Posts in: May, 2002

Anime News Service – May 29-31 Anime News

5-31-02—- Cornelius American Tour Dates

Among an increasing influx of Japanese musical talent streaming into American venues this summer, add the name of one incredibly gifted musician, Cornelius. His American tour dates are as follows:

8/07 – Washington, DC (9:30 Club)
8/08 – Philadelphia, PA (Theatre Of Living Arts)
8/09 – New York, NY (Bowery Ballroom)
8/10 – Boston, MA (Axis)
8/12 – Detroit, MI (St. Andrews Hall)
8/13 – Chicago, IL (Park West)
8/14 – Minneapolis, MN (Ascot Room @ Quest Club)
8/23 – Los Angeles, CA (El Rey Theatre)

5-31-02—- Upcoming TV Series Peeks

According to Natsume Maya-san, images of characters from Xebec’s coming Rikujyou Bouei Tai Mao-chan (Ground Defense Force Mao-chan) have been added to the studio’s website. There one can see an image of the three primary school girls Mao, Misora and Silvia, who protect Japan from mysterious aliens.

Two short ads for Saishu Heiki Kanojo (She, the Ultimate Weapon) can be viewed at the official site’s gallery.

5-31-02—- Capatin Harlock Endless Odyssey Series Broadcast Discontinued

As previously reported, in recent days news regarding the planned upcoming AT-X broadcast in Japan for the new Space Pirate Captain Harlock: The Endless Odyssey TV series had been building with the network reported to be airing the 13 episode series from June 27th. In a surprise move as viewed by many today (although original plans called for the airing to begin in September), a discontinuance of broadcast notice has been issued by AT-X citing “circumstances in regard to production” as being behind the move. If the series will be rescheduled to air in the future is currently unknown, however, a planned DVD video release by VAP of the first volume “Hakidame no Blues” on September 19th still holds with no apparent changes in that date at this time.

As fans may recall, the new Harlock series is simply star studded in regards to top industry talent filling the various battle stations of production. Metropolis director and former Osamu Tezuka colleague, RinTaro who directed the original 1978 Harlock TV anime has returned to the directors chair. Escaflowne character designer Nobuteru Yuki serves as character designer with script by Sadayuki Murai (Perfect Blue, Boogiepop Phantom) writing script. Seiyuu on the project include Kouichi Yamadera (Spike Spiegel – Cowboy Bebop) Nachi Nozawa (Cobra) as Doctor Zero, Yuko Minakuchi (Yawara), Rei Sakuma (Aika), Seki Tomokazu (Van Fanel – Escaflowne), Emi Shinohara (Mizuki Kaho – Card Captor Sakura) as Shizuka and Fumiko Orikasa (Nazna – Inuyasha).

What’s known of the story to date is Rintaro’s request for a completely original story in the same setting of Arcadia as the original.

5-30-02—- New Bandai Shows On Adult Swim

According to Bandai Entertainment’s website, Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim is currently showing Cowboy Bebop, Mobile Suit Gundam: Stardust Memory, Outlaw Star, and Pilot Candidate. Mobile Suit Gundam, the show that started it all, will also be returning to Adult Swim starting in June. • Adult Swim airs Saturday and Sunday night on Cartoon Network. Saturday programs start from 11:00PM till 2:00AM (e/p). For show times, visit www.adultswim.com.

5-30-02—- Shin Departs Animeigo

According to a post on Animeigo’s discussion list by Robert Woodhead, longtime producer Shin Kurokawa has left AnimEigo to pursue:

some other opportunities (bigger and better things than he could do here, we hope), and of course we all wish him well. Before he left, Shin diligently trained the current production staff in the secrets of the AnimEigo way, so there should be no disruption in our output or change in our level of quality. Finally, Shin will probably be doing some work for AnimEigo on a consultant basis in the future. In particular on things like Liner Notes.

5-30-02—- City Hunter Author Tsukas Hojo And Northstar’s Tetsuo Hara Split From Shueisha

French fan site www.animeland.com reports Tsukas Hojo (City Hunter, Angel Heart) and Tetsuo Hara (Hokuto no Ken, Hana no Keiji) have split from Shueisha to create the new company, Coamix. A shakeup in the foreign translation rights seems to be occuring at this time with new rights not being granted. As existing rights expire, they may not being renewed. Animeland mentions in France the fallout includes licensor Tonkam withdrawing Rash and volumes 6-10 of Cat’s Eye in late June with future withdrawls expected. City Hunter and “Ken le Survivant” appear to be unaffected in their respective French releases. As fans may recall, Coamix is involced in Gutsoon! Media’s Raijin weekly manga anthology project slated for release in America this fall.

5-30-02—- Devil Hunter Yohko Collection 2

From the release:

RELEASE DATE SET FOR DEVIL HUNTER YOHKO COLLECTION 2

RELEASE CONCLUDES ADV FILMS’ TENTH ANNIVERSARY DVD PREMIERE OF ITS FIRST ANIME TITLE

HOUSTON, May 30, 2002 – ADV Films has set the street date of July 9, 2002 for Devil Hunter Yohko Collection 2, the final of two volumes collecting the popular horror/action anime title.

Originally directed by Katsuhisa Yamada (animator – Macross), Hisashi Abe (designer – Pet Shop of Horrors), and Akiyuki Shinbo (director – Starship Girl Yamamoto Yohko), Devil Hunter Yohko was the first title licensed by ADV founders John Ledford and Matt Greenfield after the company’s formation in 1992. In celebration of ADV’s tenth anniversary, they are premiering this historic title on DVD.

The Story: Demonic bloodbath? Trial by hellfire? These things might cause a few problems for most people, but not teenage exorcist Yohko Mano. She’s the latest in a long line of professional Devil Hunters, and kicking monster butt is all in a day’s work for her. It’s a good thing too, because she’s going to need all her creature-slaying skills to survive the latest trials and tribulations that lie before her. The demon Tokima plans to open the floodgates to the demon plane and if Yohko wants to survive this battle, she’ll have to recruit some heavy-duty help! Then, there’s a new Devil Hunter in town. She looks like Yohko. She talks like Yohko. She even fights like Yohko. But she’s definitely not her, since she wants to eliminate Yohko and take over as


Anime News Service – May 25-28 Anime News

5-28-02—- Japanese Media Leak – Hundreds Of Lupin III TV Episodes Acquired By Pioneer Entertainment

A story which has ran with incredible speed in the past 24 hours appears to have it’s origins in yet another exmple of an American licensor brokering a deal with the Japanese rights holder and then the news appearing in the Japanese press first and foremost. The item played out on the English language front in the following way:

In a post dated 2002-05-27 10:06:34 PST to the rec.arts.anime newsgroup, member Sany mentioned the following:

in a surprising move, Pioneer Ent. USA seems have to obtain theatrical, video and tv broadcasting rights to all 228 TV-episodes of the old Lupin III tv-series (well all 3 of them that is , the 4 specials which are not included in the deal with FUNimation and one movie as of May 27th. TMS Entertainment, the Japanese lisence holder, hopes that Pioneer can sell at least the TV series to one of the US broadcasting stations.

At 11:17 PM CST a post was made to the Lupin The Third Mailing List by Reed which reads as follows:

From Nikkei.net, Japanese news source:

http://www.nikkei.co.jp/news/sangyo/20020527CAHI350727.html

Lightly Edited Translation from http://babelfish.Altavista.com:
In the animation “Lupin the Third” United States to televising TMS Entertainment announced on the 27th, television broadcast right and video production right of popular animated series “Lupin the Third” were given to the American video distribution company. This deal, which includes theater screening, merchandising rights, etc. during a contractual period of 7 years, anticipates a market of 140 hundred million Yen in the United States. The contract made overseas involved an affiliated firm of Pioneer, Pioneer Entertainment USA.

