ANIME TODAY #64: Interviewing VIZ Media VP Gonzalo Ferreyra

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Episode run down:

The convention season is off and running for 2008, and we’ve got a couple great con-related interviews, as well as an industry guest, lined up for this episode. Kawaii Kon is coming up on the weekend of April 18th through the 20th, and we’re going to be talking with Stan Dahlin, the founder, guest relations and events chair. We’re also going to be speaking to Gonzalo Ferreyra, the VP of Sales, Publishing and Home Video for VIZ Media. The last weekend of March, L.B. Bryant, the webmaster of Otaku Review, attended Sakura-Con in Seattle, Washington. He’s going to be giving us a rundown of several industry announcements that were made, the musical guests in attendance and his interview with voice actor Todd Haberkorn.

This music for this episode is from JapanFiles.com’s CD Echo Park by advantage Lucy. We’d like to thank JapanFiles.com for letting us feature music from their CDs. A full list with the times each song was played will be posted at the bottom of this episode’s show notes at AnimeToday.com.

Kicking us off this episode is Chad, with What’s Hot in the World of Anime and Manga, and then another Uso Deshou mystery plot to test your anime knowledge. The Savings You Seek sale continues through this weekend, and Shawne’s going to be giving you the details. Up next will be Stan Dahlin of the upcoming Kawaii Kon, and then Nick and Rich will be back with how you can win your own copy of the first two volumes Del Rey’s new manga release, Fairy Tail.

VIZ Media has a strong track record of developing “brands” regarding both the anime and manga components of a series. To discuss this and much more with Alison, Rich and Nick is the VP of Sales, Publishing and Home Video for VIZ Media, Gonzalo Ferreyra. Marie spotlights FUNimation’s recent Clamp Double Feature and then join Rich and Shawne for a slideshow of pictures from Shawne’s recent trip to the Tokyo International Anime Fair. Fresh from his trip to Sakura-Con, L.B. Bryant from OtakuReview.net recaps some of the great guests and events from a few weekends ago. Concluding this con-packed episode are a few more customer reviews from our online store.

What's Hot?

Goku is an innocent young boy with a monkey tail, and his quiet life is turned upside down when he meets Bulma, a girl on a quest to collect seven magical "Dragon Balls." If she gathers them all, a powerful dragon will appear and grant her any wish she desires. But the Dragon Balls are scattered all over the world, and Bulma needs Goku's super-strength, magical staff, and flying cloud to help her! Experience the epic story that introduced a generation to anime and manga, when the first three volumes of Goku’s adventure are reprinted with additional color and larger pages in the Dragon Ball Big Edition Graphic Novel 1, coming May 6th.

As if struggling to pay the rent and keeping up with the demands of art school weren’t hard enough, a group of friends get thrown for a loop when a brilliant and socially awkward transfer student named Hagumi enters their lives! Watch these five friends juggle school, love, and life when the live-action adaptation of Chica Umino’s acclaimed manga, Honey and Clover, debuts on May 13th.

He’s an energetic five-year old who says exactly what’s on his mind, does exactly what he wants, and couldn’t care less what anyone thinks. It’s Shin-Chan, the rudest, most obnoxious child to ever star in his own show! Watch this young anti-hero terrorize his family, friends, and neighbors to get what he wants—in as many wrong ways as possible. Catch the uncensored, unedited glory of the pint-sized potty-mouth and his hilarious antics when the Crayon Shin Chan Season 1 Part 1 Uncut DVD arrives on May 13th.

To Sousuke Sagara, undercover student and member of the mercenary group Mithril, life in Tokyo seems the same as always… but a mysterious organization behind the scenes threatens to destroy the peace. With inside help and incredible technology, this dangerous group is after Sousuke’s advanced mech no matter what the cost. Putting his life on the line in the name of duty, he must protect everything he holds dear, and still find time to study for the math test! Experience a new level of danger when the DVD Box Set for Full Metal Panic! The 2nd Raid, including the 13-episode series, episode 000 and the OVA “Tessa’s Uneventful Day,” lands on May 20th.

Save 25% or more on these titles by preordering them from RightStuf.com at least 10 days before their street dates. Get another 10% off by joining the Got Anime purchasing club for Frequent Buyers.

Check out the PREORDERS and the Got Anime? Purchasing Club!

Shawne's Specials and the Savings You Seek sale!

Shawne's Specials and the Savings You Seek sale!

