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FUNimation Adds Hero Tales, Master of Martial Hearts
Licensing
Friday, 08 January 2010 11:39

Hero TalesMaster of Martial HeartsDay four of five for FUNimation's Roll-Out Riot event, and we've finally got some new anime titles to pore over. There were two announced this time around - first up is Hero Tales, a 26-episode series that was broadcast in Japan in 2007/08 and that Anime News Network rather confusingly describes thusly:

Set in a time of chaos, seven heroes of the Stars, the Hokushintenkun, rise up to lead the people. Two of the seven, the Nitenshinson, the Hagun and the Tanrou, are never supposed to exist at the same time, but fate has decided otherwise. Taito, chosen as the Hagun, now must rise up to defeat the Tanrou, as the fate of the Stars destined it to be.

That'll be a shounen fighting show, then. The second title is Zettai Shougeki ~Platonic Heart~, a 5-episode OVA series that FUNi will be releasing under the name Master of Martial Arts. The Platonic Heart of the original title is a mystical jewel that can grant any wish, and over which those chosen as worth to possess it must fight. Character designs for the series are by eroge illustrator Boin, so at least it'll look good. Can't say that the descriptions of either series are particularly inspiring, though. Hero Tales will ship as two half-season sets beginning in the Autumn, while Master of Martial Hearts is slated for release in early 2011.

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CR Brings Omamori Himari to the UK
Licensing
Thursday, 07 January 2010 11:03

Omamori HimariWord of this one first broke a few days ago, but I hadn't mentioned it as at that stage it wasn't set to be availble in the UK. Now, though, Crunchyroll have 'done some begging' (their words!) and gained the additional rights necessary, so we will be getting Omamori Himari after all. The show is a 'slapstick romantic comedy' that stars Yuto Amakawa, a 16-year-old boy who gains cat-girl spirit Himari as his guardian spirit. Usual rules for simulcasts apply - episodes will be available for streaming on the site within one hour of their Japanese broadcast for subscribed Anime Members, and one week later for the freeloaders. :)

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FUNimation Rescues FLCL
Licensing
Thursday, 07 January 2010 11:02

FLCLYou could say that FUNimation's Roll-Out Riot 'event' has been something of a damp squib so far - with three of five announcements down, we've had a string of live-action titles (of which RoboGeisha is the only one that sounds curious enough to catch my attention), and one license rescue. But what a rescue, as GAINAX mindfuck anime FLCL (or Fooly Cooly, or maybe Furi Kuri if your prefer) has been rescued from now-defunct Synch-Point. Not only will is be getting a DVD re-release, but it will also be released on Blu-ray - although as FUNi tend to region-lock their BD releases, that may not be worth much for UK fans. We'll just have to make do with the recent UK DVD release from MVM. Bah.

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Manga UK to Release Summer Wars
Licensing
Tuesday, 05 January 2010 00:00

Summer WarsFresh off @MangaUK's Twitter feed this morning is news that the company will be releasing Summer Wars, the latest movie from Mamoru Hosoda, who was previously responsible for the impressive The Girl Who Leapt Through Time. Summer Wars is an unusual mix of coming-of-age romance with a large dose of technology thrown in, as schoolkid and maths genius Kenji Koiso juggles his summer "job" of pretending to be fiancé to object-of-his-affection Natsuki with his accidental involvement in the hijacking of the world's most important social networking site. Haven't seen it myself yet, but reaction from those who have seems to be universally positive, so I'm looking forward to this one...

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Durarara!! and Chu-bra!! for Crunchyroll!!
Licensing
Wednesday, 30 December 2009 10:29

Durarara!!Chu-bra!!Rather low-key, this one, as both titles have simply appeared on Crunchyroll's lineup page without fanfare, but the site has picked up Durarara!! and Chu-bra!! for simulcast in the upcoming season - both shows begin airing in Japan in January. Durarara!! is an action-comedy series which follows Ryuugamine Mikado, a boy who's tired of city life but finds himself tied up in the worlds of motorcycle gangs and the supernatural; while the promo image for Chu-bra!! should pretty much speak for itself. Already some speculation on Twitter that the latter show is likely to appear in an edited form - we'll soon find out...

