Posts in: January, 2007

Anime News Service – January 25-30 Anime News

1-30-07 (3:42PM EST)—- Evangelion Postage Stamps In Japan

Japan Post announced on December 22nd that they will put postage stamps bearing the illustrations of the Evangelion animation on the market as part the 5th series of their “Animation Hero And Heroines” line from February 23rd. One sheet of 10 stamps will be 80 Yen. Source: Nikkan Sports

1-30-07 (3:10PM EST)—- Is Les Miserables Anime Moe?

Asahi poses the question of the 52 episode “World Masterpiece Theater” revival TV series. Running between 69 and 97, the series was discontinued 10 years ago due to languishing ratings. Compared to past “classy” series in the line, the new work seems to be a surefire anime with an ox-eyed, fluffy haired bishoujo lead heroine. Asahi put the question to Director Sakurai Hiroaki (DiGi Charat): “That is also one of the views. While appearing as bishoujo animation, its makes one a captive of a tale….. it may be one of the strategies.

1-30-07 (3:08PM EST)—- Temp Agency / Hataraki Man Cross Promotion

The Television animation “Hataraki Man” started broadcasting in the wee hours on Fuji TV in October 2006; the final episode aired on December 21, 2006. Working people in their twenties and thirties empathize with the hard working protagonist, Matsukata Hiroko, and the show scored high television audience ratings. Furthermore, a television commercial for the temporary employment agency “DIP” which uses the image of Matsukata Hiroko has attracted attention. The project to choose a new promotional campaign for agency began around June 2006, and information on the Hataraki Man animation was obtained while conferring with advertising agencies, etc. Having read the original Hataraki Man manga by Anno Moyoco thoroughly, marketing director Aihara/Aibara Hidenobu felt, “The manga readership and the viewers that the anime aims at, to say nothing of the theme, are the same.” Source: Mantan

1-30-07 (12:17PM EST)—- Cheapest / Most Widely Available DVD Player Yet?

Through Wal-Mart stores, Yasui / Asda have a released a DVD player that’s selling for only 9 quid ($20) in the UK.

1-30-07 (12:12PM EST)—- NANA Glamorizes Underage Smoking?

Ai Yazawa’s manga, NANA has sold over 36.5 million copies in Japan, the live action movie version has brought in box-office profits in excess of four billion Yen. A sequel film is now in the works. The TV anime is broadcast by Nippon Television Network. The mix media franchise has excelled to heights of popularity. Recently, accusations have been levied that the series, which features excessive smoking in all its forms, possibly glamorizes the unhealthy habit, especially among minors. Manabu Sakuta, professor of Kyorin University’s Department of Medicine and president of the Japanese Society Of Tobacco Control recently made some comments on the issue to the Gendai Weekly: “ Scenes are being broadcast in which minors are seen smoking in a dignified manner.” He added in that in some of the illustrations of the TV anime the brands, cigarette brands could even be made out. “Such TV animation is unprecedented.” The society posted an official letter of protest to both Nippon Television Network Corporation and JT (Japan Tobacco) on January 18. NTV made the following comments to Weekly Gendai regarding their coverage: “Though it has been decided not to handle the situations in a was as to beautify smoking, the descriptions concerning smoking in the work are essential to the story.” The same society listed above supposedly sent a sent a similar letter to Yazawa last June.

1-30-07 (10:44AM EST)—- Your Face On A Maid Doll

Akihabara based Don Quijote will take your picture and plaster your face on a Maid Doll in 3 minutes for 850 Yen.

1-30-07 (10:27AM EST)—- 450MM Yen Boxoffice Start For Dororo

Movie Walker reports the live action movie adaptation of Osamu Tezuka’s Dororo became the #1 film in Japan this past weekend. Opening in 296 theaters nationwide, 337,000 people paid to see it on the big screen to the tune of a 450 million Yen boxoffice take. Movie industry analysts there agree its a very good start. Actor Kou Shibasaki and Actress Shibasa Hao star and Akihiko Shioda is the director, most of the filming was done in New Zealand.

