Archive for the ‘Fun Stuff’ Category

Yona of the Dawn Poll: Who do you think Princess Yona should end up with?

Now that Yona of the Dawn has been released on Blu-ray and DVD it is time to ask the most important questions: who should Yona go for? We couldn’t leave this question to the staff, so we’re asking you, the fans to help decide.

 


In addition to voting, we’re asking for the reason Yona should go with the suitor you chose. Write your answer in the comments (either here or the social media site you may have found it on) and we’ll choose the ones we like to receive a button of the suitor that was mentioned.
Hak and Suwon Button

 

Historical Japanese Swords, as Seen in Rurouni Kenshin

*A guest editorial from our Funimation Brand Manager, Jennifu

Rurouni Kenshin Dojo Battle

 

From period samurai shows to magical combat fantasy, Japanese swords are hyper-prominent in anime, and the upcoming theatrical runs of the swordplay-packed Rurouni Kenshin live-action movies are a perfect excuse to talk about the coolness of Japanese swords!

 

Learn about the basics of Japanese swords and their historical basis as seen in the Rurouni Kenshin movies, based on the manga and anime of the same name, which take a fictional but decently researched and realistic* approach on the subject, for shounen manga.

 

(And if you’re really into sword combat, these movies have excellent action choreography from one of the biggest action directors in Asian martial arts cinema—get your advance tickets today and see it for yourself! The first movie, Rurouni Kenshin: Origins, hits theaters August 8, 9 and 10!)

 

 

Rurouni Kenshin Reverse Blade

The hero of Rurouni Kenshin, Kenshin Himura, wields a very iconic sword immediately familiar to anyone who’s read the original series. His sword is a sakabato, or a “reverse-blade”—meaning that the outer cutting edge is dull, and the inner edge is sharp, contrary to the normal construction of a Japanese sword.

(If you think about a “double-edged sword” being dangerous because there is also a cutting edge that faces you, a “reverse-blade” is even more dangerous and impractical because only the cutting edge faces you. This impracticality makes it a “pacifist sword” and also explains why Kenshin is such a badass, giving himself a huge handicap.)

 

Combat sakabato never existed (according to any known records), but actually at least one reverse-blade has been found in Japan, although it is a kogatana (small katana) rather than a full-length one.

 

 

 

As we know, Kenshin’s blade is a katana Japanese sword, but although people often use katana and “Japanese sword” interchangeably, they aren’t the same. The katana is actually a more modern style that was popularized around the 15th century.

 

Prior to the katana, longer, heavier, curved blades called tachi were the weapon of choice. As long-ranged, robust weapons, these were effective for fighting on horseback across open fields.

 

 

 

As cities became more prominent and horseback plains combat less relevant, the katana became more popular, as a lighter, shorter sword, worn cutting-edge up (as opposed to down on the tachi), meaning samurai could potentially slice an enemy upon drawing the sword, and generally wield with more agility.

 

Most importantly, katana could be used in fights in the cities, with narrow streets, or even indoors, where long tachi were at risk of getting caught in the low ceiling rafters.

 

 

 

In the Rurouni Kenshin series and movies, Sanosuke Sagara wields a huge, old and rusted zanbato, or horse-cutting sword. This type of sword is from that older era of horseback warfare.

 

Actually, a horse-cutting sword is not meant to be swung wildly with one arm—a wielder would hold the sword with both hands while perched on a horse, and taken down enemy riders. This just shows Sano’s monstrous strength and wild personality.

 

 

 

Another result of the development of the katana is the custom of samurai wearing two swords—a katana sword and a wakizashi, or a short sword. Katana were used more for combat and wakizashi for more personal use.

 

If a samurai was invited to a castle, for example, he was expected to leave his katana at the door, so as to not threaten the lord, but he could keep his wakizashi in self defense.

 

 

 

Aoshi Shinomori, who appears in the second Rurouni Kenshin movie and gets some cool action scenes in the third, wields double kodachi, which are somewhat shorter swords similar to wakizashi.

 

The reason he has to use short swords is that double-wielding long swords is impractical—there’s too much risk of cutting your own arms. (Sorry, Roronoa Zoro.)

