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Aniplex of America Names Shu Nishimoto as President

June 24, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

SANTA MONICA, CA (June 23, 2017) – Aniplex of America announced today that Shu Nishimoto has been appointed President of Aniplex of America Inc. on June 21 . Nishimoto will replace Hideki Henry Goto, who announced in June that he will take on the role of Head of International Business Development at Aniplex Inc. in Tokyo, Japan.

Nishimoto joined Aniplex Inc. in 2009 as Manager of Sales and worked on many successful projects including, Puella Madoka Magica, Monogatari series, Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works, Your lie in April, and the Sword Art Online franchise. In 2014, Nishimoto joined Aniplex of America as Vice President of Licensing. He is responsible for spearheading many high profile distribution deals with partners including Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu.

“I look forward to continuing to provide high quality and entertaining anime that Aniplex is known for,” said Nishimoto. “The fans are our number one priority and I am thrilled to be leading such a talented group of individuals at Aniplex of America. I am well aware that I have very big shoes to fill, and I want to thank Henry and Aniplex for giving me this opportunity.”

This transition is happening at a very exciting time for Aniplex of America, as they prepare to launch the English version of popular mobile RPG, Fate/Grand Order, on June 25th. They are also preparing for the nationwide theatrical release of popular anime title, The irregular at magic high school THE MOVIE – The Girl Who Summons the Stars-, and they have acquired the highly anticipated anime series, Katsugeki TOUKEN RANBU, for their summer 2017 line-up.

About Aniplex of America Inc.

Aniplex of America Inc. (Santa Monica, CA) is a subsidiary of Aniplex Inc. (headquartered in Tokyo, Japan), a group of Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc. and a leading provider of anime content, music production, and distribution in Japan. Aniplex of America has launched fan-favorite Blu-ray and DVD releases including Fate/stay night [Unlimited Blade Works], Fate/Zero, the Sword Art Online series, Your lie in April, KILL la KILL, Bakemonogatari, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Blue Exorcist, NISEKOI, the OREIMO series, DURARARA!!×2, Magi series, Expelled From Paradise, The irregular at magic high school, and ALDNOAH.ZERO. The company’s ever-growing line-up of shows includes our most recent titles: March comes in like a lion, Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga, ERASED, The Asterisk War, OWARIMONOGATARI, KIZUMONOGATARI, Charlotte, Occultic;Nine, WWW.WAGNARIA!!, GRANBLUE FANTASY, and Eromanga Sensei.

www.AniplexUSA.com

www.facebook.com/AniplexUSA

www.twitter.com/AniplexUSA

www.youtube.com/AniplexUS

www.twitch.tv/AniplexUSA

Wagnaria!!3 Vol. 2 (a J!-ENT Anime on Blu-ray Disc Review)

September 4, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

wagnaria3v2-a

“Wagnaria!!3” is delightful and fun! For anime fans looking for a slice-of-life anime series with a lot of comedy and quirky characters, will surely enjoy this third season as characters finally take their feelings for other characters to the next level. Recommended! Recommended!

Purchase from RightStuf

Image courtesy of © Karino Takatsu/SQUARE ENIX, “WANGARIA!!3” Project. All Rights Reserved.


TITLE: Wagnaria!!3 Vol. 2

ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 2015

DURATION: Episode 8-14 (42-48) (190 Minutes)

BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, Japanese Linear PCM Stereo, Subtitles: English

COMPANY: Aniplex

RATED: Suggested 13 and Up

Release Date: August 30, 2016


Originally created by Karino Takatsu

Directed by Yumi Kamakura

Series Composition by Takao Yoshioka

Music by monaca

Character Design by Shingo Adachi

Animation Director: Shingo Adachi

Anime Production: A-1 Pictures


Featuring the following voice talent:

Jun Fukuyama as Sōta Takanashi

Kana Asumi as Popura Taneshima

Saki Fujita as Mahiru Inami

Ai Orikasa as Shizuka Takanashi

Akiko Kawase as Maya Matsumoto

Daisuke Ono as Jun Satō

Eri Kitamura as Yachiyo Todoroki

Haruka Tomatsu as Mitsuki Mashiba

Hiroshi Kamiya as Hirōmi Sōma

Jouji Nakata as Hyōgo Otoo

Koji Yusa as Tōru Minegishi

Kumiko Watanabe as Kyōko Shirafuji

Momoko Saito as Nazuna Takanashi

Ryoko Shiraishi as Kazue Takanashi

Ryou Hirohashi as Aoi Yamada

Satoshi Hino as Kirio Yamada

Shizuka Itou as Kozue Takanashi

Yōko Hikasa as Izumi Takanashi

Yūichi Nakamura as Yōhei Mashiba


Sota Takanashi, who loves all things small, one day got invited to work at the family restaurant WAGNARIA by Popura Taneshima, an upperclassman at school. There, he discovered all kinds of eccentric characters that turned his working experience into something unexpected. What kind of dangerous comedy awaits Sota and his coworkers at WAGNARIA today?

On his day off, Sota receives a call from someone called “Minegishi.” Claiming to be under the order of Sota’s mom, “Minegishi” is snooping around for information. Back at WAGNARIA, Sato finally musters up the courage to ask Yachiyo out on a date, but Yachiyo starts acting weird after that. Meanwhile, Sota and Mahiru’s relationship is at an awkward stage after Sota said something. Seeing this happening, Sota’s sister Izumi decides to do something about it. And finally, Yamada reveals the truth about her running away…


For “Wagnaria!!” fans, many have wondered when Jun would finally confess his feelings to Yachiyo.  And when Sota would finally confess his true feelings to Mahiru.

Find out what happens in “Wagnaria!! 3” vol. 2!

What is “Wagnaria!!” about?

In 2005, mangaka Karino Takatsu wrote and illustrated a Japanese four-panel comic strip manga series known as “Working!!” (a.k.a. “Wagnaria!!”).

Serialized in Square Enix’s Young Gangan magazine from 2005-2014, a total of three anime seasons were created in 2010, 2011 and in 2015.

While the first two seasons were released by NIS America, the third season “Wagnaria!!3” was released on Blu-ray courtesy of Aniplex of America.

“Wagnaria!!3” is a series about a group of people who work in the family restaurant, “Wagnaria”.

The characters are:

  • Sota Takanashi – The main character, a 16-year-old high school student who was recruited to work for the restaurant by Popura. He lives with his four sisters (three older and one younger). And because his older sisters have mistreated him, he has a dislike towards older women.  His mother also had him dress like a girl (never bought him boys clothes) and makes him do it and because he crossdresses, his female persona is Kotori.
  • Popura Taneshima – A 17-year-old student who is short and can be clumsy at times.
  • Mahiru Inami – A 17-year-old who works at Wagnaria and has a fear of men (androphobia). She tends to punch any male that comes near her. She has a crush on Sota.
  • Kyoko Shirafuji – The manager of Wagnaria and dependent on her workers, as she is apathetic to it and doesn’t really know how to run it. Nor does she put any work to it.
  • Yachiyo Todoroki – The 20-year-old chief of staff of Wagnaria. She is often seen carrying a katana. She works closely with Jun, unaware that he has a crush on her.
  • Jun Sato – Jun is a chef at Wagnaria and is deeply in love with Yachiyo but not good at expressing his emotions, as he is rather stoic.
  • Hiroomi Soma – Another chef at the restaurant who is easygoing. He often blackmails his fellow co-workers in doing jobs for him.
  • Aoi Yamada – A 16-year-old who is training at the restaurant and often gets in trouble.
  • Hyogo Otoo – The owner of Wagnaria.
  • Maya Matsumoto – An 18-year-old who has a hard time understanding her co-workers.
  • Nazuna Takanishi – Sota’s younger sister. She is volunteering at the restaurant.
  • Kirio Yamada – Aoi’s older brother who has been looking for her. He has a crush on Mahiru.

VIDEO:

“Wagnaria!!3” is presented in 1080p High Definition. animation is good, slightly soft was one can expect form a TV series but a colorful anime series that compliments the manga series. Cut scenes are well-detailed and emotion is well-captured and scenes are well-acted.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Wagnaria!!3” is presented in Japanese Linear PCM Stereo. Dialogue is crystal clear and the voice acting is well-done. It’s important to emphasize that there is no English dub included.

Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Wagnaria!!3” comes with the final special 14th episode.

EXTRAS:

“Wagnaria!!3″ comes with four collectible illustration postcards, a slipcase featuring illustrations by Shingo Adachi and a clear case with 2-sided covers.


For those who like slice of life anime series, will no doubt enjoy “Wagnaria!!3”, a character driven series about a group of people working for a family restaurant.

In season three, characters take the next step in hopes to have relationships with the girls they like.

Jun who has been in love with Yachiyo, decides to ask her out and finally confess his feelings to her. But each time, he made it sound like a joke.  But this time, he really wants Yachiyo to have a relationship with him.  Will he finally confess his true feelings to her?

Meanwhile, Sota and Mahiru seem to have this tension as both like each other but they are not sure about their emotions and how to express them.  But when Sota starts to discover these emotions of love towards Mahiru, his mother comes back in town and once again forces him to dress like a girl.

As for Popura, is she getting shorter?  And why is Kozue feeling lonely?

For the most part, the anime series is fun and entertaining. It’s a slice of life anime series that revolve around the employees at the Wagnaria family restaurant. And the fun hijinks continues, but now we start to see more development with various relationships.

As for the Blu-ray release, animation is good, slightly soft was one can expect form a TV series but a colorful anime series that compliments the manga series. Cut scenes are well-detailed and emotion is well-captured and scenes are well-acted. Lossless audio is primarily Japanese Linear PCM Stereo with no English dub included. Unfortunately, there are no special features.

But being an Aniplex release, you are definitely going to get some swag with this latest release.  You get four collectible illustration postcards, a slipcase featuring illustrations by Shingo Adachi and a clear case with 2-sided covers.

As for the second half of the series, “Wagnaria!!3” finally achieves two major relationships that many fans have wanted to see happen.  And for those who have rooted for Sota and Mahiru and also for Jun and Yachiyo, these final episodes of the third season will no doubt entertain you.

Overall, “Wagnaria!!3” is delightful and fun! For anime fans looking for a slice-of-life anime series with a lot of comedy and quirky characters, will surely enjoy this third season as characters finally take their feelings for other characters to the next level. Recommended!

Purchase from RightStuf

 

Aniplex of America to Begin Ticket Sales for Yuki Kajiura LIVE ~featuring SWORD ART ONLINE~ Ticket Sales

July 20, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Aniplex of America to Begin Ticket Sales for
Yuki Kajiura LIVE ~featuring SWORD ART ONLINE~
Ticket Sales for the Mega-Hit Show to Begin July 23

SANTA MONICA, CA (July 20, 2016) –Aniplex of America announced today that ticket sales for the
“Yuki Kajiura LIVE ~featuring SWORD ART ONLINE~” concert will begin this Saturday (July 23,
2016) at 12PM (PDT) through Ticketmaster. The concert will take place at the world-famous Dolby
Theatre in Hollywood, California on January 14, 2017. Aniplex of America also announced that there
will be VIP tickets which include an autograph session with Kajiura and some of the other performers
available for purchase.

Direct link to the Ticketmaster event page: http://www.ticketmaster.com/event/090050F2BB234DEA

About “Yuki Kajiura LIVE ~featuring SWORD ART ONLINE~”
The multi-talented music composer, song-writer, and music producer, Yuki Kajiura, is debuting her
mega-hit live show, “Yuki Kajiura LIVE ~featuring SWORD ART ONLINE~” in Hollywood at the
world-famous Dolby Theatre!

Kajiura’s unique style which fuses the essence of both European and East Asian sounds has gained a
global following and is now known to many as the “Kajiura Sound.” In addition to serving as the music
producer for the popular vocal trio, “Kalafina,” she is also known as the composer of the hit animated
series “Puella Magi Madoka Magica” and “Fate/Zero.”

This January, Kajiura will present this exclusive event with an all-star ensemble of over ten musicians
including Koichi Korenaga and singers Remi, Kaori, Wakana, and Yuriko Kaida. They are coming all
the way from Japan to perform your favorite songs from Sword Art Online.

Fans can definitely “log in” to the beautiful world of Sword Art Online through this musical celebration.

About Aniplex of America Inc.
Aniplex of America Inc. (Santa Monica, California) is a subsidiary of Aniplex Inc. (headquartered in
Tokyo, Japan) – a Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) group. Aniplex Inc. is a leading provider of anime
content, along with music production and distribution in Japan. Aniplex of America has launched
fan-favorite Blu-ray and DVD titles including the Sword Art Online series, Your lie in April, KILL la
KILL, Bakemonogatari, Fate/Zero, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Blue Exorcist, NISEKOI, OREIMO 2,
Magi: The Kingdom of Magic, Expelled From Paradise, The irregular at magic high school,
ALDNOAH.ZERO, Fate/stay night [Unlimited Blade Works] and DURARARA!!×2. The company’s
ever-growing line-up of shows includes our most recent titles such as: ERASED, The Asterisk War,
OWARIMONOGATARI, Charlotte, Classroom Crisis, WAGNARIA!!3, GOD EATER and HAIFURI
(High School Fleet).

www.AniplexUSA.com
www.facebook.com/AniplexUSA
www.twitter.com/aniplexusa
www.Youtube.com/AniplexUS
www.twitch.tv/aniplexusa
###

Wagnaria!!3 Vol. 1 (a J!-ENT Anime on Blu-ray Disc Review)

July 17, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

wagnaria3-a

“Wagnaria!!3” is delightful and fun!  For anime fans looking for a slice-of-life anime series with a lot of comedy and characters, will surely enjoy this third season as characters try to take their feelings for other characters to the next level.  Recommended!

