what 4Kids were airing.

However, 4Kids also garnered a negative reputation among general anime fans due to their dubs, which were accused of not only disrespecting the source material, but also of cultural whitewashing. Common threads were high bowdlerization, script rewrites, removal of overtly Japanese content, and complete replacement of the original music — although the latter wasn't nearly as poorly-received, and their original songs for Pokémon: The Series remain beloved to the day. While those practices were par for the course for the English-speaking anime industry in that time period and many edits were mandated for a Saturday morning timeslot, 4Kids drew significantly more backlash because of its greater visibility and a 2005 interview with then-CEO Alfred R. Kahn where he explicitly claimed that the edits were meant to make shows "more Western".

When 4Kids licensed One Piece, their editing practices became excessive: numerous content edits, the replacement of all of the original music, the removal of a large number of episodes (that turned out to be important later on — although they couldn't have known at the time), and widespread changes to the original script and plot even in the unedited parts. All of this drew a lot more fire towards 4Kids, and it remains the unfortunate darkest mark on its reputation. Several detractors came to believe it permanently stunted One Piece's chances of being a major media franchise in the States — as opposed to Japan, where it is tied with Dragon Ball as the most successful manga/anime franchise in the history of media, though we can't say One Piece hasn't turned out successful anyway.

Because of this, Japanese studios would make an exception to the fansubbers' "gentleman's agreement" to stop fansubbing when a series is licensed. Said agreement is basically, when an anime gets licensed, fansubbers abandon that particular anime, so that Japanese studios will condone the fansubbers' "piracy" of the show. 4Kids' reputation has long been so abysmal (even though it has a fan following that extends way back) that Japanese studios would allow fans to continue fansubbing a show if it gets licensed to 4Kids, in large part due to 4Kids' refusal to offer Japanese audio even on the DVD releases, and their rabid censorship policies.

All is not bad, however. 4Kids also produced the widely praised 2003 incarnation of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, known for its good and complex storytelling compared to typical Saturday morning cartoons. It is the darkest and edgiest TMNT animated series to date, bizarrely featuring content that 4Kids would have normally censored in their anime dubs. This was likely due to Standards and Practices on American network television having Double Standard practices considering that Western cartoons that regularly air on Saturday Mornings usually kept in content that the foreign cartoons like anime had to censor, and the censorship was based on opinions rather than guidelines.

The hatred garnered from their dubs would be worn out as the company became significantly less prominent than it used to be, and its fan following became the only people who still cared. In the late 2000s, with the loss of its prized Pokémon license, 4Kids' focus shifted away from anime to homegrown properties and acquisitions from other countries, which generally fit the company's creative philosophy much better and have obtained much more faithful treatment. What anime they still dubbed was generally well-received — or, at least, drew less ire. With Kids' WB!'s 2008 demise, 4Kids became — for better or for worse — the last remnant of what was once an institution—a position they suffered for having. That year, long-standing issues with Fox over financial and contractual complications blew over,note  and Fox canceled 4KidsTV that December. Afterwards, 4Kids' only lifeline for the next several years was Toonzai, a similarly-programmed Saturday morning block on The CW.note  In 2009, the series and merchandising rights to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were bought out by Nickelodeon as a component of their purchase of the franchise. Rainbow would also revoke 4Kids' license to the Winx Club franchise that same year, and later also partnered with Nickelodeon to reboot the franchise.

In April 2011, months after Kahn's departure, the company filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy, stemming from a lawsuit filed by TV Tokyo and Nihon Ad Systems (NAS) over unpaid royalties regarding the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise. An auction resulted in the company being sold in pieces; Konami bought all of their Yu-Gi-Oh! rights, and Saban Brands bought the rest of the company, including the Toonzai Saturday morning block and rights to Sonic X and Cubix.

