With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013
With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

Monday, November 30, 2015

Bunta Sugawara in TORAKKU YARO at Japan Society this Friday

Japan Society NY
presents
 Torakku Yaro / Torakku Yaro: Go-iken Muyo
Directed by Noribumi Suzuki
With Bunta Sugawara, Kinya Aikawa, Junko Natsu,
Yutaka Nakajima, and Masayuki Yuhara
Japan, 1975, 98 minutes
HDCAM, color, in Japanese with live English subtitles

When: Friday, December 4, 2015 at 7:00 pm
Where: Japan Society 333 East 47th Street, NYC

Bunta Sugawara (1933-2014) is perhaps best known for his iconic performances as tough-guy yakuza characters for Toei studios, but from 1975-79 he also starred in a series of ten immensely popular Torakku Yaro comedy-action films as a crude yet sincere truck driver named Momojiro “Ichibanboshi” Hoshi who chases after love all over Japan – and gets in fist fights and high-speed truck races along the way. Japan Society will screen the first film in the series on the one-year anniversary of Sugawara’s passing as well as in commemoration of director Noribumi Suzuki and actor Kinya Aikawa, both of whom passed away within the last year.

Part of Monthly Classics
Year-round screenings of beloved classics, hidden gems and recent discoveries of Japanese cinema on the first Friday of every month.

ASSASSINATION reviewed; debuts on home video tomorrow

Well Go USA
presents
Assassination
Directed by CHOI Dong-hoon
South Korea, 2015, 139 minutes

Assassination is an epic action film from director CHOI Dong-hoon. It debuts  tomorrow, Tuesday, December 1, 2015, on Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital HD on December 1st from Well Go USA Entertainment. This review is based on watching the Blu-ray version.

Set primarily in 1933, when Korea was a colony of Japan, the film tells the tale of three Koreans tasked by the Korean Provisional Government with a deadly mission. Captain Yem (LEE Jung-jae, Il Mare, New World) is the resistance fighter who recruits sharpshooter Ahn Okyun (actress Gianna Jun, a.k.a. JUN Ji-hyun, Blood: The Last Vampire, The Thieves), Chu Sang-ok  (also known as "Big Gun"), and Hwang Duk-am (CHOI Deok-moon, The Admiral). Their targets are Japanese general Kawaguchi Mamoru, who led the massacre of over 3,000 Koreans in Manchuria, and Kang In-guk, the leading pro-Japanese lapdog.

Ahn expects the operation to take five minutes and for the three to come back alive. Unfortunately, the plan goes awry because there is a traitor within the ranks of the Korean Provisional government. He has arranged for a team of hit men, "Hawaii Pistol (HA Jung-woo, Kundo: Age of the Rampant) and his partner (played by OH Dal-soo, Oldboy, The Attorney).

Director CHOI Dong-hoon's is perhaps best know in the West for his 2012 hit The Thieves, which was Korea’s biggest box office hit of that year. His other films are The Big Swindle (2004), Tazza: The High Rollers (2006) and Woochi (2009). Gianna Jun and LEE Jung-jae both starred in The Thieves.

Disc Specs:
-- Audio: Korean DTS 5.1 HDMA or 2.0 stereo
-- Subtitles: English / Off
-- Extras: trailer for assassination and three other Well Go USA releases (Memories of the Sword, The Pirates, and The Thieves)

Assassination is a beautiful period piece with great acting, opulent sets and terrific action sequences, especially a lengthy shoot-out at a wedding. It has exciting plot twists and makes for great entertainment. Even with the paucity of extras, it's most definitely a release that's well-worth owning.

AsianCineFest Rating: 4 out of 4 stars; most highly recommended.

VIZ set to launch three new titles during the Spring of 2016

VIZ MEDIA ANNOUNCES A TRIO OF EXCITING
NEW MANGA AND ART BOOK ACQUISITIONS

GOODNIGHT PUNPUN, BLANC ET NOIR Art Book, And New
Shojo Manga Series THE HEIRESS AND THE CHAUFFEUR 
Announced For Spring 2016 Release

VIZ Media continues to expand its extensive manga (graphic novel) catalog and gives fans and readers a sneak peek at a trio of notable new titles scheduled to launch during the Spring of 2016.

The company’s newest publishing acquisitions were detailed this past July at Otakon 2015, one of the biggest anime/pop culture conventions on the East Coast.

The forthcoming releases include the BLANC ET NOIR art book, a special high-end volume to be published under the Art of Shonen Jump imprint collecting the work of the famed manga artist Takeshi Obata (DEATH NOTE) and set to be released in a limited print run of only 10,000 copies. Also launching in the Spring of 2016 will be GOODNIGHT PUNPUN, a dark and edgy coming-of-age tale from the Eisner- and Harvey Award-nominated creator Inio Asano. Shojo manga fans also can look forward to the Spring 2016 debut of creator Keiko Ishihara’s series about a wealthy girl’s relationship with her handsome driver in THE HEIRESS AND THE CHAUFFEUR.

“These upcoming new VIZ Media titles are sure to become highlights for scores of manga fans next spring,” says Hope Donovan, Managing Editor. “From Takeshi Obata’s beautiful artwork presented in the lavish BLANC ET NOIR art book, to the teenage angst of GOODNIGHT PUNPUN and the romantic master-and-servant drama of THE HEIRESS AND THE CHAUFFEUR, these new releases each will take the reader on amazing journey!”

New Spring 2016 Acquisitions:

GOODNIGHT PUNPUN, by Inio Asano • Rated ‘M’ for Mature Readers
• Debuting Spring 2016
Meet Punpun Punyama. He’s an average kid in an average town. He wants to win a Nobel Prize and save the world. He wants to go far away with his true love. He wants to find some porn. But Punpun’s average life is about to unravel… GOODNIGHT PUNPUN is an edgy, dark coming-of-age story from Inio Asano, the Eisner- and Harvey-nominated creator of SOLANIN, WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD! (both published by VIZ Media) and Nijigahara Holograph. GOODNIGHT PUNPUN will be published quarterly under the VIZ Signature imprint.

BLANC ET NOIR: TAKESHI OBATA ILLUSTRATIONS, by Takeshi Obata
• Debuting Spring 2016
Takeshi Obata’s (DEATH NOTE, HIKARU NO GO, BAKUMAN, ALL YOU NEED IS KILL) long-awaited high-end art book will be released as a limited edition of 10,000 copies. This stunning book collects the bestselling artist’s work from 2001-2006 and includes illustrations from popular series such as DEATH NOTE and HIKARU NO GO (both published by VIZ Media). This gorgeous oversized art book is encased in a silver-stamped slipcase and stuffed with 132 pages of full-color artwork, several massive foldout posters, special papers and twelve pages of artist commentary including a “how to draw” section. It also includes three large double-sided laminated posters.

THE HEIRESS AND THE CHAUFFEUR, by Keiko Ishihara • Rated ‘T’ for Teens
• Debuting Spring 2016
At an all-girls school during the turn-of-the-century Taisho Era of Japan, rumors swirl that heiress Sayaka Yoshimura is having a forbidden love affair with her chauffeur, Shinobu Narutaki! Sayaka scoffs at the rumors, but could a romance between master and servant actually be brewing? At just two volumes, this sweet and thrilling story is a wonderful jumping-on point for the budding romance manga fan.

For more information on manga titles distributed and published by VIZ Media, visit www.VIZ.com.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Commemorating Shintaro Katsu on his 84th Birthday

Shintarô Katsu as Zatoichi
Shintarô Katsu
Born: November 9, 1931 in Fukagawa, Tokyo, Japan
Died: June 21, 1997 at age 65 in Kashiwa, Chiba, Japan

Today marks the 84th anniversary of the birth of Shintarô Katsu. Born Toshio Okumura, Katsu is one of the most beloved Japanese actors. His filmography as an actor includes well over a hundred films and several TV series. He also has seven credits as a director, twenty as a producer, and five as writer. He was the younger brother (by two years) of actor Tomisaburô Wakayama, who is well known for playing Ogami Itto in the Lone Wolf and Cub series.

