Thursday, January 21, 2010

Media Blasters Does the Dub!

Being away from an Internet connection for days as well as dealing with info from a company that rarely makes a big deal of it's acquisitions makes knowing what the bloody heck is going on difficult. Such is the fate of anyone trying to pay attention to Media Blasters who doesn't track every thread on (the Anime on DVD section of course!) that they will miss something important.

You know, like a license announcement for Kanokon.


Now, I don't like how Media Blasters does things normally but. . . . Oh hell, they've got me on this one. I've been secretly hoping for this to get licensed for a while. (Animal ears, animal spirits, massive cat girl love yet I still don't like Furry stuff? Odd huh.)

They announced the license for Kanokon back around January 15th. (No Internet access at that time. Out of state trip. Had a near death experience, other than that the trip was okay.) Guess my original belief that by A level titles they meant "mainstream and fanservice" was accurate huh? (Too bad Simoun and Strawberry Panic weren't constantly flashing panties or we'd have dubs for them too. Sigh.)

Not sure about the OVA series. Hopefully yes.

Of course, MB is getting more English dub friendly lately.

Do you want some Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro-Chan?


Turns out Sirabella saw the light and now we're getting a re-release of it with an English dub! Damn, just when I thought I could welsh on that fansub debt forever. Now I'm going to have to get it. (Aw, I can't wait to hear what they do with it dub wise. I mean, that should be worth the bucks no matter what right?)

I'll try to talk casting before the releases.

Now, if all of that weren't enough, apparently Loveless did so well, they want to dub it too but it's doing so well as is they aren't sure when they'll do it.

"The issue right now is that it is doing way too well at [the Best Buy retail chain] in the [Slimpack repackaging] so we will wait."

Quoth Sirabella also: Media Blasters will release less boys-love material and more "bigger stuff like [Ikki Tousen] and [Blade of the Immortal]." (Ah, ANN does the reporting, I do the copypasta.)

Wait, haven't MB's reps been saying previously that the boys-love stuff sold well? I seem to remember reading that. Perhaps I am mistaken. Or maybe they're just trying to get away from homosexual-esque material? They rarely seemed to consider such series dub worthy and even with a big seller, they're getting out of the genre? Hmm, makes you think.

Anyway, that's been you're English dub update for anyone who, like me, stumbled across the news without prior knowledge. Remember, I'm not a reporter, just a connection-less blogger doing this mainly for LULz.

Oh, and for you of course. Every new reader makes me stronger. Like a demon devouring souls except I'm not a demon. Really. It was never proven.


*I screwed up the pics a bit. This should be better.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Rant: Why I Almost Left the Fandom.

Welcome to the scond Rant here on Blog of a Heretical Dub Lover. Revenge of anger it is, warm fuzzy it is not.



Oh. We're doing a Rant today?

I'll be your raging Minoru today, Richard J. Today's Rant is about anime fandom.

Maybe I'm a naive fool but shouldn't anime fans enjoy talking about anime? I mean, I know everyone isn't going to like everything but what the heck is up with people just hating on stuff ALL THE TIME?

I'm sure you've seen them too. The Troll in fan's clothing, the bitch-monger, Lord A-Hole the Insulter who thinks you're anime sucks and you suck for liking it. These people can't get enough of insulting you or your anime. If a thread starts, even one that has little if anything to do with their personal berserk button, they show up and start railing against whatever it is that they hate so much. (And don't you just LOVE how so many of them HAVEN'T WATCHED/READ THE THING THEY HATE SO MUCH?!?)

Typical targets are moe, lolicon, fanservice, Yaoi and Vic Mignogna. Even if I agree with the jerk's opinion (which isn't often since I tend to be a bit more sane), it's still unnecessary and damned repetitive. What, are you the anthropomorphic version of a broken record player? Are you being paid to constantly bitch about this? ARE YOU JUST THAT BORED?

