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Perfect Square Reveals 2014 Comic-Con Schedule & Exclusives

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Perfect Square Logo 300x300 Perfect Square Reveals 2014 Comic Con Schedule & Exclusives

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

VISIT VIZ MEDIA AT COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL, BOOTH #2813

VIZ MEDIA’S PERFECT SQUARE IMPRINT ANNOUNCES FUN EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES FOR 2014 COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL

All-Ages Imprint Celebrates The Launch Of CATBUG And The HELLO KITTY Brand’s 40th Anniversary With In-Booth Artist Appearances, Photo Opportunities, Advance Copies Of Forthcoming Titles And Much More At The Nation’s Largest Comics And Pop Culture Event

Viz Comic Con 2014 Hello Kitty Hello 40 20140718 263x300 Perfect Square Reveals 2014 Comic Con Schedule & ExclusivesSan Francisco, CA, July 22, 2014 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest distributor and licensor of anime and manga in North America, prepares to delight the young and young at heart with a variety of engaging activities, in-booth artists signings and other fun events presented by its Perfect Square imprint and aimed at fans of all ages at the 2014 Comic-Con International.

Comic-Con International is the nation’s biggest comic book, science fiction and pop culture event, and takes place July 23rd-27th at the San Diego Convention Center, in San Diego, CA. VIZ Media will be located in Booth 2813. Complete details on Comic-Con are available at: www.comic-con.org.

Perfect Square will present a range of activities and attractions each day throughout Comic-Con. Fans will also be able to purchase advance copies of several forthcoming Perfect Square titles ahead of their scheduled release dates later this summer. Notable titles that will be available during Comic-Con at the VIZ Media booth include BRAVEST WARRIORS: THE SEARCH FOR CATBUG ($30.00) a special Comic-Con limited edition with foil-accented cover and gilded pages – only 250 made – don’t miss the chance to have it autographed by many of the CATBUG artists, including official Bravest Warriors comics artist Ian McGinty, Codename: Kids Next Door creator Mr. Warburton and Ben 10 Omniverse artists Jon Chad and Corin Howell (and more!) at exclusive in-booth signings; BRAVEST WARRIORS: CATBUG’S TREASURE BOOK ($13.00), a pictures-and-words journal, will be sold with a limited edition poster; HELLO KITTY, HELLO 40, a commemorative art book ($50.00) a special Comic-Con limited edition with foil-accented cover and gilded pages – only 250 copies printed – don’t miss the chance to have it signed by HELLO KITTY artists at the exclusive in-booth signing. Fans can also catch a variety of freebies and promo item giveaways throughout the convention along with manga samplers, posters, temporary tattoos, posters, postcards, buttons and more. Also don’t miss the return of the VIZ MEDIA convention tote bag, FREE with any purchase and available in four amazing colorful designs, including HELLO KITTY and UGLYDOLL!

Perfect Square Comic-Con Panels & Special Events:

Thursday July 24th

10:00AM & 4:00PM      UGLYDOLL PHOTO OPPORTUNITY

                                      VIZ Media Booth #2813

Drop by the VIZ Media booth for a photo with an UGLYDOLL pal!

Friday July 25th

10:00AM & 1:00PM      CATBUG VOICE ACTOR SAM LAVAGNINO

                                      In-Booth Signing & Personal Appearance

VIZ Media Booth #2813

Meet the voice of Catbug, the breakout star of YouTube hit Bravest Warriors, and receive a signed art card!

4:00pm – 5:00pm        BRAVEST WARRIORS ARTIST SIGNING

VIZ Media Booth #2813

Meet talented artists including Stu Livingston, Mr. Warburton, Ian McGinty, Jon Chad and Inori Fukuda Trant for their brand new book, a seek-and-find style artbook featuring Catbug, the breakout star of the YouTube smash-hit BRAVEST WARRIORS series and get your VIZ Media BRAVEST WARRIORS book or sampler signed!

Saturday July 26th

10:00AM – 11:00AM             HELLO KITTY PHOTO OP & ARTIST SIGNING

VIZ Media Booth #2813

Join Hello Kitty and a team of talented artists from the forthcoming HELLO KITTY: HELLO 40 commemorative art book including Eisner-Award winning team Art & Franco, Babymouse creators Jennifer and Matt Holm and Long Tail Kitty creator Lark Pien for a special signing and photo opportunity!

Sunday July 27th

10:00AM – 11:00AM             HELLO KITTY PHOTO OP & ARTIST SIGNING

VIZ Media Booth #2813

Join Hello Kitty and her artist friends for a special second signing and photo opportunity. Fans can meet artists including Brianne Drouhard, Stephanie Gonzaga, Martin Hsu, and Chynna Clugston Flores. Copies of the forthcoming HELLO KITTY: HELLO 40 art book will also be available for sale and fans can have it autographed by the appearing artists.

1:00PM – 2:00PM         HELLO KITTY ARTIST SIGNING

VIZ Media Booth #2813

Meet talented HELLO KITTY, HELLO 40 contributors Corin Howell, Susie Ghahremani, Debbie Huey and Jacob Chabot, and get your limited edition copy signed!

2:00PM – 3:00PM         PERFECT SQUARE PRESENTS – MAKING KIDS COMICS AWESOME

                                      Panel Discussion Room 32AB

Bravest Warriors Search for Catbug Cover 20140722 226x300 Perfect Square Reveals 2014 Comic Con Schedule & ExclusivesBring your kids and join creators and editors from across the industry for a lively roundtable. What are the challenges of entertaining different age levels at the same time?  Kids can also try their hand at pitching ideas, and hear how the panelists would craft those ideas into real comics, during a one-of-a-kind interactive Q&A.Featuring as moderator writer Tom Pinchuk (MAX STEEL) and as panelists, writer/artist Katie Cook (My Little Pony), writer Jenni L. Holm (Baby Mouse), editor Shannon Watters (kaBOOM!, Adventure Time), editor Sarah Gaydos (IDW Kids Comics) and writer/editor Joel Enos (BEN 10, Perfect Square).

