With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

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

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Anime talk on Japanese animation Post-Miyazaki at Japan Society

Japan Society
The State of Japanese Animation in a Post-Miyazaki World
A talk by Dai Sato and Justin Leach
When: Wednesday, April 6, 2016 at 6:30 pm
Where: Japan Society, 333 East 47th Street, NYC

Anime Industry Veterans Ask: Who will Succeed Hayao Miyazaki?

When legendary director Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro) announced his retirement from Studio Ghibli, the world of Japanese animation mourned. But many also saw an opportunity for new talent to take center stage in the vacuum left by the famed director.

In The State of Japanese Animation in a Post-Miyazaki World, scriptwriter Dai Sato and animator/producer Justin Leach discuss possibilities of Miyazaki's successor and the future of anime. Taking place next Wednesday, April 6th at 6:30 pm at Japan Society, the talk will be followed by a reception.

With nearly 50 years in the industry between them, Sato and Leach, both members of Japan Society’s Innovators Network, have worked closely with high-profile anime directors, including Shinichiro Watanabe (Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo) and Mamoru Oshii (Ghost in the Shell). Sato has written scripts for highly acclaimed television series and films including Samurai Champloo, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, and Cowboy Bebop. Leach's work in the animation industry includes CG creator on Innocence: Ghost in the Shell 2 and on the animation sequences in Kill Bill.

Though many names have been suggested as potential candidates for the title of “the next Miyazaki,” including Miyazaki’s son Goro Miyazaki, Ghibli director Hiromasa Yonebayashi, and Mamoru Hosoda, who directed The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, there is no clear successor.

"What needs to happen to evolve to the next step is to develop these collaborations with people from different countries that find a way to reach a global audience," Mr. Leach recently told The New York Times.

Dai Sato (born in 1969) started his career as a TV script writer/program planner and a lyricist at the age of 19, and later ventured into the video game and music industries. Today, he is first and foremost an animation scriptwriter, with side projects creating scripts and concepts for various media. In 2007 he created Storyriders Inc., Ltd. of which he is the president and CEO. More at http://www.storyriders.net/eng/profiles/.

Justin Leach has had many years of experience working in the animation and film industry in the United States and Japan. In 1997, Justin began his career as an animator at Blue Sky Studios having worked on several award winning commercials, shorts and films including the Academy Award winning short, Bunny. In 2001, Justin moved to Japan to work as a CG creator at Production I.G on Mamoru Oshii's Innocence: Ghost in the Shell 2 and Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill animation sequences. In 2005, Justin was part of the founding team hired to jump-start Lucasfilm's new 3D animated series: Star Wars: The Clone Wars. In 2007, Justin returned to work at Blue Sky to work on such films as, Ice Age 3: Dawn Of the Dinosaurs, Rio, Ice Age 4: Continental Drift, Epic, Rio 2, Ice Age 5: Collision Course (2016), Ferdinand (2017) and the Peanuts Movie. In December of 2012, Justin was the first person to successfully produce a Japanese anime using Kickstarter called Kick-Heart. The film was written and directed by Masaaki Yuasa and created at Production I.G. The award-winning film has gone on to participate in some of the top animation and film festivals around the world. Just has gone on to be Associate Producer on an episode of Adventure Time called “Food Chain” directed by Masaaki Yuasa for Cartoon Network and Under the Dog directed by Masahiro Ando, Kickstarter’s highest funded animation project to date. Justin is based in New York.

Japan Society’s Talks+ Program examines vital issues and themes in modern Japanese art, culture and design. Programming is designed to inform and to provide a gateway through which Americans can appreciate the powerful global influence of Japan’s culture and its many trend-defining artisans. Programs bring together experts and practitioners for provocative discussions on diverse topics including aesthetics, consumer culture and cuisine. More information may be found at www.japansociety.org/programs/talks.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Kurosawa's STRAY DOG to screen at Japan Society this Friday, April 1st

Japan Society Film Program's
Monthly Classics Series
Stray Dog / Nora Inu
Directed by Akira Kurosawa
With Toshiro Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Isao Kimura,
Keiko Awaji, and Reisaburo Yamamoto.
When: Friday, April 1st at 7 pm
Japan, 1949, 122 minutes, 35mm, b&w
In Japanese with English subtitles. 

Akira Kurosawa’s classic police procedural starring a luminous Toshiro Mifune screens in honor of what would have been the superstar actor’s 96th birthday. On a sweltering summer day, a rookie detective named Murakami (Mifune) has his pistol stolen on a crowded city bus. Panicked, he scours the bustling streets of downtown Tokyo for clues, aided by a seasoned section chief (Takashi Shimura). As Murakami gets closer to recovering the pistol, however, the distinction between himself and the criminal who stole it starts to become less and less clear. Stray Dog plunges deep into the anxiety and moral ambiguity of immediate postwar Japan with Kurosawa’s masterful visual flair.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Sentail Filmworks licenses HAVEN'T YOU HEARD? I'M SAKAMOTO

Sentai Filmworks has announced its acquisition of the comedy Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto for the Spring 2016 anime season.

Just who is Sakamoto? He’s enigmatic. He’s clever. He’s dashing. No challenge is too great and no cause is too small for Sakamoto. Girls love him, guys hate him for it, and despite efforts to humiliate him, Sakamoto is flawlessly able to emerge from the fray, even cooler than ever. Who knows what Sakamoto is going to do next? Whatever it is, it will be fabulous!

The series was directed by Shinji Takamatsu (Gintama, School Rumble), with character designs by Atsuko Nakajima (Trinity Blood, Getbackers and Ranma ½).

Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto is scheduled for an April 2016 broadcast in Japan. It will soon be available through select digital outlets with a home video release to follow.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

VIZ announces two new publishing acquisitions at C2E2 Convention

Tenku no Shiro Laputa (Castle in the Sky)
Leading Manga Publisher Previews The Upcoming Release Of New

VIZ Media excited fans this past weekend at Chicago’s premier pop culture and comics convention – C2E2 – as it announced a pair of notable new publishing acquisitions.

During the VIZ Media Industry Panel held this past Saturday, the company thrilled a packed audience as it previewed the upcoming Summer release of YOSHITAKA AMANO: ILLUSTRATIONS, a vivid new art book presenting a curated selection of works by one of Japan’s most famous illustrators and character designers.

VIZ Media also spotlighted the latest forthcoming addition to the Studio Ghibli Library – THE ART OF CASTLE IN THE SKY. This comprehensive book traces the animated film’s development from conception to final cut and will be the final Art Book edition to complete the Studio Ghibli feature film collection. THE ART OF CASTLE IN THE SKY’s publication in October also coincides with the 30th anniversary of the film’s original release.

New Summer & Fall 2016 Art Book Acquisitions:

Debuting Summer 2016
Since beginning his career at age fifteen with the legendary animation studio Tatsunoko Production, Yoshitaka Amano has become one of the most acclaimed artists and illustrators at work today. Displaying a rare range, his oeuvre encompasses everything from minutely observed still-life sketches to full-color paintings on an epic scale, from children’s storybooks to dark adult fantasy, from theatrical productions to video games to sculpture to commercial design. YOSHITAKA AMANO: ILLUSTRATIONS offers a concise survey of this remarkable artist’s career to date. It includes selected full-color pieces for series such as Final Fantasy, Vampire Hunter D and Gatchaman (Battle of the Planets), as well as for Amano’s own creations like Hero and N.Y. Salad. Packed with sketches, commentary, and interviews, this beautiful volume opens a window into the world of Amano.

THE ART OF CASTLE IN THE SKY • MSRP: $34.99 U.S. / $39.99 CAN •
Debuting Fall 2016
Hayao Miyazaki’s Castle in the Sky was the first feature film produced by the legendary Studio Ghibli. Sheeta, a girl who has the power to defy gravity, is on the run from pirates when she meets the young inventor Pazu. Together they explore the secrets of Laputa, a flying city constructed by a long-lost race of people. All of Miyazaki’s major themes – the power of flight, the bravery of young women, and a world wrecked by change – are captured with beautiful animation and joyous storytelling.

For additional information on art book and manga titles published by VIZ Media, visit www.VIZ.com.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Award winning doc ANGEL OF NANJING available on VOD

Balance Films and Blue Bus Productions
Angel of Nanjing
Directed by Jordan Horowitz and Frank Ferendo
USA/China, 2015, 70 minutes

The Yangtze River Bridge in Nanjing is one of the most famous bridges in China. It is also the most popular place in the world to commit suicide. For the past 11 years Chen Si has been patrolling this bridge, looking to provide aid for those who've gone there to end their lives. Incredibly, he has saved over 300 people since he began - nearly one every two weeks.

Directed by Jordan Horowitz and Frank Ferendo, Angel of Nanjing tells the story of an ordinary man doing something extraordinary, and at great personal sacrifice. It is a personal portrait of a man, who in a country of over one billion people, has chosen to dedicate himself to making a difference, one person at a time.

Winner of twelve awardsAngel of Nanjing is available on VOD  fromiTunes, Amazon, and Google Play.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Talk on Japanese car industry at Japan Society NY on Tuesday, March 22nd

Japan Society NY
How Japanese Cars Changed the World: An Insider’s Look
When: Tuesday, March 22nd at 6:30 PM
Where: Japan Society, 333 East 47th Street, NYC

Japan brought us the hybrid car, the Gran Turismo driving game, drifting, Speed Racer, and now the world’s first production fuel-cell car. Japanese innovations inspired high-end European automakers to realize more reliable, better handling cars.

Tokyo-based motor journalist, World Car Awards’ Chairman and host of the international car show ‘Samurai Wheels,’ Peter Lyon examines the highlights of Japan’s car industry, its successes, failures and the latest technologies including artificial intelligence, pedestrian safety and autonomous driving.

The talk will be moderated by CNET editor Tim Stevens and will be followed by a reception.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

POKÉMON POCKET COMICS coming from VIZ in the second half of 2016

©2013 Pokémon.
©1995-2013 Nintendo/Creatures Inc./GAME FREAK inc. TM, ®, and character names are trademarks of Nintendo.

Are Scheduled For Release In Fall 2016

VIZ Media will deliver compact POKÉMON fun and adventure to fans later this year with the Fall 2016 release of the POKÉMON POCKET COMICS VOLS. 1 & 2 BOX SET and POKÉMON X • Y POCKET COMICS VOL. 3.

These wonderful additions to VIZ Media’s expansive POKÉMON catalog include the October release of the first-ever POCKET COMICS BOX SET, along with the debut in December of a brand new POCKET COMIC volume for the popular POKÉMON X • Y story arc.

$19.99 CAN • Rated ‘A’ For All Ages • Available October 2016
The POKÉMON POCKET COMICS BOX SET contains two pocket-sized books each jam-packed with four-panel comic strips. The first volume features POKÉMON BLACK AND WHITE characters and the second volume features Pokémon Legendary characters. Plus, both are full of vital statistics, trivia, puzzles, fun quizzes and more!

POKÉMON X • Y POCKET COMICS VOL. 3 • MSRP: $10.99 U.S. / $13.99 CAN
• Rated ‘A’ For All Ages • Available December 2016
A pocket-sized book jam-packed with four-panel comic strips featuring all the new POKÉMON X • Y BLACK AND WHITE characters plus Pokémon vital statistics, trivia, and fun quizzes!

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: HEARTGOLD & SOULSILVER, POKÉMON ADVENTURES: BLACK AND WHITE.

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

Friday, March 18, 2016

Sentai Filmworks announces acquisition of ARCH ANGELS

Sentai Filmworks has announced its latest acquisition, Arch Angels. In this live-action film based on the manga of the same name, St. Michael's is an elite Catholic boarding school nestled on a beautiful remote island, and it is the quintessence of sophistication. Within the grounds of this aristocratic haven, high school students Fumio, Kazune and Yuzuko discover that they have something in common: they just don’t fit in.

After several girls from wealthy families are kidnapped one after another, everyone becomes wary and apprehensive. When an unexpected force infuses the three girls with special powers, the fate of the school and its attendees might just be in the hands of these misfits.