Purchase from RightStuf

Image courtesy of © Karino Takatsu/SQUARE ENIX, “WANGARIA!!3” Project. All Rights Reserved.


TITLE: Wagnaria!!3 Vol. 1

ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 2015

DURATION: Episode 1-7 (27-34) (166 Minutes)

BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, Japanese Linear PCM Stereo, Subtitles: English

COMPANY: Aniplex

RATED: Suggested 13 and Up

Release Date: June 28, 2016


Originally created by Karino Takatsu

Directed by Yumi Kamakura

Series Composition by Takao Yoshioka

Music by monaca

Character Design by Shingo Adachi

Animation Director: Shingo Adachi

Anime Production: A-1 Pictures


Featuring the following voice talent:

Jun Fukuyama as Sōta Takanashi

Kana Asumi as Popura Taneshima

Saki Fujita as Mahiru Inami

Ai Orikasa as Shizuka Takanashi

Akiko Kawase as Maya Matsumoto

Daisuke Ono as Jun Satō

Eri Kitamura as Yachiyo Todoroki

Haruka Tomatsu as Mitsuki Mashiba

Hiroshi Kamiya as Hirōmi Sōma

Jouji Nakata as Hyōgo Otoo

Koji Yusa as Tōru Minegishi

Kumiko Watanabe as Kyōko Shirafuji

Momoko Saito as Nazuna Takanashi

Ryoko Shiraishi as Kazue Takanashi

Ryou Hirohashi as Aoi Yamada

Satoshi Hino as Kirio Yamada

Shizuka Itou as Kozue Takanashi

Yōko Hikasa as Izumi Takanashi

Yūichi Nakamura as Yōhei Mashiba


Sota Takanashi, who loves all things small, one day got invited to work at the family restaurant WAGNARIA by Popura Taneshima, an upperclassman at school. There, he discovered all kinds of eccentric characters that turned his working experience into something unexpected. What kind of dangerous comedy awaits Sota and his coworkers at WAGNARIA today?

On his day off, Sota receives a call from someone called “Minegishi.” Claiming to be under the order of Sota’s mom, “Minegishi” is snooping around for information. Back at WAGNARIA, Sato finally musters up the courage to ask Yachiyo out on a date, but Yachiyo starts acting weird after that. Meanwhile, Sota and Mahiru’s relationship is at an awkward stage after Sota said something. Seeing this happening, Sota’s sister Izumi decides to do something about it. And finally, Yamada reveals the truth about her running away…


In 2005, mangaka Karino Takatsu wrote and illustrated a Japanese four-panel comic strip manga series known as “Working!!” (a.k.a. “Wagnaria!!”).

Serialized in Square Enix’s Young Gangan magazine from 2005-2014, a total of three anime seasons were created in 2010, 2011 and in 2015.

While the first two seasons were released by NIS America, the third season “Wagnaria!!3” was released on Blu-ray courtesy of Aniplex of America.

“Wagnaria!!3” is a series about a group of people who work in the family restaurant, “Wagnaria”.

The characters are:

  • Sota Takanashi – The main character, a 16-year-old high school student who was recruited to work for the restaurant by Popura.    He lives with his four sisters (three older and one younger).  And because his older sisters have mistreated him, he has a dislike towards older women.
  • Popura Taneshima – A 17-year-old student who is short and can be clumsy at times.
  • Mahiru Inami – A 17-year-old who works at Wagnaria and has a fear of men (androphobia).  She tends to punch any male that comes near her.  She has a crush on Sota.
  • Kyoko Shirafuji – The manager of Wagnaria and dependent on her workers, as she is apathetic to it and doesn’t really know how to run it.  Nor does she put any work to it.
  • Yachiyo Todoroki – The 20-year-old chief of staff of Wagnaria.  She is often seen carrying a katana.  She works closely with Jun, unaware that he has a crush on her.
  • Jun Sato – Jun is a chef at Wagnaria and is deeply in love with Yachiyo but not good at expressing his emotions, as he is rather stoic.
  • Hiroomi Soma – Another chef at the restaurant who is easygoing.  He often blackmails his fellow co-workers in doing jobs for him.
  • Aoi Yamada – A 16-year-old who is training at the restaurant and often gets in trouble.
  • Hyogo Otoo – The owner of Wagnaria.
  • Maya Matsumoto – An 18-year-old who has a hard time understanding her co-workers.
  • Nazuna Takanishi – Sota’s younger sister.  She is volunteering at the restaurant.
  • Kirio Yamada – Aoi’s older brother who has been looking for her.  He has a crush on Mahiru.

VIDEO:

“Wagnaria!!3” is presented in 1080p High Definition. animation is good, slightly soft was one can expect form a TV series but a colorful anime series that compliments the manga series.  Cut scenes are well-detailed and emotion is well-captured and scenes are well-acted.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Wagnaria!!3” is presented in Japanese Linear PCM Stereo.  Dialogue is crystal clear and the voice acting is well-done.  It’s important to emphasize that there is no English dub included.

Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Wagnaria!!3” comes with no special features.

EXTRAS:

“Wagnaria!!3″ comes with four collectible illustration postcards, a slipcase featuring illustrations by Shingo Adachi and a clear case with 2-sided covers.


For those who like slice of life anime series, will no doubt enjoy “Wagnaria!!3”, a character driven series about a group of people working for a family restaurant.

In season three, characters take the next step to possibly have relationships.

Jun who has been in love with Yachiyo, decides to ask her out and finally confess his feelings to her.  But will he do it?

Meanwhile, Sota is starting to have some feelings towards Mahiru and is confused by what he is feeling.  Meanwhie, Sota’s older sister Izumi wants Sota to go on a date but who is this girl that wears a bag over her face?

Meanwhile, Kirio finally finds the sister that he has been looking for and it turns out that his sister is Aoi.  Aoi explains to her fellow staff members of why she hasn’t been home.

For the most part, the anime series is fun and entertaining.  It’s a slice of life anime series that revolve around the employees at the Wagnaria family restaurant.  And the fun hijinks continues, but now we start to see more development with various relationships.

As for the Blu-ray release, animation is good, slightly soft was one can expect form a TV series but a colorful anime series that compliments the manga series.  Cut scenes are well-detailed and emotion is well-captured and scenes are well-acted.  Lossless audio is primarily Japanese Linear PCM Stereo with no English dub included.  Unfortunately, there are no special features.

But being an Aniplex release, you get four collectible illustration postcards, a slipcase featuring illustrations by Shingo Adachi and a clear case with 2-sided covers.

As for the first half of the series, “Wagnaria!!3” doesn’t really require knowledge of the series and people can jump into the series without watching the previous two seasons, but you will lose context of various relationships and not have much of the impact, for those who know the history of the characters from the previous two seasons.

Overall, “Wagnaria!!3” is delightful and fun!  For anime fans looking for a slice-of-life anime series with a lot of comedy and characters, will surely enjoy this third season as characters try to take their feelings for other characters to the next level.  Recommended!

