Archive for the ‘Fun Stuff’ Category

Top Anime Series You Should Be Watching this Summer

We’re about halfway through the summer 2014 season, so it’s a great time to review some anime!

 

Kotaku recently published their recommendations for the Five Anime of Summer 2014 You Should Be Watching, and two FUNimation shows made the list: Barakamon and Tokyo Ghoul. If you’ve watched these shows, then you know why they made the list, but just in case, here’s a run down for you.

 

barakamonBarakamon:

Currently on episode 6, this slice-of-life comedy is a heart warming story of personal growth and discovery. Who knew an anime about calligraphy would capture our hearts?

 

synopsis:

An aspiring artist’s world is about to be turned upside down.

 

Seishu exiles himself to a small island to rediscover his passion as a calligrapher after violently attacking one of his most vocal critics. While the Goto Islands appear to be a tranquil paradise on the surface, this young mapmaker soon learns that wacky neighbors and hyperactive children just might provide him the sense of humor he needs on his journey towards self-discovery.

 

Based on the popular manga series comes a tale of finding inspiration in the most hilarious and unlikely of places.

 

Watch new episodes of Barakamon every Saturday at 2:50pm ET. Click here to watch episodes now!

 

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Tokyo Ghoul:

Currently on episode 6, this fantasy horror series is sure to have you wincing in pain. Explore the dark and twisted world where ghouls live among us and feed on human flesh to survive. It’ll leave you questioning what it means to be human, and leave you craving more.

 

synopsis:

In modern day Tokyo, society lives in fear of Ghouls: mysterious creatures who look exactly like humans — yet hunger insatiably for their flesh. None of this matters to Ken Kaneki, a bookish and ordinary young man, until a dark and violent encounter turns him into the first ever Ghoul-human half breed. Trapped between two worlds, Ken must survive the violent conflicts of warring Ghoul factions, while attempting to learn more about Ghoul society, his newfound powers,  and the fine line between man and monster.

 

Here’s a clip from Tokyo Ghoul. Watch new episodes every Thursday at 12:00pm ET. Click here to watch episodes now!

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FUNKO TO LAUNCH ATTACK ON TITAN POP! VINYL SERIES

New line of Attack on Titan Pop! Vinyl Figures available at Hot Topic nationwide in October.

 

EVERETT, WA – August 9, 2014– Funko is excited to announce a new line of Attack on Titan Pop! Vinyl Figures. Funko has previously partnered with FUNimation to release series of Dragon Ball Z and Black Butler Pop! Vinyl Figures.

 

This series will include some of the most popular characters from Attack on Titan.  Each super stylized figure will stand 3.75” tall and come in a window display box. One super-sized Pop! Vinyl Figure will stand 6” tall. Pop! Vinyl Figures are Ages 5+.

 

Funko titan  funko eren titan

 

funko mikasa  funko eren

 

Attack on Titan Pop! Vinyl Series

· 6” Super-Sized Colossal Titan

· Eren Jaeger

· Mikasa Ackerman

· Eren Jaeger Titan Form

 

The Attack on Titan Pop! Vinyl series will be available nationwide in October exclusively in stores and online at Hot Topic through December 2015.

 

Attack on Titan, Part One is now available for purchase at your favorite retailer. Attack on Titan, Part Two will release on Sept 23rd. Click here to order now!

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Terror in Resonance Official Interview

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The following interview with Shinichiro Watanabe, renowned director of Cowboy Bebop, Space Dandy, and the hit thriller Terror in Resonance, was originally posted to the official Japanese Terror in Resonance website before the series launched. We hope you enjoy it, and make sure to watch Terror in Resonance every Thursday at 12:50pm Eastern! Click here to watch now.

 

Interviewer: Tell us the story of how Terror in Resonance came to be.
Watanabe: I think to some people, it looked like I took a break and didn’t work from around 2007 until I made Kids on the Slope in 2012. But actually, during that time, I prepared many project proposals. However, due to the recession and other factors, it was hard to get any of them approved and made. Terror in Resonance was an original project that I came up with during that period. I created the proposal before the Tohoku earthquake, about 4 or 5 years ago.

