Why is Naruto Shippuden Not Dubbed on Hulu?


Hulu has recently added a handful of anime series, with Naruto Shippuden being one of them. However, NA fans will be saddened to hear that not all episodes are available dubbed on Hulu. So, why would Hulu even bother to add the show to their collection if not all of it can be watched in English?

Hulu retains the rights to the English Dub for Naruto Shippuden only up until the end of season 3. After that, the remaining 4 seasons are only available with English subtitles and Japanese voice acting. This is because Hulu doesn’t retain the rights to the remaining four seasons, as the company that does is Crunchyroll. 

So you may be wondering, why can’t both platforms have access to the English Dub rights? If you want to know more, we’ll break down how some of your favorite anime shows work via dubs and copyright laws.

Will Hulu Get the Remaining Seasons Dubbed?

The chances of Hulu getting the remaining seasons of Naruto Shippuden are slim because the current license for the dubbed animation is owned by Crunchyroll. However, that platform isn’t a dubbing company and is another anime streaming site. So, down the line, it is possible that there could be a chance of licensing for the English dub rights.

However, the main problem is that Hulu has no plans to acquire the English dub for the show. Their official Hulu Twitter account has stated that they don’t have the streaming rights to all of the dubbed episodes. They said that “streaming rights vary by season, so while we do our best to add more episodes to our lineup, we aren’t always able to,” which is a reply from the Hulu Support on Twitter.

The company has ignored Naruto fans’ questions online and has yet to answer if they want to acquire it in the future. While there is no official answer, it’s pretty easy to say that Hulu most likely will not acquire the English Dub unless Crunchyroll loses its current ownership.

How Does Dubbing Licensing Work?

Dubbing and licensing work a bit differently from just owning the show. A company will have to fight for the rights for multiple seasons if they want the show dubbed. So, Naruto Shippuden is one of those extremely popular shows but is only offered on a few streaming sites in English.

Among other streaming sites such as AdultSwim, Hulu only owns the rights to specific episodes and seasons. Hulu, in particular, only has the rights to the first three seasons. Other streaming sites may shift around their ownership and offer some episodes dubbed. In contrast, others may only show up to a certain point in the series. 

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It should be noted that Hulu has almost no control in gaining access to the remaining seasons. The dubbing company Viz Media is in charge of which companies retain ownership of the English dub and which ones are allowed to stream it. The process is entirely up to whether or not Viz Media approves the release of the English dub on other platforms.

Where Can I Watch Naruto Shippuden Dubbed?

If you’re like many other fans who want to watch the rest of the episodes dubbed, don’t worry. A handful of other sites have the remaining four seasons of the show dubbed. Below, we’ll provide a few different options on where you can watch the English Dub for Naruto Shippuden.

1. Netflix

The English dub for Naruto Shippuden is available on Netflix in Canada and France. If you’re living in another area, you’ll need a VPN to access the dubbed version. Otherwise, you can still watch the entire series with subtitles and Japanese voice acting.

2. Crunchyroll

You can watch the English dubbed version of Naruto Shippuden on Crunchyroll for free. However, you will have to watch ads and put up with the 720p quality. If you don’t want to deal with that, you can purchase a subscription with them and gain access to hundreds of animes.

3. Funimation

You can watch Naruto Shippuden, dubbed by Funimation if you’re located in the UK. They have all of the seasons, and you will be able to watch Ad-free if you have a subscription. You’ll have to pay to gain access and use a VPN if you’re located outside of the UK.

Other Places to Watch Naruto Shippuden Dubbed

According to Viz Media, the dubbing company that owns the rights to the English Dub for Naruto Shippuden lists a bunch of streaming platforms where you can find the show. Besides the websites we’ve mentioned above, there are still a handful of places where you can find the show.

Here is what Viz Media recommends if you’re looking to watch Naruto Shippuden:

  • Pluto TV
  • TubiTV
  • VUDU
  • HBO Max
  • The Roku Channel
  • Peacock

Conclusion

As you can see, there are a handful of places online where you can watch the dubbed version of Naruto Shippuden. However, it should be noted that not all of these sites will have access to the full dubbed version of Naruto.

Currently, the only place you can find the dubbed version in its entirety is the boxset sold by Viz Media. The other places listed online can lose their license and you may end up having to wait until another streaming site gains access to the episodes.

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