New Rurouni Kenshin Newtype Image

Now this is more of what I had in mind for the covers of the upcoming blu-ray releases. Bloody Kenshin. The image comes straight out of this month’s issue of Kadokawa’s Newtype anime magazine. Although the new remastered release for the OVA’s is advertised at the bottom of the image, the article itself is entitled ‘Rurouni Kenshin TV animation 15th anniversary project’.

If by some crazy chance that this is our first look at what the new animated adaptation might look like…count me in.

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Rurouni Kenshin Blu-ray Covers Revealed

Starting in August, Aniplex is releasing the two Rurouni Kenshin OVA series as well as the 1997 animated film on Blu-ray simultaneously in both Japan and the United States. The covers for Trust & Betrayal (Tsukiouhen) and Reflection (Seisouhen), set for release on August 24th and September 21st respectively, have been revealed. All of the covers for the Blu-ray releases are new drawings by Atsuko Nakajima, one of the original character designers for the series.

Honestly, the covers for these new releases aren’t nearly as exciting as I was hoping them to be and really just seem to depict Kenshin as being something of a player.

All of the source material is being carefully upgraded to high-definition and the english edition will also feature a translated booklet. You can pre-order the limited edition Blu-rays here.

A live-action Rurouni Kenshin film is due in 2012 and a new anime project was also announced back in April in Shuiesha’s Jump Square manga anthology with more details to be announced in future issues.

Jump Square serializes Rurouni Kenshin author Nobuhiro Watsuki’s current manga series entitled Embalming: Another Tale of Frankenstein.

The No.1 Selling Blu-ray in Japan is Evangelion 2.22

The Oricon music and film listing in Japan has announced that Evangelion 2.22 sold 124,000 DVD’s and 195,000 Blu-ray disc’s on the first day of its release this past Tuesday. The previous number one selling anime Blu-ray was Kazuhiro Furuhashi’s Mobile Suit Gundam UC which sold 56,000 copies in its first week. Evangelion easily topped that number in only a single day. It also tops the previous record holder for first-day sales in general which was, strangely enough, Michael Jackson’s This is It which moved 122,000 BD’s on its first day of release. This is It is still the record holder for most number of disc’s sold overall with Evangelion 1.11 coming in a close second. I think it’s pretty clear that Evangelion 2.22 will go on to outsell This it It.

For a little bit of perspective on just how many copies Evangelion sold on its release day, 195,000 is several times more than many 13 episode  late-night anime series sell during the entire run of the series. This is seriously a phenomenal number.

Evangelion 2.22 Blu-ray Improvements

This is priceless. This is why we have flat-screen televisions and 1060p Hi-Definition picture quality. For fanservice of the highest animation quality. Evangelion 2.22 hits shelves in Japan this week and pictures are already popping up online of the changes that have been made to the film since it’s inital release to Japanese theaters last June. There are several brand new scens that have been added to the Blu-ray that were not present in the film before but also most of the film has been touched up with added detail or smoother animation.

One excellent example of this is shown in the images above. The top picture is from the new Blu-ray release and the lower image is from the theatrical release. I will leave it to your own eyes to discern the obvious changes that have been made in the scene but I just wanted to comment on how much I appreciate the fine work that directors Hideaki Anno and Kazuya Tsurumaki and the other animators of Studio Khara have put into this work. Hooray for Mari’s butt in Hi-def!

Another poster has been put out for Evangelion 2.22 covering all of the scenes in the film and showing some images of a few of the new scenes that have been added to the work. Shown below are some photographs of the poster taken from a shop in Japan.

The DVD version was leaked online this past sunday with a relatively low-quality release of the film. The fans, including me, subsequently went crazy. This is fun and all but I strongly suggest that fans of the series buy the Japanese release off of Amazon.jp (The Blu-ray is region free and will work on any Blu-ray player including Playstation 3’s) or at the very least pick up the American version of the film when it eventually gets released stateside by Funimation. I will be posting later this week with a more in-depth review of the film.

