Wednesday, May 25, 2011

There May Be Hope for Some of TokyoPop's Former Manga Licenses

About Manga is reporting that (per TokyoPop's facebook page) all of former TokyoPop's international manga licenses will immediately revert back to their original owners, rather than being held by the company's remaining media division until the contracts expire. Probably because they have told the license holders that no further royalty payments will be forthcoming for those series.

This will, at the very least, give other interested publishers the opportunity to license series formerly published by TokyoPop without having to wait for TP's licenses to expire.

The status of original indigenous series TokyoPop held is still a little murky. Writers like Becky Cloonan (whose East Coast Rising comic was published through Tokyopop's "Global Manga" program), blogger Johanna Draper-Carlson, and blogger and comic creator Jason Thompson, have expressed concern over the status of their series since TokyoPop technically still owns to rights to them.

Publisher Digital Manga (DMP) has said on thier Twitter account today that they are looking into the possibility of rescuing some of Tokyopop's former titles. DMP publishes mostly Shonen Ai and Yaoi manga here in the North America, and it's not clear if DMP is looking at all of TokyoPop's former licenses, or only the series formerly published under TP's BLU label.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Katanagatari and Arakawa Under the Bridge Premium Edition DVD/BD Box Art

NIS has send over the final box art for the upcoming Katanagatari and Arakawa Under the Bridge premium edition DVD/BD combo sets, and I wanted to share it with you as it's pretty awesome:

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Section 23 Picks Up Amagami SS and MM!

Section 23 announced at their Anime Central panel this weekend that they have acquired Amagami SS and the MM! TV anime series, which they intend to release this September.

Amagami SS is based on the PlayStation 2 romance simulation game Amagami by Enterbrain

Amagami SS
A second-year high school boy finds himself uneasy during Christmas time due to an experience in the past. However, this year at Christmas, he gets his last chance to ask out a graduating female senior named Haruka Morishima — or one of several other classmates. The story of the anime will be arranged in an omnibus format, with each heroine getting her own version of the story animated. Each heroine will sing her own version of the ending theme song.

The story centers the life of Taro Sado going through high school. He came to realize his masochist personality and attempts to conceal this from his crush. To fix it, he enrolled in his school's "2nd Volunteer Club".

Funimation Picks Up Fullmetal Alchemist: Star of Milos film / Is this a Zombie?

Funimation announced at their Anime Central panel this weekend that they have acquired of the upcoming Fullmetal Alchemist movie: The Sacred Star of Milos (Fullmetal Alchemist: Milos no Sei-Naru Hoshi) and Is This A Zombie? (Kore wa Zombie Desu ka?)

Fullmetal Alchemist: Star of Milos is set to open in Japan on July 2, and is a stand-alone story and not part of the original or "Brotherhood" storylines.

Is This A Zombie? (Kore wa Zombie Desu ka?)
Aikawa Ayumu is a normal high school boy. One day he is killed by a serial killer and revived as a zombie by a necromancer named Eucliwood Hellscythe. He starts to serve Eu as her guard but he happens to deprive the mahou shoujo Haruna of her magic power. Haruna orders Ayumu to fight against the anti-mahou shoujo system "Megalo" in her place.

Toradora Standard Editions - Now Available for Pre-Order!

NIS is working hard to have something special on tap in time for AX, and Friday they announced Standard Editions of Toradora for release July 5th alongside the already announced standard version of Wagnaria.

We now have them available for pre-order:

Toradora! Collection 1 Standard Edition DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-13)
Toradora! Collection 2 Standard Edition DVD Boxed Set (Eps #14-26)

Set #1 will contain as bonus material: Toradora! SOS! Hurray for Gourmands #1 - Gobbling up little lives, Lumpy and Delicious - Viva Tarako Spaghetti; Toradora! SOS! Hurray for Gourmands #2 - Sweets for Kids, aka Pudding, High purine? Or low purine?; Clean OP/ED

Set #2 will contain as bonus material: Toradora! SOS! Hurray for Gourmands #3 - In India, Right Hand for Curry, Left for the Bathroom, Keep Dragging On, The Way of Curry!; Toradora! SOS! Hurray for Gourmands #4 - Don't be judgmental!, It's what everyone loves and cherishes, pink and fatty corned beef.; Clean OP/ED; Clean ED from EP19, 21, 24, 25

Each set will also include a small story guide leaflet.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Funimation Delays Baka & Test, Next DBZ Kai, Others

Funimation sent over a short list of date bumps today, which is an effect of them try to round out the late June / early July schedule a little better. Here are the changes:

Dragonball Z Kai Season 1 Part 5 DVD Boxed Set (Eps #53-65) - Jun 7 to Jun 28
Dragonball Z Kai Season 1 Part 5 DVD Boxed Set (Eps #53-65) (BLURAY) - Jun 7 to Jun 28
Baka and Test Complete CollectionDVD/BLURAY Combo Set (Eps #1-13) (Limited Edition) - Jun 28 to Jul 12
Sgt Frog (Keroro Gunso) Season 3 Part 1 DVD Boxed Set (Eps #52-64) - Jun 28 to Jul 12
Gungrave Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Classic Collection) - Jun 28 to Jul 19
Gungrave Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Classic Collection) - Jun 28 to Jul 19

Funimation also put out a price correction for the Tsubasa RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE Season 2 Collection BLURAY Box Set(Eps #27-52)(S.A.V.E. Edition), which was supposed to be priced at $34.98 MSRP. No worries, we already had the correct price for it on the store (we're pretty intuitive about these things) so no changes are necessary if you have already pre-ordered it.

Have a great weekend everyone! :-)

Monday, May 16, 2011

AMV - Life is Beautiful

A really nice compellation with clips from Death Note, D.Gray-man, Kuroshitsuji, 07 Ghost, Gunslinger Girl, Vampire Knight, Code Geass, Fullmetal Alchemist, Naruto, Paranoia Agent, Haruhi, Soul Eater, Gurren Lagann, Zetsubou Sensei, and many more:

Song is Life Is Beautiful (the Radio Mix) by Sixx:A.M.

Michael's Black Lagoon Itansha

While we both wait patiently for Season #3 to (hopefully) be released stateside, long time RACS fan Michael J. sent me over a pic of his Black Lagoon Itansha featuring Revy.

Sweetness! OK, now I MUST get the tank on my Road King repainted. Thanks Mike!

Bike is a 2005 Honda CBR 600RR.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Funimation Will Release Kuragehime (Princess Jellyfish) on DVD/BD

Funimation announced on it's blog yesterday that it has acquired the home video rights to the Romantic Comedy Princess Jellyfish (Kuragehime), which it simulcasted this past fall. Funimation said they decided to release the series on DVD after receiving a positive response to a Facebook inquiry. Funi is planning to release the series on both DVD and BluRay in 2012.

Synopsis: Amamizukan is an apartment complex where no boys are allowed. Kurashita Tsukimi, a girl who adores jellyfish, lives there happily with her friends who all have nerdy obsessions of their own. Their peaceful lives gradually start to change when a beautiful woman helps Tsukimi out of a pinch. She stays overnight at the apartments -- but it turns out "she" is really a "he."

Anime OP's with a Twist

OMG, I almost spit out my coffee when Eva Unit 01 appreared! Enjoy!


Fist of the NorthStar:

Captain Tsubasa

Hat tip to Judy for sending over!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Gantz Live Action DVD & BLURAY Coming Aug 30th

Warner Home Video has announced Viz's release of the Gantz Live Action movie on DVD and BluRay coming August 30th. We have it up on the site now for pre-order:

Gantz Movie DVD / BLURAY Combo (Live Action)
Gantz Movie DVD (Live Action)

Synopsis: Kei Kurono and his childhood friend Masaru Kato attempt to save a man who has fallen onto the train tracks but are run down by an oncoming train. However, rather than finding themselves dead, they are transported to a strange apartment in which they find a mysterious black orb known as ‘GANTZ’. Along with others there, they are provided weaponry and sent on missions to battle alien beings. Is this world, which tests your will to survive, a game or reality?

My Little Pony Meets the Watchmen

I just can't stop watching this:

Media Blasters July Releases - Now Available for Pre-Order!

Media Blasters has released their July sales book, and we now have it up on the store site for pre-order.

Here's what's coming:

Kite: Liberator DVD (Special Edition) - Jul 5
Queen's Blade 2: The Evil Eye Series, Collection #2 (Eps #7-12) - Jul19
Twelve Kingdoms Part 1: Shadow of the Moon, Sea of Shadow BLURAY (Eps #1-14) - Jul 26

Just a quick note. As far as I can tell from the solicitation, the Kite: Liberator 'Special Edition' looks to be exactly the same DVD as the previous edition - just with new cover art. Price is the same also, so I think MB is just filling in the gaps with a re-release here. I think we'll need to see something more than BD re-releases and new Queens Blade episodes from them soon, or we'll know what direction they heading in.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Yu Yu Hakusho 1080p BD vs. SD DVD Comparison

A little propoganda from Funimation showing the improvements in the upcoming Yu Yu Hakusho BLURAY editions:

Name Those Characters - Senjō no Valkyria

One of my favorite images from Senjō no Valkyria, a series I would really like to see get licensed for R1 release.

First person to e-mail me correctly naming the three characters (full names please) AND which platoon they belong to wins a $5 RACS gift code:

Good luck!

UPDATE: Ichben got it first with Gallia- 7th platoon: Alicia Melchiott & Welkin Gunther & Gallian Militia- 1st Platoon: Faldio Landzaat. Thanks to everyone who sent in their answer!

Wagnaria Premium Edition Restocks Delayed - Now Scheduled for Late May

NIS America has been assuring us - as late as last Friday - that the final pressing of the Wagnaria premium collection would be shipping to retailers on May 11th, so we expected to have it sometime late this week. They even worked in some other restocks to ship on the same date.

We'll, in the typical fashion of only a Japanese run US based studio operation, they informed us today that the final pressing of Wagnaria will be delayed until around the end of May:

"It has come to our attention that there occurred a problem in manufacturing process for WAGNARIA!! Premium Edition 2nd batch. In order for us to build and deliver perfect products to our customers, we have decided to postpone the schedule for a certain period. Current estimate of the dispatch will be the end of May, we will update you once we had a fixed date."

Can you hear me banging my head against my desk? Since we have so many pre-billed back orders and hold tickets currently sitting on the shelf waiting for the set, this is obviously going to cause us about 2,000 headaches and if you listen to the talk around the office this morning you'll know that NIS is not our favorite company at the moment, temporarily replacing Bandai (for a few days at least) as the largest source of angst for us as a retailer of Anime DVD's. I've been e-mailing customers constantly for the last few days assuring them that we would be shipping these sets in a few days, and now, of course, I feel like a complete idiot for trusting in a date given to me by a studio. After about 7,480 missed dates over the years by just about everyone, you'd think I'd know better.

Anyway, if you currently have a multi-item order holding for this set, we are going to modify your ticket today so that we can ship your other items out now, and we will place the Wagnaria set on back order for you and will ship it (at our expense) once they do finally arrive - whenever that is. I also want to apologize to everyone for this. I don't like it when we make a commitment to you and then can't meet it, even if the situation is out of our control. If you have any concerns about your order for Wagnaria, please don't hesitate to drop us a line so we can address it.

Section 23 August Releases - Now Available for Pre-Order!

Section 23 has sent over their August release schedule, and it's a good one! We now have it up on the store site for pre-order - here's what's coming:

Maid Sama (Kaichô wa Maid-sama!) Collection #2 DVD (Eps #14-26) - Aug 2
Kobato Collection #1 DVD (Eps #1-12) - Aug 9
Night Raid 1931 Collection #1 DVD (Eps #1-13) - Aug 16
Night Raid 1931 Collection #1 BLURAY (Eps #1-13) - Aug 16
Samurai Girls (Hyakka Ryôran) Complete Collection DVD (Eps #1-12) - Aug 23
Samurai Girls (Hyakka Ryôran) Complete Collection BLURAY (Eps #1-12) - Aug 23
Neo Angelique Abyss Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Bilingual) (Eps#1-26) - Aug 30

Nice! :-)

Monday, May 09, 2011

PlayStation Network Might Not Be Back Up Fully Before the End of May

According to an article published Sunday on Bloomberg, PSN (the PlayStation Network) might not be up again until the end of May:

"PlayStation Network and Qriocity online services remain shut as of today, Shigenori Yoshida, a Tokyo-based spokesman said. Sony is uncertain when it can resume the services, Yoshida said by phone today. The company is in the process of adopting an improved security system and its plan to restart the services fully by May 31 is unchanged, he said."

Howard Stringer, the CEO of Sony has offered his personal apology for the break in, and announced that Sony will offer $1 Million in identity theft protection for all PSN users. Sony says they will start sending activation e-mails for the protection service out to PSN account holders in the next few days.

I feel bad for all the third party companies that rely on PSN for movie and game software download revenue. This will be 5 weeks worth of cash flow they will never get back. More info here.

And just a reminder to anyone who has needed to cancel their credit card because of PSN getting hacked, be sure to contact us if you have any pending pre-orders in so we can get your payment info updated.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Hatsune Miku Drives a ... ... Toyota?

Toyota now has website dedicated to the combination of Hatsune Miku and the Toyota Corolla, which has been declared the "the official car of Hatsune Miku." Take a look:

For some reason, I always pictured her in a Benz, maybe an SLK. I guess I figured her singing and software gigs paid a little better... (hat tip to Erik for sending!)

Monday, May 02, 2011

Sentai Picks Up Kobato

Sentai Filmworks (Section 23) announced at its Kawaii Kon panel on Saturday that it acquired the Kobato anime series, and said they plan to have it ready for release in August. The anime ran for 24 episodes from 2009 to 2010.

Kobato is a girl who came to earth to fulfill her wish, which is to go to a certain place. To fulfill that wish, she has to find a bottle and fill it with scarred hearts. Together with her "teacher", which is a stuffed animal, she search for the scarred hearts. However she may not fall in love with any person whom she cures the heart of.