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  • Japan is notorious for not releasing products for the international market, due to the belief that they wouldn't be understood well enough outside Japan, and therefore wouldn't sell. Even the great Hayao Miyazaki has gone on record saying that, while he appreciates that his films are enjoyed by non-Japanese fans, he is surprised and baffled that non-Japanese can 'understand' them. Other companies - particularly those producing licensed figures and similar toys - have stated that they're simply not interested in offering their products to the non-Japanese market.
  • Classic manga in general. Except for some of Osamu Tezuka's works, Dragon Ball and JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, there's no market for classic manga in the USA. It doesn't matter how big a manga is in Japan; if it's older than twenty years it almost certainly won't get released stateside.
    • The same goes for classic anime (which includes adaptations of classic manga). Most shows that are older than twenty years don't get brought over here either, and even if they do, they're almost never dubbed (if there is a dub it's usually awful because it was recorded in the early 80's… but is probably uncut) and are given a limited release. The internet has only fixed this problem slightly.
    • It's even worse for older manga that are also Long-Runners still being published to this day. For example Kochikame; ubiquitous in its country of origin, all but impossible to find anywhere else, including the internet.
    • Classic manga that were finally released in the States in the 2010's: The aforementioned Osamu Tezuka manga (including a large paperback Astro Boy omnibus), The Rose of Versailles, Codename: Sailor V, the first two parts of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure (as mentioned below), and the complete run of Jiro Kuwata's Batman adaptation. In 2008, the complete manga run of Speed Racer was released, apparently to coincide with the live-action movie (Wildstorm had given the manga a partial release earlier).
      • This has been rectified somewhat, with Discotek Media carving out a little niche for itself releasing (or re-releasing) older series and films. Nozomi Entertainment has also stepped into the old-school game from time to time. However, neither company commissions dubs for these titles (though they'll gladly use a preexisting one), and you're still screwed if you live outside North America or are poor since these shows do not get streamed.
  • While nearly all TV anime are simulcasted and readily available via American streaming in The New '10s, anime movies based on those same series are far less likely to be licensed, and OVAs even less so. If a series is popular enough, a movie may receive a limited theatrical run or an OVA may be packaged with the Blu-Ray release, but neither are likely to be available for streaming at all. This causes problems when the movie or OVA is plot-relevant and required viewing to understand future TV seasons, like in the case of Oreimo, Psycho-Pass, or Free!
  • Kodomomuke, AKA series aimed at younger kids in Japan, usually don't make it out of Asia. Western anime licensors often skip them due to concerns of how successful it would be among the target demographic.
    • For one, content may not translate culturally from East to West — one example being some of them are Widget Series. Many Kodomomuke series have live-action variety show segments (i.e. the earlier Pretty Series, Cookin' Idol! I! My! Main!), when variety shows are practically dead in the West. The target audience may also be too young to read subtitles quickly.
    • Most children's anime are attached to a merchandising deal (i.e. toys and games), which can be expensive and can lead to being Screwed by the Merchandise (i.e. Ojamajo Doremi, Tokyo Mew Mew). In addition, Japanese companies tend to be picky with who they license their children's series to, because they want wider access and their merchandise sales to match the success they have domestically.
    • Most anime consumers in the West are in their teens or adulthood, outside of the target demographic.
  • Hentai anime. For a very long time, adult anime was exported by companies like NuTech Digital, Kitty Media (the adult imprint of Media Blasters) and RightStuff (under their Critical Mass imprint). However, due to piracy, fears of reverse importation on Japan's endnote , and the debacle of the genre and how overpriced hentai DVDs are in Japan, the earnings became so low that almost all Japanese companies unanimously decided to stop offering hentai anime to overseas companies. Now, if you want to see an anime with sex scenes, you have to either rely on censored, expensive and usually geo-blocked releases from Japan or just stick with what came out in 1999-2006. And that's the reason why fansub culture still exists in the hentai scene.
  • It's not just anime and manga themselves: in Japan, EVERY, and we mean EVERY, franchise gets at least one line of collectible statues; then there's additionally one line of candy, jewelry, cosplay accessories, Transformation Trinket toys, etc., etc., etc. Also, there are countless untranslated manga to popular Video Game series. (Did you ever know that there were Ratchet & Clank and Sonic the Hedgehog manga? Well, now you know!) Most of this merchandise usually wouldn't leave Japan in a million years. But luckily, there are some export stores for otaku like us, who buy as much of this stuff as they can and sell it to us poor, merchandise-obsessed souls.
  • Anime and manga rarely gets exported to the Dutch market. The main reason why so few anime gets exported there is due to the fact that anime, or as they called it, "manga-movies", was used as a pejorative term for animated movies containing gratuitous sex or violence in the 90's.
    • Belgium, who once had it as bad, if not worse, than the Netherlands, seems less affected by this now, since a few famous manga publishers (such as Glenat) are eager to publish manga there. Anime may also become less and less of an issue. There are cases known in which Belgian networks import anime by themselves and ignore the Dutch sensibilities.
    • However, its now averted with the advent of digital streaming, since Crunchyroll, Sentai Filmworks, and Funimation are currently licensing titles to the Dutch market, because they consider the Netherlands as a English-speaking territory. Needless to say that you must speak English to access those titles legally, since those companies don't release anything in the original Dutch language.
  • While Puerto Rico usually averts this – having access to both the North American and Latin American catalogues†  – some anime have not been released there in either Spanish or English. Notables include K-On! (on Blu-ray), Durarara!! (luckily, at least it's on TV) and the third season of Koihime†Musou (despite releasing the first two seasons without a problem).
  • Speaking of Latin America, anime distribution in that region is very questionable, since most of the home releases on DVD or Blu-ray are limited only to Mexico, Argentina and/or Chile, without any broad release outside those countries. If you live in a country that is not Mexico or Argentina, you have to import, and if the license is region-wide, you have to import anyway due to the high levels of piracy in that region. Cases in point:
    • In Argentina, they have a company called AVH. Their movie releases are region-wide and many companies through Latin America are importing their DVDs for their respective countries. However, their anime releases are very limited. Moreover, those are limited in selected stores and not anywhere else. If you miss one of them, you're completely screwed. However, AVH is no longer in the home-video business, so their anime licenses are practically expired.
    • Releases by Chilean company Edisur are even more limited, making it impossible to import them. As with AVH, Edisur no longer sells DVDs and Blu-rays, since they changed their business model as well.
    • Also in Chile, there's a cable TV channel named ETC (formerly ETC TV) that has at least 90% of its programming focused on anime, and since its debut in 1996 it's only available in Chile.
    • Mexican companies are usually playing straight with this trope. Furthermore, companies like Zima Entertainment have a very clear stance about this: "our releases are exclusively for Mexico". They even state that in their DVDs, as you can see here.
    • Madness Entertainment (another Mexican company), when they announced they would release Death Note anime at the time, they have stated that they didn't have any interest in distribute the anime outside Mexico. However, time passed and the anime was released by Viz Media. Unfortunately, the Ultimate Edition that includes Spanish and Portuguese subtitles and dubs was region-blocked to US and Canada only.
      • Nevertheless, Madness is still in the business and they're now licensing anime movies to cinemas across Mexico, Central and South America.
    • Now, regarding anime licensing for cinemas in Latin America, there are some complications. In Mexico, anime licensors distribute anime to the following cinema chains: Cinemex (Madness Entertainment, Arcade Media and Sato Company) and Cinépolis (KEM Media and Concomics Cine). Cinemex doesn't have any presence outside of Mexico and United States, but those issues are practically gone since that distribution is managed by Cinemark, another well-known cinema chain with presence in almost all of Latin America. However, despite Cinépolis having a presence outside of Mexico, they are not present in all of Latin America. Because of that, if a movie has exclusive distribution rights to Cinépolis, if you live in Nicaragua, Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay, you're practically fucked. And if that movie is finally released in those countries, it could take several months, even years, to finally make a debut in those markets.
      • This, of course, excludes Venezuela, due to their political problems that makes them impossible to buy titles in dollars due to draconian economic policies related to currency exchange. Points extra that neither Cinemark nor Cinépolis (even worse, Cinemex) are available there. So, yeah, no anime movies for Venezuela.
    • Other company that is going in that direction is Kora International, with their first license: Kamisama Kiss (or, as it is known in Spanish: "Soy una Diosa, ¿y ahora qué?"note ). This series had a very limited distribution in Mexican cinemas. It was eventually subverted when they released the first season on Blu-ray in 2018.
      • However, it was averted with The Boy and the Beast, since Videomax released the dub on Blu-ray in late 2016. And, since Kora is also into the dubbing business, several titles are now under Kora's radar.
    • A notable aversion is Towers Entertainment, since they usually licenses anime for the entire Latin American region. It's even mentioned on the back cover of their DVDs, as you can see here. However, and according to several anime-related people, Towers no longer licenses anime and their licenses are now expired.
    • Another mild aversion is Yowu Entertainment, a Spain-based distribution company that is licensing anime for Latin America (Dance in the Vampire Bund, Zero no Tsukaima and Btooom!). Even though they have a mediocre Blu-ray release schedule and are known for screwing up them (e.g. releasing Dance in the Vampire Bund on BD-R), their series are available on streaming platforms like Crunchyroll and Claro Video, with both Spanish subs and dubbed audio. However, some series as Seraph of the End or The Heroic Legend of Arslan, aren't available for Latin America. No dubs for the Portuguese-speaking market for all of their content were made as well, and very few of their content became available for watch there, especially in Brazil.
    • It's better not to talk about anime releases from Spain's distribution companies, such as Selecta Visión. Almost every single one of their titles (with few exceptions from Yowu Entertainment) are only for the Iberian region (Spain, Portugal and small dependencies, excluding France), and due those licenses' management in Europe, it's completely safe to say that no one of them will leave that region.
    • Various anime releases throughout Latin America excludes Brazil, most probably due to the fact they do not speak Spanish. In some cases, there are distibutors that actually license in the country, but do not provide dubs in Portuguese, such as the Yowu example cited above.
  • Anime distributors in Southeast Asia like Odex, MUSE and Ani-One don't tend to provide English dubs when distributing their titles even when most of them already have one.
  • The Hungarian anime market is dead, plain and simple, due to mishandled marketing, low ratings, catastrophic DVD sales and of course piracy and Moral Guardians. Discounting occasional reruns of older shows, a handful of kid-targeted anime and some relatively obscure, old (and again, child-friendly) series, nothing has beem released in the last few years. But a few instances of denied export can be singled out from the time when anime still had a bigger presence. Inuyasha's Final Act for example never made it to screens because the base-series got canceled, and they apparently couldn't be licensed separately. Seasons 2-5 of Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters, Pokémon: The Series (after Diamond and Pearl), and much of Bakuten Shoot Beyblade and Metal Fight Beyblade have also been simply glossed over. The potential licensing deals of Naruto: Shippuden and the later parts of Bleach, Case Closed, D.Gray-Man, Kirarin Revolution and Full Metal Panic! likewise got the axe around the time that Animax, the TV station that they had aired on, stopped being an anime channel.
    • Network to the Rescue! Viasat 6 picked up the weekday rights to Yu-Gi-Oh! GX.
    • Further, although the Dragon Ball is still very popular in the country, the only animated movie that ever saw a release is Dragon Ball GT's TV special, even though many of the previous movies (or at least their edited forms) had been made available through the French AB Group's licenses. The rights for Dragon Ball Z Kai have also been sold to the Central and Eastern European region, but it was never released in Hungary. The primary reason is listed below.
    • The anime of Inazuma Eleven only had its first 26 episodes dubbed.
    • Also averted when Cartoon Network picked up Yo-Kai Watch in 2016.
  • Because of Tokyopop closing down its North American division, many series will be left unfinished or not even started (including Kämpfer) and thus this trope will be invoked unless Tokyopop manages to outsource some of its titles to another company like Geneon did for Funimation when the former shut down its American operations. However, there may be a light at the end of the tunnel for some lucky titles, as Hetalia: Axis Powers has been licensed by Right Stuf, who are now offering the first three volumes for their new Print on Demand service. If sales go well, they will look into getting the rights to other out-of-print series (not just series that were owned by Tokyopop) to publish as well.
  • On February 15, 2017, Avex Pictures announced it would be restricting exports on certain DVDs and Blu-rays from Japan-based stores, which included among other things, One Piece and the Initial D anime direct from source. Avex informed retailers that they must clearly classify those products that can and cannot be sold overseas.
    • This was partially justified since most of the series under the Avex Pictures label already have distributors for outside Japan. Examples include One Piece and Yuri!!! on Ice, which are licensed by Fuji TV and TV Asahi respectively (Which ironically is also their broadcasters in their native Japan) for distribution outside the country.
  • Most anime that have Kadokawa Shoten as their licensee seemingly don't get a Blu-Ray release in the United States, or if they do it's way late. This is likely to combat "reverse importing" of the American version of the series back into Japannote , which would mean less profit for an already-hurting anime industry.
    • A couple of examples of this are Haruhi Suzumiya and Future Diary. Averted with Full Metal Panic!, although it could be argued that the whole franchise is so old (and hasn't seen a new series entry since 2005) that the risks of an international Blu-ray release would be minimal to Kadokawa.
  • After TokyoPop nearly got in trouble for trying to translate Flower of Eden because it plagiarized a couple of other manga, no other series serialized in Bessatsu Friend would be brought to English-speaking countries for over a decade since (with the exception of Peach Girl and Kin Kyori Rennai, but the former was translated before the ban). Of note is the AKB0048 manga, especially since the anime it's based on has received an English dub.
  • Any of the Toei Majokko Collection shows have not been released in America. However, shirts featuring the characters are sold at some UniQlo locations in the United States, and Himitsu no Akko-chan had a currently out-of-print translation released in the 2000's to teach Japanese children English from the same product line as the English Sazae-san and GeGeGe no Kitaro mangas.



  • Ah! My Goddess: Despite the fact that both seasons were popular enough to get a second DVD print run each, the Fighting Wings episode pair made for the manga's 20th anniversary has never been dubbed into English, or released subbed to Western markets. Further, an original 7-minute OVA and a new full-length episode to be included with volume 42 of the manga are under production, with no plans for an overseas release.
  • Animal Crossing: The Movie, an adaptation of Animal Crossing: Wild World, was released in 2006, but Nintendo currently has no plans to show it outside of Japan.
  • Anpanman: While one of the most popular anime amongst younger children in Japan, it has not seen an English dub except in India. A dubbed test pilot of the movie "Fly! Fly! Chibigon" was made to sell the series to English-speaking audiences and had its credits leaked on YouTube in a video of the CHA-CHA cover of "Anpanman Taisou".
    • In June 2020, Tubi TV announced that they had acquired the North American rights to English and Spanish dubs of 6 Anpanman movies commisioned by TMS Entertainment.
  • Armored Trooper VOTOMS: The TV series was originally released in North America via Central Park Media, but when they went under nobody picked it up again leaving it to fall out of print. None of the OVAs have been released in the States either.
    • Thankfully, this has been averted, with Maiden Japan's licensing of the series and most of the OVAs.
  • Ashita no Nadja: despite being very popular in most of Europe and Asia, has not been aired in any English-speaking countries. However, Cartoon Network's Latin American service (the same one on American cable that sometimes airs Powerpuff Girls Z) aired Nadja back in the 2000's, and William Winkler also dubbed the series as a movie.
  • Attack No. 1 will probably never get released on DVD in the United States. It is puzzling, why, since the series is quite popular and an English dub does exist. That there's no licensing ban is proven by Germany, where all episodes got released on DVD.
  • Attack on Titan:
    • The recap episode of the first thirteen episodes of the first season was never dubbed in English by Funimation.
    • As are the OVAs, but on the other hand, they're included in certain special English editions.
    • The series wasn't released in China due to its juvenile delinquency and graphic violence.
  • Azumanga Daioh: One of the most popular anime ever, yet aside from Japan and English-speaking regions, only two other places got a full adaptation: Germany and France. Furthermore, the 2009 reprint of the manga, which included redone artwork and bonus content, was never released outside of Japan, period.


  • Bad Company: Unlike GTO: The Early Years and Great Teacher Onizuka, the manga never had an official English release.note . Likewise, the live-action film never even got a fansub. However, there was an official French manga translation.
  • Bakusou Kyoudai! Let's & Go!!: A Toy Car hobby-based manga and anime. While an English dub exists (specifically, Filipino-English) for at least the first series of the anime and the film version (which got played in Philippine theaters during the height of the Mini 4WD craze) of the second series (WGP, albeit in Tagalog), its third series (MAX) was never aired in the Philippines (Albeit it did get the Marth Debuted in "Smash Bros." treatment through its kits and pirated copies of the Eternal Wings racing game for the Playstation), and no U.S. release was ever made.
  • Bannertail: The Adventures of Gray Squirrel: While the series has gained various dubs across Europe, the most notable being in German and Spanish, the anime has never gotten an English dub. This is especially egregious considering it's based on a Canadian novel, meaning people in Canada can't see the series in the language of their own country's book.
    • Seton Doubutsuki, based on Ernest Thompson Seton's other works such as Wild Animals I Have Known, was not exported here either.
  • Battle Spirits: Any of the anime. The card game has been discontinued in America. Worse, the game came out before releasing the anime in America and Bandai used Invisible Advertising and didn't even bother to stock the cards.
  • BlazBlue: The assorted manga BlazBlue, BlazBlue: Chimelical Complex, BlazBlue: Official Comics, BlazBlue: Remix Heart, and BlazBlue: Variable Heart, and yonkoma BuruMan were not exported.
  • Bloody Roar: The series was never released outside of Japan, nor was it ever localized.
  • Blue Comet SPT Layzner was actually licensed by Bandai Entertainment for a North American release, but Bandai received damaged, blue-tinted masters from Sunrise and didn't acquire replacements or put out any DVDs before their license expired in 2005.
  • Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo:
    • Viz Media did not release the first eight volumes of the manga; Americans only got a compiled volume of the Halekulani story arc. Some shady sources claim it's due to author Yoshio Sawai being ashamed of the poor artwork of those volumes, but even as the anime grew very popular stateside, there was still no release. Around a year after the anime ended its syndicated run, Viz finally decided to release more manga...starting from the middle of the Cyber City story arc, with little to no promotion. They decided to then stop releasing the manga abruptly after volume 15. One might argue that it was due to poor sales and a shaky translation, but the major facepalming factor is the fact that it was in high demand once, and Viz ignored it until that demand died down. It's rather jarring if you consider that numerous other countries (namely Spain and France) have full releases of both the manga and the anime.
    • Given that it was unpopular to begin with, the sequel manga, Shinsetsu Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo, probably won't be exported at all.
    • Spain isn't getting Shinsetsu despite the first series ending with a Sequel Hook. Combined with the Schedule Slip of nearly 2 years to finish the last 2 volumes, a lot of Spanish Bobobobo Bobobo fans are angry and trying to crush Planeta DeAgostini with their nosehairs.
    • Similarly, the anime originally got three volumes releasednote ; the small company that was releasing it went bankrupt rather abruptly. The only way to obtain all of the other episodes was via Keep Circulating the Tapes if someone else taped the episodes and uploaded them on the internet.
      • S'more Entertainment licensed the series in 2011, and released the first set on March 2012. But it suffered a case of Bad Export for You in that while it is a dual audio release, the Japanese audio track does not come with a English subtitle track. Forcing the English track to play with the Japanese audio? You can do this, but then because the subtitles are meant for the English audio track which will no doubt be woolseylized to a certain degree, what is being said in Japanese may not be what the subtitles are showing. The actual subtitles had to printed out. Eventually, Discotek Media licensed the series with actual subtitles this time.
    • Both averted and played completely straight in the aforementioned VIZ case. In 2008/2009, Viz began running chapters of the original Bo-Bobo manga arc in the U.S. edition of Shonen Jump, and, subsequently, releasing the individual volumes, but only for the first three, for some inexplicable reason, leaving the remaining five volumes a clear-cut case of No Export for You.


  • Cannon God Exaxxion: A particularly nasty one occurred with the final two volumes, which was more or less the fault of an extremely vocal internet Fan Dumb.
    • A little background: The first five volumes were released by Dark Horse Comics to generally positive reviews, with a brilliant translation and few if any visual edits – it sometimes had sex and violence, though never really gratuitous. There was even surprisingly little bitching about the fact Dark Horse had chosen to release the English version mirrored, a practice that was already falling out of favor when they began releasing in the early '00s. Then came Volume Five, featuring a sex scene between the hero and his girlfriend that had to be trimmed down for various reasons – mostly out of fear that since not only were both of them high school-aged, but Hoichi was considerably more mature-looking than the childlike moe Akane, it would open Dark Horse up to the depredations of increasingly fascistic law enforcement agencies trying to stamp out depictions of underage sex in the media. While nothing important to the story was cut, and some say the edits even improved the overall flow of the story, as the sex scene was a bit overlong and gratuitous, the fans still went ballistic. Dark Horse was flooded with hatemail. Frustrated by the fans turning on them after going to so much trouble to get the thing published in America in the first place, they dropped the entire series out of spite. While scanslations of the remaining chapters are available, the Woolseyism, sadly, is not. Depending on the chapter, the fan translations range in quality from So Okay, It's Average to Translation Trainwrecks that make you wonder just what the translator's first language actually was.
  • Captain Tsubasa: The anime and manga were not released in the US... at least in English. The Latin-American Spanish language dub of Captain Tsubasa J ("Los Super Campeónes"note ) was seen on Telemundo in the early-mid 1990s.
    • Primo TV picked up the rights to the 2018 series, which also occasionally aired on Cartoon Network's Latin American feed.
  • Chibi Maruko-chan: Aside from a Translated Cover Version of "Odoru Ponpokorin" being playable on Dance Dance Revolution 5th Mix, YouTube postings of the Indian dub made for Nickelodeon, the smartphone game Chibi Maruko Chan Dream Stage, airings on TV Japan and the movie "A Boy From Italy" being shown on Delta Airlines, nothing was exported to the United States or translated into English until 2018, when the official YouTube channel posted a Hong Kong Dub that uploaded new episodes weekly.
  • Chrono Trigger: The short animation Nuumamonja: Time and Space Adventures was released at the 1996 V-Jump Festival, but neither it nor its manga series of the same name were ever exported.
  • Corrector Yui: Let's list a few reasons why releasing this series to the United States would have been a good idea: One, during its run in Japan (aired April 9, 1999-October 20, 2000), two other Magical Girl shows were hugely popular in the States: Cardcaptor Sakura and Sailor Moon; Two, a then-recent movie called The Matrix introduced many people to the concepts of Inside a Computer System, Your Mind Makes It Real, and Everything Is Online—something Corrector Yui has much in common with and people can easily relate to; Three, Yui Jumped at the Call whereas most protagonists at the time would wish to be normal or refuse the call, further setting itself apart from its competition; and Four, Yui is an Otaku Surrogate for Magical Girl stories herself, which the growing Anime Fandom would likely enjoy. What instead happened with this show is that only 18 of the 52 episodes have ever been officially subbed into English, and it is so obscure in the United States, that there are no fan-subs of it yet; which is sad considering how different, interesting, and engaging the show really is.
  • Crash Bandicoot had a short manga in The '90s that will most likely never be officially translated. It's especially notable because it gives an in-series reason for why Crash's girlfriend disappeared from the series (she dumped him for Pinstripe Potoroo).
  • Crayon Shin-chan:
    • The entire franchise have never appeared in the Arabic-speaking countries probably due to its jokes and Shin-chan's "buri-buri dance" and "Mr. Elephant". However, except for a few of Islamic countries such of Malaysia and Indonesia.
    • An english translated show of the series appeared on local Hawaii TV Station KIKU-TV, but aside from viewers who kept taped recordings of the show back in the 90's, there has never been a "proper" offical US release (not withstanding FUNimation's terrible gag dub).
      • The Lacey Entertainment dub of the anime was never licensed in North America, despite being recorded there.
    • None of the movies have been released in the western world (apart from Spain), but some of them were released in Malaysia on home video with English subtitles by PMP Entertainment.
  • Crush Gear Turbo: A Toy Car hobby-based manga and anime. While an Asian-wide English dub exists, which also aired in Australia, there was no U.S. release.
  • Cutey Honey: Despite being one of the most influential anime series ever and helping inspire the creation of the Magical Girl genre, as well as giving Japanese animation one if its first strong female leads, the series has had a mixed history outside of Japan. Only the second series (New Cutie Honey), the live-action movie, and eventually the original 1973 series (via Discotek) have made it to North America. Two properties are still unlicensed: Cutie Honey Flash (except in Germany) and Re: Cutie Honey.
  • Cyborg Kuro-chan: Has never been exported in North America, though both China and Indonesia got a release. The Philippines got the anime and the toys at least (complete with having Ogie Alcasid voice the titular Kuro-chan).


