Posts in: February, 2000

February 15-18 Anime News

2-18-00—- Hidamari No Ki

The March issue of the Japanese magazine, Animage, mentions Nippon TV will soon air a new late night TV series, Hidamari No Ki (The Tree In The Sun), based on the manga by “The God Of Manga”, Osamu Tezuka. The story is set at the end of Edo period, where samurai, American “black ships”, and the end of “old-Japan” are all factors. A central character, Ryo-an, Tezuka’s real great grandfather who was a “ranpo-i,” a doctor who knows Western medicine. Another central character, Manjiro, is a lowly but a true samurai who believes in justice. Direction will be by Sugi-i Gisaburo, with animation production by Studio-Madhouse. The 25 episode series begins in April.

Source: EX

2-18-00—- Square And Disney Announce Game Project

At the PlayStation 2 Festival in Japan today, third party game designer, Square and American Media-Giant, Disney announced joint PSX 2 game project that will be released in Japan in 2001 and rest of the world in 2002. The games current codename is ‘Disney All Stars’, Square has said the game will include both Disney characters and original characters. Final Fantasy director, Tetsuya Nomura, will lead the project and design new characters for the game. Both companies will share in all aspects of the game’s creation / production.

2-18-00—- Digimon Writers

Pentech International has announced a licensing agreement with Saban Consumer Products to create a line of Digimon writing instruments. Digimon pencils and pens are to be expected in stores in April.

2-18-00—- Miramax Mononoke Hime DVD Minus Japanese Track, English Subs?

The current Image Entertainment Update lists Miramax’s upcoming American DVD release of Mononoke Hime without a Japanese-Language vocal track and Englsih Subtitles.

2-18-00—- Nazca In Entertainment Weekly

Jonathan Klein of New Genration Pictures has passed word that the Nazca TV series received a mention on page 87 of this week’s issue (Feb 25th) of the American Entertainment Weekly magazine.

2-18-00—- Anime / Manga Gaming

Sony Corporation’s main server of it’s www.jp.playstation.com website ceased working early Friday morning after reportedly being bombarded with orders for it’s PlayStation 2 game console. The PSX 2 will be released nationwide in Japan on March 4th, PlayStation.com Inc., began accepting advance orders for the console over the Internet at midnight Thursday. Purchasers buying via the site receive a 1000 Yen discount dropping the total price for the console to 38800 Yen.

Capcom’s upcoming title, Power Stone 2, for Dreamcast / Arcade, will feature a new button layout with the Action button replacing the Jump button, allowing the player to execute differetn actions. 7 different kinds of Power Stones are present, upon collecting 3, the character will transform. Power Stone 2 is scheduled for release in Japan on April 27th.

Square Europe and SVG have announced a partnership to publish and market Squaresoft games in Europe, with Front Mission 3 the first game to be releaasd under the deal.

Dreamcast Tech:
– Sega of Japan will release Dream Passport 3, which will feature support of the Dreamcast digital camera, Dream Eye for video mail and chatting, a new instant messanger program called Ch@b Talk, and the ability to download and play over 300 classic Mega Drive and PC-Engine titles.

– Sega’s digital camera, DreamEye, scheduled to be released in Japan release in June, will feature a 640 x 480 maximum resolution, once taken, images can be saved into the built-in flash memory or VMS using .JPG compression. The camera runs on AAA batteries, 31 images can be stored in flash memory. A voice message and photograph can be sent out using the Dreamcast as well as video chat with other people over the internet, Sega will also develop games use the DreamEye in-play.

– Sega has confirmed the development of a new VMS, which will feature a much larger memory, store and playback of MP3 audio, and a headphone jack.

2-18-00—- Mobile Suit Gundam Wing Commercials Online

Akelexre of the Toonami’s Basement Website has uploaded .MPG video files of the Cartoon Network’s currently running Mobile Suit Gundam Wing commercial spots. You can download them here.

