After 4Kids supposedly withheld money and made secret back room deals with FUNimation over the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise, Nihon Ad Systems and TV Tokyo have chosen to terminate their license arrangement with 4Kids. In addition to no longer having US control over the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime, 4Kids is facing a lawsuit for the missing money.
Since it is a publicly traded company, 4Kids filed a Form 8-K report to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission to let its shareholders know what's going on. In the report, 4Kids denies the March 30 license termination "as wrongful and devoid of any factual and legal basis."
4Kids disputes several aspects of Nihon Ad and TV Tokyo's complaint. The company notes that the letter of termination "did not comply with the 10 business day notice and cure provision" that was in the original agreement. 4Kids also note that, having received a request for payment on March 4, they made a $1 million payment on March 17 "as a show of good faith" in order to gain a meeting on March 18 to discuss the dispute. The meeting was unsuccessful.
4Kids is moving forwards, planning to "vigorously oppose" the allegations. However, if the termination is valid, they plan to do everything they can to recoup the losses and maintain their business, even filing for bankruptcy. That kind of talk scares me. I know most of the anime community doesn't think too highly of 4Kids and their practices, but the fact remains that they're one of the few remaining major anime companies in the US. So many kids are exposed to anime thanks to the stuff they put out. If they went under, it would be a great loss to the already weakened US industry. Here's hoping they can reach some sort of settlement.
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