Anime News Service – January 18 – May 7 Anime News
5-7-06 (11:59PM EDT)—- Gundam SEED To Become Animated Film
Sunrise has announced Gundam SEED will become an animated theatrical feature to be directed by Mitsuo Fukuda. Although it will based on the 2002-2004 tv anime, the plot is expected to be all new. This marks the first original Gundam Movie since Mobile Suit Gundam F91 opened in 1991. T.M. Revolution will perform the theme song to the film and also made an announcement at “SonyMusic Anime Fes.06” in Tokyo on the 7th. The event, held at Shibuya AX over Saturday and Sunday of this past weekend drew a total of 30,000. A release date has not yet been announced.
5-6-06 (1:44AM EDT)—- Recognition Of The Term “MOE” In Japan
A term commonly used among otaku to refer to a fetish for or love for characters in video games or anime and manga, recognition of “MOE” is growing wider in Japan. According to a recent survey conducted by the 2006 CESA Ippanseikatsu Mono Chousahoukoku Kaki “2006 CESA General Dweller Investigation Report” 60% of those examined were aware of the term. CESA is the Computer Entertainment Supplier’s Association, based in Japan and started in 1996. 2.4% of the whole woman’s sample said they had used it. Those who answered “Know it” was 26.7% “Heard it” was 36.8% and “Do not know it” was 32.5%. Among men those who answered “Use it” was 4.4% and “Know” was 36.2%. Across both sexes in their late teens through early 30’s 40% said they knew of the term. 12.1% of 15-19 year old women said they used it alot, 11.1% of 20-24 year old womenh said they used it alot. In Men 8.9% of 20-24 years old admitted using the term alot. The research was carried out in the Kansai region including 1103 men and women 3-79 years old.
5-5-06 (8:22AM EDT)—- Nagasaki 1945: Angelus No Kane To Screen Globally
ANS has reported in the past on the Mushi Productions / Kaishagaiyou anime film Nagasaki 1945: Angelus No Kane, following the completion of the English subbed version in January, it was announced April 29th that the film will screen outside Japan for the first time. Screenings are planned for the U.S. in Nevada and in Germany and France. Director Arihara Seiji wants viewers who are even partially aware of the occurrence in Nagasaki to consider the fact that nuclear weapons are all over the world now. The Internationales Trickfilmfestival 2006 held in the German city of Stuttgart returned comments that 1945 was a “significant social work”. Having passed the initial examination, a formal invitation to screen at the film festival was sent. The showing occured on May 2nd. Next, the French Festival international du film d’animation a Annecy will hold a screening as where it’s being reviewed as a special invitation work in the beginning of June. Finally, the Atomic Testing Museum in the US state of Nevada is also scheduling a screening at an atomic bomb exhibition to held in August.
5-5-06 (7:45AM EDT)—- Anime Style Mecha Battles To Be Reproduced In Space
If one Japanese company gets it’s way, remote controlled robots will participate in combative sports matches in low Earth orbit as early as a targeted date of October 10, 2010 (10/10/10). “Robo-One Uchuu Taikai” (English title: “ROBO-ONE in the Space”) is an event being promoted by the ROBO-ONE Committee who already regularly hosts robot duels under the constraints of 1G of gravity in Tokyo. The projected launch / payload costs are said to approach 200 million Yen. The plan calls for a 125,000-cubic centimeter satellite loaded with 4 robots to go into a 400-600km high polar orbit. Once deployed the robots will fight while tied to a 5 meter tether connected to the satellite. A camera attached to the satellite will broadcast the battle to earth and allow the earth-bound pilots to control their actions via remote control. The satellite’s orbit will carry it over Japan four times a day, each fighting match will run around 10 minutes. According to the rules, the robots can propel themselves with gas jets, a robot is considered thrown out of the ring (similar to sumo) when it’s tether is fully taut. The company plans to use a combination of foreign and domestic Japanese rockets to launch to get there. ROBO-ONE has already designed high quality robots for toy and anime production companies. Indeed it’s an expressed goal of the committee to specifically reproduce space battles similar to those seen in Japanese animation. Official Website: www.robo-one.com.
5-5-06 (5:30AM EDT)—- Hobby Japan Establishes Light Novel Imprint
Hobby Japan, well known for their magazine which covers the action figure and model scene in Japan, has announced an entry into pocket novels with their new HJ bunko publishing label. Junior high school students through men and women in their thirties are the target audience. As for the types of fiction to be expected HJ has said they don’t want to conform to any genre, opting to publish “interesting stories” of all types. The first novel release will go sale from July 1st and a new one is scheduled to follow on the first of every month thereafter. Anime fans should note talented artist Mutsumi Inomata (Tales Of Eternia, BrainPowerd) will illustrate the inagural novel’s cover (illustration seen left). Writers due to release books for HJ Bunko include: Takehiro Arihara (TAKE FIVE), Junichi Osako (Specter), Kaihana Daisuke (Ragnarok Online), Shinya Kasai (Anireon!), Okina Kamino (Asobiniiku yo !), Kimura Kou (PetoPeto-san), Yu Godai (Karuta Tsukai no Kagami), Ichiro Sakaki (Scrapped Princess), Takashi Shoji (STARSHIP GIRL YAMAMOTO YOHKO, Twinkle Starship), Kanou Arashi (Takadono Madoka), Natsu Midori (Idenshi – DNA Nohimitsu), Reiko Hikawa (Gude Crest), Fujiwara Seiya (Denshi Kiyoukou Purachinamu Chiyairudo), Miyuki Shoutarou (Lost Moment), Hachihara Yuuki (will be making professional debut with HJ Bunko), Watanabe Masaki (Yuu Nagino Machi).
5-5-06 (4:59AM EDT)—- Slayers Cast Reunites For 10th Anniversary
It really has been 10 years since the first Slayers TV series graced the airwaves on TV Tokyo. 11 years to this very day in 1996 when the second series, Slayers Next began it’s broadcast run. Watch Impress has images and details of the upcoming Bandai Visual Slayers 1st season DVD-BOX, due in Japan on May 26 for 23,100 Yen. Included specially for the set is a newly produced drama CD which is said to have reunited the original cast after a long time. Megumi Hayashibara (Lina Inverse), Yasunori Matsumoto (Gourry Gabriev), Hikaru Midorikawa (Zelgadis) and Masami Suzuki (Amelia) were all on hand for a promotional event surrounding the release and you can see their photos at the above link. Megumi Hayashibara was quoted as saying that although this comes around the same time as the Evangelion 10th anniversay, her work on Slayers stirred a very deep emotion within her. Alot has changed for the cast over the time period and Hayashibara’s marriage and becoming a mother are discussed. Official Website: www.slayers-tv.net
5-5-06 (4:24AM EDT)—- HYDE American Concert Tickets Sold In Minutes
In advance of HYDE’s US debut solo album, Faith, being released on June 27th, the L’Arc-en-Ciel star did a live performance at TOKYO FM’s studios in Shibuya on April 29th. There it was revealed tickets to his planned July 2nd and 5th shows in California had sold out completely within 20 minutes of going on sale.
