Manga UK reveal new acquisitions and forthcoming release dates for Q4 2012

Over the last week a fair amount of news has come to light for forthcoming anime releases. At the MCM Manchester Expo last weekend, Manga Entertainment’s Jerome Mazandarani hosted a panel where he confirmed the new licences and release dates.

First of all the new licenses are:

  • Production IG’s Guilty Crown, set for release on both DVD & Blu-Ray
  • Fractale will be released on DVD on December 10th
  • Jormungand
  • Aria The Scarlet Ammo

Forthcoming release dates now confirmed are:

  • The World God Only Knows on October 1st
  • Blue Exorcist Part 2 on October 22nd
  • Tales of Vesperia: The First Strike on December 3rd
  • Gintama: The Movie on DVD on December 24th
  • The first box set of Persona 4 The Animation on DVD & Blu-Ray on December 24th
  • The first of the new Berserk movies will also see a December 24th release date.

A few days later via their twitter account, it was also confirmed that season 4 of Hetalia: World Series will be released on DVD in December.

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MCM Manchester Expo is this Saturday – all the info an anime goer needs

The MCM Manchester Expo is this weekend and it promises to be another busy Saturday packed with bargains and interesting content for those attending. MCM Expo have published the entire show guide that can be viewed HERE.

From an anime goers perspective there a few notes to make mention of. There will be a few panels, the chance to meet Vic Mignogna and the Manga UK stand will also have special DVD and Blu-Ray deals. With that in mind here’s the info you need to know –
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Ninja Scroll Blu-Ray release date pushed back to November.

Release date pushed back to November

Following the original announcement back in May (SEE HERE), we’ve just got word from Manga Entertainment’s publicist that the forthcoming release of the Steel Tin DVD/Blu-Ray of Ninja Scroll has been delayed until November 26th from its orignal October 15th release date.

Due to unforeseen circumstances Manga UK has been forced to push back the release date of Ninja Scroll to the 26th November 2012. Manga are delighted to be releasing this anime classic on Blu-ray for the first time and would like to thank fans for their patience and support.

Remember you can still pre-order this title at Amazon UK HERE.

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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Blu-Ray Review – Angel Beats Complete Collection

Available on DVD & Blu-Ray now

Imagine that you wake up outdoors and crouched down in front of you is a school girl pointing a sniper rifle at a fellow student, who apparently is the enemy, standing across the courtyard. This same girl who’s wielding said sniper rifle then tries to recruit you for a group she fronts during which time you have been informed that you’re now in the afterlife. This is exactly what you can expect in the opening scene of Angel Beats as you follow the (very unique) journey of Otonashi who has no clue what’s going on coupled with the fact he has amnesia & doesn’t remember anything about himself. (Not exactly the greatest condition to be in given the circumstances.)

As you may have guessed Angel Beats surrounds a group of students trying maintain a strong opposing force against Angel, the girl I mentioned who was having a sniper rifle (unbeknownst to her) waiting to deliver a shot to her cranium, in a world that could be best described as unique version of the afterlife that is confined to the grounds a high school. The goal of the students is simple: remain in that world. If they cause an imbalance on how the things should run or perhaps how they conduct themselves in certain situations, they will likely be met with consequences (usually Angel, who coincidentally is the student council leader, coming along to dish out some punishment) or perhaps even being ‘obliterated’.
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DVD Review – Welcome To The Space Show

Available on DVD and as Blu-Ray/DVD Combo pack now

Space has always been on the list of challenges for man, a seemingly infinite plateau of cosmic science that even the most advanced scientists are still struggling to find answers too. With the first rocket launches all the way through to the international space station, we are still light-years away from conquering this dark and secretive place.

The joy of this unknown is the wonderful curiosity we find in our imaginations to speculate the ‘what ifs’ of space that lend itself so well to fictional story telling.

Welcome To The Space Show opens with a furious yet beautiful chase between alien life forms, already wetting the palette with some amazing effects and colours, in combat over a substance know as ‘zughan’. After all the commotion disperses, we meet our little group, whom are all on their way to summer camp. Whilst searching for Amane’s pet rabbit, Pyon-kichi, which her elder cousin Natsuki has let escape, our group, lead by the eldestKiyoshi, including Noriko, a quiet but morally strong character and Koji, an enthusiastic young boy, come a cross a crop circle, uncovering a hurt little dog and decide to bring him back and nurse him to health.
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DVD Review – Hetalia World Series – Season Three Collection

Release date: July 23rd 2012

I had wondered if it was just the Hetalia: Paint It White movie that was suffering from a bad case of the ‘What?’, in terms of its pacing, structure and bizarre inanities. Apparently it isn’t. But, having said that, there are some significant benefits to having Hetalia in a series format rather than one drawn-out story.

For those that are unaware, Hetalia is a comedy series which stars personifications of the world’s countries in vignettes that are generally rough allegories of historical events picked throughout time (although mainly focusing on the World Wars), and also a great deal of random irreverence that are completely unrelated to history. There’s no wider story arc other than the simple progression of episodes and introduction of more characters, so unless you’re coming straight into the third season it shouldn’t be challenging to progress through. By this point, there are a lot of characters. Working with countries as a basis actually gives the audience a great advantage with getting to grips with the series, as there are fewer collections of things that we’re more familiar with- at some point in our lives we will probably have heard of most of the names being thrown around, so you’re given a leg up from the beginning. More obscure characters (like Wy and Sealand, which are actually real micronations) take some introduction, but usually this happens as a matter of course during the episode progression anyway.
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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 – Dragonball Z Season One

Available on DVD from July 2nd 2012

Back in the early 2000’s a series aired on the Cartoon Network that I had seen glimpses of in the form of trading cards that a few Japanese friends of mine often brought into school. I had even seeing some clips advertised on tv when on holiday in the states but never actually came to realise what this franchise was all about. The series in question is Dragonball Z.

The series debut on Cartoon Network hooked me from the outset. Yet the one thing that was never present over here in the UK was a home video release (back then on VHS). I knew it was available in other countries and I’ll readily admit I imported some of the VHS and DVDs but never everything because of two reasons. The first, and perhaps very predictably given my age at the time, was the lack of money. Paying £20 for three episodes (sometimes four if you were lucky) on a single DVD or VHS certainly made the funds dry up quickly. The second reason was that I was always hopeful there would be a physical UK release. Well that time has finally arrived. After years of yearning, wanting and hoping, the Dragonball Z television series is at long last being released in the UK. Coming to the masses in the form of season long box sets nicknamed ‘orange bricks’ (because of their packaging design), the first, season one obviously, encompassing the Vegeta saga (also known to many as the Saiyan saga from when it aired on television.)

As you can tell I’m a big fan of the franchise. (Phrasing it like that may be an understatement in itself.) But for the benefit of those who might not be as familiar with Dragonball Z, allow me enlighten you in as short a time frame as possible.
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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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