Posts Tagged ‘media blasters’
Watch out Redbox because Media Blasters is taking your idea and making it 10 times better! Who needs your fancy mainstream new releases when I could be stopping off at the corner to rent anime instead!
Announced yesterday, Media Blasters will be opening up their own line of anime DVD rental kiosks which will feature titles from all major anime distributors in the country (including Bandai, Funimation, Sentai, Viz Media, Sony Pictures and Disney). The Rareflix booths will allow fans to rent DVDs for $1-2 a piece in their original packaging and if a fan decides they like the DVD and want to purchase it outright, they can do so through the main website.
At the moment, the first of what will hopefully be many has already been opened in New York but the company plans to expand around the northeast portion of the country over the next year and a half focusing on college campuses and anime shops.
Personally I hope that this is a hugely successful venture for Media Blasters. They could use the boost and I think it would be great fun if I could just pop down to the corner shop and pick up an anime DVD whenever I had a couple of extra dollars in my pocket.
Full press release below the cut
Are we really almost at the end of another year? That’s almost depressing but at least we have nice firm release dates for all sorts of anime coming out for the rest of the year… oh wait, never mind.
A number of notices have come out over the last few days announcing changes to release schedules with everyone shifting things around just a little. Starting in Texas, Funimation has announced a few date changes for series that were set to be released over the next couple of weeks:
Full Metal Panic Collection: Moved to 10/12
Eden of the East Complete Collection (DVD and Blu ray): Moved to 10/19
Slayers Revolution (DVD and Blu ray): Moved to 10/19
Slayers Evolution-R (DVD and Blu ray): Moved to 10/19
Hetalia Season 2: Moved to 10/26
Why the changes? Well as the video below explains, sometimes shit happens. I’ve complained about companies changing things around without giving a reason and Funimation has done the same thing here. However, at least they were entertaining about it and weren’t completely silent which counts for something.
Over in the corner of the internet occupied by Media Blasters, new release dates have been set for a few of their titles which fans have been waiting to see hit store shelves (virtual or otherwise) for awhile:
Blade of the Immortal Collection: Moved to 10/19
Ikkitousen Dragon Destiny Vol. 3: Moved to 10/26
Ikkitousen Dragon Destiny Complete Collection: Moved to 10/26
Genshiken DX Collection (Season 1 + OVA): Moved to 10/26
Dairugger Collection 3: Moved to 10/26
Genshiken 2 Complete Collection: Moved to 11/2
Magic Knight Rayearth Season 2 Collection: Moved to 11/2
Finally, Bandai has announced their November release slate which involves 2 titles only 1 of which is a delay (kind of impressive for them these days):
There’s kind of a funny thing about posting things on the internet, namely that you can never really be too sure on who might see it and respond. On the forums for the website, Horror Digital, a user posted some rumors that Media Blasters was in dire straits and would soon be closing their NY offices and warehouse. Well, Media Blasters President John Sirabella saw and finally felt the need to step in and correct some of the misinformation going around.
In the original post, rumors were being thrown around that included a complete closing of the Media Blasters warehouse/offices were imminent and there were staff layoffs which cut the staff from 52 down to a skeleton crew of 10 as recently as July. Additionally the poster cited his “source” as saying titles such as the live action Buio Omega was being delayed because the company did not have the financial means to replicate or even get an HD master.
In response to this Sirabella laid out his side of things: the original poster had no idea what he’s talking about (I’m paraphrasing that a bit). According to Sirabella’s response, Media Blasters never had a staff of 52 (at its largest it was around 40) but there have been layoffs. The live action Buio Omega has been delayed to October but it is still on track.
As for the warehouses and offices; starting today Media Blasters will be handing over their distribution to Iowa based retailer Right Stuf while their NY offices will remain open just as they always have. So Media Blasters may not be throwing out the yaoi and fan service as frequently as they used to thanks to a soft market but there is at least a very steady pulse.
Thanks for playing everyone, we now return you to your regularly scheduled insanity.
The acid nipple anime has made its way onto Crunchyroll!
Released to DVD last month, previously the series was only available on Media Blaster’s official site (with only 1 episode being uploaded) but now the first four episodes are available streaming. I have absolutely no details beyond that regarding what kind of deal was made with Media Blasters to get these episodes online or if this means more Media Blasters titles will be appearing in the future. I do have an email out to Crunchyroll right now though and will update this post as soon as I have some new answers for everyone. In the meantime, everyone should go check out the series because I’ve still yet to find the determination to actually sit down and subject myself to it.
Updated: I’ve gotten an email back from Keith Kawamura at Crunchyroll and was told that currently only 4 episodes will be uploaded to the site but they hope to host the entire series if Media Blasters wishes (yes, I have an email out to them right now to ask if they do, in fact, wish that to happen). When asked about the content of the streams, Kawamura also stated that whatever content is on the DVD is what will appear on Crunchyroll. No word on if this means other series from Media Blasters is on the way but once again, keep checking back as the story develops more information is available.
Just a couple of months after laying off a quarter of their staff, Media Blasters announced today that they have redesigned their primary site (which is nice since the last one was a… what’s the phrase? Oh yeah, navigation nightmare) and have made the first three episodes of three series available for free. Currently the first episodes of Queen’s Blade, Kanokon and Ikki Tousen: Dragon Destiny are available on the site dubbed and in full DVD quality. If none of those series are of interest to you right now more series and episodes are already planned including Magic Knight Rayearth.
I’m really glad to see that Media Blasters is taking a step forward to try and reach the streaming audience. I’m not entirely sure how the streaming market works but was this really the cheapest way to go about this? It doesn’t sound like Media Blasters is rolling in capital right now so now I’m left wondering. Then again, it only takes two seconds to think about these three series and realize… yeah, is there a single mainstream streaming site which would touch these series with a ten foot tentacle besides Funimation?
So if you’re sitting home this afternoon with nothing else to do, why not go watch some dubbed ecchi action anime?
Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit
Taking place in an earlier, feudal era of Japan; the story begins when a spear wielding female mercenary named Balsa arrives in the New Yogo Empire. After witnessing an accident and saving the youngest prince from drowning she is invited to the castle as a reward for her courage. While there Balsa is asked to meet with the second empress and learns the accident she witnessed was actually an attempt on the prince’s life. The Star Readers (essentially educated diviners) of the castle have determined that inside Prince Chagum is a demon and he must be killed by the orders of the Emperor, Chagum’s father. Tasked with keeping Prince Chagum safe, Balsa accepts the job as part of her own personal atonement for sins from the past. Taking the boy into hiding, she puts her life on the line to make sure no one ever realize he has escaped the castle alive.
Over the course 26 episodes, their secret will be revealed however and hunters from the castle will attempt to track them down. Meanwhile Balsa, with the help of her best friend and a mystic named Torogai finds out more about what is inside Chagum. Together they will begin a journey to see him find and fill his true destiny within the spiritual and physical worlds.
More behind the cut
This has been a really weird month for me in terms of posts and keeping up to date. The Early Impressions are coming along at some kind of pace but the news has been slow up until recently. This week had new simulcasts but the name Haruhi Suzumiya is the subject that seemed to come up the most often with Bandai’s recent movie acquisition. Here’s what else happened that I missed:
Gurren Lagann Movies to be Available in US: The previously unreleased Gurren Lagann movies, Childhood’s End [Japanese title: Guren-hen) and The Lights in the Sky Are Stars [Japanese title: Ragan-hen], are now going to be available in the US this summer. While a couple of screenings have taken place in San Francisco and Chicago, this will be the first time that the movies will be actually released for domestic sale. The movies will be released directly by the new American branch, Aniplex of America, and will be for sale exclusively through Bandai’s new Online Store but neither release will have a dub track. Trailers can already be viewed on the official Aniplex of America YouTube channel.
In an interview with ANN, it was also noted that Aniplex plans to release five more series before March 2011 so we’ll see how this goes.
Dentsu Opens American Branch: Frequent anime sponsor, Dentsu has opened a North American office which will be responsible for handling various licenses here. At the moment these are titles such as Doltora Quest and Mameshiba so this is kind of more of an FYI than anything that will really reach you directly… well, I suppose if you have children who would be interested in these types of titles and collecting the toys.
Single DVDs Finally Go the Way of the Buffalo (Points if you can identify the silly obscure reference): Media Blasters has announced that Kanokon will be the final series released by the company as single volumes and from there out the company will switch to box sets. One by one companies have been dropping this model but I think we may officially be done with that era of anime releases.
Speaking of Media Blasters and Kanokon, a few days ago Media Blasters CEO John Sirabella confirmed that both Kanokon and Queen’s Blade were being released with dub tracks. Kanokon Vol. 1 will be released May 25th and Queen’s Blade Vol. 1 will be released May 18th.
Producer Apologizes for House of Five Leaves: Despite being placed in the valued noitamina time slot, the first episode of House of Five Leaves premiered to 1.5% ratings. Rating so low, the producer of the series Koji Yamamoto apologized and took full responsibility on his Twitter account. When was the last time you saw a producer who thought he had the next hit reality show apologize for subjecting people to it after it fails?
As a reminder, Funimation also announced recently that they have obtained the rights to stream the noitamina block on their website which includes House of Five Leaves and The Tatami Galaxy every Thursday. I haven’t personally checked out the first episode for myself yet but I hope to this week.
That’s it for tonight I think. Keep checking back as the week passes though as I plan to get a series review up and hopefully more Early Impressions from the spring season which I’ve been doing a pretty lame job of covering this year.
Sad news coming out of New York as it’s been confirmed that Media Blasters was recently forced to put at least 13 employees on temporary unpaid leave or laid off entirely. For a small company like Media Blasters, this represents about 25% of their staff.
In a statement to ANN, Media Blasters CEO John Sirabella said “Recently, some of our larger vendors have slowed down quite a bit, so we have to take precautions. We are hoping that if we start to see the orders flow back from these vendors, we can bring [the furloughed employees] back later.”
Unfortunately, this news also comes with a round of new release dates for planned DVDs (including Kanokon, Queen’s Blade and others that certain fans have been looking forward to… I think you all know who you are). The list of titles that are being rescheduled are listed below with their new release dates afterwards:
Wordsworth Outer Story moved to 4/13/2010
World of Wordsworth Collection (WordsWorth Premium Collection) moved to 4/13/2010
Otogi Zoshi: Collection of Ages moved to 4/20/2010
Gaogaigar Season 2 LiteBox moved to 4/27/2010
Rurouni Kenshin Complete Series Volumes 1-22, Eps, 1-95 moved to 4/27/2010
Tekkaman Blade Complete (Volumes 1-3 , Eps. 1-49) moved to 5/4/2010
Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro-chan Special Edition (Now Dubbed) moved to 5/18/2010
Queens Blade The Exiled Virgin: A Single Step Vol.1 moved to 5/18/2010
Kanokon – The Girl Who Cried Fox: Sexy Like a Fox Vol. 1 moved to 5/25/2010
Inma Seiden moved to 6/1/2010
Ikki Tousen Dragon Destiny: Vol 3 moved to 6/29/2010
Urotsukidoji: Legend of the Overfiend (Uncut Episode) moved to To be Determined
Urotsukidoji: Legend of the Overfiend (The Movie) moved to To be Determined
Queens Blade The Exiled Virgin: The Beaten Path, Vol. 2 moved to To be Determined
Fleshdance (Shimaizuma) moved to To be Determined
Ikki Tousen Premium Box moved to To be Determined
Oh My Sex Goddess (Megachu) moved to To be Determined
Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei V1 moved to To be Determined
Among all the excitement generated by Media Blasters yesterday, there was a second piece of news that kind of fell through the cracks. Central Park Media News reported that during a visit to the Media Blasters store, he was told that Media Blasters had rescued the Record of Lodoss War OVA and TV series and would be releasing them as one set.
Well, I sent an email over to Media Blasters last night and can now say that for once, the internet wasn’t lying: Media Blasters has rescued Record of Lodoss War but they have no release date as of this writing. One of the most epic fantasy series of the last couple of decades, the first OVA series was produced by Madhouse in 1990 before AIC took the reins for a TV series in 1998. Both sets were originally released in the US by Central Park Media in 1998 and 2003 respectively so it’s amazing to me that someone is giving this one a second life.
While I always say that I’m a member of the Sailor Moon generation of anime fans, Record of Lodoss War was one of the first anime I saw as a kid that I knew was from Japan and one of the first true sparks to what would become my future obsession… err, subject to write about constantly… I mean, ah screw it! I never got a chance to add this one to my collection so this is a release that I’m really going to look forward to picking up!
Anyone else have fond memories of this series? For me all my happy memories are of the elf Deedlit and the absolutely gorgeous opening themes in anime history (Kiseki no Umi sung by Maaya Sakamoto) attached to the TV series. In fact, let’s watch that OP right now all together and bask in this moment
<Image via Pixiv>
So, there I was enjoying my nice slow morning with nothing to do but laze about. Then I left to clean up a little and when I come back I find that Media Blasters has finally confirmed their license of Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei. Because it’s obviously a little too much to ask for announcements to be made while I’m paying attention.
The dark comedy was rumored to be licensed by Media Blasters months ago but no one since then had been willing to say one way or the other but today it was finally listed among their May solicitations. Originally based on a manga and premiering in 2007 the Shaft produced comedy follows a chronically depressed teacher and his class filled with colorful female students. Gaining a following of fans who never thought they would see this one licensed, the first volume will finally see a stateside release on May 25th with five episodes and priced at under $20! I missed this one when it first premiered and never bothered to play catch up afterwards. For $20 though, I think I can squeeze this one into my budget (might have to skip a meal or two but eh, I’ll live).
Anyone else thinking of adding this one as a budget buy whim?
<Via Anime on DVD>
Update: Anime Vice has talked with Media Blasters and made some corrections. First off, there will be NO English dub on this release which, in hindsight, is probably a better thing. Secondly, the first volume will contain six episodes (half the first season) and be priced at 24.99.