Viz licenses Kekkaishi, Vampire Knight, final InuYasha anime series

Viz announced at their San Diego Comic Con panel that they have licensed the anime series Kekkaishi, Vampire Knight, and InuYasha: The Final Act

Kekkaishi is a 52 episode series that aired from October 2006 through February 2008.  Vampire Knight originally ran as a 13 episode series between April and June 2008.  It’s not immediately clear whether they have licensed the 2nd season, Vampire Knight Guilty, or not, which ran between October and December 2008 as another 13 episode season.

InuYasha: The Final Act is the just announced “final season” of the Inu Yasha anime series that will start airing in Japan in October.  It’s also going to stream on TheRumicWorld.com, though details on that aren’t clear yet.

Funimation Licenses Strain, Shigurui, RxJ, and D. Gray Man

On top of the 3 licenses earlier this week, Funimation has now announced licenses for Strain: Strategic Armored Infantry (a.k.a. Soukou no Strain), Shigurui: Death Frenzy, Romeo x Juliet, and D. Gray-Man late last week and today.

That brings the total number of series licensed up to 7 this week. Funimation also reportedly said that they would announce Ouran High School Host Club‘s release date on May 30th and also said that Darker than Black‘s production has been delayed due to a materials dealy from Japan in their Anime Central panel today.

No Oscar for Tekkonkinkreet

Really, no good page to link to at this point, but Tekkonkinkreet failed to garner an Oscar nomination this morning. While this isn’t necessarily surprising, it still would have been nice for it to at least be nominated.

The three films that were nominated were the heavily-favored to win Pixar/Disney movie Ratatouille, Sony/Columbia’s Surf’s Up, which is basically a parody movie of surfing documentaries, featuring penguins, and Persepolis, a French film about the Iranian Revolution.

Ratatouille was also nominated for best original screenplay, best sound mixing, best sound editing, and best original score.

From what I can tell, no animated movie has won more than two oscars (The Incredibles , The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, The Lion King, and Beauty and the Beast all won two – though no animated film category existed when The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, The Lion King or Beauty and the Beast were released. I could be missing one too, but I haven’t run across one that won three awards. Ratatouille has a decent chance of doing that.

Top Anime of 2007

I thought I would wait until 2007 was over before compiling this list. This list was drawn from all anime series that I watched that aired in 2007. This includes series aired entirely within 2007, series which started in 2007 and are carrying over to 2008, and series which started in 2006 and carried over to 2007.

By my count, this totals to 23 anime series for me, and I’ve narrowed it down to a list of 10 (actually, narrowing it down to about 8 was the easy part. Tacking on 2 more shows was the hard part). So, without further ado, here is the Top Anime of 2007 (warning – spoilers may lie ahead):

#10 Genshiken 2

This is a series that I watched most of (I think I got through episode 10 before it got licensed) and was a pretty solid 2nd-tier show I thought. It’s pretty funny from start to finish (heck, even the opening is) and I think would be enjoyable for most people who saw the first series.

#9 Mokke

Another pretty solid 2nd-tier show, Mokke is a pretty, shall we say relaxing, watch. It’s not quite as jello-inducing as sketchbook, but it has much more of a laid back feeling than most shows do. Toss on top of this a nice story about a pair of sisters who have to deal with supernatural spirits and solid storytelling and you’ve got yourself a good show.

#8 Myself; Yourself

The first of two “out of nowhere” series, Myself; Yourself is a series I almost didn’t watch, but ended up doing so since the fine people over at m33w were subbing it. This ended up being a surprisingly good show filled with twists that keept you on your toes. There may be some loose ends in this series, but it is overall pretty good.

#7 Idolmaster Xenoglossia

Idolmaster tops off a rather lackluster Spring season for me, and is the only show from that season that cracked the top 10 (granted, I only watched 4). I’m not one for mecha anime, so to see one which actually held my interest through 26 episodes is a pretty good feat. I think one reason is because this show seemed rather unique, at least to me. Yes, it’s similar to Evangelion in the sense that the machines have some sort of soul, but it’s more softer in Idolmaster than harsh like in Evangelion. Also, I think that the characters, and not the mecha, also helped drive this series forward and up.

