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Garo photo

Licensing GET: Kraken Releasing nabs the original Garo series

The golden light shines strong
Oct 10
// Salvador G Rodiles
Ladies and gentlemen: It appears that hell's temperatures have reached a subzero level since another miracle has happened. During Atlanta's Monsterama Convention that happened last weekend, Section 23's division known as Krak...
Right Stuf photo
Right Stuf

Save big with the latest sale at Right Stuf

Pick over the drawn & quartered corpse of ADV!
Feb 24
// Pedro Cortes
Hark, what is that sound? That's the sound of money not flooding out of your wallet. It's a sound that comes with sales, like the one currently going on at the RightStuf. The retailer's current big sale features titles from M...
Section23 photo

Section23 announces anime release dates for March

You need a date? You needs numbers? I've got numbers that are release dates for anime, which is almost the same thing.
Nov 26
// Ben Huber
Sometimes I don't know what to do with all the press releases in my inbox! Luckily, Section23's announcement of release dates is sparkly & fresh and caught my eye! Their latest listing of upcoming anime for March features...
Myself; Yourself photo
Myself; Yourself

Maiden Japan remembers Myself; Yourself, licenses

DVD and digital for North America
Nov 14
// Jeff Chuang
Anyone remembers Myself; Yourself? This 2007 title was memorable for me not only because of the semicolon-laden title, but also because it is surprisingly cogent for a bishoujo video game adaptation. Having the scenario write...

Patlabor TV gets rescued photo
Patlabor TV gets rescued

Super Rejoice: Maiden Japan gets the Patlabor TV series

Mobile Police Patlabor on TV is back, people!
Mar 20
// Salvador G Rodiles
Don't you just love it when announcements related to your past come back in a joyous form. For today's reminiscence, the first time that I got to watch Patlabor on Televison was when I watched bits an...
Black Magic M-66 revived  photo
Black Magic M-66 revived

Activate Masamune: Maiden Japan revives Black Magic M-66

A classic OVA for all of you cyberpunk fans out there.
Mar 19
// Salvador G Rodiles
Back when I lived in Houston, I was given the chance to catch Black Magic M-66 on Action Channel when I was hanging out at a friends place. From what I remember about my experience with the OVA, it was an intense story where ...

Sentai licenses Tokyo Magnitude 8.0, Tegami Bachi Reverse

Jan 04
// Brad Rice
Sentai/Section23/Whatever the hell you want to call them dropped the news they've got a few new shows coming our way. The first, Tegami Bachi: Reverse, is a 25-episode sequel to Tegami Bachi that Sentai plans to release ...

Review: Elfen Lied

Oct 31 // Pedro Cortes
Elfen Lied (DVD)Studio: ArmsLicensed by: Section 23MSRP: $34.98 [Amazon Rightstuf]   At the beginning of October, a close friend of mine showed me a couple of insane screenshots of a naked girl ripping groups of armed men to shreds. At the end of the caps I saw this girl rip the head off of some secretary and used the body as a bullet shield. I…was quite surprised to say the least. I found out this was the Elfen Lied the guys were talking about and, knowing the rather conservative policies of my university, understood why there was no chance in hell it was ever going to be viewed publicly. I decided to take matters into my own hands and I downloaded every episode that was out at the moment. With my blazing (at the time) DSL connection, I managed to get the first ten or so episodes in a couple of days and began watching it. I couldn't wait to reach the point where that naked girl was going to go apish!t taking out her attackers. That's got to be some crazy, climactic plot point, probably nine or ten episode in. Well, I didn't have to wait long. That scene was the first ten minutes of the first episode.  No joke, the opening shot is a twitching severed limb, freshly removed by Lucy, the aforementioned naked girl. Lucy proceeds to kill everything in her way via decapitation, forceful amputation and a high-velocity pen in one instance. If you wonder why security doesn't try to shoot the naked lass, believe me, they try. Lucy blocks them all with the a pair of invisibly tendrils, coincidentally the same pair of transparent limbs she uses to conduct her killing. Near the end of her escape, Lucy is met by a large group of guards and Kurama, one of the higher ups at the facility. At this point, a cute and clumsy secretary stumbles in front of Lucy and becomes the lady who gets her head popped off like a Coke tab. Lucy slaughters the guards that get in her way and as a little goodbye gift, leaves a bloody handprint on Kurama's back. After a couple of swats, the last door opens up and Lucy walks out onto the nearby cape. Right when escape is so near, a high caliber anti-tank round manages to surprise her. Instead of killing her, the shell knocks off her helmet, revealing long red hair and a pair of horns on Lucy's head. The blow is enough to render Lucy unconscious and she topples over the edge of the cape and into the water. In a dramatic change of tone, we're introduced to Kouta, a rather clueless college student with quite the traumatic past. He's offered a place to stay by his cousin's family in Kanagawa, so he takes them up on their offer and moves in. There he reconnects with his cousin Yuka, who he hasn't seen since the death of his father and sister. Yuka is surprised that Kouta doesn't remember the correct circumstances of the tragedy and plays dumb when the topic comes up. The two go out for a walk on the nearby beach, which Kouta remembers going to with his sister before her death. While reminiscing, the injured Lucy appears on the beach, completely regressed into an infantile personality that Kouta and Yuka name Nyu. From there, the show balances between a stereotypical romantic comedy and a hard-boiled horror show that revels in the blood it spills.  Thus the central conceit of the show is set up. Kouta's rather relaxed intro compared to Lucy's chaotic escape is a good microcosm of the show as a whole. Light-hearted moments are balanced by the constant possibility that Nyu can become a heartless monster, and a complex monster at that. Yes she kills any human that crosses her like flies on a wall, but the lines she creates in her head as to who she kills and the reasons for doing so are a bit more complicated. Her actions are never justified, but you can't help but feel pity for her. At her most vulnerable, Lucy understands the gravity of her actions and what they did to Kouta, one of the few people that ever cared for her. Once again, it isn't enough for forgiveness, but considering the events that lead up to her capture you can understand a little better.  I would be remiss if I didn't go into detail about the kind of creature that Lucy is. The diclonus, a genetic mutation that resembles a human with a pair of horns on its head, is almost always depicted as a cold-blooded monster that's main instinct is to eliminate human life. Their main method of destruction are their 'vectors', psychic extensions with variable length, strength, abilities and numbers. For the most part the vectors are capable of reflecting lower caliber bullets and tearing human flesh with ease. We're introduced to several other dicloni through the show with varying levels of mental and psychic control. Of all the ones introduced, only one is capable of living amongst humans and that's through her lab-focused upbringing. I'll get more into the specific dicloni in a bit, but it's important to note that the natural inclinations of this creature is one of death. Over the course of the show, several lost souls join Kouta, Yuka and Nyu at the Kaeda house. There's a homeless girl named Mayu, pushed away from her foster home by a sexually-abusive father and a jealous mother, is the first to come along. While not having much to do with the story besides witnessing one of Lucy's rampages, she's an example of the kind of person that Kouta wants to take care of. Later in the series, Mayu says that Kouta and Yuka are like the mother and father of the Kaeda house, which is an apt description when you consider the romantic arc of the series. Besides that and the puppy that she brings with her, she doesn't add much else. The other girl to live in the Kaeda house is Nana, a diclonus brought up to not have murderous inclinations despite being subjected to constant horrible tests in a lab. Nana is interesting on a couple of levels, mostly with how she's diametrically opposite to Lucy. First off, she doesn't attempt to kill her targets or any one really. Even when she's sent to take care of Lucy, she tries to not kill her and pays quite a hefty price for it. Second, she has somebody that she looks up to Kurama as a father figure. It's explicitly stated that dicloni will kill their human parents if they are allowed to a certain age, so they're typically euthanized when they are found in hospitals. For whatever reason, Kurama's organization decided to keep Nana alive and the poor girl fixated on Kurama to keep from going insane in the lab. That positive influence is enough to prove that not all dicloni are monsters, but unfortunately most of the others aren't put in similar conditions and even with that influence she has one moment where she slips into a typical diclonus rage. In essence, Nana represents the possibility of all dicloni, one that will likely never reach fruition. Without a doubt, I categorize Elfen Lied as horror. As to why exactly, it's a little tricky. On the surface, there's a ton of blood, violence and wonton murder that you can point at. However, I feel that it goes deeper than that. By the time you see how quick Nyuu can turn into Lucy, you know that there's no way things can end well for anybody around her. Several times she goes from a lost, mewling lass in one moment and turns into murdering machine due to a memory trigger or physical blow. There's also the casual way that the dicloni slaughter humans. They absolutely believe that they are an evolved, better species and the only reason that Kouta avoids death is through his bond with the younger Lucy. Much has to be said for the soundtrack, which is appropriately creepy at the just the right times. The music director did a great job in creating beautiful music to be used as a juxtaposition of the awful things happening to these characters. I recommend Elfen Lied to everybody who isn't put off by intense violence. It isn't high art by any stretch of the imagination, but it is entertaining and has made more than one person shed a tear at its conclusion. At a time where incoherent violence is used with little or no meaning, I feel that the death and murder that goes on in Elfen Lied have meaning in the end. 9.0 – Exceptional. One of the best things its genre has ever produced. Its example will be copied or taken into account by almost anything that follows it.
Enough claret to coat the walls
Since it's Halloween, I figured I'd do a write up on one of my favorite shows that just so happens to fit in with the horror spirit, the violent classic Elfen Lied. However, let me give you a bit of context. Fall 2004 was a p...

Japanator Recommends: Ergo Proxy

Oct 18 // Kristina Pino
Ergo Proxy [DVD]Studio: Section 23Licensed by: FUNimation Release Date: August 28, 2012MSRP: $39.98 [BUY] According to an informational episode towards the middle chunk of the show, the human population was reduced by about 85%. Some escaped to space to wait out Earth's eventual healing, and some remained. Proxies were created and brought forth in order to maintain domed cities that would foster a manufactured humanity until the time was right for Earth to be re-inhabited. The domed cities were perfect, idealistic environments with little to no crime, and perfectly bio-engineered humans that were created in artificial wombs. Re-l Mayer herself is a top agent in the city's intelligence bureau and is the granddaughter of the man who is in the care of Romdo. One day, the city's Proxy escapes, and just as it attempts to eliminate Re-l, she is saved by Ergo Proxy. When she becomes drawn to the affair and tries to find answers, she is completely shut down by the higher-ups, even to the point of planting her own Entourage with surveillance bugs, and eventually an attempted assassination. With the help of Daedalus, the chief of medical who has overseen her development and care throughout her entire life, she escapes Romdo along with her Entourage Iggy and joins Vincent and an infected Auto-Reiv (robot) called Pino. From then on, you (as the viewer) are slowly fed information about what Proxies are, the situation that brought human kind to its current state, and what it means for the future. Vincent and Re-l are equally the main characters and focus of the show, and stick together through the end in their quest for the truths which have been kept from both of them (and pretty much all of mankind). Throughout Ergo Proxy, you'll encounter more biblical references and philosophy than you'll immediately be able to identify, beginning with the simple concept of cogito, or cogito ergo sum. Perhaps the biggest theme in Ergo Proxy is the subject of self, and what brings meaning to one's existence. Every person and Auto-Reiv introduced in the show will have a clear raison d'etre, and will face the same sort of existential crisis when they no longer have it. Though Ergo Proxy definitely qualifies as drama, sci-fi, mystery, even action, it has its humorous points. Pino is provided as the never-ending source for smiles as you watch her develop after she's infected with the cogito virus. Rather than becoming vengeful when she gains a soul, she ends up acting like any other little girl would. She also frequently dons an adorable bunny suit, and introduces various references to Alice in Wonderland that are also mixed in with all the philosophy throughout. She's the innocent character that buffers all the heaviness. She also happens to share my last name, so she must be rad. Pino's behavior is in distinct contrast with Iggy's post-infection, though. When Iggy is infected, he develops a split personality ruled by his desperate need to be of use to Re-l. In other words, his feelings of being cast aside or written-off pulled him in two different directions: the first is a pleading Iggy who wants Re-l to need him, who will do anything for her and who wishes to protect her. The second is an angry Iggy who resents her for sending him away, calling her useless and needy and then trying to force her to remain under his protection so he can still have a purpose. The performance on the part of the voice actor was superb during this phase, because of the stark differences in his tone of voice depending on which part of his personality was on the surface. Deep down though, Iggy never turned away from his raison d'etre, which was always to be Re-l's protector. FUNimation's Classics DVD Box Set comes with some attractive artwork around it and four discs inside. The fourth disc is the only one with Extras, and you do have the option of enjoying Ergo Proxy in either Japanese or English. Even though the Extras are only contained in one disc along with the last two hours and 15 minutes of the show, there is plenty of material to enjoy: Three features (an overview of the various denizens and special terms in the show, a "behind the scenes," and the English staff interview), various trailers, commercials, and of course the clean OP and ED. The OP is called Kiri (by MONORAL) and remains the same throughout all 23 episodes. The ED is Radiohead's Paranoid Android, which surprised me when I first saw Ergo Proxy. I should also mention here that Kiri is one of my favorite OPs of all time, and the full version of the song is great (to my ears, anyway). As far as the animation quality goes, Ergo Proxy is not among the popular colorful and exaggerated styles we see everywhere. Realism is a key factor, and all the environments outside of Romdo are grungy, dirty, and steampunk-like with dystopian desolation and pollution everywhere. The only complaint I have about it, and I've had this complaint since 2006, is that the picture is too dark. Sometimes, it's difficult to tell what's going on on-screen. I do think there is a significance to this though, because there are key scenes that seem deliberately darker or more clear depending on the situation. When I review new releases like this, I usually listen to just a few episodes with the dubs on to get a feel for how the voice actors perform their roles compared with the Japanese version. I originally saw this in Japanese, and that was fine, but I was blown away by the dubs, which I switched on from the beginning this time around. And I never turned them off. The dialogue and the story appeal to Western storytelling, so much so that the dubs feel completely natural and befitting. The themes in Ergo Proxy aren't so saturated with references to Japanese culture (they're actually nonexistent), so nothing is lost in translation. If anything, it feels like Ergo Proxy references the likes of Phillip K. Dick and Isaac Asimov and their stories about robots, robotics, and self-awareness. Greatest of all, it doesn't feel like anything you end up watching or listening to is unnecessary. What else do you expect though, when the likes of Dai Sato (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Wolf's Rain, Cowboy Bebop, even the recent Tekken: Blood Vengeance which I also reviewed) had a hand in the screenplay? If you enjoyed any or all of those titles, you'll probably enjoy Ergo Proxy. For fans of realism, philosophy, deep human emotion, and robots, this is definitely a show that deserves your time. From when it first aired until now, it holds up well conceptually and in terms of execution. If you want to sample it before buying anything, you also have the option of watching it on FUNimation's website. This box set is a great release that won't break the bank. [9.5 – Exceptional, near-perfect. One of the best things its genre has ever produced.]
cogito ergo sum
Ergo Proxy is an anime I've enjoyed since it first aired, and I was more than willing to grab this review when it came up. Thanks to FUNimation, Ergo Proxy (previously licensed by Geneon) has been rescued and re-released in f...


Sentai licenses Shinkai's Children Who Chase Lost Voices

Jun 15
// Brad Rice
Sentai Filmworks is at it again -- licensing yet another Makoto Shinkai property. Back in the days of ADV Films, the company licensed 5 Centimeters Per Second and Voices of A Distant Star, so it's no huge surprise that t...

Section 23 to release Needless, Mahoromatic, and more

Apr 11
// Michelle Rodanes
Sentai Filmwork's Section 23 division has just revealed their official list of releases for the month of July. Among new additions to their line-up are the comedies Needless and Mahoromatic, the second box set of Bo...

Infinite Stratos out on Blu Ray and DVD!

Apr 10
// Michelle Rodanes
Is anyone in the mood to watch a space harem? fantastic! Section 23 announced today that Infinite Stratos: The Complete Collection is now available for sale in both Blu-Ray and DVD. The boxset features all 12 episode of the s...

Coicent/Five Numbers out today in a fancy twin release!

Nov 22
// Chris Walden
If you've been looking for a new show to watch but don't want to get committed, then this might be something that interests you! The guys over at Section23 have released a double pack of the OVAs Coicent (previously know...

Sentai's bringing a lot of complete collections in August

May 11
// Josh Tolentino
Are you a fan of getting all your anime in one fun box? Of course you are! You're not an unfortunate Japanese fan forced to pay obscene prices for two episodes a volume, after all. Those days are past. Thusly, you can look fo...

