FUNimation Entertainment Announces Multiple Acquisitions at Otakon

FUNimation Entertainment announced today at Otakon that it has acquired the streaming, broadcast, home entertainment, video on demand and pay-per-view and DTO/DTR rights to the complete anime OAV series, Tenchi Muyo! War on Geminar. This spin-off series takes place roughly 15 years after the events in Tenchi Muyo! GXP. From the animation studio (AIC SPIRITS) that brought you Ga-Rei Zero and Tokko and the director of Baki the Grappler (Koji Yoshikawa) FUNimation is pleased to announce the acquisition of streaming, home entertainment, theatrical and merchandise rights to the complete Tenchi Muyo! franchise.

Synopsis: Kenshi – half-brother of intergalactic hero Tenchi Masaki – has been summoned to the mysterious world of Geminar, and his only hope of returning to Earth is piloting a bio-mechanical weapon in a shocking assassination attempt! When the mission fails and Kenshi is captured, he discovers he’s been lied to by the very culprits who transported him to this strange new world. Luckily, Princess Lashara kindly welcomes Kenshi and invites him to live amongst her followers. Now, caught up in a political whirlwind – and hotly pursued by Geminar’s female population – Kenshi must find a way to get home while civil war erupts all around him!

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In addition, FUNimation has acquired the streaming, home entertainment, and digital rights to the complete anime series Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine.

Series Synopsis: What happened when Lupin III met Fujiko Mine for the first time? Find out in the first new chapter of the Lupin III franchise in 25 years!

More information may be found at: http://www.funimation.com/lupin-the-third-fujiko-mine

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Maken-Ki! Battling Venus – The series is directed by Koichi Ohata, best known for directing Ikki Tousen: Great Guardians and MD Geist.

Series synopsis: Based on the manga series by Takeda Hiromitsu, this romantic comedy is about Ohyama Takeru, a typical perverted teenage boy. His new school doesn’t require entrance exams, and it just turned co-ed! Unfortunately, his dreams of a happy high school life are dashed when he finds out the school is much more than it seems. All of the students wield a special item – a Maken – to unleash their magical abilities in duels! Can Takeru find a Maken that works for him? Even while trying to fit in at a new school and dealing with all kinds of girl problems?

Additional information may be found at: www.funimation.com/maken-ki-battling-venus

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Sankarea- The series is directed by Shinichi Omata, best known for his work in Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica and Arakawa Under the Bridge.

 Series synopsis: Furuya’s not interested in the living, he’s got zombies on the brain! When Furuya’s cat dies, he decides he’s going to try and bring it back to life. In the process, he stumbles across a girl who is involved in an accident and turns into a real zombie! What’s Furuya going to do now that the thing he loves the most is right in front of his eyes?

Additional information may be found at: http://www.funimation.com/sankarea

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Space Battleship Yamato Resurrection

Synopsis: A crisis is approaching Earth with the expansion of a moving black hole, in the year 2220. A plan is devised to move over 300-million people from Earth. When the latest transportation fleet is attacked, Space Battleship Yamato comes to its defense, the ship is now commanded by Susumu Kodai, also aboard is daughter Miyuki, child of Susumu and Yuki.

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Fairy Tail Season 2- 24 New Fairy Tail Episodes – We’ll follow the continuing adventures of our favorite Fairy Tail Guild members: Lucy, Natsu, Erza, Gray and Happy as they take on new jobs, make new friends, go against incredible adversaries and solve big mysteries all in the Kingdom of Fiore.

Fairy Tail – The Movie– – We’ll be introduced to a new female character that carries a mysterious stone with her called the Phoenix Stone. We’ll also find out how the Fairy Tail guild gets tied up in the mystery. It’s a great story that you won’t want to miss!

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Aquarion Evol

Synopsis:. The “Abductors” Invaders from Altea come to Earth with only one purpose, to harvest humans. DEAVA the Aquaria Academy exists to train men and women to use Aquaria, but they cannot ever merge because of Guize stones, these block an “unholy union” between genders. The story follows Amata and Mikono in their enrollment into DEAVA, and fight their fight with Abductors.

