Posts in: June, 2003

Anime News Service – June 23-27 Anime News

6-27-03—- Ninja Scroll Site Live

Urban Vision has gone active with it’s Ninja Scroll website. Thanks to John for the info.

6-27-03—- How To Draw Anime Class In Illinois

Elgin Illinois’ Gail Borden Library will host a how to draw anime class next month according to the Kane County Chronicle. The class is open to all teenagers.

6-27-03—- Bebop Movie Reviews

Here it is Friday again and in the states that means it’s time to turn to the papers for weekend entertainment options. Cowboy Bebop The Movie gets a mention in 3 of the USA’s biggest papers today, review #1 comes in the Chicago SunTimes. Review #2 is in The San Francisico Chronicle. Review #3 can be found in The Times Picayune

6-27-03—- Yugioh Article

CNN has a big piece today in it’s online edition concerning the phenomena that is Yugioh.

6-27-03—- Anime Gets Bit Piece In New Indie Film

The Orange County Weekly has a review of a new film entitled Charlotte Sometimes which revolves around a 20 something Asian love theme. Apparantly, a part of the plot involves female lead Lori (Eugenia Yuan) who sneaks over to male lead charter, Michael’s apartment to watch anime. Written and directed by Eric Byler, Charlotte Sometimes is now playing at the University Of Irvine.

6-27-03—- Doi Database Hit’s 60,000 Entries

Hitoshi Doi’s Seiyuu Database has surpassed 60,000 entries. The listing roster includes:

18676 DB.anime
7511 DB.books
8391 DB.cd
433 DB.cdrom
3203 DB.drama
12680 DB.event
6111 DB.game
215 DB.internet
9 DB.narration
1104 DB.radio
463 DB.tv
1336 DB.video
60132 total

6-27-03—- Exclusive: First Images Of Region 2 Evangelion DVD BOX

Courtesy Yukio in Yokohama, comes a set of 12 exclusive hands on images of the limited reservation Region 2 Neon Genesis Evangelion DVD BOX, released yesterday (6-25) in Japan. The craftsmanship put into the actual construction of box itself rivals that of anything we’ve seen on either side of pacific to date. Carrying a hefty 41,790 Yen price tag, it’s clear this set will be talked about in fan and collectors circles for some time. The remastered audio video contents are almost as impressive a draw, could it poissible this material could be licensed outside of Japan eventually?

6-26-03—- Anime’s Influence

Courtesy Anime Research’s Brian Ruh, the latest installment of the column “From Here to Shinjuku” is now online. Titled “The Animatrix and Anime’s Burgeoning Influence,” this month’s column takes a look at the growing force of anime on popular culture in the United States. The column is available online here.

6-26-03—- High Court For Japanese Intellectual Property Issues May Be In The Works

The Japan Times brings news today that some rearangements could be coming Tokyo and Osaka High Courts which rule on intellectual property matters.

Also it seems the highest tiers of Japanese government are indeed aware of the global success of it’s pop culture. Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s Strategic Council on Intellectual Property Prime plans to promote intellectual property, proposing legislation in May of this year which would require the Patent Office to screen applications in a speedy fashion. The government could also prepare a bill to promote the information distribution business on the Web, covering animation, games and music.

6-26-03—- Female Manga Artists

From the great state of Texas, San Antonio Current has an article on female artists. Increasingly it seems many are being inspired by anime and manga.

6-26-03—- Lone Wolf Canadian View

Review today in the Toronto Eye Weekly of the manga epic Lone Wolf & Cub.

6-26-03—- Broekn Saints Interview

Candaian Christianity has an interview with Broken Saints creator and North Vancouver native Brooke Burgess.

6-26-03—- Cablevision Adds Anime Network VOD Content

Cablevision Systems Corporation and The Anime Network today announced the launch of Anime Network On Demand as Cablevision’s seventh subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service for its iO: Interactive Optimum digital cable customers. Anime, a uniquely Japanese style of animation that explores the boundaries of animated moving pictures, has become a western pop culture phenomenon, and anime titles explore a multitude of genres including action, science fiction, martial arts and comedy.

Anime Network On Demand is Cablevision’s latest addition to iO’s industry-leading on demand offering, which features more than 700 titles available at any time and existing SVOD services from HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, Fox, Disney Channel and Playboy. iO customers also enjoy access to hundreds of a la carte movies and on demand content that is included at no additional cost including Mag Rack’s original collection of niche lifestyle video magazines and the best of public television from Thirteen On Demand.

