When it comes to Netflix, the streaming site has been making strides as of late to bolster is anime content. The company has gone so far as to develop its own series like Seven Deadly Sins, and popular shows like Naruto have even come to the site. As such, fans have wondered whether Toei Animation's Dragon Ball or Dragon Ball Z would ever hit Netflix. Now, netizens are being teased with the possibility in a big way.
Not long ago, Japanese fans noticed something rather important about their Netflix queue. The streaming site has officially added the entirety of Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z, but only Japanese users are privy to the exclusive gift. Fans have been posting screenshots of the titles' landing pages, and some are understandably bummed they cannot bolster the shows with a seven-star rating.
Of course, Japanese fans are stoked by the update, but global fans are feeling like they just took a Spirit Bomb to the chest. Foreign fans have long hoped that Dragon Ball would make its way to their Netflix streams, but today's update has them more curious than ever about the franchise's future. But, sadly, it doesn't seem like much will change for international Netflix users.
If you are wondering why there are no Dragon Ball series on Netflix here in the U.S., then you should know it all comes down to licensing reasons. Animax owns the U.S. distribution rights to the Dragon Ball franchise, and they are not keen on bringing their titles to Netflix. Most of the company's licensed shows are kept far away from streaming platforms, and there is no reason to believe Animax's position will be swayed because of Japan's Netflix service.
Japan is not the only country that has a slew of Dragon Ball titles littering its Netflix services. In Germany, Bio-Broly is available while France has access to Fusion Reborn and Wrath of the Dragon. Even The Return of Cooler is available for streaming in Germany, Switzerland, and Denmark.
For now, fans can only hope that the licensing debacle between Animax and Netflix will one day be patched over. If the two companies can come to an agreement, then the Dragon Ball franchise could make its way onto the largest streaming platform in the world. However, fans should not expect that rocky relationship to be smoothed over anytime soon. At the moment, fans can continue to keep up with all things Dragon Ball thanks to sites like Funimation and Crunchyroll. The two sites recently reached a deal where they've partnered to bring Dragon Ball Super simulcasts to U.S. audiences. The latter site airs new episodes in real-time with Japan by using English subs before Funimation releases a dubbed version on delay.
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So, what do you think? Would you like Netflix to acquire the Dragon Ball series? Let us know what you think in the comments below!