The Abridged Series

The Abridged Series

by Appa the Gypsy

As a nineties kid, I grew up on a combination of American-dubbed anime shows. Mostly Dragonball Z and Naruto, and, to a lesser extent (a fact that greatly saddens me now), Pokémon. I wish I’d watched more Pokémon. Anyway, I encountered a fantastic range of shows, including, but not limited to, Beyblades, Digimon, Zoids, Cardcaptors (a.k.a. Cardcaptor Sakura), Sailor Moon, One Piece, and, of course, Yu-Gi-Oh!

But, as a kid, I never saw any of these shows simply subtitled, on TV. They were always dubbed, and very Americanised (Americanized?). I later discovered the internet, but that’s a different story…

Anyway, so there are companies based in the U.S. that deal with preparing Japanese anime for viewing on American channels aimed at children. One of the most notable of these companies are Funimation, who brought to English-speaking countries, Dragonball and all its sequel series, as well as One Piece, Digimon, Full-Metal Panic, and Full-Metal Alchemist. More well-known than Funimation, however, is 4Kids. The kind people at 4Kids brought us Pokémon, Naruto, and Yu-Gi-Oh!

Now, these companies have often been criticised for Americanising these Japanese shows a little too much, but none of them have been criticised quite so much as 4Kids. Charged with making these shows more appropriate for American children, 4Kids removes sexual content and tones down violence, yes. But, they have also taken it upon themselves, at times, to change names of characters that sound too Japanese, change the genders of characters, change the food the characters eat, and even change the skin colour of some characters, all to make it easier for an American audience to watch.

Enter LittleKuriboh, a youtube user, and the creator of the Abridged Series. This guy is pretty famous now, and often travels to comic conventions and participates in panels, all because of his work on his series, Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series. He had a little run in with youtube a while back, which resulted in his account being closed. But he’s back on youtube under the name CardgamesFTW, and he’s been making abridged episodes and movies based on the Yu-Gi-Oh! series since 2006.

I could explain to you what an abridged series, but why would I, when LittleKuriboh can do it for me…

(This was an introduction to a convention panel, and it pretty much explains everything)

Now that you know what an abridged series is, maybe you should give watching one a shot. Here’s episode 8 of Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series: “The Plot Thinnens”.

Interesting fact: 4kids recently filed for bankruptcy due to a law suit regarding the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise.