Sunday, May 31, 2009

Hacker Cracks Funimations Servers Putting One Piece Simulcast on Hold

Late this fine Saturday evening ICv2 is reporting:

Funimation Entertainment, which, with the cooperation of Toei Animation, was planning to simulcast a subtitled version episode #403 of the One Piece anime series at 9pm (CDT) on Saturday night, just one hour after its Japanese premiere, has announced that their servers were hacked, and that the hacker posted episode #403 online.

Funimation issued the following statement on Saturday, “As a result of this illegal act, all U.S. and Canadian fans will be deprived of access to this great anime series for the immediate future. We will make every effort to locate and prosecute the perpetrator(s) to the fullest extent of the law and will provide updates regarding this most serious matter.”

Funimation and Toei’s plan to make new episodes of One Piece available within an hour of when they air in Japan was the latest development in a growing movement to make anime available online legally even faster than fan-subbed versions can be produced, but it appears that the actions of one individual may have jeopardized the entire program.

My guess is that the 'Hackers' are probably outside of the country anyway, so any 'effort to locate and prosecute' them will most likely be a waste of time.

I really don't understand why this would jeopardize Funi's online simulcast programming unless it put them in hot water with Toei over their license arrangements. In my mind's eye I can imagine a phone call or e-mail from a Teoi executive telling them to pull that content until they can guarantee they have a secure platform for it.

Something like this could further complicate any R1 studios plans to try to monetize Anime content online. If they can't guarantee the Japanese that the content will be secure and used only as agreed, they may find them reluctant to enter into future partnerships for online content. After all, the whole purpose of those 'licensed' simulcasts is to crack down on fan subs and torrents (good luck is all I have to say to that). If hackers can grab the content and make it available outside the licensed venue anyway, that pretty much defeats the purpose.

It also has to make you wonder what other info those hackers could gain access to, especially if the simulcast or download site offers free or paid subscriptions and has a database of customer information. Funi better have their IT crew in there plugging those holes quick. I hope they work weekends. :-)

It certainly is an interesting development. I'll post more as it becomes available. Stay tuned!

UPDATE: Funimation has officially cancel One Piece simulcast for now, and the series has also been removed from both Hulu and Joost. The really strange thing is that Hulu has licensed the content directly from Toei and not via Funimation.

ANN is also reporting:

The North American anime distributor Funimation is not currently streaming episodes of the 2009 Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood anime series on its website, even though it has been simulcasting episodes since it premiered in Japan and overseas last month. This series was one of the three television anime that Funimation was slated to stream this season within a week of the Japanese airings. Funimation has not announced if the new Fullmetal Alchemist anime's unavailabilty on its website is temporary or not. The series is still available on Hulu. The other two anime that Funimation had planned to simulcast were One Piece and Phantom ~Requiem for the Phantom~. Funimation cancelled its simulcast of One Piece on Saturday (the same day it was to have started) and cited the leak of the latest episode before it aired in Japan. Phantom episodes are still available for streaming.

Nothing ever seems to go as planned in this business...

Friday, May 29, 2009

First 'New' Season 2 Haruhi Episode Posted by Kadokawa

Kadokawa has begun streaming the eighth episode in this year's "renewed" airing of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya anime series on their YouTube channel. This episode, "Sasa no Ha Rhapsody" (Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody) is the first 'new' episode that did not air during the original 2006 run. It's REALLY good! - just brush up on your Japanese first... :-)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Another Batch of Upcoming Figures Now Available for Pre-Order!

