News Siren Visual to Release Noitamina Titles
Siren Visual has sent out a press release announcing that they will release 3 titles from Fuji TV's late-night Noitamina (styled "Noitamina" - Animation backwards) animation block: Welcome to Irabu's Office (Kūchū Buranko), The Tatami Galaxy (Yojō-Han Shinwa Taikei) and House of Five Leaves.
The titles are due to be released in Australia and New Zealand in Q1, 2011. Both The Tatami Galaxy and House of Five Leaves were simulcast by Funimation earlier this year, however Welcome to Irabu's Office has never been released in English before.
The story of House of Five Leaves follows the lives of the House of Five Leaves gang members in Edo-era Japan during the height of the shōgun's rule. In particular, the masterless samurai (rōnin) Akitsu Masanosuke becomes the bodyguard of the gang's charismatic leader Yaichi. Tomomi Mochizuki (Ocean Waves, Ranma ½) is directed the 12-episode anime series at Manglobe (Samurai Champloo).
Based on an original novel by Tomihiko Morimi, The Tatami Galaxy centers around a nameless protagonist who is a third-year college student. The protagonist looks back at the earlier years of his college life and his adventures with a particular circle (club). Masaaki Yuasa (Kaiba, Mind Game, Kemonozume) is directed the 11-episode project for the anime studio Mad House, while Makoto Ueda (Summer Time Machine Blues, Fujiko F. Fujio's Parallel Space) is wrote and supervised the series' scripts. The Japanese Blu-ray Disc and DVD releases of The Tatami Galaxy include 3 7-minute shorts that were not aired as part of the television run.
Welcome to Irabu's Office is adapted from Hideo Okuda's Kūchū Buranko (Trapeze) short story collection. The collection is Okuda's second book featuring the psychiatrist protagonist Ichirō Irabu and his various patients — the title refers to the first story about a circus artist who can no longer perform. The book won the prestigious 131st Naoki Prize in 2004. Each patient has a different, and often odd ailment, which Dr. Irabu treats with similarly unexpected methods. For the project, director Kenji Nakamura reunited with his Ayakashi - Samurai Horror Tales (Bakeneko) and Mononoke character designer/chief animation director Takashi Hashimoto at Toei Animation.
The Noitamina block, which is geared towards older audiences and features non-traditional titles, was the focus of a discussion panel led by at this years Otakon anime convention in Baltimore, USA.