February 25, 2002 / by Anime News Services / Archived News / No Comments

Anime News Service – February 22-25 Anime News

2-25-02—- Viz Set To Release Tezuka’s “Life Work”

From the Viz release, thanks to Daniel for the heads up:

PHOENIX: A TALE OF THE FUTURE

GRAPHIC NOVEL RELEASE IN MAY 2002

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – February 25, 2002 – Viz Communications, Inc. proudly announces the May release of Phoenix: A Tale of the Future, by acclaimed author Osamu Tezuka, widely known and respected for his numerous contributions to the manga and anime industries. A 296-page, square-bound graphic novel, Phoenix: A Tale of the Future retails for $22.95 U.S. ($37.95 Canada).

After several nuclear wars, civilization has gone underground due to the toxic atmosphere. The five cities resemble huge shopping malls, with each city ruled by an enormous super-computer that calculates every action for its inhabitants and rules supreme. Meet Masato, who secretly keeps a Moopie as a companion – a forbidden extraterrestrial creature capable of assuming any form and inducing hallucinations in those it contacts. In this highly regimented world, the super-computer Hallelujah cannot allow for anything outside its exacting calculations. When Hallelujah discovers Masato’s secret and decrees that the Moopie, known as Tamami, must be destroyed, Masato chooses to defy the order and makes a daring escape with Tamami to find a safe haven. Their escape triggers a visitation by a mythical bird and an adventure of epic proportions.

Regarded by many as the “God of Manga” Osamu Tezuka was born in 1928 in Toyonoka, in Osaka, Japan. A prolific author and artist, Tezuka is generally regarded as the single figure responsible for developing Japan’s massive manga and anime industries. His cinematic art style and novelistic narratives have made his work as universally accessible and relevant now as when first published in Japan. A list of his well known and universally loved work includes the classic Jungle Emperor Leo (also known as Kimba the White Lion), Black Jack, Adolf, Mighty Atom (which became known as Astro Boy in the U.S.) and Metropolis (recently made into a hit anime film). Tezuka continued creating comics until his death in 1989.

About Phoenix
The twelve self-contained yet interlinked stories that compose Phoenix (Hi no tori in Japanese, literally “Firebird”) is considered by many to be the summit of Osamu Tezuka’s artistic achievement. Tezuka himself referred to Phoenix as his “life work.” Painstakingly composed over a span of decades (early versions appeared as early as 1954), serialized in a number of venues and left incomplete with Tezuka’s death in 1989, Phoenix represents Tezuka’s ambitious attempt to push all he knew about the comics medium to address fundamental questions about existence. This edition, Phoenix: A Tale of the Future, is an English translation of the second of the twelve Phoenix stories (“Future”).

2-24-02—- I-Mode Articles Japan

The BBC is currently running an article on the success of DoCoMo’s I-Mode Service in Europe and Japan, Cellular News has info on the expansion of 3G video phone coverage and expansion.

2-23-02—- Asimo Rings NYSE Bell

Yahoo has an article and image here of the Honda Robot Asimo opening the New York Stock Exchange on Valentine’s Day.

2-23-02—- J-Pop Milestone – Hikaru Utada Signed In U.S.A

Courtesy to Jay for this item:

J-pop diva Hikaru Utada is set to make her American debut soon after just signing a contract with Island Def Jam Records this week. The now 19 year old Utada’s 1999 album “First Love” sold a record 9,000,000 copies, her newest single “Light ” is due in Japan on March 20th. Details on the release of her first American album have yet to be set but already the announcement is making huge press all across Japan this weekend. The singer was born in New York in 1983 and entered school at the American Colombian University in September of 2000. More details are sure to follow.

2-23-02—- Hoishi No Koe DVD Release

Details are out today on a new 2D – 3D combo digital animation project entitled Hoshi no Koe: The Voices of a Distant Star. The release is set arrive on DVD in Japan from April 19th. The animation focuses on a long distance relationship between a boy and girl setet in 2046 after the discovery of the ruins of an alien civilization on Mars. Created by winner of the DoGA CG Animation Contest Grand Prix, Shinkai Makoto. Tentative DVD price listed at 5,800 Yen, 4 soundtracks included on disc including original version 5.1ch Dolby Digital, original version stereo linear PCM, seiyuu version 5.1ch Dolby Digital, seiyuu version stereo linear PCM. Running time: 25 minutes. Extras include 55 minutes of animated storyboards for the whole volume, 4 trailers, Shinkai’s previous work “Kanojo to Kanojo no Neko” (English title “Their Standing Points”) with English subtitled version, a 3 minute version and digest, interview with Shinkai. Includes 16 page color booklet. A trailer can be viewed here.

