Posts in: August, 2006

Anime News Service – August 26th-31st Anime News

8-31-06 (12:08PM EDT)—- DVD Delay Of Katsuhiro Otomo’s FREEDOM

Bandai Visual has indefinetly postponed the Japanese DVD release of volume 1 to Katsuhiro Otomo’s FREEDOM, the old release date was October 27th. Retail is 1,575 Yen. The 6 OVA (30 minutes each) collaboration with NISSIN CUP NOODLE features character and machinery designs by the Akira creator, the story focuses around freedom fighters in the 23rd century. The reason cited for the delay was to “improve the quality of the work”.

8-31-06 (11:01AM EDT)—- Studio Fantasia To Animate Agent AIKa Sequel?

According to a post to Studio Fantasia’s message board, they will be working on a new anime project titled “AIKa” in 2007. The project could possibly involve Stratos 4 Director Takeshi Mori or Character Designer: Noriyasu Yamauchi. The info was first leaked in the Stratos 4 Log Book which went on sale in Japan last week. Official confirmation is expected. In 1997 Studio Fantasia produced the animation for the 7 part Agent AIKa OAV series. Coincidently, coming up on the 10th anniversary of that work, an official website for the coming remaster DVD’s will open on Sept. 1st.

8-31-06 (10:11AM EDT)—- Santa Inoue At Tokyopop

Tokyopop has posted an 8 part video interview between Stu Levy and Tokyo Tribes creator Santa Inoue. In the course of discussion the manga series end comes up and Santa hints at the possibility of a third installment. Tokyopop’s chief confirms in part 6 that Tokyopop will be putting out the Neighborhood 13 manga which was made into a live-action film distributed by Media Blasters. Levy mentions the tv show will be dubbed and released for America for 2007, but not specifically through Tokyopop. Thanks to Daniel for the link.

8-30-06 (12:48PM EDT)—- Bishoujo Video Games?

IT Media has an interesting piece on the evolution (or devolution) of so-called Bishoujo Video Games. The common description of such games are those text / story driven games with many static images, miniscule amounts of actual animation and attractive girls. Such PC games have been popular in the mainstream in Japan since latter half of the 1990’s. A recent conference for the game software developers “CESA Developers Conference 2006” was held and one panel probed the question: are these really games? Tokimeki Memorial released in 1994 and Sakura Taisen released in 1996 are widely held to have started the mainstream advance of the genre. They also established a story / choice / multi-ending driven interface formula that would duplicated several thousand times and has widely remained unchanged in over 10 years. Chun Soft’s Shizuku (Leaf) in 1996 introduced the sound novel style. However, around 2000 the effort necessary for gameplay was oddly brought down to a minimum in many PC Bishoujo games and this was a widespread phenomena. A number of the panelists question the genre, citing the unchanged low spec formula even as PC hardware specs increase, allowing creators greater expression. This goes opposite to modern games with heavy 3D graphics, net community interaction and where the player is usually controlling some type of moving character.

8-30-06 (12:23PM EDT)—- Korean Dramas Spring Forth From Manhwa

The number of South Korean TV dramas in production based on Manhwa comics are growing. There’s alot of hype over Kim Jonhak Productions’ coming 40 billion Won adaptation of “Taou Shi Kamiki” starring Yon Jun. The telecast is set for the first half of the year of next year. Miya (Imperial Prince) aired earlier this year catapulting JooJi Hun to stardom. A series based on Kim Soo-Yeon’s original manhwa Hip Hop is supposedly in the planning stages from the same production company, broadcast is set for winter. Jeies Pictures will produce a drama based on the ‘Sponger’ manhwa, it will broadcast on MBC from the beginning of next year. The KBS mini-series ‘Full house’ seemed to set off this latest boom.

8-30-06 (11:50AM EDT)—- PS3 Specs Downgraded Again?

The Inquirer mentions:
IT LOOKS LIKE the PS3 is way too powerful for us mere humans, and because the value is so overwhelming, Sony is going to make it a little more palatable. The RSX, previously scheduled to run at 550/700 core/memory has been realigned with expectations and the value chain at 500/650. We can’t tell you why the GPU lost nearly 10% of it’s clock, it could be an NVidia screwup, or it could be Sony/Cell. Either way, it just became much less of an overwhelming value, but you get a DRM infected drive for ‘free’ either way.

