Anime News Service – January 1 – April 25 Anime News

4-12-04—- eigoMANGA Teams With MTV

eigoMANGA has entered a partnership with MTV through various platforms in a mutual effort to expand their exposure towards university students through anime.

eigoMANGA is promoting a live anime concert and anime career fair on the campus of San Francisco State University on May of 2004 called eigoMANGA CAMPUS INVASION. CAMPUS INVASION is stage where eigoMANGA is producing a television pilot for broadcast on MTV’s new cable channel targeting university students, mtvU.

eigoMANGA CAMPUS INVASION will also be the platform where eigoMANGA will host a ROCK THE VOTE rally to encourage university students and young anime fans to register and vote. eigoMANGA CAMPUS INVASION is participating in the “20 Million Loud” project which is supported by MTV.

mtvU has also approached eigoMANGA to be the official sponsor of mtvU’s student animation talent search. University students will submit animation shorts to mtvU in the effort of winning an animation contract with the upstart cable television network.

For more information about eigoMANGA and eigoMANGA CAMPUS INVASION, visit http://www.eigoMANGA.com

4-9-04—- Americon To Include Anime Content

The first-ever AMERICON convention is shaping up to be a great success with current guests including: Christi Shake – sizzling hot model & Playboy playmate May 2002, Scott Chong – WWE / MTV Tough Enough 3 Wrestler & reality TV star, Christina Chen – Phenomenal artist on Battle of the Planets and Star Wars, Pop Mhan – dynamic artist behind Dark Horse Comics’ Spyboy and DC Comics’ Demon, Steve Conley – astounding writer/artist behind Astounding Space Thrills & head of Comicon.com, John Gallagher – pop personified writer/artist behind Buzzboy and head of More Fund Comics and Patrick “The Golden Child” Strange – thought provoking writer/poet behind Time Dollars, Blood of Onyx, The WhoWhats?!, Romeo Jones (The Adventures of Thong Raider) and head of Temple Studios / Temple Far East Entertainment.

Other anime & comic creators currently scheduled to appear include (A-Z): David Belmore, Austell Callwood, Philip Clark, David Dandorf, Philip Jean-Pierre, Dwayne Johnson, Nikole Jones, Russ McIntosh, David Napoliello, David Newbold, Dan Nokes, Chris Pitzer and others.

Anime & comic art studios and companies currently scheduled to appear include (A-Z): AdHouse Books, Comicon.com, Dreamchilde Press, Full Armour Studios, Ironhorse Comics, Labyrinth Entertainment, Newbold Creations, New Millennium Comics, SanKnights, Silent Devil Productions, Sky Dog Press / More Fund Comics, Temple Far East Entertainment / Temple Studios and 21st Century Sandshark Studios.

Music Guests currently scheduled to appear include: Caucasian Brown, Philip Clark and Flexible Head / Oddlot Music.

AMERICON 2004 Alpha will debut a special illustration by artist, Jo Chen, designed by Patrick Strange of Temple Far East Entertainment. A limited amount of signed & numbered AMERICON exclusive prints will be available along with a regular unsigned addition. Other merchandise available for purchase at AMERICON include: gold and silver age comic books, independent comic books, anime, DVDs and videos, original artwork, animation cels, autographs, Yu-Gi-Oh & other gaming cards, video games, non-sport cards, baseball / sports cards, CDs, vinyl, music memorabilia, sci-fi / horror merchandise, Star Wars & Star Trek related items, figures & statues, toys (vintage and new), posters & t-shirts, movie / TV / Hollywood memorabilia, NASCAR, WWE / wrestling, clothing, and much more. While supplies last, all vendors and customers attending AMERICON 2004 Alpha on April 25th 2004 will receive a Fulp Fiction (www.fulpfiction.com) promo poster for the upcoming, HARRY JOHNSON, three issue mini-series. HARRY JOHNSON is a three issue mini-series centering on the adventures of a goofy, womanizing detective of the same name. The book takes place in the late 1930s and follows detective Harry Johnson as he travels around the world on his biggest case ever! Featuring character designs by animator and Playboy cartoonist Dean Yeagle, pencils by Craig Rousseau (Batman: Gotham Adventures, Batman Beyond, Impulse), inks by Norman Lee (Spyboy, Star Wars), colors by Liquid and letters by Comicraft. HARRY JOHNSON is the creation of writer Charles Fulp, and is produced by the studio of FULP FICTION, Inc. Publisher to be announced with a FALL 2004 release date.

The guest list for AMERICON 2004 Alpha premiere convention promises to be even bigger with some of the hottest creators in anime & comics, hot models, professional athletes, music artists, voice actors and movie & TV guests lining up to attend! The premiere AMERICON Convention opens to the public April 25, 2004 at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds in Gaithersburg, Maryland. In addition to the festivities, AMERICON will be hosting and accepting submissions for a charity auction to benefit the group ACTOR (A Commitment To Our Roots) and the CBLDF (Comic Book Legal Defense Fund). For further info on the AMERICON convention and Temple Far East Entertainment, e-mail at theamericon@msn.com and check out www.capicons.com and www.templefareast.com. The AMERICON convention fan-site is http://groups.msn.com/americon.

3-26-04—- Anime Toonz Vol. 2 Release

A new CD project has released in recent weeks by American dance label JellyBean-Recordings, New York – Tokyo out of the NYC and distributor Sony Discos. Titled Anime Toonz Vol. 2: Maria Kawamura, this marks the followup installment to the 2001 Anime Toonz release featuring Kikuko Inoue. The premise takes a compilation of fan favorite Anime theme songs, have a popular Japanese vocalist perform them in his or her unique voice and then have club DJ’s remix the tracks from the originals to hard house, cyber trance etc.. The vocalist for this volume is seiyuu Maria Kawamura, remixers are Nigel Richards (611 records), Bitshifter (8-bit music, Gameboy music), dablade (Ayumi Hamasaki remixer From Tokyo) and others. CD cover art is by Niki, UK resident character designer of “Sudeki” (X-Box game. Already released in Japan and will be soon in the US). 11 tracks include “sakura saku” from Love Hina, ”Forever love” from “X”. “Ai Oboeteimasuka” from Macross, El Hazard and others.

Of special interest to ANS readers, editor Jonah Morgan has added a written submission to the CD in the form of “forward” piece on page 7 of the liner notes book dealing with “Anime Song”. Look for our review to be posted soon.

3-19-04—- Japan Now: Golgo 13 Manga – Real Life Economic Fears

Yahoo News is carrying a piece on the current manga serialization in Japan of Golgo 13 which has recently began a storyline centering on fears of a collapsing US economy.

3-15-04—- ADV Acquires Chrono Crusade Anime

HOUSTON, March 15, 2004—ADV Films, the #1 producer-distributor of anime in the U.S., today announced it has acquired exclusive home video and broadcast rights in North America for Chrono Crusade, an action-adventure anime that follows an unlikely duo as they attempt to destroy supernatural evil through exorcisms in 1920’s New York City. Chrono Crusade recently made its Japanese television debut to much fanfare. Renowned anime production company Gonzo Digimation, of Full Metal Panic!, Hellsing and Kaleido Star fame, managed animation production for the title, ensuring a spectacular visual experience for viewers. ADV Manga already has the rights to the popular Chrono Crusade manga series by Daisuke Moriyama, which premiers with a May 25, 2004 street date.

The series will be featured on the Anime Network™, the first cable channel in North America dedicated to anime.

About Chrono Crusade

New York City, the 1920s: With the Great War firmly behind it, America enjoys a period of great peace and prosperity. Of course, history has proven that such times rarely last for long. Lurking in the shadows is a sinister force born of hellfire and evil, with the power and desire to feast upon the nation’s tranquility like a lion would its prey. Sister Rosette Christopher, a gun slinging nun, and her partner, Chrono, are exorcists with the Convent of Magdalene—NYC’s first line of defense against the demon hordes that plague the city. Unfortunately, the city might be better off in the hands of the demons, as the adventurous pair tend to cause more rampant collateral than their hellspawn foes.

