Sunday, March 29, 2009

Best Good Luck Retirement Suicide Laughtime Hour

I'm not one much for either Colbert or Jon Stewart, mostly because I have better things to watch when I'm looking for a diversion, but when Colbert calls for Bank CEO's to be put on the Japanese game show 'Best Good Luck Retirement Suicide Laughtime Hour', you really can't help but take notice:

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Word - Keeping Our Heads
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorNASA Name Contest


Friday, March 27, 2009

Pre-Order Sword of the Stranger and get an Exclusive Japanese Movie Program!

Pre-order Sword of the Stranger on Blu-ray or DVD from The Anime Corner Store and we'll send you a Sword of the Stranger Japanese collectors movie program along with the DVD!

These 30 page full color programs were previously sold at Japanese movie theaters that screened the film and include promotional artwork, screenshots, character designs, concept art and more (Japanese text). This offer is currently limited to the first 200 pre-orders we receive, so get your order in now to ensure you don't miss out!

And don't worry about us having enough programs to include these with the first 200 orders - we already have them in the warehouse and they are ready to go as soon as the disks come in! :-)

Anime Insider Magazine Goes the Way of the Dodo...

In another sign of the times, ANN Reports tonight that Anime Insider Magazine, which started out 8 years ago as Anime Invasion, will cease publication and has laid off all editorial staff. Anime Insider was the last US Anime themed magazine still in print being published as a monthly. From ANN:

Rob Bricken, a former editor of Anime Insider magazine, reports that Wizard Entertainment is ending publication of the North American anime and manga periodical. The editorial staff has been laid off. The magazine began in 2001 as a one-shot special publication under the name Anime Invasion, but soon changed its name to avoid trademark infringement with another company's brand. Anime Insider was a quarterly magazine during its early years, and it eventually turned into a monthly magazine and remained on that schedule for the last half of its eight-year history. Wizard touted the magazine as the "#1 anime and manga magazine in America" in circulation. The 67th issue shipped earlier this month.

This honestly should come as no surprise since it's been clear that the publisher Wizard Entertainment has been having financial trouble for some months. Between the Anime market shrinkage over the past couple of years and the shift to Internet content the demand for Anime print publications has been waining - especially in the ranks of the more 'mainstream' fans.

Insider, unlike the two remaining Anime publications (Otaku USA and Protoculture Addicts), had an editorial slant more towards mainstream or mass market (perhaps 'casual' would be the better term) type Anime fans, which is why it was the only Anime publication RACS never cut an ad deal with. Noemi never felt that Insider was targeted enough towards core Anime fans to justify the high ad rates, and of course, studio ad revenue can't be looking great right now either. That said, Insider was a very high quality publication and though it's content quality probably peaked around 2006, it will still be missed by many.

For our part we will continue to support both Otaku USA and Protoculture Addicts for as long as they find a viable market for Anime print publications. I'd probably have more to say regarding this but it's late and I'm pretty tired. Perhaps in the newsletter tomorrow...

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Nozomi Finally Schedules Gakuen Alice

After almost a year of waiting and several delays, Nozomi has finally scheduled the release of the Gakuen Alice Complete Collection. It will be released June 30th.

Synopsis: In a small country school, Sakura Mikan and Imai Hotaru are classmates and best friends - in their own way. Ditzy, emotional Mikan seems ill-matched with aloof, emotionless Hotaru, yet they are together all the time... until Hotaru gets called away to study at the strange and forbidding Alice Academy. In her anguish at being left behind, Mikan finally decides to follow her friend - and doing so, she makes a strange discovery. Young Mikan Sakura is a girl from a Japanese countryside. optimistic, playful Mikan enjoys life to the lees. but suddenly one day, she is thrown in a state of utter dilemma and sadness when her best friend, the brilliant, cool and quite opposite natured Hotaru Imai leaves the country school to join some mysterious Alice Academy. Determined to be reunited with her best friend, mikan goes on an uncertain journey to Alice Academy. Eventually, she finds out that she is also an alice, a candidate eligible to enter the academy. Thus her new life begins...

Price Reduction on Upcoming Murder Princess Box

Hey, a little good news this morning! Funimation just called us to let us know that they are reducing the MSRP on the upcoming six episode Murder Princess DVD boxed set from $39.98 to $29.98, which means we will automatically be reducing our standard price from $28.98 to $21.98.

