VIZ Media Reveals Sailor Moon Sailor Stars English Dub Cast

VIZ Media revealed the English dub cast of Sailor Moon Sailor Stars on Monday on its official Facebook page and Twitter and via its website.

Image: Toei Animation

The English dub main cast includes Stephanie Sheh as Chibi-Chibi, Melissa Hutchison as Sailor Star Fighter, Erika Harlacher as Sailor Star Maker, Sarah Williams as Sailor Star Healer, and Carrie Keranen as Sailor Galaxia.

Thanks to VIZ, this is the first time Sailor Moon Sailor Stars is getting a home video release in North America. The release will have limited edition Blu-ray Disc/DVD combo pack including a full-color episode guide inside a collector’s chipboard box, a standard Blu-ray Disc/DVD combo pack, and a standard DVD release. Sailor Moon Sailor Stars is the fifth and final season of the original Sailor Moon television anime series. VIZ is set to release the series this spring.

Sources: VIZ Media website, VIZ Media Facebook, VIZ Media Twitter

Adult Swim’s Toonami Block Starts Half Hour Earlier on May 25

Toonami makes room for the premiere of Attack on Titan Season 3 Part 2 and Lupin the Third Part 5

For Toonami fans who can’t wait until almost midnight to start watching anime, we have some good news for you. Toonami announced on its official Facebook page and on its unofficial Twitter Toonami News on Monday that its block will begin half an hour earlier starting next Saturday, May 25.

Here is Toonami’s upcoming airing schedule starting from 10:30am up until 3:30am:

Along with the changed schedule, Toonami is making room for the premiere of Attack on Titan Season 3 Part 2. Its next major premiere will be its debut of Lupin the Third Part 5 starting June 15.

Sources: Toonami Facebook page, Toonami News Twitter

Web Anime ‘Miru Tights’ Premieres on YouTube with English and Chinese Subtitles

The day after its debut in Japan on streaming service Nico Nico Channel the first episode of ecchi web anime Miru Tights kicks off on its official Youtube Channel TRUSS on Saturday worldwide. It is available with English, Traditional Chinese, and Simplified Chinese subtitles.

MyAnimeList provides a synopsis for the series:

A rainy morning in April. Cherry blossoms are struck by rain and floats in the puddle. High school students enter the school gate, carrying various colors of umbrellas.

“Good morning, Ren,” Yua greeted Ren, wearing wet tights in front of the shoe cupboard. When Ren faced her glumly, Homi, who was drenched, joined them as if she is jumping. The girls discuss the new semester.

The girls live their irreplaceable school life as the seasons change.

Illustrator Yomu, who primarily creates art of women in tights and made his debut as a mangaka in adult manga magazine Comic Koh back in October 2015, is also the writer of Miru Tights original story. Fumiaki Maruto (Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend) is the writer of the series. Yukari Hibino works as the character designer while SHADE composes the music. The anime is being directed at Yokohama Animation Lab by Yuki Ogawa (Oyaa-san wa Shishunki!) and is produced by TRUSS.

Watch Miru Tights very first episode on YouTube by clicking here!

Source: TRUSS YouTube channel

Non Non Biyori Gets Third Season + Promo Video

At last weekend’s Nyanpasu Matsuri Vacation Nanon! event it was announced that a third season is in the works for TV anime series Non Non Biyori. Non Non Biyori is a TV anime adaptation of Atto’s rural comedy manga that began publication in the Comic Alive magazine in September 2009.

Along with the news of its upcoming third season is an official promotional video to accompany it.

Crunchyroll provides a synopsis for the series:

The closest book store sells Jump every Wednesday, the video rental shop is ten stations down. Vegetables are left out for sale, and no one’s ever even see a lock on a house. That’s the country life they live, but these five girls at Asahigaoka Branch School are enjoying it! Enjoy the leisurely, laid-back life of these unique girls!

Non Non Biyori season one and season two are available to stream on Crunchyroll and VRV.

Mirai Wins AniMovie Award at International Stuttgart Festival

With over 60 films submitted and out of ten nominated, the film Mirai won the AniMovie award for best animated feature film at the International Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film in Germany on Sunday.

