» December, 2008

Anime DVDs This Week

News - by - December 29, 2008 - 19:59 Europe/London - Be first to Comment!

As with most weeks, the anime distributors in the United Kingdom release a number of anime titles for the UK populace to purchase and enjoy with glee. This week is no different than any other, and there are four anime titles that are now available for purchase, those four animes are:

  1. Bleach Complete Series 2 Box Set
  2. Hellsing Ultimate vol 2
  3. L: Change the WorLd Live Action
  4. Naruto The Movie 2 – The Legend of the Stone Gelel

As always, you can purchase these titles through any reputable online store.

Isekai no Seikishi Monogatari Trailer Streamed

News - by - December 29, 2008 - 19:39 Europe/London - Be first to Comment!

The Tenchi Muyo spin-off that’s been a decade in the making recently began streaming it’s first advanced promotional trailer. In the past few months the official website for Isekai no Seikishi Monogatari have been releasing trailers that are still animated shots.

However the first full length, animated trailer is available to watch below:

[flashvideo filename=wp-content/videos/seikishi-promo.flv” /]

The story is set in an alternative word called Geminar where the citizens have fought endless wars with replicas of humanoid weapons that they found in some ancient ruins. Tenchi’s half-brother: Kenji Masaki is summoned to Geminar to help.

Masaki Kajishima will remain the supervisor of the series, and Koji Yoshikawa supervised by Hideki Shirane will be directing off scripts. Kastumi Enami will be creating original character designs and the cheif animation director Hajime Watanabe will adapt them for the anime. Naoshiro Washiro will be playing a much larger part than in any previous Tenchi Muyo project and will be designing all mecha whilst Masaki Sato, Shouko Mastumoto and Hiroshi Ogawa will be fleshing out the world they live in.

Nobuhito Sue is developing all background art and Kyo Inoue will be directing this. Aiko Matsuyama will be overseeing the colour palettes. The remaining staff are as follows:

Editor: Syota Migiyama
Director of Photography: Ryosuke Ozaki
Sound Director: Jun Watanabe
Music: Akifumi Tada
Sound Production: Trinity Sound
Theme Song: “Follow Me feat. Sound Around” by Seira Kagami

There’s still currently no release date available.

Hellsing Trailer Streamed

News - by - December 29, 2008 - 19:28 Europe/London - Be first to Comment!

Recently, the Japanese anime production company: Geneon Entertainment began streaming the trailer for their latest anime: Hellsing. The trailer is being shown at the Rondo Robe booth at the ongoing Comic Market 75 Convention that’s currently on exhibition in Tokyo.

You can see the trailer here.

Source: Anime News Network

Happy Holidays

News - by - December 25, 2008 - 12:18 Europe/London - Be first to Comment!

Happy Holidays to everyone who celebrates at this time of year. We hope you had a great day, and continue to enjoy the festive season!

Madeleine “Maddie” Blaustien Passes Away

News - by - December 20, 2008 - 17:47 Europe/London - Be first to Comment!

On the 16th December, 2008 it was announced by 4Kids Entertainment that the voice actress of Meowth, Madeleine “Maddie” Blaustien had passed away at the young age of 48. Maddie has dubbed under various stage names, but is most notable for Meowth in Pokémon, going on to play Solomon Moto on Yu-Gi-Oh and has played dozens of other roles in dozens of productions.

Voice director and acting colleague Michael Sinterniklaas has told Anime News Network:

“We’re deeply saddened by the loss of our friend, Maddie Blaustein. She was an incredible actress with unlimited range. She had recently started working for us as a writer as well. The community has lost a true talent and a great person.”

Source: Anime News Network

Viz Media USA and Warner Home Video Deal

News - by - December 20, 2008 - 17:42 Europe/London - Be first to Comment!

On the 17th December, Viz Media and Warner Home Video reached an agreement for distribution of Viz Media DVD releases across the United Sates and Mexico. This announcement was made jointly by Hidemi Fukuhara and Jeff Brown of Viz Media and Warner Home Video respectively. Effective from the 1st April, WHV will be distributing all Viz Media DVD titles from Naruto, to Pokémon as well as Naruto.

Regarding the announcement, Mr. Fukuhara remarked, “We look forward to joining forces with Warner Home Video and are confident that in working with their strength in sales and distribution, we will continue to grow the anime category even more effectively than we have over the last several years.  We’re very encouraged by Warner Home Video’s enthusiasm for this category and our properties and look forward to our titles reaching an even wider audience as a result of this relationship.”

Brown added, “The association between Warner Home Video and VIZ Media demonstrates our continued commitment to the growing sector of anime.  Adding to our previous success with The Animatrix and Appleseed: Ex Machina, we are looking forward to a successful relationship with VIZ Media, one of the top players in the anime genre and children’s animation.”

Currently many of the Viz Media series in the UK are distributed either by Viz Media Europe or Manga Entertainment. How this latest deal will affect UK sales and distribution is currently unknown.

Source: Viz Media USA

ADV Films Announce Anime Q1

News - by - December 20, 2008 - 17:35 Europe/London - Be first to Comment!

Although a little on the dormant side at the moment, ADV UK have announced that in 2009 they will be releasing a number of boxsets in the first half of the year. Those box sets will be:

Pretear – 325 Minutes, £24.99, 23/02/09
Aquarian Age – 325 Minutes £19.99 23/02/09
Angelic Layer – 650 Minutes £49.99 09/02/09
Get Backers Season 1 – 625 Minutes £39.99 26/01/09
Area 88 – 300 Minutes £24.99 26/01/09

Source: ADV

Reeves Interested in Cowboy Bebop

News - by - December 20, 2008 - 17:20 Europe/London - Be first to Comment!

It’s well known that Keanu Reeves loves Sci-Fi, after all, he’s stared in The Matrix, Johnny Mnemonic and The Day the Earth Stood Still and he’s recently expressed a strong interested to make a live action Cowboy Bebop.

Fans of the series already know that the story if told in a non-linear style. Reeves is interested in this as it will allow him to play with the flow of the film, if he get’s the chance to make it.

“We’re taking the Red Eye [story], the beginning part of the series,” he explained, “and then we’ll deal with the end of the series. We’re trying to figure out [the time frame]. We’re looking at the story right now…. Yeah, it’s so episodic and so disconnected. We’re trying to figure out what pieces to put together to tell one story,” he explained. “Because it’s such a short form, to make a 2 hour version [will be tough]. And it’s got so much of an origin-story obligation; you’ve got to get people up to speed, but you don’t want to do much of that. There are a lot of things to take into consideration, but we think we can do something good.”

Although there’s no official word on if this will happen, or when.

Source: Anime UK News

Naruto Unleashed Series 5

Reviews - by - December 16, 2008 - 11:15 Europe/London - 3 Comments

Since the dawn of time, Shoen Jump mangas and their subsequent anime series have always been popular. This can be seen historically by the various anime shows to hit the west in the past twenty or so years, Dragoball, Dragonball Z, Dragonball GT, Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh, Yu-Gi-Oh GX, Bleach and Naruto. The appeal of Naruto hasn’t slowed at all, and is one of the strongest sellers in the UK, as such, Manga Entertainment have acquired the rights to release the follow up series of the franchise: Naruto Shippuuden.

Produced by Studio Pierrot and TV Toyko, Naruto premiered in Japan on the 3rd October 2002 and ran for 220 episodes. Directed throughout by Hayato Date, the first 135 episodes are adaptations of the 27 volumes of manga, whilst the remaining 80 episodes are mostly filler episodes. These fillers are either entirely new elements to the show, or huge offshoots of a slight theme developed from the original material.

The debut of the fifth series and the first volume commences with the final two episodes of the new Tea Country arc. For many who watched the last volume, the Tea Country arc is the beginning of the infamous filler episodes that Naruto has become well known for. Fortunately this arc does actually push the show forward somewhat, and there’s a degree of character development. Unfortunately, it’s not really at any of the main characters in the show.

Itachi, the person running the race across the Tea Country manages to hurt his leg, and whilst he is recovering Naruto is carrying the boy across the country. Although this may seem like the right thing for Naruto to do, Itachi’s resentment at Naruto is growing and a meeting with his brother comes to mind. This only leads Itachi to resent Naruto even more. Whilst his resentment is growing the trained ninja: Jonin appears to cause more trouble for the cast.

Jonin, aside from being very self-inflated, attacks Naruto and Itachi whilst Naruto is trying to carry Itachi across a bridge so that he can win the race across Tea Country. However, Jonin attacks the pair with a deadly sword that cannot be destroyed or broken. Naruto attacks Jonin with everything that he has many times, and still hasn’t even made Jonin really move much. Then out of no-where Naruto’s friends turn up and battle Jonin. Unfortunately they don’t do much better; however, they do make a crack in the sword. Naruto who attacks Jonin and wins, whilst doing this Itachi realises a few home truths and they win the race notices this.

Predictable and contrived. However, the rest of the episodes are as if an entirely different production team and script team have made them, as they are vastly more interesting. Following from episode three on the first volume, otherwise known as episode 107, the show starts to follow the manga again and much of the second disc is taken up by Saskue’s emotional turmoil and his jealously of Naruto.

A lot of character development is spent in many of the episodes, and most of the main cast are fleshed out more. Neki, Shikamaru and Choji, who were once very much one-dimensional characters, actually have backstory and motives. This leads to more emotional conflict within the group and the volumes are at their peak when the battle between Rock Lee and Garra occurs during the Chuunin exam.

It’s clear that by now the voice-acting cast are very comfortable in their roles and their respective characters, and this is portrayed well. The English cast are now well put together; however, some voices still don’t really suit the characters in comparison to the Japanese cast. Fortunately though the actual quality of the voice cast is strong enough to put aside these reservations.

Throughout the animation is smooth and of a solid quality – which is rare for a show of this length. The characters remain distinct and at no point drab, the battle scenes are very well animated and there are not minutes of powering up either. Thankfully.

Slayers, Daphne and Starship Operators Clips

News - by - December 16, 2008 - 10:12 Europe/London - Be first to Comment!

MVM Entertainment recently sent over a fair few preview clips to some of their most recent animes, including one that’s due out in January (and our review is currently in the making): Slayers. These clips are fairly lengthy, and there’s lots of them so there’s no excuse not to watch them and then buy the series.

The clips that were sent to us are for Slayers, Daphne in the Brilliant Blue (of which the News-Anime review for Volumes 1 and 2 can be found by clicking on the respective volume number) and Starship Operators, which the final volume’s review can be found here. As you can see, Daphne and Starship Operators is recommended by News-Anime. Ther former is a light-hearted and fun anime, whereas the latter is a little more serious.

Slayers Clips

[flashvideo filename=”wp-content/videos/slayers_01_lo.flv” /]

[flashvideo filename=”wp-content/videos/slayers_02_lo.flv” /]

[flashvideo filename=”wp-content/videos/slayers_03_lo.flv” /]

[flashvideo filename=”wp-content/videos/slayers_04_lo.flv” /]

Daphne in the Brilliant Blue Clips

[flashvideo filename=”wp-content/videos/daphne_01_hi.mp4″ /]

[flashvideo filename=”wp-content/videos/daphne_02_hi.mp4″ /]

[flashvideo filename=”wp-content/videos/daphne_03_hi.mp4″ /]

[flashvideo filename=”wp-content/videos/daphne_04_hi.mp4″ /]

Starship Operators Clips

[flashvideo filename=”wp-content/videos/star_op_01_hi.mp4″ /]

[flashvideo filename=”wp-content/videos/star_op_02_hi.mp4″ /]

[flashvideo filename=”wp-content/videos/star_op_03_hi.mp4″ /]

[flashvideo filename=”wp-content/videos/star_op_04_hi.mp4″ /]

Many thanks to MVM for allowing us to host these videos on our own server.

Dragon Ball Evolution

Videos - by - December 16, 2008 - 08:58 Europe/London - Be first to Comment!

Dragon Ball Evolution Trailer Available

News - by - December 16, 2008 - 08:57 Europe/London - Be first to Comment!

Recently the newly titled Dragon Ball Evolution international trailer was released to the world with much fanfare. This trailer is now available through IGN, the gaming website, for everyone to view at their own lesisure. You can see the video below:

Kurokami The Animation Premier Announced

News - by - December 16, 2008 - 08:54 Europe/London - Be first to Comment!

Bandai Entertainment have recently announced at it’s Black Sunday event in LA that it’s got the rights to Kurokami The Animation, which it the anime adaptation of manga series: Black God.

What’s interesting about this is that the TV series will début in Japan on the 8th January, 2009 in the USA it will début on the 9th January and there will only ever be a 24 hour gap between the two shows in the two countries.

Laura Bailey, Jason Griffith, Julie Ann Taylor, Stephanie Sheh, and Christopher Kromer will play the lead roles of Kuro, Keita, Akane, Excel, and Daichi, respectively. Mike Sinterniklaas (Freedom) is directing the dubbing, and Toshifumi Yoshida (Gurren Lagann) is producing the dubbing.

We currently have no word on the UK front, but it’s likely to go via beez, as beez are owned by Bandai, and if the speed in the US is anything to go by we should be getting it next year.

Source: Anime News Network

Tokoypop USA Lay Off Staff

News - by - December 15, 2008 - 20:08 Europe/London - Be first to Comment!

The world is in economic crisis, and it would appear that for the most part the UK anime and manga industry is doing just fine. I was only recently told by someone over at Tokyopop UK that at the MCM Expo they almost sold out of goods. However, it doesn’t look like the US is feeling the love from their consumers.

It’s been reported by Anime News Network, that Tokyopop US are going to have to make eight of their staff redundant. Marc Pavia has cited that dramatically low sales in the publishing industry has led to this action. Just earlier on this year 39 of their staff were made redundant due to a corporate restructuring.

This also means that releases will be pushed back and be fewer and further between. How this effects the UK market we’re not 100% sure yet, but it’s likely that we’ll just suffer the same sort of ripples from the US – but without any redundancies as the manga industry in the UK is doing well.

Source: Anime UK Net

Anime Releases Today

News - by - December 15, 2008 - 19:56 Europe/London - Be first to Comment!

As with most weeks, the anime distributors in the United Kingdom release a number of anime titles for the UK populace to purchase and enjoy with glee. This week is no different than any other, and there are four anime titles that are now available for purchase, those three animes are:

  1. Naruto Series 5 Volume 1
  2. Witchblade Volume 6
  3. Speed Racer Live Action (UMD Format)

As always these releases can be purchased through all good online retailers, such as Amazon, hmv, Play or Sendit.