 

 

Are you a big fan of Japanese swords? What types do like, and what are your favorite famous swords from anime, manga, or Japanese movies? Let us know in the comments!

Be sure to buy your advance tickets to Rurouni Kenshin: Origins today—this limited theatrical run is only in theaters for 3 days! http://www.funimationfilms.com/movie/rurouni-kenshin/

*except, sadly, there are no historical Japanese swords that spurt flames when you swing them :(
 

Life and Anime 10 Years Ago

Written by one of Funimation’s Brand Managers, Jennifu

 

Ready to feel old? This year, we’re kicking off a lot of new 10-year anniversary editions of some really iconic anime, including the just-released The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and the just-announced Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya collector’s editions.—and more 10th anniversary editions are on the way! To mark these, here’s a rundown of what life was like in 2006—a great year for anime!

 

In anime:

We can’t stress enough that 2006 was A REALLY GOOD YEAR for anime. 2006 is considered the height of the anime “bubble” in both Japan and the US with a record high (at the time) number of new anime series being created, before the industry took a decline.

 

Tons of series that still impact us today were born this year:

Ouran High School Host Club and The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya both debuted in spring for a season of double Haruhis. Everyone’s learning the Hare Hare Yukai.

 

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Conventions 2016 – Going Big at Anime Expo 2016

We’re heading to Anime Expo, the largest North American anime convention at the Los Angeles Convention Center, on July 1st-4th and we’re bringing heroes, singers, parties, and big announcements! We’re bringing a bunch of Funimation staff for this one, including Justin, Lauren, Tara, and Godswill, and you can be sure that we’ll have a full schedule that you can check out below:

 

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Anime Expo 2016 July 1st-4th

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Anime Expo Parties!

Funimation, along with some partners, will be throwing some big parties at the biggest anime convention in North America, Anime Expo. Not just one, but TWO big parties through the weekend- one on Friday AND one on Saturday! See below for the details.

 

Friday Party:

 

AKA! Sponsored by Funimation

 

Logo + background

 

 

Aka will be hosted by voice actor Kyle Hebert (Dragon Ball Z, Gurren Lagann, Wreck-it Ralph!) and comedienne Dani Fernandez (Playboy TV, MTV, VH1). Shower in an explosion of entertainment – ONE NIGHT ONLY!

 

Aka includes a stage show from 9pm to 11pm consisting of comedy, burlesque, audience participation, and floor prizes. From 11:00 to 1:30, Attack the Music luminaries Mitomoyo, Voia, and Raif will play live!

 

Also every ticket holder at Aka will have a free month of FunimationNow included!

 

AKA! tickets at The Novo by Microsoft in Los Angeles. Doors open at 8:30!

Must be 18+ to attend. To attend, buy your tickets here: http://funi.to/28Mcl6G.

 

 

Saturday Party:

 

Sonicboombox presents: UNOFFICIAL ANIME EXPO AFTERPARTY sponsored by Funimation!

 

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  • OPEN BAR all night
  • Live DJ with dancing inside and out on patio
  • Walking distance from LA Convention Center (less than 1 mile)
  • Funimation swag (posters and more!)
  • Snap Yourself photobooth (8pm til midnight)
  • Okamoto Kitchen food truck (from 8pm-10pm, at least!)
  • Music by DJ VER5E & Chuck None
  • Cosplay encouraged (but not required)!
  • Must be 21+.

 

Get your ticket online in advance and save! http://funi.to/28NoxWV

Doors open at 8pm! Find more information on the event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/732302946912006/

 

Time To Celebrate – Father’s Day

Fatherhood is hard. It’s especially hard when your children may grow up with powers or in a world full of danger! It’s no secret that anime dads typically aren’t the paragons of parenting, but we still want to highlight the men that were there for their kids. This list isn’t in any particular order and it also includes non-biological fathers.

