With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

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

Monday, March 30, 2015

GUARDIAN reviewed; free screening tomorrow night in New York City

Korean Cultural Service NY
Asia Society NY
Korean Movie Night New York
Series One: Fathers on Screen
 Guardian / Bo-ho-ja
Written and directed by YOO Won-sang
Starring: KIM Su-hyeon, KO Seo-hee
South Korea, 2013, 90 minutes, DCP
In Korean with English subtitles
When: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 at 6:30 pm
Where: Asia Society’s Lila Acheson Wallace Auditorium
725 Park Avenue, between 70th & 71st Streets, NYC
Free admission. First-come, first-served.
International Premiere

Guardian is an intriguing thriller and marks the feature film debut of YOO Won-sang, who both wrote and directed the film. Tomorrow night's screening at Asia Society NY will mark its International Premiere.

LEE Jeon-mo (KIM Su-hyeon) is a retired firefighter who runs the Vitamin Flower Shop with his wife. They have two children. Their daughter Hee-jung is on the cusp of puberty and already concerned about pimples. Their younger child, Jung-sik, is a boy who loves playing video games, an activity in which his father sometimes joins. All in all they are a contented, happy family.

That is, until one evening when Hee-jung is kidnapped. The LEE family's world is turned upside down as the kidnapper calls Jeon-mo and tells him that he should think on a past sin, as the kidnapping is punishment for something LEE did wrong. The abductor demands a rather low ransom, but keeps Jeon-mo moving from one rendezvous point to another, then makes an outrageous demand for the safe return of Hee-jung.

Father, mother, and son each become increasingly unraveled and distraught as the situation becomes more and more bizarre and Hee-jung remains a captive. The denouement is a surprising reveal, although one eventually realizes that YOO has provided some hints along the way.

Guardian was YOO's graduation project at the Korean Academy of Film Arts, and it's a most auspicious beginning for what promises to be a rich career. It's well-paced overall and nicely structured, with good performances by the cast of four adults and three children.

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

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Three events at Japan Society NY today, Saturday, March 28th

Japan Society NY's Globus Film Series The Most Beautiful: The War Films of Shirley Yamaguchi & Setsuko Hara continues today with three events. Japan Society is located at 333 East 47th Streeet, NYC. Map here.)

An Actress with a Thousand Names: A Lecture by Inuhiko Yomota
Saturday, March 28, 3 PM 

Shirley Yamaguchi, who went by many names in her long, accomplished lifetime, remains one of the most enigmatic figures in Japanese film history. Her multi-faceted legacy will be explored through a lecture and Q&A session by film historian and scholar Inuhiko Yomota.

More information

Bell of Sayon / Sayon no kane
Saturday, March 28, 4:30 PM

In yet another racial transfiguration, Shirley Yamaguchi (Ri Koran) plays an aboriginal Taiwanese woman with fervent patriotic devotion (to Japan) named Sayun Hayun in this adaptation of a hit propaganda song, based on a true story.


Toward the Decisive Battle in the Sky /Kessen no Oozora e
Saturday, March 28, 7 PM

This Navy-sponsored film describes the challenging training of young boys in the Yokaren, a program feeding new pilots into the Army and Navy. Setsuko Hara plays the daughter of a family that often entertains recruits on their days off – a surrogate sister to many trainees.


Manga author Aya Kanno to be featured guest at TCAF 2015


The Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF) has announced that international manga superstar Aya Kanno will attend the 2015 Festival as a Featured Guest! Aya Kanno is the author of the Blank Slate, the New York Times bestselling series Otomen, and the newly-released Requiem of the Rose King, all published in English by VIZ Media. Kanno will participate in a variety of programs at the Festival including a feature interview, panel discussion, and book signing sessions. Aya Kanno will attend TCAF 2015 with her editor Yuri Yamamoto of Akita Shoten, and with the support of VIZ Media.

“We’re so happy to be able to welcome Aya Kanno to North America for the first time,” enthused Festival Director Christopher Butcher. “To my mind Kanno’s work really reinforces what TCAF is all about: unique, diverse voices and great comics! Shoujo manga, or ‘girls’ manga, doesn’t really get the respect it deserves in general, and Kanno’s work is specifically great, smartly interrogating the medium and its approach to gender, sexuality, and storytelling.”

Otomen © Aya Kanno 2006/HAKUSENSHA, Inc.

Aya Kanno’s best-known work in North America is the romantic comedy series Otomen, which ran for 18 volumes, frequently appearing on the New York Times bestseller list. The romantic comedy series explores a wide variety of characters that rebel against traditional gender roles in Japanese society, starting with the titular character who is an Otomen (“otome,” Japanese for young girl, combined with the English word “men”). Kanno’s newest work is the just-released Requiem of the Rose King, a dark fantasy retelling of Shakespeare’s Richard III and Henry VI, which continues the manga creator’s exploration of gender, sexuality, and identity, but this time in the context of historical and literary fiction.

Aya Kanno will join a very diverse array of Japanese manga creators already announced for TCAF 2015, including the cartooning duo Gurihiru (Avatar: The Last Airbender), gay manga originator Gengoroh Tagame (The Passion of…), and indy manga creator Ken Niimura (Henshin, I Kill Giants).

A full schedule of Aya Kanno’s appearances at TCAF 2015 will be announced in April, 2015.

The Toronto Comic Arts Festival 2015 will take place at the Toronto Refernce Library at 789 Yonge Street on Saturday May 9 , 9am-5pm and Sunday May 10, 11am-5pm. Attendance is free.

TCAF 2015 is presented by the Toronto Public Library & The Beguiling.

For further information go to the TCAF 2015 website.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Free screening of GUARDIAN next Tuesday at Asia Society NY

Korean Cultural Service NY
Asia Society NY
Korean Movie Night New York
Series One: Fathers on Screen
Guardian / Bo-ho-ja
Directed by YOO Won-sang
Starring: KIM Su-hyeon, KO Seo-hee
South Korea, 2013, 90 minutes, DCP
In Korean with English subtitles
When: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 at 6:30 pm
Where: Asia Society’s Lila Acheson Wallace Auditorium
725 Park Avenue, between 70th & 71st Streets, NYC
Free admission. First-come, first-served.
International Premiere 

In his first feature film, and also graduation project at the Korean Academy of Film Arts, director YOO Won-sang delivers an interesting take on the thriller genre. A former firefighter, Jeon-mo (KIM Su-hyeon), runs a flower shop and lives happily with his wife and two children. His world is turned upside down after his young daughter gets kidnapped, and he starts receiving instructions to follow from the abductor. One of the instructions is for Jeon-mo to kidnap another child, and then trade him for his daughter. The moral ripple effects of resulting actions will drive the narrative to a dramatic, unexpected conclusion.

