February 19, 2007 / by Anime News Services / Archived News / No Comments

Anime News Service – February 8-19 Anime News

2-19-07 (10:41AM EST)—- Love Com Animation Sites Go Live

Both TBS and Toei Animation have launched their respective websites for the forthcoming TV animation Love Com (Lovely Complex).

2-19-07 (9:57AM EST)—- Gigantic Formula Broadcast Start And Manga

The official broadcast start for Kishin Taisen Gigantic Formula has been given as late night, April 4th on TV Tokyo. One of the big draws of the series involves its use of 14 different high profile mecha designers to create the giant robot characters. A coinciding manga serial will be published from May in Dengeki Maoh Magazine. Oka Shouhei will illustrate.

2-18-07 (11:04AM EST)—- Stage Greetings This Weekend

Many new anime projects had their official stage greetings this weekend in Tokyo. The events often give the public and press their first access to the creative staff and cast talent behind the works.
GA has images from the unvieling of the latest Sakura Wars New York New York OVA series.
Mantan has a look at the stage greeting for Doraemon Nobita’s Great Adventure into the Underworld 2007 (Doraemon The Magic 2007) due in Japanese theaters on March 10th.
Cinema Topics has some images from the One Piece Episode of Alabasta: The Desert Princess and the Pirates film which will hit theaters in Japan on March 3rd.

2-18-07 (10:35AM EST)—- Turn A Gundam Official Website

Bandai Visual and Sunrise have established an official Japanese website for the Turn A Gundam TV series. This comes in advance of the start of the R2 DVD BOX release on April 25th. The 1st set reails at 31,500 Yen.

2-18-07 (10:31AM EST)—- Frogman Show Movie Site Opens

An official wesbite has launched for the coming anime film “THE FROGMAN SHOW Gekijou Ban Himitsu Kessha Taka No Tsume THE MOVIE Soutoku Ha Ni Do Shinu” The opening is scheduled for March 17th.

2-18-07 (10:23AM EST)—- Manga Propaganda

CNN reports on an atempt to soften Japan’s military image using manga.

2-18-07 (9:18AM EST)—- New Images: 2 Meter Tall EVA Goes On Display

GA News nabbed images of the 1,000,000+ Yen (after taxes) 2 Meter 9 Centimeter tall Akiyamakobo “Evangelion Shogou Ki Human Scale Figure” after it was put on display at the Hobby Shop Kotobukiya at the Akihabara radio hall this weekend. The detail is simply staggering.

2-18-07 (9:08AM EST)—- Chibi Maruko Drama Season 1 Ends In Spring

After a successful run begining in the fall of 2006, the initial season of Fuji TV’s live action Chibi Maruko-chan drama starring the ever cutesy Ei Morsato will end in March. The child actress will serve as a special judge in the cast audition of talent for the next season now tentatively titled “Marumaru Zenbu Chibi Maruko Chan Marumaru Chibi Maruko” The current season has enjoyed a ratings highpoint of 22%.

2-18-07 (8:20AM EST)—- Galaxy Railways Movie Announced

The Galaxy Railways (Ginga Tetsudo Monogatari) Movie will premiere in Japanese theaters through limited engagement on March 24th.

2-18-07 (8:12AM EST)—- “Gundam Boxer” Koji Umetsu Enters The Ring

The Hochi Shimbun backup prizefighting Japanese Featherweight title match will be held in Tokyo’s Kourakuen Hall on the third of March. A highly favored contender of the fight is 30 year old self admitted otaku Koji Umetsu who has nicknamed himself “Gundam Boxer”, he even has a special technique from the anime called the “Jetstream Attack”. Umetsu will be fighting 22 year old Takashi Kutsuro. Gundam won his first title at age of 30 last October. His record shows 12 victories and six defeats. He says he’ll be able to win the match just as Gundam defeated the Domu MS although he decided to keep details of the secret “killer shot” Jetstream Atack secret to the press. Gundam worked for an undisclosed toy company before leaving to enter boxing in 2000. Hochi has a picture of the fighter holding up a Domu figure here.

2-18-07 (7:47AM EST)—- West Coast USA Tokikake Premiere / Paprika NA Premiere Delayed

Amican Cinematheque has a 1:30 p.m, March 31st premiere date listed for the Hosoda film The Girl Who Lept Through Time (Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo).
– On a different note, Laemmle’s Sunset 5, which was supposed to screen Satoshi Kon’s latest film Paprika on May 25, has pushed back its screening date to June 1st. No word on whether the general limited release for Paprika is similarly affected. Sony Classics continues to list a May 25th date for the North American premiere.
Thanks to Daniel Zelter for both of these items.

2-17-07 (10:46AM EST)—- Video Parody Of JASRAC Soars In Popularity

A video lampooning the efforts of Japanese copyright watchdog JASRAC has logged more than 220,000 views since being posted to YouTube in early February. “wtf!! The legend of JASRAC” empasizes purported shortcomings of the group introducing many real life cases via animation. One such real life inncident involved the arrest of an elderly snack shop manager who was playing a Beatles song on the store’s loudspeakers. The criticism implied is that “JASRAC is not a legitimate copyright protection group.

2-17-07 (9:24AM EST)—- Microsoft Challenges YouTube

On the 16th Microsoft made its Soapbox video site public. The service aims at rivaling similar efforts from Google Video and YouTube and looks to be off to a good start, offering a mighty helping of apparently illegal anime content.

2-17-07 (9:09AM EST)—- Daddy Eyeball Train Hits Rails In Japan

Nikkan Sports has an image of a specially decorated “Daddy Eyeball” train, based on the character of Gegege No Kitaro. The locomotive went in service on a JR line in Tottori prefecture on the 11th of this month.

2-17-07 (8:51AM EST)—- New Anime / Manga Gaming Trailers

– Video of a promo trailer from AOU2007 has been posted online showing Konami’s newly announced Gradius spinoff Otomedius. The game’s content and characters is heavily anime moe influenced.
– The opening FMV introduction to Princess Maker 5 has been made availablethrough the official website.
Alchemist released several video trailers from their latest Higurashi no Naku Koro ni work.
4Gamer is hosting a video clip from the beta version of Ragnarok 2.

