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.

Anime DVD Review: Naruto Shippuden Box Set 19

Naruto Shippuden Box Set 19 is a two-disc set that contains episodes 232 through 244 of Naruto Shippuden. The first disc contains seven episodes, and the second disc includes six episodes and the set’s special features.

The vast majority of the episodes in this set are filler material. In fact, out of the 13 episodes included on this set, 11 of them are filler. Only the final two episodes include canon material.

When it comes to the filler material, a lot of more of it focuses on what’s happening in the village while Naruto is away, and less of it focuses on Naruto’s journey at sea. The filler that takes place in the village includes stories that focus on Hinata, Shino, Tenten, Sai, and Kiba. Of these stories, my favorite is “Sai’s Day Off,” where he goes for a stroll through the village and he thinks about the bonds he shares with Naruto and Sakura. For a filler episode, this one did a fantastic job of providing some character development for Sai. He’s definitely not the character that we first met at the beginning of Naruto Shippuden, and I liked how reflective he got in this episode as he seems to realize for himself how much he’s changed.

For the comedic filler episodes, my favorite was “Kiba’s Determination.” Kiba’s frustrated over how much a loser like Naruto has improved and become the village hero. After being chided by both his mother and Shino, Kiba decides to train to become stronger. When he tries to get Kakashi to help him, Kakashi summons his ninja hounds and has them work with Kiba. The training with the ninja hounds was really amusing, especially when the ninja hounds bite Kiba as he’s trying to defeat them to get a scroll from Pakkun. The funniest part of that is when Big Bark Bull bites the top of Kiba’s head and almost looks as if he could devour Kiba.

Most of the Naruto filler stories weren’t that good, except for “Naruto’s Vow,” which was the final filler episode before returning to canon material. Here, Naruto meets Akatsuchi and Kurotsuchi from the Hidden Stone village, who have an assignment to deliver a letter from the Tsuchikage that’s addressed to the Mizukage. This filler episode provided some background for the conflict between these two villages, and I was almost convinced that it was actually canon material from the manga. However, after doing some research, I discovered that this was actually a filler episode. It ended up being a well-done filler episode, and it definitely ranks up there as one of the better filler episodes to appear in this section of Naruto Shippuden.

And then, we finally return to canon material when Naruto arrives at his destination and meets Killer Bee. When Naruto learns that Killer Bee is the jinchuriki of the Eight Tails, he asks Bee to help train him so he can learn to control the Nine Tails. Bee refuses because he’s on “vacation.” After Naruto gets to know Motoi, he is taken to the Waterfall of Truth, since this is where Killer Bee started his training to control his tailed beast. Naruto meets another version of himself, the part of him that exists that still harbors ill will toward the people of his village for shunning him for so long. The final episode in the set sees Motoi telling a story about himself and Killer Bee when they were growing up, which gives the audience a glimpse into Killer Bee’s backstory and what his life was like before we met him in the series.

When it comes to the DVD set itself, there are four bonus features included. The first is storyboards, which contains three pages from Episode 238 and three pages from episode 239. This feature is pretty much what’s shown up in previous box sets for Naruto Shippuden. However, I was surprised to see that there wasn’t an Art Gallery included.

“Clean Openings and Clean Endings” includes three versions of the opening 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.

After watching this set, I would primarily recommend it for the canon material that appears right at the end of the set. There’s also the occasional filler episode that’s decent to watch, but you can skip a lot of the filler and not miss terribly much.

I wrote this review after watching a copy of Naruto Shippuden Box Set 19 that I checked out through the King County Library System.

Naruto Shippuden the Movie: The Lost Tower Has Limited Bilingual Hulu Run

Neon Alley has now made the Naruto Shippuden the Movie: The Lost Tower anime film available for bilingual streaming for a limited time; you can either watch the English dub or watch with the original Japanese audio with English subtitles.

Hulu Plus subscribers can watch the film in high-definition on their TV. mobile devices, and computer.