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Comics A.M. | ‘Hi Score Girl’ to return following copyright dispute

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Manga | Rensuke Oshikiri’s romantic comedy manga Hi Score Girl will resume serialization in Square Enix’s Monthly Big Gangan magazine, after a lengthy hiatus due to copyright issues. The manga was suspended in 2014 after the game company SNK Playmore filed a criminal complaint against Square Enix, claiming the manga used characters from SNK’s games without permission. Copyright violations are taken seriously in Japan: Police raided Square Enix’s offices, and the publisher not only stopped selling the series but issued a recall. Although Square Enix filed a counterclaim, Tokyo police initiated charges against 16 people, including Oshikiri and Square Enix staffers. The parties agreed on a settlement in August 2015. In addition to resuming serialization of the series, Square Enix will publish the sixth volume and new editions of the first five. [Anime News Network]

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‘Batman: Arkham Knight’ Nightwing is the figure we need right now

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On the heels of the Batman: Arkham Knight Batgirl action figure, Square Enix has unveiled new photos and details of Play Arts Kai’s take on Nightwing, sure to please Dick Grayson fans.

Standing more than 10 inches tall, the Play Arts Kai Nightwing comes with interchangeable palms, extended escrima sticks, retracted escrima sticks, a batarang (Nightwing-arang?) and a display stand.

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Batgirl swings in to Play Arts Kai’s ‘Arkham Knight’ figure line

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After teaming with Robin in Batman: Arkham Knight‘s “A Matter of Family” episode, Batgirl will soon join him on shelves as an action figure from Square Enix’s Play Arts Kai line.

Standing 10 inches tall, Batman: Arkham Knight Batgirl comes with an articulated hard-plastic cape, interchangeable hands, a Batarang, a grapnel gun and, of course, a display stand.

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This ‘Batman v Superman’ action figure is a wonder, Wonder Woman

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In the rollout of its Batman v Superman Play Arts Kai action figures, Square Enix may have been saving the best for last. Sure, Armored Batman is undeniably fantastic-looking, but this Wonder Woman may be the standout of the series.

Showcased as an unpainted prototype last month at Toy Fair, the Wonder Woman figure can now be seen in its full glory: Standing about 10 inches tall, the collectible comes with interchangeable palms, a sword, a shield, the Lasso of Truth and a display stand.

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This Armored Batman is the figure your collection needs right now

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We’ve already seen some high-caliber Armored Batman action figures from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, a few of which carry price tags so hefty you might be forced to choose between food and collectibles. However, now Square Enix has unveiled a Play Arts Kai version that looks nice but won’t necessarily break the bank.

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Bushido Batman is the spiky hero feudal Japan deserves

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After dazzling us with Wild West Batman, confounding us with Steampunk Batman and impressing once again with Spartan Batman, Square Enix’s Play Arts Variant Kai line takes the Dark Knight to feudal Japan.

Covered from head to toe in spiky armor, Bushido Batman is equipped to take on most any foe, even Ronin Riddler (that’s not really a thing, yet). The 11-inch action figure is the latest entry in the Batman Timeless series, which reimagines the Caped Crusader in various eras.

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‘Batman v Superman’ Play Arts Kai Batman is mopey, muscly

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There’s already been a small avalanche of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice collectible figures, but it’s pretty safe to say Square Enix’s Play Arts Kai Batman has all the others beat when it comes to muscles, mopiness and sheer cape volume.

While some collectors have criticized a few of the other Dark Knight figures as being too bulky, this one is unlikely to draw such complaints: Bruce Wayne is ripped and straining in the confines of his costume. But the Play Arts Kai version doesn’t seem so much grim as slightly sad … or maybe just reflective. He’s had an eventful life.

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Play Arts Kai Variant Harley Quinn leaps to life in amazing cosplay

Like the other entries in Square Enix’s Play Arts Kai Variant line, the design of the Harley Quinn action figure is a departure from the popular antiheroine’s depicts in comics, television and video games. The costume amps up the medieval court jester elements, adding bits of armor and odd angles. You might imagine it would be challenge to reinterpret for cosplay, but Yugana Senshi Uon has certainly brought the figure to life, right down to the stylized oversize sledgehammer.