  • The Daughter of Twenty Faces: Both the anime and manga were never released outside Japan except for Taiwan. This actually confuses a fair number of people, as the low fanservice quotient and competent-heroine-with-no-strings-attached lead should make the show a good fit for American and European television, particularly action blocks like Toonami
  • Death Note has several:
    • All three DS games have never been released in North America.
    • The one-shot chapter has not been translated by Viz.
    • Four of the collector's figures from the DVD series have only been released in Japan - Soichiro, Mikami, Takada and the King of Shinigami.
    • Also as-yet unreleased is the anime guidebook.
  • Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, the matter regarding side publications like the Fanbooks/Databooks and Light Novels vary from region to region, some have them, some don’t, some are starting to get them; however, the one thing no region outside Japan has officially got as 2022 is the official digital colored manga edition, this version was exclusive to Japan as a push towards selling the digital version of Weekly Shounen Jump at the time, it has no physical edition as of yet, and it is also incomplete, Shueisha only hired a digital colorist to work from Chapter 140 to the series’s end at Chapter 205. Time will tell if Shueisha will hire a colorist to work from the series’s beginning to Chapter 139, completing the color edition, and if by then other regions would license it as well.
  • Digimon:
  • Doraemon never had an official release in North America until 2014 even though the series has been around since the 70s, and still going. This was likely due to a combination of the insane length of the series (over 2000 TV episodes and more than 25 movies), and what is probably an insanely high license price for even a single season (the series is the second most popular anime in Japan, second only to Sazae-san, which did get an English manga release to teach Japanese kids the language). There actually was an official English release of the Doraemon manga, but it was in Singapore.
    • Averted in the US, where the 2005 anime aired on Disney XD in the summer of 2014. But, before you cry foul that Disney butchered it for content, this time it's the creators of the anime (Fujiko Pro, TV Asahi and Shin-Ei Animation) who made the changes for the US airing. And it actually got good reception from viewers for being funny and not as bad as other anime localizations.
      • Canada's Disney XD channel initially never got the show, but it appeared out of thin air in August 2015. Only nine episodes were aired, with eight being single-segment episodes and one of the normal 2-story format episodes. Once said 2-story episode aired, the show was suddenly replaced by another airing of Phineas and Ferb. It is unknown if any other Canadian television network will get the rights to air the dub.
    • The manga version is averted as well, where it was released digitally on the Amazon Kindle eBook service in North America. It was released 8 months before the aforementioned Disney XD airing of the 2005 anime.
    • Played straight in Germany and Austria for many years until when Doraemon: Story of Seasons came out there in 2019.
  • Doctor Slump: While the manga did manage to get an English release in North America, the two anime adaptations never made it outside of their home country.
  • Dragon Ball and as well as Dragon Ball Z has run into this a couple of times at this point.
    • Not only never appeared there, but also No Hebrew Dub for the original Dragon Ball anime in Israel because of it's sexual and inappropriate humor. However, it somehow averted with Dragon Ball films.
    • The Jump Super Anime Tour 2008 special, Yo! Son Goku and His Friends Return!! received an official English-dubbed streaming release, but no official home release in America, likely due to rights issues.
    • Dragon Ball Kai never aired in Canada, Italy, Hungary et alibi. The primary reason for this was because of the fact that Kai is simply a remake of {{Anime/DragonBallZ}}, according to one of Mediaset's executives.
    • Subverted with Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods, since was co-funded by Fox as part of a deal in which Fox gets exclusive U.S. distribution rights for two years. It didn't get a release in North America until Funimation and Fox released the film in late 2014.
    • Recently, Super episode 89 were also suffered the same fate as did the first anime series because Master Roshi's sexual misbehavior seemed as "inappropriate, uneducational, and unworthy of screen-time" by the Israelis.
  • Dragon Quest:
    • The first anime series, Dragon Quest: Legend of the Hero Abel, had the first thirteen of forty three episodes broadcast in the US in 1990, with no following VHS or DVD release of the series.
    • Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai: The manga, 1991 anime, and anime films were not exported to the US. Averted with the 2020 anime, which is simulcast by Crunchyroll.
    • Dragon Quest Biography: Emblem of Roto: The anime movie and twenty one volume manga were not exported.
    • Dragon Quest: Souten no Soura: The six volume manga was not exported.


  • The hentai anime Eternity: Shinya no Nurekoi Channel was not released worldwide... except, surprisingly, Latin America and Brazil as a simulcast. The reasons are more than obvious (see above). Also, the anime was released after the Interspecies Reviewers fiasco, so in order to avoid any controversy, the Japanese licensor decided to block the series' distribution worldwide except Latin America and Brazil on a streaming service owned by a Japanese company called AnimeOnegai. However, in those regions the only version available is the censored one.



  • Final Fantasy: Final Fantasy III manga Yūkyū no Kaze Densetsu Final Fantasy III, Final Fantasy XI manhwa Final Fantasy XI ~The Out of Orders~, the Final Fantasy XII manga, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles manga Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles ~Hatenaki Sora no Mukō ni~, and Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates manga Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Ring of Fates 4 Komaansoroji Komikku were not exported.
  • Fireball and its prequels of CGI anime short series coproduced by Disney and Toei Animation (And later Jinni's Animation Studio), have not had proper releases outside of Japan either. This is most likely due to the fact that the series resembles a particular style of Japanese comedy, and most of the jokes are quite difficult to translate into English. It doesn't even show up on Disney+ outside of Japan.
  • Fist of the North Star: The Legends of the True Savior movies and OVAs based on the series have yet to be licensed for an official English release, even though all five installments had already been dubbed in French and Italian. This may change in the future with Sentai Filmworks working on dubbing the Raoh-centric spinoff Legends of the Dark King (having already released a subbed-only DVD collection of the anime). Chances are that they may work on the True Savior movies too, but this remains to be seen.
    • In fact, Fist of the North Star in general seems to have gotten screwed out of dubbing when it comes to the English market. Let's see, only the first nine volumes of the manga were published in America, we only got the first 36 episodes dubbed (it's taken us until the late 2000's for Toei Animation themselves to bring the rest of the series on VOD subbed-only), and let's not forget The Legends of the True Savior. You know, it's ironic that of all manga, Fist of the North Star was one of the first to get an American-made live-action adaptation.
  • Freezing: The spinoff manga Freezing: First Chronicle, Freezing: Zero, and Freezing: Pair Love Stories were not exported.
  • Future Boy Conan: The show has never been officially released in North America in English. The common theory revolves around Alexander Key's dislike of the finished product and related reluctance from his estate. In 2021, G Kids announced it will release the series late in that year, ending a 43-year inavailbility.
  • Future GPX Cyber Formula: While the TV series have been licensed in the US, the OVA sequels and most of the video games based on the series are not. And the poor sales of the DVD box set in the US and it quietly went out of print ensures that the OVAs will never make it to US shores.


  • Gamba no Bōken: Although the series did get exported in few countries (Italy and the Arab world), the show was not exported in most countries. The original novel which the anime is based off was not exported either. However, an all CGI adaptation produced by Avi Arad (yes THAT Avi Arad) was released in the US as a direct to video movie starring Nash Grier, Jimmy Tatro, Ijustine, Jon Lovitz and various anime voice actors (namely Crispin Freeman) under the title Air Bound.
  • GaoGaiGar: Though Media Blasters released it to the States, its poor sales meant that it wasn't going to release its 7-part OVA sequel FINAL. Or dub the second half of the TV series.
  • Gatchaman: Until 2017, when Sentai Filmworks released complete DVD sets of the sequels, they were not available in the West in their uncut form. The Gatchaman OVAs weren't available at all in the West until Sentai's 2013 release.
  • GeGeGe no Kitarō: The anime has never got an English release, although it's probably due to the fact that the main character was born in a graveyard from his mother's corpse. Although, a very small amount of the manga was released in the US, but since then no one in the US has tried releasing it. Not even scanlation groups have touched it. William Winkler also made a movie out of it. This is almost certainly because that series is very, VERY weird and probably "too Japanese" for most foreign (or at least American) markets. Yo-Kai Watch, another series based on youkai mythology was still localized though, but it has a less creepy vibe.
  • Genshiken's first series was released in Italy and garnered the attention of a small but loyal fanbase, causing its first (and only) print run to be eventually sold out. Neither its licensee nor its original editing staff (now working for other publishers) have plans for Second Season for the time being.
  • Ghost Talker's Daydream: All 10 volumes have been available in Japan for years, and the series has long since completed its run. But, if you're a fan of the series living in the US, you'll have to be satisfied with only the first 6 volumes and search for translations of the remaining 4 online (good luck with that). The problem is essentially a catch-22: there aren't enough fans willing to commit to buying the series without some assurance that Darkhorse Comics actually intends to fully translate it for purchase first. But the publisher has said they aren't going to make the commitment until there are enough sales of the volumes they've already released. Still fans continue to ask, though there's been no response.
  • Ginga: Nagareboshi Gin: Despite gathering a huge popularity in Japan and in Scandinavia, the series' chances making it to US are slim. The reason for this is, sadly, fairly sensible; the series is almost all about bloody violence directed towards animals, includes scenes of animal abuse by the heroes and promotes (Japanese) dogfighting.
  • Gintama: Want a complete legal English release in manga or anime form? Forget about it. Viz Media published the first 23 volumes of the long-running manga, but stopped due to poor sales. Sentai Filmworks put out the first couple seasons of the anime… but subtitled-only, and also stopped because of low sales. The fact that this is a very wordy series with a lot of puns and cultural references – making it a right pain in the ass to translate or adapt – doesn't help at all. That Viz has long had bad luck with Shonen comedies – whether in Jump or otherwise – doesn't help either.
    • Oddly, the Benizakura Arc movie did get an English dub. But it was given a pretty low budget even by Sentai's standards (some of the actors are multi-cast). Sentai did this as a test to see if there would be support for dubbing the series or further movies. The answer, apparently, was no.
    • The anime is now averted since Crunchyroll is producing an English dub and will release it on Blu-ray and DVD. However, they're only focusing on the third season. Episodes 1-265 remain undubbed, making it irksome for newcomers who missed out on 11 years worth of plot points and characters introduced.
  • The Good Witch of the West: Not only have only the first two (out of eight) light novels translated, but only the first six manga volumes (of eight) have been done. The thirteen episode anime doesn't go any further in the story so unless you know Japanese, at the rate it is going the series will never get fully translated.
  • Gundam: This series is mostly free of legal snarls, if only because Bandai owns it lock, stock, and barrel. They even have a corporate post with an utterly awesome name of "Chief Gundam Officer", who is THE head producer for the whole franchise and makes the calls where it should go and what should be done with it, and isn't affiliated with the Japanese Agriculture Ministry. Sunrise, while having the say in policy discussions and almost free hand in production, is only a contractor. This is why something like Dynasty Warriors: Gundam (a.k.a; Gundam Musou) can see the light of day outside Japan, while something like Super Robot Wars sees nothing but a few Original Generation games. A bilingual release of the original series was announced for 2011. However, there is one Missing Episode because Yoshiyuki Tomino specifically asked it be removed from circulation (mainly because it's horrendously Off-Model). The eponymous island featured in that episode ("Kukurus Doan's Island") has appeared as a location in the Gundam Vs Series of video games.
    • Beginning around the mid-2000s, most Gundam games became Bad Export for You since Bandai Namco couldn't/didn't bother to license the official music, meaning that they have to make do with a pool of generic tunes instead of the iconic theme songs and background tracks. Further, those three shows will probably never see any foreign release since 1) they flopped in Japan, and Sunrise would consider it a waste of time and money to try exporting them, 2) Sunrise seems to be trying their damnedest to forget that those failed shows even exist except for compilations and retrospectives (seriously, TRY to find decent merchandise for Gundam X), and 3) after their attempt to sell the West on the One Year War failed, they stopped caring, especially since Japanese merchandise sales are more than the entire rest of the world combined. The only exception as of current is Gundam Versus, which did keep all of its music (Including the themes for the Original Gundam, Unicorn, Wing, SEED, 00 1st Season, Reconguista in G and Iron Blooded Orphans) intact like the Japanese release.
    • The reason that the opening themes to Zeta Gundam became No Export for You was due to Neil Sedaka, who actually wrote them. Either he refused to allow them in either as an Old Shame or to keep charges of Japandering from being leveled at him, or Sunrise/Bandai/whoever assumed he'd ask too much for royalties and dropped the subject.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam AGE played with the trope. Two years after its original airdate, the series has finally been released online with English subtitles in the United States and Canada. By then, however, Bandai has stopped releasing DVD, Blu-Ray and Manga, making a physical release to the North American markets very unlikely. AGE's poor reception on both sides of the Pacific adds insult to injury. However it was finally averted when Sunrise and Right Stuff announced it'll release AGE on Blu-Ray and DVD in 2018.


  • Hamtaro: Only 104 of the nearly 300 episodes were released outside of Japan. The four movies also stayed in Japan.
  • Happy Happy Clover: The 2007 anime adaptation hasn't been exported to the West. Even though the manga has been translated in English. At one point in one of the volumes for the manga, the author mentioned that there was currently an anime based on the manga being aired in Japan. As of Group TAC's closure in 2010, it might be unlikely that the anime will ever get an English dub. Another thing that the author mentioned, was that there is also a video game based on the manga thats available for the DS. But the game is also only available in Japan. The manga did get translated in French in 2016 where it is called "Happy Clover". Meanwhile, South Korea was able to gain an official Korean dub back when Group TAC was still active that remains lost (with the exception of a video clip of the Korean theme song that was uploaded to a Korean website in 2016).
  • Haruhi Suzumiya: The producers originally considered the series to be "too Japanese" for the international market, and had no intentions of licensing it anywhere else. They directly credited the huge cult following resulting from bootleg fansubs of the show as a major reason for the official US release (although these same fansubs may or may not have damaged its sales potential).
  • Heroman: There's an odd irony in the fact that this series, arguably one of the most American anime out there (being set in the US and being full of stereotypical American pep), has no American release. The manga has been released outside of Japan but not the anime. This is mainly because of the infighting between Buena Vista Entertainment (owned by Disney) and Studio BONES made it difficult to get a proper American home video release. Also, it was received poorly by the few American anime fans who have seen it. There was an English dub for Disney XD Malaysia, but that's about it.
  • Hunter × Hunter:
    • While the 62-Episode TV Anime adaptation got an Ocean Group dub (a pretty good one too) and even a nice 4-piece DVD box set, the 3 continuation OVA's have not been dubbed and there appear to be no plans to do so.
    • Given the fact that Viz Media has licensed the 2011 version of the series (which not only covers the material adapted in the 62-Episode anime, it also covers the parts adapted by the 3 OVA's, as well as 2 previously unanimated arcs - the Chimera Ant Arc and the 13th Hunter Chairman Election arc) and has announced plans to dub said version, at this point it's all but officially confirmed that the OVA's will not get a dub.