Deluxe omnibus edition of Junji Ito's horror manga GYO coming April 21


Death From The Sea Ravages Japan In The Definitive New
Hardcover Edition Of Horror Master’s Celebrated Manga

VIZ Media has announced a lavish new edition of one of the manga (graphic novel) genre’s most seminal horror titles with the publication of the GYO Deluxe Edition on April 21st.

This hardcover version of Junji Ito’s story of an invasion of the Japanese island of Okinawa by mutated sea creatures is presented in a definitive 400 page, 2-in-1 edition that features a new cover design and full-color endpapers. The GYO Deluxe Edition will be published under the VIZ Signature imprint, is rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens, and will carry an MSRP of $22.99 U.S. / $26.99 CAN

 In GYO, the floating smell of death hangs over an island. What is it? A strange, legged fish appears on the scene... So begins Tadashi and Kaori's spiral into the horror and stench of the sea. Here is the creepiest masterpiece of horror manga ever from the creator of UZUMAKI, Junji Ito. Hold your breath until all is revealed.

“GYO is a truly unsettling work of horror, and this new Deluxe Edition presents the definitive version of the story in a handsome format,” says Masumi Washington, Senior Editorial Director. “Ito’s art will transform your mind, and like the sea life and human characters in GYO, you will never be the same again.”

Manga creator Junji Ito made his professional debut in 1987 and has gone on to be recognized as one of the greatest contemporary artists working in the horror genre. His critically acclaimed titles include TOMIE and UZUMAKI, which were adapted into critically praised live-action films, while GYO has been adapted into an animated feature film. The UZUMAKI and GYO manga editions are both published in English by VIZ Media in deluxe hardcover editions available under the VIZ Signature imprint. VIZ Media is set to publish Ito’s FRAGMENTS OF HORROR in the Summer of 2015. Junji Ito’s influences include classic horror manga artists Kazuo Umezu and Hideshi Hino, as well as authors Yasutaka Tsutsui and H.P. Lovecraft.

For more information on GYO or other Junji Ito manga titles published by VIZ Media, visit www.VIZ.com.

Thursday, March 26, 2015


Sentai Filmworks has announced its acquisition of Atelier Escha & Logy ~Alchemists of the Dusk Sky~. Adapted from the popular Japanese RPG “Atelier” video games series of the same name, this fantasy series is directed by Yoshiaki Iwasaki, with animation production by Studio Gokumi. A continuation from the previous entry into the “Atelier” games, this is the first game in the series to be adapted into an anime.

The arrival of the “Dusk End” is at hand, and for those people in the western reaches of the Land of Dusk, time is precious and running out all too quickly. As the finality of their situation becomes a reality and fear and anxiousness sets in, an ancient art once called “Alchemy” is rediscovered, and in order to survive the Dusk End, great effort is put to the task of recreating this technology and gathering their progress in Central, where research into stopping the advance toward the Dusk End is taking place.

Having learned the latest teachings in Central, young Logy makes his way to the woefully understaffed town of Colset to make use of his knowlodge. There he meets Escha, the local apprentice girl in the Research and Development Department. Logy, a seasoned user of alchemy, is astonished by Escha’s radical use of technique in her own alchemic endeavors. Though they may not see eye to eye on certain things, they both know why they became alchemists: to help the people of their lands survive and advance.

Together they will discover new alchemy techniques and bring the quiet town to life in the adventure of a lifetime: Atelier Escha & Logy ~Alchemists of the Dusk Sky~!

Atelier Escha & Logy ~Alchemists of the Dusk Sky~ will be available soon through select digital outlets with a home video release to follow.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

VIZ & ComiXology announce addition of numerous new digital manga titles

Vampire Knight © Matsuri Hino 2004/HAKUSENSHA, Inc.

ComiXology, The Revolutionary Cloud-Based Digital Comics Platform,
Adds More Than 385 New VIZ Media Manga Volumes Including
Scores Of Legacy Titles And Fan Favorite Shojo Series

VIZ Media and comiXology have announced the latest substantial addition of new VIZ Media manga titles to the revolutionary cloud-based digital comics platform. More than 385 volumes are available now on comiXology.com and on the comiXology app for Kindle Fire tablets, iPad, iPhone, Android and Windows 8-based devices.

The new English manga volumes span 36 acclaimed series and offer a wide variety of fan-loved action, comedy, and shojo romance titles. New volumes for scores of other continuing series also are added to comiXology each week as part of VIZ Media’s regular digital manga update schedule. Please visit www.comixology.com for more information.

The new VIZ Media titles featured in this update are all published in Japan by Hakusensha, Inc., one of Japan’s most prominent publishing companies and renowned for offering a wide array of award-winning shojo manga series in addition to other genres. This latest comiXology content update expands the VIZ Media manga catalog on the platform to more than 1,500 volumes across more than 220 different series. Readers can enjoy all of these acclaimed releases using comiXology’s Manga Fixed Format, which enables a dedicated right-to-left full-page reading experience and the highest page resolution currently available.

“ComiXology is a service that is widely enjoyed by many avid comic and manga readers, and the addition of this substantial library of Hakusensha titles will give these fans an even larger array of content to enjoy with all the flexibility and ease of use the digital format offers,” says Eric Eberhardt, VIZ Media’s Director of Digital Marketing. “We look forward to continuing our relationship with the comiXology platform, and invite readers to enjoy the massive selection of VIZ Media manga content that is now available!”

New and notable VIZ Media manga series now available on comiXology include:

Toshokan Sensou LOVE&WAR © Kiiro Yumi and Hiro Arikawa 2008/HAKUSENSHA, Inc.

LIBRARY WARS: LOVE & WAR Vols. 1-12 • Rated ‘T’ for Teens • Complete Series
In the near future, the federal government creates a committee to rid society of books it deems unsuitable. The libraries vow to protect their collections, and with the help of local governments, form a military group to defend themselves – the Library Forces!

SKIP BEAT! Vols. 1-33 • Rated ‘T’ for Teens • Continuing Series
Kyoko Mogami followed her true love Sho to Tokyo to support him while he made it big as an idol. But he's casting her out now that he's famous! Kyoko won't suffer in silence--she's going to get her sweet revenge by beating Sho in show biz!

PLEASE SAVE MY EARTH Vols. 1-21 • Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens • Complete Series
Are the woes of the present meant to be endured for the promise of a better future or to atone for past wrongs? In a captivating epic of love, fate and faith, seven young people must struggle with this spiritual puzzle as their alien past lives threaten the future.

OTOMEN Vols. 1-18 • Rated ‘T’ for Teens • Complete Series
Asuka Masamune is a guy who loves girly things – sewing, knitting, making cute stuffed animals and reading shojo comics. But in a world where boys are expected to act manly, Asuka must hide his beloved hobbies and play the part of a masculine jock instead. Can Asuka ever show his true self to anyone, much less to Ryo Miyakozuka, the girl that he's falling for?

