February 19, 2003 / by Anime News Services / Archived News / No Comments

Anime News Service – Febuary 19 – March 4 Anime News

3-4-03—- Meriam Webster Acknowledges The Word ANIME

Merriam-Webster recently updated its Online Dictionary and among the words included was the term ‘anime.’ Here is the full definition from Merriam-Webster: Main Entry: an·i·me Pronunciation: ‘a-n&-“mA, ‘ä-nE- Function: noun Etymology: Japanese, animation, short for animEshiyon, from English Date: 1988 : a style of animation originating in Japan that is characterized by stark colorful graphics depicting vibrant characters in action-filled plots often with fantastic or futuristic themes

Source: Animation Insider

3-4-03—- TRSI Announces Yamamoto Yohko Rerelease

Yamamoto Yohko, Starship Girl DVD Collection Pre-book date: 5/27/2003 – Street date: 6/24/2003 Approximately 180 minutes, Dolby Digital Stereo, Color. Adventure / Comedy

DVD (English, Japanese, Japanese with English Subtitles) Catalog#: RSDVD9010 Suggested Rating: 15+ ISBN: 1-57032-069-1 UPC#: 7-42617-9010-2-7 SRP: $19.98

Right Stuf is proud to announce that on 6/24/2003 STARSHIP GIRL YAMAMOTO YOHKO the DVD COLLECTION will be re-released with ALL NEW PACKAGING at an ALL NEW LOWER PRICE of just $19.98 for all 6 OVA episodes!

From J.C. Staff (the producers of EXCEL SAGA / HIS AND HER CIRCUMSTANCES) and Character Designer Kazuto Nakazawa (TENCHI IN TOKYO / EL HAZARD) comes a trip into the fantastic fun of the future!

A thousand years from now, the great battles between civilizations have been reduced to the shoulders of a handful of chosen champions. When a war is waged, each side picks its representatives, gives them spaceships and the fight is on! Of course if their champion looses, they must admit defeat and give in to the wishes of the other. Very handy, very civilized … unless you don’t happen to have any good fighters…

Terra team has had it tough lately: Ness’ “Red Snappers” team has had things their way. Even with technically superior ships, things are bleak for Terra… To make matters worse, they only have three pilots. Despite a concerted effort to recruit girls from the past, the team simply keeps losing! Now they desparately need someone special… someone powerful, capable, and who possess a killer instinct. A pilot of extraordinary skill to crew the new model ship. They need … Yamamoto Yohko!

Now if they can just convince her that a better life awaits her in the future, with new friends, new videogames and some very powerful hypertechnology (well some things just take less convincing than others!), Terra might be able to defeat the Red Snappers for a change!

Contains ALL 6 Starship Girl Yamamoto Yohko OVA episodes!

Bonus DVD content includes: Slideshow, Outtakes, Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo for English and Japanese Dialogue, and English Subtitles.

3-4-03—- Australian Anime / Food Product Cross Promotion

According to an article found at SMH marketers are using Anime to help promote sales of Food products in Australia. Beyblades and Dragonball Z are among the properties mentioned.

3-4-03—- KosaKon Anifest 2003 In Philly

We’re proud to announce KosaiKon Anifest 2003 taking place on May 31, 2003 at Villanova University. A variety of anime titles will be featured, as well as a highly anticipated anime project being developed in the region.

Pre-registration for the event will be $13 until May 1, 2003. If space is still available, registration at the door will be $15. Space is limited to 100 seats.

Visit http://www.kosaikon.com for more information.

Rachael Carothers KosaiKon Chairperson

3-4-03—- Asian Cinema Mega Scoop

Thanks to Daniel for the following:

Originally 116 minutes, http://alliance.hellninjacommando.net/ has gauged Miramax’s version of Hero at 98 minutes.

Hong Kong-based Celestial Pictures launched its inaugural movie channel, Celestial Movies, on Malaysian satellite broadcaster Astro at 3 p.m. local time Monday in a ceremony attended by “Infernal Affairs” star Andy Lau and Shaw movies’ “Queen of Swords,” Cheng Pei-pei. Celestial, which owns the extensive Shaw Bros. film library, is owned by Malaysian-based conglomerate Usaha Tegas, which is a major shareholder of Astro through Measat Broadcast Network Systems. In addition to Celestial’s restored Shaw Bros. classics from the 1950s through the ’90s and new acquisitions, Celestial Movies will carry locally produced programming and documentaries. The channel also owns rights to Golden Harvest titles from the 1990s. “Astro is proud to be the first service in the world to provide the access to these timeless classics. I do believe that many of us will enjoy the offerings on Celestial Movies as award-winning classic titles such as ‘Come Drink With Me,’ ‘The Kingdom & the Beauty’ and ‘The Three Smiles’ are not easy to come by on our screens,” said Chia Boon Lim, executive director of Astro. Celestial Movies will be packaged with the Phoenix Channel and Astro’s Shuang Xing 1 and 2, which carry television dramas. The channel is scheduled to launch throughout Asia, Australia, North America and Europe in the coming year.

Source: Hollywood Reporter

After a bit of a slow start, the Korean video market is in the midst of a dramatic upheaval from VHS to DVD. For the third year in a row, DVD sales have more than tripled, and now, with the collapse of the videocassette market, DVD stands on the verge of becoming a significant factor in the industry. As of the end of 2002, Koreans owned 650,000-800,000 DVD players, according to figures from Culture Contents and Business Week, the main industry publication in Korea. This equates to a 3.9%-4.8% penetration rate of TV households, and a significant increase from the 228,000 in 2001 and 67,000 in 2000. An estimated 7 million DVDs were sold in 2002, representing 117 billion won ($100 million) in consumer spending. While this represents just a fraction of Korea’s flourishing movie industry, 117 billion won is a huge gain from just 45 billion won in 2001. The movie magazine Film 2.0 estimates that DVD will overtake video by April.

