Archive for July, 2011

Otakon Brings the Rainbow!

This year, Otakon is going to be a super, mega, mondo, rainbow extravaganza of Hetalia! Here’s everything you need to know if you want to make the most of your Hetalia-filled Otakon 2011.

 

At the booth:

  • PRIORITY TICKETS: FUNimation will be offering priority tickets for the Saturday afternoon autograph session at their booth in the dealer’s room. These tickets will guarantee you priority access to the main Hetalia autograph session at 4:30 PM Saturday. These tickets are limited and TOTALLY FREE, so they’ll be available while supplies last. Just come by the FUNimation booth and ask one of our friendly Hetalia volunteers! One ticket per attendee, please.
  • HETALIA POSTCARDS: Two different postcards for Hetalia: World Series (see image to right and image below), will be available at the FUNimation booth. Make sure you stop by to grab one, or the other, or both. These are great for collecting.
  • HETALIA SEASON 1 AND SEASON 2: Hetalia Seasons 1 and 2 will be on sale at the booth. A very lovely item for autographs, perhaps?

 

 

Panels and Special Events

Friday at 10:00 am – Hetalia Model United Nations (aka. HetaMUN)

(Panel 2/Ballroom I-II) Presented by American Cosplay Paradise and FUNimation Entertainment. Back for a second round at Otakon, HetaMUN (Hetalia Model United Nations) combines the hilarious personalities and quirks of the popular Hetalia franchise with the academic phenomenon of United Nations role-play: Model United Nations. The topics may be out of this world but the simulation is authentic and the debate is real.

Come participate by supporting your favorite Nations or just sit and watch the Edutainment unfold!

Friday at 12:00 pm – Bob Shirohata and Akira Sasanuma Q&A

(Panel 1/BCC 318-323) Join us for a Question and Answer session with Hetalia Japanese director, Bob Shirohata, and the seiyuu for Austria, Akira Sasanuma!

Friday at 5:00 pm – Hetalia Fan Gathering

(Outdoor Fountains) Join us at the fountain area just outside the Baltimore Convention Center (between the convention center and the Inner Harbor) for a Hetalia gathering of truly epic international proportions. All are invited to attend and witness this gathering–you do not need to be in cosplay. FUNimation will be on hand to take lots of pictures. We’d love to have as many people there as possible so we can show the Hetalia staff on both sides of the Pacific just how much we all love this series!

 

Saturday 12:00 – 2:30 pm – Hetalia World Series Premiere and East Meets West Q&A

(Panel 3/ Ballroom I-II) Last year’s event was amazing and FUNimation’s back to bring the rainbow once again. Join members of Hetalia’s staff and cast from both sides of the Pacific as we show select episodes from Hetalia World Series for the first time EVER before its release this winter. Want to ask your favorite nation a question or wonder what goes into bringing Hetalia to you? Following the premiere will be an exciting question and answer session followed by a sneak peek at the feature film releasing this Winter, Hetalia – Paint it. WHITE!. We’ll also be showing the grand premiere of the season three trailer with music by Jim Welch! Jim has done the music for the previous Hetalia trailers, so if you enjoyed them, you’ll definitely enjoy this one. (welchcompositions.com) There will be other Hetalia goodies, surprises and perhaps some prizes as well. You won’t want to miss it! Panelists: Mr. Akira Sasamuna (Austria), Mr. Bob Shirohata (Original series director) Mr. J. Michael Tatum (France), Mr. Scott Freeman (Britain), Mr. Scott Sager (ADR Director, Egypt). Mr. Patrick Seitz (Germany) Moderated by Charlene Ingram (FUNimation Hetalia Brand Manager). Make sure you stay ’til the end!

 

 

Autograph Sessions/Individual Panels

The main Autograph Session with ALL of the available Hetalia cast members (East and West) will be onSaturday at 4:30 pm in Autograph 3. We are asking that you please limit the autographed items to ONE official Hetalia merchandise item, out of respect to our Japanese guests, and / or the 12 x 18 Hetalia: Paint it White poster that will be given away at the Premiere panel and at the autograph sessions. To ensure that everyone is able to get through the autograph line, all of the guests will sign the items.

