Anime News Service – May 17-22 Anime News

5-22-02—- AVEX CD Copy Protection Scrutinized – Also Bypassed

According to the following article, True Confessions Of A Substandard CD Owner, one J-pop Music fan claims a copy protection scheme used by Avex may be introducing a dilution effect in the quality of the music via compression techniques etc..

5-22-02—- Sony CD Copy Protect Defeated Using 99 Cent Felt Tipped Marker

According to Reuters News, Sony Music’s elaborate CD Copy protection scheme has been cracked by listners scribbling around the rim of a disk with a felt-tip marker. Internet newsgroups have been circulating news of the discovery for the past week, and in typical newsgroup style, users have pilloried Sony for deploying “hi-tech” copy protection that can be defeated by paying a visit to a stationery store. Major music labels, including Sony and Universal Music, have begun selling the “copy-proof” discs as a means of tackling the rampant spread of music piracy, which they claim is eating into sales. The new technology aims to prevent consumers from copying, or “burning,” music onto recordable CDs or onto their computer hard drives, which can then be shared with other users over file-sharing Internet services such as Kazaa or Morpheus MusicCity.

Sony’s proprietary technology, deployed on many recent releases, works by adding a track to the copy-protected disc that contains bogus data. Because computer hard drives are programmed to read data files first, the computer will continuously try to play the bogus track first. It never gets to play the music tracks located elsewhere on the compact disc. The effect is that the copy-protected disc will play on standard CD players but not on computer CD-ROM drives, some portable devices and even some car stereo systems. Some Apple Macintosh users have reported that playing the disc in the computer’s CD drive causes the computer to crash. The cover of the copy-protected discs contain a warning that the album will not play on Macintoshes or other personal computers. Apple has since posted a warning on its Web site at: kbase.info.apple.com. Sony Music Europe has taken the most aggressive anti-piracy stance in the business. Since last fall, the label has shipped more than 11 million copy-protected discs in Europe, with the largest proportion going to Germany, a market label executives claim is rife with illegal CD-burning.

5-22-02—- Bandai August Releases

From the release:

AUGUST 2002 RELEASE UPDATES

Better Man Metamorphosis (V.2)

Bandai Entertainment continues the frightening journey of Better Man with the release of “Metamorphosis”. Directed by Yoshitomo Yonetani, a secret task force has been formed to combat an unknown entity known only as “Algernon”. But can they stop the killings in time or will they face Earth’s inevitable destruction at the hands of the enemy? Who is Better Man?

Reunited with his childhood friend Hinoki, Keita has joined the battle against Algernon as a Head Diver in the Kakuseijin No. 1, a multi-purpose state-of-the-art attack mecha. Danger abounds as the Akamatsu team travels around the world in search of Algernon! Meanwhile, Betterman continues to monitor the Akamatsu team’s progress and comes to the rescue on more than one occasion. But even he has secrets that no one has even guessed. Will discovering them cost the Akamatsu team their lives?

Better Man – “Metamorphosis” features interactive animation menus, a collector’s DVD cover, Limited Edition foil collector’s card, English and Japanese language, English subtitles, textless openings, the second installment of Mode Warp File #2, and Bandai Entertainment Previews.

English/Japanese Language English Subtitles TRT: 100 min. / Rated 13UP SRP: $29.98 UPC# 669198147692 / EDP# 10373 Order Date: 6.25.2002 / Street Date: 8.6.2002

Love Hina Love Hurts (V.4)

Life around the Hinata Apartments has been a bit strange since the arrival of Keitaro Urashima. But at least it’s never boring! Based on the best selling comic book series in Japan, Bandai Entertainment and Production I.G. proudly announces the next installment to the funniest love comedy of the year, Love Hina – “Love Hurts”!

Shinobu searches for life’s ultimate question! What would a person’s first kiss be like? Meanwhile, the gang at the Hinata Inn have been partying a little too much these days! With a huge bill to pay…can they find a way to earn enough money and pay off their debts? The road of love can be a bumpy one – and between Keitaro and Naru, its only going to get bumpier! When Naru stumbles across her former tutor, a tutor she had a crush on, she falls for him all over again. Get ready for unforgettable summer at the beach!

Love Hina – “Love Hurts” features interactive animated menus, scene selection, English and Japanese language tracks, English subtitles, Dolby Digital audio, Keitaro’s Sketchbook extra, and Bandai Entertainment Previews. Be sure to check out lovehina.bandai-ent.com for more information!

English/Japanese Language English subtitles TRT: 100 min. / Rated 13UP SRP: $29.98 UPC# 669198190391 / EDP# 11740 Order Date: 6.25.2002 / Street Date: 8.6.2002

Saber Marionette J to X Program 03

Bandai Entertainment announces the next installment of the fan favorite anime comedy, Saber Marionette J to X – “Program 03”. Otaru and his emotionally challenged Marionettes: Lime, Cherry, and Bloodberry are once again put to the test as a new chapter in their lives unfolds around them.

