Aniplex

Madoka Magica photo
Madoka Magica

Final Madoka Magica film gets a 90 sec trailer


Bad things will probably happen
Oct 24
// Elliot Gay
Some of you might not be aware of this, but Madoka Magica The Movie -Rebellion- hits Japanese theaters on Saturday. It's hard to believe that we finally seem to be reaching the end of this long, dark magical girl journey.&nb...

Annotated Anime: Kill la Kill Episode 03

Oct 23 // Elliot Gay
Episode three of Kill la Kill opens with a flashback to Satsuki's childhood. A wide eye'd little girl with a single dream, she's shown a sailor uniform by her father. He goes on to tell Satsuki that eventually the uniform will be her wedding dress. The name of the outfit? Junketsu, which can and should be translated as purity. It's a creepy scene, made all the more unsettling by the lack of voiceover from the father and the 4:3 format used to frame the sequence. Furthermore, the idea that this uniform represents "purity," juxtaposed with what it transforms into later, seems like some kind of strange contradiction. Really though, the point seems to be that accepting your sexuality and accepting yourself is the truest form of "purity." It's definitely a twist on the typical idea that seems to permeate a lot of anime and even Japanese pop culture. This point is hammered in throughout the episode by, much to my surprise, Mako. Ryuko is uncomfortable with showing so  much skin when she fights; it's embarrassing and she's afraid people will look at her like she's some kind of lewd individual. Mako comments that there's no way anybody would wear something like that unless they enjoyed it, and then goes on to remark that she'd love to try putting it on. Her speech later on is what ends up giving Ryuko the courage to accept Senketsu and her own sexuality; "just rip it off and get naked," she says.  The whole show seems to work around this concept of sexuality too. Aikuro pretty much embodies this fully, as he just kind of strips off clothes without noticing or even acknowledging it. His scenes are more than a little goofy, but he's someone who has fully embraced his own sexuality to the point that he pays no attention to it. Meanwhile, Ryuko can't help but blush and get flustered when she's around him doing his thing. It's also fascinating how little skin is actually shown outside of the battle sequences; things are played fairly straight until the characters transform. We're only three episodes in and it feels like Nakashima has already presented us with the climax of his story. At this point, I'm expecting things to go even further into Utena territory. On a technical level, episode three was largely fantastic save for the very awkward use of CG characters halfway through. There's a shot of Satsuki walking up the wall of the school that, while funny as hell, sticks out like a sore thumb compared to the rest of the action. It's surprising too, considering how strong the CG work was on Black Rock Shooter. Fortunately, other attempts work significantly better; the exchange in the hallway is super dynamic and reminded me a lot of Panty & Stocking at its best. As usual, the art is consistently great, allowing Sushio's designs to really breathe.  The entire duel is filled with choice shots such as Ryuko spinning into a drill, Satsuki tapping her to send her flying into a building, and quite a few others. While Kill la Kill is not the sakuga show that lots of people seem to have initially anticipated, it looks good and has a remarkable sense of speed for something that probably has a small budget. It looks like things are set to slow down a bit next week as we settle into a more steady groove. The set up is finished and the stakes have been raised. With only three episodes down, I honestly have no idea where TRIGGER intends to take us. And I'm completely fine with that.
AA: Kill la Kill 03 photo
Time to get naked
Kill la Kill's third episode is about as climactic as anime can get without outright ending a series. It's a packed 24 minutes that devotes a majority of its run time to a large scale battle between the two leads, stopping on...

SAO: TV special photo
SAO: TV special

Sword Art Online TV special get a date and a synopsis


Swimming hijinks!
Oct 06
// Elliot Gay
You probably thought I'd never write about the anime adaptation of Sword Art Online ever again. You were wrong. The time and date have been revealed for the upcoming Sword Art Online: Extra Edition TV special. It'll be airing...
SAO: Hollow Fragment photo
SAO: Hollow Fragment

Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment announced for the Vita


There's no stopping the SAO train!
Oct 06
// Elliot Gay
It should come as no surprise that Namco Bandai is eager to produce a follow up to its PSP Sword Art Online game. The release sold exceptionally well on a platform that is essentially dead, and it makes sense that they would...
Kill la Kill sketches photo
Kill la Kill sketches