We've been doing more real work this week! :-)

We have a huge number of new Q3 and Q4 manga releases (about 300 books total) to compile and add to the site - this will take a couple of weeks while we work on them 'as time permits'. We also have about 60 new Q3 and Q4 pre-book figure releases to get up on the site. We made some progress on that front today, adding the following figures to the store site for pre-order:

Candy Boy: Yukino Sakurai 1/8 Scale PVC Figure
Candy Boy: Kanade Sakurai 1/8 Scale PVC Figure
Comic Unreal Vol. 2 CoverGAL Succubus Silvia 1/6 Scale PVC Figure
Golgo 13: Golgo 13 Figma Action Figure w/ di:stage Basic Base
Gurren Lagann: Yoko Real Image Version 1/6 Scale PVC Figure
Gurren Lagann: Yomako Teacher Version 1/8 Scale PVC Figure [DreamTech]
Gurren Lagann: Nia Swimsuit Version 1/8 Scale PVC Figure [DreamTech]
Kannagi: Crazy Shrine Maidens Zange-chan 1/8 Scale PVC Figure
Lucky Star: Kagami Hiiragi Gym Uniform Version 1/4 Scale PVC Figure
Persona 4: Rise Kujikawa Bikini Version 1/8 Scale Figure
Project Dynamite: Naked Star 1/5 Scale PVC Figure
Strike Witches: Yoshika Miyafuji 1/8 Scale PVC Figure [Alter]
To Heart 2: Silfa 1/8 Scale PVC Figure
Vocaloid: Hatsune Miku 'The World is Mine' Vocal Series 1/8 Scale Figure w/ Frame (Brown Frame)
Vocaloid: Hatsune Miku 'The World is Mine' Vocal Series 1/8 Scale Figure w/ Frame (Natural Frame)

As always, we are posting the ones that I like the best to the site first. I know, this may not seem fair as opinions vary, but it's not a democracy is it? LOL! -_^ Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sgt. Frog Coming in September / Spice & Wolf Licensed!

Funimation has announced that it will begin releasing the Sgt. Frog Anime series on DVD in September, and we should have it available for pre-order around the 3rd week of June, so stay tuned.

Sgt Frog Synopsis - Keroro is a frog-like alien sent from his home planet on a mission to conquer Earth. But when his cover is blown, his battalion abandons him and he ends up in the home of the Hinata family. There, he's forced to do household chores and sleep in a dark basement that was once supposedly a prison cell haunted by the ghost of an innocent girl. He even spends his free time assembling Gundam model kits. During his stay, Keroro meets up with subordinates who were also stranded during their failed invasion.

In other news, Funimation announced at Anime Boston over the weekend that they have licensed Spice and Wolf, and we could be seeing that available on DVD as early as Q4 this year!Sweet!

Spice and Wolf Synopsis - Kraft Lawrence, a 25 year old peddler travelling from town to town selling and buying various things to make a living during a period much like Europe in the Middle Ages. One night when stopped at the town of Pasroe, he finds in his wagon a 250 year old pagan wolf deity girl named Holo. She appears to be that of a 15 year old girl, except for a wolf tail and ears. She introduces herself as the town's goddess of harvest who has kept it blessed with good harvests of wheat for many years. Despite having the responsibility to watch over the town, she wants to go back to her homeland in the north called Yoitsu, she believes the people have already forsaken her anyway and that she has kept her promise to maintain the good harvests. She manages to bargain her way out of the village by making a deal with Lawrence to take her with him. As they travel, her wisdom helps increase his profits, but at the same time, her true nature draws unwanted attention from the church.

More Manga Price Inflation Coming

I included the following blurb in our weekly newsletter a few weeks ago regarding upcoming manga price increases by Del Rey:

The days of $11, $12, and even $15 manga volumes seem to be coming back. As the total number of new manga releases continue to shrink, some publishers are looking to make up the difference by increasing prices - not exactly the smartest strategy during a recession. TokyoPop started the trend last year breaking from the well established $9.98 MSRP, raising the price of many new releases to $10.98 MSRP or higher. Now Del Rey will be following this pattern as well, announcing this week that they will be raising the MSRP by $1 on several upcoming releases including Alive 7, Nodame Cantabile 16, Le Chevalier d'Eon 7, Ghost Hunt 10, Pumpkin Scissors 5, Pastel 14, Minima! 4, Gacha Gacha: The Next Revolution 10, and Dragon Eye 8.

