July 17, 2004 / by Anime News Services / Archived News / No Comments

Anime News Service – July 9 – 17 Anime News

7-17-04

Game Pro reviews the Japanese version of Astroboy for PS2.
Asia Media has updates on a court case involving an archaeologist in Japan who was accused of faslifying discoveries and Yoshinori Kobayashi’s comic series “Shin Gomanism Sengen”.
The New York Times reviews Darkhorse’s MEGATOKYO graphic novel. The art is drawn in manga style by Fred Gallagher
MTV News reports the American music group Linkin Park will release a package containing a DVD, comic book and T-shirt on July 27. The disc will contain the animated music video for “Breaking the Habit” and behind-the-scenes footage, and the comic and T-shirt will be illustrated in an anime style reminiscent of the animation in the video.
The Washington Times has a review of Dragon Ball Z: Supersonic Warriors, from Atari (for Game Boy Advance).

7-17-04—- Dreamworks To Promote Anime Holdings At Comic-Con

Dreamworks has informed ANS that it will be promoting it’s upcoming animated projects at the Comic-Con International, being held from July 22-25 in San Diego, CA. DreamWorks will be hosting a booth (#4321) where Anim? fans can get a sneak peek at ?Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence,? as well as last year?s ?Millennium Actress.? Visitors to the booth will be among the first to see footage from ?Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, written and directed by Mamoru Oshii, is the anticipated sequel to his cult anime film ?Ghost in the Shell.? The film, which was the first anim? to ever screen in competition at the Cannes Film Festival this year, is the story of a solitary cyborg who desperately wants to hold on to what?s left of his humanity in a world where the worth of the human soul is fading almost into obscurity. ?Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence? will be released in U.S. theaters on September 17, 2004 under the Go Fish Pictures banner, a division of DreamWorks Pictures. This is the second anim? film to be distributed by Go Fish Pictures after Satoshi Kon’s ?Millennium Actress? in September 2003.

7-16-04

According to Inidie Wire, IFC Films has acquired two Cannes ’04 competition films, Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-ada’s “Nobody Knows” and Hans Weingartner’s “The Edukators” from Germany. Celluloid Dreams handled sales on both films.
Games Industry interviews Square Enix Ltd.’s John Yamamoto in a new article and reveals the company’s plans on their European rollout and has some thoughts on the cross media marketing of product franchises: “Fullmetal Alchemist is a perfect example; the games alone would probably be quite good, but taken in the context of a long-running manga story and a popular animated TV series, the franchise takes on a whole new depth. “
PR Newswire has a release from Wizards of the Coast on their product rollout plans at San Diego Comic Con.
Software Zone out of Italy mentions the new DIVX 5.2 codec is out with support for 3 new languages: French, German and Japanese. The new DIVX has enhancements for rendering anime: Decoder: Blocking fix (Oops!) The 5.2 decoder corrects a small issue that can cause blocks to be displayed along high-contrast edges in the picture, mainly affecting anime content. Watch Pok?mon as it was meant to be viewed once again!
Extreme Tech has an article on the release of the DIVX 5.2, a popular video codec for computers. In an interview with chief codec architect Eric Grab, “…the new codec has improved handling of different quantization levels, meaning that it can adapt its encoding bitrates for different video streams. “A good example is anime,” Grub said. “Animated video uses a different quantization matrix than Star Wars.
DVD Talk has an advanced review of GITS: SAC Vol. 1.
Gigex has a bit on NIS America., Inc., who publishes Nippon Ichi Software products in North America. The company announced today that Phantom Brave, the anime style strategy role-playing game for the Playstation 2 game console, is set for pre-orders. Phantom Brave is published by NIS America and exclusively distributed by Atlus USA. Gamers who pre-order before August 31, 2004 at select retailers and online stores may receive the special Phantom Brave soundtrack bundle with the game. Consumers may pre-order at the following stores and more to receive the special pre-order bundle version of Phantom Brave.
Japanese Snacks get huge props in the American mainstream press today with a full featured article in the Louisville Kentucky Courier Journal.According to the article “….Pocky is gaining popularity particularly among young Americans enchanted by Japanese pop culture ? including anime (a form of animation) and manga (graphic novels). In Louisville, Pocky has popped up in such places as video stores, including Suncoast, comic shops like The Zone, and even at one movie theater’s concession stand.”
The Anchorage Daily News mentions the 2 Boscos comic stores in the are will be hosting some events this summer. One asks kids to submit their artwork into the anime art contest. See stores for details. Deadline is Aug. 31
The San Jose Mercury News reports from Aug. 27 Japanese anime will bolster the exhibition of works by Yoshitomo Nara at the nearby San Jose Museum of Art.

7-16-04—- Game Engine 2 In NYC

The Film Society of Lincoln Center and New York-Tokyo present:

Game Engine 2 A two hour showcase of videogame related footage from The New York Video Festival, followed by an after party.

Game Engine 2: Sunday, July 18 th 9pm. Walter Reade Theatre in Lincoln Center Admission: $10, 7$ students Film Society of Lincon Center Website

After Party: Sunday, July 18th immediately after Game Engine 2 Tribeca Grand Hotel Admission: Free, 21 and up.

The Film Society of Lincoln Center and New York-Tokyo present the second annual Game Engine program, a two hour showcase of video game footage, and special performances of live game-inspired music. This year, Game Engine is covering all grounds of the ever popular video game world with a bevy of material to please hardcore and causal gamers alike. Showcasing the often neglected amateur side of game development, Game Engine will introduce games currently being developed by some of the top indie developers. On the flipside, footage from Microsoft’s ambitious new Action/Role-Playing Game, Sudeki, will also be shown. In addition to game developers being featured, game players themselves will also be represented with footage of adept gamers made famous by their high scores in classic Arcade games such as Pacman. Games have not only influenced such popular mediums as movies and television, but also music, as two top game musicians, Bit Shifter and Nullsleep, will be performing their video game-inspired music created solely on Nintendo Gameboys. You will also be graced with a very special message shown by the critically acclaimed Japanese game developer Hideo Kojima?famous for creating the popular Metal Gear Solid series. In the exclusive video (containing an extended trailer of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater) Kojima will explain the details of his newest masterpiece as well as answer questions related to his work. This is just a taste of the program to be witnessed. If you are the least bit interested in the gaming world, Game Engine 2 is the perfect event to revel in the best of video games. Also, don’t forget to attend a special after party to be held immediately after the program at the lavish Tribeca Grand Hotel.

http://www.newyork-tokyo.com

7-15-04

The Army Times has a piece on the incredible story of accused US Army deserter Charles Jenkins, who has spent 39 years in North Korea. Jenkins married a Japanese woman, Hitomi Soga, who arrived in North Korea in 1978 after she was kidnapped by agents of the North. The family was recently reunited in Indonesia where they reportedly enjoyed a Harry Potter film, Japanese animation and Western foods like spaghetti.
The Japan Times examines Spiderman’s reception in the Japanese market.
– Two pieces in the Detroit Free Press. #1 is a review of the rerelease of the original Godzilla uncut. #2 mentions how a local video rental store is surviving by catering to the cult and anime fan markets.
The Cambridge Evening News mentions the city’s Film Festival, which is occuring this week have had their attendance numbers jump by more than 33 per cent. The Anime film “The Cat Returns” screened there.
Broadway World has reviewed a new CD, “Coffee House” by Susan Egan. She voiced the character ?Lin? in English for the American release of Hayao Miyazaki’s ?Spirited Away,? which won the 2003 Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. Egan has also recorded the English translation for another Miyazaki film, ?Porco Rosso,? which will be released August of 2004.
USA Today has full article devoted to Tokyopop’s Courtney Love Comic, Princes Ai: Destitution illustrated by Ai Yazawa. According to the article, early last year, Love approached Tokyopop with her idea for a story about a girl in search of her place in the world. She included some personal sketches of what the character might look like, according to Tokyopop CEO Stuart Levy.Tokyopop arranged a meeting between Love and famed Japanese manga illustrator Ai Yazawa. They met at the Park Hyatt in Tokyo (the setting for the 2003 film Lost in Translation). “This project would not have happened without Courtney,” Levy says. In fact, the “ai” in Princess Ai is Japanese for “love.”
Comic Book Resources has more details on Japanese toy giant Kaiyodo’s big debut at Comicon.
IGN has reviewed the latest in the Puyo Puyo series, Puyo Pop for Gamecube.
Ann Arbor News from Michigan mentions:
“KEY THE METAL IDOL 1: AWAKENING” 2-5 p.m., Ann Arbor District Main Library, 343 S. Fifth Ave. An android who matured by exchanging her artifical body for an older one is trapped in the body of a teenage girl when her creator dies. Part of the AADL’s anime movie festival. Free. Information: (734) 327-4200.

7-14-04—- Animax Indian Launch Reaches 8 Million Homes In 4 Days

According to Animax Asia, the recently launched Indian anime network has streamed into over eight million cable and satellite homes in just four days. Animax is reaching 90% of India’s five largest cities which include Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Bangalore. The network mentions the success is significant in the current market climate where cable operators will not neccesarily carry new channels due to their capacity constraints.

7-14-04—- Inu Yasha Movie Premiere At Comicon

San Francisco, CA, July 13, 2004 ? VIZ, LLC, one of the leading publishers and distributors of manga and anime for North American audiences, has formally announced the North American theatrical premiere of Inuyasha: Affections Touching Across Time, the first feature film of the widely popular anime fantasy series released in the United States. Inuyasha: Affections Touching Across Time will debut at Comic-Con 2004, to be held July 22?25 at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California. Inuyasha has established itself as one of the top manga/anime properties in North America and Japan due to its stunning artwork, beautiful animation, compelling characters and sophisticated storytelling. Inuyasha currently airs on Cartoon Network.

The film, based on author Rumiko Takahashi?s manga about the adventures of a half- demon dog boy, was originally released in December 2001 in Japan to critical acclaim. Inuyasha: Affections Touching Across Time is an action-filled, suspenseful story that pits Inuyasha against a powerful demon from China named Menomaru. Two hundred years ago, Inuyasha?s father managed to seal Menomaru?s evil demon father, Hyoga, away in a tomb, but a shard from the magical Shikon Jewel freed the son, Menomaru, allowing him to escape his imprisonment and threaten the entire land. It now falls to Inuyasha, along with his friends, to find away to stop Menomaru from wrecking havoc on civilization. Inuyasha: Affections Touching Across Time offers a new and exciting storyline and characters not previously seen in the manga titles.

Legions of Inuyasha fans will have the opportunity to see Inuyasha: Affections Touching Across Time when VIZ offers free screenings in the United States and Canada in eight major cities, including Baltimore, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Dallas, Philadelphia, New York and Toronto. The company will announce specific dates and theatres at Comic-Con and also post the information on the VIZ website, at www.VIZ.com.

?We are extremely proud and excited to premiere Inuyasha: Affections Touching Across Time to North American audiences who are extremely enthusiastic about its release.? said Anthony Jiwa, director of marketing for VIZ, LLC. ?So many people have embraced Inuyasha with such dedication, it continues to remain one of the most popular and best selling manga and anime properties in North America.?

As proof positive of the importance fans play in VIZ?s continued success, VIZ will feature an exciting once in a lifetime opportunity for fans ? VIZ will have a special sound booth at Comic-Con, where fans and visitors will have the chance to audition to be a voice over extra on an upcoming Inuyasha DVD. The winner will record their extra part at Ocean Studios in Vancouver, Canada and will have the opportunity to meet some of the English language voice actors.

The DVD edition of Inuyasha: Affections Touching Across Time will be released by VIZ on September 7, along with a new DVD boxed set containing the entire first season?s 27 episodes. To date, Inuyasha videos and DVDs have sold more than half a million copies in North America and sales continue to increase. Most recently the latest DVD volume of Inuyasha Vol.18: The Demon Within, was named the best selling anime home video on the Nielsen VideoScan list, for the week ending 06.01.2004.

7-14-04

Xinhua covers the SHREK 2 premiere in Tokyo where they have an image of Japanese actress Norika Fujiwara along with actress Cameron Diaz. Fujiwara is cast as Princess Fiona, played by Diaz, in the Japanese language version. The hit film screens in theatres in Japan July 24.
– The Korea Herald again mentions the Pifan Festival which will include the attraction “Pioneers of Japanese Animation: From Tekobo to Momotaro”.
Daily Variety reports the 57th Locarno International Film Festival will include Appleseed when it occurs Aug. 4-14. in Switzerland. Festival director Irene Bignardi describes the film “Japanese animation with a soul.”.
Silver Bullet Comics Mentions at San Diego Comicon on Sunday from 3-4: CMX: Pure Manga! DC Comics presents some of the world’s most renowned manga! Join DC’s VP – Business Development John Nee, WildStorm Editorial Director Jim Lee, WildStorm Vice President – General Manager Hank Kanalz and CMX Group Editor Jake Tarbox for this trans-Pacific panel!
Gigex takes a look at Atlus’ PS2 release of (Shin Megami Taisen) Digital Devil Saga.
The Japan Times mentions an exhibition of anime related art in Tokyo.
The Japan Times has a review of Katsuhiro Otomo’s Steamboy, the highest budgeted anime film of all time at 2.4 billion and 10 years of develpment to make.
The Freelance Star in VA mentions an anime meet is occurring within the doors of the Rappahannock Regional Library: Anime Expo: Are you an animaniac? Get together with other young adult enthusiasts to check out some Japanese anime, manga and other graphic novels. 4:30-5:30 p.m.
NetJack is carrying a text review of the recently released Mega Man Anniversary Collection for PS2.

7-13-04—- Samurai Deeper Kyo And Berserk Box Sets In Nov. From MB

Samurai Deeper Kyo Complete Collection w/Wooden Box At the epic battle of Sekigahara, two samurai face off outside of history. During the heated duel between Kyoshiro and Demon Eyes Kyo, a shooting star slams into the plains, shattering the ground and engulfing both of them. Years later Kyoshiro wanders the land with no knowledge of his past. Hidden deep inside his mind waits the soul of his old opponent, the merciless samurai Kyo. 6 Discs, 26 episodes, 650 minutes (complete collection) English/Japanese Dialogue with English Subtitles

Berserk Complete Collection (Alpha case box) In the castle town of Midland, a new king has come to power through treachery and violence. His demonic agents victimize the citizens relentlessly, until the night a battle weary soldier approaches the city. Covered in a slew of weapons and countless jagged scars, he calls himself the Black Swords man. The sword he carries is the as big as his grudge against the king, and he hunts the servants of evil with unending vengeful fury. 6 Discs, 25 episodes, 625 minutes (complete collection) English/Japanese Dialogue with English Subtitles

7-13-04—- Jast Licenses X-Change 3 For PC

JAST USA (http://www.jastusa.com/), has announced it’s licensing of X-Change 3 for release outside of Japan. X-Change 3, the third interactive dating-sim game in the popular series by Japanese game maker Crowd, once again follows the exploits of Takuya Aihara, the boy who twice before was changed into a girl through chemistry accidents. Years have passed since Takuya’s adventures as a girl, but Koji, the boy who fell in love with female Takuya, has never forgotten his passion. Will his attempts to turn Takuya into a girl once again lead to more exciting adventures? The game, which will be distributed on DVD-ROM, is currently being ported by JAST USA and Peach Princess. X-Change 2 has been the longest and most complex dating-sim game to be ported to English so far, with 23 unique endings and 35,000 lines of text. X-Change 3 will add even more rich complexity to the sex-changing comedy game series. In addition to X-Change 3, JAST USA and Peach Princess announced availability of the long-awaited Gibo – Stepmother’s Sin, another English-translated interactive PC game in which you play Yusuke, a boy who witnessed his mother’s infidelity at a young age. Now, your father has remarried, and suddenly you have a young, beautiful new stepmother. What will ensue as you explore the true nature of your beautiful new mother? A complex Freudean adventure with many twists, turns and off-color human in the tradition of interactive PC games for adults.

7-13-04—- NuTech Digital Signs First Foreign Deal

Nutech Digital, Inc. announced today that they have licensed their first European deal with Queenstone Financial for Germany, Austria and Switzerland. NuTech will act as the exclusive sales agent for Programs, Animated Classics, which include 25, 50-minute videos. NuTech will also be granted exclusive rights to market and license the Programs. NuTech Digital will have the rights to market, digital terrestrial, cable and satellite, pay TV, pay per view, video, DVD and all forms of new digital media, subject to existing licenses.

“We believe the expansion of our agreement shows that NuTech has the capabilities to meet demands not only in the United States, but throughout the world,” stated Lee Kasper, CEO of NuTech Digital. “We have created a new allegiance with Queenstone Financial to help us support our expansion process into the European markets,” explained Lee Kasper. He further went on to say, “I feel that this is the best option for expansion of our market. With the creation of this new partnership, NuTech Digital will be able to devote all its attention on new acquisitions. Queenstone’s sole role will be to manage license agreements throughout Europe, which will include NuTech’s child, animated products, action, adventure & horror series and the much anticipated concert series.”

7-13-04

Radio Singapore International has an audio interview on the Daft Punk / Matsumoto collaboration
Silver Bullet Comics mentions Japanese toy masters Kaiyodo will have a full display booth at San Diego Comicon attached to that of Diamond Comic Distributors, Inc. (booth #2401), their official North American distributor. Diamond has prominently featured Kaiyodo products at their heavily-trafficked display at San Diego for several years. “San Diego has become our showcase event to preview and display the latest and greatest toys from around the world,” stated DCD Import Toys Brand Manager, Frank Supiot, “and the addition of a free-standing Kaiyodo display at this year’s show will introduce convention-goers to all of the great products Kaiyodo has to offer.”
– Canada’s FPS Animation Magazine has a review of Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi
Gamespot Does The Secret Life Of Voice Actors and finds out some things on a Cowboy Bebop english star.
Planet Gamecube has interviewed the English localization director for the American release of Tales Of Symphonia.
The Detroit News has a review of the first GITS: Standalone Complex volume release
Newsrama talks to the creator of the series in a new interview (thanks to Daniel for the link)
– Another Summer film festival in South Korea will be playing host to a number of Japanese films both animated and Live Action. Digital Chosun mentions The Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival (www.pifan.com) will open Wednesday in Puchon, Gyeonggi Province, marking its 8th anniversary. The festival will go on until July 24. 261 works (83 feature films and 178 short films) from 32 countries are participating in this festival. Mamoru Oshii’s “Innocence” sequel to Ghost In The Shell is among the Anime entries.
Eurogamer has a piece on a fascinating new piece of software that will be available for Sony’s PSP portable which will translate spoken Japanese To English and vice versa. Also announced is a game is being developed for the handheld based on GITS: Stand Alone Complex
Australia’s The Age discusses the growing market of online / mail delivery DVD Rental services.

7-13-04—- Tales Of Symphonia Ships

San Jose, Ca., (July 13, 2004) ? Leading video games developer and publisher Namco Hometek Inc. announced today that its popular role-playing game, Tales of Symphonia?, has shipped to North American retail outlets. Developed by Namco Tales Studio Ltd. in Japan, Tales of Symphonia is now poised to send players on an epic quest exclusively for Nintendo GameCube?. ?The wait is finally over–Tales of Symphonia is here,? said Rod Nakamoto, executive vice president of research and development at Namco Hometek Inc. ?Tales of Symphonia clearly establishes a new standard for the role-playing genre of games, and we are certain fans of previous Tales iterations will be delighted with this next journey.? The latest addition to Namco?s popular Tales series of games, Tales of Symphonia gives players full control of characters by way of its unique real-time battle system, which allows for the execution and combination of multiple special attacks and magic spells. Offering more than a dozen side quests and mini-games, Tales of Symphonia delivers an emotionally fueled storyline spanning more than 80 hours of game play in its expansive 3D worlds. Additionally, the game features characters intricately designed in beautiful anime style cel-shaded graphics by renowned Japanese artist Kosuke Fujishima.

Tales of Symphonia is rated T for Teen by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board and carries a suggested retail price of $49.99. For more information about the game or to enter the ?Chosen One? sweepstakes, visit the Tales of Symphonia Web site at http://tales.namco.com/

7-13-04—- Voice Actor Chat With Johnny Yong Bosch

AnimationHQ will be hosting a chat session with the talented Johnny Yong Bosch. You may be familiar with Johnny’s work as Vash the Stampede in Trigun, Kiba in Wolf’s Rain, and Haruto Sakaki in Witch Hunter Robin all of which have been aired on Cartoon Network. He has also voiced a wide variety of roles like Kaneda from Akira, Claire Leonelli from Heat Guy J, and Reiji from Gatekeepers. The chat session will be held on Sunday, July 18th at 9 pm ET/6 pm PT. For details on how to connect to the chatroom, you can go to our Events page athttp://animationhq.net/v2/features/events.htm for more information.

7-13-04—- Neo Tokyo Release Dates

HOUSTON, July 13, 2004?ADV Films, the #1 producer-distributor of anime in the U.S., has set a street date of September 14, 2004 for the DVD release of Neo Tokyo, a brilliant collection of anime gems created by world-class visionaries at the top of their game. Neo Tokyo is a stunning masterpiece from the brainchild of legendary anime, producer Masao Maruyama (Tokyo Godfathers). This incredible DVD showcases the remarkable talents of Rintaro (Metropolis), Yoshiyaki Kawajiri (Ninja Scroll) and Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira) in three highly individual short films held together by the thread of the fantastic. Rintaro?s Labyrinth Labyrinthos is an elegant fantasy exploring a little girl?s impressionable imagination. Kawajiri?s The Running Man, as seen on MTV?, is a high-octane futuristic thriller revolving around a deadly Formula-1 race. And Otomo?s Construction Cancellation Order is a Bradbury-esque allegory speculating on the dangers of man?s over-reliance with technology. Neo Tokyo (SRP $24.98 DVD) is a DVD-only release, including three short films in both English 2.0 and Japanese 2.0 language versions, with English subtitles. Included extras are ADV previews.

7-13-04—- eigoMANGA Museum Exhibit

SAN FRANCISCO, CA-July 12, 2004-The San Jose Art Museum will launch a new exhibit on July 26 during an opening night gala. Titled “Art of the Zines,” this exhibit will include eigoMANGA’s Rumble Pak as one of its premiere highlights. Copies of Rumble Pak’s Issue #1 would be available for museum patrons to enjoy. The San Jose Art Museum’s invitation to display an eigoMANGA publication is a great honor- no other manga has been in a museum exhibit before. The exhibit will run until October 3.

7-12-04—- RentAnime.com Launched

With the ever increasing number of anime DVDs available in America it’s becoming more difficult for consumers and fans to keep up. Purchasing dozens of anime DVDs is prohibitively expensive, and consumers may be justifiably hesitant to commit to the purchase of an untried title. RentAnime.com resolves these dilemma by allowing viewers the opportunity to watch multiple DVDs for less then the cost of purchasing one! And unlike other online rental services that try to cover every conceivable taste by offering only selected titles in each category, RentAnime’s exclusive focus on Japanese animation means that any and every anime DVD available in America will be available for rental.

For a low monthly fee of $19.95, RentAnime customers can rent an unlimited number of DVDs per month (up to 3 number of anime DVD titles at once), and keep them as long as they choose. Returning a DVD in the post-paid package provided will allow a customer to select a new title.

http://www.rentanime.com

7-12-04

Indian Express has yet further coverage of the Animax network launch in the sub-continent.
– Jill Thompson, who illustrated the mangaesque ‘At Death’s Door’ based on the DC Sandman Franchise will appear along with Neil Gaiman, Karen Berger, Todd Klein, Caitlin R. Kiernan and Charles Vess at the upcoming Sandman Convention at The Millennium Hotel, Minneapolis, MN from November 12 through November 14 2004. All of the proceeds from the convention will be donated to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.
Emedia in Malaysia has a bit on representing yourself on chatboards and elsewhere with an avatar.
– From New Zealand, The Otago Daily Times there mentions:
Whether you’re an avid anime fan or you’ve never seen a Japanese manga, you’re sure to love the cool cartoons on offer today. The Dunedin Public Art Gallery is screening three Japanese manga cartoons for free. Adult supervision required. Call 474-3240 for details.
Nashville City Paper is carrying a review of the Justice league Animation series release to DVD format. The reviewer gives the show high marks, ranking it as underated compared to the anime content aired on Cartoon Network.

7-12-04—- Korea’s SICAF Is Now Asia’s Largest Animation Festival

Coming up August 4-10 in South Korea is the Seoul International Cartoon and Animation Festival (SICAF) (www.sicaf.or.kr). Began in 1997, now the fest is Asia?s biggest animation event showing 117 animations from 41 countries in its competition section along with 200 works from 36 countries in its non-competition sections. Most of the works will be either in English or with both English and Korean subtitles. Satoshi Kon’s Tokyo Godfathers will screen in the Family Square section. It was shown last month in the Annecy International Animation Festival in France as the opening film of the festival.

Source: Korea Times

7-12-04—- TV Peep Show At NY Film Fest

The 11th edition of the New York Video Festival kicks off Wednesday at the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater in New York City. The five-day festival, which focuses on short length videos and web-based works, will feature more than 100 videos from 17 countries in 14 different programs. the Japanese feature “Peep TV Show,”

Source: Indie Wire

7-12-04—- Japanese Robots Enter Hall Of Fame

Hardware Geeks has a feature article on Shakey, the latest inductee to the The School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University established the Robot Hall of Fame (www.robothallofframe.org). Four other robots join Shakey as Robot Hall of Fame 2004 inductees: ASIMO, developed by Honda Motor Co. Ltd., the world’s most advanced humanoid robot; Astroboy, the Japanese animation of a robot with a soul; C3PO, a character from the “Star Wars” series; and Robby the Robot from MGM’s “Forbidden Planet.” The Mars Pathfinder Sojourner Rover, Unimate, R2-D2, and HAL 9000 were inducted at the first annual induction ceremony in 2003.

7-12-04—- Gaming Bits

According to IGN Dororo (known here in the states as Blood Will Tell), several Japanese retailers are offering quite the sweet little pre-order bonus — a reprinted graphic novel containing the manga works that inspired it.
IGN also mentioned Square Enix announced today a Japanese release date for Fullmetal Alchemist 2. The game will hit Japanese retail on 9/22, carrying a retail price of 7,140 yen.

7-12-04—- Star Ocean Press PC

LOS ANGELES, July 12 /PRNewswire/ — Square Enix, Inc., the publisher of Square Enix(TM) interactive entertainment products in North America, today announced that STAR OCEAN(TM) Till the End of Time(TM) (“STAR OCEAN”), the sci-fi role playing game fashioned in an anime style, will ship to North American retailers on August 31, 2004. This highly anticipated intergalactic adventure for the PlayStation? 2 computer entertainment system will come in special foil box packaging with two DVDs with a suggested retail price (SRP) of $49.95 (USD). (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20030403/SQUARELOGO ) “We found it extremely important to present to gamers what was envisioned by the developers,” said Jun Iwasaki, Co-COO, Square Enix, Inc. “I have personally played STAR OCEAN for countless hours and believe the team has created an amazing game. We hope people will pick it up and experience it for themselves.”

The North American release of STAR OCEAN is packed with extras as it contains all of the features of the Japanese “Director’s Cut” version. The development time was extended to implement what is considered to be the developers’ true vision for the stateside release. Multiple added features allowed by the additional capacity include extended high-resolution cinematic sequences, two new areas with varied gameplay such as elemental based puzzles, new playable characters that expand the story and several VS. modes in which players can also choose from a variety of looks for the characters.

STAR OCEAN overflows with action, exploration, fast-paced combat and an intricate plot, which results in an immensely deep gaming adventure. Character development is versatile and open-ended, allowing for true freedom in character growth through battle. The fully 3D battlefields allow players to move freely and control a party of three simultaneously, utilizing the advanced real-time battle system. Players can execute synchronized attacks and collaborate to unleash a deadly blow to the enemy. While moving from one section of the game to the next, fully polygonal graphics create a magnificent environment for one to explore. The multifaceted story is presented in gorgeous CG movies and event sequences. The entire experience in STAR OCEAN is also enhanced with Dolby Pro Logic?II sound.

Set in SD 772, four hundred years since the climactic battle with the “Ten Wise Men,” humans and aliens now co-exist together in both advanced and less- developed societies, as the Galaxy Federation continues to research the cosmos to gain more influence in Space. The story begins as STAR OCEAN’s protagonist, Fayt Leingod brings his family and childhood friend, Sophia Esteed to the Federation-managed resort planet Hyda for a vacation, but the dreamy holiday is abruptly ended when Hyda is attacked by an unknown space military. In the heat of the attack, Fayt is separated from his family and Sophia, and he begins an emotional quest into the unknown to find his loved ones. Along his journey, he gets caught up in the war of an uncharted planet, but in the end, he learns the terrible untold secret about the world and himself.

STAR OCEAN has received accolades from the enthusiast press, including placing in Official PlayStation Magazine’s “The Big Games of 2004” (January 2004). Other mentions include:

“Possibly the hottest ticket in role-playing games this year… Till the End of Time promises to carve out a respectable chunk of that [gameplay] territory and hold its own with other epics on the market…” — GMR Magazine (July 2004)

“Potential: Excellent. Stateside gamers have been waiting for Star Ocean after what seems like forever. But after its strong reception overseas, excellent presentation aspects, and action heavy-centric battle system, it has the ingredients to become one of the most prominent RPGs this year. In all truthfulness, Star Ocean’s biggest problem is gamer expectations which are already incredibly high.” — IGNPS2 “The RPGs of 2004” (June 4, 2004)

Yahoo Business News

7-12-04—- Darkhorse Manga Prize Pack

Dark Horse Comics is hosting a new contest where entrants can win a trip to Transylvania in relation to their Van Hellsing release. In addition the label is also presenting another contest with a chance to win seven prize packs. Each prize pack will include items from or feature a theme by Lucasfilm, Tim Burton, Conan, FOX, Hellboy, Manga, and Sin City. Included in these packs are original comic art, signed books and merchandise, DVDs, statues, lithographs, video games, books, action figures, and more. Those interested are instructed to visit their booth (#2715) at the San Diego Comic-Con International (July 22 – July 25) and fill out a contest form. If you can’t make it to the show, you can download an entry form on darkhorse.com.

7-12-04—- Initial D Ranks High On Video Charts

Tokyopop’s Initial D property has ranked as the top selling anime in the USA for the first quarter 2004 based on sales reports from VideoScan, as well as interviews with retailers, distributors, and publishers. ?We couldn?t be more impressed at how well our properties have been received, particularly in this competitive climate,? said John Parker, TOKYOPOP?s President and COO. ?In conversations with booksellers and other exhibitors at Anime Expo, it?s clear that manga and anime continue to be a growing force in the publishing industry. I?m especially happy for the fans, without whose support none of these announcements and accolades would have been possible.?

7-11-04

Silver Bullet Comics recently published an article on mangaka Kazu Kabuishi’s works.
– Sunday’s edition of the New York Times has a piece examing the evolution of novelized print. Graphic novels get a mention as does manga in this insightful article.
Naples News in Florida has a mention on the monthly meet of the regional anime club:
Naples Anime Club, 2:30 p.m. second Saturday, Golden Gate Estates Branch Library; 455-0595.
– Indian media continues to share it’s views on last week’s launch of Sony’s 24 hour animation network Animax. Mid Day originating out of the city of Mumbai has comments this on Sunday.

7-10-04—- Manga Entertainment UK Items

A bit of news out of the UK coutesy Animejin:

After the pause in activity caused by the sale of the company, I have received the first details of Manga Entertainments new release schedule. This consists of two new releases on 16th August: Ghost Sweeper Mikami – A movie based on the manga by Takashi Shiina. English and Japanese soudtracks, 60 minutes, certificate PG, ?15.99 AD Police – All three episodes of the original series on one DVD. English soundtrack, 180 minutes, certificate 18, ?15.99.

7-10-04—- Confesta 2004 In Singapore

Singapore Anime News has photos uploaded from the recently wrapped Confesta 2004 in the country. The event occured on the July 4th weekend.

7-10-04—- Monkey Punch At San Diego Comicon

3:00-4:00 TOKYOPOP with Lupin III creator Monkey Punch-Meet the legendary Monkey Punch, creator of the internationally renowned manga Lupin III (also an anime on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim) for a special Q&A session hosted by TOKYOPOP. Room 2
Source: http://www.comic-con.org/Pages/CCI04-ProgFri.html
Daniel Zelter’s post to Lupin The Third Mailing List

7-10-04—- Animax English / Hindi Anime TV Network Launched In India

Sony’s Animax Animation Channel has launched in India from July 5th, 2004. Animax Asia is the first 24-hour cable and satellite TV channel exclusively dedicated to Japanese animation (anime) programming. Animax is 100% owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment, launched first in Japan in June 1998 with four partners – major anime studios Toei Animation, Sunrise, TMS Entertainment and Nihon Ad Systems. Offered on SkyPerfecTV!, SkyPerfecTV!2 and Cable Television, Animax is currently the number one cable and satellite network in Japan. Specially customised for the region, Animax South Asia will be completely dubbed in English, while the programmes in Kids Hour targeting younger viewers will also be dubbed in Hindi.

Animax will feature some of the most popular Japanese animation series from Japan?s top animation studios and producers, including AstroBoy; Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, whose original movie Ghost in the Shell inspired the Wachowski Brothers? blockbuster Matrix Trilogy; Samurai X, Arjuna, a story about a young archer girl, which was inspired by the tale of Arjuna, one of the Pandava brothers in the Hindu epic Mahabaratha.

?India is a youthful market. 43% of India?s 1 billion population is under age 20. Animax will tap into this big, vibrant, and entertainment-hungry market,? said Todd Miller, Managing Director of SPE Networks ? Asia, which operates AXN Asia and Animax Asia. ?The themes that can be found in most animation stories transcend language, culture and origin. The unique programming on Animax will resonate with India?s youth.?
Sources: Animax Asia – Screen India

7-10-04

– The United Kingdom’s Times Online has an article today on a new published collection of essays in the country on Shakespeare and the Language of Translation. It’s the author’s opinion that japanese would be the most difficult language in which to tranliterate the great bard’s masterpieces. Also, some of Shakespeare’s works have recently been translated in manga form in the Osakan dialect.
Gamespot’s Tokyo Office has a preview of Sammy’s Atomiswave arcade fighting game, Kenju. The game features anime styled cel-shaded charcaters.
Animation Insider has a review of Geneon’s long anticipated rerelease in America of the the Akira soundtrack on Compact Disc.
– The Toronto Star reports on the Toronto Trek Convention which occured in the Canadian City last weekend. There was an anime exhibit there and quite a few fans. Article Link
U Film has a preview of the first 3D CGI film produced in France, Kaena.

7-9-04—- NDK Pre-Con Cosplay Dance Party

Nan Desu Kan and Rock Island, with The Wizard’s Chest, present the first-ever Nan Desu Kan pre-con CosPlay Dance Party at Rock Island Night Club in LoDo! Dateline: August 8th, 2004, 8:00 p.m. Rock Island, one of Denver’s oldest and greatest alternative dance venues, will host a Gothic/Anime costume fashion fiesta in concert with Nan Desu Kan, the Rocky Mountain Anime Convention, and local costume resource The Wizards’ Chest.

Slated for five weeks before the con and ramping up to our annual NDK excitement, the night should give you a great chance to try on your Gothic and Lolita style, or any anime series costume, to make an appearance on stage and on the dance floor at Rock Island, backed by the sounds of the best Goth night this city has seen! The schedule includes an open-entrance fashion show with audience awards (make sure to arrive early to sign up!), martial arts dance performance by underground dance legend A. Wilder, and giveaways of free tickets to the Cure and the Colorado Ballet’s upcoming production of Dracula as well as passes to Nan Desu Kan, and a dance floor large enough to satisfy everyone who wishes for just a little more space to shine!

The event is open to anyone ages 18 and over (ID required) and will run up to 1 a.m. with a cover of only $3 for Rock Island entrance at the door (all proceeds from door fees go to Rock Island). Alcohol available with 21+ ID only. Rock Island is at 1614 15th Street in Lower Downtown Denver. This is an adult venue, no exceptions, ID will be checked at the door. NDK does not take responsibility or liability for anyone attempting to circumvent these rules – Rock Island will enforce ID as required by law. For more information on the venue and parking, check outhttp://www.rockislandclub.com.

7-9-04

Japan Today has an interview with Spiderman 2 director Sam Raimi and asks his exposure level to Anime to which he replied: “I’ve only recently become acquainted with it and I am a big fan”. “There is no excess in their illustrations and the stories are approached in a cinematic way. Japanese animation is light years ahead of what we have in the United States.” Raimi is also a fan of Japnese horror films. He is currently co-producing the Hollywood remake of “The Grudge,” starring Sarah Michelle Gellar and Bill Pullman. Having acquired the rights for the remake, Raimi decided to give the reins to Takashi Shimizu who directed the original Japanese version “Ju-on” so he could spend more time on the script for “Spider-Man 3” which he is already writing and is slated for release in 2007.
DVD Talk has an article today on the Japanese actor, Sonny Chiba’ DVD collection release. Among the films in the set is the live action Golgo 13: Kowloon Assignment (1977).
The Toronto Star has information on this year’s Fantasia film festival in Montrea, Canada.
Crikey.com.au has an article today entitled “Enjo Kosai ? ? Sex , Schoolgirls and Consumerism in Japan ”
– Manga-style comics: On Tuesday, July 20, from 6:30 to 8 p.m., the Ritter Library in Lunenburg will hold a cartoon workshop, Manga style, with comic book artists Andy Fish and Veronica Hebard. Materials provided. The workshop is limited to 20 people. Preregister at (978) 582-4140. – Ayer Public Spirit
– Japanese rocker Kohiki Okada has a review of his recent film on DVD, ‘Keep On Rockin’ in today’s Daily Variety paper. Okada contributed to the animation film Metropolis in 2001. The CD soundtrack to the film is relessed by DOMO records in America.
– Team XGMR has been crowned the winner of the United States Ragnarok Championship (USRC), held at Anime Expo 2004. More than 700 fans showed up at the event. XGMR swept the competition, winning the first four games of the seven series finals against team Denuo Convena. – Game Infowire