Source: The Hollywood ReporterThe Hollywood Reporter

Yahoo says Around the World in 80 Days with Jackie Chan should have a fall release.

Yahoo Movies says the sequel to The Eye should have a summer 2004 release in Hong Kong.

And if you’re at the Cannes this year, you might want to look for The Matrix: Reloaded, because Yahoo Movies suggests it will be played there.

3-3-03—- Exclusive: American Cinematheque / Egyptian Theatre 1st Festival Of Japanese Anime In Los Angeles

Sceduled for May 2 – 14, 2003 is the American Cinematheque’s “1st Festival of Japanese Anime” hosted at the Egyptian Theatre’s (Los Angeles).

According to American Cinematheque , with the breakout success of films like Spirited Away and Metropolis and television series like Pokemon, Cowboy Bebop and Dragon Ball Z, anime has finally gone above-ground to become a pop culture phenomenon in the U.S. The Cinematheque’s 1st Annual Anime Festival will feature Los Angeles Premiere screenings of features including Tamala2020: A Punk Cat From Space, A Tree Of Palme, Jungle Emperor Leo and Parasit Dolls (U.S. Premiere), plus episodes from TV series including Dunbine, Rahxephon, Brigadoon, You’re Under Arrest, BERSERK, DNA2, Descendants Of Darkness, Ssci-Fi Harry and the original uncut version of Sailor Moon, as well as a tribute to hentai pioneer, Toshio Maeda (UROTSUKIDOJI, LA BLUE GIRL) plus early anime classics such as Jack & The Beanstalk and Alakazam The Great, and much more.

Further down the pike this summer June 19 – 25 will see a special event, Japanese Outlaw Masters 5.

3-3-03—- Ninja Scroll TV Latest

From Jagged Team via Daniel:

Urban Vision has updated with a banner which shows a quick peak of what the characters will look like. It appears MadHouse has opted for the cel-shaded approach common in most videogames. Also, Urban Vision has made the following announcement:

Coming this summer 2003 from Urban Vision Entertainment…

The Ninja Scroll television series!

There will be thirteen episodes created, and the production is being overseen by Yoshiaki Kawajiri and directed by Tatsuo Sato!

We’ll keep you updated on any developments here. The official website is coming soon!

While it’s already known that Tatsuo Sato of Nadesico fame will be directing the show, http://www.urban-vision.com/faq.html says Takahiro Yoshimatsu of Trigun fame will be doing the chara designs.

3-3-03—- Dragon Ball GT Arrives On British Isles

DragonBall GT, the sequel to the popular anime series Dragon Ball will be showing in Britain for the first time this Monday at 5pm on Turner-owned action channel CNX.

Source: http://uk-anime.net

2-28-03—- DC Area Cherry Blossom Festival Anime Marathon

Cherry Blossom Festival Anime Marathon Saturday, March 29, 2003, 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 4 p.m., and 7 p.m., The Freer and Sackler Gallery Smithsonian Institute Meyer Auditorium, Washington DC
http://www.asia.si.edu/events/films.asp
http://www.nationalcherryblossomfestival.org/events/eng/event_display.php3?32

In celebration of this year’s National Cherry Blossom Festival, the Freer, in conjunction with Otakorp, Inc., presents a daylong festival of four Japanese anime films, all in 35 mm with English subtitles. Please continue to check the website for updates and film titles. This program is held in conjunction with the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

2-28-03—- Sony Pictures Cowboy Bebop Site And Trailer

North American fans now can access the flash enabled site Sony has setup for their release of the Cowboy Bebop Movie: Knockin on Heavens door at :http://www.sonypictures.com/cthe/cowboybebop/.

2-28-03—- Nemesis Music Interviews

Thanks to Helen of Nemesis Records for informing us on the following interviews:

Akadot: http://www.akadot.com/article/article-kristinesa-01.html
Fan’s View: http://www.fansview.com/2002/sainterview.htm
AnimeFringe: http://www.animefringe.com/magazine/02.09
Anime.com: http://anime.com

2-28-03—- 25 Yu Yu Hakusho DVD Sets Sweepstakes

A huge thanks to Jeff for the heads up on the following Yu Yu Hakusho promotion that will start on March 3.

In celebration of Yu Yu Hakusho moving to Toonami, FUNimation is giving away 25 DVD box sets of The Spirit Detective saga; one for each of the 25 episodes in the box set. A pretty substantial giveaway when you consider that the MSRP on the box sets is $99.95.

Rules:
Fans can go to www.yuyuhakusho.com and follow the link to the sweepstakes. To enter, they must answer 5 multiple choice questions from the 5 shows played that week. Their entry will be entered into a weekly drawing for 5 DVD box sets given each week for 5 weeks. Limit one entry, per person, per week.

2-28-03—- Kurosawa’s Throne Of Blood Coming From Criterion

Rounding out this week’s Asian cinema news, Criterion has just announced two new additions to their ever-expanding collection, due May 13th. First up is another Akira Kurosawa classic, Throne of Blood. Coming complete in a newly-remastered transfer with the original Japanese mono track, extras include an audio commentary by Japanese film expert Michael Jeck, a new essay by Stephen Prince, two alternative subtitle translations, and the trailer. Retail is $39.95.

Source: DVD File via Daniel

2-28-03—- ML Exclusive: Holland Rintaro And Tezuka Productions President Lecture Report

Aniway Magazine staff writer, Leon, has compiled a recent report of a very special Lecture event featuring Metropolis Director Rintaro and Takayuki Matsutani (president of Tezuka Productions). The report can be accessed by joining our ML by clicking on the above link and accessing the archive file here.

