– News out of NEW GENERATION WORLD HOBBY FAIR in Osaka include new anime movie versions of Rockman X and Duel Masters are official.
– WSU’s student newspaper The South End reviews Tenchi Muyo!
– Florida’s The Ledger interviews WUSF’s Bethany Cagle who reveals her fan status and desire voice anime.
– After the actor Jean Reno played a starring role in Capcom’s Onimushu game, its seems more stars may be following suit in the near future.
– Amazon UK has leaked some price details on the PSP launch there.
– Move over Otaku, The Japan Times talks about Wota, which the newspaper descrbes as an offshoot branch of Japan’s hobby-obsessed tribe of introverts. While regular otaku seek out anime figurines and high-tech gizmos, the infatuation of the nation’s estimated tens of thousands of wota is for girl idols — particularly the pop group Morning Musume.
– News of the recent American air industry laser scare has reached Japan. Lasers are of course used in household electronics (DVD, CD players) and in idustry for diamond cutting, label printing etc. The price of laser devices over the years has dropped while power levels have increased. Now the air industry has been confronted with the issue of lasers coming into the commercial airliner cockpits. A New Jersey man was recently arrested and charged of doing such a thing (He’s being charged under the US Patriot Act anti-terrorist legislation although authorities admit he’s not a terrorist. “Only terrorists need to fear the USA Patriot Act…” – John Ashcroft, US Attorney General, Sept. 19, 2003). The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) breaks laser types down under 4 classifications. It’s mentioned that there is one online company, www.wickedlasers.com who sales a device that can burn a hole in a garbage bag for $289 dollars. Wired mentions they tried to contact the company on their policy on sales such a powerful lasers but they were not able to get a comment. A disclaimer is mentioned on the website that relates to the danger that can occur to human eyesight, the criminal penalties for aiming at aircraft etc… The first laser was made in 1960 using a ruby crystal. Use is severely prohibited in some proffessional and school sports stadiums in the USA. Malaysia prohibits the sale of laser pointers. Source: Hotwired (Japan)
– A new computer worm is floating about online that plays Tetris with those infected. The Cellery worm spreads across insecurely configured network shares and distracts infected users with a Tetris-like arcade game and a MIDI music tune while it scours network drives and attached computers for fresh victims. Few copies of the worm have been seen, so Cellery is a curiosity rather than as a serious risk, right now. Source: The Register
– The International Telecommunication Basic Technical Research Institute has established a venture company, “ATR robotics” mentions it will produce small commercial robots. Their first 2 releases will be codenamed “Robovie”. Retailing at 99,750 Yen, the 28 centimeter tall MS robot can transform into a man, robot and dinosaur. The M Ver.2 comes in at 294,000 Yen and was developed for the research of communications. Source: Nikkei News
– While PSP and DS dominate the portable gaming headlines in Japan, ZakZak reports that the handheld system Pokefami, which plays 20 year old Nintendo Famicom game carts is gaining ground among gamers in their 20-30’s. The handheld includes a 2.5-inch TFT LCD and the size not so different from PSP or DS. The weight is 350 grams. Currently retailing at 13,000 Yen, the device is available in specialty stores nationwide in Japan. Game Tec is selling the unit which includes AV out inputs so one can play the games on a larger TV. A secondary controller can also be attached. The only problem currently appears to be an aging and non-renewable software pool, the last Famicon game was released in June, 1994.
– The Chicago Tribune has a story on the market for online DVD rentals heating up in the USA. Major industry players are examined along with their unique business models. San Francisco-based GreenCine gets a mention, the article mentions the company caters to exotic tastes like anime, cult and adult titles.
– Who’s interested in the spread of Asian pop culture? How about the elite intelligence community of the United States? Karalanext reports the findings of a recent report created by the NIC and comissioned by the CIA (US Central Intellignce Agency) indicate “An expanded Asian-centric cultural identity may be the most profound effect of a rising Asia,”. “A new, more Asian cultural identity is likely to be rapidly packaged and distributed as incomes rise and communications networks spread.” “Korean pop singers are already the rage in Japan, Japanese anime have many fans in China, and Chinese kung-fu movies and Bollywood song-and-dance epics are viewed throughout Asia. “Even Hollywood has begun to reflect these Asian influences – an effect that is likely to accelerate through 2020,” the report said. “Rising Asia will continue to reshape globalisation, giving it less of a ‘Made in the USA’ character and more of an Asian look and feel. At the same time, Asia will alter the rules of the globalising process.
– The TBS Ah! My Goddess new TV series website has been renewed with DVD release information for region 2.
– The Air Movie site has updated with info of a screening at “Shinecanon Kobe” February 26, 2005.
– Kunicon St.Louis will kick off the start of the Robotech 2005 US Convention Tour on March 4-6 at the Millennium Hotel in downtown St Louis, Missouri! Kunicon is the new anime, gaming and music convention run by Subarashii Nation!
HARMONY GOLD PANELS!
Kunicon has invited the entire Robotech team of Tommy Yune, Kevin McKeever, Tom Bateman and Steve Yun as Guests Of Honor. Kunicon has also invited Robotech voice actor Richard Epcar (Ben Dixon, Lunk) who is playing Vince Grant in the new Robotech sequel. They will host numerous Robotech events, including a special panel that will reveal the latest information about the upcoming Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles. This is your chance to catch a glimpse of new production developments that have never before been seen outside of Harmony Gold!
ROBOTECH ANNIVERSARY SCREENING
Friday, March 4 @ 10:30pm
Join us as we celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Robotech’s original broadcast premiere with a special screening of the rarely seen Codename: Robotech. This screening will be followed by a reception celebrating this historic milestone with food, drink, special giveaways and a chance to mingle with the Harmony Gold staff!
ROBOTECH FAN DINNER Saturday, March 5 @ 6:30pm
Kunicon will host the Robotech Fan Dinner at The Top Of The Riverfront Restaurant at the Millenium Hotel. This will be a great chance for fans to meet the Harmony Gold staff and eat some great food.
NEW HARMONY GOLD SCREENINGS
Kunicon will also be screening two of Harmony Gold’s newest anime series, Tangoo & Ullashong and Legend of Blue, for the first time in North America!
If that’s not enough we encourage Robotech fans to come visit us at the Robotech booth on the dealer room floor where we’ll have more giveaways, raffles, and maybe a surprise or two!
– This March, fans of Japanese anime, American cartoons, and Korean animation will gather at the Anime Overdose convention in San Francisco. Events at the convention include panel discussions with actors, directors, artists, and producers, Japanese rock concerts, workshops, and a masquerade costume contest.
San Francisco’s Anime Overdose takes a new approach to anime conventions by including American cartoons and Korean animation. Attendees will be able to hear popular cartoon and anime actors and professionals speak and get their autographs and photos as well.
While the draw for many people is to meet the stars, many others will attend for costumed character gatherings. A search of popular character costume websites and discussion forums shows that about a dozen such gatherings will occur throughout the weekend.
For film festival buffs, Anime Overdose will also feature a festival of short animated films. With entries from as far away as the Netherlands, fans are in for a special treat of variety, quality, and excitement. During the convention, Synchronous Entertainment, LLC will be hosting a charity auction to benefit the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. Industry response has been tremendous, with executives and celebrities donating unique items for auction. All proceeds from sales at the auction will go directly to the foundation.
Anime Overdose 2005 is sponsored by both the consulate general’s office of Japan in San Francisco and the consulate general’s office of Korea in San Francisco. Anime Overdose began in 1997 as a small group of fans in Campbell, California, who met on a weekly basis to watch and review anime movies and has since grown into a large convention. Anime Overdose is owned and operated by Synchronous Entertainment, LLC and was established to highlight anime in the context of the great tradition of worldwide animation, and help people from all backgrounds and circumstances recognize anime as something special by presenting animation and animation professionals from America, Japan, and South Korea.
– ADV Films is pleased to announce the January 25, 2005 DVD release of Martian Successor Nadesico: Essential Anime Collection, Volume 3, the final volume of the fan-centric animation series that is perfect for aficionados of both science fiction AND wacky comedy.
Voted the ?gBest Anime Show of All Time?h by Japanese animation fans, Martian Successor Nadesico was produced by XEBEC (D.N. Angel, Sorcerer Hunters) and features character designs by Keiji Gotoh (Kiddy Grade, Sorcerer Hunters, Those Who Hunt Elves, Gate Keepers). Noted for its clever use of anime in-jokes that presaged the cult hit Excel Saga, this new Essential Anime release from ADV utilizes advancements in subtitle technology to reveal previously unseen animation footage that was blocked by overlays in all previous ADV releases!
The crew of the Nadesico, the most powerful ship in the fleet, has to be ready to fight anywhere, anytime and at a moment?fs notice. From harrowing rescue missions to fierce deadly battles against evil foes like the Jovians, this team always fights with fury and might. But what will they do when their main computer develops a mind of its own? And then, when things couldn?ft get any worse, the Gekiganger team takes and turns the universe upside down as the truth about the Jovians is revealed!