8-30-06 (11:39AM EDT)—- Playstation 3 Official Website Launched

Sony has gone live with the official Japanese web presence for it’s next generation PS3 console. With Blu Ray disc playing capabilities onboard and a growing list of corporate support the console is poised to possibly be the primary device fans the world over will be using to watch hi-def anime: www.jp.playstation.com/ps3/

8-30-06 (10:53AM EDT)—- Anime Network Now Reaching 40 Million American Homes

www.theanimenetwork.com
Continuing to draw in viewers with the strength of its programming and command of all things anime, Anime Network has reached a new distribution milestone. America’s #1 anime channel is now available to 40 million homes across the United States and Canada — a 233% increase and more than three times its reach in less than two years. “We are obviously pleased to have made such significant progress,” said Kevin McFeeley, Anime Network’s Vice President of Affiliate Sales. “Yet, we are even more encouraged by the possibilities for even further growth as we seek out new and exciting platforms on which to deliver content to our fans.”

Available to its ravenous viewership on a variety of platforms — 24/7 “linear” channel, video-on-demand (VOD), subscription-based video-on-demand (SVOD), pay-per-view (PPV) and transactional for both cable and satellite subscribers — Anime Network has seen a swarm of carriage deals attribute to its success. In particular, the Network’s recent deals with Wide Open West and Harron Communications (linear) and Service Electric Cablevision and Knology (SVOD) provided the reach that took its total distribution over the 40 million mark. “The


Anime News Service – August 21st-25th Anime News

8-25-06 (9:06PM EDT)—- GYAO Adds Motion Manga

One of the largest internet / broadband anime streamers in Japan, GYAO, has added new manga channel this week. Called “Motion Comics” the manga is presented in a movie style format with professional seiyuu voiceover, music, sound effects and pannel / box pans and editing. Fist of the Northstar and Brave Story are some of the initial 5 serials on tap. The concept is visually very similar to a technique pioneered by John Ott, Hikaru Sasahara and Digital Manga in the late 1990’s. A free preview can be seen when you load up the above page. Gyao requires you signup to see the full versions although only users with IP’s in Japan can access their content.

8-25-06 (11:44AM EDT)—- China To Produce 70,000 Mins. Of Animation In 2006

People’s Daily reports China’s cartoon industry is expected to produce 70,000 minutes of animation this year, a sign the industry is developing rapidly. The country has produced more than 50,000 minutes of cartoons so far this year, exceeding the total output last year of 47,200 minutes.

8-25-06 (11:34AM EDT)—- Gin-iro no Olynssis Presite

Based on the seinen light novel Gin-iro no Olynssis serialized in Dengeki Maoh, Toei has gone live with a presite for the coming anime TV series to debut in October. Hirai Hisashi (Gundam Seed) will provide character designs. http://www.toei-anim.co.jp/tv/olynssis/

8-25-06 (10:14AM EDT)—- New Trailers

You can now view online video previews of the following titles via links off their main sites: Yoakena Yori Ruri Shokuna TV, Hidamari Sketch TV, Asatteno TV. Look for the text PV on one of the sidebars, click to view.

8-25-06 (9:48AM EDT)—- 50 Years Of Toei Animation – New Projects Hinted

Another Asahi article today talks about Toei’s 50th Aniversary celebration. It’s said the studio has 7 series (the most ever) running on TV in Japan now. Over the last half century they have produced 168 TV anime total and 185 anime movies. For 2007 they plan to release a new film adaptaion of Riyoko Ikeda’s manga Versailles No Bara (Rose of Versailles). Additionally an original full CG project based on Shigeru Mizuki’s “Gegege no Kitaro” is now progressing.

8-25-06 (9:16AM EDT)—- Ohayocon Site Shut Down?

www.ohayocon.com, the official website of the anime convetion by the same name has been taken down, what remains in it’s place is a notice of violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, mentioning content currently residing within it’s domain infringes on the copyrights and intellectual property of multiple individuals and corporations.

8-25-06 (9:00AM EDT)—- Ghibli Comments On Leguinn’s Gedo Senki Observations

Asahi Shimbun covers recent homepage comments by Author Ursula K LeGuinn on the anime film adaption of her work by Goro Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli. Toward the end of the article Producer Toshio Suzuki comments “I obediently catch the original writer’s impression. However, we will have made the best use of the psyche of the original. Though there are pros and cons in this movie, if it is possible to enjoy it, it is the best.” Attendance through August 20th is said to be 4,217,000 people according to distributor Toho.

