Posts in: September, 2006

Anime News Service – September 9th-22nd Anime News

9-22-06 (7:03PM EDT)—- Adapted Manga Selling Strong In Japan

Kakaku visited a Toranoana manga shop and has some picks of the current top sellers which happen to be the basis for many of the fall’s most popular anime and are arranged in special displays.

9-22-06 (6:54PM EDT)—- Reiji Matsumoto Speaks Out At Copyright Conference

Space Battleship Yamato and Harlock creator Reiji Matsumoto was a speaker at a September 22 “Originator Group Council To Consider The Copyright Problem” conference that was also composed of 16 copyright management groups. The event was assembled by the Agency for Cultural Affairs and largely focused on the question of extending intelectual copyright from 50-70 in postmortem of the original creator. The mangaka and animator said of copyrights: “Though the writer may have spent his whole life establishing it [his work], to be faced with it being discontinued in only 50 years is unbearable.” You can view images of the creator at the meeting at IT Media.

9-22-06 (1:20AM EDT)—- Yasuo Yamayoshi Dead

Manga author and animator Yasuo Yamayoshi died in Tokyo hospital at 3:58PM on 9/14 of acute aortic dissection. He was 64. He was involved with creation aspects of many popular anime including Ja Witch, Gratomagengar and Kinnikuman. His funeral was held in Nerima Ward Kotakemachi at noon on the 17th.
Source: Daily Sports

9-22-06 (1:20AM EDT)—- New York-Tokyo Music Festival Next Weekend

Fujisankei Communications International (FCI) and Sharp Electronics Corporation team up to bring you the New York-Tokyo Music Festival 2006 on Saturday, September 30, 2006 at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park a free, all-day, open-air music festival that will showcase the most inspired artistic talent from the East and the West. This year’s festival focuses on artists that are currently breaking new ground in emerging musical subgenres, ranging from Turntablism to Dancehall, Hip-hop to Progressive Jazz. It will establish a cultural and creative bridge between the U.S. and Japan, centered around the universal language of music provided by HIFANA (Break Beats 21st century Japan’s most anticipated artist), PE’Z (Samurai Jazz Japan’s No. 1 Instrumentalists), and MIGHTY CROWN (Dancehall Reggae 4-time world champion) from Japan, as well as DJ A-TRAK (Turntablism Kanye West’s live DJ) and TALIB KWELI (Hip-hop Brooklyn-bred prodigy) from the United States.

Prior to an exciting evening of music, the afternoon will feature high-energy performances by worldly B-boy groups and traditional New Age Japanese instrumentalists. In addition, The New York Tokyo Music Festival will concurrently be showcasing the 2006 collection of the year’s best MUSIC, GAME, and ANIME. MUSIC we will be introducing the top music videos from Japan, showing the uniqueness of the current scene in Japan. GAME we will be presenting our own event of EA’s “Def Jam: Fight for NY,” featuring Def Jam artists in furious battle. ANIME we will be holding a preview of Gonzo-produced “Afro Samurai,” an animation series aired on Spike TV, starring Samuel L. Jackson and the music of RZA. Lastly, the Festival welcomes all attendees with our one-of-a-kind exhibition. Uniqlo will be showcasing its “from Tokyo to NY” fashion in a real-size container. And of course, we won’t forget to have our Game Pavilion, featuring the pre-releases and recently released titles from each publisher, as New York Tokyo’s monthly game event GNG celebrates its 3rd year anniversary. By combining two varying cultures in the greatest outdoor venue in New York City, the Festival aims to highlight the influences, fascination and respect both nations have and share with each other. Festival-goers of all ages will experience first hand, a deeper appreciation of the music, dance, fine art, animation, fashion, and food of Japan and the Far East.

9-22-06 (1:13AM EDT)—- Devil May Cry Anime Presite

The official presite for the forthcoming animation series adaptation of the Devil May Cry videogame has launched at Look for the broadcast start on WOWOW in 2007.

9-22-06 (1:06AM EDT)—- Mina Presite Opens

The Getsumen Usagi Heiki Mina TV animation is now confirmed with the official presite opening at Broadcast is set for Fuji Television Network at midnight on Saturdays weekly from January, 2007.

