Toonzaki.com – 4Kids getting real about anime, will eventually be in Canada

ikaznoot

The template for Toonzaki.com. A new web portal dedicated towards uncut anime. Yeah, that says Ghost In The Cell ...

Last week during Anime News Network’s weekly podcast (dubbed, the ANNCast) the crew of Zac Bertschy and Justin Sevakis interviewed the Senior Vice President of Digital Media at 4Kids Entertainment, Mark Kirk. During this run he let it slip that alongside the rebranding of the companies Saturday morning block (from the CW4Kids to the Asian centric Toonzai), the company plans on launching a web portal called Toonzaki. This web portal will be aimed at providing uncut anime and will be aimed at an older youth audience. Quite the change of pace for a company called “4Kids”.

Programs are supposedly not just from 4Kids, but as the above website template shows, from various third parties as well. Mark Kirk hinted at the possibility of series like Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds, Ultimate Muscle, and Sonic X getting Uncut subbed releases on the site (Sonic X has recieved a subtitled release on Youtube and Hulu).

However, Mark has stressed that with the mid-August launch, the portal is intended for American audiences. That said, he did say that for titles they had streaming rights for in Canada would later be a priority in the fourth quarter of the year. This follows the tradition of 4Kids Youtube channel, which had initially targeted American audiences before branching to foreign viewers.

I won’t be covering the Toonzaki launch given this news of delayed Canadian release, but I will be covering all news with Toonzai, which will soon be having its upfront.

These be exciting times we live in!

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Teletoon to finally air some anime again? Hide the children

IA

Teaser image for Marvel and Madhouse's 12 episode Ironman anime series

Or don’t. Earlier this week at the San Diego Comic Convention, Marvel at the Ironman anime panel confirmed that their upcomming Japanese animated television shows will be aired in the US by G4 (very little relation to the G4 that aired Anime Current up here). Currently Marvel and Teletoon have a deal in place that sees Teletoon as Marvel’s exclusive home in Canada. The deal has worked well, as most Marvel direct to video features, as well as recent television shows have found their way to the channel (Teletoon is set to host the world premiere of the Avengers animated series this fall). Will this see the ever reluctant to Japanese animation, Teletoon finally air some Japanese content that neither Nelvana, or Cookie Jar produced? Only time will tell. While it’s not true anime, it’s a start, and that’s what this channel needs. Heck, maybe one day we might get Heroman? No, no we won’t.

Currently slated for production in the Marvel – Madhouse anime lineup is Ironman (pictured above), Wolverine, Blade, and an X-Men show. The first series, Ironman, is expected to start airing in Spring 2011. Ironman’s scheduled for 12 episodes. We don’t have word of the others as of yet.

The only issue is that neither Marvel, nor G4 are confirming an English dub for the work. While one should be expected, it is a bit odd that the Comic Con screening was Sub-only, with the head of G4 being playful with a “we’ve previously aired subtitled content” comment. If the series remain sub-only, don’t expect them anywhere near Teletoon. I don’t expect them to be sub-only.

Teletoon Fall 2010 Video Reel

Here’s a quick video reel of Teletoon’s Fall 2010 pick ups. The standouts are the FX comedy Archer, and the world premiere of The Avengers animated series. Interesting to note is that previously mentioned ‘My Life Me’, is not listed anywhere. However, there are a few TBA slots.

10 Series That Could Be Picked Up This Fall

Well in a few short weeks we’ll know all the fall schedules for all the networks. So why not create unrealistic expectations to only have them crushed? Well, this post will discuss ten series that have some hope of winding up on a TV channel.

Spirits Battle

Group shot of the main character in Sunrise's Battle Spirits: Shonen Toppa Bashin. Yeah don't worry, all these shows are starting to look the same to me too.

Battle Spirits
Battle Spirits is another one of those “buy my trading cards” shows. This time around the original manufacturer of Yu-Gi-Oh! cards (for the 1997 series) Bandai brings us the series with their production arm Sunrise handling the series 50 episode run. In Japan both the cards and the show do fairly well, having spawned to sequel series, manga, and video games. Currently only the card game itself is available in English.

Chances Of Being Picked Up: Unlikely… for the fall. The series has yet to be licensed, but word on the street is that there is a bidding war between several companies for the anime series. Given the reason the show exists, and how many similar shows like it have been picked up here, I’d say it has a strong chance of being on TV here some day. Probably to compliment that Super Anime lineup.

Not another one of these

Dentsu's Deltora Quest is based on the book series of the same name. I hope the anime's generic art isn't based on the novel's being as generic.

Deltora Quest
Based on the Australian novel series of the same name, Deltora Quest is a 2007/2008 65 episode fantasy series. The series tells the story of sixteen year old Lief who attempts to retake his kingdom after it had been conquered by the evil Shadow Lord.