“Since we already have the manga rights, this acquisition enables us to provide fans with even more exposure to the popular Chrono Crusade series through home video and television programming via The Anime Network,” said John Ledford, president, CEO and co-founder of ADV Films. “This is such a fun series! The characters are a delight to follow and the story is full of comic adventures and unique character developments. The manga has already been generating a lot of interested among fans, and we anticipate that the DVD release will be equally – if not more – anticipated.”

Release Plans ADV Films has not yet announced specific release plans for the Chrono Crusade anime series, but Ledford expects the title to debut sometime later this year.

3-10-04—- Tokyopop Appoints New CFO

Los Angeles, CA (March 9, 2004)–TOKYOPOP Inc., North America’s #1 manga publisher and a burgeoning international entertainment company, has announced the hiring of Mark Lebowitz as Chief Financial Officer. Lebowitz comes to TOKYOPOP with over 15 years of proven financial and operational experience in the entertainment, distribution, media, international and manufacturing sectors. The former SPE pro will use his strong analytical, leadership and business development expertise to champion the company’s financial and operating performance and build upon the phenomenal success TOKYOPOP has seen in the past several years.

“We couldn’t be more pleased to have secured someone of Mark Lebowitz’s caliber for this important role,” said John Parker, TOKYOPOP’s President & COO. “This is a tremendous time of growth for our company, and we are confident that Mark has what it takes to maximize our financial success.”

Mr. Lebowitz’s successful track record is evident. As Senior Vice President/Chief Financial Officer of Sony Pictures’ worldwide television operations, he led the financial and business development activities for the business unit and managed a staff of more than 100. His efforts resulted in the successful launch of a number of new businesses and pay/cable networks, as well as substantial cost savings and increased cash flow. Lebowitz has also held high-level executive finance positions with HarperCollins Publishers and Paramount Pictures Corporation.

“I am delighted to be joining such a well-respected market leader,” said Lebowitz. “As TOKYOPOP continues to experience unprecedented growth, I look forward to championing the company’s increased operating performance and commit to take its reporting methodology to the next level.”

Mr. Lebowitz holds an MBA in Finance and Marketing from the University of Miami and a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from The Pennsylvania State University. He is also a CPA and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

3-1-04—- eigoManga – Comic Retailers: Apology For Email Worm Exchange

FOR IMMEDIATE PRESS: eigoMANGA MAKES FORMAL AND SINCERE APOLOGY TO COMIC BOOK RETAILERS.

Greetings;

My name is Austin Osueke and I am the CEO and publisher for eigoMANGA. I accept full responsibility for the adverse emails sent to you, and on behalf of eigoMANGA and myself, wish to offer a humble and sincere apology for any displeasing effects I have done to you or your companies.

I sent the email to offer our services as a gesture of goodwill to retailers because as a young company we were excited to release our first publication to the world. Breaking into the comic book industry is a dream come true for me and my colleagues at eigoMANGA. The comic book industry is among the greatest jobs in the world. As a publisher and entrepreneur, I have dedicated my career to work in the comic industry. This is where my colleagues and I want to be. The fact that we have inadvertedly hurt so many people causes me enormous emotional distress. We had no knowledge that our computer systems failed and caused these problems; I would have never don e this if I knew that things like this could have happened.

I, my company rather, has learned a valuable lesson and you can rest assure that this will NEVER happen again. I truly value the relationships we have with the comic book retailers, and putting business aside, I sincerely have a deep appreciation of each of you retailers as hardworking men and women.

I sincerely and humbly apologize for any trouble I may have caused. We want nothing more than to restore your trust and positive relationship with us. Our goal as a company from hear on out is to earn your confidence and acceptance of us.

I’m releasing my personal phone line so that anyone can directly call me with your individual complaints. I deeply want to earn your acceptance again. The comic book industry means too much for me to ignore these issues. Comics have been in my life and they are my life so these negative reactions have deeply broken my heart. Please call me anytime at 415-724-8736.

Thank you, Austin Osueke eigoMANGA CEO

2-24-04—- Initial D PC Title Announced: Mountain Vengence

LOS ANGELES (February 24, 2004)–TOKYOPOP Inc. and ValuSoft(R), a division of THQ Inc. (NASDAQ: THQI) and leading global publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment software, today announced the release of Initial D(R): Mountain Vengeance. Through a licensing agreement with TOKYOPOP, ValuSoft brings the high-speed racing action of smash anime hit Initial D to PC gamers everywhere. This game is rated “E” for Everyone and will be available at retailers throughout North America for $19.99.

“Initial D: Mountain Vengeance offers gamers in the U.S. the first opportunity to race as or against Tak, Initial D’s unlikely racing superstar,” states Maury McIntyre, TOKYOPOP’s Director of Brand Marketing. “ValuSoft has transformed the white-knuckle drifts and gutsy maneuvers of Initial D into an intense racing experience where players must drive to survive through treacherous mountain curves.”

In Initial D: Mountain Vengeance, players must choose their allegiance and then pick their opponents, as one of eight racing speedsters including Tak, the Akina Speed Stars, Night Kids, Red Suns or Impact Blue teams, to prove their racing prowess. Defending their turf, gamers race to win by outmaneuvering and outwitting their opponents with super-charged drifts through the winding roads of Japan’s Mount Akina, Myogi, Akagi and Usui. Behind the wheel, players must accelerate through multiple races to unlock bonus tracks and music from the Initial D anime.

“Initial D has stormed the American marketplace, generating passionate fans both in North America and throughout the world,” states Doug Clemmer, President of ValuSoft. “Now, for the first time, ValuSoft is giving fans the chance to live the world of Initial D one race at a time.”

Initial D: Mountain Vengeance is the latest in a growing collection of merchandise tied into the high-octane anime series. Radio Shack has introduced a line of Initial D ZipZaps, AEG offers an Initial D trading card game, and Jada Toys is gearing up to launch collectible Initial D die-cast cars and action figures.

2-19-04—- Bandai Announces American Plans For Gundam Seed

NEW YORK, February 15, 2004 – The legendary Gundam property reaches a milestone year as it celebrates its 25th anniversary in Japan. First introduced to the United States market five years ago, Gundam has proved an international phenomenon, and Bandai America Incorporated marks the event with the introduction of the Gundam Seed toyline.
Based on the brand new Japanese series of the same name, Gundam Seed is different from many past Gundam incarnations due to its stand-alone storyline, making it ideal for new fans to discover the franchise. Currently the number one brand for Bandai Japan, Gundam Seed continues the property’s strong legacy and comes to the U.S. in 2004, much to the delight of fans and collectors.
“Gundam’s remarkable success is due in large part to the faithful enhancement of our toylines to bring the intricate, ever-changing storyline to life,” said Bill Beebe, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Bandai America. “In this landmark year, we hope to bring even more fans on board with our toyline inspired by this brand new chapter in the Gundam saga.”
The Gundam Seed series begins a year after the outbreak of war between the Earth Alliance and the rebel space colonists known as Zaft. Radical new technologies, including advanced weapons called mobile suits, gave Zaft the edge over the Earth Alliance. With much of Earth now under the space colonist’s control, the Alliance begins a desperate secret program to develop its own state-of-the-art mobile suits. Thus, Gundam Seed is born.
Bandai America’s Gundam Seed assortment features an expanded line of the popular Battle-Scarred action figures with battlefield environments, the debut of a Mega Size Gundam, and the action figure model kits that have anchored the brand since its inception. Popular characters from past Gundam series will also be released throughout the year in an array of sizes, ensuring there is something for every fan’s taste. Bandai America also plans to release a collectible card game based on the property later in the year.
“The fact that we’re celebrating 25 years of the Gundam franchise is a testament to the power of the brand,” said Lori Moreno, senior marketing manager for Bandai America. “Audiences continue to respond to the themes of the series and the innovative designs of the toys. Gundam is a proven powerhouse, and will continue to be for many years to come.”
Gundam Seed will air Saturday evenings on Cartoon Network beginning in April 2004. In addition, Bandai Entertainment has begun discussion with potential licensing partners on the Gundam Seed property.
“We look forward to establishing a strong and fruitful relationship with potential licensees for what is certainly a landmark launch,” said Rika Davis, director of licensing for Bandai Entertainment.
In addition, Bandai Entertainment will soon unveil plans to distribute the Gundam Seed series on DVD home video beginning Fall 2004. For information on Gundam Seed, please visit the official Gundam website at www.gundamofficial.com.

