With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

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

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

VIZ announces retail exclusives and show specials for NYCC 2015

NARUTO © 1999 by Masashi Kishimoto/SHUEISHA Inc.
VIZ MEDIA ANNOUNCES A WIDE ARRAY OF
EXCITING RETAIL EXCLUSIVES AND SHOW
SPECIALS FOR NEW YORK COMIC CON 2015

Exclusive NARUTO And SAILOR MOON Titles, ONE-PUNCH MAN
And TOKYO GHOUL Advance Copies, WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP
Membership Specials And Much More!!

VIZ Media has detailed a comprehensive and exciting collection of show exclusives, advance manga and anime releases and other special items available for purchase at the VIZ Media booth during New York Comic Con 2015.

New York Comic Con takes place October 8th – 11th at the Javits Convention Center in Manhattan and is the East Coast's biggest pop culture convention. The annual event plays host to the latest and greatest in comics, graphic novels, anime, manga, video games, toys, movies, and television. More information on New York Comic Con is available at: http://www.newyorkcomiccon.com.

VIZ Media will exhibit at New York Comic Con in Booth #1346. The booth will be a continual hub of activity throughout the convention with events including giveaways of manga samplers, full-color posters, art cards, and more, as well as the VIZ Media Prize Wheel, NARUTO Ninja Mission scavenger hunt and SAILOR MOON Tiara giveaway.

To celebrate the first-ever U.S. professional appearance by legendary NARUTO manga creator Masashi Kishimoto at a variety of special events and panel discussions during this year’s NYCC, VIZ Media invites attendees to browse a wide array of NARUTO titles that will be available at the company’s booth on the main show floor.

Exclusive NARUTO Ukiyo-e print from Japan

Exclusive NARUTO items include:
• NARUTO Ukiyo-e Print From Japan $580
• NYCC Exclusive NARUTO Poster $50
• NARUTO Vol. 72 w/ Variant Cover $10 – series finale!
• Manga Replicas: $15 each
• Pre-street NARUTO: KAKASHI’S STORY Novel $11
• Pre-street UZUMAKI NARUTO: ILLUSTRATIONS Art Book $20
• NYCC Exclusive NARUTO SHIPPUDEN Figure from Banpresto $28
• NYCC Exclusive NARUTO SHIPPUDEN Miniature Figure Set from Megahouse $20
• NYCC Exclusive NARUTO SHIPPUDEN Bandana $10
• BORUTO: NARUTO THE MOVIE 3-D Poster $20
• THE LAST: NARUTO THE MOVIE Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack $20

Manga fans can also score an annual year-long digital membership to VIZ Media’s WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP manga anthology. Sign up at NYCC to receive 48 digital issues throughout the year along with an Exclusive NARUTO Game Mat, Limited Edition Collector’s NARUTO Yearbook and an exclusive YU-GI-OH! Card for $25.

Additional VIZ Media New York Comic Con exclusives include:

ONE-PUNCH MAN © 2012 by ONE, Yusuke Murata/SHUEISHA Inc.

• ONE-PUNCH MAN Vols. 1 & 2 Bundle $15
• Pre-street ONE-PUNCH MAN Vol. 3 $10
• SAILOR MOON Items
 - Exclusive: SAILOR MOON R T-Shirts $15
 - Season 1 Set 1 Combo Pack LIMITED EDITION $65
 - Season 1 Set 2 Combo Pack $55
 - Season 1 Set 1 or Set 2 DVD only $40 each
 - Season 2 Set 1 Combo Pack LIMITED EDITION $65
 - Season 2 Set 1 DVD only $40 o Pre-street Season 2 Set 2 Combo Pack $55
 - Pre-street Season 2 Set 2 DVD only $40
• Pre-street YO-KAI WATCH Vol. 1 $10
• Pre-street TOKYO GHOUL Vol. 3 $13 (each purchase comes with a full color poster!)
• THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: A LINK TO THE PAST $20

Additional information on titles available from VIZ Media is available at www.VIZ.com.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

BLACK COAL, THIN ICE reviewed; debuts today on Blu-ray™, DVD & Digital HD from Well Go USA

Well Go USA
presents
Black Coal, Thin Ice
Written & Directed by Yi’nan Diao 
China, 2014, 106 minutes

Black Coal, This Ice is an outstanding police procedural written and directed by Yi’nan Diao (Night Train, Uniform). It debuts today, September 29th, on Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital HD from Well Go USA Entertainment. For this review, I watched the Blu-ray version.

The film begins in 1999 as a human hand and forearm are found in a coal delivery, the latest body parts that have been found in such deliveries in cities scattered across an entire Chinese province. Based on an ID card and clothes, the victim is identified as Liang Zhijun (Xuebing Wang, Beijing Love Story), who for eight years had worked at a truck scale station that weighed coal deliveries.

Based on the cities where the parts have been found and the fact that only one driver made deliveries to all those cities around the time the body parts began to show up, the police arrest the driver, Liu Fayin, and a relative. However, things go wrong as the arrests are being made and several individuals are killed or injured. One of those injured is Sgt. Zhang Zili, played by Fan Liao (Chinese Zodiac).

Five years later, Zhang has been transferred to a security team, a much lower position. He regularly shows up for work late and drunk. One day he notices Detective Wang, a former colleague, in a car and goes over to say hello. It turns out that Wang is on a stakeout, leading the investigation of Wu Zhizhen, the widow of Liang Zhijun. Wu, a laundry shop clerk, is played by Lun Mei Gwei (Flying Swords of Dragon Gate). It seems that two men who have been interested in Wu have going missing.

Zhang takes it upon himself to investigate the case, drawn to Wu and hoping to redeem himself from the fiasco of five years ago. He discovers that all is not necessarily as it seems and his personal involvement with Wu threatens to color his response to his findings.

Black Coal, Thin Ice has won several awards at various film festivals, including the 2014 Berlin International Film Festival, where Yi’nan Diao received the Golden Bear award and Fan Liao won the Silver Bear award as Best Actor. Yi'nan Diao won Best Screenwriter and Fan Liao Best Actor at the 2015 Asian Film Awards, and Yi'nan Diao also won Best Director at the 2014 Odessa International Film Festival.

Disc Specs
-- Audio:
  -- Mandarin DTS-HD 5.1
  -- Mandarin Dolby Digital 2.0
-- Subtitles:
  -- English
  -- Off
-- Extras:
  -- Black Coal, Thin Ice trailer
  -- Trailers of three other Well Go USA releases
    -- Wild City
    -- Z Storm
    -- Killers

In general, I haven't had a very high opinion of recent Mainland Chinese films, but Black Coal, Thin Ice is an exception. It's a smart, well-written, directed and acted crime thriller that really delivers. It has some nice plot developments and maintains a high degree of suspense.

AsianCineFest Rating: 3.5 out of 4 stars; highly recommended

Monday, September 28, 2015

VIZ announces activities, giveaways, screenings and panel events for the 2015 New York Comic Con

 
VIZ MEDIA ANNOUNCES EXCITING ACTIVITIES,
GIVEAWAYS, SCREENINGS AND PANEL EVENTS
FOR 2015 NEW YORK COMIC CON

VIZ Media Returns To The East Coast’s Biggest
Pop Culture Convention And Welcomes Famed
NARUTO Manga Creator Masashi Kishimoto

VIZ Media prepares a full slate of fun activities, insightful panel discussions and special promotional giveaways for the upcoming 2015 New York Comic Con.

New York Comic Con takes place October 8th – 11th at the Javits Convention Center in Manhattan and is the East Coast's biggest pop culture convention. The annual event plays host to the latest and greatest in comics, graphic novels, anime, manga, video games, toys, movies, and television. More information on New York Comic Con is available at: http://www.newyorkcomiccon.com.

VIZ Media will exhibit at New York Comic Con in Booth #1346.

This year, attendees are invited to join VIZ Media as it welcomes famed NARUTO manga creator, Masashi Kishimoto, for his first-ever official U.S. professional appearance. Fans can catch the legendary creator for a unique NYCC panel discussion about his smash hit series and his evolution as a manga artist on Thursday October 8th. Kishimoto also will offer opening remarks to introduce the hot new BORUTO: NARUTO THE MOVIE anime feature film, on which he served as the Executive Producer, at a very special premiere screening on Saturday, October 10th.

To help celebrate the unprecedented visit, the VIZ Media booth will be the host of the NARUTO Ninja Mission. Fans pick up a headband from the booth, and must use ninja stealth and speed to complete a special mission; only a true ninja can collect an NYCC exclusive reward. The booth will also have a special display of two costumes from the recent Live Spectacle Naruto stage adaptation, courtesy of Nelke Planning, the company that produced the show.

Manga and anime fans are also invited to attend the VIZ Media official company panel discussion happening on Friday, October 9th to glean the latest news on new title acquisitions and exciting developments on other current properties. Fans also will not want to miss a VERY special premiere screening event on Friday October 9th that will present the debut of brand new VIZ Media anime title. Stay tuned for more details on this title!

SAILOR MOON fans can join VIZ Media’s official SAILOR MOON panel on Sunday, October 11th for all the latest news on the legendary anime adventure as well as the new SAILOR MOON CRYSTAL series.

Stop by the VIZ Media Booth (#1346) for an array of show exclusive products in the retail area, and also take part in a variety of fun convention activities and special promotional product giveaways of manga samplers, full-color posters, postcards, and more! Attendees can try their luck at the VIZ Media prize wheel for a chance to win exclusive goodies from many fan favorite series, or get a SAILOR MOON tiara and show off each person’s inner Guardian.

VIZ Media 2015 New York Comic Con Events & Panel Discussions:

VIZ Media Presents: An Evening with Masashi Kishimoto
Thursday, October 8th, 5:30PM – 6:30PM
Main Stage 1-D
The creator of the global phenomenon known as NARUTO makes his first appearance outside Japan! The legendary Kishimoto Sensei will discuss his career and creative process and answer questions about his work. Attendees will also have a chance to win some very special prizes. This panel of a lifetime is brought to you in partnership with the Japan Foundation.

VIZ Media Official Panel
Friday, October 9th, 12:15PM – 1:15PM
Room 1A24
Hang out with the VIZ Media crew as they talk about your favorite titles, make exciting announcements and show off exclusive first looks!

VIZ Media Special Premiere Screening
Friday, October 9th, 6:45PM – 7:45PM
Room 1A05
Join VIZ Media for a very special surprise from the world of anime that's so fresh, we can't even tell you what it is yet!

VIZ Media Presents: BORUTO: NARUTO THE MOVIE Premiere
Saturday, October 10th, 11:30AM – 2:00PM
Hammerstein Ballroom – 311 W. 43th St.
Masashi Kishimoto, creator of Naruto, makes his Executive Producer debut and will introduce the North American English-subtitled premiere of the most anticipated Naruto movie yet! Naruto Uzumaki protects the Hidden Leaf Village as the 7th Hokage, while Boruto, his troublesome son resents his father's responsibilities that take his time away from him. Seeing this, Sasuke takes Boruto under his wing, while Sasuke's only daughter, Sarada, dreams of being Hokage one day. This Panel of a lifetime is brought to you in partnership with the Japan Foundation.

Come early - the first 100 attendees in line for BORUTO: NARUTO THE MOVIE will get to attend a special Saturday signing session at 10am with Masashi Kishimoto!

VIZ Media SAILOR MOON Official Panel
Sunday, October 11th, 2:30PM – 3:30PM
Room 1A18
Everyone's favorite Guardian of Love and Justice is back! The VIZ Media SAILOR MOON team brings you all the can't-miss news on the legendary anime series, as well as the all-new SAILOR MOON CRYSTAL.

Additional information on titles available from VIZ Media is available at www.VIZ.com.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Rarely screened Okinawan film PARADISE VIEW at Japan Society on Friday, Ocotber 2, 2015

Japan Society New York
presents
Monthly Classics
Credit:Osamu Muranaka
Paradise View / Paradaisu Byu
Directed by Go Takamine
Japan, 1985, 113 minutes
Language: Okinawan dialect and Japanese with English subtitles
When: Friday, October 2, 2015 at 7:00 PM
Where: Japan Society
333 East 47th Street, NYC

Japan Society NY continues its Monthly Classics screenings this October with Paradise View, an important and rarely-screened film from Okinawa by director Go Takamine.

Synopsis: A small community prepares for a wedding between a local girl and a Japanese teacher. On the periphery of these events is Reishu (Kaoru Kobayashi), who quits his job on a U.S. military base and uses the extra time to catch snakes and play with ants – and get the bride-to-be pregnant.

This uniquely Okinawan classic features Japanese music icons Jun Togawa (Guernica) and Haruomi Hosono (Yellow Magic Orchestra), who also provides the evocative score.

Paradise View is part of the Okinawan Vibes series, which offers the opportunity to experience the art and culture of Okinawa through a variety of programs. This screening is in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the film's release and will be followed by a reception with special Okinawan food and beverages!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

NARUTO manga creator MASASHI KISHIMOTO coming to NYC

NARUTO © 1999 by Masashi Kishimoto/SHUEISHA Inc.
 VIZ MEDIA WELCOMES RENOWNED NARUTO MANGA CREATOR, MASASHI KISHIMOTO, FOR SPECIAL APPEARANCES AT NEW YORK COMIC CON 2015

Creator Of Bestselling Ninja Action Series Makes His First
U.S. Appearance During New York Super Week And Comic Con
For Autograph Sessions, Panel Discussions And Theatrical Premiere

VIZ Media, in partnership with The Japan Foundation and ReedPOP, prepares to welcome iconic manga artist Masashi Kishimoto, the renowned creator of the NARUTO manga (graphic novel) saga, for a series of very special appearances during the upcoming 2015 New York Comic Con.

VIZ Media will exhibit at New York Comic Con in Booth #1346 and will offer a wide array of exclusive NARUTO manga and anime products for purchase throughout the convention. In response to overwhelming fan interest, VIZ Media is also pleased to announce the addition of one more autograph session for Masashi Kishimoto on Thursday, October 8th, at the Javits Center.

Interested NY Comic Con attendees may pick up a raffle ticket at the VIZ Media booth between 10:00am and 1:00pm on Thursday October 8th for a chance to win 1 of 100 available wristbands to attend the signing later that day. Please visit the VIZ Media booth for the winning ticket drawing time and additional details.

Masashi Kishimoto also complements his first ever U.S. professional appearances with a pair of autograph sessions and in-store appearances during New York Super Week, co-sponsored by the Japan Foundation. These appearances will take place at the Manhattan locations of Kinokuniya Bookstore and Barnes & Noble Tribeca, on October 9th and 10th, respectively. Full details are available at: http://www.newyorksuperweek.com.

New York Comic Con is the crown jewel of New York Super Week and takes place October 8-11 at the Javits Convention Center in Manhattan. Kishimoto will headline a special panel on Thursday, October 8th focusing on his work and hit manga series, NARUTO. On Saturday, October 11th, Kishimoto will deliver some opening comments before the highly anticipated North American theatrical premiere of BORUTO: NARUTO THE MOVIE.

Masashi Kishimoto self portrait

Masashi Kishimoto 2015 New York Comic Con Appearances:

VIZ Media Presents: An Evening with Masashi Kishimoto
Thursday, October 8th, 5:30PM – 6:30PM
Main Stage 1-D
The creator of the global phenomenon known as Naruto makes his first appearance outside Japan! The legendary Kishimoto Sensei will discuss his career and creative process and answer questions about his work. Attendees will also have a chance to win some very special prizes. This panel of a lifetime is brought to you in partnership with the Japan Foundation.

VIZ Media Presents: BORUTO: NARUTO THE MOVIE Premiere
Saturday, October 10th, 11:30AM – 2:00PM
Hammerstein Ballroom – 311 W. 43th St.
Masashi Kishimoto, creator of Naruto, makes his Executive Producer debut and will introduce the North American English-subtitled premiere of the most anticipated Naruto movie yet! Naruto Uzumaki protects the Hidden Leaf Village as the 7th Hokage, while Boruto, his troublesome son resents his father's responsibilities that take his time away from him. Seeing this, Sasuke takes Boruto under his wing, while Sasuke's only daughter, Sarada, dreams of being Hokage one day. This panel of a lifetime is brought to you in partnership with the Japan Foundation.

Come early - the first 100 attendees in line for BORUTO: NARUTO THE MOVIE will get to attend a special Saturday signing session at 10am with Masashi Kishimoto!

Masashi Kishimoto 2015 New York Super Week Appearances:

Masashi Kishimoto Kinokuniya Signing Event
Friday, Oct. 9th, 8:30pm
Kinokuniya Book Store, 1073 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10018
Meet Masashi Kishimoto, creator of NARUTO, the best-selling manga series that inspired a generation of fans around the world and spawned hit anime series, movies, video games, novels and more. This event is an extremely rare opportunity to see the legendary Kishimoto in his first public appearances outside of Japan.

All participants must secure a SuperWeek event ticket. NARUTO Volume 72, featuring an exclusive New York Comic Con variant cover drawn by Kishimoto, will be available for purchase. Attendees will receive a free autographed Shikishi art board with purchase of one of Kishimoto’s works. (*Note: Kishimoto will only sign the provided shikishi and on-site purchased book.)

Masashi Kishimoto Barnes & Noble Tribeca Signing Event
Saturday, Oct. 10th, 3:30pm
Barnes & Noble Tribeca, 97 Warren St., New York, NY 10007
Masashi Kishimoto makes his second appearance for New York Super Week at the Barnes & Noble Tribeca location. This signing will be limited to the first 110 customers that purchase one of Kishimoto’s works the day of the event; NARUTO Volume 72 featuring an exclusive New York Comic Con variant cover drawn by Kishimoto will also be available for purchase at this venue. Each person will receive an exclusive shikishi art board signed personally signed by the artist. (*Note: Kishimoto will only sign the provided shikishi and on-site purchased book.)

Masashi Kishimoto was born in 1974 in rural Okayama Prefecture, Japan. His first version of NARUTO, drawn in 1997, was a one-shot story about fox spirits; his final version, which debuted in Weekly Shonen Jump in 1999, quickly became the most popular ninja manga in the world. The series spawned multiple anime series, movies, novels, video games and more. Having concluded the series in late 2014, he has kept himself busy with the side-story Naruto: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring and with writing the story for the latest Naruto movie, both of which will focus on the title character’s son, Boruto. The NARUTO manga series is published in North America by VIZ Media.

For more information on NARUTO manga and anime titles published by VIZ Media, visit VIZ.com/naruto.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Home media release of anime series finale of BLEACH on September 29th

© Tite Kubo/Shueisha, TV TOKYO, dentsu, Pierrot 
VIZ MEDIA ANNOUNCES THE HOME MEDIA RELEASE
OF THE ANIME SERIES FINALE OF BLEACH

Catch The Exciting Climax Of The Hit Supernatural Action Series With Final
Episodes Available This Month On New DVD Home Media Edition

VIZ Media brings one of Japan’s most celebrated anime series to an exhilarating conclusion as it announces the home media release of the final BLEACH DVD Box Set Edition on September 29th.

BLEACH Set 26 contains 2-discs with the climactic final 12 episodes (355-366) of the series about the adventures of a clairvoyant teenager. Content is available with dialogue selections for dubbed English as well as subtitled, Japanese 2.0 audio, with episodes presented in 16x9 video. The set will carry an MSRP of $44.82 U.S. / $51.99 CAN.

In the final episodes, Ichigo begins training under Ginjo in order to develop his Fullbring powers, while Orihime and Chad discuss what little they know about Tsukishima, and Uryu begins his own investigation into the attacks. Once his training is complete, Ichigo returns home, only to find that his family and friends have accepted Tsukishima as if they've known him for years. Confused and shaken, Ichigo goes to the one person he thinks he can rely on, but with everyone turning on him, who remains to be trusted? Find out in the anime's final chapter!

The BLEACH animated films and TV series (distributed in North America by VIZ Media, rated ‘TV-14’) are based on a smash hit manga series created by Tite Kubo (also published in North America by VIZ Media, rated ‘T’ for Teens) that follows the adventures of Ichigo, a 15-year old student with the ability to see ghosts. When his family is attacked by a Hollow – a malevolent lost soul – Ichigo encounters Rukia, a Soul Reaper, and inadvertently absorbs her powers. Now, he’s dedicating his life to protecting the innocent and helping tortured souls find peace.

For more information on BLEACH manga and anime titles published by VIZ Media, visit www.viz.com.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Sentai Filmworks announces acquisition of HANAYAMATA


Sentai Filmworks has announced its latest acquisition, HaNaYaMaTa. This bittersweet coming-of-age story is adapted from the manga by Sou Hamayumiba and introduces us to Naru Sekiya, a normal girl living an ordinary life. A chance encounter with an American girl dancing in traditional Japanese dress under a starlit night, however, changes her life forever. Naru is entranced with this ethereal, fairy-like figure. She had been waiting for that special someone who would one day take her from her everyday life, and now -- led by this girl from another country -- she takes her first steps into the extraordinary world that is yosakoi, a form of Japanese dance.

Atsuko Ishuzuka directed the series and Reiko Yoshida provided series composition and scripts. Music was composed by MONACA, and character designs were drafted by Atsuko Watanabe. Animation production was provided by MADHOUSE, known for their work on Cardcaptor Sakura, NANA and the classic film Vampire Hunter D.

HaNaYaMaTa is now available through select digital outlets, with a home video release to follow.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

VETERAN does great busines in its opening weekend in North America

Hwang Jung-min as Detective Seo Do-cheol

CJ Entertainment has announced impressive numbers for the opening weekend of Veteran – a hard-hitting thriller with a comedic touch from South Korean cult auteur Ryoo Seung-wan (Crying Fist, City of Violence). This is great news on two fronts. First, because Veteran is a great film that deserves to reach a wide audience. (See my highly laudatory review of Veteran here.) Secondly, any time an Asian film does well in it's North American theatrical release, it adds impetus for further distribution of the kinds of films us Asian cinema lovers want to see on the big screen, not just on home video.

Veteran opened in 46 theaters in the US and Canada to the tune of $339,328. The number puts Veteran on pace to top last year’s Ode to My Father, which went on to become the 2nd highest grossing Korean language film in North America at $2.3M).

Veteran ranked 6th in per screen average with $7,377, right behind major studio release Maze Runner: Scorch Trails ($7,887). Veteran out performed Pawn Sacrifice the Bobby Fischer bio-pic starring Tobey Magiuire (Spider-Man) and directed by Ed Zwick (Blood Diamond, Glory).

Veteran is currently the 6th highest grossing film of all time in South Korea with 12.8M in admissions ($85M at the box office) defeating The Assassination (12.6M – admissions, $83.2M – box office). Veteran is currently playing in 46 theaters in North America moving into its second weekend.

For more information, including a full list of theaters where the film will be playing, please visit: www.cj-entertainment.com.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Hokage for a Day promo grand prize winner announced by VIZ Media

 
VIZ MEDIA ANNOUNCES THE GRAND PRIZE
WINNER OF HOKAGE FOR A DAY CONTEST

NARUTO Fan Dinah Baergas Wins The Opportunity To Meet NARUTO
Creator Masashi Kishimoto At The 2016 New York Comic Con

VIZ Media has announced the Grand Prize winner of its Hokage for a Day Promotion to celebrate NARUTO and the upcoming first-ever U.S. appearance by the manga series creator Masashi Kishimoto at the 2015 New York Comic Con (NYCC) in October. Over the past 6 weeks, NARUTO fans submitted one-minute YouTube video entries describing what NARUTO means to them.

Dinah Baergas of New York, NY submitted the winning video. She was inspired by NARUTO to pursue her passion for art and is now a student at Parsons. In addition, she always takes action to improve her local community. Watch the winning video at: viz.com/hokage.

As the Grand Prize winner, Baergas will have the opportunity to meet NARUTO’s creator Masashi Kishimoto during NYCC, and also join in several of Kishimoto’s events during the show.

For her written entry that accompanied the video, Baregas wrote: “In 2005, I was introduced to a new type of character - the ever youthful Might Guy. I confused him for merely a role of comic relief, but later found he was a genuine though humanly flawed shinobi. My role model. Kishimoto's characters made me who I am today, and I only wish to be granted the opportunity to meet my hero, Kishimoto himself. If chosen, you can expect kid Guy to make a dynamic entry right into NYCC! Thank you for your consideration and for supporting the fans.”

VIZ Media and ReedPOP, in partnership with The Japan Foundation, will welcome Masashi Kishimoto for a very special series of personal appearances at the massive pop culture convention that will take place October 8th-11th at the Javits Convention Center in Manhattan. Full details on the show are available at: www.newyorkcomiccon.com.

VIZ Media New York Comic Con Masashi Kishimoto Panels & Special Events Include:

Thursday October 8th
5:30PM – 6:30PM
VIZ Media Presents: An Evening with Masashi Kishimoto, Creator of NARUTO
(Main Stage 1-D)
The creator of the global phenomenon known as Naruto makes his first appearance outside Japan! The legendary Kishimoto Sensei will discuss his career and creative process and answer questions about his work. Attendees will also have a chance to win some very special prizes. This Panel of a lifetime is brought to you in partnership with the Japan Foundation.

Saturday October10th
11:30AM – 2:00PM
VIZ Media Presents: BORUTO: NARUTO THE MOVIE Premiere
(Hammerstein Ballroom – 311 W. 43th St.)
Masashi Kishimoto, creator of Naruto, makes his Executive Producer debut and will introduce the North American English-subtitled premiere of the most anticipated Naruto movie yet! Naruto Uzumaki protects the Hidden Leaf Village as the 7th Hokage, while Boruto, his troublesome son resents his father's responsibilities that take his time away from him. Seeing this, Sasuke takes Boruto under his wing, while Sasuke's only daughter, Sarada, dreams of being Hokage one day. This Panel of a lifetime is brought to you in partnership with the Japan Foundation.

Come early - the first 100 attendees in line for BORUTO: NARUTO THE MOVIE will get to attend a special Saturday signing session at 10am with Masashi Kishimoto!

In addition, Kishimoto will participate in a pair of signing sessions and in-store appearances as part of New York Super Week. Full details are available at newyorksuperweek.com.

Additional information on NARUTO and NARUTO SHIPPUDEN is available at www.Naruto.com.

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

Monday, September 21, 2015

Sentai Filmworks announces acquisition of LOCODOL


Sentai Filmworks has announced its latest acquisition, Locodol. This high school comedy series is adapted from the four panel comedy manga by original creator Kotaro Kosugi and tells the story of Nanako Usami, who is convinced by her uncle to form a local idol group, or “locodol” for short. Along with her upperclassman, Yukari Kohinata, and friends Yui and Mirai, they form “Nagarekawa Girls” to promote the town and its businesses.

Munenori Nawa directed the series, with Yuniko Ayana providing series composition. Music was handled by Tomoki Hasegawa and character designs were provided by Yumi Shimizu. Animation production was done by feel., known for their work on My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU TOO! and Outbreak Company.

Locodol is now available through select digital outlets, with a home video release to follow.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

New shojo manga series QQ SWEEPER coming October 6

QQ SWEEPER © 2014 Kyousuke MOTOMI /SHOGAKUKAN
VIZ MEDIA LAUNCHES THE NEW
SHOJO MANGA SERIES
QQ SWEEPER

Paranormal Romantic Adventure About Soul Cleaners By
The Creator Of DENGEKI DAISY Launches In October

VIZ Media delivers new shojo manga (graphic novel) news today as it announces the launch of the supernatural high school drama QQ SWEEPER on October 6th.

The new series by Kyousuke Motomi, creator of the bestselling and witty romantic comedy DENGEKI DAISY, will be published under the Shojo Beat imprint, is rated ‘T’ for Teens, and will carry a print MSRP of $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN. QQ SWEEPER also launches digitally on October 6th via VIZManga.com and the VIZ Manga App, as well as from the Nook, Kobo, Kindle, iBooks, comiXology, and GooglePlay stores. Subsequent volumes of the continuing series will be published in English twice a year.

In the series, Kyutaro Horikita, the tall, dark and handsome cleaning expert of Kurokado High, meets a sleeping maiden at the school: transfer student Fumi Nishioka! Kyutaro teaches Fumi how to rid the school of nasty spirits, and unexpectedly how to cleanse her own heart! Fumi’s a natural at the supernatural, but the true secret behind her cleaning genius is muddy…

In the opening volume, in the old building at their school, a mysterious room has a door that beckons Fumi, even though she shouldn’t be able to see it. Kyutaro goes in after her, but will he be able to save her before she’s devoured by otherworldly creatures?

“Kyutaro is an expert cleaner, both in the physical world sense and in the spiritual sense,” says Amy Yu, Editor. “As Fumi adjusts to her new life at her new high school and as Kyutaro’s apprentice, the stage is set for paranormal adventure and a dose of romantic comedy.”

Manga creator Kyousuke Motomi debuted with Hetakuso Kyupiddo (No Good Cupid), which ran in the Japanese shojo manga magazine, Deluxe Betsucomi, in 2002. She also is the creator of Otokomae! Biizu Kurabu (Handsome! Beads Club) and her series DENGEKI DAISY and BEAST MASTER are both available in North America from VIZ Media.

For more information on QQ SWEEPER or manga titles published by VIZ Media, visit www.VIZ.com.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

SONGS FROM THE NORTH reviewed; now playing at New York's Anthology Film Archives

Kino Lorber
presents
Songs From The North
Written and directed by Soon-Mi Yoo
Produced by Soon-Mi Yoo and Harvard Film Archive's Haden Guest
Country: South Korea/Portugal/U.S., 2014, 73 minutes
Language: Korean with English subtitles

Winner of Golden Leopard for Best First Feature, Locarno Film Festival

Songs From The North is a documentary from director Soon-Mi Yoo, who was born in South Korea and emigrated to the U.S. in 1990. It opened yesterday at Anthology Film Archives in NYC.


The film deftly interweaves footage from three trips took to North Korea with snippets of films and archival footage from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPKR, or North Korea) and, to a much lesser extent, the U.S. National Archive. The film attempts to, and to a considerable extent succeeds in, portraying the reasons for how and why North Koreans -- both party officials and "regular" people -- feel as they do about their country, "to understand the psychology and popular imagery of the North Korean people."


According to Yoo, all North Korean narratives stem from the memory of colonial suffering under the Japanese and the armed struggle for independence. Hence the numerous propaganda films and songs. Attention is given to the three generations of North Korean's supreme leader: Kim Il Sung, his son Kimg Jong Il and grandson Kim Jong Un, the country's current leader. One treat is Kim Il Sung, also known as Suryungnim, singing an old folk song.


Yoo also indicates that North Koreans, unlike their counterpart in the South, are obsessed with reunification. This poses a particular problem for the North's elite technocrats, who fear what their fate will be if their country is absorbed by the South; they expect either internment in camps or execution.


The film also features the director interviewing her father, Yoo Young-Choon, to whom the film is dedicated. The father is, or at least was, a firm leftist, if not an outright Communist or Communist sympathizer. Most telling is his matter-of-fact acknowledgement that friends from his youth who went to live in the north were almost certainly executed at some point as suspected agents from the South during the various brutal purges that stemmed from internal power struggles. In his view, North Korea deviated from Communism when it became almost exclusively concerned with political  matters and not with correctly dealing with economic issues.

The bent-over figures in the distant center of the image are sweeping the walkway

The image of North Korea that emerges is one of bleakness, "possibly the loneliest place on earth, where only myths are endlessly repeated morning to night." With only one exception, a young woman who responds to a comment made by the director who is filming her, the adults shown never smile. Only children, who have not yet totally lost their innocence, smile and wave to the director and her camera. It is also in the children what one sees some color in their clothing, the dark pant and skirts, light shirts, and red handkerchiefs of their school clothing and some of their normal everyday wear.

Mr. Kang

The documentary's main weakness, as I see it, is its frequent lack of identifying information. Rarely are we told just where we are or what we're looking at. For example, who is the Mr. Kang seen early in the film and who seems on the verge of tears. Is he one of Yoo's "comrade guides" or just a citizen she has encountered? And just where is the bus going when Yoo is told by a female comrade guide, "No pictures from th bus"? Where are the various streets in which few vehicles can be seen? In Pyongyang, the country's capital, or elsewhere? These are things that would be useful to know, to put the images in clearer context.


Still, the overall picture of North Korea that emerges is a relatively clear one, and one that is quite informative and immensely fascinating.

AsianCineFest Rating: 3 out of 4 stars; a good film. Songs From The North is most definitely well-worth seeing.

THE GOLDEN CANE WARRIOR to debut on home video November 3rd

Well Go USA
presents
The Golden Cane Warrior / Pendekar Tongkat Emas
Written and directed by Ifa Isfansya
Indonesia, 2014, 111 minutes

The Hero’s Journey Begins On Blu-ray™, DVD & Digital HD November 3

Written and directed by Ifa Isfansya (The Dancer), the action-packed, Indonesian martial arts drama The Golden Cane Warrior will debut on Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital HD November 3rd from Well Go USA Entertainment.

In a tribute to the wu xia comics and novelettes popularized in Southeast Asia, The Golden Cane Warrior tells the story of two student fighters who, after their master is killed, set out to find the Golden Cane relic before it falls into the wrong hands.

The film stars Christine Hakim (Eat Pray Love, Merantau), Nicholas Saputra (What They Don’t Talk About Love), Reza Rahadian (The Mirror Never Lies), Tara Basro (Killers) and Eva Celia Latjuba (Jamila and the President).

Synopsis:

The well-respected Cempaka (Hakim) holder of the mighty and powerful Golden Cane relic weapon and its ultimate deadly moves, was expected to announce her succession to one of her most talented students. Murder and betrayal take over before the announcement is made public putting the Golden Cane in danger of falling into the wrong hands.

The only person who can help restore order is the long lost Naga Putih (The White Dragon), the last warrior who still possesses the ultimate moves of the Golden Cane. Two betrayed students, hurt and angry, must find the warrior before it’s too late.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

New POKÉMON manga releases coming from VIZ Media

POKÉMON POCKET COMICS:
© 2014 Pokémon. ©1995-2013 Nintendo/Creatures Inc./GAME FREAK inc. TM, ©, and character names are trademarks of Nintendo. POKÉMON BW (Black • White) BAKUSHO 4KOMA MANGA ZENSHU © 2011 Santa HARUKAZE/SHOGAKUKAN
VIZ MEDIA ANNOUNCES EXCITING NEW POKÉMON
MANGA BOX SET AND POCKET COMICS RELEASES

New Multi-Volume Manga Box Sets On The Way This Fall For
POKÉMON ADVENTURES And POKÉMON BLACK AND WHITE
Along With A New POKÉMON BLACK AND WHITE POCKET COMIC

VIZ Media expands its POKÉMON manga (graphic novel) catalog with several notable new releases forthcoming this Fall.

Set for publication under the company’s Perfect Square imprint, the POKÉMON BLACK AND WHITE Box Set Vol. 3 is now available, and will be quickly followed by the October publication of POKÉMON BLACK AND WHITE POCKET COMICS Vol. 2 along with the POKÉMON ADVENTURES MANGA BOX SET Vol. 4. These new POKÉMON manga and box set titles are each rated ‘A’ for All Ages.

POKÉMON BLACK AND WHITE VOL. 3 • MSRP: $25.99 U.S. / $29.99 CAN • Rated ‘A’ For All Ages • Available Now!
Meet Pokémon Trainers Black and White! His entire life, Black has dreamed of winning the Pokémon League! Now he embarks on a journey to explore the Unova region and fill a Pokédex for Professor Juniper. White has an exciting career as the Trainer of a talented troupe of performing Pokémon. She dreams of making her Tepig Gigi a star! Together, Black and White continue on their journey... What surprising new Pokémon – and people – will they meet next?!

In the latest BLACK AND WHITE box set, which features art by Satoshi Yamamoto and story by Hidenori Kusaka, Team Plasma leader N shakes Black's faith in his relationship with his Pokémon. Then, just when Black is about to call it quits and go home, he gets a last-minute chance to earn the final Pokémon badge he needs to be eligible to compete in the Pokémon League! How will Black regain his confidence in time to win this crucial gym battle...? Box set features the concluding manga editions – Vols. 15-20 – of the POKÉMON BLACK AND WHITE series along with a collectible mini poster.

POKÉMON ADVENTURES Box Set 4: © 2015 Pokémon.
© 1995-2015 Nintendo/Creatures Inc./GAME FREAK inc.
TM and ® and character names are trademarks of Nintendo.
POCKET MONSTER SPECIAL © 1997 Hidenori KUSAKA, Satoshi YAMAMOTO/Shogakukan
POKÉMON ADVENTURES BOX SET VOL. 4 • MSRP: $54.99 U.S. / $69.99 CAN • Rated ‘A’ For All Ages • Available October 6th
These volumes containing the FIRERED & LEAFGREEN story arc feature art by Satoshi Yamamoto and story by Hidenori Kusaka. It starts off with Green about to meet her long-lost parents, but then they are sucked into a vortex created by a mysterious Pokémon! Red and Blue want to help, but first they must improve their battle skills. Then, the Three Beasts of Team Rocket are up to their old tricks again! In the EMERALD story arc, Gold and Crystal are back! Professor Oak sends the two friends to help rescue Red, Yellow, Blue and Green – who have all been turned to stone! But first, the pair must fight a fearsome creature that Archie, the former leader of Team Aqua, wished into existence using the powers of the Wish Pokémon Jirachi! Box set contains all of the POKÉMON ADVENTURES FIRERED & LEAFGREEN and EMERALD manga series – Vols. 23-29 – along with a collectible mini poster.

POKÉMON BLACK AND WHITE POCKET COMICS VOL. 2 • MSRP: $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN • Rated ‘A’ For All Ages • Available October 6th
A pocket-sized book jam-packed with four-panel comic strips featuring POKÉMON BLACK AND WHITE characters, Pokémon vital statistics, Pokémon trivia, Pokémon puzzles, and Pokémon fun quizzes! To the forest! To the sea! To Legendary Island! Join our Pokémon pals on a quest through Unova for the Legendary Joke – while testing your Pokémon knowledge and laughing all the way!

POKÉMON is one of the most successful international entertainment franchises of all time. To date more than 260 million POKÉMON video game titles and over 21.5 billion Pokémon Trading Cards have been sold in more than 73 countries in addition to substantial publishing and merchandise sales. VIZ Media is the official North American publisher for POKÉMON manga graphic novel series including POKÉMON ADVENTURES XY, POKÉMON ADVENTURES, POKÉMON ADVENTURES: DIAMOND & PEARL, POKÉMON ADVENTURES: HEARTGOLD & SOULSILVER, POKÉMON ADVENTURES: BLACK & WHITE and also distributes a wide variety of POKÉMON home media including animated series and feature films.

For more information on other POKÉMON manga and anime titles from VIZ Media, visit www.VIZ.com.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Free screening of THE NEIGHBORS next Tuesday, September 22nd

Korean Cultural Service NY
and
Asia Society NY
co-present
Korean Movie Night New York
 The Neighbors
Directed by Kim Khan (aka Kim Hwi)
Starring: Kim Yunjin, Kim Sae-ron, Cheon Ho-jin, Im Ha-ryong,
Ma Dong-suk, Kim Sung-kyun, Jang Young-nam, Do Ji-han
South Korea, 2012, 115 minutes, DCP
In Korean with English subtitles
U.S. Premiere

When: Tuesday, September 22, 2015, 6:30 PM
Where: Asia Society 725 Park Avenue at 70th Street, NYC
Map

Free Admission; all seating is first come, first served
Doors open @ 6 pm

The Neighbors is an ensemble cast suspense thriller based on Kang Full’s 2008 webtoon of the same title. Schoolgirl Yeo-sun (Kim Sae-ron) is found dead after not returning home from school. Her stepmother (Kim Yunjin from ABC’s Lost) suffers from enormous guilt for failing to pick her up from the bus stop. Things are not made any easier by the presence of Soo-yeon (Kim Sae-ron), another girl in the same apartment complex who bears a striking resemblance to Yeo-sun. One of the residents of the building has been acting strangely and although his neighbors begin to suspect him, for mysterious reasons they choose to hold back from telling anyone about their suspicions.


This screening of The Neighbors is part of Korean Movie Night New York's Webtoon Comes to the Big Screen series (Sep. 9 - Oct. 20, 2015)

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

RANMA ½ Set 7 Limited Edition Blu-ray Set released by VIZ Media

©Rumiko Takahashi / Shogakukan
 VIZ MEDIA ANNOUNCES THE HOME MEDIA RELEASE OF
RANMA ½ ANIME SERIES SET 7 LIMITED EDITION BLU-RAY SET

Legendary Comedy And Martial Arts Action Series Reaches Exciting
Finale In The Concluding Home Media Edition Available In A Special
Blu-Ray Collectable And Standard Edition DVD Set

RANMA ½ Set 7, the final home media installment of the celebrated gender-bending martial arts action comedy based on the popular manga series created by Rumiko Takahashi, was recently released by VIZ Media.

VIZ Media has released the entire gender-bending martial arts action comedy in its original Japanese series order across seven Limited Edition Blu-ray and Standard Edition DVD Box Sets. RANMA ½ is rated TV-14 and is based on the popular manga series originally created by Rumiko Takahashi.

The RANMA ½ Limited Edition Blu-ray Box Set 7 carries an MSRP of $54.97 U.S. / $63.99 CAN. The final set of the series contains Episodes 139-161 on 3 discs, presented in full 1080p high-definition resolution with the series’ original, uncropped 4:3 aspect ratio. Subtitled and English dubbed dialogue options are available. The Blu-ray edition also contains a full color art card and a 32-page booklet with individual episode summaries.

Blu-ray bonus features include clean openings and endings as well as series trailers and the concluding installment of “We Love Ranma Part 8 - We Love Rumiko Takahasi.” The set comes in a gorgeously illustrated chipboard box with embossed foil stamping.

The RANMA ½ Standard Edition DVD Set 7 also features the final 23 episodes with the original, uncropped 4:3 aspect ratio, with bonus features that include clean openings and endings and trailers. Subtitled and English dubbed dialogue options are available. The Standard Edition DVD set is available with an MSRP of $44.82 U.S. / $51.99 CAN.

The madcap days of martial arts mayhem comes to a thrilling conclusion in the final set of RANMA ½! Ranma is challenged by Ryoga to fight yet again, but this time he is completely defeated by Ryoga's new technique, the "Lion's-Roar Blast." It is said that the more miserable the user, the stronger the technique becomes - does Ranma have a chance against the tragic Ryoga?! Then, Ranma must master martial arts cheerleading, but in order to win, he is going to have to cheer up Upperclassman Kuno! Finally, Ranma's mother at last comes to the Tendo Dojo, but why is Genma doing everything he can to stop Ranma from meeting her? Akane feels sorry for Ranma, who barely remembers his own mother, and forms a plan to bring them together.

RANMA ½ manga creator Rumiko Takahashi is one of Japan’s most prolific and respected manga artists and is the creator of several long running series including MAISON IKKOKU, RANMA ½, and INUYASHA – all published in North America by VIZ Media. The spotlight on her prolific career began in 1978 when she won an honorable mention in Shogakukan's annual New Comic Artist Contest for Those Selfish Aliens. Later that same year, her boy-meets-alien comedy series, Urusei Yatsura, was serialized in Weekly Shonen Sunday. This phenomenally successful manga series was adapted into anime format and also spawned a TV series and half a dozen theatrical-release movies, all incredibly popular. Takahashi followed up the success of her debut series with one blockbuster hit after another— MAISON IKKOKU ran from 1980 to 1987, RANMA ½ from 1987 to 1996, and INUYASHA from 1996 to 2008. Other notable works include MERMAID SAGA, RUMIC THEATER, ONE-POUND GOSPEL, and RIN-NE (all also published in North America by VIZ Media).

For more information on RANMA ½ or other award-winning anime titles from VIZ Media, visit www.VIZ.com.

Monday, September 14, 2015

VETERAN coming to theaters in the U.S. and Canada on September 18th

CJ Entertainment
presents
Hwang Jung-min as Detective Seo Do-cheol
 Veteran
Written and directed by Ryoo Seung-wan
South Korea, 2015, 124 minutes

Veteran is the latest offering from the highly talented South Korean director Ryoo Seung-wan (The City of Violence, The Berlin File). It's a policier with plenty of action that also has a lot of deft comic touches.

The film, which has done great business in South Korea (where it topped the box office for several weeks), made its North American debut on September 13th in the Vanguard section of the 40th Toronto International Film Festival. It will be opening in theaters in the U.S. and Canada on Friday, September 18th. For more information, including a full list of theaters where Veteran will be playing, visit www.cj-entertainment.com.

Hwang Jung-min (New World, Ode to My Father) stars as Seo Do-cheol, a veteran detective who works out of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency. He's about as straight an arrow of a law enforcement officer as you'll ever come across. He also moonlights as a consultant for a detective drama on television.

We first meet him as he brings down an auto theft ring, in an action scene somewhat reminiscent of the premiere episode of Sammo Hung's American television series Marshal Law. Do-cheol is quite adept at dealing out a fistful of whoop-ass. But he also has a serious and tender side, especially when it comes to friends, such as Bae, a truck driver who assisted in bringing down the higher ups in the auto theft operation.

Cho Tae-oh (Yoo Ah-in), seated, gets advice from his main advisor

After Bae is victimized by a sub-contractor of a huge corporation, Do-cheol comes up against Cho Tae-oh (Yoo Ah-in, Tough as Iron). Tae-oh is the son of the chairman of the corporation (Song Yung-chang, The Attorney and The Good, the Bad, the Weird). With daddy under investigation, Tae-oh is likely to take over the business. His only problem is that he's a violence-prone psychopathic drug user! But having well-connected friends in politics and the upper echelons of the police force, he seems all but immune to arrest and prosecution.

The confrontation between the irresistible force of detective Seo Do-cheol's righteousness and Cho Tae-oh's immovable object of a protected, crazed corporate maniac makes for great viewing. And the numerous comic touches really make the mix all the more enjoyable.

Hwang Jung-min gives a wonderfully modulated performance. He's tough in the action scenes, funny when called for, and touching when need be. He's supported by a wonderful cast that includes: Oh Dal-su (Oldboy, A Bloody Aria, Hindsight) as Team Leader Oh; Jang Yoon-ju, who makes her film debut as Miss Bong, a high-flying police officer; and Yoo Hae-jin (Tazza: The High Rollers, The Pirates) as Choi Sang-moo, Tae-oh's cousin and chief adviser.

AsianCineFest Rating: 3.5 out of 4 stars; very, very, very highly recommended.

(Note: This review is being cross-posted at VCinema.)

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Naval action drama NORTHERN LIMIT LINE coming October 20

The Forgotten Battle
NORTHERN LIMIT LINE

The Debut Film from Director KIM Hak-soon
Arrives on Blu-ray™, DVD & Digital HD

The #1 box office hit of the year in South Korea, the epic naval battle drama Northern Limit Line debuts on Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital HD October 20 from Well Go USA Entertainment. Based on the real-life events of the Second Battle of Yeonpyeong, when the North Korean navy deployed two of their patrol boats toward the Northern Limit Line in order to launch a surprise attack on South Korean Battleship 357 while her crew was engrossed watching the 2002 FIFA World Cup Soccer. The debut film from Director KIM Hak-soon, Northern Limit Line stars KIM Mu-yeol (War of the Arrows), JIM Goo (The Admiral) and LEE Hyun-woo (The Con Artists).

Synopsis: June 29th, 2002. As the citizens of South Korea celebrate the FIFA World Cup, the North Korean navy sends two patrol boats to a disputed border in the Yellow Sea. The surprise attack on Battleship 357, now remembered as the Battle of Yeonpyeong, honors the men who bravely fought for freedom - on the Northern Limit Line.

Northern Limit Line has a runtime of approximately 130 minutes and is not rated.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Sci-fi fantasy THE AVENGING FIST to debut October 6 from Well Go USA

Well Go USA
presents
The Avenging Fist / Kuen sun
Directed by Andrew Lau Wai-Keung and Corey Yuen
Hong Kong, 2001, 98 minutes

This science fiction action fantasy from 2001 will debut on DVD only on October 6 from Well Go USA. The film stars the legendary Sammo Hung (IP Man franchise), Wang Lee Hom (Lust, Caution), Steven Fung (Tai Chi Zero, Badges of Fury), Gigi Leung (The Monkey King) and Kristy Yang (Young Bruce Lee).

Here's Well Go USA's synopsis of the film:

Scientists' experiments on Power glove are on the verge of success. Power glove is designed to activate the hidden potential in human's brain to empower the force of human beings. Special agent Dark, Thunder and War 21 are the only survivors in that experiment. Ambitious War 21 gets evil. He captures Thunder with a power glove and disappears... He has become Dark's fugitive for 20 years. Two decades later, War 21 comes back with brainwashed Thunder and his underground troop aiming to rule the world. Dark is failed to eliminate them but he realizes Thunder has a son who also has the DNA, which enables him to use the power glove to challenge War 21, eventually...

Friday, September 11, 2015

Tsui Hark's 1991 adventure comedy THE RAID to debut on DVD

Well Go USA Entertainment
presents
The Raid / Cai shu zhi heng sao qian jun
Directed by Tsui Hark
Hong Kong, 1991, 98 minutes

Tsui Hark's 1991 adventure comedy The Raid is set to debut on DVD on Tuesday, October 6th from Well Go USA Entertainment.

Synopsis: The time is 1930s. China is in a state of turmoil and flurry. The dethroned Emperor Pu-Yi establishes the Puppet State of Manchukuo in Manchuria and is in cooperation with the Japanese in the test for a poisonous gas. The revolutionary army headed by Lieutenant Mong is designated to crush this vicious plot. During his mission, he comes across witty and valiant veteran Uncle Choy and his friends, who volunteer to help. Mong keeps a view that Uncle Choy is too old to join them. How can Uncle Choy prove himself? Can Mong and Uncle Choy succeed in their mission?

The Raid stars Jacky Cheung (Triad Underworld), Tony Leung Kai Fai (The Taking of Tiger Mountain, Tai Chi Hero) and Dean Shek (Peking Opera Blues).

Thursday, September 10, 2015

BLACK COAL, THIN ICE to debut on September 29th from Well Go USA

Well Go USA
presents
Black Coal, This Ice
Written & Directed by Yi’nan Diao 
China, 2014, 106 minutes

Critically-Acclaimed, Neo-Noir Crime Thriller Debuts
on Blu-ray™, DVD & Digital HD September 29 

Written and directed by internationally-acclaimed filmmaker Yi’nan Diao (Night Train, Uniform), the award-winning Chinese crime thriller Black Coal, This Ice debuts on Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital HD September 29 from Well Go USA Entertainment. The stylishly frosty neo-noir drama follows a cynical ex-cop and his bitter ex-partner who have a second chance to redeem themselves when a series of murders begin that are identical to the murders that ended their careers five years earlier and shamed them. Black Coal, This Ice stars Fan Liao (Chinese Zodiac), Lun Mei Gwei (Flying Swords of Dragon Gate), Xuebing Wang (Beijing Love Story), Jingchun Wang (The Golden Era) and Ailei Yu (The Lost Bladesman).

Black Coal, This Ice won director Yi’nan Diao the coveted Golden Bear at the 2014 Berlin International Film Festival, where Fan Liao was named Best Actor. In addition, Yi'nan Diao won Best Screenwriter and Fan Liao Best Actor at the 2015 Asian Film Awards and Yi'nan Diao won Best Director at the 2014 Odessa International Film Festival.

Synopsis: Ex-cop Zhang Zili, seriously wounded five years earlier while working on a gruesome coal-plant murder case, was forced to retire from the police force due to his injuries. Five years later, the killer strikes again, and Zhang, now a factory security guard is determined to redeem himself and solve the case on his own. After his investigation, he discovers that all of the victims seem to be related to a mysterious woman named Wu Zhizhen who works in a dry cleaning shop. Zhang ends up falling in love with her, but in uncovering the truth finds himself in great danger.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

The Art of Magic: The Gathering—Zendikar is coming January 2016

© 2015 Wizards.
 WIZARDS OF THE COAST AND VIZ MEDIA ANNOUNCE
MAGIC: THE GATHERING ART BOOK

Wizards of the Coast and VIZ Media announced The Art of Magic: The Gathering—Zendikar, an art book featuring images from popular strategy card game Magic: The Gathering. Available worldwide in January 2016, the 240-page book will feature full color illustrations from some of Magic's best artists, such as Aleksi Briclot and Adam Paquette, as well as in-depth lore written by best-selling author James Wyatt.

Throughout its 22-year history, Magic: The Gathering has visited many richly imaginative worlds through card sets and stories. In its upcoming set, Battle for Zendikar, Magic returns to the fan-favorite world of Zendikar, where united tribes of elves, vampires, and humans battle the monstrous Eldrazi across strange floating ruins and beautiful landscapes. The Battle for Zendikar card set launches on October 2, 2015.

"Magic: The Gathering has a rich history of bringing our fans and players the best fantasy art in the industry," said Elaine Chase, Senior Director of Global Brand Strategy and Marketing for Magic: The Gathering. "We are excited to bring work from some of Magic's most amazing artists to our fans in a new medium."

"We are very excited to help bring the art and story of Magic: The Gathering to more fans with this art book for the game," said Beth Kawasaki, Senior Editorial Director, VIZ Media. "The Art of Magic: The Gathering—Zendikar is a beautifully illustrated edition that immerses you in the exotic world of Zendikar's ancient ruins and strange inhabitants. We worked hand-in-hand with the Wizards of the Coast creative team to create the best art book imaginable, which we're sure every Magic fan will covet."

The Art of Magic: The Gathering—Zendikar will be available for pre-order at many retailers starting as early as September 1, and will be available at Amazon.com and retail and hobby gaming stores world-wide starting January 5, 2016.

About Magic: The Gathering
Magic:The Gathering is the world's best strategy game, with more than 20 million players and fans worldwide. In this innovative card game, players build personalized decks using cards they have collected from booster packs and by trading with friends. Magic offers a robust gaming experience for its community of passionate fans through face-to-face play events and social gatherings in more than 7,000 hobby game stores around the world, complemented by its Magic Duels and Magic Online digital games. For more information, visit MagicTheGathering.com.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

SONGS FROM THE NORTH opens September 18 in New York City

Kino Lorber
presents
Songs from the North
Written and directed by Soon-Mi Yoo
Produced by Soon-Mi Yoo and Harvard Film Archive's Haden Guest
South Korea, 2014, 72 minutes
In Korean with English subtitles

South Korea born Soon-Mi Yoo's Songs from the North, which won the Golden Leopard for Best First Feature at the 2014 Locarno Film Festival, will open on September 18th at New York's Anthology Film Archives.

Songs from the North is an essay film which offers an unique look at the enigma of North Korea, a country typically seen through the distorted lens of jingoistic propaganda and derisive satire.

Interweaving footage from director Soon-Mi Yoo’s three visits to North Korea together with songs, spectacle, popular cinema and archival footage, Songs from the North tries to understand, the psychology and popular imagery of the North Korean people.

To look closely and objectively at North Korea, a country that challenges our most fundamental assumptions about the human condition is ultimately to question the meaning of freedom, love and patriotism.

Monday, September 07, 2015

VIZ Media announces digital manga updates for September 2015

Komomo Confiserie © Maki Minami 2013/HAKUSENSHA, Inc.
 START FALL OFF FRESH WITH NEW SEPTEMBER
DIGITAL MANGA UPDATES FROM VIZ MEDIA

Catch The Launch Of 6 New Manga Series With Updates To
22 Other Popular Titles And New Digital Bundle Selections

VIZ Media offers manga (graphic novel) fans plenty of fresh options to start their fall reading fun as the company announces a brand new digital update for September. This month will see the digital debut of 4 notable series along with the latest additions to scores of continuing titles and new selections for bundled manga packages that will be made available at substantial savings over the regular individual digital MSRPs.

New series digital debuts for the month include love and laughs in KOMOMO CONFISERIE and CHOCOLATE COSMOS, harem hijinks in GUARDIAN HEARTS and SABER MARIONETTE J along with the one-shot fun of RIZELMINE and the action series launch of CLAMP SCHOOL DETECTIVES, which are all available as digital exclusives from VIZ Media.

The company’s Digital Manga Bundle Promotion also continues throughout September and offers manga readers specially curated selections each containing multiple full volumes from critically acclaimed and legacy titles. The latest manga bundle selections feature KEKKAISHI, PSYREN and WORLD TRIGGER and are available to readers for a limited time exclusively from VIZManga.com and through the comiXology platform.

Other important updates for September include new digital additions for 22 other continuing VIZ Media series. Included in this update are not-to-be-missed volumes for shojo series such as KISS OF THE ROSE PRINCESS (Vol. 6), TOKYO BOYS AND GIRLS (Vol. 2) and SKIP BEAT (Vol. 35), along with new installments for sci-fi and action-oriented series such as SAMURAI GIRL REAL BOUT HIGH SCHOOL (Vol. 3), SERAPH OF THE END (Vol. 6), SGT FROG (Vol. 17), and YU-GI-OH! ZEXAL (Vol. 7). Manga series receiving their concluding volumes this month will include the finales for GRENADIER (Vols. 6 & 7) and GIRLS BRAVO.

New September 2015 Digital Manga Series Debuts:

KOMOMO CONFISERIE, Vol. 1 • Rated ‘T’ for Teens •
DIGITAL MSRP: $6.99 (U.S. / CAN) • Available Now!
As a little girl, Komomo Ninomiya delighted in picking on Natsu Azumi, the son of her family’s pastry chef. Ten years later, when the family fortune is lost and she has no place to live, Komomo encounters Natsu again in her hour of need. Now that Natsu is a master pastry chef in his own right, he’ll help Komomo – but only if she works for him at his new confiserie!

RIZELMINE (One-Shot) • Rated ‘T’ for Teens •
DIGITAL MSRP: $4.99 (U.S. / CAN) • Available September 8th!
15-year-old Iwaki Tomonori is in for a surprise when he returns home one day to find the government has married him to the first genetically engineered human, Rizelmine!

GUARDIAN HEARTS, Vol. 1 • Rated ‘T +’ for Older Teens •
DIGITAL MSRP: $4.99 (U.S. / CAN) • Available September 15th!
Beautiful girls with superpowers...all in love with you! What more could a guy want?!

CHOCOLATE COSMOS, Vol. 1 • Rated ‘T’ for Teens •
DIGITAL MSRP: $4.99 (U.S. / CAN) • Available September 22nd!
Fifteen-year old Sayuki Sakurai is a girly-girl at heart, but her sharp tongue and equally sharp gaze send most boys running! Determined to nab herself a hot summer romance during the holidays, Sayuki visits the beach and meets a cute guy who cheers her up after an awkward situation. She returns to school with confidence and as luck would have it... that cute guy is her Home Economics teacher! Dodging what love and life have in store, Sayuki is in for one roller coaster of a school year...

CLAMP SCHOOL DETECTIVES, Vol. 1 • Rated ‘A’ for All Ages •
DIGITAL MSRP: $4.99 (U.S. / CAN) • Available September 22nd!
Welcome to the CLAMP School, Japan's most prestigious place of learning--home to prodigies, wunderkinds and young geniuses of every make and model. In a world where the average student is smarter than the teachers, how then can the top students challenge their intellects? Why by creating a detective service, of course!

SABER MARIONETTE J, Vol. 1 • Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens •
DIGITAL MSRP: $4.99 (U.S. / CAN) • Available September 29th!
On a world without women, the surviving men have fashioned curvaceous androids in the female form. Called Marionettes, they are built for one purpose--to obey man's every whim...except one.

Readers can enjoy all of these new manga titles that are available on VIZManga.com and the VIZ MANGA App for the iPad®, iPhone® and iPod® touch, Android-powered smart phones and tablets. The titles also may be purchased through the Nook, Kindle, Kobo, comiXology, iBooks and GooglePlay stores. These dynamic digital platforms offer fans the opportunity to explore and enjoy a massive catalog of new and classic manga titles that spans over 2,700 volumes across more than 235 different series.

The free VIZ Manga App continues to be the top application for reading digital manga and features a massive library of the most popular series in the world. Through the innovative VIZ Manga digital platform registered users are able to use one account to view their purchased manga across more devices than ever. New series and volumes are added every Tuesday. Fans can also find these titles and more for the NOOK, Kindle Fire, and Kobo eReaders, as well as in the comiXology, iBooks and Google Play Stores.

Most manga volumes are available for purchase and download in the U.S. and Canada within the VIZ Manga application starting from only $4.99 (U.S. / CAN) each. Readers can also explore free Chapter 1 previews of every series. For more information, visit VIZManga.com or www.VIZ.com/apps.

To learn more about VIZ Manga, visit www.vizmanga.com.

Sunday, September 06, 2015

NEON ALLEY anime content update

VIZ MEDIA STARTS SEPTEMBER OFF WITH A BRAND
NEW ANIME CONTENT UPDATE FOR NEON ALLEY

Don’t Miss The Latest SAILOR MOON SUPER S Episodes,
New NARUTO SHIPPUDEN Weekly Simulcasts and more!

VIZ Media keeps the anime action running hot for the remainder of the summer as it details new content for its Neon Alley streaming platform for September. The magical girl anime adventure of SAILOR MOON SUPER S continues the must-see fourth season of the legendary series with 2 new subtitled episodes set to premiere every Monday throughout the month. Catch a total of 8 episodes during September beginning with Episodes 138 and 139 on September 7th.

NARUTO SHIPPUDEN digital simulcasts also offer Neon Alley viewers the newest adventures of the world’s most popular ninja with subtitled streams of the latest action packed episodes straight from Japan every Thursday. Catch Episode 426 on September 3rd, followed by Episode 427 & 428 on September 10th, Episode 429 on September 17th and Episode 430 on September 24th. Additional English dubbed NARUTO action from earlier seasons of the series also continues this month with the premiere of Season 4 Episodes 180-192, which are available to stream now in their entirety.

The latest September 2015 update is further highlighted by new episodes from additional top-rated VIZ Media anime properties including:

HIKARU NO GO
• Catch the Neon Alley run of this gripping anime series based on the smash hit manga about a boy that discovers the amazing Japanese strategy game of Go with the help of the ghost of an ancient Go master.
• Hikaru Shindo is like any sixth-grader in Japan: a pretty normal kid with a two-tone head of hair and a penchant for antics. His life completely changes when he finds an old bloodstained Go board in his grandfather’s attic. The ghost of an ancient Go master named Fujiwara-no-Sai was trapped in the board and soon becomes a part of Hikaru’s consciousness. Together Hikaru and Sai make an unstoppable Go-playing team!
• HIKARU NO GO Season 1 Episodes 1-15 and Season 2 Episodes 16-25 (dubbed) are available to stream throughout the month!

KEKKAISHI
• The supernatural action of KEKKAISHI continues in September with the streaming premiere of dubbed Episodes 27-39.
• Mystical forces are powerful in the region called Karasumori. For over 400 years, it has been the duty of a clan of Kekkaishi – barrier masters – to guard the land, exterminating the supernatural beasts which appear there night after night. Yoshimori Sumimura is a 14-year-old student at Karasumori School. Following in the tradition that's come down through the generations, he is the twenty-second Kekkaishi of the Sumimura clan. But he’s constantly fighting with his rival, Tokine Yukimura – his childhood friend and also a Kekkaishi – about who is the rightful heir to the magical barrier arts. Protecting people from danger while growing stronger himself, Yoshimori will battle the forces of evil again tonight!

Neon Alley is VIZ Media’s consolidated online destination for FREE streaming anime content in the U.S. with over 3,700 subtitled and English dubbed episodes and movies from more than 32 series! Neon Alley also reaches an expansive on-demand U.S.-based audience on Hulu, which enables viewers to watch shows anytime, anywhere across devices including Xbox One, PlayStation®4 (PS4™), Roku, Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, and mobile devices. A full list of Hulu -enabled devices can be found at http://www.hulu.com/plus/devices.

Additional information on Neon Alley is available at: www.NeonAlley.com and http://blog.neonalley.com.

VETERAN coming to North America

Writer and director Ryoo Seung-wan (center) on a Veteran set
KOREAN BOX OFFICE HIT VETERAN POISED TO IGNITE
NORTH AMERICAN THEATERS STARTING SEPTEMBER 18

Action-Packed Film to Make Its North American Debut on
September 13 at the 40th Toronto International Film Festival

Asia’s leading studio CJ Entertainment, the signature film division of major media and content company CJ E&M, will be releasing South Korean box office sensation Veteran in theaters across the U.S. and Canada beginning September 18. The film is a hard-hitting thriller with a comedic touch from South Korean cult auteur Ryoo Seung-wan (Crying Fist, City of Violence). 

Veteran follows Do-cheol – played by Hwang Jung-min (Ode to My Father) – as an irascible detective with a good heart as he seeks revenge and tries to take down the twisted but untouchable scion of a mega-corporation, Jo Tae-oh played by Ah In Yoo (Tough as Iron).

In South Korea, Veteran has hugely resonated as a cathartic ride-along with a true-blue cop, personally delivering justice in a system where the rich and powerful always seem to have the upper hand.

Since its August 5 premiere in South Korea, the film has made ₩60 billion (US$50 million) from 7.69 million admissions. Now Veteran has been selected to make its North American debut on September 13th in the Vanguard section of the 40th Toronto International Film Festival, which will run from September 10-20.

Veteran is presented and distributed by CJ Entertainment and produced by Filmmakers R&K.

I've watched an online screener of the film, and it's terrific. Because of certain restrictions, my review cannot be posted until September 13th at the earliest, so look for it here then or soon after.

For more information, including a full list of theaters where Veteran will be playing, visit www.cj-entertainment.com.