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Anime

She’s A Winner

We were not familiar with the anime and manga series No Game No Life by Yuu Kamiya and Kazuya Yuizaki, but it definitely has a furry element to it. And now there’s an even-more-furry spin-off black & white graphic novel called No Game No Life, Please. It goes like this: “In a world where everything is decided by games, adorable little Izuna Hatsuse is a young Werebeast girl who wants to learn more. As she follows Sora, Shiro, and the others, what answers will she find for herself? Let the games begin!” It’s available now from Yen Press.

image c. 2017 Yen Press

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Watch, Out!

In the about-time department, perhaps, IDW have published a new Yo-Kai Watch full-color comic book series this spring. According to them: “The hit anime, manga and toy sensation from Japan comes to North American comics! Join Nate and his Yo-Kai, Whisper, as they battle against ill-intentioned Yo-Kai causing terrible trouble in their hometown!” Previously, Viz Media licensed the original Yo-Kai Watch manga by Noriyuki Konishi for release in North America. This new comic, however, is completely home grown: Eric M. Esquivel (Bravest Warriors) is the writer, with art by Tina Franscisco (Strawberry Shortcake) and Dono Sanchez Almara (Turbo Defiant). It’s available now. And, of course, the Yo-Kai Watch anime series is running on Disney XD, if you didn’t know. (Our thanks to Anime News Network for help with this article).

image c. 2017 IDW Publishing

 

A Closer Look at 2017

Our friends over at Cartoon Brew are finishing up the year with an article about 60 (!) animated films scheduled for release in 2017. Some are brand new releases, and some have already made the rounds in other parts of the world but will not be premiering in North America ’till next year. And of course, with a huge set of films like that, more than a fair share of them are definitely going to have some interest for the anthropomorphic fans out there! Taking a quick look ourselves, the upcoming animated films of furry note — some a lot, some a little — include (deep breath…): Animal Crackers, Beast of Burden, Blazing Samurai, Bunyan & Babe, Cars 3, Clara, Despicable Me 3, The Emoji Movie, Ferdinand, Foodiverse, Godzilla (yes, the first animated Godzilla movie!), Here Comes The Grump, Kikoriki — Deja Vu, Kung Food, Lino, Manou the Swift, Mune — Guardian of the Moon, My Cool Dad, My Little Pony — The Movie, The Nut Job 2, Ping Pong Rabbit, Pokemon The Movie — I Choose You, Punyakoti, The Red Turtle, Richard the Stork, Rock Dog, Sahara, Smurfs — The Lost Village, Spark, The Star, Urfin Jus and His Wooden Soldiers, and Underdog. Whew! The article at Cartoon Brew includes several trailers. Of course we’ll be talking a lot more about each of these films as they get closer to release. Happy New Year!

image c. 2016 Studio Canal

The Return of a Boy and His Big, Big Dog

Earlier this year we learned from Variety that “Gaumont Television is joining forces with German pubcaster ZDF to bring Belle et Sébastien, an animated series based on the popular 1960s TV show created by Cécile Aubry.  Belle et Sébastien follows the adventures of a 6-year-old motherless boy and his friend, a big white dog, across the wilderness landscapes of the French Alps.” Belle and Sebastien was previously adapted as an anime series in the 1980’s by Toho Animation. Now the latest version from France has visited MIPCOM and they’re looking for international distribution. Animation World Network has a more recent article about Gaumont TV that includes more about this new show.

image c. 2016 Gaumont Television

image c. 2016 Gaumont Television

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We… are the Crystal Pokemon…

The mighty machine that is Pokemon carries on — and no, we don’t mean Pokemon Go either. Pokemon Adventures: Ruby & Sapphire is the latest black & white manga to hit North America; coming to us thanks to Viz Media. “Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald face a new crisis of epic proportions: a giant meteor hurtling toward the planet! Don’t miss these awesome new adventures inspired by the best-selling Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire video games and picking up where the Pokémon Adventures Ruby and Sapphire saga left off!” Illustrated by Satoshi Yamamoto and written by Hedenori Kusaka, this new digest-sized manga is available now. Anime News Network has this and a whole lot more brand-new Pokemon stuff as well.

image c. 2016 Viz Media

image c. 2016 Viz Media

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A Girl and her Bear in the Country

Here’s one from Japan we almost missed. Kuma Miko: Girl Meets Bear is a black & white manga series by Masume Yoshimoto, originally published by Media Factory. Now One Peace Books are bringing the collected first series to North America in digest form. It’s the story of a young teenage girl named Machi who lives in a remote mountain village. She’s a Miko (a shinto shrine maiden) and she has never left her idyllic native home.  But now she’s thinking about moving to the big city to attend high school. That doesn’t sit well with her best friend: Natsu Kumai, a talking bear. A tie-in anime series of Kuma Miko premiered in Japan this year; maybe we’ll get to see that our way soon too!

image c. 2016 Media Factory

image c. 2016 Media Factory

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The Alien’s New Ohana

You may recall that there was an anime series in Japan that was based off of Disney’s Lilo & Stitch movies and TV series. In it, Stitch has left Hawaii and moved to an island off Okinawa in Japan. There, he meets (and moves in with) a young girl named Yuna who is skillful in karate. (Where Lilo is in all of this is a spoiler that we will not give away.) Also notable is the fact that Angel, the pink alien “counterpart” to Stitch, made frequent visits to the Japanese series as well. So now, Tokyo Pop have adapted Stitch! into a new digest-sized black & white manga series written and illustrated by Yumi Tsukirino. Take a look over at Amazon to find out more and order your copy.

image c. 2016 Tokyo Pop

image c. 2016 Tokyo Pop

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One Day For Digimon

According to Animation World Network, Toei Animation and Eleven Arts are set to release the latest Digimon anime feature in an English-language version for North America this fall. Entitled Digimon Adventure tri. – Chapter 1: Reunion. (whew!), the film is set to premier as a one-day-only Fathom Events screening at select theaters, followed by a more traditional roll-out to various cities. “It’s been six years since the summer adventure when Tai (now in high school) and the rest of the DigiDestined crossed over to the Digital World and nearly three years since frenzied final battles between warring factions. With the gate to the Digital World closed, time continues to pass, until the adventure Digivolves once again.” Unfortunately, being from a different generation of Digimon, it’s unlikely that Guilmon or Renamon will make an appearance in this film. Pity! Anyway, look for this exclusive screening in one of 300 cities on September 15th.

image c. 2016 Toei Animation

image c. 2016 Toei Animation

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Before the Movie, the Manga

Just in time for the full North American release of  Mamoru Hosoda’s latest anime feature, The Boy and the Beast (on the same weekend as Zootopia’s release, grumble grumble…), Yen Press have published Mr. Hosoda’s black & white manga of the same title. “Fleeing tragedy and mistreatment, a young boy named Ren hides among the crowds in Tokyo’s busy Shibuya ward. His efforts to run away are more successful than he realizes when he ends up in the world of the beasts! A rough-living bear named Kumatetsu gives Ren a new life and a new name–Kyuta–but is Kumatetsu really up to the job of being a mentor?” Find out! And check it out over at Yen’s web site.

image c. 2016 Yen Press

image c. 2016 Yen Press