1-3-05—- MomoCon Press
Atlanta, GA. -December 31, 2004 – Anime O-Tekku of Georgia Tech presents MomoCon, an anime and gaming convention held in Atlanta, GA, March 26-27, 2005 at the Georgia Tech Student Center. MomoCon is a free admission convention, with local vendors and artists selling their wares in addition to numerous special events. MomoCon’s anime events include panels hosted by anime company representatives, voice actor panels, karaoke events, anime showings (including company screeners), and promotional goodies from many anime companies.
While it will not feature an anime music video contest, MomoCon will host AMV Iron Chef and AMV creator showcases of local talent in the school theater (with a large movie screen and ample seating). Console gaming at MomoCon will include a console gaming free-play room with numerous rare systems available to play and a rhythm gaming room, customized to host rhythm games like DDR, Beatmania, Donkey Konga, and Amplitude. MomoCon boasts a growing collection of almost 200 console games available to play throughout the convention. Board and card gaming at MomoCon includes a free-play room, with games and card sets available for checkout, and a demo room, to host company demos. Tournaments will include 4 Steve Jackson Games tournaments, with prize support from the company, and an official Magic the Gathering Tournament with a prize pack from Wizards of the Coast. When the initial planning began for this zero budget, first year convention, it was difficult for the organizers to entice famous guests.
Since they have no working capital, they cannot afford to offer hotel or travel expenses to guests, so MomoCon began the workings of a webcomic-themed convention. Webcomic authors are often local, and looking for the exposure that being a con guest can give, so MomoCon welcomes 12 webcomic guests to the convention this year. MomoCon is not limited to anime and gaming, but prefers to welcome all related genres, including costuming. They welcome world-renowned prop-maker Robert Bean, famous for his full Darth Vader costume and pieces, as well as cosplayer and published manga artist Yaya Han. Panels include a workshop on wigs held by a local wig-maker, and a basic cosplay panel from an award-winning cosplay troupe. But all of these features are not all that this free con has to offer. Other events include Vampire the Masquerade LARP, a late night dance, a cosplay café (full with costumed waiters/waitresses), and a panel featuring local anime clubs.
MomoCon welcomes all who would grace its front steps and wishes all fans to have no reserves about attending the convention. “The con feels like The Little Engine That Could,” says Head Director Jessica Merriman. “At first we couldn’t get people to even give us the time of day, now we get requests for guests all the time, and they are willing to make concessions just for us. We really couldn’t ask for a better set of guests.” The dedicated staff and, especially, the eleven heads of staff put hundreds of hours of work into creating a wondrous fan experience, and don’t want to charge you a penny to have fun!
For more information about MomoCon, please visit the website (http://www.momocon.com).
1-3-05—- Author Fred Schodt Honored
Well-known translator and writer on manga Frederik L. Schodt’s recent biography of Ranald MacDonald has been named in Choice’s annual Outstanding Academic Titles list, which appears in the January 2005 issue of Choice Magazine. Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries reviews significant current books and electronic media of interest to those in higher education. It is a publication from the American Library Association, recognized as an essential tool for collection development in academic libraries.
Ranald MacDonald, not to be confused with a certain fast-food restaurant mascot, has monuments erected in his honor in Astoria, Oregon and Rishiri Island, Japan. In 1988 the Friends of MacDonald society was formed and today it has over 200 members worldwide. There even exists a six-page manga called, “Ranald MacDonald, Japan’s First English Teacher,” an excerpt of which is found in Schodt’s book.
“Writing about Ranald MacDonald, the young adventurer, gave me a chance to explore the North America – Japan relationship in a new way, and help shed new light on a truly extraordinary individual,” Mr. Schodt said of his latest title.
Native American in the Land of the Shogun: Ranald MacDonald and the Opening of Japan is the true story of a half-Chinook, half-Scot adventurer who entered feudal Japan in 1848 and helped pave the way for its modernization. In a time when Japan was mostly shut off to foreigners, MacDonald, age 24, faked being marooned and was promptly arrested, but his charm led to better treatment than most prisoners as he soon instructed Japanese interpreters in English. He later gave both Japanese and American officials useful tips on how to understand and communicate with each other, a great service when Commodore Perry made his historic arrival on the American “Black Ships” in 1853.
This book documents MacDonald’s early years in the Pacific Northwest, his education in central Canada, and his employment in Ontario. It then follows him to sea working for a New England whaling fleet and his time in Hawaii where he prepared for his adventure to Japan.
Frederik L. Schodt is a writer, translator, and professional interpreter who lives in San Francisco. He has written extensively on Japanese comics, and on technology and history. His first book, Manga! Manga! The World of Japanese Comics (Kodansha International, 1983), helped trigger the current popularity of Japanese comics in the United States and along with its sequel, Dreamland Japan: Writings on Modern Manga (Stone Bridge Press, 1996) is regarded as something of a classic. Dreamland Japan has also been translated into Japanese (Nippon Mangaron, Maaru-sha, 1998), as well as Korean (Daseossure, 1999), and a German edition is planned.
In 2000, Schodt was awarded the special category of the Asahi Shimbun’s Osamu Tezuka Culture Award for his work in popularizing manga overseas. In addition to his own writings, he has been a pioneer in the translation of manga and is responsible for the English versions of well-known works such as Astro Boy, The Phoenix, Ghost in the Shell, Man Machine Interface, and many others.
Mr. Schodt will be lecturing on Ranald MacDonald as well as on anime and manga in Tokyo later this month. Native American in the Land of the Shogun: Ranald MacDonald and the Opening of Japan is 432 pages with 60 b/w photographs and maps. It is available in hardcover for $39.95 and in paperback for $19.95.
See the book at www.stonebridge.com/RANALD/ranald.html
1-3-05—- GITS: Stand Alone Complex Volume 4 Release
Chicago, IL- Manga Entertainment and Bandai Entertainment are proud to release the fourth volume of “Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex” in both Standard and Limited Editions versions on January 25th, 2005. The DVDs contain four exciting half-hour episodes encoded directly from high – definition masters, featuring superb surround sound plus bonus extras. Based on the popular manga by Shirow Masamune, this all-new futuristic anime series presents a new of Shirow’s Masamune’s work first brought to life in the acclaimed anime feature film Ghost in the Shell. Female cyborg Major Motoko Kusanagi and her fellow police officers of Section 9 hunt down a host of criminals in both the real and online worlds.
In Volume 4, A band of terrorists claims to have possession of a girl who was kidnapped some years ago, but when the Major and company are called in to resolve the situation, they realize that something is very wrong—the girl appears to be the same age she was when she was kidnapped! Things get even tougher as the team is assigned to guard a very wealthy and reclusive businessman who is a target for assassination by an international crime syndicate. As machines learn to evolve and human emotions cloud judgment, Section 9 will come face to face with a brave new digital world.
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Volume Four
Studio: Manga & Bandai Sales & Distribution: Anchor Bay Entertainment
Running Time: 100 minutes Suggested Age: 13 & up
Limited Edition (2 disc set with collectors ID card) Suggested Retail Price: $29.98
Selection: M2522-3 Barcode: 6-69198-25223-5
Disc One: 16×9 Anamorphic, English & Japanese Language Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound,
English subtitles, Interviews, Trailers
Disc Two: 16×9 Anamorphic, English & Japanese Language DTS 5.1 Surround Sound,
English Subtitles, Interviews, Trailers,
Standard Edition (single disc): Suggested Retail Price: $24.98
Selection: M2520-3 Barcode: 6-69198-25203-7
16×9 Anamorphic, English & Japanese language Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound, English Subtitles, Interviews, Trailers
Each new DVD volume released will feature new interviews from the production team and the series’ voice actors. Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex combines action, adventure, political intrigue and ethics into a masterfully told sci-fi anime series.
– Chunichi Web Press goes over the Japanese driver entries in the currently ongoing 27th Paris – Dakar Rally. Jun Mitsuhashi of Team Nissan France Dessoude was attributed to a noteworthy quote. He took part in the 2004 Dakar with Team Dessoude and recently won the Shamrock Rally in Morocco. According to the piece he mentions watching Cutie Honey on the television. As for his comments on the race start Mitsuhashi says, “Hereafter though it doesn’t harmoniously come to driving system with the first leg”.
– I-Newswire is carrying press for Beckett Spotlight’s new Anime For Girls magazine. More info can be had at www.beckettanime.com.
– IT-Asia One talks about a new online service. WSSUP messages – animated multimedia messages customised with personal voice and photo. The messages are being offered at www.wssup.com and many anime style designs by “leading artists” are being offered.
– Nikkan Sports chronicles a 7 year old girl’s disappearance and eventual murnder in Nara. The suspect in the case appears to be a 36 year old otaku named Kobayashi. Many pornographic comics and video materials were found at his house.
– Nikkei News reports global production of LCD TV’s (as opposed to Plasma competitors ) increased 65% in 2004.
– Nikkei B.P.’s most viewed article of 2004 by page views has been announced as a piece they did in Sept of this year on the new Cosplay Cafe, Little BSD which opened in Akihabara.
– Maaya Sakamoto fans will be pleased to learn JVC Music reports her new radio program, Yellow Tail Music Tail ran Sunday 19:55-20:00.
– Takara has launched it’s official website for Transformers: Galaxy Force.
– A new copyright scheme is being advanced in Japan will substantially extend the domain over animation and game properties. The first extensive amendment of it’s sort in 82 years, will greatly bennefit medium and small sized business which may retain less measures to protect their creations.
Source: Yahoo Japan
– Vinland Saga will begin running in Weekly Shonen Magazine according to leaflets now circulating in Tokyo.
– Aquaplus has uploaded a gorgeous Flash website for it’s ToHeart2 release.
– A pictoral Japanese review of a humorous Cosplay video released to Japan. Is a translation really neccesary?
– Media Factory’s Oku Samaha Mahou Shoujo animation has been announced to commence this summer.
– Broccoli’s Galaxy Angel Musical website has been updated to include interviews with some of the cast including the voice of Millefeuille.
– Broccoli has announced it’s Princess Concerto RPG will be released to PC August 11.
– Toei’s Itoshi Teruze Babe website has updated with details on DVD volume 6. Both Special and regular editions will be released
– AIC A.S.T.A’s site for their GunXSword animation has updated with commentary on an end of the year party and Director Taniguchi.
– TMS has launched it’s site for the Gallery Fake animation. Meanwhile, the production symposium event occured on Monday, December 20 at the “Ohkura Museum” in Tokyo. There, Mr. Nishimori the director was interviewed as well as series composer Mr. Morikawa and the voice cast. A valuable story was going to be heard by the talk, and the production symposium ended safely.
– The TBS site for Rozen Maiden has data for the 2nd DVD out this month. According to a message from the staff on the front page the number of accesses there surpassed that of any previous TBS anime site.
– The official Japanese TBS site for the Ah! My Goddess TV Animation has updated with story detail on the first episode set to air on the 5th of this month. Titled “kimi ha megami samatsu? (Are you the goddess?)”. A new life starts at the university for Morisato Keiichi. Relationships with women have not succeeded with luck. Keiichi uses the telephone and gets the Goddess Office on the other end.
– The Achorage Daily News has more details on an Alaskan man who is building a giant robot in his backyard.
– The Denver Post hails ImaginAsian TV and the Anime Network in a new piece on advancements in the cable industry.
– From Daniel, Roger Avery, co-writer of Pulp Fiction and writer behind the upcoming Silent Hill film, posted photos of an exclusive dvd player meant to play screeners sent by the Academy Awards to members of the organization.
– Kadokawa’s Fujimi Bookstore has e-greetings for 2005 from it’s various cache of artists and properties.
– Dating Sim software makers X-Wind have opened their official website. There, one can find details on their upcoming work, School Navigation.
– www.moeyon.com reports Higurashinonaku Goroni will begin running as a new serial CD-ROM Sound Novel.
– According to Shueisha, the Masuda Kousuke Gekijou Gyagumanga Hiyori manga will be converted to animation.
– Nitro Plus’ site (www.nitroplus.co.jp) has a brief hinting of the coming works Remake of Harowa and Demomban Animation coming in 2005. The April issue of Kadokawa’s Za Sneaker will begin running Zan Ma Dai Hijiri Demonbein / Furuhashi Hideyuki, Halo World / Suzukaze Ryou and the new serial work, Chiri Mukuro Ma Kyou / Yoru Katana Shirou.
– The official website for the coming She: The Ultimate Weapon “another love song” OVA (www.saikano.net) has updated with new promotional images and 3 BGM tracks which play upon accessing.
– The UK’s Guardian Newspaper and The Sunday Times look at Peter Carrey’s new book Wrong About Japan in seperate articles.
– Sequential Tart has the article Boy’s Love and Yaoi Revisited by Kat Avila.
– Hong Kong action superstar Jet Li released a statement regarding his personal experiences during and after the Indian Ocean tsunami here. He and his family was on holiday at The Four Seasons Hotel in the Maldives. Thanks to Daniel for the newslink.
– Ithaca College’s Anime Society (www.ithaca.edu/orgs/anime) President, Peter Tatara writes in telling ANS that this past semester the group (calling themselves Experimental Amateur Hero Productions) wrote, directed, and produced a series of eight anime-inspired shorts titled “Johnny Robo”. These eight five-minute episodes pay tribute to and are a parody of everything from “Power Rangers” to Pro Wrestling to Buster Keaton. They have had the first episode screened on local television with the entire series to air in the spring. The first episode is also online on their websiteJohnnyRobo.cjb.net. The entire series is now available for $10 on DVD. A BitTorrent release is in the works possibly.
– The March issue of Kadokawa’s Shonen Ace will see the manga adaptation of BONES’ Kokyo Eureka Seven begin. Jensei Kataoka and Kazuma Kondo will pen the work.
– Animate TV details the postrecording of the 1st episode of Fujihiko Hosono’s Gallery Fake due to air in January. Interviews include Toshiyuki Morikawa (Reiji Fujita), Ayako Kawasumi (Sarah) and Sayako Mitamura (Yukino). Music is coming from Face 2 FAKE with the music director being Kobayashi Katsuyoshi and animation production handled by TMS Entertainment and Tokyo Kids.
– The official website for the coming Saishu Heiki Kanojo anime has added a video preview for the OVA. Creator Shin Takahashi News mentions Tankôbon 4 of his other work Kimi no Kakera is nearing its end.
– Soundtrack details are out for the first Xenosaga TV anime CD. The catalog number will be COCX-33116 02/23 release at 2,800 Yen. Included are tracks by Kosuke Yamashita plus ED theme by Mayumi Gojo.
– The CD Soundtrack for the coming Starship Operators animation will feature tracks composed by Kenji Kawai. The catalog number is GNCA-1045 with a 02/23 release at 2,857 Yen. OP song by Mami Kawata + TV ED version by KOTOKO will be included.
– About.com interviews Kill Bill’s ball and chain asassin in a school dress, GoGo Yubari AKA: Chiaki Kuriyama.
– Does the Anime Industry in Japan face a crisis? The UK’s Daily Telegraph asks this dark question on the minds of animators in the land of the rising sun. The Global success of anime is mentioned with Miyazaki’s Howl’s Moving Castle has been seen by over 10 million people in Japan. This makes the nation the only country in which The Incredibles has been kept out of the top box office slot. The Telegraph’s research with experts has found that not only is there a dearth of creative talent on a par with Miyazaki, but the overall standard of animators has fallen over the past decade as low pay and poor working conditions force many to quit. Howl’s will reportedly be released in 50 countries. With distributors talking of reaching 40 million worldwide.
– ICV2 reports Marvel has hired Tokyopop veteran Mark Paniccia as Senior Editor, charged with “…developing new properties and a new generation of comic book writers and artists,” according to a Marvel announcement released Wednesday. Paniccia will be developing original graphic novels for teens, and recruiting new talent.
– Gainax´s site for it’s coming Korega Watashi No Goshujin-sama is now online at www.gosyujinsama.com. Geneon will release a special DVD ahead of April broadcast. Due on 03/25 the DVD will retail at 1,995 and include ED, trailers plus cast & staff interviews with seiyuu Masumi Asano (Izumi), Ai Shimizu (Mitsuki) and Kana Ueda (Anna). .
– Initial staff for Hojo Tsukasa´s coming Angel Heart animation adaptation is out with the director being confirmed as Hirano Toshitaka, Series Composition being provided by Uetake Sumio, Character Designs being supplied by Sato Keiichi and Animation coming out of Tokyo Movie. Source: Moonphase
– News streaming into ANS from the currently running Winter Comike 67 indicate fans seeking the latest comic from Nobuteru Yuki’s doujinishi circle, Takai Shiro no Otoko, were sad to learn that although the group had worked hard on the release, the manuscript for the dojin was lost as the final materials went to press. Meanwhile Yoshitoshi Abe had the dojin Akai Kiba 5 on hand for the 30th. ABe confesses he contributed 2 pages to the title in his online blog. Also to be on sale by him there in a set of 3 in special box are Haibane Renmei Kyakuhonshu 2, Haibane Renmei Kyakuhonshu 3 and miscellaneous2004.
– CLAMP’s official website (www.clamp-net.com) has updated to reflect a consolodation of private and work sections for the mangaka group. The Card Captor Sakura TV series will see a rerelease on the DVD format in Japan in boxset form from April. DVD BOX 1 will carry the catalog designation GNBA-1065, retailing at 33,000 Yen. It will include episodes 1-23 and be packed with extras such as a special Omake DVD and special box.
– The official Japanese site for the currently releasing OVA series, Akane Maniax (www.akamani.com) has updated with details for the second volume’s release on March 25th at 6,090 Yen (including tax).
– Bandai and Media Factory have launched the official Japanese website for the coming Shoji Kawamori directed spring Television series Aquarion at www.aquarion.info. The 500K Windows Media streaming preview trailer can be viewed here. This was just announced at Winter Comike 67 (www.swaty.to/comiket) occuring presently where a strong effort is being made to promote the series prior to broadcast. Those attending Comike can obtain a special Aquarion post card at the Media Factory booth. Bandai has picked up the model rights and HG versions of the lead mecha will be produced under the supervision of Director Shoji Kawamori. Images of the prototype models due to gon on sale from April 2005 can be found at the link.
– PA’s Hershey Chronicle has a mainstream American rundown of the year’s top films and lists Hero, Kill Bill and Zatoichi in the top 10.
– The travel site Frommers.com has a large article on pop Tokyo destinations and meeting Japan’s inner child at the movies in the form of Howl’s Moving Castle and in a museum: The Ghibli Museum.
– Kung Fu Cinema reports the latest edition of Vengeance hit the shelves this week with a horror special. The previous issue of Vengeance is now completely sold out, the mag is described as an “essential blend of Classic Kung Fu, Japanese Action, Cult Exploitation, Anime and Horror”. Visit the official website at www.vengeancemagazine.co.uk.
– The San Francisco Examiner goes inside the recently launched ImaginAsian TV network and interviews CEO Michael Hong on it’s programming direction. While the network caters to those with Asian roots, Hong also points out that all of the IATV programs, which can currently be seen on cable channel 28, are subtitled in English to accommodate mainstream America’s growing interest in Asian culture. “Look at how well [Chinese martial arts films] ‘Hero’ and ‘House of Flying Daggers’ did at the box office,” he says. “What about ‘Iron Chef’? One of Spike TV’s most popular programs right now is a zany Japanese game show [‘Hey! Spring of Trivia’]. There just seems to be this groundswell of interest lately.” Goto the network’s website at www.iatv.tv
12-31-04—- Anime Next Convention News
* FIRST PRE-REG DEADLINE ENDING SOON
Register before January 1st for an incredible savings on an AnimeNext 2005 membership. Only $30 for adults and $20 for children (7-12) for a 3-day pass! This gives you access to everything at the convention for less than a one day Saturday membership!
After January first rates will rise, so hurry and take advantage of this offer. Our new rates raise $10 for a three day pass after January first. Remember you can take advantage of these great holiday rates by simply visiting our web site, http://www.animenext.org/register
* FIRST ROUND OF ANIMENEXT 2005 GUESTS ANNOUNCED
AnimeNext, the largest independently organized anime convention in the New York metropolitan area, has announced the first round of guests attending the convention to be held at the Meadowlands Expo Center in Secaucus, New Jersey on June 17-19, 2005. Vic Mignogna, Travis Willingham, Marc Diriason, Lauren Goodnight, Wayne Grayson, and Mike Sinterniklaas have accepted invitations to attend the event.
Vic Mignogna currently provides the voice of Edward Elric, the lead character of Cartoon Channel’s hit series on Adult Swim, Full Metal Alchemist. Mignogna has appeared in many anime titles, including Yu Yu Hakusho, Full Metal Panic, and DNAngel. This will be Mignogna’s first appearance in NY.
Travis Willingham plays the part of Roy Mustang, the Fire Alchemist, along with Mignona on Full Metal Alchemist. Willingham has also appeared in popular series such as Case Closed, Kiddy Grade, and Yu Yu Hakusho. This will be Willingham’s first appearance at a US Anime Convention.
Marc Diraison is best known for providing the voice of Roronoa Zolo in Shonen Jump’s One Piece. He also voices Guts, the lead character in the popular anime series, Berserk.
Lauren Goodnight is making her second appearance at AnimeNext. She has played roles in prominent anime titles such as Noir, Pretear, and SuperGALS.
Wayne Grayson is best known for playing Joey Wheeler in Yu-Gi-Oh! and Michelangelo in the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series.
Mike Sinterniklaas is the founder of the NYAV dubbing studio and has directed the voice-over for titles such as Berserk, Samurai Deeper Kyo, and Magic User’s Club. In addition to being an accomplished director, Sinterniklaas is a talented actor in his own right. He has starred as Dean Venture in Cartoon Network’s Venture Brothers, and as Leonardo in the Fox Box’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.