1-30-07 (10:15AM EST)—- 20 Million+ Registered Hangame Users

On the 29th NHN announced their Mega MMORPG hub site Hangame now has over 20 million registered users.

1-30-07 (10:12AM EST)—- Mixi Has 8 Million Registered Users

On the 29th Japanese SNS Mixi announced their number of registered users had exceeded eight million.

1-30-07 (8:39AM EST)—- Anime HD-DVD Release Changes

Japan’s HD-DVD Promotion Group updated a list of pending releases on the medium on January 29th. Wings Of The Honneamise and Patlabor Movie 1 were added and confirmed for release in the Japanese market. On January 9th Bandai Visual Co., Ltd., Memory-Tech Corporation and Microsoft Co., Ltd. agreed to release the following 4 HD DVD titles during 2007: “Freedom”, a brand new digital OVA series, and feature-length anime movies “Royal Space Force-The Wings of Honneamise”, “Patlabor The Movie”, and “Patlabor 2 The Movie”. The region for the releases were unspecified at that time. Release dates remain undecided. In another twist 2 anime mentioned in this list on January 11th for a North American HD-DVD rollout, Cowboy Bebop and Ghost In The Shell, were removed.

1-30-07 (8:10AM EST)—- Real Life Lupin III Car And Bike Used In Promotion

For the upcoming release of the latest Lupin III PS2 videogame publisher Banpresto has wheeled out real life replicas of the 1929 type 38/250 model SSK Mercedes-Benz car and Harley Davidson motorcycle from the series for promotions. According to Yukan Fuji, a beautiful Japanese model xosplaying as Fujiko drove the Mercedes right up to their newsroom for a photo session. Fans can answer a quiz on both machines and win special prizes related to game release.

1-30-07 (7:32AM EST)—- Gedo Senki Japan’s #1 Film In 2006

The Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan announced their annual national movie statistsics On Tuesday. The box office revenue of domestically produced and released Japanese films

TAF2007 Exclusive Report: Kenko Zenrakei Suieibu Umisho

  • 28th Jan 2007
  • Blog

By Jonah Morgan

Less than 10 days after it was initially announced in Japan (see our March 11th entry), Marvelous Entertainment stepped out of the shadows at The Tokyo International Anime Fair 2007 for the first time announcing its production involvement in the forthcoming anime adaptation of Mitsuru Hattori’s comedic swimming manga Kenko Zenrakei Suieibu Umisho. Their booth featured the first-ever released art-still from the TV series (the same image you can see on the main page of the official website now), in poster and flyer format. Although Umisho is expected to begin broadcast in Japan in June, MMV spared no time at all getting on with trying to sell the series abroad. It was fully ready to offer overseas distribution rights and was handing out a specially prepared English language press release to prospective buyers. By the time I made it round to their booth on Thursday they already chatted up several interested foreign leads.

The story features perhaps the strangest high school swimming club on Earth including a talented young green haired girl, Amuro Ninagawa, who likes to swim nude and always (at least in the promo art) has a huge mishchievious toothy grin on her face like she’s doing something naughty under the waters. She regularly substitutes undergarments with swimsuits and also wears her swimsuit to summer festivals. Staff includes Director Sohtome Koichiro (Mushishi, Bokura Ga Ita, Galaxy Angel), Series Composition by Ikeda Mamiko (Sgt. Frog, Ojaru-Maru) and Chara Design + Art Direction by Rie Nishino (Save Me Lollypop), Production by Art land. The short and simple English press release reads as follows: “The original work produced by Mitsuru Hattori is serialized in Shukan Shonen Magazine [debuting in SM No. 33 in 2005], Kodansha. Comics has been published up to 4th volumes (the newest one is coming in the middle of April). The comedy story with slapsticks unfolded by high school students belong to Swimming club in Umineko Commercial High School, some times with the erotic constituent, has been gaining the popularity since the start of the serialization. The animation is being planned with 13 episodes series and the broadcast in Japan is expected to be in June, 2007.

