February 9, 2002 / by Anime News Services / Archived News / No Comments

Anime News Service – February 6-9 Anime News

2-9-02—- Anime / Manga Gaming

According to the Magic Box:

Softbank is planning to release a Weekly Xenosaga magazine in Japan on February 28, the first issue will come with a Xenosaga mousepad, interviews with development staffs and radio voice actors. The future issues will feature hints and tips on the game, reader contributions, developer interviews and info on the future installment of Xenosaga.

Konami announced that they will release Yugioh Duel Monsters for both GameBoy Advance and PlayStation in US sometimes in March, the TV cartoon series have received high audience rating since the series launched last September.

2-8-02—- Entertainment Weekly Shaolin Soccer And VHD Info

Ever delving into a myriad of sources to bring us news, Daniel has found a plethora of scoops from the February 12 issue of Entertainment Weekly:

Since the bad news outweighs the good, I’ll post the good news first.

Good:
1)Resident Evil is on the magazine’s “A-List” for Spring films.
2)Shaolin Soccer and Jackie Chan’s “Accidental Spy” are scheduled for April 5.
3)The Vampire Hunter D Bloodlust dvd was reviewed, and got a B+.

Bad:
1)Paul Anderson is still the director.
2)It pains me to say this, but EW has confirmed that Shaolin Soccer has been retitled “Kung Fu Soccer”. No mention of whether the movie will be dubbed or edited as previous rumours implied though. Also, a reference to a lethal drug entitled “Anthrax 2” has been omitted from Accidental Spy. So what I would suggest is you buy the Shaolin Soccer dvd now, skip “Kung Fu Soccer”, and see Accidental Spy instead. The reason is that you don’t really miss anything, when a Jackie Chan film gets edited, but Shaolin Soccer’s too good to see edited in any form. To get Shaolin Soccer, try www.banzaianime.com , www.drunkenmaster.tv, or www.hkflix.com. Also, a minor gripe is there’s no mention of a release date for Tsui Hark and Zhang Zhiyi’s “Legend of Zu”, even though it’s already being advertised over here as we speak. [The trailer is in front of “Brotherhood of the Wolf”.]
3)Finally, a minor annoyance is D got compared to Buffy.[I just hate when anime that predates an American film gets compared to that film anyway.] It also got compared to Blade, but that’s fair, since the Blade comic predates the D novels.

2-8-02—- Nintendo America President and Mario Welcome Sega’s Sonic The Hedgehog

A photo and details of Nintendo of America president Tatsumi Kimishima and mascot Mario welcoming Sega’s Sonic the Hedgehog to Nintendo HQ were released by Nintendo today, you can view then at the above Cinescape link.

2-8-02—- Columbia Metropolis / Bebop / Drunken Master News

According to Anime Nation News:

Video Business Magazine has published a short feature article on the new announcements of Columbia Pictures’ Destination Films subdivision. The article confirms that the DVD release of Metropolis has been delayed do to the strong theatrical opening of the film, earning over $130,000 in nine screens. (By comparison, Escaflowne has earned approximately $80,000 in a week and a half on five screens). The article confirms Destination Films plans to release the Cowboy Bebop movie and Jackie Chan’s classic 1978 Drunken Master, as well as breaking news of an American license for the Tsui Hark directed Black Mask 2.

2-8-02—- Cyborg Art Exhibition In BC

Thanks to Ed for this item:

Please check out the web page: www.vanartgallery.bc.ca.

The Vancouver Art Gallery is doing an exhibition called “The Uncanny: Experiments In Cyborg Culture”. According to the ad I have, this exhibit “…explores cyborg evolution from early robotics and modern paintings to the hi-tech hybrids seen in Hollywood films, videogames and Japanese animation.” Admission is C$11 Canadian.

The show runs from Feb 9 to May 26 2002.

2-8-02—- Yomiuri Articles

The Daily Yomiuri Newspaper is running articles on a theater troop’s on stage adaptation of manga here, Asian Filmakers At The Rotterdam Film Festival, a piece on the Keitai becoming the focus of a TV show here and finally a look at the new Kamen Rider TV series here.

2-8-02—- New Speed Lines

Ray H.’s latest Speed Lines column has been posted to the RTM site, it focuses on:

Kamen Rider Ryuhki
Hurricaneger
Rockman EXE
Onimusha
Rave trading figures
Trigun capsule figures
Sailor Moon Gashapon

2-8-02—- Akadot Anime Academy Awards 2001

Akadot is gearing up for it’s 2nd annual Akar Anime Awards for releases occuring in the year 2001, entries will be accepted from Feb. 13th.

2-8-02—- DBZ GBA Preview

Check out an early preview-with screenshots-of Dragonball Z: TheLegacy of Goku-for GBA-at Gamespot.

