Eri Kitamura Performing Ending Theme for Knights of Sidonia

Eri Kitamura is performing the ending theme song for the Knights of Sidonia television anime series. The CD single for the song will be released in Japan on May 14, 2014 in two editions. The limited edition comes with a DVD containing a full version promotional video of the song.

A short 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 the video due to region blocking.

Isao Takahata to Present The Tale of Princess Kaguya at Annecy

France’s Annecy International Animation Film Festival has announced that The Tale of Princess Kaguya anime film will open the festival, and that Isao Takahata will appear during the screening on June 9, 2014.

The festival is also giving Takahata an Honorary Award to salute his career and contributions to animation.

The Tale of Princess Kaguya is based on the famous Japanese folktale, The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter. GKids will be releasing the film in North America later in 2014.

Sean Lennon Co-Creates Ghost in the Shell Arise 3′s Ending Song

Anime News Network is reporting that Sean Lennon, the song of the late John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono, has co-created the ending theme song for Ghost in the Shell Arise border 3: Ghost Tears with Keigo Oyamada (who is also known as Cornelius).

Lennon wrote the lyrics and sang the song for “Heart Grenade,” while Cornelius composed and arranged the music.

Aniplex of America and Bang Zoom! Entertainment to Host Open Auditions for Magi: Kingdom of Magic Dub

Aniplex of America announced during the company’s Sakura-Con panel that it plans to dub the Magi: Kingdom of Magic television anime series.

Aniplex and dubbing studio Bang Zoom! Entertainment will be holding open auditions for the dub at Bang Zoom!’s booth at Anime Expo in Los Angeles, California. Anime Expo is taking place July 3-6, 2014, and participants will be able to reserve audition times in advance.

Tiger & Bunny: The Rising Getting Canadian Theatrical Release

Viz Media has announced that Eleven Arts will host screenings of the Tiger & Bunny The Movie -The Rising anime film in 35 Canadian cities on June 26 and 29, 2014. The cities include, among others, Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, and Vancouver.

Tickets will sell C$12.95 for adults and C$10.95 for children under 12.

Attendees will receive a Tiger & Bunny poster.

Nanana’s Buried Treasure: Episode 1 – “Disowned and Exiled”

Nanana’s Buried Treasure is an anime based on the light novel series written by Kazuma Otorino and illustrated by Akaringo. The anime is produced by A-1 Pictures, and is directed by Kanta Kamei. As of this writing, Crunchyroll holds the North American streaming license for Nanana’s Buried Treasure, while Aniplex of America holds the North American home video rights.

Juugo Yama arrives at Nanae Island, a manmade island in the Pacific Ocean that’s also known as the Special Student Zone. He comes to the island because his father kicked him out of the house.

Juugo rents a low-rent apartment at the Happy House. As per the agreement, he has to pay a year’s rent up front, and there’s no refund if he moves out before the year is up. When he goes into his room, he sees a girl in there, watching television and eating pudding. He learns from Shiki Maboro, the owner and manager of Happy House, that the girl is the ghost of Nanana Ryugajo, a girl who was murdered in the apartment 10 years earlier.

Through interacting with her, Juugo learns that while he goes through Nanana when he touches her, she can touch him without any problems. This causes some problems later when Nanana wants to fight in order to determine who the master of the apartment is. Unfortunately, Juugo can’t move out, because he doesn’t have enough money to be able to.

While in the bathroom, Juugo finds the “Nanana Manual,” which was written by someone named Kasumi Konjou. By reading this manual, he starts getting a better idea of how to interact with Nanana. Later, he does some research and discovers some interesting information not only about Nanana, but about Shiki as well. From talking to Shiki, he learns more about Nanana’s Collection, which is referenced in the Nanana Manual.

Juugo also has his first day of school, where he meets class rep Yurika Yumeji. By the end of their interactions, it appears that Yurika might have feelings for Juugo.

Episode One did an effective job of establishing the characters we meet, as well as the basic story of the series. There is also the occasional “fanservice” shot, primarily when Juugo has interactions with Shiki. In addition to this, there are times with Juugo is acting like a typical high school boy and thinking about girls and their physical attributes.

The concept about Nanana’s Collection, which also includes Nanana’s Buried Treasure, is an intriguing one. The information that’s given on it during this episode is intriguing enough to make me want to watch more of the series to see if Juugo will try to find any of the treasure. The interactions between Juugo and Nanana are also fun to watch, and I’m interested to see how their interactions will change over the course of the series as they get to know each other better.

Nanana’s Buried Treasure is off to a promising start, and I’m looking forward to watching Episode Two in order to find out how this story will progress.

Chaika – The Coffin Princess: Episode 1 – “The Girl Who Bears the Coffin”

Chaika – The Coffin Princess is an anime based on a light novel written by Ichiro Sakaki and illustrated by Namaniku ATK. The series is produced by Bones, and is directed by Soichi Masui. As of this writing, Crunchyroll holds the North American streaming rights for Chaika – The Coffin Princess.

The series is set on the continent of Verbist. At the beginning of Episode One, we learn that Arthur Gaz of the Gaz Empire has fallen, and his daughter Chaika is seen as a tool whose purpose is to set a fate surpassing the imagination of man in motion.

Next, we see a young man named Toru Acura trying to find something to eat. When a nearby bush rustles, he thinks it’s a rabbit; however, Chaika pops out of it, wearing a coffin on her back. When Toru tries to get answers out of Chaika, she only answers in phrases that generally are one to three words in length. Their conversation is interrupted by the arrival of a unicorn.

They flee, and end up jumping off of a cliff and ending up in water. When they reach the shore, Chaika notices that Toru is bleeding and tries to tend to his wound; unfortunately, she’s out of first aid supplies. When Toru believes that he’s done for, Chaika takes a magic weapon out of the coffin; Toru recognizes what it is and realizes that she’s a wizard. Toru realizes he needs to buy time for Chaika to be able to use her magic, he says an incantation and starts going after the unicorn. Between the two of them, they are able to defeat it.

Chaika treats Toru to breakfast after he leads her to the nearby town, and they are interrupted by Toru’s younger sister, Akari. She attacks Toru because he forgot about the fact that she was waiting for the edible plants that Toru was supposed to get for breakfast. When Chaika learns that they’re both out of work saboteurs, she hires them to help her retrieve something important from the manor of Count Abarth.

Meanwhile, Count Abarth is paid a visit by Alberic Gillette, who asks for Abarth to give him the article that he acquired in the Battle for the Imperial Capital of the Gaz Empire. Abarth becomes angry and sends Alberic and his attendants away. We later learn that Alberic and his group have been following Chaika.

At the end of the episode, Chaika, Toru, and Akari go to Count Abarth’s manor to steal the article, but are caught by Count Abarth…

Overall, this wasn’t too bad for the first episode of a series, since the job of this episode is to establish the characters, the world they inhabit, and the story that they’re taking part in. I have to admit that I was a little confused when Alberic visited Count Abarth, because I had no idea how it fit in with the story. However, we learn rather quickly that Chaika is after the article in Count Abarth’s manor, and everything clicked together for me.

Right now, Chaika’s way of speaking got a little grating after a while. I hope over the course of the series that she’ll spend enough time around other people to start learning how to say more than one, two, or three word phrases. I also have to admit that when I saw that Chaika carries a coffin around on her back, I couldn’t help but think about Shoulder-a-Coffin Kuro, since the main character of that series also carries a coffin around on her back.

Even with my complaint about Chaika’s dialogue, what I saw in this episode made me interested enough to want to watch the next episode of Chaika – The Coffin Princess in order to find out what happens next.