Posts in: April, 2007

Anime News Service – April 24-27 Anime News

4-27-07 (11:48PM EDT)—- ADV Films Acquires AIR TV And Movie

Today ADV Films co-founder Matt Greenfield announced that ADV has acquired exclusive home video and broadcast rights in North America for the anime series Air and the 85-minute Air Movie. Greenfield made the announcement during a panel at Anime Matsuri, South Texas’ largest anime convention. Volume one of the four-disc Air series will hit store shelves August 14, and the Air Movie is slated for release in late 2007. Air is a fan-favorite series in Japan, having placed #32 in TV Asahi’s all time Top 100 Anime list (2006). A product of the famous production studio Kyoto Animation (Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid, Inuyasha) and director Tatsuya Ishihara (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Kanon), Air is easily one of the most-anticipated series to reach our shores this year. The standalone Air Movie, which was produced by Toei (Air Gear, Kanon) and directed by Osamu Dezaki (Black Jack The Movie), is a fitting finale to the Air mania sweeping North America. In announcing these acquisitions, Greenfield said “as anime fans ourselves, we’re very excited to announce that ADV will be releasing Air, as it’s already being ranked as one of the most popular anime titles of all time in Japan, and the fans who have seen it here the States are equally enthusiastic in their praise.”

Greenfield continued, “we’re also pleased to say that, while negotiating a title that’s split between two different licensors can be tricky, we have indeed secured the rights for both the TV series and the movie, thereby insuring total continuity between the English language versions.” Synopsis: Yukito Kunisaki is a wandering puppeteer on a jouney to find “the girl in the sky,” a tradition his family has held for generations. Upon arriving in a new town, he is befriended by a lonely young girl named Misuzu, who offers him a place to stay. Yukito soon begins to suspect that Misuzu has ties with “the girl in the sky” when she begins to speak of dreams of flying, but before his suspicions are confirmed, Yukito meets two more mysterious girls. Now Follow Yukito as he pieces together the lives of three different girls to discover the truth of “the girl in the sky.”

4-27-07 (11:08PM EDT)—- Zero No Tsukaima Sequel Gets Title

According to the June, 2007 edition of Megami Magazine, the official title for Zero No Tsukaima TV series 2 is “Zero No Tsukaima: Soutsuki No Kishi”. The title is apprantly sourced from the 9th light novel volume.

4-27-07 (11:08PM EDT)—- Takeshi Koike’s Red Line At TAF2007

We’ve got some never before revealed staff details on Takeshi Koike’s still in production anime film Red Line in a new report.

4-27-07 (8:58PM EDT)—- Crayon Shin-chan North American License Status?

When asked if FUNimation could work with Dr. Master to re-release the manga in conjunction with the Crayon Shin anime, the response given to Shin – AKA: Pocket Rocket Boy’s Myspace Blog was:

“There are several people bidding for the comic/manga license for Shin chan. I don’t know how it will all wash out just yet. Rest assured, I love to share info. So as soon as we know one way or another, I’ll pass the word on somehow…” Also of interest is that, besides dvds, FUNimation plans to sell other merchandise in the future.
Huge Thanks to Daniel Zelter for the news.

4-27-07 (8:53PM EDT)—- Ghost In The Shell – SAC: SOLID STATE SOCIETY USA DVD Details

Anchor Bay has sent over the first details on Bandai’s forthcoming DVD release of Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. – Solid State Society. The film will be released on DVD on 7/3 in two versions. There will be a Standard Edition (SRP $19.98) that includes the film in anamorphic widescreen video with both Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 audio (English and Japanese with English subtitles), as well as the Uchikoma Days featurette, interviews with the English production team, a storyboard gallery and the trailer. There will also be a 3-disc Limited Edition (packaged in a “steel book” case) that includes everything on the standard edition along with 3 more featurettes (World Work File, Anime+Car Design: Designing the Future Car and Making of Tachikoma Robot), an interview with Mitsuhisa Ishikawa (of Production I.G) and the film’s soundtrack on CD.
Source: The Digital Bits | Thanks to Daniel Zelter for the news.

4-27-07 (7:41AM EDT)—- To Heart 2 OVA Volume 2 Release

To Heart 2 OVA Volume 2 has been given a Wednesday, June 27, 2007 release in Japan.

