Posts in: May, 2006

Anime News Service – May 8-17 Anime News

5-17-06 (9:30PM EDT)—- Artificial Tree Business Grows Into Anime

Pittsburgh, PA’s Post Gazette reports on Michael Kao who spent 23 years — and earned a small fortune — making plastic Christmas trees in China and selling them to Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and other big retailers. Then his son, Francis, came home from college in the U.S. eight years ago and persuaded his father to trade in 10,000 factory workers for 350 computer animators and a long shot at Hollywood glory. Today, the company that once was the world’s biggest artificial-tree maker has morphed into one of Asia’s biggest digital-animation studios. It is now halfway through making a new, $35 million “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” movie, which Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Bros. and Weinstein Co. are set to distribute in spring of 2007.

5-17-06 (9:00PM EDT)—- Bandai And NIKE Team On Character Branded Shoes

In the first collaboration between Bandai and NIKE, Naruto branded shoes will go on sale in Japan from June 17 for kids. The “NIKE AIR RIVAL GT AF GS (NARUTO)” sneakers will appear as part of NIKE’s “advanced fit” line. The hero of Naruto and color of orange and black appear on the shoes. Six sizes of 22.5cm-25.0cm will be available. Retail will be 7,140 Yen through NIKE direct-management outlet shops (eight stores) and some toy shops.

5-17-06 (9:00PM EDT)—- Otani Returns To One Piece

After a bout with bad health, seiyuu Ikue Otani will jump back into the role of Tony Chopper from the 264th episode of One Piece, to be broadcast on May 21st.

5-17-06 (8:36PM EDT)—- Prince Of Tennis Live Action Stage Greeting

Cinema Topics has images from the May 13th stage greeting and premiere for the live action Prince of Tennis Film held in Kawasaki Cinecetta.

5-17-06 (8:25PM EDT)—- BoA’s Contract Extended

This week, SM Entertainment announced an extension to pop diva BoA’s contract. According to the agreement the extension runs through 2012 and the reasoning is her strong presence in South Korea and Japan. BoA has become the top singer in Asia, and the most important person promoting the Asian cultural contents business according to SM. Regarding her voice acting role as “Heather” in Over The Hedge, the singer got invited to the “59th Cannes International Film Festival” that begins on the 17th. There she’ll meet with both Bruce Willis and Avril Lavigne (who provides the English voice of “Heather”).

5-17-06 (7:56PM EDT)—- Baseball Manga Master Backs Independent League

On May 15th, Mangaka Shinji Mizushima (Abusan, Dokaben, Otoko Do-Aho! Koshien, Yakyukyou no Uta) announced his backing of a new independent baseball organization to be tentatively named “North Shinetsu League”. A press conference the was held along with representative Satoshi Murayama in Niigata City. Toyama, Ishikawa, Nagano, and Niigata will provide the first teams, with play beginning next spring. The league management corporation is scheduled to be established on July 3rd. Mizushima will use his influence via manga and networks to push the project. He agrees baseball as a sport has seen little growth in the snowy country.

5-17-06 (4:20PM EDT)—- Negadon Reviews And Moves

The May 17th issue of the Village Voice has reviewed “Negadon”. The full review can be read online at http://www.villagevoice.com/art/0620,baker,73185,13.html. An excerpt is below.
“Completely computer-generated, Jun Awazu’s anime lovingly re-creates primitive filmmaking?lens flares, blurry focus, emulsion scratches, clunky miniature cities?as it traverses decades of Japanese monster movies. Dirty facial pores and cigarette smoke are astonishingly realized, while Bakelite rotary phones and snowy TV broadcasts of color bars provide a purposefully anachronistic patina. Opening with a mushroom cloud and closing with a children’s song, this obsessively crafted tale of hope amid apocalypse distills Japan’s postwar culture down to 26 densely packed minutes.”