Japanator Recommends: Guin Saga

Apr 21 // Brad Rice
Guin Saga, Part 1 [DVD]Studio: SatelightLicensed by: Sentai FilmworksRelease Date: March 29, 2011MSRP: $35.99 Guin Saga is a title that may ring a bell for you -- the series is already well-known for its manga and novel properties, and have been in the market thanks to Vertical Inc. for a few years now. The eponymous character, Guin, wakes up in the midst of a hostile forest with a leopard "mask" on his head. No memories. (Practically) no clothing. Just two screaming children off in the distance who are about to be murdered by a band of knights. It sounds like very typical plot, but it soon expands into something greater. With that simple wholesale slaughter that takes place in the first episode, Guin has suddenly thrust himself into the midst of a massive war between countries. The children he saved were the two surviving children of the King of Parros, a peace-loving kingdom with advanced technology that their neighbors envied and launched a war for. Feeling an obligation to protect these hapless kids, Guin protects them while embarking on a journey not only to find out his own identity, but also to halt the tide of the wicked Mongali forces. Guin Saga, the anime, feels like a vehicle for the larger manga and novel works behind it, which turns out to be both good and bad. Much like the recently launched Game of Thrones TV series on HBO, Guin Saga distills a lot of the elements of the story in order to move along a main narrative, with streamlined secondary stories taking place. It's great because while you're watching the anime, it serves to spark an interest in the other works to get a deeper look at the story. For those who are already fans of Guin Saga, it gives you a chance to watch your favorite characters in motion. Satelight's work on the anime follows a peculiar trend in quality, one that was probably dictated by flagging ratings. The first few episodes show off some purely-spectacular animation, with extremely-detailed fight scenes. But once you hit the mid-point of this first season, the animation would lag, especially when it came to larger army-on-army battles. Unfortunately, the understandably lackluster animation practices in those episodes spilled over into important dialogues and one-on-one fight scenes for Guin. Thankfully, the animation picked up towards the end of the season, probably in hopes of securing a second season of funding. The show features a particularly strong Japanese cast, featuring the likes of Kenyuu Horiuchi (Rapeman in Rapeman), Mai Nakahara (Nagisa in Clannad, Sernia in Ladies vs. Butlers!) and Tsubasa Yonaga (Mihashi in Big Windup!). While the cast of characters in Guin Saga aren't terribly original -- falling into many standard archetypes -- the voice actors do a great job of giving the characters some real depth and life. They become more than just their archetypes and manage to interact in a way that conveys real history. Unfortunately, the English dub does not do the same. Sentai would have been best off saving themselves the cost of dubbing the show, because frequently the voice acting comes off as strained and over-the-top. Guin's voice actor, David Wald, who has played Duke Togo in Golgo 13 and Master Chief in the Halo OVA, sounded as though he were coping with a severe case of gravelitis of the throat. Some of the other cast just doesn't sound right for the roles -- the young twins, Rinda and Remus, are hard to play because finding an adult actor who can plausibly play a 13-year-old is extremely difficult. They either come across as far too old (which happened here), or sound laughably childish. While we're on this train, Sentai did have a few misspellings in their DVD subtitles. Perhaps only a handful spread across the 13 episodes on these two discs, but it wasn't just a single outbreak or two. It wasn't a game-breaker, but was worth noting. Now, we boil down to the final question: "should I buy Guin Saga?" Ultimately, yes. The show proves to be quickly addictive, and the episodes pack a surprising amount of story in them without feeling needlessly jarring. It's the extreme opposite of watching K-ON!, I suppose. The flaws that exist within the show are relatively minor, unless you're a diehard dub fan. You'll quickly find yourself clamoring for the manga and books while waiting for Part 2 to hit store shelves in May. Score: 7.5 – Good. 7s are good, but not great. These series often have a stereotypical plot or are great movies that have a few minor, yet obvious flaws. Fans of the genre might still love it.

For the longest time, I was complaining to a friend of mine about the lack of memorable fantasy anime in recent years. Seemingly a staple for years and years in the earlier days of anime, the genre largely went by the wayside...


Section23 announces June slate, Highschool of the Dead BD

Mar 16
// Josh Tolentino
It's officially mid-March, which means it's time to look forward to the month of June, if Section23 has anything to say about it. They've announced their latest slate of releases, which includes, as if the gods had mandated, ...

Sentai puts out Allison & Lillia, Coffee Samurai in May

Feb 18
// Brad Rice
Sentai Filmworks has just added a few new titles to their May 2011 release schedule. There's more Shin Koihime Muso, Guin Saga and Ghost Sweeper Mikami coming out, helping to wrap up some of these series' box set co...

Kampfer's out now, also check Section23's April slate

Jan 19
// Josh Tolentino
The reveals keep on coming this week from Section23 and Sentai Filmworks. First the Infinite Stratos license, and now their announcement that the Kampfer complete series box is on sale right now. Yes, everyone's favorite post...

Section23 announces January slate, licenses Koihime Muso

Oct 25
// Josh Tolentino
It's late October already, and you know what that means: time to think about January!If you subscribe to that logic, Section23 has your back, as it's just announced a raftload of releases for 2011, including the licensing of ...

