Media Blasters to Launch Atomic Anime Blast Blu-ray Line

The Fandom Post is reporting that Media Blasters is launching a new anime Blu-ray line called Atomic Anime Blast, which combines some titles together into one release. The first volume is scheduled to be released on June 8, 2021, and will retail for US$34.99. The first release includes Episodes 1-12 of Juden Chan and Episodes 1-13 of Rio Rainbow Gate.

The story of Juden Chan is described as:

Finally, hope for people around the world suffering from depression has arrived. Meet Juden-chan, the invisible but well-endowed re-charger ladies with the powers to re-energize people and obliterate their sadness and despondence. While Aresta and Plug are conducting their juden-chan duties, they encounter a boy named Sento who has the ability to see them.

The story of Rio Rainbow Gate is described as:

The Howard Resort Hotel is a popular casino complex where people gather from around the world for a chance to take a gamble and win a fortune. Employed in the casino is the ravishing Rio Rollins, known to the high rollers as the Goddess of Victory. Join Rio as she embarks on a series of crazy contests for a shot at the title of Most Valuable Casino Dealer.

Source: The Fandom Post

HIDIVE to Stream the Third OVA for the Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Anime on April 28, 2021

HIDIVE has announced that it will begin streaming Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? III OAV: Is It Wrong to Crave Hot spring in Orario? – God of the Hot Spring Forever, the third original video anime (OVA) in the Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? franchise, on April 28, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. EDT in the United States, Canada, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Latin America, the Netherlands, the Middle East, and Scandinavian countries.

Sentai Filmworks describes the OVA as:

There’s a new natural hot spring in Orario thanks to the Dian Cecht Familia, but Naaza of the Miach Familia suspects an elaborate con and needs help to prove it. What does that mean for Bell since he’s in the wrong place at the wrong time? It means getting caught in the middle of an ongoing rivalry between two Familias. Again.

Source: ANN

Big West to Distribute Macross Franchise’s Works Made After 1987 Globally and Is Streaming the Flash Back 2012 OVA

The official Macross portal site has announced that Big West will handle the worldwide release of all works that are part of the Macross franchise made after 1987. This includes the upcoming Gekijōban Macross Delta: Zettai LIVE!!!!!! (Macross Delta the Movie: Absolute Live!!!!!!) film and future works. Big West will also be in charge of the releases of games, toys, live performances, and other content and merchandising.

Big West began streaming the The Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Flash Back 2012 original video anime (OVA) collection of music videos on YouTube. The video will stream for a limited time.

Macross creator Shoji Kawamori commented, “For creators like me, our work only comes to life for when it is viewed by people. It seems that the time has just started to move, after years and years of stillness.” He added on Twitter, “I thought this dark tunnel would not ever end and reach the light, but gradually I started to see the dawn coming out of the long-lasting night.”

Original character designer Haruhiko Mikimoto stated in a comment, “On a personal level, I was frustrated not only over the fact that the global reach of the anime titles were impeded, but so too were all the production design sheets, the illustrations and the comics that were created through the involvement of many people. I am very happy to hear that the situation has been sorted out enough that audiences around the world would be able to fully access all this material.”

Source: ANN

Sony and FUNimation Entertainment Announce the My Hero Academia: The Strongest Hero Smartphone Game for the West in Spring 2021

Sony Pictures Television Games and FUNimation Entertainment have announced that it will launch the My Hero Academia: The Strongest Hero game, based on the My Hero Academia franchise, on iOS and Android devices in Spring 2021. The companies will release the game in English in North America, Latin America, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and Scandinavian countries. The game will be free-to-play with in-app purchases. Preregistration is available.

In the open world action RPG, players can build their own team rosters with Class 1-A students, pro heroes, and villains for use in story mode, PVP, and co-op mode. New content will launch every month.

Source: ANN

Anime Blu-ray/DVD Combo Review: Fruits Basket Season Two Part Two

Fruits Basket Season Two Part Two includes two Blu-rays and two DVDs that include Episodes 14-25 of the second season of the Fruits Basket reboot anime. The set includes both an English dub and the original Japanese audio with English subtitles.

