Gundam Unicorn Episode 5 Release Date

With the imminent release of episode 4 on PSN this weekend and on Blu-ray in early December, animation studio Sunrise has announced a May 2012 release date for the 5th episode of their ongoing Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn OVA series entitled ‘Black Unicorn’. The series, directed by Kazuhiro Furhashi of Rurouni Kenshin and Hunter x Hunter fame, has been a huge success in Japan. It has also been revealed that the ending to the OVA series will be different than the ending which occurred in the novels that the animation is based upon.

I’ve also included below the HG announcement for the Banshee mobile suit design.

From Gundam Guy.

Rurouni Kenshin ‘New Kyoto Arc’ OVA Revealed

Yesterday, it was revealed that the previously announced new anime project for Rurouni Kenshin will be a 2-episode ‘New Kyoto Arc’ OVA. This new project will cover the Kyoto Arc from Nobuhiro Watsuki’s original manga from Oniwabanshu ninja Makimachi Misao’s perspective.

The new series will reunite animation Studio Deen with original series director Kazuhiro Furuhashi along with composer Noriyuki Asakura and most of the original vocal cast.

As great as it is to see new animation for Rurouni Kenshin, I can’t help but be a little dissapointed to see that the new project is just a recap of the Kyoto Arc. Although by far Rurouni Kenshin’s most popular arc, it was already animated in full in the original television series while the manga’s final arc remains mostly un-animated.

I find it very odd that the producers would ignore what fans of the series have been asking for years, which is to see a fully animated version of the Revenge Arc.  Perhaps, this ‘New Kyoto Arc’ OVA is being used to see how much interest there would be in doing a larger-scale new adaptation of the series. One can only hope.

Otherwise, I find it really interesting that Kazuhiro Furuhashi is back on directing duties for the series as he is still working on the ongoing Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn OVA project. That alone gives me hope that this new Rurouni Kenshin project will turn out well.

The first episode of the new OVA series will be shown in Japanese theaters this December.

From Comic Natalie.

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.

Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin Anime Project Announced

This month’s issue of Kadokawa Shoten’s Gundam Ace magazine announced that Yoshikazu Yasuhiko’s manga adaptation of the original Mobile Suit Gundam television series entitled Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin would itself be adapted into animation.

Yasuhiko was a character designer and animation director on director Yoshiyuki Tomino’s 1979 Mobile Suit Gundam television series and has also worked on many other Gundam projects; his most recent contribution being character design work on the ongoing Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn OVA series.

The announcement does not mention whether this adaptation of The Origin manga will be a film, OVA, or television series, stating only that a ‘anime project’ has begun (much like how the new Berserk and Rurouni Kenshin ‘anime projects’ have recently been announced). This month’s issue of Gundam Ace also celebrated the 10th anniversary and final chapter of Yasuhiko’s The Origin manga.

This announcement comes just a few weeks after Bandai announced Mobile Suit Gundam AGE television series for children. This new project clearly seems geared towards older fans of the franchise and will hopefully be more warmly recieved than Gundam AGE’s announcement.

Personally, I feel as though The Origin will take form as a film series as Gundam AGE will be airing in October on television and Gundam Unicorn has a firm hold on the direct-to-video market.

Only time will tell though and I for one am looking forward to this new interpretation of Yoshiyuki Tomino’s masterpiece. Also, I would love to know if Tomino has anything to do with this new project, and if he doesn’t, how he feels about this new project.

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.