News Digest: 3/4/2010 - 3/8/2010

Mike Ferreira (Editor) — March 8th, 2010 — 23:20
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FUNimation Nabs Baka & Test, Vampire Bund

FUNimation announced that they acquired the domestic rights to the Baka and Test: Summon the Beasts (Baka to Test to Shokanju) and Dance in the Vampire Bund anime. Both titles will be simulcast with English subtitles on FUNimation's video service. Both series began on Friday, March 5 at 10:00AM Central. FUNimation did not reveal details for physical releases of either title.

When the first episode of Vampire Bund, viewers noted several edits made to the series's content. FUNimation released the following statement on the matter:

FUNimation Entertainment is known for releasing the titles we license in their original, uncut form, as their creators intended. However, after viewing the unedited as well as the Japanese broadcast edit of the series Dance in the Vampire Bund, we have determined the series contains controversial elements which, when taken out of context, could be objectionable to some audiences. With this in mind and with approval of the licensor, we will edit select scenes from the series in streaming and home entertainment release. These are scenes which are inappropriate for U.S. viewing and are not essential to the storyline. Dance in the Vampire Bund is a complex and dark drama cited by press and fans as one of the best anime series out of Japan this season. Its strong story is what brought the series to our attention and why we are bringing it to the U.S.

Anime News Network asked if the edits would affect the upcoming release of Strike Witches. FUNimation reiterated that they would release the series completely uncut on DVD, "and any subsequent subscription or download-to-own digital platforms."

Gundam Museum Proposed in Nagoya City Council

On March 5, Nagoya City Council member Toshiyuki Ogawa proposed that a Gundam museum be built in the city. In addition, Ogawa proposed that the city should host the 1/1 Gundam statue that was erected last summer on Odaiba. The proposals were made partly to ensure the visibility of the city's Aonami train line, in the middle of the city's current financial difficulties.

Under the current proposal, the museum would be built at the city's planned "Manufacturing Cultural Exchange Area" and the Gundam would be built in the city's Shidami Science Park.

Media Blasters Cuts Staff, Delays Titles

Anime News Network reports that Media Blasters underwent a round of layoffs and furloughs today. At least thirteen employees were laid off across all departments. Most of the cuts were in the company's print and accounting departments, but their acquisitions, video production, and sales departments also saw cuts.

Media Blasters CEO John Sirabella stated that the company plans to re-hire the furloughed employees. According to Sirabella, "some of our larger vendors have slowed down quite a bit, so we have to take precautions. We are hoping that if we start to see the orders flow back from these vendors, we can bring [the furloughed employees] back later."

Sirabella hopes to ship all titles on time, but the company issued a revised release list that pushes a number of titles back. Wordsworth: Outer Story, Kanokanon, and Sayonara Zetsubou-sensei were delayed among other titles.

Fantagraphics Nabs A Drunken Dream

Anime News Network reports that Fantagraphics Books acquired the North American rights to Moto Hagio's A Drunken Dream and Other Stories. The title will kick off a new line of manga titles licensed from Shogakukan. The new line will be edited and curated by translator and Kyoto Seika University cultural anthropologist Matt Thorn.