Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Industry News: Funimation May 2016 Release Slate

While I'm still waiting for Funimation Now to launch in the UK this month, the distributor have unveiled their May 2016 line-up. It's a pretty small line-up.

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

First things first, the $84.98 price point only applies to the limited editions that have something 'special' added to them like a special artbox or a couple artcards (THIS IS NOT WORTH ANOTHER $20 TO THE MSRP).

17th May 2016

Assassination Classroom - Season 1 Part 1 (Standard & Limited Editions)
Region: A B and 1 2 4
Publisher: Fuji Creative
Format: Blu-ray and DVD
Languages: English & Japanese (w/English subs)
Price (SRP): $64.98 (Standard) & $84.98 (Limited)

Extras: Kunugigaoka Academy Student Handbook & Student Diary, Episode Commentaries, Interview with the Cast, Episode 0 ''Meeting Time'', Textless Songs, Episode Previews, U.S. Trailer, Trailers
LE Extras: Chipboard Box, 4 Art Cards, Filler Box for Season One Part Two

One of the most popular Shonen Jump titles is getting released on Blu-ray! I've watched the first two episodes of the first season and while I wasn't a fan of the opening song the rest of the show is really solid. The premise has a predictable end but the comedy does hold up well.

Black Butler: Book of Murder
Region: A and 1
Publisher: Aniplex
Format: Blu-ray and DVD
Languages: English & Japanese (w/English subs)
Price (SRP): $34.98

Extras: Commentary, U.S. Trailer, Trailers

The other half of the new Black Butler anime adaptations that Aniplex recently brought out. Funimation is releasing Book of Circus in April and I knew that Book of Murder would arrive sooner than later. Like Book of Circus, Book of Murder adapts another arc in the original source material and continues where Book of Circus left off (assuming that's the case). The show is dubbed and brings back the cast from the previous seasons so not to worry if you're concerned about that. There's no limited edition provided for this OVA collection but the art on the cover stands out very well.

24th May 2016

Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign - Season 1 (Standard & Limited Editions)
Region: A B and 1 4
Publisher: NBCUniversal
Format: Blu-ray and DVD
Languages: English & Japanese (w/English subs)
Price (SRP): $64.98 (Standard) & $84.98 (Limited)

Extras: Episode Commentaries, ''Seraph of the endless'' Parts 1-9, Promo Videos, BD/DVD Promos, Textless Songs, U.S. Trailer, Trailers
LE Extras: Chipboard Box with Glow in the Dark Speciality Print

Seraph of the End was a pretty alright anime (the series is based on a manga also). The adaptation was handled by the folks who worked on Attack on Titan and it does have similarities between the two, though with more Blue Exorcist sprinkled in. The show does have some interesting side-characters to make up for the lackluster main two leads who are in opposite factions between each other.

Interestingly enough, Funimation's site only mentioned a special glow paint for the limited edition so the contents in the upcoming UK release are exclusive by the looks of it. I'll cover that in another Industry News article.

Tokyo Ghoul √A - Season 2 (Standard & Limited Editions)
Region: A B and 1 2 4
Publisher: ???
Format: Blu-ray and DVD
Languages: English & Japanese (w/English subs)
Price (SRP): $64.98 (Standard) & $69.98 (Limited)

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

The second season to Tokyo Ghoul, oh boy. For starters this was advertised as an anime original continuation to the first season but then they end up adapting the end of the first part of the manga (while also making changes here and there). Overall both seasons of Tokyo Ghoul were a massive disappointment and the blame mainly goes to Studio Perriot for making this happen. Heck it's the same studio that's still making non-stop filler for Naruto Shippuden. If Tokyo Ghoul:re does get an anime, it better be handled by a different studio.

31st May 2016

One Piece - Season 8 Voyage 1 [Episodes 457-468 aka Marineford Arc Part 1]
Region: 1
Publisher: Toei Animation
Format: DVD
Languages: English & Japanese (w/English subs)
Price (SRP): $39.98

*There's still no cover art unveiled, they always leave it until the last minute*

Extras: TBA

This took me by surprise. Sure it's One Piece and all but I wasn't expecting Funimation to release Season 8 so soon (especially as the last part of Season 7 is due late April). Season 8 should cover the final two arcs before the second half of the story begins (aka New World, which begins at episode 517) - Marineford arc and Post-War arc. There should be a total of 5 Voyages overall so at least one a month will conclude this season at around October-December time. I still need to watch the show and catch up with the manga.

And that wraps up the schedule for May 2016. It's a small but promising month for the anime community. There's still no sign of some of the re-releases that you would expect to appear (like Anime Classics, S.A.V.E. Editions and Collection sets for Fairy Tail/One Piece). Still I'm amazed a majority of the new titles are compatible with region B players (especially Seraph of the End; like Rage of Bahamut: Genesis in the previous month it's also another compatible title). Stay tuned for next month!

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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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