The film was directed and co-written by Issei Oda, who also supervised visual effects. Dai Miyazaki and Issei Shibata were in charge of producing, with Hirofumi Okada handling cinematography.

Arch Angels will be available through select digital outlets, with a home video release to follow.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

JAPAN SINGS! THE JAPANESE MUSICAL FILM - 10 film series + lecture coming to Japan Society NY

Japan Society
 Japan Sings! The Japanese Musical Film
When: April 8-23, 2016
Where: Japan Society
333 East 47th Street, NYC

This spring Japan Society celebrates the astonishing yet little-known world of Japanese musical films. Filled with rarely screened genre treasures, most unavailable on DVD, Japan Sings! The Japanese Musical Film focuses on the golden age of Japan's "popular song film" starring teen idols and TV stars from the 50s and 60s. The series also reaches back to prewar singing samurai and forward to 21st century genre mashups, presenting 10 songful cinema gems in total, all presented in glorious 35mm. Guest curated by Michael Raine, Assistant Professor of Film Studies at Western University, Canada, Japan Sings! takes place April 8-23 at Japan Society.

"Seeing and hearing the tradition of musical films in Japanese cinema gives us a different view of Japanese popular culture that is smart as well as silly and sometimes devastating, too," says Raine in his curatorial notes. "In the 20th century, American culture became global culture: Japanese filmmakers faced up to that geopolitical fact with a mix of homage and parody that also sometimes offered audiences a way of understanding their place in the world."

This series features some of Japan's biggest pop culture icons, including Hibari Misora, Yujiro Ishihara, Kenji Sawada and Kiyoshiro Imawano, as well as several iconic directors such as Nagisa Oshima and Kihachi Okamoto and contemporary masters like Takashi Miike and Tetsuya Nakashima. Where Hollywood musicals were all-singing, all-dancing Broadway adaptations, the typical Japanese musical film presented 'musical moments' – standalone segments in which characters played by popular singers of the area broke into song.

Raine notes, "Musical performances in these films incorporate Japanese musical tradition as well as the utopian atmosphere of the Hollywood musical to create a rich commentary on the intimate yet imbalanced relation between Japan and the USA… the archetypal Hollywood musical was seen as impossibly American--even the most spectacular imitations (in this series, You Can Succeed, Too) ironize the felt disparity between Japan and the U.S."

Japan Sings! launches April 8th with Eizo Sugawa's tour de force You Can Succeed, Too – "the closest Japanese cinema ever got to a full-blown Broadway style musical," according to Raine, featuring full song-and-dance numbers with dozens of singing salarymen. The screening will be followed by the Opening Night Party.

One of Japan's most popular films of the 50s, Toshio Sugie's So Young, So Bright (April 9), stars Hibari Misora, Chiemi Eri and Izumi Yukimura, and is credited with creating the teen idol "three girl" film format and igniting the made-in-Japan teen music genre that has evolved into today's global J-Pop craze.

Major postwar musical maker Umetsugu Inoue made the star-making action melodrama The Stormy Man (April 9) with the genre's biggest star Yujiro Ishihara. The criminally underseen director Tomu Uchida's masterpiece Twilight Saloon (April 15) features a mélange of musical styles mixing into powerful allegory for life and society in postwar Japan. New wave director Kihachi Okamoto's experimental yakuza musical mash-up Oh, Bomb! (April 16) fuses jazz with naniwabushi (sentimental narrative songs from the early 1900s), Buddhist chant and some oblique homage to West Side Story – one of the auteur’s most overlooked, unique films. Kengo Furusawa's Irresponsible Era of Japan (April 16) is a pinnacle of the 60s screwball "salaryman" comedies that saw television stars help revive a lagging film industry. And taboo buster Nagisa Oshima's A Treatise on Japanese Bawdy Songs (aka Sing a Song of Sex) (April 19) uses song to approach the complex political climate of late 60s Japan, featuring pop singer Ichiro Araki as the lead.

Rounding out the focus on the peak years of the 50s and 60s, are Masahiro Makino's 1939 samurai operetta Singing Lovebirds (April 12), and, closing the series, two films that have rocketed the Japanese musical tradition to new heights in the 21st century: Takashi Miike's horror-comedy The Happiness of the Katakuris (April 23) and Tetsuya Nakashima's wildly acclaimed dark comedy Memories of Matsuko (April 23)—in both films vibrant musical numbers fuel the wrenching bleakness of the characters' lives.

The series also features the curator lecture Popular Song & Performance in the Japanese Musical Film on April 9, free to ticket holders with seats available on a first-come-first-served basis.

Admission: $12/$9 Japan Society members, seniors and students, except the screening of You Can Succeed, Too + Opening Night Party: $15/$12. Patrons who purchase tickets for at least three films in the same transaction receive $2 off each ticket (offer available only at the Japan Society Box Office or by telephone—not available online). Order tickets at www.japansociety.org or call or visit the Japan Society box office, Mon-Fri 11 am to 6 pm and weekends during gallery exhibitions 11:00 am to 5:00 pm, 212-715-1258.

For further information about the individual films and to order tickets, click here.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Sentai Filmworks licenses RIN-NE 2

Sentai Filmworks has announced its acquisition of the second season of the laugh-out-loud supernatural comedy series, RIN-NE. Produced by Brains Base and adapted from the original manga series by renowned mangaka Rumiko Takahashi (Urusei Yatsura, Ranma ½, Inuyasha), RIN-NE 2 continues where the first season ended.

Penniless half-human, half-shinigami-kind-of-thing Rinne Rokudo manages to scrape together just enough money to survive as he continues his work, leading lost spirits to the Wheel of Reincarnation. Aided by the forever blunt Sakura Mamiya and an entourage of ridiculous “friends,” Rinne has his work cut out for him as he encounters new allies and enemies, while still dealing with his nearly crippling poverty!

RIN-NE 2 is scheduled for an April 2016 broadcast in Japan. It will soon be available through select digital outlets, with a home video release to follow.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

MONSTER HUNTER: FLASH HUNTER manga coming April 12th

©CAPCOM CO., LTD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. ©Keiichi Hikami ©2011 Shin Yamamoto

Imaginative New Series Based On Capcom’s Smash Hit
Monster Hunter Property Launches This Spring

VIZ Media delivers brand new manga action inspired by Capcom’s Monster Hunter, one of the hottest RPG video game properties.

