Posts in: October, 2006

Anime News Service – October 18 – November 9 Anime News

11-9-06 (7:00AM EDT)—- Madhouse To Animate Maple Story

Japan’s Madhouse animation studio will take charge of creating an animated adaptation of Nexon Japan’s popular online MMORPG Maple Story. The online game first beta tested in Japan in August 2003 and today claims 1.4 million memberships there, mostly made up of those in their teens. The free, 2D, side-scrolling MMORPG boasts several versions of the game available for specific countries or regions and an estimated 50 million players have participated in all of its versions to date. No further details are available although Nexon Japan does mention they hope to telecast the animation in each country where the game is available in the future.

11-9-06 (6:11AM EDT)—- Paprika FYC Image

Oscar Watch currently hosts a FYC image ad created for Sony Pictures Classics’ release for Paprika. The film currently contends for a possible nod for an Best Animated Feature Oscar. Huge Thanks To Daniel Zelter for the news item.

11-9-06 (5:49AM EDT)—- Additional Reideen Details

Unrelayed details in the official English press release for the new Reideen anime are:
Production I.G. mentions Karasuma Tasuku with illustrate a manga based on Tohokushinsha’s original story. It will be published in Kadokawa’s Monthly Shonen Ace from the January issue, to be released in Japan November 25th.
Tohokushinsha in their unique release mention the original REIDEEN aired via 50 episodes from April 4 1975 – March 26, 1976 on what is now TV Asahi.

11-9-06 (5:39AM EDT)—- Production I.G. Announces New REIDEEN For 2007

Production I.G and Tohokushinsha Film Corporation are teaming to produce a new animated TV series entitled Reideen, inspired by the TV classic “Reideen The Brave” (Yusha Reideen). When aired in Japan in 1975, “Reideen The Brave” undoubtedly represented a turning point in the history of super robot animation, and a few years later, director Yoshiyuki Tomino and character designer Yoshikazu Yasuhiko became the creative duo behind the success of “Mobile Suit Gundam”. While inheriting the DNA of “Reideen The Brave”, the new TV series is not going to be a mere “re-make”, but rather a true “re-birth” of its glorious forebear, featuring lavishly detailed mechanical designs by Atsushi Takeuchi (“IGPX”, “Innocence”) and Shinji Aramaki (“Appleseed”), stylish character design by Takuya Saito (“Sakura Wars: The Movie”) and visually stunning 3D animation created with the know-how that made “IGPX”a milestone in computer-generated animation. The music score is entrusted to Yoshihiro Ike, the composer of “Blood: The Last Vampire”. Coming up in spring 2007, Reideen will be directed by Mitsuru Hongo (“IGPX”, “Outlaw Star”). More information coming soon!

official website (Japanese only) www.reideen.jp
Production I.G official English website www.production-ig.com

STAFF
Director: Mitsuru Hongo
Assistant Director: Shunsuke Tada
Story Supervisors: Mitsuru Hongo, Masahiro Yokotani
Character Design: Takuya Saito
Mechanical Designers: Atsushi Takeuchi, Shinji Aramaki
Music: Yoshihiro Ike
Sound Director: Masafumi Mima
Animation Production: Production I.G

11-9-06 (5:14AM EDT)—- Seto No Hanayome To Be Animated

According to a promo image circulated by Square Enix and info published in the December, 2006 issue of Monthly Gangan WING, Kimura Tahiko’s shounen manga Seto no Hanayome will be animated. 10 tankobon volumes are currently in release in Japan. The manga remains unlicensed in America. Courtesy Anime Waves, the comedy / romance plot focuses on male lead Nagasumi who visits his grandmother near the sea during the summer. While visiting, he goes for a swim, and drowns right after entering the water. Fortunately for him he is saved by a young mermaid. Later as he tells the story to his family, a young girl named San appears at his home and begs Nagasumi to marry her. She’s followed by two large thugs and they take both him and his parents to San’s home under the sea. If that wasn’t strange enough, it turns out San’s parents are mob bosses. Nagasumi is left with the choice of either death or marrying San. He chooses to marry a mermaid. This would likely be that, except San’s father and some members of the mob are not exactly thrilled to have Nagasumi courting San and are determined to bring an end to their relationship–or him. And there is also the matter of keeping it a secret that San is a mermaid.

11-7-06 (10:50PM EDT)—- Hidamari Sketch TV Series Go!

