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Sacred Blacksmith for Manga UK, Two More for Sentai
Licensing
Wednesday, 16 February 2011 21:30

Sacred Blacksmith

Busy-ish day on the licensing front. First up is MangaUK, with a cryptic little tweet on their Twitter feed that indicates that Sacred Blacksmith will be coming our way in the summer - it's a 12-episode series from Manglobe (Samurai Champloo, Ergo Proxy) that follows knight Cecily Campbell's involvement with Luke Ainsworth, a blacksmith of unparallelled skill. Sounds curious.

Allison and LilliaAcross the pond, meanwhile, Sentai Filmworks have published their May release schedule, which includes two new licenses: Coffee Samurai / Hoshizora Kiseki, a one-hour double-bill of short stories from Comix Wave; and Allison and Lillia, set in a world where war is seemingly endless and where the titular characters, a fighter pilot and bookwork respectively, are about to begin an epic journey of their own. Can't say I've heard of any of them, which should make them all the more surprising when I finally get around to seeing some of them.

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Crunchyroll Winter 2011
Licensing
Thursday, 06 January 2011 22:30

CrunchyrollCrunchyroll are currently releasing details of their 10 new simulcast shows for the Winter 2011 series. We'll update this post as they come out - brief airing details here, and check below the cut for more information.

Kore wa Zombie desu ka? - Monday 18:00 UK
Level E - Monday 18:00 UK
Dragon Crisis! - Monday 19:00 UK
Rio - Rainbow Gate! - Tuesday 15:30 UK
Hourou Musuko - Wandering Son - Thursday 18:00 UK
Gosick - Friday 18:30 UK
Cardfight!! Vanguard - Saturday 00:30 UK
Mitsudomoe Zoryochu! - Saturday 19:30 UK
Beelzebub - Sunday 00:00 UK
Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas - details TBA

The first episode of Rio - Rainbow Gate! is available now. Note that, in the UK and Ireland only, Gosick and Kore wa Zombie desu ka? are only available to anime subscribers.

Mitsudomoe and Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas are unusual ones: Mitsudomoe only runs for 8 episodes, a rather shortened run, while Saint is an ongoing OVA series - the 13-episode first season has already been released in Japan and will be added to Crunchyroll in full shortly (no dates specified), while episodes of the forthcoming second season will be added on the day of their Japanese release - the first episode is currently scheduled for 23 February.

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Read more: Crunchyroll Winter 2011
 
Crunchyroll Launches Final Batch of Kadokawa Titles
Licensing
Thursday, 30 December 2010 21:13

CrunchyrollCrunchyroll have launched the last three titles in their deal with Kadokawa: Venus to Mamoru! (aka Mamoru-kun ni Megami no Shukufuku wo!), Canvas 2: Rainbow Coloured Sketch, and Magicians Academy (aka Macademu Wasshoi!). Harems all round again, then. All three shows are available to the UK, and available in full to CR subscribers now (Magicians Academy is deemed adults-only, so if you use the Crunchyroll iPhone / iPad app, you won't find it there). For free users, Venus to Mamoru! and Canvas 2 will roll out at four episodes per week, while Magicians Academy will be released 3 episodes per week.

In slightly-related news, meanwhile, CR have confirmed they have ten new simulcasts to announce for the winter 2011 season - they'll be announcing them next with, with several titles to be confirmed each day between 3-6 January. They'll be in addition to the seven continuing simulcast titles: Naruto Shippuden, Bleach, Kaasan - Mom's Life, Lilpri, Fairy Tale, SRWOG: The Inspector, and Tegami Bachi Reverse. Spoilt for choice? I think so...

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Crunchyroll and Kadokawa Stream Demonbane, Seitokai no Ichizon
Licensing
Thursday, 23 December 2010 09:42

CrunchyrollCrunchyroll have added the latest pair of shows from their deal with Kadokawa Pictures, and this week they're mecha-and-mythology series Demonbane, and high-school comedy Student Council's Discretion (which you'll probably know better as Seitokai no Ichizon). Both shows are available to UK users of the site and are available in full now to their anime suscribers, while three episodes will be released to free users each week.

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It's Harem Day at Crunchyroll
Licensing
Wednesday, 15 December 2010 21:34

CrunchyrollIt feels like harem day over at Crunchyroll, as they've released three more shows from their deal with Kadokawa, which each have that one-boy-many-girls feel. Read on for the details...

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Read more: It's Harem Day at Crunchyroll
 
Manga UK Nixes FMA:Brotherhood Blu-ray Release
News and Events
Monday, 13 December 2010 11:46
Manga UKManga UK have cancelled the Blu-ray release of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood from volume 3 onwards, citing high production costs and low sales of the first two volumes. The show's DVD release will continue. The full press release from Manga, explaining the decision, is below the cut.