We will also automatically adjust the price for all customers who already have this title on pre-order. Street date remains unchanged for May 12th.

Synopsis: In the kingdom of Forland - the stronghold of an ancient and powerful magic - a bloody coup led by Dr. Akamashi and his supernatural cyborg minions pushes the royal family to the brink of extinction. Forced to flee in the hopes of preserving her noble bloodline, Princess Alita crosses paths with the infamous bounty hunter Falis - a collision of souls that will alter the course of their lives forever.

Apocalypse Meow (aka Cat Shit One)

Only really hard core manga fans who like the military/war genre (um, I'm one of those...) have probably ever read the US release of Motofumi Kobayashi's Cat Shit One titled Apocalypse Meow. It was published for a short time in the US by (who else?) ADV, before their manga division went belly up, so it's been out of print for for some time.

While it was never more than an obscure title, it was a great manga and a really serious war drama set during Vietnam. The only thing that 'outsiders' felt was odd about it is that it characterized the US Troops as cute bunny rabbits, and the NVA troops as evil cats. It was the sort of manga that you will love and find extremely compelling, but you'll never tell your non-manga friends you ever read - much less actually show them a copy lest you get branded as one of those really bizzaro Otaku.

Anyway, word has been out for awhile that Anima is going to produce an Anime version of Cat Shit One (I just love repeating that title by the way...), but this time the Bunny's and Cats (or is that Camels?) are going to be fighting each other in Iraq. For some strange reason, this release is getting a lot of attention from folks outside of the Anime sphere, leading Steven Den Beste to write:

Suddenly I'm seeing posts about Cat Shit 1 all over the place on non-anime websites... ... It's kind of spooky, really. What are they doing playing in our yard?

Indeed, I smell a right wing conspiracy brewing already...

Ace notes uncomfortably on his blog:

Will Hollywood ever make a heroic movie about Iraq? Probably not. But the Japanese have. Trouble is -- this being Japan -- it stars animated bunnies fighting terrorist cats.

They have a trailer out now, and when you see it you'll understand why Anime fans are wondering what the big deal is, and non-Anime fans are wondering what's wrong with Anime fans:

Hell yeah!!! Those non-Anime people will just never understand... -_^

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Media Blasters June 2009 Release Schedule Posted + Sky Crawlers!

We're still at it, so we've got back to back updates for you tonight. We just finished posting Media Blasters June release schedule, and here's what we've got:

Funimation's June 2009 Release Schedule Posted

We got ahold of Funimation's June release schedule earlier this afternoon, and we just completed building all the items on the store site for pre-order. I'm pretty excited as it's well rounded and has something for everyone. Here's what it looks like:

Aquarion Season 1 Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-26)
Baccano!, Vol #4 DVD
Black Cat Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Viridian Collection)
Blade of the Phantom Master DVD (Re-Release)
D.Gray-man Season #1 Part #2 DVD Boxed Set (Eps #14-26)
Darker Than Black, Vol #5 DVD
Fullmetal Alchemist the Movie, the Conquerer of Shambala DVD (New Lower Price!)
Fullmetal Alchemist the Movie, the Conquerer of Shambala DVD (Limited Edition) (New Lower Price!)
Heroic Age Collection DVD Boxed Set #2 (Eps #14-26)
Kaze no Stigma Season #1 Part #1 DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-12)
Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple Season #1 Part #2 DVD Boxed Set (Eps #14-26)
King of Bandit Jing in Seventh Heaven OVA DVD
Kyo Kara Maoh Season 1 Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Re-Release)
Law of Ueki Complete Series Collection DVD Boxed Set
Moeyo Ken DVD (Re-Release)
One Piece Season 2 Part 1 DVD Boxed Set (Eps #53-65) (Uncut)
Origin: Spirits of the Past the Movie DVD [BLURAY]
Romeo X Juliet Collection Part #1 DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-12)
Samurai Champloo Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-26)
Venus Versus Virus Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set

In addition to lots of series continuations and welcome re-releases (like Kyo Kara Maoh Season 1, Samurai Champloo, and the first Venus Versus Virus boxed set) we are also getting the first half of two new series - Kaze no Stigma and Romeo X Juliet (which I for one have eagerly been waiting for!). In case you have been in a coma for the last 3 years and are not familiar with either series, here are the synopsis:

Kaze no Stigma Season #1 Part #1 DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-12)

