Posts in: March, 2003

Anime News Service – March 20-28 Anime News

3-28-03—- Crispin Freeman Chat

AnimationHQ will be hosting a second chat session with Crispin Freeman. The event will take place on Thursday, April 3rd at 6:30 p.m. (EST)/ 3:30 p.m. (PST). If you are not familiar with his work, here is a list of some characters he has voiced…

.//hack —- Balmonk Digimon Frontier —- Duskmon/Koichi/Bakumon X (TV Series) —- Fuma Hellsing —- Alucard I, My, Me! Strawberry Eggs —- Hibiki (male) Chobits —- Hideki Cowboy Bebop: Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door —- Hacker Read or Die —- Joker Argent Soma —- Dan The Slayers —- Zelgadis/Hallas/Actor “A” Revolutionary Girl Utena —- Touga Kiryuu/Dios The Irresponsible Captain Tylor —- Captain Justy Ueki Tylor Boogiepop Phantom —- Masami Saotome/Manticore Cosmo Warrior Zero —- Warrius Zero Record of Lodoss War (TV Series) —- Spark/Grassrunner Maar/Gabera/Groder/Garrack Night on the Galactic Railroad —- Campanella Grave of the Fireflies —- Miscellaneous Doctors/Old Man Shamanic Princess —- Kagetsu Angel Sanctuary —- Rosiel Photon —- Galactic Emperor Now and Then Here and There —- Tabul Ping Pong Club —- Takeda RG Veda —- Emperor Taishakuten Virgin Fleet —- Mau Geobreeders —- Descartes/Old Man Assemble Insert —- Yoneda Space Travelers —- Jetter Vandread (tv series) —- Tenmei

If you have an IRC client such as mIRC, here is the info to get there. server: room/channel: #animationhq If you don’t have an IRC client, you can go here: and choose animationhq from the drop down menu, and voila! You’re there.

3-27-03—- Spirited Away Oscar Win Has Awakened Hollywood To Anime

4 days post Sunday night’s Best Animated Feature Oscar for Hayao Miyazaki / Studio Ghibli and Disney’s American release of Spirited Away, ANS has learned form well placed sources within the entertainment industry in Southern California that the Academy nod has advanced many on the table anime/manga related projects, kicking them into a higher gear. Beyond this, several new Hollywood players are looking into anime/manga potentialities and have began their research and trek along the market/industry learning curve.

3-27-03—- B’z Makes Oricon History

According to the Oricon music rankings charts, Japanese group B’z new single, “It’s Show Time” has landed on the #1 spot again this week on release day showing that since their first single in 1991 B’z has had 30th consecutive singles that hits no.1 right on the first day of streeting.

Source: Sanspo

3-27-03—- April DVD’s From Bandai

Bandai Entertainment, the premiere distributor of Japanese animation DVD’s in North America, announced exciting new DVD releases that include Ronin Warriors OVA – Volume 1, Betterman – Finality (V.6), and Argentosoma – Getting Even (V.2), all set for release on April 1st, and Arjuna– Understanding (V.4) and Mobile Fighter G Gundam – Round 7-9 and Collector’s Box Set III to be released on April 22nd.

Ronin Warriors OVA — Volume 1 Things have calmed down considerably since the defeat of Talpa. Sage has gone off to America to study; Ryo is celebrating his birthday; Kento’s won the lottery! However, the joyous mood disappears when the local news breaks a story about a strange killer in New York wearing mysterious armor. When the four warriors arrive to investigate, they are met by a new sinister force. The ancient sorcerer Shikaisen has discovered the power of the armors and is now intent on making them his own.

The Ronin Warriors OVA — Volume 1 DVD offers the following features:

* Interactive Animated Menus * English/Japanese language * English subtitles optional * Bandai Previews

CATAOLG #: 669198196096 RUNNING TIME: 150 min. RATING: 13 and up GENRE: Action SRP PRICE: $29.98 STREET DATE: April 1, 2003 Betterman — Finality (V.6) The Akamatsu team finally tracks the deadly Algernon to its source! As they mount a final assault, the team wrestles with the idea that this mission could essentially be a suicide mission. Each member of the group must find their own reason to go on and continue to fight. All the secrets of Betterman are now revealed! What is the nature of Sakura’s illness? Will Shou and Kaede find happiness? What will become of Keita and Hinoki? Will any of them survive? Even Betterman may not be strong enough to protect them all…