2-28-03—- Tempest Productions Anime Documentary Accepted into Memphis International Film Festival

Dallas, TX, — February 28, 2003 – Dallas-based Tempest Production Company announced today that their first feature-length documentary, Invasion: ANIME, has been accepted into Memphis International Film Festival 4. The documentary will show in the 4 p.m. programming block on Friday, March 28 at the First Congo Theater Screening Room, located at 1000 South Cooper in Memphis. The Festival runs March 27-30, 2003.

Invasion: ANIME is an in-depth look at the influx of Japanese animation (or “anime”) and its effect on American culture and entertainment over the last half-century. Interview subjects include names well known to anime fans across the world. Steve Bennett, president and founder of Studio Ironcat, artists and animators Akemi Takada, Senno Knife, Makoto Uno and Nobuyuki Takahashi, North American voice actors and directors Amy Howard Wilson, Tiffany Grant, Scott McNeil and Taliasen Jaffe and international anime experts like author Helen McCarthy and Dr. Susan J. Napier, Associate Director of Asian Studies, University of Texas, are but a few of more than 20 individuals who donated their time to this project.

AUDIENCES LOVE THE INVASION

At its world premiere at the St. Louis International Film Festival last November, Invasion:ANIME brought in an estimated 65% larger audience than the Steve Speilberg-produced miniseries Taken, which showed immediately before it.

Independent film expert Chris Gore says, “Invasion: Anime is a great doc about Japanese animation…an independent film that deserves attention.” FilmThreat.com reviewer Eric Campos writes “Invasion: Anime (serves) as a nice eye opener, offering up information that fans may not have known about from industry professionals and folks that actually study anime.” And test audiences called Invasion: Anime “fun,” “exciting” and “terrific history.”

THE REST IS HISTORY

“The whole documentary has been a series of happy accidents,” said producer Angela Alexander. Originally slated to be an inside look at science fiction/fantasy type conventions, a case of missing tape stalled that concept and gave birth to Invasion: ANIME.

“We were shooting at Project: A-Kon, a Dallas anime convention. The hotel’s front desk misplaced a case of video tape we had set up for delivery during the weekend, limiting what we could shoot,” explained Alexander. “So we chose to use the possibly once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to get interviews with the Japanese artists who were guests of the convention.”

“The rest, as they say, is history.”

Invasion: ANIME encompasses several important firsts for Tempest Productions, as it is their first feature-length production and first attempt at a modern- day subject. The company is best known for their short-form examinations of Dallas-Fort Worth history, nearing completion of a series of documentary shorts for the Centennial Celebration in Irving, Texas, and An Authentic American Haunting: The Bell Witch of Tennessee. Previous productions include Etched in Stone: A Monumental History (submitted for consideration in the CableACE awards) and Utopia Lost: The La Reunion Commune.

More information about Tempest Productions and their documentaries can be found at www.TempestProductions.com. For information about the Memphis International Film Festival, please visit www.MemphisFilmForum.com

2-28-03—- H.I.S And Digital Manga Announce Pop Japan Travel Tours

02/27/03 (Los Angeles, California) – Digital Manga, Inc. and H.I.S. International Tours have teamed up to create the ultimate Pop Japan Travel tour (http://www.popjapantravel.com/). In additional to experiencing historical landmarks, participants will visit the hottest pop culture spots and get an exclusive backstage pass to some of the most famous anime studios in Japan.

“We really wanted to make something unique out of this project,” says Isaac Lew from Digital Manga. “We strongly believe that the Pop Japan Travel tourists will really have a great experience from our services.”

Besides outstanding hotel, tours, and transportation accommodations we have also included a bilingual travel coordinator who will assist in any questions or concerns during the trip. For our anime fanatics on the go, we have included all breakfast meals and additional special meals into the tour package as well.

Participants will receive an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the booming business of Japanese anime and manga by visiting some of Japan’s most famous anime production companies. What makes our tour really unique is the fact that you not only visit many traditional sightseeing spots in Tokyo, but many pop culture places like Odaiba, Kichijoji, and many more! You’ll also experience the local tastes of Japan by dining at a typical ramen restaurant, eating “kaiten sushi” (sushi served on a conveyer belt) and more! We’ve designed this tour so participants can experience the “real” Japan and not just sightseeing out of traditional guides.

Satoru Amano, the Director of Operations of H.I.S. International Tours, Inc. in Los Angeles says, “We are very excited to have a chance to offer the Pop Japan Travel tour to people. We want many people to be able to experience the culture and beauty that Japan has to offer.”

From Anime fan to Japan fan, this tour has been specifically designed to try to fit everyone’s needs and interests. Pop Japan Travel prides itself on creating a tour that no one has quite seen like this before, but still offering it at an extremely affordable price! Unlike other tours offered to Japan, we feel that the Pop Japan Travel tour offers the best service at the best cost.

The first tour is scheduled to leave during spring, April 14-20, 2003. This is an ideal time to visit Japan because the weather is pleasant and the cherry blossoms may be starting to bloom at this time. Since Pop Japan Travel is unlike any Japan tour in the industry, reservations are limited. The staff encourages people interested in the tour to reserve their place right away.

H.I.S. is one of the most well-known travel bureau chains in Japan and also has many international offices all over the world that specialize in Japan travel. Digital Manga, Inc. specializes in the importation of Japanese manga, anime, and related items into the western market through its licensing, distribution, publishing, and e-commerce departments. With the efforts of both companies utilizing all their sources, we were able to create the ultimate Japan tour for people.

If any clubs are interested in a LIVE information presentation of Pop Japan Travel, please let us know and we’ll come visit you in person. However, due to our busy schedule we are only accepting request from clubs within the Southern California area at this time. Hope to hear from you!

2-27-03—- English Manga Fandom Gets A Value?

Of note in the below mentioned Viz press release:

VIZ is the leading publisher of manga for English speaking audiences, serving a growing market of dedicated fans of all ages, estimating a core audience of nearly 15 million fans.