  • Idols of Anime: Discussed, with Viga expressing frustration at series (especially pre-2000 ones) that either aren't translated (even as fansubs) or the translation stops halfway through.
  • I'm Gonna Be an Angel!: Broccoli Books screwed over the anime by releasing half of the series - at a rate of one 4-episode volume every two years - then stopped due to low sales. People who worked on the American release said that they never dubbed the second half of the series at all.
  • Ino-Head Gargoyle hasn't been published in English, though it did have an official release in French.
  • In the Heart of Kunoichi Tsubaki: Unlike its anime adaptation, the manga has yet to be officially licenced, only being circulated online through fansubs.

  • Jewelpet has a hard time getting licensed for the USA due to its similarities to Webkinz. That child-oriented Magical Girl shows are a hard sell in the American market these days probably also plays a factor.
    • Some American Sanrio stores are now selling some merchandise. Characters also show up in the NDS crossover game Loving Life with Hello Kitty & Friends.
    • It's also practically unheard of in Malaysia, with the merchandise few and difficult to find, and the anime has never aired. This is extremely strange as Malaysian Moral Guardians has never had any problems with Magical Girl type anime, and the toys and shows can be found in Thailand and Singapore, Malaysia's immediate neighbors.
  • While Jinzō Konchū Kabuto Borg VxV has been released in Korea, Portugal, and the UAE, it doesn't get the same treatment in the US.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Viz Media notoriously refused to release Parts 1 and 2 – supposedly at the request of the author – and wouldn't go any further than the end of the third. Aside from the Rohan at the Louvre short story from 2012, it was unlikely that there would have been any more official English releases for the series. However, in 2014, they announced that the first two parts were receiving a digital and print release (based on the Jojonium edition of the manga in Japan), and if sales hold up, later arcs of the series (Part 4 through 8) would be licensed as well.


  • Kaguya-sama: Love Is War uses this trope to introduce Fujiwara's role as an Omniglot when she goes into an In-Universe discussion about how Japan's entertainment industry doesn't have an established method to handle the overseas market while talking with a visiting French student. And on a real world note, neither of the series' two spin-off manga have been translated, though references to We Want to Talk About Kaguya are all left completely intact (complete with an editor's note in Volume 19 mentioning how it's only availible in Japan).
  • Kilala Princess: Suffered from this for a time. First off, Tokyopop released the volumes split in half. What was Volume 1 in in Japan is Volumes 1 and 2 in America. Then they didn't release anything past Volume 4 – Volume 2 in Japan. Of five. Fortunately, Tokyopop released all five volumes in full format in 2016 and 2017.
  • Kimagure Orange Road: Despite being available in animated form for close to twenty years, and the deluge of marginal manga titles hitting the shelves, this series has never been available in the US in printed form (excluding an e-book release in 2014). Thankfully, the funds were raised in 2016 through Kickstarter to finally mitigate matters, though as of 2018, it has yet to happen.
  • Kingdom Hearts: Mostly averted now, but it was played straight for quite some time.
    • During Tokyopop's possession of the license, only the original series (four volumes), Chain of Memories (two volumes) and Kingdom Hearts II (first two volumes) were released before the company went under.
    • Yen Press began to remedy this after gaining the license in 2013; it has since released almost the complete series: Kingdom Hearts Final Mix (in two volumes), Chain of Memories (in one volume and with a new translation), Kingdom Hearts II (in four volumes and with a new translation for the re-issued ones) and 358/2 Days (in five volumes), excluding only the original Kingdom Hearts manga.
    • Yen Press has also released the novels for Kingdom Hearts (in one volume), Chain of Memories (in one volume) and Kingdom Hearts II (in two volumes). They've also licensed, and have one-volume omnibuses announced for, the 358/2 Days and Birth By Sleep novels.
      • Still played straight by the novels for Re:coded and 3D: Dream Drop Distance though.
  • Kinnikuman: The spinoff M.U.S.C.L.E. toys and the NES game of the same name were exported to the US, but the anime was not, likely due to the sheer amount of violence that would have proven impossible to censor or tone down. Its sequel series Kinnikuman Nisei was released stateside as Ultimate Muscle, after the toy line.
  • Kodomo no Jikan (A Child's Time)note : One of the most infamous recent examples, this manga series is about a little girl who has a crush on her teacher and decides to pursue him. It had a small but vocal fanbase in America, enough that Seven Seas Entertainment decided to license the series under the title Nymphet after seeing the first volume. That's when the trouble started. The series also had a significant hatedom due to its content. Someone tipped off North America's two largest booksellers, which both refused to stock it. Seven Seas initially stood by their decision to publish the title. Then the later volumes came in… the direction the series took so thoroughly squicked out the folks at Seven Seas that they immediately dropped the title and publicly apologized to everyone, stating they would rather not risk arrest of themselves or their customers.

    For further context, the Nymphet debacle went down at around the same time as the case of United States v. Handley. A random postal customs search of a box addressed to Iowa resident Christopher Handley turned up over a thousand Doujinshi, about a dozen of which had pornographic content of probably-underaged characters. He was arrested for violating the PROTECT Act and Iowa's obscenity laws. The first charge didn't stick (the Supreme Court had specifically struck down the section of the PROTECT Act that Handley ran afoul of), but the second charge did, and Handley pleaded guilty rather than face trial, to the horror of free speech advocates, who felt the case could've easily been thrown out on First Amendment grounds. KnJ starts out relatively innocuous, but by the later chapters it's basically softcore child porn, and could have potentially gotten Seven Seas in legal trouble.
    • In May 26, 2016, there was a huge turn of events. Digital Manga Inc. started a Kickstarter project in order to bring Kodomo no Jikan outside Japan. As of July 6, the project was funded completely and it'll be released in five omnibus volumes and a special tankoubon in 2017. However, as of 2021, the manga still hasn’t been released in English due to numerous delays, the biggest being the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020. The anime adaptation, however, will stay in Japan.
  • Koi Cupid: Only one volume was released in America due to the publisher, Broccoli Books, going out of business.
  • Koi Kaze: One would not expect a series which deals with Brother–Sister Incest in a very realistic way to have much appeal abroad. However, the anime was released in the west and even included an English dub. For some reason however the original manga has never been released outside of Japan.


  • Laughing Salesman: Despite its popularly, the original manga version has never been released in the U.S. (though an English version was released in Japan to help teach English to Japanese people), and neither was the original anime adapted from it. The 2017 anime, however, has been streamed on Crunchyroll for Western audiences.
  • Legend of Galactic Heroes:
    • For a long time, it was felt that the series wasn't about to officially leave Japan any time soon – but not for any malicious reasons. Rather, the series is so mind bogglingly gigantic that the logistics of releasing the entire thing are completely staggering. Though the actual number of episodes (110) isn't that large in the grand scheme of things, it's not the typical anime where a Kid Hero repeatedly saves the day; it's a show where one episode is dedicated to comparing the two superpowers' GDP, dozens are dedicated to explaining the backstory, etc. Besides, try to sell now in the Western world a series where the main villains are Space Taliban whose leader shares his name with a French politician, and where the democratic superpower is declining thanks to incompetent politicians getting elected thanks to cheap nationalistic rhetoric. Fan scuttlebutt posits that the main reason for LoGH not being brought over is that the Japanese owners are demanding exorbitant licensing fees for it.
    • Sentai Filmworks eventually announced at Anime Expo 2015 that they have licensed the anime, and the novels are greenlit for English release by publishing house Haika Soru, who have brought over numerous Japanese sci-fi novels such as Sentou Yousei Yukikaze, All You Need is Kill, and Battle Royale.
  • The Legend of Koizumi: Licensing this series is not nice. Can you even imagine the shitstorm that would result? If so, we will watching what is happening next when any publisher licensed this thing...
  • The Legend of Zelda: There are several early manga that haven't been localized. As in North America Zelda manga are targeted at kids instead of older fans it's likely that they're just too dated to release (being based on games like the NES titles or The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening). They are also a few which could be considered too violent or racy for little kids.
  • Life (2002): The TokyoPop distribution ended halfway through so a large chunk of the manga has never been released in English.
  • Lyrical Nanoha: While the first two series were released in the West, it seems that it was unusually unpopular and so the other seasons aren't going to be released.
    • Blame this on original licensor Geneon going belly-up before the show could even be dubbed, let alone released. Funimation released it as part of their distribution deal with Geneon (that included several other, far more popular, shows), but gave the show next to no advertisement of any kind.
      • There were some issues with the dub that probably hurt sales. Specifically, the translations of some attack names are inconsistent between the two series. Also, the production of the dub was incredibly quick and cheap, so much so that it may have run afoul of California labor laws… which may explain why no person or entity other than the voice actors has any official credit.
    • The series premise. It's geared at men, yet the covers show a anime full of cute girls, with the protagonist as the youngest, that happens to be a Magical Girl series. That'd work well in Japan, but in the west that'd make most men put the box back on the shelf.
    • Averted with the third movie, which got a theatrical release in 2018.


