Akira returns to UK Cinema for Manga UK’s 25th Anniversary this September

Earlier this month we reported that Akira would be given another release that included the Blu-ray, DVD, a digital copy and tons more content. And just recently Manga Entertainment have announced plans to bring Akira back to the UK cinemas to celebrate the company’s 25th anniversary.

Akira Movie Poster 2016

Katsuhiro Otomo’s landmark cyberpunk classic obliterated the boundaries of Japanese animation and forced the world to look into the future. Akira’s arrival shattered traditional thinking, creating space for movies like The Matrix to be dreamed into brutal reality. Neo-Tokyo, 2019. The city is being rebuilt post World War III when two high school drop outs, Kaneda and Tetsuo stumble across a secret government project to develop a new weapon – telekinetic humans. After Tetsuo is captured by the military and experimented on, he gains psychic abilities and learns about the existence of the project’s most powerful subject, Akira. Both dangerous and destructive, Kaneda must take it upon himself to stop both Tetsuo and Akira before things get out of control and the city is destroyed once again.

The film will be screened nationwide with over 70 screens selected for a limited run on 21st September 2016. Manga notes this is the widest UK theatrical release of the film since its original run many years ago.

Andrew Hewson, Marketing Manager
“Iconic and game-changing, Akira is the definitive anime classic which even after decades since its initial release still holds up as one of the most thrilling and visceral films you will ever see! In celebration of Manga’s 25th anniversary we will be re-releasing Akira in cinemas this September on over 70 screens across the UK. Not only that, in November we will be releasing a collector’s edition triple play – DVD, Blu-ray and digital copy housed in a rigid box, containing both English dubs as well as brand new artwork. This is an absolute must for any Akira fan!”

Here’s a list of all the cinemas taking part. You can also view a map on the Akira UK website to find your nearest cinema that will be showing the film:

Aberdeen Union Square Cineworld
Basingstoke Festival Place Vue
Bath PictureHouse
Belfast Odyssey Independent
Birmingham Broad Street Cineworld
Birmingham Electric Independent
Birmingham, Star City Vue
Bluewater Showcase CDL
Brighton Komedia PictureHouse
Bristol Showcase
Bristol Showcase CDL
Cambridge PictureHouse
Cambridge Vue
Cardiff Showcase
Cheshire Oaks Vue
Coventry Showcase
Crawley Cineworld
Derby Showcase CDL
Dublin Cineworld
Dudley Showcase
Dundee DCA Independent
Edinburgh Cineworld
Edinburgh Cameo PictureHouse
Enfield Cineworld
Exeter PictureHouse
Exeter Vue
Gateshead Vue
Glasgow East (Out of Town) Showcase
Glasgow Renfrew Street (Central) Cineworld
Hull Vue
Inverness Vue
Lancaster Dukes Independent
Leeds Showcase CDL
Leeds Hyde Park Independent
Leicester Showcase CDL
Liverpool Showcase
Liverpool, FACT PictureHouse
London Central, Central PictureHouse
London Central, Prince Charles Independent
London East, Hackney PictureHouse
London East, Newham Showcase
London East, Stratford East PictureHouse
London East, West India Quay Cineworld
London East, Westfield Stratford Vue
London North, Crouch End PictureHouse
London North, Finchley Road Vue
London North, Islington Vue
London North, Wood Green Vue
London South, Croydon Grants Vue
London South, Ritzy PictureHouse
London South, Wandsworth Cineworld
London West, Westfield Vue
Manchester Showcase
Manchester Red Vue
Milton Keynes Cineworld
Northampton Vue
Norwich PictureHouse
Norwich Vue
Nottingham Showcase CDL
Oxford PictureHouse
Oxford Vue
Paisley Showcase
Peterborough Showcase
Plymouth Vue
Portsmouth Vue
Portsmouth No. 6 Independent
Reading Showcase CDL
Sheffield Cineworld
Sheffield Vue
Southampton PictureHouse
Stirling Vue
Swansea Vue
Teeside Showcase
Walsall Showcase
Watford Vue
York PictureHouse
York Vue

If you can’t visit these locations, the film is also available on Blu-ray and DVD. The new collector’s edition release will be available on the 28th of November.

MVM to release Berserk 1997, Chobits and Ergo Proxy on Blu-ray to the UK this Q4 2016!