Right Stuf has the savings you seek on DVDs and more from FUNimation and AN Entertainment! Whether you’re on the hunt for new and upcoming releases such as One Piece, Black Blood Brothers, Shin Chan, xxxHOLic and Vexille, or stocking up on classics like Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid, Dragon Ball Z and Slayers, you’re sure to find the anime (and swag) you treasure!

From now through April 13th, take 40% OFF the retail prices of all DVDs and 33% OFF the retail prices of all merchandise from FUNimation. (This includes pre-orders!)

Just use the reusable coupon code treasure when you check out through RightStuf.com!

Don’t forget, if you’re a Got Anime member, you can stack your discounts for even more savings! (This means you have the potential to save up to 46% OFF the MSRP on DVDs and up to 40% OFF the MSRP on other merchandise from FUNimation! For more details on Got Anime, check out www.gotanime.com!)

To start your search for savings, just click on the "Savings You Seek" graphic on RightStuf.com - it will quickly take you to a list of all of the Funimation titles we carry. Items in our bargain bin aren’t eligible for the sale discount, as they are already discounted more than the sale offer - so pick them up as well as you dig for savings treasure!

The Dark Lord is buried - when you leave town for a week and a half, the work does continue to pile up. Luckily, my desk apparently didn’t get sold by the minions, nor did they terrorize any villagers or burn any witches. The trip to the far side of the world hopefully will be worthwhile and there should be some new things in store.. Stay tuned.

See all of Shawne's Weekly Specials!
Check out the Bargain Bin!

Check out the PREORDERS and the Got Anime? Purchasing Club!

Stan Dahlin of Kawaii Kon

Stan Dahlin

Kawaii Kon 2008, Hawaii’s Own Anime Convention and Conference:
http://www.kawaii-kon.org
Kawaii Kon at AnimeCons.com:
http://www.animecons.com/events/info.shtml/1392

Right Stuf Contests and Updates

Fairy Tail Graphic Novel 1 (208 pgs)

Fairy Tail Graphic Novel 2 (208 pgs)Next up, Del Rey Manga and Anime Today are excited to offer you the chance to win your very own copies of their magical new release Fairy Tail! Five lucky winners will each receive a prize package that includes both Volumes 1 AND 2 of Fairy Tail, the newest manga form Hiro Mashima, the creator of Rave Master!

To enter – and find out more about the books – check out our Contest page in the “What’s Hot” bar at RightStuf.com – before April 24th. We’ll announce the winners on episode 65 of Anime Today!


Gonzalo Ferreyra, VP Sales, Publishing and Home Video for VIZ Media

Gonzalo Ferreyra

VIZ Media: http://www.viz.com

Marie's Spotlight: Clamp Double Feature

Before it came out last February, I was anxiously awaiting Funimation’s two-disc set of the Tsubasa and xxxHolic movies, aka the CLAMP Double Feature. Not only did it promise two brand-new stories from the Tsubasa and xxxHolic universes, always exciting for a fan, but it was the first chance to see how Funimation would be handling the xxxHolic anime. They didn’t disappoint.

In Tusbasa: The Princess in the Birdcage Kingdom, Syaoran, Sakura, and the rest of the Tsubasa travelers find themselves transported to a lush jungle paradise, where everyone, from the beautiful Princess Tomoyo to the youngest villager, grows up with a companion bird. But Tomoyo’s evil uncle has taken control of the kingdom with the help of a mysterious magical source while the princess has fled into hiding. Naturally Sakura wants to help, but even if they can break into the king’s fortress, they’re working under a tight deadline as the king has finally discovered Tomoyo's location and plans to implement a dark ritual that will destroy the country that very night.

Tsubasa is the shorter by far of the two CLAMP features, clocking in around half an hour, so it’s arguably more like an extra episode of the series than a movie, except it has a tightly woven plot, new opening and ending music, and cinematic animation, so… we'll just stick calling it a feature. Don’t let the relatively short runtime worry you too much if you’re new to the series. There's a series of quick flashbacks in the opening to give you a basic overview of what's going on.

