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AniWeekly 9/21/2014: Get Your Tokyo Game Show On!

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Game on! This week, the Japanese video games industry trotted out its finest works for Tokyo Game Show. For gamers, this is basically a wonderland of huge announcements, surprising reveals, and (if you’re lucky enough to live in Japan) a chance to play the hottest games before they hit retailers. So, this week, we’ll be mixing a couple of gaming news stories into the mix, since there was too much fun stuff announced.

Final Fantasy Finally Arriving? At Tokyo Game Show, Square Enix announced that a demo for Final Fantasy XV will arrive next year. This will be the first time that the game’s been playable outside of a few select journalists since the title was announced as Final Fantasy Versus XIII in 2006. In addition, it was announced that director Tetsuya Nomura is no longer attached to the project.

Regardless of who’s helming the project, it looks fantastic.

Feeling a bit guilty? Anyone that’s been reviewing stuff for a while, be it games, anime, or any other medium, can’t help but develop a slight pang of guilt. While we publicise and comment on anime titles, there’s always this sinking feeling that we’re not supporting the industry with our cold hard cash. L.B. Bryant from Otaku Review sums up the feeling perfectly in a short editorial piece.

The man, the legend, the political advocate? Earlier last week, Hayao Miyazaki expanded on his life, beliefs, and political views as part of an interview with Neppu magazine. It’s a fascinating read that sheds new light on the famed director’s outlook on the world. His views on current politics are particularly scathing:

Right now, when their statements turn out to be controversial, politicians evade them, saying that they did not mean it. I am appalled to see high-ranking government officials and politicians who do not have historical consciousness and firm opinions. Those who are short of thought should not change the Constitution. They determine policies without any real study of the issues, but rather with spontaneous ideas or by listening to people who say superficial things.

Good morning, UAE! Organization ASG published an interview with a manga fan in the United Arab Emirates, regarding the manga culture and the general availability of manga in the nation. Interesting note: Apparently, Borders still exists and thrives in the nation. Go fig!

Why, Col. Sanders, why? KFC Japan unveiled a line of chicken-shaped computer accessories to celebrate “Colonel Day.” Among the items unveiled were a drumstick-shaped iPhone case and a chicken-shaped Ostrich pillow. I really can’t make this stuff up.

KFC iPhone Case 20140921 300x194 AniWeekly 9/21/2014: Get Your Tokyo Game Show On!

Brace yourselves, middle America. Miku’s coming! The virtual idol will be making an appearance on Late Show with David Letterman. The virtual idol will perform on the show on October 8, 2014 using the same 3D projection tech that fuels her concerts. The appearance will kick off a series of shows that will take place in New York and Los Angeles starting on October 11.

A SMASHing good time! In its opening weekend, Super Smash Bros. for 3DS sold over a million copies. Very few games have been able to achieve this in recent years outside of Pokémon and Monster Hunter, so this is definitely a feat!

The evil, it is resident! Capcom showed off more of Resident Evil: Revelations 2  at this year’s Tokyo Game Show. The new game will star series veteran Claire Redfield, as well as Barry “Jill Sandwich” Burton’s daugther, Moira. It looks like a return to form for the historic horror series, which hits PlayStation and XBox consoles early next year.

Get your dose of anime knowledge… in AMV Form! AnimeUnity put together a brilliant AMV that runs through the ins and outs of anime with a quirky sense of humor, and a simply impeccable sense of timing. Anime 101 was awarded a well-deserved Anime Boston 2014’s Best in Show award.

AniWeekly 9/21/2014: Get Your Tokyo Game Show On!
Mike Ferreira


from AniWeekly 9/21/2014: Get Your Tokyo Game Show On!
Anime Herald’s Fourth Anniversary: A Brief Word

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HeraChan Anime Heralds Fourth Anniversary: A Brief WordFour years ago today, Anime Herald somehow became a thing.

It was a venture born partly of frustration, partly of sheer adoration of anime as a medium. When Anime Herald was in its formative stages, I was still at Anime Dream, serving as the outlet’s News Editor and PR contact. It was grueling, seemingly thankless work, but it was rewarding.

Still, I was never one to sit still for too long. I’m a person that likes to jump out and take risks with content. I was the one that did crazy things, like review a show in his Twitter feed, or spend weeks hunting down convention staffers for an in-depth article on what goes on behind the scenes of a con. Anime Dream was winding down, and things were sitting on the back burner for increasingly long periods of time.

Rather than wait, I decided I’d cut the line a bit. I bought hosting space, installed my CMS, and set up a simple stock theme. It wasn’t pretty, but it was an anime site. And, with a simple 100-word introduction, the dice of fate were cast.

In those early days, it was a bit awkward. The first few months were filled with rambling commentaries and offbeat editorials. I wrote reviews that went nowhere, and commentaries that were terse beyond belief. It was a feeling out process, filled with experimentation and education. Not everything worked, but it was a chance to get a grasp on the content itself, and to find a real voice.

As the years passed, we’ve grown and evolved greatly. We’ve grown from a side project into a mid-sized publication, which serves nearly a quarter million readers a month. Even better, we continue to grow with each passing day.

Through Anime Herald, I’ve been honored to meet a number of truly amazing people. This doesn’t include Matt and Ben, who are dear friends from the Anime
Dream days. That’s not to say they’re not great people, because they are totally awesome.

Instead, I’d like to take a moment to really recognize the folks I’ve had the pleasure of meeting over the years, who’ve been valuable sources of conversation and insight, and whose own unique perspectives have contributed, be it directly or indirectly, to the site you read today. I’d like to offer my thanks to the following:

  • Anthony & Dorian: What can I say? You two are the best writers I could have asked for. You’re insightful and witty, with fantastic views on the anime world, and I’ve come to see you as valuable friends. I want to thank you for your efforts over the past year and a half. You’ve been fantastic, and it’s truly been an honor working with you.
  • Ken Haley & Sam Kusek: I want to thank the both of you for having the faith in me to co-host the From East to West: the Superheroes of Japan & America panel at Anime Boston 2011. It was an amazing opportunity, that I still treasure today. You two are fantastic, and I hope that we can continue working together in the future.
  • Our contacts at Viz, FUNimation, Sentai Silmworks, Section23 Films, Right Stuf, NIS America, and Idea Factory: Without you, we’d be out of a job! Kidding, kidding. Your support, especially in those fragile early years, was invaluable for us. It’s been a pleasure to have all of you as contacts, and I hope that we can continue to work together.
  • Our friends in the industry: You guys just plain rock. You’ve been incredibly helpful over the years, and you’ve been so willing to give a look, a nod, or a slap to the head when we need it. You’ve helped us grow and mature over the past few years, and we do appreciate it.
  • Our friends in the AniBlogging circuit. This goes to the Reverse Thieves, Prede, Humberto Saabedra, Erica Friedman, and way way too many more to count. Your support and criticism over the years has been a true blessing, and something we’ve come to greatly respect. Thanks for those kicks in the butt when we need them.

And, most important, thank you, readers, for your four years of support. I don’t know if I say this enough, but you are what makes Anime Herald tick. You are the ones who keep us coming back, day after day, to create the content you love. I can only hope that, over the next four years, we’ll keep growing and evolving, so we can continue to produce articles that make you smile, laugh, and think.

Thanks for joining us these past four years. It’s been a hell of a ride, and I can only hope that this train continues to roll into the next four.

Anime Herald’s Fourth Anniversary: A Brief Word
Mike Ferreira


from Anime Herald’s Fourth Anniversary: A Brief Word
Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax Shaping Up To Be A Giant Love Letter To Anime Fans

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

Sega’s an interesting company. Whenever they appear in gaming news, they seem to accompany either incredibly great things, or disastrously bad ones.

They’re a company that’s created ground-breaking marvels in the gaming world, with titles like Virtua Fighter, Shenmue, and After Burner. They have a stable of niche classics and rabid fanbases for games like Sakura Wars, Valkyria Chronicles, and Phantasy Star. They’re arcade legends that gave birth to countless staples like Golden Axe, Hang On, and Outrun.

Hell, Sega were the one company that was able to give Nintendo a run for its money in the early ’90s, with classics like Sonic the Hedgehog, Shinobi III, and Vectorman. There were other reasons, of course, that included a brilliant marketing campaign, a swath of brilliant sports games, and a reputation for hosting more “mature” games after the infamous Mortal Kombat debacle, but I digress.

In today’s market, though, fans have come to expect disappointment in some form or another. Sonic games regularly hit shelves to disappointing reception. Highly requested niche titles like Yakuza are outright ignored by the company outside of Japan. Even games that were promised to hit the west end up becoming casualties of a deafening silence.

Still, I can’t help but smile when I see something like this arise.

At this year’s Tokyo Game Show, Sega announced that a pair of characters from Valkyria Chronicles will join the roster of Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax, a fast-paced 2D fighter that will serve as a celebration of the Dengeki Bunko comics magazine. The roster will be filled with a number of fan favorites that appeared in the magazine’s pages over the years. The confirmed fighter roster so far includes the following:

  • Shana (Shakugan no Shana)
  • Asuna (Sword Art Online)
  • Mikoto Misaka (A Certain Magical Index)
  • Kirino Kōsaka (Oreimo)
  • Shizuo (Durarara!!)
  • Kuroyukihime (Accel World)
  • Tomoka Minato (Ro-Kyu-Bu!)
  • Kirito (Sword Art Online)
  • Miyuki Shiba (The irregular at magic high school)
  • Taiga Aisaka (Toradora!)
  • Yukina Himeragi (Strike the Blood)
  • Rentarō Satomi (Black Bullet)
  • Selvaria (Valkyria Chronicles – Sega)
  • Akira (Virtua Fighter – Sega)

In addition, the series will include a gaggle of support characters, which span an even greater number of popular titles. The confirmed supporters are as follows:

