Posts in: February, 2005

Anime News Service – February 16-23 Anime News

2-23-05 (6:16PM EST)—- Zeta Gundam Singles Release

Starchild has announced a set of Zeta Gundam Maxisingles to commemorate the coming Z Gundam Movie Version opening this summer. 4 songs total are due on April 27. The original 85-86 OP themes, Zeta – Toki wo Koete by Maya Ayukawa and Mizu no Hoshi e Ai wo Komete by Hiroko Moriguchi along with the ED theme Hoshizora no Believe by Maya Ayukawa and DRESS will be included. The jacket art actually is a reprint of one the original EP releases of the time period. Retail is 1,260 Yen.

2-23-05 (5:17PM EST)—- Charahobby 2005 Announced

The C3&HOBBY 2005 (aka: Charahobby 2005) show has been announced to occur over 2 days, Saturday, August 20-21st in Chiba and Makuhari Messe. The entertainment event collects the hobby culture of the character etc. from the latest games and the anime. It’s considered one of Japan’s premiere contents related fan draws. 57,200 people were present at “Charahobby 2004” held last August. A similar scale attendance is expected this year. Admission is 1,300 Yen for Adults. Checkout the official website at www.chara-hobby.com.

2-23-05 (4:50PM EST)—- ADV Films Cromartie High School DVD Reelase

School’s in session with the highly anticipated March 15, 2005 release of the first volume of Cromartie High School: Cromartian Rhapsody. With giant gorillas, a robot with an identity crisis, and a school full of brain-damaged delinquents, this is going to be the craziest academic adventure seen this side of the Pacific!

Produced by Production I.G. (Blue Seed, Ghost in the Shell) and TV Tokyo (Final Fantasy: Unlimited) and based on the wildly popular manga by Eiji Nonaka, Cromartie High School ventures forth into the deranged and wacked-out world of the infamous school for delinquents. Packed to the brim with crazy humor, pithy puns, political satire, and characters you’ll love to despise, Cromatrie High School will leave your brain fried and your funny bone sore. Poor Kamiyama! Somehow he has been enrolled in Cromartie High School, the infamous school for delinquents. When your classmates are the meanest, toughest (and often dumbest) students around, you do what you can to fit in. But when you add a 400-pound gorilla, a robot with an attitude, and a macho brute that bears a striking resemblance to a world famous celebrity, it makes blending much more difficult. So put on your best tough-guy swagger and get a lesson in insanity from the hilarious losers of Cromartie High.

Limited Collector’s Edition Available with First Volume of Cromartie High School Manga You think you’re tough enough to handle Cromartie High? Only the meanest of the mean and baddest of the bad can face the collector’s edition! This special edition box set includes the volume 1 DVD of the series, the first volume of the manga from ADV Manga, and an attractive custom series art box to house the entire anime series (SRP $44.98). So, if you think you’re up to challenge�c Cromartie High School: Cromartian Rhapsody (SRP $29.98 DVD) is a DVD-only release, including eight complete episodes in both English 5.1 and Japanese 2.0 language versions with English subtitles. Extras include: cultural notes & comments, clean opening and closing animation, original Japanese TV warnings and ADV Previews.

CROMARTIE HIGH SCHOOL: CROMARTIAN RHAPSODY Volume: 1 of 4 Running Time: 100 minutes Rating: TV 14 (L) CAT: DCHS/001 (DVD), DCHS/BX1 (Collector’s Box) UPC: 702727109324 (DVD), 702727129322 (Collector’s Box) Pre-Book Date: 02/15/05 Street Date: 03/15/05 Format: DVD SRP: $29.98 (DVD), $44.98 (Collector’s Box)

2-23-05 (6:38AM EST)—- Battle Angel (GUNNM) Creator Interview

Manga News Service has conducted an exclusive interview with manga author Yukito Kishiro and is proud to be the first news organization in the world to get his input on Director James Cameron’s (Titanic, Terminator, The Abyss) coming Hollywood adaption of his work Battle Angel (GUNNM). You can view the entire piece here.

2-23-05 (6:36AM EST)—- ISID Delivers Toei ERP Solution

According to a Japanese press release out of Toei on Wednesday, the Japanese firm ISID has delivered the backbone system that will supply new contents management functions to the animation house. As previously reported the system being used is the MySAP ERP suite, which includes four individual solutions that support key business processes. The 4 are: mySAP ERP Financials, mySAP ERP Human Capital Management, mySAP ERP Operations, mySAP ERP Corporate Services.

ISID (Dentsu International Information Service Ltd.) is headquartered in Tokyo’s Minato Ward with a capital of 8,180,500,000 Yen. They have developed a new key system that mounts animation contents controlling functions with “MySAP ERP” suite. This specific application of this system within Toei is mentioned in the release to be a first for the contents industry of Japan. The rapid expansion of Toei’s content properties and media releases such as DVD – Internet Delivery – Pay-Per-View and moves into foreign markets have presented challenges for management on how raise earnings systematically. This new system is supposed to radically change this for the better. ISID consulted with Toei on the solution centered around this backbone system. Contents of each media and classification by countries are managed along with revenue and expenditure. As a result, the user will be able to understand how much to raise earnings with automatic ticketing and accounting of the earnings distribution of contents. All of these functions will be synchronized in real time in-house.

Key Features include:
– Calculating contract structures relating to copyright and the selling agreements for each work.
– Distribution of earnings (distribution of the rental to the right person such as the original writers) is calculated automatically, and it has synchronized with accounting in real time.
– Management accounting of each segment
– Project accounting in which revenue and expenditure of each work is managed

Effect of introduction
– Real-time results summing up &BS/PL output
– Making of Balancing of accounts early stage
– Labor saving of business (automation of distribution money calculation to right person and exclusion of plural input)
– All companies unitary of accounting details information management

2-23-05 (12:35AM EST)—- Ghibli Tackles Yomiuri Commercial

Studio Ghibli has produced a promotional Television Commercial for the Yomiuri Shimbun


Anime News Service – February 9-15 Anime News

2-15-05 (11:36PM EST)—- MTV2 Revamp Focuses In On Anime

ANS has learned anime content is set to play an integral part of the recently announced revamp of the American cable network MTV2. First unveiled during the halftime of the NFL Super Bowl game the network has relaunched with a new focus on 12-24 year old males. MTV2 currently reaches an estimated 50 million homes. Currently running is a short form serial progrma called “fighter vs. fighter” where classic anime battles are highlighted including Street Fighter and Battle Arena Toshinden. What lies in store for the future? Quite possibly some big name anime TV series. Stay Tuned…

2-15-05 (8:52PM EST)—- Broken Saints In Canada And UK

One of the first ambitious attempts to bring a graphic novel to interactive life on the Internet continues to thrive. “Broken Saints” makes its television debut this week in Canada on CBC’s On Demand service, and a four-disc collector’s edition DVD set hits retail in the United Kingdom. The 12-hour saga was created, directed, written and produced by Brooke Burgess, who previously was a producer with Electronic Arts. Starting from a completely self-financed team of three, the project grew to involve about 100 people before it was completed. The atmospheric online tale of four different protagonists who travel their individual harrowing paths to a shared goal won the 2003 Sundance Film Festival Audience Award for Online Animation, among other honors. These achievements led Telefilm Canada to provide Burgess with a grant to develop the four-disc DVD set. William B. Davis (“The X-Files”), David Kaye (“X-Men: Evolution”), Kirby Morrow (“Dragonball Z”), Janyse Jaud (“Spider-Man”), Colin Foo (“Smallville”) and Scott McNeil (“X-Men: Evolution”) are among the voice talents on the alternative soundtrack.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter Thanks to Daniel for the news.

2-15-05 (8:27PM EST)—- Geisha Not so Fond Of Memoirs Film

This Mainichi Article talks about negative reactions from a critic to key scenes in the Rob Marshall film. Thanks to Daniel for the news.

2-15-05 (8:22PM EST)—- Bandai Toy Fair Preview

Bandai America Incorporated – a subsidiary of the third largest toy company in the world, Bandai Co. Ltd. – is set to unveil its new portfolio of brands at the 2005 American International Toy Fair in New York City on February 20-23, 2005. The company announced that it is expanding its business by growing its current slate of core brands, which includes powerhouses Power Rangers and Teen Titans for boys, and Strawberry Shortcake and Tamagotchi Connection for girls.