VIZ Media’s Perfect Square imprint focuses on delivering original comics, manga (graphic novels) and other children’s books with an emphasis on strong storytelling, eye-popping graphics, empowering themes, and a dash of irreverence, that captures the imagination of a whole new generation.

Additional information on titles published by Perfect Square is available at http://ift.tt/QUMCwS.

For more information on other manga titles from VIZ Media, please visit www.VIZ.com.

About VIZ Media, LLC

Headquartered in San Francisco, California, VIZ Media distributes, markets and licenses the best anime and manga titles direct from Japan.  Owned by three of Japan’s largest manga and animation companies, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions, Co., Ltd., VIZ Media has the most extensive library of anime and manga for English speaking audiences in North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. With its popular digital manga anthology WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP and blockbuster properties like NARUTO, BLEACH and INUYASHA, VIZ Media offers cutting-edge action, romance and family friendly properties for anime, manga, science fiction and fantasy fans of all ages.  VIZ Media properties are available as graphic novels, DVDs, animated television series, feature films, downloadable and streaming video and a variety of consumer products.  Learn more about VIZ Media, anime and manga at www.VIZ.com.

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Perfect Square Reveals 2014 Comic-Con Schedule & Exclusives
Mike Ferreira


from Perfect Square Reveals 2014 Comic-Con Schedule & Exclusives
KickColle Profile: Semi by Nezumi

Anime Herald
Anime Herald - We’ll talk nerdy to you.

Project Name: Semi Comic Book – Volume # 1 

End Date: 8/7/2014

Goal: $4,500

What Is It?

KickColle Profile Semi 004 20140721 240x300 KickColle Profile: Semi by NezumiSemi is an Original English Manga series written by Nezumi and illustrated by Eudetenis.

The title is an supernatural action comedy that revolves around Kajitsu Kura, a girl who aspires to lead a powerful gang. To make her dream a reality, though, the girl needs to find members. her first target? A seemingly fearful lad named Minoru, who has truly incredible abilities.

To make matters more complicated, a handsome stranger arrives, claiming to be both a god and Kajitsu’s father. God Dad wants his daughter to take up the family business, which involves protecting the human domain, and hunting those with the blood of monstrous beings known as Nakara. Will she be able to realize her dream and still protect humanity?

The KickStarter goal of $4,500 will cover printing, rewards, and most major fees associated with production. Notable donation tiers include the following:

  • $15: Thank you note in the first book, and digital copy of Semi Volume 1
  • $25: Thank you note in the first book, and digital copy of the Semi Volume 1, physical copy of Semi Volume 1, one print, one bookmark
  • $65 (Limited): Thank you note in the first book, and digital copy of the Semi Volume 1, physical copy of Semi Volume 1, one print, one bookmark, one charm, one card, one poster
  • $95: (Limited): Thank you note in the first book, and digital copy of the Semi Volume 1, physical copy of Semi Volume 1, two prints, two bookmarks, two charms, two cards, two posters

Why Profile This Title?

Semi is a title that combines strong storytelling with attractive artwork. The premise is inventive, and has plenty of room to grow, while the characters are well-developed and charming. The project’s creators show a great deal of affection for the property, which shows through in each frame of every page.

The goals presented are realistic, and the staff is grounded in the realm of reality. There are no outlandish claims, and the general timetable of an April 2015 delivery is fair, as it gives leeway for the production process, and provides enough time for the project to be completed in full. Nezumi and Eudetenis built a small buffer for unforeseen circumstances, and they do seem genuinely interested in delivering the product on time and on budget.

Intro Video

Creator Interview

For this interview, we spoke with Nezumi over Skype on July 19, 2014. We want to thank her for sitting with us to discuss the project!

Note: Interview edited for clarity

Anime Herald: First off, I’d like to say thanks for sitting with us. It’s great to meet you.

Nezumi: Same!

KickColle Profile Semi 001 20140721 213x300 KickColle Profile: Semi by NezumiAnime Herald: For those who haven’t heard of Semi, can you tell us a bit about the series?

Nezumi: Well, it’s based on a little girl, who decides that she wants to be a gang leader. And it starts out, where, you know, that seems like that’s the only little focus. But, very quickly, we find out there’s a whole lot of supernatural things going on. Her estranged father shows up, and he claims to be a god, said he wants her to work for him.

And, from there on, everything just gets kind of complex, crazy, and, you know, fun! (laughs)

Anime Herald: Absolutely! And you chose a very interesting art style for this project. It’s very clearly inspired by manga titles, but it has its own unique spin. What led you to go with this direction?

Nezumi: Well, honestly? My first idea for this was actually a more American-styled comic. And then I went from there, and, then, you know, I’ve always been, like, a huge manga fan since I was a child. So I ended up going from there, and then changing my plans, and I started looking for an anime-type artist.

And I was having a really hard time with that because, you know, there’s a lot of people who can draw very very well. But when it comes to putting together pages? It’s not so easy. (laughs) And I ended up on my artist by chance. I can’t remember exactly how, but I was surfing DeviantArt, and I came on to one of her pages. And I pretty much fell in love with her art style! So I think it really was chance that I found her in the first place!

Anime Herald: Turned out very well, actually.

Nezumi: Yeah! A lot of people seem to really like her art style. I know I do! I’m actually happy I went with that rather than going with my very first choice! (laughs)

Anime Herald: Definitely. And why did you decide to take this to a crowdfunding platform, and why KickStarter in particular?

Nezumi: Well, Kickstarter is really, really well known. We keep hearing projects that are coming from KickStarter and they’re just getting funded, over-funded. It’s a very popular platform to use. There’s a lot of other crowd funding sites, but when you compare them all, that’s the one that’s at the top. So I went towards that one, rather than the other ones. And I decided to do crowd funding because it’s very expensive to print a book.