  • Wilhelmina (Shakugan no Shana)
  • Leafa (Sword Art Online)
  • Tōma Kamijō (A Certain Magical Index)
  • Kuroneko (Oreimo)
  • Celty (Durarara!!)
  • Haruyuki (Accel World)
  • Tomoka’s Teammates (Ro-Kyu-Bu!)
  • Tatsuya Shiba (The irregular at magic high school)
  • Ryuji (Toradora!)
  • Kojō Akatsuki (Strike the Blood)
  • Enju Aihara (Black Bullet)
  • Holo (Spice and Wolf)
  • Boogiepop (Boogiepop Phantom)
  • Sadao Maō (The Devil is a Part-Timer!)
  • Innocent Charm (Ro-Kyu-Bu!)
  • Kōko Kaga (Golden Time)
  • Kino (Kino’s Journey)
  • Mashiro Shiina (The Pet Girl of Sakurasou)
  • Erio Tōwa (Ground Control to Psychoelectric Girl
  • Alicia (Valkyria Chronicles – Sega)
  • Pai (Virtua Fighter – Sega)

The entire presentation, from start to finish, looks simply incredible. The gameplay looks like it could’ve come from the fighting genre’s finest, and the sheer level of fan service is off the charts. Given that the developer is Melty Blood creators French Bread, we should definitely expect a stunning overall product. Initial impressions have been highly positive, and the fan response has been enthusiastic, to say lightly.

Its likelihood of being released outside of Japan is fairly dim, due to the hot mess of paperwork and red tape known as “licensing”. Still, I still can’t help but marvel at such a fantastic overall package.

Gallery: Character Art

Dengeki Fighting Bunka Valkyria 001 20140919 150x150 Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax Shaping Up To Be A Giant Love Letter To Anime Fans Dengeki Fighting Bunka Valkyria 002 20140919 150x150 Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax Shaping Up To Be A Giant Love Letter To Anime Fans Dengeki Fighting Bunka Virtua Fighter 002 20140919 150x150 Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax Shaping Up To Be A Giant Love Letter To Anime Fans Dengeki Fighting Bunka Virtua Fighter 001 20140919 150x150 Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax Shaping Up To Be A Giant Love Letter To Anime Fans

Gallery: Character Profiles

Dengeki Fighting Bunka Profile 001 20140919 150x150 Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax Shaping Up To Be A Giant Love Letter To Anime Fans Dengeki Fighting Bunka Profile 002 20140919 150x150 Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax Shaping Up To Be A Giant Love Letter To Anime Fans Dengeki Fighting Bunka Profile 003 20140919 150x150 Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax Shaping Up To Be A Giant Love Letter To Anime Fans Dengeki Fighting Bunka Profile 004 20140919 150x150 Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax Shaping Up To Be A Giant Love Letter To Anime Fans Dengeki Fighting Bunka Profile 005 20140919 150x150 Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax Shaping Up To Be A Giant Love Letter To Anime Fans Dengeki Fighting Bunka Profile 006 20140919 150x150 Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax Shaping Up To Be A Giant Love Letter To Anime Fans Dengeki Fighting Bunka Profile 007 20140919 150x150 Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax Shaping Up To Be A Giant Love Letter To Anime Fans Dengeki Fighting Bunka Profile 008 20140919 150x150 Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax Shaping Up To Be A Giant Love Letter To Anime Fans Dengeki Fighting Bunka Profile 009 20140919 150x150 Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax Shaping Up To Be A Giant Love Letter To Anime Fans Dengeki Fighting Bunka Profile 010 20140919 150x150 Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax Shaping Up To Be A Giant Love Letter To Anime Fans Dengeki Fighting Bunka Profile 011 20140919 150x150 Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax Shaping Up To Be A Giant Love Letter To Anime Fans Dengeki Fighting Bunka Profile 012 20140919 150x150 Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax Shaping Up To Be A Giant Love Letter To Anime Fans Dengeki Fighting Bunka Support 002 20140919 150x150 Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax Shaping Up To Be A Giant Love Letter To Anime Fans Dengeki Fighting Bunka Support 003 20140919 150x150 Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax Shaping Up To Be A Giant Love Letter To Anime Fans Dengeki Fighting Bunka Support 004 20140919 150x150 Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax Shaping Up To Be A Giant Love Letter To Anime Fans Dengeki Fighting Bunka Support 005 20140919 150x150 Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax Shaping Up To Be A Giant Love Letter To Anime Fans Dengeki Fighting Bunka Support 006 20140919 150x150 Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax Shaping Up To Be A Giant Love Letter To Anime Fans Dengeki Fighting Bunka Support 007 20140919 150x150 Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax Shaping Up To Be A Giant Love Letter To Anime Fans Dengeki Fighting Bunka Support 008 20140919 150x150 Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax Shaping Up To Be A Giant Love Letter To Anime Fans Dengeki Fighting Bunka Support 001 20140919 150x150 Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax Shaping Up To Be A Giant Love Letter To Anime Fans