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Spartan Batman will make you shout ‘Madness? This is Gotham!’

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Giving Wild West Batman a run for its money, Square Enix has officially unveiled the next action figure in Play Arts Variant Kai’s Batman Timeless line: Spartan Batman.

Following in the wake of Steampunk Batman, this figure reimagines the Dark Knight as a soldier in 5th century B.C. Greece, complete with spear, sword, daggers, and appropriately Bat-themed shield. You’ll notice that in addition to the emblem on the armor, Bruce went a little overboard with the helmet: There are ornate Bat-ears and a bat-like design above the eyes.

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Square Enix’s new Captain America figure suits up for battle

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Who can stand shoulder to armor-plated shoulder with the reimagined Iron Man and Thor against, say, Venom? A very angular Sentinel of Liberty, of course.

Square Enix has debuted the first official photos of its Variant Marvel Play Arts Kai Captain America, seen last month in prototype form at Comic-Con International. As with other figures in the series, the design is a bit of a departure from what we’re used to seeing in comics or on screen, with a lot of body armor. Cap’s signature shield also receives a makeover; notice the grooves, raised stars and the addition of what looks like bolts.

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Steampunk Batman is the action figure 19th-century Gotham needs

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While it’s perhaps not as awesome as Wild West Batman, or as outright crazy as Tetsuya Nomura’s reimagining of the Caped Crusader, the new entry in Play Arts Variant Kai’s Batman Timeless series certainly is … let’s go with elaborate.

Showcased by Square Enix at Comic-Con International, Steampunk Batman joins a line of collectible figures that envisions the Dark Knight in various historical settings. If at first glance you thought this was Medieval Batman, there’s certainly understandable. However, that figure is yet to come (along with Spartan Batman).

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Black Widow Play Arts figure comes out with weapons drawn

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While Comic-Con International attendees got a glimpse of the unpainted prototype at the Square Enix booth, no one had seen the completed Play Arts Variant Black Widow action figure, until now.

Square Enix has unveiled the first two official photos of the upcoming figures, but has yet to provide any details. We can see from the images that Black Widow will come equipped with (for starters) two pistols, interchangeable hands and a blast effect for her “Widow’s Bite.” Plus, whatever those spiky things are at her elbows.

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This Venom action figure is a symbiote we can all live with

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While not as radical of a departure as the recently revealed Batman and Catwoman action figures, this Variant Play Arts Kai Venom from Square Enix is sure to have its fans. Maybe even because, like the other Marvel releases, it’s not all that different from the character we know — just different enough.

The fourth figure in the Marvel Variant line, following Iron Man, Spider-Man and Thor, Venom features his signature t00-long tongue and unnerving grin — courtesy of interchangeable heads —  but his traditionally black-and-white body here is armored and highlighted by purple. However, neither of those changes appears to affect his shapeshifting abilities, as the figure also comes with interchangeable hands, two of which possess oozing tendrils.

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New ‘Kingdom Hearts III’ trailer will excite and frustrate

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This morning at E3, Square Enix unveiled a new gameplay trailer for the long-anticipated Kingdom Hearts III, which the company confirmed will include elements from Disney’s Tangled.

The footage is sure to please franchise fans, who will be frustrated to learn there’s still no release date. That game was officially announced at E3 2013 following years of rumors and speculation, but there’s been little news about its development since then.

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‘Final Fantasy VII’ is at long last getting a remake

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Eighteen years after the release of the original, Square Enix and Sony announced last night at E3 that they’re remaking Final Fantasy VII for PlayStation 4. Presumably other consoles will follow.

Development of the aptly titled Final Fantasy VII Remake will be led by key members of the original game team, including producer Yoshinori Kitase, director Tetsuya Nomura and scenario writer Kazushige Nojima.

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