Wednesday, July 14, 2010

On Break To Be Miserable.

I hate to do this but I need to take a short break, a few days, to try and improve my mood. Unfortunately, today my family got pretty much the worst news possible short of people dying.

Basically, the main income earner of my family will soon be completely out of work and possibly in prison. What for? Essentially, for taking on a client that turned out to be a con-artist and trying to collection on a debt while doing it. Got to love our "justice" system.

Well, things are very bad right now and my family is going to lose a lot. We're desperately trying to see what property we have that can be sold and if there are any other resources we can tap. In other words, we're about to drop a few rungs on the taxable income ladder.

I need a few days to sort myself out. I'm trying not to be completely depressed or outraged because depression and rage are pretty useless in a situation like this. Right now, I've got a lot on my plate. I'm entering law school soon on nothing but loans and moving away from home again, I've got to try and figure out how to pay those loans off once I graduate (military service seems like a good idea right now) and frankly I'm just exhausted. I've tried to keep myself busy here and otherwise but I'm just tired.

One of the very few bright spots in my life right now is that Zac over at ANN accepted my offer to write reviews for Kanokon and he also offered me the chance to review the stream of Strike Witches season 2 after a few more episodes air. So, at the very least, I may have a small bit of income from that.


I feel very blessed and lucky to be able to write for a professional website like ANN but I also want to keep doing this blog. Tomorrow I'm going to be going to where my future law school is to try and determine how to move my stuff to where I'll be staying. It's going to be a long but hopefully a happy day. Maybe I'll feel like posting more on Hetalia: Axis Powers tomorrow night! (By the way, today was France and they picked the awesome J. Michael Tatum to voice him. He's great.)

I just hope I'll feel a bit better sooner rather than later. I've been clinically depressed in the past and I don't want to go back there.

This experience has taught me a valuable lesson though. Possessions are nice but in the end, it's the people you really need. Even if my family loses everything and becomes homeless (very possible, we were almost there once before) I hope that I can keep that truth close to my heart.

Bye for now my followers and friends. I will try to pull myself together soon.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Hetalia's England Revealed: Scott Freeman.

Cavort with a unicorn while listening to the clip here!


Another day, another English dub update from Funimation regarding Hetalia: Axis Powers! Today it is England and I am late, due to worry over family problems and sheer ill feeling.

I'm still not as knowledgeable about this series as some so remember to take any opinions I give with a grain of salt! (Indian sea salt naturally.)

No Hetalia World Buffet today, just a great clip for inducing laughter.

So lets dig into some strange English cuisine and talk about Scott Freeman, the English VA chosen to voice England! First, let me say that although he's done a fair bit of work, I've never really noticed him before. Where have they been hiding this guy? An excellent accent that gives off an English professor sort of feel. (I was worried they might got for something a bit too Cockney.)

Scott Freeman's England comes across as very friendly and fun. This clip is so far my favorite as it is just plain hysterical in my opinion. There's just something about listening to a nation that sounds so normal and professorial suddenly start practically melting into a moe fit as mystical creatures appear. It doesn't look like Scott Freeman's had any major roles before England and my only question is why. He handled this clip wonderfully.

I like how this clip references the considerable depth and scale of English folklore. There are so many fascinating creatures of myth that were first talked about in England, or perhaps when speaking of such things we should use the more fanciful name of Albion for the nation? It's just so much fun to see a series make that cultural trait a major part of the character. For some odd reason, this bit of history is frequently ignored in favor of English characters being depicted as somehow snobbishly above such beliefs.

The clip also manages to make a quick reference to England's historical habit of fighting with people a lot. Colonial expansion was at one point a very major part of England's foreign policy. It would in fact be fair to say that it was the sum of their foreign policy for a time, leading to both unfortunate tragedies and wonderful boons. (The birth of America is a boon in my mind, regardless of what some delusional pundits will say.) Of course, England had plenty of problems at home too with internal disputes and such but they've kept going. England's had a rather colorful history and it's interesting to see the nation depicted here in a light-hearted way. I very much enjoyed it.

The accent choice was very fitting, very acceptable. Very English. My opinion is that once again Funimation has tapped a name we haven't really heard much of before to shine like a newly discovered jewel. Two thumbs up!

Now, tell me what you think of followers of mine! Did you like Scott Freeman's England? Did you like seeing legendary creatures? Did you like the brief moment with another nation? Did you comment yet?