The thing that really vexes me about Del Rey (before I go on) is that their direct discounts stink for retailers like us, and they are already the least profitable manga line we carry by margin. And because we pay more on the wholesale side, they already have a higher margin on their books at the same MSRP vs. other publishers, and they are still raising prices.

But this apparently is the preferred method among all publishers for dealing with reduced sales volumes - increase prices on the front end. Now both Viz and Dark Horse Comics will be hitting everyone with higher MSRP levels for several future releases - in some cases as much as a 10-20% increase. These will include higher prices, as an example, for Naruto #46 and #47 (at $9.99 MSRP) and Berserk volume 31 (at $14.95 MSRP).

Viz told the folks at ANN:

"Viz Media made the decision to stay consistent with the pricing in the marketplace for this industry, which, in some cases might be a slight increase from previous years."
$2 doesn't sound like a lot of money, but it's 20%, and that level of increase certainly cannot be characterized as 'slight'. What if gas went up 20%? Ouch. Back in the 'good old days' (that's what I refer to anytime you ask me when Anime was actually a profitable business) there were maybe 50 manga releases in a whole year, and average MSRP's ran in the $15-$20 range per volume. This was before the sensation took hold and publishers moved to the smaller Japanese book trade format and standardized pricing at basically $9.98 MSRP for main line, and $7.98 MSRP for high sell through manga. The lower pricing was possible because the sales volumes made up for it. Now it's pretty clear that as sales volumes fall back to earth due the the economy, the studios will be edging pricing back up towards the old $15 average per volume level, and these recent increases (notice they tend to be on the MOST popular, highest selling series) here and there are their way of testing the waters. Those publishing execs have long memories but little imagination.

But some people argue "who cares? The retailers will just discount the books more".

Sure, let the retailers take the hit. Who cares about them. The reality is that if retailers have to cut prices way off MSRP to move manga (and cut their margins respectively), there are going to be a lot fewer choices for fans in the future. The current trend is very disturbing, and these price increases just put retailers like us in a box. Do we pass the increases on and risk reduced sell through, or keep the current price levels at decreased margins? It's the Kobayashi Maru scenario.

At some point retailers will no longer be able to subsidize stocking the low selling manga series against the revenue from the hit series. No one will be able to keep stocking much manga except the very best sellers on 10% (or lower) margins. Who would want to? The publishers are not doing us any favors with these price increases.

And I actually stuck up for Viz awhile back for sticking to their guns on pricing while everyone else was announcing increases. Apparently that was premature. Of course, if they are looking to drive another 1/4 of the existing market into Scanlations, I can't think of a better way. If anything, they should be dropping prices 10% - that would allow us to sell them to you at lower prices, keep more copies in stock, maintain our margins, and help fans that are having to stretch their budgets. ~sigh~

Funimation's August Releases - Now Available for Pre Order!

Funimation sent over their August release schedule last last week, and we've just completed building the items for pre-order on the store site. Here's what we've got:

Big Windup! Season 1 Part 1 DVD Boxed Set (Thin-Pak)
Darker Than Black, Vol#6 DVD
Devil May Cry Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Thin-Pak)
Devil May Cry Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set [BluRay]
Full Metal Panic the Second Raid Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Remastered)
Full Metal Panic the Second Raid Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Remastered) [BluRay]
Fullmetal Alchemist OVAs DVD
Gunslinger Girl Season 2 DVD Boxed Set (Thin-Pak)
One Piece Season 2 Part 2 DVD Boxed Set (Eps #66-78) (Uncut)
Pumpkin Scissors Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-24) (Thin-Pak)
Romeo X Juliet Collection Part #2 DVD Boxed Set (Eps #13-24)
Slayers TV Complete Series DVD Boxed Set (Slayers / Slayers Next / Slayers Try)
Welcome to NHK Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-24) (Thin-Pak)
When They Cry: Higurashi, Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Thin-Pak)

I'm glad to see Funi finally taking the initiative and scheduling some re-releases in BluRay format (faster please), and I'm also very happy to see both the 2nd season of Gunslinger Girl and Alchemist OVA's get on the schedule. The Fullmetal Alchemist OVA DVD will contain all 4 OVA short stories totalling about 30 minutes.

