Posts in: September, 1999

September 24-28 Anime News

9-28-99—- Encore News

DVD Animania, in an interview with Encore media, learned of the network’s plans to begin running it’s first Anime series, Blue Seed. It will be run 2 episodes a week starting Saturday Nov. 6 on the Encore Network.

9-28-99—- Pokemon Lawsuit Attorneys Almost Sue Themselves

The San Diego law firm won’t be suing Wizards of the Coast and 4Kids Entertainment over Pokemon cards after all. Milberg Weiss, one of the firms involved in the suit, discovered it was suing one of its own clients, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune. The firm realized it must withdraw as lead plaintiff in the case and it cannot defend its client. Three others firms in New Jersey, Los Angeles and San Diego are taking over the case.

9-28-99—- Lodoss Wars

SyCoNet.com announced today that it plans to market Record Of Lodoss War action figures domestically within the next 10 days. Interestingly, the move in marketing the figures is being made on anticipation of the Lodoss Wars TV series, which is expected to air in the U.S. before the end of the summer 2000.

9-28-99—- Goddess Cadets

As previously mentioned, Xebec is working on a new TV series adaption of Goddess Cadets (Megami Kohosei), based on Yukiru Sugizaki’s popular manga. The series, expected to start airing sometime soon, will use 3D CG in it’s production. Production IG and IKIF are heavily involved in making this series visually stunning. The series will be Directed by Mitsuru Hongo, with Character Designa by Shinichi Yamaoka, here is a list of production staff:

Assistant Director: Takahiko Hoshiai
Megami Designer: Shingo Takenaka
Ship and Victim Designer: Akitoshi Maeda
Mechanical Artists: Takeshi Matsuda, Yoshiki Kuge
Setting/Script: Akira Okeya
Science Fiction Setting: Mitsuhasu Sakai
Color Setting: Yuko Kanamaru
Art Director: Toshihisa Koyama
(Production AI)
Sound Director: Masafumi Mima

9-28-99—- Kijuu Shinsekai Zoid

Kijuu Shinsekai Zoid (Zoid the New Century of Mechanical Beasts) began airing Sep. 4th on the Japanese network TBS. The TV series is based on Michiro Kamiyama’s popular manga of the same name. Kamiyama sensei is also the creator of Kaiki Keisatsu, Sai Police. Produced by Xebec, Zoid will make use of 3D Computer Graphics.

9-28-99—- Anime / Manga Gaming

Hudson’s Baku Bomberman 2 for N64 is 85-percent complete, and will be out in Japan on Dec. 3rd for 6800 yen. The gane will feature a story mode and a survival mode, at the start. Upon completeion of the story mode you’ll be able to play through a royal battle mode, as well as a time-attack mode. You’ll have both a two and four player option as well. New bomb types will also be included in the game including fire bombs, water bombs, and earthquake bombs. A US version of the game, ported by Nintendo, is already being planned for next year.

9-28-99—- Blood Character Designs

Production I.G. recently released character sketches of Saya (a mysterious girl with amazing swordmanship, the ultimate slayer to end to the vampire history) from it’s upcoming Digital Animation Action / Horror film, Blood:
(1) Saya Expressions
(2) Saya School Uniform

9-27-99—- Animetronic On MTV Tonight

A behind the scene look of Animetronic with Pioneer Producer, Yuji Moriya will be featured on MTV’s Road Rules tonight At 10 ET. For more information on Animetronic, click here (the 4th article down).

9-27-99—- The Real Mach 5

A 1/1 scale fully functional replica of the Mach 5 (including saw blade cutters, jumping ability through a special hydraulics system and interactive voice responses to steering wheel mounted buttons.) from Speed Racer (Mach Go! Go! Go!) is being constructed by Focus on Cars, a Long Beach CA. group for The Child Safety Network. CSN is creating the car to promote a nation-wide safety tour, called Child Safety Day At The Races.

Total cost to build the Mach 5 is estimated to be between $175,000 and $200,000. Currently, details of the public unveiling are still under wraps, the Mach 5 will privately debut at the Specialty Equipment Market Association Show, Nov. 2-5, 1999, in Las Vegas. Cos-playing characters from Speed Racer to Chim Chim will be part of the promotional events surrounding the movement of the Mach 5 around the country.

9-27-99—- New Sonic Toys On The Way

Grand Toys International, today announced that it has acquired the Canadian distribution rights for new Sonic The Hedgehog products from Toy Island Manufacturing. New York based Toy Island recently received the rights to manufacture and distribute Sonic The Hedgehog toys including 5.5″ action figures, vehicles, playsets, wind up vehicles, bendable figures, plush toys, electronic plush toys, remote control figures and vehicles, paper and stationery products, spring and summer toys and junior sporting goods based on Sega’s popular video game character, as he is featured in Sonic Adventure for the Sega Dreamcast and in the new animated television series Sonic Underground. Products are currently expected to be out across North America next year.

9-27-99—- Official Princess Mononoke Website Launches

Miramax has setup their official Princess Mononoke website at: www.princess-mononoke.com. When the site is completly fleshed out it will offer gallaries featuring hundreds of images from the film, behind the scenes footage, graphics to add to your own site, chat, web rings, and more!

9-27-99—- Ocean Group Begins Card Captor Dub Production

Canadian based Ocean Studios Group has begun English Dub production of Clamp’s Card Captor Sakura TV series, recently licensed by Nelvana. The series will most likely begin airing in North America in the Fall 2000 TV season.

9-27-99—- Bandai Visual (Emotion) Unveils Digital Engine Project

Bandai Visual (Emotion) recently announced their “Digital Engine Project”, set to seamlessly combine present animation production techniques with the most advanced digital technology currently available. Bandai’s goal is to forge new techniques for producing Digital Animation features that will be utilized by animators for sometime to come. 2 Forerunners of their project are now in production: Katsuhiro Otomo’s (Akira) Steam Boy and Mamoru Oshii’s (Ghost in The Shell) G.R.M, each film is budgeted at 4 billion yen.

G.R.M
Without the use of a single frame of traditional cell animation, Special Effects Director Shinji Higuchi and Digital Technology


September 11-17 Anime News

9-17-99—- Mixx To Publish Gundam Wing Manga

Today, Mixx Entertainment announced that they have acquired the exclusive North American publishing rights to New Mobile Report Gundam Wing, the most popular Gundam title of the ’90’s. The manga will begin running monthly in it’s own comic book beginning in February 2000, and will be compiled into a series of Pocket Mixx graphic novels beginning in May 2000.

The Gundam Wing story takes place in the year AC 195 in the midst of a space colony revolution. After two decades of oppression, a network of space-based rebels strike back at their opposing force, OZ. Using super-strong armor called gundanium, scientists construct advance mobile suits called Gundams. Five highly-trained combat pilots are dispatched to Earth to wage a guerilla war against OZ and its Alliance.

Bandai U.S. has already announced that it will release the the Gundam Wing TV series and Endless Waltz (OAVs / Movie) domestically soon. Rumors are also circulating on a possible U.S. TV release of the series.

9-17-99—- Tezuka Exhibit At Pacific Science Center

The Pacific Science Center, located in Seattle, Washington is planning an exhibit to one of Osamu Tezuka’s greatest works, Astroboy (Mighty Atom). “Astro Boy: The Art of Japanese Comics and Animation”, will be shown in the Ackerley Family Exhibit Gallery from October 16th through 31st. Exhibit displays will feature manga and anime), original cels, demonstrations of illustrations and CG anime presentations by leading artists of Japan’s comic and animation industries. The exhibit is to be sponsored by Hyogo Prefecture, Hyogo Business and Cultural Center and Tezuka Productions. Here’s the planned events schedule for the opening day:

Saturday, Oct. 16
Seattle Rotary Discovery Labs
Special lectures
2:00 p.m. Machiko Kusahara, media researcher and associate professor of the University of Kobe Graduate School
3:00 p.m. Frederik L. Schodt, Japanese comic specialist, author and translator

* For more information, goto the Pacific Science Center website by clicking here. (Thanks to Isaac Alexander for the link.)

