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Posts Tagged Anime

Manga Minis: CBLDF Defends, Places to Read and Doses of Nostalgia

Links of Interest

Manga minis today are more links of interest and less news, but no less worth sharing:

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund‘s executive director delivered a speech at the Manga Freedom Tour in Japan. They’ve uploaded the whole thing for reading on their website, and it’s well worth checking out. It goes over a number of the legal situations readers have faced with manga, the medium’s North American expansion and the work that the CBLDF has done to support the work and its fans.

CBLDF’s article also mentions their upcoming publication, MANGA: Introduction, Challenges, and Best Practices, which is being released this December. I consider myself very fortunate to have been a part of this project, especially since it meant I got an early read of the great content.

“Made possible with a grant from the Gaiman Foundation, CBLDF Presents Manga is a handbook designed to provide a concise and informed overview of manga—its history, genres, and issues. This educational work delves into the history of manga, its major demographic divisions, its most significant creators, and the challenges it has sometimes faced in North America.”

And speaking of working to support manga and its readers, Organization Anti-Social Geniuses blog has posted a handy guide to the current ways to read manga (legally!) online. They have a comprehensive list that also includes their experiences with those they’ve used.

Sailor Moon‘s 20th Anniversary has led to lots of shiny goodies, and they just keep coming! Jewelry, toys, trinkets, cosmetics and the pages and pages of merchandise GE Animation has licensed and produced. And that’s the whole point of this snippet, just to remind you how many super shiny new pieces of Sailor Moon merch are out there. And I want them all.

Speaking of reminders, Jason Thompson is still writing his manga articles for Anime News Network, House of 1000 Manga. Every one is worth a read. In fact, two reads. At least. His most recent post was about Kaoru Mori’s Bride’s Story while last week was a detailed and entertaining look at the original Yu-Gi-Oh manga. Bask in that archive, it’s all good, and don’t forget Carlo Santos’ Right Turn Only!! column either.

And, though not manga, I was pretty giddy to first read about the new Pokemon anime that is a more faithful adaptation of the original games. While I’d love a series closer to the Pokemon Adventures manga series, I think the nostalgic look and sound of this anime adaptation of the original games seems pretty darn fun.

Swag Bag: Marching Into Spring With All The Right Stuf

Swag Bag: Marching Into Spring With All The Right Stuf

It’s this week’s second Swag Bag! While I was busy hitting up my local comic store for goodies, RightStuf was preparing a box full of animated wonders to send my way as well. My Visa may’ve wept this week, but not as much as it has in the past thanks to RightStuf’s new shipping policies for Canadians.

Though I haven’t seen any of it, I started with parts one and two of Funimation‘s DVD sets of Toriko. I bought it based on my adoration of the manga. I’ve already made my way through both sets, which are a bit short at only thirteen episodes each. The show itself doesn’t offer anything more than the manga, but I really like the dub which is something I can usually count on Funimation to do really well. It had many funny, memorable quotes so I’m sure I’ll be watching it again just for the fun script.

My biggest purchase was the entirety of Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood on Blu-ray. I haven’t seen any of this either but the manga is phenomenal and I recently finished watching the original anime on Netflix. I’m very excited to see my favorite characters who were not in the first anime. Lin! And I’ve heard that the production values are great. This purchase includes the whole series, plus the OVA collection.

And also on Blu-ray in my collection pile was the box set of Black Butler II. It actually includes both the DVDs and Blu-rays, which is a great touch. I really liked the first season of Black Butler but it ended at a point that definitely didn’t feel like it needed a sequel. Can’t say no to the fans I suppose right? From what I’ve seen of Funimation’s previews clips, the new little butler-owning prepubescent has some seriously scary issues.