The current issue of Houbunsha’s Manga Time Carat Magazine features one of the first animation screen grabs of Hidamari Sketch TV sereies. Additionally, the cover mentions a TBS premiere in Januray, 2007. The story is based on the manga by Ume Aoki. Cast has been solidified as follows: Kana Asumi: Yuno, Kaori Mizuhashi: Miyako, Ryoko Shintani: Sae, Yuko Goto: Hiro, Miyu Matsuki: Yoshinoya-sensei. The second book volume based on Hidamri Sketch releases in Japan in December.

11-7-06 (10:24PM EDT)—- Dyogrammaton OAV Volume 1 Release

Based on the Clockup adventure game with original concept by Shinozu Katsuto, Dyogrammaton OVA ACT-1 is scheduled to go on sale December 15, 2006.

11-7-06 (9:43PM EDT)—- New Game From Ever 17 Supervisor

Sometime in 2007 Yeti is expected to release the love advanture game Myself;Yourself for PS2. Original concept / direction and production is being handled by Takumi Nakazawa (Ever 17). Character Design and Art Supervision by Sasaki Mutsumi (Happy Lesson), Scenario by Asaginu Nakano , art by Akino Shin, Masahisa Ito and others, title song and music production by Chiyomaru Shikura, development by Regista. The plot involves young men and women who fall in love in a school setting, the heroes being two people. Hirameki first released Nakazawa’s Ever17 Visual Novel Suspense game in English in Fall 2005. From that time the creator has gained a small cult following in America and beyond.

11-7-06 (7:25PM EDT)—- Website Roundup

– The Kyoshiro Sora TV anime has been given a 2007 broadcast timeframe.
Purple Software has released an extremely high quality anime trailer for it’s new PC adventure game Primitive Link.


Anime News Service – October 9-17 Anime News

10-17-06 (4:48AM EDT)—- Warren Ellis Writing Anime Inspired Castlevania

Dark Horizons linked a news item at Film Junk which indicates Transmetropolitan author Warren Ellis will be writing the script for a direct-to-video Castlevania animation film. Of note is the following section of the article: …chairman and CEO of Panacea Entertainment Eric Gardner, had this to say: I think there will be anime elements of it, but it’s going to be more hints of anime as opposed to traditional, full-blown anime – we’re hoping it has a very distinctive, unique style that’s instantly recognizable as what will become the animated Castlevania brand.
A big thanks to Daniel Zelter for the above news.

10-16-06 (5:14AM EDT)—- Takehiko Inoue Plans Instructional Video / BBall Scholarship

IT Planning mentions that one of his upcoming projects is an instructional drawing guide for home video, which is tentatively scheduled for an 11/28 release. He also intends to start a basketball scholarship for Japanese players. Thanks To Daniel Zelter for the news items.

10-16-06 (12:59AM EDT)—- Grudge 2 Tops US Box Office Weekend

Friday the 13th proved to be an ideal launch date for “The Grudge 2,” as Sony Pictures’ horror sequel scared up an estimated $22 million over the weekend to lead the movie industry at the box office. The picture opened at the low end of expectations and grossed 44 percent less than its predecessor from two years ago, “The Grudge,” based on Sunday’s studio estimates.
Source: The Los Angeles Times

10-15-06 (7:25PM EDT)—- Grudge 2 Opens In 3000 US Theaters This Weekend

Directed by Takashi Shimizu the Sony Pictures Hollywood sequel to 2004’s The Grudge has opened this weekend in more than 3000 movie theaters across the USA. The horror film comes just in time for the Halloween season where movie goers usually seek a bit of a scare. The first film, based on the Japanese original The Juon became a smash hit in America, bringing more than 110 million dollars at the boxoffice. Look for a few Japanese celebrity cameos including Misako Uno of the music group AAA. Grudge 2 will open in Japan in 2007. In recent years Japanese horror films have become an increasingly popular pop culture export joining anime, manga, video games and J-music. Their appeal demonstratably crosses over and overlaps with audiences of these other products as well.

10-15-06 (6:51PM EDT)—- Kyocera: Overseas E-Manga Sales At 200 Million Yen In 2 Years

Japanese company KCCS recently started their business plan rollout to distribute manga digitally overseas. With a heavy initial focus on the Asian market Kyocera aims at sales of 200 million Yen in 2 years. A Chinese Language website established in Singapre will be followed by web presences in Taiwan and Hong Kong in the near future. Their delivery model currently uses encrypted net delivered content which can be read in a propriatary single purpose browser. 30 works are being offered now and will be increased to about 50 works within the year. The price is said to be about equivalent with that of manga sold in book stores in Singapore.

