Dark Horse Comics Licenses the Cat + Gamer Manga

Crunchyroll is reporting that Dark Horse Comics has acquired the license for Wataru Nadatani’s Cat + Gamer manga. The company will release the title in comic shops on March 2, 2022, and then to bookstores on March 15, 2022.

Cat + Gamer is described as:

Meet Riko, a twenty-nine-year-old office worker with an obsession with video games. Her coworkers can’t quite figure her out—she never talks about her personal life, she never works overtime, and she never joins them for happy hour. Is she antisocial? Nope, she’s rushing home to play video games alone. That is until a stray cat is found in the office parking lot and ends up coming home with her. Having no experience with pets, Riko uses lessons drawn from video games to guide her in cat care, while her cute companion tries to understand her behavior through a cat’s worldview. Equal parts funny and heartwarming, Cat + Gamer is the perfect manga for cat lovers, gamers, and anyone looking for a lighthearted new read.

Source: Crunchyroll

Manga Creator Makuno Terminates Contract with futekiya Boys-Love Manga Service

Manga creator Makuno has revealed on Twitter that she is terminating her contract with publisher Fantasista because there were times when important reports and payment obligations were not fulfilled, even after she made inquiries at the end of June 2021. Subsequently, she became ill from mental fatigue and decided that to continue a healthy production environment for manga creation, she would have to terminate her contract.

Her While You’re Asleep, Scapegoat Baby, and LUST-fantasy- dо̄jinshi manga are no longer being distributed on Fantasista, Inc.’s futekiya boys-love manga subscription service as of July 22, 2021. She plans to distribute and sell the English versions of her works, including the unreleased final chapter of Scapegoat Baby, on her own.

Makuno’s The Nature of Master/Slave Relationships manga, which futekiya added from Dogenzaka Shobo, will remain on the service.

The futekiya service launched in July 2019, and it allows access to its entire library of manga for a monthly fee of US$6.99. The service is also offering licensed dōjinshi and manga by independent artists.

Source: ANN

FUNimation Entertainment to Screen the Knights of Sidonia Anime Film in Theaters on September 13, 2021

FUNimation Entertainment has announced that it will screen Knights of Sidonia: Love Woven in the Stars (Sidonia no Kishi: Ai Tsumugu Hoshi), the all-new anime film based on Tsutomu Nihei’s Knights of Sidonia (Sidonia no Kishi) manga, in theaters in the United States and Canada starting on September 13, 2021. The film will screen in Japanese with English subtitles and with an English dub. FUNimation also revealed that it will begin streaming all 24 episodes of the Knights of Sidonia anime on August 3, 2021 in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Ireland, in addition to Australia and New Zealand.

The new film takes a different path from the manga, and features a brand new story supervised by Nihei. The film brings back the returning cast members. The all-new story is set 10 years after the television series with characters returning from the previous story.

Source: ANN

Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid S: Episode 4 – “When in Rome, Do as the Romans Do (It’s Hard to Match Others)”

This episode had a total of three vignettes included.

At the beginning of the episode, Kobayashi is looking at code on her work computer and wonders aloud who wrote such beautiful code. Elma comes up to serve tea and says that she did. Apparently, Kobayashi had given Elma books to read on coding and she accomplished what she did just by what she learned from those books. Kobayashi is so impressed with Elma’s work that she starts forwarding other things for her to do. It comes out that Kobayashi has been doing double the work, since she’s been doing the work that is assigned to Elma but never gets done because she’s serving tea. When Takiya mentions that Kobayashi is the team’s pillar, Elma suddenly becomes upset and challenges Kobayashi to a contest of which one can finish their work first.

Kobayashi, as well as the audience, is left wondering why hearing this word causes Elma to react the way she does. I thought the vignette would have a humorous focus on the contest, but I was surprisingly wrong. While we see a small bit of it, Kobayashi starts talking to Elma when it’s time for a lunch break and discovers the truth behind what Elma is doing. Not surprisingly, Elma’s reaction to the word “pillar” stems from a misunderstanding, because being a “pillar” in the dragon world is very different from our human world. Kobayashi is able to explain the misunderstanding in the caring, yet straightforward manner that she has.

