North American anime home video releases for 1/19/21

I never thought I would see the day that Bartender would get a US release. Adam Sheehan pitched the idea when he worked at Funimation, but they were concerned about the potential legal issues due to the series featuring so many real brands of alcohol.

Anime Limited/Shout Factory!Bartender: 15th AnniversaryBlu-ray$69.98
Aniplex of America/FunimationDemon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, Part 2Blu-ray$64.98
FunimationDragon Ball Z: Season 6 Collection (Steelbook)Blu-ray$59.98
FunimationDragon Ball Z: Season 7 Collection (Steelbook)Blu-ray$59.98
Sentai FilmworksBlade of the Immortal: Complete CollectionBlu-ray$89.98

[Source: WTK via DVD Talk Forum]

North American anime home video releases for 1/12/21

It’s interesting to see that so many companies still releasing titles on Blu-ray. Also, I keep forgetting that Boruto exists. Sorry, little guy.

Crunchyroll/FunimationChain Chronicle – The Light of Haecceitas: Complete CollectionBlu-ray$34.98
FunimationFruits Basket: Season 2, Part 1 (LE)Blu-ray/DVD$84.98
FunimationFruits Basket: Season 2, Part 1Blu-ray/DVD$64.98
FunimationMeiji Tokyo Renka: Complete CollectionBlu-ray$29.98
GKIDS/Shout! FactoryLupin III: The First (Steelbook)Blu-ray/DVD $32.98
GKIDS/Shout! FactoryLupin III: The FirstBlu-ray/DVD$26.98
GKIDS/Shout! FactoryLupin III: The FirstDVD$16.98
Sentai FilmworksBanG Dream! FILM LIVE Blu-ray$29.98
Sentai FilmworksGirls & Panzer: This is the Real Anzio Battle!Blu-ray$14.98
Viz MediaBoruto – Naruto Next Generations: Set 8Blu-ray$44.98
Viz MediaBoruto – Naruto Next Generations: Set 8DVD$39.99
Viz MediaPokémon the Series: Sun & Moon Ultra Legends – The Alola League Begins!DVD$39.99

[Source: WTK via DVD Talk Forum]

No, D.J. Kirkland did not censor the Rosario + Vampire manga

It’s one thing to be upset about your favorite manga being censored; it’s another to blame the wrong person for it. In a now-deleted tweet, Viz Media Digital Publishing Production Assistant D.J. Kirkland was accused of altering manga panels from Rosario + Vampire to cover up a character’s naked breasts.

However, Kirkland wasn’t employed at Viz when the manga was published.

The panel in question is from Chapter 6 of Rosario + Vampire: Season II, where a character flashes her breasts to distract an opponent during battle. In Viz’s release, the artwork is modified so that she is wearing a bra.

This edit exists in both the print and digital versions of the manga. While this is unfortunate, Kirkland is not responsible for it. According to the Right Stuf Anime listing for the volume, it was released on August 3, 2010 — over ten years before Kirkland was hired in March 2020. Changing artwork is also not something his department would have the ability to do.

Kirkland spoke about his duties at Viz on Twitter:

“My job is to make sure that the black values are consistent across an entire volume, make sure that pages aren’t awkwardly cropped around the edges, and make sure that double-page spreads line up when you’re reading them in landscape mode. By the time a manga is approved to be released on digital platforms and I start looking over it, the book has already been IN PRINT.”

These accusations come in the wake of a disinformation campaign instigated by Comicsgate rag Bounding Into Comics when Kirkland was first hired. In their article, writer Spencer Baculi points to a handful of tweets as evidence that fans should be concerned about Kirkland’s influence at the manga publisher.

Baculi’s article was cited on Twitter as the reason for believing that Kirkland was responsible for the censorship. As a result of this claim, Kirkland was harassed online all weekend, with some resorting to sending racist comments and death threats.

Censorship sucks, but it doesn’t excuse this behavior. Complaints should be directed at Viz, not their employees. Especially when those employees have nothing to do with it.

In addition to his work with Viz, Kirkland is also a comic book artist. His work includes The Black Mage and Aggretsuko, which is done in collaboration with writer Daniel Barnes.

[Source: D.J. Kirkland’s Twitter]

North American anime home video releases for 1/5/21

Are people really buying One Piece on DVD? Like, I understand that there are a lot of fans of that show, but there are over 900 episodes! Who is watching those more than once?

Crunchyroll/FunimationConception: Complete CollectionBlu-ray$29.98
Crunchyroll/FunimationNanbaka: Complete CollectionBlu-ray$34.98
FunimationOne Piece: Season 10, Voyage 4DVD$39.98
FunimationStar Blazers 2202: Complete CollectionBlu-ray$69.98
Media BlastersShrine of the Morning Mist: The CollectionBlu-ray$29.99
Media BlastersShrine of the Morning Mist: The CollectionDVD$19.99
Sentai FilmworksBlack Bullet: Complete CollectionBlu-ray$49.98
Sentai FilmworksFlying Witch: Complete CollectionBlu-ray$49.98
Viz MediaInfini-T Force the Movie: Farewell, FriendBlu-ray$24.98
Viz MediaJoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Set 4Blu-ray$49.99

[Source: WTK via DVD Talk Forum]

Looking back at the top posts from 2020

We posted a lot of great stories in 2020. Occasionally we got lucky and people actually read them. Here is a list of the most-read articles from last year.

