Posts in: March, 2005

Anime News Service – March 14-22 Anime News

3-22-05 (11:22PM EST)—- ADV Films Announces Maburaho Release

When a wizard is down on his luck, usually the world cowers in fear of the terrible consequences. However, the less-than-adequate pseudo-wizard Kazuki is certainly not about to be feared by anyone! But he sure has a lot to be afraid of when three powerfully beautiful (and completely insane) magical babes are out to get him for his genes! The magically-charged romantic comedy Maburaho is ready to conjure up some fun when it hits the shelves on April 19th. Adapted from the best-selling Japanese series of novels, Maburaho is sure to leave you spellbound with its hilarious antics, heart-warming romance, and high-energy magical mischief. The series was directed by Shinchiro Kimura (Cosplay Complex, Burn Up! Excess) and features the character-design work of Yasunari Nitta (Azumanga Daioh, Sister Princess, Yu Yu Hakusho).

High school student Kazuki Shikimori comes from a line of powerful magicians with extraordinary DNA and he attends the most prestigious school for wizards in all of Japan. It would seem that life is good for Kazuki. Unfortunately, that couldn’t be further from the truth. He’s not the most smooth when it comes to the ladies, his grades are poor, his athletic skill is next to none, and to top it all off, he can only use his magic eight times before he turns into dust! However, three magical hotties have learned of his genetic secret and are all after him! Suddenly he has become the most “popular” kid in class. Are all these girls out to romance him, or are they only after his DNA?

Limited Collector’s Edition Available! The first volume of Maburaho is also available as a Collector’s Edition, which includes the Maburaho: Bewitched and Bewildered Volume 1 DVD and an attractive custom series art box to house all seven volumes of the series (SRP $39.98).

Manga Series Launches in April! This April ADV is launching the Maburaho manga series as well. Written and illustrated by Miki Miyashita, volume 1 of the hilarious new manga runs 168 pages and is available at bookstores everywhere this April for $9.99. Also, be sure to check out the super sexy schoolgirl-sorceress Yuna as she struts her stuff in the steamy centerfold poster for the May issue of Newtype USA, the number one English-language source of anime and manga news.

Maburaho: Bewitched and Bewildered (SRP $29.98) is a DVD-only release featuring four complete episodes presented in English 5.1 and Japanese 2.0 audio with English subtitles. Extras include: “The Magic Times” insert, clean opening and closing animation, The Art of Maburaho, translator’s comments, original Japanese promos, and ADV previews.

MABURAHO: BEWITCHED AND BEWILDERED Volume: 1 of 7 Running Time: 100 minutes Age Rating: TV 14 (S, D) CAT: DMB/001 (DVD), DMB/BX1 (Collector’s Box) UPC: 702727123429 (DVD), 702727082627 (Collector’s Box) Pre-Book Date: 03/22/05 Street Date: 04/19/05 Format: DVD SRP: $29.98 (DVD), $39.98 (Collector’s Box)

3-22-05 (11:22PM EST)—- Anime Insider Magazine Goes Monthly

Wizard Entertainment Group, the country’s foremost authority on everything related to pop-culture, comic books and collectibles, is pleased to announce that Anime Insider, America’s best-selling independent anime magazine, will be issued monthly beginning with issue #22 this June. “We’ve been looking forward to this for a long time,” said Gareb Shamus, founder and chairman of Wizard Entertainment. “Our readers have been asking us to go monthly for years, and we’re happy to finally oblige.” Every aspect of Anime Insider will be revamped and updated for the ever-growing anime fandom. To this end, Anime Insider will be expanding its coverage with new departments for anime soundtracks and J-pop music, as well as for the newest trends of Japanese youth culture and the hottest spots to hit in Tokyo. Additionally, Anime Insider will be adding a dedicated section for anime conventions. The first issue in Anime Insider’s new monthly cycle will include massive coverage of Naruto, the most anticipated show of the year, and an exclusive interview with Akitaro Daichi, the director of such hit series as Fruits Basket and the upcoming Kodocha. Plus, check out the latest news on Fullmetal Alchemist, Tenchi Muyo, Fafner, Gantz and Samurai Champloo. Anime Insider #22 will ship with two covers, the first featuring Naruto and the second featuring Sana from Kodocha. The issue goes on sale June 22nd at comic book specialty stores and on July 5th at newsstands everywhere.

