Anime News Service – April 11-16 Anime News

4-16-02—- Mahoromatic End Of The Year DVD Special

Mahoromatic End Of The Year Special DVD will be released after volume 6. Shotaiken! Mahoromatic is due June 25 with the end of year special (broadcast on 14 December 2001) (with a digest of episodes 1 to 8) and “Live! Mahoromatic” Length 25 minutes Catalogue number PIBA-1357 Price 1,800 yen (excluding tax)

Source: Natsume Maya

4-16-02—- Votoms Online At One

Votoms Online celebrated its first anniversary this past weekend. The site will be celebrating by adding new features, and kicking off their Votoms Online Battling Arena in a day or so. The V.O.B.A. is a battletech-type online strategy game set in the Votoms universe. Anyone interested in signing up can get info at http://www.votomsonline.com/battlingarena/.

4-16-02—- Macross Chara Designer / Dirty Pair Director On Blue Remains

On June 14 Toei’s 3D CGI Movie Blue Remains will be released in Japan. The sci-fi marine action anime, directed by Takizawa Toshifumi (Densetsu Kyojin Ideon, Dirty Pair) with character designs by Mikimoto Haruhiko (Macross) features a scientific research couple who return in their spaceship to Earth in 2062 only to find that its surface has been rendered uninhabitable by nuclear explosions and humanity is forced to live in the oceans. The couple entrust their daughter Amamiku with the task of revitalising the Earth. Weighing in at 75 minutes long no details of the DVD release have been made as yet. VHS will feature Dolby Surround with letterboxed aspect ratio. The official site with trailer can be accessed at www.blueremains.com.

Source: Natsume Maya

4-16-02—- Coca Cola Unveils C-Mode

Coca-Cola (Japan), NTT DoCoMo Inc. and Itochu Corp. stated yesterday that they will be launching a new consumer service throughout Japan that will incorporate Coca-Cola vending machines and DoCoMo’s ‘i-mode’ mobile phone internet service called, the ‘Cmode’. The full story can be found at Yahoo News, thanks to Anjiro-san for the link.

4-16-02—- Multimedia Enhanced Zoids Web Comics Online

Chapters one to four the Zoids web comics now have added sound effects. The sixth and final instalment of the present story is now available for download, however the page will have new contents at the end of April.

Source: Natsume Maya

4-16-02—- More On New German Anime Channel

Thanks to Tobias for the following:

Quite an interesting piece of news about what’s going on in Germany concerning Anime…

Just a comment: RTL II is the (free) TV-channel in germany, which broadcasts most of the anime (like Kamikaze Kaito Jeanne, Dragonball Z, Doremi, Crayon Shin-chan, Ranma 1/2 and so on). The “dpa” is germany’s biggest and most serious news agency.

Animexx: For many fans [in germany] a long desired dream should be fulfilled by this: According to an News by the “Deutsche Presse Agentur” (dpa), Josef Andorfer, the manager of RTL II announced on a media fair in Cannes, that RTL II will start an own Anime-TV-Channel in 2004. The channel does not have a name yet, but will be available by sattelite (Astra) and shows _only_ Anime.

4-16-02—- Localized Edit Of Comet-san Hits Korean TV

The classic Comet-san anime TV is airing throughout Korea on KBS2 TV on Sundays 7:50-8:40am, the channel can be viewed online here. For the Korean market broadcast several character clothing items has been altered and a comparrison of the changes can be seen here.

Source: Natsume Maya

4-16-02—- Medabots To ABC Family

Medabots, according to a new Nelvana-ABC Family agreement, is now secured as a daily fixture on ABC Family, televised Monday-Friday (8:30 a.m., ET/PT). The futuristic series about kids and their high-performance pet robots emerged at the top of boys 6-11 ratings when the series debuted last Fall on Fox Kids – and made equally impressive debuts on Canada’s YTV and Fox Kids Latin America. After achieving an impressive debut on Fox Kids Latin America last October, Medabots continues to remain a powerful performer, reaching over 13 million kids in 20 countries across the region. Flushed with its Western Hemisphere success, Fox will continue to broadcast Medabots on all its European cable outlets this Fall.

“We are delighted to bring our wildly successful Medabots series to ABC Family,” said Nelvana President Toper Taylor. “Boys throughout the U.S., Canada and Latin America have embraced this imaginative world where every boy owns his own amazing pet robot. The daily exposure for Medabots on ABC Family will even further expand the audience for this proven series.”

ABC Family is distributed in over 84 million homes across America.

4-16-02—- Further AppleSeed Media And Details

A larger still grab of previously posted Deunan image for the upcoming Appleseed movie can be viewed at Ascii24 here. ascii24’s report mentions the movie staff will seek Shirow’s collaboration. It’s also possible an independant new storyline will be created for the movie. Also unique to their report are confirming details of the international scale on which AppleSeed will be rolled out. Of 50,000 action figure / DVD sets 15,000 will be sold within Japan. Another still image from the movie, of Briareos, is available in this ZDNet Japan report. Character design of Deunan will be by Maeshima Shigeki (official website).

Source: Natsume Maya

4-16-02—- Japanese Film Event At Egyptian Theater L.A.

