John Lasseter Taking Leave of Absence From Pixar Amid “Missteps”

“It’s never easy to face your missteps, but it’s the only way to learn from them,” the executive stated.

Disney Animation head John Lasseter is taking a leave of absence from Pixar after acknowledging “painful” conversations and unspecified “missteps,” he wrote Tuesday in a memo to staff, obtained by The Hollywood Reporter.

Lasseter’s statement arrived as THR was preparing a story detailing alleged misconduct by the executive at Disney/Pixar.


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Live-Action Ghost In The Shell (2017) will be a cult classic

So the live-action Ghost In The Shell movie came and went, and with it, the dream of seeing a high-quality Hollywood produced live-action anime, such as Akira or Battle Angel, took another big step backwards. Fans and critics were, for the most part, on the same page, as the film only made $40M in its first month in the US, and it’s Rotten Tomatoes score sits (at the time of this writing), at 46%. So the immediate reaction is to say that this movie is a bust. But that may or may or be the case. In fact, I am positive that in a few years, future critics and audiences will react more favorable to this film. Continue reading

‘Pokémon GO’ Announces New Water Festival Event With Increased Gyarados, Lapras Spawns

Pokemon GO

Well it’s been about a month since Gen 2 was released, so that means it’s time for another event to get Pokémon GO players logging in again. Yesterday, the game was patched to make evolution items a guaranteed drop for weekly streaks (at long freaking last), and today Niantic has announced a new made-up event that does not correspond with an actual holiday.

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PC Impressions: Zero Escape: The Nonary Games

The Zero Escape games saw an inauspicious start in 2009 with Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors—otherwise known as 999—a mystery slash sci-fi visual novel for the original DS. Coming after a wave of successful adventure game-meets-visual novel hybrids on DS, ranging from Phoenix Wright to Hotel Dusk, 999 became a cult hit, spawning a series that culminated in 2016’s Zero Time Dilemma. By now, you’ve probably heard Zero Escape fans talking about how cool the series is, and publisher Spike Chunsoft is working to ensure that word of mouth has someplace to go with Zero Escape: The Nonary Games, a compilation of the first two titles in the series.
The basic setup of 999 sees you working along with eight other people in the so-called Nonary Games. You’re trapped aboard a ship and challenged to escape by overcoming all sorts of traps, tricks, and challenges set forth by a mysterious masked figure called “Zero.” The stakes are life and death, and you probably already know how this goes—the nine characters of the game find themselves forming shifting alliances, and the nature of the game as well as its players slowly reveals itself over the course of the adventure. Continue reading

Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale Film Earns Over 2 Billion Yen

The Sword Art Online the Movie: Ordinal Scale anime has sold 1,439,149 million tickets to earn 2,026,861,020 yen (about US$18.2) at the Japanese box office as of Monday. The film ranked #10 at the Japanese box office in its fifth weekend.

The film opened in Japan on February 18, and sold about 308,376 tickets for 425,762,760 yen (about US$3.76 milion) in its opening weekend. The film was the first anime film to rank #1 in both weekend attendance and weekend box office receipt totals since Makoto Shinkai’s your name. The film also set the opening-weekend record among films distributed by Aniplex.

The film also surpassed US$1.35 million in ticket sales in its opening weekend in North American theaters. Aniplex of America and Eleven Arts opened the film in the United States on March 9 after a Hollywood premiere on March 1. The film also screened in Canada during the March 17-19 weekend. The film will return to U.S. theaters with an English dub starting on April 22.

The film also opened in Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand, and Mexico over the past five weeks, and it ranked in the top 10 at the box office in all four countries. It earned 150 million yen (US$1.3 million) and ranked #3 in its first weekend in Taiwan. It earned 80 million yen (US$700,000) in South Korea and 50 million yen (US$400,000) in Singapore. The film is opening in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Vietnam, the United Kingdom, and Italy, and dubbed versions are playing in Germany, Mexico, France, and Italy. As of Tuesday, the film has sold 700,000 tickets for the equivalent of more than 600 million yen (about US$5.32 million) in foreign box office ticket sales outside Japan.

Crunchyroll Screens Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress Compilation Films in Theaters

Crunchyroll announced on Friday that it plans to screen the Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress compilation films in theaters in North America on April 26. Both films will screen in a double feature on the same day as part of Crunchyroll‘s “Anime Movie Night” event series.

Tickets will go on sale for the public on March 24 and for Crunchyroll premium members on March 21.

The compilation films, which cover the anime’s first season, premiered on December 31 and January 7 in Japan. Both ran for two weeks in theaters. In addition to compiling footage from the television series, the films also include some new and enhanced scenes.

The original television anime premiered last April 7 and ended on July 1. The series streamed on Amazon Prime Video with English subtitles as it aired in Japan.

The anime reunited director Tetsuro Araki and Wit Studio, the team responsible for Attack on Titan. Code Geass creator Ichiro Okouchi wrote the scripts. Haruhiko Mikimoto (Macross 7, Gunbuster) designed the original characters, and Hiroyuki Sawano (Attack on Titan, Aldnoah.Zero) composed the music.

The series streamed on Amazon Prime worldwide. Crunchyroll announced plans to release the series on Blu-ray Disc and DVD in North America with an English dub, and Funimation is now handling the release as part of the two companies’ partnership.

