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  • This is true for a lot of anime that received Macekre dubs, and so far the only uncut version is the fansub. This is the case with most anime dubbed by 4Kids! Entertainment, but averted with One Piece.
    • Subverted with Sonic X, as 4Kids recently released the uncut subbed version of the entire series online, but it's only available in the United States.
      • However it is the international version, which features a lot of the Japanese symbols and signs wiped clean, this includes the Title Card and the Eyecatches. So if you actually want to watch the real Japanese version you have to look elsewhere.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog The Movie is near impossible to find uncut in stores and even Amazon, but it is very easy to watch on Youtube or download on Veoh.
  • Macross: Do You Remember Love, caught up in rights problems.
    • Most Macross series, for that matter, except Macross Plus. The Macross series is legendary for its legal snarls. The original series has been released in English a few times (notably in the form of Robotech, as well as separate translations by Anim Eigo and ADV Films), and Do You Remember Love was given an English VHS release once. That's about it.
    • Robotech: The Movie (a Macekred version of Megazone23), because the licensee was uninterested. Even the original editor/rewriter of the series was lukewarm at best about it. It never had a theatrical release. Scuttlebutt has it that Robotech: The Movie is to Carl Macek what The Star Wars Holiday Special is to George Lucas.
      • Interestingly, the unadulterated Megazone 23 had its own licensing. Streamline Pictures had rights before they went under, then ADV films after that. As of present, it's unlicensed, but it could still be up for grabs by one of ADV's splintered offspring.
  • The collapse of Geneon means that a number of beloved shows have gone out of print, as is the case with Satoshi Kon's wildly ambitious and original Paranoia Agent, though the individual volumes can be purchased used on amazon.com for relatively cheap.
    • But not all is lost. As far as is known, all a company has to do is step forward to buy the licensing rights from their original distributors. A few of Geneon's gems like Trigun have been claimed by companies like FUNimation.
    • Same goes for Central Park Media and ADV Films to a lesser extent. Many of ADV's later licenses were sold off to FUNimation when their distribution deal with Sojitz exploded in their face, although they still have a few (now under Sentai Filmworks). Most of CPM's licenses have been saved by other groups also, mostly by Media Blasters, Nozomi Entertainment, and FUNimation got a hold of Slayers. Ironically, ADV also got a hold of some, and those are starting to go out of print as well.
      • Central Park Media's manga is also now under this trope. Interestingly, their older DVD sets are still not too difficult to find, given that most of them were released between 1999-2002, a time when DVDs were new, highly expensive, and exclusive. Some of them won't destroy your wallet either; you can actually get a box set of CPM's original DVD release of Slayers on eBay for reasonable prices (ranging from as low as $30 up to around $80), a given because each season was originally released for about $100 each (though it helps that FUNimation has rereleased the franchise in cheaper box sets, including a reasonably-priced DVD set with all 3 seasons CPM originally released).
  • Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch. The franchise has a large fanbase (although the fandom never did recuperate from the great 2004 forum war), new readers from the English vs. of the manga, and merchandise tie-ins by the truckload. But when ADV Films had it, they spent a year trying to get TV networks to pick it up and failed. Nobody wanted to gamble on a girls' series, especially not one that was also a Widget Series. Season 1 alone is 52 episodes; that length just can't be supported by sight-unseen, fansub-based DVD sales alone. We'll probably never get it. Worse, the fansubs probably won't reach the end of the series. (The trailer used to pitch the series to TV can be found here.)
    • ADV Films dubbed all the episodes, and many foreign dubs use the unreleased English dub as a reference. The dub is considered very much hard-to-find.
  • The Jo Jos Bizarre Adventure movie Phantom Blood. A newer, and thus odder, example. Four years after its release in Japanese theaters, it has still not received a DVD release. No one is sure why, but the most commonly cited reason cited is that Hirohiko Araki, the creator of JoJo, loathed it. Because of this, it's impossible to find on even the shadiest corners of the Internet. No DVD release means that the only way for it to be seen would be through a bootleg video camera copy.
  • Sailor Moon, due to heavy licensing problems that occurred several years ago.