MONSTER HUNTER: FLASH HUNTER is a manga (graphic novel) series written by Keiichi Hikami, with artwork by Shin Yamamoto, and is set to launch in print on April 12th. The fantasy action series is rated ‘T’ for Teens and will carry a print MSRP of $10.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN. MONSTER HUNTER: FLASH HUNTER will also launch digitally on April 12th via VIZManga.com and the VIZ Manga App, as well as from the Nook, Kobo, Kindle, iBooks, comiXology, Google Play, and BOOK WALKER Global stores. Subsequent volumes of the 10-volume series will be published in English on a bi-monthly basis.

It is an age when monsters rule the world, soaring through the sky, treading the earth and filling the seas. Humanity survives on the fringes, relying on a special kind of hero to defend the people from danger – the Monster Hunters!

In the opening volume of the series, hunting giant man-eating beasts is no job for the weak-hearted, but along with courage, it takes skill and experience to be a good Hunter. It also takes good teamwork. Raiga and his comrades are experts now, but when they started down the path of the Monster Hunter, they lacked these qualities. When they head off to confront the dragon-like Queropeco, they quickly learn that this flaw could cost them dearly…

MONSTER HUNTER: FLASH HUNTER is based on Capcom’s bestselling game property that has sold more than 33 million units across four game titles, “ says Michael Montesa, Editor. “Fans of the video game will not want to miss this action-driven new fantasy series that offers a whole new way to enjoy the popular storyline and characters.”

For additional information on MONSTER HUNTER: FLASH HUNTER or other manga titles published by VIZ Media, please visit www.VIZ.com.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Sentai Filmworks announces acquisition of HATENKOU YUGI

Sentai Filmworks has announced its acquisition of the 2008 comedy-fantasy anime Hatenkou Yugi. Having been lovingly kicked out of her home with the words, "Don't you wanna see the world a little?" 15-year-old Rahzel Anadis suddenly finds herself traveling from town to town. Her journey is off to a rough start when she's joined by Alzeid, a young man seeking revenge for his father's murder. The two do have a few things in common: they can both use magic, and they both despise each other. Despite their animosity, Rahzel and Alzeid travel together, helping people in other cities and discovering what it really means to "see the world."

The series was directed by Nobuhiro Takamoto (Starry Sky, Beelzebub), with series composition helmed by Yasuhiro Imagawa (Pet Shop of Horrors, Souten no Ken). Studio DEEN (Fate/stay night, When They Cry Kai) was in charge of animation production.

Hatenkou Yugi will soon be available on select digital outlets with a home video release to follow.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

NY premiere of NUCLEAR NATION II at Japan Society this Thursday

Japan Society
Nuclear Nation II © 2015 Documentary Japan, Big River Films.
Nuclear Nation II
Directed by Atsushi Funahashi
Japan, 2014, 90 minutes
Blu-ray, color
Japanese with English subtitles
New York Premiere

When: Thursday, March 17, 2016 at 7:00 pm
Where: Japan Society NY
333 East 47th Street, NYC

This follow-up to director Atsushi Funahashi’s critically-acclaimed 2012 documentary, Nuclear Nation: The Fukushima Refugees Story, continues his investigation into the aftermath of the 3/11 Fukushima nuclear plant meltdown by following a community of displaced people from Futaba who continue to live in temporary housing. The vocalized frustration of these refugees caused by lack of compensation and bureaucratic inefficiency reveals the high cost of nuclear energy and reminds us with a sense of urgency that this crisis remains unresolved.

In recognition of the 5th anniversary of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake,  director Funahashi will present his powerful documentary and discuss the ongoing recovery situation through a post-screening Q&A.

Followed by a reception.

The official trailer for Nuclear Nation II can be watched here.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

6th Annual OLD SCHOOL KUNG FU FEST coming to NYC April 8-10

April 8th - 10th at Metrograph

Subway Cinema is teaming up with the brand spanking new Metrograph to unleash the 6th edition of the annual Old School Kung Fu Fest (OSKFF), celebrating the rarest, wildest, and most incredible martial arts and action cinema from the ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s. This year, it's all about Golden Harvest, which took Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan from Shaw Brothers then put Shaw out of business. Rocking the free world with talent like Sammo Hung, Yuen Biao, and Tsui Hark, GH invented modern day action. The 2016 OSKFF will be screening super rare 35mm prints of films including PEDICAB DRIVER, THE MAN FROM HONG KONG, RUMBLE IN THE BRONX and more.

For further information visit the Subway Cinema website, and check back here at AsianCineFest for future updates.

The 2016 OSKFF is being co-presented with the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office New York.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Vietnam's SWEET 20 opens today in North American locations

South Korea’s CJ Entertainment
Vietnam’s HK Film
Sweet 20 / Em là bà noi cua anh
Directed by Phan Gia Nhat Linh 
Vietnam, 2015, 127 minutes

Premiering in Garden Grove, San Jose, Vancouver and Toronto today, March 11th
Followed by Houston and Dallas on March 18th

What happens when a 70 year-old granny gets a second chance at youth? She follows her dream of becoming a singer of course! Vietnam’s box office hit “Sweet 20” is a sentimental comedy following a grandmother who magically turns into a beautiful 20 year-old girl and decides to make the most of her second chance at being young again. Sweet 20 is Vietnam’s highest-grossing film of all time, beating the previous record holder “Let Hoi Decide” (another CJ Entertainment produced Vietnamese film), and has made a record-breaking $4.76 million at the box office since its December 2015 release. This remake of the popular Korean film Miss Granny will make its North American debut on March 11, 2016 in Garden Grove, San Jose, Vancouver, and Toronto, and will be available in Houston and Dallas on March 18, 2016.

CJ Entertainment’s Miss Granny, the original Korean version of this story, was also previously released in China and the U.S. as “20 Once Again” to huge success. Miss Granny is making its way around the world with additional remake deals in discussion including in the U.S.

