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Published by VegettoEX
14 May 2005, 11:40 AM ESTComments Off

GameStop.com now has a listing for a “Transformation 2” on the GameBoy Advance, with a date set of 15 November 2005 (right around the same time that “Sparking! / Budokai Tenkaichi” is due out). This would be the fifth game in the “Legacy of Goku” series of action/adventure/RPGs (which randomly stopped using the “Legacy of Goku” main title after the second game).

The first “Transformation” game, which will span the beginning of DBGT through the Bebi arc, is not even yet due be released until 19 July 2005.

Thanks to forum member Kodoshin for the heads-up.

Published by SaiyaJedi
11 May 2005, 10:05 PM ESTComments Off

If you have been keeping track, you might have noticed that the release date for the Japanese Dragon Ball GT “Dragon Box” DVD box set is fast approaching, without so much as a “GT DVD set release coming up real soon” update. Actually, there is good reason for this — it has been delayed. As pointed out to us by forum-member kenisu3000, courtesy of the official Japanese “Dragon Box” website:

We are truly thankful for receiving the greatest amount of preorders out of the series. We give our gratitude to each and every one of you who reserved it. At present, the production operation is in full swing, but because the final tally of preorders was twice that of the ‘Dragon Box’ series up through last year, far exceeding our prior assumptions, it became incredibly difficult for us to deliver the product to every valued customer who ordered, by the release date we originally gave of 25 May.

We are terribly sorry to make all of you keep waiting, but in order to deliver the product in a better condition, we are changing the release date to 15 June. We are really, terribly sorry, but please, do try to understand.

20 April 2005
Shueisha / Fuji TV / Toei Animation
Pony Canyon

Traditional Japanese “we are such piles of crap” humility aside, the main gist is thus: they could not meet demand for all of the pre-orders, so they just chose to delay it rather than make some of the pre-orderers wait, or rush an inferior product out the door.

Published by VegettoEX
11 May 2005, 12:00 PM ESTComments Off

Announced earlier this year, the acquisition of FUNimation by now-parent-company Navarre has been completed.

MINNEAPOLIS, MN -May 11, 2005 – Navarre Corporation (NASDAQ: NAVR) a leading publisher and distributor of a broad range of home entertainment and multimedia software products, today announced that it has acquired all general and limited partnership interests in FUNimation Productions, LTD. and The FUNimation Store, Ltd.

FUNimation, based in Fort Worth, Texas, is recognized as a leading licensor and home video distributor of Japanese animation and entertainment for children and young adults. FUNimation titles include Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Ball GT, Yū Yū Hakusho, Case Closed and Fullmetal Alchemist. FUNimation has enjoyed broadcast success with 15 titles currently airing on networks including Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, Nickelodeon and PBS Kids. FUNimation leverages its proprietary licensed content into various revenue streams including television broadcast, DVD home video, toys, video games, and trading cards. In addition to the home video distribution and third-party licensing, FUNimation also engages in third-party marketing, sales and distribution agreements with content providers, including 4Kids Entertainment Inc., Nelvana, Alliance Atlantis, Chorion, WGBH, Cookie Jar Group, Porchlight Entertainment and Mainframe Entertainment. Since January 1, 2005, FUNimation has signed product license agreements including Noddy, Winx, Akira Kurosawa’s Samurai 7, My Dad the Rock Star, and a co-production agreement with sports icon Tony Hawk.

For the years ended December 31, 2002, 2003 and 2004, FUNimation’s audited results included net sales of $63.7 million, $81.6 million and $72.4 million, respectively, and pre-tax income of $24.9 million, $30.5 million and $29.8 million, respectively.

Eric Paulson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, stated, “The acquisition of FUNimation is an exciting transaction for everyone involved – our customers, our two companies and Navarre’s shareholders. The FUNimation transaction validates Navarre’s corporate strategy, which focuses on continued growth and content ownership through licensing while continuing to leverage our distribution assets.” Mr. Paulson continues, “FUNimation brings a wide assortment of high profile brands, combining home video distribution with exciting broadcast and third-party licensing opportunities. Their relationships with content owners, coupled with their brand development skills provide great opportunities across our entire enterprise. Gen Fukunaga and Daniel Cocanougher, the President and Executive Vice President of FUNimation respectively, add additional depth to Navarre’s overall management team and we look forward to their ongoing contribution.”