Having a read of some of the manga I think the formula to be found in Umisho is brilliant. It has an appeal similar to what we’ve seen from shows like Tenchi Muyo or Love Hina. In the west these kind of shows are quick to be branded and stereotyped as “harem genre” (and I’ve already seen folks in internet land talking of this one in that way). I’m not a big fan of labels myself and sticking a name on something and shelving it without giving it a chance however. I think Umisho will work extremely well overseas, is one of the hot series to watch for in the 2nd half of ’07 and has an all star staff to boot!

Anime News Service – January 19-24 Anime News

1-24-07 (11:45PM EST)—- Princess Resurection Anime Staff

The just released March, 2007 edition of Shonen Sirius confirmed rumors (see our January 7th entry) attaching Director Sakoi Masayuki (Strawberry Panic) to the forthcoming anime TV series adaptation of Yasunori Mitsunaga’s Kaibutsu Oujo (Princess Resurrection) manga. Other staff inlude: Character Designs: Kazuya Kuroda (Sakura Taisen), Color Scheme: Shuji Uemura, Art Director: Yuka Okamoto, Sound Supervision: Takakuwa Ichi, Music Production: Jinnan Studio, Animation Production: Madhouse. Princess will be voiced by Ayako Kawasumi, Hiro Hiyorimi will be voiced by Oura Fuyuka. Broadcast start on TBS in April, 2007.

1-24-07 (11:17PM EST)—- Correction: Seiyuu Ami Koshimizu Married

On January 13th voice actresses Shinrou Sanpei (Not Yuko Sanpei) and Ami Koshimizu (Tenma Tsukamoto – School Rumble) were married. Their wedding was broadcast on the radio program AniSuper. The 2 knew each other since they were 12 years old time because of belonging to the same theatrical company Wakakusa. Kaori Nazuka who voiced Eureka and worked with Koshimizu gave a word at the ceremony. You can view pics of the on air ceremony here. ANS apologizes for our error.

1-24-07 (10:04PM EST)—- USA Premiere Of Mamoru Oshii’s Tachigui

Mamoru Oshii’s “Tachigui: The Amazing Lives of the Fast Food Grifters” (original title: Tachiguishi Retsuden) will receive its USA premiere at Film Comment Selects 2007, the film series organized by the Film Society of Lincoln Center from February 14 to 27, 2007 in New York City. Screening schedule:
Date: February 23, 2007 (Fri) Time: 08:30 pm Place: The Walter Reade Theater, 165 West 65th Street, Upper level
Date: February 25, 2007 (Sun) Time: 01:00 pm Place: The Walter Reade Theater, 165 West 65th Street, Upper level (Screening dates may changes. Please refer to Film Comment Selects 2007 official website: ”

1-24-07 (9:11PM EST)—- Plagiarized Image In Switch?

Japanese comic fans online have raised concerns that portions of Rin Yoshii’s manga serial SWITCH may contain imagery copied from elsewhere. According to the claims, a photograph from the Nivember, 2006 issue of the fashion magazine SWEET was copied for a serial of SWITCH appearing in Shuisha’s January, 2007 edition of Cookie. You can see side by side comparisons here and here.

1-24-07 (8:40PM EST)—- Real Life Skullsuit

In an interesting move to promote the upcoming Skull Man TV anime, a series of photographs have been released to the media depiciting (what we thought were total CG at first) a mocked up real-world Skullman costume. Based on the original 1970 / 1998-2001 Media Factory manga by Shotaro Ishinomori and Kazuhiko Shimamoto, the staff was recently announced: Director: Takeshi Mori, Series Composition: Yutaka Izubuchi, Script: Hiroshi Ohnogi, Seishi Minakami, Music: Shiro Sagisu, Character Designs: Jun Shibata, Animation Director: Jun Shibata, Mechanical Designs: Yoshinori Sayama, Director of Photography: Susumu Fukushi, Conceptual Designs: Yutaka Izubuchi, Design Work: Shingo Takeba, Editing: Kengo Shigemura, Set Design: Masanori Kikuchi, Takuhito Kusanagi, VFX Director: Yasushi Muraki, Production: Skull Man Production Committee (BONES, Geneon Entertainment, Inc., Ishimori Entertainment Inc., Toyokasei Co. Ltd.), Animation Production: BONES. Broadcast is expected in the spring. Tokyopop has the USA manga license has released 7 English language volumes to market.

1-24-07 (7:52PM EST)—- J.C. STAFF On Concerto Gate Animation Sequences

Square Enix and NHN Japan held a massive press conference In Roppongi on the 24th for their new MMORPG Concerto Gate. Beta testing is expected to wrap in April. It was announced J.C. STAFF (Utena) will create animation sequences for the game. Kenji Ito is producing the soundtrack and played the theme on stage on piano. It was also hinted that this work would form the corner stone of a big project with all the elements (anime? manga?) not yet revealed. Square is looking at a domestic release in spring / summer followed by an international rollout.

1-24-07 (7:25PM EST)—- Alcohol Manga Boom In Korea

In recent months South Korea has seen a small popularity explosion relating to Japanese manga that tackle the subjects of wine, cocktails, mixed drinks and bartending practices. The wine focused Kami no Shizuku (Teardrops of God), written by Agi Tadashi and drawn by Okimoto Agi is among the most popular, selling 550,000 copies in Korea (and 950,000 copies in Japan across 9 volumes). The creators are in South Korea this week, doing research for an upcoming series of serials to take place in the country. A production company there is said to have recently bought the rights to create a TV drama based on the work. Cocktail manga is Bartender written by Joh Araki and drawn by Nagamoto Kenji is also said to be extremely popular on the peninsula.

1-24-07 (6:53PM EST)—- Comic Dolphin Cancelled?

Bishoujo / ero manga magazine Comic Dolphin will suspend publication from the March edition to go on sale in Japan on January 22nd. Several magazine mangaka diaries announced the news although it has not been officially confirmed by the publisher Tsukasa Shobo.

1-24-07 (6:45PM EST)—- Death Note’s Matsuyama In New Manga Based Drama

Japanese actor Kenichi Matsuyama (L In Death Note Movies) has signed on to the starring role of a NTV drama based on the Sexy Voice And Robo manga. The serial drama will start running at 22:00 on Tuesdays in April. Matsuyama will play the role of a young robot loving otaku with a collection of 15,000 action figures. He dreams to become a spy. In 2002 the original manga by Io Kuroda won the Japan Media Arts Festival Awards Grand Prize. It serialized in Shogakukan’s Ikki Magazine but the story was never completed. 2 collected volumes exist on the market. Viz holds the USA license and released the English translation a few years back.

1-24-07 (6:29PM EST)—- Anime To Appear In Hollywood Film Smokin Aces

Adult Source Media has announced several of their best selling adult titles will be prominently featured in the new American major motion picture, Smokin Aces. The dark action comedy, starring Entourage star Jeremy Piven, Ben Affleck, Ray Liotta, Jason Bateman & Andy Garcia is the latest thriller from Narc director Joe Carnahan. “We are absolutely thrilled that a major mainstream

Anime News Service – January 11-18 Anime News

1-18-07 (9:18PM EST)—- Chiaki Kuriyama Digs Otaku Culture

In a Goo Movie article dated January 19th Japanese actress Chiaki Kuriyama (GoGo Yubari In Kill Bill) confessed commuting in Akihabara. The admission was made in front of 400 students at a commemoration talk show event for her latest movie held at Rikkyo St. Paul’s University in Tokyo on the 18th. When Kuriyama was asked by an otaku schoolboy, “Do you like manga?” she replied that she loved anime and manga and going to Akihabara manga cafes.

