Nippon Ichi Software America News

Nippon Ichi Software America is a anime/manga company
From Anime Vice
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Its been a while since I done one of these but I felt that Katanagatari Vol 1 deserves a mentioning as it is one of the most beautiful Bluray/DVD sets I seen.  
*Note: My impressions will be of the presentation and not of the anime itself* 

Lets begin with the gorgeous outer cover, where each inch of it is surrounded with designs, colors, and style. Red clouds fill the air with other recognizable Japanese designs like Torii, flowers, and birds. All of these designs surround our characters as they pose. The DVD cover contain Shichika and Togame posing in different ways and in different backgrounds. Both covers also fill with lots of designs and colors. The DVD and bluray disc themselves are decorated with the leaf symbol that represent Shichika and are in different colors for disc 1 and 2. Last the art book is packed with summarizes of the episodes in this volume, a few poems from the show, art works, and a glossary of some words that have a deeper meaning in them that wouldn't be explained in the show.  
This is a impressive package that best represent the series itself. I highly recommend anyone, curious people or fans of series, to buy this work of art. Good job NIS America.
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Anime Expo, one of the largest anime conventions in North America, is taking place this July 4th weekend. It started mere hours ago and already there have many announcements about anime licenses. So all of us can't be there (heck, I'm not even there), I decided to do a round-up of all of them as they come out. Without further ado, here is the list.

Aniplex USA

Blue Exorcist

  • Four volume collection on DVD
  • Volume 1 releasing in Oct 2011, with the other coming in Jan, Apr, and July 2012

Puella Magi Madoka Magica

  • Details coming later


The Disappearance of Suzumiya Haruhi

  • BD and DVD coming 9/20/2011


Asobi ni Ikuyo

  • Being renamed to "Cat Planet Cuties"
  • BD & DVD
  • Spring 2012 release window

B Gata H Kei

  • Winter 2012 release window
  • BD & DVD

Baka to Test to Shokanju Ni

  • BD & DVD
  • 2012 release

[C] Control

  • BD and DVD
  • 2012 release

Deadman Wonderland

  • Details coming later


Coming on DVD and Blu-ray in 2012


  • Details coming later

NIS America

Dororon Enma-kun Meeramera

  • Premium packaging (big case, hardcover artbook)
  • No other details but they said more information would come during AX 2012

Katanagatari, Volume 2

  • BD/DVD Combo Pack
  • Releasing 9/20/2011

Kimi ni Todoke (Season 1)

  • Releasing in two 13-episode collections
  • Collection one shipping in October, with the second coming "later"
  • No word yet on whether it will be DVD, BD, or Combo pack

Nozomi Entertainment

Dirty Pair (OVAs and Movie)

  • Dubbed
  • Remastered video
  • Releasing in 2012 on DVD


  • Dubbed
  • Scheduled for a 2012 release
  • "Value priced"

Martian Successor Nadesico

  • TV Series, Movie & Gekiganger Spin-off
  • Remastered video
  • Movie and Series will be dubbed
  • No release date

Sentai Filmworks


  • Season One BD Set
  • Releasing November 2011

ef: A Tale of Melodies/Memories

  • Details coming later


  • Releasing in October or November


  • Did I mess up the name or is this really not in the database at all?
  • Details coming later

Viz Media

Bleach: Fade to Black

  • Releasing on November 15
  • DVD and Blu-ray

Naruto Shippuden: Bonds

  • BD and DVD
  • October 2011

Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva

  • Details coming later
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After holding on to some massive savings I want on a spending spree on some old and new releases. 
*Note: My impressions will be of the presentation and not of the anime itself*

Toradora Vol 2

A nice show case of the whole supporting cast but I question the back side of repeating the same image but in blue which I feel they were a little lazy at the time. Cover of the DVD cases also show of interesting color designs and pictures but one of the cover images is repeated on the art book cover which I find a little weird. Inside the art book shows off the last episode summarizes, character art, and interviews with Rie Kugimiya and Junji Majima.  
  • More Toradore
  • Additional interviews and art
  • It had to end
  • Some space on cover could had been used for more designs
  • some art is repeated

This is where NIS America start to show improvement. The images used on all of the covers are all different and have additional designs to it making use of all of the space. Art book is pack with illustrations of art from Magazines, DVD covers, characters, and screen shots from episodes. However, they skip out on actor interviews in favor of adding more art but so far its a nice exchange. 
  • Lots of art on covers, art book, and lots of designs.
  • No interviews