MVM Entertainment have gone to social media to announce their latest updates on their release slates. Their Q4 line-up has been rather quiet until now so it’s time for them to unveil what they have in store!

Back at MCM Comic Con London in May, MVM Entertainment already revealed they had plans to release Chobits on Blu-ray along with a couple others (Serial Experiments Lain, Tenchi Muyo! OVA Collection) but now they have two more titles joining the Blu-ray upgrade as well as release dates!

Chobits 1

Starting off with Chobits, the 26 episode TV series will be released as a complete series collection set for SRP £39.99 on 10th October 2016 with English & Japanese audio (with English subs). You can also stream the series on Funimation Now if you like.

Chobits Plot Synposis
A country boy from Hokkaido, Hideki arrives in the big city (Tokyo) to go to college. Instantly, he is shocked and amazed by the variety and prevalence of Persocoms: personal computers designed to look and act like animals or even people! Too poor to afford one of his own, Hideki is overjoyed to discover a discarded Persocom in a trash heap. However, this gift of fate turns into a mystery as his Persocom, Chi, appears to be able to operate without her OS… How real is real?

Berserk

Next up we have the classic 1997 anime adaptation of Berserk. The 25 episode TV series will be released as a complete series collection set for SRP £49.99 on November 21st 2016 with English & Japanese audio (with English subs). The franchise has already received numerous anime adaptations including a 2012-2013 movie trilogy (already released by Kaze UK) and the recent 2016 adaptation that’s available on Crunchyroll (with a future UK home release planned by Universal Pictures).

Berserk Plot Synposis
In the castle of Midland, a new king has come to power through treachery and violence. His demonic agents terrorize the citizens relentlessly, until the night when a battle weary soldier known as the Black Swordsman come to destroy them. However, his true motives and unrelenting grudge against the king are buried in the past – when a young mercenary named Guts joined the charismatic, graceful, and deadly Griffith and the Band of the Hawk.

Ergo Proxy

And finally we have the cult classic Ergo Proxy. The 23 episode TV series will be released as a complete series collection set for SRP £49.99 on December 12th 2016 with English & Japanese audio (with English subs).

Ergo Proxy Plot Synposis
The domed city of Romd is an impenetrable would-be utopia where humans and robots coexist, and everything is under complete government control – or so it appears. While working on a mysterious murder case, Re-l Mayer, a female detective from the Civilian Intelligence Office, receives a foreboding message that something is going to “awaken.” That night, she’s attacked by a deformed super-being.

All three TV shows MVM are putting out have already been released on DVD. Berserk and Ergo Proxy have been given HD Native remasters in Japan whereas Chobits is an upscale from Funimation. Images above for Chobits and Ergo Proxy are cover arts of the Japanese Blu-ray Disc Boxes and not the final MVM covers.

 

Manga UK to bring the Pokemon films and Transformers: The Movie on Blu-ray to the UK

Last month we reported that Manga Animatsu will be releasing Digimon Tri and a couple other titles to the UK this Q4. And it turns out that they also have a couple more surprises left in store!

It’s been a long time since Pokémon has been handled for home release properly here in the UK, and now Manga Entertainment UK were pleased to announce the return of this beloved anime franchise with the announcement of their acquisitions for four of the Pokémon films released so far. These four films are Pokémon: The First Movie, Pokémon 2000, Pokémon 3 and Pokémon: Hoopa and the Clash of Ages.

Marketing Manager Andrew Hewson had this to say:

“We are incredibly proud and excited to announce the release of the first three Pokémon movies on limited edition Blu-ray steelbook. We pride ourselves on being the home of classic and perennial franchises and this is a great addition to the family. With the success of Pokémon Go this is the perfect time to be releasing the movies, especially as this is the first time fans can get them on Blu-ray!”

Pokemon Movies 1-3 collection

That’s right, the first three films (Pokémon: The First Movie, Pokémon 2000 & Pokémon 3) will be coming to the UK as a trilogy set; in standard DVD and as a limited edition Blu-ray steelbook on November 14th 2016. Details are unknown on whether the Blu-ray version is based on the Viz Media US masters or the Beyond Entertainment Australian masters given the audio is a tad different between the two, but regardless we are getting the first three films in HD with English audio only. These films did receive a UK release before under Warner Bros but they have since been out of print for a very long time.

