Anime Film ‘The Deer King’ Coming to Digital Oct. 4, Blu-ray + DVD Oct. 18

Shout! Factory and GKIDS have announced the Oct. 18 release of the new animated film The Deer King in a Blu-ray Disc + DVD combo pack.

The disc release will be preceded by the film’s Oct. 4 availability on all major digital platforms, for both rental and purchase.

Bonus features include conversations with the voice cast, an introduction from director Masashi Ando, a design gallery, and more.

The Deer King is based on the award-winning fantasy novel series by author Nahoko Uehashi, which has sold over two million copies and won major literary awards. Animated by the Production I.G studio, the film marks the directorial debut of animator Ando, who previously worked as a character designer, animation director, and key animator with the famed Studio Ghibli (Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke), and with directors Satoshi Kon and Makoto Shinkai. Co-director Masayuki Miyaji is best known for directing the 2009 series “Xam’d: Lost Memories” and work on Studio Ghibli films such as My Neighbors the Yamadas. Notable works from  Production I.G include Ghost in the Shell and the series “FLCL”, “Haikyu!!”, and “Psycho Pass”.

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The Deer King is a story of survival. Following a brutal war, former soldier Van toils in a mine controlled by the ruling empire. One day, his solitary existence is upended when a pack of wild dogs carrying a deadly and incurable disease attack, leaving only Van and a young girl named Yuna as survivors. Finally free, the pair seek out a simple existence in the countryside but are pursued by nefarious forces. Intent on protecting Yuna at all costs, Van must uncover the true cause of the plague ravaging the kingdom—and its possible cure.

‘Dragon Ball Super’ Complete Series Edition Due in Blu-ray Steelbook Sept. 20

Crunchyroll has announced the Sept. 20 release of the Dragon Ball Super: The Complete Series limited-edition Blu-ray Steelbook boxed set.

In the series, after defeating Majin Buu, life is peaceful once again. However, new threats begin to loom one after another. From Beerus, the God of Destruction, to the resurrection of Frieza, foes from across time and space step up to face Goku and his friends.

  • “Catching Up on the Dragon Ball Universe: Sonny Strait & Savannah Ligaluppi”
  • “Catching Up on the Dragon Ball Universe: Christopher R. Sabat & Hero D. Sabat”
  • textless opening and closing songs
  • “Watching Dragon Ball Super: with Jason Douglas & Ian Sinclair”
  • “Anime Expo 2017: Interview with Sean Schemmel & Jason Douglas”
  • “Dragon Ball Super: An Interview with Sean Schemmel”
  • “Coffee Break with Mai and Trunks”
  • “Dragon Ball Super at Anime Expo 2018: Interviews with Sonny Strait, Matthew Mercer, & Kyle Hebert”
  • “Dragon Ball Super: Rawly Pickens & Chuck Huber Answer Twitter”
  • “Dragon Ball Super: Two Humans and an Android”
  • “Dragon Ball Super: Twitter Q&A with Sarah Wiedenheft and Dawn Bennett”
  • “Dragon Ball Super: Interview with Patrick Seitz and Kyle Hebert”

Crunchyroll Picks Up Streaming Rights to Anime Series ‘Chainsaw Man’

Crunchyroll has acquired the streaming rights to the anime adaptation of “Chainsaw Man.”

Crunchyroll will simulcast the series from Japan later this year, subtitled and dubbed, in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. Dubs will include English, Latin American Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, French and German.

Based on the manga of the same name written and illustrated by Tatsuki Fujimoto and serialized in Shueisha’s Weekly Shōnen Jump, “Chainsaw Man” follows Denji, a teenage boy living with a Chainsaw Devil named Pochita. Due to the debt his father left behind, he has been living a impoverished life while repaying it by harvesting devil corpses with Pochita. One day, Denji is betrayed and killed. As his consciousness fades, he makes a contract with Pochita and gets revived as Chainsaw Man — a man with a devil’s heart. 

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“With dark humor, dynamic characters and a sharp story, ‘Chainsaw Man’ is one of the most anticipated new series this year, and we are wickedly excited to bring it to fans on the Crunchyroll service,” Asa Suehira, chief content officer at Crunchyroll, said in a statement. “Anime fans will be up all night thinking about the spectacular visuals and high-octane action.”

Vudu Offering Discount on Anime Series ‘Hunter x Hunter’

Vudu is hosting a sale May 6-9 on the popular Japanese animated television series “Hunter x Hunter.” 

Anime fans can purchase the complete “Hunter x Hunter” series (seven seasons, 148 episodes) as one bundle for $99.99 (regularly priced at $270 for all 7 seasons) through the end of the day May 9.

The series is based on Yoshihiro Togashi’s manga series.

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Crunchyroll Premieres First Italian Dubs

Anime brand Crunchyroll is premiering its first Italian dubs streaming this spring. 

The list of series receiving Italian dubs includes:

  • season one of “The Rising of the Shield Hero,” a dark fantasy isekai that follows Naofumi Iwatani in his journey to become the shield hero (Italian speakers can catch up on season one dubs, while following the season two simulcast each week);
  • “My Dress-Up Darling,” a rom-com in which two opposite worlds collide as a shy boy and a popular girl find a connection via cosplay; and
  • “Ranking of Kings,” a series that follows Prince Bojji, who is unable to hear or speak, but sets off on an adventure to prove that he’s a worthy heir with the help of a shadow named Kage. 

 

Earlier this month, Crunchyroll announced the full slate of dubbed anime heading to the platform with 25 series streaming for fans in a mix of English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German and Russian.

Crunchyroll connects anime and manga fans across 200-plus countries and territories. In addition to free ad-supported and subscription premium content, Crunchyroll serves the anime community across events, theatrical, games, consumer products, collectibles and manga publishing.

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The Crunchyroll app is available on more than 15 platforms, including all gaming consoles.

Crunchyroll is an independently operated joint venture between U.S.-based Sony Pictures Entertainment and Japan’s Aniplex, a subsidiary of Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc., both subsidiaries of Tokyo-based Sony Group Corp.

Warner’s ‘The Batman’ Tops $300 Million at North American Box Office

Warner Bros. Pictures/DC’s The Batman continued its global box office domination, adding a projected $37 million in ticket sales across 4,300 North American screens March 18-20. The tally is enough to send the Robert Pattinson/Zoë Kravitz-co-starrer beyond the $300 million domestic threshold.

The movie is also approaching $600 million in revenue worldwide after opening in China to a muted $12.1 million ($49.1 million across 76 countries). China’s No. 2 global theatrical market was undermined by surges in COVID-19 infections, which prompted the closure of nearly 50% of the country’s screens.

Separately, Sony Pictures/Crunchyroll’s manga film Jujutsu Kaisen 0: The Movie opened with an estimated $17.6 million across more than 2,300 screens. The tally underscores the strong North American market for anime movies, spearheaded by last year’s Demon Slayer the Movie: Mugen Train, which opened to more than $21 million despite most theaters operating at 50% capacity.

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Finally, Sony’s video game-themed actioner Uncharted generated another $8 million in revenue across 3,700 screens to bring its North American box office past $125 million, and $313 million worldwide.

GKIDS, Shout! Factory Set Digital, Disc Release Dates for ‘Belle’

Belle, the critically hailed anime film from Academy Award-nominated director Mamoru Hosoda, will be released to home viewers in May by GKIDS and Shout! Factory.

The film will be available through digital retailers on May 3, and on Blu-ray Disc (in a DVD combo pack) two weeks later, on May 17. 

A heartfelt story of growing up in the era of social media, Belle also will be available in a Steelbook edition exclusive to Target.

The Blu-ray + DVD combo pack and Steelbook editions will come with a number of bonus features, including a conversation with director Hosoda, the featurettes “The Making of Belle,” “The Music of Belle,” and “Finding the Voice of Belle,” a documentary on the drawing of Belle, a design gallery and scene breakdowns.

Digital versions of the film will be available both in the original Japanese and as an English dub, while the Blu-ray + DVD combo pack and Steelbook editions will contain both Japanese and English versions. 

Belle‘s English voice cast includes Chace Crawford, Manny Jacinto, Kylie McNeill and Hunter Schafer. 

Advance orders for the film may be placed now at ShoutFactory.com.

Vudu Hosting Weekend Sale on Viz Media Anime Series ‘Bleach’

Vudu is hosting a sale this weekend on Viz Media’s Japanese animated television series “Bleach,” based on Tite Kubo’s manga series, available on digital for the first time ever.   

Consumers can purchase the complete “Bleach” series (13 Seasons, 366 episodes) as one bundle for a special price from Feb. 25-28.

The complete series bundle can be purchased for $99.99 (regularly priced at $519.87 for all 13 seasons).

In the series, high school student Ichigo Kurosaki, who has the ability to see ghosts, gains soul reaper powers from Rukia Kuchiki and sets out to save the world from “Hollows.”

Fandango-owned Vudu is a transactional VOD service, offering more than 200,000 titles for digital rental or purchase.

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Anime App Crunchyroll Launches on Nintendo Switch

The Crunchyroll anime app launched worldwide Feb. 17 on the Nintendo Switch.

Viewers have access to more than 1,000 series and 30,000 episodes on the Crunchyroll app, including “Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba” and “One Piece,” through their Nintendo Switch console either docked at home or taken on the go with offline viewing support.

With this launch, Crunchyroll will become the first streaming application to offer offline viewing on the Nintendo Switch, and one of a limited number of SVOD apps on the gaming console, according to the service.

The Crunchyroll app offers ad-supported anime or, through a Crunchyroll subscription, unlimited ad-free anime, with simulcast series streaming day and date with premiere in Japan.

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Powered by Epic Games’ Unreal Engine technology, the application allows users to watch anime in TV mode, with their console docked and plugged into a television; in tabletop mode, which allows them to share their anime with others; or in handheld mode, to pick up and experience with Joy-Con controllers attached.

Crunchyroll is also available through iOS and Android mobile and tablet devices, PlayStation, Xbox, Roku, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and Chromecast.

Crunchyroll connects anime and manga fans across 200-plus countries and territories. In addition to free ad-supported and subscription premium content, Crunchyroll offers the anime community social engagement, events, games, consumer products, content distribution and creation, and manga publishing.

Crunchyroll was acquired in August 2021 by Funimation Global Group, a joint venture between Sony Pictures Entertainment and Sony Music Entertainment Japan.

 

Limited-Edition Steelbooks of Anime Films ‘Only Yesterday,’ ‘Tale of the Princess Kaguya’ Due April 19

Studio Ghibli and GKIDS on April 19 will release limited-edition Steelbooks of  Only Yesterday and The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, two animated films from Academy Award-nominated director Isao Takahata.

Only Yesterday will also be available as a Blu-ray Disc and DVD combo pack, and The Tale of The Princess Kaguya as a single DVD/two-Blu-ray Disc package.

Only Yesterday follows the story of 27-year-old Taeko, who, having lived her whole life in the city, decides to visit relatives in the countryside. As she travels, memories of her youth resurface, and after meeting young farmer Toshio, she wonders if she’s been true to the dreams of her childhood.

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Bonus features include a making-of documentary, a behind-the-scenes featurette with the voice cast, an interview with the English dub team, feature-length storyboards, trailers and TV spots.

In The Tale of Princess Kaguya, a young girl who is found inside a shining stalk of bamboo by an old bamboo cutter and his wife grows into an exquisite young lady. The mysterious young princess who enthralls all who encounter her is forced to confront her fate and embark on a transformative journey.

Bonus features include a feature-length documentary, “Isao Takahata and His Tale of the Princess Kaguya,” the official announcement of the completion of the film, trailers, and TV spots.

In addition to the bonus features, the Steelbooks also include a booklet with art, as well as statements from the filmmakers.