  • Macross: A large assortment of absolutely hideous legal snarls between Harmony Gold, Studio Nue/Satelight, Tatsunoko Production, and Big West – especially the last two – means that virtually nothing of the franchise that wasn't incorporated into the original Robotech adaptation (i.e. Super Dimension Fortress Macross) has seen the light of day outside of Japan.note 
    • Macross Plus apparently only got released in the West due to the absolutely titanic pressure that fans, critics, and other distributors put on the parties involved to not completely sit on triple-A-quality material needlessly (also, rumors are that Harmony Gold, low on capital at the time, was asleep at the switch)note .
    • Despite the insane sales of Macross Frontier's DVDs and soundtracks (which ended up posting sales numbers that had not seen in at least a decade), any plans for export look extremely unlikely. Likewise, Macross 7, Macross Zero, and various video-game projects and the like will almost certainly never see release overseas either.
      • In fact, Macross Frontier's incredible popularity works against it. Even if all the parties to the legal morass were to agree to let it get licensed at all, it would cost any licensor (especially an American one) several appendages and probably a few internal organs to get it, and that's before having to deal with Harmony Gold and their notorious price-gouging. And that is before having to deal with the hell that is Japanese record companies and music rights.
      • As it turns out, the only parts of Frontier to receive any sort of Western release were the manga and, a year after the legal issues were resolved, the two movies.
    • It's gotten so bad that industry insiders have said that it's likely nobody knows who has international rights for some bits of the Macross franchise, particularly Macross: Do You Remember Love?
      • Robert Woodhead, AnimEigo's CEO, once said he does not expect to ever see a legal US release of Do You Remember Love? because of the titanic, multi-side battle (it's not just the usual culprits like Harmony Gold in the way, but apparently Shogakukan, Toho, and a few others who have some sort of interest in the film).
    • As the rest of the page shows, it's not specifically a Macross problem; it's an industry-wide phenomenon. However, Macross takes the cake for being ensnarled not only inside Japan, but outside of it too. A quick summary of the international issues:
      • For those readers who want to know how Harmony Gold (an American company) got into the Japanese legal snarl in the first place, you can thank some nameless, dense California judge. Harmony Gold created the Frankenstein's monster that is Robotech (see its entry), and as the legal battles over international rights heated up in Japan, they got involved to try and keep from losing the series – a Japanese court declared in 2003 that Tatsunoko never had the right to grant a license to Harmony Gold in the first place, which normally would have voided the original 1985 contract… except that American courts rarely acknowledge decisions from foreign courts (in fact, some states outright ban judges from doing so). This judge allegedly granted Harmony Gold not only exclusive control of the international distribution of the original Macross, but also inexplicably gave them permanent rights to license and distribute every Macross-related series that will ever exist. In other words, HG holds the trademark on Macross outside Japan and there's nothing the original creators can do about it except just refuse to license it out (which is exactly what they do) as a middle finger to Harmony Gold.
      • Tatsunoko, their bad blood having deepened since losing the fight in Japan (specifically, it was ruled that they own the original footage and international licensing rights for SDF Macross, but not the rest of the franchise), has taken advantage of the international legal confusion and continues to renew Harmony Gold's license (including the trademarks), as a middle finger to Big West and Studio Nue. At last check, Harmony Gold controls Macross outside of Japan until at least 2050s... And by then there's a high chance they'd renew it again. Big West and Studio Nue could try and get HG's contract voided in an American court… and they could win if they pressed it. But fighting complicated contract disputes in the USA is an incredibly expensive prospect, and no one in Japan wants to pay for that (there's also the not-exactly-wrong perception that American courts are inherently biased against foreign litigants – see the Apple/Samsung patent lawsuits for an example).
      • That said, the planned Robotech movie with Sony could finally give Studio Nue and Big West their chance to take Harmony Gold to court, because bomb or not, movie deals are potential big bucks, and movie adaptations are not something that slips under the radar so easily. Not to mention that the original creators of Macross are no doubt frowning upon this project (the same way Shotaro Ishinomori reacted to Saban's Masked Rider)note .
    • This legal snarl also caused some severe issues with the BattleTech franchise. FASA had bought (or they believed they had bought) rights to the Macross designs in good faith, and used them without molestation for 10 years. In the '90s, FASA sued Playmates Toys for copyright/trademark infringement due to their Exo Squad toys having some suspicious similarities to BattleTech's designs (this was when the BattleTech cartoon was about to be produced). However, it turned out that Harmony Gold had sublicensed Robotech's designs to Playmates, and they immediately counter-sued FASA for using the Macross designs themselves. In the end, FASA stopped using ANY design not 100% created by itself. This decision not only stopped use of the offending Macross designs, but also designs from the series Crusher Joe and Fang of the Sun Dougram, neither of which HG had the least bit of ownership in. It also blocked use of a number of bespoke designs made for FASA by outside groups, including, oddly enough, Studio Nue itself who made redesigns of the Unseens for a Japanese edition of BattleTech. Only since 2009 has Catalyst, the successor to FASA, felt comfortable in resurrecting the Dougram and Crusher Joe mechs (realizing that the law is most likely on their side there). This they did for a few months before once again relegating them to obscurity when other legal issues were surfaced around making other peripheral merchandise (such as gaming miniatures). As of late 2015, Catalyst began to redesign the Macross and other designs enough to evoke them but to be not legally actionable, and is using this new art in lieu of the no longer permitted artworks.
    • On a side note, Tommy Yune, representative for Harmony Gold, has stated that they're willing to license Macross Zero and sublicense it to whoever wants to pay their price; Harmony Gold may charge sublicensors out the nose, but it's actually in their interests to have as much of the Macross franchise licensed as possible, so they can earn royalties on it (they don't get squat from anything in Japan). As such, they'd no doubt also love to bring Macross 7 and every other Macross series to North America. However, the Japanese rights-holders, especially Big West, are quick to jump in and stop progress from happening, Big West having actively taken Zero's license off the market due to its massive grudge against HG for Robotech and keeping Tatsunoko relevant.
    • On the positive side, it seems that at least some of the parties involved may be trying to get around this with Macross Delta. The Japanese Blu-ray releases have the option for English subtitles. Unfortunately, while Macross Delta is English friendly (and the same region as the US to boot), the Blu-rays follow the traditional anime release formats: 4 episodes to a disc for just slightly south of eighty dollars - for nine volumes. Want the whole series? Get ready to drop close to 700 bucks.
    • It was rumored that just recently Big West is finally doing something about this problem as they started to copyright the Macross name starting in Europe, Australia and Singapore, to combat HG and Tatsunoko's license renewal shenanigans. Only time will tell if Big West finally succeeds in finally putting an end to the license and copyright problem that plagued the franchise for years. It did come to happen in the UK recently in 2019, where the name is registered with the UK IPO under Big West's ownership. Time will tell if the series will finally come to British shores on either TV broadcasts, home video or streaming.
    • And as of June 2017, there seems to be some light at the end of the tunnel at last, as a California court finally rejected Harmony Gold's claim of them holding the Macross license in perpetuity, resulting in the license officially expiring in 2021. While Tatsunoko renewed it yet again (see above), this time the renewal applies only to the original series, meaning Robotech fans won't have to worry for a while, either. Eventually, on April 9th, 2021, Big West, Studio Nue, and Harmony Gold have finally come to an agreement in regards to both the Macross and Robotech franchises, allowing for both the international release of most of the later Macross series and films as well as the Japanese release of the upcoming Robotech film.
  • Magical Princess Minky Momo: While Harmony Gold released a dub of the first OVA (as "Gigi and the Fountain of Youth"), the other OVAs and TV series were not so lucky. Harmony Gold had actually dubbed a portion of the first TV series, but the plans fell through due to the inability to get it picked up by a network. However, a few of the international Gigi dubs (such as those released in the Netherlands, Italy, and France) based their scripts from the English adaptation.
    • Worth noting that, in March 2015, William Winckler annouced plans to release Harmony Gold's TV dub (which is mostly uncut, although the first few episodes have been recut into a compilation movie) on Amazon Streaming. Here.
    • Harmony Gold had released Demetan Croaker in the form of two compilation films in the '80s ("The Brave Frog"), and the TV series itself had been dubbed as "Adventures On Rainbow Pond" (yet also failed to get a network deal). It remains unlikely that any of this material will see a DVD release due to the license having reverted to Tatsunoko, and no one currently able to secure the rights. It should also be noted that many of Harmony Gold's master tapes for their '80s dubs were destroyed in a flood, sold back to the licensors (with some destroyed as part of the deal), or sold off in liquidation sales.
  • The Magic Treehouse: Despite being based on an popular North American franchise, its 2011 anime film hasn't been released there yet.
  • Maison Ikkoku: While the manga has been released in the UK, the anime... erm, hasn't. At all.
  • Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers: Want it to air outside of Japan? Consider the following:
    1. First, the show has some Marvel characters that show up as guest characters, but those character rights were owned by both 20th Century Studios (for the Mutants) and Sony (partially for Spider-Man), esp. that Spider-Man is the mentor of the kids in the show.
    2. Second, the toys are made by Bandai. Hasbro has most of the Marvel toy rights out of Japan, and of course Hasbro hates to share with Bandai (Considering Hasbro's ally is Takara Tomy, and Takara Tomy didn't do Marvel Properties until recently (And even then it's not much unlike with Bandai), also the same reason why the SH Figuarts of the MCU characters are not available outside of Japan until recently in the US), which doubles the NEFY Status of the show.
    3. Third, there is a large slate of Marvel-based animation currently airing, including an Avengers show, and The Powers That Be are probably not going to have a second one on.
    • Despite the issues mentioned above, Disney has now produced an American English dub. However, at this moment in time, it only aired on the Southeast Asian branch of Disney XD... except the Philippines. Pinoy Avengers fans are NOT PLEASED.
  • Mashin Hero Wataru Series: Due to the series' kanji-heavy Theme Naming, terminology and similarities to Chinese mythological roots, this series was one of the only projects to have an exclusive sole-export to Chinese-speaking regions - China, Hong Kong and Taiwan; this led to the franchise receiving widespread popularity within those areas during the mid-1990s. Meanwhile, the West's only exposure to Wataru was the famous Keith Courage in Alpha Zones for the TurboGrafx-16.
  • Mazinger Z: Emitted to Spain in 1978 and pulled out due to Moral Guardians after barely emitting thirty-two episodes of the original ninety-two. Thirty-five years later it still is popular enough licensers feel that releasing the DVDs would be profitable. However, due to legal disputes between Dynamic Planning and Toei Animation, the series can not be licensed for TV broadcasts or DVD releases out of Japan. Selecta Vision has managed to publish Shin Mazinger -and made money of it- and have mentioned they would like getting Mazinkaiser licensed, and the original manga made by Go Nagai together with the Gosaku Ota version have been illegally published (the Go Nagai version twice), but releasing the original series is pretty much impossible right now. Like the French Grendizer fans, The Spanish and Latin American fanbases are very NOT pleased.
    • This has slowly been inverted over the years, with complete releases in America, Latin America and Italy.
  • Mazinkaiser: While ADV released the original OVA series, they passed up releasing the OVA sequel, Deathmatch!! Great General of Darkness.
  • MegaMan NT Warrior (U.S. name for Rockman.EXE): The U.S. only got the first two seasons. The remaining three seasons – Stream, Beast, and Beast+ – and the movies were never licensed.
  • Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch: ADV Films did license the anime at one point, sat on the license for a year, and then dropped it without a single release. The official reason given was that a 52-episode Magical Girl Widget Series needed an American TV deal (per the requirements of the Japanese owners, and ADV's own channel was not sufficient) before any home video release could happen. Since getting any girls' series on the air is hard, as shown by the fact that no network was willing to bite on the show, ADV was forced to cut their losses and drop the license. The really annoying part was that they apparently dubbed all 52 episodes.
  • Metroid:
    • The 2002 "canon" Metroid manga, which is the only piece of Metroid media that deeply explores series protagonist Samus Aran's backstory, and was the first one to actually reveal any of it before games like Metroid: Zero Mission and Metroid Fusion would confirm information such as Samus being raised by the Chozo, or that Ridley killed and ate her birth mother. At the same time, it has a few plot elements that the games never hint at (such as Samus having a pet rabbit-squirrel) or contradict the games (such as the events of Metroid being a case of a younger Samus in the military disobeying orders rather than a military contract given years later to an already established bounty hunter Samus).
    • Metroid: Samus and Joey also stayed in Japan, but unlike the other Metroid manga, it's completely non-canon. Even if it was, you'd have to stick it at the very end of the timeline since it ends with Samus making a Heroic Sacrifice to save the universe. The artist of the manga did notably thank Western Metroid fans for being interested enough in the manga to make a fan translation, though.
  • Microman: While some of the toyline saw release as part of the Transformers: Generation 1 series, the manga, and the anime Chiisana Kyojin Microman, have not been exported.
  • Midori No Makibao: So far it has only been exported to Taiwan and The Philippines. Due to values dissonance caused by its audience alienating premise, it probably wouldn't be seeing an American or European release anytime soon.
  • Miriya & Marie: A spinoff of The Aristocats, released in March 2015 and created due to the popularity of Marie in Japan. Like Stitch!, the manga starred Marie and a female named Miriya. The manga never got an official English release and only available in Japan and Brazil, which is strange knowing Disney's fondness of Marie merchandise which can be found in any Disney Store around the globe and can be found in other Disney Theme Parks in the west such as Walt Disney World and Disneyland. Disney finally translated the manga in English and released it under the "Disney Manga" brand on June 2018 for the United States and Canada.
  • Despite the fact that almost any simulcast anime can be licensed in 2018, the Miss Caretaker of Sunohara-sou anime wasn't released outside Japan and China. Although there's not an official reason for it, the most likely is that bilibili, the company ranked high in the production committee, doesn't export their properties outside Japan and China.
  • Due to unspecified licensing issues, season 2 of Monster Hunter Stories: Ride On has not been released in most Western countries, and South Korea.
    • Averted in Catalonia, as season 2 was fully dubbed in Catalan and aired on Canal Super 3 from June to August 2019.
  • The Moomins: The only anime based on this book series to be released in America was the BBC dub of the 90's version, which aired for a time on Hawaii's then-UPN affiliate and was later given a series of print-on-demand DVDs.
  • Mouryou No Hako was never released outside Japan officially given how obsure the source material is to foreigners. It doesn't help that the anime is based from the second novel of Kyōgokudō Series which was never translated. Only the first novel, The Summer of the Ubume, received an official English translation.
  • My Lovely Ghost Kana has never had an official English release.


  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: The "Renewal" edition of the TV series, which featured greatly improved audio and video quality over the original DVD release, was distributed outside of Japan as the "Platinum Edition". The remastered versions of the movies Death and Rebirth and End of Evangelion, however, have yet to be exported. Even worse, the rights to the movies themselves, originally held by Manga Entertainment, have now expired, meaning there is currently no legal way for Evangelion fans in the Western world to obtain the movies apart from tracking down old DVDs. Some fans are still holding out hope for Funimation (the distributor of the new movies) to rescue the license, as they have done with many other properties, but currently most are waiting for an eventual Blu-ray release of the series before seeing the original Eva movies in the West again.
    • This is (again) due to the absurdly high cost of the licenses. ADV passed on the movies when they were first available because Gainax was asking for over a million dollars. Although they could've afforded it at the time, they decided their money would be better spent on several TV shows instead; it was a smart move. Reportedly, the series and original films won't be relicensed in the West until the Rebuild film series is finished.
    • Recently averted, as Netflix has acquired the streaming rights to both the series and the movies. At the time of this writing, they will be available at around Spring 2019.
  • Nyanpire: The Animation: As of 2021, there hasn't been any plans on translating the ongoing manga series the anime was based on, "The Gothic World Of Nyanpire". The reason for this is unknown. Eventually averted with the anime, which was added to Crunchyroll in April 2021.


  • Ojamajo Doremi: Minus one episode about a graveyard, America is stuck with the first season, and that's it. Why? Because in 2007, Toei pulled 4Kids's One Piece license due to their edited dub being so godawful that it almost destroyed significant chunks of the anime industry.†  Thing is, 4Kids got One Piece as part of a package deal (ironically, the part of the package they never wanted to begin with). When it went, so did the series 4Kids actually cared about: Ultimate Muscle and Ojamajo Doremi
    • The other episodes of Season 1, save for episode 30, were dubbed by 4Kids and shown on their website.
  • One Piece:
    • FUNimation has received massive praise in their handling of the TV series (after the disastrous 4Kids run nearly torpedoed the franchise). However, they have yet to release any of the first seven movies, or the ninth.
    • Also, South Korea hasn't received an Korean dub of Stampede film nor released in any form (unlike the 2019 film of Doraemon) due to worse reasons,Notes  so One Piece fans who live in Korea are out of luck.
    • Toei apparently really screwed the pooch when it came to setting up the series for UK distribution. What should have been a simple change of rights from A.B.Groupe (using 4Kids's edited dub) to Manga UK (using FUNimation's uncut dub) turned into a five-year legal battle that had some truly baffling twists – like the 4Kids version of the series airing on Cartoon Network Too for two weeks in 2009.
      • Manga Entertainment have since been releasing the uncut FUNimation dub in the UK on DVD in 26-episode sets. Not bad considering the price tag.
      • They have also, however, turned into Toei's pet company for UK releases which has had some really bad side effects for Streaming (Sailor Moon Crystal Season 3 and Digimon Adventure Tri have been region locked) as Manga have a very caustic approach to streaming.
      • Importing the DVDs and Blu-rays straight from Japan, however, has become impossible when Avex announced that certain DVDs, One Piece included, would be restricted to their native Japan.


