Archive for the ‘Press Release’ Category

FUNIMATION FILMS SECURES RIGHTS TO “SHIN GODZILLA” MOVIE THROUGHOUT THE AMERICAS

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 funimationfilms.com.

FUNIMATION ENTERTAINMENT ACQUIRES EXCLUSIVE INTERNATIONAL RIGHTS TO “DRIFTERS” FROM NBCUNIVERSAL ENTERTAINMENT JAPAN


Drifters Announcement

Announced at the annual Industry Panel at Anime Expo 2016, Funimation Entertainment revealed to the capacity audience its acquisition of “Drifters” – the eagerly anticipated new anime series from “Hellsing” creator Kouta Hirano. Funimation has secured the exclusive international rights to home entertainment, video on demand and broadcast distribution of the title from NBCUniversal Entertainment Japan. “Drifters” is set to premiere this October on the company’s subscription streaming service, FunimationNow, in the U.S., Canada, U.K., and Ireland.

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FUNIMATION ENTERTAINMENT ACQUIRES EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS TO THE FIRST JAPANESE FEATURE-LENGTH ANIME FILM “MOMOTARO, SACRED SAILORS”

Newly Digitally Restored WWII-Era Film Premiered at 2016 Cannes Film Festival

 

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FLOWER MOUND, TEXAS – May 31, 2016. Funimation Entertainment is proud to announce its acquisition of the restored edition of Mitsuyo Seo’s “Momotaro, Sacred Sailors” – the first feature-length animated film produced in Japan. Written and directed by Mitsuyo Seo (1911-2010), “Momotaro, Sacred Sailors” was a propaganda film produced in 1944 by Shochiku Co. Ltd. and released in 1945 during the final months of World War II.  Earlier this year, with the financial support of Funimation and others, Shochiku restored the 74-minute, black and white film, which premiered during opening weekend of the 2016 Cannes Film Festival in the Cannes Classics program. As part of its agreement with Shochiku, Funimation has secured exclusive rights to the theatrical, digital and home video distribution of the film in both the U.S. and Canada.

 

“Mitsuyo Seo was a key figure in the development of Japan’s anime industry and were honored to have been part of the restoration of ‘Momotaro, Sacred Sailors’ – one of his most famous works,” said Gen Fukunaga, CEO and founder of Funimation. “This wonderful black and white film was created using almost 50,000 cels and offers superb animation, music and entertainment that is on par with any classic Disney film of the same era.”

 

Seo based the film’s story on the classic Japanese fairy tale of a boy named Momotaro, who was born from a peach and defeats monsters with the help of his animal friends. In Seo’s movie, Momotaro and his friends are now Japanese naval paratroopers and the monsters represent the Allied Powers.

 

“This digitally restored version of Mitsuyo Seo’s ‘Momotaro, Sacred Sailors’ is truly captivating,” said Mike DuBoise, EVP and COO of Funimation.  “Anime fans, film buffs and animators alike will not want to miss this seminal and historic work of Japanese animation.”

 

Backed by Japan’s Ministry of the Navy, Shochiku produced “Momotaro, Sacred Sailors” with a select crew of 70 that included Japanese animation pioneer Kenzo Masaoka (1898 – 1988) as director of shadowgraph. With a big budget at that time, the film was an animated epic on an unprecedented scale and was composed using almost 50,000 animation cels. Few saw the movie in theaters when it was released as most of Japan was fighting a war that would be lost just five months later. To create the restored print, Shochiko scanned a 35mm master print and internegative in 4K and restored it in 2K.

 

Short Synopsis

 

On the eve of a parachute mission during the war in the Pacific, a group of navy paratroopers, a monkey, a dog, a pheasant, and a bear, go home for a brief visit before heading off with their squadron to their base in the South Pacific. Lead by boy warrior Momotaro, the squadron prepares to attack the enemy on Devil’s Island.

 

On the eve before the attack, we learn why Momotaro and his squadron are called “sacred sailors.” A story is told of a ship with white men arriving at a beautiful island. The captain tricks the king into thinking they are merchants and he welcomes them on the island. Quickly thereafter, the crew reveal themselves as pirates and then plunder the island.  All that remained was a legend that “sacred sailors will come from the east” who will “free the people.”  Momotaro and his compatriots are these sacred sailors.

