Monday, 29 February 2016

The Boy and the Beast Film Gets Canadian Screenings Starting on May 27

Toronto-based film distributor Mongrel Media confirmed on Friday that it will release Mamoru Hosoda's The Boy and The Beast film in Canada. The company will release the film in theaters starting on May 27, and it will also release the film on-demand and on home video.
Mongrel Media's website indicates that the film will screen in Japanese with English subtitles. Funimation is opening the film in the U.S. on Friday.
Funimation describes the film:

When Kyuta, a young orphan living on the streets of Shibuya, stumbles into a fantastic world of beasts, he's taken in by Kumatetsu, a gruff, rough-around-the-edges warrior beast who's been searching for the perfect apprentice. Despite their constant bickering, Kyuta and Kumatetsu begin training together and slowly form a bond as surrogate father and son. But when a deep darkness threatens to throw the human and beast worlds into chaos, the strong bond between this unlikely pair will be put to the ultimate test—a final showdown that will only be won if the two can finally work together using all of their combined strength and courage.
The film debuted at #1 in the Japanese box-office on July 11 and earned 667,035,100 yen (about US$5.4 million) in its first two days. The film eventually surpassed the total box office earnings of Hosoda's previous film, Wolf Children. The film was the second-highest grossing domestic film in Japan in 2015.
Additionally, the official website of the Canadian entertainment company Cineplex is listing that it will distribute the Psycho-Pass The Movie anime film.
Funimation had revealed earlier this month that it will screen the film in more than 100 theaters in the Unitedd States and Canada on March 15 and 16. Cineplex is listing that it will screen the film on March 16. Cineplex lists the film as Japanese with English subtitles, but Funimation's official website for the film includes a trailer with the English dub and credits for the English cast and ADR crew.
The film opened on January 9, 2015 at #4 in the Japanese box office and earned 247.8 million yen (US$2.08 million) in its first weekend.

Rio - Rainbow Gate! Anime to Get English Dub

North American anime distributor Media Blasters revealed on Wednesday that it is producing an English dub of Rio - Rainbow Gate!.
Sound Cadence Studios and Fever Dreams Sound Factory will share the production, and Amber Lee Connors will be in charge of ADR directing and writing. Media Blasters plans to release the English dub on Crunchyroll and Blu-ray Disc.
Media Blasters licensed Rio - Rainbow Gate! in 2013, and released the series in a subtitle-only DVD set in 2014. The anime features a casino dealer named Rio Rollins (Marina Inoue) who has starred in several pachi-slo (pachinko parlor slot machine) games from Net and Tecmo.
In Rio - Rainbow Gate!, Rio is a popular casino dealer at the Howard Resort, an entertainment resort hotel where people from all over the world gather. She competes for the greatest honor among dealers — "Most Valuable Casino Dealer" (MVCD) — by collecting 13 legendary cards known as "Gates."
"The Goddess of Victory" Rio first appeared in 2003 in the Super Black Jack game franchise from the pachi-slo company Net. She was the brainchild of Net's collaboration with Tecmo (Dead or Alive) to create female characters. Rio's popularity led to several more games, including 2005's Rio Carnival, 2007's Rio Paradise, and 2009's Rio 2 -Cruising Vanadis-.
The anime premiered in January of 2011, and Crunchyroll streamed the anime into several countries as it aired in Japan.

Evangelion 3.33, No Game No Life, Haikyu! Released Monday

On Monday February 29, Manga Entertainment will release Evangelion: 3.33 You Can (Not) Redo in Blu-ray, DVD and Collector's Edition (pictured) formats. The Collector's Edition includes the film on both formats, plus a 52-page booklet.
The film is the third part of Hideaki Anno's four-part remake of Gainax's Neon Genesis Evangelion anime series, and earned more than 5.1 billion yen during its theater run in Japan. While the first film stayed close to the original television series, the second film went in a different direction, and the third film went still further in its own storyline.
MVM will release its Collector's Edition of No Game, No Life, containing the 12-part anime on DVD and Blu-ray, as well as a three-disc soundtrack CD set. (Separate Blu-ray and DVD editions of the series are due to follow on March 28.) Sentai Filmworks previously described the story:

On the internet, they're legends: the tag-team duo known as BLANK, famed for their incredible game-playing skills. In the real world, however, the lives of 18 year old Sora and his 11 year old stepsister Shiro have been spiraling out of control. Now existing as shut-ins, they rarely leave their house and are unable to be separated without suffering panic attacks. Games, for them, are the safest retreat from reality. Until they win a chess match against a mysterious opponent known as Tet and find themselves pulled into a game bigger than any they could have ever imagined. Now, in a world where the outcome of games determines the fates of both civilizations and species, they must defend Humanity in the ultimate challenge, vying against a host of otherworldly competitors for the right to rule them all! But if they fail, it means slavery or destruction for all mankind. No pressure, of course! Can two misfits who can barely handle their own lives somehow rise to the occasion and save the human race?
MVM will also release season 1 of the sports series Haikyu!! on both Blu-ray and DVD. This anime adaptation of Haruichi Furudate's Haikyu!! volleyball manga follows Shōyō Hinata (voiced by Ayumu Murase ), who began playing volleyball after seeing the "small giants" who played the sport when he was in elementary school. He joins Kurasuno High School's volleyball team, vowing revenge against a former rival.

