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Sentai Adds Gintama, Hidamari Sketch x 365 Anime (Update 2)

posted on by Egan Loo

The North American anime distributor Section23 Films has announced on Thursday that Sentai Filmworks has licensed the Gintama, Hidamari Sketch x 365, Living for the Day After Tomorrow (Asatte no Houkou), and Le Portrait de Petite Cossette anime series. Section23 will ship the first DVD set for Gintama on April 27, while the complete collections for Hidamari Sketch x 365, Living for the Day After Tomorrow, and Le Portrait de Petite Cossette will ship on April 6, April 13, and April 20, respectively.

The Gintama anime adapts Hideaki Sorachi's hit action comedy manga of the same name. It follows a quirky samurai in an alternate-history Japan, where aliens overlords have banned sword-carrying. The television series has been running in Japan since 2006, and the 192nd episode aired on Thursday. Shinji Takamatsu (After War Gundam X, School Rumble) and Yōichi Fujita (episode director on Kekkaishi, Cluster Edge, Onmyou Taisenki) have split the directorial duties on the anime at Sunrise Studio.

Viz Media is publishing the 16th volume of the manga this month, and Crunchyroll website has been streaming the anime episodes on the same day they air in Japan since last January. An anime film, Gintama: Shinyaku Benizakura-Hen (Gintama: Benizakura Arc — A New Retelling), will open in Japan on April 24.

Hidamari Sketch x 365 is the second television anime season based on Ume Aoki's manga about a high school for the arts and the everyday life of four of its students. The first season aired in early 2007, while Hidamari Sketch x 365 aired from July to September of 2008. A third season, Hidamari Sketch × ☆☆☆, has since premiered on January 7. Director Akiyuki Shinbo and the studio SHAFT have been animating all three seasons after working on Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha and MoonPhase.

Sentai Filmworks already licensed the first season, and Section23 shipped its first DVD set on January 12. Yen Press is publishing the fourth volume of the original manga in North America this month under the name Sunshine Sketch.

The Living for the Day After Tomorrow anime adapts J-ta Yamada's Asatte no Houkou slice-of-life romance manga. In the story, Karada Iokawa is an unhappy young girl who wishes to be older, and Shoko Nogami is aloof, unhappy woman who just returned from studying overseas. A magic wishing stone at a shrine grants Karada's wish to be older — by exchanging ages with Shoko. Now, Shoko has to face junior high school again while Karada discovers that being an adult is harder than it seems. Meanwhile, both of their romantic interests show up. Katsushi Sakurabi directed the anime at J.C. Staff in 2006.

Petite Cossette is an early prominent example of Gothic Lolita anime. The story follows Eiri Kurahashi, a young man who works at his uncle's antique shop. One day, he discovers a glass goblet — and the reflection of Cossette d'Auvergne, a mysterious girl who has been trapped within the glass for 250 years. Cossette asks for Eiri's help in finding her murderer and thus freeing herself, but her plea may lead to Eiri's own demise.

Akiyuki Shinbo (Hidamari Sketch, Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha) directed the 2004 anime at Studio Hibari, and Geneon had previously licensed the anime for North America before ceasing distribution of all of its anime titles in 2007. Tokyopop published Asuka Katsura's manga version in North America.

Section23 will distribute Switchblade Pictures' live-action Space Ranger Complete Collection on April 13 and Switchblade's live-action Venus Ranger "sexy sci-fi shoot-em-up" film on March 30.

Update: More background and story information added.

Update 2: Section23 Films' Chris Oarr notes that Sentai Filmworks licensed the first two seasons of Gintama, with an option on the rest. The DVD release will be English-subtitled.

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