Ayano is the heir to the house of Kannagi, a house with ties to the spirit of fire, whose members are all fire users. All except for her cousin, Kazuma. After he was defeated by Ayano, his father banished him from the house in disgrace. Kazuma ran off and changed his surname to Yagami. He formed a contract with the spirit of wind and becomes a powerful wind user. Four years later, he returned. Four years ago, Kazuma Kannagi was defeated by his cousin Ayano Kannagi for the right to be the successor of Enraiha, a sword passed down in the Kannagi family. His defeat, along with his lack of talent for En-Jutsu, the fire arts, the Kannagis' specialty, resulted in his banishment from the family. Now, Kazuma returns as Kazuma Yagami, a skilled master of Fu-Jutsu, the wind arts.

Romeo X Juliet Collection Part #1 DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-12)

This is a story of a young and tragic love, set in the aerial city of Neo Verona. Tyranny rules this island in the sky after the Montague family took control 14 years prior. The disparity among the wealthy and poor is apparent in the present state, the earth dries and water stagnates. The sky itself is wrapped in a deep dense fog. Both Romeo and Juliet's lineages are of present and past ruling families of Neo Verona. Romeo is the son of the current Montague dictator, Juliet (a beautiful woman) masquerades as a man (Odin), she's the last descendant of Capulet the previous rulers who were killed by an assassin's dagger 14 years ago. Her true background is not to be revealed to her until her 16th birthday. The cruel hands of fate introduces 2 people who will become "Star Crossed Lovers"...

Monday, March 23, 2009

Bleach Uncut Box #3 Available for Pre-Order At Last!

You Guys can stop writing in every week to ask, Viz gave me the word today that they have scheduled the 3rd Uncut Bleach Boxed Set. The box will contain the next 20 uncut episodes, be released as a regular and special edition, and will street on July 14th:

Synopsis: The day of Rukia's execution draws ever closer, and to save her, Ichigo and his loyal comrades must navigate the madness of a Soul Society on the brink of collapse. Ichigo and Renji face the most difficult training of their Soul Reaper careers as they struggle to achieve bankai, without which they have no hope against the most powerful captain of the Seireitei--Byakuya Kuchiki. While all the players converge at the site of Rukia's imminent execution, in the background, a group of Soul Reapers slowly uncover an unimaginable betrayal at the hands of one of their own--a betrayal that will shake the Soul Society to its very core.
Special edition extra's will be announced shortly. We have them both available for pre-order now!

Funimation Inks R1 Deal With Gonzo

Funimation announced on Friday that they have cut a deal with studio Gonzo for pretty much exclusive R1 distribution rights for their stuff:
FUNimation® Entertainment and Japanese producer GDH have entered into an
agreement to broadcast GDH's current and future hit series via online media
distribution and to collaborate on each series DVD launch in the US.
This really comes as no surprise considering all the Gonzo licences they have announced over the last two months. The good news is that it means we'll almost certainly see Romeo × Juliet, Strike Witches, and Rosario + Vampire released here in the US at some point in the near future. It also will help solidify Funi's position as the top R1 Anime studio.

UPDATE (3/24): Funimation has announced the first half season box of Romeo X Juliet for release on June 23rd, and Kaze No Stigma for June 30th. We will also be getting a re-release of the first season of Kyo Kara Maoh and Samurai Champloo in June. We should have all Funi's June releases posted to the site by 8 or 9pm tonight.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Bandai's June Release Schedule Announced

We received Bandai's June release schedule late in the day on Friday, so we stuck around a little longer to get it posted to the store site before we left. With only four SKU's it didn't take long, but it was worth it all the same.

But first, Bandai announced several more schedule changes:

The Gurren Lagann, Part #3 DVD Bundle w/ Limited Edition Art Box (Eps #19-27) (Bilingual Version) which had been bumped from March 17 to April 7th has been bumped again, and is now scheduled for May 5th. They also rescheduled the Part #3 Regular Edition for May 5th even though we already received our initial order stock on it a couple of weeks ago. We have almost sold out of that shipment and it looks like we won't be able to get anymore of those in until around mid-April.

The Ghost Slayers Part #2 DVD Bundle (Eps #11-20) has been rescheduled from April 7th to May 5th. That won't make anyone happy I'm sure.