OURAN HIGH SCHOOL HOST CLUB Vols. 1-18 • Rated ‘T’ for Teens • Complete Series
In this screwball romantic comedy, Haruhi, a poor girl at a rich kids' school, is forced to repay an $80,000 debt by working for the school's swankiest, all-male club – as a boy! There, she discovers just how wealthy the six members are and how different the rich are from everybody else...

VAMPIRE KNIGHT Vols. 1-19 • Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens • Complete Series
Cross Academy is attended by two groups of students: the Day Class and the Night Class. At twilight, when the students of the Day Class return to their dorm, they cross paths with the Night Class on their way to school. Yuki Cross and Zero Kiryu are the Guardians of the school, protecting the Day Class from the Academy's dark secret: the Night Class is full of vampires!

With over 50,000 comics, manga, and graphic novels from more than 75 publishers, comiXology offers one of the biggest selection of digital comics in the world. ComiXology’s immense catalog and cinematic Guided View reading experience makes it the best digital platform for comic, manga and graphic novel fans worldwide. Fans can discover favorite comics, manga and graphic novels at comixology.com and also try the comiXology app available on all major mobile platforms.

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

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Sentai Filmworks announces acquisiton of WINDY TALES

Sentai Filmworks has announcd its latest acquisition, Windy Tales. An original series concept by Minami Otori with animation production by Production I.G., this stylized slice of life collection of stories delves into the lives of people with the power to control the wind, and the secrets behind the origins of their abilities.

It has been said that air becomes wind when it is agitated. As luck would have it, a small unassuming village in the Japanese countryside, known as the Village of the Wind, harbors a group of mysterious wind handlers who tempt fate. In this town, young Nao is an 8th grader who discovers a cat high above where she normally shoots her digital camera. Nao is one of only two members of her school’s Digital Camera Club, and she already sees the world through a different lens than most.

The other member of the club is Miki, Nao’s friend and photography aid, although she doesn’t seem too interested in the hobby herself. Now, the two friends, along with Jun who seems to follow them everywhere they go, find themselves searching outside of the Village of the Wind for the secret of how it all works.

Will these children be the ones to discover the truth and understand the mystery of this powerful force? With the wind at their back, they are determined to grasp its meaning in Windy Tales.

Windy Tales will be available soon through select digital outlets with a home video release to follow.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Commemorating Akira Kurosawa's 105th birthday

 Akira Kurosawa
March 23, 1910 - September 6, 1998

Akira Kurasawa was born 105 years ago in Tokyo. Unquestionably the most famous Japanese film director in the West, he is revered not only for so many fine films, an incredible number of which are masterpieces or near-masterpieces, but also for putting Japanese cinema on the world stage. This occurred when Rashomon, which had been released in 1950, won the Golden Lion Award at the 1951 Venice Film Festival. Kurosawa himself was also awarded the Italian Film Critics Award at that same festival.

Still, I believe that the single film with which his name is most closely associated is Seven Samurai (1954). For me it is a work of cinematic perfection: there's not the single, slightest thing about it that could be improved upon.

Kurosawa (front center) with the cast and crew of The Lower Depths (1957)

During his lifetime Kurosawa directed some 31 films. For me his towering presence in world cinema is most succinctly embodied in the fact that, as far as I can tell, he has more films in the Criterion Collection than any other director. The Criterion offerings include the massive box set AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa. If you don't already own many of his films on DVD, this might be a perfect purchase, though it requires the outlay of a considerable amount of money at one time. It includes four of his earliest films: Sanshiro Sugata (1943), The Most Beautiful (1944), Sanshiro Sugata Part Two (1945), and The Men Who Tread on the Tiger's Tail ((1945). These four films also became available in a box set from Criterion entitled Eclipse Series 23: The First Films of Akira Kurosawa. Another box set that was released earlier is Eclipse Series 7: Postwar Kurosawa, a collection of five "lesser" films spanning 1946 - 1955.

Though he never received an Oscar as a director, in 1990 he received an honorary Oscar for his achievements in film, both in terms of the audiences he reached and the filmmakers he influenced. Two of his films Dersu Uzala (1975) and Ran (1985) were awarded Oscars as best foreign films. All told he won 61 award and was nominated for another 17.

All praise and thanks to one of the world's greatest movie directors. His contributions will last in the memories of film lovers forever.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

First-ever HELLO KITTY box set coming September 2015

© 1976, 2014 SANRIO CO. LTD. Used under license.

Join Hello Kitty And Her Friends In A Fun New Box Set
Coming In Fall 2015 Featuring Six Full-Color Editions
Of Whimsical Original Adventures

VIZ Media previews a special treat for the ardent Hello Kitty® fan and pop culture aficionado with the release in September of the first-ever HELLO KITTY® Graphic Novel Box Set.

Set to be published under the company’s Perfect Square imprint, the forthcoming HELLO KITTY BOX SET will contain all six HELLO KITTY original graphic novels released to date and will come packaged in an illustrated slip case. The HELLO KITTY Original Graphic Novel Box Set is rated ‘A’ for All Ages and will carry an MSRP of $39.99 U.S. / CAN.

Perfect Square’s HELLO KITTY titles depict whimsical, full-color adventures of the iconic Sanrio character and her friends created by the talented artistic team of Jacob Chabot, Ian McGinty, Jorge Monlongo, and Giovanni Castro, along with an array of special guest artists featured in each edition.


Join Hello Kitty in her first comic book adventures as she explores an underground realm, moonlights as an international super spy, climbs the Himalayas, travels back in time, and discovers that sometimes, the best place to get away from it all is between the pages of a good book.

Hello Kitty is serving up some extra special treats! What's on the menu? Something sweet, something spicy, and a pie that's out of this world! Plus, Dear Daniel's making dinner, but...you might want to make other plans. And Hello Kitty makes a new friend with a HUGE appetite! 

Expect the unexpected! A day at the beach is more than just fun in the sun. A mysterious egg holds a tiny secret. Mama and Papa have a few secrets of their own. And a quiet afternoon with a good book is more enchanting than Hello Kitty ever could have imagined! 

Hello Kitty and her friends are letting their imaginations run wild—dreaming up rainy day adventures, inventing amazing machines and solving problems in the most inventive ways. When creativity and friendship combine, the possibilities are endless! 

Picture this: Hello Kitty and her friends are making music, producing plays, snapping photos, solving mysteries and...playing with dragons? Art is all around, and Hello Kitty and her friends know exactly where to find it!

Let the good times roll! It's time for beach parties, dance contests, last-minute birthday gifts and time machines! Plus, journey inside a cuckoo clock and much, much more! Past, present or future, Hello Kitty and her friends are having a blast!