1-18-07 (6:47PM EST)—- Manga Author Ken Ishikawa Dead

Getta Robo creator and longtime Go Nagai student / collaborator Ken Ishikawa died of heart failure at 22:00 on Wednesday, November 15th. He was 58 years old. His current manga Comic Ran Twins had just appeared on the market on 11/13. In a November 16th internet diary entry, his friend and fellow mangaka Takachiho Haruka (Dirty Pair, Crusher Joe) says he first learned of Ishikawa’s death around 6 pm that day when he got an email from someone who asked if had heard the news. He of course hadn’t and phoned Go Nagai at 20:00 and got his answering machine. Nagai returned the call at 21:00 confirming the news and saying Ishikawa collapsed at his seat at a dinner banquet, after playing several rounds of golf. He was immediately given first aid, an ambulence was called and rushed him to the hospital but not in time to save his life. Examiners were hard pressed to explain his rather sudden death after looking at his body which did exhibit the traditional traits of heart disease, he had no prior warning signs or symptoms. Takachiho Haruka himself mentions having sat down to begin writing after the conversation but his head didn’t work at all and he was shaking considerably in light of the news. The creator’s wake was held the following Monday and his funeral, on Tuesday.

1-18-07 (5:45PM EST)—- Sahaquiel XX Figure Release

Hobby firm Wave has been continuing their unusual Apostles alternatives Shito XX Evangelion figure series with No.2 A-10 Sahaquiel XX. The the figure’s appearance is supposed to be shaped by how Ayamani Rei would have looked in her childhood. The PVC figure is 14-centimeters tall. The Prototype was crafted by Creation Group OWL and GAINAX. The concept image was created by Yoshizaki Minesya. Strett release date is the end of January.

1-18-07 (5:30PM EST)—- Evangelion Noh

On December 23rd, 2006, Gainax released a clip on their website of “Nou Mai Evangelion” combining their highly popular anime, Neon Genesis Evangelion and Japanese Noh theater. The main character was mixture of a traditional dancer and Eva Unito 01. The only performance occured at the noh music temple in saitama prefecture in Koshigayashi on December 17th. The theatrical event was part a series art projects commisioned by GAINAX called “EVA AT WORK“. The studio entrusted artists in various fields to make EVA a theme. The list includes Japanese style painters and tattoo artists. Additionally you can view the Noh clip at You Tube here and other Eva At Work examples here.

1-18-07 (5:09PM EST)—- Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro To Be Animated

Yusei Matsui’s Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro (Private Evil-Eye Nougami Neuro) will be animated in the form of a TV series. The supernatural detective story serializes in Weekly Shonen Jump. Beginning its run in February, 2005 8 collected volumes now exist on the market. A Drama CD was released on November 6, 2006 starring Takehito Koyasu as Neuro and Kana Ueda as Yako. Possibly seiyuu carryovers and other details are not available at this time. uragi. Yako Katsuragi’s father was murdered in a locked room. The mystery plunges Yako’s life into chaos until she meets a man named Neuro Nougami.

1-18-07 (4:43PM EST)—- Mr. FullSwing To Be Animated

Shinya Suzuki’s baseball themed manga Mr. FullSwing will be adapted to an animated TV series at some point in the near future. The manga is published by Shueisha. The news comes via TV spots airing in Japan.

1-18-07 (12:11PM EST)—- Winter TV Anime Season 2007 Class Picture

You can view a photographic collage, collecting screen grabs from 27 of the 28 anime and sentai related programs to begin running on Japanese television between January and March 2007 at this link.

1-18-07 (11:13AM EST)—- Kei Toume Art Exhibition

Mangka Kei Toume (Kurogane) will have her 3rd “Fuyu E Ten” (Picture in Winter) original art exhibiton hosted by Aoyama’s GOFA (Gallery Of Fantastic Art) from Saturday, February 24, 2007 – Sunday, March 11. 11:00-18:00. Admission fee is 500 Yen.