4-27-07 (4:45AM EDT)—- Gainax Director Takami Akai Resigns Over Mixi Diary Commentary

One of Gainax’s founding members, Director Takami Akai has announced his resignation after comments he published on co-worker Mimori Keiko’s Mixi Diary were scrutinized by fans for being “discomforting”. He was a producer and prominent force behind Gainax’s latest animation, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann which started running on Japanese TV this month. Akai published his resignation on the Gainax website on April 27th. He’s well known as the creator of the popular “Princess Maker” girl grooming simulation games. The comment in question lashed out at alleged criticism of Gurren Lagann made on 2ch with some rather graphic language (something about one bringing one’s face to one’s anus and breathing deeply). A wave of fan comments subsequently poured into the main Gainax blog indicating they had collectively been insulted. Akai posted an apology along with his resignation, saying that there was no room for an excuse to his actions. His mixi diary was open to the general public. His name will disappear from the credits of Gurren Lagann from the 5th episode, scheduled to broadcast on the 29th. He expressed heartbreak at leaving the staff of the show after having been intimately involved on the production for over 5 years. Akai has his own company titled NineLives and is married to mangaka Kimiko Higuchi. He did the original character designs for the DAICON III animation and was a classmate of Evangelion director Hideaki Anno in

Anime News Service – April 17-23 Anime News

4-23-07 (8:28PM EDT)—- Tokyo Anime Fair 2008

The Tokyo International Anime Fair Executive Committee has treated ANS to an exclusive sneak peek at their official 2008 promotional poster. Next year’s event is scheduled to run from March 27th – 30th at Big Sight. Features include: International Trade Fair – Exhibition, Creators World, Anime Rookies, Buyers World, Screenings, Press Center, Press Conferences, Sales of character goods, TAF Welcome Night Party, Anime Bazaar, Special Project Exhibitions, Symposiums, Animated Cartoon Theater, Stage Events, Kids Zone, Charity Auction, Quiz Rally, Special Stage, Tokyo Animation Song Festival, CGAC2008, Tokyo Anime Awards, 4th Special Contribution Awards, MX TV Special Program, Animation Congress. The Committee will begin solicitng art submissions for next year’s mascot character starting May 1st. The deadline is June 29, 2007. The character will then be selected and announced towards the end of summer. Last year’s character was submitted by Mariko Tokida. Her design was chosen out of 392 entries. TAF representatives tell us they retain exclusive use copyrights to their mascot characters for 2 years and actually only heavily use the character for around 1 year total. After a 2 year period the rights fall back to the original creator. Besides positively influencing aspiring artists’ careers, a cash purse of 200,000 Yen stands to be won for 2008. TAF aims at drawing new talent especially to this competition. Guidelines include: a) the character must be original and previously unpublished and b) must represent Tokyo And Animation. The contest is open to all nationalities.

4-23-07 (7:53PM EDT)—- 19th CG Anime Contest Go

The 19th CG Anime Contest selected works screening event will be held on May 5th in Nakano. The longest running CG competition of its type in Japan, over 400 entrants have submitted their works this year. Past Grand Prix winners include Romanov Higa’s TANK S.W.A.T 01 and Makoto Shinkai’s Hoshi No Koe.

4-23-07 (7:30PM EDT)—- Manhwa Exhibition In Kawasaki

The Kawasaki City Museum will present an exhibition on South Korean Comics from April 21st-June 3rd. The project is part of a greater aim to deepen the cultural exchange and friendship between sister city Buchon on the 10th anniversary since their avowed urban coalition. Much of the exhibit material is coming from the Fuchuan comics information center. Original illustrations of over 30 popular manhwa authors who were active from the 1980’s through the present day will be included. Additionally a special corner will feature over 350 manhwa examples Japanese visitors can read in their native language. Kim Dongwha (A Story of Kisaeng and Bug Boy), So-Hee Park (Goong) and 4 other creative luminaries will appear as special guests of honor on Saturday, the 28th for talk and autograph sessions.

4-23-07 (6:50PM EDT)—- Aachi And Ssipak / Tokikake At The Egyptian

In a new screening report Daniel Zelter shares his experience from the West Coast debut of Aachi And Ssipak and Mamoru Hosoda’s Toki Wo Kakeru Shoujo 1 month ago.

