VIZ Media and Eleven Arts Present a Very Special Theatrical Premiere of The Last: Naruto the Movie in Major U.S. Cities Beginning in February 2015

VIZ Media announces that it will team up with Los Angeles-based film distribution company Eleven Arts to present U.S. anime fans and filmgoers nationwide with a very special opportunity to catch The Last: Naruto the Movie in a limited theatrical engagement happening in select U.S. cities beginning on February 20, 2015.

The Last: Naruto the Movie will initially screen in 20 major U.S. cities including New York, Boston, Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and more!

Tickets go on sale starting in mid-January 2015. Additional ticket information and a complete list of theatre locations and screening dates will be available on Eleven Arts’ website at that time. The film will be presented with original Japanese dialogue with English subtitles. Attendees also will receive a special commemorative Naruto film poster (while supplies last). Additional cities and screenings may be added; check the Eleven Arts’ webpage for future updates.

The Last: Naruto the Movie is based on the internationally bestselling Naruto manga series created by Masashi Kishimoto. In the film, the moon is approaching dangerously close to Earth! Unless something is done, the moon will disintegrate, showering the earth with gigantic meteorites. As the clock ticks towards the end of the world, can Naruto save the earth from this crisis?

“Earth’s days are numbered and Naruto will have to tap every bit of his ninjutsu skills and knowledge to save the planet and defeat his enemies in this amazing and highly anticipated addition to the NARUTO saga,” says Charlene Ingram, VIZ Media Senior Marketing Manager, Animation. “Don’t miss the epic big screen action in the exciting theatrical premieres happening across the U.S. in February!”

In the Naruto manga and animated series, Naruto Uzumaki wants to be the best ninja in the land. He’s done well so far, but Naruto knows he must train harder than ever and leaves his village for intense exercises that will push him to his limits. Naruto Shippuden begins two and a half years later, when Naruto returns to find that everyone has been promoted up the ninja ranks – except him. Sakura’s a medic ninja, Gaara’s advanced to Kazekage, and Kakashi…well he remains the same. But pride isn’t necessarily becoming of a ninja, especially when Naruto realizes that Sasuke never returned from his search for Orochimaru. Plus, the mysterious Akatsuki organization is still an ever-present danger. As Naruto finds out more about the Akatsuki’s goals, he realizes that nothing in his universe is as it seems. Naruto is finding that he’s older, but will he also prove wiser and stronger?

nano Performs Theme Song for the Arpeggio of Blue Steel -Ars Nova- DC Film

nano is performing “Rock on,” which is being used as the theme song for the forthcoming Arpeggio of Blue Steel -Ars Nova- DC anime film. The song will be included on nano’s third album, which is scheduled to be released in Japan on January 28, 2015.

A full promotional video for “Rock on” has been posted online, and I am embedding it below. I apologize in advance to any of my readers who are unable to view the video due to region blocking.

Source: Crunchyroll

FUNimation Announces More Simulcasts for Winter 2015

FUNimation Entertainment has announced more anime series that the company will be simulcasting on its website for the Winter 2015 season:

  • Shonen Hollywood – Holly Stage for 50 -: The first episode will be available on Saturday, January 10, 2015 at 12:30 p.m. ET, with subsequent episodes every Saturday at 12:30 p.m. ET.
  • Kamisama Kiss – Season 2: The first episode will be available on Friday, January 5, 2015 at 9:00 a.m. ET, with subsequent episodes every Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. ET.
  • Tokyo Ghoul A: The first episode will be available on Monday, January 8, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. ET, with subsequent episodes every Thursday at 11:00 a.m. ET.

Source: FUNimation Entertainment

SHIROBAKO: Episode 10 – “Just One More”

SHIROBAKO starts out with five friends in a high school animation club producing an animation to screen at their school cultural fair. Aoi, Ema, Shizuka, Misa, and Midori swear that they’ll eventually reunite in Tokyo and make another anime together. The story then jumps ahead in time two-and-a-half years, where Aoi is working as a production assistant at Musashino Animation, a company that’s in the process of working on an anime titled, Exodus. Ema is also at Musashino Animation; she’s just getting her foot in the door as an animator. In Episode Two, we learn that Shizuka is a newbie voice actress at Akaoni Production.