5-5-06 (4:01AM EDT)—- POT Manga: Has Ryuuzaki Sakuno’s Face Changed?
Through side by side image comparisons, Japanese fansite chiyu 12 toshi (12 Years Old) asks the question: has the appearance of Prince Of Tennis character Ryuuzaki Sakuno changed over the years in the manga?
5-5-06 (3:30AM EDT)—- Ultimate Bruce Lee Figure
Enterbay has pics of a limited edition Game Of Death Bruce Lee action figure they plan to sale at 36,750 Yen. Only 3,500 will be made.
5-5-06 (3:22AM EDT)—- FMA The Movie In HD
WOWOW has announced they will show the BONES animated Full Metal Alchemist movie in High Definition / 5.1 on Children’s Day, May 5th in Japan.
5-5-06 (2:56AM EDT)—- Hanada Shonen-shi Site
Based on the Makoto Isshiki manga the official website for the forthcoming live action Hanada Shonen-shi film is now open with a rather humorous opening animation sequence. The theatrical opening is planned for August 19, 2006.
5-5-06 (12:32AM EDT)—- Production I.G. On Moribito
Production I.G has announced they are undertaking the anime TV series adaptation of Uehashi Naoko and Futatsugi Saki’s award winning juvenile fantasy novel Seirei No Moribito. 26 episodes are scheduled, network and start times have yet to be made public. Confirmed staff include Director Kenji Kamiyama (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex) and Character Designs by Asou Warera. Uehashi mentioned being a fan of the Ghost In The Shell TV series. A preview trailer is now available at the official website: www.moribito.com
5-4-06 (5:08AM EDT)—- First HD Anime Hits X-Box 360
In Japan last month, Microsoft announced they will post an 8 minute preview for Tatsunoko Pro’s 40th anniversary OAV Karas for download on the Xbox Live marketplace. the first episode of “Karas: The Prophecy” will be made available in 720p High Definition and 5.1 surround sound. The preview can be inspected free of charge.
5-4-06 (4:45AM EDT)—- Power Puff Girls Z TV Start
Toei Animation has given a July 1st broadcast debut for their Power Puff Girls Z anime. TV Tokyo is the network, the timeslot is 7:00PM.
5-4-06 (4:12AM EDT)—- Shueisha Enters Cell Phone Manga Business
Manga Publishing giant Shueisha has announced it’s cell phone manga delivery service Shueisha Manga Capsule which began running on May 1. The plan is to have it feature shoujo manga at first before scaling out to include boys and kids comics. All manga will be delivered in color. 80-90’s hits like NANA and Hana Yori Danago will be available first. Vodafone Live! is being supported now with EZweb and i-mode sites to follow on June 1st. Using a point system, 2 monthly charges of 315 Yen and 525 Yen will be applicable. Black and white manga will be 31 Yen a file, and the color versions 105 Yen per file. Shueisha first experimented with cell phone manga by offering the work of “Young Jump” last August.
5-4-06 (2:18AM EDT)—- Yamato Creator Speaks On Digital Contents Piracy
Leiji Matsumoto is the creator of The Cockpit manga series, his work on Galaxy Express 999, Captain Harlock and Space Battleship Yamato (Star Blazers) catapulted him to the hieghts of mangaka stardom in the late 1970’s. Today, he’s a prominent member of the Nihon Mangaka Kyokai (Japanese Cartoonists Society) and has been the director of the ACCS (Association of Copyright for Computer Software) for 3 years now. In a new Nikkei BP interview this week, he was asked about his opnions on the current state of anime and manga piracy in the digital age and the influence of the spread of PC and internet technology in contents creation. The creator agrees piracy has expanded online occuring on a level not even comparable to the past. He mentions the entire volume of his comic Harlock Saga Der Ring des Nibelungen was reprinted as early as 1999 and posted to an overseas website for download. The situation was so much more calm than it is now, upon sending a cease and dissist order to the pirates, Matsumoto even received an apology letter. As the price of machine parts fell, it allowed reproduction of digital contents at lower prices, eventually becoming accesible to the common man. A case where a single individual was found to have made 340,000 pirated DVD’s is referenced. The creator is aware that people are not only making exact copies but also add to the original contents. As for solutions, he thinks we’re currently in a transition period, an early state in the advance of technology, 2 ideas should be looked at. First is the technical approach of put adding a mechanism to the work from the publisher so that it is impossible to copy it via printing technique or through the net; Manufacturers can also install defense functions in computers etc.. to aide copyright protection. Secondly, might be an educational campaign that encourages morality with slogans such as “Do not sell person’s work without permission”. Matsumoto: I think that a good point and a bad point cohabit in the advancement of the net and the technology in the meaning of spread of the work. “My work is introduced all over the world, and I feel pure pleasure in the fact that I can amuse a lot of people as a creator. To my regret, it might be also true that the pirate edition plays the part.” He talks about the power of audience reach through the internet, mentioning that the number of accesses to his website was around 30,000 a day when only the Japanese was available but he logged 360,000 in a single day upon establishing an English language version. Matsumoto says when doing his work he aims to never depress a certain culture, country, race, creed, religion, or history. He ends by saying he might not have been so ardent to the problem of the copyright etc. in the past. He hopes readers will understand that exceeding any money issues, the issue of copyright is important.
