Section23 Films Announces January 2020 Release Slate

Home video distributor Section23 Films has announced its January 2020 slate of releases featuring Sentai Filmworks’ hit title by the acclaimed studio, Kyoto Animation, Tsurune. Available on Blu-ray and special Limited Edition Premium Box Set.

Product details follow, in order of release

Coming January 2020

Title: THE GIRL IN TWILIGHT
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 300 min.
Street Date: 1/7/2020
Format: BD
Language: Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $59.98

SYNOPSIS: Every day, Asuka and her friends Nana, Mia, Yu and Chloe go to a certain temple to find out if an urban legend they heard is true: that if you set your radio to a random channel at 4:44 PM, and pray really hard, you can open a door into another dimension. It’s a game, really, and the girls don’t take it too seriously. Until the day it works and they find themselves in another world where there are people who look suspiciously like them. But messing around with alternate realities is dangerous, and as the girls travel from one world to the next, they find themselves thrust into increasingly perilous situations. Will they all survive? Will they still be the people they were when they started? The revelations unfold along with the dimensions in The Girl in Twilight.

Title: THE PRICE OF SMILES
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 300 min.
Street Date: 1/14/2020
Format: BD
Language: Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $59.98

SYNOPSIS: The orphaned Princess Yuki of the Kingdom of Soleil is still only a young girl, but she’s trying hard to learn the skills she desperately needs. What the Princess doesn’t know, however, is that even her most trusted advisors have been shielding her from a deadly fact: Soleil and its neighbor, the Empire of Grandiga, are heading to war. Meanwhile, in the Empire, a young soldier named Stella Shining prepares for battle. Despite having already lost her parents to conflict, Stella is unusual in that she always tries to keep a smile on her face… even when there’s nothing left to smile about. As Yuki discovers the truth, a new form of weapon is unleashed, and Stella’s smile slowly becomes a deathly rictus grin when two nations go to war in The Price of Smiles.

Title: NO GAME, NO LIFE STEELBOOK
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 405 min.
Street Date: 1/21/2020
Format: BD
Language: English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $99.98

SYNOPSIS: For years, Sora and his stepsister Shiro have hidden from reality, rarely leaving their home and unable to stand being separated. Online, however, they’re famed for their gaming skills as the tag-team duo known as BLANK, and there’s no challenge that they won’t tackle. Then a chess match against a mysterious opponent known as Tet turns out to be the opening gambit in something much bigger than anyone on Earth could have ever imagined. Because this game is the ultimate competition, and the outcome determines the fates of not just the players, but of entire civilizations and species. Can two misfits who can barely handle their own lives rise to the occasion and save the human race? The competition is on as the battle begins in No Game, No Life.

Title: MONSTER MUSUME STEELBOOK
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 350 min.
Street Date: 1/21/2020
Format: BD
Language: English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $99.98

SYNOPSIS: No one expected the government to suddenly acknowledge the existence of demi-human species like harpies and centaurs, but when a careless Integration Agent shows up on Kimihito Kurusu’s doorstep with an attractive Lamia in tow, he suddenly finds himself designated as a “Host Family”. This might not be so bad, except that while Miia’s top half is all girl and quickly develops a crush on her new human host, her snakelike bottom half makes that crush literal with a tendency to squeeze the life out of him. Plus, there’s also the little problem that it’s illegal for humans and non-humans to have THOSE kinds of relationships. With woman-in-black Agent Smith always sniffing about for improprieties, things only get more hectic in the Kurusu household when bird-brained Papi the harpy and master-seeking centaur Centorea need places to roost and stable. As the house gets crowded with even more captivating cuties, can any human male survive under such tempestuous and tempting conditions? Find out in Monster Musume: Everyday Life With Monster Girls.

Title: TSURUNE
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 350 min.
Street Date: 1/28/2020
Format: BD, PBS
Language: English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $69.98, $99.98

SYNOPSIS: Becoming a great archer requires more than just a steady hand and a good eye. It takes focus; the ability to find exactly the right moment to release the bowstring and send your arrow streaking to its target. As a child, Minato Narumiya became entranced with kyudo, the Japanese art of archery, but after years of study, he suddenly quit after an incident during a middle school tournament. Now, his high school’s Kyudo Club has approached him, and between the encouragement of the coach and several classmates he used to practice with, Minato is reluctantly convinced to pick up the bow again. But is the timing right? Is Minato really ready for competition, or is he destined to miss the bullseye again? It’s time to take aim and meet the challenge of becoming the best in Tsurune.