Japanator Kind of Recommends: KimiKiss Pure Rouge

Oct 04 // Brad Rice
KimiKiss: Pure Rouge - Collection 1Creator: J.C. StaffPublisher: Sentai FilmworksRelease Date: October 5, 2010MSRP: $49.99 KimiKiss -- originally a romance game for the PS2 -- takes us through a number of characters as they all discover love in the face of the complexities of their relationships with each other. This show falls more along the lines of School Rumble in the sliding scale of romance, seeing as the romantically involved cast is around eight characters, with a number of supporting characters to boot.The center of this whole group are three childhood friends: Kouichi, Kazuki and their "older sister" Mao. Mao suddenly returns from France and decides to shack up with Kouichi just as Mao is about to start her third year of high school. Both of the boys are starting to discover love in their own right, but the past relationship between Mao and both Kouichi and Kazuki leaves a heavy impression on the current time.Each character is looking to find love, but runs into a few obstacles, such as their romantic interest being a kuudere who shows no signs of interest, or that the girl can't seem to make up her mind. There's even a brodere in the mix of things! The plot may not be the most original of things -- which isn't hard to imagine, considering the crowded high school romance category -- but what makes KimiKiss enjoyable is that it plays out organically. The progression of romance makes sense for the setting and characters, and the tension that arises is dealt with pretty logically, the caveat being there's some lack of fulfillment as that typical Japanese schoolboy mentality of "I'm too scared to kiss her" comes up time and time again within the show.Backed with some pretty good art by the folks at Enterbrain, the show carries itself really well, although some budget cuts by the in-betweeners showing itself occasionally. While nothing is exceptionally beautiful, the characters all manage to have their appeal without being overtly sexualized, which is really nice, considering the genre.But, I can't say that everything is peachy keen in the world of KimiKiss. Hence the reason for me saying I `sorta recommend` this piece.The line between recommending and "sorta" recommending this show is drawn at a single point for me: certain character and romantic tropes are too prevalent in the show without them doing anything to improve upon them or give them a twist. Instead, the story was content with giving us certain support characters who are nothing more than a trope, albeit they do take the time to flesh them out enough to have meaningful interactions with the rest of the cast.Admittedly, this is the first half of the series, and it does set up for some interesting possibilities for the second half, but certainly nothing on the level of Toradora!, my high bar for a romance series.Without a doubt, you'll have a good time watching KimiKiss -- the romance is good and the pacing moves things along well without getting boring -- but don't expect it to wow you. You'll cheer the characters on with their romance, but it's not something that requires a handkerchief.A word of warning: Don't expect to like frogs by the end of the show.

What's this? Another romantic series on my plate? Well, how can I say no!As a connoisseur of romance series, I was more than happy to jump on the review for KimiKiss: Pure Rouge. It was a title that I always found interesting...


The Anime Network to simulcast Samurai Girls

Oct 01
// Brad Rice
Following in the jiggling titties of Highschool of the Dead, the folks at The Anime Network have just announced that they'll be simulcasting Samurai Girls, the show in which Rie Kugimiya plays a flat-chested tsundere.It's lik...

Section23 licenses, wakes Taisho Baseball Girls at 8am

Aug 17 // Brad Rice
Coming November 2010  Title:                 UTAKATA COLLECTION 1Published by:    Sentai FilmworksDistributed by:  Section23 FilmsRun Time:         325 min.Street Date:      11/2/2010Format:             DVDLanguage:         Japanese with English SubtitlesSRP:                $49.98 SYNOPSIS:  Before you make a deal with a girl in a mirror, reflect seriously on the source of the offer.  Ichika Tachibana fails to take this advice in order to retrieve a lost charm, and as a result suddenly ends up with the magical forces of a Djinn at her command.  Sounds like a good deal, right?  Wrong.  At first things seem wondrous, with her new friend Manatsu assisting her via text messages and the occasional spell; but as her powers grow, Ichika's situation quickly goes from magical to nightmarish, and she finds herself drawn into an ever expanding  web of deceptions, lies and increasingly dangerous situations.   For what she's really done is subjected herself to seeing mankind as the Djinn see them. Unfortunately, they don't seem to place a high value on human life.  Not all fairy tales are for children as small charms lead to deadly conclusions in UTA-KATA- THE COMPLETE SERIES!    Title:                 XAM'D COLLECTION 2Published by:    Sentai FilmworksDistributed by:  Section23 FilmsRun Time:         325 min.Street Date:      11/9/2010Format:             DVDLanguage:         English, Japanese with English SubtitlesSRP:                $59.98 SYNOPSIS:  Get ready for a second collection of awesome mecha action with the anime hit XAM'D! Akiyuki isn't the only one who's become possessed by the mysterious power that is Xam'd.  Seems his friend Furuichi is also filled with the dangerous energy.  But while Akiyuki tries to harness it, his friend seems hell-bent on letting the Xam'd control his every dangerous move.  There are more powerful and dangerous Xam'ds working in every action-packed episode!  So don't miss XAM'D, the high-flying, heavy-armored action-adventure takes mecha anime to a whole new level! Title:                 XAM'D COLLECTION 2 BLU-RAY EDITIONPublished by:    Sentai FilmworksDistributed by:  Section23 FilmsRun Time:         325 min.Street Date:      11/9/2010Format:             BDLanguage:         English & Japanese with English SubtitlesSRP:                $69.98 SYNOPSIS:  Get ready for a second collection of awesome mecha action with the anime hit XAM'D! Akiyuki isn't the only one who's become possessed by the mysterious power that is Xam'd.  Seems his friend Furuichi is also filled with the dangerous energy.  But while Akiyuki tries to harness it, his friend seems hell-bent on letting the Xam'd control his every dangerous move.  There are more powerful and dangerous Xam'ds working in every action-packed episode!  So don't miss XAM'D, the high-flying, heavy-armored action-adventure takes mecha anime to a whole new level! Title:                 TAISHO BASEBALL GIRLS COMPLETE COLLECTIONPublished by:    Sentai FilmworksDistributed by:  Section23 FilmsRun Time:         300 min.Street Date:      11/16/2010Format:             DVDLanguage:         Japanese with English SubtitlesSRP:                $49.98 SYNOPSIS:  1925 - six years since the end of the Great War, four years since women were allowed to join political associations and one year since Emperor Hirohito assumed the throne.  Only thirteen years after the death of the Meiji Emperor, Japan is a nation re-inventing itself, swept by wave after wave of wars, disasters and political unrest.  War looms in China, males over the age of 24 are about to receive the right to vote and a strange new type of school uniform called the "sailor suit" is being introduced.  But at least the national pastime, baseball, remains bound by tradition, the exclusive realm of men and boys. Until now.  When a local player arrogantly states that girls should become housewives instead of going to school, teenage firebrands Koume and Akiko respond by forming their own baseball team.  It's shocking.  It's scandalous. And yet, in a nation in which almost anything seems suddenly possible, it may just be the start of something greater than any nine girls can imagine.  It's not just a game, its history in the making in TAISHO BASEBALL GIRLS - COMPLETE COLLECTION!Title:                 GHOST SWEEPER MIKAMI COLLECTION 1Published by:    Sentai FilmworksDistributed by:  Section23 FilmsRun Time:         300 min.Street Date:      11/23/2010Format:             DVDLanguage:         Japanese with English SubtitlesSRP:                $49.98 SYNOPSIS:  You say you got a ghost in your prefecture?  In Japan that means you need to call Ghost Sweeper Mikami, the paranormal detective agency that's a little abnormal.  Okay, make that a LOT abnormal, but they DO specialize in disposing of things that most people don't even believe exist.  Run by the visually delicious and even more avaricious Reiko Mikami, and aided by the very perverted (but also very loyal) Tadao Yokoshima, they'll take any case that pays. And Tadao will do anything that might let him sneak a peek at Reiko's magnificent physique.  How unfortunate for him that Reiko basically sees him as cannon-fodder, something that's quite useful when your day to day business involves exorcising oni, yurei, yokai and anything else you might find in The Illustrated Bag of One Hundred Random Ghosts.  For the supernatural services where the biggest bangs command the biggest bucks and the unexplained is usually expected, call on the first spectacular collection of GHOST SWEEPER MIKAMI! Title:                 HELL GIRL: THREE VESSELS (SEASON 3) COLLECTION 2Published by:    Sentai FilmworksDistributed by:  Section23 FilmsRun Time:         325 min.Street Date:      11/30/2010Format:             DVDLanguage:         Japanese with English SubtitlesSRP:                $49.98 SYNOPSIS:  Possessed by the spirit of Ai Enma and pulled into the fate of the Hell Girl, Yuzuki has struggled to cope with the terrifying burden. But even as she desperately attempts to maintain her own humanity, she finds the world around her slowly shattering into a terrifying series of riddles.  Why has she been drawn into the world of the Hell Correspondence?  What is her relationship to Ai?  And has her ultimate destiny already been predetermined?   As the powers of the Hell Girl continue to grow inside her, Yuzuki's very existence is now at stake.  Who and what is she, really?  The shocking secrets of Yuzuki's past are unlocked, the tragedies of Ai's are revealed; and the torch of the Hell Girl is passed in the shocking final collection of HELL GIRL - THREE VESSELS.

