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.
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Right Stuf licenses El Hazard, Funimation licenses several titles at Anime Central

This afternoon, Right Stuf International announced that they had licensed the anime series El Hazard: The WanderersIn addition, as opposed to some more recent Right Stuf announcements, El Hazard will be receiving a dub, per the website.  Right Stuff is releasing it in a single 26-episode box set on September 7th.  El Hazard was originally aired between October 1995 and March 1996.

Meanwhile, this past weekend, Funimation announced several new acquisitions, including:

  • Rosario + Vampire (both seasons)
  • Chaos;HEAd
  • Chrome Shelled Regios
  • Rideback
  • Heaven’s Lost Property (Sora no Otoshimono), and
  • GUNxSWORD

GUNxSWORD and Regios will be released late in 2010, while everything else is slated for release sometime in 2011.

Edit: El Hazard is apparently a rescue from Geneon, not an entirely new acquisition.

Funimation licenses Black Butler

Funimation has announced that they have licensed the anime series Black Butler (Kuroshitsuji). Black Butler is a 24 episode series that aired between October 2008 and March 2009, and was produced by A-1 Pictures and Aniplex.

A second season is scheduled to start airing in July.

Funimation licenses Eden of the East, Casshern Sins remake

Funimation entertainment has announced that they have licensed the anime series Eden of the East and the Casshern Sins remake.  Both shows are scheduled to come out in 2010.

Casshern Sins is a 24 episode series which aired October 2008 and March 2009.  Eden of the East is an 11 episode series which aired between April and June 2009.

Funimation also got box sets of remastered Dragon Ball Z episodes, which apparently are DVD box set releases made from the original masters.  I guess this is somewhat of a big deal for Funimation and DBZ fans.

Funimation also announced the Korean live-action movie Daytime Drinking at their Otakon panel, scheduled for an April 2010 release.

Yesterday, Funimation also announced that they had licensed four Case Closed movies: The Last Wizard of the Century, Captured in Her Eyes, Countdown to Heaven, and The Phantom of Baker Street.

Funimation licenses Sengoku Basara, picks up Dragon Ball Season 1

At their Anime Expo panel, Funimation announced that they have licensed the anime series Sengoku Basara, an anime series which just finished it’s run in Japan after airing from April to June of this year (it’s 12 episodes long).

Funimation also picked up season 1 of the original Dragonball series from, I think, Viz Media.  They also noted that there will be more announcements over the summer.

Funimation licenses Sands of Destruction Anime Series

Looks like we have our first Anime Expo related licensing announcement.  Funimation has announced that they have licensed the Sands of Destruction anime series (also known as World Destruction).

Sands of Destruction is an anime based off of the SEGA game of the same name.  It is 13 episodes long and was produced by Production I.G. and directed by Shunsuke Tada.  It aired on TV Tokyo between July 7 and September 30, 2008.

Evangelion 1.0 to screen on 70+ Screens in North America

So, you may be lucky and have a theater close to you showing it. Well, if you live in Canada or California that is.

Funimation has announced that they are screening Evangelion 1.0 on 70+ screens in North America, starting off with Anime Expo in Los Angeles on July 2-5, then moving to Seattle July 3rd (for a week), Houston on July 16th, Phoenix on July 17th (for a week), San Diego Comic Con July 22-26, and then 4 locations in San Diego and Riverside, CA on July 29th.

Then the movie is showing in Boston August 14-17, followed by a screening in 67 Canadian theaters on September 30th.

So we have 67 Canadian locations, 6 California locations, plus Houston, Phoenix, Boston, and Seattle.  Not a very good selection of sites if you live East of the Rocky Mountains in the United States (except for you damn Bostonians).  It’s not even currently scheduled to screen in what seem to be obvious locations such as New York, Washington, D.C., Chicago, or Atlanta (to at least make a trip non-suicidal for those in the east.  I mean, who is going to fly out to San Diego or up to Canada to see a movie?)

So alas, the rest of us will have to wait for the DVD release on November 10th.

Funimation licenses God, Planet

OK, Funimation didn’t quite license that much, but they went on yet another licensing spree today, picking up both Tower of Druaga shows, Dragonaut – The Resonance, and Blassreiter from GONZO and Bamboo Blade from D. Rights.

Now, personally, I’m not sure if any of these are actually good licenses except for Bamboo Blade.  Part of the reason is just because none of the three GONZO shows exactly lit fires under anyone as far as I could tell, but also because, at least in the case of Blassreiter and Druaga, they were previously released legally with english subs (or in the case of the second Druaga series, still being released).  I guess Funimation figures that people already download shows, so it’s no different than that, but we’ll see.

Of course, I’m still waiting on Shakugan no Shana II sooo….

Funimation’s New Show A-Go-Go Day 10 (Part 3): Evangelion 1.0 – You Are (Not) Alone

Evangelion 1.0: You Are (Not) AloneWell, this was the big big one everyone was expecting: Funimation has licensed the first Rebuild of Evangelion movie – Evangelion 1.0: You are (not) Alone.

The press release says that the movie will be released in 2009, but doesn’t say anythinga bout whether Funimatino plans any sort of US theatrical release or not.

The new Evangelion movie is perhaps the most anticipated anime property that had remained unlicensed, and some suggested that it’s licensing cost would be so much that only a traditional movie studio with a history of licensing some anime feature films, such as Sony, could pick it up.

ANN says that this title wraps up Funimation’s licensing spree, though nothing on the Funimation site suggests that they are over just yet (though a comment by a Funimation representative on ANN’s forum suggests that this might be the last announcement, and it’s hard to see how anything could top this announcement).

Update

The Funimation page with the Japanese trailer gives a release date of November 10, 2009.

Funimation’s New Show A-Go-Go Day 10 (Part 2): Soul Eater

Soul EaterFinally! We get to the big guns!  Funimation’s second announcement of the day comes, and it’s a big one: Media Factory and BONES’ 51 episode anime series Soul Eater, which is currently airing in Japan.

Funimation says that Funimation will release the series in “four half-season sets” starting in late 2009.

Funimation changed how the globe showed up on their image, so I’m not sure if we’re done or not.  I have a feeling that we still have one more to go…

Update

Here is Funimation’s quick and dirty description of the series:

Unapologetically surreal and action-packed, Soul Eater is the tale of living weapons who team with human masters to hunt evil souls. Only after these dark forces are consumed can these partners hope to join the ranks of the famed Death Scythes.

Maka and her weapon, Soul, are among the new students at a university run by Death himself. As they learn the ways of collecting souls, this fresh class of reapers must work together to keep witches, werewolves, and zombies from unleashing evil upon the world.

Update 2

Funimation’s new video section lists Soul Eater’s release date as November 17, 2009 (I’m sure that’s provisional at this point).  It also includes a lengthy trailer giving the basic overview of the series.