Thursday, 31 December 2015

Bandai Introducing Lego-Like Dragon Ball Z Figmes

Candy Toy Bandai revealed it will release a series of eight mini Dragon Ball Z character figures. Unlike other desktop or pocket-size toys, the "Figme" line closely resembles Lego's own Minifigs. Despite the similar appearance, there's no indication that the toys are actually compatible with Lego pieces.
Slated for release in February, the line-up includes Goku, Super Saiyan Goku, Vegeta, Super Saiyan Vegeta, Piccolo, Krillin, Frieza, and Cell.
Each figure measures 37mm (1.5in) and is 500 yen (US$4).

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Ghibli's Only Yesterday Film Trailer Previews English Dub With Star Wars' Daisy Ridley

North American film distributor GKids began streaming a trailer and a shorter teaser for its upcoming theatrical release of Studio Ghibli and Isao Takahata's Only Yesterday (Omohide Poro Poro) film on Tuesday. The trailers preview the film's English dub, featuring Daisy Ridley (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) as protagonist Taeko.
GKids announced the list of theaters screening the film:
January 1
  • New York - IFC Center
February 26
  • Los Angeles, CA - Landmark Nuart Theater
  • Irvine, CA - Regal Irvine
  • San Francisco, CA - Landmark Theatres
  • Berkeley, CA - Landmark Theatres
  • Washington DC - Landmark E Street Cinema
  • Boston, MA - Landmark Kendall Square
  • San Diego, CA - Landmark Theatres
  • Denver, CO - Landmark Theatres
  • Portland, OR - Regal Fox Tower
  • Austin, TX - Regal Arbor Hills
  • Philadelphia, PA - Landmark Ritz at the Bourse
  • Charlotte, NC - Regal Theater
  • Toronto, ON - TIFF Bell Lightbox
  • Columbus, OH - Gateway Film Center
  • Buffalo, NY - North Park Theatre (February 27-28)
March 11
  • Minneapolis, MN - Landmark Theatres
  • Atlanta, GA - Landmark Midtown Art
  • Waterloo, ON - Princess Cinema
  • Ithaca, NY - Cornell Cinema (March 12-13)
March 18
  • Vancouver, WA - Kiggins Theatre
The film originally premiered in Japan in 1991. GKids' theatrical release will correspond with the film's 25th anniversary. It has not previously been released in North America.
Aside from Ridley, the film's English dub cast includes Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire), Ashley Eckstein (Star Wars: The Clone Wars), and Alison Fernandez (Law & Order: SVU).
GKids describes the film:

It's 1982, and Taeko (Daisy Ridley) is 27 years old, unmarried, and has lived her whole life in Tokyo. She decides to visit her family in the countryside, and as the train travels through the night, memories flood back of her younger years: the first immature stirrings of romance, the onset of puberty, and the frustrations of math and boys. At the station she is met by young farmer Toshio (Dev Patel), and the encounters with him begin to reconnect her to forgotten longings. In lyrical switches between the present and the past, Taeko contemplates the arc of her life, and wonders if she has been true to the dreams of her childhood self.
In addition to the theatrical rights, GKids has also licensed the non-theatrical, home video, and television rights for the film.

Adult Japanese Fans Pick Top Anime That Made Them Cry

My Navi Student held a poll for grown-up fans to pick which tragic anime series had them reaching for the tissues. While most fans immediately recall Grave of the Fireflies or One Piece's Going Merry special, neither show up on the list. Here what the participants chose.
#1: Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 This 11-episode series about two children attempting to survive a national disaster pulls at viewers heartstrings. The tragedy of the older sister attempting to find shelter for her younger brother comes to a head with a twist ending sure to make even the most hard-hearted shed a few.
#2: Plastic Memories SA Corp. is in the business of reclaiming very human-like androids when their service life is up. The show looks at these "artificial" companions and the bonds they create with their human owners.
#3: Old Man Karl's Flying House (Up): Pixar's Up stars a crotchety old man who takes an adventure after his wife passes by tying numerous balloons to his house. The movie's opening sequence introduces Karl and his wife as children and montages through their life: buying their first home, expecting their first child, miscarriage, and then his wife's death. Pixar shows a whole lot of love and loss in the film's opener.
#4: Air: Key's anime adaptations are known for their sad story lines. Kanon was affectionately dubbed "sad girls in the snow" for a reason. Air might be "sad girl at the beach" then, as one puppeteer attempts to find the truth behind a legend but instead gets wrapped with Misuzu Kamio, a quirky, sick girl. The legend and Misuzu end up related, but most of tearjerker moments come from MIsuzu deteriorating and her aunt's attempt to reconnect with her properly.
#5: Wolf Children: A woman falls in love with a werewolf and they have two children. Suddenly, she finds herself raising her were-children solo when the love of her life is unceremoniously killed in wolf form. The movie shows the hardships of the ever patient Hana while her kids struggle to make sense of their dual natures.

Some of the choices have crossed over from an earlier poll about manga that made readers cry. A 41-year-old woman said she remembered reading Doraemon as a child and crying when the robot cat returned to the future.
Are there any anime that made you cry? If so, what scenes from the series were the saddest?

