Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sentai Picks Up Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere

Sentai Filmworks announced this morning that they have picked up the license for the Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere Anime (Kyōkai Senjō no Horizon). They plan to release the series susbtitled on DVD in 2012.

Synopsis: 'History' is coming to an end. When humans came down from the sky they brought with them the Testament, the guide to the path they must follow if they wish to return to the skies again. Now, in a strange world where only the islands of Japan are inhabitable, the nations of the world vie for power and protect the portions of Japan that they have claimed, each armed with its own ultimate weapon: a Roysmoi Opro, the Armor of Deadly Sins. But there may be a far greater threat to mankind than the Roysomi Opro, for the Testament ends abruptly, and it is now the last year. Is this the end of humanity, or can Tori Aoi and his fellow students from the aerial metropolitan ship Musashi somehow affect the course of destiny? Who and what is the HORIZON IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE?

Sentai Picks Up Persona 4 & Maji de Watashi ni Koi Shinasai

Sentai Filmworks has announced that they have licensed the Persona 4 The Animation television anime series, and plan to release the show on both DVD and BD in 2012. The anime has not yet started it's showing in Japan, but will premiere on Japan's MBS station on October 6.

Sentai has also licensed the Maji de Watashi ni Koi Shinasai!! television anime series, and will publish it under the name "Majikoi - Oh! Samurai Girls!". They plan to release the 12 episode series on DVD in 2012 also.

Majikoi - Oh! Samurai Girls: Kawakami City is famous for its strong dedication to its samurai ancestors. A healthy fighting spirit is always valued and it's even an important factor for success at school. Yamato, a second year student from Kawakami Highchool is always with his close friends (4 boys and 3 girls). They have all known each other since they were young and have done many things together. While they have many other friends, this group of seven is a close-knit, inseparable group. They even have a secret base where they meet. With the new semester, they welcome two girls into their group and shortly after things begin to change...

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Funimation Delays Release of Darker than Black Season 2

Funimation just sent over a note letting us know that the release of Season 2 of Darker Than Black, originally scheduled for Oct 18th, is going to be delayed due to the holiday backlog at their presser. The new release date is now set for Nov 8th.

Darker Than Black Season 2 Complete Collection DVD/BD Combo Set (Eps # 27-52 + OVA's) (Limited First Pressing) - Oct 18 to Nov 8

Damnit. -_^

As always, if you have an existing order holding for this title and want to make a change, just drop us a line and we'll take care of it for you.

Bandai Announces November 2011 Releases - Now Available for Pre-Order!

Bandai has sent us over their November 2011 release schedule, and we now have it up on the store site for pre-order. Here's what's coming:

K-On! Vol #4 DVD - Nov 22
K-On! Vol #4 (BLURAY) - Nov 22
Star Driver Collection #1 DVD (Eps #1-13) - Nov 22
Star Driver Collection #1 BLURAY (Eps #1-13) - Nov 22
TEKKEN Blood Vengeance DVD - Nov 22

Couple Notes:
1) Star Driver will be sub only.
2) No Tekken Blood Vengeance BD - for now.
3) NO DATE CHANGES in this mailer! Yippie!!!

Star Driver: On the southern edge of Japan, the inhabitants of Southern Cross Island lead seemingly normal lives but far beneath the surface of this quiet island lies an ancient secret that lays dormant until Takuto Tsunashi washes ashore one night. Upon enrolling in Southern Cross Island High School, Takuto and his friends become embroiled in a conflict with a clandestine society to control giant machines, called Cybodies, sealed under the island and whose powers are bound by special shrine maidens. What secrets will Takuto dig up and how will he deal with the obstacles that lie ahead of him as this struggle will threaten to tear apart the entire island?!

TEKKEN: Blood Vengeance: The stage for a final showdown is prepared as Anna Williams and the G Corporation set a trap for her sister Nina who works for Jin Kazama, head of the Mishima Zaibatsu. Both Jin and his father, Kazuya Mishima of the G Corporation, seek to possess and control the M Cell that will unlock the destructive supernatural powers buried within the Mishima bloodline. Kazuya dispatches Ling Xiaoyu to a prestigious international school to spy on Shin Kamiya, a victim of secret genetic experiments and may hold the key to the M Cell. While investigating Shin, Xiaoyu befriends Alisa Bosconovitch who also shows an interest in Shin. Their new friendship is put to the test as they are caught in the middle of the Mishima family feud. The final battle explodes in a three way battle between father, son and even grandfather, Heihachi Mishma, the mastermind behind the M Cell conspiracy. Who will claim the M Cell and unlock the full power of the Devil Gene?!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Last Exile -Fam, The Silver Wing- Trailer

The new Last Exile show from Gonzo, Last Exile -Fam, The Silver Wing- will begin it's TV run in Japan at 2am on October 15th. This is one in particular that I've been looking forward to for some time. Funimation has licensed it for North America, but I imagine it will be at least a year before it shows up on our shores.