 

The attack on Devil’s Island finally begins. The paratroopers quickly overpower the horned, white devils, who then surrender to Momotaro unconditionally. Peace returns to the South Pacific.

 

TICKETS NOW ON SALE FOR PROJECT ITOH’S “HARMONY”

Second in Series of Film Adaptations to Screen in U.S. on May 17 & 18

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FLOWER MOUND, TEXAS – April 21, 2016. On the heels of yesterday’s limited theatrical engagement of “The Empire of Corpses,” Funimation® Films announced today that advance tickets are now available for the movie “Harmony,” the second in the series of three animated films adapted from Project Itoh’s novels. The film, produced by award-winning Studio 4°C, is co-directed by the duo of Michael Arias and Takashi Nakamura. Presented in both Japanese with English subtitles and English dub versions, “Harmony” will screen in more than 60 theaters across the United States on May 17 and 18, 2016. Local theater listings will provide specific dates and times for subtitled and dubbed screenings. Tickets are available for purchase at funimationfilms.com/harmony.

 

“If response to the first film is any indication, fans will truly enjoy ‘Harmony,’” said Gen Fukunaga, founder and CEO of Funimation. “Project Itoh’s ‘Harmony’ will transport moviegoers on an epic science fiction voyage – to a world, once ravaged by war and disease, that has been transformed to ‘perfection’ by nanotechnology.”

 

To coincide with today’s ticket sales announcement, Funimation Films also released the full-length theatrical trailer for “Harmony.’” The trailer is available for viewing through an exclusive partnership with IGN.com, the top gaming and entertainment website. Click the image below to watch!

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“Fans will not want to miss the futuristic world that Studio 4°C has brought to life in ‘Harmony,’” said Mike DuBoise, EVP and COO of Funimation. “Whether anime or sci-fi fan, there are options for both subtitled and dubbed versions of the film, and we encourage everyone to purchase advance tickets to this limited, two-day release.”

“Harmony” was the second novel by Japanese science fiction writer Project Itoh, pseudonym of Satoshi Ito, who died at the early age of 34 from cancer. Published in 2009, the novel was very well received by readers and was awarded the coveted Japanese Science Fiction Grand Prize, which recognizes the best in science fiction works spanning novels, movies, animation and manga. The novel was also nominated for the Philip K. Dick Award for distinguished science fiction in 2010.

 

“Harmony” producer Studio 4°C has been producing films, OVAs and shorts for more than 30 years. The animation studio is most well-known for its 2006 release “Tekkon Kinkreet,” which received numerous awards around the globe including the Japanese Academy Prize for Animation of the Year and Best Animated Film at Fantasia, both in 2007. Harmony co-directors Michael Arias and Takashi Nakamura are well known in their own rights as well. U.S.-born Arias rose to prominence as the first non-Japanese director of a major anime film with “Tekkon Kinkreet.” Nakamura has animated or directed more than a dozen films during his career, including the cult classic “Akira” – one of the most well know anime films of all time.

 

Film Synopsis

 

In a future ruled by an unwavering dedication to good health, three high school girls led by the defiant Miach Mihie attempt suicide as the ultimate act of rebellion. Tuan Kirie survives, but can’t shake the hatred she has for the “perfect world” she lives in.

 

Years later, a simultaneous mass suicide rocks the globe and sends society into a state of shock. A small group stands up to take credit for the event, claiming they’ve hijacked the consciousness of every person on the planet. Everything about the terrorists’ message sounds too familiar to Tuan. She suspects her old friend Miach might be involved, but how could that be when she’d supposedly killed herself years earlier? Desperate for answers, Tuan launches an investigation that takes her across the globe chasing the ghost of her old friend. But what is Miach’s end game? Will she finally wake the world from its monotonous slumber? Or, end it all for good?

 

For more information on “Harmony” and to purchase tickets, please visit funimationfilms.com/harmony.