From Daniel

2-8-02—- Palm No Ki Trailers

Trailers for the upcoming film Palm No Ki have been uploaded to the official site in streaming Quicktime and Windows Media format.

2-8-02—- Kanon DVD Release

The Kanon TV series has been announced to release in Japan on DVD from April 1st, an application ticket is included which can be redeemed for a special CD from Pioneer LDC. Retail is Price 2800 Yen from Toei, Pioneer LDC, Visual Art’s and Key.

2-8-02—- TRSI Snags Exclusive Here And There, Then And Now Art DVD Box’s

From the Right Stuf release:

Coming this May – Right Stuf International will become the exclusive retailer for ordering the stand alone Art Box to ‘Here and There, Then and Now the Collector’s DVD Box Set’! Limited to just 1000 units, this special offer will include the stand alone Art Boxes and the bonus DVD disc found only in the collector’s DVD edition of the series. This bonus disc includes: ‘From Then to Now: Behind the Scenes’, the Japanese Opening, Character Sketches, Mechanical Sketches, Background Sketches, Storyboards, and Trailers! Full details, pictures, and ordering information can be seen at:
http://www.rightstuf.com/mailing-preorder/usmd2214

2-8-02—- Mirage Of Blaze

Sony’s Mirage Of Blaze TV series is headed for DVD-BOX release in Japan with soundtrack and the image album following in close succession. February 27th will see the series soundtrack release at 3150 Yen, the disc is also a hybrid CD-ROM, a “SPECIAL CD COLLECTION” 4 disc release hits the street on March 20th at 5090 Yen, collecting image albums put out to date that started back in 1993. Extra bonus tracks are included on the discs. Finally on June 19th the DVD-BOX will see the light of release with many extras at a price to be determined. One special extra includes a collectors CD.

2-8-02—- Gainax Confirms Recent Anno News

A new post to the Gainax website confirms recent news of Director Anno Hideaki’s plans to marry and assignment as Director to the Animate Tenchou TV anime.

2-8-02—- Turn A Gundam Film Staff And Cast Meetings

With the coming Japanese theatrical release of the Turn A Gundam Movies I Terrestrial Light & II Moonlight Butterfly distributed by Shochiku from February 9th, staff and cast stage greetings are being planned in a tour that will pass through 15 areas. On the day of the films’ premiere February 9th Tokyo’s Shinjiku district will play host to the first of these stage greeting events with Sapporo, Nagoya, Fukuoka and Osaka to follow.

2-8-02—- Taito Old Arcade Games Music Compilation CD

Taito plans to release a music CD in Japan featuring classic arcade game music from such titles as Space Invaders and Bubble Bobble spanning releases over the period of 1978 – 87. Also for classic gaming fans is a booklet included featuring an interview with original creators. Sale is set for March 6th at 2,200 Yen. Serial # is SCDC-00156.

2-8-02—- Halo Gundam Robot

The small mascot like robot, Halo from the original Mobile Suit Gundam series is being turned into a new toy to be released this month in Japan at 3980 Yen. The robot can react to the sound of the owner, blink it’s eyes, speak in the same voice as the original seiyuu, tell time and more.

2-8-02—- Japanese Music Notes

U.S. Pop phenomena, Britney Spears will perform for the first time in Japan at the Tokyo Dome in May.

Avex Pop unit GLOBE will tour Japan on the heels of their new CD release on Feb. 6. The Globe 2002 LIVE Tour kicks off on March 30th in Kanagawa at the Yokohama Arena.

2-7-02—- Porco Rossa R2 DVD Delay

This came in from Daniel via Nausicaa.net:

“CD Japan is now reporting that the DVD release date has been pushed back to March 29, 2002. Thanks to Kevin Wagner for the update.”

2-7-02—- CTHD Prequel – Hulk Movie News – More

Courtesy To Daniel for these items:

Corona states that Mychael Danna will be doing the Hulk score. “Danna composed the music for such films as Hearts in Atlantis, Girl, Interrupted, 8MM and two of Ang Lee’s films, Ride With the Devil and The Ice Storm.”

If you’re in San Francisco, go to AICN to find out how to be an extra in the Incredible Hulk movie.

Check out a review of Miike’s “The Happiness of the Katakuris” at AICN.

