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Crunchyroll Takes Next Step Towards Nurturing Anime Industry

July 13, 2017 5:30pm
by Lachlan Johnston

It goes without saying that the influence that Crunchyroll has had over anime industry throughout the last several years is rapidly increasing. Perhaps to those analyzing the company from a consumer standpoint, they would likely come across as just another anime streaming website–but it's the backend of things that has had my interest piqued for quite some time. Outside of their anime streaming services, many are actually unaware that Crunchyroll have also been involved in the production of content for quite some time. Series such as Studio TRIGGER's own "Kiznaiver" was in-part produced with the creative efforts of Crunchyroll, with many of their own staff actually finding themselves within the series credits for various roles. 

In October 2016 we witnessed what would perhaps be the first widely recognized work with the Crunchyroll name to it; Porter Robinson and Madeon's "Shelter" music video, an animated short made in collaboration with A-1 Pictures. Though the reality of things is they had been involved in anime for quite some time before that, it was nice to see the company thrown into the spotlight for that period of time. For Crunchyroll however, this was simply seen as a starting point for something so much larger. 

You may have read recently that Crunchyroll has partnered with NBCUniversal Entertainment Japan in a joint effort to co-develop original anime. It seems like a natural progression, especially with Crunchyroll being the international distributor for NBCUniversal Entertainment Japan's animated series' including "Berserk", "Seven Mortal Sins" and "The Fruit of Grisaia". Through this partnership, Crunchyroll hopes to co-develop a string of titles that reach a level of "international appeal" thought to be lacking in a majority of modern anime. In example, of the 36 original anime airing this season, and the 8 returning anime, there's a strong chance that a very small percentage will truly strike it big with international audiences, with this partnership aiming to increase that percentage. 

​Since 2015 the company has invested in more than two dozen animated series, proving time and time again their commitment to the industry that has given us all so much. Since breaking through the one million paid subscriber mark in early February, one can only imagine the general financial output into the anime industry that must come from Crunchyroll. Without jumping to too many conclusions, I'd dare suggest that there's even been a notable increase in the quality of anime over the past few years, likely due to this new flow of revenue into the industry.

Perhaps set to see the light of day before anything from the NBCUniversal Entertainment Japan partnership, we've got the upcoming October 2017 release of Crunchyroll's co-produced "Urahara"; an anime adaptation of their "PARK Harajuku: Crisis Team" web-manga series. Utilizing a star-studded lineup of both staff and voice actors, we're perhaps given our first real look at what Crunchyroll has in mind for their original content driven future. Even if we are still quite some time away from seeing the seeds of this partnership flourish, I'm extremely excited to witness just what Crunchyroll can pull off, and have high hopes for their continued contributions to the anime industry as a whole. Where they go next is only limited to their imagination, it would seem.

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New 'Pokémon Ultra Sun & Moon' Trailer Revealed

August 18, 2017 2:00pm
by Lachlan Johnston

Uploaded today onto the official Pokémon YouTube channel, we today received two new glimpses into just what we can expect from the upcoming "Pokémon: Ultra Sun" and "Pokémon: Ultra Moon". Showcasing a series of new story elements, and even a possible return to the Kanto region, fans of the series have a whole lot to disect in the first new trailer. Following shortly after was the upload of a short video announcing the new Z-Move for Kommo-o. 

Featuring two new unique looks for our main character, players are invited to adventure once more whilst remaining as stylish as ever. There's going to be new places to explore, and even more fresh content to enjoy building into the Ultra games. On top of all this we'll also have an all-new Z-Move to enjoy.

