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    Anime News of the Week (1/20-1/26)

Grab Your Trunks and Goggles

Last year, Kyoto Animation ended the wildly popular Free! with the promise of a second season. The rumors are in fact true. The second season of Haru and the Iwatobi boys has been green-lit, but not given an official premiere date yet. More information will be announced in the coming months. Link

LeetStreet’s Back

The self-proclaimed “greatest otaku band ever” is back with their fifth single. The LeetStreet Boys have released “Imaginary Boys” as a single to their newest album L3g3nds. LeetStreet became internationally known with the release of their first single “Yuri the Only One” in 2008, and have gained a reputation for being one of the few Western bands whose craft relies solely on the otaku culture.

Ghibli Returns To iTunes

Already a strong force on music distributor iTunes, film composer Joe Hisaishi is back with an album of incidental music from the film The Wind Rises. The 31-track album is available for $9.99. The Wind Rises premieres in North American theaters February 21st. Link

Japanese Short Film Receives Academy Nomination

While The Wind Rises contends with a strong Academy Category for Best Animated Film, another anime film has been acknowledged in a different category. Tsukumo, directed by Shuhei Morita, has been nominated for Best Animated Short. It faces the highly praised Get a Horse! from Disney Studios, which features archived vocals of Walt Disney. Link

Manichi Film Awards Presented

The Manichi Film Awards, presented through the newspaper Manichi Shimbun, honors the year’s top films from Japan. Winners included The Tale of Princess Kaguya, The Wind Rises, and the short film The moon that fell into the sea. Link

Otomo, Attack on Titan Nominated By French Festival

The 2014 Angoulême International Comics Festival has nominated director Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira, Steamboy) for the Grand Prix, the festival’s highest prize for an individual in the comic industry. He joins American cartoonists Alan Moore (Watchmen) and Bill Watterson (Calvin & Hobbes) in the nominees. Also nominated for various awards are five manga, including Hajime Isayama’s Attack on Titan. Link

Sailor Scouts Always Save The Day

Vancouver convention Anime Evolution has made a young girl very happy. After receiving a message from the family of Dawn, a 7 year-old girl who was recently diagnosed with Stage 3 cancer, they leapt into action. Dawn is a diehard Sailor Moon fan and with the help of generous cosplayers, “Project: Wish a Sailor Moon” gifted Dawn a visit from all the Sailor Scouts and even Tuxedo Mask. Link

And The Toonami News Keeps Rolling…

Thanks to Space Dandy and Naruto Shippūden Uncut, programming block Toonami is off to a great 2014. Toonami has announced their latest acquisition. The 2006 title Black Lagoon will replace Soul Eater following the latter’s final episode. Expect the sparks to fly and the guns to be blazing at 1:30AM EST on March 22nd. Link

Absurd Crossovers Dot AnimeJapan

AnimeJapan, which represents the merging of the Tokyo Anime Fair and the Anime Contents Expo is offering unique merchandise. How unique? Try Attack on Titan meets Bakemonogatari unique. Also planned are Madoka Magica x Rascal The Raccoon and Strikes Witches x Girls un Panzer x Kantai Collection merchandise crossovers. Link

Could The Manslayer Have Been Real?

When Ruroni Kenshin first appeared in the nineties, many Japanese historians pointed out a strange inconsistency in the feudal era series. The main character, Kenshin, wields a sword whose sharp edge was on the opposite side of the blade. There was no knowledge of this ever weapon existing in history. That is, until a recent discovery by the prestigious Kawakami family of Shiroi, Chiba. Link

Hollywood Returns To Anime

DreamWorks has announced the latest possible anime adaptation from Hollywood. Director Rupert Sander (Snow White and the Huntsman) is taking a crack at the legendary film Ghost in the Shell. DreamWorks previously distributed the second GITS film and were approached by Steven Spielberg to pursue this project. More information is to come in the following months. Link

From the Mouths of Babes

In a recent survey, Japanese children, on a grade school level, were asked what their favorite anime was. The results were interesting to say the least. Kuroko’s Basketball topped the list, and was joined by titles such as Attack on Titan, Soul Eater, and Ouran High School Host Club.