Gen Fukunaga, President of FUNimation Productions, LTD. stated, “We are very excited to join the Navarre family. FUNimation will benefit from Navarre’s state-of-the-art retail distribution capabilities and Navarre offers FUNimation a capital structure to pursue new product opportunities and business initiatives.”

Under the terms of the acquisition, Navarre acquired all general and limited partnership interests of FUNimation for approximately $100,400,000 in cash, subject to post-closing adjustments not to exceed $5.0 million, plus 1,827,486 shares of unregistered Navarre common stock, subject to certain registration rights. Additionally, the sellers could receive up to $17,000,000 in cash to be paid over five-years if FUNimation achieves certain agreed-upon financial targets during that period.

To complete the FUNimation acquisition, Navarre entered into a $165 million credit facility with GE Commercial Finance. This credit facility amends the Company’s previously existing lines of credit with GE Commercial Finance. Under this credit facility the Company entered into both a six-year $140 million Term Loan B sub-facility and a five-year revolving sub-facility for up to $25 million. The credit facility is secured by a first priority security interest in substantially all of Navarre’s assets. This facility is prepayable at any time, at the Company’s option.

The entire $140 million of the Term Loan B sub-facility was drawn by the Company at closing to finance the initial cash portion of the FUNimation acquisition and associated expenses, with the remaining balance placed into cash reserves for general corporate purposes. The revolving sub-facility will be available to the Company for its working capital and general corporate needs and at the time of closing was undrawn.

Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. acted as financial advisor to Navarre Corporation in connection with the transaction, and A.G. Edwards & Sons, Inc. acted as financial advisor to FUNimation.

Fiscal Year 2005 and Fourth Quarter Financial Update
With the previously-announced agreement to purchase the remaining twenty percent (20%) ownership interest of its subsidiary Encore Software from Mike Bell, Navarre will recognize approximately $5.8 million of compensation expense in the recently completed fourth quarter of its 2005 fiscal year. In addition, Navarre will realize approximately $600,000 of expenses related to the FUNimation acquisition and an approximate $700,000 of expenses spent on preparation for Sarbanes Oxley compliance in the fourth quarter that ended March 31, 2005. Due to the above-mentioned items the Company anticipates negative earnings for the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2005. Based on preliminary figures the Company also anticipates reporting fiscal year 2005 net sales of approximately $600 million. Additionally, the Company’s balance sheet as of March 31, 2005 is anticipated to show approximately $15.0 million in cash, $39.0 million in inventory, $95.0 million in net accounts receivable, $96.0 in accounts payable and that the company was operating without bank debt.

Fiscal Year 2006 Guidance
The company expects the FUNimation transaction to be accretive to its fiscal year 2006 results. FUNimation will contribute approximately 10 months worth of operations to Navarre’s fiscal year 2006 consolidated financial results. With the consolidation of FUNimation, the company anticipates fiscal 2006 net sales to be between $710 million to $720 million. After anticipated costs related to the FUNimation integration the Company anticipates fiscal 2006 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (“EBITDA”) to be between $40 million and $45 million or $1.26 to $1.42 of EBITDA per share fully diluted.

About Navarre Corporation
Navarre Corporation (NASDAQ: NAVR) is a leading publisher and distributor of a broad range of home entertainment and multimedia products, including PC software, CD audio, DVD and VHS video, video games and accessories. Since its founding in 1983, the company has established distribution relationships with customers across a wide spectrum of retail channels which includes mass merchants, discount, wholesale club, office and music superstores, military and e-tailers nationwide. The company currently provides its products to over 18,000 retail and distribution center locations throughout the United States and Canada. Navarre has recently expanded its business to include the licensing and publishing of home entertainment and multimedia content, primarily through the acquisitions of Encore Software, Inc. and BCI Eclipse Company, LLC. For more information, please visit the company’s web site at www.navarre.com.