4-23-07 (5:55PM EDT)—- Paprika Covered In Entertainment Weekly

The summer previews issue of Entertainment Weekly includes Paprika as number 2 on columnist Lisa Schwarzbaum’s anticipated movie list for the quarter. It’s listed before Judd Apatow’s “Knocked Up” and after Danny Boyle’s “28 Weeks Later”. Thanks, Daniel Zelter.

4-23-07 (5:54PM EDT)—- Tokyo Majin Anime Sequel Announced

Based on the cult hit Asimk Ace game series which debuted on the PS1 in 1998, the 14th and final episode of Tokyo Majin Gakuen Kenpucho broadcast on April 20th in Japan mentioned a new TV series “Tokyo Majin Manabu Enken Fuujou Ryuu Ryuu Kenbu hen” will begin in July.

4-23-07 (5:13PM EDT)—- Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien: Haruka Route OVA Details

The tentatively titled Kimi ga Nozomu Eien: Haruka Route (Rumbling Hearts) OAV (first reported here on August 28th) has gotten some updates courtesy the Age FC Bulletin No.13. Staff will include Director takayama hideki, Character Designs by Tamura Kazuhiko, Scenario by Kouno Takamitsu, Animation Production: Brains Base. Release date remains unknown. Based on Age Soft’s 2001 love adventure videogame.

4-23-07 (5:02PM EDT)—- Ar Tonelico 2 Site

Banpresto has posted their official Japanese website for the upcoming anime style RPG Ar Tonelico 2. An OVA based on the first game was released in 2006.

4-23-07 (4:53PM EDT)—- IM@S Light Novel

The TV anime version of Idolmaster: XENOGLOSSIA will be adapted to light novel form. Serialization will begin the July issue of Dragon. Original Story by Hajime Yatate and Suzukaze Sayaka, Illustrations by Ein.

4-23-07 (4:40PM EDT)—- Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei Updates

The anime TV series adaptation of Koji Kumeta’s Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei is scheduled for a summer start in Japan. Much of the current Negima staff from Studio Shaft will carry over. The Director will be Akiyuki Shinbo, Character Design by Hideyuki Morioka, Series Composition by Kenichi Kanemaki. Production by Starchild (King Record). For more info read our original mention on March 8th.

4-23-07 (4:12PM EDT)—- Kyo Kara Maoh! OVA Schedule

Kyo Kara Maoh! is scheduled to run 5 OVA volumes to begin releasing in Japan in Fall. ANS first got onto this story on March 5th. The Spring edition of Newtype Romance magazine first reported the adaptation. Based on the light novel and manga by Tomo Takabayashi, the work was previously adapted to 2 39 episode TV animation series which ran between 2004-2006.

4-23-07 (1:44PM EDT)—- Death Note Invades Anime Expo 2007

Famed director Tetsuro Araki and character designer Masaru Kitao announce their attendance at Anime ExpoR 2007 as Official Guests of Honor. In addition, Anime ExpoR has also obtained the rights to screen the blockbuster films, starring Tatsuya Fujiwara, from Japan DEATH NOTE (123 minutes) and DEATH NOTE: THE LAST NAME (140 minutes) on 35 mm print at the highly anticipated 2007 convention June 29-July 2 at the Long Beach Convention Center. More information can be found on the website

Born November 5, 1976, in the Saitama Prefecture and a graduate of the School of Literature at Senshu University, Tetsuro Araki gained mass fame and media attention as the director of the “Desu noto” (2006 also

Anime News Service – April 12-16 Anime News

4-16-07 (5:15PM EDT)—- New Japanese Service To Rent Manga Online

Internet / digital book seller Renta has begun a new service to rent electronic manga on April 10th in Japan. 100 Yen nets users a loan period of 24 hours. An electronic ticket system, allows transactions via credit card and cellular phone. Buyers won’t have to use a propriatary software browser as was the case with similar past services. New material will be added on Tuesdays weekly, the company aims at 3000 book offerings in the first year. Titles such as Salary Man Kintaro and content from publishers like Mag Garden will be sold. The company behind Renta was a digital books pioneer in Japan, first going online in 1995. They’ve done business with 395 cooperating publishers 60,000 titles as of March.

