Japanese ‘Re-Kan!’ Anime DVD/BD Covers Revealed

Japanese ‘Re-Kan!’ Anime DVD/BD Covers Revealed Tokuma Japan Communications is handling the home video release distribution for the spring 2015 anime series Re-Kan! and after revealing some of the plans back in April, they’re now showing off the covers. The series is slotted for thirteen episodes and it’s getting a five volume release, starting with a volume zero. That release lands on June 17th, 2015 with the Blu-ray’s priced at 6,800 yen while the DVDs are priced at 5,800 yen.

The first disc comes with the clean opening and closing as well as two episode commentaries. The second disc has the promotional videos and the commentaries. The third disc has a commercial collection and commentaries while the remaining volumes have only the commentaries.

With this series, the Japanese cast is similar to the drama CD cast, which often happens. Ibuki Kido is taking on the role of Hibiki Amami, which was played by Aya Endo on the drama CDs. The rest of the cast is new as well with Miku Itou as Narumi Inoue, Erii Yamazaki as Ogawa, Riho Iida as Uehara and M・A・O as Esumi. Additional casting came recently with Yoshihisa Kawahara as Daihen-zamurai, Mikako Izawa as Hanako-san, Kujira as Ero-neko, Eriko Matsui as Merry-san, Aya Uchida as Kogal Spirit and Futaba Kino as Faceless Spirit.

Announced back in August as getting the green light, the property is a four panel manga by Hinako Seta that began as a one-shot back in 2009 before going into a full series in 2010, which in turn has spawned five compilations so far. The anime adaptation is scheduled for a spring 2015 debut. It’ll be directed by Masashi Kudo based on scripts by Takashi Aoshima with character designs done by Aoi Yamamoto at Pierrot Plus.

Plot concept: Amami Hibiki is a girl who can see ghosts and other supernatural phenomena in her surroundings. The stories follow her daily life with both her friends and the otherworldly.

Japanese ‘Re-Kan!’ Anime DVD/BD Covers Revealed

Re-Kan Volume 1 Japanese Cover

Japanese ‘Re-Kan!’ Anime DVD/BD Covers Revealed

Re-Kan Volume 0 Japanese Packaging

[Source: Re-Kan! ]

Crunchyroll Adds ‘Fafner Exodus’ For Winter 2015 Anime Lineup

Crunchyroll Adds ‘Fafner Exodus’ For Winter 2015 Anime Lineup Crunchyroll’s winter 2015 anime season is being bolstered a bit more going forward with the addition of Fafner Exodus to the service. Crunchyroll’s plans for this are a bit looser at the moment as the first episode aired in Japan yesterday and they’re bringing it out after that. Plans are for the show to be on its proper schedule beginning with the second installment on January 15th, 2015 which will air at 2:3o pm ET for premium members and a week later for free members.

The series will be available to audience members in the U.S.A and its territories, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Isle of Man, Jersey, Guernsey, South Africa, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Demark, Greenland, Faroe Islands, Netherlands, Turkey, Latin America (Central and South America including Caribbean), Middle East and North Africa.

The series stars Makoto Ishii as Kazuki Makabe, Kohei Kiyasu as Soshi Minashiro, Marika Matsumoto as Maya Tomi, Ryotaro Okiayu as Walter Bargest, Yuichi Nakamura as Dustin Morgan, Aki Unone as Keith Walter, Megumi Han as Aishuwaria Fein, Tatsuhisa Suzuki as Mitsugu Jinnai, Azumi Asakura as Saki Masaoka, Saori Seto as Mai Douma and Masakazu Morita as Billy Morgan.

Original Creator: Xebec
Producer: Gou Nakanishi
Screenplay: Tow Ubukata
Character Design: Hisashi Hirai
Mechanical design: Naohiro Washio
3D CG Director: Eiji Inomoto
Director of Photography: Takashi Aoki
Sound Director:Masafumi Mima
Music: Tsuneyoshi Saito
Theme Song Performance: Angela
Director: Nobuyoshi Habara
Animation Production: XEBEC zwei
Chief Director: Takashi Noto

Original concept: Tatsumiyajima is the central island in the middle of a small cluster of islands, in a sleepy backwater of the Japanese isles. Not much happens there, and the island’s young people go to school knowing that their lives are likely to remain peaceful and undisturbed. Or so they have been taught… but the truth is different. The fate of mankind is on the line, and Tatsumiyajima is the last line of defense against a hostile and incomprehensible enemy. At the center of it all, fighting for Humanity’s continued existence, is the giant robot Fafner, the dragon that guards this final treasure of mankind.