8-25-06 (8:10AM EDT)—- Latest Hokuto no Ken Movie Hits DVD

Hokuto no Ken – Raoh Gaiden Junai-hen Arc which ran in theaters in Japan in March will be release to R2 DVD on October 27th. Distributor Amuse Soft Entertainment is planning a pretty lavish 18,690 yen Directors Cut “Kanzen Yoyaku Gentei Han” (Total Subscription Version) DVD BOX release. Therein you can find several deleted scenes not shown in theaters. A regular version (3,990 yen) and limited edition version (6,090 yen) will be produced as well. A rental version will be available on October 13th. The limited edition version includes a Tetsuo Hara illustrated jacket, postcard and omake disc featuring music video clips, Tetso / Buronson interview and more. With the Total Subscription Edition, you get a Tetso Hara premium reproduction illustration, 4 piece action figure set, and BOX. Supposedly you can arrange the Box as a kind of display to house the illustration and action figures. An exclusive preview for the new Fist OVA due in winter 2006 is included with all version.

8-25-06 (7:10AM EDT)—- Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo Boxoffice

Despite it’s extremely limited run at around 16 screens since the opening on July 15th, Director Mamoru Hosoda and Studio Madhouse’s animated feature Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo has amassed a box office revenue exceeding 100 million Yen to date. The news comes courtesy distributor Kadowawa GHD as additional screens will be added as of August 26th. Tokyo, which had just one theater playing ‘Tokikake’ will get a much needed 2 further screens. Word of mouth and internet buzz have driven ticket purchases into near unrivaled territory for such a release. It’s said the momentum in larger cities such as Tokyo and Osaka is still building. www.kadokawa.co.jp/tokikake

8-25-06 (6:50AM EDT)—- Jackson No Longer Attached To Monkey King

Monkey Peaches says that Rob Minkoff (co-director of The Lion King and director of Stuart Little) is now possibly involved with the Jackie Chan and Jet Li film which supposedly features a boy who meets the Monkey King. Thanks to Daniel Zelter for the item.

8-25-06 (6:16AM EDT)—- Kanon Preview Disc Released

Akiba Blog was on the streets of Akihabara Thursday to see the release of Kyoto Animation’s Kanon Prelude DVD. The anime is generally being recognized by fans around the web of having a very high visual quality.

8-25-06 (2:21AM EDT)—- Wiz Acquires Ashi Productions

A segway to this past weekend’s Dancougar news out of Charahobby 2006, it’s been announced that Japanese toy firm Wiz Inc. has acquired a controlling stake in anime studio Ashi Productions. Upon an allocation of new stock shares totalling 100 million Yen Wiz will own a 50.1% as of August 31st. AshiPro will retain the rights to it’s anime properties including alot of classics like the original Vampire Hunter D OAV, Machine Robo, VS Lamune And 40 Fire, Go Shogun, Macross 7


Anime News Service – August 15th-17th Anime News

8-17-06 (7:46PM EDT)—- Hollywood Looking At Death Note Remake

Over 10 companies (many in Hollywood) worldwide are said to be looking at remaking the live action Japanese Death Note films.

8-17-06 (7:30PM EDT)—- Death Note Hits Big In Hong Kong

The live action Death Note film opened in theaters across Hong Kong on August 10th through Golden Harvest. Starring Tatsuya Fujiwara and directed by Shusuke Kaneko (“Gamera” series, “Azumi 2: Death Or Love”), has become the Japanese film with the highest grossing first day ever there, drawing in 1,030,077 Hong Kong Dollars (15.45 million Yen). The Taiwanese opening is set for September 8th, followed by the Thai release at the end of September. South Korea rounds out major Asian theatrical openings in October.

8-17-06 (6:59PM EDT)—- No Blu-Ray Region Barrier For Japan / USA

Sony and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. have announced on Thursday that Blu-Ray disc media will be playable on hardware available on the market in both the countries of Japan and the United States. In effect, no region lockout will exist barring customers from, for instance, playing American released Hollywood films on Japanese equipment and Japanese released anime on USA equipment. Manufacturers and the U.S. movie industry are to thank for the move, deciding to remove a wall that has exited between Japan and U.S. media through the DVD standard since it’s start in the late 1990’s. Over the years American fans eager to see high resolution copies of the latest and greatest animation in Japan have bolstered a lucrative import market for JDM DVD releases, bypassing region coding lockouts through hardwire modifactions to US players, sharing secret backdoor diagnostic mode codes, buying Japanese DVD decks themselves and flocking to purchase inexpensive grey market “region free” players often manufactured in Asia.

