Friday, 18 May 2018


Graham Strong, the man responsible for the survival of many high-quality audio recordings of missing Doctor Who episodes, has died at the age of 69.

Graham Strong was a 14-year-old schoolboy when Doctor Who began in 1963. A keen electronics student, his hobby included building valve and transistor radios, as well as repairing televisions for neighbours. He was the proud owner of a second-hand Reel to reel tape machine and decided to use this to preserve the audio of this exciting new serial.

I can’t recall if I actually recorded the first episode of Doctor Who. The earliest recording I still have was the first episode of The Keys of Marinus first shown on 11 April 1964. Recordings were made via a basic crystal microphone (which came with the machine), hanging over the television speaker with a plant pot placed on the top of the T.V. to keep the microphone in place! Mother was given instructions to not enter the room when ‘recording was in session’
Following The Daleks' Master Plan, episode 7, Strong, used his electronics knowledge to wire the audio output from the television into the Tape recorder. A highly dangerous procedure that breaks every rule of electrical safety but one that resulted in recordings that were crystal clear.

Strong was one of a small number of early fans who recorded audio from the now missing stories. However, he is believed to be the only one to record directly from the Television, resulting in the superior quality of his recordings.

In 1994 an accidental meeting with a Doctor Who fan who had contacts in the BBC brought his collection to the attention of the corporation. By this time the master tapes of most early episodes had been junked and the episodes were either missing or only existed as film prints. After reassurance that his tapes would be carefully cared for, Strong handed over recordings containing over 100 Doctor Who episodes.

Strong's recordings have been used for the animated releases of missing episodes such as Power of the Daleks. His recordings are so clear that they often exceed the quality available on the surviving film prints of the episodes, and as a result, a number of DVD's of early episodes contain audio taken from Strong's recordings rather than the film print.


NERVA is a special event organised by the Ark in Space Facebook group celebrating the visual effects and other designers who brought Doctor Who to our screens.

Current guests include visual effects designer Colin Mapson (e.g. The Green Death), sculptor and prop maker Stephen Mansfield (e.g. Battlefield), K9 assistant operator Steve Cambden (e.g. Full Circle), documentary director Kevin Jon Davies (e.g. Thirty Years in the TARDIS), and researchers Richard Bignell (Nothing At The End Of The Lane), Jon Green and Gavin Rymell (Dalek 6388).

Alongside the event, a special poster has been commissioned from artist Ian Wells, inspired by the work of Frank Bellamy. There are three versions of the poster available that can be purchased separately to the event itself: the image with event information as displayed, one with the addition of Ian's autograph, and a third version with the text replaced with a personalised message from the artist. Full details can be found via the organisers' website.

All proceeds from the event and posters will be donated to the Thames Valley Air Ambulance.

The event itself is limited to members of the Facebook group, who can register their interest via the relevant thread, and to followers of the @ClassicDrWho Twitter account, who can tweet or send a direct message instead. You can find out mote about the event via the group or the organisers' event page.

Thursday, 17 May 2018

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Mari Okada's fantasy drama will be released on June 27

Anime Limited has released a revised English-language trailer for P.A. Works and Mari Okada's Maquia - When the Promised Flower Blooms (Sayonara no Asa ni Yakusoku no Hana o Kazarō). The film will be released on June 27, and tickets can be booked at its website.
The film opened in Japan on February 24. Anime Limited describes the story:

The people of Iolph have a lifespan of hundreds of years and maintain their teenage appearances for life, but when the peace of this town is shattered by those who want the secret to their longevity for themselves, a young girl named Maquia is forced to escape. Wandering the land alone, upon finding an orphaned baby she chooses to raise him, but as this boy grows up so the difference in their lifespans is thrown into ever-sharper relief.
The cast includes:

Manaka Iwami as Maquia

Miyu Irino as Erial

Ai Kayano as Leilia

Yuuki Kaji as Clear

Miyuki Sawashiro as Rashine

Yoshimasa Hosoya as Lang

Rina Satou as Mido

Yōko Hikasa as Tita

Misaki Kuno as Medmel

Tomokazu Sugita as Isol

Hiroaki Hirata as Baro
The film is the directorial debut of anime screenwriter Okada (The Anthem of the Heart, anohana), who also wrote the script.
Akihiko Yoshida (Nier: Automata, Bravely Default, Final Fantasy XIV games) is credited with the original character designs. Toshiya Shinohara (A Lull in the Sea, Red Data Girl) is chief director. Yuriko Ishii (Kuromukuro, Another) designed the characters for animation and is chief animation director. Kazuki Higashiji (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd GIG, A Lull in the Sea) is art director, and Tomoaki Okada (Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos, Blast of Tempest) is in charge of art design and concept design. Kenji Kawai (Ghost in the Shell, Touken Ranbu: Hanamaru) composed the music, and Kazuhiro Wakabayashi (Ghost in the Shell, Bungo Stray Dogs) is sound director.
Via Otaku News

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BBC Worldwide has confirmedthat the Blu-Ray release of Doctor Who: The Collection – Season 12, has been delayed by one week.

The collection of stories featuring Tom Baker in his first season as the Doctor, will now be released on Monday 18th June 2018

Full release details

Wednesday, 16 May 2018


UK Anime Network reports that MVM Entertainment has made the following statement about the series Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works.
"Aniplex have finally given permission for us to release a standard edition of the Blu-ray (but still as part 1 and part 2), later this year. This is one of our most requested titles and we're happy to be bringing it back for the fans that missed it the first time around."
MVM has already released a two-part Blu-ray Collectors Edition of the series.
The story of the anime series follows the original game's 'Unlimited Blade Works' route.


Canadian fans will be able to join the US in seeing the "director's cut" of Genesis of the Daleks in Cineplex cinemas on the 14th June.

The Fourth Doctor and his companions Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen) and Harry Sullivan (Ian Marter) are transported thousands of years into the past to the ancient planet Skaro where they are given a mission from the Time Lords to prevent the evil scientist Davros from introducing to the universe the most destructive race of killing machines ever created, the Daleks. This never-before-seen 90-minute director’s cut will be followed by a first look at “In Conversation with Tom Baker” - a newly recorded interview with the Fourth Doctor himself!

For full details on where the story can be seen see the Cineplex website.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018


Anime News reports that Castle of Cagliostro is now available on Netflix here and Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas is available here.
Made in 1979, Castle of Cagliostro (1979, pictured right) is Hayao Miyazaki's debut feature film featuring Monkey Punch's master thief Lupin the Third. In the film, Lupin and Jigen search for a counterfeiter who swindled them, and end up in the secluded country of Cagliostro. The story also involves a wicked count and an innocent princess (the latter voiced in Japanese by Sumi Shimamoto, who would play Miyazaki's heroine Nausicaä five years later).
Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas (pictured left) is the 2009 OAV spinoff from the Saint Seiya franchise. The 26-part series (which also includes the 2011 second OAV) serves as a prequel to the original Saint Seiya series, taking place 250 years prior to the events of the original series. The story revolves around the Pegasus Saint Tenma and his friend Alone, who eventually develops into Tenma's greatest enemy: Hades.


Anime Limited announced that it will present two cinema screenings at the MCM London Comic Con event. The screenings cost £12 each (over and above the cost of entry to the Comic Con event) and can be booked here.
Friday May 25, 7.30 p.m. - Mari Okada's Maquia - When the Promised Flower Blooms (15)
Anime Limited describes the film as follows: "Acclaimed screenwriter Mari Okada makes her directorial debut in this animated fantasy feature. The people of Iorph have a lifespan of hundreds of years and maintain their teenage appearances for life, but when the peace of this town is shattered by those who want the secret to their longevity for themselves, a young girl named Maquia is forced to escape. Wandering the land alone, upon finding an orphaned baby she chooses to raise him, but as this boy grows up so the difference in their lifespans is thrown into ever-sharper relief.”
Saturday May 26, 7.30 p.m. - Makoto Shinkai's your name. (12)
Anime Limited describes the film as follows: "Mitsuha and Taki are total strangers living completely different lives. But when Mitsuha makes a wish to leave her mountain town for the bustling city of Tokyo, they become connected in a bizarre way. She dreams she is a boy living in Tokyo while Taki dreams he is a girl from a rural town he's never visited. What does their newfound connection mean? And how will it bring them together? Find out in the smash hit film from the acclaimed auteur Makoto Shinkai."
The MCM London Comic Con will run at the Excel Centre from Friday May 25 to Sunday May 27