‘Gate: The Self-Defense Forces Fight Like This in Another Land’ Anime Gets Cast, Staff & Promo

‘Gate: The Self-Defense Forces Fight Like This in Another Land’ Anime Gets Cast, Staff & Promo Announced as being in production back in December 2014, the anime adaptation of the light novel series from Takumi Yanai Gate: The Self-Defense Forces Fight Like This in Another Land has gotten some new information. The series official YouTube channel has updated with a new promotional video to talk about the show and let some of the visuals from it shine while generally setting the tone for it. The series staff was also revealed with Takahiko Kyogoku directing it at A-1 Pictures based on the overall series composition by Tatsuhiko Urahata. Jun Nakai is on board to handle the character designs for the series that will arrive in July 2015.

The cast for the series includes:

Junichi Suwabe as Yōji Itami
Hisako Kanemoto as Tuka Luna Marso
Nao Tōyama as Lelei la Lelena
Risa Taneda as Rory Mercury

Plot concept: When a gate appears in Tokyo’s Ginza district sometime in the 21st century. From the gate pours out monsters, knights from middle-age Europe, and other fantasy-like beings, and they kill many of the citizens of Tokyo. This event is known as the Ginza Incident.

The government sends a small group of soldiers from the Japanese Self-Defense Forces to the alternate world beyond the gate. Led by otaku soldier Yōji, they find that the villages in the world are being attacked by a dragon. An elf girl who is a survivor from the dragon’s rampage joins the group in their travels across the dangerous new world.

The original promo:

‘Gate: The Self-Defense Forces Fight Like This in Another Land’ Anime Gets Cast, Staff & Promo [Source: ANN ]

Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Four #20 Review

Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Four #20 Review The truth squeaks in.

Creative Staff:
Story: Brian Buccellato
Art: Bruno Redondo, Juan Albarran

What They Say:
Poseidon’s tidal wave is unleashed upon Themyscira, causing Batman to make a tough decision: whether to sacrifice a few for the many.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Having moved a decent chunk of the adventure for this year here to Themyscira, it’s been an interesting change in locale that works in the books favor. While I enjoyed the Hall of Justice element earlier and some of the surreal locations from the last year, I’m enjoying this particular location change because it just feels so very different in a way with its structure, it’s people and the large numbers involved that are under Zeus’ command simply because of who they are. Placing the two sides, who are being manipulated by a higher power, in this area and forcing things with Zeus and Poseidon has it ramping up everything in a really fun and engaging way.

This installment wants to settle things in a lot of ways before it heads into the final four of the year and it does so really well. While Harley and her merry band aren’t here they do manage to get a message out, which for those like Bruce and Clark, well, they understand the meaning of just how well they’ve been played. It’s kept small and simple in a sense – coming at a time when Zeus has had enough of Superman and is flicking the crap out of him, but the knowledge of what’s really been going on is enough to spur him into greater action. It’s the moment that could rally the two sides together to deal with a greater opponent. Not that I expect it to truly end the war between them, but it might provide for a fun fifth year if it goes in that direction.

Where a good chunk of this book works amid all of these higher plan elements is with the simple effort to save the residents on the island from the tidal wave coming their way. The timing of it all is kind of awkward with how Poseidon is controlling and it and how quickly they have to act, but it puts the heros in some difficult positions with really hard choices to make – choices that in some ways can’t be made. That some would go down with the ship, so to speak, speaks to who they are in not being able to make that choice. Though there is the quick and obvious save here on top of the other changes to the fight going on, it’s still a pretty thrilling scene because this is the kind of series that can force these hard issues. In a weird sense I’m almost disappointed that it didn’t end with a catastrophic number of death as that would have been more realistic and could spur some interesting dynamics going forward.

In Summary:
Injustice brings us to an interesting place here where it kind of resolves the main sticking point of the moment when it comes to Zeus and what he wanted. With Superman having thrown everything into a weird place and Zeus’ getting involved and even putting Poseidon in his place, Zeus makes it clear he doesn’t have it in him to deal with any of this anymore. And he knows exactly what Ares has been doing, though not all of it from what we can tell. The majority of this book deals with the crisis at hand in some good ways that lets most of the heroes actually act like heroes for a bit before it shifts to the realization of what’s really going on within this particular play that Ares is running. It leaves me really curious to see how it’s going to unfold on both sides as each has a lot to offer and only a few issues to really do anything.

