Akemi's Anime World

Media Blasters Anime Company

A bit of info about Media Blasters.

Company Overview

Media Blasters is an import-focused distribution group; their main label is Anime Works, though they also have have several non-anime video lines and an adult label, Kitty. They got started releasing a random cross-section of obscure titles back in the waning days of VHS, and their production values were a bit on the shaky side, but they've since established themselves as a decent second-tier licensor with a few high-profile titles and a fairly large catalog.

Though the two companies had nothing to do with each other, Media Blasters sort of picked up the spiritual mantle of the late Central Park Media (including the analogous relationship of Anime Works to CPM's US Manga Corps).

On an unrelated note, their entirely Flash-based website is, at last check, a total mess to navigate.

Their Catalog

AnimeWorks' titles are split between OVA one-shots of varying quality and TV series, also of varying quality, ranging from relatively new to old-time classics like Voltron. They do have a bit of a lean toward quirky and/or special-interest titles, such as the by-geeks-for-geeks Genshiken or infamous Kite. They also have an entire line of yuri titles, quite a rarity at this point, as well as a small cross-section of shoujo and yaoi titles.

From a popularity standpoint, the biggest profile titles in their catalog are probably the Ruouni Kenshin TV series (other companies have the OVAs), the new Ah My Goddess TV series, the non-anime Invader Zim, and, again, Kite and some of its spin-offs. Also noteworthy are the instant classics Twelve Kingdoms and Giant Robo, and cult classic Iria.

What Their Releases Are Like

AnimeWorks releases are of inconsistent quality. Their early releases were relatively low-rent, with weak production values and shaky subtitles. On the plus side, from the beginning they have always released subtitled versions (if they bothered with a dub at all), and that is still the case. Even their Voltron release was two-pronged--the heavily-edited, dubbed original is true to the US TV run, but alongside it is an uncut, sub-only Beast King GoLion release of the original Japanese source material.

Their quality has improved drastically since then, and some of the series they put extra effort into are fantastic--the gorgeous Twelve Kingdoms box sets or very solid Genshiken TV series, for example. On the flip side, some of their less-well-known titles are unremarkable.

At least the prices are almost always reasonable, if not downright cheap (and DVDs are often available way below MSRP). Do note that they have a tendency to release single volumes at a relatively high retail price, followed by a drastically cheaper box set.

On that note, some of their latest box sets are incredibly shelf-friendly, packing the five or six DVDs of a 26-episode TV series into a single-thickness DVD case at a dirt-cheap price. They haven't done much with streaming/downloadable video to date, though, nor have they released any Blu-ray discs.


Anime Works Titles

Anime Works is the main label in the Media Blasters group.

Kitty Titles

Kitty is the adults-only anime division of Media Blasters.