9-17-99—- Princess Mononoke To Show At Cleveland Ghibli Film Festival

Princess Mononoke will highlight an upcoming Studio Ghibli film festival at Cleveland Cinematheque Theater of the Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland, Ohio. The festival will run from Oct. 28th through Nov. 4th.

Thursday, October 28th
8:15PM- Princess Mononoke (Dub) Friday, October 29th
7:30PM- My Neighbor Totoro (Sub)
9:20PM- Castle in the Sky
Saturday, October 30th
5:30PM- Kiki’s Delivery Service (Dub)
7:30PM- Porco Roso (Sub)
9:30PM- Nausica and the Valley of the Wind (Sub)
Sunday, October 31st
1:30PM- Pom Poko (Sub)
3:45PM- Whisper of the Heart (Sub)
8:45PM- Only Yesterday (Sub)
Thursday November 4th
7:00 PM Grave of the Fireflies (Sub?)

9-17-99—- New Perfect Blue Theater Dates

Directly from Manga Entertainment, here are new Perfect Blue theatrical screening dates and cities.

AUG 20 Cinema Village New York, NY
SEP 17 Piper’s Alley Chicago, IL
OCT 1 Varsity Theater Seattle, WA
OCT 8 Laemmle Monica Santa Monica, CA
OCT 8 Laemmle Colorado Pasadena, CA
OCT 8 Edwards University Irvine, CA
OCT 15 Opera Plaza Theatre San Francisco, CA
OCT 15-19 UC Theatre Berkeley, CA
OCT 15 Towne Theatre San Jose, CA
OCT 29 Rafael Film Center San Rafael, CA
NOV 5 Cedar Lee Theatre Cleveland, OH
NOV 5 Regal Arbor Theatre Austin, TX
NOV 5 Regal Koin Center Portland, OR
NOV 19 Crest Theatre Sacramento, CA
DEC 3 Regal University 6 Anchorage, AK

9-17-99—- Anime / Manga Gaming

Square has announced Parasite Eve 2 for PSX. Japanese release is expected in December. In the game you again assume the role of Aya, the camera angle will shift according to her moves, and you can use radar to detect hidden enemies. Square has also revealed their Tokyo Game Show list. Games to be shown include: Dew Prism, Vagrant Story, Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross, Chocobo Stallion and an unannounced title (Parasite Eve 2?).

Sunrise Interactive has released some new info on Sunrise Heroes, their new robot battle SRPG scheduled for release on Dreamcast in Japan in December. This game will feature a HUGE selection of mecha and characters from various Sunrise anime series. The game is to include custom battle formations before entering a mission. When engaged in battles, your mothership can perform long range assistance attacks to help your forces in the field.

Production I.G. will be handling animation production in Namco’s new PSX RPG, Tales of Eternia. The story takes place in a peaceful world Eternia, the main hero is a boy, Rid and his childhood girlfriend Farrah. Expect the game out in Japan in the spring of 2000.

It’s currently unknown whether SNK’s upcoming PSX Samurai Spirits sequel will be an RPG or a Fighter. The game is to be totally original, it takes place 20 years after Samurai Spirits 2, Haomaru is now an old swordsman and Nakoruru has become a protective holy spirit. Battle sequences will be in full 3D, and many new characters are to be introduced including Seishifou Kuki, Tohma Kuki, Jin-Emon, Yaci Izangi, Haito, Jushirou, Hanzo II, Saya, Garyou, Rapo and Mikoto.

Tecmo is porting Monster Farm (Monster Rancher) to GameBoy Color, expect the Japanese release this winter.

Those who pre-ordered a Dreamcast at Sega.com before September 3, but failed to receive their console on time will be sent a mystery gift directly from Sega.

9-16-99—- Bandai News

Bandai U.S. is set to release it’s remaining titles for 1999. Subbed volumes of AWOL, Yoshiyuki Tomino’s Brain Powered (you read that right, Brain PowerEd with an E, the Japanese title was Brain Powerd. Also of note on the U.S. Brain Powered release, the English dub version will contain a newly created opening for mass release, the subtitled version contains the original, uncensored opening sequence.), EAT MAN ’98 vol.1-2, Ehrgeiz, Silent Mobius TV, Cowboy Bebop vol. 2 and Haunted Junction Vol 6 will all be released soon. Also expect English Language Dubs for Saber Marionette J Again, Gundam Movies, Outlaw Star, Cowboy Bebop, and Blue Submarine No. 6 in the near future and DVD releases of Cowboy Bebop and Outlaw Star early next year.

*Source: AnimeVillage Weekly

9-16-99—- Anime / Manga Gaming

Square has announced over 400,000 copies of Final Fantasy VIII


Anime News Service – September 3-10 Anime News

9-10-99—- Jou Hisashi Wins JASRAC Prize For Princess Mononoke Soundtrack

This year’s JASRAC Prize winners have been announced, the Japanese authors’ body JASRAC awards JASRAC Prizes, which go to the writers whose songs garnered the most royalties during the year to March 31.

* The Gold Prize went to Mitsuru Igarashi for his song “Time Goes By,” performed by the group Every Little Thing (Avex Thax).

* The Silver Prize was awarded to Hiromasa Ijichi for his song “White Love,” performed by the group Speed (Toy’s Factory).

* The Bronze Prize went to Jou Hisashi for the background music to the anime hit ” Mononoke Hime” (Princess Mononoke) (Tokuma Japan Communications).

9-10-99—- Wild 7: Biker Knights Release

Urban Vision is set to release Wild 7: Biker Knights on November the 11th. Wild 7, written by Mikiya Mochizuki, is a high octane, explosively intense action series based around a crime-fighting squad comprised of ex-criminals, each with their own combat expertise, their mission: to eradicate crime by whatever means necessary.

English Subtitled VHS: $29.95
English Dubbed VHS: $19.95

9-10-99—- 20 Cities To Show Princess Mononoke On October 29th

Team Ghiblink recieved the details from Miramax on what cities are included in the top 20 markets that will first show Princess Mononoke when it starts running late next month. The film will open on October 29th in the following cities:

Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, St. Louis, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington DC

These will be the first cities. If the box office returns are good (theres a very good chance of this!), then the film will recieve a wider release. Also, there should be an article about Mononoke in this Sunday’s New York Times.

9-10-99—- Win Autographed Amano Goods

Anime Nation has posted a new trivia contest, where they have teamed up with Urban Vision to offer you autographed Yoshitaka Amano (Character Designer: Vampire Hunter D, several Final Fantasy games) stuff! Go check it out here.

9-10-99—- Pokemania On NBC Cable Networks

Last night, CNBC’s (an American business news cable channel) Business Center had a feature on Pokemonaia and it’s effects on sales and stocks. Tonight, on MSNBC’s The News with Brian Williams (9:00 P.M. ET), there will be yet another report on the phenomena and popularity surrounding Pokemon, be sure to catch it!

9-10-99—- Anime / Manga Gaming

* Due, in big part to the Pokemon craze, since the first of the year, Nintendo has accounted for 51% of all video game revenues. This Game Informer article has details.

* A number of defective discs managed to make it out into stores for the Dreamcast launch. GameFan has some more on this in a new article: here. If you were one of the unlucky ones to get these call Sega Customer Service toll-free, at 1-800-USA-Sega. Those whose browser software refuses to load are being told to E-Mail Customer Support, support@sega.com, with the subject heading Dreamcast Browser… they’ll get you taken care of.

* Gamespot News has a section up, dedicated to JAMMA (Japan Amusement Machinery Manufacturers Association). It hosts a huge trade convention (which opened yesterday) in Japan where lots of new games will be unveiled.

9-10-99—- South Korea Allows J-Pop Concerts

The South Korean government announced today, a further easing of its ban on cultural imports from Japan, it will allow J-Pop artists to stage indoor concerts in the country. The type of Japanese motion pictures allowed to run at South Korean theaters was also expanded. Japanese movies earning acclaim from some 80 international film festivals will be allowed to run, if suitable for all audiences.

