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Late Export for You

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When a work from another country or region is released in that region, fans elsewhere are aware of it (usually through the internet) and, either due to an arduously long wait for localization, money/licensing, and/or simply laziness on the part of the creators/distributors, it takes several months or even years to reach other shores. However another reason for the long delay is due to local censorship laws that the content is having trouble navigating through. Since there almost always is some waiting time involved in an overseas release, examples are limited to when the process takes an abnormally long time and/or gets a significant portion of the fanbase annoyed, or even enraged, by the wait and/or importing directly from the country of origin instead. The wait may also cause a significant amount of Fan Disillusionment, especially if the unlucky portion of the fanbase gets exposed to too many Spoilers in the interim.


A general example of this occured in South Korea with Japanese media. Most of the anime and manga from 1980s and early 1990s would get its official release in South Korea after its historical ban on Japanese media was lifted in the late 1990s.

This is different from No Export for You, when the creators don't plan on releasing it overseas at all, and Bad Export for You, when a terrible localization of a work is released. However, cases of this may overlap. This can often go hand in hand with Remade for the Export. Sometimes characters or elements may end up appearing in a different body of work before their "proper debut" in their native series.

Contrast Short Run in Peru, where the work is released somewhere else before it debuts in its country of origin. Also compare the Denial of Digital Distribution variety where the digital release comes much later than the physical one.



