10-31-05 (9:48PM EDT)—- E-SIA Steps Up Contents Delivery Efforts In China And Korea
E-SIA has accelerated it’s animation contents deleivery via broadband to China and South Korea. The Suginami-based company is partnering with a local broadband partner to execute the distribution. Likewise, both E-SIA and Cinequanon are developing the movie theaters Kadokawa Holdings in South Korea. Currently a cultural deregulation is taking place in China, and while the tight controls are in place an aim is being made at the net strategy.
10-31-05 (9:08PM EDT)—- Usagi No Glass Screenings
Based on the best-seller by Toshiko Takagi, screenings of the animated film Rabbit Of Glass, have been continuing around Japan since the original May release. The story tells the true life account of Takagi who survived the Tokyo fire bombings by the allies in World War II. Director on the movie is Setsuko Shibuichi, Production is by GoGo Visual Planning, Kyodo Film and TokyoMX TV. Actress Keiko Takeshita voices the 12 year old lead role. The film runs 84 minutes. The most recent screening will occur in Yurakucho on November 4. Toshiko Takagi’s original book was published in 1977, and the film play and TV drama were produced based on it.
10-31-05 (8:53PM EDT)—- Pretty Cure Rail Pass
The Tokyo Electric Express Railway has began selling a new Passnet based on Toei Animation’s Pretty Cure: Max Heart 2 on November 1. The film will be released to theaters across Japan on December 10. 250 pairs and 500 people total are invited to the premiere preview of this movie held at Pacifico Yokohama on December 4. The group will be selected from the buyers of this special railpass. The price is 1,000 Yen and it will be sold at the following stations: The Den-en-toshi line Shibuya station, Kodomono-kuni Sen’onda, Kodomono-kuni Station, and Setagaya line.
10-31-05 (8:41PM EDT)—- ELO’s Twilight
Nikkei BP mentions a very famous piece of music in otaku history is now searchable on the Mora online Japanese music store. The group is the 1970s Birmingham (UK) rock group ELO (Electric Light Orchestra), the song: “Twilight” circa 1981. Used as a theme to the Train Man TV drama, it’s roots in otaku lore go back to the SF Osaka Rally in 1983. There, it was used as the BGM in the DAICON 4 animation short created by GAINAX’s founding members Hideaki Anno, Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, Takami Akai, Shinji Higuchi and of course Yamaga-san.
10-31-05 (7:31PM EDT)—- Chikan Otoko Film
Following the lead of Densha Otoko (Train Man), Chikan Otoko (Molester Man) will become a film. Both happened to be born from the internet bulletin board 2 Channel. 19 year old Yanagi Koutarou directs the film which will open to the public on the 19th of November. The plot involves a love story based on the true account of 3 women and 1 man who is a withdrawn anime freak mistaken for a university student. Nao Nagasawa and Sayaka Isoyama will play 2 of the heroines. The young men’s acting troop “D-BOYS” will also star, they gainedp popularity for their musical version of Prince Of Tennis. The official website can be viewed here.
10-31-05 (4:10PM EDT)—- Takada Akemi On WYD MMORPG
Famed character designer Takada Akemi (Urusei Yatsura, Kimagure Orange Road, Patlabor) has been announced to create characters for JOY IMPACT and Hanbit Ubiquitous Entertainment’s new PC MMORPG “WYD” which begins beta testing in Japan at the end of November. She appeared at a launch event for the game wearing a necklace of her own design. The event was held at the Akihabara Convention Hall on Monday. South Korean Singer, YURI performed a live rendition of the theme song she created for the game. Takada said she planned on putting detail into the design of jewelry, and adornment of the various characters in WYD. The company is expecting about 10,000 players to join the game. HUE’s website can be found here and the official game website is www.wyd.jp.
10-31-05 (4:02PM EDT)—- East Meets South 2005 Location
Our friends at the East Meets South anime convention in Anniston, Alabama have announced their official location for the 2005 event. Coming up in just about 1 month, East Meets South Year 2 (December 2-4, 2005) will take place on the old Fort McClellan complext at the new JSU/Gadsden State campus. Directions can be found on the official website.
10-31-05 (3:49PM EDT)—- HRP-3P Robot
IT Media has a report and images on a new hunmanoid robot being developed in Japan that is supposedly immune to water and dust. Kawada Industries, The National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (Usou), and Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. have jointly developed the new robot named “HRP-3P”.
10-31-05 (3:14PM EDT)—- Kosaka Affirms Support To Animation Industry
In his first press conference as Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Minister, House of Representatives member Kenji Kosaka announced his support to Japan’s animation industry. Kosaka was appointed to the position through a shakeup in Prime Minister Joichiro Koizumi’s cabinet. Japan’s various contents related industries fall under his perview via the culture designation of his appointment. He said at the event on Monday “I want to deepen the understanding of Japan from foreign countries through animation and the culture of game software etc.”
10-31-05 (2:34PM EDT)—- Nihon University Manga Prize Winners Announced
The 4th “Nihon University Manga Prize” winners, awarded to those who have inspired the “passion, courage, dream, and impression” of manga were announced in Tokyo on Monday. Comedian Kinichi Hagimoto, supervisor Iwaki Hiroshi and Live Action Touch star Masami Nagasawa. Sponsorship was done by the Japan Cartoonists Association and major publishing companies.
10-31-05 (2:19PM EDT)—- BS Hi Broadcast Of Cowboy Bebop: Knockin On Heavens Door
NHK announced the forthcoming BS hi (high definition satellite) broadcast of the movie Cowboy Bebop: Knockin On Heavens Door. The feature is currently scheduled for Friday, December 23rd.
10-31-05 (2:11PM EDT)—- One Piece Movie 2006 Site
Toei Animation launched the offical website for their 2006 One Piece Animated Film “Karakuri Shiro No Mecha Kyo Hei”. The movie opens in March and advance tickets will go on sale November 26th. A special ‘ONE PIECE Karakuri 10,000 Person Campaign’ has been announced in which original specially-made goods will be offered from Nov. 23rd upon fans answering a quiz.
10-31-05 (2:04PM EDT)—- Gundam Zeta III Subtitle Announced
Cinema Topics Online reports the official subtitle of the third Gundam Zeta film was announced at the premiere of the second this weekend on Saturday, October 29th. The entire title is: Kidou Senshi Z Gundam: “Hoshi No Kodou Ha Ai” (“The Pulse Of The Star Is Love”) The final part of the trilogy will be released to theaters Saturday, March 4th, 2006. An official poster image can be seen at the link and further details are available at www.z-gundam.net.
10-31-05 (1:38PM EDT)—- Comic Buyers Get Panties
Mangaoh lists the extra Akane Shinsha is offering for purchasing of one of their limited edition manga titles, Comic Lo.
10-31-05 (1:18PM EDT)—- Senkami – Ikusagami OP
Watch Impress uploaded 30 second OP video sequence of Genki’s new PS2 RPG Senkami – Ikusagami. The game is due November 24th, retailing at 7,140 Yen.