The second vignette sees Tohru joining a community patrol. She was approached because people remembered how she took down the thief in the shopping district. While on patrol, Tohru encounters a small group of punks who are loitering and blocking the road. She takes down the leader of this group with relative ease, and the punks run off… but they declare that they’ll be back for their revenge. Elma ends up joining the patrol, much to Tohru’s dismay. And it becomes readily clear that Elma’s sense of justice is to punish any small thing she sees, and one point she scares a couple of children. The vignette sees the punks come back with a bigger group, including their strongest member. Well, let’s just say that Tohru takes him down rather easily. There’s a funny bit with this big, strong guy as he’s training to get even stronger after his defeat at the hands of Tohru.

With these first two vignettes, we had an episode that had a stronger focus on Elma. Up to this point in the season, Elma was more of a background character and didn’t get much focus. She just kind of felt like she was “there.”

The final vignette sees Kobayashi taking Tohru, Ilulu, Kanna, and Saikawa to an amusement park. While at the park, there’s a running gag of Saikawa’s sister Georgie being in various mascot costumes at the park and taking pictures of Saikawa, Kanna, and Ilulu having fun. Of course, the humor from these three comes from how much Saikawa screams with her various interactions with Kanna (and some with Ilulu). The first time Saikawa did this, it was kind of funny. However, at least for me, this gag became a little annoying. More humor in this vignette comes from the fact that Kobayashi tries to act like she knows everything about amusement parks, even though she’s never been to one. We get to see Kobayashi going through a hall of mirrors, riding a carousel, and going on a teacup ride with Tohru. Probably the worst misfortune for Kobayashi is letting Tohru spin the wheel on the teacup ride, since Tohru wasn’t going to go easy on that. But their last stop, before meeting up with the others, causes Kobayashi to have the happiest expression she’s worn during their entire trip to the amusement park. This vignette was a nice way to end the episode, even if I did become a little annoyed with Saikawa.

After having three episodes that had a strong focus on Ilulu, it was kind of a nice break to have one where she only had an appearance in one vignette… and even in that vignette, Ilulu wasn’t a major focus in the story. I have nothing against Ilulu, but it was starting to feel like the season was going to be focusing on her. Plus, it was nice to see one of the other dragons getting the spotlight this time around.

Additional posts about Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid:

Kodansha Comics Announces Digital Manga Debuts for August 2021

Kodansha Comics has announced the new manga titles that will debut digitally in August 2021. The following titles will debut on Tuesdays in August 2021:

Title: I Was Reincarnated as the 7th Prince so I Can Take My Time Perfecting My Magical Ability
Creators: Yosuke Kokuzawa, Kenkyo na Circle, and Meru
Debut Date: August 3, 2021
Synopsis: Prince Lloyd wasn’t always a prince… in fact, his previous life is one he remembers perfectly: he was a sorcerer, of sorts. So when he was forced to reincarnate, he decided to continue his studies, prince of the realm or no. But his new life has its own sets of challenges… including being a 10-year-old. What’s the 7th prince/sorcerer to do?

Title: Yamaguchi-kun Isn’t So Bad
Creator: Yuu Saiki
Debut Date: August 10, 2021
Synopsis: Shy Satsuki Shinohara’s plan for a big high school debut are almost ruined by a pervert on the train, but she’s saved by none other than the “gangster” student in her class, Yamaguchi-kun. He’s already got a bad rap with the other students, and though Satsuki tries to approach him, he seems to always weasel out of her grasp. But she’s not one to let a challenge daunt her, and she’s out to prove that Yamaguchi-kun is so much more than he’s cracked up to be.

Title: The Decagon House Murders
Creators: Yukito Ayatsuji and Hiro Kiyohara
Debut Date: August 17, 2021
Synopsis: The manga based off the best-selling The Decagon House Murders novel by Yukito Ayatsuji. The members of a particular university’s Mystery Club travel to a ten-sided house on a remote island… which just happens to have been the scene of a gristly, and unsolved, mass murder. Armed with details of the murder and keys to the property, they set out to dig deeper… but can they trust the “facts” of the case? And moreover… can they trust each other?

Title: Chihiro-Kun Only Has Eyes For Me
Creator: Sato Ito
Debut Date: August 24, 2021
Synopsis: It’s not every day that a guy tells you you’re his muse and to strip down while you’re just minding your own business. But that’s just what happened to Michi—she caught the eye of Chihiro-kun, a fellow student and aspiring fashion designer. He’s inspired by her, and wants to use her as his model… but can Michi stand the attentions of such a devoted artiste?

