Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Viz Licenses Vampire Knight

Viz Media announced yesterday that they have the acquired the home entertainment, TV, streaming, DTO, and merchandising rights to the Vampire Knight anime. No further information was given as to when an R1 release might be available.

Synopsys: Yuki's earliest memory is of a stormy night in winter, wherein she was attacked by a vampire... And then rescued by another. Now 10 years later, Yuki Cross, the adopted daughter of the headmaster of Cross Academy, has grown up and become a guardian of the vampire race, protecting her savior, Kaname, from discovery as he leads a group of vampires at the elite boarding school. But also at her side is Zero Kiryu, a childhood friend who’s hatred for the creatures that destroyed everything he held dear, is now determined never to trust them. This coexisting arrangement seems all well and good, but have the vampires truly renounced their murderous ways, or is there a darker truth behind their actions. Is Kaname's infatuation with Yuki the beginning of a forbidden romance, or is it something in her forgotten past that draws him to her. Because in this world of secrets, nothing is as it seems. And the price of misplaced trust may even be worse than death.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Funimation Picks Up Initial D and 'X'

Funimation announced at the New York Anime Festival over the weekend that they have picked up Initial D from Kodansha (which was formerly held by TokyoPop and had fallen out of print). Funi also picked up the X anime TV series and the X OVA (formerly held by Geneon and also out of print), both of which are based on the apocalyptic manga series from Clamp.

Funimation indicated that it has acquired most of the various Initial D anime series, the 26-episode First Stage (1998), the 13-episode Second Stage (1999), the 2-hour anime movie Third Stage (2001), the 24-episode Fourth Stage (2004-2006), and the 2-episode OVA Initial D Extra Stage (2000). No mention was made of the 50-minute Initial D Battle Stage movie from 2002, the 1-hour Battle Stage 2 movie from 2007, or the 50-minute Extra Stage 2 OVA from 2008. Tokyopop had previously released the first two Initial D Stages here in North America and changed some of the characters names. Funimation’s Initial D releases will feature a new English cast, will be uncut, and will retain the original music tracks.

Funimation will keep the old Geneon English dubs of the 50-minute X OVA from 2001 and the 24-episode X TV series for the re-release which will come next year.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tsubasa Season 1 BD Set Delayed - Now Streeting on November 17th

Funi sent over a quick note today to let us know that the BD version of the first season of Tsubasa has been delayed a week and is now scheduled to street on November 17th.

The regular economy DVD release (the Viridian set) is still set to street on November 10th.

Synopsis: A true and noble heart holds much power, stronger than the hardest fist and mightier than the most potent magic. Four disparate travelers begin an epic journey... their goals different, their destiny the same. Along the way, the past will meet the future in the present. Of all the paths of every life, mingling in the dimension between dimensions where a foe has the face of an ally, and an ally the face of a monster. At the center of this heroic undertaking: Syaoran, a young man called upon to save his fated, the princess Sakura. Her memory has been shattered, the very essence of her soul sent adrift across the universe. Feathers float down on strange lands, torn asunder if only to prove the power of love. fellow travelers Kurogane and Fai, a warrior and a wizard, an epic quest begins. One of danger and mystery... The possibilities are endless. Episodes 1-26.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Media Blasters December 2009 Releases - Now Available for Pre-Order!

We have received the December release schedule from Media Blasters, and we now have those releases posted to the store site for pre-order:

Ah My Buddha (Amaenaideyo!!) Vol #6, The Six Realms Below DVD
Gakuen Heaven Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Lite Box)
Genshiken 2 - The Society for the Study of Modern Visual Culture, Vol #3
Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit DVD #8 (Eps #24-26)
Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit DVD Bundle #4 (DVD #7&8 - Eps #21-26)
Sukisho Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Lite Box)

New Upcoming Figures - Now Available for Pre-Order!

We've been working hard over the last couple of days on product updates and the result so far is 27 new Q4 2009 and Q1 2010 figures are now available fore pre-order. We've got lots more left to post, but here's what we've added to the store so far (I think you'll like it!):

