YTV acquires Redakai: Conquer The Kairu

In an action that I would call unexpected, according to Cynopsis Kids YTV has ordered 52 episodes of a new animated series called Redakai: Conquer The Kairu. Redakai is a multimedia franchise produced by Spin Masters (Bakugan, Air Hogs, etc.), Marathon Media (Martin Mystery, Totally Spies, etc.) and Cartoon Network aimed with the intention of selling trading cards, and action figures to children. The toys will hit Hobby Stores in June, and general retail in August, but the TV show is set for a Fall launch. With a production budget estimated at $20 million they’re certainly hoping this is going to be big.

The concept to set Redakai apart from the Yu-Gi-Oh!, Battle Spirits, and Pokemon of the world lays within the way the card game is played. Spin Masters is achieving this via stereoscopic 3D lenticular trading cards which “have depth, they also have motion; the attack cards for example have 8-12 frames of animation, so the players can actually see the attack. Additionally many of the cards are created on clear plastic to allow for a simple “stacking” method of gameplay. When for example an attack card is layered over a character card, the effect of the attack is visible, or when a “monster” card is layered over a character card, the change in the character (and his power level) is clearly visible.”

You can see the 3D technology in motion in this TimeKids Youtube video. To save yourself the trouble, I’ve made a .gif of the relevant footage (you’ll have to click the image):

I think Spin Masters hoped this would look more impressive

Redakai Dojo.com has the following description for the animated series:

Ky is a 15 year old martial artist who leads the group on this incredible quest to find the Kairu energy. His friends Maya and Boomer travel with him in his quest. Together they protect the world from extraterrestrial teenage opponents, all of whom are trying to become the greatest Kairu warrior of all a “Redakai.”

The odd thing about Redakai is that the show screams Teletoon, not YTV. Spin Masters success story in Bakugan was launched on Teletoon, and Marathon’s legacy in Totally Spies also falls on Teletoon’s shoulders. There’s also the fact that outside of Pokemon, Beyblade, and Yu-Gi-Oh! there isn’t a lot of action animation on YTV. Though, I suspect once Three Delivery’s run comes to an end YTV will need a replacement for the Super Anime Lineup. Will this be as successful as Bakugan, and Yu-Gi-Oh! in the face of strong new competitors and the return of the past? Only time will tell.

Thanks goes to Mohji for pointing this out in the forums.

Errata: Power Rangers Samurai NOT airing on YTV today (Update: But it was supposed to)

Despite having been shown on YTV.com’s schedule Power Rangers Samurai is in fact not airing on YTV today. As of this writing, a new episode of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds is airing on YTV in the 1PM EDT slot (and just had a technical difficulty screen show up…).

I do not appreciate YTV making me look like a liar

There was a bit of writing on the wall for this to happen, as YTV didn’t promote the series at all (other than having a broken section in their video player), and didn’t even set up a show page. I suppose the most damning of all is that yesterday YTV removed the 1PM slot from their schedule entirely. They didn’t replace it with Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds, the slot just didn’t exist. Though, it should be noted that YTV has done that in the past with new series like Beyblade Metal Fusion.

Apparently 1PM doesn't exist to YTV

But it existed on Thursday...

They even had a correct, and detailed episode summary...

Sorry for any inconvenience this may have made.

UPDATE:

A friend notified me that Power Rangers Samurai did in fact show up on YTV’s coming up next title cards today. This implies the show was meant to premiere on YTV at 1PM, but as we know, it didn’t. However, this wasn’t the scheduling, and overlay guys jumping the gun, as the show was meant to air today.

As noted by Ranger Board’s PinkRangerWannabe a Corus Entertainment’s (YTV’s parent company) April Hot Sheets for advertisers blatantly promotes the premiere of Power Rangers Samurai today (April 16) at 1PM.

So what happened?

I honestly don’t know. I don’t think it was YTV getting cold feet over any potential parental complaints (since they’ve aired much more violent programming, as well as that controversy being ages ago), nor do I think they were just lying to us. I guess it could’ve been a technical issue, because as I mentioned earlier, there was an issue with the broadcast of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds. During the show’s first commercial break the YTV technical difficulty image stayed on screen for more than a solid minute. I actually half expected Power Rangers Samurai to be the show coming off of that, but it wasn’t. The channel has been known to do that, famously skipping a good portion of Justice League Unlimited’s finale with an episode of The Shopping Bags, though they’ve always aired the intentioned programming in full at a later date. It should be noted that Zap2it’s listings are stating Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds will be airing for the rest of the month, though often the case is that YTV.com’s schedule (which hasn’t updated to next Saturday as of yet) is the more definitive source.