-Lupin III Background- After “Lupin the Third” began TV broadcast in 1971, 228 stories were televised, and have already have been televised in several dozen foreign countries such as those in Europe, Asia, and South America. This is the first “Lupin the Third” license contract for the United States.

Kyodo News posted the following:

NAGOYA — TMS Entertainment Ltd., a major maker of animated cartoon programs for television, said Monday it has sold the broadcasting rights for its “Lupin the Third” series to Pioneer Entertainment (U.S.A.) Inc. in California.

The rights last for seven years and cover both the United States and Canada, TMS Entertainment said. The popular show features the adventures of a thief named Lupin the Third and his band of fellow robbers. TMS Entertainment has made 228 “Lupin the Third” episodes. The first debuted in Japan in 1971.

5-28-02—- Gundam Creator Yoshiyuki Tomino Confirmed Guest For BAAF

The Big Apple Anime Fest (BAAF), a weekend long celebration of Anime Manga Culture announced that anime director, Yoshiyuki Tomino, creator of the ever-growing Gundam saga has been confirmed as a guest of honor at BAAF 2002. Tomino will be appearing at both BAAF 2002 and Anime Expo NY (AXNY) events in Times Square, August 30 ~ September 2, 2002.

As the Red & Black Sponsor of AXNY, its highest-level sponsor category, BAAF, which has been called $B!H(BThe Cannes Film Festival of Anime Manga Culture$B!I(B, will be overseeing a variety of activities during the labor-day weekend festivities, including many Guest of Honor appearances, the BAAF Film Festival, and the BAAF Symposium.

Yoshiyuki Tomino$B!G(Bs “Mobile Suit Gundam: Char’s Counterattack” will be one of the featured films to be screened over the holiday weekend and this showing will be the New York premiere of the movie. BAAF is planning for a panel discussion on Tomino$B!G(Bs works following the premiere of the film. Tomino will also be making a special guest appearance at the Virgin Megastore where he will greet fans and sign autographs.

Yoshiyuki Tomino began his career in 1963, as part of the creative team behind TV’s popular “Astroboy”. After a decade of refining his craft as a freelancer, working on and studying the various genres of anime, he created “Reideen the Brave” in 1975. Tomino’s directorial debut, the mecha series, was the first of many that he would create during the following years. These shows included 1977’s “Zanbot 3” (a groundbreaking series that featured its heroes being blamed for a catastrophe and later killed), and of course, the immortal “Gundam” series, which recently enjoyed its 20th anniversary celebration. Gundam’s various spin-offs (including Tomino’s own “Gundam Z,” “Gundam ZZ,” “Turn-A Gundam” and “Char’s Counterattack”) have enjoyed considerable success around the world and are considered classics by many anime fans. Tomino’s other more recent works include “Brain Powerd” and “Garzey’s Wing.”

For more info: http://www.bigappleanimefest.com

5-28-02—- Anime / Manga Gaming

According to Magic Box:

Bandai has officially announced Mobile Suit Gundam: Lost War Chronicles for PlayStation 2, a new strategic 3D action shooter. The game is mission based, in which you can play as either the Federation army or the Zion army. In addition to action shooting elements, you can also bring two comrade Mobile Suits to the battle, which can help you to attack and defend from attacks in 3 different formations. There will be dozens of available weapons, and over 30 kinds of Mobile Suits to choose from. Mobile Suit Gundam: Lost War Chronicles is scheduled for release in August.

For more images see The Magic Box Here

5-28-02—- Anime Trax CD Delays

According to The Right Stuf:

Due to production and approval delays, AnimeTrax has announced that there will be a slight 2 week delay in their May audio releases: Best of Lost Universe OST, Slayers Try VOX OST, and Martian Successor Nadesico TV OST.

5-28-02—- Multiple Point Video Conferencing Tests Commence For NTT’s FOMA

From Yukio-san

NTT DoCoMo announced on the 24th that it starts the actual proof experiment of a “FOMA multi-point connection platform” the user of the point which plurality left can do [ communication with an animation ] simultaneously from May 31. Establishment and this consortium are carried out for the “FOMA TV phone multi-point connection experiment consortium” which performs development and the market research of correspondence application as a subject.

A FOMA multi-point connection platform is a platform which can do the TV conference of the user of two or


Anime News Service – May 23-24 Anime News

5-24-02—- UK Sci-Fi Channel Item

From the Animejin update, text in this item Copyright Jonathan Weeks

Sci-Fi Channel Anime Rescheduled Again
======================================
The Sci-Fi Channel’s new anime series have been rescheduled again. They are now promising a July start. Here’s a quote from their latest press release:

SAIKO-EXCITING *UK TELEVISION PREMIERE*
Begins Saturday 6 July at 10am Brighten-up your weekend with an awesome two-hour blend of computer games, cutting-edge animation, radical Japanese music videos and competitions all airing in Sci·Fi’s new strand SAIKO-EXCITING. Fronted by the human face of anime, Sci·Fi’s Seera, she’s joined by Jonathan Clements, who offers the latest anime news updates, and gamer-guru Emily Newton-Dunn who gets to grips with Sci·Fi’s brand new gaming show SFG. For the first time ever in the UK, catch two of the most acclaimed anime series NEON GENESIS EVANGELION and MARTIAN SUCCESSOR NADESICO, much- requested and eagerly awaited and at last, airing on TV! SAIKO-EXCITING also taps into the stylish world of Japanese music videos as Sci·Fi debuts some of the best examples of J-Pop never see before on UK television. Finally, competitions, interactivity and audience participation complete the two-hour line-up.

5-24-02—- Eiko Koike’s First Seiyuu Challenge

Thanks to Yukio-san for this item:

A super-bust idol and Eiko Koike (21) are a first challenge to the voice actor of an animation movie. An interview was given in metropolitan area studio on the 22nd. Koike who attended the stand-in appears in the shirt of cream-colored PICHIPICHI (The meaning of “GURAMARASU super-bust.”. By yukio). The illustration of the rabbit of the bosom swelled clearly and glued upon the look of the persons concerned. The girl “my mushroom” who appears in the simultaneous public presentation work “Tekka no Maki-chan and golden Kamameshi-don” of open “ANPAN-MAN” on July 13 was played prettily. [ Swerve and go! ] Koike “although it was able to do as hard as possible, NG is repeatedly. Whether sigh voice like “HAA and HAA” being difficult” and photogravure photography realized different difficulty.

Source: eGoo

5-24-02—- Anime Research Relaunch

AnimeResearch has undergone a major graphic overhaul and has been updated with new links and articles. Of particular note is the essay “Unoriginal Trash or the Future of Manga?: The Role of Parody Doujinshi” and “A Cyborg Mephisto: Mythology in the Science Fiction Films of Oshii Mamoru,” a thesis written for the webmaster’s M.A. degree in Asian Cultures and Languages from the University of Texas, Austin. Also up is a new feature, the Book of the Week. Over the next few months, books relating to anime, manga, and Japanese popular culture will be highlighted. This week’s feature is “Anime: From Akira to Princess Mononoke” by Susan J. Napier. AnimeResearch.com still has a complete and ever-growing list of links and print materials relating to in-depth inquiry into the form and meaning of anime and manga. All this and more can be found at http://www.animeresearch.com.

5-24-02—- Dreamworks Acquires Millenium Actress

Screen Daily, in a report from Cannes has mentioned Satoshi Kon’s (Perfect Blue) Millennium Actress, handled by distributor Klockworx, has become the first foreign-language animation to be acquired by Dreamworks SKG. Dreamworks has picked up all rights outside Asia to the film, which won the best animation prize when it premiered at Fant-Asia last July and took the animation award at Sitges, Spain. Dreamworks has not yet finalised its distribution plans for the picture, but Klockworx says that it is hoping for international theatrical release through UIP. Klockworx will itself handle the Japanese distribution in early autumn through a “mini-chain” release.

