10-23-05 (11:36PM EDT)—- Special Strawberry 100% Episode Will Air
Animax PPV will run a special episode of Strawberry 100% on Friday, November 18th. The story will be seperate from the rest of the TV series, as a bonus the production and seiyuu symposium will also air.
10-23-05 (11:36PM EDT)—- 35 Million Hit Commemoration Wallpaper
Japanese Moe PC game makers Neko Neko, which are marking their 6th anniversary, have relesed some sepcial character wallpaper to commemorate their 35 millionth hit. You can easily find the special wallpaper on the site homepage.
10-23-05 (10:19PM EDT)—- Zaizen Jotaro To Be Animated
Based on the original manga written by Kitashiba Ken and illustrated by Watanabe Yasuhiro (Wild Leager), Naikaku, Kenryoku Hanzai Kyosei Torishimarikan (Government Crime Investigation Agent) Zaizen Jotaro will be animated in the form of a TV series. The manga is serialized by Shinchosha Bunch Comics. The expected broadcast of a 13 episode run will come in 2006. The storyline follows a hardboiled, tough as nails investigator who seeks out corruption inside the highest halls of power of Japan’s Diet. Several factions battle for influence, manipulation and power therein including the American CIA, Yakuza gangs, nepotistic cabals and shadowy puppet masters which have pulled the strings of Japan’s corporate and governmental establishment since the close of the second World War.
10-23-05 (9:52PM EDT)—- Viz Media To Outsource Manga Production Through eigoMANGA
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – eigoMANGA STUDIOS has announced a new partnership with Viz Media to produce English versions of some of Viz Media’s most popular manga titles beginning in the summer of 2006. Starting in July of 2006, eigoMANGA STUDIOS will provide translation, English language scripts, lettering, and sound effects for some of Viz’s best-selling manga publications. As part of the deal, eigoMANGA will produce English-language editions of Basara, a popular Shojo manga series, and Flame of Recca, one of Viz’s popular Shonen titles. eigoMANGA STUDIOS aims to maintain the consistent quality readers have come to expect across the entire Viz line of publications, according to Austin Osueke, Project Manager for eigoMANGA STUDIOS. “We’re really excited about working with Viz on these books, particularly Basara”, said Osueke. “It’s one of the books that inspired me to become part of the manga industry in the first place.”
About eigoMANGA STUDIOS:
eigoMANGA STUDIOS is a business to business production and marketing consulting firm specializing in producing anime and manga projects for clients looking for custom-brand anime themes for their marketing and business needs. eigoMANGA STUDIOS is a subsidiary of eigoMANGA Ltd.
10-23-05 (9:43AM EDT)—- Fansub Production Time Down To Mere Hours
ANS has learned the turnaround time for digital fansubs continues to plumet as technology becomes cheaper and more easily procured and as Japanese language skills improve in the rest of the world. The current record for quickest fansub turnaround is claimed by one group to be only around 1-2 hours from procuring an original broadcast video stream to net release. What’s more, the time to see raw Japanese broadcast recordings dumped on the net has also dropped. These increased turnaround speeds regularly see Japanese animation TV series air for the first time in Japan in the evening on one day and be released in fansub format before the same time on the same day in the USA for instance.
10-23-05 (8:27AM EDT)—- Toritsu Mizushou Drama
Shinobu Inokuma’s Toritsu Mizushou manga will be adapted to TV drama by NTV according to details to be published in Shogakukan’s Young Sunday #50, scheduled to go on sale on 11/10 and #47 which was released in Japan on the 20th.
10-23-05 (8:13AM EDT)—- Adult Magazine Publishers To Self Impose Sales Restraints
The Japan Magazine Publishers’ Association has announced that they are strengthening the seal on content related to adult magazines sold in the bookstore etc. so as not to be viewable to the eyes of those less than 18 years old. As of the 20th they have executed a reinforced self-imposed restraint plan. This will be transitioned to retail outlets as early as November. A special transparent blue tape will mark adult magazines so they will be easy to distinguish. The tape masks a portion of the cover and will not allow readers to open the pages. Similarly taped magazines first appeared last July on adult magazine such as those sold in convenience stores. Only about 1/8 or less of the content will not be able to be seen. Earlier methods were easy to bypass and peeloff, involving plastic wrapping and string. Instead this new tape will be fixed at 2 points.
10-23-05 (8:08AM EDT)—- New Suetsugu Yuki And Bessatsu Friend Statements
In addition to Kodansha’s apology released on October 19th, the editorial staff of Bessatsu Friend has issued a seperate statement of apology to their website as of October 21st. The language is somewhat similar to the original with a few new details directly from the publisher which have allready been repoted in the Japanese press. Most noteable is the admission that the publisher believes her currently running serial Silver did contain “appropriations”:
“When Suetsugu Yuki was appropriating from works such as “Slam Dunk” and “Real” the areas were pointed out and received from the reader. Many of these facts are confirmed, and Yuki also admitted much of this while the details are investigated. This has already been reported by the newspaper and TV, etc. The editorial department took the measures of stopping the shipment and discontinuation of all of Setsugu’s works at the end. Moreover, it becomes clear that “Silver” under serial to Besatsu Friend has use of appropriations and it will not be carried from the December edition (sale on November 12th). The series “Your Black Wings” will also discontinue publishing from the January edition (sale on November 28). The editorial department apologizes for catching this situation heavily, for causing deep reflection, and troubling you the reader and parties concerned. The magazine will go forward making an effort further so that this should never happen again, and it asks for love and trust by the readersin the future.
October 21, 2005
“Apology From Author
I am really sorry for inviting such a situation this time. The act he mistook for the sweetness of recognition when protecting copyright is defended seriously, it catches deeply shamefully as cartoonist, and I apologize to the copyright people and everybody of parties concerned with heartfelt sincerity. You, the readers who were looking forward to the work in the middle of a series, and you who had liked Yuki Suetsugu’s work do not have to carry out an apology very sorry, either. I regaze at a step and want to examine myself deeply. It felt sorry truly.
October 21, 2005
Tsuetsugu Yuki At The End”
10-23-05 (7:22AM EDT)—- Akiba Walker
There’s so much new stuff in Akihabara that Kadokawa will soon release their “Akiba Walker Akihabara Walker” mook. The book includes all the changes since the TX opening and redevelopment around the main train station, etc. From charging places to restrooms to Maid cafes to Akihabara gourmet, all these items and more are covered in detail and listed on a map. The release is October 21st at 780 Yen.
10-23-05 (7:07AM EDT)—- Moe Moe Proverb Dictionary
Kotozawa and Eagle Publishing will sale their 244 page Moe Moe Proverb Dictionary on October 24th in Japan. It inlcudes useful ideoms to remeber for the otaku elite such as “Wisdom: Treasure a thousand generations – Gundam: Treasure of Bandai” and “Howl of underdog – Spectacle seen well by two 2ch”. The retail is 1,785 Yen.
10-23-05 (6:55AM EDT)—- Machine Robo Compilation Mook
Millionhero has announced it will publish Machine Robo (GOBOTS – ROBOMACHINE) WEDGE Compilation Mook this autumn. Therein one will find the entire history of the robot across various media and merchandise forms such as the popular toys and the 1980’s TV animation. Sale is set for October 26th at 3,465 Yen. Machine Robo debuted in Japan as a robot toy series by Poppy (now Bandai) in April, 1982. It suddenly became became a hit due to the 600 Yen per figure price and high quality assembly using plating and die cast metals. The toys sold 15 million pieces and an animation was developed in 1986 which ran 108 episodes. The series revived in Japan in 2003, currently new toys based on the franchise are being marketed.
10-23-05 (6:25AM EDT)—- Yoshinaga Sanchi No Gargoyle TV Animation
Publisher Enterbrain’s Magical-Cute Magazine Vol. 20 (due on Oct. 25th) will include details that Taguchi Sennendo’s Yoshinaga Sanchi No Gargoyle manga storyline will be adapted to an animated TV series. A joint autograph session will be held with character designer Yuji Himukai in Akihabara on October 30th.
10-23-05 (5:55AM EDT)—- Manga Artists Get Computer Aide
An interesting new piece of software was shown off last week at the IPAX 2005 (Information Technology Promotion Agency) show at Tokyo Big Site. The POM program developed by Yuka Kobayashi lets the user plug in various styling datapoints of specific famous manga artists and then processes that info with your provided script, rendering entirely fresh scenes on the fly as if they were created by the original mangaka stars. For their demonstration, Mitou Youth utilized the settings of Ai Yazawa, CLAMP, Akira Toriyama and “Yoshihiro Togashi. Likewise peculiarities of boys and girls comics were fed into the program. As most of us know, the work schedule of the average creator can be gruelling, with unforgiving deadlines and unrelenting editors. With that in mind this tool is actually being designed to aide mangaka in more quickly rendering their scenes in the same style that they would. POM was developed by Kobayashi as a graduation production of Hokkaido and Hakodate industrial Technical College. Commercialization of the product is currently undecided.