Funimation Reveals Garo the Animation Dub Cast

Funimation announced the English dub cast for its dub of the Garo the Animation anime's Part One at Anime Matsuri on Saturday.
The cast, under ADR director Caitlin Glass, ADR engineers Peter Hawkinson and Matt Grounds, and lead writer Patrick Seitz, includes:
León LuísRicco Fajardo
Germán LuísDavid Wald
Alfonso San ValianteJustin Briner
Bernardo DionIvan Jasso
MendozaVic Mignogna
Anna LuísAnastasia Munoz
Ema GuzmánMonica Rial
GarmTia Ballard
RafaelBen Bryant
ZarubaBarry Yandell
OctaviaColleen Clinkenbeard
FernandoBen Phillips
EsmeraldaDawn M. Bennett
Ximena CoronadoJad Saxton

Funimation will release Part One of the first season on Blu-ray Disc and DVD on April 26.
Funimation describes the anime:

A long time ago in the kingdom of Valiante, humans shared the world with Horrors—monsters who feed on humans with weakness in their hearts. Desperate to put an end to the Horrors' reign, the King allowed his advisor Mendoza to launch a witch hunt targeting the magic users who had sworn to protect humanity from evil.   One-by-one the famed Makai Knights and Alchemists were cut down by Mendoza and his men. That is, until a young Makai Knight named León inherited the golden armor of Garo and with it, the power to save the kingdom. But unlike the other Makai Knights who fight to protect humanity, León is young, reckless, and driven by his desire to avenge his mother's death at Mendoza's hands. How can an immature Golden Knight who fights for the wrong reasons hope to protect anyone?

Exclusive: Funimation Launches Kickstarter to Dub Escaflowne TV Anime Director's Cut