#6 Minami-ke

The second “out of nowhere” series, the first top-tier series, and another series which I very nearly didn’t watch, Minami-ke ended up being a good random-hilarity series. There aren’t many series that can utterly lack a plot line and be successful. Azumanga Daioh tried and succeeded. Lucky Star tried and, for the most part, failed. Now, don’t get me wrong, Minami-ke is quite a different animal from Azumanga, but it’s still a good laugh from pretty much start to finish.

#5 Blue Drop

The top 5 in the list get into the heart of the top-tier shows of the year, and Blue Drop was certainly a treat to watch. One of two Greek Tragedies on the top 10 list, Blue Drop was great to watch, seeing how the main characters, Mari and Hagino, expand their relationship (both romantic and otherwise) under the backdrop of an eminent alien invasion. Probably the big thing that separates this from the top 4 is that I think the animation is kind of lacking from Blue Drop, but the storytelling makes up for it.

#4 CLANNAD

The only show on the list which may grace the 2008 list, CLANNAD has thus far been great to watch, as we’ve gotten through the story arc of 1 girl and are well into the story arc of a 2nd girl as we continue to unwind the mystery in this series. Add on top of the great storytelling by Key the fantastic animation of KyoAni, and you have one of the best shows of the year.

#3 ef – a tale of memories

Ef was clearly the prize of the just-concluded Fall season shows as it presented a story which is somewhat unusual for anime based on visual novels: multiple stories involving multiple males. In fact, three separate couples come out of this show, which each girl having her own unique and compelling story. A mysterious and well told (and well animated!) story gives ef the third spot on the list.

#2 Kanon

Like it’s fellow Key-KyoAni show, Kanon is a cross-year show. This one started in 2006 and finished up in 2007. Kanon quite possibly embodies the perfect visual novel-turned-anime show, with nearly perfect animation and a compelling story from start to finish. This would easily be the #1 show of the year, but only if one other show hadn’t aired, and that’s…

#1 School Days

Could any other show finish in the #1 spot but School Days? This show made waves in so many ways. First off, you had the male lead in the running for lamest male lead in an anime ever. Second, it’s rare that you actually get a harem show where the guy actually scores, much less which no fewer than 8 girls. Third, they creators of the show actually went through with the bloody ending, and we didn’t just get one, but two bloody endings, and memorable ones at that (“there’s no one inside” anyone?). Finally, this show will forever be remembered with the Nice Boat incident.

Yes, School Days must be the clear top show of 2007.

Also, did anyone else notice that all the top 4 shows are all visual novel-turned anime series?

Kanon dub – first thoughts

KanonWhile my DVD of Kanon sits at the post office waiting for my return home from Christmas, I peeked at the first episode over at Anime News Network.

Given that I’ve only been watching fansubs for a couple of years (and nothing on any large scale for less than a year), and the first fan subs that I watched which were released in the US were Rumbling Hearts, Kashimashi (which didn’t even come with a dub), and Haruhi Suzumiya (i.e., quite recent releases), most of the series I’ve seen have gone something like *watch in Japanese. watch in English soon after.* The point being that I haven’t grown attached to the Japanese voices for most of series that I’ve seen, and there are some series where I actually prefer the dubs or relate the English dubs to the characters more than the original Japanese voices.

When Rumbling Hearts, aka Kimi ga Nozomu Eien, came out on DVD, it was my first experience watching a dub when the sub had been pounded in my head over and over for the course of a year. I didn’t know whether I would like or dislike the dubs based on being thoroughly used to the Japanese voices.

I think at first, I dub sounded weird because of the fact that I wasn’t used to it. However, now that it’s been released here for a year and I’ve watched it a few times, the dubs seem pretty close to natural. Meanwhile, I was able to grow onto the Haruhi Suzumiya dubs pretty easily.

All that said, I’m kind of feeling the same thing with the Kanon dub as I did with the Rumbling Hearts dub – that is, on th first watching, it seemed like a suit that just didn’t fit. However, like Rumbling Hearts, I think this dub has the potential to grow on me.

First off, the voices seemed to feel less awkward as the episode went on, so that’s a sign that I may be getting used to them already. Second, I don’t necessarily find them to be bad dubs ala Ai Yori Aoshi (which I still think has about the worst dub ever recorded). If I hadn’t have seen the Japanese version of Kanon first, I probably wouldn’t have any issues with the Kanon dub at all.