3-22-05 (4:16AM EST)—- 1st Ever Chinese International Animation Festival To Be Held In June

While Japan is gearing up it’s largest annual animation event, the TAF (11 Chinese companies will be exhibiting there), kicking off in about a week’s time, it was announced Monday the 1st Chinese International Animation Festival will be held in Hangzhou on June 1st-5th. The event will be sponsored by the national broadcasting movie / television bureau and the Chechiang province government. Based on recent announcements, China is aiming to greatly expand it’s Contents based industries and this event will serve as a springboard in the internationalization process. Activities planned include screnings animation competition, industrial summit forums, and animation talent invitation rallies.

3-22-05 (3:34AM EST)—- Malaysian Cosplayer Numbers Growing

Those engaged in Malaysian costume play clubs are reportedly on the rise along with the numbers of fans of manga and animation of Japan. While their numbers were estimated at only 50 people in 2003 there are now projected to be 955 people copsplaying as anime, manga and game characters. Series such as Ghost in the Shell, Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle and even the new Stand Alone Complex TV series draw young and old fans alike in Malaysia. The size of the demand is reflected also by the growing number of shops selling related products such as VCD, DVD, and toys. In the last few years the market as witnessed explosive growth though only ten years have passed since Japanese manga and anime entered Malaysia.

3-22-05 (3:25AM EST)—- BECK Soundtrack Scorching Hot In Japan

The rock group BEAT CRUSADERS that represent the creative force behind the music in TV Tokyo’s BECK TV Series are reaching new heights of popularity in Japan. Evidence of this can be seen


Anime News Service – March 4-13 Anime News

3-13-05 (11:47PM EST)—- California Court Ruling: Bloggers Must Reveal Sources

Are there possible applications for us reporters out here in the rumor rich swarm of the Aniweb??? Techwack News Reports:

In a ruling that might affect more people than just the defendants, a California judge on Friday ruled against the three independent online reporters who leaked information about the upcoming Apple products on their website. This might lead to Apple forcing the three news sources to divulge confidential sources, which gave them the leaked information.

The court ruled that there is no legal protection for those reporters who publishes a company?fs trade secrets. In addition, Apple had also sued 25 of their employees who they suspected of leaking information to these online news resources claiming that the probable leaks violated nondisclosure agreements and California?fs Uniform Trade Secrets Act. They also demanded that the news sources in question should reveal their sources.

3-13-05 (11:20PM EST)—- Companies Represent At TAFLA

Serving as the preview event for the Tokyo International Anime Fair Coming up in 2 weeks time, Hollywood, in the western US state of California hosted TAFLA on February 7-8. There, anime fans were treated to four major world premieres as part of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s Trade & Tourism Mission. In addition, industry professionals were invited to a trade fair featuring 10 leading anime companies from Japan who shared their latest works and techniques, and a panel discussion featuring Mitsuhisa Ishikawa, animation producer for Kill Bill, Vol. 1 (2003), and Kenji Kamiyama, producer of hit anime title, Ghost in the Shell. The Media and Trade portion occured February 7, 3:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. and February 8, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Although widely unreported on, below are the 10 companies which participated along with brief profile each was asked to give:

ANIPLEX INC.
www.aniplex.co.jp/
April 2003 brought a fresh new start for Aniplex Inc., formally called SME Visual Works Inc. Since then, we have been pouring our efforts into strengthening our business structure focusing mainly on our production division. Meanwhile, development and producing big projects have been in progress resulting in the first TV series under the new banner, “Fullmetal Alchemist” and “R.O.D-THE TV-“. We will strive to expand our business focusing on the multiple opportunities offered by our quality visual products with a strong commitment to provide “dreams” and “emotionally moving experiences” to people around the globe.

BANDAI VISUAL CO., LTD.
www.bandaivisual.co.jp/e/
Bandai Visual provides a full range of visual content services, from development and production through to packaged sales and licensing, as well as marketing overseas. As Japanese leading animation package-video company, it accumulates the copyrights of high-quality visual content like “Ghost in the Shell:STAND ALONE COMPLEX.”

BROCCOLI CO., LTD.
www.broccoli.co.jp
BROCCOLI is active in a wide range of fields encompassed by “communication entertainment,” such as the development of character merchandise, event sponsorship, the planning and production of animation, management of the store “GAMERS,” and music CD production. The company also develops its own contents such as “DiGi Charat” (animation, etc.), “Galaxy Angel” (video game, animation, etc.), and “Aquarian Age”(video game, animation, etc.), and “Aquarian Age” (trading card game).

CoMix Wave INC.
www.comixwave.com
ComixWave supports independent anime with domestic/overseas distribution.