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

New Year's Kōhaku Singing Contest to Include Special Anime Songs Program

Japanese television network NHK announced the participants in its special program "Anime Kōhaku" on Monday. The "Anime Kōhaku" program will take place within the annual Kōhaku Uta Gassen (Red and White Song Battle) singing contest program that will air on December 31.
In "Anime Kōhaku," the singers will perform anime theme songs. Like the rest of the Kōhaku Uta Gassen, "Anime Kōhaku" will have a red team (female performers) and white team (male performers). Maruko, the title character in the popular long-running anime Chibi Maruko-chan, will represent the red team and Whisper from Yōkai Watch will represent the white team.
The performances will be:
  • Sailor Moon's opening theme song "Moonlight Densetsu," performed by AKB48 in Sailor Moon cosplay
  • The original Pokémon anime opening theme "Mezase Pokémon Master," performed by Golden Bomber (also in cosplay), Hiromi Go, and characters such as Pikachu
  • Mobile Suit Gundam's opening theme song "Tobe! Gundam," performed by TOKIO
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion's opening theme song "A Cruel Angel's Thesis," performed by Sayuri Ishikawa and miwa
  • Chibi Maruko-chan's first ending theme "Odoru Ponpokorin," performed by E-Girls and Sakurako Ohara
  • Yōkai Watch's first opening theme "Geragerapō no Uta," performed by its original performers King Cream Soda and Yo-Kai
  • The "Tetsuwan Atom" (Astroy Boy) theme song, performed by the other "Anime Kōhaku" performers with V6 in the center
In the second half of Kōhaku Uta Gassen, singer MISIA will perform the Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans ending theme song "Orphans no Namida" live from a candle-lit Nagasaki Peace Park.
The Love Live! School idol project idol group μ's, minus Yoshino Nanjou, will perform the opening theme song "Sore wa Bokutachi no Kiseki" (That Is Our Miracle) at the event with newly-animated footage.
Other performances scheduled for the program include BUMP OF CHICKEN (Tales of the Abyss, Blood Blockade Battlefront) and Superfly (Ushijima the Loan Shark live-action film), as well as 34-year-old singer Gen Hoshino. Idol group Nogizaka46 will perform for the first time.

Sword Art Online II Released Monday

On Monday December 28, Anime Limited is releasing the second part of Sword Art Online II, the sequel series to the original Sword Art Online, as both a DVD/Blu-ray Collector's Edition and as a standard DVD. This is the second of four volumes, including episodes 8 to 14 plus the extra episode 14.5.
Anime Limited is also releasing a standard DVD edition of Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya. (A Blu-ray Collector's Edition is already available.)
Manga Entertainment will release the third volume of Dragon Ball Z Kai (the compressed version of Dragonball Z), carrying episodes 78 to 98.
Manga Entertainment will also release the twelfth volume of the pirate epic One Piece.
The third Manga Entertainment release this week is season 15 of Bleach (subtitled 'The Invading Army') via Kaze, carrying episodes 317 to 342.

Monday, 28 December 2015

New, Improved D-3 Digivice Makes 15th Anniversary Comeback

With the 15th anniversary of Digimon Adventure 02 this year, Digimon fans are reveling in nostalgia. For those who loved playing with Digivices, an upgraded version of the D-3 associated with that show is here: D-3 ver. 15th. Although they come in two colors — white and blue, modeled after Davis's (Daisuke's), and black, modeled after Ken's — customers can choose six different partner Digimon: Veemon, Wormmon, Patamon, Hawkmon, Gatomon, and Armadillomon.
Despite its close resemblance to the original model, the D-3 has been rebuilt and incorporates lamé. Over 150 different Digimon are included, and over 80 can be raised from eggs. They include the strongest Digimon, Imperialdramon (Paladin mode) and Armageddemon.

The game map has been revamped to better reflect the world of the TV series. Seven different settings correspond to the anime's story progression: the Digital World (from Episodes 1 - 21), New York (from Digimon: The Golden Digimentals), the Digital World again (from Episodes 22 - 37), Japan (Episodes 38 and 39), around the world (Episodes 40 - 42), Tokyo (Episodes 43 - 50) and Odaiba (from Digimon: Diaboromon Strikes Back).
The original Digivice will also be rebooted for the 15th anniversary, and the D-3 is compatible with it, as well as the older Digivices (the D-3 series, the Digivice series, the Digimon Pendulum series, and the Digital Monster series). Connecting the D-3 ver. 15th with a Digivice ver. 15th will reveal a secret message.
The new D-3 will also come with these exclusive illustrations of the old Digimon series' protagonists.
The D-3 ver. 15th can be preordered at Premium Bandai for 9,990 yen ($83) and is expected to ship in June.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Actors Interested in Japanese Pop Culture

Star Wars has widely acknowledged influences from Japanese culture, from the original film's plot's resemblance to the 1958 film The Hidden Fortress to samurai overtones in the depiction of the Jedi and Darth Vader. In an interview with Rocket News 24 on a promotional tour of Japan, the actors Daisy Ridley (Rey) and John Boyega (Finn) opened up about their own admiration for Japanese culture.
Ridley is a fan of Studio Ghibli and gushed about it on a previous trip to Japan. "Just when I left, I got a call, and there was one film that had not been dubbed in English, called Only Yesterday. I just did the English version [voicing Taeko], so obviously the Japanese version is always going to be the best, but for me that is such an honor, because I've always loved Japan. To be able to be a tiny, tiny part of Japanese [cinematic] history, [connected to] a legendary film and studio, that is really, really special."
Similarly, Boyega revealed himself to be a manga fan. "Growing up I was exposed to manga comics, and that was my first exposure to Japanese culture, especially in the spiritual sense," he told the interviewer. "I love, and today, still read the comics." He enjoys Naruto in particular, and sees the title character as a kindred spirit to Finn: "He is a character that wants to lead and has a dream, but doesn't necessarily know how to go about it, and doesn't have the right skill set… I love [how Japanese entertainment can] capture an underdog story, and I root for underdogs."
Boyega's Naruto influences are particularly obvious in this tweet:

Finally, Episode VII's director, J.J. Abrams, also has an affinity for Japanese culture, but in a very different way. In an interview for Mezamashi TV, a morning talk show, Abrams recalled attending an AKB48 concert in Akihabara, Tokyo with artist Takashi Murakami almost ten years ago. He was impressed enough to consider casting one of the idols in Star Trek.

"They were amazing!"
Ridley is not the only Star Wars cast member to voice a Studio Ghibli dub. Mark Hamill, who plays Luke Skywalker, has had a successful voice acting career since the original trilogy and has voiced Musca in Castle in the Sky as well as the mayor of Pejite in Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind.

Holiday Greetings from the Anime World!