From Egyptian Theater site via Daniel:

“THE SHORT SHORTS FILM FESTIVAL Wednesday, May 15 – 7:30 pm Presented in association with the Japan Foundation of Los Angeles and the Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles SSFF makes its stateside debut at the American Cinematheque after three immensely successful years touring Japan and Singapore where the Festival draws audiences of 30,000 who come to see the best short films the world has to offer. Among the international selection presented this evening, two shorts by aspiring Japanese filmmakers will make their world premieres. Jane Campion’s Palme d’ Or-winning “Peel” leads the lineup, in keeping with SSFF’s tradition of presenting shorts by world-renowned feature filmmakers. The eclectic mix continues with live-action and animated shorts from Norway, Korea, England, Wales, Mexico, Germany and the United States. Join several of the filmmakers as well for a post-screening discussion.”

4-16-02—- European News – Hamutaro – German Anime Channel

Several items from our mailing list today. Initially, from Daniel comes some news by the HollyWood Reporter:

After the worldwide programming and merchandising phenomena of Japanese anime series “Pokemon” and “Digimon,” leading European children’s animation company Fox Kids Europe is hoping that its latest acquisition, “Hamtaro” — already a hugely successful kids property in Japan — will be the next big continental thing. FKE said Monday in Cannes that it has signed a major pan-European agreement with Japanese anime house Shogakukan Production for rights to 52 episodes of “Hamtaro” throughout the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Scandinavia, Poland and Israel. Based on the adventures of insatiably curious hamster Hamtaro, his owner Laura and a group of quirky pals — known collectively as the Ham-Hams — “Hamtaro” is based on successful children’s books by Ritsuko Kawai. (Mimi Turner)

David in Germany adds RTL II has also licened the anime for TV there. Sany mentioned on the same media stage (Cannes MIP Television Program Market) German broadcaster RTL II (currently the channel with the biggest anime offering in free German TV) has announced plan for an all-anime channel to be established in 2004. The yet to be named channel is supposed to be distributed via sattelite and cable (in case there´ll be some free slots at that time) and will be mainly made up of Japanese animation. In the recent years, anime has become pretty big in German TV. A look at RTL II´s current daily anime block reveals that.

All anime are dub, the only anime that is slightly edited is Dragon Ball Z

06:40 Chibi Maruko-chan
13:50 Ojamajou DoReMi
14:15 Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne
14:45 Ranma 1/2
15:15 Dragonball
15:40 Pokémon (Johto)
16:10 Digimon Tamers
16:40 Detective Conan
18:30 Crayon Shin Chan
19:00 Dragonball Z
19:30 Dragonball Z

4-16-02—- Virtual Child Porn Ruling

While the implications for anime (increasingly matriculating to CG methods) remains to be seen, CNN has report on a U.S. Supreme Court ruling today which strikes down a 6-year-old law prohibiting the distribution and possession of virtual child pornography banning a range of techniques — including computer-generated images and the use of youthful-looking adults — which were designed to convey the impression of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct. The law had banned a range of techniques — including computer-generated images and the use of youthful-looking adults — which were designed to convey the impression of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

4-16-02—- Master Of The Flying Guillotine Delay

According to pathfinder pictures, Master of the Flying Guillotine got pushed back yet ANOTHER month. (May 10 for L.A., May 24 for N.Y.)

4-16-02—- J-Pop Items

Avex has updated listing several new music additions featuring their new copy protection implementations, the Captain Tsubasa OST is among those listed for all new additions check here.

Anjiro-san mentions one of the members of popular J-pop duo, EE Jump, has left the group. Yuuki Goto, the rapper in the duo and sister of ex-Morning Musume Maki Goto, withdrew from the band. Only Sonin, the lead vocalist is the only one left of EE Jump. Apprently, no reason was given regarding his departure. But I’m guessing it had something to do with his manager whom he’s having problems with since last year. EE Jump has an upcoming CD collections release this coming May 2002 but was cancelled due to this matter.

Source: Sankei Sports

4-16-02—- Cartoon Reader Essays

According to http://www.reconstruction.ws/projects/cartooncfp.htm:

Original essays are invited for a collection tentatively entitled “The Cartoon Reader: Animation, Everyday Life, and the Consumption of Imagination.” The purpose of this book is to explore the cultural significance of animated cartoons from a variety of scholarly approaches and perspectives. Ideally this collection will be a comprehensive introductory textbook for the study of cartoons and will be suitable for use at both undergraduate and graduate levels. Possible topics include performances of race and gender in animation, discussions of censorship, and the politics of representation. Also important are developed discussion of the grammars and logics of animated cultures from Anime to Disney, to Looney Tunes. Other topics for consideration include studies of fandom, humor, moral panics, consumption, the animated body, and the moving image. Also welcome are discussions of creation, production, and distribution.

Studies of Gender, Race and Ethnicity, Class, Sexuality, Technology, and any number of methodological approaches are appropriate and not limited to: Performance Studies, Phenomenology, Film Studies, Sociology, Literary Analysis, Anthropology, Ethnography, Post-colonial Studies, Culture Studies, Historical Analysis, Psychology, Folklore, etc.

Please submit 2-page proposals or completed manuscripts (MLA style, 15-25 pages in length) to:

Reconstruction Reader Submissions 104 East Hall Bowling Green State University Bowling Green, OH 43403-0226 dheckman@reconstruction.ws

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us at the above email addresses. The deadline for submission of completed papers is December 31st, 2002. This collection co-edited by Davin Heckman and Matthew Wolf-Meyer.