The first part of Episode 10 focuses on three characters and decisions concerning where they’re going in their professional life. From what was seen in Episode Nine, it’s obvious that Misa is one of these characters. After talking with Aoi and the others, she decides that even though she doesn’t know where she’s ultimately heading, it’s in her best interest to quit. We see her hand in her resignation letter, and the company president tries to convince her to stay. Meanwhile, Honda has decided that he’ll be quitting animation after the end of the year so he can pursue his dream of baking cakes. Aoi, who sees both of these characters and the decisions they’ve made, finds herself feeling as if she still has no idea what she wants to do in her future. I thought this was brilliantly illustrated with a daydream sequence she has, where she sees both Honda and Misa coming to a fork in the road and deciding which path they’ll take. But Aoi is having these thoughts while trying to get the final episode of Exodus finished, so I’m hoping the worries and indecision don’t end up affecting her job performance.

The rest of the episode focuses on the production of Episode 13 of Exodus. The director finally gets the storyboard done, but there’s only five weeks remaining until the episode is supposed to be delivered. This already has Aoi on edge. We also get to see the after-recording for Episode 13, but the director keeps trying to hang out at the party being held afterward instead of returning to work in order to get the next part of Episode 13 done. Right at the end of the episode, it’s revealed that there are only 29 more days until the episode is supposed to be delivered.

Why am I not surprised that the director still isn’t taking the production of Episode 13 seriously? Even though he knows time is running out and there’s still a lot to do, he’d rather goof off and get drunk than do what needs to be done. Hopefully Aoi can manage to get the episode done and have it in decent enough shape to be aired before the deadline. Also, I hope she doesn’t end up losing her mind in the process. And I’m also hoping the director doesn’t end up getting the next project that he’s hoping to get.

This episode also saw Ema running into Misato, who gives Ema praise for the key frames of the cat. From what I saw, this appeared to give Ema a much needed boost and helped prove to her that sometimes you need to do some observation and take a needed break in order to produce the quality work that a production needs.

At this point, though, I’m expecting the last two episodes to focus heavily on Aoi and her stress of trying to get Episode 13 of Exodus completed on time, which will be accompanied by a countdown of the days left until the deadline. I can’t wait to see what will happen for the remainder of the production, as well as to see whether or not Aoi can make the deadline. I also hope to see what ends up happening to both Aoi and Misa, since they’re both trying to figure out where their professional life will end up going.

New York Times Manga Best Seller List: December 7-13, 2014

Here are the top ten selling manga in the United States for the week of December 7-13, 2014, according to the New York Times.

1. Naruto Volume 68 by Masashi Kishimoto
2. Attack on Titan Volume 1 by Hajime Isayama
3. Black Butler Volume 1 by Yana Toboso
4. Attack on Titan: Before The Fall Volume 3 by Hajime Isayama, Ryo Suzukaze, and Satoshi Shiki
5. Food Wars! Volume 3 by Yuto Tsukuda and Shun Saeki
6. No Game, No Life Volume 1 by Yuu Kamiya and Mashiro Hiiragi
7. Assassination Classroom Volume 1 by Yusei Matsui
8. Attack on Titan Volume 14 by Hajime Isayama
9. Attack on Titan: No Regrets Volume 2 by Gun Snark, Hikaru Suruga and Hajime Isayama
10. Millennium Snow Volume 4 by Bisco Hatori

Source: The New York Times

Manga Being Included for Free Comic Book Day in 2015

Manga selections have been announced for Free Comic Book Day in 2015.

VIZ Media will offer a sampler that includes JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure by Hirohiko Araki and Yu-Gi-Oh! by Kazuki Takahashi as well as a separate Pokémon sampler from its Perfect Square imprint.

Kodansha Comics is offering a sampler that features Hajime Isayama’s Attack on Titan, Hiro Mashima’s Fairy Tail, Nakaba Suzuki’s The Seven Deadly Sins, Noragami by Adachitoka, and more.

Free Comic Book Day will be taking place on Saturday, May 2, 2015.

Source: ANN

FUNimation to Simulcast Assassination Classroom

FUNimation Entertainment has announced that the company will be simulcasting the Winter 2015 anime series, Assassination Classroom. The first episode will premiere on the site on Friday, January 9, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. EST. Subsequent episodes will premiere on Fridays at 12:20 p.m. EST.

FUNimation has started streaming a subtitled announcement video, which I am embedding below. I apologize in advance to any of my readers who are unable to view the video due to region blocking.

Source: ANN