And there actually aren’t grants given anymore, either, like there was in the past. So this was really the only option to get it printed. It has to be through KickStarter.

KickColle Profile Semi 003 20140721 300x122 KickColle Profile: Semi by Nezumi

Anime Herald: It looks like you have a $4,500 goal for this. What would you the breakdown is that would go to the project itself?

Nezumi: A little over 3,500 goes into the print. I found an overseas printer in China. It was a very good price. The only thing was you have to print at least 1,000 copies. But in the end, it was still a better choice than printing here in America. The price here was just crazy for a lesser amount.

So I went with that, and I got a quote of around $3,500. But then I had to factor in the taxes that KickStarter and Amazon take, which is about 10%. And then I had to factor in the rewards and the shipping. So that’s how I got to the $4,500.

About $3,500 goes toward the books, around $500 or so goes toward the rewards and the shipping, and the last $500 was the taxes. I didn’t want to have a surprise. You know, it gets funded and I’m happy, and then I see that I don’t have enough money to ship out to the backers. Because that would just be horrible.

Anime Herald: Absolutely. And at this point, it looks like you’re just about halfway there. If you manage to make that $4,500 point, are you guys planning any stretch goals?

Nezumi: Yes. I have quite a few planned up! I was waiting to announce them until 75%. But I have extra prints for the first stretch goal, extra prints, extra posters… After that I was planning some bookmarks and a calendar. I really hope we can get to the calendar! (laughs)

I was planning a calendar, hardcover version of the books, body pillows, and lastly, if it just happened to really soar out of control, a copy of volume 2.

Anime Herald: And what has the experience been, interacting and working directly with your backers on this?

Nezumi: Well, I’m really, really enjoying speaking with my backers! (laughs) Especially the ones like 10Gage and Tok. There’s been about four of them so far, and they’re really, really, really great and offer a whole lot of support! So it’s really nice to meet new people! So that hs probably been the best part about it. And seeing people who actually don’t even know me, but they’re actually willing to put money down on a project that I put my all into, it makes me feel pretty good!

KickColle Profile Semi 002 20140721 300x231 KickColle Profile: Semi by Nezumi

Anime Herald: Are there any KickStarters that you have particular interest in? Anything that you’re currently following at the moment as well?

Nezumi: Yes! I am following a manga, it’s called Altar Girl. The creator is really, really, really sweet and I really liked her stuff. So I was following that.

There was one that’s already ended, and it’s very successful. It was for a game, I think it was OMORI? I don’t know if you’ve heard of it, but it was a very old-school looking game that was obviously inspired by EarthBound. I’m not sure if you heard of that either, but I absolutely loved the look of it, and I had to back. And I was very happy when that one succeeded. I can’t wait to get my copy!

Anime Herald: One final question: Is there anything that you’d like to say to our readers? Anything you’d like to say about the project in general?

Nezumi: Well, I have to say that it’s going to be a very, very long series, and that there’s going to be a whole lot of interesting things happening. And I’m just sure that, if they take a look at it and they’re into manga and anime, and things like that, they’re totally going to enjoy it.

KickColle Profile: Semi by Nezumi
Mike Ferreira


from KickColle Profile: Semi by Nezumi
Toon Makers’s Sailor Moon Pilot Was Terribad, Yet Amazing

Anime Herald
Anime Herald - We’ll talk nerdy to you.

Did you know that Sailor Moon could have become a drastically different series in its North American run? In 1994, American animation studio Toon Makers partnered with Bandai and Renaissance Atlantic to produce a pilot for a distinctly American version of Takeuchi’s popular series.

The proposed show would have been a mix of live action and animated sequences, much like how Mighty Morphin Power Rangers would use American footage to frame Japan-filmed Super Sentai fight scenes.

Also, Sailor Mercury was in a wheelchair, for some reason. We don’t know why, she just was.

Thankfully, this version of Sailor Moon never came to pass. Toon Maker lost the bidding for the property, and the series was abandoned on their part. In roughly 2006, western audiences got their first and only taste of the doomed titles when a two-minute promo video was shown during an Otaku Hell panel at an anime convention.

The promo, which has since been dubbed “Saban Moon”, has since leaked to video sharing sites across the internet. Everywhere, from YouTube to DailyMotion hosts it in some form for everybody to see.

It’s cheesy, it’s cringe-worthy, and it looks like a crazy mish-mash of Power Rangers, Jem, and Blossom. It has everything you’d expect in a promo for a ’90s kids’ show: random dancing, shots where the entire cast just smiles at each other, low-budget animation, an “extreme!” wipe in for the logo, and awkward CGI transformation sequences.

In short: It’s like a train wreck. It’s horrific, there’s probably going to be some form of carnage, but you just can’t look away.

For those that want to know more, the Sailor Moon News blog managed to acquire a copy of the pilot’s full script, which they’ve posted online for our enjoyment.

Before you ask, though: no. It really doesn’t get better.

Toon Makers’s Sailor Moon Pilot Was Terribad, Yet Amazing
Mike Ferreira


from Toon Makers’s Sailor Moon Pilot Was Terribad, Yet Amazing
New Feature: KickColle Profiles

Anime Herald
Anime Herald - We’ll talk nerdy to you.

KickColle Logo Small New Feature: KickColle Profiles

In the world today, KickStarter is kind of a thing. It’s the biggest, most popular crowd-funding site on the web. Over 6.6 million backers have contributed over $1 billion across over 65,000 projects.

No matter how you spin that, it’s impressive.

In the anime world, we’ve begun to see an increasing number of small creators, companies, and organizations turn to KickStarter to realize their collective goals. Some are grand spectacles, like AnimEigo’s drive to put out the definitive release of Bubblegum Crisis, Harmony Gold’s attempt to get more mileage from the Robotech Brand, or Production I.G.’s drive to create a brand new anime title. Most of them, though, are personal, intimate works of passion of adoration. Beneath the World End Economicas and the Kick-Hearts, we begin to see so many hard-working, ardent folks, who are trying to realize their dreams.

