Saturday, 16 January 2016

Industry News: Funimation April 2016 Release Slate

Funimation didn't have anything to announce at a recent convention but the April slate was revealed just before then. This month is pretty huge but there's only a few limited editions.

Here's the list of anime that Funimation have scheduled for the month of April 2016.

First things first, it seems the $84.98 price point for limited edition is now the norm which is stupid to be quite honest. But on the plus side, all the titles listed below have English dubs for those who prefer dubs.

5th April 2016

Ghost in the Shell: The New Movie
Region: A and 1
Publisher: Kodansha
Format: Blu-ray and DVD (DVD available on its own)
Languages: English & Japanese (w/English subs)
Price (SRP): $29.98 (DVD) & $34.98 (Combo)

Extras (Combo): Ultraviolet Digital Copy, Inside the World of Ghost in the Shell Part 2, Special: “Arise Explained in 25 Minutes” (Extended Director’s Cut), Special: “25 Years Reviewed in 25 Minutes” (Extended Director’s Cut), Promo Video, Theatrical Trailer, Teaser, U.S. Trailer, Trailers
Extras (DVD): Trailers

The New Movie is still a daft name to describe the continuation for Ghost in the Shell ARISE. From what I've read, it's essentially another episode of ARISE but made into a movie, so it may disappoint casual Ghost in the Shell fans out there. Still I'm surprised to see this get released pretty soon, plus there seems to be no sign of the last two episodes of ARISE making a release (these episodes were known as Pyrophoric Cult).

12th April 2016

Maken-Ki! - Season 2
Region: A B and 1 2 4
Publisher: Kadokawa Pictures
Format: Blu-ray and DVD
Languages: English & Japanese (w/English subs)
Price (SRP): $64.98

Extras: Episode Commentaries, Commercials, Promotional Video, Textless Opening Song - ''Cherish'', Textless Closing Song - ''Reach for Light'', U.S. Trailer, Trailers

This sequel to the ecchi harem series took a while to see a release in North America. It was originally scheduled for early 2015 but never got solicited until now. I speculated its because of the arrival of Japan's Blu-ray Disc Box release that it got pushed back, as well as the distributor trying to acquire the OVA just like Season 1 had. But now that the set is here, it's a bit of an odd one. For starters the regions are now UK & Australian compatible, much like Date A Live II this is an odd change as the first seasons for both shows were region locked (I've unboxed both of them on this blog).

Another strange note is that the runtime listed on Funimation's website suggests the OVA is included but the info only details the main episodes. I recall this happened with Neptunia and that one came with the OVA in the end. And another odd notice is there's no limited edition version this time around, despite the set seemingly doing pretty well. Perhaps this is due to Funimation wanting to get the show out there so they didn't bother with one.

UPDATE: The OVA has been confirmed to be included with the set, however the omakes won't.

19th April 2016

Black Butler: Book of Circus - Complete Series (Standard & Limited Editions)
Region: A and 1
Publisher: Aniplex
Format: Blu-ray and DVD
Languages: English & Japanese (w/English subs)
Price (SRP): $64.98 (Standard) & $84.98 (Limited)

Extras: Episode Commentaries, U.S. Trailer, Trailers

The third season to Black Butler has arrived for home release! Unlike the first two seasons, Book of Circus completely follows the manga by adapting the Circus arc. Now Funimation does have the rights to Book of Murder, but those episodes won't be included with this release (it's best to keep it separate anyway). Now I haven't seen the anime series just yet (though I have watched and do own the Japanese live-action film) but I love the covers for both editions provided so far. I may end up going for the standard edition in the end but I'm curious to see how the limited edition looks in the end.

Despite Season 1 & 2 being made compatible for Europe & Australian Blu-ray players, this season is region locked. This is pretty much the norm now for Aniplex titles as the previous Black Butler seasons were acquired before Aniplex took full control of any of their properties for the US branch. Still it's better than having very expensive sets.

26th April 2016

Garo the Animation - Season 1 Part 1
Region: A and 1
Publisher: Tohokushinsha Film Corporation
Format: Blu-ray and DVD
Languages: English & Japanese (w/English subs)
Price (SRP): $64.98

Extras: Episode Commentaries, Special Episode: -DAYBREAK-, Special Episode: -DAYBREAK- Preview, Textless Opening Song ''-DIVINE FLAME-'', Textless Closing Song ''CHIASTOLITE'', U.S. Trailer, Trailers

This is a title I don't know much about, though I am intrigued by the amount of fair reception this series has been given, plus Season 2 looks pretty interesting. Even though this is the first half of the season it's not getting the limited edition treatment, strange. I'm guessing the series did fine stream-wise but not enough to have one made, seems like Funimation is changing tactics here. It did get an English dub which is a plus!

Kamisama Kiss - Season 2
Region: A and 1
Publisher: TMS
Format: Blu-ray and DVD
Languages: English & Japanese (w/English subs)
Price (SRP): $64.98

Extras: Episode Commentaries, Textless Opening, Textless Closings, U.S. Trailer, Trailers

Kamisama Kiss I've heard is very popular amongst the anime community and I'm quite surprised to see this get released sooner than I expected (like it literally fell off my radar). Though it looks like Funimation will only be providing a standard set for this release despite Season 1 receiving the Premium treatment (which in case you're wondering was only 2500 copies and it's still available after 2 years). Like Garo I don't have much to say about this series but there is a third season incoming so there's that.

One Piece - Season Seven Voyage 6
Region: 1
Publisher: Toei
Format: DVD
Languages: English & Japanese (w/English subs)
Price (SRP): $34.98

(*They don't even bother to show the cover art for One Piece until the last second*)

Episode Commentaries, Usopp: The Sniper King, Textless Opening Song - “Kaze wo Sagashite”, Trailers

The final voyage set for season seven has arrived. We're getting one step closer to the New World era and there's only one season left before so (Marineford & Post-War arc). This voyage provides episodes 446-456, concluding the Impel Down arc. Still haven't caught up with the manga just yet but I do hope Funimation keeps putting out those collection sets.

Rage of Bahamut: Genesis - Complete Series (Standard & Limited Editions)
Region: A B and 1 2 4
Publisher: NBCUniversal Entertainment Japan
Format: Blu-ray and DVD
Languages: English & Japanese (w/English subs)
Price (SRP): $64.98 (Standard) & $84.98 (Limited)

Extras: Episode Commentaries, Textless Openings, Textless Closings, Preview for Episode 1, U.S. Trailer, Trailer
Extras (Limited Ed.): 320 Flip-book

A show I've heard was very good when it aired. Rage of Bahamut is something I would probably have watched if it was made available in the UK for streaming, but with Funimation Now coming soon I wonder it'll turn up on there, especially as the disc regions state so. Apparently some people have compared this anime to Pirates of the Caribbean so I'm curious.


And that's pretty much it for the month of April for Funimation. Once again, it's quite a surprising month and if you notice closely one of the new sets even have Funimation's new logo on there.

Stay tuned for next time!

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Member of the Anime UK News forum, and also once part of the Sheffield Hallam Visual Arts society throughout 2013-2017. Been collecting anime since 2012 and supported the anime distributors ever since. Also been hanging around on the Blu-ray forum and Fandom Post forums.

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