Hello Kitty® is a true lifestyle brand that enjoys tremendous international popularity. The global pop icon is loved by fans of all ages, as evidenced by more than 15 million followers on her Facebook page!

VIZ Media’s Perfect Square imprint focuses on delivering original comics, manga (graphic novels) and other children’s books with an emphasis on strong storytelling, eye-popping graphics, empowering themes, and a dash of irreverence, that captures the imagination of a whole new generation.

Additional information on titles published by Perfect Square is available at www.PerfectSquare.com.

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

Saturday, March 21, 2015

CHINA NIGHTS kicks off new film series at Japan Society tonight

Globus Film Series 2015
Stories from the War Series
The Most Beautiful: The War Films of Shirley Yamaguchi & Setsuko Hara
China Nights © Courtesy of Toho Co., Ltd.
China Nights
Directed by Osamu Fushimizu
With Shirley Yamaguchi (as Ri Koran), Kazuo Hasegawa
Japan, 1940, 126 minutes
35mm, b&w, in Japanese with live English subtitles
When: Saturday, March 21st @ 7:00 PM
Where: Japan Society
333 East 47th Street, NYC
(Between 1st and 2nd Avenues)

China Nights is the opening film of the  of the 2015 Globus Film Series The Most Beautiful: The War Films of Shirley Yamaguchi & Setsuko Hara. It will be shown tonight at Japan society NY at 7 PM and will be followed by a reception.

China Nights was the second film in what came to be known as the “Continental Trilogy,” along with Song of the White Orchid and Vow in the Desert. All three are national allegories centered on a romance between the Japanese star Kazuo Hasegawa and Shirley Yamaguchi (Ri Koran). Like its predecessor, the film centers on misunderstanding, mistrust and the redemptive power of romance. Yamaguchi plays a rebellious young woman, who comes around to appreciate the Japanese through Hasegawa’s tough love. In the famous turning point of the film, Yamaguchi turns love-struck with Hasegawa (and awestruck by Japanese goodwill) with a slap in the face. While this is a convention of Japanese prewar cinema, the allegorical nature of this project led to quite different interpretations in Japan and China. Despite this bit of cultural blindness on the part of the Japanese filmmakers, they cleverly crafted different dénouements for the film; in the Chinese version the lovers live happily ever after, and in the Japanese version Yamaguchi commits suicide. Not surprisingly, the Chinese saw the film as a slap in the face. China Nights was one of the main reasons for Yamaguchi’s death sentence after the war.

Click here for further info about the film and to order tickets.

For information about the 2015 Globus Film Series The Most Beautiful: The War Films of Shirley Yamaguchi & Setsuko Hara, which is part of the  Stories from the War Series (see below), click here.

Stories from the War
Marking the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII, Japan Society presents the Society-wide series Stories from the War. Encompassing theater performances, film screenings, lectures, panels and educational opportunities for young people, programming from January to August explores history and considers challenging issues that the U.S. and Japan faced surrounding WWII through a contemporary lens.

Monday, March 09, 2015

Sentai Filmworks has acquired PARASYTE -THE MAXIM-


The invasion has begun as Sentai Filmworks announces its acquisition of North American, South American, UK, Australian, and New Zealand rights to the highly acclaimed series PARASYTE –the maxim-. Animated by MADHOUSE, directed by Kenichi Shimizu, and broadcasted by Nippon TV in Japan, this adaptation of the groundbreaking horror manga by Hitoshi Iwaaki is brought to life in the most gruesome way imaginable.

Unbeknownst to mankind the world is quietly being invaded. Alien beings known as “Parasytes” begin infiltrating humans one by one, burrowing into their brains to take complete control of both their bodies and their identities. With an insatiable hunger for human flesh these cold and calculating creatures mutate into grotesque monsters who feed on the unsuspecting when they’re not hiding behind the faces of everyday people. Only Shinichi Izumi, a lone high school boy, is aware of the terror lurking in plain sight.

After one Parasyte’s attempt to take over his brain ends in failure, Shinichi’s right arm is instead possessed by this monster with a mind and an agenda all its own. As Shinichi and his unwanted cohabitant, “Migi,” struggle for dominance of his body, the alien infection continues to grow and so does the trail of bodies in its wake. Now Shinichi and Migi must become more than host and parasite if they hope to not only protect themselves, but Shinichi’s loved ones as well.

As Shinichi and Migi’s symbiotic bond deepens, will Shinichi be able to hold on to his humanity, or will he evolve into something more than he ever imagined?

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Happy Birthday Wishes to Action Actress Cynthia Rothrock

Action actress Cynthia Rothrock was born on March 8, 1957 in Wilmington, Delaware. Asian action film fans are likely to have first encountered her in Yes, Madam! (1985), in which she co-starred with Michelle Yeoh. Or perhaps in Sammo Hung's Millionaire's Express from the following year. Check out her full filmography at IMDb.

Saturday, March 07, 2015

VENGEANCE OF AN ASSASSIN - home video debut on April 14th

VENGEANCE OF AN ASSASSIN, the action-packed last film from legendary director and fight choreographer Panna Rittikrai (Ong-Bok), debuts on Blu-ray™, DVD and digital April 14th from Well Go USA Entertainment. The action-thriller reunites Rittikrai with his Born to Fight leading man Dan Chupong as an assassin who finds himself betrayed and exposed to the business’s deadliest killers. VENGEANCE OF AN ASSASSIN also stars Nantawut Boonrupsup (Force of Five), Nisachon Tuamsoongnern, Kessarin Akethawatkul, Chatchapol Kulsiriwuttichai (Ong-bak 2), Ping Lumpraplearng and Kovit Wattankul.

The Assassins’ Code: Stick to the mission. Never take your eyes off the target. Show no mercy. Natee (Dan Chupong) became a killer for one reason- to discover who killed his parents. As he gets closer to uncovering a secret network of power and corruption, he’s double-crossed on a job, making him a target and putting everyone he loves in danger. Betrayed, exposed, and hunted by the deadliest killers in the business, now Natee has a new code. Be faster. Stronger. Hit harder. Survive.

VENGEANCE OF AN ASSASSIN has a runtime of approximately 90 minutes and is not rated.

Friday, March 06, 2015

THE TECHNICIANS - exclusive film release on DramaFever this Saturday

What’s the fastest way to get rich? Rob the rich, feed yourself. Tomorrow, Saturday, March 7th, DramaFever will begin bringing viewers its newest exclusive title, The Technicians (a.k.a. The Con Artists), an action-packed South Korean heist film starring the ultra-slick Kim Woo-bin as Ji Hyuk – a criminal mastermind.

Plotting on jewelry store owners and robbing rich public officials are just a few hobbies for Ji Hyuk, a brilliant safecracker. All is well until Ji Hyuk gets caught stealing diamonds from President Cho, the dangerous owner of a high-end jewelry store.

