August 1, 2004 / by Anime News Services / Archived News / No Comments

Anime News Service – July 28 – August 1 Anime News

8-1-04—- Super Eurobeat 150 Track Listing

AVEX has released details on the track listings for it’s milestone Super Eurobeat album SEB 150. The album includes 2 50 track CD’s and 1 collectors DVD. Street in Japan is August 4th at 3,150 Yen:

DISC1 : SEB GOLDEN HITS 50
01. YESTERDAY / CHERRY
02. NIGHT OF FIRE / NIKO
03. DANCER / MAKO
04. HOT VAMPIRE / GO GO GIRLS
05. MICKEY MOUSE MARCH / DOMINO
06. I WANNA DANCE / DOMINO
07. ANNIVERSARY / DAVE, DOMINO & VIRGINELLE
08. ONE NIGHT IN ARABIA / GO GO GIRLS
09. I NEED YOUR LOVE / DAVE SIMON
10. MONEY GO ! / MARKO POLO
11. MADE IN JAPAN / DAVE RODGERS
12. TOO YOUNG TO FALL IN LOVE / EDO
13. LIKE A VIRGIN / VIRGINELLE
14. TORA TORA TORA / DOMINO
15. HARMONY / VALENTINA
16. SEVENTIES / MEGA NRG MAN
17. TRY ME / LOLITA
18. HOT LOVE & EMOTION / VIRGINELLE
19. SHOTGUN KILLER / LOVE & PRIDE
20. SUGAR BABY / ALEXIS
21. LOVE IS DANGER / LINDA ROSS
22. DARK IN THE NIGHT / MAIO & CO.
23. HEART BREAKER / MIKE HAMMER
24. WILD REPUTATION / THE BIG BROTHER
25. KING AND QUEEN / KING &anp; QUEEN
26. FANTASY / VIRGINELLE
27. DOCTOR DOCTOR / LISA JOHNSON
28. HURRICANE / KAREN
29. KAMIKAZE / DJ NRG
30. HE-HEY DANCIN’ / KING & QUEEN
31. HEARTBEAT / NATHALIE
32. SPEEDWAY / NIKO
33. SPACE BOY / DAVE RODGERS
34. BURNING DESIRE / MEGA NRG MAN
35. BOOM BOOM FIRE / D.ESSEX
36. EUROBEAT / DR.LOVE
37. FEVER THE NIGHT / MATT LAND
38. BEAUTIFUL DAY / LOLITA
39. WE’LL SEE HEAVEN / DIGITAL PLANET
40. SUNDAY / NUAGE
41. DON’T WANNA LOSE YOU BABY / NUAGE
42. ME, MYSELF & I / CHRISTINE
43. LET’S GO, COME ON/ MANUEL
44. THE RACE IS OVER / DAVE RODGERS
45. COCOA BILL / BABY BAZOOKA
46. JINGLE JUNGLE BOY / BABBY ONE
47. HORROR FANTASY / SCREAM TEAM
48. SUPERBAD / NIKO
49. TSUNAMI COMES / MAD MAX
50. NOT FOR SALE / GO2

