Posts in: December, 2004

Anime News Service – November 22-30 Anime News

12-30-04

– FUNimation has posted their video trailer for Lupin III: Dead Or Alive.
– As per ADV Films announcement today, those wanting a preview of the Windows Media High Definition Format can do so by accessing a number of clips at www.wmvhd.com.
– The UK’s Medical News Today traces the history of the Japanese word “Tsunami”.
Japan’s Active Fault Reasrch Center has an animation plotting this past weekend’s horrific Sumatra Tsunami.
Arrow In The Head reviews the live action Cutie Honey (2004) Directed by Hideaki Anno and Starring Eriko Satoh/Cutie Hairi Katagiri/Gold Claw Eisuke Sasai/Sister Jill Mikako Ichikawa/Natsuko.

12-30-04—- ADV Films To Release Titles To Windows Media High Definition Format

Get ready to experience your favorite anime titles in a way you never have before! ADV Films, the number one producer-distributor of anime in North America, today announced the release of Noir, RahXephon, and Full Metal Panic! in brand new high definition collector’s volumes. Look for these exciting 2-disc volumes of each series to hit the shelves throughout 2005.

Through the use of Windows Media High Definition Video (WMV HD), movies can now be viewed on computers with DVD drives, as well as on many new set-top DVD and digital media players, with amazing quality and resolution up to 6 times higher than that of today’s standard DVDs! In addition, movies pack a whole new punch with crystal clear DTS Surround Sound audio.

ADV’s high definition collector’s releases will feature 2-disc volumes of each series. The first DVD of each volume will contain the feature presented in new WMV HD video format and Windows Media Audio Professional to be played on Windows Media Player 9 or 10 and WMV HD compatible DVD players. The 2nd DVD will feature a brand new DTS 5.1 audio track to accompany the Dolby 5.1 audio mix and standard definition video feature.

“High definition is the future of home entertainment,” said John Ledford, President and C.E.O. of ADV Films. “With crystal clear picture and sound, high definition is certain to deliver a new and exciting method by which to experience home video. We’re pleased to be able to be on the forefront of delivering this new high definition DVD format to North American audiences.”

Be sure to be on the lookout for more exciting high definition titles from ADV Films!

12-30-04—- Action Channel New Year’s Eve Anime Marathon

From the Starz Press Release:

Get the party started… anime style… with the New Years Eve anime marathon on the Starz Encore Action Channel. Start off 2005 with an anime hangover. The Starz Encore Action Channel has gained much respect over the past few years for its airing of Japanese animated feature films entirely uncut and unabridged. Featuring only the best that the anime industry has to offer, the Action Channel is one of the best sources for anime on cable and satellite television. Many anime fans love the television station as an outlet to find some of the best, classic, anime titles, while others simply seek to have a great and entertaining title to watch around midnight on specific nights of the week.

Recently, the Action Channel has announced an all anime New Years Eve marathon to kick off the 2005-year. After weathering a Last Exile marathon on G4TechTV just on week prior, anime fans can expect to keep the late night tradition alive with the Action Channel, as the network airs some of the best anime films every crafted during a little over twelve hours. This New Years Eve marathon begins 10:00pm ET on Friday, December 31, 2004, beginning with the groundbreaking cyber-punk classic feature film, Ghost in the Shell.

The Action Channel showcases a lot of different Japanese animated titles, including the horror title Hellsing amongst others. The complete marathon schedule is listed as follows; including the time of showing, the feature film or program of note, as well as a detailed synopsis of the program that Encore’s Action Channel is showing. All times shown are scheduled as in the Eastern Time Zone.

Dec 31; 10:00PM — Ghost in the Shell
Directed by Mamoru Oshii. The original science fiction feature film that traverses the universe of that is the human mind, Ghost in the Shell. In a world caught in the grip of information overload, where artificial intelligence is more than the real thing and cyborg cops spend their lives surfing on an electronic sea of living data, only the Ghost – the indefinable element of human consciousness – exists to determine who is alive and who is purely a creation of the net. Major Motoko Kusanagi is an elite officer in the Section 9 security force: a cybernetic agent so heavily modified that little more than her Ghost remains. Along with fellow cyborg Bateau and the mostly human Togusa, Kusanagi is set on the trail of a computer criminal known as the Puppet Master, a data thief skilled enough to hack into the very minds of his victims. His human marionettes live out existences that are nothing more than computer generated fantasy, unwittingly committing their master’s crimes while the Ghost-hacker hides in the darkness. But as Kusanagi digs deeper into the walls of secrecy surrounding the case, it appears that the Puppet Master has a special interest in her alone. And when the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, shadowy Section 6, enter the scene, Kusanagi becomes tangled in a web of plot and counterplot, and realizes that the true identity of her invisible assailant lies at the center of a vast and lethal political conspiracy.