2-17-00—- ADV News

Covering a wide range of issues that have arisen out of Katsucon, David Williams of ADV posted the folowing on re.arts.anime.misc today:

ADV Fansubs is a plan I’ve been working on bringing to life for over a year now. This was born out of several issues. One was the future availablity of subbed VHS, given most retailers are losing interested in carrying it. Another was the desire to bring some of the “classic” anime titles to the fans and collectors who would enjoy having good commercial versions. These are subtitled videos targeted directly at the fans. A brief example is with our City Hunter TV releases. People familiar with City Hunter know he has a pet word, “Mokkori”, which is difficult to translate well in every instance where he uses it. Since this line is targeted at fans, we decided to leave the word as is in the subtitles and to provide a “liner note” at the beginning of the video to explain it’s usage. The first two titles are the City Hunter TV series and the Nadia TV series. These will be released at the rate of at least one volume per series each month for $19.98. The primary source for these videos will be direct from ADV via web, mail and phone orders. We also plan to take the ADV Fansubs line to as many conventions around the country as we possibly can. Although we won’t be putting the strong marketing push to retail outlets with these titles that we do with our other titles, we will offer them to retail so some stores may carry them as well. A subscription service will be set up for these titles where you can have the video shipped directly to you as soon as each volume is released. The first volume of City Hunter and Nadia are set to begin sales towards the end of this March. I hope that helps explain a little more about the new line. I’ll


Anime News Service – February 11-14 Anime News

2-14- 00—- More DVD News Out Of Katsucon

DVD Animania is running a report it received from Katsucon regarding future Viz Communication DVD’s. The Ranma 1/2 OVA DVD Box Set, presently scheduled for a May release, will consist of 3 disks = 4 episodes per-disk. Extras include all DoCo music videos, an interview with Rumiko Takahashi, and line art drawings. The Please Save My Earth DVD version release is set for sometime in June or July, and Key The Metal Idol is slated for a release on three DVD’s sometime this summer.

Anime On DVD is reporting that According to the ADV panel at Katsucon, ADV’s Rurouni Kenshin OVA/Movie acquisitions will be released on three DVDs’. The Three three discs will include the movie on one disc, the first two episodes of the OAV on another DVD, and the third and fourth episodes on the third disc.

ADV’s new DVD catalogue reportedly lists the following DVD releases minus release dates: Battle Angel, Blue Seed 1 & 2 (4 eps each), BGC Tokyo 2040 1 Genesis & 2 Crusade (4 eps each), Burn Up W (all 4 eps), Cutey Honey (4 eps), Destroy All Monsters, DP Flash: 1 Angels in Trouble & 2 Angels retribution (3 eps each), Gamera, Gasaraki 1-3 (4-3-3), Gunsmith Cats (all 3), Eva 1-3 (4 eps each), Legend of Crystania: The Motion Picture, Lost Universe (4 eps), Martian Successor Nadesico (4 eps), Ninja Resurrection, Plastic Little, Princess Nine 1st Inning (3 eps), Queen Emeraldas, Ruin Explorers (4 eps), Sakura Diaries 1-4 (3 eps each), Sakura Wars (4 eps), Rurouni Kenshin (no ep count given), Slayers: The Motion Picture, Sonic The Hedgehog: The Movie, Sorceror Hunters (4 eps), Tekken: The Motion Picture.

The list also includes All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku – The Movie and Golden Boy, but according to an ADV representitive: for various reason these titles should not be on the list.

2-14-00—- Some Japanese Toys Hormone Disruptive?

A Japanese consumer watchdog organization has recently claimed that chemicals included in the production of some toys may be hormone disruptive to children. In tests it has detected phtalic acid ester and bisphenol A in some toys made of vinyl chloride. In six sample products, bisphenol A was discovered in Ultraman Tiga, Hello Kitty Ball and Nakyoshi Friends. Pthalic acid turned up in Hello Kitty Ball, Dobutsu Mizuteppo, Nakayoshi Friends and Licca dolls, the group’s members have said.

The association of toy manufacturers claims it has been marking toys that pass safety guidelines, however, there are currently no regulations or guidelines on the use of endocrine disrupting chemicals. The 580 toymakers that make up the association have will reportedly present a new set of guidelines by April of this year that would require manufacturers to disclose the chemicals and materials used in toys for ages 3 and under.