Katsu as Hanzo "The Razor"

Katsu is, of course, most well known for his role as Zatoichi, the blind masseur, yakuza and swordsman, in numerous films and several TV shows. Another of his notable roles was as Hanzo 'The Razor' Itami in three films released 1972-1974. This character is an incorruptible and unorthodox magistrate who is prodigiously endowed. He pounds his ample meat and rams it into sacks of uncooked rice to toughen it up, so that he can maintain his rigidity while "interrogating" female suspects.


Back in 2013, The Criterion Collection released the awesome box set Zatoich: The Blind Swordsman. It contains 25 movies on both DVD (seventeen discs) and Blu-ray (nine discs). Supplements are on both a separate eighteenth DVD and on the ninth Blu-ray disc. There is also a slim hardcover book that has an essay by Geoffrey O'Brien, synopses of the films by Chris D., and "The Tale of Zatoichi," the original short story by Kan Shimozawa. To say it's an awesome box set is an understatement.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

New shojo manga series BLOODY MARY coming December 1st

BLOODY MARY Volume 1 © Akaza SAMAMIYA 2014
 VIZ MEDIA LAUNCHES NEW SHOJO MANGA SERIES BLOODY MARY

Supernatural Drama Debuts In Print And Digitally, And
Offers A Blood Pounding Tale Of An Unorthodox
Alliance Between A Vampire And An Exorcist

VIZ Media will be expanding its shojo manga (graphic novel) roster next month with the launch of BLOODY MARY on December 1st.

The new series by creator Akaza Samamiya is rated ‘T’ for Teen and will be published under the Shojo Beat imprint with an MSRP of $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN. BLOODY MARY also launches digitally on December 1st via VIZManga.com and the VIZ Manga App, as well as from the Nook, Kobo, Kindle, iBooks, comiXology, and GooglePlay stores. Future editions of the series will be released quarterly.

“Bloody” Mary is not your typical vampire. He can withstand sunlight, holds a reflection in mirrors, refuses to drink blood–and wants 17-year-old student and priest Maria to kill him. But to Mary’s dismay, Maria doesn’t know how to kill vampires. Desperate to die, Mary agrees to become Maria’s bodyguard until Maria can find a way to kill him at last.

BLOODY MARY is a supernatural drama infused with suspense, cheeky humor and unique characters. We invite shojo readers to catch the debut of VIZ Media’s new release next month,” says Erica Yee, Editor.

BLOODY MARY creator Akaza Samamiya’s other manga works include Hatsukoi Canvas (First Love Canvas), Torikago Syndrome (Birdcage Syndrome) and Ouji wa Tadaima Dekasegichuu (The Prince Is Gone on Business), all of which have been published in the popular Japanese shojo magazine, Asuka.

For more information on BLOODY MARY or other manga titles published by VIZ Media, visit www.VIZ.com.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Commemorating Bruce Lee's Birthday

Bruce Jun Fan Lee
Born November 27, 1940, San Francisco
Died July 20, 1973, Hong Kong

Bruce Lee was the single person most responsible for reinventing and reinvigorating the Asian martial movie and making the genre popular in the United States and other western countries. He would have celebrated his 75th birthday today if he had not died such a tragically early death in 1973.

Born in the U.S. to Chinese parents who were touring with a Chinese opera company, he grew up in Hong Kong, but returned to the U.S. in 1959. Most accounts attribute his return to his father's concern for his safety after Bruce got in a fight with the son of a feared Triad [Chinese criminal gang] member. He majored in Philosophy at the University of Washington, where he met his future wife Linda Emery. They later had two children. Son Brandon Lee, was born in 1965 and died in a tragic weapons accident on March 31, 1993 while filming The Crow. Daughter Shannon Lee, born 1969, has worked as both an actress and as a producer. Interestingly her first credited film role was as the "Party Singer" in Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, the rather under-rated 1993 bio-pic in which Jason Scott Lee starred as her father.
Lee was the real deal - a true martial arts master. He developed his own martial arts system, known as Jeet Kune Do or the Way of the Intercepting Fist. A non-formalized style, it emphasized "practicality, flexibility, speed and efficiency." [source: Wikipedia]

Lee appeared in films from a young age because his parents were in Chinese opera. However, it was in the United States, after he began teaching martial arts to such film stars as Steve McQueen and James Coburn, that his career really began. He starred as Kato in the 1966-67 television series The Green Hornet. Reportedly, he felt that his future in Hollywood was limited after he was passed over for the role of Kwai Chang Caine in the Kung Fu TV series, a role that went instead to David Carradine.

While John Saxon (left) looks on, Bruce "connects" with a left to Bolo's face during the filming of Enter the Dragon

Bruce returned to Hong Kong, where film producer Raymond Chow offered him the lead in Tang sha da xiong, or The Big Boss in English. The film was a huge hit, as were his next two films. But it was with Enter the Dragon, co-financed by Warner Brothers, that Bruce's international reputation was immortalized. The final fight in the room of mirrors is one of the most iconic of all martial arts film sequences.

Sadly, Bruce died before the film premiered. He was visiting actress Betty Ting Pei, who gave him one of her prescription pills because he had a headache. He had an adverse reaction, could not be revived, and died later that day of cerebral edema.

Bruce is most fondly remembered for:

The Big Boss (a.k.a. Fists of Fury), 1971
Fist of Fury (a.k.a. The Chinese Connection), 1972
Way of the Dragon (a.k.a. Return of the Dragon) 1972
Enter the Dragon, 1973
Game of Death, 1978 (Most of this film was shot after his death using a stand-in for Bruce. Still, the last sequence, as the real Bruce fights his way up a pagoda, facing increasingly difficult opponents on each successive floor, is fantastic. It plays like a series of boss fights in a live action video game.)

Only the first two of these were released in the United States prior to his death.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Home video debut of SHANGHAI set for January 5, 2016

The Weinstein Company
and
Anchor Bay Entertainment
present
Shanghai
Directed by Mikael Håfström
China/USA, 2010, 105 minutes

In a World Filled with Secrets, Solving a Mystery Can Be Murder

All-Star Cast Includes John Cusack, Gong Li,Chow Yun-Fat,
Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Ken Watanabe

Available on DVD and Digital HD January 5th, 2016

From Director Mikael Håfström (1408) and Screenwriter Hossein Amini (Drive) comes Shanghai, a gripping and intense espionage thriller set in 1940’s China during World War II. Starring John Cusack (Love and Mercy, Lee Daniels’ The Butler), Gong Li (Memoirs of a Geisha), Chow Yun-Fat (Dragonball: Evolution), Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Watchmen, “Magic City,” “The Good Wife”) and Ken Watanabe (Inception, Godzilla), Shanghai will arrive on DVD and Digital HD on January 5th.

Nothing is what it seems in this Casablanca-style international thriller set in the ancient Chinese city a week before the attack on Pearl Harbor. U.S. Secret Agent Paul Soames (John Cusack) has just arrived to investigate the murder of his best friend (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), only to become quickly immersed in a web of conspiracy and lies that beset the city. Shadowed by a Japanese intelligence officer Tanaka (Ken Watanabe), Soames’ investigation quickly centers on a charismatic local gangster, Anthony Lan-Ting (Chow Yun-Fat) – and Lan-Ting’s beautiful wife, Anna (Gong Li). Before long, Soames and Anna are involved in an affair that will put everything they have at stake. As national loyalties are traded fast-and-loose for those of the heart, Soames and Anna must race to solve the mystery and make it out of occupied China before the city’s collapse.

Shanghai will be available on DVD from Anchor Bay Entertainment for the suggested retail price of $22.98.

To learn more about the film, please visit www.anchorbayentertainment.com.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

IRON GIRL: ULTIMATE WEAPON debuts on DVD on December 1st

Section23 Films
and
Switchblade Pictures
present
Iron Girl: Ultimate Weapon
Directed by Ken'ichi Fujiwara
Screenplay by Yasutoshi Murakawa
Japan, 2015, 84 minutes
Language: Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $19.98

It's the same post-apocalyptic world in this sequel to the original Iron Girl film, and Chris, the mysterious bounty hunter better known as Iron Girl, is still the deadliest fighter on the planet. Unfortunately, she also still has no memory of who she is or where she came from, and, in a land where knowledge is power that means her days could be numbered. Everything may be about to change, however, if she can acquire a priceless memory-retrieving device called The Storage.