Kill la Kill Instagram filled with awesome rough sketches


Trigger going in hard
Oct 03
// Elliot Gay
It's impressive how much TRIGGER and Aniplex have been pushing their brand new show, Kill la Kill. I don't just mean in Japan either; they've done a remarkable job of giving English speaking fans stuff to enjoy in the lead up...
Kill la Kill English Site photo
Kill la Kill English Site

Kill la Kill USA Official Website launches


It's to die for, or something
Oct 02
// Elliot Gay
I'm perhaps unreasonably hyped for Trigger's first original TV anime, Kill la Kill. My love for their OVA Little Witch Academia knows no bounds, and the projects that the core staff worked on prior to creating Trigger are all...
Japanator Unboxes photo
Swagolicious!
Some time back, you may remember that Aniplex rescued Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann from the depths of license limbo. This meant two things: the release will come with a bunch of extra stuff and it will be pricey. Based off Sal...

Blue Exorcist The Movie photo
Blue Exorcist The Movie

Aniplex to release Blue Exorcist The Movie on Blu-ray


Everything you wanted
Sep 28
// Kristina Pino
Aniplex have just announced that Blue Exorcist The Movie is not only coming to home video, but you'll be able to enjoy it in glorious Blu-ray format if you choose to buy the limited box set edition. It includes the film in bo...
A new Madoka character  photo
A new Madoka character

More Contracts! A new character joins Madoka's third film


Kyubey is getting those papers ready.
Sep 03
// Salvador GRodiles
It looks like I missed Kyubey's memo earlier during the day, but that doesn't mean that this is going to be huge! So what's this big event that's been getting me intrigued? Well, Madoka Magica the Movie III: Rebellion will be...

First Impressions: Servant x Service

Jul 14 // Jeff Chuang
It's going to be a thing throughout your first impression with this show:  the similarity between Servant x Service and Working! is not avoidable throughout. The show really feels like Working version 2 not only because of the source material (from the same mangaka), but also because the production team is very much the same. From the opening sequence you can tell this is the same idea, applying the same catchy seiyuu ensemble with the same upbeat direction in the visuals. Cuts after cuts, the jokes almost write themselves. And that is just the OP. The body of Servant x Service itself doesn't deviate from the same general formula. One of the main character has a set of large rack, and that gets played on repeatedly. Instead of androphobia, our main girl, Lucy (abbriv.) Yamagami has it worse than having hippies for parents. The joke here is that her given name is a series of common given names in which her indecisive parents filled in the birth certificate papers. It's a tough joke to play on but at the same time, it's hard to explain. Between this joke and the Lucy-has-large-breast jokes, I think we're already running thin on comedy by episode 2. As one of the three new hires at the office, Lucy joins Saya Miyoshi (shy quiet girl) and Yutaka Hasebe (overachieving flirt), learning the ropes. Their mentor at work, Taishi Ichimiya, for the most part, seems normal, until Ichimiya's sister Touko joins the fray as a serious bro-con, but also obsessed in Japanese welfare law. Other office co-works also includes part-timer Megumi Chihaya (otaku), who pairs up with Lucy in the same department. For fans of Working, Servant x Service may very well be a comedy that writes itself. Perhaps one distinguishing point here is that Servant x Service features an anime-in-anime in the form of Magical Flowers. There was an April Fools joke on the Servant x Service website this past April featuring the team magical girls anime, so the anime proper will likely heavily feature that. For the voice acting fans, Servant x Service is something of a new deal, hearing both Ai Kayano and Mai Nakahara in relatively unusual roles. It almost felt like the two of them stereotypically would fit each other's role better, but so far both actresses have been surprisingly solid. Finally, like Working, the laughs doesn't quite fully pour in from the start. It's only after the audience has made some connection with the characters that the jokes begin to work (coincidentally, around the time when Yamada was introduced). It might be a safe bet with Servant x Service, too, that while this particular variety of office humor might be a little foreign to us foreigners, the familiar formula will begin to cash in around the half way point. [Watch Servant x Service simulcasting on Crunchyroll!]  
Servant x Service photo
Public servants are serious business
At first glance, Servant x Service feels just like Working or Wagnaria, whichever you prefer. The diner comedy sports the same comedic timing common to 4koma adaptations, the same array of odd characters, and the same otaku-f...