Gallery: Screenshots

Dengeki Fighting Bunka Screen 010 20140919 150x150 Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax Shaping Up To Be A Giant Love Letter To Anime Fans Dengeki Fighting Bunka Screen 009 20140919 150x150 Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax Shaping Up To Be A Giant Love Letter To Anime Fans Dengeki Fighting Bunka Screen 007 20140919 150x150 Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax Shaping Up To Be A Giant Love Letter To Anime Fans Dengeki Fighting Bunka Screen 005 20140919 150x150 Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax Shaping Up To Be A Giant Love Letter To Anime Fans Dengeki Fighting Bunka Screen 006 20140919 150x150 Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax Shaping Up To Be A Giant Love Letter To Anime Fans Dengeki Fighting Bunka Screen 008 20140919 150x150 Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax Shaping Up To Be A Giant Love Letter To Anime Fans Dengeki Fighting Bunka Screen 004 20140919 150x150 Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax Shaping Up To Be A Giant Love Letter To Anime Fans Dengeki Fighting Bunka Screen 003 20140919 150x150 Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax Shaping Up To Be A Giant Love Letter To Anime Fans Dengeki Fighting Bunka Screen 002 20140919 150x150 Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax Shaping Up To Be A Giant Love Letter To Anime Fans Dengeki Fighting Bunka Screen 001 20140919 150x150 Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax Shaping Up To Be A Giant Love Letter To Anime Fans

Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax Shaping Up To Be A Giant Love Letter To Anime Fans
Mike Ferreira


from Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax Shaping Up To Be A Giant Love Letter To Anime Fans
Semi-Essentials: Omishi Magical Theater Risky Safety

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What Is It?

Risky Safety DVD 1 Boxart 20140918 Semi Essentials: Omishi Magical Theater Risky SafetyOmishi Magical Theater: Risky Safety is a 24-episode comedy series by Rei Omishi (Sorcerer Hunters, Maze: The Mega-Burst Space). The series was produced by Studio A.P.P.P. and directed by Koji Masunari (Magi – The Kingdom of Magic, R.O.D – The TV). In North America, the series was released by AN Entertainment in 2003, and was the first of three titles to be released by the company.

Risky Safety revolves around Moe Katsuragi, a girl with a heart of glass. After catching her boyfriend with another girl, Moe has pretty much given up on life. Her mind’s going to dark places, and the thought that just ending everything would solve all of her problems.

Before we go any further, I’d like to state this bluntly. This is a kid’s show. We’re not going to catch Moe downing a bottle of ZzzQuil, nor will we see her dangling from a light fixture. That would be morbid and therefore horrifying.

That said, Moe’s despair summons the very metaphor for death in the form of a spunky apprentice shinigami named Risky. Risky is a girl on a mission, as she’s been tasked with taking Moe’s soul to the not-so-peaceful hereafter. She’s fierce, and she’s ready to do anything to drive Moe to the brink.

Did I mention that Risky’s six inches tall and adorable? It throws a bit of a damper on the whole “spooky spirit of death” thing, but she makes it work. Kind of. Well, she would, if she weren’t sharing a body with a pesky apprentice angel.

That’s right, much like Birdy the Mighty or Maze, Risky shares her body with a kind-hearted apprentice angel named Safety. Whenever there is positive energy in the air, it’s Safety’s turn to make the world a more sunshiny place overall.

Safety’s the polar opposite of Risky in every regard. She’s honest, sweet, and willing to do whatever she can to show people that the world is amazing, life is worth living, and unicorns fart out rainbows. Well, maybe not the last one.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.

Anyway, since the two don’t exactly have an assignment and Moe is well taken care of, the two opt to keep an eye on the girl as she goes about her daily life. With the angel and death goddess in tow, Moe slowly learns about the little joys and sadnesses in life, and how they tie into the true meaning of happiness.

Why Was It Passed Up?

I’m not going to say that this was a show that flew under the radar. On the contrary, AN Entertainment pushed it heavily. The show was featured heavily on AnimeNation’s news blog and web store, and the show was covered by a large amount of the “staple” anime fan sites in the day.

It should also be noted that, about a month before the first DVD shipped to retailers, AN Entertainment placed the entire first episode of Risky Safety online for viewing in both dubbed and subbed formats.

Mind you, this was at a time when YouTube didn’t exist, Bittorrent was just starting to become a thing, and broadband was available in just shy of 26.2 homes. Fansubs were still being traded in .rm format, in some places!

It was a very forward-thinking thing to do, in retrospect. Still, it wasn’t enough to save the show.

Risky Safety‘s first volume hit stores in July 2003. This was a period when the anime bubble was really starting to grow, and dozens of titles were hitting store shelves every week. In its début month, 93 titles hit store shelves, averaging about 23 releases per week. This included a ton of heavy hitters, including the following:

  • .hack//SIGN DVD 3 (Standard & Limited Edition)
  • Cardcaptor Sakura DVD 16
  • Chobits DVD 3
  • Dragon Ball Piccolo Jr. Set 1
  • Dragon Ball Z Majin Buu Boxed Set (DVD & VHS)
  • FLCL DVD 3 (Standard & Limited Edition)
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena DVD 7 (Standard & Limited Editions)
  • Sailor Moon Season 1 Uncut (DVD)
  • You’re Under Arrest DVDs 7, 8, & 9 (Also Boxed Set)

It was a stacked month. And, let’s be real. When given a choice between the very first uncut release of the original Sailor Moon in the west ever and a prototypical moe show, most people were going to go for Sailor Moon. Even if it looked like butt and sounded like it was being played through a tin can.