Kyoto Animation Update (October 18, 2019)

Kyoto Animation president Hideaki Hatta held a press conference in Kyoto on October 18, 2019, and announced that 27 of the 33 victims injured in the fire at the company’s Studio 1 building have returned to work.

Hatta stated during the conference, “until July 18, Person A, Person B, and Person C were all at the company. And suddenly, those people all passed away. It’s incredibly tough mentally.” He added, “Many staff are still feeling extremely stressed. The staff are talking and supporting one another while dealing with starting work again. We are working with medical institutions to provide psychological care.” Hatta stated that the number of people who retired from the company after the incident is very few.

NHK has reported that four injured victims from the incident are still hospitalized.

Hatta expressed his gratitude for all the messages from everyone around the world such as the “Pray for KyoAni” and “hang in there” messages, as well as all the donations the company has received.

The city of Kyoto announced on October 17, 2019 that the bank account accepting donations on behalf of the company has reached 2,915,460,000 yen (about US$26.8 million).

Hatta also talked about work on the delayed Violet Evergarden film, and the upcoming Free! film scheduled to premiere in Summer 2020. He stated that the company is working first on getting Violet Evergarden into theaters after April 2020. Then while working on that, the company is also looking at the situation for what will come afterward.

Violet Evergarden was originally scheduled to open on January 10, 2020, but Kyoto Animation announced on September 6, 2019 that the film is delayed.

The company has also announced the details of its planned public memorial service for the victims of the Studio 1 building fire on July 18, 2019. Instead of a previously planned fan event, the studio will hold a “Memorial and Joining-Our-Prayers Service” at the Miyako Messe event hall in Kyoto on November 3-4, 2019. The event will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on both days, and admission will be free.

People who attend the ceremony will be able to approach an altar and pray individually. Attendees will receive bookmarks and postcards. Some of the messages of support received from fans so far will be on display.

The event planners anticipate that a large number of people will attend the ceremony. Due to anticipated crowding particularly in the mornings, the staff requested that attendees stagger their planned attendance times throughout the event hours. The event will have a strict policy to not accept any gifts or donations from visitors.

Source: ANN
Source: ANN

So, About That Discrepancy Concerning Streaming of Studio Ghibli Films…

On October 16, 2019, Anime News Network had posted an article that was sourced from Polygon, stating that Studio Ghibli’s films would not be coming to streaming services any time soon. The Polygon article by Matt Patches was published on October 15, 2019, and sourced North American film distributor GKIDS.

But then on October 18, 2019, it was announced that Studio Ghibli’s films would be streaming on HBO Max starting in Spring 2020.

Anime News Network is now reporting that GKIDS clarified what happened on their Twitter account. According the company, they were not contacted for the article and the statement that served as the basis for the claim that the films will not come to streaming services is dated to 2018.

Polygon’s article included the statement “GKids was unable to provide a comment from a Studio Ghibli representation for further clarification or additional updates on deals in progress.” According to GKIDS, they were not contacted in the last week for the Polygon piece.

Source: ANN

My Hero Academia Is #2 on NPD’s BookScan September 2019 Adult Graphic Novel List

11 manga titles appeared on NPD BookScan’s Top 20 Adult Graphic Novels list for September 2019:

  • My Hero Academia Volume 21 by Kōhei Horikoshi (#2)
  • My Hero Academia Volume 1 by Kōhei Horikoshi (#4)
  • Dragon Ball Super Volume 6 by Akira Toriyama and Toyotarō (#8)
  • Uzumaki (Hardcover) by Junji Ito (#9)
  • My Hero Academia Volume 20 by Kōhei Horikoshi (#10)
  • My Hero Academia Volume 2 by Kōhei Horikoshi (#11)
  • Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Volume 8 by Koyoharu Gotouge (#13)
  • Splatoon Volume 7 by Sankichi Hinodeya (#14)
  • My Hero Academia Volume 3 by Kōhei Horikoshi (#15)
  • The Way of the Househusband Volume 1 by Kousuke Oono (#16)
  • My Hero Academia Volume 4 by Kōhei Horikoshi (#20)