These people could be anybody. It might be a duo trying to finish up an anime-themed bar in Thailand. It could be a pair of artists that want to bring their life’s work to the printed page. Or, frankly, it could be a group of people who want to make goofy stickers. They’re all linked, though, by a drive to make something amazing happen.

I’d like to be brutally honest for a moment. When I started KickColle in June, I wasn’t sure where things would go, or which direction it would go. What I did know was that:

  • Most KickStarter projects don’t get seen by the larger market
  • There are a lot of promising projects that simply go unfunded
  • KickStarter’s search functions, to be blunt, kind of suck. They feel like they’re designed to discourage users from looking for specific items

Since launch, though, I’ve been thinking of what more we could do with KickColle. I’ve been asking the question of what else KickColle cound (and should) become. And, with each update and each addition, arose a new story, and a new dream. There are so many tales to tell out there, and so many interesting projects that seem to be overlooked on a daily basis.

So, starting today, we’ll be launching KickColle profiles. Basically, we’ll be highlighting KickStarter drives that stand out – projects that have great potential (or are just plain cool), and reaching out to the creators about their goals for the drive.

The first feature will go live tonight, so I hope you look forward to it!

New Feature: KickColle Profiles
Mike Ferreira


from New Feature: KickColle Profiles
Moon Animate, Make Up! Is A Fun & Touching Tribute To Sailor Moon

Anime Herald
Anime Herald - We’ll talk nerdy to you.

In April, we wrote a brief article on Moon Animate, Make Up!, one of the most ambitious fan projects in anime fandom to date. Moon Animate, Make Up! is a collaborative effort, that saw over 250 passionate, creative fans coming together to re-animate a full episode of the 1990s dubbed version of Sailor Moon. Each segment, which ranges from one to ten seconds, is animated by one of these volunteers in his or her own personal style.

The participants on the project span the entire skill spectrum, from hobbyists to industry professionals that worked on shows like Bob’s Burgers. At the time, we mentioned that the project looked to be a perfect storm of artistry and affection, that blends the absolute adoration of Sailor Moon, with the sheer dedication to recreate a part of it for something that will become far more than the sum of its parts.

And, really, I’m pleased to say that the final project managed to become that and so much more. While the animation quality varies greatly from cut to cut, it’s clear that there was a lot of care packed into every shot. Each cut is packed with little flourishes and details that really seem to sell not only the style of the artists, but their very personalities. Whether it’s a brief moment where Sailor Mercury looks like Sexy Squidward, or the gigantic group pose where Sailor Mars rips off a pair of Aviator shades, there are definitely a lot of personal touches that are greatly appreciated.

Each cut oozes affection, and every shot seems like it’s packed with the utmost of care for Sailor Moon, as a whole. The entire work is simply an amazingly produced, yet incredibly personal love letter to the franchise, from the many artists that contributed. At times, it’s almost impossible to believe that the entire project was completed in a mere ten months

It has been a Herculean effort, for sure, and one that certainly wouldn’t have been able to come to fruition as recently as a couple of years ago. “I think the biggest take-away is how far we’ve come in terms of technology and communicating,” notes project head Kaitlin Sullivan. “The tools and software used to create animation have become a lot more accessible in recent years and we’ve been able to create a quality full length parody episode of Sailor Moon with over two hundred and fifty artists from around the world. I think this really opens up the potential to create animation through crowdsourcing and working from remote locations, and with the huge number of artists involved in this, you get to see a huge array of styles to show how many different ways you can artistically interpret this show.”

And, really, one can only hope that this is the first of many projects of its ilk. The fact that so many talented individuals come together, to create something so personal, so special speaks volumes of how far we’ve progressed both as a subculture, and a society. No longer are we divided by the boundaries of geography, nor are we hamstrung by the limits of what our abilities as individuals can bring. We live in a world where we can collaborate and join, where the only real limit is our collective imaginations, and the will to do something so ambitious and amazing. It’s a project that instills great pride in the subculture, as a whole.

To everyone that participated in Moon Animate, Make Up!, I salute you.

When we reached out to Sullivan for comment, she gave us one final message to you, dear readers:

To Anime Herald’s readers and everyone who’s been following this, I am so moved by your support and enthusiasm, and I can’t thank you enough! Even in the rare times something got difficult, producing this project has always been so much fun for me. I’m floored by the number of animators who made time in their schedules to contribute a few seconds of work because it’s hugely time consuming work. I think everyone’s passion and work ethic to create something this fun really comes through and I hope you enjoy it!

I’d like to take a moment to thank Ms. Sullivan for her comments, and once more to the entire collection of contributors to Moon Animate, Make Up! for their months of hard work.

Mini-Gallery

Moon Animate Make Up 006 20140720 150x150 Moon Animate, Make Up! Is A Fun & Touching Tribute To Sailor Moon Moon Animate Make Up 002 20140720 150x150 Moon Animate, Make Up! Is A Fun & Touching Tribute To Sailor Moon Moon Animate Make Up 003 20140720 150x150 Moon Animate, Make Up! Is A Fun & Touching Tribute To Sailor Moon Moon Animate Make Up 004 20140720 150x150 Moon Animate, Make Up! Is A Fun & Touching Tribute To Sailor Moon Moon Animate Make Up 005 20140720 150x150 Moon Animate, Make Up! Is A Fun & Touching Tribute To Sailor Moon Moon Animate Make Up 001 20140720 150x150 Moon Animate, Make Up! Is A Fun & Touching Tribute To Sailor Moon

Moon Animate, Make Up! Is A Fun & Touching Tribute To Sailor Moon
Mike Ferreira


from Moon Animate, Make Up! Is A Fun & Touching Tribute To Sailor Moon
Gurren Lagann To Air On Toonami

Anime Herald
Anime Herald - We’ll talk nerdy to you.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

JULY 19, 2014

GURREN LAGANN to Debut on TOONAMI™ Starting August 2014

Gurren Lagann on Toonami Key Art 20140720 209x300 Gurren Lagann To Air On Toonami

© GAINAX, KAZUKI NAKASHIMA / Aniplex, KDE-J, TV TOKYO, DENTSU

Toonami Logo 20140720 Gurren Lagann To Air On Toonami

TM & © Cartoon Network

SANTA MONICA, CA (July 19, 2014) –Aniplex of America, Inc. has announced today that the legendary TV anime series GURREN LAGANN, will debut on Adult Swim’s TOONAMI™ Saturday line-up this August. The first episode will premiere on August 16th at 2:00am EST.