  • Peacemaker Kurogane: The manga is now released through Japan-only mobile service, making scanslation pretty much impossible. This, after a four-year hiatus. *headdesk*
    • This also applies to the traditional manga release. ADV started the series where the anime began (Volume 4) and printed 3 volumes before stopping. Tokyopop eventually picked up the license and printed the first 3 volumes, but nothing beyond Volume 6 has ever seen the light of day in North America.
  • Long story short, Powerpuff Girls Z never aired in North America (both the United States and Canada, where the dub was made), the British Isles, as well as most of Europe. In the United States' case, this was likely because a dub separate from The Ocean Group one was planned, with the original voice cast of the 1998 show reprising their roles, but never materialized.
  • Pretty Cure:
    • 4Kids reportedly had a similar problem with Futari wa Pretty Cure to ADV Films' attempt at releasing Mermaid Melody. Considering this company and their dub jobs with Tokyo Mew Mew and Ojamajo Doremi, the fandom was thankful. This seemed to be the last that we would hear of an English-licensed Precure, until Toei did release the first season in North America... but direct download is the only way to get it.
    • Canada's YTV managed to grab the license to Pretty Cure and broadcast it in 2009. The Japanese version was also streamed on Funimation's website (only in America) and Crunchyroll, but even so, most fans do wished for the YTV dub to make it south of the 49th parallel. Though it's highly unlikely.
      • The subtitled version that's on Funimation's site actually was aired on commissioned for a local television station in Hawaii along with the first season of Shugo Chara! in the late 2000's. Hence the reason for why it looks like an old VHS Tape.
    • The true reason is that it falls on the fact that it's a Magical Girl show, and executives are very queasy about shows aimed at girls. The naked transformations MIGHT be a bit too much for American sensibilities, though. 4Kids licensed the show but gave it back to Toei because they couldn't get a TV deal (in spite of already owning a SatAM block all to themselves).
    • It's also region locked to America, making this a double NEFY for anyone who dares to darken Toei's doors with British money. This also applies to Fist of the North Star, Slam Dunk and Digimon Adventure 02 though, the sub quality is such that it might be a non-issue. (However, the Fist of the North Star movie was released in America, and so was its new video game).
    • The Pretty Cure dub was briefly available in the UK on cable satellite channel Pop Girl, becoming one of the highest rated shows the channel had.
    • In full effect with the sequel, Futari Wa Pretty Cure Max Heart, which has not been dubbed at all. Effectively making the English dub of the show end in a Downer Ending.
    • Saban has now licensed the series, according to an Italian fan. They've localized Smile Pretty Cure! under the name Glitter Force, and dubbed forty episodes, in a similar situation to the first season of Sailor Moon's original dub. The show can be seen on Netflix. Same for Doki Doki Pretty Cure as Glitter Force Doki Doki, also on Netflix (but not before Saban returned the rights back to Toei Animation for some reason).
    • In respect to Indo-European languages (even the long-popular Italian), this is now in full effect for Suite, Happiness Charge, and all other subsequent Pretty Cure seasons.
    • To celebrate the release of Pretty Cure Miracle Leap, Toei uploaded various Pretty Cure movies to their YouTube for streaming worldwide. However, the week the Fresh Pretty Cure!, Pretty Cure All Stars DX2 and Heart Catch Pretty Cure movies were uploaded, Toei decided to region-lock them, meaning they were only available to watch in Japan.
    • On June 23, 2020, Crunchyroll announced that they had acquired the simulcast rights to Healin' Good♡Pretty Cure.
    • This is both played straight and subverted regarding Delicious Party♡Pretty Cure. On one hand, Cure Precious' Early-Bird Cameo is completely cut out of the Crunchyroll version of the final episode of Tropical-Rouge! Pretty Cure. On the other, this was subverted for the season itself at the last minute.
  • Pretty Series:
    • Despite being popular in its native Japan, PriPara has not been released in America because it involves a game made for arcades, which are all but obsolete in most Western countries, so it would be hard to find places to put them in. However, some toys from the show have seen a release in the United States.
    • Eventually averted with the following Pretty Series installments: Kiratto Pri☆Chan (which was licensed by Crunchyroll towards the end of 2020), King of Prism: Shiny Seven Stars (the first installment to come over), Idol Time PriPara (as mentioned above), and Waccha Pri Magi (which was licensed by and is simulcast by Sentai Filmworks).


  • Queen's Blade: The manga Queen's Blade: Exiled Warrior, Queen's Blade: Hide & Seek and Queen's Blade Struggle were not exported. Nor were the Queen's Blade: Beautiful Fighters Biographies art books, Picture Scroll of the Musha-Miko, Tome of the Ancient Princess, and Adventure of the Exiled Warrior.


  • Ranma ½: UK fans are out of luck in regard to the anime - its license holder is MVM Entertainment and the only thing they carry is the two movies.
  • Ratchet & Clank started off as an American video game series. Japan has a manga that has never managed to make it back to the states (there are, however, other American Ratchet comics; just none with Big Ol' Eyebrows).
  • Rebuild World: Despite being the third-highest ranked light novel of Dengeki's 2020 lineup, no word has come out on a global release for any adaptation of the series. As a result, all talk of it outside of Japan has been restricted to relatively small circles of fans willing to translate it for others.
  • Rurouni Kenshin has a few cases. While Rurouni Kenshin has proved to be successful in the West, with Viz releasing the entire manga and then reprinting it in "Viz Big" wide-ban formats, several things have simply remained Japan-exclusive. The official guidebook, "Kenshin Kaden", was a Japan-only release, along with the three anime guidebooks. Later in 2007, the kanzenban volumes of the series were released in Japan, which included new art and character redesigns. With the recent "revival" of the Rurouni Kenshin franchise in Japan, two PSP games have been released as well as another reprinting of the manga in a bunkoban format. There have also been novelizations and one manga short that were not exported.
    • There were also two PlayStation games and a PlayStation 2 game released in Japan.
    • Fortunately, it appears that Aniplex has licensed the new Shin Kyoto Hen OVAs for a North American release.
    • Viz Media ceased publishing the Hokkaido arc in Weekly Shonen Jump after Nobuhiro Watsuki got charged with possessing child porn, and a volume release is highly unlikely.
    • Same goes for the many live-action adaptations of the film. At one point, Fathom Events was rumored to release them in American theaters, but nothing has been heard since then, until Funimation Films released the movies direct to video.


  • Sailor Moon has a rather complicated history with this. Events in 2014 rendered its original entry here obsolete, necessitating a total rewrite. Still, it's worth chronicling what the situation used to be like to English-speaking fans…
    Sources are unclear as to whether it was Toei's call or some American suit's, but the final season of the anime, Sailor Stars, was never licensed during the original heyday of the franchise. This is despite ADV Films and Geneon both expressing interest in it (prior to both companies dying). Speculation as to why this happened abounds, but most agree that someone somewhere along the chain of command got concerned about a possible backlash from American Moral Guardians over the gender-bending Starlights (who transform from men to women). Other areas did get the final season, most notably Latin America (i.e. Mexico) and East Asia (i.e. Philippines, Korea, and Thailand… though the last two censored certain partsnote ). There are rumors that there were plans to bring Stars over for a Canada-only release (not unlike the Pretty Cure franchise), as Irwin apparently was going to fund an airing on YTV, since their website had profiles for Chibi-Chibi and Princess Fireball on their site. However, months after these profiles appeared, Irwin dropped the Sailor Moon license due to poor sales.
    One thing that absolutely is true is that in April 2004, Toei yanked the Sailor Moon license worldwide, and forced ADV in particular to recall its uncut boxsets of Classic and R (something that is extremely rare in the world of retail). Allegedly, this was due to Toei wanting to focus all its energy on Pretty Guardian, the live-action series. Although Toei started allowing some countries to license the anime again in 2010 starting with Italy. North America – which got a rerelease of the manga in 2011 – wouldn't get the anime again until 2014 (speculation is that this was a punitive decision by Naoko Takeuchi due to her displeasure over DiC's poor treatment of the first two seasons).note  This time, however, North America got the ENTIRE series, INCLUDING Stars. With a brand new English dub. Uncut, unabridged, uncensored, unaltered, etc. Rejoice, everyone.
    However, Viz's all-encompassing home video license only applies to the United States and Canada, thus unintentionally shafting UK fans (Madman has the license in AUS/NZ). Moreover, while Viz does stream the series on its website, neither it's video portal, nor Neon Alley (after it become a Hulu-affiliated channel), are available in Canada. Understandably, Canadian and British fans were enraged. Luckily, on July 15, 2016, Viz began streaming the show and several other titles to Canada through a streaming site called Tubi TV, but only with Japanese audio and English subtitles. In 2020, Canadian pay tv/streaming service Crave picked up the English dub. Fans in the UK are still left out in the cold, however.
    • Deserving of its own entry, Episode 67 (episode 21 of R) was withheld from several countries' airings of the series, most notably the DiC run. It was the only episode left off of ADV's uncut boxset, allegedly at Takeuchi's insistence. Considering that this is a pointless filler Beach Episode with random dinosaurs, no one really missed it, and the only reason to be angry about its absence was the principle of the thing. It is included on Viz's remastered R set.
    • Ironically and perhaps hilariously, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon is the only last piece of Sailor Moon on television that has seen no export outside of Japan, aside from a short broadcast in Mexico and a recent airing of the series in the Philippines.
    • The Dutch dub of "Sailor Moon" catches hell in this regard. Word of God said that the studio in charge of Dutch Sailor Moon dubbed the first three seasons, but only the first 52 episodes were broadcast.
  • Saint Seiya has an odd and frustrating variation: the first 60 episodes of the 114-episode original anime series were faithfully dubbed in English and released to the US on DVD. But that's all we're ever going to see, since the Bowderized Cartoon Network version completely ruined its chances. And since it's an older series, even finding fansubs of the remaining episodes (plus the 31-episode OVA and 5 movies) can be a real pain.
    • Actually, ADV made it very clear they wanted to license the rest of the series, but were not allowed to. This is because Saint Seiya was a sublicense from DiC, and ADV couldn't get any more episodes beyond what they were given.
    • Even worse, the PlayStation 3 game Saint Seiya Senki was only available in Japan, South America, and Europe. No US date? blame it on the above. Averted with the game Saint Seiya Brave Soldiers which is available in North America as a Download-only release. (To be fair Namco Bandai are testing the game to find out how big is the anime's fanbase in the region.)
    • However it's giving the US another chance to bring the franchise there as Netflix and Toei Animation are planning a new series under the name Knights of the Zodiac: Saint Seiya, as well as a new dub of the original series.
  • While the Saint Young Men manga was finally released digitally by Kodansha Comics in English on April 4th, 2019, the OAV series and movie will reportedly never see a U.S. release because creator Hikaru Nakamura doesn't want to risk pissing off religious fundamentalists on both sides.
  • The official English printing of Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei ended with volume 14, leaving more than half the series unprinted. There's also been no word for many years on when, or even if, the anime and its continuations will be released to the West; Media Blasters licensed the first season of the anime for a 2010 release, and then sat on the license for years until it expired, and nobody has re-licensed it ever since.
  • School Days: After a long wait, both the anime and visual novel versions have made it stateside, albeit without dubs, but so far there's been no word at all about the manga. Though only two volumes long, it's a popular take on the School Days story with a more relatable Makoto... and a chilling Bad End unique to this version. The spinoffs such as Cross Days and Summer Days will probably be staying in Japan too, as they're an even tougher sell than the original.
  • Senran Kagura: The manga adaptations Senran Kagura Spark!, Senran Kagura: Crimson Snakes, and Senran Kagura: Portrait of Girls were not exported.
  • Sgt. Frog:
    • ADV Films dubbed the first few episodes three different ways (which were a mass market pilot, an otaku/fan pilot, and a kids' pilot) and shopped the show around to several different kids networks with Cartoon Network liking the mass market pilot, while Nickelodeon liked the kids' pilot. Nickelodeon was very close to airing it and asked ADV to acquire the merchandising rights first before the network aired the show. However, due to ADV's bankruptcy, the show never aired there. It sat in effective Development Hell for nearly 3 years, until Funimation got the series and was able to give it a proper DVD release.
    • Unfortunately for UK and Australian fans, no anime distributor company in either country has any plans on releasing the Funimation dub.
  • Shaman King: The kanzen-ban ("Perfect Edition") updated re-release took a year and half to start being published in Italy. That makes two countries/languages thus far. VIZ Media said they'd look into it but no word yet.
  • Shimajiro: Outside of Asianote  and the Middle East(and even then, in the Middle East, the dubs were not officially by Benesse themselves), this preschool anime has never been licensed for a release. However, the first two episodes of A World Of Wow! were dubbed as pitch pilots to license the show overseas.
    • On July 2, 2020, it was announced that WildBrain acquired the rights to A World Of Wow! and several Kodomo Challenge segments under the name Shimajiro: A Wonderful Adventure (or Shimajiro: A World of Wow!, depending on region).
    • However, the English Youtube channel has shades of this. A half of the episodes for 2020 on the channel are not accessible to half of the world, and it looks to carry on in 2021. One possibility for this is due to Funimation being roped in as a partner due to their experience in anime dubbing, and Funimation has historically been hostile to markets not the Americas, UK, Australia and Western Europe.
  • Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu: The 2 OVAs have yet to be released anywhere besides Japan, and the manga is only in Taiwan and Japan. Fortunately, the TV series somewhat averts this, as it's currently available for legal streaming.
    • Eventually averted for the manga in 2016, as Kodansha USA picked it up for an English release after the success of the anime's first season.
  • Slayers: Most later manga adaptations were never exported, possibly because of their drastic state among the series' Alternate Continuity; in particular, one manga has all six protagonists (including the two that would replace Zelgadis and Amelia in the novel series) together, which would probably create some confusion among fans. The Light Novel series had eight of its fifteen books published in English (with no promotion, so they all went out of print rather quickly) with the other seven (and a crapton of prequel novels and a crossover book) not released. There were also five video games that were never exported, but they would probably have bombed anyway because the first game was on the Super Famicom, making it outdated to audiences who would own the series in the states (the game came out in 1994, versus the anime coming out four years later), and only one (Slayers Wonderful) is on a mainstream console (the original PlayStation; one was a computer game, while the other two were for the Sega Saturn).
  • Sonic X: Rather unusually, the second series never aired or got DVD releases in its native land of Japan. Finally averted in 2020 where all 3 seasons were rebroadcasted to commemorate the release of the Sonic Movie.
  • Space Battleship Yamato: An uncut, unedited North American release of the original TV series is probably not going to happen anytime soon. This is not because of the difficulty in obtaining a license – most of the Leijiverse has surfaced at some point or another – but more because very few people are asking for it. Fans of the edited American version, Star Blazers, already have the version they like, and they seem to prefer to preserve their memories of rushing home from school to watch Derek Wildstar, Captain Avatar, Dr. Sane drinking his spring water, and the Desslock with the funny voice. If they're in the mood for the Japanese version with English subtitles, they have the Yamato movie collection which, like Star Blazers, is available from Voyager Entertainment. Star Blazers fans already feel like they've got the best of both worlds.
    • Best of three worlds, actually, now with the (arguably superior) Yamato 2199, subbed and unedited now seeing release on DVD and Blu-ray.
  • Lilo & Stitch (without Lilo):
    • Stitch!: Most of the series has yet to air in the United States. The show did air at one point on Disney XD, but they pulled it after less than a week.
    • While Stitch & the Samurai did receive a full English translation that was published by Tokyopop in North America the year after its original Japanese run, the second part of a two-part Disney Tsum Tsum-inspired side story wasn't included in any of the three English volumes (the first part of the side story was included in the second English volume). Notably, this part of the side story had Dr. Hämsterviel and Leroy appear, the latter making his second-ever appearance in the franchise almost fourteen years after his debut and finally being officially given the experiment number 629 after fans have been doing so for years; Western fans were frustrated about being denied the chance to see Leroy again and have his number canonized in English.
  • Did you know that the Strike the Blood anime actually has four seasons, not just the one that most fans in the West know about? Unfortunately, since the latter three are OVAs, which are notorious for not getting licensed as a whole, the second and third seasons took a long time to come out stateside. Meanwhile, so far the fourth season has never made it out of Japan.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Any anime and manga adaptations of the video game franchise, with the most noteworthy being the The Great Mission To Rescue Princess Peach OVA. While web users have made that particular film known to other fans, there are a bunch of others that never went past Japan, including three OVA videos of the Mario cast starring in three fairy tales.
    • However, the Super Mario-kun manga was announced for US release in 2020 under the name Super Mario Bros. Manga Mania.
  • Super Dimension Century Orguss: Whilst the 02 sequel OVA got released in the UK, the original series hasn't, despite getting an English-language dub released Stateside.note 
    • Discotek to the rescue! The original Orguss is slated for DVD release sometime by the end of '14.
  • In-universe example in Sword Art Online: Apparently only Japan (and by extension, USA if Zaskar is really based on the USA) got the full functionality of The Seed Nexus, neighboring countries did not, which is enough to aggravate a POV character in later chapters of Alicization.