North American anime distributor FUNimation Entertainment announced on Saturday that it is launching a Kickstarter campaign to gauge interest in and fund a new English dub for The Vision of Escaflowne anime series. The company plans to release the director's cut of the series in HD on Blu-ray Disc, including scenes that were not available when Bandai Entertainment's original English dub was released.
The Kickstarter campaign has a goal of US$150,000. If the goal is met, Funimation will release both a standard edition and a collector's edition for the series. The standard edition will be a Blu-ray Disc/DVD combo pack, and both discs will have the director's cut with the new dub. The collector's edition will have the new dub on Blu-ray Disc and the old dub on DVD.
The company has not yet made plans to release the original dub if the Kickstarter is unsuccessful, but will instead release the HD director's cut in a subtitle-only release.
ANN talked with Funimation's social media coordinator Lauren Moore and brand manager Jennifer Fu about the campaign.
Zac Bertschy, ANN: So, tell us about this project.
Lauren: So we have the HD materials for Escaflowne and they do not match the current dub. We've been hearing for a long time that people want to see Escaflowne dubbed. We hear it on forums or we hear it in person, but really what we want to do is gauge if there is a very real want for that. So what we decided to do is launch a Kickstarter and if we meet our goal of $150 thousand, which is not funding the entire production, that's just a part of it, that's just our benchmark number for making sure that there's a want for it, then we will have a full HD dub of The Vision of Escaflowne to kind of give fans that complete, definitive dub experience.
Do you know the technical details of why exactly the old dub doesn't match up with the new one? With the new transfer?
Lauren: For that—hang on, let me bring in brand manager Jennifer Fu.
Jennifer Fu: Hi Zac. So basically there was the original dub that came out and it's based on SD materials that, as you're aware, the director's cut, the HD Japanese version that was released on Bluray more recently, has scenes that were not in the original materials that the original English dub was based on. So because of that it's not possible for us to put the subtitled HD material which is what we've just received from Japan, on the same disc as the original dub, because otherwise it doesn't line up correctly and there are some points where the dub just won't have any dialogue or anything in it and it'd just be kind of strange.
Jennifer: So that, coupled with all of the forum comments and social media comments we've seen asking for those particular scenes to be dubbed, are the main reasons that we're looking to do this Kickstarter. So to clarify a little bit on the difference between this standard edition and the collector's edition, that standard edition—so first of all: if we do not hit the goal of $150k dollars on this Kickstarter to be able to actually create this new dub, then we're just going to be releasing the new HD material, so the new stuff based on the Japanese Bluray, subtitled only. In terms of what's going to happen with the dub release: right now we don't have any plans—by dub here I mean the original dub—right now we don't have any plans for that, we want to see what happens with the Kickstarter first before making a decision there.
So the standard edition is a Bluray/DVD combo pack. The DVD version in the standard edition will match the new dub and the HD materials just because we know there are still some people who prefer DVD to Bluray, that's something we've always done with the combo pack. With this collector's edition, what we're planning on doing is having the Bluray only, so the Bluray of the new dub and the new Japanese materials, and the original dub will be available on DVD discs that are in that release. At this time, and again this is only if we get this project budget, at this time we don't have any plans for a release of the original dub just on DVD yet and again that's because we do want to gauge a little bit of interest before just churning things out. So I hope that clears up a little bit of what the goals are, what we're trying to do here, so let us know if that's still a little bit confusing.
That was all the sort of nitty-gritty that I needed. The other big question is, of course, is the intention to get back and rerecord that dub with those actors, or are we gonna get a fresh cast?
Lauren: So we don't have a cast at this point, we're still obviously looking into that. That's something we'd really have to wait until it's funded before we start really sort of casting and testing that part out.
So here's the question that's going to be a little uncomfortable, but I feel needs to be asked. It wouldn't cost $150,000 to dub Escaflowne and nobody would consider the show a serious sales risk; Funimation is a big company that releases shows like this all the time. Why can't you just produce the new dub without needing to have the fans raise this money for you?
Jennifer: One thing is that we've been seeing a lot of forum comments saying, "oh I really want a new dub of this." And twitter and people coming up at conventions and stuff and they give their reasons and it makes sense to us, but with a lot of this stuff, you know, we don't know, let's say a hundred forum comments really translates to in true demand. So that's something that—I mean that's really the case with any company, right? We want to make sure that it's—I guess that's pretty much it. We want to make sure there actually is the demand for this in the first place.
Lauren: So it's not really looking at fans to help us do something that we couldn't do or couldn't achieve, it's more "hey! If you really want this, almost consider this a preorder." It's not that we see it as a risk, this is more we wanted to create something neat where fans could be a part of bringing it back to life, this thing they've asked us for, and we've heard, like Jennifer mentioned, through forums or in person, it's more kind of creating a platform where they can be a part of bringing it back.
It's more saying "I helped Kickstart this to make this happen, I was part of this tier or part of that tier," it's allowing a little more ownership, and maybe not going the traditional route and just redubbing something and putting it out, that works great for certain titles. We're basically going a bit of a different route that just allows fans a little bit more ownership.
Right. So presumably the Kickstarter launch will feature financial transparency that will give fans the full rundown of everything, like why you need $150k for this, and what that entails. This could be a look inside the cost of producing a Funimation Bluray, you know, sort of the industry standard. This could be a really informative look at that. So do you intend on opening the process, showing the fans, "hey, here's what this costs, here's why it costs this much, and we're going to show you the process in action?"
Jennifer: Unfortunately a lot of the cost of things like dubbing related or putting things out on Bluray or things like that, a lot of those are locked down via contract, so there's really no way for us to reveal this, the only thing we're saying is that the 150k is not actually the production costs. So I think that if we were in a world where that was not a concern, then it would be pretty interesting to look at it and get some more transparency, but unfortunately we're not at liberty to do that.
So it's just: that's the number, and that's what it's going to cost us to do and that's it?
Jennifer: Really, the 150k is not what it costs us to make it, it's more we benchmarked to get to that number and we think that's pretty reasonable. We're going to be funding the rest of it. We just can't really say how much more or less it is.
Lauren: Yeah, that's sort of our benchmark to show interest.
Jennifer: Unfortunately it's the case where we're not really at liberty to disclose that.
Understood. So if this is a success, will we see more of "well we licensed this show and now we're going to have a Kickstarter to redub it, or get a nicer package, or whatever" to plus up this release? Is this a test? Will we see this more?
Lauren: Honestly, that's something that we don't really know. It's a first for us and it's kind of an anomaly in the industry. It's something we'll have to test and see how fans feel about it. If it's something they really love and they enjoy being a part of it, then the experience for them, that's definitely something we'd take into consideration going forward, but right now we honestly don't have a forward projection for whether or not this will be part of our, I guess our MO.
Well it's an interesting experiment. I'm very curious to see how it turns out. Best of luck to you.
Lauren: Thank you.

Funimation had announced in 2013 that it had licensed The Vision of Escaflowne and Escaflowne: The Movie, along with several other titles previously licensed by Bandai Entertainment.
Bandai Entertainment first released the 1996 anime with an English dub from 2000-2001. Fox Kids ran an edited version on television in 2000.
The film is an alternate retelling of the television anime's story and it debuted in Japan in 2000. Bandai Entertainment released the film with an English dub on DVD in 2002 and on Blu-ray Disc in 2009.
Anime Limited is also planning an Ultimate Edition release for both the television series and the film with both the original dub and Japanese audio in the UK. Last March the company revealed plans to release the director's cut with the set as a subtitle-only bonus.

Kiki and Princess Mononoke Steelbooks on Zavvi

Steelbook Blu-ray editions of Studio Ghibli's Kiki's Delivery Service and Princess Mononoke, released by Studio Canal, are listed on the Zavvi website. Both are described as Zavvi Exclusive Limited Edition Steelbooks, limited to 2000 copies. The Kiki release is listed as already available, and Princess Mononoke is listed for February 29.
Kiki's Delivery Service and Princess Mononoke were released in 1989 and 1997 respectively, both directed by Hayao Miyazaki.
Via UK Anime Network youtube channel

