Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS Simulcast Begins: Everything You Need to Know

June 7, 2017 at 8:00 am | Posted in Japanese, Konami, VRAINS, Yu-Gi-Oh! | 8 Comments
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Close-up of Playmaker in Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 5

The first-ever Yu-Gi-Oh! simulcast is here! 4K Media and Crunchyroll’s Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS simulcast kicked off today with episode 5. Whether you are new to simulcasts, to Crunchyroll, or even to anime in general, here is everything that you need to know about this new streaming initiative.

New episodes of Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS premiere on Crunchyroll every Wednesday at 6:55 am ET/3:55 am PT. That’s exactly one hour after the broadcast of the new episode in Japan on TV Tokyo. Crunchyroll’s other simulcasts follow this same release time frame.

Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS is uncut and unedited, in Japanese with English subtitles. You are watching the same video that Japanese viewers watched. This really should go without saying, but 4K Media isn’t editing the video before it goes live on Crunchyroll. There’s no time for that anyway!

Yu-Gi-Oh! viewers in the West who watch their episodes on TV and home video are probably used to seeing a polished final product. But in Japan, TV anime are produced under tight deadlines; new episodes are sometimes completed and delivered to broadcasters mere hours before they air. In the rush to meet their deadlines, sometimes the production staff don’t have the time to do everything that they want to do. Animated sequences might be incomplete. Designs might look a little off model. Mistakes might slip through. What viewers see on TV and in a simulcast often isn’t the final version of the episode. So don’t fret if things don’t look as good as you expect. The animators will clean up the episodes for their reruns and home video releases.

Speaking of incompleteness, Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS has the distinction of having some rather special subtitles. Because of how far ahead of the Western Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG market this show is airing, there are cards present that don’t yet have official English names when the episodes are first picked up. The subtitles mark such cards by italicizing their translated (but unofficial) names. One example is Go Onizuka’s monster Gouki Headbutt (Gouki Heddobatto in Japanese), which saw its name in italics when it first appears in episode 4. By the time episode 5 came around, its official English name is revealed to be Gouki Headbatt. Look for these new cards and their official English names beginning this summer when they roll out in the West.

The newest episode is available exclusively to Crunchyroll premium members for one week. This is true not only for Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS, but for the vast majority of CR’s simulcasts. Non-premium members can still watch simulcast episodes after the exclusivity period for free with ads. If you’re not a premium member, why not consider joining? For the price of a cup of coffee and a dessert, you get to watch simulcasts the day they premiere in HD, indulge in CR’s library of manga and simulpubs, and enjoy discounts on anime goods in CR’s store. The anime and manga industries and their content creators thank you for your support!

Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS is available worldwide, except to viewers in Australia, Canada, France, Italy, San Marino, Vatican City, and most of Asia. 4K Media’s Yu-Gi-Oh! license doesn’t include Asia, so that’s to be expected. As for the other countries, many astute fans have noted that these are also the countries where Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V has or had a television presence. Perhaps a licensing deal is already in the works with broadcasters in these countries that would nix a stream on Crunchyroll. Ah, the joys of international licensing.

That’s all for now! I hope you support and enjoy 4K Media and Crunchyroll’s Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS simulcast.

Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS Simulcast on Crunchyroll

June 1, 2017 at 6:30 pm | Posted in Japanese, Konami, VRAINS, Yu-Gi-Oh! | 10 Comments
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4K Media's Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS promo image on Crunchyroll

Into the VRAINS we go! Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS is getting a simulcast on Crunchyroll in Japanese with English subtitles! Episodes 1 through 3 of this newest Yu-Gi-Oh! anime are available now to everyone for free. Episode 4 is available exclusively to premium subscribers until next Wednesday. New episodes will be uploaded every Wednesday. The series is available worldwide except for Australia, Canada, France, Italy, San Marino, Vatican City, and most of Asia.

Congratulations to 4K Media (Konami) and Crunchyroll for making Yu-Gi-Oh! history once again!