Until then, enjoy the trailer! :-)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Crunchyroll - Pot Sues Kettle

You know, after reading some fan comments over the past few weeks it's clear that over the last few months I've been way too quiet about the little hypocrisies in our industry. Time to change that.

So I was perusing the news blurbs over on the Anime ecomatrix this morning, when I saw this:

"Crunchyroll and TV Tokyo have issued a lawsuit against 13 YouTube uploaders for allegedly illegal distribution of anime episodes, according to a copyright infringement complaint filed on May 11 and served between July and September. Crunchyroll and TV Tokyo are seeking reparation for "great and irreparable injury that cannot fully be compensated or measured in money" because of the defendants' allegedly unauthorized copying, uploading, and distributing via YouTube of multiple Naruto, Naruto Shippūden, and Bleach episodes.

Based on their YouTube subscriber information, the defendants reside in the United States, Japan, Canada, Denmark, and Hungary. Crunchyroll maintains its main offices in California (as does YouTube), so the suit was filed as a U.S. copyright violation in the Northern District Court of California. For the purposes of the lawsuit, TV Tokyo is giving Crunchyroll legal permission to act on its behalf in order to "permanently remove the illegal uploads of infringing parties from file-sharing services and to obtain legal relief against infringers."

I just find it a bit entertaining as, before they went legit, Crunchyroll got it's start and built it's audience streaming unlicensed fansubs captured from torrents. A little history:

"Launched in the summer of 2006, Crunchyroll is a video-streaming site run by Crunchyroll, Inc. that originally grew by serving illegal (unlicensed) content, namely Japanese Animation (anime). The site generated revenue by soliciting donations and through advertising. After failing to be bought out by Viacom in 2007, Crunchyroll secured venture capital funding to the tune of $4 million through Venrock."

Of course, as soon as they got the angel funding from Venrock (and started working up SEC filings so they could privately sell more shares) they had to go legit, but they built their original audience and 'brand' on unlicensed content. So let's not forget that Kun Gao, Vu Nguyen, Sanha Han, Brandon Ooi, James Lin and many others have gotten rich off an enterprise that started deep in the shylocks.

Just something to think about the next time you are watching Anime there. I'm sure there will be outrage from the fan community over their persecution of YouTube users, and if not, I hope the irony does not escape you. :-)

Section 23 December 2011 Releases - Now Available for Pre-Order!

Section 23 has sent over their December 2011 release schedule and we've got it all posted to the store site for pre-order. Here's what coming:

Rozen Maiden + Traumend Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-24) - Dec 6
Rozen Maiden Ouverture Collection DVD (Eps #1-2) - Dec 6
Kino's Journey Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set - Dec 13
Elfen Lied Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-13) - Dec 20
Modern Magic Made Simple (Yoku Wakaru Gendai Maho) Complete DVD (Eps #1-12) - Dec 20
Himawari, Too! (Season 2) Collection DVD (Eps #14-26) - Dec 27

Modern Magic Made Simple: Life hasn't been fair to Koyomi Morishita. Even though she's in high school, she's so short that everyone assumes she's still in grade school. The boys and girls in her school tease her mercilessly, and she's not exactly graceful either. On the other hand, she's still better off than Yumiko, who has a magician trying to kill her. Or at least Koyomi WAS until their paths crossed! Fortunately, salvation arrives in the form of master mage and graduate student Misa Anehara, who agrees to take Koyomi under her wing in learning the new style of magic, which breaks enchantment down into sequences of code. That'll be quite a task, given that so far Koyomi's talent seems to consist of making washbasins randomly fall out of the sky. But if it was easy, it wouldn't be magic, would it?

Friday, September 16, 2011

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

Funimation has sent us over their December sales book, and we now have it up on the store site for pre-order.

