Posts in: June, 2000

June 18-21 Anime News

6-21-00—- Mach 5 Replica On Ebay

As reported in Septemeber of last year, 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 the Speed Racer (Mach Go! Go! Go!) TV series was constructed by Focus on Cars, a Long Beach CA. group for The Child Safety Network. Engineer Mark Towne designed the car which among the above extra vehicular amenaties, posses a 400-horsepower engine and an estimated top speed of 185 mph. CSN created the car to promote a nation-wide safety tour, called Child Safety Day At The Races.
The replica Mach 5 privately debuted at the Specialty Equipment Market Association Show, Nov. 2-5, 1999, in Las Vegas. Cos-playing characters including Speed Racer to Chim Chim were a part of the promotional events surrounding the tour of the Mach 5 around the country.

Now the 1/1 replica Mach 5 that cost $385,000 to build is up for auction on eBay. As of Monday, the auction has drawn $30,500 in bids. Community Benefit Alliance and the Children Safety Network will split the proceeds of the auction to end June 29th.

6-21-00—- Manga DVD Releases

Excerpted from the official press releases:

MANGA ENTERTAINMENT PRESENTS THE BEST SWORD FIGHTING ACTION SINCE NINJA SCROLL

ON JULY 25, 2000

“An action-packed portrayal of warring ninja factions…quality action adventure.” Slap Magazine

Chicago, IL- Manga Entertainment presents the July 25th DVD release of Sword for Truth – a film where nonstop action and masterful swordplay are challenged by one courageous fighter for truth.

Ancient feudal Japan was ruled by clans of Shoguns whose rule was absolute; they owned the land and the people on it! One man, Shuranosuke Sakaki the master swordsman, furiously protected his independence. Bearing his distinctive “Scythes Of Death” crest he walks alone and unafraid, cutting a swathe through those who stand in his way.

In this action packed adventure, Shuranosuke is hired by the Tokugawa Shogunate to rescue Princess Mayu from the clutches of a group of bandit ninjas, the Seki Ninja. They will stop at nothing to protect their captive and call upon the undead spirits in Hell to assist them. Shuranosuke’s skills are put to the ultimate test as he leaves a trail of blood and severed limbs in a desperate attempt to save the Princess. Watch this classic samurai adventure and find out why Shuranosuke is a cut above the rest.

DVD features include: a Digital Remaster; In English, Japanese and Japanese with English Subtiles (all in Stereo); Scene Index; Manga 2000 Previews; Manga Fan Club Info; Manga Web Link.

Street Date: July 25, 2000 Pre-book Date: June 5, 2000 Running Time: 60 minutes Retail Price: $24.95

FROM THE DIRECTOR OF GHOST IN THE SHELL COMES MAMORU OSHII’S TECHNO-ROBOT MOVIE

A MANGA ENTERTAINMENT RELEASE

“A must-see for both hard-core anime fans as well as newcomers alike.” Animeco

Chicago, IL – PATLABOR 1: THE MOVIE, made popular by the highly acclaimed TV series Patlabor Mobile Police, is a science-fiction police film set against a tale of danger and high-tech revenge. Manga Entertainment is proud to announce the DVD release of Patlabor 1 on July 25, 2000.

In the year 1999, Tokyo’s Mobile Police have a new weapon in the war on crime – advanced robots called “Labors” that are used to combat criminals who use new technologies for illegal means. In the midst of the police mobilization, the suicide of a mysterious man on the massive Babylon Project construction site sets off a cascade of events that may signal the destruction of Tokyo. What is the connection between the suicide and the Mobile Police?

While cops Noah Izumi and Azuma Shinohara investigate an unexplained wave of rogue Labors’ rampaging the city, they uncover a sinister plot to infect Tokyo’s eight thousand Labor robots with the deadly BABEL virus. With the future of the city hanging in the balance and a typhoon poised to trigger the devastation, Noah, Azuma and their teammates must destroy the source of the virus – the giant Babylon Project Tower in Tokyo Bay.

DVD features include: a Digital Re-master; Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound in English; Japanese and Japanese with English Sub-titles in Stereo; Special Japanese Trailers; Scene Index; Manga 2000 Previews, Fan Club info and Manga Web Link.

Street Date: July 25, 2000 Pre-book Date: June 5, 2000 Running time: 120 Minutes Retail Price: $29.95

6-21-00—- Anime / Manga Gaming

In Japan, Bandai plans create downloadable levels and various data additions for their Mobile Suit Gundam: Giren’s Ambition: Genealogy of Zion for Dreamcast. 48 downloadable levels will be available total, each month after for 6 months – Bandai will make 8 additional levels available. A charge for the full package of 48 levels will cost 2000 Yen, the monthly package of 8 levels is 500 Yen, and single levels will cost 100 Yen.