 

All Might

My Hero Academia

 

 

All Might My Hero Academia I Am Here GIF

 

Although All Might isn’t a literal father to anyone, he is seen as a father figure through the land and the school where he teaches. Known as the strongest of heroes, all people, especially the youth he mentors, look up to him and his example of strength and devotion. Although he can let his emotions get the better of him at times and sometimes he overextends his efforts, he gets the job done in teaching the future generation what it means to be a true hero and he manages to protect everyone.

 

Joseph Joestar

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders

 

 

The whole 3rd season of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure centers around the lengths that Joseph will go to save his daughter who has been afflicted with a mysterious curse. Without getting too deep into the story, he and his grandson, Jotaro, travel the world amidst assassins who aim to stop them in finding the cure. Although he can be brash and at times too much of a jokester, he keeps his sole focus on finding the cure for his ailing daughter.

 

Lord Death and Spirit Albarn

Soul Eater

 

 

Both of these entities are some of the strongest guardians in the land, but they maintain goofy exteriors to not seem threatening to their own people and the kids they watch out for. They are always on the lookout for the good of their own kids and the people they protect. Although they can seem flippant at times, they maintain their roles as teachers, protectors, and fathers.

 

Akio Furukawa

Clannad

 

 

Here we have another serious-when-he-needs-to-be dad that is often goofy and outrageous, but just the guy who is whatever his family needs him to be. He is very protective of his only daughter who can be very ditzy and unfortunately sickly, but when the family grows, he spreads his protective wings in his own signature fashion.

 

Kumatetsu

The Boy and The Beast

 

The Boy and The Beast Arguing GIF

 

In a very unlikely pairing, Kumatetsu, the beast, becomes an unwilling and nearly unfit for the grieving young human boy he dubs “Kyuta”. However through time, the two become a strong family unit that trains together, protects each other, and looks out for each other. Although Kumatetsu can be very hardheaded, stubborn, and very emotional, he looks out for Kyuta and builds him to be a very strong fighter.

 

Kawachi Dakichi

Usagi Drop

 

 

This man gets props as he went very quickly from a nonchalant bachelor to a caring and loving caretaker of a 6-year old girl. Through a series of interesting events, this man with no responsibilities or immediate family to take care of steps up and takes in an illegitimate and hidden child after the death of the family patriarch. He transforms his life very quickly in order to give this girl a normal life.

 

Maes Hughes

Fullmetal Alchemist

 

It’d be pretty criminal not to put one of the most zealous and caring of anime fathers on our list! If you interact with this family man, you’ll be getting an earful about his wife (and more about his precious daughter) whether you wanted to or not. He’s equipped with pictures of his family on every occasion.

 

Piccolo

Dragon Ball Z

 

 

We could highlight the well-known fathers of the series like Goku, Vegeta, Krillin, and even Mr. Satan, but we want to show off a lesser thought of father. Piccolo has never fathered any kids himself, but he has always (well… for the most part) looked out for the kids of the series. He began or furthered the kids’ training in defending themselves, protected and has sacrificed his well-being for the kids, and he’s willing to show a more “gentle” side to the kids.

 

Who are your favorite anime dads? Let us know in the comments!

 

How To Get Your Family Into Watching Anime

Written by one of Funimation’s Brand Managers, Jennifu

 

With The Boy and the Beast out now (get your copy here!), one thing that we’ve heard a lot from fellow anime fans is how they’ve used director Mamoru Hosoda’s movies like Summer Wars and Wolf Children to introduce their parents or family to anime. While some anime fans were introduced to anime at an early age from their parents, many of us know all too well that getting our folks to try, let alone appreciate, Japanese animation seems an impossible task.

 

The Boy and The Beast Arguing GIF

 

Here are some strategies that we at Funimation have employed to introduce our parents or families to anime—and shockingly, some of these actually have worked out!

 

Start small, with low commitment

Some anime fans get into the medium through marathoning 500-episode shounen epics as their first exposure, but you can’t count on it. One of the first excuses we hear from parents who dismiss trying anime is that they don’t have time, but it’s harder to say no to a 90-minute movie as family bonding time. If you’re introducing your family member to anime, make sure they know you’re not asking them to make a huge commitment—ease them in with a movie or short series first, and they’ll be more likely to give it a try.