In addition, Bandai America will unveil a new toy property based on the television series created by sister company Bandai Entertainment Incorporated, a leading provider of anime home entertainment. Entitled D.I.C.E. (DNA Integrated Cybernetic Enterprises), the homegrown brand is set to conquer the boys?f category with action figures, vehicles and role-play items, as well as additional licensed products.

?gWe are aggressively expanding the reach of our brands into new categories and toy aisles. Power Rangers will see a major expansion in its role-play toys and Strawberry Shortcake is growing into the baby dolls aisle, capitalizing on a popular play pattern among girls. In addition, we are increasing our recently established collectible games division with some exciting new licenses,?h said Bill Beebe, senior vice president of sales and marketing, Bandai America Incorporated. ?gBandai America is also gearing up for the launch of D.I.C.E., which is extremely unique in that the animation, toys and video games are all being created by the various divisions of one company.?h

Power Rangers SPD
Known for protecting the Earth from evil, a new team of Power Rangers is here to stop a mysterious wave of crime that has engulfed the world. The Interplanetary Chief of Police has hired five top-notch teenage officers to take on the case as Power Rangers Space Patrol Delta.

For more than 13 years, Power Rangers has remained one of the top boys?f action brands as a result of its dynamic toy line and use of popular themes that resonate with kids. To support the new police-themed season, Bandai America is introducing a massive line of toys, including a major expansion in the role-play category, new novelty figures, and more cycles and ATVs that are featured in the show. The new season debuts in February 2005, airing 17 times a week on ABC Kids and the Jetix boys action block on ABC Family and Toon Disney.

D.I.C.E.
A new brand from Bandai America, D.I.C.E. is a futuristic adventure with loads of transforming dinobreakers based on the dynamic entertainment property developed by sister company Bandai Entertainment Inc. and airing on Cartoon Network. 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, the team is called to the rescue and they get the job done with the help of their Dinobreakers. Bandai America?fs lineup includes 4.5?h action figures, 12?h electronic action figures and a variety of role-play items including electronic swords and ?gGild Suit?h costume accessories. The heart of the property lies in the vehicles, with Machine Runners, Attackers and Defenders capable of transforming to ?gdino?h mode when needed. Bandai Video Games will also release a title based on the D.I.C.E. property in the Fall.

Gundam Seed
For more than 25 years, the legendary Japanese property Gundam has engaged fans throughout the world with intricate plots, amazing animation and technological designs of futuristic mobile suits that push the envelope. Bandai America marks the sixth year of the property in the U.S. with the extension of the Gundam Seed toy line. The TV series of the same name, which is the latest in the Gundam series, is different from past incarnations due to its stand-alone storyline, making it ideal for new fans to discover the franchise. The product line features an expanded collection of Battle-Scarred action figures and the action figure model kits that have anchored the property since its inception. Bandai America?fs cards division also plans to expand its recently released Gundam War


Anime News Service – February 5-8 Anime News

2-8-05 (12:10PM EST)—- Gundam V Mecha Designer Tackles Real World Project

Temuzacc unveield their latest creation on Tuesday in Japan. The guard robot named Mugeror will be put into active service at the Aichi Expo from March 25th. It uses a Global Positioning System (GPS) and new high sensitivity sensors. Ishigaki Jun who handled the mechanical designs for the 1994 TV animation V Gundam styled the robot’s appearance. Mugeror is 150 centimeters in height and about 130 kilos in weight. Objects 50 meters from the robot can be detected.

2-8-05 (10:50AM EST)—- Karasu: Karas OVA Unveiled

Tatsunoko Productions and Toshiba Entertainment held their production symposium for the coming Karasu: Karas OVA in Tokyo on the 8th. The work commemorates the 40th anniversary of Tatsunoko. Voice cast includes Wada Hiroshi, Shibuya Asuka and Suzuki Kasumi. The animation used in the work is a mix of 2D cell style and 3D CGI. Directing is Hasatou Keiichi, character desigsn by and monster designs by Kenji Ando. DVD release for vol. 1 has been announced for May 28th. A regular and collectors edition will be available. Vocals on the DVD will be in Dolby Digital EX. Broadcast is also set for SKYPerfecTV on March 25th-31st. The director mentioned a special freeze-frame production process was utilized via a high-speed camera. Karasu: Karas is being announced simultaneously in the USA at the L.A. TAF fair event ongoing this week.

