4Kids Entertainment was a television production company known for its use of Americanizing anime (not just dubbing) to make them for kids. They were also known for their blocks of Saturday morning programming from the FoxBox from 2002 to 2005 when it was changed to 4Kids TV to 2005 to 2008 and finally Toonzai, which ended after a lawsuit involving the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise led to 4Kids filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, leading to Saban buying most of 4Kids assets and creating Vortexx in 2012, which ended 2 years later, ending Saturday Morning cartoons. 4Kids would later become a licensing company under the name 4Licensing Corporation. Another subsidiary 4K Media License would be bought by Konami.
Why They Suck
- As said before, they didn't just dub anime, they Americanized it. That means they removed anything that was part of Japanese culture from the anime, removing Japanese symbols and infamously referred to rice cakes in one episode of their dub of Pokemon as jelly-filled doughnuts. This is because they think American audiences would not understand it's cultural references. Audiences think otherwise and also think it should be kept in the dubs so that the audience especially children can learn some world history for social studies.
- Terrible choices for voice actors for their dubs, with some voices feeling out of place or having no (or very little) effort put in.
- Dialogue was not translated from word to word.
- Their dub of One Piece is among the worst offenders, changing a black character white, changing Sanji's cigarettes to suckers, and everything else 4Kids is infamous for.
- Background music is changed to "appeal to an American audience". But the original music score doesn't sound too Japanese. It's universal, and can be enjoyed by anyone in the world. That's like replacing a John Williams score with a different soundtrack for a separate dub to appeal for a certain country. Music is added into scenes that were originally silent. This can ruin the mood of the scenes.
- The theme songs are cheesy and repetive.
- Completely terrified of Moral Guardians. Literally everything involving death is removed or censored. For instance, to replace character death or torture in the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise, many characters are simply sent to the Shadow Realm, or sent to the stars (Yu-Gi-Oh! GX) or in one of the worst cases, just went away (DragonBall Z Kai, technically that one was Vortexx but it had 4Kids written all over it).
- Never even finished Yu-Gi-Oh! GX just because they wanted to focus on 5D's.
- Never even finished up 5D's either (though to be fair, they at least had low ratings and the lawsuit as an excuse)
- Ruined Sonic X big time by giving the characters very one-dimensional voices (Sonic sounds like a "totally radical" surfer teen from the Southern states, Dr. Eggman has a stereotypical English accent, Knuckles sounds like an angry viking, Amy Rose sounds like a Wendy Whiner, Cream the Rabbit sounds like Minnie Mouse, Chris Thorndyke sounds like a wussy woman and Rouge the Bat sounds like a 40-year-old) and editing out certain parts. On top of that, 4Kids did not use Sonic's already English phrases from the Japanese version.
- Is still dubbing Yu-Gi-Oh! due to the subsidiary of their company 4K Media License now owned by Konami.
- The 4Kids National Anthem
- Instead of altering shows into kids shows, they should've marketed the original version towards an older audience.
- Changing the F-Zero GP Legend anime (Falcon Densetsu in Japanese) from altering scenes, not showing a bit of violence, and even CUTTING OUT SOME EPISODES (most noticeably the final episode).
- Some original programming including their own adaption of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
- Had some level of faith to the source material (not enough to be true redeeming quality but hey finding redeeming qualities for an abomination like 4Kids is like finding a contact lens in the middle of the Pacific Ocean).
- Dan Green is a strong actor.
- Their dub for Pokemon was fairly decent since it was already family friendly in Japan, so even 4Kids couldn't screw it up that bad.
- Had some creative ways of censoring death, such as the Shadow Realm.
- Bringing Pokèmon, Sonic X and Yu-Gi-Oh! to the US.