9-21-06 (8:23PM EDT)—- Gundam License Plate Draws $110,000 USD

The Turkish Daily News reports that in a first of a kind auction in the former British territory of Hong Kong, specialized registration plates were sold off to aid of local charities. One featuring “GUNDAM,” named after a Japanese anime character, fetched $110,000.

9-21-06 (8:14PM EDT)—- Mandarake Gets New Building In Akihabara

Japanese brick and mortar Anime and Manga second hand goods retailer Mandarake announced it will buy a new building store front location in the heart of the otaku’s sacred ground, Akihabara. To be located in Sotokanda, Mandarake is making the real estate purchase from present owner Suzuden Corporation. Altough the agreed price has not been revealed, the layout of the new location is about 231 square meter indoors on 1075 square meters of land. 11 branches of the store exist now.

9-21-06 (6:35PM EDT)—- FREEDOM OVA 1 New Release Date

Put on hiatus a few weeks back, OVA 1 of Katsuhiro Otomo’s FREEDOM will go on sale November 24th. The original release was set at October 27 but then suspended to improve the quality of the product.

9-21-06 (6:33PM EDT)—- English Subs And Dub On Japanese Brave Story DVD

GONZO has announced the simultaneous DVD, UMD, HDDVD and Blu Ray media release of their anime film Brave Story through Warner Brothers on November 12th, 2006. Extras on the 2980 Yen DVD include an English Dubbed audio track and English subtitles.

9-21-06 (5:54PM EDT)—- New Mystery Anime On TV Tokyo

Japan’s TV Tokyo Channel 12 mentioned a new and as yet untitled kids anime program is set to broadcast in a late night frame from January, 2007.

9-21-06 (5:42PM EDT)—- Inukami! Movie Announced

A commerical following the just broadcast (in Japan) 25th episode of Inukami! mentions the production decision for a theatrical film adaptation has been announced.

9-21-06 (4:48PM EDT)—- Lucky Star To Be Animated

According to informaiton published in the latest issue of bishoujo magazine Comptiq, Yoshimizu Kagami’s 4-panel Seinen

Anime News Service – September 4th-8th Anime News

9-8-06 (7:43PM EDT)—- New Evengelion Movies: Will Original Voice Cast Be Reprised?

With 4 new animated Evangelion movies now confirmed and in production there has been some questioning regarding the Japanese voice casting. All of the main original members of the TV and Movie cast are still living but some have retired or moved away from voice acting work. Megumi Hayashibara (Rei Ayanami) had retired for a period but then returned to seiyuu work. Likewise, Yuko Miyamura (Asuka Langely Sohryu) is thought to have put some distance between herself and voiceover work. A comment from one of her her last known public appearances can be viewed at her official website at the above link mentioning paid travelling expenses would be a requirement to persue any further vocal work.

9-8-06 (7:22PM EDT)—- Update: Evangelion Shin Gekijou Ban

A few new details regarding the new Eva project, Evangelion Shin Gekijou Ban from the October, 2006 Japanese edition of Newtype Magazine:
– The cover illustration featuring characters Ayanami Rei Nagisa Kaworu is by Shunji Suzuki. Suzuki had worked on the Shin Seiki Evangelion TV series as chief animator and on the End Of Evangelion movie as an animation director. Although not officially connected by name to the new project as yet, his image appearing on the Newtype cover would suggest involvement.
– Images released so far depict Rei Ayanami in observably more provacative and animated moods than before. How will she change? The silent and submissively naturered character with her trademark blue hair and style made her an all time fan favorite of otaku everywhere, catapulting her to the top of the monthly Animage character poll for many, many issues.
– From Toshimichi Ohtsuki’s interview: Just before this new project started up director Hideaki Anno rewatched the entire original television series back to back. Ohtsuki relays that he heard Anno say for the first time: “Eva is interesting, I did not think it was so interesting (laughing).” The comment almost broght Ohtsuki to tears.
– Ohtsuki goes on to say that it is true Eva has become a smash hit animation. However, it’s success caused misunderstanding and disarray has arisen in the animation field because of it. An overproduction of inferrior works was caused.
– Ohtsuki says the Newtype cover image featuring Rei and Kaworu symbolizes the new movie project. Japanese fans have questioned whether this is a hint at Rei And Kaworu’s possibly being at the center of the new story or getting expanded focus in the course of the story of the films.

