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 (www.ishimori-e.jp) 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 of BLUE DRAGON! “BLUE DRAGON represents the latest convergence of video gaming and anime. We look forward to leveraging the tremendous momentum that drives both to make this property a success across multiple market sectors and age groups,” says Linda Espinosa, Vice President of Content Management, VIZ Media. “Anime continues to be one of the most robust segments of the entertainment arena. BLUE DRAGON’s story of overcoming conflicts through adventure and friendship will both entertain and inspire.” “It is an immense privilege to be entrusted with BLUE DRAGON in Europe. BLUE DRAGON fuses the genius of Akira Toriyama and Hironobu Sakaguchi, with a beautiful story and incredibly rich animation. We expect an enormous response in Europe,” says John Easum, President of VIZ Media Europe.
4-16-07 (3:20PM EDT)—- .ANIME Adds Downloadable Digital Video Content
Bandai’s new integrated anime / manga contents portal site .ANIME began offering anime downloads on Windows Media format from March 30th. The new online store requires Windows Media Player 11. One of the first widescale release offerings will be Katsuhiro Otomo’s FREEDOM this summer.
4-16-07 (2:53PM EDT)—- Toei Animation BB Premiere Launches Digital Manga Sales
Toei Animation BB Premium which offers downlaodable anime content has moved to add digital manga sales on March 30. This represents the culmination of a business tie-up with E-book Initiative Japan. The strengthed contents offerings on the site are expected to boost revenue. Prices are better than print (210 Yen for a whole volume or 42 yen for a single serial installment. Future plans will see synchronized anime/manga offerings.
4-16-07 (10:05AM EDT)—- 10 Meter Gundam Figure At Chara Hobby Expo
CX3HOBBY event organizers have revealed a specially constructed 10-meter tall RX-78-2 Gundam figure will symbolize this year’s event when it takes place in August. The “tachineputa” nebuta float figure will be the same used an annual festival held in Aoyama, Goshogawara. You can see this imposing figure at the Makuhari Messe hall on August 18th-19th. It will make the rounds at Goshogawara’s Tachineputa No Yakata first of all between August 8th-12th.
4-16-07 (10:04AM EDT)—- $250,000 Pure Platinum Gundam Announced
Bandai and Ginza Tanaka Precious Metals Jewelry Company Limited have come together to jointly commision “Jun Platinum Sei Kidou Senshi Gundam (Pure Platinum Gundam aka Gundam FIX Platinum)” which will be exhibited for the first time at Baselworld 2007, Earth’s largest timepiece, ornament and jewelry show. The pure platinum (Pt1000) figure represents Bandai’s desire to create the world’s most valuable example of Gundam character expression in the world. This approach is the one that agreed the desire of Bandai that wants to turn the character (the desire and Gundam that it wants to create value with new platinum of GINZA TANAKA) to the world and to send it and was produced. The piece symbolizes purity, rarity, and persistency that can keep shining in white through all eternity. The finish conveys a delicate, noble impression overlaying 89 elaborate parts. BASEL WORLD 2007 occurs in Basel, Switzerland, which kicked off on April 12, 2007. Estimated value is US $250,000 although there are no plans to sell or mass produce it. Height is 125mm, weight is 1,400g. Bandai first pitched the idea to Ginza Tanaka in 2004. Noted Gundam Modeler Katoki Hajime participated in the 2 year design and production period. The one-off figure is being referred to by Bandai as the “King Of Precious Metals”. 0.15 carat diamond are used as the eyes in the headpiece. Special coloring was alaos added. After Baselworld an exhibition tour in Japan is scheduled. 94,000 people from around the world are expected at Baselworld this year.
4-16-07 (9:01AM EDT)—- Gentosha Sets Sights On Selling Manga In 193 Countries
Top Japanese comics publisher Gentosha will take its already bilingual (Japanese / English) web magazine GENZO global sometime this month, with plans to offer it in 7 different languages (German, Japanese, English, Spanish, Italian, Chinese (Cantonese), and Korean). Gentosha has also stated the goal of releasing print manga in every country of the world (in 6 langaues to start with) in cooperation with respective overseas publishers simultaneously. This marks the first such attempt by any player in Japan’s manga industry to execute a strategy of this type on such a large scale. Maki Murakami’s Gravitation EX seems to be one of the first works Gentosha wants to promote in a big way. Back in February, Tokyopop dropped a press release announcing their partnership on the title’s rollout in the same month. They mentioned:
“the eagerly awaited sequel to Maki Murakami’s bestselling cult-classic manga series, Gravitation. For the first time ever, a never-before-published manga of Japanese origin will be available on the same day at retail stores in North America, Europe and Japan. According to TOKYOPOP Publisher Mike Kiley, “TOKYOPOP and Gentosha have entered into an exciting partnership to concurrently release Gravitation EX around the world, marking a momentous occasion in the continuing globalization of manga. Never before in manga publishing history has a multi-country synchronized release been executed.” Adds Gentosha Comics President Yoshihiko Ito, “We are very pleased to partner with TOKYOPOP for the worldwide release of Gravitation EX. We look forward to watching the successful launch of this property and are keeping our eye on future opportunities with TOKYOPOP!” Hailed as the forerunner in the hugely popular shonen-ai (boys love) category, the Gravitation manga series boasts nearly half a million copies in print. A romantic comedy/drama about making it in the music industry, the popular series has spawned myriad fan collectibles including novels, soundtracks, pencil boards, calendars, phone cards, postcards, art books, anime and much more.”
Gravitation EX has sold over two million copies worldwide to date. It’s being serialized in GENZO and the company’s portable site “GENZO/Gentosha comics” now. Other titles from Genzo will be offered in the future.