Now on to the Asia-AICN news at this link:

“”According to multiple reports, Hsu Li-Kong, producer of the original, just confirmed that shooting of the prequel of CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON will start in May next year and Ang Lee will return as the director. Hsu, a long-time friend and working partner of Ang Lee, is currently in Los Angeles and has met with Lee. They have agreed that the script should be penned by Wang Hui-ling from the writing team of the original, to inject the sprit of the original into the prequel. Hsu said this one will “reflect the classic Chinese arts, traditional wuxia spirit and the sole of Chinese martial arts.” Unfortunately, the script has yet to be finalized but time is not a big concern. They got over a year to finish it.The prequel will probably be based on part II (Precious Sword, Gold Hairpin) and part III (Sword Force, Pearl Shine) of the Iron-Crane Pentalogy. The title will likely be “Precious Sword, Golden Hairpin”.

“In these two parts, young Li Mu Bai met and fell in love with Yu Shu Lien, who had already been engaged to Li’s sworn brother Meng Si Zhao. Yes, there is a love triangle and it ended up as a tragedy, just like the original. Li Mu Bai’s master Southern Crane, who has briefly mentioned in the original, played an important role in their relationships. It is still too early to tell whether Chow Yun-fat and Michelle Yeoh will return but one thing for sure – Zhang Ziyi will not be in. Ang Lee, however, is currently preparing the big budget comic-book-based HULK, which will be released in the summer of 2003.According to another report, Ang Lee said Chow Yun-fat is not the only candidate for playing Li Mu Bai. Jet Li, who has turned down the role for the original, is also being considered”

2-7-02—- I-Mode To Germany

Yahoo is reporting on the launch of NTT DoCoMo’s I-mode mobile internet service in Germany next month. Service will be through E-Plus, a unit of Dutch firm KPN Mobile NV.

2-7-02—- Site Related: Mailing List Milestone

A 200th Member joined our Anime News Service Mailing List in recent days, the list is fairly active with discussion, news scoops, reviews etc..

2-7-02—- Figures News

Raving Toy Maniac has images and details of new Gaogaigar action figures available from Diamond here as well as 12″ Battle Of The Planets figures here.

2-7-02—- Anime / Manga Gaming

The Gaming Intelligence Agency has mentioned rumored remakes of Final Fantasies VII, VIII, and IX have been reported to be in production, according to this month’s Official PlayStation Magazine. Square had previously announced the rerelease of the PlayStation’s installments of the series on the PS2, though little news concerning the games has trickled out. The article mentions that while progress has been made on the remakes, Square is putting them on indefinite hold. It is likely that the projects will be resumed in the future, although exactly when is currently unkown.

According to The Magic Box International Videogame News:

Sega WOW Entertainment is working on a new arcade keyboarding game called Lupid the 3rd the Typing, which based on the classic anime. The game will be in playable form at the AOU show.

Metal Slug 4 screenshots and info can be had at the link.

Screens from One Piece Grand Battle 2 can be seen here.

2-7-02—- New Theaters For Escaflowne

From the Bandai Entertainment release:Bandai Entertainment’s announces upcoming theatrical runs for Escaflowne in the following cities: Boston, Dallas, Houston, San Francisco, San Diego, and Seattle.

3.1.2002
Boston
TBA

Dallas
United Artists Plaza
9330 N. Central Expressway
Dallas, TX. 75231

Houston
AMC Studio 30
2949 Dunvale Road
Houston, TX 77063
(713) 977-4431

San Francisco
UA Galaxy
1285 Sutter Street
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415)474-8700

3.8.2002
San Diego
UA Horton Plaza
475 Horton Plaza
San Diego, CA 92101
(619)234-4661
Seattle
TBA
Coming soon: Minneapolis, Denver, Miami, Washington DC, Toronto,
Orange County, Portland…additional theaters and cities to be announced shortly.

Since opening on January 25, 2002 – Escaflowne has grossed approx. $80,000 for 5 screens in the past week and a half. (1-25 thru 2-3)

Please continue checking http://www.escamovie.com/releasedates/ for updated release announcements

2-7-02—- New Article On Tokyopop

Arune Singh has composed an in-depth article on TOKYOPOP, introducing readers to the company itself, corporate leadership and properties, you can read it at Comic Book Resources here.

2-7-02—- ADV Press – Princess Nine Vol. 3 – Robotech Flight 7 – Soul Hunter Vol. 3

From the ADV Films Releases:

HOUSTON, Feb. 4, 2002 – ADV FILMS has set a street date of March 26, 2002 for the DVD release of Triple Play – the third enchanting installment of the family-friendly anime series, Princess Nine, which was recently hailed by Ain’t It Cool News as being “simple, high energy, and full of likable characters.”

In this volume, the all-girls baseball team – the Princesses – launch themselves into a grueling training schedule. But even with the strength of Ryo’s pitching and Koharu’s batting, the team’s inexperience proves to be their Achilles Heel. As the critical first game arrives, their only hope may lie in Coach Kido’s bag of tricks. Meanwhile, Keiko makes a second assault on the High School Baseball Association, only to be joined by an unexpected ally.