10-31-05 (1:12PM EDT)—- CELL Pocessor Capabilities Revealed
Sony Computer Entertainment CEO and President Hisashi Taragi spoke on the Playstation 3’s specifications at the WPC forum “International, Digital Tokyo Conference” held on October 27th. The heart of the next gen console is the CELL processor that SCE jointly developed with Toshiba and U.S. IBM Corp. Also discussed were some of Sony’s other forthcoming hardware. It was mentioned their “4K SXRD” projector can reproduce a 4000×2000 pixel image. The president mentioned they were aiming at higher movie frame rates for their devices with a current goal of 120 frames per second (traditional TV is 50/60fps). By networking a cluster server of 16 Cell processor units a performance benchmark of 25.6 TFLOPS was achieved. 1PFLOPS was reached when 40 pairs were combined in a room.
10-31-05 (12:28PM EDT)—- AICE5
King Records and Starchild have launched the official website for seiyuu / idol unit AICE5. The group which includes Kanda Akemi, Masumi Asano, Madoka Kimura, Chiaki Takahashi and Yui Horie oficially announced their formation at the recently wrapped Akihabara Entertainment Festival.
10-31-05 (12:05PM EDT)—- Japanese Weekend Boxoffice
Kogyo Tsushinsha has uploaded their latest Japanese Boxoffice rankings for the weekend of Oct 29 – 30:
1. A Moment To Remember
2. Spring Snow
3. 3 Charlie And The Chocolate Factory
4. Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride
5. Mobile Suit Z Gundam 2 -Lovers-
8. The Pacifier
9. Semi Shigure
10-31-05 (12:21PM EDT)—- Kappa Mikey Website Launches
Animation Collective, the New York-based animation studio, today launched the website for its upcoming Nickelodeon series, “Kappa Mikey.” The television show, an anime parody, is Nickelodeon’s first-ever global acquisition and is set to premiere on Nicktoons in the US on February 17, 2006, and then on every Nickelodeon station throughout the world. The website, www.kappamikey.com, gives viewers a sneak peak into the world of the show, its characters and locations. The site also features games, printables and downloads such as screensavers, buddy icons, and wallpapers. Visitors can register for a chance to win prizes like iPods and original “Kappa Mikey” artwork. A special behind the scenes making of “Kappa Mikey” sizzle video is also available for a limited time.
Pablo Quinteros, Animation Collective’s Director of IT and the website’s designer, said, “In addition to being an introduction to the show, kappamikey.com is unique in that it is also a place where fans can interact with the show’s production team. There are animators’ blogs, podcasts and vodcasts. It’s the first time this has been done with a show on Nicktoons.” According to Larry Schwarz, “Kappa Mikey’s” creator and executive producer, “Kappamikey.com is designed to appeal to the television show’s target audience of 6-11 year olds as well as older die-hard anime fans. Even before the official site launch, kappamikey.com was being talked about in anime blogs and chat rooms and was receiving thousands of unique visitors.”
About Animation Collective:
New York City-based Animation Collective (www.animationcollective.com) is a leading producer of original animated programming for television, the Internet, home video and feature films. “Leader Dog” and “Tortellini Western,” two original series produced by the company, are currently airing on Nicktoons and “Princess Natasha” is scheduled to begin airing on Cartoon Network in January 2006.
About Kappa Mikey:
American actor Mikey Simon joins the cast of “LilyMu,” once the top rated anime show in Japan. Though Mikey is a fish out of water (a raw one in this case!), his crazy antics and style lift “LilyMu” out of the ratings gutter and transform Mikey into the biggest star Japan has ever seen.
10-31-05 (11:24AM EDT)—- Utaware Rumono TV Animation
Although it’s been in the planning stages for sometime now, the Leaf Fanclub Magazine has published some additional tentative information on the forthcoming Utaware Rumono TV Series. The broadcast start for the 26 episode run is now scheduled for the spring of 2006 on new network currently being constructed. The anime will be based on the popular Furry RPG by Leaf / Aquaplus. The TV version cast will reportedly share a number of the game’s sieyuu.
10-31-05 (8:54AM EDT)—- Suzumiya Haruhi TV Series Details
More info is out on the coming Suzumiya Haruhi TV Series. Based on Tanigawa Nagaru’s manga, production will be handled by Kyoto Animation. The formal announcement was made in Kadokawa’s Sneaker Magazine which was put on sale in recent days. Directing will be Ishihara Ritsuya, Composition by Suzumiya Haruhi To Yukai Na Nakama Tachi, Production by Yutaka Yamamoto , Chara Design by Akiko Ikeda, Animation by Kyoto Animation and SOS Group. 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.
10-31-05 (8:32AM EDT)—- USB Loincloth
We previously reported on costumer Angel Kitty’s “Cosplay USB Drive Series”. Now the company has announced an item for the guys. A rather skimpy one at that, with the “Loincloth USB Cable”. The costume consists of a multi colored Japanaese style loin cloth and 1 meter USB cable, the memory can be hidden in a tiny pocket in the cloth. Retail is 2,650 Yen.
10-31-05 (8:19AM EDT)—- Production I.G. Confirmed To Animate XXXHOLiC
CLAMP has announced the anime TV adaptation for their ‘XXXHOLiC’ work will be produced by Production I.G. The new series begins broadcasting in Japan from the spring of 2006.
10-31-05 (7:55AM EDT)—- Seven Seas Licenses Many Boogiepop Print Properties
Fans have clamored for it for years, and now Seven Seas Entertainment is proud to announce it is finally bringing Kouhei Kadono’s seminal Boogiepop novels and manga to North American audiences in English for the very first time. Fans of the Boogiepop Phantom anime series from 2001 (as seen on G4 and The Anime Network) will finally be able to get the answers they have longed for while new readers will be drawn into the world of Boogiepop like never before.
“Our release of Boogiepop is going to make fans very happy,” says Adam Arnold, Senior Editor in charge of licensed manga. “I have deep roots in fandom and avidly follow what people say on message boards. We fans want everything to be left uncensored and want the work preserved the way the writers and artist originally intended. We expect translations to stay true to the source material, and most of all, we demand that publishers include any color pages that appeared in the original Japanese release. With that in mind, we’re going to give Boogiepop the respect that it deserves.”
With over 2 million books in print, Boogiepop first made headlines in 1997 when Kouhei Kadono’s Boogiepop and Others won first place in the Media Works-sponsored Dengeki Game Novel Contest. With the novel�fs official release in February 1998, the book single-handedly ignited the “light novel” trend in Japanese literature. Starting in February 2006, Seven Seas Entertainment plans to release the first of the Boogiepop novels in English. Further releases for 2006 include the second and third Boogiepop novels, both volumes of the Boogiepop Doesn’t Laugh manga series drawn by character designer Kouji Ogata and the two-volume Boogiepop Dual manga illustrated by Masayuki Takano (Blood Alone).
SEVEN SEAS BEGINS LICENSING FROM JAPAN
With the announcement of Boogiepop, Seven Seas Entertainment has jumped into the fray of Japanese licensing. This unique opportunity presented itself earlier this year when Japanese publishers began to take notice of the high quality of Seven Seas’ original titles. “In this competitive marketplace, where big companies are flooding store shelves with whatever manga licenses they can get, entering the licensing fray at this late hour makes us something of an underdog,” explains company president Jason DeAngelis. “The best way for us to stand out from the pack is to focus on quality over quantity. We plan to give the works we license in from Japan the same sort of love of the medium and attention to quality as we have with our original properties.” Together with it’s new Head of Licensing Yayoi Ihne, a licensing expert who has worked at both Viz and Del Rey, Seven Seas is primed to cherry-pick only the finest titles. Expect more exciting announcements in 2006!