Source: Asahi Shimbun

2-14-00—- Pokemon Fashion Show

On Sunday, at 11:00 AM, Hasbro presented an internet “fashion show” at www.pokemon.com (archived there now for viewing), where viewers were treated to “Pokemon 2000: A Sneak Pikachu”, where they could catch a glimpse of what products lie in wait out there in the Pokeverse for the year that is currently upon us.

Pokemon Think Chip Figures were showcased that allow the upload and download of training and past battle experience along with the Pokemon Think Chip Battle Stadium, a real life Dexter, The Talking Pokedex, which includes statistics, training exercises and attack sounds for Pokemon.

Nintendo’s N64 Pokemon Stadium game was previewed, it allows players to battle with their Pokemon Red, Blue and Yellow trained Pokemon characters from Gameboy. Pokemon Gold and Silver, for Gameboy Color were also previewed with a current U.S. release slated for Fall.

2-13-00—- Neon Genesis Evangelion U.S. Broadcast Premiere

Studio Gainax’s 1995 Neon Genesis Evangelion TV series is set to make it’s first-ever U.S. Television Brodcasting starting, Sunday, March 5th at 9PM on KTEH-54, in the San Jose, California area.

2- 13-00—- Top Anime DVD Sales (Japan) (As Of 2-14)

1. Koutetsu Tenshi Kurumi DVD-2
2. Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory Vol. 2
3. Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory Vol. 1
4. Gaogaiger Final OVA Vol. 1
5. Kareshi Kanojo No Jijo OP. 3
6. Card Captor Sakura Vol. 14
7. Card Captor Sakura Vol. 5
8. (Macross DVD Collection) Macross Plus 1

2-13-00—- Top Manga Sales (Japan) (As Of 2-14)

1. Vagabond 5
2. Mahojin Guru Guru 12
3. H2 33
4. GTO 14
5. Clover 7
6. Bronze-Zetsuai Since 1989 – 11
7. Kaikan Phrase 12
8. Salary Man Kintarou 22
9. Oishinbo 69
10. Flames Of Recca 22
11. Massugu Ni Ikoh 18
12. Le Cirque De Karakuri 11
13. Angel Sanctuary 16
14. Tensai Yanagisawakyoujuno Seikatsu 15
15. Dragon Knights 16
16. Oishii Kankei 16
17. Tenshino Tsuranokawa
18. To Heart 3
19. Goddess Candidates
20. Major 27

2-13-00—- Top Video Game Sales (Japan) (As Of 2-14)

1. Biohazard Gun Survivor – PSX
2. Koneko Mo Issyo – PSX
3. Popolocrois 2 – PSX
4. Pokemon Silver – GB
5. Pokemon Gold – GB
6. Donkey Kong GB – GB
7. Crazy Taxi – DC
8. Card Captor Sakura Limited Edition – PSX
9. Roomania #203 – DC
10. Virtual Pro Wrestling 2 – N64
11. Card Captor Sakura – PSX
12. Valkyrie Profile РPSX
13. Let’s Go By Train Nagoya Tetsudo Hen – PSX
14. Chase The Express – PSX
15. Gran Turismo 2 – PSX
16. Donkey Kong 64 – N64
17. Muscle Ranking Vol. 1 – PSX
18. Doko Demo Issyo – PSX
19. SNK Gal’s Fighter –¬†NGPC
20. Fish Eyes 2 – PSX

2-13-00—- Top J-Pop Album Sales (Japan) (As Of 2- 14)

1. “Genius 2000” – Namie Amuro
2. “Suite Season The End Of Genesis” – T.M. REVOLUTION TURBO TYPE D
3. “FB Best Eternal Trax” – Favourite Blue
4. “Love Is The Message” – Misia
5. “VOXXX” – Denki Groove
6. “Zard Cruising&Live (Limited Edition)” – Zard
7. “Recycle: Greatest Hits Of Spitz” – Spitz
8. “Freedom” – Yuki Koyanagi
9. “Yesterday&Today” – Tokio
10. “Fresh Brash Old Man”


February 5-10 Anime News

2-10-00—- American Sol Bianca DVD Vol. 1 Release Set

The Pioneer Entertainment Update lists Sol Bianca The Legacy: Vol. 1 Lost Treasures DVD with a U.S. release date of March April 25th retailing at $29.98.

