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
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