Tag Archives: Anime

POKEMON is Back at McDonald’s | Match Battle

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It’s been a little over a year since McDonald’s collaborated with Pokémon for its 25th anniversary, and they’re back again!


Beginning today, August 16th, 2022, McDonald’s Happy Meal Toys will have Pokémon toys, which will include four game Pokémon game cards, a spinner, and a coin. Based on the promotional videos on McDonald’s website, the cards featured are brand new cards and not reprinted or redistributed versions from its 25th-anniversary run.

Photos from Twitter user @Drakers_12, sent to Pokebeach.com, appear to show the full, complete card set with different coins and spinners.

As previously mentioned, the toy will include a spinner and a coin that can be used in conjunction with the cards. Details on the game and how to play watch the video below:

© 2022 Pokémon / Nintendo / Creatures / GAME FREAK. © 2022 McDonald’s. All Rights Reserved.

It’s safe to assume that many, if not all, McDonald’s will implement a “Must buy a Happy Meal to get toy” policy due to their high demand; this was seen in many McDonald’s throughout the nation during the 25th anniversary run, to deter any scalpers who were looking into getting their hands on just the cards themselves.

We wish all Pokémon masters luck on their journey to collect these cards…also enjoy the month long McDonald’s diet, we know we will.

ABLAZE Announces New Manga Series BLITZ – Set In Tense World of Competitive Chess Featuring Garry Kasparov

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Published in Shonen Jump, BLITZ is a new shonen manga that immerses readers into the “game of kings,” where intuition and mental agility are precious assets on the way to victory! Chess grandmaster and World Chess Champion, Garry Kasparov, makes his manga debut in the series!

Written by Cédric Biscay (ASTROBOY REBOOT, Shenmue III) and Harumo Sanazaki (Yawareta Princess, Egekai ni Ai wa Moete, Manga Grimm Douwa) with artwork by Daitaro Nishihara (The Magical Cat Ghee).

The series is written by Cédric Biscay, who produced the return of the Shenmue saga in 2019 and the upcoming reboot of the Astroboy anime series, which is currently in production with Miraculous Ladybug creator, Thomas Astruc as director.

The series is also co-written by prolific Japanese manga-ka Harumo Sanazaki, her works have been published in more than 130 manga including The Phantom of the Opera, Yawareta Princess, Egekai ni Ai wa Moete, and Manga Grimm Douwa: Sharaku – Shinsetsu Onna Eshi

The series is illustrated by Daitaro Nishihara who began as a manga-ka in the magazine Monthly Shonen Jump. From 2001, several of his series were pre-published in the magazine Korokoro Comic (Shôgakukan), notably Pokémon 6 – Jirachi: The Genius of Wishes.

Chess grandmaster and World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov is featured in the manga and served as a consultant to the series. For those unfamiliar with the world of competitive chess, Garry Kasparov became, at the age of 12, chess champion of the USSR’s under-18 age group. Then, at 17, he won the Under-20 World Chess Champion title. In 1985, at 22, Kasparov gained international notoriety as the youngest World Chess Champion in history.

He defended his title five times, including a series of legendary matches against his great rival Anatoly Karpov. Kasparov broke Bobby Fischer’s record in 1990, and his own record remained undefeated until 2013. His famous matches against IBM’s Deep Blue supercomputer in 1996-97 played a vital role in integrating artificial intelligence into the world of chess.

Each volume of BLITZ will contain chess strategy tips and a chess lexicon to turn every reader into a chess master!

BLITZ will be available in-print and digitally in North America, Australia, and the UK. ABLAZE titles are distributed in-print by Diamond Comic and Diamond Book Distributors. Vol. 1 will be available in comic shops on September 14th, and bookstores on September 27th.  The manga is currently available for preorder:

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Void_Chords – ‘Beyond Selves’, Opening theme of RWBY Ice Queendom

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Void_Chords, AKA Ryo Takahashi, who has previously worked on Sing a Bit of HarmonyArifureta: From Commonplace to World’s StrongestPrincess Principal, and ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept., has released “Beyond Selves,” the theme song for RWBY Ice Queendom, which began airing on July 3rd.

Void_Chords, AKA Ryo Takahashi

RWBY Ice Queendom was produced d by anime studio Shaft with animation concept by Gen Urobuch. The anime is based on RWBY, which is inspired by anime. 

Promo Image

RWBY Ice Queendom is not a remake of the original series; it takes and expands on the original series, with its opening episodes being a remake of the first two seasons before taking on an entirely new storyline, set between the second and third season of the original series. Senior Brand Director Christine Brent describes Ice Queendom as continuity-adjacent.

RWBY Ice Queendom Manga Vol.1

The series has spawned a manga adaptation, illustrated by Kumiko Suekane, which is currently in serialization in Kadokawa’s Monthly Comic Dengeki Daioh magazine.

Beyond Selves,” was produced by Void_Chords and features L as a guest artist. You can listen to “Beyond Selves,” at the following music streaming sites listed here. Or view the music video below:

The series ending theme is “Awake” sung by Saori Hayami. You can view the “Awake” music video here:

You can watch the newly released, RWBY Ice Queendom on CrunchyRoll with a premimum acccount.