4-16-07 (4:51PM EDT)—- Bandai and Itochu Bolster Ishimori Entertainment’s Efforts

Bandai and Itochu have announced a business and capital tie-up with the Ishimori Entertainment Group ( which manages the contents copyrights of the late manga master Shotaro Ishinomori. In the offing is a strengthening of the business deployment efforts of the work of Shotaro Ishinomori inside and outside Japan. New business deployment in foreign countries will include merchandise, toys that do whether this cooperation, and character merchandising. Europe, America and Asia are prime first targets. Ishimori Entertainment will change its official operating title to Ishimori Professional from June 1. Things on the horizon include moving plans forward for a Hollywood film based on one of the author’s creations. Bandai is joining in and hopes to capitalizes with character merchandising.

4-16-07 (4:39PM EDT)—- Independent Animation Dominates EZ Award 4 Winners Ledger

Winners are out for the EZ Award 4 Digital Entertainment competition. KDDI and Digital Hollywood jointly put on the effort. Winners were announced at ceremony at the KDDI Design Studio in Harajuku. Divisions included “graphic” and “general contribution”. Each enterant had to work with theme “BLACK”. This included the color, dark humor, and black jokes. Winners included: Grand Prix: “Experiment” Megumi Terada, Semi-Grand Prix “Vegita Strike” Aya Techno, Sayoshi Sato Prize: “Net Cooking Consumer Electronics” Changu, Riichirou Mashima Prize: “Juggling” Yukiko Uehara, Nagai Hidekazu Prize: “Black Ball1,2” Sawai Fumiya.

4-16-07 (4:30PM EDT)—- Kyoto Animation Launches Web Magazine

Kyoto Animation, the studio behind Haruhi Suzumiya has launched Kyo Ani Bon, a new web exclusive magazine project. There you’ll find original content submitted byt the various creators, cast and staff involved with the producer. 10 projects will be presented which all have the opportunity of being adapted to anime by the studio. Feedback from the public will determine which actually do make the transition to animation. The offering is extremely unusual as the planning stage for new anime is usually a strictly confidential in-house affair. Those series in the running in the first issue include MUNTO 3.

4-16-07 (4:06PM EDT)—- Anpanman Kids Hair Salon Opens

Bandai will open the first ever Anpanman kids hair salon at the Anpanman museum in Yokohama, Minatomirai on April 20th. The long running series is still a favorite among Japanese children. It becomes the one that it drinks and the character was made a theme. The target demographic are 0-6 year olds. A revenue somewhere in the ballpark of 40 million yen are expected by the end of March, 2008. 22 companies have co-invested in the new 6,800 square meter museum which also opens its doors for the first time on the 20th.

4-16-07 (3:57PM EDT)—- Animelo Summer Live 2007 Generation A Event Scheduled

Animelo Summer Live 2007 Generation A will occur at Nippon Budoukan on July 7. The large anime songs concert will feature many popular artists and seiyuu. Similar events were presented in 2005 and 2006. 10,000 people showed up last year. Hironobu Kageyama, Masami Okui, Nana Mizuki, and Momoi of JAM Project are confirmed participating artists this time around. A CD featuring the particpating artists songs will be put on the market on June 20th.

4-16-07 (3:40PM EDT)—- Viz Snags Rights To Blue Dragon

VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry’s most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies announced today that it has secured from a consortium including TV TOKYO Corporation and Shueisha Inc, the television, home video and non-video game merchandising rights for the Americas, Europe and Oceania to BLUE DRAGON, a new anime series based on the popular Microsoft Xbox 360 Role Playing Game. VIZ Media makes the announcement in conjunction with its participation at the MIPTV conference, the world’s preeminent audiovisual and digital content market, taking place in Cannes, France, April 16-20. VIZ Media has a prominent presence at the show in Booth #AO12.

