Bleach news from VIZ Media

Hola you Shinigami fans. Here’s the latest from VIZ Media.

VIZ Media announced Monday that new digital volumes of Tite Kubo’s “Bleach” and Eiichiro Oda’s “One Piece”, will for be available online on VIZManga.com and also for download on the VIZ Manga App. The releases will be on Mondays..

The idea is to bring the digital volumes for both series up to date with their North American print counterparts by December.

According to the company, its digital manga application allows fans to read manga from their iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Fans with PCs, laptops and Android-powered devices with web browsers can head to VIZManga.com,

It looks like you have to register and the volumes aren’t free. The previews are free though.
If you want more information, go to VIZManga.com or www.VIZ.com/apps.

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BLEACH 2001 by Tite Kubo/SHUEISHA Inc.

Back again …

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Sorry for the long silence. Unfortunately, real life interrupted my anime viewing.

Sad to say but “Inuyasha – The Final Act” ended March 29. Now this fangirl is on the lookout for something new to watch Monday nights. Alas no more Kagome yelling for Inuyasha “to sit”, no more Miroku getting thwacked by Sango for his lecherous ways and most of all, no more Sesshomaru threatening to eradicate his enemies in a cool yet deadly voice.

The series was fateful to the manga for the most part and gave fans the ending they deserved. But don’t expect to see all the extra characters from the manga’s final volumes. The show is a pretty streamlined version of the manga.

The show did toss in a couple of extras in the end like what happened to Kouga afterward since Ayame is an anime-only character.

If you want to watch the episodes, go to hulu.com

Of school girls and dog-eared demons

So I’ve been watching “Inuyasha the Final Act” on hulu.com and I must say the producers are keeping everything on a brisk pace.

There’s only been six episodes so far but three of Naraku’s incarnations have already bit the dust plus Inuyasha’s sword can now absorb demon powers and cut a demon vortex. For those who don’t know the show, it’s about a half-dog demon, half-human character and his friends who are on a mission to kill another half-demon, Naraku, and stop him from completing the so-called Jewel of Four Souls which he plans to use to make himself a full demon.

This series picks up where “Inuyasha” left viewers dangling a couple of years ago and promises to finish it. Let’s just hope they do and not give us any filler episodes.

It uses the same Japanese voice actors and the same animation studio so watching the new series is like settling in on a familiar armchair. I have heard complaints about the quality of the animation from some viewers but I think the show looks fine.

Calling all Inuyasha fans. The saga of the dog-eared demon continues…

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Among the offerings for the anime fall season is a series that finally wraps up the Inuyasha saga.

When the show ended, there was no resolution and the bad guy, Naraku, along with his minions were still alive. I had to read the manga to know how Inuyasha, the half dog demon/half human, defeats Naraku, gets more sword techniques and deals with the Kikyo/Kagome issue.

So I welcome the new anime that aims to wrap up the popular show created by Rumiko Takahashi.

According to VIZ Media, INUYASHA THE FINAL ACT will stream on ShonenSunday.com/anime and Hulu.com hours after it airs in Japan. A new episode will air every Saturday.

The first episode is available for viewing at http://www.hulu.com/inuyasha-the-final-act
and at www.shonensunday.com/anime

If ya want to see a bigger version of the trailer, click on the screen on this page. A bigger screen should pop up.

A Monster among us

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According to VIZ Media, Syfy will start airing episodes of the anime show “Monster” on Oct. 12.

It will be part of the network’s Ani-Monday programming block. New episodes will air each Monday night on the Syfy channel and will be re-broadcast on SyFy’s sister channel, Chiller, the week after. It is rated TV-MA.

“Monster” is based on the manga by Naoki Urasawa that is published in North America by VIZ Media.

I consider “Monster” one of the best anime shows created because of the characters and the plot. It is a psychological thriller centered around a Japanese surgeon who works in Europe.

Dr. Kenzo Tenma saves a young gunshot victim rushed into his hospital. Little did he know that act would propel him into a nightmarish odyssey where he would become the hunted.

Because Johan, the boy he saved, is not like any child. He is a cold-blooded killer. Several of Tenma’s colleagues are murdered and police’s suspicion fall on the brilliant surgeon years later.

The doctor goes on the run intent on stopping the young man he saved as a child. As he tries to follow the trail of his former patient, Tenma runs into former Communist bloc men involved in secret government experiments, remorseful crooks and those who barely survived Johan.

“Nana”: melodrama with a rock and roll beat

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(C) Yazawa Manga Seisakusho / Shueisha (C) NTV / VAP / SHUEISHA / Madhouse )

On Sept. 8, VIZ Media will be releasing a box set of the anime “Nana” which contains 12 uncut episodes. Price is $59.90 for the 3-disc set and includes a “Nana” guitar pick.

The anime is based on the manga by Ai Yazawa, which has sold over 43 million copies in Japan and is published in North America by VIZ Media under its SHOJO BEAT imprint. Yazawa also created the manga “Paradise Kiss.”