5-4-06 (12:48AM EDT)—- Hokkaido Souvenir Shop Chara Goes Viral
Anything can become a popular character franchise in Japan and the latest, Marimokkori, just happens to be based on a Moss Ball. To precise, Marimo are green colored algae balls known to grow in large colonies around Japan’s northernmost isle of Hokkaido. Lately, a souvenir shop near Akan Lake has been selling cell phone straps featuring the chara like hotcakes. They claim to move 50 of the straps per day. Souvenir wholeseller Kyowa of Sapporo first put the straps on the market for 400 Yen apiece last February. Popularly ignited surrounding the character after female Japanese olympic figure skater Ando Miki was photographed talking on a phone with one of the straps dangling from it. 200,000 of the straps have been said to have been sold in Kushiro and New Chitose airports. Now, an entire pantheon of related Marimokkori characters can be found on straps and other products such as stuffed animals are being planned. The defining feature of the character is a peculiar bulge bellow the abdomen.
5-3-06 (11:14PM EDT)—- 2006 Cost Of Building Anime Style Humanoid Robot
At least 600 servo motors (there are more than 600 muscles in a human) seem to be necessary to faithfully reproduce man’s full range of articulation with machines. However, the number of motors used in modern real world humanoid robots (Asimo uses 26) currently hover around a max figure of 30-40 such units. The anime / manga robot Tetsujin 28 is said to use around 600 motors. Because the price of a single 3000kw output motor is around 400 million Yen, figure in 240 Billion Yen for 600 such units. You’ll also need to install a generator with a maximum output of 1.8 million kw (3000kw X 600 units). Because the construction expense of one nuclear power plant of one millionkw class is 300 billion yen, figure 600 billion Yen per one millionkw X 2 in total. Then there is electronic equipment cost and you’ll need to buy structural components, computers, sensors and pay programers to write propriatary software. It seems the low ball figure for reprodcing a humanoid style anime robot in 2006 terms is around 1 trillion Yen (close to 9 billion US Dollars).
5-3-06 (10:29PM EDT)—- Namco Bandai At E3
Daniel sends in a list from Gamespot who has published a complete list of Namco Bandai offerings to be had there and some other information:
Xenosaga Episode III: Also sprach Zarathustra – PlayStation 2 (Fall 2006) Tales of the Abyss – PS2 (Fall 2006) Pac-Man World Rally – PS2, PSP, GameCube, PC (Summer 2006) Ace Combat X: Skies of Deception – PSP (Fall 2006) Tekken: Dark Resurrection – PSP (Summer 2006) The Legend of Heroes II: Prophecy of the Moonlight Witch – PSP (June 2006) Mobile Ops: The One Year War – Xbox 360 Mage Knight Apocalypse – PC (Summer 2006) Warhammer: Mark of Chaos – PC (Fall 2006) Hellgate: London – PC The Fast and the Furious – PS2, PSP (Summer 2006) Snoopy vs. The Red Baron – PS2, PSP, PC (Fall 2006) Charlie Brown’s All-Stars – PS2, PSP (Spring 2007) Naruto: Ultimate Ninja – PS2 (June 2006) Zatchbell!: Mamodo Fury – PS2, GameCube (Fall 2006) .hack//G.U. Vol. 1: Rebrth – PS2 (Fall 2006) One Piece Grand Adventure – PS2, GameCube (Fall 2006) IGPX – PS2 (Fall 2006) Eureka Seven Vol 1: The New Wave – PS2 (Summer 2006)
5-3-06 (4:33AM EDT)—- Yoake Mae Yori Ruri Iro Na To Be Animated
August-Soft has announced that its sexy PC adventure game Yoake Mae Yori Ruri Iro Na will be adapted into an anime television series for broadcast in August 2006. Directing is Masahiko Ohta (Nadia), Composition by Aoshima Takashi (Hanaukyo Maid Team), Script by Aoshima Takashi and Hideyuki Koyasu (Happy Seven), Chara Design by Yoshihiro Watanabe (DearS), Animation Production by Warabe Yume and Gatsu Bunka Kouryuukai. The Director mentions arriving at the series climax by persuing 3-4 seperate storylines which will gradually converge. Fans should look for more comedic elements than in the game version. More details are due in a future issue of Megami Magazine. The telecast run is expected to go at least 12 episodes.
5-3-06 (2:53AM EDT)—- Saint October TV Details
Konami has announced plans regarding the upcoming Saint October anime TV series. Described as a neo-gothic action story it features three detective girls who confront various unexplained mysteries and and strange fates. Fashion style is an important feature of the characters and each has a unique gothic or neo-victorian dress. The main character is 14 year old Hayama Kotono, she gives the outside appearance of a bright girl with a good daily life adept at solving mysteries. However, Hayama harbors a dark past and feels she was thrown away by her parents. She deals with a trauma that was never able to be erased. Many unusual things happen in her life and she’s enlisted to investigate paranormal phenomena. Kiira and Okama are lead chara designers, other staff and Cast have yet to be revealed. Studio Comet is handling animation production. Official Website: www.saintoctober.konami.jp
5-3-06 (12:16AM EDT)—- Crossbone Gundam Manga Revives
According to the June issue of Gundam Ace, “Kidou Senshi Crossbone Gundam Koutetsu No 7 Nin” will begin serializing from the July issue. This revives the Crossbone Gundam manga storyline originally circulated between 1994-1997. It currently comprises 6 volumes which were written by Tomino Yoshiyuki and illustrated by Hasegawa Yuichi. The story is a sequel to the anime movie Gundam F91. The existing Crossbone story takes place 10 years after the events of F91. If the title is any indication, the new story will feature 7 new mobile suits. In recent years among Japanese internet fans, Crossbone Gundam has long been speculated as the next storyline to be animated follwing Gundam Seed.