DISC2 : J-EURO GOLDEN HITS 50
01. TRY ME -B4 ZA BEAT REMIX- / NAMIE AMURO
02. SEASON / NAMIE AMURO
03. BURNING LOVE / NAMIE AMURO
04. GO! GO! / NAMIE AMURO
05. STOP THE MUSIC / NAMIE AMURO
06. MEMORIES / NAMIE AMURO
07. KISS ME KISS ME, BABY / MAX
08. SEVENTIES / MAX
11. HARMONY / MAX
12. EXTASY / MAX
13. LOVE LOVE FIRE / MAX
14. SUMMER TIME / MAX
15. SO MUCH IN LOVE / MAX
16. STRANGER IN THE NIGHT / MAX
17. DON’T YOU LOVE ME / MAX
18. BROKEN HEART / MAX
19. BECAUSE I NEED YOU / MAX
20. REALITY / MAX
21. LOVE DESIRE / MAX
22. KISS TO KISS / MAX
23. ENDLESS LOVE / MAX
24. LOVE IS A MELODY / D&D
25. SHAPE UP LOVE / D&D
26. TOGETHER FOREVER / D&D
27. BRAND NEW LOVE / D&D
28. REMEMBERING YESTERDAY / D&D
29. BE MY LOVER / D&@;D
30. IN YOUR EYES / D&D
31. KISS IN THE SUN / AYA & CHIKA from D&D
32. DANCIN’ MY HEART / AYA & CHIKA from D&D
33. RISE IN MY HEART / AYA & CHIKA from D&D
34. WAITIN’ FOR HEAVEN / AYA & CHIKA from D&D
35. AMAZING LOVE / Folder 5
36. IT’S UP TO YOU / Folder 5
37. BELIEVE / Folder 5
38. LIAR / Folder 5
39. READY! / Folder 5
40. GEMINI / Folder 5
41. FOLLOW ME / Folder 5
42. HEART BEAT / Folder 5
43. BREAK THE SILENCE / Folder 5
44. NIGHT OF FIRE / dream
45. DO YOU WANNA DANCE / dream
46. JEALOUSY / dream
47. KING & QUEEN / dream
48. TRUE LOVE / HIROKO ANZAI
49. LET’S SPEND THE NIGHT / wi?th
50. ON MY OWN / vivace

DISC3 (DVD):
1.SUPER EUROBEAT HISTORY
2.PARAPARA HISTORY
3.ALL NIPPON PARAPARA BATTLE
4.SEB’S ARTIST & PRODUCER

8-1-04

– Alaska’s Juneau Empire talks graphic novel quality and quantity in the local library and
The San Jose Mercury news talks Japanese contemporary art and it’s influences.
The Alameda Star is running the Boston Globe’s story a few days old on girls getting into Japanese comics.
The Philippine Daily Inquirer has some views from Brazil including one of a group of fans who were recently traveling to an anime convention in the country when they were robbed.
Time Magazine’s Andrew Arnold goes to Comic Con and shares his report.
– Singapore’s Experience Gaming interviews Toru Kobu who produced Gungrave with Red Entertainment.
The Register interviews DIVX and discovers there are 2 million handheld CE devices which have been sold bundled with the DiVX MPEG 4 based-codecs into equipment that is sold in retail. There are plans to sell another 18 million by Christmas.
The Corvallis Gazette Times examines the phenomena which is Adult Swim.
The Oregonian covers Comic Con and gives some details and history of the event.
– The Official Larc-en-Ciel website has uploaded stunning images from it’s concert to occur at this weekend’s Otakon.

7-31-04—- Rahxephon Voice Actors At US Military Base

Actors from the hugely popular animated series “RahXephon” paid a visit to Ft. Hood, TX on Saturday, July 24 to meet with base personnel and their families. Lead voice actors Chris Patton (“Ayato Kamina”) and Monica Rial (“Haruka”) signed t-shirts and DVDs of the hit anime series, which airs in the U.S. exclusively on Anime Network. “Anime fans come from every corner of the country,” explains Kevin Corcoran, President of Anime Network. “However, many of our fans in the military are unable to travel to anime conventions to meet their favorite actors, so we decided to come to them; and since Anime Network is a Texas-based company, a visit to Ft. Hood makes perfect sense.”

7-31-04—- Uncut Versions Of Yugi-oh! And Shaman King Coming

4 Kids Entertainment has informed ANS that special DVD collector’s editions of Yu-Gi-Oh! and Shaman King are being released on October 19 in association with FUNimation.

The collector’s editions will restore the many features of the original Japanese versions, changed due to the necessities of American broadcast standards. For example, religious symbols including pentagrams, crosses, and stars of David were replaced by nondescript images. Similarly, depictions of violence such as the slicing of monsters, firing of weapons and the showing of blood were reduced or removed. In addition, cleavage was reduced, skirts lengthened and clothing added to numerous characters, in order to diminish sexually provocative content. Everything has been restored, including footage cut in order to meet on-air time requirements for commercials.

The releases will also feature newly recorded English language tracks with the entire original cast, as well as the original Japanese tracks and English subtitles. The versions broadcast on U.S. television contained English dialogue that was substantively different from the Japanese in many ways, due to the same considerations that necessitated alterations and cuts to the visual elements. The new tracks accurately reflect the Japanese script as originally written.

