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!

Naruto character birthdays

Ever wondered which of your favourite ninjas celebrate their birthdays? Grab a slice of cake, a shuriken and party it up with our fairly comprehensive listing of character’s birth dates within the Naruto series.
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Peter Fernandez passes away

The anime world lost a familiar voice today, as actor Peter Fernandez passed away from complications due to lung cancer.

Fernandez was best known for his role in the English version of Speed Racer as not only the titular character, but as Racer X and various other roles. Fernandez also lent his voice in other series, such as Astro Boy, Gigantor, Marine Boy, and Lupin III.

Fernandez was 83 years old.

Source: Anime News Network

Anime sale on iTunes

Anime on iTunes

Anime on iTunes

Looking for digital anime downloads of your favourite series? If you have Apple iTunes, FUNimation is holding a small sale on select series until August 3rd, 2010. Popular selections include Fullmetal Alchemist, Ouran High School Host Club, Afro Samurai and Soul Eater just to name a few.

Visit to bring up iTunes and get a head start!

Source: FUNimation

Last episode of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

It’s been an exciting and climactic journey. Now, 63 episodes later, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood concludes, wrapping up Edward and Alphonse Elric’s quest to return their bodies to normal and to help save Amestris from utter devastation.

FUNimation will be releasing episode 64 through their video web site at 8:00 am PDT on Thursday, July 8th.

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Part 2 DVD

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Part 2

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Part 2 DVD

The Elric brothers’ adventure introduces them to visitors from a distant land and encounter a variation of alchemy called alkahestry. Colonel Mustang faces off against Lust after learning about the Homunculi and the mysterious force behind them. Winry also uncovers a horrific truth of what really happened during the battle of Ishbal.

FUNimation is now releasing the first DVDs for Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood in box sets as opposed to individual discs (when the first series were available for purchase). Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Part 2 will contain the second 13 episodes over two discs and goes on sale August 24th, 2010. A Blu-ray version will also be available on the same day.

Naruto Shippuden Box Set 3

Naruto Shippuden Box Set 03
After Kakashi is hospitalized for using his upgraded sharingan skills, Naruto and Sakura come face-to-face with a new team-mate and leader. The new team-mate, Sai, is a little odd and emotionless, bringing a suspicious eye from both Naruto and Sakura. Their new leader, Yamato, a member of ANBU, takes the new team 7 on a mission to recover information from a spy within Orochimaru’s organization.

The third Naruto Shippuden box set features Gaara on the cover will be released with two versions: a regular and special edition. The special edition will contain a mini figure of the kazekage himself.

As per the first two box sets, 13 episodes, 27 through 40, will span three discs.

The Naruto Shippuden Box Set 3 is scheduled to reach store shelves on August 3rd, 2010

FUNimation rates Hetalia: Axis Powers as Mature

FUNimation announced today via their Twitter account, that they will be placing a mature rating on the recently acquired animated series, Hetalia: Axis Powers. The message on the microblogging site stated that this decision was reached due to profanity, crude humour and adult situations.

Hetalia: Axis Powers is a series based around the events of World War II with human representations of their respective countries.

Source: FUNimation

Soul Eater Part Three out soon

Soul Eater DVD part 3The students at Death Weapon Meister Academy are still looking for those souls needed to increase the strength of their weapons, and it so happens that an opportunity has shown up. Arachne, a witch who’s been silent for almost 800 years, returns to wreak havoc with her creepy-crawlies against the Death Weapon Meister Academy. Maka and Soul face an all out battle for their lives as Arachne seeks revenge for what happened in the past.

Join the fight by picking up the Part Three DVD on June 1st, 2010. As usual, there are two discs with 13 episodes: 27 to 39, along with English and Japanese voices, subtitles, and special features.

Dubbing company predicts end of anime

The CEO of Bang Zoom! Entertainment, Eric P. Sherman, posted his view on why anime is going to die out. Eric attributes his reasoning of this due to the popularity of fan-subbing, where groups of people take recordings from Japanese television and translate them with English (or another language) subtitles. These videos are easily available through torrents or are sometimes chopped up and posted on streaming video sites like YouTube.

Eric has pointed the finger at fan-subs for the demise Geneon Entertainment USA and ADV Films which have gone under due to a lack of sales. If fans of the series continue to download and watch ill gotten episodes, more companies will follow suit and cease operations.

North American companies that perform the localization (which includes dubbing) and distribution of licensed series, companies such as Viz Media, FUNimation and Bang Zoom! Entertainment, have become very outspoken over fan-subbing. This is due to the idea that once someone downloads and watches the show on their computer, they most likely will not go out and purchase the DVD or Blu-ray. There are a few reasons behind this:

  • Ease of availability. Anyone with Internet access can install a torrent client and download whole episodes from others with a few clicks. And because high speed Internet access is widely available now, it only takes minutes to have whole seasons, let alone a few episodes saved to ones hard drive. Although, Viz Media and FUNimation as examples, stream video of popular series from their web sites for free, there are limitations due to licensing restrictions for those who live outside of the United States.
  • Price. Considering that much of the world is still easing out of a recession, money is tight for many people. Paying $70 for a box set, much less $30 for a single disc with four or five episodes, is a luxury many people cannot afford.
  • Localization. This one varies among fans — some of them like the fact that they don’t have to read subtitles while watching a show and listen to a talented English voice actor, while others prefer subtitles because they like the depth and style Japanese voice actors offer. In other cases, some companies, such as 4Kids Entertainment, rework huge portions of animated series to change their targeted audience in order to increase profits. Themes that depict death, violence, and mature situations are toned down so as not to scare or offend younger audiences. Such censoring draws ire from more fervent fans who want to see the series as originally designed.

It seems that there are two sides to the story with a delicate industry caught in the middle. However, both sides — the fans and the companies, need to reach a plateau where they get their money’s worth for and from the end product, be it DVD or manga. It’s unfair though for one side to harbour all of the blame when the reasons behind it should be looked at. But in the mean time, go out and buy a DVD or Blu-ray and maybe send some (polite!) feedback to the company that holds the North American license to show how you feel about the pricing and content of your favourite series.

Source: Anime News Network

Naruto Shippuden Box Set 2

Naruto Shippuden Box Set 02

Ninja fans looking to pick up a copy of the latest Naruto Shippuden box set won’t have to wait much longer for it. The second collection, featuring rogue ninja Deidara, also comes with a limited edition figure of the artistic bomber in a separate special edition version. Box Set 2 contains episodes 14-26 across three discs.

The next installation of the Naruto Shippuden box sets is scheduled for launch on April 20th, 2010.

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