Fruits Basket Season Two Part Two
English Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
Format: Blu-ray/DVD Combo
Release Date: March 23, 2021

The episodes in this set see the drama and tension increase for the characters and the overarching story. In Episode 14, Kyo is trying to sort out of his feelings after meeting up with Kagura and having her essentially walk away from the obsession she’s had for him over the years. The turmoil doesn’t last long, and by the end of the episode Kyo figures out how he truly feels about Tohru… but doesn’t say anything to her about it. There’s also a focus on the relationship between Haru and Rin, and it’s pretty intense. And finally getting to see what Akito did to cause Rin to go to the hospital was eye opening.

Yuki goes through a lot of development during these episodes as well. He realizes he hasn’t made as much progress as he thought he had. But over the course of this set, Yuki figures out how to deal with the relationship with his parents… with a little unexpected and comedic help from Ayame during the parent-teacher conference. Also, during a talk with Kakeru, Yuki admits that what he’s been longing for and has found in Tohru is a mother figure. It’s also becoming clearer that Machi seems to be interested in Yuki, but he’s too dense to realize it quite yet.

Speaking of the parent-teacher conferences, we get an entire episode devoted to them. Most of the conferences are light-hearted and amusing, which gives the audience a nice break from the drama and tension. Yuki’s is the last conference shown, and of course, this one is much more serious. Not that it didn’t have its comedic moments thanks to Ayame’s appearance, though.

The season reaches its peak with the school’s cultural festival. Tohru’s class decides to put on a performance of Cinderella, but most of the roles are seriously miscast. Tohru’s attempts to be an evil stepsister are amusing, and Hanajima as Cinderella is a hoot. When I read the original manga years ago, I wished I could have seen the play in an animated form, because I knew it would work so well. And I wasn’t disappointed when I saw the result.

During the performance, Uotani gives a speech to Kyo (who is playing the prince), and she’s obviously referring to wanting to see Kureno again. Momiji, who filmed the performance, burns a copy of the recording onto a DVD and gives it to Kureno. When Kureno sees the performance, we can tell that he cares about Uotani, but still feels a sense of obligation to Akito. The season ends with Kureno meeting up with Tohru and revealing some truths to her… including the fact that Akito is really a girl. I thought this was a great way to end the season.

I watched this release just as the third and final season of the Fruits Basket anime had started streaming as a simulcast. Between the ending credits and some flashbacks that appeared in these episodes, I realized that flowers that are referenced in the second episode of the final season appear in the second season as well. By having the luck of re-watching these episodes as the third season is going, I picked up on the fact that this symbolism had actually been hinted at earlier than I had realized.

I really appreciated how the second half of Season Two continued to advance character development, as well as provide important progression for the overarching story. And now that I’m starting to watch the final season, I can also say that these episodes were successful is setting the foundation for what’s taking place in Season Three.

The Blu-ray video is 1080p High Definition 16:9 (HD Native). The audio on the Blu-ray had Dolby TrueHD: English 5.1 and Dolby TrueHD: Japanese 2.0, while the DVD had English 5.1 Surround and Japanese Stereo. I had no complaints about either the audio or the video quality of this release.

The main bonus feature included on this release is “Fruits Basket” At Home with the Voice Actors.” This was an online presentation that included Caitlin Glass (the director and English voice for Machi), Justin Cook (English voice of Hatsuharu), John Burgmeier (English voice of Shigure), Ian Sinclair (English voice of Kureno), Brina Palencia (English voice of Rin), and Tia Ballard (English voice of Kagura). The feature runs a little under a hour, and the panelists answer questions that Caitlin Glass (who is moderating the panel) asks. Overall, this was an enjoyable enough feature. However, as someone who watches the original Japanese audio and not the English dub, I was a little annoyed by the mispronunciation of some of the characters’ names (Kureno, Shigure, and Rin). When you listen to the Japanese audio, you know that the English pronunciations for those names are wrong. Honestly, I find that these incorrect pronunciations are actually harder to say than the correct Japanese pronunciations. That’s just a personal nitpick, though. Like I said, outside of the mispronunciations, I did enjoy the content of this feature. I appreciate getting to see the people behind the voices and learning more about them. The set also includes a textless version of the opening and ending song.

