Discotek Media Announces Anime Releases for June 2022

Discotek Media has announced on Facebook that it will release the Kekkaishi, Yowamushi Pedal New Generation, and Urusei Yatsura: Lum The Forever anime on Blu-ray Disc on June 28, 2022. The company will also release the second season of the Sgt. Frog anime and the Galactic Whirlwind Sasuraiger anime on standard definition Blu-ray Disc (SDBD) and the remastered Blu-ray Disc version of Cyber City Oedo 808 on the same day.

The Kekkaishi Blu-ray Disc release will feature a new HD upscale.

Discotek’s release of Yowamushi Pedal New Generation will will include all 25 episodes of the anime’s third season in Japanese with English subtitles.

Discotek is releasing the Urusei Yatsura anime films with English subtitles and the English dubs from the previous AnimEigo releases.

The company’s release of the second season of Sgt. Frog will include Episodes 52-103 with English subtitles. Episodes 52-78 will also feature FUNimaton Entertainment’s English dub.

Discotek’s release of Galactic Whirlwind Sasuraiger will include all 43 episodes in Japanese with English subtitles.

Yoshiaki Kawajiri, the director of the three-episode Cyber City Oedo 808 OVA, is supervising the new 2K transfer. The remastered version will release as a Steelbook including both the U.S. and U.K. versions of the English dub.

Source: ANN

IMDb Adds the Yowamushi Pedal Anime to Its Amazon Channel

The Fandom Post is reporting that IMDb has added the first season of the Yowamushi Pedal anime to its Amazon channel. All 38 episodes are available with the Japanese audio and English subtitles.

Yowamushi Pedal is described as:

Sakamichi Onoda is a rather timid, anime-loving first-year student at Sohoku High School. Since the fourth grade, he had been riding his commuter bicycle 90-kilometers to and from Tokyo’s otaku hot spot, Akihabara, after school. Upon entering high school, he tried to join the anime research club. But after meeting Imaizumi Shunsuke, a renowned cyclist since middle school, and Naruko Shoukichi, who swept the Kansai cycling championship, he ended up joining the competitive cycling club. All kinds of trials and rigorous training awaited Onoda, but with the support of his many friends and upperclassmen, the talented road racer inside him began to awaken.

Source: The Fandom Post

Discotek Media Announces New Anime Licenses

Discotek Media has announced some new anime home video licenses and releases.

Title: Skull-face Bookseller Honda-san
Format: Blu-ray Disc
Details: The release will include all 12 episodes in Japanese with English subtitles
Release Window: March 2022

Title: Tales of Phantasia the Animation
Format: Blu-ray Disc
Details: The release will include all original video anime episodes in Japanese with English subtitles
Release Window: April 2022

Title: Ms. vampire who lives in my neighborhood
Format: Blu-ray Disc
Details: The release will include all 12 episodes in Japanese with English subtitles
Release Window: February 2022

Title: Galactic Gale Baxinger
Format: Standard Definition Blu-ray Disc
Details: The release will include all 39 episodes in Japanese with English subtitles
Release Window: February 2022

Title: Cat’s Eye
Format: Blu-ray Disc
Details: The first season set will include 36 episodes in Japanese with English subtitles
Release Window: Spring 2022

Title: As Miss Beelzebub Likes
Format: Blu-ray Disc
Details: The release will include all 12 episodes in Japanese with English subtitles
Release Window: March 2022

Title: Yowamushi Pedal New Generation
Format: Blu-ray Disc
Details: The release will include all 25 episodes of the anime’s third season in Japanese with English subtitles
Release Window: April 2022

Title: You Are Umasou
Format: Blu-ray Disc
Details: The release will include both the movies and television anime shorts in Japanese with English subtitles
Release Window: Spring 2022

Title: Angel Cop
Format: Blu-ray Disc Steelbook
Details: The release will be a new edition with the complete OVA series in English and Japanese with subtitles remastered from 35mm source prints, with newly revised subtitles and new extras including a “collectors’ steelbook.”
Release Window: February 2022