9-10-99—- My Neighbors The Yamadas To Be Shown At MOMA

As previoulsy mentioned, the New York Museum of Modern Art is one of the many institutions in North America holding Ghibli retrospectives, their’s runs from September 16th – the 26th. The mystery “preview” film to be shown on the 16th at 6:08 P.M. will be Tonari No Yamada Kun (My Neighbors, The Yamadas). The film, directed by Takahata, will be subtitled in English and run after the 7 minute long musical short, On Your Mark, which is to be shown at 6:00. My Neighbors the Yamadas has a running time of 104 minutes. Further details including a list of the films to be shown can be had at the official website by clicking here.

9-10-99—- Inside Toei

ANW has a very enlightening article on the goings on inside leading Japanese Animation production studio, Toei Animation. You can read it here. (Thanks to Isaac for the link)

9-10-99—- Sunrise Auditioning Escaflowne Movie Seiyuu Over Phone

Sunrise recently posted an update to their Escaflowne news page, making a mention that they are auditioning potential voice actors and actresses over the telephone, for roles in the upcoming Vision Of Escaflowne Movie. Specifically, they are looking for a female to provide the voice of Millerna, and a male to provide the voice of Ryuon, one of Dilandou’s soldiers. The audition will last until the end of September, and the final selection will be made sometime in the beginning of October.

* You can visit Sunrise’s Escaflowne news page here [Japanese language only].

9-9-99—- Hasbro Acquires Wizards of The Coast

Hasbro, Inc. and Wizards of the Coast, Inc. announced today that they have entered into a definitive agreement for Hasbro (who holds a Pokemon merchandise license) to acquire Wizards of the Coast (producer of the Pokemon card game). The purchase price is approximately $325 million.

*Source: Business Wire

9-9-99—- One Piece Anime

An Anime TV series based on Eiichirou Oda’s popular Manga, One Piece, (an action adventure dealing with sea pirates) is currently in production, and will start running on Fuji TV in October.

9-9-99—- Galaxy Express 999 Postcards Issued

September 9th 1999 (yesterday in Japan) The Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications issued a set post cards bearing images from Leiji Matsumoto’s classic Anime, Galaxy Express 999. Each set consists of 5 post cards, and will be issued from Tokyo-and Kantou-Regional Postal Service Bureaus (limited to 500,000 sets each).


August 29 – September 3 Anime News

9-3-99—- Anime USA Convention On Again

The Anime USA convention which was scheduled to be held Oct. 15-17 in Falls Church Virginia, and then subsequently canceled due to lack of rooms, is now back on! Con organizers have reportedly found a new hotel in the area willing to host the event. Details on the new arrangements should be out soon.

9-3-99—- Macross Toy Update

Here’s a few other details I’ve been able to nail down on the upcoming Toycom Macross Plus Valkyrie release:

* Fists of the toys are expected to retract into the forearms when the valkyrie is in fighter mode.
* Box art is expected to be by Shoji Kawamori, but whether it will be existing or original art is still unknown.
* The valkyries will be between 1/100 and 1/72 scale (most likely closer to the 1/72 scale).
*Hands will probably be single piece, and not articulated. However, deluxe versions maybe released later on including additional features such as articulated hands and hinged cockpit canopies.

9-3-99—- Princess Mononoke Soundtrack Details

Milan records is set to release the Princess Mononoke Soundtrack October 12th. The 33 track CD will retail for $16.98 and will be available in most major music stores. The soundtrack features score by Joe Hisaishi and two vocal tracks performed by Sasha Lazar. The Studio Ghibli / Miramax release of Princess Mononoke is scheduled to hit 1000 movie theaters nationwide on Oct. 29th.