2-27-03—- New Anime Search Engine Launches

Reader, Kaworu Nagisa has written in with news of his recently launched Anime Search Engine: AniseekerAniseeker.

2-27-03—- Asian Cinema News Galore

Thanks to Daniel for the below items:

What is expected to be the largest presale to date for a Korean film — coming from a Japanese company — is set to be finalized by the end of the American Film Market, according to distributor KangJeGyu Films, which is representing and producing the most ambitious film ever made in the country, “Tae Guk Gi.” Likely to have the English title “Brotherhood,” “Tae Guk Gi” is budgeted at $11.5 million — the most expensive film ever made in Korea — and is being directed by Kang JeGyu, who set the Korean film industry alight in 1999 with his hugely successful thriller “Shiri” (acquired for the U.S. by Columbia).

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

“Infernal Affairs,” the hit Hong Kong police drama that last year became the country’s highest-grossing film, is to be made into a trilogy, with a prequel set to start shooting at the end of April. “With the success of the film and the consumer reception to it so far, we want ‘Infernal Affairs’ to be a franchise,” said Jeffrey Chan, head of distribution and sales at Media Asia Distribution, which financed and released the film in Hong Kong and is handling international sales. MAD also will finance and distribute the prequel and sequel, Chan said. The prequel will take place 10 years before the events that unfold in “Infernal Affairs,” which is a tense drama about a struggle between an undercover policeman and a gangster. While the film’s main stars, Andy Lau and Tony Leung Chiu-wai, will make an appearance, Chan said the focus will be more on the key supporting cast in “Infernal Affairs,” Anthony Wong and Eric Tsang. A younger cast will play the roles of Lau and Leung from 10 years previously, while major actors Tony Leung Ka Fai and Francis Woo will make guest appearances. Media Asia recently sold remake rights to “Infernal Affairs” to Warner Bros., which has an option to remake rights on the two new films as well.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

The Korean film industry enjoyed two firsts at the American Film Market on Saturday, with Cinema Service announcing a remake deal with Miramax on a film that has yet to be completed and CineClick Asia closing a major presale deal with France on one of its upcoming films. Both deals have set precedents.To date, all remake deals — a growing trend for the Korean film sector — have been made on completed films, CS international business director Jennifer Muhn said. The film acquired is “Teacher, Mr. Kim,” directed by Jang Gyu-sung. Over at CineClick, Kim Jee-Woon’s horror film “A Tale of Two Sisters” was presold for a six-digit sum by Wildside Films, signaling the first time that a French company has prebought a Korean film, according to managing director Youngjoo Suh.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

2-27-03—- Old School DBZ Videogame Coming

PS 2 owners should take note of an old-school DBZ game known as “Ultimate Battle 22” finally getting U.S. release. According to Jagged Team , it will be available March 23, courtesy of Infogrames. Thanks to Daniel for the submission.

2-27-03—- Lupin Goes Hollywood?

Thanks to Wes on the Lupin ML for the following and Daniels’ submission to the ANS ML. From Animated Movies:

Master thief Lupin the Third…is about to make his Hollywood debut–possibly stealing his way into becoming Japan’s next cultural export a la Pokemon and Godzilla. Gerald R. Molen, producer of…Schindler’s List, has acquired the film rights to the work and is determined to make the story of Lupin a box office success. “As far as whether or not we know it will be a success, no one ever knows,” Molen said Tuesday while in Japan to meet the comic’s artist, Monkey Punch, 65, whose real name is Kazuhiko Kato, and start preparatory work on the film. “We’ll go home from here with a lot of wonderful ideas and a lot of enthusiasm and go to work,” he told reporters at the Foreign Correspondents Club in Tokyo. Lupin the Third, which started out as a comic in 1967, is extremely popular in Japan, inspiring a TV cartoon show and five animation films. More than 3 million copies of the Lupin comic books have been sold. Lupin, a grinning young man who breaks the law but never anyone’s heart, could easily translate into the latest silver-screen heartthrob action hero, much like Spider-Man. Kato, Lupin’s creator, said he would leave artistic control to the film professionals and insist on little else than keeping the five main characters. “I’m so thrilled I could fly,” he said. “I want the film to continue as long as the 007 series.”

2-27-03—- Anime Researcher Posts New Column

Thanks to Brian for this:

As war with Iraq seems closer than ever, what can we learn from watching anime? The latest in the bi-monthly column “From Here to Shinjuku” takes a brief look at war and mecha in an installment called “Lessons of the Giant Robot.”

The column can be read online at: http://www.popmatters.com/columns/ruh/030226.shtml

==
Brian Ruh

Japanese Anime, Manga, and Popular Culture Research at: http://www.animeresearch.com

2-27-03—- Robotech Giant Robot Week Contest

From Robotech.com webmaster, Steve Yun:

Hi guys, just wanted to let you know that Robotech.com will be holding a contest during Giant Robot Week… The mission is to find one tiny part of one episode that has been noticably altered! Robotech will be airing on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday on Cartoon Network during their Giant Robot Week! Entries will be accepted during these days through a submission form (and because of time zone concerns and fairness, we’re taking a random drawing of all correct entries):

2-27-03—- Special Addition To Japanese GITS: SAC DVD

A thread at Production I.G.’s Forums has indicated that I.G. will be producing some Tachikoma-the name of the mecha in the new Ghost in the Shell series-shorts which may only be exclusive to the Japanese dvd’s. And speaking of imports, this forum link has announced the release of Volume 3 of the series as of this week. Covers for the dvd’s are also now available.

Thanks to Daniel for the submission.

2-27-03—- Viz Teams With Ventura

Excerpted from the Viz release, thanks to Daniel for the link:

North America’s largest publisher of manga and producer of some of Japan’s most recognizable animation, including Pokemon, Hamtaro, ZOIDS, and Inu Yasha, today announced a three-year exclusive agreement with Ventura Distribution, Inc. for the U.S. and Canada, the country’s premiere independent home video distribution company and a major consolidator of home entertainment labels for some of the nation’s largest wholesale, retail, catalog and e-commerce accounts. The partnership is effective March 1, 2003.

“VIZ decided to partner with Ventura based on their stellar reputation in the industry, and the quality of their sales, marketing, and operations teams,” said Rick Bauer, Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing, of VIZ, LLC. “Ventura’s performance-driven culture, coupled with its commitment to customer satisfaction, enables VIZ to quickly react to opportunities in the dynamic home entertainment market.”

VIZ, founded in 1986, is a multi-media entertainment company specializing in the localization and brand management of hit Japanese entertainment properties for U.S. audiences. VIZ offers an integrated product line of consumer entertainment including magazines, comics, graphic novels, videos, DVDs and audio soundtracks.

“As two of the most innovative companies in our respective industries, Ventura Distribution, Inc., looks forward to this new relationship with VIZ, LLC,” said Larry Hayes, President of Ventura Distribution, Inc. “VIZ’ reputation for high quality manga and anime, and its solid relationship with two of the top publishers in Japan, make for an extremely synergistic partnership with Ventura. We look forward to the many successes that lie ahead.” “This new business relationship also contemplates an expanded opportunity for both companies to develop and market new anime brands together” comments Craig Sussman, Ventura’s Executive Vice President.

Ventura Distribution is a dynamic, 10-year-old home entertainment company that provides full service sales, marketing, manufacturing and distribution for independent studios. Among the many video lines it represents are Time Life Video, Billy Blanks’ TaeBo Series, BET Video, Razor&Tie, Showtime, Respond 2 / 19 Television and VAS [Video Action Sports] just to name a few. ^^^Ventura Distribution also exclusively distributes programming of its in-house labels, UrbanWorks Entertainment and StudioWorks Entertainment. In addition to anime, Ventura’s diverse programming genres include classic television, cult and foreign films, documentaries, extreme sports, family entertainment, feature films, inspirational, music, fitness, urban and other specialty product lines.

Based in San Francisco, VIZ, LLC is one of the top five comics publishers in the U.S. and is a subsidiary of Shogakukan and Shueisha Inc., two of the top publishers in Japan. VIZ is the leading publisher of manga for English speaking audiences, serving a growing market of dedicated fans of all ages, estimating a core audience of nearly 15 million fans. The company holds more than a 50% market share of Japanese comics in the U.S.

Daniel adds Ventura also happens to be the distributor for many of the American Cinemateque’s Japanese films, such as Black Tight Killers and Audition.

2-26-03—- Lain Fanart Contest

Thanks to Lawrence for this:

For those of you who have been keeping up with the Serial Experiments Lain fanart contest (being hosted by the creators of thought experiments lain and Distortion Gallery), please note that the contest will be ending soon. Entries will be accepted no later than Saturday, March 1st. The winners will be announced shortly after that. Even if you aren’t planning to submit an entry, check out our gallery. So far, 44 people have sent in their work.

The contest site can be found here: http://www.cjas.org/~leng/lainart.htm

Note also that TechTV is helping to promote this contest. You can read TechTV’s article about the contest here: http://www.techtv.com/animeunleashed/print/0,23102,3416797,00.html

2-26-03—- ADV Statement On Giant Robot Week

Cartoon Network is currently airing episodes from Neon Genesis Evangelion, Dai-Guard, Martian Successor Nadesico and the Harmony Gold production Robotech during the afternoon Toonami block as part of Giant Robot Week (Feb 24-28, 2003).

While recognizing the value and significance of the anime titles they were granted permission to broadcast, Cartoon Network is also bound by the exigencies of daytime broadcast-including the requirement that the content they broadcast be, per FCC regulations, suitable for children. Cartoon Network’s edits, which were minor, were in accordance with FCC broadcast requirements.

ADV Films is very pleased that Cartoon Network requested episodes of these titles in their week-long celebration of the “giant robot” genre of anime, and we hope that their enthusiasm for the broadcast of anime will continue and grow.

2-26-03—- Supanova Event In Sydney

After a reported successful heavily anime oriented comicfest 2002, Supanova has turned it up a few notches to bring Australian fans the best mix of anime activities to grace the shores of Oz for quite some time. The event will be held on April 5 and 6 at Wharf 8, 53-59 Hickson Rd, Sydney. 200 meters from Wynyard Station. This is the only convention located in Sydney with the group’s next convention moving to Brisbane in September this year.

Appearing at the event will be special guests – Sean Schemmel THE voice of DragonBall Z’s Goku, as well as Debi Derryberry, voice of Jimmy Neutron and Tenchi Muyo’s Ryoki, they will be signing autographs and giving daily talks at the Tamarket Anime Area. In addition to the guests we’ve got a whole lot of anime screenings and activities planned for this event including:

Madman Anime Theatre – Back again with more anime programming than ever before! This year we’ve got some hot exclusives including the finale of DragonBall Z, The Australian Premiere of DragonBall GT and DBZ movie 7 – Super Android 13. But wait there’s more. We’re also premiering some great upcoming titles from Madman including: Argento Soma, Noir, RahXephon, NeiA_7, PLUS HEAPS MORE.

The theatre will also play host once again to some great anime activities including

Madman Cosplay Contest – After a very successful competition at comicfest! 2002, the Madman Cosplay Contest is back again, dress up as your favourite anime character and win lots of great prizes! Kamehameha! Blast-Off contest – Judged by Goku himself Sean Schemmel, scream your lungs out and win great prizes! In addition to the anime theatre we’ve also got a stack of anime panels and activities for you to check out, at the Tamarket Anime Area including:

Anime Shopping Guide Panel – A guide on how to shop for anime goods online and around town. Anime Anytime Karaoke Sessions – Back after a successful run at comicfest sing your favorite anime themes and tunes in this daily event. Anime Trivia Contest – A new addition to the event, grab a group of friends test your anime knowledge. Madman Entertainment Panel – A Q&A session with Australia’s no.1 anime company. Also throughout the weekend, there will be an art contest running. This is an open art contest so anime/manga/comic book, anything is encouraged, even original art. Details will be up shortly. There will also be a cosplayer’s photo area, where cosplayers can hang out together, and get tips from one another about cosplaying or just to chill out.

Don’t forget to check out the Supanova website for more details at http://www.supanova.com.au.

2-26-03—- New Anime From CPM

Central Park Media announced the upcoming DVD releases in April that include Tokyo Babylon, DNA2: Turbulence, and Big Wars. All new releases will be available on April 8, 2003.

Tokyo Babylon (DVD) Prequel to X: The Movie and created by CLAMP (Card Captor Sakura, Magic Knight Rayearth). Animation by the studio behind Perfect Blue and X: The Movie.

Psychic investigator Subaru Sumeragi is hot on the tail of a serial killer who seems to have some supernatural powers of his own. When Subaru encounters a young girl placing a curse on his suspect, the mystery deepens. The body count continues to rise, and Subaru must solve the case quickly, or he may become the killer’s next target!

The Tokyo Babylon DVD offers the following features:

* Creative Team Bio * Art Gallery * DVD Sneak Previews * English and Japanese with English Subtitles * Extensive DVD-ROM Features

TITLE: Tokyo Babylon RUNNING TIME: 95 minutes RATING: Ages 13 & Up SRP PRICE: $19.99 CATALOG #: USMD 2281 STREET DATE: April 8, 2003 PRE-ORDER DATE: March 10, 2003

DNA2: Turbulence (DVD) From the creator of Video Girl Ai and the director of Geobreeders.

Space age technology transforms girl-phobic Junta into the infamous Mega-Playboy! (He hasn’t got any special powers, but the force of his charm is superhuman.) All the prettiest girls in school fall madly in love with him, and with so many in pursuit, mayhem is sure to follow! Contains episodes 4-6.

The DNA2: Turbulence (DVD) offers the following features:

* Art & Sketch Gallery * Character Profiles * DVD Sneak Previews * English & Japanese with English Subtitles * Extensive DVD-ROM Features

TITLE: DNA2: Turbulence RUNNING TIME: 75 minutes RATING: Ages 13 & Up SRP PRICE: $29.99 CATALOG #: USMD 2245 STREET DATE: April 8, 2003 PRE-ORDER DATE: March 10, 2003

Big Wars (DVD) From the director of Dirty Pair.

At the dawn of the 21st century, war rages on Mars. Captain Akuh and his crew are on a top-secret mission to destroy an enemy warship when an officer is stricken with an alien mind control plague. As the plague spreads, inciting madness and treason, Akuh must complete his mission, annihilate the alien battleship, and save the fate of the human race!

The Big Wars DVD offers the following features:

* Art Gallery * DVD Sneak Previews * English & Japanese with English Subtitles * Extensive DVD-ROM Features

TITLE: Big Wars RUNNING TIME: 70 minutes RATING: Ages 13 & Up SRP PRICE: $19.99 CATALOG #: USMD 2226 STREET DATE: April 8, 2003 PRE-ORDER DATE: March 10, 2003

2-26-03—- Mitsuwa To Screen Online

Daihachi Yoshida’s short film “Mitsuwa” will be availble for viewing via the Internet from noon on March 1 until March 31. It can be accessed for free at http://casty.jp.

2-26-03—- No Two Kill Bills?

Daniel follows up from yesterday mentioning AICN has debunked this rumor and there apparantly won’t be two Kill Bill movies: http://www.aintitcoolnews.com/display.cgi?id=14558

2-25-03—- Two Kill Bills?

Thanks to Daniel for submitting this news:

Quentin Tarantino’s new movie Kill Bill is so long, the filmmaker now plans to turn it into two separate films. The film, starring Uma Thurman, Daryl Hannah, Vivica A. Fox and Lucy Liu, was originally scheduled to hit American cinemas screens in October, and now it is expected that the second part will be released just weeks later. David Carradine, who stars in the drama says, “Shooting has been going on so long – with Quentin continuing to write scenes, that plans are afoot to turn Kill Bill into two 90-minute features that would be released within five weeks of each other. I probably shouldn’t be saying this, but what the hell – they can’t fire me.” He adds, “It’s a brilliant marketing plan. The first film would end with a cliffhanger, so that everyone would want to see the second half.” Carradine, who landed his role in the flick after Warren Beatty dropped out, is expecting to go before cameras again to shoot extra scenes for the movies.

Source: 2/25/03 http://us.imdb.com/PeopleNews/

2-25-03—- Ring Director’s Latest

The latest film from Ring director Hideo Nakata will be playing at Cinema Village New York, NY March 7, 2003. Photos and director information up at http://www.kino.com/bigscreen/index.html.

Thanks to Daniel for the ML submission.

2-25-03—- TRSI Inteview And Katsucon Report

As part of their ongoing Anime Frontiers feature, DVD Vision Japan has just posted their interview with Shawne Kleckner, President and CEO of The Right Stuf International. You can read “The Birth of a Catalogue Giant!” feature at at this link.

DVD Vision Japan has also just posted a short photo report of Katsucon 9, held in Crystal City, Virginia. To view the report, you can visit the link at: http://www.dvdvisionjapan.com/katsucon91.htm

2-24-03—- Anime Next Con Announcement

AnimeNext 2003: OCTOBER 3-5 @ Rye Brook, NY New York, NY — February 14, 2003

AnimeNext is pleased to announce the dates and location for our 2003 event. AnimeNext 2003 will be held in Rye Brook, NY at the Rye Town Hilton on October 3-5, 2003. The Rye Town Hilton is located just minutes away from NYC, and is conveniently located near mass transportation.

Until March 1, you can register for an incredibly low rate of $20! You can register on-line or through the mail. Visit our website for additional information:

http://www.animenext.org

2-24-03—- Anime 2003 Sells Out In Netherlands

Anime 2003, held in Hotel Haarlem-Zuid, The Netherlands from 21-23 February (i.e. last weekend) Sold out Saturday at 10:15 AM at 770 tickets (limitation due to fire regulations). The committee estimates over 100 people had to (unfortunately) be turned away at the door.

Courtesy to Niels for the info.

2-24-03—- Tokyopop Interview

As part of their ongoing Anime Frontiers feature, DVD Vision Japan has just posted an interview with John Parker: President and COO of TOKYOPOP, Mike Kiley: President of Information services, and Kristien Brada Thompson: Marcom Manager about the past, present, and future of TOKYOPOP. You can read the review at this link..

2-24-03—- Ghibli DVD Release In U.K.

“Perhaps the biggest announcement in the UK anime scene this year is that these little gems from Studio Ghibli are arriving straight to your living room!

Coming this Autumn from Buena Vista…

Castle in the Sky Kiki’s Delivery Service Pom Poko Whisper of the Heart Only Yesterday Porco Rosso

http://www.uk-anime.net

2-22-03—- Cowboy Bebop Film Trailer And Ad Material – First Impressions

Thanks to Daniel for adding the following thoughts to the ML after an L.A. theater outing on Friday:

Alright, I’ve seen the poster at the Nuart(where they’re already showing the trailer), and it has a tagline which reads something like, “They’re here to save the planet. For a price.” Apparently, they decided to go the Jackie Chan route in promoting it by having Spike posing with two women, while he’s holding a gun. (Elektra on his right and Faye Valentine on his left.) In the actual dub trailer, it looks like they’re emphasizing the action scenes above all else, and they explicitly mention terrorists and biochemical weapons when they describe the story. Plus the style’s reminiscent of Guy Ritchie’s “Snatch” trailer where the characters are placed in 70’s still shots.

Interestingly enough, it appears Sony is trying to sell the movie on its own, making no references to the tv show. (In fact, they even re-introduce the characters.)

2-21-03—- Ring Director Working In American Arena

The director of the Ring is interviewed at AICN and mentions he has at least one American project in the works. Thanks to Daniel for the link.

2-21-03—- Yugioh Volumes 7 And 8

4Kids Entertainment Home Video, Inc., the newly-established home video unit of 4Kids Entertainment, Inc., (NYSE: KDE) in association with FUNimation, will release Volumes 7 and 8 of YU-GI-OH! home videos on March 18, 2003. Double Trouble Duel and Faceoff: Yugi vs. Kaiba, each with three episodes from the hit television series, will be available at retail and at the http://www.4KidsHomeVideo.com Web site in both DVD and VHS formats.

Volumes 5 and 6 of YU-GI-OH! home videos – Evil Spirit of the Ring and The Scars Of Defeat – were released January 14, 2003.

Based on a popular Japanese comic book series, YU-GI-OH! follows the adventures of Yugi and his buddies – Joey, Tristan and Tea, who spend most of their free time playing the coolest new game ever … Duel Monsters. The game allows them to challenge their minds using logic and strategy while players pair up different mystical creatures against one another in wild, magical duels. When Yugi’s grandfather gave Yugi an old Egyptian artifact called the “Millennium Puzzle,” Yugi pieced the puzzle together and was infused with incredible mystical powers. With the help of his friends, his belief in the heart of the cards and the mysterious power of his Millennium Puzzle, Yugi sets out on the adventure of a lifetime!

VOLUME 7: DOUBLE TROUBLE DUEL

Episode 19, Part I Trapped in the labyrinth cave, Yugi and his friends find an alternate exit, but the door is guarded by Pegasus’ Paradox Brothers. Yugi and Joey will no longer be battling solo. They must band together in a team battle against the Paradox Brothers.

Episode 20, Part II Yugi and Joey pool their strengths and manage to fend off their opponents’ monsters, but things are about to change as the Paradox Brothers summon the almighty Gate Guardian, a monster that reflects all attacks.

Episode 21, Part III Yugi and Joey each unleash their strongest monster, the Summonded Skull, and the Red-Eyes B. Dragon, but their strength pales in comparison to the tremendous power of the Gate Guardian.

DVD extras: Monster stats, preview of Konami’s new video game Yu-Gi-Oh!: Duelists of the Roses and an exclusive YU-GI-OH! music video.

VOLUME 8: FACE OFF: YUGI VS. KAIBA

Episode 22, Part I Using the magic of the Millennium Eye, Pegasus traps Mokuba’s soul inside a card right before Kaiba’s eyes! In order to earn the right to challenge Pegasus, Kaiba must first beat Yugi and take his star chips.

Episode 23, Part II Kaiba summons the Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon, the strongest monster in the game fused from three Blue-Eyes White Dragons! Yugi has lost all his powerful Duel Monsters, but a true duelist never gives up!

Episode 24, Part III Yugi begins spinning a strategy to put the Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon to rest, but he must decide whether to claim victory or spare Kaiba his life. Yugi’s heart is split in two!

DVD extras: Monster stats, preview of Konami’s new game Yu-Gi-Oh!: Duelists of the Roses and an exclusive YU-GI-OH! music video.

TITLE: Volume 7: Double Trouble Duel TITLE: Volume 8: Face Off: Yugi vs. Kaiba RUNNING TIME: Approximately 60 minutes RATING: Not-rated SRP VHS: $14.95 SRP DVD: $19.95 PRE-BOOK: February 11, 2003 STREET DATE: March 18, 2003

2-20-03—- Miramax Grabs Jailbreakers Rights

Continuing the trend of U.S. studios snapping up remake rights to hit South Korean films, the American Film Market got off to a flying start Wednesday, with Miramax Films picking up remake rights to the comedy “Jail Breakers,” with the comedy duo Method Man and Redman from Universal Pictures’ “How High” attached to the project. The deal is the first Korean remake arrangement to be done with talent attached. Under the deal, the film will be made through Miramax’s genre arm, Dimension Films. “Jail Breakers,” directed by Kim Sang-jin, is a comedy about two jail escapees. It was released late last year by Korean production-distribution major Cinema Service and garnered 3.1 million admissions. While the deal doesn’t include domestic acquisition rights, CS international business director Jennifer Muhn said negotiations for a sale are still possible.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter via Daniel

2-20-03—- Cowboy Bebop Movie Release

According to the February issue of Newtype USA, Cowboy Bebop: Knocking On Heaven’s Door, otherwise dubbed as “Cowboy Bebop: The Movie”, will be “released in US theatres March 28, 2003”

The official site is at http://www.cowboybebopthemovie.com , but it’s not active as of yet.

Thanks to Daniel and Purple Jelly for the news

2-20-03—- Cartoon Network USA In 2003

Toonami 52 more eps of DB 15 more eps of DBZ to start 3/17/03 95 eps of Rorouni Kenshin starting 3/03 26 eps of SD Gundam 26 eps of .Hack//Sign 12 eps of Kikaider 26 eps of Blue Gender 52 more eps of Hamtaro 13 new eps of Big O 50 eps of Yu-Gi-Oh! 100 eps of Pokemon

Adult Swim 26 eps of Trigun

Also a note for transformer fans – they’ve picked up 26 eps of the new Transformers Armada.

Source: CN Press Release via The Right Stuf and Daniel

2-19-03—- Yamato Creator To Head Literary / Animation Piracy Org.

Thanks as always to Yukio-san (The Dead Shot Club) for this news:

In the press conference, the 11th term officer was introduced after the general meeting of ACCS (Association of Copyright for Computer Software) on February 14. The new officer of ACCS (Association of Copyright for Computer Software) will determine, and a cartoonist’s Mr.Reiji Matsumoto will take office as one director. It was approved by the ordinary general meeting held in Tokyo on February 14.

The reason for having greeted Mr.Reiji Matsumoto as a director is that contents, such as comics and animation, are also digitized and it came to circulate as one of the computer software now. Although the measure has so far been taken against literary piracy acts, such as a pirate edition, focusing on business software in ACCS, activity towards literary piracy extermination is promoted also about digital contents, such as comics and animation, from now on.

Especially in ACCS, contents, such as animation, and game software besides comics, are also indicated that the pirate edition of Japanese products is circulating in large quantities in the Asian area.

ACCS performs the protection activities of copyright in cooperation with the government and investigating authorities of Asian countries while striving for information gathering. By 18 persons, as for having been decided as a director of the 11th term (the term of office is from April, 2003 to March, 2005) of ACCS, Kenzo tsujimoto (CAPCOM CEO) is inaugurated as a chairman of the board of directors. Three persons, Mr.Reiji Matsumoto, Kazumi Kitagami (KONAMI COO), and Ayumu Kawai (DE-CONTRIVE CEO), are newly appointed.

Source: Impress Watch

2-19-03—- Rockman .EXE American TV Broadcast Details

Cinescape has recently mentioned Rockman .EXE will be re-titled Mega Man: NT Warriors and shown on the WB Saturday mornings this summer. Thanks to Daniel for the tip on our ML.

2-19-03—- Bay Area Contest

BayAreaAnime.com is running a contest from now until March 17th. Design a logo, mascot, or banner ad for the site and win an Armitage figure from Dukaru. For details, visit the above link.

2-19-03—- JAKKS Pacific Signs Master Toy License With FUNimation For Yu Yu Hakusho

Following on the heels of last week’s announcement that Yu Yu Hakusho is moving to Cartoon Network’s Toonami Block on March 3, FUNimation has announced that JAKKS Pacific has been awarded the master toy license for Yu Yu Hakusho. From the press announcement below.

JAKKS Pacific, Inc. announced today from the New York International Toy Fair that the Company has signed a new Master Toy License with FUNimation Productions, Ltd., for one of the Company’s top animé properties, Yu Yu Hakusho®. Cartoon Network announced last week that beginning on March 3, Yu Yu Hakusho® will join the network’s Toonami Block, airing Monday through Friday at 6 p.m. eastern/pacific time.

JAKKS Pacific will manufacture action figures, accessories and playsets based on Yu Yu Hakusho®, the popular series from Japan that follows the adventures of fourteen-year-old Yusuke Urameshi. JAKKS received the master toy license for Yu Yu Hakusho® for North America from FUNimation, and expects to have product hit retail shelves by Q4 2003, in time for the Christmas season.

“Yu Yu Hakusho® has been one of the highest-rated animé shows in Japan and, and we are elated to add the premiere brand to our Boys Action Division,” commented Jack Friedman, chairman and chief executive officer of JAKKS Pacific. “FUNimation’s arsenal of top boys properties, coupled with our vast experience in producing innovative action figures and related products will further position us as a leader in boys action toys. We are confident that the enormous fan base for animé action figures will be excited about the new line of figures from JAKKS.”

“JAKKS Pacific has proven success in marketing highly detailed and authentic action figures, playsets and accessories for leading boys properties, and we are excited by the innovation they will introduce for the Yu Yu Hakusho® toy line,” said Gen Fukunaga, president and founder of FUNimation Productions. “Yu Yu Hakusho® has been the only show to rival Dragon Ball Z® ratings in Japan, even at the height of Dragon Ball Z’s popularity, and with the show’s placement on Cartoon Network’s Toonami Block, the show and toy line are poised for significant success in the U.S. market.”