News and Entertainment

The Asterisk War Season 1 on English-Dubbed Blu-ray



Offered By Aniplex

Aniplex of America announced at its A-Kon panel on Saturday that it is dubbing The Asterisk War television anime's first season in English for its Blu-ray release. The season will be available in two volumes — Volume 1 on September 20 and Volume 2 on November 22.

Chris Cason is directing the English dub, as previewed in a new trailer:

The Japanese and English casts include:

Ayato Amagiri: Atsushi Tamaru / Erik Scott Kimerer​
Julis-Alexia von Riessfeld: Ai Kakuma / Kira Buckland​
Claudia Enfield: Nao Tōyama / Erika Harlacher​
Saya Sasamiya: Shiori Izawa / Sarah Anne Williams​
Kirin Toudou: Ari Ozawa / Brianna Knickerbocker​
Eishiro Yabuki: Yūma Uchida / Max Mittelman​
Lester MacPhail: Takanori Hoshino / Patrick Seitz​
Ernesta Kuhne: Chinatsu Akasaki / Cassandra Lee Morris​
Camilla Pareto: Mutsumi Tamura / Cristina Vee​
Haruka Amagiri: Mai Nakahara / Michelle Ruff​
Silas Norman: Yuuichi Iguchi / Kyle McCarley​
Randy Hooke: Nobuyuki Kobushi / Vic Mignogna​
Shuma Sakon: Nobuo Tobita / Lucien Dodge​
Fan Xinglou: Omi Minami / Cherami Leigh​
Ernest Fairclough: Takahiro Sakurai / Vic Mignogna​
Dirk Eberwein: Tomokazu Sugita / Kaiji Tang​
Kyouko Yatsuzaki: Yuko Kaida / Johanna Luis​
Kouichiro Toudou: Unshou Ishizuka / Richard Epcar​

Each of the two-disc Blu-ray volumes will feature six episodes with Japanese and English dialogue tracks, English and Spanish subtitles, bonus and web previews, packaging illustrated by character designer Tetsuya Kawakami, and clear cases with two-sided wraps. The first volume adds the textless versions of the opening, two endings, and prologue.

The standard edition of each volume will retail for US$74.98, discounted to US$59.98. The limited edition of each volume adds a soundtrack CD, deluxe booklet, and illustration postcards for US$114.98, discounted to US$89.98.

Aniplex describes the story:

Invertia--The astral catastrophe that annihilated many cities in the 20th century also gave birth to a new human race with special powers called the "Genestella." At the same time, the special element found within the meteors of Invertia facilitated humanity's technological advancement. At the academic-city above water Rikka, also known as “Asterisk,” students from each of the six schools at Asterisk prepare for the ultimate battle tournament – known as “Festa”. Seidoukan Academy's Ayato Amagiri takes up the challenge along with his partner Julis, a.k.a. Glühen Rose, the Witch of the Resplendent Flames. Ayato learns Julis has a big dream to achieve and decides to protect her to the end.


Funimation's Fullmetal Alchemist Rights Expire



Expires July 31st

FUNimation Entertainment confirmed in an ad on Monday that its home video and streaming rights for the 2003 Fullmetal Alchemist series will expire on July 31.

Funimation will cease streaming the series and will no longer reprint the home video releases of the anime, including its Collector's Edition.

Funimation's home video and streaming rights for the 2009 Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood series and the Fullmetal Alchemist: The Movie - Conqueror of Shamballa film expired on March 31.

Like the later Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood series, the 2003 series is based on Hiromu Arakawa's original manga, though the latter has an original ending due to the manga remaining unfinished at the time of the anime's production.

The anime aired on Adult Swim in the United States in 2004, and on YTV in Canada in 2006. Funimation released series in DVD singles from 2005 to 2013. It recently re-released the series with a Limited and Collector's Edition on Blu-ray Disc last September.

"This is my last transmutation. Just sit back and enjoy the show!"


Novel Violet Evergarden Gets Anime Project



Winner of the KyoAni Awards

Kyoto Animation posted an animated commercial on Friday for author Kana Akatsuki and illustrator Akiko Takase's Violet Evergarden novel, and the ad ends with the announcement that an anime adaptation project is in the works. The video has English subtitles

The video's description lists its staff:

Director/Storyboard: Taichi Ishidate
Character Design/Animation Director: Akiko Takase
Key Animators: Nami Iwasaki, Fumio Tada, Kohei Okamura, Shinpei Sawa, Nobuaki Maruki, Tatsuya Sato, Miku Kadowaki
In-Between Animation Check: Hiroko Kuroda
Color Design: Yūka Yoneda
Special Effects: Rina Miura
Background Art: Mikiko Watanabe
3D Art: Joji Unoguchi
Director of Digital Composite: Kōhei Funamoto
3D Computer Graphics: Tetsuro Umetsu

Kyoto Animation has not confirmed if the staff for the commercial will return for the announced anime project that is in the works.