In Sweet 20, Mrs. Dai, a foul-mouthed 70 year-old widow lives with her only son and his family. She is very proud of her son (Quang) and indulges her grandson (Tung), but is very strict with her depressed daughter-in-law (Vy). After Vy’s sudden heart attack, Mrs. Dai is shocked and saddened to discover that her son partially blames her for the incident and wants to send his mother away to the countryside in order to give his wife some space. Heartbroken, Mrs. Dai wanders the streets and stumbles upon a mysterious photo studio. She decides to go in to take a photo that can be put on her altar after she dies. Stepping out of the studio, Mrs. Dai soon realizes that she has magically turned into a beautiful 20-year-old girl. Mrs. Dai takes a new name, Thanh Nga, after her favorite pop idol, and decides to make her dreams come true.

“The movie reminded me of my grandmother and how she sacrificed her whole life for my family,” Director Phan Gia Nhat Linh shared.

Sweet 20 is co-produced by South Korea’s CJ Entertainment and Vietnam’s HK Film. The film will be available in the following theaters:

March 11:
· Garden Grove, Garden Grove Stadium 16
· San Jose, East Ridge Mall 15
· Vancouver , Cineplex Odeon Int. Village
· Toronto, Cineplex Yonge & Dundas

March 18:
· Houston, AMC Loews Fountains 18
· Houston, AMC Studio 30
· Dallas-Ft. Worth, AMC Firewheel 18

For more information, visit www.cj-entertainment.com.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Two docs commemorating fifth anniversary of Japan's 2011 Earthquake and Fukushima disaster

Fukushima Disaster Response  (Photo by International Atomic Energy Agency Imagebank.Used under Creative Commons license.)

KCET and Link TV are commemorating the Fifth Anniversary of Japan’s Earthquake and Fukushima Disaster with two new documentaries from Japanese partner NHK. The first is Meltdown – The Fateful 88 Hours, a two-part special premiering tomorrow, Friday, March 11 at 7 p.m. ET/PT on Link TV
and  Friday, March 11 at 9 p.m. on KCET.
Synopsis: On Mar. 11, 2011, at 2:46 p.m., one of the largest earthquakes in Japanese history hit the East of Japan. A gigantic tsunami caused by this earthquake later triggered a complete power outage at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi Nuclear Power Plant, which led to three simultaneous meltdowns. Five years have passed since the accident, and details of the situation at that time have now emerged through various investigations and exclusive interviews with more than 500 people who were involved. Through re-enactments and interviews, viewers will witness for the first time the complete picture of the nuclear accident in Fukushima during those fateful first 88 hours.

The second doc is Decommissioning Fukushima. It will premiere on Thursday, March 17 at 1 p.m. ET and 10 p.m. PT on Link TV and on Friday, March 18 at 10 p.m. on KCET.

Synopsis: At the accident site of Fukushima nuclear power station, the decommissioning of reactors involving the removal of nuclear fuel from three crippled reactors seems unending. Nuclear debris still continues to release fatal amounts of radiation for humans, making close investigation impossible. Therefore, alternative inspection methods using cutting-edge technology are ongoing, including small remotely-operated robots and a cosmic-ray muon technology to imaging debris inside the reactor. Decommissioning Fukushima is a record of the front line of the accident that attempt to answer this question. 

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Home video debut of IP MAN 3 set for April 19th, 2016

Well Go USA
Ip Man 3 / Yip Man 3
Directed by Wilson Yip
Hong Kong, 2015, 105 minutes

The final installment of the internationally-acclaimed trilogy, starring Donnie Yen (Special ID, Kung Fu Killer) and legendary boxer Mike Tyson, Ip Man 3 debuts April 5 on Digital HD and April 19 on Blu-ray™ and DVD from Well Go USA Entertainment.

This iteration of the Ip Man epic trilogy takes place in 1959 Hong Kong and finds Ip Man (Yen) attempting to save his son’s school from an intimidating property developer (Tyson). With the police unable to help, Ip Man recruits his students to face off against the developer’s lackeys in an action-packed fight sequence that ends with the school’s headmaster being kidnapped. After solving this crisis, Ip Man faces another opponent in a fight to decide the true Grandmaster of Win Chun.

Directed by Wilson Yip and featuring action choreography by Yuen Wo Ping, Ip Man 3 takes martial arts to the next level. Bonus materials include a making-of featurette and interviews with the Donnie Yen and Mike Tyson.

Synopsis: Donnie Yen (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 2) ignites the screen in a return to the role that made him an icon - as Ip Man, the real-life Wing Chun grandmaster who mentored Bruce Lee. In this explosive third installment of the blockbuster martial arts series, when a band of brutal gangsters led by a crooked property developer (Mike Tyson) make a play to take over the city, Master Ip is forced to take a stand. Fists will fly as some of the most incredible fight scenes ever filmed play out on the big screen in this soon-to-be genre classic.

Bonus Features Include:
-- Making of Featurette
-- Interview with Donnie Yen & Mike Tyson
-- Behind the Scenes

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

South Korean hit VETERAN coming to Blu-ray and DVD on April 5th

CJ Entertainment
Veteran / Beterang 
Directed by RYOO Seung-wan
South Korea, 2015, 123 minutes

South Korean box office sensation Veteran releases on DVD and Blu-ray on April 5, 2016. The film is a hard-hitting crime thriller with a comedic touch from award-winning director Ryoo Seung-wan (The Unjust). Veteran is the 6th highest grossing film of all time in Korea tallying $85M at the domestic box office. It made its North American debut as an official selection at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival last fall, and made over $1M in the U.S. box office.

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.

Veteran is presented and distributed by CJ Entertainment, Asia’s leading studio and signature film division of major media and content company CJ E&M, and produced by Filmmakers R&K.

Monday, March 07, 2016

Home video debut of THE GREAT HYPNOTIST set for April 5th, 2016

Well Go USA
The Great Hypnotist / Cui mian da shi
Directed by Leste Chen
China, 2014, 102 minutes

Acclaimed Director Leste Chen (Doomsday Reverse, The Heirloom) returns to his mystery-thriller roots with The Great Hypnotist, debuting on DVD and Digital HD April 5th, 2016 from Well Go USA Entertainment. Starring Chinese Superstar Zheng Xu (Lost in Thailand) and Hong Kong singer/actress Karen Mok (Around the World in 80 Days), THE GREAT HYPNOTIST pits a confident hypnotherapist against a belligerent patient in a battle of wills.