FMA: Brotherhood Part 3

While small, the covers of the shell and case offer up a dynamic style of art, with characters in nice poses, making use of all the space on the covers. This release comes with 4 post cards but most of them, as you can see, is of Ed and would had liked other characters. 
  • Like the last releases, Lovely design on the disc, cover, and blu-ray menus.
  • Again, have to wait for the next release
  •  variety of the postcards
Overall a nice buy and good to see progress with NIS America on their releases. Funimation is still going strong.
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I have to say, NIS America sure is doing well with their Anime licensing deals after Toradora, Fox Diety, Persona, and  Pandora Hearts. Their next anime series they will be getting is Working, rename Wagnaria!! for whatever the reason. It will be release on March 2011 and like many of the other licenses will be packed in as a single set with art book for about $59.99. 
For those of you who don't know what Working!! is, the show is a slice of life of high-schoolers working at a Diner so expect lots of comedy and some nice drama.
How do you feel about this upcoming series that NIS America and what else would you want from them?
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So, a while back I did a blog post in response to Bang Zoom's complaints that anime was going to die. Well, Japanator has done their own take on the issue, one that sides with Bang Zoom. I'm not going to respond to the whole thing, because they really don't bring up any new points in my opinion. Except for the last section - in which they bring up the cost of anime on DVD. To summarize their claims, if you cannot afford anime on your budget, you are unable to live within your means and need to work harder, and learn to budget.
No. That's not how it works.
The examples they cite for series fit their lower price range are series that have been out for awhile and have essentially earned their money back. They aren't new series. Newer series cost considerably more than $25-$30 for a season. They can cost up to $50-70 or even more for a season, depending on how much the studio had to pay for the license. If you're not watching these shows fansubbed, and you're coming in completely cold. That's a lot of money to plonk down on a series, without knowing whether it's good or if it's absolute crap. Under these circumstances, I cannot in good fiscal conscience spend $500 on a series I didn't see, to own it. That said, I'm certainly willing to rent it first, but I'm not going to buy it outright only to discover that I bought a show that's absolute crap. Even if the prices for a complete season are getting closer to the prices of, say, a complete season of a western live action TV series, like House or Law & Order, that still is not comparable to an release of a season of an anime series on DVD. We can watch on TV as it's airing, for free and legally. You don't need to pay for high-speed internet to download the episode. Hell, you don't even need to pay for Cable or Satellite. For anime on the other hand, unless somebody gets a license to stream the show online before the DVD comes out, there's no way to find out if you'll really like the show (as opposed to thinking the trailer looks good), before you buy it.
Additionally, their argument is essentially an ad-hominem attack against those people who are anime fans who aren't part of the upper-middle class background that I've noticed most anime sites tend to assume their audience is. This is practically an variant of the dog-whistle "lazy poor" phrase used by some on the Right to indicate they're making racist remarks against lower income minorities - notably African-Americans and Hispanics. I am willing to allow that the writer of the article was unaware that the phrase was a dog-whistle, but this still doesn't make the argument any less of an ad hominem against lower-income people.
The article also brings up Nippon Ichi's release of ToraDora & Persona Trinity Soul as being potential bell-weathers for how the anime industry will fare, and if they fail then we're all a bunch of leeches with entitlement problems. I have several complaints with that - aside from the ad hominem. Nippon Ichi is only selling the series through their web store, Rosenqueen, and their DVD releases are, essentially, all what I would call the "with kitch" releases on Bureau42 - coming with a nice art-box and with an art-book, maybe a soundtrack CD, that sort of thing. I have nothing against those releases - nothing at all. However, and other people with lower incomes, need an alternative. They need a stripped-down release, with just the disks in a case with some nice art, and possibly at a price point that was $10-15 bucks lower, if stripping all the extra packaging off could lower the price point by that much.
Also, as I've mentioned, you can only get these releases directly from Nippon Ichi. You can't go to Best Buy, or any other store that sells DVDs. You can't even go to Amazon to get it, which means people like me on sites on Bureau42 won't be putting it on their Weekly Digital Disk picks - and they can't put affiliate links up. This lowers the visibility of the release to the niche of the niche - Anime fans who are online, who already know about the shows. Libraries can't get it, because their distributors won't be stocking it. Netflix won't get it, for the same reason. Retailers who sell at conventions won't sell it, because their wholesalers won't be stocking it, because Nippon Ichi's only selling it through their web site. Unless Nippon Ichi busts out a spectacular advertising blitz through Project Wonderful and Google Ads, this release would be in imminent danger of slipping under the radar. The only reason it isn't slipping under the radar now, is that the bubble burst, an any announcement of a new company announcing a license is a big deal.
Thus, Nippon Ichi's releases of ToraDora and Persona: Trinity Soul are in positions where they likely won't do well, even before we even consider accounting for any damage downloading could cause. It would be immensely foolish to judge the health of the anime industry by the success or failure of these releases.
Now, I'm not defending torrenting anime series that have already been licensed. That's taking money out of someone's pocket, and that's not cool.
In conclusion, Japanator's take on Bang Zoom's complaints is inaccurate. They should not be treated with any credibility.
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