Anime News Service – March 13-15 Anime News

3-15-02—- Studio Proteus On Harvey Noms

From the update to Studio Proteus website:

Special Announcement #1: Studio Proteus received 3 Harvey Award nominations this year:

Best Graphic Album of Previously Published Work:
Lone Wolf and Cub

Best American Edition of Foreign Material:
Lone Wolf and Cub
Super Manga Blast!

I’m not at all surprised about Lone Wolf …best-selling books always get nominations, but the SMB nomination is a real surprise and of course makes me pretty happy, as that mag is my baby. Lone Wolf will win, of course, but the nomination is nice. My sincere thanks to everyone who works on SMB.

3-15-02—- IMDB Selects Cowboy Bebop As “Movie Of The Day”

American cinema supersite, The Internet Movie Database selected Cowboy Bebop as “Movie Of The Day” on March 13th, excepted below is a selection of their review:

“No probing tentacles. No attempts at wacky cosmic worldviews. No schoolgirls in dress uniform. Just good old-fashioned Bebop. “Cowboy Bebop” breaks from the standard clichés of most anime productions to its benefit. The series debuted in 1998 to much popular acclaim, and gained an adoring following, mostly owing to its hip feel and its fresh soundtrack. Spike Spiegel is the hero of the show; he’s a former gang member now turned bounty-hunter. Along with his sidekick Jet Black (whose missing left arm has been replaced by a robotic one) they cruise space in their ship, the Bebop, looking for their next big score. They also pick up new members of their crew, like a genetically altered Corgi, a croupier who may or may not be the 200-year-old manifestation of Lady Luck, and a hapless computer hacker named Ed. Odd? Yes. Distancing as most anime seems to be? Not at all. “Bebop” seems to owe its roots to the Occidental old television series “The Wild, Wild West” (the title sequence even employs the same geometric screen approach), as it mixes bizarre mysteries with hints of sex and a lot of snappy action.”

3-15-02—- Metropolis UK Release

The online video retailer Blackstar (www.blackstar.co.uk) is currently listing the UK release of “Metropolis” for April 22nd. Both VHS and DVD widescreen versions are listed, but there is currently no information on what (if any) extras the UK DVD release will contain.

Thanks to Duncan Law-Green for the news.

3-15-02—- Asia AICN News

From AICN via Daniel:

China/HK: “Our deepest blessings go out to Jackie Chan, whose mother passed away on 28th Feb at the age of 86. The funeral was held on Mar 6th and Jackie had already gone back to work the next day to host an HK special for Discovery Channel. Jackie is now shooting “Shanghai Knights”, but after the accident at the set of “Highbinders”, Hollywood insurance companies have forced Jackie to have at least 60 days off during the shooting of “Shanghai Knights”. Jackie is ok with it and said he will use the holidays to develop his next project “Titanium Rain” with Media Asia…Just one day after the funeral in Australia, Jackie is in HK to be a host of a Discovery Channel special: Go Here To See”

Japan: 1)”Shooting[for the new MechaGodzilla film] will start in June and the film’s world premiere will be held at the Tokyo International Film Festival in October.

2)”I recently saw “Alive”, the new film by Ryuhei Kitamura (“Versus”), and believe me if you liked his previous film, you’ll be TOTALLY BLOWN AWAY!! Set in a futuristic maximum-security prison, the story follows a bunch of ruthless death-row prisoners who volunteer to participate in an experiment dealing with a virus from outer space. Naturally the experiment goes awry, and you have a bunch of mutated killers running amok!! Much violence ensues, and we get to see a heck of a lot blood and guts and some AWESOME fight scenes. Unfortunately, there really isn’t much depth to this film. If you like some great fight scenes and some groovy FX-work, “Alive” will be right up your alley. I’ll give this a C+.