2-8-05 (11:43AM EST)—- Iron Man 28 Preview Screening

Cast and staff were on hand for Shochiku’s live action Tetsujin 28 preview event in Tokyo yesterday. The film directed by Shin Togashi goes into theaters on March 19th. Original creator Mitsuteru Yokoyama who was killed by a fire last year first serialized the manga in 1956. His other works include Romance Of The Three Kingdoms, Giant Robo and Sally the Witch. Hero Kanada Shotaro is played by Yokuno Ikematsu. The group Roppongi Glee Club performs the Movie’s theme song. Hajime Tachibana is the visual effects supervisor, writing credits include Hiroshi Saito and Kota Yamada.

2-8-05 (10:22AM EST)—- Kininaru Roomate OVA

The March 2005 issue of Shonen Gahosha’s Young Comic magazine mentions Yuunagi Kaoru manga Kininaru Roomate will be adapted to OVA.

2-8-05 (9:29AM EST)—- First Details: New Viz Girls Comics Magazine – Shoujo Beat

The first property to be announced post the joint Shueisha, Shopro, Shogakukan merger, VIZ will launch their first monthly girls manga magazine Shoujo Beat from June. Six titles will headline the new 250-300 page publication with contents sourced from 3 companies (Shueisha, Shogakukan, Hakusensha). Retail is estimated at 650 Yen ($5.99). Female readers of the American version of SHONEN JUMP were gauged at about 30% and are part of the reason for the new magazine’s launch. A preview issue No.0 will be distributed free of charge starting in April. Titles to be included:
NANA – Yazawa Ai – Shueisha
Beniiro Hero – Takanashi Mitsuba – Shueisha
Zettai Kareshi – Watase Yuu – Shougakukan
Kaze Hikaru – Watanabe Taeko – Shougakukan
Godchild – Yuki Kaori – Hakusensha
Akachan To Boku – Marimo Ragawa – Hakusensha
Source: Manga News Service

2-8-05 (8:44AM EST)—- Japan For Sale Artists On Tour

Catch POLYSICS On Tour!
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Sat-Feb-12 Phoenix, Az Old Brickhouse http://brickhousetv.4realphxaz.com/index.php
Sun Feb 13 Tucson,Az Club Congress http://congress.dakotacom.net/
Tue-Feb-15 Santa Fe,NW Paramount tel:(505)982-8999
Wed-Feb-16 Denver,Co The Cricket on the Hill tel:(303)830-9020
Thu-Feb-17 Salt Lake City,Ut Kilby Court http://www.kilbycourt.com/
Sat-Feb-19 Olympia,WA The Clipper tel:(360)943-6300
Mon-Feb-21 Seattle,WA The Catwalk Club http://www.catwalkclub.net/
Tue-Feb-22 Portland,Or Berbati’s Pan http://www.berbatis.com/
Thu-Feb 24 Fresno,CA Big Game Studios tel:(310)385-2800
Fri-Feb-25 San Francisco,CA Hotel Utah http://www.thehotelutahsaloon.com/
Sat-Feb-26 Seaside,CA CSMB Black Box Cabaret tel:(831)582-4725
Mon-Feb-28 Hollywood,CA Knitting Factory-LA http://www.knittingfactory.com/
Tue-Mar-01 San Diego,CA The Casbah http://www.casbahmusic.com/
Wed-Mar-02 Santa Ana,CA Galaxy Theatre http://www.galaxytheatre.com/

Catch Guitar Wolf On Tour!
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Feb. 25 Philedelphia, PA North Star Bar (215-235-7826)
Feb. 26 Baltimore, MD Ottobar (410-662-0069)
Feb. 27 Hoboken, NJ Maxwell’s (201-798-0406)
Feb. 28 New York, NY CBGB’s (212-982-4052)
Mar. 02 Montreal, QUE El Salon (514-284-0122)
Mar. 03 Toronto, ONT Lee’s Palace (416-532-7383)
Mar. 04 Cleveland, OH Grog Shop (216-321-5588)
Mar. 05 Detroit, MI Magic Stick (313-833-9850)
Mar. 06 Chicago, IL The Abbey (773-478-4408)
Mar. 08 Denver, CO Larimer Lounge (303-291-0959)
Mar. 10 Portland, OR Dante’s (503-226-6630)
Mar. 11 Seattle, WA Chop Suey (206-324-6628)
Mar. 13 Seaside, CA Black Box Cafe @ CSUMB (831-582-4725)
Mar. 14 San Francisco, CA Bottom Of The Hill (510-601-0431)
Mar. 15 Hollywood, CA The Knitting Factory (323-463-0204)
Mar. 16 Pomona, CA The Glass House (949-488-7301)
Mar. 18 Austin, TX SXSW (http://2005.sxsw.com/)
Mar. 19 Houston, TX Rudyards (713-521-0421)
Mar. 20 New Orleans, LA One Eyed Jacks (504-569-8361)
Mar. 21 Memphis, TN Young Avenue Deli (901-278-0034)
Mar. 23 St. Louis, MO Creepy Crawl (314-621-9019)
Mar. 24 Nashville, TN Exit/In (615-321-4400)
Mar. 25 Atlanta, GA The Earl (404-522-3950)

2-8-05 (8:35AM EST)—- Japan Manga Tour Adds Iteneraries

Site sponsor Japan Journeys: Japan Manga Tour has updated it’s website with international iteneraries for USA and Australian tour-goers.

2-8-05 (8:31AM EST)—- 4Kids Announces Uncut Collector’s DVD Editions Of YU-GI-OH! And SHAMAN KING

4Kids Entertainment Home Video, Inc., the home video unit of 4Kids Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: KDE), in association with FUNimation, will release the third volume of the special DVD collector?f s editions of YU-GI-OH! and SHAMAN KING on February 22, 2005. Never before available in the U.S. and Canada, the discs will contain the original, unedited Japanese animation and Japanese dialogue with English subtitles, as well as optional English language tracks. ?gOur uncut versions have demonstrated a strong appeal with the loyal anime enthusiasts and have been proven sellers at specialty retailers around the country,?h said Joe Lyons, Director of Home Entertainment, 4Kids Entertainment.

The collector?fs uncut editions restore many features of the original Japanese versions, changed due to the necessities of American broadcast standards. Also restored is footage cut in order to meet on-air time requirements for commercials. The releases will also feature newly recorded English language tracks with the entire original cast, as well as the original Japanese tracks and English subtitles.

YU-GI-OH! Volume 3: Stolen: Blue-Eyes White Dragon Episode 7 The Sea-God Leviathon Episode 8 Theft of the Blue-Eyes White Dragon Episode


Anime News Service – February 2-4 Anime News

2-4-05 (12:15PM EST)—- Bandai Networks Announces 11% Profits Loss

Mobile contents provider Bandai Networks has announced their nonconsolidated financial results for the period of April-December 2004. The company earned 1,229,000,000 Yen during that time, it represnets an 11% decrease on the same period last year. Development costs of media has increased with ever advancing mobile phone technology.

2-4-05 (12:10PM EST)—- Weekly Japanese Box Office Ranking

While we’ve covered the previous weekend’s box office results, Kogyo Tsushinsha also tracks weekly (7 day period) box office results and for the period of Jan 22 – 28 Howl’s Moving Castle is also ranking # 3 behind Ocean’s 12 and Year One in the North.

2-4-05 (11:30AM EST)—- Pink Pineapple / Green Bunny Status

There’s been some concern in corners of fandom in Japan recently on the status of hentai anime producers Green Bunny and Pink Pineapple. The interest has stemmed from reported recent hard economic times for the adult animation sector. Observers have pointed to inactivity regarding the regular updates of both sites over the last few months. Pink Pineapple’s site has not seen an update since September while www.green-bunny.com, which had recieved it’s last addition in December just got an update yesterday.

2-4-05 (8:26AM EST)—- Innocence Oscar Comment

Sean Axmaker mentions the following for the Best Animated Film category under the header, “They Wuz Robbed” at Movies.MSN.Com: – Animated Film — Anyone who has seen “Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence” knows that that it is a more ambitious and adventurous film than the tongue-in-cheek “Shark Tale” and “Shrek 2.” Thanks To Daniel for sending in this news item.

2-4-05 (8:23AM EST)—- Disney To Adapt Kiki Novels

Jeff Stockwell has been hired by Walt Disney pictures to adapt “Kiki’s Delivery Service,” the Japanese series of books by Eiko Kadano. The story revolves around a 13-year-old witch Kiki who moves to the city with her talking cat Jiji where she lands a job in the local bakery. But Kiki’s powers are not refined, and the adventures and scrapes she gets into show she has a lot of growing up to do. Susan Montford, Don Murphy and Mark Gordon will produce. Source: Cinescape Special thanks to Daniel for the news item

2-4-05 (12:13AM EST)—- ADV Films Announces E’s Otherwise

Get ready for a psychic onslaught as ADV Films, North America?fs #1 distributor of anime, unleashes the first volume of the new hit series E?fs Otherwise (pronounced ?gs?h otherwise?h) on February 15, 2005. A psychically charged, high-energy adventure story focused around the future of human evolution and its possible consequences, E?fs Otherwise is based on the hit comic series that original appeared in G Fantasy Monthly. The spectacular, state of the art animation was directed by Masami Shimoda (Macross 7, Saber Marionette J) and produced by Studio Pierrot (Saiyuki, Naruto).

The newest and deadliest weapon of the future has arrived, and it?fs more powerful than ever before. The next stage of human evolution, a race of ?gmetahumans?h with powerful psychic abilities, has begun to appear on Earth. These mutants, known as the ?gE?fs?h, have the ability to convert thought to energy. A special elite force of E?fs has been formed to help maintain law and order, but will these powerful psychics use their abilities to save the world, or control it? E?fs Otherwise, Operation: Gald City ($29.98 SRP) is a DVD-only release containing five complete episodes presented in English 5.1 and Japanese 2.0 with English subtitles. Extras include: clean opening and closing animations, Japanese promo spots, production sketches and ADV previews.

2-4-05 (12:11AM EST)—- JAST Announces Sagara Family

PCR Distributing/JAST USA, the largest distributor of Japanese dating-sim games for adults, announced the immediate availability of The Sagara Family, an interactive anime-style game for adults ported to English by G-Collections. Featuring a bizarre interactive story in which you find yourself surrounded by the beautiful members of the all-female Sagaras, this new dating-sim game appeals to mature fans of Japan’s famous “hentai” erotic art style.

The Sagara Family is an interactive PC game in which you interact with pretty anime girls as you move through the game story, making choices that affect the game outcome. When your father suggests that you live with a family while attending university in Tokyo, you didn’t really have an opinion one way or the other, until you found out that the Sagara Family is comprised of nothing but women: four beautiful daughters and their sexy widowed mother! Not only is everyone in the house a beautiful female, they’re not used to having men around, so they don’t know how to act around one. This will no doubt cause any number of interesting situations to pop up.

Ever since the first computers with color displays appeared in the early 1980s, Japan has had a strong tradition of creating PC games for adults. Games often explore various fetishes, such as sexy maids who serve the player’s every wish, harems of beautiful anime girls, or girls in unlikely costumes. These interactive games feature multiple endings with each character, allowing the player to play again and again.

The Sagara Family is translated into English, and the game graphics are 100% uncensored (the original Japan release has mosaics over the game graphics, in accordance with Japanese law). The game makes use of Virtual-Mate, an on-line registration system that requires an Internet connection when launched. Because of the Virtual-Mate system, which has reduced software piracy, the game has been released at the new lower price of $39.95 (other have been released at $49.95 list).

2-4-05 (12:08AM EST)—- Yoko Ishida At Anime Boston 2005

The New England Anime Society is proud to announce that Yoko Ishida will be attending and performing in concert at Anime Boston 2005.

Mention “Yoko Ishida” and fans will think of her remarkably beautiful voice that has glowingly enhanced the opening and closing credits of many popular anime shows. Singing has always come naturally for the vocalist/songwriter, from her childhood days to the time she was discovered at an anime singer contest. That early breakthrough opportunity got Yoko into the music industry and eventually