July 21, 2004 / by Anime News Services / Archived News / No Comments

Anime News Service – July 18 – 21 Anime News


Steamboy is reviewed by the Daily Yomiuri, 1 week post it’s release to theaters in Japan.
Oregon’s Salem Statesman Journal has a piece on on how some young artists have gotten pointers from the creator of the Eisner award wining series, Whiteout.
The Oklahoman mentions the stir the card game Yugi-oh! is creating in an American city.
The Daily Yomiuri newspaper also reviews Ishii’s newest film, Cha no Aji and draws some anime parallels.
Gigex mentions Sammy is demoing Guilty Gear Isuka and Spy Fiction” (featuring character design of Renji “Range” Murata (“Last Submarine No.6,” “Last Exile” I and II) at San Diego Comic Con.
Metroactive Arts has a lengthy article on Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara’s latest exhibition “Nothing Ever Happens”, at the San Jose Museum of Art (www.sjmusart.org). The show, which opens July 24, is his first retrospective in Northern California.
The Japan Times has a review of Director Katsuhito Ishii’s latest film Cha no Aji. Ishii’s previous projects, “Samahada Otoko to Momojiri Onna (Sharkshin Man and Peachhip Girl)” (1999) and “Party 7” (2000), found many fans abroad including Kill Bill Director Quentin Tarantino.
The Straights Times looks at the new Will Smith film I, Robot and makes comparisons of the relationship between man and machines. 2 recent anime productions get a nod:
Even when overt violence does break out between the two camps, it is kept to a minimum and stops short of a full-blown cataclysmic showdown, as witnessed in Rintaro’s Metropolis (2001), a jaw-dropping anime epic based on the mangas of Osamu Tezuka and Mahiro Maeda’s The Second Renaissance (2003), one of the better The Animatrix shorts that explains the back story of Man’s struggle with the Machines.

7-21-04—- Exclusive: Geisters 2 At Otakon

The folks at Anime Crash have passed word onto ANS that their release of Geisters Vol. 2 will be announced at Otakon. Fans may remeber in late 2003, The Crash Media Group announced the launch of their Anime Crash DVD line which will be a launch-pad and showcase for animation from Japan and beyond.

7-20-04—- King Of Fighters 2003 Comic Book Coming

San Jose, CA – July 28, 2004 ComicsOne – the King of English-translated Hong Kong comics, has just announced (to the delight of gamers everywhere) the impending release of their latest action-packed comic book series – THE KING OF FIGHTERS 2003. Yes that’s right; the latest installment to the wildly popular competitive action-fighting game series from SNK NEOGEO USA CONSUMER CORPORATION (www.snkneogeousaconsumer.com) is now a full color comic heading to store shelves just in time to compliment SNK’s own THE KING OF FIGHTERS 02/03 Combo Pack for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system and the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft!

KOF 2003 marks the beginning of a new epic saga in the KOF series. The tapestry of human relationships that entangles our new hero and an evil entity is revealed by degrees…KOF 2003 is more than just a fighting game – it’s fighting with a purpose. SNK’s most famous characters come to life in THE KING OF FIGHTERS 2003 – the comic!

Fighting game fans will undoubtedly hold their control pads high in salute to the 9th installment of THE KING OF FIGHTERS franchise. So what better way to commemorate the event than with a comic series, which furthers the adventures of your favorite combating teams beyond what is seen in the video games? Those who love to consume anything KOF won’t hesitate to devour both the game and the comic like a well-seasoned porter house steak! Don’t miss the action on-screen and on the page this fall!

Availability THE KING OF FIGHTERS 2003 #1 will be available in November 2004. Each 128 page graphic novel will be priced at $13.95. Visit www.comicsone.com for more detailed series information.

7-20-04—- FUNimation At Comc Con

Fort Worth, TX (July 20, 2004) You don’t have to pinch yourself. This is not a dream. You have entered pop culture paradise. From July 22nd to July 25th in San Diego, California, over 75,000 people will attend Comic-Con International 2004. One bit of fair warning, wear comfortable shoes. FUNimation Productions, Ltd., the foremost producer and distributor of anime in North America, will be at San Diego Comic-Con International 2004 in full force to promote our latest and greatest titles. Come by and visit our island booth #4107. We have many activities in store at the FUNimation island: · Come by for free posters from Fruits Basket, Kiddy Grade, Tenchi Muyo! GXP and Fullmetal Alchemist. · Check out our convention exclusive Fruits Basket Kyo and Yuki fleece and Kyo knit caps. You can only buy them here people! · We will be screening trailers for our current shows and preview upcoming shows like Yu Yu Hakusho, Dragon Ball GT – The Lost Episodes, Case Closed and Kiddy Grade to upcoming Fullmetal Alchemist, Spiral and Gunslinger Girl. · Need your gaming fix? Check out the playable demo of the Playstation 2 game Fullmetal Alchemist – The Broken Angel by Square Enix, Inc. For those attendees who love their anime as much as they love their comics, we’ve got you covered…big time.

We’ve invited our friends at Fanboy Radio to get this party started. Fanboy Radio will be interviewing the biggest comic book creators at the FUNimation island. Yes, you’re reading it right, Frank Cho, Greg Rucka, Scott Kurtz, John Cassaday, Robert Kirkman, Brian Michael Bendis and more will be making their appearances at the FUNimation island. (tentitive list, subject to change) It’s like mixing peanut butter and chocolate – the perfect combination of anime and comic books. Sweet! Be sure to check out Atari’s booth #4215 for details on their upcoming Dragon Ball Z and Yu Yu Hakusho games. Score Entertainment’s booth #3229 will have playable demos of their Dragon Ball GT and Yu Yu Hakusho TCG games. Comic-Con will mark the next to last Dragon Ball GT Focused Regional Event! Making a special signing appearances at the Score booth are several FUNimation voice actors.

It’s FUNimation Panel time! From 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm in Room 9 on Saturday, July 24th, check out our FUNimation industry panel. We’ve announced a lot of titles this year. Be sure to get all the latest news on titles like Fullmetal Alchemist, Case Closed, Dragon Ball GT, Tenchi Muyo! GXP and more. Come for the news, stay for the prizes. You want more? Then be sure to check out the screening of Blue Gender – The Warrior movie Saturday night at 10:35 in Room 25A. Blue Gender – The Warrior will be available in stores Tuesday, July 20th. If you want to check out our newest anime titles, Comic-Con has the rooms you need. Here are the dates, places and times to view our shows. Please consult the onsite Events Guide and the signs outside rooms 24BC, 25A and 25BC for updated information.

Thursday Room 25A 2:10 p.m. Dragon Ball GT 5:05 p.m. Kiddy Grade

Room 25B&C 12:30 p.m. Fruits Basket

Friday Room 24B&C 5:30 p.m. Tenchi Muyo GXP

Room 25A 2:10 p.m. Dragon Ball GT 5:05 p.m. Kiddy Grade

Room 25B&C 12:30 p.m. Fruits Basket

Saturday Room 24B&C 5:30 p.m. Tenchi Muyo GXP

Room 25A 2:10 p.m. Yu Yu Hakusho 5:05 p.m. Kiddy Grade 10:35 p.m. Blue Gender Movie – The Warrior

Room 25B&C 12:30 p.m. Fruits Basket

Sunday Room 25A 2:00 p.m. Yu Yu Hakusho


Wired News has a bit on how game companies in Japan are rereleasing old classics with a new skin.
TechTV previews the long anticipated Atlus game Galleon, due in the fall.
Silver Bullet Comics has a rundown of Tokyopop’s presence and offerings at San Diego Comic Con.
IGN mentions those who pre-order Phantom Brave for PS2 before August 31 may receive the special Phantom Brave soundtrack with their order. The bundle is available at leading retailers such as EBGames, Game/Crazy, and Amazon.com. Phantom Brave is an anime-style RPG that features a 13-year old orphaned girl named Marona who has the ability to communicate with phantoms.
BBC News mentions many in Japan are currently enthralled with the cold war love story of accused US military deserter Charles Jenkins and Japanese wife Hitomi Soga. The couple met behind the closed borders of the most isolated country on Earth, North Korea.

7-20-04—- New Ghost Series: Stand Alone Complex To Broadcast On Cartoon Network

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex to Join the Late-Night Block of Animation in November
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex will air Saturdays at 11 p.m. (ET, PT), Set in the not-too-distant future when technology plays a key role in everyday human life, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex follows the adventures of the most popular female cyborg, Maj. Motoko Kusanagi, and her fellow police officers of Section 9. Along with the ever-ready Tachikomas, the officers must continue their mission to hunt down criminals in both the real and online world. In Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, the officers of Section 9 are called in to resolve a murder before it turns into an international incident, hunt down a runaway state-of-the-art killing machine and solve the mystery of a defective android.

7-20-04—- New Fist Of The North Star Series Release Details From ADV

HOUSTON, July 20, 2004—ADV Films, the #1 producer-distributor of anime in the U.S., has set a street date of September 21, 2004 for the DVD release of the New Fist of the North Star: The Cursed City, the first volume that has a new twist for a new generation of action-hungry fans . The New Fist of the North Star currently has a strong fan base going back to the original release in the 1980s. This title also has an impressive merchandising momentum with numerous video games, action figures and other character related merchandise. Die-hard fans will especially enjoy the interview with Relson Gracie Jiu Jitsu Sensei Phil Cardella that is included as an extra on this DVD release. Cardella is a well-known professional grappler and professional mix martial artist. He is a full time instructor at the Relson Gracie Austin Academy and participates in world events competing for the Relson Gracie team. A twist to the classic favorite that begins in the aftermath of the great apocalypse, across a barren Earth, where chaos is the rule, and order the exception with bandits and enterprising overlords terrorizing the survivors of the holocaust. Will a hero rise from the ashes and cut a swath of justice across the Earth’s ruined landscape?

Limited Collector’s Edition Available! The first volume of the New Fist of the North Star is also available as a Collector’s Edition, which includes the Volume 1 DVD and an attractive custom series art box to house the entire series (SRP $34.98). New Fist of the North Star: The Cursed City (SRP $29.98 DVD) is a DVD-only release, including a 55-minute feature in both English 5.1 and Japanese 5.1 language versions, with English subtitles. Extras include: behind the scenes commentary, interview with Relson Gracie Jiu Jitsu Sensei Phil Cardella, character bios, Japanese press conference and ADV previews.

NEW FIST OF THE NORTH STAR: THE CURSED CITY Volume: 1 of 3 Running Time: 55 Minutes Age Rating: 17+ CAT: DFNS/001 (DVD), DFNS/BX1 (Collector’s Edition) UPC: 702727084423 (DVD), 702727103124 (Collector’s Edition) Pre-Book Date: 8/24/04 Street Date: 9/21/04 Format: DVD, Collector’s Edition SRP: $29.98 (DVD); $34.98 (Collector’s Edition)

7-20-04—- Comics One Announces Infinite Ryvius Manga Release

San Jose, CA – July 19, 2004 ComicsOne has locked down yet another manga adaptation to one of Bandai’s glorious anime properties. Enter Infinite Ryvius, a collaborative piece from acclaimed writers – Yatate Hajime & Yosuke Kuroda (Onegai Teacher), whose words are brought to life by the artwork of Shinsuke Kurihashi (Maniac Road)!

In the year 2225 A.D. humanity has colonized much of the known solar system. This Sci-Fi thriller follows a group of teenage astronauts in-training. During a routine dive procedure, their space station plummets into a “plasma field” called the Gedult killing all the adult instructors and leaving the trainees to survive on their own via a ship called Ryvius. All seems to be going well until the thirst for power corrupts one of the crew and a grab for ultimate control is made. Based on the intense Bandai Anime, Infinite Ryvius is a action drama which explores not only the dark expanse of space, but deep and churning aspects of humanity such as trust, betrayal, perseverance and drive for survival. While not following the anime to the “letter,” ComicOne’s Infinite Ryvius manga will illustrate episodes unseen, subsequently revealing plot points viewers of the anime will find quite intriguing. This is going to be a truly thrilling ride–complimenting the anime perfectly. Come continue your adventures aboard the Ryvius this fall!

Infinite Ryvius # 1 will be available in October 2004. Each 200 page graphic novel will be priced at $9.95. Visit www.comicsone.com for more detailed series information.

Cover Art

7-19-04—- NuTech Digital Releases 16 Animation Titles From Ken Groove Productions

Nutech Digital announced today that it has released the next 16 of 34 titles licensed exclusively from Ken Groove Productions (http://www.groove.or.jp). The Company plans to distribute its complete animation catalog and has secured the right of first refusal on all new releases. Pursuant to the terms of the agreement, the complete library of 34 animation titles will be available exclusively through NuTech’s multiple distribution platforms. “We have had an excellent response with the introduction of the first 6 titles from Ken Groove Production’s Lemon Heart line,” stated Lee Kasper, Chairman and CEO of NuTech Digital. “With these 16 new releases, including the much anticipated Blue Eyes line released in June, we are very optimistic that their higher production value will continue to define our strength in our animation line of DVD products.”

About Ken Groove Ken Groove Productions was formed in 1986 as a movie and music software wholesaler and distributor for Sony Pictures Entertainment Japan, Warner Entertainment Japan, Pony Canyon, Toho, Toei and Victor Entertainment. In 2000 Ken Groove entered in to film production and distribution. Ken Groove has numerous facilities throughout Japan that produce animated films, video games, feature films and one of Japan’s largest retail distribution networks.


Inidian Express has an overview of all the networks on Indian TV with content catering to kids.
The Manila Times takes a look at 2 Fillipino creators who have released a comic in manga style based on their real life happenings.
Chart Attack from Canada has a hard edged view on Courtney Love’s Tokyo Pop manga.
– Canada’s Globe And Mail takes a look at a Vancouver based art troop who’s only modern influence is Anime.
The San Diego Union Tribune has a local media preview of the San Diego Comic Con to occur this week
JAPAN TALK: SPLAT’s Anime Afternoon Wednesday will include a talk on Japan by Sam Medoza’s sister, who lives in Japan at the Clyde Library. A second “Adults Who Love Anime” meeting is 7 p.m. Thursday at the Clyde Public Library. People 18 and above are invited. Source: Newspaper Network Of Central Ohio
– The Anime Network has extended it’s VOD agreement with TVN according to this Press Release
Games First reviews the heavily anime styled RPG La Pucelle Tactics for PS2.
Japan Today takes a look at the Shrek 2 Tokyo premiere and has an image of English and Japanese seiyuu Masatoshi Hamada, Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz and Norika Fujiwara. Dreamworks producer Jeffrey Katzenberg himself had made six trips to Japan in four months relating to the promotion of the film, such is the importance of the Japanese market, the article relates. Shrek 2″ will have two versions for Japan — the original English and a Japanese one at selected theaters.
The Anime Defense Force presents Just Communication II, a look into the intricate world of Japanese animation. The event will be held Saturday from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. at Bookman’s, 1056 S. Country Club Drive. The club will also have a number of contests and prizes for participants. Young anime artists are especially encouraged to attend. Admittance is free.
East Valley Region, Arizona – Source: The Arizona Republic

7-19-04—- Gundam F91 Premiere At Otakon 2004

Cypress, CA (July 19, 2004) – North American Gundam fans can rejoice, Bandai Entertainment, the premier distributor of Japanese animation in North America, will be joining with Otakon 2004 in screening the upcoming film, Mobile Suit Gundam F91 by famed director, Yoshiyuki Tomino. With the current broadcast of the new Gundam SEED on Cartoon Network and the upcoming DVD release of the epic saga, Zeta Gundam, 2004 is shaping up to be the ‘Year of the Gundam’.

Mobile Suit Gundam F91 was originally released theatrically in Japan in 1991 where it helped to re-launch the Gundam franchise as a separate feature without ties to the original Gundam series characters or story continuity. The theatrical feature will be presented in its original Japanese language with English subtitles. Directed by Yoshiyuki Tomino, key creative members from previous Gundam projects have also lent a hand in the theatrical creative production including Kunio Okawara for mecha designs and Yoshikazu Yasuhiko for character designs.

“The Gundam franchise is celebrating its 25th Anniversary in Japan and along with a new Gundam series [Gundam SEED] on TV, the highly anticipated Zeta Gundam release on DVD, and now the theatrical/DVD release of Gundam F91 here in North America, this is definitely turning out to be a great year for old and new Gundam fans alike,” said Jerry Chu, Marketing Manager, Bandai Entertainment.

Directed by legendary director Yoshiyuki Tomino (Mobile Suit Gundam, Overman King Gainer) – Mobile Suit Gundam F91 takes place many years after the devastating One Year War. The Earth Federation has begun constructing new space colonies to replace the former Side 4 cluster. This new Frontier Side now consists of four colonies, among them the Frontier IV colony where young Seabook Arno lives with his father and his sister Reese. Their peaceful lives are disrupted when the colony is attacked by the Crossbone Vanguard, an elite fighting force seeking to reestablish the aristocratic ideals of the Ronah family. Fleeing from the attacks, Seabrook is forced to pilot the F91 Gundam in defense of the Space Ark training facility in a journey to escape a new and destructive war.

The North American premiere will take place on Saturday afternoon July 31, 2004 at the Otakon convention located at the Balitmore Convention Center. Bandai Entertainment will be handing out raffle tickets to attendees at the screening for exclusive Gundam prizes to be drawn at the Bandai Booth in the exhibit hall. For more information, please visit www.otakon.com or visit www.gundamofficial.com for further theatrical screening dates.

7-19-04—- Lady Death Film Premiere At San Diego Comic Con

HOUSTON, July 19, 2004 —ADV Films, the #1 producer-distributor of anime in the U.S., today announced the world premiere of the highly anticipated movie, Lady Death®: The Motion Picture, the company’s first animated feature length film. Attendees at this year’s San Diego Comic Con will have the first opportunity to see the movie on Friday, July 23. Director Andrew Orjuela and creator Brian Pulido, among other members of the Lady Death creative team, are scheduled to be on hand at the screening Friday night. The creators will also be signing autographs and talking to fans at the ADV booth at 1pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the convention! And Lady Death herself will be there in the flesh at Comic Con mingling with her fans! Attendees can also receive a free Lady Death movie-sized poster at the ADV booth (#3628) while supplies last. There will also be a “Behind the Scenes” discussion panel on Friday, July 23rd with director Andrew Orjuela and ADV Sr. Marketing Manager Rod Peters, along with other members of the creative team, dishing up behind-the-scenes tidbits.

LADY DEATH COMIC CON EVENTS: THURSDAY, JULY 22nd, 1pm ADV Booth #3628, Lady Death director Andrew Orjuela and creator Brian Pulido FRIDAY, JULY 23rd, 1pm ADV Booth #3628, Lady Death director Andrew Orjuela and creator Brian Pulido FRIDAY, JULY 23rd, ADV Panel: LADY DEATH “Behind the Scenes”, 2:30-3:30pm ROOM 9 FRIDAY, JULY 23rd, ADV: LADY DEATH WORLD PREMIERE, 9-11:00pm ROOM 5AB SATURDAY, JULY 24th, 1pm ADV Booth #3628, Lady Death director Andrew Orjuela and creator Brian Pulido

Visit the Lady Death website at www.ladydeathtmp.com for the latest production updates, amazing character gallery and to view the upcoming movie trailer. The Making of the Film ADV Films took great pains in bringing to life Chaos! Comics’ popular character, Lady Death! To ensure this film would deliver a unique and original vision, ADV Films brought together some of its finest talents and incorporated them with some of the best animators and musicians in the business.

This animated masterpiece was directed and produced by first-time director Andrew Orjuela, who also conceptualized the stunning animation. The screenplay was written by renowned writer Carl Macek, developer and story editor for Robotech; producer of the English-language version of Miyazaki’s classic My Neighbor Totoro; and producer and director of the English language version of Vampire Hunter D. ADV Films also, worked closely with Lady Death creator, Brian Pulido in capturing the true essence of the diva of death herself. Known for composing music for such directors as Steven Spielberg, Clive Barker and Oliver Stone in films like Any Given Sunday, Ali and Finding Forrester, famed composer Bill Brown took command of composing the original musical score for this epic tale.

The Story Set in 15th Century Sweden, Hope, the beautiful daughter of Matthias—believed to be a skilled mercenary, but who in actuality is Lucifer, the Lord of Lies—is accused of being the devil’s consort following a hellish incident witnessed by local villagers. Ultimately, Hope is sentenced by the town priest to be burned at the stake. Writhing in pain and unable to think clearly, she accepts Lucifer’s offer of life in Hell—presented by the malevolent Pagan—over a hideously painful death. Lucifer’s grand plan to corrupt a soul of pure innocence meets unanticipated resistance, as Hope rejects Lucifer’s scheme and eventually, transformed into the powerful warrior LADY DEATH, challenges the Lord of Lies for control of Hell itself. A powerful story of innocence lost, savage betrayal and glorious rebirth.

Creator: Brian Pulido is best known as the founder of Chaos! Comics, the place “where darkness dwells” with titles such as Lady Death, Evil Ernie, Purgatori, Chastity and The Chosen. Nominated by Diamond Comic Distribution as new publisher of the year in 1994, Chaos! was Wizard Magazine’s publisher of the year in 1996 and winner of two Comic Buyer’s Guide Awards in 1997 and 1998. Chaos! Comics was also known as the number one publisher of supernatural comics, appealing to a range of readers who like their comic fiction with teeth.

Producer / Director: Andrew Orjuela also served as producer and art director of ADV Films’ animation co-production, SIN, and has over ten years experience with ADV Films. In addition to taking the wheel for the first time as a director, Mr. Orjuela was also responsible for fashioning an original environment populated by unique characters that are both fresh and familiar at the same time. “It’s a very exciting time for ADV Films and myself,” said Orjuela. “As a huge fan of comic books and anime films, I hope to incorporate the best of both worlds and deliver a film that will entertain fans by staying true to the integrity of the character, while using both old and new animation techniques to tell an epic story that all people can relate to.”

Screenwriter: Carl Macek began his career in 1984, and has amassed credits as a writer, producer and story editor for animation. Hailed as one of the early proponents of anime, Macek contributed to anime’s rise as a pop culture phenomenon in Western society. Joining Harmony Gold in 1985, Macek’s television work includes producing, story editing and script writing, most notably for Robotech. In fact, Macek also authored the screenplay for Robotech: The Movie, which he co-produced and co-directed. He was the scriptwriter for the original C.O.P.S. while at DIC, and worked on Mattel’s Computer Warriors. In 1989, he served as artistic director/producer for Streamline Pictures. Macek also produced the first English-language version of Miyazaki’s classic My Neighbor Totoro and produced/directed the English language version of Vampire Hunter D. In 2000, he joined ADV Films, where he developed and scripted the feature film Lady Death.


Chess Master Bobby Fischer has been arrested at Tokyo’s Narita airport. Fischer has been wanted by U.S. authorities for attending a 1992 chess match in the former Yugoslavia in violation of international sanctions. He was caught earlier this week as he attempted to leave Japan for the Philippines using an invalid U.S. passport.
– The Jakarta Post mentions Japanese fashion influences were quite strong at the ESMOD Jakarta 8th annual Fashion Festival last week. Designer Lynda Sutardja was awarded the best patternmaker accolade for her Kawaii theme. “Kawaii means cute in Japanese and the designer, Alnia Samantha, and myself as patternmaker, wanted to translate the show’s theme of when invisible gets visible by mixing animation and the girlish Japanese look through our clothes designs,” said Lynda after the show.”
– South Florida’s Sun Sentinnel has a report from Comic Book Mania at Nova Southeastern University in the state where manga fans apparently made a strong representation. The Miami Herald has a report on the same event and mentions more than 75 people were there along with Will Eisner, who is popularly known as the man who coined the term “Graphic Novel”.
– The Evansville Courier & Press has a bit on how some devoted fans of manga express their love for their favorite characters and storylines..

7-18-04—- Chinese Comics Struggling To Escape Foreign Influences

An AFP article is running at The Utusan Online talking on the current status of the Chinese comics industry and artists which are trying to escape the shadow of Japanese and Western inluences and define a unique national style. The dominate influence in Chinese comics today is from Japan the article states, both the story themes and art style is currently very similar to manga. Cosplay culture is also growing in China’s metros. The size of the curent market there finally comes under examination:

“Comic magazines in China have a combined circulation of three million,” said Xu Tao, secretary general of the Institute of Chinese Comics, an industry association.”
“But if you count everything, including comics on the Internet and imported magazines, the total market is at least 10 million readers,” he said.