Monday, July 30, 2012

NIS Announces Umineko: When They Cry BLURAY Premiums for December!

NIS has sent over the paperwork for their Umineko: When They Cry BLURAY premium releases, which they announced Friday at Okakon, and we now have them up on the store site for pre-order:

Umineko: When They Cry Collection #1 BLURAY (Eps #1-18) (Premium Edition) - Dec 4
Umineko: When They Cry Collection #2 BLURAY (Eps #19-26) (Premium Edition) - Dec 4

Each collection includes a hardcover art book (full color, approx. 28 pages) which will provide a deeper understanding of the series with an in-depth story analysis, detailed character bios, and character sketches.

Both sets will be subtitled only and published on BLURAY format (no standard DVD version), and are scheduled for release on Dec 4th.

Synopsis: The affluent Ushiromiya family patriarch, Kinzo, is on his deathbed, and his family has assembled at their private island to discuss the division of his estate. As they bicker over their father’s immense inheritance, a typhoon closes in, trapping them on the island. They suddenly receive an eerie word of warning...and then, in the dead of night, the murders begin. One by one, family members are discovered murdered in bizarre and inhuman ways. Some within the family turn to superstition, blaming it on a witch rumored to inhabit the island. But one of them—the young Battler Ushiromiya—refuses to accept the supernatural and vows to uncover the real killer behind the seemingly impossible slaughters. He soon finds himself confronted by the apparent witch, and enters into a life-or-death battle for the truth.

Also, at NIS's Otakon panel over the weekend:

Our friend Mitsu Hiraoka discussed the company’s approach to releasing anime as a premium product. While they recognize the interest for English dubs, Hiraoka stated “…we wouldn’t be here as a publisher” if the company were to try releasing dubbed products and they didn’t do well. Acknowledging the problem of fansubs and piracy, Hiraoka pointed to their use of high quality packaging and extras such as their full color art books to differentiate their product and offer something more to fans. Hiraoka also talked about their standards for the anime they release, commenting that they are generally “anti-Fan Service” and that the company looks for “story-driven” anime and comedy such as Ghastly Prince Enma or Toradora.

After Hiraoka finished, NIS's localization director Eugene Chen discussed the localization of English subtitles. Using clips from Ghastly Prince Enma, Chen demonstrated three different approaches to translation: a “literal approach”, “westernization” and translation of meaning. The clip for the literal approach included obscure references to Japanese pop culture in the 70s, while the westernization clip substituted a reference to Mick Jagger for the original reference to a Japanese singer. The clip for the translation of meaning included an exchange dealing in language puns, with one character saying “there’s norway out!” and another saying “Let’s finnish this!” The original Japanese contained a similar joke that would have made no sense with a literal translation, so NISA went this option. Chen remarked that they want to get the spirit of what the original show was going for.

As for the process of subtitling itself, Chen explained that they read or watch anything related to the shows the company is working on and work from the same script the voice actors use. After a translator translates a script into English and an editor edits that the script, they screen their show throughout the company and then do a final proofread. Chen stated that takes about three months to get a product ready for viewing. During the panel’s Q and A session, it was also made clear that NIS America creates its subtitle scripts in-house from scratch; they never draw on subtitle scripts from Crunchyroll or anywhere else.
The folks at NIS really are class acts, and we really appreciate the efforts they are putting into their Anime releases. I could not imagine an easier company to work with, and they show a dedication to Anime fans that demonstrates a real love for the medium. We desperately need more of that in the industry these days.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Funimation Adds SteinsGate, Bumps Shakugan no Shana Season 2

Funimation sent over an interim release update today to let us know that they have decided to add SteinsGate to the schedule for release at the end of September:

SteinsGate Collection Part #1 DVD/BD Combo Set (Eps #1-12) - Sep 25

And because they can't have two 'A' list titles streeting on the same day, they have also bumped the release of Shana Season 2 up a couple of week to Oct 16th:

Shana (Shakugan no Shana) Season 2 Part 1 Complete DVD/BD Box - Sep 25 to Oct 16
Shana (Shakugan no Shana) Season 2 Part 2 Complete DVD/BD Box - Sep 25 to Oct 16

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Media Blasters Hangs On - Licenses Ai No Kusabi Anime

In a bit of a surprise announcement, the folks at Media Blasters announced yesterday that they have licensed the Ai no Kusabi anime series. The four-episode remake series adapts Rieko Yoshihara's boys-love novels.  So they are still hanging on as a going concern.

Of course, history tells us to be wary of these summer announcements from them - Remember Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei? I hope they get it out though, MB is the only company left on the street that would try to license and release a Shonen Ai title like Kusabi.

They currently 'plan' to release Ai no Kusabi in December. Well see...

Ai no Kusabi Synopsis: The story is set in the future on the planet named Amoi which is controlled by a supercomputer named Jupiter. Among the mostly male human population, the light-haired elite class is allowed to temporarily keep the dark-haired "mongrels" as pets. One elite member, Iason, encounters a mongrel named Riki in the slums and decides to take him in. However, Iason keeps Riki longer than it is socially approved, and rumors abound about their possible relationship.

UPDATE: Media Blasters has also licensed the semi-adult title Aki Sora: Yume no Naka, which they will be releasing under the Kitty label. This is the first new adult license they have picked up in some time. No date or details for the release has been announced.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Our New Family Member

OK, what have I been doing this week in my spare time you ask? Well, we have a new unexpected family member I wanted to tell everyone about. Here's the story...

Jamie and I took a long needed break last weekend and went up to the mountains in Tucker co (WV). We've been going up there for several years for getaway weekends, and especially enjoy it during the summer because it gives us an opportunity to unplug and get back to nature. Hiking, kayaking, biking, wildlife, old growth forest and all that. There are places up there that are very remote, and thus have no Internet or cel phone access, and we love that. Plus it's one of the darkest places (at night) left on the east coast and the night sky there is simply amazing.

So anyway, we stayed late last Sunday and came home pretty late, starting the 4 hour trek back home around 11:00pm. We usually come back home via US50, which is a twisty single lane road that runs through the mountains, but since it was so late and I was concerned about the deer on the road, we decided to come back via the southern route on the new dual lane US55 which now has been completed between Formen and Wardensville WV. It's a little further, but much safer driving late at night. So instead of making our half way potty stop in Romney on US50, we made it in Moorefield (both towns have Sheets stores, which are open 24/7 and have gas/food/ and restrooms). So here we are, coming out of the Sheets in Moorefield around 1:30am Monday morning with sandwiches and sodas in our hands when we stumbled across a little orange Kitten on the sidewalk surrounded by a group of 9 or 10 slack jawed gawkers who were commenting about how cute it was but were not making any moves to do anything to help it at all.

Jamie and I have been cat people all our lives, and knew this kitten was in big trouble. First, it was clear he was really sick, dehydrated, and emaciated - plus he was very dirty, and he was so small could not have been more than 4 or 5 weeks old. He was very friendly though, so it was clear he was not feral. The crew at the Sheetz said he had been there hanging around the store parking lot since around 9pm. We figured he came from a family litter and some asshole must have dumped him close by because he was sick and they could not afford to take him to the vet. The two cats (girls) that we currently have had for 5 years were originally ASPCA rescues from a litter that some fuck hole left in a dumpster inside a styrofoam cooler to die - but someone found them in time and took them to a local shelter. We have always gotten our cats from the shelter or from rescue - it's a rule here.

This little guy was clearly very weak, and was either going to get run over in the parking lot or die soon of dehydration. When we first saw him a guy was shooing him away from the front door of the Sheetz to keep him from getting crushed in it or stepped on. Being basically in the middle of no where and still hours away from civilization, we bought some water and asked the store manager for a cardboard box. Some guy who had been standing there doing nothing but looking at him the whole time thanked me for taking him. I told that guy in no uncertain terms to screw off, and Jamie put the little guy in the cardboard box, put the box in her lap, and we set off for home figuring that if he expired before we got there at least he was with us and not under someones truck tire. Jamie tried to give him water on the way home, but he was frothing at the mouth and I figured he had gotten into something toxic (like licking diesel fuel or antifreeze) and would only live a few more hours. His eyes were swollen and almost completely crusted shut, and he was lethargic, breathing shallow, and moving very little.

When we got him home he was still hanging on, so we setup our big cat cage (which is actually a dog cage) in the garage (we had to segregate him from our other cats because he was sick), wrapped him in some spare towels, and tried to get him to take water. We stayed up with him all night applying warm compresses to his face to try to clean up some of the hard crust that was keeping his eyes shut and brushing the dirt and grim out of his fur - and after a couple of hours he finally stopped frothing at the mouth and took a little water. We were very happy about this, because it meant he had a chance to survive. Exhausted, we finally left him sleeping safe in his cage around 6am and grabbed a couple hours sleep. The next morning Jamie got up early and ran him up to our vet to get treated. The vet told us he was in really bad shape, and had a number of problems including a severe eye and respiratory infection, and some other more minor problems like ear mites. He was also dehydrated, weak, and probably hadn't eaten in at least 2 days.

Jamie called me and I ran out and picked up some KMR (a good mothers milk replacement), some solid kitten food and a high calorie nutritional supplement. The supplement is like a paste and you can put a little on your finger and get him to lick it off, and a sick cat can usually take that even if they can't pallet solid food yet. After more warm compresses, brushing, and a little mothers milk during the course of the day given via a syringe and later a bottle, his eyes started to look a lot better. We also started him on an antibiotic regimen via syringe, and the vet gave us and flush and special antibiotic drops for his eyes to treat that infection too.

We worked remotely from home on Monday and Tuesday so we could take turns caring for him, and after 2 days he was clearly feeling better, the infections were starting to clear up and he even started to take a little solid food, and then lap mothers milk and also regular water out of a bowl. By Wednesday he finally started to purr when he was being groomed and had an audible meow again, and by Thursday he started to get a little playful where up until then all he did was pretty much sleep. He even looks like he's put on a little weight.

So I think we've got him over the hump and that he won't have any major problems going forward. We haven't gotten much sleep this week though, so that's what I'm going to be catching up on this weekend. Because of the infections and the mites, he'll probably have to stay segregated from our other cat's for two or three weeks because we cannot treat the mites until he is healthier, plus we have to make sure his infections are completely gone. Since our other two cats are all orange and he looks just like them, we've decided to keep him and add him to our family here. Our current cats are named after characters from Dune (Alia and Chani), so we're going to name this little guy Duke Leto. After all, the sleeper must awaken...

Here's some pictures of Duke Leto, taken today and feeling and looking MUCH better:

See, he'll fit right in over here... :-)

Friday, July 20, 2012


Spend $100 or more on your favorite in stock Anime items this weekend and you can save an additional 10% off throughout the store!! This includes special price and out of print items - pretty much EVERYTHING we carry!! (except for pre-orders)

To save an additional 10% off any in stock order over $100, just use the following coupon code during checkout:


The more you purchase the more you save, so be sure to take advantage of this great opportunity to load up on some of the Anime stuff you've had your eye on! US customers can combine this offer with our super saver shipping option to save even more on your favorite in stock Anime series, Manga, Figure, or Character Items!

Valid for new orders of IN STOCK items only (no pre-order items please).
Offer expires at midnight EST on July 24th, so don't wait!!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Media Blasters Summer / Fall Schedule Updates

We got in some updates from Media Blasters today. In addition to adding their October and November releases, we have quite a few date changes from their already once revised summer schedule. Here's what everything looks like after the updates:

Otoboku: Maidens Are Falling For Me Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Classic Collection) - Jul 24 to Aug 28
Step Up Love Story Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Classic Collection) - Jul 10 to Sep 11
Nighthead Genesis Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Classic Collection) - Aug 14 to Oct 23
Ah My Buddha (Amaenaideyo!!) Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-26) (Classic Collections) - Aug 14 to Oct 23
Doujin Work Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-12) (Classic Collection) - Aug 14 to Oct 23

Kite BLURAY (Remastered) - Sep 11
Step Up Love Story Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Classic Collection) - Sep 11
Gao-Gai-Gar Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-49) - Oct 9
Fushigi Yugi Season 2 Collection DVD - Oct 23
Queen's Blade and Queens Blade 2 Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Both Seasons!) - Nov 13

So pretty much the remainder of June and their entire July schedule has been put off until late August or later. With no new streets for almost 2 months, I'm not sure what they are going to live on over the summer - we're just keeping our fingers crossed...

Friday, July 06, 2012

NIS Announces Natsume's Book of Friends DVD Premium Edition for October!

NIS has sent over the paperwork for their Natsume's Book of Friends Seasons 1 and 2 DVD Collection and we now have it up on the store site for pre-order:

Natsume's Book of Friends Seasons 1 and 2 DVD Collection (Premium Edition)

This premium edition includes a hardcover art book, “Natsume’s Book of Friends,” (full color, 32 pages) which provides a deeper viewing experience with close-up info of the characters, an interview with director Takahiro Omori, an episode guide, rough character sketches, and Japanese DVD package illustrations.

This will be a DVD only set and the release date is set for October 9th.

Synopsis: Natsume has always been an outcast because he inherited his grandmother Reiko’s ability to see yokai (strange beings that are invisible to most people). After moving to his grandmother’s hometown and accidentally releasing a yokai who was imprisoned in a Lucky Cat statue, he learns about one of his grandmother's keepsakes, her “Book of Friends,” which contains the names of the yokai she defeated, and allows its wielder to command the yokai named within. Since then, his life has gotten much more hectic, and yokai now visit him on a daily basis, seeking to either get their names back or take possession of the Book of Friends...

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Happy Independence Day!

This will always be my America:

Growing up in the 80's was so awesome! Happy balated Independence Day wishes to everyone!