Next in sheer "I can't stand them" levels is the elitist fans. Oh, I'm sorry, did I just watch that show English dubbed? Oh, excuse me for being a peasant my grand liege of subbiness! Pardon me!

Yeah, okay, I've ranted about this kind of jackass a little here and there before and you've surely seen them too. When someone insults you, calling you "illiterate" and "racist" for preferring an English dub to the Japanese, you are dealing with a sub-elitist, the bane of all English dub fans!

So what about dub-elitists? Personally, I've not really encountered this species of fan per-say but for the record, I hate all people who get in my face about what they think is so bloody right for me. Excuse me New York but if I want to eat salt I'm going to do it! If I want to watch my anime dubbed, I'm the one buying it so it's my choice! Maybe I'd feel more inclined to listen to you sub-elite if you weren't always insulting me. (And maybe I'd care more about what New Yorkers think of my dietary habits if they'd stop trying to use the police power of the state to change them.)

Last but not least, let's talk about fans who hate most anime and anime fans but feel they are part of a special group that stand above all others. The deal with this group is that they think anime is some sort of sacred art form through which enlightenment or something can be found. I don't know about the rest of you but I always kinda figured this was supposed to be FUN.

Not so to this fan-type. This person disects their video panel by panel for any animation errors, demands the absolute best animation and video quality, a unique (to them at least) plot and characters every time and most important of all, unless a whole damn lot of people agree it is all for nothing! That's right, this fan isn't even really talking about what they believe!

This is the fan who says that only Miyazaki movies are good or that Cowboy Bebop and Eva are the only truly great anime series. Yes, they are great but aren't there other series that are great but under-appreciated? Not to these fans. They hate it if it's not critically acclaimed by people whose opinion they think matters. (You know, real critics.)

Okay, sorry, I'm not sure why I should care about whether or not a Hollywood film critic thinks my favorite anime sucks.

But surely the worst type to run into is the political off-topic posters.

Oh, excuse me, I thought I was on an anime site! Why are you adding random political insults to your posts all the time? Is there a reason you want to make an anime forum politically polarized? Is that really necessary? Isn't the world screwed up enough because of politics?

I'm aware that my political views might not be the majority viewpoint on the Internet but for the love of lol cats can't I at least go to an ANIME forum and not have to read random political crap? Isn't that why there's an off-topic area, so regular posts can be devoid of this fecal matter?

Also, if you must give your political opinion, can you do it without insulting those who disagree with it? It would be nice to not be insulted and then feel that it was inappropriate to respond because THE POLITICS HAVE ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH THE THREAD TOPIC TO BEGIN WITH!

I admit, I've posted this kind of crap too. When it's all one-sided, one party, you start to feel like you need to say something just to remind everyone that yes, there are other opinions out there and maybe, just maybe, people who hold those opinions are also on the same forum and perhaps their opinion is just as legitimate.

These kinds of people are the reason I almost left anime fandom. I just got so fed up with it all! For a while, I didn't want to post and was pretty much just forcing myself to keep going. I didn't even do anything with this blog for a while. (Apologies again.)

Then one day I thought: "if I give up, they win."

So, here I am. Back to fight the good fight and try to be the best otaku I can be.

That's it for this Rant. We now return to our regularly scheduled limited entertainment.


Well, now that I've gotten that mess off my chest, I feel better.

Thought I would mention here, I'm going to be getting the chance to do a guest review for ANN for Strike Witches!


I'm excited about the chance and have already started planning. I just hope my lazy procrastinating nature doesn't screw me up on this because I'd really like to give it my all.


Saturday, January 9, 2010

Anime Review: Spice and Wolf

Anime Review # 003
Title: Spice and Wolf
Release Type: Complete Season One Set

After a long week of anticipation, disappointment, elation and surprise (sometimes all at once) I, Richard J., your blog navigator and borderline manic depressive, welcome you to another of my attempts at objective anime reviewing!

Applause go here. Go ahead, I'll wait.

