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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.

Contrast Short Run in Peru, where the work is released somewhere else before it debuts in its country of origin.



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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 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. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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:
    • 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. Given that many people in the West were introduced to the franchise through the DIC/Cloverway dub (which was produced in Toronto), quite a few fans were understandably disappointed.
  • 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.
  • This happened 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 Tuner 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.
  • The 3rd season, the last 26 episodes, of Sonic X were supposed to air in Japan in 2005. Their original TV run was canceled and they ended up released Direct-to-DVD instead; it wouldn't get a proper televised airing until 2020.
  • 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.

    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.

    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.
  • Crazy Rich Asians was released on 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.


    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.
  • In November 2019, Disney+ launched in the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands... and that was it. European countries outside the Netherlands have 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.

  • 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.
  • 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 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.

  • 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, 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:
    • The first four NES games 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 V and 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 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 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
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 came out in Japan in 1995... and stayed there. We got a fan translation in 2000 but nothing since. That is until 2019 when they announced that Trials of Mana would FINALLY get an official release for the Nintendo Switch. 24 years.
  • 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.

    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 (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 50 years after it premiered in the States (one episode was dubbed for the "Cartoon Crack-Ups" DVD back in 2001).
  • 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 as a "Netflix original" (bah!). Only 10 episodes (20 stories) were released on Netflix when it was placed on there, and another 9 stories have since aired on Family Jr. Presumably the rest are still coming to Netflix, but it's unclear when.

  • 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.
    • Saturn is a dead brand after the GM bailout; Buick seems to have taken their place as the badge-engineered Opel for American customers.
  • 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.

  • 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.


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