The Xbox 360 game “BLUE DRAGON” is developed by Hironobu Sakaguchi (the creator of Final Fantasy). BLUE DRAGON also features characters by Akira Toriyama, the creator of the best-selling DRAGON BALL series of manga (which is published in North America by VIZ Media and featured in SHONEN JUMP Magazine). The anime series debuted in Japan on TV Tokyo on April 7, 2007 and is produced by Studio Pierrot, which is well known for its work on NARUTO and BLEACH, also licensed by VIZ Media. BLUE DRAGON television broadcast and key licensing partners will be determined shortly. The BLUE DRAGON video game has already established itself in Japan as one of Microsoft’s hottest releases in the RPG category and will be released in North America and Europe in August 2007. In the European market, VIZ Media will proactively distribute and market Blue Dragon through VIZ Media Europe, S.A.R.L, (VME) its Paris-based subsidiary established in late 2006.

The BLUE DRAGON Anime is a classic adventure story of magical Shadow powers, flying air fortresses, and unbounded heroism! Brought together by fate, Seven Soldiers of Light must awaken the Shadow within themselves in time to overcome a despotic power and bring peace to their land. Their ensuing journey through a rich fantasy world is also an internal journey to awaken the great power within each of them. Journey with them into the world

Exclusive High Resolution Birdseye View Of The Tokyo Anime Fair 2007

By Jonah Morgan


When I first came to Japan’s largest convention center, Tokyo Kokusai Tenjijo (Tokyo International Exhibition Center) or colloquially known as Tokyo Big Sight in 2000 for Winter Comiket 59 I was utterly awe-struck at the immense spaces the venue had on offer for exhibitors and the visiting public. Although the event 7 years ago still eclipses this year’s Tokyo International Anime Fair many times over in terms of attendance and space used, organizers were still able to cram 107,713 people and over 270 company booths into East Halls 1-3 of the facilities over 4 days. Each hall has a floor area of 90m x 90m (295 feet x 295 feet), the ceiling is 31 meters (100 feet) from the ground.The roof can supposedly move about to allow control of the amount of natural light that flows in although apparently climate control is impossible within the halls themselves. That said, by adding more human bodies, the temperature soared on the 2 public days, culminating on Saturday, where the attendance would see it’s 45,764 person / day peak. The climate yielded sweaty results for an active person in a business suit. By the end of each day I could wring out my undershirt like I just pulled it out of the wash (joking). Thankfully, Japanese beverager Suntory, sponsored TAF by supplying drinks, allowing everyone to retain vital liquids. Out of curiosity, I probably logged the strangest question asked during the event when, towards the middle of Sunday I stuck my head in staff control and asked if they knew the ambient temperature in the combined halls 1-3 at that point in time. A girl behind the counter took my question to the backroom of 10+ staffers who I was in clear view of. After she asked, I got this blown away look of perplexity from all of them that made me wonder if maybe I had asked the wrong question. She said they didn’t know although I was certain a facility of this prominence would have the ability to gauge its own in-house temps. Later on I dug around online and found some fans had taken thermometers to recent Comic Market events at Big Sight and recorded upwards of 90 degrees F within the halls around mid-day.

Getting back to the 3 story high ceiling, I like high places and spotted a few rafters and catwalks up there that would be ideal vista locations for some birdseye view photos of the fair floor. I put in a request on Saturday to go up and 5 minutes later one of the Big Sight staff came around with 2 hardhats in hand to guide me there. Apparently, I was the first foreigner in the 11 years since Big Sight was built to make the climb to the roof’s underside. The journey began on the floor level toward the back of Exhibition Hall 2, the staffer used some special keys to gain access to a small room with a tight metal stairwell. A healthy climb and several flights later, the staffer ducked down and to the left and opened a barely 1 meter square hatch which he climbed through. I followed suit, and we emerged dead center over the convention space on the other side on a metal platform with rails and more stairs. After some more climbing we were as high as you could go and still be inside the structure.