The Betterman — Finality (V.6) offers the following DVD features:

* Interactive Animated Menus * English/Japanese language * English subtitles optional * Bandai Previews

CATALOG #: 669198148095 RUNNING TIME: 100 min. RATING: 13 and up GENRE: Action/Horror SRP PRICE: $29.98 STREET DATE: April 1, 2003

Argentosoma — Getting Even (V.2) The alien attacks continue and the soldiers of the elite anti-alien unit ‘Funeral’ are called out to defend the Earth time and time again. With tension mounting, Ryu and Dan’s dislike for one another explodes and lands them both in the brig. Meanwhile, some of the members begin to question the idea of using Hattie, who is just a child, to control their alien weapon. Breakthrough! Ryu figures out how to stop a new breed of alien and for a brief moment, he reverts to his former personality, Takuto. Is he really committed to his goal of revenge?

The Argentosoma – Getting Even (V.2) offers the following DVD features:

* Interactive Animated Menus * English/Japanese language * English subtitles optional * Argentosoma Tech Files * Textless Ending * Bandai Previews

CATALOG #: 669198225192 RUNNING TIME: 125 min. RATING: 13 and up GENRE: Action/Sci-Fi SRP PRICE: $29.98 STREET DATE: April 1, 2003

Arjuna– Understanding (V.4) Japan has collapsed! The PDB bacteria unleashed by the research facility has combined with the Raaja and has fallen across all of Japan. All petroleum-based products: plastics, textiles, and computers are being completely destroyed! Japan is instantly thrown back into the dark ages! Meanwhile, half a world away, Juna is still in New York meeting with S.E.E.D.’s directors, it becomes apparent to Juna that they have no intention of helping Japan. An angry Juna lashes out, and Ashura responds! Can Juna, the barely-awakened ‘Avatar of Time’ save an entire nation? More importantly, can she save the ones most dear to her?

The Arjuna– Understanding (V.4) DVD offers the following features:

* Interactive Animated Menus * English/Japanese language * English subtitles optional * Extended Footage *

ANS Pop Japan Tour Guide – The Yamanote Line

  • 21st Mar 2003
  • Blog

By Jonah Morgan

To the totally clueless gaijin who’s just landed in Tokyo and gets into the city, lost in a sea of meaningless Kanji, Katakana and Hiragana, having no idea where they may be or how to get somewhere else there is a saviour in a train that you cannot get lost on. Take a look at a map of the city’s maze of many train lines (never mind labyrinthine subway routes) and a light green circle sticks out, a coherent shape amongst a sea of weaving lines, imagine that, a train that goes in a perfect circle around Tokyo’s center.

Well, the idea is a circle but seen from above the actual line’s shape is somewhat that of a misconstrued oval, two ovals actually, one going in a clockwise and counter clockwise direction, both are about 6 kilometers horizontal and 12 km vertical, lengthing out to form a 34.5 kilometer long track. 29 stations/stops are on the Yamanote Line and one can reach all of the metropolitan area’s hotspots from this train, litteraly every stop represents another unique urban curiosity of the city. Hop on board and you will completely loop back to the point where you stepped on in 64 minutes (Japanese trains are notriously famous for being on time, make it to the platform late, just a little late in some cases and you might get left behind!). One loop around the city is 130 Yen minimum or the savy traveler can acquire a stylishy decorated Io Pass for 1000, 3000 or 5000 Yen respectively. These passes are made of a material unfamilar to most Americans, a kind of flimsy plastic, before passing into the gate, you’ll slide the card in to a reader, sometimes it takes more than one time to get a positive read.

Being the most useful access point for Tokyo the train line has been the subject of many “tour Tokyo from the Yamaote” books, countless picture perfect video game titles can be found in Akihabara stores where you can pilot the train. Yamanote oddities abound. Manga fans anxious to get that latest phone book of serials might just find it stashed in the bin above the benches, that’s where it often goes once one person is done with their copy. Same goes for newspapers or books even. One evening I saw a student finishing off the Battle Royale novel and prominently chunking it up towards the rack.