List of New Cuts in Evangelion 2.22

I’m actually starting to get overwhelmed by just how much Evangelion-related stuff there is right now to write about but I always seem to find something more that is just crazy enough to post. Like this here new poster for the Evangelion 2.22 Blu-ray. The image is the exact same one as what was used in movie theaters last year in Japan but this new poster lists every single cut of the film that has is either entirely new or changed in some way. I guess this settles the point that they really did work hard on this new release, if my sources are right it seems that a little more than half of the scenes in the movie are listed on the poster. The EvaGeeks.org website has translated a short list of some of the newly added scenes of the film from the Minna no Eva blog which I’m including below.

Some of the new scenes include:

*Eva-02 is shown transported after its first-battle.
*Kaji arrives in Japan, seemingly at a train station. Shinji and the boys meet him there.
*Misato has free time, sitting at headquarters. The activation test is when she receives Asuka’s “What a shame!”.
*Aida-kun is called out in the classroom.
*In the Eva 2.22 PV and Eva-Extra 06, Eva-03 is shown being transported. It passes through a thundercloud.
*Eva-03’s entry plug is shown being collected after the battle.
*The Eva 2.22 PV showed Mari backflipping in Eva-02. The 10th Angel’s attack is increased from there on.

It seems that the film is getting some crucial character-development scenes added. They had plenty of room to add more dialogue scenes on to the film and I’m glad that they seem to be doing so. Of course, the added content to Mari’s battle in Eva-02 against the 10th Angel is cool too.

Also, the seventh issue of the Eva-Extra magazine will be released for free the same day as the Blu-ray and DVD on the 26th. Studio Khara has released the cover of the issue which is from the end of the film and looks super awesome:

‘Tokyo-3’ Screening of Evangelion 2.22

This past weekend, on May 8th, there was a special screening of ‘Evangelion 2.22 You Can (Not) Advance’ at the high school in Hakone, Japan that was apparently the insipration for the school that all of the pilots in the series attend. The school was decorated in all sorts of Evangelion-related posters and emblems. Images of Ayanami Rei were even placed from the windows of the upper floors — to give the appearance that she was looking out from the room above. All of this is pretty crazy, but also totally cool. There was a ton of merchandise present, with some special items just for the event, but the main attraction was the chance to take a look at the new cut of the film as well as a special music video several weeks prior to the release of the actual film.

Luckily this event wasn’t cancelled after the Lawson convenience store debacle in Hakone last month. I just think its cool for the studios involved to take the time to set up events like this for the fans — it most certainly makes money and its stuff like this that really makes me wish that I lived in Japan. Below are some images from the event from the Minna no Eva blog (http://neweva.blog103.fc2.com/blog-entry-930.html).

Alien Anthology Blu-ray Information

20th Century Fox is releasing the four primary Alien films remastered on Blu-Ray later this year. The collection will be called the ‘Alien Anthology’ and it will not feature the two terrible Alien vs. Predator films. The new collection will include many hours of new extras that will go far beyond what was included in thebonus material of the ‘Alien Quadrilogy’ DVD boxset that was released in 2004. Aside from a variety of new featurettes, the most exciting announcement for me has to be the news that the extended edition of Alien 3 is getting its audio issues fixed. Since a ‘director’s cut’ doesn’t exist for Alien 3 (due to director David Fincher not wanting to have anything else to do with the project) the people at Fox decided to release workprint footage that had been cut from the original release of the film to create an ‘extended edition’.

The problem with this is that certain scenes weren’t actually finished in post production so entire segments of dialogue had to have a subtitle track go along with it just to understand what the actors are saying. This new Blu-ray release of Alien 3 apparently fixes this problem due to some of the actors returning to re-record their dialogue. the release date for the box set is rumored to be Christmas of this year and there will of course be a few different versions of the release including a collector’s edition which will have the box set contained in an Alien egg. Very, very cool. Early design pictures of the anthology set are included below. Personally, as cool as the special edition looks, I really hope that it contains the white Alien Queen cover of the Blu-ray box because that cover picture is just simply awesome.