Koume~ It's already 8am! You'll be late for school!Seriously, wake up -- great news is afoot. Sentai Filmworks has licensed the most emperor-worshiping show in the last few years: Taisho Baseball Girls. Slated for a November ...


Section23 grabs Canaan, Kimikiss, Tears to Tiara October

Jul 22
// Josh Tolentino
With the con season in full swing and companies revving their full nerd-pandering engines, the licensing announcements are coming fast and hard, which is, of course, how you kids like it. After all, no one wants a soft, slow ...

First Impressions: Highschool of the Dead

Jul 08
// Brad Rice
Summary: The show manages to inflict absolute despair in a depressingly realistic way, hopefully setting up for more action later. Also, panties.I've been a longtime fan of Highschool of the Dead, ever since the manga was fir...

FINALLY: Xam'd DVD/Blu-rays coming in September

Jun 25
// Josh Tolentino
It's finally happening. I remember 2008 like it was two years ago, back when everyone was watching their anime in low, low resolution. The dinosaurs walked the earth then, too!Upon trudging out of the primordial soup, Sony we...

Sentai Filmworks announces Golgo 13 for July

Apr 24
// Brad Rice
For those of you who claim that anime isn't manly enough, there's always Golgo 13, the legendary assassin with a crotch that attracts women like catnip. It's a franchise I hear touted by many as one of the bastions of manline...

Sentai Filmworks announces Clannad dub, upgrade program

Mar 16
// Brad Rice
For all of you who have been waiting for it, Sentai Filmworks has finally recorded a dub for Clannad, as well as Blue Drop, Ghost Hound, Legends of the Dark King - A Fist of the North Star Story and Tears to Tiara. Now all of...

