Here are the headlines to come out of the anime industry since the last newsletter:
- Anime scriptwriter Akira Adachi passed away from pneumonia on January 6, 2012 at the age of 75. He wrote scripts such 1960s and 1970s anime series as Bakuhatsu Goro, Prince Planet, Yokai Ningen Bem, and Yusei Kamen.
- On November 4, 2011, FUNimation Entertainment filed a lawsuit in the district court of Harris County, Texas against John Leford the CEO and co-founder of A.D.Vision, along with companies A.D. Vision, AEsir Holdings, Sxion 23 (aka Section23 Films), Valkyrie Media Partners, Seraphim Studios, Sentai Filmworks, Sentai Holdings, and Unico Mystica Holdings (aka Switchblade Pictures) for breach of contract as well as other claims. In their suit, FUNimation claims that the defendants owe FUNimation "an amount to be proven at trial but currently estimated" to be approximately US$8 million plus interest, costs, and attorneys' fees. FUNimation alleges in the suit that the company became a creditor of A.D. Vision in regards to a debut ADV owed ARM Corporation (the third party licensing entity jointly owned by Sojitz Corporation and several other companies). According to the suit, ADV purchased anime licenses from ARM after May 2006, and in January 2008 ARM "declared ADV to be in default of the parties' agreements." ADV lost the rights to more than 30 anime properties; in July 2008, FUNimation and ARM announced they had reached a distribution agreement for those properties. FUNimation alleges in the suit that ARM gave FUNimation the right to enforce ARM's agreement with ADV in regard to the debt that ADV owned ARM, and making FUNimation a creditor. The suit claims that ADV never paid the debt, and sold its assets for below market price to several companies owned by former ADV executives and shut down. FUNimation is asking the court to declare ADV's transfer of assets "as null, voided and without effect," and to restore those assets to the parent company. On December 23, 2011, a counterclaim was filed to dispute the charges, and claim that they do not have a contract with FUNimation and are not liable to the company. The counterclaim also says that these companies did not exist when FUNimation acquired the rights from ARM to enforce ADV's contract with ARM, that FUNimation's lawsuit was filed after the two-year statute of limitations, and that FUNimation wasn't involved with the original contract and are unable to claim any direct damages. The companies are asking the court to declare FUNimation's contract "is not a valid agreement binding on the Defendants," that the companies owe "no duties or performance of any obligations" to FUNimation, and that FUNimation pay their attorney's fees, costs, and expenses. The first pre-trial meeting is currently scheduled for October 5, 2012.
- Anime News Network is reporting that Media Blasters laid off most of the company's employees on January 10, 2012. The company's staff decreased from 15 to five or six regular employees; however, the company is asking former staff members to continue working on a freelance basis. At this time, the company expects to continue releasing the same number of titles as before the lay offs.
- The American streaming service Crackle has posted the first English dubbed episode of the Kurozuka television anime series on its YouTube channel. This anime has not been released in America prior to Crackle posting this episode. The site is now streaming new episodes of the series on a weekly basis.
- Sentai Filmworks has announced that the company has licensed the Motto To Love-Ru - Trouble- television anime series. The company says it will release the series in a complete collection box set on subtitled DVD in spring 2012.
- Maiden Japan and Section 23 have announced that they have licensed the Shinkyoku Sokai Polyphonica crimson S television anime series. The anime will be released digitally, as well as on DVD with English subtitles in spring 2012.
- Media Blasters has announced that the company will be releasing the Fushigi Yugi Season One Box Set in April 2012. No further details on this release are available at this time.
- Sentai Filmworks has announced that the company has licensed the Another anime series. The company will be releasing the series digitally "through multiple outlets" and will then release it on DVD and Blu-ray later in 2012.
- FUNimation has announced that the company's release of the Hetalia: World Series anime series' second half will include the Fan Disk episodes. These episodes will be dubbed into English.
- S'more Entertainment has announced that the company has acquired the rights to the Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo television anime series. The company will be releasing the Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo Complete Series Part 1 DVD ib March 27, 2012. The set will include 38 episodes on four discs with English subtitles and dubbing.
