Saturday, June 26, 2010

Funimation Adds More Former ADV Titles to Their Back Catalog

Funimation announced today that it has acquired the license to four former ADV Films series (all Gonzo stuff):

1) Chrono Crusade
2) Gantz
3) Kaleido Star
4) Peace Maker Kurogane

They didn't specify if they had licensed all or only part of Kaleido Star, and also didn't give a time frame for these to be re-re-re-re-released on DVD. If you are interested in any of these series now, we still have plenty of the ADV released DVD boxed sets in stock for all four series.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Funimation Reduces the Price of the Tsubasa Season #1 BD Set

Funimation has reduced the MSRP on the Tsubasa RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE Season 1 (Eps #1-26) Complete DVD Box Set (BLURAY) (FN-02289) from $59.98 MSRP to $49.98 MSRP.

We have reduced our regular price accordingly down to only $34.98. The sets are in stock and shipping now at the new price.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

K-On! Tsumugi Kotobuki Figure - Limited Qnty Now Available for Pre-Order!

Alter has finally announced the K-On! Tsumugi Kotobuki 1/8 Scale PVC Figure to the export market, and they have added a catch. Due to some sort of licensing issue they are strictly limiting the number of Tsumugi's they are making available outside of Japan, and this qnty will be divided up equally among all their North American master dealers. I can't reveal the number that each North American dealer will be getting, but you could count them with your fingers and toes with toes to spare.

Because of the severe limitations being placed on our qnty, she will almost certainly sell out in pre-order. All pre-orders placed for Tsumugi will be entered into our system first come first served, will be non-cancelable, and we are strictly limiting her to 1 per customer. She should be shipping to us mid to late December 2010, so we should be shipping her to pre-order customers in January.

Reserve your Tsumugi today before she's sold out!

Toradora #2 and Persona #2 Premium Collections - Special Pre-Order Price!

Now that the first Toradora! and Persona ~ Trinity Soul sets have arrived and are shipping, NIS has scheduled the second half of both series with new Premium Edition Part #2 boxes coming August 24th:

Persona ~ Trinity Soul ~ Collection #2 Premium Edition DVD Boxed Set (Eps #14-26)
Toradora! Collection 2 Premium Edition DVD Boxed Set (Eps #14-26)

Like the first sets, each Premium box will include 2 DVD's and a full-color hardcover artbook in a premium art box.

And since our limited time, special price offer was so successful for the first round, we've decided to offer it again, but this time only for a fixed number of pre-sales. Both sets will be only $39.98 each for the first 200 pre-orders, after which we will increase them to the regular $44.98 price. So don't wait, the limited price window will book up fast!

Section 23 September 2010 Releases - Now Available for Pre-Order!

Section 23 has sent us their September 2010 release schedule and we've got it posted to the store site. Here's what's coming:

Blue Drop (Tenshi-tachi no Gikyoku) Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-13) (Bilingual Edition)
Ghost Hound DVD Complete Collection (Eps #1-22) (Bilingual Edition)
Ghost Hound DVD Complete Collection (Eps #1-22) (BLURAY) (Bilingual Edition)
Golgo 13 TV Series Collection #2 DVD Box (Eps #13-24)
Hell Girl Three Vessels (Season 3) Collection #1 (Eps #1-12)
Xam'd DVD Collection #1 (Eps #1-12)
Xam'd DVD Collection #1 (Eps #1-12) (BLURAY)

Looks like we'll be getting welcome, albeit rather expensive dubs of Ghost Hound on DVD & BD as well as Blue Drop on DVD. Also coming is Season 3 of Hell Girl, the second half of the Golgo 13 TV Series and Xam'd (which was 'formerly' only available on the PlayStation Network) on both DVD and BD. It's nice to see new material, dubs, and BD's coming out of Section 23 - all good!

Enter Sentan, a lush, tranquil island encased in war between the military and those with Hiruko, known as X'amd. On one of these warlike days, Akiyuki Takehara heads off to school and gets caught in a raid by the creatures. Through a series of events he is transformed into a X'amd, and with the help of a Tessikan woman Nakiami along with his highschool friend Haru, Akiyuki is forced to learn to live with the Hiruko or faces the danger of losing his self-control and turn to stone.

