11-30-05 (11:33 PM EST)—- Showji Kawamori At Akiba Robot Festival
Macross creator Showji Kawamori was a featured guest at the Akihabara Robot Cultural Festival 2005″. The event was held on November 26-27 at Akihabara Daibiru in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo. Attendees could do several things there such as joining a “Robot Production Classroom” that allowed them to learn about robot assembly, design, and technological development. An “Advanced Robot Seminar” and “Robot Bazaar” that featured goods on sale related to robots was also there. Kawamori spoke at the “Advanced Robot Seminar”, just coming off of his latest work as a mechanical designer and animation director on the Aquarion TV series. Source: Livedoor News
11-30-05 (10:36 PM EST)—- New TMS President Appointed
Tokushi Koga has been selected to be the new president of Tokyo Movie Shinsha. He was formerly the Managing Director of TMS and hails from Sega who recently bought the longtime producer of Japanese Animation in October of this year. Koga joined the TMS in 1995.
11-30-05 (4:22 AM EST)—- Geneon Postpones Hellsing OVA
Geneon Entertainment’s WILDGEESE posted a statement mentioning their release of the HELLSING OVA Volume 1, originally due on December 9th, will now be postponed to January 25, 2006. This includes those who reserved it. An apology was issued to fans and customers from the staff who mention they did not want to compromise the quality. It’s also asked from the fans that they hold out and brace for the January release.
11-30-05 (3:48 AM EST)—- Sony Drops DAT
Last week in Japan, Sony announced it would end the domestic shipment of its digital audio tape recorder (DAT) standard in the first ten days of December. The portable “TCD-D1000” will become their last DAT recorder product. Sony will still support repair and DAT tape sales. The company sent a signal they were dropping backing for the standard in 2004 when they ceased production of their deck type units. This left only the TCD-D100 as the only DAT recorder in their company’s inventory. The volume of shipments of the unit was said to hover around only 100 per month. Those in search of parts for past devices are already aware of how scarce they are to come by. Sony first marketed DAT in 1987 and has sold around 660,000 related products since then. The recorders were extremely popular among journalists in the field recording statements and interviews. Sony has since introduced its integrated circuit and compact disc-based recorders such as the ultra cool $2000 PCM-D1 and HI-MD. DAT was attractive due to its compact size and storage factor of high-quality audio files in sampling frequencies of 48/44.1/32kHz. The first Sony recorder was the deck type “DTC-1000ES” marketed in March of 1987.
11-30-05 (12:01 AM EST)—- Wao Discontinues University Plans
Wao Corporation, who aimed at the establishment of Japan’s first graduate school for the animation profession has announced it’s discontinuing the university project as of November 28th. The prime reason for the move is The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology revealed it cannot authorize the application of the university at this time. A council ruled on the recommendation, speaking for education minister Kenji Kosaka. the council decided it doesn’t have enough people who would dedicate themselves to education and research in animation. According to Wao Corporation, there was a difference in the interpretation of the text of university establishment standards between themselves and the Ministry. Both creative and business side courses were to be offered. Wao’s bid was drawn up last year after Japan’s fundamentals of Education Law were revised allowing graduate schools in the form Ltd. corporations to be established this year. Several private and public companies in Japan have followed suit one after another to establish their own schools.
11-29-05 (11:57 PM EST)—- 1 Million Gundam SEED DESTINY DVD’s Sold
Bandai Visual has announced it’s sold over 1 million copies of Gundam SEED DESTINY on DVD in Japan. With a release starting in February of this year and stretching to the latest which streeted November 25th over 10 volumes of the series have been released in a digital medium. The DVD run is expected to conclude in February 2006 when volume 13 is released.
11-29-05 (10:40 PM EST)—- Blood Manga Preview
The Official Blood+ Website has pdf files featuring sample artwork from the upcoming manga spin-offs of the new Blood anime series. Thanks to Daniel for the link.
11-29-05 (1:40 AM EST)—- Japanese Box Office
Kogyo Tsushinsha Japanese Box Office Rankings November 26-27
1. Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire
2. Always -Sunset on Third Street-
3. A Moment To Remember
4. The Brothers Grimm
5. Until The Lights Come Back
6. In Her Shoes
7. Spring Snow
9. Into The Sun
10. Under The Same Moon
11-29-05 (1:20AM EST)—- Fate/stay night Manga
Type Moon’s insanely fan popular PC Game, Fate/stay night will be adapted to manga. Kadokawa Shoten’s Shonen ACE will serialize the comic from the February 2006 issue of the magazine (on sale 12/26). Story by Type-Moon, Illustrations by Nishiwaki Datto. As an aside the official website of the forthcoming anime by Geneon Entertainment now hosts video clips of the TV CM Preview and Shop Preview.
11-29-05 (1:00 AM EST)—- Katsuhiko Nagata Manga
The story of an Olympic wrestler (and silver medalist in his class of 69 kg/152.15 lbs & under) and martial artist / K1 fighter Katsuhiko Nagata is being adapted to manga. KINGS ROAD- The Katsuhiko Nagata Story by Aoki Ryou and Uhyo Suke will run for 4 weeks in Weekly Young Sunday Magazine (Shogakukan) from the December 1st-22nd issues. Katsuhiko Nagata announced he’s entering Japanese professional wrestling on the 25th of this month.
11-29-05 (12:12 AM EST)—- Saiunkoku Monogatari To Be Animated
Yukino Sai and Yura Kairi’s Light Novel/Manga series Saiunkoku Monogatari (published by Kadokawa Shoten/Beans Bunko) will be adapted to anime sometime in 2006. A Drama CD release came earlier in the year starring some of Anime’s most well-known seiyuu, it’s likely many of these voices will transition to the animation project. They include Houko Kuwashima, Hikaru Midorikawa, Nobuyuki Hiyama, Tomoyuki Morikawa, Shuichi Ikeda. The story is a Chinese style historical romance.
11-28-05 (10:51 PM EST)—- Ready To Take A Chip To Use TiVo?
The Electronic Engineering Times reports TiVo Inc. has filed a patent application to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office earlier this month that suggests company inventors believe radio frequency identification (RFID) technology will become inserted into clothing, jewelry, key chains, and even under the skin in the body.
11-28-05 (6:51 PM EST)—- Toki Wo Kakeru Shoujo Anime
With scant details available, it’s been revealed Yasutaka Tsutsui’s 1972 juvenile sci-fi novel Toki Wo Kakeru Shoujo (The Girl Who Conquered Time) will be adapted to animation in 2006. The work has a long and interesting history of past adaptation to live action, although this will be the first animation. Just after the original book’s debut, NHK made the plot the basis of the first shonen drama series on it’s network in 1972. A live action movie version directed by Nobuhiko Obayashi and staring Tomoyo Harada became a big hit in 1983. Various dramas and films followed through 2002 when TBS produced the last adaptation, a made for TV movie. J-Pop Idol Namie Amuro has a credit in a 1994 live action version. Kadokawa Shoten released a manga illustrated by Tsuga Nogaku in 2004.
11-28-05 (3:10 PM EST)—- New Brave Story Trailer
Apple Quicktime Japan is now hosting a longer trailer for GONZO and Warner Brothers’ upcoming Brave Story. Thanks to Daniel for the link.
11-28-05 (4:16 AM EST)—- Transformers Movie Free Stream
Gyao is freely streaming (although you must register) the Japanese version of the Transformers movie from November 26 – December 26. Four billion Yen was invested into producing it in 1986. 2 Windows Media delivery bandwidths are available – 384kbps and 768kbps. Computers outside of Japan may have trouble acquiring the needed media license.
11-28-05 (3:57 AM EST)—- Place Promised In Our Early Days Manga
An official manga adaptation is coming based on independent anime director Makoto Shinkai’s film, Kumo no Mukou, Yakusoku no Basho (The Place Promised In Our Early Days). Beginning serialization from the February edition of Afternoon magazine, Mizu Sahara will author. Sahara also did the manga adaptation of Shinkai’s Hoshi No Koe (Voices Of A Distant Star).