 In xxxHolic: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, space-time witch Yuuko is asked to grant an unusual wish for a girl who can no longer go inside her house. “Coincidentally,” Yuuko just happens to receive an invitation to a mysterious auction being held at the very same mansion. Of course, as Yuuko will tell you, there’s no such thing as coincidence… She accepts the invitation, dragging along her unwilling and easily flustered assistant Watanuki and his rival, Doumeki. Unfortunately for Watanuki when he gets lost in the corridors, the mansion proves to be thoroughly creepy, confusing, and waaaaay bigger than it looks. Oh, and it has a habit of making the people in it disappear, and it’s currently being run by a crazy collector. Forget about getting the girl in; will Watanuki and co. ever manage to get out?

The xxxHolic movie runs a bit more than an hour, and, like Tsubasa, it doesn’t require any previous knowledge of the series to enjoy. Watanuki’s indentured servitude towards Yuuko and his antagonistic relationship with Doumeki are both explained at the very beginning, and after that, well, you don’t need to know much about the characters’ other adventures to understand a haunted mansion. The only thing that might be confusing for a xxxHolic newbie would be the bit at the end that ties A Midsummer Night’s Dream together with The Princess in the Birdcage Kingdom, but just remember Yuuko is in the habit of granting wishes and you’ll be fine - especially if you’ve already watched the Tsubasa film.

Production IG, who animated the xxxHolic TV series, was responsible for the animation of both features, and they did a wonderful job. Obviously, since these movies are based on CLAMP series, the art is a major selling point. xxxHolic maintains an arthouse feel throughout, especially during the stunning climax which uses something like six entirely different styles of animation while echoing the crazily proportioned character designs of the manga. The haunted mansion, with its changing layout, hall of collections, and inside-outside fusion puts Disney’s 999 ghosts to shame. Tsubasa, on the other hand, is quite simply beautiful. Not only are the forest, castle, and other settings exquisitely rendered, but the battles are animated above and beyond what we saw in the anime.

Since the running time of the two films only totals about an hour and a half, you might be wondering why Funimation decided to release this as a two-disc set. The answer: each DVD is crammed to the gills with extras, and I don’t just mean clean openings and trailers. Recording sessions, character designs, layouts, footage from multiple Japanese movie events, and, the piece de resistance, both movies feature a full-length commentary from the Japanese actors and staff. These are presented with the camera focused on the staff making the commentary, and then the movie itself presented via “picture in picture,” so you can see the crew react to what’s going on as the show plays.

Both movies take the essence of what’s good about the series and distill it down to their cores, providing stories that fit in perfectly within the Tsubasa and xxxHolic universes. If anyone ever asks what it is about CLAMP you like so much, you could point to just about any scene and say “that.” Wonderful characters, storytelling, art, adventure; it's all here. The only thing missing are the larger arcs present in the tv series and manga, but you gain some incredible action scenes that were never hindered by being released in a chapter by chapter format. Plus, if you’ve been keeping up with the manga, you also get two new adventures from back before some of the bigger bombshell revelations and plot twists, not unlike getting an extra chapter from Tolkien’s cheerier Fellowship of the Ring to offset Return of the King's darker story.

If you liked the original manga or anime, then deciding whether to get this double feature should be a no-brainer, especially with the amount of care Funimation put into the two-disc set. I’d also highly suggest it if you liked similar movies such as Spirited Away or Origin which should be, oh, everyone. Watch Tsubasa first as an exciting prelude to the visual feast that is xxxHolic or keep it for a decadent dessert, but either way it’s a perfect pairing.

Shawne’s Trip toTAF 2008

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Tokyo International Anime Fair 2008: http://www.tokyoanime.jp/en/

ShinChan (Crayon Shinchan) DVD (D): Season 1 Part 1 Uncut

L.B. Bryant of OtakuReview.net Reports on Sakura-Con 2008

L.B. Bryant

Otaku Review: http://otakureview.net
Sakura-Con: http://www.sakuracon.org

What our customers are saying

Anime Today Q & A

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This episode features music from:

  • Advantage Lucy, Echo Park

    Advantage Lucy, Echo Park

     

    0:00:00 --- 01. glider

    0:02:33 --- 04. akai natsu

    0:05:38 --- 03. Anderson

    0:08:01 --- 07. is this love

    0:19:27 --- 02. spur line

    0:21:07 --- 06. shiosai

    0:42:44 --- 05. tooi hi

    0:49:14 --- 08. splash

    1:02:27 --- 07. is this love

    1:14:27 --- 09. planetaria

    1:17:19 --- 10. everything

    1:18:54 --- 11. time after time

  • Fresh Cuts from Japan CD 2

    Fresh Cuts from Japan CD 2