“We are committed to enhancing the level of control our iO customers have over the television viewing experience, and continuing to build upon our industry-leading on demand offering is the cornerstone of that effort,” said Kristin Dolan, senior vice president of digital product management. “Anime Network On Demand is a unique and compelling SVOD service that we expect will be very popular with the growing universe of iO customers.”

“America’s growing fascination with anime tells us that this is the ideal time to launch Anime Network, a channel dedicated to this popular style of animation programming,” said John Ledford president, CEO and co-founder of A.D. Vision, Inc., parent company of the Anime Network. “We’re excited to be bringing the Anime Network to Cablevision subscribers,” added Anime Network President Kevin Corcoran. “We’re confident that they will enjoy the Anime Network’s exclusive anime series and feature films in four genres — action, science fiction, martial arts and comedy.”

Initial programming will include more than 20 hours of regularly refreshed fan-favorite feature films and multi-episode series. Over the next few months, the amount of programming available to iO customers through Anime Network On Demand will nearly double. Titles include “NOIR,” “Spriggan,” “Full Metal Panic!,” “Gunsmith Cats,” “You’re Under Arrest: Mini Specials,” “Neon Genesis Evangelion,” “RahXephon,” “Zone of the Enders: IDOLO,” “Excel Saga,” “Golden Boy,” “Colorful!,”


Anime News Service – June 11-13 Anime News

6-13-03—- Pokemon Heroes Reviews

5 years after introduction is Pokemon burnout descending over America? Reviews posted to The Salt Lake Tribune and Akron Beacon Journal would seem to lend toward an answer.

6-13-03—- The Age Miyazaki Piece

Australia’s The Age has an article on famed director Hayao Miyazaki.

6-13-03—- TIME Animatrix Look

One of the most popular print and digital magazines in America, Time has posted it’s look at The Animatrix.

6-13-03—- American Librarys Playing Host To Summer Anime/Manga Clubs

More popular than ever this summer is a thread ANS is picking up on across the USA in the form of local libraries hosting community anime/manga clubs for kids and teens on summer break from primary school. The Miami Herald has a mention of the weekly club being organized at the Miami Public Library. Likewise as reported yesterday a similar library hosted event had occured in Glendale, AZ as reported in the Arizona Republic.

6-13-03—- North And South Eastern Hemisphere Dominate World’s Top Animation Festival

Courtesy Screen Daily, Japanese, Asian and Oceanian animated works took top honors at France’s Annecy Festival over the weekend with Tony Yeun’s Chinese/Hong Kong co-production My Life As McDull taking top prize. Top award for short film was taken by Japan’s Koji Yamamura for Atama Yama. Finally, Australian Adam Benjamin Elliot won the jury prize for his claymation work Harvie Krumpet.

6-13-03—- New 3rd Version Of Astroboy To Air In USA

+ “Astro Boy,” the internationally known sci-fi hero created by legendary cartoonist Osamu Tezuka, will appear again in a new version of the series to be shown in the United States, show-biz officials have said. Officials at Tezuka Productions and Sony Pictures Entertainment said that the latest, third version will be broadcast in the US from early next year. Kids WB!, a cable TV station operated by Warner Brothers, will broadcast 26 installments of the latest Astro Boy series.

Sony Pictures Entertainment officials said that each episode of the series cost some 30 million yen to make, three times the normal cost of an animated film.

The creators hope the new version of Astro Boy will also be shown in European and Asian countries.

Source: MDN Via Kiji-Anime

6-12-03—- Biloxi Casino Restaurant’s Anime Namesake – First Anime Inspired American Eatery?

Poker Magazine has in a new article highlighting a Restaurant edition to an American Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi. The Beau Rivage will add the Ann Mae Japanese Restaurant at the end of the month. According to the piece:

Another new casino dining offering is Ann Mae, the Japanese restaurant at Beau Rivage that will open at the end of the month. The restaurant, which replaces Ta.ke Ma.ku, is a verbal take-off on “anime,” a hot style of Japanese animation.