The show just didn’t have a chance. the releases didn’t get better as time went on, either. AN Entertainment printed 2,500 limited edition art boxes for the show, which were bundled with volume 3. By 2007, when AnimeNation lost the license to the show, stock of this limited release was still plentiful to the point that Right Stuf was selling complete series sets with the box for $14.99. Even then, it took at least a month and a half to sell through the remaining inventory.

As of press times, the first and third volumes are still in plentiful stock on Right Stuf’s online store.

Why this show?

Omishi Magical Theater: Risky Safety was a truly groundbreaking series for its time. It was an early stab at what we now recognize as moe anime, and introduced a number of tropes that are still present in shows of its ilk today.

Aside from that, though, the show is just fun. The characters are wonderfully written and exhibit a fantastic overall chemistry. In particular, the interplay between Risky and Safety is just priceless as they argue and bicker with one another, often poofing back and forth as they try to traverse the length of Moe’s bedroom, if not less. The visual humor, while offbeat, is peppered with countless genuinely funny visual gags and nods that will have keen observers hunting.

The show’s animation is particularly nice, given the show’s age. It’s an early digital production, which means that there are a few cases where the immersion is broken by an awkward cut, or an object that seem sto move a bit too smoothly in comparison to the rest of the items onscreen. These are rare, though, and tend to be offset by truly gorgeous backgrounds and little animation flourishes that will help make certain scenes just pop for the viewer.

Closing Thoughts

Risky Safety is a charming, cute show that seems to hit all of the right notes. It’s adorable when it needs to be, but also manages to tug at the heart-strings. It’s silly and funny, though there’s a gravity to a lot of the show as a whole.

If it were to hit in today’s market, Risky Safety would probably be seen as a decent entry into the vast library of moe shows. It wouldn’t be hailed on the level of, say, K-On or Haruhi, but it would find its niche as a solid series. Today, though, the show sits, forgotten and ignored.

It’s a shame. The show is an underloved gem that’s truly fun to watch, with fantastic characters and a playful sense of whimsy that will endear even the most jaded fan.

Gallery

Risky Safety 016 20140918 150x150 Semi Essentials: Omishi Magical Theater Risky Safety Risky Safety 017 20140918 150x150 Semi Essentials: Omishi Magical Theater Risky Safety Risky Safety 018 20140918 150x150 Semi Essentials: Omishi Magical Theater Risky Safety Risky Safety 019 20140918 150x150 Semi Essentials: Omishi Magical Theater Risky Safety Risky Safety 020 20140918 150x150 Semi Essentials: Omishi Magical Theater Risky Safety Risky Safety 001 20140918 150x150 Semi Essentials: Omishi Magical Theater Risky Safety Risky Safety 002 20140918 150x150 Semi Essentials: Omishi Magical Theater Risky Safety Risky Safety 003 20140918 150x150 Semi Essentials: Omishi Magical Theater Risky Safety Risky Safety 004 20140918 150x150 Semi Essentials: Omishi Magical Theater Risky Safety Risky Safety 005 20140918 150x150 Semi Essentials: Omishi Magical Theater Risky Safety Risky Safety 006 20140918 150x150 Semi Essentials: Omishi Magical Theater Risky Safety Risky Safety 007 20140918 150x150 Semi Essentials: Omishi Magical Theater Risky Safety Risky Safety 008 20140918 150x150 Semi Essentials: Omishi Magical Theater Risky Safety Risky Safety 009 20140918 150x150 Semi Essentials: Omishi Magical Theater Risky Safety Risky Safety 010 20140918 150x150 Semi Essentials: Omishi Magical Theater Risky Safety Risky Safety 011 20140918 150x150 Semi Essentials: Omishi Magical Theater Risky Safety Risky Safety 012 20140918 150x150 Semi Essentials: Omishi Magical Theater Risky Safety Risky Safety 013 20140918 150x150 Semi Essentials: Omishi Magical Theater Risky Safety Risky Safety 014 20140918 150x150 Semi Essentials: Omishi Magical Theater Risky Safety Risky Safety 015 20140918 150x150 Semi Essentials: Omishi Magical Theater Risky Safety

Semi-Essentials: Omishi Magical Theater Risky Safety
Mike Ferreira


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Hatsune Miku Meets Mainstream America in David Letterman Appearance

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Earlier today, ComicBook.com reported that Hatsune Miku will perform on The Late Show with David Letterman. The virtual idol will appear on the show in a televised appearance on October 8, 2014. The performance will serve as a showcase for the 3D projection technology that’s used in the idol’s large-scale concerts.

In addition, Hatsune Miku will perform four concerts in New York and Los Angeles. Her Los Angeles concerts, which will be held on October 11 and 12, 2014, will be hosted at the Nokia Theatre. The New York show will be held at the Hammerstein Ballroom on October 17 and 18, 2014. The concerts will run parallel to an exhibition at Wallplay, which will be held from October 9 through October 19.