These are the titles being released:
YU-GI-OH! Volume 1: The Shadow Games
Episode 1 The Blood Curdling Blue-Eyes White Dragon
Episode 2 The Trap of Illusionist Faceless Mage
Episode 3 The Lost Exodia
YU-GI-OH! Volume 2: The Insector Combo
Episode 4 The Insector Combo
Episode 5 Perfectly Ultimate Great Moth
Episode 6 Mai’s Beautiful Harpies

SHAMAN KING Volume 1: A Boy Who Dances With Ghosts
Episode 1 A Boy Who Dances with Ghosts
Episode 2 Waiting Samurai
Episode 3 Tao Len
SHAMAN KING Volume 2: Perfect Possession
Episode 4 Perfect Possession
Episode 5 A Precocious Shaman
Episode 6 Kung Fu Master
The suggested retail price will be $19.98.

7-31-04

Animation World Network explores the question of voice acting being a pain or pleasure with author Fred Patten.
Gamespy reports on unconventional conventions and mentions the Classic Gaming Expo where a rare Lupin find was discovered in previous years.
The Baltimore Sun continues it’s coverage of Otakon and covers the cosplay angle.
Wired’s reader feedback and rants and raves continue to stream regarding it’s article on anime piracy this week.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer mentions there were 80,000 attendees at San Diego Comic Con and gives a a breach allusion to the con’s anime appeal.

7-30-04—- Be Beautiful Announces Final Round Of 2004 Graphic Novel Releases

Be Beautiful is pleased to announce its final group of graphic novel releases for 2004 Selfish Love: Book 2 and Kizuna – Bonds of Love: Book 3. Be Beautiful is a brand new graphic novel imprint devoted to romance and relationships aimed at a post-shoujo audience, which includes college age and older female readers. This alluring imprint will release books written and illustrated by some of the most talented female Japanese artists of our time.

Both books are examples of “yaoi”- a popular Japanese publishing genre created by female artists and writers for the enjoyment of female readers, usually featuring relationships involving impossibly beautiful men, and diverse interpretations of the “pure love” concept. Be Beautiful graphic novels offer beautifully illustrated stories of romantic fantasy similar to traditional romance novels.

Be Beautiful books will often contain explicit content, so they are meant for readers 18 years of age and older. These books will be published in a right-to-left page presentation, as the creators originally intended.

Selfish Love: Book 2 Story and art by: Naduki Koujima. Orito, the President of the Honors Society, won’t take “no” for an answer. He refuses to stop pursuing the affections of Ryuya, the Vice President. After all, according to Orito, the Vice President is supposed to be his “right hand man.” The advances keep escalating and Ryuya’s honor is at stake! Will he remain pure and defiant, or will he give into Orito’s strong and sensuous game of love?

Size: 5” x 7.375” Pages: 200 pages, b&w Rating: 18UP Genre: Romance/Drama Catalog #: CMX 67102G ISBN #: 1-58664-960-4 Pre-order date: September 13, 2004 Street date: October 27, 2004 SRP: $15.99

Kizuna – Bonds of Love: Book 3 Story and art by: Kazuma Kodaka. Ranmaru and Kei’s relationship has had some emotional ups and downs, but no matter what the conflict, they have always managed to work through their problems and strengthen the bond that they share. Will this be the challenge that finally puts an end to the relationship of a lifetime? “A romantic epic” – The Village Voice

Size: 5” x 7.375” Pages: 200 pages, b&w Rating: 18UP Genre: Romance/Drama Catalog #: CMX 66903G ISBN #: 1-58664-958-2 Pre-order date: September 13, 2004 Street date: October 27, 2004 SRP: $15.99

