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    MCM Expo News and Anime Review Roundup (Updated)

    The Hot News Off The Presses

    It's been another week of Expositions and gatherings of the fan faithful, as the industry shares its wares, offers some treats, and delivers with the news regarding forthcoming licences. For the UK it was the MCM Expo at the Excel Centre, and once again, I've been glued to Twitter, Facebook, and various sites like Anime UK News, and UK Anime Net trying to sort out who said what. What is revealed is that in terms of new licence announcements, this has been the first year in a while that MVM has ruled the roost.

    September 2012 will see the release of Rosario and Vampire Season 1.
    October 2012 follows it up with Rosario and Vampire Season 2.
    2013 will see the Rozen Maiden Ouverture OVA, Dream Eater Merry, Shakugan no Shana Season 2, and the recent Crunchyroll hit Bodacious Space Pirates make their UK debuts.

    In terms of Live Action, MVM have My Ex 1 & 2, as well as Incite Mill (renamed in the UK as Death Game) from the director of The Ring.

    MVM also confirmed a release date of November for Mayo Chiki, and also mentioned that they are pursuing the licence of Shakugan no Shana Season 3, and the OVAs. Following up on Twitter, they also confirmed that Mayo Chiki will be dubbed into English.

    Also promising in this straitened financial climate was the revelation that the Broken Blade Blu-rays were outselling the DVD version on pre-order by a considerable margin.

    Kazé on the other hand devoted their time at the Expo to their acquisition of the Berserk movies, and made mention of the Winter 2012 release date for the first film (31st December), preceded by a cinema run.

    Manga Entertainment had already made many of their announcements a couple of months ago at the Midlands Expo. This weekend was an opportunity for them to confirm release dates, and do some housekeeping. They did have a couple of new licenses though, and some announcements were spoiled beforehand.

    The Gintama Movie is a new licence, and will be released on DVD in the UK in December.

    The other new licence announcement is the long anticipated sequel series, Sengoku Basara Season 2, due 17th September.

    Otherwise we heard mention of the Black Lagoon DVD re-release and Blu-ray release, due July 2nd. Strike Witches Season 2 due 23rd July (note that its US release has been delayed by the Japanese licensor due to reverse importation concerns, and that may impact the UK release), Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt, July 30th (again may be delayed as Manga are still waiting on masters), Spice and Wolf Season 2, 6th August, and Squid Girl Season 1 DVD on 13th August.

    Also mentioned were, The World God Only Knows Season 1 which is due on 8th October, followed by Season 2. October will also see the DVD, and possibly Blu-ray release of Madoka Magica. There's also the release of the Trigun Badlands Rumble feature on 1st October.

    From Season 9, the Bleach television series will be released in conjunction with Kazé, which you can already see in the pre-release package art.

    There's no news about the second Mardock Scramble movie as yet, as they are still waiting on an English dub.

    Leaked ahead of time was the news about Tiger and Bunny. The series will have a Blu-ray and DVD release in conjunction with Kazé at the end of October, while September 22nd will see the UK premiere of the Tiger and Bunny Movie.

    Also leaked before the Expo was the news that the classic Ninja Scroll will get the steelbook Blu-ray treatment for the UK and be released on 15th October. Someone has posted comparison pics of the Japanese Blu-ray and it looks sweet indeed.

    (Update ) Following the MCM Expo, Manga Entertainment took to Twitter to announce the November DVD release of Towa no Quon, the six episode OVA series. It's a futuristic supernatural series that has previously been released in the US by Sentai Filmworks.

    Other non news came in the form of Anime on Demand, who have delayed their announcements for another few weeks, no doubt while the ink still dries on contracts.

    Beez were there to clear out old stock, and some clarification came through with regards to the status of their licenses. Basically Bandai are going to hold onto Gundam with their dying grip, but everything else has reverted to the original licensor. There's something of a frenzy as UK companies seek to acquire these existing properties, and the re-releases of certain titles is to be expected. It would be a cruel and twisted world were Cowboy Bebop not in print. But this expo has seen heavy hints dropped about a Durarara release (possibly that dub version we were originally promised), and a re-release for Code Geass has been all but confirmed, with some fans getting prematurely excited by the recent European Blu-ray release.

    Also revealed was that Makoto Shinkai's latest film, Children Who Chase Lost Voices from Deep Below, will be retitled Voyage to Agartha for its UK home video release, probably because the latter fits on Twitter.

    The Other News

    It wasn't all MCM Expo. There were US Expos as well, and the news from one of them may perk up a few ears. A long sought after fan favourite, Bakemonogatari, has finally been licensed. That's the good news. The bad news is that it's been licensed by Aniplex US, who currently block major retailers from shipping outside the US. It will be a sub only Blu-ray release, and you'll have to look at speciality importers to acquire it.

    Also, a heads up if you haven't seen Shangri-La on Crunchyroll yet. Funimation are finally about to release this show in America, which means that as of June 22nd, Shangri-La will no longer be available to view on the streaming site. Watch it now while you still have the chance.

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    All this and reviews too! Please, you're killing my typing fingers, especially as everything appears to be coming out today. First up was my review of Baka & Test: Summon The Beasts - Season 1. I'm picky about my anime comedy, usually because most of it fails to make me laugh. But Baka & Test turned out to be something quite special. It appears to be pure fan service, hitting every cliché for six, but there's something about its energetic tale of an idiot trying his best for academic achievement through the medium of avatars summoned on the basis of his exam results, while fending off the amorous attentions of two very different girls, that just puts a smile on my face. The characterisations in this show have to be seen to be believed.

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    So I'm a masochist. A review heavy week and I still decide to review something of my own as well. But it was the Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya Blu-ray, which we were supposed to have a UK release of, but which got cancelled. I wasn't going to miss out on my HD Haruhi, which is why I pressed the import button and got hold of the Australian Region B release. Click on the review to see why you ought to do the same thing.

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    My final review of the week was another series collection, this time the long awaited UK debut of a Key/Visual Arts anime. These comedy/drama/romantic/supernatural mysteries have gathered quite the fan following, especially with the appealing KyoAni animation. The UK has long been bereft of this particular genre, but it's finally been rectified with the release of Clannad: Series 1 - Part 1. Tomoya is the guy who gets all the girls, which wouldn't be too bad, but he gets all their surrounding mysteries as well. And we as the audience get a whole heap of humour, no little magic, and utter heartbreak as well. Click on the review to see why this is a good thing.

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    And all through the week, I have been partaking of Bleach Blu-rays. To coincide with the UK debut of the third Bleach movie, Fade to Black, the first two movies have been re-issued in high definition. I first reviewed Bleach The Movie: Memories of Nobody, then I examined Bleach The Movie 2: The Diamond Dust Rebellion, and then finally I partook of the latest film, Bleach The Movie 3: Fade to Black. In it, Rukia is kidnapped, and her memory erased. At the same time, the memory of her existence is erased from all who knew her. All except Ichigo Kurosaki that is, and it's up to him to rescue his friend, when no one in the Soul Society believes him, or even remembers who he is.

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    The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya was released on Blu-ray last year in Australia by Madman Entertainment. Manga Entertainment release Baka & Test: Summon The Beasts, and Clannad: Series 1 - Part 1 on DVD, with Bleach The Movie: Memories of Nobody, Bleach The Movie 2: The Diamond Dust Rebellion, and Bleach The Movie 3: Fade to Black coming out on Blu-ray today. Fade to Black also gets a DVD release today.

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