From the SAME team that brought us KILL la KILLGURREN LAGANN comes from the genius minds of Director Hiroyuki Imaishi and Script Writer/Series Composition Kazuki Nakashima. In response to its global popularity, the series was also adapted into two full-length films, Childhood’s End and The Lights in the Sky Are Stars. Aniplex of America re-released the GURREN LAGANN TV Series on home video last year featuring both the original Japanese and English dub which features many popular voice actors such as Yuri Lowenthal (as Simon), Kyle Hebert (as Kamina) and Michelle Ruff (as Yoko). This past July, Aniplex of America also released the GURREN LAGANN Movies in a Double Feature Blu-ray Set (Japanese Language only with English subtitles).PR%20Gurren%20Lagann%20Toonami%20Announcement%20final2x1 Gurren Lagann To Air On Toonami

Story of GURREN LAGANN

This is the story of a man who has yet to realize what destiny holds in store for him….

In the distant future, mankind has lived quietly and restlessly underground for hundreds of years, subject to earthquakes and cave-ins. Living in one such village are 2 young men: one named Simon who is shy and naïve, and the other named Kamina who believes in the existence of a “surface” world above their heads. The destiny of these two starts moving drastically when the ceiling of their village falls in, and a gigantic “Gunmen” and a beautiful girl named Yoko, wielding a superconductive rifle, come from the surface. Together, Kamina, Simon and Yoko ride the mecha “Lagann” that Simon digs out of the ground, and fly up to the surface!

For more details, please visit: http://ift.tt/1jPffIZ

STAFF

Original Story: GAINAX

Director: Hiroyuki Imaishi

Assistant Director: Masahiko Ohtsuka Series Structure: Kazuki Nakashima Character Design: Atsushi Nishigori Mechanical Design: You Yoshinari Design Works: Shigeto Koyama

3D Mecha Design: IMAITOONZ Art Director: Yuka Hirama

Color Setting: Harumi Takahoshi

Director of Photography: Toyonori Yamada Editing: Junichi Uematsu

3DCGI: SANZIGEN

Sound Director: Tohru Nakano Music: Taku Iwasaki

Animation Production: GAINAX

Produced by TV TOKYO, DENTSU, Aniplex

CAST (Japanese / English)

Simon: Tetsuya Kakihara / Yuri Lowenthal

Kamina: Katsuyuki Konishi / Kyle Hebert

Yoko: Marina Inoue / Michelle Ruff

Nia: Yukari Fukui / Bridget Hoffman

Boota: Shizuka Ito/ Julie Ann Taylor

Leeron: Masaya Onosaka / Steve Blum

Dayakka: Daiki Nakamura / Doug Stone

Viral: Nobuyuki Hiyama / Sam Riegel

Kittan: Kisho Taniyama / Christopher Smith

Rossiu: Mitsuki Saiga / Johnny Yong Bosch

Lordgenome: Narushi Ikeda / Jamieson Price

About Aniplex of America Inc.

Aniplex of America Inc. (Santa Monica, California) is a subsidiary of Aniplex Inc. (headquartered in Tokyo, Japan), a group of Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc. and a leading provider of anime content and music production and distribution in Japan. Aniplex of America has launched fan-favorite Blu-Ray and DVD releases such as KILL la KILL, Sword Art Online, BakemonogatariDurarara!!Fate/ZeroPuella Magi Madoka Magicathe Garden of Sinners, Blue Exorcist, Blast of Tempest, Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic, Oreshura, Servant X Service and Silver Spoon. The company’s ever-growing line-up of shows includes our most recent titles Sword Art Online II, Aldnoah.Zero, PERSONA4 the Golden ANIMATION, MEKAKUCITY ACTORS, The irregular at magic high school, Nanana’s Buried TreasureMushi-ShiNext PassageOreimo 2, and Samurai Flamenco.

www.AniplexUSA.com http://ift.tt/1f5sYno http://ift.tt/1ng6tCFwww.AniplexUSA.com http://ift.tt/1f5sYno http://ift.tt/1ng6tCF

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Gurren Lagann To Air On Toonami
Mike Ferreira


from Gurren Lagann To Air On Toonami
Ah! My Goddess: A Retrospective

Anime Herald
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In April, the final chapter of Kosuke Fujishima’s Ah! My Goddess was published in Afternoon magazine. After 25 years, 48 (and counting) collected volumes, and 308 chapters, it was finally over. The tale of Belldandy and Keiichi was complete, and it was time to say goodbye to the world that Fujishima had carefully crafted over the past quarter century.

Humble Beginnings

Goddess Miyuki 20140718 115x300 Ah! My Goddess: A RetrospectiveThe world of Ah! My Goddess wasn’t one that bloomed overnight. Rather, it was born from Fujishima’s previous work, You’re Under Arrest. Specifically, the seeds were planted in a four-panel gag comic, which featured cast members from the series praying to the leading lady Miyuki, who was depicted as a goddess. Their prayers weren’t for love, money, or women. Rather, their only desire was to win the contest that was running in Morning Party Extra magazine.

At least they set the bar low.