But to get it, Iron Girl will have to save a colony and take on both an army of assassins and a renegade group of bandit militia called Sparti United. It's a sequel that's far more than an equal, with more daring stunts, more explosions and more Iron Girl action than ever before as fist, feet, and other body parts go flying in Iron Girl: Ultimate Weapon.

Special features include the Japanese trailer and a 20 minute "Making of Iron Girl" featurette.

Look for a full review here on or just before the December 1st release of this very sexy action film.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

N. American debut of Korean thriller THE PRIESTS on Thanksgiving Day

CJ Entertainment
presents
The Priests
Directed by JANG Jae-hyun
South Korea, 2015, 108 minutes


CJ Entertainment’s latest thriller The Priests  makes its North American debut beginning Thanksgiving Day, November 26, 2015 in Los Angeles and Dallas, followed by a wider release on December 4, 2015 in San Francisco, New Jersey, Honolulu, Seattle, Vancouver, Toronto and more.

The Priests is an exorcism thriller about a young girl who belongs to Father Kim's parish and becomes comatose after a hit-and-run accident. Father Kim and a rebellious young seminarian named Choi believe that she is possessed by an evil spirit. When they try to free her from the demon's powerful hold, they realize that this nameless evil is far more dangerous than they ever thought.

For theater locations, artwork, and more visit http://www.cj-entertainment.com/movies/151116-001/the-priests.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Free screening of CHOI Dong-hoon's ASSASSINATION on December 1st

Korean Cultural Service NY
and
Asia Society NY
co-present
Korean Movie Night New York
Korean Blockbusters Strike Back!
Assassination / Am-sal
Directed by Choi Dong-hoon
Starring : Jun Gianna, Lee Jung-jae, Ha Jung-woo, Oh Dal-soo,
Cho Jin-woong, and Choi Deok-moon
South Korea, 2015, 140 minutes, Digital
In Korean with English subtitles.

When: Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at 6:30 PM
Where: Asia Society 725 Park Avenue at 70th Street, NYC

Free Admission; all seating is first come, first served
Doors open @ 6 pm

The master of Korean ensemble blockbusters, director Choi Dong-hoon (The Thieves), is back with a historic espionage action drama set in Shanghai and Seoul in 1933, during Japanese colonial rule. The Korean government in exile has given one of its top undercover operatives, Agent Yem (Lee Jung-jae, New World), a mission: recruit three people to infiltrate occupied Seoul and assassinate the Japanese general along with a Korean collaborator. He selects steely-eyed female sniper Ahn (Gianna Jun, The Thieves), a brawler Big Gun (Jo Jin-ung, A Hard Day), and an explosives expert (Choi Deok-mun). But Agent Yem is a double-agent for the Japanese and he hires a hitman Hawaii Pistol (Ha Jung-woo, The Terror Live, The Chaser), to kill the assassins.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

North American debut of THE WORLD OF KANAKO on Dec 4th

Drafthouse Films
presents
Akikazu Fujishima (Kôji Yakusho) attempts to console Rie Azuma (Miki Nakitani), the mother of one of his daughter’s friends, in Drafthouse Films’ The World of Kanako. Courtesy of Drafthouse Films.
The World of Kanako / Kawaki
Directed by Tetsuya Nakashima
Japan, 2014, 118 minutes

Controversial, ultra-violent thriller from acclaimed
Japanese auteur Tetsuya Nakashima to be released
theatrically and On Demand this December

Drafthouse Films is preparing the North American release of director Tetsuya Nakashima’s (Kamikaze Girls, Confessions) latest thriller, festival sensation and provocative Japanese box office hit The World Of Kanako on December 4th. The film will be simultaneously released in select theaters, as well as available via multiple digital VOD platforms including Amazon Instant, iTunes, Vimeo, VHX and more. A home video release on Blu-ray and DVD is slated for early 2016.

Based on a 2005 novel by Akio Fukamachi, often deemed unfilmable due to the lurid nature of the narrative, and drawing comparisons to groundbreaking Asian cinema genre classics such as Kim Jee-woon’s I Saw the Devil, Park Chan-wook’s Oldboy and Takashi Miike’s Ichi The Killer, The World Of Kanako is an expertly-crafted, relentless sledgehammer to the senses. Critical and popular response to the film in Japan prompted Nakashima to release a statement which helped audiences understand the “grotesque” nature of the film.

In The World Of Kanako, broken ex-detective Akikazu (the prolific Kôji Yakusho; 13 Assassins, Babel, Shall We Dance?) searches for his missing teenage daughter (newcomer Nana Komatsu), only to discover that she may not be the person who he once thought she was a shocking trail of drugs, sex and violence. Kanako is Nakashima’s ninth feature, following the highly acclaimed and equally devastating Confessions, Japan’s submission to the 2011 Academy Awards.

The World Of Kanako had its North American premiere at Toronto International Film Festival in 2014 and has played multiple regional festivals since, including Austin’s Fantastic Fest. Drafthouse Films COO James Emanuel Shapiro believes that the timing was key for the upcoming release: “It’s a Christmas movie for those who require a dose of Asian extreme in their holiday cheer.”

About The World Of Kanako

An uncompromising revenge thriller of operatic scope, The World of Kanako is a non-stop visual and emotional assault to the senses as it follows troubled ex-detective Akikazu (Kôji Yakusho, 13 Assassins, Babel) on the hunt for his missing teenage daughter, Kanako. What he discovers in his search is an unsettling and harrowing web of depravity––surrounding both Kanako and himself. As Akizaku stumbles along a shocking trail of drugs, sex and violence, he finds himself woefully unprepared for the revelations that affect all he holds dear.

Directed by Tetsuya Nakashima (Confessions, Japan’s submission for the Academy’s® best foreign language film in 2011), The World of Kanako is an astonishing tour de force of mystery, beauty and boundary-pushing violence. A wildly kinetic and startlingly venomous throwback to the best that Asian extreme cinema has to offer, The World of Kanako offers a trip right up to the edge of a man's private hell––and over it.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Sentai Filmworks acquires UTAWARERUMONO (OVA)


Sentai Filmworks has announced its latest acquisition, Utawarerumono (OVA). This comedic fantasy anime consists of a group of side-stories to supplement the Utawarerumono universe. Fans of the series will recognize many characters from the series as they run into more adventures and mischief.

Kenichiro Katsura took the helm as director of the episodes, with scripting done by Takamitsu Kouno. Original character designs were provided by Tatsuki Amazuyu, with sound direction by Takatoshi Hamano. Animation production was handled by AQUAPLUS and Chaos Project.

Utawarerumono (OVA) will be available domestically through select digital outlets with a home video release to follow.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Obayashi retrospective begins tonight

 

Over the next three weeks, Japan Society Film dives into the rich filmography and imagination of criminally overlooked director Nobuhiko Obayashi. Starting tonight with a screening of his cult classic House (aka Hausu) with Obayashi in attendance, Nobuhiko Obayashi: A Retrospective presents ten films and one short from a remarkable career that has spanned 50 years–and is still going strong. On Saturday join an in-depth conversation with the director covering his entire career, Nobuhiko Obayashi: A Conversation.

Kon Ichikawa remembered


Japanese film director Kon Ichikawa was born on November 20, 1915 in Mie, Japan. His IMDb filmography lists 89 titles, including two TV movies and one TV series. This past October, Japan Society NY presented three of his films that were recently restored: Conflagration (1958), Her Brother (1960), and An Actor's Revenge(1963). His final film, The Inugamis, was released in 2006.

He is perhaps best known, at least in the West, for such films as The Burmese Harp (1956), Fires on the Plain (1959), Tokyo Olympiad (1965, a documentary), and The Makioka Sisters (1983). All of these titles, except for Tokyo Olympiad (which is out of print), are available from Criterion. Kyoto, a short documentary released in 1968 recently became available on DVD from Marty Gross Film Productions Inc.