Madoka Movie 3 showings photo
Madoka Movie 3 showings

YES! Madoka Movie 3 gets a US, CAN, and France showing


My prayers have been answered!
Jul 08
// Salvador GRodiles
Kyubey has made his verdict at Japan Expo 2013, and Madoka Magica the Movie III: Rebellion will be shown in the United States, Canada, and France! In other words, you can thank good old Sal for offering his soul to Kyubey to ...
Crunchyroll's new animes photo
Crunchyroll's new animes

Simulcast GET! Crunchyroll grabs Monogatari S2 and more


Simulcasts Assemble!
Jul 03
// Salvador GRodiles
I have a feeling that Crunchyroll has developed a new fetish for the summer season, since magical girls, dolls, and airsoft guns are joining their summer lineup. With that being said, Rozen Maiden Zuruckspulen and F...
Daisuki.net's new shows  photo
Daisuki.net's new shows

Streaming GET! Daisuki.net adds DBZ, One Piece, and more


Toei is finally adding things!
Jul 03
// Salvador GRodiles
I'm not sure what the hold up was with Toei in the past, but Daisuki.net has assured us that Dragonball Z and One Piece have finally landed on Daisuki's turf. As they say, better late than never. Hopefully, this is a sign tha...
Monogatari S2 on Daisuki  photo
Monogatari S2 on Daisuki

Brush your Teeth! Daisuki.net to simulcast Monogatari S2


Will they get the streaming quality right?
Jun 22
// Salvador GRodiles
This is going to make me into a big target, but I could never get into the Monogatari series. However, I will admit I did enjoy the relationship between Araragi and Hitagi, along with the fact that Karen made a reference to D...
OreImo 2 OVA stream photo
OreImo 2 OVA stream

OreImo 2's last episodes to be streamed worldwide


From fourteen to sweet sixteen
Jun 18
// Josh Tolentino
Oh that greedy imouto! We're already approaching the end of OreImo 2's TV run, but in true "modern anime industry" fashion, there are to be several more episodes intended to round the story out at a sweet sixteen outings...
Aniplex Monogatari GET photo
Aniplex Monogatari GET

Toothbrush time! Aniplex licenses Monogatari S2, Nekokuro


Streaming and discs to follow
Jun 14
// Josh Tolentino
Rejoice, fans of licensing acquisitions, for another one of those has happened! In a move that's sure to delight fans of the Monogatari franchise, Aniplex of America has announced their pickup of the latest two Monogata...
GYO: Tokyo Fish Attack! photo
GYO: Tokyo Fish Attack!

GYO: Tokyo Fish Attack! doesn't need any extra wasabi


Something's fishy with the attackers!
Jun 06
// Hiroko Yamamura
The television and theatres are overrun with zombie movies nowadays. You just can't avoid 'em. Cities infested with the evil walking dead. How about a film with some evil walking fish? You might not look at your sushi the sa...
SAO BD/DVD release date photo
SAO BD/DVD release date

NA Sword Art Online BD/DVD preorders open up


I'm sure some of you will be pleased.
May 28
// Elliot Gay
It's no secret that I didn't quite enjoy Sword Art Online. I know quite a few of you did however, so here I am with some good news. Preorders have officially opened for Aniplex's release of Sword Art Online on BD/DVD. You can...