5-24-02—- Asia AICN Cinema Bits

Thanks to Daniel for this news:

China/HK: “Is “Stormriders2” finally greenlighted? Andy Lau confirmed that director Andrew Lau and Andy’s Teamwork Productions has found a company to do the CGI for the movie. The sequel will focus more on Wind (Ekin Cheng) and his new master No Name (Andy Lau). Meanwhile Andy Lau will produce Ekin Cheng’s next film “Taiwanese Goddess (lit. title)”, a romantic comedy co-starring Cherrie Yan and directed by Wilson Yip.

Japan: 1)”Director Junji Sakamoto (“KT”) has already started shooting his next film, “Bokunchi”, which is based on a popular comic of the same name. The story, which stars Mizuki Arisa, focues on the lives of a small family living in a remote fishing village.

2)”The latest word on “The Sea Watchers”, directed by Kei Kumai and written by the late Akira Kurosawa, is that it’s quite horrible. The direction is too dull and the acting was pretty damn horrid – even the Cannes officials have snubbed this film (and they wouldn’t really snub a Kurosawa film!) for other films. Still, there is some hope for a US release from Sony Classics…

3)”The Rock was in Japan last week doing promos for “Scorpion King”…he attended the Japanese premiere of his new film, with was filled with over 3000 audience members and many popular Japanese wrestlers.

4)”Japanese wrestling superstar Masahiro Chono may be appearing in Guillermo Del Toro’s next movie (it could either be “Blade 3” or “Doumu”(written by Akira’s Katsuhiro Otomo’). Guillermo is coming to Japan privately next week to make a deal regarding “Doumu”.

5)”Japanese “Star Wars” fans are keen to get pirate copies of “Episode 2” and are really angry at Fox for releasing the film so late compared to the rest of the world (it opens in mid July). Fox wants to avoid facing with “Spiderman” which has been ruling the Japanese box office charts for the last 2 weeks and doesn’t look like it will slow down. It is a rumor that George Lucas wants to keep the number of press screenings to a minimum – people will see it no matter what the critics say!!

6)”Director Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s next film, “Akaruimirai (Bright Future)” has just completed principal photography. The story is still being hidden but the director has stated that the film will make you understand things that you can’t understand (?!?). The films stars Tadanobu Asano and Tatsuya Fujii and will be released early next year.”

Source: AICN

4-24-02—- 504i 3G Phones To Debut In Japan

From the Dow


Anime News Service – May 17-22 Anime News

5-22-02—- AVEX CD Copy Protection Scrutinized – Also Bypassed

According to the following article, True Confessions Of A Substandard CD Owner, one J-pop Music fan claims a copy protection scheme used by Avex may be introducing a dilution effect in the quality of the music via compression techniques etc..

5-22-02—- Sony CD Copy Protect Defeated Using 99 Cent Felt Tipped Marker

According to Reuters News, Sony Music’s elaborate CD Copy protection scheme has been cracked by listners scribbling around the rim of a disk with a felt-tip marker. Internet newsgroups have been circulating news of the discovery for the past week, and in typical newsgroup style, users have pilloried Sony for deploying “hi-tech” copy protection that can be defeated by paying a visit to a stationery store. Major music labels, including Sony and Universal Music, have begun selling the “copy-proof” discs as a means of tackling the rampant spread of music piracy, which they claim is eating into sales. The new technology aims to prevent consumers from copying, or “burning,” music onto recordable CDs or onto their computer hard drives, which can then be shared with other users over file-sharing Internet services such as Kazaa or Morpheus MusicCity.

Sony’s proprietary technology, deployed on many recent releases, works by adding a track to the copy-protected disc that contains bogus data. Because computer hard drives are programmed to read data files first, the computer will continuously try to play the bogus track first. It never gets to play the music tracks located elsewhere on the compact disc. The effect is that the copy-protected disc will play on standard CD players but not on computer CD-ROM drives, some portable devices and even some car stereo systems. Some Apple Macintosh users have reported that playing the disc in the computer’s CD drive causes the computer to crash. The cover of the copy-protected discs contain a warning that the album will not play on Macintoshes or other personal computers. Apple has since posted a warning on its Web site at: kbase.info.apple.com. Sony Music Europe has taken the most aggressive anti-piracy stance in the business. Since last fall, the label has shipped more than 11 million copy-protected discs in Europe, with the largest proportion going to Germany, a market label executives claim is rife with illegal CD-burning.

5-22-02—- Bandai August Releases

From the release:

AUGUST 2002 RELEASE UPDATES

Better Man Metamorphosis (V.2)

Bandai Entertainment continues the frightening journey of Better Man with the release of “Metamorphosis”. Directed by Yoshitomo Yonetani, a secret task force has been formed to combat an unknown entity known only as “Algernon”. But can they stop the killings in time or will they face Earth’s inevitable destruction at the hands of the enemy? Who is Better Man?

Reunited with his childhood friend Hinoki, Keita has joined the battle against Algernon as a Head Diver in the Kakuseijin No. 1, a multi-purpose state-of-the-art attack mecha. Danger abounds as the Akamatsu team travels around the world in search of Algernon! Meanwhile, Betterman continues to monitor the Akamatsu team’s progress and comes to the rescue on more than one occasion. But even he has secrets that no one has even guessed. Will discovering them cost the Akamatsu team their lives?

Better Man – “Metamorphosis” features interactive animation menus, a collector’s DVD cover, Limited Edition foil collector’s card, English and Japanese language, English subtitles, textless openings, the second installment of Mode Warp File #2, and Bandai Entertainment Previews.

English/Japanese Language English Subtitles TRT: 100 min. / Rated 13UP SRP: $29.98 UPC# 669198147692 / EDP# 10373 Order Date: 6.25.2002 / Street Date: 8.6.2002

Love Hina Love Hurts (V.4)

Life around the Hinata Apartments has been a bit strange since the arrival of Keitaro Urashima. But at least it’s never boring! Based on the best selling comic book series in Japan, Bandai Entertainment and Production I.G. proudly announces the next installment to the funniest love comedy of the year, Love Hina – “Love Hurts”!

Shinobu searches for life’s ultimate question! What would a person’s first kiss be like? Meanwhile, the gang at the Hinata Inn have been partying a little too much these days! With a huge bill to pay…can they find a way to earn enough money and pay off their debts? The road of love can be a bumpy one – and between Keitaro and Naru, its only going to get bumpier! When Naru stumbles across her former tutor, a tutor she had a crush on, she falls for him all over again. Get ready for unforgettable summer at the beach!

Love Hina – “Love Hurts” features interactive animated menus, scene selection, English and Japanese language tracks, English subtitles, Dolby Digital audio, Keitaro’s Sketchbook extra, and Bandai Entertainment Previews. Be sure to check out lovehina.bandai-ent.com for more information!

English/Japanese Language English subtitles TRT: 100 min. / Rated 13UP SRP: $29.98 UPC# 669198190391 / EDP# 11740 Order Date: 6.25.2002 / Street Date: 8.6.2002

Saber Marionette J to X Program 03

Bandai Entertainment announces the next installment of the fan favorite anime comedy, Saber Marionette J to X – “Program 03”. Otaru and his emotionally challenged Marionettes: Lime, Cherry, and Bloodberry are once again put to the test as a new chapter in their lives unfolds around them.