10-31-05 (7:37AM EDT)—- Cool Breeze Broadcast Interrupted
The TV animation ‘Cool Breeze’ was halted from being broadcast by Hiroshima Home Television due to a power failure related to digital broadcast construction on Wednesday, November 15.
10-31-05 (7:35AM EDT)—- Eureka 7 PS2 Opening
The full opening animation sequence to the new Eureka 7 TR:1 NEW WAVE game for PS2 has been made available for viewing on the official website.
10-31-05 (7:32AM EDT)—- Full Metal Alchemist Movie On PPV
Preceding the DVD release in Japan it’s been revealed the Hagaren animated feature will broadcast on the PPV channel “Perfect Choice 160” on the 9th-29th of December. The watch fee is 240 Yen.
10-31-05 (7:25AM EDT)—- Starchild 25th Anniversary Campaign
Starchild announced their 2nd campaign launch related to their ongoing 25th anniversary celebration this year. It involves the release of a new Space Battleship Yamamoto Yoko DVD-BOX. A third campaign has been scheduled in the future.
10-31-05 (7:21AM EDT)—- Karin Web
JC Staff launched the notification page for their new TV animation Karin. The series will begin broadcasting on WOWOW from November 3rd.
10-31-05 (7:16AM EDT)—- Gundam Zeta II: Lovers Discount Scheme
Those seeking a discounted admission price into the theatrical run of “Mobile Suit Z Gundam II: Lovers” which opened to the public on October 29 in Japan are in luck. By presenting the DVD package of 1st Z Gundam film released on October 28th children can get 200 Yen off the regular ticket price and those of junior high age and higher can get 100 Yen off.
10-31-05 (7:14AM EDT)—- The Third Animation Announced
Written by Hoshino Akira and illustrated by Gotou Nao, a new storyline of The Third manga has began serializing in the December issue of Kadokawa Shoten’s DRAGON Magazine. The work is a sword swinging fantasy tale based on the light novel originally written by Hoshino Akira. Additionally, it was revealed in this issue that plans for an animation based on the series are now underway. Dragon hit shelves in Japan on October 29th, retailing at 690 Yen.
10-30-05 (5:56PM EDT)—- Oshii Art Gets Home
Post Aichi Expo, many are still wondering where the final resting place for Satsuki And May’s House will be in light of the 4-5 city tug of war going on in Japan. That said, a permanent home for some of the items in another popular fan draw at the event has been decided. The National Science Museum in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture will take possession of some of the parts of the Dreamt Mountain pavilion including the art creations of famed director Mamoru Oshii. The plan is to preserve the items and exhibit them across Japan. One Oshii statue that is 2.5 meters in height and 200 kilos in weight was donated to the museum. The piece symbolizes the spirits of the dead who become a symbol of all things tied to man and nature. Although exhibitions are planned the art currently sits in a warehouse in Tsukuba.
10-30-05 (5:44PM EDT)—- Animation Symposium In China
There will be some strong representation from Japan at the 7th China Shanghai International Arts Festival: Animation Cultural Art System Activity” held from November 9 to the 13th in China. JETRO, Dentsu, Bandai, SONY and COMIX WAVE will be there and there will be several screenings and talk events related to various animated works.
10-30-05 (5:05PM EDT)—- Otomo To Direct Live Action Mushishi
It’s been revealed Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira, Steamboy) will direct a live action movie version of Yuki Urushibara’s Mushishi manga. A contents fund method will be used to find the project through the Japan Digital Contents Trust. A special fund type called “Cinema Trust-Master” will be used. The original manga has sold 1.2 million copies. A TV animation based on the work began broadcast in Japan on October 22nd, directed by Hiroshi Nagahama. Starring will be popular actors Joe Odagiri and Ezumi Makiko, the opening is planned for winter of 2006. A production capital of about one billion yen will be procured.
10-30-05 (11:29AM EDT)—- Lucasfilm Animation Singapore Opens
On October 26th Lucasfilm Ltd. officially opened the doors of Lucasfilm Animation Singapore, a digital animation studio designed to produce movies and television for global audiences. The Singapore studio, which is approximately 40,000 square feet (3,715 square meters) is in the Changi area of Singapore. More than 35 employees from 19 countries around the world have already been hired and hiring will continue into 2006.
“When we announced the formation of Lucasfilm Animation Singapore last August, we said we’d open our doors this fall, and we’re right on schedule,” said George Lucas. “Our first series — a TV adventure titled Clone Wars, based on the time between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith — is already in active development and we hope to see it on the air in 2007.”
An opening ceremony for the studio included a traditional Lion Dance, a blessing by a feng shui master and the unveiling of a statue of Yoda that will greet visitors to the studio. Official remarks to celebrate the opening of the studio were made by Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan, Second Minister for Trade and Industry and Mr. Teo Ming Kian, Chairman of the Economic Development Board (EDB) of Singapore. They were joined by Micheline Chau, President and Chief Operating Officer of Lucasfilm Ltd. and Gail Currey, Vice President and General Manager of Lucasfilm Animation.
Lucasfilm Animation Singapore will work hand-in-hand with the team at Lucasfilm Animation, based at Skywalker Ranch in Marin County, California. Gail Currey, Vice President and General Manager of Lucasfilm Animation also announced the hiring of key creative executives in the U.S.
Catherine Winder, Executive Producer, has worked as both an executive and producer in feature film, home video and television animation in both the US and Asia. Winder will head up development and production on the upcoming 3-D animated television series as well as on feature film projects. Prior to joining the company, Winder worked as a consultant with independent producers to develop and market their properties. She has also guided clients in the areas of production planning and business strategy. As Senior Vice President of Fox Feature Animation, she supervised the expansion of Blue Sky studios and the production of the Oscar nominated film Ice Age. Her producing career started at Colossal Pictures, where she quickly moved to HBO to set up a studio to develop and produce the Emmy Award-winning animated series Todd MacFarlane’s Spawn along with additional projects for their original programming division. She began her animation career in Asia at Walt Disney Television Animation, Japan and then moved to Turner Films/Hanna Barbera in Taiwan. Winder co-authored the industry handbook “Producing Animation.”
Dave Filoni, Supervising Director, most recently directed the Nickelodeon animation series Avatar: The Last Airbender. He began his career at Film Roman in animation as an assistant director for King of the Hill. He also served as an assistant director on the WB television series Mission Hill and The Oblongs. Filoni worked for Walt Disney Television Animation on Kim Possible, Teamo Supremo and Lilo and Stitch.
Henry Gilroy, Head Writer/Story Editor, first contributed to the Star Wars universe with his comic book stories for Dark Horse. He then authored the graphic novel adaptations of Episode I The Phantom Menace and Episode II Attack of the Clones. A veteran television animation story editor and producer with two Emmy nominations, a few of Gilroy’s credits include The Tick, Jackie Chan Adventures, Lilo & Stitch and Justice League Unlimited. His feature-length writing included crafting stories and screenplays for the award-winning Bionicle trilogy for Miramax.