Here's what's coming:

Birdy the Mighty: Decode Complete Collection DVD Box(Eps #1-26) - Dec 6
Devil May Cry Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (S.A.V.E. Edition) - Dec 6
Devil May Cry Complete Collection Boxed Set (BLURAY) (S.A.V.E. Edition) - Dec 6
Dragonball Z Movie Pack #2 (Movies #6-9) DVD - Dec 6
Master of Martial Hearts (Zettai Shougeki ~Platonic Heart~ ) Complete DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-5) (Classic Collection) - Dec 6
Dragon Ball Z Level 1.2 (BLURAY) - Dec 13
Ikki Tousen (Battle Vixens) Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (S.A.V.E. Edition) - Dec 13
Heaven's Lost Property (Sora no Otoshimono) Complete Collection DVD/BD Combo Box (Limited Edition) - Dec 20
Rosario+Vampire Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-13) - Dec 20
Rosario+Vampire Capu2 (Season 2) Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Eps #14-26) - Dec 20
Initial D Fourth DVD Boxed Set (S.A.V.E. Edition) - Dec 20
D.Gray-man Season #1 DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-26) (S.A.V.E. Edition) - Dec 27
Eden of the East Complete Collection DVD/BD Combo Boxed Set (Eps #1-11) - Dec 27
Fairy Tail Collection #2 DVD/BD Combo Set (Eps #13-24) - Dec 27
Guyver Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (S.A.V.E. Edition) - Dec 27
Heroic Age Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-26) (S.A.V.E. Edition) - Dec 27
Slayers TV Season 4 / 5 (Revolution & Evolution-R) DVD/BD Combo Boxed Set - Dec 27

Thank goodness we're finally getting Rosario + Vampire. Man, we sure have been waiting long enough for it!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

NIS Changes Kimi ni Todoke to DVD/BD Combo Set, Delays Release to January

NIS sent over an update package this morning to let us know that they have decided (in a rather last minute decision) to change the upcoming premium edition release of Kimi Ni Todoke from a DVD set to a DVD/BD combo set. This is great news! We also have new box art - see below.

The bad news is that this means the release of this set is being pushed back from Oct 25th, 2011 to Jan 10th, 2012. The other bad news is that NIS is increasing the MSRP on the set from $59.98 to $69.98. This means we had to raise our pre-order price to $48.98, which leaves us in a bit of a pickle - the $10 increase puts our new cost slightly over the old street price we were selling it for.

I have e-mailed NIS to see if they would offer us price protection against the pre-orders we've already booked. This would allow us to honor the old $44.98 price for existing pre-orders that have already been placed. If they do not, we'll have to either get approval for the price increase from everyone who has already pre-ordered or cancel those orders. Once I hear back from NIS I'll post back here regarding what we are going to do.

PRE-ORDER UPDATE: The folks at NIS have been kind enough to put a deal together for us that will allow us to share the cost of the price increase and thus keep everyone's existing pre-order for Kimi Ni Todoke booked at the original price of $44.98. So all 'existing' pre-orders for this release will automatically be upgraded to the new DVD/BD combo set at no additional cost. Thanks Mitsu! :-) New pre-orders will be offered at the slightly higher price of $48.98 based on the new higher MSRP.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11 Remembrance

Today marks the 10th anniversary of the 9-11-2001 attacks. I have nothing profound or relevant to say, except that I will always remember that day as one of the saddest of my life. We have not forgotten the 3,000 lives lost in the attacks. Please remember the families of the victims in your prayers today.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Funimation To Release Densetsu no Yūsha no Densetsu Next Spring

The folks at Funimation confirmed at AnimeFest that they are planning to release the The Legend of the Legendary Heroes (Densetsu no Yūsha no Densetsu) anime series as a DVD/BD combo set sometime next spring (2012). The release will be both English dubbed and subtitled.

Synopsis: Raina Lute is a lazy student of Roland Empire Royal Magician's school. One day, Roland Empire goes to war against a neighboring country Estaboole, and he lost his classmates in the battle. After the war, Lute sets out for a journey to search the relics of a "Legendary Hero" at Emperor Zion Astar's command. And he finds out a deadly curse spreading the continent.

Sentai Picks Up Rozen Maiden, Traumend, and Ouverture!

The folks at Sentai Filmworks (Section 23) have announced that they have licensed the Rozen Maiden anime series (12 eps), the sequel Rozen Maiden - Träumend (also 12 eps), and the 2 episode OVA Rozen Maiden: Ouvertüre.

Some of you will remember that Geneon previously licensed the original series and Traumend in 2007, but the release got botched up when Geneon went under in 2008. Funimation then signed on the distribute the series for awhile, and did, but has since dropped the license too.

Everyone in the industry seems to get a shot at these licenses eventually, don't they? So this will be third time around for Rozen Maiden, though the OVA eps have never been released before. Sentai is planning a complete set DVD release of the series (both seasons + the OVA) during the holiday season this year, probably in December. They are also planning to release the OVA separately in case you already own the first two seasons. The OVA will be carrying a brand new dub from BangZoom.