Crypton also released Sharing The World, an official anthem for Hatsune Miku’s United States tour:

With Miku hitting Letterman’s show, we’ve officially entered Sharon Apple territory.

Joking aside, it’s pretty amazing to see Hatsune Miku, a distinctly Japanese phenomenon, gain so much pull in the west. When Miku, as a character, made her début in 2007, nobody foresaw the character becoming a full-on virtual diva, capable of packing stadiums and opening for pop icons like Lady Gaga.

The very idea that this could happen was little more than sci-fi fluff fodder 20 years ago. And yet, here we are today, talking about Hatsune Miku, beloved virtual idol with over a million derivative art pieces and 100,000 released songs, appearing on Letterman to promote her US tour.

Simply amazing.

Hatsune Miku Miku Expo 20140917 300x140 Hatsune Miku Meets Mainstream America in David Letterman AppearanceThat said, though, this certainly isn’t Hatsune Miku’s first foray into western waters. Since 2007, the virtual idol’s performed countless concerts across the globe, from Tokyo to New York. Her music has appeared in commercials for Toyota cars, and she’s hosted events at New York Comic Con. However, these appearances have historically been to younger audiences that are generally in tune with the image and the musical selections offered by the virtual idol. Pop concerts, comic cons, and the like are typically the domain of the under-30 set, and most would even overlook the short clips used in Toyota’s commercial on the merit that Toyota is a Japanese corporation.

Miku’s appearance on The Late Show  will mark the first time that the virtual idol has to deal with older, more conservative viewers. The typical audience for The Late Show, at this point, is middle-aged, with 75% of the viewing demographic being made up of viewers aged 45 and over. It’s a new market for Hatsune Miku, and certainly one that will be a bit less open-minded about what is essentially a live-action cartoon character. In that light, it will be interesting to see how this audience as a whole reacts to the CGI starlet before, during, and after her show.

Of course, I don’t expect that to be the entire audience for the show. There will undoubtedly be an influx of viewers in the younger set that tune in to see Miku’s mainstream American TV début. And, to be honest, the show runners likely do, as well.

Hatsune Miku Miku Expo 002 20140917 300x143 Hatsune Miku Meets Mainstream America in David Letterman AppearanceIn broadcasting, there is a common term known as “stunt casting.” Basically, the phrase “stunt casting” refers to the practice of hiring well-known actors and musicians to play small roles in TV shows or films. For example, Alec Guinness’s casting of Obi Wan Kenobi was an instance of stunt casting in film. Typically, this is done to create media buzz, and to attract attention from viewers that may otherwise pass on a particular program or show. Hatsune Miku’s appearance on the show is, undoubtedly a stunt cast that will attempt to pull on a larger youth demographic for the program, though the bump in viewership will likely be unsustainable at best.

Regardless, Miku’s appearance on Late Night will absolutely be a net positive overall. Regular Late Night viewers will exposed to Hatsune Miku as a character, for better or worse. At the same time, though, fans that aren’t able to get to the usual venues can see a “live” Hatsune Miku show outside of YouTube. We’ll learn the final impact of the appearance, though, once the show airs.

That said, I fully expect at least a few of the oldest viewers to react like players in a Fine Brothers production, to some extent.

Hatsune Miku Meets Mainstream America in David Letterman Appearance
Mike Ferreira


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Under the Dog Character Designer Draws Breaking Bad, Dexter

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Anime Herald - We’ll talk nerdy to you.

In Japan, Breaking Bad has become a bit of a minor phenomenon. While it hasn’t gripped the nation like The Avengers or Lord of the Rings, it’s certainly attracted a devoted following.

Yusuke Kozaki, who’s best known for his work in No More Heroes, Fire Emblem: Awakening and the upcoming Under the Dog, posted a few sketches of characters from the show to his Twitter account a few days ago. In particular, he sketched out a profile shot of Heisenberg and Jesse, as well as a portrait of popular cleaner Mike Ehrmantraut.

Yusuke Kozaki Breaking Bad 001 20140917 150x150 Under the Dog Character Designer Draws Breaking Bad, Dexter Yusuke Kozaki Breaking Bad 002 20140917 150x150 Under the Dog Character Designer Draws Breaking Bad, Dexter

That’s not all, though. Apparently, Kozaki is a bit of a Dexter fan, as he also posted a sketch of the charismatic spatter analyst and serial killer.

Under the Dog Character Designer Draws Breaking Bad, Dexter
Mike Ferreira


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Viz To Partner With International Groups To Showcase Products On Global Stage

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

VIZ MEDIA EXPANDS GLOBAL PRESENCE WITH MANGA TO BE SHOWCASED AT INTERNATIONAL POP CULTURE AND COMIC CONVENTIONS

Simon & Schuster UK To Feature VIZ Media Titles In India and London; Madman Entertainment Group To Showcase VIZ Media Manga At Major Shows Across Australia And New Zealand

 VIZ Media Horizontal Logo Color 300x58 Viz To Partner With International Groups To Showcase Products On Global Stage

San Francisco, CA, September 17, 2014 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest publisher, distributor and licensor of manga and anime in North America, expands its global footprint as it collaborates with key multi-national distribution partners to showcase the company’s manga (graphic novel) properties at several upcoming high-profile international comics and pop culture conventions taking place in markets eager for high quality, officially licensed English manga content.