Title: Mr. Bride
Creator: Natsumi Shiba
Debut Date: August 31, 2021
Synopsis: Hayami is the it-woman at her job—she’s cool, confident, and admired by all. But her has-it-all exterior belies a dark secret… her house is a mess, and she’s no good at taking care of herself. Enter Yamamoto-kun—her colleague who thinks the world of her, and who refuses to let her slobbish behavior slide. Soon he’s over at her house often enough that she asks him to move in with her. Where will this roundabout relationship take them?

Source: The Fandom Post

Anime Expo Lite 2021 Draws Over 375,000 Views and Raises $77,000 for Charity

The nation’s largest anime fan convention marked its 30th anniversary earlier this month with Anime Expo Lite. Held online again due to the continuing effects of the COVID pandemic, this year’s Anime Expo Lite garnered over 375,000 views from fans in more than 100 countries such as the United Kingdom, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, and Malaysia.

Fans tuned into watch the livestream event on July 3 and 4, 2021 as well as during the VOD period from July 5-16, 2021. Program highlights included the Star Wars: Visions Sneak Peek, the Shikizakura world premiere, and the LisAni!LIVE L.A. concert featuring performances by ASCA, BURNOUT SYNDROMES, JO☆STARS, Liella! ( Love Live! Superstar!!), and Morfonica (BanG Dream!), as well as special guests such as Hololive English, NIJISANJI’s Lazulight, and many more.

Proceeds from the 2021 Anime Expo Lite online event benefited the Hate Is A Virus commUNITY Action Fund. The SPJA donated $77,000 to support local and national community organizations related to AAPI representation, mental health, and more.

“For the 2nd year in a row, Anime Expo was held online due to the COVID pandemic, but we were gratified and amazed at the continued strong support we received from so many fans from around the world,” says Ray Chiang, CEO of the Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation. “We presented a comprehensive array of panel events, exclusive premieres, and sneak peeks, and music performances and made a sizeable donation to Hate Is A Virus, which will help them continue their work to battle anti-Asian discrimination and defamation, which continues to AAPI communities across the nation. As we look ahead to next year, we are excited to announce the return of Anime Expo to the Los Angeles Convention Center on July 1-4, 2022, and to welcoming back all of our fans, exhibitors, and participants.”

Manga Review: The King’s Beast Volume Three

The King’s Beast Volume Three examines Rangetsu’s feelings for Prince Tenyou.

The King’s Beast Volume Three
Written by: Rei Toma
Publisher: Shogakukan
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: August 3, 2021

Volume Three opens with Prince Oushin inviting Prince Tenyou and Rangetsu to dinner. However, things get uncomfortable for Rangetsu when she sees that the dinner is taking place at a brothel. In this world, female Ajin work in the brothels, so this puts Rangetsu in an awkward position. It gets worse when she sees Prince Tenyou leave with one of the women who works there.

It’s at this point that we see Rangetsu’s confusion over her feelings toward Prince Tenyou. She doesn’t understand why she feels jealous over Prince Tenyou being with another woman, especially since Rangetsu has spent all this time trying to act like a man. Rangetsu’s confusion is a theme that runs throughout this volume.

During the time at the brothel, Rangetsu gets drunk and gets in a fight with Teiga. With some of the things that Rangetsu says during the fight, she comes close to exposing the truth about herself. But Rangetsu finds that she’s taken down easily by Teiga’s special ability, and this becomes a sore spot for her as well. She doesn’t have a special ability, which frustrates her, and being taken down easily by another Ajin’s special ability just pours more salt into the emotional wounds she’s already going through over her confusion about Prince Tenyou.

A plot thread that starts to run through The King’s Beast Volume Three is that His Imperial Majesty has yet to declare a crown prince among his 15 sons, and the princes are now entering a critical period where they will be assessed on how they complete specific assignments… and their Ajin are an important component for the assignments. The first one is a tea ceremony, where the Ajin have to make tea and their ability will reflect back on their respective prince. Rangetsu works hard to learn the skill, and then at the actual ceremony, she discovers someone has substituted poison in her ingredients. Through some quick thinking, Rangetsu finds a way to avoid poisoning the emperor… but the lack of tea being served by her is a mark against Prince Tenyou.

However, we learn than Prince Tenyou has no desire to become the emperor. Like Rangetsu, this surprised me, since Prince Tenyou has been adamant about wanting to change how things work in their world. But it makes sense when he says he doesn’t have to be emperor in order to change the world, and in fact, it would probably be harder for him to make the necessary changes if he was the emperor.