“We appreciated so much the filmmakers inviting us into this home, and offering us the opportunity to watch this family grow together, and to help us understand our deep and human connection to those who came before us,” said one of the judges.

Mirai is the first anime feature film to win the award in five years since Hayao Miyazaki’s Ponyo in 2010 and Makoto Shinkai’s The Garden of Words in 2014.

This is not Mirai’s first-ever award though as it was awarded Animation of the Year at the 42nd annual Japan Academy Prizes in March, won the Best Animated Independent Feature category for the 46th Annual Anime Awards, and nominated for the Animated Feature Film category of the 91st Academy Awards.

GKIDS and Fathom Events held over 700 screenings of the film in the U.S. earning $672,652 USD. It placed at #19 at the box office in Japan in July 2018.

Four-year-old Kun’s world is turned upside down when he becomes the older brother to baby sister Mirai (meaning “future”). Mirai captures the hearts and all the attention from her new family, except Kun. Kun becomes jealous of Mirai, so jealous that he runs off into the garden where he encounters strange guests from the past and the future with one of them being his sister Mirai…as a teenager! Together, Kun and Mirai go on a journey through time and space, uncovering their family’s incredible history and ever-expanding story.

Mirai was directed at Studio Chizu by Mamoru Hosoda, who was also the scriptwriter and credited for the original story idea. Hiroyuki Aoyama and Ayako Hata (both worked on The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Summer Wars, The Boy and The Beast) are the animation directors. Yohei Takamatsu and Takahashi Omori (The Boy and The Beast) are the art directors. The film was produced by Yuichiro Saito, who helped with Hosoda’s earlier works.

Mirai is available now on Blu-Ray, DVD, and digital! (Amazon)

Sources: Press release, GKIDS official website

MONOGATARI Series Second Season Complete Blu-Ray Box Set Releases in June

Aniplex of America announced on Friday that the MONOGATARI Series Second Season will be released as a complete Blu-Ray box set for the first time ever on June 25 for $219.28 (USD).

The complete box set will include all 28 episodes starting with NEKOMONOGATARI <WHITE>, plus HANAMONOGATARI, ONIMONOGATARI, KABUKIMONOGATARI, OTORIMONOGATARI, and KOIMONOGATARI. The box set will come with 6 Blu-Ray discs encased in a rigid box exclusively illustrated by character designer and chief animation director Akio Watanabe. It will also include special features such as the TV Version Ending, TV Omnibuses I-III, a collection of promotional videos and commercials as well as textless opening and ending.

The MONOGATARI series is based on the popular light novel series by author Nisioisin, and was produced by studio SHAFT who brought us March Comes in Like a Lion, Nisekoi, and Puella Magi Madoka Magica.

These stories take place after the end of summer vacation when the apparition of the bee had left and the apparition of the phoenix avoided any consequences. Now that Koyomi Araragi and the girls are entering their new school terms, they are once again about to encounter supernatural being but this time, they may not be so easy to deal with.

Tsubasa Hanekawa, Mayoi Hachikuji, Tsuruga Kanbaru, Nadeko Sengoku, Shinobu Oshino and finally Hitagi Senjyogahara. The girls’ loneliness, their confessions, and their departures…Revisit their mysterious journey once again!

MONOGATARI Series Second Season Complete Blu-Ray box set will be available June 25. Find out more and pre-order now at RightStufAnime.com

Source: Press release

REVIEW: Hitoribocchi no Marumaru Seikatsu (Episode 1)

WHAT IS IT?

Based on the comedic slice of life 4-koma manga is one of spring’s 2019 anime Hitoribocchi no Marumaru Seikatsu. It was directed by Takefumi Anzai, and produced by animation studio C2C. We follow along new middle school student Hitori Bocchi who struggles with crippling social anxiety. Childhood friend Kai Yawada makes Hitori promise her that she will attempt to befriend all of her peers in her class, and until then Kai and Hitori cannot be friends.

GIVE US THE DEETS!

What Hitori goes through is very much accurate and relatable for those who struggle with social anxiety. From dreading the first day of school thanks to mandatory ice breakers to struggling with putting yourself out there and making friends (and doing so in the most awkward way possible). The show is rather hilarious listening to Hitori’s internal voice and how she chooses to act in nerve wrecking situations. For instance, when Hitori attempted to conversate with classmate Nako Sunao she had written down dialogue on herself to go by so she would not screw up. The show is paced well by already showing you the anxious nature and characteristics of the protagonist from the jump. She is also already being put in uncomfortable situations. We also see that Hitori is already developing as a character right from the first episode.