The trains shutdown between midnight and 1 AM, miss the last one and you’re screwed. Haha, well not really but you will definetly get a taste of what makes Tokyo one of the most expensive cities on Earth. One night scooped out in an Ikebukuro arcade trying to get that ever elussive UFO Catcher Domo-kun plush and 500 Yen/per shot Neo Geo Pocket I messed up and lost track of time, realizing this, I made a fast dash for the Train station, upon reaching the gate the JR worker just shook his head, I had missed the last one. My ryokan was in Ueno and now I was gonna have to charge it to tha game and get there via Taxi. First of all the taxi line wasn’t hard to find, it was right outside the train station. There were about 30 club / bar hoppers in various types of attire waited in vartying states of sobriety. Likewise taxis were lined up in queue for the passengers. When it came my turn I informed my driver of where I needed to go in the worst broken engrish/nihongo he’d ever heard. The inn was in Ueno and I don’t believe he knew the exact dropoff spot. Just great, 2 AM in the morning and I barely knew what the neighborhood around my place looked like beyond the walking distance to the subway. At anyrate he told me he’d try his best and we were off. On went the meter and I watched the digital numerals materialize and dematerilaze faster than any I’d ever seen on any gas pump in my life. “I’m about to pay out the ass” I thought, ” so this is the real Tokyo!” And I couldn’t be happier, I clutched a soft $10 domo-kun I spent $35 en-route to catching.

Turned out Ueno isn’t so far from Ikebukuro but who could tell that? My taxi fare was $47 US dollars. Compare that to a 2 dollar train ride on the Yamanote, you gotta pay to play late in Tokyo, if there were any previous doubts, this lesson was learned.





Wanna ride the Yamanote yourself? You can as part of the upcoming Pop Japan Travel tour coming up in April, go to the link to find out more! Be sure to mention ANS when signing up!

Yamnote Image (C) JR

Anime News Service – March 13-19 Anime News

3-19-03—- Exclusive: Pop Japan Travel Tour Fills To Capacity In Record Time

Closing in on 20 attendees, Pop Japan Travel’s April Tokyo tour has almost reached capacity for this time around, several places remain and ANS has learned from Pop Japan Travel that according to partner H.I.S., who schedules trips worldwide, the unprecedented quick fillup of places is somewhat of an anomaly in the travel industry. Where it would normally take about 3 months to sellout a trip of this size and scale the entire venture went from cold launch with no prior promotion or advertisement to near fill at $1,200 per member minimum in less than 4 weeks. This certainly speaks a great amount toward the attraction of tours of this type.

Fans wanting to grab the last few seats can do so by going to the above link, please mention ANS when signing up.

3-19-03—- Mac Advice is running a series of articles for Mac OSX users on getting Divx files to work, as well as how to enable support for Japanese input.

3-19-03—- Broadcast News has a story up at mentioning Sonic X will broadcast in the US this fall.

For Tech TV Anime Unleashed, Betterman ends Friday with 2 ep at 1am and 1:30am, repeated at 2am 2:30am.
Starting Monday night: Silent Mobius (Ends Apr 25.)
Monday, Apr 28: 4:30 PM – Dual! Parallel Trouble Adventure (M-F Ends May 9.) 1:00 am – Serial Experiments Lain (M-Th +F Block Ends May 8.)
[End dates for the above 2 and Start/End dates below are uncertain, as TechTV needs to buy a calendar as their schelude has days of the week that _do not_ match the dates, so the dates from here on in are best guess.]
Friday, May 9: 11 PM – Armitage III: Polymatrix (Movie)
Monday, May 12: 4:30 PM – Crest of the Stars (M-F Ends June 2.) 1:00 am – Betterman (M-Th +F Block Ends May 30.)

3-19-03—- Eva Fans At Coast?

The American overnight radio program Coast To Coast AM hosted by George Noory (formerly by Art Bell) which regulary dips into paranormal topics had a 14 year old caller in the second half of the first hour tonight who mentioned Japanese Animation and video games. Gainax’s Neon Genesis Evangelion was mentioned by title and upon the return from commercials at the top of the second hour a Frank Sinatra classic version of “Fly Me To The Moon” was played as bumper music. The program draws an estimated 20 million listners nationwide overnight and many more listening worldwide on the internet. An archived version of the show is available at the site and can be accessed by subscribing to the Listner Streamlink service.

3-19-03—- Naruto Coming To GameCube

Tomy announced they will cooperate with Nintendo to market and publish their GameCube and GameBoy Advance titles in Japan. The first game covered in this deal is a GameCube cel-shaded fighting game Naruto, which is based on the hit anime of the same name, the game is scheduled for a spring 2003 (rumors say around March 27, 2003) release in Japan. A GameBoy Advance version of Naruto is also under development.

The above link Has some pictures of the game in developement.

3-19-03—- Hero Scoops

A summary of the film is available at, and the release date is winter 2003.

Also here are trailers:
Version 1 is narrated in English
Version 2 is subtitled (not narrated) but speaking parts for the actors.

A 2 disc Special Edition R3 DVD, it comes out this friday!

3-19-03—- Digital Manga Berserk Press

The Official press release as composed and released by DMI can be accessed at Akadot here.

3-18-03—- Stone Bridge Press Latest

Stone Bridge Press has a new print compendium, Animation On DVD by Andy Mangels. Weighing in at 600 pages, this resource of reviews, critiques, and trivia of 1,600 animated films including many anime titles has just hit shelves in recent days.

Mark Schilling’s The Yakuza Movie Book: A Guide To Japanese Gangster Films will be released in June with interviews, over 100 film reviews, and studies of actors and directors. Coming in the fall from the publisher is “THE DORAMA ENCYCLOPEDIA: A GUIDE TO JAPANESE TV DRAMA SINCE 1953” by Jonathan Clements and Motoko Tamamuro.

3-18-03—- Manga In The USA – How Hot Is Hot?

Once again appearing in mainstream publishing headlines is the topic of soaring Manga sales in the USA. According to an in-depth Publisher’s Weekly article dated March 17:

Manga continues to be one of the hottest categories in bookstores, and publishers are responding to the demand with both new product and new marketing tools.

The piece goes on to focus on publishing efforts carried out by both Darkhorse Comics and Tokyopop. Similar to Anime, apparantly as elusive as ever are actual market estimates or numbers on the current state, growth over time and projected growth of the industry as a whole. The end of the piece does offer some fleeting insights:

“We’re not going to scare John Grisham, but the numbers are really solid,” said one marketing executive. But returns continue to be phenomenally low. “Our sell-through has been really good,” said Martens at Dark Horse. Tokyopop’s returns are about 8%, which suggests there may not be enough product on the shelves.

3-18-03—- Airmaster TV Site

Moving up throught the ranks of Young Animal’s most popular serialized manga series, Airmaster has been selected for TV series adaptation due to debut in April, you can check out the official site here:

3-18-03—- Anime / Manga Gaming

“Takara announced they will release a new Transformer action game for PlayStation 2 in Japan in Autumn. Here are some images of the game in development.”

New Ninja Gaiden pics:

Thanks to Nick for the links.

3-18-03—- Chibicon 2K3 Special Room Rate

Chibicon would like to announce that the Radisson will be offering a special $67 hotel room rate. To get it, you most call the hotel and say that

Anime News Service – March 5-12 Anime News

3-12-03—- Nemesis Gets Featured In March Newtype

Thanks to Helen at Nemesis Records for informing us their label featuring artist, Kristine Sa was chosen for a special honor in the current issue of Newtype Magazine:

Newtype USA Magazine March 2003! Did you pick your copy yet?
We are proud to announce that we are chosen as one of Newtype USA’s featured links! You will find Nemesis Records on page 162 in the March 2003 issue of Newtype USA (I’ve included the feature below).
Please feel free to stop by and give us a shout hello!

NEMESIS RECORDS ( was originally formed to records and produce music to exhibit Asian pop culture both in the US and Asia, and they are quickly becoming the ultimate bridge between Eastern and Western music cultures. This ultra trendy site, which features fly Asian artists, allows you to shop online for tunes and swank gear. After your credit card is exhausted, discuss Anime music, movies, and related media with other devoted fans on Nemesis Speak – otherwise known as the forum page. Join the Nemesis team by uploading your picture, URL or email address. This site also has happening links categorized by genre such as Anime, Party/Nightlife and so much more! Through music and media, Nemesis aims to introduce a thriving underground scene into mainstream consciousness. Music culture is about to change completely – welcome to the revolution.

You can of course scoop that issue up at Akadot Retail here

3-11-03—- Berserk Confirmation

The Darkhorse Website updated this morning with the following new information on the Dark Horse/Digital Manga Berserk Manga co-publishing announcement here.

With a release scheduled for fall 2003, Dark Horse and Digital Manga will present Berserk as three volumes in a non-westernized format. Each volume will read from right to left and original Japanese sound effects will remain intact.

