Fans in North, Central, and South America cheer on Goku in his latest fight, but rights holder Toei isn’t nearly as happy.

Outside of anime’s native home of Japan, English-speaking territories are generally considered the biggest market for the medium. In particular, the U.S. gets far more official anime home video and streaming releases than any other country outside Japan.

But anime fandom has grown in other ways in different parts of the world, with select series becoming huge hits in Spanish-speaking countries, often thanks to free TV broadcasts by networks more willing than their American counterparts to run content licensed from overseas. One franchise that’s found a special place in the hearts of Spanish-speaking fans is Dragon Ball, and with the series headed into hiatus soon (and then into theaters) as the Dragon Ball Super segment approaches its series finale, public viewings of Episode 130 were held at various locations throughout Mexico, Central America, and South America last weekend…and if you’re imagining a few dozen kids from the local college’s anime club showing up to do cosplay, think again.

These were massive gatherings with crowds of a size you’d see at legitimate sporting and music events. At the Juárez screening above, reports are that over 10,000 people showed up. A similarly sized swarm of fans got together in Machala, Ecuador, filling an intersection and stretching blocks away down every street with a view of the screen.

The lion’s share of these events took place in Mexico, where fans roared their support for series star Goku in Querétaro’s Jardin Guerrero…

… Ciudad Madero…

… San Luis Potosí…

…and Cuernavaca.

Photos have also surfaced from the screening Salvadorean capital San Salvador.

But while it looks like many of the fans in attendance had a great time, Dragon Ball anime rights holder Toei Animation had a decidedly lukewarm reaction, sending out a tweet in both English and Spanish before the episode streamed, saying:

To the viewers and fans of Dragon Ball.

We have become aware of the plans to exhibit episode #130 of our series Dragon Ball Super in stadiums, plazas, and public places throughout Latin America.

Toei Animation has not authorized these public showings and does not support or sponsor any of these events nor do we or any of our titles endorse any institution exhibiting the unauthorized episode.

In an effort to support copyright laws, to protect the work of thousands of persons and many labor sectors, we request that you please enjoy our titles at the official platforms and broadcasters and not support illegal screenings that incite piracy.

Some might call Toei’s tone overly dramatic and buzzkilling, but many of the screenings were apparently set up by local governments, which puts them outside the realm of grassroot fan events, aside from ignoring the “not for public display” clause that’s pretty much standard in all home video/streaming releases.

What’s really surprising, though, is that the episode all these screenings were held for isn’t Dragon Ball Super’s series finale. That won’t be coming until Episode 131, scheduled for release on March 25. Given the fact that Toei probably doesn’t have enough time to coordinate with local event planners before then, it’ll be interesting to see if the venues seen here hold another round of unapproved screenings, or all those fans will just have to find someone with a living room big enough for everyone to fit inside to watch the episode together.

Source: Yurukuyaru via Otakomu, Comicbook

Follow Casey on Twitter, where he’s now wondering if moving anime conventions’ screening outdoors would help cut down on body odor issues.