10-23-05 (4:33AM EDT)—- NES Is 20
CNET reports on Oct. 18, 1985, the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) first went on sale in the United States. It was an 8-bit video game console, and largely thanks to “Super Mario Bros.,” a spinoff from the arcade hit “Donkey Kong,” the NES quickly became the most successful game system of its era. Nintendo has also posted a tribute.
10-23-05 (4:11AM EDT)—- Mushiking Guitar
J-Rockers FUZZY CONTROL that perform the new ending theme “think twice” on TV Tokyo’s Mushiking animation have collaborated to produce a specially-made Mushiking Guitar. The amplifier maker Marshall will also sale a Mushiking themed amplifier. Fans can see the guitar and find out how to obtain one here.
10-23-05 (4:04AM EDT)—- Nissan Shows Off GTR PROTO
Proabably the most desired car never sold on a mass scale in the North American marketplace, Japanese automaker Nissan unveiled their Skyline GTR replacement this week. The GTR has been featured in Hollywood movies such as The Fast And Furious, games like Gran Turismo to manga and anime like Initial D. President Carlos Ghosn revealed the car on the 19th at the Tokyo Motor Show. The production version will go on sale in 2007. According to Ghosen, the release will mark the final chapter of the revival plan he launched several years ago to relaunch the company and it’s product line. The look of the show car is said to be almost identical to the finalized production version. Sale is expected in the United States.
10-23-05 (2:45AM EDT)—- Vertical To Publish Parasite Eve Novel
The company behind Osamu Tezuka’s Buddha and the Ring novels has announced a Nov. release date and a $24.95 price tag for the book which inspired the Square videogame and live-action film from ADV. Thanks to Daniel and Jagged Team for the news.
10-23-05 (2:15AM EDT)—- Horse Races To Victory With Anime Inspired Name
On Sunday in Japan, racehorse Tame Pretty Cure took the win at the Kaede Shou (Maple Prize) derby at Kyoto Racecource. It’s thought the horse has taken it’s name from the popular TV animation. An advancement to Japan’s top tier G1 series race is expected in the at the end of the year.
10-23-05 (2:02AM EDT)—- 1 Chip MSX To Be Built
It’s been announced comercial production of 1 chip MSX will commence. The news came at PLD WORLD 2005 held in Tokyo on October 21st. The company ASCII did have plans to mass produce the new compact version of the classic Japanese computer which became known for several popular RPG’s and Konami games (Metal Gear 1-2). The official hardware specs will correspond to MSX2 as follows: Main RAM256KB, Kanji ROM internals, MSX-DOS2 OS, PS/2 terminal accesories, Two MSX cartridge slots, SD/MMC card slot used as external memory, Two voice terminals (monaural), TV video out, FPGA I/O pin (40 pins and 10 pins), USB Terminal, VGA Terminal. 19800 yen of excluding tax and ASCII because manuals and attachments CD-ROM (Game software etc. are scheduled collection as a sample) attach to the AC adaptor as an accessory. The retail will be 20,790 Yen. 5000 units will be produced.
10-23-05 (1:57AM EDT)—- Bandai Launches Preemptive Strick Against iPOD?
Bandai Channel and Sony have announced their new “Portable TV” service which allows Japanese users to download anime episodes to their PSP devices using USB cable as the delivery method and a Memory Stick as a storage method. It’s said the video quality of the clips is about the highest-resolution possible on the handheld. Currently episodes of 2005’s Noein and 2003’s Gunparade March are available for 105 Yen each.
10-23-05 (1:24AM EDT)—- Seiyuu Criticizes Anonymous BBS Postings
In a recent Kids Station interview, Japanese voice actress Haruko Momoi (UNDER17, Chika Minazuki in Ai Yori Aoshi, Mii in Popotan) recently spoken out against (Windows Media Video) the anonymous internet BBS posting convention which has taken hold in the country. She says the right to post lies about someone and hide behind an anonymous identity should not be permitted.
10-23-05 (12:45AM EDT)—- MOE Homepage Design
Autumn Technology has began offering a service of designing personal and business websites with a MOE character art theme. A sample of their designed sites to date can be viewed here. Existing cleints include a number of maid cafes. The creation rates range from 400,000-500,000 Yen.
10-23-05 (12:04AM EDT)—- Is Yuki Suetsugu Guilty Of Copyright Violations?
While Kodansha has taken in-company actions related to the discovery of artist Yuki Suetsugu’s appropriations of material in Takehiko Inoue’s Slam Dunk manga, it should be noted that neither her nor her publisher have yet been charged with a crime or law suit related to copyright violation. While the side by side comparsions of some of the pannels of Eden No Hanna VS Slam Dunk are enough evidence to convince some of an ethical crime, it has not been enough to convince all of a crime against existing law. This sentiment has appeared in a number of Japanese blogs following the case, described as “shinkokuzai”, a type of crime which requires a formal complaint from the victim in order to prosecute. Kodansha discontinued and is in the process of pulling all of Suetsugu’s manga as an independent action and both directed an act of moral responsibility by offering a specific apology to Takehiko Inoue in their recent statements. Some observers believe that while the act of copying artwork was wrong, Kodansha has gone to the lengths of abnormal severity by removing all of her existing titles and not just the ones where copying was found to have taken place. The question is being asked: does another reason hitherto unreported exist for these actions? A comparison case (based on the current facts known) in recent history is that of Ryoichi Ikegami (Mai The Psychic Girl, Sanctuary). He was found to have traced the image of castle found in a photograph for his ‘Nobunaga’ manga co written by Kazuya Kudo. Mr. Ikegami admitted to this taking place, apologized for the event and the work was taken out of print briefly only to return later when the problem was cleared. However, unlike the Suetsugu situation, Ikegami’s other titles were not suspended and he goes on to this day creating new manga. Inoue has yet to make any public comments on Yuki Suetsugu.
10-22-05 (11:08PM EDT)—- Further “Appropriations” Identified?
In the wake of the Yuki Suetsugu “appropriation / plagiarism” case, Japanese fans are looking more closely at their manga now and some are making callouts online relating to a number of different suspect art pieces. One of the most well known in the English speaking realms is the comparison of Oh Great!’s Tenjho Tenge (which came first) and Yuji Shiozaki’s Ikkitousen. Another is Rozen Maiden: Traumend’s ‘Barasuishou’ and a character used as promo art by the J-Rock group Ziong Head. Both feature girls with an eyepatch. Another interesting one is a photo of a hillside medieval castle and town located in France and a sketch done by Eureka 7 character designer Ken’ichi Yoshida.
10-22-05 (2:56PM EDT)—- Final TOP OVA Volume Announced
The 4th and final Tales Of Phantasia OVA has been given a street release date of December 22nd from Frontier Works. The animation is based on the popular Namco RPG sold for Nintendo’s Super Famicom in 1995, and later ported to PSX and GBA. According to Wikipedia, TOP was the first SFC game to feature streamed audio voices, made possible by sound programmer Hiroya Hatsushiba. Specifically, this sound engine was titled the “Flexible Voice Driver,” and overcame the SNES’s small audio memory capacity by swapping short vocal samples on the fly. The voice actor’s recording for the final OVA volume wrapped this week, bringing 10 years of the cast working together (on the games, drama CD’s and anime) to a close. The cast included Takeshi Kusao as Cless Alvein, Junko Iwao as Mint Adnade, Kazuhiko Inoue as Klarth F. Lester, Kentarou Itou as Chester Barklight, Mika Kanai as Arche Klaine, Taeko Kawata as Suzu Fujibayashi and Toshiyuki Morikawa as Dhaos.
10-22-05 (1:54PM EDT)—- Ishinomori’s Grandson Announced
The 1st grandson of manga master Shotaro Ishinomori (Cyborg 009) has been announced by his eldest son Take Onodera and wife Saori Shiraishi. The news came via a post to Shiraishi’s website. The actress is 7 months pregnant, with a January 28th expectation date which just happens to fall on the anniversary of the mangaka’s death. The couple is said to have visited the manga author’s grave in Ikebukuro and say “The first grandchild was able to done”.
10-22-05 (1:32PM EDT)—- Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Gets Anime Makeover
Italian based design firm Tokidoki was selected by 7th on Sixth and IMG to design the venue and collateral for the Spring 2006 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Smashbox Studios in Los Angeles. The event goes from October 16th-20th. The motif chosen by Tokidoki’s illustrator Simon Legno is inspired by Japanese Animation.
10-22-05 (1:16PM EDT)—- FanExpo 2005 In Santiago Chile
FanExpo 2005 is a convention made by fans for fans in Chile, about the “ROBOTECH Convention Tour 2005”. In the words of its organizers: “The Fan Expo2005 is a convention of science fiction and fantasy. Reune different areas from the entertainment, as: comic, animation, videogames, cinema, role playing, cards games, music, national and international guests, and a lot of fans!. We added to our attractive programation the exclusive visit to Latin America of the “ROBOTECH Convention Tour 2005″,celebrating the 20 years of Robotech and the presentation of an advance of the new sequel ROBOTECH Shadow Chronicles”. The event will be made in the Planetarium of the University of Santiago of Chile, 12 and 13 of November. It will count on the participation of special guests, as:
*Michael Bradley: composer of the sound track of Robotech and interpreter of the songs of Yellow Dancer.
