VIZ Media Announces the Home Media Release of Naruto Shippuden: The Movie – Rasengan Collection

VIZ Media delivers action and edge of the seat anime excitement as it announces the home media release of Naruto Shippuden: The Movie – Rasengan Collection on October 3, 2017.

The new set will be released in four-disc DVD and Blu-ray editions and contain four complete full-length Naruto anime feature films – Naruto Shippiden: The Movie, Naruto Shippuden: The Movie – Bonds, Naruto Shippuden: The Movie – The Will of Fire and Naruto Shippuden: The Movie – The Lost Tower.

The Naruto Shippuden: The Movie – Rasengan Collection Blu-ray edition will carry an MSRP of $29.98 U.S. / $34.99 CAN. Films are presented in vivid 1080p High Definition with DTS Master Audio 5.1 and 2.0 selections with both Japanese and English dubbed dialogue options. Notable bonus features for the Blu-ray edition include theatrical trailers for all of the films as well as a digital art gallery and a bonus Naruto animated short.

The Naruto Shippuden: The Movie – Rasengan Collection DVD edition will carry an MSRP of $24.98 U.S. / $39.99 CAN. Films are presented with 16×9 video aspect ratio and audio selections for both Japanese and English dubbed dialogue options. Bonus features on the DVD set will include theatrical trailers, a digital art gallery and a bonus Naruto animated short.

In Naruto Shippuden: The Movie (rated TV-14), a powerful spirit that once threatened to destroy the world is back. Naruto’s mission is to protect a priestess named Shion, which is the only one with the power to seal away the monster. She also has the uncanny ability to predict someone’s fate. Her latest prediction: Naruto will soon die. Naruto’s only hope is to abandon Shion, but that is not the young ninja’s style. He decides to face her fatal prediction head on – and die.

In Naruto Shippuden: The Movie – Bonds (rated TV-14), a group of mysterious flying ninja have arrived from overseas to launch a sudden attack against the Hidden Leaf Village, leaving behind a wake of destruction. The group is revealed to be the “Sky Ninja” from the Land of Sky, a nation thought to have been destroyed by the Hidden Leaf Village long ago. To save their village, Naruto and his friends set out to stop this new threat. During the course of the mission, Naruto crosses paths with Sasuke, his friend who has parted ways from the Leaf Village.

In Naruto Shippuden: The Movie – The Will of Fire (rated TV-14), four ninjas with Kekkei Genkai justsu abilities that have been guarding the Hidden Villages of Cloud, Stone, Mist and Sand mysteriously disappear from their respective villages. The Land of Fire comes under suspicion as it is the only country to have suffered no loss. Mounting suspicion among the four countries could potentially set off the 4th Great Ninja War. In the Hidden Leaf Village, Tsunade orders her men to keep strict guard and to try to find out what really happened. At the same time, it turns out that Kakashi has left the village. The bad news deeply disturbs Naruto and his friends.

In Naruto Shippuden: The Movie – The Lost Tower (rated TV-14), the Rogue Ninja Mukade is about to be caught by Naruto’s team when he summons forth the power of the LeyLine – an ancient underground channel of chakra. Naruto gets caught up in the chakra and is sent back in time to the city of Loran, known for its thousand towers. There he encounters the future Fourth Hokage, Minato Namikaze, on a top-secret mission, and the Queen of Loran, Sarah, whose rule is threatened by Mukade. Will Naruto be able to return to his own time, and can a chance encounter in the past save the future?

The Naruto Shippuden feature films are based on the Naruto manga and animated series, following Naruto Uzumaki, who wants to be the best ninja in the land. He’s done well so far, but Naruto knows he must train harder than ever and leaves his village for intense exercises that will push him to his limits. Naruto Shippuden begins two and a half years later, when Naruto returns to find that everyone has been promoted up the ninja ranks – except him. Sakura’s a medic ninja, Gaara’s advanced to Kazekage, and Kakashi… well he remains the same. But pride isn’t necessarily becoming of a ninja, especially when Naruto realizes that Sasuke never returned from his search for Orochimaru. Plus, the mysterious Akatsuki organization is still an ever-present danger. As Naruto finds out more about the Akatsuki’s goals, he realizes that nothing in his universe is as it seems. Naruto is finding that he’s older, but will he also prove wiser and stronger?