2-10-00—- Monster Rancher Toy Update

Playmates line of action figures and products based on the anime TV series / video game, Monster Rancher, is hitting stores across the U.S., with plush beanie toys and more than 400 monster action figure toys attainable through collecting “Mystery Monster Rancher” four, eight and 18-packs. Talking electronic Monster Rancher toys are slated for a July release.

2-10-00—- Sakura Taisen Music News

A Sakura Taisen 4-CD music box titled, Taishou Kayou Karaoke Daizenshuu is scheduled for release in Japan on March 15th retailing for 7,140 Yen. The CD’s include a collection of close to 60 background tracks, newly arranged from the Sakura Taisen game series, CD drama, OVA’s, and musical’s. 1st presses come with special packaging.

The Sakura Taisen Gokakenran OVA CD single is currently scheduled for release on March 15th, listing at 1050 Yen. The single will feature the title track, Furui Piano by Takano Urara, and the B-Side track, Kagayaki, by Nishihara Kumiko & Ikura Kazue. 1st presses include a jacket-size original illustration sticker.

2-10-00—- Wizards Of the Coast Announce Release Of Card Game Base Set 2

Wizards Of The Coast have have announced the launch of it’s Base Set 2 expansion to it’s Pokemon collectible card game. The release comes on the one-year anniversary of the initial trading card game release, Base Set 2 contains a mix of cards from the original base set and the Jungle expansion. Each of the 130 cards in the new deck will feature a Base Set 2 symbol. Wizard’s also plans to release a two-player Starter Set containing an instructional CD-ROM or CD-ROM and video. Three Base Set 2 preconstructed theme decks will be released soon also, titled “Lightening Bug,” “Grass Chopper,” “Hot Water”, and “Psych Out.”

2-10-00—- Anime / Manga Gaming

Namco has completed a gun sniping Golgo 13 arcade title, set for release in Japan on March 3rd. The game will feature an original story with selectable stages from the start.

Capcom USA plans to realease their upcoming PSX RPG, Breath of Fire IV to America with a release set for this fall.

Playstation 2 Information:

– A Japanese newspaper has reported that the PSX 2 may have incompatibility issues with existing PSX games, apparently, some games are programmed to work directly with the PSX 1 hardware. Sony plans to release a complete list of games that are incompatible with PSX2.

– Sony has revealed that the PSX 2 DVD capabilites will support all contemporary DVD player protocols, including multi-angle, multi-story, wide screen and subtitling features. Sony will reveal more PSX2 DVD applications at the Playstation Festival 2000, to be hosted February 19 – 20. A demo DVD title to be used at the event, will be the American live action film, The Matrix.

2-9-00—- American VHS Video Release Date Set For Slayers Try

CPM’s VHS release of Slayers Try Vol. 1: Majestic Journey is slated for May 9th. Sub and Dub tapes will contain 4 episodes and are priced at $19.99.

2-9-00—- CPM Geobreeders DVD Release Date

The Right Stuf lists CPM’s Geobreeders DVD-ROM with a release date of May 16th, in Hybrid format, with a running time of 90 minutes.

2-9-00—- Pulp Editors Release Statement To United Kingdom Readers

The following statement was released on the internet today to U.K. readers of Viz Comic’s Pulp Magazine:

Dear UK readers,

Hello from San Francisco. We’ve recently come to the somewhat belated discovery that there’s been a respectable (or, considering the magazine at hand, not entirely respectable) amount of discussion of our magazine, PULP, on this newsgroup.

We would like to invite and encourage you to send in your comments and/or fan art via e-mail if you so desire. We certainly don’t mind printing your criticism as well as any positive remarks.

Beginning with our June issue, PULP will be adding two new manga stories in addition to the ones currently running, as well as an expanded range of articles. Our price, however, will remain the same at US$5.95. We’re reaching a little closer towards the Japanese model of plenty of manga between one cover for a low price.

Recently, two writers associated with PULP had the opportunity to meet with European fans of manga and anime culture at the International Film Festival, Rotterdam’s “Japan Edge” presentation. Even though it is true that PULP is an American magazine and may sometimes give the impression of addressing only American audiences, we are certainly gratified that it has a following abroad. When you look at it, Europeans and Americans alike come as strangers to manga, but I don’t doubt that you have a slant on things that would be most interesting. We look forward to hearing from you.

Please send your mail to:

alvin@viz.com
once@ix.netcom.com

Sincerely,

Carl Gustav Horn, Manga Editor
Alvin Lu, Columns & Departments Editor
PULP

2-9-00—- Kamen Rider Making A Comeback

The Kamen Rider (Masked Rider) Live-Action henshin sci-fi TV series, originally airing in 1970 and created by late cartoonist Shotaro Ishinomori is now back, more popular than ever, airing in Japan on TV Asahi networks in the Kamen Raida Kuga (cougar) series. According to TV Asahi, the first two episodes of the new series, aired 8-8:30 a.m. Jan. 30 and Feb. 6, posted viewer ratings of 27.5 and 28.4, respectively, among children aged between 4 and 12 years old. The rating for viewers of all ages stood at 8.9 for the first episode, faring well against news programs on NTV (16.4), TBS (12.1) and Fuji TV (4.5) that shared the same time slot. On Feb. 2nd the TV station’s official Kuga Web site (www.tv-asahi.co.jp/kuuga/) received 36,857 hits, which is the highest figure for any of TV Asahi’s program Web sites.

The story is based around 24-year-old Yusuke Godai (played by Jo Odagiri), who secretly acquires a belt with strange powers, found during an archeological excavation in Nagano Prefecture. The Archeologists accidentally break the magic seal on a


February 1-4 Anime News

2-4-00—- Anime / Manga Gaming

SNK’s upcoming PSX version of The King Of Fighters ’99: Millennium Battle will reportedly be based on the Neo Geo CD Version, hidden characters: Kyo and Iori are playable from the start and the last boss Krizalid will be playable after some advancement. There is a new Art Gallery Mode, Voice Gallery Mode and Color Edit Mode, where players can customize the costume color of each character, save, and reuse in other play modes. There will be no extra Striker characters as in the Dreamcast port. Release in Japan is set for March 23rd, the title will list at 5800 Yen.

Capcom / Arika’s PSX 2 launch title, Street Fighter EX3, will feature several new characters including a totally new character, Ace. New play modes include Arena Mode, Tag Battle, Dramatic battle (1 v.s. 3 or 2 v.s. 1 etc.), Team Battle (up to 5 v.s. 5), and a new Character Edit Mode, where players can create their own character by earning experience points, which is used to purchase new moves. Japanese release is scheduled for March 4th for a listing price of 6800 Yen.

Square EA will reportedly release Front Mission 3 for PSX in the U.S. on March 22nd.

Microcabin has announced they are producing Marionette Company 2 for both PSX and Dreamcast, the game will be the sequel of their promotion adventure Marionette Company.

Jaleco’s Stepping Stage 3 Superior arcade machine is set to appear in Japanese arcades in March. Jaleco has partnered with Avex and BMG to bring together pop songs from U.S., there will be a number of movie and anime themes also including Galaxy Express 999 themes.

2-4-00—- Studio Sunrise Selling Exclusive Anime Images Via Website

Studio Sunrise, the animators of such famous series as Gundam, Votoms, and Cowboy Bebop has added a new feature to it’s website, where they are selling exclusive images for downloading / viewing. Images cost between 120Y – 200Y image, you must be a member of Sunrise’s members club” providing a valid credit card #. You can visit the page below:

www.nifty.ne.jp/sunrisefile/index.htm

2-4-00—- ADV Films And The Right Stuf Strike Distribution Deal

U.S. Anime licensing giant, ADV Films announced on Thursday, a distribution deal for the entire catalog of films for The Right Stuf International Inc. The Right Stuf Inc. is an impressive player in the U.S. Anime industry in it’s own right, holding licenses to Osamu Tezukas’s Kimba The White Lion, and Studio Gainax’s Kareshi No Kanajo No Jijou.