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Separate new manga launches on June 27

Fairy Tail manga creator Hiro Mashima revealed on his Twitter account on Monday that he is working on a "secret" project. He said that he is becoming "a little confused" due to simultaneously working on his new manga (seen right), Fairy Tail, and an unnamed project, which is "still a secret." He also noted that "ideas emerge one after another" for his new manga.
North American publisher Kodansha Comics revealed sketches for Mashima's upcoming manga in April. The company did not confirm a simultaneous publication, but teased, "Japan … America … Europe… The world is waiting … Eleven months have passed since the finale of Fairy Tail. Now a new adventure awaits. On June 27, 2018 the new series by Hiro Mashima begins!"
The new manga series in Kodansha's Weekly Shōnen Magazine in this year's 30th issue, which will ship on June 27. Mashima teased details about the new series in January, stating that "it will be a new form of fantasy." He added that "Plue will make an appearance" in the new manga.
Mashima also announced in April that a Fairy Tail sequel manga is in the works in the form of a spinoff manga. In addition, he announced that he is working on another Fairy Tail spinoff manga. Mashima did not specify if he will be the one drawing either of those two manga.
The Fairy Tail manga launched in 2006 and ended last July. The manga has inspired two television anime, two anime films, several original video anime projects, and spinoff manga. Kodansha Comics publishes the original manga and a number of its spinoffs in North America. The television anime's "final season" will premiere this fall.
Mashima also created the manga Rave Master, which ran for 35 volumes and inspired a 51-episode anime adaption of the same name.

Monday, 14 May 2018


n Monday May 14, MVM is releasing New Initial D the Movie Legend 2: Racer on both Blu-ray and DVD. It is the second film in a trilogy which retells the beginning of the story from Shuuichi Shigeno's original car-racing manga.
High school student Takumi Fujiwara works as a gas station attendant during the day and a delivery boy for his father's tofu shop during late nights. Little does he know that his precise driving skills and his father's modified Toyota Sprinter AE86 Trueno make him the best amateur road racer on Mt. Akina's highway. Because of this, racing groups from all over Gunma Prefecture issue challenges to Takumi to see if he really has what it takes to be a road legend.
The cast from the first film returns for the second, with Mamoru Miyano as Takumi Fujiwara, Yūichi Nakamura as Keisuke Takahashi, Minoru Shiraishi as Itsuki Takeuchi, Maaya Uchida as Natsuki Mogi, Hiroaki Hirata as Bunta Fujiwara, Hiroshi Tsuchida as Kōichirō Iketani, and Junichi Suwabe as Takeshi Nakazato. SANZIGEN Animation Studio and LIDEN FILMS are animating the films, and Shochiku is distributing them.
Anime Limited is releasing a standard Blu-ray edition of Persona 3 the Movie #3 Falling Down.


This weekend Big Finish are offering 50% off many titles featuring the Eighth Doctor played by Paul McGann, from the beginning of his travels with Charlotte Pollard back in 2001 to the epic four-part saga, Doom Coalition.

Until 23:59 UK Time on the 17th of May 2018, you can save 50% on the Eighth Doctor Adventures releases, Eighth Doctor stories in the Doctor Who Main Range and the award-winning Dark Eyes and Doom Coalition box sets.

The Eighth Doctor Adventures, which were first broadcast on BBC Radio 7 on New Year’s Eve 2006, are a great jumping on point for new listeners as Paul McGann’s Eighth Doctor starts another phase of his adventures with a brand new companion played by Sheridan Smith, Lucie Miller.

Starting after the Eighth Doctor Main Range tales, it's a brand new set of adventures with several returning villains and all-star casts. These adventures start with an Eighth Doctor encounter with the Daleks in Blood of the Daleks, which stars Hayley Atwell and Anita Dobson in a truly terrifying introduction into the world of the Eighth Doctor.

