DVD Review – Bleach: Series 9 Part 1 (Episodes 168-178)

Available on DVD now

As we dive back into the world of Bleach, you will recall we last left our heroes in the world of Hueco Mundo as they strive to put a stop to Aizen and his fiendish… wait, that tale isn’t continuing for a while? Instead we’re going to be treated to a new standalone story set in the world of the living (that has nothing to do with the ongoing story from the last volume) surrounding a mysterious trio taking refuge on Earth?

This is what you will be met with as you pop in this DVD set. As mentioned in my review of Series 8 Part 2 (read it HERE) due to production issues when the series first aired – namely that the anime was far too close to the Manga of Bleach being published at the same time in Japan – series 9 began a new original story to break the flow of what we had been watching. But I’m happy to report that from my perspective this is actually a welcomed change and isn’t as bad of an occurrence as some might perceive. Yes it is an original story, which I appreciate can be a major turn off for some people, but the good thing about this collection of episodes is that it does takes us back to some older ground of the Bleach universe. We get to see our heroes in the world of living attending school and joking around with each other, reminding us that at the end of the day they are only high school students. (Something that in all honestly I had forgotten about given the serious overtone of the Hueco Mundo story.) So, although it has created a bump in the road of a story we have already invested a lot of time in, it is nice to have a break once in a while before plowing on with whatever awaits us next (in this instance) in Hueco Mundo.
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Black Lagoon Blu-Ray releases delayed until end of July, DVD collection release date unaffected

Manga Entertainment just announced on their twitter account that the upcoming Black Lagoon Blu-Rays they are distributing with Kaze UK have been delayed until the end of the month, July 30th to be precise. The DVD collection containing both seasons are still set for a July 9th release date.

Season 1 & Season 2 Blu-ray delayed until 30-July. Massive apologies 2 all our customers. S1&2 DVD box set out 9-Jul.

You can pre-order both versions at Amazon UK via the links below:
Season 1 Blu-Ray  |  Season 2 Blu-Ray  |  Season 1 & 2 DVD Collection

 

DVD Review – Roujin Z

Available on DVD & Blu-Ray now.

After reviewing some excellent new titles of anime, especially CG epics and pristine Blu-ray releases, it can be a challenge to re-tune my eyes to older animes, although if you allow yourself to sit back and just watch, you will be thoroughly rewarded and Roujin Z is no exception.

Roujin Z (old man Z) was first bought to us on good ol’ VHS in 1991 from acclaimed Akira director and writer Katsuhiro Otomo, which this re-release definitely capitalises on.

An old widower, Kijuro Takazawa, who is lovingly looked after by a young student Haruko Mitsuhashi and is very much in need of full time care, has been ‘selected’ to be a test subject in a governmental healthcare project where a nuclear powered, robotic medical bed prototype may take over the 24/7 care of Japans rising elderly population, instead of nurses and full time carers, thus, in theory, relieving the strain of an almost overstretched medical service.
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Upcoming UK DVD & Blu-Ray release date notes

Over the last week a few notes have have come to light about forthcoming releases from Manga UK and Kaze.

Pushed back to early 2013

Tiger & Bunny
Confirmed via their Twitter, Kaze revealed that due to the English dubbing schedule being altered. Tiger & Bunny won’t see a UK release until early 2013. “Bad news for Tiger and Bunny, we have to delay the release to start of 2013 due to the dubbing schedule changing! Very sorry! We’ll update more when new dates are set in stone, we are of course working with our friends in the US to try to synchronize dates though.

Puella Magi Madoka Magica
Manga Entertainment confirmed on their latest podcast that the official release date for this collection on DVD and Blu-Ray is Monday 29th October.

Strike Witches Season 2
Due to a production issue, namely the fact that Manga have yet to receive the master tapes of the series, Season 2 of Strike Witches on DVD has been pushed back to December.

We’ll be sure to keep you updated with further developments.

Podcast Episode #42 – May 2012 MCM London Expo Preview show ft. Andrew Partridge of Kaze UK

This week join Jeremy Graves as he welcomes good friend of the show Andy Hanley from UK-Anime to bring our traditional MCM London Expo preview program! They take you on a journey of information as to what you can expect at the expo this weekend, well after an initial 15 minutes or so of discussion on a variety of topics including Squid Girl and the Bleach Blu-Ray releases.

Once the expo talk begins we also welcome Andrew Partridge of Kaze UK & Anime On Demand onto the program to gives some insight into how his preparations are going ahead of the expo, what we can expect on the Kaze UK stand and during their panel on Sunday, some Anime On Demand talk on more!

Following that Jeremy and Andy wrap up their expo talk and then discuss what they been watching that includes Clannad, some of the recent Marvel anime series and more! A fun show as always and it’s available for you now!

Download – Right Click, Save As HERE | Download through iTunes HERE.
Duration: 1:22:37

Blu-Ray Review – Bleach the Movie 3: Fade To Black

Release date: May 28th 2012

Returning for its third theatrical outing following two brilliant predecessors, we delve back into the world of powerful Ichigo Kuosaki and the soul reapers in Bleach with Fade To Black on both DVD and Blu-Ray. Though it should be noted that this review is purely based on the Blu-Ray release of the movie.

As was the case with Memories Of Nobody and The Diamond Dust Rebellion, Fade To Black is a standalone original story that has no bearing on the continuum of the Bleach universe. However despite this it serves as a powerful reminder of just how unpredictable and great the franchise is, giving you a great sense of unknowing, a feat harping back to the early days of the series.
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Tiger & Bunny UK home video release date confirmed! – UPDATED

DVD/Blu-Ray combo pack of Part 1 due in October

Manga Entertainment have made it known on twitter that we can expect to see the first part of the very popular superhero anime series Tiger & Bunny released on September 23rd in the UK!

The release will be a DVD+Blu-Ray combo pack, meaning you get both versions for one price. Given it’s part 1 of the series, it’s probably safe to assume it will include the first 12 or 13 episodes of the 25 episode series.

Tiger & Bunny will be the first series to be released on home video in the UK after having streamed as a simulcast with the original Japanese audio & English subtitles on the Anime On Demand streaming service. It’s still to this day one of the most popular series available to view on the site so it will be very interesting to see how well it does on DVD/Blu-Ray (with the English dub included too).

UPDATE –
Kaze UK have since made it known on their twitter account that the first part of Tiger & Bunny is actually due for release in October, not September.

Kaze UK also added on twitterwe have something planned for September for [Tiger & Bunny] so maybe that’s what [Manga UK] got confuzzled by – easily done 🙂“. No doubt we’ll find out more details about this “something” in the coming months.

So to reiterate, the Tiger & Bunny Part 1 DVD+Blu-Ray combo pack is due for release in October. This matches the previous report that it would be released in the fourth quarter of the year.
We’ll be sure to keep you up to date with any further developments on this.

Blu-Ray Review – Bleach the Movie 2: The Diamond Dust Rebellion

Release date: May 28th 2012

Following on from its first theatrical outing Bleach returns for a second feature length story in the form of “The Diamond Dust Rebellion” that proves to be a dichotomy from the first, but is still able to provide a great story and power pounding action, this time (following its original DVD release) getting the high definition treatment on Blu-Ray!

This movie sees the captain of the 10th Court Guard of the Soul Society take a primary focus, a welcome decision in my eyes as he is always a character I’ve wanted to know more about. The higher ranking members of the Court Guards of the Soul Society, while all interesting and unique characters, never really get an opportunity to have their past explored in detail.
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MCM London Expo news: Floor plan and schedule revealed

This weekend will be a busy weekend with the MCM London Expo returning to Excel London providing attendees the opportunity to meet stars, grab some bargains and so much more.

The official floor plan and schedule of the weekends events have been revealed and below you can find a summary of what is happening as it relates to the world of anime and manga.

Schedule [Click to enlarge]

Floor Plan [Click to enlarge]

When it comes to the floor plan, the anime distributors are split into two sections. The first along the main Expo Boulevard that is conveniently along the same walk as the entrance to the show floor. You’ll find Manga UK, MVM and Kaze UK along this section.
You will also find a second Manga UK stand (likely to be their SALE stall that they have had previous expos) in walking distance from the NEO magazine stand very close MCM Theatre A.

Here is a brief summary of the anime related presentations and signings for you:
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