Hiromu Shinozuka Is Launching Puri Puri Chii-chan!! Manga

The March 2015 issue of Shogakukan’s Ciao shojo magazine is announcing that Hiromu Shinozuka will be starting a new series titled, Puri Puri Chii-chan!! – Hajikeru Lovely Days in its April 2015 issue. That issue will be published in Japan on March 3, 2015.

The magazine says that the story will revolve around a girl named Yuka who encounters a being from the depths of the Earth named Chii-chan (a pun of ‘Chiteijin,’ the Japanese word for underground-dweller), and an alien named Ucchan (a pun of ‘uchu jin,’ or ‘alien’.) The magazine also hints that the series will be a story with a “new kind of happy feeling” that will make readers burst into laughter.

Shinozuka’s previous work, Chibi Devil!, inspired an anime series in 2011. She ended the manga in Ciao in the magazine’s December 2014 issue. Shogakukan will release the 11th and final volume of the manga in February 2015. Shinozuka’s Milmo de Pon! manga also inspired the 172-episode Mirmo Zibang! anime series in 2002.

Source: ANN

Three More Cast Members Announced for Blood Blockade Battlefront

The March 2015 issue of Shueisha’s Jump Square magazine is announcing three more cast members for the forthcoming anime adaptation of the Blood Blockade Battlefront anime:

  • Mamoru Miyano is Doug Hammer
  • Keiji Fujiwara is Deldro Brody
  • Hikaru Midorikawa is Zed O’Brien

BONES is producing the series, and Rie Matsumoto is directing. Kazunao Furuya is writing the scripts, and Toshihiro Kawamoto is designing the characters.

Blood Blockade Battlefront is scheduled to begin airing on Japanese television in April 2015.

Dark Horse Comics publishes the manga in North America and describes the story as:

A breach between Earth and the netherworlds has opened up over the city of New York, trapping New Yorkers and creatures from other dimensions in an impenetrable bubble. They’ve lived together for years, in a world of crazy crime sci-fi sensibilities. Now someone is threatening to sever the bubble, and a group of stylish superhumans is working to keep it from happening.

Source: ANN

Anime DVD Review: One Piece Season Four Voyage Two

One Piece Season Four Voyage Two is a two-disc set that contains episodes 218-229 of the One Piece anime series. The first disc has six episodes and a commentary on Episode 218, while the second disc includes six episodes, commentary on Episode 229, and the set’s bonus features. You can watch the episodes with either the English dub or the original Japanese audio with English subtitles. It should also be noted that in addition to watching episodes or using the “Play All” option, there is also a marathon feature, which allows you to watch all the episodes on a disc back-to-back without interruption. In the marathon feature, the opening credits only plays once, there are no next episode previews, and the ending credits are not included.

The first two episodes in the set concluded the story arc of the Davy Back Fight between the Straw Hats and the Foxy Pirates. Fortunately, all that was left was the final fight between Luffy and Foxy; of course, it’s obvious that Luffy had to win in order for the series to continue. But I thought it was awesome, although not entirely surprising, that after Luffy takes Foxy’s crew, that he turns around and orders them to leave. But by this point, Foxy, Hamburg, and Porche have left in a small boat, so the remaining crew members take Foxy’s old ship and try to catch up to him in order to rejoin his crew.

But right at the end of this arc, something rather nice and unexpected happens for Tonjit, the man the Straw Hats met on Long Ring Long Island. To be honest, this surprise was probably one of the best things about this particular story arc. I’m sorry, I found Foxy to be annoying and I was glad to see him go away.

The next five episodes in the set turn out to be part of a “filler” arc that sees most of the Straw Hats losing their memory after they anchor off of an island. The only member to still have her memory is Robin, which she quickly deduces is due to the fact that she stayed awake all night while the others slept. This arc sees the crew having to find a way to regain their memories and to find out who was responsible for taking their memories in the first place.

Overall, I have to say that I didn’t enjoy this particular filler arc. While the idea of most of the crew losing their memory is an interesting premise to work with, the way it was executed just didn’t work for me. My worst issue came with the ending, though. Why would the Straw Hats know who took their memories after they were restored but not any of the villagers on the island? I know the idea was to use this as a way to have a humorous scene, but I just couldn’t get past the lack of logic or explanation for that phenomenon.

But then, Foxy, Hamburg, and Porche return when the Straw Hats encounter their small boat during a storm. The Straw Hats rescue them and help them reunite with the Sexy Foxy ship. But when they get on the ship, they discover it’s being captained by someone else. Foxy declares a Davy Back Fight to regain his ship and crew. Foxy quickly wins, but then Foxy betrays them. In the end Luffy and Nami work together to take down Foxy and return to their own ship.

When I saw Foxy return, I nearly groaned because I’d hoped that we were rid of him. Fortunately, he didn’t stick around this time quite as long as he did in the first Davy Back Fight arc. After watching this, I discovered that Foxy’s return was added filler, and it certainly felt like it. Unfortunately, it meant that the majority of the episodes in this set weren’t very strong and made this primarily feel like a painful viewing experience.

At least the final three episodes in the set are worth watching. The Straw Hats meet Marine High Admiral Aokiji. He appears to be rather lazy, but we learn that he and Nico Robin know each other; he has pursued her in the past since she has a bounty on her head. He keeps claiming he isn’t going to turn Nico or Luffy in, and he also works with the Straw Hats when they discover people who have been shipwrecked on the island.

But it turns out Aokiji has eaten a Devil Fruit and has the power to turn things into ice. He freezes Robin, but the other crew members are able to get her and thaw her out. Luffy fights with Aokiji, but it’s harder than he bargained for due to Aokiji’s ability. At first, the freezing ability seems kind of creepy, but then I quickly realized that it fits in with the various other Devil Fruit abilities that we’ve seen in the series up to this point.

The very last episode sees the Going Merry narrowly miss being hit by a sea train, and the Straw Hats meet an old woman and her granddaughter at a nearby train station. While they’re there, they receive a map of Water Seven, the next location that Nami’s Log Pose is directing them to. Admittedly, not very much happens in this final episode, since it’s setting the stage for the next story arc. From things that were said in some of the episodes in this set, it looks like Luffy and the Straw Hats will be looking for a shipwright while they’re at Water Seven. From what I see, it appears the next set will focus heavily on canon material from the manga, so that definitely makes me interested in wanting to watch the next DVD set to see what happens. Lord knows the episodes on it can’t be anywhere near as bad as most of what appeared on here!

As for the DVD set itself, there are three bonus features on the second disc in addition to the episode commentary. There is a textless version for the opening song that appears in this set (“Kokoro no Chizu”), as well as a textless version for the ending song in this set (“Eternal Pose”). There are also trailers for other properties that FUNimation was promoting at the time this DVD set was released.

If you’re a One Piece fan and are trying to collect the episodes on DVD, you can purchase this set for episodes 218-229. More recent DVD collections are packaging 24-25 episodes per set, and those releases would also be worth considering if you want to add One Piece to your home video library.

I wrote this review after watching a copy of One Piece Season Four Voyage Two that I checked out through the King County Library System.

Information on the file(N):project PQ Anime Film

It has been announced that the file(N):project PQ anime film is scheduled to be released in Japan in Spring 2016. The film is being produced by Toei and directed by Naoki Miyahara. Kouhaku Kuroboshi is working on original character design, and Takayuki Uragami is the chief animation director.

According to Miyahara, the film will include elements of youth tales, Toei Animation’s traditional battle actions, and adventures in a fantasy world.

It has also been announced that “Teenage Blues,” the debut single for seven-member Team I of idol unit P.IDL (Peformance Idol League), is featured as the “kick-off” song for the film. Team I (Idol) is one of the four teams of the unit, which also has Team P (Pop), Team D (Dance), and Team L (Lady). The CD single for “Teenage Blues” is scheduled to be released in Japan on March 25, 2015.

A promotional video has been posted for the song, which I am embedding below. I apologize in advance to any of my readers who are unable to view it due to region blocking.

Source: Crunchyroll

Teaser for the Second Attack on Titan Compilation Film

The official site for the Attack on Titan project has posted a 40-second teaser for the upcoming second compilation film, Attack on Titan: Jiyuu no Tsubasa. The film compiles the 14th through 25th episode of the first Attack on Titan anime and is scheduled to be released in Japan on June 27, 2015.

The first compilation film, Attack on Titan: Guren no Yumiya, told the story of the first 13 episodes. It was released in Japan on November 22, 2014; however, its total grossing has not been revealed to the public.

I am embedding the teaser for the second film below, and I apologize in advance to any of my readers who are unable to view it due to region blocking.

Source: Crunchyroll

Release Date Announced for the Second Arpeggio of Blue Steel Film

The official website for the Arpeggio of Blue Steel anime franchise has announced that the second film, titled Arpeggio of Blue Steel -Ars Nova- Cadenza, will be released on October 3, 2015.

The site is streaming a 60-second teaser for the film, which I am embedding below. I apologize in advance to any of my readers who are unable to view it due to region blocking.

Source: Crunchyroll

Devon Talbott Cast for the English Dub of the Holy Knight OVA Series

MB VoiceWorks has announced that Devon Talbott has been cast as Plum for the Holy Knight anime OVA series. Talbott’s credits include the Nickelodeon series Mission Dawn, and the Technobabylon, Lords Of Xulima, and Blackhole video games.

The story of Holy Knight centers around a timid orphan named Mizumura Shinta who goes to a missionary school in Tokyo. His seemingly normal life changes when a beautiful half-human Romanian girl named Lilith suddenly transfers into his school. Mizumura discovers that he is actually a vampire hunter and the successor of the Romuald lineage.

Source: The Fandom Post