Monday, May 25, 2009


In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row;
That mark our place;
and in the sky The larks,
still bravely singing,
fly Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead.
Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved,
and now we lie In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw The torch;
be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die We shall not sleep,
though poppies grow In Flanders fields.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Gundam 00 Release Bumped Up About 5 Weeks

In yet another in a series of schedule changes and bumps from Bandai, we just got the word that both the Gundam 00 , Vol #1 DVD (Eps #1-9) and the Gundam 00 , Vol #1 DVD Special Edition (Eps #1-9) have been bumped from June 16th to July 21st.

Bandai cited a "slight manufacturing error that is being corrected before release". Don't blame me folks, I'm just the messenger.

Have a great holiday weekend!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

New Batch of Upcoming Figures Now Available for Pre-Order

We're currently working on our big weekly manga update (which will be published out shortly), but we've managed to get about twenty upcoming figures posted and available for pre-order before we had to settle in and do some real work today. :-) The following figures are now available for pre-order:

Capcom Girls Collection Final Fight: Poison Black Version 1/7 Scale PVC Figure
Comic Aun Lala Pipiruno Pipiru Paparemmo 'Fresh Peach Version' 1/7 Scale PVC Figure
Comic Aun Lala Pipiruno Pipiru Paparemmo 'Dark Grape Version' 1/7 Scale PVC Figure
Creator's Labo #021: Emaretta-chan (Shunya Yamashita) 1/7 Scale PVC Statue
Creator's Labo #020: Roxanner (Shunya Yamashita) 1/7 Scale PVC Statue
Gurren Lagann: Yoko Swimsuit Version 1/7 Scale PVC Figure
Hyakka Ryoran Samurai Girls: Yagyu Jubei 1/8 Scale PVC Figure
Ikki Tousen: Kanu in Apron 1/8 Scale PVC Figure
Ikki Tousen: Sonsaku Hakufu Figma Action Figure
Ikki Tousen Great Guardians: Ryomou Shimei in Apron 1/8 Scale PVC Figure
Jiburiru the Devil Angel: Black Aries 1/8 Scale PVC Statue
Lineage II: Dark Elf Female 1/8 Scale Limited Edition PVC Figure
Odin Sphere: Mercedes SIF EX PVC Figure
Persona 4: Rise Kujikawa 1/8 Scale PVC Figure
Queen's Blade Rebellion: Mirim ExModel Core 1/8 Scale PVC Figure
Queen's Blade: Echidna (Ekidona) ExModel Core Special Edition 1/8 Scale PVC Figure
Shakugan no Shana: Shana 1/8 Scale PVC Figure
Shion no Yakata: Fujisawa Renji 1/7 Scale PVC Figure
Shion no Yakata: Kiryu Asheryka Natsuki 1/7 Scale Figure
Strike Witches: Yoshika Miyafuji 1/8 Scale PVC Figure

We only have 24 of the Lineage II: Dark Elf Female Figures coming in, and since they are sold out just about everywhere else I recommend you secure your place in line before she's all gone!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Shojo Beat Magazine Goes Down With The Ship

Yet another publication has announced they could not reach the lifeboats in time on the USS Anime. The folks that produce Shojo Beat magazine announced today that they will be suspending the publication with Issue #49 next month (the July issue - due to ship the second week of June).

Because this means that many paid subscribers will be finding their subscriptions terminated early, all Shojo Beat subscribers will be receiving a free copy of the August issue of Shonen Jump magazine with the pertinent information on what their subscription/refund options will be. My guess is that they will try to convince you to finish out your subscriptions with SJ issues.

