With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013
With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

ACF 1889: MoMA to present CHINESE REALITIES / DOCUMENTARY VISIONS film series

24 City / Er shi si cheng si
Chinese Realities/Documentary Visions
When: May 08, 2013–June 01, 2013
Where: Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53rd Street, NYC
The Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters

The Museum of Modern Art has announced Chinese Realities/Documentary Visions, an exhibition that features nearly 30 films made between 1988 and 2013. The films highlight the evolution of documentary practice in China over the past 25 years, revealing the growth and ever-increasing influence of nonfiction film and media as a mode of communication and expression in contemporary Chinese film and art.

China Villagers Documentary Project Zhongguo cunmin yinxiang jihua

Amid China's epochal transformations over the last two decades, new documentary aesthetics have emerged, as the cultural and societal challenges caused by China's transition to a free-market economy compelled professional and aspiring filmmakers alike to capture new realities on screen. The selections, encompassing a wide range of Chinese film and media, including independently made films, state-approved productions, amateur videos, and Web-based Conceptual art, provide a vivid look into a society in perpetual transformation. Chris Berry, co-editor of the foundational text, The New Chinese Documentary Movement: For the Public Record will be present to discuss the movement's impact and the aesthetic and moral questions it has raised for Chinese cinema.

Old Dog / Lao gou/Khyi rgan

The exhibition is organized by Sally Berger, Assistant Curator, Department of Film, The Museum of Modern Art, and Kevin B. Lee, independent curator and Vice President, Programming and Education, dGenerate Films.

Click here for more information and full screening schedule.

Monday, April 29, 2013

ACF 1888: Sentai Filmworks acquires THE GARDEN OF WORDS


A chance encounter becomes so much more in Sentai Filmworks’ newest acquisition: The Garden of Words. From acclaimed filmmaker Makoto Shinkai (Children Who Chase Lost Voices, The Place Promised in Our Early Days), comes a new work of life, love and the spaces between. The Garden of Words is directed by Makoto Shinkai and features character designs by Kenichi Tsuchiya with music by KASHIWA Daisuke.

The Garden of Words will be available soon through select digital outlets with a home video release on bilingual BD & DVD to follow later this year.

Synopsis: When Takao, a young high school student who dreams of becoming a shoe designer, decides to skip school one day in favor of sketching in a rainy garden, he has no idea how much his life will change when he encounters Yukino. Older, but perhaps not as much wiser, she seems adrift in the world. Despite the difference in their ages, they strike up an unusual relationship that unexpectedly continues and evolves, without planning, with random meetings that always occur in the same garden on each rainy day.

But the rainy season is coming to a close, and there are so many things still left unsaid and undone between them. Will there be time left for Takao to put his feelings into actions and words? Between the raindrops, between the calms in the storm, what will blossom in The Garden of Words?

Sunday, April 28, 2013

ACF 1887: 2013 CHINESE VISUAL FESTIVAL, May 8-June 12, 2013, at King's College London

Still from the film My Way
4 prominent directors in attendance from Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan
Art exhibition and artist talk, with Chinese artist in attendance
29 films screened, including 1 world premiere and 26 UK premieres
Concert performances from Chinese and British musicians
2 Panel Discussions, 1 round table and 1 public lecture

Chinese Visual Festival has announced that its 2013 edition will run from May 8th – June 12th at King’s College London.

This year’s festival, held in partnership with King’s College London, has been significantly expanded to cover the Chinese speaking world, including art, films and more from Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Featuring a wide range of creative and entertaining content, the festival presents the reality of the Chinese speaking world to global audiences through imaginative conversations between moving images and art.

Breathe by Wang Yuyang

For 2013, the festival will be working with King’s Cultural Institute to present Objects of Fantasy, the first solo exhibition for Chinese artist Wang Yuyang at the Inigo Rooms, Somerset House East Wing from 8th May to 12th June. The exhibition ranges from new media work to installation, selected from Wang’s recent practice, reflecting his unique vision across works such as A Painting – Landscape (2010), subverting our conventional understanding of painting. Wang challenges standard perceptions by animating everyday objects, for instance in The Narrative of a Stack of Paper (2012), where he reveals the meticulous process of paper making. Wang Yuyang will be in attendance at the festival, and will be giving a talk at the Anatomy Museum, King’s Strand campus on May 9th, followed by conversation with Dr. Marko Daniel, Curator of Public Programmes at Tate Modern.

Director Wu Wuna

The festival will be welcoming four prestigious documentary film makers: Zhou Hao from Mainland China, Wu Wuna from Taiwan and Tammy Cheung and Wong Yee Mei from Hong Kong. Emergency Room China, the latest film by Zhou, one of the key figures of the modern Chinese Independent Documentary Movement, will make its world premiere on the opening night of the festival’s film section on May 24th. The works of the directors form part of a fascinating program of 29 films, almost all UK premieres, covering a wide range of topics from modern relationships through to politics, the environment and more. This year, the festival has selected its first ever animations and fiction film, offering audiences enhanced variety.

As well as joining Q&A sessions with audiences, the directors will take part in a program of talks and symposiums, including discussions and panel debates with leading academics and key figures in the documentary film industry and related social studies.

Chinese Visual Festival aims to build an open platform for sharing different types of Chinese art and culture. This year we are very honoured to welcome back the renowned Pipa musician Wang Ting, who will be holding a solo concert, as well as a once in a lifetime collaborative show with top London jazz pianist Chris Lee.

Details and tickets are available on the Chinese Visual Festival website:
www.chinesevisualfestival.org

Exhibition details are available on the King’s Cultural Institute web pages:
www.kcl.ac.uk/culture

Dates and Venues:
- Art Exhibition: 8th May – 12th June, daily, 11:00- 18:00, Inigo Rooms, Somerset House, East Wing
- Film Screenings: 24th May – 2nd June, Safra Theatre, King’s College London

ACF 1886: Sentai Filmworks licenses UTA NO PRINCE SAMA 2


The music is back but the song is definitely not the same in Sentai Filmworks’ newest acquisition: Uta no Prince Sama 2. (Click here to read the ACF announcement of Sentai Filmworks' acquiring the license for Uta No Prince Sama 1.) The new season of the smash hit features direction and series composition by Koh Yuh (Loveless, Angelic Layer) with character designs by Mitsue Mori and music by Elements Garden (Love, Election & Chocolate, Bodacious Space Pirates).

Uta no Prince Sama 2 will be available soon through select digital outlets with a home video release to follow later this year.

Synopsis: After the amazing high note that capped the first season, would it be fair to expect Haruka and her hunky harem of beautiful boy singers to be able to top themselves? Ah, but what if they had a little more help? Yes, believe it or not, now there are even MORE gorgeous guys ganging up for the attention of the song-mistress who’s available for even more music making now that she’s moved into the dorms. Only now StArish as some REAL competition, as the new golden throated warblers from the SENIOR MASTER COURSE make it their job to show the first six what it really takes to become a J-Pop star. And what about that mysterious seventh member of StArish?

Yes, he’s back as well in his own catty fashion! But does he plan to take Haruka to fantasyland? Will the boys get kicked back to the street if they can’t stay in sync? And will Haruka stay composed and keep composing when the sophomore slump hits her writing? Find out if everyone can learn to live (and sing) in harmony as the hits keep on coming in Uta no Prince Sama 2.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

ACF 1885: Free screening of THE NEIGHBOR ZOMBIE on Tuesday

Korean Cultural Service New York
presents
Korean Movie Night 2013
Series Two: Micro-Budget Genre Invasion!
The Neighbor Zombie
Directed by HONG Young-geun, JANG Youn-jung,
OH, Young-doo, and RYOO Hoon
South Korea, 2009, 89 minutes
When: Tuesday, April 30, 2013 @ 7:00 PM
Doors open: 6:30 PM
Where: Tribeca Cinemas
54 Varick Street, on the corner of Canal Street, NYC
Near the A, C, E @ #1 Canal Street subway stops
Map
U.S. Premiere

Why should Americans have all the fun when it comes to zombie outbreaks? In this tonguein-cheek 2009 thriller, Seoul is overrun with the walking dead – and the government says it’s time to wipe them out! A six-part comedy/horror anthology from four cutting-edge indie directors, The Neighbor Zombie follows an unbelievable zombie outbreak as it spreads throughout Korea, examining the numerous people it affects in bizarre, wild ways. With an amazing $18,000 budget, it embodies the pinnacle of what a talented group of filmmakers can accomplish if they put their delicious, juicy brains together!