Facing punishment and shame for all the crimes that he has committed, Ji Hyuk is forced to repay President Cho in a series of high-profiled crime heists where his jewelry stealing antics are put to good use.

Vying to save his life, Ji Hyuk helps President Cho gain more wealth and power while also keeping his own private agenda which is to become one of the richest men in the world.

VIZ acquires Shojo mangas BLOODY MARY and HONEY SO SWEET


A Heretical Supernatural Murder Pact Between Vampire and Exorcist In
BLOODY MARY And An Adorable High School Romance Where A Girl
Decides Whether A Tough Guy’s Love Is For Real In HONEY SO SWEET

VIZ Media has acquired two new shojo manga (graphic novel) series – BLOODY MARY, by Akaza Samamiya, and HONEY SO SWEET, by Amu Meguro.

Both titles will be published in English under the company’s Shojo Beat imprint. They will also be available digitally via VIZManga.com and the VIZ Manga App, as well as from select VIZ Media content partners’ proprietary digital platforms. BLOODY MARY will launch in December; HONEY SO SWEET is scheduled to debut in January 2016.

Creator Akaza Samamiya’s BLOODY MARY is a heart-pounding tale of an unorthodox allegiance between a vampire and an exorcist who is thought to have inherited the power the kill vampires. The Shojo Beat imprint will release new volumes of the ongoing series quarterly.

HONEY SO SWEET is by new manga artist Amu Meguro, and is currently featured in Japan in the iconic shojo magazine, Bessatsu Margaret. Featuring whimsical artwork and an ensemble cast, HONEY SO SWEET offers a heartwarming story about love that begins out of an act of kindness. The ongoing series will be released quarterly.

“Wonderfully memorable but markedly different characters are at the core of each of these exciting new manga titles,” says Nancy Thistlethwaite, Senior Editor, Shojo Beat. “We have supernatural fantasy with two male protagonists in the gothic BLOODY MARY, and the utterly adorable romantic comedy about love and friendship among high schoolers in HONEY SO SWEET. Both are sure to appeal to a broad array of fans and readers!

BLOODY MARY, Vol. 1 • Rated ‘T’ for Teens •
MSRP: $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN • Debuting December 2015
“Bloody” Mary, a vampire with a death wish, has spent the past 400 years chasing down a modern-day exorcist named Maria who is thought to have inherited “The Blood of Maria” and is the only one who can kill Mary. To Mary’s dismay, Maria doesn’t know how to kill vampires. Desperate to die, Mary agrees to become Maria’s bodyguard until Mary can find a way to kill him.

Manga creator Akaza Samamiya's other 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 were published in the popular Japanese shojo magazine Asuka.

HONEY SO SWEET, Vol. 1 • Rated ‘T’ for Teens • 
MSRP: $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN • Debuting January 2016
Little did Nao Kogure realize back in middle school that when she left an umbrella and a box of bandages in the rain for injured delinquent Taiga Onise that she would meet him again in high school. Nao wants nothing to do with the gruff and frightening Taiga, but he suddenly presents her with a huge bouquet of flowers and asks her to date him—with marriage in mind! Is Taiga really so scary, or is he a sweetheart in disguise?

Newcomer Amu Meguro debuted with the one-shot manga Makka na Ringo ni Kuchizuke wo (A Kiss for a Bright Red Apple). Born in Hokkaido, her hobbies are playing with her niece and eating. HONEY SO SWEET is her current series in Bessatsu Margaret magazine.

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

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Inaugural DALLAS-FORT WORTH SOUTH ASIAN FILM FESTIVAL drew terrific crowds despite bad weather


Despite the icy weather and dangerous driving conditions in North Texas, more than 1000 cinephiles attended the 14 shorts, documentaries and feature films at the inaugural DFW South Asian Film Festival (DFW SAFF) from February 27 to March 1, 2015, at the Angelika Film Center in Plano, Texas.

Produced by JINGO Media, Etihad Airways & Jet Airways, Cambria Hotels & Suites and CMGRX and sponsored by The Shraman Foundation, Parish Episcopal School, Milaap, Living Dreams Foundation and The Container Store, the three-day festival kicked off with opening night film Brahmin Bulls on Friday, followed by shorts & documentaries Katiyabaaz/Poweless, Asian Pride Project, Fire in the Blood, and Tomorrow We Disappear and women’s programming Blouse, Happy Raksha Bandhan and centerpiece film Sold on Saturday. Sunday’s showcase films included family programming Ravi and Jane and The World of Goopi and Bagha, followed by youth programming shorts Therapy, Just Friends and Acceptance. The closing night film was the world premiere of Rough Book.

The producers, directors and actors who attended the festival and walked the red carpet included: Viveck Vaswani, Tannistha Chatterjee, Mahesh Pailoor, Jeffrey D. Brown, Jane Charles, Dylan Mohan Gray, Suma Reddy, Fahad Mustafa, Deepti Kakkar, Tarun Verma, Arun Sukumar and Ryan Matthew Chan. “They say EVERYTHING is bigger in Texas, but I find it’s people’s HEARTS that are the biggest,” said JINGO Media Principal/CEO and DFW SAFF Founder and Festival Director, Jitin Hingorani. “News reports warned North Texans NOT to leave their homes because of the snowstorm, and we still had completely packed theaters for our screenings. It has been a very humbling experience, and we’re already preparing for DFW SAFF 2016.”

For the complete line-up of this year’s films, visit www.dfwsaff.com.

VIZ announces new digital manga update, continues starter bundles

TOKYO GHOUL © 2011 by Sui Ishida/SHUEISHA Inc.

Kick Start Your Digital Manga Collection With New Special
Bundles Featuring Volume 1’s For Acclaimed Popular Series;
Also Catch The Digital Launch Of 6 New Manga Series
And Updates To 18 Other Continuing Titles

VIZ Media invites manga fans and readers to shake off the winter doldrums with a new digital update for March. March updates include the launch of six brand new manga series, as well as new volume releases for scores of other continuing titles.

During March, VIZ Media also continues its Digital Manga Starter Bundle Promotion that offers the opening volumes from a wide collection of acclaimed manga series. The latest selection of manga bundles are available for a limited time from March 2nd thru March 31st on VIZManga.com, as well as through the comiXology platform. The specially curated digital manga bundles each contain multi-title opening volumes sampled from popular VIZ Media imprints including Shonen Jump and the VIZ Signature line. Each bundle features five Volume 1 editions at a substantial savings over the regular digital MSRPs.

This month, readers can look forward to the digital launch of six new manga series including the supernatural horror saga, TOKYO GHOUL, the paranormal shojo drama, SPELL OF DESIRE, and four additional titles debuting digitally under the VIZ Select imprint: CALLING YOU (single volume), GIRLS BRAVO, RATMAN, and SOMEDAY’S DREAMERS: SPELLBOUND.