*Tommy Yune: director and creator of comic of Robotech and Robotech Shadow Chronicles, the new film of Robotech.
*Greg Snegoff: adaptation and creation of the script of Robotech.
*Patricia Acevedo: spanish voice of Lisa Hayes, Usagi Tsukino in Sailor Moon and Lisa Simpson.
*Jesus Barrero: spanish voice of Rick Hunter and Scott Bernard in Robotech, and Seiya in Saint Seiya.
The official programming of the Fan Expo will be on line in its page from November 1st.
10-22-05 (12:40PM EDT)—- Kororo / Zorori Double Feature
A production symposium was held in Akihabara Saturday regarding the planned Kororo Gunso (Sgt. Frog) animated film. It’s been announced the movie will actually be a double feature split between Kororo and Kaiketsu Zorori. Kororo Gunso is based on the manga by Mine Yoshizaki which began serializing in Shonen Ace. The North American licensor is Tokyopop. Over 7 million copies have been sold to date. A TV anime series was produced by Sunrise in 2004, it has enjoyed good rating and popularity regardless of age and sex. Kaiketsu Zorori was created by Yutaka Hara, the character originally appeared in a 1987 children’s book. TV Asahi broadcast a Zorori animation in February, 2004. A prayer for a smooth production and box office success was actually held in the hall with a shinto priest, shrine maide and Zorori and Kororo. The nationwid etheatrical opening is scheduled for March 11th, 2006.
10-22-05 (11:30AM EDT)—- Tokyo Project Gathering Exhibitors Seek Asian Investment
The first Tokyo Project Gathering business related meetings have occured at the TIFF as of the 22nd. There, Japan’s top directors have been promoting the sales of their works to various overseas producers while attempting to also procure investment. Sponsors include the Ministry Of Economy, Trade and Industry. A special aim of the event is to expand the spread of Japanese movies and the animation in Asia and towards this end, representatives of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) will be present at some of the screenings and presentations.
10-22-05 (11:25AM EDT)—- Dr. Shinichiro Akizuki Dies
Dr. Shinichiro Akizuki has died from respiratory failure on October 20th at 8:55AM. He was 89 years old. His life’s story as a courageous doctor treating those exposed to the effects of the atomic bomb drop in Japan at the end of World War II is the basis for the new animated film Nagasaki 1945: Angelus No Kane we reported on Yesterday. Dr. Akizuki’s private funeral was managed by his close relatives on the 22nd. A special memorial will be held on November 27. On August 9, 1945 he was the director of a hospital less than a mile from the epicenter of the explosion. With scarcely any of the neccesary medical equipment and medicine, he and his staff ventured out into a city ravaged by only the second such device to be unleased on a civilian population center in war. Radiation victim doctor Takashi Nagai was considered a personal friend. His accounts from the event were compiled into the bestselling 1966 book “Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Record” (66 years). The doctor setup the “Nagasaki Peaceful Promotion Society” and the “Testimony To Nagasaki” movement to pass on the truth of radiation exposure as the founding chief director. He was awarded the Eiji Yoshikawa cultural prize in 1972.
10-22-05 (9:59AM EDT)—- New Game Trailer Being Released Via Bit Torrent
Type Moon announced it is releasing the video trailer for it’s highly anticipated fan favorite PC game Fate/Hollow Ataraxia to the internet via Bit Torrent. The company is the first Japanese game producer to do so. The game is due on DVD-ROM on October 28, 2005. Fate/Hollow Ataraxia is the sequel to the popular Fate/Stay Night which grew a huge following and support through the otaku blog community in Japan.
10-22-05 (9:52AM EDT)—- Franz Ferdinand On SNL
Franz Ferdinand, the britpop stars behind the current Paradise Kiss TV series ED theme “Do You Want To”, will perform live tonight on the American NBC TV network sketch show Saturday Night Live.
10-22-05 (9:04AM EDT)—- Girl’s High School Students TV Series Announced
While few details exist at this time, it’s been revealed in the November, 2005 issue of Futabasha’s Comic High Magazine that Towa Oshima’s Girl’s High School Students (Joshikousei – Baka Gundan) storyline will be adapted to TV animation. The original manga debuted in 2001, serializing within the pages of Weekly Manga Action. In 2004 it moved to Comic High which launched with the unique concept of printing shoujo material aimed at boys. Girl’s High School Students was licensed for release in North America in 2004 by Comics One, and is currently owned by DRMASTER. 6 graphic novels of the work have been marketed in North America as of October. The storyline is based on the author’s own real life experiences: A hilariously hip account of life at an all-girl private high school. As the student body comes of age we witness their search for love, sexual controversy and the rivalry between cliques. Eriko and her two best friends – Yuma and Ayano are excited to enter the more sophisticated realm of higher learning. However they soon find out that life without a constant male presence isn’t quite as sophisticated as they thought. The vulgarity and cleanliness they hoped to escape, emerges full force when the all female student body lets it all hang out.
10-22-05 (7:44AM EDT)—- Japanimation Tour Launches
Mangasha has posted a website detailing it’s new Japanimation travel tour. The 39,800 Yen land only excursion seems to only be open to those with Japanese language ability at the present.
10-22-05 (7:14AM EDT)—- Kodansha Pulling Eden No Hana From World Markets
ANS has learned Japanese publisher Kodansha has initiated a process of asking it’s global license holders to halt publication and removing Yuki Suetsugu’s manga from countires outside of Japan. Earlier this week, it was announced 25 of her works sold in Japan were being taken out of print and remaining copies pulled from retailers’ shelves. This arose after allegations were confirmed that she stole imagery from the works of Takehiko Inoue. An attempt is being made to halt publication in markets which have not yet began release of Eden No Hana for instance. It is not currently known what will happen to circulating volumes of the book in other markets which already have copies available at retail and in print. The title was sold as early as May 2005 in Europe, by German Random House imprint Heyne and on the Thai market by Bongkoch Comics.
10-21-05 (3:56AM EDT)—- CPM 1st Anime Company To Support iPOD
About a week has passed since ANS was the only anime news site on the web speculating as to anime’s possible future on Apple’s new iPOD with video. Today, the American industry has answered with Central Park Media coming on board as the first Japanese Animation producer to officially release content for the portable device:
Central Park Media proudly announced today that it is the first anime company in the world to provide content for Apple’s new video-capable iPod. Visitors can now download the first episode of Central Park Media’s upcoming Armored Trooper VOTOMS at www.centralparkmedia.com/ipod/ as well as view the trailer for the shockingly horrific Kakurenbo: Hide & Seek, scheduled to premiere on a special pre-Halloween midnight broadcast on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim, Saturday, October 29, and Hammerboy, winner of numerous prestigious awards on both sides of the Pacific. In the coming days and weeks, Central Park Media will be making available more full episodes and trailers to best-selling CPM anime including Descendants of Darkness, Revolutionary Girl Utena, and Shadow Star Narutaru, among hundreds of other titles.
“Releasing episodes and trailers for the iPod is only natural for Central Park Media. CPM has always been the pre-eminent innovator in the anime world,” said Newton Grant, CPM’s Director of Business Development. “We were the first to release anime on CD-ROM, DVD, and PSP downloads, and the first to offer manga and manhwa as Digi-press downloads, so now the iPod is perfectly natural for us.” Central Park Media currently offers downloadable content for the Sony PSP at http://www.centralparkmedia.com/psp/ and has entire volumes of manga and manhwa online at http://www.centralparkmedia.com/cpmpress/digipress.cfm.
Peter Tatara, CPM’s fan community liaison executive, added, “It is a well-known fact that anime fans are the earliest adopters of new technology hardware and software. We are sure that they will quickly become a major customer base for video iPods, so we want to ensure that they can enjoy their favorite CPM titles on this new device. While CPM’s iPod video programs are available only at the CPM website at this time, the company expects to make its programming available at the Apple iTunes website once negotiations are completed. No schedule for launching on iTunes has been announced at this time.
10-21-05 (8:47AM EDT)—- Oshii And Fukusaku Team On Elle Is Burning!
Originally announced as one of the Tokyo Project Gathering presentation section works, new details have surfaced on Elle Is Burning! (tentative title) The story draws alot of influence from Kamagasaki, Osaka’s Eishinari Boudou (Nishinari Riot) of 1990. Kamagasaki, is the largest slum in Japan. Located in the south end of downtown Osaka, Kamagasaki is a one square kilometer “city within a city”. It is the home to some thirty thousand day labor workers, some three thousand homeless, and close to ninety yakuza (Japanese Mafia) offices. The Nishinari Riot involved a conflict between all these parties when tensions reached a head (images and more details). Director & Producer Kenta Fukasaku (Battle Royale II) will adapt a script written by Mamoru Oshii (Ghost in the Shell) for the film. The original TPG announcement desrcibes Elle Is Burning! as “A big budget action movie about a battle between refugees and the armed forces of Tokyo Metropolitan Police in the near future.” Fukusaku has said he wants to present the story as “realistic action”. The temporary Japanese title is L No Ran. In the last year the director spent 3 weeks in the real world Nishihari district location hunting and picking up on the “energy” of the town where unrest is still common, although on a much more subdued scale. Mamoru Oshii completed his script for the film in August.