10-15-06 (6:16PM EDT)—- Dai Aku Tsukasa Hentai Controversy In Spain

After a short run nationally on Spanish televison, Green Bunny’s hentai anime OVA Dai Aku Tsukasa has generated a bit of national controversy in the European nation. This has culminated in a discontinuance of the anime’s future broadcast following a wide array of media attention on the nature of the content, which some say shows child character pornography and adult characters having sex with children characters. The origin of the affair apparantly started in several critical Spanish blogs after the initial broadcast on September 24. Conservative viewer groups immediately jumped on the bandwagon and began to voice their disapproval to the network and maintream media until eventually newspapers and later televison caught wind of the story. Despite the fact of disclaimers being aired beforehand on the adult nature of the content and the midinight timeslot, a weight of negative viewer responses has ended the anime’s chances for future broadcast.

10-15-06 (5:25PM EDT)—- 1,000 New Animation Frames Added To Haruhi DVD’s

In an October 14th entry to Kyoto Animation’s restarted Haruhi Suzumiya production diary some info on the added scenes and props in the DVD was mentioned. At the bottom of the page the diary entry states over 1,000 pieces or frames have been inserted into the existing animation for the DVD release of the original TV series. On August 27th ANS first reported on new scenes and props showing up on the Japanese release R2 DVD’s.

10-15-06 (5:09PM EDT)—- Captain Tsubasa Mangaka Stars In Toyota CM

46 year old Yoichi Takahashi, creator of the worldwide hit Captain Tsubasa manga will star in a new TV comerical spot for Toyota Motor in Japan. The artist and storyteller becomes the latest celebrity to be part of an ad campaign Toyota launched in April. Past stars in the commercial series include American actor Leonardo DiCaprio. Anime and Manga luminaries promoting Japanese automobiles is nothing new, a few years back Evangelion animation director Hideaki Anno starred in a spot for Nissan.

10-15-06 (3:19PM EDT)—- Tokikake Wins Best Animated Film Award At Sitges

Winner results are out from the Festival Internacional de Cinema de Catalunya 2006. More commonly known as Sitges (for the name of the city it’s held in), the Spanish film festival has been held 39 times as of this year. It occured October 6-15th. The big news for anime fans, Director Mamoru Hosoda, Kadokawa and Studio Madhouse’s Toki Wo Kakeru Shoujo (Tokikake) has taken the ANIMA’T Gertie Award for Best Animated Film. Screening under the title THE GIRL WHO LEAPT THROUGH TIME (which seems to be the semi-official English title Madhouse is using for screenings outside Japan, having used it several times) it joins other honored Japanese animation works more recently including Square-Enix’s Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children whoch won the Honorary Maria Award last year. Likewise, other anime winners of the top long piece animation prize include Satoshi Kon’s Tokyo


Anime News Service – October 2-9 Anime News

10-9-06 (6:40PM EDT)—- Grudge 2 Director Signings In Burbank

Japanese director Takashi Shimizi will make a rare stop in the US to sign copies of two new releases this Sunday, October 15th in Burbank, California. The Great Horror Family (a horror/comedy anthology, which doesn’t officially hit streets until October 17th) and Ju-on 2 will be available for signing at Burbank’s horror store “Dark Delicacies” starting at 2pm. Copies of Ju-on 2 purchased at the store will contain a signature of Takako Fuji, who had pre-signed copies of the dvd. The actress has appeared in both the Ju-on and Grudge series.
Source: Kung Fu Cult Cinema | Thanks To Daniel For The News Submission

10-9-06 (6:40PM EDT)—- Negima Broadcast Format Video Differences

The Japanese blog Yakuroantena has done an illustrated writeup of the video differences between terrestrial and BS broadcasts of the new Negima anime series. Some side by side frame comparisons are posted, displaying how much of the 16:9 BS Japan image is lost in the terrestrial TV version.

10-9-06 (6:19PM EDT)—- Split Infinity Anime Will Be American Co-Production

Daniel Zelter writes in mentioning he contacted English fantasy author Piers Anthony by e-mail on the possible format of the forthcoming anime adaptation his Split Infinity novel and recieved the following reply:

“It seems to be an American company supervising the Anime and I don’t know how they are doing it. In fact I don’t know the company; the contract is obscure, at least to my eyes. So I am simply waiting to see what results.”

