a whole world of anime

[C] Comes to AOD
Tuesday, 19 April 2011 15:15

[C] The Money of Soul and Possibility ControlAnime On Demand have confirmed another simulcast series, this one from the noitaminA block: [C] The Money of Soul and Possibility Control, which takes us to a Japan that has been rescued from the brink of financial collapse by the Sovereign Wealth Fund. For its citizens, however, life has not improved, and unemployment, crime, suicide, and despair are rampant. Kimimaro, raised by his maternal grandmother after the disappearance of his father and the death of his mother, is a scholarship student whose only dream is to avoid all this and live a stable life. One day, however, he meets a man who offers him a large sum of money if he'll agree to pay it back. From then on his fate is radically altered as he's drawn into a mysterious realm known as "The Financial District." In other words, it's the anime take on global financial collapse, and by most accounts it's one of the more intriguing shows of the season. The first episode will stream on the AOD site on Thursday at 17:45 UK. Episodes are on a one-week delay from the Japanese broadcast (insert "delaycast" gag here), as is the case with the US and Australian streams for the show.

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Manga to Release Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple
Wednesday, 13 April 2011 10:48

Kenichi: The Mightiest DiscipleOnce again using their Twitter feed as their outlet, MangaUK have announced that they'll be releasing Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple , with the first volume to hit the streets on August 6th. The series follows Kenichi Shirahama, a high-school loser who's never been much good at making friends and who often finds himself being used as the personal punchbag of his school Karate Club. All that changes, though, when beautiful transfer student Miu Furinji takes an interest in him and teaches him how to fight back properly - a skill he soon finds himself using on a regular basis as he's called on to protect Miu. Fairly standard shounen fighting fare, then. It's a 50-episode series, so if Manga stick to their usual release style, expect four volumes.

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New AOD Streams Announced
Friday, 08 April 2011 10:40

Anime On DemandAs I type, AnimeOnDemand are holding a little guessing game on Twitter (follow along here) as their way of announcing three new simulcast titles. Updates here as the titles are confirmed.

Steins;Gate1 - Steins;Gate - a 2-cour show, based on a Nitro+ visual novel that follows an eclectic group of individuals who have the ability to send text messages to the past. However throughout their experimentation process, an organization named SERN who has been doing their own research on time travel tracks them down. Now it’s a careful game of cat and mouse to not get caught and moreover, try to survive.

Crunchyroll have the streaming rights for this one for just about everywhere except the UK and Ireland, so now we know why. The series is set in the same universe as previous Nitro+ series Chaos;head, but I'm told there's otherwise no overlap between the two shows. Other anime adaptations of Nitro+ VNs include Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom and Demonbane.

My Ordinary Life -nichijou-2 - My Ordinary Life -nichijou- - a non-exclusive title, as Crunchyroll have already begun streaming this one (check out our First Thoughts article). The series is a comedy set in a school where the word "ordinary" could only rarely be used to describe the goings-on there. The artwork for the series has a very Azumanga Daioh vibe to it, and with the show seeming to take a similarly wacky outlook as well, we could be in for something worthwhile here once it really gets going.

Production of the series is by Kyoto Animation, so expect their trademark TLC on the visuals. It's a rather different kettle of fish from K-On!, though, and I'm looking forward to seeing more of it.

Deadman Wonderland3 - Deadman Wonderland - another title shared with Crunchyroll, this one channels at least a little bit of Running Man, by the sounds of it, and could be one of the more intriguing offerings of the season. Set after Tokyo has been devastated by an earthquake (hmmm...), it follows Ganta Igarashi, a middle school student who was framed for the murder of his classmates and has been sentenced to Deadman Wonderland, a bizarre privatized prison that is one part incarceration and one part public spectacle for tourists.

Dates & times for the debut of all three shows are yet to be announced, but we'll be sure to let you know as soon as we do...

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Anime On Demand Updates
News and Events
Monday, 04 April 2011 13:05

Anime On DemandRight. A little news on the Anime On Demand front, rounded up from various sources, which I'll break down into bite-sized chunks.

The site's first simulcast goes live this evening (19:00 UK, I believe), and is Tiger and Bunny. Have a read of my first thoughts on that one - and yay, I won't have to worry about proxying it for the rest of the season. The first four episodes of the series will be available free of charge. Further titles are to come so watch this space.

The first 'archive' title to appear will be Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan, a 26-episode supernatural action / fantasy piece, which will be included in this season's season pass - date and time for the appearance of the first episodes is still TBA, though.

Other shows will be added throughout April. Some of the simulcast announcements have been delayed due to the current situation in Japan, which I think earns a little understanding; but there are set to be 6 simulcast shows, of which at least 4 will be AOD-exclusive in the UK.