If you’re a fan of the Fruits Basket franchise, and you already own the first three releases of this reboot on home video, then this release of Fruits Basket Season Two Part Two is worth picking up and adding to your home anime video library.

Additional posts about Fruits Basket:

FUNimation Entertainment to Stream the English Dub for the Back Arrow Anime

FUNimation Entertainment has announced that it will stream an English dub for the Back Arrow anime beginning on April 23, 2021.

The English cast includes:

  • Shannon McCormick is Back Arrow
  • Arnie Pantoja is Bit Namital
  • Alexis Tipton is Elsha Lean
  • Natalie Rose is Atlee Ariel
  • Kristen McGuire is Jim
  • Nazeeh Tarsha is Debugger
  • Suzie Yeung is Sam
  • Brandon McInnis is Shu Bi
  • Amber Lee Connors is Tom
  • Meg McClain is Annie
  • Jarrod Greene is Kai Rhodan
  • Kristi Rothrock is Ren Sin
  • Aaron Roberts is Sola Athin
  • Charlie Campbell is Burk Lean
  • Larry Brantley is Narrator

Jeremy Inman is directing the English dub.

Source: ANN

The 8th Son? Are You Kidding Me? Mobile Game Is Now Available

ViSUALIZE Co., Ltd. is pleased to announce that The 8th Son? Are You Kidding Me?: Another Reincarnation (A.R.) has just launched on April 22, 2021. It is available on the App Store and Google Play in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippine, Vietnam, Thailand, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden, Bulgaria, Belgium, Greece, Cyprus, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Israel, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Switzerland, Russian Federation, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and many other countries.

The 8th Son? Are You Kidding Me?: Another Reincarnation (A.R.) is the first mobile game adaptation for the The 8th Son? Are You Kidding Me? anime, based on the best-selling novel series which has recorded over 2.7 million copies in sales.

Scenarios based on a new anime-derived original story directed by Y.A.

As the mysterious protagonist of Another Reincarnation, players set out on an adventure to save a world on the brink of destruction with Wendelin and his friends.

You have been reborn. This is Ringaia.

On the great continent of Ringaia, one can find the Kingdom of Helmut. Led by their king and the noble families, the people of Helmut enjoyed an era of modest happiness. That era, however, has come to an end.

15 years ago, without warning, a change came over the land’s monsters; they became stronger, and more vicious. In these dire times, the role of Ringaia’s adventurers has become one of unparalleled importance.

For you, it is the day of your final field exam at the Adventurer’s Academy; however, things do not go as planned. The event is thrown into violent chaos at the hands of the Black Magician! Faced with death, a power within you awakens—the power to summon others from a parallel reality. And who is it that comes to your aid? None other than the master magician, Wendelin von Benno Baumeister.

Parallel World
The game’s setting is not the Ringaia you know from the anime. While it is made up of the same nations and inhabited by the same people, an event 15 years ago led this world down a drastically different path. A quest that will decide the fate of the world you now inhabit begins to unfold.

Ringaia (Anime)
The continent is split into two dominions. King Helmut XXXVII rules the southern lands, while the nobles who swear fealty to him watch over their own individual regions. There are some dangerous spots in which monsters roam—such as the Enchanted Forest and the Rieg Mountains, but settlements are rarely threatened; Ringaia’s people live their lives in peace.

Ringaia (Game)
While the geography and territories of this Ringaia match that of its parallel world, the looming monster threat has resulted in a much darker situation. Society looks to the ranks of adventurers for protection, while the nation’s leaders strive to unravel the mystery of “corruption.”

