Sunday, June 29, 2014

One Week Ramblings: 6/29/14 Free Sunday Edition

It's the week before Anime Expo, and a lot of anime news will come out then. Until then, here's a bit of news here and there in prelude to all of that.

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Funimation has licensed Free! Eternal Summer, the sequel to last year's Free! swimming anime. This not only includes streaming the show as it airs this upcoming summer, but also a home video license sometime in the future. This is a fairly interesting and surprising development, but it should be good news to those looking forward to hearing their favorite muscle-toned boys dubbed sometime in the future. While the first season has not been officially announced as licensed yet, it can probably be assumed to be announced during Anime Expo.

And for those who prefer Crunchyroll for their streaming platform, don't worry, as Crunchyroll will still stream the series in the US.

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Sentai Filmworks will also have various announcements at Anime Expo, but for now, they have their October 2014 slate of releases. Here's what is available for pre-order on Rightstuf and other retailers:

- Sunday Without God Complete Collection, on Blu-ray and DVD, dubbed.
- Hakkenden -Eight Dogs of the East- Season 2 Collection, on Blu-ray and DVD, dubbed.
- Rozen Maiden - Zur├╝ckspulen Complete Collection, on DVD, dubbed. (Blu-ray will likely come later.)
- Meganebu! Complete Collection, on Blu-ray and DVD, sub-only.
- Kill Me Baby Complete Collection re-release on Blu-ray (dubbed).
- Bodacious Space Pirates Complete Collection, on Blu-ray and DVD (dubbed)
- Fate/stay night TV Complete Collection, on Blu-ray (dubbed)

The Bodacious Space Pirates and Fate/stay night complete collections are combined from their two-part releases earlier.

By the way, for those wondering about the number of DVD-only releases, both recent and future, there is a connection here, as their international licensing (on the Japanese side) are all handled by TBS--this applies to Photo Kano, My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU, Stella Women's Academy, Tamako Market, Rozen Maiden, and even though it is an older show, K-ON! Season 1. Nevertheless, Blu-rays are confirmed to be released on a later date for SNAFU, Stella, Tamako Market, and K-ON!, and can probably be presumed to be coming at least for Rozen Maiden.

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It's been a while since I've talked about Anime Sols, the crowdfunding site for classic anime. Their latest project is a bit different from their normal "classics", though: they will be crowdfunding the currently-airing The File of Young Kindaichi Returns, which is already streaming on Crunchyroll. Pledges for the DVD set start on July 13th.

They will also be streaming and taking pledges for some more classic series, namely the Osamu Tezuka works Dororo and Wonder 3, and the Tatsunoko series Gordian.

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Finally, next week also marks the start of a new season of anime! Here's a quick rundown of everything that has been licensed for legal streaming as of today, as well as their starting airdates:

Crunchyroll:
Free! Eternal Summer (7/2)
Glasslip (7/3)
ARGEVOLLEN (7/3)
ALDNOAH.ZERO (7/5) (licensed by Aniplex of America)
Sailor Moon Crystal (7/5)
Sword Art Online II (7/5) (licensed by Aniplex of America)
Re; Hamatora (7/7)
Persona4 the Golden Animation (7/10) (licensed by Aniplex of America)

Funimation:
Free! Eternal Summer (7/2)
Tokyo Ghoul (7/3)
Space Dandy S2 (7/5 on Toonami (dubbed), 7/6 online (subbed))
Terror in Resonance (7/10)




Thursday, June 26, 2014

No Plan No Life

There's frequently at least one show every season that starts out only okay but surprises me by turning out surprisingly good. This season, No Game No Life is that show, as recent episodes have ramped up the intensity, complexity, and craziness of the games to become quite the entertaining show. It even manages some great emotional moments between the siblings, though that won't be the focus of this post.

One thing that makes No Game No Life so fun to watch is because the lead characters, Sora and Shiro, orchestrate incredibly complex plans to win games. Sora, the older brother of the sibling team, has a mantra that "a game is won or lost before it starts", believing in the importance of planning and preparation, rather than trying to "wing" a game as it goes. As such, he makes sure he goes into every game knowing their opponents and having a plan for how to win. He also knows that things do not always go according to plan, which is why he relies on his younger sister, Shiro, whose overall incredible skill and raw knowledge makes her great at conjuring up new plans in a pinch.

(Original art by swd3e2)
I am not much like Sora, admittedly. I tend to do things on a whim, and while I do sometimes make plans, more likely than not I get distracted and they fall through. I also tend to procrastinate on important tasks. That is why I quite admire Sora and Shiro for their planning ways, both in the long-term and in a pinch.