Martian Successor Nadesico: Essential Anime Collection, Volume 3 (SRP $19.98 DVD) is a DVD-only release which includes two discs containing eight complete episodes in both English 2.0 and Japanese 2.0 language versions with English subtitles. Extras include: character bios, production sketches, commentary with Tiffany Grant (Ryoko), Cynthia Martinex (Hikaru) and Jay Hickman (Aktsuki), clean opening and closing animations and ADV previews
– The U.S. preview for Stephen Chow’s new movie, Kung Fu Hustle, can be found at The Movie Box. Thanks to Daniel for this news.
– Ain?t It Cool News and the American Cinematheque are joining forces to present a special Sneak Preview of the $27 million dollar anime film, STEAMBOY. For more info: www.americancinematheque.com. Thanks to Daniel for the link.
– New details are out on James Cameron’s plans for Battle Angel courtesy Yahoo, the piece mention the work is going to be conceived as the first of a three-part series. “If we’re successful, we’ll make the other films. If we’re not, we won’t.” Most science fiction, says the director, has wandered away from its roots ever since “Star Wars.” Cameron has conceived “Battle Angel” as the first of a three-part series. “If we’re successful, we’ll make the other films. If we’re not, we won’t.” Most science fiction, says the director, has wandered away from its roots ever since “Star Wars.” “As much as I love ‘Star Wars,’ and as much as it’s really revolutionized the imaging business, it went off the rails in the sense that science fiction, historically, was a science fiction of ideas. It was thematic fiction. It stopped being that and became just pure eye candy and pure entertainment.” “And I miss that. With ‘Battle Angel,’ I’m going to flirt with that darker, dystopian message as much as I can, without making it an art film,” he said.
– Despite countermeasures existing in the notes, there’s been some concern in Japan recently on large denomination (ie: 10,00 Yen) couterfeit bills being produced by common digital printers. What’s more, The National Police Agency’s 1999 request for printer manufacturers to adopt new prevention methods has been met indignation by the industry on a whole. High cost (monetary and performance) to implement the changes is cited as the reason against change. The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department mentioned most replicas are of a primitive nature. Source: Chunichi
– A few days after a photograph of Britain’s Prince Harry wearing a Nazi uniform was published, use of the eternally demonized swastika symbol is seeing some controversy in other places of the world. Known as the Manji to Japan, it can be found on just about any modern map representing the location of Buddhist temples, it’s also commonly understood as a symbol for Buddhism in the east. Currently it’s also used as the symbol for the Shaolin Temple Kenpou Group, who’s headquarters Kagawa Prefecture Tadotsu-cho. The group claims 1.5 million members and now the decision has been made the change it as their crest. According to the group, it’s assumed that the symbol represents Nazi Ideology, can’t be registered as a trademark in many countries, thusly being a major obstacle in overseas spread of Shaolin Temple Kung Fu. A new crest will be announced next January. The group has branches in 30 countries over as Europe and America and Asia. Although the symbol represnted many positive things to people around the world for close to 8,000 years (Used by American pilots in World War One and even found on the patches of the American 45th Division and on the Finnish air force until after World War II.), it’s adoption by the Party of Adolf Hitler in WWII eternally asscociated it with genocide, war crimes and the ideology of a crazed dictator. Source: Yahoo (Japanese)
– A new survey on game console usage in the home is out in Japan from Sankei Living Newspaper. According to the research, 30% of mother polled were active players. Source: IT Media.
– The classic Namco Museum series is coming to PSP in Japan and thusly an offical site launcheth.
– Bandai has posted a really cool flash enhanced presite for it’s coming Dragonball Z3 PS2 game.
– Bandai has posted the presite for it’s coming new PS2 Inu Yasha game release.
– Kid’s Game has created a website for it’s coming sentai GUISARD PS2 title.
– Hello Kitty and friends take to the stage with a brand new collection of your favorite classic tales on February 1, 2005 with the DVD and VHS release of Hello Kitty’s Animation Theater: Once Upon A Time. This new Hello Kitty collection gives fans a chance to experience the original Japanese audio track, the first time a Hello Kitty feature has done this in the U.S.! Hello KittyR, the flagship brand of Sanrio, is loved and enjoyed by people of all ages around the world, and has a multi-million dollar retail presence with strong appeal for fans of Barbie Fantasy Tales Collection, Disney classics and Strawberry Shortcake. Everyone?fs favorite feline, Hello KittyR is here with her friends in some of the best fairy tale stories of all time! Come along and join Kitty, Mimmy, Badtz-Maru, Pochacco, My Melody and Dear Daniel as they re-tell your favorite classic tales in their own adorable style. Hello Kitty?fs Animation Theater: Once Upon A Time ($14.98 DVD, $9.98 VHS) is a DVD and VHS release, containing eight complete episodes present in English 2.0 and Japanese 2.0 audio with English subtitles. Extras include: clean opening and closing animation and ADV previews.
– Web Newtype reports that a commemoration event for the 30th Anniversary Yamato CD-BOX was held in Akihabara last year and veteran series theme singer Isao Saski was on hand. Many fans gathered and the event was met by strong applause. The first performance set consisted of “Scarlet Scarf” and was followed by “With love from Yamato”, “New departure” and, “Day ..love.. It’s mentioned that the sounds collected on the CD’s from ’77-’83 have been digitally remastered. The liner note and the label side of CD is.
– On January 17 a new commercial campaign will begin in Japan for the “Ragearta Stories” PS2 title featuring animation by Production I.G. The game will be released on January 27th from Square/Enix.
Source: Dengeki Online
– A special screening for the film Kumonomukou was held on the 10th. The director, Mr. Shinkai and staff were present to talk about the production.
– Starchild has lauched official websites for it’s upcoming DVD-BOX releases of Akazukin No ChaCha.
– The official website for Grenadier – Hohoemi no Senshi has been renewed at: http://www.grenadier.jp.
– The Akane Maniacs OVA website has posted the second vol. DVD cover.
– According to a press release, Toei Animation will make episodes of it’s Light Novel based TV anime, Iriya no Sora, UFO no Natsu available on the internet. Broadband delivery begins January 28, 2005. The work originated in book form written by Mizuhito Akiyama where volumes 1-4 set records for light novels, exceeding sales of 100,000 copies each. Delivery of the anime will be available through AII, BIGLOBE, DMM, goo, @nifty, So-net, and ShowTime. Toei mentions this is the first time one of their new animations has been available in this way. This is a trial move for the company which is working on it’s in-house Broadband service, Toei Animated Cartoon BB (http://www.anime-bb.jp/). Webisodes will cost 525 per episode.
– Kyoto Animation’s Munto website has been updated with cast / staff information for Munto2. The new work retains all the original listed staff of the first: Executive Producer : Yoko Hatta Chief Director / Script / Story Board : Yoshiji Kigami Assistant Director : Yutaka Yamamoto Character Design / Animation Director : Tomoe Aratani Mechanical Design : Hiroyuki Takahashi Assistant Animation Director : Satoshi Kadowaki Director of Art : Seiki Tamura Color Coordinator : Rie Takaki Director of Photography : Ryuta Nakagami. It should be noted that a dual English language site is being maintained and on the 6th it shows new video trailers were uplaoaded.
– Konami’s wesbite for the Otogi-jushu Akazukin anime has been updated with streaming commercial trailers in Windows Media And Real formats.
– The latest issue of Fangoria talks to the staff behind Old Boy, and has an ad for an upcoming remastered edition of Fudoh from Media Blasters. Thanks to Daniel for the news scan.
– Osaka Prefecture has established an investment fund of 300 million Yen in cooperation with Naniwa Digital for contents, game, movie etc. The goal is to build the industry in the region. Source: Asahi News
– A Howl’s Moving Castle circus event in Tokyo has been decided to run for 100 days (April 27th – August 21st) from Golden Week. The space of the event will not take the shape of an animated film but that of a museum. The circus performers will be characters from the film. Source: Yahoo (Japanese)
– Theater sales figures from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry are out in Japan for the month of December. An 11 billion 435 million Yen windfall and 4.8% increase was recorded over that seen in November. The release of Hayao Miyazaki’s Howl’s Moving Castle is being seen as the major catalyst for the increase. Source: Yahoo News (Japanese)
– Tohoku University of Art and Design announced that they have established a graduate school master’s course “Sendai School” that promotes talent involved in movie, animation, production. The course begins April 13th. According to the university, this will be Japan’s first graduate school that specializes in production of this type. Subjects relating to the recent expansion of the Copyright Law will be taught as well as marketing research, and accounting, etc. Source: Yahoo News (Japanese)
– The official website for Howl’s Moving Castle has updated with a statement on DVD piracy. According to the release, it’s acknowledged that some time ago, pirated DVD’s of the film have appeared on the market. The copies are made from videorecoding of inside the movie theater and are of an inderior quality. It is an act of violating the copyright posessing such a copy and distributing them. The offenders are subject to criminal punishment. Several people have been arrested and face this currently. Howl’s Moving Castle is currently available to the public in theaters now and neither officially released DVD’s nor videocassette releases have been sold yet. The statement ends by emphasizing that DVD versions etc. of this work that exist at present are the pirate editions that violate copyright.
– Seiyuu Noda Junko will be voaclist on a new western-style rock album JUST4FUN. The the artist unit will be called J?~J . Relase is set for March 24 and will feature remakes of the music used in sevral SEGA games.
– Broadcast Info has been announced for the coming Fantastic Children TV series. The debut will occur on Animax February 10th 22:00, 03.00, and at 19:00PM February 11.
– Newtype (Japan) has announced 2 new contests in advance of the broadcast of the Light Novel Based Trinity Brad TV Series. The first contest asks users to cosplay as their favorite character from the series and send in a photo. Contest 2 is an illustration competition. Fans are also asked to vote for their favorite character at the Official Trinity Brad Website
– The 6th Sakura Taisen Drama CD Series with the relwease of vol. 1 on Feb. 23rd. The disc retails at 3,150 Yen.
– Broccoli has news on the new Galaxy Angel best songs album CHOKE due on Feb. 24 for 3,150 Yen.- Shochiku’s web home for the coming Full Metal Alchemist Movie has updated with streaming video trailers, accessable from the main page.
– ADV Films invites you to experience a unique kind of fairy tale with the January 25, 2005 release for the first volume of the magical and mysterious series Princess Tutu: Marchen. Directed by Junichi Sato (Sailor Moon, Kaleido Star) and Shougo Kawamoto (You?fre Under Arrest! Season 2) and produced by HAL Film Maker (Kaleido Star) and TBS (Chobits), Princess Tutu is a classic fairy tale story with a twist of mystery, magic and romance. Darkness hid the pieces of her beloved?fs shattered heart, and time is running out for Princess Tutu to find them. Her dream of becoming a human girl has come true. However, peril lurks in the unseen shadows. Using the power of an enchanted amulet, she must unravel a dark and twisted mystery to keep her Prince and herself alive. Princess Tutu: Marchen (SRP $29.98) is a DVD-only release featuring 5 complete episodes presented in English 2.0 and Japanese 2.0 audio with English subtitles. Extras include: staff commentary with Shoko Oono (Translator) & Mike Yantosca (ADR Writer), voice actor commentary with Luci Christian (Duck) & Chris Patton (Fakir), clean opening and closing animation, ADR outtakes, Etude, Ballet for Beginners, In the Studio and ADV Previews.
– From Daniel comes a bevy of mixed reviews on Appleseed: Unfortunately, Rotten Tomatoes currently has the film at 0% Rotten, although interestingly enough, the writer at The Village Voiceis a fan of Ghost in the Shell, while the critic at L.A. Weekly admires Shirow.
– Tartan, famous for their “Asia Extreme” label, have acquired Sky Blue, the South Korean “anime” also known as Wonderful Days. It is set for a release on Friday the 24th of June, with a 15 certificate.
Source: UK Anime (http://ww.uk-anime.net/)
– From the action of Power Rangers to the sweet scents of Strawberry Shortcake to the excitement of Teen Titans, Bandai America will be showcasing all of its new 2005 toylines at the International Toy Fair. We are now scheduling booth appointments at Bandai’s showroom in the Toy Building between Sunday, February 20 and Wednesday, February 23.
– MSNBC reports the Japanese have taken a page from Cinderalla via the recent boom of $4,000 – 10,000 (and up) “Princess Vactaions”.
– North Californian Media proclaims “all things Asian are becoming us”. Anime and manga get the token mention and the article states “There are more than 20 anime shows on cable channels, ranging from “Sailor Moon” to “Pokemon” to the latest teenage craze, “Kagemusha,” a series about a half-human, half-demon warrior on a quest. “Spirited Away” beat out Disney movies to win the Oscar for best animation in 2003. Sales of Japanese comic books, DVDs and videocassettes reached $500 million in the United States last year.”
– Asahi News has a first hand account of the viewing experience and significance of the Japanese film How’ls Moving Castle in a Korean movie theater.
– Well known Japanese pop culture guru Suzuki Matsuo’s live action film Koi No Mon is coming to DVD April 8th after a theatricla run which began in October. Matsuo has delved into various forms of media including plays, essays, novels, etc… The film goes into various otaku areas including manga and cosplay. Retailing at 4,935 Yen, the limited edition version contains bonus director commentary. Source: CD Journal
– The World’s largest airship, the German Zeppelin NT was transported by sea to Kobe and arrived on the 12th. The blimp will be a major feature of the Aichi Expo in March. It measures 75 meters in length, 20 meters in width, and has a cruising speed of 120 kph. 14 people total can man her. Source: Flash24
– A joint team consisting of The University of Tokyo production Technical Research Institute and the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (Ibaraki Prefecture Tsukuba city) announced their humoid robot was now able to reproduce dance. Named HRP-2, the 154 centimeter tall robot reportedly knows the dance steps to the song “aizu bandai san”. It was mentioned that such programming of dance steps could ensure the flawless record of dance and theater could be preserved to be taught to future generations. Although the current moves are slow, coresponding to traditional Japanese dance, in the future, fast stepping such as that found in Samba will try and be emulated. Source: Asahi News (Japanese)
– Nikkei News points out recent research by Enterbrain Entarbran which indicates Japan’s game market over the course 2004 made only 427.9 billion Yen or a 0.7% decrease compared with the previous year. 7.33 million game titles were sold by Nintendo, giving the P1 position in software sales with Sqaure / ENIX following up at P2 with 6.41 million games sold.
– The Japanese edition of Korea’s Chosun Illbo Newspaper reports the breakout hit drama Winter Sonata will be adapted to UMD video format for Sony’s PSP. KBS Internet and Sony Computer Entertainment Korea (SCEK) announced the project will commence as a collaborative project, to be put on the market in Japan and South Korea simultaneously. The project may be presented to the global market upon success.
– The 21st Next Generation World Hobby Fair begins it’s tour of 4 major Japanese cities (Tokyo, Nagoya, Fukuoka, Osaka) starting with the Osaka event on January 16. Game, chara and hobby vendors will converge to show fans their current and coming wares. The environment is family conscious with parents and children often see roaming the convention floor. Games will take a precendent in this year’s event with companies like Capcom planning an exhibition centered around it’s latest Rockman releases. Konami will show off PLAY-POEMS” as well as Dance Dance Revolution Mario. Square Enix’s major draw will be Egg Monster HERO for NDS. Source: Watch Impress
– The website for the TV series Fantastic Children (original concept and chara design by Akira animation director Nakamura Takashi) has updated with details on the OST release on 1.21, retail is 3,045 Yen. JVC Music has a full tracklist.
– www.avexmode.jp has been revamped.
– Aniplex’s official website for the Gakuen Alice TV series, here, has added character details.
– The website for the coming anime film Kinonotabi: The Beautiful World has upated with news that the advance ticket sales have begun.
– Konami has added a very cool pictorial report from China which shows the mass production process for it’s Otogi Juushi Aka Zukin figures.
– Single CD release information has been added to the Iriya no Sora, UFO no Natsu TV series website here. Main ED and OP themes Forever Blue and Sunflower will be the main attractions on the disc set to release March 24th for 1,260 Yen from King Records Ltd.
– Cast details for GONZO’s Kouga Ninpou Chou Basilisk anime TV series hav been posted to the official website.
– Bandai Visual’s Sentou Yousei Shoujo Tasukete OVA website has renewed.
– A project to build real life 1/1 scale replica of Satsuki and May’s House from Studio Ghibli’s film, My Neigbor Totoro is nearing completion. The construction effort which is being undertaken in Aichi Prefecture will be done in time for the Aichi Expo coming up on March 25th. The arrangement of furniture and general properties for the house including maintenance of the garden were completed late last year. Admission to tour the replica at the Aichi Expo will be 800 Yen. The house is wooden bungalow construction about 100 square meters. Work began last spring. All rooms in the house are replicated to the most minute detail including bathtub heated from beneath, kitchen range and well pump. All elements are 100% functional.
Source:The Yomiuri (Japanese)
– The Mainichi interviews Doraemon voice actor Endou Kazuyuki who was on the series for 25 years as the character Jyian. The series which began running on TV Asahi in 1979 will change it’s pool of voice talent for the first time this spring. Kazuyuki reflects on his roll in Doraemon and mentions that his age (70) isnt as pronounced through his vocal work as it would be through live acting. When asked who should replace the voice the Jyian, he mentions “For the person of the same character as Jaian, I think that his gentleness or neither sadness nor gladness is expressible because it becomes fresh.”
– Anime Network will treat fans to fun, facts and fabulous prizes at Columbus, Ohio?fs 5th Annual Ohayocon-a Japanese pop culture convention celebrating Japanese culture, animation, music and costuming. Highlights include Anime Network program demos, voice artist drop-bys and, of course, plenty of ultra-cool prize drawings, one of which will even award a FREE KARAOKE MACHINE. Promising to delight fans-and give them a reason to welcome their cable bills-Anime Network has also teamed up with Insight Communications for a special giveaway. Insight subscribers can simply bring a copy of their cable bills in exchange for a FREE Anime DVD (while supplies last).
– M-Serve is streaming the 18th episode of Samurai Champloo via Broadband. The 2nd season of the series begins on Fuji BS January 22nd.
– The ninth Detective Conan film has been announced carrying the subtitle “Suiheisen Ueno Inbou”. It begins screening in theaters across Japan April 9, 2005. Advance tickets begin selling March 1st. Official Site.
– Broccoli has launched the homepage for it’s coming Crossworld project.
– 500 people will win the privledge to view a special sneak previe of the Prince Of Tennis Movie. The screening takes place January 23rd at the Yamaha Hall in Tokyo. Source: TV Tokyo
– Zone Vision Enterprises has entered into a joint venture agreement with Japan’s Jupiter Programming to launch Reality TV in the country. The dedicated Japanese-language channel will launch in February via Reality TV Japan Co. Ltd, a Tokyo-based operation co-owned (50/50) by Zone Vision and Jupiter. The joint venture has acquired the gaming/technology channel BB Factory from Softbank and Yahoo, and Reality TV will take over BB’s slot on SkyPerfectTV. Jupiter will also distribute the channel to cable and broadband platforms across the country. Source: World Screen
– Gamespot has a report on the shape the next Dragon Quest game will take. Level 5 CEO Akihiro Hino said his studio worked hard to give Dragon Quest the right atmosphere, optimizing code to smooth loading times and to match magic effects with those of previous releases. To accurately mimic Toriyama’s style, developers studied his art in episodes of the Dragon Ball anime series.
– Total Video Games relays details that Atari has extended its relationship with Funimation, with five Dragon Ball Z titles scheduled for 2005. The exclusively based relationship will carry on for the next five years, covering the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South America. Since 2002, the Dragon Ball franchise has netted over 7 million sales for Atari, whilst the series is set to grow in popularity throughout 2005 with the confirmation of four new titles throughout 2005, including Dragon Ball Z: Sagas (Spring 2005), the franchise’s much-anticipated first action title (along with the first DBZ game for the Xbox) and confirmation of Dragon Ball GT: Transformation (Summer 2005), the first all-DBGT action/adventure title for the GBA.
– TheStreet.com reports: “Navarre (NAVR:Nasdaq – news – research) rose 9% after the company announced the acquisition of FUNimation Productions, a privately held distributor of home videos and licenser of children’s entertainment and Japanese animation. Navarre will pay Fort Worth, Texas-based FUNimation about $100 million in cash and issue between 1.49 million and 1.83 million shares. During fiscal 2003, FUNimation posted pretax income of $30.5 million on sales of $81.6 million. Shares of Navarre were trading up 97 cents to $19.23.”
– The Negano Daily Report mentions a local snow figure and ice exhibition is recruiting people to design animation style creations.?
– Cinema Topics has details and images of some new Galaxy Express 999 figures and mini sets. The sale was decided for convenience stores etc.. to comence at the end of December. Each cost 300 Yen and 5 figures are planned plus a secret figure.
– Tenchiweb has some info on a new soundtrack release fromthe latest OVA series.
– sukisyo.tv has updated with details on the 2nd Vol. story and cast.
– www.gundam-x.net adds a new flash intro whil heralding the release of a coming DVD-BOX set.
– Square’s site for FFVII: Advent Children has been updated with character information.
– Studio Comet has revamped it’s website, devoting a new page to the School Ramble anime.
– www.ova-top.com has been updated with info on the 2nd volume of the Tales Of Phantasia OVA due on 2/25.
– www.erementar-gerad.com has updated with staff, image gallery and more for the coming Elemental Gerad TV series. Directing will be Shigeru Ueda (Tales Of Eternia), Character Designs by Akio Takami (DNAngel / Shaman King), Writer Naruhisa Arakawa (DNAngel), Art Director: Hiroyuki Okiura (Jin Roh / GITS2:Innocence), Production by XEBEC.
– The inital site offering for the coming Hachi Kuro (Honey And Clover) anime TV series has been launched.
– Web Sunday has more on MAR’s coming manga to anime transition. The anime is targeted to begin broadcast in April, 2005. The day station and staff details are coming soon and will be published in Shonen Sunday Magazine.
– The Sydney Morning Herald discusses the frustrations of learning Japanese.
– PR Newswire has the full press announcement on Navarre’s Acquisition of FUNimation.
– The Malay Mail has an in-depth cover piece on the new breed of Malaysian music and mentions one group, SHOHOKU who are huge fans of Slam Dunk. The Six of them agreed to call themselves Shohoku, one of the main characters of the series.
– The Philippine Daily Inquirer reports on the G2Show which is promoting MMOGs. They are hoping to bring anime fans to this event as well.
– Japanese box office reults are in for the previous week and show Toho’s release of Howl’s Moving Castle holding onto the #1 position for 8 weeks in a row. Sony’s Kung Fu Hustle holds the 4th slot for the it’s 2nd week in circulation. The latest Inu Yasha film moves up to #7 from #8 this week with 3 weeks in release.
– Tomohiro Matsumoto (27) has been arrested in Tokyo after he was suspected of selling child pornography via an online auction site. Evidence including magazines, doujinshi, womens undergarments, computer systems and DVD’s were confiscated from his home. You can view a video clip of the evidence obtained coutesy TBS here.
– Bandai’s Broadband Bandai Channel has announced several new animation works will run from January 11th. They include Shin Gettarrobo and EX: Driver The Movie. Source: Watch Impress Broadband Watch
– In additon to Sunabozu, Pony Canyon will stream the coming UG – Ultimate Girl TV series (www.pc-moe.com), free on it’s website. A new episode will be uploaded weekly, with past episodes being accesse via a pay service. The 12 episode TV series began broadcasting on TV January 9. The streaming for YG begins on Feb. 1. Gonzon mentions for Sunabozu, a time specific DRM digital license is granted for the free stream. As a result, digital copying of the stream becomes impossible. The copyright protection is being touted a stronger than the TV broadcast. Source: Yahoo News Japan | Gonzo
– Messe-Sanoh announced the closure of the Akihabara game shop “OVERTOP” will occur in Febraury. The store has operated for about 9 years and specializes on oversea games and memory modules.
– Musician, Kotoko’s 2004 tour will come to televsion in Japan when his Tokyo Nenkin Hall performance will be broadcast as a live special show. The airing will occur Sunday, March 27, 2005 At 17:00-17:55 on BS.
– 80’s era Godzilla director, Koji Hashimoto has died. He was 68 years old. His funeral will be held in Ashikaga City at 1:00PM of the 13th. The director suffered a fall while climbing a mountain and was pronounced dead on arrival to the Tochigi area hospital. His works include “Good-Bye Jupiter” and “Godzilla”. Hashimoto was a former movie managing director at Toho.
Source: Nikkan Sports
– ASCII24 has images and an ccount of the High Definition DVD offerings at CES.
– Flames Of Recca Mangka Nobuyuki Anzai’s MAR (Marchen Awakens Romance) has been announced to be animated. In the story the main character has the same dream every night of the country Marchen, inhabited by strange creatures. Source: Shogakukan
– Bandai has announced the official website for it’s coming Online Gundam PC game title, UCGO (Universal Century Gundam Online) at www.universalcentury.net. There’s various media on there including system requirements. The game is only announced for the Japanese market at this time.
– Gamespot reports Square/Enix’s PS2 RPG, Dragon Quest VIII is USA bound. Thanks to Daniel for the news item.
– Yamato’s 1/12 Scale ATM-09-ST Scopedog Action Figure has been named 2004Toy of the Year at Matt Alt’s ToyboxDX (http://toyboxdx.com/). Measuring over 12.5″ and constructed of over 300 individual parts, the ATM-09-ST Scopedog is one of a kind, fully articulated and loaded with features — removable armor plating, rotating lens turret, special internal spring mechanisms for simulation of arm punch and ?gdown form?h, as well as wheels in the base of the feet for simulation of the Scopedog?fs ?groller dash?h gliding action. The cockpit even opens with accommodating seating for the Chirico Cuvie action figure, sold separately. Window boxed, the ATM-09-ST Scopedog comes with its GAT-22 heavy machine gun with removable magazine, decals, and an extra set of hands. In short, a true treasure for any collector.
– Anime studio Madhouse has completely renewed it’s website at www.madhouse.co.jp.
– Pony Canyon has began freely streaming episodes of the 2004 Gonzo sci-fi TV anime Sunabozu. Each of the 24 episodes runs 30 mins. Windows Media Player is required.