Anime Expo Licensing Roundup: ef, Kimi ni Todoke get picked up

I didn’t follow AX day by day, mainly thanks to being out of town over the weekend, but I did want to review things that had gotten licensed.

The headline news for me as the announcement by Sentai Filmworks (aka ADV reincarnated) to license both ef series. Those had been hanging out there for a while, and I was really doubting whether they would ever be licensed, but Sentai decided to pick them up. ef – a tale of memories was a 12 episode series that aired in 2007, while it’s followup, ef – a tale of melodies, was a 12 episode series that aired in 2008.  You can read my blogging of both of my series here. Sentai Filmworks also licensed Loups-Garous, a 2010 movie, and Ro-Kyu-Bu, which started airing in Japan on July 1st.

The other semi-interesting licensing announcement for me was NIS America licensing Kimi ni Todoke, though it appears to only be the first season so far.  Kimi ni Todoke was a 25 episode series that aired in the Fall of 2009 and Winter of 2010.  NIS America also licensed the series Dororon Enma-kun Meeramera, which is a 12 episode series that just completed airing in Japan.

In other announcements:

  • Bandai Entertainment licensed Sacred Seven, which started airing July 2nd, and will stream it on Hulu and Crunchyroll
  • Viz licensed the Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva movie released in 2009 and the Bleach: Fade to Black – Kimi no Na o Yobu movie, released in 2008
  • Aniplex USA licensed Madoka Magica, a 12 episode series that aired earlier this year, and Blue Exorcist, a 24 episode series currently airing in Japan.
  • Funimation licensed Deadman Wonderland, a 12 episode series that just concluded airing in Japan; Steins;Gate, a 24 episode series currently airing in Japan; Baka and Test 2, which will start airing in Japan July 7th; B Gata H Kei, a 12 episode series that aired in 2010; and Asobi ni Ikuyo, another 12 episode series that aired in 2010.

Madoka Magica – Episodes 1 – 3

This is the first of three new series from the winter and spring seasons I decided to go back and watch after the fact.  The reason I picked this one was largely from all the hype I read about it on twitter.  And, heck, it’s currently the #13 anime listed on MAL, so I thought I would give it a shot.  Despite my love for some other Magical Girl shows (see: Cardcaptor Sakura), my experience with other shows of that type have been less than stellar. I’m also skeptical of the loliness of some of the characters in the show art.  However, I’ll give this show a chance.

Not the Dream Job they Imagined

Not the Dream Job they Imagined

This series is certainly starting a lot darker than I was imagining it.  Most Magical Girl series seem pretty pretty cheerful. Sure, they face dangers and all, but you usually don’t see one of the magical girl buddies getting her head literally bitten off.  This series is also different in that, usually the magical girl will become the magical girl in the first episode, and then go off and do their magical girl thing.  In this case, it is almost like the series is about Madoka’s (and Sayaka’s) trips toward becoming magical girls (or not).

Both girls were hesitant about becoming magical girls to begin with since neither could really think of a wish to risk their lives over, and I would have to think that just became more of the case after the death of not just a magical girl, but their tutor Mami, happened right in front of them.  Homura’s attitude also seems to be from more than just not wanting rivals, though I suppose that could just be her personality.  We still haven’t found out what she wished for when becoming a magical girl yet, though.