Bandai’s handheld Digimon games have sold over 9.5 million copies since their initial release in 1997.

6-20-00—- Anime Jump’s Anime Central 2K Con Report

Mike Toole of Anime Jump has issued his very unique report of the events transpiring at this year’s Anime Central con outside Chicago. Begin your journey through the Arlington Height’s Sheraron’s labrynthine sprawl of corridors here.

6-20-00—- Urusei Yatsura DVD Status

A post this morning by Robert Woodhead Animeigo to the company’s DVD mailing list, mentions the following on their progress with producing the Urusei Yatsura DVD’s:

“- we got everything fixed (cross fingers…), and the set is now in replication. There’s a good chance we’ll have it and be shipping in time for Anime Expo at the end of the month.”

6-20-00—- Pony Canyon Set To Distribute Video Programs Via Web

Japanese Music company, Pony Canyon Inc. has announced it will distribute video programs over the Internet begining Wednesday. The move makes Pony Canyon the first Japanese company to offer original video programs on the web. To be initially released is an image program of Japanese vocalist Momoe Shimano performing three songs and a three-part image program with actress Megumi Okina. Each program will cost 500 Yen to view.

6-20-00—- New Toonami Lineup

Several


Anime News Service – June 13-17 Anime News

6-17-00—- Cardcaptor Costs

According to this L.A. Times Calender article, Canadian-based Nelvana (the company behind the North American releae of the Card Captor Sakura TV series), has spent roughly $100,000 on each Cardcaptors episode, adding in new music, scripts and vocal tracks.

6-17-00—- Manga Entertainment Developments

Manga has updated their website listing box art for the Patlabor 1 and Sword for Truth DVD’s and VHS artwork for their release of X. Also listed in the Summer explosion page are Angel Cop and the two Patlabor movies.

6-17-00—- Viz Donates $100,000 In Graphic Novels To U.S. Puublic Libraries

Excerpted from the official press release:

MANGA OUTREACH TO NEW AUDIENCES NATIONWIDE

San Francisco, CA (6/16/00)-Viz Comics, America’s 5th-largest comics publisher and largest publisher of Japanese comics, has recently donated over $100,000 in books and videos to U.S. public libraries. “It is pleasing to discover the help of a gift such as yours in active support for the library,” praised Marjorie Rump, Deputy Director, Kern County Library (CA). “Your gift has put some new books on our shelves, a most important element in vital library service.”

Comics are underrepresented in libraries, but the demand for manga (Japanese comics) has never been greater, especially with young readers. “I am certain that San Francisco teens will be thrilled with these titles,” confirmed Jennifer Collins, Middle School Outreach Librarian, San Francisco Public Library.

The increasing popularity of Japanese animation–through TV broadcast of Pokémon, Gundam Wing and Dragon Ball Z, or direct-to-video releases–is leading millions of viewers to the original comics that inspired these popular series. Manga stories cover all genres and ages, and are equally enjoyed by males and females–romance, comedy, crime drama, science fiction, fantasy, action.

In Japan, popular titles regularly sell over 1 million copies per week before being collected in “graphic novel” (book) form, and they as much a staple of Japanese libraries as of bookstores. Viz has actively encouraged greater readership both among children with Pokémon, and teens with Ranma ½. Viz has donated $100,000 of graphic novels, books, magazines, videos and comics to fifteen library regions:

Tucson, AZ
San Francisco, CA
Dallas, TX
Bakersfield, CA
Santa Clara, CA
San Antonio, TX
Los Angeles, CA
Carmel, IN
Seattle, WA
Oakland, CA
Brooklyn, OH
Spokane, WA
San Diego, CA
Columbus, OH
Madison, WI

Viz’s Director of Sales and Marketing Oliver Chin explained the motivation for this large scale effort, “As a publisher, Viz has a enduring responsibility to help improve public literacy and young people’s enjoyment of reading. Since 1997, we have increased the sales of anime and manga on all retail fronts. Simultaneously we have actively increased the supply of circulating copies among libraries which lack the budget and resources to satisfy reader demand. Response has been overwhelmingly positive, and Viz will to continue build enthusiastic readership at the grassroots level across the country.”

In addition, Viz regularly donates to community non-profit organizations, such as the Japanese Community Youth Council, Los Angeles Tofu Festival, and San Francisco Rescue Mission. On June 6, 2000, Viz donated $12,000 of Pokémon calendars and comic books to San Francisco’s Chinatown Branch Library for their Summer Reading program. “Thanks again for your support and generosity towards the public libraries here in the Bay Area (those graphic novels are still flying off our shelves!),” commended Dorothy Yiu Chang, Branch Manager, Oakland Public Library.