2-15-04—- Misc Links

The GITS: Innocence website is linked at Jagged Team here. Trailers of the Astroboy and Sakurai Taisen game for PS2 can be found at this link. According to this JT link, Millennium Actress is up for a Saturn Award for Best DVD Release.

Thanks to Daniel for the submissions.

2-12-04—- Metrocon 2 Guests

METROCON 2 Announces Guests VAs Greg Ayres, Christopher Patton and Monica Rial Return; First-Time Guests Include Vic Mignogna, Katie Bair, Robert and Emily DeJesus July 9-11, 2004 at the Crowne Plaza – Tampa at Sabal Park

TAMPA BAY, FL, February 9, 2004 – AnimeMetro is pleased to announce voice actors Greg Ayres, Vic Mignogna, Christopher Patton and Monica Rial, and artists Katie Bair and Robert and Emily DeJesus will be guests at METROCON 2004.

The Tampa Bay, Florida-based anime convention is scheduled for July 9-11, 2004, at the Crowne Plaza – Tampa at Sabal Park, 10221 Princess Palm Ave. The guests will participate in panels and special events throughout the weekend.

Greg Ayres is a self-described “fanboy-turned-VA” who started working for ADV Films two years ago and has snagged such high-profile roles as Son Goku in Saiyuki and Kaworu Nagisa in the Director’s Cut of Neon Genesis Evangelion. His other feature roles include Touga in Gravion, Bomb in BastoF Syndrome, Yuya Asou in SuperGALS!, Mannen in Pretear and Shinji Kazama in Full Metal Panic!. This will be Ayres’ second METROCON appearance.

Vic Mignogna is a professional music composer/producer and veteran actor with ADV Films. His most recent characters include Kurz in Full Metal Panic!, Broly in Dragonball Z Movie 8, Kougaji in Saiyuki, Mamoru in RahXephon and Shougo in the upcoming release of Megazone 23. He can also be heard in Angelic Layer, Gravion, Kino’s Journey, Kiddy Grade, Princess Nine, St. Seiya, Yu Yu Hakusho and many others. This will be Mignogna’s first, in-person METROCON appearance.

Christopher Patton has been voicing titles at ADV Films for five years. His most recent credits include Ayato Kamina in RahXephon, Sousuke Sagara in Full Metal Panic!, Rei Otohata in SuperGALS!, Eiji Shigure in Gravion, Eutus in Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi, Sasame in Pretear, Gourry in Slayers Premium and Bebefau in BastoF Syndrome. He can also be heard in Orphen II-Revenge and in the Sorcerer Hunters OVAs, as well as in the Evangelion director’s cut and Azumanga Daioh. METROCON 2004 will be Patton’s second appearance at the convention.

Monica Rial has appeared in a diverse range of roles, from comedic to dramatic, since her voice acting debut for ADV Films four years ago. Her recent credits include Lumiere in Kiddy Grade, Haruka Shitow in RahXephon, Kirika Yumura in NOIR and Minamo Kurosawa in Azumanga Daioh. Her other feature roles include Tamayo in Angelic Layer, Hyatt in Excel Saga, Nozomi in Chance Pop Sessions, Izumi Himuro in Princess Nine and Saki in Steel Angel Kurumi. This will be Rial’s second appearance at METROCON.

Katie Bair is both a full-time manga artist – her titles include Ninja High School and Oasis Destiny for Antarctic Press – and the woman behind Petting Zoo Wigs (www.PettingZooWigs.com), one of the Internet’s premier design studios for cosplay wigs. METROCON 2004 will be Bair’s first-ever guest appearance at a Florida anime convention.

Robert and Emily DeJesus are the founders of Studio Capsule and popular guests at conventions nationwide. An Indiana native and self-taught artist, Robert DeJesus was one of the pioneers of the “Amerimanga” style of comic art and received his first professional break when one of his short stories was published in Antarctic Press’s Mangazine anthology. His freelance projects have since included designing Banzai Chibi Chan, the mascot for PlayStation Magazine: 100% Independent, and producing two children’s books based on the Spiderman movie franchise. He and his wife, Emily, have also founded Studio Capsule, which serves as the launching point for their line of underground doujinshi, animation, portfolios and memorabilia. This will be the DeJesus’ first appearance at METROCON.

2-4-04—- Manga Accounts For 33% Of French Comics Market

According to a recent Finacial Times Article, manga currently accounts for a 33% share of the French COmic Book market. The piece mentions manga is replacing more and more domestically produced works in France AND reviving interest in comics. Thanks to Leon of Aniway Magazine for the referral.

2-4-04—- Dutch Manga Bits

Publisher Glénat will be releasing ‘Say Hello To Black jack’ and ‘Alice 19th’ in a Dutch language edition later this year. Thanks to Leon of Aniway Magazine for the item.

2-4-04—– Tamagotchi To Return In March

In 1996, Bandai’s Tamagotchi was cited as setting off a virtual pet craze in Japan which continues on to the present day with 40,000,000 units sold worldwide. In March the company plans to issue a new version called the Return Tamagotchi Plus at a retail of 1,980 Yen. The Canada’s Globe And Mail has details on the release.

2-3-04—- Kitaro Featured On Apple’s iTunes

ANS has learned via Domo Records that Japanese musician, Kitaro (Ninja Scroll TV) is receiving coverage and promotion from Apple as a “Featured Artist” on iTunes main page, where users can download and purchase exclusive tracks found nowhere else. Kitaro’s latest album, “The Sacred Journey of Ku-Kai”, is available for purchase through the DOMO site at the special Web price of $12.97. The album that has received a Grammy nomination for “Best New Age Album” of the year.

2-2-04—- May ’04: Large Chinamation American Push Coming Via Playhut Entertainment

Move Over Japan…Here Comes The Best Of Animé From China Exclusively From Playhut Entertainment

City of Industry, CA (February 2, 2004) – From Mainland China – by way of Southern California- based Playhut Entertainment – comes the Next Wave in original animation. WAY OF THE WARRIORS, DECHENG and BIRD ISLAND are the titles of three of the most popular animé-style series across China – and for the first time, American fans of the burgeoning genre will have the opportunity to own collections of these unique animated series.

Playhut Entertainment, the programming and licensing arm of leading toy manufacturer Playhut, Inc., has made an exclusive arrangement with the producers of China’s most-watched animé series and is bringing them into the U.S. as DVD debuts.

Already, major retailers nationwide are embracing Chinamation in preparation for their U.S. DVD premiere. Sam Goody, MediaPlay and Sun Coast are among the first Video/DVD retailers climbing aboard the Chinamation locomotion.

The first of the collections is WAY OF THE WARRIORS, an action-packed animé adventure series about tales of love, loss and war between two feuding families. Pre-order date for WAY OF THE WARRIORS is March 15. The first volume, which includes four separate episodes for a total running time of 88 minutes, will street on May 4. Suggested Retail Price is $24.98.

Next Chinamation series to make its U.S. DVD premiere is BIRD ISLAND. A striking science fiction-based animé series, BIRD ISLAND is the story of a teenager with supernatural powers who struggles to uncover the truth about his human and alien heritage, while saving the earth from evil alien invaders. The survival of the human race lies with Tin Wang, a tortured teen with a mysterious past. Combining personal drama with high action, BIRD ISLAND has a pre-order date of April 15 and a street date of June 1. The four-episode/88-minute running time first volume carries an SRP of $24.98.

Third in Playhut Entertainment’s Chinamation series is DECHENG, an action adventure animé series that follows the odyssey of a young orphan who grows up and returns to his war-torn country in order to fulfill his destiny as a great warrior and savior. After years of training, DECHENG leaves his monk’s tutelage to defend his native land from siege – gaining the admiration of his people while instilling fear in his enemy. The pre-order date for DECHENG is May 15. The gripping animé adventure will street on July 6. Carrying an SRP of $24.98, the first volume will contain four individual adventures with a total running time of 88 minutes.