And finally the Freedom (Freedom Project) Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set has been bumped from April 7th all the way out to July 7th. Bandai hired a new replicator in January and the bad news is that the new relationship is causing a lot of release delays, but the good news is that Bandai is trying to solve it's 'bad disc' problem, and I hope like everyone else that we've seen that last of those issues.

Now onto the new announcements:

Kurokami The Animation Part #1 DVD Bundle (Disc #1&2) (Eps #1-8) - June 16th

Kurokami The Animation is based on the manga by the same name from Korean creative team consisting of writer Young Lim Dall and artist Park Sung Woo (the manga has been released in the U.S. by Yen Press under the title Black God). The anime is directed by Tsuneo Kobayashi (director of The Twelve Kingdoms) with series story composition by Reiko Yoshida, and character designs and animation direction by Hiroyuki Nishimura (Fatal Fury, Fullmetal Alchemist the movies). The story focuses on Keita, a high school student living on his own, lost his mother in his youth. One night at a ramen stand, he meets a mysterious girl named Kuro. Keita is told the story of how if a person runs into another that looks just like them, they would die. From Kuro, Keita learns of the Doppeliner System and the Coexistence Equilibrium and how his life would never be that same afterward.

Sword of the Stranger DVD and BLURAY - June 16th

What qualifies a man as good or evil? Is it the amount of political power one attains, the quality of his swordsmanship or how well he serves his lord? With the fall of the second shogunate Japan has sunk into a state of disarray historians now call the Sengoku period, or the era of Warring States. Civil wars rage on throughout the many feudal holdings, where a man may raise his station in life simply by killing his superior. Whilst wandering this war torn country side a nameless ronin stumbles upon a young boy by the name of Kotaro, his dog and the many Chinese assassins dispatched to claim the boy in some strange ritual for immortality. Seeing something of his own past within the child, the nameless swordsman chooses to act as his bodyguard but can he truly keep Kotaro from the clutches of the Ming and their bloodthirsty blonde mercenary, Luo-Lang?

Eureka Seven Complete Collection #1 DVD Boxed Set (Anime Legends) (Eps #1-26) - June 16th

Eureka Seven will finally be getting an Anime Legends release in two boxed sets, the first of which will be released on June 16th. For Renton, every day’s the same. Nothing happens, nothing changes. He goes to school, he goes home. The only thing that keeps him happy is lifting on his ref board. Nothing exciting ever happens to him. Until one day, a giant mecha called an LFO comes crashing down on him - literally. And inside is the most beautiful girl he has ever seen! The thing is, though, that the girl is on the run from the military with her stolen mecha, and she’s brought trouble with her. Renton will have to summon up all his courage to face his childhood hero; get the girl he’s hopelessly smitten with to like him; and - oh yeah - live up to the legacy of his father who saved the world. But hey, at least it’s not boring anymore.

All of these are available for pre-order on the store site now, so book em at your leisure. Have a great weekend everyone! :-)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I''s and I''s Pure DVD Set Recall

Just a quick FYI for all our customers:

Viz has issued a general retailer recall for the entire first pressing of the I's DVD Collection. This afternoon I got this e-mail from Viz:

...we need to recall the recent shipment of I's Vol 1 (782009240099), which streets on 3/24/09. The disc overlay was switched, so on some sets the content on Disc one is actually Disc two content, etc. This product shipped from Simon and Schuster before the transition. They are sending call tags for the bad product and we are sending out new shipments with the corrected product....

So a small portion of the sets in the first pressing of I's have been found defective and apparently have the content for the second disk pressed on the first disk. Viz has issued a general retailer recall for these so we have pulled all our remaining inventory to send back for replacement and have placed the set back on pre-order. They will be shipping us replacement sets sometime next week.

Now I know the street date for this set was set for March 24th, and replacements should be available before the official street date. Thing is, we got them in and have been shipping them to customers since mid-February, and have sent out around 185 sets to date (of the 240 we got in) before we pulled them for the recall. So far NO ONE has reported this problem or any problem at all to us with the sets and personally I don't think any of the sets we got in have this issue, but we're participating in the exchange anyway just to be safe. If you do have a problem with this set (and darn it, only if you actually bought it from us please!), let us know and we'll replace it for you once Viz ships us our replacement stock.

