Anime Blog Posts That Caught My Eye This Week (December 13, 2019)

It may be Friday the 13th, but I’m not going to let superstitions keep me from posting this list of links this week. 🙂

Here are the posts that grabbed my attention over this past week:

Section23 Announces March 2020 Slate

Home video distributor Section23 Films has announced its March 2020 slate of releases featuring Sentai Filmworks’ highly anticipated series Release the Spyce. Available on Blu-ray and special Limited-Edition Premium Box Set.

Product details follow, in order of release

Coming March 2020

Title: GRIMMS’ NOTES THE ANIMATION
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 300 min.
Street Date: 3/3/2020
Format: BD
Language: Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $59.98

SYNOPSIS: The mystical Story Teller created a world where everyone is born with a book that dictates their life story in advance. Everyone, that is, except for a handful of individuals with books full of blank pages that allow them to cross from one prewritten storyline to another and act of their own free will. That ability turns out to be a fortunate thing, as rogue plotters called Chaos Tellers are introducing new and unexpected elements into the most popular storylines, fracturing the course of fairy tales and bedtime yarns into the stuff of nightmares. Can Ex, Reina, Shane and Tao undo the repercussions of aberrations like Little Red Riding Hood suddenly gaining the ability to manipulate fire? Things are looking mighty grim indeed when our heroes must fight to un-revise the revisions in Grimms Notes The Animation.

Title: MYSTERIA FRIENDS
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 150 min.
Street Date: 3/10/2020
Format: BD
Language: English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $49.98

SYNOPSIS: Welcome to Mysteria Academy, where the secrets of magic are taught to an eager student body composed of humans, gods and demons. Of course, it takes an unusual degree of tolerance for these groups to mingle freely, but thanks to this unusually diverse and inclusive educational experience, the most unlikely friendships are bound to spring up. Which is how Anne, a human honor student who happens to be a Princess, finds herself growing increasingly close to Grea, a half-human/half-dragon who also happens to be a Princess. Sure, fairy tales would have you believe that relationships between Princesses and Dragons are bound to end up badly, but that doesn’t take bonding while shopping and trips to the beach into account, let alone the fact that what they’re feeling may be a little more than just friendship in Mysteria Friends.

Title: RELEASE THE SPYCE
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 300 min.
Street Date: 3/17/2020
Format: BD, PBS
Language: English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $69.98, $99.98

SYNOPSIS: One never knows where the forces of evil may be preparing to strike, but fortunately for the citizens of the city of Sorasaki, there is a secret group of mysterious protectors who stand ever ready to fend off the pernicious plans of sinister scoundrels, malevolent malefactors and nefarious ne’er-do-wells. But who are these heroes and how are they recruited? Momo Minamoto is a normal high school student who dreams of one day becoming a police officer like her late father, but when she investigates the case of a missing friend, she quickly finds herself being recruited into the ranks of the Tsukikage, a group of high school girl spies with above average abilities and the ferocious fighting skills needed to take on any fiend who foments foulness and corruption. Stand back evildoers! It’s time to Release The Spyce.

Title: MARIA WATCHES OVER US
Published by: Maiden Japan
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 1100 min.
Street Date: 3/24/2020
Format: BD
Language: Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $99.98

SYNOPSIS: Adapting to life at Tokyo’s prestigious Lillian Girls’ Academy can be difficult, so the school has developed a long tradition of older students “adopting” younger girls and serving as their advisors and confidantes. Even so, shy young Yumi Fukuzawa is startled and flustered when a beautiful and popular upperclassman Yumi has admired, Sachiko Ogasawara, unexpectedly expresses interest in taking Yumi under her wing. Is Sachiko really serious? And if she is, is Yumi ready to be thrust into the spotlight of public scrutiny that comes with becoming the “petite soeur” to one of the student council’s inner circle, the Roses? As the gossip and speculation surrounding the nature of their relationship increases, Yumi finds her life and perceptions changing in new and unexpected directions in the complete collection of the anime classic Maria Watches Over Us.

