July 24, 1999 / by Anime News Services / Archived News / No Comments

July Anime News

7-24-99—- The Pilot of Star 2 Comet

A CD drama based Yuichi Sasamoto’s Sci-Fi Novel: The Pilot of Star 2 Comet , The Pilot of Star 2 Comet which received the Japanese science fiction award, “Seiun Sho”, will be produced by GAINAX and the CD will be on sale on July 25th. Illustrations are done by Masahisa Suzuki. The voices for the main characters are by Yuko Miyakura and Fumi Hirano, the voice of Ram in “Urusei Yatsura.” For a limited period of time, the CD includes “Space Planning Pass,” the card that has the password for entering for the members’ page at GAINAX homepage. The price of the CD is 4800 yen (about $40) in Japan.

7-24-99—- New Acquisitions

* JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Super Techno Arts, A Japan based company is going to sub JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure.

Super Techno Arts,Inc.
Tel:(415) 920-9337
Fax:(415) 920-9335
E-MAIL: Supertekno@aol.com

*JaJa Quartet CPM has JaJa Quartet: Crown Knights

Manga And Clamp Manga stated that they hope to release the Magic Knights RayEarth OAV series by the end of 1999.

The theatrical release of X may occur in November of 1999. Regardless of the date, the VHS and DVD releases of the titles will occur very shortly thereafter. Manga is also planning another theatrical release for the Spring of 2000, though they are not giving details on the title to be released.

7-24-99—- Pocket Monsters Epilepsy Aftermath

*Color Changes In TV Cartoons Cause Seizures

A rash of epileptic seizures triggered by a television cartoon has pinpointed a new type of epilepsy, according to a report in this month’s Annals of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Neurological Association and the Child Neurology Society.

One evening in Japan in 1997, at precisely 6:50 in the evening, 685 people, most of them children, simultaneously suffered epileptic seizures. The culprit was not difficult to identify: all were watching the popular animated TV show, “Pocket Monsters.”

Japanese researchers have now found evidence that the seizures were provoked by rapid changes of blue and red in the background of the cartoons.

Flickering lights such as strobe lights or even the images on a television or video screen are well known as triggers for epileptic seizures. Patients who experience such seizures are said to suffer from photosensitive epilepsy.

Rapid light/dark changes or alternating high-contrast patterns cause nerve cells in the brain to fire electrical impulses more rapidly than usual. In people with photosensitive epilepsy, the resulting “electrical storm” in the brain can lead to muscular convulsions or loss of consciousness.

Although photosensitive epilepsy is not a new phenomenon, the events in Japan appear to be unprecedented.

“This may be the world’s largest simultaneous occurrence of photosensitive symptoms in children provoked by viewing a TV program. Therefore, the seizures were considered to be triggered by a single uniform visual stimulus,” said Shozo Tobimatsu, M.D., a neurologist at Kyushu University in Japan and one of the authors of the article.

Tobimatsu and his colleagues studied 4 boys who had suffered seizures during the cartoon. Like many others, they were not known to suffer from epilepsy, although some had a family history of epilepsy.

The researchers measured brain wave responses as the boys watched the cartoon in color or in black and white. They found that only 2 of the boys were sensitive to light/dark changes, but that all 4 boys had abnormal, epilepsy-like brain changes when exposed to the color version of the cartoon.

Because the cartoon had a flickering blue and red background, the researchers also showed the boys rapidly alternating blue and red images.

“Rapid color changes between blue and red in the cartoon were clearly the most important factor compared with color changes of other kinds and flickering light,” said Tobimatsu.

These results, combined with a report last year of color-induced seizures in Great Britain, led the Japanese team to propose a new subcategory of photosensitive epilepsy called chromatic sensitive epilepsy.

Other authors of the report were You Min Zhang, M.D., and Motohiro Kato, M.D., also of Kyushu University; and Yasuko Tomoda, M.D., and Akihisa Mitsudome, M.D., of Fukuoka University.