Within mere minutes of the trailer being uploaded, viewers were rapidly pulling apart every little detail, which of course produced some pretty interesting results. Perhaps one of the most interesting however would come in roughly 14 seconds into the trailer, where we find the main character in an all too familiar location. Not quite sure what we're talking about? Check this out:

One of the most prominent aspects of the "Pokémon Sun" and "Pokémon Moon" games was the constant throw back to the second generation titles and their Kanto region setting. It was largely dismissed amongst fans as simple easter eggs scattered throughout the game, but perhaps this latest shot suggests they could mean so much more. With a November 17 release date for the titles however, we're still some ways off knowing. One can only dream of such a return to the Kanto region however, and we sure hope it happens. 

If you're interested in checking out further information on the upcoming titles, you can check out the official website, here. Are you excited for the upcoming games, and have you figured out which copy you'll be picking up? 

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'Monster Hunter: World' Wildspire Waste Trailer Released

August 18, 2017 12:00pm
by Lachlan Johnston

Following the news that fans will be able to enjoy the highly-anticipated "Monster Hunter: World" at this year's Tokyo Game Show, Capcom have today shared a new trailer for the upcoming title. Adventuring deep into the uncharted Wildspire Waste, hunters are going to need to gear up adequitely if they hope to defeat the creatures that call the wasteland their home. The trailer is gorgeous, and could quite possibly be one of the best series trailers to date. You'll see what I mean below:

Featuring a plethora of new and returning monsters, players are going to need to hope their hunting skills are as overpowering as these monsters will be. We've still got a bit of time to prepare ourselves, especially with that "Early 2018" release frame, but we absolutely can expect to get our hunt on for both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, with a PC release slated for an undefined later date. 

Available for demo play at the Tokyo Game Show 2017, you'll have your own chance to begin your hunt before the official release. For further information on the upcoming title, you can check out the full website here.

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Screenshots From Upcoming Persona Dancing Titles Revealed

August 17, 2017 6:00pm
by Lachlan Johnston

It was only a short period of time ago that Atlus announced what is possibly my most hyped upcoming pair of titles, "Persona 3: Dancing Moon Night" and "Persona 5: Dancing Star Light" which are set to release on both PlayStation Vita and PlayStation 4 in Japan around Spring 2018. They appear to follow a similar play-style to the previously released "Persona 4: Dancing All Night", which just so happened to be my favorite entry into the "Persona" series to date. 

There's not been much information since the release of the trailers, which makes sense given the game is so far off. That however all changed recently, following an interview conducted by Japanese news platform 4Gamer with Atlus. Sharing an entire slew of gorgeous in-game screenshots, we're treated to even more reasons to get excited for the upcoming pair of games. You can check out the images for each game below:

"Persona 3: Dancing Moon Light"


"Persona 5: Dancing Star Light"


Set to release Spring 2018 here in Japan, you can find even more information on the upcoming game in our archive. Further details can also be find via the official website for the titles, here.

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English Trailer for 'Little Witch Academia' Game Released

August 17, 2017 5:00pm
by Mike Tamburelli

We already knew that "Little Witch Academia: Chamber of Time" was getting an international release, but that felt rather far away. We would have been expected to wait quite a lot longer for any information, had Bandai Namco not just released an English-subtitled version of the game's story trailer, giving us all a better idea of what we can expect from the gorgeous-looking 2.5D romp.
 

Have you ever had a summer vacation ruined by the accidental discovery of a time-warping door inside the library at school? I just hate when that happens. It seems then that we are now tasked with helping Akko and her friends restore sanity at Luna Nova Magical Academy with the help of some wondrously-enchanting special moves and spells. All of exposition set to Yuiko Ohara's Toki no Mirage, the game's official theme, is enough of a hex to get me to purchase this game on day one. Rest assured, you'll be hearing a lot from me on this one.

Bandai Namco have provided their official synopsis of the game below:

​Having been inspired by a famous witch named Shiny Chariot, an ordinary girl named Atsuko (Akko) Kagari enrolls at Luna Nova Magical Academy, a prestigious school for young girls training to become witches. Before starting summer vacation, Akko and her new classmates find out about an inexplicable phenomenon at Luna Nova caused by the Seven Wonders, which has been passed down for several centuries. Now it's up to Akko as she takes on the adventure to unravel the mystery surrounding the Seven Wonders.

Little Witch Academia: Chamber of Time releases in Japan for both the PlayStation 4 and PC on November 30. The game is currently slated for international release in the "Early 2018" timeframe.

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Crunchyroll and Funimation to Release 'Space Patrol Luluco'

August 17, 2017 4:00pm
by Lachlan Johnston

Announced today, Crunchyroll are working together with the team at Funimation to release Studio Trigger's hit 2016 animated series "Space Patrol Luluco" in North America on Blu-Ray and DVD. It wasn't all too long ago that the anime big-names announced that they'd be joining forces to bring even more of the shows we love to fans around the world. Taking it a step at a time, the partnership has proceeded to produce incredible results, with this release being the latest. 

Featuring both English and Japanese voice overs, as well as full subtitling, there's a whole lot to look forward with this release. Featuring all thirteen episodes of the series, fans will be treated to the full-hd adventure that is "Space Patrol Luluco". Contained within the disc as an additional bonus will also be the textless ED theme. Crunchyroll have made the English-dubbed trailer for the series made available on theirTwitter, which can be streamed below:

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.

Priced at roughly $26 online, you'll be able to pre-order the release ahead of its October 2017 availability. For further information on the release, as well as where to pre-order it, be sure to check out Funimation's official website, here.

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Check out the Latest Single from CY8ER 'Koi Natsu'

August 17, 2017 1:00pm
by Lachlan Johnston

CY8ER are back and sounding fresher than ever in their latest release, "Koi Natsu", which was recently made available on their YouTube channel. The bouncy electronic single finds the six-member idol unit playfully embracing the summertime, all while infusing their own signature sounds and styles into the season. 

When it comes to emerging idol groups, there's none that I've found more intriguing than CY8ER. I'd be lying if I said I was a big idol fan, but I've always had a soft spot for the blending of electronic music with less-traditional idol sounds. That's exactly where CY8ER comes into all of this, they're an idol group who aren't afraid of being unconventional, and that's possibly one of their strongest points. Many might know them for their global headline-making stunt which saw them wearing hazmat suits for a fan meet and greet, but I'd like to hope most of you know them for their incredible musical value.

Their latest single "Koi Natsu" is no exception, and is an excellent entry point for anyone not familiar with the group. Fresh off the group's "Lucid Dreaming Tour", it's impressive that the members were able to make the time to push out such a quality single. Pulling off a similarly excentric vibe to previous releases, "Koi Natsu" truly drives home the fact that CY8ER are a force to be reckoned with. If you're intereted in checking out further information on the group, be sure to dig through out archives, here.

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The New Unicorn Gundam Is Being Assembled in Odaiba

August 17, 2017 12:00pm
by Lachlan Johnston

It was only a few months ago that Tokyo lost one of its greatest guardians -- the life-size Gundam unit that stood tall over the Odaiba area. It dissapeared suddenly, and made waves globally when the announcement of its dismantaling was made. That was of course, until it was detailed that the unit was instead being replaced by the more modern "Unicorn Gundam". It's been six months since that time, and we're finally starting to see the progress being made on the Unicorn Gundam. Check out the gallery below to see just how gorgeous this unit looks:

In the above series of photos uploaded by Twitter user @yoshi115t, we're given our first real glance at the new Unicorn Gundam. Still under construction, the images showcase the procedure being used by assembly teams to piece together the RX-0 unit. Standing proud at over 24 meters tall, the RX-0 Unicorn Gundam towers over the original RX-78-2 unit which capped off at 18 meters height. Captured in a timelapse video below, you can check out roughly 30 minutes of construction for the unit:
What are your thoughts on the new Unicorn Gundam? Do you think it'll ever top the original RX-78-2 Gundam that stood over the Odaiba area for so long? 

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