Posts Tagged ‘viz media’
Tiger and Bunny
Premiere Date: 4/2
Genre: Super Heroes
Available via Viz Anime
First Impression: Maybe not the next big thing but certainly a good first step!
In the city of Sternbild, the people have the police for small crimes but when things become epic they count on a band of real super heroes. All sponsored by a different corporation (all of which are real in Japan, one of many fun smaller details), the heroes compete against each other for the citizens entertainment on a popular reality program called Hero TV. Their mission is to be the best and most popular in order to keep bringing in those sweet sponsorship dollars with life or death stakes on the line.
One veteran hero, Wild Tiger, is the only one to still work for a small company. With the changing of the seasons however, that changes as the man with a daughter to raise is sold to a larger corporation. Now Kotetsu Kaburagi, not Wild Tiger, has to decide to go along with the offer to team up with a younger hero who shares his same power or walk away entirely.
Good and the Bad
On its very first day, critics were hailing this series as the next big thing. I remained unconvinced of this as I started the episode. In the first half, Tiger and Bunny establishes exactly what type of action you can expect. Introducing all of the heroes breaking up a crime in progress, the action in the first half reaches epic proportions. Escapes, multiple foiled heroes and hijacked vehicles (which get progressively larger from a taxi all the way up to an airship). Buildings are destroyed, special powers are used and some come very close to checking out of the competition permanently. And I was left rolling my eyes, still completely unconvinced that this could possibly be the next big thing. The eye candy in this series is a welcome treat but the powers and explosions were just not pulling me in as questions started to rise. Why would a criminal even bother working this city? Why aren’t these heroes at each others throats trying to get the arrest points?
But then the second half started. The heroes who were a few moments earlier acting strong and brave are mingling at a cocktail party. The heroes who were a few moments earlier all about the people are standing around timidly doing everything in their power to curry more favor with the presidents of companies.
Once the cameras are off, these heroes are nothing more than marketing gimmicks for their companies. They are there to boost the profits and keep ratings high, they all know it and they all play their roles in order to keep their jobs. And that’s the brilliance of this series. This is an amazing satirical look at the inner workings of every major entertainment field put into the context of super heroes.
What makes this series fun to watch however are the larger wrinkles and smaller details that keep the second half just a much more entertaining watch. When he’s not saving lives, Wild Tiger lives as Kotetsu Kaburagi. While Wild Tiger is dashing and brave, Kotetsu is a man who has a daughter to raise and gets to watch his own trading cards literally given away by children. Now he’s working for a corporation or end his career. To put that into perspective, imagine having a successful indie band suddenly being given to a larger corporation. Now there are many more demands, none of which are flexible. Do you give up what you’ve worked so hard for or do you sell out and play ball with your new president?
Getting into the finer details, what keeps Tiger and Bunny looking fresh are the great characters designs from Kenji Hayama and Masaki Yamada. Really selling the big city aspect to the series, the cast of characters are all so different from the standard mold that you’ve grown used to. There are characters of different races scattered throughout the series and no one is used as a comedic stereotype. Everyone feels like they could be a genuine person, even the heroes who are just trying to keep the cash coming in.
Playing into the entertainment TV vibe, all of the music in this episode is fairly generic. During the first half, the music was a high tension full orchestra piece complete with horns to mark the rising tension moments. Later though, these themes started to shift into much softer pieces as we started to get to know Kotetsu Kaburagi. Now, as much as I’d like to bag on this series for using such generic music I can’t think of a better time than now to use exactly that. When you’re specifically aiming for the cheesy reality entertainment genre, that’s the music you go with.
I was impressed with this. It took me awhile to get to that point but impressed is the right word to describe how I feel. There were a lot of questions that I want to have answered regarded these heroes but the human element is what pulled me in. Is there an easy answer for the hero who barely gets to see his daughter as it is? I can’t call this the next big thing yet but this is going to be a stand out this season.
Alright, I need to write this quickly because it’s getting to that point of my Sunday where my attention span is less than ideal for writing. So while I still have enough focus, here is a quick wrap up of all the stories that I wrote for Ani.me this week!
Live Action Akira Gets Steve Kloves as Scriptwriter: So dude who wrote Harry Potter is now writing Akira? Alright sure. And they offered a role to Brad Pitt? Oh why not?
Viz Media Launches Bakuman Fan Art Contest: We give out awesome prizes at Ani.me but if you like to draw manga (or just draw in general) Viz Media has got some drool worthy prizes ready for you.
Gov. Ishihara to TIAF Boycotters: Please Come Back!: Everyone’s favorite Japanese politician is back in the news. This time he’s groveling to get people back into TIAF… and then screws it up seconds later. I swear, this guy is like a TV character at this point.
Radiohead Does Something in Shibuya: This turned into one huge non event and it was all thanks to one stupid tweet.
The Ring’s Sadako Gets 3D Movie: A new 3D movie to scare you to death. Have fun, I’ll be over here looking at absolutely anything else.
Anime Context Expo Plans 2 Day Anisong Event: I know that they’re going to be busy with other things but oh man am I jealous of some writers I know who are going to be at this event.