3)”I also happened to catch the new baseball comedy from director Satoru Izaka, “Mr. Rookie”. As reported previously in the column, the film follows the story of Hanshin Tigers, a sluggish team, who get some much needed help from a masked pitcher. With the help of Mr. Rookie, the team starts to move up in the championships until the very last game – where the player finally reveals his identity. The film ended up being entertaining and real-life player Kazuhige Nagashima was very good in the titular role. I’ll give this a C+ as well.

4)”also saw the raunchy comedy “The Bleep Brothers”, directed by Yoshiyasu Fujita. The film is just a set up of crazy antics, following the story of two foul-mouthed comedians who become superstars after getting their own show. The show pretty much is a bunch of “bleeps” since their humour cannot be heard on prime time TV. Much comedy follows after it’s revealed that the younger brother is still a virgin. The film was absolutely hilarious and audiences were just dying in their seats!! Much of the humour is thanks to actor Kentaro Seagal (Steven Seagal’s son), who plays the younger sibling. This film is destined to be a cult classic!!”

3-15-02—- Resident Evil Review

Check out a witty-but positive-Resident Evil movie review at New Times L.A. from a critic who apparently has had experience with the games.

Source: Daniel

3-15-02—- Zatoichi Release From Criterion

The Digital Bits states that Criterion will be releasing the following films on 5/14: Zatoichi #1: Blind Swordsman – The Tale of Zatoichi and Zatoichi #2: Blind Swordsman – The Tale of Zatoichi Continues.

Thanks to Daniel for the scoop

3-15-02—- FUNimation To Launch Anime Club Initiative

Funimation has revealed a new idea entitled “Operation Anime”. The goal of Operation Anime is to help clubs promote anime by providing fans with sneak previews of great anime footage along with other materials. You MUST be over 13 in order to participate. Here is a quick run down of what OP is all about.

• One member must submit information about the anime club to FUNimation via the form below.
• FUNimation will contact the designated club spokesperson to verify club existence.
• Anime club will organize a screening party with a specific time and place.
• FUNimation will provide videos and other materials for the screening.
• Gather feedback from those who attend the screening party and then pass this feedback along to FUNimation. All other materials FUNimation sends will become property of the club.

Click here for more on this new fan base program.

Source: Anime Pro

3-15-02—- Akadot Piece On Ninja Scroll / Threshold Deal

Akadot has posted parts of a press release from this week’s announcement of Threshold Entertainment’s announcement to develop the Ninja Scroll Franchise in all media. Digital Manga Inc. President Hikaru Sasahara was involved in the negotiations on behalf of Madhouse and will serve as producer on the projects.

3-15-02—- Sakura Wars Kayou Show Region 2 Available For Overseas Order

For those living outside of Japan unable to reserve the Sakura Wars Kayou Show DVD’s, AMO Tokyo now has the following available:

1. Super Live
2. 2002 Spring Kayou Show
3. Gekitei Furitsuke DVD

3-15-02—- Chobits Seiyuu

According to the Chobits TBS website, the following seiyuu have been confired for the series:

Chii: Tanaka Rie
Motosuwa Hideki: Sugita Tomokazu
Shinbo Hiroshi: Seki Tomokazu
Sumomo: Kumai Motoko
Kokubunji Minoru: Kuwashima Houko
Yuzuki: Orikasa Fumiko
Hibiya Chitose: Inoue Kikuko
Shimizu Takako: Yuzuki Ryouka
Oomura Yumi: Toyoguchi Megumi

3-15-02—- Article: Japanese Parents Not Fully Aware Of Kids’ Cell-Phone Use

According to new research in a Yomiuri piece:

Eighty percent of high school students and almost 20 percent of sixth-year primary school students in Osaka own cellular phones, according to a recent survey. In the survey of about 40,000 students and their parents conducted by the Osaka Municipal Board of Education, 40 percent of middle school students said they owned cell phones. About 20 percent of high school students said they had used their cell phones to access online dating services, although the vast majority of their parents said they did not believe their children had done so.