Title: Lupin the 3rd: Part I
Format: Blu-ray Disc
Details: The release will include the original Japanese audio with English subtitles and a new English dub from the “core” cast, as well as newly expanded extras
Release Window: Spring 2022

Title: Lupin III: Episode 0 ‘First Contact’
Format: Blu-ray Disc
Details: The release will include the special with remastered/upscaled video in Japanese with English subtitles and with a new English dub from Epcar Entertainment
Release Window: Spring 2022

Title: Mon Colle Knights
Format: Standard Definition Blu-ray Disc
Details: Discotek has located the English-language masters for the series, and it will release this dubbed version on SD-BD
Release Window: TBA

Title: City Hunter 3
Format: Blu-ray Disc
Details: The release will feature remastered 1080p video with Japanese audio and English subtitles
Release Window: March 2022

Title: City Hunter ’91
Format: Blu-ray Disc
Details: The release will feature remastered 1080p video with Japanese audio and English subtitles
Release Window: April 2022

Title: Urusei Yatsura: Lum The Forever
Format: Blu-ray Disc
Details: Discotek is releasing the Urusei Yatsura films with English subtitles and the English dubs from the previous AnimEigo releases. This is the fourth of six films.
Release Window: Spring 2022

Title: The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog
Format: Standard Definition Blu-ray Disc
Details: The release will include all 65 episodes of the American cartoon
Release Window: February 2022

Title: Street Sharks
Format: Standard Definition Blu-ray Disc
Details: The release will include all 40 episodes of the American cartoon
Release Window: April 2022

Source: ANN

Yowamushi Pedal Anime to Get a Fifth Season in October 2022

The official Twitter account for the Yowamushi Pedal anime has announced that a fifth season titled Yowamushi Pedal Limit Break has been green-lit for an October 2022 premiere.

The first season of Yowamushi Pedal premiered in 2013. The second season, titled Yowamushi Pedal Grande Road, premiered in 2014 and ended in March 2015. Yowamushi Pedal New Generation, the series’ third season, premiered in January 2017. Yowamushi Pedal Glory Line, the fourth season, premiered in January 2018. Crunchyroll simulcast all four seasons as they aired.

Yowamushi Pedal Re:RIDE, the first compilation film for the anime, premiered in September 2014. A second compilation film titled Yowamushi Pedal Re: ROAD premiered in June 2015. That film adapted the second season. The first original film in the franchise, Yowamushi Pedal: The Movie, opened in Japan in August 2015. Another compilation film adapting the third season, Yowamushi Pedal Re:Generation, opened in Japan in October 2017.

FUNimation Entertainment is streaming the first two seasons of the anime and the Yowamushi Pedal Re:RIDE, Yowamushi Pedal Re: ROAD, and Yowamushi Pedal: The Movie anime films.

Source: ANN

FUNimation Entertainment to Add More Titles to Its Streaming Service on June 3, 2021

FUNimation Entertainment has announced that it is adding the following titles from Gonzo and TMS Entertainment on June 3, 2021:

  • Bananya Season 1: Available subtitled and with an English dub in the United States and Canada
  • Bokurano: Available subtitled in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Brazil and Mexico; on AnimeLab in Australia and New Zealand; and on Wakanim in France and Germany
  • ItaKiss: Available subtitled in the United States and Canada
  • Magic Knight Rayearth: Available subtitled and in English dub in the United States and Canada
  • The Pilot’s Love Song: Available subtitled in the United States and Canada
  • Yowamushi Pedal: Available subtitled in the United States and Canada
  • Yowamushi Pedal GRANDE ROAD: Available subtitled in the United States and Canada
  • Yowamushi Pedal Re:RIDE: Available subtitled in the United States and Canada
  • Yowamushi Pedal Re:ROAD: Available subtitled in the United States and Canada
  • Yowamushi Pedal: The Movie: Available subtitled in the United States and Canada

Source: FUNimation Entertainment

Pluto TV Adds Yowamushi Pedal: The Movie Anime Film to Its Service

The Fandom Post is reporting that Pluto TV has added Yowamushi Pedal: The Movie to its service. The film is available with Japanese audio and English subtitles.