 

Summer Wars Watch GIF

 

Recommendations: Summer Wars, Spirited Away, Time of Eve, Eden of the East

 

Challenge their preconceived notions about anime

Unfortunately, many people who aren’t familiar with anime assume that it’s all kiddie cartoons or hardcore hentai, but we know that there’s so much in between. Make sure that your family member’s first exposure to anime is something far removed from bad stereotypes. A good bet is to avoid violence or sexuality on the first go—yes, that means cutting out tons of awesome shows, but there’s still plenty of quality family-friendly stuff, and we don’t necessarily mean kids’ shows. (Of course, if your parent was the type that took you to R-rated movies before any of the other kids were allowed to, this doesn’t necessarily apply.)

 

Akira bike GIF

 

On the other hand, this isn’t even necessarily limited to adult content. If you get the feeling your family member might think anime is all bubbly pink-haired space catgirls, try introducing them to something more realistic or serious. Anime is a hugely diverse medium after all—yes, it has its tropes, but it’s full of high quality art just like film, music, theater etc. By showing a title that challenges them, you can convince your family member that anime is a respectable art form.

 

Death Parade Opening Dance GIF

 

All Ages Recommendations: Ghibli films like My Neighbor Totoro or The Cat Returns, The Boy and the Beast, Barakamon, Patema Inverted

Serious Stuff Recommendations: Space Brothers, Death Parade, Planetes, Monster

 

And tied in to that…

 

Make them cry

This may feel too easy, but one of the best types of shows or films that can make someone take anime “seriously” is the tearjerker. For better or worse, we often assume that dramas and tragedies are higher “art” than comedies, which means that these titles may be more likely to make an impression on your parents.

 

 

Recommendations: Wolf Children, Your Lie in April, Anohana, 5 Centimeters Per Second

 

Find something in their interests

I may or may not have gotten my mom to watch all of Emma: A Victorian Romance while she was waiting for new episodes of Downton Abbey—it really scratched her English-aristocratic-period-romance itch. This opened her up to trying more period romance anime that wasn’t too far off, like The Story of Saiunkoku.

 

Once you get your family member comfortable with anime, there’s plenty of time to get them into That One Show that you love the most, but first, find them something with the best chance they’ll like it. Anime is so diverse, there’s bound to be something in their niche, especially if you’re looking for anime about very specific hobbies. If your mom or dad can’t get enough of cooking shows on the Food Network, Food Wars! is a no-brainer. Your sports-loving sibling has a higher chance of latching onto Kuroko’s Basketball (or Haikyu! if she wants something more realistic). And often, your family member’s favorite popular television or film franchises can be compared to anime as well. With all the superhero movies coming out, getting a relative hooked on My Hero Academia, Tiger and Bunny, or Concrete Revolutio isn’t that much of a stretch, but even popular shows like Doctor Who, The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones can be compared to time travel, zombie, or fantasy anime as well.

 

Concrete Revolutio Robot Fight

 

Recommendations: Depends on your parent

 

And most importantly:

 

Make it easy!

This is one of the most overlooked tactics. Remember the last time you tried to get your friend to watch Your Favorite Anime and he seemed really interested, but only finally got to it a year later (if that)? It’s even harder with someone who’s fairly indifferent to anime.

 

Zoro Sleeping GIF

 

In the best-case scenario, try to actually watch the anime with your family. Set up a time and place ahead of time, or suggest it as an impulse move—but be prepared with a copy of it immediately accessible. If you can’t actually watch it with them, try to make sure you can physically set up the viewing for them, especially if they aren’t too tech-savvy. It may not seem like much, but the friction in the process of having to find a copy of the series itself, or having to pop in a Blu-ray or turn on a streaming service, can be surprisingly high. Take this out of the system if you can and get the showing completely ready, so that all your parent has to do is hit Play.

 

Lucky Star Family Watching TV GIF

 

What tactics have you tried to get your parents to watch anime? Will you try any of these? Let us know!

 

Learn how our award-winning Collector’s Editions were designed!