3-15-02—- Japan Briefs

First pressings of RahXephon DVD volumes 1 and 5 will both come with a collectors box. Volume 1 (2 episodes) is due out on 31 May 2002 (catalogue number ZMBZ-1401, price 5,250 yen – including tax). That box will hold five DVDs. Volume 5 is due out on 27 September 2002 (price 6,300 yen – including tax).

The first pressing of Panyo Panyo DiGi Charat DVD volume 1 will also come with a box to hold all four DVDs. Release date 31 May 2002, catalogue number ZMBZ-1431, price 6,090 yen (including tax). Volume 1 will include twelve episodes.

This Shinseido page states that the anime Gunparade March, based on the Playstation game, is to be broadcast on Fuji TV late night Wednesdays.

A tentative release date for the Initial D Battle Stage DVD appears to be 15 May 2002. Catalogue number AVBA-14365, price 5,800 (excluding tax).

Source: Natsume Maya

3-15-02—- Anime Pitstop Closed

Long running anime links site www.animepitstop.com has closed, according to the editor:

“Due to many years of problems with Anime Pitstop, I’ve decided to finally put the site off. Nothing seemed to ever go right with Anime Pitstop, always some sort of problem that I couldn’t fix or the people who run the servers never got around to fixing.

“But…

“I’d like to thank all who was with Anime Pitstop through all the years, and I hope we helped you on your quest to find Anime easier. So with that, The Anime Pitstop is now closed.

“1995/6-2001”

3-15-02—- UK Akira DVD “Cinemascope Version”

According to the write-up on MovieMail regarding the Akira DVD from Manga:

‘Post-apocalyptic Tokyo. A government group try restoring an ancient force (Akira) to save their world but it proves uncontrollable. Cinemascope version with a fascinating production report video included. The stunning vision of a dystopian, futuristic city deserves honourable comparison with Blade Runner and Metropolis.’

3-15-02—- UK Briefs

According to the Animejin update, below text in this piece Copyright Jonathan Weeks:

No anime at the NFT
After fighting my way through some particularly grotty London weather to get to today’s screening of Utena: The Movie at the NFT, I was dismayed to find that all the anime screenings that I reported last time have been canceled. This was due to the film prints not arriving in time.

More anime on the Sci-Fi channel
The Sci-Fi channel has revealed that it will be changing its Saturday night anime slot from 4th May. Instead of showing a random movie each week, they will be showing one episode a week of three TV series: ‘Neon Genesis Evangelion’ at 24.00hrs, ‘Martian Successor Nadeiso’ at 00.30hrs and ‘Blue Gender’ at 01.00hrs. All three series will last for 26 episodes.

Further information will be available shortly on the Sci-Fi website at http://www.uk.scifi.com.

3-15-02—- Animazement Confirms Yuu Watase

Animazement to be held May 24-26, 2002 at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel in Durham, North Carolina has confirmed Yuu Watase as attending their 5th anniversary convention.

Guests Include: Yuu Watase – “Fushigi Yuugi” and “Ayashi No Ceres” creator/artist.
Scott Houle – Owner, Coastal Carolina Studio.
Hiroyuki Kitakubo – Director of “Blood: The Last Vampire.”
Hiroaki Sakurai – Director of “Di Gi Charat.”
Koichi Tsunoda – Cel painting director from Toei Animation.
Pamela Weidner – Voice Director, Coastal Carolina Studio.
Yasuo Yamaguchi – Director of “Getta Robo” and “Devil Man.”

3-15-02—- Fox Kids Anime Additions

Fox Kids has announced the coming of yet another Pokemon series, and confirmd Yu-Gi-Oh going daily according to Toon Zone.

3-14-02—- Anime Central Confirms New Guest Hidenori Matsubara

Anime Central 2002 to be held April 19-21, 2002 at the Hyatt Regency O Hare in Rosemont, Illinois U.S.A. has announced the following new guest:

NEW! Hidenori Matsubara Mr.Matsubara has been an animator on many well known anime, but is best known for adapting manga artist Kosuke Fujishima’s designs to the anime and game medium. American fans will best know him for his character design and animation direction on “Oh! My Goddess” and “Sakura Wars.” This will be his first appearance at Anime Central.

