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The anime licensing deals announced over the past couple of weeks were pretty much split exclusively between FUNimation and Crunchyroll. Unless you're willing to give a flying fart about some ancient series resurrected by the likes of Right Stuf, which I certainly won't bother covering this time. Not when the other two companies have already scored 7 super-fresh anime series, that have just begun airing in Japan this month!

Well, Crunchyroll gets most of the credit for those. But what FUNi lacks in quantity, they more than make up for in quality, by grabbing the most resounding title; unarguably. You'll find it at the top of the list below, covering FUNimation's latest anime licenses.

- Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (source)
- Strike Witches and Linebarrels of Iron (source)
- plus 7 titles from Toei Animation, mostly old stuff: Air Master, Captain Harlock, Digimon Adventure 02, Fist of the North Star, Galaxy Express, Pretty Cure and Slam Dunk (source)

As for Crunchyroll, here's what they're streaming these days.

- Hayate the Combat Butler 2nd Season (source)
- Kigurumikku V3 (source)
- Natsu no Arashi! (source)
- Saki (source)
- Mainichi Kaasan (source)
- Ristorante Paradiso (source)
Done with the manga news round-up, on to anime: news from Japan first, English licenses right after this. And later still we'll add several new trailers, some for this month's freshly started series, some for more distant titles. Well, you'll see.

- Mini-Skirt Space Pirates (Mini-Skirt Uchuu Kaizoku) - announced as an anime adaptation of some recently started space-opera adventure novels by Yuichi Sasamoto. ANN has the story outline, and that's about it for now.

- Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu - this month's "renewed" airing of the 2006 anime series will reportedly be 28 episodes long - which means twice as many episodes as the original run. Could it be that the other 14 episodes really are brand spanking new?

- Naruto Shippuuden: Hi no Ishi o Tsugumono (~ The Will of Fire Still Burns) - as in the third Naruto Shippuuden movie, is now set for an August 1 premiere in Japan.

- Hidamari Sketch - the cute-but-not-cute-enough anime series from 2007 and 2008 (Hidamari Sketch x 365) will reportedly get a new Special Edition episode. Or episodes.

- Tales of Vesperia: The First Strike - announced as the title for the upcoming anime movie based on Namco Bandai's fantasy role-playing game originally released for the Xbox 360, but also coming to the PS3. Premieres in Japan during 2009.

- Full Metal Panic! - a live-action film was announced to adapt the school / action / comedy anime and light novel series. Mandalay Pictures is working on the movie, which has yet to receive a premiere date.

- Omamori Himari - the "slightly risque cat ghost story" manga by Milan Matra was announced to receive a TV anime adaptation from Studio Hibari. "The slapstick romantic comedy centers around an ordinary 16-year-old high school boy named Yuuto Amakawa who is protected by a spirit - specifically, a beautiful, sword-wielding cat girl spirit named Himari." Nekomimi loli? Say no more! (...)

>  Continue reading 'April Anime News Round-up'...
Seems like our April Fools' break ended up taking a wee-bit more than planned (like ten days, instead of a single one). But amidst mounting festivities - global, national and personal alike - I'll be trying to catch up with the most relevant anime and manga news that surfaced so far this month. And for starters, here is some stuff about manga.

- Miyakawa-ke no Kuufuku - a manga series authored by Kagami Yoshimizu (creator of the Lucky Star manga and anime franchise), will be relaunched in the June issue of Kadokawa Shoten's Monthly Comp Ace magazine - out on April 25. "The four-panel manga will center on Hinata and Hikage Miyakawa, the two sister characters who appeared in the Lucky Star Moe Drill game series", ANN writes.

- Azumanga Daioh - the original four-panel comedy manga which spawned the insanely fun anime series, will get a new English edition from Yen Press this December. It will be "a newly translated and lettered version of ADV Manga's [earlier] release" from 2003-2004.

- Boys Be... 2009 Term I (Boys Be… 2009 1-Gakki) - this is the title of the latest manga sequel based on the Boys Be... series. By now, it has already debuted on Kodansha's MiChao mobile comic website.

- Hanasakeru Seishounen - the shoujo manga whose anime adaptation has just begun airing in Japan this month, will be getting a 1-shot manga sequel on June 27.

- Tales of the Abyss: Tsuioku no Jade (~ Jade in My Memories) - announced as a manga series penned by the main writer of Namco's fantasy RPG franchise "Tales of...". As you may know, a Tales of the Abyss anime adaptation began airing last autumn, and ended in late March 2009. "As a side story of Sunrise's recently ended anime version, the manga will depict the background history of the Jade Curtiss character."

- Nightmare Go Round and Akira to Hiyori - are two of the four new manga titles announced to launch in the next issues of Square Enix's Young Gangan magazine. (...)

>  Continue reading 'April Manga News Round-up'...
There was a time when April 1 used to be a fun day, when writing "shocking news" about Blizzard developing StarCraft 2 seemed like such a jolly witty thing to do. But that was like 10 years ago, and since then, this particular day of the year has become one of the most dreaded ones (it does tend to suck not being able to rely on any source as a "journalist").

That said, there will be no April Fools' jokes here on Animekon today, and just to make sure, there will be no anime news - period. I'm taking the day off and will be gaming to my heart's desire (at last), and wish everyone a happy day full of lulz.

P.S. It just hit me: trailers should be less deceiving than news - so expect some of those.
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