Doctor Who: Dark Eyes (Winner, Best Online Drama, BBC Drama Awards 2014) was written and directed by Nicholas Briggs.
The Eighth Doctor is a man dealing with loss and hunting for new meaning in his life. He is looking for hope. But instead, he finds himself on a mission.

The Time Lords have uncovered terrifying fragments of an insane plot to destroy the universe. And somehow, at the centre of that plot is one, random female in Earth’s history, Molly O’Sullivan.
And after the apocalyptic events of Doctor Who: Dark Eyes, the Eighth Doctor and Liv Chenka (played by Nicola Walker) continue their adventures in space and time in Doctor Who: Doom Coalition.
An ancient danger is stirring under the citadel of Gallifrey. The Eleven - a insane Time Lord who has retained his previous personalities - has escaped, and the Time Lords are powerless to stop him. Now the Doctor, Liv and their new friend Helen Sinclair are the universe's only chance of survival.
Also in this offer are bundles on the Eighth Doctor’s adventures in the Doctor Who Main Range, with companions Charlotte Pollard, C'Rizz played by Conrad Westmaas and Mary Shelley, the gothic author, played by Julie Cox.

To redeem the offer, enter code EIGHT50 at the checkout on the Big Finish website.

This offer expires at 23:59 UK Time on the 17th of May 2018

Friday, 11 May 2018


New works by Naomi Alderman and Juno Dawson are among some of the 2018 offerings for the Doctor Who list, publishing to celebrate the arrival of Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor.

Penguin Random House Children’s imprint BBC Children’s Books have today announced its acquisition of a brand-new Doctor Who short story from Alderman, author of The Power and winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2017. Alderman’s tale features Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor battling to save the universe alongside her close and trusted friends.

The story will add to the existing 12 Doctors, 12 Stories anthology, which recounts tales for each of the previous twelve Doctors as they adventure through time and space. The new collection will publish on 1 November 2018 as Thirteen Doctors, 13 Stories, and will also include existing stories by Eoin Colfer, Michael Scott, Marcus Sedgwick, Philip Reeve, Patrick Ness, Richelle Mead, Malorie Blackman, Alex Scarrow, Charlie Higson, Derek Landy, Neil Gaiman and Holly Black.

Thirteen Doctors, 13 Stories marks Alderman’s return to the Doctor Who universe, after her 2011 novel, Borrowed Time, published by BBC Books. On 19 July, to celebrate the opening of this year’s San Diego ComicCon, BBC Books will reissue a new paperback edition of this novel, along with a new edition of collected Doctor Who stories by Jenny T. Colgan, The Triple Knife. Both will have new cover designs by artist David Wardle.

Multi-award winning author and activist Juno Dawson’s novel will mark her debut on the Doctor Who list. Entitled The Good Doctor, it will be one of the first novels on the BBC Books list to feature the Thirteenth Doctor, as played by Jodie Whittaker, and her friends Yasmin, Ryan and Graham. The book will publish in October along with two other Thirteenth Doctor adventures, The Molten Heart, by New York Times bestselling author Una McCormack and Combat Magicks, by bestselling Young Bond author Steve Cole.

Naomi Alderman says
I'm thrilled beyond words to be writing the first short story for the Thirteenth Doctor. Believe it or not, my first ever rejection letter, dated 1992, was from Doctor Who Magazine for a story I wrote as a teenager obsessed with the Doctor; I've loved Doctor Who since I was a child, so it's particularly meaningful and exciting for me to be adding my name to this anthology.
Juno Dawson says
My earliest memory is Bonnie Langford being spun off into space in a killer bubble in 1987, so you can only imagine how excited I was when I was asked to write for the Doctor Who range. And, as a Bradford girl, it’s an even bigger thrill to be among the first writers in the world to write for Jodie Whittaker, the first Doctor from Yorkshire. This feels like a bold new era for Doctor Who and I'm beyond delighted to be a part of it. This is a dream come true.
Ruth Knowles, Publisher at Penguin Random House Children’s, says
Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor deserves ground-breaking writing from a ground-breaking author, and we are thrilled to have someone so perfect in Naomi to bring the first female Doctor to the page. She has stunned the world with her characters, writing and ideas, and as a huge Doctor Who fan (and previous Doctor Who book writer) she was our first choice to write the Thirteenth Doctor story for this collection. This story will be, we are sure, brilliant, and the prefect addition to this stellar collection by the very best of authors.
Albert DePetrillo, BBC Books Publishing Director, says
The excitement that’s building around the new series of Doctor Who is remarkable, and Jodie Whittaker is helping usher in a whole new era of vibrant, inclusive storytelling. We’re thrilled to be a part of that with our publishing, and authors like Naomi and Juno, Jenny, Una and Steve are the perfect ambassadors for this next chapter in the Doctor Who story. We can’t wait for them to introduce a whole new generation of fans to the wonders of the Whoniverse.

Thursday, 10 May 2018


How to make a successful TV Season/What fans want

Dear Hasbro, 
Here are some ideas on how to make a successful Power Rangers TV season. It of course is not an exact science. This is based on ideas, complaints and praises I've heard from fans. Fans have fought over which is the best season and the consensus is the cream of the crop is Power Rangers in Space, Power Rangers Time Force and Power Rangers RPM. The weakest seasons are agreed to be Power Rangers Operation Overdrive and Power Rangers Megaforce. Even though the most popular and well known by general audiences is Mighty Morphin Power Rangers but Saban tried to imitate it with Samurai and Megaforce (using mostly Japanese footage, little original footage and no characterization) was not liked by fans. Fans generally want good storytelling, characterization, entertaining but genuine characters. Also I have a Television production background so I understand about budgets, adhering to scheduling, and Murphy's law--things will go wrong at the wrong time.

Quick Guide:
Saban Era (1993-2001) - Mighty Morphin to Wild Force
Disney Era (2001-2010) - Wild Force to RPM
Neo Saban Era (2011-2018) - Samurai to Super Ninja Steel
Hasbro Era (2019-) - Beast Morphers to ?

Original Fighting Footage
While not vital as there is already fighting footage, sometimes it is important to have some new footage to tie in with what the story asks for. Lost Galaxy and RPM has this a lot since each took place in other environments other than the footage had. Megaforce had very little but was still acceptable, the biggest flaw of Megaforce was bad editing between changes and too many battles and little story. For example, the editing was bad in the episode "A Lion's Alliance" when you briefly see Turborangers from Sentai footage and the episode "The Wrath" has the Sun Vulcan logo briefly before Red Ranger becomes Mighty Morphin.  

Unmorphed battles
Fans love to see the actual actors fighting villains. It is rare in recent seasons but has happened. Fans like to keep the illusion these characters are actually in battle. I say illusion because of the stunt people. Even if it isn't all done by the real actors. 

Name Items
Disney seasons like Ninja Steel and others suffered from weapons, attacks and zords not having names. While Lost Galaxy couldn't keep track of the names of the zords (Misnaming Centaurus and Strataforce Megazords), Disney didn't give names to all their Power Sphere weapons. While not vital, since Hasbro is mainly a toy company and have toys to sell, it is important that everything has a name. Also don't have competing names like in Megaforce while the footage showed the Japanese names and not the American ones. Saban Brands was pretty good at naming everything but had trouble in what mentioned earlier. 

While easy to say, it is a hard thing to give every actor equal time. But it is a disservice when one character has most of the episodes and another has not one single highlight episode. Above Gia from Megaforce did not have one single episode to herself, she did share some but that was it. Also have characterization that make sense, Kendall from Dino Charge had hit-and-miss, sometimes her actions made sense and other times did not. Other times, characters were so annoying, we didn't want to root for them. Case and point, Dax from Operation Overdrives who was kind of okay in solo episodes but for one-liners were groan-worthy and irritating in most episodes. 

Compelling Villains
Like fellow fan Linkara says don't just have villains SCREAM ALL THEIR LINES and have generic bad guy deep voices. The most popular villain bare none is Lord Zedd. But other compelling and complex villains include Ecliptor (PRIS), Darkonda (PRIS), Astronmena (PRIS), Diabolico (PRLR), Villamax (PRLG), Trakeena (PRLG), Rita (MMPR), and Ransik (PRTF). There are plenty more and notice the ones I mentioned are from the early days fans refer to Saban Era. What makes a good villain is a villain with a clear goal and some characterization. Someone kids can fear but not too scary of course. Someone who not necessarily has to be funny, not have to be too goofy and campy (Lothor of PRNS and Vekar of Super Megaforce). And not someone flat like Vrax of Megaforce. 