Leading North American anime publisher Central Park Media announced today that its highly anticipated computer-generated monster movie Negadon: The Monster From Mars along with Kakurenbo: Hide & Seek and Cat Soup, two additional award-winning Central Park Media films, will play for a limited theatrical run at The Guild Cinema (www.guildcinema.com) in Albuquerque, New Mexico at 11 PM on Friday, May 26 and Saturday, May 27.

5-16-06 (1:19PM EDT)—- Toei Establishes Representative Office In China

Tentatively titled “Toei Animation (Shanghai) Representative Office”, leading Japanese animation studio Toei Animation is making a big move into the Chinese market by planting roots in the ultra-modern city of Shanghai. The representative office aims to help the company further leap into foreign markets at this time of the company’s 50th anniversary. Toei has had a positive business relationship with the Asian region since the 1970’s. An overseas subsidiary was established in Hong Kong to serve as a business base in the Asian region in March, 1997. Sales in the region at the period of March, 2005 exceeded one billion Yen. Toei admits their sales in the Chinese market are sluggish at present and they are looking to make positive progressions with the move. “Digimon Adventure” began broadcast in China in February, 2006 and “Dragonball” begins in June. The office will allow Toei to collect local information more closely and the business develops more effectively and efficiently.

5-16-06 (12:16PM EDT)—- Austrian Manga Artist Wins Trip To Tokyo

Tokyo Shimbun has a piece on 20 year old manga artist Tara Starnegg of Vienna, Austria. After winning an art contest, she won a trip to Tokyo. Growing up in Europe, she saw anime such as Sailor Moon and then began to draw her own original manga stories at 15. Currentl, she says her art is most influenced by Naoki Urasawa (MONSTER). Tara’s professional debut comes in July when her work will be featured in a comic magazine to be released by a publisher in Germany.

5-15-06 (9:26PM EDT)—- Pokemon Pearl And Diamond

Watch Impress has images and details on Nintendo’s Pokemon Pearl and Diamond games due to go on sale in the autumn of 2006 for the DS. 10 years after the introduction of Pocket Monsters for Game Boy in 1996, the latest work from the series will release for Nintendo’s latest handheld. The titles reflect the fact that Nintendo


Anime News Service – January 18 – May 7 Anime News

5-7-06 (11:59PM EDT)—- Gundam SEED To Become Animated Film

Sunrise has announced Gundam SEED will become an animated theatrical feature to be directed by Mitsuo Fukuda. Although it will based on the 2002-2004 tv anime, the plot is expected to be all new. This marks the first original Gundam Movie since Mobile Suit Gundam F91 opened in 1991. T.M. Revolution will perform the theme song to the film and also made an announcement at “SonyMusic Anime Fes.06” in Tokyo on the 7th. The event, held at Shibuya AX over Saturday and Sunday of this past weekend drew a total of 30,000. A release date has not yet been announced.

5-6-06 (1:44AM EDT)—- Recognition Of The Term “MOE” In Japan

A term commonly used among otaku to refer to a fetish for or love for characters in video games or anime and manga, recognition of “MOE” is growing wider in Japan. According to a recent survey conducted by the 2006 CESA Ippanseikatsu Mono Chousahoukoku Kaki “2006 CESA General Dweller Investigation Report” 60% of those examined were aware of the term. CESA is the Computer Entertainment Supplier’s Association, based in Japan and started in 1996. 2.4% of the whole woman’s sample said they had used it. Those who answered “Know it” was 26.7% “Heard it” was 36.8% and “Do not know it” was 32.5%. Among men those who answered “Use it” was 4.4% and “Know” was 36.2%. Across both sexes in their late teens through early 30’s 40% said they knew of the term. 12.1% of 15-19 year old women said they used it alot, 11.1% of 20-24 year old womenh said they used it alot. In Men 8.9% of 20-24 years old admitted using the term alot. The research was carried out in the Kansai region including 1103 men and women 3-79 years old.

5-5-06 (8:22AM EDT)—- Nagasaki 1945: Angelus No Kane To Screen Globally

ANS has reported in the past on the Mushi Productions / Kaishagaiyou anime film Nagasaki 1945: Angelus No Kane, following the completion of the English subbed version in January, it was announced April 29th that the film will screen outside Japan for the first time. Screenings are planned for the U.S. in Nevada and in Germany and France. Director Arihara Seiji wants viewers who are even partially aware of the occurrence in Nagasaki to consider the fact that nuclear weapons are all over the world now. The Internationales Trickfilmfestival 2006 held in the German city of Stuttgart returned comments that 1945 was a “significant social work”. Having passed the initial examination, a formal invitation to screen at the film festival was sent. The showing occured on May 2nd. Next, the French Festival international du film d’animation a Annecy will hold a screening as where it’s being reviewed as a special invitation work in the beginning of June. Finally, the Atomic Testing Museum in the US state of Nevada is also scheduling a screening at an atomic bomb exhibition to held in August.

5-5-06 (7:45AM EDT)—- Anime Style Mecha Battles To Be Reproduced In Space

If one Japanese company gets it’s way, remote controlled robots will participate in combative sports matches in low Earth orbit as early as a targeted date of October 10, 2010 (10/10/10). “Robo-One Uchuu Taikai” (English title: “ROBO-ONE in the Space”) is an event being promoted by the ROBO-ONE Committee who already regularly hosts robot duels under the constraints of 1G of gravity in Tokyo. The projected launch / payload costs are said to approach 200 million Yen. The plan calls for a 125,000-cubic centimeter satellite loaded with 4 robots to go into a 400-600km high polar orbit. Once deployed the robots will fight while tied to a 5 meter tether connected to the satellite. A camera attached to the satellite will broadcast the battle to earth and allow the earth-bound pilots to control their actions via remote control. The satellite’s orbit will carry it over Japan four times a day, each fighting match will run around 10 minutes. According to the rules, the robots can propel themselves with gas jets, a robot is considered thrown out of the ring (similar to sumo) when it’s tether is fully taut. The company plans to use a combination of foreign and domestic Japanese rockets to launch to get there. ROBO-ONE has already designed high quality robots for toy and anime production companies. Indeed it’s an expressed goal of the committee to specifically reproduce space battles similar to those seen in Japanese animation. Official Website: www.robo-one.com.

5-5-06 (5:30AM EDT)—- Hobby Japan Establishes Light Novel Imprint

Hobby Japan, well known for their magazine which covers the action figure and model scene in Japan, has announced an entry into pocket novels with their new HJ bunko publishing label. Junior high school students through men and women in their thirties are the target audience. As for the types of fiction to be expected HJ has said they don’t want to conform to any genre, opting to publish “interesting stories” of all types. The first novel release will go sale from July 1st and a new one is scheduled to follow on the first of every month thereafter. Anime fans should note talented artist Mutsumi Inomata (Tales Of Eternia, BrainPowerd) will illustrate the inagural novel’s cover (illustration seen left). Writers due to release books for HJ Bunko include: Takehiro Arihara (TAKE FIVE), Junichi Osako (Specter), Kaihana Daisuke (Ragnarok Online), Shinya Kasai (Anireon!), Okina Kamino (Asobiniiku yo !), Kimura Kou (PetoPeto-san), Yu Godai (Karuta Tsukai no Kagami), Ichiro Sakaki (Scrapped Princess), Takashi Shoji (STARSHIP GIRL YAMAMOTO YOHKO, Twinkle Starship), Kanou Arashi (Takadono Madoka), Natsu Midori (Idenshi – DNA Nohimitsu), Reiko Hikawa (Gude Crest), Fujiwara Seiya (Denshi Kiyoukou Purachinamu Chiyairudo), Miyuki Shoutarou (Lost Moment), Hachihara Yuuki (will be making professional debut with HJ Bunko), Watanabe Masaki (Yuu Nagino Machi).

5-5-06 (4:59AM EDT)—- Slayers Cast Reunites For 10th Anniversary

It really has been 10 years since the first Slayers TV series graced the airwaves on TV Tokyo. 11 years to this