4-15-07 (4:24PM EDT)—- 5th Independent Animation Festival Results
The 5th Independent Animation Festival awards ceremony was held at the Tokyo International Anime Fair 2007 at Tokyo Big Sight on March 24th. This marks the first year it was held there as in the past a Mitakishi university association hosted it. All 15 nominated works were screened and guests spoke. Winners include: Grand Prix Mitaka Prize: O Hanashi No Hana (Kubo Amika), Matsukura Tomoji Prize: 5iVESTAR (HTMK), Maeda Isaosei Prize: Hana To Robotto (Miyaguchi Yuri), Yatsumaki Iwao Prize: Tokyo Revenge (Aya Hidaka), Sugii Gisaburoo Prize: O Hanashi No Hana (Kubo Amika). Stading out are Kubo Amika’s highly acclaimed O Hanashi No Hana O Hanashi No Hana which also took the 10th Agency for Cultural Affairs media art festival animation division Japan Excellence Prize in 2006. Aya Hidaka’s Tokyo Revenge also won a 6th Tokyo Animation Award. Similar to the Creators World effort, the festival should be considered as a feeder program for presenting up and coming talent to Japan’s anime industry.
4-15-07 (12:41PM EDT)—- Kenko Zenrakei Suieibu Umisho Anime Unveiled
Marvelous Entertainment rolled out a first look at their upcoming TV anime Kenko Zenrakei Suieibu Umisho at The Tokyo Anime Fair in Japan 3 weeks ago and ANS was there to soak up all the juicy details firsthand. From the first released artwork to a special English press release, we’ve got you fully covered on this exciting looking project in a new exclusive report. We even managed to extract some information never before made public, including the fact that the sexually charged comedy is scheduled to run for 13 episodes.
4-15-07 (9:55AM EDT)—- Anime Verification Test Advances
Building on a story we first reported on November 16th, the planned “Zenkoku Sougou Anime Bunka Chishiki Kentei Shiken” (Nationwide, Integrated Anime Cultural Knowledge Permissibility Test) testing animation knowledge is scheduled to go forward in the middle of November of this year. A press release detailing the executive summary and planned examination paper was distributed at the Tokyo Anime Fair this year to coincide with an official panel, presented by the organizational executive committee. Those who participate will gain “official” certification in the area of expert knowledge of Japanese animation. This can later be included with resumes in order qualify oneself for a job in the industry. The goal is to also expand awareness in anime culture. Examinations begin via a mobile phone class to occur in the middle of this month. The free trial will give way to pay written examinations later on (Third class: 4700 yen, Fourth class: 4200 yen, Fifth class: 3700 yen) based on a 5 level graduated tier-style system. The official website (http://aniken.jp/m/) opens at the end of April, and an offical textbook will be issued in late-May. Questions will center on the history of the artform and famous works. Organizers have told ANS that an English version is being prepared at this time, with hopes of being executed in foreign countries in the future.
4-15-07 (6:14AM EDT)—- Official U.S. Release Date For Tekkon Kinkreet?
IMDB notes the Arias/Studio 4c anime based on Taiyo Matsumoto’s manga is tentatively scheduled for a limited release on July 17 in the United States. Thanks go out to Daniel Zelter for the news.
4-14-07 (9:48AM EDT)—- New Animation Exclusive Event Planned For Japanese Con Fes
With the backing of the Japanese government, a new widescale anime tradeshow event is planned to be part of the first ever Japan Contents Festival in October. Does The Tokyo Anime Fair have competition? Read the details in our latest feature article.
4-14-07 (9:39AM EDT)—- ANS Exclusive: Will Tokyo Anime Fair Add Manga?
In our new feature article ANS breaks first details on The Tokyo Anime Fair’s exploration into possibly expanding its venue to including print publishing content. Could manga and light novel industry exhibitors be in the offing soon?
4-14-07 (2:30AM EDT)—- Follow-Up On Phoenix Wright 3 North American Status
As reported in the 2/15/07 update at ANS, Capcom recently held a contest urging fans to “plead” their case on publishing the the third installment of the Gyakuten Saiban law game series for the American market. Now Gamespot has confirmed that the product will be heading to North American shores. It will be entitled Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trials and Tribulations. On an additional note, winning entries are now available for perusing at Capcom Blogs. Thanks to Daniel for following and updating this line of news.
4-13-07 (6:09AM EDT)—- Tokikake Remains Unlicensed In North America
Both Madhouse and Kadokawa representatives confirmed with ANS 3 weeks ago at TAF that 2006’s most highly acclaimed anime movie Tokikake remains unlicensed in North America. Mamoru Hosoda’s masterpiece feature is the last high profile anime film from last year to remain unconfirmed for USA distribution. Negotiations are currently underway however, with naturally undisclosed parties. Look for something this summer (we’re predicitng Anime Expo).
4-13-07 (6:03AM EDT)—- Speed Racer Heroine Chosen
The Hollywood Reporter notes that “Black Snake Moan” actress Christina Ricci has been cast in the role of Trixie in the Wachowski Brothers’ adaptation of the 60s racing anime. The Hollywood film is now scheduled for a “summer 2008” release, which might suggest that the previously alluded to May premiere might not happen. Daniel Zelter sent us this news.
4-13-07 (3:10AM EDT)—- Kisshoh Tennyo To Be Adapted To Film
Creator Akimi Yoshida’s (Banana Fish) popular horror / psychological mystery manga Kisshoh Tennyo will be adapted to live action film in Japan. The storyline focuses on the only daughter of the Kanou family, Sayoko, who is said to be a descendant of a goddess. She has a face of a noble goddess and a heart of a most evil woman. She tries to keep her evil side hidden. But, when outsiders threaten to overtake her family fortune, she protect her family by using her charm and seduction to attract them into her trap. The original comic was serialized between March 1983 – July 1984 in the pages of Shogakukan’s Bessatsu Shoujo Comic magazine. It won the Shogakukan manga prize in 1984. 4 (now out of print) collected volumes exit on the market. Likewise 2 (out of print) pocket edition Flowers Comics collected volumes exits. Total copies in circulation to date number around 2.5 million. The work saw a resurgence of interest when it was adapted to a 10 episode TV Drama by TV Asahi and broadcast between April and June, 2006 starring Iwata Sayuri in the lead role of Kanou Sayoko. The cast for the movie will be entirely renewed with Anne Suzuki (Initial D) as the demon posessed heroine. Motokari Yuika, Rie Okada, Fukami Motoki, Ichikawa Mikako, Mirai Shida, Kyoko Enami will all compose the cast. Ataru Oikawa will driect, in 2003 he directed the adaptation of Yoshida’s “Lovers Kiss”. He read the original manga over 20 years ago when it was first circulating and thought of possibly bringing the story to the big screen at that time. Mangaka Yoshida-san who has seen an early screening has commented that though the setting and characters naturally appear changed from the original story, the outlook on the world and a consistent theme remains true to the original. Theme song: “aoge ba toutoshi” by Susan Osborne, Running Time: 116 minutes, Rating: PG-12, Distribution: Cubical Entertainment. Nationwide theatrical opening is planned for the summer of 2007, with a premiere at Shibuya Q-AX. A trailer can be viewed at the official website.
4-13-07 (3:06AM EDT)—- Bandai Entertainment Acquires Zegapain
April 12, 2007 (Cypress, CA) Bandai Entertainment Inc. announced the acquisition of the Sunrise anime series Zegapain. This mecha based series from Outlaw Star Creator Takehiko Ito centers on a young man named Kyo who is a swimmer on the high school swim team who follows a girl into the pool and like Alice in Wonderland going down the rabbit hole he finds himself in a strange world where giant mechs called Zegapain are battling for the world’s survival. Kyo treads the line between the two worlds and soon realizes the life he’s lived may not be what it seems. “This series flawlessly integrates traditional 2D animation with 3D animation and contains a lot of action and some great story twists. Fans of the Matrix and Cyberpunk will definitely love Zegapain,” said Robert Napton, Director of Sales of Marketing for Bandai Entertainment. Zegapain will be released on DVD from Bandai Entertainment Inc. starting later in 2007. For more information on Bandai Entertainment Inc., visit www.Bandai-ent.com
4-13-07 (3:00AM EDT)—- 6th Tokyo Anime Awards Announced
Winners for the 6th Tokyo Anime Awards were presented at The Tokyo International Anime Fair 2007 held March 22-25. The Tokyo Anime Awards are a competition sponsored by the Tokyo International Anime Fair. Held for the 6th time this time, the competition has two broad entry categories: “Nominated Works”, for works chosen from amongst outstanding animated works that have been broadcast, screened, or sold during the previous 12 months; and “Submitted Works”, for a broad range of animation work from throughout the world solicited from the general public with the aim of discovering fresh talent and human resources. Outstanding anime works selected by the judges will receive various prizes, including the one-million-yen Grand Prize, Outstanding Work Award and Business Award.
Animation of the Year: Toki wo Kakeru Shojo (The Girl who Lept Through Time) Best TV Anime Series: Code Geass – Lelouch of the Rebellion The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya Death Note Best Feature Length Theatrical Anime: Arashi no Yoru ni (On a Stormy Night) Paprika Best Original Video Anime(OVA) Aim for the Top 2/Gunbuster 2: Diebuster Freedom Best Foreign Feature Length Theatrical Anime: Cars Director Award Hosoda Mamoru (The Girl who Lept Through Time) Best Original Story/Work Tsutsui Yasutaka (The Girl who Lept Through Time) Scriptwriting Award Okudera Satoko (The Girl who Lept Through Time) Achievement in Art Direction Yamamoto Nizo (The Girl who Lept Through Time) Character Design Award Sadamoto Yoshiyuki (The Girl who Lept Through Time) Voice Acting Award Hirano Aya (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya) Music Award Hirasawa Susumu (Paprika)
4-13-07 (12:44AM EDT)—- Asia-Pacific International Anime Conference 2007
While most everyone else was busy exploring the Tokyo Anime Fair at Tokyo Big Sight, a lesser known event with immensley important implications to the wider regional animation industrial coperative sphere was occuring simultaneously nearby. A sister event to TAF, The Asia-Pacific International Anime Conference 2007 brought togther VIPS from China, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, The Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Japan. The Association For Japanese Animations and the Asia / Pacific Cultural Center For UNESCO were the producers. The goal is to exchange opinions and information about present and future of animation from various cultural and industrial view points. The participant nations also establish amicable and cooperative relationship and work together to explore measures to create a better environment surrounding animation. The participants released a joint statement which you can read online in English. ANS principal editor Jonah Morgan was the only “Asia Pacificer” from an “east-side” Pacific nation to have a looksee at the proceedings. Check back for a detailed look at the goings on there.
4-13-07 (12:39AM EDT)—- 5th Hida International Animation Festival Of Folktales And Fables
The Hida International Animation Festival Of Folktales And Fables wrapped its 5th annual event in Gifu Prefecture, Takayamashi last month, occuring between the 17th-18th of March. Taking place at the Hida Earth Wisdom Center, The Hida World Life Cultural Center and the Gifu Prefectural government were major sponsors. The theme of the event combines animation with fairy tales, folk tales and legends. Mamoru Hosoda’s Tokikake screened and a special exhibition introducing the world of director Mamoru Oshii was undertaken. 204 works submitted from 22 countries were also entered into the “5th Fairy Tale Animation Contest”. ‘Zhiharka’ by Mr. Oleg Uzhinov of Russia and ‘Wolf Daddy’ of Mr. Chang Hyung Yun in South Korea took the Excellent Prize and Best Prize respectively.
4-13-07 (12:10AM EDT)—- Gake No Ueno Ponyo Updates
Long time Ghibli music composer Joe Hisashi will score Hayao Miyazaki’s next animated film Gake No Ueno Ponyo. About 1 hour (roughly half) worth of storyboard material has been completed. Japanese theatrical release is set for summer 2008.
4-13-07 (12:03AM EDT)—- Yoshiki Behind First Ever North American Multi-Artist J-Rock Festival
SANTA MONICA, CA Created by Japanese rock superstar Yoshiki of X JAPAN, Jrock Revolution, the first multi-artist music festival in North America to exclusively showcase Japanese rock music (jrock for short) straight from Japan, launches May 25 at the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles. Boasting a variety of artists, some of which have already performed and released albums in Europe, the U.S., and Japan, Jrock Revolution answers the wishes of curious music lovers and tens of thousands of jrock fans alike. The festival is scheduled to run May 25-26 and will feature alice nine., Vidoll, DuelJewel, Kagrra, Miyavi, DespairsRay, Merry, girugamesh, and MUCC.
Jrock Revolution spawned as the brainchild of Yoshiki. With his ear for talent and intent to please audiences, Yoshiki senses the desires of jrock fans?and the desire for new music by all music fans. As the mentor and producer of globally successful jrock bands such as Dir en grey, Yoshiki is also responsible for introducing this pool of Japanese rock talent to an ever-growing Stateside audience. Jrock Revolution will be managed by event production company 4 Fini, Inc., which produces the popular Vans Warped and Rockstar Taste of Chaos festival tours. When asked about Jrock Revolution, 4 Fini director Kevin Lyman replies: “It’s exciting to have 4 Fini involved with Jrock Revolution. We have always tried to involve the company in cutting-edge projects and this is one of them. With our past involvement working with Dir en grey, we look forward to another successful event.”
Once an underground commodity, jrock is now a very real musical alternative for audiences everywhere. Thanks to the accessibility provided by the Internet, it has never been more popular than it is now. Flaunting pure musicality, immaculate artistry, and a remarkable rapport with listeners, Japanese rock artists have sparked international interest as they tour other countries, music festivals, and culture conventions outside of Japan. Jrock Revolution simultaneously reflects jrock’s increased popularity overseas, fulfills the dreams of existing fans, and creates a stylistically diverse entry point for alternative concertgoers by presenting a smorgasbord of the scene’s hottest names in one place. While this event may be the first of its kind, it certainly will not be the last one seen in the U.S. Tickets for Jrock Revolution will go on sale April 21 at 10 A.M. through TicketMaster/Music Today. Information and updates will be available at www.jrockrevolution.com, the festival’s official Web site.
Inspired by everything from films, love stories, stars, Japanese colors/hue, as well as the four seasons, alice nine. (spelled in all lowercase, with a period) runs on life, with its members pouring personal experience and their own changing thoughts, ideas and imaginations into the band’s music. In 2005, the band toured Japan with label mate Kagrra, and sold out its mini-album Alice In Wonderland. One of alice nine.’s singles, “Akatsuki/Ikuoku no Chandelier,” was used as the opening and ending themes for the anime series Ginyu Mokushiroku in 2006.
Pretty doll or throwaway puppet? Ironically, visual kei ensemble Vidoll’s name can mean both. Keenly armed with that perspective of its unpredictable value to the music business, Vidoll has sold out two maxi-singles, ??if…rebotomin?? and ??if…torikabuto??, and a March 2004 single, “Wagahai wa, Korosuke Nari…??, between nationwide tours. In April 2004, it made its European debut, releasing compilation album Bijinkei in France. In December, 2006, Vidoll performed before the full house crowd at Tokyo??s Shibuya Kokaido Hall (now called CC Lemon Hall).
Long before the current wave of Japanese musicians performing overseas countries took place, indie group DuelJewel had already wet its feet, making its U.S. debut in 2002 at the Project A-Kon convention in Dallas, Texas, as the first visual kei band to perform in the United States. DuelJewel has since appeared in Virginia, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Houston. They also plan to tour America this summer
Inspired by ancient Japan, rock group Kagrra, (pronounced “kagura,” spelled with the comma) released its first mini-album, Nue, in 2000, which quickly sold out. After a flurry of successful releases, the band produced its last independent work, Ouka Ranman (Sakura in Full Bloom), in the autumn of 2003 before turning major with the single “Urei” (Grief) in January 2004. In 2006, Kagrra, broke into the Japanese major charts with its single, “Utakata”.
Initially the youngest member/guitarist/backup screamer for indie band Du?? le quartz , Miyavi emerged from the band??s 2002 breakup a solo artist. A skillful, versatile vocalist and guitarist, he made his major debut with the single ??Rock Counterattack ~Superstar Demands~?? in October 2004. Elaborately festooned with tattoos, piercings, and nail polish, Miyavi is a visual and sonic spectacle who, for all the decoration, devotes himself to his audiences and delights in surprises: A spur-of-the-moment show at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, collaborating with hip-hop DJ and percussionist comprised his American debut this past February.
This rock band, D’espairsRay, first crossed international borders in 2004 when Japanese bands were still unknown to foreign land. They started out activities abroad in Europe and debut stateside in 2005 for their very first American headline tour, hitting San Jose, San Francisco, and Dallas. In fall of the same year they played Europe once more and returned to West Coast America, opening for Genitorturers, playing in 8 states. In 2006, they released their first album in Europe and received tremendous response from local fans. They were also among the last few bands to play at the legendry rock club CBGB in New York. In summer, they were invited to participate in the Wacken Open Air metal festival in Germany again garnering vast attention from press and music lovers. In winter of 2006, they headlined a European tour, appearing at 14 venues in 8 countries, with their popularity only growing forth. In July 2007, they are also slated to appear at rock festivals in Finland.
Tokyo-based Merry debuted in 2002 with three versions of the maxi-single “Haikarasan ga tooru,” all of which sold out in pre-orders. After selling out two more maxi-singles, it made its full-length debut, Gendai Stoic, which sold over 10,000 copies the day of its release. In 2005, Merry’s major debut, Nu chemical rhetoric, was so anticipated that it hit No. 10 on the major charts the day before its official release. In 2006, Nu chemical debuted in Europe; so did follow-up album Peep Show. And in December 2006, Merry played its first overseas gigs in Munich and Paris.
Hardcore/metal rockers girugamesh prove that Japanese indie scene is alive and kicking, roaring and bellowing. After forming in 2004, the band released its first single, “Kaisen sengen,” which debuted at No. 10 on the Japanese indie charts and sold out. Four more singles, two of which were available at tour concerts only, also sold out. girugamesh has toured Japan multiple times and released its first full-length album, 13’s reborn, in 2006.
In August 2006, the members of MUCC (pronounced “mukku”?) were featured as musical guests at Otakon, the largest Japanese culture convention on the East Coast, playing to two full houses at Rams Head Live in Baltimore. That was their ninth year. Now at a decade together, MUCC has proven itself to be not only prolific, having produced more than ten unique releases to date, but long-lasting–and with throngs of Stateside fans to boot.
Drummer, pianist, composer, producer, and label executive Yoshiki is best known for creating the landmark rock band X JAPAN and spearheading Japan’s personal rock sub-genre, visual kei. Among a vast multitude of other artists and musicians, Yoshiki has worked with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, legendary Beatles producer George Martin, and Roger Taylor of Queen. He has composed music for various films and TV programs, arranged Kiss’s “Black Diamond” for piano (which received critical praise), worked as a producer with the PolyGram label, and shaped works whose sales have surpassed 50 million CDs. In September 2005, the first single of Yoshiki’s solo project Violet UK, “Sex & Religion,” was distributed through and debuted as the No. 1 download on iTunes Japan. X JAPAN has sold over 2 million videos and more than 20 million combined albums and singles to date.
About 4 Fini, Inc.
4 Fini, Inc. is a full service, marketing, branding and event production company specializing in custom event and event production, entertainment marketing and youth branding programs. As the producer, marketer and sponsorship manager of such successful multi-market music events as the Vans Warped, Rockstar Taste of Chaos, Sprite Liquid Mix, Down From the Mountain, and the Watcha, 4 Fini, Inc. leads the industry in music festival production and creation. 4 Fini also develops and produces custom sports and music events such as Duffing for Dollars, Boarding for Breast Cancer, and Board Aid, and innovative promotional marketing campaigns for brands including Kraft, SEGA Dreamcast, Vans, Jose Cuervo and The Truth, creating programs that bring brands closer to their core passion group.
4-12-07 (11:43PM EDT)—- FUNimation Channel Adds CPM Content Correction
Courtesy Jeff Dronen, we have edited the mentioned press release:In our press announcement that went out on Tuesday, April 10, “Revolutionary Girl Utena: The Movie” was listed as the show that would debut as part of a new movie block on the FUNimation Channel on May 5 at 8:00 p.m. ET. That is incorrect. While FUNimation Channel did acquire VOD and SVOD rights to “Revolutionary Girl Utena: The Movie,” we did not acquire broadcast rights to the movie, so the show will not be part of the broadcast programming on the FUNimation Channel. The new movie block on the FUNimation Channel will still launch on May 5 at 8:00 p.m. ET. “Roujin Z” will be the feature and (I just double checked) the FUNimation Channel did acquire broadcast rights for this feature.
4-12-07 (12:14PM EDT)—- TAF2007 Exclusive Report: CLAMP IN WONDERLAND 2 1995-2006
Our proprietary Tokyo Anime Fair 2007 coverage continues with a worlds first look at Madhouse’s upcoming CLAMP IN WONDERLAND 2 1995-2006. Our article includes some never before seen images from the new anime.
4-12-07 (4:10AM EDT)—- Japanese Ring Director On Death Note Spinoff “L”
Variety notes that Hideo Nakata, who recently directed the American version of Ring 2, will be involved on the Death Note Spin-off. The film will be out in Japan in early 2008. Thanks to Daniel for the news and link.
4-12-07 (3:21AM EDT)—- 50 Page Illustrated Retrospective On Velfarre
NT2099 has compiled an awesome English Language look at Avex’s Roppongi dance club (one of our favorites) Velfarre. The club featured several regularly scheduled calandar events including one of the world’s only Eurobeat dance nights. It closed after a final party on New Year’s / New Year’s Eve, 2007.
4-12-07 (2:59AM EDT)—- Lions Gate Gets Monkey King Project
Variety notes that the Jackie Chan and Jet Li film(formerly known as the “J+J Project”) has been picked up by the company behind the Saw and Hostel films. The premise behind the “Forbidden Kingdom”, as it’s currently called, is that an American teen winds up in ancient China, where he has to save the monkey king. Li will play the monkey king, as well as a silent monk, while Chan will play the monk T’sa-Ho. Also involved are Lion King/Stuart Little director Rob Minkoff, as well as Matrix choreographer Yuen Woo-Ping. The expected release date for the project is sometime in September 2008. Also, while it hasn’t been confirmed, The Hollywood Reporter noted that “Lords of Dogtown” and (the non-Kitamura) “Sky High” actor Michael Angarano is in talks to be in the lead role. Journey to the West, as the Asian tale is better known by, has been used in a myriad of anime/manga adaptations, notably Dragonball, Midnight Eye Goku, and Saiyuki. The most recent Western adaptation was for television and was called “The Lost Empire” (Expanded info at IMDB). Thanks for the above submission go out to Daniel Zelter.
4-12-07 (2:40AM EDT)—- Oshii Interviewed On Tachiguishi
Production I.G. discusses Tachiguishi with Ghost In The Shell Director Mamoru Oshii in a new article. Thanks, Daniel Zelter.
4-12-07 (2:40AM EDT)—- Misc. Upcoming West Coast Screenings In May
Paprika will play at the San Francisco film fest (more info) on May 2. Also of interest is the J-horror film, Ghost Train and the samurai dramedy Hana. Tekkon Kinkreet will play at the VC Film Fest (more info) on May 6. Also of interest is Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s “Retribution”, as well as “Appleseed Ex Machina” producer John Woo’s “Hardboiled”. Daniel Zelter sends us the above news.
4-12-07 (2:36AM EDT)—- Veteran English Transformers Voice Actors Speak Out / New Movie Images
Optimus Prime’s Peter Cullen and Megatron’s Frank Welker discuss the franchise’s legacy and their roles in the upcoming movie videogame tie-in at Gamespot here and here, respevtively. Beyond Hollywood has stills of Optimus Prime and Bonecrusher. Dark Horizons linked a close-up of Bumblebee’s “face” here. Credit goes out to Daniel Zelter for the news.
4-12-07 (2:20AM EDT)—- New Highlander: Vengence Media
4-12-07 (2:18AM EDT)—- FUNimation Channel Adds CPM Content
FORT WORTH, TX – April 10, 2007 — FUNimation Entertainment, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Navarre Corporation and the market share leader for home video sales of Japanese animation in the United States, today announced that the company has acquired several anime titles from Central Park Media for broadcast on the company’s 24/7 digital FUNimation Channel. The titles include Revolutionary Girl Utena: The Movie, which will debut as part of a new movie block on Saturday, May 5 at 8:00 p.m. ET. “We have acquired a good catalog of titles from CPM that include many fan favorites,” mentioned Debra Kennedy, senior vice president of marketing and new media at FUNimation. “These titles provide a well-rounded mixture of series, OVAs and movies that will help expand our programming and round out our new movie block beginning in May.”
FUNimation acquired many popular titles from CPM including the Record of Lodoss Wars series, Roujin Z, the Project A-ko series, Urusei Yatsura: Beautiful Dreamer, as well as the acclaimed Grave of the Fireflies feature. “We are very pleased to be part of the expanding anime universe and look forward to having our programs included in the daily lineup on the FUNimation Channel,” said Stephanie Shalofsky, vice president, production and marketing at CPM.
The FUNimation Channel was conceived as a vehicle to expose a wider audience to the unique storytelling style and graceful animation inherent in the Japanese style of animation. In addition, it provides anime and entertainment fans direct access to FUNimation Entertainment’s exclusive portfolio of leading anime titles as well as top titles from other U.S. anime companies. FUNimation is working with OlympuSAT, a leading distributor of independent digital programming networks, for the distribution of the FUNimation Channel. OlympuSAT is the exclusive distributor of the FUNimation Channel, which is now available to video service providers across the nation as a 24/7 linear channel and as syndicated programming. For a full list and descriptions of the titles FUNimation acquired from CPM, or for more information on the FUNimation Channel, its availability or how to get it, visit www.funimationchannel.com.
4-12-07 (2:11AM EDT)—- Naruto Manga Release In Latin America
San Francisco, CA, April 10, 2007 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry’s most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, has selected Grupo Editorial VID S.A. de C.V. of Mexico (GEV) and Panini Brazil Ltda. (Panini Brazil) to release the Shonen Jump NARUTO manga from Shueisha Inc. in their respective countries in April and May 2007. “We are excited to partner with GEV and Panini Brazil to build on the success of NARUTO in Latin America,” said Hyoe Narita, Executive Vice President of VIZ Media. “Based on the success of the anime series in Latin America and the ongoing anticipation by fans for the release of the unique manga series that was its inspiration, we expect the NARUTO manga will find success among teens and young adults and we look forward to new fans discovering this unique and fantastic tale.” “We are very pleased to be partnering with VIZ Media to launch the NARUTO manga in Mexico,” said Francisco Jimenez, Editor-in-chief of GEV. “We are honored to present fans with the compelling characters, story arcs and incredible action that have made NARUTO an international sensation.” “NARUTO is currently the most popular manga in all the world,” said Marcio Borges, Commercial Director of Panini Brazil. “Panini Brazil is proud to publish this famous manga in this country, and we’ll surely use all of our editorial, marketing and distribution resources to give NARUTO all the importance it truly deserves.” NARUTO has become one of VIZ Media’s most successful manga properties in terms of sales. The series, by creator Masashi Kishimoto, depicts the adventures of a young boy who trains to become a ninja, and has sold more than 70 million copies in Japan since Shueisha Inc. began publishing the manga in 1999. In North America, the massive amount of fan interest in the brand continues to build. NARUTO has emerged as one of the best selling and most popular manga series throughout North America, regularly placing in both Graphic Novel and Overall General Fiction categories on noted literary sales rosters including BookScan and the USA Today Top 150. In addition to the manga series, the NARUTO anime counterpart is a ratings powerhouse on Cartoon Network. VIZ Media also recently released the first few volumes of the anime series on DVD and it continues to be a huge seller. More informations in Papodebudega Blog Sandra Monte
4-12-07 (1:36AM EDT)—- Seven Seas Aoi House Animation Stats
Seven Seas Entertainment is pleased to announce the inclusion of its original flash animation, Aoi House: The Music Video, on the pack-in DVD of Newtype USA’s April 2007 issue. Since its debut on the web, Aoi House: The Music Video has been viewed more than 260,000 times (150,000 in its first week alone), earned a spot in its first week on YouTube.com’s “Top Favorites (This Week) in Arts & Animation” list, and was awarded Newgrounds.com’s “Daily 2nd Place” award in December, 2006. The Aoi House manga is serialized on Gomanga.com each Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and appears in color each month in Newtype USA. Two volumes of the print version of the manga have been published so far. The series was picked by IGN.com as #3 in their “Top 10 Manga of 2006,” after Death Note and Train Man. The next book in the Aoi House saga, Aoi House in Love!, features the gang’s wild adventures at the fictional anime convention Hatsu-Con and is set to hit stores this July just in time for convention season.
4-12-07 (1:26AM EDT)—- CPM Prepares Pretty Maid Cafe Release
NEW YORK, NY (April 4, 2007) Central Park Media announced today that Pretty Maid Cafe, the third installment in the Akihabara Trilogy, would be released this June. All three of the live action stand-alone films in the Trilogy are set in the popular Akihabara district in Tokyo. This shopping area with its unique culture is a mecca for fans of anime, manga, video games and model kits and provides a backdrop for each of the movies. In Pretty Maid Cafe, from the producer of “Shall We Dance?” and “Gamera”, it is love at first sight when a down on his luck guy spots the maid of his dreams. The order date will be May 15, 2007 and the street date will be June 12, 2007. This DVD will be priced at $19.95 SRP and contain Japanese language tracks with English subtitles. The other two films in this series, Legend of the Doll and Cat Girl Kiki, have already been scheduled for release in April and May respectively and will also be priced at $19.95 SRP. For more information about the Akihabara Trilogy, visit AsiaPulpCinema.com/akihabara. Pretty Maid Cafe From the Producer of “Shall We Dance?” and “Gamera” The third stand alone feature in the Akihabara Trilogy Hideki is depressed over the sorry state of his love life and career. That is, until his best friend Shirou takes him to a maid cafe where he meets a beautiful maid named Misaki. Not surprisingly, Hideki falls for her instantly, and in a desperate attempt to impress her he asks her on a date… to go fishing? Will he be undone by his tragic blunder, or will true love prevail? DVD Features: Japanese Trailers, Sneak Peeks, Language: Japanese with English Subtitles Running time: 64 minutes Genre: Romance/Drama Rating: N/A WEA Selection: 712535 SRP: $19.95 UPC: 7-19987-25352-0
4-12-07 (1:26AM EDT)—- NARUTO: Clash of Ninja 2 Videogame Enjoys Success
April 3, 2007 TOMY Corporation and D3Publisher of America, Inc. (D3PA) today announced that NARUTO: Clash of Ninja 2 for Nintendo GameCube has qualified as a Player’s Choice title, which is reserved for the best-selling games available for the Nintendo GameCube. Based on VIZ Media’s hit anime series SHONEN JUMP NARUTO and first released in September 2006, NARUTO: Clash of Ninja 2 is now available at a new low price of $19.95 MSRP. According to the NPD Group, NARUTO: Clash of Ninja 2 has been in the top 5 best-selling Nintendo GameCube games by month five out of six months since its release.
4-12-07 (1:16AM EDT)—- Bandai Visual USA Announces Summer DVD Releases
“Gunbuster 2,” “Demon Prince Enma,” “The Wings of Rean” and “Galaxy Angel Rune” set for May/June/July launches TORRANCE, Calif., April 3, 2007 – Bandai Visual USA Inc., a leading innovator in Japanese animation, today announced the official North American release details for four much-anticipated anime titles.
“Gunbuster 2” Sixteen years after the release of the original “Gunbuster” in Japan, legendary studio GAINAX returns with an epic sequel! Directed by Kazuya Tsurumaki (“FLCL”), “Gunbuster 2” is set thousands of years after “Gunbuster,” this sequel focuses on a space pilot wannabe named Nono from a lonely snow-bound village. Her efforts lead her to join the elite teenage pilot group called Topless in order to defend the Sol System with their superpowers. (Official Site: www.bandaivisual.us/gunbuster2) Anamorphic widescreen format (extras in full screen format) Japanese 5.1ch and Japanese stereo audio tracks with optional English subtitles DVD extras include: long interviews with creators, textless ending, etc. Each volume contains 20-page color booklet exploring the world of “Gunbuster 2”
GUNBUSTER 2 Vol. 1 (of 3) Catalog #: BUDH0105; UPC#: 858604001059 Street Date: May 22, 2007; SRP: $39.99
GUNBUSTER 2 Vol. 2 (of 3) Catalog #: BUDH0106; UPC#: 858604001066 Street Date: June 12, 2007; SRP: $39.99
GUNBUSTER 2 Vol. 3 (of 3) Catalog #: BUDH0107; UPC#: 858604001073 Street Date: June 26, 2007; SRP: $39.99
“The Wings of Rean” The newest work by famed “Gundam” director Yoshiyuki Tomino returns to the long-awaited Byston Well saga, in a culmination of his personal vision which explores a family torn apart by war and set against a sci-fi/fantasy backdrop. In “The Wings of Rean,” Sakomizu, a WWII kamikaze pilot has been transported to alternate world attempts to wreak havoc on present day Japan. (Official Site: www.bandaivisual.us/rean) Anamorphic widescreen format (extras in full screen format) Japanese 5.1ch with optional English subtitles DVD extras include crosstalk with Director Tomino and singer Anna, textless ending, etc. 32-page color booklet (Vol. 3 with 16-page booklet of early sketches)
The Wings of Rean Vol. 1 (of 3) Catalog #: BUDH0108; UPC#: 858604001080 Street Date: June 12, 2007; SRP: $39.99
The Wings of Rean Vol. 2 (of 3) Catalog #: BUDH0109; UPC#: 858604001097 Street Date: July 10, 2007; SRP: $39.99
The Wings of Rean Vol. 3 (of 3) Catalog #: BUDH0110; UPC#: 858604001103 Street Date: August 14, 2007; SRP: $39.99
“Demon Prince Enma” An action horror animation series based on a manga created by Go Nagai, a master manga artist who brought classics such as “Devilman,” “Mazinger Z,” and “Cutey Honey.” Working as private investigator among humans, prince of demons Enma brings to justice those ghouls that stray into the human world. (Official Site: www.bandaivisual.us/enma) Anamorphic widescreen format (extras in full screen format) Japanese 5.1ch and Japanese stereo audio tracks with optional English subtitles DVD extras include voice actor interviews 16-page booklet with four-panel mangas by Go Nagai and short stories
DEMON PRINCE ENMA Vol. 1 (of 2) Catalog #: BUDH0111; UPC#: 858604001110 Street Date: May 22, 2007; SRP: $39.99
DEMON PRINCE ENMA Vol. 2 (of 2) Catalog #: BUDH0112; UPC#: 858604001127 Street Date: June 26, 2007; SRP: $39.99
“Galaxy Angel Rune” The popular moe comedy series “Galaxy Angel” now comes back to USA with a brand-new look! Featuring new pretty girls as main characters, “Galaxy Angel Rune” will steal your hearts with hyper-powered moe appeal and hard core sci-fi action. (Official Site: www.bandaivisual.us/garune) Anamorphic widescreen format (extras in full screen format) DVD extras include: concert clips, textless opening and ending, and promotional trailers Each volume contains booklets which explores deep into the world of Galaxy Angel Rune (Vol. 1: 8 pages, Vol. 2 – 4: 16 pages) Reversible DVD cover illustrated especially by Kanan (Original Character Design) and Kenji Shinohara (Character Design)
GALAXY ANGEL RUNE Vol. 1 (of 4) Catalog #: BUDH0113; UPC#: 858604001134 Street Date: July 10, 2007; SRP: $19.99
GALAXY ANGEL RUNE Vol. 2 (of 4) Catalog #: BUDH0114; UPC#: 858604001141 Street Date: August 28 10, 2007; SRP: $49.99
GALAXY ANGEL RUNE Vol. 3 (of 4) Catalog #: BUDH0115; UPC#: 858604001158 Street Date: October 9, 2007; SRP: $49.99
GALAXY ANGEL RUNE Vol. 4 (of 4) Catalog #: BUDH0116; UPC#: 858604001165 Street Date: November 13, 2007; SRP: $49.99
All of the titles will be distributed by Geneon Entertainment (USA) Inc., a leading supplier of Japanese animation in North America. Updates and more information will also be available on the just-revamped Bandai Visual USA site on MySpace, www.myspace.com/honneamise. Bandai Visual USA will be participating in several anime events around the country, including Sakura Con (Seattle, April 4-6), Anime Boston (Boston, April 20-22) and Fanime Con (San Jose, May 25-28). Additional events will be announced shortly.
4-12-07 (12:46AM EDT)—- Crayon Shin-chan On CN Adult Swim
FUNimation Entertainment announced today that the Company’s Shin chan comedy series will debut on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim on Monday, April 9, 2007. The series will air at 12:30 a.m. ET/PT Monday through Thursdays. “Shin chan is a series that is perfect for [adult swim],” said Gen Fukunaga, president and CEO of FUNimation Entertainment. “We had a highly successful test run last year and Shin Chan’s irreverent humor and style really generated a lot of buzz.” Shin chan follows the misadventures of its 5-year-old star, Shin Nohara. He is a boy with a special talent: the ability to annoy his parents, teachers and any other figure of authority. Shin just wants to have a good time and explore new adventures. In doing so, he causes mass hysteria and juvenile dismay. The series takes the viewer on a rollercoaster ride with humorous pokes at controversy and captivating characters. Announcements regarding Shin chan product and licensees are forthcoming. The Company will be showcasing the Shin chan brand at the Licensing International Expo 2007 this June in New York. FUNimation is still pursuing several licenses for Shin chan, including master toy, plush and interactive. For a glimpse of what Shin chan has to offer, view www.shinchanshow.com.
4-12-07 (12:46AM EDT)—- Eigomanga Producing AHSC 2007 Anime Pavilion
Eigomanga Studios is producing a special anime pavilion for this year’s 2nd Annual Asian Heritege Street Celebration. There, attendees will find live anime related concerts, cosplay masquerades and a fashion show. The event will take place on Saturday, May 20th, 2007, 11 AM-6PM in San Francisco, California, USA’s Sunset District.