84% of Japanese College Students Have Never Read Dragon Ball

Akira Toriyama's Dragon Ball manga and subsequent anime series is considered a major cornerstone of shōnen entertainment. The series' later debut on Toonami in 1998 was a gateway for a whole generation of anime fans.
Apparently that is no longer the case in Japan, where while Dragon Ball Super is currently airing, the manga ended over 20 years ago. My Navi Student polled 403 college students, both men and women, on whether they ever read Dragon Ball. Shockingly, only 64 answered that they had (15.9%). The other 339 people (84.1%) said no.
It appears the generation that read the manga didn't pass on the series to their offspring. Those who had read it, did so either because of the manga's reputation, they borrowed it from their boyfriend in junior high, it was readily available at the school library (or in one case, at a hair stylist) or their friends were reading it. Others started with the anime and then went back to read the manga afterwards.
Many who hadn't read it stated it was because the series was too long at 42 volumes, it seems dated, or they found the anime fulfilling enough.

U.K. Live-Action 'Death Note' Film Borrows Plot Elements, Title of Popular Manga

Small studio movies, especially horror films, have managed to skirt copyright of popular properties, whether its inspiration or questionable cameos. Titles are usually changed just enough with a few plot details switched around in the hopes of maybe a confused grandma will accidentally buy Transmorphers instead of Transformers.
One particular U.K. film is going beyond that. The British-Irish horror film Let Us Prey already had a borrowed premise. A character named Six is arrested and put in prison. However, he's a mysterious sort with no ID and only a notebook with a list of names inside. He can see the "sins" of those around him and kills those listed in his black notebook. It turns out that "Six" is an Angel of Death.
The film is getting its Japanese release this year and the studio behind its promotion decided to do away with its English pun of a title and go for something more direct.
Death Note.
This doesn't appear to be a coincidence, either. Looking at the official Japanese poster, you'll notice the English title underneath has a familiar font. The dots in the Os mirror the logo for the live-action films and drama.
It looks like the production studio is trying to pull a fast one on Japanese grandmas after the new Death Note TV drama.

dw SERIES 9 ON space

Sunday, 27 December, 2015 - Reported by Dan Collins

SPACE Logo (Credit: SPACE)
The Space Channel, the Canadian broadcaster of Doctor WSPACE Logo (Credit: SPACE)ho, has given Doctor Who News an update on the final ratings for Series 9.

DOCTOR WHO remains the most watched program on Space with an average of 696500 viewers for Season 9. Season 9 is also the most-watched season of the series to date in the key demos of A25-54 and A18-49, with 415,500 and 405,900 viewers respectively.

While Doctor Who has remained their most watched program, the average viewership has gone down over the final few episodes. In November Doctor Who News reported that an average of 731,000 people watched per episode. All ratings only cover traditional television viewers including PVR, not those who watched via apps or online.

DW xmas special AI

Doctor Who: The Husbands of River Song had an Audience Appreciation or AI score of 82.

The Appreciation Index or AI is a measure of how much the audience enjoyed the programme. The score, out of a hundred, is compiled by a specially selected panel of around 5,000 people who go online and rate and comment on programmes.

The highest score of the evening went to Call the Midwife on BBC One which scored 88.

On BBC Three, the Boxing Day repeat of Doctor Who was watched by 0.26 million viewers.

DW Xmas Austrlain ratings

The Husbands of River Song has debuted in Australia, averaging 575,000 viewers in the five major capital cities. The story was the highest rating ABC drama of the day and the tenth highest rating program of the day overallThese ratings do not include iview, regional or time-shifted viewers.

DW Xmas special press reaction

This item contains spoilers.

Press reaction to the Christmas Special, The Husbands of River Song, mostly centers of the relationship between River Song and The Doctor. The Express loved the return of Alex Kingston. "It's easy to forget what a fantastic character she is but tonight River really makes this festive episode, which could be one of the best Doctor Who Christmas specials in years."

It was a theme picked up by The Guardian "It’s a wonderful Christmas gift from Moffat to see the old River return, with a glimpse of her naughty ways when she’s having adventures without the Doctor. Meanwhile, however bleak things might have got towards the end of the recent series, it’s faintly hilarious now to remember how Peter Capaldi was initially touted as a “dark Doctor”. His bravura form here, dancing between comedy and romance, just fizzes opposite Kingston."

The Metro called it a bittersweet rom-com. "The scene in which the Doctor realises that he gets to pretend to be stepping into the TARDIS for the first time and provide his version of ‘it’s bigger on the inside’ is a joy to behold, snapping him out of his Grinch-like mood. One suspects it’s the first time the Doctor has genuinely had fun since his memories of Clara were wiped."

Radio Times, while admitting they don't like the Christmas specials, found the main duo's interaction the most appealing aspect of the story. "The Doctor is the happiest we’ve known him, even at one point flat on his back laughing – something inconceivable in the last few episodes. He’s all loved up to find River and bemused, cheesed off and, ultimately, delighted that she doesn’t recognise him."

Wales Online also love the pairing. "There were good bits, and bad. But overall, it was lovely to see Alex Kingston back in the Tardis, as River Song". The Los Angeles Times agreed "If The Husbands of River Song is less Christmasy than most of the previous specials, it is a splendid gift to fans nonetheless. River has provided one of the longest and most tantalizing threads of the series" had mixed feelings over the meeting between River and the Twelfth Doctor. "The emotional swell I was supposed to feel during that speech and at the moment she realized the Doctor was there—that the Doctor would always be there—fell flat for me. Him cheekily stealing her catchphrase—"Hello, sweetie"—helped however, and once the blindfold came off, everything clicked into place."

AV Club felt the structure odd. "The Husbands Of River Song is one of the strangest hours in television history. For the first 40 or so minutes of its run, it’s a deeply goofy bit of slapstick space opera whimsy. And then, in the final 15 minutes, the episode shifts tones completely, going for a poignant, melancholy send-off that directly calls back and completes a narrative circle that the show began tracing way back in 2008.". However Den of Geek thought the episode was right for its intended slot. "I don't really think that The Husbands Of River Song is Doctor Who on top form, nor do I think it amongst the best Christmas specials since the show introduced them in 2005. But fun? Yes. Enjoyable? Yes. A good, solid piece of telly? Absolutely."

411 Mania was pleased the story had moved away from the more overtly Christmassy specials of the past. "I enjoy the Doctor’s forays into the holiday season as much as anyone, but things got as Christmas-y as they could last year and it was probably a wise move to ease up on that for a bit of variety". And finally IGN felt the episode nicely complemented the recently completed season. "Steven Moffat’s The Husbands of River Song is a nice, fun, wacky change of pace that still manages to touch that sweet spot of emotional resonance that the Twelfth Doctor has done so well this year."

You can read the Doctor Who News review in our reviews section.

DW Xmas special overnight ratings

5.77 million viewers watched the christmas special, Doctor Who: The Husbands of River Song, according to unofficial overnight viewing figures.

The episode had a 29.4% share of the total Television audience.

The most watched programme on Christmas Day was the final instalment of Downton Abbey, with 6.9 million watching, giving ITV the top spot.

The BBC's highest offering was the Christmas edition of Strictly Come Dancing, which had 6.5 million viewers. Mrs Brown's Boys and Stick Man also did well as did Coronation Street and Call the Midwife, making Doctor Who the 7th most watched programme of the day, just above EastEnders.

Official figures will be released in 9 days time.

12tj day of xmas

As darkness descends across the United Kingdom, the country's viewers will settle down to recover from afternoon excesses in front of the television to watch what has become a traditional festive line-up on the box: Eastenders, Call The Midwife, Strictly Come Dancing, Mrs Browns Boys, and of course Doctor Who - which reaches its tenth anniversary of Christmas adventures at 5:15pm.

However, to misquote another anniversary's line of dialogue, that isn't how it all started. And, to steal a phrase from another franchise enjoying a successful return this year, there is another ... as fifty years ago today the Doctor, Steven and their latest waif in time Sara were to discover Christmas Day themselves!

Now into its third year on television, Doctor Who's regular Saturday schedule meant that in 1965 it would coincide with the 25th December. At this point the Doctor and company had been embroiled in an audacious plan by the Daleks to take over the universe by means of a Time Destructor, and some six episodes in had already seen two previous TARDIS travellers killed. With a Christmas audience of the 1960s as fickle as those of today at watching television on the day (and certainly without the myriad ways to catch-up we can now enjoy) it was decided to take a festive detour from the main complex plot and "cut-away" from the Daleks to a light-hearted interlude instead.

Unlike the modern Christmas adventures this was an episode never meant to be taken seriously, or indeed take itself seriously. So, rather than the inhabitants of Skaro, the Doctor is instead apprehended by the inhabitants of a Northern England police station, who have to contend with a man who loses his greenhouse; and once he's 'escaped' its off to encounter madcap antics in a Hollywood film studio, as he and his travelling companions are chased by a number of colourful characters! In comparison with festive adventures of more recent times, it might seem a strange approach to a Doctor Who episode now - but it was produced in an era of light entertainment, slotted into contemporary programming, and wouldn't have felt too out of place for cosy Christmas television viewing of the time!

The Doctor wishes a very merry Christmas in The Feast of StevenDue to its (then) unique status as a light-hearted Christmas episode, The Feast of Steven wasn't included in any overseas package sales, and with episodes seldom repeated Saturday 25th December 1965 became the only time that anyone in the world were able to experience the tale in its original form. Fortunately the soundtrack survives, so fans can still 'live' that first dalliance with festive Who - including the Doctor's little message in the closing moments:

Here's a toast. A Happy Christmas to all of us.
Incidentally, a Happy Christmas to all of you at home!

Happy 10th and 50th anniversaries to a Christmas Doctor ...
Whose twelfth incarnation embarks upon a twelfth festive adventure!

Doctor Who around the world on Christmas Day

Unlike 1965, in 2015 Doctor Who can be enjoyed around the world 24x7. However, there is still a nostalgic feeling to watching 'live' on television, and there is plenty of episodes to be caught around the world today!

In the United Kingdom, morning-risers can enjoy the tenth Doctor's last adventures as Watch broadcasts the specials from The Next Doctor onwards. Meanwhile, in the lead-up to The Husbands of River Song on BBC One during the afternoon viewers can then immerse themselves in a classic "base-under-siege" type adventure as Horror Channel show the appropriately named Horror of Fang Rock at 3:00pm (and/or at 8:00pm if they prefer to avoid the traditional enemy, Coronation Street!).

In Northern America, both BBC America and SPACE have turned their channels over to Doctor Who, with today seing a re-run of Series Nine in preparation for their own premiere of Husbands at 9:00pm. More locally in the United States, viewers could then switch over to catch The Hand of Fear on Retro TV at 10:00pm, and those in Oklahoma could then watch Robot of Sherwood at 11:00pm. Earlier in the day, UNC in North Carolina show the final two episodes of The Time Monster from 5:00pm, whilst EBRU finish off the ninth Doctor with Bad Wolf/The Parting of the Ways, also from 5:00pm. The final episode for Christmas Day is The Brink of Disaster, a first Doctor outing courtesy of KMOS in Missouri.

In Europe, BBC First in the Benelux countries will show Before The Flood just after midday with The Girl Who Died later this afternoon; BBC Entertainment in Europe and the Middle East had an early morning adventure with The Time of the Doctor; and BBC HD in Poland and the Nordic countries stay festive with The Snowmen, The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe and The Best of the Christmas Specials. German viewers can catch Before the Flood, The Girl Who Died and The Woman Who Lived on FOX from 4:15pm, or the continuing adventures of the Torchwood team in Children of Earth on SyFy. And in Denmark DR3 will "Face The Raven" as that episode premieres in the country at 8:10pm.

For the rest of the world, FX in India goes festive with A Christmas Carol, The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe, The Time of the Doctor and Last Christmas, whilst PRIME in New Zealands catches up with The Girl Who Died and The Woman Who Lived. TV Cultura in Brazil have Vincent and the Doctor in Portuguese, and for the Doctor's friends, Jeem in the Middle East provides an Arabic outing for Sarah Jane Smith with Mona Lisa's Revenge in the evening.

