Anime on the Horizon - Madman's June Releases

Every month I go through the same routines. I get excited when I receive my new anime, bummed out when it's all been watched and then excited again when the new releases for the next month are announced. So it should come as no surprise that once again, I'm excited!

May was a hard month to beat in terms of anime releases and if June hasn't managed to do so, it comes damn well close. Then again, it's a big challenge when May brings three Studio Ghibli films on glorious high definition Blu Ray!

Have a look after the jump and decide for yourself!

Black Butler Season 1 (Blu Ray)

Almost a year ago to the day I reviewed the DVD version of Black Butler and gave it a big old thumbs up so I have absolutely no doubt that the Blu Ray version will be even better! Sure, the story won't be any different but the already beautiful visuals will be even more beautifuler!

"Ciel Phantomhive is the most powerful boy in all of England, but he bears the scars of unspeakable suffering. Forced to watch as his beloved parents were brutally murdered, Ciel was subsequently abducted and violently tortured. Desperate to end his suffering, the boy traded his own soul for a chance at vengeance, casting his lot with the one person on whom he could depend: Sebastian, a demon Butler summoned from the very pits of hell.

Together, they'll prowl the darkest alleys of London on a mission to snuff out those who would do evil. They're a rare sight, these two: the Butler who dismembers with dazzling cutlery and the Young Master who carries the devil's marking. Rest assured that wherever they may be headed, it'll be one hell of a ride.

Now, after being so smitten with season one, I never managed to see season two. Needless to say, I plan to!

"When last we saw dear Sebastian, he was poised to feast on the ripened soul of his young master. Unfortunately for the debonair demon, there's a new butler in town...

Enter Claude Faustus, a malevolent manservant uninspired by the drab flavor of his own contracted master, Alois Trancy. This pedestrian lad holds no allure for Claude, so the bespectacled butler sets his sights on a finer delicacy from the menu of the damned: none other than Ciel Phantomhive. And so begins a devilish dance of death starring crow and spider.

The demonic duel rages beyond the limits of good taste, culminating in a debaucherous maze of madness pitting butler against butler. Sebastian and Claude: two ravenous rakehells filled with the power of darkness and locked in a macabre battle for the soiled soul of the young master they so long to savor/devour."

Blue Exorcist is without a doubt one of the best and most popular manga series of recent years and is sitting on my own personal "must read" list. All I hope is that the anime manages to capture the jaw dropping art of Kazue Kato. Either way, this is one of my most anticipated series of the year. A special tip of the hat should go to Madman for licensing the subtitled version and delivering the fans what they want instead of waiting for an English dub. Bravo!

"Assiah, the realm of humans, and Gehenna, the realm of demons. Normally, these two dimensions would never intersect, but having possessed all material substances, the demons are now intruding on the material world. But among the human race, there are those who can exorcise such demons."
- the Exorcists

Rin Okumura and his twin brother Yukio have been raised by Shiro Fujimoto, an eminent priest, so it comes as a shock when Rin discovers their biological father is actually Satan! As the border between "Assiah" (the human world) and "Gehenna" (the demon world) is crossed by evil, Rin vows to become the ultimate exorcist and defeat his own father. To hone his raw skills, Rin enters True Cross Academy to train with other exorcist candidates."

I sadly must admit that I have never watched D. Gray Man or read the manga. It is one of those titles that is high on my list but I just haven't got around to it. Well now I have the perfect opportunity! 

"Darkness is moving in, and young exorcist Allen Walker is humanity's greatest hope against the wicked forces conspiring to bring civilization to its knees. Akuma - cruel spirits born of tragedy and lost souls - lurk in every shadow, willing and eager to do the bidding of their leader, the dread Millennium Earl.

With an eye cursed to see evil in its truest form and blessed with an arm to slay soul-devouring demons, Allen stands ready to confront the gathering evil. Should he fail, Innocence will be lost forever. The war to decide the fate of mankind has begun - and the carnage will be endless.

Contains episodes 1-51"

I loved the Dragon Age games, in fact, I just love high fantasy. That said, I am always concerned when animated tie ins hit screens and I get flash backs of the Resident Evil and Dead Space animation *UGH*. I have my fingers firmly crossed that the people from Bioware will do as great a job with their animation as they do in their games.

"In the land of Orlais, a brash young Seeker—Cassandra—fights to stop a blood-soaked conspiracy. Hidden hands seek to tear apart the realm's most powerful religious order, and as the sinister plot unfolds, Cassandra is accused of treason and murder. Hunted by friend and foe alike, the impulsive beauty must clear her name while clashing with corrupt templars and rogue blood mages. Should she fail, the executioner’s blade awaits. Should she overcome her rage and expose the unseen forces threatening the rule of the Divine, Cassandra will take her place in legend."

Fullmetal Alchemist is without a doubt one of my favourite series of all time. It managed to have the perfect balance of action, adventure and a tonne of heart which is all to often missing from shonen titles. The Elric brothers adventures continue in The Sacred Star of Milos.