Purchase from RightStuf

 

Aniplex of America Announces AkibaFest™, A New Animation and Technology Festival Taking Place October 15th & 16th In Little Tokyo, Los Angeles

July 2, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Aniplex of America Announces AkibaFest™, A New Animation and Technology Festival Taking Place October 15th & 16th In Little Tokyo, Los Angeles Los Angeles-based publisher of anime hit franchises like Sword Art Online announces 2-day animation and Japanese pop culture festival

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Aniplex of America, a Los Angeles-based publisher of many of today’s most popular anime franchises today announced their plan to bring AkibaFest™ –a new type of anime convention to Southern California– inspired by the most popular aspects of Akihabara, aka the Japanese pop culture capital of the world. AkibaFest™ will take place on October 15th and 16th in 2016 in the Little Tokyo section of Los Angeles.

Fans of anime, manga, games, cosplay, and more can register for updates on the AkibaFest™ website now. The full site will launch in late-July, with updates on performers, activities, participating anime and game publishers, as well as ticket and pricing details. For fans of animation and everything related to Akihabara, AkibaFest™ promises to be the ultimate fan event of the year.

Aniplex of America President, Hideki Goto, said “It’s clear from the passion exhibited by anime fans, cosplayers, manga collectors, tech enthusiasts and gamers that there is still a thirst for new experiences. However, it is only with the support of the fans that we can make AkibaFest a successful event. Only with their enthusiastic participation can we turn Little Tokyo into ‘Little Akiba’ on the weekend of October 15th and 16th.”

John Inada, Aniplex of America’s Director of Business Development said “A lot of events offer different facets of Japanese culture, but there hasn’t been an event that really brings it all together. Our goal for AkibaFest is to fill this void in as authentic manner as possible. We’re going to transform Little Tokyo into the closest thing to ‘Akiba’ as possible. If we can’t bring you to Akihabara, we’re going to bring Akihabara to you.”

AkibaFest™ is a cooperative venture between Aniplex of America, other notable anime and video game publishers, technology partners, and the Little Tokyo business community. Fans will be able to enjoy exclusive film screenings, expert panels and workshops, playable video game demos, technology demos, cosplay contests, themed cafés, exclusive merchandise offers, Japanese food and beverages, and much more.

For more information please visit the ANIPLEX USA website: http://akibafest.com/

About Aniplex of America Inc.
Aniplex of America Inc. (Santa Monica, California) is a subsidiary of Aniplex Inc. (headquartered in
Tokyo, Japan) – a Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) group. Aniplex Inc. is a leading provider of anime content, along with music production and distribution in Japan. Aniplex of America has launched fan-favorite Blu-ray and DVD titles including the Sword Art Online series, Your lie in April, KILL la KILL, Bakemonogatari, Fate/Zero, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Blue Exorcist, NISEKOI, OREIMO 2, Magi: The Kingdom of Magic, Expelled From Paradise, The irregular at magic high school, ALDNOAH.ZERO, Fate/stay night [Unlimited Blade Works] and DURARARA!!×2. The company’s ever-growing line-up of shows includes our most recent titles such as: ERASED, The Asterisk War, OWARIMONOGATARI, Charlotte, Classroom Crisis, WAGNARIA!!3, GOD EATER and HAIFURI (High School Fleet).

Aniplex of America Announces English Dub and Product Release Details for Charlotte and The Asterisk War at A-Kon

June 4, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Key’s Second Original Anime to Receive English Dub and Home Release
SANTA MONICA, CA (June 4, 2016) – At their industry panel at A-Kon in Dallas, Texas today,
Aniplex of America announced their plans to dub and release the popular anime series Charlotte on
Blu-ray this August. The all-star creative team of Jun Maeda (Original Story/Screenplay), Na-Ga
(Original Character Design), and P.A. Works (Animation) reunited five years after making the hit anime
“Angel Beats!” to create this completely original anime series. Volume 1 is scheduled for release on
August 16th and Volume 2 on November 15th. Pre-orders for both SKUs will begin next Monday (June
6th) on the official Charlotte U.S. website (www.charlotteanime.com).

Aniplex of America also debuted the English dub trailer confirming their cast members for the English
version of the show. Under the direction of Tony Oliver, the dub will star Ray Chase (Magi,
Durarara!!x2) as Yu Otosaka, Lauren Landa (Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Sword Art Online) as Nao
Tomori, Lucien Dodge (Fate/Zero, Magi) as Jojiro Takajo, Ryan Bartley (Your lie in April, Fate/stay
night: Unlimited Blade Works) as Yusa and Misa Nishimori, and Kira Buckland (Blue Exorcist,
Aldnoah.Zero) as Ayumi Otosaka.
Much like Angel Beats!, this second collaborative effort from Maeda, Na-Ga, and P.A. Works has been
widely praised by fans and critics alike. In their review of Charlotte, Fandom Post remarked, “From the
creators of perhaps one of the greatest anime of all-time, Angel Beats! comes this highly entertaining
and refreshing look at superpowers and the misuse of them.” Kotaku added, “Charlotte is an anime that
has all the pieces needed in its world of superpowers and the children that have them to be both a
comedic and emotional masterpiece.”

About Charlotte:
One day, a small percentage of adolescents start to experience an onset of special abilities. Yu Otosaka is
one of these ability-wielders and he decides to use his power – the ability to take over any target’s body
for five seconds, to get accepted into a prestigious high school. Just when he is about to start his dream
high school life as the popular honor student, a girl named Nao Tomori appears before him. Little does
he know, this encounter reveals the cruel fate awaiting the special ability-wielders.
For details on Charlotte, please visit: www.charlotteanime.com
Charlotte Blu-ray Volume 1 features:
*Art subject to change
<BD Features>
Spoken Languages: Japanese & English
Subtitles: English & Spanish
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 widescreen
Episodes: #1-7
Number of Discs: 2 Blu-ray Discs
Total Run Time: Approx. 170 min.
Rating: 13UP
<Bonus

Aniplex of America Announces Product Release Details for NISEKOI 2

March 25, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Can Raku and Chitoge’s False Love Finally Bring an End to this
Gang Warfare?

SANTA MONICA, CA (March 25, 2016) –Aniplex of America announced release details for NISEKOI
2 at their industry panel at Anime Boston today. The second season of this fan-favorite romantic comedy
series will be released in two Blu-ray sets. Volume 1 will be available starting June 21st and Volume 2
will be available starting August 23rd. Pre-orders for both sets will begin today on Aniplex of America’s
official NISEKOI 2 homepage (www.NisekoiUSA.com).