4-16-02—- Where No Ramen Has Gone Before

Popular Cup Noodles maker Nissin Food Products has announced a special joint collaboration with NASDA (Japanese Space Agency) to create Ramen that can be compatible with the unique microgravity enviroment encountered during space missions. To that end, research and experiments will be conducted onboard the International Space Station (ISS), with the new space noodles, “Space Ram”. From 2005, a Japanese astronaut will call the station home for 3 months, onboard the NASDA research module Kibo. During that time, in an effort in allowing the astronaut to maintain a close to average tasty native Japanese diet and keep from being homesick, the snack noodles will be developed. The ISS NASA maintains harsh quality specifications standards which must be cleared, the cooking instrument, nutrition and type of soup as well as packaging and content constitution will have to be worked out. A maor goal is to create noodles that will maintain their integrity in the microgravity environs. Nissin Chairman Ando-sensei once expressed the desire to creat food for space. At the end of the 20th century a special poll for “the food of the century” was conducted in Japan and Nissin’s raman was voted the top choice.

4-16-02—- Icomic Anime Links

Icomic has announced they are seeking to beef up their anime links section, those with an anime website are encouraged to add it to their index at http://icomic.com/links/.

4-16-02—- Suncoast Replay Sweepstakes Rules – Grand Prize Trip To AX/AXNY 2002

The American video chain Suncoast, in participation with a number of sponsors is offering a new sweepstakes via it’s Replay publication where entrants can win a trip for 2 to both Anime Expo Conventions to occur later this year.

4-15-02—- Spirted Away Arrives In Spain

Following is a translation of a Spanish Yahoo article post to the Hayao Miyazaki Discussion Group:

“Without doubt, the award (the Golden Bear) helps in, step by step, the markets are opening to other cinematographies. The last two films of the studio are the ones that had been released (in Spain), but Vertigo assures the release in Spain, but there’s not yet release date. In the United States the film will arrive to the cinemas in september, as Buena Vista has reached a deal that let it to have the TV, video and cinema exhibition rights. But also it assures the benefits of mostly Asia of his maxime rival buying the TV and cinema rights of Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapur”

The full article (in Spanish) can be read here.

4-14-02—- Godzilla X MechaGodzilla Updates

“In an unexpected and surprising move (at least to me) there will be no other kaiju in the new GODZILLA X MECHAGODZILLA, and MechaGodzilla will be a product of the military.

“The word is that the new SFX director for GXMG will be Kiyotaka Taguchi who was assistant director under GMK’s SFX supervisor Makoto Kamiya. Taguchi also worked on GODZILLA X MEGAGUIRUS. According to the Shusuke Kaneko website Taguchi has also worked on Sakuya and Whiteout.” Source: Cinescape via Daniel

4-13-02—- More Independant Anime – Hotaru

Independant Animation group Odougadokoro Ikkyu-an (5 members) recently completed Hotaru (Firefly), a 3D CG anime of just under two minutes’ length. Hotaru was released for the Tokyo Big Sight “CG Carnival 2002” event on 30 and 31 March 2002 and has recently become available for download here in two different file sizes. Characters can be viewed here, and screenshots here.

Source: Natsume Maya

4-13-02—- Washu Shrine Updates

Mark Clifton mentions he’s added the opening and closing of Tenchi Muyo! GXP in .AVI format on his Washu Shrine here

4-13-02—- Free Comic Book Day May 4th – Manga Publishers Participating

From the release:

THE NATION’S COMIC BOOK PUBLISHERS AND RETAILERS UNITE TO CELEBRATE AN AMERICAN INSTITUTION WITH

FREE COMIC BOOK DAY

Popular Titles From Dark Horse Comics, DC Comics, Image Comics, Marvel Comics and Others

To Be Given Away At Comic Book Stores Throughout the United States & Canada

Timed with the Highly-Anticipated Spider-Man Movie, Free Comic Book Day

Takes Place May 4th

NEW YORK — In the wake of one of this summer’s biggest blockbuster movies — Spider-Man — the comic book industry’s leading publishers have united with over 2,000 comic book shops to present an unprecedented event — Free Comic Book Day. This historic occasion will both celebrate and raise awareness of this American-born art-form, which has been thrust into the public spotlight thanks to the recent influx of movies and other media inspired by comic books. A free copy of the industry’s most popular titles — from publishers such as Dark Horse Comics, DC Comics, Image Comics, Marvel Comics and others — will be available to all people who enter comic book specialty shops on May 4. A way to salute the medium, unite the highly-competitive industry, and invite new readers to visit their local comics shops, the world-wide give-away will occur just one day after Sony’s North American release of Spider-Man starring Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst, and less the two weeks before the premiere of Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, which also has comic book connections. Get Caught Reading, the nationwide literacy campaign supported by the Association of American Publishers and the Magazine Publishers of America, has announced its support for Free Comic Book Day.

“It’s not often that companies in any industry get together to promote their products, and for that reason, Free Comic Book Day represents a proud ‘first’ for comics in more ways than one,” said Dark Horse Publisher, Mike Richardson. “We’re working alongside our friends from other companies, giving away an amazing product, and promoting Star Wars: Episode II – our biggest book of the year. It’s win-win in all directions.”

“Comics present a unique way to involve a diverse audience of readers,” said Bob Wayne, Vice President – Sales & Marketing for DC Comics. “Through this groundbreaking promotional effort, more people will be introduced to the joys of reading – and shopping for – comics.”

“Comics have come of age as a medium of creative expression. Regardless of your age, background or tastes we have a book for you. Please join us on May 4 and see what you’re missing,” added Jim Valentino, VP-Publisher, Image Comics, Inc.

“It has been said that there have been three unique art-forms to come out of America — ‘jazz, musicals and comic books’ — it’s about time we all celebrate the latter,” said Joe Quesada Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief. “The success of comic-based movies has proven the popularity of these characters and has given the industry the perfect forum to re-introduce America to this amazing medium.”