Pokemon Movie 1

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!

Ash’s excitement turns to fear and anger when Mewtwo reveals its plan for domination, creating powerful clones of our heroes’ Pokémon so it can even the “imbalance” between Pokémon and their Trainers. Despite Ash’s protests, Mewtwo refuses to believe that Pokémon and people can be friends. But faced with the determination and loyalty of a young Trainer, Mewtwo just might have to reconsider…especially when pitted against the power of the mysterious Mew!

Pokemon Movie 2

Pokémon: The Movie 2000
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?

Pokemon Movie 3

Pokémon 3: The Movie
A crystal catastrophe is unleased 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: Hoopa and the Clash of Ages is one of the latest films released in the franchise for the past few years and will be available on its own for Blu-ray and DVD separately with English audio only. The release will be put out first on October 24th.

Pokemon Movie Hoopa

Pokémon: Hoopa and the Clash of Ages
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 terriying 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?

Pokemon isn’t the only thing that Manga Entertainment have to offer this Q4! To the surprise of many, the distributor is pleased to bring the classic 1986 film Transformers: The Movie to the UK for its 30th anniversary on December 12th! The movie is technically classified as an anime because of Toei Animation’s involvement but nevertheless the movie will be available on Blu-ray in a special limited edition steelbook!

The Transformers Movie

The Blu-ray release will feature the newly remastered movie from a new 4K transfer of original film elements in wide-screen and full-frame plus a digital copy of the movie and a ton of special bonus content including:

  • ‘Til All Are One – A brand-new, comprehensive documentary looking back at TRANSFORMERS: The Movie with members of the cast and crew, including story consultant Flint Dille, cast members Gregg Berger, Neil Ross, Dan Gilvezan, singer/songwriter Stan Bush, composer Vince Dicola and others!
  • Audio Commentary with Director Nelson Shin, story consultant Flint Dille and star Susan Blu
  • Featurettes
  • Animated Storyboards
  • Trailers and TV Spots

Transformers: The Movie
The AUTOBOTS, led by the heroic OPTIMUS PRIME, prepare to make a daring attempt to retake their planet from the evil forces of MEGATRON and the DECEPTICONS. Unknown to both sides, a menacing force is heading their way – UNICRON. The only hope of stopping UNICRON lies within the Matrix of Leadership and the AUTOBOT who can rise up and use its power to light their darkest hour. Will the AUTOBOTS be able to save their native planet from destruction or will the DECEPTICONS reign supreme?

TRANSFORMERS – THE MOVIE is co-produced and directed by Nelson Shin; produced by Joe Bacal and Tom Griffin; supervising producer, Jay Bacal; executive producers, Margaret Loesch and Lee Gunther; music score by Vince Dicola and Ed Fruge.

Also included in the Q4 line-up is a special re-release of the classic Akira film, one of Manga Entertainment’s best selling anime in their catalogue. The film was released on Blu-ray once a couple years back, but now it’ll be available once again with the updated contents that both Funimation and Madman had put out not too long ago.

Akira

Akira: The Collectors Edition will include the Blu-ray, DVD and a digital copy of the movie in a special rigid box full of artcards, a reversible in-lay and a classic movie poster with a ton of new on-disc content. The most notable inclusion is there are now two English audio options; the iconic 2001 Pioneer/Animaze dub that many of us know of, and the original 1988 Streamline dub which was never included in any of the Manga UK releases. The original Japanese audio with English subtitles is also included so nothing is left out.

Bonus on-disc content includes the Akira Sound Clip (1988), Music for Akira, Director Interview (subtitled), Storyboard Collection, The Writing on the Wall, Original Trailers (subtitled), Original Commercials (subtitled), Restoring Akira, Glossary, U.S. 2013 Trailer, Trailers.

This new re-release will be available on the 28th of November. The standard edition Blu-ray and DVD sets are still available if you wish to acquire those instead.

You can pre-order the Pokémon Movies 1-3 collection, Pokémon: Hoopa and the Clash of Ages, Transformers: The Movie and Akira: The Collectors Edition over on Amazon UK and many other online retailers.