NISEKOI 2 is the second installment of the popular anime series based on the manga series with the
same name written by author Naoshi Komi and serialized in Weekly Shounen Jump magazine. The
animation production was done by the critically acclaimed studio, SHAFT (Madoka Magica,
MONOGATARI Series). The story of NISEKOI 2 picks up after the incidents of season 1. Raku and
Chitoge must continue their fake relationship, but, there is a change in Chitoge’s feelings toward Raku.
Initially, Chitoge is unsure what those feelings are but she soon comes to realize that it is in fact love.
How are Chitoge’s new emotions going to affect her relationship with Raku and the other girls? Will Raku notice
the changes in Chitoge’s behavior or will he end up sustaining severe injuries? There’s
never a dull moment in this romantic comedy.

Servant x Service: Complete DVD Set (A J!-ENT Anime on DVD Review)

June 26, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

servantservice

“Servant x Service” is a delightful anime series for anime fans that want something that is unlike anything they have seen before. An anime series that is easily accessible, a whole lot of fun and most of all, addictive. “Servant x Service: Complete DVD Set” is recommended!

Image courtesy of © KArino Takatsu/SQUARE ENIX, SERVANT x SERVICE PROJECT. All Rights Reserved.

DVD TITLE: Servant x Service: Complete DVD Set

YEAR OF TV SERIES: 2013

DURATION: Episodes 1-13 (325 Minutes)

DVD INFORMATION: 16:9 Widescreen, Japanese Linear PCM Stereo, Subtitles: English

COMPANY: Aniplex Inc.

RATED: 13 and Up

Release Date: May 27, 2014

Originally created by Karino Takatsu

Directed by Yasutaka Yamamoto

Series Composition by Kento Shimoyama

Music by Monaca

Character Design by Terumi Nishii

Art Director: Shinji Honda, Yukihiro Shibutani

Anime Production by A-1 Pictures

Featuring the following voice talent:

Ai Kayano as Lucy Yamagami

Mai Nakahara as Saya Miyoshi

Tatsuhisa Suzuki as Yutaka Hasebe

Aki Toyosaki as Megumi Chihaya

Mikako Takahashi as Tanaka-san

Rikiya Koyama as Kenzō Momoi

Rina Hidaka as Kanon Momoi

Rumi Ookubo as Tōko Ichimiya

Takahiro Sakurai as Taishi Ichimiya

Tetsuya Kakihara as Jōji Tanaka

Lucy (abbrev.) Yamagami is a newly-hired civil servant who has been assigned to work in a certain government ward office in a certain city in Hokkaido Prefecture. Not only does Lucy have so many things to learn at her new job, she needs to do all of that in the company of her colleagues, who are all more than a little eccentric. If you thought a job as a government employee was dull, you better think again! Lucy and her colleagues, actively and covertly (?!) serve their community every day!

Welcome to the life of civil service at the Health and Welfare Dept. where employees such as the naive Lucy (abbrev.) Yamagami, the shy Saya Miyoshi, the carefree Yutaka Hasebe and the tsundere cosplayer Megumi Chihaya work.

Where the four work for their boss Toko Ichimiya (Megumi’s boyfriend, although he doesn’t know it) and Kenzo Momoi, the Section Chief  that is for some reason, a stuffed rabbit.

The life of these civil servants are the basis of mangaka, Karino Takatsu’s manga series “Servant x Service” which was created in 2009 and is still published in the Square Enix magazine “Big Gangan”.

With three tankobon volumes of the manga series printed, in 2013, the series would receive a 13-episode adaptation courtesy of A-1 Pictures.

“Servant x Service” revolves around the lives of those who work at the Health and Welfare Dept.

We are introduced to new employees such as Lucy Yamagami, a naive worker who always wears a black turtleneck sweater.  While kindhearted, she wants nothing but revenge on the public servant who approved her full name “Lucy Kimiko Akie Airi Shiori Rinne Yoshiho Ayano Tomika Chitose Sanae Mikiko Ichika… Yamagami”, which she feels has led to her being joked on and giving her a low self esteem.

Yutaka Hasebe is your ultimate slacker.  While he is a very smart individual who can and has excel on things, because he wants to live life the way he wants, people accept his unusual style.  He is also a guy who finds himself teasing Lucy but eventually starting to learn that he is falling in love with her.

Meanwhile, the quiet new employee, Saya Miyoshi is terrified at her new job and finds herself talking to the elderly Mrs. Tanaka a lot for her work and often having thoughts on the people around her but tends to keep things inside.

The three new employees work with temp social worker Megumi Chihaya, a cosplay fanatic who loves the series “Magical Flowers” but can exhibit Tsundere tendencies, especially to her boyfriend, that she wishes is more worrisome towards her than his sister all the time.

But throw in a boss with the appearance of a stuffed animal and a stalkerish banker and you have an interesting combination of shenanigans for each episode of “Servant x Service”.

The main characters of “Servant x Service” are:

  • Lucy Kimiko Akie Airi Shiori Rinne Yoshiho Ayano Tomika Chitose Sanae Mikiko Ichika… Yamagami – A new public servant who wants nothing but to take revenge on the man, a public servant who approved the long name given to her parents.  She blames a lot of things in her life due to her long name.  She is well-endowed and has a cowlick that tends to stick up or react in different situations.  She is very naive and often wears a black turtleneck sweater (because she can’t find clothes that fit her).
  • Yutaka Hasebe – A slacker at work who tends to tease Lucy but finds himself falling for her.  Despite his slacker style, he’s actually very intelligent and has talent, but his care free lifestyle is what he tends to lean to.  He desperately wants to go on a date with Lucy.
  • Saya Miyoshi – A 24-year-old college graduate and is soft-spoken.  She often keeps opinions to herself and is always listening to people talk, especially the elderly Mrs. Tanaka who wants Saya to marry her grandson.
  • Megumi Chihaya – A social service employee who is a temporary employee.  She has a tsundere attitude and is a huge fan of the anime series “Magical Flowers” and often thinks of her female co-workers as cosplayers and often wanting to dress them up as a character.  She is dating Taishi Ichimiya, who is very scared of her.
  • Taishi Ichimiya – The supervisor of the health and welfare office and is in charge of Lucy, Yutaka, Saya and Megumi.  He is very kind and is known for putting his sister Toko on top of his priority and raising her.  Although he is dating Megumi, he is often scared of her ever-changing emotions and how she may feel because he puts his sister as priority over her.
  • Toko Ichimiya – Taishi’s tsundere younger sister who has a short temper and often criticizes his employees.  She often visits his workplaces and wants to become a public servant.
  • Kenzo Momoi – The Section Chief of the Health and Welfare Department.  For unexplained reasons, he’s in the body of a stuffed animal.
  • Joji Tanaka – A banker who is the ultimate rival of Hasebe and stalks him because he’s determined to beat him on anything.
  • Kanon Momoi – Daughter of Kenzo and tries to keep it a secret from her friend Toko that the bunny rabbit section chief is her father.
  • Kaoru Hasebe – Yutaka’s older sister.

VIDEO, AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Servant x Service: Complete DVD Set” is presented in 16:9 widescreen and in Japanese linear PCM Stereo.

A-1 Pictures has done a great job with the animation and the backgrounds are nicely done.  I enjoy the fact that backgrounds feature the characters in a variety of locations and are detailed instead of the plain office backgrounds.