Anime DVD Review: Naruto Shippuden Set 31

Naruto Shippuden Set 31 includes episodes 389-402 of the series on two DVDs. Audio options available for the set are the original Japanese audio with English subtitles and the English dub.

Naruto Shippuden Set 31
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Format: DVD
Release Date: June 27, 2017

Set 31 primarily focuses on either backstory episodes or on stories that fill in the time skip between the first Naruto series and Naruto Shippuden. In fact, only three episodes out of the 13 episodes included in the set do anything to progress the current story arc of the Fourth Great Ninja War. The events that take place during those three episodes are very significant, but the story just kind of stops and the focus changes to filling in the timeskip.

The first two episodes of the set provide backstory for Hinata’s younger sister, Hanabi. It was nice to finally get some backstory for her, since Hanabi was a character we saw in the crowd during the first Chunin Exam and we’ve heard occasional references to her in passing. These two episodes show the relationship the sisters had prior to Hanabi taking over as the heiress of the main Hyuga clan from Hinata. In a lot of respects, these two episodes filled in some information that had been hinted at previously. I appreciated seeing the actual event that had been referenced in the past, as well as finally getting to know Hanabi as a character. For the longest time, there had been the joke about Hanabi being a forgotten character (i.e. “Hinata has a sister? Oh yeah… we saw her during the Chunin Exam”). These two episodes helped establish Hanabi as a character and reinforce the idea that she actually exists.

The remaining eight episodes in the set show the Chunin Exam that took place while Naruto was away from the village to train with Jiraiya. At the beginning of Naruto Shippuden, we learned that all of the other Genin who hadn’t advanced after the first Chunin Exams had become Chunin while Naruto was gone. Even though these episodes are technically “filler,” I’m appreciating getting to see this Chunin Exam and finding out what these characters had to go through in order to become Chunin. These episodes are set during the time shortly after Gaara became the Kazekage, so we also get to see what’s going on in the Hidden Sand Village because of this.

What I appreciated is that this Chunin Exam wasn’t simply a retread of the first one. So far, we have seen the first test is a written one, and the second is trying to get the two scrolls in a certain timeframe, they are done in different ways. The first exam is still taking place in the Hidden Leaf Village, but Shikamaru is the proctor this time around. I was really impressed with how Shikamaru decided to conduct the written portion, and I thought the end result was great.

The second portion is set near the Hidden Sand Village, so this required the teams to have to travel between locations. Capping it to the first 30 teams to reach the next destination was something that made this Chunin Exam different from the first one.

Unfortunately, the second test is still underway as the end of Set 30, so this will definitely be continuing in Set 31. All I can say at this point, though, is that I’m grateful that I’m watching this series in 13 episode chunks through these box sets. I can only imagine the frustration of viewers in Japan watching on television, or anime fans around the globe watching the weekly simulcast, since only one episode would air each week. Unfortunately, I’m sure this causes a long gap of time between seeing what’s happening in the current story arc, and probably made it harder to remember what exactly had happened in the previous batch of canon episodes that pop up in between filler arcs. I appreciate these episodes that fill in the time skip, but I can imagine I probably would have been frustrated if I was watching this one episode a week.

When it comes to the animation, it was a mixed bag on this set. Sometimes there would be some decent animation, and other times where it looked like the animators were cutting corners.

The bonus features on this set are basically the same as what has appeared on other sets for the series: storyboards, art gallery, clean openings, clean endings, and the English credits.

Naruto Shippuden Set 31 needs to be in the anime home video collection of a Naruto fan, primarily for the three episodes that progress the story. The Hanabi backstory and the second Chunin Exam story are nice bonuses as well.

VIZ Media Announces the Hilarious New Manga Series Naruto: Chibi Sasuke’s Sharingan Legend

VIZ Media announces the launch of Naruto: Chibi Sasuke’s Sharingan Legend, a hilarious spin-off of the world’s most popular ninja manga series, Naruto, on September 5, 2017.

Naruto: Chibi Sasuke’s Sharingan Legend is written by Kenji Taira. The series is rated “T” for Teens and will be published in print and digital editions under the Shonen Jump imprint; Volume 1 will carry a print MSRP of $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN.