 

TICKETS NOW ON SALE FOR PROJECT ITOH’S “THE EMPIRE OF CORPSES”

Film Based on Award-Winning Novel to Screen in U.S. on April 19 & 20

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FLOWER MOUND, TEXAS – March 29, 2016. Funimation® Films announced today that advanced tickets for the English dub release of Project Itoh’s “The Empire of Corpses” are now available for purchase at funimationfilms.com/theempireofcorpses.  The film is the first in a series of three movies based on novels by award-winning writer Project Itoh and is directed by Ryotaro Makihara.  “The Empire of Corpses” will screen in more than 50 theaters across the United States on April 19 and 20, 2016.

 

“We’re pleased to bring this first in the series of films based on Project Itoh’s novels,” said Gen Fukunaga, founder and CEO of Funimation. “‘The Empire of Corpses’ is a truly captivating sci-fi action thriller – perfect for the big screen – and one that fans will certainly enjoy.”

 

“Moviegoers will be transported to Itoh’s steampunk vision of an alternate 19th century world occupied by Frankenstein-like laborers,” said Mike DuBoise, EVP and COO of Funimation. “Anime and sci-fi fans alike won’t want to miss this limited, two-day theatrical release and we encourage them to purchase tickets in advance.”

 

Project Itoh was the pseudonym of popular, Japanese science fiction writer Satoshi Ito.  His first novel “Genocidal Organ” was published in 2007 and was followed by “Harmony” in 2009. Both were well received by fans; with the latter winning the 2009 Japanese Science Fiction Grand Prize. Itoh’s brief writing career of 3-years was cut short when he died of cancer at the age of 34. Two of his works were later published posthumously – a novel adaptation of “Metal Gear Solid 4” and “The Empire of Corpses.”

 

“The Empire of Corpses” was produced by the wildly successful, independent animation house WIT STUDIO. Founded by former Production I.G producer George Wada in 2012, WIT STUDIO has already gained fame, in just three short years, for producing two hit anime series – “Attack on Titan” and “Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign.”

 

Film Trailer & Synopsis

 

In an alternate version of 19th century London, the world has been revolutionized by “corpse reanimation technology” creating armies of undead who serve the living as laborers across the globe.

 

In an attempt to revive his dearly departed friend, young medical student John Watson becomes obsessed with replicating the work of Dr. Victor Frankenstein—the legendary corpse engineer whose research produced the only re-animated corpse to possess a soul. But when his illegal experiments put him at odds with the British government, Watson is drafted into a worldwide race to find the lost research notes of Victor Frankenstein before the secrets of the human soul fall into the wrong hands.

GameSamba, Funimation, and NGames Announce “ATTACK ON TITAN” Mobile Game

EVERETT, WA – GameSamba, NGames Interactive Limited, and Funimation Entertainment have announced today that they are working with Kodansha to develop and publish an officially licensed mobile game based on “Attack on Titan.” The “Attack on Titan” game will be available in all major English markets for Android and iOS devices, and is expected to be released by the end of 2016.

The “Attack on Titan” game will be an action-driven title, allowing players all over the world to battle titans on their mobile devices. It will combine elements of runner and action games, in order to replicate the feeling of the titan battles from the anime series. Players will need to use careful planning – and quick reactions – to survive. There will also be deeper, persistent elements to the game, which will be revealed at a later date.

“We’re very excited to work with NGames and GameSamba to create a game based on the wildly popular ‘Attack on Titan’ franchise,” said Gen Fukunaga, CEO of Funimation Entertainment. “With more than 50 million copies of the manga in print, a 25 episode anime series, and last year’s live action films, we’re excited to show fans what we can do with a game.”

GameSamba, NGames, and Funimation previously announced two, officially licensed mobile games based on “Fairy Tail” and “Tokyo Ghoul,” and an officially licensed web game based on “Fairy Tail.” These three games are set to release in 2016 – the “Fairy Tail” mobile and web games will be available in multiple languages worldwide and the “Tokyo Ghoul” game will be available in English worldwide.

More details about the games will be revealed in the coming months. To stay up to date on the development of the games, fans can stay tuned to the GameSamba website and Facebook page.

About GameSamba

GameSamba is a publisher and developer of free-to-play and mobile games, with studios in Seattle, Hong Kong, and Tokyo. The company’s mission is to bring high quality titles to a global audience. GameSamba currently publishes Star Trek: Alien Domain, Ran Online, and others. For more information, visit www.gamesamba.com.