As for the acting, the voice acting is well-done, especially for slacker Yutaka Hasebe (voiced by Tatsuhisa Suzuki) and Section Chief Kenzo Momoi (voiced by Rikiya Koyama).  But the series is dialogue and musically driven and for the most part, the soundtrack works well for this type of anime series.

Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Servant x Service: Complete DVD Set” comes with textless opening and endings.

EXTRAS:

“Servant x Service: Complete DVD Set” comes with a 24-page Special Public Documents booklet with episode synopsis + short manga and photos.  Also, included is a 2-sided reversible cover and slipcover.

Every now and then, with each passing year, there is always one anime that takes me by surprise.  And for 2014, “Servant x Service” was an anime series that did just that.

To be truthful, I didn’t know what to expect because a series about public servants is not something you will see in an anime series.  Yes, I have seen it many times for Japanese dramas but never for an anime series.

So, having completed the entire 13-episode series, I have to say that “Servant x Service” was pretty awesome!

No, it’s not a overly dramatic anime series, there is no one with special abilities nor does this take place in the far future, this is a straightup anime series that is built around the comedy of its fascinating characters.

From Lucy, the naive young woman who is unaware that people watch her because she always wears a black sweater (and happens to be well-endowed) but also how she responds to her true first name (which is a long combination of many other first names) and thus, she has held nothing but dislike towards the public servant who allowed her parents to name her with that long name and let her be the butt of jokes growing up.

Then you have the slacker Yutaka Hasebe.  It’s his demeanor that makes you laugh because although he is a slacker, he is also a talented individual and smarter than he behaves.  He has a photographic memory, he excels at sports but all he wants is to go on a date with the girl he has fallen for… Lucy.  Throw in a stalker-ish old childhood friend named Joji, who always tries to best Hasebe in everything and needless to say, shenanigans develop.

The anime series also has interesting characters as the quiet college student Saya, the tsundere cosplayer named Megumi, the overcaring boss who is scared of how his girlfriend Megumi treats him and a stuffed rabbit who happens to be the Section Chief.

The series is no doubt crazy but its witty characters and its constant casualness and playfulness makes this series a whole lot of fun that anyone who loves anime can watch and enjoy.

What happens when Megumi Chihaya wants to dress up Lucy in a skirt?  What happens when Lucy loses the Section Chief at an event?  What happens when Yutaka finds out how Lucy got her real name?

So, many crazy situations but how everything plays out, nothing gets boring and I found myself watching episode after episode, because I enjoyed the series so much.

While “Servant x Service: Complete DVD Set” is only available on DVD and there is no English dub, I do hope that Aniplex of America considers this for a Blu-ray release with an English dub because it’s so much fun and a series that casual anime fans will get into!

You also get the anime swag that Aniplex is known for.  Maybe not a whole lot but you get a short booklet and a 2-sided reversible cover.

Overall, “Servant x Service” is a delightful anime series for anime fans that want something that is unlike anything they have seen before.  An anime series that is easily accessible, a whole lot of fun and most of all, addictive.

“Servant x Service: Complete DVD Set” is recommended!

Fans are Once Again Given a Chance to bring their Favorite Magi Characters to Life!

April 18, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Fans are Once Again Given a Chance to bring their Favorite Magi Characters to Life!

SANTA MONICA, CA (April 18, 2014) –Aniplex of America announced today at their industry panel at Sakura-Con in Seattle, Washington, their plans to produce an English dub of Magi: The Kingdom of Magic, the second season of the fan-favorite Magi anime series. Aniplex of America has also announced that along with Bang Zoom! Entertainment, they plan to hold open auditions for Magi: The Kingdom of Magic at this year’s Anime Expo.

The open auditions will be held at the Bang Zoom! Entertainment booth through the entire Anime Expo 2014 weekend starting from Thursday July 3rd to Sunday July 6th. Bang Zoom! plans to hold multiple auditions on each day. Fans who are interested in participating in these open auditions for Magi: The Kingdom of Magic are encouraged to like the official Bang Zoom! Entertainment facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/BangZoom) as details on the audition such as the time-slots and how to sign up will be revealed there soon. Both Aniplex of America and Bang Zoom! Entertainment expect an extremely high participation rate this year, so fans are advised to sign-up early to avoid missing the audition time-slots.

Over 400 people tried out at last year’s open auditions, and from that, several were chosen for call back auditions at Bang Zoom! Studios in Burbank. From those call backs, three finalists were chosen to voice over various characters for the first season of the TV series “Magi.” Sawako Furuya, producer of Aniplex of America says, “We’re excited to be able to provide this opportunity to ambitious voice actor apprentices once again. We had a wonderful experience for the first season with last year’s call-backs so we’re looking forward to welcoming more earnest, passionate dream-chasers into Team Magi this year.”

“We’re thrilled to be able to give loyal fans a chance to show us their raw talent,” says Eric P. Sherman, President and CEO of Bang Zoom! Entertainment. Sherman shared that last year’s open auditions were a bigger success than anyone expected. “People even flew in from all over the country to audition. It was truly inspiring!” Because of that Bang Zoom has decided to add more time-slots this year so more aspiring voice actors will have a chance to have their voices heard.

About Magi: The Kingdom of Magic
The bond has become stronger between Aladdin and the others following their great battles within the
Zagan dungeon. But, each member knew that it was time for them all to move on from the Kingdom of Sindria in order to reach their own goals. Aladdin heads to the magical land of Magnoshutatt where he enrolls as an exchange student at their Magic Academy and befriends his roommate Sphintus and the genius Mage Titus. However, peaceful days at the academy are suddenly interrupted when Headmaster Mogamett declares war on the Leam Empire claiming that this was the only way to protect their land! What will Aladdin do…and will he ever see Alibaba and the others again?!

www.Magi-USA.com www.facebook.com/MagiUSA

About Aniplex of America Inc.
Aniplex of America Inc. (Santa Monica, California) is a subsidiary of Aniplex Inc. (headquartered in
Tokyo, Japan), a group of Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc. and a leading provider of anime content and music production and distribution in Japan. Aniplex of America has launched fan-favorite Blu-ray
and DVD releases such as Bakemonogatari, Durarara!!, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, the Garden of
Sinners, Sword Art Online, Blue Exorcist, Fate/Zero, Blast of Tempest, Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic, Oreshura, and Vividred Operation. The company’s ever-growing line-up of shows includes our most recent titles KILL la KILL, MEKAKUCITY ACTORS, The irregular at magic high school, Mushi-Shi (The Sequel), Nanana’s Buried Treasure, Nisekoi, World Conquest Zvezda Plot, Magi: The Kingdom of Magic, Samurai Flamenco, Silver Spoon, and Oreimo 2.

www.AniplexUSA.com www.facebook.com/AniplexUSA

About Bang Zoom! Entertainment, Inc.
Headquartered in Burbank, California, Bang Zoom! Entertainment, Inc. is a leading and award winning full service audio post production studio working in the fields of film, television, animation, video games
and anime. Founded in 1993, Bang Zoom! Entertainment maintains operations in the U.S. with three buildings, nine recording/mixing stages and an award-winning staff of studio professionals. Bang Zoom! Entertainment is committed to carrying out innovative projects that contribute to the promotion of global
cultural awareness.

www.bangzoomentertainment.com.
https://www.facebook.com/BangZoom

About Anime Expo
Anime Expo (AX) brings together fans and industry from Japan, the US, and all over the world
for the largest celebration of Japanese pop culture in North America. Anime Expo features the best in Japanese entertainment, music, fashion, and video games. For more information, visit www.anime-expo.org.