Fate/Zero Keychain: Rider SDRounding out the shopping trip were some Black Jack DVDs to finish off my collection (yay discount bins), and also an adorable Sailor Moon keychain and Tuxedo Mask plushie. I also couldn’t help but buy a couple Fate/Zero key chains of Rider and Waver. I’ll buy anything with those two on it! Maybe someday I’ll do a write-up of the phenomenal statue of Rider I received a couple weeks back…

And last, as I naturally cannot make any online order that doesn’t include at least some manga, I caught up on a few recent boys’ love titles – Bond of Dreams, Bond of Love (Vol. 03) and Awkward Silence (Vol. 03). I really love SuBLime‘s releases, from the clean and consistent cover design they use across all their titles, to the solid translation and lettering work inside courtesy of decades of experience from their parent company, Viz Media. I was a little disappointed that His Favourite (Vol.03) was spaced far enough apart from the other two third volumes that I wasn’t able to include it in this shipment. Ah well, next time!

That does it for this week’s Swag Bag. As always, feel more than free to share what purchases you’ve made recently and if you’d recommend them!

New Ways to Get Your Stuf: RightStuf Updates Canadian Shipping Options

New Ways to Get Your Stuf: RightStuf Updates Canadian Shipping Options

Last year I briefly wrote about RightStuf’s change in shipping policies to Canada. Prior to that, the popular anime retailer had a threshold of $150 for purchases to achieve ‘free shipping’, where as now Canadian shoppers must buy $250/US worth of items. This increase has obviously meant less purchases for my friends and I with $100 being quite a bit of additional cost, especially when it dramatically increases the amount of money we would likely be charged at the border.

That being said, yesterday we received our first RightStuf shipment since these changes went into place. With a big box of goodies now in my living room for Andre, Marsha and myself, I can happily say that RightStuf’s previous statement that they were “currently looking into alternative Canadian freight options, and we are doing our best to find an economical solution that continues to provide reliable service”, has made a really great update to their Canadian shipping.

RightStuf now sends their shipments to Canada via FedEx, which has resulted in three significant differences: shipment tracking, faster shipping times and upfront brokerage fees. Tracking numbers for your shipments and faster shipping is obviously great, but I was most impressed by the upfront brokerage fees.

Sailor Moon KeychainTo briefly explain, even though we’ve always reached the threshold of ‘free’ shipping, this only covers RightStuf’s expenses to ship. We would still be stuck paying considerable additional costs when our packages arrived because of custom fees. Ouch, right? You don’t even want to know what the total cost of my Fate/Zero box sets ended up coming to.

However now with FedEx, buyers are told upfront when  ready to check out just how much FedEx will charge to handle all the usual “taxes, duties, customs and processing fees”. This means that 1) you know immediately how much it will all come to (so you can also decide to go ‘nope!’ if too much), and 2) no waiting for weeks in fear you could be charged as much for delivery as what you paid for the stuff itself, and then dealing with the bill when it arrives!

As sign of how awesomely this new system has worked for us here at Kuriousity, in the past we have always paid an additional $50-$150 for every order we’ve gotten from RightStuf, and this was for orders totaling no more than $300/US. It has typically taken about two weeks for our orders to arrive once notification came that they had left RightStuf’s warehouse. This month we put in an order for $534 worth of goodies, and via FedEx paid an extra $78. Our order arrived within four days and came to the door with a simple signature, smile and not a penny more!

In conclusion to this long-winded ‘news’ post, well-played, RightStuf, well-played. The $250 threshold still makes it a bit more difficult to order as often as we did before but with shipping improvements like this (and, who am I kidding, the ease of reaching the threshold when combining orders with friends’ is obvious), you’ve definitely ensured we’ll keep going back for more and taking advantage of those awesome sales you hold.

(And for those curious about what we bought, keep an eye out for future Swag Bag posts!)

Mini Manga News: Shoujo 3-in-1s, Digital Updates and Anime Adaptations

Kamisama Kiss (Anime)

A few different tidbits of new today, including some continuing omnibus editions from Viz Media, some continuing evolution in the world of digitally released manga and a quick note about some recently announced or debuting animes based on a few English-licensed manga. Enjoy the randomly connected!