Kyoto Animation describes the story:

Auto Memories Doll.
It's been quite a while since that name caused a fuss. Originally invented by Professor Orland solely for his beloved wife, Auto Memories Dolls eventually spread out into the world, and a machine that allows people to rent out the dolls was also created.

"I will run as fast as I can to wherever my customer desires. I am the Auto Memories Doll, Violet Evergarden."

A girl who almost appears to have popped out of a fairy tale with her blonde hair and blue eyes said this with her inorganic beauty and sweet voice.

KA Esuma Bunko published the first novel in Japan last December. (Note: the kanji used to indicate the novel's first volume is usually used when a novel has two volumes total.) The novel won the grand prize in the fifth Kyoto Animation Award program's novel category in 2014. The win marked the first time that any work won a grand prize in any of the contest's three categories (novel, scenario, and manga).


Kousuke Fujishima's Toppu GP Manga Launches in English



The Creator of Oh My Goddess!

Kodansha Comics announced the details on the simultaneous English release of Oh My Goddess! creator Kousuke Fujishima's new series Toppu GP on Tuesday. The first two chapters launched on Kindle and Comixology on Tuesday, the same day they debuted in Kodansha's Afternoon magazine in Japan. The chapters cost US$1.99 each. The third chapter is slated for June 24.

The story follows Toppū Uno, a Japanese boy who is aiming for MotoGP, the "world's top motorcycle race." The manga will feature "obsessively accurate depictions" of mechanical equipment, motorcycles, and cars. The manga will also have the "full cooperation" of various Japanese motorcycle makers, motorcycle-wear companies, and various circuits in Japan.

Dark Horse Comics has released Fujishima's Oh My Goddess! and part of his You're Under Arrest manga in North America. Fujishima ended his Oh My Goddess! manga in 2014 after 25 years of serialization. He ended his Paradise Residence manga in January, at which time Monthly Afternoon announced that he would begin a new series this spring. Kodansha Comics will release Paradise Residence in English.

Fujishima is returning to the Tales of video game franchise as a designer for the Tales of Berseria game that will ship for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3 in Japan on August 18. Bandai Namco Entertainment will also release the game for PlayStation 4 and PC in North America and Europe in early 2017.​


The Betrayal Knows My Name Manga Returns From Hiatus



12th Volume Scheduled

Manga creator Hotaru Odagiri resumed her manga The Betrayal Knows My Name (Uragiri wa Boku no Namae o Shitteiru) in the July issue of Kadokawa's Monthly Asuka magazine on Tuesday. In addition, the magazine revealed that Kadokawa will publish the manga's 12th compiled book volume on August 26. Art from the manga is featured in the magazine's front cover (seen right).

Yen Press has released six omnibus volumes of the manga series in North America, and it describes the story:

Abandoned as a baby and raised in an orphanage, the kind-hearted high-schooler Yuki Sakuragi is driven by a need to find the reason for his existence. Plagued by mysterious dreams, Yuki also possesses the strange ability to read the deepest, darkest thoughts of anyone he touches. As both the dreams and his powers intensify, there appears before him a beautiful young man named "Zess," whose face tugs on Yuki's memory. He warns Yuki not to venture outside on Walpurgis Night, the eve of the blood-red moon, which invites death. But when Yuki's compassion leads him to disobey Zess's order, has Yuki carelessly thrown his life away before he's even given himself the chance to find out the very reason for it?

Odagiri launched the manga in Monthly Asuka in 2005, and Kadokawa published the manga's 11th compiled book volume in October 2012.

The series received a 24-episode anime adaptation in 2010, and Crunchyroll streamed the series in various regions as it aired in Japan.

Digital Manga Publishing released Odagiri's other series Only the Ring Finger Knows, Invisible Boy, and Time Lag in North America.​


Zelda: Twilight Princess Manga Teaser



English Release



The manga creator duo Akira Himekawa said on their official Facebook page on Friday that Viz Media will publish the first volume of their The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess manga in English. However, Viz Media told ANN that it could not confirm a license.

Himekawa also mentioned that Tokyopop Deutschland will publish the volume in German. The pair revealed the cover of the volume.

Himekawa launched the Twilight Princess manga in Shogakukan's MangaONE app on February 8, where it serializes every other week. Twilight Princess marks the pair's return to drawing The Legend of Zelda manga after an eight-year hiatus. Shogakukan will publish the first volume of the manga in Japan on June 24.

