Anime

Anime, or Japanese animation, along with manga is becoming increasingly popular outside of Japan. The latest DVD releases, new series announcements and other goodies can be found here. Dattebayo!

Sword Art Online movie in limited Canadian theatrical run March 2017

Get ready to enter the immersive realm of Sword Art Online in the anime title’s first feature film, Sword Art Online the Movie -Ordinal Scale- which is coming to theatres across North America. If you live in Canada, there’s only five Cineplex locations across the country that are showing this movie; the upside is they’ll have multiple showtimes.

These five cities include:

  • Calgary, AB – Cineplex Eau Claire Market Cinemas on March 17th at 7:00 PM and March 18th and 19th at 4:00 PM
  • Vancouver, BC – Cineplex The Park Theatre on March 17th at 7:00 PM and March 18th and 19th at 4:00 PM
  • Halifax, NS – Cineplex Cinemas Parklane on March 17th at 7:00 PM and March 18th at 4:10 PM
  • Ottawa, ON – Cineplex South Keys Cinemas on March 17th at 7:00 PM and March 18th and 19th at 4:00 PM and March 19th 4:30 PM
  • Toronto, ON – Cineplex Cinemas Yonge-Dundas and VIP on March 17th at 7:00 PM and March 18th and 19th at 4:00 PM

With a new game comes a new world. Technology has improved with new devices called Augma and a new game, Ordinal Scale. Donning the augmented reality headset, Kirito reunites with his friends from earlier adventures as they explore this new game and discover its dark realities.

Sword Art Online the Movie -Ordinal Scale- runs for two hours and will be shown in Japanese with English subtitles.

Source: Eleven Arts

Sailor Moon R – The Movie coming to Cineplex in Canada

Get ready to fight evil with the power of the moon as Sailor Moon R – The Movie comes to Canadian theatres! Some 39 Cineplex locations across the country will host the legendary Sailor Scouts for a one day showing on Wednesday, March 1st, 2017.

As a child, Mamoru Chiba presented another boy with a rose, who in turn promises to hand a flower back to Mamoru. Fast forward to the future where Mamoru fends off a flirtatious Usagi Tsukino in a garden. The boy from his past re-appears, coming between him and Usagi, intent on making good on his promise. Concerned over this mysterious person, the Sailor Scouts meet at Rei Hino’s temple where they learn of an asteroid headed towards Earth. This asteroid is home to small amounts of life which leads to monsters attacking Tokyo in an attempt to harvest energy from its human population. What connection does this enigmatic boy have in connection with Mamoru and will the Usagi and her friends be able to save Earth from destruction?

Also being shown is the 15 minute short, Make Up! Sailor Guardians, with Usagi and Chibiusa.

Sailor Moon R – The Movie includes some scenes with flashing lights which could be uncomfortable for those with photosensitive epilepsy.

Tickets are available for purchase online.

Sources: Cineplex, Eleven Arts

Second season of Attack on Titan to air April 1, 2017

Attack on Titan season 2 promo

Promotional artwork for the second season of Attack on Titan

It’s no joke, the long-awaited second season of Attack on Titan has a date: Saturday, April 1st, 2017. The colossal creatures who devour hapless humans will also stream for fans in North America through FUNimation on the same day.

In this upcoming season, we learn that the titans terrorizing the last of humanity have kept many other, never before seen monsters at bay, including the Sasquatch-like beast titan. With Eren Jaeger’s power to transform into one of these fearsome beings, he just may turn the tide against the female titan… Japanese rock band Linked Horizon returns to perform the opening theme (they recorded the two intro songs in the first season). Perhaps we’ll finally get to see what Eren Jaeger’s key unlocks…

Attack on Titan airs in Japan on Tokyo MX and on MBS.

Sources: Crunchyroll, Twitter, FUNimation

HMV to close, depriving Canadians another place to buy anime

An HMV store on Robson Street

An HMV store on Robson Street

Another Canadian retailer is exiting the market. HMV, purveyors of all things entertainment, is winding down its operations and closing all 102 store locations over the next couple of months. It also marks the end of the few physical merchants selling anime products within Canada.

Aside from grabbing the latest movie, or that classic vinyl record, HMV had a fairly decent selection of anime. While many other shops hosted a limited choice of more popular titles, HMV could be counted on for a wider assortment of anime, albeit at a higher price. Plus, they also sold various collectibles and knickknacks including mugs, posters, apparel and plushes.

The closure announcement came on January 27th, 2017, due to competition from online sources that could offer more items at lower prices and on-demand streaming services with vast libraries of music and video at modest monthly rates.

HMV’s online site is no longer available for browsing. Stores remain open to clear out remaining inventory on discount.

Source: HMV

Boruto: Naruto the Movie coming for home release this March

Boruto Blu-ray/DVD combo pack

Cover art of Boruto: Naruto the Movie Blu-ray and DVD combo pack.

In 2015, Viz Media and Eleven Arts treated North American ninja fans to the theatrical release of Boruto: Naruto the Movie, the first feature film around Naruto’s son Boruto. Now, a year and a half later, you can bring the action home with Blu-ray/DVD combo pack or DVD-only pack of the movie starting March 28th, 2017.

Intent on defending the village he once loathed, Sasuke barely escapes with his life after encountering two shadowy figures. With the Hidden Leaf Village preparing for the annual Chunin Exams, ninja from five allied villages are ready to prove themselves capable of passing the gruelling tests. Boruto, along with Sasuke’s daughter Sarada and the enigmatic Mitsuki, line up for the shinobi’s assessment. Boruto, looking to surpass his father, begs for Sasuke to train him to achieve his goal.

In the midst of the Chunin Exams, Naruto is attacked by the same two people Sasuke was investigating. Before disappearing, Naruto entrusts Boruto to Sasuke. What evil power awaits Boruto, Sasuke and the five kage? Will Naruto survive? It’s an action-packed experience!

The theatrical release of Boruto: Naruto the Movie was limited in Canada to a single day, while the United States and Mexico had multiple showings.

Source: Right Stuf

Yu-Gi-Oh! movie coming to Landmark Cinemas in Canada

Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions is coming to Landmark Cinema locations across Canada. It’s also being shown in US theatres as well, but only for a two-week period between Friday, January 27th through Thursday, February 9th, 2017. Exact Canadian dates were not made available.

With a story written by mangaka Kazuki Takahashi, Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions sees the return of Yugi Muto with his pals Joey Wheeler, Tristan Taylor, Téa Gardner, and Bakura, along with the egotistical Seto Kaiba. One card is all it takes to change the tide of battle. It’s game on!

While the movie promoter has a list of available Landmark Cinemas locations, the theatre chain’s own web site makes no mention of the title at time of writing.

Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions premiered in Japanese theatres in April 2016.

Sources: Yu-Gi-Oh! Movie, Yu-Gi-Oh! Tickets

Boruto anime announced for April 2017

Get ready for more ninja action with Boruto: Naruto Next Generations! This new anime series starts airing April 2017 on TV Tokyo in Japan according to a video uploaded to Crunchyroll’s Facebook page. The new show centres on Naruto’s son Boruto, Sasuke’s daughter Sarada and a third child named Mitsuki.

Boruto made his first appearance in his own feature movie, Boruto: Naruto the Movie in 2015.

BORUTO – NARUTO NEXT GENERATIONS PV

BORUTO – NARUTO NEXT GENERATIONS was just announced at Jump Festa, starting broadcast in Japan this April 🎉

Posted by Crunchyroll on Friday, December 16, 2016

Source: Crunchyroll

Yuri!!! On Ice

There’s plenty of sports related anime and manga out there — baseball, basketball, volleyball, swimming, and football. Now you can add ice skating to that list. Yuri!!! On Ice brings warmth and art to this cool, winter sport.

Yuri Katsuki, after whom the show is named for, is struggling with his life following a disastrous exit in the Grand Prix of ice skating. Returning home to the fictional city of Hasetsu in Kyushu, Yuri revisits his home rink. His friend, Yuko Nishigori, who works at the local rink, watches his flawless recital of a performance by Yuri’s hero, the legendary Russian skater, Victor Nikiforov. However, the video of Yuri is leaked onto the Internet and Victor is captivated by it. Travelling to Japan, Victor surprises Yuri with the proposal of becoming his coach to help him achieve his goals. And thus begins Yuri’s travel to the top.

The story of ice skating might seem benign at first, but there are mature themes within the series, touching on mental health and love. Yuri suffers from anxiety, tying in from the loss of his pet dog along with the fear of failure and turns to overeating. Victor, with his lack of experience, is unable to handle Yuri when he breaks down, but learns that his support is what Yuri is really looking for. Yuri Plisetski (affectionately dubbed Yurio to differentiate between the two) retains a bad boy image, as a punk, but deep down, he too has his own demons. As the series progresses, we learn more about the anguish in Yurio’s mind surrounding his quest to achieve greatness, and over the control of his anger, especially upon seeing the attention Victor pays Yuri. Even the lesser characters contribute with their own quirks and emotions.

Of course, there’s more than just the two Yuri’s and Victor. Skaters from all over the world interpolate themselves into the storyline, each bringing their own attitudes and uniqueness to the rink. Phichit Chulanont from Thailand, Guang-Hong Ji from China, Christophe Giacometti from Switzerland, Seung Gil Lee of South Korea and Canada’s own Jean-Jacques “JJ” Leroy. JJ is an interesting selection, he’s sponsored by Cast Wheels (a play on Canadian Tire, for obvious legal reason) and is the complete opposite of what you’d expect a Canadian ice skater to be: an arrogant jerk. But, he adds variety to the list.