    • All the DVD releases are getting very expensive, with some 7-episode single DVDs going for as much as $80!!!
    • Fortunately, all of that seems to be turning around since the manga is now relicensed in the states, and the anime is being relicensed around the world.
    • The Sailor V manga was rare and hard to find in America, even online, for years until Kodansha finally picked it up and gave it a mainstream US release.
  • Super Pig, in anime or manga form, is impossible to obtain legally. Japan saw a DVD release, and copies can be found if you know where to look - untranslated.
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena has a DVD library that was (until recently) out of print, hard to find, and traded incestuously with other fans via internet... if they were lucky. One enterprising fan is working on getting the reissues fansubbed. At $300 for each of the two volumes, it's quite the economic task.
    • Utena happens to be one of those series that's sub-licensed. The US distribution rights actually belong to Enoki Films, who in turn sublicensed it on to Central Park Media through their Software Sculptors label. The title went out of print because CPM went under.
    • Thankfully, Nozomi rereleased the series in three limited edition box sets using the remastered footage, including the movie!
  • Crush Gear Turbo was a surprisingly-decent show with a surprisingly-good dub (the script, not necessarily the quality of the voice actors)... which has no DVD release. Had no VHS release. Has never been subbed (and never will be without DVD/VHS releases)... and both times it aired on Cartoon Network in Australia, some people missed the final episode, which resolved the entire main character arc! Arrrrgh!!
    • Actually, a few volumes of DVDs of Crush Gear Turbo have been released, though they are extremely hard to find. Heck, finding any proof of the existence of the English dub is difficult...or the franchise at all! There isn't even a page for it! The short-lived toyline was last seen on the bargain rack.
      • Apparently, it can be found on various sources online.
  • When was the last time you read the Haruhi manga? No, not the newest version, which can be found in American bookstores nowadays — what about the 2004 version? Your answer is probably "never", because it was quickly canceled and is difficult to find even on the internet.
  • In the beginning of Dragon Ball's run in America, FUNimation had licensed distribution rights for the first 13 episodes and first movie of DB to Trimark (who was later bought out by Lionsgate) as well the first 67 episodes and first 3 movies of DBZ to Pioneer. While Pioneer/Geneon pretty much just gave up their license as soon as it expired, and FUNimation redubbed the original Saban DBZ episodes pretty much as soon as the show ended, it was Lionsgate that really became the bad guys. FUNimation redubbed the original 13 episodes of Dragon Ball as a part of their in-house English dub for the series in 2001 for broadcast, but the Region 1 DVDs began with episode 14 since Trimark held onto the rights until 2004, and FUNimation planned on releasing the episodes to DVD after they finished releasing the rest of the series (although these episodes were released to Region 4 DVD uncut in Australia), but when Trimark was bought out by Lionsgate, they renewed all their licenses for another contract term, making it impossible for FUNimation to release the episodes uncut until at least 2009. For years, most of the online uploads of these episodes featured the old BLT Productions dub on the old Trimark DVD release, since at the time, FU Ni's uncut episodes could only be found on the Australian DVD. Fortunately when Lionsgate's contract expired, FU Ni was given the rights, and finally released the original Dragon Ball in five season boxsets in 2009-2010. As for the first movie, finding it uncut period was difficult for years since as a result of the license fiasco, FU Ni was unable to redub it at all until 2010.
    • The old BLT and Saban productions of early DB and DBZ respectively have become rare dubs since their DVDs are now out of print, and hard to find. AB Groupe's English dubs that were made for Canada and Europe (due to broadcast standards in Canada restricting the use of non-Canadian programming), including their Blue Water dubs of DB and DBGT and their Ocean dub of the second half of DBZ, have become extremely rare since they haven't seen ANY home video release whatsoever, and only exist in TV rips. FUNimation's English dub is distributed on home video in those areas since AB Groupe only has broadcasting rights.
  • The Candy Candy anime, for the end result of the 1997-2002 legal battles between the two co-creators is that the series is Screwed by the Lawyers.
  • Mad Bull 34 has never seen a DVD release in North America, since Manga Entertainment lost the rights to it before DVDs came into the picture. Same goes for Violence Jack.