7-23-99—- Live Cowboy Bebop Concert

A live performance of the music from the popular Anime Cowboy Bebop will be held in Shibuya in August. The jazz-based music of the Sunrise Anime was composed by Yoko Kanno, who has also composed for “Macross Plus,” and “Escaflone.” It received the “Japan Golden Disc Award” as a contribution to Japanese music culture. Kanno recently was guest of honor at 2 Anime conventions in America where she performed playing piano. The concert will be held at Tokyo Shubuya On Air East on August 16th, and the ticket is 4500 yen (about $37.50). The tickets will be sold out for sure since the hall only holds about 300 people.

7-23-99—-Top Anime LD Sales (Japan) [As of July 19th]

1. Neon Genesis GPX Ciber Formula SIN vol.3
2. Trigun vol.12
3. Ultra Seven: Glory and Legend
4. The Affiars of Two Lovers vol.4 (Limited Version)
5. Nanako’s Scrapped Medical Records vol.1
6. Cowboy Bebop 7th Session
7. D4 Princess vol.1
8. To Heart vol.2
9. Gasaraki vol.6
10. Samurai Spirits 2 vol.1 New Asura Magic

7-23-99—- Schell Bullet Manga

Schell Bullet, created by Five Star Stories creator, Mamoru Nagano and Utena director, Kunihiko Ikuhara, and introduced in Newtype, will get it’s own two volume manga series this August. Highly stylized artisticly, Its story is about humans far into the future, where they are armed and divided into three kinds.

7-22-99—- Ayatsuri Sakon Anime

Ayatsuri Sakon, a recent popular manga by OBATA Takeshi is getting it’s own anime series which begins in October.

7-20-99—- More AX Tidbits

*Manga Entertainment mentioned that Blackjack the Movie will have a small theatrical release, and will actually be released BEFORE Perfect Blue or X.

*ADV announced that they plan a LARGE scale theatrical release of Spriggan. They also announced that they are looking into aquiring the entire Sunrise older catalog. ADV also working on a deal with Suncoast of information on is pretty scarce.

7-19- 99—- New Movie News

Over the weekend Pocket Monsters 2: Revelation-Lugia and the new Studio Ghibli film: My Neighbors The Yamadas opened in Japan in high anticipation by fans.

Pocket Monster 2 is expected to be one of the highest grossing Anime films of the year and depending on how the first Pocket Monsters movie does in November when it is to be released in the US, may get a theatrical release here as well.

Ghibli is expecting My Neighbors The Yamadas to be very popular as well, so popular in fact that it takes the #1 spot from Star Wars Episode 1 in the Japanese market. Interestingly Houichi Newspaper reports that Mr. Tokuma, president of Tokuma Shoten (Ghibli’s parent company) announced at the premiere of “Yamadas” that Evangellion director Hideaki Anno will be making a movie with the studio.

7-19-99—- AX Report

AnimeExpo, the largest Anime convention in the Americas held every year in Anaheim, California, wrapped up yesterday and had an impressive guest list this year, including Hiroshi Hamasaki (animation director, Midnight Eye Gokuu I and II, Biohunter, new Vampire Hunter D), Sachiko Kamumura (Character designer, City Hunter TV, Heroic Legend of Arslan, Mama’s a Fourth Grader), Hisashi Abe (Character Designer, Petshop of Horrors, Xebus, animation director on new Vampire Hunter D), Mika Akitaka (Mecha designer, Gundam Zeta, Gundam 0080, Gundam 0083, Nadesico, creator of Galaxy Fraulein Yuna), Toshihiro Kawamoto (character designer, Cowboy Bebop, Gundam 0083, Gundam 08th MS Team), Kazuko Tadano (character designer/animation director, Sailor Moon, Sailor Moon R TV & movie), Hiroyuki Ochi (director/creator/character designer, Sol Bianca II, Armitage III), Yoko Kanno (composer, Escaflowne, Macross Plus, Cowboy Bebop), and Hiromi Matsushita (animation director, Sailor Moon, original Vampire Hunter D, Guyver, SD Gundam, Granzort, Wataru I & II).