Rob Coleman, Animation and Development Director, who joins the animation division after twelve years at Lucasfilm’s visual effects house, Industrial Light & Magic. Coleman served as animation director on Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith, a role he also fulfilled on the two previous Star Wars movies. In 2002, Entertainment Weekly named Rob to the “It List” as one of the most creative people in entertainment, for his work on the digital Yoda. He has been nominated for two Oscars for his work on Attack of the Clones and The Phantom Menace and two British Academy Awards (BAFTAs) for his work on Men in Black and The Phantom Menace. He has received two MTV Movie Awards and two Saturn Awards for best visual effects on the Star Wars movies.
“These four amazing talents, combined with the leadership of our Singapore studio GM Christian Kubsch, who joined our team in July, mean that our first series and our future projects will be both innovative and entertaining,” said Gail Currey, Vice President and General Manager of Lucasfilm Animation. “They’ll bring us great stories, fantastic visuals and a strong future.” The company also announced several key hires that will be based at the Singapore studio. They include Phillip Stamp, Director of Animation, Teo Chor Guan, Software Engineer Manager, and Rossina Lim Yennyenn.
The technology at the studio will also lead the industry. “We’re leveraging not only the technology, but the expertise and the techniques developed over the years at Industrial Light & Magic and LucasArts to train a new generation of digital artists at our Singapore studio” said Cliff Plumer, Chief Technology Officer of Lucasfilm Ltd. “Our infrastructure in Singapore mirrors our campuses at Skywalker Ranch and the Letterman Digital Arts Center in San Francisco, making the integration and communication seamless and efficient.”
10-30-05 (10:25AM EDT)—- 2006 One Piece Movie
On Friday Toei Animation announced it’s 2006 One Piece film “Karakuri Shiro No Mecha Kyo Hei” ) “Mecha Hei Of Karakuri Castle”). The plot opens with the regular crew of characters seeking out a new treasure. This time their adventure takes them to a mysterious island where they find a castle expecting untold riches to lie behind it’s walls. Upon reaching the castles core, they discover no gold at all but that the castle is boobytrapped and guarded over by a large and deadly machine. Original Story by series creator Eiichiro Oda, Directed by TV series supervisor Konosuke Uda. The One Piece 2006 Production Committee Consists of: Toei Animation, Shueisha, Fuji Television Network, Bandai. The Japanese theatrical opening is March 4th.
10-30-05 (8:35AM EDT)—- Gamera Revival In Japan
Although it’s about 2 and 1/2 years out, with news of Cartoon Network’s plans to create a new Gamera animation and broadcast it in America in 2007, all things related to the franchise will most likely be coming stateside. ADV Films has released several of the Live Action Gamera Movies in the USA since the 1990’s. In Japan however, Gamera has been experiencing a major revival this month with many announcements having been made in Tokyo. A production symposium announcement for the new Gamera movie “Little Braves” (opening in 2006) was made in Japan earlier in October. This marks the first new Gamera film in six years. 2005 marks the 40th anniversary since the creation of the monster turtle. 12 film works total have been made and the latest one’s production cost has been estimated as 1.5 billion Yen. Directed by Ryuuta Tazaki, the theatrical release is April 29, 2006.
10-30-05 (8:02AM EDT)—- Cartoon Network To Produce Gamera Animation
Kadokawa Holdings has announced American television company Cartoon Network will produce a new animation TV series based on their Gamera property. The new work will be broadcast in North America during the spring of 2007. Each episode will run 30 minutes. CN has enjoyed much sucess from their past cross market (Japan /USA) inspired productions, this first occured in America during the 1990’s with the anime-inspired Power Puff Girls animation. The show was a hit in the USA and later went on to become popular in Japan. From there the network went on to actually create original works based on Japan (Hi Hi Hi Puffy Ami Yumi), fund works based on their original properties being created in Japan (Powerpuff Girls Z) and jointly produce new works based on properties originating in Japan with Japanese animation firms (IGPX).
10-30-05 (7:27AM EDT)—- High Level Asian Contents Meeting
At a recent large conference on contents held in Tokyo, several Asian nations have coordinated on cooporation related to business on animation, games and film production. The ministerial-level talk “Asian Contents Industrial Seminar” took place on the 27th where the association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), China, South Korea, India and Japan via Trade / Industry Minister Shoichi Nakagawa participated. The importance of the film and animation industries of various Asian nations has been recognized as exceeding borders and this has now been recognized and addressed at a political level. The aim is to expand the market via cooperation of each country. In the meeting, a joint statement on co- promotion, co- production and personnel training exchange was adopted.
10-28-05 (9:10AM EDT)—- Samurai Are In
Although they’ve long been eclipsed by their shadowy ninja brethern in the west, Yahoo News talks about the emerging appeal of the samurai in media, including Samurai 7.
10-27-05 (8:39PM EDT)—- First High Definition Anime DVD?
ANS recieved an interesting press release this evening from Adult Source Media:
ANIME’S FIRST HIGH DEFINITION MOVIE!!
Ship Date: October 31, 2005
Street Date: November 4, 2005
Running Time: 30 min + 30 min of additional features
Synopsis: It is the time of Taisho. Morisaki Shinichirou and his step-sister, Morisaki Kotomi run a caf�Ethat their mother ran before she passed away. Life was peaceful and quiet in their little town as brother and sister worked hard to earn a living.Their father, a top scientist for the empire, was working on a secret project creating sex androids. But one day, an accident occurred at his lab that released an android girl into the public. Get ready for a raunchy time now that Arisa the Android is on the loose!
DVD Features: XXX Uncencored – No Mosaic Original Japanese dialogue English Subtitles High Definition Format 30 minutes of additional footage
10-27-05 (5:00PM EDT)—- US Passports Get RFID
Information to note for American citizens travelling to Japan, Computer World reports The U.S. State Department has approved new rules that pave the way for the use of RFID-equipped electronic passports beginning in December.
10-27-05 (4:55PM EDT)—- NTT Developing Human Remote Control
CNN is running an article by The Associated Press which talks about a new galvanic vestibular stimulation device being developed by Japan’s NTT that allows control of users’ movements. The subject wears a headset and is controlled wirelessly at a distance by a handheld remote control unit. They hope to incorporate the technology into video games. (BTW: This method is about 50 years old, the US military has stuff that is light years in advance.)
10-27-05 (12:56PM EDT)—- Onmyoji Manga Ends
Probably best known in America by the popular live action film adaptation release by pioneer, the Onmyoji manga illustrated by Okano Reiko recently wrapped in Japan. Both the movie and comic are based on the original novel by Yumemakura Baku which details the battles of Heian era magicians and spirits. Hakusensha released 13 volumes of the manga which has 3800 pages. The final volume was published on September 26th. Original creator Yumemakura Baku hand picked Okano Reiko to draw the comic which began serialization in 1993. Onmyoji took the Osamu Tezuka cultural grand prize in 2001, and the book has sold five million copies.
