VIZ Media Makes Holiday Shopping for Your Favorite Anime and Manga Fan Easy With New Comprehensive Gift Guide

VIZ Media presents a specially curated selection of anime releases and manga titles to suit a wide array of tastes this holiday season. Fans can review the entire list of suggested titles at: www.viz.com/holiday.

In addition, members of the VIZ Media team created a video spotlighting a few of their top holiday picks at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFXHPWcySwo.

Fans can highlight wish lists with a variety of anime releases, including Limited Edition Box Sets available on DVD and Blu-ray, such as:

SAILOR MOON Season 1 Part 1 Limited Edition DVD & Blu-ray Combo Pack Box Set

(PRE-ORDER) SAILOR MOON Season 1 Part 2 DVD & Blu-ray Combo Pack Box Set – Releases in February 2015

RANMA 1/2 Sets 1-4 – Limited Edition Blu-ray and/or DVD and/or Blu-ray Limited Edition Box Sets

BLOOD LAD: THE COMPLETE SERIES – DVD and/or Blu-ray Box Sets

GARGANTIA ON THE VERDUROUS PLANET COMPLETE SERIES – DVD and/or Blu-ray Box Sets

NARUTO THE MOVIE: ROAD TO NINJA – DVD and/or Blu-ray Set

NARUTO SHIPPUDEN THE MOVIE: BLOOD PRISON – DVD and/or Blu-ray Set

NARUTO TRIPLE FEATURE DVD Release – Features NINJA CLASH IN THE LAND OF SNOW, LEGEND OF THE STONE OF GELEL, and GUARDIANS OF THE CRESCENT MOON KINGDOM

BLEACH DOUBLE FEATURE DVD Release – Features BLEACH THE MOVIE: MEMORIES OF NOBODY and BLEACH THE MOVIE 2: THE DIAMONDDUST REBELLION

Manga fans have a wide variety of titles and series box sets that add plenty of excitement to the holiday reading season, including:

Pokémon Adventures Ruby & Sapphire MANGA Box Set

Pokémon Adventures Diamond & Pearl/Platinum MANGA Box Set

Pokémon Black & White MANGA Box Set 2

THE LEGEND OF Zelda Box Set

Voltron From Days of Long Ago: A 30th Anniversary Celebration

Hello Kitty, Hello 40

The Art of Princess Mononoke

Princess Mononoke: The First Story

Bakuman。 MANGA Box Set

Black Bird MANGA Box Set

Death Note MANGA Box Set

Ouran High School Host Club MANGA Box Set

Vampire Knight MANGA Box Set 2

One Piece MANGA Box Set 2

Fullmetal Alchemist MANGA Box Set

Readers that prefer to enjoy their manga digitally are invited to take advantage of special bundles and holiday pricing on entire story arcs of several popular series. VIZ Media’s digital story arc promotion is available on VIZManga.com, until January 1, 2015.

ONE PIECE, East Blue Saga Vols. 1-11
Rated ‘T’ for Teens
Cost: $44.00 for the entire bundle at $3.99 per volume, usually $6.99 each

NARUTO, The Test of a Ninja Vols. 1-16
Rated ‘T’ for Teens
Cost: $64.00 for the entire bundle at $3.99 per volume, usually $6.99 each

BLEACH, Reaper’s Road Vols. 1-21
Rated ‘T’ for Teens
Cost: $84.00 for the entire bundle at $3.99 per volume, usually $6.99 each

SHAMAN KING, Spirit Voyage Vols. 1-15
Rated ‘T’ for Teens
Cost: $60.00 for the entire bundle at $3.99 per volume, usually $6.99 each

ZOMBIE POWDER, Vols. 1-4
Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens
Cost: $8.00 for the entire bundle at $1.99 per volume, usually $6.99 each

THE EARL AND THE FAIRY, The Journey to the Fairy Kingdom Vols. 1-4
Rated ‘T’ for Teens
Cost: $8.00 for the entire bundle at $1.99 per volume, usually $6.99 each

DEATH NOTE © 2003 by Tsugumi Ohba, Takeshi Obata/SHUEISHA Inc.

VIZ Media Adds Exciting Anime Content for the December Update to the Neon Alley Free Anime Streaming Platform

VIZ Media moves into December and prepares to round out the year with its latest digital anime content update for Neon Alley. The free digital streaming platform experienced significant growth and programming expansion in 2014 and is preparing several noteworthy content and series premiere announcements for 2015.

