News Hanabee to Release AKB0048 and Say, "I Love You"
At the start of the 21st century an world war over interplanetary travel technology erupts causing ecological destruction on a planetary scale and forces humanity to make a mass exodus from Earth. This starts a new era of humanity and soon the "Super Galactic Alliance" is formed. This Alliance decides that in order to prevent future calamity they must control the hearts and minds of humanity and as such outlaw all forms of entertainment, especially idols. 48 years later the legendary idol group "AKB0048" is reformed, organising guerrilla concerts and taking up arms to defend their careers, fans and perhaps even save the galaxy.
AKB0048 is a series inspired by the 48-member all-female idol group ABK48. The series stars the following ABK0048 members in the nine main roles;
- Sayaka Nakaya (AKB48 Team A) voices 13-year-old Orine Aida
- Amina Satō (AKB48 Team B) voices 14-year-old Yuuka Ichijō
- Sawako Hata (SKE48 Team KII) voices 14-year-old Suzuko Kanzaki
- Sumire Satō (AKB48 Team B) voices 17-year-old Mimori Kishida
- Haruka Ishida (AKB48 Team B) voices 15-year-old Kanata Shinonome
- Kumi Yagami (SKE48 Team S) voices 10-year-old Sonata Shinonome
- Mayu Watanabe (AKB48 Team B) plays 13-year-old Chieri Sono
- Karen Iwata (AKB48 Trainee) voices 13-year-old Nagisa Motomiya
- Mao Mita (NMB48 Team M) voices by 16-year-old Makoto Yokomizo
Mari Okada (anohana, HanaIro, Toradora!) supervised and wrote the scripts and Mikan Ehime (Macross Frontier, Gravion Zwei) designed the characters. Yoshimasa Hiraike (Working!!/Wagnaria!!, Amagami SS, Sketchbook ~full color'S~) directed the anime at Satelight (Macross Frontier, Aquarion, Shugo Chara!).
Shoji Kawamori, the co-creator of the Macross franchise and the co-director of Macross: Do You Remember Love?, was the project planner and the chief director and Toshimichi Ootsuki (Evangelion: 1.0 You Are [Not] Alone) was the executive producer. AKB48 producer Yasushi Akimoto himself is planned and supervised the project.
The 13-episode first season premiered in Japan in April 2012 and the 13-episode sequel series AKB0048 next stage premiered in Japan on January 5th 2013. Crunchyroll streamed both series as they were broadcast and Sentai Filmworks licensed AKB0048 earlier in the year and have since released the complete first season.
Hanabee will release AKB0048 Part 1 on the 8th of February 2014 on DVD with both the original Japanese audio and English dub. The first part will have 13 episodes and the remaining 13 episodes will be released as Part 2 at some point in the future. You can view Hanabee's press release here.
16 year old Tachibana Mei can't make friends and has no boyfriend. However after accidentally injuring Kurosawa Yamato, the most popular boy in school, Mei suddenly finds Yamato taking a interest in her. Then things in this one-sided relationship get serious when Yamato protects Mei from a stalker by kissing her.
Based on Kanae Hazuki's "Suki-tte Ii na yo" original manga which started in 2004 and has 10 volumes published by Kodansha Comics. This adaptation was directed and scripted by Takuya Sat? (Steins;Gate, Strawberry Marshmallow) with Toshimasa Kuroyanagi (episode director for Kimi ni Todoke, Minami-ke) serving as series director and Yoshiko Okuda (animation director for Casshern Sins) on character designs. Junko Watanabe (NANA, Blood-C) served as chief animation director and Yuuji Nomi (Whisper of the Heart, Royal Space Force - The Wings of Honnêamise) handled the music. ZEXCS animated the series.
The main cast includes Ai Kayano (Guilty Crown's Inori, Hyou-ka's Mayaka) as Mei Tachibana and Takahiro Sakurai (.hack//Roots's Haseo, Black Butler II's Claude) The series ran for 13 episodes from October 2012 and has been streamed by Crunchyroll and released in North America by Sentai Filmworks
Hanabee will release Say, "You Love Me" as a complete collection on the 8th of February 2014 on DVD with Japanese audio and English subtitles. You can view Hanabee's press release here.