With Saban's acquisition, The CW4Kids/Toonzai ended in the fall of 2012, being replaced by a new block called Vortexx. CW4Kids' final broadcast on August 18, 2012 ended with a full marathon of Yu-Gi-Oh!, before the names were relaunched as separate channels in 2015. Meanwhile, 4Kids successfully exited from bankruptcy in mid-December of 2012 as 4Licensing Corporation without any notable entertainment assets, while the latter was revived as a separate company on May 16, 2013. Their main focus was then shifted to developing and licensing isoBlox, an impact-blocking surface designed for use in sports equipment. Anime fans weren't able to experience the company's unique practices any longer. It also left the New York talent pool of voice actors, for the most part, without regular work; some even moved to Los Angeles to pursue work there. In September 2016, 4Licensing filed for bankruptcy again and quietly folded the next year.

Meanwhile, the subsidiary that was sold off to Konami re-branded itself as 4K Media Inc. The English adaption of Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL was still running at the time of 4Kids bankruptcy and the company wanted to keep it going. After Zexal ended, they moved on to producing an English version of Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V. While 4K Media continued the usual practices applied by 4Kids, they existed solely for production on the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise for a while, eventually getting to manage Konami's other properties like Frogger, Bomberman and Contra. In April 2019, this company was renamed as Konami Cross Media NY, officially putting the last remnants of the 4Kids brand to rest.

Notable voice actors included:

Properties that had been acquired and/or produced by 4Kids include:

Under the 4K Media Inc label

In addition, when 4Kids ran the FoxBox block, their shows also included (in addition to some of the titles above):

Some of the biggest (pre-2005) shows listed above were involved in a TV crossover called "The Fight for the FoxBox."

4Kids Entertainment and their works provide examples of:

    Tropes A-K 
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song:
    • All of the anime that 4Kids dubbed had a different theme song. They also usually played an instrumental version of the intro song as the ending theme.
    • Oddly enough, preview showings of One Piece showed a Translated Cover Version of "We Are," which was replaced by the infamous rap theme.
  • Big Applesauce: 4Kids was based in New York City.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Thanks to massive censorship, a number of scenes that did have blood and violence would be turned into this after the fact.
  • Bowdlerize: Too many to list, but they backed off from the worst of it in later years.
    • There used to be a comparison website that listed all the edits they made to their One Piece dub. You can still view it through Internet archive.
    • A similar page listing all the edits made to Yu-Gi-Oh! dub (Duel Monsters only) exists as well.
  • Contractual Purity: Averted. Andrew Rannells starred in The New Normal note  and previously The Book of Mormon, some of their VAs have done hentai (Dan Green, for example), and Jason Griffith did a condom commercial.
    • People savvier of the industry may realize that most of the company's current VA's have worked at Central Park Media before (and this includes Dan Green as well); CPM distributed uncut productions mostly for pre-teen to older audiences, such as Revolutionary Girl Utena among others.
  • Creator Backlash: Some of the 4Kids employees, Mark Kirk included, seem to agree with some of the public's opinion that their adaptation of One Piece was terrible since they were forced into dubbing it against their will. The adaptation was never rebroadcast on television after 4Kids stopped producing it in 2006, nor has it seen a digital release.
  • Creator's Culture Carryover: Infamously, the 4KidsTV block aired a promo of characters from the shows it owns singing "The Star-Spangled Banner", when most of the characters in the video are from non-American properties.
  • Cultural Translation: For years, this was so often that the 4Kids shows with the most references to Japan and Japanese culture was the one not created there (Ninja Turtles, in case you were wondering). They later backed off from this with Toonzai. In most of their commercials, they claimed that it's "where epic anime lives", their first two code words in the new block were anime and kanji, and they started up an online anime viewing site, Toonzaki, that includes such shows as Fist of the North Star and Pretty Cure.
  • Cut Short: Had a few shows that didn't complete their runs for one reason or another. GX and 5Ds stopped in their third season (in the latter's case right in the middle of a storyline). F-Zero: GP Legend only aired 15 episodes before being pulled from the air. Likewise, Tai Chi Chasers only made it through its first two seasons and ended on a cliffhanger.
  • Darker and Edgier: Surprisingly, the Shaman King dub; many religious references (blatant or otherwise) and incredibly frightening scenes are kept in. Sure, it was comparably lighter than what aired in Japan, but by 4Kids standards, it's one of the darker dubs they've done, and surprisingly one of the only times in 4Kids history where the Moral Guardians got involved because of the last episodes, theirs being even lighter than the ones previously dubbed. Eventually the show, along with TMNT, would be advertised during the primetime hours in hopes to gain adult fans.
  • Disneyfication: Particularly the Yu-Gi-Oh! dubbing, infamous due to the invisible guns. The most blatant example is an episode where Sugoroku/Solomon gets shot in the back by one of his guides. In the Japanese version and the manga, it's a revolver, but in the 4Kids dub it's a slingshot. Given what happens after Solomon is shot, a slingshot just doesn't look right.
  • Do Not Adjust Your Set: This is how Cobra Commander takes over 4KidsTV, renaming it "Cobra TV" and kickstarting the Cobra Domination Station Sweepstakes.
  • Dub-Induced Plot Hole:
    • 4Kids' omission of the entire Laboon and Little Garden arcs from their One Piece dub caused several inconsistencies later on, and would have become much worse had they controlled the series beyond the Alabasta arc. The various Yu-Gi-Oh series also have a history of these.
    • 4Kids entirely skipped the episode of Pokémon: The Series in which the protagonists visit the Safari Zone, and Ash catches 30 Tauros in this episode since it had the usage of realistic firearms. Whenever Ash uses the Taurus' from this moment on, the viewers of the dub are left without explanation as to how he gained possession of them.
  • Dubtitle: Their Subs/Uncut Dubs of the Yu-Gi-Oh series and others generally use the Japanese script with dub names.
  • Dub Text:
  • Eagleland: To a ridiculous extent. They have a habit of changing every single foreign-sounding name into a generic American one, as well as changing the setting to America and even going so far as to refer to obvious rice balls as donuts. On July 4, they even made anime characters (and Bloom from Winx Club, an Italian show) sing the American national anthem. The only American characters in that song were the TMNT (and if we're being pedantic, that only included Michelangelo: Splinter was technically born in Japan when he was a regular, un-mutated rat).
  • End of an Age: Their Yu-Gi-Oh lawsuit contributed to the downfall of Saturday-morning anime broadcasts.
  • Executive Meddling: Their dub of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX being unfinished was due to TV Tokyo and Konami forcing them to abandon it to solely focus on Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's so that it would gain popularity in the West as soon as possible.
  • Family-Friendly Firearms:
    • Inconsistently applied; some shows have firearms removed completely (Yu-Gi-Oh), others get guns' sound effects altered (Sonic X) but are otherwise intact, and still others have the gun look different while still having them shoot bullets (One Piece, for the most part). A lucky few (Ninja Turtles, Funky Cops) emerge unscathed. And some (Pokémon: The Series) get entire, plot-important episodes banned because of them.
    • Ironically, in Pokémon some rifles would be allowed to appear unedited (the episode "Here Comes the Squirtle Squad" has a couple of examples). Around the Hoenn saga, though, there would be minor edits, such as the sound of guns cocking being muted.