10. And you thought there was never anime in 2016

Rem is cute

This was part of a series of posts I never finished called A Decade Under the Influence…of Anime. It was an exploration of mental health and career development through the lens of the anime I watched over the last ten years. It was also when I revived the website, which hadn’t seen an update in seven months.

It’s hard to say why this entry performed better than the others. I’m sure it has nothing to do with the adorable picture of Rem.

Will I ever complete this series? Who could know? I also promised to release an audio version, but that never got past pre-production.

9. Verizon’s stream of the 2020 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade features bewildering Pikachu segment

Pikachu dance

The popularity of this story was a happy accident. I was writing a fluff piece about Pikachu being in the parade when I found Verizon’s bizarre stream. Why a company as rich and powerful as Verizon couldn’t get permission to use the audio from the parade is anyone’s guess.

It performed well because I was one of the first people to put the Pikachu segment on YouTube. I don’t normally upload videos to our channel, but I needed a clip for the article. That clip received over 6000 views. If only those 6000 people followed the video to GONZO.MOE.

8. Everything is bigger in Texas except anime voice actor wages

Silver condenser microphone with black pop filter

Writing this article was unbelievably stressful. I was making some bold claims, and if I couldn’t back them up, I would piss off a lot of people. The reputation of the website was on the line.

Everyone deserves safe working conditions and a living wage. This is not up for debate. Anime is a billion-dollar industry built on the exploitation of the people making it. We talk a lot about how poor animators in Japan are treated, but we forget about the people who translate anime into English.

7. AnimeLog unlikely to destroy Funimation and Crunchyroll with its 360p release of Fantastic Children

Fantastic Children

More of a shoot-from-the-hip rant than a proper article, writing this was extremely gratifying. Provocateurs cheered when news of AnimeLog broke, saying it would trigger the collapse of the North American anime industry. So I couldn’t help but write about at the hilariously inept implementation of the service when it was finally made available to users outside of Japan.

6. It’s complicated — my relationship with Toonami, the anime gateway drug for a generation

Tom from Toonami

Stories like this are my favorite to tell. It’s part history lesson, part self-discovery. The focus may be on my journey, but it resonated with people in my age group because many of us went through the same beats.

It’s also an example of history being written by the victors. People have claimed for years that Toonami is responsible for creating a generation of anime fans, but this is only partially true. From my perspective, Adult Swim and Anime Unleashed were much more influential.

5. Hetalia’s popularity and the downfall of Funimation’s English dub production

This was Luna Hollenbeck’s second article with us. It struck a chord with our Facebook audience. Some people saw the picture of Hetalia and angry-reacted without reading it. Others claimed it was clickbait, which led to a headline rewrite. Is it hyperbolic? Sure, but Luna argues her point about simulcast dubs negatively impacting product quality well.

4. An open letter to voice actors

Vic Mignogna, Scott Freeman, Quiton Flynn, Chris Thurman

Another banger from Luna Hollenbeck. This is a response to the numerous anime and video game voice actors that have been accused by fans of engaging in inappropriate (and sometimes criminal) behavior.

3. Bleach voice actor accused of sexual assault, harassment

Quinton Flynn

This is not the kind of story I wanted to write, but the fact that many larger sites still haven’t covered it tells me that I had to. It’s been nearly two months since the allegations against Quinton Flynn broke on Twitter. As far as I’m aware, he has yet to make a statement.

2. Amidst sexual assault allegations, Quinton Flynn may be filing harassment charges against accusers

I wasn’t planning to write a follow-up to this story since I felt that I had said everything that needed to be said the first time. However, the continued radio silence from the mainstream geek sites forced my hand.

This time I spoke with Krissy Rose, the woman behind the BewareQFlynn Twitter account. She told me that she received a call from a detective stating that harassment charges were being filed against her. What was strange is that no paperwork had been filed, leading her to believe that it was a bluff.

1. Funko is not involved with Vic Mignogna’s Pop!-inspired ‘Animation Figurine’

Vic Mignonga standing next to a computer screen on a garbage

I’m still laughing about this one. With almost 2200 views, it is the most read thing I’ve ever written in my life. After Vic Mignogna teased his “big announcement” for Ultracon, I thought it would be funny to write about it after it turned out to be a knock-off Funko Pop! figure.

The reason this blew up is twofold. First, we’re the only site that wrote about it. Of course, we are. It’s not exactly newsworthy; it’s just funny. Secondly, I published this before Funko made a public statement.

It’s a continued trend in my life that my most well-known work is always what took the least effort. When I was in a band, our hit single was an off-the-cuff joke song about a fictional bar hookup. Similarly, this article is a joke that only took 15-minutes to write.