As part of the promotion Marvel Comics will publish a free issue of its top-selling Ultimate Spider-Man, DC will offer the first issue of Justice League Adventures (based on the top-rated Cartoon Network series), Dark Horse will contribute a brand new story that ties into the upcoming Star Wars: Episode II–Attack of the Clones, and Image will publish the origin of Lara Croft, Tomb Raider, star of videogames and movies.

In addition, dozens of other comic book publishers will be contributing free titles, covering the entire spectrum of genres and styles, from classic children’s humor like Archie to sophisticated sci-fi action like The Matrix.

Nearly 2 million comics will be available for give-away during this single day event. Free Comic Book Day will be supported by an extensive online initiative, point-of-sale posters, and a massive PR and advertising campaign. The official website for the event is www.FreeComicBookDay.com, which contains features on the history of comic books in America, a complete list of available free titles, and a search function to help readers find a participating store near them.

“Unlike the large chain stores that dominate most types of retailing, comic book shops are independently owned and operated by individuals in their communities,” said Roger Fletcher, Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Diamond Comic Distributors, the national distributor that is helping to coordinate the effort. “As a result, each store is as individual as its owner, adding to the incredible diversity in the comic book field. Readers of all ages will be delighted by the broad range of entertaining and artful reading material available at their local comic book store.”

“The secret is out,” concluded Joe Field, owner of Flying Colors Comics in Concord, California and the originator of the Free Comic Book Day promotion. “Since other media rely on comics for many of their brightest ideas, we know the time is right to invite the world to check out the amazing source material.”

“There once was a time when some people would frown upon reading comic books,” said Association of American Publishers President & CEO Pat Schroeder. “But as we’ve come to understand the importance of literacy in social advancement and intellectual development, it has become obvious that reading of any kind is productive and should be encouraged.” “Comic books are as intelligent, compelling, and demanding as any other form of storytelling,” Schroeder added, “and they are a worthy addition to any parent, teacher, or other adult’s arsenal of reading tools. We’re happy to join with Free Comic Book Day to promote our common goal of getting more people to read.”

For more information, go to the website at http://www.freecomicbookday.com

4-13-02—- Kikaider In Hawaii Report

The Honolulu Advertiser has just published a lengthy piece on longtime Hawaiian fascination with the sentai Kikaider series.

4-13-02—- Foreigners Skipping Japan Without Paying Phone Bills Prompts Tariffs

Asahi reports that according to NTT Docomo, foreigners are skipping out on mobile phone bills at six times the rate of Japanese, Japan’s leading phone company is now demanding a 30,000 yen deposit from many non-Japanese subscribers, effective April 1st.

4-13-02—- New Kodansha Blingual Titles

New from Kodansha International: the bilingual edition of the WWII naval manga Zipang, volumes 1 and 2, by Kawaguchi Kaiji (translation by Ralph McCarthy). Price 850 yen (excluding tax). Also available is the Love Hina Eiga Juku (Private English School), aimed at teaching English by reference to scenes from the manga. Includes an interview with Akamatsu Ken. By Akamatsu Ken, Giles Murray and Watanabe Yumiko. Price 820 yen (excluding tax).

Source: Natsume Maya

4-13-02—- Foreign Ghibli Museum Ticket Data

According to a post to The Miyazaki Mailing List, for those who are in Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, If you are planning to go to Japan and want to visit the Ghibli Museum, you can now buy a ticket at your local travel agency. For details: http://www.ghibli-museum.jp/ticket.html. For those in other countries, the Museum is now planning to a new system to purchase a ticket for overseas visitors, so please wait for a while.

4-13-02—- New Anime Game Series Coming

According to Dengeki Online, Capcom will release “The Anime Super Remix” series of Playstation 2 games, based on various anime titles. From June 2002, Kyojin no Hoshi (a baseball anime) and Ashita no Joe 2 (a boxing anime) will be released. The software will contain mini-games and memorable scenes from the anime. Each game will retail for 5,800 yen (excluding tax).

Source: Natsume Maya

4-13-02—- April Anime Axis

The Aprill issue of Anime Axis online magazine has been posted, there one can find articles on Akira, Game Review of Dynasty Warriors 3 and Ragnarok Online.

4-13-02—- JIN ROH In Wired

Wired Magazine’s Steeet Cred section which shines a spotlight on merchandise reviewed Bandai / Viz’s release of JIN-ROH in it’s May issue check the above link for the listing.

4-13-02—- Sentou Yousei Yukikaze On Track

Long anticipated OAV project Sentou Yousei Yukikaze (Fighting Fairy Yukikaze), first announced by Bandai Visual close to 1 year ago, Yukikaze is based on a SF novel series by famous author Chouhei Kambayashi. Honoured with the Seiun Award two years ago on the same SF Convention (in the category Japanese Long SF Fiction) “Sentou Yousei Yukikaze” is set in the distant future when earth is suddenly attacked by a mysterious force named “JAM”. Human, however, is able to establish a defence wall against the invaders using fighter jets equiped with high-sophisticated A.I. Actually, this A.I. system is so highly developed that one of them starts to “think” on its own one day.

Planned to be adapted into a 5-part OVA-series boasting a large budget provided by Bandai Visual and state-of-the-art animation by Studio Gonzo, the first volume will hit the Japanese stores in August 2002. The producers hope to conclude the series within one year. Staff includes director Masahiko Okuma, chara-designer Yumi Tada, sound supervisor Yota Tsuruoka and 3D supervisor Atsushi Takeuchi. Since “Yukikaze” will feature a lot of air combat the production team has visited the JSDF Komatsu base this past summer for an extensive technical and design study. A glimpse of the result was shown at a Japanese SF convention in form of a 3-minutes trailer.