A special new selection of manga series bundles also offers readers the opportunity to enjoy unique multi-volume collections of several acclaimed VIZ Media titles including BIOMEGA, CROSS MANAGE, NANA and PSYREN at a substantial savings over regular digital MSRPs.

New March Digital Manga Series Debuts:

SPELL OF DESIRE, Vol. 1 • Rated ‘M’ for Mature Readers • DIGITAL MSRP: $6.99 (U.S. / CAN) • Available March 3rd!
In this paranormal drama by Tomu Ohmi (creator of MIDNIGHT SECRETARY), Kaoruko Mochizuki runs an herb shop in a small seaside town. One day, a mysterious man dressed in black named Kaname Hibiki enters her shop and reveals that Kaoruko is actually a witch. And what’s more, Kaoruko needs Kaname to help control her awakening power!

CALLING YOU (Single Volume) • Rated ‘T’ for Teens • DIGITAL MSRP: $4.99 (U.S. / CAN) • Available March 10th!
In these preternatural tales, a girl creates a cell phone in her imagination, with which she can communicate with others...A young boy discovers his new friend has the power to heal others-and learns about true friendship and sacrifice...And the restorative power of love confronts the tragedy and horror of a deadly train accident.

TOKYO GHOUL, Vol. 1 • Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens • Digital First! DIGITAL MSRP: $8.99 (U.S. / CAN) • Available March 17th!
Ghouls live among us, the same as normal people in every way – except their craving for human flesh. Ken Kaneki is an ordinary college student until a violent encounter turns him into the first half-human half-ghoul hybrid. Trapped between two worlds, he must survive Ghoul turf wars, learn more about Ghoul society and master his new powers.

GIRLS BRAVO, Vol. 1 • Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens • DIGITAL MSRP: $4.99 (U.S. / CAN) • Available March 17th!
Meet Yukinari Sasaki, an average high school boy who has extreme girl-phobia - and an allergic reaction when girls touch him. One day, he befriends an alien named Miharu, who comes from a planet that houses only women. Remarkably, Yukinari is able to touch Miharu without breaking into a sweat. Accompanied by Miharu, he returns to his own world: but shortly thereafter, other girls follow them...and his life turns into one big mess!

RATMAN, Vol. 1 • Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens • DIGITAL MSRP: $4.99 (U.S. / CAN) • Available March 24th!
Shuto Katsuragi is a superhero otaku. Only problem is, he's too short and always getting teased for his height...especially when he tries to emulate his favorite superhero! To make matters worse, Shuto suddenly gets abducted and tricked into participating in some rather sketchy and super-villainous experiments! What's a shrimp to do when his dreams come true in ways he never expected?

SOMEDAY’S DREAMERS: SPELLBOUND, (2-Volume Series) • Rated ‘T’ for Teens • DIGITAL MSRP: $4.99 each (U.S. / CAN) • Vol. 1 Available March 24th; Vol. 2 available March 31st!
Eighteen-year-old Nami is a magic user with a keen interest in helping everyone...but herself. Ryutaro is the new boy in school--he's rough around the edges and has a mysterious past, but beneath his rugged exterior is a gentle soul. When these two meet, they leave each other spellbound! It's new love in the world of Someday's Dreamers! VIZ Media’s Digital Manga Starter Bundle Promotion continues through March 31st on VIZManga.com as well as comiXology.

Classic JUMP Bundle II • Promo MSRP $9.99 Bundle includes:
• DR. SLUMP, Vol. 1
• YU-GI-OH!, Vol. 1

VIZ Media Mature Starter Bundle • Promo MSRP $20.00 (*Only available via VIZManga.com)
• BIOMEGA, Vol. 1
• DOGS, Vol. 1
• IKIGAMI, Vol. 1
• NANA, Vol. 1

VIZ Signature Starter Bundle
• Promo MSRP $20.00
• OISHINBO, Vol. 1

VIZ Media March Manga Series Bundles
• BIOMEGA, Vols. 1-6; $12.00
• CROSS MANAGE, Vols. 1-5; $10.00
• NANA, Vols. 1-10; $20.00
• CLAYMORE, Vols. 1-10; $20.00

Additional digital manga content for March includes updates to 18 other continuing series. Included in this month’s update are exciting new volumes for popular continuing titles such as FOOD WARS! (Vol. 5), NARUTO (Vol. 69), ONE-PUNCH MAN (Vol. 6), SGT. FROG (Vol. 6), TERRA FORMARS (Vol. 5) and many more!

Readers can enjoy all of these new manga titles that are available on VIZManga.com and the VIZ MANGA App for the iPad®, iPhone® and iPod® touch, Android-powered smart phones and 7” tablets. The titles may also be purchased through the Nook, Kindle, Kobo, comiXology, iBooks and GooglePlay stores. These dynamic digital platforms offer fans the opportunity to explore and enjoy a massive catalog of new and classic manga titles that spans over 2,500 volumes across more than 220 different series.

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 GooglePlay 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, please visit www.vizmanga.com.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Detective K: Secret of the Lost Island - theatrical release on March 6th, 2015

CJ Entertainment
Detective K: Secret of the Lost Island
Directed by KIM Hyun-seok
South Korea, 2015, 115 minutes

Detective K: Secret of the Lost Island will be released in the U.S. and in Canada in two days, on Friday, March 6th. For theaters and showtimes at the CJ Entertainment website, click here. This review is based on watching the Blu-ray version.

In this sequel to the 2011 hit film Detective K: Secret of the Virtuous Widow (which I haven't seen)KIM Myung-min and OH Dal-su reprise their respective roles of Kim-min (Detective K) and Seo-pil, his sidekick. The third lead is actress LEE Yeon-hee; she plays Hisako, a very popular geisha who has numerous other talents and an interesting backstory that is revealed late in the film.

Detective K (KIM Myung-min) and Seo-pil (OH Dal-su) on the run

The story begins in 1795, the 19th year of King Jeongjo's reign. At this time, the Joseon Dynasty was entirely dependent on import of silver from Japan. When lots of fake silver enters the market and threatens the nation's economy, Detective K and Seo-pil go undercover in gang of bandits. After successfully leading to the apprehension of the gang, Kim-min, instead of being rewarded, is banished to an islet where he's a virtual prisoner. (There's a suggestion that this was done because of the influence of a faction at the royal court, but the precise reason is not clear. Nor does it really matter.)

