Posts in: January, 2005

Anime News Service – January 27-30 Anime News

1-30-05—- Annies Pass On Innocence

The Hollywood Reporter mentions that Pixar’s The Incredibles won all the Annie awards for which it was nominated, which according to www.annieawards.com, leaves the second GITS film out of the race. No word yet on whether or not Yoko Kanno won for Best Music in a animated tv production. Thanks to Daniel for the links.

1-30-05—- UK Innocence OST Review

Music From The Movies based out of the UK reviews Kenji Kawai’s GITS2: Innocence soundtrack which is getting a release there through K-O records.

1-30-05—- FUNimation Seeks Fan Support For Lupin

The next issue of FUNimation’s Prime Animation Report, which will be out on February 1st, will ask the fans of Lupin to help in promoting the Lupin movies with ads, banners, posters, etc. The Prime Animation Report will also include a new Lupin online game called Lupin the 3rd: Target Practice. Visit the Prime Animation Report at newsletter.funimation.com.

1-30-05—- MSDF Disciplines 2 For Staging Brutal Airgun Survival Games

Investigation into an assault incident onboard the Japanese MSDF escort ship Tachikaze based at Yokosuka has led to 2 recieving a conviction with a suspension of sentence. The 2 reportedly staged survival games with junior officers involving airguns inside the operational control center (CIC) of the warship. Reportedly the senior officers were bullying the juniors, thus leading to the assault charge. It’s being considered exceptional that the Self Defense Force would publish the findings on this incident at all. An officer that may have been involved commited suicide at the end of October although no connection was made by the investigation.

1-30-05—- New GAINAX Series Site Launch

www.gosyujinsama.com has officially launched as the web home to GAINAX’s coming Korega watashi no Goshujin-sama TV series. Uploaded is a video preview in Windows Media and Real formats in the news section.

1-30-05—- Aquarion TV Date And Novel

The upcoming Shoji Kawamori collaboration TV series Aquarion will commence broadcast from Aprill 2005 according to new information posted to the official Japanese website. A text novelization of the story has been decided to run in “Monthly Dragon Magazine”.

1-29-05—- Free Anime Broadcast Rights For Developing Countries

Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs is discussing providing broadcasters in developing nations with animation content free of charge. Promotion of Japanese culture and the expansion of the anime market are the aims. This will be financed by a management expense grant donated to The Japan Foundation which is an independent administrative agency of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The fund will be used to buy the broadcasting right of the desired anime properties. Series to be considered would stretch about 20 episodes and 30 minutes in length. Works with an international appeal such as soccer anime would be prime candidates. Markets are being looked at in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Japan’s animation exports accounts for about 60% of all animation viewed throughout the world and have become a powerful economic force in 1st world nations such as Europe and America.

1-29-05—- Upcoming Tezuka Lecture In Tokyo

The eldest son of the late animation master Osamu Tezuka will host a public public lecture at Yamaha Hall in Chuo Ward Ginza 7 at 2:00PM, March 12th. 520 people will be admitted free of charge. A visualist and movie director in his own right, Makoto Tezuka (43) picked up the work of his father by supervising the latest BlackJack TV series that began airing in October. Additionally, a special showing of the Takarazuka Osamu Tezuka Memorial original animation “Osam and Musashi” will occur.

1-29-05—- Magazine Editors Look Over Animation School Work

Niigata City’s Animation Specialty School had 3 editors from Kodansha’s Weekly Shonen Jump on hand on Friday to expertly critique the work of about 30 students. Furthermore, the critiqued illustrations of 21 students are to be published in the magazine. Common suugestions include changing the facial expressions on characters.

1-29-05—- Oshii Developing Kanazawa Museum Exhibit

A Kanazawa area museum is preparing to run it’s “State of the anime production” exhibit that will showcase the process etc. of Japanese Animation production including Director Mamoru Oshii’s work. Part of the exhibit centers around the making of Ghost In The Shell 2: Innocence. Production I.G. is played a role on piecing this together at 21st Century Museum Of Kanazawa. It opens on the 29th. 300 related items of interest will go into the exhibition usch as set materials and the figures, original sketches, storyboards, etc… Screenings of related animation works and even video game demos will be on hand to view / interact with.