Title: TO LOVE RU SEASON 1
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 650 min.
Street Date: 3/31/2020
Format: BD
Language: English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $89.98

SYNOPSIS: What do you do when a naked princess from outer space suddenly appears in your bathtub? If you’re Rito Yuki, the confused teenager who’s rub-a-dubbing when the perky Princess Lala of Deviluke splashes down, you inexplicably find yourself engaged to her royal highness’ heavenly body, whether you want to marry her or not. Oh, and you’re ALSO now heir to the throne of the Planet Deviluke, as well as the target for an endless stream of intergalactic invaders, assassins, rival suitors, and an unbelievably long cosmic chorus line of gorgeous women who are all determined to wormhole their way into Rito’s heart and/or bed. And that, needless to say, is probably going to make getting together with the nice Japanese girl who Rito’s actually in love with just a wee bit more complicated in To Love Ru.

Crunchyroll Adds the NG Knight Lamune & 40 EX/DX OVAs to Its Streaming Catalog

Crunchyroll has added the NG Knight Lamune & 40 EX and NG Knight Lamune & 40 DX original video anime (OVA) to its catalog in the United States and Canada.

The three-episode NG Knight Lamune & 40 EX OVA debuted in Japan in 1991. The three-episode NG Knight Lamune & 40 DX OVA premiered in Japan in 1993.

Crunchyroll began streaming the NG Knight Lamune & 40 anime in June 2019, the VS Knight Lamune & 40 Fire anime in September 2019, and the VS Knight Lamune & 40 Fresh OVA on December 2, 2019.

Source: ANN

Anime Blu-ray Review: Assassination Classroom Season Two

Assassination Classroom Season Two includes all 25 episodes of the second season of the anime. Audio options include the original Japanese with English subtitles and the English dub. This is the “Classics” edition of this release, which came out about a year after the first Blu-ray pressing of this set.

Assassination Classroom Season Two
English Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
Format: Blu-ray
Release Date: August 6, 2019

Season One ended with the most serious storyline the series had to date up to that point, and the second season opened with a light-hearted episode that finished off the summer trip arc. I thought this was a nice way to get the audience back into the series again and feel as if they were reuniting with an old friend.

While the humor the audience had come to expect from Assassination Classroom appeared in the second season, the tone of the series started becoming more serious as the season progressed. The second season included several important backstory episodes, as well as some surprise revelations. As a viewer, I appreciated getting the backstory for both Koro-sensei and Principal Asano. The backstory for the principal helped me to see him a new light, and he almost becomes a sympathetic character afterward.

One the biggest revelations and surprises concerns one of the students in Class 3-E, and it threw me for a loop. I never imagined that this character harbored such a secret in their background. But this secret serves as an important puzzle piece for fitting together some of the information we had learned earlier in the series regarding Koro-sensei, and it ultimately helps to progress the remainder of the story.

As Koro-sensei’s deadline loomed ever closer, the tone of the series became more and more serious. While the occasional bit of humor or joke would appear in these later episodes, the series focused more on reaching the climax and conclusion of the story. I have to say that I really liked seeing the countdown to Koro-sensei’s deadline on the chalkboard during the opening credits, and how that shot would always change every week to reflect the countdown. The message that appears on the blackboard in the opening for the final episode is rather bittersweet, though.

The second-to-last episode of this season of Assassination Classroom was highly emotional, and I admit that I still cried during it, even though I had already seen this episode before when it was streaming as a simulcast. And I appreciate how the final episode served as a kind of epilogue to the story and reveals what happened to most of the characters in the future. It was a nice way to end the series, and it shows that even though their time in the “assassination classroom” was done, their lives still went on.

The Blu-ray video for this set has 1080p High Definition 16:9 (HD Native), and the audio includes Dolby TrueHD: English 5.1 and Dolby TrueHD: Japanese 2.0. I had no complaints about either the video or audio quality of this release.

