Mix Master: Final Force picked up by Studio Licensing

Almost anime

Toronto’s own Studio Licensing seems to be expanding their portfolio after losing their lucrative Nickelodeon deal. The company has picked up Mix Master: Final Force for North America, the 39-episode sequel series to Mix Master, a series based on an MMO animated by Korea’s Sunwoo Animation. The first animated series also ran for 39-episodes, but was picked up by France’s Moonscoop (Code Lyoko, etc.), and was dubbed in Vancouver with on-demand, and online streaming given to their own Kabillion division. Studio Licensing’s going to be working with a Los Angeles produced dub, which will make getting the series a Canadian broadcaster even a bit harder than what one would expect. Continue reading

Beyblade: Metal Masters marathon this Saturday, Beyblade: Metal Fury’s loaded for 2012

This image reminds me of that one time YTV aired a promo for Beyblade G-Revolution that had Japanese dialog

In support of another Beyblade contest (that includes a chance to represent Canada in the Beyblade World Tournament), YTV will be forgoing the regular Saturday 10AM-12PM programming for a special presentation of 5 new back-to-back Beyblade: Metal Masters episodes. With this marathon, YTV’s broadcast of the show will be at episode 18, and will in fact be ahead of Cartoon Network’s broadcast in the United States by a single week. You’d expect that to be the norm given YTV helps produce the show, but hey. Continue reading

CRTC approves “Teletoon Kapow!”

Throw this one in the “guessed that right” pile, in an entirely unsurprising decision, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission have approved Corus Entertainment, and Astral Media’s license for a Category 2 comic book themed Teletoon spinoff. The CRTC’s license runs until August 31, 2018 but has a clause where if the channel has not launched within 4 years, or at the very least, has shown the intent to launch, the license will expire. I’m thinking this one will be more like ABC Spark, and less like The Anime Channel. Continue reading

Pokémon The Movie: White – Victini and Zekrom and Pokémon The Movie: Black – Victini and Reshiram not coming to theatres in Canada

Joining the Yu-Gi-Oh! gang, Ash and Pikachu’s latest theatrical adventure unfortunately won’t be taking flight in Canada, despite the recently announced 2-day nationwide US event in December. I have confirmed with a Cinedigm representative that the showcases are indeed US-only for a variety or reasons. Pokemon fans are just going to have to bask in the Black & White YTV broadcast, and watch the latest film release on DVD. Continue reading

TIFF 2011 World Premiere: A Letter To Momo Review

It has been more than 10 years since Hiroyuki Okiura made his mark on the world of anime with the film adaptation of Jin Roh: The Wolf Brigade. Will he be able to strike lightning once more with a drastically different film in A Letter To Momo? Was the seven year production worth it? The answer is overwhelming yes.

Warning, as this is based on the world premiere screening, very few people will have seen this film. As such, the plot will be spoiled if you continue to read on. If you’d like to read on without spoilers, I suggest skipping the next 6 paragraphs, which deal with the plot. Continue reading

Letters to Momo, and From Up On Poppy Hill to premiere at Toronto International Film Festival

This year’s TIFF has a distinctly anime flair. Hiroyuki Okiura and Production IG’s “A Letter To Momo” will make its world premiere, and Goro Miyazaki’s sophomore Ghilbi effort, “From Up On Poppy Hill” will make its international premiere at the Toronto film festival. Previously, the fest has played host to some unique anime productions, but this year it has scored some major premieres.

Hiroyuki Okiura’s “A Letter To Momo” is a tale about a girl struggling with the aftermath of her father’s passing. She finds a letter from her father, simple reading “Dear Momo”. She ponders what her father would have written. But she has deal with moving from Tokyo, into the family home in the small island of Shio. There she notices weird happenings going on. Things are disappearing, and she doesn’t know why. Here Momo decides to find out what’s causing this, and in turn takes part in her own coming of age story. After more than ten years, the director of “Jin Roh: The Wolf Brigade” returns with this beautifully animated tale seven years in the making. It makes its world premiere at TIFF September 10 at 4PM in the AMC 6 venue. To see all show times click here.

After the tumultuous production of “Tales of Earthsea”, many may have thought Goro Miyazaki would hang up the directing chair, and pursue another line of work at Studio Ghili. Well, it seems many were wrong, as the young director has returned with his sophomore effort, “From Up On Poppy Hill”. This film chronicles the story of 1964 Tokyo Olympics and the promise it brought to Japan, centred by shy highschool student Umi. Umi lives a very empty live. Her father was killed in the war, and her mother travels a lot. She’s often left to think to herself in her job managing a boarding house. But this boarding house is scheduled for demolition in the city’s modernization projects. Umi, and those of the boarding house derided this decision, and will attempt to keep their history at any cost. Goro Miyazaki’s sophomore effort tells the tale of love flourishing in even the most unexpected of places, and unlike “Tales of Earthsea”, this film has conquered Japanese audiences. “From Up On Poppy Hill” will make its first non-Japanese debut September 8 at 9:30 PM in the Bell sponsored TIFF Lightbox. To see all show times, click here

The festival will also play host to the world premiere of manga-based Smuggler, as well as premieres for Himizu, Kotoko, Monsters Club, Cut, and Space is the Place. All films will be played in their original Japanese audio, with English subtitles.

2011’s Toronto International Film Festival takes place from September 8 through the 18.

YTV.com gets retro with “Wayback Playback”

In a move that totally wasn’t inspired by TeenNick’s “The 90’s Are All That” block, YTV has set up “Wayback Playback” which they describe as:

Man, this thing's existence is only to make me feel old, isn't it?

Children of the ’90s and the ’00s who remember growing up with good ol’ fashioned YTV will think YTV Way Back Playback is way gnarly (we told ya it’s retro!) We’ve put together a classic collection of YTV shows for your viewing pleasure. New videos will be going up each month, so catch your faves before they grow old again!

So rather than having a late night television block, YTV has decided to open up a retro video portal with content being refreshed once a month. Sounds good in concept, until you realize the shows that are currently listed … Storm Hawks, Mystery Hunters, and Sorry I’ve Got No Head. As a child of the 90s, I can say I did watch Storm Hawks, and Mystery Hunters (I didn’t even know YTV aired SIGNH) but both of those shows are really recent. I wouldn’t call them retro, nor do I think anyone would be nostalgic for those shows yet. I’d say Reboot, and Beasties would certainly be better calls. Though, I suppose they might not have streaming rights for those series.

However, the program is still in its infancy (I suspect SIGNH is only on the service because it’s been sitting on the video player for ages), and while anime fans shouldn’t expect much (as nearly all of YTV’s older anime’s broadcast licenses have either expired, or didn’t include streaming rights) we’ll likely get Beyblade (which is already streaming on YTV.com), and maybe the likes of Medabots, and Pandalian (just when you thought you forgot about Tobi the panda!). I certainly would love to see YTV dig up some of it’s old Cancon productions that are basically impossible to find, like Freaky Stories, Radio Active or even a show that likely will be absolutely rancid in 2011 – I Was A Sixth Grade Alien. It’s certainly something to keep an eye out for, and if there are any anime-related updates, I’ll keep you guys posted.

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