Americans only get a small taste of what Japan has to offer in the terms of anime. Usually, only the most visually interesting, marketable properties make the cut, leaving the ones that weren't in incredibly high demand in the dust. This, unfortunately, eventually piles up a long list of Japanese-only anime that's never made it to America. Although fandubs and fansubs might be out there, these poor unlicensed series are anime only available in Japan.
Without an English dub, it's up to hardcore otakus to scour out these series, because, without the licensing, there's no way you're going to find these gems anywhere other than conventions or Japanese retailers. For one reason or another, even though these anime are all great titles in their respective forms, they remain hidden as anime only in Japanese.
From magical girls to dark, dystopian themes and teachers with demonic monster arms, feast your eyes on some great, undubbed anime that's buried away in localization limbo.
Join a totally cute cast of humanized mermaid princesses in Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch, a glorious concoction of magical girl comedy and romantic drama about mer-girls who can't reveal their true identities without bursting into a billion bubbles. At one point, ADV films did actually license this wonderful mermaid tale, but due to lack of backers and TV support, they eventually passed it off to TV Aichi, who are sitting on it until it fizzles out.
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.hack//Beyond The World AKA .hack//The Movie
This theatrical debut for the .hack// franchise is a beautifully animated CGI/animation hybrid where monsters from a popular MMORPG arise during the 2024 Summer Olympics, providing a chaotic setting and a sci-fi joyride for anyone who has a passion for gaming.
The movie was eventually released as a Blu-ray /PS3 hybrid, but because the accompanying fighting game (.hack//Versus) was never localized due to decreasing popularity and the discontinuation of the .hack// games for PS2, the movie itself never received a dub or a sub.
Basquash! involves both sports and mecha action, as dwellers of a technologically advanced city play basketball with their big, beefy robots. It's exactly as awesome as it sounds.
Unfortunately, for some unknown reason, no American licensing company thought these giant, b-ball bouncing bots were marketable enough to bring overseas. As it originally launched in 2009, this anime is well past its debut period.
Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne AKA Phantom Thief Jeanne
Phantom Thief Jeanne is the unique and peppy tale of a magical girl who has been given the holy task of hunting demons within treasures, causing them to disappear in the real world. Oh, and she's in high school, so her newly God-given criminal activities are surrounded with romance, drama, and hilarious scenarios that will entertain you for hours.
On the Western end, at the time of its 2009 release, magical girl genres were generally heavily edited for younger US audiences, and nobody took on the burden of adapting it.