There are bonus features spread out throughout the series. The first disc includes audio commentary for Episode 3 and Episode 5. The second disc includes a six-minute feature titled, “The Many Faces of Koro sensei,” which is hosted by Sonny Strait (the English dub voice of Koro-sensei). He explains the various faces that Koro-sensei displays throughout the series, and there are occasional comments from other people about some of the faces. There are also textless versions of the openings and endings that appear in the first half of the series, as well as episode previews and trailers for other FUNimation properties.

The third disc includes an audio commentary for Episode 15. The fourth disc includes an audio commentary for Episode 23, a “Top Ten Moments” feature for the second season of Assassination Classroom, textless versions of the opening and ending credits that appear in this half of the season, episode previews, and trailers for other FUNimation properties. It’s interesting to note that the style for the “Top Ten Moments” feature was done differently here when compared to the same feature on the Season One set. Here, all we see are the scenes, and there’s a voice over explaining the scene and why it’s included in the list. To be honest, I preferred how this feature was handled here than how it was done on the Season One set.

Overall, the bonus features are what you’d expect for this kind of release. However, I’m still a little frustrated that the next episode previews were removed from the episodes and are only included in the set as a bonus feature.

I really am glad that I acquired the whole series to add to my anime home video library. I liked being able to see the series again, but this time bigger chunks rather than the one episode a week pace that I had to do while watching it as a simulcast. Being able to see it this way, I could see just how well the series flowed, and how nicely everything fell into place.

Anime Boston Announces Brittney Karbowski as Guest

Anime Boston has announced that voice actor Brittney Karbowski will be a guest at their next convention.

Brittney Karbowski began voice acting right out of high school. Her credits include Mikoto Misaka in A Certain Magical Index, Rimuru in That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime, Ryou Fujibayashi in Clannad, Wendy Marvell in Fairy Tail, Nanachi in Made in Abyss, Black Star in Soul Eater, Pride in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Camie Utsushimi in My Hero Academia, Fuko in Gilgamesh, Mone in Yumeria, Himeko in Pani Poni Dash!, Aoba in Jinki:Extend, Ayu in Kanon, Mai in My Santa, Apis in One Piece, Anri in Sasami: Magical Girls Club, Ku in Shattered Angels, Siain in Shuffle!, Nina in Save Me! Lollipop, Popuko in Pop Team Epic, Cecil in Wizard Barristers, and Hitoka Yachi in Haikyuu!!.

Anime Boston will be taking place at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, Massachusetts, from April 10-12, 2020.

Warner Bros. Removes the Live-Action Akira Film From Its Release Schedule

Entertainment news website Deadline has reported that Warner Bros. has moved its planned live-action Akira film off its release schedule.

Entertainment news website Variety reported in July 2019 that Warner Bros. has delayed the film indefinitely. The film was previously slated to begin production in Fall 2019, and its release was scheduled for May 21, 2021.

Taika Waititi, who was slated to direct the film, explained in October 2019 that the filming schedule for Akira kept getting pushed back due to the staff “working really hard on the script,” until production began to overlap with Waititi directing Marvel’s Thor 4 film. He added, “Now we’ve had to take Akira and shift it around to the tail end of Thor and move it down a couple of years.” Waititi ended the discussion by stating, “we’re still gonna make it.”

Source: ANN

Palm Springs International Film Festival to Screen the Weathering With You Anime Film

The Palm Springs International Film Festival in California has announced that it will screen Makoto Shinkai’s Weathering With You anime film during the January 2-13, 2020 event. The festival will screen the film in the “Awards Buzz – Best International Feature Film Submissions” category, which features 51 official submissions from the Best International Feature Film category for the 92nd Academy Awards.

The film will screen in California on January 3, 2020 at 6:15 p.m. at Mary Pickford is D’Place, January 6, 2020 at 12:00 p.m. at Regal Cinemas in Palm Springs, and January 10, 2020 at 12:45 p.m. at Mary Pickford is D’Place.

Fathom Events will screen the film in theaters in the United States on January 15 and 16, 2020. The screenings will be a “Special Fan Preview” with exclusive bonus content before GKIDS opens the film in North America on January 17, 2020. The screenings starting on January 17, 2020 will have both English-subtitled screenings and English-dub screenings.

Source: ANN