Courtesy to Natsume Maya for the translation of soime details.

2-23-02—- Wild 7 Another Production Concert

Staff and Cast for the newly announced Wild 7 Another TV Series assembled at a production concert on February 22nd in Japan. The story of the new series focuses on the second opening of the Panama Cannal, and the capture of hostages by a number of jungle resistance fighters. April 6th will see the debut of the new series.

2-23-02—- Chobbits TV Conversion Event

March 31st will see a special commemoration event in Tokyo for the TV Animation conversion of the popular CLAMP Manga Chobbits. There the first episode will receive a premiere screening, a live talk chat will follow with staff and cast.

2-23-02—- My Family To Animation TV Series

According to Nikkan Sports, the manga Atashi’n chi (My Family) by Kera Eiko serialised in Yomiuri Shimbun Sunday edition newspaper will be animated by rival corporate group TV Asahi after years of negotiations. The manga focuses on the everyday lives of the Tachibana family of four from the point of view of high school daughter Mikan. It has been described as “Sazae-san of the Heisei (Emperor Akihito) period”. This family anime is set to begin broadcast at 7.30pm on Fridays in April 2002, after “Doraemon” and displacing “Crayon Shin-chan”, which will move into a Saturday timeslot.

Thanks To Natsume Maya For The Reference

2-23-02—- Japanese Culture Bits

Is Public Recitation a flash fad in Japan or is destined to be a proliferating trend? The Daily Yomiuri Examines.

2-23-02—- Growth Of I-Mode Highlighted

Reuters has an article here on the phenomenal growth of NTT DoCoMo’s I-Mode Service in Japan.

2-23-02—- Escaflowne Dallas Screening Changed

Bandai Entertainment has announced a 3.8.2002 date for the Dallas screening of Escaflowne at the United Artists Plaza 9330 N. Central Expressway Dallas, TX 75231

2-23-02—- Toy Fair Updates

Figures.com has added images and details for several figure and toy lines, included are Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Lain and Dark Angel.

2-23-02—- Spirited Away Article: “Japan Film Hit Faces Uncertain U.S. Reception”

A Reuters News article dated Friday the 22nd examines the unknowns in releasing Hayao Miyazaki’s Sen to Chihiro in the United States. According to Reuters:

Some fear the animated epic, with its distinctive combination of the cute and the grisly, may suffer the same fate as director Hayao Miyazaki’s previous domestic hit, “Princess Mononoke.”

After grossing $150 million in Japan, “Princess Mononoke” passed almost unnoticed by U.S. film-goers. It took in only around $2.3 million in the United States, despite rave reviews and an English-language soundtrack performed by Hollywood stars including Billy Bob Thornton and Clare Danes.

Japanese earnings for “Spirited Away” have leapfrogged those of “Princess Mononoke” and even “Titanic” to reach a mammoth 29.4 billion yen ($219 million).

Ironically, Miyazaki has often tried to differentiate his own work from that of other contemporary Japanese animation directors, whom he criticizes for their excessive focus on sex and violence. Because of their subject matter “there is a chance that the spread of Japanese animation overseas might only lead to embarrassment,” he told a news conference this week.

“Spirited Away” is less violent than its predecessor, but still includes disturbing images, such as characters being swallowed whole by a faceless monster, that would probably shock an audience of Disney fans.

U.S. distribution details for the film are to be announced shortly, Studio Ghibli said.

2-23-02—- Reuters Sen To Chihiro Articles

Reuters Berlin has recap piece on Spirited Away’s run, folowing are production data excerpted from the article:

Voices:
Chihiro ……………… Rumi Hiiragi
Haku ………………… Miyu Irino
Yubaba/Zeniba ………… Mari Natsuki
Chihiro’s father, Akio … Takashi Naito
Chihiro’s mother, Yugo … Yasuko Sawaguchi
Frog man …………….. Tatsuya Gashuin
Boh …………………. Ryunosuke Kamiki
Lin …………………. Yumi Tamai
Foreman of the frog men .. Yo Oizumi
River God ……………. Koba Hayashi
School principal ……… Tsunehiko Kamijo
Employee …………….. Takehiko Ono
Kamaji ………………. Bunta Sugawara

A Toho release of a Studio Ghibli production, in association with Tokuma Shoten Co., Nippon TV Network Co., Dentsu, Buena Vista Home Entertainment (Japan), Tohokushinsha Film, Mitsubishi. (International sales: Wild Bunch, Paris.) Produced by Toshio Suzuki. Executive producer, Yasuyoshi Tokuma. Co-executive producers, Takeyoshi Matsushita, Seiichiro Ujiie, Yutaka Narita, Koji Hoshino, Banjiro Uemura, Hironori Aihara.

Directed, written by Hayao Miyazaki. Animation director, Masashi Ando. Editor, Takeshi Seyama; music, Joe Hisaishi; singer, Yumi Kimura; art directors, Yoji Takeshige, Norobu Yoshida; sound (Dolby Digital/DTS Stereo), Kazuhiro Hayashi, Shuji Inoue; sound effects, Michihiro Ito; director of digital images, Atsushi Okui; assistant directors, Atsushi Takahashi, Masayuki Miyagi. Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (competing), Feb. 8, 2002.

2-23-02—- Anime / Manga Gaming

Magic Box has new screen shots of Sega WOW Entertainment’s arcade keyboarding game Lupin the 3rd The Typing.

2-23-02—- Armitage Dual Matrix DVD Release Details

According to Pioneer Animation’sUpdate:

Naomi Armitage (voiced by Juliette Lewis) and Ross Sylibus have changed their names and live with their daughter Yoko as a happy and normal family on Mars – until a robot riot breaks out at an anti-matter plant on Earth. Armitage learns the riot is a plot to suppress evidence of illegal research and development of more “Third Robots” and decides to go to Earth to find out who is behind this heinous act. What Armitage discovers is the most powerful enemy she has ever encountered – replicas of herself!

Special Features: 5.1 Surround Sound (English & Japanese Audio). Featuring the voice of Juliette Lewis as Naomi Armitage!

Armitage Dual Matrix Special Edition adds the “Assembling Armitage” featurette, a soundtrack-only channel (5.1 Surround Sound), character design gallery, trailers, and a 16-page printed character guide!

The limited edition Armitage Dual Matrix Lunch Box contains the special edition of Armitage Dual Matrix and a limited edition variant of the Armitage figure manufactured by McFarlane Toys packaged in a limited edition lunch box!

Armitage 2-Disc set contains Armitage III – Polymatrix and the special edition of Armitage Dual Matrix.

More details can be had here

2-23-02—- Yu Yu Hakusho TV And DVD Debut

According to Animation Magazine, Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost Files will air on Adult Swim Feb 23, the only series to rival Dragon Ball Z ratings in Japan, Yu Yu Hakusho will lead Cartoon Network?s new Saturday Night Adult Swim Action block. Produced by FUNimation Prods. Ltd., the same company responsible for bringing Dragon Ball Z to North America, Yu Yu Hakusho will air at 10 p.m. CST and 11 p.m. ET and PT.

In addition, Yu Yu Hakusho is slated for release on DVD on April 16. Yu Yu Hakusho ? Yusuke Lost, Yusuke Found and Yu Yu Hakusho ? Artifacts of Darkness (Goldhil Home Media 2, $24.95) each feature more than 80 minutes of programming plus extras.

2-23-02—- Entertainment Weekly Anime Items

The March 1 issue of Entertainment Weekly has a small blurb on Samurai Jack, where it cites Akira Kurosawa as an influence on the cartoon, and mentions that the Cartoon Network-produced movie will have a 2004 release date. Also, Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust was one of the titles EW recommended in their dvd section.

Thanks to Daniel for the heads up

2-23-02—- Godzilla GMK Exhibited By Toho

“Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack is one of the featured films to be shown this week at the American Film Market trade show this week in Santa Monica, California. The poster for “GMK” is proudly displayed on the opening page for the AFM 2002 Product Listings. Besides “GMK”, Toho will also be showing several other films including Princess Comet, A Single Drop of Water In A Mighty River, Seoul and All About Our House.”

Source: Cinescape

Thanks to Daniel for the above

2-23-02—- Games News

You can read about the X Box hitting Japan at Gamespot.

You can also see a picture of a prototype of the Triforce arcade board at Gamespot

2-23-02—- Konami Dance Dance Revolution Konamix Soundtrack

“Konami has announced that the soundtrack for Dance Dance Revolution Konamix is complete and that a total of 52 songs will be available, but 20 of those will have to be unlocked. Thirty-six of the songs are completely new to the North American market, seven have been in past Dance Dance Revolution arcade games, seven have appeared in previous North American console versions of DDR, and two songs are entirely new. Along with solo, nonstop order, and workout modes, the game will feature an edit mode where players can save and edit steps. The following is a list of the 32 immediately available songs in the game:

.59 dj. TAKA
AFRONOVA PRIMEVAL 8bit
AFTER THE GAME NPD3
B4U NAOKI
BABY BABY GIMME YOUR LOVE DIVAS
BRILLIANT 2U NAOKI
BURNIN’ THE FLOOR NAOKI
CELEBRATE NITE N.M.R
CUTIE CHASER CLUB SPICE
DEAD END N & S
DIVING MONEY QUADRA
DON’T STOP! (AMD 2nd MIX) Dr. VIBE feat. JP Miles
DROP THE BOMB Scotty D.
DYNAMITE RAVE NAOKI
END OF THE CENTURY NO.9
GROOVE Sho-T feat. Brenda
HIGHER NM feat. SUNNY
HYSTERIA NAOKI 190
LET THEM MOVE N.M.R
LOOK TO THE SKY System S.F. feat. ANNA
LUV TO ME (AMD MIX) DJ KAZU feat. Tiger YAMATO
MAKE A JAM! U1
MAKE IT BETTER (S0-REAL Mix) mitsu-O! SUMMER
MAKE YOUR MOVE good-cool feat. JP Miles
ON THE JAZZ Jonny Dynamite!
PARANOiA 180
PATSENNER dj nagureo
PERFECT FREE nite system
SALAMANDER BEAT CRUSH MIX nite system
THE EARTH LIGHT L.E.D. LIGHT
THINK YA BETTER D sAmi
WILD RUSH FACTOR-X

Dane Dance Revolution Konamix is scheduled for release on April 23.”

Source: Gamespot

2-22-02—- Best Motoring Videos Now Available In English

Fans of Initial D, Touge Battles and Drift King Keiichi Tsuchiya may be interested to learn the monthly Japanese car video magazine Best Motoring is now available in English courtesy of ZigZag Asia.

2-22-02—- Legend Of Galactic Heroes TV DVD’s Coming

162 episodes spanning 45 DVDs in collectors BOX format. The epic task of releasing one of the most epic of Space Operatic anime TV series of all time will soon get under way in Japan with the Region 2 version of The Legend Of Galactic Heroes. Retailing at 231,000 Yen the massive set will feature 45 discs, 3 books comprising episode summaries and 1 “Encyclopedia Legend of the Galactic Heroes” DVD version (note the DVD version will not be identical to the Tokuma print varriant). Many scenes throughout the series have been re-edited and visually cleaned up for DVD. The Encyclopedia will feature history, characters, mechanical glossary, seiyuu profiles, 3D graphics, staff lists, design works and cast interviews. The set will be shipped in 7 or 8 DVDs every two months, with the last instalment due in August 2002. Deadline signup for this truly limited set is March 31st. Although German and English options / subtitles for the release were highly sought by fans they will unfortunetly not appear in the set.

For more info in Japanese including new scene sample images: Ginei.Com

Thanks to Natsume Maya for refering us to the above info

2-22-02—- Initial D Battle Stage First Images

The first images have been released for the coming Initial D: Battle Stage Special at Animax’s Website. The lateset Initial-D production is a 1 hour 25 minute special planned to be broadcast in Japan on February 1st on Sky PerfecTV channel 121. The Computer Graphics utilized for the OVA and Third Stage Movie were slightly more detailed over the 1st and 2nd TV series CGI and this Battle Stage recompilation will feature the respective car races from the 1st and 2nd TV series re-computer animated with the latest technology and updated effects on a detail level of that on par with the quality seen in the the film. Additionally, the battles will play out to brand new Super Eurobeat tracks and the special will include commentary by the legendary Drift Racer Keiichi Tsuchiya. DVD rental of the special is slated for March and DVD sale is expected to occur in May.

2-22-02—- Web Anime Pyschic Academy To Stream

Psychic Academy will begin streaming on Lycos from March 29th. Listeners can tune in by using Windows Media Player and Real Player. Psychic Acdemy is based on the manga by Katsu Aki serialised in Kodansha’s monthly Magazine Z, the serie is a love comedy set in a school for children with the special “aura” ability. A release of the anime on DVD by King Records is planned.

Courtesy To Natsume Maya for the above item

2-22-02—- Rahxephon Music Site

JVC Music has opened a site detailing the release of music from Bones’ Rahxephon TV Series. Artists contributing to Rahxephon include Maaya Sakamoto and Yoko Kanno.

2-22-02—- 13th Pilot Candidates Episode To Release

A special previously un released 13th Episode of Megami Kouhosei (Pilot Candidate) is due out on DVD in Japan on May 26. Retail price is 3,800 Yen, running time is 25 minutes, more details can be had here.

Thanks To Natsume Maya For The Above News

2-22-02—- Astroboy Revival Web

Following up on yesterday’s news of the lost Astroboy prints reairing in Japan, NHK has setup a website here with details surrounding the broadcast.

2-22-02—- New Urotsukidoji OVA Details

The latest Urotsukidoji OVA project, “The Urotsuki”, recently announced for DVD release in May, will return the story to a school setting of the original series. Every few thousands of years, the realms of humans, demons and man-beasts are united by the Chojin. On the day before he is scheduled to be executed in the man-beast realm, Amano Jyaku is sent to the demon realm to investigate the truth of the legend of the Chojin. While Amano’s spending a pleasurable time with the queen of the demon realm, an accident causes the demon and human realms to converge. Amano takes responsibility to travel to the human realm to destroy the demons who have escaped and to search for the Chojin. 300 years pass without any sign of the Chojin. This new series will span 3 DVD volumes/episodes. A limited edition first pressing of the first volume will come with a DVD box to hold all 3 volumes.

Chapter 1 will street on May 3rd, retailing at 7,000 Yen. A regular edition will be released at the same time at 6,800 Yen. Volume 2 is due on August 9, Vol. 3 follows on November 8. Each will run 40 minutes and feature Dolby Digital sound.

A triler will soon appear here. Both of the the above links contain adult content.

Source: Natsume Maya

2-22-02—- Mothra Merchandise

Thanks To Daniel for this:

“NEW YORK CITY, NY – February 10, 2002 – X-Plus USA unveiled their latest resin statue, the MothraTM, at Toy Fair 2002, held in New York City, NY, February 10-14. This statue from their line of classic GodzillasTM is pre-painted, solid cold cast resin and includes a sculpted base. The statue is limited to a production of 1000 and has a suggested retail price of $150.00. MothraTM, from the 1964 film, Mothra vs. Godzilla, is part of the new GodzillaTM series of which X-Plus USA is releasing in 2002. All statues are fully licensed and approved by Toho Co., Ltd. Planned 2002 releases include GiganTM (1972), GodzillaTM (1964), GodzillaTM (1962), RodanTM (1966), MegalonTM (1973), MinillaTM (1968), BaragonTM (1968), and VaranTM (1968). X-Plus USA also plans to produce several series of GodzillaTM chess pieces, similar to their Ray Harryhausen line.

“We are extremely excited about our new MothraTM statue,” says Alan Wataguchi, President of X-Plus USA. “The MothraTM is going to be one of our most popular statues in our GodzillaTM series.” Pictures of the products are available for viewing at www.xplususa.com. [The site has severe loading problems right now.] Customers interested in ordering the MothraTM may do so by calling 1-888-241-4682 between 9:00am and 5:00pm PST. X-Plus USA, Inc. holds a worldwide license for classic resin GodzillaTM statues from Toho Co., Ltd (outside of Japan). All statues are sculpted in Japan and manufactured in Hong Kong….”

Source: Cinescape

2-22-02—- You’re Under Arrest Special

A special You’re Under Arrest No Mercy!! is set for release on DVD in Japan on April 25th after airing on TBS at 10:30 on March 29. First pressings come with a 10 postcard set.

Courtesy To Natsume Maya For The News

2-22-02—- Games News

1) “On Wednesday, Konami Computer Entertainment announced Castlevania: White Night Concerto, the latest Castlevania game for the Game Boy Advance. The game takes place in 1740, and it lets players assume the role of Jeust Belmont, a vampire hunter who continues the bloodline of the Belnades family, which was first introduced in Castlevania III with the character Sypha Belnades. The story begins when Jeust’s friends Maxim Quicin and Liddy Erlanger are kidnapped and taken to Count Dracula’s castle.