At that point, the seeds of curiosity were sown, and a generation-spanning franchise was beginning to form in the Fujishima’s head. He began to toy with the idea of why a goddess did what she did. In an interview in the February 1994 issue of Animerica (which was later re-published in the 2007 edition of Volume 4 of the Oh My Goddess! manga), when asked about his inspiration for the series, Fujishima replied:

I thought it might be an interesting idea if being a goddess was a job, an occupation. I based it on Norse mythology, which is relatively unknown in Japan.1

The first chapter of Ah! My Goddess was published in Kodansha’s Afternoon magazine on September 24, 1988. This was no more than three weeks after Ranma 1/2 celebrated its first anniversary in Shonen Sunday.

The series began in a way that would seem utterly overdone and cliche by today’s standards. Hapless college student Keiichi gets stuck house-sitting at his college dorm. A misplaced call for take-out connects Keiichi to the Goddess Help Line, who dispatch a Goddess immediately. As in right now, through the mirror. The goddess introduces herself as Belldandy, and tells Keiichi that he’s entitled to one wish, for anything he desires. Keiichi, being a bit skeptical of the magical mirror maiden, delivers his wish: “I want a goddess like you to be with me always!”1

And, with that, Keiichi and Belldandy’s fates were sealed. The two, having been thrown from the men-only dorm to the streets, find refuge in an old temple. One thing leads to another, and the monk residing there leaves the two to care for the temple. It’s from there, that the couple’s new life begins. From that day, the two have to deal with Belldandy’s troublesome sisters, and threats from both this world and the realms of the supernatural.

It’s from this point, really, that the series was born. Countless endearing and beloved characters, from Belldandy’s sisters Urd and Skuld to the Keiichi’s goofy motor club buddies, were brought to life on the page. Whether it was Urd’s schemes to get Belldandy and Keiichi in bedded bliss, or the arrival of the mistress of Hell herself, excitement always seemed to lurk around the corner.

Onward, Anime Adaptations!

AMG OVA 001 20140720 300x225 Ah! My Goddess: A RetrospectiveAh! My Goddess would go on to see a number of animated adaptations. Between 1993 and 1994, a five-episode OVA series was were produced by AIC. The series took a number of liberties with the actual plot to fit within the constraints of the format, but nevertheless managed to capture the very essence of the series.

AnimEigo originally licensed and released the series on VHS in 1995, where it quickly became a beloved classic. It became a flagship title for AnimEigo, joining the likes of Bubblegum Crisis, Urusei Yatsura. In 2010, though, AnimEigo announced that their license to the show expired. It hasn’t been released in the United States since.

The next adaptation of Ah! My Goddess wouldn’t come until April 1997, when Adventures of the Mini Goddesses hit the airwaves. This was a series of 48 shorts based on the Mini-Goddesses gag strips. These were goofy, light-hearted stories that shrunk Belldandy, Urd, and Skuld down to the size of a common rodent. And, well, most of the episodes involve the cast finding creative ways to make the life of one such rat, named Gan-chan, a living hell. Whether Urd’s marrying him off to a kettle, or Skuld’s sending to space, Gan-chan always suffers in the most humorous ways possible.

After Mini Goddesses left TV in 1999, the three sisters made their way to the silver screen. In 2000, Ah! My Goddess: The Movie was released to Japanese theaters. This was a stand-alone story, which revolved around Morgan le Fay, a fairy whose love was lost long ago, and fallen god Celestin. The two make their way to Earth, where Celestin reunites with his former student Belldandy. The reunion isn’t a happy one, as Celestin erases Belldandy’s memory of Keiichi, and begins to use her for his own machinations. It falls upon Keiichi, Urd, and Skuld to regain Belldandy’s lost memories, and return peace to the world.

AMG Movie 001 20140720 150x150 Ah! My Goddess: A Retrospective AMG Movie 003 20140720 150x150 Ah! My Goddess: A Retrospective AMG Movie 002 20140720 150x150 Ah! My Goddess: A Retrospective

The film opened to mixed reception, though. While the film was generally lauded for its art, animation, and music, it was a much darker experience than the original work and previous adaptations. The comedy was generally muted, and the stakes remained incredibly dire throughout.

Box office data for the film is nonexistent outside of Japan, sadly, so we don’t have an indicator of how well it actually performed. However, after Ah! My Goddess The Movie, the franchise became dormant in the anime world. It wouldn’t be until 2005, until the series would return in the form of a 50-episode TV series.

Ah! My Goddess TV was a return to form. It returned to the very beginning of the story, to tell a more faithful, more complete version of the early chapters of Fujishima’s manga. And, for the most part, it succeeds wonderfully. The same quirky, adorable charm that fueled the manga and the original OVA were back in full form. The series would cover (roughly) the first ten volumes of the original manga. Characters like Mara, Hild, and Peorth would be given their time to shine in animated form, and the key early arcs were presented in wonderful spectacles.

AMG TV 001 20140720 150x150 Ah! My Goddess: A Retrospective AMG TV 001 201407203 150x150 Ah! My Goddess: A Retrospective AMG TV 001 201407205 150x150 Ah! My Goddess: A Retrospective

The two TV shows would be the last appearance of the franchise in English. Well… in animated form. Dark Horse continues to translate the manga, and they released the Oh My Goddess! First End novel in 2007. But I digress.

Since the TV series went off the air, Ah! My Goddess would go on to receive two more OVA series: Ah! My Goddess Fighting Wings and Ah! My Goddess: Itsumo Futari De. Fighting Wings was a two-episode series that revolved around Lind: a valkyrie, who was sent to deal with the Angel Eater, a beast that can rip an angel from its host goddess, causing a painful death to both.

Ah! My Goddess: Itsumo Futari De is a three-episode series that saw episodes released with special editions of volumes of the manga. These are stand-alone episodes, which really build upon the relationship between Keiichi and Belldandy, albeit with the usual hijinks scattered throughout.

Legacy

Ah! My Goddess was, and is, a highly influential series. It created, and established a number of tropes and common situations that are still used in anime titles today. It was a major player in the development of numerous popular character archetypes, from the beta-male protagonist with a heart of gold, to the Magical Girlfriend. Numerous elements of the modern harem shows were first introduced in the series, and many do regard it as one of the formative titles of the genre.