New board game-style battle system
Players can enjoy a board game-style battle system by anticipating opponent’s moves and developing strategy towards victory. You can play battle according to the game world’s quests such as main quests, special event quests and daily quests with/without scenarios. You can also enjoy “Interworld Battle”, which is in-game battle between two players in real time, and get winner’s rewards. The more you play, the more addictive the tactics and speed of these innovative simulation battles become.

Now Available at the App Store/ Google Play

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Google Play:

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As a release campaign, a special unit “SR (Cleric) Elise[Anniv.]” will be given to all new players.

Overview of The 8th Son? Are You Kidding Me?: Another Reincarnation (A.R.)

(appears as “THE 8TH SON? A.R.” in App Store and “THE 8TH SON? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? A.R.” in Google Play)
Genre: Simulation RPG
Platform: App Store/ Google Play
Language: English
Type: Freemium (Offers in-app purchases)
Release Schedule: 2021
Copyright: ©Y.A/MF books/ HACHINAN PARTNERS/ ©ViSUALIZE Co.Ltd

About The 8th Son? Are You Kidding Me?

The 8th Son? Are You Kidding Me? is the story of ordinary young businessman Shingo Ichinomiya (25) who ends up in the body of Wendelin (5), the eighth son in a poor noble family of another world. Amidst the Machiavellian machinations of noble society, Wendelin attempts to carve out a simple life of peace and tranquility. The light novel is in serialization under KADOKAWA’s Media Factory Books, with 21 volumes currently in publication.

Netflix to Stream the Second Season of the Kuroko’s Basketball Anime

The Fandom Post is reporting that Netflix will begin streaming the second season of the Kuroko’s Basketball anime on May 15, 2021 in Australia and on May 16, 2021 in the United States. As of this writing, it’s assumed it will be another batch of 26 episodes.

The story of Kuroko’s Basketball is described as:

An up-and-coming power player, Taiga Kagami, is just back from America. When he comes to Seirin High School, he meets the super-ordinary boy, Tetsuya Kuroko. Kagami is shocked to find that Kuroko isn’t good at basketball, in fact, he’s bad. And he’s so plain that he’s impossible to see. But Kuroko’s plainness lets him pass the ball around without the other team noticing him, and he’s none other than the sixth member of the Miracle Generation.

Source: The Fandom Post

Dr. Stone: Stone Wars Anime to Debut on Toonami on May 15, 2021

The official Facebook page for Adult Swim’s Toonami programming block has announced that the block will begin airing Dr. Stone: Stone Wars, the second season of the Dr. Stone anime, on May 15, 2021 at 1:00 a.m. EDT (effectively, May 16, 2021).

The full lineup for May 15, 2021 includes:

  • 12:00 a.m. – Dragon Ball Super
  • 12:30 a.m. – My Hero Academia
  • 01:00 a.m. – Dr. Stone: Stone Wars
  • 01:30 a.m. – Food Wars! The Third Plate
  • 02:00 a.m. – The Promised Neverland
  • 02:30 a.m. – Black Clover
  • 03:00 a.m. – Naruto Shippuden
  • 03:30 a.m. – Attack on Titan

Source: ANN

Fruits Basket The Final Season: Episode 3 – “I Hope It Snows Soon”

Roughly the first half of the episode focuses on Machi. The episode opens with her noticing that it’s snowing and hoping that it doesn’t stick and accumulate. She notices a box of new chalk that has just been opened and looks pristine, and she suddenly knocks it over.

Meanwhile, in the student council room, the student council members (minus Machi) are talking, and Nao starts lashing out at Yuki. Kimi ends up guessing correctly that Nao is in love with a girl who’s been pining for Yuki. The audience can tell she’s right by how Nao is blushing furiously. We’re going to hold this thought, though, because I’m going to be focusing on Machi for a little while in this writeup.