2-17-07 (4:30AM EST)—- Rebuild Of Evangeriwon: Shin Gekijou-ban Films Officially Announced

Just when you thought you’d pinned down an official name for the new Evangelion movie project, new titles and pronunciations keep piling on and as promised, on Saturday, the 17th in Japan director Hideaki Anno officially made his statement announcing the series. A special website has gone live at Yahoo announcing the 1st feature: “Shin Gekijou-ban Evangeriwon” will hit theaters nationwide in Japan on September 1st. A poster carrying the director’s statement was hung in 50 cinemas across the country, its contents have been reproduced online here. Therein it is confirmed for the first time officially that a new company formed by the director will helm production. Additionally, the first trailer from the new movies has gone online in 1MB Windows Media streaming form which can be accessed at the bottom of this page. Mantan is carrying an image of how the poster appears in theaters locked behind a glass wall case.

2-16-07 (11:37AM EST)—- GeGeGe No Kitaro Movie Trailer

Apple Japan is hosting a Quicktime video trailer of the forthcoming GeGeGe No Kitaro film here. Thanks, Daniel Zelter for this item.

2-16-07 (11:35AM EST)—- New FCC TV Violence Guidelines: Anime Implications?

Yahoo mentions a report which suggests that the FCC try to limit violent content on network and cable tv in the USA. If it goes into effect, it’s not clear how it would impact anime. Thanks to Daniel Zelter for the news.

2-16-07 (11:08AM EST)—- Komutachin Komutachin To Become Anime Film

Saeboshi based Huis Ten Bosch hotel chain is producing a 20 minute animated feature based on Ichikawa Morikazu’s children’s picture book Komutachin Komutachin. The premiere screening is scheduled for April 28th. Ichikawa-san provided the script for the film based on the original. Isamu Imakake who in the past worked on the Evangelion movies and Captain Tsubasa will direct. Composer Michiru Oshima will take charge of music. 8-year-old Ei Morisako (who gained alot of fame from her role in the live action Chibi Maruko-chan drama last year) will star. The plot will focus on the 1st “Majo No Story Organ” storyline of the trilogy. HTB produced the work as part of its 15th anniversary initiatives. They’ll also have a role in production of the CG movie “Glan Odyssey” which opens on March 25th.

2-16-07 (10:13AM EST)—- Live Action Blood The Last Vampire Filming Gets Underway Next Month

Korean Actress Ji-hyun Jun will begin work on the live action Hollywood adaptation of Production I.G.’s Blood: The Last Vampire around the middle of March. The production crew and cast will be heading to South American country, Argentina’s capital Buenos Aires at that time. A U.S. military base there will serve as one of the sets. Currently, Ji-hyun Jun who will play the lead Saya is studying in the United States, working hard at learning English, kendo and military arts. She’s scheduled to wrap her studies around the 25th and visit Korea again in a few weeks before joining the production team in South America.

2-16-07 (9:49AM EST)—- Anime Flag Campaign In Nerima

Celebrating its 60th anniversary as “The Cradle Of Japanese Animation” Nerima Ward has launched a campaign to post a series of flags bearing illustrations of popular anime along popular shopping streets. Permission to use series characters of local studios such as Astroboy, Pretty Cure and 8 others was negotiated. The 1.2 meter long 60 centimeter wide flags in width will be hung from lamp posts. Around 9,500 flags will be produced and posted for 1 year from March.

2-16-07 (9:41AM EST)—- Tokikake Wins Japanese Academy Award For Best Animated Film

The ceremony for the 30th Japanese Academy Awards were held in Tokyo on the evening of the 16th. Mamoru Hosoda’s Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo won the Oscar in the newly established best animated feature category.

2-16-07 (9:15AM EST)—- Baseball Pitcher Picks Animaton Theme As Intro Song

Professional Baseball Pitcher Takeyasu Kudo of the Yokohama Bay Stars has decided his intro song will be a Japanese animation theme. He wanted to pick a tune that everyone from children to the elderly can hum along to. Although still undecided it’s quite possible the theme to the original “DRAGON BALL” TV anime could chosen. A March 11th exhibition game may be the first chance to hear it.

2-16-07 (9:12AM EST)—- 2 Meter Tall EVA Unit 1 Display Schedule

Famitsu has more images of the almost 3 meter tall Evangelion Unit 1 model by Akiyamakobo. The “Evangelion Shogou Ki Human Scale Figure” will retail at 985,000 Yen. Public display is scheduled at the Hobby Shop Kotobukiya at the Akihabara radio hall on February 17, 2007. In addition, an exhibition at Winter Wonder Festival 2007 will occur at Tokyo Big sight on February 25, 2007.

2-16-07 (8:30AM EST)—- Low Japanese TV Ratings Plague Negima 2nd Season

Negima!? TV season 2, the alternate retelling of the manga series Negima!: Magister Negi Magi began airing on TV Tokyo since October 4th, 2006. In a snapshot of evening weekday TV Tokyo program rankings according to rating taken between 1/29-2/2 2007, Negima came in 10th (dead last in the survey) with a 1.3 viewership share. Kirarin Revolution ranked 1st in the survey with a 5.7 share. Past Negima animation has its roots in OAV (where anything goes) and after midnight programming, the traditional domain of the hardcore fans. The 1st Negima TV series aired in the late night timeframe and its’ content was markedly different than the new series which airs in the afternoon.

2-16-07 (7:58AM EST)—- “Haruhi Suzumiya” Google Maps / Earth Search Brings Up Hospital

Through some act of boredom or perhaps an accidental input, Japanese fans have discovered plugging the search terms “Haruhi Suzumiya” into Google Earth or Google Maps brings up a a certain hospital located in Kagawa Prefecture.

2-16-07 (7:58AM EST)—- Sky Girls TV Series On Track

After first being announced as part of Konami’s major foray into animation production last spring, Sky Girls, animated by JC STAFF, was released as a single, 30 minute, Original Video Animation in Japan on August 25, 2006. As per indications from the staff, it was widely believed the OVA was to clear the path for a future television series version. Today we have confirmation these plans are still in play and ongoing, with the launch of a road to sky girls feature at the official website.

2-15-07 (2:34PM EST)—- Prolific Anime Writer Hiroyuki Hoshiyama Dies

Animation script writer Hiroyuki Hoshiyama died on February 7th, he was 62 years old. He had his start in anime in 1962 and really got his foot in the door after drafting screenplays for Moomin and Sunrise’s Zanbot 3. He’s probably best known for writing 1979’s original Mobile Suit Gundam TV series. Afterwards, Hoshiyama handled scribe duties for many popular Sunrise works, with directors Ryosuke Takahashi (Vifam / Dougram) and Kanda Takeyuki.

2-15-07 (1:30PM EST)—- Mitsuteru Yokoyama’s Gigantor Gets 18 Meter Tall Kobe Monument

Yomiuri Shimbun has an image of a prototype model of a Tetsujin 28 monument to be built in Kobeshi Nagataku’s shopping street which was devastated by the Great Hanshin Earthquake over 10 years ago. The 18 meter high figure will go up in 2008 as a symbol of restoration. Merchants behind the monument’s construction are calling it the “KOBE Tetsujin PROJECT”. The cost of about 135 million Yen was allocated last May. The design and production company, etc. will be decided in the future.

2-15-07 (1:09PM EST)—- 10+ Publishers Offer To Transfer Sirou Tunasima’s Jinki Extend

In an official internet diary entry dated February 15th, Jinki Extend author Sirou Tunasima mentioned he’s gotten offers from over 10 companies to transfer and continue the run of his manga. Exactly 1 month ago the mangaka first announced he’d be discontinuing the serial, citing differences of opinion in policy with the editor in-chief of Mag Garden’s Comic Blade Magazine. Volume 9 was the last released manga volume to hit shelves in Japan on December 14th, 2006. Reviews across the board from longtime series followers have ranked it near the best of all the JE stories. At the time of his announcement he hoped to be able to bring Jinki Extend back at some point in the future, possibly through a deal with another magazine. Jinki has already traded hands with different publications once before, having previously ran in GanGan Wing Magazine.

2-15-07 (11:29AM EST)—- Latest Pokemon Film Gets Title

The official title for the 10th anniversary Pokemon movie has been revealed as “Pocket Monster Diamond And Pearl: Diaruga VS Parukia VS Daakurai”. Theatrical premiere nationwide in Japan on Toho affiliated screens will occur on Saturday, July 14.

2-15-07 (10:58AM EST)—- Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann PV

A special video preview trailer has gone up at the official Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann website.

2-15-07 (10:46AM EST)—- New Puffy Valentines Album Drops In 5 Countries

Puffy AmiYumi’s new best hits album “Hit & Fun” was released in Japan and 4 other countries (South Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore) on Wednesday, February 14th. The release commemorates their 11th year anniversary since going professional. The smash hit Cartoon Network animation Hi Hi PUFFY AMIYUMI has been broadcast in 110 countries since its debut in November, 2004. www.sonymusic.co.jp/PUFFY/

2-15-07 (10:03AM EST)—- Seito Shokun To Be Dramatized

Shouji Youko’s most important manga work Seito Shokun (Attention Students!) will be adapted to a live action TV drama to broadcast on TV Asahi in April. Masana Uchiyama will star as the fiery spirited female teacher heroine. The original comic serialized in Kodansha’s female magazines Weekly Girlfriend and “BELOVE” between 1977 and 1984. 24 collected volumes exist on the market. A full length theatrical feature based on the story was made in 1984. Several TV dramas were also produced in 1980 and 1987. An anime adaptation was made in 1986. Shouji’s Seiko Shokun won The 2nd Kodansha manga prize in the girl’s division in 1978. The new drama is considered a sequel to the existing storyline moving the focus from the student side to the teacher side.

2-15-07 (9:27AM EST)—- Akiba University Backs Foreign Tour

The “Akihabara English Tour And Experience Course” was held at the Digital Hollywood University in Sotokanda near Akihabara for foreign tourists on February 13th. Around ten tourists participated and visited the Tokyo Anime Center in UDX and a number of electronics and otaku shops around Akihabara. The grand finale included a lecture and CG animation production lesson from Great Detective Conan producer Michihiko Suwa. A similar tour will be held on February 20th.

2-15-07 (8:36AM EST)—- Nintendo Approves First Adult Game?

Game Politics reports Rockstar’s Manhunt 2 for Wii could quash a longstanding “all ages” policy, becoming the first officially sanctioned videogame with graphic adult content to be a made for a Nintendo system.

2-15-07 (7:45AM EST)—- Anime Figure Photography

Digirama has posted a series of super cool composite photos using Kodomo No Jikan character figures and real world backdrops.

2-15-07 (7:04AM EST)—- Sony Begins Production On American Metal Gear Movie

Sony confirmed this week the production start in Hollywood of a live action film project based on Konami’s Metal Gear videogames series. Hideo Kojima made the following statement in a pamphlet that was released at last year’s E3: “I received a lot of offers to adapt Metal Gear Solid. We finally hardened the plan however, it was very time-consuming…” “The plan of the movie is actually progressing. I finished a class A agreement with the team in Hollywood without it leaking out as a rumor before we made the official announcement. ” The project brings Metal Gear full circle as the original concept art was based on some of actor Kurt Russell’s early roles and a promo shot of the character Kyle Reese from the 1984 James Cameron film, The Terminator.

2-15-07 (6:19AM EST)—- Shin Seiki Evangelion Coffee And Orange Juice Beverages

According to Gainax, the official Evangelion store will market limited edition soft drinks based on Eva, to go on sale in the spring. The Animate goods retail chain and Gainax wesbite will carry the beverages, distributed by MOVIC from April 12th. Purchasing a box of the drinks for 945 Yen will net you 6 cans= 1 is an empty omake money storage can, 2 cans will contain the “Non Ja Dame Da” (As for drinking, it is not good) Black Coffee, 3 cans will contain “LCL Chuusui Kanryou” (LCL Complete Flowing Water) Orange Juice. Box dimensions are 175x120x120mm / 190gx5 cans. Expiration date on the drink products are around 1 year. Orders are limited to 8 boxes per person.

2-15-07 (5:45AM EST)—- High Definition Flush – Blu-Ray Cracked

Arnezami, a hacker on the Doom9 forum is claiming to have cracked the Blu-Ray High Definition video disc format, publishing the method to extract copy-protected content on the medium.

2-15-07 (5:39AM EST)—- Chocolate Sushi

A belated Valentines greetings to everyone. Kooki Sushi was hyping its Chocolate Sushi for the occasion.

2-15-07 (5:14AM EST)—- Mangaka Sugi Emiko Dead At 47

Japanese comic author Sugi Emiko (real name: Sugiyama Emiko) died from complications arising from Stomach Cancer at a Yokohamashi hospital at 0:17PM on February 10th. She was 47 years old. Hailing from Kanagawa Prefecture, her funeral was held at 11:00AM of the 15th. Debuting in 1977, she was known for such prolific works as Adam to Eve no Houteishiki and Get You. According to Shogakukan around 18 million copies of her works have been sold to date.

2-15-07 (4:57AM EST)—- Gundam SEED Fandisc Series To Be Released In Japan

To fuel the Gundam fan fire during this period where no animation is broadcasting weekly on Japanese TV, Bandai Visual and Sunrise will market a 2 volume Gundam SEED R2 DVD fandisc series to debut on June 22nd for 3,990 Yen. Titled “Gundam SEED&SEED DESTINY fan disc SEED SUPERNOVA er”, the contents of the first 50 minute volume will include a “Character Songs Remix” musical clip collection including “Ima, Kono Shunkan Ga Subete” “Precious Rose”, and “Shoot” ; the “Tane Chara Theater: Gundam Shitto” anime featurette ; a mini documetnary “WWS World Wide SEED”, which shows the series as shown around the world ; the “MS trico Stage”, mobile suit commentary documentary and a never before broadcast “SEED The Live Tour 2005/2006” video segment. “SEED Supernova ist” volume 2 in the series goes on sale on September 25th. Extras for both include a specially-made case and special photo book.

2-15-07 (4:19AM EST)—- IDOLM@STER XENOGLOSSIA TV Series To Stream Free Online

Based on the fan favorite game, Sunrise and @nifty plan to stream all episodes of the IDOLM@STER XENOGLOSSIA TV series freely online for 1 week post their respective UHF broadcasts starting in Japan in April. Non registered Nifty members will be able to watch, making access extremely easy (especially for non Japanese savy international viewers). After the 1 week free stream, each epsiode will be available to pay members only. Viewers will only be able to watch the episodes via streaming format (no downloads will be offered) and in WMV format through 500kbps and 1Mbps streams. anime.nifty.com/idolmaster

2-15-07 (3:09AM EST)—- Hokoto No Ken Jagi Prop Replica Helmet

On February 13th, online goods / mail order retailerTanomi began exclusively marketing a high quality “Prop Replica Jagi Helmet” based on a mask worn by the Fist Of The Northstar character in the various manga and anime. Retail for the limited production item is 157,500 Yen. The mask is specifically based on the one from the latest OVA, scheduled to hit the Japanese DVD market on February 23rd in Japan. It’s sized for an adult’s head and designed by Kiyotaka Yamashita of ACE/V.O.X and original manga creator Gentetsuo. Gold in color, it differs in this respect from the original red one seen in the anime.

2-15-07 (3:00AM EST)—- Phoenix Wright Contest / USA Adaptation Struggles

Gamespot mentions a manga-like contest from Capcom in which fans try to convince the company to release the third installment in the U.S. by filling out captions. Nintendo.com talks to the writers who for the second game about adapting it for U.S. audiences. Big Thanks to Daniel Zelter for the news.

2-15-07 (2:46AM EST)—- Blue Dragon Anime And Game Cast Differs

Following the breaking of the Toriyama based Blue Dragon anime television series cast in the Japanese magazine world last week, on Thursday the cast for the Blue Dragon X-BOX 360 game came out. A big shock to Japanese fans and observers involves the 2 casts being very different and not uniform through the 2 crossmedia ventures, as is the norm these days.

2-14-07 (8:20AM EST)—- Hideaki Anno To Announce New Eva Films On February 17th

New Evangelion film series “general superintendent” Hideaki Anno will release an “emergency statement” regarding the project on the 17th of this month. This will mark the first time the Director has spoken to the public regarding the 4 new animated features. Additionally, its been revealed that the first Evangelion Shin Gekijou Ban film will be released to Japanese theaters on September 1st, 2007. Anno’s statement will be made in several media including a poster, to be shown in around 50 theaters across Japan. A special message in all white colored text will read: “Animation set in an impoverished future Japan”. A 15 second video clip will be screened simultaneously. Those who have seen these media have noted that several Japanese katakana characters in the “Evangelion” title have been changed over the previous spelling. A different “E” character is used and the “O” has been replaced with “WO”. The first fillm is expected to encompass the storyline of the first 6 TV epeisodes. A special internet website will be launched through Yahoo Japan to coincide with the announcement on the 17th. Content there will include messages from the production staff. There have been around 6000 merchandise items produced around Evangelion to date, with total sales approaching 150 billion Yen or more.

2-14-07 (8:20AM EST)—- 2nd Haruhi Suzumiya Anime Announcement Pending?

A few days back the official SOS Brigade Japanese website at www.sosbrigade.com scaled back on content volume significantly and rather unexpectantly. There now, one can view only a single page place holder. This occured around the same time that a blurb was made at the official Haruhi Suzumiya series site, mentioning members would be contacted about some “activity schedule” to occur in February. All this comes as a large sold out 4 hour event is scheduled to occur in Saitama, Japan on March 2nd featuring the entire main cast including Hirano Aya (Haruhi), Sugita Tomokazu (Kyon), Gotou Yuuko (Mikuru), Chihara Minori (Yuki), Ono Daisuke (Itsuki), Yuki Matsuoka (Tsuruya-san), Aoki Sayaka (Kyon’s imouto), and Shiraishi Minoru (Taniguchi). Hirano Aya recently posted a picture of herself practicing God Knows on the guitar to her blog. It’s speculated Chihara Minori play guitar live there with her. There’s a great deal of specualtion in Japanese fan circles that a large announcement on the future of the anime may be made here.

