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Sentai Adds Hidamari Sketch, Glass Mask, Neo Angelique Abyss (Updated)

posted on 2009-10-29 13:00 EDT
Section23 to ship 1st DVDs for all 3 anime in January; Switchblade adds 5 works

The North American anime distributor Section23 Films has announced today that Sentai Filmworks has licensed the Hidamari Sketch, Glass Mask, and Neo Angelique Abyss anime series. Section23 will ship the first English-subtitled DVD sets for these three anime on January 12, January 19, and January 26, respectively.

Director Akiyuki Shinbo and the studio SHAFT animated Ume Aoki's Hidamari Sketch manga into a 13-episode television series and two DVD special episodes in 2007 after working on Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha and MoonPhase. Hidamari Sketch's story centers around a high school for the arts and the everyday life of four of its students. A second television series, Hidamari Sketch × 365, has since aired in 2008, and a third television series, Hidamari Sketch × ☆☆☆, has been green-lit. Section23's Hidamari Sketch Season 1 Collection is listed as 350 minutes long. Yen Press is planning to publish the fourth volume of the original manga in North America in January under the name Sunshine Sketch.

Glass Mask (Glass no Kamen) is the second television anime adapation of Suzue Miuchi's long-running manga classic of the same name. The story follows the aspiring stage actress Maya Kitajima from her childhood days in a Chinese restaurant to her rise to stardom under the tutelage of a reclusive actress. Along the way, she deals with two suitors for her affections — Yū Sakurakōji and Masumi Hayami — as well as her unrelenting acting rival, Ayumi Himekawa. Gisaburô Sugii, a director well-known for adapting other Japanese classics such as Night on the Galactic Railroad and Touch, oversaw the project at TMS Entertainment.

The original 1976 Glass Mask manga relaunched in Hakusensha's Bessatsu Hana to Yume magazine last July after a 12-year hiatus. Besides an earlier 1984 television anime series and a 1998 video anime series, the manga has inspired a live-action television drama, stage plays and even a classical Japanese Noh play. Crunchyroll has been streaming the 2005 anime since April.

The Neo Angelique Abyss fantasy anime is based on KOEI's Neo Angelique romance adventure game for female gamers. The Neo Angelique game is the fifth installment in the Angelique franchise, but it restarts the franchise with new characters and a different format of gameplay. The story takes place in a once idyllic paradise named Arcadia that now stands threatened by magical creatures named Tanatos. Arcadia's fate lies in two factions — the religious Celestia order of knights and the Artifact technology seekers — and in Angelique, the orphaned medical student who just might hold the key to Arcadia's throne.

Shin Katagai directed the first 13-episode anime season and the 13-episode Neo Angelique Abyss -Second Age- follow-up in 2008. As she did for the previous Angelique projects, Kairi Yura (The Story of Saiunkoku) designed the characters that Yumeta Company (La Corda D'Oro - primo passo) animated. Section23's Neo Angelique Abyss Season 1 Collection is listed as 325 minutes long. Crunchyroll has been streaming the anime since January.

Section23 also announced that the second and final volumes of You're Under Arrest: Fast & Furious, Special A, and Tears to Tiara will ship on January 5, January 19, and January 26, respectively. The company will distribute Switchblade Pictures' live-action Akiballion: Battlemaids of Akihabara collection on January 5, Switchblade's live-action double feature Female Combatants Battle School/Demonic Heroine In Peril on January 12, and another Switchblade live-action double feature, Birthday Mail/Kokurri-san, on January 26. Section23 and AEsir Holdings are re-issuing Petite Princess Yucie in a complete DVD collection with English dialogue and subtitles on January 5.

Update: More details and images added.

Images © Ume Aoki, Houbunsha/Hidamari Shō-Kanri-Soshiki
© Suzue Miuchi • Hakusensha/MASK OF GLASS Project
© KOEI Co., Ltd.


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