Anime-centric weekly podcast 4Kids Flashback has been featured in the Maji Media lineup. Maji Media has been producing podcasts about Japanese culture and entertainment since 2009, and is home to 14 current podcasts.
4Kids Flashback is hosted by voice actress Tara Jayne Sands and artist/podcaster Steve Yurko spotlighting the acting and production talent behind some of the most popular series from 4Kids Productions. The podcast focuses on the intricacies behind the productions and internal machinations of 4Kids Productions, including inside looks at the dubbed versions of Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh!, One Piece, Sonic X, Shaman King and many more from the late 1990s and 2000s – before the company shut down in 2017. The company was beloved by children, but received criticism from anime fans who wanted to see adaptations that were more loyal to the original Japanese shows.
Sands, who worked on many of the 4Kids series, and Yurko go behind the scenes of these shows and the company itself in revealing interviews with actors, writers, editors, producers and musicians responsible for these series, including former 4Kids Productions president Norman Grossfeld, actors Veronica Taylor (Pokémon), musician John Siegler (writer of the Pokémon theme song), Eric Stuart (Yu-Gi-Oh!) and Critical Role’s Sam Riegel (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), Yu-Gi-Oh! producers/writers Michael Pecoriello and Matthew Drdek, and more.
“Anime is bigger than ever today, so it felt like the right time to produce a podcast that caters to both hard core fans as well as those simply feeling nostalgic for the Saturday morning cartoons of their youth,” Sands said. “4Kids Flashback is designed to uncover the true history of 4Kids and its many series, as told by the people who were actually there.”
Sands can be heard on hundreds of radio and TV commercials, audiobooks, video games and popular cartoons, including more than 50 characters in the original English Pokémon series, as well as HunterXHunter, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Digimon Adventure Tri, Shaman King, My Hero Academia, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure and many more. Her commercial work ranges from McDonalds, American Express and Ford to Pom, Home Depot and Albertsons. In addition, she has narrated over 300 audiobooks and has been honoured numerous times with Earphones awards and Audie nominations. Sands is no stranger to interviewing talent: as the on-camera host of Cartoon Network’s weekly Friday night lineup, appropriately titled Fridays, she interviewed dozens of celebrities like George Lucas, Johnny Depp, Robin Williams, Daniel Radcliffe and Charles Barkley.
A graduate from the School of Visual Arts in New York City, Yurko has established himself among the elite storyboard artists in the industry, working for series/studios as diverse and esteemed as Rick and Morty (Green Portal Productions), Duncanville (Bento Box), Harmonquest (Starburns Industries), Robot Chicken (Stoopid Buddy Stoodios) and Dinosaur Train (The Jim Henson Company (2018), amongst others.
The weekly podcasts arrive every Wednesday. 4Kids Flashback initially soft-launched on 25 October 2023 with guest Jim Malone, voice director, engineer, producer and writer for 4Kids Productions. Subsequent podcast episodes have featured Amy Birnbaum, renowned for voicing Max in Pokémon, Kirby in Right Back At Ya and Téa in Yu-Gi-Oh (1 November), and Shawn Conrad, singer of the One Piece rap among his many credits (8 November).