All is not right on Terra II! Lorelei, the key to the future of the entire planet, has been kidnapped! Otaru, feeling responsible, sets out to rescue her—alone. But things go from bad to worse, as Gartlant rises from its ashes and begins a new rampage. And it looks like Faust himself has resumed his evil ways! The Saber Dolls can’t believe it, and they are uncertain of what to do. But just as things look their darkest, it’s Lime, Cherry, and Bloodberry to the rescue. And they have another new ally this time around who intends to put Faust in his place.

Saber Marionette J to X – Program 03 features interactive animated menus, scene selection, English and Japanese language tracks, English subtitles, Dolby Digital Audio, SMJ to X Commercial Collection, exclusive Man and Machine Video Clip, and Bandai Entertainment Previews.

English/Japanese Language English subtitles TRT: 100


Anime News Service – May 16 Anime News

  • 20th May 2002
  • News

5-16-02—- She – The Ultimate Weapon Schedules

From Yukio-san:

She. The ultimate weipon.Web site.

http://www.saikano.net/

* CS broadcasting familiar July 2th(Tue.) night 7 o’clock – every week ONAIR
* Terrestrial broadcasting CBC July 3th(Wed.) midnight 1 o’clock 55 minute – every week ONAIR
* It will be on 8:00 -/Friday on familiar theater re-broadcast Wednesday at 1:00 – /Sunday night 7:30 at midnight in the morning.

5-16-02—- Sony Announces New AIBO

As part of the celebration to commemorate the third anniversary of the AIBO ([ERS-110]) Entertainment Robot, originally launched in May 1999, Sony today announced a new addition to LM series of robots, the AIBO [ERS-31L]. The new robot will carry a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $599 and will include a new AIBO-ware software package, AIBO Pal Special Edition. The new AIBO, which will come in caramel brown, will feature a new look similar to that of a bulldog or pug with a strong family resemblance to other members of the LM series [ERS-311/312]. Further, the new robot [ERS-31L] will include such advanced software enabled features as photo-taking capabilities (saves JPEG image onto Memory StickÔ media upon command), a 75-word vocabulary, interactive and expressive sensors, and more than 200 new behaviors. Beginning June 3 pre-orders will be accepted via the Internet at www.us.aibo.com or by calling the AIBO Adoption Hot Line: toll free 1-888-917-7669 (seven days a week, 24 hours a day). Additionally, starting June 10 AIBO [ERS-31L] can be purchased at Sony Style stores in San Francisco and New York, as well as the Sony Gallery in Chicago. As part of the third anniversary celebration, those purchasing the new robot during the month of June and while supplies last will receive a free AIBO Life AIBO-ware software package, which allows the owner to raise the robot from an infant to an adult, with their purchase.

“AIBO is a home entertainment platform that will evolve as Sony continues to develop and expand artificial intelligence technologies,” said Victor Matsuda, vice president of the Entertainment Robot America a division of Sony Electronics Inc. “The new robot provides even more entertainment with an attractive price that will excite a new audience of AIBO fans.”

AIBO Pal Special Edition AIBO-ware software gives robots in the LM series an energetic personality. The software also provides several new features, including: § Wake-Up Dance: AIBO wakes up with a special dance as a way of saying good morning; § Walk and Explore Snapshots: AIBO will eagerly walk around the room looking for things of interest and when it finds something fun it will snap a photo; § 200 plus new moves and dances for AIBO LM series line; and § New energetic responses and communication with its owner.

In celebration of AIBO’s third anniversary throughout the months of May and June, Sony will be taking the AIBO Orchestra on a nationwide road tour visiting select cities throughout the U.S., where robot fans and music lovers can experience nine AIBOs simultaneously performing Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik. Scheduled cities· include: Boston May 18 and May 19 FAO Schwarz Chicago June 8 Sony Gallery New York June 22 Sony Style San Francisco June 29 Sony Style

5-16-02—- Recordable DVD Divide

The Daily Yomiuri reports on Microsoft Corp.’s recent announcement that it will support a rewritable DVD (DVD+RW) format causing a stir throughout the electronics industry. Though there are as many as five formats for recording data onto DVDs, makers of DVD equipment have formed two groups, those backing the DVD+RW (read/write) format and those backing the DVD-R, -RW and -RAM formats.

5-16-02—- Media Asia Scoops Up Golden Princess Library

According to Screen Daily reports Media Asia, in a long-term HK deal will see the company handle international rights to the 150-title Golden Princess library of martial arts films and dramas, including pictures by John Woo and Tsui Hark. Within Asia the catalogue is represented by Fortune Star.

“This is one of the few contemporary Hong Kong libraries that is guaranteed to have a strong appeal internationally,” said Jeffrey Chan, MA’s head of sales and distribution. Titles include John Woo’s Chow Yun-fat vehicle The Killer, Bullet In The Head, Tsui Hark’s Swordsman, and Johnny To’s Seven Years Itch. MA also picked up four of cult director Tsui Hark’s other pictures previously handled by independent distributors: Wicked City, Magic Crane, Spy Games and Shanghai Blues.

5-16-02—- DVD Dates For Tenchi Muyo GXP

Tenchi-web has just announced that “Tenchi Muyo! GXP” Vol.1(including #1-#4, both DVD and VHS) and the soundtrack CD will release on July 24th, 2002 in Japan! AND, if you pre-order it before June 16th, you can get the “Swimming suit edition of original illustration B2 poster” in the shop in Japan on July 24th. For more information, please visit Tenchi Web.(Japanese site)

Source: AIC Anime

5-16-02—- World Cup Anime Given Green Light

The Yomiuri reports the CG anime TV series based on the mascots of the 2002 Japan/South Korean soccer World Cup, the Spherics, will commence broadcast in Japan on 7 June 2002 after earlier problems securing a sponsor.

Source: Natsume Maya

5-16-02—- Huge Miike And Suzuki Cult J-Cinema Showing Coming To The Egyptian

Thanks to ML comrade Daniel for the following:

I got this off a flyer from the Egyptian Theater Mailing List. Takashi Miike’s Ichi the Killer will be shown at the Egyptian Saturday June 22 at 5 p.m., Happiness of the Katakuris will be shown Wednesday June 26 at 9:30 P.M., and Suzuki’s Pistol Opera will be shown June 21 at 7:00 p.m. and June 26 at the same time. Also showing as part of the Revenge of the Japanese Outlaw Masters series are Black Rose Mansion and If You Were Young by Kinji Fukasaku, Female Convict Scorpion Jailhouse 41, Black Tight Killers, Vengenace for Sale Dora Heita, and Japanese Devils!

5-16-02—- Police Chief Dorama On The Way

The Daily Yomiuri reports that the manga Keisatsu Shochou (Police Chief) by Takamochi Gen (who passed away in July 2000), will be turned into a live-action dorama to commence broadcast on 8 July 2002. Keisatsu



Anime News Service – May 13-15 Anime News

5-15-02—- Matrix Anime First Web Images

Daniel has informed the ML that a still of the Square USA Matrix anime can be seen at whatisthematrix. 2 resolutions are available for the “JUE:” Hero Stance” pic. Thanks to Corona

5-15-02—- PS2 Price Cuts – Japan View

Thanks yet again to Yukio-san (www.dead-shot.net) in Yokohama City for his news tips making the Japanese scene:

It was announced that Sony Computer Entertainment makes the price of PlayStation 2 (PS2) amendment, and makes an open price the present manufacturer’s suggested price of 29,800 yen from May 16. Thereby, it is expected that a market price falls. It changes PS2 to 199 dollars from the present 299 dollars PSONE also in the U.S. to 49 dollars with the low price offensive in the whole Playstation platform, such as price reduction and making a liquid crystal one apparatus game machine “PSone& liquid crystal display monitor COMBO” into 18,000 yen from the conventional open price further.

Takeshi Kutaraki- CEO of the company “as for PS2, total shipment amounted to 30 million sets in two years and two months after sale. This is 2.5 times as much vigor as the conventional PS. It is being said that PS2 and PS have soft low rank compatibility, and its PSone is also still fine and they have been the strong point of this PS format.”

Source: PC Web

5-15-02—- Gundam Online News

Thanks to Yukio-san (www.dead-shot.net) in Yokohama City:

The newest screen shot of “UNIVERSALCENTURY.NET GUNDAM ONLINE” (following, UC) was exhibited on UC formal site. UC is a work which is attracting attention as MMORPG (large-sized on-line RPG) dealing with popular animation “a movement fighter cancer dam.” The pictures added this time total six and others, a military uniform and a pilot suit, the modeling picture of a human body, etc. are exhibited. [ image / landscape ] It could be said that the form as a game beginning to be in sight at last. In addition, by Online Player vol.007 on sale, the independent interview to the development origin of UC is carried now. the trend of UC wrapped in many etc. — mind — I want you to surely check the direction.

http://www.universalcentury.net

5-15-02—- 1/400 Gundam Figure Collection Unveiled

Thanks to Yuko for the following:

Animation popular in a generation even with an adult broad from a child focusing on the male in his 20-30’s “a movement fighter cancer dam.” BANDAI CO., LTD. has put the low unit price and painted new series of this figure “Gundam Collection” on the market from May 10, 2002 at convenience stores all over the country etc. A price is 180 yen (according to tax).

Full length is about 45mm and commercialized the MOBIRU suit which appears in a “gundam” on 1/400 scale. It is the finished-goods figure which gave an elaborate form and elaborate paint. The 1st cartridge lineup is the popular MOBIRU suit of a total of 16 kinds. It is the pleasure after opening a box which MOBIRU suit comes out. Furthermore, the same MOBIRU suit also has arms, a marking difference, etc., and they are only works unbearable to a fan. I will surely arrange here all kinds!

The 1st cartridge lineup (all 16 sort + arms and those with a marking difference) Gundam (the television version), Gundam NT-1, Guncanon, ZAKU II only for Char, ZUGOKKU only for Char, GERUGUGU only for Char, mass-produced type ZAKU II, ZAKU II, DOMU, rucksack DOMU, RIKKUDOMU II, GOGGU, AGGAI

Source: Goo

5-15-02—- Asian Cinema Briefs

According to the schedule at Festival-Cannes, Kiju Yoshida’s Women in the Mirror, and Akira Kurosawa’s Kagemusha will be among the numerous films at the Cannes.

“Charlie’s Angels” star Lucy Liu is in talks to take on a different kind of “Charlie” role, as the title character in a modern-day version of the classic detective franchise “Charlie Chan” for 20th Century Fox. Liu will executive produce and star in the film, a hip reinvention of the legendary franchise, as the similarly named granddaughter of the famed supersleuth. “Chan” will be produced by John Woo and Terence Chang’s Lion Rock Prods. and will be overseen for the studio by Hutch Parker. Fox distributed the original “Chan” films, which were based on a series of novels by Earl Derr Biggers centering on the Chinese-American detective. Nearly a dozen “Chan” films were released during the 1930s and ’40s, with such actors as Warner Oland and Sidney Toler taking the lead role.

Source: HollyWood Reporter And much thanks to Daniel

5-15-02—- Japanese Game Shows Scrutinized

Japanese TV has been known for it’s off the wall game shows for many years. Some of the reality based themes were even in place years before they were chic or trendy in America. Sunspot.net is carryig the following Associated Press story which takes a closer look at concerns over recent injuries and even a death involving the programs.

5-14-02—- 4Kids Announces Fox Kids FOX BOX Lineup

From the release:

Beginning September 14, a new Saturday morning kids network takes to the television airwaves. From 4Kids Entertainment, the company responsible for some of the biggest names in children’s entertainment, comes the FOX BOX – where inside awaits the best in action, adventure and comedy for kids nationwide. “Kids love stuff that comes in a box– whether it’s presents, toys, cereal, games -you name it – kids can’t wait to open a box to get at what’s inside!” said Al Kahn, Chairman and CEO of 4Kids Entertainment. “And inside the FOX BOX are hit shows and an exciting and innovative format that brings new ideas and energy to Saturday morning kids television. More than a programming service, FOX BOX is designed to become a real, tangible part of kids’ lives.”

Backed by the support a multi-million dollar tune-in marketing campaign, the FOX BOX debuts with a powerhouse roster of high-profile kids entertainment brands that includes Nintendo’s smash hit franchise KIRBY…the debut of an all-new, back-to-its-roots TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES in first quarter 2003…and the introduction of an exciting array of non-stop action and


Anime News Service – May 8-12 Anime News

5-12-02—- Satorare Dorama

Nikkan Sports reports Sato Makoto’s manga Satorare, originally serialised in Kodansha’s manga magazine Morning, and now in another of its magazines Evening), will be turned into a live action dorama on TV Asahi commencing July 4th. The storyline of the dorama apparently will be based on the movie version, released in October 2001. For information about the movie, check out the Reel World Film Festival’s summary here. For more information on the manga, see Kodansha’s entry in its English site.

Source: Natsume Maya

5-12-02—- Utada Leaves Hospital

Kyodo News reports Japanese pop singer-songwriter Hikaru Utada has left a hospital after undergoing a thorough medical examination, her record company Toshiba-EMI Ltd said Saturday. Utada, 19, issued a statement Friday evening through her official web site on her condition, which had deteriorated after she suffered side effects from medication taken after an operation in early April to remove a benign tumor from an ovary. “I’m sorry for surprising and making you worry. I am going to rest a bit until I can work properly as announced by my father and Toshiba-EMI. Now I am at home resting quietly. Don’t worry!,” Utada said in the statement. “I had time to reconsider my life and experience the pain of disease and operation and learned to appreciate everything, for example, being able to wake up, change clothes, smile, walk, wear high-heeled shoes and drink water. But more than anything else, I am happy that I can sing again,” she said.

5-12-02—- Ninja School Visit

As readers may recall, several months ago we first posted a link to a report on the first publicly acknowledged Ninja Schoo, opening in Japan. Today, the Mainichi sent a reporter to the school and has a report on what one can find there here.

5-12-02—- Anime / Manga Gaming

Banpresto will release a new PlayStation 2 stealth action adventure game this summer called Lupin the 3rd: Legacy of the Magician King. The game is based on the classic Anime Lupin the 3rd, in which you play the role of Lupin the 3rd, to snatch the legendary treasure “Ladoral”. During the quest you have to sneak into the enemy district, you have to avoiding making too much noise to attract the security guards. You can also use different kinds of tools in the game, such as using infrared binoculars to locate traps, or use costumes to disguise as the enemy guards. Images can be seen at Magic Box here

Enix of America will release a new robot action game for PlayStation 2 in October called Robot A.D., in this game you control a giant robot to battle against the rivals in the midst of the city. Images can be seen at Magic Box here.

5-12-02—- Shift In Second Hand Online Collectibles Market In Japan?

Cool Japanese Toys has a report on the state of affairs regarding online auction sites in Japan. As pointed out by this Business Week article Yahoo Japan–the country’s largest portal–has 95% of the online-auction market, where last year $1.6 billion worth of goods were traded. By contrast, Ebay Japan–whose only business is auctions and whose parent dominates online auctions in the U.S.–has an estimated 3% of the Japanese market. Last month, Yahoo institued a 10 Yen insertion fee to place items up for auction. On the 15th of this month, sellers will further be charged a 3% commission of the final bid. In America where these kind of levies are common fare one might not take a notice, but in Japan these types of charges are very new and reportedly causing a big stir there. According to CJT:

Word has it that there’s been a big dropoff in auctions since the insertion fee, although I haven’t noticed one on the searches that I have bookmarked. There’s also a possibility that the minor auction sites, such as Bidders and Rakuten might pick up in activity since they still don’t charge insertion fees or commissions.