10-21-05 (7:59AM EDT)—- Manga Pros To Staff Kyoto’s First Major Anime / Manga Subject
Kyoto Seika University will launch a manga / anime production subject from April 2006. Around 40 students are expected to be drawn in. The Deputy Editor of Shogakukan’s Big Comic Spiritts, Kumada Seishi will teach the subject. Gisaburo Sugii (Galaxy Express 999 – Touch) will be a professor of the animation subject.
10-21-05 (7:26AM EDT)—- English Language Release Of Nagasaki 1945 Coming
It’s been announced that an English Language version of the Mushi Productions / Kaishagaiyou animated film Nagasaki 1945: Angelus No Kane will be released. The storyline is drawn from Akiko Yamashita’s book Natsu Kumo No Oka-Byou Mado no Hibaku Ishi, referencing MD Shinichiro Akizuki’s writings: Nagasaki Genbakuki and Shino Doushinen. In August, 1945, Shinichiro Akizuki was a doctor working in the Urakami district of Nagasaki. When the Americans dropped the atomic bomb on the city, his hospital, St. Francis, was literally in the shadow of the blast, about one mile from the epicenter. American scientists declared the area totally uninhabitable for 75 years. Remarkebly none of the workers or patients there suffered from radiation sickness although they were certainly exposed. Dr. Akizuki and his staff disregarded the American warning and continued going around the city in straw sandals visiting the sick in their homes and administering medical care. After the war Dr. Akizuki became a advocate of world peace, he is 89 today. The 80 minute film was completed in August and directed by Arihara Seiji. Production funds are being assembled via fundraising efforts, with about a 150 million Yen goal. About 57 million Yen was collected as of September. It apologizes with information of English version DVD making postponement. At a production committee conference on July 22, and English Language DVD release was announced, it’s currently on hold though until the total screening has completed. The producers want the story to be seen by those around the world.
10-21-05 (5:56AM EDT)—- TIFF Proceedings Being Streamed Live
The 18th Tokyo Intrnational Film Festival kicks off Saturday in Japan and some portions will be video streamed live on the internet for the first time (some are being archived as well). Ceremonies such as VIPS arriving on the “Red Carpet” will be covered. This year there will be a blue carpet too, which stretches 80 meters. Anime characters such as Pikachu and Doraemon will march up the carpet on the 22nd. You can find the streaming section by going to the Japanese website and looking for the TIFF Cyber Channel button in the upper left hand side of the main page.
10-21-05 (5:40AM EDT)—- Cinequanon Establishes Animation Trust Fund
In the news yesterday regarding their distrubution deal with Yumeta on the coming Haruka Naru Toki No Naka De animated film, Cinequanon announced on Friday in Japan it was establishing animation JDC trust fund. 4.5 billion Yen will be procured from private investors to invest in the fund which covers about 20 works. According to the scheme which has been embraced in Japan rather widely recently, private investors can add money to the trust (50,000 Yen minimun invetment in this case). 2.5 billion Yen will then be appropriated to produce the film and two billion will be used as a “P&A expense” to cover print fees and the advertising. After release, dividends are then payed back to original investors based on the boxoffice performance / DVD sales etc..
10-21-05 (5:17AM EDT)—- Tim Burton In Japan
Oricon mentions Corpse Bride and Charlie And The Chocolate Factory director Tim Burton is in Tokyo this week. Burton said he was surprised and happy his remake based on the Rohl Dahl novel was doing so well there (it reclaimed P1 at the boxoffice this past weekend). He was asked if he would make further stop-motion animated features and he said that would if he could find a suitable storyline that could accomadate the technique.
10-21-05 (3:45AM EDT)—- Real Life Paradise Kiss Fashions Revealed
As many know, director Mahiro Maeda said he would be drawing from the collections of well known real world fashion designers to provide clothing for his characters in the just started GONZO TV series Paradise Kiss. Today, the official website updated with a new special section to go episode by episode listing the various designers he selected, their clothing articles, and their use in the series. It’s been revealed a dress created by Atsuro Tayama of AT Co., Ltd was modeled by the main female character Yukari in the fist episode. The real life dress was worn by Producer Yoko Matsusaki at a special announcement event held on October 3rd. Tayama’s designs have clashed with the current trends in the American fashion scene and are not always appreciated there although he enjoys many great reviews in Paris. His collection recently has recently been based on achromatic colors. Branded clothing is said to be commonly availalbe in high fashion boutiques. AT currently operates 26 stores located primarily in department stores and offers a brand of products with highly unique design tastes including the Paris collection “ATSURO TAYAMA” designed by Atsuro Tayama, and trendy adult fashion. You can view some of the designers creations for sale here.
10-21-05 (3:45AM EDT)—- Fastcorp Unveils Moe Computer
Fastcorp has announced it’s marketing a new cube type PC featuring a case fully illustrated in color with nymph characters on all sides. The name of the unit is Moecon and the current Japanese release is set for Friday, the 28th of this month. A sample exhibition is being done now at Crevery Internet Pavilion. Several flavors of the PC are planned in a 69,800 – 84,800 price range with the main option being processors of varrying speeds. The Crevery Internet Pavilion where it’s being sold will not backstock units, instead Fastcorp is opting for a build upon order system. A collaboration was struck up with Moe PC games developer Terios to obtain character illustrations it use on the case. Girls from their Natuiro Communication were finally decided on to be used for this first release line. Mojikaru Canan will be featured in the next line release in November. Specs include Windows XP Home Edition OS, 512MB RAM, 80GB HDD and DVD R Drive.
10-21-05 (2:51AM EDT)—- Sotsu Agency Announces Earnings
Gundam rights manager Sotsu Agency announced recent earnings for the period ending in August. 12 billion 4 million Yen in sales was recorded, an 11.4% increase over the same period last year. The good numbers were largely based on the success of Gundam Seed Destiny which just wrapped it’s year long run on Japanese televsion this month. The number of works the company is dealing with has also increased to 11 works in 2005 from only 10 last year. Recent sales hardships in foreign regions such as North America had slackened off. Overseas rights business sales are 141 Million Yen, roughly half of what was enjoyed 2 years ago. Sotsu plans to tackle the management of 13 works for 2006.
10-21-05 (12:05AM EDT)—- Production On New Doraemon Film Advances
Earlier in the year plans were announced for a remake of the first 1980 Doraemon animated feature, Nobita’s Dinosaur. On the 19th in Tokyo more details emreged on the project due for release on March 4th, 2006. To be titled “Nobita No Kyoryu”, this will mark the first new piece of Doraemon movie animation to be produced in two years. Traditionally, a new Doraemon film could be expected in Japanese theaters every spring, and this was the case for 24 years. 2005 saw the release of a new movie being put off as the franchise underwent a broad refreshing. Minoru Nishida (art director for the Kill Bill anime segment) will direct. Original creator Fujiko F. Fujio who died in 1996 said his attachment to the first Nobita’s Dinosaur adventure was the greatest of any of the Doraemon films. Mizuta Wasabi will reprise here roll as the blue cat from outerspace.Other cast include Ryuwunosuke Kamiki who will voice the pleaseosaur and Gekidan Hitori who will voice 5 different characters. The official website is www.dora2006.com, a preview trailer can be viewed there.
10-21-05 (12:05AM EDT)—- CMX Manga’s Jim Lee Interviewed
ANS has conducted an exclusive interview with Jim Lee, DC Comic’s spokesman for their CMX Manga line. In the piece we ask the prolific American comic artist about manga and anime’s influence on his art during his early days drawing X-Men for Marvel, and his original works Gen 13 and Wildcats for Wildstorm. ANS also finds out what is going on at CMX Manga.
10-20-05 (11:33AM EDT)—- Companies Urged To Utilize New Media In Contents Distribution
ADV Films has been getting alot of attention recently surrounding it’s adoption of the Peer To Peer transfer protocol, Bit Torrent. Canadian P2PNET’s article mention yesterday is the most recent example of this. Now Japan’s contents creators are being urged to utilize new media such as P2P technology as a direct, digital distribution channel to the world. This was the topic of a recent business symposium held in Tokyo titled Creator Notameno Guerilla Marketing No Susume (Recommendation Of Guerrilla Marketing For The Creator). Speakers at the symposium included Assistant Professor at Keio University, Tatsuo Tanaka it; Infobahn Chairman of the Board and Representative Director Hiroshi Kobayashi (former editor of Japanese Wired Magazine) and Comics Wave President and Representative Director Hiroaki Takeuchi (Producer of Hoshi No Koe and The Animatrix). Mr. Tanaka pointed out some of his research on how the domestic CD market had dropped from their 500 Million Yen annual peek in 1998 to around 300,000 million currently. The drop was widely believed to be attributed to music file sharing via P2P apps. Tanaka said various innovations in the past possessed copyright problem such as radio and VCRs but that the industry expanded to accommodate them. Almost like a paradox, according to his survey of Winny users, CD sales were not hurt from file swapping on the P2P program. His conclusion is that the economic public welfare had actually been improved. Tanaka analyzed a possible “Advertising Effect” for P2P swapping to see if the user who tried out a song on a file swapping program might go out and buy the CD if they liked it enough. There is the instance of access increase when independent music labels and mainstay artist’s works are shared via file swapping in the United States. There are pros and cons of this however.