Two of Machi’s classmates come to the student council room and relay the chalk incident. They also share a rumor they heard that Machi was kicked out of her house because she tried to kill her baby brother. Machi overhears this and runs off. Later, Kakeru talks with Yuki and shares what he heard from his parents about the incident. But Kakeru suggests going to Machi’s place so Yuki can ask her directly. Not surprisingly, Machi is stunned to see Kakeru and Yuki appear at her front door.

But this leads to an important scene between Yuki and Machi, where we learn why Machi acts the way she does… she’s afraid of perfection because of how perfect her parents expected her to be. When her younger brother is born, her mother talks about how they have the boy they always wanted, and complains how dull and boring Machi is. When Machi tries to tell her mother that she was doing what she thought her mother expected of her, her mother accuses Machi of blaming her for the way she turned out. And when it comes to her baby brother, she thought he was cold and was just trying to put a blanket on him to keep him warm. But her parents come in right as she’s about to finish, and jump to the worst conclusion that she’s trying to suffocate him out of jealousy. By the end of this flashback, I was so angry with Machi’s parents. They are, quite frankly, horrible people… and I think she’s better off without them.

Even though it may have stirred up those kinds of emotions in me, I was happy to see how this moment brings Yuki and Machi closer together. The final scene of the Machi portion of the story made me quite happy. During the next student council meeting, a new box of chalk is brought in, and it’s placed in front of Machi because it’s her turn on chalkboard duty. You can see in Machi’s eyes that she wants to do something about it. Yuki, who is sitting next to her, suddenly reaches over and breaks one of the pieces of chalk so it no longer looks perfect. Like I said, this moment made me quite happy.

The rest of the story focuses on the seniors graduating. Motoko has a final talk with Yuki, and she actually handles this situation as well as she could have. She’s matured enough at this point to realize that there’s no chance with Yuki, and that she sincerely wishes happiness for him in his future. Yuki handled this situation very well. I thought this was the perfect way to bring Motoko’s storyline to a close. I can’t remember if this is basically the end of the Prince Yuki Fan Club in the manga, or if there’s still any hijinks from them after Motoko’s graduation. It’s just been too many years since I read these later chapters of the manga.

Now, remember when I mentioned Nao earlier in the episode? After the graduation ceremony, Motoko goes back to her classroom to take one final look before leaving. Nao approaches, and it’s then that the viewer realizes that the girl Nao had been pining for was Motoko. There’s a similar exchange between these two, although the roles are reversed (Motoko is now in Yuki’s shoes, while Nao is in Motoko’s shoes). I thought this juxtaposition was very effective. There was a flashback scene we saw earlier when Motoko was remembering encountering Yuki, and I know it’s one we’ve seen in the past. When it shows up this time, we see that Nao was actually there, too, but Motoko never even noticed he was there. With this encounter, it only reinforced my opinion that Motoko has matured a lot from the character we met at the beginning of the series.

Right after this, we see that Hiro’s little sister, Hinata, has been born. There’s a sweet scene in the hospital between Hiro, his mother, and Hinata. It was a nice, feel good moment right before the final scene of the episode.

Kagura visits with Shigure and Hattori, saying that Rin graduated while she was in the hospital. Kagura had gone to pick up Rin’s diploma. and she starts wondering aloud about Rin. While everyone’s been told that she’s in the hospital, no one seems to know which hospital she’s at. Also, Kagura has been unable to reach her. Shigure basically tells her to butt out and stop investigating. The very final shot of the episode is Akito leaving the room where Rin is being kept, and she has a pair of scissors in her hand. As Akito leaves, it looks like hair is flying out of the doorway. I’ve got to say, that was quite a dark way to end the episode after having such a feel good moment with Hiro and his family. But that feel good scene was needed to help blunt the darkness of that final moment.

Now that the seniors have graduated, our main protagonists are now going to be in their final year of high school. I’m really looking forward to watching the remaining episodes of Fruits Basket and finally seeing the entire story in animated form after all these years.

Additional posts about Fruits Basket: