Cloverway Inc.

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Cloverway Inc.[1]
IndustryMultimedia entertainment;
Anime licensing and distribution
FateAdness Entertainment, LLC[3][4]
HeadquartersLong Beach, California, U.S.
Area served
North America and Latin America
Key people
Yasuo Matsuo (President)
Mary Jo Winchester (Vice President)
Daniel Castaneda (General Manager)
Takeshi Okajima (Accountant Manager)
ProductsAnime, Manga, Merchandising
OwnerYasuo Matsuo

Cloverway Inc. (abbreviated as CWi, also branded as Cloverway) was a media licensing agency based in Long Beach, California which specialized in Japanese animation and Manga licensing, and they were best known for being the representative office of Toei Animation for the Americas, mostly distributing Toei properties for syndication and home video. They were also acting as an intermediary agent between Japanese companies (Shueisha, Shogakukan, Nippon Animation, etc.) and local companies both in the U.S. market (Viz Communications,[5] Tokyopop,[6] Pioneer Entertainment,[7] ADV Films, and Bandai Entertainment) and Latin American market (Televisa, TV Azteca, Turner), for film distribution or manga publishing of their contents in the continent, to various TV channels in each country, regionally and pan-regionally as well as arranging publishing deals with several Manga publishers in English, Brazilian Portuguese and Spanish.


The company was founded in 1991. In 1992, the first anime series distributed by Cloverway for Latin America was the Knights of the Zodiac TV series, first broadcast in Mexico and Brazil. It was followed by Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball some time later.[8]

In 1995, Dragon Ball was re-dubbed by Cloverway, after Bandai[citation needed] failed distributing their first episodes and a movie, dubbed under the title of "Zero y el dragón mágico" ("Zero and the magic dragon", based on the Harmony Gold version[9][10]).

Generally, Cloverway commissioned dubbing for the Spanish versions to the company Intertrack [es] (until its closure in 2005, later on to Optimedia Productions in 2006) in Mexico, and the Brazilian versions to Álamo [pt] (with exceptions like Sailor Moon, Yu Yu Hakusho and Mirmo) in São Paulo Brazil, while some other works were dubbed into Spanish through Cloverway's arrangements with Televisa's owned Audiomaster 3000 [es] in Mexico. Other Cloverway's arrangements were made with International Telefilms Inc.[11][circular reference] for first-run syndication broadcasting in Chile (ETC TV and CHV) and Spanish dubbing recorded by Technoworks/HispanoAmérica Doblajes [es] in Santiago. As for the series owned by TMS, Spanish versions were already dubbed by VDI Multimedia in Los Angeles and previously distributed by other companies, but Brazilian versions were never produced and Cloverway couldn't get a deal for them to be dubbed and broadcast in Brazil. Also, Spanish versions of Kimba (Tezuka Productions) and Nippon Animation series distributed by Cloverway, were formerly dubbed and licensed by other companies, so Cloverway just distributed and offered them for reruns or inside TV programming packages.

Parallel in the United States, Cloverway tried to distribute the same series by himself as in Latin America, but due to the regulations that led to the series censorship, they delegated licenses to local distributors who managed the production of English localisation, dubbing and distribution. However, Sailor Moon S and Sailor Moon SuperS were the only two licenses whose English versions were produced by Cloverway, dubbed in association with Optimum Production Services in Canada. As for the U.S. Hispanic market, Cloverway syndicated the series Tenchi Universe to Univision (Univision[12] and Telefutura[13] networks) and Dragon Ball Z to Telemundo[14] networks.

When Shueisha became a joint owner of Viz Communications in 2002 and with the subsequent merger with ShoPro in 2005,[15] Cloverway eventually lost the representation of Shueisha (for N.A. and L.A.) and Shogakukan[16] (for L.A.) for publishing licensing in the Americas.

The company's representation of Toei Animation in America ceased, due to Toei's decision to start licensing and distributing directly since 2004, thus ending the contracts with their agents Tokyo Business Consultants[17] in Europe and Cloverway in America, and launching their own offices in 2004 (Toei Animation Europe[18] [19] based in Paris and Toei Animation Inc. based in Los Angeles). In 2005, the Toei Animation licenses arranged by Cloverway were transferred to Toei Animation Inc. as a requirement, leaving Cloverway only with the catalog of the other Japanese producers they licensed. As a consequence of this, there has been a chain of irregularities, such as the loss of master tapes of many series formerly distributed by Cloverway, with the Latin American versions being the most affected for this change in distribution.

After losing Toei's successful catalog, Cloverway continued representing and distributing anime from other Japanese companies, adding new properties and selling most of their new catalog to Cartoon Network L.A. and other local TV stations in Brazil and Hispanic America. At the middle of 2006 Cloverway licensed an Anime Free-TV programming block titled "Otacraze"[20] to Brazilian broadcaster PlayTV[21] who begun airing the block in March 2007, including the series Ranma 1/2, Samurai Champloo, Trigun, and Love Hina.

Due to economic problems, Cloverway closed its operations in August 2007.

Anime distribution[edit]

Japanese live action[edit]

Music labels by Cloverway Inc.[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Articles of incorporation of Cloverway Inc.
  2. ^ CWI. Representing the best in Japanese Animation
  3. ^
  4. ^ Yasuo Matsuo, CEO de Adness Entertainment
  5. ^ Published by Viz Communications, Inc. English translation rights in the United States of America and Canada arranged by Shueisha, Inc. through Cloverway Inc.
  6. ^ A TOKYOPOP Manga. English translation rights in the United States of America and Canada arranged by Shueisha, Inc. through Cloverway Inc.
  7. ^ Pioneer To Release SMS & SuperS TV Series Before Syndication. When Cloverway received the deal for the dubbed episodes Pioneer requested that Cloverway provide dubbing for all the dialogue before editing.
  8. ^ "Answerman - Who Was Cloverway, And What Were They Doing With Anime?". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2020-08-12.
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Zero y el Dragón Mágico | Especial de Dragon Ball". 15 August 2015.
  11. ^ es:Hernán Schmidt Fuentes#Telefilms[circular reference]
  12. ^ Spanish TV Saturday mornings on Univision
  13. ^ Toonturama, a three-hour lineup that mainly consisted of dubbed versions of American and European animated series natively produced in English as well as anime series (Lost Universe, Tenchi Universe and Red Baron);
  14. ^
  15. ^ VIZ, LLC and ShoPro Entertainment, Inc., announced the completion of their merger to form VIZ Media, LLC
  16. ^ Ranma 1/2 stand-byes after the change in agent of Shogakukan that went from Cloverway to Viz Media (in the middle of a huge paperwork congestion, while they kept us waiting an infinite amount of time until they solved they intern problems.)
  17. ^ TBC sued Toei because it was dissatisfied with Toei’s terms for ending their business partnership.
  18. ^ Toei Animation Europe office was established in Paris at the end of year 2004 to represent Toei Animation in Europe.
  19. ^ Décembre 2004 : Création du bureau Toei Animation Europe S.A.S.
  20. ^ “For Open TV in Brazil you will have Ranma 1/2, Samurai Champloo, Trigun, Gungrave, Love Hina and Heat Guy J by the end of this year(2006)”
  21. ^ Cloverway General Manager Daniel Catañeda said that “we are negotiating OTACRAZE for all of Latin America, but Brazil will be the country where it will premier”
  22. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-06-25. Retrieved 2006-06-25.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  23. ^ Licensed to Animax (Latin America)
  24. ^ Licensed to Animax (Latin America)
  25. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-06-25. Retrieved 2006-06-25.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  26. ^ Licensed to Animax (Latin America)

External links[edit]