The continuing adventures of the Doctor can be followed around the world via This Week in Doctor Who!

Sonic Screwdriver app

The brand new Twelfth Doctor's Sonic Screwdriver has been added to the official Doctor Who Sonic Screwdriver app,

The new sonic was revealed in the final seconds of the season finale, Hell Bent, and will feature in this year's Christmas Special.

Useless Creations have worked closely with the BBC to make the virtual sonic screwdriver as close as possible to the real prop.

It's available now on both the App Store and Google Play

DW Xmas special 2015 were to watch


ABC have confirmed that they intend to make this year's Christmas special, The Husbands of River Song, available in Australia staight after the United Kingdom on their iView service, from 5:15am (AEDT). This makes the country the first to be able to watch the story after its premiere (at least for early risers!).

FX in India have also confirmed that they will indeed show the special on Sunday in the usual Doctor Who premiere slot of 11:00pm IST.

The Husbands of River Song: Known Broadcast Details
United KingdomBBC OneFri 25 Dec 20155:15pm
AustraliaABC iViewSat 26 Dec 20155:15am AEDT(6:15pm GMT)
United States of AmericaBBC AmericaFri 25 Dec 20159:00pm EST(2:00am GMT)
CanadaSPACEFri 25 Dec 20159:00pm EST(2:00am GMT)
Asia PacificBBC EntertainmentSat 26 Dec 201510:00am SGT(2:00am GMT)
New ZealandPRIMESat 26 Dec 20157:35pm NZDT(6:35am GMT)
AustraliaABCSat 26 Dec 20157:30pm AEDT(8:30am GMT)
South AfricaBBC FirstSat 26 Dec 20156:00pm SAST
Europe (Benelux)BBC FirstSat 26 Dec 20158:05pm CET
IndiaFXSun 27 Dec 201511:00pm IST
United KingdomBBC TwoTue 29 Dec 20152:50am(British Signed Language)
FinlandYLE2Sun 3 Jan 20167:10pm EET
GermanyFOXThu 28 Jan 20169:00pm CET(dubbed into German)


As well as the small screen, The Husbands of River Song will have a number of cinematic screenings, with the presentation including an exclusive interview with Alex Kingston plus a 15-minute behind-the-scenes "making of" featurette:
  • In the United States, Fathom Events are showing the episode in cinemas all over the country over the course of 28th-29th December.
  • In Canada, Cineplex will be showing the episode in select cinemas on the 28th December.
  • In Denmark Cinemaxx are showing the package at 4:45pm and 7:00pm on the 28th December at their Copenhagen, Odense and Aarhus cinemas.]
  • In Germany, Cinemaxx will be showing the package on 28th January at the same time as its premiere on television on FOX (the cinema will be presented in its original English soundtrack); theatres showing the episode are in Augsburg, Berlin, Bielefeld, Bremen, Dresden, Essen, Freiburg, Göttingen, Halle, Hamburg-Dammtor, Hannover, Heilbronn, Kiel, Krefeld, Magdeburg, Mülheim, München, Offenbach, Oldenburg, Regensburg, Sindelfingen, Stuttgart an der Liederhalle, Trier, Wolfsburg, Wuppertal, and Würzburg. (updated 26 Dec)
  • In Austria, the Haydn English Cinema in Vienna will also be showing the episode on 28th January at 9:00pm

DW Comic news

Wednesday sees the publication of brand new tales from The Eleventh and Twelfth Doctor.


Writers: Si Spurrier & Rob Williams
Artist: Simon Fraser
Cover A: Josh Cassara & Luis Guerrero
Cover B: Photo cover by Will Brooks

Bounty hunters are tracking the TARDIS anywhere in time and space... which should be impossible. Alice is getting visions of the Time War... which should be impossible. The Squire's very existence... should be impossible. The Doctor does ten impossible things before breakfast... but other people doing the same? That's just cheating!

 THE ELEVENTH DOCTOR #2.4 (Credit: Titan)  THE ELEVENTH DOCTOR #2.4 (Credit: Titan)  THE ELEVENTH DOCTOR #2.4 (Credit: Titan)  THE ELEVENTH DOCTOR #2.4 (Credit: Titan)  THE ELEVENTH DOCTOR #2.4 (Credit: Titan)  THE ELEVENTH DOCTOR #2.4 (Credit: Titan)

Writer: Robbie Morrison
Artist: Daniel Indro
Cover A: Alex Ronald
Cover B: Photo - Will Brooks
Cover C: Neil Slorance
Cover D: Simon Myers

The unforgettable finale to the Twelfth Doctor's first year is here! With Earth's Sun ringed by vast and deadly Hyperion technology, set to drain our star of all energy in the ultimate solar extinction event, the Doctor and Clara must face their most challenging adventure yet – to save humanity's future!


DW Book news

Candy Jar Books has released a brand new Lethbridge-Stewart short story online for Christmas: The Fright Before Christmas (written by Tom Dexter with cover artwork by Shaun Russell, Adrian Salmon and Nathan Hudson) features alien spheres, Santa Claus and Buckingham Palace, and is available to download for free via their website here.

Hayley Cox, Senior Publishing Coordinator at Candy Jar Books, said:
Lethbridge-Stewart has had a great 2015. We were pleasantly surprised by all the positive feedback we received, and felt that we should give something back to the fans for the holidays. This story is just for them.

Various bundles are available for the book series, both for the four published this year and those due to be published in 2016 (kicking off with Moon Blink by Sadie Miller): see the Candy Jar website for full details.

Predict the ratings for DW Xmas special 2015

It's time for our traditional "Predict the Ratings" competition, and this year you will be in with a chance to win The Husbands of River Song on Blu-ray or DVD ... alongside the latest adventures of the twelfth Doctor when The Complete Ninth Series is released next year!