After this week, my family's very unfortunate problems will be resolved one way or the other (pray for our salvation please) so hopefully I'll be in a better emotional state soon. That way, I can blog more and in a more timely fashion. I'm trying to stay calm and sane but really I just want to go lie down and sleep for a month or maybe just cry for a while. I can't though because I'm supposed to be the strong one.

Sorry to mix a personal message in with this Hetalia: Axis Powers English dub commentary but I'm just a bit worn out. I just hope things will turn out well for my family as if things go badly, it's going to be very bad. Like "oh look, we have no steady income and we're having to sell everything to pay our taxes and bills" kind of bad.


England does not approve of cruelty to pixies.


Monday, July 12, 2010

Hetalia's China Revealed: Clarine Harp.

Immortal link to this news.

Following my tradition of commentary on Funimation's casting choices for the English dub of Hetalia: Axis Powers, it is time to blog about Clarine Harp, the pick to play China!

As always, I'm a newb when it comes to Hetalia, so my analysis could easily be very flawed.

Once again, an episode of Hetalia World Buffet was included with this news update from Funimation. Feel free to chow down on Chinese food with Clarine and Char! In case you just want to skip that though, here's some release info about series extras:

Episode 2 Commentary (Italy & Germany) “The Flower Apron,”
Episode 9 Commentary (U.S.A. & Russia) “The Cold War,”
Episode 12 Commentary (France & U.K.) “Nice Dover,”
Episode 16 Commentary (Japan & China) “Far East Brothers,”
“The Hidden History Hidden Within Hetalia” Historical notes,
Show Comments by Director Bob Shirahata,
Director Bob Shirahata’s Ending Sequence Comments,
Textless Closing,

Not a whole lot of info here besides the (parial?) list of extras for Hetalia. A little fun in a restaurant, a little silliness and a little more with two lovely ladies of Funimation!

Now, I'll express my opinion on China's new English VA, Clarine Harp's portrayal so far. First, I feel that the accent here works very well. It's not too thick and it conveys a sense of aged wisdom. There's something subtly playful about it. I like this vocal characterization very much.

Also, if they hadn't told me who was doing it, I would not have believed it. Seriously, what the heck did Clarine Harp do to sound like that? She sounds like a guy! She totally does. I mean, damn.

Moving along, this choice of first look scene is very appropriate, conveying a feeling of long-suffering that culminates in a bit of humor. This is in keeping with the depth of history that modern China carries. Although from what I've read the living nation is a modest 4000, well, lets just say that China goes back a long way. It makes sense he'd be a bit relaxed about things. Heck, he's been dealing with people forever, considering that fossils of Peking Man found in the country may date back as far as 780,000 years ago, when fire was the new big thing. Modern China's turn to the authoritarian side isn't too far from the historical suffering brought on by the numerous battles and struggles that have led to it either, giving a feeling of stability out of the chaos.

In other words, China's very old and has been through a whole lot, but he keeps trying. It makes a certain degree of sense that they picked Clarine Harp to voice him, given her extensive body of work as both a VA and as a DVD producer. Here, she shows off an impressive skill at sounding like a man. I honestly can't remember any voice like this one from her before. I usually think about how she sounds in roles like Jody "Blue-Eyes" Hayward in El Cazador De La Bruja or Sei in Burst Angel. A sexy yet deep voice that makes me think of chocolate. This voice by Clarine is new to me.

Her performance here is not merely without defect in my opinion but also something surprisingly new. I've heard Clarine in numerous roles and own many of the anime she's done work on both in front of the microphone and in the production side of things. This is fascinating new ground for me.

My overall opinion right now is we just hit the jackpot! I mean, this casting choice is inspired. Good work Funimation!

Now it is your turn to tell me something. Do you want more of this accent? Do you fear China's space-based weapons program? Do you wish for a taste of that fortune cookie? Do you plan to post a comment?


It's a trap! (Although, would it be so bad to fall for him?)


Friday, July 9, 2010

Hetalia's Japan Revealed: Christopher Bevins.

Elegantly click here to explore this truth.


Continuing my probably pointless coverage of Hetalia: Axis Power's English dub cast reveals as Funi does them, despite some already knowing via other clips, Richard J. here to blog. Today's VA of choice, Christopher Bevins!

Blah blah, haven't seen enough Hetalia to be considered an expert. Yadda yadda, just my opinions. Jibber jabber, anime is awesome.