Review: Mikunopolis in Los Angeles

May 22 // Pedro Cortes
Mikunopolis in Los Angeles (Blu-ray & Audio CD)Licensed by AniplexReleased: April 16, 2013MSRP: $74.99   Alright, so before I get started, ask yourself an important question: Do I like Hatsune Miku and/or her music? If you say no to either, you're probably not going to like this flick. Simply put, it's for fans and will not do much to change anybody's mind. However, if you answered yes to both, I'm pretty sure that this'll be your jam. Recorded on July 2nd, 2011 at the Nokia Theatre in downtown Los Angeles, this is the first time that Miku performed for US audiences. How is this possible, you may ask? Well, thanks to some 3D trickery from SEGA, a projection of the teal-haired songstress is projected onto a glass on the stage. Accompanied by a live musicians, Miku scampers around the confines of her screen and dances her little virtual heart out. She even "descends" for "costume changes" and hops back up with a new look for particular songs. There are even a couple of songs with some of the other Vocaloids. There are certain angles and shots that can trick you into thinking that she's actually on the stage. Unfortunately, the illusion is often broken by the shifting camera angels and closeups. I can imagine that it must have looked amazing while sitting in the crowd, but from our seats it's clear that Miku is a mere projection. That's a shame, as the actual cutting is well done, it's just that it doesn't quite work in this unique case.  Since this is a concert flick, most of the entertainment value comes from the set list. Looking here, there isn't a lot that's familiar. I'm sure bigger Vocaloid fanatics would recognize everything, but I only heard a couple of these tracks before I watched Mikunopolis. That said, I quite enjoyed the tracks they chose to play. The live renditions had a ton of energy behind them and the crowd really seemed to dig just about every track. Everything sounds great too, as the mix is pretty solid. It was nice to sit in my room and have the surround system blast the 5.1 mix into my ears and face.  As for extras, you've got a couple to sweeten the pot. On disk, there's a making of feature and the opening act for the concert. In the package is a mini-poster with the track credits on the back and a CD with the entire concert. However, that asking price is stiff for a Blu-ray and an audio CD. If you got the scratch and you want some live action Vocaloids, then Mikunopolis is right up your alley! Score: 7 - Good. (Films or shows that get this score are good, but not great. These could have been destined for greatness, but were held back by their flaws. While some may not enjoy them, fans of the genre will definitely love them.)
Mikunopolis LA Review photo
BEWARE THE RISE OF SKYNET
The best concert films go out of their way to replicate the experience of actually attending the filmed event. While nothing will ever nail what it was like to hear the pounding speakers and experience an event with hundreds ...

Japanator Interviews: DAISUKI.net's Eri Maruyama

May 21 // Josh Totman
Japanator: How did the name Daisuki.net come about? DAISUKI: We looked for something that sounds catchy and can be memorized &  pronounced by fans from different countries easily. It is a Japanese vocabulary that many foreign Anime fans are familiar with. We hope that fans from all over the world will “daisuki” our service! J: What services will it offer? D: DAISUKI will stream anime content world-wide. Most of the video content will be viewable for free. There is also a free membership. For now, the benefits for registered users include participation in campaigns with many prizes. More services are to come. Also, our DAISUKI web-store with anime merchandise is planned to launch in late June 2013. J: Will there be any region restrictions on who can view the content? D: Basically the website itself will be available world-wide outside of Japan. There are region restrictions though, which depend on the titles. We try to provide our service to all overseas fans, but in case of some series exclusive rights may be already given to another company in specific regions, for example. J: What kind of pricing structure will the site have? D: Most of the video content will be for free. Later, some premium video content will be added that will be fee-based. J: Which shows will be available from the start of the service? D: At DAISUKI.net you can now watch Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Sword Art Online, Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, Lupin the 3rd, and The Prince of Tennis OAV series (which has been translated into English for the first time). J: Any upcoming shows/events to tease us with? D: DAISUKI will participate in upcoming anime conventions in the US. We started off with Anime Central in mid May. On some conventions, we are planning guests from Japan, small events etc., so please be sure to check our DAISUKI booth, when you are at one of these conventions! In terms of the website, you will see a menu tab called DAISUKI TV that is “coming soon”. Here, we are planning to stream some original anime-related content only viewable on DAISUKI. J: Will full seasons be available of older shows? D: We are definitely planning to stream older shows, too. But we will rather have only a few episodes up at the same time from each series, and update them continuously. J: What will be the turnaround time for new shows now airing? D: For now, there is no definite plan yet. For the first period, we want to add new shows continuously. J: Anything else you would like to tell our readers? D: Please enjoy our service! We are looking forward to meeting many local fans on upcoming anime conventions. Needless to say, but I am rather looking forward to this new service and what it will have to offer in the future. Besides, they are giving away TONS of prizes for the grand opening! Hope on over to Daisuki.net, sign up, and apply to one of many great prizes! I've got my eye on that Ultimate Madoko for sure. What about you?
Interview: DAISUKI.net photo
Streaming world-wide
You might of heard that there is a new streaming site that has just launched out of Japan. It is being backed by some big names in the anime world like Aniplex, Sunrise, and Toei. What could that exactly mean for you, you ask? Well, let me let Eri Maruyama (International Business Development) at DAISUKI answer that as well as many more burning questions that I had about the new service.