The first novel on which the anime is based is described in the critical anthology “Anatomy of Wonder”. Yukikaze is a fusion of the classic war story and cyberpunk, in that the central character IS the airplane Yukikaze (Blizzard). This Link has illustrations of the Yukikaze made for the novel slipcovers. The trailer can be viewed here at Watch Impress.

Volume 1 is due on August 25th, run 45 minutes while the remaining four episodes will be 30 minutes each. GONZO’s page on the work-in-progress can be viewed here, but the official homepage is scheduled to open in May 2002. A few designs can also be viewed here.

Reference: Natsume Maya

4-13-02—- Misc. Magazine Items

Thanks to Daniel for this news:

1)The April 19th issue of Entertainment Weekly reviewed the Metropolis dvd and gave it a B. My only complaint was the review called Metropolis a “cousin” of A.I.

2)The May 2002 issue of Game Now has a huge blow-out on DBZ. You can get a list of all the games released in Japan, info on the horrible Hong Kong movie, and more! The GBA game covers the series from the Saiyan Saga to the Frieza Saga. While it’s already been mentioned that FOX might be making more than one DBZ movie, Game Now suggests that they might film the movies back-to-back. As for Square news, rumour has it the Wonderswan Final Fantasy games will be ported to GBA. Also, Contra fans can rejoice as Konami of Japan (whew!) has announced two new Contra games-one for GBA and one for PS.

3)The May 2002 issue of Cinescape has some interesting Matrix news. The movies are not being filmed back-to-back as originally planned. Reloaded will come out May 2003, while production for Revolutions will continue in August 2003 in preparation for a holiday release. As for the Animatrix, Square is reportedly done with their anime short.

4-13-02—- New OAV Work From Escaflowne Mangaka – Futari Ecchi

Escalowne / Psychic Academy mangaka Katsu Aki’s Futari Ecchi will be adapted to OAV for planned summer release. The manga is currently serialised in monthly Young Animal magazine.

Source: Natsume Maya

4-12-02—- Jubei Chan’s Akitaroh Daichi Confirmed Guest For Anime Expo New York

From the announcement:

Anime Expo New York is proud to announce the appearance of Mr. Akitaroh Daichi as its Director Guest of Honor. Mr. Daichi earned his first success when he directed Fairy Princess Ren, followed by the popular Nurse Angel Ririka. Mr. Daichi exploded onto the mainstream anime community with his direction of the hugely popular Kodomo no Omocha (Child’s Toy) anime. This was followed by his direction of the Sogoiyo Masaru-san (Sexy Commando Masaru-san) TV series.

Mr. Daichi eventually tried his hand at both writing and directing with the Juubei – Chan (released in the U.S. by Bandai Entertainment as Jubei-Chan the Ninja Girl), followed by Kazeni Makase Tsukigake Ran (also being released by Bandai Entertainment). Mr. Daichi’s latest project to be released in the US is the critically acclaimed TV series, Ima, Soko ni iru Boku (released in the US by Central Park Media as Now and Then, Here and There), a story he both created and directed. Mr. Daichi’s current project is directing Fruits Basket (which is being released by FUNimation).

Mr. Daichi is appearing at Anime Expo New York courtesy of the Big Apple Anime Fest.

4-12-02—- Stunning CGI Technology Behind New AppleSeed Project

Based on the circa 1985 manga by Masamune Shirow, April 11th saw a press conference event in Tokyo where the details of the coming AppleSeeed Film project were revealed. Utilizing the leading edge technology CGI process (see below link for sample image) called the Trinity Engine, the animation in AppleSeed will achieve the look of fluid cell-like motion using 3D images. As a teaser, on June 25th, the previously reported on 3 figure / DVD sets will ship, limited to 50000 units.

The stage of the new AppleSeed is the near future Earth which is devastated by large-scale war. There a Cyborg and Human teamup to fight.

Most interesting, The Trinity Engine was mentioned as an up to date CG animation production tool, used up to this point in videogames. Some physics characteristics are automatically simulated with the program including simple muscular contractions. While 3D CGI and 2D cellstyle animation were processed diffrently until recently, this new process combines both seemlessly. Pioneer LDC is involved with the new AppleSeed Movie’s production. The actress Carla Moskeira will voice Durant.

Animation from the new Appleseed will be showcased at international events such as the Cannes International Film Festival, held in France from May 15th and the American Licensing Show International 2002 held on June 11th in New York. Promotion will be advanced on a worldwide scale as AppleSeed is set to debut worldwide from Spring next year.

Source: Famitsu

4-12-02—- More On Eiji Okuda Paris Film Festival Win

As previously reported, Japanese actor Eiji Okuda took top prize for his debut directorial work at the 17th annual Paris Film Festival. The script of Shoujyo is based on a novel by Mikihiko Renjo and tells the story of the relationship between a young girl and policeman. Newcomer Mayu Ozawa received the best actress award for her part in the film.

4-12-02—- Anime / Manga Gaming

Madaman’s Cafe has new Guilty Gear XX images, news of Capcom vs SNK 2 EO for Game Cube and Rage Of The Dragons video footage links.