The view was amazing and all-encompassing. You could make out every balloon, booth and person from Avex’s cubicle down near the main exit to NTV’s which was right in front of the main entrance and everything in between. We’re happy to share this exclusive look from “the top of the world” as it were below in a series of high resolution shots. Click on each one for full size (3264 x 2488 1.6MB):

TAF2007 Exclusive Report: Hollywood Developing Films Based On Madhouse Anime

By Jonah Morgan

Kabushiki-gaisha Madhouse was one of the studios at the The Tokyo Anime Fair 2007 that really let it all hangout, putting alot of new project data on the record in a big way at their booth which featured a walk through gallery of many giant sized posters suspended from the ceiling. One of them (seen left – click here for high-res enlargement) mysteriously alluded to 2 live action films based on Madhouse animation “features” being produced in world movie capital Hollywood, California, USA right now. The first project was said to be currently underway, and another “is listed for a possible remake”. According to the text of the poster, there’s still a long way to go before any of the details can be made public. Their statements “as far as we know” and “if the projects come true” lead me to believe that the studio is maybe not so close to the action in tensiletown, however. We tried our damndest but couldn’t get Madhouse representatives to stray too far afield from the text of the poster.

We simply don’t know if these are projects already known in the realms of outed facts, rumor and speculation which we so love or if they may be entirely new quantities. Right off the top of my head though, I’m willing to hazard a guess that the first project “now underway” is almost certainly Threshold Entertainment’s Ninja Scroll (which we were the first in the English speaking world to break news on way back on March 13th, 2002). The second one is a bit more elusive, but just to throw something out there to think about, on August 17th, 2006 ANS reported Hollywood was looking at remaking the live action Death Note (Madhouse produced the Anime TV series). Additionally, on November 6th, 2006 we mentioned Capcom was remaking their Street Fighter II video games into an American film with a slated 2008 USA theatrical premiere (Madhouse produced the “V” TV series). On February 1st we also relayed Hollywood could remake NANA (Madhouse produced the TV series there). In 2005, New Line Cinema announced they had acquired the film rights to Naoki Urasawa’s Monster (Madhouse produced the TV series there as well). Lastly, Daniel Zelter reminds us Vampire Hunter D author Hideyuki Kikuchi has recently written that his work will be adapted in Hollywood. Though, as real as these projects are, and as real as the possibility may be that the anime could be used as source / research material in their production, my gut instinct tells me none of these really qualify. The most likely candidate in terms of worldwide publicity in my mind remains James Cameron’s planned remake of Madhouse’s 1993 OVA Battle Angel (Gunnm). It could also be something entirely unknown. Regardless, it should not be ignored that this studio shares an intimate relationship with many high profile properties which are moving forward in the film houses of Hollywood at this very second. As they are well positioned, the trend is likely to continue into the future.

Anime News Service – March 17 – April 11 Anime News

4-11-07 (3:23AM EDT)—- Hollywood Developing Films Based On Madhouse Anime

Madhouse made no bones about the fact that they are cozying up to Hollywood at this year’s Tokyo International Anime Fair. In fact, they put the information out into plain view. Checkout our exclusive high resolution pic of their poster heralding the news and follow our deductive reasoning on which of their anime will be remade into potential American blockbusters in the new feature: TAF2007 Exclusive Report: Hollywood Developing Films Based On Madhouse Anime.

4-10-07 (10:48PM EDT)—- Production I.G. Unveils Shinreigari / Ghost Hound At TAF2007

Back on February 27th ANS was the first (and only) English source to break details on Masamune Shirow and Production I.G.’s first collaboration since 1994’s Ghost In The Shell. The duo are co-producing the new manga and anime Shinreigari: GHOST HOUND. Following our short-line prediction, anime details were indeed announced at the Tokyo Anime Fair 2007: Celebrating the 20th anniversary from its foundation, Production I.G announces at TAF 2007 a new project, “Ghost Hound” (original title: Shinreigari / Ghost Hound), written by Production I.G and Ghost in the Shell-famed Shirow Masamune. The main staff includes director Ryutaro Nakamura (Serial Experiments Lain, Kino’s Travels), scriptwriter Chiaki J. Konaka (Serial Experiments Lain, The Big O) and character designer Mariko Oka (Jigoku Shojo, Jing: King of Bandits). The story will be co-developed by Crossroad. “Ghost Hound” will premiere in Japan fall 2007 on WOWOW. The comic version of “Ghost Hound”, drawn by Kanata Asahi, will start serializing in Japan on Monthly Comic Blade (published by Mag Garden) from March 30, 2007.

