Here are the headlines to come out of the anime industry since the last newsletter:
- Anime voice actress Michal Friedman passed away on November 25, 2011 from complications after giving birth. Her credits include Esther in Mobile Suit Gundam UC, the cute version of Paya in Magical Witch Punie-chan, Seisei in Samurai Deeper Kyo, and various roles in The Gokusen.
- Animation director and character designer Shingo Araki passed away on December 1, 2011 from acute circulatory failure at the age of 72. His credits include working on Jungle Emperor Leo, Tomorrow's Joe, The Rose of Versailles, Saint Seiya, and Yu-Gi-Oh!.
- Sentai Filmworks has announced that the company has acquired the distribution rights for the Grave of the Fireflies anime film. Digital distribution will begin this winter, and a DVD from a digitally restored master is planned for 2012.
- Aniplex of America will be releasing the Fate/Zero television anime series on Blu-ray Disc in North America. The first box set will contain thirteen episodes, and is scheduled to be released on March 7, 2012. The set will include English subtitles and an English translation booklet for the included Japanese production material booklet. The extras in the set will include unaired footage from the series, the series' first original soundtrack and a drama CD. The box set is available for pre-order on Right Stuf, and it retails for $498.98; however, Right Stuf is currently offering the set for $369.98.
- FUNimation has announced that the company will be releasing Princess Jellyfish on DVD and Blu-ray disc on February 28, 2012. In addition, the cast list for the English dub was also announced: Maxey Whitehead is Tsukimi, Josh Grelle is Kuranosuke, Mariela Oritz is Banba, Cynthia Cranz is Chieko, Leah Clark is Jiji, Monica Rial is Mayaya, Lara Woodhull is Clara, Ian Sinclair is Shu, Jamie Marchi is Inari, Charlie Campbell is Koibuchi, Jerry Russell is Negishi, Christopher Bevins is Hanamori, and Wendy Powell is Tsukimi's Mother.
- NIS America has announced that the company will be releasing the House of Five Leaves anime series on DVD on March 6, 2012. The DVD collection will contain all 12 episodes of the series with Japanese audio and English subtitles on two DVDs. In addition, the release will include a hardcover art book.
- FUNimation's Video-on-Demand channel is now available on Armstrong Cable. FUNimation Channel Video-on-Demand is located under FUNimation/Premium and includes a subscription level of service that offers over 50 hours per month with full anime series, specials, iconic classics, originals, and select premium live action titles. In addition, the transactional offering includes up to 15 hours per month featuring movies, packaged series and simulcasts of anime series currently airing in Japan.
- Anime-ZAP! has announced that their 2012 convention has made a change to both its date and its location. The convention is now taking place January 7-8, 2012 at the Four Points Hotel in Downtown Peoria, Illinois. According to convention organizer, Ryan Kopf, these changes were made because "our previous hotel space is being closed for renovations through all of 2012."
- Setsucon has announced that voice actor Kyle Hebert will be guest at their upcoming convention. Hebert's credits include being the narrator for Dragon Ball Z, as well as providing voices for Naruto, Bleach, Fullmetal Alchemist, and One Piece. Setsucon is taking place January 28-29, 2012 at the Penn Stater Conference Center in State College, Pennsylvania.
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.
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This week, I posted two new articles to the Anime site. The first is a biography for anime voice actress Michal Friedman. The second is a biography for animation director and character designer Shingo Araki. The third is an overview article for the Ikki Tousen anime series. The fourth is a review for the Pokemon DP Battle Dimension: The Secret of the Tower book. I have added words from the Ikki Tousen anime series to the list for the word games at the Anime site. I am also featuring the Super Dimensional Calvary Southern Cross box set as an "Editor's Recommendation" on the main page of the Anime site.
Here's the latest articles from the Anime site at BellaOnline.com.
Biography of Michal Friedman
This is a biography for anime voice actress Michal Friedman.
Biography of Shingo Araki
This is a biography for animation director and character designer Shingo Araki.
Ikki Tousen is an anime series based on the manga series written and illustrated by Yuji Shiozaki.
Pokemon The Secret of the Tower
Pokemon DP Battle Dimension: The Secret of the Tower is a book based on the Pokemon episode, "The Keystone Pops!," which is part of the Pokemon DP Battle Dimension season.
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