4-12-02—- Anime Costume Paeade In San Francisco

[Courtesy – World Of Anime]

Anime Costume Parade: April 21, 2002
Times: Check-in starts at 10:30 AM, with judging to begin at 11:00AM. The meeting place will be at the front of City Hall. The parade will start will begin at 1:00PM from City Hall and end at 3:00PM in Japan Center. Consolation prizes consisting of videos, posters, keychains and/or magazines will be given to all participants. All participants for the Costume Contest and Parade _MUST_ Pre-register with Japan Video prior to the event. Please contact William or Tak at Japan Video at 415-563-5220. The Anime Costume Contest and parade is sponsored by ADV Films, AnimEigo, Central Park Media, Pioneer, Tokyo Pop, Media Blasters, Digital Manga, Urban Vision & World of Anime. Organized by Japan Video and Media, Inc. 1737 Post Street, San Francisco, CA 94115.

The prize information for the anime costume parade has been broken down into the following: First prize: Totoro Plush Toy (see store for details; 1 winner); Second Prize: Your choice of the Evangelion DVD Box Set, Trigun DVD Box Set, Serial Experiments Lain DVD Box Set, or the Ranma 1/2 Anything Goes Martial Arts DVD Box Set (3 winners); Third Prize: Your choice of the Sailor Moon Movie DVD Box Set, Dragonball Z Movie DVD Box Set, Magic Knight Rayearth 1st Season DVD Box Set, Kiki’s Delivery Service Gigi Plush Toy or My Neighbor Totoro Neko Bus Plush Toy (5 Winners). Consolation prizes will also be given out to all participants. For more information, stop by Japan Video or call 415/563-5220.

4-12-02—- Eva Movies Delayed

According to the Rightstuf, Manga Entertainment has mentioned their release of the Evangelion movies has been delayed with EVA: Death & Rebirth pushed back a month to 7/30 while EVA: The End of Evangelion has been pushed back two months to 9/24.

4-12-02—- Tokyopop Exclusive Initial D Trailers

Tokyopop has updated with a high and low res 37 second trailer for Initial D, view them here.

4-12-02—- Yamato Sets Sail In A Sea Of Tulips

According to a report on the Japanese Yomiuri site, a 70m x 35m flower art image of the Space Battleship Yamato has been created using 100,000 tulips in Tanto-cho, Hyogo for the 2002 Tanto Tulip Festival. Kicking off in 1992, floral images from Tonari no Totoro and Doraemon have graced the field. This year, with the theme in mind of the 21st century as the environmental century, the creators chose to depict the “Messenger of Peace” Yamato, with its mission to save the Earth from ruin. A small aerial view of the tulip field is included in the linked report.

Source: Natsume Maya

4-12-02—- Sony To Market Discount Region 2 DVD’s

In Japan, Sony is re-releasing a number of its anime DVDs at reduced prices. Each item is said to be limited production. Basically, each disc is 2,000 Yen (excluding tax) and all of the following are scheduled for release on 10 July 2002:

GTO DVD Collection (11 discs) SVZB-6001 22,000 yen (excluding tax)
Arc the Lad DVD Collection (9 discs) SVZB-6012 18,000 yen (excluding tax)
Hakaima Sadamitsu DVD Collection (5 discs) SVZB-6021 10,000 yen (excluding tax)
Kodomo no Omocha ~Shogakusei Hen~ DVD Collection (12 discs) SVZB-6030 24,000 yen (excluding tax)
Fuma no Kojiro DVD Collection (5 discs) SVZB-6042 10,000 yen (excluding tax)
Vampire Hunter D popular edition (the 1985 anime) SVWB-6047 2,000 yen (excluding tax)
Shin Megami Tensei Tokyo Mokushiroku popular edition SVWB-6048 2,000 yen (excluding tax)
Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou popular edition SVWB-6049 2,000 yen (excluding tax)
Tekken popular edition SVWB-6050 2,000 yen (excluding tax)
Plastic Little popular edition SVWB-6051 2,000 yen (excluding tax)
Seirei Tsukai popular edition SVWB-6052 2,000 yen (excluding tax)
Street Fighter II movie popular edition SVWB-6053 2,000 yen (excluding tax)

Source: Natsume Maya

4-12-02—- Dates Confirmed For Next 3 A-kons

Post the signing of the official contracts official dates for the nmext three Project A-Kon conventions have been announced:

A-Kon 14 (2003) – May 30 — June 1 2003, Hyatt Regency DFW Airport Hotel
A-Kon 15 (2004) – June 4 — June 6 2004, Adams Mark Hotel, Dallas (downtown)
A-Kon 16 (2005) – June 3 — June 5 2005, Adams Mark Hotel, Dallas (downtown)

4-11-02—- Bay Area Article On Manga Pop Value

RyuHayabusa DOA2 has posted the following info to our mailing list:

Here is a link to the SF Bay Area Newspaper “The Daily Review”. This link has a story on the popularity of Manga that has surged in the bay area and the quest for one man’s manga story to be published. It also mentions Yaoi-Con and FanimeCon. It’s a pretty good read since I have read the newspaper version and I’m glad that the e-version of it was published as well.