Perhaps if someone was a “IT MUST SOUND EXACTLY LIKE THE JAPANESE VOICES” person, then they may not find Kanon‘s dub to be all that great. But then again, some of the best dubs out there don’t necessarily sound like their Japanese counterparts, partly because if they did, then they would sound really weird.

Just consider Kanon, for example. I’m hardly an expert of what Japanese voices normally sound like, but many of the Japanese voices, I think especially Nayuki’s and Ayu’s, sound kind of cartoonish, so if you want the American voices to sound similar, they’ll sound cartoonish the same way (and then get hammered for sounding dumb instead of being different).

One of the things which I think make me think that Kanon‘s dub is an overall success, at least after listening to one episode is this: can I find anything wrong with them other than being “different” from the Japanese voices, and can I think exactly how I would have expected the dub to sound like anyway? Basically the answer for me is “no” and “no,” so, at least after a single episode, I think the dub seems to pass my own personal test.

Added:

I was just reading ANN’s review of Kanon, and while they agree about the dub being good, I ran across this:

The English script is a bit loose but free-flowing, with its only significant flaw coming from actually being too literal at one point. (In one scene it has Sayuri using her own name instead of “I,” which is the way it’s done in Japanese but sounds unnatural and pretentious in English.)

Um yeah, there’s a reason for that as one will find out on probably the 3rd or 4th DVD…

Girl Who Leapt Through Time Licensed

This makes me very happy:

The anime distributor Bandai Entertainment has announced that it will be bringing out the DVD of Mamoru Hosoda’s The Girl Who Leapt Through Time….The company’s president, Ken Iyadomi, and director of sales and marketing, Robert Napton, made the announcement at their New York Anime Festival panel Sunday.

It's confirmed: Kanon (2006) licensed

KanonANN Reports that ADV Films officially announced at the Anime Weekend Atlanta Convention that they have acquired the rights to the Kanon remake.

The fact that ADV had their hands on this series was long suspected as ADV Films had registered the domain name kanontv.com (not in of itself something that confirms a license, though) as well as briefly posted a trailer on their website.

It had also been previously announced that they wouldn’t decide on whether to license Kanon until they saw the sales figure for Air. Either ADV Films changed their minds, or the sales for Air are to their satisfaction.

For me, this is probably a big of news as Haruhi getting licensed, as this is one of my favorite series.

Kanon licensed?

We already know that kanontv.com has been registered by ADV Films. Now, there appears to be “all but announced” evidence that ADV Films has, in fact, licensed Kanon.

I give you, a Kanon trailer hosted on ADV’s website (windows media file).

Hat tip to Nigorimasen for finding this.

Haruhi 2 logo

While I was doing some other stuff today, I suddenly thought of the Hummer H2 logo and then thought – “hey! H2 – that sounds like something Haruhi Season 2 would do”

Thus I made this (I don’t recall anyone else making something like this, so I thought I would):

Haruhi Season 2

Click here for the larger version.

I don’t think the font for the “2” is thick enough, but that’s the best I could do with the fonts on my computer. If I find a better font some day, then maybe I’ll made a second, better version of this.

Oh, and if you want to use it for some reason, feel free to, just link back to this blog if you don’t mind.

We don’t even know when it’s airing – it could range from this fall to next fall, yet I’m still getting excited over it.

Kyoto Animation: Big Teases

While the announcement in NewType Japan still seems to be pretty definitive about a second season, what popped up on the official Haruhi website (and has apparently come back down) wasn’t an official announcement, but a live-action video about an event in the 3rd volume of the Haruhi light novels (I think I know what it is, but I won’t look because I don’t want to spoil it if I am wrong).

Sooo…we’re still waiting for any actual news like an official official announcement or when it might air, or even how long it is.

I also posted this in an update to the post below, but I mentioned a debate in the podcast about the show possibly being “2 seasons long” or something like that. Since I can’t read Japanese, I can’t say whether this was mentioned for sure in the NewType scans, but I just thought that it may be possibly a misinterpretation of the “season 2” announcement (ie, reading 2nd haruhi season as 2 seasons long or something). In any case, like I said, we’re still waiting. The 10th – really the 9th our time, will probably be the next time we might learn something new.