 

About NGames

NGames Interactive Limited is a leading company specialized in the development, operation, and publishing of online and mobile games. With years of industry experience, it has brought an array of stunning and original titles to the global market. NGames has achieved worldwide success with a number of games including Star Trek: Alien Domain, Global Strike, DDTank, Wartune, and more. For more information, visit www.ngames.com.

 

 

GameSamba, Funimation, and NGames announce “FAIRY TAIL” mobile game

EVERETT, WA – GameSamba, NGames Interactive Limited, and Funimation Entertainment have announced today that they are working with Kodansha to develop and publish an officially licensed mobile game based on the hit “Fairy Tail” franchise. The “Fairy Tail” game will be available in multiple languages worldwide on Android and iOS devices, and is expected to be released by the end of 2016.

“’Fairy Tail’ is one of our favorite franchises, and we look forward to working with NGames and Funimation to create a game fans will love,” said Scott Wong, President and Co-Founder of GameSamba.

The game will be a mobile RPG featuring a new side story that draws from the sequel series of the anime. Players will recruit and battle against their favorite characters from “Fairy Tail,” in order to form the most powerful team of wizards.

In addition to the new mobile game, GameSamba and Funimation previously announced an upcoming web-based free-to-play MMORPG based on “Fairy Tail.” NGames will also work with the two companies to help develop that title. The new mobile and web games will be independent of each other.

More details about the games will be revealed in the coming months. To stay up to date on the development of the games, fans can stay tuned to the GameSamba website and Facebook page.

FUNIMATION ENTERTAINMENT ANNOUNCES NORTH AMERICAN THEATRICAL DATES FOR “PSYCHO-PASS: THE MOVIE”

Climactic Film Based on TV Series to Screen in U.S. and Canada on March 15 & 16

 

FLOWER MOUND, TEXAS – February 5, 2016. Funimation® Entertainment announced today the North American theatrical dates for the release of “PSYCHO-PASS: The Movie.” This climactic feature film is based on the 33-episode, hit TV series of the same name and marks the return of renowned script writer Gen Urobuchi, who wrote the original story for the first season of the anime series.  “PSYCHO-PASS: The Movie” will screen in more than over 100 theaters across the United States and Canada on March 15 and 16, 2016.  Advance tickets for the movie will be available for purchase beginning February 18 at funimationfilms.com/psychopass.

 

“We’re excited to bring the climactic story of ‘PSYCHO-PASS: The Movie’ to fans across the U.S. and Canada,” said Gen Fukunaga, founder and CEO of Funimation. “The animation style of ‘PSYCHO-PASS: The Movie’ along with its characters, tech and story are meant to be experienced on the big screen.”

 

“Fans will truly enjoy this film and its visual homage to a number of live action movies and anime series,” said Mike DuBoise, EVP and COO of Funimation. “Since this is a very limited, two-day theatrical release, we are encouraging fans to purchase tickets in advance so they don’t miss out.”

 

“PSYCHO-PASS: The Movie” was produced by the celebrated studio – Production I.G. The “PSYCHO-PASS” anime series premiered in October 2012 and was followed by a second season in October 2014. The popularity of the show has resulted in multiple manga and novel adaptions. Series Chief Director Katsuyuki Motohiro and Director Naoyoshi Shiotani reprised their directorial roles for the movie.

 

Film Synopsis

 

In a futuristic Japan, the Sibyl System is charged with keeping the peace. Using extensive surveillance and biological monitoring to gauge the likelihood that individuals will commit a crime, the police are able to use weapons called Dominators to remove potential criminals from the population before they become a problem. Confident with the success of the System within their own borders, the Japanese government has begun to export the technology to other countries, planning to ultimately spread the System across the globe.

 

When the state of SEAUn brings the Sibyl System in to test its effectiveness, it becomes a haven of peace and safety—for a time. Eventually, terrorists from SEAUn begin appearing in Japan, somehow slipping through the System’s security and attacking from within. Desperate for answers, Inspector Akane Tsunemori is sent overseas to bring the terrorists to justice. But when her investigation forces her into a standoff with an old ally, will she be able to pull the trigger?

