These are all edits that occur in every episode of a 4Kids-dubbed episode of GX or 5D’s. Because it’d be redundant to mention them all in each episode’s comparisons, I’ve listed them all here.
Card Edits: To comply with FCC regulations about advertising on a TV show, the cards are all changed to only have an enlarged card art, attribute, and, in the case of Monster Cards, Levels, ATK, and DEF, as seen below.
Of course, since they’re replacing the card images, errors tend to pop up here and there. I’ll cover these in the comparisons, but some usual examples include making a normal monster an effect monster (or vice-versa), giving a character a card that’s not in his deck, or just forgetting to even change the cards (which happens once in all of dub GX).
Title Card: While 4Kids kept each episode’s title card intact for their Pokemon dub (even having Ash read the title like his Japanese counterpart, Satoshi), they remove all of them from their dubbed GX and 5D’s episodes. These are how a given episode’s title card would look (GX on the left, 5D’s on the right):
GX’s Title Cards are accompanied by the “Eyecatch” theme from GX Sound Duel 1 (with the exception of episodes 1-4, which used the “Subtitle” theme), and generally look the same as the above picture, with changing “Turn” numbers and titles for each episode; when colored Disks are introduced in Season 4, the Disk here changes to an Osiris Red one. 5D’s Title Cards are accompanied by the “Subtitle” theme from 5D’s Sound Duel 1, and generally look the same as the above picture, with changing episode titles. The interesting thing about 5D’s’ title screens is that, given the show’s tie-in with the Nazca Lines, the background changes with each episode as it zooms into a different part of the Nazca background you see here, and into the part of the Crimson Dragon that’s the birthmark of the episode’s relevant Signer. When Rua becomes a Signer in 143, the background is changed to include his Heart birthmark with the Right Claw.
The whole title screen sequence usually lasts 5-6 seconds.
Eyecatches: Like above, 4Kids always used the “Who’s That Pokemon?” eyecatches with their Pokemon dub, even making new ones when the Japanese version stopped doing it (including the Trainer’s Choice bit, which, in one case, showed how 4Kids didn’t know squat about the show they had spent years dubbing). With GX and 5D’s, however, the eyecatches are removed. In GX’s first season, there would be two eyecatches, one before and one after the commercials, each with a still shot of the two characters involved in a duel, as in the below example from episode 1 (Judai VS Chronos):
From Season 2 onwards, though, GX began using just one eyecatch, which came after the commercials, as the show’s logo fades into the last scene before the break. The eyecatch would also feature the episode’s important characters, be it Duelists or, in the below example, Judai and his Neo-Spacians. You’ll see them shown in each episode’s comparisons as a nifty reading break.
As for 5D’s, it uses two eyecatches, and they’re the same in every episode. Occasionally, though, one of the below shots would be used twice, either intentionally or accidentally. The top set is used from episodes 1-64, while the bottom set is used from episodes 65-153; episode 154 doesn’t use an eyecatch.
Background Music/OST: Like above, 4Kids’ treatment of the background music in GX and 5D’s differs from the way they treated the background music in Pokemon. There, 4Kids often used a combination of the Japanese BGMs with their made-up BGMs, save for instances where they didn’t use a single Japanese BGM in an episode/movie, whereas in GX and 5D’s, none of the BGMs are kept. Instead, GX’s BGMs are generally replaced with guitar riffs and other unfitting music, with a few cameo BGMs from 4Kids’ DM dub. As for 5D’s, the BGMs are replaced with music reminiscent of the DM dub, just with a slight bit more of an edgy feel. Also, moments of silence in the Japanese version tend to have at least 1-3 pieces of music in the dub, except for the intentional silent moments in the dub for “comedic” purposes.
In each comparison, I’ll eventually make a list of the Japanese version’s used BGMs (with details involving at which point it was used), and each track will take you to another page here where you can hear it.