The term used for Japanese animation, animé offers lifelike characters, rich environments, compelling personalities that range from comical to dangerous and engrossing worlds that appeal to audiences across the globe. Outside of Japan, animé has generated devoted fans worldwide for its unique style that represents a significant departure from the traditional U.S.-produced animated cartoons. Playhut Entertainment’s Chinamation introduces the best of the animé-style programming currently produced and airing in China.

“We are excited to introduce the legions of animé fans in the U.S. to the highly stylized version of the genre originating from China,” said Charles Siroky, Director of Special Markets for Playhut Entertainment. “Each of the Chinamation titles offer the highest quality animation with storylines and characters that are extremely compelling. We are confident that animé devotees nationwide will embrace the outstanding animation currently produced in China.”

1-29-04—- Last Exile Comes To TechTV

Tech TV has informed ANS that beginning on March 8, 2004, Anime Unleashed will be shown during primetime, from 10pm – 11pm EST/7pm – 8pm PST. “Last Exile” will premiere on March 8, and will be shown nightly, followed by an all-day marathon on Sunday, with a special presentation of Episode 13. Please read more about this special Anime Unleashed premiere and primetime schedule here

1-28-04—- AN Entertainment Announces Miami Guns

AN Entertainment is proud to announce that the debut DVD volume of the Miami Guns anime series will hit retail store shelves throughout North America on June 22, 2004. Anticipated to be one of the year’s breakout surprise hits, Miami Guns is a wild, wacky comedy in the vein of the best selling anime title Excel Saga. Fast paced, sexy, non-stop action and comedy tailored toward anime fans, yet still easily accessible and entertaining for viewers uninitiated into anime culture, are sure to distinguish Miami Guns as one of 2004’s most talked about “must see” series!

ABOUT MIAMI GUNS Based on a fan favorite four volume manga series by Takeaki Momose, the artist behind the RahXephon manga, the 13 episode Miami Guns TV series tells the story of spoiled rich girl Yao Sakurakouji who decides to join the Miami police force to enjoy car chases, gunfights and wanton destruction. The psychotic and not-too-bright Yao is partnered with Lu Amano, the soft-spoken and sharp-tongued daughter of the police chief. Together the dirty duo clean up the streets of Miami and take on a mysterious crime syndicate known only as “The Organization.”

Slapstick comedy, risqué action, and outrageous parody ensue. The first Miami Guns DVD alone features side-splitting parodies of pop culture icons including Jean Reno’s Leon the Professional, Detective Conan, Speed Racer, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Wacky Races, and a world famous extended homage to the hit anime series Initial D. Director Yoshitaka Koyama, the director behind the popular Rune Soldier anime TV series, pulls out all the stops for Miami Guns, resulting in the craziest, most bizarre anime to hit American shores since the blockbuster hit FLCL.

ABOUT MIAMI GUNS DVD VOLUME ONE The first of four Miami Guns DVDs to be released by AN Entertainment will contain four full length bilingual episodes, copious translation notes, and extensive bonus features including character guides, production sketches, a look behind the scenes of the English dubbing, and even original Japanese TV spots and trailers. The English language adaptation of Miami Guns is provided by Phoenix Post Sound, the internationally recognized and award winning dubbing studio formerly known as Coastal Carolina Studios. The Miami Guns Japanese language version will retain the original voice performances of Megumi Toyoguchi (Chobits, .hack//SIGN, Vandread), Yukari Tamura (Please Teacher, Galaxy Angel), Mitsuru Ogata (Lupin the 3rd, Millennium Actress, Burn Up W, Pokemon), and Rie Tanaka (Wild Arms, Steel Angel Kurumi, Chobits) and offer optional English subtitles, translated with the extensive accuracy and detail that AN Entertainment translations are noted for.

ABOUT THE MIAMI GUNS WEBSITE

For more information about Miami Guns, visit the official English language MiamiGuns.com website. The site provides visitors with an introduction to the Miami Guns series and debut DVD, episode screenshots, downloadable desktop wallpapers, character guides, an archive of press materials, and even a few hidden surprises.

Miami Guns DVD Volume 1 Street Date – 6/22/04 Pre-book Date – 5/25/04 SRP: $29.95 Catalog #: AN-MG01 UPC: 8 28311 12103 6 ISBN: 0-9741545-3-9

DVD Features: Spoken Languages: Japanese 2.0 stereo & English 2.0 stereo Subtitle Languages: English Suggested Age Rating – 17+ Running Time – 100 Minutes Region – 1 NTSC

www.MiamiGuns.com
www.AN-Entertainment.com

1-26-04—- SNK VS Capcom Graphic Novel From ComicsOne

San Jose, CA – January 27, 2004 Today, ComicsOne – the single procurer of Hong Kong kung fu comics in the United States has announced that April 2004 will see the release of SVC Chaos the graphic novel. This is the comic adaptation of the soon-to-be released video game by SNK Corp. and Capcom, two heavy-hitters within the video game industry!

Here’s a brief glimpse of what’s to come –

There exists a limbo realm where the cost of admission is death! Here a new battlefield is populated by the most powerful and fearsome martial artists the world has ever known. Time holds little importance as fighters from many eras and periods of history, living or hence deceased share the same timeline. This is the playing field for SNK vs. Capcom. This is…SVC Chaos!

SVC Chaos draws on characters from the world’s three most popular fighting game series – Street Fighter, King of Fighters and SNK vs. Capcom. Capcom’s fierce cast of martial artists face off against SNK’s legendary masters. All your favorite players are here; Vega, Mai Shiranui, Demitri – the Vampire, Chun Li, Guile, Akuma, the mysterious Mr. Karate and others have all gathered for reasons yet to be revealed. Witness explosive battles between Ryu and Kyo Kusanagi, Terry Bogard vs. M. Bison, Iori vs. Balrog and many more seemingly unlikely match-ups! Some fight for glory, some for survival, while others keep secret a more sinister purpose.

From the hit video game series – “SNK vs. Capcom” comes an exciting martial arts event!

Availability
SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos vol. 1 will be available in April 2004. Each 128 page graphic novel will be priced at $13.95. Visit www.comicsone.com for more detailed series information.

Cover Art
http://www.comicsone.com/svc/svc_v1.jpg

1-26-04—- Anime In Pasadena

While the only official title to be shown at the Los Angeles Comic Con is Neon Genesis Evangelion: Director’s Cut, http://www.comicbookscifi.com/ticketdealer.html indicates that ADV will be presenting other anime on Feb. 8 from 2-5 p.m.

Thanks to Daniel for the information

1-24-04—- Toyotas New Robot

Following in the footsteps of Honda and Sony, Toyota announced it’s workman robot project due next year read more at: Ferret.

1-23-04—- Sony Unveils Qrio Robot

Tokyo Japan, December 18th, 2003 – Sony Corporation today announced the development of dramatically enhanced motion of Sony’s humanoid robot, enabling integrated motion control for walking, jumping and running. By applying this technology to QRIO, which is one of Sony’s technology platforms, Sony has successfully created the world’s first* running humanoid robot. (* As of Dec. 18th, 2003, based on Sony’s investigation, as an autonomous robot with internalized control system and power supply system)

Running humanoid robot experiment utilizing QRIO

In order to achieve stable motion control for conventional humanoid robots, either one or both feet needed to be touching the floor and, from the opposing force produced by the contact with either of the feet, motion such as walking was controlled. This is the control theory based on the so called ZMP (Zero Moment Point) stable range and forms the foundation of robot motion control.

The new ‘walking, jumping, running movement control’ technology which Sony has developed this time accomplishes motion involving both feet losing contact with the floor at the same time, which means it is a motion control technology enabling stable running and jumping. The seamless addition of motion control based on this new technology enabling running and jumping, has lead to the development of a robot having outstanding motion capabilities.

Furthermore, together with this new control technology, in addition to powering-up and enhancing the output torque of Sony’s original and unique robot actuator, ISA (Intelligent Servo Actuator), a new hardware unit suitable for the running feature has been developed. By implementing this newly developed ISA in QRIO and optimizing the new control system, Sony has successfully created the world’s first running feature for a humanoid robot.