6-17-00—- Viz Comics Press Releases

Excerpted from the various Viz Communications Press Releases:

NEON GENESIS EVANGELION BOOK 5
MONTHLY COMIC SERIES

San Francisco, CA (6/16/00)-Viz Comics proudly announces the October 2000 return of one of the most popular, long-awaited manga ever published in America: Neon Genesis Evangelion Book 5. The psychologically driven science fiction series that revolutionized anime on Japanese television, available on VHS and DVD from A.D.V. Films, Neon Genesis Evangelion resumes monthly publication after a hiatus by the artist and character designer, Yoshiyuki Sadamoto.

Studio Gainax’s Neon Genesis Evangelion is Japan’s biggest combination anime and manga hit of the last five years. Now discover (or rediscover) Evangelion in this artistically stunning, psychologically intense manga adaptation which diverges dramatically from the anime! In the year 2015, half of the human race is dead, and the survivors face a terrifying last judgment from giant “Angels.” Within Tokyo-3 and the headquarters of the secretive organization called NERV, a handful of teenagers are trained to pilot the colossal superentities known as “Evangelions” and battle the Angels on their own terms, whatever the cost to their minds and souls.

In This And Future Issues: As withdrawn young Shinji, EVA-02 pilot, struggles to come to terms with his responsibility, his dim view of the world is challenged by his fellow pilots and classmates, the seemingly emotionless Rei and manipulative, moody, brilliant Asuka. But while children play, Kaji, double agent and the former (and possibly future) lover of Shinji’s commander Misato, comes dangerously closer to the secrets of NERV’s true purpose–a secret nailed to a cross in the darkest depths of Tokyo-3, and a secret buried within the Antarctic ice. And the appearance of a giant eye in the heavens heralds the Angels’ latest and deadliest assault…

Yoshiyuki Sadamoto is the character designer for The Wings of Honneamise, Nadia, and many other anime, illustration and art projects. His latest art book, Der Mond, will be released in America by Viz in November 2000. Evangelion is his only full-length manga series.

BANANA FISH VOL. 4 PULP GRAPHIC NOVEL

A CRIME EPIC OF ’80S NEW YORK, THE MOB, AND FINE YOUNG MEN

San Francisco, CA (6/16/00)-Viz Comics announces the November 2000 release of Banana Fish Vol. 4, the controversial series from Viz’s mature manga anthology Pulp: New Japanese Pop Culture. This graphic novel contains the installments from Pulp Vol. 3#11 through Vol. 4#6.

In 1973, in Vietnam, an American soldier goes mad and guns down his companions. In 1985, in New York City, gang leader Ash Lynx is drawn into a mystery when he is given a strange drug by a dying man. As Ash begins to investigate, his discovery sparks the unwanted interest of Mafia boss Papa Dino, and a series of puzzling suicides tears apart the New York crime community.


May 31 – June 12 Anime News

  • 12th Jun 2000
  • News

6-12-00—- Anime Expo Programming Schedule Announced

The programming schedule for Anime Expo 2000 has been released to the Anime Expo Website which can be viewed here.

6-12-00—- Wong To Direct Live-Action Mai The Psychic Girl

Kirk Wong (The Big Hit) will reportedly direct Sony Pictures’ Movie adaption of Mai The Psychic Girl, based on the Manga illustrated by Gekiga Ryoichi Ikegami and written by Kazuya Kudo.

The story of Mai circles around events in the life of an average teenage girl who posses pyschic abilities, and a special heritage, the responsibilities of which she is reluctant to accept until she draws the attention of a secret organization who is actively targeting children with strong psychic powers.

Tim Burton was at one time being reported as a director for the Mai film, later Francis Ford Coppola developed the property further. Kirk Wong directed The Big Hit for Sony and many Hong Kong action films that include Gunmen and Crime Story. Wong is currently developing Six for Warner Bros. Pictures.

6-11-00—- Princess Mononoke Listed On Starz/Encore Site

American cable broadcasters – Starz/Encore has updated it’s website listing Hayao Miyazaki / Studio Ghibli’s The Princess Mononoke which will be aired on the network(s) soon, you can view the entry here.

6-11-00—- Anime Trivia Quiz Book Author Appearence

Ryan Omega, author of The Anime Trivia Quizbook, released by Stonebridge Press will appear today at 8 p.m. at Printers Inc. Bookstore, 310 California Ave., Palo Alto. California.