11-28-05 (2:55 AM EST)—- Kawasaki City Museum Boosts Anime/Manga Offerings
Kawasaki City Museum has unveiled a new plan to boost anime/manga related exhibitions. The move comes as the museum implements new reforms to boost visitor and income ratios. Five or more such exhibitions are planned to be executed per year. Until now, anime/manga related projects were carried out about once per year. Opening in 1998, previous exhibitions have included those related to CLAMP, manga of the Showa era and Akira Toriyama. Currently running there is the “Oh! Shigeru Mizuki Exhibition”. Mizuki is known as the author of “Gegege No Kitaro”, a comic based on “yokai”- unique mysterious characters sometimes based on folk tales. While striving to become an artist, he started creating yokais from the age of 16. Sketches of these characters as well as his living environment will be exhibited, along with his masks collection from all over the world.
11-28-05 (2:18 AM EST)—- Blue Sub No.6 To Become Live Action Film
The first issue of Kadokawa Shoten’s adult oriented NEW WORDS magazine was released on schedule in Japan on the 25th. Perhaps the biggest news coming out its pages can be found in an exclusive interview with GONZO CCO Showji Murahama. GONZO wants to make live action films based on properties it maintains and to facilitate this they are establishing a new production label, ‘GONZO REVOLUTION’. Blue Sub No.6 will be their second production. Murahama says they are aiming at a 10 billion Yen annual turnover from the new label. 30 additional projects are being advanced for possible production at this time. Yukikaze OVA director Masahiko Okura will direct the Blue Sub film. GONZO has been talking about moving into live action film production since spring of this year and their first project, already announced is Afro Samurai starring Samuel L. Jackson.
11-28-05 (1:47 AM EST)—- Nerima Daikon Brothers Cast Update
The official website for Studio Hibari and Director Shinichi Watanabe’s coming anime TV series Nerima Daikon Brothers has seen a large update. The official broadcast start has been confirmed for January 2006 on TV Tokyo. Cast includes: Matsuzaki Shigeru as Hideki (some Japanese fans are saying this is his first anime related role since he sang the opening theme “Daydream Romance” in 1982’s Space Adventure Cobra film), Shoutarou Morikubo (Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Orphan, Naruto) as Ichiro, and Matsumoto Ayano as Mako. A theme song sang by the trio will be released in February. Additional music will be provided by F*CK.
11-28-05 (1:28 AM EST)—- Fuji And IG Establish New Digital Animation Studio
Fuji TV and Production I.G. have announced plans to establish digital postproduction studio, named “FILM LLP”. The title stands for “Fuji and IG Lab For Movies” Animation, CG Animation, and live action films will be produced there. The opening is planned for the end of January 2006. About 200 million Yen will be poured into the new studio’s state of the art production equipment and facilities. Fuji Television Network will invest 86% (172 million yen), Production I.G. will invest 14% (28 million yen). FILM will be wired by Skywalker Sound’s special “Sky Net” networking system courtesy Lucasfilm Ltd. THX soundtracks will be able to be created for productions. The new studio’s founding marks the second tier of a plan Fuji TV began by producing GONZO’s upcoming anime film Brave Story.
11-28-05 (12:53 AM EST)—- NANA TV
It’s been revealed NANA has 32 million copies. A TV animation has been announced following the sequel film. A coast-to-coast broadcast is scheduled in the spring of 2006 via Nippon Television Network affiliates. The broadcast will occur late at night. Details will be announced sometime in the near future. Rumors among Japanese fans indicates the plot may be closely linked to the film version. For more info: www.s-nana.com.
11-28-05 (12:53 AM EST)—- Tuyokisu Manga
11-28-05 (12:34 AM EST)—- Dai Mahou Touge OVA Staff
The following names have been attached to the just announced Dai Mahou Touge OVA staff roster:
Director and Screenplay: Mizushima Tsutomu, Character Design: Isono Satoru, Sound Director: Iwanami Miwa, Animation Production: Studio Barcelona, Production: Geneon Entertainment – Toshiba Entertainment.
11-25-05 (7:50PM EST)—- ‘Karate Kid’ Sensei Pat Morita Dies at 73
Zap2it mentions Pat Mortia, best remembered for his Oscar-nominated performance as a cryptic sensei in “The Karate Kid,” has died at age 73. The prolific actor passed away Thursday, Nov. 24 of natural causes in his Las Vegas home. (editor’s note: Morita-san’s role in Karate Kid was the first exposure to the Japanese culture and people that I personally can remember growing up in rural Alabama. In a way, this website’s presence here today owes a lot to the compelling character Mr. Morita portrayed and a profound interest generated of a world, far, far away from the home of a backwoods, redneck kid.)
11-25-05 (3:17 PM EST)—- Dai Mahou Touge OVA
The January edition of Gundam Ace mentions Hideki Owada’s Dai Mahou Touge manga (published by Kadokawa) will be adapted to animation in the form of an OVA series to be released in the form of OVA series to see release in Japan in the spring of 2006. Animate TV plans to hold a screening online although details are still forthcoming. The official website has been revealed as www.punie.jp and was not even active as of yesterday although an eye-catching place holder is there now.
11-25-05 (2:12 PM EST)—- Howl’s Monopolizes Oricon Top 3 DVD Slots
Immediately after it’s release on the 16th in Japan, all 3 DVD versions of Howl’s Moving Castle occupied the top 3 slots in Oricon’s DVD synthesis chart. The regular DVD took P1 with over 708,000 units sold according to the group. The special collector’s version took second with over 50,000 units sold and “Ghibli SPECIAL short story twin+BOX took 3rd place with 47,500 in sales. The total sales of the 3 versions are estimated at about four billion Yen.
11-25-05 (1:43 PM EST)—- New Pretty Cure TV Series
Following the upcoming release of the second Pretty Cure film, a new animated TV series titled Futari wa Pretty Cure: SPLASH STAR will begin airing in Japan in the spring. More details are expected to be released in December. Source: TV Asahi
11-24-05 (11:46 PM EST)—- BONES To Animate Ohran High School Host Club
Animation studio BONES will adapt Bisuko Hatori’s Ohran High School Host Club manga to TV series format. Ojamajo Doremi # and Ashita no Nadja director Takuya Igarashi will direct. Kumiko Takahashi (Card Captor Sakura The Movie, Witch Hunter Robin) will provide character designs. Yoji Enokido (FLCL) will write the script and plot the scenario. The original manga is published by Hakusensha in Monthly LaLa magazine. This is the first shoujo manga adaptation for BONES.
11-24-05 (10:35 PM EST)—- Lupin Music Composer Takeo Yamashita Dies
Asahi Obituaries reports on Monday, the 21st of this month, Takeo Yamashita, who wrote the music in the first Lupin III TV series has died of Cerebral Thrombosis. He was 75 years old. His close relatives have already held his funeral. Besides Lupin Yamashita-san also worked on the title theme songs and soundtracks of many of Japan’s classic TV dramas and animations including Shichinin No Keiji, Oooka-Echizen, Playgirl, Super Jetter, Giant Robo and Ganba No Bouken. He also did commercial jingle work but he always is best known for music relating to the stage of entertainment. About 7,000 songs in total were written by the man. At the end of the 1990’s the music world did a re-evaluation of the composer and much of his material was rereleased to the market. 2000 saw a popular selling compilation CD, “Yamashita*Deluxe”.
11-23-05 (11:42 AM EST)—- Otaku Elite Magazine Begins
Otaken, the group that became famous for offering “Zenkoku Touitsu Otaku Kenteishiken” (“Nationwide Otaku Union Certificate Examination”) has now launched their own magazine in Japan. Titled Otaku Elite, the first issue is due out on December 25th at 1,200 Yen. The magazine calls itself a “contents synthesis” publication and much of the material therein will come from and cater to the highest social strata of adult Otaku. Featured on the cover is Yukio Hatoyama, the chief secretary of the Liberal Democratic Party and former party leader. He’s interviewed on his work within the government on building Japan’s contents industries. Other features inside include an Otaku Elite training plan of The University of Tokyo, a House of Representatives manga, animation and game consideration investigation, and a superintendent’s profile of Shinichi Suzuki who heads the Suginami Animation museum. In the website’s About section it’s mentioned the term “otaku” is often associated with criminals and seen in a negative light in the past in Japan. The description continues that with the introduction of Japan’s anime, manga and video games in markets around the world, the term otaku has become respected and just another word to describe a fan of these contents industries. Otaku Elite was created to document Japan’s contents business boom of the 21st century.
