Posts in: January, 2003

Anime News Service – January 27-31 Anime News

1-31-03—- Anime Nation Enters Production Arena With Risky Safety Acquisition

Anime Nation is proud to announce its entry into the official translation and distribution of Japanese animation, more commonly known as “anime,” in the American marketplace with the acquisition of “Omishi Magical Theater: Risky Safety” (Omishi Mahou Gekijou Risky Safety). AnimeNation is committed to bringing this wonderful and charming contemporary classic to English speaking viewers with a DVD exclusive release that will appeal to casual anime viewers and attract devoted anime aficionados. Risky Safety will be the debut release from newly created AN Entertainment, AnimeNationis home entertainment subsidiary devoted to providing Japanese animation to English speaking viewers.

ABOUT RISKY SAFETY: Broadcast on Japanese television between October 1999 and April 2000, Risky Safety is a gorgeously visual and emotionally touching humorous drama unlike anything else ever released in America before. The Risky Safety story revolves around junior high school girl Moe Katsuragi who is first introduced deeply saddened over her perception that the boy she likes has no interest in her. At the depths of Moe’s despair, the tiny apprentice death spirit Risky appears before her, urging Moe to give in to sadness and give up her soul. Matters become confused when Moe discovers that the little devil Risky actually shares a body with the clumsy but pure hearted apprentice angel Safety. The tug-of-war over Moe’s soul between devilish Risky and angelic Safety sets in motion a funny and touching 24 episode tale of fate, love, friendship, the cosmic balance of the universe, and even a few giant monsters!

In the tradition of Buena Vista distributed anime titles including Kiki’s Delivery Service and Spirited Away, Risky Safety is an inspiring and heartwarming story suitable for family viewing. At the same time, Risky Safety includes enough elements of traditional imported Japanese anime to appeal to even the most seasoned and selective anime fan. Risky Safety is based on a comic book story created by Ray Omishi, the creator of popular and successful anime series Sorcerer Hunters. Risky Safety also features a memorable theme song performed by fan favorite vocalist Maaya Sakamoto, the singer responsible for theme songs to popular anime imports including Escaflowne, Lodoss War, Card Captor Sakura, and RahXephon. The Risky Safety animation was created by Studio A.P.P.P., the veteran Japanese studio responsible for breakthrough hit anime titles including Robot Carnival and Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures. The all-star Japanese voice cast includes veteran actors Maaya Sakamoto, Kikuko Inoue, Horie Yui, Rumi Kasahara, and Yuri Shiratori.

For images and additional detail about Omishi Magical Theater Risky Safety, visit the official English language Risky Safety website at

ABOUT THE RISKY SAFETY DVD: AnimeNation is committed to providing discriminating anime viewers with an authentic and credible presentation of this imported Japanese series. To that end, AN Entertainmentis three volume Risky Safety DVD release will contain both English language audio and the original Japanese audio track with optional English subtitles. The subtitles will be adapted from a thoroughly researched “fansub” script- a dialogue script transcribed by devoted anime fans emphasizing translation accuracy and veracity to the original Japanese dialogue. Viewers that prefer English language dialogue will find Risky Safety immediately accessible and highly entertaining, especially supplemented with the extensive bonus liner notes detailing cultural and translation details that will be included on the AN Entertainment DVDs. The Risky Safety DVDs will also be packed with value-added bonus features including staff and cast biographies, trailers, image galleries, reversible DVD covers, and more. AnimeNation’s goal is to produce an archival, reference quality DVD release of Risky Safety that will keep viewers of all ages enthralled, and meet the high standards expected by die-hard anime fans and connoisseur of fine imported film.

1-31-03—- Saiyuki Release updates From ADVFilms

HOUSTON, January 30, 2003-ADV Films today announced an April 29, 2003 release for Saiyuki: The Journey Begins, first volume of the thrilling, humorous, wildly entertaining, 50-episode anime saga.

The first iterations of the Saiyuki tale were animated in the late 1960s, and based on the 16th-century Chinese novel Xiyouji, by Wu Cheng-En; ADV Films’ release of Saiyuki is based on a manga by Kazuya Minekura, and directed by Hayato Date.

Special Edition Available! ADV’s release of Saiyuki: The Journey Begins will be available in two versions: as a DVD in its standard case, or as a special edition, including the DVD, a t-shirt and a custom series art box, sized to hold the first six volumes of the series.

The Story: Once, demons and man lived together in harmony. But when a band of rogue demonic forces sought to resurrect a diabolical monster, dark spiritual energy began to cover the land-and the demons decided mankind was no longer friend, but food. Now, it’s up to a renegade priest, a monkey king, a lecherous water sprite, and a sympathetic demon to stop the resurrection and return harmony to the dangerous land.

Enter the world of Saiyuki! A unique universe of beauty and betrayal, where sacred scrolls battle enchanted weaponry and where dragons can transform into jeeps. A land of magic and menace, where four reluctant heroes are just as concerned about having a good time, a stiff drink, and a beautiful woman as they are about saving the world…

Saiyuki: The Journey Begins (SRP $29.98; special edition $44.98) is a DVD-only release, including both English- and Japanese-language versions of the title. Extras include clean opening and closing animations; historical background; production sketches; a Saiyuki trailer and ADV Previews.

SAIYUKI: THE JOURNEY BEGINS Running Time: 125 minutes; Age Rating: 15+ Pre-Book Date: 4/1/03 Street Date: 4/29/03 Format SRP DVD $29.98 DVD + Custom Series Art Box + T-Shirt $44.98

1-31-03—- AnimeBB Revamps

TALLAHASSEE, FL. January 31st, 2003 – AnimeBB.ORG of the AnimeBB Networks, announced the official release of AnimeBB V2.0 PHP. Since its opening in October 2001, the site has averaged well over 1 million hits and 30 thousand page views.
“We are happy by the current status of AnimeBB and the release of our newest version to the public.” said Lloyd Romero, AnimeBB Administrator and Founder. “We look to the future to provide the

ANS Pop Japan Tour Guide – Tokyo Tower

Tokyo Tower

By Jonah Morgan

When one looks at the modern sprawling metropolis of Tokyo, one is looking at a very new cityscape. Take any guided tour of the city and you’ll often be reminded of the fact that the majority of development you see around you came about in only the last 50 years or so. Horribly firebombed in second World War by the allies, when time came to rebuild, Tokyo Tower was to become a symbol of new Tokyo. Not only a place one could look to see the face of technological and engineering prowess that Japan represented but a place where one could goto to look down upon that same progress from horizon to horizon around them in later years as part of arguably the most modern city on Earth.

I visited the tower on the first day on the new millenium, Januray 1st, 2001. It was a cold, crisp and calm morning replacing the chaotic celebratory fervor I witnessed in Shibuya just hours before on New Years Eve. As our tour bus approached the base of the structure the doors opened and our guide stood in the doorway, giving us warning that would later prove quite fair: “We lose alot of people on the tour at this point.” The reason being we were about to enter one of the most visited tourist destinations in all of Japan and we had less than 1 hour to make our way through the lobby, up into the general observatory spend our time there and at the shops, and then back down again, there was a bit of twist on the return trip as well, you see, coming down we would be landed via elevator not in the ground floor lobby at which we first arrived but on the roof of the building immediately beneath the tower and would have to find then take the stairs down to the lobby level. Don’t meet back in time for boarding and you are left to tour on your own. Fair enough, although I would find there are clocks in the tower, it’s a good thing to bring along a watch.

Stepping out of the bus we got a brief look at the base of the tower which is about all you can see as the bus drives up. Here everyone took a stare upwards and got their first up close look of the peak, a few folks took images and video of the quite imposing structure, someone mentioned the quite obvious orange color of the paint compared to pictures. We walked into the lobby which was quite packed and remeniscent of an airline ticket counter with lines all queued up. At this point we were informed our tickets were good for admission into the lower level squarish General Observatory at 150 meters. Our guide pointed toward the counter where one could get a ticket to the higher level Special Observatory at 250 meters but warned time constraints did not allow for for the excursion on that particular day. Perks of the higher level observatory include a true panoramic view of the city which was often less crowded people wise. Most importantly, on a clear day, from the higher observatory one has a view of the other great Japanese landmark, Mount Fuji.

Tokyo Tower

Eventually it was time to board an elevator which made it’s way up into the general observatory, the elevator is composed of a many windows so that one can get the true perspective of the height one is going to. The door opened to the general observatory and although it was generously filled it was not so congested that you couldn’t move about freely and even walk straight up to one of the many windows and look out on the city. Such a view, I thought. Coming from seeing nothing but American cities (in person at least) my whole life, the slight but obvious differences in building construction techniques become apparant, the buildings are quite closely spaced. Open up the pamplet you get coming in and you can easily orient yourself and spot the various districts that comprise the metro area. The Daiba waterfront area held particular interest for me, there one gets a view of Tokyo Bay, the majestic Rainbow Bridge, the huge ferris wheel and Tokyo Big Site where Comike is held. Before I knew it time was almost up, I headed for the elevator which made it’s way down to the building roof and soon found the stars which rounded down to the lobby, finding the exit I walked out to the parking lot and took a few last images of the tower before hopping on the bus. Just in time too!