There will be an additional Hetalia staff and cast autograph session on Sunday at 10:00 AM in Autographs 2 BCC 349. This session will be first come first served, so if you missed the Saturday afternoon session, be sure to get there early!

If you would like individual signatures on other items, you may attend any of the individual staff and cast autograph sessions (listed below).

Friday at 10:00 am - J. Michael Tatum (Autograph 1/BCC 350)

Friday at 10:00 am - Patrick Seitz (Autograph 3/BCC 348)

Friday at 12:00 pm - J. Michael Tatum Q&A (Panel 6)

Friday at 3:00 pm - Patrick Seitz Q&A (Panel 5/Hilton Key Ballroom)

Friday at 3:00 pm - Scott Freeman (Autograph 1/BCC 350)

Friday at 5:00 pm - Scott Sanger Q&A (Panel 5/Hilton Key Ballroom)

Saturday at 10:00 am - Scott Sanger (Autograph 2/BCC 349)

Saturday at 10:00 am - Bob Shirohata (Autograph 1/BCC350)

Sunday at 12:00 pm - U.S. Voice Actor Cavalcade (Autograph 1/BCC 350)

Sunday at 12:30 pm - Akira Sasanuma (Autograph 4/BCC 347)

 

Looks like Otakon is going to be full of Hetalia! What are you planning on attending? All of it, right?

FUNIMATION ENTERTAINMENT ANNOUNCES DRAGON BALL Z SERIES ON BLU-RAY

Flower Mound, TX (July 21, 2011) – FUNimation® Entertainment is announcing that it is bringing the first installment of the anime phenomenon Dragon Ball Z to Blu-ray disc for the first time this fall.

Among the most prized in the FUNimation catalog, the studio has used the newest technology available to remaster in high-definition and digitally restore the 291 episode series.

FUNimation worked with Dallas-based ANDTRANSFER for the digital film transfer. FUNimation previously worked with the post-production house to remaster the series for the season set releases on DVD. The transfer was performed by nationally-recognized colorist Steve Franko and supervised by FUNimation, which then finished the rest of the restoration process.

Today’s state-of-the-art systems offer tools that allow restoration teams to make a wide range of repairs and focus on more difficult tasks which, in the end, deliver a clean product that faithfully presents the original version and measures up to the high-quality standards of HDTV and Blu-ray.

Once again, the Dragon Ball Z series was digitally transferred from the original Japanese 16mm film frame by frame at 1080p. Developments in restoration software gives mastering artists more to work with when they apply tools to even out film grain and remove fading, film cuts and other visual anomalies. As a result, the viewer will see brighter, clearer colors, less variance in quality between scenes, and a sharper image.

“Working with a very old and fragile source film presented a number of challenges for the restoration process,” said Gen Fukunaga, CEO and president at FUNimation Entertainment. “Our purpose was to restore the series as accurately as possible, to what it must have been like to see it when it was originally mastered, and preserve the charm of the animation. After all, it is of a particular time and place.”

After debuting in 1989, Dragon Ball Z has become an iconic anime series. The franchise has sold more than 25 million DVD and Blu-ray discs in its lifetime, becoming the best-selling anime series of all time.

Dragon Ball Z is the explosive sequel to Dragon Ball. The series follows the adventures of Goku and his son Gohan as they team up with their friends to battle evil forces throughout the universe to protect their beloved planet Earth. The first season covers the Vegeta Saga and chronicles the introduction of one of Dragon Ball Z’s main characters, Vegeta.

This restored edition also features the original U.S. voice actors as well as the original FUNimation soundtrack – all in lossless Dolby® TrueHD.

Dragon Ball Z Level 1.1 includes the first 17 episodes on two discs with over 400 minutes of action and among the extras included on this release is a feature that looks at the restoration and remastering processes.

Dragon Ball Z Level 1.1 will be available at major retailers nationwide on November 8, 2011.

Visit the official Dragon Ball Z website at http://www.dragonballz.com/

Manga Artist selected for Guardians of Luna

Dance in the Vampire Bund fans might be interested to know that Guardians of LunaProductions today announced the selection of New York Times best-selling manga artist Nozomu Tamaki (Dance in the Vampire Bund, Angel Para Bellum) to create the Guardians of Luna parallel manga series. Nozomu Tamaki’s Dance in the Vampire Bund is published in North America by Seven Seas Publishing, and has been converted into a successful anime recently released byGuardians of Luna‘s distribution partner, FUNimation Entertainment. The Guardians of Lunamanga series will be co-published by FlexComix Inc, for worldwide digital release, with a US publishing partner to be announced.