 

For more information on “PSYCHO-PASS: The Movie” and to purchase tickets, please visit funimationfilms.com/psychopass.

 

Like us on Facebook at PSYCHO-PASS & facebook.com/funimation, and follow us on Instagram at instagram.com/funimation and Twitter at twitter.com/funimation.

Funimation Release Schedule Updates

The year has only just started, and already I can tell one thing for sure: This is going to be an incredible time for all of us who are fans of anime. New titles like Dimension W are showing the amazing things that can happen when anime studios and Funimation co-produce titles together. New technologies are making anime more available on more screens in more places than ever before. New fans are getting access to the shows they love, and the shows they will love, especially with major updates to our streaming service rolling out over the next several months. All of this is amazing for anime, and everyone at Funimation is honored to be a part of it.

 

With all this change happening so fast, it’s important to focus on what matters most: you. Our fellow fans of anime. Some of you noticed that our home video dubs were going up on streaming later than they were supposed to, and you let us know about it – thank you! We took a look at the schedule, but we also took this moment to ask ourselves “How can we make this better for ALL fans – sub fans, dub fans, and even fans who just want to buy shows so they can own them forever?”

 

We knew we could create a schedule that worked better for everyone, so we wanted to make that change now. Going forward, we will continue to release preview episodes of each home video dub and sub on streaming up to six weeks before the product ever hits shelves. This will give everyone a chance to sample the show, find out if they like it, and pre-order the home video if they want. Then, when the home video is released (if not earlier), we’ll post the rest of the dubbed and updated subtitled episodes to our streaming subscribers, giving them the same chance to watch the show as anyone who bought it on disc. Episodes for our Broadcast Dub shows will still be released just weeks after they air in Japan.

 

You can go to Funimation.com/schedule to find your favorite show, and see exactly when it will be released this year. And, we hope you’ll go to FunimationNow.com to see all of the news about our streaming platform. We have so much coming out for subscribers this year – starting with our brand new mobile apps later this month, and many more great digital experiences in the months to come!

 

Thank you again to all of you who love anime as much as we do. We couldn’t do this without you!

 

-Gen

President / CEO – Funimation

MAMORU HOSODA’S “THE BOY AND THE BEAST” OPENS IN U.S. THEATERS NATIONWIDE MARCH 4

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We’ve got two big announcements today, so let’s get started!

 

If you’ve ever been curious about the ins-and-outs of our theatrical releases, we’ve made it easy to stay on top of any and all developments! As of today, FunimationFilms.com is up and running—bringing you the latest news surrounding our upcoming theatrical releases. Check back often to watch new trailers, purchase advance movie tickets, get theater information, and more.

 

Next up, we’re excited to announce the official release date of latest film from internationally acclaimed director Mamoru Hosoda, The Boy and the Beast. This film will hit select theaters nationwide starting Friday, March 4, 2016.  Tickets go on sale on February 5th, so be sure to stay tuned to FunimationFilms.com/theboyandthebeast, to secure your tickets early—not only does this ensure you’ve saved yourself a seat during this limited run, it also tells the theaters that there’s a demand for critically acclaimed, high-profile anime movies!

 

To make sure you can watch the movie the way you want, you’ll have the option to purchase tickets to see the movie in the original Japanese version (with English subtitles), the new English dub version produced by Funimation, or both. For those who might be curious, the English dub was developed closely with Hosoda himself to ensure the voice cast matched both his vision and direction for the film. Here’s a quick rundown of the film’s plot:

 

The Boy and the Beast (“Bakemono no Ko” in Japanese) tells the story of Kyuta, a young orphan living on the streets of Shibuya, who stumbles into a fantastic world of beasts. He’s taken in by Kumatetsu, a gruff, rough-around-the-edges warrior beast who’s been searching for the perfect apprentice. Despite their constant bickering, Kyuta and Kumatetsu begin training together and slowly form a bond as surrogate father and son. But when a deep darkness threatens to throw the human and beast worlds into chaos, the strong bond between this unlikely family will be put to the ultimate test—a final showdown that will only be won if the two can finally work together using all of their combined strength and courage.

 

To find out more, visit FunimationFilms.com/boyandthebeast and let us know on social media if you plan to attend!

Official press release after the jump:

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