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Akira

Synopsis: It’s the year 2019, thirty-one years have passed since the start of World War III. A top-secret child with amazing powers of the mind breaks free from custody and accidentally gets a motorcycle gang involved in the project. This incident triggers psychic powers within one of the gang members, Tetsuo, and he is taken by the army to be experimented on. His mind has been altered and is now on the path of war, seeking revenge on the society that once called him weak.

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One Piece Season 5

Season 5 (Episodes 264 – 336) will span the entire Enies Lobby Arc, as the Straw Hat Pirates continue their battle with CP9, and ends with the Ice Hunter Arc.

Fans can look for One Piece Season 5 to hit DVD in the summer of 2013.

But that’s not all for One Piece fans! FUNimation Entertainment also announced the acquisition of the One Piece feature length film, One Piece Film: Strong World.

One Piece Film: Strong World takes place between the Thriller bark and Sabaody Archipelago Arcs as the Straw Hats Pirates return to their hometowns in East Blue to face off against the infamous, Golden Lion Shiki. When Shiki abducts Nami to use as his personal navigator, the Straw Hats must place their very lives on the line to save her.

FUNimation Entertainment has yet to announce any information regarding the release of this film.

Review – Avengers #28 (AVX)

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils: Walter Simonson
Inks: Scott Hanna
Colors: Jason Keith
Letters: VC’s Cory Petit
Cover Art: Walt Simonson & Paul Mounts
Published by: Marvel Comics

The Avengers haven’t had it easy since the Phoenix Force arrived, getting cut off at every corner as they attempt to defy the X-Men. In fact they’ve been on the run each time they appear as they’re being flushed out of each home they have. This issue focuses on a counter-attack plan though, one which dives into the realm of the forbidden and unspeakable, something Red Hulk is all too familiar with from his darker past.

Issue 28 for The Avengers jumps into this solo story with full force, we see a bit of the thinking behind the Red Hulk and the dilemma he faces as part of this war, he has no personal stake in it and the Avengers as a whole aren’t thrilled about his participation but his power and size make him an alluring ally to have. It’s not exactly the selling point anyone wants to hear about themselves though and it drives him to constantly double think during this return to his dark past.

Unfortunately his plan doesn’t exactly go along magically, instead things go south in a hurry once he reaches his point of action. In a sense all the concerns he had about the Avengers and their treatment of him still played out in this scenario though, sure he’s not a giant beast punching through but he’s still just a tool. Normally I’d feel happy to leave it there when talking about Red Hulk but I do feel a bit of pity on him for all of about 3 seconds and then it’s back to distaste for him again.

Avengers 28 delivers a respectable side story that manages to function within the single issue instead of dragging things on for ages, anyone following AVX will appreciate the issue isn’t tied to another 30 issues in some magical side arc. The art and story deliver a solid experience that leaves the reader satisfied by the final pages.

Story:★★★★★ 
Art:★★★★★ 
Dialog:★★★★☆ 
Overall:★★★★½ 

Review – Axe Cop #1 of 3 “President Of The World”

Story: Malachai Nicolle
Pencils, Inks and Lettering: Ethan Nicolle
Colors: Dirk Erik Schulz
Published By: Dark Horse

Everyone’s favorite axe wielding, girl hating, talking gorilla fearing cop is back! Axe Cop is in an all new adventure taking over the world. Now President of the entire world, Axe Cop has to build a new “White House”, pick a new capital, make his political platform clear and most importantly make the gruesome consequences of not following said platforms rules. But wait there’s more, we are introduced to a man made of goo, we get to learn his back story and why he’s come to Axe Cop for help. If that wasn’t enough, he also meets a talking, super-powered gorilla who needs the unparalleled assistance of Axe Cop. Of course there is a bunch of stuff in between that I simply can’t describe here, it needs to be read first hand to be fully appreciated!