Fans can expect to see an alternate take on the Guardians of Luna universe and characters. The official website, www.guardiansofluna.com, will be providing more information on Tamaki-san and the manga in coming months, so be sure to check the website for updates!

FlexComix Inc. is a manga production company that creates original manga titles that are distributed digitally across the web and on mobile phones with subsequent print editions available through traditional book trade outlets throughout Japan and worldwide. Its publishing model provides a cutting edge platform for manga readers to enjoy titles in online, mobile and print formats. FlexComix has three free web comic magazines: FlexComix Blood, which serializes shounen manga, FlexComix Flare, which serializes shoujo manga, and FlexComix Next, which serializes seinen manga. Some of FlexComix’s most popular manga serializations include “Break Blade” and “Nyankoi”, both of which have been adapted into successful anime titles.

Hetalia Invades Hot Topic

You can now get your Hetalia: Axis Powers fix at your local Hot Topic. This stunning black shirt (see image) features the Hetalia: Axis Powers in bold red, white and blues. It’s 100% cotton, and available in men’s sizes and pictures UK (Britain), America, Sealand and Flying Mint Bunny. Want more Hetalia shirts? Make sure you pick this one up atHot Topic! If enough fans buy them, they may make more shirts. Why should Axis Powers get all the love? We need an Allied Powers shirt too!!

It’s hard to fathom the true (as Prussia would say) AWESOME of this shirt from this picture alone. So, here are some action shots of the shirt as modeled by our Manager of Creative Services. While only the shirt is available at Hot Topic, look how well it goes with all your other Hetalia gear!

 

You can also get all your Hetalia information on our website athttp://www.funimation.com/hetalia

Hetalia at Otakon 2011!

Hetalia fans will be pleased to know that Otakonwill have several Hetalia guests from the U.S. and Japan as well as Hetalia events during the convention.

Special guests will include:

Bob Shirohara - Director (and also director of Gravitation)
Akira Sasanuma - seiyuu for Austria (and also the voice of Link in Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess, Super Smash Bros. Series)
Scott Sager - ADR Director, and voice of Egypt (also the director of Strike Witches)
Scott Freeman - voice of Britain
J. Michael Tatum - voice of France
Patrick Seitz - voice of Germany

Panel information for Hetalia events:

Friday Events:

Hetalia Model United Nations Session II Presented by American Cosplay Paradise and FUNimation Entertainment

Back for a second round at Otakon, HetaMUN (Hetalia Model United Nations) combines the hilarious personalities and quirks of the popular Hetalia franchise with the academic phenomenon of United Nations role-play: Model United Nations.

The topics may be out of this world but the simulation is authentic and the debate is real. Come participate by supporting your favorite Nations or just sit and watch the Edutainment unfold!

Panelists: American Cosplay Paradise

Hetalia Fan/ Cosplay gathering : 5:00 PM, outdoor fountains area

Saturday Events:

Hetalia World Series Premiere and East Meets West Q & A Session Presented by FUNimation Entertainment

Last year’s event was amazing and FUNimation’s back to bring the rainbow once again. Join members of Hetalia’s staff and cast from both sides of the Pacific as we show select episodes fromHetalia World Series for the first time EVER before its release this Winter. Want to ask your favorite nation a question or wonder what goes into bringing Hetalia to you? Following the premiere will be an exciting question and answer session followed by a sneak peek at the feature film releasing this Winter, Hetalia- Paint it. WHITE!. There will be other Hetalia goodies, surprises and perhaps some prizes as well. You won’t want to miss it!

Panelists: Mr. Akira Sasamuna (Austria), Mr. Bob Shirohata (Original series director) Mr. J. Michael Tatum (France), Mr. Scott Freeman (Britain), Mr. Scott Sager (ADR Director, Egypt). Mr. Patrick Seitz (Germany), Moderated by Charlene Ingram (Funimation Hetalia Brand Manager)

Autograph sessions with US and Japan staff and cast – TBD. Check your Otakon program guide for more details.