The story of Yowamushi Pedal: The Movie is described as:

After winning the heated Inter-High race, Sakamichi and the other Sohoku team members receive an invitation to compete in the Kumamoto Hi Province Mountain Range Race towards the end of summer. The top-tier teams from around the country compete in this race, including Sohoku’s rivals Hakone Academy (which yearns to take down Sohoku), Kyoto Fushimi, and Hiroshima Kureminami — as well as Kumamoto Daiichi High School’s team led by Shin Yoshimoto.

On the stage of Kumamoto Prefecture’s Mount Aso, the “final race of the Sohoku team, led by Kinjou, speeds up.

Source: The Fandom Post

AsianCrush Is Streaming the Yowamushi Pedal: The Movie Anime Film

The Fandom Post is reporting that AsianCrush has added Yowamushi Pedal: The Movie to its service. As of this writing, the film is available with Japanese audio and English subtitles.

The story of Yowamushi Pedal: The Movie is described as:

After winning the heated Inter-High race, Sakamichi and the other Sohoku team members receive an invitation to compete in the Kumamoto Hi Province Mountain Range Race towards the end of summer. The top-tier teams from around the country compete in this race, including Sohoku’s rivals Hakone Academy (which yearns to take down Sohoku), Kyoto Fushimi, and Hiroshima Kureminami — as well as Kumamoto Daiichi High School’s team led by Shin Yoshimoto.

On the stage of Kumamoto Prefecture’s Mount Aso, the “final race” of Sohoku team, led by Kinjou, speeds up.

Source: The Fandom Post

Anime Soundtrack Review: Yowamushi Pedal O.S.T. 1

Yowamushi Pedal O.S.T 1 is a 32-track CD that contains background instrumental score from the Yowamushi Pedal anime series. The score was composed by Kan Sawada.

Yowamushi Pedal O.S.T. 1
Publisher: Toho Co., Ltd.
Release Date: September 17, 2014

The first track on the disc is “Sakamichi,” and it’s an instantly recognizable piece of music from the anime. The title “Sakamichi” is fitting, because this is definitely Sakamichi’s theme music. It’s an upbeat track, and it fits with Sakamichi’s personality. This is a piece that’s usually heard after Sakamichi has something good happen to him in a race. The next track is “Sohoku High School Bicycling Club,” and it’s a variation on “Sakamichi.” It has a similar sound but it is slower in tempo.

This is followed by “Morning Practice,” which is a piece that’s always heard in the background if the club members are doing something in the morning, such as practicing in the morning or getting going for the day. I love the emphasis on the piano in the track, but then other instruments are added as the piece progresses. Next is “Foundation,” which seems to be a variation on “Morning Practice.” This piece has a similar structure, except the arrangement is not as “airy” as “Morning Practice.”

The next track on the disc is “Love For Bicycles,” which has an emphasis on acoustic guitar and piano instead of the orchestral sound of the previous four tracks. After this is “Cycle Shop Kanzaki,” which is a very upbeat piece that focuses on brass instruments and piano. It’s a recognizable piece of music and is usually associated either with the bicycle shop or with Miki Kanzaki.

This is followed by “Akiba!,” which is the music you hear when Sakamichi goes to Akihabara, or when he’s thinking about going there. It’s another recognizable piece of the score, and to me, it almost feels as if it was inspired by Latin or salsa or something along those lines. The mixture of the electronics and strings is also nice here. Next is “Your Anime Club,” which almost sounds like a more downbeat and minimal version of “Akiba!”

“Resurrecting The Anime Club!” has a very electronic sound to it, and it’s not an instantly recognizable piece to me. My guess is that it only appeared in the early episodes of the series before Sakamichi joined Sohoku’s Bicycle Racing Club. It’s a nice piece, though. This is followed by “Battle Of The School Store,” which is a very upbeat piece that utilizes guitar, piano and percussion, along with some electronic instruments. I know I’ve heard this a few times in the series because I recognize it. I think it usually shows up when Naruko and Imaizumi are competing with each other.

The next track on this disc is “Car Sickness,” and it has a strong focus on electronic instruments. It almost makes me think of some of electronic music that came out in the West in the 1970’s. “Tadokoro’s Special Burger” is a more orchestral piece that builds in intensity. It’s not a piece I instantly recognize, but from the title, it appears to be a theme attached to Tadokoro.