8-17-06 (6:39PM EDT)—- ANIMAX Toei 50th Anniversary Marathon

On the occasion of the studio’s 50th anniversary, Toei Animation is taking over the airwaves. Japan’s all anime satellite network ANIMAX will commemorate the milestone by broadcasting exclusively Toei anime works for 36 hours straight from 9AM on August 19th- 9:00PM of the 20th. Founded in 1956 Toei has produced over 69 popular TV series, OVA specials and Movies. Many of these will be screened during the marathon including Galaxy Express 999, Dragonball, Fist Of The Northstar, Ge Ge Ge No Kitaro and Sally The Witch. Additionally, special commemorative spots featuring seiyuu and staff of Toei will appear in between the animation.

8-17-06 (6:29PM EDT)—- USB BBQ

In the WTF file, an intrepid Japanese computer geek has devised a way to roast meat on stove powered by USB connectors. In the past someone had fired an egg with 2.5W of electric power coming through 1 port. Six USB expansion cards each containing five ports were hooked together and their combied 30 ports were used for this experiment. 75W of electric power was generated. The actual heating device used was a modified cup warmer. The pictures at the link have to be seen to be believed.

8-17-06 (5:34PM EDT)—- Juno Reactor In Japan

UK trance / techno group Juno Reactor will perform a single concert in Japan after handling the soundtrack to GONZO’s summer anime film Brave Story. The unit led by Ben Watkins also scored The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions and The Animatrix. Juno Reactor live -Audio Visual Experience- will take place on October 7th at Prince Shinagawa Stellar Ball. Doors open at 19:00, advance tickets are 5,500 Yen, and on the day of the event 7,000 Yen. Tickets go on sale September 1st.

8-17-06 (5:34PM EDT)—- UPDATE: Akira Toriyama On Top Runner

The reclusive creator if Dr. Slump and Dragonball is reportedly to appear on NHK’s Top Runner chat show on September 12th. Akira Toriyama is known for having done very few media interviews over his years as one of the most popular mangaka in Japan.

8-17-06 (4:43PM EDT)—- Pumpkin Scissors Trailer

www.rikujyo3ka.com now hosts the first video of the new GONZO TV anime Pumpkin Scissors. The clip is the actual one that played at Comike 70 this past weekend.

8-17-06 (4:26PM EDT)—- Haruhi Suzumiya “Summer Vacation Assignment”?

The official Haruhi Suzumiya animation website has updated with an unusual item towards the bottom of the main page. “Summer Vacation Assignment” (Natsuyasumi No Kadai) gives a list of things for SOS members to do during their summer break, they include Camping, Pool, Bon Festival Dance, Fireworks, Celestial Observation, Batting Practice, Insect Collecting and Testing Courage. Even stranger, at the bottom this page is a hidden code. Hold the left mouse button and pan across the center of the white box at the bottom of this page. You will highlight some text, which translated reads “Your Summer Vacation [followed by random number sequence]”. Could these be hints of a coming anime sequel TV series? The cover of the just released September, 2006 edition of Japanese Newtype Magazine featured the SOS leader for the first time along with the text “Haruhi Suzumiya Returns”.

8-17-06 (3:32PM EDT)—- Animeigo Acquires Yawara

Animeigo has revealed on thier official website that they have licensed the Yawara TV series. The first box set is projected all though not guarenteed to ship in early 2007: Celebrating 17 years of “Death of AnimEigo” rumors! Once again, we risk our sanity for our loyal fans, by taking on the brain-destroying task of releasing another classic TV series! More details coming soon. There will be an extremely fashionable preorder.

8-17-06 (3:15PM EDT)—- Yu-Gi-Oh! Capsule Monsters Premieres

The ultimate battle begins as Yugi and his friends Tea, Tristen and Joey must fight for survival on the new television series Yu-Gi-Oh! Capsule Monsters, premiering Saturday morning, September 9th on 4Kids TV (4kids.tv) (Fox affiliates nationwide). Created in Japan, the action-packed, 12-episode series expands on the overwhelming international success of Yu-Gi-Oh! with an all-new series that follows the exciting adventures of high-school freshmen Yugi and his three friends who are mysteriously transported into the strange world of Capsule Monsters.

