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Anime Expo 2012 came and went and I find myself not only exhausted but also excited by the number of anime titles and hot properties we can come to expect this year as well as 2013. This year, the Los Angeles Convention Center appeared more swamped with anime fans from all over including friends of ours from Japan. It’s good to see how much love for anime and all things Japanese has really grown.
I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to all those myself, Faith McAdams and Felicia Day have met during our coverage and the words of love from our readers we encountered throughout the event. It means the world to us to hear that you enjoy the site and yes we love hugs so thank you Emily and Brina for the warm hugs. Both of them looked awesome as One Piece’s Nico Robin and Nami.
We had fun touring the exhibit halls to see VIZ Media, NIS America, Namco Bandai and FUNimation in one place. It was also fun to see FUNimation promote Panty and Stockings with a stripper pole and lovely girls representing the characters from that series. You can’t go wrong with a stripper pole, right?
There were also a number of awesome panels including one for Bang Zoom! Entertainment that included the talented Michelle Ruff (voice of Rukia Kuchiki in Bleach and Chi in Chobits just to name a few of her roles) as well as a live interview with Yuri Lowenthal (voice of Sasuke in Naruto) and his wife Tara Platt (voice of Temari in Naruto).
Of course, one of my favorite things about Anime Expo is seeing all the cosplayers and this year brought in a number of impressive cosplayers … one of which came as the Going Merry from One Piece. I’m not kidding, somebody actually made a costume of the entire ship as you can see from this picture.
If you have never been to Anime Expo or any anime convention, I highly recommend it. No other place is packed with so much love for this medium and it’s always a good thing to share love for anime and manga with others who love it just as much as you do. It’s certainly a good thing and one that I hope will continue many years from now.
FUNimation Industry Panel – Anime Expo 2012 July 2, 2012Posted by psfrontline in Anime Expo Coverage.
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Although FUNimation Entertainment gave us plenty to cheer about during their Sneak Peek panel on Friday, they still managed to pull out the big guns in their industry panel where they made a number of announcements that will be sure please all anime fans. In fact, one of their announcements is the return of Toonami on the Cartoon Network’s late night weekend block that will include Dead Man Wonderland, Casshern Sins and even Hellsing. We can look forward to that very soon.
On top of that, FUNimation’s simulcast will include new One Piece episodes the next day after they debut in Japan as well as other series like Jormungand and Lupin the Third. Speaking of streaming, FUNimation is also introducing their new Elite video subscription service for $7.95 a month (they offer a 14-day free trail) that will have you streaming all the latest FUNimation releases via game consoles as well as the iPad, Android and even through ROKU. You can subscribe now at http://www.funimation.com/subscribe.
Of course, the main attraction of the panel is always the new anime titles coming our way and while many of these titles have been announced before Anime Expo 2012, FUNimation announced some new properties for the first time. Let’s check them out:
Hetalia Axis Powers, Season 4 – The fourth and final volume of this beloved series has a release date of July 3, 2012 so fans won’t have to wait that long. Pasta!
Panty and Stocking with Garter Belt, Complete Series – This series has a mature tone but one hell of a sense of humor that doesn’t hold anything back including plenty of F-bombs. Trust me, this one is for the South Park, Family Guy crowd with a fresh twist of sexiness. Expect this one to be released in a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack on July 10, 2012 with a retail price of $69.98.
Fractale, Complete Series – A beautiful tale told in a unique universe with an interesting romance that makes this one something special. This title will be available on July 17, 2012 in a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack for $69.98.
One Piece, Season 4, Voyage 1 – Luffy and the crew of the Going Merry are back in a new season and a new adventure that will take them to even stranger lands. This new season of One Piece will hit dry land on August 7, 2012.
Oblivion Island: Haruka and the Magic Mirror – Already a movie and I so looking forward to and one that – judge by the trailer – will be destined to be a classic, this animated film is heading our way this August.
Freezing, Complete Series – Anyone who knows this series knows that is definitely a series anyone calling themselves an anime fan should not miss out on when it is released on August 28 of this year.
Armitage – All three movies of this Geneon title will finally be released again in an awesome collection that you can look forward to very soon.