5-12-02—- Digimon English VA Interview

An interview with Digimon VA Stephen Jay Blum which include the veteran actor’s views and recollections on his work on Digimon have been posted here. Other VA interviews with dubbing actors and actresses can be read here.

5-12-02—- Cartoon Fantasy Oganization 25th Anniversary Meeting To Feature Anime

The Cartoon/Fantasy Organization (C/FO) of the Los Angeles area will be celebrating its 25th anniversary on Saturday, May 18, 2002. They will be having a retrospective of animation that our club has shown over the last quarter century of continuous monthly meetings. All former members of C/FO and anyone else interested in anime is invited to visit them during this special club meeting, even if only for the Cake Cutting around 5:30 p.m.

NOTE: Special starting time – 10:00 a.m. (Doors open at 9:00 a.m. for setup)

Program Schedule:
9:00 a.m. Doors Open for Setup
10:00 a.m. Astroboy – Dubbed
10:30 a.m. Gigantor – Dubbed
11:00 a.m. Aura Battler Dunbine – Episode 1 – Japanese
11:30 a.m. Raideen (if not available, Sherlock Hound) – Japanese
12:00 Noon Orguss – Episode 4 – Japanese or Dubbed
12:30 p.m. Super Dimension Fortress Macross – Episode 1 – Subtitled
1:00 p.m. Urusei Yatsura – Episodes 1 and 2 – Subtitled
1:30 p.m. Catseye – Episode 1 – Subtitled/Japanese
2:00 p.m. Lupin III – Albatross, Wings of Death – Japanese/Dubbed
2:30 p.m. Orange Road – T.A.P. Gun – Subtitled
3:00 p.m. Ranma 1/2 – Episode 1 – Subtitled
3:30 p.m. Dirty Pair – Episode 1 – Subtitled
4:00 p.m. Gall Force – Subtitled
4:45 p.m. Bubblegum Crisis – Subtitled
5:30 p.m. Cake Cutting Ceremony and Get-together
6:00 p.m. Laputa – Subtitled
8:00 p.m. C/FO After Hours (Various)

The C/FO is a club primarily for the discussion and enjoyment of Japanese and American Animation. It meets the Third Saturday of each month.

The club meets at the Los Angeles Science Fiction Society (L.A.S.F.S.) Clubhouse at:

LASFS 11513 Burbank Blvd. North Hollywood, California

QUICK DIRECTIONS: Take the


Anime Mysteries: Licensed Anime Soundtracks In America – Why Only Now?

  • 11th May 2002
  • Blog

By Jonah Morgan

Musical score, vocal themes and background tracks on Compact Disc have accompanied the media blitz campaigns associated with many anime title releases in Japan since the 1980’s. In the early 80’s CD was a highend audiophile’s domain but as the new format penetrated the mainstream in Japan and America, costs associated with almost every aspect of creation, production and sale were being streamlined. It was not very long before the dominate format of magnetic audio tape was relegated to the obsolescence bin. When the decade turned to the 90’s CD sales began outpacing tape but left the average consumers with the desire to do something with the format they would have to wait several more years to do cost effectively= record. By the year 2000 with the overwhelming ubiquity of the global internetworking of computers, faster connection speeds, advancements in audio compression algorythms and decreasing cost of Hardware, coupled with human nature, the music industry was faced with issues and profit losses few could have forseen at the medium’s introduction 20 years hence.

Another type of relatively new and expensive magnetic tape format was used to store video on in the 1980’s. VHS as it was known brought some of the first anime clubs in America a glimpse at all that which we were missing out on. Sparse dribs, drabs, mixes and matches of anime programs could be spotted on analog television in those days which was the only game in town then. The revolution of Digital Television would see many of those sets probably lighting peoples rooms with incandescent snow by the end of this decade while governments collect further profits on the rights to use those particular bandwidths all over again.

Big Anime Business had launched by the early 90’s and anime slowly washed up more and more commercial profits for those daring captains and for the most part on VHS. In right behind for the remainder of the decade were merchandise, few video games, manga, toys, and ton of hotly questioned yet dirt cheap anime soundtrack CD’s from Asia. There was a time not so long ago when you could attend a major anime con and see close to 100% representation of all the soundtracks being sold on a dealer floor being of this type, put them side by side on a table priced at around $20 (dealers or even individuals could get them for $15 or less) compared to a legitimate Japanese imported CD going for $30-40 U.S dollars and guess which sold faster…. or even at all.

I personally believe this initial saturation influx of cheap anime music in the mid 90’s may have potentially dissuaded and staved off by 5 or so years, the domestic industry’s quest for acquiring the licenses and beginning to market the music themselves. A valiant initial effort to bring some of the highest profile anime music stateside was conducted by JVC in 1995. JVC’s competitively priced (on par with traditional American CDs) releases of the Macross Plus soundtracks for instance were marketed in music stores around the country and I even spotted one priced at $12.95 new in an Alabama Musicland outlet just a few years ago. By the end of the 90’s a growing consensus had developed with the anime conventions regarding questionable Asian audio products, by 2002 they have for the most part departed the con commerce scene, banned as bootlegs. Anime music had certainly not droped in demand, on the contrary it has only risen, so in the void of “bootlegs” con dealers were foreced to import the real Japanese released soundtracks and sell them at higher prices similar to those mentioned above. While $30 dollars for a CD may seem steep to Americans, dealers had no real problems selling them. The background effect of all this was to prepare the slate for the return of affordable pricing for anime music this time licensed by American industry.

At the beginning of the year 2000, exisiting anime licensor ADV Films announced it’s entry to the Anime Music arena, with plans to release soundtracks from a wide range of anime titles at the rate of approximately four per month. The first four releases announced for ADV Music (as the label was known by at the time) were (most of the repressed JVC releases) The Akira Symphonic Soundtrack, Macross II OST, Macross Plus OST, and Macross Plus OST 2. That news was followed in several months by the announcement of a joint venture between The Right Stuf International, Inc. and ADV Music/AD Vision. The AnimeTrax label announcement in 2001 had the special Irresponsible Captain Tylor Audio Collections coming out with two CD compilations slated for production being Irresponsible Captain Tylor OVA OST and Irresponsible Captain Tylor TV Series 1: Sentehishyo. The above mentioned ADV music titles were also released in short order. At about the same time Tokyopop launched it’s music label Anime Soundtrax With Three Fan Favorite compilations for: Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040, Trigun and Vampire Princess Miyu.

As these labels continue to advance into the present day we have seen other offerings such as a oneshot Kikuko Inoue anime songs mix compilation from Jellybean record in the summer of 2001. Domo Records appeared on the scene in recent months with it’s Domo Anime label and Metropolis CD Soundtrack release as well. Finally CD Soundtracks have appeared from Anime companies with no apparent official music label ambitions such as Bandai/Viz’s Jin-Roh collectors DVD set and Bandai’s latest collectors set release for the Escaflowne Movie.

So if you’ve hung on this far into the article I’ll finally pose the question: Given the anime industry’s general startup here in the early 90’s encompassing all media, manga and goods and projecting it forward to the point it is at today (around 13 years elapsed), why have we only seen anime music licenesed and released in America en masse in only the last several years?