Ichikawa died on February 13, 2008 in Tokyo.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

VIZ Media is offering many exciting titles for the 2015 holiday season

ONE-PUNCH MAN © 2012 by ONE, Yusuke Murata/SHUEISHA Inc.
VIZ MEDIA OFFERS READERS EXCITING
TITLES FOR HOLIDAY WISH LISTS

2015 Holiday Highlights Include Manga Box Sets, Shojo
And Action/Horror Manga Series Launches, A Fantastical
Crime And Mystery Anthology, New NARUTO Titles
And Other Unique Gift Ideas For That Special Fan!

VIZ Media presents readers with a diverse collection of new and recently-released manga (graphic novels), special box set editions, illustrated novels and other titles that will make ideal gifts to suit a wide range of budgets and interests this holiday season.

Action fans will not want to miss the riveting final volume (Vol. 72) of the NARUTO manga series as well as the release of UZUMAKI NARUTO: ILLUSTRATIONS, a new full-color art book featuring works from the NARUTO series, and the release of NARUTO: KAKASHI’S STORY, the first in a new series of prose novels focusing on key characters from the series and complemented by original cover art by Masashi Kishimoto. VIZ Media also highlights the knockout action of the wildly popular action-comedy series, ONE-PUNCH MAN, and the flesh-eating horror of the hit series, TOKYO GHOUL.

Shojo manga fans can complement their holidays with the launch of famed creator Arina Tanemura’s story of an ordinary office worker that gets a shot at pop stardom in IDOL DREAMS, and as well as the debut of a blood-pounding new series about an unorthodox alliance between a vampire and an exorcist in BLOODY MARY.

The Haikasoru literary imprint’s latest anthology, HANZAI JAPAN, offers crime aficionados with a unique array of weird crime and mystery stories. The 16 inventive stories are from a vanguard of top authors, including includes New York Times best-seller Carrie Vaughn, All You Need Is Kill/Edge of Tomorrow’s Hiroshi Sakurazaka, Catwoman’s Genevieve Valentine, mystery genre stalwarts S. J. Rozan and Naomi Hirahara, cross-genre author Jeff Somers, and many more. Readers of all ages are also invited to catch the launch of the supernatural comedy adventure series YO-KAI WATCH by Noriyuki Konishi, inspired by the smash hit YO-KAI WATCH video game developed by LEVEL-5 for the Nintendo 3DS.

Finally, VIZ Media also highlights a pair of lavish manga box set editions for the hit series CLAYMORE and ROSARIO+VAMPIRE. Each of the new box sets feature over twenty manga volumes at a substantial savings over buying them individually. Exclusive premiums such as special mini-comics and bonus art collections are also included with each set.

NARUTO RELEASES AVAILABLE NOW:

NARUTO Vol. 72 • Rated “T” for Teens
• MSRP: $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN
With Naruto and Sasuke working together, Kaguya is finally sealed away for good. But just when it seems that the ninja world can find true peace, one more obstacle appears. Fueled by opposing ideals, Naruto and Sasuke will determine the future of the world in one final fight!

NARUTO: KAKASHI’S STORY • Rated “T” for Teens •
MSRP: $10.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN
In the first in a new series of prose novels straight from the worldwide smash hit franchise, Naruto’s allies and enemies take center stage in these fast-paced adventures, with each volume focusing on a particular series character. In the novel, a year has passed since the Fourth Great Ninja War, and Kakashi’s appointment to Hokage looms. But first he heads to the Land of Waves for a dangerous mission rescuing hostages from a top-secret airship. There he confronts a ninja whose heart is frozen by tragedy. Having lost both his friend’s eye and his greatest abilities, can Kakashi really protect anyone? What is the true meaning of the will of fire gained in the distant heavens? Kakashi finds these answers and more as he opens the door to a new ninja era.

NARUTO ILLUSTRATION BOOK UZUMAKI NARUTO © 2015 by Masashi Kishimoto/SHUEISHA Inc.

UZUMAKI NARUTO: ILLUSTRATIONS • MSRP: $19.99 U.S. / $22.99 CAN
The third full-color art book from the hit manga series, NARUTO! Experience Masashi Kishimoto's artwork in all of its colorful glory in this collection of images from the conclusion of the best-selling Naruto manga! Naruto, Sasuke, Sakura, Kakashi and all your favorite characters appear in nearly a hundred pages of gorgeous full-color images. The book also features commentary from Masashi Kishimoto, a beautiful double-sided poster and a sticker sheet!

ADDITIONAL TITLES AVAILABLE:

BLOODY MARY, Vol. 1 • Rated “T” for Teens •
MSRP: $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN •
Available December 1st! “Bloody” Mary is not your typical vampire. He can withstand sunlight, holds a reflection in mirrors, refuses to drink blood—and he wants 17-year-old high school student-slash-priest Maria to kill him. But to Mary’s dismay, Maria doesn’t know how to kill vampires. Desperate to die, Mary agrees to become Maria’s bodyguard until Maria can find a way to kill him at last.

HANZAI JAPAN • MSRP: $15.99 U.S. / $18.99 CAN
A murderer doing time in hell. A girl who just wants to win her high school band contest…no matter what it takes. Sumo wrestlers with a supernatural secret. A future Tokyo where vampires are menial laborers nursing long-held grudges against humanity. And even a very conscientious, if unstable, Universal Transverse Mercator projection. These crime and mystery stories from and about Japan explore myth, technology, the sharpness of a sleuth’s mind, and the darkness in the hearts of criminals. Read these stories and learn that hanzai means crime!

IDOL DREAMS, Vol. 1 • Rated ‘T’ for Teens •
MSRP: $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN
At age 31, office worker Chikage Deguchi feels she missed her chances at love and success. When word gets out that she’s a virgin, Chikage is humiliated and wishes she could turn back time to when she was still young and popular. She takes an experimental drug that changes her appearance back to when she was 15. Now Chikage is determined to pursue everything she missed out on all those years ago – including becoming a star! IDOL DREAMS is the new series by creator Arina Tanemura, widely acclaimed for her other shojo works including I•O•N, TIME STRANGER KYOKO, FULL MOON and THE GENTLEMEN’S ALLIANCE †, which are also published in English by VIZ Media.

ONE-PUNCH MAN Vols. 1-3 • Rated “T” for Teens •
MSRP: $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN
Each Nothing about Saitama passes the eyeball test when it comes to superheroes, from his lifeless expression to his bald head to his unimpressive physique. However, this average-looking guy has a not-so-average problem – he just can’t seem to find an opponent strong enough to take on! Every time a promising villain appears, he beats the snot out of ’em with one punch! Can Saitama finally find an opponent who can go toe-to-toe with him and give his life some meaning? Or is he doomed to a life of super-powered boredom?

TOKYO GHOUL, Vols. 1-3 • Rated “T+” for Older Teens •
MSRP: $12.99 U.S. / $14.99 CAN
Each Ghouls live among us, the same as normal people in every way – except for their craving for human flesh. Shy Ken Kaneki is thrilled to go on a date with the beautiful Rize. But it turns out that she’s only interested in his body – eating it, that is. When a morally questionable rescue transforms him into the first half-human half-Ghoul hybrid, Ken is drawn into the dark and violent world of Ghouls, which exists alongside our own. Trapped between two worlds, he must survive Ghoul turf wars, learn more about Ghoul society and master his new powers.

YO-KAI WATCH, Vols. 1-2 • Rated ‘A’ for All Ages •
MSRP: $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN
Each This is the supernatural comedy adventure series by Noriyuki Konishi inspired by the smash hit YO-KAI WATCH video game, developed by LEVEL-5 for the Nintendo 3DS. Nate Adams is just an average kid until the mysterious Whisper gives him a device that allows him to see what others cannot, Yo-kai of all shapes and forms! Now, armed with the Yo-kai Watch, Nate, Whisper and their new invisible friends embark on an all-new supernatural adventure! Yo-kai, inspired by the yokai of Japanese folklore, are not ghosts or monsters or creatures. They can’t be seen by the human eye, but they’re everywhere, and whether they're phantoms or everyday objects discovering their higher purpose, Yo-kai personalities are distinctly humanlike!