Anime Limited announce Escaflowne Ultimate Edition details & more at MCM Manchester 2016

This weekend saw the arrival of MCM Manchester Comic Con. While Manga Animatsu made their own announcements through social media and various Amazon UK leaks, Anime Limited’s president Andrew Partridge provided a panel for the Saturday event with a couple new announcements and details to share with everyone.

Ouran High School Host Club

Starting with the new additions to the catalogue, we have Ouran High School Host Club which will once again come back in print for the UK. Manga UK once released this series on DVD but has since gone out of print due to the Funimation deal expiring (same also happened with a couple other titles like Baccano!, Claymore and Eden of the East; all of which Anime Limited have licensed for Blu-ray). Ouran High School Host Club is currently scheduled for release this November as a Collector’s Edition with both the English dub and Japanese audio with English subtitles. You can check out the show for legal streaming over on FunimationNow.

Pigtails

The other new announcements are a bunch of Production I.G. shorts. The main one in particular that was focused the most was the 2015 film Pigtails (Mitsuami no Kamisama), based on the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake. The film is directed by Itazu Yoshimi who was also Chief Animation Director for Miss Hokusai (another Production I.G. title and Anime Limited license). In addition to Pigtails, Andrew Partridge announced they are planning to release a collection of Production I.G. shorts in one set. These include the Mind Game and Ping Pong director Masaaki Yuasa’s successful kickstarter title Kick Heart, the Anime Mirai shorts (so far it seems to be Tansuwarashi and Wasurenagumo), as well as Oval x Over which has yet to be shown outside Japan. No release date details as of late but Andrew is working on including some of these for Scotland Loves Anime 2016.

In terms of new details on existing Anime Limited products, Andrew Partridge has unveiled the final product for the long-awaited release for The Vision of Escaflowne Ultimate Edition.

Escaflowne UE 2

The Ultimate Edition will include the complete series and the movie on Blu-ray. The TV series was known to feature extended footage for the earlier episodes but thanks to the support of Justin Sevakis they have created an authoring that will allow fans to watch the series with both broadcast style for the Bandai Entertainment English dub and the original for the Japanese audio and Funimation’s new English dub. That way fans of the old dub and those who want the new footage can experience both without any issues. The on-disc extras share the same as Funimation’s upcoming release with Textless Opening & Endings, Music Videos, Video Game Cutscenes, Club Escaflowne Interviews as well as Trailers, Anime Expo 2000 and a special program for the Escaflowne Movie.

The Ultimate Edition exclusives include a 144 page artbook (compared to Funimation’s 40 page hardcover version), 3 soundtrack CDs from composer Yoko Kanno (who also worked on Cowboy Bebop and Terror in Resonance) and 3 Collector’s Edition style sets with digipacks to hold the discs; one for the TV series, one for the movie and another for the CDs. The suggested retail price will be £149.99 with an early bird deal for £90 until the end of August exclusively over on Shop All the Anime. The release date is currently slated for December 2016. You can pre-order the set over on Shop All the Anime. The TV series is also available to stream for free on Viewster in Japanese with English subtitles.

During the rest of the panel Andrew Partridge discussed about how Fullmetal Alchemist 2003 was quite the effort to work on for its Ultimate Edition release, citing Square Enix being pretty difficult to work with and the fact that 60% of the stock has been sold through pre-orders already (remember this release is 970 units only currently at £149.99 and soon to be higher near its release). Andrew noted that the artbook included with the Ultimate Edition is “the biggest we’ve ever done”.

Andrew also talked about trying to include the soundtrack CD for Death Parade‘s upcoming Ultimate Edition release. He notes that it may or may not happen depending on licensing approvals. And Prison School may end up being given the Funimation UK treatment if there’s no assets to make a collector’s edition release but at the moment they are currently awaiting the materials to see what they can do. And finally they pointed out that ADV titles are pretty difficult to acquire.

Manga Animatsu brings Digimon Adventure Tri & more to the UK this Q4 2016!

It’s been a while since we last saw some new acquisitions from Manga Animatsu (the new joint company name for Manga Entertainment UK and Animatsu Entertainment, though they continue to use the respective logos for their products), and just recently they took to their main website to announce a couple new titles for the fourth-quarter of 2016. Let’s take a look to see what they plan to bring!