ADV FILMS’ DVD release ($19.98 SRP) of Princess Nine: Triple Play will feature the English-language version as well as the Japanese-language version with English subtitles. DVD extras include profiles of the English and Japanese voice actresses, a history of baseball in Japan, textless open and close credits, and previews of upcoming ADV releases.

HOUSTON, Feb. 4, 2002 – ADV FILMS has set a street date of March 19, 2002 for the DVD release of the 7th and final flight of the best-selling Robotech series containing the thrilling conclusion of the The New Generation saga. ADV FILMS plans a concurrent release for Robotech: The New Generation-Genesis (SRP $14.98), Robotech: New Generation-Hollow Victory (SRP $14.98), and New Generation: The Robotech Legacy Collection 7 (SRP $44.98).

Robotech: The New Generation-Genesis As the valiant band of freedom fighters led by Scott Bernard makes its way to Reflex Point, they encounter evidence of a world they never knew. Allegiances are strained as the end game is in sight. The real drama of these episodes revolves around the way each hero faces the realization that life on Earth will never be the same. The result is bold, intelligent storytelling that remains the hallmark of this landmark series.

Robotech: New Generation-Hollow Victory The armies are in place; the arena for the final battle has been set. It now becomes a test of courage and commitment. For the freedom fighters, this dark finale is the justification of all the sacrifices they made to get to Reflex Point to face the Earth’s most dangerous enemy. For the Invid it is a desperate fight to preserve their very way of life. The war will end, but at what price? This is the powerful conclusion to this groundbreaking multi-generational science fiction epic.

New Generation: The Robotech Legacy Box 7 is a special 3-disc collector’s edition which includes Genesis, Hollow Victory, and the final installment in the indispensable Elements of Robotechnology extras series (available only in this collection). This special supplement contains a collection of scenes cut from Macross, Southern Cross and Mospeada; an extensive Robotech merchandise gallery filled with images many rare Robotech collectibles; video clips from Robotech video games past and present; selected scenes from Robotech in various languages as well a many other Robotech treasures.

HOUSTON, Feb. 4, 2002 – ADV FILMS has set the street date of March 26, 2002 for the DVD release of Soul Hunter: The Spoils of War, the third volume of the absorbing anime series based on one of China’s most popular folk stories.

Entrusted with the two princes by the dying Empress, Kou Hiko heads west to seek refuge. The noble Duke may have a lead, but Dakki’s demon minions are hot on their heels, Bunchu is out for his comrade’s blood, and Taikoubou is lagging behind as usual. It’s a race to safety with the princes as the prizes; but will the royal scions be content to sit by as their lives are put on the line? When agendas clash, fists and feet fly, and mysterious weapons of potent magic strike down one victim after another. As the future of the Yin is debated in blows, the question is not who will reach the princes first, but who will stay alive long enough to hang on to them!

Soul Hunter is based on one of China’s most popular novels and an incredibly successful Japanese comic book. ADV FILMS’ DVD release of The Spoils of War ($29.98 SRP) will feature the English-language version as well as the Japanese-language version with English subtitles. DVD extras include a Lingua France glossary of terms; translator notes; a “relationship tree” with character descriptions; a U.S. teaser; voice actor profiles; and ADV previews.

2-7-02—- Shock Anime Woes

Shockwave Flash anime site www.shockanime.com has mentioend it tends to go down a lot because of its heavy traffic levels. Those interested in hosting them can contact nhurst@shockanime.com.

2-7-02—- Matrix Reloaded / Revolutions – Battle Of The Planets Comic

Thanks To Daniel for the scoop:

This came in from Cinescape:

“In an interview with….ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT, Keanu Reeves and Lawrence Fishburne are doing some of their most expansive talking on the upcoming MATRIX RELOADED and MATRIX REVOLUTIONS. Fishburne let fly with general plotting directions for RELOADED with, “In the second movie when [RELOADED] picks up, we have freed many people in about six months time. More and more people are starting to wake up from the prison of the Matrix. We move from the Matrix and the reality that is the Matrix into the real world and the land of the human beings, this last bastion, the last human city which is called Zion. We get to see Zion, we get to meet more characters. people who are both born free with no plugs in their arms or heads, and people who are not home grown human that are harvested by machine.”

“Reeves outlined some of the technology which was created to make surpassing the original conceivable. “We are trying to do some crazy things out here. The kung-fu sequences are more sophisticated and more challenging than the first film. Some of the wire work [allows me to] do back flips and cartwheels all in one shot. It’s pushed me to my limits. Before it was like, ‘Can you do two kicks?’ and now it’s like, ‘Can you do three kicks, but with a jumping backspin hook-kick?’ So it’s like you have learned to walk — now can you fly.”Another sliver of news: shooting is only half over, though they’ve been going for months, and is not expected to wrap until August.”

Also, Cinescape reports the “Battle of the Planets” comic from Top Cow is scheduled for July.

2-7-02—- Dragon Con 2002 Release

And if one does not happen to be in the NYC area on Labor Day Weekend other events are being planned around the counry with anime related content, one such evnt is the southeast’s massive Dragon Con convention, a full release has been sent out today.

2-7-02—- Big Apple Anime Fest 2002 Announcement – To Run Near Simultaneous With AXNY 2002

Big Apple Anime Fest has circulated this press release announcing their 2002 event which will run nearly side by side with AX New York 2002 sceduled for Aug. 31 – Sep. 2nd 2002:

Big Apple Anime Fest 2002 Welcomes Anime Expo to New York for “World Anime Party”

A Celebration of Anime Manga Culture in Times Square, the Entertainment Center of the World, during Labor Day Weekend

New York, February 11, 2002 – The Big Apple Anime Fest (BAAF), a weekend long celebration of Anime Manga Culture, will launch its 2002 event on Friday, August 30, 2002 and continue until Monday, September 2, 2002 (Labor Day Weekend) in New York City. The events will be centered in and around the New York landmark and “Crossroads of the World,” Times Square.

The Big Apple Anime Fest, which has been called “The Cannes Film Festival of Anime Manga Culture” as a result of its enormous success in 2001, will once again sponsor a variety of activities and organizations under its national promotional umbrella.

“We are especially excited to welcome Anime Expo NY to our city this year,” said Ryoko Maebayashi, Liaison Manager for BAAF. “The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation (SPJA) has been running the Anime Expo events on the West Coast for over a decade, and they always put on a tremendous event. BAAF is proud to be a major sponsor of AXNY as they bring their enthusiasm and talents to the East Coast for the first time.”

With over 10,000 anime fans expected to visit Times Square to celebrate Anime Manga Culture this Labor Day weekend, BAAF and AXNY will provide 35mm film screenings, awards ceremonies, a business and academic symposium, an industry VIP dinner, and fan convention favorites such as video screening rooms, a huge vendor room, guest of honor autograph sessions, live talent panels, Cosplay on Broadway costume masquerade events, and much more.

Final programming details and registration information for BAAF 2002 will be released in mid-June. Constantly updated information may be obtained from the Official BAAF and AXNY websites: http://www.bigappleanimefest.com/ and http://www.axny.org/ The sites will be updated frequently as new details are finalized.

To help promote its vision of “World Anime Party,” BAAF will make a major appearance at the Tokyo Anime Fair in Japan this February 15 to 17. BAAF staff will be on hand to coordinate this year’s event with members of the Japanese animation industry, and to promote BAAF as the premier global promotional event for Anime Manga Culture to tens of thousands of Japanese anime fans. Hundreds of Japanese cosplay (costume masquerade) fans are expected to visit New York to solidify Japan’s claim to superiority in the cosplay art form. Due to the rise of interest in cosplay in the U.S. and Europe, they are expected to face a higher level of competition from their international colleagues this year than ever before. This summer, BAAF will be running an online cosplay contest. Winners will be invited to compete in the national play-offs in Times Square, as part of the Cosplay on Broadway events.

2-7-02—- Twilight Gemini DVD Update

Daniel transmits this update on FUNimation’s pending American release of Lupin III: Secret Of The Twilight Gemini:

According to “Arsene Lupin III” of the Lupin Mailing List,

“The complete DVD is in final stages of production. Packaging is being submitted for approval. DVD itself is complete…”

2-6-02—- AnimeTrax CD Releases For April

From the release:

Samurai X (Rurouni Kenshin) OVA CD Soundtrack Pre-book date: 4/2/2002 – Street date: 4/30/2002

Audio CD Catalog#: AT9312 ISBN: 1-57032-896-X UPC#: 7-42617-9312-2-2 SRP: $14.98 Running Time: 55 mins, 16 tracks.

From composer Taku Iwasaki comes the beautifully haunting melodies of the Samurai X OVAs that fans simply can’t forget. Fitting perfectly with the dark overtones of the series, this gorgeous score makes listeners relive Rurouni Kenshin’s early struggles as the Battosai and gives true power and emotion to the animated series.

Graphic of this CD jacket is located at: http://www.rightstuf.com/outgoing/sleeves/at9312.jpg

Boogiepop Phantom Original Soundtrack 2-CD Set Pre-book date: 4/2/2002 – Street date: 4/30/2002

Audio CD Catalog#: AT9310 ISBN: 1-57032-894-3 UPC#: 7-42617-9310-2-4 SRP: $24.98 2 Disc Set. Total Running Time: 85 minutes, 13 tracks.

The soundtrack to the hit horror-thriller Boogiepop Phantom! This 2 disc set is packed with a collection of some of the creepiest techno-laced tunes imaginable with a solid, pumping underground groove. From Happy End by Flare to Angel in the Dark by M.Y.K.N., the audio thrash of this roller coaster never lets you go. Boogiepop Phantom, are you ready to scream?

Graphic of this CD jacket is located at: http://www.rightstuf.com/outgoing/sleeves/at9310.jpg

Boogiepop Phantom: Music Inspired By Boogiepop and Others CD Pre-book date: 4/2/2002 – Street date: 4/30/2002

Audio CD Catalog#: AT9311 ISBN: 1-57032-895-1 UPC#: 7-42617-9311-2-3 SRP: $14.98 Total Running Time: 40 minutes, 11 tracks

Inspired by “Boogiepop Phantom” and Others, Yuki Kaijura (NOIR, KOR, BLOOD THE LAST VAMPIRE) transforms music into a wonderland of variety. With musical styles ranging from light jazz and piano and to pop mixes, this CD pulls from the lighter side of the series with playful musical renditions rather than the darker tones found on the Original Boogiepop Soundtrack CD.

Graphic of this CD jacket is located at: http://www.rightstuf.com/outgoing/sleeves/at9311.jpg

2-6-02—- Ranma 1/2 Anything Goes Martial Arts DVD Box Set Release

From the Viz release:

The Second Season of the Popular Martial Arts/Romantic Comedy Series!

RANMA 1/2 ANYTHING-GOES MARTIAL ARTS DVD BOX SET DVD BOX SET RELEASE IN APRIL

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – February 4, 2002 – Viz Communications, Inc. is pleased to announce the release of Ranma 1/2 Anything-Goes Martial Arts DVD Box Set in April 2002. Part of the Viz Video line, this 5 DVD set includes all 22 episodes from the second season of the Ranma 1/2 anime series and features stereo sound, a selection of English or Japanese audio, English subtitles and DVD extras including line art, text-less versions of the opening and closing sequences and cast profiles. This set will retail for $119.98 U.S.

This set continues to develop the on-going storylines of Ranma Saotome and Akane Tendo, their families, and introduces even more of the series’ zany cast of characters.Get to know the infamous Golden Pair of the high school combat figure skating world; Mikado “Emperor” Sanzenin; Azusa Shiratori, the girl who gives anything “cute” a bad name (before taking it home); Sasuke, loyal ninja manservant to high school swordsman Tatewaki “Blue Thunder” Kuno; Cologne, the hundreds-of-years-old-leader of the same Chinese Amazon tribe that introduced the sassy Shampoo; Mousse, the nearsighted master of hidden weapons and all things avian; Happosai, panty stealing master of both Ranma and Akane’s fathers; plus a host of others.

Creator Rumiko Takahashi is the world’s most popular female comic artist, with over 100,000,000 copies of her work (including Lum*Urusei Yatsura, Maison Ikkoku, Ranma 1/2 and Inu-Yasha) sold.Her works have provided the basis for three long-running animated TV series and over eight animated movies, almost all of which are available in the U.S through Viz Video.

About Ranma 1/2

At the time, martial arts training hall or “dojo” owner Soun Tendo thought engaging one of this three daughters to Ranma – the son of longtime friend and training partner Genma Saotome – was a good idea, but that was before “he” turned out to be a “she!” Due to an unfortunate accident at the cursed Chinese training ground known as Jusenkyo, when martial artists Ranma and his father, Genma, get splashed with cold water, dad transforms into a giant panda – and male Ranma becomes a buxom young girl!Hot water reverses the effect, but only until the next time.

Her older sisters quickly nominate the youngest and most fiery Tendo daughter, Akane, for bridal duty, while an unruly Ranma (who never wants to do anything his dad says, on general principle) must come to grips with the mixed blessing of having a fiancée and his/her own sex appeal.When Ranma is constantly challenged by battle-crazed martial artists for offenses both real and imagined, and pursued by lovesick suitors of both genders, what’s a half-boy, half-girl to do?

2-6-02—- Lupin Encyclopedia News

Luis Cruz has added all the episode summaries for the second series of Lupin at www.lupinencyclopedia.com . Plus you can see the cover for the new Lupin oav “Return of the Magician”.

Thanks to Daniel for the item

2-6-02—- TokyoScope Reading In NYC

TokyoScope author Patrick Macias will hold a Book Reading/Signing Monday Feb. 11 at 7 p.m. at KIM’S MEDIAPOLIS 2906 Broadway @ 113th St. New York, NY (212) 864-5321

Admission is free

Meet the author and celebrate the release of TOKYOSCOPE: THE JAPANESE CULT FILM COMPANION, with a reading from the latest and greatest book on the wild world of Japanese pop cinema covering Godzilla, karate, gangster, horror, Japan’s infamous “pink” movies, and much more!

In addition to writing about film and Asian pop culture for the SF Bay Guardian and other publications, Patrick Macias is the coauthor of Japan Edge: The Insiders’ Guide to Japanese Pop Subculture and Fresh Pulp: Dispatches from the Japanese Pop Culture Front. He was a panelist in the Exploding Cinema section of the Rotterdam International Film Festival 2000.

TokyoScope: The Japanese Cult Film Companion
By Patrick Macias
Foreword by Kinji Fukasaku (director of Battle Royale)
Afterword by Takashi Miike (director Audition and Dead or Alive)
Published by Cadence Books, 240 pages, $19.95

www.pulp-mag.com/books/tokyoscope

2-6-02—- Interview Series: The Men Who Made Gundam

Kodansha has released their first installment of a new Japanese Language interview series entitled The Men Who Made Gundam. In the part 1 interview, original series character designer Yoshikazu Yasuhiko speaks on the begining of the Mobile Suit Gundam project and his memories of working with the original staff.

2-6-02—- Doreamon Creator Exhibition Center

The Illustrations and works of late Doraemon creator Fujimoto Hiroshi (who drafted later releases of the original manga under the pen-name Fujiko F Fujio) will soon be commemorated in the form of an exhibition center to open in Kawasaki City. Plans for the construction of the center were originally drawn up in 1996. Following the creator’s death in 1999, the plans for the center were discovered and a Kawasaki city government sponsored commissioned was appointed to plan the construction project in spring 2001. A general plan will be unveiled in March and the physical location will be decided, the surrounding citizenry is being asked to suggest the best possible location. Tentatively, the planned 1600 sqaure meter center will open as soon as 2003, however there is a possibility it may not open until 2004. Sections of th center will include Illustration exhibition, Personal life spotlight and Animaton workshop.

2-6-02—- Japanese DVD

R.O.D OVA Vol. 3 is expected to arrive February 6th at 5600 Yen from SME Visual Works. First presses get a specially made box, mini mook, DVD extras include Character / Setting / Background Data, Pinup and commentary on production.

The Alien 9 BOX is due on April 25 at 3800 Yen from Bandai Visual. It includes special Alien 9 collectors DVD: Running time: 30 minutes on single sided, 1 layer disc. DVD extras include music clips, interviews and event images, non credit opening & ending, TV Commercials, setting data.

2-6-02—- Production I.G. Launches New Web Site

Thanks to NYC Samurai Justin-san for this info from Production I.G. Tokyo:

Production IG Launches New Website

Today, Production IG announces the launch of a new English website as part of an international campaigne aimed at raising people’s awareness of “anime,” and introducing the works and history of Production IG. The new site includes detailed descriptions and pictures from past IG projects as well current projects, news and updates. Also, IG hopes to use the site as a conduit for opportunites in the international entertainment media markets.

The site can be found here: http://www.production-ig.com

About Production I.G

Over the past 15 years, Production I.G has become of Japan’s top animation studios known worldwide for creating such high quality “anime” as “Ghost in the Shell,” “JIN-ROH: The Wolf Brigade,” and the Annie Award nominated, “Blood:The Last Vampire.” Currently, I.G is positioning itself to be an integral part of the “New Wave” of Japanese animated films which are steadily gaining recognition and critical acclaim on a global scale.

2-6-02—- New Strike Valkyrie Toys

Macross World has images of Toycom’s newest transformable Strike Valkyrie toys.

2-6-02—- Toei Announces Digimon Frontier

Toei Animation has unveiled plans for the 4th Digimon TV series in Japan, to be titled Digimon Frontier. Broadcast will begin on April 7th on Sunday mornings from 9:00 – 9:30 on Fuji TV. The 6th Digimon Movie, Digimon Tamers / Reckless Driving , Digimon Super-Express is due in the spring of this year.