8-17-06 (3:15PM EDT)—- Metrocon Anounces Yoshitaka Amano’s World

METROCON (www.metroconventions.com) has the honor and privilege to announce that Yoshitaka Amano, best


Anime News Service – August 6th-8th Anime News

8-8-06 (7:53AM EDT)—- More Theaters For Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo

Following up some news out of Otakon this past weekend. Masao Murayama said at his Madhouse panel that Mamoru Hosoda’s anime film Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo is only being shown in one theater in Tokyo presently. As of Tuesday it’s been announced 33 theaters nationwide will soon host screenings. In Tokyo, where it has solely been playing at a Shinjuku theater since August 12th, there have been sell out crowds for every show and rave reviews. However, there has also been widespread dissatisfaction due to the extremely limited nature of the release, and the ability for most people to actually get into one of the showings. From August 26th 3 theaters in the city will begin playing the movie.

8-8-06 (7:35AM EDT)—- “Extra Large” Evangelion Scoop In October Newtype

According to information published in the just released September, 2006 Japanese edition of Newtype Magazine, 10 years from the original series telecast their October issue will include an “extra large” scoop on Neon Genesis Evangelion. No details are given but in a teaser preview they ask readers the question “What starts happening?”, and invites them to pick up the next issue to find out.

8-8-06 (6:13AM EDT)—- New Super Robot Taisen Anime TV Series

Banpresto is developing a new TV animation, “Super Robot Taisen OG Devine War”. Confirmed staff include Director Kakudou Hiroyuki (Digimon Adventure TV), Series Composition by Takanobu Terada (Super Robot Wars Original Generation), Original Character Concepts by Sachiko Kono, Character Design by Yuji Ikeda (Dragon Ball Z), CG Supervision by Ichiro Itano, Special Technical Direction by Ichiro Itano and Animation Production by OLM.

8-8-06 (5:39AM EDT)—- Japanese Broadcast Briefs

– Galaxy Angel II will broadcast from October.
– The second season of Jigoku Shoujo TV will start on October 7, 2006
– The official website for TBS’s 009-1 series is now live at www.tbs.co.jp/anime/009-1/
– Based on the Watsuki (Kenshin) manga, the Busou Renkin TV series will air at midnight in October via TV Tokyo.

8-8-06 (5:37AM EDT)—- Update- HOAX: Kara No Kyoukai To Be Animated


Several contacts have written in to confirm this news as false. The source, a supposed leaked page scan from the September issue of Tech Gian surfaced days before the actual magazine release in Japan. The alleged image of page 311 of the magazine was passed and posted around the Japanese fan web. Upon the actual magazine’s release, readers were treated to an entirely different page 311 and the “leaked” interview scan was revealed to be a fairly well-made fake. Prior to the official confirmation, much of the material in the fake interview was said to be somewhat unbelievable by many fans including making Ryuudo Issei a main character of a forthcoming game.
According to information published in the September, 2006 issue of Tech Gian magazine, TYPE MOON’s first novel Kara No Kyoukai will be adapted to a 26 episode anime TV series. The Nasu Kinoko work preceded “Tsukihime”, which gave the Dojin circle super cult status in Japan, catapulting them into a full fledged business and leading to the commercialization of their many properties.

8-8-06 (5:02AM EDT)—- Idol Master XENOGLOSSIA Anime Announced

News out of the just released September, 2006 issue of Japanese Newtype Magazine indicates the BandaiNamco Xbox360 / idol simulation arcade game, The Idol Master will be adapted to an animated TV series. Titled Idol Master XENOGLOSSIA, production staff associated with Mai-HiME will be involved. Other confirmed staff includes Director Nagai Tatsuyuki (Honey and Clover II), Series Composer Hanada Juuki (Rozen Maiden) and Character Designer Takeuchi Hiroshi (Shutsugeki! Machine Robo Rescue), Animation Production by Sunrise. The storyline is said to be completely different from that in the game. The franchise pre-animation has been an underground cult hit among hardcore otaku in Japan. In the original game the player takes on the role of a producer who’s job is to groom a future idol singer. 10 teenage girls can be slected at the begining and you can customize her appearance and train her in various mini games, which will improve five of her status features. Broadcast set for 2007. The official website is www.idolmaster.jp