 Viz Media announced via their Shoujo Beat Twitter account that they’ll be continuing to release Skip Beat! in their 3-in-1 omnibus format, and will also be releasing all of Hana Kimi in this format as well. Both Skip Beat! and Hana Kimi have three volumes of these omnibus out so far, which is where Viz Media has always ended their 3-in-1s of this particular type in the past.

Hana Kimi 3-in-1 (Vol.03)This is great news for those who’ve been buying these series like this, especially when a lot of these series’ individual volumes are difficult to come by. It’s been a huge sore spot for me that they’ve done these 3-in-1 re-releases of several series and have always ended them after only 3 books, then making note in that last book for readers to look for the singles. It’s a big slap in the face for collectors since the omnibus editions are cheaper and of course look very different from the singles. I hope this decision for Hana Kimi and Skip Beat! are because they’ve sold well, and I also hope it could inspire Viz Media to continue re-releasing some other series they’ve cut short this way such as Full Metal Alchemist.

 We don’t cover much in the way of digital manga here on Kuriousity, but there are always exceptions and this is one. Viz Media made a great announcement for fans of the medium with their recent press release revealing they’d be releasing future new volumes in digital and print on the same day. This is a fantastic flexibility for readers, one which doesn’t force someone to wait in order to purchase a book in their preferred format.

Each digital Viz Media volume is typically $4.99/US/CAN and can be read via their VizManga website, iPhone/iPad apps, Android app and for Nook. They also have a sale on right now that offers every volume at 20% off via their VizManga site and apps, making most only $3.99.

 Also in the digital manga realm and offering more flexibility is news from Digital Manga that they’ve begun releasing their titles in PDF format. This means you purchase and download the titles instead of reading them via internet connection only and have a choice of where and how you read it (ie: your tablet, phone, computer screen, etc.). I’ve really loved that SuBLime Manga has taken this approach from the get-go and it’s availability like this that actually prompts me to purchase some now and again for reading on my tablet.

 Lastly in anime-news, something covered now and again when we feel it’s extra-relevant, there’s been a number of new series announced or previewed lately based on manga that have been licensed in English. This is exciting news for those who love enjoying the stories in both mediums.

Courtesy of AnimeNewsNetwork:

Kamisama Kiss (Trailer) – Manga licensed by Viz Media
New Dragonball Film (Teaser) – Manga licensed by Viz Media
BTOOM! (Trailer) – Manga licensed by Yen Press
Lychee Light Club (Announcement) – Manga licensed by Vertical Inc.
The Flowers of Evil – Manga licensed by Vertical Inc.

 Of these series, I’m most excited for the new Dragonball movie and the Kamisama Kiss series, not to mention of course the new Sailor Moon anime debuting in 2013!

New Sailor Moon Anime to Premiere Worldwide in 2013

New Sailor Moon Anime to Premiere Worldwide in 2013

Though Kuriousity is predominantly a manga-centric blog, exceptions can always be made for that big news that just needs to be shared. This past Wednesday I posted a press release from Kodansha Comics announcing a live Sailor Moon event with guests including some of the anime’s original voice actors and the manga’s editor from Kodansha. The event itself took place early this morning (my time) but it didn’t take long for the big announcement promised to spiral around the internet:

Sailor Moon will be getting a brand new anime in 2013!

There isn’t much information past that released yet, though it was said during the event that the anime would be premiered worldwide. The event itself was broadcast online via the streaming service NicoNico, which already streams a few series worldwide minutes after their Japanese broadcast (such as the recently completed – and much adored by this writer – Fate/Zero). I can only guess, but it seems likely NicoNico will be how & where any simultaneous releases are streamed from. A huge thumbs up for worldwide availability of this title though – goodness knows the world will be waiting and watching.