Dec 31; 11:30PM – X/1999: the movie
Directed by Rintaro. The feature film fictionalization of the popular manga series. The future of the universe rests on one young man, Kamui Shiro, who must destroy either the Dragons of Earth or the Dragons of Heaven – two opposing armies. He alone must decide whether humanity should be destroyed to create a purified universe, or whether it should be protected to preserve civilization. Two oracles, the sisters Hinoto and Kanoe


Anime News Service – December 11-21 Anime News

12-21-04

– From Daniel, A new Yahoo piece talks about the success of Miyazaki’s latest film in Japan.

12-21-04—- Anime Network Launches New Website

HOUSTON, December 21, 2004? Anime fans get ready! The brand new, updated homepage for North America?s first 24 hour linear network devoted to anime is online! Log in now to check out the feature rich site, which includes schedules for Anime Network?s 24 hour/linear and Anime Network On Demand programming, a new and improved interface, programming block pages, a ton of trailers and exciting information about what the future holds in store. You can visit the new site at www.theanimenetwork.com. And that?s only the tip of the iceberg! With the new flash-based mini-site, ANHQ, users can keep their finger on the creative pulse of the Anime Network with access to exclusive songs, photos, videos, desktops and miscellaneous goodness to download and explore. Users also have the exclusive ability to have a direct communication line to the folks who are putting the network together.

12-21-04—- New CPM Manga And Manhwa

CPM Press announced its March graphic novel releases, which includes two brand new series, Kung Fu Jungle Boy and Angel Shop. Follow the adventures of Kakoong and his friends on Cloud Island as they battle the evil Lord Kojak in Kung Fu Jungle Boy Book 1. In Angel Shop Book 1, meet the quiet but incredibly gifted Yuri Angel. She has secretly created a robotic replica of Boris, the object of her affections. But what will happen when the real Boris switches places with her brilliant creation? CPM Press will also be releasing in March, the spellbinding conclusion to the Slayers: Super-Explosive Demon Story, plus the next installment of the romantic drama Full House and the action-packed comedy Geobreeders.

12-21-04—- New Be Beautiful Books

Be Beautiful is pleased to announce the highly anticipated release of Finder Series 1: Target in the Finder by celebrated yaoi artist, Ayano Yamane. This alluring graphic novel will be available on March 23, 2005. This past October, Be Beautiful promoted this first book in the Finder Series at Yaoi-Con 2004 to the pure delight of yaoi fans and attendees at the convention. With stunning artistry and vivid storytelling, Finder Series 1: Target in the Finder will be a huge success in the United States, as it was abroad. ?When we asked American yaoi readers whose books they want to see published in English, Ms. Yamane?s name always comes on the top of their list,? stated Masumi Homma O?Donnell, Vice President of Be Beautiful.

12-21-04—- CPM Reprices Live Action DVD’s

Central Park Media has announced the re-pricing of its entire Japanese live-action DVD line, Asia Pulp Cinema. Single DVD releases have been re-priced to $9.95 SRP and DVD Collections starting at $19.95 SRP and up. These exciting live-action films span multiple genres, which will surely appeal to a wide range of audiences. In the first quarter of 2005, Central Park Media?s releases will represent the following genres: drama (Close Your Eyes and Hold Me), sci-fi (The Dimension Travelers), hard-boiled yakuza action (Tokyo Mafia), and comedy (Weather Woman). More Asia Pulp Cinema DVD releases will be available monthly, allowing consumers to witness first hand this enthralling style of filmmaking. All DVDs will have audio tracks in both English and Japanese with English subtitles. Pre-order dates and street dates have been noted as appropriate.

12-20-04

The Korea Times interviews Mike Ulsan who sees the growing role of Comics in popular film. Several Korean film success stories are referenced such as “Beat?? (1997), “Bichunmoo?? (2000) and “Old Boy?? (2003). Ulsan is the chief content officer of Comic Book Movie LLC and was the executive director of several Hollyood Batman films of recent years. His company is invlved in adapting several American comic books to the big screen and had the following quote on the manhwa he’s read: “A few of them were good enough to make me think of remaking them for the big screen??.
The Japan Times mentions the book trade boomed big in the country for 2004 with sales figures exceeding the previous year’s for the first time in seven years. Innovative marketing from publishers and book retailers are attributed to the sucess. The new generation of readers there is reported as being reared on anime, manga, video games, cell phones and the Internet, responding well to Cross-media marketing. The “Pure Love” craze and kanryu products are referenced and the manga adaptation of “Hebi ni Piasu” has been serialized in a manga magazine, a first for an Akutagawa Prize-winning literary work. According to the Yomiuri Shimbun (Nov. 24), pairing an unknown manga artist with a popular novel is now seen as a way to develop new manga talent. Many of the new generation of novelists share an affinity with manga writers and the stigma attached to having their novels published as manga is fading. The Web is finally cited as a progressive medium with the new writing style of short, snappy sentences, with something to laugh or cry about in each sentence emerging. The web manga “Deep Love,” which began as a novel for cellphones was later turned into a novel, movie and manga.
Japan Today looks at Shonen Knife who it says is still sharp after more than 20 years.
– The Cleveland Plain Dealer reviews the Cleveland Museum of Art’s newest exhibition which is bringing local enthusiasm for Japanese art to light in an exhibition called “Visions of Japan: Prints and Paintings From Cleveland Collections.”
Oregon Live looks at Japan’s cultural progressions in the world while examing the challenges.
– From Florida, The St. Petersburg Times looks fans enchanted by anime.
– According to the San Francisco Chronicle, all things Asian are becoming us.
The Daily Yomiuri reports Universities in the Kansai region of Japan are increasingly providing courses on the technical and theoretical aspects of manga, anime and video games. Takarazuka University of Art and Design in


Anime News Service – December 3 -10 Anime News

12-10-04

…Rob Marshall is finding filming on…Memoirs of a Geisha complicated, because his cast all speak different languages. Sony Studios refused to cast non-Asian actresses in the big screen adaptation of Arthur Golden’s best-selling book about the life of a Japanese geisha, and boasts Chinese Ziyi Zhang and Li Gong, Malaysian Michelle Yeoh and Japanese Cary-hiroyuki Tagawa and Ken Watanabe amongst its stars. An insider on the Japanese set tells American gossip site Pagesix.com, “They hired a ‘Pan-Asian’ cast. So now they have Chinese, Japanese, Korean and other Asian actors and they have had to hire a load of interpreters, especially since there are like 15 Chinese dialects. It is costing a lot of time to do anything.” Producer Lucy Fisher and Doug Wick adds, “We have a Chinese and Japanese interpreter. The movie may or may not be a day over schedule, but we are brilliantly on time for an epic and on budget.”
Source: Dec. 10 IMDB courtesy Daniel
– ANS has captured a screen grab from the Yahoo main page news mention of today’s anime article.
– ADV Films has announced that they are expanding the ADV Films website to include a page dedicated to the company’s theatrical releases (www.advfilms.com/theatrical). The new website, with an emphasis on Japanese and Korean films, offers a one-stop information source for both film buffs and theatre professionals, providing background material on each film as well as listings of theatres and play dates for current showings. Theatre managers and publicists are able to download press materials, including biographies, cast and crew lists, interviews and art work for each film. Film buyers have the ability to check out ADV Theatrical’s release schedule as well as a chance to see what films are available in 35 mm from ADV’s library, such as the classic Gamera series. This expansion of the web site comes at time when the cinema world is focusing on the Korean film making industry. Richard Pena, Director of the New York Film Festival and curator of the Korean Film retrospective at Lincoln Center recently stated “With recent major festival awards at Cannes and Venice, the cinema of South Korea has become one of the most respected, and eagerly anticipated, national cinemas anywhere today.” “This new page is a welcome addition to our web site” said John Ledford, president, CEO and co-founder of ADV Films. “Our anime web site has always been very popular with our fans and I know that our theatrical page will be also.”
Yahoo News covers the growing appeal of anime, and interviews reps from ADV and Kadokawa in the process. Source: Daniel Zelter
– Courtesy Daniel, the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly spotlights Zhang Yimou in their piece on “break-out” celebrities, gives Dolls a B+, and profiles No Doubt singer Gwen Stefani’s new entourage, the Harajuku girls. In addition, the latest issue of TV Guide recommends the Ultimate Matrix collection for holiday dvd’s, and puts a spotlight on the Animatrix.

12-10-04—- Bandai America Readies D.I.C.E. Toyline

Hot on the heels of the announcement that Bandai Entertainment’s new animated series D.I.C.E. would be premiering on Cartoon Network in January 2005, sister company Bandai America today announced that it would be releasing a full toy line based on the property by the premiere date. With futuristic armor called “Gildsuits,” high-tech, transforming vehicles and a mysterious “Phantom Knight,” the feedback to date indicates that D.I.C.E. action figures and toys are certain to make an impression on kids. Bandai plans to build on the homegrown franchise with a videogame due to be released in the Fall of 2005.

“D.I.C.E. is a huge initiative for Bandai America, and one that we hope serves as a model for future properties developed by our company,” said Bill Beebe, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Bandai America Incorporated. “Few companies have their own entertainment, toy and game divisions, and that’s a wonderful position for Bandai to be in—especially when nurturing a property at its launch, as we’re doing with D.I.C.E.”

D.I.C.E (DNA Integrated Cybernetic Enterprises) is a large corporation established to deal with emergencies occurring throughout the Sarbylion galaxy. D.I.C.E. F-99 is the only unit comprised entirely of highly trained kids. When a problem arises, D.I.C.E is called to the rescue. And when their special training and skills aren’t enough, they rely on their Dinobreakers to help get the job done. Always on call, always on alert – D.I.C.E is ready for action!

Building upon the theme of teamwork to overcome insurmountable odds, Bandai America’s toy line will center on the main characters of the F-99 unit and their arsenal of state-of-the-art equipment and vehicles. Many of the toys have transforming features and dinosaur-inspired designs, which is sure to appeal to boys of all ages eager to bring the excitement of the show to life. Borrowing a page from how movies are released, a major launch program is currently in place, complete with an in-theatre trailer, print/tv advertising, and a giant promotion with Cartoon Network, all scheduled to work in conjunction with the premiere of the show.

“The D.I.C.E. series targets boys 6-11 with cool animation and transforming toys that bring the on-screen heroes to life,” said Matthew Golding, director of marketing for Bandai America Inc. “The initial fan response has been overwhelmingly enthusiastic from all age groups, ever since we first offered a glimpse of the toy prototypes at Comic-Con 2004 this past summer.”

D.I.C.E. is scheduled to premiere on Cartoon Network this January, with 40 episodes currently in production. Created by Bandai Entertainment and animated by renowned animation studio, Xebec (subsidiary of Production I.G.), the series showcases the latest in cutting-edge CG/cel animation. Bandai America’s toy line features a wide assortment of action figures, vehicles and role play accessories that faithfully re-create all the action and excitement of the show. Visit Bandai America’s D.I.C.E. website at http://www.diceofficial.com for more information on everything happening in the D.I.C.E. universe.

12-10-04—- Tokyopop And Gravity Interactive Team To Let Ragnarok Manga Readers Play Online


Anime News Service – November 24 – December 2 Anime News

12-2-04

The St. Louis Post Dispatch mentions artist Yoshitomo Nara is coming to the city this Friday. He will preside over the opening of his traveling exhibition, “Nothing Ever Happens,” at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis.
The New York Sun reports on Art Basel Miami Beach where customers can buy contemporary art pieces and mentions the following:
“Certain recently hot artists – such as Japanese anime artist Takashi Murakami – who tanked at the November contemporary art auctions are nowhere to be found. “Use your eyes,” said New York art adviser Thea Westrich. “And be careful of work that is hot and just of the moment.” ”
– Japan’s top three entertainment conglomerates — Shochiku, Toho and Toei — are partnering to build, manage and operate a new multiplex theater in Osaka. With a projected cost of ¥150 billion ($1.5 billion), the 12-screen, 2,500-seat complex will be the largest in Japan, according to Shochiku president Junichi Sakomoto, who made the announcement Wednesday. The multiplex will be housed above Osaka’s main railway station as part of a new shopping mall and will be “the most technologically sophisticated” complex in the country as well as serving as the three companies’ flagship cinema operation, according to a statement from Sakomoto. The overall cost includes renovation of the station and the mall, with construction due to begin in late 2006 and be finished by 2011.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter Courtesy Daniel Zelter
– The Kyoto District Court has sentenced a file swapper to one year in prison for violation of Japan’s Copyright Law, signaling the first time a conviction has been made in the Asia Pacific region for the illegal distribution of films through the Internet. The sentence was announced Wednesday by the Motion Picture Assn. “The Kyoto conviction represents a judicial milestone not only in Japan but globally,” said Mike Ellis, MPA senior vp and regional director for Asia-Pacific. “It sends a message that illegally distributing copyrighted material via the Internet is not only illegal, but also that those doing so are not anonymous and will be caught. People need to understand that they are breaking the law and face serious consequences if they illegally swap movies online.”
Source: The Hollywood Reporter Courtesy Daniel Zelter

12-2-04—- ADV Films To Release Samurai X: Reflection – Director’s Cut

ADV FILMS ANNOUNCES DECEMBER 28 RELEASE OF SAMURAI X: REFLECTION DIRECTOR’S CUT The tale of assassin Ruroni Kenshin’s atonement for his sins continues with the December 28, 2004 release of Samurai X: Reflection Director’s Cut. This new feature length edition of the DVD hit includes plenty of hot new extras and footage never before seen in the U.S.

Samurai X (also known as Rurouni Kenshin) is an extraordinarily popular international franchise, including both a television series and four OVAs. The OVAs, which appeared after the television series, expand on and detail the background and history of the eponymous 19th-century samurai assassin.

Kenshin is a wanderer, a lost soul, cursed to seek atonement for his life in the bloody trade of the samurai, known throughout all Japan as the Hitokiri Battousai (“sword-bearing master assassin”). The peacetime after a long war to overthrow a corrupt government has brought no peace to Kenshin, despite a vow to draw his sword only for the protection of those in need. Now his wife Kaoru steadfastly awaits his return, mourning his absence as well as that of their son, Kenji. Will Kenshin return before she dies of grief? The past meets the present fifteen years since Kenshin left.

Samurai X: Reflection Director’s Cut ($29.98 SRP) is a DVD-only release with a 98-minute feature, including both English 5.1 and Japanese 5.1 language versions with English subtitles. Extras include: interviews with the original Japanese vocal cast, clean opening and closing animation, production sketches (video), commentary with J Shanon Weaver (Kenshin), Gray Haddock (Sanosuke) & Katherine Catmull (Kaoru), a reversible cover and ADV previews.

12-2-04—- Manga Prepares Ghost In The Shell: Special Edition DVD

Manga Entertainment is proud to release a newly re-mastered Special Edition DVD of the anime feature film that took the world by storm in 1996 — Ghost in the Shell. Nearly decade after the film’s creation, the characters, settings and ideas in this unprecedented, mesmerizing cinematic masterpiece resonate in Hollywood films such as “The Matrix” and the works of James Cameron (Titanic, Aliens, The Terminator) who describes Ghost in the Shell as “stunning…the first truly adult animation film to reach a level of literary and visual excellence”. Based on the ground-breaking comic book by Masamune Shirow, veteran director Mamoru Oshii skillfully created a movie that questions the very essence of human existence in the fast-paced world of the information age and produced one of the leading Japanese animation films of all time.

Seamlessly merging traditional cel animation with state-of-the-art computer graphic imagery, Ghost in the Shell challenged the boundaries of mainstream animation with its detailed artistic expression and uniquely intelligent story line. Winner of the 1997 World Animation Celebration Awards for “Best Theatrical Feature Film” & “Best Director of a Theatrical Feature Film,” Ghost in the Shell has since become a an international phenomenon, spawning not only a second theatrical feature (Ghost in the Shell: Innocence currently being distributed throughout the U.S. by Dreamwork’s Go-Fish label) but an animated Television series, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (currently distributed by Manga Entertainment), a PlayStation2 videogame, a second comic book series (Ghost in the Shell: Man Machine Interface published in the U.S. by Dark Horse Comics) and countless pieces of merchandise.

Synopsis: In 2029 – A female cybernetic government agent, Major Motoko Kusanagi, and the Internal Bureau of Investigations are hot on the trail of “The Puppet Master”, a mysterious and threatening computer virus capable of infiltrating human hosts. Together, with her fellow agents from Section 9, they embark on a high-tech race against time to capture the omnipresent entity.

“Ghost in the Shell – Special Edition” Studio: Manga Entertainment Sales & Distribution: Anchor Bay Entertainment Street Date: January 11, 2005 Pre-Book