This is followed by “Strange Feeling,” and it focuses on the electronic instruments but adds in strings as it goes along. I know it’s a piece I’ve heard because I recognize this. I’m pretty sure it shows up when something strange is happening. “High Cadence” is a very recognizable piece of music, and it shows up when Sakamichi picks up his cadence and wows people around him with how fast he’s going. It’s a piece that’s shown up a lot over the course of the series.

“Sakamichi’s Smile” is another variation on “Sakamichi.” It’s very similar, but it seems to just be a slight bit slower in tempo. It’s also about 30 seconds shorter. Next is “Curiosity,” which is a track that relies more on the electronic instruments, with some horns thrown in. This is another very recognizable piece of the score, and it usually shows up when one of the characters is curious about something that’s going on.

The next track on the disc is “Huge Stone Wall,” and it is a much more downbeat piece that builds in intensity. I have to admit that this isn’t one of the score pieces that’s instantly recognizable to me. It’s a good piece, but I just can’t place it off the top of my head. “Legs Can’t Move” is a haunting piece, and from the title, it’s used when a rider is having problems while riding their bike (such as not being able to move their legs because they’re worn out).

This is followed by “Monologue,” and it has a strong emphasis on flutes and woodwind instruments, which is a bit more unusual for this soundtrack. It’s another great piece of music, but I just can’t place where it comes from off the top of my head. “Close Game” has a strong emphasis on strings, piano, and electronics. This is a piece of music I instantly recognize, and it shows up when a race is getting close and a rider is thinking about what’s going on.

“Pulling Over” is a track that is more intense, and I recognize it from the races in the series. It’s a piece that shows up when a race is getting intense. Next is “Rising Feelings,” and this is one of those pieces that’s instantly recognizable to viewers of the series. It shows up during a race when it appears that things may be turning around in a race for one of the characters.

The next track on the disc is “Turnabout,” which is another instantly recognizable piece. It shows up as a situation turns around during a race, hence the title of the track. “Top Sprinter” has an interesting sound to it, and some of this sounds like a variation of “Turnabout.” It’s a little slower in tempo, but some of the instrumentation is a little more intense.

This is followed by “Game Of Tag,” which has a very electronic sound to it. The best way to describe this track is that it’s “thumpy.” This is another piece I recognize, between the fact that it’s used a bit in the series, plus it has a very unique sound when compared to many of the other score pieces that are used in the series. “A Heavy Body” sounds like a variation of “Close Game,” although it seems to have a little more in the way of instruments in its arrangement.

“Patience” starts out slow, but then suddenly becomes a very upbeat and guitar-oriented piece. This is another piece that I recognize from the soundtrack. I find it kind of amusing that this is labeled as “Patience,” because this is not what I would imagine a piece with this title sounding like. Next is “Two-Click Shift Up,” which is another very memorable piece of the score that’s heard on a regular basis in the races. I like the mixture of guitar, keyboards, and electronics on this one.

The next track on the disc is “Promise,” which is another piece I recognize instantly. It usually shows up when Sakamichi makes a promise to one of his team members. It’s more of a midtempo track and it kind of makes me think of a military march for some reason. “Bond” is a midtempo track, but it has an “airy” sound to its musical arrangement. It’s not a piece that’s instantly recognizable to me, though. But as I listen to it, it seems to incorporate a little bit of a variation of “Sakamichi” near the end of the track.

“View Of The Peak” is yet another variation of “Sakamichi,” although this one is much slower. It’s also a little shorter than “Sakamichi.” I guess it shouldn’t be too surprising how many variations there are on Sakamichi’s theme, since he is the protagonist, after all. The final track on the disc is “Heart Full Of Expectation,” which is a more midtempo piece that I kind of recognize from the series.

Overall, I really enjoyed Yowamushi Pedal O.S.T. 1. This disc contains quite a few of the recognizable score pieces from Yowamushi Pedal, which helps to make this a great listening experience because of how much I enjoy the anime. Even though a small handful of pieces weren’t recognizable to me, I still enjoyed them. Kan Sawada has done such a great job composing the score for Yowamushi Pedal, and the talent on display in these pieces is incredible.