The topic changed to the use of blogs as marketing tools and Mr. Kobayashi spoke on this matter. His company started the fashion in Japan of managing a celebrity’s blog and then publishing the blog as a book. Starlet Manabe Kawori’s blog was handled by him and the resulting book, “Mum’s The Word Of Manabe” which had just been released exceeded 50,000 copies sold in the first three days. As of a March 2005 announcement by the Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications, the number of blog readers in Japan has reached 16.51 million people. He mentioned new net standards like Atom, RSS, SNS, Pod Casting, CGM etc..
Finally, Mr. Takeuchi spoke on image contents and talked about his own case making The Animatrix. The idea for the project came about when the Wachowski Brothers visited Japan. Takeuchi insisted on the announcement being made at the comic convention in which Otaku from all over the U.S. gathered. From there the news was carried all over the world by the Internet. Moreover, a free delivery had been executed as an early screening. Takeuchi succeeded in the user’s expectations ripening on the anticipation of seeing the preview and following developments on the net. The result was a desire to purchase the DVD when it was available. A worldwide simultaneous release was decided for The Animatrix. Hoshi No Koe was an original feature length anime created by virtually unknown independent creator. Prior to the release there was alot of doubt in the industry that it could sale. Takeuchi suggested a preview by made available online, broadband users at the time exceeded 500,000. Smash hit sales were recorded without spending advertising cost as topics were added to the 2 Ch BBS. From there coverage was picked up by 250 magazines commercial magazines.
10-20-05 (8:16AM EDT)—- Haruka Naru Toki No Naka De To Become Feature
Based on the popular Koei shoujo video game series, an official announcement was made at a symposium held in Tokyo Thursday that Haruka Naru Toki no Naka de will become an animated film. Both manga and a popular TV Tokyo animation series have spun off from the franchise. Toshiya Shinohara (Inu Yasha Movie) will direct the feature. Production will be carried out by Yumeta. The film will feature the appearance of a new, original character although it was mentioned the details of the content and story have not yet been clarified. Distribution will be handled by Cinequanon when the release is made to Japanese theaters sometime in 2006. The director mentioned the film will draw on beautiful pure love based on an original charm. “The Heian period used as the stage has a world layout that is very difficult for transfering to animation because of the handling of the color and clothes etc. I want bring together a powerful staff to make it.”
10-20-05 (7:25AM EDT)—- TMS To Stream Lupin III
TMS Entertainment has announced a new BroadBand video delivery plan that will put Monkey Punch’s LUPIN on users computer desktops. The service called Lupin III Theater will launch on October 31st. Movies from the original 1973 work to the present will be made available for streaming. A 525 Yen per month subscription fee will be charged. Movies can be viewed on Windows Media Player for 7 days after selection. TMS expects 10,000 members will signup in the first year.
10-20-05 (6:54AM EDT)—- Livedoor Credit Offers Otaku Moe-Loan
The otaku nature of some of Livedoor’s executive staff made worldwide headlines last week when former board director, Daisuke Enomoto announced he was persuing a 20 million dollar spaceshot and wanted to cosplay and assemble Gundam models while in orbit. Chairman Takafumi Horie is also well known as one of Japan’s otaku elite. Now, the credit division of the company has announced a new loan scheme marketed directly at otaku and character freaks, called “Moe Loan.” Popotan character designer Poyoyon Rock created the Loan’s mascot.
10-20-05 (6:33AM EDT)—- RAY Anime Details
Akita Shoten’s December, 2005 issue released on Thursday in Japan, detailing Akihito Yoshitomi’s (EAT-MAN) new manga project RAY which will soon serialize within it’s pages. The TV anime will broadcast in the spring of 2006. The cast and staff manifest is making this look like a very promising series with many of names behind the anime adaptations of Yoshitomi’s EAT-MAN and Kentaro Miura’s BERSERK coming together on the project. Original Berserk TV series supervisor Takahashi Naohito is directing. Series Composition and script will be by Atsuhiro Tomioka. Character Designs by Hisashi Kagawa (Saikano). Music by Masami Okui. Animation production by OLM. Cast include Nogawa Sakura (Sakuragasaki Fubuki in Arcade Gamer Fubuki) as Ray, Takahashi Hiroki as Sasayama, Ui Miyazaki as Aka Ribbon, Honna Youko as Misato, Chiei Oumi as ONE, Yara Sakurai as Sawa Ichou and BJ as Akio Otsuka.
10-20-05 (5:27AM EDT)—- Suzumiya Haruhi TV Series Announced
Tanigawa Nagaru’s manga Suzumiya Haruhi will become an animated TV series to be produced by Kyoto Animation. The mangka may have some input on the anime version, possibly serving in the role as writer. There is also a chance the TV storyline will alter from manga. The formal announcement is expected to come in Kadokawa’s Sneaker on sale sneaker at the end of this month. The plot is comedy adventure and something like the American film Bruce Allmighty excpet in a school setting and with an odd twist. Kyon is a highschool student who’s life is turned upside down by classmate, Suzumiya Haruhi. She just happens to possess a special power which warps the world around her be any way she wants. The twist is she isn’t aware of this.
10-20-05 (4:54AM EDT)—- Pulled Yuki Suetsugu Manga Still Being Sold In Japan
Several intrepid Japanese otaku have hit the streets and went out into the various manga shops in Tokyo looking for copies of Yuki Suetsugu’s manga 1 day after Kodansha announced they were stopping the printing of new volumes and withdrawing existing ones from retailers. Searching in Akihabara turned up many retailers who had pulled all their display stock with only one shop who had 4 volumes of her works for sale. The titles on sale were tankabon of 100% Of You and Your White Wings. Elsewhere in Tokyo, some copies of her manga has turned up in manga non-exclusive second hand book shops.
10-20-05 (4:10AM EDT)—- Digital Polyphony Unveils Tourist Trophy
Watch Impress has impressive images of Sony Computer Entertainment’s upcoming Tourist Trophy motorcycle racing title for PS2. Based on the Gran Turismo 4 Engine, the attention to detail is strking, as is the selection of bikes both new and old.
10-19-05 (10:01PM EDT)—- Examining The Yuki Suetsugu Case
Pouring through some of the associated Japanese blog and news material that’s been collected surrounding yesterday’s Yuki Suetsugu manga news, ANS uncovered some additional details.
-The actual word “plagiarism” (tousaku) is not used at a premium in much of the Japanese press when referring to what has happened here. Almost every report we’ve seen including Kodansha’s official statement uses the word “touyou” (appropriation). The specific use of this word is very interesting when one researches the idea of intellectual property and plagiarism as it’s viewed by eastern vs western philosophies. Wikipedia defines appropriation as the following: In the visual arts, the term appropriation often refers to the use of borrowed elements in the creation of new work. The borrowed elements may include images, forms or styles from art history or from popular culture, or materials and techniques from non-art contexts. Since the 1980s the term has also referred more specifically to quoting the work of another artist to create a new work. The new work may or may not alter the original.
– This said, a case could be made to say this “appropriation” was in violation of the 32nd Article of Japan’s adopted Copyright Law.
– Japanese observers have noted the mangaka’s official website on October 16th around 18:00. The author’s official blog was deleted. At the time of the closing, the following message was made as the main index: “It is Yuki Suetsugu at the end. As this place will close, please arrange further correspondence through the editorial department. Please acknowledge it.” The statement was immediately rewritten afterwards and reads as the following currently: “It is Yuki Suetsugu at the end. I will temporarily close the communication. Please acknowledge it.”
– A person claiming to be Yuki Suetsugu posted a statement to an internet bulletin board on 10/16 at 02:50. There is of course, no way to verify the authenticity of the message or it’s author. However, it’s being reported on some Japanese blogs that the unofficial BBS statement can be traced to the author’s computer by IP Trace. Below are some excerpts: “The point that lookalikes of pictures by Mr. Takehiko’s Inoue “Slam Dunk” are used in my manga is correct. I think it was the basket scene in the extra chapter of “Flower in Eden” in the June issue of Besatsu Friend last year. I do not intend to make alot of excuses. When you draw groovy scene such as basket magazine as the model, with the same feeling. As for me who was in a hurry, several points in the scenes in the work of Mr. Inoue were used as a model drawing reference.”