New episodes of widely loved series such as Bleach, Naruto and Naruto Shippuden, Ranma 1/2, and Sailor Moon and Sailor Moon Crystal figure prominently in December’s programming update. These augment the Thanksgiving debut of the full series of Coppelion (dub) and the world premiere of the first 13 dubbed episodes of Naruto Spin-Off: Rock Lee and His Ninja Pals.

Catch the exciting digital continuation of Sailor Moon with the English dubbed premiere of Episodes 37-46, available to stream beginning on December 6, 2014 for a limited time on Neon Alley and Hulu. Two new subtitled episodes of Sailor Moon Season 2 will be added to the current series library every Monday throughout December. Sailor Moon Crystal fans also will not want to miss brand new episodes of Sailor Moon Crystal throughout December. Sailor Moon Crystal subtitled Episode 11, “Reunion – Endymion,” premieres on December 6, 2014, followed by Episode 12, “Enemy – Queen Metalia,” on December 20, 2014.

With the latest addition, Neon Alley now features over 30 series, and has a over 1,000 English dubbed episodes and 2,400 subtitled episodes for fans’ viewing pleasure! The 2014 update is augmented by scores of additional episodes from top-rated VIZ Media anime series including:

BLEACH

Neon Alley adds English dubbed Bleach Season 18 Episodes 256-267 available to stream beginning on December 1, 2014.

Viewers can now check out a total of 267 English dubbed episodes, as well as the complete subtitled Bleach anime (366 episodes).

NARUTO

For ninja fans, Neon Alley adds dubbed Episodes 66-78 of the original Naruto anime series, which will all be available beginning on December 3, 2014.

With the newest addition, viewers can check out a total of 77 English dubbed episodes as well as the complete subtitled Naruto anime (all 220 episodes) series!

NARUTO SHIPPUDEN

Don’t miss simulcasts of the latest English subtitled episodes of Naruto Shippuden every Thursday in December beginning with a special double premiere of Episodes 389 and 390 on December 11, 2014. Single episode simulcasts of the next 3 Naruto Shippuden episodes will take place every Thursday for the remainder of the month.

Also catch the action-packed addition of Naruto Shippuden English dubbed Episodes 19-23, bringing the total number of available dubbed episodes of the series to over 100.

RANMA 1/2

Ranma 1/2 fans can enjoy the addition of 2 new dubbed episodes of the classic martial arts comedy each week throughout December beginning with Season 6, Episodes 119-120 on December 5, 2014 and every Friday thereafter.

New Anime Releases: November 25, 2014

Here are the new anime releases for November 25, 2014. If you see any errors or omissions in this list, please feel free to leave a comment and let me know.

Amagami SS Season One Complete [DVD]
Amagami SS Season One Complete [Blu-ray]
Log Horizon Collection 1 [DVD]
Log Horizon Collection 1 [Blu-ray]
Naruto Shippuden – Road to Ninja [DVD]
Naruto Shippuden – Road to Ninja [Blu-ray/DVD Combo]
Nisekoi Volume 1 [Blu-ray]

Anime DVD Review: Naruto Shippuden Box Set 20

Naruto Shippuden Box Set 20 is a two-disc set that contains episodes 245 through 257 of Naruto Shippuden. The first disc contains seven episodes, and the second disc includes six episodes and the set’s special features.

Right at the beginning of this set, we see Naruto overcoming his dark self and passing the first test. Killer Bee becomes Naruto’s instructor to help Naruto learn how to conquer and control the Nine-Tailed Fox; this is accomplished by having the Jinchuriki fight against the tailed-beast.

As Naruto battles the Nine-Tailed Fox, he receives some surprising help from his dead mother, through chakra that had been infused into him before she died. There’s a five episode arc that gives backstory on Naruto’s mother, Kushina, as well as on how Kushina and Minato met, and the birth of Naruto and the attack of the Nine-Tailed Fox that took place the day Naruto was born.

I absolutely loved getting this backstory. As we learn from Kushina, Minato hadn’t given Naruto all of the details during the time that Naruto had been able to communicate with his father earlier in the series. While I liked seeing how Naruto’s parents met, I was most appreciative of getting to see what actually happened on the night that the Nine-Tailed Fox attacked the Hidden Leaf Village. While we’ve heard some bits and pieces about it since the very first episode of the first Naruto anime, it was nice to finally get to see exactly what happened. I did have one gripe, though. For the animation that was used when the Nine-Tailed Fox was launching its attack on the village, there were either still and static shots or animation that looked as if the animators were cutting corners. It could have been worse, though. I mean, the animation quality could have been as painful as what appears in a particular section of the Invasion of Pain arc!