One of my favorite scenes in Volume Three is when Prince Tenyou takes Rangetsu to her brother’s grave. It’s a sweet gesture, but it also instigates a conversation that allows Rangetsu to talk to Prince Tenyou and unload some of the confusion that’s been bottled up inside. I thought that Toma executed this scene beautifully, both through the art and through the dialogue and actions that take place.

Right at the end of the volume, the stage is being set for the next task, which is a sports competition. Rangetsu and Prince Tenyou’s practice time is getting underway when the third prince’s Ajin appears and tries to bean Prince Tenyou with a ball. And that’s basically where this volume ends. My guess is that Volume Four will have a focus on this sports tournament and whatever acts of sabotage may or may not occur.

It’s becoming clearer that Rangetsu has some kind of romantic feelings for Prince Tenyou, even if she herself doesn’t pick up on it yet. While the romance angle is getting stronger hints, this manga is still focusing overall on Rangetsu and how she’s trying to protect Prince Tenyou and work with him on finding her brother’s killer. And with the introduction of the tasks, the stage seems to be set for more direct competition between Prince Tenyou and his brothers, as well as the potential for intrigue. I think the attempted poisoning is just the beginning, and that more attempts to sabotage Prince Tenyou will come about in future volumes. I’m also curious to see what other kinds of tasks the princes and their Ajin will be asked to do.

Readers who have enjoyed the previous two volumes of The King’s Beast will appreciate this volume as well. I know that I’m looking forward to Volume Four in order to find out how this story will continue.

The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media

Additional posts about The King’s Beast:

Tubi TV Is Streaming the Phoenix Anime

The Fandom Post is reporting that Tubi TV has added the Phoenix anime to its service. The series is available with the original Japanese audio with English subtitles.

The series was directed by Ryousuke Takahashi with character designs by Akio Sugino, Hiroshi Uchida, Kyuma Oshita, and Masayoshi Nishida. With Tezuka Productions handling the animation, the main cast featured Keiko Takeshita as Hi no Tori.

Phoenix is described as:

Throughout time, mankind has chased after the dream of immortality. The Phoenix, in the form of a bird of fire, is said to hold the key to eternal life. Great wars are fought in a vain attempt to possess it and, as a result, civilizations rise and fall. Phoenix is a collection of five stories from the past, present and future. Many will perish because of their desires, and they are the lucky ones. True pain comes for those who find immortality and experience the burden of living forever.

Source: The Fandom Post

Tubi TV Adds the Voltes V Anime

The Fandom Post is reporting that Tubi TV has added the Voltes V anime to its service. The series is available with its original Japanese audio and English subtitles.

The story of Voltes V is described as:

From out of nowhere, a mysterious alien race known as the Boazan Forces has invaded the Earth. A group of individuals specially trained to handle this kind of situation has been unleashed. Kenichi, Ippei, Daijirou, Hiyoshi and Megumi are the pilots of the Choudenji Machine Voltes V (5), Earth’s defense against the Boazan and their terrible Beast Warriors. The plot thickens as the Go Brothers discover their true heritage and the truth behind their father’s disappearance. Conflicts and mixed emotions hinder the Go Brothers at times but due to their unwavering desire to find their dad, they must go to the place where it all started. With the help of the rebels based on Earth and on the aliens’ homeworld, the Voltes Team has another mission, remove the tyrant Zu Zanbajil and liberate the people of Boazan.

Source: The Fandom Post

Section23 Announces October 2021 Slate

Home video distributor Section23 Films has announced its October 2021 slate of anime releases.

Product details follow, in order of release

Coming October 2021

Title: NAKAIMO ~ MY LITTLE SISTER IS AMONG THEM!
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 325 min.
Street Date: 10/5/2021
Format: BD
Language: English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $59.98

SYNOPSIS: The terms of Shougo Mikadono’s late father’s will are strangely specific: To claim his substantial inheritance, Shougo must first transfer to Miryuin Private Academy, find a nice girl from among the student body, and convince her to marry him. As twisted and unromantic as that demand may appear, it does seem doable, right? Unfortunately, there’s an even greater moral obstruction standing between Shougo and a rich happily ever after, as one of the students attending the school is Shougo’s long lost little sister… and he has no idea which one she is. Can Shougo navigate this minefield and find a future bride without committing a major sin? And if his little sister is revealed, will it be in a manner that’s socially acceptable? Insanity is hereditary and Shougo’s about to go sibling crazy in NAKAIMO – My Little Sister is Among Them.