4-10-07 (10:48PM EDT)—- Germany’s AnimagiC Convention Adds Guests

New Guests of Honor at this years AnimagiC, germanys biggest anime- & manga-convention We are pleased to announce the next guests of honor for AnimagiC 2007: Founder & President of Studio GONZO Shoji Murahama, Last-Exile-Character-Designer Range Murata and Black-Cat-Director Shin Itagaki. Together with the concert-agency Rock Identity we proudly present Plastic Tree as this years j-rock-act. More guests of honor to be announced. The ninth AnimagiC will be held in the famous Beethoven-Hall in Bonn from july 27th to july 29th 2007. AnimagiC, germanys biggest anime- & manga-convention, is famous for its guests of honor. This year we already announced the following guests: Kouta Hirano, Tomokazu Tokoro, Yasuyuki Ueda, Hideyuki Kurata, Thorsten Munchow, Koh Kawarajima and Haruka Fukushima. AnimagiC is presented by AnimaniA, Germanys leading magazin for anime, manga and japanese popculture (since 1994). The magazin ist published monthly and available in a normal and a special DVD-edition. AnimagiC July 27-29, 2007 estimated attendee: 12.000 + Beethovenhalle, Bonn, Germany

4-10-07 (10:41PM EDT)—- Freedom To Release In USA / Japan on DVD / HDDVD Simultaneously In June

TORRANCE, Calif., March 20, 2007 – Bandai Visual today announced the simultaneous U.S. and Japan release of the bestselling OVA “Freedom” Vol. 1 in HD DVD/DVD Twin disc format. “Freedom,” which is the first HD DVD product from Bandai Visual, will be released in North America by Bandai Visual USA through their distributor Geneon Entertainment (USA). The product will also be available in Japan at .ANIME (, an integrated online anime portal operated by Anime Channel Co., Ltd. After “Freedom” Vol.1, Bandai Visual will start releasing other HD DVD and Blu-ray titles in Japan, with plans to distribute overseas under its flagship international label Honneamise.

Bandai Visual is vigorously developing product for next generation formats and has previously announced a collaboration with Memory-Tech Corporation and Microsoft Co., Ltd. on a project to improve image quality for the latest HD DVD video compression technology for the global anime software market. The “Freedom” Vol. 1 release in HD DVD/DVD Twin format will be the first result of the collaboration. The three companies have fine-tuned VC1 specifically to achieve higher visual quality for Japanese anime. The “Freedom” HD DVD/DVD Twin disc will also include HDi network function which will offer new ways to enjoy the product. Bandai Visual intends to utilize the expanded technological capabilities of the new formats and hopes to present viewers with added-value on its new products. Its goal is to create a companywide structure to produce and release premier anime titles simultaneously in North America and internationally.

“Freedom” is a science fiction anime series whose use in Nissin instant noodle TV ads created much attention in Japan. The drama unfolds on the moon’s surface in the city of Eden, the last human settlement, and focuses on a youth whose actions threaten to shake the freedom and peace of Eden. The scale of the story and the dynamic action have earned the series high marks. Bandai Visual is confident that this work, which uses the latest concepts and technology to combine 3DCGI with the 2D animation that has long been a key strength of Japan’s anime industry, is ideal as a technology development source for the next generation medium of HD DVD. Two volumes of the six-part series “Freedom” have been released so far in Japan on DVD and already more than 100,000 units have been shipped. The June 26 HD DVD/DVD Twin release will be the first introduction of the title in North America.

Title: FREEDOM Vol. 1 (of 6) Format: HD DVD/DVD Twin Catalog #: BUHH0117 UPC#: 858604001172 Street Date: June 26, 2007 SRP: $39.99 Spec: Japanese audio with English subtitles Extras: Special prologue to the series and trailers Further information will be available at and also at

4-10-07 (10:35PM EDT)—- Play Along Granted Domo-kun North American Master Toy License

New York-based integrated family entertainment company Big Tent Entertainment has named toy industry powerhouse Play Along, a division of JAKKS Pacific, Inc. (NASDAQ: JAKK), master toy partner for the Japanese animated character and viral sensation Domo. Through the long-term agreement, Play Along, known for creating innovative, blockbuster toy lines for such hit properties as Cabbage Patch Kids and Care Bears, has acquired the North American licensing rights to develop a wide range of captivating Domo toy products. Play Along’s line will be highlighted by Domo plush (with and without articulation and sound)