I love the animation; the movements on the rink (and off) are so fluid and watching the jumps, twirls and dancing makes it seem so much more real. Even the costumes worn, are detailed. MAPPA, the animation studio, worked with sporting company Chacott in designing the characters and their outfits. There’s even blog posts delving into the creative process, showing just how much work and effort goes into making Yuri!!! On Ice. Just seeing the intricate designs and the way the lights reflect off of the material gives that added touch of realism. Yuri’s hometown of Hasetsu is based on the city of Karatsu in Kyushu, an island in south-western Japan. Crunchyroll even went as far to create a video with comparison photos between the show and real life. However, I did pick up on a couple of goofs in the animation, one of which is how “JAPAN” is spelled as “JARAN” on the back of Yuri’s jacket. Yuri’s last name is also misspelled as “Katuki” instead of “Katsuki” in one of the handheld signs held by his fans in the crowd at the Rostelecom Cup. These are small and doesn’t detract at all from the show, but it made me do a quick double take.

It’s not often that the opening theme of an anime is sung completely in English. Many opening credits are usually performed in Japanese with the occasional English thrown in here and there, considering these songs are not composed specifically for the show. Dean Fujioka’s History Maker is sung beautifully in English, is completely inline with the motif of the series and flows with the abstract artwork of Yuri, Victor and Yurio skating to get you worked up for next 20 minutes. And yes, you can purchase this piece legally through iTunes. Of course, there’s the music that each character dances to, specially chosen based on their theme. The song Yuri skates to is aptly titled Yuri on Ice, a wonderful piano arrangement, it’s one that sort of pulls at the heart; for Georgi Popovich and his theme of heartbreak is A Tales of Sleeping Prince which has an upbeat tune, which counters how depressing it sounds. The selection for Agape used for Yurio’s display is one of my favourites; it’s almost haunting with its vocals. A CD with the music used in the anime goes on sale December 21st, 2016, according to the official web site.

Yuri!!! On Ice aired in Japan on October 5th, 2016, and is streamed through Crunchyroll and FUNimation; with the latter offering an English dub. As of writing, eight episodes have broadcast, which is every Wednesday. So, if you don’t mind shedding a few tears or just love seeing sports anime, I recommend it.

Live-action Fullmetal Alchemist movie trailer released

A live-action adaptation of the popular anime and manga series Fullmetal Alchemist is coming next year. The official movie web site unveiled a short teaser of the film with a tentative release in 2017.

The teaser video gives a tantalizing look into a world based on alchemy — where items are transmuted into something new using arcane drawings on them or under them. Two brothers, struggling to find a way to heal each other from an alchemy experiment gone wrong, embark on an adventure to save not only themselves, but their friends and homeland. Edward Elric makes a couple of short appearances in the video, along with his armour clad brother, Alphonse. The country of Amestris appears to modelled on a rustic European landscape, complete with an impressive steam locomotive. Even a chimera makes a vicious attack on the state alchemist Edward.

Directed by Fumihiko Sori, and produced with Warner Bros. Pictures, the known cast for Fullmetal Alchemist includes:

  • Ryosuke Yamada as Edward Elric
  • Tsubasa Honda as Winry Rockbell
  • Dean Fujioka as Colonel Roy Mustang
  • Ryuta Sato as Lieutenant Colonel Maes Hughes
  • Misako Renbutsu as Lieutenant Riza Hawkeye
  • Natsuki Harada as Gracia Hughes
  • Yo Oizumi as Shou Tucker
  • Jun Kunimura as Dr. Marco
  • Kohinata Fumiyo as General Hakuro
  • Yasuko Matsuyuki as Lust
  • Kanata Hongo as Envy
  • Shinji Uchiyama as Gluttony
  • Kenjiro Ishimaru as Father Cornello

Sources: Natalie, Fullmetal Alchemist Official Web Site, YouTube

Digimon Adventure tri. to show in select Canadian theatres September 2016

Digimon Adventure tri. promotional poster

Promotional artwork for Digimon Adventure tri.

The DigiDestined are coming to a theatre near you! Cineplex is screening the English dubbed first episode of Digimon Adventure tri. in only a handful of their locations across Canada on Thursday, September 15th, 2016.

Six years after their first foray into the Digital World over summer, the DigiDestined have grown up and moved on. The tranquility since the portal to the Digital World closed is not to last as a monster appears in Taichi Yagami’s hometown of Odaiba. Taichi is helpless; unable to stop the destruction of his neighbourhood caused by Kuwagamon. But when Kuwagamon’s attention turns towards Taichi, the teenager’s long silent Digivice activates…

Visit Cineplex.com for available theatres and to purchase advance tickets for Digimon Adventure tri. – Chapter 1: Reunion.

Only two locations in the Lower Mainland are hosting the hour and 20 minute anime: SilverCity Riverport Cinemas and Cineplex Cinemas Langley.

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