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Read more: Manga UK Nixes FMA:Brotherhood Blu-ray Release
 
Crunchyroll Adds Kiddy GiRL-AND, Mushi-Uta and Cosplay Complex
Licensing
Wednesday, 08 December 2010 20:49

CrunchyrollCrunchyroll have added three more shows this evening, courtesy of their licensing deal with Kadokawa, and two of 'em are as-yet unreleased in the west, which makes them of particular interest. First up is Kiddy GiRL-AND (24 episodes), sequel to GONZO series Kiddy Grade that replaces Eclaire and Lumiere with the similar-in-personality Ascouer and Q-feuille as agents of the powerful Galactic Trade Organisation. Having been a fan of Kiddy Grade backin the day, this is one I'll be jumping on quite quickly, I suspect. Next is Mushi-Uta (12 episodes), a supernatural tale of teenagers and the parasitical bugs that give them superhuman power in exchange for their dreams. This is one I've heard very little about, so no comment from me. Finally, we have a little blast from the past in the form of Cosplay Complex, a 3-episode OVA originally released by ADV Films (who release was reviewed here) that follows the fanservice-laden adventures of the East Oizumi Academy Cosplay Club as they try to reach the Cosplay World Series. Mindless fun FTW.

All three shows are available to the UK and are now available in full to Crunchyroll subscribers; for free users, they'll be rolled out at the rate of three episodes per week for Kiddy GiRL=AND and Mushi-Uta, and one episode per week for Cosplay Complex. Enjoy.

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Fire Up Those Browsers: Melody of Oblivion, Junjo Romatica Now Streaming
News and Events
Tuesday, 30 November 2010 22:28

Fire up those browsers, there are two more shows making their streaming debuts this evening and available to UK viewers. First up is Melody of Oblivion, a former Geneon show with strong hints of Revolutionary Girl Utena about it that's now available via Crunchyroll, through their deal with Kadokawa Pictures. All 24 episodes are now available for your viewing pleasure if you're a subscriber - they'll be released over time (4 episodes per week) for free users.

Over at YouTube, meanwhile, Nozomi Entertainment are streaming the first episode of Junjo Romantica - further episodes of the 12-episode series will be rotated in over coming weeks in Nozomi's usual fashion. The show is a NC17-rated yaoi series, following the romantic ups and downs (ahem) of six young men. See it while you can...

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Sentai Acquire Needless License
Licensing
Tuesday, 09 November 2010 20:32

NeedlessSentai Filmworks will be releasing 24-episode sci-fi/comedy series Needless through Section23 Films, with the first of two half-season sets set for release on both DVD and Blu-ray on 1st February next year. The set will include an English dub & subtitled Japanese track. I'd never heard of this one before, but the series apparently takes us to a near-future, after the Third World War has left the planet devastated, and follows the adventures of a number of the titular Needless - mutated humans who possess a range of super powers. One one level, that sounds a lot like s-CRY-ed to me - which wouldn't be a great show to be compared with - but I guess I'll just have to wait to find out just what it's like...

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London Expo October 2010 - Anime Panel Announcements
Licensing
Saturday, 30 October 2010 11:10

London ExpoLondon Expo is having their anime industry panel this morning - it's still underway as I type - and there's some interesting news coming out of it, mostly from Manga UK but also from other departments. We'll take it company by company.

Manga UK confirmed yesterday's Haruhi tweets, with clarification that the Haruhi-chan shorts will be subtitled-only. They've also picked up K-On!'s first season (DVD, hopeful for Blu-ray) and Birdy the Mighty: Decode, with a number of other FUNimation titles in the pipeline to be announced shortly. They've added the second Naruto: Shippuden movie and confirmed their Hetalia license is for the first two seasons. They're in "constructive talks" with Toei for Dragonball and One Piece, but these shows are major commitments and there's nothing to confirm yet.

MVM Entertainment have licensed Tower of Druaga, to be released as a single set (so I assume that's the first season only), as well as extending their licenses to a number of other shows including Trigun and Samurai Champloo. They have been buying Blu-ray rights for their recent acquisitions, but there are no plans as yet for them to get into the Blu-ray market.

Beez have picked up House of Five Leaves and Tatami Galaxy, with other new titles in the pipeline that they're not able to announce yet. The Blu-ray release of Gundam Unicorn is on hold due to "internal discussions over pricing", although it's on track for a release via PlayStation Network and XBox Live, apparently next week. Interestingly, their Head of Acquisitions Andrew Partridge, who seems to single-handedly run their UK operation, is leaving the company on Monday to work for French distributor Kaze - more on them in a moment - which does have some people worried that Beez will scale back in the UK. We'll see - I hope not.

Kaze are a French company who were recently bought up by Viz Media - up to now they've had no presence in the UK, but wearing his new Kaze hat Andrew Partridge confirmed that the company was looking to expand into the UK, both online and "offline" (I presume that means physical releases) as well as in merchandise. No firm announcements yet, but they'll hopefully have something to announce on the streaming front at the next London Expo (May 2011).

And that's it from the anime industry panel. I'll update this post if any other news sneaks out over the weekend. Credit due to the folks live-tweeting the panel (check for the #MCMExpo hashtag on Twitter), as I wasn't able to get there myself.

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