So let's talk about the show you watch for the "economics." Spice and Wolf isn't a series that easily fits a genre. You have complex trade economics, a wolf girl who is occasionally naked (though not so often to make this a fanservice show) and classic tale with overcoming loneliness at it's core. The first season has 13 episodes on two discs in Funimation's set. A second 12 episode season has been made and due to positive sales may likely be licensed. The series director is Takeo Takahashi, who has also worked on Rozen Maiden and of course the second season of Spice and Wolf. Animation production is by IMAGIN and the series is based off of the light novels by Isuna Hasekura. (I may review the novel in the future too, the anime differs from it in some interesting ways.) Production handled by Spice and Wolf Production Committee.

To help me sell this series to you, I asked a lovely merchant to assist me. Ms. Chloe, are you ready?


Chloe: Of course, a good merchant knows that time is money. Lawrence taught me that.

Richard J.: I knew you were the right person to help me on this one. I'll leave it to you to talk about the plot of Spice and Wolf then.

Chloe: I'd be glad to! Spice and Wolf is a tale with a timeless theme of overcoming loneliness. Though it may at times seem to be just a story of a simple merchant and his traveling companion, a wolf deity made wise by countless years of living, the story itself revolves around loneliness and how it affects even a being like Holo. Lawrence, a traveling merchant, stops at a small village holding a harvest event centering on Holo, the wolf goddess who watches over the fields.

However, though once the people of the village truly needed Holo, new farming techniques have made her unnecessary. Unable to connect with the people anymore, Holo is discovered by Kraft Lawrence, who's long journeys from town to town trading goods make him dream of the day he can open his own shop and marry. Lawrence is such a kind man, he deserves a happy ending. I fear that his association with Holo may bring him to despair.

The church of this age is powerful and seeks to destroy beings like Holo, who they consider no better than demons. Holo must hide who she is as she and Lawrence journey toward the North, where Holo's homeland once was. What she will find there isn't a question answered yet as the journey is far more important. You can easily say that Spice and Wolf is the story of two hearts joining while also conducting complex business. Economics and trade are deeply integrated with the overall plot and Holo's nature as a wolf goddess makes her uniquely capable of assisting Lawrence in making money, though both know that she is also a liability to him. Trust is very important between them.

I rather envy Holo, being able to spend so much time with Lawrence.

Kraft Lawrence is a shrewd but vulnerable trader. Though quite knowledgeable for his age, Holo can often out think him, causing some embarrassment as she appears to be far younger than she is. He is an honorable man but certainly not above using trickery to get an advantage in a deal. (This is perfectly normal for merchants though and occasionally it does cause him trouble.)

Holo is the self-proclaimed Wise Wolf, though her seemingly boastful insistence on calling her such is very much appropriate. She appears quite lovely and young but her age is great. Having learned many things, she is frequently amused by Lawrence's moments of naivete though he can fluster her quite easily. One of the truest joys of watching this series is the interaction of Holo and Lawrence. The conversations between them are very well-written, coming across quite naturally.

It is safe to say that if you do not like Kraft Lawrence and Holo the Wise Wolf, you will not like Spice and Wolf. They are not only the main characters but virtually the only characters of significance. Myself and a young shepherd girl named Nora are also important.

Richard J.: Wow, you're not leaving me much to talk about are you?


Chloe: I do try to be worthy of my pay.

Richard J.: I very much enjoyed your character's role in this series. Now, let me give a little run down of the positive and negatives for this series.

First, as previously mentioned, you must like the leads to like the show. Holo and Lawrence are very important. I really don't think you can enjoy this series if you don't like them.

Next, I'd like to point out the fluid narrative of the series. The first disc of this set covers the first storyline and the second covers the next, more or less each story arc is based on one book from the series, meaning that each disc covers a full-length tale. Each story arc in this set focuses on economic and trade conditions that Lawrence tries to use to his advantage. Holo's presence makes some things easier for Lawrence but she also complicates his life. The first arc revolves around a rumor of a kingdom planning to reissue their silver coins with more silver while the second arc deals with Lawrence's attempt to make a very big profit. Neither plan goes smoothly and Holo is key to resolving each situation

The English dub features a truly excellent performance by Brina Palencia as Holo. I'm not sure any of her other rolls have been quite like this one. The writers for the English dub wisely gave Holo's lines a slightly different manner to the other characters which combined with the way Brina delivers them, gives Holo a feeling of age and wisdom. She also easily shifts from playful teasing into more somber moments, where Holo laments the fact that she is no longer needed or worries over the trouble she's causing Lawrence. Some of her best moments are in episode 6 Wolf and Silent Farewell and episode 12 Wolf and a Group of Youngsters.

Lawrence is brought to life with a hint of snark by J. Micheal Tatum, who kind of reminds me of an older and wiser Kyon from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. Lawrence is smart and capable, a kind man, but also someone who can be quite devious. He's a perfect match for Holo, who is quick to remind us all that she is a wolf. Unlike many series with a animal eared and tailed girl, Holo acts like a wolf in many ways and Lawrence is sometimes afraid and sometimes angered by her. However, he relies upon her almost as much as she relies upon him and teases her quite effectively at times. The entire second disc is a long stream of moments showcasing his effectiveness in the roll of Lawrence.

Other major players are Chloe in the first arc, played her by Jamie Marchi. This is a very well played role for Jamie and one any fan of her's should check out. Chloe is a friend of Lawrence and a fellow merchant.

Nora, a shepherd working for the church, is a major player in the second story arc. As someone who knows how to battle wolves, she has Holo's respect though not her good opinion. Leah Clark performs surprisingly well in this role, considering I've come to associate her with tough tsundere-types like Eri Sawachika in School Rumble. The quiet and sweet yet strong Nora is a very pleasant surprise.

Since a review has already been done of the packaging for this series, I'll just include one pic I think is important.


That's right, this discs aren't in an overlapping case. The design with a flap instead of one disc half covering the next is VERY MUCH PREFERRED by me over previous single keep-case releases that featured overlapping discs. In fact, I'm hoping to replace overlappers with flippers.

Now for some of the negatives.

As previously mentioned, Spice and Wolf is a character driven drama about economics, trade and overcoming loneliness. If you're in it for the naked wolf girl, you may be disappointed. Simply put, unless you like the leads and find money talk at least vaguely enjoyable, you probably won't like this series. While cleverly written dialogue is wonderful, the series suffers a bit in more action oriented moments, where Holo essentially saves the day single-handedly. Of course, the second arc shows that unleashing an enraged wolf goddess might not be for the best when you're hoping to avoid collateral damage.

This brings us to another factor. Holo is a wolf. There are moments when she painfully reminds both Lawrence and the audience of this, such as in episode 2 Wolf and Distant Past as well as the last two episodes. It's easy to think of her as just a sweet, slightly animal-esque girl. Holo is a wolf and she can be very badass when she wants.

Also, for anyone who is very religious, the portrayal of the church in this series may seem jarringly negative. It's important to note that this series seems to be set in a sort of medival European setting and the church was at one point the strongest government in Europe. A focus on a church that taxes, spies and kills heretics isn't unusual in a setting where the church is part of the governing authority.

Aside from these possible issues, I personally found Spice and Wolf to be absolutely fantastic! Cat Girl Scorecard reads:Photobucket


Chloe: Aoooooo! You should buy it and howl with happiness!

Richard J.: I agree! Howl for Holo!

Spice and Wolf is available from the following retailers: Robert's Anime Corner Store, Amazon, Best Buy, FYE and The Right Stuf. There's currently a Funimation sale on The Right Stuff too.

If you'd like to check out a few episodes of Spice and Wolf before buying it, you may want to visit Funimation's Video Portal!

Well, that's it for another anime review. I hope you enjoyed your visit to my shop (blog) and that you will come and visit again! Until then, the Spice and Wolf must flow! So buy it sooner rather than later!


Chloe: Buy it for me? Please?

Richard J.: Come on, you know you want to learn economics and see an occasionally naked wolf girl.


Friday, January 8, 2010

Funimation's Roll-Out Riot Day 5: Final Plus!!!

A big surprise license today, the final day of the Roll-Out Riot as Funimation nabbed Hetalia: Axis Powers and The Sacred Blacksmith! This triggered a big "whoa, really!" from me the moment I saw it.

Lets go to Hetalia: Axis Powers for a minute. First, there were considerable rumors floating about that this series was explicitly NOT on Funimation's short list of things to license. (Of course, that rumor always sounded like crap to me since it claimed they were against it's "homosexual nature" or some junk.) Second, this series has generated a lot of fan love and a lot of controversy. Third and final, it's getting longer all the time and is pretty popular in Japan, which usually means expensive.

Apparently they love it anyway. Definitely a good choice given the huge fan buzz and I'm very interested in it myself as the whole concept of personifications of nations is funky. While there are other shows I'd have preferred to see, this is a great choice.

Next we have The Sacred Blacksmith, a fantasy adventure with a lady warrior protagonist is likely to do well and attract buyers. I'm a big fan of this genre myself and again, I've heard positive buzz about this series. (Also it's based on light novels and anything that brings more attention to such books is great.)

I'm not too surprised this one was on Funimation's radar.

Now, let's talk about the subtext around here.

First and foremost, if you like a really long running show that isn't also very short in episode run-time (like Hetalia) you may be screwed for now. Second, the Geneon sequels are likely still tied up in Red Tape. Third and final, maybe Toradora isn't the surefire winner title people think it is? 'cause everyone seemed to think it would be the Friday announcement and ho-hummed about it. Well, where is it people?

Answer: Either we're going to see it later rather than sooner on Funi's blog or it's already gotten by Section23, the only other company likely to want it. (Rumor has it a certain suicidal sensei is already in MB's hands.) As for others, with the market dying, probably too expensive. Got to love anime fandom! It eats it's own young then complains about depopulation!

So, thus ends the Roll-Out Riot.

I had hoped to see today be filled with a lot of licenses, especially sequels, (my sister hoped for several series like Rosario Vampire) but this is a very good and very surprising license day. Also, word from insiders has it that we can expect more license news in the next few months! (Let's hope.)

Today wasn't what it would have been if I were in charge but damn if they didn't do something surprising and awesome.

Riot Rating:

4 of 4.


Well, that's it for me for now. Remember there's a review coming soon!


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Funimation's Roll-Out Riot Day 4: Twins!

After yesterday's license rescue, we've got some fresh excellence today!

Now, I'm starting to wonder if the announcements are following a clear pattern and shape because if they are. . . . Friday should be beyond awesome. (Let's not hold our breath though just in case.)

Anyway, today Funimation announced via their blog (though I first saw the notice on ANN due to blog downage) that they have licensed Jyūshin Enbu - Hero Tales, a martial arts fighting 26 episode series and Master of Martial Hearts, a 5 episode OVA of hot girls and street fighting called Zettai Shougeki ~Platonic Heart~ in Japan. (Which so sounds like something I'd buy!)

The splash pages for Hero Tales and Master of Martial Hearts can found by following the links in this sentence.

Hero Tales looks like a good quest show with battle at the center. This is certainly going to sell well if it gets the right exposure. This sort of series pretty much always sells well. I can dig this kind of show though I'm uncertain about saying straight out that I'll buy it. I need more info but this looks promising.

Master of Martial Hearts must have Carrie Savage somewhere in the cast! This I command! Media Blasters cheated us out of her reprising Hakafu in Ikki-Tousen, lets get to enjoy her voice in this at least! (I mean, this looks like a spiritually similar OVA series.) Probably another decent seller, especially when you factor in the low price Funi will likely ask for it. Hot girls and brawling? If there's clothing damage, I'm there.