10-19-05 (9:44AM EDT)—- Sales Strong For Sega Toys
Sega Sammy Division, Sega Toys is currently looking at strong year-on-year revenue increases of 87%. The results came at the middle of the fiscal year performance forecast released in September. Mushiking, Play TV and Idog have all be strong brands for the firm. Their robot pet iDog has sold 800,000 units to date.
10-19-05 (9:18AM EDT)—- Korean Inu Yasha Fans Asked To Pick Celebrity Look Alikes
South Korean actor Hyun Bin (of the MBC drama ‘My Name Was Kim Samsung’) and actress Mung Nyon (of “People’s Younger Sisters”) were chosen by viewers of the broadcast there as entertainers who best resembled the male and female heroes of Inu-Yasha the best. The cable animation channel ‘The Champ’ planned a commemoration event of the first telecast, and released the questionnaire survey “Let’s look for the entertainer who looked like Inu-Yasha”. The search was executed through the network’s homepage between September 16th and October 16th. 2,197 votes went to Hyun Bin who was said to resemble Kayon (??) while Mung Nyon got 2,416 votes for her resemblance to Inu-Yasha. Runners up included Dong-Won of the movie ‘Detective Duelist’, and Son Hegyo.
10-19-05 (8:44AM EDT)—- Broccoli Year End Earnings Forecast: 926 Million Yen In The Red
Broccoli announced it is expecting a profits deficit of 926 million Yen on the year as of August. The month is traditionally known as the middle period of the fiscal year. The same period last year saw the company posting a 291 million Yen earnings loss forecast. There are no new sales of original animation coming out on DVD and royalties income has decreased by 66%.
10-19-05 (6:09AM EDT)—- Mini OP/ED: Terminator VS Metal Gear
Left Frame – The Terminator (C) MGM | Right Frame – Metal Gear (C) Konami With the issue of image plagiarism prevalent in today’s news I remembered a comparison photo a friend of mine showed me a few years back. On the left, you have a publicity shot featuring actor Michael Biehn playing the role of Sergent Kyle Reese in James Cameron’s 1984 Hollywood film The Terminator. On the right, cover art of Solid Snake from Hideo Kojima’s 1986 MSX title, Metal Gear. Are these images the same? I truly wonder how common this phenomena is, and indeed where do you draw the line between pale comparisons, plagiarism and blatant ripoffs. In the final analysis, it’s a human mind that processes these concepts just as it’s a human mind that commits the questionable act, and as we all know this mind is far from perfect. In the case of Hana No Eden, posters on an internet chat board first discovered the copying was going on, was it the same medium with such ease of access to imagery that might have also encouraged it? Did time and the state of communications and technology existing in the 1980’s prevent similar questions from being raised regarding the 2 photos to you right?
10-19-05 (3:15AM EDT)—- American Teens Mop Up Raunchy Shoujo Manga
Mainichi Daily News reports Americans can’t get enough of shojo manga, the racy comic books for elementary schoolgirls that have recently been filled with stories with such themes as homosexual love and relations between incestuous lesbian sisters, according to Shukan Shincho (10/20).
10-19-05 (2:53AM EDT)—- Dragonball Movie DVD BOX
March 24th in Japan will be the official release date for Toei Animation’s DRAGONBOX: THE MOVIES. The 8 disc set will collect all 17 Dragonball animated theatrical features, total running time is 897 minutes. Toei estimates 38.24 million people packed theaters between 1986 and 1996 during original run of the films in Japanese theaters. Perks include a gorgeous BOX, color booklet and on-disc omake. Audio offerings include surround and monaural, video is 16:9 Letter Boxed. Reservation deadline for the BOX is December 21st. Price: 50,000 Yen.
10-19-05 (1:48AM EDT)—- No Pants Girls
The website for a new indie Japanese film, No Pants Girls launched at the start of the month. High controversy (and buzz) surrounds the movie which took the scenario grand prize at the Hakodate Harbor Illumination Film Festival (http://illumination.dish.ne.jp). 3 individual parts make up the total story, each are a coming of age tale featuring young girls and exploring the concept of how seemingly insignificant events can have such profound impacts on one’s life. Each story is headed up by a different director with student filmmaker Gatsukawa Shou overseeing the entire project. Score is provided by GISHO of PENICILLIN. Making the rounds in the festival scene now, a DVD release is also scheduled.
10-19-05 (1:41AM EDT)—- Maid Massage Parlor Opens
Akihabara-based Maid In Angels Cafe Group has officially announced plans for their MIF Lounge & Relaxation space. Access to the lounge will be split into general and subscription-based sections limited to mangaka, editors from major publishers and game creators. Hand, Eye and Shoulder massages will be given there. Foot and other massages will not be done. Quality service and highest-quality staff will be carefully selected for the new lounge. The opening is scheduled for the middle of December, 2005. 65 new employees are actively being sought to staff the new shop to open in Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward. Gaijin Maids can apply.
10-19-05 (12:35AM EDT)—- FFVII: Advent Children Anime Awarded
On Saturday at Spain’s Sitges Festival (Festival Internacional de Cinema de Catalunya), Square-Enix has taken the Honorary Maria (Maria Honrifica) Award for their CG anime Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. The prize is awarded based on the selections of an international jury, for films taken from the Official Fantastic Selection. A grand standing ovation was given by the crowd as producer Shinji Hashimoto received the award on stage. According to Angel Sala who organizes the event, their screening room was filled to over capacity during the screening and would most likely be filled even they screened it 3 times.
10-18-05 (9:45PM EDT)—- Yuki Suetsugu Manga Stopped Amid Plagiarism Row
Left Frame – Flowers Of Eden (C) Kodansha/Yuki Suetsugu Right Frame – Slam Dunk (C) Shueisha/Takehiko Inoue Kodansha has announced they are discontinuing Yuki Suetsugu’s current manga, Silver. The story serializes in older girl’s monthly magazine, Besatsu Friend. It was decided some basketball scenes in the June serial of her past work Eden no Hana (Flowers Of Eden) were copied from Takehiko Inoue’s Slam Dunk manga. Further publication of the existing 12 volumes of Eden no Hana will immediately cease as well. An investigation had been conducted by the publisher after fans pointed out the similarities on the 2ch message board. Following this, several fan sites and blogs popped up around the web posting side by side scans (1, 2) and transparency layovers (1, 2) pointing out the areas where it appears entire pages were literally traced. Beyond this, some have even pointed out similarities in frames of other manga (Bastard, Train Man) and print ads (Kate Moss, scooter) as well. Kodansha finally received confirmation of these suspicions from the author and has issued an apology to readers and to the original copyright holders of the copied work. Yuki Suetsugu has released the following: “I am really sorry for inviting such a situation at this time. I apologize deeply to my readers above all and to the copyright person has put up with a large trouble due to to low degree of my morality and recognition.” The mangka’s website closed on October 16th. Tokyopop currently holds the American rights to release Hana No Eden (Flower of Eden) with the first issue given a scheduled release date of January 10th, 2006. It’s unknown what effect this development will have on existing contracts to release the manga in markets outside of Japan.
10-18-05 (6:23PM EDT)—- Atari Ships Dragon Ball Z Budokai: Tenkaichi
Anime action meets intense 3D fighting as Atari today announced that Dragon Ball Z(R) Budokai: Tenkaichi(TM) has shipped to retail outlets nationwide. Available for the PlayStation(R) 2 computer entertainment system, Dragon Ball Z Budokai: Tenkaichi gives players the “super-hero” experience of huge battles and high-speed flight with its fully interactive recreation of the Dragon Ball Z(R) universe where fighting is possible in the air, on the ground or even underwater.
“Having sold more than eight million units combined since May 2002, the Dragon Ball Z brand has proven popular in the interactive entertainment sector,” said Matt Collins, Director of Global Brand Management, Atari. “With such an enthusiastic fan base, it is important for Atari to continually offer Dragon Ball Z games that authentically recreate the series, and we are confident that Dragon Ball Z Budokai: Tenkaichi will be the best DBZ(R) game ever.”
The game has already met critical success. In its review of the game, IGN.com said, “Bandai and Atari have consistently shown that they’re dedicated to making their annual line of Dragon Ball Z games better than the titles that have come before them. Year after year, the team has carefully listened to fans and critics alike and addressed concerns and complaints to make a much more playable product. This year continues that trend with Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi, the fourth straight fighter to follow Goku and friends in their search for the mythical Dragon Balls.”
Developed by Spike, Dragon Ball Z Budokai: Tenkaichi is the only 3D Dragon Ball Z game to combine fighting and flying in wide open, destructible environments. With the ability to battle in the air or underwater, players have the unprecedented power and freedom to experience the intensity of Dragon Ball Z in an all new way. Offering more than 50 playable characters, multiple gameplay modes and a combination of melee and energy attacks, DBZ Budokai: Tenkaichi promises to be one of most exhilarating Dragon Ball Z games yet.