Himekawa serialized The Legend of Zelda manga series from 1998 to 2008. The duo drew a prologue to The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword game in 2011.

Viz Media will also publish Himekawa's The Legend of Zelda: Legendary Edition, Vol. 1: Ocarina of Time Parts 1 & 2 manga in English on November 1. The Legend Of Zelda: Legendary Edition is a new series of two-in-one releases of the pair's The Legend of Zelda manga. Each of the five omnibus volumes will contain two volumes of the original series with new covers, colored artwork, and a larger printing format. Viz Media previously published all 10 volumes in the series in singular volumes.​


Kairi Shimotsuki Launches Brave10 Spinoff Manga



Coming In June


The June issue of Kodakawa's Monthly Comic Gene magazine revealed last Saturday that Brave10's Kairi Shimotsuki will launch a new manga series tentatively titled Brave10 Tawamure in the magazine's July issue when it ships on June 15. The first chapter will include a center color image.

Brave10 Tawamure is a spin-off of Shimotsuki's Brave10 and Brave10 S manga, and it will focus on Kirigakure Saizō, Sarutobi Sasuke, and Hanzō Hattori. The issue teased that the manga will reveal information about their past.

Shimotsuki's Brave10 S series ended in March, and Kadokawa published the ninth compiled volume (pictured above) on March 26. Shimotsuki launched Brave10 S, the continuation of her original Brave10 manga, in the first issue of Monthly Comic Gene in 2011.

The manga's story re-imagines the legendary adventures of the 10 brave warriors assembled by the warlord Sanada Yukimura in the year 1600, in the middle of Japan's tumultuous Sengoku (Warring States) era.

The original manga inspired a television anime in 2012, and Crunchyroll streamed the series as it aired in Japan. NIS America released a Blu-ray Disc box of Brave10 in 2013.

North American publisher Digital Manga Publishing licensed Shimotsuki's A Century of Temptation manga and published it in 2013. Tokyopop published Shimotsuki's Madness manga in 2009, and Udon Entertainment published her Devil Kings Basara manga in 2008.​


Next Heroic Legend of Arslan Novel by Yoshiki Tanaka Will Be It's Last



Next Volume To Be It's Last

Hiroaki Adachi, the head of the Wright Staff company that manages the business affairs of author Yoshiki Tanaka, posted on Twitter in February that the next volume of Tanaka's Arslan Senki (The Heroic Legend of Arslan) novel series would be the last.

Adachi explained in the post that Tanaka is currently working on a new novel titled Suishōkyū no Shinigami (The Reaper in the Crystal Palace), the third novel in his Victorian Horror Adventures series after Gesshoku-shima no Mamono (The Devils of the Eclipsed Island) and Dokuro-jō no Hanayome (The Bride of the Castle Skull). After finishing that novel, he will begin working on the final volume of Arslan Senki.

The 15th volume of Arslan Senki (seen right) shipped on Wednesday.

Tanaka's novel series, illustrated by Yoshitaka Amano, centers on the titular Arslan, heir to the Kingdom of Pars, and initially reluctant in martial affairs and leadership. When the neighboring nation of Lusitania routs the Parsian army in the field, and Arslan's father King Andragoras falls victim to a Lusitanian plot, he and his loyal guard Daryun barely escape with their lives. On the run, Arslan must assemble an army to take back his birthright from Silvermask, the Lusitanian general who himself has a claim to the Parsian throne.

Tanaka launched the series in 1986. The series was adapted into a six-episode OVA series from 1991 to 1993, and a manga adaptation by Chisato Nakamura that ran from 1991-1996. Central Park Media released the original video anime adaptation.

Hiromu Arakawa (Fullmetal Alchemist) is currently serializing a new manga adaptation of the novels, which she launched in Kodansha's Bessatsu Shōnen Magazine in July 2013. Kodansha will publish the manga's sixth volume in December. Kodansha Comics published the fifth volume earlier this month. Crunchyroll is also releasing the manga as it is published in Japan.


Brace Yourself, ERASED TV Anime to Get English Dub



Aniplex of America Announces Dub

Aniplex of America announced at Anime Central on Friday that the ERASED television anime series will get an English dub. The company additionally announced it will release the Doukyusei -Classmates- film on Blu-ray Disc, and it will also release a complete Blu-ray Disc boxset collection for the Puella Magi Madoka Magica television anime series.

ERASED is based on Kei Sanbe's Boku dake ga Inai Machi manga, and it follows Satoru, a struggling manga artist who has an ability that forces him back in time to prevent deaths. When his mother is killed he's sent back in time to solve the mystery, but ends up back in elementary school, just before the disappearance of his classmate Kayo.

The 12-episode anime series premiered in January, and Funimation, Crunchyroll, and Daisuki streamed the series as it aired.

The Doukyusei -Classmates-release will include English subtitles, promo video and commercial collections, a deluxe booklet, illustration cards, a clear case with two-sided wrap, and a package illustrated by original manga creator Asumiko Nakamura. Aniplex of America will release the Blu-ray Disc on September 20 with a retail price of US$74.98 and a store price of US$59.98. Pre-orders for the film are available now on the film's website. Aniplex of America had screened the film in the United States earlier this month.

The Puella Magi Madoka Magica Blu-ray Disc box set will ship on August 23 for a retail price of US$149.98 and a store price of US$119.98. The set will include Japanese and English audio, English subtitles, three Blu-ray Discs, a trailer collection, textless opening and ending videos, the music video for Kalafina's "Magia" ending theme song, a package illustrated by character designer Takahiro Kishida, a four-page insert, and clear cases with two-sided wraps.

Aniplex of America additionally announced it will host a "Sword Art Online Festival" at Anime Expo on July 2. The show's main dub cast will be in attendance, as well as some secret guests, and the event will include: live line readings, games, and bloopers. First attendees will also receive a free item. The company will also make a "special announcement" about the Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale film at the event.​


Three Leaves, Three Colors English Broadcast Dub



Currently Airing

FUNimation Entertainment announced the English Broadcast Dub voice cast for Three Leaves, Three Colors (Sansha Sanyō) on Monday.

The cast, under ADR director Tyler Walker, stars:

Alexis Tipton as Yoko Nishikawa
Jeannie Tirado as Futaba Odagiri
Tabitha Ray as Hayama
Kyle Phillips as Mitsugu Yamaji

Funimation streamed the first episode of the Broadcast Dub on Sunday. The series premiered on April 10 and Funimation is also streaming the episodes with English-subtitles as they air in Japan.

Funimation describes the story:

Futaba Odagiri [voiced by Mai Kanazawa] is the energetic transfer student who befriends Teru Hayama (Ayaka Imamura), the class president who is meaner than she looks, and Yōko Nishikawa (Yū Wakui), a former rich girl who still acts like a princess. Three very different girls who only share one thing: the kanji for leaf in their names. Balancing school and life is hard enough, but what about dealing with clashing personalities on top of it all?

The anime is based on a manga by Cherry Arai. Yasuhiro Kimura (Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE! episode director) is directing the series at animation studio Doga Kobo. Hideaki Koyasu (Lance N' Masques, GJ Club) is handling series composition and Jun Yamazaki (episode animation director for Senran Kagura: Ninja Flash!,Muromi-san) is designing the characters.​


Kagerou Daze Manga Enters New Arc



Coming This Fall

The June issue of Kodakawa's Monthly Comic Gene magazine revealed on Saturday that JIN and Mahiro Satou's Kagerou Daze manga will go on hiatus and then enter a new arc this fall.

JIN's Kagerou Project began as a Vocaloid song series that JIN wrote and composed in 2011. JIN launched the Kagerou Daze light novel series in May 2012, with illustrations by Sidu. Kadokawa published the novel series' sixth volume in March 2015, with the seventh volume slated for August 29.

Satou launched a manga adaptation of the novels in Kadokawa's Monthly Comic Gene magazine in June 2012 and Kadokawa published the manga's eighth compiled book volume (pictured right) on March 26.

The series inspired a 12-episode television anime adaptation titled Mekakucity Actors in 2014. A short anime film titled MX4D Kagerou Daze -in a days- will open in Japan this winter.

Yen Press publishes both the light novel series and manga in North America. The company published the novel series' third volume on January 26, and published manga's fifth volume in April. Crunchyroll streamed the Mekakucity Actors anime as it aired in Japan.​


Of the Red, the Light, and the Ayakashi Manga Ends



Ends In June

The June issue of Kodakawa's Monthly Comic Gene magazine revealed on Saturday that HaccaWorks* and Nanao's Of the Red, the Light, and the Ayakashi (Aka ya Akashi ya Ayakashi no) manga will end in the magazine's July issue, which ships on June 15.

The manga adapts the dōjin game of the same name. Dōjin circle HaccaWorks* released the "spirited away adventure" game for the PC in Japan in 2011 with a theme song by Akiko Shikata (Frontier Works). A PSP version followed in 2014.

The story centers on Yue, a boy born and raised entirely within a certain shrine on the outskirts of Utsuwa City. One day, he goes to the winter festival when he is taken along by his close childhood friend Kurogitsune (black fox). The scene is bustling with people under brightly lit lanterns. In the outside world for the first time since he was born, Yue meets a mysterious boy.

The artist Nanao launched the manga version of in Monthly Comic Gene magazine in 2012, and Kadokawa published the eighth compiled book volume (pictured right) on January 27.

Yen Press licensed the manga in North America, and the company released the manga's second compiled volume digitally and in print on March 22.​


Kagerou Project's JIN Launches New Manga in June



Titled Nirvana

The June issue of Kodakawa's Monthly Comic Gene magazine revealed on Saturday that JIN (Kagerou Project) will launch a new manga with artist Sayuki (Mikagura School Suite manga) titled Nirvana in the magazine's July issue when it ships on June 15.

Nirvana tells the story of a girl who is reincarnated in an unknown world. The action manga follows her and her companion on their journey to extinguish "evil."

JIN's Kagerou Project began as a Vocaloid song series that JIN wrote and composed in 2011. JIN launched the Kagerou Daze light novel series in May 2012, with illustrations by Sidu. Kadokawa published the novel series' sixth volume in March 2015, with the seventh volume slated for August 29. Mahiro Satou launched a manga adaptation of the novels in Kadokawa's Monthly Comic Gene magazine in June 2012 and Kadokawa published the manga's eighth compiled book volume on March 26. The series inspired a 12-episode television anime adaptation titled Mekakucity Actors in 2014. A short anime film titled MX4D Kagerou Daze -in a days- will open in Japan this winter.

Yen Press publishes both the light novel series and manga in North America. The company published the novel series' third volume on January 26, and published manga's fifth volume in April. Crunchyroll streamed the Mekakucity Actors anime as it aired in Japan.​


Endride Anime Broadcast Dub Revealed



Funimation Reveals Cast

North American anime distributor Funimation announced the English broadcast dub cast for the Endride anime on Saturday. The first episode of the broadcast dub is available now, and new episodes will debut every Sunday at 3:00 p.m. EDT.

The cast, under ADR director Kyle Phillips and ADR engineer Jeremy Woods, includes:

Aaron Dismuke as Shun Asanaga​
Ian Sinclair as Emilio Langheim​
Sarah Wiedenheft as Alicia​
Felecia Angelle as Falarion​
Phil Parsons as King Delzaine​
Mark Stoddard as Pascal​

Funimation describes the anime:.

Beneath the earth's surface lies the unknown world, Endra. After touching a mysterious crystal, Shun Asanaga finds himself in this new land and his only way home lies with helping the vengeful Prince Emilio. Recently imprisoned, Emilio vows to take back his rightful throne from King Delzaine. Check out the latest adventure from the creator of Rurouni Kenshin and the studio behind Durarara!!

Keiji Gotoh (Kiddy Grade, Sengoku Collection) is directing the anime at the studio Brains Base (Natsume's Book of Friends, RIN-NE). Touko Machida (Show By Rock!!, Lucky Star, The [email protected]) is in charge of the series scripts. Luna Sea is performing the theme song "Limit." Nobuhiro Watsuki (Rurouni Kenshin, Buso Renkin) and Kazushi Hagiwara (Bastard!!) designed the characters.

The anime premiered in Japan on April 2.​


Adult Swim to Air What Anime You Ask?



Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans



Turner revealed in a press release on Thursday that it has acquired the Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans anime to air on Adult Swim in their quest to keep their millennial audience intact. Jason DeMarco, co-founder of Adult Swim's Toonami block confirmed on Twitter that Gundam will air on Toonami.

In October 2015, Japan started streaming the Iron Blood Orphans on Hulu, Crunchyroll and Funimation. Interestingly, after the season ended, a teaser that the Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans will soon return in the fall. The previous stream of the series was at the time, made available in the American region with other territories waiting to be announced in a later date.

Funimation describes the story:

“There was once a great conflict known as the “Calamity War.” Roughly 300 years have passed since the end of this war.

The Earth Sphere had lost its previous governing structure, and a new world was created under new systems of government. While a temporary peace had arrived, the seeds of a new conflict were being sown in the Mars Sphere, far away from Earth.Our hero, a boy named Mikazuki Augus, belongs to a private security company called Chryse Guard Security (CGS). The company accepts a mission to escort Kudelia Aina Bernstein, a girl who seeks to liberate the Martian city of Chryse from the rule of one of Earth’s major powers. However, the military organization Gjallarhorn attacks CGS in order to nip this rebellion in the bud. CGS begins an evacuation, using Mikazuki and the other children as decoys.”