3-14-02—- New Escaflowne Date

The Escaflowne movie will be opening this month in Seattle at GC Pacific Place 11 600 Pine Street Seattle, WA 98101 (206) 652-2404 on 3.29.2002

3-14-02—- Ronin Warriors Character Designer Norio Shioyama Announced For Sakura Con

Cypress, CA (March 14, 2002) – Bandai Entertainment announced today the attendance of Norio Shioyama at this year’s Sakura Con 2002 in Seattle, Washington. Mr. Shioyama is a veteran of the animation industry in Japan. He has worked on numerous well known anime projects including stints as the character designer for the well known Ronin Warriors (Yoroiden Samurai Troopers) series – US broadcast on syndicated television, Sci-Fi channel, and Cartoon Network; Layzner, and VOTOMS. More recently, Mr. Shioyama has served as key animator for the popular Gaogaigar and Infinite Ryvius series by Sunrise studios. This is his first convention appearance here in the United States.

Asia Northwest Cultural Education Association is proud to announce that the 5th Annual Sakura-Con to be hosted at the Seattle Airport Hilton and Conference Center from April 26-28. As the premiere Pacific Northwest convention devoted to Japanese animation, manga (comics), gaming, and Asian Culture, Sakura-Con is the destination event for fans to learn more about the anime, manga, & gaming industry, as well as the diverse history of Asian Culture. For more information, please visit www.sakuracon.org.

Bandai Entertainment Inc. is the premier distributor of Japanese animation home video in North America. Launching under its online brand – AnimeVillage.com in 1998, Bandai is committed to the mainstream success of Japanese animation in the United States for the new millennium. In little less than two years and with over 40 home video releases – Bandai has quickly become the leader in the Japanese animation. The company has distributed notable titles like “Mobile Suit Gundam series”, “The Vision of Escaflowne” and “Cowboy Bebop.” Bandai Entertainment Inc. is a subsidiary of Bandai America Inc., who makes the toys for the FOX hit television series, Power Rangers and Digimon. Bandai Entertainment Inc. focuses on home video distribution and licensing. All U.S. operations are headquartered in a large, ultra-modern facility in Cypress, Calif. Bandai Co., Ltd is the third largest toy company in the world comprising 53 subsidiaries in 18 countries. In addition to toys and children’s entertainment, Bandai Co.’s global interests include video game software, multimedia, music and full-length feature films, vending machines, trading cards, candies, and licensed apparel. Bandai Entertainment is headquartered in Cypress, California and company information is available at www.bandai-ent.com.

3-14-02—- Replacement Killers SE Review

Check out a review for the special edition of Replacement Killers-Chow Yun Fat’s first American film-at DVD File.

3-14-02—- Akadot Updates

Akadot has updated with several articles, notebly a piece which examines the cultural vaibility of Dragonball in conjunction with a cultural center exhibition of the anime here. Longtime Anime advocate station KTEH is profiled in a new article here.

3-14-02—- I-Mode Misc. News

TOSHIBA has unveiled it’s first offering for the European I-Mode Market, you can read about it here.

Yukio-san ( Dead Shot Club | ISDN Fanclub ) informs us NTT DoCoMo has unveiled a new solution for multiple point video conferencing on it’s 3G FOMA network. The platform enables several people to participate in a wireless video conference, DoCoMo said its mobile video-conferencing platform is the world’s first cellphone platform for video teleconferencing, and can also work with some fixed-line video phones. The platform will work with DoCoMo’s “P2101V” and “D2101V” 3G video phones, which are equipped for the “3G-324M” protocol, the IMT-2000 standard for audio-video mobile communications. “The maximum of 16 people are likely to be able to participate simultaneously,” a DoCoMo spokesman. Japan’s dominant cellphone operator also said it will set up a consortium to conduct a field trial of the new platform starting this May. Source: C-Net Japan | Yahoo

3-14-02—- Anime Composer On MechaGodzilla Score

“Composer Michiru Oshima announced on her website today that she will score the next Godzilla film. Fans will know her as the first female Godzilla composer on 2000’s GODZILLA X MEGAGUIRUS. More to come.”

