Funimation Acquisitions

FUNimation Entertainment has announced their acquisition of a handful of additional anime titles over the past month in a half; adding onto their current list of 2011 licenses, as published back in mid-April 2011

In the news this time around are a few familiar names, some stable genres, and a title nowhere in-between these two categories and out of left field. As FUNimation continues to relay all things Fullmetal Alchemist to western viewers, new releases scheduled for 2012 should also include geek-adventure Princess Jellyfish and the ecchi-comedy Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt from GAINAX Studios.

Among the new title acquisitions FUNimation has announced is the second Fullmetal Alchemist theatrical presentation, FMA: The Sacred Star of Milos, originally titled Fullmetal Alchemist: Milos no Sei naru Hoshi (2011). The film is scheduled for local (Japan) release this summer and will reportedly be available to western viewers early next year on home video and limited theatrical. The franchise's first film, released Stateside as Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shamballa (2005), was released on DVD courtesy of FUNimation back in September 2006.



from Fairy Tail
Fairy Tale, still on-air in Japan, is a shounen adventure anime. In the fantasy series, a seventeen-year-old girl named Lucy Heartfilia leaves home on a quest to gain admission to Fairy Tail, a prestigious guild for sorcerers and wizards. 

Lucy is a little naive and could certainly use some help along the way. Fortunately for her, she stumbles into the acquaintance of Natsu Dragneel, a powerful magic user and actual guild member. 

As Lucy continues her quest, she comes to learn more about Natsu, who practices an ancient form of dragon slayer magic. Fairy Tale is an action and comedy animation in the long tradition of the journey anime, sending its characters into an on-going expedition, usually stopping from time to time to feast, earn some cash, or clean up the wreckage of their latest squabble. FUNimation has licensed the series' first forty-eight episodes, and plans to debut the anime on home video later this year.

The eleven-episode comedy Princess Jellyfish has been picked up for home video release not long following the close of its simulcast over the 'net (at FUNimation.com). The anime chalks up another point for the socially awkward, as a timid girl with thick eyeglasses (and thicker eyebrows), Tsukimi, does her best to venture into the outside world. 


from Princess Jellyfish
Tsukimi is a jellyfish otaku; strange to be sure, but no stranger than the other folks she considers her closest friends. The girl resides in an all-female apartment building that is scheduled for demolition. Naturally, entrenched in worry, Tsukimi and her geeky friends fervently plot for a way out of their predicament. 

The animation production for Princess Jellyfish was by Brains Base, whose previous work includes the delightful slice-of-life title KamiChu!, as well as the raucous action/noir item Baccano!. The romantic comedy scheduled for DVD/Blu-ray release in 2012.

Is This A Zombie? doesn't really fall into any particular genre. The cartoon follows a high school boy, a zombie, who is forced to pay his dues to assorted necromancers and magic wielders given his newfound abilities. Is This A Zombie?, however, approaches the subject as a romantic comedy where the male interest's body sort of keeps falling apart. When Aikawa Ayumu is killed in cold blood by a serial killer, his life doesn't really get exciting until he's resurrected from the dead. 


from Is This A Zombie?
from Panty & Stocking w/Garterbelt
Now, it doesn't matter if he gets stabbed or hit by a bus, Aikawa will survive; but the question remains as to whether his social life will remain as durable. FUNimation has scheduled Is This A Zombie? for domestic release sometime next year.

Also scheduled to enter retail next year is Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt, an unabashed ecchi-comedy about two fallen angels, sisters, named Panty and Stocking. 

The two angels have been kicked out of heaven for their reprehensible behavior, but a sliver of hope remains for them to return (assuming they want to). The series is produced by GAINAX Studios (Evangelion, FLCL). 

As Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt continues, the two bickering girls are dispatched to a town on the edge of heaven and hell to take care of a ghost/demon problem (under the watchful eye of Reverend Garterbelt, no less). 

Plenty of sex, candy, and violence later, Panty and Stocking are tearing up the town -- and probably doing more damage than the bad guys. The anime series is known for tempering its broad, excessive, and illogical style of humor with a brash though compatible visual style. 

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