Brilliant Stage: Sora Kasugano 1/8 Scale PVC Figure
Creators Collection: Girl M Maid 1/7 Scale PVC Figure
Creator's Labo #021: Emaretta-chan Black Armor Version 1/7 Scale PVC Statue
Ikki Tousen: Great Guardian Ryofu Housen Apron 1/8 Scale PVC Figure
Ikki Tousen: Great Guardians Ryomou Shimei SMC EX Color Version Non Scale PVC Figure
K-On! Mio Akiyama 1/8 Scale PVC Figure
K-On! Yui Harisawa 1/8 Scale PVC Figure
K-On! Mio Akiyama Nendoroid Action Figure
K-On! Yui Hirasawa Nendoroid Action Figure
K-On! Yui Hirasawa Mobip Action Figure
K-On! Tsumugi Kotobuki Mobip Action Figure
Kodomo no Jikan: Mimi Usa Gym Uniform Version 1/4 Scale PVC Figure
Lucky Star: Tsukasa Hiiragi Gym Uniform Version 1/4 Scale PVC Figure
Lucky Star: Takara Miyuki Gym Uniform Version 1/4 Scale PVC Figure
Lucky Star: Miyuki Takara Summer Uniform Figma Figure
Lucky Star: Hiiragi Tsukasa Summer Uniform Figma Figure
Lucky Star: Hiiragi Kagami Summer Uniform Figma Figure
Phantom: Ein 1/8 Scale PVC Figure
Queen's Blade Ancient Princess Menace Iron Silver Version 1/7 Scale PVC Figure
Queen's Blade: Listy EX Excellent Model Core 1/8 Scale PVC Figure
Rental Magica: Adelicia Lenn Mathers 1/8 Scale PVC Figure
Sengoku Rance: Sill Plain 1/8 Scale PVC Figure
Sengoku Rance: Isoroku Yamamoto 1/8 Scale PVC Figure
Shining Wind: Kanon Seena 1/7 Scale PVC Figure
Witchblade: Masane Amaha Bikini (Tan Lines) 1/7 Scale PVC Figure
You're Under Arrest Miyuki Kobayakawa 1/8 Scale PVC Figure
You're Under Arrest Natsumi Tsujimoto 1/8 Scale PVC Figure

We'll get another big batch posted soon, so be sure to check back!

Brilliant Stage: Sora Kasugano <br> 1/8 Scale PVC Figure <br> [PRE ORDER] Creators Collection: Girl M Maid <br> 1/7 Scale PVC Figure <br> [PRE ORDER] K-On! Mio Akiyama <br> 1/8 Scale PVC Figure <br>[PRE ORDER] Lucky Star: Takara Miyuki <br>Gym Uniform Version <br> 1/4 Scale PVC Figure <br>[PRE ORDER] Phantom: Ein <br> 1/8 Scale PVC Figure <br> [PRE ORDER] Queen's Blade: Listy <br> EX Excellent Model Core <br> 1/8 Scale PVC Figure <br> [PRE ORDER] Sengoku Rance: Isoroku Yamamoto <br> 1/8 Scale PVC Figure <br> [PRE ORDER] Shining Wind: Kanon Seena <br> 1/7 Scale PVC Figure <br> [PRE ORDER]
Witchblade: Masane Amaha <br> Bikini (Tan Lines) <br> 1/7 Scale PVC Figure <br>[PRE ORDER] You're Under Arrest <br> Miyuki Kobayakawa <br> 1/8 Scale PVC Figure <br> [PRE ORDER] Kodomo no Jikan: Mimi Usa <br> Gym Uniform Version <br> 1/4 Scale PVC Figure <br> [PRE ORDER] Ikki Tousen: Great Guardian <br> Ryofu Housen Apron <br> 1/8 Scale PVC Figure <br> [PRE ORDER]

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Trade In Credits Taking A Little Longer to Process than Normal

Just a quick post to let everyone know that since about the 3rd week of August the flow of Anime trade in's to arrive here at the warehouse has picked up from their regular flow to pretty much a total avalanche, and we've been struggling a bit to keep up. Seriously, I've never seen anything like it!

As of today we've processed and issued credits for everything that has arrived up through around Sept 10th, but lots of new TI boxes are hitting the dock daily so we will likely remain a couple days behind issuing credit codes until the volume lightens up a bit. Not to worry, just be patient and expect that it will take us a couple extra days than normal to get you your trade in credit code once your stuff arrives. Thanks in advance for your patience!

Update: Also, while I'm on it, I wanted to mention to everyone that, while we can accept almost any licensed product for trade in credit as long as it's in excellent condition, PLEASE DO NOT send us any Hong Kong or Taiwanese bootleg DVD sets. These are pretty easy to spot because they are usually 'All Region' encoded and have Chinese writing on them, or have a Chinese language dub or subtitles. We cannot return these to you if you send them us, they must be destroyed (and we do indeed destroy them), so please don't include them in your trade in package unless you just want to get rid of them.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Spice and Wolf Delayed - Pushed Back to December 22nd

Funi just let us know that the release of the Spice and Wolf Season 1 Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set has been delayed.