Coincidentally or not, the official Japanese Yu-Gi-Oh! anime Twitter @yugioh_anime has also announced that fans in Japan will be getting their own VRAINS stream beginning June 6.

(News from Crunchyroll, h/t Yu-Gi-Oh! Fan Page)

Anchor Bay Entertainment Announces Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions Blu-ray, DVD

April 26, 2017 at 5:30 pm | Posted in English dubbed, Japanese, Konami, The Dark Side of Dimensions, Yu-Gi-Oh! | 16 Comments
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Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions Blu-ray cover mock-up from Anchor Bay Entertainment

Anchor Bay Entertainment announced today that it will release Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions on home video this summer. First up is a digital HD version of the movie slated for June 13. Then, the Blu-ray and DVD versions will hit store shelves on June 27. Both the English and Japanese versions of the movie are included. The home release is also packed with four special features: an interview with Dan Green and Eric Stuart, a look at the cast’s favorite moments, and 4K Media’s “Show Us Your Cards” campaign.

Update (June 5): 4K Media has confirmed that Gold Rare Obelisk the Tormentor will be included with the Blu-ray and DVD.

Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS Premiere Date, Cast Announced

April 20, 2017 at 10:00 pm | Posted in Japanese, VRAINS, Yu-Gi-Oh! | Leave a comment

Table of Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS voice actors and their characters

Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS today received its biggest announcements yet with the reveal of its premiere date, a list of its main characters and cast, and a summary of the first episode.

Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS will premiere in Japan on Wednesday, May 10, at 6:25 pm on TV Tokyo. With this, VRAINS will leave the familiar Sunday evening time slot that has been the home to Yu-Gi-Oh! since ZEXAL II began in October 2012.

Yu-Gi-Oh! fans have already met the new protagonist Yusaku Fujiki along with one of his rivals and classmates Go Onizuka and Aoi Zaizen. Today, several new characters and their voice actors got the spotlight. The cast includes mostly up-and-coming voice actors alongside a few big names. Pictured above, from left to right, top to bottom, are:

* Shouya Ishige as Yusaku Fujiki

* Takahiro Sakurai (Reigen Arataka in Mob Psycho 100, Osomatsu in Mr. Osomatsu, Suzaku in Code Geass) as the mysterious creature

* Subaru Kimura (Gian in Doraemon, Kanba Takakura in Penguindrum) as Shoichi Kusanagi

* Chiharu Sawashiro (Takeru Ando in Cheer Boys!!, Natsuki Ise in All Out!!) as Naoki Shima

* Daiki Hamano (Hirokuni Kasuga in All Out!!, Dante Mogro in Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans) as Go Onizuka.

* Yuki Nakashima (Kinako Tanaka in Teekyu) as Aoi Zaizen

* Shouma Yamamoto (V in Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL, Kenshiro Yozakura in Nanbaka) as Akira Zaizen

* Yuna Kamakura as Ema Bessho

* Shunsuke Takeuchi (Yamato Godai in Nanbaka, Producer in The IDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls) as Revolver.

(Note: The romanized character names are not official and are based on the most common readings of their kanji.)

The series’ producers offered the following summary of the first episode, titled “My Name is Playmaker”:

Den City, the city where the newest network is being developed. That’s where everyone is always dueling in SOL Technology’s VR space “LINK VRAINS.” Protagonist Yusaku Fujiki is a cool high schooler with a very keen eye for observation. To defeat the Knights of Hanoi, who plan to bring down LINK VRAINS, he transforms into his avatar, Playmaker, and duels them in secret. Now, Yusaku learns from Shoichi Kusanagi, a hacker with the same goals as him, that SOL Technology is desperately searching for a mysterious creature. Yusaku realizes the Knights of Hanoi are also after it, so he sets up a trap in the network to capture them.