He is approached by a young girl named Da-hae who entreats him to find her missing sister Do-hoe. The detective refuses, citing his state of banishment. But eventually (in a segment that runs a bit too long in my opinion) he decides to leave the islet to investigate new counterfeit silver. This leads him to the Japanese settlement, through which all trade with Korea is conducted. Here he meets the mysterious geisha Hisako. Detective K's investigation broadens to include why the dead bodies of young Korean girls  are periodically washing onshore. All of this leads him -- and Seo-pil -- to travel to Dragon King Island, a mysterious place that everyone else avoids. But K is convinced that it holds the key not only to the counterfeit silver, but also to the disappearance and death of many young girls.

Hisako (LEE Yeon-hee)

One of the interesting things about the film is that Detective K is often -- actually quite often -- not as smart as he thinks he is, although he is loath to admit his mistakes. On the other hand, Seo-pil is often K's savior, displaying at these times greater common sense and resourcefulness.

There are a number of curious anachronisms. Detective K has made a Jip or Jip-o, a lighter that would seem to be a precursor to the once ubiquitous Zippo lighters. He also has what appears to be a wooden Rubik's cube and builds hang gliders (maybe he saw Leonardo da Vinci's drawings!). Clearly in this film, Detective K is a man far ahead of his time in several regards.

Seo-pil and Detective K take to the air

The film, which was the top pre-holiday weekend draw after it was released in South Korea on February 11th, is both a mystery and comedy, sort of a Korean Sherlock Holmes played for laughs. Overall, I'd say the humor comes across well. Call it a quite nicely amusing romp.

AsianCineFest Rating: 3 out of 4 stars; a good film and a fun watch.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

LOST AND LOVE theatrical opening in North America on March 20th, 2015

China Lion Film to release East West Bank-sponsored
starring Andy Lau, day-and-date with Mainland China
 Lost And LoveShi Gu
Written and directed by Peng Sanyuan
China, 2015

China Lion Film Distribution has acquired and will release the drama Lost And Love (Shi Gu), which stars Hong Kong acting legend Andy Lau. East West Bank will be the official sponsor of the North America release.

Lost And Love will open March 20th, 2015, in select theaters throughout the US and Canada, including Boston, Calgary, Chicago, Edmonton, Lansing, Los Angeles, Montreal, New York, the Orange County/Irvine/Tustin area, San Diego, San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area, Seattle, Toronto and Vancouver, as well as throughout Australia and New Zealand, all day-and-date with the Chinese Mainland release.

By opening with the worldwide release, China Lion will allow audiences in both the U.S. and Canada to see the film at the same time as Mainland audiences. A complete theatre listing will be available in the coming weeks at the company’s official website, www.chinalionentertainment.com.

In addition to Lau, the film also stars Jing Boran, who co-starred in Rise of the Legend, The Guillotines and Love In Space and features special appearances by Sandra Ng and Tony Leung Ka-fai. It details a true story from the Hubei province of China about a father’s search for his long lost son after a suspected child abduction. The film is produced by Wang Zhonglei, Chan Pui-wah and Zhang Dajun and by the Huayi Bros. Media Group, Beijing Yuanhesheng Entertainment, Chongqing Film Group, Xiamen Navigation Media and Good Friends Entertainment. The film was acquired from IM Global, a leading independent film and television financing, sales and distribution company. Lau previously starred in the critically acclaimed China Lion Film release A Simple Life, directed by Ann Hui.

After losing his two-year-old son, Lei (Andy Lau) begins a fourteen-year-long quest in search of his missing child. On the road, he makes a stop at a repair shop where he comes across a young repairman, Ceng (Jing Boran), who was also kidnapped at the age of four. Robbed of the life he was meant to live, Ceng can only vaguely remember snippets of home — a chain-link bridge, bamboo trees, and his mother’s long braids. Lost And Love (Shi Gu) is an uplifting portrait of two lost souls who forge an unlikely friendship and, in the face of a hopelessness and despair, inspire courage and perseverance in one another.

Monday, March 02, 2015

March update announced for NEON ALLEY anime streaming platform


Catch The Entire BLOOD LAD Series, New SAILOR MOON And
The Latest NARUTO SHIPPUDEN Simulcasts And Much More!

VIZ Media prepares to start March with a fresh update of new programming to be added throughout the month on its Neon Alley free anime streaming platform.

Join anime’s favorite otaku vampire as he tries to navigate the human world with hilarious results in BLOOD LAD. Fans can catch the complete series, episodes 1-10, English dubbed or subtitled of the supernatural action comedy series all month on Neon Alley.

During March, SAILOR MOON fans will not want to miss the exciting conclusion of SAILOR MOON R (Season 2) and the highly anticipated launch of SAILOR MOON S (Season 3) of the legendary series, with two newly subtitled episodes added every Monday. SAILOR MOON CRYSTAL also continues the Black Moon story arc with brand new simulcast subtitled episodes. Don’t miss SAILOR MOON CRYSTAL Act 17: “Secret – Sailor Jupiter” on March 7th, followed by Act 18: “Invasion – Sailor Venus” on March 21st.

The fantasy-driven action adventure of INUYASHA also continues in March with the Neon Alley premiere of INUYASHA THE MOVIE: SWORDS OF AN HONORABLE RULER. Viewers can enjoy this acclaimed anime feature film based on the hit manga series with either English dubbed or subtitled dialogue starting on March 14th for a limited time.

With the latest additions, Neon Alley now features over 32 series, and offers more than 1,100 English dubbed episodes and over 2,500 subtitled episodes for fans’ viewing pleasure! The new March 2015 update is further highlighted by scores of new episodes from a variety of top-rated VIZ Media anime properties including: 

• Neon Alley adds English dubbed BLEACH Season 21 Episodes 292-303 available to stream now!
• Viewers can now enjoy a total of 303 English dubbed episodes, as well as the complete subtitled BLEACH anime series (366 episodes). 

 • Catch all 10 episodes English dubbed or subtitled of this acclaimed anime action comedy series for a limited time.
• BLOOD LAD introduces viewers to The Demon World: a place where it's good to be bad. Werewolves, zombies, and even the Abominable Snowman fight day and night for the title of Territory Boss. The vampire Staz, however, finds the whole thing to be a serious pain. He spends his time watching anime, playing video games, and daydreaming about going to the Human World. That all changes when he meets Fuyumi, a human girl who instantly wins Staz's heart but subsequently loses her life to a man-eating plant. Staz refuses to give up on the girl of his dreams and travels across the Demon and Human Worlds in search of a way to bring Fuyumi back to life by any bloody means necessary.

• Available beginning March 14th either English dubbed or subtitled!
• Many years ago, the Great Dog Demon wielded the Three Swords of the Fang. Upon his death, he bequeathed a sword to each of his sons, Inuyasha and Sesshomaru, leaving the third sword, the wrath-filled Sounga, locked away forever. Now that the Sounga's power has been awakened, these two battling brothers must put away their sibling rivalry and face off against the force that spells doom for all mankind. 

