Canadian Theatrical News: Fairy Tail: Dragon Cry

The second theatrical film based on Hiro Mashima’s Fairy Tail manga series is being brought to theatres in August by Funimation. Dragon Cry, which opened in Japan back in May, will be screened in 300 US and 12 Canadian cinemas in both English dubbed and subtitled Japanese formats. Cineplex will be Canada’s theatrical partner.

Like the anime series, A-1 Pictures returns to animate the film. It was written by franchise regular Shoji Yonemura and directed by Tatsuma Minamikawa. Hiro Hashima acted as the executive producer and a storyboard artist on Dragon Cry. Continue reading

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Odds & Ends: Canadian Yu-Gi-Oh! Dark Side of Dimensions DVD/BD dilemma; Turning Mecard product launch [Updated 8/14/2017]

4K Media, gatekeepers of the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise, have been embracing the original Japanese version of their shows this year. For the first time ever, the newest entry in the series, VRAINS, is getting a subtitled simulcast as it airs in Japan … as long as you don’t live in Canada and a small handful of other countries. Even Dark Side of Dimensions, the most recent theatrical film, received a subtitled run in theatres … as long as you lived in the US. That seems to be another one of this year’s themes for Yu-Gi-Oh! anime. While not deliberate (needs to be said, we were supposed to get that sub run), it unfortunately seems likely Dark Side of Dimensions’ home video release will continue that. Continue reading

G4 is finally no more in Canada [Updated 8/14/2017]

Shaw and Rogers Cable have confirmed what many have been expecting for years: the death of G4 Canada. The Rogers Media run Canadian version of the US low end Spike clone (née video game) channel will shutdown on September 1, 2017 – nearly three years after the US feed did on December 31, 2014. No reason has been officially shared, but given it’s hard to believe anyone was watching this lineup, you can come to an easy conclusion.

Originally launched as TechTV on September 7, 2001, the co-venture between Rogers Media, Shaw Communications and TechTV US was supposed to be exclusively devoted to programming related to computing, technology and the internet; yet saw a channel history that mostly followed what happened to the US feed. In 2004, when the US feed merged with G4, the Canadian one became G4TechTV. When the US feed started drifting away from its initial mission statement, so did the Canadian one – well, largely. Continue reading

Hanako & Anne’s English dub surfaces

In my post about the English dub of Isao Takahata’s Anne of Green Gables anime, I briefly mentioned a 2014 live action drama based on the Japanese translator’s life. That series is Hanako & Anne, a 156 episode entry in NHK’s Asadora block of 15 minute morning dramas about inspirational women. Building on Japan’s deeply established love of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Canadian classic, it became NHK’s most watched Asadora in a decade, with audience shares averaging just under 23%. Naturally, the novel itself got a sales boost. Japan wasn’t the only one to notice the series, either. As it wove Hanako Muraoka’s life with scenes from the book, the Canadian Tourism Commission began to offer travel packages to Canada. The result? Anne’s home province of Prince Edward Island saw a record amount of Japanese guests, experiencing a dramatic 225% increase in visitors from the country versus the prior year. That added an additional $20 million to their tourism income.

I figured that would’ve been the last time I ever spoke about the show, but I know you’ve read the title. Continue reading

Canadian Theatrical News: Studio Ghibli Anime Series


Cineplex, GKIDS and Fathom Events are bringing six of the works from anime’s most beloved studio to the big screen in Canada this year. Dubbed the “Studio Ghibli Anime Series,” the one-night event screenings will take place between July and December and will showcase some of Hayao Miyazaki’s most famous feature films. The screenings will be offered in both English and Japanese audio, with each movie including GKIDS MINIFEST, which highlights award-winning animated short films from around the world.

The event series is essentially the Canadian version of the 2017 Studio Ghibli Fest that’s being held in the US. Continue reading

Canadian Theatrical News: Kizumonogatari Part 3: Reiketsu

I’d usually apologize for the short notice, but this time it’s not my fault. There’s been no formal announcement of this (as far as I can tell) and ticket sales only went live earlier this week. Sometimes I find out about things long before they’ll be topical. Other times, I’ve only heard about them well after they were the topic du jour. Today’s post? I guess I stumbled onto it at the right time.

Aniplex of America, Azoland Pictures and Cineplex are bringing the third film in the Kizumonogatari series to five Canadian cinemas next week. Reiketsu is the final entry in the trilogy and retains the same production staff as the two prior releases, as Akiyuki Shinbo and Tatsuya Oishi handled directing duties, while Monogatari creator Nisio Isin wrote the script. Shaft and Aniplex handled production. The third film opened in Japan on January 6, 2017. In the US, Aniplex of America handled a launch last April. As Aniplex doesn’t dub the Monogatari material, it shouldn’t be a shock to say this screening will be only available in Japanese with English subtitles. Continue reading

Wow! Unlimited buys Bell cable channel in “strategic partnership in kids and youth entertainment”


Wow! Unlimited, the amalgamation of Rainmaker, Frederator, and Ezrin Hirsh Entertainment, teased acquisitions during the company’s announcement last fall and the first big one has been revealed. Yesterday afternoon, Wow! Unlimited struck a “strategic partnership in kids and youth entertainment” that will see the animation company purchase a cable channel from Bell Media. The new channel is tentatively titled Wow. The companies will also collaborate on various other initiatives, including providing content for Bell’s streaming services. Continue reading