Title: PETER GRILL AND THE PHILOSOPHER’S TIME
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 180 min.
Street Date: 10/12/2021
Format: BD, Steelbook
Language: English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $129.98

SYNOPSIS: Peter Grill may be the most powerful warrior in the world, but in a culture where strength is everything, there are lots of ambitious young women who will do anything to “acquire” Peter’s superior genes in order to bear powerful offspring. So, even though Peter just wants to marry his fiancée, he’s instead being beset by a bodacious bevy of Peter-obsessed females fiercely determined to get into his bed and/or ironclad pants. That would be a sticky situation even if the bawdy belligerents were merely human, but with elves, trolls and orcs all craving a little private Peter action, can even Peter stand up to this wave of pulchritudinous force? His flesh may be strong but his will may not hold up quite as rigidly when comely babe after babe keeps coming to test this poor Peter’s mettle in Peter Grill.

Title: NOZO X KIMI
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 75 min.
Street Date: 10/19/2021
Format: BD
Language: Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $29.98

SYNOPSIS: What could be more embarrassing than being caught peeping into the girls’ locker room? Being caught inside the girls’ locker room inside a locker. And yet, that’s where Kimio Suga finds himself. And even if it was by accident, as soon as that door opens and he’s discovered, he’ll be branded a pervert and maybe even suspended. Except… the girl who finds him is Nozomi Komine, who lives in the house across from his, and she covers for him. Unfortunately, that isn’t an act of kindness, it’s the prelude to blackmail. Because Nozomi has certain games that she’d like to play and Kimio’s location and guilt make him the perfect plaything. And if that’s not bad enough, the situation gets really out of control when she starts bringing other girls in to play with her toy in Nozo X Kimi.

Title: SAY I LOVE YOU
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 325 min.
Street Date: 10/19/2021
Format: BD
Language: English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $59.98

SYNOPSIS: When Mei Tachibana was unfairly blamed for a tragedy, not one of her so-called friends stood by her. In the heartbreaking aftermath, Mei found an easy way to avoid any future betrayal – to never make any friends again. Only now, for some inexplicable reason, one her school’s most popular guys, the annoyingly charming Yamato Kurosawa, has taken an interest in the girl who might as well be a ghost to the rest of the class. And when she needed help, he actually came. Mei’s not a princess in a tower and she wasn’t looking for a white knight. So why has everything become so complicated since he kissed her? Is she ready to trust and risk her heart again? Is it time, at last, to make the commitment with the three words that change everything in Say “I Love You”?

Title: SHE, THE ULTIMATE WEAPON
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 325 min.
Street Date: 10/26/2021
Format: BD
Language: English, Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $59.98

SYNOPSIS: Separated in the chaos when their city was bombed, students Shuji and Chise lives are shattered despite the actions of a mysterious defender. After reuniting with Chise in the ruins, Shuji is horrified to discover that she is no longer the girl he knew. Twisted and reshaped by nightmarish science, her body has been transformed into something that isn’t completely human: a living weapon. And even worse, the remaining facets of the person she once was seem to be fading away. Can Shuji continue to feel love for the shell of the person Chise once was? And how long can Chise’s soul endure inside a device whose only purpose is to kill? As the fires of war burn, a young woman teeters on the brink of becoming the engine of the final apocalypse in She, The Ultimate Weapon.

Title: VENUS WARS
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 105 min.
Street Date: 10/26/2021
Format: BD
Language: English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $29.98

SYNOPSIS: When an ice comet slammed into the planet Venus, terraforming its toxic atmosphere into one capable of sustaining human life, mankind’s dream of colonizing other worlds became a reality. Unfortunately for the colonists, Venus isn’t the paradise they’d dreamed of. As crops fail and competition for resources intensifies, hostilities grow until the two inhabited continents stand on the brink of war. Reporter Susan Sommers arrives in the capital of Aphrodia just as Ishtar attacks and only the intervention of Hiro Seno and his Battle Bike team saves her from certain death… but now Aphrodia is under Ishtar’s control and Sue, Hiro, and his teammates find themselves on the run. However, their unique skill at Battle Bike, which combines motorcycle racing with roller derby, may just prove to be the secret weapon Aphrodia needs to win the Venus Wars.

Source: Sentai Filmworks