9-8-06 (6:23PM EDT)—- Newtype: REBUILD OF EVANGELION Commercials

Kadokawa Shoten has posted 2 Quicktime radio commercials (although as yet not the video commercial, the screenshots of which went worldwide) for the October, 2006 Japanese edition of Newtype Magazine. The spots are narrated by seiyuu Noriko Kuwajima. The magazine, which features an exclusive on 4 upcoming Evangelion movies was released in Japan today, Saturday, September 9th.

9-7-06 (11:03PM EDT)—- Binbou Shimai Monogatari Sequel Coming

According to a September 9 entry in Episode Director Keiichi Sugiyama’s blog, the Binbou Shimai Monogatari TV series may get a sequel animation. The news comes as the 9th episode (of 10) airs on TV Asahi in Japan.

9-7-06 (10:11PM EDT)—- Aquaplus Comes Out Against Doujinshi

Aquaplus, the Japanese company behind such hugely fan favorite manga and anime as To Heart, Comic Party, Utawarerumono and a host of lesser known underground favorites has revised it’s rules regarding the use of it’s properties in doujinshi and fanfiction. They ask fans not use their original material directly in the production of such works. Distribution of such material at events (like Comike), websites or mail order venues is also prohibited. The rules were first amended to the above link on September 1st. Third party observers have pointed out the doujinshi market of such material may now be a very real threat to mainstream publishers and copyright holders in Japan.

9-7-06 (7:32PM EDT)—- Shueisha: Obata’s Works Not To Be Affected At Present

The Mainichi Shimbun contacted Shueisha Thursday regarding their position on the arrest of 37 year ol illustrator Takeshi Obata. The company publishes his Hikaru No Go (23 volumes – 10 million copies sold) and Death Note (12 volumes – 20 million copies sold) manga. According to the Shueisha public relations office they are presently checking facts in the matter and there are no plans on the table at this time for any of his works to be affected (suspension of publication etc..). An effort to get a position from Nippon Television which will broadcast the Death Note animation adaptation from October was fruitless as the person responsible for issuing a response was not present to comment at the time of press.

9-7-06 (7:07PM EDT)—- Suga Shikao Puts Out New Album

After providing theme songs for Death Note and XXX HOLiC Suga Shikao has released his first original album ‘PARADE’ after an interval of about two years. Arriving in Japanese stores on September 6th, the album will be accompanied by the first single “Gogo No Parade” (Parade In The Afternoon). Hi past anime / manga related hits will be incorporated into the album along with new material. Also for the first time a DVD collecting varios music videos will be released to the public.

9-7-06 (6:45PM EDT)—- Paprika Gets “So-So” Reaction In Venice

According to the Asahi Shimbun Satoshi Kon’s Paprika has received a “so-so” overall international response and review at the 63rd Venice International Film Festival.

9-7-06 (6:07PM EDT)—- Itochu Becomes Strategic Investment Partner in Comic Book Movies, LLC

Comic Book Movies, LLC, a new franchise-building entertainment company based in Hollywood established by veteran film producer Michael Uslan and partner M. Jonathan Roberts welcomes the Itochu Corporation as its strategic investment partner. As a result of this investment, Itochu Corporation now holds a 10% share of CBM and becomes CBM’s merchandise partner in Japan. The investment is a dramatic step for Itochu into the world of film, television and digital media, and is expected

Exclusive Screening Report: Shin Seiki Evangelion Movies Death (True)2 / Air / Magokoro Wo, Kimi Ni (The End Of Evangelion) At animecs T!FF In Akihabara 2006

By Jonah Morgan

Drops of rain were beginning to fall on the evening of Sunday, October 22nd as I made my way up the stairwell from the Hibiya subway line platform to an exit of Akihabara station. Some kind of remodelling project was going on around this area and there was plastic and diagonally stripped black and yellow hazard tape along the walls. I had come this way the day before when I made my first visit ever to the Tokyo Anime Center and I would make the same journey at least a dozen more times during the coming 8 days of excursions to Akihabara for various Otaku culture research and animecs / Tokyo International Film Festival / EntaMatusuri functions.
Darkness was falling on Tokyo but the brilliant neon hue of “electric town” would soon bleed out most of it. The street crowd was slightly less than the day before, probably because it was going to start raining profusely and probably because it was Sunday evening and a holiday on top of that. Walking up to the UDX building which houses the Akiba 3D Theater and TAC I first caught a glimpse of a mysterious feature there I had only read about before online. Similar to some of the buildings in Times Square, UDX has a sort of a static information ticker system for pedestrians which manifests itself upon a thin series of digital screens which ring the outside of building. The readout is very thin, about a character high and bright green like an LED alarm clock. As the story goes, at nigh time recently the ticker has begun to exclusively show a sequence of seemingly unintelligible number combinations. No one seems to know the purpose or meaning.

