The popularity of high-profile sports anime has grown in recent years and generated more interest in the sports those series portray. In an attempt to get in on this boom, Shufu to Seikatsusha has published two issues of Spo-Ani!, a “sports animation magazine”, so far in the past 6 months. I received my copies of issues one & two today from Amazon Japan and had some time to flip through them.
The second quarter of 2015 in Region 1 home video releases just got two more sports anime additions as FUNimation announced today it plans to put out Ping Pong the Animation and Wanna Be The Strongest in the World! this June in Blu-ray/DVD combo packs featuring English & Japanese voice tracks.
Those two bring the total number of sports series with home video released currently scheduled in the next three months to five:
April 28th:Free! Season 1 DVD (sub-only; Discotek) May 12nd:Slam Dunk DVD set 1 (dub & sub; Cinedigm) June 2nd:Haikyu!! Blu-ray Collection 1, DVD Collection 1 (sub-only; Sentai Filmworks) June 2nd:Wanna be the Strongest in the World! Blu-Ray/DVD Combo set (dub & sub; FUNimation) June 23rd:Ping Pong the Animation Blu-ray/DVD Combo set (dub & sub; FUNimation)
There are a couple of sports anime series that have North American disc releases scheduled in coming months: Slam Dunk on May 12th and Haikyu!! on June 2nd.
Cinedigm’s first Slam Dunk DVD set was originally scheduled to come out last December but that month passed with no updates about a revised date until recently when the current May date appeared on Rightstuf and other retail sites. The set is listed with 14 episodes and English & Japanese language tracks; the English dub to be included is suspected to be the same as what was previously released in the mid-2000’s by Toei.