Those folks at Viz like to keep our lives interesting, that's for sure... -_^

UPDATE (3/23): All of our in stock copies have now been replaced by Viz, so this title is good to go again. Order away!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

New R1 License Round Up

While some R1 studios seem to be spending their time trying to figure out how to get through next week, Funimation is mirroring our 'damn the topedoes, full speed ahead' spirit by announcing no less than seven new licenses since Katsucon a couple of weeks ago, and promises more to come.

Here's what we've got so far:

Rin Daughters of Mnemosyne

6 Episodes
Horror, Mystery, Science fiction, Supernatural, Yuri

Rin Asōgi may look like an ordinary office lady on the outside but she is actually a private investigator taking on any jobs, from finding a stray cat to infiltrating a high-security corporate lab. What's more, she appears literally indestructible, supernaturally healing any injuries and mutilations. Together with her partner Mimi, Rin delves into the darkest secrets of the society but the ones she hides herself are by far more sinister...

El Cazador De La Bruja

26 Episodes
Adventure, Drama, Mystery, Supernatural, Girls with Guns

Ellis, a young girl suspected of murdering prominent physicist Heinrich Schneider, is on the run from prosecution when she is tracked down by a female bounty hunter Nadie in a small Mexican town. However, instead of turning her in, Nadie impulsively decides to help her and the two embark on a journey south where they hope to find clues about Ellis' past. The guiding stars of their journey are the mysterious gemstone "Rosa del Inca" and the "Eternal City" of Wiñay Marka.

Seto no Hanayome (being released as 'My Bride Is A Mermaid')

24 Episodes
Action, Comedy, Romance, Slice of life, Supernatural

A young boy gets saved from drowning by a mermaid but, according to mermaid law, if a human sees a mermaid's true form, both have to be killed. The only solution to the problem is for him to marry her.

Bamboo Blade

26 Episodes
Comedy, Slice of Life, Sports (Kendo)

Toraji Ishida is a high school kendo teacher. His friend and fellow kendo teacher makes him a bet: if Ishida can assemble a girls' kendo team that can defeat his girls' team in a practice match, he'll treat Ishida to free meals at his father's sushi restaurant for a whole year. Now Ishida must find five girls to join the team. Bamboo Blade comes from the licensor D. Rights, while the other four projects come from GDH, the parent company of the Gonzo anime studio.

The Tower of Druaga: the Aegis of Uruk & the Sword of Uruk (Both Seasons)

12 Episodes (S1) & 12 Episodes (S2)
Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Romance

The Summer of "Anu": In a summer once every five years, demons in the mysterious Tower of Druaga lose their powers due to the magic spell cast by a god named "Anu". King Gilgamesh, ruler of the kingdom Uruk, uses the appearance of demons as an excuse to invade the tower and find out the construct's secrets. As 80 years passed, the Uruk army managed to fight back the demons and built a fortress city and safe haven on the very first floor of Druaga - Metz Kier. Thus begins the story of a warrior named Jil who, finding companions along the way, embarks on a quest for the fabled Blue Crystal Rod, a powerful artifact rumored to be in the highest floor of Druaga. However, other competitors, including the kingdom of Uruk itself, want the treasure, all for their own reasons.

Dragonaut - The Resonance

25 Episodes
Drama, Fantasy, Romance, Science Fiction

In order to avoid Earth's impending destruction from an asteroid, the International Solarsystem Development Agency (ISDA) works on the "D-Project", and creates dragons after finding a dragon egg under the ocean. However, they soon find out that the asteroid is not their only threat, as powerful dragon-like creatures appear on Earth. After witnessing a murder by one of the creatures, Jin Kamishina gets involved in the mysteries of the dragons and becomes a dragon pilot, otherwise known as a "Dragonaut". Helping him on his journey is Toa, a mysterious girl who saves him from falling to his death after the creature attacks him. As they delve deeper into the mysteries of the dragons, they encounter new friends and enemies, and also begin to develop a closer relationship.


24 Episodes
Action, Drama, Horror, Science Fiction

Faced with an outbreak of demonic blood, which transforms humans into insane and hideous creatures bent on violence and death, only one man can stand against the tide of destruction. Joseph Jobson, the only man able to control his cursed demonic form, must hunt down the man who cursed him and save the world from apocalypse.

Funi has not scheduled any of these as yet, but they will all probably fall somewhere on the 3rd and 4th quarter release schedule this year.

Oh, and Bandai announced at Wondercon this weekend they have licensed the Lucky Star OVA. Hey, anything new coming out of Bandai at this point is welcome news indeed. :-)