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    Anime and Manga 
  • Little Witch Academia (2017) ran in Japan from January until June of 2017, and was only released in other regions by Netflix in dubbed form at the conclusion of its first season. And even then, only 13 of the 25 existing episodes were released, which irked some fans. Many argued that this practice was encouraging piracy by those who preferred to watch the show as episodes came out, and/or preferred the original audio and did not agree with taking the time to dub the series. The second half was ultimately promised to be released in August, but this still left a bad taste in the fandom's mouth. Most frustratingly, Netflix simulcasted the show in Japan, with English subtitles available, but opted inexplicably to not release it elsewhere for several months.
  • Cardfight!! Vanguard was imported in Italy in 2016, 5 years after the start of the series. Ditto for the card game.
  • Doraemon is one of the signature anime in Japan. It has had success in a few other areas but has never been popular in English-speaking countries (until the 2005 Dub later got Vindicated by History). A few attempts have been made at dubbing it, however all were very obscure and no episodes are circulating online. The 2005 series ended up being aired on Disney XD in 2014.
  • Ghost in the Shell was only released in Brazil in the end of 2016, 25 years after the release of the final chapter (by contrast, the movie took only three years to be released there). In compensation, Brazilians got the remastered version and the data book in almost the same time of the Japanese version.
  • Kill la Kill got an Italian dub only in 2018, 5 years after its original release.
  • In Japan, Pretty Cure is one of the main anime Cash Cow Franchises of the 2000s and 2010s. Despite its popularity in Japan, it isn't so popular outside of Japan, aside from the Magical Girl fandom and a few countries. It has had a few dubs, however most of the series' are stuck in Japan (except for the Fandubs). Magical Girl series have rarely gotten dubbed since the boom in the early-to-mid 2000s, and the ones that do are usually Darker and Edgier ones. Canada got a dub of Futari wa Pretty Cure in 2009 that aired on YTV, and the 2012 series Smile Pretty Cure! received a Netflix-exclusive English dub, Glitter Force, in 2015, and followed up with the next season's DokiDoki! PreCure as Glitter Force Doki Doki!, and that was it.
  • Ojamajo Doremi, another Cash Cow Franchise from Toei that first aired in 1999, took six years to be released in the US when most other countries received it many years prior. It was dubbed and heavily edited by 4Kids, who doomed it to a timeslot no one would want to wake up to watch and cancelled it after a few months due to poor ratings and abysmal toy sales. They only dubbed the first out of five seasons.
  • Super Mario-kun is a long-running Super Mario Bros. manga that began in 1991. It didn't have any localizations until 2015. France localized it as Super Mario: Manga Adventures and the following year a Spanish translation was released. The manga is a wacky gag manga with off personalities for the characters so that's likely the reason why it hasn't been released outside of Japan. An English release of a few chapters of the manga was stated to release in late 2020 under the name Super Mario Bros. Manga Mania.
  • To Love-Ru was only released in Brazil in 2016, 10 years after the start of the series.
  • Wandering Son began in 2002 but didn't get an English manga release until 2011, a few months after the anime aired. The anime adaptation is outright No Export for You. It's available on Crunchyroll but has no physical releases, subbed or dubbed.
  • Yu Yu Hakusho was a big success in Japan in the 90s, but was more recognizable in Western during the Turn of the Millennium thanks to Cartoon Network, as they subbed the anime for its anime section Toonami to other countries apart of US, like Latin America (in which the series was aired for the first time in February 2004). This was downplayed in Brazil which got it in the late 90s (1998), only three years after the ending of the series in Japan.
  • Senki Zesshou Symphogear didn't get streamed outside of Japan until Crunchyroll got the third season (and later the first, and eventually the second). The same happened to the fourth season which was released in July of 2017 but didn't get a English released until July 2019. And thanks to Discotek Media, a Blu-ray released was announced for 2020 for the first season.
  • Sailor Moon:
    • The series' prequel manga, Codename: Sailor V, began in 1991, but due to having no official translations for many years it was really only known by the more dedicated Sailor Moon fans outside of Japan. It wasn't until 2011 that it would finally get an official English translation.
    • Sailor Moon came out in 1992 but took until 1995 to reach American shores. This was due to a licensing war between different companies who wanted a piece of what was likely-to-be (and which did indeed end up) a Cash Cow Franchise. This was where the infamous Toon Makers Sailor Moon came into playnote .
    • The final season, Sailor Stars, was released in 1996 but was never released in the United States until Viz Media got the rights to the entire series in 2014.
    • Sailor Moon was not made available for a digital streaming release in Canada until 2016 when Viz released it (as well as Crystal) subtitled only on Tubi TV. It took over four more years for the dub to become available for digital streaming in Canada, through Bell Media's Crave service. To this day, however, the dub remains unavailable in the UK, so fans living there remain completely out of luck.
  • Kamisama Minarai: Himitsu no Cocotama premiered in Japan in late 2015. It was later exported to South Korea in 2016 and to Hong Kong, Thailand, Taiwan, and the Middle East in 2017.
  • Legend of Galactic Heroes is an exceptional example - the original OVA series ended in 1997, with the production company looking for interest in a pricy limited English-subtitled release back in 2003. However, the company failed to get the 1,500 responses they wanted, and as such the planned release was canceled. It wasn't until 2015 when the show was licensed by Sentai Filmworks, and 2017 when the show began streaming on HIDIVE.
  • Despite its Internet popularity, the School Days anime, which ended in 2007, wasn't licensed and released by Discotek Media until 2014. This release still lacked an English dub and was missing the Valentine Days OVA.
  • Nichijou (at least the anime) was originally not going to be an example of this trope, as Bandai Entertainment acquired the series in 2011 before it had even finished airing in Japan. However, Bandai's release was officially canceled in 2012 when they announced they would be stopping production of new DVDs/BDs and manga. It wasn't until late 2016 when Funimation reacquired the series and finally released it in 2017 (sub-only) and 2019 (with an English dub).
  • The 1972 Devilman manga wasn't published in English until Seven Seas Entertainment began releasing it in 2018 to coincide with DEVILMAN crybaby.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS was originally released in 2006. It was never dubbed wouldn't receive an official subtitled version until Amazon purchased the license for it and the rest of the main Nanoha franchise (sans ViVid) in 2017.
  • The Naruto anime began in 2002 but didn't get a dub release until 2006.
  • Popular anime shows like Death Note, Code Geass, Fullmetal Alchemist (both of them) and so many more weren't released in Norway before 2018 when the Norwegian feed for Netflix picked them up.
  • Inazuma Eleven is a Cash Cow Franchise video game and anime series in Japan. The first anime began in 2008 but America didn't get the series until 2018's Inazuma Eleven: Ares began airing on Disney XD in April 2019.
  • The 3rd season, the last 26 episodes, of Sonic X was never aired in Japan, only being released on rental streaming services; it wouldn't get a proper televised airing until 2020.
  • Yumeiro Pâtissière aired in Hong Kong in 2017, 8 years after its Japanese premiere.
  • Certain seasons of Jewelpet took a while to get released in certain countries.
  • Anpanman, despite being a popular show in Japan, was never exported outside of Asia and the Middle East until 2020, 32 years after its' release in Japan, when TMS Entertainment announced they would be releasing English and Spanish-dubbed versions of six of the Anpanman movies on Tubi.
  • Shima Shima Tora no Shimajirō and the accompanying Kodomo Challenge program were popular in Asia and the Middle East, but were never exported outside of there until July 2020, when a press release revealed that WildBrain had dubbed the series.
  • The Tamagotchi television series has never been televised in the United States, but it did get released there and in several other countries as a webtoon called Tamagotchi Friends that takes the first seven episodes of the first season of Yume Kira Dream (the seventh season overall) and shortens them into 14 episodes that are each about four minutes long. This webtoon premiered in 2014 while the anime in general premiered in Japan in 2009, with the only other English dub between them being another short one that actually was televised... in Australia only.
  • The original Unico manga series by Osamu Tezuka didn't receive an official translation to some international regions (notably The United States, Canada, and France) until the early 2010s. Almost 40 years since the original manga's run from 1976 till 1979. The manga's English translation also came out the same period the Unico movies were re-released on DVD and Blu-Ray in the West.
  • The Princess Jellyfish manga began in 2008, but it wouldn't be licensed in English until 2016. This wasn't the case for the anime, as Funimation got its license and simulcasted the series in 2010, the same year it aired.
  • Pretty Series:
    • Kiratto Pri☆Chan would not be licensed outside of Asia until 2020, two years after it debuted in Japan.
    • Just two months later, Idol Time PriPara was licensed outside of Asia- four years after it debuted in Japan.
  • Doctor Slump:

    Asian Animation 
  • Some countries didn't get Lamput until a couple years after its original Indian release.
  • Even though it was originally produced in English with the assistance of American animation, 2017 Chinese Lilo & Stitch spin-off series Stitch & Ai wasn't released in English until February 2018, on the Southeast Asian version of Disney Channel, and it didn't see release in the West until December 1, 2018 when it arrived in the United States on the DisneyNow service.
  • Season 9 of Happy Heroes premiered on LeTV in China in 2015, followed by the premiere of Season 10 one year later. A few years later, these seasons premiered in Malaysia on Astro Xiao Tai Yang in 2020.
    • But before that happened, the Season 10 episodes were already available on YouTube, but was later recently that the episodes of season 10 were unviewable and was region-blocked after being available there for three to four years for free.
  • TVB Jade didn't air Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf until 2009 with the Cantonese dub, 4 years after its debut on China. This same also happens in Taiwan.

