New Anime Releases: December 16, 2014

Here are the new anime releases for December 16, 2014. If there are any errors or omissions in this list, please feel free to leave a comment and let me know.

The Ambition of Oda Nobuna Complete Collection [DVD]
The Ambition of Oda Nobuna Complete Collection [Blu-ray]
Bleach Volume 23 [DVD]
A Certain Magical Index Season 2 Part 2 [Blu-ray/DVD Combo]
Cowboy Bebop Complete Series [DVD]
Cowboy Bebop Complete Series [Blu-ray]
Cowboy Bebop: The Complete Series [Blu-ray/DVD Combo; Amazon exclusive]
Cowboy Bebop: The Complete Series [Blu-ray/DVD Combo; FUNimation exclusive]
Creamy Mami Volume 2 [DVD]
Detroit Metal City [Blu-ray]
Hidamari Sketch SP [Blu-ray]
Reideen Collection 1 [DVD]
Silver Spoon Complete Second Season [DVD]

Cowboy Bebop and Deadman Wonderland Returning to Toonami

It has been announced that when Toonami returns to its regular broadcast schedule in January 2015, there will be a couple of changes to the lineup.

Cowboy Bebop will be returning to the block and will be broadcast for the first time in HD starting with the first episode, “Asteroid Blues.” Jason DeMarco, the head of the Toonami block, says that the series will be re-edited to fit current broadcast standards on Adult Swim.

In addition, it has also been announced that Deadman Wonderland will be returning to the block.

Source: Crunchyroll

Cowboy Bebop Is Now on Hulu

The Fandom Post is reporting that the Cowboy Bebop television anime series is now available for streaming on Hulu. The episodes are available with both the original Japanese audio and with the English dub.

Hulu Plus subscribers can watch the series on their TV connected apps and mobile devices.

Source: The Fandom Post

EDIT: According to this press release, Cowboy Bebop will begin streaming on Hulu on December 19, 2014 and that the complete English dubbed version is set to launch in 2015.

FUNimation Announces Home Video Release Plans for Cowboy Bebop

FUNimation has announced that the company will be releasing the Cowboy Bebop television anime series on Blu-ray and DVD in North America in December 2014.

The series will be released on DVD, standard Blu-ray, and in Amazon and premium Blu-ray/DVD editions. The two Premium Editions will each feature different packaging and premium items, but the exact details will be announced later.

Daisuki to Stream Cowboy Bebop

Anime streaming service Daisuki announced during the company’s panel at Otakon that it will be streaming the Cowboy Bebop television anime series.

Sunrise producer Masayuki Ozaki, who was at the Daisuki panel, said that he hopes that Cowboy Bebop will be available on Daisuki before FUNimation re-releases the series on home video in 2014.

FUNimation’s Announcements at Otakon

FUNimation announced during the company’s panel at Otakon that it has acquired the license for the Cowboy Bebop television anime series, and that the company will be releasing the series digitally and on Blu-ray Disc for the first time in North America. FUNimation is planning to release the series in 2014.

In addition, FUNimation announced that it has also acquired the North American licenses for the following anime titles:

  • Outlaw Star
  • The Vision of Escaflowne
  • Escaflowne: The Movie
  • My-HiME
  • My-Otome
  • My-Otome 0~S.ifr~
  • My-Otome Zwei

FUNimation also announced that the company has licensed the rest of the Fairy Tail television anime series that is currently in existence (up to episode 175), and that the Wolf Children anime film will ship on Blu-ray Disc and DVD on November 12, 2013.

Anime Soundtrack Review: “Cowboy Bebop: Tank! The Best!”

Cowboy Bebop: Tank! The Best! is a soundtrack for Cowboy Bebop that was released in 2004. An interesting thing to note about this release is the fact that the CD booklet contains a lot of “fake” information for the songs that appear on the CD; while the song information as it’s written in the booklet would be true for the Cowboy Bebop universe, it wouldn’t be true for the real world.

All of the music that appears on Cowboy Bebop: Tank! The Best! was composed and arranged by Yoko Kanno, and the music was composed by The Seatbelts. For the songs that have lyrics, the words were written by three different lyricists: Tim Jensen, Illaria Graziano, and Raju Ramayya.

The soundtrack opens with “Tank! [TV Stretch],” which is essentially an extended version of the Cowboy Bebop theme song. The next song on the CD is “What Planet Is This,” which is an upbeat jazz number that prominently features guitar and saxophone. When it comes to vocals, there is only one line of vocal repeated throughout the track.

This is followed by “Cosmic Dare (Pretty With a Pistol),” a synth-heavy track that features vocals by Reynada Hill. This song appeared in Cowboy Bebop: The Movie, and it’s one of my favorite songs on this CD.

“Diamonds,” the fourth song on the CD, returns to the jazz sound. It’s a slow and soft piano piece that features vocals by Illaria Graziano. Rounding out the first half of the disc are “Don’t Bother None [TV Edit]” and “Piano Black.” “Don’t Bother None” features Mai Yamane on vocals, while “Piano Black” is a jazz instrumental.

The second half of the CD opens with “Mushroom Hunting,” a song that appeared in the episode, “Mushroom Samba.” Taliva-Donna Cumberbatch’s vocals complement this jazz track that features brass and drums. A sudden sonic shift takes place when the next song, “No Reply,” begins. This is a rock track that features vocals by Steve Conte, and he sounds like he’s trying too hard to mimic the vocal style of Bono from U2.

The disc shifts in sound again with “Blue,” a slow song that features synthesizers and guitar; the vocals on the song are provided by Mai Yamane, Soichiro Otsuka, and Gabriela Robin. This is followed by “Einstein Groovin’,” a mid-tempo song that sounds like it was inspired by the disco era. Illaria Graziano provides the vocals of “Einstein Groovin’,” and the vocals sound like they’re being sung in Spanish. Graziano’s voice can also be heard on “Pearls,” the very next song on the CD; her vocals accompany s slow piano ballad that has a jazz influence.

The final song on Cowboy Bebop: Tank! The Best! is “Gotta Knock a Little Harder,” the closing theme for Cowboy Bebop: The Movie. This midtempo rock song, which features Mai Yamane on vocals, is the perfect closing song for this CD.

While most of the songs on Cowboy Bebop: Tank! The Best! are an enjoyable listen, the disc was sequenced in such a way that most of the uptempo numbers appeared on the first half of the CD, and most of the mid-tempos and ballads appeared on the second half of the disc. Unfortunately, this choice for sequencing weakens the overall listening experience of the soundtrack. When I first started listening to the soundtrack, I was very interested in what I was listening to; however, by the time I reached the last three songs on the soundtrack, I was starting to fall asleep. Perhaps of the uptempo numbers had been a little more spread out across the disc, the soundtrack might have been stronger.

Cowboy Bebop: Tank! The Best! isn’t a bad CD at all. However, when you’re listening to it, you might either want to program the songs in a different order, or have your CD player randomly choose the order in which the songs are played.

I wrote this review after listening to a copy of Cowboy Bebop: Tank! The Best! that I checked out through the King County Library System.