Finally, FUNimation left the best for last as they announced some titles that we will be seeing released soon on Blu-ray/DVD as well as through the simulcast and streaming. Here’s what we can come to expect from FUNimation soon.
Blood C: The Last Dark
Aria: The Sacred Ammo
Eureka Seven AO: Astral Ocean
Ikki Tousen: Great Guardian
Ikki Tousen Xtreme Xecutor
Michiko to Hatchin
Aesthetica of a Rogue Hero
Once again, FUNimation manages to outdo themselves with another great panel featuring new titles and returning favorites. There is plenty to look forward to this year and we will gladly be bringing you more news and reviews soon.
- Faith McAdams
NIS America Industry Panel – Anime Expo 2012 July 1, 2012Posted by psfrontline in Anime Expo Coverage.
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What can we say about NIS America that we haven’t already said besides the fact that we are definitely glad that the company that had brought us the world of the Prinny also offers anime titles that have not failed to impress and give us anime fans titles we have come to love. Although I’m sure it wasn’t easy obtaining quality anime titles like House of Five Leaves or Arakawa Under the Bridge, NIS America keeps surprising us every year and this year, well, let’s just say that their panel had audiences cheering.
One of their many announcements during their panel is the fact that NIS America’s online store offers exclusives and free bonus items connected to the titles they purchase. On top of that, shipping is free domestically for all of us in North America. You can find their store at http://store.nisamerica.com.
Oh, but the star attraction of their panel are the new anime titles coming up. Sorry, gamers, but all gaming information will be released in a separate NIS America gaming panel held during the expo. This one is all about the anime and the titles we can come to expect this year.
Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day – If you’re not familiar with this title, it deals with childhood friends and a tragedy that pulls them all apart yet brings them back together in the most unusual of ways. Anohana will be released this July in their Premium Edition package with a hardcover book.
Kimi ni Todoke: From Me to You, Volume 3 – This sweet and funny shoujo series will end with this final third volume that is composed of 13-episodes in its Premium Edition release that includes 2 Blu-ray plus 2 DVD discs and the hardcover book. Expect this one to be released this month.
Bunny Drop – A bachelor discovers that his grandfather, who passed away, leaves behind a child he had late in life and now he must care for her. Made up of 11-episodes on 2 Blu-ray and 2 DVDs in one Premium Edition package that also includes a 28-page hardcover, Bunny Drop looks endearing and beautiful. This one has an August 2012 release.
Zakura – This series about a powerful group of girls and the young men they make a contract with will be released this month and is already looking really good. This is also a Premium Edition release with a hardcover book.
Ghastly Prince Enma: Burning Up – Positively crude yet laugh-out-loud funny, this classic series has been re-imagined and already looks totally awesome. Composed of 12-episodes, the series will be released as a Premium Edition package with 2 Blu-ray and 2 DVD discs plus a 36-pahe hardcover art book. Expect this one to be released on September 11, 2012.
A big announcement here for fans of this manga series as NIS America announces that it will be releasing a most interesting series about a young man, a certain book and many yokai.
Natsume’s Book of Friends – This is a big Premium Edition package that will include both season that will make it a 26-episode release on 4 DVDs as well as a 32-page hardcover art book. This one has no official release date, although we are told it is more likely we will see it released sometime this Fall.
Simply put, NIS America will have yet another great year of anime for us and there’s more than enough here to make us excited especially Ghastly Prince Enma and Natsume’s Book of Friends. We will bring you more news and reviews for the titles that will be heading our way this month. Now that’s awesome, doods.
- Eduardo Zacarias
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Celebrating their 25 years of bringing anime fans plenty of joy, RightStuf!/Nozomi Entertainment held a panel filled with a few surprises that go beyond their new brand Five Point Pictures that cater to fans of Korean and Japanese live-action cinema. Believe me, RightStuf! simply does not disappoint in the very least as it offers us a peek into what we can come to expect in 2012 and even next year.
There’s a big announcement for manga fans as will be looking at a new service called RightStuf on Demand where manga fans will be able to read their favorite manga whenever they’d like … especially those titles that have been dropped or discontinued by their original publishers. You can now finish the manga version of Hetalia Axis Powers with Volume 3 of the series coming soon. Among the other manga titles is Psy-Comm, Volume 3 coming up this August and Bizenghast, Volume 8 that will become available on July 2012.