 

Interviewer: So it was something that you wanted to make since then?
Watanabe: That’s right. About three years ago, I heard from Fuji TV about Kids on the Slope, which was based on a comic. When I received the offer, I said, “I also have this other project. Do you want to make it?” and told them about Terror in Resonance. When I did, the chief producer of noitaminA, Koji Yamamoto, said, “Well, why don’t we try having not just Kids on the Slope by itself, but also plan for the original work after that?” That was when we were finally able to start working on this.

 

Interviewer: How did you come up with the idea for this project?
Watanabe: In recent years, there have been terrorist attacks all over the world, but Japanese people seem to be under the impression that these are things that happen in countries far away. However, if there were suddenly serial bombing attacks in the middle of Tokyo, what would happen? How would we deal with that? What if the culprits were teenaged boys? What if terrorists showed up who could use current technology to lead Japan around by the nose using their smartphones? These ideas were what formed the original concept. And then, thinking about possible acts of terror that could occur in Japan, I had to think about the systems in Japan as a country and how they work.

 

Interviewer: We still don’t know much about Terror in Resonance. What kind of story will it be?
Watanabe: There is a lot of action and suspense. If you look at it that way, even some of my past works seem unexpectedly similar to modern American action movies. The series also includes themes of adolescence, or rather, the youthfulness of the teenage years and their immaturity and instability, but with the feeling of constantly being on edge and challenging everything. I wanted to depict those ideas in this series, and I think everything gets mixed together in Terror in Resonance. I guess you could call it a coming-of-age/action/suspense series, although I’ve never heard of such a genre (laughs). Well, one must always continue to pioneer new genres. I also thought about foreign TV shows where recently, movie directors have been working on TV series. These TV shows have had a jump in quality simply because, since they are longer than movies, more story and dramatic elements can be packed in.

 

Interviewer: Foreign TV shows?
Watanabe: Yes. I don’t think I need to make shows that are like all the other anime that have been made recently, and I aim to create shows with a wider appeal. However, explaining it as a show about terrorism seems kind of inaccessible, so in order to make it easier to understand, recently, I have been insisting that it’s “a series like 24” (laughs). Also, we spent a lot of time and effort working on the terrorist group “Sphinx” and their riddles in every episode, so I have also been telling people, “Parts of it are like Sherlock, too!” (laughs).

 

Interviewer: Looking at the announcement that the show will be about “two mysterious children who combine forces to form the clandestine entity ‘Sphinx’ and play a dangerous game with all of Japan,” it looks like this will be the most provocative show in your filmography to date.
Watanabe: That wasn’t something that I tried to do on purpose—it just happened naturally. Especially in the case of an original anime work, we have to create the setting from scratch, which is difficult if there is nothing to base it on. So I end up using what I know, and parts of me end up in the work. For example, even if we all live in the same world, how we perceive the world is different depending on the person. There are people who think the world is a depressing place that’s full of deception, making it hard to live in. But there are also people who are generally satisfied and feel like the world is a good and peaceful place. How I perceive the world and how I feel about it comes out naturally when I am working on an original anime.

 

Interviewer: The character designs were by Kazuto Nakazawa and the music was by Yoko Kanno. These two people are often connected to you, and they are both participating in this project.
Watanabe: What they both have in common is that neither needs very much explanation from me. When I am working on something, it is difficult to explain exactly what I want to the staff in words. In fact, it is often the feeling before it’s even put it into words that is important, so most of the time, people don’t understand what I want. For example, there are people who want me to tell them that I want “a work like such and such,” but I don’t want to make something that is like another work (laughs). In the midst of that, these two don’t need me to keep explaining myself before they understand what I need. The other thing they have in common is that even if we work with the same theme, the two of them present it in a way that allows as many people as possible to understand their work. They always have that goal in mind, which is something I appreciate very much.

 

Interviewer: Finally, please tell us your hopes for Terror in Resonance.
Watanabe: It is something that I have wanted to make for a long time, so I am putting my heart and soul into it. I want to know what people think, so I hope that you will all watch it.