7-30-04

– The UK’s World Movie Magazine reviews the Yugi-oh! Movie.
San Francisco talks about Yoshitomo Nara’s “Nothing Ever Happens” exhibition running through Oct. 31 at the San Jose Museum of Art.
Experience Gaming has a review of Bunjigai: The Forbidden City and mentions Cowboy Bebop’s Kawamoto did some of the X-Box title’s chara designs.
– Just in time for the first day kickoff, The Baltimore Sun has some preview coverage of Otakon 2004.
Singapore’s Today Online says the southeast asian country is making headway in the computer games industry. Japanese games companies Koei and Genki will start games development studios here by the year-end.
Singapore’s Channel News Asia reports on the fast approaching 61th Venice International Film Festival and reiterates that unusually, the festival will feature an animated film – Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki’s “Howl’s Moving Castle” – in competition for the Golden Lion. The festival runs from September 1-11 at the Venice Lido.
The Pittsburgh Post Gazette talks about game periphreals designed to get kids moving and references Konami’s Dance Dance Revolution. Doug Lowenstein, president of Entertainment Software Association says DDR made the industry realize “gamers are willing to experience a game other than in a sitting position.” The article goes on to say more than 1 million copies of DDR’s home version have been sold in the United States since 2001, according to Peter Nguyen, a spokesman at Konami Digital Entertainment-America.
Market Wire mentions the video upload site My5minutes.com, an online community that allows people to upload and download videos for free has selected “Kee-Yup 6,” an amateur martial arts demo video, as its Feature Video of the Month. “Kee-Yup 6,” from “Vlad’s Album,” is an amateur demo video showcasing the talent of numerous individuals. It includes five fight sequences, tournament recaps, board breaking, and trick busting. The demo video was a six month long VJ Films production. VJ Films, a Southern California based independent film group, produces commercials, music videos, short films, and Hong Kong style fights.
The Moscow Times has a story on Russian idols who include Yulia Savicheva and makes a reference to her anime style video persona.
The Indianapolis Star reviews Namco’s anime-style realtime combat RPG Tales Of Symphonia.

7-30-04—- AX2004 Geneon Music Holdover

Longtime contributer, Daniel Zelter passed on some information this morning from a conversation with a Geneon music representitive the this year’s Anime Expo. While originally inquiring on Lupin music rights the conversation was steered to Akazukin Cha Cha. Geneon’s rep mentoned that one of the members of SMAP did the theme song for the broadcast version, but the licensors couldn’t get the rights to use his voice on the home video version of the show, so they re-dubbed his voice instead.

7-30-04—- Exclusive: Vertical Inc. Current Status And Upcoming

Publisher Vertical Inc. has given ANS a status update on it’s current and future release roster:

– Buddha, Volumes 1-4 were released from the period of October 2003 to June 2004. Buddha, in particular the first volume (they plan on releasing 8 total), is quickly replacing Ring as their best seller.
– Guin Saga, Books 1-4 are out. The fifth installment will round out a section of the over-95-volume series that stands alone as “The Marches Episode,” although future plans might involve pushing beyond Book 5 based on sales and customer demand.
– Sayonara, Gangsters has been recently released and is described by Vertical representative Hansun Hsing as “…an oddly puzzling, wholly idiosyncratic compilation (I say compilation, as it can barely be called a narrative)of the postmodern absurd, delivered in the style of quick pop-witticisms. It leans toward the literary side, what with its dense referencing of largely western works, and I think that turns away potential audiences. For that special reason, I feel it’s worth stressing the uniqueness of this book, by Genichiro Takahashi.
– In August Vertical’s Hsing mentions Naoko is coming and in September/October: Innocent World is being released and described as a raw book, with teenage sex, incest and prostitution. Author Ami Sakurai is coming to New York to give a presentation in Union Square (NYC) on September 18 & 19, where Japanese high school girls (in uniform) will FIGHT EACH OTHER WITH KATANAS.
– In October/ late September, Koji Suzuki is coming to the states to promote the release of his collection of short suspense/horror tales, Dark Water.
– Volumes 5 and 6 of Buddha come out in September and November, respectively. The latter month also marks Guin 5’s release, as well as A Rabbit’s Eyes, which we had hoped would be out sooner, but got pushed back due to various unexpected difficulties.
– Loop, the last installment in Suzuki’s Ring Trilogy, is slated for sometime in Spring 2005.

7-30-04—- Pokemon Seizure Events Investigated In New Magazine Article

In December 1997, thousands of Japanese children were stricken with a rash of ailments, including seizures and fits of vomiting. The incident was attributed to the wildly popular children’s animated action series Pokémon. In the May/June 2001 issue of Skeptical Inquirer, managing editor Benjamin Radford discussed the incident in his article, “The Pokémon Panic of 1997.” Radford’s diagnosis at the time: mass hysteria. Now, a letter in last week’s New England Journal of Medicine has validated his conclusions. In the letter, Dr. Akihisa Okumura reported that, in a sampling of the children affected, most have not had any more seizures unless they were epileptic.