2-3-00—- Seiyuu News

Male seiyuu group E.M.U. will release their final album “Ore Tachi No Sotsugyou” in Japan on Feb. 19th. Contains new solo songs, new group songs, and some old group songs.

The schedule for seiyuu Sakura Tange’s upcoming March concert tour has recently been set. Tickets are will go on sale Feb. 5th. at 5000 Yen per-ticket:

3/15: Akasaka Blitz
3/17: Osaka
3/18: Nagoya
3/25: Nakano Sun Plaza
3/26: Nakano Sun Plaza

2-3-00—- Anime / Manga Gaming

Seiyuu, Okada Junko, and much of the cast of the Sentimental Graffiti, will comprise the voice talent in the upcoming new Dreamcast title, Innocent Tears.
Character MP3’s and other information can be had at the official website.

Innocent Tears Voice Cast:
Kagura Haruaki – Nojima Kenji
Homura Kagari – Inoue Kikuko
Yumi – Ohmoto Makiko
Kagura Akira – Ogata Megumi
Kaga Yukiko – Tomizawa Michie
Kaga Shirou – Itou Kentarou
Claude – Masuya Yasunori
Kira – Suzuki Mariko
Yoshino Saki – Maeda Ai
Kugami Aoi – Minami Omi
Taira Katsutoshi – Isobe Hiroshi
Kujou Sara – Okada Junko
Johaness – Iwamoto Norio
Tachibana Maki – Noda Junko
Tachibana Miki – Noda Junko

2-3-00—- Studio Pierrot To Produce Ayashi No Ceres & Saiyuuki TV Series’

Animation production house, Studio Pierrot, will reportedly be adapting Fushigi Yuugi creator, Yuu Watase’s latest, popular manga, Ayashi No Ceres (running in Shogakukan’s Flower Comics), into a new TV series to begin airing in Japan in April. The series will be co-produced by Bandai Visual and air unscrambled on BS Ch. 5 WoWoW. Seiyuu Iwao Junkyo will play the role of Ceres/Aya
Begining it’s run in 1996 the Ayashi No Ceres manga tells the story of Mikage Aya and her twin brother, Aki. On their 16th birthday the two are brought to their grandfather’s house where all their relatives were gathered and shown a box with a mummified hand inside. At the sight of the hand a mysterious power in Aya is released and her grandfather orders her to be killed. She escapes an attempt on her life, but her brother Aki is imprisoned. Aya discovers that she possesses the blood of the “Tennyo” (Heavenly Maiden), when severely taken over with emotion her power will manifest itself, transforming her into Ceres. If left to live, she is believed to be destined to bring ruin to the Mikage family. Aya struggles to fight with her destiny and rid herself of Ceres so she can once again return to the life of a normal teenage girl. She must avoid other attempts on her life by her grandfather and other Mikage family members, and win her brother’s freedom. Assisting Aya is Suzumi Aogiri, a woman who also possesses tennyo blood and Suzumi’s brother-in-law Yuuhi, a boy Aya’s age assigned to protect her. Working in the background is Aya’s cousin Kagami who tells the Mikage family’s henchman Tooya not to kill the girl, but to keep an eye on her while investigating her powers.

 

Studio Pierrot is also reportedly producing an Anime TV series version of Kazuya Minekura’s Saiyuuki manga (already a 3 Vol. OVA). Saiyuuki tells the Chinese legend of the Monkey King. Humans and demons share a state of peaceful co-existance In the land of Togenkyo, after the attempt of the use of chemistry and magic to resurect Gyumao, a powerful demon who was sealed and buried by Nataku Taishi (one of the five gods