11-22-05 (8:51 PM EST)—- Japan Manga Tour 2006 Announced
After this year’s fantastically successful Japan Manga Tour, Japan Journeys (a UK company) is again offering Manga and Anime fans a unique insider’s view of Japan with our Japan Manga Tour 2006. You’ll be able to experience the real Japan – the subways, the nightlife, the neon & pop culture that makes Tokyo the world’s busiest, wildest, craziest non-stop megalopolis. Highlights of the tour include a visit to the Ghibli Museum, designed by Japan’s top animator, Hayao Miyazaki, guided tours of Tokyo including visits to Akihabara and Nakano Broadway- famous for dozens of anime and manga stores and Harajuku where Tokyo’s Cosplay dolls hang out. Alongside the ultra-modern, you’ll also get the chance to experience the traditional culture and sights of Tokyo. The tour arrives in Tokyo on 24 March 2006 and departs from Japan on 30 March and costs 585 pounds per person (approximately $995) and includes 6 nights hotel accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis, all entrance fees and the services of a Japan Journeys guide throughout. For further details, call 01144 20 7766 5267 or visit www.japanjourneys.co.uk/manga.htm
11-22-05 (6:45 PM EST)—- Leiji Matsumoto’s Name On Japanese Spacecraft
Turkish Weekly reports the Hayabusa unmanned Japanese space probe sent to collect what would be the world’s first samples from an asteroid has failed to touch down on its target. A target marker on the spacecraft contains two aluminum sheets the names of 880,000 people from 149 countries, including those of science fiction writer Arthur C Clarke, film director Steven Spielberg, and manga artist Reiji Matsumoto.
11-22-05 (6:41 PM EST)—- Viz And Tokyopop Partner On German Manga Strategy
VIZ Media B.V., a recently launched joint venture between San Francisco-based VIZ Media and London-based Copyright Promotions Licensing Group, Ltd. (CPLG) to drive the long-term growth of Japanese manga and animation brands in the European market, has announced a groundbreaking partnership with TOKYOPOP GmbH Germany to publish and distribute the latest manga titles to the German market.
The first titles to be offered will include a cross section of both shonen manga, aimed at male audiences, and shojo manga aimed primarily at female readers, from the Japanese publisher Shueisha. Upon the launch of the partnership, the strength and diversity of manga will be fully displayed with an array of action, fantasy, supernatural, and romantic plots to be released including BLEACH, ICHIGO 100%, DEATH NOTE, PRINCE OF TENNIS, MARIA-SAMA and CRAZY FOR YOU. In particular, there is high expectations for the shojo titles, as they have gained increased momentum as more young girls discover an array of compelling series with romantic subplots that break down the myth that manga is only for male readers.
“We are extremely pleased to announce this innovative partnership between VIZ Media B.V. and TOKYOPOP Germany,” states Daniel Marks, managing director, VIZ Media B.V. “We are enthusiastic to partner with a company that understands manga and our vision of using a brand building approach to nurture and further expand the German market for Japanese content.”
VIZ Media B.V. possesses access to some of the most popular manga and animation properties owned by VIZ Media’s parent companies, Shueisha Inc. and Shogakukan Inc., the largest publishing houses in Japan, and ShoPro (Japan). TOKYOPOP GmbH Germany is the fastest growing manga publisher in the German market. By combining forces, the companies will deliver the best and most compelling content to the growing legion of male and female manga fans and will seek to gain new fans through innovative marketing and promotional activities.
“TOKYOPOP Germany is pleased to be working with VIZ Media B.V. to bring these popular Shueisha properties to our market.” states Dr. Joachim Kaps, managing director, TOKYOPOP GmbH Germany. “We are confident that the new cross-media activities of VIZ Media B.V. will change the face of the manga markets in Europe and we are excited to be part of this new adventure.”
11-22-05 (6:23 PM EST)—- XBOX 360 Internals
AnandTech takes apart an XBOX 360 and reveals the system’s hardware internals.
11-22-05 (4:30 PM EST)—- Wings Of Rean Promo Video
The official Wings Of Rean website now has a streaming video preview available. Broadband delivery begins December 16th, a DVD release is scheduled for April. A special announcement is expected on the site on November 25th.
11-22-05 (4:16 PM EST)—- Vifam DVD BOX
Sunrise just launched www.vifam.net as the official website to promote the coming DVD BOX due on 2-24-2006 at 84,000 Yen.
11-22-05 (4:05 PM EST)—- New Kinnikuman TV Series Broadcast Start
Kinnikuman Iiyo Ultimate Muscle 2 will begin broadcast on TV Tokyo on Wednesday, January 4, 2006 at 25:00.
11-22-05 (4:00 PM EST)—- Evangelion Store Opens
On Tuesday in Japan, GAINAX threw open the doors to it’s Evangelion Store site. A part of the continuing 10th anniversary project, the official opening will be December 10th. Plans for several limited edition goods including some related to the ANGEL XX action figure series will be sold exclusively through the store.
11-22-05 (3:21 PM EST)—- GONZO Teams On Travel Tour
GONZO and Nippon Travel Agency have partnered to create the new Akiba Shoshinsha Kyuusai Tour (Akihabara Beginner Relief Tour) which will take attendees to popular MOE and otaku sightseeing spots across Akihabara. The concept of this tour caters to beginners of otaku culture who may not know anything about Akihabara. GONZO’s Solty Rei will be used as a mascot/promotional image for the tour. Destination stops include GONZO’s Akihabara studios and a local Maid Cafe. The current schedule has the tour occurs Saturday, January 28, 2006, with an attendance cap of 30 people. The 5800 Yen charge includes transportation fee, lunch and one drink in the Maid Cafe.
11-22-05 (2:58 PM EST)—- Nana Books Theft
Mainichi mentions a 28 year old suspect was arrested and accused of stealing several NANA novels in Fukui on the 16th. All the allegedly stolen books were sold off to a second-hand bookshop where NANA related material commands a high resale premium. A total of 21 books totalling 8719 Yen were suspect to have been stolen. The specific title could have drawn a 250 Yen apiece in excellent shape. Over 23 million copies have been sold.
11-22-05 (2:42 PM EST)—- Comic Rex Launches
Animate has details on Ichijinsha’s new monthly manga magazine COMIC REX. The publisher also releases the high school girl focused Comic ZERO-SUM. Look for COMIC REX on newsstands in the ninth of every month from December 9th in B5 size with 650 or more pages, retailing at 500 Yen. Confirmed serials and sample serials are Minekura Kazuya’s (Saiyuki) BUS GAMER, Tales Of Legendia (Original Story: Namco) by Ayumi Fujimura, SOUL GADGET RADIANT by Aoi Ohmori, CYNTHIA_THE_MISSION by Rui Takato, Twinkle Sabre Nova by Fujieda Miyabi, and Verno Mikawa’s Mikawa Beruno. You can see even more information at the official website here.
11-22-05 (2:03 PM EST)—- NHK Ni Youkoso! Animation Coming
Despite previous reports to the contrary, Kadokawa’s page for the NHK Ni Youkoso! manga tankabon #4 mentions NHK Ni Youkoso! by writer Ooiwa Kenji and artist Takimoto Tatsuhiko will be animated and the project is progressing.
11-22-05 (11:11 AM EST)—- m.o.v.e Anime USA Performance Reported In Japan
News of J-POP unit m.o.v.e’s performance at this past weekend’s Anime USA convention has spread back to Japan. Oricon Style (Courtesy Sankei) reports on the Washington D.C. concert which took place at the hotel on the night of the 18th. and live was done. Oricon describes the event as a “United States Version Comic” that drew in around 3500 in attending over the 3 days. The female vocalist of the group was very pleased with how things went down and was quoted as saying “Everyone’s shout of joy was incredible”.
11-22-05 (11:11 AM EST)—- Tomoe Shinohara In Paris
Japanese pop vocalist Tomoe Shinohara has revealed plans she’ll sing at the Paris Music Festival to be held on June 21st next year. She broke the news after performing at the Parisian J-POP culture introduction event “Paris-Tokyo” that was held on the 18th. It was her 3rd time in France although it was first time to perform a live concert. This year marks the 10th anniversary since the singer’s professional debut. Many French fans know her from her vocal work in the ULTRA RELAX unit that sang the theme tune of the 1996 TV Tokyo animation Child’s Toy (Kodomo No Omocha). Over 20 journalists flocked to interview her at the press conference following this most recent show. Her most recent 10th anniversary single “*Yuu Fever* (Asofi-Ba)” was released in October and went on to become an Ending them of the Gouche Bell TV series.