• Neon Alley adds dubbed Episodes 105-117 of the original NARUTO anime series, which will be available to stream beginning on March 1st.
• With the newest episode update, viewers can check out a total of 117 English dubbed episodes as well enjoy as the complete subtitled NARUTO anime (all 220 episodes) series! 

• The ninja action continues with action-packed Neon Alley simulcasts of the latest English subtitled NARUTO SHIPPUDEN episodes. Catch Episode 402 on Thursday, March 12th. Simulcasts of the next 2 NARUTO SHIPPUDEN episodes will take place every subsequent Thursday for the remainder of the month.
• Also don’t miss new WORLD PREMIERE English dubbed episodes of NARUTO SHIPPUDEN every Saturday in March starting with Episode 284 on March 7th.

• The on- and off-the-court action of the acclaimed sports drama continues with Season 1 Episodes 14-26 available to stream (dubbed).
• Also catch all 50 PRINCE OF TENNIS episodes in their entirety available now with English subtitles.
• In this sports anime drama adapted from the manga series created by Takeshi Konomi (published by VIZ Media), Ryoma Echizen is the 12-year-old son of a famous tennis player and a tennis genius is his own right. With talent in his blood and fire in his eyes, he backs up his confidence on the court with amazing skills. Now he has to overcome the older players on his high school team who are dead set against letting him surpass them. To defeat the slippery "Viper" Kaido, the calculating Sadahara Inui, and a host of other opponents, Ryoma will need everything he's gotten from his father and more!

 • Neon Alley viewers can continue to catch a double-dose of RANMA ½ with 2 new dubbed episodes of the classic, fan-favorite series premiering every Friday throughout the month beginning with Season 7, Episodes 145 and 146 on March 6th.

• Dive into the complete English dubbed hit NARUTO spin-off series with the addition of episodes 40-51 this month!
• The entire subtitled and dubbed series is now currently available for streaming exclusively from Neon Alley.

Neon Alley is VIZ Media’s consolidated online destination for FREE streaming anime content in the U.S. with over 3,500 subtitled and English dubbed episodes and movies from more than 32 series! Neon Alley also reaches an expansive on-demand U.S.-based audience on Hulu, which enables viewers to watch shows anytime, anywhere across devices including Xbox One, PlayStation®4 (PS4™), Roku, Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, and mobile devices. A full list of Hulu -enabled devices can be found at http://www.hulu.com/plus/devices.

Additional information on Neon Alley is available at: www.NeonAlley.com and http://blog.neonalley.com/.

The War Films of Shirley Yamaguchi & Setsuko Hara - Film Series

Globus Film Series 2015
Stories from the War Series
House of Bamboo © 1955 20th Century Fox.
The Most Beautiful:
The War Films of Shirley Yamaguchi & Setsuko Hara
When: March 21-April 4, 2015
Where Japan Society
333 East 47th Street, NYC
(Between 1st and 2nd Avenues)

The 2015 Globus Film Series, part of the Society-wide series Stories from the War, focuses on the work of two stars of Japanese cinema: Shirley Yamaguchi (aka Pan Shuhua, Ri Koran, Li Hsianglan, Yoshiko Yamaguchi, and Yoshiko Otake) and Setsuko Hara (aka Masae Aida), two of the most beautiful and powerful actors in the history of Japanese cinema. Both actresses were born in 1920 and achieved stardom in the so-called “national policy” propaganda films of the China and Pacific wars.

The similarities, however, end there. Through a selection of films made before, during and after WWII, this series illustrates how their respective roles on the silver screen transformed along with Japan itself—from young maidens serving an empire allied with Nazi Germany to mature women walking different paths in a defeated nation promoting democracy under American hegemony. This series is guest curated by Dr. Markus Nornes, Professor of Asian Cinema at the University of Michigan.

Shirley Yamaguchi
Film historian Inuhiko Yomota will present a special lecture on Shirley Yamaguchi entitled An Actress with a Thousand Names. The lecture is free to ticket-holders on March 28 at 3 PM. Seating is limited.

- All screenings (except China Nights): $12/$9 Japan Society members, seniors & students
- China Nights screening + reception: $15/$12 Japan Society members, seniors & students

Special Offer:
Purchase tickets for at least 3 different films and receive $2 off each ticket when purchased together! Special offer available only at the Japan Society Box Office or by telephone at (212) 715-1258. Offer not available online.

For complete information about the series, including the schedule, descriptions of the nine films that will be shown and the special lecture on actress Shirley Yamaguchi, click here.

Stories from the War
Marking the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII, Japan Society presents the Society-wide series Stories from the War which explores history and considers challenging issues that the U.S. and Japan faced surrounding WWII through a contemporary lens.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

REQUIEM OF THE ROSE KING - manga launch on March 10th, 2015


New Series By The Creator Of OTOMEN Set In Medieval England
Is Based On Shakespeare’s Political Drama Richard III

VIZ Media delivers an engrossing new series from one of the most exciting voices in contemporary manga with the launch of REQUIEM OF THE ROSE KING on March 10th.

Inspired by an early draft of William Shakespeare’s Richard III, one of literature’s most famous and polarizing political dramas, REQUIEM OF THE ROSE KING was created by Aya Kanno, widely known for her previous manga series BLANK SLATE and OTOMEN (both published by VIZ Media). REQUIEM OF THE ROSE KING is rated ‘T’ for Teens and will carry a print MSRP of $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN. Future volumes of the continuing series are scheduled to be published domestically twice a year.

In the series, Richard, the ambitious third son of the House of York, is a tortured soul who believes he is damned from birth to eternal darkness. But is it truly fate that sets him on the path to personal destruction? Or his own tormented longings? Aya Kanno’s dark fantasy finds the man who could be king standing between worlds, between classes, between good and evil.

In the opening volume, set in medieval England during the age of the Wars of the Roses, a fierce battle rages between the House of York and the House of Lancaster. Young Richard of the House of York is determined that his family will ascend the throne…but he’s hiding a secret that could destroy everything he desires.

“Aya Kanno’s unique take on the era of the Wars of the Roses, REQUIEM OF THE ROSE KING, will resonate with her current fans and hopefully bring even more awareness to her lush, masterful work,” says Joel Enos, Editor. “Aya Kanno returns to a darker, gothic inspired aesthetic, reworking Shakespeare’s classic tragedy about poisonous Machiavellian ambition into a ruthless and beautiful new series. Her Richard is a cunning, flawed prince determined to secure the throne for his family!”

Aya Kanno is the creator of manga series including Soul Rescue, BLANK SLATE (published by VIZ Media), and the New York Times bestselling series, OTOMEN (published by VIZ Media), which was recognized as a Great Graphic Novel for Teens by the Young Adult Library Services Association.

For more information on REQUIEM OF THE ROSE KING and other manga titles published by VIZ Media, please visit www.VIZ.com.