Chances Of Being Picked Up: Possible. The series was picked up by DCI-LA (Dentsu’s new American brand after the death of Geneon) and dubbed in Calgary by Blue Water, so it’ll count as Canadian Content. The series also has broadcasters around the world, including The Hub in the US. If Bionix was still around it would’ve been a great pick up for the younger audience aimed series that aired prior to the block.

Dragon Ball Z Kai

Groupshot for the first arch of Toei's refreshed version of Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Ball Kai

Dragon Ball Z Kai
Dragon Ball Z Kai is the 2009 refreshed version of 1989’s Dragon Ball Z. Launched to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Dragon Ball Z, the 25th anniversary of the manga, and as an attempt to piggy back off the perceived guaranteed success of Dragonball Evolution, Kai retells the story of Z in a filler reduced quasi-remake.The aim for the series it so reduce the original Z’s 291 episode run into something more manageable.

Chances Of Being Picked Up: Confirmed. While the series was picked up by Funimation Entertainment, the Texas dub will air on the 4Kids CW television block renamed this fall to Toonzai. While the series has yet to be picked up by a Canadian broadcaster, considering the record ratings it set for Nicktoons Network (the show’s original channel in the US), the franchise history it has up here, and the rumors of a Vancouver based dub, I wouldn’t put it past anyone if we see a Canadian channel pick it up this fall.

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood

Bones' 2009 manga accurate retelling of Fullmetal Alchemist. The above image looks like Fullmetal Alchemist is one of those brown and gray video games that are all the rage now a days.

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
Because Bones and Square Enix didn’t make enough money off the original Fullmetal Alchemist series… I mean, this 2009 reboot to the Fullmetal Alchemist anime series closely follows the events of the manga series. Where as the original deviated from the manga about half way through its run, this series follows the manga from beginning to end.

Chances Of Being Picked Up: Poor. The series, like the original, was picked up by Funimation Entertainment and dubbed in Texas. Considering there isn’t a venue for teenage aimed anime in Canada, as well as the fact this series isn’t lighting the US on fire, I’d say it’ll take some kind of weird luck for this to appear here.

InuYasha The Final Act and that's a fact

Sunrise's 2009 conclusion series to InuYasha. That one series that never ended, finally ends.

InuYasha: The Final Act
167 episodes simply weren’t enough to contain Rumiko Takahashi’s feudal fairy tale, so Sunrise brings us this 26 episode conclusion series. In twenty-six episodes, I wonder how many times Kagome yells “Sit!”. Ugh.

Chances Of Being Picked Up: Possible. The series was picked up by Viz, like the original, and is being dubbed in Vancouver. Considering the original series spear headed older youth oriented anime, it wouldn’t be the furthest leap of faith to say InuYasha’s got a shot. The only issue at hand is that, once again, the series doesn’t have a venue. Then again, that didn’t stop that Dog Demon the first time around.

ihsiakkek

Sunrise's 2006 anime adaptation of the manga of the same name. That be some ugly character art. Yeah, I'm also still wondering how this got on TV in the US.

Kekkaishi
Based on the manga of the same name, Sunrise adapts the series into a 52 episode series. Like the previous two series, this one doesn’t end on the terms of the manga, as the series is still on-going.

Chances Of Being Picked Up: Poor. Viz picked it up and gave it a LA dub, and considering it’s a B-tier title at best, it would have to become a smash in the US for any broadcaster up here to even care about it. From early ratings, it hasn’t been anything close to a smash down there.

Naruto Shippuden

Studio Pierrot's sequel series to Naruto. Like Dragon Ball, the name change is solely an anime only deal.

Naruto Shippuden
Naruto’s getting older everyday. The series is like Degrassi, but for anime. Sakura gets pregnant, and Sasuke gets an addiction to coke, you know the usual. Uh, not exactly. It’s more of the same from the original Naruto, except those preteens of the original series have finally grown a little older.

Chances Of Being Picked Up: Poor. I can’t say with confidence that Naruto 2.0 would be brought up here when the original series was shoved to a 12AM time slot to end the series. That said, the original was once a strong performer for YTV, and if they aren’t biting maybe it would be a good program to launch Family EXTREME. Haha, who am I kidding, they’d shove the show to a worse time slot than YTV.

Little People Big Show

This generation's Tanma and Friends?

Pénélope
This here is a toddler’s series. I really don’t have much to say other than the series first season spawns 26 episodes at 5 minutes each. There’s also an OVA and a sequel series. It’s based on a series of French children’s books that have sold more than 14 million worldwide.

Chances Of Being Picked Up: Semi-Confirmed. Once again 4Kids has picked up this series. However, they haven’t confirmed if the series will air on Toonzai. As for Canadian broadcast, given that the series is a bunch of shorts, it’s a toss up. YTV has a younger children’s block on weekday mornings, and of course there is Treehouse.