After Naruto finishes his fight with the Nine-Tailed Fox and can begin controlling its chakra, he’s able to sense negative energy coming from Killer Bee’s weapon, which was the Samehada he had taken from Kisame earlier when Bee thought Kisame had been killed. Kisame appears and tries to escape in order to send what he’s learned to the Akatsuki. Killer Bee tries to stop him, but Kisame forces Samehada to absorb Killer Bee’s chakra. It’s up to Guy to try to stop Kisame, and there’s an epic fight that sees Guy taking down Kisame. But when Aoba tries to extract intel from Kisame, Kisame escapes and summons sharks to come and eat him.

Before Kisame is killed, though, the audience gets to see some backstory on him, from both before he joined the Akatsuki and after he’s partnered up with Itachi. I was glad to finally have some backstory for Kisame, because we knew so little about him prior to this point. But this seems to be something that Kishimoto has done several times during the series: just before killing off a character (usually a villain), that character’s backstory is provided to the audience shortly before the character’s death. When I saw in a preview that we’d be seeing Kisame’s backstory, I knew that Kisame was going to die.

The next two episodes see Madara going to the Hidden Rain Village to try to retrieve Nagato’s Rinnegan. Konan intercepts him, and the two of them have an epic battle. Unfortunately, Konan is the one who loses. It’s a shame about Konan, because I really came to like her at the end of the Invasion of Pain arc.

In this set, we also see that Kabuto has teamed up with Madara, and Madara shares with Kabuto what he has for the upcoming war. Kabuto also reveals that he knows Orochimaru’s reanimation jutsu, which he uses to resurrect Deidara. Together, Deidara and Kabuto go to the island where Naruto and Killer Bee are. Onoki and his bodyguards, Kurotsuchi and Akatsuchi, try to stop both Deidara and Kabuto. But it turns out Kabuto’s not interested in either Killer Bee or Naruto; his true goal is Yamato, who he manages to capture and uses him to bolster the abilities of Madara’s Zetsu Army.

Just as it looks like the war is actually going to start, we see that the final episode is the first of a four-part ten year anniversary special that’s basically a recap of scenes of Naruto and Sasuke. At the last at the beginning of the first episode, there’s a couple of new scenes I’d never seen before; outside of that, everything else was basically footage I’d already seen earlier in the series. This was a disappointment for me, both because it delays the start of the war, and the fact that I’m not really a fan of “recap” episodes that primarily recycle footage. And since this is a four-part recap, the remaining three episodes are going to be opening the next box set.

When it comes to the DVD set itself, there are six bonus features included. The first is an art gallery, which includes six pages of line art of characters that appeared in the episodes in this box set.

The second feature is omake, which includes the five omake that appeared at the end of five episodes that appeared on the second disc. These omake were done in order to help promote the then-forthcoming Naruto spin-off anime, Rock Lee and His Ninja Pals. So it uses the chibi style that appears in that series, and the segments are humorous in nature. For me, these were a mixed bag; some were funny, while some either weren’t funny or were frightening.

Next is storyboards, which contains three pages from Episode 250. “Clean Openings and Clean Endings” includes three versions of the openings and the closings that appeared on this set: a version without any text, a version with English subtitles, and a version with Romaji subtitles. The English credits are also available.

“More From Viz Media” includes links to a lot of trailers for properties that Viz Media was promoting at the time this DVD set was released.

This DVD set is a “must get” for Naruto fans who want to own all of the episodes of Naruto and Naruto Shippuden in their anime home video collection. This set is worth it not only for the plot progressions that take place, but for the backstory on Naruto’s parents as well.

I wrote this review after watching a copy of Naruto Shippuden Box Set 20 that I checked out through the King County Library System.

VIZ Media Delivers Substantial November Update for Neon Alley Anime Free Streaming Platform

VIZ Media opens November with a new update for its Neon Alley free anime streaming platform that features a wide array of exciting new additions and episodes.