New from previous posts here is the inclusion of a Hetalia World Buffet episode, a short video exploring the creative process behind the English dub and other production-related issues. It's a little silly in spots but it is interesting, with packaging mock-ups, talk about graphic designs with Diana Zaky, the discovery of an extras disc (what will be on that?), convention freebies and the chibi-explosion bandanna. Plus Japanese food. Yummy!

A fun little video but the sound was kind of wonky in places.

Now, lets talk about Japan's characterization in the clip, though very briefly as I think having a cursory knowledge of Japanese culture and history is a responsibility of any anime fan. Personally I thought the accent was very under-played, meaning they didn't make him sound like he's spouting engrish at all turns. (I admit to being worried about that.) At the same time, it's a bit too subtle I think. At least in that clip, I could barely tell there was an accent. It sounds so natural that you almost don't notice it.

Then again, that may be a result of the quiet and elegant tone of voice as much as from intent. Fitting for a nation that is a thinker. Japan's scientific advancements aren't limited to anime you know. Of course, Japan has baggage like most other nations too, especially ones that went through an imperialist phase. Like many nations that have gone through such a phase, Japan would very much like to move on and put the past in the past. The stain on the nation's honor isn't easy to clean.

Providing Japan's English dub voice is Christopher Bevins, an actor, ADR director and script and line producer. The man has a gift for disappearing into his roles. In one series, he can be a brash hothead, in another a smooth talker who oozes sophistication. While it's not fair to say that actors who lack a large vocal range are poorer actors, it does make them easier to identify. Christopher Bevins is a chameleon.

Listen to Apollo in Aquarion, then Dr. Schneider in El Cazador De La Bruja and then Kanone in Spiral. Go ahead, I'll wait. They don't sound hardly anything alike. Same guy, this guy and now he's going to bring Japan to English dub life. Groovy.

Still, I'm not sure quite yet about this performance. The VA's talent is undeniable but that accent was a little too modest for my ears, I expected something a little thicker. Perhaps it's just the clip itself, which is largely poking fun at Japan's love of cute while also saying "hey, we rock technology" or maybe I was just expecting the wrong thing. This accent is very simple, very natural, so it feels much less comedic. The scene is very early in the Axis' relationships and Japan is very subdued early on. I want to hear more before I really decide.

I'm neutral on this pick for now. I'll be back for more soon to talk about Hetalia: Axis Powers! (And if Funimation will stop for a while so I don't have to make more than one post a day, I'll have reviews!)

Tell me your views my followers. Am I wrong about the accent? Does Japan automatically get a pass because anime rocks? Thumbs up or thumbs down on the Hetalia World Buffet? Post it notes.


To chibi or not to chibi, that is the question.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Hetalia's Germany Revealed: Patrick Seitz.

Efficiently click here for a short vid and article.


It's been a bad day for me but a good day for Hetalia: Axis Powers fans I think! Richard J. here to post incredible legible content about Patrick Seitz, the VA chosen to give Germany a chance.

Once again, I've watched little of Hetalia, so remember that my opinions are largely based on first impressions and my personal biases. Also from a little first hand experience as I have actually been overseas. Actually, I spent a while in Germany. (No, not like that! Get your heads out of the gutters!)

First, let's talk about the clip and the character. The accent choice for Germany is, thankfully, not the extreme stereotypical "where are your papers" sort of voice we've heard countless times in movies featuring Nazis. In fact, my God, they even hint at Germany's bitterness in this clip at being constantly reminded of that part of his life.

Unlike many portrayals of Germany in movies and TV, this series actually seems to want to recognize that Germany is not inherently EVIL. Quite the surprise considering Hollywood still loves to poke the nation in the eye with that one. Godwin's Law isn't actually written in stone but quite a few people forget that the nation which is today almost synonymous with a mustachioed corporal, has actually historically suffered quite a bit from wars. The aftermath of the last big one wasn't exactly good for them. I feel that Germany in Hetalia represents in part the will of the German people to strive to do what they can for their nation, even if they personally disagree with it.

Germany's a bit of woobie if you ask me.

Now about Patrick Seitz, I must say several things. First, I consider him to be one of the finest male English VAs around. If you doubt his talent, I command you to watch Koi Kaze. Second, I think he has the right voice for this role, a mix of strength and softness, giving him the ability to seem very stern yet capable of being very likable. The German people are actually rather nice. Third, I am increasingly happy to see people like Patrick Seitz working on Funimation dubs, as he has previously worked primarily in California. (You know, that state we hardly get any anime English dubs out of anymore but they used to produce some of the finest.)

We're lucky to have him as Germany. Patrick Seitz is multi-talented, having written numerous ADR scripts and adaptions as well. I really and honestly can praise him all day but I think I've posted enough.

The portrayal so far fits the nation well I think, feeling very accurate with the take charge attitude, the list of rules (Germans do as a society seem to like order) and of course the salute joke. That joke works so well. With an English dub, I can even follow what he's saying now in that scene!

I'm quite happy with this choice for VA and liked the accent very much.

What say you blog followers? Was that accent suitable to you? Do you like being ordered around by Germany? Interested in having a few beers with him? Post your post-able comments!


Too manly.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Hetalia's Russia Revealed: Jerry Jewell.

Click here for the vid and short article.


Richard J. here to talk about Russia's VA, Jerry Jewell and how I feel about him and his character.

Let me begin by reminding everyone that I have seen very little of Hetalia: Axis Powers but I'm increasingly of the opinion that it is crazy fun.

Basically, I love the accent. It's just so. . . osmotic Russian. It reminds me of the old Cold War era movies, the accent helping to emphasize the slightly crazy communist evil. This take on Russia, at least from that clip, seems to be going for the quietly Yandere madness of a barely restrained madman.

I love it. Russia has a bit of a history of conquest as well as generally unpleasant events happening to its people. Add in the brutal Russian winter and you can really understand why the personification of Russia might be just a tad dark inside.

Now for his VA, I dig Jerry Jewell. He's great and I feel a bit of Barry The Chopper in this clip. At the same time, I think his overall performance might be more like Tony in Blue Gender. At first your like "oh, he seems nice" and then the sanity leaves and the vicious madness descends. Delicious.
Jerry Jewell's a great choice if you ask me, which you probably didn't.

Jerry Jewell's talent isn't used enough if you ask me. He's got the ability to play crazy in a truly breathtaking manner and yet he can also produce a nice voice and feel to a character that makes you feel like you know someone just like him. Rarely has he gotten a chance to show off that range in one character. Picking him for Russia is inspired casting.

What I most like though is the sheer guts with taking the plunge and going for the accents. In our currrent polically correct environment, it's refreshing to see a company say "screw the whiners, we're making it awesome." I imagine America's VA will be a bit silly no matter what though.

Anyway, the accents aren't poorly applied in this scene, suggesting they'll be the sort of "people will get what this accent is but they won't laugh because it sounds silly" sort of accents. That scene sounded just fine to my ear and I found the transition to creepy very smooth. (Admittedly, I've never been to Russia but France sounded less accent-heavy than some French I've met.)

I personally think this is a great first listen and a perfect VA choice!

What do you think? Accents working for you? Do you want to invade France? Join Russia for a few glasses of water? Let me know what you think!


So creepy and yet so bishonen.


Hetalia English Cast News + Con Leftovers

Anime Expo has ended. Yet it shall live on in our hearts forever!

Welcome to Blog of a Heretical Dub Lover, I'm your semi-sane host Richard J., here to talk about what I didn't talk about before. First though, lets chat about Hetalia: Axis Powers!

While many were sleeping, Funimation's Char, cosplayer and brandmanager for Hetalia, put up a post the company blog giving us a whole lot of English dub cast information! Here's a list for those who despise videos with the passion of a hot blooded mecha pilot!

Lithuania: Josh Grelle
Estonia: Mike McFarland
Latvia: Ryan Reynolds
Romano: Ian Sinclair
Spain: Dave Trosko
Greece: Vic Mignogna
Liechtenstein: Cherami Leigh
Switzerland: John Burgmeier
Poland: Ryan Bijan
Ukraine: Lydia Mackay
Belarus: Monica Rial
Holy Roman Empire: Chris Cason
Chibitalia: Brina Palencia
Rome: Christopher R. Sabat
Austria: Chuck Huber
Hungary: Luci Christian
Sealand: Maxey Whitehead

They're also planning to announce Russia, China, Japan, England, France, America, Germany, and Italy's VAs one nation a day with special video clips of the English dub for each. Plus, some nations will get extra behind-the-scenes material, where the English dub's creative brains are picked. Perhaps they'll answer the question burning now in the heart of so many Hetalia fans: "is pasta really the key to world peace?"

ANN's article makes mention of the unusual path to us that Hetalia has taken as controversy drove it from a TV showing and onto the Internet, where it's popularity got it additional seasons. I have to wonder how much money the creators saved by not showing it on TV. It's well known that many anime that air on TV in Japan do so because the air time was bought by the production committee for the anime or other producers. Generally speaking, the networks in Japan don't actually pay for anime to air so it costs money to put the show on TV. One wonders if direct to Internet showings would actually save money and allow for higher production values or more episodes.

Anyway, make sure the check out Funimation's sneak peeks at the Hetalia English dub!

Now, let's talk Anime Expo con leftovers! I didn't comment on every piece of news that came out of AX (though I mentioned the stuff I thought was epic enough) so here's a bit of extra on some of the items I didn't discuss.

First, let me once again thank Cliff a.k.a. ExcelGenerations on's AoD forum, who attended the con and helped provide some first hand news! (And no, I didn't bribe him to do it, he's just that cool.)

Okay, on to the con leftovers! Om nom readers, om nom.

One of the few new licenses to come out from AX without any word or rumor of an English dub came from, I'm sure you could have guessed it without thinking, Nozomi/Right Stuf. That series was So Ra No Wo To.

It's okay that there's no English dub though, Nozomi knows what anime fans want! And that's to save money! Thanks Nozomi for helping me to save my money by putting out a product I won't buy. I can use that money to buy more anime with an English dub or pay my ever increasing taxes.

Or I could just turn around and after skipping So Ra No Wo To buy a likely far better series, the beloved masterpiece of social commentary, surrealism and sheer crazy awesome that is Revolutionary Girl Utena! (Which has an old but uniquely capable English dub.) Remastered and to be re-released by Nozomi, Utena is a series that many were waiting for a license rescue on. It's about time this one was gotten. (Ten dollars says it outsells any of their new licenses.)

You know, I think a problem of the anime industry in R1 isn't that people don't want to buy anime, it's that fans sometimes take a long time to find out what anime they want to buy. By the time enough people have bought something, the company has already declared it a failure.

It's sad that Nozomi continues to do only sub-only or license rescues for their new releases. Apparently that's just the way they're going to be forever. (Well this fan doesn't want sub-only so screw you guys.)

Now for some Cliff's Notes, paraphrasing and my opinion mixed in for spice.

A Media Blasters rep spoke about the sales ratio for hybrid anime releases (those with English and Japanese dubs) vs. sub-only ones. According to him, hybrid releases bring in more money but they cost more upfront to do. The company wants to approach niche shows carefully by subbing first. While this makes sense to me, I feel it also hinders the sales potential of the shows. Especially as they've admitted to underestimated several series' potential but they may go back and dub more, depending on how things go. This is in line with other things they've said, which I mentioned in a previous blog.

Also, hentai sells real good and buyers have expressed a desire for an English dub, leading to many adult releases getting English language tracks while regular releases suffered. Perhaps this explains some of Media Blasters recent and very ecchi licenses?

The representative was also a bit dismissive of purist type sub-elite, describing some in a most unflattering fashion according to Cliff. Specifically, he referred to some such posters on the Anime on DVD forum. (Gee, wonder who he could have been referring to.)

It's not surprising to me that they don't have a very good opinion of these elitists. This is the same group that says they don't buy R1 releases, they don't think anime should cost money and that fansub groups are superior to the R1 companies.

Here's a direct quote from Cliff about the Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro-chan special edition release that features an English dub:
BTW Bludgeoning Angle Dokuro Chan is FULL OF WIN! 10/10 must buy! My brother friends and I were up all night laughing our asses off. It' selling like crazy at the Media Blasters booth. I thanked them so damn much.
I think those first two sentences would have looked nice on a DVD case. It also sold a lot of units, remaining in stock only because they brought many copies with them.

Clannad is selling strong too, with one worker saying that they are regularly selling out of the complete collection (you know, the one with the new English dub) and that it did eventually sell out at the con, as did Black Lagoon and Baccano. Cliff's not so sure about some of the other series being sold there though, specifically he thinks Eyeshield's sales were soft. (The curse of sports anime.)

That curse didn't hit Bamboo Blade though as from what was said at the con, it sold very well. A cheap license that sold well, if only we could see a future complete collection release with new extras. (Please Funimation? Please?)

Cliff also informed me that the Hetalia English dub's accents sound pretty damn cool. Sales were very strong for the "con exclusive" My Bride is a Mermaid release, which sold out very quickly. Order your copy today from Robert's Anime Corner Store, or Right "You No Get English Dub" Stuf and sleep with the fishes.

Mmm, Masa.


Cliff had an update on a long awaited title:
Oh Edo Rocket! Will be released on Nov 20th. Funi said it had alot of production delays which caused it's long overdue release. BTW it looks really funny!

So things are looking up on many fronts and down on a few. Anime Expo was great this year for English dub fans and for attendees.

Well that's it for me. I'll post again later this week, probably a review next.


Sunday, July 4, 2010

4th of July Message and Strike Witches Contest Winners!


I hope that you've taken time today to remember the sacrifices made throughout the history of this country, the lives lost on all sides, so that you can have the freedom to pursue your own happiness without fear of your life or liberty being taken from you by the whims of aristocracy. Please know that what we were born with is not guaranteed. Only by recognizing threats to our liberty and defying those who would impose their will upon us, can we as a nation retain our sacred rights. The wisdom of our founders should help to guide us.

Soldiers, thinkers, the wealthy and the poor, we have always tried to come together in times of crisis and suffering to bring a light of liberty into the darkness. It is my most solemn wish that we may see this nation through it's current time of troubles.

May we shepherd the state toward a rebirth and bring our nation back to a time of prosperity, liberty and true hope.

Thank you for your support of this blog. There are many places in this world where having a free-thinking blog leads to prison. Remember the simple truth that you were created with the right of free-will, the right to choose a path of your own making and to be secure in your possessions and body against the undue whims of rulers. I ask that you take a moment to think of the liberty you were born with and remember that many people have died in our history, men and women, educated and not, wealthy and not, of all ages, creeds and races, that you might have your inalienable rights of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

And that is all the seriousness from me you'll have to deal with for a while! (I hope.)

Today being the 4th of July, we've reached the end of my Strike Witches contest! The names of all the contestants were written down on pieces of paper and mixed thoroughly in a box before being drawn, so that the winners would be chosen at random! The date of the contest's end was intentional though, as the overall goal of the witches in the series is to defeat the Neuroi and liberate the conquered European lands.

Will they succeed? Will you enjoy finding out? Does the show deserve the criticism it gets? It's time for 3 lucky winners to learn those answers!

Those winners are:
Dana Staab

Matt Ryan

Jacob Gehman

Thanks to everyone who participated. Although you did not win your own set of Strike Witches, I hope you will consider buying this series for your collection and that you will continue to support this blog! Perhaps my next contest will be luckier for you.

For now, Bye-ni!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Aniplex of America Licensed Durarara!! Dub Planned!

I wake up late and yet another shocking twist in the roller-coaster of happies that is AX this year.


I think I'm running out of happy to go around. After this article came out, that English dubs for the Aniplex of America licenses were highly-unlikely. Hideki "Henry" Goto said "Making an English dub takes a long time and costs a lot, so we may miss the release timing for future releases. If a title has a chance for TV broadcasting, it is possible to create an English dub, however, we don't plan to make a dub version and release it later." Personally, I figured that meant, unless the anime is going to be on TV, there won't be an English dub.

Well, perhaps not as Durarara!! has been licensed. This was expected after sources in the UK stated it was getting a US release but that same source informed us the release would be sub-only. This information seemed to be partially confirmed by ANN in this article. Now, new sources are saying Durarara!! is a "special case."


Perhaps the fan reaction changed someone's mind? Perhaps Durarara!! will be on TV?

Who knows and who cares, we have yet another English dub happy moment here! Durarara!! will get an English dub! (One hopes they could cast those Baccano cameos with Funi's help but that might be asking too much.)

Details on the release come from
The show will release in three parts, each one containing 8 to 9 episodes, which seems to indicate the inclusion of the yet-to-be-released bonus episodes (12.5 and 25).

Well now, that's an interesting release format. It harkens back a bit to the old singles style, only with more episodes. Perhaps this release method will help the show be more profitable? I hope they have two discs per part, so we don't have to listen to videophile's complaining. (It would be ironic that we English dub fans won't have a reason to complain but they might.)


I'll be honest, I'd given up on this one. After reading the UK news, I figured this was yet another case of a new company saying "English dubs are the opiate of the masses" and ditching them in favor of sub-only releases. Not that all companies can even get that right.

I'm very pleased that Aniplex of America has at the very least realized the potential of this series and that an English dub matters. Very pleased. And very happy I and so many others were wrong about the UK news. (Well, at least we have the excuse of believing something that was believable.)

I hope to report more joy as the madness continues! Like the confirmation that Funimation will NOT be censoring Dance in the Vampire Bund when it comes out on DVD! As this info comes from Bal-anime, a great follower and a great fan! You can trust it.

No censored Mina. Thank God.


Friday, July 2, 2010

Funimation Wins The Con!

ANN just posted so much win for Funimation it makes my head feel explodey!


Funimation has licensed for simulcast (and probably more) Shiki, Black Butler season 2, Sekirei: Pure Engagement, Legend of the Legendary Heros and Sengoku Basara season 2!

Plus God loves us because they also got Darker Than Black season 2, Shana season 2, the movie and pretty much the whole franchise, A Certain Magical Index to go with the Railgun license and the Trigun movie! (And that last one will be out in theaters!)


Oh God, I've wanted more Shana for so long and now, I almost feel like I could cry! Damn it Funi, if you dare to re-cast, I'll kill myself, take over hell and return from the depths as an unholy abomination that H.P. Lovecraft would have worshiped as the supreme being. Do not screw this one up!

Get me those OVAs and Omake too please! I'm so psyched!

And wow, I was certain Darker Than Black season 2 was screwed out of a dub! I'm so happy to be wrong.


They license rescued some of the all-time best Geneon series! Texhnolyze, Ai Yori Aoshi, Armitage III, Haibane Renmei, the Hellsing TV series, Serial Experiments Lain, and tons of Tenchi franchise stuff!

Special detail from the Panel Report:

According to data collected from their DVD surveys, the majority of anime fans are dub fans, so Funimation will continue to produce dubs for every title that they release. Interestingly, from the same surveys, it appears that although 51% of anime fans are ages 25+, and 40% are in the 18-24 demographic, the largest source of new fans is the 13-17 market.


In your face sub-elite! To regular sub-fans, lets unite and help to grow the anime fanbase more and more!

Kiss the foot of Funi! Heck, even racing fans are celebrating right now, since Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the Nationwide! (The universe is in a good mood tonight.)

There's so much win in this news, I can't even contemplate it right now.

I just feel. . . happy.

Thank you Funimation for truly making me feel good during a time of personal and familial hardship. You have given this fan a moment of pure bliss.


A Certain Scientific Railgun, Hellsing and Black Lagoon are Fun. (Update 3!)

From the Geneon Universal Entertainment Japan industry panel (think they've made the company name long enough?) comes several surprisingly under-reported announcements. Additional information makes these seem like full licenses too!


Apparently, A Certain Scientific Railgun/Toaru Kagaku no Railgun has been apparently licensed and marked for distribution via Funimation! Here's the quote from the remarkably vague report:

Black Lagoon, Hellsing, and Toaru Kagaku no Railgun will all be released by FUNimation in the United States, the latter of which is the only new announcement. High School of the Dead will be announced "sometime at this event," but when exactly is a "secret."

Follow ups came fairly soon though and now we have confirmation! A Certain Scientific Railgun is great all by itself, but the new Black Lagoon OVAs AND the rest of the Hellsing OVAs?!? Damn awesome news!


So that's a whole pack of new anime that will be coming to the US, via Funi, which hopefully means an English dub will happen for it. (Seems much more likely now that these appear to be proper licenses!) At the same time, I'm sure we don't have to wonder "wait, do they mean the new Black Lagoon OVAs and the rest of the Hellsing OVAs or just the old stuff they're already doing?" They've got them, don't worry!


I figured they wouldn't bother to act like it's news if it were the old stuff and I was right. Funimation's made some recent comments about big news and getting some shows fans were clamouring for, and they weren't kidding. I believe we can be certain now that these fan-favorite (and profit-making) anime are about to be in our hands. The only questions really are "will we get steelbook cases again?" and "will we get awesome English dubs with the same casts" again. This remains a crucial quesiton, though hopefully one that will answered during a certain upcoming panel.

Also, the Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works movie may be announced as licensed before the con is over! Not to mention High School of the Dead. Heck, that's going to be a first-run Hybrid release via Sentai! Plus a simulcast!


Ooh, things are heating up and I'll keep on bringing you my silly commentary on it! I'll also hopefully be able to report many more English dubs! Already, things are getting better for we English dub preferring fans!


*Update 1: An ominous line from a live-blog of the events:
10:48:56 For the dubs, we will discuss those with funimation but we don't want to
I'd like to think that is a miscommunication but if it isn't, then it would appear that the Japanese don't think English dubs are a good idea. (Fortunately, they'll be talking to the one R1 company that most strongly disagrees!)

*Update 2: Funimation confirming via Twitter that Hellsing Ultimate 5-7, Black Lagoon and A Certain Scientific Railgun are theirs! Sentai grabs High School of the Dead, plans English dub. Added more pics.

Holy Hannah, talk about a good day! Major fan favorites are coming back and we've some awesome new titles! I'm very excited and pleased by this turn of events, though I hope this doesn't completely ruin Funimation's upcoming panel! (Will they have anything left to announce?!?)

*Update 3: Should have checked my PMs (why aren't I getting E-mail notification of them?) because I have word from Cliff/ExcelGenerations:
A couple of the QA was wrong as well. Geneon said they WANT do dub all those shows they have to discuss. And also the dvd/blu ray question was they have the blu ray quality but it's up to the distributor if they will release.

So, Update 1's info is fooey. English dubs are desired!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Bandai At AX: All Your K-On! Are Belong To Us!


In a move that is both a surprise and totally expected (a surprise because we didn't think they had the money and expected because the show is rather popular) Bandai Entertainment kicked off the Anime Expo convention by announcing the license of K-On!, a show that swept Japan and many non-Japanese anime fans up in it's depiction of a group of girl's activities as they form a light music club. (Panel Report here.)


Various sources and rumors make the likelihood of an English dub highly probable. Zac Bertschy of ANN posted this on ANN:
There's a dub, they introduced the voice actresses at the panel. Full report up in a mo.

Edit: whoops, no they didn't. Fixed.

Still fairly sure this is getting a dub.
From that confusion though, we get Zac's very reliable assurance of a dub. Beyond him we have the comments from Bang Zoom! CEO Eric Sherman regarding Bandai Entertainment's decision to bet the company's future on two big projects. One of these was the continuation of the Haruhi franchise (the second season and the movie) but the other remained a mystery, likely until now. Assuming this is the second title, we can feel safe in the knowledge that Bang Zoom! will be dubbing K-On!

Additionally, Bandai Entertainment is planning to use a similar marketing strategy to the Haruhi franchise, involving live-action videos with popular VA Cristina Vee as Mio, Karri Shirou as Yui, "Kix" as Tsumugi, and "Briana" as Ritsu. This marketing decision increases the probability of an English dub as it shows a higher level of dedication to the series.

Allow to me personally voice my desire to see them make a great English dub with dubbed singing. I know some hate English dubbed songs but actresses like Wendee Lee and Cristina Vee have shown that they can sing very well, so why not use them? Done right, as Bang Zoom! has done in the past, K-On!'s English dub could be amazing. Dare I even say, profitable?


Unfortunately, right now, we don't have true confirmation yet of exactly what is going to happen with this release. The second season is unlicensed (though we may be wise in believing that Bandai Entertainment has a right of first refusal with it) and no details were given of the release format.

DVD? Blu-Ray? Singles? Sets? Limited editions? Plushies? No one knows but the men in the suits who stare at anime. Here's what they shared with ANN:

Bandai Entertainment Marketing Director Robert Napton clarified with ANN that the release format of K-ON! — whether it will be Blu-ray Disc, DVD, or both — has not been decided yet. The panel announced a cast for Bandai Entertainment's K-ON! marketing videos, but Napton emphasized that no announcement has been made about an English dubbing cast, or whether there will be a dubbing.

We don't know all the details yet but hopefully, in time, we will have details that rock. I honestly believe this is the second series Eric Sherman mentioned and that we will get an English dub for it. It just doesn't make sense otherwise to pay what is likely a very high licensing fee for a show that you then intend to market to the "niche fans."

What I do know is that this license will likely prove to be either a great success or a total flop. Potentially, the mainstream fans may find themselves interested (who doesn't love cute girls and music?) but the problem lies mainly with the countless anime fans who illegally downloaded K-On!. Will they step up now? Will they prove their fan love?

At the very least, we know this series is extremely popular with many fans. People are paying to translate the hentai doujinshi of it at least!

Uh, or so I heard.


I'll be watching the Anime Expo coverage as more develops out of there to comment and provide another point of view on things. Perhaps I'll even entertain you?

By the way, if you haven't entered my Strike Witches contest, you've got only a few days until the winners are chosen by lot! Go here, enter and maybe win!