11-22-05 (10:48 AM EST)—- Fujiko Fujio Exhibition
The Suginami Animation Museum will host the exhibition “Done!! Fujiko Fujio (A) The Animation World” from December 5th to February 12, 2006 as a 4th project exhibition. His works including ‘Ninja Hattori’, ‘Pro golfer Monkey’ and ‘Mr. Monster’ will be on display. Shinichi Suzuki who serves as the superintendent in the same museum started up the animation production company “Studio 0” in cooperation with Fujiko Fujio in 1963. Several live lecture talk events are also planned.
11-22-05 (10:31 AM EST)—- Hiroshima Plans To Revitalize Local Animation Industry
The Hiroshima Animation Souhatsu Kaigi (Hiroshima Animation Emergence Conference) was held on the 21st. Discussed at the event were different strategies that could be applied in the region to locally revitalize the greater industry. The Hiroshima Japan Committee for Economic Development that started the “Hiroshima Animation Biennale” last year is behind the conference. After consulting with commercial partners a proposed plan of action will be brought together by the spring of next year. 14 committee members such as anime director Koji Yamamura and Komatsuzaki Taku have participated in the first meeting. Some plans floated about include supporting further festivals like the Biennale and even building a specialty movie theater complex dedicated to anime. A subsidy of five million Yen courtesy the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has been allocated for the revitalization efforts.
11-22-05 (9:12 AM EST)—- Prince Of Tennis Live Action Climax Filmed
The big climax scene for the live action Prince Of Tennis movie was recently filmed in Gifu City, Japan. The location chosen for the scene was the Nagara-gawa River Tennis Plaza, filming was carried out there from October 19th – November 6th. 5000 extras participated, mostly taking on the roles of cheering fans in the grandstands. Total Principle photography on the film wrapped on the 16th of this month, the theatrical opening is currently scheduled for a spring, 2006 release.
11-22-05 (8:49 AM EST)—- TV Tokyo Reveals BB Anime Delivery Strategy
Major Japanese broadcast network, TV Tokyo, has announced plans to establish a new animation portal site within the year, and start a pay delivery service it’s cache of prominent anime television programs via the internet. A fee of about 100 Yen per episode is planned. Out of the roughly 60 anime television series broadcasting in the region via terrestrial television, TV Tokyo currently broadcasts 37. TXBB will partner to bring the plan to fruition. The network realizes many of it’s anime viewers are active online and hope to unite tv and net with the project.
11-21-05 (8:59 PM EST)—- Tokyo’s Mile High Sky City Project
The American-based Discovery Channel has an interactive look at a new construction project to be built in Tokyo. Basically an arcology (ala Sim City 2000), this vertical “city within a city” would house 100,000 and be 1 mile in height.
11-21-05 (7:47 PM EST)—- Japanese Weekend Box Office Nov 19-20
Courtesy Kogyo Tsushinsha:
1. Always -Sunset on Third Street-
2. A Moment To Remember
3. The Brothers Grimm 4. Elizabethtown
5. Until The Lights Come Back
6. In Her Shoes
7. Spring Snow
8. Under The Same Moon
9. Mobile Suit Z Gundam 2 -Lovers-
10. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory
11-21-05 (7:05 PM EST)—- DOA Live Action Picked Up
Dark Horizons reports Dimension Films has nabbed North American rights to the action film “DOA: Dead or Alive”. Filmed in China, the project is scheduled for a fall 2006 release. Based on Temco’s best-selling video-game franchise, the film is directed by Corey Yuen (“Transporter 2″). The cast includes Devon Aoki, Sarah Carter, Matthew Marsden, Jaime Pressly, Eric Roberts and Australian singer Holly Valance…” Thanks to Daniel for the link.
11-21-05 (4:41 PM EST)—- Kamisama Kazoku To Be Animated
A segway to earlier news reported today, some Japanese fans have uncovered additional promotional material mentioning the coming Zero No Tukaima anime. In the same print spots it’s pointed out Yuichi Kuwajima’s Kamisama Kazoku manga series will also be adapted to animation in Japan. It turns out both titles are published as “MF Bunko (Pocket Edition) J” released by Media Factory. The 2 actually happen to be some current signature works released by the label so it seems this is going to be a major “double wammy” animation push in the vein of the recently announced Dengeki’s Light Novel Gekijou. Details such as staff, animation houses, or even formats remain to be seen.
11-21-05 (12:40 PM EST)—- eigoMANGA Announces 2 City Comic Tour
eigoMANGA, the publishers for the Japanese-influenced comic book series RUMBLE PAK, is producing a two-city comic book rock concert tour at THINGS FROM ANOTHER WORLD in San Francisco and the Los Angeles area (Universal City) called RUMBLE INVASION 2005. RUMBLE INVASION 2005 takes place at the Sony Metreon location in San Francisco, CA on December 3, 2005 and at the Universal City location in Universal City, CA on December 17, 2005. RUMBLE INVASION celebrates the 2006 release of the Japanese-influenced comic book series RUMBLE PAK. During the two city concert event, comic book and anime fans are able to enjoy live music and watch eigoMANGA artists at work. The music the local energetic musicians range from Japanese rock to punk and hard metal. RUMBLE INVASION’s event coordinator, Oscar Gutierrez Jr. wants to bring a fusion of artistic trends from Asia with the American lifestyle through this concert. He says, “This is our second year of Rumble Invasion and we are quite excited to continue this tradition of exposing not just our readers but to all who come to see new music from upcoming bands from J-rock to American music. Plus Rumble Pak’s 2006 installment is going to be stronger with new forthcoming titles from hilarious to legendary sagas that all should take a gander”.
11-21-05 (12:22 PM EST)—- New Y’s OVA From Marvelous Entertainment
Japanese game maker Falcom is partnering with Marvelous Entertainment to have a new animation franchise produced based on it’s highly popular Y’s RPG seies. The first product of the joint-venture will be released on DVD (an OVA series) at the end of 2006. Television broadcasting and character related product sales will be persued as well. The goal of the project is to expand game sales across a wider range of customers. Production of the new anime will begin at the start of the year. 4 30 minute OVA episodes are currently being aimed at. Coinciding with this, the latest Y’s game also scheduled to be released at the end of 2006. View the official PDF document where the announcement is made here.
11-21-05 (10:48 AM EST)—- Kasimasi PS2 Game
It’s been announced a PS2 game title is coming based on Kasimasi: Girl Meets Girl. Release date is Spring, 2006.
11-21-05 (10:42 AM EST)—- Zero No Tukaima Animation Decision
There are many different ways in which Japanese publishers choose to break news that their respective manga titles are going to be adapted to animation. Case in point is Media Factory’s just released Pocket edition tankabon release of Yamaguchi Noboru’s Zero No Tukaima #6. Included around the cover is a smaller jacket band with big font type mentioning an animation version will be made based on the work.
11-21-05 (9:31 AM EST)—- Amaenaideyo!! TV Start
The Amaenaideyo!! TV series will start running on AT-X from Wednesday, January 4, 2006. Details will be announced in “Comic Gum” to go on sale November 26.
11-20-05 (8:35 AM EST)—- Front Mission 5 Video
Square’s official Front Mission 5 website now hosts a video trailer for the forthcoming mecha RPG.
11-20-05 (6:23 AM EST)—- Ge Ge Ge No Kitaro Apparition Festival
JRT has a 1-minute video clip of a Ge Ge Ge No Kitaro Apparition festival held in Miyoshi, Koriyama this weekend.
11-20-05 (5:38 AM EST)—- Trainman Manga Mixup
It’s been announced that due to a mixup between at the publisher, the Densha Otoko (Trainman) serial scheduled to run in the February issue of Akita Shoten’s Campion RED will appear a month early in the January issue to go on sale in Japan December 19th. The mistake was found during the binding process and could not be corrected in time to meet circulation.
11-19-05 (9:43 AM EST)—- Eyeshield 21 Increases American Football Popularity
Asahi reports Riichirou Inagaki and Yuusuke Murata’s Eyeshield 21 manga and the subsequent anime TV series adaptation has generated an increased interest in the sport of American Football among high school students in Japan. The manga has reached 16 volumes with about 10 million copies sold. The number of high school students who have signed up to play on American style football teams across Kanto and Kansai equals 3621 people this year. That’s a 15% increase from 2004. University student players were about 9915 people last year and increased by about 10 percent compared with 2001. Secretary-general Maekawa of the Kanto student American Football League cites the effect manga has on generating national interest in different sports in Japan is quite profound. This has been seen in the past with Slam Dunk (Basketball), Captain Tsubasa (Soccer), Prince Of Tennis and School Wars (rugby).