That’s it for this week! Sorry to be so brief but I’m feeling my attention starting to drift away once again… this time towards food.
A couple of years ago, I came across a super cute shoujo series called Ultra Maniac being released, at the time, by Geneon on DVD. Unfortunately this was also around the 2005 bubble peak and despite really enjoying what I saw, I lost track of the series somewhere around the volume 2 mark. I really thought that I’d never watch the series again until earlier this week when Viz Media put out a press release announcing the streaming premiere of the magical girl best friend series produced by Ashi Productions (now known as Production Reed) in 2003.
In the press release Viz Media announcing that Ultra Maniac is now available to fans via iTunes, Hulu and VizAnime.com. For those who wish to own the episodes, the first 13 dubbed episodes are available for DTO at $1.99 each with the first episode being offered for free for a limited time. For those who want to watch the series subbed, the first five episodes are now streaming on both VizAnime.com and Hulu with two new episodes being added every Monday.
I’m actually pretty jazzed about getting to watch Ultra Maniac again. From what I remember, the series was a sugary moe treat and the characters were really likeable (though I was consuming A LOT of anime back then so my memories might be a little hazy). I do need to ask though, is anyone else kind of surprised by this announcement? I’ve searched through a few archives and I’ve yet to find any kind of mention from Viz Media saying that they had rescued this license. I’m not complaining, just saying… kind of a weird way to go about announcing this one. I’m not sure if this also means the series will be re-released on DVD in the future but I have an email out to get confirmation one way or the other right now.
Full press release below the cut
While everyone was busy being excited hearing about Viz Media nabbing the license for Vampire Knight awhile ago, everyone else was anxiously awaiting news that the second season had been grabbed as well. This morning via their Facebook page, Viz Media confirmed just that: Vampire Knight Guilty will be coming to American shores on DVD though no word on a release date.
Viz Media announced the license of the high school vampire melodrama at last year’s ComicCon before releasing it to DVD this summer. Glad to see that this one will be released in its entirety here even if I had to give up on it a few episodes away from the end. Yeah sorry but the emo vampires just became too much for me to overcome.
You have to feel bad for any company that had to compete with the excitement that Funimation generated last night by announcing 17 new titles. Despite this, both Aniplex and Viz Media managed to get a little share of that love from fans by each announcing a new anime license of their own.
At their panel last night, Aniplex finally confirmed the license that has been rumored to exist for at least the last couple of weeks, Durarara. Premiering this past spring on Crunchyroll and helmed by the same team that created Baccano, the series has been a consistent topic of discussion every week as new episodes rolled out.
Armed with details, Aniplex told fans that the series would be seeing a DVD release in January 2011 in 3 sets and will come complete with a full English dub. No cast list was available at the time of the panel but Aniplex reps did confirm that the full cast would be announced at Otakon. Quick aside, way to give a story a couple extra weeks of life with minimal effort Aniplex!
Hosting their panels this morning, Viz Media and Production I.G also showed that they are still very much in the game with some announcements of their own. Viz Media was up first and announced that they will be simulcasting the new summer supernatural action series, Nurarihyon no Mago. The series premieres on televisions in Japan on Monday but I haven’t been able to find an exact time that it will be made available for fans in the US.
Closing things out this morning, Production I.G gave fans a nice little post script to the Utena TV license announced yesterday by Right Stuf. In their panel, it was confirmed that Right Stuf also has the license to the Revolutionary Girl Utena movie. Additionally, Production I.G also confirmed that they are currently involved in the live action Ghost in the Shell adaptation being worked on by Avi Arad.
Day 3 of Anime Expo isn’t over yet though! Even as we speak, eroge localizers Manga Gamer is presenting their panel and if anything new comes out of that I’ll be sure to post it up as soon as possible!
Up until a few weeks ago, you normally wouldn’t hear the words Bleach and Crunchyroll anywhere near each other in a sentence. But after a few whispers and fans expressing a want, Crunchyroll has announced the streaming premiere of Bleach! Formally streamed exclusively on VizAnime.com, Crunchyroll will begin simulcasting the current story arc (sort of, see below) and latest episode starting Tuesday June 8th. The stream will be made available to United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and South America, the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.
Now, the stream premieres on June 8th with episodes 266 – 273 along with the latest episode (274) to premium subscribers. A week later those episodes will be free to everyone with new episodes going up at 2:30am Pacific each week afterwards. Which essentially means that this is a particularly happy day for the die hard fans out there who have managed to stick with this series for 274… 274? Seriously? episodes. For those who somehow missed the bandwagon when it first launched, Crunchyroll has plans to upload older episodes and will have details on that coming soon. The newest episodes will also still be available on VizAnime.com after being exclusive to Crunchyroll for a week.
Crunchyroll seems to be riding a wave of good fortune right now. Not only have they announced three new simulcasts in the last couple of weeks (we can debate later on if they were all good choices *coughLilPricough* later) but this is the third simulcast in a row to be made available in the UK and Ireland. If Crunchyroll can keep this up could an InuYasha: Final Act simulcast announcement be in their future as well?