- a season pass will cover all shows in a particular season, and will expire one month after the season ends, after which the episodes will be available as pay-per-view. Where a simulcast season is two-cour or more, you'll need to keep buying season passes for the relevant seasons to get the new episodes.
- archive shows that are two-cour (like the aforementioned Nura) will be streamed two episodes per week so that they fit into one season.
- streams will be provided in 480P and 720P resolutions.
- if you don't want to spring for a season pass, a pay-per-view option is being explored, but won't be available for launch.
- the service is available to both the UK and Republic of Ireland.
- it's planned to make the first few episodes of each series available in ad-supported form on YouTube.
- you'll be able to buy season passes via the site from later today.

Tiger and Bunny is a good series to start with - well worth taking a look at.

UPDATE: Full press release for the Tiger and Bunny confirmation is below the cut.

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CR adds 07 Ghost
Saturday, 02 April 2011 20:29

07 GhostOutside the rest of their simulcast announcements, Crunchyroll have snuck one new archive show onto theoir service in the form of 07 Ghost, a 2009 series that features Teito Klein, a former slave sent to attend the Barsburg Empire's military academy due to his ability to use Zaiphon, a type of supernatural power. The ability is rare, and thus highly prized. Teito is an amnesiac and doesn't remember anything of his origins - and what he does learn of his past comes from his recurring and often traumatizing dreams. It's a 25-episode series, and the first 8 are available now for premium subscribers (the first 4 for free users). Haven't seen any of it myself yet, but hoping to give it a whirl soon.

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More from CR: Battle Girls - Time Paradox
Friday, 01 April 2011 16:14

Battle Girls - Time ParadoxAnother day, another announcement from Crunchyroll, who are having possibly their biggest season yet, at least in terms of number of shows (quality remains to be seen). Here's the latest confirmation:

If Battle Girls - Time Paradox sounds suspiciously Koihime+Musou-esque to you, then that would be because it's apparently based on the same source story (Journey to the West), just from a Japanese viewpoint. Oh, and it was also a pachinko game. Modern-day middle school girl Hideyoshi is mysteriously hurled into a world resembling the warring states period of Japanese history, only this time it's inhabited only by women. This world's Oda Nobunaga is gathering the legendary Crimson Armor so she can rule the world, and for some reason needs Hideyoshi's help to do it. (Ah, the fun that could be had if Hideyoshi turned out to be the one from Baka and Test...) Dates and times for this one are TBA.

There may be more to come - CR are being coy about further annoucements - but as ever, watch the Twitter feed and you'll know about them as soo as I do.

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CR Spree Continues: Tono to Issho 2, Deadman Wonderland, The World God Only Knows, Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi
Thursday, 31 March 2011 16:12

Tono to IsshoDeadman WonderlandThe World God Only KnowsSekai-ichi Hatsukoi

Crunchyroll's Spring licensing announcements continue, and so far it's all good news for UK folks as all titles are available here. Here are the latest titles to be added to the list:

The second season of gag anime Tono to Issho, which can be thought of as feudal-era Hetalia if you're so inclined - a series of 5-minute episodes leaning heavily on visual gags and puns. The first season is already on Crunchyroll if you want a taster; new episodes will stream Mondays at 19:00UK.

Deadman Wonderland channels at least a little bit of Running Man, by the sounds of it, and could be one of the more intriguing offerings of the season. Set after Tokyo has been devastated by an earthquake (hmmm...), it follows Ganta Igarashi, a middle school student who was framed for the murder of his classmates and has been sentenced to Deadman Wonderland, a bizarre privatized prison that is one part incarceration and one part public spectacle for tourists. Simulcast dates and times are to be confirmed.

Next up is a familiar name: The World God Only Knows, the second season of the adventures of Keima and Elsie as they attempt to capture lost souls. Great fun in the first season, hopefully this one is just as good. New episodes stream Mondays at 17:00UK.

Finally for this update, there's what seems to be a little BL in the form of Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi. Ritsu Onodera has just taken a job as an editor at his parents' publishing company, Marukawa Books, but there are two bad aspects to this: one, he's been assigned to the shoujo manga department in spite of having no interest in it; and two, his editor in chief, Masamune Takano, proves to be a problem. Dates and times for this one are TBA.

Still maintaining a perfect record of having UK access to their shows this season - I'm impressed. Two more announcements due later this evening, I'll update here if I get the chance, or keep an eye on the Twitter feed.