Hell Girl: Three Vessels (Season 3)
You can take the girl out of Hell, but unfortunately you can't always get the Hell out of the girl. Just when it seemed that Ai Enma was finally at peace, innocent schoolgirl Yuzuki Mikage appears to become the perfect host for Ai. And that's host as in being physically possessed! Ensnared in the web of the Hell Correspondence, ridden by Ai's spirit, and joined by a nightmarish new assistant, Yuzuki must now fight to maintain any hold on her real life and friends even as the darkest secrets of the Hell Girl threaten to consume her! But in a malevolent world where any soul can be sent to Hell with the simple pull of a string, how can any mere human withstand the merciless onslaught of evil without being irrevocably changed?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Media Blasters Cancels Some Upcoming Manga

Media Blasters sent over a notice today with some date changes and cancellations. Fortunately, none of the date changes effected any of their Anime titles, but they did cancel the release of the following manga:

Akihabara Vol. 6 Graphic Novel AWNOV-0949 (9781598835342)
Gay's Anatomy Episode 0: Graphic Novel KGNOV-0914 (9781598834604)
Drawn to Him: Graphic Novel KGNOV-0917 (9781598835083)

They didn't actually say 'canceled', but cited these as 'removed from our schedule indefinitely' and canceled all retailer pre-orders for them. We've removed them from the store site until further notice. What this portends for the future of Media Blasters manga business, if anything, I could not say.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Bandai August 2010 Releases - Now Available for Pre-Order!

Bandai has sent us their August 2010 release schedule and we've got it posted to the store site.

Ready? Here's what's coming:

Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya Season 2 Collection DVD Boxed Set + Bonus CD!

Yep, that's it. One item for the whole month.

I'm just glad the rumors floating around were true and they are indeed releasing Haruhi Season 2 in August. And they are doing it in economy fashion right up front. No singles, no bundles, no limited versions, just a 4 DVD box all in one shot. But they are including a CD with the OP/ED themes and I think that's a nice touch.

Here's the specs:

Synopsis: Kyon and the rest of the SOS Brigade, they are forced to go along for the ride. On the night of the Tanabata Star Festival, Kyon is transported back in time by Mikuru Asahina to what may be the source of what led Haruhi to search for aliens, time travelers and espers. In the last two weeks of summer vacation, Haruhi leads the brigade on a dizzying list of summer time activities that leads the brigade into experiencing what they think is dejavu but they’re actually re-living the same two weeks of summer over and over again. It’s up to Kyon to figure out what’s missing to get them out of this endless loop. As fall rolls around, everyone prepares for the school arts festival, but Haruhi isn’t content with their class’s survey project. She, instead, hatches her own plan for the SOS Brigade to film and screen their own movie. Step behind the camera to see what went on to create the cinematic ‘masterpiece’ that is The Adventures of Mikuru Asahina Episode 00.

DVD Box features: Voice track Features popular Japanese Voice Actresses Aya Hirano, Minori Chihara and Yuko Goto. English voice track features voice actresses: Wendee Lee, Michelle Ruff and Stephanie Sheh.

DVD Extras Include: Location Scouting Videos / Behind the Scenes of Aya Hirano’s Music Video / Endless Eight Prologue / Special Event Video / Promo Videos / Commercials / Adventures of the ASOS Brigade Episodes

Bonus CD with OP/ED song tracks Super Driver & Tomare.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Funimation September 2010 Releases - Now Available for Pre-Order!

Funimation has sent out their September 2010 release schedule and we've got it posted to the store site. Here's what's coming:

Corpse Princess (Shikabane Hime) Part 1 (AKA) DVD Collection (Eps #1-13)
Corpse Princess (Shikabane Hime) Part 2 (KURO) DVD Collection (Eps #14-26)
Coyote Ragtime Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (S.A.V.E. Edition)
Devil May Cry Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (S.A.V.E. Edition)
Dragonball Z Kai Season 1 Part 2 DVD Boxed Set (Eps #14-26)
Dragonball Z Kai Season 1 Part 2 DVD Boxed Set (Eps #14-26) (BLURAY)
Dragon Ball Z Dragonbox DVD Set #4 (Eps #127-168)
DragonBall GT Complete Series Collection DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-68) (Re-Mastered)
Eden of the East Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-11)
Eden of the East Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-11) (BLURAY)
Fullmetal Alchemist Season #1 DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-25) (Viridian Collection)
Full Metal Panic FUMOFFU Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Remastered)
Full Metal Panic FUMOFFU Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (BLURAY) (Remastered)
Ghost Hunt Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-26) (S.A.V.E. Edition)
Hetalia (Axis Powers) Season 1 DVD Set
Initial D First Stage Season 1 Part 1 DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-13)
Kaze no Stigma Season #1 Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-24)
My Bride is a Mermaid Season 1 Part 2 DVD Boxed Set (Eps #14-26)
Nabari no Ou DVD Season 1 Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-24)
Samurai 7 Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (S.A.V.E. Edition)
Sengoku Basara: Samurai Kings Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-12)
Sengoku Basara: Samurai Kings Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-12) (BLURAY)
Slayers Revolution (TV Season 4) DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-13) (BLURAY)
Slayers Evolution-R (TV Season 5) DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-13) (BLURAY)

Corpse Princess (Shikabane Hime)
The title "Corpse Princess" belongs to Makina Hoshimura, an undead girl who seeks to hunt down 108 corpses in order to go to heaven.