Pretty Cure Max Heart

Toei's sequel series to Pretty Cure, Pretty Cure: Max Heart. Man, there's like three dozen spinoffs of this series.

Pretty Cure: Max Heart
The sequel to 2004’s Pretty Cure television series. Cure White, Cure Black, and apparently Rapunzel team together to face more evil in this 47 episode series. Sailor Moon, eat your (max) heart out.

Chances Of Being Picked Up: Poor. The original series’ run on YTV was quite problematic. In fact, the series, despite debuting in early 2009, is only going to end this month with a 5 episode marathon. That doesn’t instill much hope for more Pretty Cure. But never say never, as the original was dubbed in Calgary by Blue Water, and we never really know what Toei’s US division is up to.

This is one ugly series

This Japan-South Korea co-production is brought to us by Toei. No, I didn't mention this series already. That other one did have character designs with a stick thin kid, with baggy pants, like what is he trying to be, a kite?

Tai Chi Chasers
This South-Korea to Japan co-production runs 39 episodes and features some nonsensical plot twists. Or so I’m told.

Chances Of Being Picked Up: Confirmed. Once again 4Kids comes through, and has picked up this series for Toonzai. However, I’d assume a Canadian broadcast would depend on if the series can become a hit, which would mean Winter 2010/2011 at the earliest.

That’s all, thank goodness. Over 1500 words later, and here we are. For those who clicked on the link earlier, and only saw three series listed, that was a mistake, the post was not supposed to go up that early, haha.

Teletoon remains afraid of actual anime with ‘My Life Me’

Me Myself and Me

Groupshot for Teletoon's new anime/manga-esque series, 'My Life Me'. At least Naruto still gets work.

What’s better than a new 26 episode new series designed by the creator of Dramacon? Well, for starters, an actual anime series I’d assume. But hey, that’s too much to ask for from Teletoon, so with My Life Methey’re going a Kappa Mikey route, and creating a domestic “anime” series rather than another co-production like Bakugan, Spider Riders, and of course, Cybersix. Given the rate of success there, maybe they’re onto something. It’s gotta be better than Metajets, right?

Anyways, My Life Me was initially announced way back in 2008, but due to the bankruptcy of the company distributing it at the time (TV Loonland) the series was lost in the shuffle. Or so we thought. Recently the Montreal based company, CarpeDiem Film & TV, has sold the rights to the series to a company called Classic Media with plans to launch the series this year. Will it launch on Teletoon this fall season, or will it end up like like a few series YTV picked up and never bothered airing? Only time will tell.

Here’s a plot synopsis and a trailer:

My Life Me centers around Birch, a shy high school girl with a penchant for the manga/anime subculture. Birch loves anime and manga, and spends much of her time knee-deep in these media. Navigating high school is no less easy even if you have an idea of what you want to do with your life, which in the case of Birch, is to become a professional comics artist. But alas, all the confusions, distractions, and unwieldy personal relationships of modern teendom keep getting in the way. Add to this her school’s ridiculous new learning structure — The Pod Program — which forces kids to partner into groups; and you have Birch’s perfectly and wonderfully mismatched youth.

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Trailer

Two and a half hours of anime coming to YTV this August

But it’s probably not what you wanted. That is unless you’re a 10 year old boy, than this is the best news you’ve read this week.

BMF

Beyblade Metal Fusion will be doubling up episodes starting August 28

Starting Saturday August 28, YTV will be holding a two and a half hour children’s anime love in:

11:30AM- Pokemon
12:00PM- Beyblade Metal Fusion
12:30PM- Beyblade Metal Fusion
1:00PM- Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds
1:30PM- Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds

Man, the toy companies must be loving that lineup. You’ve got everything in there, your spinning tops, monsters in your pocket, and your trading cards.

That said, Beyblade getting double airings is likely an attempt for them to air the same episodes that the US’s Cartoon Network is airing.

YTV Schedule

Pretty Cure Season Finale July 31 on YTV

PC

Group shot of Toei's Pretty Cure Season One's Cure White and Cure Black

Remember Pretty Cure, Toei and Bandai’s attempt to launch another accessory franchise in the vein of Digimon, but for girls? Well, it aired on YTV sporadically for the past two years with a dub produced by Calgary’s Blue Water, that was never seen anywhere else. Now on Saturday, July 31 the first season will conclude on YTV with a marathon of the final five episodes (which may be the last we see of these magical girls):

2:00PM- Episode 45: Choir Chaos
2:30PM- Episode 46: A New Year Debacle
3:00PM- Episode 47: The Dark Zone Expedition
3:30PM- Episode 48: Evil vs Evil
4:00PM- Episode 49: Fight for the Future

YTV Schedule

Thanks to Anime Ash of the Zannen.ca forums for pointing this out.