VIZ Media publishes one of the world’s most extensive and diverse catalogs of manga in English and will be highlighted by Simon and Schuster UK Ltd. and Madman Entertainment at several of the largest comic book and pop culture conventions happening across the UK, New Zealand, Australia and India throughout the rest of 2014.

VIZ Media is proud to partner with Simon & Schuster UK Ltd., one of the UK’s leading publishers and distributors, to showcase an extensive array of manga at the MCM Comic Con in London (October 24th – 26th), as well as at several massive comics and pop culture conventions taking place in India. Simon & Schuster UK manages VIZ Media’s manga portfolio for this emerging but substantial consumer territory. Titles were subject of tremendous attention at the the recent Comic Con India in Bangalore and will be showcased again at Comic Con India in Hyderabad (Oct. 10th – 12th) and the2014 Mumbai Film and Comics Convention taking place December 19th – 21st.

Simon & Schuster UK has been an exclusive distributor of VIZ Media manga titles since 2007 across all of the company’s imprints, including Shonen Jump, Shonen Jump Advanced, Shojo Beat, Shonen Sunday, Perfect Square, VIZ Signature, the Studio Ghibli Library and the Haikasoru literary imprint. The partnership’s expansion to India, where the Simon & Schuster India division has begun to offer select English-language titles, looks to cultivate a diverse new vertical market for manga.

VIZ Media is also proud to partner with the Madman Entertainment Group, the Australian-based leading independent theatrical and home entertainment distribution company for Oceana, to showcase the company’s extensive roster of manga titles at New Zealand’s 2014 Armageddon Expo, happening October 25th – 27th, as well as at PAX Australia (Oct. 31st – Nov. 2nd) and the renownedSupaNova Expo shows in Adelaide (Nov. 21st – 23rd) and Brisbane (Nov. 28th – 30th).

Madman Entertainment is Australia and New Zealand’s leading distributor of manga content and has handled VIZ Media titles in Oceana since 2008.

“A key goal of VIZ Media’s overall strategy is to make manga global in both its access and fan-base and to develop a sustainable and substantial international market for high quality, officially licensed manga in English,” says Kevin Hamric, Senior Director of Publishing Sales and Marketing. “The popularity of manga at conventions across the UK, Oceana and now in India is a strong testament the growing international appeal. We look forward to working with our international partners to deepen VIZ Media’s presence on a global level and to continuing to deliver the best in manga content to a broad international base of readers.”

For more information on Madman Entertainment Group, please visit: www.madman.com.au

For more information on Simon & Schuster UK, please visit: http://ift.tt/1saMrJl

For more information on VIZ Media manga titles, 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.  Learn more about VIZ Media, anime and manga atwww.VIZ.com.

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Viz To Partner With International Groups To Showcase Products On Global Stage
Mike Ferreira


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Viz To Launch World Trigger Manga on 10/7/2014

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VizMediaLogo Viz To Launch World Trigger Manga on 10/7/2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

VIZ MEDIA LAUNCHES SCI-FI MANGA SERIES WORLD TRIGGER IN GRAPHIC NOVEL FORMAT

Two Unlikely Heroes Are Earth’s Last Hope Against Alien Invaders In New Manga Action Series Straight From The Pages Of WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP; Series To Debut In Print And Digitally

World Trigger Volume 1 Cover 20140916 199x300 Viz To Launch World Trigger Manga on 10/7/2014San Francisco, CA, September 16, 2014 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest distributor and licensor of manga and anime in North America, announces the print and digital launch of creator Daisuke Ashihara’s thrilling sci-fi action manga series – WORLD TRIGGER – in a dedicated graphic novel format on October 7th. The series is currently being serialized chapter-by-chapter SIMULTANEOUS to Japan in the pages of the digital anthology WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP.

WORLD TRIGGER will be published under the Shonen Jump imprint with the first two volumes releasing simultaneously on October 7th. Volumes 1 and 2 are rated ‘T’ for Teens and will carry an MSRP of $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN each. New volumes are scheduled to be released bi-monthly.

Digital versions of WORLD TRIGGER also will launch for $6.99 (USD/CAN) each on the same day on VIZManga.com and through the VIZ MANGA App for the Apple iPad®, iPhone® and iPod® touch, Android-powered smart phones, as well as through the Nook, Kobo, Kindle, iBooks, comiXology and GooglePlay stores.

Destroy thy Neighbor! Earth is under constant threat from Neighbors, invincible monsters from another dimension that destroy humanity’s way of life. At least there are the elite agents of Border, warriors who co-opt alien technology to fight back. Our hero Osamu Mikumo may not be the best agent, but along with his Neighbor friend Yuma, he’ll do whatever it takes to defend life on Earth as we know it.