GDH K.K.
www.gdh.co.jp/english/index.html
Animation production, content investment, product investment, copyright management, international distribution, worldwide content development, and expanding business into new media.

PRODUCTION I.G. INC.
www.production-ig.co.jp/
Production I.G have produced direct-to-video films, television series, video games, and feature length films as “GHOST IN THE SHELL” directed by Mr. Mamoru Oshii. In our showcase, we have exhibition and screening of our productions with a focus on critically acclaimed “GHOST IN THE SHELL: STAND ALONE COMPLEX,”and “INNOCENCE” which is now on release.

STUDIO4??C
www.studio4c.co.jp/
STUDIO4??C was founded as an animation company in 1986. We are trying hard in order to produce the animation equipped with abundant originality. We challenge to various genres very eagerly, and we aim at the high image of quality.

TEZUKA PRODUCTIONS CO., LTD.
www.tezuka.co.jp/
The huge volumes of work Osamu Tezuka left are his massages to not only his contemporaries but also future generations living in 21st century. We, Tezuka Productions, having inherited this irreplaceable asset, regard it as our mission to keep delivering his massages through our various business activities. Based on Tezuka’s philosophy and the film production know-how we developed with Tezuka, and incorporating new technologies befitting the times, we are widely engaged in the film production business and distribute our productions worldwide.

TOEI ANIMATION CO., LTD.
TOEI ANIMATION INC.
www.toei-anim.co.jp/
Toei Animation was established in 1956 and ever since, we have created numerous hits. Our film library consists of over 8,500 titles, where works such as “ONE PIECE,” “ZATCHBELL!,” “BOBOBO-BO ? BO-BOBO” and “PRETTY CURE MAX HEART” are some of our currently running popular titles. Our business operates globally in multiple aspects, such as TV broadcasting, theatrical releases, Video / DVD and character merchandizing. Organization of events for children, and distribution of our film over the network including mobile phones are among the many works that Toei Animation has achieved.

TOSHIBA ENTERTAINMENT INC.
www.toshiba-ent.co.jp/
Toshiba Digital Frontiers ANIME & DVD production team and leading theatrical distribution company AMUSE Pictures have merged as of Oct. 1, 2003. Due to the merge together with our new production line-up Toshiba Entertainment’s Anime titles have enriched both in volume and contents. -“Giant Robo.”,”Street Fighter IIV”,”Daphne in the Brilliant Blue” , “Burn Up Scramble” etc. Please take the time to stop by to see which titles are available for your territory.

3-13-05 (10:25PM EST)—- Plastic Little Creator Unveils New Project

Get your jiggle counter ready like never before. Plastic Little creator Satoshi Urushihara has collaborated with animators ARMS (MEZZO) along with EarthWork and MoonRock on his latest hentai OAV project, Front Innocent. In the works for 4 years, following a 6 year development plan, Front Innocent marks the first time Urushihara has directed and produced an original animation. The storyline occurs during the American Civil War period and seizes upon the recent housemaid craze with use of 19th century dress but as is the case with his past works, the real


Anime News Service – February 24 – March 3 Anime News

3-3-05 (6:45AM EST)—- NASA Teams With Pokemon On Education

NASA and the Pokemon Trading Card Game have developed an in-school program. The program incorporates science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) themes into learning activities for K-6 students nationwide. The collaboration coincides with the recent release of the Pokemon Trading Card Game called EX Deoxys. Deoxys is a space virus with extraordinary origins. It came from space and mutated into a Pokemon when exposed to a laser beam. Deoxys’ name is derived from deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), the genetic material of living organisms, including viruses. The STEM learning activities were developed based on the game. The collaboration will provide NASA a unique opportunity to teach children about real world science. Students can learn and use free activities on the Web developed by NASA that explain extraterrestrials, viruses, meteorites, DNA, and the ozone layer. The learning activities are posted on NASA’s Langley Research Center’s Kids Science News Network (KSNN) Web site, and they are accessible to students and teachers. As part of the program, Nintendo of America Inc. has produced awareness bracelets and postcards that have been distributed to educators nationwide. These items are some of the prize-winning incentives for students, as their teachers engage them in science activities. The collaboration is one of many led by Langley’s Center for Distance Learning to reach students from diverse communities. Langley also produces award-winning television and Web series’. Since 1996, children worldwide have collected and traded more than 13 billion Pokemon Trading Cards. Pokemon USA, Inc., a subsidiary of The Pokemon Company in Japan, manages and oversees the property outside of Asia. It manages licensing activities; brand promotions; publication of the trading card game; TV animation; home video entertainment; and the official Pokemon Web site. For more information about the NASA and Pokemon Trading Card Game collaboration, visit the Kids Science News Network on the Web, at:
http://ksnn.larc.nasa.gov/pokemon

3-3-05 (6:32AM EST)—- AU Mobile Phone Anime Site Opens

Japanese Mobile giant AU has opened their online Anime store, “ani doku me” on March 3. There, users can download and view series such as Giant’s Star, Attack No.1, Adventure of GAMBA, Tomorrow’s Joe, Cat’s-Eye, and Great Detective Holmes. The 525 Yen fee includes the access of 10 files per month. Even if limit is exceeded, it is possible to download additional one for 53 Yen per file. TMS is partnering on the content end.

3-3-05 (6:21AM EST)—- Radio Controlled Iron Man 28

With the new movie out, Ironman 28 fever is sweeping Japan. A new Tetsujin 28 robot which is RC operated was announced Thursday in Osaka by the company Viston. The robot is 38 centimeters in height and weighs 2.5 kilos. The joint of the arm and the leg can move smoothly, and walking close to the style of people can be done. Retail is 351,750 Yen. The scale V.S. that of the new movie version is estimated at about 1/50 (the movie Tetsujin 28 is listed as being 20 meters tall).

3-3-05 (6:51AM EST)—- Japan’s Largest Animation Distributors Headline 27 Companies Signing On To PSP Video Format

SCEI has clarified that 27 Japanese contents manufactures will be producing video releases for it’s PSP (PlayStation Portable) UMD video format with sales beginning on April 13. UMD Video is based on a 60mm in diameter optical disk format which is propriatary to the PSP. Both UMD Video and UMD Music discs are planned. Storage capacity is 1.8GB and copyright protection measures include individual disc ID code and 128bit AES. The only confirmed Anime title thus far has come from Bandai Visual which announced the sale of “Mobile Suit Gundam back in October, 2004. So far no North American Japanese Animation distributor has announced a commitment to the format. The following companies will be doing UMD Video releases:
Aqua Plus Ltd., Asmik Ace Entertainment Ltd., Aniplex Ltd., Enterbrain Ltd., Capcom Ltd., Kabushikigaisha Cora Ltd., Yuugengaisha Saidera Paradeiso, JSDSS Ltd., GDH Ltd., Shogakukan, Inc. Production, Square Enix Ltd., Spike Ltd., Sony Pictures Entertainment Ltd., Sony Music Entertainment Ltd., Digital Media Laboratory Ltd., Azuma North nNew Company Ltd., Toppan Printing Co., Ltd., Tommy Ltd., Nikkatsu Corporation, Hudson Ltd., Happinet Ltd., Bandai Co., Ltd., Bandai Visual Ltd., Pony/Canyon Ltd., Marvellous Entartament Ltd., Media Works Ltd.

3-3-05 (3:51AM EST)—- Korean Studio Behind Simpsons Profiled

Yahoo News has an in-depth report on AKOM, the Korean-based animation studio responsible for the animated hit series, The Simpsons.

3-3-05 (2:35AM EST)—- First Look: Star Wars Cine-manga

StarWars.com has posted the first images from a trilogy of Cine-Manga books from Tokyopop adapting the original Star Wars films. The Cine-Manga series takes popular films and anime and digitally freeze-frames the actual moving image, breaks it out into comic-style panels in a lively and innovative layout, and peppers the action with manga-style text balloons and sound effects. For the first time, the Star Wars saga is getting the Cine-Manga treatment, and there’s no better place to start than with the films that started it all. These digest-sized books are due out this spring and are exclusive to the UK, Germany and Japan. More Cine-manga books are on their way, including the Clone Wars and the prequel trilogy. Source: Manga News Service

3-3-05 (2:35AM EST)—- Square Enix TV Program

A brand new ‘Variety’ TV show is Square Enix’s latest attempt at diversification, and the programme for TV Tokyo will be revealed fully in Shibuya (Tokyo) today. The first episode will air on April 6th at 1am in Japan, and is called Heavy Metal Thunder. Yoko Kumada will host the show of which Square Enix has high hopes, having also confirmed a tie-in videogame. The show sounds vaguely like a chat show, though may contain ‘Pop Idol’ elements too, which would make the idea of a videogame more sensible. Vaguely punky Japanese band Sex MachineGuns have provided the show’s theme tune, and will perform at today’s showcase in Shibuya, while Kumada interviews special guests. Square Enix has enjoyed previous success by diversifying into manga and anime, though the giant games firm’s first foray into the cinema