Section23 nabs Asu no Yoichi, Eyeshield 21, Hell Girl 2

Feb 27 // Brad Rice
SECTION23 FILMS ANNOUNCES MAY SLATE HELL GIRL: TWO MIRRORS Available on DVD May 25thHOUSTON, February 25, 2010 – Home video distributor Section23 Films today announced its May slate of DVD releases, including the second season of the hit anime series Hell Girl from Section23 client Sentai Filmworks. Sentai will also release three other anime series sets in May, including You’re Under Arrest: Full Throttle Collection 2, Samurai Harem Collection 1 and Eyeshield 21 Collection 1.Also releasing in May from Sentai Filmworks, Appleseed Blu-Ray Edition which includes an all new English dub featuring the cast of Appleseed Ex Machina!Product details follow, in order of release Coming May 2010Title: YOU'RE UNDER ARREST: FULL THROTTLE COLLECTION 2Published by: Sentai FilmworksDistributed by: Section23 FilmsRun Time: 300 min.Street Date: 5/4/2010Format: DVDSRP: $39.98SYNOPSIS: They’re tough, tenacious and would take no prisoners… Except it’s their job! Miyuki, Natsumi and the other officers of the Bokuto police station are back on the case, although in the weird world of Japan’s most unorthodox police precinct, the exact definition as to what constitutes a “case” seems be largely up to individual officer discretion. After all, while working on the set of a documentary film could fall under the category of crowd control, how can anyone classify adventures that range from dog sitting to completing a romantic mission from beyond the grave as typical police work? And that’s to say nothing of pursuing suspects on in-line skates while wearing bikinis and wearing giant mushroom costumes? There are handcuffs; fisticuffs and high speed chases ahead in the second and final collection of YOU'RE UNDER ARREST: FULL THROTTLE!Title: SAMURAI HAREM - ASU NO YOICHI COMPLETE COLLECTION Published by: Sentai FilmworksDistributed by: Section23 FilmsRun Time: 300 min.Street Date: 5/11/2010Format: DVDSRP: $49.98SYNOPSIS: His Skill with a Sword is Magnificent but… His SOCIAL Skills Still Need a LOT of Work! After many long years perfecting the art of fighting, 17 year old Yoichi Karasuma is sent down from the remote mountains where he has been raised thinking that he’s going to study some new martial arts techniques… but what he’s really going to learn about are some slightly more practical things, like electrical appliances, modern clothing and, most especially, how NOT to make girls to want to kill you! Unfortunately, that last lesson is one Yoichi may not survive, as his new Dojo is infested with the infernal creatures in the form of the Ikaruga sisters, and they don’t really seem to understand how “proper” girls are “supposed” to behave! Will Yoichi’s bushido blade be struck down by the fearsome charms of Ibuki, Ayame, Chihaya and Kagome? Or will the equally lethal girls from the rival Tsubame School be his undoing? Title: APPLESEED BLU-RAY EDITIONPublished by: Sentai FilmworksDistributed by: Section23 FilmsRun Time: 105 min.Street Date: 5/18/2010Format: Blu-raySRP: $39.98SYNOPSIS: NOW ON BLU-RAY! Plucked from the last battlefields of the final war, mercenary Deunan Knute finds herself pressed into duty with the ESWAT, defenders of the Utopian city of Olympus. But serpents lurk beneath the peaceful surface of this apparent Garden of Eden, and new seeds of destruction have already been planted! Now it’s up to Deunan and her former lover, the now-cyborg Briareos, to unravel a deadly web of plots that threaten to bring down Olympus from within! With blazing battles between giant Land-Mates and state of the art animation that set a new standard for cg anime, the spectacular feature film from creator Shirow Masamune (Ghost In the Shell) and director Shinji Aramaki is back in an amazing new special edition that pushes home entertainment technology to its limits! Get ready to survive the future with the animated masterpiece APPLESEED! Title: EYESHIELD 21 COLLECTION 1Published by: Sentai FilmworksDistributed by: Section23 FilmsRun Time: 325 min.Street Date: 5/18/2010Format: DVDSRP: $49.98SYNOPSIS: Welcome To The Gridiron Of The Damned! Huge hulking bodies throw themselves at each other, while a tiny lithe body runs between them for the goal! No, it’s not a game of Football, it’s Sena Kobayakawa trying to evade the monstrous Ha-Ha brothers down the halls of Deimon High School! But wait! Sena’s incredible skills at not getting caught have been spotted by the devilish (possibly actually demonic) captain of the school’s embryonic American style football team, and when Sena asks to be the teams manager, he gets thrust onto the field as a running back instead! But there are two BIG catches – first, to keep the identity of their new “star” player an absolute secret, Yoichi makes Sena wear an opaque visor on his helmet and gives him the alias of “Eyeshield 21.” And the second catch? Well, in order to hit his fastest “speed of light” running mode, Sena usually has to be absolutely terrified... not that THAT will be a problem with the monstrous players that he’ll soon find himself running from! The insanity hits the streets when the feet meet the cleats in EYESHIELD 21 – Collection 1!!Title: HELL GIRL: TWO MIRRORS COLLECTION 1Published by: Sentai FilmworksDistributed by: Section23 FilmsRun Time: 325 min.Street Date: 5/25/2010Format: DVDSRP: $49.98SYNOPSIS: They call her Jigoku Tsushin - the Hell Girl. For endless years Ai Enma has served as the embodiment of revenge itself. If you desire to send another’s soul to eternal torment, contact her via the internet and she’ll come from her land of endless sunset to deliver your revenge… at the cost of sending your own soul, of course, but it’s a price a surprising number of people are willing to pay. But things are changing with the Hell Girl. Once seemingly implacable and pitiless, glints of emotion now show through the cracks forming in her emotionless façade. And now there is a new girl with infernal connections who seems to be turning up with alarming regularity. Things are about to heat up in the damnation game in the first brimstone-blazing collection of HELL GIRL – TWO MIRRORS! About Section23 FilmsSection23 Films provides home video marketing and distribution services for a variety of companies, including Sentai Filmworks, Switchblade Pictures, and AEsir Holdings. With its special focus on genre entertainment, Section23 Films distributes some of the very best anime, martial arts, and horror titles on the market today.

Section23 announced their latest slate of releases, May of 2010, and slipped in several new titles in there. A personal favorite, Eyeshield 21, will be debuting in a half-season box for $50 mid-May. They've also nabbed Asu No...


Section23 licenses Gintama, Hidamari Sketch x365

Jan 22
// Brad Rice
In a surprisingly quick move, Section23 Films has licensed and slotted Hidamari Sketch x365 for an April release, after the first season just hit store shelves a few weeks ago. Clearly, they're confident in their choice of Sh...