I love Axe Cop, every story is really something special. I love all the weird, crazy side characters and most importantly I love the stories. Axe Cop’s straight to the point storytelling is part of what makes it so great and this issue was awesome. Not only do you get a crazy story stemming from the 8-year-old mind of Malachai Nicolle but you get the amazing art of his older brother Ethan Nicolle. The best part of the art is that you inevitably find something that makes you do a double take or simply makes you blurt out a “WTF?” “President Of The World” is so entertaining and funny and at the same time the issue also manages to show us a softer side of the hard ass Axe Cop. Yes, he has feelings too. I don’t think I would vote for him but I would definitely read his comics!

Release Date: July 25th, 2012

Story:★★★★☆ 
Art:★★★★☆ 
Dialog:★★★★☆ 
Overall:★★★★☆ 

Review – Goon #40

By: Eric Powell
Published By: Dark Horse

Hot rods, booze and broads are just a little bit of what this issue of The Goon contains. The story is broken up into 3 different parts. We begin with a story about prohibition and how Goon and Franky made a couple bucks off of it. Gettin’ into some trouble along the way is just par for the course and they have to take some drastic measures to clean up some messes. The middle section continues with the Goon and Franky meeting up with a down and dirty family, the Boyles, who are also peddling their own brand of moonshine. The Boyles are displeased (to say the least) that the Goon is taking away business from them and cutting in on their profits. After many attempts, the Boyle clan comes up with a plan to wipe Goon and Franky off the map and a battle royale takes place between Franky and the patriarch of the Boyles, Papa Grits. Well, that is until an unexpected “guest” show up and proposes (demands) a different contest to determine the winner. The final part of the story obviously concludes the saga and ends with an awesome homage to Ed “Big Daddy” Roth and his artwork.

Like usual, this issue is solid. It’s funny and tells a great story in a very unique way. Eric Powell’s writing and art are amazing and the characters are stellar. The Goon is perfection and each issue is ridiculous (in the best way possible of course). Powell continues to come up with fabulous stories and innovative ways of telling them. There’s not much more to say, it’s great, go buy it, read it and I promise you that one issue is all you need to read to become hooked on the entire series!

Release Date: July 25th, 2012

Links: Preview | Purchase (Digital) | Purchase (Paper)

Story:★★★★½ 
Art:★★★★★ 
Dialog:★★★★½ 
Overall:★★★★½ 

Review – Angel & Faith #12 Family Reunion Part 2

Script: Christos Gage
Art: Rebekah Isaacs
Colors: Dan Jackson
Letters: Richard Starkings & Comicrafts Jimmy Betancourt
Cover: Steve Morris
Alternate Cover: Rebekah Isaacs with Dan Jackson
Executive Producer: Joss Whedon
Published By: Dark Horse

This issue begins with us seeing first hand that Connor’s home planet, Quor’toth, is still not high on the list for premium vacation spots. Connor’s legacy in Quor’toth, as everyone quickly finds out very much precedes him and the mere sight of him seems to arouse a healthy amount of fear in the natives. There seems to be different factions, those that fear him, those that worship him and those that want to kill him. The upside though is that Willow has found her magic mojo (at least partially) and is working frantically to find a less scary and less deadly kind of world to work on her magic. Just as she finally succeeds and as they are about to go, Connor learns some startling news which adds a whole new layer to their mission! Meanwhile, back in the Earthly realm, Lavinia and Sophie return home (from a Morrissey concert?!?) to find some unwanted guests who have their own plans. Once everyone returns home from Quor’toth chances are they will want to go back rather than deal with the mess that’s about to happen back at Giles’ house.

This issue was very Connorcentric and even though he’s never been one if my favorite characters I really enjoyed his story. It actually made him interesting and showed how he’s has grown up and stopped being the angry, belligerent teen he was. Seeing some of the resolve in Angel and Connor’s relationship was a nice touch too. It seems like everyone involved in this comic has really found their footing and each issue continues to be better than the last. Everything is solid, the characters voices feel and sound true, Rebekah Isaacs does a phenomenal job and Christos Gage’s writing just keeps getting better. This really was a great read and I can’t wait for the next issue!

Release Date: July 25th, 2012

Story:★★★★☆ 
Art:★★★★½ 
Dialog:★★★★☆ 
Overall:★★★★☆ 

Review – Avengers vs X-Men #8 (AVX)

Story: Jason Aaron, Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction and Jonathan Hickman
Script: Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils: Adam Kubert
Inks: John Dell
Colors: Laura Martin, Larry Molikar
Letters: Chris Eliopoulos
Cover: Jim Cheung, Justin Ponsor
Variant Cover Art: Jerdme Opena, Justin Ponsor
Published by: Marvel Comics

We left the story off with a raged out Namor headed for vengeance in Wakanda, the Avengers were hiding out in the city hoping to figure out a solution to prepare Hope to help battle the Phoenix Five and the Phoenix Force itself. Unfortunately where things go in issue 8, well it’ll raise the urgency and also send the Avengers running for cover in the process, Namor isn’t the coolest head in the Phoenix Five and we get a dose of that in this issue.

Given the constant run-in events with Scarlet Witch it was a given there would be a breaking point for tolerance on why they didn’t try to take her out with a greater strike. Namor with his temper issues was the first to reach that fallout point and after getting a tip he waged full-scale war with some of his army from Atlantis on Wakanda against the Avengers in a pure rage for their defiance to this new order in the world. The act itself is huge but the battle is even larger, leaving the Avengers beaten and doubtful and making huge power balance shifts for the Phoenix Five.

Major changes do hit this issue, we see a Phoenix avatar step back and we see something long coming for Red Hulk as well, as I’ve stressed before I honestly felt he was completely boosted above reason in power and this brings the story back down to earth a bit.

With this arc drawing to a close soon one has to wonder what else they’ll pull out of the box for this series, Hope is clearly training to tackle the Phoenix Force, there are new developments about the power distribution among those chosen and we see a new factor from the mutants come into play. To top it all off we haven’t even seen all the side story elements play out yet either. Bendis and crew better have some really good twists up their sleeve to keep this whole thing running until the final act.

Story:★★★★★ 
Art:★★★★★ 
Dialog:★★★★☆ 
Overall:★★★★½ 

SDCC 2012 – Fringe Season 5 Panel

Fringe is alive and well for one more season from Fox, the show battled huge odds closing out the fourth season but was able to finish strong. The current show order is 13 episodes for this 5th and final season, the panel was presented with a sea of white lily flowers by fan groups to mourn the loss of the show and the story we had grown so attached to. Fox also presented attendees with Observer hats given the focus of the story in season 5.

The focus of the panel was a bit of a celebration of the show and how far the team has come, how many twists and turns came forward and how many bullets the characters of the show were able to dodge or rebound from. The moderator focused on memories and touching moments letting everyone chime in on their most special times on the show, odd enough, they all revolved around Astrid’s focus episode where it felt as the most touching of all.

John Noble and Joshua Jackson weren’t able to really deliver their personal moments like this so instead they delved into other bodily functions such as the urge to heave at their grossest moments on the show, anything from non-decomposed stage bodies to eyes out of the socket and reaching around the cavities of these props. Noting that somehow the more decomposed states were easier to work with without losing their lunch.

We did reach some season 5 discussion though, a small sizzle reel was shown to the audience highlighting footage from the future world episode mixed with new scenes as well. The Fringe team is back and this time they’re going to apply themselves to be the anomaly against the Observer controlled world, nothing is off the table with new and old members united. Peter is clear when he steps up to help lead and tells everyone it’s time to create some Fringe events of their own this time, it’ll take supernatural events and all of their brain power to take on this group.

The focus of Season 5 will be future day as seen in the Season 4 episode teaser highlighting problems coming in the future, on top of that we’ll see Peter and Olivia teamed up with their daughter who packs secrets of her own. The tension his high and the team promises to give it everything possible in every single episode coming up so expect possibly the best season yet of Fringe. For those worried, they do promise we’ll see closure to this current arc but possibly not all of Fringe for reasons they address below.