All the shojo titles serialized in the magazine will continue to be published in graphic novel format under the Shojo Beat imprint. These include series like Rasetsu, Honey Hunt, Crimson Hero, Vampire Knight, Sand Chronicles, Honey and Clover, and Haruka.

For my part (and it's late so I'm not going to say too much) I'm sad to see yet another Anime/Manga related publication vanish from the market. We had been an advertising partner in Shojo Beat in 2006 and 2007 before they increased their insertion prices to an unrealistic level. I used to email Al Berman (their ad guy) out there once a month proposing that we make a go of things again but at the original rates, and he would always explain why the increased rates were reasonable giving the audience and circulation - even after Viz ads started filling in for all the unsold ad pages.

I ran a couple of sales reports before writing this that show a precipitous decline in our monthly sales of Shojo Beat beginning about 8 or 9 months ago, and I suspect that trend was repeated at most other retailers. Where we used to order the magazine by the case, recently our sales had been reduced to as few as a couple dozen copies a month.

They are another victim of this truly lousy economy - nothing more, and nothing less.

Monday, May 18, 2009

August Releases From Media Blasters & Nozomi Up for Pre-Order!

We've just completed adding both Media Blasters and Nozomi's August line up to the store, so the following items are now available for pre-order:

His and Her Circumstances (Kare Kano) Complete DVD Boxed Set (Anime Value)

Ah My Buddha (Amaenaideyo!!) Vol #4, The Four Naked Truths DVD
Grenadier Complete DVD Boxed Set (Lite Box)
Grenadier Complete DVD Boxed Set (Lite Box) + Limited Figure
Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit DVD #5(Eps #14-17)
Samurai Deeper Kyo Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Lite Box)

All of the above are re-re-re-releases except for Moribito and Ah My Buddha, but believe it or not, with two DVDs of new episodes Media Blasters actually has more 'NEW' content coming out in August than Funimation originally scheduled for July. This is truly shaping up to be the summer of re-runs, but I suppose some of those shows merit a re-watch... or two. :-)

Saturday, May 16, 2009


We've received several big shipments of Anime stuff over the last few days, and the warehouse is getting a little over stuffed. We've got to move some of this stuff out, so we're holding a big spring clearance sale!

From now until midnight (EST) on Monday, May 25th you can save an additional 5% off any combination of IN STOCK* items listed on the store - no minimum order required. :-)

To save 5% off any order for 'in stock' items, just use the following coupon during checkout:


Be sure to take advantage of this great opportunity to load on on some of the Anime stuff you've been wanting! US customers can combine this offer with our super saver shipping option to save even more scratch on your favorite in stock Anime series, Manga, Figure, or Character Items!

*Coupon Applies to In Stock Items Only. Pre Order items will be excluded when coupon orders are processed, so please place your order for pre-order items separately.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

More Schedule Changes from Media Blasters

Media Blasters just called and gave us a heads up that the upcoming release of the Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit DVD #4 (Eps #11-13) has been bumped from June 2nd to July 7th.

The Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit DVD Bundle #2 (DVD #3&4 - Eps #8-13) has also been bumped from June 23rd to July 7th.

The studios seem to be rethinking (retrenching?) the Q2 schedule and pushing whatever 'A' releases they have coming up into July to coincide better with Anime Expo. It's certainly not leaving us with much new material to offer you guys and gals over the next 6 weeks. ~sigh~

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Black Lagoon S1 Steel Case Set Backordered Through May

I'm sure a lot of you have wondering why you can't find the Black Lagoon Season 1 Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-12) (Steel Case) anywhere. It hasn't been canceled or anything, but it has been out of stock at Funimation since around the end of March. I got the word from Funi today that because of a replicator issue (something to do with sourcing the steel case packaging), they won't have anymore to ship until around May 27th, which gets them to us around the 1st of June. The 2nd Barrage set is in stock and not effected by this.

Just letting everyone know in case they have one on backorder - it will be a couple more weeks until we get them shipped out, and backorders will be filled first ordered / first shipped.

