Buso Renkin Box Set 1 – DVD Review

Buso Renkin Box Set 1

I’ll splatter your guts!

Review by: Clive Owen
Publisher: VIZ Media
MSRP: $49.98
Running Time: 300 minutes
Genre: Action/Horror
Rating: T+ (Teen Plus)
Release Date: Available Now

Kazuki Muto is dead.

He died one night as he was walking home from school late one evening only to discover an unusual creature attacking a mysterious yet pretty girl wearing a school girl outfit and sporting a scar across her face. As this half-human threat attacks the girl, Kazuki jumps in the way and is killed in a most violent fashion. The following morning, Kazuki wakes up wondering if all of what he experienced was a dream. That is, until the girl he rescued tells him that it wasn’t a dream and that he was killed and brought back to life. And so begins the first few chapters of Buso Renkin as told in the Buso Renkin, Box Set 1 original and uncut collection.

The box set includes the first 13 episodes (in 3 DVDs) of the series that was first introduced as a Shonen Jump manga by our favorite manga-ka … Nobuhiro Watseka (the man behind Rurouni Kenshin). It follows Kazuki Muto who is brought back to life by an alchemist warrior in a school girl outfit named Tokiko Tsumura who is part of an army that combats a homunculi threat conceived by those who use alchemy for their own sinister end. Kazuki is brought back to life by Tokiko who inserts an ancient alchemist artifact known as a kakugane into his wound. With this, Kazuki unwittingly becomes a warrior himself.

The first few episodes basically deal with Kazuki and his new relationship with the determined Tokiko who is amused by Kazuki’s noble yet misguided nature. Kazuki also discovers that the kakugane inside him activates a weapon known as Buso Renkin that is released when his life is in danger or when things start looking bleak. In Kazuki’s case his Buso Renkin comes in the form of a huge lance with a colorful banner at the end of it. Tokiko’s Buso Renkin comes in the form of a weapon she calls the Valkyrie Skirt – a number of blades that form within her thighs.

At first, Tokiko is reluctant to let Kazuki help her combat the homunculi enemy but the young man quickly comes to make good use of his Buso Renkin and it isn’t until Tokiko is infected with a homunculi parasite that she comes to rely on him. Tokiko’s main quest was to find a villain known as the Papillon creator and it just so happens that this person is actually a student in Kazuki’s high school. Papillon’s reasons for delving into alchemy goes well beyond his family’s history but his intentions are also to use alchemy to keep himself from dying of his illness. In the sixth episode, Papillon becomes a homunculi and kills his father and brother be devouring them. It is in this episode that the real Papillon is born … and, well, it isn’t pretty or manly.

The series strength, particularly in the anime series, comes in the form of Tokiko herself. She practically steals the show with her interesting personality, her Valkyrie Skirt and even her ruthless motto. “I’ll splatter your guts!” is so much cooler than Kazuki’s weak “Pierce through my Buso Renkin!” It’s always amusing to see Tokiko’s reactions to Kazuki’s insistence in putting his life in danger as well as the tomfoolery of Kazuki’s three school chums or his bubbly sister Mahiro. The problem is that Kazuki isn’t the most coolest hero and you won’t find yourself cheering for him. If anything, he can be a bit annoying at times … which is vexing considering he’s an Ok character in the manga.

Buso Renkin’s other problem is that the fight scenes are rather boring. Compared to other Shonen Jump anime, the fights in the series are rather dull and they’re over before you actually realize just what happened. Secondly, the villains leave much to be desired even with their interesting appearance (Moon Face being the most off-the-wall of the League bad guys). The stand out villain, of course, is Papillon and his unfortunate choice of wardrobe (a butterfly mask and tight ballet dancer outfit). He’s zany and flamboyant and – dare I say it? – hilarious in an unintentional sort of way. Then there’s introduction of the Warrior Chief (AKA Captain Bravo) who aids the two. He is, without a doubt, one of the most charming and amusing characters in the series.

Although the box set comes in three discs, there is plenty of content worth checking out. Some episodes have Mahiro making observations of key characters in the series. Then there are the audio commentary from English dub actors such as Tara Platt (who wonderfully voices Tokiko) as well as a few others who offer great observations on their craft. Even the Behind the Scenes feature is interesting. The episodes aren’t all great but the good ones really shine through down to the very last episode that is among the best of the bunch.

In the end, Buso Renkin Box Set 1 is a series that has its highs and a number of lows but fans of the manga or series will find themselves liking the series just enough to warrant a purchase. I, for one, dug Tokiko and the way she deals with the annoyances in her life and that alone is worth a peek at this box set even if you have never picked up a volume from the manga.

 

DVD REVIEW BREAKDOWN

MOVIE/EPISODES: C+
Even if you loved the manga, Buso Renkin’s 13 uncut episodes aren’t bad at all but not stellar either. Kazuki isn’t the most likeable of heroes but it is Tokiko and the flamboyant Papillon that steal the show. Some episodes are better than others – like the episode where Captain Bravo and Papillon are ordering burgers in a fast food restaurant.

VIDEO QUALITY: B+
You get a sharp picture that holds up will on any screen but you can’t help but think that it could be a lot more crisper than, say, the Naruto box sets. Still, the colorful animation looks good enough to please Buso Renkin fans.

AUDIO QUALITY: B+
The Japanese voice cast certainly does a magnificent job and it’s the way I watch this particular box set but the English dub cast (particularly Tara Platt) does a good job as well. I can’t say the soundtrack is particularly likeable but at least it’s not bad either.

EXTRAS: B
The box set comes packed with three collectible post cards that are actually nice collectibles but the real star of the extras happens to be the audio commentary on three episodes from the voice cast and the Behind the Scenes feature. Anyone interesting in voice acting for anime should most definitely check these out.

OVERALL: C+
There are moments when Buso Renkin really shines and there are times when it is bogged down by it’s shallow main character and uninteresting battles. Still, this series isn’t without its good moments and this box set should be among your collection if you’re a Buso Renkin fan.

 

Early Monthly Editorial

Bleack !!!!

It’s been awhile since we were able to talk like this. I promise I’ll do my best to bring you a monthly editorial to offer a little insight on what we have planned for you. As always, I would like to thank that thousands of loyal readers that have been logging on and reading news and reviews. It warms my heart to see how many anime and manga fans there are out there and, of course, all of you who support Animanga Nation.

June for us will be special, first and foremost because of the HUGE theatrical event that will bring BLEACH fans closer than ever. I’m talking about the two-night event and premier of BLEACH THE MOVIE: MEMORIES OF NOBODY. Why is this a huge deal for us, you might ask? Well, aside from BLEACH being such a popular manga and anime, we all LOVE everything BLEACH. Really, you won’t find bigger fans of Tite Kubo’s series.

To celebrate, we will run a few BLEACH specials and some reviews you all have been requesting. Of course, we will also be bringing you some non-BLEACH-related material as well. We have a few interesting new articles in store as well as reviews of newly released manga such as the new Hell Girl manga and anime reviews (Buso Renkin, anyone?).

On a side note, it is with great sadness that we here at Animanga Nation say good-bye to two long-time contributors to our blog and the upcoming website. Karma del Valle has been a good Managing Editor and she will be missed. In her place we have an equally hard-working and manga/anime fanatic named Faith McAdams. She’s from Philly and loves BLEACH, Shojo and InuYasha.

We would also like to officially welcome Sophie Stevens who was the last contributing writer for our last Animanga Nation Newspaper back in the day. She hails from Manchester, England and has been a model for various department stores. She onced showed up in the Tokyo Game Show (a convention for video games in Tokyo, Japan) dressed as Orihime from BLEACH (you see, we’re HUGE BLEACH fans). Thinking about it, she does look a lot like Orihime so she didn’t really have to do much in the costume department. She will be our Reviews Editor.

Oh, and did I mention we will be bringing a fully functional main website sometimes soon. I know we promised a website awhile back but believe me when I say we want it to be the best one possible. You see, we are also in the process of purchasing another college-based publication known as American Manga© and will feature student-made original manga series. How’s that for a kick in the head? Yep, Animanga Nation has huge things in store and we’re excited to bring them to our readers and many site visitors.

Who says we don’t know how to show our love back, right?

All the best,

Edward Zacharias
Editor-in-Chief

VIZ MEDIA AND NCM FATHOM TEAM UP FOR U.S. PREMIERE OF HIGHLY ANTICIPATED ANIMATED FEATURE BLEACH THE MOVIE: MEMORIES OF NOBODY

 

 

 

 

We love BLEACH and this movie will ROCK

Full-length Animated Feature Based on Best-selling Series Coming to the Big Screen in More than 300 Movie Theaters Nationwide on June 11 & 12

Centennial, Colo., May 14, 2008 – National CineMedia’s Fathom brings anime back to the big screen for two nights only in the U.S. debut of the epic action hit, Bleach the Movie: Memories of Nobody in more than 300 theaters across the country on June 11th and 12th at 7:30 p.m. local time.

Adapted from the popular animated television series and best-selling manga (graphic novel) series , the Bleach the Movie: Memories of Nobody in-theater event promises to be the ultimate anime experience and features an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the talent behind the characters and a first-time ever interview with acclaimed Japanese director Noriyuki Abe.

Tickets for the special anime event (which has been dubbed in English for American audiences) are available at presenting box offices and online at www.

FathomEvents.com. For the complete list of theater locations and prices, please visit the BLEACHTHEMOVIE: Memories of Nobody event details page (theaters are subject to change).

 

“This premiere will offer a rare opportunity to see a brand new story inspired by the successful animated series,” said Liza Coppola, senior vice president , corporate relations & partnerships, VIZ Media. “For those not yet familiar with BLEACH series, this is a wonderful introduction to the characters and thrilling action that have made the property a hit in North America.”

Acclaimed Japanese creator Tite Kubo illustrates the story of “Blanks,” unidentified beings who are being followed by a Soul Reaper named Senna who makes them disappear. Puzzled by these unknown beings and the mysterious girl that follows them, Ichigo and Rukia set out to learn more, but uncover an evil plot when a menacing clan tries to kidnap Senna. Can Ichigo and his fellow Soul Reapers save the World of the Living and the Soul Society worlds from annihilation?

Presented by NCM Fathom and VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), BLEACH THE MOVIE: MEMORIES OF NOBODY appears on the big screen in high-definition with Cinema Surround Sound in more than 300 selected AMC, Celebration! Cinema, Cinemark USA Inc., ShowPlace Theaters, National Amusements and Regal Entertainment Group movie theaters, as well as the Penn Cinema (Lititz, PA) through NCM’s exclusive Digital Broadcast Network.

“NCM Fathom has experienced great success bringing anime events to movie theaters and we are excited to bring BLEACH THE MOVIE: MEMORIES OF NOBODY to anime fans across the country this summer,” said Dan Diamond, vice president of NCM Fathom.

The manga series BLEACH has been licensed in more than a dozen countries, selling over 50 million copies in Japan alone. In North America, the popular animated series is viewed weekly by millions on cable television. For more information on BLEACH and BLEACH THE MOVIE: MEMORIES OF NOBODY, visit bleach.viz.com

About National CineMedia, LLC

National CineMedia NCM) LLC operates the largest digital in-theater network in North America through long-term agreements with its founding members, AMC Entertainment Inc., Cinemark USA Inc. (NYSE: CNK) and Regal Entertainment group (NYSE: RGC), the three largest theater operators in the U.S., and through multi-year agreements with several other theater operators. NCM LLC produces and distributes its FirstLook pre feature program; cinema and lobby advertising products; comprehensive meeting and event services and other entertainment programming content. NCM LLC’s national network includes over 15,400 screens of which over 13,550 are part of the company’s Digital Content Network (DCN). NCM LLC’s network covers 170 Designated Market AreasÒ (49 of the top 50). During 2007, approximately 625 million patrons attended movies shown in theaters currently included in our network (excluding AMC Loews). National CineMedia, Inc. (NASDAQ: NCMI) owns a 43.6% interest in and is the managing member of NCM LLC. For additional information, visit

About VIZ Media, LLC

Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), is one of the most comprehensive and innovative companies in the field of manga (graphic novels) publishing, animation and entertainment licensing of Japanese content. Owned by three of Japan’s largest creators and licensors of manga and animation, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan Productions Co., Ltd. (ShoPro Japan), VIZ Media is a leader in publishing and distribution of Japanese manga for English speaking audiences in North America and a global licensor of Japanese manga and animation. The company offers an integrated product line including, magazines such as SHONEN JUMP and SHOJO BEAT, graphic novels, videos, DVDs and audio soundtracks and develops and markets animated entertainment for initial production, television placement and distribution, to merchandise licensing and promotions for audiences and consumers of all ages. Contact VIZ Media at 295 Bay Street, San Francisco, CA 94133; Phone (415) 546-7086; FAX (415) 546-7086; and website at viz.com.

Honey and Clover DVD Review

Live-Action Honey and Clover DVD

As a live-action film, this one is just as sweet as honey.

Review by: Sophie Stevens
Publisher: Viz Pictures
MSRP: $24.98
Running Time: 116 minutes
Genre: Romance
Rating: Not Rated
Release Date: Available Now

“Oi,” I tell fellow staff member and fellow reviewer Clive Owen. “You going to bogart the movie version of ‘Honey and Clover’ all to yourself?”

Since he read the first volume of the Honey and Clover manga, our co-worker has embraced his inner shojo-fan and is the one who is anticipating the second volume of the manga as well as the anime Viz Media announced will be arriving on shores soon. When he heard about the live-action movie version of said manga, though, his face lit up like a Christmas tree. Much like fellow reviewer Faith McAdams, I didn’t blame him one bit.

You see, Honey and Clover is one of those movies that is faithful to the source material in question so the main characters feel much like the characters created by Chica Umino. Yet, like the “live-action” version of Death Note, the story is condensed to fit the movie’s running time. Still, much of what we experience in the film is not only great for fans of the manga but also those who aren’t manga readers at all as well.

The movie centers it’s attention on architecture student Takemoto who lives in a student housing apartment with other art students. It is through Takemoto that we meet Takumi Mayama who is literally stalking an older woman he is in love with despite the fact that a younger and cuter girl named Ayumi Yamada (Megumi Seki) is stalking him. Then there’s the mad genius that is Morita (played perfectly by Yusuke Iseya) who is on the verge of being discovered. Then there’s Hagu (wonderfully brought to life by Hula Girls actress Yu Aoi), a strange young gifted artist living with her uncle, Professor Hanamoto.

While Morita’s wood carving art catches the eyes of two art dealers, he becomes the talk of the school and the art community. The problem is that it also catches the attention of Hagu and this doesn’t sit well with Takemoto who instantly falls in love with Hagu the moment he is introduced to her by Hanamoto. “I witnessed somebody fall in love today,” Mayama thinks aloud and it’s a sight that both intrigues him and makes him reflect on his affection for the older woman he works for as an intern assistant.

One of the best moments in the movie come from Mayama who often comically imagines the interrogation he would receive if the authorities ever found out he was stalking the object of his affection. Yamada, who is in love with Mayama, follows Mayama so the stalker is being stalked himself. In one of the most endearing moments in the movie, Yamada encourages Mayama to tell the older woman how he feels even though it hurts Yamada so deeply. Do these two end up together at the end? I won’t tell but don’t expect things to come out the way other romantic comedies end up.

Fans of the manga will recognize a few moments taken from the pages of Chica Umino’s work including a road trip that ends with the group of students crashing in a hotel where Mayama makes a drawing using nothing but soy sauce. Hagu’s fascination with Morita is also a part of the manga and it plays a big role in the movie. Does she love this wacky genius or is she merely just an artist recognizing another artist’s work? Unlike the manga, Hagu is just an abstract painter and in one scene both her and Morita paint together in one scene that has Takemoto wondering if these two were meant to be together instead.

Just like the manga, you will find it very hard not to like all the characters and even more so thanks to the stellar acting from the impressive cast as well as the wonderful directing by Masahiro Takata. For me, J-pop star Sho Sakurai as Takemoto almost steals the movie. His interpretation of the character is not only likeable but also downright endearing that you won’t help but find yourself rooting for Takemoto all the way. I also loved Ryo Kase whose performance is akin to seeing Mayama spring from the pages of the manga and come to life right before your eyes.

The film version of Honey and Clover is one of those beautiful rarities that do justice to the comic, and aside from that, is a cleverly original love story that makes our Hollywood romantic comedy claptrap seem worthless in comparison. That’s right, I said it. This is what a romantic comedy should be like and believe me (and Clive) when I say that you will love every minute of this wonderfully directed and acted film.

 

DVD REVIEW BREAKDOWN

MOVIE/EPISODES: A
A beautiful interpretation of a wonderful shojo manga, the Honey and Clover movie is funny, sweet and wonderfully filmed. The acting is top notch, especially Yu Aoi as Hagu.

VIDEO QUALITY: A+
The video quality is absolutely the best in Anamorphic Widescreen and the movie comes out crisp and clear.

AUDIO QUALITY: A
The sound quality is awesome with a good sound system or without one. This is good news seeing as the score is brought to you by none other than the amazing Yoko Kanno (Cowboy Bebop, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex).

EXTRAS: D
There are a few trailers from other Viz Picture movies and Director and Cast info. The only movie related extra is a feature called Hanamoto Study Group where the film’s cast turns the interview camera on themselves. Trust me, it offers no real insight.

OVERALL: A
Honey and Clover is one of those wonderfully original treats from Japan that lightly touches the good things about the source material. Fans of the manga will recognize a few scenes from the manga itself and it’s a blast to see the characters come to life. In short, if you’re a fan of the manga you will be a fan of the movie.

 

VIZ MEDIA’S SHONEN JUMP WELCOMES BLEACH MANGA CREATOR TITE KUBO FOR ULTRA-RARE APPEARANCE AT 2008 SAN DIEGO COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL

 
 
 

 

Tite Kubo Rocks!

Creator Of BLEACH And ZOMBIEPOWDER. Manga To Appear On Special Panel and For Signings At VIZ Media Booth #4113

 

San Francisco, CA, May 21, 2008 VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry’s most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, has announced that its SHONEN JUMP magazine will welcome prolific manga (graphic novel) creator Tite Kubo for a series of rare in-person appearances beginning on Friday, July 25 at the 2008 San Diego Comic-Con International.

 

Mr. Kubo is the creator of the wildly successful manga series BLEACH and ZOMBIE POWDER. and this is the first time the artist will appear at a North American convention. Both series are published domestically by VIZ Media and BLEACH is currently serialized in SHONEN JUMP Magazine. Comic-Con International is renowned as the nation’s largest comic book and science fiction event and takes place July 24-27 at the Convention Center in San Diego, CA. VIZ Media will be located in Booth 4113.

 

 

 

Mr. Kubo is scheduled to appear throughout Comic-Con and to provide insight regarding his past, current and future projects on SHONEN JUMP magazine’s panel discussion and to further greet fans at VIZ Media’s booth and sign autographs twice on Saturday, July 26. Details will be issued shortly as times are still to be determined, but fans are also encouraged to regularly check

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.shonenjump.com

for updates. 

 

 

Tite Kubo made his debut in 1999 with ZOMBIEPOWDER., a four-volume series serialized in Japan’s Weekly Shonen Jump until 2000. His second series, BLEACH, firmly established Mr. Kubo as major manga talent. Beginning its serialization in 2001, BLEACH remains a mainstay in the pages of Weekly Shonen Jump and has spawned more than 300 chapters to-date. BLEACH was further named a winner of the prestigious Shogakukan Manga Award in 2005. Published domestically by VIZ Media, BLEACH manga volumes have sold over 1.2 million copies to-date in the United States and the series is serialized monthly in SHONEN JUMP magazine. The title was further developed into a popular animated series that is distributed domestically by VIZ Media and seen weekly by millions on Cartoon Network.

 

Mr. Kubo begins his appearances on Friday evening at 8 p.m., when he is scheduled to make opening remarks at VIZ Media’s theatrical screening of the first BLEACH feature film, BLEACH THE MOVIE: MEMORIES OF NOBODY, scheduled to take place in a theatre in downtown San Diego. Seating is limited and convention attendees are encouraged to stop by the VIZ Media booth prior to the event to secure tickets, which will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

 

BLEACH, rated T for Teens, follows the adventures of Ichigo, a fifteen-year-old student with the ability to see ghosts. When his family is attacked by a Hollow—a malevolent lost soul—Ichigo encounters Rukia, a Soul Reaper, and inadvertently absorbs her powers. Now, he’s dedicating his life to protecting the innocent and helping tortured souls find peace. The pair encounters plenty of action as they investigate an intriguing range of spiritual mysteries and frequently run into all manner of malevolent and usually violent spirits and demons that are reluctant to return to their own world peacefully.

 

“VIZ Media and SHONEN JUMP magazine are privileged and extremely excited to welcome Tite Kubo to the 2008 Comic-Con International,” says Marc Weidenbaum, Editor-in-Chief of Shonen Jump Magazine and Vice President, Original Publishing, at VIZ. “His BLEACH and ZOMBIEPOWDER. manga series have set new benchmarks in the field. BLEACH holds the attention of millions of fans internationally, and we look forward to offering those fans this very rare opportunity to interact with him personally. This is an incredibly rare situation when the manga creator of a weekly-serialized title is taking time apart from his busy work to visit with his fans outside Japan. I can’t imagine a better way to celebrate SHONEN JUMP’s 5th anniversary and the 40th anniversary of Weekly Shonen Jump, the Japanese magazine in which BLEACH is originally serialized. The enormous audience of manga fans at Comic-Con this year will truly have a hero around whom to rally.”

 

Ten lucky winners of a contest held by VIZ Media’s parent company Shueisha, Inc., are also being flown from Japan to attend the Comic-Con Festivities as ambassadors from Shueisha and will participate in welcoming Mr. Kubo. Fans are encouraged to support BLEACH Day (Saturday) in their best BLEACH gear and will even have the opportunity to win great prizes if spotted in official BLEACH attire.

 

 

About VIZ Media, LLC

 
Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), is one of the most comprehensive and innovative companies in the field of manga (graphic novel) publishing, animation and entertainment licensing of Japanese content. Owned by three of Japan’s largest creators and licensors of manga and animation, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan Production Co., Ltd. (ShoPro Japan), VIZ Media is a leader in the publishing and distribution of Japanese manga for English speaking audiences in North America and a global licensor of Japanese manga and animation. The company offers an integrated product line including, magazines such as SHONEN JUMP and SHOJO BEAT, graphic novels, videos, DVDs and audio soundtracks and develops and markets animated entertainment from initial production, television placement and distribution, to merchandise licensing and promotions for audiences and consumers of all ages. Contact VIZ Media at 295 Bay Street, San Francisco, CA 94133; Phone (415) 546-7073; Fax (415) 546-7086; and web site atwww.VIZ.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About VIZ Media, LLC

 
Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), is one of the most comprehensive and innovative companies in the field of manga (graphic novel) publishing, animation and entertainment licensing of Japanese content. Owned by three of Japan’s largest creators and licensors of manga and animation, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan Production Co., Ltd. (ShoPro Japan), VIZ Media is a leader in the publishing and distribution of Japanese manga for English speaking audiences in North America and a global licensor of Japanese manga and animation. The company offers an integrated product line including, magazines such as SHONEN JUMP and SHOJO BEAT, graphic novels, videos, DVDs and audio soundtracks and develops and markets animated entertainment from initial production, television placement and distribution, to merchandise licensing and promotions for audiences and consumers of all ages. Contact VIZ Media at 295 Bay Street, San Francisco, CA 94133; Phone (415) 546-7073; Fax (415) 546-7086; and web site atwww.VIZ.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

VIZ PICTURES ANNOUNCES DVD RELEASE OF LIVE ACTION FEATURE FILM – HONEY & CLOVER

 

 

Honey & Clover live-Action Movie Cover

Romantic Comedy Based On Popular Manga Series Depicts Five Art Students And Their Transformations From Adolescence To Adulthood

 

San Francisco, CA, May 12, 2008

– VIZ Pictures, an affiliate of VIZ Media, LLC that focuses on Japanese live-action film distribution, has announced the DVD release of HONEY AND CLOVER today. The live-action film, directed by Masahiro Takata and based on a best-selling manga series by Chica Umino, features English subtitles and will carry an estimated retail price of $24.98. Special bonus features on the disc include cast interviews, and a dedicated website about the film is available at www.honeyandclover.com.us.

HONEY AND CLOVER is a romantic comedy that focuses on five college students and the art school they attend. Mayama, Morita and Takemoto (played by J-Pop star Sho Sakurai, who also appeared in HULA GIRLS) aren’t necessarily living fancy lives, but they always manage to have fun. When a talented and pretty painter named Hagumi Hanamoto (played by HULA GIRLS star Yu Aoi) enrolls in the program, her presence and unique approach to art affects the entire school and her new friends, especially Takamoto. The plot thickens as Hagumi becomes embroiled in a complicated love triangle as she struggles to find her artistic voice. Takemoto has a deft touch with his art, but he’s not at his best with relationships, while Mayama is calm and gentle, and Morita is an eccentric genius and a rootless wanderer. Five one-sided feelings are tangling, with no answer in sight. HONEY AND CLOVER showcases the journey that everyone must take to transform from adolescence into adulthood and the long and challenging road these five young people must navigate to balance the demands of school, work, and love.

 

 

 

 

HONEY AND CLOVER is based on a bestselling manga (graphic novel) series created by Chica Umino which has sold more than 5 million copies to-date in Japan. In 2003 the popular series won the 27th Kodansha Manga Hagu Award, Japan’s most prestigious comics award. The manga series was also adapted into an animated series in 2005 and finally into the live-action film released in Japan in 2006. HONEY AND CLOVER is currently serialized in SHOJO BEAT Magazine and the graphic novel is available in the U.S., both published domestically by VIZ Media.

HONEY AND CLOVER won widespread critical acclaim upon its initial release in Japan for the faithful representation of the manga’s original story,” said Seiji Horibuchi, President and CEO, VIZ Pictures. “The film also reunites J-Pop star and actor Sho Sakurai with actress Yu Aoi, who won the prestigious Japan Academy Prize for Best Supporting Actress in 2007 for her portrayal of Kimiko Tanigawa in HULA GIRLS. We are confident that the compelling cast and poignant story that is HONEY AND CLOVER will touch audiences of all stripes.”

For more information on HONEY AND CLOVER and other VIZ Pictures films, please visit

About VIZ Pictures, Inc.

Based in San Francisco, CA, VIZ Pictures, Inc. distributes Japanese live-action films and DVDs, with particular focus on Japanese “kawaii (cute) and cool” pop culture. VIZ Pictures approaches each release from a J-pop fan’s point of view to serve manga and anime generation in North America. VIZ Pictures titles include TRAIN MAN: DENSHA OTOKO, LINDA LINDA LINDA, THE TASTE OF TEA, and PING PONG. The company will continue to offer the hottest visual entertainment straight from the “Kingdom of Pop” for audiences of all ages in North America. VIZ Pictures, Inc. is an affiliate of VIZ Media, LLC, the San Francisco-based leading U.S. publisher of Japanese manga (comics) and merchandise licensor of Japanese animation such as the popular “NARUTO” animated TV series. For more information please visit http://www.viz-pictures.com. © 2006 VIZ Pictures, Inc.

About VIZ Media, LLC

Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), is one of the most comprehensive and innovative companies in the field of manga publishing, animation and entertainment licensing of Japanese content. Owned by three of Japan’s largest creators and licensors of manga and animation, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan Production Co., Ltd. (ShoPro Japan), VIZ Media is a leader in the publishing and distribution of Japanese manga for English speaking audiences in North America and a global licensor of Japanese manga and animation. The company offers an integrated product line including, magazines such as SHONEN JUMP and SHOJO BEAT, graphic novels, videos, DVDs, audio soundtracks and develops and markets animated entertainment from initial production, television placement and distribution, to merchandise licensing and promotions for audiences and consumers of all ages. Contact VIZ Media at 295 Bay Street, San Francisco, CA 94133; Phone (415) 546-7073; Fax (415) 546-7086; and web site at

www.VIZ.com.

www.viz-pictures.com. For more information on other DVDs from VIZ Media please go to www.viz.com.