Further details expounding on last weeks initial public offerings are expected soon.

3-11-02—- Ninja Scroll TV Developments

Straight from Rhona at UV comes the following:

Ninja Scroll: The TV Series is on the way!
Spanning 13 episodes and written by Yoshiaki Kawajiri, the TV series continues where Kawajiri’s award-winning masterpiece left off! Currently in production, the series will begin airing on WOWOW in Japan in April. The series will make its home video debut first in the US this fall, with the release in Japan following in winter.

3-11-03—- Anime Frontiers

From Matt:

You can find the schedule of interviews at this link. Interviews are scheduled to be posted on the 15th of each month. Our next AF interview is with John O’Donnell at Central Park Media. For those of you who are interested, our January interview was with Terrance Walker of Studio ArtFX. You can read the interview with him and voice actor Mike Lightner at .

3-11-03—- New Manga Entertainment Releases

From via Daniel:

March 25, 2003 Fist of the North Star: Volume 1 [DVD] SRP=$24.95 Fist of the North Star: Volume 2 [DVD] SRP=$24.95

April 29, 2003 Rayearth [DVD] SRP=$24.95 Street Fighter II V: The Collection [DVD] SRP=$89.95

May 27, 2003 Read or Die [DVD] SRP=$29.95

June 29, 2003 Virus: Volume 3 [DVD] SRP=$24.95 Ninja Scroll – 10th Anniversary [DVD] SRP=$34.95

July 29, 2003 Kaidohmaru [DVD] SRP=$24.95 Fist of the North Star: Volume 3[DVD] SRP=$24.95 Fist of the North Star: Volume 4[DVD] SRP=$24.95

August 26, 2003 New Dominion Tank Police: Collection [DVD] SRP=$24.95 Dark Myth [DVD] SRP=$19.95

3-11-03—- Onimusha 3 Announced

From The Magic Box:

“Capcom has announced Onimusha 3 in a press conference in Japan. The 3rd installment of the hit survival action adventure game. This time there are two main characters: Jacque Bran and Akechi Samanosuke from Onimusha 1. The battlefield of Onimusha 3 is Paris in 2004, the city is suddenly attacked by Genma, in the blink of time, Paris becomes a nightmare city of the Genma demons, slaughtering people and soldiers one by one. Jacque Bran becomes the new Onimusha (demon warrior) to battle against the Genma demons, and he will encounter Akechi Samanosuke, who awaken once again to battle against the undying demon Oda Nobunaga.

Onimusha 3 features a dual hero system, which brings a deeper story, two different kinds of action. Jacque Bran will use guns as weapon, while Akechi Samanosuke will use swords as weapon. This is also the first time the series uses full 3D polygon backgrounds. Once again, the scenario and stories are created by Flagship. Akechi Samanosuke is played by the popular actor Takeshi Kaneshiro; and Jacque Bran, the latest Onimusha (demon warrior) is played by the French actor Jean Reno. Onimusha 3 is produced by Keiji Inafune; CG movie is produced by Mikitaka Kurasawa (Parasite Eve, Biohazard 0), directed by Takashi Yamazaki (Juvenile, Returner); and action director is the action star Donnie Yen (Iron Monkey, Blade 2).”

Onimusha Buraiden: The Magic Box “In addition to the announcement of Onimusha 3, Capcom has also revealed a new four players battle action game for PlayStation 2 called Onimusha Buraiden, which you can play solo or with your friends. In this game you can play the main characters, sub- characters and even Genma characters from the series, include Akechi Samanosuke, Kaede, Yagyu Jubei, and Oyu. “We pursued the true essence of a multi-player action game by using quick slices an ddices as well as flashy effects.”

3-11-03—- 5th And 6th Pokemon Movies Examined

Yahoo Movies has the story of the fifth Pokemon movie, and a mention of a sixth one coming out in Japan on July 13, called Pokemon 2003: Advance Generation.

Thanks to Daniel for the link.

3-10-03—- Naru In Pink Coming From Tokyo Mint


Tokyo Mint has announced that the fourth statue in its Love Hina line will be the Naru Narusegawa in Pink Statue, which is being pre-solicited in March for shipment in August. The Naru Narusegawa character is one of the most popular in the Love Hina series, and was the character featured in Tokyo Mint’s first, sold-out statue—the Naru Narusegawa Bikini Statue. This Naru statue features the character in a whimsical pose, in a pink top and