  • Kia Rio, despite the name, has been delayed for years in Brazil, first announced back at the end of the 2000s, the car still has yet to be released. Recently, production started in Mexico and is also exported to Argentina, signaling that this time, it can be for real.
  • Saturn L and its successor Aura are based off the Opel Vectra B and C (as the Saturn brand is essentially Opel for the North American market), however, they were released five years after their European cousins.
  • Most of the Corollas made outside of Japan were released two years after its country of origin, meaning that by the time, for example, the '98 Corolla hit the worldwide market, the Japanese already had it for quite some time. Quite averted since the 2008 model year, as the car body had to be shortened in Japan to be in compliance with the size tax, despite maintaining the same design and wheelbase. Completely averted by the current generation, as the two models are completely different, but still keeping an two year gap.
  • It took Nissan decades to realize that it would be a good idea to release the Skyline worldwide, but it was rebadged as an Infiniti and by that point, it didn't have its GT-R trim, which later on, Nissan decided to create a spiritual successor with the GT-R nameplate, being a complete sports car instead of a two-door coupe sports version of a sedan.
  • Honda debuted the Civic Type R on the 6th-generation EK9 hatchback Civic platform, exclusively in Japan on August 1997. Europe got their first Civic Type R in 2001, on the 7th-generation EP3 platform, not too much of a wait. Where does that leave North America? We didn't get the Civic Type R until 2017, on the 10th-generation FK8 platform! It's particularly baffling when considering that the Integra DC2 Type R was released here.
  • Chevy Colorado, after being discontinued for years, has returned to the North American market, but it's based off of a Thailand-Brazilian GM project that had been released three years before. The Ford Ranger is also from a similar background, only being available to this market after more than six years.
  • The Audi A3 only hit the North American market on its second generation, by that point it was even made in Brazil, funny enough, its VW cousin, the Golf MK4, was being exported since 1999, and by the next year all the units were made in the very same Brazilian plant.

    Films — Animation 
  • The 2019 movie of Doraemon (Nobita's Chronicle of the Moon Exploration) have a rough history in attempt to get into South Korea after the anti-Japanese protest occurred in July of the same year. Postponed from August to October and then delayed indefinitely, and the movie instead put on South Korean streaming website instead and then later received a television airing in Champ TV in 2020.
  • The Smurfs and the Magic Flute was produced in 1976, but was not shown in the United States until 1983, when it was released to capitalize on the success of the Hanna-Barbera series.
  • The Boss Baby and Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie were both released in Japan one year after their respective release dates in the United States, with the former getting a theatrical release in March, and the latter getting a Direct-to-DVD release in June.
  • Kirikou and the Sorceress was not released in the US until 2002 (four years after the original release in France) due to the film's depictions of nudity.
  • South Korea didn't get the fourth and fifth Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf movies (released in China in 2012 and 2013 respectively) until 2020.
  • This happens to many Studio Ghibli movies in North America:
    • Castle in the Sky: Released in Japan in August 1986, released to DVD in North America April 2003, 16 years later. note 
    • My Neighbor Totoro: Released in Japan in April 1988, released in North American theaters May 1993, five years later.
    • Grave of the Fireflies: Released in Japan in April 1988, released on a subtitled VHS in North America June 1993, 5 years later.
    • Kiki's Delivery Service: Released in July 1989, released in North America on VHS September 1998, 9 years later.
    • Only Yesterday: Released in theaters in July 1991 in Japan, aired on Turner Classic Movies January 2006, 14 years later.
    • Porco Rosso: Released in Japanese theaters in July 1992, released on DVD in North America in February 2005, 12 years later.
    • Ocean Waves: Aired on Japanese TV in May 1993, released in North American theaters December 2016, 23 years later.
    • Pom Poko: Released in Japanese theaters in July 1994, released on DVD in North America August 2005, 11 years later.
    • Whisper of the Heart: Released in Japanese theaters July 1995, aired on Turner Classic movies January 2006, 10 years later.
    • My Neighbors the Yamadas: Released in Japan July 1999, released on North American DVD August 2005, 6 years later.
    • The Cat Returns: Released in Japan in July 2002, released on North American DVD February 2005, 2 and a half years later.
    • Tales from Earthsea: Released in Japan July 2006, released in North American theaters August 2010, 4 years later.
  • Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back—Evolution is an interesting case. While the film saw a premiere with Japanese subtitles during Anime Expo 2019, the English dub didn't get a release until Netflix announced it for streaming outside Japan and South Korea on February 27, 2020. Its release in Japan was July 12, 2019; so many expected the dubbed film to be released in theaters that November, but this never came to be despite some tie-ins with the trading card game and events in Pokémon GO.
  • The Black Cauldron received a Polish dub in 2017, 32 years after the movie's premiere.
  • The Great Mouse Detective was dubbed into Czech, Hungarian and Hebrew in the mid 2010's, nearly 30 years after its original release.
  • Missing Link was released in Italy only in September 2020, a year and a half after its original release.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • A Fistful of Dollars was an Italian-produced remake of Akira Kurosawa's Yojimbo... which, unfortunately, was done without Kurosawa's permission (and copied a lot of the plot verbatim). The resulting lawsuit (which Kurosawa won) came with an order that the film could not be shown in the United States until three years after it was initially released.
  • Gone Baby Gone, a 2007 movie was not released in the UK until June 6, 2008, nearly 10 months after its US release following the then-recent disappearance of Madeline McCann.
  • Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, a 1964 kaiju film was released in Germany in 2011, with a deliberately cheesy dub mimicking the weird monster movie dubbings produced in West Germany during the 60s and 70s.
  • Crazy Rich Asians was released in late November 2018 in mainland China, four months after its world premiere. Warner Brothers have to wait for the approval from Chinese government for the movie to be shown in the country. When the movie was finally released in the country, the home video releases were already available in the market which contributed to the low ticket sales, eventually flopping at the Chinese box office.
  • Hero, which was released in October 2002 in mainland China, didn't receive a North American release until August 2004.