MANGA BOX SETS AVAILABLE NOW:

CLAYMORE © 2001 by Norihiro Yagi/SHUEISHA Inc.

CLAYMORE COMPLETE BOX SET • Rated “T+” for Older Teens •
MSRP: $214.99 U.S. / $249.99 CAN
The complete best-selling dark fantasy series is now available in a value-priced box set that includes volumes 1–27, plus an exclusive booklet of black-and-white cover art previously unreleased in the English editions. In a world where monsters called Yoma prey on humans and live among them in disguise, humanity's only hope is a new breed of warrior known as Claymores. Half-human, half-monster, these silver-eyed slayers possess supernatural strength but are condemned to fight their savage impulses or lose their humanity completely.

ROSARIO+VAMPIRE COMPLETE BOX SET • Rated “T+” for Older Teens •
MSRP: $185.99 U.S. / $214.99 CAN
The complete bestselling ROSARIO+VAMPIRE and ROSARIO+VAMPIRE SEASON II series are now available in a value-priced box set that includes 24 volumes of monstrous action, horror, fun and romance, plus an exclusive full-color mini-comic previously unreleased in the English editions. Average human teenage boy Tsukune accidentally enrolls at a boarding school for monsters – no, not jocks and popular kids, but bona fide werewolves, witches, and unnamable creatures out of his wildest nightmares! On the plus side, all of the girls have a monster crush on him, especially far-from-average cute vampire Moka. On the O-negative side, she also has a burning, unquenchable thirst for his blood... Now, can Tsukune and his unlikely group of friends and rivals save humanity from evil monsters?

For more information on other manga titles from VIZ Media, visit www.VIZ.com.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

SAILOR MOON CRYSTAL Moonlight Party 5 this Friday, November 20th

VIZ MEDIA HOSTS SAILOR MOON MOONLIGHT
PARTY V TO CELEBRATE THE ENGLISH DUB
PREMIERE OF SAILOR MOON CRYSTAL

Join VIZ Media For A Special Virtual Live Stream Party To Mark
The English Dub Premiere Of SAILOR MOON CRYSTAL With
Live Commentary, A Real Time Q&A And Trivia Prizes!

VIZ Media sends a call out to all U.S.-based anime fans and SAILOR MOON aficionados to join the company as it stages a special virtual Moonlight Party to mark the English dub premiere of SAILOR MOON CRYSTAL on its anime streaming platform on VIZ.com.

The SAILOR MOON CRYSTAL Moonlight Party will take place this Friday, November 20th, beginning at 6:00pm PST on VIZ Media’s YouTube channel at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlIgAQpSK-Y. The interactive live-stream event will complement the VIZ Media/Hulu streams that evening of SAILOR MOON CRYSTAL Episodes 1 and 2.

Based on Naoko Takeuchi’s legendary manga series, the SAILOR MOON CRYSTAL (rated ‘TV-PG’) anime saga, retells the story of Sailor Moon as she searches for her fellow Sailor Guardians and the Legendary Silver Crystal to stop the dark forces of Queen Beryl. VIZ Media has given the 26-episode sci-fi action series a fresh English dialogue track featuring a cast of some of the most talented anime voice actors in the business.


In SAILOR MOON CRYSTAL Episode 1: Act 1, “Usagi - Sailor Moon,” Usagi Tsukino is a bit of a clutz and a crybaby in the 8th grade, and Luna, a black cat with a crescent moon on her forehead, gives Usagi a miracle brooch. In Episode 2: Act 2, “Ami - Sailor Mercury,” through an unexpected turn of events, Usagi becomes close with Ami Mizuno, a genius girl with an IQ of 300. But there's something odd about the students at Ami's seminar...

As the episodes stream on VIZ.com/Hulu, fans are invited to submit their SAILOR MOON questions via the official VIZ Media Facebook page, and Twitter by using the special hashtag, #MoonlightParty for a real-time Q&A with VIZ Media staff that will run throughout the event. Viewers also can join in a fun SAILOR MOON trivia contest for a chance to win a variety of SAILOR MOON home media box sets, special autographed items and other premiums and collectibles from Japan.

Season 1 of the original SAILOR MOON series, as well as the first-half of Season 2, are available now from VIZ Media on home video as Limited Edition Blu-ray/DVD Combo Packs and Standard Edition DVD sets. Fans can catch all 26 subtitled episodes of SAILOR MOON CRYSTAL on Hulu and VIZ.com.

For more information on SAILOR MOON CRYSTAL, visit www.VIZ.com or Hulu.com/sailor-moon-crystal.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Official NARUTO online store launched by VIZ and GENERATOR

VIZ MEDIA PARTNERS WITH GENERATOR TO
LAUNCH OFFICIAL NARUTO ONLINE STORE

New Web Platform To Stock A Wide Array Of Officially Licensed
Products For The Smash Hit Ninja Action Property!

VIZ Media has announced the launch of the official NARUTO online store for US and Canada in partnership with digital marketing and eCommerce solutions provider, GENERATOR, a division of Sony DADC.

The NARUTO online store at shop.naruto.com is a comprehensive one-stop-shop for an extensive and unique collection of official NARUTO merchandise including anime and manga products, apparel, games and other licensed products and collectibles inspired by the massively popular ninja action property. VIZ Media is the global master licensor for NARUTO and NARUTO SHIPPUDEN.

Notable featured NARUTO SHIPPUDEN products include:

• Apparel from Ripple Junction
• Collectible Japanese figures from Banpresto
• Belts and accessories from Buckle Down
• Headbands from Great Eastern
• Posters from Scorpio
• Shower curtains from Just Funky
• Deck building game from Cryptozoic

New NARUTO merchandise and other collectibles will be added regularly! Visit the site often for new products.

“The launch of the NARUTO online store powered by GENERATOR offers fans a fun new destination to shop for a comprehensive selection of official products,” says Kensuke Mase, VIZ Media’s Director of Consumer Products. “GENERATOR is a leader in developing cutting edge ecommerce platforms and we invite everyone to visit shop.naruto.com to explore all of the unique items that are available for purchase!”

“We are very excited to partner with VIZ Media to unveil the official web store for NARUTO,” says Dan Pelson, CEO, relentlessGENERATOR. “This dynamic property is adored by millions of ardent fans and they now have a secure and easy to navigate online platform stocked with scores of exciting licensed products. We look forward to NARUTO fans expanding their personal collections or finding that perfect gift for a friend or loved one for the upcoming holiday season.”

Created by Masashi Kishimoto, NARUTO was debuted in Weekly Shonen Jump magazine in Japan in 1999 and quickly became that country’s most popular ninja manga properties. The manga series (rated ‘T’ for Teens) and animated counterpart (NARUTO and NARUTO SHIPPUDEN rated ‘TV-14’) are some of VIZ Media’s most successful titles and have captivated millions of fans across North America, Europe and South America.

In the NARUTO manga and animated series, Naruto Uzumaki wants to be the best ninja in the land. He's done well so far, but Naruto knows he must train harder than ever and leaves his village for intense training that will push him to his limits. NARUTO SHIPPUDEN begins two and a half years later, when Naruto returns to find that everyone has been promoted up the ninja ranks – except him. Sakura’s a medic ninja, Gaara’s advanced to Kazekage, and Kakashi… well he remains the same. But pride isn’t necessarily becoming of a ninja, especially when Naruto realizes that Sasuke never returned from his search for Orochimaru. Plus, the mysterious Akatsuki organization is still an ever-present danger. As Naruto finds out more about the Akatsuki’s goals, he realizes that nothing in his universe is as it seems. Naruto is finding that he’s older, but will he also prove wiser and stronger?

VIZ Media publishes the bestselling NARUTO manga series in print and digitally and also distributes the NARUTO and NARUTO SHIPPUDEN anime series and feature films. Additional information on NARUTO is available at www.Naruto.com.