    • Back on the Yu-Gi-Oh example: this also resulted in some monsters getting edited (any monster which has a gun is edited to look toy or laser like) Revolver/Barrel Dragon was a PERFECT example of this. One 5D's episode did have some goons with guns, but the dub painted them lime-green. The gun-laden "Crashtown" arc of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds has 4Kids back up to some of its old tricks again.
  • Foreign Re-Score: Much like their intro theme songs, the rest of the background music tended to be changed as well. Adaptations of video games (Sonic X, Kirby: Right Back at Ya!) can be understood due to possible licensing issues, but other dubs that didn't have this problem are more questionable. This was downplayed at times though: GoGoRiki was able to get away with only half of its music replaced, even adding an instrumental version of "A Round Song" (A bonus track written for the original show, but never used in it proper) to the mix.
  • Frothy Mugs of Water: Due to censorship, this pops up a lot. In One Piece, it was sometimes juice as well.
  • Gag Dub:
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: One of the most infamous uses of this trope.
  • Hostile Show Takeover: During the "FoxBox" block, when the Shredder threatens to drain the color of all its animated shows, like Sonic X and Kirby: Right Back at Ya!, kicking off the FoxBox Color Drain Sweepstakes, and the 4KidsTV Saturday Morning block, in which Cobra Commander takes over the block, renaming the block into Cobra TV, kicking off the Cobra Domination Station Sweepstakes. This was also the premise of The Fight for the FoxBox.
  • Hurricane of Puns: Mewtamorphosis? Half of all Pokémon episode titles? One Piece probably got the brunt of this. It didn't even start that way at first, but later on, it seemed like every line the characters spoke were nothing but puns.
  • Inconsistent Dub:
    • Was Gold Roger hanged or decapitated? Neither, he was stabbed twice while having a terminal illness. And how did Nami get sick?
    • It goes another way: expect to see one thing edited out in another show...only for the exact thing that was edited out to appear in another show they're dubbing. They didn't even have a problem with Misty holding up a cross to a ghost Pokémon in an early episode of the show, and have her saying, "You see this? It's a CROSS!" Never mind that crosses were one of the notorious things 4Kids censored in One Piece. This was because network standards are very fickle when it comes to censorship that they can change their policies immediately given the content they are censoring, which has resulted in these dubs having something edited while another dub having that thing not be edited.
      • Keep in mind, however, that the first 40 or so episodes of Pokémon were dubbed for syndication, where censorship laws were less enforced (which also explains the use of guns in early episodes, mentioned above). Networks like WB and Fox were far more strict about such things, influencing the rest of the series' dub.
    • Mew Mew Power was infamous for this. 4Kids added the idea that Pudding (renamed Kiki) was living in a shelter. Then a dozen episodes later her house is shown. They had Mint (renamed Corina) "correct" this by saying she only thought Kiki lived in a shelter.
  • Irony: Their attempts at censoring Kuina and Bellemere's deaths in One Piece backfired with a passion.
    • In the original version, Kuina died by falling down the stairs and breaking her neck. In the dub, she didn't die, but she was crippled by the friends of a man she had defeated earlier, to the point that she can't fight any longer. In other words, adult men ganged up on a little girl and crippled her for life.
    • In the original manga, Bellemere was shot point blank in the head by Arlong, which is pretty brutal. In the original Japanese anime, this was toned down slightly by having her shot in the chest instead. In the 4Kids dub, Arlong's gun is shoddily edited into a pointer finger, and he orders her imprisoned in a dungeon. Since it's established that she died even in the dub, that means that she starved to death, a much more painful and slower end than being shot in the head/chest.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes:
    • Without any of their notable assets, some of the 4Kids dubs of anime have not seen a re-release in some form. While some of their old properties have avoided this by being aired on Vortexx, that block met its end in September 2014, killing even that method. Heck, One Piece was redubbed by Funimation, which renders the 4Kids episodes that weren't released on DVD harder to find, even though the first 52 episodes can be found cheap.
    • After their contract with Funimation was terminated for reasons still unclear, 4Kids shows stopped showing up on the home video market. The one exception was Pokémon, whose home video rights remained with Viz. Dinosaur King did turn up on DVD through Shout! Factory, but it didn't sell well enough to justify the company working with them again. After 4Kids sold off their assets, Yu-Gi-Oh! did get a revival on DVD through Cinedigm (formerly NEW VIDEO Group), but it's unknown if any other 4Kids shows will be released to home video through the company. Until then, we have TV rips and foreign DVDs to rely on.
    • This was initially averted with their later properties since late 2008, when 4Kids made them available on their website, only to fall into this anyway when it shut down. For example, GoGoRiki was only available here, never received a DVD release and became a lost media after their bankruptcy until its TV rips resurfaced in 2020.
    • 4Kids once released an album containing all their in-house music for both physical and digital purchase. However, after the company's bankruptcy and dissolution, the soundtrack was removed from digital storefronts and the CD became incredibly rare. Luckily, their music for Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh are still easily available.
    • According to Maddie Blaustein, 4Kids apparently DID dub "Dennō Senshi Porigon (Electric Soldier Porygon)", the notorious episode of Pokémon with the seizure-inducing flashing lights. However, despite the lights being slowed down to "safe levels," OLM banned the episode internationally, and the dub has never been discovered.
    • 4Kids went back and dubbed the previously skipped "Beauty and the Beach" episode of Pokémon (the one featuring James cross-dressing with inflatable boobs) with the Orange Islands episodes (with the aforementioned scene cut). However, it only aired once, and is not on DVD. TV rips can be found fairly easily online though.
    • As of 2015, Discotek Media has got the rights to the 4Kids dub of Sonic X, and will start making DVD and Blu-ray re-releases!