Synopsis: Xu Ruining (Xu Zheng) is a nationally renowned therapist incredibly skilled in hypnotherapy. But when his career takes off, he meets a patient named Ren Xiaoyan (Karen Mok) who brings him a complex problem. Xu Ruining discovers that with this particular case, the struggle between the doctor and the patient isn’t as easy as he’d expected. Despite her thin and weak appearance, Ren Xiaoyan always reacts violently to any problems with Xu Ruining. He wonders what exactly makes her closed-off to everyone. Is it from a painful memory in her childhood or the ring mark still visible on her middle finger? While sparing no efforts to figure out what has happened, he finds himself falling into a horrible trap …

Sunday, March 06, 2016

Inio Asano's GOODNIGHT PUNPUN manga series launching March 15th


Poignant Coming Of Age Story By The Creator Of
Debuts Next Month In Print And Digital

VIZ Media will introduce readers to an edgy coming-of-age story about the trials of adolescence from manga creator Inio Asano with the launch of GOODNIGHT PUNPUN on March 15th.

Volume 1 of the series from the Eisner- and Harvey Award-nominated creator of SOLANIN, WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD! and Nijigahara Holograph is rated ‘M’ for Mature Readers and will debut in print under the VIZ Signature imprint with an MSRP of $24.99 U.S. / $28.99 CAN. The series also launches digitally on March 15th via VIZManga.com and will be available from the Nook, Kobo, Kindle, iBooks, comiXology, and GooglePlay stores. Future installments of the 7-volume series are set to be published quarterly.

Meet Punpun Punyama. He’s an average kid in an average town. He wants to win a Nobel Prize and save the world. He wants to go far away with his true love. He wants to find some porn. But Punpun’s life is about to unravel…

“Inio Asano is a unique voice of a generation and a luminary in the world of indie manga,” says Pancha Diaz, Editor. “GOODNIGHT PUNPUN captures the life of a boy during the turmoil of adolescence, as he struggles to deal with a dysfunctional family, first love, and an uncertain future. We invite readers to discover the poignancy, clarity and wit of this exceptional series.”

Inio Asano was born in Ibaraki, Japan in 1980. In 2001, his short story “Hello from Outer Space” won the first Sunday GX Rookie Prize. GX went onto also publish his series, Subarashi Sekai, which is available in English from VIZ Media as WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD! (Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens). His other works include Hikari no Machi (City of Light), Nijigahara Holograph and Umibe no Onna no Ko (A Girl on the Shore), as well as SOLANIN, which is published in English by VIZ Media (Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens).

For additional information on GOODNIGHT PUNPUN or other manga titles published by VIZ Media, visit www.VIZ.com.

Saturday, March 05, 2016

Sentai Filmworks has licensed STRAWBERRY MARSHMALLOW

Sentai Filmworks has announced its acquisition of all three straight-to-video entries in the Strawberry Marshmallow series. First released in 2007, these original video animations (OVAs) continue the adventures of youthful protagonists Chika, Miu, Matsuri, and Ana under the watchful eyes of Chika's big sister Nobue. With botched job applications, curious takes on play time, and (somewhat crude) trips to the public bath house, what adorable antics will the girls get up to this time?

The OVA 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 (OVA) will soon be available on select digital outlets with a home video release to follow.

Friday, March 04, 2016

WAKE UP, GIRLS! THE MOVIE coming to home video on June 7, 2016

Sentai Filmworks has announced the home video release of Wake Up, Girls! The Movie on June 7, 2016.

It is a time of fierce competition between many rival pop idol groups. This is the story of "Wake Up, Girls!" a group made up of seven young girls who have braved the raging storm.

Green Leaves Entertainment is a small production agency located in Sendai, Tohoku, representing former magicians, pinup idols, and fortune tellers. With its last active performer having quit, it finds itself in a dangerous situation as its talent base drops to zero -- so company president Junko Tange comes up with the idea to produce an idol unit. While manager Kohei Matsuda has his concerns about the overbearing president, he heads to the city streets in search of diamonds in the rough. In doing so, Matsuda will bring about an inevitable encounter with a certain young girl...

The film was directed by Yutaka Yamamoto with a script by Toko Machida. Character design was helmed by Sunao Chikaoka, with Satoru Kosaki and MONACA in charge of music composition. Animation production was handled by Tatsunoko Production (Mach GoGoGo, The Adventures of Hutch the Honeybee, Gatchaman) and Ordet (The Miyawaka Family's Hunger, Senyu, BLACK★ROCKSHOOTER).

Sentai Filmworks licensed both Wake Up, Girls! The Movie and the Wake Up, Girls! TV Series in December 2015, and the movie is available for pre-order now.

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Home media & manga releases of POKÉMON THE MOVIE: HOOPA AND THE CLASH OF AGES will be arriving in March

©2016 Pokémon.
TM, ®, and character names are trademarks of Nintendo.

The Latest POKÉMON Feature Film Set For Release On DVD
And Also As An Official Manga Adaptation Next Month

VIZ Media has announced the home media release and debut of the official manga adaptation of POKÉMON THE MOVIE: HOOPA AND THE CLASH OF AGES in early March.

Both of the editions offer fans all of the fun and adventure of the newest POKÉMON anime feature film. POKÉMON THE MOVIE: HOOPA AND THE CLASH OF AGES was directed by Kunihiko Yuyama and was originally released in Japanese theatres last summer.

Rated ‘A’ For All Ages • MSRP: $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN •
Available March 1st
Capture all of the action of the newest POKÉMON feature film in this single-volume official manga adaptation. Features story and artwork by Gin Kamimura.