All is not right on Terra II! Lorelei, the key to the future of the entire planet, has been kidnapped! Otaru, feeling responsible, sets out to rescue her—alone. But things go from bad to worse, as Gartlant rises from its ashes and begins a new rampage. And it looks like Faust himself has resumed his evil ways! The Saber Dolls can’t believe it, and they are uncertain of what to do. But just as things look their darkest, it’s Lime, Cherry, and Bloodberry to the rescue. And they have another new ally this time around who intends to put Faust in his place.

Saber Marionette J to X – Program 03 features interactive animated menus, scene selection, English and Japanese language tracks, English subtitles, Dolby Digital Audio, SMJ to X Commercial Collection, exclusive Man and Machine Video Clip, and Bandai Entertainment Previews.

English/Japanese Language English subtitles TRT: 100 min. / Rated 13UP SRP: $29.98 UPC# 669198049293 / EDP# 10450 Order Date: / Street Date: 8.6.2002

Mobile Suit Gundam Char’s Counterattack: The Motion Picture

Available for the first time ever in North America – Yoshiyuki Tomino’s epic tale of humanity’s journey to the stars draws to an epic conclusion!

Universal Century 0093. 13 years have passed since the events of the original Mobile Suit Gundam series. But the foundations of peace are once again threatened by a new Neo Zeon army led by the infamous Char Aznable! Their ultimate goal is to initiate a nuclear winter upon Earth ushering in a new age of mankind into space. Armed with the state of the art Nu Gundam mobile suit, Amuro Ray and the Federation forces are all that stand against Neo Zeon. Torn between vengeance, duty, and love – the final battle between rivals Char Aznable and Amuro Ray is finally at hand!

Yoshiyuki Tomino – Creator and director of the original Mobile Suit Gundam series returns to direct the definitive Gundam movie of all time! Char’s Counterattack comes packaged in an exclusive Collector’s DVD slipcase featuring both the original Japanese and English language tracks along with English subtitles, a brand new Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound, interactive menus, scene selections, original theatrical trailers, memorial booklet, creator Filmography, and Bandai Entertainment previews.

Mobile Suit Gundam – Char’s Counterattack releases as one of the best selling anime DVD’s of all time in Japan. Bandai America has released a full line of its best selling Mobile Suit Gundam action figures and model kits here in the United States. From comic books to t-shirts, the action heats up this summer with the broadcast of the Mobile Suit Gundam series only on Cartoon Network! Be sure to check out www.gundamofficial.com/char for more information!

Mobile Suit Gundam Char’s Counterattack: The Motion Picture Japanese/English Language English subtitles TRT: 120 min. / Rated 13UP DVD SRP: $29.98 Order Date: 6.25.2002 / Street Date: 8.20.2002 UPC# 669198220098 / EDP# 11782

Ronin Warriors The Hardest Battle (V.5)

The anime cult hit available for the first time on DVD! Ronin Warriors – “The Hardest Battle” continues the fight between a group of warriors pitted against the evil Talpa and his quest towards the domination of the Earth.

As the battle for Earth rages on – Ryo and the other Warriors confront Talpa again, but once again, Talpa seems to have the upper hand! After Talpa quickly absorbs the others and their powers, Ryo and White Blaze are all that stand against the forces of doom and the conquest of the Earth!

From the hit animated series on the Sci-Fi channel and Cartoon Network’s Toonami block – Ronin Warriors – “The Hardest Battle” features interactive animated menus, a reversible DVD collector’s cover, English and Japanese language tracks, English subtitles, contains 4 uncut episodes of the original Japanese “Samurai Trooper” episodes, and Bandai Entertainment Previews

English/Japanese Language English subtitles TRT: 200 min. / Rated 13UP SRP: $24.98 UPC# 669198195495 / EDP# 11775 Order Date: 7.11.2002 / Street Date: 8.20.2002

Silent Mobius DVD Collection 2

Bandai Entertainment is proud to announce the release of Silent Mobius – DVD Collection 2 featuring 9 episodes from Kia Asamiya’s Silent Mobius television series.

Based on the best selling Silent Mobius comic book series by Kia Asamiya who is best known in North America for his works DC Comics Dark Knights, Marvel’s Manga Mania, Steam Detectives, and Dark Angel and spawning more than two theatrical motion pictures in Japan – The battle between the Attacked Mystification Police and the entities known as Lucifer Hawk comes to a fever pitch as Katsumi learns to wield her newfound powers.

Katsumi and the AMP have their hands full when the evil forces of the Lucifer Hawk launch their raids upon the humans. But will she find support from her newest ally, Lum Cheng? The race is on as the AMP race to thwart Earth’s destruction and solve the riddle to Katsumi mysterious past.