Watched it already? We wanna hear from you! What did you think of the series? Comment Below!

Nahoko Uehashi’s ‘THE DEER KING’ | NOW IN THEATERS

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From acclaimed studio Production I.G, and directors Masashi Ando and Masayuki Miyaji comes THE DEER KING.

In the aftermath of a brutal war, former soldier Van toils in a mine controlled by the ruling empire. One day, his solitary existence is upended when a pack of wild dogs carrying a deadly and incurable disease attack, leaving only Van and a young girl named Yuna as survivors. Finally free, the pair seek out a simple existence in the countryside but are pursued by nefarious forces. Intent on protecting Yuna at all costs, Van must uncover the true cause of the plague ravaging the kingdom—and its possible cure.

The Deer King is a sweeping fantasy epic that marks the directorial debut of acclaimed animator, Masashi Ando who worked with famed Studio Ghibli (Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke) and with directors Satoshi Kon (Paprika, “Paranoia Agent”) and Makoto Shinkai (your name.). The film is also co-directed by Masayuki Miyaji who is best known for directing the 2009 series “Xam’s: Lost Memories” and work on Studio Ghibli films such as “My Neighbors The Yamadas”.

The film is based on the original book series, by author Nahoko Uehashi. The book series has printed 2.2 million copies in Japan to date. Uehashi is one of Japan’s most well-known and popular children’s writers, and has won numerous awards, including the 2014 Hans Christian Andersen Award. She’s an associate professor at a Japanese university, and has a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology and studies indigenous peoples in Australia.

Uehashi’s other works, Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit and The Beast Player have had anime adaptations in 2007 and 2009, with The Beast Player getting a manga adaptation as well.

Author, Nahoko Uehashi

Currently, Uehashi’s most popular, English-translated work is The Beast Player and be purchased on Amazon.

Distributed by Gkids Films, watch THE DEER KING now playing in select theaters nationwide, find the closest theater near you, by visiting the film’s official website www.THEDEERKING.com

Anime Expo – SPINOFF CONVENTION COMING THIS NOVEMBER

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During the closing ceremonies, the SJPA thanked all attendees for coming to Anime Expo 2022 and introduced the very first ‘anime expo ontario’ in California.

Introduced as “anime expo” (all lower case letters), a smaller-scale spinoff convention that will allow fans an additional opportunity to celebrate Japanese pop culture this November in Ontario, California.

Smaller-Scale “anime expo” Focused on Exhibit Hall and Artist Alley to
be Hosted at Ontario Convention Center November 12-13, 2022

The event, which will be focused primarily on the exhibit hall and artist alley experience, will take place November 12-13, 2022 at the Ontario Convention Center; ticket sales will be announced in the upcoming months.

“Seeing our Anime Expo family once per year simply isn’t enough, which is why we’re incredibly excited to bring the brand-new ‘anime expo’ event to Ontario, California,[. . .]Anime Expo 2022 was a success, and we look forward to carrying that positive momentum into this smaller-scale show that provides a unique, more intimate opportunity for fans of Japanese pop culture to come together a second time this year.”

– Ray Chiang, CEO of SPJA

The first in-person Anime Expo since 2019 welcomed fans back to the Los Angeles Convention Center with over 1,000 hours of programming, including Japanese musical guests SG5 and Travis Japan, renowned DJs Steve Aoki and TeddyLoid, and Guests of Honor including Studio MAPPA CEO Manabu Otsuka and JUJUTSU KAISEN Script Writer Hiroshi Seko, as well as Ranking of Kings Director Yosuke Hatta and Animation Producer Maiko Okada of WIT Studio; Mika Akitaka, the creator of Anime Expo’s iconic mascot, MAX, also joined in the festivities in honor of the event’s 31st year.

Anime Expo will once again return in-person to the Los Angeles Convention Center next year from July 1-4. Ticket sales for Anime Expo 2023 will be announced in fall 2022. Ray added,

“After three long years away from the Los Angeles Convention Center, it was incredibly important to all of us at SPJA that our community be welcomed home with a truly unforgettable convention experience and, thanks to all the participants–including exhibitors (small and big alike), artists, industry and sponsors–and the incredibly hard work and dedication shown by each and every volunteer and staff member, we’re proud to say that this year’s show not only met, but exceeded our expectations. We can’t wait to show you what we have in store for next year!”

– Ray Chiang, CEO of SPJA
Los Angeles Convention Center two days before day zero

Anime Expo celebrated its 31st annual convention by returning to the Los Angeles Convention Center live and in-person, bringing together fans and industry professionals for the largest celebration of Japanese pop culture in North America. Hosted by The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation (SPJA), the sold-out four-day convention saw attendees from over 70 countries descend upon the city of Los Angeles to generate an estimated positive economic impact of over $100 Million for local hotels and businesses. Anime Expo fans that were unable to attend Anime Expo 2022 also had the opportunity to catch a glimpse of AX virtually through Anime Expo Lite through Twitch and YouTube.