(News from Mynavi News, h/t @yugioh_anime)

Eleven Arts Unveils Theater List for Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions Japanese Screenings

April 11, 2017 at 1:30 pm | Posted in Japanese, Konami, The Dark Side of Dimensions, Yu-Gi-Oh! | 1 Comment
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Seto Kaiba raising his Duel Disk in Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions and the Eleven Arts logo

Today, film distributor Eleven Arts posted a complete list of U.S. theaters participating in the upcoming limited-engagement screenings of Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions in Japanese with English subtitles.

Theater locations, dates, and times are available at: http://www.elevenarts.net/yugioh/

If you tried accessing that webpage earlier today and discovered that it was locked with a password, please try again now.

For further details and discussions about this special event, please see my previous post, “Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions Gets Theatrical Screenings in Japanese with English Subtitles.” Any updates from Eleven Arts to this event will be added to that post.

Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions Gets Theatrical Screenings in Japanese with English Subtitles

April 10, 2017 at 9:00 pm | Posted in Japanese, Konami, The Dark Side of Dimensions, Yu-Gi-Oh! | 31 Comments
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Yugi drawing a card in Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions and the Eleven Arts logo

Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions is getting a limited run in U.S. theaters in Japanese with English subtitles! 4K Media (Konami) has teamed up with film distributor Eleven Arts to bring the movie to select theaters around the country for a one- or two-day special event, with screenings beginning as early as this Friday, April 14.

4K Media announced this event on Facebook last Friday, but has since removed the post. (Update: 4K Media has clarified that the said announcement is geo-targeted; only Facebook users within 50 miles of a participating theater can view the post.) 4K Media confirmed by email earlier today that it is still awaiting the final list of participating theaters from Eleven Arts as some venues are still not finalized or have not yet scheduled a screening time. Eleven Arts was supposed to post its list of theaters today, but it has not.

Update (April 11): Eleven Arts’ official list of theaters is now available at:
http://www.elevenarts.net/yugioh/

The following is the most current list of confirmed theaters:

(Last updated: May 8 @ 1:30 pm ET/10:30 am PT)

Alaska

Arizona

California

District of Columbia

Georgia

Hawaii

Kansas

Michigan

Missouri

New Jersey

New York

North Carolina

Ohio

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Texas

Virginia

Wisconsin

If you’re lucky enough to be near one of these showings, by all means go see it. Show your support for Yu-Gi-Oh! and subtitled theatrical anime releases!

Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS Lead Actor, Story, Staff Announced

March 24, 2017 at 4:00 pm | Posted in Japanese, VRAINS, Yu-Gi-Oh! | 7 Comments

Shouya Ishige and a Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS key visual image

Japanese producers of Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS returned today to reveal more juicy details about the upcoming anime, including the protagonist’s voice actor, an overview of the story, and the staff helming the series.

Yusaku Fujiki’s Voice Actor

Lead character Yusaku Fujiki and his alter ego “Playmaker” will be voiced by 26-year-old Shouya Ishige. With his selection, the producers have continued the trend of choosing a relative newcomer to the anime voice acting industry to play the protagonist. Up until now, Ishige has predominantly been a stage actor. Between 2009 and 2015, he was a member of Japan’s Shiki Theatre Company where his roles included Rolf Gruber in The Sound of Music and Simba in The Lion King.

Story

Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS takes place in Den City, a futuristic world where people duel in a virtual reality space called LINK VRAINS. This system was developed by a large corporation named SOL Technology. All is not well in this world, however. The Knights of Hanoi, a mysterious group of dueling hackers, has infiltrated LINK VRAINS and is seeking to destroy the AI World “Cyberse” within the network. But one duelist is standing in their way: “Playmaker,” who has become well-known for demolishing the Knights of Hanoi without uttering a single word. Little does anyone know that Playmaker is mild-mannered high schooler Yusaku Fujiki, who pursues the hackers to uncover the truth about a certain event that occurred in the past.