  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets was originally scheduled to release in the US in September of 1999 after having come out in July of 1998 in the UK, but Scholastic released it in June instead after finding that people were importing it instead of waiting.
  • The Peter No-Tail books, also known as Pelle No-Tail or Pelle Svanslös in the original Swedish, is a series of children's books written by Gosta Knutsson as a sort of protest against Nazism was back in the 1930s, but it has received Animated Adaptations later on, two of which from the 1980s received English dubs released by Vestron Video and Atlantic Releasing in the U.S. and VCI in the U.K. The dubs have become moderate Cult Classics, so you'd think the books would have been translated into English. They were translated... in 2017, 78 years after the first book was released. Even still, not all the books have been translated yet, and one of them, Pelle Svanslös In America hasn't been translated at all, presumably because the book itself clearly takes place in the '30s to '40s and tackles the rampant racism towards blacks at the time. (The Film Of That Book that did get released in English is an In Name Only Mind Screw of a film.)

    Live-Action TV 
  • Toei and Saban finally started releasing Super Sentai in its original form through Shout! Factory, the same company that released the first 17 seasons of Power Rangers, after 22 years of not releasing the seasons officially in the United States. Supposedly, the main reason for the long wait was that when Disney got the franchise, another company wanted to license Sentai for release in the US, but Disney halted that by buying the rights wholesale for distribution of uncut Super Sentai seasons. Saban didn't have any problem with sublicensing the franchise after they got PR back, so in 2014, Shout announced the release and first released Zyuranger in early 2015. However, they have yet to announce plans for the various movies and V-Cinema crossovers and specials. It's stated that they were a separate license from the show proper.
  • Kamen Rider, the sister show of Super Sentai, would finally start getting American releases via Shout! Factory in March 2020, with the original season being the premier show of a new channel dedicated to tokusatsu 49 years after its debut.
  • Although the Star Trek franchise had minor notability in Hungary through the theatrical films (released out of order), it was only in 1997 that Star Trek: The Original Series got a release, with the other series following suit in the late 90s and early 2000s. This inconsistent release schedule meant that the characters' voices varied wildly between the different series and movies.
  • In November 2019, Disney+ launched in the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands... and that was it. European countries outside the Netherlands had to wait until about March 2020 to get Disney+, while Mexico and Latin America have to wait until near the end of 2020. It's especially problematic given the hype and coverage of its current flagship show, The Mandalorian, in an age of worldwide launches for big new TV shows, and it's especially frustrating for fans who don't live in one of the five countries where it launched first and take big spoilers in the face on geeky news sites. It's especially weird considering merch that involves spoilers of said show (namely, toys and T-shirts of the Asset, who turns out to be a baby of Yoda's species) will be available for Christmas 2019 in some of the countries that don't have Disney+ yet. Some resort to using VPNs to get Disney+, others use illegal means, wich some media commentators have attributed to the fact that The Mandalorian is not yet available worldwide. Or the following year, to Mulan (2020), which due to a pandemic was relegated to the streaming service, with the added burden that few countries still had movie theaters open.
  • A peculiar example with the Batwoman episode "Crisis on Infinite Earths Part 2", due to Batwoman and the rest of the Arrowverse being on different networks in the UK. After Sky1 failed to get permission to show the episode as part of the Crisis on Infinite Earths event, Channel Four decided to show it at the end of the season, to avoid interrupting the story arc with an irrelevant crossover (despite the fact a major plot development in that arc hinges on Crisis having happened).

  • Joy Division's second and final album, Closer, took nearly an extra year to be officially released in the United States (March 1981 vs. July 1980 in the U.K.); nevertheless, it still made the 1980 Village Voice Pazz & Jop Critic's Poll as an import. Their debut, Unknown Pleasures, had it even worse. It was released in April of 1979 in the U.K. and released in the U.S. in October of 1980. It wasn't even released in the States for what would have been the band's first U.S. tour had frontman Ian Curtis not killed himself the day before the band was due to leave for America. Their posthumous rarities/live double album Still was released in 1981 in the U.K. and was't released stateside until 1985, off the heels of New Order's Low-Life.
  • Muse's 2001 album Origin of Symmetry wasn't released in the US until 2005 due to a dispute with Maverick Records.
  • Public Image Ltd.'s debut Self-Titled Album from 1978 was originally rejected by the band's American label, Warner (Bros.) Records, for being too uncommercial (ironic given that they would later release the even less commercial Second Edition and The Flowers of Romance in the US relatively on-time); it wouldn't be until 2013, 35 years later, that the album would finally receive a US release through independent label Light in the Attic Records.
  • EMI America Records declined to issue Kate Bush's albums Lionheart and Never For Ever in the U.S. following the failure of her debut, The Kick Inside there. The Billboard chart entry and favorable reviews for The Dreaming there prompted them to finally issue those albums stateside.
  • Cocteau Twins' albums prior to 1988's Blue Bell Knoll were only released in the U.S. through Capitol Records in the early '90s. Prior to that 4AD Records entered into an agreement with Relativity Records to distribute the band's The Pink Opaque compilation in the U.S., but opted not to issue their individual albums. Their albums were still popular enough imports that they were able to play a handful of gigs in the U.S. before they had an American record deal.
  • Another infamous example is The AvalanchesSince I Left You, released in the UK and US in late 2001, nearly a year after its initial Australian release in 2000, because of the sheer number of samples the group had to clear, and the unwillingness of most major labels to get that job done. Luckily, in North America, Sire Records came to the rescue, and their promotion also helped “Frontier Psychiatrist” become a cult hit in the US.
  • Wire's second album, Chairs Missing, was released in 1978 — but not in America, which had to wait until 1989.
  • The first two Buzzcocks albums, Another Music in a Different Kitchen and Love Bites, were released in England at different times in 1978. Neither album got an American release until 2001. The seminal singles compilation Singles Going Steady was released in 1979 instead of the first two albums as an introduction the band to American audiences, and in turn became a popular release in its own right.
  • An inversion happened with David Bowie's The Man Who Sold the World: the album was originally released in the US in 1970, but took until 1971 to come out in Bowie's native UK due to disputes between Bowie and executives at Mercury Records over the decision to include a photograph of Bowie in a "man's dress." The spat over this would end up motivating Bowie to leave Mercury in favor of RCA Records later in 1971, taking the masters to both TMWSTW and Space Oddity with him.