Safe Harbor
The statements in this press release that are not strictly historical are “forward looking” statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and are intended to be covered by the safe harbors created by these sections. The forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties and the actual results that the Company achieves may differ materially from these forward-looking statements due to such risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to: the Company’s revenues being derived from a small group of customers; the Company’s dependence on significant vendors; the Company’s dependence upon software developers and manufacturers and popularity of their products; the Company’s ability to maintain and grow its exclusive distribution business through agreements with music labels; the Company’s dependence upon a key employee and its Founder, namely, Eric H. Paulson, Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer; the Company’s ability to attract and retain qualified management personnel; uncertain growth in the publishing segment; the acquisition strategy of the Company, including the successful integration of FUNimation, could disrupt other business segments and/or management; the seasonality and variability in the Company’s business and that decreased sales during peak season could adversely affect its results of operations; the Company’s ability to meet its significant working capital requirements related to distributing products and financing accounts receivable; the Company’s ability to avoid excessive inventory return and obsolescence losses; the potential for inventory values to decline; the Company’s credit exposure due to reseller arrangements or negative trends which could cause credit loss; the Company’s ability to adequately and timely adjust cost structure for decreased demand; the Company’s ability to compete effectively in distribution and publishing, which are highly competitive industries; the Company’s dependence on third-party shipping of its product; the Company’s dependence on information systems; technological developments, particularly in the electronic downloading arena which could adversely impact sales, margins and results of operations; increased counterfeiting or piracy which could negatively affect demand for the Company’s products; the Company may not be able to protect its intellectual property; interruption of the Company’s business or catastrophic loss at a facility which could curtail or shutdown its business; the potential for future terrorist activities to disrupt operations or harm assets; significant Company stock volatility; the exercise of outstanding warrants and options adversely affecting stock price; the Company’s anti-takeover provision, its ability to issue preferred stock and its staggered board may discourage take-over attempts beneficial to shareholders; because the Company does not intend to pay dividends, stock appreciation may yield the only return on an investment in Company stock; and the Company’s directors may not be personally liable for certain actions which may discourage shareholder suits against them. A detailed statement of risks and uncertainties is contained in the Company’s reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission, including in particular the Company’s Form 10-K for the year ended March 31, 2004. Investors and shareholders are urged to read this document carefully. Investors and shareholders are urged to read this document carefully. The Company can offer no assurances that any projections, assumptions or forecasts made or discussed in this release, “NAVARRE CORPORATION ACQUIRES FUNIMATION, AND PROVIDES FINANCIAL UPDATE AND GUIDANCE”, dated May 11, 2005, will be met, and investors should understand the risks of investing solely due to such projections. The Company undertakes no obligation to revise any forward-looking statements in order to reflect events or circumstances that may arise after the date of this press release.

Published by VegettoEX
05 May 2005, 5:32 PM ESTComments Off

Ignore anything you read elsewhere — the game being released in the US by Atari under the name “Budokai Tenkaichi” is indeed the game “Sparking!” being developed in Japan by Spike for Bandai.

IGN has some new information (including images and movie clips!) concerning/from the game. Look for upwards of 60 characters, including all five of the Ginyu-Tokusentai.

I do have a bit of a problem with the IGN article calling the game “Budokai 4”. This is a brand-new game being developed by a completely different game developer (Spike vs Dimps) with a completely new game engine, and as such, really makes no sense to call it “Budokai 4” (note that is also not being called “Dragon Ball Z 4” in Japan, or anything like that). Regardless, check out the article for some screens and videos (from the Japanese version, no less!).

We also have some other gaming news, mostly for all you international fans. Poor little “Sagas” is coming out over in Europe in July, and you will also be getting “Advance Adventure”, which is up for pre-order both on Amazon UK and Amazon Germany.

Published by VegettoEX
30 April 2005, 1:22 PM ESTComments Off

For the first time since the game was released, Dimps’ official website for “Dragon Ball Z 3” has been updated. It simply showcases a little bit more of “Dragon Universe” and the eleven characters playable in that mode — nothing of any significance. If you like character model artwork, though, it is very neat!

They still have those two hidden sections that have not been enabled, which we eagerly await. Our guess is that, in due time, they will showcase all of the hidden extra costumes.