Perhaps the biggest announcement coming out of AX this year, that the con is expanding to 4 days (Thursday-Sunday) starting next year!

News of a new Captain Harlock TV series came out of the Madhouse Pannel, as well as a new 100% Computer Animated film called Metropolis which is slated for release in 2000. The Alexander OVA will wrap up production in August and all 13 episodes will be broadcast on broadcast satellite channel WOWOW.

Pioneer confirmed the release of the Trigun in eight volumes, starting in February. Interestingly, Pioneer says they now own the rights to Akira. This is contray to news that has been floating around as of late, looks like Pioneer is the new owner. Since it is Pioneer, DVD release can pretty much be assumed. No word on redubbing, resubtitling or a release date. AnimeVillage announced DVD’s of Cowboy Bebop and Outlaw Star. A dub of Escaflowne is also being produced for release next February (which is being shopped around to TV stations) but there may be a DVD release before that.

Manga Entertainment announced the rights to the Evangellion movies. The figure Gainax was asking for the license was supposedly astronomical. No word yet on previous rumors that Manga may ask ADV to dub the movies with their cast.

AnimEigo had a surprise announcement this weekend: Through a deal with Harmony Gold, the original Macross TV series will see a subtitled DVD release (as well as VHS)! AnimEigo’s Robert Woodhead has confirmed that the episodes will be seen “uncut, unedited, and digitally remastered”. The boxed set containing all 36 episodes will be a limited edition run (with sign-up sheets available on their web site), but no word on whether there will be an individual tape volume release like Kimagure Orange Road will have.

ADV announced a few new titles, namely the recent TV shows Sorcerous Stabber Orphen and Shin Getter Robo. ADV also has the rights to the live action Parasite Eve movie (based off the same novel as the Playstation RPG from SquareSoft), Tokyo Blue Police Branch 22, and Dragon Blue.

Viz Communications announced their aquisition of their first live action title, Hideaki Anno’s live action project Love & Pop.

7-19-99—- Top Manga Sales (Week Of 7-12)

1. Hana yori Dango (23) Yoko Kamio
2. GTO (11) Toru Fujisawa
3. H2 (30) Mitsuru Adachi
4. Kindaichi Shounen no Jiken-bo (Kindaichi’s Crime files) shrt (4) Seimaru Amagi/ Fumuya Sato
5. Arms (8) Ryoji Minakawa
6. Flame of Recca (19) Nobuyuki Anzai
7. Hajime no Ippo (the First Step) (48) George Morikawa
8. Kinniku man II (5) Yudetamago
9. Kocha Tamago (Tea Egg) (7) Nanpei Yamada
10. Garoden (17) Yoshito Yamahara

7-18-99—- Studio Ghibli Hiring

Studio Ghibli is recruiting new employees for their animation, ink and Paint, and art departments, to start work in April of 2000. The suggested age is 18 to 25, and it is not necessary to be Japanese, although near-fluent Japanese speech ability is. The deadline for interested applicants is the beginning of September. Interested parties that can read Japanese (it’s required anyway) can get more information at this address.

7-18-99—- Akira: A New Theatrical Release? DVD Rerelease Planned

AnimeOnDVD.com reports that contrary to previous statements, MGM still has the rights to Akira and plans on redubbing it into Dolby AC-3 5.1 format. A new theatrical release is not out of the question.

7-17-99—- SNK Licensed ROMs For Use At Otakon

“Apparently SNK had licensed the roms for use with this convention. During the July 4th weekend, there was a huge (2nd largest in the US) anime convention in Baltimore. They had a video game room with tons of dreamcasts/PSXs/etc, and in the middle of all this were two computers running NeoRageX with video-outs to 2 HUGE big screen TVs. On rec.arts.anime.misc, someone was talking a little about how it was wrong to use NeoGeo roms for profit. (He didn’t know Otakorp is a non-profit organization, and does not make any profit from the Otakon convention.) So anyways, the main guy of Otakorp (or one of them) replied saying that SNK gave permission to Otakorp to allow them to use the neogeo roms, but they had to delete them after the convention (of course)..”

7-17-99—- Kia Asamiya and Michitaka Kikuchi Fan Club

A fan club for Kia Asamiya and Michitaka Kikuchi, who are famouse for “Steam Detectives” and “Silent Mobius,” will look for new members.
Its membership is from September 1999 to August 2000. The entrance fee is 1,000 yen (about $8.33), and the annual fee is 4000 yen (about $33.33). A magazine for the fans will be published every three months, and the original goods will be sold and the events for the fan club will be offered exclusively to its memebers. When you enter the fan club, you will get a membership card that looks like a phone card. The deadline for the application is August 31st. Send an envelop with your address and a stamp on it to the following address. They will send you back the detailed information. However, it is not clear that they accept applications from abroad, so you might want to contact them by mail.
* Prism, Ltd. “Hiper Entrance Information”

Shibuya Infos Tower 11F
20-1 Sakuraokamachi
Sibuya ku, Tokyo 150-0031

7-16-99—- Top Anime LD Sales (Japan) [As Of July 12th]

1. The Affairs of Two Lovers vol.4 (Limited Edition)
2. Cowboy Bebop 7th Session
3. To Heart vol.2
4. Devilman Lady vol.6
5. Gasaraki vol.6
6. Nanako’s Scrapped Medical Records vol.1
7. Shusaku vol.2 Garden of Middle Aged Men
8. Akihabara Dennou Gumi vol.7
9. Silent Mebius 07
 10. Yu-No vol.3 Cinderella at a Junction

7-15-99—- Anime Expo Live Real Audio Broadcast

The largest Anime convetion in North America kicks off tomorrow and if you could’nt make it to California to be there, no problem!! You can watch the events Live via streaming video at: AX ’99 Live Broadcast.

7-14-99—- President Of Gainax Arrested (More)

Another Interesting article from the Mainichi:

Animation exec busted for tax evasion

Mainichi Shimbun

The president of a company that produced and distributed the popular animation program, “Shinseiki Evangelion,” was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly failing to pay 580 million yen in corporate tax.
Prosecutors said that Takeji Sawamura, 40, president of Gainax in the suburban Tokyo city of Musashino, allegedly evaded paying corporate taxes by reporting fictitious costs for the company’s software products in 1996 and 1997.

As a result, Sawamura neglected to report more than 1.5 billion yen in corporate income during the period and failed to pay some 580 million yen in corporate tax.

Tax accountant Yoshikatsu Iwasaki was also arrested on the same charge.

Their method of tax evasion, prosecutors said, was that they first paid fees to companies for software programs on fictitious contracts.

The costs were paid back to Gainax. Those software production firms later received a part of those costs as a commission for the tax-evasion scheme.

Since its establishment in December 1984, Gainax succeeded in expanding its sales of software and goods, as children had been captivated by “Evangelion” since its broadcast began in 1995.

The Tokyo Regional Taxation Bureau filed a complaint with prosecutors against Sawamura and Iwasaki last November, accusing them of tax evasion.

Copyright Mainichi Shimbun

7-13-99—- President Of Gainax Arrested

A number of Japanese newspapers have reported today that the president of Gainax, Mr. Sawamura has been arrested for evading taxes worth around 600 million yen. The following article is from the Yomiuri Shimbun:

Gainax head arrested for tax evasion

Yomiuri Shimbun

The president of the Gainax animation production company, creator of the hit animated science fiction film “Neon Genesis Evangelion,” was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of concealing 1.5 billion yen in profits.

Tokyo prosecutors have begun investigating the company in Musashino, western Tokyo.

In October, the Tokyo Regional Taxation Bureau filed a complaint against Gainax and its president, Takeshi Sawamura, 40, for violating the corporate tax law.

For a two-year period ending in July 1997, Gainax allegedly evaded paying about 580 million yen in corporate taxes, sources said.

Gainax produces films and television programs, and develops software for personal computer games. The television program “Evangelion” became very popular when it was broadcast for six months from autumn 1995.

Copyright Yomiuri Shimbun

7-13-99—- Original Gundam TV Series Released In Japan

Starting June 25th the original 1979 43 eps. Gundam TV series, which has never been released Commercially, is now available on a rent only basis in video stores across Japan. The release serves to comemerate the 20th Aniversery of Gundam who’s giant mecha Mobile Suit genre, not to mention depth of storytelling and charaters has since gone onto become known as a major influence among anime since.
The original Gundam series has aired on TV in Japan several times, and was condensed and made into 3 Gundam Movies, which have been released for sometime in Japan and have recently been available for the first time in America.

7-12-99—- Top Anime LD Sales (Japan) [As of July 5th]

1. Cowboy Bebop 7th Session
2. To Heart vol.2
3. Akihabara Dennou Gumi vol.7
4. Shusaku vol.2 Garden of Middle Aged Men
5. Gasaraki vol.6
6. Saber Marionette J to X vol. 7
7. Silent Mobius 07
8. Jubei-chan -the secret of the Lovely Eye Patch- vol.1
9. Yu-No vol.3 Cinderella at a Junction
10. Rurouni Kenshin: Recollections vol.3

7-11-99—- Ichiro Mizuki’s 1,000 Songs Concert

The King of anime song world, Ichiro Mizuki has sung more than 1,000 songs for anime. He will keep singing 1,000 songs for two days from August 30th to 31st at the event sponsored by Fuji TV’s anime song program, “Kaiketsu Utaemon.” (The site has not been announced.)
He has sung for old robot anime, such as “Mazinnar Z,” and special-effect hero programs, and now is close to 60 years old. It might be hard for an old man to sing all night. If this event is successful, Mizuki will be on the new edition of Guiness Book.

7-11-99—- Anime/Manga- Hollywood Crossovers

The number of Hollywood movies currently in production based on Anime/Manga is stagering. On the way in the next 3 years so far we have:

*Tetsuwan Atom (Astro Boy): CG Animation, Summer 2001 Release
*Mobile Suit Gundam (G- Savior): CG Animation/ Live Action, Sometime in 2000 Release
*Gunsmith Cats: Live Action, Sometime In 2000-2001 Release
*Lupin III: Live Action, Sometime In 2000-2003 Release
*Final Fantasy: CG Animation, Sometime In 2000- 2001 Release

7-10-99—- Chrono Trigger 2 Info

Allright!!! the game I’ve been waiting close to 5 years to be released!

Chrono Cross

Two days ago, Square confirmed its work on the sequel to Chrono Trigger for PlayStation, tentatively called Chrono Cross. While Chrono Cross is scheduled for shelves for this winter in Japan, Square Electronic Arts has said nothing about its existence, and is not likely to bring it out in North America until the year 2000. In this sequel, Nobuteru Yuuki will be responsible for character designs. His work includes Tail Concerto, Square’s Seiken Densetsu 3, Record of Lodoss War OVAs, X: The Movie, and Vision of Escaflowne. While Both Yuji Horii (a scenario designer who also worked on Dragon Quest) and Akira Toriyama (a character designer who created the Dragon Ball series) will not play a part in the game’s creation. And for those lucky rich folk who own a PocketStation, Chrono Cross will support it. Just how Yuuki will alter and add to the game is anybody’s guess at this point, but characters Chrono and his squad will hopefully appear in some way or another. A fully playable demo of Chrono Cross will be packed in with Legend of Mana, Dew Prism, Front Mission 3, and Vagrant Story (although it’ll be a movie only).

7-9-99—- More English Gundam On The Way

Anime Village has announced new Gundam titles to be released sometime in the not so distant future:
*Shin Kido Seiki Gundam Wing
*Shin Kido Seiki Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz
(OAV’s And Movie?)
*Gundam 08th MS Team

7-8-99—- US Theatrical Release Of Pocket Monsters Movies

The 1st Pocket monsters Movie (Mewtwos Revenge), released last summer, will premiere in the USA this November.

Warner Brothers is handling production/ distribution and the film will be released Nation wide in 1500 theaters, this is expected to be a wider release than the 1000 theaters with Princess Mononoke which (is expected to) premiere October 29.

 The film will most likely be dubbed in English, and released on video in a few months time post theater run. (VA info is forthcoming.) The Pokemon that will premier in the USA has reportedly be remade somewhat there is to be a 10-minute fragment of the original film added as well as some modifications in Animation/ Production. This re-edition will be aired in Japan, in advance, on June 8 as a special TV-program.

7-4-99—-Princess Monoke….. Ahem! That’s MONONOKE!!

Contained in the opening of the recent movie trailer for the film ‘American Pie’ are a list of the top 5 or so movies “you should see after Star Wars: Episode I”. # 4 on the list is “Princess Monoke”!! This is of course a total misspelling of the Japanese word Mononoke, The first word in the Japanese title (Hime: Princess) was translated (Leaving the Japanese word Mononoke in the title is most likely a move to keep the association there that the film is Japanese). A Japanese friend related to me that Mononoke was an old Japanese word translating over into English meaning roughly Phantom or Monster. Just for fun I ran the word Monoke through an online Japanese/English dictionary and came up with no definitions. However running the words Mono and Ke seperatly yielded me the following rather interesting results: Mono is listed as “person” or “thing” and Ke came up as “hairy” or “wooly”. Hmmm…. “Princess Wooly/Hairy thing”? ( Minus princess, that actually sounds kinda like the Tatari-Gami in the film looks!! ;D

7-2-99—-Princess Mononoke Update

Latest press release directly from Miramax:

Based loosely on Japanese folklore, PRINCESS MONONOKE is the animated tale of the war between encroaching civilization and the beast gods of the forest, which threatens to unbalance the forces of nature. PRINCESS MONONOKE was directed by Japan’s leading animator, the acclaimed Hayao Miyazaki, and is one of only two films to break $150 million (U.S.) at the Japanese box office – the other being Titanic.

This Summer, Miramax Films will release an English-language dubbed version of PRINCESS MONONOKE, featuring the voices of Billy Crudup, Minnie Driver, Claire Danes, Billy Bob Thornton, Jada Pinkett and Gillian Anderson among others. The script was penned by Neil Gaiman, best-selling author and creator/writer of the award-winning monthly DC Comics.

Mature in theme, operatic in scope, mystical in style, PRINCESS MONONOKE is set in ancient Japan – a time of samurai warriors and isolated villages miles apart. A war rages in the land. The forests are being ravaged by the Tatara clan, forgers of iron. The Great God of the Forest, a mythical beast, gives power to the forest gods to protect their domain against the humans in the forms of huge beasts.

ASHITAKA (Billy Crudup), the last young warrior of the Emishi clan, who lives secluded in the remote mountains of northern Japan, is forced to kill a monster to protect his village. Too late he discovers that the boar-like creature he killed is a protector-god of the forest. In killing him he has brought upon himself a curse, its sign a twisted scar on his right forearm.

Ashitaka journeys to the land of the Tatara clan where he hopes to uncover the mystery of the curse before it takes his life. He meets their proud and regal leader, the Lady Eboshi (Minnie Driver). Along the way he becomes involved in a bitter fight between two warring factions of humans and a race of forest-gods trapped in the middle.

During one such attack, Ashitaka, first sees SAN – Princess Mononoke – (Claire Danes), a young woman raised by wolves, who is prepared to die to defeat the humans. Against his will, Ashitaka is drawn into the struggle between man and nature, trying to persuade the two sides to find another way, one that will halt the endless circle of killing, for forest creature and humans to live in the world in peace together.