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

Rated ‘TV-Y7’ for Viewers Ages 7 and Older • MSRP: $19.97 U.S. / $24.98 CAN •
Available March 8th
In a desert city by the sea, Ash, Pikachu, and their friends meet the Mythical Pokémon Hoopa, who can summon all sorts of things—including people and Pokémon—through its magic rings. The little Mischief Pokémon likes to use this talent to play harmless tricks on people...but when its true power is released, it loses control and becomes the towering and terrifying Hoopa Unbound! Long ago, a brave hero stopped its rampage by confining its power in a special bottle. Now that the bottle has been rediscovered, Hoopa must confront its greatest fear! Can Ash help his new friend overcome the darkness within—or will this dangerous struggle erupt into a clash of legends? Catch all the action presented with dubbed English or subtitled dialogue options as well as 2.0 and 5.1 audio selections.

“Ash, Pikachu and the rest of the POKÉMON gang return for their latest feature film adventure in POKÉMON THE MOVIE: HOOPA AND THE CLASH OF AGES and the action doesn’t stop as they help their new friend prevent a dangerous menace from causing massive destruction,” says Charlene Ingram, Senior Marketing Manager, Animation. “Don’t miss all the fun of the home media release and the official manga adaptation coming next month!”

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: HEARTGOLD & SOULSILVER, POKÉMON ADVENTURES: BLACK & WHITE.

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

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Free screening of doc THE KILLING FIELDS OF DR. HAING S. NGOR in L.A. on March 5th

The Killing Fields of Dr. Haing S. Ngor
Directed by Arthur Dong
USA, 2015, 87 minutes 

UCLA Film & Television Archive and UCLA Center for Southeast Asian Studies present a special FREE screening of the documentary, The Killing Fields of Dr. Haing S. Ngor (2015), this Saturday, March 5 at 7:30 p.m. at the Billy Wilder Theater in Westwood Village.

An inspired blend of animation and rare archival material, this documentary looks at the extraordinary life of Dr. Haing S. Ngor, who survived the Khmer Rouge camps and rose to fame as an Oscar-winning actor. Special guests will include director Arthur Dong, Sophia Ngor, and Jack Ong.

Full program details can be found at the UCLA Film & Television Archive website.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016


Well Go USA
 Lost in Hong Kong / Gang jiong
Directed by Xu Zheng
Hong Kong/China, 2015, 114 minutes

Lost in Hong Kong is director Xu Zheng's sequel to his 2012 film Lost in Thailand. It becomes available today, Tuesday, March1 on Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital HD March 1 from Well Go USA Entertainment.This review is based on watching the Blu-ray version.

The film begins in 1994 with three of the main characters attending an art class in college. Xu Lai (director Xu Zheng) wants to be an artist and is totally smitten by Yang Yi (former Ford Supermodel of the World runner-up Du Juan), who also wants to be an artist and has much greater talent than Xu. The third classmate is Cai Bo (Zhao Wei, known for Shaolin Soccer and Painted Skin: The Resurrection). Called "pinach" by her friends, she is in the Department of Management, not an art major.

Xu Zheng assists Yang Yi on several projects and tries to get things going romantically, but each time he attempts to obtain his first kiss with her something occurs to thwart his efforts.

Cut to almost twentyl years later. Xu Zheng and Cai Bo have been married for some time and she is desperately trying to get pregnant. Zheng desings underwear for her father's company, a job far from his youthful aspirations. Meanwhile, Yang Yi has become a very successful artist and will soon have her "Expressions" exhibition open in Hong Kong.

Zheng wants to see his first love and perhaps finally experience that first kiss that was so elusive years earlier. His efforts are thwarted, however, by Cai Lala (actor Bao Bei'er, seen in Snow Girl and the Dark Crystal and The Four), Cai Bo's younger brother and a would-be documentary filmmaker.

Comedy is one of those film genres that is problematic when it comes to crossing borders. For me, Lost in Hong Kong, like its predecessor Lost in Thailand is too culture specific to succeed in making the trip, unlike, say, Pang Ho-cheung's Vulgaria (2012) which succeeds brilliantly.

Xu Zheng's latest film does, however, have its moments, though they are on the few and far between side. Cai Bo's efforts to help insure that Xu Zheng's "swimmers" make it to their intended destination is pretty funny. There are also some references to other films. For me, a line of library bookcases falling over onto one another brought to mind a similar scene in the James Bond film GoldenEye. The use of the number 2046 for a designated room clearly is an allusion to Wong Kar-Wai's 2004 film 2046, in which the number also referred to a room.

There are also quite a few appearances, usually brief, of Hong Kong actors and other film personages, which is interesting if one is familiar with at least a number of them. (They are identified in "The Actors" segment of the Making of Featurette, though you will probably want to have a finger poised over the "pause" button of your remote, they flash by so quickly.)

And, finally, Du Juan's tall, slim model's figure is lovely to behold, for what that's worth.

Still, the fact remains that almost all the would-be comedy failed to connect, at least with this Westerner. Others may feel differently, as the reviewer for the Los Angeles Times who called the film "One of the year's best" presumably did.

Disc Specs:
-- Audio
  -- Mandarin DTS 5.1 HDMA
  -- Mandarin 2.0 Stereo
-- Subtitles
  -- English
  -- Chinese
  -- Off

Bonus Features:
-- Making of Featurette
  -- The Stunts
  -- The Actors
  -- The Characters
-- Blooper Reel
-- Trailer

AsianCineFest Rating: 1.5 out of 4 stars, fair-to-poor overall rating.

Sentai Filmworks has announced its April 2016 release schedule

Sentai Filmworks has announced its April slate of releases; including the highly acclaimed sci-fi/horror series Parasyte -the maxim. Available on DVD, Blu-ray and Limited Edition Premium Box Set.

Product details, in order of release:

Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 300 min.
Street Date: 4/5/2016
Format: DVD, BD, COMBO
Language: English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $59.98, $69.98, $139.98

SYNOPSIS: It's the ultimate nightmare. One minute Shinichi Izumi is a normal teenager asleep in his bed. The next he's been infected with a deadly parasitic organism determined to devour his brain and turn his body into the planet Earth's new apex predator. But Shinichi partially foils the attack and, instead of being consumed, finds that the creature known as Migi has taken the place of his right hand. Now forced to share the same body, the two must become unwilling allies. Migi isn't the only one of his kind, and unless human and parasyte work together, they'll both be killed as abominations. Prepare yourself for a horrifying new world where the survival of the fittest and the survival of the human race are no longer the same thing. Monsters lurk behind every corner and every face as the human race becomes prey in PARASYTE - THE MAXIM!

