March 8, 2007 / by Anime News Services / Archived News / No Comments

Anime News Service – March 1-8 Anime News

3-8-07 (10:45PM EST)—- Goshou Aoyama Manga Factory Staff Uniforms

The staff uniforms for the Goshou Aoyama Manga Factory which opens in Tottori, Kitasakae-cho on the 18th of this month have been revealed. They are themed around similar clothing appearing in the Detective Conan manga.

3-8-07 (10:46PM EST)—- Kyojin No Hoshi Seiyuu Kyoharu Kobayashi Dies

Voice Actor Kyoharu Kobayashi died of a subarachnoidal hemorrhage in hospital in Setagaya Ward, Tokyo at 1:02 AM on the eighth, he was 75 years old. His funeral will be held on the 14th. He appeared in the 1969 anime TV series Kyojin No Hoshi.

3-8-07 (10:23PM EST)—- First Look: Dragon Ball Online

Rasphard’s Diary has some of the first screens from a new Dragonball Online MMORPG being developed in South Korea.

3-8-07 (10:03PM EST)—- Honda Comes Clean With Mask Rider Bike Details

Honda has added a new trivia FAQ related its motorcycle conncetions to Shotoaro Ishinomori’s Mask Rider.

3-8-07 (9:51PM EST)—- City Hunter 100t Hammer To Be Exhibited At Tokyo Anime Center / Auctioned

A 1/1 scale real life replica of the “100t hammer” that appears in Tsukasa Hojo’s manga City Hunter and Angel Heart will be exhibited at the Tokyo Anime Center between March 9th-20th. The hammer is being sold via a Yahoo Charity Auction. The composition of the object is styrene foam finished with fiber reinforced plastics. Weight is about 50 kilograms, and the size is 1.5 meters in height, 1.8 meters in depth and 1.4 meters in width. The auction runs until the 16th.

3-8-07 (9:09PM EST)—- DLSite Open To Foreign Works

CuriousFactory today announced that, Japan’s most notable distribution portal site for Doujin and Indy products, is accepting works from outside of Japan. carries thousands of Doujin products such as Doujinshi, CG collection, game, novel, music, and utility tool. Due to the increasing interest from the creators and users outside of Japan, CuriousFactory and is now working together to accept works from outside of Japan. Ayaka Hahn, the Director of CuriousFactory says, “ has a long experience in the field of online digital product distribution in Japan. They have been helping many creators to self-publish their works effectively. Recently the Internet allows the creators all over the world to share, distribute and sell their works. With trusted, experienced product download distribution service like, it is now easier than ever for individual creators to distribute and market products to reach the world audience”.

Characteristics of
– In total, has more than 4,200 registered creators and productions, has more than 19,000 registered titles, and has sold more than 7,000,000 products to date. – There is no limitation to the product size that can be uploaded onto for distribution. (On average, each title is about 1 GB) – Once the creator registers his/her title, it is distributed on forever, unless he/she decides to terminate the distribution. – will take care of marketing, sales and distributing products in total so that creator can focus on just creating his/her works. – accepts products in various genre including General, R, and Mature (18+). – There is absolutely NO registration fee.

CuriousFactory will be the exclusive agent to handle products for that is submitted from outside of Japan. Creators outside of Japan are required to register with CuriousFactory’s distribution service in order for their products to be listed / distributed on

3-8-07 (8:24PM EST)—- Australia’s Eminence Symphony Orchestra To Score Romeo x Juliet

GDH K.K. has announced that the soundtrack for Romeo x Juliet, the animated series produced by GDH’s main production subsidiary GONZO K.K. will be performed by Eminence Symphony Orchestra (Founder & Artistic Director: Hiroaki Yura, hereafter Eminence), the celebrated orchestra based in Sydney, Australia. GONZO’s Romeo x Juliet is the first attempt ever to adapt William Shakespeare’s classic play Romeo and Juliet into an animation. The new series, set against a quasi-medieval background reminiscent of the original play, will revive the classic tale of love, addinginnovative twists to the storyline accompanied by GONZO’s incredible visuals and first rate music. Twenty-eight of the 39 tracks provided for the show by renowned composer Hitoshi Sakimoto will be performed by Eminence. Eminence was established in 2003 in Australia as the first orchestra in the world to specialize in music for video games and animation. It is highly recognized for its performances of scores for animations, films and video games. GDH looks forward to collaborating with Eminence and to bringing together their beautiful music and GONZO’s powerful animation capabilities. The animated series is scheduled for television broadcast from April 2007. Chubu Nippon Broadcasting and SKY Perfect Well Think join GDH in the production of the show.

3-8-07 (8:24PM EST)—- Different Afro Samurai To Broadcast In Japan

GDH K.K. has announced that AFRO SAMURAI, the animated series produced by GDH’s main production subsidiary GONZO K.K., will be broadcast in Japan on WOWOW starting at 23:00 on Thursday May 3rd, 2007. Based on Takashi Okazaki’s comic, AFRO SAMURAI is a five-episode animated series produced to commemorate the 15th anniversary of GONZO. It follows Afro Samurai’s journey to avenge his father who was brutally murdered before his own eyes. Packed with action and with an underlying message about the futility of revenge, the show takes the audience into a unique world that fuses American hip-hop culture with the world of the classical samurai. AFRO SAMURAI first aired in the US as a five-week mini-series on Spike TV from January 4th, 2007 and proved to be immensely popular. The program stars (and is co-produced by) Academy Award-nominated actor Samuel L. Jackson as the hero, and also features Ron Perlman (Hellboy) and Kelly Hu (X2: X-MEN United). The soundtrack is composed by the revolutionary hip-hop artist The RZA, adding his considerable creative talents to help create an animation experience for audiences around the world unlike anything seen before. The Japan premiere will feature a complete Director’s Cut version, including footage that was not part of the Spike TV broadcast. The series will be aired with English dialogue and Japanese subtitles.

3-8-07 (7:41PM EST)—- First Look At Jeon Ji Hyeon As Blood’s Saya?

Thanks to Daniel Zelter and “Hitman” for sending in a link to a possible picture of an outfit the Korean actress would be wearing for the live action Ronny Yu Blood The Last Vampire film. Hyeon’s currently shooting the live-action anime adaptation in Argentina.

