Friday, August 31, 2012

Bandai Will Stop Shipping Anime to Retailers In November

Ken Iyodomi, who is the president of Bandai Entertainment, sent us over a letter this morning to give us a heads up on what we've known has been coming and just never had a date for.

He writes:

"I am writing to inform you that Bandai Entertainment Inc in discontinuing its home video publishing and distribution business effective March 1, 2013.

As we methodically wind down the business, the last day that Bandai will be accepting any purchase orders is November 15, 2012, with our last shipments occurring on November 30th, 2012.

On Behalf of Bandai Entertainment Inc, I want to express our gratitude for the opportunity we've had to do business with your company, and I thank you in advance for your understanding and assistance during this period."

Well, we all knew this was coming up. While Bandai's remaining catalog of Anime releases will 'officially' go out of print in November, I just want to remind everyone that quite a few of their SKU's have already stocked out and others will probably sell out prior to the Nov cutoff, so if you need to pull the trigger on any of their stuff, don't wait too much longer.

This also means that current backorders for existing products are less likely to be filled, but we will do whatever we can to bring in as much Bandai stock as we can afford to between now and November.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Upcoming Lain BD to be Native HD , Not an Upscale

A lot of people have been asking if the upcoming Lain BD from Funimation is going to be a native master or an upscale. I asked the product manager in Houston, and he gave us some good news this morning:

"We've been getting a lot of questions about the Lain Blu-ray, it's not an up-res, it is native HD. They actually went back and remastered the whole series, we even have a 24 page restoration booklet (along with a 320 page artbook) included with our release."

So the upcoming Lain set will indeed be Native HD. Sweetness! Bet you're glad you didn't pay $400 for the Japanese BD box... :-)

The set is due to street on November 13th.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Funimation's November 2012 Releases - Now Available for Pre-Order!

Funimation has sent over their November 2012 release schedule, and we now have it up on the store site for pre-order. Here's what's coming:

Sengoku Basara : The Last Party DVD/BD Combo Set - Nov 6
Black Lagoon Season 1-2 Complete DVD/BD Combo Set (Eps #1-24) - Nov 13
Hellsing Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Classic Collection) - Nov 13
Hellsing Ultimate Vol #5-8 DVD/BD Combo Boxed Set - Nov 13
Mass Effect: Paragon Lost DVD/BD Combo Set - Nov 13
Serial Experiments Lain Complete Series DVD/BD Combo Set - Nov 13
Linebarrels of Iron Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-24+OVA) (S.A.V.E.) - Nov 13
Sgt Frog (Keroro Gunso) Season 3 Complete DVD Boxed Set (Eps #52-77) - Nov 13
Tenchi in Tokyo Complete Collection DVD Box - Nov 13
Soul Eater Complete Collection Season 1-2 DVD Box Set (Eps #1-51) - Nov 20
Soul Eater Complete Collection Season 1-2 BLURAY Box Set (Eps #1-51) - Nov 20

Couple of comments:

1) The Black Lagoon set is Season 1 + 2nd Barrage. We're hoping this re-release is a prelude to Funi releasing the Roberta's Blood Trail OVA soon.

2) Lain being re-released domestically on BD is a marvelous thing!

3) We have decided to only pickup the DVD/BD release of Mass Effect and will not be offering the DVD only version. I hope we've priced the combo set so that it's a non-issue for most folks. :-)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Live Action Rurouni Kenshin Trailer

English Trailer for the upcoming live action Rurouni Kenshin movie:

The film premiers in Japan on Aug 25th. Can't wait for the US release! :-)

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Viz Schedules the First Berserk Film for November

Viz has finally announced their release of the first Berserk: The Golden Age Arc movie, which is coming to DVD and BD on November 27th.

We have it up for pre-order on the store site now:

Berserk: The Golden Age Arc I - The Egg of the King DVD - Nov 27
Berserk: The Golden Age Arc I - The Egg of the King BLURAY - Nov 27

The Berserk film trilogy is Studio 4°C's theatrical adaptation of Kentarou Miura's Berserk manga. The trilogy stars Hiroaki Iwanaga (Tomica Hero Rescue Force, Moyashimon, Kamen Rider OOO) as Guts, Takahiro Sakurai (Toriko, Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion, AnoHana) as Griffith, and Toa Yukinari (Grey's Anatomy dubbing, Naruto Shippuden) as Casca. Toshiyuki Kubooka (Batman: Gotham Knight episode 5) is directing the films and Ichiro Okouchi (Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion) is handling the screenplay.

Media Blasters Schedules Ai No Kusabi for Dec / Bumps Kite BD

Media Blasters sent us their latest schedule sheet today, and so far everything on the schedule for this fall is holding firm except for two changes:

First, they have added the boy love title Ai no Kusabi OVA DVD for Dec 4th:

Ai no Kusabi (OVA) DVD - Dec 4

They also bumped the release of the KITE BD again, now all the way back to November:

Kite BLURAY (Remastered) - Sep 11 to Nov 27

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Funimation Bumps Shana Season 2 - Yet Again

Funimation always seems to have one or two totally schizophrenic scheduling fiasco's going on at any one time.

This years top candidate for the most rescheduled title is apparently going to be Shana 2. After just being bumped up last week from Sep to Oct, they have now bumped it again from Oct to Dec:

Shana (Shakugan no Shana) Season 2 Part 1 Complete DVD/BD Box - Oct 16 to Dec 11
Shana (Shakugan no Shana) Season 2 Part 2 Complete DVD/BD Box - Oct 16 to Dec 11

Patience is an Anime Fan.

UPDATE: A rep at Funimation told me today that they have a 'good reason' for the delay, and they will be making that reason public in a few weeks.

009 Re: Cyborg Movie Trailer

Production I.G. has posted a trailer for its film 009 Re: Cyborg that will be released in Japan this fall:

I love that they did this 'no-dialog' - very international friendly!

Friday, August 03, 2012

Strike Witches 2 Scheduled / Bunny Drop Premium Sold Out

I've got two announcements to pass on to you this afternoon before we cut out of here for the weekend:

1) Funimation sent us a note letting us know that they are finally re-scheduling the Strike Witches 2 BD/DVD set. It's being added to the October schedule and is now setup to street Oct 2nd. At last! And yes, it will remain a DVD/BD combo set.

2) Just a heads up. NIS just sent over a note to let us know that the upcoming Bunny Drop Premium set is, after filling all retailer pre-orders, completely sold out at wholesale. We will be getting 100% of what we pre-ordered, but will not be able to get anymore after that in until September. This has been the most heavily pre-ordered title for us so far this year, and we currently have about 65% of our allocation already booked out to customers. The sets are on the way to us now and will arrive Monday or Tuesday, so if you haven't gotten one yet get your order in soon or you'll end up having to wait until September.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Persona 4 BD Succumbs to Irrational Japanese Re-importation Fears

We learned today that Sentai's September BD release of Persona 4 is the latest North American release to succumb to paranoid Japanese re-importation fears:

Sentai Filmworks has announced that its upcoming Blu-ray Disc release of the Persona 4 The Animation television anime series will include an English language dub but will not include the original Japanese language track. The company noted that the Japanese licensor required the change. The DVD release will still contain both English and Japanese audio tracks, and it will also include Japanese episode commentaries.

Sentai Filmworks has repriced the Blu-ray Disc release of Persona 4 Collection 1 to US$59.98 from the original price of US$69.98 to reflect the change. The price for the DVD release is unchanged.

Sentai Filmworks also noted that its release of the series is licensed for sale and use in the United States and Canada only; exportation of the release is prohibited. The company is using the original English voice cast from the Persona 4 PlayStation 2 video game for the English dub of the anime.

So in exchange for losing the Japanese track, the BD was reduced in price by $10 bucks and is now the same price as the DVD version which will still have both language tracks. ~sigh~

We have reduced our regular pre-order price of the BD to $39.98, and all existing pre-orders will automatically reflect this price reduction. If you already have this title on pre-order and want to make a change, just let us know.