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Three More for Section23
Licensing
Wednesday, 23 December 2009 10:36

Section23 FilmsSection23 Films have picked up another trio of titles for release, as usual foregoing any formal announcement and just letting their solicitations speak for themselves. First up is the third season in the You're Under Arrest series, Full Throttle, which sees Miyuki now fresh from forensics training in the United States, and Natsumi returning from JSDF ranger training. I have visions of CSI: Tokyo.

Next is Yozakura Quartet, a supernatural comedy that follows a quartet of teenaged heroes (super-strong girl Hime, mind-reader Ao and conjurer Kotoha) and an ordinary, powerless boy named Akina who protect the city of Sakurashin from supernatural threats; while finally there's Tayutama -Kiss on my Deity-, another supernatural comedy - I'm spotting a theme here - where high-school Mito and his friends discover a relic on school grounds that ties them to the legend of Tayutayu-sama, a local protective deity.

While we're on the subject of Section23, I note with interest that the meta tags on their website (just a holding page at present) describes them as ...A producer and distributor of Japanese animation and live action movies for North America and the United Kingdom. Emphasis added, and it seems to suggest that we'll be seeing at least some UK releases from Section23 at some point in the future.

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Crunchyroll Adds Cobra
Licensing
Monday, 21 December 2009 11:22

CobraThe new season is almost upon us, and so Crunchyroll are getting into gear for their usual announcement spree. First out of the blocks is Cobra the Animation, which comes in a variety of forms - the first one to hit the site will be the 2008 OVA The Psychogun, followed by the 2009 OVA Time Drive and finally the TV series, which debuts in Japan in January. The three shows constitue a reboot of 1982's Space Adventure Cobra, so expect some old-school style action.

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Guardians of Luna Coming to FUNimation
Licensing
Tuesday, 08 December 2009 13:52

Guardians of LunaA bit unusual, this one, as production on the show apparently hasn't even started yet, but FUNimation have picked up the rights to US/Japan co-production Guardians of Luna. FUNimation's blurg on the project indicates that it's "...a dark story which centers around an ancient race of shape-shifters with the ability to change into powerful creatures. Four unlikely heroes descended from this once-great race are charged with protecting an ancestral power source from a ruthless mogul.". While most of the work will be done in Japan, the script supervisor for the project will be Michael Reaves, whose previous credits include Batman: The Animated Series, Gargoyles and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Production on the film is set to begin next year.

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Sentai Solicit MariaHolic, Skull Man
Licensing
Monday, 07 December 2009 13:23

MariaHolicSkull ManSentai Filmworks released their latest set of solicitations over the weekend, and in keeping with recent tradition there are a few new titles in there. First up is MariaHolic, a crossdressing comedy that centers on high-school girl - and would-be lesbian - Kanako who enrolls in all-girls school because she has a phobia of men and wants to find her ideal female partner. There, she meets a captivating freshman named Maria who fits her criteria — except that Maria happens to be a cross-dressing sadistic boy. Chaos, naturally, ensues.

Next up is Skull Man, a supernatural series set in an alternate Japan, where freelance photographer Minagami Hayato returns to his hometown of Ootomo to hunt down a murderous man who wears a skill mask. Both shows are to be released in complete collections in February, and both sets are subtitle-only.

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PlayStation Video Store Goes Live for UK, Includes Anime
News and Events
Tuesday, 24 November 2009 11:37

PLAYSTATION3Sony's Playstation Video Store has finally gone live in the UK, and there's even a limited selection of anime titles available at launch, courtesy of Manga Entertainment:
Dead Leaves (SD rent only £2.49)
Dead Space: Downfall (SD rent only £2.49)
Hellboy: Blood and Iron (SD rent only £2.49)
Hellboy: Sword of Storms (SD rent only £2.49)
Macross Plus: Movie Edition (SD rent only £2.49)
Macross II: The Movie (SD rent only £2.49)
Street Fighter Alpha (SD rent only £2.49)
Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie (SD rent only £2.49)
Knock yourselves out. :) Hopefully the range of available titles will improve over time...

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