Nintendo Banking On Relaunch

One of Nintendo’s many problems this year stemmed from the errors encountered with Pokémon X/Y’s PokéBank, which was taken out of the Nintendo eShop after stability issues were reported. The service has since returned in some Asian countries and hopefully will see a release to English markets in the near future. Link

Nintendo Nixes Smartphones

Despite the situation at Nintendo, president Satoru Iwata spoke at a Friday news conference and was quoted saying, “The spread of smart devices does not spell the end of game consoles. It’s not that simple… It doesn’t mean that we should put Mario on smartphones.” While this feels like progress in the realm of advertisement, smartphone users may have to find their Nintendo goodness elsewhere.

Rare Game Cartridge Sells For Steep Price

In other Nintendo news, one of gaming’s rare artifacts went on eBay this week. The object is a copy of the 1990 NES Nintendo World Championship cartridge. Competitors were told to beat the cartridge in less than seven minutes to advance further in the tournament. With only 116 left in existence, the final price was an astounding $99,902.00. If the price is confirmed, it will become the most expensive game sold at auction ever. Link

Hello Psychosis

Merchandiser Sanrio has teamed up with Neon Genesis Evangelion and Studio Khara to create a product line based on the Re:Build film franchise. As cute as Hello Kitty, characters are shown reciting lines and enacting scenes from the film series. Merchandise includes smartphone cases, t-shirts, and even puzzles. Link

RIP Ichirô Nagai

Voice actor Ichirô Nagai passed away early Monday from sudden unknown causes. He was 82. Nagai was best known for the roles of Namihei in Sazae-San and Happōsai in Ranma ½, though he was considered a voice-acting powerhouse throughout a forty-five year career. His last role came only two weeks ago when he voiced the lonely ramen vendor in an episode of Space Dandy. Link

Anime Releases

  • Blue Submarine No. 6 - Complete Collection Blu-Ray (English)
  • Medaka Box Abnormal - Complete Collection DVD/Blu-Ray (English)

Manga Releases

  • Arisa Volume 12
  • Black Butler Volume 16
  • Durarara!! Saika Arc Volume 3
  • From the New World Volume 2
  • Gantz Volume 30
  • Goong Volume 14
  • Higurashi: When They Cry - Festival Accompanying Arc Volume 24
  • Inu x Boku SS Volume 2
  • Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days Volume 2
  • No Matter How You Look at It, It's You Guys Fault I'm Not Popular Volume 2
  • Omamori Himari Volume 11
  • Ōoku: The Inner Chambers Volume 9
  • Soul Eater Volume 18
  • Triage X Volume 5
  • Umineko When They Cry: Banquet of the Gold Witch
  • Vinland Saga Volume 2

Video Game Releases

  • A-Men (PC) (USA/EU)
  • Akiba's Trip 2 (Korean Edition) (PS3/VITA) (JPN)
  • Blackguards (PC) (USA/EU/AUS)
  • Claire (PC) (USA/EU/AUS)
  • Dead Rising 3: Operation Broken Eagle (ONE) (USA/EU/AUS)
  • Dragonball Z: Battle of Z (PS3/360/VITA) (USA/EU/AUS)
  • Guise of the Wolf (PC) (USA/EU/AUS)
  • Grid 2: Reloaded Edition (PS3/360/PC) (USA/EU/AUS)
  • Insurgency (PC) (USA/EU/AUS)
  • Kami (PC) (USA/EU)
  • Kickbeat Steam Edition (PC) (USA/EU/AUS)
  • Lucha Libre AAA Heroes del Ring (360) (USA/EU)
  • Might & Magic X Legacy (PC) (USA/EU/AUS)
  • OlliOlli (VITA) (USA/EU/AUS)
  • Sengoku Basara 4 (PS3) (JPN)
  • Shin Gundam Musou (Chinese Edition) (PS3/VITA) (JPN)
  • The Dead Rising Collection (360) (USA/EU/AUS)
  • Unepic (WIIU) (USA/EU/AUS)

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