If you didn't know, Japanese media giant Toei requests more takedowns from streaming video sites than anyone else in the world does. This has a lot to do with the fact that they produce extremely popular anime like Dragon Ball and One Piece: in fact they just tried to sue a bunch of Americans over torrenting One Piece, a ridiculous case I doubt will go anywhere.
But I don't even want to get into the full-episode thing or online streaming. One Piece is streaming online, after all, and there's no reason Toei shouldn't ask Youtube to take down the full episode downloads that probably pop up constantly on the site. Toei doesn't just do that with their properties, though, or they wouldn't be the #1 requesters of Youtube takedowns in the universe.
Toei does its damnedest to erase any trace of any title they have the rights to from the internet. As watching Kamen Rider Fourze and Kuuga has gotten me more interested in Japanese superhero shows lately, I found out very quickly how impossible it is to find things like the openings for the shows on Youtube. And I don't just mean the current season shows, I mean any of them. Toei must have some kind of automatic deletion system going, because only the worst copies of those videos make it through. Like you might find a guy taping his TV, or a severely aged VHS copy, or something with Indonesian fakesubs on it. Search "Kamen Rider" on youtube and all that's left are the theme songs (audio only) and toy reviews. It may as well not exist.
The last straw that made me decide to write this post was when I noticed that a lovely subbed video of the opening to World Ninja War Jiraiya was removed from Youtube. Really, guys? Why? This show's gotta be thirty years old, it's not like someone's going to rush to the store and buy a $50 two-episode DVD or whatever!
Also, and this is a complaint that extends to the anime business, what possible harm is there in that 90-second sequence-- the sequence that was created specifically to advertise your show-- being freely available online? That's how people find out about shows, that's something that catches their eyes. It's supposed to. Ask fans of robot anime, we've all seen every single robot OP ever, even if the show's not available in English. I use Sasuraiger as a handle online because it sounds good, and I really love that opening scene.
The Toei thing actually gets worse, though. Toei actually has a Youtube channel where they post a large amount of full episodes their back catalog, mostly 70s and 80s stuff with a few Rider shows from last decade in there. When I saw that they were doing this, I subscribed. Well, guess what? The channel is region locked. You can't watch any of that stuff outside Japan.
So let's look at what Toei expects of you if you are outside Japan and interested in Riders or Super Sentai. Don't pirate the shows online, that'd be illegal. You want to watch them, though? Uh... go to Japan, watch them on TV, buy them on video for ludicrous prices (which is the sales model for super-fans who already saw the show on TV). If you don't want to do that, well, Toei says, our superheroes just don't exist. Please ignore the anniversary celebrations, Christmas trees, any action figures you may have on preorder, and 5 yearly team-up movies. We're in a global culture and the best thing to solve that problem is to just pretend stuff doesn't exist.
Meanwhile, import sites routinely sell out of cheapo toy henshin belts at ludicrous prices (I have an Astro Switch here, and I'm pretty sure it's just a repurposed printer ink cartridge) every god damn season, but Toei doesn't believe there's a market so you're all boned. Toei's a big, old company, and they're probably so big that people at the company know this and can't do anything about it... but policies like this don't benefit them. If anything, they are actively stunting the growth of both their existing audience and their potential audience. Youtube and other streaming sites have been powerful tools for the promotion of obscure and cult movies especially and this "it doesn't exist" strategy is a joke. We're fans, not suckers. Don't treat us like the latter.
In conclusion, I really wanted to put up some of Fourze's goofy scenes... but Toei would just have my Youtube account deleted. That's a shitty relationship to have with your fans! Instead, enjoy this Friends mashup on a site that Toei does not yet bumblingly police.