With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

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

Sunday, January 31, 2016

THE SWORD OF DOOM at Japan Society next Friday, February 5th

Japan Society NY
Tatsuya Nakadai (Sword of Doom © 1966 Toho Co., Ltd.)
The Sword of Doom / Daibosatsu Toge)
Directed by Kihachi Okamoto
With Tatsuya Nakadai, Toshiro Mifune, Michiyo Aratama,
Yuzo Kayama, and Yoko Naito
Japan, 1966, 121 minutes, 35mm, b/w
In Japanese with English subtitles

When: Friday, February 5, 2016 at 7:00 pm
Where: Japan Society 333 East 47th Street, NYC

Director Kihachi Okamoto’s exceptionally dark swordplay classic turns 50 this year. Starring Tatsuya Nakadai as a nihilistic samurai with large, hollow eyes who gradually becomes the embodiment of evil by mercilessly killing everyone in his path, The Sword of Doom abandons the mythos of samurai chivalry in order to explore the extremities of violence and chaos.

Featuring some of Japanese cinema’s most memorable sword fight scenes in extraordinary widescreen black and white photography (including an exceptional nighttime snow battle with Toshiro Mifune), Okamoto’s harsh yet aesthetically beautiful film still has the power to evoke shock and awe.

Toshiro Mifune (Sword of Doom © 1966 Toho Co., Ltd.)

Tickets: $12/$9 seniors & students/$5 Japan Society members

Part of Monthly Classics
Year-round screenings of beloved classics, hidden gems and recent discoveries of Japanese cinema on the first Friday of every month.

Box Office Policy

Saturday, January 30, 2016

VIZ announces release of NARUTO: SHIKAMARU’S STORY


New Novel Is The Second Release In A New Series
Focusing On Key Characters From Masashi Kishimoto’s
Smash Hit Ninja Action Series, NARUTO

VIZ Media delivers the next release in a continuing series of NARUTO prose novels focusing on key characters from the internationally acclaimed ninja action series.

NARUTO: SHIKAMARU’S STORY was written by author Takashi Yano and will be released in print and digitally in early February. The book tells the story of the current head of Team 10 and the Nara Clan and features original cover art by Masashi Kishimoto. Allies and enemies from the famed NARUTO series take center stage in these fast-paced adventures, with each novel focusing on a particular clan mate, ally, team…or villain.

NARUTO: SHIKAMARU’S STORY MSRP: $10.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN / $6.99 Digital • Available February 2nd Two years after the Great Ninja War, Shikamaru spends his days racing around, hands full as one of Konoha’s key protectors. Then, large numbers of ninja from every region are reported missing. Even Sai disappears. And the place where the missing shinobi end up is the mysterious empire, the Land of Silence. As a ninja, as an adult, to protect all that he is responsible for, Shikamaru must do battle with the shadow of a new generation.

Also don’t miss NARUTO: KAKASHI’S STORY, the first book in the series of NARUTO novels, available now in print and also digitally.

Manga author/artist Masashi Kishimoto was born in 1974 in rural Okayama Prefecture, Japan. Like many kids, he was first inspired to become a manga artist in elementary school when he read Dragon Ball. After spending time in art school, he won the Hop Step Award for new manga artists with his story, Karakuri. After considering various genres for his next project, Kishimoto decided on a story steeped in traditional Japanese culture. His first version of NARUTO, drawn in 1997, was a one-shot story about fox spirits; his final version, which debuted in Japan in Weekly Shonen Jump in 1999, quickly became the most popular ninja manga in the world. The series would also spawn multiple anime series, movies, novels, video games and more. Having concluded the series in late 2014, Masashi Kishimoto has kept himself busy this year with the side story, Naruto: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring, and writing the story for the latest NARUTO movie, BORUTO: NARUTO THE MOVIE, both of which focus on the title character's son, Boruto.

VIZ Media is the North American master licensor for NARUTO and publishes the bestselling NARUTO manga series in print and digitally and also distributes the NARUTO and NARUTO SHIPPUDEN anime series and feature films. Additional information on NARUTO is available at www.Naruto.com.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Sentai Filmworks announces its acquisition of Nurse Witch KOMUGI R

Sentai Filmworks has announced its latest acquisition, Nurse Witch KOMUGI R, as part of its winter 2016 anime lineup. One day, second-year middle school student Komugi Yoshida encounters a wounded, rabbit-like creature named Usa-P. She tends to its injuries, and in return is granted the powers of a "Legendary Girl." Now, in addition to juggling her school duties and her career as a pop idol, Komugi has to take on the role of a magical nurse. Watch the hilarity ensue in this slapstick comedy that throws in more magic and mayhem than this busy girl can handle!

The series will be directed by Keiichiro Kawaguchi (Moetan, Million Doll, Nyan Koi!), with Momoko Murakami in charge of series composition. Original character designs will be provided by Akio Watanabe (The World Only God Knows, Bakemonogatari), with production handled by Tatsunoko Production (Gatchaman Crowds, Gatchaman Crowds Insight).

Nurse Witch KOMUGI R began its Japanese broadcast on January 10, 2016 by Nippon TV. It will soon be available through select digital outlets, with a home video release to follow.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Bisco Hatori’s shojo manga BEHIND THE SCENES!! coming February 2nd

Urakata!! © Bisco Hatori 2015/HAKUSENSHA, Inc.

Comedy Series About A Social Misfit And College Movie Effects
Club Is The Latest From The Acclaimed Creator Of

VIZ Media proudly brings creator Bisco Hatori’s dramatic new manga (graphic novel) comedy to English readers with the launch of BEHIND THE SCENES!! on February 2nd.

The new shojo series by the famed creator of OURAN HIGH SCHOOL HOST CLUB and MILLENNIUM SNOW will be published in print and digital editions under the Shojo Beat imprint. BEHIND THE SCENES!! is rated ‘T’ for Teens, and will carry a print MSRP of $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN. The series also launches digitally on February 2nd 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 BEHIND THE SCENES!!, Ranmaru Kurisu comes from a family of hardy, rough-and-tumble fisherfolk and he sticks out at home like a delicate, artistic sore thumb. It’s given him a raging inferiority complex and a permanently pessimistic outlook. Now that he’s in college, he’s hoping to find a sense of belonging. But after a whole life of being left out, does he even know how to fit in?!

As Volume 1 opens, it’s two months into Ranmaru’s college career, and if he’s learned one thing, it’s that he’s really uncomfortable around other people. But when he stumbles into a zombie mob attack, he’s totally forced out of his comfort zone! Of course it’s just a movie shoot, but when he wakes up from his ignoble faint, he’s been whisked away behind the scenes with the Art Squad! Could this group of weirdos be what Ranmaru’s been looking for all his life?!

“Creator Bisco Hatori continues to demonstrate her skill at capturing all of the complexities, cliques and daily dramas of student life in BEHIND THE SCENES!!,” says Pancha Diaz, Editor. “Ranmaru Kurisu has been a social misfit all of his life but he may have finally found a place to fit in after a chance encounter introduces him to a very unique, and slightly quirky, group of potential new friends.”

Bisco Hatori made her manga debut with Isshun kan no Romance (A Moment of Romance) in LaLa DX magazine. Her first full-fledged series was MILLENNIUM SNOW (published by VIZ Media) and she gained widespread acclaim for the comedy, OURAN HIGH SCHOOL HOST CLUB (published by VIZ Media), which became her breakout hit.

For additional information on BEHIND THE SCENES!! or other manga titles published by VIZ Media, please visit www.VIZ.com.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

VIZ Media celebrates the 4th anniversary of Weekly Shonen Jump

BLACK CLOVER © 2015 by Yuki Tabata/SHUEISHA Inc.

Limited Time Promotion Delivers Special Subscriber Pricing On The
World’s Most Popular Weekly Manga Magazine And The Opportunity
To Win A Wide Variety Of SHONEN JUMP Premiums

VIZ Media marks the 4th anniversary of the official digital English edition of WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP, the world’s most popular weekly manga magazine, with a special subscription offer for readers.

WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP is published digitally every week by VIZ Media and features the latest chapters of a wide variety of serialized fan favorite manga (graphic novel) titles presented in English and released on the same day as the magazine’s general print release in Japan.

For a limited time until January 31st, special 4 Year Anniversary promotional pricing will offer annual WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP memberships for only $19.99 (U.S. / CAN) through shonenjump.viz.com. In addition, fans that subscribe by February 8th will have the opportunity to win a variety of WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP premiums and collectibles including jackets, t-shirts, and more! More information on the sweepstakes is available here: http://bit.ly/1K1rqzx (*Note: this sweepstakes is available only to residents of the U.S. and Canada (excluding Quebec))

WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP annual members receive 48 weekly digital issues as well as special premiums such as Yu-Gi-Oh! Collectable Trading Cards, rare one-shot manga releases, digital-only promotions, and access to additional subscriber-only content including creator interviews and insightful promo videos. Current subscribers can also access their accounts via VIZManga.com, the VIZ Manga App, and shonenjump.viz.com or with the WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP App on iOS and Android devices.

Manga series currently featured in WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP include BLACK CLOVER, BLEACH, BLUE EXORCIST, FOOD WARS!, MY HERO ACADEMIA, NISEKOI, ONE-PUNCH MAN, ONE PIECE, SERAPH OF THE END, TORIKO, WORLD TRIGGER and YU-GI-OH! ARC-V. WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP also regularly gives readers an advance peek at the latest new series debuts in Japan with special JUMP START features.

“WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP is essential reading for manga fans and we invite both new and current readers to take advantage of this special promotion. This is a great opportunity to dive into the latest chapters of some of the hottest series each week and receive a variety of other cool premiums throughout the year!” says Andy Nakatani, Editor in Chief of WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP.

WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP is also available to readers in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa via ShonenJump.VIZ.com and the WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP Newsstand App available for the Apple iPad®, iPhone and iPod touch or the WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP App on the Google Play Store for Android devices. International issues debut each Monday at 10:00am (PST) and monthly subscriptions are available with automatic monthly renewals. Additional information on international subscriptions is available at: http://shonenjump.viz.com/international-wsj-app.

For more information on WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP and exclusive subscriber offers, visit shonenjump.viz.com.

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

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

THE ASSASSIN reviewed; debuts on home video today

Well Go USA
 The Assassin / Nie yin niang
Directed by Hou Hsiao-hsien
Taiwan/China/Hong Kong/France, 2015, 105 minutes

The Assassin, Hou Hsiao-hsien's award winning martial arts themed art house film, debuts today on Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital HD from Well Go USA Entertainment. The film is based on a Tang Dynasty short story by Pei Xing entitled Nie Yinniang (the assassin's name) and earned Hou the Best Director award at last year's Cannes film festival, where it also received the Soundtrack Award for composer Gong Lim, who also contributed to the soundtrack to Hou's Millennium Mambo (2001). At the 2015 Golden Horse Film Festival, The Assassin was nominated in ten categories and received prizes for Best Director, Best Feature Film, Best Cinematography, Best Makeup & Costume Design and Best Sound Effects. It was Taiwan's official entry to the 2015 foreign-language Oscar race, but was not nominated.

I first saw the film last November at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center of the Film Society of Lincoln Center (where it is still playing) and recently watched the Blu-ray release from Well Go for this review.

Set in the ninth century, the film revolves around Nie Yinniang (Taiwan-born actress Shu Qi, who also starred in Hou's Millennium Mambo and Three Times) , a young woman who was taken from her family when she was ten years old and raised by a nun, Jiaxin, who trained her to be a master assassin who would righteously slay corrupt officials. After a twang of conscience stopped her from completing an assignment, Jiaxin takes Nie Yinniang back to Weibo, the land of her birth, and tasks her with killing Tian Ji'an (Chang Chen, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and The Grandmaster), to whom she was betrothed as a child. Will she complete her assignment or once again question the righteousness of her task?

Hou is not concerned with narrative and hence there is little dialogue. What the director and Mark Lee Ping Bin, Hou's director of photography, have produced in a visually stunning film, that comes close to being pure cinema, that is, a work devoted almost exclusively to the visual. It is pretty much all about the mood produced by lush images. Coherent story-telling is of little or no concern.

The golden-masked warrior (left) and Yinniang

Thus the film is often quite enigmatic. For example, after Nie Yinniang has reveled herself to Tian one night, there is a brief scene -- shot in daylight -- in which a female warrior with a golden mask is seen. One gets the impression that she is in the employ of Tian, but this is only an impression. Later this warrior and Yinniang meet in a forest and engage in combat. Just who this warrior is and why she confronts Yinniang are matters that Hou leaves to the viewers imagination; the film is about showing, not explaining.

Since this is nominally a wuxia ("martial hero" story, some attention must be paid to the fighting scenes. These tend to be brief, explosive bursts of energy that punctuate the slow pace that marks the vast bulk of the film. His actors and actresses are not really trained in the martial arts so extensive, complicated segments were not possible. Consequently the fight scenes tend to be marked by frequent and rapid editing. There is even one confrontation in which Yinniang fights several opponents that has an extensive portion filmed in an extremely long shot shot with much of the action taking place behind the trees seen in the distance!

For this reason, it seems that many viewers -- expecting a martial arts film at least along the lines of Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) or even Wong Kar-wai's The Grandmaster (2013) -- have come away disappointed.

So if you're after a martial arts slug-fest, you'd best look elsewhere.

But if you're in the mood for a visually stunning film that will transport you to an ethereal vision of ancient China, The Assassin will more than satisfy you.

Bonus Features Include:
-- Behind-the-Scenes (four short featurettes)
  --  Nie Yinniang
  -- The Actors: No Rehearsals
  -- The Fights Between Masters
  -- A Time Machine To The Tang Dynasty
-- Trailer

AsianCineFest Rating: 4 out of 4 stars as an art house movie; 2.0 out of 4 as a martial arts film

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Sentai Filmworks has licensed STRAWBERRY MARSHMALLOW

Sentai Filmworks has announced its acquisition of the 2005 slice-of-life comedy Strawberry Marshmallow. Based on the 2002 manga series written and illustrated by Barasui, Strawberry Marshmallow follows 20-year-old Nobue Itoh as she half-watches, half-instigates the adorable exploits of the elementary school kids Miu, Matsuri, Ana and her own sister, Chika.

The anime series was produced by anime studio Daume (DearS, Please Teacher!), with Takuya Sato (Girls Beyond the Wasteland, Student Council’s Discretion, Steins;Gate) handling both directorial and series composition duties.

Strawberry Marshmallow will soon be released on home video in both dubbed and subtitled formats.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Two new POKÉMON home media releases from VIZ Media

©2016 Pokémon. ©1997-2015 Nintendo, Creatures, GAME FREAK, TV Tokyo, ShoPro, JR Kikaku. TM, ® Nintendo.

POKÉMON THE SERIES: XY Set 2 DVD Available Now And
Debuts Next Month

VIZ Media expands its POKÉMON catalog for anime fans as it announces a pair of new home media releases.

Inspired by the latest generation of Pokémon X and Pokémon Y video games, POKÉMON THE SERIES: XY Set 2 is available now on DVD. POKÉMON: THE MOVIES 1-3 STEELBOOK BLU-RAY COLLECTION contains a trio of full-length POKÉMON feature films and will be available February 9th. Both are rated ‘TV-Y7’ for viewers ages 7 and older.

POKÉMON THE SERIES: XY DVD SET 2 • MSRP: $26.95 U.S. / $31.98 CAN • Available Now
In the latest home media set inspired by the new generation of Pokémon X and Pokémon Y video games, Ash Ketchum and his friends venture ever deeper into the Kalos region! Ash takes to the skies in a wing suit in his first aerial battle, and the group explores exciting new areas like the majestic Kalos Canyon, the mysterious Cave of Mirrors, and Professor Sycamore’s Pokémon summer camp. Meanwhile, Miette and Serena’s rivalry over Ash heats up, and Team Rocket flummoxes everyone with clever disguises and Pokémon-nabbing schemes! And of course, everyone’s after the secrets of Mega Evolution—but will anyone get a handle on its consequences? The new set contains 3 discs featuring 24 episodes (25-48), presented with dubbed English dialogue.

POKÉMON: THE MOVES 1-3 Steelbook Blu-ray Collection 
©2015 Pokémon. ©1997 Nintendo, Creatures, GAME FREAK, TV Tokyo, ShoPro, JR Kikaku. ©PIKACHU PROJECT '98. TM, ® and character names are trademarks of Nintendo.

POKÉMON: THE MOVIES 1-3 STEELBOOK BLU-RAY COLLECTION • MSRP: $39.99 U.S. / $46.99 CAN • Available February 9th
A special 3-disc Steelbook set featuring three complete POKÉMON feature films— POKÉMON: THE FIRST MOVIE, POKÉMON THE MOVIE 2000, and POKÉMON 3: THE MOVIE. Films are each presented with dubbed English dialogue.

In POKÉMON: THE FIRST MOVIE, the adventure explodes into action with the debut of Mewtwo, a bio-engineered Pokémon created from the DNA of Mew, the rarest of all Pokémon. After escaping from the lab where it was created, Mewtwo is determined to prove its own superiority. It lures a number of talented Trainers into a Pokémon battle like never before—and of course, Ash and his friends are happy to accept the challenge!

In POKÉMON THE MOVIE 2000, just one person can make a difference… In the Orange Islands far south of Kanto, a Trainer named Lawrence is on a sinister quest: catching the Legendary Pokémon Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres in an attempt to awaken Lugia, guardian of the sea! When Ash and friends arrive, the islanders ask him to gather three elemental orbs from different islands. As the weather across the world goes out of control, it becomes clear that the capture of the legendary trio has thrown the environment out of balance! With Lugia’s help, can Ash find the orbs, restore the balance, and be the “chosen one” that everyone turns to?

In POKÉMON 3: THE MOVIE, a crystal catastrophe is unleashed upon Greenfield, and Ash, Pikachu, and friends must figure out how to undo the damage to the once-beautiful town. But the unthinkable happens when Ash’s mother is kidnapped by the powerful Entei, a Pokémon thought to have existed only in legend. Now Ash must go to her rescue, uncertain of what he’ll uncover when he unlocks the real secret power behind the unbelievable turn of events: a young girl whose dream world is being turned into a nightmarish reality by the mysterious and unstoppable Unown!

POKÉMON is one of the most successful international entertainment franchises of all time. More than 275 million POKÉMON video game titles and over 21.5 billion Pokémon Trading Cards have been sold in more than 74 countries in addition to substantial publishing and merchandise sales. VIZ Media is the official North American distributor for a wide variety of POKÉMON home media releases including animated series and films and also publishes a variety of POKÉMON manga graphic novel series including POKÉMON ADVENTURES X•Y, POKÉMON ADVENTURES, POKÉMON ADVENTURES: DIAMOND AND PEARL, POKÉMON ADVENTURES: HEART/GOLD & SOUL/SILVER, POKÉMON ADVENTURES: BLACK & WHITE. For more information on other POKÉMON manga and anime titles from VIZ Media, visit www.VIZ.com.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

IP MAN 3 reviewed; opens tomorrow

Well Go USA
Ip Man 3 / Yip Man 3
Directed by Wilson Yip
Starring Donnie Yen and  Mike Tyson
Hong Kong, 2015, 105 minutes

Action star Donnie Yen and director Wilson Yip are back with the third -- and last? -- installment of their Ip Man series which began with Ip Man in 2008 which was followd by Ip Man 2 in 2010. The Wing Chun master was also the subject of two films by Herman Yau, The Legend is Born: Ip Man (also 2010) and  Ip Man: The Final Fight (2013) and of Wong Kar-wai's The Grandmaster (also 2013).

Beginning in Hong Kong in 1959, the film finds Ip Man facing two opponents. One is Frankie, a ruthless real estate developer played by Mike Tyson (! More on that later.) He sends his minions to "convince" the principle of the school that Ah Ching, Ip Man's younger son, attends to sell him the property. Led by Ma King Sang (Patrick Tam) they use any and all means to achieve their assignment, including beatings, setting fires and kidnapping children. As a result Ip Man and his students guard the school.

Ip Man's other opponent is Cheung Tin-chi (Zhang Jin), a rickshaw driver whose son also attends Ah Ching's school. Cheung is also an expert in Wing Chun. If I understand the genealogy correctly, his teacher and Ip Man's teacher both studied with the same master. Because of differences in the Wing Chun of their two teachers, Cheung is convinced that his is the true, and therefore superior, Wing Chun as compared with Ip Man/s

There are plenty of fine action scenes, which is what one would expect with Yuen Woo-Ping serving as action director and Donnie Yen and Yuen Shun-Yee serving as action choreographers. We're talking multiple fight scenes of both the one-against-many and one-on-one variety. There is staff fighting, knife fighting and unarmed combat.

So action aficionados need not worry; there's plenty here to keep you happy.

On the other hand, there were several things about the film that didn't work for me. First off, I found Mike Tyson's presence (billed in the credits as a "Special Appearance") a cheap gimmick that suggests how bereft of ideas the filmmakers were. We're talking about the ludicrousness of a black man with a huge facial tattoo as a ruthless real estate developer and promoter of an illegal fight ring in Hong Kong in 1959. Not even his being protected by the other "foreign devils" (i.e., the British) can make this remotely believable.

The second problem is with the two main fights, the first with Ip Man against Tyson, the second with him against Cheung, both end in what I consider a lame and unsatisfying manner, as if the film was promoting political correctness, or maybe that should be "kung-fu correctness."

Lastly, the film does a real number in putting down Bruce Lee. This is not the first time this has happened in a recent Ip Man movie (see Herman Yau's Ip Man: The Final Fight), but it's pretty harsh here. Fortunately Bruce is slightly redeemed by his teaching Ip Man how to dance so he can please his wife, Cheung Wing Sing, again played by actress Lynn Hung.

If it's action you're after, Ip Man 3 will totally satisfy you. Just don't expect to learn much about the real Ip Man.

AsianCineFest Rating: 3.5 out of 4 stars for the action, 2 out of 4 for story.

Ip Man 3 opens tomorrow, Friday, January 22nd. For information about the cities and theaters where it will open on the 22nd and in its subsequent wider roll-out, go to the Ip Man 3 Official Website.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Knights of Sidonia Season 2: Battle for Planet Nine has been licensed by Sentai Filmworks

Sentai Filmworks has announced its acquisition of the darkly cerebral science fiction series, Knights of Sidonia Season 2: Battle for Planet Nine. The story continues to follow ace pilot, Nagate Tanikaze, as he spearheads the defense of Sidonia against a terrifying alien threat alongside an unlikely ally, a human-alien hybrid whose voice is strikingly similar to someone he loved and lost. However, Sidonia may be in more danger than anyone realized, as diabolical forces plot not only from without but also within.

Based on the manga by Tsutomu Nihei (Wolverine: Snikt!), this sci-fi anime was directed by first-season co-director Hiroyuki Seshita, with Sadayuki Murai (Bubblegum Crisis: Tokyo 2040, Kino's Journey) returning for series composition and script. The animation was handled by Polygon Pictures.

Knights of Sidonia Season 2: Battle for Planet Nine will be available soon for home video on both Blu-ray and DVD.

Friday, January 15, 2016

REMEMBER YOU opens in L.A. today and in Dallas on January 22nd

CJ Entertainment

CJ Entertainment’s new romance/mystery film, Remember You, is opening at CGV Cinemas in Los Angeles toady, January 15 and at Cine Oasis in Dallas on January 22. The drama is directed by LEE Yoon-jung.


After losing 10 years of his memories in a car accident, Suk-won (JUNG Woo-sung) is trying to rebuild his career and more importantly his love life. Fighting to uncover the mysteries in his past, Suk-won is unable to trust anyone around him as he tries to put his life back on track. With his family, friends and even his own identity now just a blur, he encounters a woman, Jin-young (KIM Ha-nel). Although he has no recollection of knowing her, this encounter triggers a relationship between the two and brings a newfound happiness into Suk-won’s life.

Courtroom manga drama SCHOOL JUDGMENT: GAKKYU HOTEI coming February 2nd

GAKKYU HOTEI © 2014 by Nobuaki Enoki, Takeshi Obata/SHUEISHA Inc.

New Thriller By The Artist Of DEATH NOTE And BAKUMAN。
Straight From The Pages Of WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP
Launches In Print And Digitally Next Month!

VIZ Media delivers tense courtroom drama straight from the pages of WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP as it announces the launch of SCHOOL JUDGMENT: GAKKYU HOTEI on February 2nd.

The new series was created by writer Nobuaki Enoki and Takeshi Obata, the famed manga artist who achieved international acclaim for the hit series DEATH NOTE, BAKUMAN。and ALL YOU NEED IS KILL (all published by VIZ Media). SCHOOL JUDGMENT: GAKKYU HOTEI will debut in print under the Shonen Jump imprint and will carry an MSRP of $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN. The series also launches digitally on February 2nd via VIZManga.com and the VIZ Manga App, as well as from the Nook, Kobo, Kindle, iBooks, comiXology, and GooglePlay stores. New volumes will be published three times a year.

SCHOOL JUDGMENT: GAKKYU HOTEI is set at Tenbin Elementary, where there is only one way to settle a dispute – in a court of law! All quarrels bypass the teachers and are settled by some of the best lawyers in the country…who also happen to be elementary school students. In the opening volume of the series, the accused this time is a boy named Tento. His crime? The murder of a beloved member of the classroom! Luckily for him, the state has sent him a defense attorney–Abaku Inugami. But is this wild young lawyer skilled enough to get his client off the hook?

“SCHOOL JUDGMENT was rated as one of the most successful manga series based on reader surveys from WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP’s Jump Start initiative,” says Marlene First, Editor. “Takeshi Obata’s detailed and riveting artwork is the perfect vehicle to bring Nobuaki Enoki’s courtroom drama to life. Don’t miss the launch next month of this new thriller!”

Manga writer Nobuaki Enoki received the Jump Treasure New Cartoonist Prize in April 2009 for his work, Rikuou. SCHOOL JUDGMENT: GAKKYU HOTEI was his first work to be serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump in Japan and it also appears in the digital English edition published by VIZ Media.

Takeshi Obata first achieved international recognition as the artist of the wildly popular Weekly Shonen Jump title, HIKARU NO GO, which won the 2003 Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize: Shinsei "New Hope" Award and the 2000 Shogakukan Manga Award. He went on to illustrate the smash hit supernatural crime thriller, DEATH NOTE, as well as the hugely successful manga BAKUMAN。 and ALL YOU NEED IS KILL.

For additional information on SCHOOL JUDGMENT: GAKKYU HOTEI or other manga titles published by VIZ Media, visit www.VIZ.com.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

MEMORIES OF THE SWORD reviewed; streets today

Well Go USA
Memories of the Sword / Hyeomnyeo: Kar-ui gi-eok
Directed by PARK Heung-Sik
South Korea, 2015, 120 minutes

Memories of the Sword  is a fine swordplay revenge tale that makes its home video debut on Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital HD today, Tuesday, January 12, 2016 from Well Go USA Entertainment. I watched the Blu-ray version.

Directed by PARK Heung-Sik Children of Heaven) the film is set during Goryeo Dynasty (918–1392), when "tea, riots, and swords ruled the land." Hong-yi (KIM Go-eun (Coin Locker Girl, A Muse) is a young woman with a mission, namely to avenge the deaths of her parents years earlier.

Pung-chun, her father, was one of the Three Great Swords who led a revolt on behalf of the people. His sword set goals. The other two leaders were Duk-gi (LEE Byubg-hun, War of the Arrows), whose sword gave protection and helped achieve the goals, and Sul-rang (JEON Do-yeon (Secret Sunshine), whose sword fought injustice. Duk-gi and Sul-rang also were dear lovers.

In a fierce battle, Pang-chun captured LEE Jon-bok, the son of the local governor. When the Three Swords confronted the governor with their petition on behalf of the commoners, an act of betrayal resulted in the death of Pung-chun and his wife, and the apparent death of Hong-yi.

But she survived and was raised in the martial arts by a blind woman who, besides being a master tea brewer, was also a swordmaster. Hong-yi, unable to resist an opportunity to demonstrate her martial prowess, disguises herself as a man and enters a competition. This brings her to the attention of General Yu-baek, formerly known as Duk-gi. He has suspicions about this mysterious warrior, suspicions that threaten to reveal Hong-yi's true identity and prevent her from achieving her goal.

There are several fine action scenes, some of which employ wire-work. At times these approach the graceful elegance of similar wire-work in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and at other times they resemble classical wire-fu from Hong Kong martial arts films of the '60s and '70s.

Disc Specs:
-- Audio Options
   -- Korean 5.1 DTS HDMA
   -- Korean 2.0 Stereo
-- Subtitle Options
   -- English
   -- Off
-- Extras
   -- Trailer
   -- Previews
      -- The Assassin
      -- Assassination
      -- Kundo

AsianCineFest Rating: 3 out of 4 stars, a good, solid swordplay revenge tale with a nice surprise twist at the end.

Saturday, January 09, 2016

"Undefeated Bahamut Chronicle” to Simulcast Exclusively on Hulu

Sentai Filmworks has announced an agreement with Hulu for exclusive simulcasting of Undefeated Bahamut Chronicle. Episodes will be available to stream through Hulu’s No Commercial and Limited Commercials subscription plans.

Each episode of will stream exclusively on Hulu during the first week of simulcast with select episodes available to stream on the free hulu.com one week later. Simulcasting is slated to begin January 11, 2016.

Friday, January 08, 2016

VIZ Media announces new digital anime update for January 2016


Start January With Must-See Episodes For HUNTER X HUNTER,
The U.S. Premiere Of The Final Season Of Classic SAILOR MOON

VIZ Media gets 2016 underway with a brand new digital update for its free anime content streaming platform for January.

Throughout this month, audiences are invited to catch newly-added dubbed and subtitled episodes for several hit anime series including SAILOR MOON and SAILOR MOON CRYSTAL, HUNTER X HUNTER, NARUTO SHIPPUDEN and INUYASHA: THE FINAL ACT.

Newly added anime content for January includes:

• Catch the second-half of Season 1 of the supernatural action adventure with the addition of Episodes 14-26, available to stream with newly updated subtitles.
• In the HUNTER X HUNTER anime series, abundant riches, hidden treasures, fearsome monsters, and exotic creatures are scattered around the world... Gon departs on a journey to become a Pro Hunter who risks his life in search of the unknown. Along the way, he meets other applicants for the Hunter exam: Kurapika, Leorio, and Killua. Can Gon pass the rigorous challenges of the Hunter exam and become the best Hunter in the world!? His wild and epic journey is about to begin!!

• Dive into the action of the final climactic season of INUYASHA with Episodes 1-26 (subtitled and dubbed) available to stream now.
• Throughout their quest to restore the shattered Shikon Jewel, the half-demon Inuyasha and modern schoolgirl Kagome have never faced an enemy more deadly or more cunning than the demon mastermind Naraku. With the Shikon Jewel nearly whole, the race to collect the remaining shards intensifies and a battle of epic proportions is brewing on the horizon!

• Weekly simulcasts of the latest action packed NARUTO SHIPPUDEN episodes will take place every Thursday throughout January.
• Catch Episode 444 on January 14th, followed by Episode 445 on January 21st, Episode 446 on January 28thth.

• Watch the entire action-packed subtitled first season (Episodes 1-12), available now!
• Saitama is a hero who only became a hero for fun. After three years of “special” training, though, he’s become so strong that he’s practically invincible. In fact, he’s too strong – even his mightiest opponents are taken out with a single punch, and it turns out that being devastatingly powerful is actually kind of a bore. With his passion for being a hero lost along with his hair, yet still faced with new enemies every day, how much longer can he keep it going?

• Don’t miss the newly subtitled North American premiere for SAILOR MOON SAILOR STARS (Season 5). Episode 172 opens Season 5, which is the first time the exciting final story arc of the classic SAILOR MOON series has been available legally in the U.S.
• Catch 2 new SAILOR MOON SAILOR STARS episodes every week, beginning with Episodes 172 and 173, which are available to stream now.
• Catch Episodes 174 and 175 on January 11th, followed by Episodes 176 and 177 on January 18th and Episodes 178 and 179 on January 25th.
• This month, SAILOR MOON Season 2 is also added in its entirety and available to stream on-demand.

• Enjoy all new English dubbed streams of SAILOR MOON CRYSTAL throughout January with a brand new episode every week.
• SAILOR MOON CRYSTAL Season 1 action continues with Episode 8 available to stream now.
• Catch Episode 9 on January 8th, followed by Episode 10 on January 15th, Episode 11 on January 22nd and Episode 12 on January 29th.

VIZ Media’s consolidated online destination for FREE streaming anime content in the U.S. has over 4,100 subtitled and English dubbed episodes and movies from more than 36 series! VIZ Media’s streaming content 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, 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 VIZ Media’s streaming anime is available at: http://www.viz.com/anime/streaming/.

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Sentai Filmworks has acquired "Girls Beyond the Wasteland”

Sentai Filmworks has announced its latest acquisition, Girls Beyond the Wasteland, as part of the winter 2016 anime season lineup. Based on the upcoming visual novel adapted by Romeo Tanaka and with character designs by Matsuryu, this anime will follow the exploits of lackadaisical high-school student Buntaro Hojo as he ventures into the realm of dating game development.

The series will be directed by Takuya Sato (Steins;Gate), with series composition by Yuniko Ayana. Character designs for the animation will be provided by Takayuki Noguchi, and production will be handled by Project No.9.

Girls Beyond the Wasteland is scheduled for a January 2016 broadcast in Japan. It will soon be available through select digital outlets, with a home video release to follow.

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

VIZ announces new digital manga update for January 2016

HONEY © 2012 by Amu Meguro/SHUEISHA Inc.

Open The New Year With Series Launches For HONEY SO SWEET,
Bundle Selections And Updates To 16 Other Continuing Titles

VIZ Media gives fans and readers a wide range of fresh choices to start 2016 as the company details its digital manga update for January.

New series launches include HONEY SO SWEET, a romantic comedy about an unlikely relationship that blossoms between a pair of seemingly mismatched high school students, along with SAVING LIFE, which tells the story about a young man’s driven determination to stand on his own. The magical-girl-meets-mecha series, KANNAZUKI NO MIKO, also launches in January and rounds out the month’s new series debuts.

Readers are also invited to browse January’s selection of Digital Manga Bundles that offer the opportunity to dive into multiple collected volumes from a wide selection of acclaimed series at special savings over buying the volumes individually. Bundles are available to readers for a limited time exclusively from VIZManga.com and comiXology.

HONEY SO SWEET, Vol. 1 • Rated ‘T’ for Teens •
DIGITAL MSRP: $6.99 (U.S. / CAN) • Available now!
Little did Nao Kogure realize back in middle school that when she left an umbrella and a box of bandages in the rain for injured delinquent Taiga Onise that she would meet him again years later in high school. Nao wants nothing to do with the gruff and frightening Taiga, but he suddenly presents her with a huge bouquet of flowers and asks her to date him – with marriage in mind! Is Taiga really so scary, or is he a sweetheart in disguise?

SAVING LIFE, Vol. 1 • Rated ‘M’ for Mature Readers •
DIGITAL MSRP: $4.99 (U.S. / CAN) • Available January 12th!
Haruhiko was born rich and grew up pampered. But when he can't take any more of his father's tyrannical behavior, he strikes out on his own, determined to make his own way in the world. But going from super-rich to super-poor is tough on any man (let alone one still in high school!), and it's going to take more hard work than Haruhiko imagined just to make ends meet. He's doing his best and trying to keep up his spirits, but living on bean sprouts and bread crusts is enough to get any man down. Fortunately, he's got his sexy classmates and his own personal (and very hot) maid to help him out! (**NOTE: SAVING LIFE is only directly accessible via VIZManga.com and through partner platforms.)

KANNAZUKI NO MIKO, Vol. 1 • Rated ‘M’ for Mature Readers •
DIGITAL MSRP: $4.99 (U.S. / CAN) • Available January 26th!
Shy Himeko adores Chikane, the gorgeous and cool "princess" of their exclusive boarding school. She's been looking forward to their joint sweet sixteen birthday party for weeks. But on that fateful day, a shrine appears in the sky, giant robots ravage the school, and Himeko discovers that she is the reincarnation of the Solar Priestess – and Chikane is the reincarnated Lunar Priestess. As dark secrets unravel, one thing is clear: their lives will never be the same... (**NOTE: KANNAZUKI NO MIKO is only directly accessible via VIZManga.com and through partner platforms.)

January Digital Manga Bundle Promos (Available All Month):

GODCHILD (Entire Series) • $20.00
• Vols. 1-8

KIMI NI TODOKE Bundle I • $40.00
• Vols. 1-10

KIMI NI TODOKE Bundle II (Entire Series) • $77.00
• Vols. 1-22

• Vols. 1-10

• Vols. 1-15

NURA: RISE OF THE YOKAI CLAN Bundle III (Entire Series) • $75.00
• Vols. 1-25

Additional digital manga updates for the first-half of December also include new volumes for 16 other continuing VIZ Media series. Notable releases include not-to-be-missed volumes for continuing shojo series including THE DEMON PRINCE OF MOMOCHI HOUSE (Vol. 3), KISS OF THE ROSE PRINCESS (Vol. 8) and NATSUME’S BOOK OF FRIENDS (Vol. 19) as well as the latest additions to ongoing action series including BLUE EXORCIST (Vol. 14), NISEKOI (Vol. 13), TERRA FORMARS (Vol. 10), the digital first TOKYO GHOUL (Vol. 5), TWIN STAR EXORCISTS (Vol. 3), and WORLD TRIGGER (Vol. 8).

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, please visit VIZManga.com or www.VIZ.com/apps.

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

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Home video debut of MEMORIES OF THE SWORD on January 12, 2016

Well Go USA
Memories of the Sword / Hyeomnyeo: Kar-ui gi-eok
Directed by PARK Heung-Sik
South Korea, 2015, 120 minutes

From PARK Heung-Sik, the director of Children of Heaven, and starring LEE Byung-hun (G.I. Joe: Retaliation, I Saw the Devil), the lavish epic Memories of the Sword will debut on Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital HD on Tuesday, January 12, 2016 from Well Go USA Entertainment. The action-packed film blends tragic historical drama with thrilling swordplay and martial arts. Memories of the Sword also stars JEON Do-yeon (Secret Sunshine and Jibeuro Ganeun Gil/Way Back Home), KIM Go-eun (Coin Locker Girl), and LEE Kyeong-yeong (War of the Arrows).

As the greed and excess of a corrupt Monarchy threatens to destroy the once-glorious Goryeo Dynasty, three legendary warriors lead a revolt to overthrow the empire and save its people. But when deceit and betrayal costs the life of a master swordsman, a plot for justice and revenge is set into motion, raging for decades between the two survivors.

Look for a full review here at AsianCineFest on, or just before, the January 12th release date.

Saturday, January 02, 2016

Sentai Filmworks has acquired PHANTASY STAR ONLINE 2: THE ANIMATION

Sentai Filmworks has announced its latest acquisition, Phantasy Star Online 2: The Animation, as part of the winter 2016 anime season lineup. Based on the hit MMORPG, this action-adventure series follows Itsuki Tachibana, a player of Phantasy Star Online 2, and the challenges he faces both in and outside of the game.

The series will be directed by Keiichiro Kawaguchi, with Mitsutaka Hirota handling both scripting and series composition. Character designs will be provided by Minoko Takasu, with animation produced by TELECOM ANIMATION FILM (Ramen Fighter Miki, Lupin III - The Italian Adventure (2015), Sengoku Basara: Judge End).

Phantasy Star Online 2: The Animation is scheduled for a January 2016 broadcast in Japan. It will soon be available through select digital outlets, with a home video release to follow.

THE GATE OF HELL at Japan Society this coming Friday, January 8th

Japan Society NY
Gate of Hell © Kadokawa Corporation
The Gate of Hell / Jigokumon
Directed by Teinosuke Kinugasa
With Kazuo Hasegawa, Machiko Kyo, Isao Yamagata,
Yataro Kurokawa, and Kotaro Bando
Japan, 1953, 89 minutes, Blu-ray, color
In Japanese with English subtitles

When: Friday, January 8, 2016 at 7:00 pm
Where: Japan Society 333 East 47th Street, NYC

January 1, 2016 marks what would have been Teinosuke Kinugasa’s 120th birthday. In order to ring in the new year and pay tribute to the pioneering Japanese director Japan Society NY will screen his landmark jidaigeki about an imperial soldier (Kazuo Hasegawa) whose increasing obsession with a married lady-in-waiting (Machiko Kyo) eventually leads to tragedy. An early triumph of color cinematography that dazzled international audiences upon its release (recently restored to its original brilliance), The Gate of Hell won the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival and Oscars for Best Foreign Language Film and Best Costume Design.

$12/$9 seniors & students/$5 Japan Society members

Part of Monthly Classics
Year-round screenings of beloved classics, hidden gems and recent discoveries of Japanese cinema on the first Friday of every month.

Friday, January 01, 2016

Section23 Films announces its February 2016 slate of releases

Home video distributor Section23 Films has announced its February slate of releases; including Sentai Filmworks’ smash hit, the supernatural action series Akame ga Kill. Available on DVD, Blu-ray and Premium Box Set.

Product details, in order of release:

Published by:    Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by:  Section23 Films
Run Time:         300 min.
Street Date:      2/2/2016
Format:             DVD, BD
Language:         Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP:                $49.98, $59.98

SYNOPSIS:  To enroll at Areisha Spirit Academy, where young priestesses learn how to form contracts with Spirits, the ideal prospective student has always been pure, chaste, and of a superior lineage.  And female, of course, since only one man has ever made a Spirit contract and HE was the Demon King.  So when Kamito Kazehaya arrives at the Headmistress' request, the entire Academy is understandably thrown into chaos and confusion.  Because not only is Kamito very obviously a guy, but he also managed to form a Spirit contract in the short time it took him to walk through the woods surrounding the Academy!  How is this even possible?  And what other secrets might the new enrollee have hidden?  The unexpected intrusion of something male is certain to work the female student body into a tizzy as the answers are revealed in BLADE DANCE OF THE ELEMENTALERS!

Published by:    Sentai Selects
Distributed by:  Section23 Films
Run Time:         625 min.
Street Date:      2/2/2016
Format:             DVD, BD
Language:         English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP:                $79.98, $99.98

SYNOPSISSaki and her friends Satoru, Maria, Mamoru, and Shun have lived their entire lives in what seems to be a perfect utopia: a world where almost all technology has been rendered irrelevant by "Juryoku," the psychic ability to materialize anything one desires.  But when Saki discovers a long-lost artifact from the past, the façade of their world is shattered and the cracks that split the foundation of their reality threaten to swallow them whole!  Faced with a bloody secret history of how their world really came to be and thrust into a nightmarish new paradigm, Saki and her companions are confronted with dangers they never knew existed and a series of choices that may change the fate of every intelligent creature on the planet - human and otherwise!  Because when your whole world is a lie, the truth can be the deadliest weapon of all in FROM THE NEW WORLD!

Title:                 AKAME GA KILL COLLECTION 1
Published by:    Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by:  Section23 Films
Run Time:         300 min.
Street Date:      2/9/2016
Format:             DVD, BD, COMBO
Language:         English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP:                $59.98, $69.98, $129.98

SYNOPSISWhen he set off for the Capital, all Tatsumi wanted was a way to make money.  Instead, he finds himself rescued from a fate worse than death by a group of assassins known as Night Raid, and thrust into the middle of a bloody revolution.  On the one side: Prime Minister Honest, his secret police, elite squad of assassins, and the armies of the Empire.  On the other: Night Raid and a handful of rebels desperate to overthrow the brutal regime of Honest's puppet emperor.  Leveling the playing field:  the Imperial Arms, a legendary set of unstoppable weapons created in the distant past.  But to use an Imperial Arm is practically a death sentence, for only a select few can even survive using them… and when two Arms go against each other, only the user of one is likely to survive in AKAME GA KILL!

Title:                 SHIROBAKO COLLECTION 1
Published by:    Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by:  Section23 Films
Run Time:         300 min.
Street Date:      2/9/2016
Format:             DVD, BD
Language:         Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP:                $49.98, $59.98

SYNOPSIS:  After making an animated film together in high school, Aoi and her friends Shizuka, Ema, Misa, and Midori made a promise to each other:  to all get jobs in the anime industry and someday work together again.  Two years later, Aoi is learning that working as a production assistant at a small animation studio is far more demanding than she ever imagined, and Shizuka's aspiring career as a voice actor involves more time waiting tables than recording.  Meanwhile, Ema's slowly making a name for herself as a key animator, Misa's moved from 2D to 3D and now works in computer graphics, and screenwriting hopeful Midori is lagging furthest behind, still looking for her first big break.  But are they ready to give up on their dreams just yet?  No way!  Because while anime may come from inspiration, in the end it's the ones who're willing to put in the perspiration that make their dreams real in SHIROBAKO!  

Title:                 FATE / KALEID LINER PRISMA ILLYA 2WE!
Published by:    Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by:  Section23 Films
Run Time:         250 min.
Street Date:      2/16/2016
Format:             DVD, BD
Language:         English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP:                $59.98, $69.98

SYNOPSIS:  With great powers come great responsibilities, and that includes cleaning up the aftermath of your previous adventures.  Which means that, instead of getting a break after saving the world, newly changed magical girls Illya and Miyu have to help deal with the side-effects caused by the sealing of the Ley Cards.  Still, that shouldn't be too hard, right?  Wrong!  Not only are the ley lines failing, but to make matters worse, Illya somehow ends up with a magical clone… and that sinister clone has plans of her own!  Worse yet, since the "dark" version of herself is drawing its power from the same source as our heroine, Illya's own powers are being reduced proportionately.  These are definitely not the kind of problems that the average girl should have to deal with.  It's double the trouble as Illya's split personalities face off and the personal conflicts get physical in Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya 2Wei!

Title:                 SPACE BROTHERS COLLECTION 7
Published by:    Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by:  Section23 Films
Run Time:         300 min.
Street Date:      2/16/2016
Format:             DVD, BD
Language:         Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP:                $49.98, $59.98

SYNOPSIS:  Whether in the planning rooms for lunar missions or the claustrophobic steel confines of an undersea laboratory, the one thing that every astronaut must learn to deal with is pressure.  But as deadly as the blowout of a pressurized cabin may be, the peer pressure that weighs on brothers Mutta  and Hibito may be even more crippling.  As Mutta prepares to journey to the bottom of the deep blue sea for NEEMO training, Hibito's path descends to even lower depths as his inability to recover sends him into a downward emotional spiral.  Will a trip to Russia be the cure for Hibito's malaise?  Or, having once reached the stars, will he now end up forever grounded by NASA and JAXA?  Yet even as one rising star falters, a second prepares for his ascent to the heavens as Mutta's quest to reach space advances to the next level in the seventh spellbinding collection of SPACE BROTHERS!

Published by:    Sentai Selects
Distributed by:  Section23 Films
Run Time:         75 min.
Street Date:      2/23/2016
Format:             DVD
Language:         Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP:                $19.98

SYNOPSISShe's the perfect girl, and you can do ANYTHING you want with her!  That's what the company MAIDWORKS promises, and boy, do they deliver!  Unfortunately for android maid Yui, her new owner is an otaku who's slipped way past the boundaries of normal anime fandom and into something that's better described as abnormally fanatic.  So instead of cooking, cleaning, and the other… er… duties expected of an android, Yui's main task will be to parade about in an ever-changing variety of anime and maid costumes while the deranged Takaya indulges in his even more deranged fantasies!  And since Yui's one of those rare androids with self-awareness, this isn't just embarrassing, it's downright humiliating!  And things only get weirder as other MAIDWORKS models arrive, each designed to cater to another facet of otaku-dom!   Get ready for nosebleeds, tentacles, and panty-shots galore in the ecchi-est, letch-iest, comedy sketch-iest OAV series ever maid, INDIAN SUMMER!

Published by:    Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by:  Section23 Films
Run Time:         325 min.
Street Date:      2/23/2016
Format:             BD
Language:         Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP:                $59.98

SYNOPSISKazuya Maeda felt almost invisible during his first year of high school, and even his best friend from childhood, Nimi, seemed more difficult to approach as she matured from just another kid to a… gulp…  teenage girl. However, this year, Kazuya has a plan to change his image, and it's all centered around the big, new girl-magnet hanging in front of him: the digital SLR he just received from his dad! But is a camera really all it takes to make talking to girls a snap? Well, at least with digital there aren't many negatives, and if Kazuya can just stay focused and hit all the right angles, who knows what might develop?  Find out if the girls really do go for the guy with the biggest lens as Kazuya zooms his way to the top of the spread in PHOTO KANO!