Published by: Sentai Selects
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 625 min.
Street Date: 4/5/2016
Format: DVD
Language: English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $29.98

SYNOPSIS: Young Aakura arrives in Capital City to fight for the Imperial Floral Capital Defense Force, but all she finds is a weird opera company preparing for a big performance. What's worse is that the ladies in the company won't let Sakura join in any of their Rheingold games. Can she win them over by unleashing her Spirit Energy? Based on the video game that took the world by storm, Sakura Wars TV brings you even more of the beautiful warriors made popular in the original Sakura Wars. Follow Sakura as she joins the fight of her life. Will she ever be accepted? Does the world have a chance against the evil Wakaji and the mysterious Crimson Lady? Can everyone learn their lines before opening night?!!

Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 300 min.
Street Date: 4/5/2016
Format: BD
Language: Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $59.98

SYNOPSIS: All train fanatic Naoto Takayama has ever dreamed of is becoming an engineer, but when he finally makes the grade and scores a trainee position with the JNR, his ambitions are totally derailed. Now, instead of the big front cab of his dreams, Naoto's stuck in the security division working with a squad of gorgeous girls and escorting pretty idol singers. Oh, what a nightmare! Okay, so there are the occasional bomb threats, thieves, and members of the rogue railway privatization group RJ to deal with, but that's what trigger-happy harpy Aoi and Sho, the squad's only other male member, are for. And if Naoto's one-track mind could just see the light at the end of the tunnel, he might realize that he's already on an express train to paradise with multiple lovely cabooses. Will getting railroaded take on a whole new meaning? Find out as everyone gets off on the wrong side of the tracks in RAIL WARS!

Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 300 min.
Street Date: 4/12/2016
Format: DVD, BD
Language: Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $49.98, $59.98

SYNOPSIS: Everyone knows that it's a really bad idea to play the Kokkuri game by yourself. After all, when you start randomly summoning ancient spirits, you never know what kind of ghost or oni might show up, or how long you may be stuck with them. Unfortunately, tiny Kohina does lots of things that are bad for her, including living on a diet of instant noodles. So when she decides to play the supernatural game alone, she's incredibly lucky that she summons Kokkuri. He may not be the most powerful fox spirit, but as soon as he sees the doll-like girl in a house filled with pasta, he knows that she needs a protector more than she needs a good scare. But fulfilling that goal is going to require more than just a Ramen Exorcism, because Kohina is a very strange little girl and it seems that Kokkuri isn't the only mystical being who's interested in her in GUGURE! KOKKURI-SAN!

Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 650 min.
Street Date: 4/12/2016
Format: DVD, BD
Language: English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $79.98, $99.98

SYNOPSIS: The stars were mankind's destination, but when humans returned from the sky, it was to an Earth where only the islands of Japan remained inhabitable. In this strange new world, the nations of the old Earth have carved Japan into new dominions, and humanity must follow the Testament, a guide to reenacting the events of the past, in order to reach for the stars once more. But as the nations vie for power, the old rule of might makes right comes into play. And even though each country has its own ultimate weapon, an Armor of Deadly Sins, there may be a far greater threat to mankind waiting in wings. Because the Testament ends abruptly, and its final year has arrived. Is the end of humanity at hand or can Tori Aoi and his fellow students from the floating city ship Musashi somehow affect the course of destiny in HORIZON IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE?

Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 168 min.
Street Date: 4/12/2016
Format: DVD, BD
Language: English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $39.98, $49.98

SYNOPSIS: He's a pest. A menace. And worst of all, he sits next to her in class. All Yokoi wants is to be able to pay attention to her teacher's lessons, but somehow her focus is always pulled away to what Seki is up to. Because he's always up to something, whether it's playing a game or building some mind-boggling creation on his desk. While their teacher is speaking! While Seki should be taking notes! And yet Yokoi is the only one who ever notices. She's the only one who sees disaster looming as Seki's nefarious plans slowly build to their evil fruition. And worst of all, while Seki always seems to get away with it, the constant distractions and paranoia that he's inducing in Yokoi keep getting HER into trouble! It's just not fair! But despite the consequences, Yokoi finds herself unable to look away. To ignore him. So with every class, the tension and torture begin again in TONARI NO SEKI-KUN!

Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 117 min.
Street Date: 4/19/2016
Format: DVD, BD
Language: Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $24.98, $34.98

SYNOPSIS: Ghosts. Curses. Demons. If you crave tales of terror and seek mysteries that defy explanation, go to the park at 5. That's when the man in the yellow mask will arrive with his kamishibai, the paper theater, to tell his sinister stories of Japan's darkest side. But be warned: this storyteller's works may do more than simply send shivers down your spine. Because the more fascinated you become with the supernatural, the more the supernatural may become fascinated with you. Enter a world where the closest of friends can become the deadliest of enemies, where the most mundane of objects can become hair-raising nightmares, and not even one's own family can be trusted to remain human. Dare to pierce the veil of darkness and a realm of ultimate horror awaits as you discover YAMISHIBAI - JAPANESE GHOST STORIES!

Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 300 min.
Street Date: 4/26/2016
Format: DVD, BD
Language: Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $49.98, $59.98

SYNOPSIS: The single most important element of any mission is trust: trust in your equipment, trust in your crewmates and support team, and trust in yourself. As the trajectories of Mutta and Hibito's careers continue to alter dramatically, self-doubt and lack of trust become the deadliest of enemies. Once the rising young star, Hibito must now undergo round after round of grueling tests in order to prove that he still has the right stuff for the space program. Meanwhile, Mutta has never been working harder, continuing to prepare for his own mission to the moon while serving as Vince's backup. But Mutta's team is still incomplete, and Chief Butler has yet to assign a captain to the CES-62 backup crew. Will the unexpected new addition to the roster change everything? Get ready for a rendezvous with destiny as the brotherhood of space meets its greatest challenge in the eighth interstellar collection of SPACE BROTHERS!