For years the episode was shrouded in mystery: the media widely regarded the 1997 Pokémon incident as either an unexplainable episode or a rash of epileptic seizures, but they overlooked the phenomenon of mass hysteria as an explanation for the strange epidemic. But mass hysteria is a group phenomenon, so how does it explain thousands of children at home independently falling ill? “The answer,” Radford explained, “is that the Pokémon seizures didn’t just occur at one time.” The phenomenon unfolded in stages, and understanding the chronology is key.

At 6:30 p.m., December 16, 1997, episode 38 of Pokémon—“Computer Polygon Warrior”—aired in Japan. An animated battle featured strobe-like animation that the Japanese media suggested was the ultimate cause of the outbreak. By 7:30 p.m., 618 children had been taken to the hospital complaining of a variety of symptoms: trance-like states, shortness of breath, nausea, convulsions, and vomiting. The television media covered these incidents later that same evening, and several stations replayed the flashing sequence—whereupon even more children fell ill. News accounts in the following days stated that 12,000 eventually became ill; 700 had seizures.

On December 17th, the media published front-page, headline stories about the occurrence. The number of cases skyrocketed only after the media reported the initial few hundred incidents the public, and only after the children had a chance to interact at school—a common place for outbreaks of mass hysteria—the following day. “Once the children had a chance to hear panicky accounts of what happened through the media, their friends, and their schools,” writes Radford, “the number of kids reported the next day [December 18 … shot up [by a staggering 12,000 cases.” There were clearly some actual episodes of seizures, but the majority of the attacks appear to be the result of mass hysteria.

A letter, “Five Years after the ‘Pocket Monster’ Seizures,” published in the July 22, 2004 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine, discussed the results of a follow-up study. The study followed up on ninety-one “Pokémon patients” in the five years following the incident, and found that the majority of patients had not had any more seizures. Of the patients who had experienced repeat episodes, about half had been diagnosed with epilepsy; the rest may have had an underlying predisposition to having seizures.

7-30-04—- Shanghai Book Fair This Weekend In China

Shanghai Daily talks about the Shanghai Book Fair which is occuring this weekend in China. It’s the first time the fair has been open to the public and all Chinese books are discounted by 20 percent. Most imported and foreign-language books will sell at normal prices but English readers should be able to find the latest imports in the 1,000-square-meter exhibition area. It’s estimated the fair will attract around 200,000 people. Young readers are also catered for with various cartoon and manga books. “Stressful lifestyles have turned comics into antidepressants,” explains Huang Jianzhang from the Shanghai People’s Publishing House about the popularity of manga books.

7-29-04—- Vertical Buddha Update

Publisher Vertical Inc. has posted an image of it’s “Best Translation Of Foreign Material” Eisner Award trophy on the splash page of it’s website along with details on how you can purchase the Osamu Tezuka work.

7-29-04—- Exclusive: Gundam Hollywood Movie Originally Planned In 1983

Imagine if Mobile Suit Gundam had appeared close to 20 years prior to it’s current American debut in the form of a major motion picture. Where would anime fandom be currently in this country? Would the industry landscape now be dotted with the names of large entertainment conglomorate type companys and not the existing niche players which essentailly made themselves by seizing upon the home video release market in the 1990’s? Would Hollywood have began a licensing frenzy of anime and manga adapted properties throughout the 1980’s instead of just getting started currently? ANS has uncovered the first details of a Gundam movie project dating from 1983 that was eventually cancelled in our exclusive interview with Syd Mead (www.sydmead.com). Mr. Mead was originally approached to provide designs to be used in the project by Lions Gate Film.