Section23 licenses Maria Holic and Skull Man

Dec 07 // Brad Rice
HOUSTON, December 4, 2009 – Home video distributor Section23 Films today announced its February 2010 slate of new DVD releases. Section23 client Sentai Filmworks is coming out with three new home video releases, including complete sets of anime series The Skull Man and Maria Holic. Also coming from Sentai Filmworks in February is the second collection of To Love Ru. Switchblade Pictures, another Section23 client, has two “live-action” DVD releases straight from Japan, including Kirenji Women’s College and Ryuji the Yakuza. Product details follow, in order of releaseComing February 2010Title: SKULL MAN COMPLETE COLLECTIONPublished by: Sentai FilmworksDistributed by: Section23 FilmsRun Time: 325 min.Street Date: 2/2/2010Format: DVDSRP: $39.98SYNOPSIS: Otomo City: where freedom and justice have atrophied to the bone; where conspiracy rules the day and death stalks the night… Death in the form of the Skull Man, a literal Grim Reaper whose skeletal grin presages grisly mayhem and murder, even to the monstrous mutants that haunt the city’s underworlds! Now, to investigate a bizarre slaying, journalist Minagami Hayato and photographer Kiriko Mamiya must stalk this ultimate predator, through a festering cadaver of a city where the corruption flows in rivers as deep and foul as the sins of the reigning elite, and unearth a secret so shocking that an entire city has been turned into a tomb to contain! In a nightmarish necropolis where nothing is as it seems, vengeance comes in the form of a living Death’s-Head in SKULL MAN – The Complete Collection! Title: KIRENJI WOMEN'S COLLEGEPublished by: Switchblade PicturesDistributed by: Section23 FilmsRun Time: 125 min. Street Date: 2/9/2010Format: DVDSRP: $19.98Kirenji is so definitely NOT your typical Japanese girls’ school. For example, while the word “hot” might describe an attractive girl at other places of higher education, at Kirenji it’s more likely to mean “hot blooded,” “hot tempered” and “ready for red hot action” (as in physical combat, that is)! So when 17 year old Maki enrolls, thinking she’s the baddest bad girl of them all, she quickly learns the hard way that at Kirenji she’ll have to punch her way to the top of the pulchritudinous power pyramid… and it’s just too bad that the equally intimidating Natsumu is standing in her path! Epic battles, beauties bashing and girl on girl action abound, especially when new girl Kirei joins the fray, in the non-stop cat fight that is KIRENJI GIRLS’ COMBAT SCHOOL – the Complete CollectionTitle: TO LOVE RU COLLECTION 2Published by: Sentai FilmworksDistributed by: Section23 FilmsRun Time: 325 min.Street Date: 2/16/2010Format: DVDSRP: $39.98SYNOPSIS: As if being accidentally engaged to a demon-like alien princess while attending high school and still making points with the girl he REALLY likes wasn’t enough to keep Rito on the edge of insanity, he’s now stuck with an more dangerous challenge: living up to the expectations of Lala’s devil-like father, King Deviluke! And if that’s not bad enough, the girl Run (aka, sometimes, the guy Ren) decides to make her move on Rito, the school is overflowing with even more not-so-well disguised ghosts and aliens (some of whom need an education on how to emphasize their feminine side,) SOMEBODY lets word slip that Lala is actually an alien princess, and to cap it all off there’s a trip to the waterpark PLUS the obligatory Hot Springs episode! Love isn’t a battlefield… it’s the War of the Worlds in TO LOVE RU – Collection Two!!! Title: MARIA-HOLIC COMPLETE COLLECTIONPublished by: Switchblade PicturesDistributed by: Section23 FilmsRun Time: 300 min.Street Date: 2/23/2010Format: DVDSRP: $39.98SYNOPSIS: It’s not easy to find the perfect girl, even when you’re the same sex! Kanako thought attending an all girls school would be the perfect way to meet the girl of her dreams, but after her hot new roommate turns out to be a guy in drag, and catching the eye of the most popular girl in school only brings down the wrath of all the OTHER similarly obsessed girls, she’s not so sure! Complicate things with a cat-eared dorm leader, her roommate’s rude-mannered maid and identical twin sister (who attends an all boys school, of course,) and WAY too many attractive girls of questionable persuasions and the question becomes whether Kanako can die from frustrated nosebleeds! (Life would be SO much easier if guys didn’t literally give her the hives!) Will Kanako ever find a non-polar opposite of a compatible non-opposing polarity? Let’s just say that the quest for true love will not run straight in MariaHolic – The Complete Collection!Title: RYUJI THE YAKUZAPublished by: Sentai FilmworksDistributed by: Section23 FilmsRun Time: 139 min.Street Date: 2/23/2010Format: DVDSRP: $19.98SYNOPSIS: Behind a bloody veil of mystery, the puppetmasters of the Yakuza secretly control Japan… Yet for all their power, the Yakuza are governed by their own codes of loyalty and honor, and there are those who are seen not as criminals, but heroes. Ryuji Ogami, of the Goda-gumi, is one such enigma: torn between the worlds of Bullets and Bushido, his hidden compassion perfectly balances the brutal force of his lethal iron hand. If your cause is just, it is said, seek out Ryuji. But endanger those he cherishes, like young club hostess Megumi and his junior Kazuki, and he will find you. And when the code of the Yakuza is violated by his own gang, Ryuji’s own code will leave him no choice. The city will burn as the deadliest man in Yokohama takes on his own in RYUJI THE YAKUZA- The Complete Collection!

Looking for that Monday morning pick-me-up? Well how about the announcement that Section23, the company formerly known as ADV has picked up Maria Holic and Skull Man, announced in their slate for February 2010. At least we're...

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