I would highly recommend Yowamushi Pedal O.S.T. 1 to fans of the Yowamushi Pedal anime. Unfortunately, as of this writing, it seems like the only place you can find and get a brand new copy of this directly from a retailer is at CDJapan.

Additional posts about Yowamushi Pedal:

My Favorite Anime Opening Themes From the 2000’s to the Present

Recently, I posted a list of my favorite anime opening themes that came out between the 1970’s and 1990’s. This is a follow-up to that post, and it is a list of my five favorite anime opening themes that came out between 2000 and the present.

Instead of publishing this as a top 5 list, I will be sharing my favorites by organizing them in alphabetical order. I will be using the titles to alphabetize the list.

For whatever reason, WordPress is not allowing me to embed YouTube videos into my post. Instead, I have made the title of each song a link to a YouTube video.

V6 – “Change The World” (Inuyasha)

Fans of Inuyasha will recognize this as the first opening theme song for the series, which was released in 2000(!). It’s hard to believe that the Inuyasha anime premiered 20 years ago.

“Change The World” is a catchy song musically, and the vocalist for V6 delivers the lyrics so earnestly and so enthusiastically. This is a perfect blend to make this a memorable song and stand out as an exceptional opening theme for an anime series.

Joe Inoue – “Closer” (Naruto Shippuden)

This song was used as the fourth opening theme song for the Naruto Shippuden anime series. Of the theme songs for Naruto Shippuden, this one has always stood out to me. It’s catchy as heck, and I love the feel of this song musically. Whenever I hear it, I can easily see the visuals from the opening credits in my head.

When the final theme song soundtrack was released for Naruto Shippuden, there weren’t enough tracks to fill the disc, so they had fans vote for their favorite themes. Not surprisingly, Joe Inoue’s “Closer” was among the fan-chosen songs that appeared on that soundtrack. And according to Wikipedia, if it’s accurate, “Closer” was only the second single of Joe Inoue’s career. Wow!

Dean Fujioka – “History Maker” (Yuri!!! On Ice)

From the first note of this opening theme, you can hear there’s something special about it. It doesn’t sound like a typical anime opening theme song, which catches your attention immediately. Also, it’s one of those rare anime opening themes that’s sung entirely in English.

I love the upbeat and positive vibe of the song, as well as what the song is saying with its lyrics. And Dean Fujioka’s vocal performance just blows me away every time. You can hear his conviction as he sings the lyrics, and combining his vocal delivery with this musical arrangement sends chills down my spine.

Yuki – “Melody of the Slope” (Kids on the Slope)

This theme song was written by anime composer Yoko Kanno for Kids on the Slope, an anime about music. Even though the music featured in the series is jazz, this pop song includes jazz references in its lyrics, which helps to tie it in with the anime that the song was composed for.

I love the dynamics of this song, and how it goes from being soft to packing a punch and becoming catchy. The song does this at least a couple of times, and it sounds natural rather than jarring. Yoko Kanno composed another winner with this one.

ROOKIEZ is PUNK’D – “Reclimb” (Yowamushi Pedal)

When I went to watch the first episode of Yowamushi Pedal, I wasn’t entirely sure about what I was walking into. Yes, I read the description about it being about a high school bicycle racing club, but that was all I knew. I had never considered myself a fan of sports anime prior to this, so I didn’t think I’d enjoy the show. Well, the show grabbed me within its first couple of episodes, and I think this catchy opening theme song also helped.

It’s an upbeat song that you would expect to accompany a sports anime, and you can’t help but move along with it when you hear it. The vocalists on this song help to accentuate the exuberance of the music with their enthusiastic vocal delivery.

Unison Square Garden – “Tracing Orion” (Tiger & Bunny)

This opening theme is a fun and upbeat number, and not one you would initially expect for an anime about superheroes. However, as you watch the series and experience the tone of the writing, the sound of this opening theme makes a lot more sense.