Funimation Awards Graphic

Did you hear the news? This year, the Collector’s Editions for Fullmetal Alchemist, Black Lagoon, and Tokyo Ghoul were nationally recognized for excellence in packaging, design, and content. That means when you bring home one of these sets, you’re bringing home a winner. So, what does it take to create award-winning packaging? Let’s take a peek into the Funimation world!

 

  ..  .
……..Black Lagoon Collector’s Edition
………….Tokyo Ghoul Collector’s Edition
…….Fullmetal Alchemist Collector’s Edition

 

Whenever we release a Collector’s Edition, our top priority is focusing on the love our fans have for each series. We consider different elements that would appeal to every fan and their unique sensibilities; look, feel, size, and exclusive elements that make every series special. Each of our designers has their own distinctive creative process when it comes to creating these sets. We sat down with some of our packaging designers, Melissa Frennea, TJ Larson, and Ian Bailon to discuss their ideas, processes, and the overall work that went into these award-winning designs.

 

Fullmetal Alchemist Collector’s Edition

 

Q: Each of these sets has a special meaning and message that relates to the series. What was it you wanted to get across to the fans?

 

Melissa F, Graphic Designer, lead on Fullmetal Alchemist Collector’s Edition:

The idea behind the Fullmetal Alchemist Collector’s Edition was to create a journey for fans. We wanted to mimic the journey they experience when they watch and re-watch their favorite series. Personally, I am a huge FMA fan, so I put in hours of research into very specific elements relevant to the show. Things like historical alchemy, particular show and series details, and even fandom references. By tying these elements together, I wanted fans who love the series as much as I do to have a physical representation of that devotion.

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Haruhi is Returning, With A Special 10-year Anniversary Release!

One of the most popular and influential anime of the last decade, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, is coming back to home video. After being out of print for years, we’re bringing it back in time for its 10th anniversary, along with a special collector’s edition. You can pre-order on June 15, and here’s what you can look forward to:

 

  • The complete series (seasons 1+2 together) is on Blu-ray for the first time in North America, presented in the same rebroadcast order used on the Japanese Blu-ray release. A DVD release will also be available.
    • We’ll also be including a guide in the release of how to watch the entire two-season series in various other orders, including the super-popular broadcast order, chronological order, and DVD order!
    • The release will have many of the extras originally included Bandai release — as well as some that have never been seen in North America!
………………………………..Haruhi S1 + S2 Blu-ray  Haruhi S1 + S2 DVD

 

For ultimate fans, we’re also releasing a special The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya – Ultimate Collector’s Edition Blu-ray set!

  • This features not only the original two season series, but the chibi spinoffs The Melancholy of Haruhi-chan Suzumiya + Nyoron! Churuya-san AND the new Nagato-centric alternate universe spinoff, The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan – all in a premium set with a collector’s chipboard box plus a filler box with art cards!
    • The filler box happens to be about the same size as a Blu-ray case and can be removed to fit something else…

Haruhi 3d render[2]

 

Shorewood Standard Ocard1

 

The Melancholy of Haruhi-chan Suzumiya is based on the hilarious spinoff chibi manga with all the characters a little more exaggerated than before—and a Haruhi-chan that’s more Haruhi than Haruhi. Nyoron! Churuya-san is based on a popular webcomic-turned-meme full of deadpan humor centered around a smoked cheese-loving version of Tsuruya. These are also available together as a standalone DVD release on the same day at the series, but the Ultimate Collector’s Edition is the only way to get them on Blu-ray along with the art cards!

 

 

TheDisappearanceOfNagatoYuki_3dmock

 

The spinoff series, The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan, follows the characters in the universe featured in the film The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya and will be available as a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack separately as well!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pre-order now to take home ALL of these releases on 9/13!

 

Hatsune Miku Expo 2016

HeaderImage

Hatsune Miku is finishing up her North American tour and as she gets ready to head back to Japan, we’re taking a look back at the time she spent in Dallas. Her sold-out show was definitely a night to remember, and just in case you missed it, we asked Michele, one of our own Graphic Designers, to give us an inside look at Hatsune Miku Expo 2016. From the pre-show to the encore, this is her full report:

 Koisplay_Photography_Miku_expo-2123 

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