6-12-03—- Tecmo Game News

New developments on the Dreamworks Fatal Frame movie can be found at http://www.jaggedteam.com/bin/shownews.cgi?id=2784, and information on actual Tecmo Dead or Alive Beach Volleyball bikinis for sale can be found at http://www.jaggedteam.com/bin/shownews.cgi?id=2783.

Thanks to Daniel for the news

6-12-03—- Saint Seiya Reborn For US Release As Knights Of The Zodiac

DIC Entertainment (DIC), in partnership with General Mills, today announced plans to bring Knights of the Zodiac, the famed Japanese property formerly known as Saint Seiya, to the U.S. market. Cartoon Network, U.S. will be airing 40 serial episodes of the show beginning in August, Bandai America Incorporated has been awarded the master toy license for the U.S. and Canada, and ADV has distribution rights for home video.
“Knights of the Zodiac is among the three biggest hits to ever come out of Japan; Power Rangers and Pokemon being the other two,” said Andy Heyward, CEO and chairman, DIC Entertainment. “The success that Knights of the Zodiac has had internationally is phenomenal. Furthermore, there has never been a Japanese series that has been a mega-hit in Asia, Europe and South America that has failed to become a mega-hit in the U.S. We have every expectation that its seductive and hypnotic story line will generate the same amazing results here.”
“Knights of the Zodiac was an international phenomenon particularly in Japan, where it originated, but also in Europe and Latin America,” said Nancy Bassett, senior vice president of worldwide consumer products, DIC Entertainment. “Although there are a few recent examples of Japanese anime properties making it big in the U.S., we’re not taking anything for granted. We are strategically planning the launch in close collaboration with Bandai America Inc. using both traditional and non-traditional marketing tools. Bandai America Inc. brings a lot of great knowledge to the table considering their long successful management of the Power Rangers franchise. We’re close to announcing additional licensees at the Licensing Show.”
Bandai America Inc.’s product line will consist of 5-inch and 8-inch action figures, collectible game cards, role play items and other toys based on the Knights of the Zodiac property. The Knights of the Zodiac follows the adventures of the Bronze Knight Seiya, as he leads his team in battle against Phoenix and the Black Knights. The toyline is slated to hit retail shelves in January 2004.
“Given the property’s history and tremendous international popularity, we are excited to introduce the Knights of the Zodiac with action figures and toys that are exclusive to the U.S.,” said Bill Beebe, senior vice president, sales and marketing, Bandai America Inc. “With our extensive experience on some of the most popular boys action brands today, including Power Rangers and Gundam, we expect the Knights of the Zodiac to be a hit with young kids who love action play.”
Timed to coincide with the comprehensive merchandising launch, ADV, the number one distributor of anime content, has signed on to distribute 40 episodes of Knights of the Zodiac. The first release is scheduled to street in first quarter 2004.

About Knights of the Zodiac

Knights of the Zodiac is a fast-paced, futuristic action-adventure series which pits the forces of good against evil as the Knights of Athena battle the Knights of Aries


Anime News Service – June 2-10 Anime News

6-10-03—- Kikuko Inoue’s Agency Site Online

Popular Seiyuu Kikuko Inoue’s management firm, Office Anemone has launched it’s web presence today at http://www.office-anemone.com/. Not much is there yet but there is news in the form of Nagai Noa (Nagai Nobuko) joining the agency.

6-10-03—- New Transformers Series CN Bound

Hasbro announced yesterday that a new Transformers series, Transformers Energon is currently in the works. The series will premiere in early 2004 on Cartoon Network.

Read the full story from the following source link provided by Michael:
http://www.animationinsider.net/forums/index.php?act=ST&f=7&t=1224

6-10-03—- 2 Fast 2 Furious Director Cites Anime

In Hollywood it’s the summer of car chases and high speed road action or so it would seem. An article examining that aspect of this summer’s cinema releases has been posted in Southern Florida’s Sun-Sentinel. South Florida itself serves as the steamy backdrop for Universal’s JDM heavy street racer sequel 2 Fast 2 Furious. The Sentinel scored the following quote by the film’s director John Singleton:

“I started thinking in terms of other media like Japanese anime movies and video games like Gran Turismo,” Singleton explains. “It was thinking about, through that, how to make it exciting by the way that I shot it and, also, by the juxtaposition of certain images, like going from the eyes to the speedometer to the tailpipes to the zooming. In that way, you have some type of montage that makes a speed gestalt.”

(Universal Studios Photo)

6-10-03—- Adult Swim Strong Competitor With American Late Night Talk

As referenced below, a new TV Week article has published within some CN analysis of Nielsen ratings data from the May 2003 sweeps which deserves a mention of it’s own:

During the May sweeps, for example, in the 11:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. period, Adult Swim delivered an average of 249,000 young men 18 to 24, compared to the 121,000 and 183,000 that “The Late Show” and “The Tonight Show,” respectively, delivered in the period, according to Cartoon Network’s analysis of Nielsen data.

When it came to men 18 to 34 watching during the sweeps, Adult Swim had 421,000 in its pool, while Dave and Jay had 351,000 and 553,000, respectively.

6-10-03—- Big O Future On Cartoon Network

TV Week has broke out with a major scoop on Cartoon Network’s future with The Big O TV series to return this August to Adult Swim. According to the article, this will be the first instance where CN served as co-producer on an anime project. The original 13 episodes which had aired before in an earlier timeslot and edited form will return un edited supplemented by 13 new additional episodes. Finally according to TV Week’s research series success could relay to some action on a standing option towards the order of 26 additional episodes.

6-10-03—- Animatrix Review In Sydney Morning Herald

From the land down under where winter is getting underway comes a review of one of the most heavily covered anime properties in some time in this morning’s SMH newspaper.

6-10-03—- Blackbelt TV Amasses World’s Largest Martial Arts Library

Blackbelt TV, the first and only 24-hour Martial Arts Entertainment Cable Network, today announced a major addition to its martial arts entertainment library which already includes over 20,000 hours of programming from the biggest Hollywood studios and leading worldwide fight organizations. The programming coup includes an unprecedented acquisitions deal with News Corp’s Fortune Star and a deal with Universal Domestic Television for their martial arts film and TV libraries. These deals position Blackbelt TV as the holder of the largest martial arts entertainment library in the world.

The Fortune Star acquisition calls for 30 movies a year over the next five years from the Asian media behemoth including contemporary Chinese/Hong Kong films and TV shows starring Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Chuck Norris, Michelle Yeoh, Bruce Lee, Sammo Hung, Yuen Woo Ping and many more. As one of the top providers of martial arts entertainment in the U.S., Universal has licensed a series of films and TV shows including Double Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story and Street Fighter as well as hit action flicks like the Jean-Claude Van Damme starrer Hard Target and Vanishing Son.

“At Blackbelt TV, we’re committed to serving the hundreds of millions of martial arts entertainment fans throughout the world. With Universal we have now secured the key martial arts titles from three of the major U.S.Studios and our partnership with Fortune Star, the world’s largest contemporary Chinese movie library, will ensure a steady flow of heart stopping, leg flying martial arts movies many of which have never before been seen in the United States,” said Paul Presburger, Blackbelt TV’s Senior Vice President of Programming & Acquisitions.

The network is working directly with the biggest Hollywood studios to bring the best martial arts films and TV shows to their new home on television. Blackbelt TV has assembled the largest martial arts entertainment and sports library in the world from leading worldwide fight organizations and Hollywood studios including Warner Bros. and Sony Pictures Entertainment. Totaling over 20,000 hours, the library consists of some of the greatest martial arts films of all times including Enter the Dragon, Once Upon A Time in China, The Karate Kid, Drunken Master, Double Impact, Out For Justice; classic and new martial arts television series such as Kung Fu and Mortal Kombat Conquest; exclusive and never-before-seen fights from all over the world including World Championship Kickboxing from Thailand, Mixed Martial Arts from Japan, Boxing from Europe and the U.S., Judo from Korea; Japanese animation; health, fitness and self defense programming as well as original shows like Soul of the Champion.

“Blackbelt TV is well-positioned to capture the enormous business opportunities brought forward by an insatiable appetite across the globe for martial arts movies. We are thrilled with the alliance which enables Fortune Star to showcase its extensive martial arts library to a wider and more targeted audience base,” said Peter Poon, General Manager of Fortune Star.

“Blackbelt TV provides the perfect platform for our slate of top martial arts movies and television shows, and we are very pleased


Anime News Service-Exclusive Interview: Luci Christian


By: Jay Levy

An Interview with Voice Actress Luci Christian

I had an opportunity to sit down and chat with four American voice actors from some of the most popular anime out there while at Metrocon in Tampa, FL, on July 20. Their answers are virtually unedited and hopefully give a little insight into their personalities and their work. To get to know them better, skip to the bottom and check out their speed round answers. Now, onto the interview:

Luci Christian pulled her legs up into her chair and wrapped her hands around her coffee mug as she took a sip. She was obviously a bit worn out after three days helming panels, signing autographs, and judging cosplayers at her first anime convention ever. Christian’s background that did not exactly prepare her for events with cosplayers prowling the hallways and otaku arguing about the viability of a battle between a Gundam and a Valkyrie.

Christian, who currently lives in Houston, has her Master in Fine Arts in acting from Louisiana State University and is a card carrying member of the actors union (with an agent to boot). Yet, exhausted and sitting here in the green room of Metrocon, she seems exhilarated by and thankful for where her career as an actor has taken her. While at ADV, she has done roles in Those Who Hunt Elves, Neoranga, and Gamera 2 & 3, but her first starring role is as Kaname Chidori in the current release Full Metal Panic. She is currently working on parts in Orphen Revenge as Lycoris, and Ran Kotobuki in Super GALS.

What was it about acting that pulled you into it?

I think it kind of chose me. My mother put me on stage when I was 3 to sing in a talent show, and I did beauty pageants in Texas from when I was 3 until I was 9, with big hair and big dresses and little pageant shoes. After that I got into high school and it turned out I wasn’t so good in sports, but I was really good at theater. Didn’t think about it going anywhere until I got a full scholarship going to college. They said if I’d change my major from journalism to theater they’d pay my way, and I went, ok! And, so I went and ended up going to grad school. And, again, things just fell into place. So, things continued being put in my path. And when I went to Houston I didn’t know anyone; my aunt lived there. The Alley Theater was there and I was like, “Oh, I want to work there.” Didn’t have any idea about anything, then within a year I started getting hooked into things again, so I think it found me.

Of the parts you’ve played, which is the most difficult and why?

Actually, Full Metal Panic is the hardest for me. [At this point, a hearty “Amen” echoed through the room from Chris Patton who was lounging on a recliner and who plays Souseke in Full Metal Panic] I don’t know if it was because it was the first lead I had or what. I think Don [Rush, director on Full Metal Panic] will tell you this, he really knows what he wants. It’s a different experience when somebody has a very definite idea and they want you to sound they way they want you to sound. It’s not quite as organic as some [acting situations]. That was kind of a trip, and knowing that it was a title that everyone was anticipating and being a relative unknown [She laughs] It was daunting and scary and you end up going, “Are they going to hate me?” And we had … Don, for episodes six through eight had a conflict, and someone else took over those episodes. So, having a different director in sort of the middle of the project was different, too, in terms of continuity.

Be a social commentator for a moment, what are some aspects of anime you would praise:

This is actually easy and I only have the answer because I came here [to Metrocon]. I’ve seen a lot of people here that are at a very formative time in their life, and, through this medium, they get to become somebody else with very positive qualities – brave people, courageous people, fun people, magical people, people with all kinds of magic around them. I think it’s very romantic. I really do. I think it’s romantic. I think people look to escape adolescence or whatever. And the thing is, when you grow older, you still retain the fandom of whatever it is you’re a fan of. That allows you that kind of escapism or role-play like when you were younger.

Nothing’s perfect, though. What aspects of anime deserve some criticism?

That’s interesting. I’m not sure. I think it is interesting how everything has in-house debate. Like the debate between the sub people and the dub people. And this kind of thing, voice actors come to things like this [Metrocon] and there are people who are angry. [She laughs] And you know, I guess that’s all just in-house stuff that happens with every medium … that’s certainly not just this genre. I guess it’s just hard, this is not the sort of medium the majority of people know much about. You know, when I said I was doing it [anime voice acting], people automatically jumped to maybe I’m doing the porn stuff, and I’m like “No no no no no!” you know?

Anime fans notoriously separate into camps, one of the most vocal being the sub vs. dub debate. If you could say something to the purists to get them to give dubbed shows a chance, what would you say?

Well, we respect the Japanese; we don’t think we’re better than the Japanese. We’re happy to have work [she laughs]. I don’t know how they do it in Japan, I really don’t. But, here the people I know at ADV who