Of information we do have, it has been confirmed the new anime will be a series, not a movie project, and is being based on Naoko Takeuchi’s original manga series. This seems a given obviously, as the manga is the source material, but it does seem more indicative that we’ll be getting an anime closer to the manga’s story-line. It’ll target it at an older audience compared to the original series animated by Toei (and subsequently dubbed and edited for English audiences by DIC), which doubly-suits the fact that those most enamoured with Sailor Moon are now older fans who originally grew up with it. I’m so excited to see what storyline this new anime takes, and even more so how the art looks!

Having now learned that there’s a new anime of Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon coming out next year, it seems to make a little more sense why the original animated series has yet to be re-licensed for English release. This may or may not have anything to do with it but it certainly shows that Sailor Moon anime cravings will be satisfied in a different way come 2013. It still leaves me sort of stunned this news came at all.

In anycase, SO EXCITING. Count me among the very hyped and very eager :)

More information is available at AnimeNewsNetwork

PR: Viz Media Brings The Secret World of Arrietty to Readers In New Series


Releases Based On The New The Film By Hayao Miyazaki’s Famed Animation Studio Include Film Comics, Art And Picture Books

San Francisco, CA, January 26, 2012 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest distributor and licensor of anime and manga in North America, brings the miniaturized adventure of famed Studio Ghibli’s newest animated creation – THE SECRET WORLD OF ARRIETTY – to readers everywhere with a collection of ARRIETTY film comics, art and picture books set to debut on February 7th, 2012. THE SECRET WORLD OF ARRIETTY is scheduled for North American theatrical release on February 17th, 2012.

THE SECRET WORLD OF ARRIETTY is based on the celebrated novel, The Borrowers, by Mary Norton and was produced by Studio Ghibli, the famed animation company founded by Hayao Miyazaki, which also created Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, Howl’s Moving Castle and Ponyo. The new film, with planning/screenplay by Hayao Miyazaki and directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi, will feature the voice talents of Bridget Mendler, Amy Poehler, Carol Burnett and Will Arnett for its English language release.

Arrietty isn’t your ordinary fourteen-year-old girl – she is small enough to make her home under the floorboards of a typical house, “borrowing” what she and her family need from the giants in whose shadows they live. A young boy named Shawn befriends Arrietty, but when adults discover the Borrowers, Arrietty and Shawn must work together to save her family.

THE SECRET WORLD OF ARRIETTY PICTURE BOOK  Rated “A” for All Ages  MSRP: $19.99 U.S. / $22.99 CAN  Available February 7th, 2012
The colorful and easy-to-read THE SECRET WORLD OF ARRIETTY Picture Book is a full-color hardcover edition that will appeal to younger readers especially. The book uses the vividly colored animation cel art from the feature film combined with simplified text to retell the story of Arrietty and her adventures.

THE SECRET WORLD OF ARRIETTY FILM COMICS  Rated “A” for All Ages  MSRP: $16.99 U.S. each / $19.99 CAN each  Available February 7th, 2012
The official 2-volume film comic of THE SECRET WORLD OF ARRIETTY re-tells the film’s story with vivid full-color frames.

THE ART OF THE SECRET WORLD OF ARRIETTY  Rated “A” for All Ages  MSRP: $34.99 U.S. / $39.99 CAN  Available February 7th, 2012
Co-founded by the legendary filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki, Studio Ghibli films enthrall and enchant audiences across the world. The Art of series gives fans the opportunity to follow their favorite film from initial concept to the silver screen, thanks to hundreds of sketches, concept drawings, and animation cels, plus in-depth interviews with the creators.

Read more…

Bandai Entertainment Ceases New Production of Manga & Anime

Bandai Entertainment Ceases Publication

The anime and manga industry is starting out on rocky footing this year with news early this week that Bandai Entertainment is immediately ceasing operations as a publisher of new titles. This includes the cancellation of their upcoming releases. Hopefully we’re just getting the negative industry stuff out of the way early to pave the way for a stronger 2012 – fingers crossed, right?