Monday, November 16, 2015

2nd Dallas-Ft. Worth South Asian Film Festival coming next February


The 2nd annual Dallas-Ft. Worth South Asian Film Festival (DFW SAFF) will take place from Feb. 19-21, 2016 at the Perot Museum & Angelika Theater in Plano. Complete line-up and ticket info coming soon.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Free screening of MEMORIES OF THE SWORD this coming Tuesday

Korean Cultural Service NY
and
Asia Society NY
co-present
Korean Movie Night New York
Korean Blockbusters Strike Back!
Memories of the Sword / Hyeop-nyo
Directed by Park Heung-sik
Starring : Lee Byung-hun, Jeon Do-yeon, Kim Go-eun, Lee Jun-ho
South Korea, 2015, 121 minutes, Digital
In Korean with English subtitles. Tuesday, November 17, 6:30 PM

When: Tuesday, November 17, 2015 at 6:30 PM
Where: Asia Society 725 Park Avenue at 70th Street, NYC

Free Admission; all seating is first come, first served
Doors open @ 6 pm

As the greed and excess of a corrupt monarchy threatens to destroy the once-glorious Goryeo dynasty, three legendary warriors lead a revolt to overthrow the empire and save its people. But when deceit and betrayal costs the life of a master swordsman, a feud for justice and revenge is set into motion, which rages on for decades between the two survivors. Starring Lee Byung-hun (Terminator Genisys), Jeon Do-yeon (winner of Best Actress award at Cannes for Secret Sunshine), and Kim Go-eun (winner of Rising Star award at the New York Asian Film Festival for Eungyo), Memories of the Sword is a lavish epic that blends tragic historical drama with thrilling swordplay and martial arts.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

VIZ and Simon & Schuster renew partnership for U.S. & UK markets

ONE-PUNCH MAN © 2012 by ONE, Yusuke Murata/SHUEISHA Inc.
VIZ MEDIA AND SIMON & SCHUSTER RENEW SUCCESSFUL
INTERNATIONAL SALES AND DISTRIBUTION PARTNERSHIP

Global Publishing Leader To Continue To Offer Retail And Wholesale
Distribution And Develop New Markets in the United States and United
Kingdom For North America’s Foremost Manga Company

VIZ Media and Simon & Schuster have announced the renewal of their longstanding sales and distribution partnership in both the United States and the United Kingdom.

Simon & Schuster has been the exclusive distribution partner of VIZ Media manga titles (graphic novels) for the United States and Canadian markets since 2004, providing a range of retail and wholesale distribution services including warehousing, fulfillment, customer service, and accounts receivable collection for VIZ Media’s substantial library of titles. The company manages distribution for all of VIZ Media’s imprints including Shonen Jump, Shonen Jump Advanced, Shojo Beat, Shonen Sunday, Perfect Square, VIZ Signature, Studio Ghibli Library and Haikasoru.

TOKYO GHOUL © 2011 by Sui Ishida/SHUEISHA Inc.

Since September 2007, Simon & Schuster UK has been the exclusive distributor of VIZ Media titles across several international territories including Great Britain, Ireland and South Africa, and the fast-growing Indian market via Simon & Schuster India.

“The massive popularity of manga among a broad cross-section of international readers of all ages speaks to the universal appeal of the genre,” says Michael Selleck, Simon & Schuster Executive Vice President, Sales & Marketing. “We are very happy to deepen our relationship with VIZ Media both domestically and internationally, where we are seeing exciting growth in markets such as the Philippines and Singapore.”

NARUTO - NARUTO ILLUSTRATION BOOK © 2009 by Masashi Kishimoto/SHUEISHA Inc.

“We are delighted to renew our long-standing sales and distribution agreement with VIZ Media,” said Gill Richardson, Group Sales Director, Simon & Schuster UK. “Since 2007, we have been delivering the best manga titles to the UK and Ireland, adding South Africa in 2008, and India in 2014. We look forward to many more years of this fruitful partnership.”

“Simon & Schuster is a key partner for VIZ Media and has provided us with the industry leading infrastructure that has been critical to supporting our continued growth, both across North America and increasingly, in new international territories,” said Kevin Hamric, Senior Director, Publishing Sales & Marketing, VIZ Media. “As the global fan base for VIZ Media’s extensive manga catalog continues to grow in burgeoning markets in India, the Philippines and other countries, Simon & Schuster will play a crucial role in our strategy to develop these new audiences.”

Friday, November 13, 2015

Yaoi manga publisher SuBLime to launch three new series in 2016

 GLOBAL YAOI IMPRINT SUBLIME PREVIEWS THREE NEW
MANGA SERIES ACQUISITIONS SET TO LAUNCH IN 2016

New Series Include TEN COUNT, DON’T BE CRUEL,
And MIDNIGHT STRANGER

SuBLime, the leading global English-language yaoi manga publisher, has announced the acquisition of three notable new manga (graphic novel) series. The new titles are set to begin publication in 2016 and will include the highly requested fan-favorite TEN COUNT, by Rihito Takarai, DON’T BE CRUEL, Yonezou Nekota’s English-language debut, and MIDNIGHT STRANGER, a paranormal beauty-and-the-beast tale by Bohra Naono.

The forthcoming new SuBLime series will be published in print, with TEN COUNT and DON’T BE CRUEL available digitally via SuBLimeManga.com as a DRM-free downloadable PDF that is viewable on any enabled eReader device or computer as well as via the online manga viewer found on the Website.

“We are very excited to expand the SuBLime manga roster with the addition of these new series for 2016, and we look forward to announcing additional information on each of the titles in coming months,” says Jennifer LeBlanc, Editor, SuBLime. “From the debut of MIDNIGHT STRANGER, by the creator of the SuBLime series THREE WOLVES MOUNTAIN, to the launch of the doctor–patient romance, TEN COUNT, and the debut of DON’T BE CRUEL, which marks the English-language debut of creator Yonezou Nekota, these three new SuBLime titles are not to be missed by yaoi manga fans!”

TEN COUNT • Rated ‘M’ for Mature Readers • Debuts Summer 2016
In this series created by Rihito Takarai, corporate secretary Shirotani suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder. One day he meets Kurose, a therapist who offers to take him through a ten-step program to cure him of his compulsion. As the two go through each of the ten steps, Shirotani’s attraction to his counselor grows.

DON’T BE CRUEL 2-In-1 Omnibus Edition • Rated ‘M’ for Mature Readers • Debuts Summer 2016
Maya catches Nemugasa cheating on a test and to ensure his silence blackmails him into doing whatever Maya wants. Catch the debut of this series by Yonezou Nekota, which also includes two bonus side stories!

MIDNIGHT STRANGER • Rated ‘M’ for Mature Readers • Debuts Spring 2016
Roi, a black goat spirit, is getting bullied when out of nowhere he’s rescued by the beautiful fire god Xiu. Xiu gives Roi the ability to take human form, and a grateful Roi decides to serve Xiu as his new master. Discover what happens in this new series from Bohra Naono, the creator of THREE WOLVES MOUNTAIN.

For up-to-date news and release information, please visit the SuBLime website at www.SuBLimeManga.com, or follow SuBLime on Twitter at @SuBLimeManga and Facebook at facebook.com/SuBLimeManga.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

CHIVALRY OF A FAILED KNIGHT to simulcast in three coutries


CHIVALRY OF A FAILED KNIGHT TO SIMULCAST IN CANADA,
THE UNITED KINGDOM AND THE REPUBLIC OF IRELAND

Sentai Filmworks has announced an agreement with Viewster to bring Chivalry of a Failed Knight to fans in Canada, the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.

The first three episodes of the series are now available for catch-up viewing in the United Kingdom and Canada. New episodes will become available on a simulcast basis each week.

Based on a series of light novels by Riku Misora, Chivalry of a Failed Knight takes place in a world where human knights can materialize weapons from their souls. The story follows a knight who is widely considered a failure by those around him, and his struggle toward mastery of his weapon.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

POKÉMON: THE JOHTO JOURNEYS new DVD set is available today

©2015 Pokémon. ©1997 Nintendo, Creatures, GAME FREAK, TV Tokyo, ShoPro, JR Kikaku. TM, ® Nintendo.
 VIZ MEDIA EXPANDS POKÉMON ANIME CATALOG
WITH THE HOME MEDIA RELEASE OF
POKÉMON: THE JOHTO JOURNEYS
IN A NEW DVD SET

Complete Series Released In A Comprehensive
New 41-Episode Set For The Very First Time

VIZ Media delivers fun new POKÉMON animated adventures to audiences as it announces the DVD release of POKÉMON: THE JOHTO JOURNEYS today, Tuesday, November 10th.