Staff

Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS’s production crew includes plenty of notable and familiar names from past Yu-Gi-Oh! series, including:

  • Director: Masahiro Hosoda, an episode director and storyboarder in numerous anime, including Dragon Ball Z, One Piece, and the 1998 Yu-Gi-Oh! series from Toei
  • Series Layout: Shin Yoshida, a prominent and long-time Yu-Gi-Oh! anime and manga writer
  • Duel Layout: Masahiro Hikokubo, the long-time writer of duels in Yu-Gi-Oh! anime and manga
  • Character Design: Kenichi Hara, an animation director and key animator, and the Chief Animation Director of Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V
  • Audio Director: Hiroki Matsuoka from Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL, ARC-V, and The Dark Side of Dimensions
  • Music: Shinkichi Mitsumune, a composer in many anime series, including Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters, Revolutionary Girl Utena, FLCL, and Rozen Maiden

(News and images from animate Times, h/t @yugioh_anime.)

Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS Introduces Rival, Classmate Characters

March 21, 2017 at 6:00 am | Posted in Japanese, VRAINS, Yu-Gi-Oh! | 1 Comment

Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS characters Go Onizuka and Aoi Zaizen

Today, producers of the upcoming Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS anime unveiled the designs of two new characters: Go Onizuka (left) and Aoi Zaizen.

Go Onizuka (鬼塚豪) is described as a rival of protagonist Yusaku Fujiki’s VR alter ego “Playmaker.” When Go Onizuka enters VR space, he uses the moniker “Go Onizuka” (Go鬼塚 — the English word “Go” takes the place of the kanji 豪, which is also pronounced “Go”).

Aoi Zaizen is Yusaku’s classmate. When she enters VR space, she is called “Blue Angel” and is a well-known charismatic duelist.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Labo characters and logo

Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V’s final episode will air on Sunday, March 26. Of special note, Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS will not premiere in April as was previously announced. Instead, it will begin on an as yet unnamed date in May. In the meantime, beginning April 5, TV Tokyo will broadcast a special series titled “Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS Fully Dissected! Yu-Gi-Oh! Laboratory.” Each week, Japanese celebrities and personalities will discuss the appeal of the world of Yu-Gi-Oh! and the new rules of the card game. The show is intended to be a beginner’s introduction to the anime and game.

(News and images from Mynavi News 1, 2.)

Previously:
TV Tokyo’s Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS Website Now Live

Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V Subbed – Episodes 50-99 Complete

March 15, 2017 at 6:00 am | Posted in ARC-V, Japanese, Konami, Yu-Gi-Oh! | Leave a comment
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Screenshot of the Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V anime videos page on Crunchyroll

Crunchyroll has hit another milestone in its Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V anime releases. Episodes 50 through 99 were added to the platform yesterday in Japanese with English subs. This wraps up the Friendship Cup story line in the Synchro Dimension — the equivalent of season 2 of 4K Media’s English dub.

Next, Crunchyroll is entering new territory. Episodes 100 and onward have yet to be played in any Western country, not even the ones that have already finished airing the season 2 English dub. Exciting! Don’t forget to add the show to your CR queue to always be alerted of new episodes.

My Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V – SUBBED Episodes page now has links to all of CR’s latest episodes.

Previously:
Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V Subbed – Episodes 1-49 Complete

Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions Japanese Blu-ray Ranks No. 1 in Sales

March 14, 2017 at 2:00 pm | Posted in Japanese, The Dark Side of Dimensions, Yu-Gi-Oh! | 4 Comments
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Limited edition Blu-ray box sets of Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions on display at Tower Records in Shinjuku
Photo by @TOWER_Shinjuku

Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions debuted on home video in Japan on March 8 and is a huge hit. Oricon’s animation Blu-ray rankings for the week of March 6 to 12 reveal that the limited edition BD from Marvelous sold 11,800 copies, making it the number 1 product of the week. Additionally, the standard edition BD sold 5,720 copies, coming in at number 3.

The standard edition DVD wasn’t far behind with 4,208 copies, which placed it at number 2 on Oricon’s animation DVD rankings.

The Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions limited edition Blu-ray includes a print copy of Kazuki Takahashi’s Transcend Game manga, a booklet with key animation, a T-shirt, and more.

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