In Closing

AMG Final Panel 20140720 Ah! My Goddess: A RetrospectiveAh! My Goddess closed as it began, with one sweet phrase that held infinite promise, and great sentimental value. To see it finally go end, to see Belldandy and Keiichi’s story finally come to a close is bittersweet, to say the least. Still, it’s been a hell of a run. It’s one that I’m thrilled to have been a part of.

This is a series that was able to span generations, and really work its way into the very fabric of fans young and old. Its contributions to anime and manga are countless, and there will undoubtedly be many more that will look to the work as an influence going forward.

Kosuke Fujishima did what so many authors, so many creators have set out to do, but utterly failed. He created a world, brimming with personality and with charm, and filled with amazing characters. Everybody had a story that was told only to the audience, and every conflict was more than just “good vs. evil.” It was fun, it was touching, and it always found a way to just tug at the heartstrings, even if it was just a tiny bit.

Fujishima created something truly special with Ah! My Goddess. Here’s hoping he can continue to amaze us with his next work.

References

1:
Fujishima, Kosuke, Dana Lewis, Alan Gleason, Toren Smith, and Susie Lee. Oh My Goddess!. 1997. Reprint. Milwaukie, OR: Dark Horse Manga, 2007. Print.

2:
Fujishima, Kosuke, Dana Lewis, Alan Gleason, Toren Smith, and Susie Lee. Oh My Goddess!. 1996. Reprint. Milwaukie, OR: Dark Horse Manga, 2005. Print.

Ah! My Goddess: A Retrospective
Mike Ferreira


from Ah! My Goddess: A Retrospective
Viz Announces Comic-Con 2014 Schedule & Exclusive Merch

Anime Herald
Anime Herald - We’ll talk nerdy to you.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

VISIT VIZ MEDIA AT COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL, BOOTH #2813

VIZ MEDIA ANNOUNCES SHOW PROGRAMMING, PANEL EVENTS, SPECIAL GUESTS AND CONVENTION EXCLUSIVES FOR 2014 COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL

VIZ Media Hosts NARUTO Japanese Voice Actor And Offers A Weekend Of Collectable Giveaways, Convention Exclusive Items, Fun Booth Activities, Panel Discussions And Much More At The Nation’s Largest Comics And Pop Culture Event

Viz Comic Con 2014 Naruto Figure 20140718 214x300 Viz Announces Comic Con 2014 Schedule & Exclusive MerchSan Francisco, CA, July 18, 2014 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest distributor and licensor of anime and manga in North America, delivers a cornucopia of anime and manga delight to fans of all ages this year at the 2014 Comic-Con International. Attendees are invited to join a fun weekend in San Diego jam-packed with special events, in-booth giveaways, informative panel discussions, and other fun activities and convention exclusives.

Comic-Con International is the nation’s biggest comic book, science fiction and pop culture event, and takes place July 23rd-27th at the San Diego Convention Center, in San Diego, CA. VIZ Media will be located in Booth 2813. Complete details on Comic-Con are available at: www.comic-con.org.

VIZ Media will host an array of panel discussions detailing a host of forthcoming releases, new acquisitions and other surprises from the company’s animation and publishing teams. Fans will not want to miss a very special appearance by Junko Takeuchi, the Japanese voice actress who provides the original voice for Naruto in the popular anime series. She will join the staff of VIZ Media’s WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP for a special panel discussion on NARUTO on Thursday, July 24th. Fans are also invited to attend the official SAILOR MOON panel, which will offer new information on the return of the legendary animated series to North America!

VIZ Media’s Booth 2813 on the Main Show Floor will be a continual hub of activity with special in-booth photo opportunities with an UGLYDOLL on Thursday, July 24th and everyone’s favorite cat-type robot from the future, DORAEMON, on Saturday July 25th. Fans can also catch freebies and promo item giveaways throughout the convention including posters, temporary tattoos, posters, postcards, buttons and more for popular series such as BLOOD LAD, DEADMAN WONDERLAND, SAILOR MOON and ONE-PUNCH MAN. And don’t miss the return of the VIZ MEDIA convention tote bag, FREE with any purchase, available in four amazing designs (while supplies last)!

Viz Comic Con 2014 Art of Princess Mononoke 20140718 215x300 Viz Announces Comic Con 2014 Schedule & Exclusive MerchCollectors also can browse an array of limited edition items and special convention exclusives that will be offered for sale in the VIZ Media booth throughout Comic-Con (while supplies last). Notable items include ONE PIECE Exclusive Replica Manga Art ($15.00); Limited Edition BRAVEST WARRIORS: THE SEARCH FOR CATBUG ($35.00), with foil-accented slipcover and gilded page edges only 250 made – don’t miss the chance to have it signed by the artists at the exclusive in-booth signing; BRAVEST WARRIORS: CATBUG’S TREASURE BOOK ($15.00); HELLO KITTY, HELLO 40 Commemorative Art Book (50.00) only 250 printed with foil-accented slipcover and gilded page edges – don’t miss the chance to have it signed by HELLO KITTY artists at the exclusive in-booth signing; exclusive Gecco NARUTO SHIPPUDEN figure ($150.00); and Cryptozoic’s NARUTO SHIPPUDEN Trading Card Game Presale ($50.00).

Also catch special advance pre-sales of several forthcoming new VIZ Media titles including FOOD WARS, Vol. 1 ($10.00), BLACK ROSE ALICE ($10.00) and THE ART OF PRINCESS MONOKOE ($35.00) ahead of their street date releases later this summer.  Don’t miss the latest WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP Jump Pack ($20.00) that contains more than 100 pages of the world’s most popular featured series and a limited edition YU-GI-OH! card “Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Evening Twilight,” as well as a special bonus exclusive game mat free with purchase (while supplies last)!

VIZ Media Comic-Con Panels & Special Events:

Thursday July 24th

10:00AM and 4:00PM    UGLYDOLL PHOTO OPPORTUNITY

                                      VIZ Media Booth #2813

Drop by the VIZ Media booth for a photo with an UGLYDOLL pal!