10-27-05 (12:15PM EDT)—- Angel XX Figure Images
10-27-05 (11:48AM EDT)—- Livedoor Enters Rocket Racing League
The flamboyant otaku who head Livedoor are at it again. This time they plan to sponsor a plane in the newly announced Rocket Racing League created by X-Prize founder Peter H. Diamandis. The race is said to involve rocket propelled “X-Racers” which will compete on a set circuit at speeds in excess of 300mph (about 100mph faster than F1). The event is being touted as something like the rocket sled race in Star Wars Episode I. Mr. Granger Whitelaw, two-time Indianapolis 500 champion is a partner on the project said to take launch in the coming months. An exhibition is scheduled for autumn 2006 with some airshow appearances to follow along with a qualification in Nevada in autumn of 2007 and a gold medal game in New Mexico state. The flight course is about 3.2km in length at a height of 1500m. Liquid oxygen and kerosene are used as fuel in the rocket engines that can fly as fast as 480kph. Each machine will fly about 100m apart to stave off collision, GPS will assure this and keep the racers on course. Spinoff videogames are already being planned.
10-27-05 (11:41AM EDT)—- Another Maid Cafe Cited For Entertainment
On Ocotber 25th the female employees in a Matsuyama City maid cafe were deemed to be offering “entertainment” to customers. The legal designation is regulated under Entertainment Establishments Control Law. Police were sent to the business, “Housemaid Cafe”, demanding permission of business affecting public morals be applied for. Fukuoka prefectural police similarly cited two maid cafes there in September. According to Police, the shop’s staff which are dressed as housemaids played video games and cards with guests, this violated the law. According to the Tokyo Metropolitan Police, similar activities carried out by their numerous maid cafes have not yet qualified for this type of regulation.
10-27-05 (11:16AM EDT)—- School Girl Sprayed With Strange Liquid
The Mainichi reports that at about 8:00PM on the 25th a man sprayed a liquid with a foul odor on a 15 year old schoolgirl who was leaving school in Sapporo City’s east district. The girl was slightly injured by the attack, in which her mouth and eyes bcame red and swollen. The Sapporo Azuma station is investigating it as an injury case. Part of the sour smelling liquid soaked into her clothes. The police station sent the clothing to the crime laboratory on the 26th, and is examining the elements of the liquid in detail.
10-27-05 (11:02AM EDT)—- Itoyama Eitaro Speaks Out Against Razor Ramon
Masaki Sumitami (Razor Ramon) is a Japanese shock comedian (ala Ali G) and occasional professional wrestler. He gained huge popularity in Japan this year for his “Hard Gay” persona featured on the Daibakuten Saturday variety show broadcast on TBS. Often seen in a tight black leather outfit, he goes around performing acts of charity for unsuspecting bystanders while simultaneously incorporating plenty of pelvic thrusting and vocal exultations. Now his act has been criticized by former Japanese parliament member Itoyama Eitaro. Known as one of the richest men in the world, Itoyama recently headlined an article on his website in the following way: “Do Japanese Parents Not Have Media Literacy? Why Does Yoshimoto Theatrical Market Razor Ramon HG?” He goes onto to say “There is a vulgar TV program proving that Japan has reached a low level. Children are pleased with the appearance in which Razor Ramon HG uses a queer voice and shakes his waist saying “It is interesting”. Goods sell well too and parents are buying the child leather vests and leather pants. It is the start of a certain utterly scandalous Japanese national decline.”
10-27-05 (10:12AM EDT)—- Web Updates
www.magikano.com has gone live with some of the first images of the animation in the show. Likewise an official website has surfaced for the forthcoming Girl’s High School Students TV animation at www.girls-high.net
10-27-05 (10:09AM EDT)—- Ishikawa Interview Continues
Nikkei BP posted the 3rd update in an ongoing interview Kajiyama Sumiko has been conducting with Production I.G. in her business style blog. It’s said CEO Mitsuhisa Ishikawa’s parents and elder brother were heavily engaged in agriculture and seem to influence his character and operating philosophy. For instance, Ishikawa is said , saying that “I want to live like the weed”. He expands that weed’s root is buried in the Earth and even if it is stepped on, it lives on tenaciously. It’s mentioned that the CEO regards his staff earnestly and wants to award his best animators with fair and honest pay. The production of animation in Japan, is often seen carrying long working hours and cheap pay. In a certain investigation, the average annual salary of an animator in Japan is about 2.47 million Yen. Ishikawa equates the role of an animaor on par with that of an actor. In I.G. he says it’s not uncommon for some animators’ salary to exceed 10 million Yen. The concept of highly paying animators was considerably epoch-making in the industry though to I.G. it was thought ot be natural as it was seen as performance-based evaluation.
Hongo-san who directed the Crayon Shin-Chan animation was selected to supervise the I.G TV series IGPX. The director mentioned in earlier times the amount of money paid to animators for their work never changed in a way as to reward talented people. Mr. Ishikawa on the other hand was the first to pay high money to a fast, good animator. Therefore, the person with a best arms might have assmbled in I.G. Hongo adds, however that is also difficult to manage good animator. They must be engineers, artists and storytellers all at the same time.
10-27-05 (9:14AM EDT)—- Positive Forecast Spurs Toei Stock Rally
Undoubtedly the biggest anime news story in Japan for Thursday, is that of Toei Animation. The major animation production company came out with a revised performance forecast for the fiscal business year ending March 18th. The story told is that of very positive business both domestically and overseas. Consolidated net sales as of the interim period that had been assumed to be 9.5 billion Yen were revised to reflect 11.14 billion Yen and gross profits originally announced as 1.64 billion Yen earlier year and then increased to 1.7 billion Yen, today sit at 2.61 billion Yen. In addition, on the year sales of billion to 19.8 billion Yen are expected along with a profit of 3.6 billion Yen. Success stories attributed to this boost are related products to the AIR and Pretty Cure franchises. Both had profitable theatrical runs and the sales based on the DVD release are expected to be good. Video game and broadcasting rights accounted for bigger overseas earnings related to One Piece and Dragonball in North America and ‘Sage Fighter Hoshiya’ in Europe. Toei views their domestic and foreign business development as very successful and this success could extend beyond the fiscal year. Strengthening overseas business is Toei’s overseas subsidiary established in recent months in North America and Europe though the production firm had suffered from a business slump in overseas markets in recent years. On the news, Toei Animation’s stock listing shares on the Jasdaq saw a 590 Yen jump from it’s 5690 Yen closing price on the 26th to 6280 Yen as of 9:23. Shares peeked at 6490 Yen (14.06% increase) and closed at 6,050 Yen (up 360 Yen 6.33% increase).
10-27-05 (8:32AM EDT)—- 1st Gunsword TV Episode Online
JVC Music / M-Serve is currently streaming the first episode of the new Gunsword TV series currently broadcasting on TV Tokyo. The freely available episode will be up until October 31.
10-27-05 (6:02AM EDT)—- Shota Collection
There’s going to be a rather large Yaoi Dojinshi event called Shota Collection to be held in the Industrial Boeki Center Taito pavilion 6f in Asakusa on Saturday, October 29. Over 180 dojin exhibitors will have tables. Interestingly, the gender ratio of attendees is expected to be 80-90% in favor of the guys. Admission is 5 Yen, the event will be held 11:00-15:00. Cosplay is expressly prohibited.
10-27-05 (5:44AM EDT)—- New CPM iPod Video Media
Last week, Central Park Media began offering iPod downloads at www.centralparkmedia.com/ipod/. Today, CPM has just uploaded two new downloads, a trailer for “Wrath of the Ninja” and the entire first episode of “Descendants of Darkness / Yami No Matsuei.” The files are formatted for the iPod but can be viewed on any Mac or PC.