UPDATE: As of May 15th we have managed to obtain a couple cases the BL S1 steel case sets, so we do currently have it in stock - for now. :-)

Jun Planning Figure Cancelations

Figure maker Jun Planning has officially filed for Bankruptcy in Japan, and suspended operations. We are going to assume that all previously announced future figure releases from JUN are now permanently canceled. This will include:

Black Lagoon Second Barrage: Revy 1/8 Scale Figure Girls Collection
Familiar of Zero: Nekomimi Louise 1/8 Scale Figure
Death Note: Action Figures Series 1 Assortment (Set of 6)
Death Note: Craft Label Misa Amane Figure
Death Note: Final Scene Series Light Yagami Statue
Death Note: Final Scene Series Misa Amane Statue
Death Note: Final Scene Series Rem Statue
Death Note: Final Scene Series Ryuk Statue
Death Note: Vol. 01 Mini Trading Figure (Set of 3)
Death Note: Vol. 02 Mini Trading Figure (Set of 3)

We will be canceling pre-orders of any of the above items, and processing any refunds were necessary over the next few days.

From ANN: According to the Teikoku Databank financial research firm, the Japanese figure and character goods maker Jun Planning suspended operations on April 30 and prepared to file for bankruptcy. It was 3.2 billion yen (about US$33 million) in debt. The company was established in 1983 to produce and distribute plush toys and figures of anime characters and animals. Among its popular offerings were character goods based on Death Note, Hayate the Combat Butler, Kuroshitsuji, Shakugan no Shana, The Familiar of Zero, and Black Lagoon.
Jun Planning recorded 3.6 billion yen (US$37 million) in sales during the fiscal year ending in March of 2007, but its sales dropped and its financing options worsened as consumer spending slumped. Jun Planning shut down its American operations in the same week that it suspended operations in Japan.

More Schedule Changes from Bandai

Bandai formally announced two schedule changes this morning:

1) As previously mentioned on last weeks July mailer from Bandai, the Kurokami The Animation Part #1 DVD Bundle (Disc #1&2) (Eps #1-8) which was originally schedule for release in June has been taken off the schedule and put on TBA status.

2) This morning Bandai also gave us a heads up that the Freedom (Freedom Project) Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set which was slated for release on July 7th, has been bumped yet again and has now been placed on TBA status also.

To demonstrate that these really are 'TBA' and will probably not be rescheduled before this fall, Bandai has canceled all existing retailer pre-orders and we will have to reorder them once they eventually get re-solicited (assuming they do).

Don't blame me folks, I'm just the messenger. ~sigh~

Monday, May 11, 2009

Large New Figure Shipment Has Arrived!

You've probably noticed that we've been getting most new figures in large doses a few weeks apart. What we are doing is, whenever possible, consolidating shipments from multiple producers in Japan into ocean containers, clearing customs by the container load, and then having them palatalized out to us on LTL carriers 'en mass' from the consolidator in California. This has the effect of bringing us 20 or 30 or 40 figures all in one large shipment, and significantly cuts down on the inbound freight, and trust me when I say inbound freight costs these days can make or break a whole shipment for us.

We just received one such shipment this past Friday, too late in fact for me to get all the new arrivals in Friday's regular newsletter, but we have now completed posting everything to the site, so here is the WHOLE list of what's new:

Chichinoe+ Young Hip Cover Gal Cassis 1/6 Scale PVC Figure
Chichinoe+ Infinity: Pin Up Lady 1/5 Scale PVC Figure
Darkstalkers: Morrigan 1/4 Scale Resin Figure (Limited Edition)
Evangelion: Entry Plug 2.0 You Can Not Advance: Shinji Ikari PVC Figure
Evangelion: Entry Plug 2.0 You Can Not Advance: Rei Ayanami PVC Figure
Familiar of Zero: Louise Uniform 1/8 Scale PVC Figure
Fraulein Revoltech Asahina Mikuru Maid Action Figure
Fraulein Revoltech Nagato Yuki Witch Action Figure
Gretel Non-Scale PVC Figure
Gurren Lagann: Yomako Teacher Version 1/8 Scale PVC Figure
Haruhi: Haruhi Suzumiya Summer School Figma Action Figure
Ikki Tousen Dragon Destiny Kanu Unchou DVD Version 1/7 Scale PVC Figure
Ikki Tousen Dragon Destiny Ryomou Shimei DVD Version 1/7 Scale PVC Figure
Ikki Tousen Great Guardians Kanu Unchou 1/7 Scale PVC Figure [Amiami]
Kingdom Hearts: Cloud Strife Coliseum Version Play Arts Action Figure
Kodomo no Jikan: Rin Kokonoe Nendoroid Figure
La Pucelle Tactics: Dark Éclair 1/6 Scale PVC Figure
Little Busters: Natsume Rin 1/8 Scale PVC Figure [Enterbrain]
Lucky Star: Miyuki Takara Nendoroid Figure
Lucky Star: Hiiragi Tsukasa Nendoroid Figure
Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS Reinforce Zwei 1/8 Scale PVC Figure
Magical Marine Pixel Maritan Mission Complete! Battle Preparations Nendoroid Figure
Melancholy of Haruhi: Haruhi Suzumiya Extravaganza Version 1/8 Scale PVC Figure
Melancholy of Haruhi: Yuki Nagato School Uniform 1/8 Scale PVC Figure
Nitro Super Sonic: Super Soniko Valentines Version 1/7 Scale PVC Figure
Sengoku Rance: Senhime 1/8 Scale PVC Figure [Alter]
Strike Witches: Yoshika Miyafuji Nendoroid Figure
Suigetsu: Yuki Kotonomi 1/6 Scale PVC Figure
Super Robot Wars Valsione Fine Scale Model Kit
Unity Marriage: Unity Mei 1/8 Scale PVC Figure

Several of these that we managed to stock extras of (above and beyond pre-orders) are hard to find and sold extremely well over the weekend (the Haruhi Extravaganza and Young Hip Cover Gal figures for example). They probably will sell out in a couple more days, so don't miss out on anything you want - or else don't be surprised if you wait and find the item page gone when you finally get around to ordering... :-)

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Anime Expo to Host Maid Cafe - Volunteers Needed

Hmmm, perhaps I'll actually go this year. Anime Expo is now seeking volunteer maids and hosts to staff its first AniMaid Café.

Requirements are:

  • Must be at least 18 years of age or older
  • Must have a great personality and work well with others (this disqualifies me...)

  • Must be in good health*

  • Must be willing the make/buy his/her own Maid/Host outfits (subject to approval)

  • Must be able to make meetings for trainings (Most trainings will be conducted in the Southern California region consisting of Los Angeles and/or Orange County areas)
Interested individuals/parties should send an email correspondence to with basic information about themselves and a picture. Further information will be provided upon receipt of initial application.

Anime Expo will be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center between July 2-5.

*Cybernetic bodies and/or retired combat maids may be allowed under certain circumstances...

New ADV, Nozomi, and Viz Releases - Now Available for Pre-Order!

In addition to July release info from Bandai this week, we have also built new summer releases for pre-order from ADV, Nozomi, and Viz. Here's what we've got:

ADV July (Re-releases):

All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku DVD Complete Collection (Re-Issue)
Aquarian Age Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Re-Re-Issue)
Mezzo: Danger Service Agency Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Re-Re-Issue)
Those Who Hunt Elves Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Re-Release)

ADV has taken advantage of the final demise of Central Park Media to pickup some of their previous licenses on the cheap, so they will also be re-releasing in July:

Grave of the Fireflies DVD (Re-Release)
MD Geist DVD (Re-Release)
Now and Then, Here and There Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Re-Release)
World of Narue DVD Collector's Series Boxed Set (Re-Release)

(I was hoping to see Lodoss War on that list, but it looks like we'll just have to be patient a little longer.)