5-2-06 (11:41PM EDT)—- COMIC SEED Returns
We reported last year on Penguin Shobo’s Declaration of Bankruptcy and the dropping of the popular free online Japanese Language COMIC SEED Manga anthology. Last month, Futabasha Publishers announced they had acquired the rights to continue COMIC SEED and plan to roll it back out with a new advertising / business model. Their first issue debuted online April 28th. Former Comic High Editor Nonaka Nakago assumes Chief Editing duties. Web delivery will occur monthly at the end of the month, free of charge on the web. Futabasha plans to draw earnings through advertisement income and by selling the contents through print and paper / e-book publishing. Partnerships have been forged with with Digi-book Japan, Inc. and Axel-Mark Company to distribute the manga through mobile phones, delivering advertisement, producing e-books, etc. 10 individual serial stories and 250 pages are planned per issue. The 2nd issue due on May 31st will feature Kaworu Watashiyaka’s extremely popular “Kodomo no Jikan” Monthly Comic High! magazine. The company plans on exceeding the 70,000 readers the old COMIC SEED drew in and doubling the number of readers to 150,000. Official Website: www.comicsesed.jp
5-2-06 (8:31PM EDT)—- Popular Web Mangaka Vanishes After Winny Incident
Last spring in Japan, mangaka TIMAKING’s webcomic Afghanistan reached heights of popularity among Japanese fans. The four-frame per serial comicstrip made the southwest Asian nation and it’s neighboring countries a topic, covering the history of the region from the age of imperialism and European control in the 19th century. Following the serial’s end after a short run, a sequel webmanga – Pakistan followed, it ran for 4 stories before ending. Like so many popular webmanga authors, TIMAKING was offered a chance to publish Afghanistan in print and paper. A book was scheduled to be released in Japan from Sansai Books on July 22nd, 2005, marking the author’s commercial debut. At the end of June however, it was revealed the author’s personal computer was loaded with the P2P software Winny and had become infected with a virus. Around 100 MB’s worth of files such as documents and desktop images had flowed out onto Winny. Among them, it was found the author had downloaded copyrighted manga, Eroge and Anison, legality became a question. A list of these files were republished and the files themselves uploaded around the web on BBS’s. Discussion brewed on the Internet regarding the case. After many delays the Afghanistan book was finally sold on July 26th, 2005. After the Winny episode had come to light, the author’s official website was not updated and to this day, he or she has never commented on the case. Since then, TIMAKING has all but vanished from the public light, not participating in doujinshi circle meets such as Comike. The author’s official website has disappeared as of April 6th, 2006.
5-2-06 (7:21PM EDT)—- Akitaro Daichi To Direct Bokura Ga Ita TV
It was revealed in a recent issue of Shogakukan’s Betsucomi Magazine that Yuki Obata’s Bokura ga Ita manga will be adapted to an TV anime series. Broadcasting is set for July, 2006. Obata took the 50th Shogakukan Manga Prize in the girls’ comics section. Total sales of the manga have exceeded 4.8 million. Staff includes – Director: Akitaro Daichi (Jubei Chan), Screenplay: Mamiko Ikeda (Di Gi Charat Nyo!) Ogawa Mizuki and Yuka Yamada, Music: Double Oates (Fruits Basket), Sound Supervisor: Tanaka Kazuya (Kuromi). Animation Production Art Land. Official Website: www.bokuragaita.com
5-2-06 (5:06AM EDT)—- Strongest Boss In 2D Gaming History?
A Japanese Gamer has setup a website to who he calls the strongest 2D boss in video gaming history. The year is 1994; the game: a Street Fighter II clone – Taito’s Kaiser Knuckle; The character: The General.
5-2-06 (4:40AM EDT)—- Web Roundup
-Sunrise has a new web presence for the original Gundam series at www.gundam.jp.
-Toei Animation now has a site for the upcoming PowerPuff Girls anime remake at www.toei-anim.co.jp/tv/ppgz.
-Web for the tentatively titled 13 episode Tsuyokisu TV series is up at www.tsuyokiss.jp. Broadcast is scheduled to run from July-September, 2006. A PS2 game is set for a May 25 release. An original character will become the hero of the anime version vs the game version.
-The website for the forthcoming Zero no Tsukaima TV series has relaunched at www.zero-tsukaima.com.
5-2-06 (3:57AM EDT)—- Mokomichi To Star In Regatta Drama
Hayami Mokomichi will star in the TV Asahi TV drama adaptation of Regatta due to begin running in July. Hara Hidenori (Densha Otoko) is the author of the original comic “regatta kun toita eien”, serialized in Weekly Young Sunday magazine (Shogakukan) since 2001. The story follows a university student who faces his best friend’s death, deals with love and struggles towards Olympic competition as a regatta oarsman. This is Hayami’s first leading drama role.
5-2-06 (2:18AM EDT)—- Galaxy Angel II Gets Director
In a blog entry Ragnarok and Magikano TV series Director Seiji Kishi recently revealed himself as the director for the forthcoming Galaxy Angel 2 TV series.
5-2-06 (2:11AM EDT)—- Angel Links / Outlaw Star Remaster DVD BOX Web
Sunrise has established a pre-site for it’s forthcoming Angel Links and Outlaw Star Remaster DVD BOX sets (due on 9.22 for 39,900 Yen and on 7.28 for 14,700 Yen respectively).
5-2-06 (12:55AM EDT)—- Rewritten NANA Anime Script Almost Stalled Premiere
Following the run of the smash hit live action film adaptation of Ai Yazawa’s NANA manga last summer, the TV anime version debuted April 5th at 11:55PM on Nippon Television Network. Ratings for the first episode were announced as a 6.2% share. However, a story has come to light of a reported snafu immediately before the broadcast premiere of NANA. It seems the scripts of 2 episodes of the series were rewritten by the producers to the author’s disapproval. Yazawa-san was reportedly very angry and the start of the TV anime was temporarily in doubt. The settlement to the situation is currently uncertain though there have been fan complaints sent to the voice actors and staff.
5-2-06 (12:42AM EDT)—- Suzumiya Haruhi no Yutsu OP Ranks In Oricon Top 10
The single featuring 18 year old Aya Hirano’s Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu TV series Opening Theme Boken Deshodesho has hit 10th place on Oricon’s Daily CD singles ranking chart. The release was made April 26, 2006.
5-1-06 (10:07PM EDT)—- SBS To Drop Blood+ Amid Media Row
Shizuoka Broadcasting System (SBS) will discontinue the broadcast of the Blood+ TV series from the end of May. Officially, the move comes after telecast permission from rights holder Mainichi Broadcasting was refused. As a result, SBS will air their final authorized episode on May 27th. Unofficially, observers are citing possible tension between Mainichi and the largest shareholder in SBS, Shizuoka Shimbun. The local newspaper reportedly published a critical piece on MBS’s “tsuchi 6 anime” block in January of this year. Other shows in the block are also to cease broadcast and no reconciliation to allow a contunuance via SBS is evident for the near future. Re-broadcasting through affiliated TV networks near the prefecture is being examined.