ACF 1884: Sentai Filmworks licenses SAMURAI BRIDE


Here comes the bride with a katana by her side in Sentai Filmworks’ newest acquisition: Samurai Bride. This 12 episode follow up to the smash series Samurai Girls is helmed by returning director KOBUN, and features character designs by Samurai Girls alumni Tsutomu Miyazawa, with series composition by Satoru Nishizono (Needless, Psychic Squad), sound direction by Jin Aketagawa (AKB0048, Queen’s Blade Rebellion) and music by Tatsuya Katou (MEDAKA BOX, Campione!).

Samurai Bride will be available soon through select digital outlets with a home video release to follow later this year. 

Synopsis: Things seemed to be going so well for Muneakira Yagyu, the hapless warrior inexplicably stuck with the ability to awaken a girl’s latent samurai powers with a single kiss. Just having to deal with the impossible Jubei, who fell out of the sky and into his arms and lips, would be more than enough for most men to handle, let alone having the additional stress of being the target of a half dozen other sets of feminine wiles and martial arts prowess. But on top of that, they HAD just defeated the minion of a great evil, so was it too much to ask for a little break in the routine of saving Japan?

Apparently it was, as the great evil is back, but that’s the LEAST of the problems complicating Muneakira’s life. Because with all the girls he kissed in order to awaken their latent samurai powers, the inevitable has finally happened and someone’s taking the long walk down the aisle with a samurai girl! It’s going to be a REALLY old fashioned wedding and any resistance by the groom will be totally feudal in Samurai Bride.

Friday, April 26, 2013

ACF 1883: TAI CHI HERO opens today in major North American cities

 Well Go USA
presents
Tai Chi Hero
Directed by Stephen Fung
Action direction by Sammo Hung
Starring: Jayden Yuan, Tony Leung Ka Fai, Angelababy,
Eddie Peng Yu-Yen, Feng Shaofeng, Peter Stormare, Daniel Wu
China, 100 minutes, 2012
Mandarin with English subtitles

Yang Lu Chan (Jayden Yuan)

Stephen Fung's fanciful tale of Yang Lu Chan, the real-life founder of Yang style Tai Chi Chuan, continues with the North American release of Tai Chi Hero, the second film in a trilogy. It will open today, April 26th in the following cities: NEW YORK (AMC EMPIRE 25). LOS ANGELES (AMC Atlantic Time Square), SAN FRANCISCO (AMC Metreon 16, AMC Cupertino Square 16), HONOLULU (Pearlridge West 16), TORONTO (Cineplex Odeon Yonge and Dundas Cinemas), VANCOUVER (Cineplex Odeon International Village Cinemas).

Yuniang, left, and her father, Grandmaster Chen

At the end of Tai Chi Zero (my review of the Region 1 Blu-ray release of Tai Chi Zero here), young Lu Chan (Jayden Yuan) has saved the Chen village from a monstrous railroad track-laying machine. Yuniang (Angelababy) the daughter of village Grandmaster Chen Chang Xing (Tony Leung Ka Fai), has married Lu Chan to save him from the village's policy of not allowing outsiders to learn Tai Chi. It is a marriage of convenience only, as she is Lu Chan's no-nonsense Tai Chi instructor, not his bed-mate.

The prodigal son returns with incredible kung fu.

This sequel is marked by two returns. One is that of of a new character, Yuniang's oldest brother, who left the village several years earlier after arguing with their father over his preference for designing and building mechanical contrivances over practicing Tai Chi. He has come back to the village with his wife, a deaf mute, and his kung fu is now of a very high level, or at it least seems that way.

Fang Zi Jing (Eddie Peng, right) meets with a foreign railroad executive.

The other return is that of Fang Zi Jing (Eddie Peng), Yuniang's former fiancée and the main henchmen for the foreign interests that want to build a railway through the Chen village. Having been defeated when he brought his track-laying machine in the first installment, he comes this time with several large cannons and a small army to attack the village.

Yuniang, Lu Chan and Grandmaster Chen (foreground, left to right) face Fang's army

Action director duties are again handled by the incomparable Sammo Hung. There is one large set piece with Grandmaster Chen, Yuniang, and Lu Chan going up against Fang's forces. But the best action choreography is saved for a fantastic one-on-one match-up near the film's end that pits Lu Chan against Li Qiankun, who serves a royal prince. Lu Chan must prove that he and Yuniang are actually from Chen village by demonstrating his Tai Chi skills in a fight that takes place in the kitchen where the prince's meal is being prepared.

Actually it sort of takes place above the kitchen, where partitions divide the food preparation area into various sections. The two combatants face off against one another on the rails at the tops of these partitions! Oh, and I should mention that Li is played by non-other than Yuen Biao! (For those who don't already know, Yuen, like Jackie Chan, was one of Sammo's junior brothers at the Peking Opera school where they trained as youths!) This is one action segment that really delivers the goods, one of the best I've seen in a long, long time.

While the resolution of the issues that have arisen in this episode comes about somewhat too easily, Tai Chi Hero is overall a worthy successor to the first film. It moves the story along nicely, throws in some new elements, and sets the stage for what should be a grand finale.

ACF Rating for Tai Chi Hero: 3.5 out of 4 stars; highly recommended.

Tai Chi Hero's official website: www.TaiChiHeroMovie.com

ACF 1882: Sentai Filmworks licenses YUYUSHIKI


Sentai Filmworks invites you to experience life’s ups, downs and surprises and occasionally the internet in their newest acquisition: Yuyushiki. This 13 episode is directed by Kaori and features character designs by Yoshiyuki Tabata with series composition by Natsuko Takahashi and sound direction by Jin Aketagawa.

Yuyshiki will be available soon through select digital outlets with a home video release to follow later this year.

Synopsis: Everyone knows you can learn a lot on the internet, and some of it is even true. But if you want to know what’s REALLY going on and important, then there’s just one place to go: the computer club! Okay, so maybe it’s not the club itself, but the three girls you’re most likely to find there.

And maybe they do spend more time chatting about their social lives and debating things like the virtues of ketchup versus mayonnaise than they do learning about the ins and outs of a keyboard, but whatever they’re up to, it’s sure to put a smile on your face.

So come join serious Yui, hyperactive Yuzuko and lovable but not quite in touch with reality Yukari and learn what the mysterious YuiYukari Formula is all about in Yuyshiki.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

ACF 1881: APPLESEED debuts this Sunday on Neon Alley


Just in time for this week, Appleseed joins Neon Alley this Sunday night, April 28th, at 8PM ET/ 5 PM PT. Based on classic series Appleseed from manga genius Masamune Shirow, creator of Ghost in the Shell. Watch as mercenary Deunan Knute finds herself pressed into duty with the ESWAT, defenders of the Utopian city of Olympus.

So what did you think of our Spring Debuts? Read on for what some members had to say about this season's new shows:

@BiziWen: My sister and I watched Accel World, High School of the Dead, Naruto Ship, and Yōkai 2. We couldn't stay away from the tv! 

@AwakenBenihime: Accel World already has me in w/ it's art design. Esp Haruyuki & his Piggy avatar!

If you missed week 1, don't worry, Neon Alley will be replaying them this week too. Check out the trailer for our new lineup of shows here!

WATCH NOW
 

 Join the conversation via Tout, Follow us on Twitter or come to our official forum on Anime News Network!  

Click here for showtimes and listing.