Full press release below the cut
Another busy few days have passed and soon I’ll be safely tucked away, staring at a laptop screen working on the latest updates. Course that means that while I’ve been keeping my head down and working hard in real life, the anime world has been revolving on without me. So what have I missed?
Senshi Gunpla Builders Anime Announced: No, I’m serious. Bandai announced at the Shizuoka Hobby Show that a three-part anime about Gundam model building, produced by Sunrise, will be released starting this summer. The first part (of three) will premiere at the Gundam Super Expo event before airing as television specials over the summer. – A series about Gundam model building? Just when I thought Gundam had alienated me as much as it possibly could, it goes and finds a way to push the line out a bit further. Bravo Gundam franchise, bravo.
InuYasha Final Season Getting Dub: So, you how leaks happen? Someone says something they shouldn’t on a public forum read by millions of people. Hm, I need an example to cite here, what’s a good one? Oh right… last week voice actress Kelly Sheridan shared on her Twitter and Facebook accounts that recording had begun on the InuYasha The Final Act English dub (which I guess means it’s being recorded at Ocean Studios in Vancouver). The messages have since been scrubbed but remember boys and girls, loose lips make anime companies twitchy and irritable.
Moot Developing New Project: Off topic but interesting none the less; Gawker has reported that the company owned by Christopher “Moot” Poole has received $625K in start-up funding from an unknown investor. No information has been leaked about what this new project is but the article has a month old quote from Poole
I’m working on a new project to reimagine what an image board should be today using the current technologies available… our code is a decade old, the foundation is really rickety and the layout is old. So imagine if you were to start 4chan today, what would it look like, how would it work with a modern browser. It’s kind of like a reboot, but it will be something separate to 4chan.
– So it’s going to be 4chan on steroids… grrrrrreat.
Sad news out of California today, Publishers Weekly reported today that Viz Media has laid off at least 55 employees, including all 5 staff members working in the New York office. Viz Media confirmed the layoffs and said that the staff reductions is due to the company “restructuring to adjust to changing industry and financial market realities.” This is, of course, very sad news and I wish the best to everyone who lost their jobs today.
This sucks for Viz Media and for fans but no one has been signaling the alarm about this since the news broke. A year ago, Viz Media restructured their company but have gone on to license Vampire Knight, dominate the NY Times Top 10 Manga list most weeks and opened a new streaming portal. This is disheartening but nowhere near the end for the company.
Over the weekend, Nebs Blog posted an entry pointing out an advertisement that had been largely ignored by everyone in the media. In their announcement for the Vampire Knight stream (oh by the way, Vampire Knight is now streaming so you should go watch after you finish reading this) was a tiny image announcing that the baseball series Cross Game would be premiering at the end of the month. Well, since there had been not a single word about a license I decided to pop an email over to Viz and can now put this one firmly in the confirmed column: Cross Game will be getting a streaming premiere at the end of the month. In March, Viz Media announced that they would be releasing the manga series starting late this year.
It’s always cool to hear Viz Media announce something new and I hope this does well for them. Sports anime still doesn’t get nearly as much attention over here as it probably deserves so it’s curious to see more licensed so quickly after Big Windup failed to meet expectations for Funimation last year. So what do we think? Are you more inclined to go watch the bishie vampires having angst wars or a baseball melodrama?
With SakuraCon being only a week away and me working every single day between now and then, I thought that today was going to be my day to recharge. Just rewatch To aru Kagaku no Railgun, maybe get some things done around the house. But after awhile that can get really boring and while doing quick check I happened to see a press release in my inbox. Now how are you going to fault me for giving into temptation like that?
Two new dub casts were announced today; one by Viz Media for Vampire Knight and one by Bandai for Haruhi Suzumiya season 2. Getting the quicker one out of the way, fans can be rest assured that the dub cast for Haruhi season 2 will remain the same as season 1 (Haruhi: Wendee Lee, Mikuru: Stephanie Sheh, Yuki: Michelle Ruff, Kyon: Crispin Freeman and Itsuki: Johnny Yong Bosch). In the newest SOS Brigade episode posted to the Bandai YouTube channel, the news is confirmed along with the news that each episode of the Endless Eight arc is going to have subtle differences in the dialogue. I don’t envy the dub cast or ADR Engineer for how much work will have to go into that alone.
Also announced today via press release were the lead roles for the upcoming release of Vampire Knight and Vampire Knight Guilty from Viz Media. Filled with gorgeous artwork provided by Studio Deen and vampires bursting at the seams with angst, Viz Media is ready to push this one to the limits by filling the three lead roles with power: Mela Lee will be providing the role of the heroine without a memory, Yuki Cross, Vic Mignogna will be the rebel vampire who just wants to be left alone, Zero Cross, and the charismatic and powerful Kaname will be played by Ethan Murray.
You have to be impressed with the talent Viz is putting at the forefront of this one. Vic Mignogna probably wouldn’t have been my first choice to play angsty vampire 1… err, Zero but whatever, I’ll go with it. Mela Lee is better known to me as Rin Tohsaka from Fate/Stay Night and Rena Ryugu from When They Cry so I don’t feel any real doubts about her as Yuki.
Full press release below the cut