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Media Blasters, sometimes abbreviated as MB, is an American entertainment corporation that was founded by John Sirabella in 1997 and is based in New York City. It is in the business of licensing, translating, and releasing to the North American market manga and anime compilations, Asian films and television series, adult anime, monster movies, concert films, independent films, horror films, and exploitation films. Over its history, the company has licensed several popular titles, such as ''Rurouni Kenshin'', ''Berserk'', ''Bakuman'', ''Eiken'', and ''Blade of the Immortal''.

History



Founding and growth

Before Media Blasters was founded, John Sirabella had previously founded Software Sculptors in 1992. After it was purchased by Central Park Media, Sirabella decided to leave and found Media Blasters in 1997 in New York City, New York. The company is divided into several divisions that target different aspects of the video market. They license titles for release and are involved in the production, localizing, and distribution. The Animeworks division was created in 1997, and focuses on localization and distribution of anime titles, but has also licensed non-anime works, such as ''Invader Zim''. The adult label Kitty Media was also started in 1997 and features explicit hentai works. Created in 1998, Tokyo Shock is Media Blaster's Asian cinema division, which is responsible for American localization of works such as ''Zatoichi:The Blind Swordsman'' of the Zatoichi franchise. Another division, Shriek Show, was founded in 2001 to focus on re-mastering horror titles for DVD release. In 2004, Media Blasters began publishing manga. The company first published ''shōnen'' manga titles for older readers, and later on it increased its yaoi manga line. At the height of its success, they released around five titles a month and had about 50 employees, but as the market decreased so did the company.

Financial problems

In January 2012, John Sirabella announced that the company would be laying off of approximately ten employees, which reduced its workforce by about sixty percent. He stated that this will not affect their production rates. In May 2012, it was reported that the New York State Department of State listed them as an inactive company due to not filing their taxes properly. The company later stated on Facebook that they had filed extensions for 2009, 2010, and 2011, but without their notice the Secretary of State took action. They also said that at the time of posting they had completed their filings properly and that they will continue to release titles. In March 2013, the company released a statement saying that because a major back accident occurred in their warehouse, they were unable to travel to Japan to acquire licenses. This resulted in business associates of the company going around Japan showing a tax paper stating they were out of business, which ended up resulting in the company losing a majority of their titles, most notably ''Rurouni Kenshin'', ''Berserk'', and ''Bakuman''. In January 2015, the company opened its own in-house recording studio in order to make dubs for the company's various titles. This studio was shut down in May 2016.

Recovery

In August 2020, the company created a new Twitter account to promote their new releases. The company also teased that many new releases would be coming in the future. In November 2020, the company announced that they will stop using their DVD-on-demand system. They also considered ditching DVD releases entirely. In January 2021, the company introduced a new opening animation.

Distribution

Their titles are distributed by GPC Films and streamed on Crunchyroll, RetroCrush, Tubi, and CONtv. Some of their titles were available on Hulu, but they have been removed. In January 2016, the television network TOKU was launched. It aired many anime and live action titles from the Media Blasters catalog, like ''Ladies versus Butlers!''. They are the main anime provider for the network. The company only directly releases its titles in North America. Some of its titles have been released in other territories by other distributors, such as Manga Entertainment, MVM Entertainment, Madman Anime Group, Siren Visual, and Animax.

Divisions



Anime Works

Anime Works is the division used for the bulk of the company's anime titles. Some of the series released under this imprint include ''Magic Knight Rayearth'', ''Rurouni Kenshin'', ''Berserk'', and ''Blade of the Immortal''. The imprint also produced two original series with Yasuomi Umetsu, those being ''Kite Liberator'' and ''Mezzo Forte''.

Kitty Media

Kitty Media specializes in adult anime and pornographic films. Also availabl
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The division also specializes in films and anime series that contain scenes of rape and graphic sexuality. Its first release, and the first release by Media Blasters as a whole, was ''Rei-Lan: Orchid Emblem''. Media Blasters also publishes both hentai and yaoi manga under this imprint. It has also released several titles formerly released by Central Park Media's Anime 18 imprint. In 2011, they entered a licensing partnership with Fakku to stream select titles, starting with ''Immoral Sisters''. In 2017, they were acquired by Fakku for digital distribution, while physical distribution will still be maintained by Media Blasters.

Tokyo Shock

The Tokyo Shock division covers live action movies and television series from Japan and other Asian markets, such as several notable films from Toho Co. Ltd and Shaw Brothers (HK) Ltd.

Shriek Show

The Shriek Show division handled distribution of obscure horror and exploitation films. This division and the Fresh Meat line were discontinued in 2013.

Fresh Meat

The Fresh Meat line was a part of the Shriek Show division that handled horror films from new directors.

Fever Dreams

The Fever Dreams division specializes in original films. The company focused heavily on this division in 2013.

Guilty Pleasures

The Guilty Pleasures division specialized in releasing B-Tier, cult-classic movies. This division was discontinued in 2013, but the company decided to start re-releasing some of its titles in 2021.

References



External links

* * {{ann|company|7 Category:Anime companies Category:Dubbing (filmmaking) Category:Home video companies of the United States Category:Entertainment companies based in New York City Category:Mass media companies based in New York City Category:Hentai companies Category:Mass media companies established in 1997