Eden of the East
On November 22, 2010 ten missiles strike Japan. However, this unprecedented terrorist act, later to be called as "Careless Monday," does not result in any apparent victims, and is soon forgotten by almost everyone. Then, 3 months later... Saki Morimi is a young woman currently in the United States of America on her graduation trip. But just when she is in front of the White House, Washington DC, she gets into trouble, and only the unexpected intervention of one of her fellow countrymen saves her. However, this man, who introduces himself as Akira Takizawa, is a complete mystery. He appears to have lost his memory. and he is stark naked, except for the gun he holds in one hand, and the mobile phone he's holding with the other hand. A phone that is charged with 8,200,000,000 yen in digital cash.

Hetalia (Axis Powers)
Italy, once home of the strongest empire in the world, has changed. This is the story of Italy, now a cowardly pasta-loving fool, and his friends (other personified countries of the world) as they live through strange moments in world history.

Sengoku Basara: Samurai Kings
In the bloody Warring States period of feudal Japan, many generals fought in an endless struggle for power, but one man proved to be too big a threat - The dark lord Oda Nobunaga. Sanada Yukimura and Date Masamune, two young warriors from different regions who become heated rivals, begin to form an unlikely alliance with the rest of the generals to take down the Devil King.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Freedom Commercial Doesn't Suck

In consideration of Independence day coming up in a couple of weeks, this is the first piece of marketing material to come from the People's Automotive Collective #3 that I've seen in a long time that doesn't suck:

Sorry to our Brit friends, but how could the Redcoats be expected to stand against Washington's legions of attacking Dodge Challengers. Remember Lord Cornwallis held the line at Yorktown until redoubt #10 fell to the charging columns of hastily built but powerful Shelby GT's (though it's said Washington in his Chevy Camero did not personally participate in that attack).

Nothing is more American than a really phat muscle car that goes really fast and gets really shitty gas mileage - except perhaps a good German muscle car with similar specs - unless of course the American car is bristling with weapons.

And if you're scratching your head and wondering why Washington would attack the British instead of trying to 'use diplomacy', then you probably drive a Prius. I've heard the advancing British columns used to eat those up for breakfast...


Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Anchor Bay Picks Up First Squad!

I was pleasantly surprised this morning the hear that Anchor Bay (of all companies) has picked up the 73 Minute Anime OVA 'First Squad: the Moment of Truth', and says it will be released on DVD and BD later this summer!

The First Squad story, written by Misha Sprits and Aljosha Klimov, is set on the Eastern front in the opening days of World War II. A group of Soviet teens with extraordinary abilities are preparing to fight the invading German army, which is attempting to raise a supernatural army from the dead to battle for its cause. It won Best Animated Feature at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards and the Kommersant Newspaper's Prizes at the Moscow International Film Festival.

Synopsis: During the winter of 1941/42, the Second World War comes to a temporary standstill on the Eastern Front yet both Nazi and Soviets are putting everything they got in order to turn the tide in their favour. Meanwhile Ahnenerbe, Nazi occult organization within the SS, calculates that the next "moment of truth" (a rare moment when actions of a single man can determine the outcome of an event, a battle or even the entire war) is approaching on the Eastern Front. The man is some anonymous Soviet officer and unless he is eliminated, his actions are going to bring success to some local Soviet offensive. To eliminate him, spiritualists of Ahnenerbe summon the long-dead baron von Wolff from the world of the dead. To counter this plan, special occult branch of the Soviet Intelligence, called 6th Division, deploys it's best agent - 14-year-old esper girl Nadya, the only survivor from the special operations unit of 6th Division - the "First Squad".

Japanese and US Publishers Declare War on 'Pirate Scum'

Finally waking up and smelling the impending doom, manga publishers both here and in Japan have suddenly realized that the proliferation of scanlations and illegal content posted online for free is a direct threat to the survival of the manga industry.

From the Anime economatrix this week:

"The 36 publishers in Japan's Digital Comic Association and several American publishers are forming a coalition to combat the "rampant and growing problem" of scanlations — illicit digital copies of manga either translated by fans or scanned directly from legitimate English releases.