Animate Celebrates Leap Day With TeniPuri Character Birthday

The main Animate Ikebukuro store will pull an all-nighter to celebrate Leap Day on February 29. Instead of closing overnight on Sunday, the retailer will keep its doors open for fans through Monday before finally closing up shop at 9 p.m. that night.
The festivities aren't just to recognize the once-in-four-years calendar extension. February 29 is also Prince of Tennis character Shūsuke Fuji's birthday, dubbed the "Fujilympic," since The Olympic games are also held every four years. Animate will display the "Fuji Birthday Ring" made of silver and Swarovski crystals worth 12,960 yen (US$114). A Fuji charm will also be on display.
MOVIC is also taking pre-orders for the ring until Monday and will ship orders on April 28.
Fans of Pretty Rhythm will also be in for a treat. The shop will screen the Pretty Rhythm Prism Show Fan Disc before it ships on March 4. Customers will also be treated to free breakfast and candy snacks.
The event will be live-streamed on Nico Nico Douga with special Q&A sessions. The first session will host idol group AŌP, the theme singers behind Ace of Diamond, Insufficient Direction, and Mr. Osomatsu. The group is also singing the theme song for April's 12-Sai: Chiccha na Mune no Tokimeki anime series. The second session will host singer MIKOTO. MIKOTO performed the themes for the otome game Hyaku Hana Hyaku Ōkami ~Sengoku Ninpō Jō~. The final session includes the cast of the idol mobile game Ensemble Stars. Cast members Yūki Yonai and Anju Nitta will participate.

The Boy and The Beast Anime Film Previewed in English/Japanese Clips

Funimation began streaming two clips this week for its upcoming theatrical opening of Mamoru Hosoda's The Boy and The Beast anime film. The both clips are available in both Japanese and English audio.
The film's official English website previously streamed the film's official Japanese and English theatrical trailers earlier this month.
Funimation describes the film:

When Kyuta, a young orphan living on the streets of Shibuya, stumbles into a fantastic world of beasts, he's taken in by Kumatetsu, a gruff, rough-around-the-edges warrior beast who's been searching for the perfect apprentice. Despite their constant bickering, Kyuta and Kumatetsu begin training together and slowly form a bond as surrogate father and son. But when a deep darkness threatens to throw the human and beast worlds into chaos, the strong bond between this unlikely pair will be put to the ultimate test—a final showdown that will only be won if the two can finally work together using all of their combined strength and courage.
The Fantasic Film Festival in Austin hosted the U.S. premiere of the film with English subtitles in September. Laemmle's Music Hall theater in Beverly Hills, California also screened the film for a week last December. The New York International Children's Film Festival (NYICFF) will screen the film at the DGA Theatre on Friday, ahead of the film's nationwide theatrical opening on March 4.
Theatrical screenings have also been set for France, and the major French movie studio Gaumont is handling international sales outside Asia. Funimation is working with Gaumont International to release the film.
Funimation mentioned that it is working closely with Hosoda to develop the English dub. The original Japanese cast and the English dub cast includes:

The film debuted at #1 in the Japanese box-office on July 11 and earned 667,035,100 yen (about US$5.4 million) in its first two days. It eventually surpassed the total box office earnings of Hosoda's previous film, Wolf Children. The film was the second-highest grossing domestic film in Japan in 2015.
Hosoda (Summer Wars, Wolf Children) created and scripted the movie. The film is Hosoda's first film since 2012, when his relatively new animation movie company Studio Chizu released Wolf Children as its first project. Masakatsu Takagi (Wolf Children) scored the soundtrack.
Yen Press licensed the film's novel and manga adaptation, and it will release the novel and the first volume of the manga on February 23.
The film was submitted for nomination in the Animated Feature Film category of the 88th Academy Awards, but it did not receive one.

Can you name these '90s anime?

It's easy to forget just how much anime there was in the 90s, and just how much of it came out in the US! Can you guess all 15 of these classic 90s anime from just one image?

Friday, 26 February 2016

Rock Band B'z Performs 1st Detective Conan Film Theme in 5 Years

The official website of the 20th Detective Conan (Case Closed) anime film, Detective Conan: Junkoku no Nightmare (Detective Conan: Pitch Black Nightmare), began streaming a trailer for the film on Thursday. The trailer reveals that rock band B'z will perform the film's theme song "Sekai wa Anata no Iro ni Naru." The video also previews the song.
The song will be the fifth song that B'z is providing for a Detective Conan film, and the first one in five years since the band provided the "Don't Wanna Lie" song to the Detective Conan: Quarter of Silence film in 2011. B'z also provided the "Q&A" song for the Detective Conan television anime in 2013 as an opening theme.
The official website teases how the film's story begins:

On a dark night, the Japanese police is raided by a spy. Different countries' intelligence agencies—such as England's MI6, Germany's BDN, and America's CIA—as well as the FBI's secret files are going to be taken, but public safety officers led by Tooru Amuro arrive just in time. The spy steals a car and escapes. The spy and Amuro are then locked in a dead heat on the highway, and just as it is about to cause an accident with multiple cars, the spy's car is hit by FBI agent Shuichi Akai's rifle bullet and falls off the roadway. The next day, Conan and his friends go to a newly-remodeled aquarium in Tokyo. Under the main attraction, a Ferris wheel, Conan finds an attractive woman alone and injured. Her left and right eyes are different colors.
But the woman has a case of amnesia so severe she doesn't even remember her own name, and the cellphone she's carrying is broken. Conan and his friends promise to help her regain her memories, so they stay with her.
Throughout all this, Vermouth is watching behind the scenes. Afterward, she pulls out a silencer and speaks into an attached intercom, "It's as planned, Gin."
Yūki Amami will guest star in the film as the "mysterious woman" whose eyes are different colors and who is a member of the Black Organization.
The movie will open on April 16 in Japan, and it will feature members of the story's Black Organization who have previously appeared in the series: Gin, Vodka, Vermouth, Chianti, Korn, Kir, and Bourbon. The film's website also hints at the appearance of Rum, who has never been shown in the series.

