Anime Programming in the US
Making a Living in Manga in Japan with Felipe Smith
Lost in Translation
The North American distributor FUNimation Entertainment has officially announced on Monday that it acquired the Ikki Tousen fighting anime and launched the beta version of its new video portal. The 2003 television anime adapts Yuji Shiozaki's manga about girls in modern-day Japan who fight each other after being possessed by the spirits of war heroes from the ancient legends of Three Kingdoms.
Another distributor, Geneon Entertainment, had released the first Ikki Tousen anime series in North America in 2004 and 2005. However, Geneon Entertainment ceased in-house distribution of its own titles in September 2007. Funimation announced at Anime Expo 2008 this past July that it agreed to manufacture, sell, and distribute selected DVD titles from Geneon Entertainment in North America, although Ikki Tousen was not named at the time. Instead, FUNimation licensed the anime from Enoki Films directly.
Tokyopop publishes the original manga in English under the name Battle Vixens. Media Blasters announced at Anime Expo 2007 that it had licensed the second Ikki Tousen anime series, Ikki Tousen: Dragon Destiny. The third anime series, Ikki Tousen: Great Guardians, premiered in Japan this past June.
Funimation's new video portal now features hundreds of English-subtitled and -dubbed episodes from Darker than Black, Guyver, Black Blood Brothers, Gunslinger Girl: Il Teatrino-, Jyu-Oh-Sei, Negima! 2, Ouran High School Host Club, Romeo X Juliet, Shigurui: Death Frenzy, Strain: Strategic Armored Infantry, and other series for free. The service, which uses the Adobe Flash multimedia distribution software, also has trailers, interviews, and podcasts.
Update: More background information added.
Image © 2003 Yuji Shiozaki, Wani Books/Ikki Tousen Partners
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