For more updates on anime expo Ontario, visit the official Anime Expo website.

Ronin-Expo 2022 REturns & REscheduled!

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For those following the anime convention scene in Los Angeles, CA; Ronin Expo announced earlier this year that had to postpone its June event until further notice due to changes in the venue’s service policies. Recently they announced that Ronin Expo has found a new venue within the Little Tokyo district.

Artist Ally at Ronin Expo 2018

Since 2017 Ronin-Expo is an Anime and Asian culture convention targeting both new and veteran convention-goers. The convention is designed to feel like an festival featuring artists, exhibitors, live performances, and guests of honors and special in-door panels. Past featured guests include voice actors, Sarah William, Reuben Langdon and Japanese anime director, Hiroshi Nagahama.

The event is now scheduled for August 13th, 2022 at its new home at The Terasaki Budokan Center in the Little Tokyo District, tickets are still available for purchase here. Special guests include voice actors, Mela Lee & Richard Epcar with performances by Origami Flagship, Ryujin Taiko & Burai.

Follow RONIN EXPO for more updates and announcements on updating panels, events and guests!

Exclusive Interview with Voice actors, CAT THOMAS & AVERY SMITHHART

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Earlier this year we had the honor to sit down and speak with voice actors Cat Thomas and Avery Smithhart, about their roles in anime, from Yui Yuigahama in My Romantic Teen Comedy SNAFU to Anne and Grea in the heart warming anime series, Manaria Friends (Mysteria Friends). Here are some snippets from our interview, you can watch the entire interview below.

Cat Thomas – Yui Yuigahama

While searching the series for our interview, many fans were were curious about a single word, dub difference behind the Japanese and the English version. The scene in question is from episode one, where Hachiman call Yui a “slut” but changed to a different slur in the English version:

Avery Smithhart – – -Butt Muscle!

According to Avery, during the recording the first episode of Land of the Lustrous as her character Cinnabar, Avery recalls pulling a muscle in a rather hilarious way:

Watch our FULL interview to learn more behind the scene stories from CAT THOMAS & AVERY SMITHHART

Exclusive High School of The Dead Interview | The Boys

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This July will mark the 12th Anniversary of the anime, fan-favorite series, High School of the Dead. The series ended all production after series creator and writer, Daisuke Sato died on March 22, 2017. Fast forward 12 years and Jrock band Kishida Kyoudan & The Akeboshi Rockets, the band that sang the now-famous HOTD opening, released an updated version of said opening with its very first music video to go along with it.

Now, after 12 years HOTD English cast members Leraldo Anzaldua and Mark X. Laskowski, who play Takashi Komuro and Kōta Hirano respectively, recount their time working behind the mic on this series. Watch our exclusive interview and enter for your chance to win an auto from Leraldo and Mark, and the VOL.1 of the HOTD Manga! More details in our interview below:

-Giveaway-

Learn how you can this HOTD bundle, which includes an autograph from Leraldo, Mark, and Vol.1 of HOTD Manga! Details in the interview video above!

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BELLE – Exclusive Special Release Interview with Kylie McNeil

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This week saw the release of the much anticipated BELLE, Mamoru Hosoda’s 7th feature film. The film instantly made headlines at Cannes with a 14-minute standing ovation. The film later made headlines among anime fans during its theatrical release back in January of this year. Both the original Japanese and the newly dubbed English version were shown in theaters nation-wide. In the film’s U.S. opening weekend it made $1.6 million from 1,326 theaters, and a total of $1.8 million over the four-day Martin Luther King Day holiday frame.

The film received five Annie Award nominations making it the most nominations for a Japanese anime film ever at the show, even surpassing previous films Spirited Away, Millennium Actress, and the more recent, Weathering with You. Most notable, the film’s cast, both in English and Japanese, were both praise for their vocal performance. This is both Kaho Nakamura and Kylie McNeil’s first anime, voice over performance.

Kylie McNeil, already an upcoming actor and singer in the theater scene in New York, had zero film credits, aside from an off-Broadway show “Runaways“, BELLE is Kylie’s very first film credit.

After its theatrical run, fans anticipated its home video release, which finally happened on May 17th. Coinciding with the Blu-ray and the Target exclusive: Steelbook release, Milan Records opened preorders for the vinyl copy of BELLE’s soundtrack, and is currently available to pre-order on Amazon.

Join us in celebration of Mamoru Hosoda’s BELLE release with this special interview with the voice of Suzu / BELLE, Kylie McNeil! Back for a more in-depth and formal interview, Kylie walks through her experiences working behind the mic, voicing Suzu / BELLE.

Watch our interview above and learn how you could win our exclusive BELLE Bundle, which includes:

The BELLE movie (Steelbook ed.), A copy of the BELLE soundtrack (from Japan) & an autograph print from Paul Castro Jr. (the voice of BEAST)

all this and more in our exclusive interview! Don’t forget to subscribe for more anime and voice actor content or subscribe to our site:

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