3-8-07 (7:35PM EST)—- UC Irvine Extension Offers New Course on Manga & Anime

In response to the high demand of their charter course, “Manga & Anime Explosion: What, Why, How & Wow,” UC Irvine Extension is offering “Manga & Anime Explosion: Story Development, Marketing and Adaptation,” a follow-up course designed to help writers and artists finish developing their characters. Course work will focus on putting characters into compelling story arcs and creating the visually dynamic imagery for which anime and manga are famous. The course, held Tuesday evenings from May 8-June 5, 7-10p.m., supports a growing demand for courses that assist budding manga and anime creators.

Students will discover why Shojo and Shonen manga are more successful than most western comics at putting the reader “inside the story,” thus creating more audience involvement. They will go beyond their I-am list to enhance characters with three-dimensional qualities, incorporating facial expressiveness, body language, inner life, visual distinctiveness and effective use of dialogue. Visual layout and style will be addressed for artists, including how mangas visually frame actions to strengthen stories and exploit plot twists. Students will discover how to create rich, believable worlds for readers to explore like the manga-ka’s do. Guest speakers will include Dallas Middaugh, Associate Publisher of Del Rey Manga, Christine Yoo the co-writer of the English language adaptation screenplay for “Afro Samurai” and other buyers/executives from top manga publishing and anime companies. Davis, an accomplished screenwriter who has sold pitches he subsequently wrote as screenplays to Sony and 20th Century FOX, is also an expert in manga and has extensive contacts with Japanese comic publishers. He pitched the “Battle Angel Alita” manga series to FOX, which it acquired for James Cameron who is in production on the vfx-heavy film franchise. Davis will offer his expertise and experience to students, including advice on pitching projects to studios. He is currently co-producing a remake of the Japanese hit TV show, “TRAIN MAN,” with John Davis’ production company. The first course in the series, “Manga & Anime Explosion: What, Why, How & Wow,” starts on April 3 and is open to the public on the UC Irvine campus. “Manga & Anime Explosion: Story Development, Marketing and Adaptation” begins on May 8. The cost for each course is $225. To register for the courses or for more information, visit or call (949) 824-5414.

3-8-07 (7:34PM EST)—- HOAX Kadokawa Backs Taiwanese Slam Dunk Film

Daniel Zelter sends in a recent Variety article link which mentions Hong Kong’s Emperor Motion Picture and Japan’s Kadokawa Herald Pictures will sign on to back the Taiwanese live action “Slam Dunk” feature. The live-action adaptation of one of the bestselling manga comics of all time will be helmed by Kevin Chu Yin Ping (“Expect a Miracle”). Production gets under way next week with lensing in studios in Shanghai and on location in Taiwan for winter 2008 release. With a production budget of $10 million, pic is being touted as the most expensive Taiwan-originated movie of all time. It is set up as a co-production of Taiwan’s Chang Hong Channel Group and Shanghai Film & Television Group. Additionally, “Hitman” has linked some set photos and a teaser poster. here and here.

3-8-07 (6:48PM EST)—- Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei Anime Confirmation And Curiosity

Some in Japan are calling BS on circulating images of a February bookstore sales solictitations / orders list which sent to Japanese bookstores by publisher Kodansha. The forms mention Koji Kumeta’s Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei will be adapted to TV series animation. Seeking independent confirmation, in recent days, a number of fans called up Kodansha’s official website and found just the information they were looking for in the TV Anime section (seen left – not the red color). Oddly enough, this block was deleted from the above page shortly after its discovery. This, coupled with the fact that the project has yet to be officially announced is leading many to believe news of the Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei has had a “false start”, coming out prematurely.

3-7-07 (12:37PM EST)—- Anime / Manga Japanese Boxoffice Report March 3-4

Courtesy Box Office Mojo, in its first weekend, the animated feature One Piece debuted in 2nd place, drawing $1,422,142, opening on 280 screens. Dororo dropped to 6th place for its 6th week running, it’s playing on 296 screens and has made $26,353,703 to date. In 7th Sakuran has made over $1,615,641 in its 2 weeks running, playing on close to 200 screens.

3-7-07 (11:18AM EST)—- Death Notebook Computer

Based on the popular Death Note crossmedia franchise, an extremely limited edition run of 30 “Death Notebook Computers” will be marketed. Each will have its own serial number and a special red apple USB thumbdrive. Windows Vista is installed as the OS. Retail is 200,000 Yen. Nippon Television Network Corporation officially commisioned the product and will sell it exclusively online.

3-7-07 (10:45AM EST)—- Victor Confirms New Macross

Victor Entertainment has confirmed their recent “Victor Vocal & Voice Audition” will draft the voice of the next Macross idol singer / heroine.

3-7-07 (10:42AM EST)—- Kafun Shoujo Chuuihou OVA Announced

Koume Keito’s hentai manga Kafun Shoujo Chuuihou will be adapted to OVA.

3-7-07 (10:25AM EST)—- Stranger Musumeragi Kendan Update

Again, from the latest Newtype, staff details are out on Bones’ new animated film Stranger Musumeragi Kendan. Original Story: BONES, Director: Masahiro Ando, Scenario: Takayama Fumihiko, Character Design: Tsunenori Saito, Music: Naonori Sato. Japanese theatrical release set in Autumn.

3-7-07 (10:22AM EST)—- EVAGELION@SCHOOL Project Unveiled

GAINAX has announced their new Evangelion project, aimed at teens “Puchieu A EVANGELION@SCHOOL. “. Character Designs by Hamamoto Takashi and Yotsuba Studio. A line of action figures will kickoff the new venture.

3-7-07 (10:09AM EST)—- Bokusatsu Tenshi Dokuro-chan Sequel

According to several obi’s appearing on publisher affiliated manga tankobon, Bokusatsu Tenshi Dokuro-chan will get a sequel animation.

3-7-07 (6:00AM EST)—- Code Geass – Lelouch of the Rebellion Sequel

The April, 2007 Japanese edition of Newtype Magazine reports Code Geass – Lelouch of the Rebellion will get a sequel animation.

3-6-07 (5:31PM EST)—- Japan Post Evangelion Stamps Official Page

Although the topic has been covered exhaustively here, Japan Post has launched a new official webpage for their Evangelion postage stamps. Scrolling down the page, its worth noting that besides the traditional lick and stick variety there are few exclusive ink stamp marks you can ask the post office to affix to various mail.