A new Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress anime has been green-lit and is slated for 2018.

Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2 PS4 Game Slated for May 26 in N. America

Aksys Games and Arc System Works announced this Thursday that Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2 will launch in North America on May 26. The game will be available in both physical and digital versions for the PlayStation 4. Those who own Guilty Gear Xrd Revelator already on PS4 or PlayStation 3 will be able to pay a lower price to update their game to Guilty Gear Xrd Rev 2.

This release of the game will include all of the DLC available for Guilty Gear Xrd Revelator, and will include new story chapters for Jam Kuradoberi, Kum Haehyun, Raven, Dizzy, Answer, and Baiken.

Arc System Works plans to release the game in arcades this spring in Japan, and then for PS4 and PS3 on May 25. The company has also announced a release for PC via Steam. The Japanese home console version will also add a new scenario to the story mode.

The game will feature the new characters Answer (voiced by Tomokazu Seki) and Baiken (voiced by Mayumi Asano). The new game will also feature balance modifications such as new techniques for previous playable characters.

Arc System Works released the original Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN- game in Japanese arcades in February 2014. The company then released the game for the PS3 and PS4 consoles in Japan in December 2014, and publisher Aksys Games released the game in North America later that month. Arc System Works released the game in Europe in June 2015, and released a PC version on Steam in December 2015.

Arc System Works then released the Guilty Gear Xrd -Revelator- game in arcades across Japan in August 2015, and then on the PS4 and PS3 in Japan in May 2016. Aksys Games released the game in North America on PS4 and PS3 in June 2016. Arc System Works released Guilty Gear Xrd -Revelator- on PC on December 14, 2016.

Eromanga Sensei Teaser Visual and Trailer Released!

Oreimo’s Fushimi Tsukasa and Kanzaki Hiro are back with another TV anime adaptation, thanks to A-1 Pictures! Eromanga Sensei will air from Apr. 8 and you can check out their latest promotional image below.

As displayed in the PV, the show’s opening theme will be “Hitorigoto” by ClariS while TrySail will provide the ending with “adrenaline!!”.

KANA-BOON To Sing Boruto: Naruto Next Generations Opening Theme

KANA-BOON’s “Baton Road” has been selected as the opening theme for Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, which airs from April 2017.

Boruto: Naruto Next Generations follows the adventures of Naruto’s son Boruto and builds on the success of the 2015 theatrical feature, Boruto: Naruto The Movie, for which KANA-BOON also provided the main theme song.

KANA-BOON are big fans of the Naruto franchise and have already collaborated with the series three times including the Naruto Shippuden opening theme “Silhouette”, the Boruto: Naruto The Movie theme “Diver”, and the PS4 game Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 opening theme “Spiral”.

You’ll be able to hear “Baton Road” and see the accompanying animation when the show airs for the first time on April 5!

A Second Season of Hozuki no Reitetsu Is Finally Coming!

The second season of Hozuki no Reitetsu ( Hozuki’s Coolheadedness ) was officially announced on Mar. 11 at the “Hell’s Encyclopedia in Roppongi” event! The anime continuation of Eguchi Natsumi’s work will resume in Oct. 2017.

Countless fans have been waiting patiently for this exact announcement since the first season came to an end in 2014 – but that’s no surprise considering the series’ popularity. Not only is Hozuki no Reitetsu serialized in Morning, but it’s also sold over 10 million copies since its first release in 2011!

Regarding the announcement, creator Eguchi commented, “I’m really pleased! From those on the staff to all of my readers, I truly thank everyone who’s made this possible. Personally, I hope everyone is moved and enjoys it as much as I do!” Hozuki’s voice actor Yasumoto Hiroki also commented, “Getting to work on this series will be a pleasure, but I’m also thrilled to experience the world of Hozuki no Reitetsu and everything that comes with it. Plus, I get to work alongside talented peers – it’s a wonderful feeling.”

To commemorate the upcoming arrival of this long-awaited season, a mini exhibition will be held at Tokyo’s BOOKMARK Asakusabachi from Apr. 22 to May. 7 featuring Hozuki no Reitetsu art. If you’ve been waiting forever for this news, you might want to treat yourself by visiting and give yourself a pat on the back for having your patience finally pay off!

Creator: Eguchi Natsumi
Director: Yoneda Kazuhiro
Screenwriter: Goto Midori
Character Design: Omatsuri Jiro
Editor: Matsubara Rie
Sound Director: Hata Shouji
SFX & Sound: eNA/Studio Don Juan
Music: TOMISIRO/King Record
Animation: Studio DEEN

Hozuki: Yasumoto Hiroki
Enma Daiou: Nagasako Takahashi
Shiro: Kobayashi Yumiko
Kakisuke: Gotou Hiroki
Rurio: Matsuyama Takashi
Okou: Kitamura Eri
Nasubi: Aoyama Touko
Karauri: Kakihara Tetsuya
Karashi: Tanezaki Atsumi
Peach Maki: Uesaka Sumire
Momotarou: Hirakawa Daisuke
Hakutaku: Yusa Koji

Hozuki no Reitetsu Mini Exhibition
Dates: Apr. 22 ~ May 7
Place: BOOKMARK Asakusabashi