“The game’s format will be similar to that of Circle of the Moon, requiring players to venture around the castle and use the whip and auxiliary weapons like the holy water, the cross, and the dagger to defeat the enemies within….Ayami Kojima, the artist who worked on Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and Castlevania Chronicles, will be responsible for character designs in the game. Castlevania: White Night Concerto for the Game Boy Advance is slated for a June 6 release in Japan. A North American release has yet to be announced.”

Source: Gamespot

2) “Universal has released the first screenshots from Bruce Lee, the upcoming brawler for the Xbox in development at Ronin. As was noted earlier, the game will span more than 30 levels set in different parts of the world, including Hong Kong and San Francisco. It will also feature 30 different types of enemies who will use a number of tactics–such as ambushes–to surprise players. As Bruce Lee, players will have access to more than 100 moves from Bruce Lee’s jeet kun do style, all of which have been motion-captured using one of Bruce Lee’s last students. During a fight, players can use a lock-on targeting system so they can focus on a single opponent at a time. In addition, players will be able to upgrade their moves by using tokens that are received after defeating an opponent. Bruce Lee is scheduled for release in Q3 2002.”

Source: Gamespot

3)”Microsoft held a press conference last night to discuss the impending launch of the Xbox in Japan. Microsoft chairman and chief software architect Bill Gates spoke at the conference and expressed his confidence in the Japanese market.

‘ “Microsoft is extremely committed to the Japanese market, and you’ve seen that in many ways,” Gates said. “With the partnerships, the special design work–and now you see it with the titles here at the launch. I think the Japanese market is one that particularly appreciates high quality–high quality graphics, high quality sound. The very best product, I think, is something that strikes a resonant core. And so what we are after is getting the most-serious gamers to use the Xbox, and the word of mouth will be the key to the success of the Xbox.”…

“The Xbox will launch in Japan on February 22, and Bill Gates will make a public appearance and personally hand over the first Xbox unit sold in the country. GameSpot will have full coverage of the Japanese Xbox launch.”

Source: Gamespot

Source: Daniel

2-22-02—- First Mobile Suit Pilot Training Simulator From Mistubishi – Banpresto – Sotsu Agency

From Newtype Asylum:

February 22, 2002: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (Japan), in asscoication with Banpresto and Sotsu Agency, has produced Gundam Pilot Academy (tentative title) – the demonstrative version of the first ever mobile suit pilot training simulator in history, which is currently on exhibit and free testing for customers at “The AOU 2002 Amusement Exposition” (International Exhibition Hall 2 “General Zone”) from February 22-23, 2002 at the Makuhari Mess, Chiba City, Chiba, Japan.

The training simulator – with simulates the cockpit of RX-78 Gundam during the classic ‘Jaburo Invasion’ as shown in Gundam 0079 animation series – has a maximum of four players capacity, in which the MS piloting and shooting will be handled by the two front row players, and all four players will experience the training inside the simulator, which is equipped with 100 inches big screen image with picture generating equipment powered by high-speed processor, and the 24-bit digital sound source for high quality stereo surround sound; Each pilot’s seat can experience the training fully in front, rear, left, right, plus shakeing up and down with maximum acceleration of 0.5G, all courtesy of a 6-axis electric motion base which are used in actual operation simulator for airplane.

2-22-02—- Planet Namek Closed

According to a statement on it’s main page, longtime Drgonball News Site Planet Namek has been shut down due to a lack of funding and a slow deterioration of interest in Dragonball amoung staff members.

Visitors are invited to discuss the closing at Shadows of Namek message boards.

2-22-02—- Anime Central Announcements

From the Anime Central release:

Anime Central 2002 April 19-21, 2002 Hyatt Regency O Hare Rosemont, Illinois U.S.A.

With even more events than last year! Anime Central is bigger and better than ever! Join us in celebrating the wonderful world of Anime & Manga!

** GUESTS **

NEW! Toshihiro Kawamoto – Toshihiro Kawamoto will be best known to US anime fans for his character designs on “Cowboy Bebop” and “Golden Boy.” However, he also worked as animation supervisor for the animation for the “Ghost in the Shell” Playstation Game opening, and as the character designer on “Gundam 0083,” and “08th MS Team,” as well as animator on numerous other animations. This is Mr. Kawamoto’s first appearance at Anime Central.

NEW! Ken Akamatsu – Ken Akamatsu is best known to anime and manga fans as the creator and manga artist of “Love Hina.” The manga which was published in Kodansha’s weekly comic magazine, “Weekly Shounen Magajin,” has 14 volumes and was made into avery popular anime series. His other major work is the manga series, “AI ga Tomaranai” (‘Can’t stop the LOVE’). He has also recently put out a special edition of his Love Hina comic, entitled “IroHina” (‘SexyHina’). This is his first appearance at a North American Anime Convention.

Tetsuya Aoki – Mr. Aoki began working at the Japanese design company PLEX in 1990 where he is still employed and continues to design. He participates in all the planning and designing of TV character merchanidse for BANDAI, including production design work and creature design in live action series includign the Kamen Rider, Power Ranger, and Ultraman series. Before joining PLEX, Mr. Aoki worked for TAKARA and designed some of THE TRANSFORMERS. Plex will be launching their first manga with a world premiere at Anime Central 2002.

Brad Swaile- We’re happy to announce voice actor Brad Swaile will be a guest at Anime Central 2002. This will be Brad’s first time visiting ACen. Brad follows fellow Vancouver area actors Scott McNeil and Kirby Morrow whom were guests at Anime Central 2001. Brad is best known for his voice roles as Quatre in Gundam Wing; Amuro Ray in Mobile Suit Gundam, Mousse from Ranma 1/2 and Yota in Video Girl Ai.

Melissa Williamson – Also joining us for the first time in 2002, Ms. Williamson is best known for her work directing the English dub of Cowboy Bebop (also portrayed Julia), and her voice work including parts as Hilde in Outlaw Star, Urd in Oh My Goddess the Movie, and Nuriko in Fushigi Yuugi, among others

Hilary Haag – Anime Central is glad to welcome a relative newcomer to the anime convention scene in ADVFilms voice actor Hilary Haag (‘Hayg”). Her roles include Nene in Bubble Gum Crisis 2040, and credits in anime such as Sorcerer Hunters, Blue Sub no. 6, Compiler and Master of Mosquiton.

Tiffany Grant. – The first ever voice actor hired by AD Vision, Tiffany Grant is best known as her roles of Asuka from Evangelion and Chocolate from Sorcerer Hunters and has now voiced characters in over a hundreded titles for ADV. This is Tiffany’s first visit to Anime Central.

Jessica Calvello – After appearing at ACen2K, Jessica is best known for her voice roles as Cutey Honey, Yuri in Original Dirty Pair, Mink from Dragon Half, among many others. She’s also the lead voice of Excel in Excel Saga, coming from ADV Films

Crispin Freeman – Voice actor Crispin Freeman comes home again to Anime Central 2002. Mr. Freeman is the American voice actor who has supplied the voices for such characters as Hallas and Zelgadis in The Slayers, Touga Kiryuu and Dios in Revolutionary Girl Utena and Captain Tylor in Irresponsible Captain Tylor, and Spark from the Lodoss War TV series.

Scott Frazier – veteran animator, former head of a Thailand animation studio, former producer for Production IG, consultant/guru for the RETAS animation software package. Scott has more interesting stories about what it’s really like to work in anime production than anyone in the English speaking world.

Steve Bennett- Steve and the Studio Ironcat crew. What needs to be said? Entertaining, imaginative, worked in the anime production trenches as a yonger man, wears a cool cap, has a million stories, is a fine artist in his own right in addition to leading a company bringing over translated manga.

Robert DeJesus – Local boy done good! Amazingly talented artist (and a former ACen Iron Guest) whose work has ranged from self-published doujinshi, contibuting artist for PSM Magazine, to one time artist in Ninja High School.

Bruce Lewis – manga & graphic artist, starblazers/yamato guru, and overall smooth operator. His manga classes at ACen designed to teach and inspire. Try and guess which major league sports team he’s the art director for and win a prize! maybe 🙂

Amy Howard Wilson – voice of Nova from the classic Star Blazers.

2-22-02—- Action Theatre Schedule Anime Screenings At Sony Metreon

From the post to Bandai Entertainment’s Website:

Action Theatre Schedule at the Sony Metreon, San Francisco

Big Robot Weekend

Friday, February 22
2:30 pm The Big O (V.3)
4:00 pm The Big O (V.4)
6:00 pm Pilot Candidate – The Academy (V.1)
7:30 pm Pilot Candidate ? Training (V.2)

Saturday, February 23
10:00 am Mobile Suit Gundam – The Black Tri-Star (V.6)
12:00 pm Mobile Suit Gundam – Return to Space (V.7)
7:30 pm G-Saviour – The Movie

Jin-Roh Special Advance Screening Weekend

Friday March 1 7:30 pm
Saturday March 2 1:00 pm and 7:30 pm
Sunday March 3 5:00 pm

Free Jin-Roh posters w/ DVD purchase while supplies last!

For more information, please call the Sony Metreon at (415) 369-6086 or visit www.metreon.com.

2-22-02—- Cinema News

AICN has the date for the FantAsia film festival back for a 7th year. The event will take place between July 18th – August 5th. Corona states the Tekken movie will cost $60 million.

2-22-02—- 1/1 Scale Mach 5 Exhibitions – The Difficult Start Of Mach GoGoGo!

Thanks To Yukio-san (ISDN Fanclub | Dead Shot Club) for this item and translation:

The Mach 5 Super Speedster of the Mach GOGOGO (Speed Racer) TV series broadcast during one year in 1967 on Fuji Television system will revive in a real racing circuit circuit as one of the 40th anniversary enterprises of TATSUNOKO PRO later this year. Formal participation of a 1/1 scale model Mach 5 will be carried out in 2002 at all Japanese GT championship races.The car was exhibited in the hall of the hall of the “new century Tokyo international animation fair 21” held in Tokyo Big Sight from February 15, 2002.

Speed Racer gained legendary status overseas in the United Staes playing on and off for over 30 years, however there is a story surrounding the project’s hard start which is less known. Following are translated reflections on those early days by Hiroshi Sasagawa, Production Plan Room Director for the studio born in Fukushima in 1936. Sasagawa joined Tatsunoko shortly after it began television production in 1965. A Gag style lover, he directed the original and newer “Mach Go Go Go,” “Kurenai Sanshiro,” “Tamagon,” “Casshan,” “Gatchaman II,” the “Time Bokan” series and many others:

“But when manufacture of this work was begun, there was nothing such in the mood of being pleasant. If the plan of this work is told to each staff, the opinion that it is “impossible” has been heard from here and there. First, the production team was puzzled. The animation creator of the spot floated an unpleasant expression. They say that such pictures are “not performing” in animation. Those days, animation is excellent in a simple work and a work which makes muscles express is opinion that it should not be expressed by animation. To be sure, the work broadcast on television then is a “Tetsuwan atom”(Astroboy), it is “wolf boy Ken”, and “Q Taro The OBAKE(Bogy)” etc. occupied the mainstream.

I opposed like an expert when I said either though it was this thought, and I was not “impossibility” and an expert. It was the opinion “that a large number of anime creators were the streets.” However, “because I want to execute it definitely, and I made it so that it does such a work that I made a production, and President Tatsuo Yoshida asks you, I do it and realize my dream ?c ?c” He persuaded the staff desperately. When I examined this condition, I may have said that “a president was stupid”, but the staff believed a president in the persuasion that a president was earnest at last. This work is the name of Tatsuo Yoshida, and a magazine is a story of the boy racer that “a pilot ace” published serially runs the whole course of the world with a race car by a model. Seven special devices are kept on the body, and the circular huge saw that I think that even a magic is difficult is lucky, and the idea seems to be comics even Gekiga a picture. I cut down a tree of the forest which blocked ahead with this huge saw and went along, but it should have finished being it with a tree from a problem on environment by a new work in 1997 in those days. I was not able to completely start performance of Mach number -Gou, but was not able to disobey a flow of the times. By the way, an expected situation occurred when a work entered production. At first an animator cried.

A character, one President Yoshida draws experience of a painter, and a beautiful chief character is the second piece that is not inferior to an actor of a film drama either. A lot of characters that both I had not looked at the others with an anime heretofore either frame and a muscle were expressed vividly appeared. I imitate that an animator cried with this character and I am going to draw it, but do not readily resemble. If one line is out of order, a beautiful face has become an ugly face. Besides, because it is an animation, it is very difficult to draw several hundred pieces to hate these dozens of pieces difficult painting. The employee whom I gave up drawing, and moved to another company went, and the step of production reached difficulty. This applied to work “Kurenai-sanshiro” or “science ninja party Gacha-man” of the future, but the TATSUNOKO work has been completed to a thing as a proverb “to enter a side I did not begin a side to draw, and to watch”.

Source: MSN Journal