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Late Export for You

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"I have waited a whole goddamn year to catch Your Name in a Canadian theater - but while the best selling anime of all time takes a goddamn eternity to finally come out in Canada, we get Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale a month after its Japanese release. Needless to say, I'm not happy."
Geoff Thew of Mother's Basement (who doesn't like Sword Art Online very much)note 

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. 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.



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    Anime and Manga 
  • Little Witch Academia 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. 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. In compensation, Brazilians got the remastered version and the data book in almost same time of 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. 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.
  • 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 releazed. 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.
  • 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.
  • YuYu 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). It still has no physical exports of any kind, and whether the fourth (airing at time of writing) or fifth seasons will stream anywhere remains to be seen.
  • Sailor Moon:
    • The original anime was not made available for legal online streaming in Canada for over two years after viewers in the United States could start watching it that way. Given that many people in the West were introduced to the franchise through the DIC/Cloverway dub (which was produced in Canada), fans were not happy.
    • Sailor Moon came out in 1992 but took until 1995 to reach American shores. This is 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 is where the infamous Toon Makers Sailor Moon comes into playnote .
  • 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 (sub-only) in 2017.
  • 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 manny more weren't released in Norway before 2018 when the Norwegian feed for Netflix picked them up.

    Eastern 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.

    Films — Animation 

    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.
  • 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.


    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.
  • 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.

    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.
  • 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.
  • As far as Europe goes, they were very unlucky when it comes to Dragon Quest games:
    • Not one of the games in the series were released there until Dragon Quest VIII. The Erdrick trilogy was finally released in 2014, nearly three decades since the original was released.
    • Dragon Quest IV was finally released in Europe, 18 and a half years after the original was released on the Famicom, on the Nintendo DS
      • Dragon Quest VII in its original Playstation release took one year and two months to be released in the USA. Which is nothing compared to the Nintendo 3DS port, which took three years and seven months to be released in the West. Europe had to wait 16 years to finally get a chance to play it, as the game was never released there.
  • 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 3 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 Anime 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 2 received no official Western release, even in dolled-up form, until Sega 3D Classics Collection came out for the Nintendo 3DS in 2016.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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:
  • 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.
  • 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.

    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.
      • Speaking of the movie, it has finally been given a Japanese release... 1 year and a month after, Direct-to-Video, by Pony Canyon.
    • 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 (which also airs only the first season so far), 7 years after the show debuted and 3 years since the original Croatian dub began airing.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Sagwa, the Chinese Siamese Cat premiered in Bulgaria in 2017, almost 16 years after it premiered in Canada and the United States.
  • Taken Up to Eleven with Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, which didn't get a full release in Norway until 2015, almost 40 years after it premiered in the States (one episode was dubbed for the "Cartoon Crack-Ups" DVD back in 2001).

  • Kia Rio, despite the name, has been delayed for years in Brazil, first announced back at the end of the 00s, the car still has 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 sucessor Aura are based off the Opel Vectra B and C (As the Saturn brand is essentially Opel for the North America 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 year model as the car body had to be shortened in Japan to be in compliance with the size tax, despite maintaning 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 it's GT-R trim, which later on Nissan decided to create a spiritual sucessor being a complete sports car instead of an two door coupe sports version of a sedan.
  • Chevy Colorado, after being discountinued for years, has returned to the North American market, but its based of a Thailand-Brazillian 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.
  • 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 MK 4, was being exported since 1999, and by the next year all the units were made in the very same brazillian plant.

  • Pornography has been the subject of a Late Export for You situation (which has been common). However the Australian/New Zealand market has been the hardest hit with second being the UK.