  • In Japan, the first color Tamagotchi came out in 2008. Except from a few Tamagotchi Plus Color devices being sold at Toy Kingdom in the Philippines in 2009 and an English release of the Tamagotchi iDL in Asia and Australia, none of the color Tamagotchis saw a foreign release until the summer of 2019, when the Tamagotchi Meets version was released to the U.S. as Tamagotchi On nine months after being released in Japan.

    Video Games 
  • Atlus games are often a case of this, as it takes a very long amount of time for their games to be localized, and some feel that the US and JP divisions don't work together very well.
    • Particularly with Persona 5, which got a lot of the fanbase complaining after being delayed from 2014 to 2016 to begin with, then finally being released in Japan in September 2016, and after that, the Western release being delayed from February to April. The game was ultimately came out in the US/UK about seven months after its initial release.
    • New Atlus games are usually announced in Japan first with no word of any export whatsoever. Though a localization is usually announced by Atlus USA soon thereafter, this continues to bother some Western fans anyhow.
    • The 10-month delay for the European release of Persona 4: Arena was notorious — it pissed off the European gamers so much that threats of boycott were thrown around and order cancellations ensued. Fan backlash was so great that Atlus daren't try the same schtick with Ultimax.
    • Shin Megami Tensei IV is the second closest Atlus has gotten to averting this trope, with a May 2013 release in Japan and July 2013 in North America. Europe still got the short end of the stick though, as they didn't get the game until October 2014.
  • Level-5's games started getting pretty bad about this, in regards to Western releasing.
    • White Knight Chronicles took 14 months to be released in the US, while Fantasy Life took 21 and Professor Layton and the Unwound Future took 22. Inazuma Eleven takes the cake, though - it was released in Europe in January 2011, two and a half years after its Japanese release, and the US three more years after that. And the series didn't release in Australia until Inazuma Eleven Go in 2015. (And the region proceeded to get no more of them)
    • There's also Danball Senki, which wouldn't be released in America or Europe for four years, after which the game had already gotten an Updated Re-release and a port to another console.
    • Their European department has now become more prolific than their North American department because of this; Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney had a six month gap between Europe and North America, with the latter receiving nothing but a barely modified version of the European build complete with its alternate voice actors — thus making the schedule slip look almost entirely unnecessary. The Inazuma Eleven series, despite having five games released (with the sixth and last seemingly in the works) in Europe, had its first game released in America when Europe was on its fourth, and the North American branch has been giving infamously mixed signals about whether the others are on a very long schedule slip or if it has no chance because its Twitter and Facebook keeps reporting on its Europe only.
    • Despite being Level-5's most successful franchise to date and having been constantly promoted by the company with the intent to expand internationally, the first Yo Kai Watch game wouldn't leave its home country for over two years, by which time in Japan the game had already gotten a sequel, the sequel's Updated Re-release, the announcement for a third game, and a spinoff game. Yo Kai Watch Blasters took THREE YEARS to get released outside of Japan. In that time, the third game came out, got an Updated Re-release, Blasters got a sequel, released another spin-off that crosses over with Romance of the Three Kingdoms (that will more than likely be No Export for You), and there's a fourth game announced for Switch. The third main Yo Kai Watch title also took nearly three years to come out internationally.
    • Level-5's status with this trope has been acknowledged by them on their official Twitter for Snack World, which itself is another example. Two years after the Switch version, three years after the 3DS (which will remain No Export for You)
  • Most Yakuza games aside from Yakuza 3 were released abroad six to eight months later. However, Yakuza 5 and 6 were released three and two years later respectively.
  • Various Tales Series have been released within a the minimum in five months except for the US releases for Tales of Vesperia, which was released in the same month, and the ones that weren't released at all.
    • Tales of Phantasia was released a decade after its initial release.
    • Vesperia has an Updated Re-release for the PlayStation 3 with new content, released a few months after the initial game's release. It wasn't released outside of Japan until 2018, ten years after the game's initial release in 2008, on the Xbox One, Switch, PC and PlayStation 4.
  • The first game in the Mother series was never localized and released in the US until after its sequel was released westward, where it was called EarthBound. It was only in 2015 that the game was finally ported to the Wii U under the title EarthBound Beginnings.
  • Final Fantasy
    • The series had three games skipped for North American release prior to the success of Final Fantasy VII:
      • Final Fantasy II for the Famicom, released in 1988, saw its PlayStation update release alongside the updated Final Fantasy I as part of Final Fantasy Origins 14 years later.
      • Final Fantasy III took the longest of any; the original was released in 1990 for the Famicom. There was a remake planned for the WonderSwan that never came to fruition, and as such, unlike the first two games that were remade for the system and were the source for the ports that ended up on the Playstation Origins compilation, no such release would be possible without doing another ground-up remake elsewhere. Square Enix would take advantage of the burgeoning success of the Nintendo DS a couple years later and develop a 3D remake for the system, which would arrive in 2006 in both Japan and North America (elsewhere in the following year), a whopping 16 (!) years after the original.