7-29-04—- Howl’s Moving Castle Japanese Theatrical Date – Venice Film Festival Entry

From the post to the Miyazaki Mailing List, Studio Ghibli’s Howl’s Moving Castle will be entered in the competition for the 61st Venice International Film Festival (http://www.labiennale.org/en/cinema/), according to the Yomiuri Newspaper. This is the first time for a Japanese animation film to be in the competition. The festival opens on Sept. 1st. The article also says that “Howl” will be theatrically released in Japan on Nov. 20th. Source: The Yomiuri Newspaper

7-29-04

Indie Wire talks to director Takashi Miike on Gozu.
The Baltic Times talks of a new Lithuainian music video which utilizes a bit of anime style.
Canada’s Winnipeg Sun covers this weekend’s Ai-Kon, which gets started tomorrow in the city.
Wired continues to tally it’s in-house mailbag of rants and raves stemming from it’s article earlier in the week on anime piracy.
The Daily Californian weighs in with it’s report from San Diego Comic Con entitled “Comic Con Artists San Diego’s Annual Mecca for Comic Book Nerds Nationwide Disappoints”.
Channel 4 has an overview of the Ping Pong film.
The International Herald Tribune talks about art and accused Japanese war criminals of World War II.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune talks about local comic shop star Michael Drivas and Big Brain Comics.
Animation Insider is carrying a press release by Cartoon Netowork talking on the fall additions of Full Metal Alchemist and GITS: SAC to it’s Adult Swim lineup.
The Baltimore Sun covers “All Things Japanese” and talks about the role anime and Japanese pop culture has entered young American lives.
AWN interviews anime voice actress Lia Sergent who has voiced Cowboy Bebop and .hack.

7-29-04—- Creator of Di Gi Charat Autograph Session at Borders

Broccoli Books and the Borders Group Inc. (www.bordersstores.com) are proud to present a special appearance by Koge-Donbo, the popular illustrator/manga artist of hit series Di Gi Charat and Pita-Ten. She will be available to sign autographs at the Borders Book & Music store in Torrance, on August 3rd from 5pm to 6pm.

Borders Books & Music Store 3700 Torrance Blvd. Torrance, CA 90503 310-540-7000

Many of Koge-Donbo’s works have been published in the United States, including Di Gi Charat, Di Gi Charat Theater – Dejiko’s Summer Vacation, Di Gi Charat Theater – Piyoko is Number One!, Di Gi Charat Champion Cup Theater, and Pita-Ten. Her annual illustration books, the CHOCOLA series, are also available at select Waldenbooks, Borders Book & Music stores, and AnimeGamers.com. About Koge-Donbo Koge-Donbo is one of the most talented and revered illustrators in the world, mostly due to the popularity of Di Gi Charat. She is also active as a character designer; these projects include A Little Snow Fairy Sugar and Princess Concerto. Her newest work is a manga series Kamichama Karin, currently running in the Japanese monthly magazine Nakayoshi. Information about other Broccoli International USA divisions can be found athttp://www.bro-usa.com.

7-29-04—- Tokyopop Signs 2 New Rising Stars Of Manga Winners

TOKYOPOP Inc. is delighted to announce hot new releases from the most brilliant manga-ka discovered in its latest nationwide manga competition. The company has awarded contracts to the top two winners of the third Rising Stars of Manga competition: Nathan Maurer’s grand prize-winning entry, Atomic King Daidogan, will be published by TOKYOPOP as a full-length series. Also joining the esteemed ranks of TOKYOPOP’s finest is an original series from Felipe Smith, based on his second-place winning story entitled Manga. The manga publishing giant plans to release these two titles beginning in the spring of 2005.

“These entries really showed the artists’ innovation and awareness of the nuances found in manga,” said Mark Paniccia, editor of TOKYOPOP’s Rising Stars of Manga anthologies. “I continue to be inspired by the creativity and energy that these and all of our winners bring to the page. I’m sure that readers will feel the same.”

The serial release of Atomic King Daidogan will feature the same characters from Nathan Maurer’s Rising Stars of Manga entry. His clever, comedy-filled entry absolutely floored TOKYOPOP editors with its unique take on the manga world. Action-packed and full of slapstick, Maurer’s grand prize-winning entry convinced TOKYOPOP editors that he had what it takes to have his own manga series! Maurer, a 22 year-old musician/artist from Goleta, California, cites his inspiration for his manga as ’70s Japanese mechas and bad video game translations.