The aim is to guess the final consolidated viewing figure of The Husbands of River Song, as reported by BARB, to the nearest 10,000 viewers (i.e. two decimal places). This figure includes all those watching the episode within a week of broadcast via television, but does not include independent streaming devices.

Last year ratings on television were down across the board, with none of the Christmas Day shows managing to break the 10 million mark - Last Christmas ended up in sixth place with 8.28m viewers. In previous years, you can view the final ratings for The Christmas Invasion, The Runaway Bride, Voyage of the Damned, The Next Doctor, The End of Time part one, A Christmas Carol, The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe, The Snowmen and The Time of the Doctor via This Week in Doctor Who.

The show's best position occured in 2009 when The End Of Time (part one) arguably achieved the top spot with 12.05m viewers (11.57m on BBC One and 0.47m on BBC HD). However, it was the 2007 special, Voyage of the Damned that achieved the best rating in the decade of specials, reaching 13.31m viewers (but pipped at the post by Eastenders at 14.38m!).

To enter the competition, please send the following details to

  • Your name and preferred email address
  • Your country of entry (full details will be requested only if you are the winner)
  • Your guess at the final rating to the nearest 10,000 (eg.9.99m)
  • Tie breaker: also send your guess as to what the final rating for the BBC3 repeat on Boxing Day might be - this figure will only be used in the event of a tie!

Terms and Conditions:
  • The competition closes at 08:30 GMT, 26th December 2015.
  • Only one entry will be accepted per person.
  • The competition is open worldwide.
  • BARB final figures are expected in early 2016; we will contact the winner once they have been published.
  • The winner will be able to confirm the region and format of the boxed set they'd like nearer release date.

Odds on Who

At the time of writing, the (average) betting odds for the main channels are as follows:

Time       BBC One                                Odds    ITV                                Odds 
 3:00pm    The Queen                                                                         34/1
 3:10pm    Brave                                  69/1    Cameraman to the Queen               -
 4:10pm                                                   Countrywise Winter Wonderland     100/1
 4:35pm    BBC News and Weather                     -
 4:45pm    Stick Man                             100/1
 5:00pm                                                   For The Love Of Dogs              130/1
 5:15pm    Doctor Who                             28/1
 6:00pm                                                   ITV Evening News                     -
 6:15pm    Strictly Come Dancing                   9/1    You've Been Framed With Bells On  100/1
 6:45pm                                                   Emmerdale                         109/1
 7:30pm    Call The Midwife                       14/1 
 7:45pm                                                   Coronation Street                  77/2
 8:45pm    Eastenders                              9/2    Downton Abbey                       9/2
 9:45pm    Mrs Browns Boys                         7/10
10:45pm    Michael McIntyre's Big Christmas Show  62/1    Our Cilla                          91/1

Having been in the top spot three years running, Mrs Brown's Boys remains the favourite for this year. Eastenders, which topped the charts in 2010 and 2011, and the final episode of Downton Abbey are currently joint second, followed by Strictly Come Dancing and Doctor Who.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Funimation to Stream Dimension W, Grimgar, Pandora, Divine Gate, Prince of Stride, Dagashikashi With Dub

North American distributor Funimation announced on Monday that it will stream the following anime:

Funimation will offer Dimension W, Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash, Pandora in the Crimson Shell, Divine Gate, Assassination Classroom Season 2, Prince of Stride Alternative, Fairy Tail Zero, and DAGASHIKASHI with both English subtitles and an English broadcast dub. Funimation will offer Luck & Logic, ERASED, and Haruchika – Haruta & Chika with English subtitles only.
Funimation also confirmed that it will continue its streaming of Durarara!!×2 Ketsu, Heavy Object, One Piece, Garo: Crimson Moon, and Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans.
Funimation is on the production committee for the Dimension W anime series, and it describes the story:

In the year 2071, the world's energy problems seem solved by a network of cross-dimensional electric-field inductors- “coils” -that extract energy from a seemingly infinite source. That source is the W dimension, a fourth plane that exists beyond the X, Y, and Z dimensions. In this world, unofficial “illegal” coils harness powers that the police can't hope to counter. Dealing with these coils is the job of coil-hating repo man Kyoma, whose run-in with the unique coil android Mira leads the two to form a reluctant partnership.
The series will premiere on January 10. Funimation will offer the series in both Japanese audio with English subtitles, and with an English broadcast dub.
The series is based on Yuji Iwahara's manga of the same name. Kanta Kamei (Tales of Vesperia ~The First Strike~; Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend, Bunny Drop, Oreshura) is directing the series at Studio 3Hz and Orange. Tokuyuki Matsutake (Mass Effect: Paragon Lost, Tales of Phantasia) is designing the characters, and Shôtarô Suga (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Darker than Black) is serving as story editor. STEREO DIVE FOUNDATION (Gangsta., Beyond the Boundary) will perform the opening theme song "Genesis" and Fo'xTails (Junjō Romantica 3, Kuroko's Basketball) will perform the ending theme song "Contrast."
Yen Press will start publishing the manga in North America next year.
Funimation describes the Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash anime series:

From A-1 Pictures, the studio behind Fairy Tail and Sword Art Online: When Haruhiro awakens, he's in the dark surrounded by people who have no memory of where they came from or how they got there. As the darkness fades, a fantastic new world called “Grimgar” appears before them and their adventure begins—but first, they'll have to choose their guild, class, and special abilities.
The series will premiere on January 10. Funimation will offer the series in both Japanese audio with English subtitles, and with an English broadcast dub.
The series is based on Ao Jūmonji's Hai to Gensō no Grimgar (or Grimgar le Monde des cendres et de fantaisie) light novel series. Ryosuke Nakamura (Aiura director and scriptwriter, Mōryō no Hako director) is directing and writing the scripts at A-1 Pictures. Tomotaka Shibayama is serving as assistant director with Kazuyuki Asaga and Ken Baba as key animators, and Mieko Hosoi (Shōwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjū, Psychic School Wars) is designing the characters. Hidetoshi Kaneko is directing the art, and Takahiro Mogi is the color key artist. Shinichi Igarashi is the director of photography, and Aya Hida is editing.
Funimation describes Pandora in the Crimson Shell:

From Shirow Masamune, the creator of Ghost in the Shell and Appleseed, comes the story of two cybernetically enhanced girls fighting to save their home. A super-powered terrorist has threatened the island of Cenancle. To fight him off, Nene Nanakorobi, a cybernetic girl-next-door, will have to team up with famous inventor Delilah Uzal and her adorably grumpy cyborg assistant, Clarion.
The series will premiere on January 8. Funimation will offer the series in both Japanese audio with English subtitles, and with an English broadcast dub.
The series is based on Masamune Shirow (Ghost in the Shell) and Koushi Rikudou's (Excel Saga) Pandora in the Crimson Shell: Ghost Urn manga. Munenori Nawa (D.C.S.S. ~Da Capo Second Season~, Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu, Kiss×sis) is directing the anime at Studio Gokumi and AXsiZ, and Tatsuya Takahashi (THE IDOLM@STER MOVIE: Kagayaki no Mukōgawa e!, The Fruit of Grisaia) is writing the script. Takuya Tani (Strike Witches, Persona 3 The Movie #1 Spring of Birth animation director) is designing the characters, and TECHNOBOYS PULCRAFT GREEN-FUND is composing the music. ZAQ will provide the opening theme song "hopeness." Sanae Fuku and Manami Numakura are singing the ending theme song "LoSe±CoNtRoL" as their characters.
Seven Seas Entertainment is publishing the manga in English, and it will publish the third English volume on January 12.
Funimation describes the Divine Gate anime series:

After the Divine Gate opened, our world and the worlds beyond became connected, bringing an era of chaos. To restore order, the World Council was formed and the Divine Gate fell into legend. Now, a select few have gathered to attempt to reach the Gate and remake the world. But what will they find when they open the door?
The series will premiere on January 8. Funimation will offer the series in both Japanese audio with English subtitles, and with an English broadcast dub.
The series is based on GungHo Online Entertainment and Acquire's smartphone "panel RPG." Noriyuki Abe (The Heroic Legend of Arslan, Bleach, GTO) is directing the anime at Studio Pierrot, and Natsuko Takahashi (My Love Story!!, Moyashimon, Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan) is in charge of series composition. Ichiro Uno (The World Is Still Beautiful) is designing the characters, and Takumi Ozawa (Aria the Scarlet Ammo, Okamikakushi - Masque of the Wolf) is composing the music. The group vistlip (Samurai Jam -Bakumatsu Rock-, Yona of the Dawn, Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's) is contributing the ending theme song "Contrust."
Funimation describes the second season of the Assassination Classroom anime series:

Class 3E is about to begin their second semester! And while some things have changed, the class assignment is still the same: kill their teacher before the end of the year! Easier said than done since Koro Sensei's made it clear he won't go down without a fight. Will these students be able to take down the tentacled monster that moves at Mach 20 before he can destroy the world?
The series will premiere on January 7. Funimation will offer the series in both Japanese audio with English subtitles, and with an English broadcast dub.
The series is based on Yusei Matsui's manga of the same name. The main staff from the first anime is returning for the sequel. Seiji Kishi (Persona 4 The Animation, Danganronpa The Animation, Devil Survivor 2 The Animation) is directing anime at the studio Lerche. Kazuaki Morita (Persona 4 The Animation, Danganronpa The Animation, Arpeggio of Blue Steel) is designing the characters, and Makoto Uezu (Danganronpa The Animation, Arpeggio of Blue Steel, Is This a Zombie?, School Days) is writing the scripts.
The first 22-episode season of the Assassination Classroom anime based on Yusei Matsui's manga of the same name premiered in Japan on earlier this year on January 9. Funimation streamed the series as it aired.
Funimation describes the Prince of Stride Alternative anime series:

From MADHOUSE, the studio behind Death Note and One-Punch Man, comes a fast-paced sports anime about Stride—competitive city-wide relay races. Nana and her classmate, Takeru, are desperate to resurrect their school's Stride Club, but will they be able to get the prickly Riku, who insists he hates Stride, to join the team?
The series will premiere on January 5. Funimation will offer the series in both Japanese audio with English subtitles, and with an English broadcast dub.
The anime series is based on Kadokawa's Prince of Stride otome game. Shūji Sogabe [FiFS] is credited with the original design works for the series. Kanako Nono [FiFS] is credited with the original character design, and Tomoyuki Uchikoga is credited with the original graphic design. Atsuko Ishizuka (Hanayamata, No Game, No Life, The Pet Girl of Sakurasou) is directing the series at MADHOUSE. Taku Kishimoto (Silver Spoon, Haikyu!!, Bunny Drop) is handling the series composition, and Kokunen Ou (Hanayamata) is adapting Nono's character designs for animation. The unit "Galaxy Standard" made up of voice actors from the anime's Saisei High School Stride Club will perform the ending theme song "Be My Steady." The voice actors include: Mamoru Miyano, Daisuke Hirakawa, Takuya Eguchi, Tatsuhisa Suzuki, Yuuki Ono, and Toshiyuki Toyonaga.
Funimation describes the Fairy Tail Zero prequel anime series:

This prequel series depicts the founding of the Fairy Tail guild. Many years ago, Mavis Vermilion was a servant on Sirius Island, mistreated by a guild master and his daughter, Zera. But Mavis stayed positive, because her mother once told her that fairies never visit people who cry about their problems. When the guild came under attack, Mavis pulled Zera from the wreckage into the forest. Seven years went by, and the powerful wizards Warrod Sequen, Precht, and Yuri Dreyer arrived on the island, seeking a powerful jade gemstone. This journey would change the course of magical history.Note: You read that right, Fairy Tail is getting a Broadcast Dub! Beginning with Fairy Tail Zero this season, fans of the series will be able to enjoy English dubbed episodes just a few weeks after the simulcast airs on the FUNimation Streaming Service.
The series will premiere in January. Funimation will offer the series in both Japanese audio with English subtitles, and with an English broadcast dub.
The series is based on Hiro Mashima's prequel manga to his own Fairy Tail manga. Kodansha Comics announced in November that it has licensed the manga and will release it in summer 2016. Kodansha Comics publishes the main Fairy Tail manga in North America, and Crunchyroll is releasing new chapters online as they come out in Japan.
Funimation describes the DAGASHIKASHI anime series:

Kokonotsu “Coconuts” Shikada dreams of becoming a famous manga artist. The only problem—he's terrible. His real talent is selling the complex and delicious snacks in his father's “dagashi” shop. He never thought much about the family business until the trendy, eccentric Hotaru showed up. As a lover of “dagashi,” she can't let his talent go to waste and decides she won't stop 'til she's sold him on sweets.
The series will premiere on January 7. Funimation will offer the series in both Japanese audio with English subtitles, and with an English broadcast dub.
The series is based on Kotoyama's manga of the same name. Shigehito Takayanagi (Kanamemo, The World God Only Knows, Tokyo ESP) is directing the series at the anime studio feel., and is also supervising the series scripts alongside Yasuko Kamo (Galaxy Angel A, Kanamemo, Tokyo ESP). The scriptwriters are Kamo, Tatsuhiko Urahata, and Michiko Yokote. Kanetoshi Kamimoto (Burst Angel, Taishō Baseball Girls., Mushi-Uta) is designing the characters. Satoshi Motoyama is directing the sound, and Pony Canyon is producing the music. The 19-year-old singer Michi is performing the opening theme song "Checkmate!?"
Funimation describes the Luck & Logic anime series:

After losing a war in their home world Tetraheaven, the Gods appeared in the human world seeking refuge. To protect the citizens from the otherworldly beings, the government began employing Logicalists—a special police force with the power to enter trances with Goddesses. In these trance forms humans and Goddesses can combine their power and fight against those looking to disturb the peace.
The series will premiere on January 7. Funimation will offer the series in Japanese audio with English subtitles.
The series is based on Bushiroad's upcoming January collectible card game. Koichi Chigira (Gate Keepers, Full Metal Panic!, Ryo) and Takashi Naoya (A Certain Scientific Railgun S, Selector Infected Wixoss episode animation director) will direct the anime at Dogakobo. Yuuya Takahashi (2015 Lupin III, Laughing Under the Clouds) is in charge of series composition and is also credited with the original concept. Mari Shimazaki (Bayonetta game) drew the original character and concept designs, while Rei Aoi (The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Psychic School Wars key animation) and Katsuhiro Kumagai (Samurai Flamenco, Witch Craft Works, Selector Spread Wixoss animation director) are desigining the characters for animation. Kenji Andou (Karas, King of Thorn, Rage of Bahamut) is responsible for creature design, while Hiroshi Tani (Majestic Prince, Plastic Memories) and Makoto Kobayashi (Space Battleship Yamato 2199, Last Exile, Simoun) are handling mechanical design. Norimitsu Kaihō from Nitroplus is credited with "setting cooperation." Tatsuya Katou (Free! - Iwatobi Swim Club, Comet Lucifer, Celestial Method) will compose the music.
Kensho Ono is performing the anime's opening theme "STORY," while Emi Nitta will perform the ending theme "Meiyaku no Kanata."
Funimation describes the ERASED (Boku dake ga Inai Machi) television anime series:

Satoru Fujinuma is a reclusive part-timer with no plans for the future. What sets him apart from the other slackers in his town is an involuntary time travel ability that allows him to jump back several seconds in time in order to prevent accidents and even deaths. As incidents around town begin reminding Satoru of a childhood trauma he'd sooner forget, he finally begins to question what caused his ability to surface and whether or not it's powerful enough to change the past.
The series will premiere on January 7. Funimation will offer the series in Japanese audio with English subtitles.
The anime is based on Kei Sanbe's Boku dake ga Inai Machi manga series. Tomohiko Ito (Sword Art Online, Silver Spoon) is directing the series and Taku Kishimoto (Silver Spoon, Haikyu!!) is handling series composition at A-1 Pictures. Keigo Sasaki (The Seven Deadly Sins, Blue Exorcist) is designing the characters for the anime and Yuki Kajiura (Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Sword Art Online) is composing the music.
Funimation describes the Haruchika – Haruta & Chika anime series:

Things look bleak for the school's Wind Instrument Club until childhood friends Haruta and Chika step in to save the day. When they aren't practicing to perfect their own playing, they're working hard to save the club by recruiting new members. After a series of mysteries shock the school, they'll have to add junior detectives to their already impressive resumes.
The series will premiere on January 6. Funimation will offer the series in Japanese audio with English subtitles.
The series is based on Sei Hatsuno's HaruChika: Haruta to Chika wa Seishun Suru "concert band youth mystery" novel series. Masakazu Hashimoto (Tari Tari, Soul Eater Not! Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva) is directing the anime at P.A. Works. Reiko Yoshida (Bakuman., K-ON!, Yowamushi Pedal, Tamako Market) is handling the series composition, Namaniku ATK (Chaika the Coffin Princess) is in charge of the original character design, and Asako Nishida (Love Live! School idol project, Vampire Knight, Angel Links) is adapting those designs for animation. Yurie Oohigashi is serving as chief animation director, and Noboru Sugimitsu is directing the instrument-playing animation. Ayumi Satō is the art director with Katsue Inoue as color key artist. Yōhei Hirata is directing the CG, and Satoshi Namiki is director of photography. Ayumu Takahashi is editing. Satoki Iida is directing the sound at Glovision, and Katsuhiro Nakano is handling sound effects. Shiroh Hamaguchi (Ah! My Goddess, One Piece, Sakura Wars) is composing the music with producer Terunari Yoshie at Lantis.
The band fhána will perform the opening theme song "Niji wo Ametara" (If You Knit a Rainbow), while singer ChouCho will perform the ending theme "Kūsō Traingle" (Imaginary Triangle)