The street date has been bumped back a month from Nov 24th to Dec 22nd, which still means it will be released before the holidays. We should still have it available for shipment during early December, well before Christmas.

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.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Bandai December 09 Releases Now Available for Pre-Order:

We have received the December release schedule from Bandai, and we now have those releases posted to the store site for pre-order:

Code Geass Lelouch of the Rebellion R2 DVD Bundle #3
Code Geass Lelouch of the Rebellion R2 DVD Bundle #3 (Limited Edition)

No, we didn't leave anything out. That's the whole thing. They have also given us the following date changes:

Gundam 00 , Vol #2 DVD (Eps #10-17) - Sep 29 to Oct 6
Gundam 00 , Vol #2 DVD Special Edition (Eps #10-17)
- Sep 29 to Oct 6
Code Geass Lelouch of the Rebellion R2 DVD Bundle #2 (DVD #3-4)
- Oct 6 to Oct 20
Code Geass Lelouch of the Rebellion R2 DVD Bundle #2 (Limited Edition) - Oct 6 to Oct 20

Don't say it, I'm thinking it too.

9/11 Remembrance

8 years ago today I was in the shower when Jamie peaked in and said she saw on the news that a plane had crashed into one of the World Trade Center buildings. 10 minutes later I was standing in a towel in the living room watching CNN and saw the second plane crash live and I will never forget the sinking feeling I had because I knew we were under attack by someone and I could not imagine how many people were in those buildings or what else that day would have in store for the country. We rushed into the office (our old warehouse building were there was no TV) and sat and listened to the radio for over an hour while the pentagon got hit, and then later came the announcement that the first WTC building had collapsed.

I got all our employees together and told them that we would not be filling any tickets that day, and that everyone needed to go home and make sure their friends and family were OK. We turned off the lights and locked up, and on our way home they announced on the radio that the second WTC building had collapsed, and that another plane had crashed in Pennsylvania. When we got home, we made a few calls to relatives and friends, and just hunkered down and watched the news for the rest of the day. It was one of the saddest days of my life.

So today we remember. God bless you all.

Army Major Tom Hanson pays respect to his friend Captain Cliff Patterson, Jr.,
who was killed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the Pentagon.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Funimation Fills Out December Release Schedule / Changes Dates

Funi sent over their completed December release schedule today, along with a revised November schedule that includes a bunch of date changes. Here's what we've got...

The following December releases are now available for pre-order (these are in addition to the Dec release previously announced):

Baccano! Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set
Case Closed Movie #3 The Last Wizard of the Century DVD
Case Closed Movie #4 Captured in Her Eyes DVD
Dragonaut: The Resonance TV Series DVD Boxed Set #2 (Eps #14-26)
El Cazador de la Bruja TV Series Collection Part #2 DVD Boxed Set (Eps #14-26)
Guyver Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Viridian Collection)
Le Chevalier D'Eon Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-24) (Viridian Collection)
School Rumble Season 1 & 2 + OVA Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-52)
Tsubasa RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE Season 2, Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set

In addition Funi has rescheduled these two releases from Nov 24th to Dec 15th:

El Cazador de la Bruja TV Series Collection Part #1 DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-13) - Nov 24 to Dec 15
One Piece Season 2 Part 4 DVD Boxed Set (Eps #92-104) (Uncut) - Nov 24 to Dec 15

Funi has pushed these Nov and Dec releases off the 2009 schedule and into the 1st quarter of next year. Technically new dates have not been set for them as of yet, so we've put the estimated dates on them for now (which will be subject to change). It's a rich tapestry:

Case Closed Season #3 DVD Box Set (Eps #53-78) (Uncut & Unedited) (Viridian Collection) - Nov 17 to Mar 30 (Estimated)
Familiar of Zero DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-13) (Viridian Collection) - Nov 3 to Mar 30 (Estimated)
Gunslinger Girl Season 1 DVD Boxed Set (BLURAY) - Dec 1 to Mar 16 (Estimated)
Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-13) (Viridian Collection) - Nov 10 to Mar 30 (Estimated)
Utawarerumono Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-26) (Viridian Collection) - Nov 3 to Mar 30 (Estimated)
Vexille 2077 Nippon Sakoku Movie Special Edition DVD (Viridian Collection) - Nov 10 to Mar 30 (Estimated)
Vexille 2077 Nippon Sakoku Movie Special Edition DVD (BLURAY)
- Nov 10 to Mar 30 (Estimated)

Finally, Funi had originally planned a reprice on the Moonlight Mile DVD Boxed Set on Nov 24th, but that has been canceled - at least for now. I haven't confirmed this, but they are probably planning to let the current box fall out of print once existing stocks dry up. Probably not too many people out there will notice when that one's gone... -_^

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Funimation Lowers MSRP on Save Me! Lollipop

Funimation has announced they have reduced the MSRP by 25% on the Save Me! Lollipop Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-12)(Item # FN-08430) from $39.98 to $29.98.

We have reduced our discounted price accordingly from $28.98 to $21.98, and have the sets in stock and ready to ship. :-)

Synopsis: Nina was just another girl who dreamed of finding a prince to defend her honor and protect her from harm. Little did she know, two such boys would fall from the sky! Zero and Ichii are sorcerers from another world taking part in a test. The only way to pass the curious quiz? Find the coveted Crystal Pearl! It's going to be tough - other examinees seek the jewel as well, and some will stop at nothing to capture the prize. Oh, and Nina ate the Crystal Pearl after mistaking it for a piece of candy! Ichii and Zero vow to protect her until the coveted bauble can be reclaimed. Nina's fantasy of a devoted guardian has come to life... but with danger at every turn, there's a chance this dream come true might end up a nightmare!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

RACS - Labor Day Holiday Hours

The Anime Corner Store fulfillment center and HQ will be closed as of close of business today (5pm EST Thursday, Sept 3rd) through Monday Sept 7th for the Labor Day holiday.

We'll be processing orders up through about 3-4 pm this afternoon for shipment today, and we'll be back on Tuesday the 8th to start processing the backlog. It will be fabulous to have 4 days off in a row (it will be the first mini vacation we've had this year), and I'm sure we'll regret it when we return on Tuesday (-_^) to a four foot tall stack of pending orders, so please be a little more patient than usual with us next week while we catch up. The newsletter will go out at it's regular time tomorrow afternoon, but we'll be off.

Have a great holiday weekend everyone, and enjoy your Anime! :-)

Section 23 Films November Releases - Now Available for Pre-Order

Section 23 Films, the new company that has taken over distribution of ADV's former releases, has announced their November new release schedule, and it's a good one.

The following November releases are now available on the store site for pre-order:

Blue Drop (Tenshi-tachi no Gikyoku) Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-13)
Polyphonica (Shinkyoku Sôkai Polyphonica) Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-12)
Special A DVD Collection #1 (Eps #1-12)
Sugar, A Little Snow Fairy DVD Collection #2 (Eps #14-26)
Tears to Tiara DVD Collection #1 (Eps #1-13)
You're Under Arrest TV Season 2 DVD Collection #1 (Eps #1-13)

All of the above are being published by Sentai Filmworks, which apparently released from whatever previous legal obligations with ADV Films had been holding it up, will now be cranking out new material to be distributed through the new Section 23 Films company. The legal and ethical details aside, we (as fans) seem to be the benefactors of their new business arrangements. :-)

Series Synopsis:

Blue Drop (Tenshi-tachi no Gikyoku)
Mari Wakatake has been living with her Grandmother for the past 5 years after a tragedy caused the loss of her home, friends and family, as well as her memories. Fearing for her future, her Grandmother admits her into Kaihou Academy, for her to make friends, instead of home studying. Although reluctant to go, she does and meets Hagino Sekonji. At first appearance, this girl appears like a normal student but inside her lies a deep secret that relates to the tragedy of 5 years ago.

Polyphonica (Shinkyoku Sôkai Polyphonica)
In the continent of Polyphonica, Spirits materialized in the world, surviving on the music that is played by humans, and lives together with them. While the spirits doesn’t appear often, some spirits has enough power to materialize in human or animal forms and live together with humans. Dantists, who play special music called “Commandia,” are widely respected in this world. They also usually are in contract with powerful spirits. The story of Shinkyoku Sōkai Polyphonica revolves around the new Dantist, Phoron Tatara, the spirit that he made contract with, Corticarte Apa Lagranges, and their friends, in their daily life and work.

Special A (S.A.)
Hikari Hanazono, the main character, has always been second to Kei Takishima. While Hikari considers Kei a rival and somewhat of a friend, Kei loves Hikari. Everyone knows this, but she is too dense to notice. Their wrestling loving fathers first introduced them to one another when they were 6 years old. Assuming that she was the best in wrestling, young Hikari challenged Kei to a wrestling match only to be thoroughly defeated by him. Ever since that fateful incident, Hikari swore to beat Kei in school grades, a sporting event - anything. To do this she has enrolled in the same school as Kei since elementary. Now she attends Hakusenkan, an ultra elite school, that costs her carpenter father a lot of money. Hikari and Kei are the top two students in the school, with Kei holding firmly to that number one position.

Tears to Tiara
Set in a fictitious land during a medieval-like era of magic and fantasy, Tears to Tiara unfolds with the Divine Empire’s rise to power as it conquers and rules lands far and wide. On the island of Erin, still ruled by the Ancient Kingdom, the Goidelic people are attempting to sacrifice priestess Riannon to revive protagonist and demon king Arawn to lead the resistance against the Empire. Although the ritual fails and Riannon survives, the seal imprisoning the demon king is broken and Arawn is resurrected. Armed with mysterious and devastating powers and a human’s demeanour, Arawn joins Riannon, her brother and battalion commander, Arthur, as well as their team of fighters comprising a swordsman, an archer and a quintet of magical pixies, in the epic struggle against the Divine Empire.

You're Under Arrest TV Season 2
Megami Sama creator, Kosuke Fujishima, is back with the second season of Taiho Schihauzo (You're Under Arrest). Same characters, two policewomen, the gentle Miyuki and the wild Natsumi teamed up together in Bokuto police station's traffic division.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

ADV Films Shuts Down - Section 23 Films Takes Over Title Distribution

Hot off the wire via ANN:

"A.D. Vision has announced that it is shutting down after transferring its assets to several other companies that will continue its operations. AEsir Holdings has acquired selected programming from ADV's film library along with other intellectual property. The SXION 23 (Section23 Films) home video distribution company will assume account servicing and distribution operations for AEsir's assets. Valkyrie Media Partners has acquire 100% of ADV's Anime Network television unit, while Seraphim Studios has ADV's Amusement Park Media production unit.

Former ADV Films staffer Chris Oarr has notified ANN that several former staffers have been hired by SXION 23 and the other companies.

Update: All of the new companies are officially based in Houston, the home of A.D. Vision. SXION 23's business filing was dated on May 20, while AEsir Holdings, Valkyrie Media Partners, and Seraphim Studios were filed eight days later on May 28. SXION 23, Valkyrie Media Partners, and Seraphim Studios share the same address in western Houston, 8 miles (13 kilometers) from A.D. Vision. Sentai Filmworks, another business entity for which A.D. Vision and Amusement Park Media handled distribution and production, is also located in western Houston."

What is it about September? Anime companies always fail in September. Well folks, it's not like we didn't see this coming. We're digesting the info, I'll have more on this in a few hours.

Update: John Ledford comments in the official announcement:

"We believe the actions we initiated and completed provided the same or more value to the Company's secured lender and its programming licensors while giving other key stakeholders such as employees and customers some potential value or the reasonable probability of realizing value."

I'm not sure what that means. As of 3:pm EST today all e-mail addresses at ADV HQ are bouncing. I'm going to try to make a few calls later this afternoon and see if I can get anymore details. More later.

UPDATE: Just got off the phone with Mike Baliff, formerly of ADV Films who is now heading up Sales and Marketing at the new company Section 23 Films. Section 23 has acquired all of ADV's former licenses and most of the staff (including Chris Oarr, Destiny, Michelle, everyone formerly at ADV that mattered), and is picking up distribution of all former ADV titles, so the DVD's will remain available and our orders will just be processed and filled by the new company. That means the changeover will be pretty much transparent to you guys. This includes pre-order items in the pipeline but not yet released. They will still be coming out, and the schedule will not change. We'll be updating our catalog over the next few days to reflect Section 23 as the new distributor of ADV's (former) titles. I also think it's worth mentioning that John Ledford is not part of the new company. Thanks very much to Mike for calling me personally to walk us through the changeover. Mike and I go back a long way, maybe 10 or 11 years, and I feel like ADV's former line of products could not have fallen into better hands.

UPDATE: Chris MacDonald over at ANN has written an editorial regarding what happened:

"So really, what was announced today? While the details will come out in the next few days, it's pretty obvious that it's not much more than a corporate restructuring that moves intellectual assets away from a dysfunctional corporate entity that has credit problems and hostile shareholders."

That seems about right to me based on what we were told today, so he's pretty much on the mark. The only real question is who will be running things now and making decisions at the new companies - not that it really matters - but I'll have a few more feelings of my own regarding this in this weeks newsletter.