Source: The Daily Review (http://www.dailyreviewonline.com/Stories/0,1002,11031%257E522015,00.html)

4-11-02—- Disney Spirited Away Press

From the Disny press release as posted to Yahoo. Thanks to Alex for the link:

Disney Acquires Domestic Theatrical, Home Entertainment and TV Rights To Japan’s All-Time Top Grossing Film, Miyazaki’s Animated ‘Spirited Away’

Film Has Grossed a Record $234 Million in Japan and Won The ‘Golden Bear Award’ at Berlin Film Festival BURBANK, Calif., April 11 /PRNewswire/ — The Walt Disney Studios has acquired all domestic theatrical, home entertainment and television rights to Hayao Miyazaki’s animated masterpiece, “Spirited Away,” Japan’s all-time top grossing film, it was announced today (4/11) by Dick Cook, chairman of The Walt Disney Studios, and Toshio Suzuki, the film’s producer and head of Studio Ghibli. The film, which recently received the coveted “Golden Bear Award” at the Berlin Film Festival, is scheduled to be released theatrically in the U.S. this fall. Acclaimed director John Lasseter (“Toy Story,” “A Bug’s Life,” “Toy Story 2”), executive vice president, creative for Pixar Animation Studios, will serve as creative consultant for the newly dubbed version. Under the terms of the deal, Disney will also acquire the video distribution rights to the film in Japan as well as all theatrical, home entertainment and television rights in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and France. “Spirited Away,” the latest animated feature from Japan’s legendary filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli, holds the distinction of being the highest grossing film in Japanese box office history with a total to date of 29.3 billion yen ($234 million) and more than 22 million admissions. This figure surpasses the two previous record holders — “Titanic” at 26 billion yen ($208 million) and Miyazaki’s “Princess Mononoke” at 19.3 billion yen ($154 million). “Spirited Away” opened in Japan in July, 2001 and is still in general release.

“Spirited Away” follows the fanciful adventures of a ten-year-old girl named Chihiro, who discovers a secret world when she and her family get lost and venture through a hillside tunnel. When her parents undergo a mysterious transformation, Chihiro must fend for herself as she encounters strange spirits, assorted creatures and a grumpy sorceress who seeks to prevent her from returning to the human world.

Commenting on the announcement, Cook said, “We are thrilled to be associated with the great Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli in bringing ‘Spirited Away’ to audiences around the world. This film has already become a box office phenomenon in Japan and its visionary story and artistry is sure to be a hit with moviegoers all over the globe. Disney and Miramax have had a very successful collaboration with Studio Ghibli in the past and we are extremely proud to be extending that relationship with this truly extraordinary film. John Lasseter brings a love and respect for Miyazaki’s work to his role as creative consultant and will help ensure that this film reaches the widest possible audience in its domestic release.”

Suzuki commented, “We know the Disney team will provide the best possible release for ‘Spirited Away.’ Hayao Miyazaki and John Lasseter have known each other for more than 20 years, and have been great fans of each other’s work. We’re so happy to have this opportunity to work together with old friends.”

John Lasseter noted, “Miyazaki is one of the greatest filmmakers of our time and he has been a tremendous inspiration to generations of animators. At Pixar, when we have a problem and we can’t seem to solve it, we often look at one of his films in our screening room. ‘Toy Story’ owes a huge debt of gratitude to the films of Mr. Miyazaki. It is a real privilege to be involved with one of his films and to help bring it to a whole new group of moviegoers. ‘Spirited Away’ is a magnificent film and deserves to be seen by everyone who loves good storytelling and great characters.”

Disney began its association with Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli in 1996 when Disney executive Michael O. Johnson (then president of Buena Vista Home Entertainment Worldwide) negotiated a deal to bring nine of the Studio’s films to the world. In 1998, Buena Vista Home Entertainment released the heart-warming coming-of-age family comedy “Kiki’s Delivery Service.” The division next released Miyazaki’s masterpiece, “Princess Mononoke,” on video and DVD, and is currently preparing several other of the director’s titles for release on both video and DVD later this year. Internationally, Buena Vista Home Entertainment has had tremendous success with such titles as “Princess Mononoke,” which has sold four million units (16.4 billion yen or USD $130 million) to date in Japan alone.

Johnson noted, “Disney has had a great working relationship with Miyazaki and his associates at Studio Ghibli over the past six years and we consider it an honor to be bringing these exceptional works of art and entertainment to movie fans all over the world. Miyazaki’s films have universal appeal and ‘Spirited Away’ is sure to find a receptive audience in theaters everywhere and in the international home entertainment markets.”

Hayao Miyazaki is one of the most highly regarded directors/animators/comic artists in Japan. His movies are beloved by all generations of Japanese people, and have enjoyed huge successes both commercially and critically. He started his career as an animator at Toei Animation Studios in 1963 and was involved with such popular TV series as “Heidi” and “Future Boy Conan.” In 1979, he directed his first film, “Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro.” He went on to direct the 1984 feature, “Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind,” a highly sophisticated film that was as popular with adult audiences as it was with children. The success of “Nausicaa” led Tokuma Publishing to establish Studio Ghibli, a new animation studio for Miyazaki and his longtime colleague, Isao Takahata. Among the films that Miyazaki has written and directed for Ghibli are “Laputa: Castle in the Sky” (1986), “My Neighbor Totoro” (1988), “Kiki’s Delivery Service” (1989), “Porco Rosso” (1992) and “Princess Mononoke” (1997). In less than four months, “Princess Mononoke” broke the all-time box office record in Japan (previously established by “E.T.” in 1982). In addition to the films that he has personally directed, Miyazaki produced such other Ghibli films as “Only Yesterday” (1991), “Pom Poko” (1994) and “Whispers of the Heart” (1995).

4-11-02—- J-Fest Announced

J-Fest has been announced to occur at the National Nikkei Heritage Centre 6688 Southoaks, Burnaby BC V5E 4M7 in May, the event is a festival devoted to promoting interest in Japan through popular culture and the promotion of intercultural activities:

J-FEST Matsuri! is n indoor festival featuring an evening of intercultural performances, exhibitor displaays, DJ and dancing, food and drink in a Japanese street festival environment. J-FEST Anime! is a festival where people will learn about Japanese popular culture through presentations of Anime (animation), Manga (comics), Music (JPOP), and other special events (all ages).

J-FEST MATSURI! Saaturday, May 18, 2002 6:30 PM – 1:00 AM National Nikkei Heritage Centre $10 Advance tickets (on or before April 18), $15 after April 18. Tickets available in limited quantities at the door. Group rates available. Contact Joshu Coward at 604.777.7000 or jjoshu@nikkeiplace.org http://www.nikkeiplace.org

J-FEST ANIME! Sunday, May 19, 2002 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM National Nikkei Heritage Centre $5 adults, $3 high school students with a valid student ID, $3 children ages 6-12. $3 Anime club members with a valid membership card $3 with J-Fest Matsuri ticket stub. Contact Emund Yee at 604.306.1067 or jfestvancouver@yahoo.ca

4-11-02—- Jam: London-Tokyo Event Scheduled

May 10 – July 8 2002 at the The Barbican Centre, London Jam: Tokyo-London will combine Multi-media art, fashion, music and much more originating from Japanese & UK artists.

4-11-02—- G-Fest Details

From Cinescape, thanks to Daniel for the news:

Daikaiju Enterprises, Ltd. will be presenting G-FEST 2002 July 12-14, 2002 at the Radisson Hotel, 75 W. Algonquin Road, Arlington Heights, Illinois. Special guests include Koichi Kawakita, Toho Co., Ltd. Director of Special Effects of the 1990s Godzilla and Mothra films, Hurricane Ryu, Godzilla, Ghidorah and Battra suit actor and manga artist and Robert Scott Field, android “M-11” in “Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah” (1991).

G-FEST 2002 will also be presenting the films “Godzilla vs. Destoroyah” (1995), “Gamera 2: Advent of Legion” (1996) and a third film to be announced at the Pickwick Theater. G-FEST 2002 will also have art, video, coloring, costume, model, trivial,kaiju call and music video contests as well as a huge dealers room where convention attendees may purchase model kits, toys, movie memorabilia and books.

Also, the first 500 registrants to G-FEST 2002 will receive a free “Burning Godzilla” collectible figurine. For additional information on G-FEST 2002, log on to www.g-fan.com and go to the G-FEST 2002 section.

Daniel has compiled the guest profiles courtesy of courtesy of http://www.g-fan.com/gfest02/:

1)KOICHI KAWAKITA Director of Special Effects on Heisei Godzilla, New Mothra, Creator of Biollante, Space Godzilla, Destoroyah

Godzilla vs Biollante to Godzilla vs Destoroyah, the first two new Mothra films, and others such as Gunhed, Yamato Takeru, and Sayonara Jupiter. His employment at Toho goes all the way back to 1962, and he was involved with the production of Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla (’74), Catastrophe 1999 (’74), The War in Space (’77), and the Zone Fighter TV series. Mr. Kawakita attended G-FEST 2000 in Los angeles, where he was presented with the coveted Mangled Skyscraper Award for his magnificnet work in the kaiju eiga genre. G-FEST 2002 marks his first visit to the Chicago area.

2)HURRICANE RYU Godzilla, Ghidorah, Battra Suit Actor Art of Godzilla & Manga Artist

Hurricane Ryu is a martial arts master who has played a variety of kaiju, including Godzilla himself. He was King Ghidorah in Godzilla vs King Ghidorah, larval Battra in Godzilla vs Mothra, Baby Godzilla in Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla 2, Godzilla Junior in Godzilla vs Destoroyah, and has played Godzilla in a variety of Toho-sanctioned events. Ryu is also an accomoplished artist, has had his work published in manga and two books of interest to G-fans: The Art of Godzilla, and The Art of Godzilla vs Mothra. Meet this personable and talented star at G-FEST, and you might find yourself the owner of an original Hurricane Ryu sketch!

3) ROBERT SCOTT FIELD Android M-11

Robert Scott Field is well-known to G-FEST attendees as G-FEST 2002 marks his fourth consecutive visit. He is best known for his role as Android M-11 in Godzilla vs King Ghidorah, but also played Ultraseven 21 for Tsuburaya Productions. We look forward to welcoming “Scott” back to G-FEST once again.

4-11-02—- Pita Ten DVD And BOX Release

From the creators of Di-Gi Charat Pita Ten Volume 1 is due in Japan on June 25th, the disc will contain the 1st story 2nd story (50 minutes running time), jacket illustration is by the original creator. 1st press DVD will be able to obtain a BOX. DVD Contents: Dolby Digital (stereo) single side -single layer. Retail 5000 Yen. Volume 2+ contains 3 episode with price bumping up to 6000 Yen. In addition, a special 4th volume is planned.

4-11-02—- 14th DocGa CG Animation Contest

The 14th DocGa CG animation contest which is Japan’s largest and oldest such event is set to kick off shortly. A Project Team DocGa acceptance work screening meeting is to occur in Osaka April 28th. The main even is in Tokyo May 6th. Admission is free. DocGa has become the venue where many breaking CGI artsts and art teams have proven their skills before entering the professional arena.

4-11-02—- Article: J-Pop Turning Retroactive

Anjiro-san has passed along a new article by Steve McLure on J-pop as a music form going retro-active. The complete article can be read at Japan Times Online here.

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