Akemi's Anime World

4Kids Entertainment Anime Company

A bit of info about 4Kids Entertainment.

Company Overview

4Kids Entertainment has been around since 1970, though their TV division only dates back to 1992. A large branding and license management company, they handle branding for everything from Cabbage Patch Kids to the American Kennel Club to the Yu-Gi-Oh collectible card game franchise. Among the businesses they're involved in is selling packages of Saturday Morning cartoons under their 4Kids TV brand--first to Fox, then CW, as well as the 4Kids TV website--which has lead them to license several anime series that fit in the lineup.

The 4Kids label on anime is not usually what you'd call a positive thing--as often as not it means "Commercial, targeted at preteens, edited, and with a focus on quantity over quality."

Their Catalog

As far as anime goes, their licenses are limited to kid-friendly, commercial shows, in particular One Piece, assorted Pokemon anime shows and movies, and numerous Yu-Gi-Oh! TV series.

Other anime licenses of note are the Kirby and F-Zero TV series, Sonic X, Shaman King, and Pretty Cure, all squarely targeted at a young, mainstream demographic.

What Their Releases Are Like

The quality of their releases vary widely, depending on who they got to do the actual production, but they tend to be dub-only and edited for content or length as well. They've also been known to drop shows partway through or stop releasing DVDs before the series is finished.

Their focus is on TV broadcasts, with DVDs being a secondary product. Most of the series they have are immense franchises--dozens if not hundreds of episodes--so would be prohibitively expensive on DVD unless packaged in large (and cheap) box sets, which they historically haven't been.

Their older video releases tended to be expensive, dub-only, skimpy on the episodes-per-disc, and short on special features. One presumes the main buyers were rental places. Some of their newer releases--those produced by Funimation, for example--have been a considerable improvement.

On account of the broadcast focus they are quite good about free Interent streaming, through their 4Kids TV site.