ACF 1880: Sentai Filmworks licenses UTA NO PRINCE SAMA 1


Get ready to make beautiful music with Sentai Filmworks’ newest acquisition: Uta no Prince Sama 1. This fan favorite 13 episode series is directed by Koh Yuh (Loveless, Angelic Layer) and features series composition by Tomoko Konparu (NANA, Nodame Cantabile) with character designs by Mitsue Mori, sound direction by Shoji Hata (You’re Under Arrest: Full Throttle, Okamkakushi ~ Masque of the Wolf) and music by Elements Garden (Love, Election & Chocolate, Bodacious Space Pirates).

Uta no Prince Sama 1 will be available soon through select digital outlets with a home video release to follow later this year.

Synopsis: When Haruka gets the chance to take the entrance exam for Saotome Academy for the Performing Arts, it seems as though she’s one step closer to her dream of composing songs for her favorite singer, Hayato. However, this is no gleeful high school musical experience, and Haruka’s hiding a dreadful secret that may silence her musical ambitions forever. And even if she does get into Saotome, the competition will be more brutal than going on Japan’s Top Idol! That’s because, as a writer, Haruka could be paired with any one of six radically different male singers. Will it be upbeat Otoya, serious Masato, flirtatious Ren, split-personality Natsuki, optimistic Syo, or the unapproachable Tokiya, who’s rumored to be Hayato’s brother?

And just to make things more complicated and awkward, writers and singers are expressly NOT allowed to become romantically involved! Can one girl and six handsome young men learn to make beautiful music together in a strictly Platonic sense? They can if the oddball staff of Saotome, most of whom are current and former idols themselves, have anything to say about it in Uta no Prince Sama 1.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

ACF 1879: Maiden Japan licenses NEW DOMINION TANK POLICE


Want the biggest bang for your buck in law enforcement? Check out Maiden Japan’s latest acquisition: the action-packed New Dominion Tank Police! Based on classic manga by Masamune Shirow (GHOST IN THE SHELL, APPLESEED) this six episode series features character designs by Noboru Furuse (Initial D) and music by Yoichiro Yoshikawa (Kyo Kara Maoh!).

Maiden Japan will be distributing New Dominion Tank Police in conjunction with home video distributor Section 23 (Clannad, High School of the Dead, Appleseed,) on bilingual English DVD and in digital formats.

Synopsis: When tanks are outlawed, only outlaws will have tanks. Or at least, that’s what Mayor Weatherby of New Port seems to be forgetting in his efforts to ban certain forms of weapons, including those used by tank-driving policewoman Leona Ozaki and her partner Al. Granted, the city’s Tank Police DO seem to cause a lot of collateral damage, but New Port’s a dangerous place. Especially with the felonious and partially feline Puma sisters back on the prowl, and the Dai Nippon Geiken Corporation is building even more nefarious devices of evil intent that are finding their way into the hands of local terrorists.

Unfortunately for DNGC, they may be connected to the murder of Leona’s former partner, and once this hard-headed heroine sinks her treads into a case, there’s no backing up! And as for the Pumas? It’s going to be like cats and police dogs, but there are few problems that a little carefully applied mobile artillery can’t cure! There’s no place to hide, from the good guys OR the bad guys, as law and order meets chaos theory in NEW DOMINION TANK POLICE.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

ACF 1878: Sentai Filmworks acquires THE SEVERING CRIME EDGE


Experience hair raising thrills, razor-edged suspense and shear insanity in Sentai Filmworks’ newest acquisition: The Severing Crime Edge! This 13 episode series is directed by Yuji Yamaguchi (Fate / stay night TV) and features character designs by Katsuzo Hirata (Angel Beats!) with series composition by Tatsuhiko Urahata (Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere), sound direction by Yota Tsuruoka (CLANNAD) and music by Yasuharu Takanashi (Hell Girl).

The Severing Crime Edge will be available soon through select digital outlets with a home video release to follow later this year.

Synopsis: Kiri Haimura loves cutting hair. Actually, he doesn’t just love cutting hair, he obsesses over it and even has a special set of scissors he delights in using. But when his mane obsession for a bit of trim draws him to Iwai Mushanokōji , whose long hair has never been cut, he finds himself entangled in a situation no shears can hack him out of. Because Iwai is heir to a strange curse that makes her hair impossible to cut. Or, at least, until Kiri’s clippers take off a lock, thereby revealing that his scissors are cursed as well!

But now that she’s shorn free, Iwai has a slew of “murderers” after her, each armed with their own cursed implements and eager for the chance to kill the “Hair Queen.” And if that’s not enough to make Kiri wig out, it seems that many of them actually attend his own school! Will this evil crew cut in on Kiri’s Hair Queen, or will he snip their ambitions in the bud? The worst hair day ever turns into the ultimate series of close shaves, distressing situations and, yes, brushes with death in The Severing Crime Edge.

Monday, April 22, 2013

ACF 1877: Okamikakushi: Masque of the Wolf and Place to Place - both this week on Anime Network

This week Anime Network welcomes a pair of shows on the complete opposite end of the spectrum: the dark mystery anime Okamikakushi - Masque of the Wolf, and a fun, lighthearted romp through the coming of age genre in Place to Place. Whether you're in a happy place or in the mood for some serious drama, we've got what you need this week on Anime Network.

Subtitled, Rated: TV-14
Online: Fri April 26, 2013
Online Exclusive

About the Series: Kuzumi Hiroshi moves to the town of Joga with his father and his handicapped sister. The town's stories of man-like wolves seem like small town lore. But when people start to go missing, it's not out of the realm of possibility.

Subtitled, Rated: TV-14
VOD: Thu April 25, 2013
Online: Fri April 26, 2013

About the Series: Tsumiki and Io have deep feelings for each other but they haven't fallen IN love yet. Follow them as they teeter between friends and more-than-friends and get into some trouble along the way.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

ACF 1876: Sentai Filmworks acquires FLOWERS OF EVIL


Discover what flowers bloom from the seeds of sin of Sentai Filmworks’ newest acquisition: Flowers of Evil. This 13 episode series is directed by Hiroshi Nagahama (Mushi-Shi, Detroit Metal City) and features series composition by Aki Itami with character designs by Hidekazu Shimamura, sound direction by Kazuya Tanaka (High School of the Dead, Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi) and music by Hideyuki Fukasawa (Intrigue in the Bakumatsu ~ Irohanihoheto).

Flowers of Evil will be available soon through select digital outlets with a home video release to follow later this year.

Synopsis: Darkness lurks everywhere, in every human heart, and sometimes it takes just a second of weakness for it to take root. For Takao Kasuga, that germination begins when his obsession with his beautiful classmate Nanako meets the opportunity to “borrow” her used gym clothes. Unfortunately, his loathsome act of laundry theft is witnessed by Nakamura, the strange girl who sits behind him in class.

Soon, Nakamura’s own dark obsessions begin to hook their twisted tendrils into Takao’s miserable existence. Blackmailed into a “contract” under the threat of having his guilt revealed to his entire class, the former bookworm who could spend hours reading Beaudelaire’s “The Flowers of Evil” now finds himself entwined in Nakamura’s growing fantasies as she leads him down the garden path to damnation.

As their blossoming relationship becomes ever darker, even the seemingly innocent Nanako is pulled into the nightmare. Just what are Nakamura’s ultimate plans, and will the increasingly trapped Takao really be willing to carry them out? What you sow, you must ultimately reap, and there’s certain to be a harrowing harvest ahead in Flowers of Evil.

Friday, April 19, 2013

ACF 1875: HIGH SCHOOL OF THE DEAD on Neon Alley starting today

 VIZ MEDIA PARTNERS WITH SENTAI FILMWORKS TO PREMIERE
HIGH SCHOOL OF THE DEAD
ON NEON ALLEY

This Friday, Hordes Of Flesh-Eating Zombies Descend
Upon North America’s 24-Hour Console-Based Anime Channel
For PS3 And Playstation® Network, And Xbox 360® And Xbox Live®

VIZ Media partners with Sentai Filmworks to unleash a frightening new world of the living dead as it premieres the zombie action of HIGH SCHOOL OF THE DEAD on Neon Alley today, Friday, April 19th. Episode 1 (English dubbed) of the high-octane anime action series will debut in High Definition at 10PM EST / 7PM PST, replaying at 2AM EST / 11PM PST, and will air again throughout the week. New episodes will premiere every Friday. Check the Neon Alley program guide or NeonAlley.com for more information and additional airtimes.

Based on the ultra-violent manga (graphic novel) originally created by Daisuke Sato, directed by Tetsuro Araki (Death Note, Black Lagoon) and produced by the internationally famed studio MADHOUSE (Death Note, Ninja Scroll, Vampire Hunter D-Bloodlust, Wicked City) HIGH SCHOOL OF THE DEAD (rated TV-MA) is distributed in North America by Sentai Filmworks and combines hordes of flesh-eating zombies with state of the art animation to deliver one of the most action packed anime series ever!

A deadly new disease is ravaging the world, turning the populace into mindless zombies and the number of infected victims is skyrocketing by the second. As their fellow classmates and teachers succumb to the infection around them, a small group of students at Fujimi High School must fight for their lives after surviving the initial outbreak. It’s up to Takashi Komuro to unite the group of weary survivors and try to escape the horrors that surround them. In this new world of the living dead...will they escape?


“We’re thrilled to welcome Sentai Filmworks as a content partner for our innovative anime content delivery service, Neon Alley,” says Brian Ige, VIZ Media Vice President, Animation. “HIGH SCHOOL OF THE DEAD is the newest anime series to join Neon Alley’s expansive schedule for Spring 2013, and fans won’t want to miss this action-packed tale of survival when it debuts Friday!”

“HIGH SCHOOL OF THE DEAD is a riveting story that combines plenty of visceral action with compelling, multi-faceted characters and some sexy fan service,” says David Del Rio, VP of Licensing, Sentai Filmworks. “We look forward to the series finding a brand new audience of avid fans on Neon Alley and to viewers joining Takashi Komuro and his cohorts as they face a stark and dangerous world.”

Neon Alley is VIZ Media’s 24-hour, subscription-based anime channel available for the PS3 game console and Playstation® Network, and Xbox 360 and Xbox Live®. The platform features the world’s best titles (dubbed in English and uncut), presented in HD (when available), for a low monthly subscription rate of $6.99, and a limited time only, a one-week free trial is available to all fans that sign up at NeonAlley.com.

Neon Alley’s schedule includes a dynamic mix of action, adventure, sci-fi, supernatural, fantasy, and horror anime, including new debuts this season of weekly exclusive episodes of ACCEL WORLD, FATE/ZERO and ZETMAN. Fans also can catch other favorite blockbuster anime series from the beginning, including BLUE EXORCIST, DEATH NOTE, NARUTO SHIPPUDEN, ONE PIECE, TIGER & BUNNY, VAMPIRE KNIGHT and more.

Neon Alley is specially designed to be studio agnostic, featuring titles from other anime producers and content distributors, including Aniplex, FUNimation, NTV, Taiseng, and Anime News Network. Members can also share real-time thoughts and status updates using social media technology from Tout (Tout.com), some of which will air on the network.

More information on Neon Alley is available at NeonAlley.com.

Additional information on Sentai Filmworks HIGHSCHOOL OF THE DEAD is available at: http://www.sentai-filmworks.com.

ACF 1874: Sentai Filmworks announces acquisition of DEVIL SURVIVOR 2 THE ANIMATION


Make a deal with the Devil himself in Sentai Filmworks’ newest acquisition: DEVIL SURVIVOR 2 THE ANIMATION. This 13 episode action series based on the hit game is directed by Seiji Kishi (Persona 4 The Animation, Angel Beats!) and features series composition by Makoto Uezu (Kamisama Dolls, Qwaser of Stigmata) with character designs by Etsushi Sajima, sound direction by Satoki Iida (Persona 4 The Animation, Inu X Boku SS) and music by Kotao Nakagawa (Inu X Boku SS, S-CRY-ed).

DEVIL SURVIVOR 2 THE ANIMATION will be available soon through select digital outlets with a home video release to follow later this year.

Synopsis: When the world is under attack by a monstrous and seemingly unstoppable enemy, the only way to fight back is with warriors who have already died! Sidestepping a gruesome fate in a subway crash during an earthquake, two young men and a girl find themselves recruited into the ranks of the Devil Summoners and given the ability to literally call up demons to battle against the mysterious Septentrione!

Can Hibiki, Daichi and Io survive in a war where demons face demons under human command? Where a person’s death can be seen in advance? Where every living being is just a game piece to be saved or expended? And where each clash comes with a clock counting down to Armageddon? Get ready to be immersed in the ultimate conflict between good and evil as the living, the dead and the demonic combine forces to send the invaders straight back to Hell in DEVIL SURVIVOR 2 THE ANIMATION.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

ACF 1873: Chandrika Krishnamurthy releases third album, 'Soul March'


Grammy-nominated world musician Chandrika Krishnamurthy Tandon released her third album, ‘Soul March’ on April 16, 2013. More than 500 New Yorkers packed her album launch party, where Tandon performed a 20-minute set, on Monday, April 15 in New York University’s Grand Hall. Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s Salt March of 1930—a nonviolent protest made by thousands of people over ten days to challenge the British salt monopoly in colonial India—‘Soul March’ reinterprets the refrain sung by the marchers over 80 years ago: “Raghupathi Raghava Raja Ram.” On nine tracks, Tandon’s “limpid, serene voice with Indian classical inflections,” (NY Times) re-envisions the beloved melody with new raagas and rhythms.

Over 75 musicians came together to record the album in the U.S. and India, combining ancient traditional instruments like the ektara, dugdugi, and esraj with saxaphone, banjo, and piano to transcend musical boundaries. “The story of the Salt March is replayed in different parts of the globe, inspiring leaders, building movements big and small,” says Tandon. “Every one of us is on a quest—seeking freedom. 'Soul March' is a tribute to all these journeys.” Though “even if you’re not...seeking inner peace, [Tandon’s] vocals and melodies have a celebratory quality that move your hips with the same ease as they soothe your head” (New York Post).

Krishnamurthy (left) greets fans at album launch party in New York

Tandon’s previous album, ‘Soul Call,’ topped world music charts and was nominated for a 2011 Grammy. She has performed at Lincoln Center, Olympia Stadion in Berlin, St. John the Divine, and other venues worldwide. Tandon is also the founder of her own financial firm, serves on the Board of Trustees at New York University, Board of Overseers at NYU Stern School of Business, Dean's Council at NYU Wagner School of Public Service, President's Council on International Activities at Yale University, and is a humanitarian who is actively involved in the fields of arts, education and wellness. All of her albums are produced under Soul Chants Music, a not-for-profit label set up to build bridges between cultures and create harmony through music. Since its inception, Soul Chants has partnered with over 40 organizations, including universities, hospitals, and non-profits, and all net proceeds from album sales go towards benefiting organizations in the areas of education, arts, and wellness initiatives.

‘Soul March’ is available on www.amazon.com, and 100% of the proceeds from the sale of this album will support arts, women’s, and wellness causes. For more information about the artist, please visit www.soulchants.com.

ACF 1872: PSYCHIC DETECTIVE YAKUMO and AGAMI SS+ on Anime Network this week

The mysteries unfold this week on Anime Network, with Psychic Detective Yakumo handling all things paranormal, and Amagami SS+ tackling perhaps one of the greatest mysteries of all time: the female heart. Check out where you can find both series this week, only on Anime Network!

Psychic Detective Yakumo
Subtitled
Rated: TV-14
VOD: Thu April 18, 2013
Online: Fri April 19, 2013

About the Series: Haruka Ozawa’s sophomore year is getting seriously scary. One of her friends is possessed, another has committed suicide and Haruka could be the next one to flunk the still-breathing test. Her only way out of this potentially lethal dead end? Yakumo Saito, an enigmatic student born with a mysterious red eye that allows him to see and communicate with the dead. But the deceased don’t always desist and some killers are more than ready to kill again to keep dead men from telling any more tales. That doesn’t stop Haruka’s knack for digging up buried secrets, and there’s even more evidence of bodies being exhumed by both Yakumo’s police contact and an investigative journalist with a newly made corpse in her closet! Can this pair of anything but normal paranormal detectives solve the ultimate dead case files or will they end up in cold storage themselves? If the spirits are willing, they may just have a few ghosts of a chance in Psychic Detective Yakumo.

Amagami SS+
Subtitled
Rated: TV-PG
Starts: Fri April 19, 2013
ONLINE EXCLUSIVE

About the Series: So far, Junichi Tachibana has been luckier than any guy has any right to be, getting to experience what it would be like to be romantically paired with not one, not two, but SEVEN different beautiful girls in a multiple of alternate universes. So how can he possibly follow THAT up? Well, how about with continuations of ALL of those storylines! Yes, all of the pairings in the original Amagami SS+ are back as each of the girls return to follow up the romantic advancements in each of their possible futures! Is Junichi going to be able to handle a second go-round with Tsukasa, Rihoko, Ai, Kaoru, Sae, Haruka and even Risa? Will little sis Miya get a follow up to her own sneaky storyline too? The answer’s yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, maybe, yes and oh yes as boy meets girl, girl, girl, girl, girl, girl and girl again in the multiple sequel that has no equal, Amagami SS+.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

ACF 1871: VIZ announces new spring anime programming on Neon Alley

VIZ MEDIA LAUNCHES AN EXCITING SPRING SEASON
OF HOT NEW ANIME PROGRAMMING ON NEON ALLEY

Innovative 24/7 Anime Channel To Premiere ACCEL WORLD, BLEACH,
FATE/ZERO and ZETMAN, With New Seasons of Favorite Hits Also Debuting

VIZ Media has unveiled its new spring programming line-up for Neon Alley with 7 exciting premieres for the innovative anime channel available for the Xbox 360® and Xbox LIVE® as well as for the PlayStation®3 (PS3™) gaming system and the PlayStation®Network.

Set to premiere on Friday, April 19th will be ACCEL WORLD, FATE/ZERO, and the Season 2 opening episode of LAGRANGE – THE FLOWER OF RIN-NE. Saturday, April 20th offers the Neon Alley debut of BLEACH Season 1, as well as the exclusive English dub premiere of new NARUTO SHIPPUDEN episodes, the start of Season 2 of NURA: RISE OF THE YOKAI CLAN, and the launch of the intense action series, ZETMAN. Check NeonAlley.com for specific airtimes in your geographical area.

Neon Alley is VIZ Media’s 24-hour, console-based anime channel that features a variety of the world’s best titles (dubbed in English and uncut) and presented in HD (when available) for a low monthly subscription rate of only $6.99. For a limited time only, the service is also offering a one-week free trial available to all fans that sign up at NeonAlley.com.

“The new schedule of spring anime premieres is the most exciting we’ve launched on Neon Alley,” says Charlene Ingram, Senior Manager, Animation Marketing. “From continuing action anime favorites like NARUTO SHIPPUDEN, and NURA: RISE OF THE YOKAI CLAN, to brand new series such as ZETMAN, ACCEL WORLD, the highly acclaimed FATE/ZERO, and the addition of one of the most popular anime of all time, BLEACH, there will be plenty of reasons to tune into Neon Alley this month. We look forward to lots of North American anime fans experiencing this exciting way to enjoy some of the best in animated entertainment from Japan!”

ACCEL WORLD • Rated “TV-14” • Premieres Friday April 19th
The year is 2046. Haruyuki Arita is a young boy who finds himself on the lowest social rungs of his school. Ashamed of his miserable life, Haruyuki can only cope by indulging in virtual games. But that all changes when Kuroyukihime, the most popular girl in school, introduces him to a mysterious program called Brain Burst and a virtual reality called the Accel World. Please watch the sneak peek at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhPZdp1OLFM.

FATE/ZERO • Rated “TV-14” • Premieres Friday April 19th
FATE/ZERO is based on a popular Japanese light novel, written by Gen Urobuchi and illustrated by Takashi Takeuchi. This is the story that goes back to zero, back to the beginning. The ultimate battle royal, in which seven Masters vying for control of the miracle-granting Holy Grail summon seven Servants and fight until only one remains... The Holy Grail War! Catch the trailer at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ql_bWLNPIjo.

LAGRANGE – THE FLOWER OF RIN-NE, SEASON 2 • Rated “TV-MA” • Premieres Friday April 19th Thousands of years ago, mankind was at the height of its glory, an advanced civilization extending into the far reaches of space. To defend against its galactic enemies, mankind developed giant humanoid robots called “Vox,” never anticipating that the powerful robots would lead to the destruction of their own civilization. Fearing their infinite power, the Space Federation known as Polyhedron hid away the existence of the Vox and Earth itself from the rest of the galaxy. Now, the Vox are a mere legend, and in Kamogawa, Japan, robots are the furthest thing from Madoka Kyono’s mind. She’s an energetic high school girl who just wants to help people in need. But Earth is under threat once more, and when a mysterious girl named Lan asks Madoka to pilot a resurrected Vox robot, her life will never be the same!

BLEACH • Rated “TV-14” • Premieres Saturday, April 20th Catch the epic supernatural action series based on the smash hit manga series by Tite Kubo from the very beginning! For as long as he can remember, 15 year-old Ichigo Kurosaki has always been able to see ghosts. But when he suddenly meets Rukia, a Soul Reaper from the Soul Society who battles evil spirits known as Hollows, his life will change forever. Now, with a newfound wealth of spiritual energy, Ichigo discovers his true calling – to protect the living and the dead from evil at all costs!

NARUTO SHIPPUDEN (Latest Episodes) • Rated “TV-14” • Premieres Saturday, April 20th Catch the latest action-packed NARUTO SHIPPUDEN adventures beginning with Episode 188! Naruto Uzumaki is back! After a long training journey with the Legendary Sannin, Jiraiya, Naruto has returned older, a little bit wiser, and a lot stronger! Sakura's been studying under another of the Sannin, Tsunade, and is now an accomplished medical ninja with a few new battle skills of her own. To show off their new skills, Naruto and Sakura team up to take on their old master, Kakashi. While the three battle it out, the Village Hidden in the Sand is infiltrated by the Akatsuki, who are after Naruto's old rival and the newest Kazekage of the Sand – Gaara!

NURA: RISE OF THE YOKAI CLAN, SEASON 2 • Rated “TV-14” • Premieres Saturday, April 20th Rikuo Nura looks like your typical junior high student, but in reality, he is a quarter yokai and is the grandson of Nurarihyon, the leader of all yokai! As the Third Heir to the Nura Clan, Rikuo has successfully brought an end to the territory conflict against the Shikoku yokai. Now, Rikuo must face his most powerful enemies yet—the Hagoromo-Gitsune and her Kyoto yokai! With her absolute power and charisma, the Hagoromo-Gitsune is taking the ancient capital of Kyoto by storm in a quest to fulfill her four-hundred-year-old wish. Joined by the Oshu-Tono Family yokai and the Keikain Clan Onmyoji, Rikuo and his Nura Clan will take on the Hagoromo-Gitsune for an epic showdown!

ZETMAN • Rated “TV-MA” • Premieres Saturday, April 20th “ZET” is the one who is entrusted with the future of mankind. “ALPHAS” are the ones searching for the meaning of true justice. They will be the ones who will change the world. Is it coincidence or fate that brings these two heroes together? Soon, the two will learn what fate has in mind for them…

Neon Alley’s schedule includes a dynamic mix of action, adventure, sci-fi, supernatural, fantasy, and horror anime. Other current shows include TIGER & BUNNY, BLUE EXORCIST, DEATH NOTE, NARUTO and NARUTO SHIPPUDEN, ONE PIECE, INUYASHA, KEKKAISHI, BUSO RENKIN, and VAMPIRE KNIGHT.