According to http://us.imdb.com/Name?Oshima,+Michiru , Oshima also did the music for the Emeraldas oav and Legend of Legaia.

Her official webpage is linked to Cinescape.

According also to Cinescape:

“About Michiru Oshima Michiru Oshima has the distinction of being the first female composer for a Godzilla film with Godzilla X Megaguirus. Oshima is widely known by anime fans as well. Ms. Oshima has written and composed the scores for the following popular animated series, movies, and OVAs: WEATHERING CONTINENT, THE LEGEND OF CRYSTANIA (1995), DRAGON QUEST, ARC THE LAD, MAHOU TSUKAI TAI! (1999), FANCY LALA (1998), and QUEEN EMERALDAS (1998). Some of these titles have been released to home video in the US, and all of them have respective CD soundtracks available in Japan. One of the live-action films Ms. Oshima composed, was for Toei’s controversial 1998 film, PRIDE (Puraido: Unmei-no toki), a magnificent story about the Japanese War Crime Tribunals. (Bio by August Ragone)”

Source: Daniel

3-14-02—- Understanding Chaos Review

Thanks to Matt at DVD Vision Japan for this:

DVD Vision Japan has a DVD review on the independently made US Anime called Understanding Chaos.

To find out about this groundbreaking anime, please check out our review at: this link.

3-14-02—- CPM Manga July releases

Thanks to Frank of CPM Manga for relaying these July releases:

Immoral Angel – Book One: Innocence Lost (Graphic Novel)

Innocent young REMI would do anything to save her father’s life, including being forced into servitude by sadistic NEKOZO KYUSO. She endures unimaginable tortures at his hands, and is strained to the breaking point for her master’s amusement.

When will her sufferings come to and end? How many more humiliations can she endure before she strikes back? And just what is the menace of the Lemmings?

7/3/2002 $16.95 176 pages Black and White Manga18 Adults Only ISBN: 1-58664-868-3 UPC: 7-19987-00622-5-00111 Catalog: CMX 62201G

Dark Angel – Book Four: Legend of the Sacred Beast (Graphic Novel)

DARK has fought and won despite the odds against him. An unlikely PHANTOM SAINT OF THE RED PHOENIX, he keeps getting lost and can’t even spread his wings at will, but there’s something about him that keeps winning him allies. Now he’s got an immeasurable desert to cross before he can get to OUKOKU where his destiny awaits. What mysteries await him…and just who or what is the danger known as the GAIRANA?

7/10/2002 $15.95 224 pages Black and White CPM Manga For All Ages ISBN: 1-58664-854-3 UPC: 7-19987-00623-2-00411 Catalog: CMX 62304G

Record of Lodoss War: Deedlit’s Tale – Book One – Choices (Graphic Novel)

A Shoujo Manga! DEEDLIT and PARN join up with the wizard SLAYN to free the village of HANAM from an evil warlord. They are hopelessly outnumbered and, to make matters worse, an Elf named ESTAS, is trying to come between Deedlit and Parn. It seems Estas doesn’t like relationships between Elves and Humans.

Will our heroes free the village? Will their love remain strong?