I was here to catch back to back screenings of the Shin Seiki Evangelion Movies Death (True)2 / Air / Magokoro Wo, Kimi Ni (The End Of Evangelion) at 18:45. Before the days of YouTube, file sharing networks and high quality video codecs I was among the first Americans to see the Death And Rebirth movie just a few weeks after it’s theatrical release in Japan in 1997. The medium at that time was a VHS cassette copy of a Chinese VCD with Chinese subtitles and the method of video capture looked to involve sneaking a video camera into a theater. Since then I probably have seen the Evangelion movie series 10 times or more, but we all have though right? It’s one of those seminal anime works that has defined my generation of otaku. Now, this said, I had never seen Eva in a theater so the experience was to be a new and highly anticipated one.

Getting access into anime films was not a cut and dry procedure and this is one of the very few complaints I had regarding TIFF. I must preface this by saying it was due on no part at all to the outstanding staff of the Tokyo Anime Center And Akiba 3D Theater who did an exceptional job and who went out of their way at every opportunity to accommodate my wishes and requests. I had a full week’s press pass to TIFF and in years’ past this could get you into any film being shown at the event. This year however the rules changed and TIFF had a series of “ID only screenings” seperate from the general screenings in which members of the media and other VIPS could see some of the films. The tradeoff was special ID holders (press included) would not be granted access to general screenings. The downside to this was the ID screenings were an extremely limited cross section of the total number of films being shown at the festival (mostly the works up for awards) and their number sadly included no anime films at all. A pretty frustrating predicament for someone who was there to cover anime and manga / anime based live action more or less exclusively.

The work around involved either paying the 1,500+ Yen general admission or putting in a special request at the reception area prior to a film’s start. In some instances we even got a proper ticket (ie: Eva) and some not, just being ushered into the theater. For Evangelion we initiated this procedure a day before on Saturday at the main TAC desk. Phone calls to several other TIFF staff were made and then special approval given. We were told we might be able to get entry if the show didn’t sell out completely. So, even at this time returning to the TAC just before the screening I didn’t even know if I’d be granted access. Actually, my mind was made up around 90% that I for certain wouldn’t be allowed in, surely the EVA films would sellout the 174 seat theater.

I decided to not even worry about the ticket until 15 or 20 mins prior to screening. If I didn’t make it in it was really no big deal, I would just observe as much as I could. Before the show start though I allowed myself a good hour and some change to hang around the Anime Center and the theater lobby itself. I wanted to do some coverage of the buildup before the actual movie, to take pictures and talk to Japanese fans about EVA and the impact on their lives. Beyond this though, I wanted dig around some for something special. The strange thing is I didn’t even know what that was. I’m of the mind set that just by injecting yourself into situations in life you can allow interesting people and things to come to you. And in this case, they did in spades.

A line had begun forming around the long hallway to the Akiba 3D theater which is all indoors, the crowd was already dense with 50-60 people mostly made up of Japanese males in their early-mid 20’s. Based solely on physical appearance I spotted some true otaku, some a-boys (Akihabara boys), some otome and many very commonly

Anime News Service – September 1st Anime News

9-1-06 (10:12PM EDT)—- Solid State Society Raws Hit Net

As the Labor Day weekend arrives in the USA, ANS has learned raw (untranslated from Japanese) video files of Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex – Solid State Society have hit internet file sharing networks. These legally ambiguous files are often used as the foundation for fansub creation. The SSS TV movie aired in Japan on September 1st. As of yet no English Language fansubs have appeared. In recent weeks Bandai Entertainment (who holds the American license) issued a warning of strict legal action against anyone creating or distributing English fansubs of the film. An official American version will be produced and released in 2007.