Split Infinity is published by Del Ray.

10-9-06 (6:01PM EDT)—- New Gov’t Committee To Look At Contents Power

Following his first speech last week mentioning the global pop-culture reach of Japan, new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Liberal-Democratic Party have put plans into action aimed at strengthening the nation’s “Soft Power Diplomacy”. A new “Cultural Tradition Creation Investigation Committee” has been appointed, to be chaired by Kenji Kosaka. The committee will look at supporing traditional culture and pop culture including promotion and exports of anime, manga, fashion and music.

10-9-06 (5:52PM EDT)—- Haruhi Suzumiya Sweeps Awards At Animation Kobe

Kyoto Animation reports their Melancholy Of Haruhi Suzumiya TV anime has won top honors in 2 prize categories (“Best motion picture of the year and TV division” and “Radio Kansai Prize (theme song prize)”) at the 11th Animation Kobe.

10-9-06 (5:37PM EDT)—- Mekabi Issue 2 Confirmed

The official Mekabi Blog has confirmed issue 2 of Kodansha’s “Mekabi” (“otaku information synthesis magazine”) is in the pipes and on the way.

10-9-06 (4:14PM EDT)—- JFilm At AFM

Among the films screening at the American Film Market event to be held November 1-8, 2006 are Death Note [a subbed trailer is up at this link.] , Brave Story, Sukeban Deka (re-titled to Yo-Yo Girl Cop), Dororo, Heavenly Forest(based on a novel from the author of Viz’s “Be With You”) There’s also another Japanese film called Angel’s Egg which is in no way related to the Oshii movie. Thanks to Daniel Zelter for the news.

10-9-06 (4:14PM EDT)—- Fashion Designers Inspired By Anime

Fashion Week just went down in Milan, Italy. There, designers were showing off their Spring, 2007 collections. Dolce & Gabbana mentioned in their show notes that they were inspired by the voluptuous female heroines of anime with accented breast and hip features. You can view images from the show at the The Los Angeles Times. Anime and manga character designs wiht their eccentric uniqueness have been the basis for mainstream real world fashion designers many times in the past.

10-9-06 (3:30AM EDT)—- Shinkyoku Soukai Polyphonica To Be Animated

The Shounen/Seinen Kinetic Novel and game series Shinkyoku Soukai Polyphonica by Sakaki Ichiro (Scrapped Princess) and publisher Ocelot has been cleared for a future animation adaptation in Japan. The news broke on a promotional poster for GA Pocket Edition due in stores later this month. First released in 2005, 3 different novel series currently exist (Crimson, White And Black). The story occurs in a different world where “Spirits of the dead” exist naturally. A man is summoned from the earth to the Polyfonica continent on an alternate earth. There seems to be a big secret in this new world, and the spirits of the dead wait eagerly for the time when men discover this truth and their destiny. Wikipedia describes a Kinetic Novel as: notable for being an experiment in online content distribution. Most of these fall into the completely linear category, lacking any choices at all; as a result, some fans have begun using the term to describe other non-interactive titles.

10-7-06 (2:10PM EDT)—- Google Looking At You Tube

The Seattle Times reports Google maybe considering buying up You Tube. For better or worse (legal or legally ambiguous), the video site is currently the largest repository of Japanese animation video content on the web.

10-7-06 (11:23AM EDT)—- More Western Fantasy Gets Anime Adaptation

Piers Anthony, writer of the Xanth series, mentioned at the end of this newsletter that his Split Infinity novels will be getting an anime adaptation. More information on the series can be found at wikipedia. Thanks to Daniel Zelter for the news.

10-6-06 (11:12PM EDT)—- Geneon Ergo Proxy Site Goes Up

Geneon has just launched the teaser website for their November 21st release of Ergo Proxy at: www.ergoproxydvd.com The website features a trailer showcasing the title’s upcoming release and a countdown to the launch of the full website, which will be loaded with all sorts of goodies for everyone to enjoy.

10-6-06 (10:55PM EDT)—- FMA Director On Oh! Edo Rocket TV Series

Broadcasting next spring is a TV anime adaptation of author Kazuki Nakashima’s (Gurren-Lagann) novel Oh! Edo Rocket. The story is described as a super spectacle fantasy centering on a young pyrotechnician and his mysterious daughter who seek to build a huge firework that can shoot high into space. It was turned into a theatrical play presented in Osaka and Tokyo in August, 2001. Featuring a star studded cast (and no less than 6