Certainly, the fact that the major players tackling the soundtracks today are primarily video


Anime News Service – May 6-7 Anime News

5-7-02—- Kadokawa Shoten & Toshiba To Provide Digital Broadcast Contents

Major Anime media holder Kadokawa Shoten Publishing who also owns film producer and distributor Asmik Ace, has teamed up with with electronics maker Toshiba to provide film and other contents for digital broadcasts. As part of the tie-up, Toshiba bought a 1% stake (270,000 shares) in Kadokawa in March, with the intention of increasing it to 3% in the future. Kadokawa also owns 250,000 shares of Toshiba stock, for a 0.01% stake. The partners will begin offering an interactive pay service in July on digital satellite TV. In addition to film, the service will feature a variety of lifestyle programming. Content and other sales are expected to amount to $125m (Y16bn) by 2005. Also, at the end of 2003, Kadokawa will start providing entertainment and city-related information via mobile phones, personal digital assistants and car navigation systems, in association with Toyoyta and other partners.

Source: Screen Daily

5-7-02—- Vote To Predict Live Action DBZ Actors

FUNimation has updated their official American DBZ site with a form on which fans can vote for actors to play live action versions of respective DBZ characters. According to the site:

FUNimation Vice President and Producer Daniel Cocanougher had this to say:“FUNimation is very excited to be working with FOX in their production of a live-action Dragon Ball Z Feature Film. FOX plans to place this movie on a fast-track production schedule, and may have a movie released as early as Fall 2003 or Summer 2004. FOX is an excellent movie studio, producing such huge hits as X-Men and Star Wars, among many others. They feel that this project will not end with one movie, but will become a major, multi-picture franchise like Star Wars. Clearly, this is a remarkable upward turning point for the Dragon Ball Z property. It will also be very interesting for all Dragon Ball Z fans to try to predict the names of the stars, the director and producers, and the storyline that will be used.

5-7-02—- Chobits Clips

JVC Music’s Mserve has uploaded TV CM streaming OP and ED video clips for the CLAMP anime Chobits.

5-7-02—- Sailor Moon X?

The Japanese fan site Moon Phase has updated it’s current and future anime schedule with a listing for Fall 2002 reading “Sailor Moon X?” (note the question mark opposed to other listings). To their credit or likewise, Moon Phase’s schedule is used by a number of English language websites forcasting what the future holds anime wise and the structure and comments there mirrors some more closely than others. In the past, Moon Phase broke information that The Big O Season 2 would be forthcoming and would possibly air in America first then in Japan (it should be noted that those items have yet to be confirmed, or indeed, denied by an official party).

5-7-02—- Nanaka 6/17

Based on the manga Nanaka 6/17 (Nanaka Junana Bun no Roku) by Yamagi Ken, serialised in Monthly Shonen Champion, an anime adaptation has been announced in Japan. To be produced by JC Staff (Utena), director Sakurai Hiroaki is attached to the project about an seemingly ordinary highschool girl with a 6 year old’s spirit.

Source: Natsume Maya

5-7-02—- Anime Style Comic – Wanderlust Luanches

From the release:

Wanderlust from Chiseled Comics is “go for launch”

A multitude of worlds have been pioneered beyond the boundaries of Sol, and the major rivals in this limitless expanse are the Interplanetary League and the Omega Coalition. Several months after a struggle over each other’s territories, an unidentified party brutally strikes two deep-space traveling ships of the League Armada. Are the attackers their old enemies the Omegas, or as some have suggested, a nameless threat so staggering that the League personnel cannot muster a true defense? Outgunned but undaunted, Jake Sumner and Helen Wentzel fire up their AMPs…

Filled with epic space battles and daring espionage, Wanderlust is created and written by Bryant Shiu, with artwork by rising star Brett Weldele and inks by Michael Halbleib (Punisher Kills the Marvel Universe). Best known for his work on the successful Couscous Express for AIT/PlanetLar, penciller/colorist Weldele was picked by Wizard Magazine as one of the Top Five Buzz Creators of 2002. His artwork also can be found in May’s Ultimate Spider-Man Special for Marvel and Shot Callerz from Oni Press.

For Wanderlust, Weldele fused qualities of manga/anime and animation, in general, with his own style to generate a look that stands on its own. “From the outset, Bryant wanted the flavor of anime mixed into the art,” Weldele said. “It’s been a fascinating process, starting from our collaboration during the character and mecha designs, to see how much of the anime influence ends up in a series that really runs the spectrum in concept and design.”

Weldele’s talent and enthusiasm are familiar to veteran comics pro Halbleib, who has known him for several years and is “a personal fan of his work.” Halbleib had referred Shiu to Weldele at the start of Wanderlust. The inker’ s versatile technique proved to be a perfect fit for Weldele’s pencils. “The comic required a smoothness and grace to the inked lines that I thought we carried off superbly,” Halbleib said.

Shiu agrees. “Both these guys have amazing range and expertise,” he said. “There’s a sleekness, and yet so much drama and excitement are conveyed that there really could be no one better artistically for the book.”

But as important as those ingredients are to the comic, another is Shiu’s approach to penning space sagas. He describes Wanderlust as possessing “a distinct edginess and focus on characterization. This is Top Gun meets Star Wars meets Saving Private Ryan meets Alias the tv series.”

While providing pulse-pounding dogfights between squadrons of weapon-laden mecha and the intrigue of deadly, elusive spies, he’ll be exploring the backdrop for the story as well as the different motivations of the characters. “The scope of the Interplanetary League is promptly established and the League-Omega conflict will be addressed from time to time, though the unidentified threat


Anime News Service – May 1-5 Anime News

5-5-02—- Castle In The Sky At Tribecca Film Fest

The Tribeca Film Festival is screening Castle In The Sky (presumably the Disney dub) in New York on May 11 at 7:00 PM. More info can be had at http://www.tribecafilmfestival.org.

Source: Hayao Miyazaki Discussion Group

5-5-02—- Jet Li News

The following links are at: JetLi.com.

Pictures from Li’s newest American production Cradle 2 The Grave, an article about Kelly Hu commenting on her work on Cradle, and an article on Jet Li receiving an award from John Woo at the East West Players Visionary Awards.

Thanks to Daniel for the scoop.

5-5-02—- Official Lupin III: Return Of Pycal Site

An official page for the 2002 oav Lupin: Return of Pycal has been posted at http://lupin-3rd.net/dvd/index.html, you can see stills, see clips and even use a forum.

Thanks to Daniel for the heads up.

5-5-02—- Utada Hospitalized

The Japanese music popstar Hikaru Utada who recently announced an American record deal with Island Records has been hospitalized in Japan. Utada had been working under medical supervision after recovering from an operation to remove a benign tumor from her ovary, but her condition deteriorated a couple of days ago, the record company said. The singer first became ill at the beginning of April, suffering the side effects of her medication. Utada will cancel all her bookings until May 21, her music office said.

Source: The Japan Times

5-4-02—- Ghost In The Shell 2 Manga Possibly In October

According to the latest news posted to the Studio Proteus website, mangaka, Masamune Shirow is nearing the end of the process involving flopping and modifying the pages of the Ghost In The Shell 2 Manga: Man-Machine Interface for the Western audience. Proteus is aiming to release the first issues in October. ID3 is still in the planning stages and the studio is still discussing options as to format and a special limited edition.

5-4-02—- Tristan MacAvery Interview

Wild Violet Issue 3 (Rising Sun) features an interview with voice actor Tristan MacAvery (Gendo in Neon Genesis Evangelion, Grandpa Danbei in Cutey Honey series). Also included are a review of For the Sake of Peace by the president of Soka Gakkai International, Daisaku Ikeda; as well as original poetry, fiction, humor, essays and reviews. The Rising Sun issue is available from the main index: http://www.wildviolet.net

5-4-02—- G-Breaker Anime

A recent flyer still image features anime style animation still grabs from a pending version (in some media) of Kikou Busou G-Breaker (Ground-Breaker). Based on the Sunrise Interactive giant mecha game currently in release to Playstation 2.