2-10-07 (6:53PM EST)—- Overdrive TV Series Details

Staff details have been revealed for the forthcoming spring TV series, Overdrive. Staff include: Director: Takao Kato, Series Composition: Katsuhiko Koide, Original creator: Tsuyoshi Yasuda, Character Design: Yuichi Ouka, Animation Production: Xebec, Production: Pony Canyon

2-10-07 (6:45PM EST)—- Terra e TV Details

Staff and cast have been announced for the new Terra e TV anime, broadcast is scheduled for sometime in 2007. Staff include: Director: Osamu Yamazaki, Screenplay: Dai Sato, Hiroshi Ohnogi, Miho Sakai, Saizo Nemoto, Satoru Nishizono, Yutaka Izubuchi, Music: Yasuharu Takanashi, Character Design: Nobuteru Yuki, Art Director: Shunichiro Yoshiwara, Mecha Design: Hideyuki Matsumoto, Takayuki Yanase, Yasushi Ishizu, Photography Director: Takeshi Hirooka, Color Design: Yuko Kanemaru, Original Mechanical Design: Yutaka Izubuchi, Animation Production by Minamimachi Bugyousho, Tokyo Kids, TV Outlets: Mainichi Broadcasting, TBS, Production: Aniplex, Mainichi Broadcasting, SKY Perfect Well Think Co., Ltd. Cast include: Mitsuki Saiga as Jomy Mark Shin, Ai Orikasa as Mother Computer, Marina Inoue as Seki Leigh Shiroei, Norio Wakamoto as Narration, Sanae Kobayashi as Physis, Takehito Koyasu as Keith Anyan, Tomokazu Sugita as Soldier Blue, Daisuke Namikawa as Leo, Juurouta Kosugi as Harley, Wataru Hatano as Sam Houston, Yukana as Jomy’s mother.

2-10-07 (6:43PM EST)—- Gegege No Kitaro TV Details

Staff details are out on the latest Gegege No Kiatro animation. They include: Director: Yukio Kaizawa, Screenplay: Keiichi Hasegawa, Riku Sanjo, Animation Director: Ken Ueno, Animation Production: Toei. Broadcast start is planned for Fuji Television Network at 9 AM on Sunday, April 1, 2007.

2-10-07 (6:33PM EST)—- Heroic Age TV Series Announced

Xebec, Starchild and TV Tokyo have announced their new Television animation Heroic Age. Broadcast start is planned for April, 2007. Staff include: Director: Toshimasa Suzuki, Series Composition: Tow Ubukata, Music: Naoki Sato, Character Design: Hisashi Hirai, Chief Animation Director: Hisashi Hirai, Mechanical design: Ken Ootsuka, Naohiro Washio, Yoshiki Kuga, Sound director: Kazuya Tanaka, Opening Theme Song: Angela. Cast include: Hiroshi Yazaki as Age, Yui Ishikawa as Deianeira, Kaori Shimizu as Aneesha, Rie Kugimiya as Mail, Satomi Arai as Bee, Takashi Kondo as Iolaus, Takashi Matsuyama as Mobead, Yukari Tamura as Tail

2-10-07 (6:05PM EST)—- Blue Dragon Details

Staff and Cast details are out on the forthcoming Blue Dragon TV anime. The series is scheduled to debut in April, 2007 on TV Tokyo. Staff include: Director: Yukihiro Matsushita, Series Composition: Akatsuki Yamatoya, Original Concept: Hironobu Sakaguchi, Original Character Design: Akira Toriyama, Character Design: Tsuneo Ninomiya, Art director: Shinichi Tanimura, Director of Photography: Atsuho Matsumoto, Color design: Mika Iwami, Editing: Masahiro Matsumura, Prop Design: Kenji Miyawaki, Koichi Ohata, Sound Director: Hajime Takakuwa, Animation Production: Studio Pierrot, Broadcaster: TV Tokyo, Original Creator: Mistwalker. Cast include Daisuke Namikawa as Jiro, Erino Hazuki as Kluke, Keiko Nemoto as Shu, Romi Paku as Zola, Sakiko Uran as Marumaro, Jin Horikawa as Saber Tiger, Kouji Ochiai as Minotauros, Masaya Takatsuka as Blue Dragon

2-10-07 (6:05PM EST)—- PS2 Game Will Wrap Fate/stay night Storyline

The forthcoming PS2 game Fate/stay night Realta will conclude the proper mainline Fate story. Type Moon is working on some new undisclosed project related to Fate however.

2-10-07 (6:36AM EST)—- Y’s 20th Anniversary Site

FALCOM launched its Y’s RPG 20th Anniversary website.

2-10-07 (6:14AM EST)—- 21st Digital Contents Grand Prix Winners

Winners of the 21st Digital Contents Grand Prix were recently announced in Tokyo: Tokikake and Mobile Suit Gundam: Bonds of the Battlefield took the excellent prize, Ghost In The Shell Stand Alone Complex Solid State Society won the review Commissioner Prize along with Death Note: The Last Name and Japan Sinks.

2-10-07 (5:47AM EST)—- Kiddy Grade Movie Site

The official website for the recently announced Kiddy Grade movie series is now up at: www.kiddygrade.com/movie/.

2-10-07 (5:25AM EST)—- Kotetsushin Jeeg Broadcaster Site Opens

WOWOW went live with their own official website for the coming Kotetsushin Jeeg animation.

2-10-07 (5:23AM EST)—- Kyou No 5 No 2 OVA Volume 2 Release

Avex has scheduled the 2nd OVA volume of Kyou no 5 no 2 for a March 21st release.

2-10-07 (4:44AM EST)—- FREEDOM2 Will Stream Free For 3 Days

Yahoo will freely host the 2nd episode of FREEDOM for 72 hours between 11:59AM Feb. 16th and Feb. 19th. The 3rd-6th story are expected be made available freely in the future as well, the release schedule will run through January, 2008.

2-10-07 (2:46AM EST)—- NERV Optical Mouse

Quad Elements is planning to manufacture a Evangelion themed NERV optical computer mouse which will exclusively be sold through Gainax’s Evangelion Store. Release is planned sometime after April, and the direct slaes price is 3,990 Yen. The mouse is USB interface and will work with Windows 98 SE/Me/2000/XP/Vista and Mac OS X 10.2. The mouse semi transparant body is colored white with the red logotype of the secret military agency “NERV”. The optical sensor resolution is good for 800dpi. The device’s dimensions are 62x112x32mm and the weight is about 92g.

2-10-07 (2:26AM EST)—- Anime And Manga Cultural Ambassadors To Be Sent Overseas

A Japanese government cabinet decision made on the ninth will support a planned 5 year initiative to send famous mangaka and anime staff overseas to promote Japanese culture.

2-10-07 (1:57AM EST)—- American Broadcast Television Anime Loses A Friend: Cartoon Network Head Jim Samples Resigns

According to the Associated Press Cartoon Network general manager and executive vice president Jim Samples resigned Friday following a marketing stunt that caused a terrorism scare in Boston. Samples was with the network for 13 years and over this period, he personally oversaw and guided the great opening of the network to Japanese animation programming. The exposure has elevated anime awareness in North America to the all time high current level. To give an idea of the mindset within CN towards anime back in those days as opposed to what you can see in 2007 by flipping on the TV at any time day or night, in 1997 Mike Lazzo, vice president of programming for the channel gave the following quote to USA Today newspaper: “Japan animation is so different from what airs here. It’s far edgier, adult and violent. Anime isn’t very story-based and is driven by intense moments. The story is hard to follow.”

Anime News Service principle editor Jonah Morgan met personally with the CN head at the Tokyo Anime Fair in 2005, when the network made history announcing collaborations with Toei Animation to create an anime version of Powerpuff Girls and co-produce the IGPX television series with Production I.G. Jim Samples spoke at press conferences for both events and had a large role in bringing both ventures into reality. His commitment to anime and introducing obscure yet content rich foreign shows to a wider audience was genuine. If you happen to have discovered anime on CN over the past 10+ years, you owe alot to Mr. Jim Samples.

2-10-07 (1:23AM EST)—- The Secret Life Of Tekkon Kinkreet

Production on the Tekkon Kinkreet animation project has been rather long in tooth. Plans first took shape to create an anime film in the late 1990’s. In 1999 Koji Morimoto directed a Pilot feature which won the digital art Excellence Prize at the 3rd Japan Media Arts Festival. Michael Arias first became connected to the project around this time, a long production period was expected. You can view a video clip of the original pilot at the above link.

2-10-07 (12:57AM EST)—- Suzuki’s SX4 Auto Inspired By Anime

Car Sensor Lab has images of Suzuki’s new SX4 car. Next year the “sports crossover” compact model will be entered into the WRC championship. will become a flow of sport compact of WRC and Barbary. Recently in Tokyo the ‘SX4 SCRIT’ varriant was dsiplayed. The theme of the design is “Japanimation”.

2-10-07 (12:51AM EST)—- Ai Kawashima Debuts As A Voice Actress In New One Piece Movie

One Piece: Episode of Alabasta, Princess of the Desert and the Pirates opens in theaters across Japan from March 3rd. Pop singer Ai Kawashima who performs the film’s theme song “Compass” will also get a starring role in the animation, marking her debut as a seiyuu. Admittingly her favorite OP character is Nico Robin. She’ll play a servant to the princess of Alabasta. www.onepiece-movie.com

2-10-07 (12:19AM EST)—- Dancougar Nova Press Conference Images

Mycom Journal has some of the first production images released for the new 13 episode Dancougar Nova TV animation. A press conference launch event was held a the Tokyo HQ for Sony Pictures on the sixth. Coming back after 22 years, the new series will follow a wide mecha revival trend occuring in Japanese animation this year, following Reideen and GR Giant Robo. Broadcast start is planned on SKYPerfecTV! from February 15th.

2-9-07 (9:14PM EST)—- Yoshikazu Abiko: “Gundam Was Audacious”

IT Media recently interviewed Abiko Yoshikazu, original character designer for the 1979 Mobile Suit Gundam TV anime. Presently he’s serializing the manga “Gundam the Origin” in Gundam Ace Magazine. On the series, the illustrator comments to IT: “Gundam was an indeed mysterious experience. Why is it favoured in such a way? The reason is not really understood why the series has enjoyed such a long life. It was audacious. Even if it was not exactly of good quality, its attributes have to a great deal defined Japanese animation around the world.”

2-9-07 (9:14PM EST)—- Shinkyoku Soukai Polyphonica PS2 Game

Following this week’s news on Shinkyoku Soukai Polyphonica’s anime and print advancement, details of an associated digital novel game for PS2 have been announced. Due in April, the Ocelot kinetic novel which combines graphics and music will retail at 2,940 Yen. Original creator Ichiro Sakaki is writing the script for the game. Niro Yoshida will produce the music. The original novel has sold 200,000 copies. A webcomic starts in April. The game will include a 150 page booklet.

2-9-07 (8:56PM EST)—- Tekkon Kinkreet Honored / North American Premiere At MoMA

Michael Arias’ animated film Tekkon Kinkreet has been chosen as 2006’s “BestFilm” by USA art magazine Artforum International. The North American premiere has been scheduled with the movie being screened at The Museum of Modern Art, New York (MoMA) in April. This marks the first time a Japanese work has taken the prize. MoMA museum attendants first saw Tekkon at the Tokyo International Film Festival last October. Sony Pictures plans to screen it there in limited fashion for six days at 8:30PM from April 25th at the museum’s theater.

2-9-07 (8:40PM EST)—- CLAMP’s Mokona Kimono Artbook & Exhibition

Yahoo reports CLAMP member Mokona will publish her first art book full of Kimino designs entitled Okimono no Kimono on February 14th. An art exhibition featuring associated works (designs, kimono articles, illustrations, notes) from the project will be held to commemorate the publication. It will run February 16th-28th at the PARCO Logos Gallery in Shibuya. Special washcloths and the hand glasses will be sold in the general shop. Mokona herself will appear for an autograph session on Sunday, February 25th. For more information: www.parco-art.com | Telephone: 03-3496-1287. Admission is free, the first 200 people to visit the gallery from the opening day will recieve a ticket guaranteeing they can get something autogrpahed by the artist.

2-9-07 (8:11PM EST)—- Skull Man Updates

The main cast for the coming Bones TV animation The Skull Man were announced on the 9th, they include: Ayako Kawasumi as Kiriko Mamiya, Fumiko Orikasa as Maya Kuroshio, Hiroyuki Yoshino as Akira Usami, Makoto Yasumura as Hayato Minagami, Masayuki Katou as Yoshio Kanzaki, Toshiyuki Morikawa as Masaki Kumashiro, Hideki Tasaka as Tetsurou Shingyouji, Katsunosuke Hori as Kyouichirou Tachigi, Michiko Neya as Reina Shingyouji, Osamu Saka as Gouzou Kuroshio, Tomokazu Seki and Tsuyoshi Shinjou. The official website saw a major update this week. A spring broadcast is anticipated although the broadcasting station and times remain unpublished.

2-9-07 (7:59PM EST)—- Anime And Manga Themes Sweep Elandor Awards

The grand awards ceremony for the annual Elandor which recognizes superior production in cinema and TV drama was held on the eighth. Winners included Ueno Juri of the Useless Cantabile drama and Matsuyama Ken of Death Note. The Nodame Cantabile anime also took a special prize of recognition. You can scope a pic of the winners ovr at Yahoo.

2-9-07 (7:23PM EST)—- Manga Author Norifumi Hirokane Gets Professorship

Division Chief Kosaku Shima/Bucho Shima Kosaku author Norifumi Hirokane has been granted a position of visiting professorship at Yamaguchi University beginning on April 1. Tenure of office is one year, the mangaka will head a cultural studies course. The school mentioned they are interested in the in-depth knowledge of Mr. Hirokane in areas of social justice and business ethics, social contribution activities, and intellectual properties.

2-9-07 (7:13PM EST)—- Ogushio Manga Stirs Badminton Buzz

Star badminton duet Kumiko and Reiko Ushioda (known as Ogushio) will appear in a new manga titles SMASH!, to be penned by Saki Kari, serializing in the pages of Weekly Shonen Magazine. Debut is scheduled for spring.

2-9-07 (6:57PM EST)—- New Service Offers Anime Autobiographies

Kyoto based Mybs recently launched a new venture business to create anime featurettes based on real peoples lives. Those getting married and those who have just died are expected be the focus of the animation autobiography service. The firm will produce a 1 minute, 30 second sequence of animation telling one’s lifestory for 300,000 Yen. The company hopes to make 10 million Yen a year.

2-9-07 (6:22PM EST)—- Piano No Mori Movie Given July Release

Eg reports the anime film Piano No Mori will be released to Japanese theaters in July. Animated by Madhouse, script by Ryuta Hourai (Crying Out Love, In the Center of the World), directed by Kojima Masayuki (Monster), music by Keisuke Shinohara. The storyline is adapted from Isshiki Makoto’s original 1999 manga Piano no Mori (Piano Forest / The Perfect World of Kai). The original comic serialized in Kodansha’s Morning magazine. In the scenario, it is Penglai Ryuta of the stage ‘Love is called out at the center of the world’. The plot follows a a boy who dreams at becoming a great pianist. Cast remains undecided at this time. Production by NAS / Piano No Mori Production Committee, distribution by Shochiku.

2-9-07 (5:57PM EST)—- Shoko Nakagawa Promotes 40th Super Robot Wars Game

Described as one of Akihabara’s biggest idols, singer, actress, anime and game fan Shoko Nakagawa has signed on to be the latest spokesperson for Banpresto’s long running Super Robot Taisen videogame series.Watch Impress has images of her showing off the 40th Super Robot Wars game title: “Super Robot Taisen W” for Nintendo DS. She’ll star in a promotional commerical for the game’s release in Japan that will debut on TV from February 23rd. The game itself streets on March 1st for 6,090 Yen. Nakagawa will serve as the spokesmodel for the franchise for 1 year. The game series debuted in 1991, this marks the first title released to the DS. The first 39 titles logged sales of 11.4 million units. First time ever playable characters and mecha include those from Gundam SEED ASTRAY, Full Metal Panic Second Raid and Gaogaigar FINAL.

2-9-07 (5:17PM EST)—- Gunhed DVD Release Event

1989’s live action mecha / SFX bonanza Gunhed is headed for DVD release for the first time in Japan. A special event is being planned to occur at Loft / PLus One in Tokyo. Director Kawakita Koichi will appear there.

2-9-07 (3:19PM EST)—- Kodomo No Jikan To Be Animated

According to the cover of the 3rd collected volume of Watashiya Kaoru’s just released Kodomo no Jikan manga, the series will be animated. ANS first reported on January 27th that Marvelous Entertainment was helping to make the work a reality. Although the medium the anime will take is currently unclear, a TV series is likely, look for a July, 2007 debut. Seven Seas holds the North American license to the manga.

2-9-07 (12:28AM EST)—- Ryu Ga Gotoku Movie Site

Based on the SEGA PS2 videogame, the Yakuza themed live action film Ryu Ga Gotoku, directed by Takashi Miike and starring Toshihiro Nagoshi opens in Japan on March 3rd. The official website has gone live at www.ryu-movie.com complete with trailer.

2-8-07 (11:05PM EST)—- NADIA DVD-BOX Re-streets At 19,950 Yen

A sure sign of changing times as DVD reaches its peak and handoff to HD media, Gainax and Anno Hideaki’s Fushigi No Umi No Nadia: The Secret Of Blue Water is being resold in R2 “half” DVD-BOX form at bargain basement prices. Collecting the first 20 episodes, DVD-BOX I goes on sale on June 1st and retails at 19,950 Yen. The full 39 episode box set originally sold for 60,900 Yen when it was first sold in the Japanese market in 2001.

2-8-07 (11:05PM EST)—- Denno Coil Details

The Denno Coil (www.tokuma.jp/coil/) TV animation debuts in mid-may on NHK (www3.nhk.or.jp/anime/coil/) at 18:30 and will broadcast on Saturdays, weekly, thereafter. Staff includes: Created, Written and Directed by: Mitsuo Iso, Animation Character (Designer): Takeshi Honda, Animation Chiefs: Toshiyuki Inoue & Takeshi Honda, Animation Directors: Takeshi Honda, Masami Itatsu, Kiyotaka Oshiyama, Ayako Yasu, Ei Inoue, Toshiyuki Inoue, Storyboard/Directors: Kazuya Murata, Akitoshi Yokoyama, Shinsaku Sasaki, Tadashi Hiramatsu, Masaru Yasukawa, Kazuya Nomura, Art Director: Goroku Hiroshi (Ogura Workshop), Color Design: Terumi Nakauchi, Music: Tsuneyoshi Saito, Animation Produced by Madhouse, Executive Production: Denno Coil Production Committee, Tokuma Shoten, Bandai Visual, NHK Enterprise. Cast includes: Yasako: Tomiko Orikasa, Isako: Noriko Kuwajima, Kyoko: Akiko Yajima, Haraken: Pak Romi, Fumie: Sachiko Kojima, Daichi: Rie Saito, Mega-baa: Reiko Suzuki, Oba-chan: Junko Noda, Akira: Yumiko Kobayashi, Denpa: Kikumi Umeda, Gachagiri: Mayumi Yamaguchi, Namecchi: Yusuke Numata.

2-8-07 (6:18PM EST)—- Tales Of Anime 2007 In CA Bay Area

Tales of Anime, the nation’s premiere convention for female video game enthusiasts and fans of shoujo anime and manga is shaping up to be one of the most exciting Bay Area events of 2007! Taking place Easter weekend (April 6-8, 2007) at the Marriott San Mateo-San Francisco Airport, Tales of Anime is pleased to be able to offer a special gift for those attendees staying as guests of the host hotel — a ConPass, which provides many perks not available to general attendees, including access to an exclusive meet and greet with the convention’s Guests of Honor, preferred early entry to the Dealers’ Room, and a greater chance at winning the coveted Nintendo Wii. For guests unable to attend for the entire weekend, day rates have become available at pre-registration discounted prices. Additionally, Tales of Anime is excited to announce new additions to their programming line-up. – ToA brings tournament-style game play to San Mateo, with a variety of competitions to challenge gamers from neophyte to expert and amazing prizes to the winners. – Costuming aficionados will be competing for various prizes, including a brand new Nintendo DS Lite, during the Cosplay Contest; judges will include Tales of Anime’s esteemed Guests of Honor, all voice actors for Capcom’s “Devil May Cry” game series. – Other scheduled events and activities include an Art Gallery exhibiting lovely pieces of original art, from conception to completion; a ball-jointed doll “Tea Party”, where avid collectors and beginners may mix and mingle; a take on the popular Japanese “host club”, where “beautiful boys” will serve non-alcoholic beverages and light snacks while providing relaxing entertainments; a Dealers’ Room filled with merchandise of interest to fans of anime, manga and gaming; among others. Please visit the Tales of Anime website for more information:www.talesofanime.com

2-8-07 (5:32PM EST)—- 1986 Interview Reveals Glenn Danizg As OG Anime Fan

Patrick Macias has excerpted some text from a 1986 Thrasher Magazine interview with American Heavy Metal rocker Glenn Danzig. Danzig reveals himself as quite the anime / manga / Japanese toy fan.

2-8-07 (5:20PM EST)—- Ghost In the Shell: Stand Alone Complex – Solid State Society Awarded with Jury Prize at 21st Digital Content Grand Prix

“Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex – Solid State Society”, directed by Kenji Kamiyama and released in Japan in November 2006, has been awarded with the Jury Prize at the 21st Digital Content Grand Prix (www://dcaj.org). Produced by Production I.G, Bandai Visual, Bandai Entertainment, Dentsu, Nippon Television Network, Victor Entertainment, Tokuma Shoten and Manga Entertainment, and based on the original comic books written by Shirow Masamune, “Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex – Solid State Society” is the latest chapter of the world-hit Japanese animation saga “Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex”, started in 2002 with a hugely successful TV series. In the past, Production I.G has been honored twice with Digital Content Grand Prix recognitions. In 2003 (18th Digital Content Grand Prix) President & CEO Mitsuhisa Ishikawa received the Chairman Prize for his achievements as producer and entrepreneur, and in 2004 (19th Digital Content Grand Prix) Mamoru Oshii’s “Innocence” received the Grand Prix in the Hit Content Division. The Award Ceremony of the 21st Digital Content Grand Prix will take place at the Akiba 3D Theater, UDX Building, Akihabara, Tokyo, on February 16, 2007.

2-8-07 (5:15PM EST)—- Yasushi Suzuki Interviewed

DR. Master talks to Yasushi Suzuki, the manga-ka for Purgatory Kabuki at their official website.

2-8-07 (5:10PM EST)—- Afro Samurai Screening / Talk

ANIMATION FEB. 09 FRI NEW YORK TOKYO and NYU APA with NYU TISCH PRESENTS SCREENING AND TALK WITH PRODUCER ERIC CALDERON Time: 6:30pm -> 10:00pm Location: Cantor Film Center : 36 East 8th Street, NYC RSVP: film@newyork-tokyo.com A CLASSIC SAMURAI STORY WITH A REVOLUTIONARY ANIMATION STYLE AND HIP-HOP FLAVOR AFRO SAMURAI is the tale of a black samurai set in a futuristic, yet feudal Japan who is on a mission to avenge the wrongful death of his father. Samuel L. Jackson stars in the title role of “Afro,” a mysterious warrior who travels a solitary path encountering a myriad of enemies, friends and challenges beyond imagination. Renowned rap artist & producer The RZA provides the original soundtrack for AFRO SAMURAI The cast also includes Ron Perlman as “Justice,” a lightning quick gun fighter, responsible for the death of Afro’s father and Kelly Hu as “Okiku,”a seductively beautiful girl and healing arts expert. The concept was created by graphic designer/illustrator Takashi “Bob” Okazaki. AFRO SAMURAI is a creative collaboration between S.Jackson (executive producer), T. Okazaki, and Japanese animation company Gonzo. AFRO SAMURAI aired on SPIKE TV. DVD episodes will be released by FUNimation. (c) 2006 TAKASHI OKAZAKI, GONZO / SAMURAI PROJECT. Licensed by FUNimation(r) For more info, please visit film.newyork-tokyo.com