10-27-05 (1:35AM EDT)—- New Keyboard Can Download Anime Music Data
To the musically gifted fan, reproducing favorite anime themes on various instruments can take their love of the medium to whole new levels. Many sites have sprung up hosting piano sheet music, guitar tabs and Midi files relating to anime music. Now, Yamaha has pulled the covers off a new keyboard which can access the internet and download not only sheet music, but other music data that can be used to faithfully reproduce popular commerical songs. Yamaha has launched the site “Net Music Town” that is exclusively used with the new device that can be accessed for 630 Yen per month. Music data of about 1,000 different songs can be downloaded including Japanese pop, rock, club music, movie, and anime tues, etc. A built in tutor can teach you how to play them as well.
10-27-05 (1:02AM EDT)—- Yoshinaga Sanchi No Gargoyle TV Update
Some new production details have surfaced regarding the upcoming TV animation adaptation of Taguchi Sennendo’s Yoshinaga Sanchi No Gargoyle TV Update, serialized in Magical-Cute Magazine. Producing will be Akahori Satoru and Oomiya Saburou, directing is Suzuki Gyou, screenplay by Yoshioka Takawo, chara design by Mayumi Watanabe and Production by Tri-net Entertainment, Studio Lark and Oshoku Machi Shoutengai.
10-27-05 (12:20AM EDT)—- Nerima Daikon Brothers Site
The official presite for the upcoming Nerima Daikon Brothers TV series animation has launched. Aniplex and Studio Lark are producing the work. The anime is based on the manga by Kondo Takamitsu & Studio Hibari which just began serializing in the Comic Rush December issue released in Japan on 10/26.
10-27-05 (12:00AM EDT)—- 1GB Memory Stick Pro Duo Released For PSP
Following up on the below story, SCE has just released their 1GB Memory Stick Pro Duo (PSP-MP1G) for PSP in Japan. The item has been long-awaited by users who require special mass storage for various media files. Retailing at 10,000 Yen, the previous 512MB (MSX-M512S) stick cost about the same amount less than 6 months ago when it was first marketed. Besides gretaer storage, many users were hoping the next model would have a higher transfer rate between media and device. This Japanese blog has performed a comparison between the max storage old and new Memory Stick transfering a file of 460MB in size. On the 512MB model a transfer time of 4 minutes 35 seconds was recorded. The same file can be transfered to the new 1GB stick in only 1 minute 15 seconds.
10-26-05 (6:57AM EDT)—- Video Comparison: iPOD VS PSP
Nikkei BP Arena has gotten down and dirty and subjected Apple’s 5th gen iPod and Sony’s PSP to a gauntlet of benchmark style technical tests. To make things objective they opted to create their own video, using a 3rd party image conversion tool bypassing Quicktime 7 and iTunes. The results: surprisingly close. iPod has 4:3 2.5 inch long screen, PSP has a 16:9 4.3 inch screen. The iPod is judged to have better animation and image quality due to it’s small screen size and number of on screen pixels compared to PSP. iPod is also judged the victor in terms of portability. Especially for congested day to day life in Tokyo and on mass transit systems. When viewing video during rush hour, the PSP’s size makes using both hands neccessary on a packed train. The iPod by comparison fits neatly on a single palm. PSP currently leads in terms of pay contents availability. Regarding battery life, the iPod can last 2-3 hours (depending on model) while the PSP lasts 4-5 five hours. In this regard the PSP takes the cake. In the storage capacity realm iPod is overwhelmingly the winner. A 1GB Memory Stick is about 10,000-15,000 Yen currently. It’s reinforced that the PSP was designed as a game machine and iPod, a music player. Neither is a player dedicated to animation exclusively. However, the video reproduction relies on a fundamentally different architecture for each. PSP is seen as quite excellent as a music player (ie: equal). When a PSP equipped with HDD is put on the market the race will be closer. However, can iPod just as easily close the gap by adding functionality as a game machine?
10-26-05 (6:07AM EDT)—- Asian Comics Invade Europe
Bloomberg is running an article on the Manhwa and Manga “attack” currently bearing down upon the European continent. The article mentions European cartoonists are “under siege” from Japanese comics such as Dragon Ball and Pokemon that are stealing European market share from homegrown heroes like Tintin and old American occupiers like Mickey Mouse.
10-26-05 (5:28AM EDT)—- Wings Of Rean Site Opens
Bandai Visual, Sunrise and Bandai Networks officially opened their Wings Of Rean website on Wednesday. Items such as Staff, Cast, Story, World Setting, various other contents and an official production Blog have all been added. Creator Yoshiyuki Tomino leads off the journal’s launch with a special comment to fans. Music in the series will be by Yasuo Higuchi (Gundam X), Story by Kouzan Jirou, art by Ikeda Hanbi, Visual Concepts by Okama, mechanical designs by Shinohara Tamotsu, Sakura Takumi, Kudou Masashi, Production by Sunrise. Cast includes Fukuyama Jun as Aesop and Suzuki Yaku, Tsuchida Dai Asyahan Akira Riyaku, Shingo Tanabe as Kanemototaira Tsugiyaku, Oyama Rikiya as Sakomizu and Shinjirou Yaku, Shimamura Yuu as Ryukusu and Sakomizu Yaku and Hayashi Marihana as Kodoru and Sakomizu Yaku.
10-26-05 (4:41AM EDT)—- Yahoo Japan CG Web Animation
Famed seiyuu Mayumi Iizuka will appear in a trilogy of 3 CG animation shorts being directed by Iwata Naomi and prodced by Yahoo Japan. Shitamachi Eirian Papipipipupi will stream free of charge at the above link October 25, 2005 – January 25, 2006.
10-26-05 (4:17AM EDT)—- OLM Adopts GEO-Element 3D Modelling Software
It’s been revealed that animation studio OLM Digital (Berserk, Pokemon, Inu Yasha Movie, Steel Angel Kurumi) has been actively using SGI Japan’s 3D mapping solution and development kit “GEO-Element” in it’s recent productions. The software renders geographical structures such as buildings and cities in incredible realistic detail. You can see the technology being put to use in Takeshi Miike’s live action horror thriller Yokai Daisenso which opened in Japanese theaters August 6th. It’s worth noting the DVD release is coming up soon and this one of the first titles expected to be relesed to HD-DVD. OLM said the production cost, and the production time had been reduced greatly using this software.
10-26-05 (3:22AM EDT)—- World’s First Criminal Conviction Of A BitTorrent User
Asia Media reports on the The world’s first criminal conviction of a BitTorrent user. Although he was only charged for uploading the ruling may have opened the doors to making even downloaders of files through the technology criminally liable. The agency interviews a 24-year-old user who downloads anime with BT: “For sure I will continue, as I am not a frequent user and I just download files but do not upload or share any seed files. I don’t believe the copyright owners have the technique or resources to sue us.”
10-26-05 (2:13AM EDT)—- Was Pepsi Gundam Promotion In Trouble?