Pokémon Pop-Up Boutique Returns to L.A. for Pokémon Day

Los Angeles Pokémon fans can get their hands on some exclusive fashion items starting this Saturday. A pop-up boutique is opening in the Japan LA Pop Culture Shop to celebrate Pokémon Day.
The event includes a Pokémon photobooth, trivia game and prizes, and a churro truck.
Fashion items include the "Rainbow Evolution" line of Eevee evolutions. The line includes a dress, crop top, tank top, and unisex top featuring a black print of Eevee's many forms. Visitors will get a free tote bag with a Pokémon item inside with every US$30 purchase.
The shop will run until March 27.
Pokémon Day celebrations will also take place during a Twitch event that will stream Pokémon discussions, activities, and an animation marathon running until 6 p.m. PT on Sunday.
The Nintendo World Store in New York City will host an event on the same day from 12-3 p.m. ET. GameStop locations will offer a Mythical Pokémon poster with any Pokémon purchase and Toys 'R Us locations will give away special foil Pikachu and Magikarp cards and binders from the new Pokémon TCG: Generations expansion and other goods.
The Japan LA Pop Culture Shop hosted a Pokémon pop-up shop last year to celebrate the shop's nine-year anniversary.

'Pokémon Moon,' 'Pokémon Sun' Trademark Applications Filed in Europe

Trademarks were filed for "Pokémon Sun" and "Pokémon Moon" at the European Union's Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) on Thursday.
Nintendo Co., Ltd. is listed as the owner, however anyone can apply for a trademark at the OHIM before they are examined to see if they are authentic or fake. A parody Twitter account "@NinlendoAmerica" pretended to confirm the news.
Nintendo will host a Pokémon Direct livestream on Friday morning at 10:00 a.m. EST to celebrate the franchise's 20th anniversary.

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Fairy Tail Mobile Game Offered by GameSamba, Funimation, NGames

Funimation announced on Thursday that it is working with its Group 1200 sister company GameSamba, the Chinese game developer NGames Interactive, and the Japanese publisher Kodansha on a mobile game based on the Fairy Tail manga and anime franchise. The companies plan to release the game on Android and iOS devices in multiple languages worldwide by the end of this year.
Funimation describes the game:

The game will be a mobile RPG featuring a new side story that draws from the sequel series of the anime. Players will recruit and battle against their favorite characters from “Fairy Tail,” in order to form the most powerful team of wizards.
This mobile game is separate from the previously announced web-based, free-to-play Fairy Tail MMORPG that GameSamba, Funimation, and NGames Interactive are also planning. The three companies announced their strategic partnership to create mobile and web games in January, and they are also collaborating on a Tokyo Ghoul mobile game.

Netflix Adds Code Geass

UK Anime Network reports that the Netflix site has added Sunrise's original 2006 Code Geass TV series here, both dubbed and subtitled.

Anime Screenings at Edinburgh March 25 to 27

The Edinburgh Filmhouse cinema (directions) will hold a three-day "Scotland Loves Anime" festival from March 25 to 27, with tickets available here. The sponsor is Funimation Now. The following films will be shown:
Friday March 25
6.10 pm - Psycho-Pass: The Movie
Saturday, March 26
3.45 pm - A Letter to Momo
6.10 pm - The Anthem of the Heart (pictured)
Sunday March 27
6.30 p.m. - Miss Hokusai

DW Audio news

Big Finish have announced details on the finale to current series of the Fourth Doctor Adventures, which stars Tom Baker, Lalla Ward and John Leeson.

Returning to the series is the character of Cuthbert, as played by David Warner, and his faithful assistant Mr Dorrick (Toby Hadoke), who were last seen in the Series Two finale The Final Phase. Also from that series are the race of aliens known as the Laan (Jane Slavin), who also hailed from the Series 2 episodes The Sands of Life and War Against The Laan.

Also appearing from the television series itself is somebody the Doctor and Romana have been trying to avoid for some time - the Black Guardian, with the embodiment of darkness taken on here by David Troughton.

The Pursuit Of History (Credit: Big Finish) Casualties Of Time (Credit: Big Finish)
The Pursuit Of History / Casualties Of Time

Written and directed by Nicholas Briggs
Released July/August 2016

Starring Tom Baker as The Doctor, with Lalla Ward as Romana and John Leeson as K9, and featuring David Warner as Cuthbert, Toby Hadoke as Mr Horrick, and David Troughton as the Black Guardian

On a brisk winter’s morning in 1850s Yorkshire, Cuthbert, head of the intergalactic business known as 'The Conglomerate' prepares to hijack a very special train.

In the far future, his assistant, Mr Dorrick is awoken by howling alarms. There is a problem with the Quantum Gateway.

In the TARDIS, the Doctor, Romana and K9 detect strange distortions in the Vortex, an energy stream coming from a strange creature called a Laan.