2-6-02—- Mobile Suit Gundam: Gihren’s Greed – Zeon’s Independance War

According to the post to Newtype Asylum:

Gundam Perfect Web (Japan) revealed the latest details of Sony PlayStation 2’s Mobile Suit Gundam: Gihren’s Greed – Zeon’s Independence War (price and release date TBA) – the 3rd sequel of the popular Gihren’s Greed and Blood of Zeon strategy game series. The new game, which is curently under development, will recreate the epic Earth-Space struggle between Principality of Zeon and Earth Federation in U.C. 0079 as depicted in Mobile Suit Gundam and OYW-related Gundam series. As in previous GG series, player can choose to lead either the Zeon or Federation side to win the game for their respective course, and the new ‘3rd faction’ (such as Neo-Zeon, Titans, etc..) may appear to alter the game’s course and outcome. However, Zeon’s Independence War will have many brand new features, such as new combat systems (the creation of “Army Corps”, inclusion of “Command Cost”, and player’s ability to choose his/her own advantageous invasion routes), a new 3D polygon for battle screen instead the the old 2D, plus more new mechas and new characters to be choosen to beef up your roster. Some of the new characters include Zeon’s Gabby Hazard (MSV) and Ian Greydon (MSV), Federation’s Job John (the White Base member from 0079) and Jack Beard (of ‘Jack the Halloween’ MS team from Gundam The Ride).

2-6-02—- Figures News

Figures.com reports:

Premiere collectable manufacturer Dynamic Forces (www.DynamicForces.com) is proud to announce the latest and greatest in its line of exclusive Battle of the Planets merchandise. Following the release of their popular Battle of the Planets 6-Card Collector’s Preview Set, G-Force is now set to have their very first full set of American trading cards. This high-quality collection is now in production and locked for release this summer!

Battle of the Planets, the classic animated series from Sandy Frank Entertainment, presents the intergalactic adventures of G-Force, a team of five youngsters struggling against the evil planet Spectra and its maniacal leader Zoltar.

A combination of classic Battle of the Planets episode images will be featured from the original TV series, along with brand-new illustrations by some of today’s greatest artists. Master painter Alex Ross will contributeto this set with his first painted trading card work in over five years. And Alex isn’t only doing one card, but NINE CARDS THAT CONNECT TOGETHER TO FORM ONE AWESOME IMAGE. Joining Alex are the talents of John (Captain America) Cassaday (pictured above), Jae (FF 1,2,3,4) Lee, Pat (Transformers) Lee, Mike (X-Force) Allred, Dan (Wolverine) Fraga, Dan (First Wave) Parsons, Greg and Tim (Sci-Fi and Fantasy Masters) Hildebrandt, Alex (Batman/Lobo) Horley and many other creators will also highlight and enhance this collection. The trading cardbacks will be written by Battle of the Planets expert, Jason Hofius.

Full sets will be comprised of 90 base cards, with additional rare hand-sketched, signed and acetate (“cel”) insert cards! Each pack will include six cards, and each box will ship with 40 packs (Four additional packs per box than standard Dynamic Forces card boxes). The MSRP per pack will be $1.99 with the MSRP per box set at $79.60.

The Battle of the Planets trading card set is scheduled to ship in June, 2002. Pre-orders will be taken starting April/May, 2002 through FM International, Toon Station, Diamond Comic Distributors, other specialty distributors and Dynamic Forces – ask your local comic or trading card retailer for further details. Production on these trading cards will be strictly limited to initial orders.

Images can be viewed here.

Irwin has released images of their eighth series of Dragonball Z figures. This set will include Super Saiyan Gohan (in black jumpsuit), Dabura, Videl (with dinosaur), Angelic Goku, and SS Trunks & SS Goten (2-pack). Each of these figures will retail for approximately $5.99-7.99; however, there is no announced release date yet.

Images can be viewed here.

2-6-02—- Final Bow For Escaflowne In Select Cities

According to an announcement on Bandai Entertainment’s, Pasadena, NYC, Chicago, and Vancouver will screen Escaflowne until this Thursday, February 7. A full theater listng can be viewed here.

2-6-02—– Kia Asamiya On Iron Man #400 Cover

From the release:

Hey, True Believers!

If Iron Man’s series hadn’t been rebooted, May’s chapter would have been the 400th issue – so we’re celebrating with a special double-sized issue!

In the lead story (written by Mike Grell and penciled by Michael Ryan), Tony Stark and the man called Temujin meet face-to-face, as the web weaved by destiny draws them into an inevitable conflict which can only end one way! Plus, in a second story both written and illustrated by Grell, Iron Man makes a status quo-altering decision! We’re also including a special 400th issue gallery featuring pieces by George Tuska, Sean Chen and Bob Layton! All this, and a cover by manga legend Kia Asamiya!

And if you’re still wondering whether you should check out the series’ new direction, just check out what Comic Shop News has to say: “In many ways, this seems like a Marvel Knights relaunch. Even though the old numbering continues and the series carries the standard Marvel logo, the moral complexities of the story introduce elements more commonly found in the MK line. Artist Michael Ryan adds a sleek, sophisticated look to the book; his fluid linework and detailed design seem perfectly suited for Iron Man, as he is perfectly skilled with the technological and the human sides of the story.”