Lesley Aeschliman

New Anime Releases for the Week of December 8, 2015

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This week sees new releases from Aniplex of America, Eastern Star, FUNimation Entertainment, PONYCAN USA, and Sentai Filmworks.

Aura: Koga Maryuin's Last War anime coverMy “Pick of the Week” goes to Sentai Filmworks’ release of Aura: Koga Maryuin’s Last War.

Aura: Koga Maryuin’s Last War DVD | Blu-ray
Sentai Filmworks – Sub and Dub – MSRP: $29.98 | $39.98 Get it for $24.99 on Amazon!

Ichiro Sato used to spend his life dreaming, pretending to be a great fantasy hero. Pretend heroics, however, aren’t much protection from bullies and social ridicule. Now determined to follow a different path and fit in, Ichiro thought he’d managed to give up his old fantasies. Until he encountered Ryouko Satou, who’s even more deeply immersed in her own imaginary world than Ichiro was – and is bullied just as cruelly for it. If he stands up for Ryouko, Ichiro could destroy the new life he’s trying to build. But at the same time, the intensity of her fantasies and predicament reminds him all too vividly of the person he once was. In the end, it may just be that the only one who can really rescue this damsel in distress is the dream hero that Ichiro thought he had buried forever in Aura.

The other new anime releases coming out this week are:

Haganai: I Don’t Have Many Friends (Anime Classics) Blu-ray/DVD Combo
FUNimation Entertainment – Sub and Dub – MSRP: $49.98

Yozora’s an abrasive loudmouth whose only friend at school is imaginary. She knows she’s difficult – which makes her better off than Kodoka, a new transfer student who picked up an undeserved bad reputation the second he stepped on campus. Inspired by their shared status as social catastrophes, the two loners unite and start the Neighbors Club, an organization dedicated to finding other misfits and making friends. In no time, a third member joins their ranks: Sena, a pretty, popular rich girl who annoys Yozora to no end. With Kodoka in the middle of the chaos, the brash brunette and the blonde boy-magnet go ’round and ’round, even as the Neighbors Club begins to grow. Hopefully, the girls can get past their rivalry, because sometimes the friendship you’re looking for is right in front of you, and sometimes the best friends are the friends you never even wanted.

The Irregular at Magic High School Set 3 Blu-ray
Aniplex of America – Sub – MSRP: $99.98

The season turns from summer to fall. This is also the time for students to prepare for the “National High School Magic Thesis Competition,” a.k.a. “Thesis Competition.” At this nationwide competition, students representing each of the nine magic schools in the country present their research on topics ranging from magic theory to magic engineering. If the Nine Schools Competition was meant to assess the students’ “physical” capabilities, the Thesis Competition evaluates their “mental” proficiency. Even though he is a Course 2 student and only a first-year, Tatsuya is appointed to represent his school along with his group members to present their thesis on “the technical feasibility of a Gravity Control-type Thermonuclear Fusion Reactor.” At the same time, Tatsuya is approached by his stepmother, Sayuri Shiba, to help analyze a “Relic.” Meanwhile, in Yokohama, where this year’s Thesis Competition was scheduled to take place, local authorities investigate a series of unlawful entries into the country and work to keep the situation under control. This, however, is only the beginning of a greater conflict that would soon involve the students at the Thesis Competition.

Library War DVD
Eastern Star – Sub – MSRP: $44.95

Library War is set in an alternate future Japan, where all forms of expression are strictly regulated by the Media Betterment Act. Libraries are the only oases of free thought, which puts them under constant threat by the government’s Betterment Special Agencies. The only ones capable of opposing them are the Library Forces, militarized prefectural organizations that protect the content of local libraries for the sake of the people. After a dangerous brush with government forces and salvation by a mysterious “prince,” a young girl named Iku Kasahara is inspired to join her local Library Force. Although Iku clearly has the skills, she leaves a lot to be desired in the discipline department: a source of both amusement and irritation to her instructors and squadmates. Balancing harsh training, interpersonal drama, and political intrigues, Iku and her team repel aggression from all those who would seek to threaten the freedom of speech represented by their local libraries.

Rail Wars Complete Collection DVD
Sentai Filmworks – Sub – MSRP: $49.98

All train fanatic Naoto Takayama has ever dreamed of is becoming an engineer, but when he finally makes the grade and scores a trainee position with the JNR, his ambitions are totally derailed. Now, instead of the big front cab of his dreams, Naoto’s stuck in the security division working with a squad of gorgeous girls and escorting pretty idol singers. Okay, so there are the occasional bomb threats, thieves, and members of the rogue railway privatization group RJ to deal with, but that’s what trigger-happy harpy Aoi and Sho, the squad’s only other male member, are for. And if Naoto’s one-track mind could just see the light at the end of the tunnel, he might realize that he’s already on an express train to paradise with multiple lovely cabooses. Will getting railroaded take on a whole new meaning?

Riddle Story of Devil The Complete Series + OVA DVD | Limited Edition DVD
FUNimation Entertainment – Sub and Dub – MSRP: $59.98 | $64.98

Riddle Story of Devil sends 12 female assassins to a prestigious boarding school to compete against each other in a secret killing game. The winner will be granted anything her heart desires, but only one girl can come out on top. The mission is simple: send fellow student Haru Ichinose to an early grave. The task should be easy for heartless assassin Tokaku Azuma – but everything changes when she finds herself strangely drawn to her naive target. Her decision to use her lethal skills to keep her new friend alive will raise the stakes of the game and push the girls closer together as the other beauties threaten to tear them apart.

Rokka: Braves of the Six Flowers Set 1 Blu-ray/DVD Combo Collector’s Edition
PONYCAN USA – Sub – MSRP: $89.98

Legend says, when the Demon God awakens from the deepest of darkness, the Goddess of Fate will summon Six Braves and grant them with the power to save the world. Adlet, who claims to be the strongest man in the world, is chosen as one of the “Braves of the Six Flowers,” and sets out on a battle to prevent the resurrection of the Demon God. However, it turns out that there are Seven Braves who gathered at the promised land. The Seven Braves notice there must be one enemy among themselves, and feeling of suspicion toward each other spreads throughout the group, with Adlet being the one who gets suspected first and foremost.

Saint Seiya The Lost Canvas DVD
Eastern Star – Sub – MSRP: $44.95

Every two hundred years, good and evil wage a Holy War. On one side, the Goddess Athena leads her 88 Saints in order to protect the world from destruction. On the other, Hades, God of the Underworld, commands his 108 Specters to sow chaos upon the face of the Earth. But in the 18th century, the repeating cycle of war takes a new twist, as the reincarnations of these powerful entities happen to be friends. Having growing up together in an orphanage in Italy, Tenma, Sasha, and Alone thought they would be together forever, a promise they remember by flower bracelets each of them wear. It wasn’t to be, however, as Sasha turns out to be the reincarnation of Athena, Tenma the reincarnation of the Pegasus Saint, and Alone is the reincarnation of Hades. Now the battle rages, with Tenma struggling to find the strength to protect his friends. Can he keep Athena safe while fighting against his best friend? Must Alone perish so that the world can be saved? And will the three of them be able to keep the promise they made as children?

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