    Tropes L-W 
  • Last of His Kind: Their block on The CW, Toonzai, was the last traditional Saturday Morning block prior to being replaced by Vortexx.
  • Lighter and Softer: All of their dubs, even their Shaman King dub (which had dark elements, but was still lighter in comparison).
  • Missing Episode: They did this to some of their dubbed anime. The various Yu-Gi-Oh! Sequel Series had a few, and their dub of One Piece is infamous for throwing out entire story arcs. This, combined with 4Kids' refusal to release uncut versions of their shows (for the most part), not only created Plot Holes, but made it so that these episodes would only stop being missing once Funimation got the rights.
  • Money, Dear Boy:
    • 4Kids was known for paying its actors very well (at least in relation to other dubbing studios, even higher than the typical union-rates for doing anime voice work). This is why you'll never hear any NYC voice actor express regret for working on a 4Kids series. The scripts may be crap, and the editing jobs may be a joke, but at least you're well-compensated for it.
    • Though this likewise seemed to be their business philosophy as well. 4Kids was only interested in how profitable a series could be rather than the quality of their products and the fandom of properties. And that's if they were even interested in the property at all. For example, they actually didn't want One Piece, but Ojamajo Doremi and Ultimate Muscle. However, Toei wanted the anime to be shown in America as soon as possible and forced them to take it as part of the deal. As such, even though the series was a major hit in Japan and had more than enough of a sizeable audience in the West the profit from, 4Kids had to dub it before they can legally drop the license.
  • Never Say "Die":
    • While 4Kids' would allow characters to die on some of their shows — Shaman King, Ninja Turtles, and later One Piece episodes — it is much rarer to see the word "death" used to refer to it (although the word may be used in other contexts). An exception occurs, of all places, in an episode of Funky Cops, where the episode revolves around the faked death of an Elvis-like rock star, with the word is used constantly throughout the episode.
    • Averted in Yu-Gi-Oh! episode 13. Tristan says "According to this, I'm dead!" Granted, he was standing in front of a tombstone, so avoiding references to death would have been Implausible Deniability even for them. (Ironically, in the Japanese version the character says nothing at all.)
    • There is also the four-episode duel between Yugi and a Marik-controlled Joey in which the loser would be dragged to the bottom of the sea. While the words "die" and "death" remain unspoken, the explicit threat of drowning remains throughout. To compare, most duels in the series have the penalty of death swapped out for eternal banishment to the shadow realm.
    • And there is also Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie, where Anubis is known as the Egyptian Lord of the Dead, and towards the end of the film, tells Yugi and Kaiba that "It is no longer time to duel. Now, it is time to DIE!" In addition, a prophecy includes the phrase "Thus light and shadows both be killed." Helps that the movie was a PG-rated theatrical release, in which case the word can easily be used in such contexts.
    • Episodes 17 and 18, the two part "Arena of Lost Souls" duel tosses this trope out of the window: the words dead and death are thrown about a few times, part 1 ends with Joey saying that he can't "kill his(Bonz's) monsters", and Bonz states that the zombies get stronger every time they're killed at the start of the second part.
    • In the second part of the duel against Para and Dox, Yugi says that his and Joey's monsters sticking together will help them get through the 'murderous maze'.
    • Early episodes which flashed back to Kaiba and Mokuba's past made it pretty clear that their parents died (Mokuba's flashback states they 'passed away', Kaiba's outright says they died). In the cases of characters like Raphael and Mako, this trope is in full effect.
    • In Yu-Gi-Oh! GX dub, when a duelist loses a duel in one of the Duel Monsters Spirit World dimensions, they are "sent to the stars", though there was still a clear implication of death.
    • On the Yu-Gi-Oh! GX example, a rare aversion is shown when Jaden defeats Amneal/Banner, with the deaths unedited. Of course, the dialogue still tones it down slightly by having Jaden say that Banner "gave his life" to help him. This is also averted when Aster Phoenix loses to Sartorius, with his body disintegrating in front of Jaden, though he gets better a couple of minutes later.
    • Also with the above, there's the scene in which Sartorius revives Aster and places him on one side of a statue that's placed above a lava pit, to which Aster will plunge into if Jaden doesn't give him the other key to activate the satellite. Again, the dialogue tones it down slightly, with Sartorius saying that Aster will "fall to his ultimate doom!".
    • Played straight, however, with Aster's father. In the original version, his father was murdered by someone who was trying to steal the Destiny Hero cards, whilst in the dub, his father vanished the night the cards were stolen.
    • Viva Piñata, however, seemed to throw the use of the word around randomly, with one episode using the words suicide, death trap, and killed within the space of a minute.
    • Cosmo's tragic death at the end of Sonic X was the only one in the show that they couldn't write their way around besides along with Maria, though neither are explicitly referred to as a "death", even though it is made clear they still died within the dub.
    • Kirby: Right Back at Ya! kept its death-related episodes. However, the dub has an unfortunate tendency use the word "destroyed", making Knuckle Joe's introduction episode downright embarrassing due to what the plot is about: "I'm looking for the Star Warrior who destroyed my father!". We're still allowed to see said father's corpse. We just can't say he's dead.
    • Ultraman Tiga got away with it in Episode 19.
      Munakata: But General Sawai, Maximum Luminosity could kill her [Rena]!
      • In the very next episode, Daigo asks Yuzare if he is dead.
      • In episode 4, the word is tossed around several times, in reference to the Jupiter crew as well as Ligatron itself.
  • No Export for You: Largely due to their practice of making YouTube block certain videos from being played outside the U.S & Puerto Rico.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: A handful of the changes made by 4Kids were simply typical Saturday morning censorship where anyone trying to air the same shows would have made the same changes. This is why even the episodes of One Piece that Funimation aired on Cartoon Network had Sanji's cigarette, booze, some of the violence, and many of the guns still edited out.
  • Production Posse: Voice actors aside, they've used Dong Woo Animation and Bardel Entertainment for their non-dubbed work. (TMNT, Chaotic, Viva Piñata)
  • Recycled Soundtrack: Most of the anime they licensed used recycled musical cues from their library.
  • Screwed by the Network:
    • The demise of 4Kids' Saturday morning block on Fox was hastened by Atlanta's then-UPN O&O station WUPA (who carried the block in lieu of Fox O&O WAGA-TV, who declined to carry it upon its 2002 launch, nor did it carry predecessor Fox Kids when Fox moved its affiliation there from future WB affiliate WATL in 1994) announcing it would drop the block in 2004 due to low ratings, and the station didn't bother airing any non-edutainment children's programming until picking up Kids' WB! upon its affiliation with The CW. As no other station in the market (including then-WB affiliate WATL, at that point WUPA's biggest rival station and the market's original Fox affiliate) was interested in carrying 4KidsTV, the next four years of the block weren't shown in the Atlanta market, something that hurt the block badly as Atlanta is one of the top 20 media markets. The loss of coverage caused Fox to be unable to hold up their promise of 90% coverage of the block to 4Kids, which, combined with Fox getting no money from 4Kids during their lease of the slots, led to irreparable tension between the two parties by the time Fox canceled the block in 2008.
    • Not that WUPA respected the block any better. They aired 4KidsTV on Sunday mornings to air the glob of local paid programming that regularly aired on Saturday mornings, and often aired infomercials in between 4KidsTV programming, resulting in viewers tuning out once the paid programming came on, forgetting about the rest of the programming that was to air later. After the block was dropped, it could only be accessed in the area through cable on-demand systems for the block's final two years of operation.