Neon Alley is specially designed to be studio agnostic, featuring titles from other anime producers and content distributors, including Aniplex, FUNimation, NTV, Taiseng, and Anime News Network. Members can also share real-time thoughts and status updates using social media technology from Tout (Tout.com), some of which will air on the network.

For more information on Neon Alley, visit www.NeonAlley.com.

ACF 1870: Sentai Filmworks licenses HENNEKO - THE HENTAI PRINCE & THE STONY CAT



When you ask a magical stone cat for help, don’t be surprised if the results are a little rocky in Sentai Filmworks’ newest acquisition: HENNEKO - The Hentai Prince & the Stony Cat. This 12 episode series is directed by Youhei Suzuki and features character designs by Haruko Izuka (Little Busters!, Inu X Boku SS) with series composition by Michiko Itou (Bodacious Space Pirates, Special A) and sound direction by Jin Aketagawa (Kill Me Baby, Canaan).

HENNEKO - The Hentai Prince & the Stony Cat will be available soon through select digital outlets with a home video release to follow later this year.

Synopsis: Koto is a complete and total pervert, but he doesn’t think that’s a problem. What bothers him is that every time he tries to bluff his way through one of his indiscretions, his inability to drop his façade inevitably digs him in even deeper. Tsukiko also has an issue and wants to get rid of her childish habit of blurting out whatever she happens to be thinking. So when they both learn about a statue of a cat that can take away a single personality trait that you want to get rid of, they’re both eager to try it out. However, what neither of them realizes until it’s too late is that the cat doesn’t just take the personality trait away from you, it GIVES it to somebody else!

Now Koto can’t keep himself from saying exactly what’s on his mind, while Tsukiko has picked up a complete inability to display emotion! Could the solution be finding the original owners of all the assorted problems and arranging an un-swap? And if it is, how will they find everyone in the first place? A crazed game of musical personalities encompassing a very surprising cast of characters has only just begun in HENNEKO - The Hentai Prince & the Stony Cat.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

ACF 1869: Korean comedy caper GOING BY THE BOOK available today

CJ Entertainment and
5 Points Pictures
present
 Going By the Book / Bareug salja
Directed by RA Hee-chan
South Korea, 2007, 103 minutes
Two-disc, special-edition DVD

Going By the Book, a most unusual bank-heist caper, becomes available today, Tuesday, April 16th, in a terrific two-disc, special-edition from CJ Entertainment and 5 Points Pictures. It's based on the Japanese film Bang! (Asobi no Jikan wa Owaranai, 1991) by Sadaaki Haginiwa. Korean director JANG Jin (Good Morning President) wrote the screenplay for this version, which he also produced. Going By the Book marks the feature film directorial debut of RA Hee-chan, who previously served as assistant director on some of JANG's films.

What's unusual about Going By the Book is that the bank robbery is being perpetrated by a police officer in the line of duty!

JUNG Do-man (JUNG Jae-young, the very talented and incredibly handsome actor who played the village chief in Moss) is an upright, righteous, inflexible, by-the-book traffic cop in the small city of Sam-po. He used to be a criminal investigator, but was demoted two years earlier when he investigated, but was unable to prove, a corruption scandal involving the region's governor.

When LEE Seung-woo (SON Byung-ho, The Good, The Bad, The Weird) comes fo Sam-po to take over as the new police chief, he makes an illegal turn and is pulled over by Do-man. Even after he's identified himself as the incoming police chief, Do-man insists that LEE produce his driver's license, he's that rigid about enforcing the letter of the law.

LEE, who expects to be in Sam-po for only about six months before moving up to the central office, learns that the city recently has had a rash of bank robberies. He decides to conduct a training exercise to improve the effectiveness of the police force and capture the criminals. While the various roles such as undercover officer, citizen, and responder are determined randomly by drawing slips of paper, LEE deliberately and secretly picks JUNG to be the bank robber, expecting that he will "go by the book" and really try to carry out his role to the best of his abilities. JUNG, prophetically as it turns out, warns LEE that he might come to regret his decision.

The film works so wonderfully for several reasons. First off, the entire cast is terrific. Besides the two leads already mentioned, there are several supporting characters who give it their all. These tend to be divided into two groups: the "outsiders" who respond to the alarm that a bank robbery is in progress, and the "insiders" who are stuck inside the bank. Two of the females are particularly worth mentioning. Actress LEE Young-eun plays JEON Da-hye, a lovely bank teller who remains poised throughout. CHO Shi-nae portrays Miss LEE, another bank teller, but one who becomes emotionally unstable in the course of the robbery exercise.

Another factor in the film's success is director RA's adept handling, not only of the film in general, but of the extended sequences within the physically limited space of the bank's interior. Smart editing in terms of cutting from the interior scenes to those of the police and SWAT team on the outside keeps the  story from becoming claustrophobic.

But for me the film really makes it as a comedy because it is played so naturally. The actors are very straightforward in their portrayals, not over the top. This allows the laughs -- and there are plenty of them -- to grow naturally out of the situation and the responses of the characters to developments.

The new English-language subtitles on the film disc are offered as either monochrome (white-only) or dual-colored (white and yellow). Personally I prefer the latter, as they make it easier for me to understand when a different character is speaking when multiple lines of subtitles are on the screen at the same time. I've liked this approach as far back as when I watched VHS tapes of Japanese films from AnimEigo's Samurai Cinema offerings, and it's a nice touch for 5 Points Pictures to be offering them also.

There are more than an hour and forty-five minutes (!) of extras on disc two:
- Think Right
- A Simulated Bank Robbery: The Making of Going By the Book
- The Way He Goes By the Book
- Cheerful Hostages & Distressing Police
- deleted scenes with on/off director's commentary
- poster shoot video
- production announcement (premiere and press conference)
- an animated promotional short
- a music video
- the original South Korean trailer
- cast and crew bios
- 5 Points Pictures trailers

Several extras include interviews with the director, producer and/or cast members. Almost every time one of them comes on screen they are identified by their own name, and in the case of cast members by their character's name. Another nice touch that's very considerate of the viewer. Thanks CJ and 5 Points.

ACF Rating: film - 3.5 out of 4 stars, very highly recommended; extras - 4 out of 4 stars, both for quality (outstanding) and quantity (again, 1 hour and 45+ minutes!).

Monday, April 15, 2013

ACF 1868: Section23 Films announces its June slate of releases


Home video distributor Section23 Films has announced its June slate of releases, including Sentai Filmworks newest acquisition Dusk Maiden of Amnesia, which will be available on both DVD and Blu-Ray.

Product details follow, in order of release.

Title: DUSK MAIDEN OF AMNESIA COMPLETE
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
 Run Time: 325 min.
Street Date: 6/4/2013
Format: DVD
Language: English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $59.98

SYNOPSIS: 60 years ago, a young woman was left to die in the abandoned school building behind the exclusive Seikyou Academy. No one knows why. No one knows how. But the horrifying tale and the legends of the ghostly haunting that followed live on to this day. Perhaps it's not so surprising then, that among Seikyou's many school clubs is one for students interested in "paranormal investigations." What might raise more than a few hairs, however, is that the founder of the club is the ghost herself. Unable to remember how she died and trapped in the grey land between life and death, Yuko latches onto Teiichi Niiya, a freshman who can inexplicably see her. Together they and the other unsuspecting members of the club begin to unravel the many dark mysteries that surround Seikyou. Will unlocking the secret of Yuko's gruesome death finally free her? Or will her sudden close association with a mortal have even stranger repercussions on both of their existences? In a tomb of silent classrooms, the answers await in Dusk maiden of Amnesia.


Title: DUSK MAIDEN OF AMNESIA COMPLETE BLU-RAY
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 325 min.
Street Date: 6/4/2013
Format: BD
Language: English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $69.98

SYNOPSIS: 60 years ago, a young woman was left to die in the abandoned school building behind the exclusive Seikyou Academy. No one knows why. No one knows how. But the horrifying tale and the legends of the ghostly haunting that followed live on to this day. Perhaps it's not so surprising then, that among Seikyou's many school clubs is one for students interested in "paranormal investigations." What might raise more than a few hairs, however, is that the founder of the club is the ghost herself. Unable to remember how she died and trapped in the grey land between life and death, Yuko latches onto Teiichi Niiya, a freshman who can inexplicably see her. Together they and the other unsuspecting members of the club begin to unravel the many dark mysteries that surround Seikyou. Will unlocking the secret of Yuko's gruesome death finally free her? Or will her sudden close association with a mortal have even stranger repercussions on both of their existences? In a tomb of silent classrooms, the answers await in Dusk maiden of Amnesia.


Title: LETTER BEE REVERSE SEASON 2 COLLECTION 2
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 300 min.
Street Date: 6/4/2013
Format: DVD
Language: Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $49.98

SYNOPSIS: While most of Amberground remains blanketed by perpetual darkness, the capital city of Akatsuki basks in the light of an artificial sun. But as Lag Seeing's investigations deliver him to the doorstep of Houdi Franklin, survivor of an ill-fated airship journey on the infamous Day of the Flicker, the secrets behind the light in the sky begin to cast dangerous shadows on the Letter Bee's future. Yet the death and blindness unleashed by the abomination in the heavens are only the first salvos in Lag's greatest series of challenges to date. The molten Gaichuu monster Cabernet is still on the loose, wreaking havoc and destruction. The sinister organization Reverse has agents working behind the scenes everywhere, attempting to undo the fabric that holds Amberground's society together. The Bee Hive, headquarters of the Letter Bees, is itself abuzz with treachery, and the restoration of Gauche's memory may be about to come back on them as a double-edged sword. Can Lag, Niche and Steak cancel out each of these incoming dangers and return them to their senders? The answers await in the final, illuminating collection of TEGAMI BACHI: LETTER BEE REVERSE!


Title: MYSTERIOUS GIRLFRIEND X COMPLETE
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 325 min.
Street Date: 6/11/2013
Format: DVD
Language: English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $59.98

SYNOPSIS: When the oddly peculiar Mikoto Urabe transfers into Akira Tsubaki's class, he finds that life has thrown him the weirdest curve ball ever. Because while Urabe may be an anti-social loner who sleeps on her desk, carries a pair of scissors in her underwear and breaks out in sudden fits of insane laughter, there's something about her that Tsubaki just can't quite put his finger on. Until he accidentally puts his finger in it, and suddenly the phrase "sharing spit with a girl" takes on an entirely new meaning! Before he can wipe her drool off his face, Tsubaki is mysteriously addicted to Urabe, which isn't half as strange as the fact that she not only finds this normal, but already seems to have plans for her new drooling boyfriend. So, can a girl spitting in your face ever be a GOOD thing? Is this relationship bound for disaster or great expectorations? Find out as Urabe puts a spittle love in Tsubaki's heart and things get REALLY bizarre in the most dysfunctional bodily functional anime ever: Mysterious Girlfriend X!


Title: MYSTERIOUS GIRLFRIEND X COMPLETE BLU-RAY
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 325 min.
Street Date: 6/11/2013
Format: BD
Language: English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $69.98

SYNOPSIS: When the oddly peculiar Mikoto Urabe transfers into Akira Tsubaki's class, he finds that life has thrown him the weirdest curve ball ever. Because while Urabe may be an anti-social loner who sleeps on her desk, carries a pair of scissors in her underwear and breaks out in sudden fits of insane laughter, there's something about her that Tsubaki just can't quite put his finger on. Until he accidentally puts his finger in it, and suddenly the phrase "sharing spit with a girl" takes on an entirely new meaning! Before he can wipe her drool off his face, Tsubaki is mysteriously addicted to Urabe, which isn't half as strange as the fact that she not only finds this normal, but already seems to have plans for her new drooling boyfriend. So, can a girl spitting in your face ever be a GOOD thing? Is this relationship bound for disaster or great expectorations? Find out as Urabe puts a spittle love in Tsubaki's heart and things get REALLY bizarre in the most dysfunctional bodily functional anime ever: Mysterious Girlfriend X!


Title: KILL ME BABY COMPLETE
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 325 min.
Street Date: 6/18/2013
Format: DVD
Language: English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $59.98

SYNOPSIS: Yasuna Oribe isn't your typical Japanese high school girl. For one thing, she's a little slow on the uptake, and for another, her best friend, Sonya, is actually a highly trained foreign assassin who's in Yasuna's class as part of her assignment. Though perhaps Yasuna's definition of "best friend" is a bit strange, as Sonya has the habit of regularly attacking Yasuna, especially when startled. However, as noted, Yasuna isn't exactly the sharpest tool in the shed, and while Sonya knows precisely what to do with every one of those sharp objects, even she is hard pressed to deal with the day to day oddities that seem to fill their class schedule. Things like: escaped bears, voodoo curses, juggling and killer mosquitoes. And puppet shows. And just in case Yasuna's life wasn't weird or hazardous enough, there's her ninja classmate, Agiri, swarms of bees and assassins targeting just about everybody, a mysterious red haired girl with a personal vendetta and the perils of slipping in the public bath. They say a little education can be a dangerous thing, but with a school life like this, Yasuna will be lucky to keep breathing past third period in KILL ME BABY!


Title: SAIYUKI COMPLETE
Published by: AEsir Holdings
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 1250 min.
Street Date: 6/18/2013
Format: DVD
Language: English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $49.98

SYNOPSIS: Once demonkind and man lived together in harmony. But when a band of rogue demonic forces seeks to resurrect a diabolical monster, a dark spiritual energy begins to cover the land. Now, it's up to a renegade priest, a monkey kink, a lecherous water sprite and a sympathetic demon to stop the resurrection and return harmony to a dangerous land. Enter the world of Saiyuki! A unique universe of beauty and betrayal. Where sacred scrolls battle enchanted weaponry and where dragons can transform into jeeps. A land where four reluctant heroes are just as concerned about having a good time, a stiff drink, and a beautiful woman as they are about saving the world.


Title: MOMO, GIRL GOD OF DEATH COMPLETE
Published by: Maiden Japan
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 150 min.
Street Date: 6/25/2013
Format: DVD
Language: English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $29.98

SYNOPSIS: Dressed all in white with scythe in hand, she is one of the spirits entrusted with guiding the souls of the no longer living to the other side. But unlike other shinigami who approach their grim duty with detachment or even malevolence, Momo chooses to open her heart to those about to cross over. Nor are solace and sympathy the only gifts she offers. For if the need is great enough, she may allow a last visit, a message to loved ones or even a chance to make amends. But how far can even the most well meaning shinigami bend the rules of life and death before she, herself, is called to task? Momo and her flying cat Daniel may soon learn the answer as they find themselves continually becoming involved in the world of the living, even as they attempt to deal with the not always willing souls in the process of departing it. Grave consequences may lie ahead, but heavenly rewards are just as certainly guaranteed when life, death and what happens in between all come together in MOMO, GIRL GOD OF DEATH!


Title: TARI TARI COMPLETE
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 325 min.
Street Date: 6/25/2013
Format: DVD
Language: Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $49.98

SYNOPSIS: The last year of high school is always a time of both looking forward and looking back. Ahead of you lives the future, alternately bright and scary. Behind you lie memories, both happy and sad. And somehow, in the course of one year, you have to reconcile those two and decide where your life is going to go. For Wakana Sakai, who had started studying music, it's time to face the tragedy that made her abandon that path. For Sawa Okita, it's about her dreams of riding professionally. And for Konatsu Miyamoto, it's about bringing her friends together through the magic of song. Can something as simple as the formation of a chorus club really help solve the hurts and pangs that come with growing up? Can music bring people together despite their differences? Join in the chorus, pick up the rhythm and discover the answers in TARI TARI!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

ACF 1867: New art & architecture book PEPITA: TAKEHIKO INOUE MEETS GAUDÍ from VIZ on April 16th

© I.T. Planning, Inc. © Nikkei Business Publications, Inc 2011
First published in Japan by Nikkei Business Publications, Inc. 
All rights reserved.
 EAST MEETS WEST IN A CAPTIVATING NEW ART BOOK
AS VIZ MEDIA RELEASES
PEPITA: TAKEHIKO INOUE MEETS GAUDÍ

New Hardcover Art Collection Traces Master Manga Artist
Takehiko Inoue’s Fascination With The Legendary
Spanish Modernist Architect Antoni Gaudí

VIZ Media will enthrall discerning manga (graphic novel) fans as well as art and architecture aficionados with the release of PEPITA: TAKEHIKO INOUE MEETS GAUDÍ on April 16th. The new hardcover travel diary comprised of prose, sketches, and artwork by the famed creator of SLAM DUNK, REAL, and VAGABOND inspired by his encounter with the work of Catalan master architect Antoni Gaudí, is offered under the VIZ Signature imprint, and will carry an MSRP of $24.99 U.S/ $28.99 CAN.