Next-Episode Previews: The 30-second preview that every episode of GX and 5D’s had in the Japanese version (eventually 15 seconds come Season 1, Part 2 of 5D’s), after the ending theme, is cut from the US version. In GX, these were usually voiced-over by Judai and Shou, with Shou usually reading the next episode’s title. After Shou became a Duel Zombie during Season 3’s Zombie arc, Shou continued to voice along with Judai, but his VA, Masami Suzuki, used the Zombie voice she uses to voice him during the show. Also, during the time that Judai was Haou Judai (Supreme King Judai), the preview was voiced-over by Shou and either Jim or O’Brien, with Ojama Yellow guest-starring.
In 5D’s, Yusei usually narrates the preview, but other characters tend to jump in from time to time, like Rua and Ruka doing most of the narrating for the preview to their debut episode, and Jack and Carly doing the voice-over for the preview to episode 29. Like I mentioned, though, for some reason, the previews from 27 on became 15 seconds long, as if NAS didn’t want to give anything away for the next episode. It’s worked wonders lately, actually. Eventually, they went back to 30-sec previews.
Today’s Best Card: This is a 15-second long GX segment (also cut from the US version) that would air at the end of the episode, starting from Season 2. During this segment, a card related to the episode would appear, stats appearing next to it, as Judai voices over, giving specific details about the cards (stuff like ATK/DEF, quick effect summaries, etc.). Beginning in the latter third of Season 3, after Judai transforms into Supreme King Judai, the episode’s important character(s) would voice-over. The segment didn’t appear in episode 180, the final episode, but did appear at the end of 179, where Judai and Shou voiced over an homage to every character’s best cards, saying that there’s a “best card” in everyone’s deck.
This segment didn’t make a comeback for 5D’s, as the Card of the Day was posted on the show’s official site on TVTokyo. However, from episode 15 on, an image of Yusei holding a card would appear after the opening theme, during the 10-second-long sponsor-announcement bit. Each episode has him holding a different card, and the lettering beside him reads, “Today’s Key Card”. They also added this to the ending sponsor-announcement bit after the preview, with the following week’s Key Card. This one was stopped at episode 26, though, and from then on, it tells the viewers to go to TVTokyo’s website to see the week’s “One-Point Lesson Cards,” three cards chosen to make some kind of strategy, as it recaps scenes from the episode.
Finally, starting from episode 27 (the start of Season 2), a 15-second segment featuring Rua and Ruka was introduced. The lettering above them reads, “This Week’s Showcase Card”, and they would show 5 cards each week, the middle one always being the one emphasized for the episode, and Rua and Ruka react to the choice. The emphasized card also ends up as the episode’s Key Card in the above bit.
Removal of the Japanese Openings and Endings: 4Kids is probably one of the few companies these days who will opt for using their own songs and animation sequences instead of using or translating the Japanese version’s opening and ending animations and songs. And for their opening animations, they tend to use video from the opening and/or ending and the episodes. Below is a list of where the animation for each of GX’s and 5D’s dub openings came from (click here to see each GX Japanese opening/ending/US opening video, and here for 5D’s), and where the animation came from, starting from GX:
|English Opening Theme (GX)||Animation Sources|
|Get Your Game On (Season 1)||Kaisei Joshou Hallelujah, Genkai Battle, Various Eyecatches, Episode clips (2, 1, 21, 26, 5, 22, 33, 31, 12, 3, 36, 8, 9, 7)|
|Get Your Game On (Season 2)||Kaisei Joshou Hallelujah, Genkai Battle, 99% (season 2 version), 3 Episode Eyecatches, Episode clips (2, 53, 64, 55, 60, 53, 61, 54, 57, 56, 69, 12)|
|Get Your Game On (Season 3, V1)||Kaisei Joshou Hallelujah, Teardrop V2, 99% (season 2 version), Episode clips (106, 53, 109, 117, 114, 107, 113, 108, 111, 110, 119, 115, 112, 69)|
|Get Your Game On (Season 3, V2)||Kaisei Joshou Hallelujah, Teardrop V2, 99% (Season 2 version), Episode clips (106, 53, 109, 139, 114, 117, 107, 130, 113, 108, 118, 111, 110, 119, 115, 112, 134, 138)|
|English Opening Theme (5D’s)||Animation Sources|
|Hyper Drive V1||Kizuna, START, Episode clips (3, 1, 4, 6, 8, 5)|
The Japanese openings and endings have credits on them, whereas the English openings don’t. Instead, all of the episode’s credits are pasted to the left of a 30-second credit bit where, if it weren’t for TheCW4Kids’ commercials, a shortened “Hyper Drive” (or “Get Your Game On”, for GX) would play.
Cold Opens: A cold open is when a show starts with part of an episode, and then goes to the show’s Opening intro, before continuing the episode. The Japanese version of GX started with the opening, then had a little bit of action (usually about 30 seconds to a minute or so), before the title card appeared and the episode continued. 4Kids would usually just make their own cold openings by moving the footage that lied before the title card to the beginning of the episode, then adding their opening, and then continuing the episode. This happened until the Japanese version hit Season 2, at which point it started episodes off with its own cold opens, which 4Kids then just worked with. Since then, the Japanese versions of both GX and 5D’s started with cold opens, and episodes that continued a two-or-three+-parter would tend to repeat some footage from the previous episode, as a brief recap, then start the show’s theme song. 4Kids keeps the recap tradition in those episodes, except they add a lot more footage than shown by the Japanese recap, often adding one minute’s worth of footage (or more, often using it to cover up any absurdly long cuts), compared to the short 15-30-second recaps the Japanese version would have. Often, they also added a recap to episodes that didn’t start with recaps, which I’ll mention in the comparisons.
Stat Counters: The monster stat and player LP counters in GX and 5D’s were all changed for the dub, as seen below (GX on the left, 5D’s on the right):
Personally, I’m fine with the changes to GX’s stat counters, but why 4Kids felt they had to change the 5D’s counters, given that they were already in English, is just confusing. Also, the 5D’s counters in the dub have an added unsheathing effect, so when they appear, they fly in and then unsheath to reveal the stat. The problem with this is that, more often than not, in the time it takes for the counters to fly in and unsheath, the Japanese version’s counter will fly in and play its stat-increase/decrease SFX (which is kept in the dub, except for the “LP reduced to 0” SFX; GX’s is changed completely, to a more digital-sounding one), causing a bit of desynching, since 4Kids apparently doesn’t change the timing of it. Also, in changing the counters rise cases where they make mistakes, using the wrong counter at the wrong time. I’ll cover these in the comparisons.
GX-Specific Edits: In Season 1, 4Kids had the habit of making some scenes slide in when the Japanese version didn’t. They would slide in the same way as the monster scenes from the opening, and some parts of the slid-in scene are trimmed for time. As always, I’ll cover any trimmings in the comparisons.
In addition, during Season 3, 4Kids’ new habit was adding a “whoosh” sound effect when a scene quickly zooms out, despite the fact that the Japanese version didn’t have an SFX there. This habit is carried over into the 5D’s dub.
5D’s-Specific Edits: In the US version of 5D’s, a new feature is introduced, similar to the “Card of the Day” bit that was removed from GX. I’ll be calling it the “Card Showcase Interruption”. However, this addition doesn’t exactly help 4Kids’ habit of cutting footage from the episode. These are usually 8-10 seconds long, and it’s usually 2 per episode. At first glance, it would’ve seemed like a good idea, given that the D-Wheelers/Turbo Duelists wear helmets showing them their opponent’s (and their own) stats, so it’d seem logical for them to see what we’re being shown. But unfortunately, this feature wasn’t limited to Riding/Turbo Duels; it was also used during Standing Duels. Put simply, I’d be all for this feature, if it didn’t mean valuable footage was cut for it. Also, these tend to be pointless, since they sometimes just talk about a monster’s visible stats (as in the picture below), compared to the ones that actually explain a monster’s effect. This was the kind of showcase Stardust Dragon got in episode 4, and all it did was basically ruin the moment it was used against Yusei (hence why I call it an “interruption”).
And with the basics out of the way, onward to the Comparisons!
GX Comparisons 5D’s Comparisons