  • Self-Deprecation:
    • A Kirby: Right Back at Ya! episode "Cartoon Buffoon" (the one where Dedede makes his own anime starring him as the hero) which had Tiff refer to the aforementioned show as "So Bad, It's Good". Some fans saw this as 4Kids themselves making a dig at their own dubs and shows.
    • In one episode of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, Professor Banner takes a trip to the ruins on the island with Jaden and his friends, and when they take a break once they reached the ruins, Banner states that he's eating pizza. Jaden jealously states while holding two rice balls in his hands, "You get pizza while we're stuck with whatever it is I'm holding?!" This indicates that 4Kids was aware of the fact that they inconsistently reference rice balls as donuts, sandwiches, cookies, and popcorn balls and decided to poke fun at themselves about it.
    • In one episode of Pokémon, James makes some muffled sounds after being partially swallowed by his Victreebell. Playing this gibberish backwards reveals that he's actually saying ""LEO BURNETT AND 4KIDS ARE THE DEVIL! LEO BURNETT—"".There's a story behind this: voice actors were allowed to make quite a lot of money for dubbing 30 second commercials back when Pokémon marketing was at the height of its popularity at the turn of the century. They could easily make more money doing commercials than from doing entire seasons of regular anime dubbing. 4Kids decided to start using voice clips for commercials, allowing them to profit by not hiring the voice actor or paying them for time and services rendered. Eric Stuart did the line as a protest joke that was never intended to make it into the final release of the episode, but by pure accident, it ended up doing just so for the initial release of the DVD that episode was on. The mistake was quickly caught and fixed, but not before a few hundred copies of the DVD had hit the market.
  • Spiritual Successor: 4Kids Entertainment → 4K Media, Inc.
  • Star-Derailing Role: Their dub of One Piece brought down their reputation and might have ended David Moo's career as a voice actor. That reputation wasn't spotless before, but it would never fully recover after that. The aforementioned legal mess was simply the final nail in the coffin.
  • Un-person: Anime News Network refused to acknowledge 4Kids's involvement with the Yu-Gi-Oh!: Bonds Beyond Time due to the lawsuit filed by TV Tokyo and NAS at the time and played up the involvement of A&E Home Video and Manga Entertainment concerning the English dub.
  • What Could Have Been: During their final years, 4Kids was actively trying to undo the damage they did by setting up their own legal streaming site with uncut episodes, even partnering with Funimation and Crunchyroll, as well as proudly referring to their properties as "anime". Had they been able to continue without the legal issues, Toonzai could have very well been a spiritual successor to daytime Toonami, serving as a gateway to anime for children, while not alienating older fans.
  • Why Fandom Can't Have Nice Things: The Shaman King dub is considered one of 4Kids' better translations because of how little they changed; they tried to do add Dub Induced Plotline Changes, but the business about death, souls and life-threatening fights literally being the plot of Shaman King made this impossible. Unfortunately, all this did was showcase why they go so far into Macekre territory with their dubs: the Moral Guardians absolutely railed 4Kids, and it wasn't helped by 4KidsTV airing the show at the same timeslot as Kids WB's Yu-Gi-Oh!, their biggest franchise. These things, coupled with 4Kids' less-than-stellar reputation, caused Shaman King to bomb in the US despite being of passable quality, and 4Kids was back to its usual antics in time for One Piece...


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Four Kids TV, Four Kids


Sanji Smoking a... Lollipop?

(Source: RantNavv Talks Anime - Every Change 4Kids Made to One Piece: Baratie Arc)

This comparison video demonstrates the infamous edit made to Sanji's cigarette in 4kids' dub of One Piece. Here, it was changed to a lollipop, and remained that way throughout all episodes aired by 4kids. Ironically, Sanji had a very low voice in this dub that could easily have come from a chain smoker.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (24 votes)

Example of:

Main / NoSmoking

Media sources: