Naruto: I No Longer Understand What Is Going On
The licensing thing got a little more confusing. Here's the message on AnimeSuki, a Bittorrent site that is very scrupulous about not linking to torrents of anime that have been licensed outside of Japan.
On February 15 ShoPro Entertainment announced it was appointed the main licensor for Naruto in the USA. This has lead many to claim Naruto has been licensed. However AnimeSuki sees ShoPro only as a middle-man and not an anime company which releases anime themselves. As such we're not marking it licensed yet. Please note that this situtation may change at any time. Also the ShoPro "license" means Naruto is now much more likely to be licensed in the US, especially by VIZ.I also noticed that Viz has now posted yesterday's press release on their website. Boldface emphasis added by myself.
ShoPro Entertainment, Inc. which recently announced its upcoming merger with VIZ, LLC to form one of the entertainment industry's most innovative, comprehensive manga and animation licensing and publishing companies, announced today that it has secured from worldwide licensors, TV TOKYO Corporation and Shueisha Inc., the television, home video and merchandising rights to Naruto for North America and Latin America. The appointment of ShoPro Entertainment as Master Licensor was facilitated by TV TOKYO Medianet, the licensing arm of TV TOKYO.Perhaps AnimeSuki is correct - ShoPro is the "Master Licensor" and simply gets to choose the company than will ultimately bring Naruto to the public in North America. It also sounds like that's kind of a moot point because of their "upcoming merger" with Viz. I mean, if ShoPro has the rights, and they merge with Viz... obviously the new company will the rights and the means to distribute it. I think AnimeSuki's on thin ice there, but I fully admit to not understanding this stuff.
Will fansub groups continue to subtitle Naruto? Narutofan.com reports:
"AonE has said they will not drop Naruto as a series they subtitle. ANBU however is likely to drop the series completely, while Dattebayo has not made an official comment on the matter."
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