Felipe Smith’s second-place entry was not only an amazing visual tour de force, but also gave the editors a witty perspective from their own world-a manga-ka goes psycho after waiting too long for a contract deal from a publisher. Striking a remarkable balance between comedy and action, this story-now titled M.B.Q.-has rightfully earned its spot among TOKYOPOP’s newest and hottest titles. Felipe, 26, says he drew inspiration for his manga from the city of Los Angeles.

TOKYOPOP’s fourth Rising Stars of Manga competition is currently in full gear, accepting entries through August 16.

7-29-04—- First Scottish Anime-Style Work To See Broadcast

From Alan Jenkins:

Amazingly, we’re just about ot finish the first ever British anime to be commissioned by a UK broadcaster and film body.
It’s a 24 minute adult sci fi called Rogue Farm and it’s made using a revolutionary animation technique.
Story synopsis: this is late twenty-first-century Britain. And somewhere in the beautiful Scottish Borders country life will never be the same again.
Joe and Maddie, new techno-age farmers, are forced into protecting their land from a ‘rogue farm’ – a genetically engineered commune of humans who have elected to meld their DNA with the latest biotechnology to form marauding, morphing amoeba-like collectives. And this monstrous moving farm is one of many, roaming the land looking to plant ‘stage trees’, ferment rocket fuel and blast off leaving the pull of gravity for a new life on Jupiter.
In so doing it will toast Joe, Maddie and the life they’ve worked hard to have. But the farm threatens more than their livestock. It threatens who they are. Their values, their dreams, their very life together. And this blot on the landscape just won’t go away.
An adaptation of Hugo and Nebula short-listed writer Charles Stross’ amazingly original science fiction piece, its absurd and banal, at once fantastic and yet, at its core, very down to earth.
Made in ‘Machinima Pro’, a groundbreaking development in computer animation, this is ‘Rogue Farm’; Japanese anime meets cyber Scotland.’
It’s got a fabulous lyrical soundtrack by Arab Strap and is set to be a massive hit.
We’re premiering at the Edinburgh International Film Festival on August 25th under the banner New Found Land1, before being broadcast on Tv.
It will also appear at the Manga Live Event at the ICA in London on 3rd / 4th September before touring the major festivals. It’s also released on DVD in November.
Anyway, as fellow lovers of anime, we would be eternally grateful if you be part of the team and help us drum up support for this project. We found it almost impossible to convince funders that there are enough fans of anime out there to justify production of this scale. It’s clear to us that if we want more anime we’ve got to shout about it!
Our website gives a trailer, samples of art work, a synopsis of the story and the ability to book tickets for the premiere or register interest in the forthcoming DVD as well as linking to other relevant sites.
Please send folk to www.rogue-farm.com

7-29-04—- Exclusive: GITS2: Innocence Updates

The official Ghost In The Shell 2: Innocence website has posted the video trailer for the film at Go Fish Pictures. Finally, DreamWorks will be treating thousands of fans to an exclusive look at the highly anticipated sequel to Mamoru Oshii’s cult anime film “Ghost in the Shell” at Otakon 2004, being held from July 30 to August 1, 2004 in Baltimore, MD. Never-before-seen clips from “Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence” will be presented to Otakon attendees this Friday, July 30th, between 11:30am and 12:30pm. Representatives from DreamWorks and Production I.G. will be hosting this special preview in Panel 1. Footage of “Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence” will also be shown throughout the three-day convention at the DreamWorks booth (#1223), where free postcards and posters from the upcoming movie will be available. “Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence,” which became the first anime film ever to screen in competition at the Cannes Film Festival this year, is the story of a solitary cyborg who desperately wants to hold on to what’s left of his humanity in a world where the worth of the human soul is fading almost into obscurity. “Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence,” which was once again written and directed by Mamoru Oshii, will be released in U.S. theaters on September 17, 2004 under the Go Fish Pictures banner, a division of DreamWorks Pictures. Produced by Production I.G, the team behind the anime segments in Quentin Tarantino’s “Kill Bill: Volume 1,” this is the second anime film to be distributed by Go Fish Pictures, following the September 2003 release of Satoshi Kon’s “Millennium Actress.”

7-28-04—- Japanese Cooling Off This Summer With Horse Flavor Ice Cream

The UK’s Sky News reports Japanese ice-cream lovers are being treated to some new flavors this season which include soybean and kelp, cornet of strawberry and spinach, Garlic, potato and lettuce, and cactus and seaweed along with raw horse-flesh.