Kia Asamiya’s Silent Mobius – DVD Collection 2 features interactive animated menus, exclusive Silent Mobius mini-comic #2 of 3 courtesy of Viz Communications, English and Japanese language tracks, English subtitles, Dolby Digital audio, Silent Mobius character gallery, and Bandai Entertainment Previews.

For more information, please visit www.bandai-ent.com/silentmobius Launching June 2002

English/Japanese Language English subtitles TRT: 225 min. / Rated 13UP SRP: $44.98 UPC# 669198117190 / EDP# 10457 Order Date: 7.11.2002 / Street Date: 8.20.2002

5-22-02—- Well Known Animator’s Art Collection To Be Released

A Komatsubara Kazuo animation art collection will be released in mid-August 2002. Hardcover, A4 size, 160 pages, price 4,800 yen (excluding tax). Komatsubara was a famous animator who worked on anime such as Tiger Mask, Devilman, Getta Robo, Captain Harlock, Galaxy Express 999, Kaze no Tami no Nausicaa and Metropolis.

Source: Natsume Maya

5-22-02—- Gundam Char’s CounterAttack Movie Release Details

From the release:

BANDAI ENTERTAINMENT ANNOUNCES BOTH THE THEATRICAL AND EXCLUSIVE DVD HOME VIDEO RELEASE OF MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM: CHAR’S COUNTERATTACK FOR SUMMER 2002

“The Mobile Suit Gundam saga stands without equal as an enduringly popular and successful anime franchise” – Mark Simmons, Animerica

Cypress, CA (May 21, 2002) – Bandai Entertainment will premiere the long awaited Mobile Suit Gundam: Char’s Counterattack motion picture at this year’s Anime Expo 2002 convention during the July 4th Weekend in Long Beach, California. A limited theatrical roll out is planned with engagements across North America soon afterwards. The Char’s Counterattack 35mm feature will be presented in its original Japanese language with English subtitles.

Universal Century 0093.

 

Originally created and directed by legendary animation director Yoshiyuki Tomino (Mobile Suit Gundam, Brain Powered) – The Mobile Suit Gundam saga is considered one of the greatest anime property of all time. For more information about the ever expanding world of Gundam, please visit www.gundamofficial.com.

Mobile Suit Gundam: Char’s Counterattack – The Motion Picture DVD comes packaged in an exclusive Collector’s DVD slipcase featuring both the original Japanese and English language tracks, along with English subtitles, a brand new Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound audio track, reversible DVD jacket cover, interactive menus, scene selections, original theatrical trailers, a memorial booklet, creator Filmography, making of the Gundam model kit musical, and Bandai Entertainment previews. DVD street date is currently set for 8.20.2002 with order pre-book by 6.25.2002.

Char’s Counterattack releases as one of the best selling anime DVD’s of all time in Japan. Toy manufacturer, Bandai America has released a full line of its best selling Mobile Suit Gundam action figures and model kits here in North America. In addition, various Gundam related comic books, t-shirts, and merchandise are now available as Cartoon Network sets to broadcast the original Mobile Suit Gundam series this summer!

5-22-02—- New Series News

A TV anime series adaptation of the manga Get Backers, serialised in weekly Shonen Magazine, is to commence broadcast in October 2002. The website for the manga (about two boys with special powers) is here. Authors are Aoki Yuya and Ayamine Rando.

Samurai Deeper Kyo will commence broadcast on 1 July 2002. Rikujyou Bouei Tai Mao-chan will commence on 3 July 2002. Asagiri no Fujo will commence on 3 July 2002 as well. Horie Yui will voice-act in all three. Horie played Naru in Love Hina. Rikyujyou Bouei Tai Mao-chan is Akamatsu Ken’s latest work, and apart from voice acting, Horie will sing the OP and ED. The manga version of the anime will commence serialisation in the July 2002 issue of the monthly Magazine Special, to be published on 20 June 2002. While Akamatsu worked on the original concept and original character design, the manga seems to be credited to “RAN”.

Source: Natsume Maya

5-22-02—- Mobile Suit Gundam: Char’s CounterAttack Release News

BANDAI ENTERTAINMENT ANNOUNCES BOTH THE THEATRICAL AND EXCLUSIVE DVD HOME VIDEO RELEASE OF MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM: CHAR’S COUNTERATTACK FOR SUMMER 2002

“The Mobile Suit Gundam saga stands without equal as an enduringly popular and successful anime franchise” – Mark Simmons, Animerica

Cypress, CA (May 21, 2002) – Bandai Entertainment will premiere the long awaited Mobile Suit Gundam: Char’s Counterattack motion picture at this year’s Anime Expo 2002 convention during the July 4th Weekend in Long Beach, California. A limited theatrical roll out is planned with engagements across North America soon afterwards. The Char’s Counterattack 35mm feature will be presented in its original Japanese language with English subtitles.

Universal Century 0093.

