Buyer’s Guide: FUNimation November 2018 Releases

November 6, 2018:

Kino’s Journey -the Beautiful World- (Blu-ray + Digital)

In this imperfect world, the stories are what make it beautiful. Journeying the land and visiting the unique countries is Kino and her talking motorcycle, Hermes. Together, they travel from place to place but only stay three days. Just enough time to gather stories and memories before continuing on. But not ever land is pleasant, and Kino will face some with darker and more sinister lifestyles.

Special Features: Kino’s Journey: An Interview with Keiichi Sigsawa, Textless Opening & Closing Songs
Price: $64.98 MSRP

POV: This is the second Kino’s Journey anime, the first one produced back in 2003 and released by ADV Films, which leads to what, exactly, this show is. In short, it’s not really a sequel, but more of a re-adaptation, with the light novel series – a series that’s 20 volumes long, and counting – serving as the base. So it’ll all come down to personal perspective over which series you’ll prefer, but this one still found a good bit of acclaim during its simulcast run in the fall of 2017. Check it out online before committing to a physical purchase.

Star Blazers Yamato 2199 – Part Two (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital)

The saga to save Earth continues as the Yamato reaches the fringes of the Milky Way and enters deep space. Hoping the enemy won’t pursue past the galaxy’s edge, the vast emptiness ahead offers both relief and unnerving mystery. But the Gamilans won’t allow the lull to last long. Lord Desler is out for blood and will stop at nothing to prevent humanity’s arrival at Iscandar.

Special Features: Episode 16 Commentary, The New Frontier Continued: Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2199, Illustrating Space Battleship Yamato, Promo Videos, Textless Opening Songs
Price: $64.98 MSRP

POV: Y’all want more Star Blazers? Here you go, revel in its beautiful glory. It may have taken a bit of time to get this stateside, but I’d say it was worth the wait, this is an excellent series and a fine bit of modern space opera glory.

Black Clover – Season One Part Two (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital)

Asta’s hard work is gaining him recognition from the Wizard King and he’s given a new task—investigate a magical dungeon! Together with Noelle and Luck, he’ll learn they weren’t the only ones sent to explore. Yuno and his Golden Dawn teammates are also after the secrets. But their race to the treasure takes a dangerous turn when they come up against mages from the Diamond Kingdom.

Special Features: Episodes 12 & 15 Commentaries, Black Clover: Inside the NEW Studio J, Clover Clips Special Edition, Inside the Episode: Black Clover Highlights Episodes 10-18, Textless Opening & Closing Songs
Price: $54.98 MSRP

POV: Oh boy… it’s Black Clover. Yippee. Yeah, I can’t really feign enthusiasm for this show, it’s just… whatever. But hey, you get a keychain when you buy it from FUNimation’s shop. That’s cool, I suppose.

Angel Links – The Complete Series (DVD + Digital)

Within the stars lie space pirates ready to take out unsuspecting vessels. Working to defend the transporters who can’t afford escorts is a company known as Angel Links. Led by the 16-year-old Meifon Li, they work to keep the stars safe for those just trying to do their jobs—and free of charge! But Meifon’s past is about to catch up with her and give them a hell of a time.

Special Features: Commercial Collection, Launch Clips, Secrets of the Angel Links, Textless Opening & Closing Songs
Price: $44.98 MSRP

POV: You know, it’s cool that we’re finally getting more releases from the FUNimation/Sunrise deal of 2013, if a bit too late, but… I mean, really? Angel Links? There are maybe four or five people who want this, at most. Then again, if I’ve learned anything from Discotek Media, it’s that there are people who will absolutely buy less-than-good and obscure shows for the right to say “Hey, I own this show, you wanna watch it?” so if you’re into that kind of stuff, check this out. But just watch Outlaw Star instead, really.

Handa-kun – The Complete Series [Essentials] (Blu-ray + Digital)

Everybody loves Sei Handa, the handsome calligrapher who can do no wrong. The only person who doesn’t know of his popularity is…Handa himself! Wallowing in his insecurities, he assumes people talk about him because they hate his guts. A childhood friend, Kawafuji, could tell him the truth, but it’s way more fun to just sit back and laugh as Handa makes the worst out of every situation.

Special Features: Episode 4 Commentary, Textless Opening & Closing Songs
Price: $29.98 MSRP

POV: This is a spin-off series to Barakamon, and from what I can gather, this is a show that’s set right down the middle in terms of reception. You either like it or you really don’t like it, which may explain why this didn’t do so hot at the time of its broadcast. And so, into the “Essentials” shelf it goes.

November 13, 2018:

Twin Star Exorcists – Part Three (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital)

The imbalance between worlds is traced back to Sae, and to save them all, the ray of sunshine that lit their hearts must now return to her roots. All hands are on deck as the beastly Basara continue to plague the land, and time is of the essence as the Twin Stars put heart and soul into saving their city in a battle that brings them closer than ever before.