Grade: B

Age Rating: 13+
Released By: DC Comics via ComiXology
Release Date: September 15th, 2015
MSRP: $0.99

Emma Omnibus 1 Manga Review

Emma Omnibus 1 Manga Review Screw the gentry.

Creative Staff
Story/Art: Kaoru Mori
Translation/Adaptation: Sheldon Drzka
Letters: Abigail Blackman

What They Say
Calling upon his former governess, William Jones, gentleman, is startled when his knock is answered by an uncommonly beautiful servant, the soft-spoken Emma. Throughout this visit, William’s eyes drift to the maid whenever she enters the room, and he contrives to meet Emma socially as she goes about her errands. But London society is a web of strict codes and divisions. For the son of a wealthy merchant, seeking out a working-class girl is simply not done! William’s father plans for his son to marry into the peerage and elevate the Jones family to greater heights, but although William says and does what is expected of him, he longs only for Emma’s company…

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
I’ve never been a fan of Jane Austen or the novel of social manners. It’s not because they are popularly regarded as being “girly,” and it’s not because they don’t feature ghosts or vampires or dragons or any of the other fantastic elements that I typically enjoy in my stories. No, I don’t like reading that genre because I get incredibly angry whenever I read them.

Perhaps it’s the American in me. Perhaps that spirit of rugged individualism rises from my gullet and chokes me whenever I read these works. Perhaps I just identify too much with the situation and the characters and feel too strongly for their plight. The heart of a novel of social manners resides in the social mores of the society the novel represents. The stories exist in no small part to encapsulate a particular society, and the best deal with the issues that arise when different societies (typically lower and upper classes) interact.

Emma firmly fits the genre, and as such—as much as I enjoyed the story—it did make me angry. The story begins when William Jones, a gentleman from a rising merchant family, calls upon his former governess. He meets the titular Emma, a beautiful, quiet maid, and is immediately smitten (as was I, to be honest). Sparks fly between the two, and the governess encourages them.

The problem with their love is that England in the 19th Century divided itself along clear class lines. Fueled by centuries of class divisions and the rising belief in Social Darwinism, the nobility believed itself to be better than the commoners. Their position proved, in their eyes, their genetic superiority, creating a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy: “We are in charge because we are superior, and we are superior because we are in charge.”

Social climbing did occur, but rarely, and even when a family did lift itself up to the level of the nobility, it forever retained the stain of its commoner origins. Such is the plight of the Jones family. Although possessed of fortune, power, and position, the family (especially William’s father) strives to legitimize itself in the eyes of the gentry, and does so through the time-honored practice of arranged marriages. Despite his love of Emma, William’s family plots to marry him off to Eleanor Campbell, the third daughter of a Viscount. The family views Emma as either a threat to their plans, or a gold-digger plotting to marry her way into high society, and both William and Emma become caught between their desires and his duty to his family.

Can you see why this makes me so angry? I’m not one to suffer arrogance gladly, and the constricting nature of British class society strangles me even though I’m living through it by proxy. Emma does a fabulous job of capturing the complexities of this society, while at the same time telling a sweet love story. I wouldn’t get so upset if I didn’t care for these characters. While William seems to sleepwalk through his life, he is a decent person suffering from the realities of his social situation. Emma stands on the other end of the social spectrum, but like William, much of her suffering derives from her social situation. It wouldn’t be fair to compare the two’s suffering, as Emma wins hands down, but their respective situations paint a clear picture of life on both sides of the tracks in 19th Century England. There are times when you want to jump into the book, Gumby-like, and shake the two for their hesitancy and their caving to societal norms, but that’s only because you care about them and are seeing the situation from an outsider’s perspective.

This perspective is actually given a voice in the manga in the form of Hakim, an Indian Prince who is friends with William. Hakim arrives with a retinue about the size of a small army, including four elephants, and stays with William and his family for the summer. Hakim provides a breath of fresh air to the story because he’s the only character who seems truly free. He does what he wants and doesn’t seem to care what others think—riding an elephant through London, driving a motorcar through William’s home, etc. He sees the situation between Emma and William and even though he also harbors feelings for the maid, he tries to help the two come together.

In this sense, Hakim serves as an audience surrogate. His views on English society and Emma and William’s relationship mirror the reader’s modern perspective. In some ways this makes him a potentially problematic character because it reifies him into the “wise foreigner” archetype. His status as prince also presents issues because his freedom derives from his social status and his environment. While he stands outside of the British social structure, his power and wealth afford him the same privileges as if he were a member of the elite. Despite these issues, Hakim stood as my favorite character. I enjoyed his devil-may-care attitude and envied his ease and freedom. His presence provides a balm to the frustration I felt for Emma and William.