8-8-06 (4:33AM EDT)—- Air Becomes First Title Announced For Blu-Ray

To hit Japanese store shelves on November 1st, 2006 retailing at 29,800 Yen, Pony/Canyon Ltd.’s AIR BD-BOX will mark the first domestic title (and the first anime) to be released on Sony’s new High Definition video disc format, Blu-Ray. The box will collect the 12 epsiode TV series along with 2 special / extra stories. The set will be a limited production run. Sony’s PLAYSTATION 3 will be sold on November 11th, supporting the format. An omake disc will also be included. Video format will be 16:9, Audio will be 5.1ch Dolby Digital Stereo linear PCM, 5.1ch surround linear PCM, collected by four types of Dolby NR professional logic II. Grammy Award winning digital mastering engineer Ted Jensen (for his work with Norah Jones) produced the 5.1ch soundtrack. Two kinds of openings that use new images are collected on the omake disk. A 90 second opening has been increased to three minutes for the BOX. Additionaly the cast interview “-MEMORY OF VOICE-” collected to the DVD “AIR MEMORIES” is included. It’s content will differ from the DVD version, featuring new material. the 130 minute commentary will include all 11 cast members. An illustration gallery of 50 images will also be added. This project was first shown at the CES and a confirmation that it would go into production came on the official website in February, 2006. http://anime.powerbean.jp/AIR/index.html

8-8-06 (4:05AM EDT)—- TokyoPop And Initial D At Tofu Festival

TokyoPop’s Initial D is coming to Tofu Festival (www.tofufestival.com) at Little Tokyo District in (Downtown) Los Angeles, CA on 8/12-13.

8-8-06 (3:54AM EDT)—- Indie Film Slump In Japan

A new Hollywood Reporter article talks about how international co-productions like Death Note and the Korean film, April Snow, as well as international films like The Da Vinci Code and Narnia are beating domestic-made films


Anime News Service – August 3rd-5th Anime News

8-5-06 (11:39PM EDT)—- Black Lagoon Second Season

The Black Lagoon TV animation will get a second series. New characters include Handle voiced by Minami Oni and Gretel voiced by Tomoko Kanada.

8-5-06 (11:04PM EDT)—- Gintama Plagiarism?

On Japanese message baords there’s been some contention that Hideaki Sorachi’s Gintama manga may have some instances of pakuri (artistic imitation and theft). A website titled “Gintama Pakuri Summary” has been errected on the Geocities free site hosting service providing side by side panel scans of the Shonen Jump serial versus earlier published manga serials of “Kids Torein” and “Da Pump”. Examples of identical text speech used under similar situations and scenes drawn with close resemblance to other works are cited as examples.

8-5-06 (10:28PM EDT)—- Hanbun No Gatsu Ganoboru Sora Drama

After running as an anime via WOWOW’s Ani Tsuushin Dengeki Light Novel Gekijou, earlier this year, Hanbun No Gatsu Ganoboru Sora (Looking Up At The Half Moon) will be adapted to a latenight television drama this fall. AV Idol Miku Ishida will star in the leading role. TV Tokyo will broadacast the series from Ocotber. The eight volume original novel has become a best-seller, with over one million copies sold. It’s said the role of a selfish character who has trouble communicating with others will demand strong acting ability.

8-5-06 (8:47PM EDT)—- One Pound Gospel To Be Animated?

According to info published in the latest issue of Young Sunday (vol. 36/37) it was announced that Rumiko Takahashi will resume the series in it’s pages from November 22nd (Vol. 52) of this year. The five chapter serial will be entitled “Final Stories” that will end the series, which has been published on and off since 1987. ANS has learned the reason for Takahashi-sensei picking up the reigns to finish the story may lie in plans to adapt it to an anime TV series to begin airing in Japan as early as spring 2007. A 55 minute OAV based on the manga was produced in 1998. Both it and the original comics are released in America by Viz Media.

8-5-06 (5:50AM EDT)—- Sgt. Frog Facing Tough Times In South Korea

Sunrise’s popular animation Sgt. Frog (Kuroro Gunso) has faced some criticism in South Korea recently, being equated to glorifying the WWII era empire and militaristic imperialist Japan. Telecast of the series begun on cable TV there last September. Although aimed at kids, Frog enjoys wide popularity among adults spawing manga, toys and even a theatrical musical. Keroro’s (and the Keronians’) hat featuring a red star has been compared to similar caps worn by Japanese soldiers in WWII. Also the opening song of the second story arc of the series was said to display “Kyokujitsu-ki” (Japanese War Banner). The main crticisim has come from Korean netizens and bloggers who have even gone to the lengths of seeking petitions signatures to have Kororo removed from TV. Most Koreans agree that this is an overreaction, however. This isn’t the first time that anime has faced negative reaction in Korea though. In April 2005, the opening of Studio Ghibli’s ‘Grave of the Fireflies’ was canceled there. The third work of studio Ghibli is the story of 14-year old boy who lost his parents and younger sister in World War II. The cancellation was reportedly related an anti-Japanese sentiment fueled by a net-led campaign.

8-5-06 (5:20AM EDT)—- Illustrator Hidero Horibe Dies

36 year old Japanese illustrator Hidero Horibe died on Saturday, June 17, 2006. He was found to have suffered from acute cardiac insufficiency (heart failure). Horibe’s art career spanned 14 years, allowing him to be actively involved many works. Credits include many video games such as Fragments Blue (PS2) and Muragiri (PS2) a character design role in the 2004 OAV Interlude and a cover illustration for Hiroyuki Ishikawa’s novel Waku no Soto Niaru Fuukei. May, 2006 saw the release of the art collection / design works compendium YOURS. covering an overview of Horibe art including his many PC Angel covers, Dojinshi arts, and more – a total of 118 color illustrations, each accompanied by commentary from the artist. A statement announcing the unfortunate news was posted to the artist’s website.

8-5-06 (4:52AM EDT)—- Witchblade Anime Hits USA In April 2007

The From the Top Cow panel at WWC:
Japanese animation studio Gonzo has created 26 episodes of a “Witchblade” animated series. The 16th episode aired recently in Japan, with plans to bring the show stateside in April 2007. The show takes place within “Witchblade” continuity and is set in the year 2100 A.D. Hawkins would like Gonzo to tackle “The Darkness” for its next project.Source: Comic Book Resources

8-5-06 (3:11AM EDT)—- CLAMP Deals With Stalking

On June 1st, 2003 the all female Osaka-based manga circle CLAMP updated CLAMP-NET’s information section with news that they had been receiveing frequent letters from an unknown man proclaiming the following: “I was a CLAMP member’s classmate. And, it is understood that I am the model for the hero in the manga you are drawing now.” CLAMP is of course from the Kansai region of Japan and have not left the area of their birth even in their high school years. Nor had any member experienced a school transfer. They maintain never having attended the school mentioned in the letters (the school’s name is withheld). Such letters arrived under various names and were apparently hand delivered to their apartments and office without postmark or stamp. Their office address (now and in the past) has never been open to the public. Only their editorial department knew the office address and few answers were forthcoming upon confronting them with the issue. CLAMP admits the entire ordeal was a scary experience which has had them perplexed and has made their family worry very much. After consulting a lawyer about this matter, the group learned the various legal procedures measures available to them. They then posted their appeal (linked above) for the person to cease a desist the communication. No further official update has been made regarding the matter since


Anime News Service – June 8th – August 2nd Anime News

8-2-06 (10:26PM EDT)—- Alternative Comics Meet Alternative Manga

The LA Weekly interviews American artist Adrian Tomine and alternative manga pioneer Yoshihiro Tatsumi as they attend Comicon 2006 and talk comic arts and stories.

8-2-06 (10:12PM EDT)—- A Sanner Darkly Compared To Manga

USA Today has a review of Director Richard Linklater’s new film, A Scanner Darkly. The plot is based on a book of the same name by sci-fi writer Philip K. Dick (Blade Runner, Minority Report) and stars Keanu Reeves (Animatrix), Robert Downey Jr. and Winona Ryder. Using a process of computer interpolated rotoscoping, the animation is already being compared to manga.

8-2-06 (10:07PM EDT)—- NARUTO: UZUMAKI CHRONICLES PS2 In USA

Active Anime is running a press release for Namco Bandai Games’ NARUTO: UZUMAKI CHRONICLES” headed to PS2 in America this winter.