Published by VegettoEX
24 April 2005, 1:45 AM ESTComments Off

According to Bandai’s press release for “Sparking!”, there will indeed be both a European and American release for the game (in addition to, obviously, the initial Japanese release). It reads, as translated by our good friend TripleRach:

The newest product, like the first three releases, will be developed worldwide simultaneously, scheduled for release in Japan and the American and European markets starting Fall 2005.

For more information on the game (all in Japanese, of course… but it all looks so pretty in the obligatory Flash websites!), you can visit Bandai’s official “Sparking!” website, as well as Spike’s (the game’s actual developer) official “Sparking!” website.

On the heels of this, think back to a previous poll FUNimation had in which you could pick the next name for a DBZ game — among these choices was “Tenkaichi Budokai”. Well, a new PS2 game has a listing on GameStop.com entitled just that… OK, so they have it backwards, written as “Budokai Tenkaichi”, but regardless of the name, it lists a release date of 15 November 2005.

So what is this game? All signs point to it being the domestic release of “Sparking!” — for those not in the know, “Sparking!” is the last line in the 1st opening theme to Dragon Ball Z, “CHA-LA HEAD-CHA-LA”.

Even more additionally, GameStop.com also has a listing for a one very special “Super Sonic Warriors 2” (the sequel to the GameBoy Advance game “Bukū Tōgeki”, which we received as “Super Sonic Warriors”) on the Nintendo DS! The release date on this one is set for 22 November 2005.

If we get new animated openings and Japanese vocal theme songs out of all this, I will continue to be a very happy (and very money-spending) fanboy.

That is it for now! Special thanks to all of our forum goes for their constant vigilance in the world of interweb news! We will be hitting you all up with more information and translations as soon as we possibly can.

Published by SaiyaJedi
18 April 2005, 2:25 PM ESTComments Off

Thanks to forum-member sangofe, we have come across a report on the Belgian site PlayerOne about a European collector’s edition of “Budokai 3”. For those of you who cannot read French, I have prepared a translation:

After the deserved success of “Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3” on the Playstation 2, Atari plans to release a collector’s version of its acclaimed fighting game. What’s new on the program? This version will have a new cover jacket, the Japanese voices, and even three new unlockable characters. The collector’s edition will be available this coming 21 June in Europe.

There is also an “exclusive” sneak-peek at the cover of the collector’s edition on the page linked above (and no, the kanji do not mean anything important; they are “gold”, “water”, and “city”, respectively). While the art is nothing special, the game itself should be a treat… if you live in Europe.

And so once again, we Americans get the short end of the stick, while the European fans get treated to the original voice actors for the characters, and extras from the Japanese version (though it is not mentioned in the article, the three new unlockable characters are probably Piccolo-Daimaō, Long-Haired Trunks, and Level 99 Goku w/Halo, as they were in Japan).

Published by VegettoEX
15 April 2005, 5:35 PM ESTComments Off

The latest Japanese issue of “Jump” reveals screen shots from the upcoming “Sparking!” video game for the PlayStation 2.

Thanks to sangofe‘s translation of the original Jeux-France update, we know that the game:

  • Will be available for JP PS2 this year (tentatively)
  • Will be an action/3D game
  • Will have 40+ playable characters
  • Will “give more liberty” than the “Budokai” series

Scans for the issue of “Jump” showcase Super Saiyan Goku blasting away (at what looks like a Super Saiyan Vegeta) in a 3D battlefield, with big images of himself and Janenba on the sites of the page.

Published by VegettoEX
14 April 2005, 6:05 PM ESTComments Off

FUNimation’s DVD release of the eleventh Dragon Ball Z movie uses cover art very similar to the original Japanese cover art, yet again! The movie, re-titled “Bio-Broly” by FUNimation, will see its release on 16 August 2005.

Published by SaiyaJedi
05 April 2005, 4:45 PM ESTComments Off

I know it is a bit late in the day to be saying it (it is not even the 5th in Japan, anymore), but today is a very special day: Akira Toriyama’s 50th birthday! So, we would all just like to say:

Tanjōbi Omedetō, Toriyama-sensei~!!