During the panel the afterlife of Fringe is brought into question, hopes of a potential movie (no word on straight to disc or film) and the expansion of the universe in other mediums such as graphic novels or comics which we’ve seen already (Into the Fringe) were brought into play for ways the story can always continue. They’ve certainly left a large leap in time to fill in with a 20 year gap between the birth of Peter and Olivia’s daughter and Season 5 so all of that is in the air right now. The main focus for the moment will be on production and making sure this current arc delivers for fans without leaving everyone in the dark at the end.

Fringe Season 5 will air Fridays on Fox starting September 28th, 2012 for the final 13 episode run.

SDCC 2012 – Doctor Who Season 7 Panel with Video

The good Doctor is just a few months away from returning to us on the television again, to hold everyone over though, the team made a stop at San Diego Comic-Con again this year to share tidbits on the new season including details around the trouble headed toward the Ponds and a little bit on the new companion headed to the show.

Attempted to shoot this on video for better record keeping, it didn’t come out amazingly well due to the lack of a tripod but the audio is there to help guide things along. Unfortunately the BBC had forbidden recording of the video sections shown between discussion.

Namco Bandai Games America Announces Official Ship Date for One Piece: Pirate Warriors and Thundercats in North America

Fans get ready two Iconic shows of the past and present are hitting your consoles and handheld’s, The Highly anticipated One Piece: Pirate Warriors for the PlayStation 3 will also hit U.S Stores, players will relive their favorite scenes controlling many of the beloved Straw Hat Pirates which includes Luffy, Zoro, Nami, and others. Also coming for Nintendo DS system is “Thundercats” a side-scrolling beat’em up adventure game.

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Press Release

  Pirate Warriors and Thundercats in North America

 Today NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. officially announces the North American ship dates for One Piece: Pirate Warriors on the PlayStation Network and Thundercats for the Nintendo DS.

One Piece: Pirate Warriors puts players in the role of Luffy and other pirates from the popular anime series. Players team up with other members from  the Straw Hat crew to defeat the unrelenting onslaught of pirates. In One Piece: Pirate Warriors, players will be able to fight waves upon waves of enemies in both online and offline co-op modes with their friends. One Piece: Pirate Warriors will be available for purchase exclusively on the PlayStation Network on September 25.

Thunder Thunder THUNDERCATS! Fans of this classic animated series should mark their calendars as Lion-O makes his debut on the Nintendo DS system on September 25. Play as Lion-O and take on Mumm-Ra and his forces of evil in this side-scrolling adventure that follows the storyline of the new animated series!

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The Walking Dead #100 Sells Out, Issue Was Best-selling First Print in 15 Years

Coming off a whirlwind release day the week of Comic-Con International and supported by special events at comic book stores around the country, THE WALKING DEAD #100 by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard will receive a second printing after selling out of its record-setting first printing. At 383,612 copies, the sales of THE WALKING DEAD #100 were the best initial orders for a single issue of a comic book since 1997.

A harrowing and heart-wrenching event in the lives of Rick Grimes and his band of survivors, THE WALKING DEAD #100 has been critically acclaimed for its examination of violence and mortality.

At The Comics Journal, Sean T. Collins considered the depiction of brutality: “It’s hugely graphic and gory, but more importantly it’s predicated on anguish and agony, on a character begging for their life and slowly losing it anyway, in view of other characters, including children, made to watch as punishment,” he wrote. “A ‘bad guy’ is committing the violence, but its horribleness is quite of a piece with the series’ presentation of human-on-human violence overall.”

Augie De Blieck, Jr. at Comic Book Resources wrote, “[T]his issue delivers. It is not, however, the massive rampage of blood and guts I expected it to be. Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard deliver something much smaller, but just as effective, creepy, tense and sad.”

The issue inspired Bleeding Cool‘s Adi Tantimedh to ponder the function of tragic fiction in society. “I wonder if the popularity of THE WALKING DEAD and the zombie apocalypse genre is a kind of atavistic ritual that the culture is partaking in to magickally ward off the worst that could happen, which is societal collapse into full horror,” Tantimedh wrote. “…[T]he proxy of fiction allows the audience to mentally put themselves through the horror to find catharsis and feel more secure after the experience.”

The second printing of the milestone issue will feature a new cover with art by Adlard. It is available for order now with the Diamond code JUN128066.