RightStuf will also be selling two original litographs for the Angel Beats series so fans of the anime series will finally be able to get their hands on these unique items.
Ah, but it’s their anime releases that got anime fans cheering including the news that Nozomi Entertainment will be sharing a spotlight with yet another new label, Lucky Penny. Nozomi Entertaiment will concentrate on their old releases while titles under the new banner, Lucky Penny, well be new ones. Here’s what they have in store for us.
Rental Magica and Maria Watches Over Us – These two familiar titles will be re-released in a more affordable package so those who missed out of these two awesome titles will get their chance very soon.
Dirty Pair Flash – The original Dirty Pair adventures can be found in this Flash edition and it is available through the RightStuf! website now.
Martian Successor Nadesico, Complete Collection – We have been looking forward to this one for a long time now so fans of the series will finally get their hands on this collection that will include the entire TV series, all the OVA episodes and the movie. You can expect this one to be released on September of this year.
As I mentioned above, Lucky Penny is a new anime label that handles the new release anime titles and there are not one announced titles but three of them! Here are titles you can come to expect this year as well as next year.
Ristorante Paradiso – That right, Natsume Ono’s manga comes to life in this anime version that will be sure to please Ono fans everywhere or those who like a unique romance story. We can come to expect this series sometime this Fall.
Hyakko, Complete Series – The complete series collection will be released on DVD somewhere in Spring of next year and we already cannot wait.
Sweet Blue Flowers – The Complete Series will be available on DVD in Spring of 2013 and believe me when I say that it is sweet and sure to be a big hit.
All of these titles already look and sound fantastic and the new Lucky Penny line has us already wishing they were available especially Ristorante Paradiso. This is definitely going to be a great year (and already an interest 2013) for RightStuf! that will continue to be our favorite online retailer and anime producer for the next 25 years and beyond.
- Felicia Day
Aniplex of America Panel – Anime Expo 2012 July 1, 2012Posted by psfrontline in Anime Expo Coverage.
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When it comes to big announcements, Aniplex of America’s Anime Expo panel does not disappoint and this year is no different. Aniplex certainly does not pull any punches as it announces returning favorites, current releases and some juicy new titles for 2012 that will make this quite an impressive year for the company and a very delightful one for anime fans.
First off, if you haven’t checked out their original web series on their website (http://www.aniplexusa.com), “The Aniplex Guy in Japan” is a series you should definitely check out for all the interesting and insightful info Aniplex USA’s own E.J. Rivera imparts to the viewers about what to see and do if you’re ever lucky to find yourself in Japan.
Secondly, Aniplex proudly presents a number of events around their recent release of Fate/Zero including a panel with Rikiya Komiya (who voice Emiya Kiritsugu) as well as appearances from the Director of the series, Ei Aoki and a concert by the one and only, LiSA who sings the opening theme song for Fate/Zero called “Oath Sign.”
However, the focus is on their anime releases and there are plenty of familiar favorites making their returns so let’s get to them, shall we?
Fate/Zero, Season 2 – Crunchyroll will be streaming the second season of this amazing series but anime fans who want to get their hands on the second Blu-ray release will be able to do so when Fate/Zero, Box Set 2 becomes available on September 19, 2012
Oreimo, Complete Series – Back by popular demand since the series sold out quickly for all the obvious reasons, Aniplex will be bringing it back on DVD on July 10, 2012.
Baccano!, Complete Series – Another re-release because you all demanded it, Baccano! Makes its return on Blu-ray when it is released on July 31, 2012.
The Garden of Sinners, DVD Box Set – This is one that all of us here at Animanga Nation are seriously looking forward to as this series is definitely one that will not fail to surprise. We can come to expect this series to be released sometime this Fall.
Mikunopolis in America – If you didn’t catch the concert of the virtual idol last year then you missed out on a very unique concert. Thankfully, you’ll be able to catch it in a release that is certainly going to please many fans.
Leaked early in meeting with VIZ Media, Aniplex’s panel also announced that Blue Exorcist will be available through the new streaming video service, Neon Alley, in English. That’s right, anime fans; Blue Exorcist will now have an English dub version for those who prefer a dub.
This is, quite possibly, one of Aniplex of America’s best panels yet and judging by all the new releases you can definitely see why. We are so looking forward to these titles and we will gladly bring you more news as well as reviews when these titles become available.
- Faith McAdams
FUNimation Sneak Peek Panel – Anime Expo 2012 June 30, 2012Posted by psfrontline in Anime Expo Coverage.
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FUNimation held a quick Sneak Peek panel that covered not only recent releases such as Cat Planet Cuties, Season 3 (and the upcoming Season 4) of Hetalia Axis Powers and even Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos but also some new upcoming titles and a few that come straight from their Geneon acquisition. Oh yeah, there was also a big announcement at the end that will definitely make many anime fans happy.
Here is but a taste of what we can come to expect from FUNimation this year. Just keep in mind that more announcements will be made during their official panel tomorrow.
Ergo Proxy, The Complete Series – Straight out of the Geneon vaults, this classic anime series will be released as part of FUNimation’s Anime Classics line. Expect it to be released on August 28, 2012.
Texhnolyze, The Complete Series – Another Geneon title FUNimation will be releasing soon as an Anime Classic and believe me when I say that it is definitely a series you will want to check out for its mature and awesome storytelling. Expect this one in stores and your favorite online retailer on August 28, 2012.
Ai Yori Aoshi, The Complete Series – Yet another Geneon classic that is straight up, old-school harem anime fun. Expect this one to be released on July 24 of this year.
FUNimation will be brining us Season One and Season Two of Shakugan no Shana as well as the Movie in a DVD + Blu-ray Combo Pack. Although no trailer or preview was shown, those familiar with this series will now be able to see it with an English dub cast that includes Brina Palencia, Greg Ayres, Patrick Seitz and Brittney Karbowski just to name some of the talents involved with this project. Shakaugan no Shana has a release date of August 21, 2012.
If this is but a small taste of what we can come to expect from FUNimation during Anime Expo 2012 then anime fans are in for a great year and some amazing titles that will surely make our money disappear yet still keep us smiling. Expect more surprises tomorrow.
- Felicia Day
AX 2011: Funimation Panel July 2, 2011Posted by psfrontline in Anime Expo Coverage.
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Our good friends at Funimation held a most interesting panel with plenty of announcements and a commendable offer to anime fans to view over 5000 episodes of their lineup of titles for free all summer via their website (www.FUNimation.com) as well as other legal streaming services. You also have to love their work to bring relief aid to Japan via a charity auction they will hold in conjunction with Relief for Japan (FUNimation.com/relief-for-japan).
Funimation listed their simulcast lineup, adding new One Piece episodes straight from Japan since the series still continues in Japan as well as bringing us other series like Aria: Scarlet Ammo, Toriko and [C] – Control for streaming sites.
Our Los Angeles readers can also get a chance to see Trigun: Badlands Rumble on the big screen this Friday at the Downtown Independent (251 S. Main Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012). Check your local listing for show times.
FullMetal Alchemist: Brotherhood – Battle is a card game coming up in July for iPhone, iPad, Android and FaceBook that will allow you to “crush your FaceBook friends” in a cool battle. Dragon Ball Z fans also got a glimpse of the upcoming game for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi.
Here are the list of anime releases we can come to expect from Funimation:
To: Film Collection – Is already available as a DVD/Blu-ray Combo pack that retails for $34.98
Sgt. Frog, Season Three Part One – St. Frog is back for a third season and will be available July 26, 2011 and will retail at $39.98
Shin Chan, Season Three Part One – Shin is also back and even funnier than ever as the DVD will be available on July 26, 2011 for $39.98
Baka & Test: Summon the Beast, Season One – Will be available on August 2, 2011 as a DVD/Blu-ray Combo pack that will retail at $69.98
Noir – This classic will be packaged as Funimation’s Anime Classic line and will be available on August 9, 2011 for $49.98.
Eden of the East: Paradise Lost – This second feature film will be available on August 23, 2011 as a DVD/Blu-ray combo for $34.98
Spice and Wolf, Season Two – The second season of this beloved series has finally been announced and will be available on August 30, 2011 and will be a DVD/Blu-ray combo retailing at $69.98
Spice and Wolf, Season One – The series will be available for Blu-ray for the first time as well and will retail at $49.98.
One Piece, Collection One – The first season will be repackaged as a collector’s set and will be available July 26, 2011
Last Exile – Fam: The Silver Wing will be coming to us soon as a DVD/Blu-ray combo pack. No release date was given but Last Exile fans will enjoy this steampunk series with a new cast of characters.
Baka & Test, Season 2 + OVAs – The second season will be packaged with the OVAs and will be released sometime in 2012 for as DVD/Blu-ray.
[C] – Control – The series will be available for DVD/Blu-ray sometime in 2012 and if you’ve been watching the series via streaming site you know this is very good news.
Cat Planet Cuties – A very bosomy series will be available on DVD/Blu-ray combo in 2012.
B Gata H Kei: Yamada’s First Time – It’s exactly as it sounds in this risqué series that will be available on DVD/Blu-ray in 2012.
The special guest panelist in charge of picking up new titles also assured anime fans that Geneon titles will be coming back to us soon such as the Black Lagoon series as well as Helsing.
Funimation also disclosed three very interesting acquisitions and here they are:
Dead Man Wonderland
FINAL THOUGHTS: 2011 and 2012 are going to be two very interesting years for anime fans as far as Funimation titles are concerned. We are seriously looking forward to a lot of them, especially Last Exile-Fam and, finally, a second helping of Spice and Wolf.
AX 2011: VIZ Media Panel July 2, 2011Posted by psfrontline in Anime Expo Coverage.
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Our friends at VIZ Media is celebrating 25 years of bringing us quality manga and anime titles and they certainly have a lot to celebrate as we can see from their panel that introduces new titles as well as offering familiar titles to iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch via the VIZ Manga App (download it free at www.viz.com/apps).
Speaking of their digital publishing titles, VIZ Media is updating their list of titles as well as making an effort in bringing new titles in the digital format plus some titles that definitely deserve to be downloaded. The price isn’t bad either. Here’s a taste of the manga titles you can come to find via the VIZ Manga App:
Solani ($8.99) – Available July 11, 2011
Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan, Volume 1 – Available free for a limited time
If digital isn’t your thing there are a number of manga titles coming up and Mameshiba fans will also find a lot to love. Mameshiba, for those who don’t know, are cute critters that are “not quite dogs and not quite beans” but damn are they downright adorable. Here’s what we can come to expect from VIZ’s manga releases.
Yu-Gi-Oh 5DS, Volume 1 – Yu-Gi-Oh fans have been waiting for this one and we can come to expect this one coming up real soon. It retails at $9.99.
Psyren, Volume 1 – This one has an October 2011 release date and retails for $9.99
The Art of Vampire Knight – Matsuri Hino fans will love this art book featuring the characters, setting and all things Vampire Knight. We can come to expect this on in September 2011 with a retail price of $14.99
Just in case you didn’t know, VIZ is also packaging a number of their series in a 3-in-1 format, Here are some that are available as well as a few available soon:
Bleach, 3-in-1 – Covers the first three volumes of the series retailing at $14.99.
FullMetal Alchemist, 3-in-1 – Covers the first three volumes of the series retailing at $14.99.
X, 3-in-1 – The CLAMP series’ first three volumes will be covered and it will retail at $14.99.
In the anime front, VIZ Media rolls out some very impressive titles and movie announcements.
Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan (Demon Capitol) – This is the series second season that will start streaming Sunday, July 3
Blue Dragon Uncut – A complete and uncensored version of this series (read: swear words included) will be available July 22, 2011.
Hero 108, Season One – Is actually available now for those who like this quirky series.
Kekkaishi, Set 1 – Is also available now
Vampire Knight Guilty – The series continues and is being sold on DVD
GANTZ, The Complete Series – The series will be available for the first time on Blu-ray on August 30, 2011 and will retail for $29.98
Naruto Shippuden Movie: Bonds – Naruto and Sasuke’s broken relationship is the centerpiece of this Shippuden movie that will be available on DVD and Blu-ray on October 2011.
Bleach The Movie: Fade to Black – Ichigo and Rukia clash and since the movie’s tagline is “Goodbye, Rukia” you know it’s going to get intense. This movie will be available November 2011 on DVD and Blu-ray.
VIZ Media announced that they bring Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva movie here to North America. No official release date was given but this is good news.
FINAL THOUGHTS: The Naruto Shippuden and Bleach Movie is looking really good and we can’t wait to get our hands on Pysren. We’re also big Professor Layton fans so we will keep our eye on that one and bring more details on when we can come to expect it in stores.
AX 2011: Aniplex of America Panel July 2, 2011Posted by psfrontline in Anime Expo Coverage.
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Day One of Anime Expo 2011 certainly turned out to be a busy day with Aniplex of America holding its panel as they go through a list of current and new releases with the biggest news being good news for Blue Exorcist fans. Even bigger news is that the series can already be found streaming in sites such as Hulu, YouTube, Crunchyroll and even the PlayStation Network.
It was also announced that some favorites are going to be released on Blu-ray with the panelists pointing out that these series just make an even bigger impression on the HD format. Here are some of the series Aniplex worked on that are released and will be released in the near future on Blu-ray:
Baccano!, The Complete Series (Limited Edition) can be found on the Blu-ray format from our friends at Funimation. The Blu-ray release is available now.
Read or Die, The Complete Blu-ray Set has been announced but no official release date has been given at this time. Still, it’s good to see this series and on Blu-ray no less.
Rurouni Kenshin The Movie + the OVAs – The feature length film (about 110 minutes) plus all six OVAs of the series will be released on Blu-ray and the set will also include the original booklet that was offered in Japan.
Blue Exorcist will be available on DVD in 4 separate volumes starting with Volume 1 coming this October 2011. If you’ve been following the series and love it as much as we do, the DVDs will certainly be worth picking up.
Puella Madoka Magica was announced and coming soon so we will definitely be looking forward to more news about this magical girl series.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Aniplex of America has not disappointed anime fans and doesn’t do so again this year with a number of great titles whether you’re a Blue Exorcist fan or have always wanted to check out Madoka Magica. It’s great stuff, indeed.
AX 2011: RightStuf!/Nozomi Entertainment Panel July 2, 2011Posted by psfrontline in Anime Expo Coverage.
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Here’s a bit of news and it’s big news for those who have been to a RightStuf!/Nozomi Entertainment panel so please don’t panic. Shawne “Dark Lord” Kleckner, President and C.E.O. of RightStuf! was not there in person but still gave his message Star Wars hologram-style as Marketing and PR Manager, Alison L. Roberts was on hand to present all the latest upcoming releases we can look forward to this year as well as 2012.
Here are the releases we already announced:
Utena, Revolutionary Girl: The Black Rose Saga – With an August 2011 release date, the second set in this series comes with all the familiar goodies. The third set was mentioned but no official release date was given. However, Roberts announced that those who pre-order and buy all three sets with also get a special gift. Here’s the inside scoop, the special gift happens to be a replica of the Rose Seal ring featured in the series.
Sound of the Sky – A July 2011 release date for the Complete DVD Collection of this series was announced on our site and judging by the trailer this is one we are certainly looking forward to and trust me when I say that it looks downright impressive.
Emma: A Victorian Romance – Since we announced the DVD bundle release of both seasons of this amazing series, a large number of you were excited to finally get your hands on both season sets at once. This one has a release date of September 2011.
Now here are the new announcements that RightStuf! has in store for us:
Dirty Pair – We get another helping of the Lovely Angels in a DVD set of more of the TV series that continues their adventures that go beyond the Part One and Part Two releases that are already available.
Dirty Pair Flash as well as the Dirty Pair OVAs (such as Flight 005 Conspiracy and Affair of Nolandia to name a few) plus the movie. A 2012 release date was mentioned.
Gasaraki – All 25-episodes of this series was announced with a 2012 of this awesome sci-fi anime.
Martian Successor Nadesico – The complete TV series plus the OVA is slated to be released in 2012 and believe me when I say that this comedy series should be on your Definitely Pre-order list.
FINAL THOUGHTS: RightStuf!/Nozomi Entertainment has not failed to impress last year but this year is looking really good and even more so if you’re a Dirty Pair fan.
Oh, the Dark Lord would like to say that all of these releases can be found only on Rightstuf.com.