3-6-07 (5:08PM EST)—- The Digital Divide: 64 Million TV Sets To Be Trashed In Japan

64.65 million TV sets will become garbage in Japan when the country’s terrestrial broadcasters go digital exclusive on July 11th according to the “Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association” (JEITA). The group estimates there are around 100 million TV sets in Japan today. 85.8 million of them are analog. Upwards of 30 million will be held onto and fitted with a digital converter.

3-6-07 (3:48PM EST)—- Latest Hollywood Speed Racer Details

Mania notes that the live-action film will be shot on green screen, and gets a comment from Joel Silver about the reasons behind the Wachowskis choosing to aim for a more general audience with this production. Thanks To Daniel Zelter For The News.

3-6-07 (8:17AM EST)—- Lovely Complex Manga Sales

Aya Nakahara’s Love Com (Lovely Complex) manga has sold over 10 million copies in Japan. The Toei produced anime TV series debuts there in April.

3-6-07 (8:07AM EST)—- Erogame Producer Bankruptcies

Japanese Erotic videogame label Carriere declared bakruptcy on February 5th, Another LLC O-Parts (Talisman) declared bankruptcy on February 20th.

3-6-07 (5:57AM EST)—- Hellsing OVA III Japanese Release

After having its Japanese release indefinetly suspended back on January 31st Hellsing OVA 3 has been put back on track, slated for a R2 DVD rollout on April 4, 2007.

3-6-07 (5:56AM EST)—- Germany’s AnimagiC Convention Announced

Germany, Nistertal, March 6, 2007 Guests of Honor at this years AnimagiC, germanys biggest anime- & manga-convention We are pleased to announce the first guests of honor for 2007: Hellsing-Manga-ka Kouta Hirano, Hellsing-Ultimate-Director Tomokazu Tokoro, Hellsing-Ultimate-Producer Yasuyuki Ueda, Hellsing-Ultimate-Script-Writer Hideyuki Kurata, the german seiyu Thorsten Munchow (Alucard), Manga-ka-Duo Koh Kawarajima (New Generation of Manga Artists) and Manga-ka Haruka Fukushima (Instant Teen – Just Add Nuts)! More guests of honor to be announced. The ninth AnimagiC will be held in the famous Beethoven-Hall in Bonn from july 27th to july 29th 2007. AnimagiC, germanys biggest anime- & manga-convention, is famous for its guests of honor, which in included in recent years e.g. Yoko Kanno, Kenji Kamiyama , Mahiro Maeda, Yoshitoshi Abe, Range Murata, Masao Maruyama, Shoji Murahama, Yuki Kajiura, You Higuri, Satoshi Urushihara … AnimagiC is presented by AnimaniA, Germanys leading magazin for anime, manga and japanese popculture (since 1994). The magazin ist published monthly and available in a normal and a special DVD-edition. AnimagiC July 27-29, 2007 estimated attendee: 12.000 + Beethovenhalle, Bonn, Germany

3-5-07 (8:23PM EST)—- Bandai Visual And Geneon Sign Distribution Agreement

Bandai Visual USA Inc., a leading innovator in Japanese animation, and Geneon Entertainment (USA) Inc., a leading supplier of Japanese animation in North America, today announced the two companies have signed an agreement to distribute Bandai Visual USA titles on DVD to retailers throughout the United States and Canada. The first titles to be distributed under the agreement include multiple volumes of “Gunbuster 2,” “Demon Prince Enma,” “The Wings of Rean,” “Freedom” and “Galaxy Angel Rune.” Launch dates of these titles and others are expected to be announced shortly. “Bandai Visual is one of the pre-eminent producers of anime in the world, and is well respected among anime fans and retailers alike,” said Eiji Orii, president and CEO of Geneon Entertainment (USA) Inc. “All of us at Geneon Entertainment are very pleased to be working with Bandai Visual USA to bring their anime titles to retail shelves across North America.” Under the terms of the two-year agreement, Geneon Entertainment will distribute all Bandai Visual USA titles to retailers in the United States and Canada. Geneon will be the exclusive distributor of Bandai Visual USA titles released after March 1, 2007. “Geneon Entertainment has one of the best reputations in the industry as a distributor of anime titles,” said Tatsunori Konno, president of Bandai Visual USA Inc. “We have great confidence in Geneon’s ability to expand our distribution and give our titles a presence in some of the largest retailers in North America.”

3-5-07 (6:47PM EST)—- Misc. Magazine News

Issue 46 of Giant Robot has an interview with Satoshi Kon, and Kill Bill animator and Trava director Katsuhito Ishii. The March issue of Fangoria talks to Grudge director Takashi Shimizu regarding his latest home video release from Lion’s Gate Films: Reincarnation. Thanks to Daniel Zelter for the news.

3-5-07 (3:33PM EST)—- Tekkon Kinkreet – Tokyo Loop – Tachiguishi At HK Film Fest

Mamoru Oshii’s Tachiguishi, Michael Arias’ Tekkon Kinkreet and Takashi Sawa’s Tokyo Loop will screen in the animation division of 31st Hong Kong International Film Festival held from March 20th – April 11th.

3-5-07 (3:20PM EST)—- Yukipon No O Shigoto To Become Live Action TV Drama

Kazuhiro Azuma’s manga Yukipon No O Shigoto will be dramatized according to the latest issue of Kodansha’s Weekly Young Magazine. The late night drama will debut on TV Tokyo on 4/1 and run 13 episodes. Cast includes Yoshinori Okada as Yukipon. The original comic won the Japanese Cartoonists’ Association Nihon Mangaka Kyokai New Face Award in 2002.

3-5-07 (3:00PM EST)—- 2nd Prince Of Tennis OVA Series Announced

Bandai Visual will release Vol. 1 of the Original Video Animation Prince Of Tennis: Zenkoku Taikai Hen Semifinal (Chapter Of National Convention Semifinal) to R2 DVD in Japan June 22, 2007 for 5,250 Yen. Running time is 46 minutes. 3 volumes are planned in this second Prince Of Tennis OVA series.

3-5-07 (2:36PM EST)—- 3rd Chinese International Animation Festival Wraps

The 3rd Chinese International Animation Festival was held March, 2nd-4th, 2007 in Guangzhou City, Guangdong Province. The “Guangzhou District Costume Play Rally” was also held simultaneously. The winners will go on to compete in the Hangzhou “Chinese Costume Play Super-Festival” on the national level in May. Similar events will be held in Beijing, Nanjing, Shenyang in the future.

3-5-07 (2:05PM EST)—- Kyo Kara Maoh! OVA Announced

According to the 2007 Spring edition of Newtype Romance magazine, due to go on sale in Japan on March 10th, Kyo Kara Maoh! will be adapted to a new OVA series. Based on the manga by Tomo Takabayashi, the work was previously adapted to TV animation series format which ran between 2004-2006.

3-5-07 (2:04PM EST)—- Suginami Animation Museum Gets 100,000th Visitor

On March 4th, the second anniversary since first opening their doors to the public, the Suginami Animation Museum announced its total attendance had exceeded 100,000 people.

3-5-07 (1:08PM EST)—- Japanese Otaku Grand Prix Winners Announced

The “Japanese Otaku Grand Prix 06/07” winners were announced at Loft Plus One in Shinjuku on February 28. The awards cover several areas including manga, anime, games, special films etc.. The ceremony will be broadcast as a special program on the satellite TV channel “MONDO21” on March 30th and 31st. Otaku celebrities such as writer Toshikazu Karasawa and “anime maestro” Ryusuke Hikawa were presenters. The honored works included: Grand Prize: Ultraman 80 (Ultraman Mebius), Okada Tsukasa Prize: Taro Aso, Karasawa Shunichi Prize: Lion Maru G, Fujitsu Ryouta Prize: Gin Tamashii, Ishiguro Naoki Prize: Inukami?!, Miya Shoutarou Prize: RESCUE WINGS, Tsuruoka Houtoki Prize: Gekkan COMIC Ryuu.

3-5-07 (11:02AM EST)—- Prism Ark & Kono Aozora Ni Yakusoku O Anime Sites Live

Official websites for the forthcoming erotic videogame adapted anime TV series Prism Ark and Kono Aozora Ni Yakusoku O have gone live with their preopenings. In the case of Konnyaku, its scheduled to begin running in a latenight timeslot from April, 2007. Staff and cast remain undecided. For Prism Ark Masami Obari (Fatal Fury) has been announced as director with series composition by Hosono Yuuji, Character Designs by Ebata Risa and Animation Production by PRODRIVE.

3-5-07 (8:41AM EST)—- Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei To Be Animated

Leaked via an image in a February bookstore sales solictitations / orders list circulated among Japanese bookstores by publisher Kodansha, it’s been revealed that mangka Koji Kumeta’s Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei will be adapted to TV series animation. Although the list hit retailers over 1 month ago, the news just now has become widespread. No other details are available. The manga currently runs in Weekly Shonen Magazine and is described as a tragic comedy about a deeply depressed teacher whose attempts to commit suicide are constantly foiled and about his 32 troubled students.

3-5-07 (8:33AM EST)—- Shrine Translators Working On English Doraemon Doujinshi

Although Doraemon may have never seen a widescale English Language release that hasn’t stopped a Takaoka Sekino Shinto shrine group in Takaokashi Suehirocho from creating the English Dojin “Doraemon Yume O Mi Kuji”. Original creator Fujiko Fujio originates from Takaokoa, the group hopes to produce the work to help local children study English. The Japanese version went on sale from December 31st last year, and sold 7,000 at Takaoka Sekino Shinto shrine. They’re in they’re in the process of obtaining the approval of Shogakukan to sell the English version now.

3-5-07 (8:13AM EST)—- Huge Gundam Lantern In Taiwan

Thanks to Jeff Wong who sends us news of a massive RX-78 Gundam Lantern in Taipei, Taiwan, created for this year’s traditional New Year Lantern Festival. Typically, the lanterns are of something auspicious, or respective to the current zodiac. According to the text, Jeff mentions all the kids screamed with joy and even parents went crazy snapping photos. You can view the acutal construction of the 20 foot tall lantern here.

3-4-07 (8:37AM EST)—- IDOLM@STER Leads X-BOX Live Usage In Japan

The moe anime style character heavy IDOLM@STER videgame for XBOX 360 is said to be a saving the console from a sales slump in Japan, leading subscription sales to the online community service feature “Xbox Live”. Retail is 5229 Yen a year.

3-4-07 (7:32AM EST)—- 1st Seiyuu Awards Ceremony Results

The 1st ever Seiyuu Awards ceremony took place in Akihabara at the Akiba 3D Theater in the UDX building on the evening of the 3rd. Press and VIPS for the most part filled the 170 seat theater but the adjacent Tokyo Anime Center held a lottery open to the public for 200 seats who could watch via CCTV. The event honored the best anime voice actors and actresses for their performances given over fiscal year 2006. An online voting referendum started in October, 2006, with nominees being announced in February. Via deliberation of the selection committee the winners were determined. The winners walked the red carpet after the ceremony amongst cheering fans. Those honored included: Starring Prize: Jun Fukuyama, Romi Paku, Subcharacter Prize: Akira Ishida, Koki Miyata, Ami Koshimizu, Yuko Goto, Rookie Of The Year Prize: Tetsuya Kakihara, Masakazu Morita, Yui Kano, Aya Hirano, Singing Prize: Nana Mizuki, Personality Prize: Masumi Asano, Special Service Prize: Kei Tomiyama, Service Prize: Tooru Oohira, Masako Ikeda, Noriko Ohara, Mariko Mukai, Synergy Prize: Pokemon.

3-4-07 (7:23AM EST)—- Viewer Selected Hana Yori Dango Story Dramatization To Broadcast

Via internet voting, TBS allowed viewers to select their favorite Hana Yori Dango manga story and have it appear in the new second season of the TV drama which is running now. That story will comprise the 10th episode to be broadcast on Match ninth. The plot involves Matsumoto Jun’s character having an accident losing his memory.

3-4-07 (7:05AM EST)—- Hayate The Combat Butler First Look And New Details

A mountainslide of new data along with a first peek of the the Hayate No Gotoko animation has come out via a special insert page in Weekly Shonen Sunday No.14 which went on sale in Japan on March 7th. A placeholder for the coming TV series official website has been launched. Confirmed staff include: Director: Keiichiro Kawaguchi, Series Composition: Junki Takegami, Shinichi Inotsume, Character Designs: Osamu Horiuchi, Musical Themes: KOTOKO (opening), MELL (Ending), Production by Shogakukan Productions, Synergy SP. Cast include, Rie Kugimiya as Nagi Sanzenin, Rie Tanaka as Maria, Ryoko Shiraishi as Hayate Ayasaki, Kana Ueda as Sakuya Aizawa, Marina Inoue as Wataru Tachibana, Miyu Matsuki as Isumi Saginomiya, Saki Nakajima as Saki Kijima, Shizuka Itou as Hinagiku Katsura, Hitomi Nabatame as Yukiji Katsura, Juurouta Kosugi as Tama, Kenta Miyake as Seishirou “Klaus” Kurausu, Kousuke Toriumi as Himuro Saeki Norio Wakamoto as Narrator, Sayuri Yahagi as Izumi Segawa.

3-3-07 (7:23AM EST)—- Blue Dragon DS Game Moves 15 Million Units In First Week

In its first week of sales in Japan (February 24th – March 2nd) Blue Dragon for the Nintendo DS is well on its way to becoming a hit, perhpas portending of things to come for the rest of the cross media franchise. Sales exceeded 15 million copies during the period. The anime debuts April 7th but the music theme “Heavenly Star” by unit “Vigour Rockets” which went on sale February 16th has topped online sales charts nonnstop according to “Shisuko”. Dragonball creator mangaka Akira Toriyama provided character designs for the series.

3-3-07 (6:56AM EST)—- Yaku Mitsuru Manga To Appear On Toilet Paper

“FOOD TOIPE” a new brand of toilet paper bearing four frame strip manga illustrations of famous author Yaku Mitsuru was released to the Japanese market by Hayashi Paper for 200 Yen a roll on March 2nd. four-frame comic strip volumes are printed on this toilet paper.

3-3-07 (6:26AM EST)—- Madonna Does Death Note Costume Play?

For her music video “Jump” released in October, 2006, American pop singer Madonna is rumored to have cosplayed the Death Note character Mello. The video was shot in Tokyo, you can view it here.

3-3-07 (5:17AM EST)—- Fate/Zero V.2 Release

Volume 2 of TYPEMOON and Nitro Plus’s light novel collaboration “Fate/Zero: Ou Tachi No Kyouen” releases in Japan on March 31st.

3-2-07 (2:51PM EST)—- Captain Tsubasa Kept Water Tankers Safe In Iraq

During his 2006 Prime Minster bid Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso told that how in 2004, Japan’s SDF involvement in middle east peacekeeping included an inncident involving a tanker truck that was delivering water to civilians in Iraq. The tanker had a sticker of manga soccer hero Captain Tsubasa posted on the side and supposedly the image kept it from being attacked. Yasuyuki Ebata, First Secretary in the Science section of the Embassy of Japan was in charge of the ODA water supply, electricity generation, road construction, and other infrastructure in Iraq. Ebata noticed that the Iraqi people were very passionate about soccer, and also that Tsubasa, a Japanese comic book and cartoon character who is the captain of a soccer team, is very popular among children. “Captain Tsubasa is famous throughout Iraq and the Middle East. The Iraqi people didn’t know he was Japanese–they thought Tsubasa was Saudi Arabian,” said Ebata. “But I was sure that Tsubasa would cheer up Iraqi kids when they see his logo in the streets.” After gaining copyright approval from both the author of the comic books and their publishing company, Ebata found a printer and, along with his colleagues and the Iraqi people, applied 52 pictures of 1.5m X 2m in size to the many water tanks that Japan had provided. “Tsubasa became the symbol of our goodwill,” he said. Source: Japan Now

3-2-07 (2:29PM EST)—- Independent Anime Hoshi No Koe Sold 70,000+ DVDs

Director Makoto Shinkai’s 1st anime work Hoshi No Koe (Voices Of A Distant Star) has sold 70,000+ copies on DVD in Japan since its release in 2002. 40-50,000 copies have been sold in foreign countries. He independetly produced the work entirely on his own using a 400Mhz G4 Apple Macintosh with 1 Gigabyte of RAM and 300GB hard drive, a drawing tablet and a digital camera. Software used included Adobe Photoshop5.0, Adobe After Effects 4.1, Lightwave 3D 6.5 and Commotion 3.1DV. It’s been exported to 16 countries to date.

3-2-07 (2:11PM EST)—- Next Manga From ARIA Creator

Word on the street is the next manga project from ARIA creator Kozue Amano will debut in the April, 2007 issue of Mag Garden’s Comic Blade Magazine.

3-2-07 (9:02AM EST)— Olympic Gold Medal Winning Skater To Voice In Saze-san

Professional skater Shizuka Arakawa who won a gold medal in last year’s Turin Olympic Winter Games just wrapped her first radio acting session in Tokyo on March 1st. She’ll perform a role as herself in Fuji Television Network’s stalwart animation Sazae-san. The episode will air on the 18th. This marks the first time in the show’s 38 year history that a seiyuu will play themselves in the show. The actual person’s appearing from the sign-on of 69 years in this program is the first. Arakawa will coach Sazae-san in the ways of ice skating. In the past Masahiro Nakai of SMAP did a guest role as a fictional character.

3-2-07 (9:01AM EST)— Gintama Manga Vol. 1 Breaks 1 Million In Sales

Shueisha has announced sales of Hideaki Sorachi’s gintama manga are great and vol. 1 has has sold over 1 million copies in Japan. 17 volumes now exist on the market with #17 going on sale March 2nd.

3-2-07 (9:00AM EST)—- Close To Become Live Action Film

Mangaka Takahashi Hiroshi’s (Worst – The Ring Japanese Screnplay) juvenile delinquent serial Close will be adapted to a live action film according to the April edition of Akita Shoten’s Monthly Shonen Champion. The manga started its run in 1991, 26 collected volumes now exist on the market.

3-2-07 (8:37AM EST)—- 40 Year Old Ashita No Joe Manuscrpt Found

An original manuscript for Ashita No Joe that was believed to be lost in a typhoon 20 years ago has been discovered. The find came in a warehouse of the company that produced the animation at that time. 14 pages originally written in 1965 have been confirmed.

3-2-07 (8:20AM EST)—- Hayate The Combat Butler Staff

Some staff details are out on the anime TV adaptation of Kenjirou Hata’s Romantic Comedy manga Hayate No Gotoku! (Hayate The Combat Butler). Telecast starts Sunday, April 1st on TV Tokyo. Directing will be Keiichiro Kawaguchi (Getsumen To Heiki Mina), Main Character Designs by Osamu Horiuchi (Full Metal Panic), Series Composition by Shinichi Inotsume and Takegami Junki (Naruto).

3-2-07 (8:18AM EST)—- Studio Miris Closes

H-Game developer Studio Miris announced it will be shutting down. User support will continue until the end of the month.

3-2-07 (7:42AM EST)—- Coro Coro Exhibition At Suginami Animation Museum

The “Coro Coro Animation History Exhibition At The Suginami Animation Museum” is being held currently. The show commemorates 30 years of Shogakukan’s Coro Coro manga magazine. You can see many items related to Doraemon and Q Taro there. The Exhibition runs through May 27th.

3-2-07 (7:33AM EST)—- Popular “Blue Rabbit” Chinese Animation Cut Short

CCTV announced on February 26th they were cancelling the run of the popular TV animation “niji neko aoi usagi 7 kyoukaku den” (Japanese translation of a Chinese title) at 90 stories. No reasons were given but many have called the cartoon “too violent and a bad influence on children”. The series was originally planned to go 108 episodes. “Blue Rabbit” became a big hit in China nin 2006, broadcasting on 800 TV stations including CCTV. A comic version has sold 15 million copies in just a few months. The series is believed to have over 10 million fans. Apparantly many noteable writers and journalists lambasted the show for its content.

3-2-07 (7:10AM EST)—- Wolf Guy To Be Adapted To Manga

Based on the 36 year-old original sci-fi novel by Kazumasa Hirai, Akita Shoten will produce a new manga based on Wolf Guy. Tabata Yoshiaki will write the story with Yogo Yuuki and Ayumi Izumitani illustrating. The book was adapted to a 6 part OAV in 1992-93. We have a sneaking suspiscion more anime could be in the works in the future.

3-2-07 (6:45AM EST)—- Young Sunday Teams With Yahoo For Charity Auction

Shogakukan and Yahoo announced that in commemoration of the 20th anniversary “Weekly Young Sunday” magazine they’ll jointly hold a series of auctions with full proceeds being donated to Hokkaido Yubarishi. 55 items from 40 popular mangaka (such as Rumiko Takahashi) will be offered up. cartoonist original item of about 40 people and the patronage goods etc. of six gravure idols are exhibited in “Yahoo auction”.

3-2-07 (6:32AM EST)—- Kotetsu Sangokushi Announcement At TAF2007

Look for the major rollout announcement regarding the Koutetsu Sangokushi TV series to come out at the Tokyo Anime Fair occuring at the end of this month.

3-2-07 (6:14AM EST)—- Pioneer’s Latest Home Audio System To Communicate Through Powerlines

Mainichi has a piece promoting Pioneer’s new “Music Tap” home audio system. The unit is said to be one of the first devices that utilizes “Powerline Communication” or (PLC) technology. The way it works is you plug the main component in somewhere in the house. Then you can plug in the powered speakers anywhere else in the same home and the digital audio signal somehow finds the receiver, transmitting the music. Japanese release is set for March for 68,000 Yen. A compatible remote can be pointed at the speakers and also contol volume and other functions of the main unit through the electical wiring.

3-2-07 (5:52AM EST)—- Nakagawa Shouko Entering Politics?

Japanese gravure idol, actress, and seiyuu Nakagawa Shouko has shocked most of Japan by declaring she wants to become a politician and reform society. Currently, her age (21) is holding her back from both a Diet House of Representatives and House of Councilors seat but its rumored the Liberal-Democratic Party is already grooming Nakagawa for future candidacy run in a few years.

3-2-07 (5:23AM EST)—- Ultraman Theatrical Play

“Ultraman Premium Stage” will mark the first ever theatrical play adaptation for the series when it’s put on May 2-6 at the Chunichi Theater in Nagoya. 35 characters from the original series through Mebius will be part of the show.

3-2-07 (5:07AM EST)—- Seiyuu To Voice Yurikamome Station Stops

Laying some promotional groundwork for the 100,000+ attendees expected to travel the route on their way to the Tokyo International Anime Fair at the end of this month, the Yurikamome train line will have a different popular anime voice actor or actress as the PA voice, announcing train station stops and movements throughout the month of March. 16 different seiyuu including Masumi Asano and Morikawa Toshiyuki have each recorded 3 types of intercom announcements for the transportation service.

3-2-07 (4:48AM EST)—- Animeigo On Myspace

Animeigo’s new Myspace fan link can be found at Of note is a timer which indicates the months left to purchase Arcadia of My Youth, before it goes OOP, a survey regarding Yawara, and a list of future samurai films from the company. Thanks to Daniel Zelter for the news.

3-2-07 (3:48AM EST)—- Municipalities And Civic Groups Use Moe To Draw Interest

Asahi reports on how Japanese city governments and public groups are using Bishoujo and Moe imagery to spark interest in otherwise dull civic projects. The stage of activity in these efforts increasingly internet homepages. The desire by the groups is get young people aware of the activities by employing the help of characters. The Moe chara market is estimated to be worth about 90 billion Yen. Minabe in Wakayama Prefecture is home to a huge and properous charcoal industry lead by Kishu Binchoutan. To promote their efforts in 2004 they wanted to use Alchemist’s cutesy mascot character Binchoutan, who is an anime girl with a piece of coal on her head. Kishu Binchoutan later collaborated with game company Alchemist to commercialize the character. Related Binchoutan character goods including dolls and figures sold 2 million units, over 100,000 manga books have been sold, and it even went onto became a TV animation in 2005-06. Fans, including many young people have, and are still flocking to the town from around Japan after the Binchoutan boom. Nishimuro Development and Promotion Bureau also used an Alchemist character in 2005 years to promote a World Heritage site. The economic impact there was about 1.6 million yen including lodging expenses. Saga Prefecture’s Sagashi was one of the original pioneers of character use in 2001 with Mahoro-chan. After appearing on the city’s webspage, cell straps, towels and billboard images were created based on the character. Shirominami sanitation and pipe union based in Yawatashi that processes garbage in southern Kyoto Prefecture also has enjoyed success with their promotional character Eco-chan which appeared in a widely distributed educational video in autumn, 2006. In 2004 Aomori prefectural police Mutsu station requested local Shaman King mangaka Hiroyuki Takei to create a woman police officer mascot character for their webpage. The number of accesses there in 2006 exceeded 280,000.

3-2-07 (3:32AM EST)—- Japanese Manga Adaptation Success Stories From Southeast Asia

Yomiuri has a look at some of the manga that’s gotten big in southeaset Asian nations and been adapted to foreign TV dramas and movies. A new trend sees these media being increasingly reimported back to Japan. One of the most noteable is the recent film Muk Gong (Battle of Wits), based on the book “Bokko” by Ken’ichi Sakemi and the manga by Sakemi and Hideki Mori. Its story originates in China and the translated manga became a huge hit in Taiwan in the 1990’s. Director Jocob Chang read the Chinese version and decided to make a film in Hong Kong about it. So far BOW has been a success, screening in 4 southeast Asian countries. Recently, TV dramas based on manga have been on the rise in Taiwan. Hana Yori Dango was adapted there in 2001. Other popular dramas have broadcast in the Middle East and South America through overseas Chinese networks. Based on the Yumiko Suzuki romantic comedy manga which has sold 300,000 copies in the country, “Mi-nyeo-neun Gwae-ro-wo (200 Pounds Beauty)” has become a big hit since opening in South Korea on December 14th, 2006. Outside of Asia, adaptation moves are being made in Europe and America. According to Shogakukan, Jiro Taniguchi’s 1999 manga Harukana Machi E (“A Town Far Away”) is being made into a live action film in Belgium. It won the 1999 (3rd) Media Arts Festival Excellence Prize. Kodansha mentions it gets around 100 inquiries per yer from interested parties outside of Japan wanting to adapt its properties and about 40 so far in 2007. Most are interested in manga but novels are also becoming big.

3-2-07 (2:51AM EST)—- Doraemon Live Action First Look

TV Asahi has the first promo image of the forthcoming live action Doraemon special, scheduled to broadcast on Sunday, March 25th on the network.

3-2-07 (2:30AM EST)—- Spring 2007 Japanese TV Season Dialing In

48 new anime TV series, TV specials and TV movies have been officially announced to begin between March and May, 2007. You can view a collage of screengrabs from each here. A dozen or more spring season additions are expected to be announced, most likely at Tokyo Anime Fair at the end of this month.

3-2-07 (1:57AM EST)—- Do-jinwa-ku To Be Animated

Mangaka HIROYUKI’s Do-jinwa-ku is headed for anime adaptation according to a mention on the cover of Honbunsha’s Manga Time Kirara. The magazine will go on sale March 9th in Japan. Do-jinwa-ku is a four-frame comic strip that started life in the pages of Manga Daimu Kirara Carat from the December, 2004 issue. It then transfered over to Daimu Kirara proper in the April, 2006 issue. The storyline will be appealing to hardcore otaku as it deals with lifelong friends, Doujinshi circles and the ins and outs of producing and marketing fan produced manga in a comedic light.

3-2-07 (1:56AM EST)—- Tokikake Returns To Japanese Theaters For Limited Engagement Screening

A cramped, sold out single theater….. If you happen to be in Tokyo for the anime fair this month, you’ll have a chance to experience Mamoru Hosoda’s Toki Wo Kakeru Shoujo in virtually the same conditions that it started out in on its march to argueably becoming 2006’s top Japanese animated film. A single screen at Shinjuku Garden Cinema will show Tokikake daily from March 3rd-30th – 19:30-21:25 daily. Shows are expected to be filled to capacity following the Japanese Best Animation Oscar win.

3-1-07 (12:46PM EST)—- Toshiba Launches HD-DVD Software Corral

Toshiba Japan has launched an “Advanced HD-DVD Square” site where you can find lineup listings for coming releases with details such as image codec, audio, titles, omake, etc.. Third party reviews will also be included in the list. In the anime category so far we have the forthcoming Rahxephon DVD-BOX with token HD-DVD copy of the film.

3-1-07 (11:59AM EST)—- Japanese Boxoffice February 24-25, 2007

Several germane moves in the Japanese movie world this past weekend. Boxoffice Mojo tells us Dororo has lost it’s top position to Dream Girls during its 5th week running. To date, the Osamu Tezuka manga based flick has earned $23,145,145. Next, the Moyoco Anno manga adapted Sakuran had its debut in 6th spot. It’s showing on only 51 screens and earned $370,831. Finally, rounding out the top 10 in last place is Muk Gong (Battle of Wits), based on the book “Bokko” by Ken’ichi Sakemi and the manga by Sakemi and Hideki Mori. It has drawn $4,673,338 to date over the 4 weeks its been playing in Japanese theaters.

3-1-07 (11:39AM EST)—- Kaze No Shoujo Emily To Be Animated

Based on the diary of LM Montgomery (Anne Of Green Gables) NHK has announced they’ll be broadcasting the new 26 episode series Kaze No Shoujo Emily (Emily Of New Moon). The story is a pioneer style coming of age tale set on Prince Edwards Island in Canada in the 19th century. TMS Entertainment will produce the animation. The premiere is April 7th.

3-1-07 (11:25AM EST)—- UDX At 1

UDX, the Akihabara building that hosts the Tokyo Anime Center, the Akiba 3D theater, Akihabara Square and several year-round calandar events related to anime and manga is celebrating its firsat year since opening to the public this month. A “Happy 1st Anniversary” event will be held at the Akihabara Square (UDX 4th floor) on March 9. The UDX group that owns the complex is composed of three companies (NTT Urban Development, Daibiru, and Kajima). The lot area where the building sits is 11,547-square meters, the architectural area is 161,482 square meters, it has 22 above ground floors and 3 underground levels.

3-1-07 (11:00AM EST)—- Blood+ Licensing Cost Hints

In a current Nikkei BP interview with Production I.G. head Mitsuhisa Ishikawa, he mentions that going from the current USA sales standard of $20-30,000 dollars per licensed episode, Blood+ has fetched 2x or more. These earnings have allowed the latest iterations of the property to become part of the company’s “surplus business”.

3-1-07 (9:05AM EST)—- More Blame! Animation Coming?

Expected to be announced at the Tokyo Anime Fair 2007 going down at the end of this month is a “”BLAME” imaging project announcement” to be made by Micott And Basara. The original 2004 one off run of 6 5 minute epsidoes was picked up in the USA by Blasters in 2005. Based on the original manga by Tsutomu Nihei.

3-1-07 (9:03AM EST)—- 1st Ever Snowless Winter In Tokyo?

With spring 18 days away, Tokyo, Japan is well on its way to having its first winter season without recorded snowfall. Scientific statistics only started being kept in 1876. Every year between then and now snow has fallen at least once in the December-March winter period.

3-1-07 (8:00AM EST)—- Young Sunday 20th Anniversary Site

Shogakukan has launched a 20th anniversary Young Sunday Special Campaign site at:

3-1-07 (7:00AM EST)—- Anime Case Modders

From Akiba PC Watch, comes this jewel found in a local computer shop. A computer case sidepanel acrylic window includes an illustration by Shuffle mangaka Hiro Suzuhira.

3-1-07 (4:00AM EST)—- Tokikake Banners In NYC

Banners featuring Mamoru Hosoda’s Toki Wo Kakeru Shoujo have appeared on the street in Manhattan. The film will screen as part of the New York International Children’s Film Festival 2007 starting March 2nd and running through the 18th.

3-1-07 (3:01AM EST)—- Haruhi Suzumiya Live Action Drama Next?

A February 23rd entry at Japanese actress Sawai Maho’s blog might have dropped a bombshell on what’s coming up next in the Suzumiya Haruhi universe. It mentions that finally the “Haruhi Second Step” is about to take place with pictures (or possibly filiming) to begin “next week”. The blog goes on to mention the actress will play the role of Ryoko Asakura. On August 7th, 2006 ANS first mentioned news of an announced 6 episode live action Haruhi Suzumiya television drama to broadcast via BS-i this autumn. Yahoo even wrote a news article on it but later retracted. The official Haruhi Suzumiya immediately carried the following message thereafter: “I’m sorry wait a little more”. On March 2nd a major 4 hour event is scheduled to occur in Saitama, Japan featuring the entire main anime cast. There’s a great deal of specualtion in Japanese fan circles that a large announcement on the future of the franchise will be made there.

3-1-07 (3:00AM EST)—- Otome wa Boku ni Koishiteru Second Season Rumors?

Some circulating Japanese blog reports of a Otome wa Boku ni Koishiteru second TV season have been stopped dead in their tracks after the cited source Getchu effectively pulled itself out of the equation by deleting a mention on its official website. What remains is: 1) The story is true but the info leaked prematurely, thus the retraction or 2) the story is false and Getchu was falsely attributed as source. A screengrab of the site with the news intact in a February 28th entry can be viewed by cutting and pasting the following URL into your browser, no linking allowed:

3-1-07 (2:37AM EST)—- Aquarion OAV Release Date

Frontier Works is listing a May 25th release date for the first Japanese R2 DVD OVA volume of Sousei no Aquarion.

3-1-07 (1:42AM EST)—- J-Latin Song Becomes New Kekkaishi Theme

As of February 26th J-Latin singer Aiko Kitahara’s “sekaijuu doko o sagashi te mo” is the new ending theme for Nippon Television Network’s anime Kekkaishi. The single release will occur on March 21st. Kitahara’s musical roots are in folklore tunes, in recent years though she’s adopted a “Latin x J-POP” style.

3-1-07 (1:00AM EST)—- American Paprika Trailer Online

A 1 minute 20 second American version trailer for Satoshi Kon’s Paprika is now online at Apple’s Quicktime Trailer Site. Thanks to Daniel and Mary for the news.

3-1-07 (12:36AM EST)—- Ookiku Furikabutte TV Series First Outing For A-1 Pictures

When the Asa Higuchi seinen baseball manga adapted Ookiku Furikabutte TV animation debuts on TBS April 12th, it will mark the debut project for newly established in-house Aniplex production unit A-1 Pictures. First established in 2005, the studio’s goal is to produce high quality anime film properties. Known also as A1P, Aniplex will work with the company on various projects although it’s mentioned the new studio will be open to other companies to develop their works. Progress of further production technology centering on digitalization is expected. The HQ office location is in Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward. Representative director is Shigekazu Takeuchi and A-1’s startup capital was 100 million Yen wholly invested by Aniplex. Confirmed staff on Ookiku Furikabutte are Director Tsutomu Mizushima (xxx HOLiC), Script Writer Yousuke Kuroda (Honey And Clover) and Character Designer Takahiko Yoshida. The original comic is serialized in Kodansha’s Afternoon, 8 collected volumes now exist on the Japanese market. The manga has sold over 2.15 million copies in Japan. One of the 1st stills from the anime was released to the media this week and can be seen right. Yonaga Tsubasa will voice hero Ren Mihashi, Nakamura Yuuichi voices Takaya Abe. The opening theme is “Dramatic” by rock group “Baseball Bear”.


The May release of Cat Girl Kiki, the second live action film in the Akihabara Trilogy, was announced today by Central Park Media. The three stand alone films (Legend of the Doll, Cat Girl Kiki and Pretty Maid Cafe) in this series are all set in the well known Akihabara shopping district in Tokyo which is a popular destination for hardcore fans of anime, manga, video games and model kits. This large shopping area and its unique culture provide a colorful backdrop for each of the movies.

Cat Girl Kiki, a tale about a lonely guy whose adoptive kitten transforms into a beautiful girl, is from the producer of “Shall We Dance?” and “Gamera”. The order date will be April 10, 2007 and the street date will be May 8, 2007. This DVD will be priced at $19.95 SRP and contain Japanese language tracks with English subtitles.

The Legend of the Doll, the first of the Akihabara Trilogy movies slated for release, has been scheduled for a theatrical premiere on March 19, 2007 at The ImaginAsian Theater in New York City. For more information about the premiere and the Akihabara Trilogy, visit

Cat Girl Kiki
This is the incredibly strange tail…we mean tale…of Yoshiro, a lonely introvert who is stuck in a rut… Each day is exactly the same, drab and dismal, until he finds an abandoned kitten on the street and brings it home. The next morning, Yoshiro discovers that the kitten has transformed into a beautiful girl named Kiki! Too bad she has cat ears and scratches up the furniture. It seems like a match made in heaven, but what is the secret behind Cat Girl Kiki’s sudden appearance, and what does it mean for Yoshiro’s chance at a normal life?

DVD Features: Japanese Trailers, Sneak Peeks, Language: Japanese with English Subtitles

Running time: 68 minutes Genre: Fantasy Street Date: 5/8/2007 WEA Selection: 712534 SRP: $19.95 UPC: 7-19987-25342-1