"A fugitive alchemist with mysterious abilities leads the Elric brothers to a distant valley of slums inhabited by the Milos, a proud people struggling against bureaucratic exploitation. Ed and Al quickly find themselves in the middle of a rising rebellion as the exiled Milos lash out against their oppressors. At the heart of the conflict is Julia, a young alchemist befriended by Alphonse. She'll stop at nothing to restore the Milos to their former glory - even if that means harnessing the awful power of the mythical Philosopher's Stone."

Just recently I reviewed the first collection of Heaven's Lost Property and loved every second of it so I shouldn't have to prattle on here about how much I want to see the next thrilling adventure of Ikaros and the pervy, PERVY Tomoki.

"The hormonal, heavenly hijinks continue in Heaven’s Lost Property: Forte! Tomoki’s life was normal until a wish-granting angelic android named Ikaros fell from the sky and started calling him master. Things got even crazier when Ikaros’s fellow android, Nymph, came fluttering down to join the fun. With the winged vixens adjusting to life on Earth, you’d think Tomoki’s dream of a peaceful existence might finally be coming true – but you’d be wrong! With his teenage impulses and dirty mind, Tomoki’s wishes are causing more chaos than ever before. Plus, there’s a curvy new android on the scene – Astraea. She definitely looks as angelic as Ikaros and Nymph, but there’s a chance the beautiful blonde newcomer is up to no good!"

This is another series that seems to pop up out of nowhere just to punch you in the face with a can mitten'd fist. To see what I'm talking about, head over to the Funimation website and watch the trailer, it looks awesome! Besides this, all you need to know is that the animation is produced by J.C Staff (Honey and Clover, Shakugan No Shana) and directed by Yoshiaki Iwasaki (Love Hina)

"Ryoko Okami, the "wolf," and her BFF Ringo, also known as Little Red Riding Hood, are members of Otogi Bank - a high school club that helps classmates out of grim situations. One day, a meek young man proclaims his love to Ryoko, who does nothing but bite him in return. "You're much too weak for me," she huffs. So the boy joins Otogi Bank to prove he has the stuff to protect his beloved - even if it means taking a blow to the head with a lead pipe. He's no Prince Charming, but will Ryoko allow herself to have her own happily ever after?"

Geez, what a mouthful! Luckily, it is one of the most classic mecha series of all time. It was always one of the few mecha series that used relatively normal sized robots and not the kind that would demolish a city by sneezing... if robots actually could sneeze... Anyway, Patlabor is a classic... 'nuff said.

"Meet the Patlabor police squad, a pack of loveable loose cannons with short fuses and really big guns. They fight crime. Watch as they come together for the very first time in the ground breaking series by Mamoru Oshii that introduced the beloved Patlabor universe and made animation history!"

In just a few short days we will get our first look at the smash hit series, Puella Magi Madoka Magika, but I think it is clear to any geeky bystander that this is going to be big! I mean, really, Madman already have some fantastic cosplay shots up on their competition page and if there's one way to judge the success of a series...

"With Mami gone and Sayaka now a magical girl, Madoka is now contemplating whether to join her friends as a magical girl. Things escalate when a new hyper aggressive magical girl shows up. Sakura Kyoko is a seasoned magical girl and will not allow anyone to get in the way of her obtaining more Grief Seeds."

Transformers is one of those anime series that we all grew up with, not realising that it was anime at all. Well it was a personal favourite of mine and I can't wait to see what they're done with the old girl! Well, whatever they do, it will still be better than Michael Bay's pieces of poo!

"Four million years after crash-landing on an unfamiliar planet, sentient robots with the ability to disguise themselves as common vehicles awaken on present-day Earth. Engaged in a crucial race to find a new energy source for their home planet of Cybertron, the heroic Autobots must defend the innocent people of Earth against their arch nemeses, the power-hungry Decepticons.

For 25 years the war between the peace-loving Autobots and the villainous Decepticons has captivated children and adults alike, launching countless collectible toys, comic books, animated series and feature films beloved by loyal fans. Now you can return to where the phenomenon began with the original Transformers: The Complete First Season."

I managed to watch a couple of episodes of Transformers: Prime on a recent flight and I have to say that I was very impressed! It is without a doubt the best Transformers series since Beast Wars. It has a kind of Star Wars: The Clone Wars feel to it which is in no way a bad thing!

"It has been three years since the Decepticons last attacked Earth and the Autobots await their return. After the death of Cliffjumper, the Autobots fight to protect the Earth from the Decepticons and befriend three young humans, and the returned Megatron who has been missing for three Earth years. Using Dark Energon, Megatron plans to raise an undead army of Cybertronians and defeat the Autobots. The Autobots destroy his space bridge and Megatron is believed killed in the process. Starscream becomes the new Decepticon leader."


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