Viz August Releases:

Bleach, Vol #19 DVD
Hunter x Hunter DVD Boxed Set #3 (Eps #31-45)
Naruto DVD Collectors Boxed Set #15 (Uncut) Limited Edition
Pokemon All Stars Collection DVD Boxed Set #2


Rental Magica DVD Collection #1 (Eps #1-13)

The release date for Rental Magica is currently TBA but will probably be set for early fall.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Code Geass Lelouch of the Rebellion R2 Now Available for Pre-Order! [UPDATED]

We just got Bandai's July schedule this morning, and it's excellent. Looks like Bandai is still alive and kicking and determined to maintain their presence in the R1 market.

We've now added all of the following to the site for pre-order, including the first bundle of Code Geass Lelouch of the Rebellion R2 for pre-order. Here's what Bandai's full July release schedule looks like:

Code Geass Lelouch of the Rebellion R2 DVD Bundle #1 (DVD #1-2)
Code Geass Lelouch of the Rebellion R2 DVD Bundle #1 (
Limited Edition)
Eureka Seven Complete Collection #2 DVD Boxed Set (Anime Legends) (Eps #27-52)
Freedom (Freedom Project) Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set
Ghost Slayers Part #3 DVD Bundle (Eps #21-30)
Hayate the Combat Butler DVD Bundle #1 (2 Disks) (Eps #1-7)
True Tears Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Anime Legends)

The R2 limited edition will include Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion Manga Vol #4.

In addition to the new announcements, we also have another schedule change. The Kurokami The Animation Part #1 DVD Bundle (Disc #1&2) (Eps #1-8) that was originally scheduled for June 16th has been DELAYED and put on TBA status. My understanding is that Bandai decided to prioritize their resources for the release of Code Geass R2 (they wanted it coming out the same month as Anime Expo) and that Kurokami will pop back up on the release schedule in August or September.

True Tears get's a reprieve and will be released all at once as a boxed set, which is much better than we would have gotten last year under the old Bandai Visual label. And don't forget Hayate the Combat Butler. That title has been on my 'A' list all year, so I'm very excited to see it finally get on the schedule! :-)

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Funimation Delay and My Life In Hell…

Funimation sent us over one schedule change late Friday afternoon. The Kaze no Stigma Season #1 Part #1 DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-12) has been bumped back a week from June 30th to July 7th. I think they read my comment about so little new content scheduled for July and did it to get back at me. :-)

And, since this was hardly worth a whole post, let me direct your attention to the center ring where we have a pair of flaming disembodied legs pushing a shopping cart:

From the fact that nobody is paying the slightest bit of attention to a disembodied pair of robotic legs aimlessly pushing around a shopping cart while actively on fire, I'm going to guess it's happening on the campus of an engineering school.

This of course, is a premonition of my life in hell. It combines all the elements: Shopping carts, fire farts, and disinterested bystanders. The only thing missing is the upper half of my body being forced to endure the full brunt of the toxic, flaming, otherworldly flatulence generated by cranky, unsatisfied BitTorrent downloaders. If you guys wanna know what I'll be doing post online Anime dealer, it'll probably be that...

Friday, May 01, 2009

Limited Shipping Schedule Friday May 1st

Next week is the spring 'Golden Week' holiday in Japan, and many Japanese companies have already started the celebration by closing up for business. Most companies in Japan not already shut down for the holiday will be closed from May 1st through May 6th.

We have a sort of local holiday of our own today, and most businesses in the Winchester, VA area close down today for the annual Apple Blossom Festival parade downtown. Because of the local business closures including mail and shipping services we will be operating on a limited shipping schedule Friday May 1st, with regular orders being processed but ground and postal service orders not shipping out until Monday, May 4th. Most of us are planning to put in a half day and them head out to see the parade.

Have a great weekend everyone!