1-18-07 (11:13AM EST)—- Naoki Urasawa Defines Professionalism

For NHK’s Professional spotlight, 20th Century Boys, Monster mangka Naoki Urasawa gave his definition of a professional: “There must be a deadline. Isn’t it a person who can make their best effort by a deadline?”

1-18-07 (11:06AM EST)—- Mini Tezuka Manga

Sega Toys will make a limited release of their “Minikomi Tezuka Osamu Manga Zenshuu”. The miniature manga volumes 4.45×3.65 centimeters in size. A 200 volume series set (including Kimba, Ribbon Knight, etc.) will be sold in Japan for 73,500 yen on January 27th. 400 volumes in total are planned.

1-18-07 (10:39AM EST)—- Goshou Aoyama Manga Factory Opens In March

The Goshou Aoyama Manga Factory or Aoyama Tsuyoshi Akira Furusato Kan showcasing the works of the popular Great Detective Conan author opens in Tottori Prefecture, Kitasakae-cho on March 18th. The move is part of a construction initiative to make various landmarks in “Conan’s Hometown”. A number of tourism related efforts have also been efforts have also been carried out. The new facility will be divided into 6 zones including a cafeteria, show room of cartoon, anime and manga museum and shop. The city wants to bring 130,000 people into the pavillion in the fist year.

1-18-07 (10:00AM EST)—- Sylvanian Families 3DCG Japanese Animation

Nippon Columbia, ITOCHU Corporation, Epoch and Shogakukan will participate in the “Sylvanian Families” 3DCG animation production committee. The toy series has reached

Anime News Service – January 3-10 Anime News

1-10-07 (11:02PM EST)—- Economic Impact Of Winny On Anime / Manga Estimated

Both the ACCS and JASRAC wrapped up an investigation of illegal file-swapping via the infamous Japanese Winny software. Winny and the game, the business software, and the image software and are the dissemination linguas as a result. The investigation was carried out by scanning network activity for six hours on October 10th, 2006 from 18:00-24:00. Over that period at least 210,000 users were observed and the money estimate of files being swapped was 10 billion Yen. The group found 180,000 anime files being traded, equating 1.72 million Yen and 1.59 million manga files being traded equating 700 million Yen.

1-10-07 (10:43PM EST)—- Tokyo Anime Fair Exhibition Space Sells Out Early

On November 28th The Tokyo Anime Fair executive committee stopped accepting exhibition applications for both the trade fair and Animation Bazaar. The event will be held March 22-25th, 2007. The original deadline for applicants was December 13th but all space had been allocated by late November.

1-10-07 (9:48PM EST)—- Hyakki Yakou Shou Becomes TV Drama

Mangaka Ichiko Ima’s shojo horror manga Hyakki Yakou Shou, will be adapted into a TV drama to broadcast via Nippon Television Network in February 2007. The original comic has been serialized since 1995 in Asahi Sonorama’s Nemurenu Yoru no Kimyou na Hanashi. Cast and other details are undecided.

1-10-07 (9:37PM EST)—- Taiwan Anime Pirate Goods Conviction

Japanese overseas contents watchdog organization CODA have reported a conviction in taiwan related to a trader in counterfeit toy goods. The trader was prosecuted and B-Legend ~Battle Bidaman pirate goods confiscated in shops located in Taipei and Kaohsiung City in April this year. Conviction came in October, 2006 and the offender was sentenced to three months prison and a 2 year suspended sentence. According to CODA 467 prosecutions in related to pirated Japanese goods were recorded in Taiwan by November, last year. Around 230,000 pirate edition DVD and CD’s were confiscated and 550 people were arrested.