The complete 41-episode series constitutes the third season of the venerable anime adventure property and will be released in its entirety for the very first time in a 4-disc set. POKÉMON: THE JOHTO JOURNEYS is rated ‘TV-Y7,’ for viewers ages 7 and older, and carries an MSRP of $44.82 U.S. / $51.99 CAN.

In POKÉMON: THE JOHTO JOURNEYS, upon returning to Pallet Town, Ash and Misty reunite with Brock and set out on the next stage of their Pokémon journey – the Johto region! Though he still has an errand to run for Professor Oak, Ash jumps with both feet into the Johto League, taking on a couple of Gym Leaders and adding Pokémon like Totodile and Chikorita to his team.

POKÉMON is one of the most successful international entertainment franchises of all time. To-date more than 270 million POKÉMON video game titles and over 21.5 billion Pokémon Trading Cards have been sold in more than 74 countries in addition to substantial publishing and merchandise sales. VIZ Media is the official North American publisher for POKÉMON manga graphic novel series including POKÉMON ADVENTURES X & Y, POKÉMON ADVENTURES, POKÉMON ADVENTURES: DIAMOND & PEARL, POKÉMON ADVENTURES: HEART/GOLD SOUL/SILVER, POKÉMON ADVENTURES: BLACK & WHITE and also distributes a wide variety of POKÉMON home media including animated series and feature films.

For more information on other POKÉMON manga and anime titles from VIZ Media, visit www.VIZ.com.

WILD CITY is available today

Well Go USA Entertainment
presents
Wild City / Bou Chau Mai Sing
Directed by Ringo Lam
Hong Kong, 2015, 120 minutes

Just a quick reminder that Wild City, the latest film from legendary Hong Kong Writer/Director Ringo Lam, debuts today on Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital HD toady, Tuesday, November 10th from Well Go USA Entertainment.

Synopsis: When former cop-turned-bar owner T-man Kwok (Louis KOO) befriends a drunken woman at closing hours (TONG Liya), they soon find themselves targeted both by her former lover—a high-powered Hong Kong attorney—and the thugs (CHANG Hsiao-Chuan) he employs. Once Kwok’s underachieving half-brother (Shawn YUE) and a suitcase full of tainted cash enter the picture, the chase turns deadly, with the brothers’ tense family history coming to the surface as Kwok finds himself torn between the triads and his former police colleagues.

Bonus Materials Include:
-- Making of
  -- The Cast and Crew
  -- The Risk of Filming
  -- The Director
-- Behind the Scenes

Monday, November 09, 2015

VIZ Announces New November Digital Manga Update

PLATINUM END © 2015 by Tsugumi Ohba, Takeshi Obata/SHUEISHA Inc.
VIZ MEDIA OPENS NOVEMBER WITH A SUBSTANTIAL
NEW DIGITAL MANGA UPDATE

Catch Simultaneous Debut Of WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP Series
PLATINUM END By The Creators of DEATH NOTE, Along
With Exciting New Titles, Special Bundle Promos, And A
Preview Of The 24-Hour Cyber Monday Sale!

VIZ Media delivers an extensive digital manga update for November that features a wide variety of new series launches and digital exclusives. Several new digital manga bundles are also offered this month, as well as a special 24-hour Cyber-Monday sale planned for November 30th.

Fans will not want to miss the launch today of PLATINUM END, the brand new series by the creators of DEATH NOTE and BAKUMAN。, offered as a digital exclusive from the VIZ Manga app, VIZManga.com, the WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP app, the shonenjump.viz.com website and also from ComiXology. Chapter 1 is available now for only $0.99, with new chapters of the series releasing monthly, simultaneous with Japan.

Other new manga titles launching digitally this month include Arina Tanemura’s latest shojo series, IDOL DREAMS, the Shonen Jump fiction novel release of NARUTO: KAKASHI’S STORY, and the exclusive series debut of ZYWORD and EUREKA SEVEN: GRAVITY BOYS & LIFTING GIRLS.

VIZ Media’s WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP digital manga magazine also delivers a pair of new series launches during November with the debut of a new chapter every week of JOJO'S BIZARRE ADVENTURE: PART 3 - STARDUST CRUSADERS along with the opening of a new “Jump Start” manga action series – BUDDY STRIKE – that starts on November 9th. Visit shonenjump.viz.com for more information and access.

IDOL DREAMS, Vol. 1 • Rated ‘T’ for Teens •
DIGITAL MSRP: $6.99 (U.S. / CAN) • Available Now!
Catch the debut of this new series by famed shojo manga creator Arina Tanemura! At age 31, office worker Chikage Deguchi feels she missed her chances at love and success. When word gets out that she’s a virgin, Chikage is humiliated and wishes she could return to the time when she was still young and popular. She takes an experimental drug that changes her appearance back to when she was 15. Now Chikage is determined to pursue everything she missed out on all those years ago—including becoming a star!

NARUTO: KAKASHI’S STORY • Rated ‘T’ for Teens •
DIGITAL MSRP: $10.99 (U.S. / CAN) • Available Now!
In this new fiction novel that also features artwork by NARUTO manga series creator Masashi Kishimoto, a year has passed since the Fourth Great Ninja War, and Kakashi’s appointment as Hokage looms. But first he heads to the Land of Waves for a dangerous mission rescuing hostages from a top-secret airship. There he confronts a ninja whose heart is frozen by tragedy. Having lost both his friend’s eye and his greatest abilities, can Kakashi protect anyone from his coldhearted foe? What is the true meaning of the Will of Fire gained in the distant heavens? Kakashi finds these answers and more as he enters a new ninja era.

PLATINUM END Chapter 1
DIGITAL MSRP: $0.99 (U.S. / CAN) • Available Now!
A brand new series being offered as a digital exclusive! From the legendary duo that brought you DEATH NOTE and BAKUMAN comes a dark story of humans and angels. Mirai is a boy who has lost hope in the future. Can a fateful meeting with an angel turn his life around, or will he be plunged into further despair in Takeshi Obata and Tsugumi Ohba's newest series?

ZYWORD (One-Shot) • Rated ‘T’ for Teens •
DIGITAL MSRP: $4.99 (U.S. / CAN)
• Available Nov. 10th Tamayo Akiyama, a former member of CLAMP, has crafted a fantasy adventure that will leave readers spellbound! Welcome to Zyword, a world filled with sorcery. When Zyword's Araimel Kingdom is put under a spell, it's up to the two sole survivors to save the citizens before they perish in an eternal sleep!

EUREKA SEVEN: GRAVITY BOYS & LIFTING GIRL, Vol. 1 • Rated ‘T’ for Teens •
DIGITAL MSRP: $4.99 (U.S. / CAN) • Available Nov. 17th
This is the story of young Ruri and Sumner, the characters from the Sony Playstation Eureka Seven video games, now featured in their own original manga!

Cyber Monday Volume 1 Digital Manga Sale Preview:

The following Volume 1 editions will be available with special pricing for 24 hours ONLY on November 30th on VIZManga.com and the VIZManga App:
• MY HERO ACADEMIA - $4.99
• SPELL OF DESIRE – $4.99
• MY LOVE STORY! - $4.99
• KISS OF THE ROSE PRINCESS – $4.99
• DEMON PRINCE OF MOMOCHI HOUSE – $4.99
• TIME KILLERS – $4.99
• TOKYO GHOUL – $4.99
• TWIN STAR EXORCISTS – $4.99
• ULTRAMAN - $4.99
• ASSASSINATION CLASSROOM - $4.99

November Digital Manga Bundle Promos (Available All Month):

BAKUMAN • $69.00
• Vols. 1-20 plus special gift with purchase – OTTER NO. 9 one-shot manga

NISEKOI • $20.99
• Vols. 1-5

ARATA THE LEGEND • Available bundle options:
• Vols. 1-10 – $41.99
• Vols. 1-15 – $54.99
• Vols. 1-20 – $60.99

FOOD WARS!: SHOKUGEKI NO SOMA Bundle • $20.99
• Vols. 1-5

JOJO’S BIZARRE ADVENTURE: PART 3 – STARDUST CRUSADERS
Available bundle options:
• JOJO’S BIZARRE ADVENTURE: STARDUST CRUSADERS Vols. 1-8 – $32.99
• JOJO’S BIZARRE ADVENTURE: STARDUST CRUSADERS Vols. 1-16 – $55.99

Additional November digital manga updates also include new volumes for more than 25 other continuing VIZ Media series. Notable releases include not-to-be-missed volumes for BLEACH (Vol. 65), MY HERO ACADEMIA (Vol. 2), NISEKOI (Vol. 12), TERRA FORMARS (Vol. 9), and ULTRAMAN (Vol. 2), along with the series finales for YUKARISM (Vol. 4), CLAMP SCHOOL DETECTIVES (Vol. 3), and KAMIYADORI (Vol. 5).

