Odds & Ends: Canadian Yu-Gi-Oh! Dark Side of Dimensions DVD/BD dilemma; Turning Mecard product launch [Updated 8/14/2017]

4K Media, gatekeepers of the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise, have been embracing the original Japanese version of their shows this year. For the first time ever, the newest entry in the series, VRAINS, is getting a subtitled simulcast as it airs in Japan … as long as you don’t live in Canada and a small handful of other countries. Even Dark Side of Dimensions, the most recent theatrical film, received a subtitled run in theatres … as long as you lived in the US. That seems to be another one of this year’s themes for Yu-Gi-Oh! anime. While not deliberate (needs to be said, we were supposed to get that sub run), it unfortunately seems likely Dark Side of Dimensions’ home video release will continue that.

You see, there was a problem when Anchor Bay, a subsidiary of LionsGate, released the movie on DVD and Blu-Ray late last month: the advertised subtitle track was actually a dubtitle one. Rather than being a translation of the Japanese script, it was a 1:1 transcript of the localized English one. This is far from the first time this has happened with an anime release, but unlike many other cases, this doesn’t appear to have been intentional. The proper translation exists, as seen in the earlier subtitled theatrical screenings and foreign home video releases. Someone at Anchor Bay just messed up the authoring. 4K Media and LionsGate are now running a replacement program for fans wishing to get a corrected disc.

Well, unless you live in Canada. Customer service is telling Canadians they’re not entitled to the replacement program because LionsGate don’t own the distribution rights to the country and any copies with their name on it must be imported. That’s partially true. However, the representative’s assertion that any Anchor Bay stamped release in Canada must be imported is entirely misinformed. While Amazon.ca does offer an import from the US, they’re also selling one that isn’t listed as an import. Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions is also available at Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Archambault. They don’t sell imports. The truth is, the movie is officially available in Canada just not directly from Anchor Bay/LionsGate. You see, they have a distribution agreement with Entertainment One (aka eOne) to bring their product to Canadian retailers. You can find a listing for Dark Side of Dimensions on their website. The biggest difference between the Canadian and American prints comes from the Blu-Ray packaging. The US version promotes a free UltraViolet digital copy that we’re not getting. The discs are identical. Anchor Bay’s name is on it.

I’ve contacted eOne Canada to see if they’ll be offering replacements to Canadian fans, but have yet to receive a response. If they do get back to me, I’ll definitely mention it on the blog.

I don’t want to be pessimistic and I’m all for being proven wrong on this occasion, but I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for positive news. eOne doesn’t seem to have any customer relations services in Canada. The closest to a home video specific outlet is this Twitter account that’s been dormant for two months. That’s not a good sign that they’d set up a replacement program for a lower key release. It’s important to note that LionsGate in the US isn’t recalling stock from stores. It’s not some big thing for them. They’re just offering a solution to those that find this a problem.

My advice to those that must have the Japanese track? Stay vigilant regarding any news of a second disc printing. Of course, the major problem with that is there’s no guarantee the packaging would be noticeably different from the existing discs or that they’d even trickle into Canadian retail. Plus, if you want that Obelisk TCG bonus, you’re probably going to be out of luck. Maybe beg a friend in the US to do the replacement stuff for you …

Some Redditors have noticed that Amazon Prime Video has removed a handful of series (mostly noitaminA shows and the Nanoha franchise) from the service, both in Canada and select other countries. Customer service claims this is due to expired streaming rights. It’s hard to believe a huge company like Amazon would sign such a short term deal.

Many have leapt to the conclusion that these titles are going to be repurposed for distribution through an international Anime Strike roll out. For those that don’t know, Anime Strike is an anime-only subscription service that people pay on top of their Amazon Prime subscription to access. It’s part of the Amazon Channels initiative, which offers media companies the ability to launch subscription services within the Amazon Prime framework, but with a separate fee. While it’s likely inevitable that Amazon Channels further expands internationally (it launched in May in the UK), I think it’s too early for a country like Canada. We only just got Prime Video last fall. Is Amazon brazen enough to try to double dip consumers up here that soon?

Image credit: Steven Eidher

I typically don’t cover things like this, but because Mattel hasn’t publicly referred to Turning Mecard since last year, I might as well. The Korean transforming mini-car franchise had its key component launch in Canada earlier this month: the toys. Mattel Canada has partnered up with Toys”R”Us Canada to do a product release in select stores in July before rolling out to more locations and eventually other retailers. The basic Bakugan-esque packs, which consist of 1 car and three magnetic cards, cost $14.99 in Canada. Toys”R”Us is selling the larger play set vehicles for $49.99. They have the first wave of toys up for pre-order (due August) on their website.

It’s surprising to see a company as large as Mattel put out a media franchise with zero fanfare. As far as I can tell, the “only” TV advertisement is the show itself. There is no official online presence whatsoever. You’d think this was a soft launch, but at this point it’s hard to believe that. The Turning Mecard anime has been airing in Canada on Teletoon and Cartoon Network since May. Australia’s 9Go! started running the series on June 12th (if you’re curious, their broadcast is now far ahead of our’s – episode 26 airs tomorrow, while Teletoon runs episode 8 on Sunday). Latin American dubs are currently in production. Maybe Mattel is holding on for the United States? But with a dub like Mecard’s, I can’t see any broadcaster taking that…

But hey, Mattel Canada’s showroom in Mississauga, Ontario is decked out in Mecard:

Eagle eyed readers might be able to spot some imported Korean toys from the show’s second season, Turning Mecard W. Wishful thinking or the sign of a blog post in May 2018?

I would’ve loved these as a kid. The transformation gimmick is pretty flashy, but at $15/piece for something a little larger than a Hot Wheels car? My parents would’ve hated them. I’d probably wind up with a couple Turbo: Battle of the Chariots, haha.

I still think Evan is a goofy name for a robot. Tador isn’t much better either.

UPDATE (7/15/2017): Mattel published a series of Mecard promo videos on their YouTube channel a day after this blog post went live. I guess they were waiting for toys to trickle into retail before doing anything.

UPDATE (7/31/2017): The toys are now showing up at other retailers, like EB Games/Gamestop. Toys”R”Us Canada will host in-store product demos this month. Mattel will also have a Mecard presence at Fan Expo in Toronto, which takes place between August 31st and September 3rd.

UPDATE (8/14/2017): Wal-Mart and The Bay are now listing the line. It’s safe to say it’s now been released to general retail.

    • Saiyanblood
    • July 13th, 2017

    Wow those toys are pretty cool.

  1. February 25th, 2018

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