Hit school idol franchise Love Live! returns with Anime Limited’s release of Love Live! Sunshine!! Season 1, out as a Blu-ray collector’s edition as well as on standard DVD. A sequel to animation studio Sunrise’s original two-season series, Sunshine!! introduces us to a whole new cast of wannabe idols, with16-year-old Chika and her friends at the seaside Uranohoshi Girls’ Academy founding a group called Aqours. The girls of μ’s made their musical dreams come true; can Chika and chums follow in their footsteps?
Limited to only 500 retail copies in the UK, the collector’s edition of Love Live! Sunshine!! comes with three vinyl stickers a well as a 20-page booklet featuring series art, cast interviews and info on the members of Aqours. Also out today on Anime Limited’s All The Anime label is the standard Blu-ray edition of Persona 3: Movie #4 Winter of Rebirth.
MVM Entertainment brings us slice-of-life comedy Girlish Number, a Wataru Watari-penned, 12-episode series following cynical young voice actor Chitose Karasuma’s adventures in the anime industry. After a year’s worth of bit parts, the disillusioned Chitose lands the lead role in a new light novel adaptation – has she finally got her big break or will lousy writing, greedy producers, overworked animators, executive meddling and Chitose’s own inexperience conspire to ruin her chances?
Manga UK also gets in on the action this week with the third instalment of Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal, the fourth series in the long-running card fighting franchise. Seven legendary Number cards are hidden throughout the cosmos, each holding a key to unlocking the ultimate power of the universe – and it’s down to our 13-year-old protagonist Yuma and his mysterious spirit companion Astral to make sure they don’t fall into the hands of the evil Barians. Featuring 24 episodes, Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal Season 3 comes as a six-disc DVD box set.
Something a spot more adult from Third Window Films, with the UK-based East Asian film specialist releasing a double bill of erotic anime in Animerama: 1001 Nights / Cleopatra. Receiving their worldwide Blu-ray debut, 1001 Nights and Cleopatra are two of the Animerama trilogy of movies conceived by ‘God of Manga’ Osamu Tezuka and made at his Mushi Production animation studio in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s (the third title being Belladonna of Sadness, released last year by Anime Limited).
Directed by Tezuka’s long-time collaborator Eiichi Yamamoto (Astro Boy, Kimba the White Lion), 1001 Nights and Cleopatra both sport experimental animation alongside their erotic themes, as well as soundtracks by electronic music pioneer Isao Tomita. The box set also features an interview with director Eiichi Yamamoto and audio commentaries on both films by Helen McCarthy, author of The Art of Osamu Tezuka: God of Manga.