      • Final Fantasy V, originally released in 1992 for the Super Famicom, took the least time, owing to all three of the mainline games on the system being ported to the PlayStation a few years later, and a localization of the script that was abandoned when original plans to release the game stateside were scuttled. It was coupled with the port of Final Fantasy VI as part of Final Fantasy Anthology in 1999, 7 years after the original. (It arrived in Europe 2 1/2 years later in early 2002.)
    • Europe was even less lucky, as none of the first six titles came out there at the time. It took their respective remakes on the PS1, GBA or DS for them to finally come out in Europe.
  • Dragon Quest has historically had major problems with this trope:
    • Dragon Quest I, Dragon Quest II, Dragon Quest III and Dragon Quest IV took, on average, three years to be released in America. This is likely a factor in why the franchise isn't the phenomenon there that it is in Japan; by the time America received the games, the competition had already established a foothold and Dragon Quest didn't always look as good in comparison. And then Dragon Quest V and Dragon Quest VI didn't come out in America at all and had to wait for Nintendo DS remakes about 15 years later.
    • Europe had things even worse, as not one of the games in the series were released there until Dragon Quest VIII in 2006. They then received the DS remakes of IV to VI about 15 years after the original releases, same as America, but I to III had to wait for smartphone ports in 2014 and Dragon Quest VII for a 3DS remake in 2016 (VII was again around a 15-year gap, while the original trilogy was around three decades late).
    • The 3DS remakes of VII and VIII also dragged their feet getting released internationally, both taking around three years (and both were only released internationally at all thanks to Nintendo playing Network to the Rescue).
  • Harvest Moon: Back to Nature on the PlayStation was released in English however its Distaff Counterpart was skipped over. Harvest Moon: More Friends for Mineral Town, which is essentially a remake of the game for the Game Boy Advance, was translated later. Back to Nature and Back to Nature: For Girl were eventually both rereleased on the Playstation Portable as Harvest Moon: Boy and Girl.
  • Pokémon:
    • Pokémon Red and Blue reached Europe after three years, well within the Game Boy Color era, which made it look incredibly dated compared to "older" games like The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX.
    • The American releases of Red and Blue came out 2 years after Red and Green in Japan. This gap was taken advantage of by Nintendo, Game Freak, and 4Kids Entertainment. As "Pokémania" was already in full-swing in Japan, the series was prepared for the same to occur internationally. A lot of merchandise was created prior to release and the anime was released first to hype up the games even more.
  • Even though every other release made it to America at more or less the same time as other regions, the New Play Control! version of Pikmin 2 for the Wii was released in every region except America in 2009, and America didn't get it until 2012. This was likely because Nintendo of America didn't renew their deals with the owners of the many trademarks in the game.
  • Brain Age: Concentration Training was going to be released in Europe in 2013, some time later the American release, but for some reason the release was cancelled... until the April 2017 Nintendo Direct revealed that the game was finally going to be released in July 2017, 4 years after the originally intended release date and exactly 5 years and 5 months after the Japanese release.
  • Puyo Puyo
    • Puyo Puyo Tsu first hit Japanese arcades in 1994. The first version of the game to release outside Japan (and, for that matter, the first non-Dolled-Up Installment Puyo Puyo localization in general for home consoles) was 1999's Puyo Pop for the Neo Geo Pocket Color, almost exactly five years later.
    • Puyo Puyo Tetris's first versions released in Japan in 2014; it wasn't released in North America or Europe until 2017, long enough for Puyo Puyo Chronicle to release in Japan in the meantime. In this case, legal red tape surrounding Ubisoft's Tetris Ultimate was to blame.
  • Panel de Pon was only released outside of Japan as an Dolled-Up Installment, cutting out references for the fairy characters. The first Panel de Pon game was finally released outside of Japan via the Nintendo Switch Online service, just under 25 years after the original release in Japan.
  • Four and a half years separate the Japanese and American releases of Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love.
  • Gradius:
    • Gradius II: Gofer no Yabou was released in 1988 in Japan and Europe, but did not see an official release in North America until its inclusion in Gradius Collection in 2006, eighteen years later.
    • Gradius Gaiden was released in 1998 in Japan, and took eight years to be released elsewhere. Like Gradius II, its export took form of being one of the games on Collection.
  • Wangan Midnight:
    • Maximum Tune 5 is infamous in this regard. It was released in 2014 in the Asia Pacific, Australia, and New Zealand, and then in 2017 in North a time when Japan was on Maximum Tune 5DX+ and most of the rest of the Eastern Pacific was on 5DX.
    • China jumped from Maximum Tune 4 to 5DX in 2018.
    • Maximum Tune 6 once again took a whole year to leave Japan. The game was released in Japan in mid-2018, but only reached the rest of Asia in mid-2019.
  • While Monster Hunter games being released in the West about half to 2/3 of a year after their Japanese releases is the norm, Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate is notable in that it took 17 months after its original Japanese 3DS release to get a localized release (a little over a year after the Japanese Switch release), 8 months after its sequel Monster Hunter: World was released worldwide.
  • American developed Sonic 3D Blast on the Sega Saturn didn't came out in Japan until 1999, despite the US version being released in 1997. By the time it came out in Japan, the Sega Dreamcast was already out on the market.
  • Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Battle 22 was released in Japan in July 1995 as an early PlayStation title. It wasn't released in the US until almost eight years later; by which point the original PlayStation was already largely obsolete.
  • The Rhythm Heaven series, aside from the first installment which was unreleased in the West, each took nearly a year long to come to the West after their Japanese release dates.