8-2-06 (6:41PM EDT)—- RPG House Guardians Of Order Out Of Business

ICV2 reports Author George R.R. Martin has disclosed that the Canadian role-playing game publisher Guardians of Order is now out of business. Founded in 1996, Guardians of Order published a number of innovative games over its decade-long run including the first major anime RPG, Big Eyes Small Mouth; the comic book-based RPG Silver Sentinels; as well as a number of gaming/anime fan books on series such as Trigun, Fushigi Yugi, Serial Experiment Lain, and Neon Genesis Evangelion. Most GOO games featured the company’s own “Tri-Stat” gaming system.

8-2-06 (6:27PM EDT)—- FUNimation Acquires Robotech Shadow Chronicles

FUNimation Entertainment (www.funimation.com) announced today that it has acquired rights to the feature film “Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles” from Harmony Gold. In the agreement, FUNimation acquired home video, broadcast and theatrical rights to this movie that delivers the continuation that fans have been anticipating for 20 years. “Robotech is the series that introduced an entire generation to anime,” said Gen Fukunaga, president and CEO of FUNimation. “It captured fans with its tremendous storylines and great storytelling. The Robotech series also ended on a cliffhanger that left fans waiting for 20 years. FUNimation is very excited to be part of the team that will bring expectant fans the ending they have been waiting for in Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles.” Featuring the voices of Mark Hamill (Star Wars) and Chase Masterson (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), the animation of Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles also takes a generational leap into the future through a technological marriage of CG graphics beautifully composited with vibrant anime characters. The heightened production values showcase high-definition video, 5.1 digital surround sound, and an incredible musical score performed by the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. FUNimation plans to release the Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles DVD on November 21, 2006.

8-2-06 (5:37AM EDT)—- Copyrighted Anime Still Available On YouTube

Yomiuri Shimbun is running a Japanese language article on the sticky state of affairs that still exist surrounding YouTube and users who continue to upload copyrighted anime and other programming. For Japanese rights holders, the flood and frequency of new submissions seems to make checking for potential violations a rather daunting task. Coprighted video from TV is apparantly showing up on the site within hours of airing. A TV Asahi representative was quoted as saying: “Becuase of the cost, it is difficult to arrange the number of people to check it”. YouTube maintains a policy that users cannot upload copyrighted material and has pulled videos following official requests by purported copyright holders and investigation into their claims.

8-2-06 (5:37AM EDT)—- Anime Attitudes And DRM

ZDnet reports on a recent Siggraph panel that let conference attendees question Sony directly about its digital rights management policies, and attendees and panelists weren’t shy about expressing their views:
Singer acknowledged that there will always be unlicensed copying by “those who have more time than money”, such as college students, but that Sony’s aim is to make content convenient and reasonably priced and reasonably restricted enough to prevent general consumers from going to other channels. While most agreed that such an aim would probably work, Townsend warned that Sony should take cultural attitudes into account. While anime fans stopped burning and distributing the Japanese films once they were available in the US, said Townsend, it was done in large part because the fan base had a respect for the anime industry. The contempt held by most young digital consumers for large corporate content providers may carry over into their adulthood, he said.

8-2-06 (5:31AM EDT)—- Mamorukun ni Site

WOWOW has posted their official website for the forthcoming TV series Mamorukun ni at: http://www.wowow.co.jp/anime/mamoru/.

8-2-06 (4:47AM EDT)—- Katekyo Hitman Reborn! To Be Animated

Based on the manga by Akira Amano and serialized in Shueisha’s Weekly Shounen Jump Magazine since 2004, Katekyo Hitman Reborn! is headed for it’s own TV anime series adaptation. TV Tokyo will broadcast the shonen, comedy, action story from the autumn of this year in it’s 10:30 timeslot. Sawada Tsunayoshi is a junior high school student that carries around a useless life with him until one day, a home tutor arrives in his house. Though he holds an appearance of a baby, Reborn is actually a professional assassination and his sole purpose is to turn his teenage pupil’s life around by training him to become a Mafia boss. With the power of the Dying Will Flame at hand, Tsuna will be able to overcome his regrets in life. Viz Media holds the US release rights to the manga, release is currently set to begin in October 2006. Likewise a French manga release is set for September 2006. Story summary courtesy the excellent unofficial fan site to Amano Akira and Reborn: Sempre Famiglia.

8-2-06 (3:38AM EDT)—- Hakujaden Revives As Musical

On the occasion of Toei Animation’s 50th anniversary Japan’s first all color feature length animation film will become the basis for a new musical. Shirohebi Den -White Lovers- will star Ukon Ichikawa and Abe-Natsumi. The musical will playout in Ginza from