The coalition asserts that "scanlation aggregator" sites "now host thousands of pirated titles, earning ad revenue and/or membership dues at creators' expense while simultaneously undermining foreign licensing opportunities and unlawfully cannibalizing legitimate sales." Google lists one site on its list of the 1,000 most-visited sites on the web. An unnamed spokesperson for the coalition also pointed to smartphone applications designed to read such sites as an escalation of the problem.

The coalition is reportedly threatening legal action against 30 scanlation sites, whose names were not revealed. The organization currently includes Square Enix, Viz Media, TOKYOPOP, Vertical, Inc., the Tuttle-Mori Agency, Yen Press, and the members of the Digital Comic Association: Akane Shinsha, Akita Shoten, ASCII Media Works, East Press, Ichijinsha, Enterbrain, Okura Shuppan, Ohzora Shuppan, Gakken, Kadokawa Shoten, Gentosha Comics, Kodansha, Jitsugyo No Nihonsha, Shueisha, Junet, Shogakukan, Shogakukan Shueisha Production, Shodensha, Shonen Gahosha, Shinshokan, Shinchosha, Take Shobo, Tatsumi Shuppan, Tokuma Shoten, Nihon Bungeisha, Hakusensha, Fujimi Shobo, Fusosha, Futabasha, France Shoin, Bunkasha, Houbunsha, Magazine House, Media Factory, Leed sha, and Libre Shuppan."

Yep, that's just about everyone of consequence in the manga industry. But this story has been brewing in Japan for awhile. The staff of the Japanese edition of Shonen Jump published this editorial a few weeks ago:

"To our readers,
The Internet is now overflowing with illegal copies of manga. All of these illegal copies run counter to the wishes of mangaka. They also ignore the wishes of the creator as to how the manga should be read. It may be done without much thought, but in reality it hurts the mangaka who pour their creative talents into these works, and it is also against the law. When we discover such illegal copies, we discuss possible measures with the mangaka concerned and try to tackle the problem, but there are so many heartless people around that it is just impossible for us to tackle them all. This is a plea to our readers. Illicit copies of manga harm manga culture, infringe the rights of mangaka, and most importantly of all they deeply wound the souls of mangaka. Please also understand that it is illegal. From now on Shueisha will, in collaboration with mangaka, deal more harshly with any illegal copies circulating on the Internet. We hope we can count on the unchanging support of all our readers in this endeavour".

I could make my usual day late and a dollar short argument, but not this time because the stakes are too high now. I can tell you that the last thing these companies want to do is piss off fans, but they are all guilty of ignoring scanlations and bootleg content in the past when they were deemed to be helpful to the industry's overall exposure in creating new interest in the medium. That was a big mistake. The US manga publishers, in particular, have always been benign to pirates and slow to take action even when circumstances were blatantly biting them on the ass. From what I hear on the street this new move is no gesture to intimidate bootleggers, and that they will soon begin prosecuting all available legal actions against these sites.

And it's just as much the fault of the folks that use these sites to get their manga fix, because if these 'entitlement fans' were not so damned greedy for free content that they have stopped purchasing licensed product all together, this phenomenon would have stayed in the background and been happily ignored by the industry. The publishers would not be taking this action if these bootleg sites were not an existential threat to their existence. Bootleg sites like MangaOne get an unbelievable amount of traffic and need to be shut down.

And it's about time they were.

Evangelion Girls Back on Top

The recent release of the 2nd Evangelion movie (You can (not) advance) in Japan has resulted in all three of the Evangelion female leads ranking in the latest top 10 Newtype character survey. But the big news is that Makinami Mari Illustrious (the new girl) has taken the #1 slot over Yui, Tenshi, Yuri, and even her costars Rei and Asuka...

Here's the latest Newtype ranking:

1. Makinami Mari Illustrious (Shin Seiki Evangelion)
2. Hirasawa Yui (K-On!!)
3. Tenshi (Angel Beats!)
4. Yurippe (Angel Beats!)
5. Ayanami Rei (Evangelion)
6. Suzumiya Haruhi (Haruhi)
7. Akiyama Mio (K-On!!)
8. Shikinami Asuka Langley (Shin Seiki Evangelion)
9. Nagato Yuki (Haruhi)
10. Sheryl Nome (Macross F)

Mind you these are the results of Japanese fans. Asuka is still my #1 gal. :-)

Friday, June 04, 2010

Inside Look at Upcoming Toradora and Persona Boxes

The folks at NIS America recently sent sample boxes of their upcoming releases of Toradora and Persona to Anime reviewer Chris Beverage (why they sent them to him and not us is, well, a mystery), and he has posted a good review of them plus lots of pictures here.