The art in Emma was solid overall, but often inconsistent, especially with character faces. There were times when the characters looked too much alike. I can’t tell you how many times I confused William with his older brother or their father. The depictions of the setting were stronger and more consistent, at times even beautiful. My favorite scene came near the middle of the volume when William and Emma share their first kiss in the Crystal Palace’s botanical garden at night. It’s a beautiful scene that makes excellent use of shadow, perspective, and negative space and really shows off Mori’s artistic ability.

In Summary
Despite the fact that the British gentry’s actions and attitudes made me want to spit nails, I very much enjoyed Emma. The characters are three dimensional and sympathetic, and their situation struck me deeply. While the art was sometimes spotty, the overall quality of this work was high. Dr. Josh gives this a…

Content Grade: B+
Art Grade: B
Packaging Grade: A
Text/Translation Grade: A

Age Rating: N/A
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: May 19th, 2015
MSRP: $35.00

English Cast For ‘Infinite Stratos 2′ Anime Revealed

English Cast For ‘Infinite Stratos 2′ Anime Revealed With a December 9th, 2014 release date just around the corner, Sentai Filmworks has revealed the English language cast for the DVD-only (for now?) release of Infinite Stratos 2. The series follows up the popular action/fanservice mix that the company released previously and the cast here looks to be fun. The series ADR direction is being handled by Matt Greenfield, a name we haven’t seen in this position for a bit

English Vocal Cast
Josh Grelle as Ichika Orimura
Monica Rial as Houki Shinonono
Shannon Emerick as Charlotte Dunois
Tiffany Grant as Laura Bodewig
Brittney Karbowski as Cecilia Alcott
Hilary Haag as Lingyin Huang
Luci Christian as Chifuyu Orimura
Cynthia Martinez as Maya Yamada
Jessica Calvello as Tatenashi Sarashiki
Luci Christian as M

Additional Voices
Kira Vincent Davis
Tiffany Grant
Carli Mosier
Nancy Novotny
Sasha Paysinger
Monica Passley
Allison Keith-Shipp
Allison Sumrall
Tiffany Terrell

Plot concept: There are probably worse things that could have happened to Ichika Orimura than being the only guy in a training academy filled with military hardware and several battalions of highly competitive and extremely boy-crazed teenage girls. Being caught in a five-girl crossfire between his obsessive childhood friends Lingyin and Houki and the even more zealous British, German and French pilots Cecillia, Laura and Charlotte, at least turned out to be survivable. But surely Ichika’s finally put all his female troubles behind him, right? Oh, don’t be ridiculous.

None of the femmes fatales in his life have canceled their conquest scenarios. There’s double trouble arriving in the form of the Sarashiki sisters, the rest of the school is still waiting in line to take their shot. and when a whole new set of female pilots working for the bad guys shows up with a new generation of stolen IS hardware, things are about to get utterly lethal!

Gina Rodriguez in Talks For ‘Annihilation’ Film from ‘Ex Machina’ Director

Gina Rodriguez in Talks For ‘Annihilation’ Film from ‘Ex Machina’ Director For a lot of folks that saw Ex Machina earlier this year, it definitely put Alex Garland firmly on the map of someone to watch with each project. His second film is slowly coming together as it’s looking to bring the first book from the Southern Reach trilogy out with Annihilation. Natalie Portman has already joined the project in the lead role and now it looks like the second actress that might board it as part of the all-female main ensemble is Gina Rodriguez of Jane the Virgin. It’s also sounding like Frances McDormand is in the running for another lead role as well and that it’s likey the psychologist of the book.

Interestingly, each book stands on its own with new casts joining each one to tell the larger tale and within the book they’re only referred to by their profession, making casting an interesting aspect (and one we expect to get changed in the screenplay). All three books, averaging just under 400 pages each, were released in 2014.

Plot concept: For thirty years. Area X. monitored by the secret agency known as the Southern Reach. has remained mysterious and remote behind its intangible border-an environmental disaster zone. though to all appearances an abundant wilderness Eleven expeditions have been sent in to investigate;. even for those that have made it out alive. there have been terrible consequences. ‘Annihilation’ is the story of the twelfth expedition and is told by its nameless biologist. Introverted but highly intelligent. the biologist brings her own secrets with her. She is accompanied by a psychologist. an anthropologist and a surveyor. their stated mission: to chart the land…

[Source: The Wrap ]