6-10-00—- Anime / Manga Gaming

SNK will reportedly end American and European operations later this year effecting distribution in those areas for their products for Neo Geo Pocket, Dreamcast, and PlayStation. The company will continue to produce games and systems in Japan, and the possibility exists that third parties will license them for foriegn release.

Sunrise Interactive’s G-Saviour for PS2 is reportedly close to completion. the Mecha action title is set for release in Japan this summer to retail at 7800 Yen. Occuring in Space Year 0224, the game’s main character Reed Fox, battles against enemies known as bugu.

6-9-00—- Utena 35mm Premiere At AX2000

Excerpted from the official release by Mike Tatsugawa:

The Utena Movie, “Revolutionary Girl Utena: Adolescence Apocalypse,” will make its 35mm North American debut at Anime Expo. Directed by AX Guest of Honor Kunihiko Ikuhara and with character designs by AX Guest of Honor Chiho Saito. The Utena movie takes the characters of the popular television series and reveals them in a whole new light. Two showings of this film are being planned, one on Saturday and one on Sunday.

6-9-00—- Titan A.E. Article – ‘Fox Counting On ‘Titan’ To Be Giant Hit’

According to this article by Angela Dawson of Entertainment News Wire running in the Friday edition of the Philly Daily News, American film producers – 20th Century Fox are counting on their cross-media animated theatrical feature – Titan A.E. to be a giant hit at the American box office. According to the piece, the film’s producers acknowledged the fact that their target audience is generally turned off by animated films and decided to create something different and darker. A moodier color palette used in modern comic books and human characters drawn in an Americanized version of the popular Japanese Anime style are just some aspects topping off the production. You can read the entire article at the above link.

6-9-00—- Macross Toys Delayed

Excerpted from the newsgroup posting:

To all concerned,

Due to product improvement, the release date for the Macross Plus line has been moved back to Early August. We apologize for the delay and any inconvenience.

Sincerely,

Toycom Management

6-9-00—- Daily Yomiuri Article – Manga As An Academic Discipline

The Daily Yomiuri Online is running a fascinating article in it’s Saturday Edition entitled Manga problem animates academics that tackles the subject of Manga being treated as an academic discipline, you can read the piece at the link.

6-9-00—- SciFi U.K. Anime Brodacast Status

Excerpted from a post to the SciFi U.K. Forum: “There are no plans to increase the amount of anime on a permanent basis. However, once a month we show a double-bill of anime movies on Saturday night (usually starting around 10:00 PM) and in August we are planning a special anime event which will include a whole week of anime movies (some will be premieres) at midnight. Stay tuned for more details.”

6-8-00—- Ranma 1/2 Movie 2 On KTEH This Month

San Jose California-based public television station KTEH will broadcast Ranma 1/2: Nihao, My Concubine (The second movie) June 25th, at 9:30 P.M.

6-8-00—- World’s 1st DVD-RAM Recorders From Hitachi In August

Japanese Electronics firm Hitachi Ltd. announced on Thursday it plans to roll out the world’s first DVD-RAM video recorders and camcorders to the Japanese market on August 25th.

6-8-00—- FUNimation Launches New DBZ Site

FUNimation has rolled out the company’s latest Dragonball Z Website which can be viewed by clicking on the link.

6-8-00—- Anime / Manga Gaming

Banpresto has announced development of a new sequel to Super Robot Taisen Alpha, tentatively titled Super Robot Taisen Alpha 2, a Japanese release is expected sometime by the end of the year.

Capcom newest Vampire Hunter / Darkstalkers sequel for Dreamcast and Naomi has been announced. The title will feature network-battle support.

6-8-00—- Diecast GM

Bandai reportedly has a new diecast GM Gundam toy in production in Japan to be part of the same toy line featuring diecast Gundam and Red and Green Zaku.

6-8-00—- Daily Yomiuri Online Article – Crayon Shin Chan’s Prospects In The U.S.

The Daily Yomiuri Online Japanese Newspapaer is running an article today entitled “Will ‘Crayon Shin-chan’ crash and burn in U.S.?”, it has some interesting information on the series’ prospects of crossing over into America.

6-7-00—- Disney/SPJA Costume Policy For AX2000

Excerpted from the official release by Mike Tatsugawa:

After consulting with Disneyland’s Hotel, Security and Legal Departments, we have agreed on the following guidelines for costumes at Anime Expo/Disneyland:

Disneyland considers the entire Disney experience to be a “show”. This “show” begins from the moment that guests enter the Disneyland properties. This rule applies especially in the case of the Disneyland Park and less so at the Disneyland Resort