11-19-05 (9:24 AM EST)—- Housemaid Sex Club Busted
A manager of a private massage shop in Akihabara, “@home maid” was arrested by the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department on the 18th. He’s accused of running an operation that had girls dressed as maids offering sexual services to patrons. A female Chinese employee was also charged. The shop had generated sales of 80 million Yen over the term of seven months. The business practice of running such a sex club is of course prohibited by the Entertainment Establishments Control Law. Young otaku was invited to the shop. Apparently, the shop employed around 40 Chinese women who all provided services dressed as maids. According to publicly placed advertisements, you could get 40 minutes of maid massage action for 10,000 Yen with their “short course”. The “original course” of 60 minutes massage action was 13,000 Yen. Sanspo has a picture of all the various evidence the police confiscated which include massage oils, photos, maid costumes and a sign listing services that also mentions they took plastic as payment. The shop was 1 minutes walk from the JR line Akihabara station east exit.
11-19-05 (8:44 AM EST)—- Fumiko Orikasa First Live Tour 2005 – “Flower”
Fumiko Orikasa, the popular voice actress of GTO, Gundam SEED DESTINY and Bleach has announced her First Live Tour 2005 – “Flower”. The first date was Kudan Kaikan on November 5th, 2005. View some pics from the event at EG here.
11-19-05 (8:15 AM EST)—- UrbanScooters.com Partners to Promote ZATCH BELL! DVD Release
UrbanScooters.com (http://urbanscooters.com) announced today that they will provide Razor scooter prize packs including a Razor push scooter and protective gear as grand prizing in a nationwide radio promotion celebrating the DVD release of VIZ Media’s “ZATCH BELL! – The Lightning Boy From Another World, Vol. 1.” The “ZATCH BELL!, Vol. 1” radio promotion will air in 20 of Arbitron’s top rated markets beginning November 15th and will run throughout the 2005 holiday season. “Zatch Bell rocks! We’re happy to help spread the word about Zatch Bell’s new release on DVD,” said Frank Minero, UrbanScooters.com (http://urbanscooters.com) CEO. “Many of our young scooter enthusiasts are huge fans of anime. This is a perfect partnership.”
UrbanScooters.com (http://urbanscooters.com) is the leading provider of electric scooters, gas scooters, and push scooters. Scooter sales have been fueled by teens who are looking for outdoor fun; and adults who are seeking a less expensive, environmentally friendly form of transportation. “Scooters are fun, easy to ride, and very economical,” said Minero. “That’s why they appeal to both teens and adults.” ZATCH BELL! is a dynamic action adventure series aimed at boys 8-14 years old and produced by Toei Animation Co., Ltd, one of the leading and most respected producers and developers of animation in Japan.
ZATCH BELL! introduces American audiences to the world of good and evil “mamodo” and the quest of ZATCH BELL! ZATCH BELL! battles his adversaries with the help of his human friend, Kiyo. The power of the duo grows stronger as their relationship develops. Kiyo is a brilliant junior high student whose inflated ego (and tendency to blow the grading curve) has made him a major target for teasing at school. So his father sends him a bizarre birthday present–a strange little boy named ZATCH BELL–to help him make friends and reform his bad attitude. But Kiyo soon discovers that there’s more to Zatch than his dad ever realized! Zatch is a creature called a mamodo, and he has magic powers that are unleashed when Kiyo reads spells from a mysterious red book. With Kiyo’s help, Zatch must compete against the 99 other kids like him who are vying to become the king of the mamodo world!
11-19-05 (7:44 AM EST)—- Yomigaeru Sora -Rescue Wings- TV Series Update
Bandai Visual’s upcoming Yomigaeru Sora -Rescue Wings- TV animation has been designated an official start date in the wee hours of the morning at 25:30 when it begins broadcasting on TV Tokyo on January 8th, 2006. The animation is based on the manga by Tommy Ohtsuka. Directing will be Katsushi Sakurabi (Gunparade March), Series composition and scenario will be by Kouzan Fumihiko, Mechanic designs by Uyamashi Hashimoto, Character design by Tetsuya Takeuchi. Animation by JC Staff. Maybe one of the more interesting credit lists attributed to this new show is the Production Cooperation manifest. Included are:
The Air Self-Defense Force, Air Staff Office – Office of Public Relations, Air Rescue Wing, Komatsu rescue corps, 100-ri salvage party, Iruma helicopter airlift corps, Komatsu base, the 6th Air Wing, 100-ri base, the 7th Air Wing, Iruma base, central part Aircraft Control and Warning Wing, Komatsu city office, Sikorsky aircraft, Bridgestone Tire Co., Ltd. cycle, and “Combat magazine” editorial department, meeting that supports “Comic flapper” editorial department, “MF pocket edition J” editorial department, Eftoiz Confect, Pratts, Caraani, third generation, Hasegawa, Hunter Mountain Shiohara, studio fantasy, Vise, JAL brand communications. Hidefumi Sakurada (former Komatsu rescue commander and former rescue education commander), Okabe, Katsuhiko Tokunaga, Satoshi Akatsuka, Eisuke Kurosawa, Shunji Nakai, and Tomii Otsuka and Hiroshi Kodama of Kodama laboratory order. For more information be sure to view the official website here.
11-19-05 (6:28 AM EST)—- Anime/Manga Gaming
– Death Note and Hikaru No Go manga artist Takeshi Obata will provide original illustrations and character designs on Bandpresto’s upcoming PS2 game Yoshitsuneki. The Action RPG is based on the true story of Yoshitsune from Japan’s Heian era. The title is due in Japan January 1st at a 5,800 Yen retail price.
– A promo video clip for the upcoming Disgaea 2 PS2 game has been uploaded to the official site.
11-19-05 (5:37 AM EST)—- Ishinomori Film Will Be Chosen From 500 Works
It’s probably most likely that the first film product from the Itochu Group / Comic Book Movie partnership will be based on one of Shotaro Ishinomori’s more well-known creations (ie: Cyborg 009 / Mask Rider). However, Japanese newspapers such as Sanspo and Mainichi are reporting that the entire manga library of the author, consisting of 500 works will be examined for a suitable adaptation candidate work. His media library is now maintained by Ishimori Entertainment who is going to help in the process. Assuming one can be found and agreed upon in time, filming is scheduled to start in 2006.
11-19-05 (5:28 AM EST)—- Mamoru Oshii’s Next Animated Film: Tachigui
Production I.G.’s English Website has updated with details on Director Mamoru Oshii’s next anime movie project: Tachigui The Amazing Lives of the Fast Food Grifters. Due in theaters for the spring of 2006, Oshii has turned his focus to his lifetime passion, an endless quest for the ultimate fast food that no one has ever explored before. Taniguchi is based on the original novel written by Oshii himself and serialized between 2000 and 2003. This project attracted numerous prominent figures from different genres, visual, SF, animation, who have all come together to share a vision and take part in the film, including Japan’s top producer, Toshio Suzuki of Studio Ghibli who successfully launched Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle. Always known as the relentless visual pioneer who has been pushing the boundaries of animation and live-action, Oshii declares with confidence and faith, “This film is going to be something that no one has seen before.” You can read more about the story and see a poster for the movie at the above link. Thanks to Daniel for the link.
11-18-05 (5:39 AM EST)—- Gonzo Establishes GDH Capital
GDH has established GDH Capital Ltd. The company will be used to create a contents fund related to animation, games and live action films and developing business centering on the composition management, etc. of venture capital funds created for promising contents media. About 10 billion Yen will be allocated to the fund initially, expanding to around 100 billion Yen in total in fiscal year 2010.
11-18-05 (4:38 AM EST)—- 2008 Olympic Mascots Based On Anime?
On November 11th, the 5 official mascots China will use to promote it’s Beijing 2008 Olympic Games were revealed. In the wake of the announcement, there has been a growing sentiment and discussion on the internet in China that the design of the “Friendlies” actually imitates the design of Japanese Animation. Talk of appropriations and outright plagiarism of Anime characters has been flying back and forth on net message boards, and in web blogs. It turns out many of the rumors may have been unintentionally fueled based on the spread of a parody illustration created after the characters were unveiled. The creator of that image, Vancouver-based Chinese cartoonist Little Iron said as soon as he saw the mascots he noticed they bore a resemblance to Japan’s various color coded live action hero teams like “Super Sentai”. He immediately drew up his parody illustration of the Olympic characters in sentai style (with a little Sergeant Kororo and Saint Seiya influence thrown in) poses and released it to the web on the 13th. The debate continues.