The press release Bandai Entertainment sent out included the full list of manga titles now cancelled:

Code Geass: Renya
Gurren Lagann
Lucky Star Boo Boo Kagaboo
Mobile Suit Gundam 00I
Tales of the Abyss: Jade’s Secret Memories

Some of these series were already mid-way through their run while others, like Tales of the Abyss: Jade’s Secret Memories, hadn’t started yet. Bandai noted their existing catalog – meaning those already released – will remain in print and available until the company’s licenses expire. That said, however, if there are any titles you want, I say it’s still best to pick them up now just in case (though you could say the same for any titles from any company – you never know!).

Personally I hadn’t read any of Bandai Entertainment’s manga titles but that’s because they tailored to fans of the company’s anime franchises for which I wasn’t really interested. Regardless, it’s a big shame that we’re seeing another manga publisher forced to close its doors. The most consistent experience I had with Bandai was that the company was never the most communicative about it’s manga publishing. Hope for a change in this was short-lived after their new manga-focused website quickly dried out in regards to updates. Learning just recently they only had five full-time employees – most of whom have now unfortunately been laid off – really shed a light on how tight the division was run though.

Credit goes to AnimeNewsNetwork for the news. They followed up with an interview with Bandai’s executive producer, Ken Iyadomi. It sheds more light on the reason behind the closure which came down from the higher ups in Japan this past October.

Manga to Motion: Interview with Bunny Drop Screenwriter

Bunny Drop

This past week AnimeNewsNetwork posted an interview with Taku Kishimoto, screenwriter for the recently debut anime series, Usagi Drop.  I provided the questions for ANN’s interview and was glad to see they garnered some interesting answers. Inadvertently my first Japanese-industry interview so my thanks to ANN for the opportunity.

Of the answers, I think the following was my favourite:

“…considering the current situation, there is a high possibility that this anime adaptation will expand the demographic of the Usagi Drop fanbase. I couldn’t be happier if the men who watched this anime realize that they don’t have to let women monopolize the enjoyment of raising kids.”

The manga (from which the anime was based) is currently being released in English by Yen Press under the translated name, Bunny Drop. It’s one of my favourite series being released right now and even the spoilers of the series’ end have done little to damper my enthusiasm for each new volume. It’s a really sweet story about a single, middle-aged man who takes in the illegitimate daughter of his recently deceased Grandfather. Unlike Yen Press’s other series starring a single, middle-aged man raising a girl he adopts (aka, the amazingly hilarious Yotsuba&!), Bunny Drop has a great balance of drama and humour that’s more focused on the emotional and logistical role of actually raising a child.

When it was announced they were making an anime I was really excited. One of my favourites being animated, huzzah! Seeing trailers and images come out only furthered my excitement – finally a new anime series I actually want to watch as it comes out! And yet… I haven’t watched it yet. Sure there’s only one episode so far but I just can’t get behind the watching-one-episode-at-time trend. It’s why I wait for boxsets of series then marathon them, similar to how much more I loved manga when they went from releasing single-chapter editions to full volumes. Anyone else find they have the same issue?

That being said, I hope someone licenses it! Series are getting picked up for English release earlier and earlier these days so I hope Bunny Drop falls in that category. In the meantime, I hope newcomers read the manga, the anime-curious check out the interview and those who don’t mind one-episode-at-time enjoy the anime as it comes out because it looks adorable!

Trigun Badlands Rumble In Canadian Theatres on June 22nd

Trigun Badlands Rumble In Canadian Theatres

Prepare to get nostalgic or witness why so many people are proud to have the story of a gun-toting pacifist as one of their first anime – Trigun: Badlands Rumble is officially coming to theatres across Canada!