The threads of a plan centuries in the making are coming together. But who is behind this plan? And can anyone possibly escape when history is against them?

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Cross Ange Anime Gets English Dub

Section23 Films announced in its June release slate that Sentai Filmworks will offer an English dub for the CROSS ANGE Rondo of Angel and Dragon television anime series and the Hakuōki: Wild Dance of Kyoto (Hakuōki Dai-isshō Kyoto Ranbu) anime film. The first Cross Ange collection and the Hakuōki film are slated for release on Blu-ray and DVD on June 21 and June 28, respectively.
Sentai Filmworks will also release subtitle-only Blu-ray and DVDs for Wake Up, Girls! and Love Stage!!, as well as a Blu-ray edition of And Yet the Town Moves in June.


Bell Media and BBC Worldwide North America have announced a new licensing agreement for Doctor Who in Canada, which will see streaming service CraveTV become the exclusive streaming service for the show in the the country.

The agreement will see Series 9 made available this summer, with the previous eight moving to the platform by the end of the year. Series 10 onwards will be made available after their full-season broadcasts on SPACE.

Matt Forde, EVP Content Production, Sales and Distribution, BBC Worldwide North America, said:
Bell Media and Space have done a phenomenal job with one of the BBC’s crown jewels, Doctor Who. They have nurtured it, and built it, and are now going to make it accessible to everyone on multiple platforms – exclusively. This longstanding partnership exemplifies dedication in giving the fans what they want, when they want it, and hopefully attracting loads more along the way.
Tracey Pearce, Senior Vice-President, Specialty and Pay, Bell Media, added:
A ratings juggernaut, Doctor Who continues to be Space’s signature series; along with our great partners at BBC Worldwide North America, we’re excited to continue to be the exclusive Canadian home of Doctor Who, and look forward to continuing to be a companion to The Doctor.

Mike Cosentino, Senior Vice-President, Programming, CTV Networks and CraveTV, continued:
One of the most iconic genre series in history, Doctor Who is a marquee offering for subscribers of CraveTV. An anchor of our Sci-Fi & Fantasy collection since the very beginning, we’re proud to establish CraveTV as the exclusive Canada streaming destination for this hugely successful series.

The series has been the most-watched entertainment specialty programme on SPACE in their key A25-54, A18-49, and A18-34 demos, with Season 9 achieving an average of 697,000 viewers in its Saturdays at 9 p.m. ET timeslot - becoming the most-watched season in series history on Space among the key A25-54 and A18-49 demos. The most recent episode to be shown, Christmas's The Husbands of River Song, was the most-watched Christmas special in the channel's history with 856,000 viewers, with its A25-54 and A18-49 demos making it the most-watched programme on Christmas Day on Canadian television.

Series 1-8 Doctor Who are currently available to stream via Netflix in Canada until their current license agreement to show the series ends; the streaming service has already ceased showing the series in the United States, and is expected to end in the United Kingdom at the end of April.

DW Audiio News

Big Finish have released details on what to expect in their regular monthly range of adventures for the Doctor.

The first quarter of the year features the fifth Doctor and companions, with Peter Davison, Janet Fielding and Sarah Sutton reprising their roles as they encounter Rembrandt, a mysterious apparently abandoned spaceship, and a bad time in Manchester's history:

The Waters Of Amsterdam:
Waters of Amsterdam (Credit: Big Finish)Starring Peter Davison as the Doctor, with Janet Fielding as Tegan and Sarah Sutton as NyssaWritten by Jonathan Morris, directed by Jamie Anderson
Released January 2016 [order]

Reunited with the Doctor and Nyssa, Tegan joins them on a trip to Amsterdam's Rijkmuseum to see a new exhibition of the work of Rembrandt van Rijn, featuring his drawings of “Vessels of the Stars”. The Doctor is astonished to discover that they are designs for spaceships that would actually work, and decides to pop back to the Dutch Golden Age for a quiet word with Rembrandt – but the world-weary artist is no mood to help.

Meanwhile, strange forces are swirling in the canals, creatures from ancient myth, the watery, goblin-like Nix. What is their connection to the mysterious Countess Mach-Teldak – and to the events of Tegan’s life during her year away from the Doctor?
Aquitaine (Credit: Big Finish)Starring Peter Davison as the Doctor, with Janet Fielding as Tegan and Sarah Sutton as Nyssa
Written by Simon Barnard & Paul Morris, directed by Ken Bentley
Released February 2016 [order]

Today should be much like every other day for Hargreaves, the computer consciousness that co-ordinates daily life aboard the spaceship Aquitaine, stationed on the outer fringes of a black hole. Water the plants, run the diagnostics, cook the Captain’s breakfast; then tidy the plates away, rotate the ship, clean the windows of the observation deck. When at last the day’s work is done, Hargreaves will dim the lights in the sleeping quarters. But no-one will sleep aboard the Aquitaine tonight. Because the Aquitaine’s crew is missing.

But today will be different. Today, a space/time ship called the TARDIS will materialise in the botanical section, bringing the Doctor, Nyssa and Tegan aboard the Aquitaine. Together, they’ll seek to discover the truth of what happened to Hargreaves’ crew...

... if only the ghosts will let them.
The Peterloo Massacre:
The Peterloo Massacre (Credit: Big Finish)Starring Peter Davison as the Doctor, with Janet Fielding as Tegan and Sarah Sutton as Nyssa
Written by Paul Magrs, directed by Jamie Anderson
Released March 2016 [pre-order]

"They say there’ll be thousands pouring into Manchester tomorrow. From all over the county, north and south. It’ll be a piece of history. People will remember this!"

Lost in the smog of the Industrial Revolution, the TARDIS crashes four miles south of Manchester, in the grounds of Hurley Hall – a grand mansion belonging to a local factory owner, a proudly self-made man. But while Hurley dreams of growing richer still on the wealth of secret knowledge locked up in the Doctor’s time and space machine, his servants hope only for a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work. His young maid Cathy, for instance, whom Nyssa learns is looking forward to joining the working people’s march to St Peter’s Field, in the heart of the city. There’ll be speeches and banners and music. It’ll be like one big jamboree…

Or so she thinks. For the city’s establishment have called in their own private militia, to control the crowd. One of the darkest days in Manchester’s history is about to unfold – and the Doctor, Nyssa and Tegan are right in the thick of it.

The second quarter provides a new encounter with the Masters ... with the fifth Doctor encountering an earlier incarnation (Geoffrey Beevers) in April, followed by the sixth Doctor embroiled with the recent (Alex Macqueen) in May, before the seventh Doctor finds himself recruited by both in June!

And You Will Obey Me:
And You Will Obey Me (Credit: Big Finish)Starring Peter Davison as the Doctor, with Geoffrey Beevers as the Master
Written by Alan Barnes, directed by Jamie Anderson
Released April 2016 [pre-order]

The Master: wanted for crimes without number, across five galaxies.

The Master: escaped his pursuers. Last known location: rural Hexford, England, Earth.

The Master: dead and buried in an unmourned grave, in a lonely churchyard.

Vampire of the Mind:
Vampire Of The Mind (Credit: Big Finish)Starring Colin Baker as the Doctor, with Alex Macqueen as the Master
Written by Justin Richards, directed by Jamie Anderson
Released May 2016 [pre-order]

Somewhere off the South Coast of England, there’s a lonely island. On that island stands a solitary castle, long since abandoned – haunted, they say. But the truth is, that castle houses something far worse than mere ghosts.

The castle is what lies at the end of a trail followed by the Doctor in search of several missing scientists – all of them connected to the top secret Dominus Institute and its elusive CEO, Sir Andrew Gobernar…

But the Doctor will soon discover that he’s the one being haunted, by a ghost from his past… or perhaps, his future.
The Two Masters:
The Two Masters (Credit: Big Finish)Starring Sylvester McCoy as the Doctor, with Geoffrey Beevers and Alex Macqueen as the Master
Written by John Dorney, directed by Jamie Anderson
Released June 2016 [pre-order]

The future is dying. All over the universe, gaps are beginning to appear. From the space lanes terrorised by the rag-tag remnants of the once-mighty Rocket Men, to the empire of the Gorlans, stricken by a terrible civil war. Gaps in space/time, portents of the end of everything.

Only three beings might prevent it. The Doctor, a renegade Time Lord from Gallifrey. The Master, another renegade Time Lord from Gallifrey. And another Master, yet another renegade Time Lord from Gallifrey.

One Doctor. Two Masters. What could possibly go wrong?

The summer sees Sylvester McCoy reunited with Bonnie Langford and Sophie Aldred as the seventh Doctor, Mel and Ace embark on a new trilogy of adventures, A Life of Crime, Fiesta of the Damned and Maker of Demons. Then as autumn and winter descends, the fifth Doctor returns in an anthology The Memory Bank and Other Stories, whilst Colin Baker and Miranda Raison return as the Doctor and Constance for a trilogy to round off the year, Order, Absolute Power and Quicksilver.

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

'Bath Time Boyfriend' Products are Ready to Pamper You

Anime production company TMS Entertainment are introducing bishōnen bath kits that are ready to hop in the tub with you. The Nyūyoku Kareshi (Bath Time Boyfriend) bath products come in eight different characters, although only four are currently available. Each has an assigned scent and personality so you can pick who best suits you.
Shota Sugimizu (the aroma of cedar wood)
Shota is 20 years old, born on April 2 (Aries), has blood type A, is a university student, and is 173 centimeters (5'8" inches) tall.
Riku Kikawa (lemongrass)
Riku is 18 years old, born on July 26 (Leo), a high school student with blood type O, and is 178 centimeters (5'10") tall.
Yukari Yagi (eucalyptus)
Yukari is a 21 year-old university student born on July 8 (Cancer) with blood type AB and is 175 centimeters (5'9") tall.
Kōga Konomi (rosemary)
Kōga is a 25 year-old pastry chef born on April 23 (Taurus) with blood type A and is 189 centimeters (6'2") tall.
The other characters include:
Yamato Ayanokōji (Rosewood)
Yamato is a 27 year-old IT company president born on November 23 (Sagittarius) with blood type B and is 180 centimeters (5'11") tall.
Reiji Shino (Blueberry)
Reiji is a 32 year-old bartender born June 6 (Gemini) with blood type AB and is 174 centimeters (5'8") tall.
Eijirō Tsurumi (Strawberry)
Eijirō is a 23 year-old nursery school teacher born December 29 (Capricorn) with blood type O and is 183 centimeters (6'0") tall.
Simon Kufasnewski (Grapefruit)
Simon is a 17 year-old foreign exchange student born January 29 (Aquarius) with blood type O and is 168 centimeters (5'6") tall.
Each Bath Time Boyfriend pack comes with bath salts, a body sponge, a hair tie, and toe separators for 1,500 yen (US$13). The characters are also sold in individual bath salt packs, lip balm, and aromatherapy soap.
Bishōnen bath salts took a cue from Kantai Collection as the "Kaiji no Yu" (lit. Maritime Self-Defense Force Hot Baths) in 2014. Japan has also invented pigeon boyfriends, chewing gum boyfriends, and deli meat boyfriends.
[Via Kay at Rocket News 24; Images via Nyūyoku Kareshi Official Site]