11-18-05 (4:23 AM EST)—- Steamboy – Howl Considered For Oscar Nomination
Courtesy USA Today:
Ten films will be considered for Oscar nominations in the animated feature category, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Thursday. Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit is one of 10 animated films eligible for the animation Oscar. DreamWorks Under academy rules, a maximum of three films can be nominated in a year when there are at least eight eligible films but fewer than 16. The films can also be nominated in other categories, including best picture. The eligible films: Chicken Little, Gulliver’s Travel, Hoodwinked, Howl’s Moving Castle, Madagascar, Robots, Steamboy, Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride, Valiant and Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. Nominees in the animated film category and 24 other categories will be announced Jan. 31. The 78th Academy Awards will be presented at the Kodak Theatre on March 5.
11-18-05 (4:02 AM EST)—- Perfect Change Gunbuster
Studio Half Eye has released prototype images and details for it’s coming resin cast Perfect Change Gunbuster toy. Due for a Spring, 2006 release in Japan at a 62,790 Yen retail, the total height of the toy will be 215mm. Prototype production was carried out by master hobby craftsman Hajime Takashima. For an indication of the quality, Studio Half Eye has put into it’s “Perfect Change” line, please check out this review.
11-18-05 (2:46 AM EST)—- Bandai Unveils New Digimon Virtual Pets
As previously reported, Bandai is preparing a major revival of their Digimon brand in Japan for 2006. The first wave of this will come in the form of it’s new “Digimon Mini” virtual pet toys due on the market on November 23rd. First marketed in June 1997 more than 24 million units of its LCD portable game were sold. These new versions mark the smallest and lightest games (30x40x17mm – 22g weight) in the history of the franchise. Two colors: gray and red will sale for 1260 Yen apiece. Supposedly a wide layer of potential players is being targeted with the release from high school students to university students who might have played the original game while in junior high school. Bandai expects to move 1 million units by March 2006. Digimon was originally conceived as “Tamagotchi that fights” following the company’s first mid 90’s success in the digital pet market.
11-18-05 (2:43 AM EST)—- Anime Industry Lecture In Brunei
According to Brunei Online:
The Embassy of Japan in Brunei Darussalam will be presenting a lecture by Mr. Koji Takeuchi, a renowned Japanese anime producer, on November 22. The lecture, entitled “Japanese Animation: Then and Now”, will be held at 7 pm at the Cesar Grand Hall of the Orchid Garden Hotel. Invited guests and members of the public are welcome to attend. The lecture will touch upon the history and current trends in Japanese animation, the process of producing animation and the secrets of becoming a successful animator. Mr. Takeuchi will also be showing the audience scenes from his self-produced animation.
11-18-05 (2:31 AM EST)—- Howl 1/24 Frame Hits 37,500 Yen On Yahoo
Following up on our Yahoo Auctions story from yesterday, a Howl’s Moving Castle ‘1/24 second’ single frame of 35 mm film actually presented in theaters, sealed in a transparent block (size: 65x55x16mm) has drawn the highest bid of 37,500 Yen as of this posting. Undoubtedly at this point, however, the various media and blog coverage in Japan and via our website has influenced the bidding.
11-17-05 (11:47 AM EST)—- Ikebukuro Is The Otaku Girl’s Sacred Ground
According to the Mainichi Newspaper “Akihabara” and “Moe” are very well known synonymous terms when it comes to male otaku, however, female otaku culture has relatively been wrapped in the mystery. In fact, half the guests at Comic happen to be women. Tokyo’s Ikebukuro district seems to be more and more a major draw for female otaku due to the numerous speciality bookshops. In those shops, one can find rare Yuri and Yaoi manga titles and dojinshi. It’s mentioned the number one manga work female dojin artists are getting ready for Comic is Full Metal Alchemist.
11-17-05 (1:32AM EST)—- iPod And iTunes #1 In Japan
Apple today announced that iTunes and iPod are leading the digital music revolution in Japan with iPod market share almost 60 percent according to Business Computer News (BCN). Since the launch of the iTunes Music Store this summer and introduction of the iPod nano and fifth-generation iPod, market share in Japan has grown rapidly, solidifying iPod’s position as the number one digital music player in Japan by a wide margin. iTunes is the number one online music service in Japan and its library has grown steadily with the addition of dozens of independent labels.
“It has been a tremendous year for Apple and music in Japan with the opening of the iTunes Music Store and the introduction of the impossibly small iPod nano and fifth generation iPod,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “We’re delighted that Japanese music fans love the unrivaled combination of the world’s most popular online music store and the world’s best digital music players.” “Consistently maintaining a market share surpassing 50 percent since September, Apple has grown to be the only winner in the portable audio market in Japan,” said Ichiro Michikoshi, editor-in-chief of WebBCN Ranking. “All eyes are on Apple to see how far it will grow its numbers in the holiday season.”
The iTunes Music Store in Japan features more than one million songs, 1,000 music videos, short films from Academy-Award winning Pixar Animation Studios, 11,000 audiobooks and 25,000 Podcasts. Since launching in August, dozens of labels including For Life Music, Geneon Entertainment and Dreamusic have added their catalogs to the iTunes Music Store. Newly added iTunes exclusives include tracks from Kazufumi Miyazawa, Zazen Boys, Motoharu Sano and m-flo, as well as international artists such as Stevie Wonder, U2, Coldplay, and Bj-k. Exclusive music videos from Beastie Boys and U2 are also available for purchase and download for viewing on customers’ PCs or fifth generation iPods.
The iPod economy is flourishing with over 1,000 accessories made specifically for iPod, ranging from fashionable cases to speaker systems. One-third of the automobiles sold in Japan in 2006 will offer iPod integration with their car stereos, including Nissan, Mazda, Daihatsu, Smart, Suzuki, Alfa Romeo, BMW, MINI, and Peugeot. In addition, an array of after-market solutions is available from Alpine, Clarion, Kenwood and Pioneer for automobiles that currently do not offer iPod integration.
11-17-05 (1:28 AM EST)—- Asia’s Hardening Soft Power
Former US assistant secretary of defense and Harvard professor Joseph Nye has an article circulating in several Asian news papers including the Taipei Times today on the rising strength of the region’s “soft power”. The focus of the piece hones in on Japan’s current soft power dominance and how it may possibly decline as China and India bring their contents industries to maturity.
11-17-05 (1:00 AM EST)—- Tezuka’s Dororo To Become Film
Osamu Tezuka’s 1967 Dororo manga will be adapted to a live action film. Actor Kou Shibasaki and Actress Shibasa Hao will star. Shioda Akihiko will direct the project, simply known as “Dororo” at this point, a scheduled theatrical opening is planned for 2007 in Toho-affiliated theaters. Filming will be done on location in New Zealand and about 2 billion Yen is being poured into production. The original manga debuted in Shogakukan’s Weekly Shonen Sunday in 1967; a 26 episode animated TV series followed, being produced by Mushi Pro in 1969; a Playstation 2 game was developed in 2003. Director Akihiko Shioda in the past received glowing reviews for his work on “Gekkou No Sasayaki” which is based on the comic book by Masahiko Kikuni. The story deals with a samurai who must make a pact with the devil to become a king. In exchange for the devil’s help, he offers his own son’s life, a boy born with the features of a worm. The child is adopted by a craftsman who reconstructed his eyes and other missing body parts in wood. Dororo becomes a skillful fighter and is forced to confront many enemies while reclaiming his 48 missing body parts. Legendary HK action choreographer Ching Siutung (Lovers, Hero) will create the fight scenes.
11-16-05 (11:39 PM EST)—- Howl 1/24 Frame Hits 26,500 Yen On Yahoo
With the much-anticipated DVD release of Studio Ghibli’s Howl’s Moving Castle hitting retail in Japan this week, the resale value of one of the limited edition extras sold with some sets has been fetching a rather high resale value at auction. The item happens to be the ‘1/24 second’ single frame of 35 mm film actually presented in theaters, sealed in a transparent block (size: 65x55x16mm). The frame is randomly selected from 15,000 frames. Originally selling at 8,925 Yen with the DVD, the frame extras alone have brought in as high a bid as 26,500 Yen on Yahoo Auctions as of this posting.