13 years have passed since the events of the original Mobile Suit Gundam series. But the foundations of peace are once again threatened by a new Neo Zeon army led by the infamous Char Aznable! Their ultimate goal is to initiate a nuclear winter upon Earth ushering in a new age of mankind into space. Armed with the state of the art Nu Gundam mobile suit, Amuro Ray and the Federation forces are all that stand against Neo Zeon. Torn between vengeance, duty, and love – the final battle between bitter rivals Char Aznable and Amuro Ray is finally at hand!

Originally created and directed by legendary animation director Yoshiyuki Tomino (Mobile Suit Gundam, Brain Powered) – The Mobile Suit Gundam saga is considered one of the greatest anime property of all time. For more information about the ever expanding world of Gundam, please visit www.gundamofficial.com.

Mobile Suit Gundam: Char’s Counterattack – The Motion Picture DVD comes packaged in an exclusive Collector’s DVD slipcase featuring both the original Japanese and English language tracks, along with English subtitles, a brand new Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound audio track, reversible DVD jacket cover, interactive menus, scene selections, original theatrical trailers, a memorial booklet, creator Filmography, making of the Gundam model kit musical, and Bandai Entertainment previews. DVD street date is currently set for 8.20.2002 with order pre-book by 6.25.2002.

Char’s Counterattack releases as one of the best selling anime DVD’s of all time in Japan. Toy manufacturer, Bandai America has released a full line of its best selling Mobile Suit Gundam action figures and model kits here in North America. In addition, various Gundam related comic books, t-shirts, and merchandise are now available as Cartoon Network sets to broadcast the original Mobile Suit Gundam series this summer!

5-22-02—- Mega Extras In Macross 20th Anniversary Premium Collection Japanese DVD Release

The Macross 20th Anniversary Premium Collection DVD (a first pressing limited edition item) will be about 45 minutes long and contain a pilot film for the Macross Zero OVA to be released in the autumn, the “Macross 3D” pilot film for the next Macross work, a completely new “Macross 20th Anniversary” clip, clips from Macross computer games, collection of no-credit opening and ending sequences for 5 Macross series, trailer collection for 3 Macross movies and more. To be released 25 August 2002. Catalogue number BCBA-1286, price 3,800 yen (excluding tax).

Source: Natsume Maya

5-22-02—- Akira Makes Wired Top 20 Sci-Fi Films

From Daniel-san via Cinescape:

“In a side-bar to their interview with Steven Spielberg (more on that later this week) WIRED magazine, the cutting edge computer and technology magazine picked its twenty greatest science fiction flicks of all time.

“Their criteria, along with the fanboy basics, were to rank the films by their attendant adrenaline buzz, their vision of the future they envisioned, and the precision of their science in their fiction.”

Anyway, Akira’s number 19 right above Barbarella and belowThe Day the Earth Stood Still.

5-22-02—- Animatrix Still

AICN has yet another picture from the Square Matrix anime.

5-22-02—- Magic Knights Rayearth Returns To Polish TV

Magic Knights Rayearth is back on Polish satellite channel TVN Siedem (formerly RTL7) at approx 1:40 p.m. followed by “Slayers- Try” at 2:30 p.m. – both Monday to Friday.

5-21-02—- AX Forums

According to Megazone:

We’ve *finally* done it. After repeated delays, the official Anime Expo New York web forums are online at http://forums.axny.org/
Be the first one on your block to sign up! 🙂

5-20-02—- Guardians Of Order Updates

The latest products release out of RPG house Guardians Of Order:click here to view.

5-19-02—- Web News

The official Funimation store (www.zstore.com) has re-launched with an all new design. Relauching this Tuesday is Manga Entertainment UK’s website (www.manga.co.uk).

Thanks to for the news Rory

5-19-02—- DVD Vision Japan Updates

From the release:

DVD VISION JAPAN 17 MAY UPDATE.
Lots of things going on here at DVD Vision Japan. The biggest is that we are getting ready to establish our Washington DC desk. Our decision to establish a team there was based on Washington DC’s close proximity to Maryland, Virginia, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. With so many different anime and SCI-Fi conventions held in these areas, this is a key center of fandom. Also, with the international community, there are plenty of import shops, comic shops, and DVD suppliers to visit. So, as you may guess, we are very excited about making new friends. Rest assured, we are still based in Japan, and will continue to up-date and inform about hot news from the land of anime.

As with any re-allocation of resources, there will be a slow down of updates. Please bear with us as we set up our Washington DC branch.

Now, with that big announcement out of the way, lets get started with the site updates.