Tone for Power Rangers is tricky. Has to be fun, but not too goofy, not too condensending to the young audience, and not too serious that it borders on boring. Super Sentai can be darker than Power Rangers but it can also be goofier than Power Rangers at the same time. Out of the Neo Saban seasons, Dino Charge has about the right tone. It balanced genuine comedy with action, adventure and suspense. Fans bring down Disney seasons but I liked their production values, I did not appreciate the tone of the comedy sometimes in Dino Thunder and Jungle Fury. I did like the comedy in RPM, it didn't talk down to kids. The humor in Samurai and Ninja Steel unfortunately does. I'm talking about Monty and Victor. I know Bulk and Skull were a bit lowbrow and condensending but I feel those actors made it work more than Victor and Monty. And Bulk and Spike's humor didn't quite gel sometimes with Samurai's tone. 

Thanks for your time.

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

May Anime Screenings at BFI Southbank

ickets are still available for the anime screenings at the BFI Southbank. Some of them are part of "Anime Weekender" event from May 18 to May 20, details and booking links here. (Some earlier screenings, not part of the Weekender, are listed further below.)
The Weekender screenings at BFI Southbank are as follows:
Friday May 18 - Code Geass Hangyaku no Lelouch I: Kōdō (compilation of the original Code Geass TV series), 6.15 p.m.
Friday May 18 - Eureka Seven: Hi - Evolution Movie 1, 8.50 p.m.
Saturday May 19 - Makoto Shinkai's your name., 5.20 p.m. (not an IMAX screening)
Saturday May 19 - Maquia - When the Promised Flower Blooms, 8.30 p.m. (pictured right)
Sunday May 20 - Lu over the wall, 12.45 p.m.
Sunday May 20 - In This Corner of the World, 3.15 p.m.
Sunday May 20 - Cardcaptor Sakura: The Sealed Card, 6.10 p.m. (pictured left)
In addition to the "Anime Weekender" screenings, further May screenings are listed as part of the BFI's international 'Animation 2018' programme, details and booking links here.
Tuesday May 8 - Belladonna of Sadness (pictured right), 6.20 p.m.
Wednesday May 9 - Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira, 8.45 p.m.
Saturday May 12 - Princess Mononoke, 12.30 p.m.
Tuesday May 15 - Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira, screening in BFI IMAX at 6.15 p.m. and Makoto Shinkai's your name., screening at BFI IMAX at 8.50 p.m.
Saturday May 19 - Spirited Away, 3 p.m.
Sunday May 20 - Satoshi Kon's Paprika (pictured left), 8.30 p.m.
Saturday May 26 - Spirited Away, 12.30 p.m.
NB: The screenings of Akira on May 15, Spirited Away on May 19 and Paprika on May 20 happen on the same days as "Anime Weekender" screenings in the same location.

Anime Limited Q3 Titles Listed on Amazon

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Anime UK News reports that the following Anime Limited titles are listed on Amazon UK.
July 2 - The Night is Short, Walk On Girl (Collectors Blu-ray/DVD, standard Blu-ray and DVD)
July 16 - Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust (Blu-ray and DVD)
July 30 - Sword Art Online II Part 3 (Standard Blu-ray)
August 27 - Aoharu x Kikanjū aka Aoharu x Machinegun (Blu-ray and DVD), pictured left
August 27 - Eureka Seven: Hi - Evolution Movie 1 (Collectors Blu-ray/DVD, standard DVD)
August 27 - Junjō Romantica (Blu-ray), pictured right
August 27 - K: Missing Kings (Blu-ray and DVD)
August 27 - Sword Art Online II Part 4 (Blu-ray)
August 27 - The Testament of Sister New Devil BURST (Collectors Blu-ray, and standard DVD)
September 24 - Junjō Romantica Season 2 (Blu-ray)
September 24 - K: Return of Kings (Blu-ray and DVD)