1-10-07 (9:06PM EST)—- Pizza Hut Japan Launches Code Geass Campaign

Pizza Hut Japan has kicked off a new promotional campaign with the BIGLOBE / Sunrise TV series anime Code Geass – Lelouch of the Rebellion. Running between January 11th and February 21st, visitors to the above link can obtain a special wallpaper, likewise, every week Pizza Hut Club subscription customers can obtain new presents related to the series.

1-10-07 (8:54PM EST)—- Tohoku Shinsya Loses Sankyo Suit Over Yamato Rights

Legal wranglings surrounding the Space Battleship Yamato franchise continue in Japan. Tohoku-shinsha Film Corporation recently lost a litigation case concerning alleged piracy of Yamato collectors cards, PS2 videogames, pachislot machines and animation videos being sold by Sankyo Corporation. TFC was demanding a cease and dessist on equipment, software production and sales related to ‘Dai Yamato’ and compensation for damages equalling around 500 million Yen. At the heart of the issue was Sankyo’s use of characters from original creator Leiji Matsumoto’s recent series Dai Yamato and their resemblence to the original SBY characters, the copyright to which is held by TFC. The judgement came down that ex Yamato producer Yoshinobu Nishizaki who entered into a copyright agreement with TFC for the series did not actually posess the legal rights to the copyright. The decision could further adversely affect TFC and Nishizaki’s plans to produce a new Yamato anime film which ANS first reported on in a October 2nd, 2006 news entry.

1-10-07 (7:44PM EST)—- 19 Trillion Yen Japanese Contents Industry By 2015

On December 24th the Japanese government Cabinet Council approved their 2007 contents business promotion budget at 4.8 billion Yen. This represents a 9% budget increase previous year. Additionally a projection was made that the total Japanese contents industry will be a 19 trillion Yen marketplace by 2015. Likewise 3 goals were agreed to: 1. Strengthening of industrial structure by structural reform of contents industry. 2. Start-up in new markets overseas market and broaden exisitng ones. 3. Nurture creative talent.

1-10-07 (6:35PM EST)—- Toki Wo Kakeru Shoujo DVD Announced

Perhaps Japan’s most popular anime film in 2006, Toki Wo Kakeru Shoujo has been announced to arrive on R2 DVD for the first time in Japan on April 20th. The regular version will retail at 4,935 Yen and a special limited edition will sale for 10,500 Yen. The sales agency is Kadokawa Shoten Publishing and the distributor is Kadokawa Entertainment. Product specifications other than release date and price are undecided and unannounced at this time. The film was animated by Madhouse, Directed by Mamoru Hosoda (One Piece, Digimon), features character designs by Yoshiyuki Sadamoto (Evangelion) and Art Direction by Nizo Yamamoto (Princess Mononoke). Although starting theatrical life in July, 2006 by screening in only a single theater in Tokyo, word of mouth regarding the high quality of the anime film rapidly spread via word of mouth across the internet and quickly gave the work the dynamic of an underground / cult / grassroots supported breakout hit.

1-10-07 (6:03PM EST)—- HD Cartoon Network Leak

IGN reports on a DirecTV announcement made Monday at CES 2007 that it plans to launch 100 new HD-dedicated channels in the coming year. The news has gained momementum as folks have realized that it prematurely leaked the plans of several networks who had not yet formally announced their own HD networks. Cartoon Network was on the list.

1-10-07 (5:59PM EST)—- Shaylaman On Live Action Avatar: The Last Airbender

The Chicago Sun Times reports on Director M. Night Shyamalan’s plans to adapt the Nickelodeon’s anime inspired Avatar: The Last Airbender to live action in USA.

1-10-07 (5:49PM EST)—- Gatchaman Gets Director

IGN reports Kevin Munroe, director of the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated feature, has said that he is working on a big-screen adaptation of the anime series Gatchaman next. “We’re in the middle of the script right now, and we’re doing pre-production — some early [story] boards,” Munroe said. Producer Tom Gray added that the forthcoming film will be more adult than TMNT: “It’s going to be PG-13, in CGI. This is the one where we’re going