Wish Upon the Pleiades

On October 17th using the Animatsu brand is studio Gainax’s Wish Upon the Pleiades (Houkago no Pleiades) from the summer 2015 season. This 12 episode TV series will be released as a Blu-ray & DVD combo pack in Japanese with English subtitles only. You can check out the series for free legally over on Crunchyroll. Manga Animatsu describes the story as follows:

When Subaru goes to her local observatory to prepare for an upcoming meteor shower, she ends up seeing far more of the stars than she expected.

Instead of a simulated viewing of astronomical phenomena, she gets recruited to take part in a fantastic adventure with a mysterious young man, a bizarre alien creature, and a group of girls dressed in cute, magical garb. Together with the other girls (who are suddenly and strangely members of Subaru’s school), Subaru becomes part of a clandestine effort to retrieve fragments of an alien spaceship! However, the fragments are being scattered all over the universe.

Time is limited, and the girls face a nemesis who is seeking to gather all the parts for himself! The space race is on, and the sky is no longer the limit as the legendary animation studio GAINAX sets Subaru’s eyes on the stars in WISH UPON THE PLEIADES!

When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace

On October 31st using the Manga brand is studio Trigger’s When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace (Inou-Battle wa Nichijou-kei no Naka de) from the autumn 2014 season. This 12 episode TV series will be released on Blu-ray and DVD separately in both English and Japanese with English subtitles. You can check out the series for free legally over on Crunchyroll. Manga Animatsu describes the story as follows:

The origin of the Senko High School Literature Club’s powers might be a little sketchy, and they may spend more time chatting than engaging in superhuman feats.

Still, there’s no questioning the incredible abilities of the club’s female members: Tomoyo can control time; Hatoko is a mistress of the elements; Chifuyu can create matter; and Sayumi can return any item to a previous state. With these powers, there are few tasks these girls can’t handle.

Meanwhile, Jurai, the club’s only male member, has a dark flame that seems a little pointless in comparison, and only time will tell if it matures into anything more useful.

Toss in a Student Council president who’s developed powers of her own and things are about to get seriously weird as the study of literature takes a comic book turn in When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace!

The Perfect Insider

On November 14th using the Animatsu brand is studio A-1 Pictures’ The Perfect Insider (Subete ga F ni Naru) from the Autumn 2015 season. This 11 episode TV series will be released as a Blu-ray & DVD combo pack in Japanese with English subtitles only. You can check out the series for free legally over on Crunchyroll. Manga Animatsu describes the story as follows:

For most people, finding a dead body on their vacation would mean the vacation is over. However, for Souhei Saikawa, a professor of architecture, and his student Moe Nishinosono, a math prodigy, it’s a different kind of challenge.

Genius programmer Shiki Magata, one of Souhei’s idols, is inexplicably murdered inside the sealed research lab she disappeared to after being found innocent of her parents’ murder. As Souhei and Moe take the first steps into a deadly new world, they must untangle the complex web of events and clues leading up to the murder. With danger creeping up around them, this may be the last mystery this pair of human anomalies attempts to solve in THE PERFECT INSIDER!

Digimon Adventure Tri

And last but certainly not the least, on December 19th using the Manga brand we will finally be able to see the first film in the new Digimon Adventure Tri series from Toei Animation. This new movie series was split into four parts each per film for online streaming sites like Crunchyroll but the UK & Ireland were the only English speaking zone to not have access to it, so now we can finally see the series for the first time. The first film will be released first as a Collector’s Edition Blu-ray and Standard Edition DVD in both English and Japanese with English subtitles. Manga Animatsu describe the story as follows:

Six years have past since Taichi Yagami and the rest of the DigiDestined crossed over to the Digital World for the first time. And nearly three years have passed since the final battle between Hikari Yagami’s group and BelialVamdemon. As the peaceful days passed by, suddenly the gate to the Digital World closed, and not even the DigiDestined know why…

In addition to these four announcements, Marketing Manager Andrew Hewson had this to say on the Manga UK website.

“We are extremely happy to be bringing UK fans so many exciting titles, including Digimon Adventure Tri Movie 1. Ever since we announced the series back in May, we have been swamped with tweets and messages asking about a release for the films – and we are thrilled to be able to finally confirm this will be happening!”

All four titles will be available for pre-order soon.