  • Take the X Train was planned for an English-dubbed release by Streamline Pictures at one point, but rights issues even in its home country put the kibosh on that. Streamline also planned releases of a couple of Studio Pierrot titles which ended up being priced too high to justify release. Several of their own titles that did get released, including Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water and Mega Zone 23, were also never completed on account of problems with their distributor; the same problems also kept Dragon Slayers, Hi-Speed Jecy, and Princess Knightnote  from seeing any English-language release.
  • Tales of Symphonia: None of the OVAs have been released outside of Japan. Fortunately, the fans have translated them.
  • Tama & Friends only had 13 episodes dubbed into English. The rest of the episodes are hard to find. And forget about the sequel- that one has only been exported to Asia and even at that it wasn't well liked due to the Genre Shift.
  • Tamagotchi:
    • The English dub of the anime was only released in Australia despite being done by Bandai in-house at an American studio. Plus, the dub doesn't even cover the entire series (only the first 26 episodes were dubbed).
    • There actually is anothet dub of the TV show that got released worldwide, including in America. The dub, titled Tamagotchi Friends, comprises the first seven episodes of the Yume Kira Dream Story Arc (the arc spans Seasons 7 and 8), but edited into fourteen four-minute-long episodes from the original length of 24 minutes.
    • Italy only got Tamagotchi: The Movie and nothing past that, including the TV show. It doesn't help that the franchise really isn't that popular there.
  • To Love Ru: All the TV episodes have been released in North America, however the OVAs which provide an important bridge between the TV series (so there are characters that appear from nowhere in the first episode of Motto To Love-Ru). As of 2017, both the To Love-Ru and To Love-Ru Darkness manga have been licensed in English by Seven Seas Entertainment under their Ghost Ship imprint, and are being released completely uncensored, which will be interesting as the later volumes of Darkness are extremely graphic. It is even worse in the UK where To Love-Ru Darkness was legally streamed for a time despite no other part of the franchise ever having arrived there. Similarly the second TV series of Wagnaria!! is available to watch in the UK on Crunchyroll - despite the first series never having been made available either physically or digitally.
  • Transformers: Nearly all series produced exclusively for Japan haven't been exported, at least not in a timely manner. Car Robots only got exported as Transformers: Robots in Disguise because Hasbro needed a replacement for its abandoned TransTech line before Armada would be ready.
    • Transformers: ★Headmasters, Transformers: Super-God Masterforce, and Transformers Victory were initially dubbed (very badly) into English for release in Singapore, but didn't see release beyond southeast Asia until later. The series were first released in the UK and Australia, and finally released in North America by Shout! Factory, though subtitled, as the aforementioned Omni Productions dub is really, really that bad.
    • Transformers Zone (both the manga and OVA), Battlestars: Return of Convoy, Operation Combination, Beast Wars II, Beast Wars Neo, Robot Masters and Kiss Players (manga and radio drama) will probably not be released outside Japan, and there are no English dubs for them. In the case of KISS Players, that's probably a mercy…
      • In the case of Zone, Shout! Factory was originally going to release the OVA for North American distribution. But Toei Animation, being one of the most notorious anime companies difficult to deal with, outright refused to release the episode as they did with Scramble City for no reason.
    • Several episodes of Transformers: Robots in Disguise were pulled from the US broadcast due to the events of 9/11, including one where Megatron smashes through a building resembling the World Trade Center (note that this was the first episode, which actually did air originally... on 9/8). DVD releases are also not forthcoming in North America, since the dub was created by Saban, and as a result Disney currently owns the rights to the RiD dub. Maximum Entertainment has released the series on DVD in the UK, though.
    • Transformers: Go! is unlikely to finally come out of Japan, despite it being in the Transformers Aligned Universe. The series not being recognized by Hasbro in the said universe adds insult to injury too.
  • Tsukihime: The first five volumes have been released in America, however the publisher doesn't seem to plan on releasing more after the series has finally finished its run in Japan. What's weird is that the publisher's site is still up and running with no updates since 2009.


  • UFO Robo Grendizer: Go Nagai's famed Super Robot anime is under a brain-breakingly moronic version of this trope in the French-speaking world. When Toei Animation exported it to France in The '70s, they conveniently "forgot" to notify Go Nagai of the fact and proceeded to reap a colossal fortune from merchandising without giving him one aluminum yen in royalties; since the series was only marginally popular in Japan, he only found out ten years later, which led to a long legal spat between Toei and Dynamic Planning (Nagai's personal publishing company), meaning rebroadcasts and video releases simply couldn't happen after 1985, to the chagrin of millions of fans (yes, it was that big). When they finally reconciled, it seemed that a DVD release would finally see the light of day… and then a French company issued an unauthorized box set, Toei and Dynamic sued the company, eBay, and even individual buyers for copyright violation, and it's been in limbo ever since. The entire fiasco has the French fanbase in tears.
    • On the bright side, this was finally subverted for the French-Canadian fanbase, when Toei and a Quebec-based company agreed on releasing complete remastered DVD box sets in 2012.
  • Ultima: Manga adaptations, with stories loosely inspired by the Famicom ports, were not exported, including: Ultima: The Terror of Exodus, Ultima: The Quest of the Avatar, Ultima: The Fall of Magincia, Ultima: The Maze of Schwarzschild, and stories found in GamePlayer COMICS Vol. 4-7, Famicom 4-Panel-Comic Kingdom Vol. 2, 100man Nin no Tetsuya-Sofuto (Million People's Sleep-Avoiding Software) April 1993, Beishikun (BASIC'N) Vol. 2-3, and Hamari Michi (Road to Addiction) April 1994.
  • Urusei Yatsura: For the longest time, both the anime and manga have had problems with this.
    • North American fans who wanted to read the manga beyond the first couple dozen chapters (or unflipped at all) were out of luck, as Viz only released part of the series and never put out a 2nd edition of what little manga they had published - the only one of Takahashi's RomComs to be dropped before completion. Finally subverted with a 2018 announcement that the complete series was being released in omnibus editions, starting in February 2019.
    • As of 2011, it's even worse if you want to watch any of the anime, which is hard to find even on the internet (especially at a reasonable price). This is especially frustrating considering that every single bit of this anime – with one exception, see below – was translated into English and was readily available for many years. This is due to AnimEigo – which held rights to the TV series, OVA's, and five of the six movies – allowing their license to expire and holding a huge firesale of all their unsold stock (some installments, notably early volumes and the OVA's, aren't hard to find). The second movie, Beautiful Dreamer – considered to be one of the best films Mamoru Oshii ever made – actually disappeared first; rights were held by CPM but it disappeared from the wild not long after the company went bankrupt in 2009.
    • The one part (only part) of the UY anime franchise that never saw the light of day outside Japan is the 2009 OVA, a massive crossover between all of Takahashi's most popular series.
  • Unico: While the 1981 and 1983 movies (The Fantastic Adventures of Unico and Unico in the Island of Magic) were able to get various dubs outside of Japan. The 1979 animated short Unico: Black Cloud and White Feather (Unico's animation debut), and the 2000 animated short Saving Our Fragile Earth - Unico Special Chapter never gained an English release. Unico: Black Cloud and White Feather and Saving Our Fragile Earth were able to gain official Spanish dubs and released in Mexico and Spain. Previously the original manga was exclusive to Japan, with both movies being the only Unico related work to get released outside of Japan.
    • On the flipside, France managed to get the original manga series translated, but completely skipped the Unico movies and other works starring the character.
    • While German was able to recieve an official German dub of The Fantastic Adventures of Unico, it completely skipped over the sequel film.


  • Valkyrie Drive: The Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid manga and Valkyrie Drive: Siren - Breakout web manga have never been exported.
  • Vamp!: Ryohgo Narita's first series, it has no official translation. It has only recently received a proper fan translation.
  • Vandread: A book for the series was released called Vandread Extra Stage containing a number of short stories based before, during, and shortly after the anime was released. Want to know how Jura and Barnette met? Or what happened to Hibiki, Dita, and the others that went to Tarak? Sadly but not surprisingly, this book was never translated and released outside of the Japan.


  • Wandering Son: While the first eight (of fifteen) volumes were released in the U.S. from 2011 and 2015, the last seven were cancelled due to low sales. Most likely played straight with the anime adaptation, due to the Values Dissonance and controversial subject (or the fact that it's a seinen; Western anime companies never seemed too fond of 'em). It's only available on Crunchyroll, not as a physical release.
  • When They Cry: Despite the popularity of the manga series in North America (and of the original games to a lesser extent), any piece of the anime besides the first series, Higurashi, is unofficially dead in the water. This is probably due in part to its being yet another late-era Geneon title – though this one at least came out in full before the company's collapse. The unpopularity of the dub – which many consider much more wooden than is normal for an otherwise-good LA studio – might also play a role. It sold poorly and has been out of print since 2011, so copies are becoming increasingly hard to buy or find online.
  • Wonder Beat Scramble, a "Fantastic Voyage" Plot/Womb Level anime with a (big) touch of Edutainment, never saw release in the English-speaking parts of the world. Not even a Fan Sub is available. However, due to an odd twist of fate, it was broadcast across the Russian-speaking territories, fully dubbed.
  • World Masterpiece Theater: Most of the shows were never released in North America.
  • World of Mana: The Sword of Mana Yonkoma Manga Theatre and the five-volume manga Seiken Densetsu: Princess of Mana (based on the game of the same name) have not been exported, except to Germany in the latter case.