Source: ANN

English Cast Announced for the Golden Time Anime

The English cast has been announced for the Golden Time anime:

  • Mike Haimoto is Banri
  • Christina Kelly is Kōko
  • Caitlynn French is Chinami
  • Melissa Molano is Linda
  • Adam Gibbs is Mitsuo
  • Gareth West is 2D
  • Katelyn Barr is Sao-Chan
  • Natalie Rial is Shi-Chan
  • Courtland Johnson is Kosshi
  • Scott Gibbs is Hosshi
  • Kira Vincent-Davis is Nana
  • Joanne Bonasso is Reina/Banri’s Mom
  • Ty Mahany is Kouko’s Father
  • Josh Morrison is Linda’s Brother
  • Juliet Simmons is Fiancé
  • Samantha Stevens is Abe/Takeuchi
  • Natalie Jones is Ito/Moa
  • Daniel Regojo is Kazuya
  • Bryson Baugus is Koba
  • Antonio Lasanta is Koichiro
  • Shannon Reed is Hasegawa
  • Crystal Ruiz is Hayashi
  • Sam Butler is Meiko
  • Son Phan Le is Murata
  • Ned Gayle is Nakagawa
  • Ryan Anthony is Okamoto
  • Nick Meriwether is Su-San
  • Alexandra Bedford is Tokita
  • Kyle Jones is Tomoyasu

Allison Sumrall, Avery Smithhart, Christie Guidry, Elissa Cuellar, Gabriel Regojo, James Marler, John Swasey, Mark X Laskowski, and Orlanders Jones are playing additional voices.

Shannon Reed is directing.

Sentai Filmworks will re-release the Golden Time anime on Blu-ray Disc in a complete collection, which will include the English dub, on December 17, 2019.

Source: ANN

HBO Max to Stream Studio Ghibli Films in Spring 2020

HBO Max and GKIDS have announced that HBO Max will begin streaming the “entire Studio Ghibli film library” of 21 feature films in spring 2020. This deal marks the first time that Studio Ghibli films will stream on any platform.

The announcement noted that Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Howl’s Moving Castle, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Ponyo, Castle in the Sky, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, and other films will be available at launch. The full lineup of feature films that will stream on HBO Max includes:

  • Castle in the Sky
  • The Cat Returns
  • From Up On Poppy Hill
  • Howl’s Moving Castle
  • Kiki’s Delivery Service
  • My Neighbor Totoro
  • My Neighbors the Yamadas
  • Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
  • Ocean Waves
  • Only Yesterday
  • Pom Poko
  • Ponyo
  • Porco Rosso
  • Princess Mononoke
  • The Secret World of Arrietty
  • Spirited Away
  • The Tale of the Princess Kaguya
  • Tales from Earthsea
  • When Marnie Was There
  • Whisper of the Heart
  • The Wind Rises (launching Fall 2020)

The Polygon website has reported that GKIDS told the website that Studio Ghibli had no plans to stream its films.

“Studio Ghibli does not make their films available digitally, whether for download or streaming, anywhere in the world,” a GKIDS representative told Polygon via email correspondence earlier this year. “They continue to believe that presentation is vital and particularly appreciate opportunities for audiences to experience the films together in a theatrical setting.”

Source: ANN

Netflix Adds the First 41 Episodes of the 1986 Saint Seiya Anime With a New English Dub and Subtitles

Toei Animation has announced that Netflix has added the first 41 episodes of the 1986 Saint Seiya (Knights of the Zodiac) anime series with a new English dub and English subtitles. However, as of this writing, the English dub has not been added for Episode 16 and later.

The series is available for viewers in North America, New Zealand, and Australia.

ADV Films released the original Saint Seiya anime with an English dub under the title Knights of the Zodiac, and later released it unedited under its original title. New Video Group later also released the series on DVD.

Source: ANN