The free VIZ Manga App continues to be the top application for reading digital manga and features a massive library of the most popular series in the world. Through the innovative VIZ Manga digital platform registered users are able to use one account to view their purchased manga across more devices than ever. New series and volumes are added every Tuesday. Fans can also find these titles and more for the NOOK, Kindle Fire, and Kobo eReaders, as well as in the ComiXology, iBooks and Google Play Stores.

Most manga volumes are available for purchase and download in the U.S. and Canada within the VIZ Manga application starting from only $4.99 (U.S. / CAN) each. Readers can also explore free Chapter 1 previews of every series. For more information, please visit VIZManga.com or www.VIZ.com/apps.

To learn more about VIZ Manga, visit www.vizmanga.com.

Sunday, November 08, 2015

VETERAN at MoMI this evening

Hwang Jung-min as Detective Seo Do-cheol
Veteran
Directed by RYOO Seung-wan
South Korea, 2015, 123 minutes
When: Sunday, November 8, 2015 at 7:45 PM
Where: Museum of the Moving Image (MoMI)
36-01 35th Avenue, Astoria, Queens, NY
U.S. Festival Premiere

Veteran is the latest offering from the highly talented South Korean director Ryoo Seung-wan (The City of Violence, The Berlin File). It's a policier with plenty of action that also has a lot of deft comic touches.

Hwang Jung-min (New World, Ode to My Father) stars as Seo Do-cheol, a veteran detective who works out of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency. He's about as straight an arrow of a law enforcement officer as you'll ever come across. He also moonlights as a consultant for a detective drama on television.

We first meet him as he brings down an auto theft ring, in an action scene somewhat reminiscent of the premiere episode of Sammo Hung's American television series Marshal Law. Do-cheol is quite adept at dealing out a fistful of whoop-ass. But he also has a serious and tender side, especially when it comes to friends, such as Bae, a truck driver who assisted in bringing down the higher ups in the auto theft operation.

Cho Tae-oh (Yoo Ah-in), seated, gets advice from his main advisor

After Bae is victimized by a sub-contractor of a huge corporation, Do-cheol comes up against Cho Tae-oh (Yoo Ah-in, Tough as Iron). Tae-oh is the son of the chairman of the corporation (Song Yung-chang, The Attorney and The Good, the Bad, the Weird). With daddy under investigation, Tae-oh is likely to take over the business. His only problem is that he's a violence-prone psychopathic drug user! But having well-connected friends in politics and the upper echelons of the police force, he seems all but immune to arrest and prosecution.

The confrontation between the irresistible force of detective Seo Do-cheol's righteousness and Cho Tae-oh's immovable object of a protected, crazed corporate maniac makes for great viewing. And the numerous comic touches really make the mix all the more enjoyable.

Hwang Jung-min gives a wonderfully modulated performance. He's tough in the action scenes, funny when called for, and touching when need be. He's supported by a wonderful cast that includes: Oh Dal-su (Oldboy, A Bloody Aria, Hindsight) as Team Leader Oh; Jang Yoon-ju, who makes her film debut as Miss Bong, a high-flying police officer; and Yoo Hae-jin (Tazza: The High Rollers, The Pirates) as Choi Sang-moo, Tae-oh's cousin and chief adviser.

AsianCineFest Rating: 3.5 out of 4 stars; very, very, very highly recommended.

This screening of Veteran is part of The 13th Annual New York Korean Film Festival

(Note: This is a revised version of my September 14, 2015 review here at AsianCineFest that was also cross-posted at VCinema on September 15th.)

Saturday, November 07, 2015

THE SLEEPING BEAST WITHIN reviewed; two screenings today

Film Society of Lincoln Center
presents
Action and Anarchy: The Films of Seijun Suzuki
The Sleeping Beast Within / Kemono no nemuri
Directed by Seijun Suzuki
Japan, 1960, 86 minutes, 35mm
Japanese with English subtitles
When: Saturday, November 7 at 5:00 PM (Buy Tickets)
and Saturday, November 7 at at 9:00 PM (Buy Tickets)
Where: Walter Reade Theater
165 W 65th Street, NYC
Map

Soon after businessman Junpei Ueki returns to Japan after two years in Hong Kong, he mysteriously vanishes. His daughter Keiko enlists the aid of her boyfriend Shotaro, who just happens to be a newspaper reporter, to help locate him. Although the father returns in a few days claiming that he'd gone to a spa after his retirement party, Shotaro can't help but thinking that something's not quite right with this explanation. Like a dog with his bone, Shotaro relentlessly pursues leads he's uncovered, leading him deeper and deeper into a world of suicides -- or are they murders? -- and drug smuggling, all seemingly related to the suspicious Sun God sect.

Like Smashing the 0-Line (also being shown today), The Sleeping Beast Within is an urban crime tale that Suzuki directed for Nikkatsu. But the acting and screenplay of Sleeping are a cut above those in Smashing.

AsianCineFest rating: 3 out of 4 stars; solidly recommended.

These two screenings of The Sleeping Beast Within are part of Action and Anarchy: The Films of Seijun Suzuki, a twenty-one film retrospective programmed by Tom Vick, Curator of Film, Freer and Sackler Galleries, Smithsonian Institution, and co-organized with the Japan Foundation. Print courtesy of the Japan Foundation.

ASSASSINATION reviewed; showing tonight at NY Korean Film Festival

Assassination
Directed by CHOI Dong-hoon
South Korea, 2015, 140 minutes
When: Saturday, November 7, 2015 at 8:55 PM
Where: Museum of the Moving Image (MoMI)
36-01 35th Avenue, Astoria, Queens, NY 

Set primarily in 1933, when Korea was a colony of Japan, Assassination tells the tale of three Koreans tasked by the Korean Provisional Government with a deadly mission. The three are sharpshooter Ahn Okyun (actress Gianna Jun, a.k.a. JUN Ji-hyun, Blood: The Last Vampire, The Thieves), Chu Sang-ok  (also known as "Big Gun"), and Hwang Duk-am (CHOI Deok-moon, The Admiral). Their targets are Japanese general Kawaguchi Mamoru, who led the massacre of over 3,000 Koreans in Manchuria, and Kang In-guk, the leading pro-Japanese lapdog.

Ahn expects the operation to take five minutes and for the three to come back alive. Unfortunately, the plan goes awry because there is a traitor within the ranks of the Korean Provisional government. He has arranged for a team of hit men, "Hawaii Pistol (HA Jung-woo, Kundo: Age of the Rampant) and his partner (played by OH Dal-soo, Oldboy, The Attorney).

Director CHOI Dong-hoon's is perhaps best know in the West for his 2012 hit The Thieves, which was Korea’s biggest box office hit of that year. His other films are The Big Swindle (2004), Tazza: The High Rollers (2006) and Woochi (2009). Gianna Jun and LEE Jung-jae, who stars as resistance fighter Captain Yem in Assassination, both starred in The Thieves.

Assassination is a beautiful period piece with great acting, opulent sets and terrific action sequences, especially a lengthy shoot-out at a wedding. It has exciting plot twists and makes for great entertainment.

AsianCineFest Rating: 4 out of 4 stars; most highly recommended.

This screening of Assassination is part of The 13th Annual New York Korean Film Festival.