  • Kirby:
    • Kirby's Dream Land 3 wasn't released in Europe until 2009 via the Wii Virtual Console.
    • Kirby Battle Royale was released in November in Europe, Australia and Japan, in January in North America and in February in South Korea.
  • Mr. Driller
    • A truly baffling case with the Game Boy Advance port of Mr. Driller 2. It released in Japan in 2001, but didn't release in Europe until 2004 and North America until 2005. Its release in NA came after not only the Japan-exclusive Mr. Driller A for Game Boy Advance (which has six playable characters by default compared to Mr Driller 2's two characters), but also the Nintendo DS game Mr Driller: Drill Spirits, which had released in all regions by that point. Only Namco knows why they bothered with the comparatively-miniscule Mr Driller 2 after that.
    • That being said, the above doesn't come close to Mr. Driller: Drill Land. Drill Land was announced for a worldwide Nintendo Switch release in 2020, nearly 18 years after its original release on the GameCube.
  • The 1989 Japanese NES game Legend of the Ghost Lion was released in America in 1992. That's only three years, but the SNES debuted in the interim, 1990 in Japan and 1991 in the USA. On top of that, the game is an adaptation of the 1988 film Beyond the Pyramids: Legend of the White Lion, which only came out in Japan. It's surprising the game was exported at all.
  • Phantasy Star Online 2 had a nasty history of trying to get exported out of Japan. It finally got an announcement at E3 2019 for PC and Xbox One for release in 2020. An eight-year gap between the original Japanese PC release and a release in America (but no Europe)
  • The third game in the World of Mana series, Seiken Densetsu 3, came out in Japan in 1995 for the SNES. It wound up staying there for nearly a quarter of a century. The game got a famous Fan Translation in 2000, cited as perhaps one of the most well-known fan translated games in the world. The game never got released internationally because it was released right before the Nintendo 64 was due out, and the game was 32 megabytes, which needed more expensive cartridges to create. The game would remain a Japan-only exclusive until 2019 when Square Enix announced that it would finally get an official release for the Nintendo Switch. 24 years after the game first debuted, it was released in the West as Trials of Mana in the Collection of Mana set. The game would also get a full-fledged Video Game Remake, which was released in April 2020.
  • The SNES-era Saga games were for a long while were the only ones in the series to not get localized.
  • Despite being released in Japan in 1994 and in PAL territories in 1995, Mega Man: The Wily Wars took a long time to get a stand-alone physical release in America. It was first exclusively available as part of the Sega Channel service during the mid-to-late '90s, then it was one of the 80 games included in AtGames' Sega Genesis Ultimate Portable Game Player in 2012, then one of the 42 Sega Genesis Mini in 2019, and in 2020, a partnership between Capcom and Retro-Bit Gaming finally resulted in the game's physical release in America happening.
  • Giana Sisters DS was released in Europe and Australia in 2009. It received a North American version in February 2011, however it had a limited release (only being available at a few places like Walmart).
  • Genre-Busting Cult Classic Moon: Remix RPG Adventure originally released for the PlayStation in 1997 in Japan, but never officially left the country until its Nintendo Switch port in 2019.
  • Ace Attorney gets hit with this on a regular basis, assuming the games get localized at all, although the gaps have been getting smaller. For example, the first game was released in Japan in 2001, but wasn't released in the west until 2005. In contrast, the gap for Spirit of Justice was only three months.
  • Sin and Punishment was one of the last few games for the Nintendo 64, but it only released in Japan in 2000. It wasn't until 2007 that the game was available worldwide on the Wii Virtual Console.
  • Bravely Default was originally released in Japan on October 2012, with no localization announced at the point. It would finally come out in Europe on December 2013, and in North America on February 2014, with updated content and gameplay.
  • Despite the popularity of the Kunio-kun series in Japan, very few of the titles made it overseas (notable exceptions include Crash n the Boys and River City Ransom). With the release of Double Dragon & Kunio-kun Retro Brawler Bundle, 11 of the un-localized games on the Famicom finally saw release outside of Japan.
  • Ginga Force was first released on the Xbox 360 in 2013 in Japan, albeit as a region-free game. It has now been announced for a release on the PlayStation 4 and Steam alongside its spin-off Natsuki Chronicles.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • The Japanese Super Mario Bros. 2 was initially not released outside of Japan due to its status as a Mission-Pack Sequel with a massive Sequel Difficulty Spike. A modified version was later released internationally as part of the Super Mario All-Stars collection, under the title Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels. The original version would finally be made available for western audiences in 2007 through the Wii Virtual Console.
    • The western Super Mario Bros. 2 wasn't released in Japan until almost four years following its North American release, with the name Super Mario USA.
    • Super Mario Bros. 3 got released in Japan in 1988, but due to a chip shortage (and that the western Super Mario Bros. 2 came out in the US one week earlier than Mario 3's Japanese release), the game wouldn't come to America until 1990, and Europe wouldn't get it until 1991.
  • SEVEN's CODE was released in Japan in October 2019, requiring methods of accessing Japan-region smartphone app markets to download the app. However it got an official international release in January 2020 in English. Notably, this did not result in a 3-month gap in content for English-language players; all of the existing content was translated in English upon the international release and all future updates were synced between both versions.
  • Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light released in 1990 on the NES with no plans for localization. Fast forward thirty years to 2020 and not only would the game finally see release outside of Japan, but fully localized with some modern features (like rewind) to boot.