Price: $54.98 MSRP

POV: Allow me to make a really bad joke that only I will find funny – I liked this show better when it was called Shaman King. And aside from that, I don’t really know much about TSE. So here you go, shonen peeps, more stuff for your shelf.

A Sister’s All You Need – The Complete Series (Blu-ray + Digital)

Itsuki Hashima is kind of a disaster. Between struggling to meet deadlines for his novels and being constantly bothered by his friends, he has one oddity that makes life even more difficult—he’s obsessed with little sisters! Luckily, he has his younger stepbrother, Chihiro, to look out for him. But there’s a secret that could completely change their relationship.

Special Features: Original Twitter Anime, Textless Opening & Closing Songs
Price: $54.98 MSRP

POV: BAD TOUCH. BAD TOUCH. STRANGER DANGER. POWER OF CHRIST COMPELS YOU. And that’s just after the first 60 seconds of the first episode. Yeah, it’s another one of those shows, have some eye bleach on standby.

Code:Realize -Guardian of Rebirth- (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital)

Cardia Beckford is a monster—or so she’s been called due to a deadly poison dwelling in her body. Unable to touch anyone or anything, she is locked away in her home and abandoned by her father. But one fateful night, she’s swept away by the dashing phantom thief, Arsène Lupin for a brand-new adventure!

Special Features: Promo Videos, Commercials, Music Clip, Textless Opening Songs
Price: $64.98 MSRP

POV: Boy, this is a strange Lupin the 3rd spinoff, isn’t it? And I’m making another bad joke because I don’t know crap about this show, either. Looks kinda fujo-centric, not that that’s a bad thing.

ReLIFE – Final Arc (OVAs) (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital)

As the school year begins to wrap up, Arata and Chizuru must face the end of their ReLIFE experiment. While they have plenty to keep them busy, their feelings for one another become stronger and they find themselves becoming closer! Will they follow their hearts or will the fear of forgetting kill their growing romance?

Special Features: Internal Secret Files
Price: $29.98 MSRP

POV: The conclusion to ReLIFE brought about a set of OVAs, and now they’re here. Shame that it couldn’t be in a complete set, but now there’s a physical set for the conclusion for fans.

Cowboy Bebop – The Movie: Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door (Blu-ray – Steelbook)

What should have been an easy bounty turns into biological war after a terrorist gets ahold of a deadly virus. Drawn in by the pretty price on the mastermind’s head, Spike and the Bebop crew are ready to collect a much-needed reward. Unfortunately, the gang’s about to find themselves in more trouble than money when the terrorist threatens to unleash the virus on Halloween—killing everyone on Mars. 

Special Features: English Voice Cast Reunion, Featurettes, Storyboard Comparisons, Music Videos, U.S. Theatrical Trailer
Price: $39.98 MSRP

POV: If you missed the boat on that $250 anniversary set pre-order (like I did), but still want a copy of the Bebop movie, fret not for it’ll be getting a standalone release in the form of a Blu-ray steelbook. The movie is pretty good, too, it’s essentially a long-form “half-episode” set right in the middle of the series, and set on Halloween to boot. Off the bat, this is an immediate step up from the half-assed job Image Entertainment did with the film, supplying only stereo audio and no bonus features, whereas this new release not only has bonus features including a new featurette, but also has the English audio as a 5.1 track; however, the Japanese audio is still listed as being only stereo, which could be a downer for some folks. And interestingly enough, the logo for Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is shown on the back of the package, which leads me to believe this is a sub-license situation between FUNi and Sony. Regardless, this will be a must-own for Bebop fans, and probably for fans of good anime in general, as well.

One Piece – Collection 23 (DVD)

Luffy and his crew learn the history of Fish-men and their struggle against oppression. Ignited by the flames of the past, the New Fish-man Pirates continue their crusade and attack the royal family. Luckily, the Straw Hats make it in time to show off a boatload of powerful new moves! But just when Luffy kicks into gear, a titanic threat heads straight for Shirahoshi.

Special Features: Episode 541 Commentary, Episode 543 Commentary, Episode 559 Commentary, Episode 552 Video Commentary, One Piece: Pop Up Moments, Textless Opening Song
Price: $39.98 MSRP

POV: This set contains the second half of the Fishman Island arc, so if you’re following along with these collection sets, here’s the next one for your collection.

Drifters – The Complete Series [Classics] (Blu-ray + Digital)

Shimazu Toyohisa, a samurai from the historical Battle of Sekigahara, was moments from death when he stepped through a door. Transported to a world both like and unlike his own, he finds himself in a new war—but he is not alone. By his side, Japan’s most notable historical figures Oda Nobunaga and Nasu no Yoichi will join him in this new world at war as they take on the role of “Drifters.”

Special Features: Episode 1 Commentary, Episode 10 Commentary, Inside the Episode 1-12, Promo Videos, Textless Opening & Closing Songs
Price: $49.98 MSRP

POV: Seems like this is a silent re-schedule for Drifters, as it was originally set to be released later this month, on August 28th. Not all that into waiting an extra three months, really, but it is what it is. And maybe one day we’ll be able to see those extra episodes stateside, sometime soon, but it won’t be in this set. C’est la vie.

Joker Game – The Complete Series [Essentials] (Blu-ray + Digital)

Surpassing rigorous physical and mental training, eight Japanese men live as spies in the years before World War II. Whether they’re caught in clever mysteries or enduring torture, blowing their cover is not an option, and murder and suicide are out of the question. Inspired by real events in history, this is a recollection of their endeavors.

Special Features: The Adventures of Night, the Black Cat (Part 1+2), Textless Opening & Closing Songs
Price: $29.98 MSRP

POV: I’ve heard pretty good things about this series, it’s more of a historical seinen show that focuses on some interesting aspects of pre-WWII Japan, and, at the very least, is deserving of a cheap pick-up. Check it out if you’re so inclined.

And You Thought There is Never a Girl Online? – The Complete Series [Essentials] (Blu-ray + Digital)

Ako Tamaki has everything she could ever want: a wonderful husband, a cute outfit, and a guild filled with great friends. The problem? It’s not reality. It’s all in the online world of LA—aka Legendary Age! And when her guild meets IRL, her inability to discern between the real and online world becomes a problem. Can she trade magic spells for social skills, or will she forever be an IRL n00b?

Special Features: Episode 03 Commentary, Episode 05 Video Commentary, Promo Video, Luce Twinkle Wink “”1st Love Story”” Music, Video Promo, Commercial Collection, Textless Opening & Closing Songs
Price: $29.98 MSRP

POV: Ah yes, the show also known as Netoge, it’s quite the interesting little show, taking its own spin on the MMO “sub-genre” of shows, only with more catfishing and harem comedy stuff. Buuuuut you may just pass this up in favor of MMO Junkie instead, so at the very least, if you’re curious, catch an episode or two online before buying the set.

November 20, 2018:

Blood Blockade Battlefront & Beyond – Season Two (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital)

Having saved the city from the King of Despair, Leonardo Watch is now a full-fledged member of the crime-fighting organization known as Libra. But things won’t be easy. No matter what new monster plagues this metropolis of mayhem, every talented misfit at Libra will go to the sky and beyond to maintain peace.

Special Features: Episode 10 Video Commentary, Promo Videos, TV Spots, Commercial Collection, Textless Opening & Closing Songs
Price: $64.98 MSRP

POV: Oh hey, remember when this show was super hot when it was airing in 2015? Then the second season happened and it, uh… wasn’t quite as hot. Regardless, this is still one of the best projects BONES has put out in this decade, so definitely get this and add it right alongside season one.

GARO -VANISHING LINE- – Part One (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital)

Horrors teem in the shadows of Russel City, where something sinister has awakened. Seeking to vanquish this darkness is Sword, the legendary knight in golden armor, with simple desires and a reputation for getting the job done. When a headstrong teen named Sophie comes along in search of her missing brother, she and Sword get caught in a twisted fate. Banding together, they chase their only clue—El Dorado.

Special Features: Textless Opening & Closing Songs
Price: $64.98 MSRP

POV: Okay, I’m gonna be real with you, the GARO franchise is a hard sell. Both as a crazy tokusatsu series and as an anime that’s roaming all over medieval lands, it’s not the easiest show for everyone to get into. But this GARO series? Ohhhh man, it is very, very good at what it does – kick ass and take names. This is arguably the most contemporary incarnation of the franchise – yet – and it’s filled with some pretty zany awesome action goodness. And did I mention the animation production is pretty dang exquisite? Thank you, MAPPA, for delivering the goods as you all do.

The Morose Mononokean – The Complete Series [Essentials] (Blu-ray + Digital)

Ashiya Hanae’s life is turned upside down when he’s possessed by a yokai! His only help comes in Abeno Haruitsuki, a handsome young man known as the “Master of the Mononokean.” But his aid comes at a price, one that has Ashiya working as his assistant to pay it off! Can they stop bickering with each other long enough to help the yokai trapped in this world?

Special Features: Textless Opening & Closing Songs
Price: $29.98 MSRP

POV: I still don’t know much about this show, sadly, it’s just one of those shows that slipped by me and I just never really noticed. So… ehh?