Notable new additions this month include the complete post-apocalyptic sci-fi action series Coppelion (Episodes 1-13), English dubbed for the first time, which will join the already available subtitled complete series on November 27, 2014 and will be available in the U.S. via Neon Alley, Hulu and Hulu Plus for a limited time. Coppelion takes place in the not-so-distant future as a catastrophic event has turned the old capital of Japan into a wasteland, forever changing the lives of its people. Decades later, three schoolgirls set foot into the now forsaken city. They are the Coppelion, genetically engineered humans created by the Japan Ground Self-Defense Forces to operate under the lethal conditions of the contaminated city. Trained since birth, the girls must use all of their skills and resources to carry out their one and only mission: to rescue those left behind.

Also making its exclusive Neon Alley English dub debut will be the Naruto Shippuden anime spin-off comedy series, Rock Lee and His Ninja Pals (Episodes 1-13), available on November 28, 2014 to join the already available subtitled complete series consisting of 13 episodes. Welcome to the Hidden Leaf Village, home to the famous Naruto Uzumaki, star of NARUTO/NARUTO SHIPPUDEN. Here, ninja train day and night to be able to carry out important missions. But wait! This show isn’t about Naruto, the mightiest ninja! It’s about Rock Lee, the one who can’t use ninjutsu at all!

Ninja action fans are also invited to catch the simulcasts of the latest subtitled Naruto Shippuden episodes every Thursday. Visit www.NeonAlley.com for complete episodic details and airdates.

Sailor Moon and Sailor Moon Crystal fans can look forward to new episodes throughout November. Sailor Moon Crystal subtitled simulcast Episode 9, “Serenity Princess,” premiered on November 1, 2014, followed by Episode 10, “Moon,” on November 15, 2014. Two brand new subtitled episodes of Sailor Moon will be added every Monday!

The latest Neon Alley monthly update is also augmented by nearly 100 additional episodes from other top-rated VIZ Media anime series including:

Accel World

  • Season 1, Set 2 (Episodes 13-24) of the edgy series launches on Neon Alley beginning on November 1, 2014 and blends a highly imaginative online game with real world impact that adds a new twist to one teen’s solution to being bullied.
  • The entire series, Episodes 1-24, is also available subtitled on Neon Alley.

Bleach

  • English dubbed episodes 243–255 will be added to the current library of episodes of this action-packed series!
  • Fans also can catch the entire series subtitled on Neon Alley (366 episodes total)!

Naruto

  • Neon Alley adds dubbed Episodes 53-65 of the original Naruto anime series.
  • With the newest addition, check out a total of 65 English dubbed episodes and the complete subtitled anime (all 220 episodes) series!

Naruto Shippuden

  • Don’t miss simulcasts of the latest subtitled episodes of Naruto Shippuden every Thursday in November beginning with Episode 385 on November 13, 2014.
  • Also enjoy the action-packed additions of Naruto Shippuden English dubbed Episodes 13-18 bringing the total of available dubbed episodes of the series to over 100.

Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan

  • Catch Season 2, Episodes 14-26 available beginning on November 20, 2014, which now means you can watch the entire series dubbed!
  • The entire series comprising of two seasons with a total of 52 episodes, is now available subtitled on the streaming platform.

Ranma 1/2

Enjoy the addition of 2 new dubbed RANMA ½ episodes each week throughout November beginning with Season 5, Episodes 111-112 on November 7, 2014, and every Friday thereafter.

New Anime Releases: October 14, 2014

Here are the new anime releases for October 14, 2014. If you see any errors or omissions in this list, please feel free to leave a comment and let me know.

Black Butler Season Two Anime Classics [Blu-ray/DVD Combo]
Fate/Stay Night TV: Complete Collection [Blu-ray]
Hanasaku Iroha the Movie ~ HOME SWEET HOME ~ Premium Edition [Blu-ray]
Holy Knight [DVD]
Kill Me Baby: Complete Collection [Blu-ray]
Meganebu! [DVD]
Meganebu! [Blu-ray]
Naruto Triple Feature [DVD]
Naruto Shippuden Set 20 [DVD]
Princess Jellyfish The Complete Series S.A.V.E. Edition [DVD]
Yu-Gi-Oh! Complete Set (Seasons 1-5 + Bonds Beyond Time) [DVD]
Yu-Gi-Oh! GX Volume 1 [DVD]

Hulu Starts Streaming Naruto Shippuden

The Fandom Post is announcing that the first twelve episodes of the Naruto Shippuden television anime series are available in both dubbed and subtitled formats. The plan is to bring out six new episodes in dubbed form each month.

Hulu Plus subscribers will be able to watch the series in high-definition on their TV, mobile devices, and computer.