Here’s A Listing Of The Tracks:
1. The Legend of Ashitaka
2. The Demon God
3. The Journey to the West
4. The Demon Power
5. The Land of the Impure
6. The Encounter
7. Kodamas
8. The Forest of the Gods
9. Evening at the Ironworks
10. The Demon God II — the Lost Mountains
11. Lady Eboshi 2:48
12. The Tatara Women Work Song
13. The Furies
14. The Young Man From The East
15. Requiem
16. Will to Live
17. San and Adhitaka in the Forest of the Deer God
18. Princess Mononoke Theme Song – Instrumental Version
19. Requiem II
20. Princess Mononoke: Vocal Version
21. The Battle Drums
22. The Battle in Front of the Ironworks
23. The Demon Power II
24. Requiem III
25. The Retreat
26. The Demon God III
27. Adagio of Life and Death
28. The World of the Dead
29. The World of the Dead II
30. Adagio of Life and Death II
31. Ashitaka and San
32. Princess Mononoke – Vocal Ending
33. The Legend of Ashitaka, Ending

9-3-99—- Anime / Manga Gaming

* Digicube is set to release Final Fantasy VIII Desktop Accessories for Japanese PCs, featuring icons, wallpapers, screensavers, and other desktop accessories. As well as featuring desktop accessories, the disc will include a version of the card game from FFVIII for PlayStation which can be played on PC over a LAN. The price will be 4980 yen ($45), release date in Japan and is Sept. 22. A U.S. release may be announced soon.

*Team Sonic has announced its second of four new secret titles (2 titles have yet to be named). The game, Chu Chu Rocket is an online four-player fighting/puzzle game developed exclusively for the Dreamcast Network. The game should arrive in Japan (U.S. release info is pending) by November and will be sold with a special controller.

9-3-99—- Japan Digital Animation Festival

The Japan Digital Animation Festival, a competition showcasing amateur, computer produced Animation is set for October 16th In Nagoya, Japan. Although the final date for new entries has passed (Aug. 31), the competition is open to anyone, from anywhere and of any age, there are no restrictions on content, all entries must be created using a computer. Among the judges are well known names, Mamoru Oshii (Director: Ghost In The Shell) and Mitsuhisa Ishikawa (CEO: Production I.G.). Creators of the best entry will receive 1,000,000 Yen.

9-2-99—- Princess Mononoke Trailer On The Web Soon

It looks like Aint It Cool News and nausicaa.net are teaming up to cohost the web debut of the Miramax Princess Mononoke movie trailer debut in the next few days. The following is an excerpt form Moriarty’s column of the week:

I have some technical adjustments to make here in the Labs so that we can premiere the PRINCESS MONONOKE trailer here at AICN in the next few days. We’re going to cohost the event with Nausicaa.net, and it’s going to be your first chance to see how Miramax is selling this profound and beautiful masterpiece. I think the trailer rocks, and I’m betting you will, too.

More to come… Thanks Isaac for the story.

9-2-99—- Miyazaki To Attend Princess Mononoke Screening / Toronto Film Festival

Hayao Miyazaki, perhaps the most well known Japanese Animation movie director in the world, and director of Mononoke Hime (Princess Mononoke), will be in attendence for a North American screening of that very film at the 24th Toronto International Film Festival which begins September 9th. If you’d like more details on the festival including attendence info go to their official website by clicking here. Thanks Isaac for the story.

9-2-99—- News Bits

* Pioneer’s Subtitled Sailor Moon R, Sailor Moon S, and Sailor Moon Super S Movies are now out. Dubbed versions, as well as DVDs, expected out in the fall.

* Rightstuf has a new contest where you can win Autographed Yoshitaka Amano (Character designer for Vampire Hunter D, several Final Fantasy games) materials, go check it out!

9-2-99—- Anime / Manga Gaming

*It’s official. Nintendo is working on a 32-bit handheld super system, now known as Gameboy Advance. The system will display 65,000 colors, have 22 hour continuous play battery life and will be backwards compatible with Gameboy and Gameboy Color games. The system will be able to connect to the Internet, which will enable gamers to download games, participate in multi-player games, and chat and exchange email with friends. The company also plans to release an advanced version of the Game Boy Camera, which will let other gamers see the face of the person they’re playing against. Launch date is scheduled for August 2000 in