The latest sales rankings from Japan have arrived for the home video market with DVD and Blu-ray sales ending the week of June 28th. This week has a number of first volumes arriving within it and there are a lot that didn’t rank all that high when you get down to it. On the positive side, the third installment of Akito the Exiled arrived and hit almost 21,000 copies in its opening week to take the top spot. With two more to go, there’s a good run ahead of it overall. Sword Art Online II continues to do well as does Kantai collection. The biggest new series debut from the spring season is My Romantic Comedy SNAFU Sequel series which lands at 10,000 copies. Show By Rock!! comes across well and it’s also surprising but welcome to see the Angel Beats new box set arriving in the tenth spot. not doing so well is Seraph of the End where it didn’t crack 3000 copies and there’s also Nisekoi: nabbing just under 4000. It’s surprising to see that people didn’t jump more on Is It Wrong to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?, as it has just 4300 Blu-ray sales, but with the spike in novels, it seems like folks went reading rather than owning.
It’s also worth remembering that with some shows you have to factor in the formats. While Seraph of the End was weak on the Blu-ray side, it did better on the DVD side and the combined sales are certainly solid. General speculation is that women are buying the series more than men and they’re less format purists and more focused on price and ownersehip.
Rank / This week’s sales by copies / Cumulative sales / Titles
- 20,731 20,731 Code Geass: Boukoku no Akito 3 – Kagayaku Mono Ten yori Otsu Limited Edition
- 13,314 13,314 Sword Art Online II Vol.9 Limited Edition
- 10,869 10,869 Kantai Collection Vol.4 Limited Edition
- 10,016 10,016 Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru. Zoku Vol.1 Limited Edition
- *8,686 *8,686 The iDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls Vol.2 Limited Edition
- *6,865 *6,865 Show By Rock!! Vol.1
- *6,776 *6,776 JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders 2nd Season Vol.3 Limited Edition
- *6,610 *6,610 Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso Vol.5 Limited Edition
- *6,330 *6,330 Gintama Blu-ray BOX Season 4
- *6,018 *6,018 Angel Beats! Blu-ray BOX Limited Edition
- *5,890 *5,890 Gundam: G no Reconguista Vol.7 Special Limited Edition
- *5,481 *5,481 Kuroko no Basket 3rd Season Vol.3
- *5,240 *5,240 Hello!! Kiniro Mosaic Vol.1
- *5,028 *5,028 Amagi Brilliant Park Special Limited Edition
- *4,588 *4,588 Sidonia no Kishi: Daikyuu Wakusei Seneki Vol.3 Limited Edition
- *4,534 *4,534 Aldnoah.Zero Vol.9 Limited Edition
- *4,351 *4,351 Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka Vol.1 Limited Edition
- *4,263 *4,263 Cross Ange: Tenshi to Ryuu no Rondo Vol.7
- *3,875 *3,875 Nisekoi: Vol.1 Limited Edition
- *3,351 *3,351 Dog Days” Vol.4 Limited Edition
- *3,173 *3,173 Shinmai Maou no Testament Vol.4
- *2,853 *2,853 Tesagure! Bukatsumono Spin-off: Purupurun Sharumu to Asobou Vol.1
- *2,751 *2,751 “K: Return of Kings Prelude – Come Back”
- *2,742 *2,742 Owari no Seraph Vol.1 Limited Edition
- 5,670 *5,670 Kuroko no Basket 3rd Season Vol.3
- 5,334 *5,334 Funassyi no Funafunafuna Biyori Vol.1 “Nashi, Kourin Nasshi~! Funafuna Ver.” Limited Edition
- 3,042 *3,042 Owari no Seraph Vol.1 Limited Edition
- 2,905 *2,905 New Prince of Tennis OVA vs Genius10 Vol.5
- 2,704 *2,704 Sword Art Online II Vol.9 Limited Edition
- 1,936 *1,936 Kantai Collection Vol.4 Limited Edition
- 1,788 *1,788 Code Geass: Boukoku no Akito 3 – Kagayaku Mono Ten yori Otsu Limited Edition
- 1,733 *1,733 Show By Rock!! Vol.1
- 1,462 *1,462 Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru. Zoku Vol.1 Limited Edition
- 1,400 *1,400 Nisekoi: Vol.1 Limited Edition
- 1,351 *1,351 JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders 2nd Season Vol.3 Limited Edition
- 1,262 *1,262 Akatsuki no Yona Vol.2
- 1,193 *1,193 Nanatsu no Taizai Vol.6 Limited Edition
- 1,140 *1,140 Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso Vol.5 Limited Edition
- 1,022 *1,022 Durarara!!x2 Shou Vol.5 Limited Edition
- *,966 **,966 Ansatsu Kyoushitsu Vol.4 Limited Edition
- *,900 **,900 Dog Days” Vol.4 Limited Edition
- *,838 **,838 Shinmai Maou no Testament Vol.4 Limited Edition
- *,784 **,784 Dungeon ni DeaiwoMotomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka Vol.1 Limited Edition
- *,776 **,776 The iDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls Vol.2 Limited Edition
- *,771 *5,555 Kekkai Sensen Vol.1
- *,717 **,717 Hello!! Kiniro Mosaic Vol.1
- *,705 81,187 Stand By Me Doraemon Limited Edition
- *,662 **,662 Gundam: G no Reconguista Vol.7
- *,628 **,628 Aldnoah.Zero Vol.9 Limited Edition
- *,602 12,039 Kuroko no Basket 3rd Season Vol.2
- *,585 **,585 Amagi Brilliant Park Special Limited Edition
- *,571 *2,913 Yowamushi Pedal: Grande Road Vol.6
[Source: Oricon Youtaiju via MAL]
Two weeks ago, I described Ping Pong as a “small symphony,” where all the moving parts just work together and elevate each other. This week, that ephemeral quality was probably best expressed not through any one scene, but through the transitions between them.