5-1-06 (10:07PM EDT)—- 6th Season For NHK BS Manga Yawa
NHK’s late night chat show which interviews various luminous personalities in the anime and manga field, “BS Manga Yawa” (BS Manga Night Stories) has announced it’s 6th season. Hosted by the beautiful Nakagawa Shoko and Sato Takumi, the NHK BS-2 broadcast series is set to kickoff with a 3 day late night marathon this week. On Tuesday, May 2 at 23:00 the 1977-1979 Yatterman TV series directed by Sasagawa Hiroshi will be the focus. On Wednesday, May 3 at 23:00 GAINAX’s 1987 debut work Wings Of The Honneamise (Royal Space Force) directed by Hiroyuki Yamaga will be the focus. On Thursday, May 4 at 23:00 2004’s Ghost In The Shell 2 Innocence directed by Mamoru Oshii will become the focus. Special guests for all 3 programs have yet to be announced. You can leave comments and questions for the guests at the official website. For further details: http://www.nhk.or.jp/manga/main.html
5-1-06 (9:36PM EDT)—- Heidi Stamps
Based on the classic 52 episode 1974 children’s TV Anime ARUPUSU NO SHOJO HAIJI (HEIDI: GIRL OF THE ALPS), Japan Post has allowed the commission of a set of special stamps to commemorate the series. Heidi was a collaboration between West Germany and Japan which achieved high popularity with Japanese families, earning an a audience rating of 20%+. 30 years later Heidi continues to be ranked high on the list of all time popular anime. A sheet of the set of 10 stamps is retailing for 3,150 Yen. For more info and online purchase: http://postbiz.jp/menu/stamp/hi/hi.html
5-1-06 (8:25PM EDT)—- Kiniro No Koruda TV
According to info published in the June edition of LaLa Magazine (4/24 release): Based on the popular love adventure video game series and manga by Kure Yuki, serialized in Hakusensha’s LaLa magazine, Kiniro No Koruda (La Corda d’ Oro, Golden Chord) will be adapted to TV animation. The comic is serialized in Hakusensha’s “LaLa” Magazine. Directing is Ochikou Hitoshi, Script by Reiko Yoshida (ARIA The ANIMATION), Chara Design by Maki Fujioka (Jigoku Sensei Nube), Production by Yumeta Company, Cast: Taniyama Akira, Reiko Takagi and Kentaro Ito. It’s currently unclear if the show will draw more upon the manga or games for direction and storyline although many have already pointed out a closer rapport to the game side based on staff and cast data released.
5-1-06 (12:05AM EDT)—- Kikoushi Enma OVA
Based on the classic 1973-73 Go Nagai children’s anime TV series Dororon Enma-kun, a OVA evolution of the original, Kikoushi Enma has been announced. This time the plot is that of true adult horror, the 4 episode series will release through Bandai Visual on August 25th. Original Story: Go Nagai, Director: Mamoru Kobe (NieA_7), Screenplay: Takawo Yoshioka (Elfen Lied), Character Design: Komaru Toshiyuki (MAR), Demon Design: Tanaka Makoto (My Neighbor Totoro), Music Production: Lantis, Animation Production: Brains Base. Official Website: www.k-enma.com. A trailer should be made available at sometime in the future at this URL.
4-30-06 (11:46PM EDT)—- Princess Princess Drama
Based on the manga by Mikiyo Tsuda, Princess Princess is destined to become a new TV drama series according to the most recent issue of Shinshokan Publishing’s Wings magazine. The live-action cast was expected to be announced in the issue of Wings sold in Japan on April 28th. Official Website: http://drama-pripri.jp/
4-30-06 (11:15PM EDT)—- Mamoru Nagano’s GOTHICMADE
Five Star Stories creator Mamaoru Nagano has unveiled a new anime project titled GOTHICMADE or “Gothicmade Hana No Shionna”. Nagano is the original creator, scenario writer, director, and character designer. The was a large spread for the work in the May edition of the Japanese Newtype which hit stands on April 10th. Those who have seen excerpts of the animation have remarked it’s extremely high quality animation and lack of CG. Whether this will become an OVA, TV series or Movie is still to be announced. The official website is www.gothicmade.com.
4-30-06 (7:15PM EDT)—- Sekai Atagoul Monogatari Film
Hiroshi Masumura’s (Night on the Galactic Railroad) Sekai Atagoul Monogatari manga will be adapted to an anime style 3D CG musical film. Media Factory will oversee the project, the original comic work was serialized in Media Factory’s “Comic Flapper”. Mizuho Nishikubo (Ghost In The Shell, Video Girl Ai) has been attached as Director. An autumn, 2006 release is planned for Japanese theaters.
4-30-06 (7:07PM EDT)—- Fight To Protect Creative Expression In Contents Goes Online
For anime, manga and video games it appears certain contents guidelines restrictions are inevitably coming down very very soon in Japan. The final result could forever change the j-pop culture product that those in the outside world eventually consume. Recently, a number of fans have taken to the net to protect what they see as the stifling of creative expression in these mediums. One group has Set up a Wiki covering the “Summary Of Manga, Anime And Game Expression Restriction Method Study Committee Problem Of The National Police Agency” (www11.atwiki.jp/stop_kisei). There, one can find a blow by blow account of recent regulation attempts including a seminar held on April 6th by The Japanese National Police Agency where new restrictions to be introduced into law were talked up. A conclusion of the meeting was sexual expression in anime, manga and games were prime motivators of sex crimes directed toward children. A final proposal will be drafted by the group between June-August. Two dimensional child pornography restrictions are expected to be regulated heavily with all sexual content in the visual realm required to depict characters (male and female) to be no less than 18 years old. Mediums to be affected include Eroge (erotic video games), Eromanga, 801, BL and Shota (content featuring male characters under thirteen years of age). Beyond this, common nudity and sexual situations in mainstream manga and anime could be affected. In the wake of this, the Japanese media has focused in on the issue, turning out reports such an April 10th NTV one that can be seen at youtube. The fan group we mentioned above describes this as an “Otaku Bashing Report” that equates all otaku with “sex criminals in reserve”. Fans have lashed back with their own Flash Animation parodies (we have to go biased and say this one is hilarious!) of the situation lambasting the government, the controlled media, the police and advocates for restriction.
4-30-06 (6:32PM EDT)—- Sleeping Medicine Drugging / Theft Linked To GTO?
On September 22nd, 2005 the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department juvenile crime section responded to an incident in Ikebukuro where a man claimed he was robbed of cash after being drugged with sleeping medicine. A 15 and 18 year old girl were later arrested on burglary charges. They admitted to the crime and to robbing 470,000 Yen from seven people in total in August, 2005. The girls said they used the money on karaoke fees etc. At around 2:00AM on August 26th at a hotel in Toshima Ward, Tokyo the girls met with the 44 year old man they met through an online dating website. They admitted mixing sleeping medicine within the man’s drinks (oolong tea and ice coffee). Around 110,000 Yen was taken from the man as he slept in the drugged state. The dosage of sleeping medicine used was said to be three times the amount normally prescribed. An interesting connection to this case is being drawn with the GTO (Great Teacher Onizuka) TV drama. Some in the Japanese media are saying the girls could have been inspired by an episode of the series which sleeping medicine is used in a similar way.