anime web radio photo
anime web radio

Oreimo web radio is now taking your fan mail


Taketatsu and Kanazawa will read your letters
May 16
// Jeff Chuang
Oreimo season 2's web radio show, hosted by Kana Hanazawa and Ayana Taketatsu, is soliciting oversea fans to write to them. One of the corners on the radio program showcases foreign fan letters, and they're asking for mo...
Daisuki.net is up photo
Daisuki.net is up

Get Pumped: Daisuki.net goes live


A new distributor is born!
May 15
// Salvador GRodiles
[Update: It seems availability varies per-country. For example, viewers in the Philippines are currently only able to view Sunrise videos.] This week has been a great moment for anime. First we get Anime Sols, and now Daisuki...
Madoka movie trailer photo
Madoka movie trailer

The Madoka movies are almost ready to come home with you


Bring home some little girls
May 08
// Hiroko Yamamura
Did you miss the Puella Magi Madoka Magica movies when they were in the theatre? I can gladly say that I got a chance to see the film when it swung through Chicago, but that doesn't dull any of my excitement for the home rel...
The Aniplex Channel photo
The Aniplex Channel

Incoming attack: Aniplex creates their own anime channel


A new place for you to watch Aniplex's animes.
Apr 25
// Salvador GRodiles
Even though most of Aniplex's shows are streaming in places such as Crunchyroll and Hulu, it's not stopping the company from creating their own anime streaming Website. From the looks of it, the Aniplex Channel seems to be fr...
Are you kidding me? photo
Are you kidding me?

Editorial: The new state of industry


A $549.98 Joke
Apr 01
// Jeff Chuang
Japanese prices? It's a better alternative, than nothing at all?
Aniplex gets Valvrave  photo
Aniplex gets Valvrave

Licensing GET: Aniplex grabs Valvrave the Liberator


Launching preemptive mecha license!
Mar 30
// Salvador GRodiles
We haven't even seen the first episode of Valvrave yet, and Aniplex USA has already used their giant licensing robot to obtain the series. Something tells me that they are hoping for Valvrave to become next big seri...
Gurren Lagann is back photo
Gurren Lagann is back

Giga License Breaker: Aniplex rescues Gurren Lagann


Who the hell do you think we are?!
Mar 30
// Salvador GRodiles
It shouldn't be a surprise to people that the Gurren Lagann TV series would get revived by Aniplex USA, since they were the ones who licensed the two movies in North America. Knowing who the hell Aniplex is, they pl...
 photo

It keeps on going: Sandy gets a taste of Madoka's magic


Will we see more showtimes in the US?
Feb 28
// Salvador GRodiles
Oh snap, the contract express is still on course, and the people of Sandy, Utah are next on the list of places that will be showing the first two Madoka movies. Will this be the last that we hear from Kyubey's collaborat...
 photo

Vocaloid Galore: Mikunopolis Combo is up for pre-order


Get your Miku while she's hot.
Feb 26
// Salvador GRodiles
Ever wanted to relive your experience of seeing Hatsune Miku live with her comrades in Los Angeles? Well, Aniplex is ready to let unlock the ability for consumers to pre-order Mikunopolis in Los Angeles as a limited edition B...
 photo

Sneak attack: Aniplex unveils more Sakura-Con plans


Get ready for a surprise critical hit!
Feb 23
// Salvador GRodiles
Remember when Aniplex had big plans for Sakura-Con that were related to Sword Art Online? Of course you do.  Well, that's not the only thing that you are getting this year, because Aniplex's online panel has revealed tha...

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