About SPJA
SPJA is a non-profit organization dedicated to popularize and educate the American public about
Japanese entertainment and pop culture, as well as provide a forum to facilitate communication between professionals and fans. For more information, please visit www.spja.org.

Blast of Tempest: Complete 2nd Season (a J!-ENT Anime DVD Review)

March 2, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

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“Blast of Tempest” is a series that captivated me from beginning to end.  “Blast of Tempest: Complete 2nd Season” is rather unique, well-written, unpredictable and complex but the second season was much more enjoyable than the first!  An awesome anime series that I highly recommend!

Image courtesy of © Kyo Shirodaira, Arihide Sano, Ren Saizaki/Zetsuen Project, MBS. All Rights Reserved.

DVD TITLE: Blast of Tempest: Complete 2nd Season

DURATION: Episodes 13-26 (300 minutes)

DVD INFORMATION: English and Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0, 16:9 LB, Dolby Digital

COMPANY: Aniplex Inc.

RATED: Suggested 13 and Up

RELEASE DATE: February 25, 2014

Originally created by Kyo Shirodaira

Directed by Masahiro Ando

Series Composition by Mari Okada

Music by Michiru Oshima

Character Design by Tsunenori Saito

Art Direction by Ayumi Sato, Tomoaki Okada

Mechanical Design by Masahisa Suzuki

Art Design by Ayumi Sato

Anime Production: Bones

Featuring the following voice talent:

Kouki Uchiyama as Yoshino Takigawa

Toshiyuki Toyonaga as Mahiro Fuwa

Miyuki Sawashiro as Hakaze Kusaribe

Hirofumi Nojima as Junichirō Hoshimura

Hiroyuki Yoshino as Tetsuma Kusaribe

Junichi Suwabe as Natsumura Kusaribe

Kana Hanazawa as Aika Fuwa

Miyuki Sawashiro as Hakaze Kusaribe

Nana Mizuki as Evangeline Yamamoto

Rikiya Koyama as Samon Kusaribe

Shintarō Asanuma as Takumi Hayakawa

Yuuki Kaji as Megumu Hanemura

A month has passed since the showdown at Mt. Fuji, but the world is once again thrown into chaos with the appearance of the “Mage of Exodus.” In order to discover the truth behind Aika’s murder, Hakaze decides to return to the past. There, she meets Aika and is told something completely unexpected. If everything happens for a reason, is Aika’s unfortunate death actually a blessing in disguise? All the puzzle pieces finally come together to reveal the shocking truth!

As Yoshino Takagawa and Hakaze Kusaribe begin to work closely together, Hakaze starts to find herself falling in love with Yoshino, unaware that his girlfriend Aika was murdered a year ago.  Meanwhile, Mahiro Fuwa is destined to find out who killed Aika and who her mysterious boyfriend is.  Also unaware that his best friend is the mysterious guy that he has been looking for.

Meanwhile, along comes a guy who may be the Mage of Exodus but also what happens when Hakaze’s love for Yoshino makes her want to go back to the past to find out once and for all, who is responsible for Aikawa Fuwa’s death.

All this and more in the conclusion of “Blast of Tempest: Complete 2nd Season”, now available on DVD from Aniplex of America!

What is “Blast of Tempest”?

In 2009, “Zetsuen no Tempest” was released as a manga by Kyo Shirodaira with illustrations by Arihide Sano and Ren Saizaki. In 2012, the anime series received an anime adaptation courtesy of BONES and in August 2013, Aniplex of America will be releasing the series with the title “Blast of Tempest” with the first season (first 12 episodes) on DVD.

The series is directed by Masahiro Ando (“Sword of the Stranger”, “Hanasaku Iroha: Home Sweet Home” and “CANAAN”), series composition by Mari Okada (“AKB0048”, “Aria – The Natural”, “Anel Tales”, “CANAAN”), music by Michiru Oshima (“Fullmetal Alchemist”, “Gokusen”, “Arc the Lad”, “Gokusen”), character designs by Tsunenori Saito (“Sword of the Stranger”, “Towanoquon”, “Halo Legends”) and art direction by Ayumi Sato (“The World God Only Knows”, “Heroman”, “Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2” and “Eureka 7: Astral Ocean”) and Tomoaki Okada (“Banner of the Stars”, “Darker than Black”, “Crest of the Stars”, “Star Driver”, “Wolf’s Rain”).

“Blast of Tempest” begins with an introduction to two teenage students, Yoshino Takigawa and Mahiro Fuwa. Mahiro gives his step-sister Aika a ride back home and with her attitude towards Mahiro, Fuwa believes that his sister dislikes his friend.

Meanwhile, we see a woman breaking out of a barrel and is stranded in an uninhabited island. Her name is Hakaze Kusaribe, the leader of the Kusaribe clan and the “Mage of Genesis”, a princess who’s goal is to protect the “Tree of Genesis”, which is the source of magic used by her clan. But it appears that she was betrayed by her aide named Samon, who had put her in the well and put her in an island to block out any of use her mage powers. His intention, to awaken the Tree of Exodus to prevent the advent of the Tree of Genesis, which he and the Kusaribe clan believe will recreate the world and destroy mankind.

Fast foward to the near future and it was revealed that Aika was murdered and Fuwa has not been seen for months after the incident.

As Yoshino wonders what has happened to Fuwa, a woman named Evangeline Yamamoto arrives and with her weapons, threatens to kill Yoshino unless he provides her with information in regards to his connection to Mahiro. Yoshino explains that he has not seen Mahiro in months and that he has been mourning the death of his sister, Aika.

All of a sudden, butterflies show up everywhere and we see how humanity has been affected with some strange disease that turns people into metal. But as Yoshino tries to fight back and escape, Evangeline shows how dangerous she can be and before she hurts him, out of nowhere, Mahiro teleports and beats Evangeline.

Mahiro explains to Yoshino that he was given this power by a mage named Hakaze, who he can communicate via a wooden doll that Hakaze had made (and Mahiro found it inside a bottle on the beach). Hakaze makes a deal with Mashiro that she would find Aika’s murder in exchange for his help in stopping the resurrection of the Tree of Exodus.