4-30-06 (5:39PM EDT)—- Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou Manga Ends
To the surprise of many fans, Ashinano Hitoshi’s Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou (Record of Yokohama Shopping Trip) saw it’s final serial in Kodansha’s Afternoon magazine in February. The comic has ran since 1995, spawning 2 OAV’s. 14 collected volumes will complete release in May. In recent months, fan discussion has turned to the author’s possible next creation and the possibility of more animation now that the story has wrapped.
4-30-06 (5:24PM EDT)—- Tokyo Tribe 2 To Be Animated
It looks like Santa Inoue’s Tokyo Tribe 2 will get the animation treatment with a debut on WOWOW later in 2006.
4-30-06 (5:44AM EDT)—- Muteki Kanban Musume Anime TV Series
Jun Sadogawa’s manga Muteki Kanban Musume (Noodle Fighter Miki) will become a animated TV series to broadcast in July, 2006. Directing will be Nobuo Tomizawa (Lupin III), Script by Kyosuke Machida (Saiyuki Reload), Chara designs by Keiko Nakaji (Princess Mononoke), Animation production by Telecom Animation Film. Storyline is a comedic tale of the adventures of a girl who works in a noodle shop and her friends. A placeholder website has been launched at www.onimaru.net. The comic was first published in Weekly Shonen Champion in 2002.
4-30-06 (5:12AM EDT)—- Iryu: Team Medical Dragon Dramatized
The award-winning manga Iryu: Team Medical Dragon by Total Nagai Akira and Nogizaka Taro has been adapted to drama TV series format in Japan, beginning broadcast from April 13th. Actor Kenji Sakaguchi (30) plays the lead role of a genius surgeon in Fuji Television Networks serial. The original comic ran in Shogakukan’s Big Comic Superior Magazine from April, 2002. Featuring complex modern medical issues, the manga (ten volumes long as of this writing) has exceeded two million copies in sales. Iryu took the prestigeous 50th Shogakukan Cartoon Prize last year.
4-30-06 (4:25AM EDT)—- Ai Fukuhara In Kotenko Update
As we reported last year, Japanese Ping Pong (Table Tennis) star Ai Fukuhara made a guest vocal appearance on the January 26, 2006 episode of the Kotencotenco TV animation. This marked her first voice acting role and reviews have comeback resoundingly positive. You can view an image of Fukuhara with her “Ai-chan” anime alter ego shown in the upper right hand corner.
4-30-06 (4:24AM EDT)—- Death Note Anime
While sparse details are available, following up Friday’s film series news, it’s just been revealed that Tsugumi Ooba and Takeshi Obata’s Death Note manga will be adapted to animation by Nippon Television Network in Japan. A video game is due there this winter and a tribute album will be released in June. No official timetable exists for the anime roll-out although a Fall 2006 (we’re hearing October) release is likely.
4-30-06 (2:27AM EDT)—- VOTOMS Creator And Animators Deliver FLAG
Newcomers The Answerstusdio, Aniplex, Sunrise animation studio and original VOTOMS creator Ryosuke Takahashi have come together to produce a new animation series titled FLAG. Past partnerships between the parties of Takahashi and Sunrise (VOTOMS, Mellowlink, SPT Layzner, Gasaraki, Gundam 0083) have yielded some of the grimmest and grittiest detail rich portrayals of war to ever be animated. FLAG is touted to be no different, described as “Super High Quality Real Battlefield Animation”. Indeed, the format style of the work is said to be truly ground breaking, visualizing the story from a documentary style perspective which producers claim represents a first such attempt. They want FLAG to go out as a new form of realistic anime, expanding the possibility of expression in the medium. 13 episodes have been confirmed with the first set to be available on Bandai Channel and AII “Screenplus” from June 16th, 2006. The storyline revolves around civil war involving a small country in Asia in the year 20XX. Conflict expands even under the intervention of the United Nations army and a chance photograph of the FLAG taken in the battlefield has profound implications for all concerned. The FLAG becomes an emblem of peace and the brutal combat takes a turn towards peace. That said, an armed group of radicals capture the FLAG and plot obstruction, attempting to break the cease-fire. SDC (Special Development Command) “Shedacc” receives orders to take the FLAG back under the utmost secrecy. To record all operations activity, Sirasu Saeko, a 25 year old cameraman is assigned to the mission. Coincidentally, it turns out she was also the one responsible for the earlier, pivotal photo of the FLAG. The party is equipped with the latest mechanized armor suit HAVWC (High Agility Versatile Weapon Carrier). Even with such an advantage they come up against heavy fighting as the young photographer captures every bit of the action. Original story and General supervision provided by Ryosuke Takahashi, Direction by Kazuo Terada (Ulysses 31), Series composition and Screenplay by Toru Nozaki (Gasaraki, Witch Hunter Robin), Mechanical designs by Miyatake Kazutaka (Macross, Dunbine), Chara designs by Kazuyoshi Takeuchi (Akira) and Yuuji Watanabe. Sound direction by Keiichi Momose (Steamboy) and Music by Yoshihiro Ike (Ergo Proxy, Blood The Last Vampire). Animation production by Sunrise and The Answerstudio (www.answerstudio.co.jp). Answerstudio is composed of much of the former Disney Japan studios and interestingly enough, observers are already pointing out a “yankee” style seen in some of the promo stills from the series. Cast info is expected to be announced shortly. The official website is www.flag20xx.net. Streaming video trailers are linked there however they don’t seem to work as of this writing.
4-28-06 (4:17AM EDT)—- DEATH NOTE Film Project Progressions
Major news to relay on the front of the upcoming 2 tiered DEATH NOTE movie series. The first serial is due in Japanese theaters on Saturday, June 17th with the second following closely in October. Distribution is being handled by Warner, a box-office profit target of 10 billion Yen from both films combined has been set, 320 theaters are being aimed at for the release. Fans outside of Japan can rejoice in the fact that both an overseas distribution of these 2 movies and possible remakes are being looked at. Combined, both films have a 2 billion Yen production budget. Nippon Television Network will acquire substantial rights after the theatrical release. Cast will include Tatsuya Fujiwara as Raito Yagami, Ken’ichi Matsuyama as L, Toda Erika as Misa, Kaga Takeshi as Souichiro, Mishima Hikari as Sayu, Godai Michiko as Sachiko, Fujiwara Shunji as Watari, Seto Asaka as Naomi, Hosokawa Shigeki as Raye, Aoyama Souta as Matsuda, Shimizu Shin as Aizawa, Okuda Tatsuhito as Ukita and Nakamura Ikuji as Mogi. Production staff includes: Director: Kaneko Shuusuke, Subdirector: Yamaguchi Kouji, Director-something: Matsue Yoshiki and Camerawork by Takase Hiroshi.
4-28-06 (3:52AM EDT)—- Yotsubato! Drama Rumors
Even as volume 5 of Azuma Kiyohiko’s (Azumanga Daioh) Yotsubato! is expected to hit store shelves in Japan today, internet rumors continue among fans there that the work will be adapted to a TV drama at some point in the future. The mangaka addressed these rumors as being false in a July 28, 2005 blog entry. Masses of fanmail to the author asked though, that if a drama was made, to also make an animated version. ADV Manga holds the North American license to Yotsubato!.
4-28-06 (1:56AM EDT)—- Anime Blackouts Reported As TV Goes Digital
Japan has set a national goal to shift it’s terrestrial broadcast television standard from analog to digital methods by 2011. A number of stations are already transmitting digitally as compatible TV sets have flooded Japan’s popular retail outlets. In recent weeks there has been concern in some areas of Japan as reports have come in that viewers are not able to view popular programming on digital TV TOKYO affiliates. The network is known for it’s unique programs and high anime content. Part of the problem seems to stem from the fact that the new digital waves are being transmitted with a weaker signal strength than their analog predeccesors. Cutting back the power on a digital TV signal being broadcast is a common technique used to guard against interference in analog transmission broadcasting around the same frequency. As low as one-hundredth of the power of the analog signals can be used. It’s believed that as analog is gradually replaced, the signal strengths in the digital spectrum will be brought up. In the meantime, regarding our current case in-question, this is leading some viewers in Japan to buy bigger antennas in some instances to get reception. Many have also made complaints to the Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications Communication Bureau etc. Common patterns in the complaints include lines like “Our child was not able to see the animated cartoon”.
4-28-06 (12:48AM EDT)—- Normal ANS Updates To Return
Reports of our demise are greatly exaggerated and after many months travelling and working across Japan with various contents partners, we’re now firmly back in the saddle within our Tokyo office. We’ve been as far south as the Ryuku’s, as far north as the disputed Kuril island chain and everywhere in between. Admittedly, what we’ve seen has raised so many more questions than answers although we feel we are somewhat closer to understanding something about the majestic isles of Japan. From our perspective of being the most immersed news source of it’s type, now working toward our 9th year online, please allow us to continue to be your guide to manga, anime, games and j-pop culture.
4-28-06 (12:01AM EDT)—- ANS Server Down Time
The server hard drive that hosts the ANS website and associated files crashed in the last 24 hours. We lost all the data there but have it backed up and we’re filtering it in bit by bit as we speak. We apologize for the downtime to those trying to access the news service during this period.
1-24-06 (3:01PM EST)—- Anime Press Center Becomes Tokyo Anime Center
First announced on fliers distributed at Anime Expo in 2000, a longterm project of Studio Hard founder, Nobuyuki Takahashi, has been The Anime Press Center (also refered to as Animation Press Center – old url: www.apctokyo.com). Takahashi is widely known as first coining the term “cosplay” in the 1980’s and his company studio Hard has been involved in contract work for many years, producing article contents for major otaku magazines such as Newtype. Going on hiatus for some time, in 2005, the project revived in full force, with the APC having it’s own booth at the Tokyo Anime Fair. Takahashi’s Akihabara Imaginitive Institute drafted the plans for the current incarnation of the APC, describing it in promotional materials as “a Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) system showcasing visual contents talent. This highly-precise system that allows for measured efficiency will serve to unite youthful passion through incorporating the following components: an office space used to carry out various activities such as the transmission and accumulation of data to and from around the world; a PC booth area allowing visitors to receive and transmit data as they please; workshop serving as areas to hold multiple public symposiums and reveal the latest visual systems; and top screens displaying digests anime and Video Game CG visuals.” Additionally their plan called for numerous contents business support functions, events and anime premiere hosting and more.
At the start of January the APC was renamed Tokyo Anime Center (www.animecenter.jp), operations will start there on March 15th when it opens on the 4th floor of Akihabara’s new UDX building, a component of the Akihabara Crossfield facility. Although it retains a number of original core functions, the physical layout of the space and a number of objectives have been tweaked. Someone close to the project has informed ANS that the center will be involved in the Tokyo Anime Fair in some capacity.
1-24-06 (12:53PM EST)—- Cheng Completes Battle Of Wits
Director Jacob Cheung has finished filming BATTLE OF WITS (aka BATTLE OF WISDOM), which is based on an 11-volume manga series from Japan titled Bokko, or Mo Zi in Chinese. Bokko was written by Mori Hideki, Sakemi Kenichi and Kubota Sentaro. The historical action film stars Andy Lau, Sung-kee Ahn, Bingbing Fan, Zhiwen Wang, and Nicky Wu. It takes place during China’s turbulent warring states period and centers around the exploits of Ge Li of the Mo family, known for their non-aggressive ideology. When the kingdom of Zhao invades the sparsely populated kingdom of Liang with a 15,000-strong army, Ge alone comes to the aid. Post-production for the project will take place in Beijing, Japan, Hong Kong and Thailand. It will be release later this year. Source: Cinescape – Special Thanks To Daniel For The Link
1-24-06 (6:55PM EST)—- Broccoli Financial Woes Continue
Broccoli reports it’s temporarily closing its Gamers store in Ikebukuro as of January 15th after 9 years of operation. Our source on this news, Anime News Network incorrectly states the company suffered a 903 million yen deficit in 2005, compared to 20 million yen of expected positive cash flow. Broccoli’s Financial Year 2005 does not close until February 2006, to speak of this in the completed past-tense sense is not proper because we won’t know the final numbers until after the books are closed. Also, the figures for the forecasted deficit in net profit terms were revised in the middle of January from 931 million yen to 1 billion 365 million yen.
1-24-06 (11:59AM EST)—- Witchblade Manga
Based on the animation (which is in turn based on the American comics series), Akita Shoten has secured the rights to publish the Witchblade Manga. The serial will begin running in Champion RED from the April, 2006 edition (on sale February 18). The full scale launch will occur in the May edition (on sale March 18), running 38P the manga is said to feature color illustrations.
1-24-06 (11:58AM EST)—- TOP2 OVA 5 Release
According to the official website the 5th OVA of GAINAX’S Top O Narae is set for release on March 24th. There are several preview images available at the link.
1-24-06 (11:56AM EST)—- Ghibli To Begin Screening Gedo Senki Trailer
Although not scheduled to open to the public until July, a preview trailer for the Goro Miyazaki directed fantasy animation will begin being screened in movie theaters across Japan from Saturday, February 24th. The trailer is said to run around three minutes in length.
1-24-06 (11:50AM EST)—- Digimon Savers
Toei Animation has launched it’s official website for the new Digimon Savers TV anime at: http://www.toei-anim.co.jp/tv/digimon_s/.
1-24-06 (11:43AM EST)—- “All Anime Is Porno” Generalizations In Malaysia
The Star Online reports on a Bahasa Malaysia daily front-paged a story about anime, generalizing animation with sex as anime. The article caused a furor among anime fans, many of whom thought the generalisation of the word anime was a gross injustice to their passion. Christina Saw, retail supervisor of anime retailers Anime Tech, stressed that it is inaccurate and unacceptable to say that “animation with sex is more popularly known as anime”, and that the writer of the article should have been more careful with the words used. The piece concludes by mentioning there are 5 anime and manga retail outlets in Malaysia, Anime Tech is the largest retail chain store. The nation’s first ever Anime Festival event was held in Mid Valley Megamall, Kuala Lumpur, in 2003, drawing 70,000 fans.
1-24-06 (11:30AM EST)—- ARIA Season 2
“Aria The Animation Dai 2 Ki” (ARIA The ANIMATION Second Stage) will begin broadcast in Japan in April.
1-24-06 (11:06AM EST)—- New Comtiq ACE Manga Serials
Confirmed to begin running in vol.5 of Kadokawa Shoten’s Comtiq ACE are the following new manga series: “EVEv newgeneration” with story by Project EVE – art by Fujima Takuya (Deus Vitae – Free Collars Kingdom) and “AR – Wasure Sara Reta Natsu -” with story by CIRCUS and art by Hyura Konata (Your’s WOW!, Flower Pillow, Bakuhatsu Sunzen!!).
1-24-06 (10:56AM EST)—- TOKKO To Be Animated
Scheduled for broadcast on WOWOW beginning in April, 2006, Fujisawa Tohru’s manga “TOKKO” has been confirmed as being adapted to an anime TV series. The seinen work has been serialized in Kodansha’s Afternoon Magazine. The plotline centers around a police theme which Anime Waves describes in the following way: “Shindou just became a new investigator for Tokki: The Special Mobile Investigation Force. On the day of his graduation, he finally saw the half-naked girl that he had always saw in his dream in real life and finds out that she’s part of Tokko: The Special Public Safety Task Force. Shindou ends up joining Tokko to revenge his parents’ death who’s bodies were ripped into pieces.” Reports had first circulated around last summer surrounding the adaptation and WOWOW’s involvement although now the timetable has been made official.
1-23-06 (12:29PM EST)—- Fujio F Fujiko Memorial Being Built In Kawasaki
Kawasaki City (Kanagawa Prefecture) clarified the direction of their planned memorial pavilion to late Doraemon creator Fujiko F Fujio. Tentatively titled “Fujiko F Fuji Art Works”, 40,000 of the mangaka’s original illustrations, writings and other materials will be preserved there. A construction site of Mukogaokayuen in Kawasaki’s northern part has been settled on. Many of the manuscripts and artwork are being supplied by his family. News of a possible memorial first surfaced when his wife offered to donate some of these articles to to Kawasaki City where she resided for years. An agreement was reached between the city and Fujiko Productions (who manages his creations commercially) to allow the exhibition. The structure is planned to be 2,000-4,000 square meters. Still officially unannounced, the city is expected to reveal these plans to the public soon.
1-23-06 (12:17PM EST)—- Death Note To Become Live Action Film Series
Weekly Shonen Jump no. 8 hit newsstands in Japan on Monday. According to news therein, Tsugumi Ooba and Takeshi Obata’s Death Note manga will become a live action feature film series in Japan. The first will be released in June with the second installment following in October. No production staff or cast have been revealed at this time although additional news will be forthcoming in later issues of Shonen Jump.
1-23-06 (11:47AM EST)—- Full Metal Alchemist Movie Takes Prize
Bones and Aniplex’s Hagaren Film, “Conquerer Of Shambala”, has been selected as a top prize award recipient in the 60th “dai kai mainichi eiga konku’ru” animation section. The awards ceremony will be held February 8th in Shibuya.
1-23-06 (11:22AM EST)—- Hong Kong Busts Site Selling Pirated Anime DVD’s
People’s Daily and Xinhua mention Hong Kong authorities have demolished an illegal website selling pirated animation DVD to Japanese customers through mail, local press reported on Sunday. The website, registered by a Hong Kong native named Cheung, made up as a legitimate Japanese one by updating stockpile information and purchase details in Japanese, custom officials were quoted by Chinese daily Wen Wei Po as saying. During its operation over half a year, the website has sold out some 12,000 pirated DVDs and made Cheung around one million HK dollars (129,198 U.S. dollars), estimated the officials.
1-23-06 (11:19AM EST)—- SPTI Gets Blood+ Rights
Through a deal with Aniplex, Sony Pictures Television International has acquired television and home video distribution rights for Production I.G.’s 50 episode Blood Plus TV series in the Asian, Latin American, North American, Australian and New Zealand regions. Rights will be offered at NATPE 2006 in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA (which starts tomorrow). DVD Distribution on will be handled by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
1-18-06 (7:58AM EST)—- Berserk Manga Breaks 21 Million Copies Sold
According to a currently running ad for Vol. 1-29 of the Berserk tankoubon, publisher, Hakusensha mentions Kentaro Miura’s horror/fantasy manga epic has exceeded 21 million copies sold. The print spot can be found at the tail end of the latest Berserk serial (#267) which runs in Young Animal magazine.