9-1-06 (4:23PM EDT)—- Taiyo no Mokushiroku Anime Premieres

Based on the manga by Kaiji Kawaguchi (Zipang, Eagle, Silent Service), a TV anime adaptation of Taiyo no Mokushiroku (A Spirit of the Sun) will air as part of WOWOW’s 15th annivesary programming. Serialized in Shogakukan’s Big Comic Magazine, 12 volumes of the manga have been released in Japan now and this animation will cover the storyline told in volumes 1-4 (From the Eaerthquake to the Taiwan arc). The work won the 51st Shogakukan manga prize. Like most of Kawaguchi’s other popular comics, Taiyo no Mokushiroku delves in alternative reality set in our real world. Japan is devastated by a series of natural cataclysms (Mount Fuji errupts, a massive earthquake literally splits Japan in half). In the aftermath, politics, terrorism, Japanese nationalism and race all feed into story. Where will Japan go from here? Oddly enough all of the above issues have been simmering in the headlines of actual Japanese newspapers for some time now. Episode 1 airs at 22:00 on September 17th, followed by part 2 on September 18th. In addition, (and a first for WOWOW) a massive net preview effort is being carried out where of first story will be posted online where epsiode 1 will be available online from Friday, Sptember 1st at 17:00 through Sunday the 3rd at 24:00. The 500 kbs video stream will utilized Windows Media 9. Cast includes: Yanagi Ichiro: Matsuda Yoji, Cho: Rikiya Koyama, Haneda Taro: Tomoyuki Morikawa. Staff includes Director Masayuki Kojima (Monster), Sound Supervision by Yoshi Shimizu, Character Design by Tsukasa Hojo, (Angel Heart), Screenplay by Tatsuhiko Urahata (Monster), Music by Toshiyuki Honda (Metropolis), Animation Production by Madhouse. You can view the preview on the official website by clicking on the orange box and filling out a short questionaire.

9-1-06 (3:23PM EDT)—- NHK Self Imposes Video Guidlines

NHK has announced they are self-adopting a rule not to broadcast any imagery such as intense blinking or rapid flashing to guard agains possible Photosensitive Epilepsy and other health hazards that could be experienced by viewers. The new guideline went into place August 31st. The criteria is defined as 3 or more flashes in 1 second. NHK had in the past been called out by the Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications for carrying programming with 56 instances of such flashing, one of which was a concert program in January of this year. 1997’s Pokemon Seizure fiasco was said to have been caused under similar circumstances.

9-1-06 (3:21PM EDT)—- Pokemon 9 Japanese Box-Office

According to the current issue of Variety magazine, the 9th Pokemon movie, now in it’s 7th week of release in Japan has amassed an accumulated gross of $25,555,026.

9-1-06 (2:42PM EDT)—- XXX HOLiC Movie In Spain

Gekijouban xxxHOLiC Manatsu no Yoru no Yume (Midsummer Night’s Dream) which opened in Japanese theaters last summer is se to screen at the 7th Madrid International Animation Film Festival (Animadrid 2006) to be held in Madrid, Spain September 26th – October 6th. The Tsutomu Mizushima anime feature will compete alongside 5 others in the “animated feature film” category.

9-1-06 (1:25PM EDT)—- Ghost In The Shell 2: Innocence Blu-Ray Details

Full details are out on Buena Vista Home Entertainment Japan’s December 6th, 2006 Blu-Ray Disc release of Innocence (known outside Japan as Ghost In The Shell 2: Innocence). Boasting HD audio (Japanese LPCM 7.1, Japanese DDS 6.1EX, Japanese DTS-ES 6.1), video, the 3 disc set also includes the INTERNATIONAL VERSION (featuring Japanese, English, French, Korean and Taiwanese subtitles). ) of Director Mamoru Oshii and Produciton I.G.’s 2004 99 minute anime film. Retail is 7,800 Yen (8,190 Yen (including tax). Extras include trailers, audio commentary courtesy Mamoru Oshii and Toshihiko Nishikubo, the 15 minute featurette “Making Of Innocence”, the 38 minute featurette “Scenes of Innocence” and 44 minute special featurette “Did INNOCENCE Transcend National Borders?” (with Mamoru Oshii and Mitsuhisa Ishikawa).