Power Rangers Samurai heads to YTV this Saturday, and Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers goes to Teletoon Retro in May

I thought Nickeledeon Canada wasn’t a big enough venue for Power Rangers Samurai, and it appears Corus Entertainment feels that way too. The latest Power Rangers series will make history, but debut in a relatively low key event this Saturday at 1PM EDT replacing Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds (which now only has a Tuesday at 7AM slot – I’ll get into the 4Kids and Yu-Gi-Oh! in Canada in a future post) premiere slot. Though YTV hasn’t advertised the show at all, it mysteriously had a Power Rangers Samurai section on its video portal days prior to schedule’s coming out confirming the show’s broadcast.

I only knew this because I was behind on Sidekick

Power Rangers Samurai reunites series creator Haim Saban with the Super Sentai franchise after a decade of Disney ownership. This decade of Disney ownership led the franchise to an almost exclusive broadcast history with Family Channel in Canada, who proceeded to shun the show to weekend mornings. Previously, the franchise had a broadcast history with Global when the franchise was still with Saban and FOX. However, Power Rangers’ first home was YTV. The channel picked up an initial 13 episode order of the series, and despite not actually being a part of the CBSC they obliged when the council cited parental complaints about violence and removed the series. This marks Samurai’s debut on YTV as a somewhat historical event.

While we’ve known Teletoon Retro will play host to the original Power Rangers franchise we’ve now gotten a solid broadcast date. The first series, Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers will premiere on Sunday, May 1 at 1PM EDT with a six episode marathon. However, the show’s regular broadcasts starting May 8 will air at 6:30AM on Sundays. Kind of a brutal timeslot…

Thanks to Anime Ash, and Jlaking for pointing these pieces of news in the forums.

Young Justice toys come to Canada, the show? Not so much

Despite universal acclaim Teletoon has not picked up the DC Comics based Young Justice animated series. The series currently airing on Cartoon Network has performed well in the ratings, and given the fact it’s mainstream comic book animation it’s bound to find its way to Teletoon (the only place left for this type of show) eventually. I hope it won’t take as long as it did for Adventure Time

Baman wants to know if you'd like to buy some Rolexs to support Tuba

However, despite this lack of a Canadian broadcast, McDonalds Canada carried on with a Young Justice promotion with Happy Meals featuring toys based on the show (this campaign also ran in the US). This is actually a bit odd for McDonalds, who has in the past dropped lines it felt wouldn’t be relevant to the Canadian market. It also doesn’t help that some of the cast of Young Justice aren’t on the A-list of comic book characters, surely leaving kids a bit confused on who these characters actually are. Anyways, here’s the commercial:

The campaign has actually ended, being replaced by toys inspired by the animated film Rio. With that said, it’s just a slightly amusing piece on how not to handle a property.

Thanks goes to commenter Marc for pointing this out in the Adventure Time comments.

The Anime Channel is dead

So, I was looking over CRTC broadcast decisions as some background for the Disney XD news post, and I noticed something that appears to have gone above everyone’s head. In the CRTC’s January 30, 2007 decision that approved the creation of Corus Entertainment’s The Anime Channel, there is this subsection in the “Issuance of the license” which states the following:

the applicant has informed the Commission in writing that it is prepared to commence operations. The undertaking must be operational at the earliest possible date and in any event no later than 36 months from the date of this decision, unless a request for an extension of time is approved by the Commission before 30 January 2010. In order to ensure that such a request is processed in a timely manner, it should be submitted at least 60 days before that date.

Corus has never shown an inclination towards launching the channel past the initial application, and as far as I know, never requested the CRTC to extend their setup period. Which, in turn means their broadcast license should be void. Which means The Anime Channel was stillborn.

Coincidentally, or not, this was around the same time period in which Corus Entertainment’s main children’s channel, YTV removed Naruto, and Bleach – the only two remaining older youth targeted anime series on the channel – from the broadcast schedule entirely.

While I was always conflicted about the possibilities of an anime channel. I always felt the channel would target a niche, and only attract the niche. However, it being stillborn, with Corus not even attempting to keep the license shows the state of Japanese animation in this country.

Where do we go from here?

YTV has become a channel that tries to serve its CRTC guidelines as a youth’s broadcaster (though it’s supposed to serve children up to 17 – Ask a seventeen year old if anything on YTV is aimed at them – you can even ask me) but it is now a family oriented channel. While that has worked for ratings, and creating a cohesive channel lineup to sell to advertisers (it’s easier to get Pampers to buy 5 commercial spots a day when the entire lineup can have parents watching) it has obviously created a large backlash within the anime community as to get family friendly, YTV had to remove any non-family friendly programming. Teenage aimed animation was one of the things to get the axe.

