Cast Announcement Time: Strike Witches: The Movie!

Strike Witches Movie Poster Strike Witches Movie Poster


Ten-hut! If you’re a big fan of weaponry-wielding women like the gun-toting, sky-flying ladies of the 501st Joint Fighter Wing, then you may have already seen that Strike Witches: The Movie, the long-awaited follow-up to season 2, is finally up for pre-order! (Order now!) What you may or may not know is that the movie actually features several new Witch cutie cameos in addition to the familiar faces of Yoshika, Sakamoto, Shirley, and the other 501st girls. Find out who will play them in the English dub!


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!

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

Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence Acquisition Announcement




As announced during Anime Expo, we have acquired the rights for Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence! At the moment, we don’t have release dates, but you can expect streaming and a home video release in the future. See below for more details about this movie from Anime News Network:


The film is a sequel to Oshii’s earlier Ghost in the Shell 1995 anime film, which adapts Masamune Shirow’s manga of the same name. Production I.G worked on both films.
The film premiered in Japan in 2004. Go Fish Pictures released the film on DVD with English subtitles in 2004. Manga Entertainment released the film with an English on DVD in the United Kingdom in 2006. Bandai Entertainment then released the film on DVD and Blu-ray Disc in 2009 with a slightly modified English dub cast from Manga Entertainment’s.
Funimation debuted the Ghost In The Shell: The New Movie film last November. The film is the latest installment in the franchise. Funimation also licensed the Ghost in the Shell Arise OVA series in 2013, and streamed the OVA’s updated television broadcast version Ghost in the Shell: Arise Alternative Architecture last year. Both the OVA and the television broadcast tie in to the Ghost In The Shell: The New Movie film.



The year is 2032 and the line between humans and machines has been blurred beyond distinction. Detective Batou, an agent for a covert anti-terrorist unit, is given a new case about gynoids—realistic female robots created for companionship—that have begun malfunctioning and murdering their owners. But as they dig deeper into this case filled with depravity, they find a shocking truth behind the crimes.




Last night in a surprise announcement to fans at San Diego Comic Con 2016, Funimation® Films announced its acquisition of the live action film “SHIN GODZILLA” from Toho Company, Ltd. The agreement includes theatrical, home entertainment, video on demand and broadcast rights for the upcoming Japanese live-action feature film and covers all of the Americas (North America, Central America, South America and the Caribbean). Funimation is currently planning to release “SHIN GODZILLA” in theaters in late 2016.


“Funimation is extremely pleased to be working with Toho to bring ‘SHIN GODZILLA’ to audiences across the Americas,” said Gen Fukunaga, CEO and President of Funimation.


“SHIN GODZILLA” (“Shin Gojira”) is a Japanese tokusatsu kaiju film – a live action science fiction monster movie featuring special effects. It is the 29th Godzilla film produced by Toho. The film is co-directed by Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi. Both directors performed double duties as writer and visual effects director respectively.  Higuchi most recently directed the live action film adaption of “Attack on Titan” (“Shingeki no Kyojin”) which was released in 2015. “SHIN GODZILLA” stars Hiroki Hasegawa and Satomi Ishihara – both alums of the “Attack on  Titan” movie – and Yutaka Takenouchi.


“’SHIN GODZILLA’ represents a brand new chapter in the 62-year history of this iconic science fiction monster,” said Mike DuBoise, EVP and COO of Funimation. “We’re excited to bring audiences this new vision of Godzilla from Toho as reimagined by directors Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi.”


For future news and information on “SHIN GODZILLA,” please register for email updates at

Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign – Preview the Collector’s Edition and Season One Part Two

Whose side are you on? The humans or the vampires? We aren’t sure either after the events of Season One Part Two in Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign. It is difficult to really discern which side is more evil or right. However, that big question inspired the design of Seraph of the End’s home video releases.


Conventions 2016: Crashing in on Comic-Con!


Summer conventions continue, and this one is a biggie! We’re packing our bags for the one, the only, Comic-Con International: San Diego! Arguably the biggest and baddest of US fan expos, Comic-Con has a lot to offer — and so do we! Check out everything we’ll have going on in sunny San Diego this week!





Funimation Industry Panel |  Thursday, July 21st |  6:00p – 7:00p | Room: 9
From Akira to Dragon Ball Z, hear the latest news, info, and announcements from North America’s largest anime distributor—Funimation. Live tweet with us using the hashtag #FunimationPanel for a chance to win prizes!


Funimation Favorites Panel | Friday, July 22nd | 6:00p – 7:00p | Room: 23ABC
Funimation takes a look at some of our personal favorites from current anime and past classics. What’s your Funimation favorite? Share it with us using the hashtag #FunimationFave!



Anime Gateways Panel | Friday, July 22nd | 2:30p – 2:45p | Petco Park - Legendary Digital Networks’ Conival

Funimation & Geek and Sundry team up to talk about the newest anime discussion series to hit the web, Anime Gateways



EXCLUSIVES | Booth 4135


Flocked Chopper Pop! Vinyl Figure | 2016 Convention Exclusive

*Supplies are limited.  First come first serve.  Limit of 2 pops per person, per badge.




Metallic Beerus Pop! Vinyl Figure |  SDCC Exclusive

*Supplies are limited.  First come first serve.  Limit of 2 pops per person, per badge.




Free Swag

We will have collectible bags as a gift with purchase while supplies last, and we will be giving away FREE Sunday Cosplay shirts to our subscribers! All you have to do is:

  • Open the FunimationNow app on your phone
  • Show the settings screen to the booth staff wearing the Sunday Cosplay shirt
  • Get your free shirt!

Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 11.37.30 AM



 See you there!

Anime Expo 2016 “Love Live! Sunshine!! Special Event: Nice to Meet You, We Are Aqours!!” Official Report

Love Live! Sunshine!! is already attracting attention, thanks to the simultaneous world launch of the anime series in July. That excitement grew even hotter at Anime Expo 2016 in Los Angeles, the largest anime event in North America with 260,000 attendees, when school idol group Aqours went up on stage at the expo’s Anisong World Matsuri event on July 2 to talk about the anime and what they’ve been up to so far.