Sony will continue to utilize the QRIO platform for various technological advances, leading to outstanding entertainment robots highly suited to the co-existence with humans and to the development of various technologies which can be applied to other Sony products. In addition, QRIO is Sony Group’s Corporate Ambassador ;in fulfilling this role, QRIO will take advantage of various opportunities around the world to communicate Sony’s vision of a world of dreams, entertainment and curiosity as well as introducing the technology that makes this vision a reality.

QRIO’s Homepage : http://www.sony.net/SonyInfo/QRIO/

1-22-04—- March Tokyopop Manga

Los Angeles, CA (January 21, 2004)–Manga fans are sure to salivate over the latest smorgasbord of page-turners, as the country’s leading publisher of graphic novels fulfills its promise to dish out the world’s most delicious manga. TOKYOPOP Inc. is pleased to announce the March 2004 debut of Saiyuki, one of the most anticipated series of the year. Joining Saiyuki in TOKYOPOP’s latest mélange of hot-and-spicy manga is a five-course treat of July titles sure to satisfy the appetite of even the hungriest of readers: Culdcept, Doll, Eternity, Evil’s Return and Passion Fruit round out this moveable feast.

SAIYUKI (Fantasy, Volume 1 Release: 3/2/04) Inspiration for the hit anime-now released in America-Kazuya Minekura’s anachronistic take on the ancient Chinese legend of the Monkey King turns the classic heroes into beautiful bishonen in a modern setting. Its epic story follows four warriors into the West on the trail of a demonic plague with limitless power. Facing otherworldly assassins, the great priest Genjyo Sanzo and his legendary companions attempt to uncover the secret of the plague and return peace and harmony to the land of Shangri-la.

CULDCEPT (Fantasy, Volume 1 Release: 7/13/04) From artist and writer Shinya Kaneko (Vermillion) comes this wildly imaginative tale about card-shaped relics that are part of the ancient Culdcept, a book that created the Universe. Whoever collects all the cards will have the power of gods, but only special people–called Cepters–can control the cards, and thus, control the universe. Reminiscent of Magic: The Gathering, Culdcept follows a young apprentice Cepter who sets out on an improbable journey to conquer the evil Black Cepters before they discover the hidden relics.

DOLL (Sci-Fi, Volume 1 Release: 7/6/04) Mitsukazu Mihara brings the elegant designs of Gothic Lolita fashion to life in six haunting tales featuring human-like androids called Dolls. In the near future, Dolls serve humans as companions, servants, friends and even lovers, blurring the lines between the real and the synthetic. With character designs reminiscent of Japanese visual kei bands, Mihara’s thought-provoking stories provide a firsthand glimpse into the psychology of the human-doll relationship, and explore answers to the question of what it means to be truly human.

ETERNITY (Adventure/Comedy, Volume 1 Release: 7/13/04) Based on the ancient tale, Romance of the Three Kingdoms, this contemporized story by author Jin-Ryong Park and illustrator Yong-Kwan Shin (debuted with Lamp 1999 in Young Champ magazine) adds a comedic, urban edge to a legendary fable. Seventeen-year-old shaman Aram Ko embarks on a quest for three reincarnated men who, in their past lives, were former leaders killed by the oppressed Chinese government. Mystery, intrigue and slapstick ensue as the trio encounters the strange and unusual world of the 20th century!

EVIL’S RETURN (Fantasy/Adventure, Volume 1 Release: 7/13/04) From the creative minds of Hwan Shin and Jong-kyu Lee (collaborators on the upcoming Prodigy) comes this ultra-violent story of love, death and salvation. Yumi is a fun-loving high school student with a terrible fate. Cursed since birth, Yumi is destined to become the mother of Evil, and now something wicked her way comes. The forces of good and evil clash to gain control of her mortal soul in a contest that will ultimately affect the fate of this world and worlds beyond.

PASSION FRUIT (Fantasy/Drama, Volume 1 Release: 7/13/04) Mari Okazaki, Kaoru Fujiwara and Junko Kawakami bring readers this unique collection that explores the frailty of the human condition through a series of unforgettable stories. Volume 1, Okazaki’s “Sweat & Honey,” debuts in a beautiful collector’s hardcover book format. Here, two female cousins learn that living together may bring them closer to each other…or ultimately drive them apart. The entire Passion Fruit series begins its release in softcover format this fall, with each of its three volumes examining our innermost secrets and hidden desires. With uninhibited authenticity and pathos, these books prove that passion is truly stranger than fiction!

1-19-04—- Comics One Upcoming Comic Novels

San Jose, CA – January 20, 2004 ComicsOne has announced their upcoming comic novelizations – Onegai Twins, the second full length novel in the “Onegai” series and Storm Riders Novel: A Tale of No Name, the first novel based on the best selling comic in Hong Kong.

The mantle of zany fun is passed down to a new cast of characters in this second tantalizing Onegai full length novel. It’s all “Onegai”, but this time there is fresh faces, places, and situations—a literary delicacy that delves deep into uncharted waters, revealing new secrets and relationships.

This highly anticipated follow-up to Onegai Teacher stars Maiku Kamishiro, an orphan whose only link to his childhood is a picture of his old house, himself, and his twin sister. In an attempt to discover more about his past, Maiku moves into his childhood home. Soon after, two girls suddenly enter into Maiku’s single life. One of them is his twin sister, and the other is a perfect stranger. The problem is he doesn’t know which one’s which! From here begins a tangled give-and-take relationship between Maiku and the blue-eyed girls, as they attempt to understand each other and their place in the new life that is opening up to them. Find out the identity of Maiku’s real blood relative and experience a brand new comical and heartfelt ride in the Onegai universe.

ComicsOne won’t stop there; another must-have landing this April is the Storm Riders novel. Titled A Tale of No Name, this anxiously awaited first novel features the living sword himself – Nameless. Here we come to know a very different brasher figure — a change from the humble soft-spoken powerhouse we have grown to love. Learn of young Nameless’ upbringing as a youth and how he became the venerable character now in the forefront of Storm Riders: Invading Sun! How did he obtain his feared Hero Sword? What were the events that put Nameless and Sword Saint at odds? And who is Nameless’ hated kung fu brother? The novel includes 3 volumes with over 900 pages of story with original sketches by Wing Shing Ma!

Both novels broaden their successful and respective series quite handsomely! Each allows the reader to delve even deeper in the mythos and worlds that have brought both series to the forefront of comic literature.

Availability

Both the Onegai Twins Novel vol. 1 and Storm Riders The Novel: A Tale of No Name vol. 1 will be available in April 2004. Each novel will be priced at $7.95. Visit www.comicsone.com for more detailed series information.

1-17-04—- Anime Invasion UK Premiere

Dallas, TX (PRWEB) January 7 2004–Dallas-based Tempest Production Company announced today that their feature-length documentary, Invasion: Anime, will be screened at the SciFi London 3 Film Festival at 7 pm on Friday, January 30, 2004. The screening will take place at the Other Cinema, 11 Rupert Street in London’s West End. Tickets through The Other Cinema’s website, box office or by phone. Contact information is available www.sci-fi-london.com

This screening marks Invasion:Anime’s UK premiere. The documentary enjoyed its European premiere at Animotion, the film festival hosted by AniMagic 2003, one of Europe’s largest anime conventions held annually in Nistertal, Germany.

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

1-15-04—- CPM Graphic Novels April

New York, NY (January 14, 2004) – CPM Press is pleased to announce the release of Comic Party Book 1-Party Time! which is the only anthology series actually drawn by independent manga artists and gives the reader a glimpse into the madness and mayhem involved in becoming a manga-ka (manga artist). The other April releases include, Treasure Hunter Book 1, an action and adventure story from the creator of the popular Alien Nine series and the newly reformatted and re-priced fantasy adventure Dark Angel Book 2 from revered artist Kia Asamiya. All graphic novels will be available at $9.99 (SRP) in April.

COMIC PARTY BOOK 1-PARTY TIME!

