– The Sun Newspapers mentions some local teens have created anime murals at the Southdale Library in Edina, Minnesota.
– The BBC has a report on a new Japanese product, “Boyfriend’s Arm Pillow”, shaped like a man’s torso with one sturdy arm, which has been on sale since December purchased by 1,000 singles. Manufacturer Kameosaid the pillow’s shape also keeps the body balanced. One woman, Junko Suzuki, told AP: “It makes me relaxed… I can hold the arm and feel something warm at my side”. The pillow is only available in Japan, where it costs about 8,500 Yen ($80), and is available in blue, pink or green. Ms Suzuki, who is separated from her husband, says the pillow has other advantages. “It keeps holding me all the way through. I think this is great because this does not betray me,” she told AP.
– Japan Today reports that in the wake of the international success of Japanese animation feature films, such as Hayao Miyazaki’s “Spirited Away,” many young people are striving to become cartoonists in the country. Animation works across various media represents a market that has grown to some 200 billion yen a year, according to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI). METI estimates that the Japanese contents industry as a whole, including animation, will expand to 17 trillion yen by 2010.
– Ryerson’s Independent Newspaper, The Eyeopener has a report on online anime communities and downloads possibly contributing to falling numbers in attendance at the University of Ryerson’s anime club screenings:
“…While the club is still drawing an audience, treasurer Hung Ta said it’s seen better years. URAnime used to easily screen shows for 100 people, when fans could only get their fix at high school and university clubs. Now anime communities have moved online, where people can download shows in a matter of hours. ”
– Longtime contributor, Daniel, submits a Variety impression on Otomo’s latest film, Steamboy, which can be read at Yahoo News.
– From Alaska’s The Frontiersman comes an article on some Japanese exchange students who told of the ways of the land of the rising sun in the land of the midnight sun.
9-30-04—- eigoMANGA Urges Otaku To Vote
eigoMANGA, an American manga publishing company has formed a long term initiative and non-partisan campaign to encourage anime and comic book fans to become active participants in US democracy. Working with Rock The Vote and the participation of anime organizations in the US, eigoMANGA has the sole focus of encouraging more young people to register and increase youth voter turnout.
eigoMANGA hopes to encourage fans to become involved in the political process by incorporating cutting-edge trends of anime entertainment into its campaigns in hopes to make political participation more appealing. “537 votes in the entire country enabled George W. Bush to win the presidency in the 2000 election, let’s see how hundreds of thousands of new voters who happen to be anime and comic book fans will effect things this time around”, asks Austin Osueke, CEO of eigoMANGA. “With the current presidential election running at a virtual dead heat, American anime fans collectively have the ability to be the deciding factor in this election”.
eigoMANGA has immediately utilized its various business segments to promote the importance of voting to it’s audience. eigoMANGA currently conducts voter registration through its website and through its live events. Printed voter registration forms are included in future eigoMANGA comic book publications such as RUMBLE PAK and SAKURA PAK. The company will also produce and broadcast public services announcements on it’s television program, ANIME MIX. The company is utilizing it’s upcoming live concert event, RUMBLE INVASION as a non-partisan youth rally. And eigoMANGA will utilize its market reach within the anime/comic book industry to encourage it’s business partners and counterparts to support this initiative.
eigoMANGA has experienced early success in blending anime with politics. Back in the spring of 2003, eigoMANGA produced a live event at San Francisco State University, called CAMPUS INVASION. The success of CAMPUS INVASION helped the university become one of the top schools in the US to effectively increase voter registration among students based off a survey conducted by Harvard University’s Institute of Politics and the Chronicle of Higher Education.
9-30-04—- Yamato Announces 7 New Figures
Yamato USA (www.yamatotoysusa.com), is now accepting retailer pre-orders for its latest assortment of miniature collectible figures, action figures and PVC statues scheduled to ship late Winter 2004 / early Spring 2005.
SIF: Hellsing Miniature Collectible Figures
Story! Image! Figure! A Yamato Original! The Japanese sculptor Pilot Ace drew upon the theme of madness in creating this terrifying assortment of six figures, ripped from the pages of the best-selling manga, Hellsing (available from Dark Horse ComicsTM). Stunning in style and detail, each figure stands approximately 4” and comes blister packed with themed weaponry. An absolute must for all Hellsing fans!
SIF: Shonanbakusozoku Miniature Collectible Figures
Story! Image! Figure! A Yamato Original! Meet Eguchi Yoosuke, leader of the Shonan Bakusozoku biker gang and president of the high school handicrafts club as he divides his time between fist fights and some pretty fancy needlework. Think that’s strange? Wait until you meet the rest of his gang gathered here in this six piece assortment of 4” collectible miniature figures. Each figure comes blister packed with a base which together forms a complete display.
SIF EX: Guilty Gear Isuka – Millia Rage PVC Statue
Story! Image! Figure! Extra! A Yamato Original! Deadly weapon or comfy chair? You decide with this beautiful study of Millia Rage from the latest installment of Sammy Studios’ fanatically adored Guilty GearTM series. Sculptor Kazunori Oomoto achieves a delightful balance between hair and body in this must have piece praised by the game development team. This is the first in a series of PVC Statues from the upcoming Guilty Gear IsukaTM.
Range Murata PSE Solid Collection
The classic, eternal beauty of internationally acclaimed illustrator Range Murata (Blue Submarine No. 6, Last Exile, and the