FUNimation teams with Bigger Picture

Duo to digitally distribute Japanese films

TOKYO — Japan distrib FUNimation is partnering with AccessIT group member the Bigger Picture to digitally distribute four Japanese pics in the U.S. market, the Bigger Picture has announced.

FUNimation will release the Yoji Yamada period drama “Love and Honor,” the SF toon “Vexille,” the kiddy toon “One Piece” and the period epic “The Blue Wolf: To the Ends of the Earth and Sea” using the digital delivery technology developed by AccessIT to securely send the pics to theaters across the U.S.

Exact details of all the releases have yet to be decided, but “Vexille,” Shinji Aramaki’s CG successor to the hit 2004 dark-future SF “Appleseed,” is skedded for a January bow. The follow-up will be “One Piece,” the first feature toon in the enduringly popular Toei Animation franchise to get a U.S. theatrical release.

The digital content distribution arm of Access Integrated Technologies (AccessIT), the Bigger Pictures already has experience in beaming anime to teen and college fan groups, and has distribbed more than 40 pics theatrically.

FUNimation is a homevid entertainment company that has distribbed dozens of anime titles, including recent releases “Samurai 7,” “Tsubasa,” “Yu yu hakusho,” “Fullmetal Alchemist” and “Suzuka.”

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