According to Kotaku, the recent Dragon Ball: Origins for the Nintendo DS has been recalled in Australia due to some of the game’s content not quite matching up with the given rating (a “PG”). Kotaku notes that once it receives a new rating, it will be back on store shelves.
Dragon Ball DS received an “A” in Japan from the CERO (appropriate for all ages), and received a “T” from the ESRB in the United States (appropriate for teens).
Some screens from the upcoming Dragon Ball Evolution video game on the PSP have shown up online. The only characters we have seen so far have been Bulma, Chi-Chi, Yamcha, and Master Roshi (all somewhat awkwardly resembling their “real life” counterparts).
Gaming sites are claiming the game will be out stateside in April (we know it comes out in Japan 19 March 2009), but we will keep an eye out for an official, set date.
CDJapan has up listings for Ayumi Hamasaki’s new CD single, a song from which (“Rule”) is being used as the somewhat “international” theme song for Dragon Ball Evolution, the upcoming American-made live action movie (no word on whether or not we are getting this song in our release of the movie).
There are three versions available for order. Of particular note is the CD+DVD version, which contains music videos for the songs contained on the disc. The CD comes out in approximately one month, on 25 February 2009 (with different prices depending on the version you decide to get).
Episode #0160 of the podcast is available for download! In addition to catching up on a couple little bits of news (which you’ve no doubt read below), we brought on our podcast host and The Fanboy Review superfan godofchaos to talk with us about FUNimation and their plans for Blu-ray, specifically with the DragonBall franchise. Lots of great image comparisons will be up in the forum thread for this episode, so make sure you take a look there. We also had a couple great e-mails and various other shenanigans, so it’s exactly what you need on this cold Sunday! Definitely check it out.
Episode #0160! VegettoEX and Meri bring of godofchaos (The Fanboy Review) to talk about FUNimation and their upcoming plans for the DragonBall series on Blu-ray. What have they already done that we can compare these plans to, and what other reference material is out there? Catching up on a couple quick news bits and some great e-mails round out the episode.
- “Dragon Ball Evolution” (JP PSP) @ Play-Asia
- FUNimation Layoff News @ mania.com
- DBZ DVD Vol. 29 (R2 PAL) @ zonadvd.com
- The Fanboy Review
20th Century Fox has finally opened their website for the new live-action movie, Dragon Ball Evolution, which is due out in the United States on April 8th and in Japan on March 13th. As of now, the site only contains a “new” trailer, which is nearly identical to the international trailer we have already seen, albeit with some updated graphics. Other than that, do not expect to see anything new and exciting. The Japanese website has been open a little longer, so you can also check that out if you would like.
To follow-up on what we mentioned on the last podcast (and forgot to put up a news entry for), we now have word of at least twenty FUNimation employee layoffs, in addition to (or including; the wording is vague) the two we had noted last show, including their Chief Operating Officer, Brian Burke.
I wanted to bring into the limelight something which I again noted on the podcast but did not have in front of me at the time. Upon FUNimation’s acquisition by Navarre, they entered into a special employment agreement with Gen Fukunaga, President and CEO of FUNimation. The exact wording from their various SEC filings over the years is as follows:
In connection with the FUNimation acquisition, the Company entered into an employment agreement with a key FUNimation employee providing for his employment as President and Chief Executive Officer of FUNimation Productions, Ltd. (“the FUNimation CEO”) until May 11, 2010 at a base salary of $350,000 per year. Among other items, the agreement provides the FUNimation CEO with the ability to earn two performance-based bonuses in the event that certain financial targets are met by the FUNimation business during the fiscal years ending March 31, 2006 through March 31, 2010. Specifically, if the total earnings before interest and tax (“EBIT”) of FUNimation during the fiscal years ending March 31, 2006 through March 31, 2008 is in excess of $90.0 million, the FUNimation CEO is entitled to receive a bonus payment in an amount equal to 5% of the EBIT that exceeds $90.0 million; however, this bonus payment shall not exceed $5.0 million. Further, if the combined EBIT of the FUNimation business is in excess of $60.0 million during the period consisting of the fiscal years ending March 31, 2009 and 2010, the FUNimation CEO is entitled to receive a bonus payment in an amount equal to 5% of the EBIT that exceeds $60.0 million; however, this bonus payment shall not exceed $4.0 million. No amounts have been expensed or paid under this agreement as the targets have not been achieved.