But what does Sora and Shiro's planning and gaming skills potentially mean for Christians? To answer this question, I pose a Bible trivia question: who was the first person in the Bible mentioned to have the Spirit of God in them?


Monday, June 23, 2014

One Week Ramblings: 6/22/14 Mischevious Kiss Edition

This week, Discotek Media announced several home video licenses, including both new licenses and license rescues.

First up is Zombie-Loan, a 2007 anime series based on the manga by Peach-Pit (best known for the Rozen Maiden and Shugo Chara! series). The 26-episode series will be available in Japanese with English subtitles next year.

After that is Shin Mazinger Z Impact, a 2009 alternate re-telling of Go Nagai's classic robot series. The 26-episode series will be available next year in Japanese with English subtitles.

Rounding off the new licenses is ItaKiss (Itazura na Kiss), a 2008 shoujo series based on the manga by the late Kaoru Tada. The series is notable for being one of the few romance series to go past the high school era and taking the relationship of the main couple into territory explored by a select few (including a couple of dango-lovers). The 25-episode series will be available next year in Japanese with English subtitles.

License rescues include The Super Dimension Century Orguss, previously released by ImaginAsian Entertainment and including all 35 episodes in Japanese with English subtitles, plus an English dub for the first 17 episodes. There's also Flame of Recca and Ceres, Celestial Legend, both previously released by Viz Media and to be released in a complete series with their old English dubs as well as in Japanese with English subtitles.

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Funimation's DVD/BD release of Ben-To, originally planned for July, has been delayed, apparently due to the fact that they have received the masters for the TV broadcast, instead of the modified (read: uncensored) Japanese video release masters. While no new release date has been officially set by Funimation for the show, Amazon currently has a release date of November 4, 2014 set.

Speaking of Funimation, their September 2014 release slate has been announced. It includes Part 2 of Attack on Titan, the movies HAL and One Piece Film Z, the Season 7 Blu-ray collection of Dragonball Z, Anime Classics re-releases of Steins;Gate and Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt, and S.A.V.E. re-releases of the two seasons and OVAs of Baka and Test: Summon the Beasts.

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Finally, keep an eye on the upcoming Ghost in the Shell 25th Anniversary Blu-ray, set to be released on September 23rd 2014 and using newly-remastered footage.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

One Week Ramblings: 6/14/14 Special E3 Edition

Another edition of weekly ramblings, but this time I'll be looking at some things that happened on the video game side of the world. Why am I doing this on an anime blog? You'll see...

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Nintendo had a stellar showing this year at E3. With the announcement of several nice-looking entries in existing franchises, as well as showing off some new IPs, they really showed how they are first and foremost about the games. With that said, then, why am I talking about video games on an anime blog?

Well, I will be highlighting two pieces of news in particular. The first is the announcement of Palutena, the Goddess of Light from the Kid Icarus series, for the next Super Smash Bros. games.  This in and of itself is notable for fans of the series, but the announcement came with a special bonus: a trailer animated by none other than Studio SHAFT of Madoka Magica/Bakemonogatari fame.

Only a 30-degree head tilt? For shame, SHAFT.

Other new Smash characters include Mii fighters, who come in three unique variants with their own move sets, and of course allow you to customize their looks so that it looks like anyone is fighting. Want to have Kirito try out his sword skills as a Swordfighter? It's not entirely out of the realm of possibility (as long as your Mii-creating skills are better than mine).

Pac-Man is the third new Smasher announced. A classic video game character, his move set not only includes moves from both classic and newer Pac-Man games, but also references to all sorts of old arcade classics like Galaga.

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The second news of interest here is one of Nintendo's new IPs, Splatoon. In this third-person shooter, teams of squids who can turn into humans attempt to cover as much of an area as possible in their own team's color ink, by either spraying ink in human form or turning into squid form to swim in their ink color. It looks wacky and fun, and more importantly, it features cute squid girls.

Wait, squid girls? Why does that sound familiar...

I'm going to paint the town-de geso!

Yep, this is an Ika-musume game in all but name. Well, sort of; Ika-musume cannot turn into a squid to swim in her own ink (that we know of), and she prefers to spew ink out of her mouth than through a super soaker. But hey, there's now a revived interest in squid girls, and that has to make Ika-musume happy. The original creator of the manga even posted a picture of Ika as one of the game's Inklings on his Twitter.