    Western Animation 
  • Transformers: Rescue Bots was released in Italy only in May 2017, 6 years after it began and 7 months after it ended in the US.
  • Turkey managed to release Total Drama on May 4, 2015, almost 8 years after it debuted in Canada.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • The Japanese dub premiered on TV Tokyo in April 2013, 2 1/2 years after the series debuted. Only two seasons were broadcast. Even after the change of licensor from Bushiroad to Sega Toys, the rest of the seasons have yet to air, but the Equestria Girls ones continued on through Netflix Japan. The movie was given a Japanese release 1 year and a month later, Direct to Video, by Pony Canyon. By August 2019, the show was Un-Cancelled in Japan and is now airing the third season almost 7 years after it originally aired in the US and during the show's final season elsewhere.
    • In South Korea, the first two seasons premiered on Tooniverse in April 2014, 3 1/2 years after its original debut (which, by the way, was longer than it took for South Korea to release more anime and to release the Nintendo DS Lite after they completely lifted the ban on Japanese cultural products in 2004). Seasons 3 onwards were released exclusively on Netflix.
    • In Croatia, the series began airing in November of 2014, more than 4 years after it debuted, and for quite a while aired just the first season (only getting the second one as well in 2017) and initially came with a number of glaring issues (most noticeably the notoriously common audio mixing errors such as careless lip-syncing and looping various lines of dialogue). A second, newer dub of the show eventually came in November 2017, 7 years after the show debuted and 3 years since the original Croatian dub began airing, and first aired only the first season and then announced new episodes from/up to season 4 for April 2020 which was over 2 years since the new dub first aired and several months after the show officially ended in October 2019.
  • My Little Pony: Pony Life: Premiered in the United States on November 7, 2020, while in Canada, it premiered in June 2020.
  • The UK didn't get Pig Goat Banana Cricket until January 6, 2018 - 2 years and 2 months after its premiere.
  • This happened quite often with British children's series in the 90's that were changed for their import into North America. Thomas the Tank Engine took five years to come over as part of Shining Time Station, Noddy's Toyland Adventures took six years to come to the US, where it aired on The Noddy Shop, and TUGS appeared in the United States eight years later on Salty's Lighthouse. The shortest show from Britain to come over to the US that was in a program made to introduce it to overseas audiences was Magic Adventures of Mumfienote  on The Fox Cubhouse. It also happened to British cartoons which aired by themselves without being expanded. For example, Postman Pat aired in 1981 in the UK and aired on US television a mind-boggling 26 years later note  and Fireman Sam, which aired twenty years after premiering in Britain on Sprout.
  • While not exactly late per se, Unikitty!'s French premiere of September 3, 2018 is definitely late compared to the rest of the world.
  • British series Go Jetters premiered in its native country in 2015. It didn't get an American release until 2018, when Universal Kids started to air it.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Japanese Nickelodeon network wasn't well-received, so much of the shows were cancelled and the channel was eventually dropped. As a result, Avatar the Last Airbender originally only ran until Book 2. Years later, Amazon Video salvaged the Japanese dub by dubbing Book 3 with new voices for several of the characters (Aang, Toph, Zuko, Azula, and Suki being the major ones).
  • Nickelodeon Africa is really bad about this. For example, the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Goo Goo Gas" premiered in January of 2019, 11 years after it aired in almost every part of the world. An even worse example would be Season 9 of Rugrats, which also premiered in January of 2019, 17 years after it aired in the United States.
  • The Indian feed of Nickelodeon didn't premiere The Loud House until May 18th, 2020, 4 years after it premiered in the United States. And the show isn't airing with a dub, likely due to the COVID Pandemic.
  • Japan got a dub of PAW Patrol in April of 2019, almost 5 and a half years after it premiered in Canada and the United States.
  • Johnny Test premiered in Japan in 2015, 10 years after it premiered in the United States and Canada.
  • Sagwa, the Chinese Siamese Cat premiered in Bulgaria in 2017, almost 16 years after it premiered in Canada and the United States.
  • Schoolhouse Rock! never saw the light of day outside of North America until Disney+ added it in 2020, 47 years after its' premiere.
  • Taken Up to Eleven with Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, which didn't get a full release in Norway until 2015, almost 50 years after it premiered in the States (one episode was dubbed for the "Cartoon Crack-Ups" DVD back in 2001).
  • Spider-Man: The New Animated Series premiered in Italy in March 2013, 10 years after it was first aired in the United States. By the time it premiered there, Ultimate Spider-Man had already aired every episode of its first season.
  • Chip and Potato first aired on Family Jr. in Canada on October 15, 2018 and had aired 31 stories (15 1/2 episodes) before being placed on Netflix . Only 10 episodes (20 stories) were released on Netflix at first, but as of November 2019 all 40 stories are available.
  • Wolverine and the X-Men got a release in Hungary on December 20th, 2012, nearly 4 years after it premiered in the United States.
  • The original 1996 Blue's Clues was set to be released in Hungary in 2010. Its first season was already dubbed but due to undisclosed reasons the show never premiered. This "lost dub" was only discovered in 2020, 24 years after the show's original release, on iTunes. Still no television broadcast is planned.
  • "Change your Mind", the series finale of Steven Universe, first aired in Italy in October 2020, almost 2 years after it originally aired in the US, and almost a year and a half after the previous episode had premiered in Italy.
  • The Magic School Bus premiered in Japan in 1999, five years after its' North American release.
  • The Italian dub of Voltron: Legendary Defender began only a year after the US release, but the dub of seasons 3 and further took a longer wait to be released than the original. The last two seasons were released only in early 2021, a little more than two years after the original release.
  • The first season of Adventure Time arrived in Italy on January 8, 2011, 8 months after the series began in the US. To make up for this, the season was aired in a bomb format and ended on January 24.

  • Pornography has commonly been subject to this. However the Australian/New Zealand market has been the hardest hit with second being the UK. For this reason is because Australian and New Zealand lawmakers have the strictest pornography laws in terms of decency and acceptability by their respective governments. British lawmakers have similar rules but not as strict as Australia and New Zealand.


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