The global business community is struggling, so it comes as no surprise to see FUNimation taking measures such as these layoffs to stay ahead of the game, similar to various other organizations. With this employment agreement in mind, however, one can not help but raise an eyebrow when we get quotes like this:
“This decision was not taken lightly and thoughtful consideration was given as to how this move would affect our customers, vendors and employees,” said Gen Fukunaga, president and CEO of FUNimation Entertainment. “However, we must anticipate and adapt to the current economic climate. This action is expected to streamline our processes as we manage our business for long-term growth.”
It is perfectly fine, acceptable, and expected that a company will do everything to keep itself afloat and the leader in its industry; do not misunderstand the information we are trying to get across. However, let none of us forget that come March 2010, Gen Fukunaga gets a personal hefty pay-out up to $5 million if they meet financial expectations.
Coincidentally, Atari’s own contract with FUNimation to produce games for the Dragon Ball franchise expires in January 2010.
Our buddy Tanooki Kuribo found a listing on Play-Asia for Dragon Ball Evolution for the PSP. This would indeed be the game based on the upcoming live action movie that was first shown off at Jump Festa a few weeks back. Right now Play-Asia is listing a release date of 19 March 2009 for this Japanese version of the game and will be selling it for $48.98. There has been no word on a stateside release of the game, but being that it is based on a movie that has been created over here in America, it would make sense to release it over here. Keep in mind that despite all this, Japan is getting the movie a month before the US, so perhaps we can expect the PSP game in April, as well…? We will let you know.
Back in December 2008, Shueisha released a new figure of Super Saiyan Goku in their Mekke! Shop. It is the 5th figure in a 7 figure collection being put out by Shueisha. Unfortunately, with today’s exchange rate, this figure will set you back about $80 (without shipping). With the craftsmanship they put into this figure, it almost seems worth it.
Around the same time Shueisha released three new “Dragon Ball Z Capsule-Neo” figure collections. These sets were titled: “Rally – The Legendary Warrior Collection”, “Fierce Fighting – The Tenka’ichi Budōkai Collection”, and “Fierce Fighting – The Z Senshi Highlights Collection”.
After being released this last week, the sixth set of Dragon Ball The Movies individual discs (DBZ Movies 11 & 12) have deputed in the top 15 of the “Japanese Animation DVD Rankings” on the Oricon charts. Dragon Ball Z Movie 11 is ranked #12, having sold 6,206 copies, which is followed by Dragon Ball Z Movie 12 at #13, having sold 5,517 copies.
That is correct — the Bio-Brolli movie is out-selling the oh-so sexy Gogeta movie!
Episode #0159 of the podcast is available for download! Jeff joined the trio of hosts for taking a look at volume 23 of the manga. Goku still hasn’t arrived, but things are going crazy with Vegeta teaming up with the Earthlings, Ginyu-Tokusentai has arrived, the seven Dragon Balls have been gathered… crazy times on Namek, right now. How is the story moving along, though? Does Toriyama still seem like he knows what he’s doing? Definitely check it out.
Episode #0159! VegettoEX, Meri, Julian, and Jeff take a look at volume 23 in our “Manga Review of Awesomeness”. The proverbial excrement has begun to hit the fan, with Goku still on his way, and Vegeta being forced to team up with Kuririn and Gohan due to the arrival of Ginyu-Tokusentai. Is the story still moving along, though? News about layoffs and cover art, DBZ ABCs, January’s last release, and your great e-mails round out the episode.
- FUNimation Layoff News @ mania.com
- DBZ Manga Volume 7 (Shonen Jump GN) @ Amazon
- DBZ Manga Viz Big Volume 3 @ Amazon
- DBZ DVD Vol. 29 (R2 PAL) @ zonadvd.com
- Lo-Fidelity Podcast @ lofidelity.info