7/17/2002 $15.95 192 pages Black and White CPM Manga For All Ages ISBN: 1-58664-863-2 UPC: 7-19987-00632-4-00111 Catalog: CMX 63201G

3-13-02—- Ninja Scroll / Threshold Deal In American Press

Following yesterday evening’s announcement of Threshold Entertainment’s Acquisition of the Ninja Scroll franchise rights, the news has spread quickly across major U.S. Media outlets. Most notebly, the daily Hollywood Entertainment circular Variety featured the story on it’s frontpage. Below are several other refernces:

Site name: CBS MarketWatch
URL: CBS Market Watch

Site name: DailyDeal.com
URL: DailyDeal

Site name: DallasNews.com
URL: DallasNews

Site name: Finance Canada
URL: Finance Canada

Site name: Lycos
URL: Lycos

Site name: MiamiToday.com
URL: MiamiToday

Site name: NBC6.com
URL: NBC6.com

Site name: National Hispanic Corporate Council
URL: NHCC

Site name: News Alert
URL: News Alert

Site name: PR Newswire
URL: PR NEWSWIRE

Site name: Silicon Valley Business Ink
URL: Silicon Valley Business Ink

Site name: TheEagle.com
URL: TheEagle

Site name: Yahoo!
URL: Yahoo

3-13-02—- Marvel Mangaverse Goes Monthly

Marvel Comics has released new info on their coming monthly Mangaverse comics series.

3-13-02—- Japan Briefs

Details for the limited edition first volume of the DVD release of Galaxy Angel 2nd series have been confirmed as the following:
Galaxy Angel 2nd series vol. 1 Limited Special
Includes angel can (with mobile phone strap set, 5 badge set, angel team emblem pins and punching Nomad(?)) and special DVD (with secret live video – 5 songs included, secret game video, cast and staff interviews)
Release date 25 May 2002
Price 5,800 yen ( A regular edition will be out on the same day for 3,800 yen.

The 7th preview of the upcoming Tenchi Muyo anime is now online here.

The official homepage for the upcoming Kaishaku anime UFO Princess Walkure is now up at www.tokinoyu.net. However, apart from the BBS, there’s nothing much else to see at the moment. The grand opening of the site will take place on 29 March 2002.

Source: Natsume Maya

3-13-02—- Pioneer Announces Strawberry Eggs

Thanks to Ryu Hayabusa DOA2 for the news:

Pioneer finds the best woman for the job is a man in STRAWBERRY EGGS! Mar 12, 2002

Long Beach, CA March 7, 2002 – Pioneer Animation takes everyone back to school with the comedy-drama, STRAWBERRY EGGS. Volume 1, “Makeup Exam,” releases August 13, 2002. Hibiki Amawa is an ordinary working stiff, but he can’t seem to get a job – or pay his rent. When his volatile landlady goes ballistic and threatens to kick him out by the end of the day, his desperation to find a teaching job reaches a critical level – and he pursues a job he couldn’t get before – as a PE teacher at a local school. The catch is that the school only hires female teachers!! So, with a crash course in fashion and a special voice modulator, Hibiki slips right into his new role as Ms. Amawa – with surprising results! The DVD series is chock full of extras – a full color art gallery, a glossary of Japanese school terms and culture, live-action television ads for the show that ran in Japan, and interactive character commentaries on the other students! Released in Japan in 2001 as “I, My, Me – Strawberry Eggs,” the show was produced by Pioneer, LDC and animated by TNK, the creators of the hit series HAND MAID MAY. Vice-President of Marketing, Mark Roche said, “For fans of TOOTSIE or BOSOM BUDDIES, this show features the entertaining backdrop of the Japanese school system and the fight for one teacher to demonstrate his worth – even if he has to wear a dress to prove it!” Images for print and press information can be downloaded at www. www.pioneeranimation.com /media. Information on this and any other Pioneer videos and products are available at www.pioneeranimation.com. Pioneer Entertainment (USA) Inc. (www.pioneer-ent.com) is a full-service producer and distributor of entertainment software including film, music,animation and television shows on VHS and DVD. Headquartered in Long Beach, California, Pioneer Entertainment is part of the Pioneer North American Group. Its parent company, Pioneer Corporation, is recognized around the world for its position at the forefront of optical disc technology, car electronics and consumer entertainment. With more than 30,000 employees worldwide and over $5.0 billion in yearly sales worldwide, Pioneer operates facilities in Japan, Europe,the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Source: Pioneer Animation

3-13-02—- Japanese Coverage Of DBZ / Fox Deal

Thanks to Yukio ( Dead Shot Club | ISDN Fanclub ) who has sent in a number of Japanese related articles on yesterday’s Fox / DBZ Announcement. The news is reportedly very big in the Jpaanese press, of interest are the rumors surrounding those who may be attached to the project such as James Cameron or George Lucas in the directors chair:

The following Goo article makes mention of the wild director rumors and hints at a 2004 release projection: here

Mainichi has summed up the deal yet again and adds the anime TV series has aired in 36 countries: here

Goo has another piece summing the deal, wild director rumors included here, production figures from Japanese sales of movie tickets and manga.

Finally Sponichi also has added their coverage of the topic.

3-13-02—- New Digital Manga Website

Digital Manga has revamped it website at www.emanga.com.

3-13-02—- Exclusive: Ninja Scroll Franchise Rights Acquired By Threshold Entertainment – 60 Million Dollar Feature Film In Production

ANS has learned from Santa Monica based Threshold Entertainment that it has acquired the franchise rights to Ninja Scroll from leading Japanese anime studio Madhouse. Threshold, producers of the $4 billion Mortal Kombat feature film franchise have tagged the property as its next blockbuster martial arts franchise. Threshold plans to produce Ninja Scroll in all media including television, live stage tours, video games, music and more. The Multimedia and Intellectual Property Management giant, is currently developing the $60 million effects laden live-action samurai feature film based on the 1994 blockbuster Anime movie. This acquisition marks one of many properties that Threshold plans to acquire over the next six months and turn into global mainstream entertainment as part of its overall buying strategy.

Created by award-winning action director Kawajiri Yoshiaki (Vampire Hunter D, Demon City), “Ninja Scroll” is considered to be the yardstick by which all other martial arts sword-fighting action anime is measured. Set in feudal Japan, the sword and sorcery epic follows the adventures of Jubei, a ninja mercenary, who is thrust into the middle of a war when the entire population of a small village is wiped out by a mysterious plague. A tragic love story ensues with Jubei’s reluctant rescue of a beautiful and cursed ninja girl as fate brings them together to fight a war with the eight devils of Kimon and overthrow the Shogun government.

“We’re always looking to acquire extraordinary properties with tremendous growth potential. Ninja Scroll has all of the elements for a multi billion dollar entertainment franchise,” said Larry Kasanoff, chairman and CEO of Threshold Entertainment. He added, “It’s wild, sexy and innovative and one of the coolest martial arts brands in the world.”

Threshold revolutionized the feature film world when it became the first company to successfully translate a videogame property, Mortal Kombat, into a $4 billion blockbuster feature film franchise. The company has produced – and made the brand number one – in every medium in the world, including two blockbuster feature films, a TV series and Radio City Music Hall Live Stage show. It is now the most recognized martial arts brand the fifth largest entertainment property in the world, just behind Star Wars and Batman.

“Though anime was originally born in America, it has had its own evolution in Japan and become a part of Japanese culture. Given my long career running one of the most progressive anime production companies in Japan, I was very moved when Threshold made their first offer on Ninja Scroll. I felt anime had finally evolved into something American audiences would find entertaining. I am thrilled to see anime become a mutual language to bridge our cultures and work toward the same goals,” said Mariyamu San, founder and President of Madhouse.

Threshold Entertainment CIO, Joshua Wexler represented his company in the transaction. Hikaru Sasahara of Digital Manga and Robert K. Yasui of Yasui & Carroll negotiated the deal on behalf of Madhouse.

Threshold Entertainment’s groundbreaking worldwide digital animation and effects subsidiary, Threshold Digital Research Labs (TDRL), will supervise the show’s visual FX. Threshold’s other subsidiary, Threshold.TV will create and manage the online presence of the brand at www.ninjascroll.com.

Kasanoff will produce with Threshold’s Alison Savitch, George Johnsen and Joshua Wexler. Hikaru Sasahara will serve as co-producer.

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