Now, we have some fresh series and as previously noted, there's symmetry with previous announcements. Hmm. Hope to see a large number of anime licenses on Friday! (Fingers, toes and eyes crossed! Ow, headache.)

Half season sets for Hero Tales and a single disc complete release for Master of Martial Hearts, since it's just 5 episodes. Why do I already feel like I'm going to lament that shortness?

I am so glad I get to use the next of my Fate ratings!

Riot Rating:

3 of 4!


I'll see all of you, I hope, tomorrow for the final day of this Roll-Out Riot! So far, it's been surprising, confusing, frustrating but ultimately happy-making. I hope you my dear readers are enjoying my poor quality coverage of it!

Another reminder: Spice and Wolf season 1 set review on Saturday. (Assuming nothing tragic happens to me before then.)


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Funimation's Roll-Out Riot Day 3: Day Break

Okay, now we're getting somewhere. More or less.

Mostly less.

Funimation finally proves we shouldn't doubt them quite so much. Today we got news of a new anime licence during the Roll-Out Riot's third day!

This license is FLCL.

This is better than nothing again right? Well, okay, not really quite what everyone was hoping for but I'm nodding in approval. Actually I'm just damned grateful to see an anime license period at this point as two days of live-action was beginning to really worry me.

We're getting a DVD and a Blu-Ray release in 2010, which is very nice and it'll be a hell of a lot cheaper than trying to get the previous releases. Still, a license rescue right now is a bit disappointing but compared to the last two days, it's a lot better. Splash page here.

Two of my personal favorite VAs are in this English dub though so I'm going to take this news as positive one and bump this day a notch on the ratings meter.

Kari Wahlgren stars as Haruhara Haruko and Stephanie Sheh, here credited as Jennifer Sekiguchi, plays Samejima Mamimi. These are two talented ladies and I'm sure they make this dub a great one. (I've heard praise for it before now. Back then it was OOP and uber expensive. This re-license will make it affordable again!)

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm disappointed yet again that there are no big license announcements. I think anime fans as a group need to take a moment and consider the implications of this and, if they value licensed content, especially English dubbed content, start fighting piracy and promoting wanton consumerism and glutonous consumption of Funimation product. (No, they did not bribe me to post this. I'm actually a bit worried right now. Is Funimation losing that much money on anime right now?)

For today, I make my post and hope that all of you my readers can feel that I'm not making a foolish rating. Here's to the first and hopefully far from last anime license announcement for the Roll-Out Riot!

Riot Rating:

2 of 4.


I know there's a plural in that pic but forget about that. I made these things earlier and never figured we'd have such slim pickings. However, this is a good first step in the right direction so I'm going to give the benefit of the doubt here.

Though God please let there be more than just three anime licenses this whole week. Thursday and Friday need some anime meat on their live-action bones.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Funimation's Roll-Out Riot Day 2: The Continuation (UPDATED)


Okay, now I'm feeling the same annoyance as others.

Today Funimation, still a great company though clearly someone in marketing has completely misunderstood the meme of Rickrolling and thinks it is an enjoyable hobby, announced more live action licenses, this time two more live action movies.

Now, I was willing to be VERY UNDERSTANDING yesterday. Today I'm not so understanding. I'm sure Kamui Gaiden and RoboGeisha are someone's idea of awesome. (I must admit that RoboGeisha's name alone has me intrigued on sheer WTF? power. Everything's better with geisha right?) Still, I'm now officially disappointed.

I admit, perhaps anime fans have brought some of this upon ourselves through the constant infighting and biting of the hand that licenses for us. Perhaps collectively anime fans deserve some form of punishment for tolerating the wanton piracy and the fan-on-fan abuse, but at the same time are we not to be praised and rewarded for taking what money we have after government theft and living costs and spending that remainder on anime? Are we not consumers and fans who CARE about Funimation? Why must we be tortured like this?

Perhaps this is still just a lead up for we, the anime fans who made Funimation's market share mastery possible. Perhaps there will be anime tomorrow.