In September, Osaka-based Suntory launched their latest figure promotion in Japan involving Pepsi and Gundam. Titled “Get!! Gundam SEED”, it marked the 3rd consecutive year for such a campaign between the soft-drink bottler and the robot character franchise. 500ml bottles of Pepsi Twist and Diet Pepsi Twist were packed with 24 different mobile suits and character figures from both Gundam SEED and Gundam SEED DESTINY. On Wednesday in Japan it was revealed that Suntory was sent cautions of possibly having violated a Law for “Preventing Unjustifiable Extra or Benefit and Misleading Representation” by Japan’s Fair Trade Commission. It was judged that figures included in the package (the inside of which was not visible) constituted “Prize Goods” which conflicts with a consumer’s speculative spirit. About 20 years ago the company Lotte drew similar attention with it’s “Surprise Man Chocolate” which used a sales strategy that tickled the collector’s psychology. In 2003 Suntory Limited bundled 32 types of Gundam figures with it’s drinks. 1 type of figure was included in each bag. The chances of a consumer obtaining any one figures (or the complete line) comes down to luck no matter how many drinks are purchased. The included figures are considered an extra commodity usually referred to as a “premium” that the Fair Trade Commission presumes are “prize articles.” Although the price of a “prize article” must be 2% or less of a the total price of the goods being sold it’s being reported that this restriction was bypassed in regards to the promotion. The FTC deemed there were unavailable “Rare items”, and customers tried to collect the complete line. It is said that the complete set has sold at internet for about 100,000 Yen. The Fair Trade Commission sent a notice to Suntory Limited at the end of September, and requested that a similar sales method was not adopted by the Japan Soft Drinks Manufacturers Association. Suntory Limited made the bags containing the Gundam figures transparent in the beginning of October.
Source: The Daily Yomiuri
10-26-05 (2:13AM EDT)—- Summo Getting Big In America?
OhMy News mentions a recent sumo exhibition at New York’s Madison Square Garden. Over two dozen wrestlers from nine countries, the heaviest of whom weighed in at a whopping 461 pounds, clad in full sumo regalia marched across Seventh Avenue to promote the “Battle of the Giants” last Saturday and compete in the World Sumo Challenge to promote the tradition-rich, ancient Japanese sport in America. According to the report the Japanese sport is gaining popularity in North America.
10-26-05 (1:08AM EDT)—- NTV To Offer Ghibli Animation Online
Nippon Television Network has announced some details surrounding it’s upcoming video delivery site “Nippon Television Network 2” on the 25th. The site will launch at 1:25 AM of the October 27th. The content will include about 38,000 hours of past programming, such as news, variety programs and animation. While details have not yet been specified, the service will reportedly offer animation shorts and movies of Studio Ghibli. Such video on demand sites offering anime have been common in Japan for the past several years. The significance of this news involves the use of Ghibli’s content which has yet to be offered via web in a broadband delivery form in the country. A varrying fee will be charaged for the access to NTV’s video content (ie: 9 Yen for news items, 99 Yen for 20 minute program). NTV has long been a co-producer and investor related to Ghibli’s productions.
10-26-05 (1:08AM EDT)—- IGN Manga Report
KJB’s Manga Report #3 has been posted encapsulating alot of the past week’s news. IGN DVD’s Anime Report will be added on Thursday with more news and reviews.
10-26-05 (12:08AM EDT)—- Controversy Over Osomatsu-kun Use In Sake Ads
With the northern hemisphere entering cooler weather, the season of oden (Japanese hotchpotch) has began. Traditionally, oden is a stew type mix of vegetables, fish etc.. simmered for several hours, usually in a ceramic pot. Warm sake (Japanese rice wine) often accompanies oden among adults. The Japanese company Kizakura has just released a new product, Chibitano Kansake which uses the character Osomatsu-kun created by Fujio Akatsuka. The Osomatsu-kun manga was originally serialized in Weekly Shonen Sunday in 1962 and later adapted to a popular animated TV series. Oden just happened to be the favorite dish of the title character. Although he’s drawn with a mustache holding oden on a skewer in the currently running ads and television spots, there’s been some controversy over the use of Osomatsu-kun (originally a children’s cartoon) in conjunction with advertising related to a product of Japan’s alcohol brewing industry. Representatives of Kizakura have said they were aware of this and made the character used in their promotion, clearly a grown up version of the original (hence the mustache). It’s also said that there many Japanese of legal drinking age who don’t draw a connection between Osomatsu-kun and oden.
10-25-05 (11:00PM EDT)—- Satoru Ozawa Interviewed
The official Japanese website for the Tideline Blue anime has posted a lengthy interview with original creator Satoru Ozawa. The author is also known for his submarine works Blue Submarine No.6 and Submarine 707. Ozawa explains how director Umanosuke Iida came to work on the project, how he wanted recapture the feel of Blue Sub No.6, how he planned to use the Dura Vera idea in Submarine 707, how he conceptulized the stage of Earth where 90% of the population were killed by flooding, how mechanical designer Kimitoshi Yamane’s favorite seagoing vessels happen to the ones that float on the water (the opposite of Oazawa-san who likes the ones that dive under it), his impression on the anime VS the manga and much more.
10-25-05 (10:40PM EDT)—- Major Sequel TV Series
NHK announced their popular baseball animation Major will get a second season. The broadcast will run from December 10th. A special episode featuring the some of seiyuu will air on Sunday, December 4.
10-25-05 (10:32PM EDT)—- IGPX Manga Details
The manga adaptation of Production I.G. and Cartoon Network’s IGPX TV series will be serialized by Media Works in their entertainment magazine Dengeki Maoh from the October 27th issue. Story by Yanase Yuuki, illustration by Kakei Shouryuu.
10-25-05 (9:51PM EDT)—- Hisaishi Film Submitted For Academy Award
According to Yahoo “Welcome to Dongmakgol,”, which has music from Howl’s Moving Castle composer Joe Hisaishi, is being submitted for the Best Foreign Film Oscar for Korea. Thanks to Daniel for the link.
10-25-05 (9:34PM EDT)—- Japanimation Tour Details
More information has surfaced on the new “Japanimation Tour” being offered in Tokyo by Mangsha. The official launch was October 22nd. The tours will be limited to around 80 people and split into 2 total groups to be executed by February 15. About 10 tours are scheduled, to be centered around large scale events by next year. Originally the tour was planned to be offered to fans outside of Japan but due to some problems with their various arrangements it is only available domestically at this time. The tour is being aimed at young people and those who may plan to live locally in Tokyo or work in the entertainment industry in the future. The excursion will be a 2 day one night affair by bus. Ports of call include recording studios, the Bandai Museum in Chiba Prefecture, Housemaid cafes in Akihabara and a water bus of designed by Reiji Matsumoto. The tour pice is 39,800 Yen.
10-25-05 (7:01AM EDT)—- Takeaki Momose’s Magikano To Be Animated
Takeaki Momose’s (Creator: Miami Guns, Illustrator: RahXephon manga) Magikano comic will be adapted to an animation TV series to broadcast in January, 2006. The manga is serialized in monthly magazine Z published by Kodansha. Some of the production staff currently working on Trinet Entertainment’s Izumo: Takeki Ken no Hirameki TV series will transition over to the new work. One of them is director, Kishi Seiji. Other confirmed staff include series composition and screenplay courtesy Mitsui Hideki, character design and total art direction by Takashi Kobayashi, production by Yoshiyuki Asai, Yoshio Suzuki, and Kiyoshi Fukumoto, art supervision by Watanabe Nobuhiro and Shinichi Yoshikawa, Art by Miyake Masawa, photography supervision by Hiroshi Kubo, editing by Takashi Sakurai, sound supervision by Iida Sato, animation production by Tokyo Kids and Production by Magicano Production Committee. An official website at www.magikano.com has yet to be launched although a placeholder exists there.