1-29-05—- Colorful Ice Sculpture Exhibit In Karuizawa

Nagano Prefecture Karuizawa-cho is currently hosting their anime themed “Karuizawa ice sculptural international exhibition 2005” where domestic and foreign creators are competing near the JR Karuizawa Station along the street. Carving of about 30 sculptures began the day before in -10 celsius conditions. After dark a rainbow of lights shows upon the exhibit which will run through the 30th.

1-29-05—- New Bebop CD: TANK! The Best

It might have slipped past some fans that back at the end of December a new Cowboy Bebop CD hit the market, “COWBOY BEBOP TANK THE BEST”. Therein you can find three Yoko Kanno tracks done for the latest PS2 title. Kanno just recently composed the “Song of X’smap” Christmas tune for SMAP. The 1st Bebop TV soundtrack sold 250,000 units.

Full Track Listing:
1.TANK!
2.WHAT PLANET IS THIS.
3.COSMIC DARE
(PRETTY WITH PISTOL)
4.DIAMONDS
5.Don’t Bother None (TV edit)
6. PIANO BLACK
7.MUSHROOM HUNTING
8.No Reply
9.BLUE
10.DEINSTEIN GROOVIN’
11.PEARLS
12.Gotta knock a little harder

Released Dec. 22nd 2004 – Sale Price: 2100 Yen

1-29-05—- 200 Characters In Namco VS Capcom

Famitsu reports as many as 200 characters total will appear in the new joint PS2 title Namco VS Capcom. Players move the character on the map and then when encountering an enemy, the screen changes to battle mode. Some part of the game’s story will occur in The Tokyo district of Shibuya. The official website can be viewed here.

1-29-05—- Azumi 2 Media

The Movie Box linked to two WM clips of Azumi


MNS Exclusive Interview: Battle Angel (GUNNM) Creator Yukito Kishiro

MNS Exclusive Interview: Battle Angel (GUNNM) Creator Yukito Kishiro


By: Jonah Morgan

Yukito Kishiro was born in 1967 in Tokyo, Japan. His debut as a popular Manga artist came in 1984 when his work “KIKAI” won the best newcomer manga artists award sponsored by weekly Shonen Sunday magazine. His work ‘Kaikosei’ followed and in 1991 the series for which he is best known was first released. Titled ‘Gunnm’ (‘Battle Angel Alita’), the story of the manga combined intense action with cyborgs, and a post apocalyptic world. On the serious side, Kishiro touched on topics in his stories that our own world may face in the very near future as the line between man and machine blur. A portion of the Gunnm story was adapted to OAV in 1993 and later became one of the first anime VHS releases from ADV Films. Likewise, the comic version was picked up very early on in the early 1990’s and began serializing as Battle Angel Alita in English from Viz. Rumors began circulating online several years ago that Battle Angel was to be the subject of a major Hollywood film to be directed by the famous American Director James Cameron (Titanic, the Terminator, The Abyss). The rumors proved to be true and in recent months Mr. Cameron has talked quite a great deal on his plans for the feature which is scheduled to release in 2007. With all the press attention focused on Hollywood, it occurred to us that no one had actually made the attempt to go back to the original author and seek his impressions on this very exciting development. We caught up with Mr. Kishiro recently and posed the following questions on all things Battle Angel. Special thanks to Yukito’s brother Tsutomu Kishiro for translation.

Manga News Service: Happy New Year 2005 Mr. Kishiro! How has the new year found you?

Yukito Kishiro: A happy new year, too! I was working on cartoons throughout the new year vacation.

MNS: In recent weeks in the USA the attention of the elite entertainment beat-report press has been focused on the adaptation of your work, GUNNM (Battle Angel Alita), to a large budget Hollywood film. What are your impressions on the director James Cameron taking up a project based on your creation?

YK: To be honest, I still can’t believe that my work was adapted. Until the film is completed and I see it on screen, I think I won’t be able to get a real sense of it.

MNS: Do you believe the story and characters of GUNNM can make a natural transition to Hollywood film?

YK: Cartoons and films are different media, so it is natural that presentations will be different. If I directed a film adapting my cartoon GUNNM, it would surely be different from the original comics. Especially, as my cartoon is a long story comprising of a series of detailed episodes, it must be a big challenge to express it in a short running time of the film. However, if Mr. James Cameron could grasp the essential theme of GUNNM, I believe that the difference of episodes or characters would be superficial and it would be possible to express GUNNM in terms of its essence. The more important thing is not adherence to the original story but excellence as a complete movie.

MNS: There were rumors of this project as far back as 2000, can you tell us when you and the publisher were first approached in interest of adapting Battle Angel Alita?

YK: Though not from Mr. Cameron, I received the first offer of film adaptation in 1994. Since then, many directors, producers and productions have proposed their own plans. I think it was around 1998 when Mr. Cameron and Twentieth Century Fox approached me on the adaptation. It’s so long ago that it is a hazy memory…

MNS: Are you fan of Mr. Cameron’s films? Do you have a favorite?

YK: I am a fan of such works as “Terminator”, “Alien 2” and “Terminator 2”. Again and again, I have seen the Terminator series on video.

MNS: Will you be consulting with Mr. Cameron and the production staff for the film to retain the original flavor outlined in the GUNNM Manga?

YK: If Mr. Cameron requested me to do so, I would, but I wouldn’t voluntarily contact them because the movie is different from the original cartoons.

MNS: And it’s also been revealed 3 films may be created from GUNNM. This will collect much more of the story than the 1993 OAV anime adaptation. Every recent Hollywood film series that has achieved a trilogy status has gone on to be highly successful, what are your impressions?

YK: If Mr. Cameron said so, he should be sure that the odds are in his favor, but I am not sure about its success. As the original author, I want them to make 4, 5 or more films, not sticking to the trilogy status because it would mean that more episodes could be covered.

MNS: Many fans have wondered, why were only 2 anime OAV episodes produced in 1993?

YK: It was based on the plan proposed by the animation production company. It might have been better to turn down the plan and wait for a better adaptation proposal to come up, but back then, I couldn’t afford to review the plan coolly. At that time, I was still serializing the work and was so busy that I wasn’t ambitious to make it into animation.

MNS: With the film coming out in just a few years do you plan on reviving the Gunm storyline, to possibly produce a manga new work, or have you told the complete story?

YK: As you might well know, I have slightly updated the ending of the first series of GUNNM and added short sub-episodes to publish the complete version of GUNNM Since the fall of the year 2000, I have serialized “GUNNM:Lastorder”, an official sequel to the complete version of GUNNM. The 7th volume of GUNNM:Lastorder in book form will be published in the coming


Anime News Service – January 7 Anime News

1-7-05—- Right Stuf Announces Shingu

SHINGU: SECRET OF THE STELLAR WARS DVD 1: ALTERED PERCEPTIONS Pre-book date: 3/1/2005 – Street date: 3/29/2005 Approximately 125 minutes, Dolby Digital Stereo, Color. Genre: Science Fiction DVD (English, Japanese, English Subtitles, English On-Screen Translations) Catalog#: RSDVD8035 Suggested Rating: 7+ ISBN: 1-57032-800-5 UPC#: 7-42617-8035-2-9 SRP: $29.95

Right Stuf International proudly presents SHINGU: SECRET OF THE STELLAR WARS! Created by acclaimed director Tatsuo Sato (NADESICO / STELLVIA / AZUMANGA DAIOH), with planning by Masao Maruyama (GUNGRAVE / CARDCAPTOR SAKURA MOVIES / CHOBITS), production by Masao Morosawa (GUNGRAVE / JUBEI-CHAN / NINJA SCROLL TV) and character designs by Yuuji Ikeda (SAIYUKI / GUNGRAVE / X TV)!

What if one day, you discovered that the world wasn’t quite what it seemed? In the year 2070, life is rather quiet for Hajime Murata, a curious second-year student at Misumaru Middle School. Classes by day, fights with his little sister by night; nothing too exciting ever happens. Even when a strange alien ship appears over Tokyo, no one’s really that shocked. After all, the government has been covering up aliens for years, right?

Then, a mysterious new transfer student arrives at Misumaru, wearing an ancient school uniform. Gentle and polite, everyone considers Muryou Subaru to be a pretty nice guy – everyone, that is, except for student council vice president Kyoichi Moriguchi. When Kyoichi challenges Muryou to a fight on the school roof, Hajime rushes over just in time to see the simple schoolyard brawl turn into a startling display of psychic powers!

With all these strange events unraveling around him, Hajime is determined to figure out the truth about the world he thought he already knew. This is his story; a tale of aliens and humans, starships and spies, and friends who are often more than they appear.

Contains episodes 1-5.

PLUS! DVD 1 features a special SHINGU: SECRET OF THE STELLAR WARS 12-page booklet!

Bonus DVD content includes: Reversible Cover, Character Bios, Line Art Gallery, Special 12-page Booklet, Original Production Notes, English Production Notes, Right Stuf Trailers, Scene Access, English Audio, Japanese Audio, English Subtitles & On-Screen Translations

Graphic of cover is located at:
http://www.rightstuf.com/outgoing/sleeves/rsdvd8035.jpg

SHINGU: SECRET OF THE STELLAR WARS DVD 1 PLUS ARTBOX AND T-SHIRT Pre-book date: 3/1/2005 – Street date: 3/29/2005 Approximately 125 minutes, Dolby Digital Stereo, Color. Genre: Science Fiction

DVD (English, Japanese, English Subtitles, English On-Screen Translations) Catalog#: RSDVD8034 Suggested Rating: 7+ ISBN: 1-57032-801-3 UPC#: 7-42617-8034-2-0 SRP: $44.95

To comemmorate the release of Tatsuo Sato’s sci-fi epic SHINGU: SECRET OF THE STELLAR WARS, Right Stuf International will be releasing a Collector’s Edition artbox to hold the entire five-disc series! The artbox includes DVD 1, PLUS a special high-quality Shingu t-shirt available only with this set!

Contains DVD 1 (episodes 1-5) plus a sturdy high-quality color artbox and an exclusive Shingu t-shirt!

Graphic of cover is located at:
http://www.rightstuf.com/outgoing/sleeves/rsdvd8034.jpg

1-7-05—- Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex – Second GIG Premiere

Bandai Entertainment and Manga Entertainment announced today a special screening of the highly anticipated follow-up to the smash hit television series �eGhost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex�f by Shirow Masamune�fs (Appleseed, Ghost in the Shell). Two episodes will be screened at the Tokyo International Anime Fair in Hollywood to be held at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel on February 7th, 2005.

This all-new futuristic anime series continues the story of the acclaimed anime feature film Ghost in the Shell which was based on the popular manga by Masamune Shirow. Female cyborg Major Motoko Kusanagi and her fellow police officers of Section 9 hunt down a host of criminals in both the real and online worlds. Directed by Kenji Kamiyama, the first episode pits Major Kusanagi against a terrrorist group calling themselves the Individual Eleven. Having taken over a building and demanding an immediate solution to the Asian Refugee problem. Section 9 will have to battle both bureaucrats and terrorists if they are to stop the the Individual Eleven.

Seating is extremely limited, please register through the Tokyo Anime Fair official website at www.taf-la.org. Once registered, a lottery system will be held to randomly select tickets to the event. For more information about the Tokyo International Anime Fair in Hollywood event or the Tokyo International Anime Fair in Tokyo Japan, please visit www.taf-la.org or visit www.bandai-ent.com The Tokyo International Anime Fair 2005 is sponsored by the Tokyo Metropolitian Government.

1-7-05—- Light Novels Becoming The Basis For More Anime

Manga and graphic novels may be the hottest trend currently in the North American litterary market but in Japan where they’ve been there, done that and some would say are good indicator of where the rest of the world will be next, the move has recently seen both readers and publishers embrace the format of the “light novel”. Light illustrated fictional works known as gokan were actually banned at one time in Japan many years ago but the current incarnation of the light novel is hotter than ever, popular with teenagers, even birthing events such as The Light Novel Festivalwhere fans, vendors and guests such artists and writers gather. The number of original works being published in this format are increasing and maybe a surprise to some, they are being used as the original source material more and more as the basis of creating anime. Much attention has been attracted to this format recently by the character industry. Interestingly, the light novel is not really a recent phenomena. Almost everyone reading this should be familiar with the work Slayers by Kanzaka Hajime which was released in Japan and later adapted to one of the most successful animation franchises in recent times. The staus of Slayers elevated Kanzaka-sensei to that one of the highest paid writers in Japan. Likewise in the 90’s such works as Kouhei Kadono’s Boogiepop and Keiichi Sigsawa’s Kino’s Journey sold three million units and went onto become hit anime. The reason for the increase in popularity is seen as the fact that the current generation grew up with these works in throughout their various incarnations since their big appearance in the 1980’s. Publishers have been sensitive to this evolution, Shueisha for


Anime News Service – January 6 Anime News

1-6-05—- Digital Manga Expands Relationship With Diamond

Digital Manga – having selected Diamond Book Distributors as the exclusive North American distributor of English-language editions of some of its top books – has extended its agreement with Diamond to include even more titles and properties.

In addition to the original agreement, Diamond will now also distribute more manga/yaoi titles as well as the highly successful Let’s Draw Manga series. Also, in keeping up with the rising trend of comics as an education tool, a new line of non-fiction “edu-manga” will be distributed. Digital Manga specializes in building corporate and cultural bridges from Japan to the Western Hemisphere – specifically through the licensing, importation and preparation of anime, manga, and related merchandise for the North American mainstream and subculture markets. In this capacity, Digital Manga serves as a catalyst for the expansion of Japanese pop-culture institutions into global arenas.

“For months now, Digital Manga and Diamond have already been actively importing top-notch Japanese products into the U.S.,” said Diamond Vice President of Purchasing Bill Schanes. “We’re proud to take our relationship further with even more titles and lines from Digital Manga.” “We are pleased that Diamond recognizes in Digital Manga a unique product portfolio available no where else, and saw fit to an agreement which will increase our shelf presence and provide an added boost to our distinctive reputation in the manga market,” stated Digital Manga CEO Hikaru Sasahara.

“With manga and related Japanese products and art continuing to make sales history through the U.S., this is a great opportunity to introduce a new piece of the diversity puzzle,” added Schanes. Diamond’s Sales Team will begin working with bookstores, book wholesalers, warehouse clubs, mass merchandisers, and libraries to place Digital Manga’s books across the country.

1-6-05—- ADV Films A Tree Of Palm Theatrical Release

ADV Films announced today the American theatrical premiere of A Tree of Palme, which will take place at Houston?fs Rice Cinema starting January 14, 2005. A Tree of Palme is a modern retelling of the classic Pinocchio story with a sc-fi/fantasy twist. The cinematic Japanese animated feature was written and directed by highly respected animator Takashi Nakamura, who first came to the attention of American fans with his work as chief animator for the cyberpunk masterpiece Akira.

Palme, a wooden puppet, has been created to care for the dying wife of his master. After her death, Palme looses his sense of purpose and ceases to function. He remains inactive until a mysterious woman, followed by a group of ruthless pursuers, arrives at the master?fs workshop. She is desperately seeking aid in delivering a precious package to its destination across the world. When his master is mortally wounded by the woman?fs pursuers, Palme agrees to aid the woman with her mission, thus taking the first step in his long and incredible journey to discover who he truly is.

John Ledford, President and C.E.O. of ADV Films, said, ?gWe are very excited about bringing this visually exotic anime to American filmgoers. Takashi Nakamura has a long and distinguished list of anime films to his credit and we are pleased that American audiences now have a chance to see A Tree of Palme.?h A Tree of Palme will play for two weekends at the Rice Cinema located on The Rice University campus. Operating for more than 30 years, Rice Cinema has screened cult films and revivals as well as festivals and retrospectives. Founded as an integral part of the Media Center, Rice Cinema?fs mission has long crossed boundaries to bring people together to promote scholarly dialog and cross-cultural interaction.

?gA Tree of Palme, which is our first feature to be released in 2005, is only the beginning of what promises to be a busy year for our theatrical division?h remarked Steve Buck, Director of ADV?fs theatrical Division. Palme will play selected theatres in major cities including Boston, San Francisco, Nashville, Hartford, Portland Oregon and Austin following the Houston engagement. Specific dates and theatres are listed on the ADV Theatrical website at www.ADVFilms.com/theatrical

1-6-05

– New Fushigi Yuugi adventures continue to playout in audio format via Marine Entertainment’s release of a new Drama CD.
Animate has added a listing for the OP single release to majikaru kanan due on 2/25 at 1,260 Yen.
– Toei has renewed their official website for the coming OVA Iriya No Sora, UFO No Natsu. A promtional video in real video and windows media streaming formats can be accessed here.
– Sega launched the Japanese site for it’s X-Box release of Outrun 2. Noteworthy from the start of the site’s loading is that unlike well known racing games of recent such as Project Gotham and Gran Turismo, Outrun 2 features several Ferrari cars both recent and classic. included are F40, F50, ENZO, 365 GTS4, Dino 246 GTS, 288 GTO, Testarossa (Outrun 1 car), 360 Spider, 250 GTO and 512BB.
Animate has details for the upcoming classic early 90’s anime, Kingyo Chuuihou (Goldfish Warning) DVD BOX set due on March 25, 2005. The movie version is collected as well as original TVCM. Others include set material, picture continuity, a special album CD with song and drama selections, and booklet collecting the comments of staff. Retail is 52,290 Yen. 54 TV episodes of the TV series make up the bulk of the set. Toei animation produced Goldfish Warning which aired at 19:00-19:30 on Saturdays via TV Asahi between January 12, 1991 and February 29, 1992. Series director was Junichi Sato (Sailor Moon).
– The 4th drama CD based on Mizuki Kawashita’s popular manga, Strawberry 100% was announced by Shueisha.
– Tatsuya Kaneda’s Ayakashi Dou No Hourai manga has been announced to run in Weekly Shonen Sunday from issue No.7.
– The manga Sensei No Susume begins running in Hanayume magazine from No.4 on sale from the 20th according to Hakusensha. A special 71 minute audio CD “2005 Kirakirawawonderful will accompany the issue.
– Music label Key just announced


ANS Exclusive Interview: The Drift King Keiichi Tsuchiya


By: Jonah Morgan

Keiichi Tsuchiya is considered one of Japan’s all time racing legends. He honed his driving skills from a young age driving nearby mountain roads (togue) in his KPGC10 Skyline. By driving hard on all types of surfaces and conditions he learned car control at the limits. In 1977 he debuted in the Fuji Freshman series, this was followed by several amateur racing events. 1984 saw him getting a drive with the Advan AE86/1984 Corolla GT-S. The Drift King was born. In this series his technique of using drift (sliding the rear of the car out) in a downhill corner yielded a better corner speed and improved lap times. This technique is what made him the Drift King not as most believe that he was first in the drift scene. While racing professionally he continued to participate in illegal Initial-D style togue battles. After videos of these races fell into the hands of authorities his driver’s license was actually suspended.

Despite this, his legend grew in Japan as being a rebel racer who would take on any challenge be it street or track. His relationship racing Toyota’s AE86 Trueno throughout the 1980’s helped elevate the car to the cult status it carries today. It also inspired a manga author named Shuichi Shigeno to make the car a focus of his Initial-D manga. Tsuchiya would later play an integral part in the TV series, advising on the racing physics for the CGI cars and matching proper sounds to their anime car counterparts. Today the Drift King can be seen in the monthly Best Motoring and Hot Version video magazines. ANS had the honor to send a few questions his way in Japanese recently and we actually got the answers back in English!

Anime News Service: Thank you Mr. Tsuchiya for this interview first of all. In my mind your racing skill and talent is on par with that Michael Schumacher and Ayrton Senna, etc.
Keiichi Tsuchiya: Thank you!!

ANS: Speaking of F1, you raced in the Le Mans series for the Toyota team. Did you ever have an interest in persuing an F1 drive?
KT: No.

ANS: Recently, I saw the VTEC-CLUB video where you had started a HONDA RA271 F1 car. As for the car, even by the standards of 2005 it was awesome. What was your experience with the RA271?
KT: I cannot believe the engine was of the 1960s at all. It turns firmly to 12000rpm(s) so pleasantly. Therefore, I was surprised…. very much.

ANS: The BAR-HONDA team seemed to have been close to attaining a 1st place podium finish during the 2004 F1 season. Certainly, I believe the team is deserving of a win. New reports are out that say their engines are now approaching 1000bhp. Do you think the 2005 sees them achieving their first race win?
KT: A racing car is not known unless it carries out a shake down!? First of all, it is after seeing a history!!

ANS: What is your opinion of Takuma Sato as an F1 driver representative of Japan?
KT: If even a machine is good, I would think that it is the driver which must win. He is a driver with such high possibility.

ANS: I’ve heard reports recently that Honda will discontinue the NSX opting not to mass produce the HSC prototype. Is it true that HONDA might desert their super-sports platform representative in the automotive segment? I understand you are very familiar with the NSX, will it really happen?
KT: It is difficult …. It is heard that it may be lost. As of the latest, it is the talk of the possibility.

ANS: How was the reception of the JGTC recently in Los Angeles? Do you think that the United States will be venue that will be added to race calander in the future?
KT: It was not so good …. I think that JGTC is impossible.

ANS: My first experience of you was from 1996, a video game was released by Jaleco in the United States for PSX called “Tokyo Highway Battle”. The game featured Masaki Bendoh and yourself, including many live action video clips. Do you remember having worked on it? I believe this was your first appearance in any medium in the United States.
KT: Thank you!! I did not know.

ANS: Car and Racing video games continue to approach higher levels of realism. GT4 for Sony’s PS2 was released in Japan raising the bar higher yet again. Have you seen it and what your opinions concerning the relation to the reality of the control of physics and the car etc. to real racing?
KT: I am not concerned at all. Since Sony is making, it is unrelated.

ANS: Can you tell us your role in the animation version of Initial-D in 1998? Can tell us of the experience?
KT: I helped produce from sound to operation of the cars.

ANS: Recently a live action version of Initial D was finsihed in Hong Kong. Did you offer any assitance to this project?
KT: I was not related at all.

ANS: How has the Togue scene changed over years in Japan?
KT: The togue is regarded as bad!! The mainstream in Japan is to run a mini circuit.

ANS: Watching Initial-D I know a lot of Americans wonder where are the police on the togue? The police always bust the street races here! They are everywhere!
KT: It would be considered severe in a country such as The United States country especially. As understood in Japan it cannot be said that it is about an understanding. It is calm if trouble is not made to the man in the street.

ANS: Has your staff had trouble finding a Ferrari ENZO to test [for Best Motoring]. I understand it has been very difficult to obtain ENZO test cars. The UK TV program TOP GEAR had to borrow a private car of a celebrity and, FIFTH GEAR had to travel to Italy for the test.
KT: It is not.

ANS: Finally,