- S'more Entertainment has announced that the company has acquired the license to the Galaxy Express 999 television anime series. The company is planning the first American DVD release for the series with English subtitles, but a release date has not been set yet.
- Section23 has announced the company's releases for April 2012. Motto To Loveru Complete Collection and Polyphonica Crimson S Complete Collection will be released on DVD on April 3, 2012 in Japanese with English subtitles. Infinite Stratos Complete Collection will be released on DVD and Blu-ray on April 10, 2012 in English and Japanese with English subtitles. Someday's Dreamer Complete Collection will be released on DVD on April 17, 2012 in English and Japanese with English subtitles. Golgo 13 Collection 3 will be released on DVD on April 24, 2012 in English and Japanese with English subtitles.
- Anime St. Louis has announced that voice actor Bob Bergen will be a guest at their upcoming convention. Bergen's credits include No-Face in Spirited Away and Lupin III in Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro and Lupin III: The Mystery of Mamo. The convention is taking place April 20-22, 2012 at the Gateway Center and Doubletree by Hilton in Collinsville, Illinois.
- Kawaii Kon has announced that voice actress Yuu Asakawa will be a guest at their upcoming convention. Asakawa's credits include Motoko in Love Hina, Sakaki in Azumanga Daioh, Priss in Bubblegum Crisis 2040, and Hibiki in Amagami SS. Kawaii Kon is taking place March 16-18, 2012 in Honolulu, Hawaii.
- Sentai Filmworks has announced that the company has acquired the license for the Listen To Me Girls, I'm Your Father! television anime series. The company will release the series digitally "through multiple outlets" and then release it on subtitled DVD later in 2012.
- Crackle has announced has announced that the site will be streaming some of Animax's franchises in the United States and Canada. Some of the Animax series and movies that will be available on Crackle include Kurozuka, Initial D, Fate/Zero, Ikki Tousen, Aquarion, Murder Princess, Kaena: The Prophecy, Vexille, and Blood: The Last Vampire. New episodes and/or series will launch every Wednesday.
There are topics in the anime forum for these news stories. If you'd like to join in on the discussion, there's a link to the forum later in the newsletter. You need to have a BellaOnline forum account in order to post, but signing up for a forum account is free.
|First Squad - The Moment of Truth||DVD|
|First Squad - The Moment of Truth||Blu-ray|
|The Girl Who Leapt Through Space 4||DVD|
|Hetalia: Axis Powers Collection 3||DVD|
|Kaze no Stigma: Complete Series S.A.V.E.||DVD|
|Nabari no Ou: The Complete Series S.A.V.E.||DVD|
|Princess Resurrection Complete Collection||DVD|
|Star Driver Part 2||DVD|
|Star Driver Part 2||Blu-ray|
The Chinese New Year is coming up on January 23, and 2012 is the Year of the Dragon. To celebrate, BellaOnline's Anime section will be celebrating "The Year of the Dragon Ball"! Starting this week, I will be posting a new Dragon Ball-related article to the site every other week for as long as I can during 2012; the first article for the celebration is a review of the Dragon Ball Z Dragon Box One DVD box set. I have added the Dragon Ball Z Dragon Box One DVD box set to the Dragon Ball section of the Anime Shop, and I am also featuring the set as an "Editor's Recommendation" on the main page of the Anime site.
In addition, I have also posted overview articles for the Noir and the Best Student Council anime series. I have also added words from Noir and Best Student Council to the list of words for the word games at the Anime site.
Here's the latest articles from the Anime site at BellaOnline.com.
Dragon Ball Z Dragon Box One
Dragon Ball Z: Dragon Box One contains the first forty-two episodes of the Dragon Ball Z anime series.
Noir is an anime series produced by the Bee Train animation studio, and was directed by Koichi Mashimo.
Best Student Council
Best Student Council is an anime series produced by J.C. Staff and directed by Yoshiaki Iwasaki.
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