It’s the power of the dollar vs. ratings. Naruto could’ve been pulling in huge ratings at 9PM on Friday nights, but the channel would still cancel it because advertisers don’t care. I distinctly remember diaper commercials, and car commercials being aired in Bionix. Those are two things that the target audience of teenagers, and young adults probably wouldn’t be able to buy. It’s not relevant to them. So I can imagine advertising rates during those hours weren’t exactly expensive. Though, that is a failure on Corus Entertainment’s part. Cartoon Network treats its older youth, and young adult block, [adult swim] as a separate network entirely to advertisers so that you don’t see the likes of baby diapers being advertised in this hour.

As for Teletoon, frankly, after the events of the 90s, the channel has very much been anime anorexic, dropping most of its anime programming, and frankly has such a large commitment of programming from Nicktoons, Cartoon Network, The Hub, and original productions to air any anime. They simply don’t have the time to air it. As for Family, well most of us know that the channel’s history is 6AM/7AM broadcasts without advertisements. Clearly a sign of confidence for the future.

Beyblade Metal Fusion Marathon This Saturday

As a celebration for YTV’s Beyblade Metal Fusion Madness Contest (which includes some pretty cool swag – like the chance to be a voice actor on the show!) the channel will be premiering four new to YTV episodes of Beyblade Metal Fusion March 26 starting at 12PM EST. This replaces the current Super Anime Lineup airing on the channel for the weekend.

BMF

Beyblade Metal Fusion will have a four episode marathon this Saturday!

The four episodes premiering are the following:

12:00 PM – Episode 36: “Broken Wings”
12:30 PM – Episode 37: “Rock Scorpio’s Deadly Poison”
1:00 PM- Episode 38: “Run, Gingka”
1:30 PM – Episode 39: “Clash! The Phoenix vs. The Pegasus”

This will leave exactly 12 episodes until the second season, dubbed by Nelvana under the name “Beyblade Metal Masters” (known in Japan as “Metal Fight Beyblade: Explosion!”) could premiere on YTV. The channel, despite being the first English country to premiere Metal Fusion has fallen greatly behind international broadcasts of the show, and is in fact one of the few English speaking countries to not have finished the series run.

Interestingly, the URL for YTV’s contest has “BeybladeMMM” – which doesn’t work as an acronym for “Beyblade Metal Fusion Madness”, so I assume the contest will return when Metal Masters premieres. As a bonus for entering, viewers are greeted to the following teaser trailer:

Thanks to Mohji for saving me some time by not having me look up Zap2it listings!

Sailor Moon returns to North America in manga form

The iconic shojo heroine returns to North America after being in a decade long license hell. Kodansha USA announced today that they plan on re-releasing all of Naoko Takuechi’s Sailor Moon manga starting bi-monthly this September, with the prequel prototype series Sailor V to also see English release (Sailor Moon was previously published by Tokyopop – known as Mixx at the time). This is the first time in six years that the manga will be in print (and the first time Sailor V will ever have been published in English), and is the first time in many years that anything regarding Sailor Moon in the English speaking world has been seen.

The Kodansha USA reprint will be based on the 2003 Japanese version which featured improved art, new cover art, artist interviews and commentary, alongside condensing the series from its original 18 volume run into 12 omnibus editions.

Sailor Moon Manga

Sailor Moon chronicles the story of a highschool girl named Usagi who is one day granted the powers to fight and invading evil. Through her journeys she discovers her past, and whom she really is.

Toei Animation’s anime version of the series became a fixture on YTV for many years and in fact can be cited as one of the earliest success of anime on Canadian television. The series was big enough that YTV enlisted sister company Nelvana to pay for the English production of further episodes of the show, and movies after DiC (now part of Cookie Jar) hadn’t received much success with the US syndicated run. Afterwards the series was picked up by Cartoon Network and gained notoriety in the US. Due to reasons that have never really been explained, Toei Animation pulled the rights to the anime prior to the last season of the show, Sailor Stars, entering into English production. Since then Sailor Moon has largely been silent on the world stage. Well, until recently as the series had been licensed for distribution in Italy, and Germany, with Italy receiving a so far exclusive Nintendo DS game.

Toei Animation’s attempt at rekindling the love of the magical girl shojo genre with Pretty Cure did make it to YTV, but the series proved less than successful, and it is unlikely any further iterations of Pretty Cure will air on the channel.

Kodansha USA to Publish Sailor Moon, Sailor V Manga – Anime News Network

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