7-28-04—- Manhwa Rights Acquistion Deals Exceed $1,000,000 At Comic Con

The Korea Times has an article today on manhwa’s (Korean Comics) performance at this past weekend’s San Diego Comic Con. According to the Korea Culture and Content Agency (KCCA), a governmental enterprise assisting small- and medium-sized companies in creative industries into overseas markets, reported there had been $1.13 million worth of deals in copyright purchases of Korean cartoon and comic book characters during the four-day event at the San Diego Convention Center on July 22-25. The number accounts for about 13 percent of sales increases from last year’s fair. “Major American entertainment companies contacted us to produce animation films out of Korean comic characters.’’ Park Sung-sik, manager of the agency’s Comic Industry Division, said in its report. “Now the chances are high we will see local comic characters in Hollywood blockbuster movies.’’ Forty new comic books will be newly joining the North American market with the contract.

7-28-04

The Boston Globe has an article on how young girls are driving the American sales of manga.
Wired has posted some positive and negative reader feedback to it’s article yesterday on Anime piracy.
The UK’s Guardian Newspaper talks about manga at the San Diego Comic Con, Taiyo Matsumoto’s Ping Pong comic version and Fumihiko Sori’s film version.
Japan Times has a report on a hot property indie CGI anime style film, Masaaki Yuasa’s “Mind Game”. Not intended for the multiplexes — in Tokyo it is playing only at Cine Quinto in Shibuya — the article states it’s not the usual sci-fi entertainment for otaku. Based on a manga series by Robin Nishi that ran in Comic Are! magazine. “Mind Game” is refered to buy the reviewer as a “head movie,” meaning that its rush of images replicates the experience of ingesting certain mind-altering substances.
The Village Voice has an interview with prolific cinema shock jock director Takashi Miike.
The Daily Yomiuri tells of a new independant performance theater that’s opened up in the Nipponbashi district of Tokyo. The theater is operated by Jungle, a shop in Nipponbashi that sells DVDs and videos of anime, sci-fi, superhero films and other independent movie
Gamespot reports that Atlus has shown 1st quarter losses. During the three-month period ending June 30, the company marked an operating loss of 274 million yen ($2.46 million) due to poor sales and stiff competition in the console game sector.
Channel News Asia talks about “House of Flying Daggers” starring Zhang Ziyi, Takeshi Kaneshiro and Andy Lau. CNA met up with the trio on a press tour for the film in Beijing.
Animation Insider traveled to Denver Colorado this week for the 24/7 launch of the Anime Network and has posted a first hand account of the events.

7-28-04—- Tokyopop And Dreamworks Team On Shrek 2 Cine-Manga

Just in time for the holidays, TOKYOPOP Inc., North America’s leading publisher of graphic novels, brings to life the movie event of 2004 with the release of the must-read Cine-Manga(tm), Shrek 2(tm). Publishing simultaneously with the film’s DVD release, this funny, sweet and engaging Cine-Manga also includes bonus material from the Academy Award®-winning film Shrek®. The shrek-tacular volume will be available at bookstores everywhere in November 2004. TOKYOPOP’s unique Cine-Manga book format is truly a visual feast. The film’s full-color digital images are presented in laugh-out-loud, action-packed spreads and peppered with manga-style text balloons. The onscreen comedy is cleverly captured in a lively, innovative layout. The format has proven so popular that more than a million units were sold in 2003 alone, and mass retailers including Wal-Mart, Target and Best Buy have taken in the popular, burgeoning line of books.

In Shrek 2(tm), the fairy tale continues as everyone’s favorite ogre faces his greatest challenge yet-the in-laws! Newlyweds Shrek and Princess Fiona visit Princess Fiona’s parents, the King and Queen of the Kingdom of Far Far Away. With Donkey along for the ride, the happy couple ventures off on a whirlwind adventure with a host of new fairy-tale characters. “We are delighted and honored at the chance to work with DreamWorks on such a cool and hilarious property,” said TOKYOPOP Editor Jod Kaftan. “The Shrek® franchise is a seminal event in the history of animation and we are thrilled by the opportunity to capture all of its big-screen fun and excitement in a unique and compelling format for readers.”