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Anime On Demand
News and Events
Thursday, 31 March 2011 10:04

Anime On DemandAndrew from Kaze has been hinting at the launch of a new UK-focussed streaming service recently, and while the press release hasn't hit yet (it's due later today, I'm told), the site is now live, so say hello to Anime On Demand. A quick browse around the site and associated Twitter feed shows it to be a joint venture with Anime News Network (and if you have a user account on the main ANN site it will work just fine on AOD), with Manga UK and Beez also supporting the venture. We're promised archive and simulcast shows, but it'll be interesting to see what's simply being embedded / rehosted from Crunchyroll and FUNimation (as the US ANN video portal already does), and what will be genuinely new to UK users. Watch this space and I'll update this post when more information becomes available.

UPDATE: ...and the press release is here. You can read it in full below the cut, but the important details are that there will be shows on the service that are exclusive to AOD - the full line-up is due to be announced on Monday (4th April) - and that subscriptions are not horrifically-priced. A 4-month "early-adopter" pass for April-July will cost £9.99, while an annual sub will put you back £34.99, with annual subscribers being promised "extra special bonuses", as-yet to be revealed. There's also talk of a "a completely new and awesome pricing system so you don't have to pay for the same content repeatedly", as well as a promise of at least one free simulcast series each season. Sounds promising, and we wish them all the best. Now, where do I sign..?

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More CR Announcements: Without Wings, Astarotte's Toy, SKET Dance, A Bridge to the Starry Skies
Wednesday, 30 March 2011 16:06

Without Wings -under the innocent sky-Astarotte's ToySKET DanceA Bridge to the Starry Skies - Hoshizora e Kakaru Hashi

Another batch of announcements from Crunchyroll, including the longest title I've seen in a while: Without Wings -under the innocent sky- Ore-tachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai, an adaptation of a game from NAVEL (Shuffle!, Soul Link) that takes a look at the coming-of-age of a group of young people from the bustling city of Yanagihara. Hopefully there's more Shuffle! DNA in this one than Soul Link's... Dates and times for the streaming of this one are still listed as "TBD".

Number two is Astarotte's Toy, following the misadventures of Naoya, a man who is brought to a magical world to be a candidate for the harem of the succubus princess, Astarotte - and you dread to think where that could go, really... New episodes stream Sundays at 17:00UK.

Finally for now is SKET Dance, which being a Shounen Jump show I approach with a certain amount of dread. Three high-school students offer Support, Kindness, Encouragment and Troubleshooting services to the people around them in what's pitched as a comedy series. New episodes stream Thursdays at 14:30UK.

Finally for this update, another one with a long title: A Bridge to the Starry Skies - Hoshizora e Kakaru Hashi, a TV adaptation of a bishoujo game that seems to up the romcom / harem quota for the season even further than it already was. Whoo. Dates and times for this one are also "TBD".

That's seven down (and so far all available to the UK), six to go. More details when we get 'em.

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CR Spring: Gintama', Nichijou, Hanasaku Iroha
Tuesday, 29 March 2011 13:40

Crunchyroll have begun to announce their simulcast shows for the coming season. There are eight ongoing titles (Naruto Shippuden, Bleach, Beelzebub, Cardfight! Vanguard, Fairy Tale, Gosick, Kaasan: Mom's Life and Sainy Seiya: The Lost Canvas), and room on their lineup page for 13 others. The first three of those have been confirmed:

Gintama'First up is Gintama' (note the apostrophe), the second "series" of the long-running Gintama franchise - think of it in a similar vein to the distinction between Naruto and Naruto Shippuden. With 100-odd episodes of the first series having passed me by, I'm not likely to be watching it myself, but anyone looking for an unusual take on Edo-period Japan - which in this case is being run by aliens - might want to give it a look. New episodes stream on Mondays at 10:30 UK.

Hanasaku IrohaNext is Hanasaku Iroha, the 10th anniversary work from PA Works (also responsible for Canaan and Angel Beats!, amongst others) - I'm quickly becoming a fan of their work, so this has my curiosity piqued from the start. It's a slice-of-life show, following Ohana Matsumae, a 16-year-old Tokyo native who ends up working with her grandmother at a hot-spring resort, and the friends (and boys) she meets there. New episodes stream on Sundays at 15:30 UK.

NichijouFinally for now, there's My Ordinary Life (or Nichijou, if you prefer the Japanese), a comedy set in a school where the word "ordinary" could only rarely be used to describe the goings-on there. The artwork for the series has a very Azumanga Daioh vibe to it, and if the show goes for a similarly wacky outlook then we could be in for something worthwhile here. New episodes stream on Sundays at 05:00 UK.

That's three down, ten to go - details of the rest when I get 'em.

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