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Aniplex Ships Rurouni Kenshin OVA/Film BDs in Japan, U.S. on Same Day (Updated)

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2 video projects on August 24 & September 21, film on October 26

The production company Aniplex of America announced at its FanimeCon panel on Saturday that it will release the 1997-2001 Rurouni Kenshin original video anime (OVA) projects and 1997 Rurouni Kenshin film on Blu-ray Disc in North America — on the same days that they ship on Blu-ray in Japan. The Rurouni Kenshin: Trust & Betrayal (Rurouni Kenshin: Tsuioku Hen) prequel OVA will ship from Right Stuf and Bandai Entertainment's online stores on August 24, and the Rurouni Kenshin: Reflection (Rurouni Kenshin: Seiso Hen) sequel OVA will ship on September 21. Finally, Rurouni Kenshin The Movie will come out on October 26.

Aniplex of America will directly import the Japanese Blu-ray Disc edition for each anime, but the company will add an English-translated booklet. In both Japan and North America, these releases will have new exclusive cover illustrations by animation director/animator Atsuko Nakajima (Trinity Blood, Ranma ½, You're Under Arrest!). Aniplex already confirmed last month that the Blu-ray Discs will have both Japanese and English subtitles. They will also have the English dub that ADV Films made.

Nobuhiro Watsuki's original 1994-1999 samurai manga in Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump inspired a television anime series that is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year. Viz Media published the manga in North America, and Media Blasters' AnimeWorks label released the television anime. ADV Films had previously released the two OVA projects and the film on DVD under the licenser's formerly prescribed title Samurai X. Last month, Shueisha announced that a new Rurouni Kenshin anime project has been green-lit.

Pre-orders for the new Blu-ray Discs releases will start on June 1.

Image © Nobuhiro Watsuki, Fuji TV, Aniplex

Update: Rurouni Kenshin: Trust & Betrayal will cost US$64.98, while the other two Blu-ray releases will each cost US$54.98.

During its panel, Aniplex acknowledged that negotiations are ongoing for licensing both Puella Magi Madoka Magica and Bakemonogatari. Aniplex added, "Stay tuned."

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