Naruto Shippuden news


I enjoys fansubs like a lot of anime fans because I get to watch a series airing currently or just finished airing in Japan. However, I always make a point to buy the licensed versions of shows I like.

With the advent of the Internet, it has made it easier and faster for anime fans to see current shows. Not surprisingly, some anime companies are opting to license a series even before it finishes its run in Japan or they’re choosing to show episodes online.

VIZ media announced that beginning January 15, it will begin streaming “Naruto Shippuden” just days after being shown in Japan. It will be free and available at There will also be an accelerated publishing plan for the “Naruto” manga beginning in February 2009.

“Naruto Shippuden” picks up the tale after a now 15-year-old Naruto returns to Konoha from his training with Jiraiya. Everyone in his group has advanced in rank except him. Gaara is now Kazekage and Sakura is now a medical ninja.

Here’s the release from VIZ:

“This campaign is the latest expansion of VIZ Media’s ongoing strategy to utilize the web to its maximum potential to stream a variety of hit animated properties.

Beginning on January 15, the latest episode of “Naruto Shippuden” (English-subtitled) will be available for free viewing on the official “Naruto” website,, within days of its original air date in Japan. A new English-subtitled episode will be added every Thursday thereafter.

On January 2nd, VIZ Media will also debut for free, eight uncut, English-subtitled episodes from the beginning of the “Naruto Shippuden” series on Each Friday thereafter there will be an additional eight uncut, English-subtitled episodes added on until the series eventually catches up to the current third season of the hit program. Also, coming this week, an exclusive sneak peek of “Naruto Shippuden” debuting on

On the manga side, VIZ Media has unveiled an accelerated publishing schedule for upcoming editions of the “Naruto” series, making them available to North American audiences sooner than ever before offered by VIZ Media. Beginning in February 2009, 11 new volumes of “Naruto” will be released over three months, moving the series from Volume 34 (February 2009) to Volume 44 (April 2009) before returning to a quarterly release schedule beginning with Volume 45 (July 2009).

Earlier “Naruto” episodes are also currently available for free through a variety of web-based, video streaming outlets that have partnered with VIZ Media, including HULU and JOOST.”

Bleach posters


VIZ Media is releasing a special Shonen Jump “Bleach” Posterzine, which features 11 posters inspired by the manga and animated series created by Tite Kubo.

The $9.99 Posterzine will be on sale starting Dec. 2. Each poster folds out to 16″ x 22″ and depicts Ichigo, his friends and villains. The special publication will also include two free “Bleach” sticker sheets and an iTunes gift card valid for a free download of episode 59 of the animated series and access to an interview with Tite Kubo. (NOTE: don’t think it means you can interview Kubo.)

And for those of you who haven’t heard of the show, here is a synopsis from VIZ: “Bleach” follows the story of Ichigo Kurosaki, a 15-year-old student with the ability to see ghosts. His fate takes an extraordinary turn when he meets Rukia Kuchiki, a Soul Reaper who shows up at Ichigo’s house on the trail of a Hollow, a malevolent lost soul. Drawn to Ichigo’s high level of spiritual energy, the Hollow attacks Ichigo and his family, and Rukia steps in to help but is injured and unable to fight. As a last resort, Rukia decides to transfer part of her Soul Reaper powers to Ichigo.

Another trip to hell…


Enma Ai or Hell Girl (Jigoku Shojo) is back for a third season. In “Jigoku Shojo Mitsuganae”, Ai enters the body of middle schooler Yuzuki Mikage and continues her business of exacting people’s revenge by ferrying their tormentors/targets straight to Hell.

Ai was killed in the second season so I suppose they had to find a way for her to come back. Hence her spirit (a blue butterfly) alighting on Yuzuki who dreams she is kissed and embraced by Ai. This is not that kind of anime so keep your hairnets on.

Poor Yuzuki carries Ai’s spirit inside her so whenever Hell Girl goes into action, Ai comes out of the girl. This time, Ai has five assistants: Wanyudo, Honne Onna, Ren Ichimoku, the devilish little girl Kikuri now inside a doll and Yamawaro, a boy who tags along after Kikuri and calls her “princess”.

Anyone familiar with seasons one and two knows the drill by now, Each episode is self-contained and deals with someone who feels they need the services of Hell Girl because they’re being bullied or they really hate someone or just want to get rid of a person for whatever reason. At midnight, they access a Web site, enter the name of their target and send their request to Ai.

If she accepts, she will offer the person a straw doll with a red string tied around its neck. Pull the red string and the target goes to Hell. However, Ai’s price is that both the target and the person making the request will end up in Hell. The one making the request just goes to Hell after he or she dies. If they enter into a contract with Ai, they will bear a mark on their chest.

The animation is still crisp and sharp in season three. But unless something interesting happens in the third season, this is just same ole same ole for me.