UK Funimation Now Launching in March

Funimation's UK Funimation Now page gives the following message:

Get ready anime fans, FunimationNow is coming to the UK in March! Originally planned for February, the UK launch of FunimationNow has moved to March to ensure everything is just right with the service. We appreciate your patience as we put the finishing touches on the site—very soon you'll be able to watch hundreds of anime shows, movies, and OVAs whenever and wherever you want, with no ad interruption! In the meantime, start connecting with the Funimation community on our social channels.
Funimation Now has now launched a Facebook page, a Twitter feed, and a UK Youtube channel.


The actor Jon Rollason has died at the age of 84.

Jon Rollason is best known in Doctor Who, for playing Harold Chorley, the television journalist who covered the attacks on the London Underground in the 1968 story The Web of Fear. The recovery of the story in 2013 gave a new generation of fans the chance for to appreciate his contribution to the story.

Jon Rollason was born in Birmingham, where he began his acting career working in the Birmingham Rep.

In 1955 he got his first role on television, appearing in The Children of the New Forest. In 1962 he played Dr. Martin King in three episodes of The Avengers. He had recuring roles in Swizzlewick, Z Cars and Softly Softly before joining Coronation Street in 1966 as Dave Robbins, a teaching colleague of Ken Barlow.

He wrote two episodes of Crossroads and in 1969 created a two-part series Project Special Air starring Peter Barkworth.

Jon Rollason died in hospital on the morning of February 20th and is survived by his second wife, Janet, and three children.

Monday, 22 February 2016

Mirai Nikki and Love, Election and Chocolate Released Monday

On Monday February 22, Manga Entertainment will release the first volume of Mirai Nikki (Future Diary on both Blu-ray and DVD, carrying the first thirteen episodes of the series.
Funimation described the story:
Reality quickly unravels for antisocial Yukiteru when Deus Ex Machina calls him into a death match to determine the new god of space and time. Each mentally scarred player possesses a prophetic device tuned to his or her personality disorder, giving them control over their future... and the fate of their opponents. It's their strongest weapon - and their greatest weakness. Within hours of abusing his digital diary's predictions, Yukiteru is cornered by a crazed classmate. Yu-No - who is obsessively stalking him with her own psychic cell phone - is cute, sharp, and great with an ax. Still, her psychosis hides a vile secret. As a serial killer, a cult priestess, and a volatile escape artist take a stab at eliminating the teens, Yuki can cheat death under Yu-No's maniacal protection or - DEAD END.
Naoto Hosoda (Shuffle!, Koe de Oshigoto!) directed the anime at the anime studio asread. Katsuhiko Takayama (Baka and Test - Summon the Beasts, Cat Planet Cuties) supervised the series scripts, and Hidetsugu Hirayama (Shuffle!, Shuffle! Memories) designed the characters with Ruriko Watanabe.
MVM will release the series Love, Election and Chocolate on both Blu-ray and DVD. Sentai Filmworks described the story:

In Japan, participation in extra-curricular activities is as fundamental a part of an education as chalk and gym shorts. However, not all students are overachievers, and for those like Yuki Ojima, groups like the Food Research Club are welcome havens in which to slack-off. But what's a slacker to do when the radical new candidate for Student Council president announces her intent to get rid of clubs like the FRC? Well, getting the help of the current Student Council president is a good start, but HIS suggestion is so counter-intuitive that it's crazy: Yuki should run for the Student Council himself? And yet, it's SO crazy that it just might work! Especially when Chisato, the chocolate-adverse president of the FRC (and Yuki's best childhood friend,) and members of other targeted school clubs start to join the swelling FRC army. But can this army of goofs and goof-offs coast all the way to political victory? Or will someone have to step up to the plate and take one for the term? They may savor victory, they may taste defeat, but you're certain to eat up Love, Elections, & Chocolate!
Toru Kitahata (Haganai/Oreimo episode director) directed the anime at AIC Build with scripts overseen by Katsuhiko Takayama (Baka and Test - Summon the Beasts, ef: a tale of melodies). Hiroaki Gohda (Amagami SS, Please Teacher) adapted Yū Akinashi's original game designs for animation, and Elements Garden (Bodacious Space Pirates, Senki Zesshō Symphogear) composed the music.