“Nana” follows the lives and loves of two young women who share the same first name.

Nana “Hachi” Komatsu goes to Tokyo to follow her boyfriend and find a fresh start while Nana Osaki hopes to make it big in the world of rock and roll. They meet in the train and end up renting an apartment together.

This is not a show for kids so there is a reason for the advisory warning on the boxed set. I would put this series in the older teen category. It has a mature rating so don’t say I didn’t warn you.

I’m not a big fan of “Nana” since I don’t like the animation style used. Looking at elongated skinny people with huge heads and eyes makes me want to treat them all to a meal.

Although I like shoujo, I got weary of the drama in “Nana” and found the Nana nicknamed “Hachi” to be a whiny, weak and annoying character. I want to smack her with the other Nana’s guitar.

But I’m in the minority since “Nana” has been a hit in its manga, anime and movie incarnations.

I do like the first ending song sung by Olivia.

But as to the other songs? For example, part of the opening song’s lyrics are in “Engrish”. So if you’re a stickler for grammar, you would be reduced to gnashing your teeth by the end of the song. It has a nice beat though to be fair.

First episode of Inuyasha available for free

Here’s the latest promo by VIZ Media which is now making episodes of “Inuyasha” available via the iTunes Store.

(www.iTunes.com) in the US and the iTunes Store (www.itunes.ca) in Canada. iTunes is launching with episodes 1-13 for $1.99 per episode or $22.99 for one full season.

From today until Aug. 31, the first episode will be available as a free download.

The long-running anime and manga known as “Inuyasha” has already ended. But the episodes are available on DVDs. I’m not sure if Adult Swim on Cartoon Network still puts on the re-runs. Doubt it though.

Here is a synopsis of the show courtesy of VIZ: “Pulled back in time to Japan’s ancient past, Japanese high school girl Kagome finds her destiny linked to a dog-like half-demon named Inuyasha, who remembers Kagome’s previous incarnation as the woman who killed him – and to the Shikon Jewel, or “Jewel of Four Souls,” which can fulfill the greatest dreams of any man or monster. Now Kagome and Inuyasha must work together to search for the scattered shards of the jewel before everyone’s nightmares are given the power they need to come true.”

Ichigo and the gang in their second movie

Sorry for the looong silence. Unlike some folks, I can’t afford to ignore my daily gig. Otherwise the bills don’t get paid.

Anyway, I was checking out my e-mail and came upon this VIZ Media announcement of their fall DVD releases. The second “Bleach” movie will be available in stores Sept. 8. with a price tag of $29.92. Just in time for my birthday ….

Here’s a synopsis of the film from VIZ:

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BLEACH THE MOVIE 2: THE DIAMONDDUST REBELLION Rated ‘T’ for Teens
After the treasured Ouin is stolen, Toshiro Hitsugaya disappears and becomes suspected of treason. When the Soul Society calls for his capture and execution, Substitute Soul Reaper Ichigo Kurosaki vows to prove Hitsugaya’s innocence. Will the secret of the Ouin and Captain Hitsugaya’s motives be revealed before his honor, his life, and the Soul Society are destroyed?

Latest Naruto episodes in English

English-dubbed uncut episodes of “Naruto” started airing on Joost.com and Hulu.com on Wednesday, according to VIZ Media.

Joost and Hulu are online video services that offer TV shows, movies and clips for free. The first five episodes of “Naruto” were made available April 15 with a new English-dubbed episode launching every Wednesday. Each episode will stream on both Joost (US and Canada) and Hulu (US) for about five weeks then rotate off the site making room for the next new episodes.

Joost.com and Hulu.com began showing episodes of “Naruto” with English subtitles last September.

For more info on the show and if you want to watch free episodes of “Naruto Shippuden” (English subtitled), head to www.Naruto.com.

Latest Naruto Shippuden to be shown for free online

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Attention Naruto fans.

VIZ Media announced today that the latest installment of “Naruto Shippuden” will be shown free March 26 on its official Naruto Web site, www.naruto.com , the same day it will air in Japan.

Episode 101 (with English subtitles) can also be viewed in Canada but on www.Joost.com

VIZ points out that this is the first time the official U.S. Naruto Web site will air an episode with the broadcast in Japan. As the company says in its release: “The special simulcast is part of VIZ Media’s ongoing plan to bring hit animated properties and the latest content to its audience via the Web.”

I suspect it’s a way to bypass fansubs.

“Naruto” is a popular anime and manga here and in the land of the Rising Sun. Anime conventions always seem to have tons of fans dressed up as the teen-aged ninja Naruto or other characters from the show. OK the correct term for such a fan is a “cosplayer”.

Final parting shot from VIZ. Earlier “Naruto” episodes are available for free on several Web-based, video streaming outlets that partnered with VIZ Media, including HULU and JOOST. “Naruto Shippuden” episodes can be viewed for free on www.naruto.com