In the aftermath of the regional tournament last week, this episode was something of a cooldown – a moment of checking in with all the characters, and seeing how each of them was affected by the dramatic events of the tournament. On a character level, this is just excellent storytelling – not only did the tournament shift the overt narrative details of the story, but every character was changed by it emotionally. Wenge, Smile, Peco, Kazama, Sakuma – every one of them left that tournament a different person than they entered, for better or for worse. To illustrate this change, the show dances between each of these characters, and what might come off as a disjointed, hyperactive episode is actually made incredibly graceful through the episode’s overall narrative flow and choice of transitions.
We start off pre-opening with a rundown of Sakuma’s motivation – a series of quick shots demonstrate the chip on his shoulder he entered the tournament with (defeat Peco and claim superiority over a childhood rival), as well as the feeling of inferiority he leaves with (his victory is unacknowledged by his idol, who instead prioritizes recruiting Smile). This efficient catch-up is followed after the OP by the first bit of real plot – Wenge’s coach is returning to China, but Wenge himself has decided to stay. The transition out of this scene is made graceful through the banter of the two friends – Wenge mentions how Kazama’s victory at the Junior Olympics took the sting out of his own loss, which gives us a perfect transition to Kazama himself (whose callous victory announcement sets off the rest of the plot). Even the shots sync up – we transition directly from a shot of Wenge’s coach’s plane taking off to Kazama striding home through the airport, making it all feel like one continuous scene.
Transitions like this keep the episode feeling light and energetic even as it pushes the plot of half a dozen characters forward. Kazama discusses his future plans with his cousin as they drive along the sea, leading directly to a moment of Peco relaxing at the beach. A moment of reflection from Wenge (one of my favorite scenes of the episode, incidentally – the small detail of his mother’s dyed hair is a heartbreaking moment of vulnerability for both of them) is followed by him gathering his things and walking through the door, which bounces directly to Smile’s feet running on the pavement. Smile’s furious training with his coach is linked seamlessly into Wenge’s own practice, with the replacement of Smile’s coach with an impersonal ball-machine hammering in the loneliness of Wenge’s position. These transitions don’t just offer flow and unity to the episode, they make it a constant conversation with itself, with the elements that each scene shares only making the differences in each character’s perspective and circumstances that much more acutely felt.
The episode’s second half was much more narrow, and focused on what the various scattered characters all really had in the back of their minds – what ping pong represents to them, and where they go from here. Sakuma’s defeat was pretty much inevitable – even Peco would have likely beaten him if he’d been taking the game seriously, and Smile is one of the show’s most terrifying players. But this wasn’t really about Smile defeating one of his rivals – this was about talent and effort, and whether being a part of a “team” really means anything, and how this small bubble of high school rivalry exists on the oncoming edge of a much larger, much more complicated Real World. The last episode extolled the merits of trying and failing, but this episode proved that to be far too simplistic of an answer. This show is unforgiving, but as Smile has perhaps already realized, a harsh truth can ultimately be kinder than a comforting lie.
The marketing push is on for the next potentially big action movie of the summer season with Edge of Tomorrow. Warner Bros. has been doing a few science fiction films as of late and this one plays up some familiar concepts but plays with it in a rather fun way as it adapts the original Japanese novel. Warner Bros. has also now released a series of new featurettes for the film which run between one and three minutes each that covers a variety of different areas with a mixture of new scenes from the film and commentary by the actors and production side. The film, which is based on the Japanese science fiction novel All You Need Is Kill is directed by Doug Liman and stars Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt with a June 6th, 2014 release date.
Plot concept: The epic action of “Edge of Tomorrow” unfolds in a near future in which an alien race has hit the Earth in an unrelenting assault, unbeatable by any military unit in the world. Lt. Col. Bill Cage (Cruise) is an officer who has never seen a day of combat when he is unceremoniously dropped into what amounts to a suicide mission. Killed within minutes, Cage now finds himself inexplicably thrown into a time loop—forcing him to live out the same brutal combat over and over, fighting and dying again…and again. But with each battle, Cage becomes able to engage the adversaries with increasing skill, alongside Special Forces warrior Rita Vrataski (Blunt). And, as Cage and Rita take the fight to the aliens, each repeated encounter gets them one step closer to defeating the enemy.