Source: Natsume Maya

5-4-02—- The Death And Rebirth Of VHS

2 articles Today from Video Business Magazine on the once upon a time format of choice for those purveying anime wares: formerly known as VHS. While the not so shiny, rather opaque and rectangular / plasticy format has slowly been dropped by almost all USA anime licensors, much of the rest of America’s video production industry (from the casette authors to the stores selling) has also been disengaging itself from the format. This has prompted the International Recording Media Association to appeal to retailers not to prematurely remove videocassettes from their store shelves. IRMA will be participating a campaign to launch shortly. According to the group’s president, the program’s aim is to create an awareness that 90% of TV homes still have VCRs, and only 25-30% of them have a DVD player. This leaves 70-75% who don’t own DVD players. Thusly, the message to retailers will be abandoning VHS too early may marginalize 70-75% of those seeking video product. Details can be read in the full article here.

Finally, while VHS lingers, analog format developer JVC is set to make a stab at reviving the hope for VHS goodness with their Digital-VHS standard. D-VHS uses the same size cassettes and many of the same mechanical features as the original, the players are compatible with older VHS cassettes. What sets D-VHS apart from traditional VHS, DVD (around 4.7 gb single side on average) and even the vaunted Blu-Ray “DVD Replacement” format (27 gb single sided single layer on average) is with a reported 44 gigabytes of uncompressed casette space and a 28.2 Mbps data throughput the USA home video market’s first high-definition movie release will arrive there perhaps by months end with hardware on tap now. You can read the entire aricle here. At present no American anime licensing company or Japanese based distributor has expressed the desire to release material on the D-VHS format.

5-4-02—- Japanese Headlines Scan

Thanks to Anjiro-san for his news contributions:

Nintendo Co.Ltd. was said to be the only platform maker without an online strategy for their system. However a source leaked from an industry saying Nintendo will unveil their plans for internet-based services for the Gamecube at an industry tradeshow later this month. For more information go to iWon.

The Seattle Times is reporting that RealNetworks and SCEI extended their joint-partnership and because of this, the PlayStation2 will be incorporated with RealMedia.

DoCoMo Inc. plans to unveil their new handsets, FOMA, which can stay on standby mode for up to 200 hrs., several times longer than the present one, next year, company spokesmen said Friday.

5-4-02—- Current World Musical Pulse

U.K.-based site, Guardian Unlimited, has a short article of what musical talents are well-known in Japan and other countries. The piece which can be read here references popular British names which are current hits in the Japanese scene.

Thanks to Anjiro for the news.

5-4-02—- USA Anime & Manga Industry At Book America Expo

Following up on the below piece, it seems Tokyopop will not be the sole representitive from the American Anime Industry at this weekends lofty Book Expo America trafe show. Listed also are Viz Communications, Stone Bridge Press, Darkhorse Comics, Comics One and Triumph Books.

5-4-02—- Tokyopop Announces Angelic Layer And Master Of The Clow Manga

This weekend’s Book Expo America, the largest publications trade show in America held in


Anime News Service-Review: Ultraman Tiga – Dyna – Gaia

By Daniel Zelter

I first got into Ultraman when one of my local stations showed the Australian remake. Other than having an entirely Australian cast, the monsters and fights seemed very close to the Japanese version. And for a while, I was so into the show I would play the Bandai Super Nintendo game. (I’ve even seen clips of the 60’s dubbed versions which were still better dubs than the 60’s Giant Robo series known over here as “Johnny Soko and his Spinning Toy”) For those who aren’t aware, Ultraman(at least from what I remember) is a long running series about a special taskforce which fights aliens(aka GUTS); and one of them has the power to turn into a giant robot known as Ultraman. Each Ultraman then uses wrestling techniques and lasers to subdue the said monster. Anyway, after seeing these dvd’s in my store, I knew I had to rent them.

Tiga and Dyna is about the newest generation of heroes-the Super GUTS. They allow a mysterious Dr. Kusaragi to “borrow” their fighting styles in order to power up a space ship(with a cannon reminiscent of Yamato), which is supposed to be more reliable against aliens than Ultraman Dyna. (The current Ultraman tv series this movie is based on.)Unfortunately(and predictably), Kisaragi is really being possessed by a group of aliens who use the space ship(which can transform into a giant robot)to wreck havok on earth. Asuka(the person who can turn into Dyna) and his girlfriend Mai are badly hurt in the on-going battle; so Asuka tries to find out how Ultraman Tiga(the last Ultraman)managed to save the world, so he can use that same technique. If you’ve seen enough anime, this is not the movie for you, as the dialogue has enough cliches to fill the Grand Canyon. (“Human beings can do anything”, “Human beings are weak and therefore deserve to be destroyed”, it’s all there!)

Not to mention the actors for this film, particularly Takeshi Tsuruno(Asuka)are really annoying, since they deliberately try to over-act. (For example, in one scene, Asuka and the GUTS captain discuss this threat as if it were a baseball game. But the worst scenes are when they get a child with an Ultraman figure to try to help raise morale among the population. The product placement and the fact that they used a kid really cheapens the drama.)

And I’m assuming that-for marketing purposes-Asuka’s supposed to be a cross between a bishounen and a rebel, but he comes off as an annoying jackass similar to Freddie Prinze Jr. Why Mai seems to care about him is beyond me. If it weren’t for the comic relief of Ryo Kinomoto, who plays the GUTS captain, I really wouldn’t be able to stand this movie. On the plus side, the cgi works, with ships that look more realistic than anything from the recent Star Wars films; and the fact that its from Studio GONZO(Blue Sub No.6)might be enough for you to want to check this movie out. But the other problem with the film is that relationships from other Ultraman series are mentioned, so you can’t entirely enjoy Tiga and Dyna as a stand-alone movie.

On the other hand, this isn’t a problem with Ultraman Gaia. In this movie, Tsutomu, a grade-school kid, is an Ultraman Gaia (the Ultraman which apparently comes after Dyna)otaku, with merchandise all over his room. Unfortunately, his grades are in trouble, and he’s not popular with his peers. Even his friends(including the new student Lisa Nanase) don’t take him seriously when he regales them with his dreams involving Gaia. So when he sees a mysterious red ball which grants him any wish he wants, he decides to summon Gamu(the bishounen pilot who is really Ultraman Gaia)to his world. Of course, the bullies who picked on Tsutomu find out about the ball’s powers and use the ball to summon deadly monsters. Gamu is then in for the fight of his life, as he tries to protect Tsutomu’s world from being destroyed.

There were a lot of reasons I liked Gaia more than Tiga and Dyna. One, the acting was much better, especially from the actor who portrayed Gamu. His friendship with Tsutomu was so realistic and meaningful that no yaoi doujinshi artists could ruin it, even if they tried. I also liked the use of fire and explosions to demonstrate the scope of the power of the monsters. Combine those with harrowing moments(such as when the children are holding on to upturned balconies),and you get one of the most dramatic and powerful kaiju films for your money. On a side note, Gaia also has a more memorable theme song. Finally, even though characters from the Gaia series appear, their relationships are kept to a minimum, so you can enjoy the movie without needing to know who’s who.

Since I’m not really a tech-head like people who run other anime sites, I’ll just say I liked the Japanese audio on both dvd’s, and had no problems with the track. (I didn’t hear the dub.) The picture was lovely, and had a nice widescreen format for the viewer to appreciate all of the action. My only gripe is the theme songs at the end-as well as the credits-weren’t subbed, and I’d really like to know who played Gamu, as well as the staff who produced the special effects.

Anyway, if you need to know the cast for Ultraman Tiga and Dyna, go to http://us.imdb.com/Title?0184974. The director and writer for Gaia is mentioned at http://us.imdb.com/Title?0184973.