“Vash the Stampede is a gunslinging, red-trenchcoat-wearing drifter with a giant bounty on his head. His biggest threat, however, may not be law enforcement, but an outlaw by the name of Gasback. Twenty years ago, Vash accidentally interefered with one of Gasback’s robberies, and now the villain’s back with a score to settle. Gasback has come to Macca City in hopes of stealing one of their major installations, and Vash has just coincidentally arrived at the same spot. Also involved in this caper are a beautiful lady with a grudge, a couple of insurance agents, and Vash’s old buddy Wolfwood. At first it seems that Gasback has succeeded, but one can never underestimate Vash’s legendary abilities—not to mention the secrets that his allies have up their sleeves.” – Cineplex

The movie will be a special one night only event on June 22nd at 7pm, local time.

Empire Theatres has confirmed with Animaritime organizers that the movie will have Japanese audio with English subtitles. Tickets through Empire Theatres will go on sale on their website tomorrow and tickets are currently available to purchase on Cineplex’s website.

You can see the full list of Canadian theatres below:

Read more…

Evangelion 2.0 To Play In Canadian Theatres January 20th

Evangelion 2.0 in Canada

Last week listings for Evangelion 2.0 popped up on Cineplex (src: ANN), one of Canada’s theatre chains. Eager to see how many anime fans across the country would get another shot at seeing Evangelion on the big-screen, I made some inquiries and did some internet spelunking and loe and behold, it looks like a decent-sized release!

The movie will be screened on the big-screen across Canada on Thursday, January 20th at 7pm (local time). Seating is limited and as tickets for the majority of the showings below are currently on sale, it’s recommended you nab your tickets while they’re available.

“The story of a 14-year-old boy, who has been entrusted with the heavy burden of mankind’s fate, is about to enter uncharted territory. Asuka, the heroine whose popularity is on par with that of Rei Ayanami, enters the fray piloting Evangelion Unit Two. Joining them is a new, alluring heroine. The war between the mysterious entities known as “Angels” and the Eva Series heats up even more with the introduction of new Evangelion units. Intense battles the likes of which have never been seen rage across the screen one after another. The excitement of these mind-blowing spectacles will take the story in a new direction.” – Cineplex.com

Below are the currently confirmed locations that will be playing Evangelion 2.0 across Canada. Note that this locations are subject to change and there may yet be more:

SilverCity Coquitlam Cinemas
170 Schoolhouse Street
Vancouver, BC

SilverCity Riverport Cinemas
14211 Entertainment Way
Vancouver, BC

SilverCity Riverport Cinemas
14211 Entertainment Way
Edmonton, AB

Galaxy Cinemas Regina
420 McCarthy Boulevard North, Unit 26
Regina, SK

SilverCity Polo Park Cinemas
817 ST. James Street
Winnipeg, MB

Scotiabank Theatre Toronto
259 Richmond Street West
Toronto, ON

Cineplex Odeon Queensway Cinemas
1025 The Queensway
Etobicoke, ON

SilverCity Fairview Mall Cinemas
1800 Sheppard Avenue East, Unit Y007
Toronto, ON

SilverCity Richmond Hill Cinemas
8725 Yonge Street
Richmond Hill, ON

Cineplex Odeon First Markham Place Cinemas
Highway, 7 & Fairburn Drive
Markham, ON

Cinéma Banque Scotia Montréal
977 Ste-Catherine West
Montreal, QC

Empire 17 Bayers Lake
190 Chain Lake Drive
Halifax, NS

Empire 8 Trinity Drive
127 Trinity Drive
Moncton, NB

Tickets for select showings are currently on sale at Cineplex.com and EmpireTheatres.com.

The first Evangelion film in this new incarnation, Evangelion 1.0: You Are Not Alone, previously played across Canada on September 30th and October 3rd, 2009.

As someone who attended the first movie and not only thought it was fantastic (and completely worth seeing on the big screen) but also had lots of fun with the community-driven spirit of the event, I will definitely be in attendance at my city’s showing (Halifax, NS!). We live in an age of the internet but nothing beats the feeling of your local community coming together to enjoy something together, plus it supports anime in your local theatres. Can’t wait!

Take me back to the top!