Individual Autograph sessions – TBD. Check your Otakon program guide for more details.

Individual guests focus panels – TBD. Check your Otakon program guide for more details.

 

We will also be offering brand new, FREE, 12’ X 18” premium matte card stock posters and 5” X 7” art cards for attendees of Otakon to have signed by the Hetalia guests that weekend. Be sure to stop by the FUNimation booth early and often to get yours before they run out!

For more information about Hetalia, please visit our website at www.funimation.com/hetalia.

New episode of Shin-chan Season 3 streaming today!

Catch episode 62 of Shin-chan streaming on Hulu and FUNimation.com. And speaking of Shin, we had tons of fun with him at Anime Expo this past weekend. Ass dancing and all that.

If you made it out to AX this year, I hope you also got an autograph from the Shin-chan writers -
(left to right) Alex Muniz, Joel Bergen, and Jared Hedges. And if you’re over 18, you could have made it to the after-hours writers panel. It was an awesome time full of Shin-chan hilarity and more! Stay tuned for exclusive video with the team coming soon to FUNimation.com.

FUNimation to Release Risque Romantic Comedy B Gata H Kei

Flower Mound, TX (July 1, 2011) – FUNimation Entertainment announced today that it has acquired the U.S. rights to distribute the anime series “B Gata H Kei – Yamada’s First Time.” These rights include home entertainment, broadcast, digital and merchandise.

This risque romantic comedy, from director Yusuke Yamamoto (“Sgt Frog”, “Welcome to the NHK”), is based on the manga series of the same name published by Shueisha. Both follow Yamada, a boy-crazy school girl with distracting daydreams about future bedmates – but before she can get this saucy sex life underway, she realizes she first needs to lose her virginity! She knows to whom she will bestow this prize: her classmate Kosuda. However, a successful seduction of Kosuda is more difficult than this lusty teen had counted on.

FUNimation will release the 12-episode series on DVD and Blu-ray in 2012.

For more information, go to www.funimation.com/b-gata-h-kei-yamadas-first-time.

FUNimation Entertainment Acquires Steins;Gate

Flower Mound, TX (July 1, 2011) – FUNimation® Entertainment today announced that it has acquired the home entertainment, broadcast, digital, and merchandise rights to the sci-fi action anime “Steins;Gate” from Kadokawa Shoten Co., Ltd.

The series is based on the visual novel and later adventure game created by 5pb and Nitroplus, the same team that created Chaos;Head. The anime adaptation is produced by White Fox, directed by Hiroshi Hamasaki and Takuya Sato, and aired on Japanese television earlier this year.

FUNimation Entertainment to Launch Cat Planet Cuties

Flower Mound, TX (July 1, 2011) – FUNimation Entertainment announced today that it has acquired the rights to distribute the anime series “Cat Planet Cuties” (Known in Japan as “Asobi ni Ikuyo!”) in North America. These rights include home entertainment, broadcast, and digital.

The sci-fi comedy, directed by Youichi Ueda (“Heaven’s Lost Property”), is based on a light novel series published by Media Factory in which an ordinary high school freshman named Kio must protect a cat-eared alien girl from fanatical alien worshipers and government secret agents. Of course, it doesn’t help that this cat planet cutie has fallen for Kio and determined he is the boy for her.

FUNimation will release the 12-episode series on DVD and Blu-ray in 2012.

For more information, go to www.funimation.com/cat-planet-cuties

FUNimation Entertainment Secures Baka and Test 2 and OVA’s

Flower Mound, TX (July 1, 2011) — FUNimation® Entertainment has acquired digital, broadcast, home video and merchandise rights to the second season of the fantasy anime series “Baka and Test — Summon the Beasts” (known in Japan as Baka to Test to Shokanju), as well as two OVA episodes, from Media Factory. The agreement also gives the American anime leader exclusive rights to the online simulcast of the series in the U.S., just days after the new episodes air in Japan starting this month.

FUNimation will deliver these high-quality, free, original Japanese dialogue accompanied by English subtitles, streaming episodes of “Baka and Test – Summon the Beasts 2” via www.funimation.com.

FUNimation will release the second season and the OVA’s on DVD and Blu-ray in 2012.