Myriad Colors Phantom World – The Complete Series [Essentials] (Blu-ray + Digital)

When people become capable of seeing “phantoms”, trouble begins brewing from the few creatures looking to cause mischief. Luckily, people like Haruhiko Ichijo have special abilities to face them. Together with the vivacious Mai and his fairy-phantom companion, they take on the danger born from the human mind. But their team needs a lot of work and some fresh new faces to be successful!

Special Features: Episode 7 Commentary, “”Limitless Phantom World”” 1-7, Web Previews, Promo Video & Commercial Collection, Textless Opening & Closing Songs
Price: $29.98 MSRP

POV: Well, this is kind of a shame, isn’t it? A high-profile KyoAni show getting moved to the bargain shelf, but I suppose this’ll make for an insta-buy for all the KyoAni fans out there, and all the limbo fans out there as well. Y’all know what scene I’m referring to.

Space Patrol Luluco – The Complete Series [Essentials] (Blu-ray + Digital)

Luluco’s dad has been frozen in a block of ice, and there’s only one way for this middle schooler to pay for the treatment—by taking his place in the Space Patrol! It’s a total pain, until she gets partnered with some perfect crush material, a.k.a. the handsome Nova from outer space. After her hometown of Ogikubo gets sucked into a black hole, it’s up to Luluco and a bunch of weirdos to track it down.

Special Features: Textless Closing Song
Price: $29.98 MSRP

POV: Now THIS is a show that’s well worth the asking price. Behold the amazingly insane glory that is Luluco, the key to unraveling the “TRIGGER Expanded Universe,” as this show is pretty much one giant in-joke of TRIGGER set to a pretty cool and humerous story of intergalactic travel.

November 27, 2018:

King’s Game – The Complete Series (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital)

A class of thirty-two high school students receive texts commanding them to complete strange tasks. Nobuaki Kanazawa has played this game before and knows that these demands must be met. But until penalties for failure become lethal, no one is ready to step out of their comfort zone. As orders and punishments become more and more gruesome, the worst in people manages to tear its way out.

Special Features: Textless Opening & Closing Songs
Price: $64.98 MSRP

POV: What is it about shows that present themselves as “mature” so hard that they always stumble off the starting gate? Look no further than this show, and what an amazing pile of crap this turned out to be. If so inclined, buy it for ironic reasons or buy it to laugh at how awful it is. Don’t expect a continuation, though. Just trust me on that hunch.

Tales of the Abyss – The Complete Series [sub-only] (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital)

Based off the popular game, Tales of the Abyss will take you to a fantastic world where fate is written in Fonic Stones and the will to defy it lies in those who are mere replicas. Pampered prince Luke fon Fabre is suddenly thrown from his life of luxury into an adventure unlike any other. Together with a group of magic-users, he’ll learn about his world and the dark truth about his existence.

Price: $54.98 MSRP

POV: A brief history lesson about this show, first. This was originally released by Bandai Entertainment between October 2011 and February 2012, with no dub produced as… well, this was Bandai in 2011, they were on the way out of the industry by then. Sadly, despite a renewed interested in the Tales of series of games, there apparently wasn’t much of a need to produce a dub for this 2008 series. But hey, another Sunrise rescue title out for purchase, check that one off the list.

Three Leaves, Three Colors – The Complete Series [Essentials] (Blu-ray + Digital)

Yoko Nishikawa lived a life of privilege until her father’s company went under. From princess to pauper, she faces life with a non-existent budget and is stuck eating bread crusts. Alone and distraught, everything changes when glutton Futaba and scary class rep Teru stumble into her life—literally. Together, they’ll discover a new friendship and survive the day-to-day trials of being in high school.

Price: $29.98 MSRP

POV: Uuuuuummmmmm… yeah, I got nothing. Sorry. Cute girls doing stuff, that’s all I can get out of this info.

Regalia: The Three Sacred Stars – The Complete Series [Essentials] (Blu-ray + Digital)

In the country of Rimguard a mysterious event shook the country and its people just twelve years prior. As time passed, memory of the incident began to fade while peace reigned over the land. Sisters Yui and Rena live a quiet life in the Enastria Empire until a large mecha suddenly attacks their peaceful home, changing everything. The girls become caught in a vortex of destiny and godly revival.

Special Features: Textless Opening & Closing Songs
Price: $29.98 MSRP

POV: This feels like a mecha show that’s more of an acquired taste for mecha fans. Probably not as much as, say, Lagrange: The Flower of Rin-ne (which is pretty dang good, too), but there’s a bit of charm that’s hiding beneath the surface. Preview it online before buying it physically.

Recommended titles for the month:
Space Battleship Yamato 2199
Cowboy Bebop – The Movie: Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door
Joker Game
Blood Blockade Battlefront & Beyond
GARO -VANISHING LINE-
Space Patrol Luluco

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