1. We got some new DVD’s to review from the fantastic folks at TOKYOPOP. Big thanks to Miss Brada-Thompson for taking a chance and sending us “GTO” and “Real Bout High School. You can read the reviews here: GTO: http://www.cybamall.com/dvdvision/gto.html Real Bout High School: http://www.cybamall.com/dvdvision/realbout.html 2. Red Shadow is a fresh and funky take on Samurai Eiga. Directed by Hiroyuki Nakano (Samurai Fiction, Stereo Future) this movie is 90 minutes of pure fun and cool action. DVD Vision Japan is proud to announce the creation of “The Red Shadow English Page”. This special page contains: Main Character Summary– http://www.cybamall.com/dvdvision/redcast.html Story Overview– http://www.cybamall.com/dvdvision/redstory.html DVD Review– http://www.cybamall.com/dvdvision/redreview.html

3. Always trying to keep things new, our second batch of anime and non-anime DVD reviews are up. Included in this batch are our first Region 2 DVD’s. Here are some of our R2 reviews:

Initial-D Extra Stage: http://www.cybamall.com/dvdvision/extrastage.html Cat’s Eye (live action film): http://www.cybamall.com/dvdvision/cats.html Red Shadow: http://www.cybamall.com/dvdvision/redreview.html

4. Along with our new reviews, we also have a “How to order from Amazon Japan” page. For those of you who may wish to order region 2 DVD from Amazon Japan, DVD Vision Japan has created a printer friendly how to page.

5. Last but not least, we are asking any and all companies to contact us if they have DVD’s they want reviewed. From the big companies, to the small independents (like Studio ArtFX) no DVD will be refused. To make an enquiry, please contact us at dvdvision@animebb.org.

5-19-02—- Dance Dance Revolution Max Headed To American PS2?

Thanks to Rey for posting the following to our ML:

According to related DDR sites (ddrfreak.com and ddrinfinity.com first broke this story), Konami of America has the rights for the next Dance Dance Revolution for the PlayStation 2.

Here’s the website for the alleged proof itself: http://tarr.uspto.gov/servlet/tarr?regser=serial&entry=76400457

What songs will be is something I’ll know soon. I’ll let you all DDR fans know as soon we hear more. They’ll soon announce it when they come to the E3 2002 Convention.

5-19-02—- Official Sailor Moon Site Mentions New Toei Script

While not a confirmation of recent rampant net rumor regarding “Sailor Moon X”, The Official Sailor Moon Website has a new journal entry by creator Naoko Takeuchi mentioning Toei is working on a script of some as of yet untitled production. It’s currently unknown if this may mean any relationship to the Sailor Moon series.

5-18-02—- 8 Days Remain To Submit Love Hina Art

Submit your artwork in person to the Bandai Shop or mail it in by Sunday, May 26 to:

Metreon- A Sony Entertainment Center
Love Hina Art Contest
Attn: Marie Santos
101 Fourth Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

For more information, visit Bandai’s feature spotlight on Love Hina here.

5-18-02—- Japan Tech And Culture Headlines Scan

Thanks to Anjiro-san for the news:

Codetoys and Fuji TV has announced a deal that will bring the popular gameshow, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, to NTT Docomo’s mobilephone service the i-Mode. More details can be read here: Cellular News

Following the recent info on the top tax paying anime and manga figures, Asahi Shimbun has a report about some of the highest Japanese celebrities who pay large tax amounts: Check it out here.

Alice Gordenker, a columnist of Japan Times Online, shares her story and tells about non-Japanese students that needs to learn Japanese language to fit in but most of the schools lack certain teachers that are required to do the task; including her 2 children. You can read it at The Japan Times

5-18-02—- Article: Traveling On A Tune: The Rice And Ramen Duet

Akadot closed the week with a new article looking at the musicly talented Ramen And Rice Duet as seen at this year’s Fanime Con.

5-18-02—- Official USA Hamtaro Launch Event Scheduled For Seattle

ShoPro USA, a sister company of Shogakukan Production Co. Ltd. along with Nintendo of America Inc., Communities In Schools (CIS), will participate in the official announcement event of the U.S. launch for Hamtaro in Seatle at Zion Preparatory Academy. Hamtaro is a Japanese animated TV series featuring the Hamster of the same name and his hamster pals, the Ham-Hams. Hamtaro is currently one of Japan’s most popular children’s television series and one of the top children’s brands exceeding over $2.5 billion in retail sales since the TV launch in 2000. The heartwarming adventures and fun of Hamtaro will premiere on Cartoon Network June 3. The story line of Hamtaro promotes teamwork, respect and responsibility to kids.

Over 250 Zion Preparatory Academy students K-5th graders will have the opportunity to meet and greet Hamtaro in person, do the Ham-Ham dance and see an episode of Hamtaro before it debuts nationally. In addition to the donation there will be a ceremonial cutting of the Hamtaro cake to officially launch Hamtaro in Seattle. In addition, ShoPro and Nintendo representatives will be on hand to present Communities In Schools and Zion Preparatory Academy with a donation check to support CIS’ efforts at Zion. This is the first effort, in a newly formed alliance with CIS. A more formal announcement of a partnership is expected in New York during the International Licensing Show, June 11-13.

The event occurs at Zion Preparatory Academy 4730 32nd Ave. South, on Monday, May 20, 2002:
1:00 p.m. Media Reception, hosted by ShoPro USA and Nintendo Representatives
1:30 p.m. Premiere of Hamtaro
2:00 p.m. Hamtaro Arrives, Presentation of Check, Cake Cutting

Photo Ops will include a Big costumed Hamtaro, greeting and dancing with 250 kids (Ham-Ham dance), large Hamtaro cake cutting, background visuals of Hamtaro and his hamster pals, the Ham-Hams.

5-18-02—- Tokyo Toy Show Full Coverage

Figures.com has updated with even more info on the latest toys at this year’s Tokyo Toy Show.

5-18-02—- Gaming News

Square’s first online RPG Final Fantasy XI has finally launched in Japan, which is also one of the first large scale PS2 online game available in the market. In the first day, there are also some issues about the PlayOnline service. Users reported there are occasional slowdowns in the network, due to a large number of users accessing the server simultaneously. There are also reports of network disconnection after the user logon to PlayOnline. Square is currently looking into resolving the issues.

According to The Magic Box

5-17-02—- Gaming Items

Square Co. said Friday that their new online games that are playable via the PlayStation2 are currently out of service due to technical problems speculating the cause of excessive users who were trying to access the server all at the same time., according from Square officials. (Link: Japan TodayOriginally reported by, Kyoko News)

Eriko Amaha, columnist of Japan Today, has written an article about the recent price cuts of the PlayStation2 and Xbox. As well as what the analysts from Japan are saying of who has the advantage the most. (Link: Japan Today Originally reported by, Kyoko News)

Konami has announced a new Yu-Gi-Oh merchandise at: Yahoo.

Source: Anjiro-san

5-17-02—- Newtype Voice

Newtype Voice has a new edition featuring 3 popular seiyuus as the front cover of the magazine. You can see it at: this link.

Source: Anjiro-san

5-17-02—- Sega Anime Moves In America

Gamers.com states a Fist of the North Star game is in the works from Sega. Sega’s also planning to release the Sakura Taisen anime In the USA, and is also working on a Sonic anime series. Thanks to Daniel for the news.

5-17-02—- Dead Or Alive Movie News And Expansion

The official Dead or Alive site (http://www.jpopcinema.com/deadoralive/kabukichohistory.html) now has a new look, and an article on Kabuki-Cho, the area of Shinjuku where the movie takes place.

Also, the official Uzumaki website is now up at http://www.jpopcinema.com/uzumaki/ . It includes interviews with the manga author Junji Ito, an article on Japanese horror, and a theatrical schedule which is so far for the following cities:

05.01.02 ~ Pioneer Theater New York

05.31.02 – 06.06.02 Clinton Street Theater Portland

06.08.02 and 06.11.02 only Seattle International Film Festival Seattle

06.12.02
Grand Illusion Cinema Seattle

Coming soon Facets Cinematheque Chicago

Coming in August Parc du Cinema Montreal

Source: Daniel-san

5-17-02—- eigoMANGA Launches Slate Of Multimedia Ventures

The former dot-com manga company eigoMANGA has announced it will transform its company from an ebusiness into an integrated media comic book publishing company. eigoMANGA announces the release of new business segments and strategies to reach a larger audience with media methods beyond the Internet.

“Marketing and promoting our company with old-school business strategy is a smart and easy move for us because we are blessed to have exciting comic book titles and content within our company. No matter how the wrapping looks like on the outside, we’ll always be a great gift inside. ” triumphs, Austin Osueke, President and CEO of eigoMANGA. The San Francisco based company, eigoMANGA is now engaged in comic book publishing, television production, business to business creative design, and licensing, in addition to e-commerce, web hosting, and dial-up/DSL Internet access.

eigoMANGA announces the release of eigoMANGA: ENGLISH COMICS -Volume One, eigoMANGA’s first graphic novel publication set to launch in the summer and fall of 2002. eigoMANGA: ENGLISH COMICS is a series of graphic novels published periodically, based on the popular original Japanese-influenced comic books (called Manga)under eigoMANGA. “The Monkey Tale”, “Coronation Saga”, “Cool DownBeat”, “Short Trip”, are a few titles among others that will be featured in the graphic novel(these comics are currently available for free as online mangos on the eigoMANGA.com web site). eigoMANGA: ENGLISH COMICS will be published in trade paperback, and in eBook editions available in comic book and retail stores as well as the eigoMANGA.com web site.

eigoMANGA announces the production of its weekly cable television program that airs on San Francisco cable TV. The show is called eigoMANA ANIME MX that airs every Saturday at 5:00pm Pacific Time on Channel 29. eigoMANGA ANIME MIX airs anime-themed music videos with today’s music. “By reformatting popular anime (Japanese cartoons) into music videos, they are portrayed in another light that makes the still infant product in this country more attractive to the American audience, says Austin Osueke. The show was pre-screened in front of select anime clubs in San Francisco and was well received by the historically scrutinizing critics.

eigoMANGA announces its re-launch of its flagship web site, eigoMANGA.com as well as the formation of its network of eigoMANGA.net hosted web sites, eigoMANGA UNLIMITED. eigoMANGA.com features new online manga for viewers to read online and download for free as well as other new features as art tutorials and resources from it comic creators, internet anime radio broadcast, online arcade, weekly 3d animation (webisodes), and many other innovative features. “Our comics are free to view on the web because it is important that new readers understand and appreciate the contents of these new manga titles”. eigoMANGA UNLIMITED has a network of more than 100(and growing) eigoMANGA hosted web sites. These web sites comprise of sites dedicated to eigoMANGA’s comic books and business segments as well as sites created by individuals and eigoMANGA fans. “We have created a ‘Geocities’-like community for our fans; we provide web space and resources for independent artists and eigoMANGA fans to showcase their own works and expressions”. eigoMANGA is also currently accepted independent comic book work from independent comic book creators. “It’s tough for independent comic book artists to break into the comic book industry. We always want to provide an avenue for independent comic book creators to promote their work”, states Austin Osueke.

eigoMANGA is also currently developing its own Internet Service for dial-up and DSL/Broadband called eigoMANGA INTERNET. eigoMANGA INTERNET will offer to subscribers nationwide dial-up and DSL/Broadband Internet access, unlimited email addresses branded with eigoMANGA.com (Example: mymail@eigoMANGA.com), web space branded with eigoMANGA.net (Example: http://mysite.eigoMANGA.net) access to a member-only homepage with exclusive content and benefits. Other features include behind-the-scenes peeks, free limited edition eigoMANGA merchandise, discounted e-commerce, and other incentives. Through referrals, subscribers are entitled to free Internet access, referral commission, plus the unprecedented ability to co-brand eigoMANGA’s ISP and start their own ISP business. “Through eigoMANGA INTERNET, anybody or organization provide their own branded Internet service to their community. If a college fraternity wanted to provide its own ISP to its members or if a family wanted to do it just for their house, they can. IT’S INCREDIBLE!”

eigoMANGA INTERNET will launch a nationwide marketing blitz which includes merchandise bundles (the installation CD is included with select eigoMANGA merchandise) and links from the eigoMANGA.com site. In addition, there will be exhibits at comic-book conventions and distribution at comic-book retailers. eigoMANGA INTERNET will be an extension of eigoMANA.com, the company’s web site that provides content and community tools based around eigoMANGA comic books and characters.

eigoMANGA is a new independently funded comic book production company based in San Francisco, CA. eigoMANGA produces original Japanese-influenced comics(called mangas) created mainly by Americans in addition to international artists. eigoMANGA’s goal is to produce premium, AAA-quality American mangas and related merchandise with consistent “hit” potential that will be marketed and distributed to retail channels. “Anime and Manga are dominant industries in Japanese and international pop culture, it’s starting to pick up steam in the US with the popularity of various titles like Pokemon and DragonBall Z. There are many large US companies that produce Manga, but these are largely imported and translated from Japan. Our titles are original and are largely original comics created by American and international creators however, we will always pay respects to the Japanese originators”, states Austin Osueke.

Headed by chief executive officer, Austin Osueke, eigoMANGA aims to foster creativity and diversity in the comic book industry by introducing innovative and compelling Japanese-influenced comic books. With more than 20 years of combined industry experience among the executives, eigoMANGA’s principals plan to produce original mangas that excite consumers and reward their company’s distributors and retail channels.

“This company was founded on a desire to create truly groundbreaking Japanese influenced comic books, — the sort of original but risky projects that otherwise would never get made,” said Austin Osueke. “With our unique business model, eigoMANGA has the patience and resources to develop innovative hit titles, and generate robust returns for our distributors and retail channels.”

eigoMANGA is a comic book publishing and integrated media company headquartered in San Francisco, CA. Additional information on the company can be found at http://inc.eigoMANGA.net/ , http://www.eigoMANGA.com/aboutu.

5-17-02—- Akira Pinball Postponed “Indefinetly”

The June 2002 issue of Game Now says that although the Akira pinball game should be in Japan-courtesy of Bandai-it’s been “postponed indefinitely” in the U.S. Thanks to Daniel for the news.

5-17-02—- Top Anime / Manga Industry Tax Payers

According to ZakZak the rankings of highest income Japanese tax payers with the National Tax Administration Agency have been released. The “others” section lists the highest income tax payer as Takahashi Rumiko (225,360,000 yen – projected income 615,810, 000 yen). With Inuyasha’s popularity on TV, the big screen in print, Takahashi was up from 5th place the previous year. Note that is only in the “others” section. Over all sections however, Takahashi’s ranking may be relatively low. For example, in 1999, the highest income tax payer in Japan was Okada Kazuo, president of a pachinko machine making company (2,540,000,000 yen tax). Ranking in the “others” section:

1. Takahashi Rumiko (tax 225,360,000 yen – projected income 615,810,000 yen)
4. Komuro Tetsuya (song writer and producer to a number of singers and bands) (tax 183,930,000 yen – projected income 503,840,000 yen)
5. Tsunku? (music producer of groups including Morning Musume) (tax 165,410,000 yen – projected income 453,780,000 yen)
6. Aoyama Gosho (author of Detective Conan) (tax 162,340,000 yen – projected income 445,490,000 yen)
10. Horii Yuji (writer for the game Dragon Quest) (tax 101,060,000 yen – projected income 279,860,000 yen)

By comparison, Miyazaki Hayao’s tax was 31,820,000 yen. Income levels are estimates because only income tax liabilities are released.

Source: Natsume Maya

5-17-02—- More Ghibli For France

Tremendous news for the french movie-goers can be seen at this page: http://www.buta-connection.net/ghibli.htm

We learn that Buena Vista will release four Miyazaki films in France in the next two years:
– Laputa and Kiki’s delivery service in 2003
– Nausicaä and Porco Rosso in 2004
No information on the French dub yet.

Source: Hayao Miyazaki Discussion Group

5-17-02—- Sega Acquires Tezuka Game Licesnes

Sega has acquired a small monopoly on a majority of the game conversion rights and sub license rights of the characters from Tezuka Productions possesses. The 1st game to be made is a port of Astroboy, although the console has not been revealed it has been confirmed for home release. An event is planned to commemorate the coperation between Tezuka and Sega’s Tokyo Joypolis arcades.

5-17-02—- UPDATE: Sailor Moon X = RUMOR

As fans may recall, the Japanese fan site Moon Phase had recently updated it’s current and future anime schedule with a listing for Fall 2002 reading “Sailor Moon X?” (note the question mark opposed to other listings).

The Japanese schedule by Moon Phase has again updated moving the Sailor Moon X listing from Fall 2002 to the dateless and seasonless RUMOR category. It should be noted that in recent weeks several English sites which are attributed with accurate forecasting of new anime programs picked up on the info listing it minus question mark as airing in autumn 2002. This led fans to pick up on the news passing it on to several English news sites.

5-17-02—- Gaming News

Thanks to Daniel for supplying these details:“It was announced today that THQ will be publishing Altered Beast: Guardian of the Realms, The Revenge of Shinobi, and Space Channel 5 for the Game Boy Advance. Altered Beast and The Revenge of Shinobi will be released at the end of the year, while Space Channel 5 is currently slated to ship in early 2003.

“Altered Beast and Shinobi are time-honored Sega classics,” said Charles Bellfield, vice president of strategic planning and corporate affairs for Sega of America. “Our strategic alliance with THQ allows us to bring these hit franchises to the Game Boy Advance platform and an even wider universe of gamers.”

Source: Gamespot

Also, according to Jagged Team , my research on the Dead or Alive movie has indicated that 5 fighters will be in the film(including Jann Lee)who are supposed to save the world. And a Dead or Alive 4 videogame tie-in will be in the works. As for the House of the Dead movie, it’s supposed to be a prequel, and an HOD4 game tie-in is also expected. Sketches of the monsters, and pbhotos of the cast are available at HOD-THEMOVIE.COM.

5-17-02—- Transformers News

Headmaster Series DVD from Pioneer
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Pioneer has announced the release of a 5 DVD set containing the entire Headmaters series. On their site, Pioneer is listing the set with a price of 30,000 yen, about $235 (US). Not sure if that is the correct price. The Headmaster DVD set is splated for release on 23/08/2002. Check out the Pioneer Japan site (in language) for more details here.

Rhino Update: Season 1 & 2, Beast Wars 3 & 4 DVDs
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Rhino has updated us on the overwhelming success of the Transformers G1 Season 1 DVD set. Sales went through the roof! Rumors of the DVD being sold out are false. Find new info about the new Season 2 set, Beast Wars vol. 3 & 4 DVDs and a TFs Contest here.

Huge TAKARA Transformers Site Update
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Takara Toys, Japan has completely rennovated their Transformers website. The new site features lost of new stuff including new shotsw of the Jazz reissue, Sixliner (Sixtrain) min-figs, the new MEGA SCF Hot Rod/Rodimus combo figure, Sideways and Axer “USA Editions”, ACT 7 PVCs, a Transformer timeline, an interview with the designer of Sunstreaker, streaming video clips from the many TV series, Japanese comics series, wallpaper downloads, a new G1 shooter game and loads of news other new stuff. For more info here.

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