NIS told us today that these should begin leaving the factory around June 16th, so we'll probably be able to start shipping them to pre-order customers during the third week of June. There are two things I wanted to mention about these before we leave today for the weekend:

1) We currently have them available for a VERY special pre-order price that will increase once they arrive, and this price will only be honored for the folks that pre-order BEFORE they hit our dock. Don't wait.

2) Because of the extra's that had to be produced, NIS has limited the number of these that are going to be made to the first pressing, so once they are gone they will be gone forever. Again, get your pre-order in NOW to ensure available and that you get our special price.

These will be the first true 'collectors' editions of an Anime release in several years, and we're very excited about these!

Toradora! Volume 1 Premium Edition

* 2 DVD disc set
* Total of 13 episodes
* Approximately 25 min/episode
* Features original Japanese voice acting
* English subtitles
* Extra content: OP/ ED Clean versions, and more!
* Premium Box with bonus item: 30+ page, full color, hardcover art book (approx. 10" x 7"), including interviews with the original Japanese voice actors/actresses.
* NISA Exclusive Double Sided Poster (Illustration of Toradora! on one side and Persona on the other side) the size of the poster will be 20"X13".

PERSONA -trinity soul- Volume 1 Premium Edition

* 2 DVD disc set
* Total of 13 episodes
* Approximately 25 min/episode
* Features original Japanese voice acting
* English subtitles
* Premium box with bonus item: 40 pages, full color, hardcover art book (approx. 10" x 7"), including an original short picture book from the main story, "A Whale's Feather".
* NISA Exclusive Double Sided Poster (Illustration of Persona on one side and Toradora! on the other side) the size of the poster will be 20"X13".

Funimation Delays D-Gray Man Season 1 Collection

Funimation has informed us that they have bumped the street date for the D.Gray-man Season #1 Complete DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-26) (item # FN-06926) from July 6th back to August 10th.

I you have an order holding for this item just e-mail us if you want to make a change.

More Price Reductions from Funimation and Manga Entertainment!

We have more in place price reductions from two companies in today! First, Funimation has reduced the MSRP on several Anime DVD's and Boxed sets:

Reduced from $69.98 to $29.98 MSRP
Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Christo Complete DVD Boxed Set (Thin-Pak)*

Reduced from $29.98 to $19.98 MSRP
Vexille 2077 Nippon Sakoku Movie Special Edition DVD (2 Disks)*

Reduced from $34.98 to $24.98 MSRP
Vexille 2077 Nippon Sakoku Movie DVD (BLURAY)*

And Manga Entertainment (remember them?) has reduced the price on these classic releases:

Reduced from $34.98 to $19.98 MSRP
Dante's Inferno DVD (BLURAY)

Reduced from $29.98 to $24.98 MSRP
Ghost in the Shell Movie #1 2.0 Edition (BLURAY)

Reduced from $29.98 to $19.98 MSRP
Ghost in the Shell Movie #1 2.0 Edition DVD

Reduced from $34.98 to $19.98 MSRP
Dead Space : Downfall DVD (BluRay)

Reduced from $29.98 to $14.98 MSRP
Dead Space : Downfall DVD

We've reduced our regular low price accordingly for each item. The Funimation item sets are on closeout anyway ahead of the re-issues in July and are limited to stock on hand. All are in stock and shipping at the new price as of today!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Bandai Adds Gurren Lagann Boxed Set for July / Changes Dates

Bandai sent over a supplement this morning announcing a surprise Gurren Laggan Anime Legends set for July 6th:

Gurren Lagann TV Series Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-27) (Anime Legends)

This is a last minute update (they are probably trying to street this for Expo) as the announcement came over after the 'expected' retailer pre-book date had passed, so if they can actually get these out on the street 4 weeks from now remains to be seen.

They also included the obligatory grocery list of date changes that we've come to know and love:

Moved from Jun 8 to Jul 6

Kurokami The Animation Part #2 DVD (Eps #7-12)
Kurokami The Animation Part #2 DVD (BLURAY) (Eps #5-8)

Moved from Jun 22 to Jul 6

Mobile Suit Gundam Zeta Movie #1: Heirs to the Stars DVD
Mobile Suit Gundam Zeta Movie #2: Lovers DVD
Mobile Suit Gundam Zeta Movie #3: Love is the Pulse of the Stars DVD
Mobile Suit Gundam Zeta Movie Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Movie #1-3)

I Could Not Have Said it Better Myself

Hilarious but sooooo true:

Meanwhile, Peter Serafinowicz has an article over on Gizmodo about how he's committing career suicide in by stealing his own movies.