PEPITA: TAKEHIKO INOUE MEETS GAUDÍ traces an inspiring journey to Spain by one of the world’s foremost manga artists where he became captivated by the work of Antoni Gaudí (1852 - 1926), the famous Spanish architect and leader of Catalan Modernism. Takehiko Inoue has long been obsessed with the architecture of Antoni Gaudí, and PEPITA is a travel memoir about Inoue’s travels to the Catalan region of Spain, the people he meets, and the stunning architecture he experiences. At the core of the journey is the massive Gaudí-designed, Sagrada Família, an iconic Roman Catholic cathedral located in Barcelona and a perennial news item as it remains under continual construction after more than a century of work.

“Takehiko Inoue uses the medium of the art book to explore the transcendental work of Gaudí in this beautiful edition that is half art book, half travel memoir, and all beauty,” says Nick Mamatas, editor. “Inoue’s signature hyper-realistic style shines as he contemplates Gaudi’s work and influence in a variety of drawings and photographs. Join one of the world’s greatest manga artists on his intimate journey to discover the passions Gaudi held for architecture, nature, religion, and his beloved Catalonia – it is sure to be enjoyed as much by manga fans as by architecture lovers!”

PEPITA: TAKEHIKO INOUE MEETS GAUDI is the latest art book by the master creator to be published in North America by VIZ Media, which also released Inoue’s SUMI (INK) and WATER collections in 2008. Inoue is also the creator of one of the most popular manga of all time, SLAM DUNK (rated ‘T’ for Teens), which has sold over 100 million copies worldwide and is published in North America by VIZ Media. He followed the success of that series with VAGABOND, a fictional account of the life of samurai Miyamoto Musashi, and REAL, a manga series about wheelchair basketball. VAGABOND (Rated ‘M’ for Mature) and REAL (Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens) are both also available from VIZ Media.

Takhiko Inoue is also the recipient of numerous awards, including the prestigious Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize and the Media Arts Festival Award. In addition to his work on manga, Inoue has worked on several television commercials, created character designs for video games, and is the founder of a scholarship to foster Japanese basketball talent.

For more information on other Takehiko Inoue titles available from VIZ Media, please visit www.viz.com.

Friday, April 12, 2013

ACF 1866: TIGER & BUNNY manga series now available from VIZ

© S/T&B, M
 VIZ MEDIA LAUNCHES TIGER & BUNNY MANGA
SERIES—OFFICIAL TIE-IN TO SMASH HIT ANIME

Action-Packed Series Features Corporate Superheroes And
An Unlikely Friendship Between A Washed-Up Veteran
Crime Fighter And A Rookie With An Attitude

What would a future look like where corporate-sponsored superheroes battle evil – and often each other – for reality TV ratings? Find out in the TIGER & BUNNY manga (graphic novel), now available from VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest distributor and licensor of anime and manga in North America. The new series, published under the VIZ Media imprint, is rated ‘T’ for Teens and carries an MSRP of $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN. Volume 1 also features 4 pages of additional full-color character art.

The TIGER & BUNNY manga features artwork by Mizuki Sakakibara and is based on the smash hit animated series, created by the famed Tokyo-based anime studio Sunrise, that has thrilled legions of fans across North America on VIZ Media’s Neon Alley, VIZAnime, and Hulu. The 26-episode anime sci-fi/action adventure notably features character and hero designs conceived by Masakazu Katsura (VIDEO GIRL AI and I"S; both available from VIZ Media) that are also carried over to the new manga property.

The TIGER & BUNNY manga series introduces readers to super-powered humans, known as NEXT, that appeared in the world 45 years ago. Some of them fight crime in the city of Stern Bild while promoting their corporate sponsors on the hit show HERO TV. The people love their superheroes, even if they don’t completely understand them, and not all of the NEXT use their powers for good. Veteran hero Wild Tiger has years of experience fighting crime, but his ratings have been slipping. Under orders from his new employer, Wild Tiger finds himself forced to team up with Barnaby Brooks Jr., a rookie with an attitude. Overcoming their differences will be at least as difficult for this mismatched duo as taking down super-powered bad guys!

“TIGER & BUNNY updates the classic superhero story of good versus evil with a fun new twist, and offers a tale of a young cocky upstart who is reluctantly partnered with an experienced veteran crime fighter, and how these two completely opposite personalities must put their differences aside and work together as a team,” says Mike Montesa, Editor. “The new series also presents an entirely new take on the world of reality TV and corporate underwriting as this mismatched duo become unlikely friends and cohorts tasked with taking down an assortment of super-powered bad guys! Take the journey to Stern Bild city in this intriguing new series where the action takes off from the very first page!”

VIZ Media also offers TIGER & BUNNY Set 1, a 2-disc anime set available on DVD (MSRP of $44.82 U.S. / $43.24 CAN) and Blu-ray (MSRP of $54.97 U.S. / $66.15 CAN), which features Episodes 1-13 of the 26-episode action/sci-fi series. TIGER & BUNNY Set 2 offers the concluding half of the series and is scheduled for release in May.

More information on the Tiger & Bunny anime is available at: www.facebook.com/TigerAndBunny and VIZAnime.com/tiger-and-bunny/

For more information on manga titles available from VIZ Media, visit www.VIZ.com.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

ACF 1865: PIETA available today on demand and at iTunes; theatrical release begins May 17th

Drafthouse Films
presents
Pietà
Directed by KIM Ki-Duk
South Korea, 2012, 104 minutes

KIM Ki-Duk's award winning Pietà becomes available on demand and at iTunes today, April 12th. It will open in New York and Los Angeles area theaters on May 17th with a national release to follow.

KIM (Bad Guy; Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... And Spring; 3-Iron) is a multi-award-winning director - the ‘Un Certain Regard’ Prize at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, the ‘Leone D’Argento’ Award for Best Direction at the 2004 Venice Film Festival and the ‘Silver Bear’ Award for Best Direction at the 2004 Berlin International Film Festival. His intense, violent and beautiful imagery has earned praise from both critics and audiences as one of South Korea’s most celebrated and provocative voices. Leslie Felperin for Variety wrote that Pietà’s “gritty, urban setting and thoughtful engagement with themes of revenge, sacrifice and redemption harks back to earlier films that brokered Kim's reputation as one of Korea's most innovative and talented helmers.” For Indiewire, Pietà is a “curiously engaging and wickedly twisted tale of crime and punishment on multiple levels...recalls the like-minded outlook of No Country For Old Men.”


Pietà is an intense and haunting story about a loan shark living an isolated and lonely existence. He uses brutality to threaten and collect paybacks from desperate borrowers for his moneylender boss. He proficiently and mercilessly collects the debts without regard to the pain he causes his countless victims. One day, a mysterious woman appears in front of him claiming to be his long-lost mother. After coldly rejecting her at first, he gradually accepts her in his life and decides to quit his cruel job and seek a decent, redemptive life. However, he soon discovers a dark secret stemming from his past and realizes it may be too late to escape the horrific consequences already set in motion from his previous life.

Pietà won the Golden Lion at the 2012 Venice Film Festival.

Official Website: http://drafthousefilms.com/film/pieta

 Trailer at iTunes