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Tests and (Edited) Dancing for FUNimation PDF Print E-mail
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Friday, 05 March 2010 00:00

Baka to Test to ShokanjuFUNimation has picked up Baka to Test to Shokanju and Dance in the Vampire Bund for "North American distribution". Baka to Test to Shokanju (which they're releasing under the English title of Baka and Test - Summon the Beasts) is a fighting / comedy series set at Fumizuki Academy, where the students can summon Avatars, pint-sized versions of themselves that battle using special powers. The students are grouped by skill level, and those in Class A are the brightest & those able to summon the strongest Avatars. Then there's Akihisa Yoshii's group – lowly Class F. They're the worst on campus, and they're about to take on the school's best. So goes the official description, anyway, but if the Twitterverse is anything to go by, the show's main draw seems to be character-of-dubious-sexuality Hideyoshi, who has been driving the fanboys crazy.

Dance in the Vampire BundDance in the Vampire Bund predictably focusses on a vampire, in this case Mina Tepes, queen of the vampires (in the body of a 10-year-old, by the looks of it) who has travelled to Japan to establish a colony for her blood-sucking brethren. There, Akira Kaburagi's world is about to be turned upside down - as a boy, Akira vowed to serve the ruler of the night, and now he must fulfill his destiny by protecting Mina from those who would dethrone her. Internet vibe for this one isn't quite as good as Baka & Test's, but it still has a loyal following. Or perhaps that's just for Mina.

UPDATE: However, there's a downside to this. While FUNi make a big deal of their policy of releasing shows uncut, and have been very vocal about the uncut releases of Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne and Strike Witches (both shows that were prime candidates for the snip, albeit for different reasons), Dance in the Vampire Bund won't be so lucky. Over to FUNi for the explanation:

FUNimation Entertainment is known for releasing the titles we license in their original, uncut form, as their creators intended. However, after viewing the unedited as well as the Japanese broadcast edit of the series Dance in the Vampire Bund, we have determined the series contains controversial elements which, when taken out of context, could be objectionable to some audiences.

With this in mind and with approval of the licensor, we will edit select scenes from the series in streaming and home entertainment release. These are scenes which are inappropriate for U.S. viewing and are not essential to the storyline.

Dance in the Vampire Bund is a complex and dark drama cited by press and fans as one of the best anime series out of Japan this season. Its strong story is what brought the series to our attention and why we are bringing it to the U.S.

My emphasis. Editing for online streaming is controversial but accepted (Strike Witches suffers from this), but editing the DVD/BD release is new - and to many, completely unacceptable. Be aware of this before you splash the cash.

For those in the US, both shows will being simulcast immediately on FUNi's video portal (already-aired episodes should be on the site from 10am CST today), while episodes will be available on download-to-own for US$1.99 an episode. No word yet on future DVD releases (the official press release refers only to online rights), or on the chances of those of us outside the US getting a look-in.

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