 

Interviewer: Thank you very much.

 

Translated by Nita Lieu

 

Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods on Good Morning Texas

We organized a huge Dragon Ball Z fan gathering for the Good Morning Texas segment on WFAA. Hosts interviewed voice actors Christopher Sabat and Jason Douglas about Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods, opening in theaters on August 5th. Take a look below at the interview.

 

 

Don’t miss out on this epic event! Click here to get your tickets to see Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods in theaters!

 

 

Q&A with Ping Pong’s Masaaki Yuasa

pingpongLast month we asked fans to submit questions for Ping Pong – The Animation director Masaaki Yuasa. We sent over a few of our favorites and director Yuasa took time out of his incredibly busy schedule to answer them. Take a look below!

 

Sylverstone14 asked: “Which of the characters resonate with you the most, and why? (For me, I’d say Smile because of his demeanor.)”

Y) That’s constantly changed over the last 18 years. But it’s chiefly Akuma, Dragon, and Egami.

 

LiuwdJelly asked: “What made you decide to use split-screen reaction shots? What was the hardest part of adapting the manga’s visuals?”

Y) The medium of manga has its own expression of frames (such as how you can compare each frame to the one that came before it, and how multiple frames can make up one overall picture), and I wanted to try my hand at doing that in the anime medium. Also, for this particular show I wanted to use art from the original manga while preserving the exact same meaning it had there. In manga, you can switch angles whenever you want, so there were many cases where even if I’d wanted to use that material as-is, it didn’t follow the laws of video.

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Hetalia: the Beautiful World – Mad Lib Edition

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Hetalia: the Beautiful World (season 5) comes out next week (have you pre-ordered yet? click here and get the season 5 bandana!), and we’re celebrating with a special click and drag mad lib game! Mad libs are silly stories with a bunch of the words removed, and it’s your job to come up with the (nonsensical) replacements. If you’ve ever played these before, ours here is a little different—several words in this Hetalia story have been removed, and a bunch of possible options are shown here in animated GIFs. Take a screenshot of the GIFs below (or click and drag them) to find out what happens next!

 

(And feel free to share your results with the tag #HetaliaClickNDrag!)

 

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Reviews for HAL are in! Let us know what you think.

hal beauty shot

 

The reviews are in for our sci-fi romance film HAL, from the studio that brought you Attack on Titan! If you’re looking for a beautifully-animated work that tells a very human story in a world of technology and the future, be sure to check out these glowing quotes from critics about this esteemed new film.

 

Have you had a chance to see HAL at a convention? Let us know what you thought of it and we’ll feature your quote here too! (Please note that by submitting a quote, you give us permission to share it on our social media channels.)

 

HAL will be available on 9/2 on BD/DVD Combo. Click here to order your copy today!

Meet the boys of SHONEN HOLLYWOOD!

Meet the boys of SHONEN HOLLYWOOD! Our new simulcast show, SHONEN HOLLYWOOD –HOLLY STAGE FOR 49– (streaming just one hour after Japanese broadcast at funimation.com/shonen-hollywood!) is all about Japanese pop idols and the dreams of five boys aiming to sing and dance their ways into the hearts of thousands of fans. Catch  it every Saturday at 1:30 pm ET.

 

In episode 1, the boys practice their self-introductions, but it turns out that twirling around in sparkles while saying a cutesy line about being your fans’ boyfriend or sharing the universe with them is really freaking embarrassing. Check out their adorkableness below, and other excerpts from episode 1!

 

Shonen_hollywood_09 Shonen_hollywood_07 Shonen_Hollywood_01

 

Kakeru Kazami

Voice actor: Ryota Osaka, known for roles like Sadao Maou (The Devil is a Part Timer!) and Marco (Attack on Titan)

Kakeru, our seventeen-year-old protagonist, is just an ordinary teenager who hasn’t had much time to think about his future. He was suddenly scouted from his part-time job at a café, so he still isn’t really used to this whole idol thing…

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