10:00AM – 11:30AM             SHONEN JUMP PRESENTS: NARUTO

                                      Room 8

NARUTO is one of the world’s most popular manga series, with over 60 best-selling volumes published. Get all the latest news and more at this super-sized panel, featuring guests from VIZ Media, Bandai Namco Games (Daisuke Koumoto, producer of the upcoming NARUTO SHIPPUDEN: ULTIMATE NINJA STORM REVOLUTION) and a special guest Junko Takeuchi, Japanese voice of Naruto!

4:00PM – 5:00PM         VIZ MEDIA PANEL

                                      Room 7AB

Get the latest updates & exciting news from VIZ Media staff on your favorite manga and anime! There will be free manga for attendees (while supplies last)!

Friday July 25th

10:00AM – 1:00PM      CATBUG VOICE ACTOR SAM LAVAGNINO

                                      In-Booth Signing & Personal Appearance

VIZ Media Booth #2813

Meet the voice of Catbug, the breakout star of YouTube hit Bravest Warriors, and get a signed art card!

10:00AM – 11:00AM    VIZ MEDIA ANIMATION PANEL Feat. NEON ALLEY

                                      Room 25ABC

Find out all that’s new and awesome with the VIZ Media animation team and the free streaming site Neon Alley! Bring all your anime questions because they will be there to answer them!

Saturday July 26th

12:30PM – 1:30PM      OFFICAL SAILOR MOON PANEL

                                      Room 5AB

VIZ Media is releasing the complete classic SAILOR MOON series for the first time on Blu-ray and with an all-new English dub! Join members of the VIZ Media animation team and learn all about this legendary anime series!

12:30PM                        DORAEMON PHOTO OPPORTUNITY

VIZ Media Booth #2813

Get a hug and take a picture with everyone’s favorite cat-type robot from the future, DORAEMON!

Sunday July 27th

2:00PM – 3:00PM         PERFECT SQUARE PRESENTS – MAKING KIDS COMICS AWESOME

                                      Room 32AB

Bring your kids along, or just your inner child, and join an eclectic group of creators and editors for a lively roundtable that will get you laughing, learning and looking at the craft of all-ages comics in a whole new way!

Viz Comic Con 2014 Hello Kitty Hello 40 20140718 263x300 Viz Announces Comic Con 2014 Schedule & Exclusive MerchOther Notable VIZ Media In-Booth Events:

NARUTO SHIPPUDEN Deck Building Game Demo

Check the daily booth schedule for a chance to try out the new card game debuting from Cryptozoic at SDCC!

In-Booth Signing and Photo-Op: HELLO KITTY

Join Hello Kitty herself and graphic novel artists for a special signing and photo opportunity!

Saturday, July 26th 10AM: features Jenni Holm, Matt Holm, Art Baltazar, Franco Aureliani, Lark Pien

Sunday, July 27th at 10AM: features Brianne Drouhard, Stephanie Gonzaga, Martin Hsu, Chynna Clugston Flores, Susie Ghahremani

Jacob Chabot will also be available Sunday July 27th at 1PM!

In-Booth Signing: BRAVEST WARRIORS

Meet the talented contributors for the brand new books based off of the YouTube smash-hit series and get your VIZ Media BRAVEST WARRIOR book or comic sampler signed!

Friday, July 25th at 4:00PM: featuresStu Livingston, Tom Warburton, Jon Chad, Ian McGinty

Sunday, July 27th at 1:00PM: features Corin Howell and Inori Fukuda Trant,

In-Booth Signing: NARUTO Figure Sculptor Shin Tanabe

Thursday, July 24th & Friday July 25th at 2:30PM

Meet Gecco figure Sculptor Shin Tanabe, creator of the Comic-Con exclusive NARUTO SHIPPUDEN figure and get your limited edition figure signed!

RANMA ½ Plinko

Available Throughout Comic-Con

Try your luck at our RANMA ½ Plinko board for a chance to win a limited edition Comic-Con only RANMA ½ water bottle! Check the daily booth schedule for times to play!

For more information on VIZ Media, please visit www.VIZ.com.

About VIZ Media, LLC

Headquartered in San Francisco, California, VIZ Media distributes, markets and licenses the best anime and manga titles direct from Japan.  Owned by three of Japan’s largest manga and animation companies, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions, Co., Ltd., VIZ Media has the most extensive library of anime and manga for English speaking audiences in North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland and South Africa. With its popular digital manga anthology WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP and blockbuster properties like NARUTO, BLEACH and INUYASHA, VIZ Media offers cutting-edge action, romance and family friendly properties for anime, manga, science fiction and fantasy fans of all ages.  VIZ Media properties are available as graphic novels, DVDs, animated television series, feature films, downloadable and streaming video and a variety of consumer products.

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Viz Announces Comic-Con 2014 Schedule & Exclusive Merch
Mike Ferreira


from Viz Announces Comic-Con 2014 Schedule & Exclusive Merch
Villains Take Center Stage In Third Sailor Moon Dub Clip

Anime Herald
Anime Herald - We’ll talk nerdy to you.

Over the past few days, Viz has been rolling out teasers for the dubbed edition of Sailor Moon. The first clip featured Usagi (Stephanie Sheh) and Mamoru (Robbie Daymond ) in their first meeting. The second saw Michelle Ruff make her entrance as Luna.

Today, though, things are a bit more sinister. The latest dub clip gives the villains their grand debut, with Cindy Robinson taking the center stage as Queen Beryl, and Todd Haberkorn as Jadeite. Robinson does a magnificent job as Queen Beryl, capturing the dark, sinister feeling that her Japanese counterpart embodied. And Haberkorn just oozes attitude.

We’ve provided the clip above, so check it out!

Villains Take Center Stage In Third Sailor Moon Dub Clip
Mike Ferreira


from Villains Take Center Stage In Third Sailor Moon Dub Clip