ART & ANIMATION

The bright and bubbly art style and fun and lighthearted tone of the show goes hand in hand. For a short slice of life anime as such it is a good combo and fits the vibe of the show. It also has a mixture of CGI that meshes well with the 2D animation.

IS THIS SHOW LIKE ANY OTHER?

There are a handful of series who took the approach of creating a socially anxious protagonist with the most well-known being WataMote. Hitoribocchi is much more lighthearted compared to WataMote and it is obvious that we should be rooting for Hitori rather than her being a laughingstock and treated as a joke like Tomoko. Other than WataMote viewers relating to Tomoko it also made viewers feel sorry for her, whereas with Hitori not only can some viewers relate to her but also feel proud of her for improving herself even in the slightest.

VERDICT

The first episode already sets the relaxing and laidback tone thanks to the atmosphere of the cherry blossom trees and the sound of soft piano music. The initial tone juxtaposes the humorous and fun that presents itself later in the show. This is a good show to start watching on the side to switch things up, especially if you are the type to mainly watch action packed shounen. Not only does it fit with the current season but also it will put you in a chill mood and have you laughing and leave you with a smile on your face. 9.5/10

Crunchyroll and VRV Re-Adds First Season of Attack on Titan, My Hero Academia, and Overlord

Anime streaming services Crunchyroll and VRV re-added the first seasons of Attack on Titan, My Hero Academia, and Overlord.

Crunchyroll removed the first seasons of those titles in February, yet the second and third seasons remained. Crunchyroll was “working through the rights for season one of both titles” and will “share any additional details soon,” Crunchyroll told AnimeNewsNetwork.

Attack on Titan and My Hero Academia were some of the Funimation-licensed anime that remained on Crunchyroll even after Crunchyroll and Funimation ended their partnership to share content in November.

Toho Releases Teaser Trailer for Makoto Shinkai’s Film Weathering with You

From the director of Your Name comes the follow-up film Weathering with You (天気の子/Tenki no Ko). Distributor Toho released the first teaser trailer for the film that was written and directed by Makoto Shinkai.

The story follows high schooler Hodaka Morishima (voiced by Kotaro Daigo) who leaves his small town to give living on his own a go and to work as a writer in Tokyo for a shady occult publication. After starting his new job it is always unusually rainy, but no one bats an eye. Hodaka soon meets a young girl named Hina Amado (voiced by Nana Mori) who has the unbeknownst power to control the weather.

The film was produced by Story Inc. and animated by CoMix Wave Films. Your Name character designer Masayoshi Tanaka is back again to be a part of the team alongside animation director Atsushi Tamura and art director Hiroshi Takiguchi.

Weathering with You is set to premiere in Japanese theaters on July 19. The date for worldwide and dub release has yet to be announced.

Short Web Anime Luminary Tears Make Its Way to TV Tokyo

Bandai’s Luminary Tears (まほうのルミティア/Mahou no Lumitear), a short children’s web anime based on the adorable toy line from Bandai Candy, will be making its way from YouTube to Japanese television. It will broadcast as part of the “Chara Suta” corner of Oha Suta, TV Tokyo’s children’s variety program. The 10 episode series will air on Tuesdays beginning on April 9, 2019.

The story follows threesome Petal Tear, Shuna Tear, and Puroro Tear, who were born from the Shining Guardian in the night sky. The trio play and collect star-drops together. After wishing on the star-drops appeared “Lumitear Sticks”, when waved causes the star-drops to glitter. What magical adventures will the trio encounter with their Lumitear Sticks today?

The animation production was by ODDJOB Inc., and the character designs were created by Tsuyuri Namiki. The original working and planning was by Saori Yamada and Saori Senda, and the script was written by Yuuji Kobayashi.

The cast includes Honami as Petal Tear, Hauzki Ogino as Shuna Tear, Rumi Okubo as Puroro Tear, Reina Ueda as Noir Tear, Emiri Katou as Rabil, and Amane Makino as the narrator.