10-18-05 (3:27AM EDT)—- Oldest Japanese Animation Frames Found
Asahi Shimbun reports frames from the oldest known Japanese animation have been discovered in Kyoto, and has film historians abuzz. Until now, the oldest animated work was thought to be one produced in 1917, during the Taisho Era (1912-1926). But Natsuki Matsumoto, 53, a lecturer of iconology at the Osaka University of Arts, said the new film, which he discovered, looks to be older. Considering the manufacturing date on the projector that was preserved along with it, the film was made between 1907 and 1911 at the latest,” he said. That would put it in the late Meiji Era (1868-1912).
10-18-05 (2:47AM EDT)—- BlackJack Movie In December
Toho will release the animated feature BlackJack: Futarino Kuroi Isha to theaters in Japan on Saturday, December 17, 2005. The god of manga, Osamu Tezuka, created the original manga in 1973. A special Pinoco short animation will screen with the film. Tezuka’s own son directs and says he has attempted to create a dynamism of life and the death. The plotline features Tezuka’s longtime archrival, Dr. Chirico. View the official movie website and video trailer here.
10-18-05 (2:36AM EDT)—- New Anime And Manga From Yoshitomi Akihito
Akita Shoten reports in it’s December, 2005 issue that Akihito Yoshitomi’s (EAT-MAN) new manga project RAY will soon serialize within it’s pages. An animation is also planned, a more formal announcement expounding on the news will be made when the magazine hits the street on 10/19. An adapted drama work, DRAMAGIX SEIYU EBERGY RAY Vol.1 will release to DVD on 11/25.
10-18-05 (1:39AM EDT)—- Saikano Live Action Theme
The Japanese rock band “Merengue” has been selected to provide the the theme song of Toei’s live action Saikano (She: The Ultimate Weapon). The film opens in theaters at the end of January 2006. The 3 member rock group debuted professionally last year. The lead vocalist is a huge fan of the manga.
10-18-05 (1:19AM EDT)—- Maid Cafes Face Legal Hurdles In Some Parts Of Japan
Police deemed servers dressed as housemaids in 2 popular Fukuoka tea cafes to be “entertaining” and ordered them to obtain special permission extended to “businesses affecting public morals” by the 15th of October. Those related to the store were puzzled at the demand as getting the permission is unnecessary now in Tokyo and Akihabara whee about 30 similar maid shops do business. The hosemaid servers routinely bring out coffee, tea and chat with customers. Some of the common things said to guests include the line “Return Husband”. Special services include drawing pictures on omeletes with katchup. Employees of these shops are assumed only to be servers and obtaining special permission of the Entertainment Establishments Control Law is unnecessary. However, in the Fukuoka instance the company that manages two shops there has been determined to be “entertaining” by the the police after careful consultation at the Chuo station. The same police station says, “At first, business conditions etc. were not understood”. According to the shop, guests will now not be talked to by employees so as not to become “Entertainment” until their application for special permission is complete. The housemaid cafe business boom has spread to several of Japan’s major cities. A “housemaid massage” parlor even opened in Akihabara in February of this year. Housemaid bars and Housemaid house cleaning services, have also appeared. Cure Maid Cafe was the first businees to adopt the maid cafe theme when it opened in Akihabara in 2001.
10-18-05 (12:26AM EDT)—- Naruto Games In North America Press
D3Publisher of America, Inc. (D3PA), a publisher and developer of interactive entertainment software, today announced a North American co-publishing agreement with TOMY Corporation for video games based on VIZ Media’s hit anime series — SHONEN JUMP’s NARUTO. The agreement calls for the release of four games: one title each for the Nintendo GameCube(TM) and Game Boy(R) Advance in early 2006, and in the second half of 2006.
Featured exclusively in the monthly SHONEN JUMP Magazine, NARUTO adventures by creator Masashi Kishimoto are read by over 750,000 readers in the US. NARUTO stories are also available in graphic novels from VIZ Media at bookstores and retailers nationwide. NARUTO recently debuted on Cartoon Network in the US and YTV in Canada, achieving phenomenal launch ratings with Kids 6-11 and Tweens 9-14. In Japan, since publication began in 1999 in Weekly Shonen Jump, and based on the manga’s popularity, the anime made its debut on TV TOKYO in 2002. Since then, NARUTO has become one of the most popular animated shows achieving immense success as a TV title as well as a licensed property for toys, trading card games and video games.
“The co-publishing agreement with TOMY represents an excellent opportunity for D3PA to leverage a superb property in SHONEN JUMP’s NARUTO,” commented Yoji Takenaka, executive vice president and COO for D3PA. “The success of NARUTO in Japan has eclipsed the Dragonball Z franchise, so we are looking forward to these releases in North America and the prospect of working with VIZ Media and TOMY.”
NARUTO takes place in a world where ninja hold the ultimate power. Infused with the spirit of a once fearsome Nine-Tailed Fox, Naruto Uzumaki is a ninja-in-training who is learning the art of Ninjutsu with his classmates Sakura and Sasuke. The trio studies under the instruction of their teacher, Kakashi, who helps the group face dangerous and daunting tests and challenges. Through their adventures, the young ninjas learn the importance of friendship, teamwork, loyalty, hard work, creativity, ingenuity, and right versus wrong.
“We already knew we had a potential hit on our hands based on our experience with NARUTO in Japan,” said Isamu Takahashi, Managing Director & Chief International Operating officer of TOMY Company, Ltd. “However, we needed to translate not only the games, but the compelling qualities of the NARUTO property. We met with many publishers in the U.S. and were impressed by D3Publisher of America’s knowledge of interactive entertainment, awareness and enthusiasm for TOMY’s Naruto titles and the enthusiasm with which they pursued the arrangement. We are confident that along with VIZ Media and Nintendo, the partnership with D3PA will recreate in North America the phenomenal success NARUTO enjoyed in Japan.”
A smash-hit when originally released in Japan, TOMY and D3PA will release several of the popular titles in 2006 including: NARUTO: Clash of Ninja (Gekito Ninja Taisen) and NARUTO: Clash of Ninja 2: (Gekito Ninja Taisen 2) for the Nintendo GameCube(TM) and NARUTO: Ninja Council (Saikyuo Ninja Daikesshu) and an additional title for Game Boy(R) Advance.
10-18-05 (12:24AM EDT)—- Robot Taekwon V Goods Hot On Internet Auctions
Korea’s Chosun Illbo newspaper mentions that net auction sites have recently been brimming with related goods in the face of the hype surrounding the remastered Taekwon V film. A 1982 vintage plastic model of the Super Taekwon V robot was said to have sold for 250,000 won on one site. Vintage posters are holding high value the best with laserdiscs, soundtracks, toys etc.. all becoming hot commodities online.
10-18-05 (12:06AM EDT)—- Anime Companies At South Korean DICON 2005
Tokyopop and 4 Kids Entertainment will be present at DICON2005, a business show that represents the digital contents business of South Korea. The event is held in Seoul November 10-11. Participants from abroad included 254 out of 2391 total attendees last year. The English website of the event can be viewed here.
10-17-05 (11:50PM EDT)—- Index and Sojitz Announce New Company To Manage Global Rights
Index Corporation (www.indexweb.co.jp), operating mobile & media business around the world, and Sojitz Corporation (www.sojitz.com/jp), carrying out the acquisition and distribution of international copyrights, including Japanese animation, will establish Index Global Rights Management Corporation (IGR) in the United States (New York) in late October. The company will specialize in Wireless & New Media (WNM) business such as mobile phones and the Internet, acquire international copyrights to highly valued content and distribute the rights all over the world.
IGR will begin with $2.19 million in capital: 65% contributed by Index Corporation, 35% by Sojitz Corporation. IGR will obtain international distribution rights to content that includes video, music and sports from content holders around the world and offer them on a global scale. The global market size of WNM content is now valued at $15 billion and it is expected to grow to $45 billion by 2008, three times its current size. These favorable market conditions of rapid expansion will aid IGR towards a possible IPO in the future.
Index Corporation’s international mobile content delivery business operates primarily through 11 affiliated companies based mainly in Japan, China, Europe and the United States. Index Corporation has forged global connections with content holders, and accumulated WNM know-how and business plans which amount to the world’s leading network for mobile content delivery.
Sojitz Corporation is dedicated to the production and export of content, which includes Japanese animation, and conducts business with more than 150 companies within the overseas copyright business. Sojitz Corporation’s acquisition and distribution of international copyrights continues to grow and is diversifying into animation for children, documentaries and Japanese film, in addition to projects geared for teenagers.
Capitalizing on the know-how and networks of the two companies, IGR will provide content holders around the world with an open door to WNM business that reaches mobile, Internet, television, video and DVD industries. IGR will be acquiring high quality audio and video content, which will complement the existing content held by Index and Sojitz, and actively deliver them to overseas providers. IGR has already succeeded in acquiring the Internet distribution rights for “BBC Radio”, provided by BBC Worldwide Ltd., and begun distribution to WOWOW, a Japan based premium satellite broadcaster.