Coming from the average joe or jill’s knowledge of the most recognizable manmade landmarks on Earth one cannot help but notice a resemblence between Tokyo’s Tower and a structure standing in Paris, France. The statistics that come printed on a complimentary handout when one buys a ticket into the tower reveal this iron monolith is much more than mere pale comparisoned copy. Indeed Japan’s Tower has been the world’s highest self-supporting iron tower since it’s construction in 1958 weighning in at 333 meters. Paris’s Eiffel Tower is 320m high. Representing the advancement in metals technology in the 50 year’s seprating the two towers’ construction dates, Tokyo’s tower weighs a mere 4,000 metric tons. It is much lighter than the Eiffel Tower which weighs 7,000 metric tons. Paint used for the Tower is 28,000 liters, equal to 140 drums. In many pictures it’s color appears to be red and white, however in person the true color becomes noteable as the white and orange scheme regulated by Japan’s aviation agency. This structure serves as the number one crucial communications vector point in the city, where 14 broadcast signals for five FM radio stations and nine TV stations are transmitted. Beyond commercial broadcasts one will notice other antennas junting out from many

Anime News Service – January 16-25 Anime News

1-25-03—- Anime Web Hit Hard By Sapphire Virus

The emergance of a computer worm Saturday halted access to many of the net’s popular anime destinations. The worm, tagged “Sapphire” or “SQL Slammer” infested networks worldwide, carrying a self-regenerating mechanism allowing it to multiply quickly across the Internet. Worst hit by the bug are servers in South Korea where Sapphire is blamed for crashing almost all Internet services.

1-25-03—- Sudden Death Of Shonen Jump Editor Leaves Fans – Industry Stunned

Editor-in-Chief of Japan’s Shounen JUMP, 44 year-old Takahashi Toshimasa, suddenly died January 24th. Toshimasa was at an interview concerning the new One Piece movie, when suddenly he faltered and was rushed to the hospital, he was pronounced dead sometime after arrival. Cause of death is still unknown and preliminary reports suggest that he was not ailing. Toshimasa was the JUMP EIC since July.

1-24-03—- Animated Classics Of Japanese Literature Coming From CPM



NEW YORK, NY (January 23, 2003) – Central Park Media has set February 11 for the introduction of the Animated Classics of Japanese Literature series on DVD. This most highly anticipated release will provide an excellent opportunity for the American audience to experience this award-winning literature first hand. These beautifully animated episodes are based on masterpieces of modern Japanese literature. In an effort to retain the authenticity of these programs, they are only available in Japanese with English subtitles.

The Izu Dancer/The Dancing Girl/A Ghost Story DVD The Izu Dancer by Kawabata Yasunari: · Kawabata Yasunari (1899-1972) won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1968. A young student falls in love with a traveling dancer, but societal differences may tear them apart. The Dancing Girl by Mori Ohgai: · Mori Ohgai (1866-1922) was a pioneer in the Japanese Romantic literary movement. A Japanese man working in turn of the century Berlin fathers a child with an impoverished dancer. But political difficulties force him to choose between his career or the woman he loves. A Ghost Story by Koizumi Yakumo: · Koizumi Yakumo (1850-1904) is the author of many books on the Japanese culture. A blind lute player chants the old legend. His music attracts the attention of the dead, who request a special performance.

TITLE: The Izu Dancer/The Dancing Girl/A Ghost Story DVD RUNNING TIME: 75 minutes RATING: Ages 13 & Up SRP PRICE: $29.99 CATALOG #: USMD 2277 STREET DATE: February 11, 2003

Botchan: Parts 1 & 2/Student Days DVD Botchan: Parts 1&2 by Natsume Soseki: · Natsume Soseki (1867-1916) is considered one of the pioneers of modern Japanese literature. The new teacher Botchan has arrived, and he challenges students and peers alike in one hilarious situation after another! Student Days by Kume Masao: · Kume Masao (1891-1952) was a prolific novelist, playwright, and literary critic who devoted much of his life to improving the state of art and theater in Japan. Young Kenkichi is determined to enter a prestigious school. He sacrifices every waking hour to his studies, but at what cost?