Naruto: Chibi Sasuke’s Sharingan Legend will be available digitally via and the VIZ Manga App, as well as from the NOOK, Kobo, Kindle, iBooks, comiXology, and Google Play Store. Subsequent volumes of the series, which is also continuing in Japan, will be published in English on a quarterly basis.

Uchiha Sasuke, the brooding loner who will do anything to avenge his clan and kill his older brother. Yes, this is that story, but with a funny twist. In Naruto: Chibi Sasuke’s Sharingan Legend the characters and story have been flipped on their heads, all for the sake of comedy. With his Taka teammates Suigetsu, Karin and Jugo, Sasuke travels the land and gets into all kinds of wacky adventures. This is a side of Sasuke you’ve never seen before. One bit of advice: do not mock the Uchiha.

“Naruto’s best friend and rival, Sasuke, returns in this hijinks-filled new series,” says Alexis Kirsch, Editor. “We hope fans enjoy the ‘chibi’ art-style that adds to the hilarious flavor of the series, and takes the Naruto canon in a fun new direction!”

Writers Brought in to Re-Write the Script for the Live-Action Naruto Movie

The Hollywood Reporter has reported that Jon and Erich Hoeber are on board to rewrite the script for Lionsgate’s live-action Naruto movie.

The Tracking Board Hollywood news website reported in July 2015 that Lionsgate had acquired the rights to adapt the manga into a live-action film, and was in talks with Michael Gracey to direct. The Naruto and Boruto stage event at the Jump Festa event in 2016 confirmed that Lionsgate and Gracey are working on the film, and that original creator Masashi Kishimoto has involvement with the production. An earlier scriptwriter has never been announced.

The Tracking Board also reported in 2015 that Avi Arad and his son Ari Arad are producing the film at Arad Productions, and Erik Feig, Geoff Shaveitz and Kelly O’Malley are overseeing the film.

Source: ANN

ICv2 Releases List of Top 10 Manga Franchises for Spring 2017

ICv2 has released a chart that ranked the top selling manga franchises from Spring 2017 in the United States. ICv2 stated the data reflects sales in all channels, including comic book stores and online.

1. Sui Ishida’s Tokyo Ghoul manga (VIZ Media)
2. Akira Himekawa’s The Legend of Zelda manga (VIZ Media)
3. Masashi Kishimoto’s Naruto manga (VIZ Media)
4. Hajime Isayama’s Attack on Titan manga (Kodansha Comics)
5. Hidenori Kusaka and Satoshi Yamamoto’s Pokémon Adventures manga (VIZ Media)
6. ONE and Yuusuke Murata’s One-Punch Man manga (VIZ Media)
7. Kentarou Miura’s Berserk manga (Dark Horse Comics)
8. Hiro Mashima’s Fairy Tail manga (Kodansha Comics)
9. Eiichiro Oda’s One Piece manga (VIZ Media)
10. Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Ball/Dragon Ball Z manga (VIZ Media)

Source: ANN

List: My Favorite Anime Dogs

Last time, I shared a list of my five favorite anime cats. To make things fair, this time I’m sharing a list of my five favorite anime dogs. Rather than being a top 5 list, however, I am presenting my choices in alphabetical order.

Akamaru from Naruto

We first officially meet Akamaru in the Naruto anime during the Chunin Exam arc. When the audience first seems him, he comes across as simply being a cute little puppy. But as Kiba battles with Naruto during the exam preliminaries, it’s revealed that there’s more to this little puppy than meets the eye. The Beast Human Clone transformation technique is impressive, and shows how he works well with Kiba. While that certainly is impressive, my favorite technique of Akamaru’s will always be Dynamic Marking.

During the first Naruto anime, we get to see Akamaru help out on missions, primarily with his sense of smell. But I think Akamaru’s finest moments came during the Sasuke Retrieval Arc, when he fought alongside Kiba against Sakon and Ukon.

But when it comes to Akamaru, I have to admit that I liked him a lot more during the episodes of the first Naruto anime. I don’t know why, but the Akamaru that appears in Naruto Shippuden after the timeskip just isn’t as interesting. Maybe it’s because he’s grown a lot and is no longer the cute little puppy, but it also seems to me that Akamaru as a character was also less interesting in Naruto Shippuden.