For today, unfortunately,

Riot Rating:

1 of 4.



Will I be able to use the other ratings images? I'm beginning to wonder.


*UPDATE: Small addition: Here's a quote from the Funi Blog's commentary section from Jackie Smith, Senior Public Relations Manager, FUNimation Entertainment*:

Live-action films has done very well for us since we first started distributing them with Shinobi in 2006 and interest in titles such as these has only been growing in recent years. We have seen great buzz for all of these titles and that buzz translates to great turnouts at theatrical and film festival screenings and ultimately — at retail. Also, asian film fans have become anime fans as a result of seeing these films and learning more about FUNimation and our titles. All forms of entertainment are subjective, you may love or hate it but there are fans or detractors for every genre. Try to get along.
That being said – anime is coming. Some of you will be very excited and some of you won’t – but your happy day will come.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Funimation's Roll-Out Riot Day 1: The Prelude

Disappointing. Weak. Anti-Climatic.

These are some of the words already used to describe the first day announcement of Funimation's Roll-Out Riot. However, we here at Blog of a Heretical Dub Lover (and by "we" I mean myself and my stuffed Saber's Lion plushie) see things a little differently.

True, I'm not doing any dances with wolves over 15 films from the Shaw Brothers, films coming from the Hong Kong-based Celestial Pictures that have the world’s largest Chinese-language film collection, 15 films that have been digitally restored from original negatives and that cross multiple genres. Why am I not super-excited?

I'm not the target audience for this lot of licenses. You might not be either. However, take a moment and think: are there a lot of people who have been buying Asian live-action films lately that aren't anime fans? Hasn't Media Blasters claimed their live-action sales were a big part of their "success" that allows them to release anime? (I certainly remember those posts!)

Let's face it, live action is just plain more popular in this country! These movies automatically have a greater sales potential than any anime. (Depressing but true.) Further, there are 15 titles to choose from! 15! Sword of Swords, The Duel, The Lady Hermit, The 14 Amazons, Shaolin Hand Lock, Invincible Shaolin, Soul of the Sword, Life Gamble, Shaolin Rescuers, Shaolin Prince, Bastard Swordsman, Opium and The Kung Fu Master, The Supreme Swordsman, Return of Bastard Swordsman and Hong Kong Godfather. I'd bet good money everything on this list with the words "sword" and/or "Shaolin" will sell well too.

Personally, I don't see this as an "anti-climax" as some have put it. This is a prelude to the anime glory that is to come. These live-action films will do what they have for other companies, provide new income and potentially new anime consumers as well. Many an anime fan and Funimation consumer has asked "what happens when Dragon Ball Z stops making money?" We all know that one series has been a cash machine for the company, so what happens when it finally stops printing money? Well, now we see the hedging of bets. Live-action Hong Kong films that will add to the steady income of the company during their release cycle over this year and 2011.

I see this move as a good diversification move. In the past, I would have rolled my eyes but I've since seen sales numbers for Asian films and come to realize there is a voracious fanbase for them who NEED TO BE INDOCTRINATED IN THE WAYS OF ANIME!

So for today's part of the Roll-Out Riot, color me disinterested (though a few of those titles sound kinda interesting) but not disappointed. This is yet another move by Funimation to strengthen the company at time when it's competition is suffering. And of course, this is but the first day. In addition to the Hong Kong announcements, they also announced Apps for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Now, I don't know about the rest of you but there's a lot of important subtext to read into this move. Apple's pretty much owned all competition with these products.

Still, the lack of anime licenses is a bit of a letdown.

Riot Rating:

1 of 4.


I think this licensing move is wise and that it will pay off but I need more than anime Apps to be really pleased. Still, I believe Gen Fukunaga is planning for the future in clever ways. (Holo must be giving him good advice.) Spice and Wolf first season set review coming this weekend after the Roll-Out Riot!

Yeah, Spice and wolf review after the Roll-Out Riot ends. I had to make sure there was some anime talk in this blog post!