Yoshino decides to help Mahiro find out who murdered Aika as well, but what is his real motivation of assisting Mahiro? Meanwhile, Yoshino is given some of Hakaze’s power via a magical talisman that has been left behind in the city. As Mahiro and Yoshino try to find the murderer and the magic talismans, they receive word from Hakaze that there is no magic to track the culprit, which can only mean that a member of her clan may be responsible.

But with Hakaze now brought back to the world of the living and everyone willing to work together to prevent the elimination of the human race, things become more complicated as Yoshino is suspected of being the Mage of Exodus as he and Hakaze grow closer.  As Hakaze’s emotions for Yoshino eventually becomes a realization of love, others start to wonder if Yoshino is manipulating Hakaze.

But what happens when a young man shows up with abilities to show that he may be the Mage of Exodus.

Meanwhile, the investigation to the death of Aika Fuwa has yielded no results for the groups, especially as they depend on Mahiro’s efforts in saving the world.  But what happens when Hakaze, who’s love for Yoshino, makes her want to go into the past and find out who is responsible for the death of Aika?  Could it be Yoshino?  Could it be a future her?  Or something else more sinister?

VIDEO & AUDIO:

“Blast of Tempest” is an anime series that I expected wonderful animation, especially with director Masahiro Ando behind-the-scenes. When it comes to BONES anime productions, Masahiro Ando is one of my favorite directors because he brings quality to a film or animated series and having watched “Blast of Tempest”, I am absolutely pleased with the animation. From character designs, shading to lighting, Tsunenori Saito and staff did a wonderful job in bringing out the emotion of the characters but also to capture the action and the mechanical designs as planes and tanks go to war against the unknown.

And as one can expect from BONES, the art direction by Ayumi Sato and Tomoaki Okada is absolutely beautiful. From oceans, forests, hills, cities and just the ambiance of a certain area, they captured the environment with wonderful detail.

While I wished this series was released on Blu-ray, as some Aniplex releases are released in Japanese with English subtitles on DVD, perhaps this series will receive a Blu-ray release in the future with an English dub included.

For now, the series is presented in 16:9 LB with audio in Japanese linear PCM stereo with English subtitles.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Blast of Tempest: Complete 2nd Season” features the following special features:

  • Textless OP – “Blast of Tempest” opening theme without text.
  • Textless ED – “Blast of Tempest” ending theme without text.

EXTRAS:

“Blast of Tempest: Complete 2nd Season” comes with a slipcover with a 2-sided reversible cover, a 16-page special booklet and a reversible mini-poster.

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After watching the first season of “Blast of Tempest”, I was instantly captivated by the first season as it delved with a complex story about the Tree of Genesis and the Tree of Exodus, a yin and yang storyline which involved characters from both sides, wanting to protect each other’s interests.

We were introduced to the character of Mashiro Fuwa, is a boy who has been born under privilege and has always been treated differently because his family comes from a powerful background. While Yoshino was the person who rather keep to himself and not be involved in anything. Due to circumstances, Yoshino ended up having to help Mashiro and in the process, their relationship was not of mere friendship, as one would think. But a friendship of convenience.

The first season went into how this friendship lasted from their younger years to their older years, it is because of one important connection which one will find out as the series progresses.

But it’s the protagonist Yoshino that you are amazed to see how his storyline unfolds as each layer is peeled and you get to see a side of him that he has kept secret all this time. But how damaging will his secret be? And for Mashiro, why is his drive to find Aika’s killer, made him change to this person only seeking nothing but revenge?

The other storyline that captivates you is the storyline that surrounds the character Hakaze. She appears to be a beautiful, naive teenager but in truth, she is the powerful “Mage of Genesis”, born to be the leader representing the “Tree of Genesis” and like the concept of ying and yang, opposing the “Tree of Genesis” is the “Tree of Exodus”. Both trees locked up into an epic battle that has spawned generations and for Hakaze, she has been left on an island, hidden by a sphere and no way to use her power to leave the area.

Kept on the island, as a viewer, you feel bad for the character because she doesn’t have a mean spirit. If anything, she wants to help Mashiro and Yoshino find the murderer of Aika, but she needs their help to get her out of the island. And thus, it becomes a cat and mouse game as the Kusaribe clan now led by Hakaze’s former aid Samon sends his clan after Mashiro and Yoshino, but unlike regular humans, they have been given part of Hakaze’s power to defend themselves and others.

By the second season, there was no doubt that the storyline would become much more complex as it interweaves a story that now goes from more-action, to something more emotional but also incorporates the Shakespeare stories of “Hamlet” (a tragedy) and it’s opposite storyline of “The Tempest” (which was not a tragedy).

The second season features both Yoshino and Hakaze growing as not just people trying to solve a problem in the world, but Hakaze’s emotions as a teenager, noticing that she is starting to fall deeply in love with Yoshino, but at the same time, trying to keep her emotions in check, knowing that he has a girlfriend (unaware that his girlfriend was mysteriously killed a year prior).

As Mahiro continues his path for revenge in the name of Aika, a step-sister that he, himself had loved.  But also wanting to know who her mysterious boyfriend was.  Not knowing that his best friend, Mahiro, was secretly dating her behind his back.

And when those who have worked with Hakaze start to worry that Yoshino may be the Mage of Exodus, because of the way that he is able to affect Hakaze’s emotions.  Another person shows up, claiming to be the Mage of Exodus.

And as we start to see a mystery storyline combined with a teenage romance drama, things start to escalate as the search for Aika Fuwa’s murderer comes into play but also the final fight and a revelation that surrounds both the Tree of Genesis and the Tree of Exodus.

Suffice to say, while the first season was driven by it’s action, the second season is much more complex, much deeper and more satisfying because it becomes more character-based, more emotional and we get to see each episode escalate until the final battle at the end of the series.And I love the fact that the series does end rather nicely (so keep watching the credits).

Because of its character development and its complex but yet fascinating and enjoyable storyline, “Blast of Tempest: Complete 2nd Season” was much better than the first.  I understand those who expected an all out action series may be disappointed that the action of season two doesn’t match up with season one, but personally, I would rather have more a better storyline, better character integration rather than banal action.

With this DVD release, the animation looks great and the Japanese voice acting is top-notch, but it is without an English dub which may detract people from this DVD release.

As for Aniplex swag, you do get a slipcover, a 16-page special booklet and reversible mini-power plus a 2-sided reversible cover. The booklet features episode synopsis and character artwork. While the poster features Yoshino, Mashiro and Hakaze on one side, while Aika, not Hakaze along with Mashiro and Yoshino is featured on the other side.

Overall, “Blast of Tempest” is a series that captivated me from beginning to end. It’s unique, unpredictable and complex series that was well-written and is a smart series that you just don’t see coming along often.  The fact that the second season focused on better writing, less on banal action and better use of character integration was rather well-planned.  The emotional/romantic elements in my opinion, made the second season much more captivating and a better written second half compared to the first.

If you are looking for a deep anime series that combines action, mystery and romantic drama, “Blast of Tempest: Complete 2nd Season” is highly recommended!

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