|Type||Distributor of anime|
|Founded||21 September 1994|
|Products||DVDs of anime|
|Parent||Viz Media Europe|
Kazé is a French publishing company that specializes in anime. Founded in 1994, the company debuted by publishing Chronicles of Lodoss War on VHS.
After 15 years, Kaze became Kazé in 2010, in hopes that the addition of an accent allowed for a better pronunciation of its name. It published numerous series of Japanese animations in French and became one of the largest independent publishers of video and manga in Europe.
In 2005, Kazé launched its music label, Wasabi Records, specializing in J-Pop. In the last few years, the company has diversified its activities by publishing Japanese animated feature films, such as Appleseed, Origin and The Girl Who Leapt Through Time. In 2007, Kazé released Shinobi, its first live-action film, to theaters in France, and in July 2009, Kazé launched its own television channel, KZTV (Kazé TV), devoted to anime.
Prior to the purchase, the company's manga was published under the Asuka imprint. Since January 2010, only yaoi titles have been released under the Asuka imprint; the majority of titles were moved to the company's new Kaze imprint, including later volumes of non-yaoi series started under the Asuka imprint. Asuka's current licenses include a broad spectrum of manga: popular shōnen and shōjo series such as After School Nightmare, more mature seinen and josei titles such as Bokurano, and classic manga such as Black Jack and works by Osamu Tezuka. They also publish a number of yaoi and yuri titles, including a French edition of Be x Boy magazine.
In May 2012, Cedric Littardi, the founder and long-time head of the company, announced his departure.
Recently, the French company has received criticism from Italy regarding the publication of Black Lagoon: Roberta's Blood Trail (series OVA), Mardock Scramble: the First Compression, and Children Who Chase Lost Voices. Instead of giving the job to an Italian dubbing studio, as with previous releases, Kazé opted for a French dubbing studio named Wantake, which used amateur voice actors of Italian-French nationality. The resulting performance was regarded as poor. Criticism was also directed towards the menu systems on the DVDs, which featured inaccurate translations. On Amazon.com, titles have received numerous negative reviews owing to these perceived failings, and the company was flooded with negative comments via Twitter and Facebook.
- Rice, Brad. "Viz does Eurotrip: Parent companies acquire Kaze and Anime Virtual". Japanator. Retrieved 25 January 2012.
- (Italian) "Nuovi doppiaggi Kazé: l'ira dei fan". AnimeClick.it. 2012-07-215.
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