In the series’ opening volume, when straight-laced Osamu meets a feisty humanoid Neighbor named Yuma, everything that he thinks is right is turned on its head. Can the two natural enemies ever become friends?

Things become tense and the action heats up in Volume 2. Osamu has protected the feisty Neighbor’s identity ever since they met, but he’s about to get a rude awakening when he discovers that Border has ways of sniffing out traitors in their midst.

World Trigger Volume 2 Cover 20140916 200x300 Viz To Launch World Trigger Manga on 10/7/2014“WORLD TRIGGER begins four years after a gate to another dimension opens,  letting alien Neighbors invade and the unlikely heroic duo of Osamu and Yuma must deploy powerful weaponry called Triggers to defeat the invaders and save the world,” says Hope Donovan, Editor. “WORLD TRIGGER has captivated fans in serialized form in WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP, and with the anime releasing in October, we can’t wait to introduce even more readers to the manga series with the simultaneous launch of the first two graphic novels in early October.”

WORLD TRIGGER creator Daisuke Ashihara began his manga career at the age of 27 when his manga, Room 303, won second place in the 75th Osamu Tezuka Awards. His first full series, Super Dog Rilienthal, began serialization in Japan in Weekly Shonen Jump in 2009.WORLD TRIGGERis his second serialized work to appear in Weekly Shonen Jump and chapters also run in the English digital counterpart published by VIZ Media. Daisuke Ashihara is also the author of several shorter works, including the manga one-shots Super Dog Rilienthal, Trigger Keeper and Elite Agent Jin.

For more information on WORLD TRIGGER, or 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 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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Viz To Launch World Trigger Manga on 10/7/2014
Mike Ferreira


from Viz To Launch World Trigger Manga on 10/7/2014
Adorable Bird Girls Fly Into the Hearts of the Japanese Twitterverse

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

Sometimes, we come across something that’s so delightfully weird, that we have to share.

Recently, a few tweets by artist かり (“Hunting”) have been gaining a bit of traction on the Japanese Twitterverse. Hunting has been posting a series of art pieces depicting various birds as adorable girls, which s/he calls “Budgerigars Girls.”

Yep, much like a reverse Hatoful Boyfriend, Hunting has giving birds of all sorts, from pigeons to parrots, quirky human forms. They’re cute, they’re just a bit silly, and they’ve gained a good amount of attention on Twitter, with the more popular images being shared thousands of times over.

We’ve posted and identified our favorites below, but definitely give a look at the artist’s Twitter feed and Pixiv page  for examples we missed.

Bird Girls 007 Cockatiel 20140916 150x150 Adorable Bird Girls Fly Into the Hearts of the Japanese Twitterverse Bird Girls 008 Java Sparrow 20140916 150x150 Adorable Bird Girls Fly Into the Hearts of the Japanese Twitterverse Bird Girls 009 African Grey Parrot 20140916 150x150 Adorable Bird Girls Fly Into the Hearts of the Japanese Twitterverse Bird Girls 010 Java Sparrows 20140916 150x150 Adorable Bird Girls Fly Into the Hearts of the Japanese Twitterverse Bird Girls 011 Crow 20140916 150x150 Adorable Bird Girls Fly Into the Hearts of the Japanese Twitterverse Bird Girls 001 Parakeet 20140916 150x150 Adorable Bird Girls Fly Into the Hearts of the Japanese Twitterverse Bird Girls 002 Parakeets 20140916 150x150 Adorable Bird Girls Fly Into the Hearts of the Japanese Twitterverse Bird Girls 003 Pigeon 20140916 150x150 Adorable Bird Girls Fly Into the Hearts of the Japanese Twitterverse Bird Girls 004 Pigeon and Cockatiel 20140916 150x150 Adorable Bird Girls Fly Into the Hearts of the Japanese Twitterverse Bird Girls 005 Sparrow 20140916 150x150 Adorable Bird Girls Fly Into the Hearts of the Japanese Twitterverse Bird Girls 006 Java Sparrow 20140916 150x150 Adorable Bird Girls Fly Into the Hearts of the Japanese Twitterverse

Adorable Bird Girls Fly Into the Hearts of the Japanese Twitterverse
Mike Ferreira


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Attack on Titan: No Regrets Trailer Gives a Glimpse of Levi’s Past

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

Over the weekend, Attack on Titan fans got a glimpse of the upcoming Attack on Titan: No Regrets OVA. In this OVA, based on the manga of the same name, viewers will get a a glimpse of Levi in his earliest days.

No Regrets revolves around the cold-eyed commander’s life before he joined the Survey Corps. Viewers will get a glimpse of a Levi before he met Erwin, and before he became the sworn enemy of the titans and destroyer of dirt and grime.

Attack on Titan: No Regrets will be released as two episodes. The first installment is slated to hit Japanese DVD in December, while the second will release on April 9, 2015.

Attack on Titan: No Regrets Trailer Gives a Glimpse of Levi’s Past
Mike Ferreira


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