I know I say this a lot, but this is a catchy song. But I think that being catchy is one of the ingredients to having a successful anime opening theme song. Sometimes originality helps, but I think that how catchy and memorable a song is helps to determine how classic and loved an anime opening theme song is in the long run.

Additional list:

Manga Review: Yowamushi Pedal Volume 14

Yowamushi Pedal Volume 14 focuses on Onoda Sakamichi, and on his final competition to reach the finish line at the Inter-High Race.

Yowamushi Pedal Volume 14
Written by: Wataru Watanabe
Publisher: Akita Publishing Co., Ltd.
English Publisher: Yen Press
Release Date: April 28, 2020

Volume 14 begins with Sakamichi and Manami racing to determine who will ultimately cross the finish line on the final day of the Inter-High Race. In fact, almost half of this volume covers the final stretch of the race, the aftermath, and the awards ceremony afterward. The final competition between Sakamichi and Manami takes place during the first six chapters of the volume. This sounds like a lot, but it doesn’t feel terribly drawn out. We get a flashback early on of Manami and his class rep when they were younger, and we get to see how Manami got so interested in bicycle racing. I think it’s a little ironic and kind of amusing that it’s thanks to the class rep that he’s become the racer that he is now.

We also get a great scene here when Sakamichi’s mother realizes that it’s her son, and not someone with the same name, in the race. At first she’s surprised, but we see in her thoughts that she’s proud and supportive of what he’s doing. It’s kind of funny when she calls out to Sakamichi to cheer him on, and he instinctively replies to her, even though he doesn’t know that she’s there.

But when we get the panels where Sakamichi and Onoda are racing to the finish line, I appreciate the pacing and relative lack of dialogue. I thought that Watanabe perfectly builds up the tension during this final stretch. And when the winner is decided, Watanabe finds the perfect pacing to let that tension go and for the relief to set in. I liked how this was handled in the anime, and I’m impressed to see how well this was conveyed in the original manga source material.

We then see a transition for both Sohoku and Hakone Academy’s teams. For Sohoku, they learn that Makishima is leaving early in order to start college outside of Japan. This sudden departure shakes Sakamichi, and we see how this affects him mentally. Although he’s gotten a new bike from the Kanzakis that is lighter and should enhance Sakamichi’s abilities, the emotional baggage of Makishima’s leaving seems to be bogging him down. This is something that is addressed after Junta Teshima becomes the new captain of Sohoku’s team.

Meanwhile, Hakone Academy names a new captain, which is Touichirou Izumida (if you don’t recognize the name, he’s the one with the pectoral muscles that he’s named Andy and Frank). Helping him out will be Yukinari Kuroda and Ashikiba Takuto. It turns out that Ashikiba and Teshima were part of the same bicycle racing club in middle school. Now that Teshima is the new captain for Sohoku, Watanabe wasted no time in doing something to start providing some character development for him. I think this is a good thing, since prior to this, Teshima was more of a background character.

Hakone Academy decides to use this connection between Ashikiba and Teshima in order to get Ashikiba to compete in an upcoming race that Hakone Academy normally doesn’t participate in. Ashikiba’s job is to race against Sakamichi and win. But as we see in this volume, Ashikiba isn’t exactly the sharpest tool in the shed. He’s tall and has an interesting way that he rides his bike, but he doesn’t appear to be terribly bright. The reunion between Teshima and Ashikiba is awkward, as one would expect. This volume ends before this race concludes, so the reader is left on a little bit of a cliffhanger.

While I’ve seen the third season of the Yowamushi Pedal anime, I’m still excited to see how this originally was depicted in the manga. The transition from the original team to the team that’s now being led by Teshima was very smooth. I really can’t say too much more without potentially providing spoilers, though.

Even though I’m already familiar with the content in this volume from watching the Yowamushi Pedal anime, I still enjoy seeing it in its original manga source material. It’s been a while since I last saw the third season of Yowamushi Pedal, so reading the second half of this volume was a nice refresher for me. If you read the Yowamushi Pedal manga and enjoy it, then this volume is a “must read,” especially since it has both the end of the Inter-High Race and the transition to the new teams for both Sohoku and Hakone Academy included in it.

Additional post about Yowamushi Pedal: