August 29 – September 3 Anime News

9-3-99—- Anime USA Convention On Again

The Anime USA convention which was scheduled to be held Oct. 15-17 in Falls Church Virginia, and then subsequently canceled due to lack of rooms, is now back on! Con organizers have reportedly found a new hotel in the area willing to host the event. Details on the new arrangements should be out soon.

9-3-99—- Macross Toy Update

Here’s a few other details I’ve been able to nail down on the upcoming Toycom Macross Plus Valkyrie release:

* Fists of the toys are expected to retract into the forearms when the valkyrie is in fighter mode.
* Box art is expected to be by Shoji Kawamori, but whether it will be existing or original art is still unknown.
* The valkyries will be between 1/100 and 1/72 scale (most likely closer to the 1/72 scale).
*Hands will probably be single piece, and not articulated. However, deluxe versions maybe released later on including additional features such as articulated hands and hinged cockpit canopies.

9-3-99—- Princess Mononoke Soundtrack Details

Milan records is set to release the Princess Mononoke Soundtrack October 12th. The 33 track CD will retail for $16.98 and will be available in most major music stores. The soundtrack features score by Joe Hisaishi and two vocal tracks performed by Sasha Lazar. The Studio Ghibli / Miramax release of Princess Mononoke is scheduled to hit 1000 movie theaters nationwide on Oct. 29th.

Here’s A Listing Of The Tracks:
1. The Legend of Ashitaka
2. The Demon God
3. The Journey to the West
4. The Demon Power
5. The Land of the Impure
6. The Encounter
7. Kodamas
8. The Forest of the Gods
9. Evening at the Ironworks
10. The Demon God II — the Lost Mountains
11. Lady Eboshi 2:48
12. The Tatara Women Work Song
13. The Furies
14. The Young Man From The East
15. Requiem
16. Will to Live
17. San and Adhitaka in the Forest of the Deer God
18. Princess Mononoke Theme Song – Instrumental Version
19. Requiem II
20. Princess Mononoke: Vocal Version
21. The Battle Drums
22. The Battle in Front of the Ironworks
23. The Demon Power II
24. Requiem III
25. The Retreat
26. The Demon God III
27. Adagio of Life and Death
28. The World of the Dead
29. The World of the Dead II
30. Adagio of Life and Death II
31. Ashitaka and San
32. Princess Mononoke – Vocal Ending
33. The Legend of Ashitaka, Ending

9-3-99—- Anime / Manga Gaming

* Digicube is set to release Final Fantasy VIII Desktop Accessories for Japanese PCs, featuring icons, wallpapers, screensavers, and other desktop accessories. As well as featuring desktop accessories, the disc will include a version of the card game from FFVIII for PlayStation which can be played on PC over a LAN. The price will be 4980 yen ($45), release date in Japan and is Sept. 22. A U.S. release may be announced soon.

*Team Sonic has announced its second of four new secret titles (2 titles have yet to be named). The game, Chu Chu Rocket is an online four-player fighting/puzzle game developed exclusively for the Dreamcast Network. The game should arrive in Japan (U.S. release info is pending) by November and will be sold with a special controller.

9-3-99—- Japan Digital Animation Festival

The Japan Digital Animation Festival, a competition showcasing amateur, computer produced Animation is set for October 16th In Nagoya, Japan. Although the final date for new entries has passed (Aug. 31), the competition is open to anyone, from anywhere and of any age, there are no restrictions on content, all entries must be created using a computer. Among the judges are well known names, Mamoru Oshii (Director: Ghost In The Shell) and Mitsuhisa Ishikawa (CEO: Production I.G.). Creators of the best entry will receive 1,000,000 Yen.

9-2-99—- Princess Mononoke Trailer On The Web Soon

It looks like Aint It Cool News and nausicaa.net are teaming up to cohost the web debut of the Miramax Princess Mononoke movie trailer debut in the next few days. The following is an excerpt form Moriarty’s column of the week:

I have some technical adjustments to make here in the Labs so that we can premiere the PRINCESS MONONOKE trailer here at AICN in the next few days. We’re going to cohost the event with Nausicaa.net, and it’s going to be your first chance to see how Miramax is selling this profound and beautiful masterpiece. I think the trailer rocks, and I’m betting you will, too.

More to come… Thanks Isaac for the story.

9-2-99—- Miyazaki To Attend Princess Mononoke Screening / Toronto Film Festival

Hayao Miyazaki, perhaps the most well known Japanese Animation movie director in the world, and director of Mononoke Hime (Princess Mononoke), will be in attendence for a North American screening of that very film at the 24th Toronto International Film Festival which begins September 9th. If you’d like more details on the festival including attendence info go to their official website by clicking here. Thanks Isaac for the story.

9-2-99—- News Bits

* Pioneer’s Subtitled Sailor Moon R, Sailor Moon S, and Sailor Moon Super S Movies are now out. Dubbed versions, as well as DVDs, expected out in the fall.

* Rightstuf has a new contest where you can win Autographed Yoshitaka Amano (Character designer for Vampire Hunter D, several Final Fantasy games) materials, go check it out!

9-2-99—- Anime / Manga Gaming

*It’s official. Nintendo is working on a 32-bit handheld super system, now known as Gameboy Advance. The system will display 65,000 colors, have 22 hour continuous play battery life and will be backwards compatible with Gameboy and Gameboy Color games. The system will be able to connect to the Internet, which will enable gamers to download games, participate in multi-player games, and chat and exchange email with friends. The company also plans to release an advanced version of the Game Boy Camera, which will let other gamers see the face of the person they’re playing against. Launch date is scheduled for August 2000 in Japan, Christmas 2000 in North America and Europe. Konami has agreed to set up a joint venture with Nintendo to develop new games for the Game Boy Advance. IGN and GameSpot have posted articles with more info, click the links to go directly to the stories.

9-2-99—- Sony And Rurouni

Rurouni Kenshin is one of many anime series to have enjoyed sucess stateside without officially having a domestic license. In Japan, Sony Pictures Entertainment Visual Works produced Kenshin, their first Anime production. The series by Nobuhiro Watsuki was and is very popular, well written and animated. Naturally, Sony decided to market the series overseas and an English Dub was created called Samurai X. The dub ran around Asia (a dub of the Kenshin Movie was said to have been running on HBO Asia recently) and rumors were rampant that Kenshin was bound for a U.S. release, although it’s unknown if we would get the Samurai X dub or a new dub (and / or sub) release altogether. A few months ago Sony reportedly contacted the fansubbing group, Shinsen Gumi, ordering a cease on fansub distribution (which they have) and telling them a U.S. license was imminent. Aside from this event, no further information has surfaced regarding an official U.S release for Rurouni Kenshin. Maybe a development will be forthcoming soon.

9-2-99—- Emaki: The Origin Of Manga

In Japan, Attention is being drawn to exhibitions of emaki (illustrated narrative scrolls), that could point to the begining of manga as an artfrom and method of telling stories. The scrolls were produced as far back as the 12th century and a 13th century emaki, Choju Jinbutsu Giga, is believed by many to be the origin of present-day printed manga. Studio Ghibli (a major Anime studio in Japan) director, Takahata, recently wrote a book on emaki titled “Animation of the 12th Century.” While writing the book, he realized the need to present emaki scrolls as they would have been enjoyed centuries ago. He notes the similarity between emaki-style drawings and movies. “Japanese manga are neither cartoons nor caricatures,” Takahata said, “because they are not intended as satire.” What is more important, is the narrative–the story basically develops in the order events happen. Currently, one exhibition of emaki is running at the Chiba City Museum Of Art through Sept. 12th. Another is set to run at the Suntory Museum of Art in Minato-ku, Tokyo starting Sep. 14th and running through Oct. 24. You can view the Suntory Emaki exhibit page (English) here.

Source: Daily Yomiuri

9-2-99—- My Neighbors The Yamadas Update

More than 1 month after it’s initial release in Japanese theaters, Studio Ghibli’s My Neighbors The Yamadas has received a distribution profit of 1-1.5 billion yen, about 1 tenth of that of the studios last production, Mononoke Hime. The film is enjoying a wider release than Mononoke. Profit wise, the film is doing very well for an Anime movie, but some are now saying that it has’nt lived up to the expectations established early on. Many of the early expectations hyped the film as possibly being as successful as Mononoke Hime, which shattered Japanese Box office records.

*Source: Anime Scene

9-2-99—- Macross Revival Plus

A domestic U.S. company, Toycom has licensed the entire Macross toy line and intends to produce and sell the entire valkyrie series here in North America! The first releases (VF-11B,YF-19,YF-2: all 1/100 scale (6-8″ in height)), from the Macross Plus OAV series and movie, will be out in a few months. The figures will be fully transformable, with landing gear and various accessories, have die-cast bodies and plastic appendages. Retail is expected at $20-50. If Toycom sells enough toys, it plans to release larger versions along with Valkyries from other series, including possible deluxe editions.

*Source: IGN

9-1-99—- Anime / Manga Gaming

*This is really sad news, a source at Square has confirmed that the Chrono Trigger rerelease will NOT be coming to the U.S.. (Chrono Cross is expected to though!).

*Square did release the Chrono Cross trailer to the public. You can download the 5MB quicktime movie here.

*SNK is working on new sequel to the Samurai Showdown series for PSX. Yomigaerishi Soukou No Yaiba (The Resurrected Blade of Crimson Blue), is set 20 years after Samurai Showdown 4. Characters from previous SS games will return as old samurai warriors in the new installment. The game should be out this winter.

9-1-99—- Hideaki Anno Suffers Serious Injury

One of the most popular Anime directors in Japan, Gainax’s Anno Hideaki (creator and director of Fushigi No Umi No Nadia (Nadia, The Secret Of Blue Water) and Neon Genesis Evangelion), was seriously injured this past Friday (Aug.27th) in a Tokyo Train Station, when, during rush hour, he fell down an escalator injuring his leg and hitting his head, creating a gash requiring seven stiches. The accident forced the director to cancel an appearence at at Aussiecon3. The following email from Gainax Public Relations Manager, Sato Hiroki was sent out to Aussiecon3 organizers:

It is our sincere regret to have to inform you that Mr. Anno was seriously injured this last Friday, Aug. 27, Japan time. While in a train station during Tokyo’s notorious rush hour, he he fell down an escalator, hitting his head seriously enough to require seven stitches in his forehead. He also injured his leg. Doctors say that if he were only suffering arm or leg injuries, he would be fit to travel. The blow to his head, however, has resulted in severe headaches, and the doctors have prescribed bed rest and additional, more detailed examinations.

Given that this would have been his first visit to Australia, and that Mr. Anno was personally looking forward to meeting his fans on this trip, he apologizes to everyone concerned that he has had to break his promises, especially in such a manner as this. He is presently resting, and will send a personal letter of apology once he has recovered.

Once again, our most humble thanks and apologies to the staff, who have worked so hard to arrange Mr. Anno’s attendance at this year’s WorldCon, and to his fans, for all their support.

Sincerely,
Michael House, International Liasion
for Sato Hiroki, Publicity Manager,
Gainax Co., Ltd.

Our wishes go out to Anno Sensei, that he will have a speedy and full recovery.

*Sources: Melbourne Anime Society Message Board, Thanks to Isaac for the story.

9-1-99—- Upadated Perfect Blue Theater Dates

Manga has put out new city and theater dates for Perfect Blue. You can view them below, also, if you don’t see a city near you suggest it to Manga by e-mailing: screenings@manga.com .

SEP 17 Piper’s Alley Chicago, IL
OCT 1 Varsity Theater Seattle, WA
OCT 8 Laemmle Monica Santa Monica, CA
OCT 8 Laemmle Colorado Pasadena, CA
OCT 8 Edwards University Theater Irvine, CA
OCT 15 Lumiere Theatre San Francisco, CA
OCT 15-19 UC Theatre Berkeley, CA
OCT 15 Towne Theatre San Jose, CA
OCT 29 Rafael Film Center San Rafael, CA
NOV 5 Cedar Lee Theatre Cleveland, OH
NOV 19 Crest Theatre Sacramento, CA

9-1-99—- Gundam On Dreamcast / G-Savior

* Sunrise has uploaded a 10 second Real Video clip of the CG G-Savior series in the works. You can view it on their G-Savior page (Japanese Only).

*IGN has an article with screenshots and videoclips tonight on the new Dreamcast game, Gundam Side Story 0079: Rise from the Ashes. You can view it here.

8-31-99—- Top Manga Sales (Japan) (8-30-99)

1. H2 # 31
2. GTO # 12
3. ARMS # 9
4. INITIAL D # 16
5. Le Cirque de Karakurei # 9
6. Hoshin Engi # 16
7. Megumi No Daigo # 20
8. Kann-San Daiseikoudesu! # 5
9. Yakomatatsu # 12
10. Detective Conan Special # 8

8-31-99—- Tokimeki Memorial Suit

Konami is back in the news today. The Tokyo District Court has ordered a fan group of animators to pay Konami compensation for using a character similar to Shiori Fujisaki (a lead character in company’s popular Tokimeki Memorial “Love Sim” game), in a fan produced animation, distributed on video and VCD, which Konami claims indecently depicts her, damaging the image of the character.

The company demanded that production and distribution of the video be stopped and compensation of about 2 million yen. Presiding Judge Toshiaki Iimura acknowledged an infringement of copyright in the case, saying, “The act was extremely malicious.” He said that both the character’s image and the intention of the game had been distorted in the video. Limura Prohibited the further production and sale of the video, and ordered the destruction of the master tape and stocks. He awarded Konami 2.27 million yen in compensation.

According to the ruling, a group of animation otaku led by Ichiro Komami, a 29-year-old part-time worker, produced a video titled “Dogimagi Imagination” featuring a high school student similar to Fujisaki. The group began selling the video in January 1997. Iimura said the main character was depicted as innocent in the game, but portrayed in an indecent manner in the video. He said, “The character’s image contributed to sales of the game and related merchandise. The company suffered as a result of the action.”

Fan produced Animation and Dojinshi (fan written and drawn manga and stories) are extremely popular in Japan, and some of it is of very high qulaity, even on the same level of what commercial companies are able to produce. Naturally, you will have material produced that does’nt agree with the creators. Cases like this aren’t unheard of, but generally Video Game, Manga, and Anime creators are very aware of this phenomena, and don’t consider it overlly threatening. Many (otaku themselves at one time), were involved in creating fan manga and animation before getting involed with large commercial companies. One well known fan group that actually made the transition to the commercial world is Studio Gainax (creators of Evangelion, Nadia..). Gainax is even rumored for checking out Dojinshi based on it’s titles, and using fan’s ideas in future episodes!

*Sources: Daily Yomiuri, Fan Sources

8-31-99—- Anime USA Convention Postponed

News of this comes directly from Marc Yu, webmaster of Anime-USA.com.

I regret to report that due to hotel difficulties, the Anime USA Convention, which was planned to run from October 15-17, 1999, has been postponed indefinitely. As of today, we only had 20 out of the 500 rooms required under our contract with the hotel. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you. We will be mailing back refunds as soon as possible. In advance, thank you for your patience and understanding during this difficult time.

-Marc Yu
webmaster@anime-usa.com

8-31-99—- Anime / Manga Gaming

*Nintendojo has an article up on Super Mario Adventure (Mario RPG 2) as well some new screenshots, go check it out here.

*IGN has a rundown of the online capabilities of the Dreamcast, and what it will won’t be able to do (at first, at least) here.

8-31-99—- UCLA Ghibli Film Festival

As mentionend a few days ago, in advance of the nationwide release of Princess Mononoke on October 29th, a number of institutions are holding Studio Ghibli Film Festivals. Among them is one being held by the UCLA Film and Television Archive, September 30th – October 10th (The Mononoke Hime Dub will show there Thursday, Sept. 30 at 7 p.m.). Entertainment Wire has written up an article with details of the UCLA event, you can view it here.

8-31-99—- Princess Mononoke Hits The Big Apple

The next official theatrical showing of the Princess Mononoke English Dub is September 6th at Colorado’s Telluride Film Festival. Another highly expected showing will be at the 37th annual New York Film Festival, on Sunday, September 26th at 6:30 P.M.. The Film Festival’s website uploaded the following information on Princess Mononoke yesterday:

“Special Event: PRINCESS MONONOKE Japanese animé-that strain of Japanese animated film featuring brilliantly colored, richly textured backgrounds, child-like heroes and often fantastic, mythical storylines-reached astonishing new heights with PRINCESS MONONOKE, directed by Japan’s leading animator Hayao Miyazaki. Mining a treasure chest full of characters and themes from Japanese folklore, the story begins as Ashitaka, the last young warrior of the Emishi clan, is forced to kill a monster threatening his village. After discovering that the beast was actually a forest god, whose death has brought down a curse upon him, Ashitaka leaves his village to try to discover who is transforming these gods into monsters-and in the process upsetting the natural balance which has allowed humans to live in harmony with both nature and the supernatural. The English-language version to be screened was adapted by Neil Gaiman, and features the voices of Billy Crudup, Minnie Driver, Claire Danes, Billy Bob Thornton and Jada Pinkett. 135 minutes, Japan; 1997. A Miramax Films Release. 26C Sun. September 26 at 6:30 pm”

8-31-99—- Macross Revival

It seems the stage may be set for a full blown Macross revival, in the U.S. at least, and maybe in Japan too! Recent announcements by Netter Digital, and their planned CG Robotech 3000 series, and Animeigo’s recent announcement that the entire original Macross TV series will be out subtitled by Spring 2000, would seem to support this. Certainly in the next year, with the large influx of new Macross material, interest in the series should be greater than ever and with Bandai now fully operational here in the states, might there be a chance we could also finally see a U.S. release of the Macross 7 TV series, Movie, and OAVs? Maybe so.

Japan will probably not be left out of the revival either, in a few years we’re coming up on the Macross 20th anniversary and already, rumors are rampant of a possible new TV or OAV series, Haruhiko Mikimoto (character designer for Macross TV and 7) has said he’d welcome a future project with Macross series creator, Shoji Kawamori. In the end, a final decision on future Macross productions will almost certainly rest with Mr. Kawamori. Cross your fingers!

8-30-99—- Mandarake Opens U.S. Store

Mandarake, a major Anime goods store chain in Japan, recently opened their first U.S. branch in Torrance, California. Customers are greeted by a cosplaying staff and the store features a karaoke stage where they can sing! If you’re looking for all original Japanese merchandise, you should definetly check this really cool store out!

www.mandarake.co.jp

Mandarake USA
21515 S. Western Av.
Torrance, CA 90501
Phone: (310)-212-0777
Fax: (310)-212-7778

8-30-99—- Review Monster Rancher TV Series

The Japanese TMS / Taito produced “virtual pets” Anime TV series: Monster Rancher (airing at 7:00 A.M. ET) began airing today in syndication and on the Sci-Fi Channel.

* Monster Rancher is definetly in the same virtual pets vein as Pokemon and Digimon. A boy obsessed with monster fighting videogames, dreams of entering that world in real life. He gets his wish when some sort of trans-dimensional gate sucks him into his favorite game. He and his 2 new companions: A young girl and a giant eyeball monster: Sweazel make a quick dash to get away from some dinosaur monsters and adventures ensue. The show appears to be a little more action oriented than Pokemon. Animation is average for a TV series, I did notice a bit of a computer aided cel and background Coloring too. Pokemon and Digimon fans will probably dig it!

8-30-99—- Gainax At Wonder Festival

Gainax recently updated their website with pictures and info from Wonderfest, a major Japanese garage kit show. You can view the page here. (Japanese language only but it has some really nice pictures!)

8-29-99—- D.C. Pokemon Goods Hunting Guide

The Washington Post posted a “Searching for Pokemon” article today (check their archives) the to aide those looking for Pokemon merchandise in the Washinton D.C. area.

8-29-99—- New Doraemon Movie / Manga

The 21st Doraemon Film: Nobita’s Legend for Taiyou-Ou is expected to be out in Japanese theaters sometime in 2000. The original manga for this film, created by Shinichi Hagiwara, will start running in the monthly magazine, Korokoro Comics September 14th.

*Source: Anime Scene

8-29-99—- Sol Bianca: The Legacy

The first vol. of the new 6 episode AIC Sol Bianca OAV series is out in Japan September 24th. Pioneer is set to release the title here in the U.S. in 3 volumes, 2 episodes to a tape / DVD sonn afterwards. Directed by Oshi Hiroyuki, Character Designs and Animation directed by Onada Nayuki, Mecha Designs by Teraoka Kenji, and Screenplay written by Mitsui Hideaki. The trailer is out and was shown at Anime Expo last month. Computers will play a big part in production of this Sol Bianca OVA series, coloring and special effects are Computerized and ship designs are totally CGI modeled.

The story centers around the Pirate ship Sol Bianca, it’s crew and they’re battles against the Earthians (a fanatical militaristic type group). The ship itself is an incredibly powerful vessel, one of Earth’s greatest legacies, an O-Part (an artifact left from a long vanished ancient super advanced civilization). The crew consists of the Capatin, April; trigger happy Jani; the stow away, Mayo; G, the ships Artificial Intelligence; the hacker, Jun, who shares a bond with G; and flirtatious Feb, April’s rival. When their futures colide with their pasts, the biggest enemy to the Sol Bianca crew maybe themselves. When their paths lead them towards the Earth, will they be able to survive what they discover? Find out soon when Pioneer releases it on VHS and DVD!

VHS English Dub: $24.98
VHS English Subtitled: $29.98
Dual Language DVD: $29.98

8-29-99—- Transformers Movie Set For Re-Release

The Transformers Movie is set to be re-released on VHS here in the U.S. on October 5, 1999 by Rhino Home Video. They also plan on releaseing a number of the TV episodes on video Sept 21. There are rumors of widescreen and DVD releases of the movie, a theatrical re-release is also rumored.

While theres always the chance a DVD is in the works and we just don’t know about it, it does’nt hurt to support the effort, a petition is being created to get an official DVD release by a site called Transformers The Movie DVD Petition, you can go check it out here.

8-29-99—- Anime / Manga Gaming

*Square’s souped up PlayStation rerelease of Chrono Trigger will arrive in Japan sometime in November, along with a new and different playable demo of Chrono Cross, the sequel to Chrono Trigger. Chrono Cross is set for a December release in Japan.

*Nintendo may be working on a new super secret 32-bit super hand held system with the super codename: Atlantis. Next-Generation has the super scoop here.

*Capcom is set to release the second game in the RockMan Classics series for PlayStation next week, Mega Man: Dr. Wiley’s Revenge (Gamfan has screenshots here). Import gamers can expect topay $24, the game is out Sept. 2nd and will feature PocketStation support.

* Septerra Core: Monolith Productions, creators of last year’s awesome PC Anime inspired game Shogo, has just released the demo for they’re new Anime inspired game Septerra Core: Legacy Of The Creator. The game is a total Action / Adventure with an original story. Players may choose from eight companions (you can view the characters here ), each with a unique background story, motivation and skill set. The game features completely recorded dialogue and fully animated movie sequences. The download is large, weighing in at 87.6 MB, you need a Windows 95/98 PC with DirectX 5.0, at least a Pentium 200Mhz Processor, 32 MB RAM and DirectX-compatible sound card, so if you’re equipped you should definetly check it out. You can download the demo here. Thanks to Isaac for the link.

8-29-99—- Japan Should Adopt English As An Official Language ??

“Japan should adopt English as an official language.” Recently, Yoichi Funabashi, senior staff writer for Asahi Shimbun (A major Japanese Newspaper) made this interesting statement in light of what he considers low level English-language ability among Japanese citizens that could threaten Japan’s standing in an increasingly global socio-economic scene dominated by English.

Funabashi calls for adoption of English alongside Japanese as an official language, and a major reform of English teaching throughout primary and secondary schools. He admits that it would take 20- 30 years for English to take root as an official language.
There has been virtually no negative reaction to his statements and actually a good bit of positive support. According to the Prime Minister’s Office, there is no law that decrees Japanese the official language of Japan, so it would take only a regulatory decision to make English an official language too. However, getting support in the government may be an obstacle and dealing with Nationalists is a whole other story. What is Funabashi’s take on what would change, and how, if English is adopted as an official language?

“Official documents would all be written in both languages, and people would be permitted to speak in either language during debates in the Diet and other representative assemblies.” “The number of foreign students coming to Japan, currently in decline, would rise sharply, and Japanese popular music and manga (cartoons) would probably conquer the world.”
(You mean they’re not in the process of doing that right now!? ;D )

Source: Asahi Shimbun

8-29-99—- Dog Of Flanders Dub To Feature Well Known Hollywood Headliners

Pioneer’s release of the dub version of The Dog Of Flanders, will include well known actors Sean Young (Blade Runner, Dune, Ace Ventura) and Robert Loggia (Big, Independence Day) in the lead Voice Acting roles. The VHS and DVD versions are expected out in the winter.

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