TITLE: Botchan: Parts 1 & 2/Student Days DVD RUNNING TIME: 75 minutes RATING: Ages 13 & Up SRP PRICE: $29.99 CATALOG #: USMD 2275 STREET DATE: February 11, 2003

The Harp of Burma: Parts 1 & 2/Season of the Sun DVD The Harp of Burma: Parts 1 & 2 by Takeyama Michio: · Takeyama Michio (1903-1984) was a noted scholar and translator. He received the Mainichi Shuppan Bunkasho literary prize, for his depiction of war in The Harp of Burma. Near the end of World War II, a soldier is missing and presumed dead by his captured comrades. A mysterious monk may hold the key to his disappearance. Season of the Sun by Ishihara Shintaro: · Ishihara Shintaro (b. 1932) is a prize-winning author, cultural icon, and outspoken politician. In 1955, he was awarded the Akutagawa Literary Prize for his novel Season of the Sun. A boxer and a beautiful woman share a tumultuous relationship in post WWII Japan. Will love guarantee them a happy life, or will pride tear them apart?

TITLE: The Harp of Burma: Parts 1 & 2/Season of the Sun DVD RUNNING TIME: 75 minutes RATING: Ages 13 & Up SRP PRICE: $29.99 CATALOG #: USMD 2273 STREET DATE: February 11, 2003

The Sound of Waves: Parts 1 & 2/Growing Up DVD The Sound of Waves: Parts 1 & 2 by Mishima Yukio: · Mishima Yukio (1925-1970) was awarded the Shinchosha Literary Prize for his novel The Sound of Waves. A poor fisherman falls in love with the daughter of the most powerful man in his village. To overcome this obstacle, he must prove his bravery in a terrible sea storm.

Growing Up by Higuchi Ichiyo: · Higuchi Ichiyo (1872-1896) overcame poverty and ill health to publish some of the most acclaimed works of her generation. Two friends are torn apart when one joins a gang, betraying the bond of trust between them.

TITLE: The Sound of Waves: Parts 1 & 2/Growing Up DVD RUNNING TIME: 75 minutes RATING: Ages 13 & Up SRP PRICE: $29.99 CATALOG #: USMD 2280 STREET DATE: February 11, 2003

All DVD Listings offer the following behind-the-scenes features:

Ø Author Biographies Ø Trailers Ø Japanese with English Subtitles Ø DVD-ROM Features Art & Sketch Gallery

1-24-03—- Gutsoon Distribution Expands With Ingram Deal

Torrance, CA (January 23, 2003)—Starting in March 2003, North America’s first weekly manga anthology magazine, Raijin Comics, will be sold in over 2,000 U.S. independent book stores, as well as Barnes and Nobles, Borders, Waldenbooks, and Hastings!

Gutsoon! Entertainment, the sister company to Japanese based Coamix, has signed a distribution agreement with Ingram Periodicals to place their flagship publishing property, Raijin Comics, in a diversity of retail book stores. The deal, signed in late December, means the magazine will now be available to manga fans and readers in the mainstream market place. Raijin Comics is also distributed by: Diamond Distributors, FM International, Triple A Anime, and Digital Manga. Raijin Comic’s first issue was launched in the U.S. in Direct Market stores. December

Anime News Service – January 1-15 Anime News

1-15-03—- Terminal Gaming

According to The Age, a Hong Kong computer game enthusiast has been found slumped dead at a terminal in a game centre after playing non-stop for hours, police said today. The 28-year-old was found slumped at his screen early yesterday after he apparently had played the online game Diablo II since early Friday evening.

His death at a game centre in Hong Kong’s Yuen Long district came eight months after a 17-year-old game centre employee was found dead after playing Diablo II through the night.

1-15-03—- FF X-2 Soundtrack Releases

Japanese recording label, Avex, announced they’ll be releasing the, Final Fantasy X-2 OST, in Japan on Mar. 31, 2003 for Â¥3500 yen. In addition, a seperate Final Fantasy X-2 theme song will be release as a CD single on the same day for Â¥800 yen.

Source: Anjiro-san via The Magic Box

1-15-03—- Tokyopop To Publish Battle Royale Graphic Novel

Famed Comic Book Writer Keith Giffen to Deliver the Shocking U.S. Adaptation

Los Angeles, CA (January 15, 2003) — TOKYOPOP®, the #1 U.S. publisher of graphic novels, will bring one of Japan’s most disturbing and macabre properties to North America. Recognized as a modern day Lord of the Flies, Battle Royale introduces readers to a horrifying world in which reality games like today’s Survivor get a homicidal maniac twist and are taken to the ultimate extreme. TOKYOPOP has tapped Keith Giffen — one of the comic book industry’s most revered writers — to do Battle Royale’s U.S. adaptation. Giffen is known for such popular U.S. comic books as Justice League and The Legion of Super Heroes, among others.

“He’s perfect for the series,” says TOKYOPOP Senior Editor Mark Paniccia. “He understands the nature of the story, the subtext and the delicate nature of the social message that’s being sent through one of the most graphically violent comics of the century.”

“I am very excited about working on this project for TOKYOPOP,” Giffen adds, “I thought I knew the limits to which ‘extremes’ could be taken – I was wrong!”

In this manga series’ chilling future, random Jr. High School classes are chosen to compete in a game called “Battle Royale.” The rules: one student must become the sole survivor after three days or ALL will perish. With an island as their backdrop, the students are armed and sent out into the fields alone and unprepared for the horror that awaits them. Classmates turn on each other in a battle for survival, where treaties are made and broken, and former friends become foes as the relentless countdown continues. Amid the betrayals and rising body count, two classmates confess their love for each other and swear to survive the deadly game together.

The infamous Battle Royale manga was originally created by author/artist team Koushun Takami and Masayuki Taguchi. Its shocking social commentary has also spawned a movie adaptation by the late veteran Japanese director Kinji Fukasaku, cited as the inspiration for such famed U.S. filmmakers as Quentin Tarantino and John Woo.

1-15-03—-Exclusive: New Details On Miyazki’s Next Film Project

The February 2003 issue of the Japanese Magazine Animage mentions Hayao Miyazaki’s latest project, “Howl’s Moving Castle” will be based on the works of popular British children’s author Diana Wynne Jones. It is a love story about Sophie, an 18 year old girl who is magically transformed into a 90 year old woman, and Howl the Magician set in the background of the eve of a war. According to Miyazaki, it is a standard war melodrama with design for the world being based on late 19th Century European fantasy painters works mixed with science and magic. Miyazaki is currently working on designs and Studio Gibli is in the process of testing 3D computer graphics. Work on the actual production is scheduled to start on Feb. 1st and is aimed at being completed in Spring 2004.

Thanks to Tzara for the information

1-14-03—- German Ghibli Retrospective

From February 2nd till February 12th INDAC, the International Nights and Days of Animation Cologne, Germany will present a retrospective with the work of STUDIO GHIBLI. The german dubbed version of “Spirited Away” will be presented there for the first time officially.

Vom 2. Februar bis zum 12. Februar startet in Köln die achte Ausgabe des Kölner Trickfilmfestivals INDAC (Int. Nights and Days of Animation Cologne) Das Festival zeigt eine umfassende Retrospektive des Werks des weltberühmten Studio Ghibli und seiner Meisterregisseure HAYAO MIYAZAKI und ISAO TAKAHATA. Mit den Filmen “Prinzessin Mononoke” und “Die letzten Glühwürmchen” hatten beide Regisseure auch hierzulande bereits Aufsehen erregt, bevor Miyazakis Film “Spirited Away – Chihiros Reise ins Zauberland” auf der Berlinale mit dem Goldenen Bären ausgezeichnet wurde und damit schlagartig ins Licht der breiten Öffentlichkeit trat. Inzwischen gilt der mit zahlreichen weiteren Preisen überhäufte Film auch als heisser Oscarkandidat bei der diesjährigen Oscarverleihung.
Wir freuen uns in Zusammenarbeit mit Universumfilm die deutsch synchronisierte Fassung des Films in Köln vorstellen zu können. Nicht minder aufregend ist die Aufführung der weiteren Filme, die Miyazaki und dem Studio Ghibli die weltweite Achtung der Trickfilmer einbrachten. “Nausicaa”, “Totoro” oder “Laputa” geniessen in Animatorenkreisen einen geradezu legendären Ruf, John Lasseter, Regisseur von Toy Story I + II, sieht in Miyazaki gar seinen geistigen Mentor. Umso verwunderlicher war es, daß hierzulande die Filme dem Publikum vorenthalten wurden.
INDAC 2002/03 ist stolz diese Lücke endlich schliessen zu dürfen. Weitere Infos zu den Filmen und dem Zeitplan des Festivals unter

Ansprechspartner: Johannes Wolters email: Tel. 0221-7200494 Fax. 0221-7200494 Handy:0179-1083349

Aufführungsorte sind die ehem. Cinemathek im Museum Ludwig, die Universität zu Köln und das Japanische Kulturinstitut (Japan Foundation)

Unterstützt wird das Festival durch das Kulturamt der Stadt Köln, der Universität zu Köln, Studio Ghibli, Wildbunch, Universum Film, Telepool, Buena Vista Germany.

1-14-03—- Anime On A Budget

Bay Area Anime has uploaded their latest article:

Despite anime becoming laregely more available in the last couple of years, one thing has not changed: the price. So for all of us with a tight budget, Bay Area Anime has assembled a list of some low-cost alternative ways to get anime.

1-14-03—- CPM Rolls Out Dynamite Dozen Anime Collection