  • Yo-Kai Watch:
    • Only the first movie ended up getting an English dub, with all subsequent films having yet to receive ones. The third film would have been especially tricky, as the live-action scenes would have required reshoots or more extensive dubbing.
    • After the budget was cut and the English dub was recast for Season 3, several segments; totaling at least 18 episodes worth of content ended up not receiving English dubs. Eventually, the series was dropped outright in early 2019 and replaced with InazumaElevenAres, with no word on a fourth season or any other content such as Shadowside getting an English dub (though the latter will have a subtitled version on Animax Asia in some territories).
  • Your Lie in April: The final manga volume, titled "Coda", released alongside the Japanese DVD and Blu-ray releases for the anime, has yet to be published in English, despite being published in French, Spanish, and Italian.
    • Additionally, the OVA episode titled "Moments" which was included with volume 11 of the manga, has never been released outside Japan, as tends to be the tradition with manga bundle OVA's.
  • You're Under Arrest!:
    • The No Mercy OVA has yet to be licensed outside of Japan. It's an odd example, considering nearly every other part of the animated franchise has seen release in North America – original OVAs, first series, mini-specials, movie, second series, and third series (those last two admittedly without the well-received English dub)? Yup, all licensed at some point. But not No Mercy.
    • The YUA manga itself falls into this. The English release by Studio Proteus consisted of about a dozen chapters from volumes 5-7, originally released in comic book form and then compiled into two volumes (which are now long out of print). When Dark Horse – for whom Oh My Goddess is consistently one of their top-selling manga titles – was asked about the possibility of publishing more YUA, they stated that Kosuke Fujishima himself was blocking an international release, but no one knew why. If what some people involved with Goddess have said is true, Fujishima is a notorious perfectionist. He may consider YUA (his first big title) something of an Old Shame that he'd rather not see again… though he's perfectly willing to allow it to be adapted.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • 4Kids was forced to drop plans to release the uncut subtitled version of the "Duel Monsters" series online (both on Hulu and their own Toonzaki channel) and you can thank Shunsuke Kazama's (Yugi's voice actor) management for this. Kazama is employed by Johnny's Entertainment, an exclusive management company for male idols who not only have a monopoly on Japan's entertainment industry, but also regulates information very strictly (i.e. they will send takedown letters to people who post images of their idols without permission, they refused to release Tokio's "9 o'clock News", the first Opening Theme to Kodocha overseas, they refused to release SMAP's "Kimi-iro Omoi", the Opening Theme to Akazukin Chacha on home release, etc.) 5Ds was released uncut on YouTube (along with uncut Sonic X on Hulu) but the first series of Duel Monsters will never get an unedited translation. And while 4Kids announced plans to subtitle GX, it never came to be, due to the bankruptcy.
    • GX's last season was never dubbed; 4Kids skipped straight to 5Ds instead. 5Ds itself wound up missing assorted episodes late in its run, including the final arc.
    • Toei's Yu-Gi-Oh anime (also known as "Season 0") will probably never be licensed or dubbed.
    • The 5D's OVA will probably never be dubbed, but its not a big deal since it's non-canon and doesn't do anything besides show off the buster/assault modes of Stardust and Red Demon's.
    • It was feared that this would happen to future Yu-Gi-Oh series when 4Kids got into a legal snit with TAS, but 4Kids (unexpectedly) won a significant penalty from Japan; they ended up keeping the licenses and releasing the Bonds Beyond Time movie and Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL… before going bankrupt and selling all their YGO rights to Konami.
  • Yume no Crayon Oukoku was the anime that kickstarted the trend of Magical Girl anime airing at 8:30AM on Sundays. However, the show only made it to France and Italy, though a dub was rumored to have aired in Australia.
  • Yuureitou has begun translations in several languages however English is currently not one of them.


  • Zatch Bell!: Viz, are unable to release the last 7 volumes of the manga due to the nasty legal fight between creator Makoto Raiku and Shogakukan, which ended with Raiku having complete ownership and control of the series (and no desire to see it republished anywhere, including Japan). The side effect of this was that all international contracts immediately became null and void. Since Viz is partly owned by Raiku's enemy Shueisha, he probably would not even bother to return their calls.


  • Crunchyroll: Since Crunchyroll is a law-abiding anime site, it must adhere to territorial restrictions like any other legal streaming site. This is averted with any anime Crunchyroll licenses worldwide except Japan and/or Asia. Since its a company located in the United States, Crunchyroll tends to make negotiations to local distributors in the US and, in some cases, simulcast titles are restricted by Japan because of that:
    • There're two types of titles: simulcast and catalog titles. The catalog titles are old anime series licensed by local distributors, where distribution rights are fixed to the countries the distributor operates. For example, Discotek Media releases anime titles for the US and Canada only. Anime Limited releases for the UK and Ireland only. In these cases, if you live in a country the local distributor doesn't have rights to an anime title you wanna watch, you'll not see them. Of course there'll be exceptions when a local distributor wants to make a separate agreement to add more territories, but it will be at the discretion of the distributor, not Crunchyroll.
    • The second type of titles are simulcast titles. As Crunchyroll is now a global platform, they mostly release anime titles worldwide except Asia. However, depending of local distributors, some titles aren't available in some countries, as it happens in Spain, France, Italy and Germany where, because of the money Japan will get making separate agreements, Japan tends to make preference to them instead of Crunchyroll. Because of that, Crunchyroll won't get as much titles in regions like Southeast Asia and the Phillipines, where Japan already releases titles with local distributors in those regions.
    • However, there're cases that Japanese companies decided to not release anime series in some countries on purpose, even worldwide. This would happen if the production commitee decides that anime title or region won't be profitable due to piracy and other stuff, and also if a title contains stuff that will be controversial (and therefore illegal) in certain countries.
  • Funimation:
    • From its beginnings as a company until 2022, Funimation was a very restrictive company with its licenses, especially outside the countries where it operates. For example, access to your official information that was not available outside of the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Peru.
    • However, after its announcement of expansion into Latin America and Crunchyroll's subsequent purchase of Funimation, Funimation began expanding all of its licenses, including Spanish and Portuguese dubbing of older titles and its famous Simul Dubs. In addition to that, Funimation began to offer anime movies throughout Latin America in conjunction with Sony Pictures, which meant that countries like Ecuador, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Uruguay, the Dominican Republic or Venezuela, which could not have many anime movies in their movie theaters because these licenses were sold to distributors such as Cinepolis that do not operate in those markets, they can have access to said films at the same time as the rest of Latin America.
    • On March 1, 2022, after the announcement of the unification of its entire catalog and the catalog of all anime streaming platforms belonging to Sony Pictures with Crunchyroll, Funimation officially stops restricting its licenses to countries such as South Africa, Spain, Portugal and Italy. and will offer them worldwide within Crunchyroll, except for the series that were licensed at the time by local distributors.
  • Cinépolis: Mexican movie theater chain and distributor Cinepolis negotiates with Mexican distributors such as KEM Media or Madness Entertainment in order to get their films in all the countries the company operates. Although the two aforementioned companies have reached agreements with other movie theaters in some countries, there are cases in which distribution has been exclusive to Cinépolis. Due to this, any anime film that Cinépolis has exclusivity rights is blocked for Ecuador, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Uruguay, Dominican Republic and Venezuela.
  • Any anime by NHK Enterprises will suffer from this, as the shows don't usually air on the international feeds of NHK in favor of in-house productions such as Kitchen Sentai Cookrun.
    • Nintama Rantarou: With the exception of some Spanish-speaking countries, such as Latin America and Spain, the series hasn't been released anywhere in the West.
    • Ojarumaru: The series managed to get released in only two Western countries: Italy and Spain. Enoki Films' US division licensed it sometime in the early 2000s, and renamed it to Prince Mackaroo. According to Saffron Henderson's resume, an English dub of Prince Mackaroo was produced at Ocean Sound. However, the dub seemingly went unreleased.
      • Only 200 episodes were dubbed into Italian.
      • The Cantonese dubs ended after the 6th series.
      • Only the 5th through the 7th series were dubbed into Filipino.
      • The Workpoint TV Thai dub only covered the 7th through the 15th series.
      • None of the video games were released outside of Japan.
    • Averted by Sushi and Beyond, which had a brief run on NHK World in 2015.
    • Butt Detective, despite its' popularity, does not air on the international feeds of NHK, likely because it was produced by Toei Animation rather than NHK themselves. It also has yet to be dubbed outside of Asia.
  • Studio Ghibli: Some of their movies fell victim to this – Disney had home-video rights (formerly theatrical rights) to most Ghibli movies in the US, and some simply didn't make the cut until GKIDS was able to intervene. GKIDS would eventually acquire all the home-video rights in 2017 with the exception of The Wind Rises.
    • Most infamously, Only Yesterday was this for many years until 2016 when GKIDS (who owns theatrical rights for the Ghibli library) acquired full rights to the film from Ghibli themselves, after doing so for several other Ghibli films, including From Up on Poppy Hill (see below), The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, and When Marnie Was There, all of which, like Only Yesterday, were arguably artsy enough for Disney to pass on. GKIDS gave it a similar treatment to those films, giving it an English dub with an all-star cast and a proper theatrical and home video release to boot.
      • Disney's reluctance towards Only Yesterday could be explained in various ways – either they were afraid for a film that openly discusses menstruation in young girls to be associated with them, or they found the film as a whole too artsy and not marketable. Or both. Frankly, as an art-house movie aimed at twenty-somethings, the latter reason would have somewhat of a point.
    • Then there's Ocean Waves, a Studio Ghibli Made-for-TV Movie which wasn't released in North America until GKIDS gave it a theatrical run in 2016 with a subtitled only home video release the following year.
    • From Up on Poppy Hill formerly fell under this trope, but fortunately GKids bought the theatrical rights and produced a dub, releasing the movie into North American theaters in March 2013 - two years after its original Japanese release.
    • A Dueling Dubs example: The Secret World of Arrietty has two separate English dubs, both produced by Disney – one for the UK and the other for North America, each using actors well-known in their respective countries. Naturally, English-speaking fans immediately declared the British dub superior before either saw the light of day. Even after the American dub hit cinemas to positive reviews, fans still complained because it wasn't the dub the UK had gotten a few months earlier. That Disney refused to allow the UK dub on the North American DVD/Blu-ray release (while the UK and Japan apparently gets both) has only made American fans angrier.
    • American Ghibli fans are still suffering from the Fan Dumb fallout over Castle in the Sky. Here's the story – in 2003, Disney (hearing that neither Miyazaki nor Joe Hisaishi were very pleased with the sparse synths of the original 1986 score) commissioned a new score from Hisaishi with a full orchestra for the English dub. Miyazaki gave his approval and support. The result? American superfans went ballistic, complaining LOUDLY about how Disney had "ruined" the movie and "destroyed" its atmosphere. After the ensuing backlash, Disney officially discontinued the use of their score for future North American releases. However, the rescore proved popular in Japan (getting its own album) and the Japanese, European, and Australian Blu-rays all use it. The North American 2010 DVD release and 2012 Blu-ray retain the original score. American fans of Castle's rescore (and there's plenty, despite what Disney and detractors think) who wanted to hear it set to high-definition video had no choice but to import until the 2017 DVD/Blu-ray, which includes both scores.
    • An odd example of this: When Netflix released Ghibli movies worldwide except for North America, Mexico and Japan, the 1998 dub of Kiki's Delivery Service was reinstated. Fans who prefered this version were hoping this would be the case with HBO Max when it came out, but it used the 2010 dub which made it closer to the Japanese version and had audio mixing issues.
  • Sanrio: Just about any anime/manga series based on a Sanrio character that ain't Hello Kitty (in America; Europe usually gets them) are stuck in Japan. From My Melody note , to the "Sugarbunnies" anime from 2007, and a 44 minute long movie called Cinnamon the Movie released in 2007, which starred another popular Sanrio character named "Cinnamoroll". Also in the 1980's, Sanrio used to make OVAs under the name "Sanrio Video" where they had Sanrio characters in a classic Fairy Tail setting such as The Little Twin Stars (Kiki and Lala) in "The Blue Bird" (Kiki to Lala no Aoi Tori) and My Melody in "Little Red Riding Hood" (My Melody no Akazukin). Then in 2000, Sanrio made a second series based on Fairy Tales called Hello Kitty Animation Theater that featured the same thing, but featured newer characters at the time note . The series got released on DVD and VHS and was dubbed in English, but these days its an extremely rare find. So far, Sanrio hasn't made any plans on exporting these anime stateside, even though it's the company where Hello Kitty comes from. However, Viz Media did translate the manga called "Fluffy Fluffy Cinnamoroll" for western fans in 2012. The manga's been out in Japan since 2005. However Viz Media has no plans on translating a special edition of the manga called Fluffy Fluffy Cinnamoroll: Color Edition which features brand new stories and all its pages in color.
  • Sayuri Tatsuyama has multiple mini-bios, which mention that she made another animal themed manga called "Pukupuku Natural Circular Notice" with the main protagonist being a dog and the other characters are pets. The manga began in 1999 and ended in 2005. As of 2014, Viz Media's plans for translating the manga series is currently unknown. However the entire series did get translated and released in Thailand and Vietnam in 2013.
  • Takashi Yanase: While the 1978 feature film Ringing Bell (Chirin no Suzu) managed to gain an official English dub in the early 1980s. Previous animated adaptation of his children's books (The 1970 Short Film Yasashii Lion (The Kindly Lion) by Mushi Productions, and Sanrio Animation's 1977 adaptations of The Rose Flower and Joe (Bara no Hana to Joe) and Little Jumbo from 1977) never gained an International release. This extends to the original book versions of Yasashii Lion and Chirin no Suzu which remains untranslated.