Market background Worldwide mobile business growth has the potential to reach an annual rate of 15-40 percent. The worldwide IP content market is also experiencing rapid growth and promises potential annual growth of 25-40 percent. Although the rights business, which is a key to content, requires regional negotiations, considerable cost and a great deal of effort, internet distributors and Video on Demand (VOD) companies throughout Japan, Europe, North America and beyond are increasingly in need of comprehensive international copyrights.
Index Global Rights Management Corporation: Corporate Profile
Company Name: Index Global Rights Management Corporation
Head Office: 1211 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036, USA
Tokyo Office: Carrot Tower, Taishido 4-1-1, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Established: October 2005
President & CEO: Daihei Shiohama
Capitalization: $2.19 million
Shareholders: Index Corporation (65%), Sojitz Corporation (35%) Business Lines: International License Business. IGR will obtain international distribution rights to content from around the world and offer them to mobile/internet providers globally.
10-17-05 (11:39PM EDT)—- Toei Animation ERP Adoption Progress Report
In September, Japanese CIO Magazine conducted an in-depth interview with Toei Animation on the current state of their business. Toei is one of the few anime companies (among 440 nationwide) that will handle whole development on a project from original conception through production. Beyond this they will manage all copyrights on certain works. To better facilitate their business model, an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system was introduced within the company in April of this year. Under ERP, profits related to a specific project can be estimated in realtime.
In the world currently, among things attributed as symbols of Japanese culture, animation ranks up there with Cherry Blossoms, Sushi and Sumo Wrestling. The industry has influenced Hollywood movies and film production made in other countries. About 60% of TV animation broadcast globally is currently made in Japan now. Japanese governments down to the muncipal level have aided in the promotion of this business. This said, the industry as a whole still currently endures structural and profit recuperation problems that are easy to miss in the face of such international success. TV animation is especially difficult with companies struggling to get back the amount invested into episode production. This “Deficit Structure” has always been a big challenge for Toei which got it’s start in TV anime production in the black and white days. There is much uneasiness of the industry’s future development in the Japanese business community currently although Toei Animation is one of the major success stories that can always be counted on to obtaining high profitability because of their prompt approach on the copyright business also.
One of the matters of concern is entry into the copyright business from another type of business. More Toy manufacturers, media related companies, etc. have entered the copyright business related to animation one after another. The market is so flooded, terrestrial broadcast TV has little to no room for the re-broadcast of already aired shows with about 70 animation series broadcast weekly. Then there are the problems related to finding new talent and maintaining work for those in the industry’s lower levels. Japan’s falling birthrate is said to cast a dark shadow on animation industry, and lately, the the effects of fewer children being born have been especially pronounced in the toy market. Diversifying the spread of contents in different media formats (mobile phone, PDA etc..) remains another challenge according to Toei’s Shi Nishi who heads their Survey and Accounting divisions. “It will be necessary to advance effective contents development that stimulates the buying intentions of a viewer by the diversification of preference while securing profit in the future.”
Toei has worked on the production of around 8,600 episodes of animation to date. They sought to maximize the value of these “existing assets” while focusing on their future business development with the related costs in both time and money spent on developing new contents. While examining this issue, the decision was made to adopt an ERP system which could analyze total holdings sales data worldwide on a real time level. A special internal accounting system was employed by Toei in 2000 when it first went public, however, the company was powerless to accurately gauge the asset value of different works and was only able to record total sales. The problem here was compartmentalization on a number of levels represented by many divisions and many properties. The situation existed where it was difficult to track sales related to specific works and goods (ie: only the overall division sales were seen). Thusly, Toei could not accurately gauge the value of specific properties.
Three requirements were sought in an ERP system. The first was real time accounting data including sales information on each contents property; secondly, high management accounting functions; and thirdly an automation of the profit sharing obtained by the copyright was wished for. The third was especially a problem that the company needed to address immediately. Generally, profit generated by the copyright is distributed based on the publisher that has already serialized the original manga in a magazine for instance. The systematization of this profit sharing end of business was indispensable to prevent the work load from becoming a bottleneck on the business which routinely had different divisions overlapping one another inefficiently.
Toei reportedly invested 400 million Yen on their backbone ERP solution MySAP provided by Germany’s SAP Co. Toei was especially drawn to the system features such as multi currency and multi language support since the proportion of sales in foreign countries is high for the company. Contents consumption are is measured by three axes within MySap: “Region”, “Multi Use”, and “Time”. Now, Toei is able to be determine profits returned by individual works, in multiple media formats and in what part of the world this is all happening in real time with a high degree of accuracy. What’s more, the market characteristics of each country can be examined. One example given was “Tomorrow’s Narja” which enjoys popularity in China but is not considered highly successful in Europe or Japan. Among other research they’ve uncovered using the software relates to anime sold on DVD. DVD Box releases were widely thought to be bought primarily by men 20-30 years old so far. However, when 10,000 DVD’s of a certain work were sold by limitation, it is understood that women accounted for 40 percent or more of buyers. Toei Animation paid attention to this data and when DVD boxes have been marketed since then promotional activities have been advanced in the Shibuya area of Tokyo which is highly popular with women. After this move, they succeeded in the collection of 15,000+ reservations even though the DVD box was a high priced commodity of about 90,000 Yen. One of the bigger results of implementing the system is being seen in their business development in North America as of December, 2004. Until then, rights were widely bought as a package deal with licensors getting both TV broadcast and DVD marketing privileges within the market for example. Now of course, Toei itself has a corporate presence in North America and so the licensing out of various properties and rights under it’s own label or to others can be more decisively evaluated. Consequently, it is said that this route change is surely connected with earnings.
10-17-05 (1:20PM EDT)—- PSP My Hime Fighting Game
Famitsu has images and details of a newly announced Sunrise Interactive PSP fighting game title based on the My Hime anime TV series which began broadcasting in October. Besides the main grappling premise, you can playe several many games as well including one where you have one of the main charactrers hitchhiking in a bathing suit. Look for the release in Japan in December and a retail of 6090 Yen.
10-17-05 (1:14PM EDT)—- Dengeki Maoh Magazine Debuts
Media Works has announced Dengeki Maoh, a new publication to feature games, manga serialization, novel serialization, animation, seiyuu and figures. The demographic being aimed at is the game generation. The magazine’s first issue will be on newstands Ocotber 27th, retailing at 690 Yen.
10-17-05 (12:54PM EDT)—- 8,000 Japanese Fans Attend Mar Fest 2005
Sunday in Japan saw the holding of the first singular event dedicated to Shogakukan Production’s cross media property, MAR. Titled, Mar Fest 2005, 8,000 fans attended, showing a living testament to the popularity of the work. TV Tokyo currently broadcasts the animation and Weekly Shonen Sunday serializes the manga. The Ikebukuro event featured goods vendors and a hall where the Mar card game could be played. Likewise, video game systems were setup where fans could demo newly announced GBA and PS2 of titles. One of those games, Mar Heaven ARM FIGHT DREAM for PS2 is scheduled for release on November 3. The number of attendees is considered good for an event of this type, and many entire families turned out. On a special stage several guests related to the property appeared. This inluded many of the anime seiyuu. Questions could be fielded to the speakers and some of the celeberrites even played Konami’s new PS2 fighting game in front of the crowd.
10-17-05 (7:34AM EDT)—- Maison Ikkoku Drama
While details are currently very scarce, according to a recent article in Big Comic Spirits Magazine, plans have been laid for Rumiko Takahashi’s Maison Ikkoku to be adapted to live action TV Drama format in Japan sometime in 2006. The original manga circulated in Big Comic Spirits from Oct. 1980 through April 1987. In Animation, the story was adapted to TV animation in 1986 and also OAV and Movie formats. At the height of the comic’s run, a live action film adaptation was produced in 1986 starring Mariko Ishihara. It did not achieve a high level of success. The Japanese blogspace is currently filled with guesses at who will be cast in the main roles, several online fan polls have also popped up.
10-17-05 (7:04AM EDT)—- Shueisha Suspends Young You Magazine
It’s been revealed major publisher Shueisha will suspend publication of their girls comic magazine Young You (started in 1985) from the November, 2005 issue due on the Japanese reatail market on the 8th of next month. Chika Umino’s highly popular manga Honey And Clover (Hachikuro) is seriliazed currently within the pages of Young You and will continue in the company’s monthly girls magazine Chorus. It will be published from the February edition which streets on December 28. The total monthly circulation of Young You is about two million. Umino reassured her readers with a statement issued to her website mentioning the book will not change, and will continue with the same design and layout.
10-17-05 (6:29AM EDT)—- Tsubasa Chronicle Sequel TV Series
For the second time in less than a week Studio CLAMP has gone live with anime adaptation news of another one of it’s best selling properties. On Sunday in Japan, plans for a second TV series based on Tsubasa Chronicle was been announced. CLAMP originally serialized the manga in Weekly Shonen Magazine. The original TV series broadcast on NHK from April 2005. The sequel will air on the same network, starting in the spring of 2006 on Saturdays, 18:30-18:55. What’s more, a re-broadcasting of the first series starts on Saturday, October 22.