Black Hayate from Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

Black Hayate was a stray dog found by Master Sergeant Kain Fuery, and he was trying desperately to find someone to take him in, since his dorm would not allow him to keep a pet. Lt. Riza Hawkeye offered to take the dog in, and was the one who gave him his name.

Black Hayate turns out to be an awesome dog who accompanies Hawkeye and the others on missions. Not only is he obedient, it turns out that he has an ability to sense Homunculi. Because of this ability, Mustang gives Black Hayate an unofficial rank of Second Lieutenant.

I really enjoyed Black Hayate’s depiction in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood much more than his depiction in the original Fullmetal Alchemist anime. In Brotherhood, Black Hayate seemed to be treated much more like an actual character than simply as a prop.

Black Hayate is an adorable dog, but he can be strong when he wants to be. Don’t let his cute looks deceive you.

Chouchou from One Piece

Chouchou is introduced during the first story arc that featured Buggy the Clown. Luffy and the other Straw Hats encounter him in Orange Town, guarding his owner’s pet shop. When they first meet, the dog swallows the key to the cage where Luffy was being held by Buggy’s subordinates. So it wasn’t a great initial meeting, but as the Straw Hats and the audience learned about Chouchou’s backstory, he became a much more likable character.

It turns out that Hocker, his owner, had left to go to the doctor. Sadly, Hocker died of an unknown illness and never returned. Even though it seems Chouchou knew deep down inside that Hocker was never coming back, he refused to leave his post and kept his vigil in front of the shop. Chouchou made sure the guard the store from any intruders. So when Chouchou tries to fight against Richie and is defeated, it’s a sad enough event. But to have Chouchou also see his beloved pet shop burn down to the ground was heartbreaking to me as a viewer.

Chouchou’s loyalty and backstory is ultimately what sold me on him, and is why he appears on this list.

Ein from Cowboy Bebop

Ein is a Pembroke Welsh Corgi with greatly enhanced intelligence, and is known as a “data dog.” Ein was stolen from a research facility in the second episode of the series, and Spike ends up with the dog after he apprehends the guy who stole him.

Ein becomes an important fixture on board the Bebop, even though most of the crew members don’t seem to realize it. After Ed joins the crew, the two of them seem to be inseparable. Ed seems to be the only one who can understand Ein through his body language and his barks. Since Ein doesn’t talk, his intelligence seems to go unnoticed by most of the others, which allows him to be treated more like a normal dog.

While it seems like Ein is part of the cast for comic relief, he also has some legitimately great moments in the series that aren’t on the comical side. He’s actually done some things that ultimately either keep the crew of the Bebop out of trouble. Ein is an awesome dog that I think just about any dog lover would want to be able to own.

Ein makes this list due to just how awesome of a dog he is.

Pakkun from Naruto

I normally try not to have more than one item on a list from the same series, but I just couldn’t choose between Akamaru and Pakkun. While they may appear in the same property, these two dogs are very different from each other.

Pakkun is one of Kakashi’s ninja hounds, and unlike Akamaru, has the ability to use human speech. Even though Pakkun may look small and cute, he has a deep and gruff voice. He’s also fiercely proud, even though he gives off a lazy demeanor. When Pakkun was first introduced outside of the group of ninja hounds, it was funny to see this little dog with a gruff voice talking proudly about his supple paws.

Since Pakkun can use human speech, he can give commentary on what’s happening around him. He also tells it like it is, which is definitely one of Pakkun’s defining characteristics. This is a big part of the reason why he made it onto my list.

Naruto: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring Manga to Be Animated for the Boruto Anime

This year’s 32nd issue of Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump magazine has revealed that Masashi Kishimoto’s one-volume Naruto: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring manga is getting animated in the Boruto: Naruto Next Generations anime series.

Even though the issue of Weekly Shonen Jump stated that the arc will premiere in July 2017, the official website for the anime says that the arc will premiere in August 2017.

The manga’s 15th episode on July 12, 2017 will be an epilogue to the “Ghost Incident” arc.

Source: ANN