  • Monster Rancher suffers from this. Season 3 was dubbed but never aired in the US, and the DVDs and VHS for Season 1 are out of print...well, except for one containing the first eight episodes.
  • The tapes containing the (admittedly rushed and shabby, but still a fan-favourite) Spanish dub for Slayers were destroyed by the network after the airing rights expired, since they needed the space and didn't think they would be of any use anymore. Something like ten years later, another company bought the distribution rights of the dub with the intention of releasing it on DVD, but since it physically doesn't exist anymore they've been asking anyone who owns episodes on tape and the like to contribute.
  • Remember Mon Colle Knights on Fox Kids? It was awesome! Let's see if we can buy it... No. Well, no matter, we'll be able to watch it on... No. Hmm... (hours of searching later) ...This show's so damn obscure, it's nigh-impossible to find a place to download it.
  • If anyone wants to see Fighting Foodons again, they're pretty much out of luck considering that this is one of the rare anime series that 4Kids has done pretty well, if nothing else for its Narm Charm. Despite this fact, there are still no official releases for it yet.
  • Lupin III is an interesting example, as the movies and TV Series had at least two different companies releasing them in English (as well as a on-again, off-again broadcast on Adult Swim), as well as Tokyopop's release of the manga. The distributor for the TV series went kaput due to bankruptcy, the movie distributor finished up the ones they had bought, and the second series of the manga was cancelled almost halfway through its run due to low sales. Now, Discotek is releasing a subbed movie every few years, and the dubbed movies were put into two boxsets except for The Castle of Cagliostro (Which Manga Entertainment has), but nothing for the TV series or the manga.
    • Pioneer actually stopped releasing Lupin III episodes (which come from the second series, usually regarded as the best of the lot) after around 30 of them, and this was well before it even changed its name to Geneon.
      • This has changed for the never-released-before-in-America first series, as Discotek has gained the rights to release this one.
  • Cyborg 009, take your pick of any of the three different editions (1968-1969, 1979-80, or 2001-02) — only eight episodes out of the entire 51-episode run of the most recent series has been officially released on DVD in the US (in both censored and uncensored formats). However, all 51 episodes were dubbed into English, but are harder to find due to lack of a home video release to support it's longevity.
  • Ultimate Muscle, quite possibly one of the only animes 4Kids has ever done right, only has the first 4 episodes available on DVD. This, of course, is unsurprising as 4Kids has so little sense they make Kid Muscle seem like a genius.
  • Unlike most anime dubbed by 4Kids, Pokémon has a lot of the series available on DVD (it helps that 4Kids has never owned home video rights for the franchise). But there are some weak spots. So you want to get some of the episodes of the Johto arc? Well, all of the Johto-arc DVDs can only be found online now, as Seasons 3-5 never got re-released onto DVD boxsets. It Gets Worse when some DVDs are only available used, with several over $90. As for the Master Quest season? Good luck finding either the 1st or 2nd box set without using Google. The rest of the franchise however, isn't too difficult to find on DVD.
    • It's getting even worse. If you want any of the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise on DVD, then you may have to fork over a chunk of change. 4Kids' (former) main home video distributor, FUNimation Entertainment, got into a dispute with 4Kids, and since then, 4Kids' shows generally didn't come to any home video format for years. Yu-Gi-Oh! was released to DVD via FUNimation, but after Season 3, no DVDs ever saw the light of the day, and the DVDs that DID come out now go up for a lot of money since they've been discontinued for years especially the box sets). GX and 5Ds are pretty much nonexistent on home video as well. Fortunately, some 4Kids shows have recently come to DVD via Shout! Factory.
    • The banned episodes of Pokemon, the most famous of which is the seizure-inducing Denno Senshi Porygon that aired only once in Japan, are a notable example.
  • The OAV spinoff for Makeruna! Makendou. Released on VHS in Japan on March 15, 1995. All sites that claim to have copies are defunct. A downloadable copy can be found online, though.
  • Arguably, anime that's available on DVD in Japan (y'know, the nation that they were produced and broadcast in) don't qualify for this Trope. However, Japanese releases only have one print run. Popular series get reissued from time to time (if you're lucky), but if it's a particular edition that you're after, your best bet is to scour auction websites.
  • Ayakashi: Samurai Horror Tales made it Stateside. Geneon obtained licensing for its spinoff series, Mononoke — and then promptly went bankrupt, leaving the series in a sort of licensing limbo that has still not been resolved.
  • Science Ninja Team Gatchaman finally got a complete release in 2006 by ADV, however sadly this was not to last long. After Sandy Frank's master license for the series (of which ADV was a sublicensor for their uncut releases) expired in early 2007, ADV's dub eventually went out of print and the boxsets have become notably hard and expensive to get a hold of. Likewise, Sandy Frank's Battle of the Planets adaptation and the 1980s G-Force: Guardians Of Space dub of Gatchaman have also fallen to this situation. Years before the license expired, Rhino released approximately only 40 of the 85 BOTP episodes in the US, while fans in the UK and Australia were able to obtain the entire series legally. G-Force had a comparatively worse fate however, with only a few select "Best Of" episodes released on a compilation DVD, leaving its fans to have to rely on old Cartoon Network recordings to fill their collections.
    • As the US license to Gatchaman has expired, it remains unlikely that the sequel series will also be picked up, along with the fate of the Macekre adaptation by Saban known as Eagle Riders, leaving fans to have to continue to rely on bootlegs of both the originals and that version.
  • Tokyo Mew Mew had 26 episodes released in the US by 4Kids and then dropped due to them not being able to get a merchandising deal (despite high ratings). The other 26 episodes were never released and there are no plans to release even those that were seen in the US. It is unlikely to ever be completed. Episodes 24-26 have also not been shown in the US since they lead into a sharp cliffhanger (literally, their dub of episode 26 ends with a "To Be Continued..."!)
  • Despite only being released a few years ago, the DVD box sets for Maison Ikkoku are among the rarest in anime, some of them are over $700.
  • The Dragon Warrior dub was masked in legal problems from the beginning (not the least of which was Akira Toriyama receiving zero credit) resulting in only 13 of the 43 episodes being dubbed, and no official release of either dub or original versions.
  • Robot Carnival. This old classic that was among the first exposures of anime to the West has only received a Region 2 DVD released a looooooong time ago. It was rights issues, as original US licensee Streamline Pictures went under.
  • Good luck finding The Littl' Bits on video or DVD these days! Only precious few sources exist, and even then there's still four whole episodes that are damn near impossible to find in English.
  • Hopefully everyone taped The Noozles and The Adventures of the Little Koala when they had the chance, because the places where you can see those classic shows are dwindling to near extinction at this point.
    • Noozles actually saw a limited VHS release courtesty of Celebrity Home Entertainment's "Just For Kids" label. Still fits the trope, though. Celebrity also distributed a moral lesson anime called EYES of Mars, again VHS-only. It once aired on Syfy as well in the late 90's, but little has been heard of this (or even Celebrity) since.
  • If you missed out on seeing great shows like David the Gnome or Grimm's Fairy Tales when they were on television, you might be completely out of luck at this point, considering these shows are almost impossible to find.
  • The dubs of Digimon Adventure, Digimon Adventure 02 and Digimon Tamers have had only very limited releases in the United States, amounting to only a handful of episodes each. Digimon Frontier has never had any official stateside release at all. Bootleg DVD sets and recordings of TV broadcasts are widely available online, but these are reputedly of dodgy quality and the former may sell for anywhere between $75-100 per set.
    • These and several other anime in the list were once held by Saban. Most likely, rights have expired for them, which is why they're not seen anymore.
    • Rescued from this status at last, at least for Digimon Adventure... and in Australia of all places, courtesy of Madman Entertainment! Hopes that later iterations of the franchise will receive the same treatment ensued.
  • Future War 198X. Wizard Video, an internationally known distributor of horror movies at the time, once released a VHS tape of it in Australia in the mid-80's. The tape itself has 35 minutes chopped out, no credits besides the original Japanese, and an entirely different dub. This edit was taken by both sides of the Berlin Wall in Germany and Italy, each of them giving their own seperate dub. Since there wasn't much potential for a narrated foreign cartoon about WWIII to have a demographic besides the arthouse crowd, hardly any tapes were made at all. These tapes are near impossible to find. See here.
  • Sazae-san is an interesting example because the show is still on the air (since 1969). Despite having more than 2,000 episodes in the vault not a single one was ever officially released on VHS and DVD. This was from a request the creator made before she died; they kept their word.
    • Episodes broadcast before VCRs became the norm are extremely difficult to find because they've never been shown again after their initial airing. This is why the show's 35th (2004) and 40th (2009) anniversary specials was a big deal for collectors: as a treat to viewers they pulled out some 1970s episodes from the shelves and broadcast them again for the first time in decades.
  • The obscure animated Mario movie The Great Mission to Save Princess Peach only saw release on VHS in Japan and was never released to DVD or released in outside countries. Even the original VHS release is pretty rare and usually sells for hundreds when it hits auction sites. It's really unknown if it will ever get a proper rerelease at all.
  • The four anime that feature work by Yoshitoshi Abe (Serial Experiments Lain, Nie A_7, Haibane Renmei, and Texhnolyze) fell into this trope for U.S. fans after Geneon stopped distributing the titles they'd licensed. Funimation subsequently picked up the licenses for them (except for NieA_7), but hasn't announced any re-release plans yet.
  • Shin Chan was aired for over a decade on Hawaii TV station KIKU in a subtitled form that was faithful to the original Japanese version. Unfortunately, the tapes used by KIKU were destroyed immediately after broadcast as part of the licensing agreement, so it only survives on the VHS tapes of fans who recorded it while it was airing.
  • If you want to find the Japanese print volumes and the OVA of Kaze to Ki no Uta, then good luck...both the older prints of the manga and the OVA in VHS and Laser Disk form are out of print and it's unlikely that the OVA will be re-issued on DVD (outside of Italy), and until recently, there aren't even any fan translations of the manga. Even worse, it would also take an monumental task for anyone to translate the entire manga since it has stylistic character usage from the 1970s, so you need a good grasp of the Japanese language to translate the whole thing. But the fansubs of the OVA and manga raws of the original print can be found around the internet.
  • Several of the earlier Excel Saga manga volumes appear to have gone out of print, and can only be bought used for several times their original price, if you're lucky. It is also hard to find scanlations because no one wants to translate all the jokes and references.
    • The Neon Genesis Evangelion manga, also published by Viz Media, has undergone a similar fate. A lot of Viz's older manga in general. The manga under their first logo is long out of print, while the manga under their second logo (along with the demographic destinctions, i.e "Shojo" and "Action", which was used to differentiate from the English Shonen Jump manga line) are either being re-released or are also out of print. The Inuyasha manga is now being released in omnibus format unflipped (the original release was left-to-right, then by the 35th volume they went to the original format), while some others, such as Fushigi Yuugi, are being re-released in omnibus format. A lot of their older shojo manga, for some reason, is now out of print, including the Revolutionary Girl Utena manga, Basara, and Please Save My Earth.
  • The English Dub of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni seems to have suffered this fate, as Funimation has removed the series from its Youtube channel and DVD box sets are no longer available from Funimation's website. The same thing happened to Zero no Tsukaima.
  • Any Light Novel series licensed by Tokyo Pop are now forced into circulation because the company went under very recently. This would've been difficult to begin with anyway because of how unpopular light novels are in the states. Case in point, most of the licensed series only had between one and five volumes translated, and most of them went out of print due to low sales long before Tokyopop closed its doors. The Slayers light novels are a good example; six of its fifteen volumes were released before its halt due to poor sales. Tokyopop decided to give the fans a break after some demand and translated novels 7 and 8 (completing the first arc) on a print-by-demand basis.
  • Most of Tokyopop's other manga series is now getting rarer because of the aforementioned closing. The laughable cine-manga is long out of print, as are older incarnations of their manga that were flipped. Titles such as Magic Knight Rayearth, Cardcaptor Sakura, Chobits, Clover, and Love Hina, however, are now being re-released in omnibus format, either by Dark Horse manga or Kodansha USA.
    • Del Rey's manga line averts this; most of them have been transferred to Kodansha's new USA division, including Mahou Sensei Negima.
    • Want the first volume of Mirai Nikki? Good luck with that.
  • Bobobobo Bobobo was screwed over to begin with when it was licensed. Badly. The anime had a one-run on Toonami in 2005, and only two DVD sets were released in the states. The company that was distributing them went under rather quickly and without notice, and no other companies, including Viz Media's DVD distribution division, will pick it up. The same thing goes for the manga, which only has six translated volumes starting from the middle of the series released, and there was very little distribution. It gets even worse, because apparently the Japanese manga is going out of print as well.
  • The subbed English versions of Ginga Densetsu Weed and Ginga: Nagareboshi Gin are somewhat difficult to find how that YouTube has begun taking down the Weed episodes. Made even worse is the fact Gin was only subbed in good quality by the original group of subbers up until episode ten, leaving viewers with the badly done original subs that don't make grammatical sense much of the time, until a new subbing team picked up the rest of the episodes. Since there is no way to even get these episodes in English professionally anytime soon, keep the downloads and YouTube vids up.
  • Low sales of the box set featuring the first 15 episodes of Monster prevented the rest from being released, a real loss as it was one of the biggest dubbing jobs ever. Luckily, the entire English dub is up on Youtube, and the subtitled version on Netflix.
  • Ranma ½'s DVD series is slowly going out of print (helps that it's an older DVD series with eight disks a set and initial prices being around $120 each). Most of the things that Viz released have yet to see a DVD release. One Pound Gospel also has not seen a DVD release.
  • This can happen to companies of niche genres or even larger ones (example, Yaoi). The amount printed is usually low to not be a risk to the company and so even finding a book a year after its English release (example Seven Days) is difficult and expensive. Fortunately due to the digital age it is possible to buy some titles online or with devices like the Kindle and the Nook.
  • This happens to so many Viz Media titles on DVD. Among the titles Viz has screwed over with incomplete releases (despite being completely dubbed) are:
    • Hikaru No Go (All 78 episodes were dubbed into English, 76 were put up on Toonami Jetstream, and only 52 came out on DVD. The last couple episodes' dubs weren't released until Viz recently put the whole series up for purchase on iTunes).
    • Full Moon o Sagashite
    • Blue Dragon
    • Monster
  • Akira is a bit of a strange case in North America, more related to availability rather than lack of being released. You may not have many troubles finding the DVD release, however it's based off of the 2001 dub. The original dub still has its reasons for enjoyment, not just nostalgia, you'll have to look for. The manga, on the other hand, good luck finding it - you may be able to find it in bookstores, but due to its Doorstopper-status, will be lucky to find more than a few volumes at once.
  • The Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind manga likewise is really hard to obtain without resorting to online posts or downloading copies. The Macekre is likewise unavailable...but that's probably for the best.
  • The English localization of the Sayonara, Zetsubou-sensei anime was announced but there doesn't seem to be any follow up. Torrents don't seem to be a choice either making the show very difficult to acquire.
  • Some anime, including Gunbuster, may have become very hard to find in Japan due to the singer Noriko Sakai's drug scandal (the reason being Sakai's involvement in those anime).
  • The English dub of Go! Go! Itsutsugo Land, Let's Go Quintuplets! has, until just recently been literally impossible to find anywhere on the internet. The first two episodes of the dub are included on the Spanish DVD release, however this is out of print and rather hard to find. Fortunately a few episodes have appeared on Youtube in recent weeks, however the uploader does not have the complete series, so some episodes remain lost to the ages.
  • Probably anything by Leiji Matsumoto, but Queen Millennia isn't even available in Japan. The only available copies seem to be dubs that you can rent from some European countries' national TV channel archives.
  • Ultimately averted, in a way, by the josei anime Kasei Yakyoku. As a josei OAV only released in VHS and laserdisc, the 'fight' to get it was hard for many years... but somehow a fansub group managed to get both VHS and laserdisc copies, and then release a fansubbed version.
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