Writers and artists: Hakone Odawara, Seneka Wakujyu, Hitomi Umemoto, et al. Can a group of young, borderline-talented artists churn out their independent comics before the big festival? Will they ever have a hit? And more importantly, what yaoi couple will they draw?

Size: 5” x 7.375”
Pages: 168 pages, b&w
Rating: 13UP
Genre: Comedy
Catalog #: CMX 65301G
ISBN #: 1-58664-918-3
Pre-order date: March 15, 2004
Street date: April 14, 2004
SRP: $9.99

TREASURE HUNTER BOOK 1

Story and art by Hitoshi Tomizawa, creator of the Alien Nine series.

Jubei lives for adventure. When he is hired by a mysterious woman to retrieve a mystical food that grants eternal youth. Jubei thinks it’s a simple job until he finds out the secret of the special ingredient. Follow the action packed adventures of Jubei…the treasure hunter!

Size: 5” x 7.375”
Pages: 200 pages, b&w
Rating: 13UP
Genre: Action/Adventure
Catalog #: CMX 65101G
ISBN #: 1-58664-921-3
Pre-order date: March 15, 2004
Street date: April 7, 2004
SRP: $9.99

DARK ANGEL BOOK 2

Original story and art by Kia Asamiya, artist of Uncanny X-Men and Batman: Child of Dreams. Dark must face three great challenges that will confirm him as a Phantom Saint: a skilled human martial arts opponent, a magical demon, and a rite of passage in the Underworld. Dark Angel Book 2 is scheduled to be re-released in the popular smaller format and at a reduced price.

Size: 5” x 7.375”
Pages: 224 pages, b&w
Rating: 13UP
Genre: Fantasy
Catalog #: CMX 62302MM
ISBN #: 1-58664-926-4
Pre-order date: March 15, 2004
Street date: April 21, 2004
SRP: $9.99

1-12-04—- HP And Dell Back Blu-Ray DVD Standard

C-Net News reports the rapidly approaching DVD standard known as Blu-Ray has new backing from computer makers HP and Dell. The next-next-next-next generation (?) standard which supports Blue-lasers instead of red allows for up to 27 GB storage on the existing single side single layer standard or 50 GB storage on a dual layer disc in development. At the present time, no North American Anime distributor has announced embracing the standard, but with the number of Japanese developers already signed on including Hitachi, Sony and NEC, it’s probably a safe bet that a Blu-Ray DVD offering will be available to fans on at least one side of the Pacific (if not both both) in the next few years.

1-11-04—- ADV’s Anime Network Examined In Mainstream Media

MSNBC has piece on ADV Films’ unveiling of The Anime Network in the last year and how the company is riding the wave of Japanese Animation popularity in America.

1-11-04—- Astro Boy Returns

The Seattle Times has piece via the New York Daily News on new animated episodes of Astroboy in the USA.

1-11-04—- Tokyo Godfathers Article

Sunday’s New York Times newspaper edition contains an article on Satoshi Kon’s film Tokyo Godfathers which opens later in the week in the city. The article, titled “New Contender for the Anime Throne” examines Kon’s latest work focusing on what happens when three misfits stumble upon a baby on Christmas Eve. The Times also inlcudes a summary for those looking to attend the opening proper in it’s Film Listings section.

1-11-04—- Talking Manga Coming From Crash Media Group

From woodblock prints of the ancient samurai, to cyberpunk alternate realities, manga has spanned many centuries and many genres of human creativity. Now a new bleeding edge advancement in interactive technology, makes all that has come before pale in comparison. The Crash Media Group Inc, and partner company Abrams Gentile Entertainment Inc (AGE Inc.) are about to revolutionize the medium in a way unparalleled since the first images were put to paper.

Using a revolutionary new development in interactive technology, the “talking manga” will use a conductive ink to activate a wide array of sounds including spoken dialogue (in an assortment of different languages), sound effects, and could even augment special offers and advertising. Held exclusively via world-wide patents by The Crash Media Group Inc, AGE Inc, and its technology arm, T-ink Inc, this new interactive ink is applied through conventional printing methods with almost zero added cost to the finished product. The result is a manga that looks like a regular manga, feels like a regular manga, but now will talk!

The Crash Media Group will take advantage of this new opportunity by offering talking manga to Japanese publishers such as Kodansha, Shogakukan, and Kadokawa. The possibility of having a single U.S. company be part of an Asian pop-culture property from the first germination of creativity, to completed anime series including DVD, TV broadcast as well as branded characters and merchandize, can now for the first time be realized. By being the only company to offer this new technology, The Crash Media Group will be able to acquire titles in the most complete form of product development, implementation, and marketing without the previous obstacles created by fractured rights. This new and unhindered conduit will forever change, accelerate, and give a hermetic continuity to the influx of Japanese animation and Asian pop-culture into the U.S. The first company to bring anime retail to the American mainstream will now be the first and only company that will make manga talk!

1-11-04—- Silent Hill Official

After much speculation, rumor and more speculation the Silent Hill Live Action feature is in production, according to the Konami Website. Thanks to Brad fore the submission.

1-10-04—- Advance Screening: Tokyo Godfathers In NYC

Ahead of it’s official opening lat next week, a special screening of Perfect Blue director Satoshi Kon’s next film to see USA release, TOKYO GODFATHERS, is set to make a debut on January 13th in New York City. Destination Films and Samuel Goldwyn Films are handling the American release.

TOKYO GODFATHERS is the latest masterpiece from internationally acclaimed animé filmmaker Satoshi Kon (Perfect Blue, Millennium Actress). An homage to the 1948 John Ford/John Wayne classic 3 Godfathers, Kon‚s film follows a trio of homeless denizens:Gin (an alcoholic haunted bythe loss of his family), Hana (a transvestite and former drag queen) and Miyuki (a teenage runaway). While rummaging through a pile of trash for Christmas gifts, they discover an abandoned newborn baby girl. Yearning for salvation and meaning in their seemingly wasted lives, the eccentric trio embarks on a quest to find the child‚s family. Expertly crafted and featuring dazzling imagery, the film takes a grittylook at modern Tokyo‚s widely neglected homeless population and marginalized communities. TOKYO GODFATHERS will open in New York and Los Angeles on Friday, January 16, 2004 with a national release to follow.

1-9-04—- ADV Films To Theatrically Release 2009 Lost Memories

HOUSTON, January 9, 2004-“2009 Lost Memories,” the action-packed and thought-provoking Korean blockbuster feature film starring award-winning Korean actor Dong-Gun Jang and famous Japanese superstar Toru Nakamura as friends on opposite sides of a brewing conflict between the Japanese government and violent insurrectionists, makes its North American theatrical debut tonight at Houston’s Alamo Drafthouse, courtesy of ADV Films. “2009 Lost Memories” is the first of more than 20 high-quality Korean live-action films ADV Films will release to theaters over the coming months.

“2009 Lost Memories” is truly an action spectacle of the highest quality. The producers spared no expense in bringing the exhilarating script to life-the film was shot on location in Korea, China and Japan. Millions of dollars were spent on creating the impressive special effects, including the construction of several original sets, which were some of the largest and most expensive in Korean film industry history. Much of the effects budget also went towards the procurement of dozens of imported cars, which were used generously throughout the movie for numerous explosions and an elaborate car chase scene. Finally, one of “2009 Lost Memories’” most impressive action sequences features a daring shootout utilizing 50 pieces of 25 different types of firearms and 20,000 rounds of ammunition.

“2009 Lost Memories”: The Story August 15, 1945: The United States of America and Japan succeed in winning World War II following the atomic bombing of Berlin, and East Asia is united into one great union under the name of “The Japanese Empire.” Decades later, Japan is prospering as a strong economic nation, second only to the U.S., but the Japanese Empire is plagued by anti-government terrorist attacks. When members of Korea’s largest underground anti-government organization, the Hureisenjin, attack an artifacts exhibition hosted by an influential politico, Japanese Bureau of Investigation agent Masayuki Sakamoto investigates the insurrectionists’ motives and uncovers a connection between the attack and the JBI itself. In an effort to throw Sakamoto off the trail, JBI executives frame him for the murder of a fellow agent. Sakamoto narrowly escapes thanks to the help of his close friend and fellow agent Shojiro Saigo, but is badly wounded. To make matters worse, Saigo turns his back on Sakamoto, leaving him with the ominous warning that they’ll “meet as enemies next time” and forcing Sakamoto to uncover the truth behind the conspiracy alone.

Production Credits “2009 Lost Memories” is written and directed by Si-Myung Lee, who makes his debut as a full-length feature film director with the movie after working as an assistant director for Korea’s Cinema Service. Lee first began directing while attending college; his first short film won the Special Award at the 7th Original Korean Short Film Festival. He also won another award at the 2nd Shin Young Youth Visual Art Festival for another short film he’d directed.

Other notable members of the production staff are cinematographer Hyun-Chul Park, one of only a few Koreans to graduate from AFI (American Film Institute), and composer Dong-Jun Lee, known internationally as the Korean counterpart to Academy Award-winning composer Hans Zimmer.

Distribution Bookings to date (additional theaters are expected to be added in the coming weeks; visit www.advfilms.com http://www.advfilms.com for updates):

Jan. 9th: The Alamo Drafthouse-Houston, TX Jan. 23rd: The Carolina Theater-Durham, NC Jan. 24th: The Guild Cinema-Albuquerque, NM

1-9-04—- Anime VA Chat Session

AnimationHQ is will be hosting a chat session with voice actor, Neil Ross. He worked in radio and television commercials and also narrated shows for A&E and PBS. Neil’s has voiced memorable characters such as Norman Osborn/Green Goblin in Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends and the Spider-Man series; Keith, Jeff, Pidge, and Chip in Voltron: Defender of the Universe; Shipwreck, Buzzer, Dusty, Heavy Metal, and Monkeywrench in G.I. Joe and G.I. Joe: The Movie; and Bonecrusher, Crosshairs, Hook, Point Blank, Sixshot, Slag, and Springer in Transformers and Transformers: The Movie.

The chat will take place on Saturday, January 10th at 7 pm EST. You can go to http://animationhq.net/v2/features/events.htm for more information on him and the directions on how to get to the chat room are located towards the bottom of the page. Don’t miss it!

1-9-04—- Animeboards Returns

Animeboards has supplied the following statement to ANS:

Animeboards.com forums is back online after a long 5 weeks of interrupted downtime due to various server hardware problems. New member registrations have been disabled for the past year due to overwhelming number of daily new regos (which are manually approved). However, new member registrations will be reopening soon this month.”

1-8-04—- Anime Screenings At The Alamo

Live Anime Screenings have returned to the Alamo Draft House theater in Austin Texas. ANS recently received the following heads up on films to be screened there from January through March. According to an Alamo representitive, anime can be expected to play fairly consecutively on Tuesday night at 9:45pm. There will be some intrusions on that schedule due to Spike and Mike’s from Jan 23- Feb 17 and the SXSW Film Festival from March 12-20. Other than between those dates, expect a different anime film every Tuesday.

The Alamo has a new anime mascot ANIMO
http://www.drafthouse.shoppingcartsplus.com/catalog/item/816102/430628.htm

ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE CINEMA DOWNTOWN 409 COLORADO ST. AUSTIN, TX

MY YOUTH IN ARCADIA TUES, JAN 13, 9:45 PM SUGGESTED DONATION: $6/$4.50 STUDENT/SENIOR/AFS D. TOMOHARU KATSUMATA, SUBTITLED JAPAN 1982, 130 MIN., VIDEO

Renowned Manga author Matsumoto (Battle of the Planets, Interstella 5555) Leijis greatest creation, Captain Harlock, comes to the big screen in this magnificent film. When aliens conquer earth and enslave the human race, all hope for freedom is abandoned. Parallels to post-war Japan are ubiquitous the earth is a cold and barren place where humanity clings desperately to whatever scraps it can get, ruled by an uncaring and impermeable Empire. But Captain Harlock and his rebel space pirates lead a powerful resistance, adopting the fighting strategy of ancient marauders — and determined to restore freedom to the planet. With their atomic-powered spaceship bearing the feared black flag, Harlock and his men deal in swift justice, not unlike the unconquerable heroes of the spaghetti westerns and samurai films to which My Youth In Arcadia pays frequent homage. Aesthetically, Harlock is one of Matsumotos most stunning achievements; with his feathered hair, eyepatch, facial scars and tight-fitted pirate tunic, he could be a Tiger Beat poster boy. My Youth in Arcadia is a brooding, introspective film that will stay with you long after leaving the theatre, and essential viewing for any self-confessed otaku. — Kier-La Janisse

STARBALLZ TUES, JAN 20, 9:45 PM $6; $4.50 STUDENT/SENIOR/AFS D. VARIOUS, NC-17 2001, 75 MIN, VIDEO

George Lucas was FUMING mad about the release of Starballz. He took the producers to court and sent the legal goons out on a search and destroy mission. In true David vs. Goliath fashion, however, the Courts ruled AGAINST the Star Wars megalomaniac and the wonder that is Starballz is available to the public again. Starballz is a Hentai (naughty pervert anime) parody of the original Star Wars., following the adventures of Wank Solo (strangely similar in appearance to Dragonball’s Goku) in his search for anything to get laid. When he receives a message for help from the horny princess (an extra-busty Sailormoon spoof) kept captive on the Ass Star, nothing can stop him. Other beloved characters have also taken on twisted new forms as well: R2D2 has morphed with Pikachu, Mickey Mouse with Darth Vader, and the army of stormtroopers have become a good bit more phallic. Before the screening, check out a barrage of other Star Wars oddities and parodies. – Tim

BLACKJACK: INFECTION TUES, FEB 24, 9:45 PM SUGGESTED DONATION: $6/$4.50 STUDENT/SENIOR/AFS D. OSAMU TEZUKA, SUBTITLED JAPAN 2003, 95 MIN., VIDEO

From the God of Manga, Osamu Tezuka, creator of Metropolis and Astroboy. In a world where the grim reaper can strike at any time, a brilliant renegade surgeon known only as Black Jack operates outside the law. For the rich and dying, he performs miracles of a macabre medical nature. Unafraid of mysteries that verge on the paranormal, Black Jack is the one man with the power to cheat death…for a terrible price! “Anime pick of the month” – Wizard Magazine

ROBOT CARNIVAL LIVE SCORE BY DJ NICK NACK! BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND! TUES MARCH 2 9:45PM $6/ $4.50 student/senior/afs D. VARIOUS JAPAN 1978, 100 MIN., VIDEO

Before Animatrix, before there was Neo-Tokyo, there was Robot Carnival. Part grand experiment and part anime showcase it was conceived in 1987 as a chance to get some of the best anime directors to flex their anime muscles in short form. Robot Carnival is a collection of shorts with a mecha theme that offers something for almost every anime fan, even if you aren’t a fan of giant robots and the traditional robot revenge epics (although there is some of each in the mix). The collection of 8 sequences is a joy to behold and spans the breadth of the mecha genre. It has an excellent twisted sense of humor in the form of Introduction (by Katsuhiro Otomo of Akira fame, poignant drama in the form of “Presence” (Yasuomi Umetsu director of “Gatchaman” and “Kite”) and the languid line drawings of “Clouds” (Mao Lambdo), as well as by the book mech stories for both girls and boys (“Starlight Angel” Hiroyuki Kitazume who directed Moldiver, and Aura Battler Dunbine and was character designer for Megazone 23 and “Deprive” Hidetoshi Omori , the director of Urusei Yatsura [aka Lum] respectively). Rounding out the set is the humorous “A Tale of Two Robots” (by Hiroyuki Kitakubo director of “Rojin Z” and “Blood: the Last Vampire”) a parody of Japanese war propaganda films and “Nightmare” (Takashi Nakamura Director of Catnapped and an animator on Nausicaa) which is a nod to Night on Bald Mountain from Disney’s Fantasia. There is a reason why this anthology is still being shown in this day and age of “the next new best thing” anime, experience it for the first time or again for nostalgia’s sake. (Tony Salvaggio) NOTE: in the tradition of live musical film scores for silent films at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, DJ Nick Nack will be providing a live turntable score for this eye-candy feast — his last score featured everything from Kraftwerk to Pink Floyd!

SUPER HAPPY FUN MONKEY BASH DX GAIDEN TUES, MAR 9, 9:45 PM $6; $4.50 STUDENT/SENIOR/AFS JAPAN, 85 MIN, VIDEO D. VARIOUS

100% ALL NEW MATERIAL! NO REPEATS FROM LAST YEAR’S MONKEY BASH!

We’ve been longtime fans of bizarre Japanese advertising, television, and video. We have teamed up with local Japanese pop-culture enthusiast and archivist Tony Salvaggio to compile the definitive collection of Japanese oddities: strange, surreal animation, A-list American celebrities pimping themselves out for cheap Japanese products, cruel and inhumane game shows, bawdy situation comedies, unexpected nudity, extreme pro-wrestling, bizarre anti-flatulence products, nonsensical English phrases, supreme goofiness, and more, more, more! We’ve tempted your tastebuds in the past with Japanese preshow mixtapes before midnight features, but now, we are unleashing the full insanity of the rising sun with SUPER HAPPY FUN MONKEY BASH DX GAIDEN! If you choose to not attend this show, you will have no concept of how joyous and wonderful life can truly be. Anime at the Alamo! New Anime every Tuesday!

DOGGIE POO DVD RELEASE PARTY plus: WAVE TWISTERS $6; $4.50 STUDENT/SENIOR/AFS D. VARIOUS, PG 2001, 110 MIN, VIDEO

Wave Twisters (WTM) is an eye-popping, hip-hop-meets-Hanna-Barbera, animated adventure synched skratch for skratch with DJ QBert’s turntable masterpiece of the same name. Each track of QBert’s original album was designed to provide the audio framework for another chapter in this sci-fi/kung-fu epic; every aspect of the story, music, sound effects, even dialogue has been accounted for and seamlessly integrated into QBert’s original musical compositions. WTM gives visual expression to QBert’s narrative while pioneering the concept of visual skratching; sampling from a wide variety of techniques (from traditional cell animation to 3D to live action to photo collage), WTM defines a unique visual style analogous to the supercharged cutting and skratching of a turntable DJ. WTM catapults the bar on the correspondence between sound and image, taking the Fantasia concept to the next, dizzying level. When the music says, “Jump!” the animation asks, “How high?” The hero of WTM is the Inner Space Dental Commander, a cross between Luke Skywalker, David Carradine, and the family dentist, who must fulfill his destiny by reviving the “Lost Arts” (i.e., the four pillars of hiphop culture: breaking and MC’ing, rapping, graffiti, and, most importantly, skratching). To do so, he and his posse (the mischievous medical droid, Rubbish, his lovely assistant and comrade-at-arms, Honey, and B-Boy Grandpa, the last surviving link to a bygone era when the Arts flourished) battle their way through an increasingly surreal collection of villains, pitfalls, and booby-traps. Among the villains are an elite corps of turntable warriors, played by key members of the Invisible Skratch Piklz: QBert, Yogafrog, and D-Styles plus DJ Flare. Their electrifying performances blaze a path of destruction which stands between the Dental Commander and his final showdown with Lord Ook, the evil mastermind behind the plot to suppress and control the Lost Arts throughout “inner space”.

AFTER WAVE TWISTERS, check out the premiere of DOGGIE POO, the new Korean anime based on the best selling children’s book Doggy Poo by author Jung-Saeng Kwon. In this tale, a seemingly worthless piece of a dog’s excrement eventually discovers its self worth in a friendship developed with a small flower. Doggy Poo won the Best Pilot Prize at The Tokyo International Anime Fair 2003.

ANGEL’S EGG With LIVE Musical Score! PRICE YET TO BE DETERMINED 1982, JAPAN, 71 MIN, LD D. MAMORU OSHII

The story is set in a strange world, a world of bones and shadows. The remnants of technology, of once great human civilization, even the remains of long vanished creatures decorate this stage. People exist here, but they seem as much ghosts or remnants as anything else. Clinging to memories of things long gone, to purposes they can’t remember or to hopes they can’t fully express. It’s a weird, brooding and silent place, with just the faintest echo of madness to add spice. And on this stage comes a young girl, clad in brightly colored cloth but with an impossibly pale skin and cautious, downcast eyes. Under her dress she cradles a large egg which she seems to treasure above all else, perhaps hoping that it contains a future within it. While going about her business she runs into a young soldier, carrying his weapon, who seems to have mysteries of his own and finds they echo with hers. Mamoru Oshii has become a hot commodity as of late, with his noted work on such popular features as JIN-ROH, GHOST IN THE SHELL, and the PATLABOR movies. With his slow, methodical style that intrigues as it unfolds, Oshii has proven over and over again his ability to keep an audience involved despite pacing that would destroy other directors’ films. Back in 1925, he premiered his most personal work, a 70-minute picture called ANGEL’S EGG that he both wrote and directed. It stretches to the very limit the capacities of his viewers, yet is an insightful look into the very core of the man who has pondered the meaning of existence in ways most filmmakers wouldn’t dare to attempt. For those who like art films and find the concept of a serious, mentally provoking, controversial course in Christianity and existential thought fascinating, you must see this film. ANGEL’S EGG is a film worthy to stand beside the likes of Ingmar Bergman’s THE SEVENTH SEAL in dealing with the concepts of death, life, and belief. It is truly a gorgeous film to be experienced rather than completely comprehended. — The Anime Review

1-7-04—- Bandai Price Cuts / Temporary Discontinuations

January 7th, 2004 (Cypress, CA) – Bandai Entertainment announced today a temporary discontinuation of DVD catalog products released prior to 2004. This was deemed necessary in order to help facilitate and ease the establishment of Bandai Entertainment’s own distribution network at the start of 2004. Beginning March 2004, Bandai Entertainment will begin the re-solicitation of DVD catalog releases with updated SKU and UPC codes.

From January 7th, 2004 – a sixty day window will be opened for accounts to return catalog DVD products obtained previously through Geneon/Pioneer Distribution. DVD product will remain the same and accounts are urged to keep product on the shelf. Accounts with questions or concerns are urged to contact their assigned Bandai Entertainment sales representative or call 714-816-9760.

All Bandai product released prior to December 31st, 2003 purchased from Pioneer/Geneon will still be available to order from January 1st thru February 28th, 2004. Accounts are urged to continue selling inventory if it is a selling title. Accounts with inventory of titles featuring a price reduction will have the option to either return product directly or receive price protection.

Beginning March 1st, 2004 – All titles will be re-solicited with additional catalog DVD titles to be re-solicited each month thereafter. Please reference the new UPC code when ordering re-solicited products. Future announcements will be made through Bandai Entertainments Weekly Mailer Update. Also listed below are several of Bandai’s most popular DVD titles featuring a new aggressive price reduction from its previous suggested retail price.

1-6-04—- Animatrix – Millenium Actress Annie Nods

According to http://www.annieawards.org/, Millennium Actress is being nominated for Outstanding Achievement in an Animated Theatrical Feature,Directing in an Animated Feature Production, Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production, and Writing in an Animated Feature Production. In addition, Animatrix is nominated for Outstanding Achievement in an Animated Home Entertainment Production. Winners will be announced Feb.7.

1-6-04—- UK Decision Could Have Anime Implications

Courtesy The Hollywood Reporter and Daniel’s submission:

The British Board of Film Classification said Monday that it has relaxed rules that prevent different versions of movies from being released in the United Kingdom on video and DVD. The censor said it is changing the policy that has barred the release of different versions of videos and DVDs if they are not rated for the same age group as the film’s theatrical release. The BBFC has noted that, with the advent of the DVD, there has been a growing trend toward the release of alternative versions or “director’s cuts” of movies. Such items, according to the censor, may contain new material not present in the version originally submitted to the BBFC or simply the uncut versions of films previously cut to obtain a lower certificate for theatrical and/or video release.

1-6-04—– Oyahocon Guest Announcement

Ohayocon 2004 has added American voice actor Scott McNeil (Gundam Wing , Inu Yahsha) . News Via the Official Con Website.

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