11-16-05 (10:56 PM EST)—- Honda “Nadja” OP Single Sells For 20,000 Yen
Following the death last week of Japanese singer/musician and actress Minako Honda, it’s been revealed one of her anime related singles has sold for 20,000 Yen on Yahoo Auctions. A claimed sealed and unopened OP single CD, “Narja” from the TV series Ashita No Nadja was placed on the auction site in late October before Honda’s death on the 8th. The original retail price in stores was 1500 Yen, by October 28th the winning bid had crept up to 1100 Yen. By the auction’s close on the 13th a successful bid of 20500 Yen took the item. Since the song contributed by Honda was never compiled onto a larger album for the series, the single version has become the sole rare media release featuring the song. Incidentally, the ED singles to Nadja, “Kesera.Sera” by Koshimizu Ami has also commanded a small premium at the internet auction for some time now, selling regularly at about 2000 Yen.
11-17-05 (1:21 AM EST)—- AX 2006 Blood Drive
In the wake of devastating national tragedies, such as Hurricane Katrina, Anime ExpoR continues to be a leader in philanthropic activities by joining with the American Red Cross in conducting blood drives during Anime ExpoR’s 15th Anniversary Convention July 1-4, 2006 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA. Covering 1,200 square footage of space over a span of three days, Attendees can donate life-saving blood for current and future crisis needs. Anime ExpoR 2006 Chairwoman Joyce Lim states “it’s the annual tradition of supporting medical charities such as City of Hope and Asians for Miracle Marrow Matches. Please join us in supporting the American Red Cross and their continued efforts in ensuring an adequate blood supply.” Trulee Karahashi, Society for the Promotion of Japanese Anime (SPJA) CFO, states “We’re looking forward to working with the Red Cross and helping as much as we can. With the diversity of our attendees, we hope that the blood drive will help to bring in a diversity of donors as well. This blood drive is just one of the ways in which Anime ExpoR and the SPJA seek to contribute and help out in our community.”
Attendees will be able to help a truly worthy national cause while having a blast enjoying the many live events, concerts, and exhibits during Anime ExpoR. Cliff Numark, American Red Cross Blood Services Southern California Region Director of Donor Recruitment, states “The American Red Cross salutes Anime ExpoR for planning this invaluable contribution to our community. The Anime ExpoR Blood Drive will be an opportunity for participants to save the lives of local hospital patients. At Anime ExpoR 2006, in a unique and touching way, the animation will give life to people. The American Red Cross is proud to partner with Anime ExpoR to give this Gift of Life.” Attendees can either show up at the American Red Cross booth to donate blood during Anime ExpoR 2006 or make an appointment via the American Red Cross (www.givelife.org) website after January 1, 2006 (1/1/2006) using the E-Donor sponsor code of “anime” and the password of “expo”.
11-16-05 (9:39 AM EST)—- Da Hime Obakami Ko Drama
According to the December 15th issue of Takeshobo’s Kinma Magazine, Da Hime Obakami Ko will be adapted to TV drama next spring.
11-16-05 (9:39 AM EST)—- Production I.G. To List On JASDAQ
Courtesy The Business Online:
Production I.G. Inc. (3791.JA), a Japanese animation producer, has received approval to list on the Jasdaq Securities Exchange on Dec. 21, the JSE said Wednesday. The company will offer 2,500 shares to the public in its initial public offering. Of those, 1,400 are newly issued shares and 1,100 are shares currently held in private. The company will conduct a book-building for the IPO shares from Dec. 2 to Dec. 8. The offering price will be announced Dec. 9. Mizuho Investors Securities is the lead underwriter of the offer. The company will offer all the shares through the book-building method. Under that method, the underwriter gauges the degree of demand for the shares among institutional investors by accepting orders from fund managers, who indicate the number of shares desired and the price they are willing to pay. The tentative price range will be announced Nov. 30. The company expects to net Y675 million from the IPO. Of the IPO proceeds, it plans to use for investment in plant and equipment and payment of debt. For the current fiscal year through May 31, 2006, the company forecasts a group pretax profit of Y506 million, net profit of Y305 million, revenue of Y5.85 billion, an earnings per share of Y21,975.46. Last fiscal year, the company posted a group pretax profit of Y447 million, net profit of Y282 million, revenue of Y5.68 billion, and earnings per share of Y22,386.86.
11-16-05 (9:03 AM EST)—- Classic Manga Reprints
Reprints of the popular boy’s manga anthology “Monthly Shonen” will be put on the market by Kodansha in commemoration of the 60th anniversary since the magazine’s founding. Issues will be limited to 5000 copies and retail at 5,500 Yen. One of the issues chosen for reprint is the April, 1962 issue featuring a cover by Shigeo Nagashima. Included serials are vintage “Tetsujin No. 28”, “Astroboy”, and “Robot Family”.
11-16-05 (8:40 AM EST)—- Kingdom Hearts Anime?
According to an interview with Square’s Tetsuya Nomura (director of Kingdom Hearts II and Final Fantasy VII Advent Children) in an uncited overseas (outside Japan) magazine, an animation based on the game maybe forthcoming in the format of a theatrical film.
11-16-05 (2:04 AM EST)—- 700+ Tezuka Manga Offered To Mobile Phones
KDDI (AU) and Tezuka Productions have come together to offer over 700 Osamu Texuka manga works to mobile phone users. The service which starts on the 17th will include rare comics, long out of print that is hard to come by in print form in comic shops. The service name is “Osamu Tezuka Manganomushi. ” 40 works including “Astroboy”, “Blackjack”, and “Buddha” will be available upon launch. 315 Yen will net you about a month’s worth of reading and each serial individually will cost 62 Yen. 30,000 people are expected to download the manga in the first month.
11-16-05 (1:38 AM EST)—- Ishinomori Films Official Press
Shotaro Ishinomori (1938-1998) is one of the most famous Manga authors of all time, distinguished by his creations of more than 500 Manga characters. In Japan, his name is as widely recognized as is the name, Walt Disney, in the United States. The parties intend to produce theatrical motion pictures for a worldwide audience, with their initial release as early as 2008. Their agreement extends to DVDs, television, merchandising, and other ancillary markets critical to their franchise-building strategy.
CBM (www.comicbookmovies.net) execs are the veteran film producer and comic book expert Michael Uslan and financier M. Jonathan Roberts. Uslan is well known in the film and comic book industries as executive producer of the “Batman” franchise films. Uslan, an Emmy Award winning producer (“Where On Earth Is Carmen Sandiego?”), recently donated over 30,000 comic books from his private collection to Indiana University’s prestigious Lilly Library. Lotus is CBM’s exclusive agent for the procurement and development of existing and original motion picture content from Japan and Asia. Lotus develops original motion picture content in collaboration with Japanese alliance partners.
On September 1st, 2004, Ishimori Group (www.ishimori-e.jp) (Ishimori Shotaro Pro and Ishimori Pro) and Itochu agreed to revitalize the Ishinomori properties by jointly establishing Ishimori Entertainment, Inc. The newly established company’s primary objective is to revitalize the late author’s works through motion picture production, TV programs, and merchandise. The new agreement with CBM establishes an ideal platform to introduce the so-called “Ishinomori World” to a worldwide audience. Itochu will support Ishimori Entertainment as its sole overseas agent and will be responsible for the development of motion picture based Ishinomori merchandise. Ishimori Group, CBM, and Itochu intend to further collaborate in an expanded business relationship uniting Hollywood with Japan on the global stage.
In addition to a variety of major consumer-related businesses, Itochu is active in the content production business through its major investments in SKY PerfecTV!, Space Shower and Excite. In February 2005, Itochu and Turner Broadcasting System Asia Pacific agreed in principle to co-produce new Japanese animation. Including this special partnership with CBM, Itochu plans to become more actively involved in the content production, investment and anticipates providing unique content to the world through its access to animation series and characters. Itochu also intends to expand its merchandising business in both the Japanese and international markets.
“The business of the future is building comic book franchises covering many different genres based upon pre-sold American and Japanese comic book, graphic novel, and Manga properties. It is a dream-come-true for this dedicated comic book fan to bring to life some of the greatest Manga characters in history, and to do so with respect to the integrity of the legendary Ishinomori’s creations.” – Michael Uslan, Producer and Chief Creative Officer, Comic Book Movies, LLC
“This is truly an exciting partnership for CBM. Audiences have voted, and the clear choice in entertainment is the exciting and diverse world of comics and manga.” – M. Jonathan Roberts, President and Chief Executive Officer, Comic Book Movies, LLC
— Ishimori Entertainment
“We are more than excited to work with Mr. Uslan and his team in bringing back Ishinomori’s works to life in the form of Hollywood motion picture. We hope to bring joy and excitement to the worldwide fans who have yet to discover the world of Ishinomori.” – Akira Onodera, Chief Executive Officer, Ishimori Entertainment Inc.
— ITOCHU Corporation
“We are very much excited about this new relationship and hope to introduce the ‘Ishinomori World’ to the worldwide audience through content production and merchandising.” – Nobuyuki Kaneko, Executive Officer, ITOCHU Corporation.
“Lotus is honored to be a part of this great collaboration between Ishimori, Itochu and Comic Book Movies. We anticipate seeing the creation of a new and unique motion picture genre combining the genius of Ishinomori and the distinctively creative vision of Michael Uslan.” – Hiroshi Koizumi, President of Lotus Inc.
11-16-05 (12:51 AM EST)—- Fate/Stay Night Prologue DVD CM
One of the most heavily grassroots fans supported and hyped anime to be coming in the near future in Japan is the Fate/Stay Night TV series. Geneon Entertainment Japan plans to release a TV animation prolog DVD “Fate/stay Night Curtain Raiser” on November 23, 2005, with a 2,500 Yen retail price. The DVD serves as a teaser leading up to the official broadcast in January. The same promotional video included on a disc was screened by RONDOROBE at the TBS Animation Festival this past summer. Included is a special manual and case illustrated by original artist Takeshi Takeuchi. Geneon recently began running TV spots for the pologue DVD release and you can view some screen captures here.
11-15-05 (11:42 PM EST)—- Dengeki Light Novel Gekijou Broadcast Start
According to the 11/15 issue of WOWOW’s Ani Tsuushin, their Dengeki Light Novel Gekijou kicks off January 12th at midnight when Hanbun No Gatsu Ga Noboru Sora (Looking Up At The Half-Moon) begins broadcasting. After it’s six-episode run, Shinigami no Baraddo (Momo The Girl God Of Death) will broadcast in the same slot.
11-15-05 (11:26 PM EST)—- Studio Deen Hiring
11-15-05 (10:33 PM EST)—- Maria-sama Gamiteru 3rd OVA
According to a special pin-up to run in the December issue of Cobalt Shueisha monthly magazine (see left), Maria-sama Gamiteru will get a 3rd OVA series. Additionally, a Christmas Internet radio special is being planned to be delivered via Animate.TV on December 22nd. More details should be available when the magazine hits stores shelves on Friday, November 18th.
11-15-05 (10:00 AM EDT)—- New Masashi Tanaka Manga
Mangaka Masashi Tanaka has a new manga serializing in the January issue of Kodansha’s Comic Bon Bon. Chikyuubouei Tai Gon (Kari) appears to be a continuation of his well known Gon storyline.
11-15-05 (9:55 AM EDT)—- Comic Bon Bon Changes Size
Kodansha’s Comic Bon Bon seems to be getting a major relaunch with the start of all the high profile manga serials to start with the January issue. The theme continues with news this same issue will officially introduce the new B5 size of the magazine. The street release is December 15th. Neither the price nor the usual release date has changed.
11-15-05 (9:45 AM EDT)—- New Tamakoshi Hiroyuki Manga
Tamakoshi Hiroyuki (Boys Be) has a new love story manga titled “Do-Suru!?” Paradise serializing from the January issue of Kodansha’s Comic Bon Bon.
11-15-05 (9:42 AM EDT)—- Jigoku Shoujo Episode Six Broadcast Blackout
We reported last week how the new Jigoku Shoujo TV series was getting a wide broadcast distribution in Japan over both terrestrial and satellite networks. Apparently, the content of episode 6 of the animation was too steamy for MX television which skipped airing it entirely this week. Episode 7 is currently scheduled to broadcast as usual.
11-15-05 (9:35 AM EDT)—- Mashima Hiro’s New Manga
Rave and Rave Master mangaka Mashima Hiro’s next project has been announced. Rave wrapped it’s serialization earlier in the year and after a brief break, the January issue of Kodansha’s Comic Bon Bon will see the start of Mashima-san’s MONSTER SOUL serial.
11-15-05 (9:30 AM EDT)—- Meine Liebe TV Series Sequel Broadcast Start
The official start date for the upcoming Ginyuu Mokujiroku Meine Liebe Wieder TV animation has been set at January 22nd, 2006 on Sky PerfecTV/ANIMAX. Thirteen episodes will comprise the sequel series.
11-15-05 (9:30 AM EDT)—- North Korean Animation
Curious as to what animation is being created in perhaps the world’s most isolated nation, North Korea? The new portal site “Pandora TV” is now streaming news and the image content produced in North Korea as of the 15th. Among the content is supposedly some North Korean animation programs. Live webcam style broadcasts from sightseeing spots in Pyongyang may be coming soon as well. The URL is www.pandora.tv/ch615.
11-15-05 (3:49 AM EDT)—- Toei Spiderman TV Series DVD BOX
Toei Video is gearing up to release it’s distinctly Japanese flavor Spiderman to DVD. This sentai action style series dating back to 1978 has America’s favorite web-slinger going up against entirely new enemies from the ones you may be familiar with from the original comics. Releasing December 9th, 2005, the video media will be transferred from a new digital master, collect 41 episodes, running about 1,003 minutes, be composed of a 7 disc set including one bonus disc. The retail is 47,250 Yen. A special addition to the set will be an interview with original creator Stan Lee. You can see a 4-minute video of him talking about Toei’s Spiderman in English with Japanese subtitles by clicking on the above link and scrolling to the bottom of the page.
11-15-05 (3:09 AM EDT)—- WOWOW’s First True Hi-Def Anime: Ergo Proxy
WOWOW has revealed that Manglobe’s upcoming Ergo Proxy TV series will be the first animation to be broadcast in true HiVision High Definition format and including a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack.
11-15-05 (3:09 AM EDT)—- Brave Story Seiyuu
28-year-old actress Takako Matsu has been announced to headline the vocal cast for GONZO’s major anime feature film Brave Story, which opens July 8th, 2006 in Japan. She’ll play the role of the 10-year protagonist. J-Drama star Takako Tokiwa and pop singer Eiji Wentz will also star. Brave Story’s distribution is expected to be a wide one in Japan with 700 screens already allocated.
11-15-05 (2:52 AM EDT)—- U.S. Cyborg 009 Movie Coming
Japan’s Itochu group and Michael Uslan’s American-based Comic Book Movie LLC are coming together to produce a Hollywood film based on Shotaro Ishinomori’s manga. Cyborg 009 is said to top the list of properties from the prolific mangaka to be on the adaptation block, with a projected North American theatrical opening in 2008. Michael Uslan has been an executive producer on all of Warner Brothers Batman films from 1989 through the present. Ishimori Entertainment is said to be connected with the joint production contract, it will have a role in the selection of the work to be adapted. Filming is scheduled to start in 2006.
11-15-05 (12:38 AM EDT)—- TOP Wallpaper
The official Japanese Tales Of Phantasia OVA website updated with a new wallpaper fans can download and add to their desktops.
11-15-05 (12:24 AM EDT)—- XXXHOLiC & Tsubasa Chronicle DVD Release
CLAMP announced the DVD sale of ‘Theater Version XXXHOLiC’ & ‘Theater Version Tsubasa Chronicle’ will see a DVD release in Japan on February 25, 2006. At present, the retail price is undecided.
11-15-05 (12:00AM EDT)—- Elfen Lied Manga Ends
According to a new entry in the online diary of mangaka Lynn Okamoto, the she’s officially finished the Elfen Lied manga which began in 2002. The serial version, which ran in Shueisha’s Young Jump was completed recently and she thanks all her fans for sending in appreciation mail. She adds “Elfen Lied was a very happy cartoon.” Okamoto had just completed penning 20 pages of new material which comprises the epilogue of the series for the 12th volume tankabon. Work on the epilog was apparently delayed as she had wisdom teeth pulled. Street release on vol. 12 is November 18, 2005.