10-25-05 (7:00AM EDT)—- Yume Juu Yoru
A project that is certainly one to watch, although about a year out is the film Yume Juu Yoru (Ten Dream Nights) which has recently been completed in Japan based on the book of the same title by Souseki Natsume. Toho held a special screening opened to reporters on the 24th. The movie is composed of 10 short stories each visualized by a different director (there are said to be 11 directors total). Some of these stories will be told in live action and some in animation formats. Director Jissouji Akio (Ultraman, Slver Mask, Tokyo: Last Megalopolis) has been confirmed as a director on the film. Actress Koizumi Kyouko (Choushojo Reiko, Onmyouji) and Actor to Matsuo Suzuki (Night Head, Gensou Midnight, Koisuru Youchuu) will star. The plot follows a man who desperately looks forward to the return of a woman. The theatrical opening in Japan is set for the fall of 2006.
10-25-05 (6:53AM EDT)—- Datsu Otaku Fashion Guide
Trend-Pro and Ohmsha have announced the release of Datsu Otaku Fashion Guide. The book tells how to become a liked otaku, an otaku who is proud to say he is an otaku. Written by re_akino, illustrated by Seise Hiroki. The sale is planned for this autumn.
10-25-05 (6:36AM EDT)—- Tide Line Blue Sequel Anime To Be Added To DVD
Bandai Visual has announced the October 28th release of the TV Asahi Submarine adventure TV series, Tide Line Blue. An original episode depicting the sequel of the TV series previously before unbroadcast will be added to the final volume. The 1st volume will retail at 3,990 Yen. The series based on the Satoru Ozawa original manga.
10-25-05 (6:26AM EDT)—- GONZO Style Shop Opens
GONZO has opened their official shop “GONZO style” today in Rakuten Ichiba. The company hopes to increase goods sales with this outlet and strengthen fanservice. Optimism Ltd. will manage the new retail front. They plan to stock limited edition goods and will kick off the launch by selling several unique items related to their series Count of Monte Cristo, Kaleidostar and Black Cat. The official website is www.gonzo-style.com.
10-25-05 (6:20AM EDT)—- Hellsing OVA Extras
Some of the goodies in the forthcoming R2 DVD Hellsing release have been revealed. The first print reserved release will include an ALUCARD relief created by Maki Asai. production. In addition, audio commentary will be included with the DVD. The retail is 6,300 Yen and the release is 12/09/05.
10-25-05 (6:00AM EDT)—- Evangelion: Angel XX Figures Revealed
Hobby Net Web Shopping has posted images of the actual figures that represent GAINAX’s Angel XX Neon Genesis Evangelion 10th Anniversary Project. Produced by WAVE, only illustrations by Mine Yoshizaki of Sergeant Keroro fame have been available.
10-25-05 (5:51AM EDT)—- Major Cross Platform Push For Wings Of Rean
On Tuesday Bandai Visual, Sunrise and Bandai Channel announced the release of the Yoshiyuki Tomino animation Wings Of Rean. The move is perhaps the most agressive cross platform media push seen in Japan to date. Broadband internet will be the major delivery method. Viewers can access the animation via set-top boxes (STB), PlayStation Portables (PSP), cellular phones in addition to personal computers. The animation runs 6 episodes that are 30 minutes each. The work is based on a novel written by Tomino in 1983. A television broadcast for Wings Of Rean is not currently being scheduled. The first episode will be released on December 16th with a new one following every month thereafter. Each episode will cost roughly 525 Yen. The serialization of the comic version begins in the Gundam ACE November edition on sale on October 26th. A video preview will be made available soon.
10-25-05 (5:33AM EDT)—- Mini Pat PSP Trailer
Bandai Games uploaded a streaming trailer for the forthcoming Mini-Pat game title to release in Japan November 2nd.
10-25-05 (4:14AM EDT)—- Dragonball AF
Dragonball AF is a sort of self perpetuated myth which grew out of a rumor that it was a new series being developed by original creator Akra Toriyama in Japan. As far as is known the origin of the rumor was the USA. The rumor became so widespread that FUNimation issued a special statement several years back that Dragonball GT was indeed the last official series and neither the rumored AF nor V sequels existed. Toei Animation has confirmed this information. However, this didn’t stop fans in the USA from creating Dragonball AF themselves as a dojin (composed of about 200+ stories). News of this creation has spread back to Japan and several fan websites examining from the Japanese point of view have popped up (1, 2). Most of the reactions are amazement at the high power levels of some of these unofficial characters and the amazing combinations (4 saiyen merge into one etc..).
10-25-05 (4:01AM EDT)—- Dragon Quest 8 Ships One Week Early
Square Enix, Inc., the publisher of Square Enix interactive entertainment products in North America, announced today that DRAGON QUEST VIII – Journey of the Cursed King (DRAGON QUEST VIII) will ship to retailers November 15th, one week prior to the initially announced ship date. Exclusively for the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system, DRAGON QUEST VIII is the latest installment in the series that has sold over 40 million units worldwide.
GAME DESCRIPTION A mysterious jester. A forbidden sceptre. A fiendish curse. A once idyllic kingdom lies entangled in a web of enchanted vines, its king and princess hideously transformed, its castle and subjects frozen in time. Only one person has survived this horror unscathed: you! Only you can save your king and country by lifting the shadow of the evil jester’s curse…
DRAGON QUEST VIII showcases the masterfully woven narrative of series’ creator Yuji Horii, the distinctive character designs of legendary manga artist Akira Toriyama, and the grandly evocative orchestral soundtrack of renowned composer Koichi Sugiyama. Updates for the North American release include: voice-overs, a full-orchestral soundtrack, a completely renovated GUI menu system, new battle abilities, and improved animations. Party members deploy awesome attacks and spectacular spells for the first time in stunning 3D. Playable FINAL FANTASY XII demo included exclusively with the North American version.
Developer: Yuji Horii, Akira Toriyama, Koichi Sugiyama, and LEVEL-5 Inc.
Publisher: Square Enix, Inc.
Format: PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system
ESRB: T (Teen)
Ship Date: November 15, 2005
Source: Special Thanks To Daniel
10-25-05 (3:32AM EDT)—- Ikuhara To Be Featured On NHK Program
There was a period several years ago when director Kunihiko Ikuhara (Sailor Moon, Utena) could be found in English language anime news rather frequently. It was during this time period that Ikuni-san lived in, or was frequently visiting the United States, attending film school in Los Angeles or making convention appearances. Since this time the director has moved back to Japan and hasn’t tackled any major anime projects lately, so what is he up to now? NHK has announced the director will take part in their special BS Anime Yawa (Animation Night Tales) late night anime / manga roundtable program later tonight (23.00), October 25th. There Ikuhara will talk about his work on the Utena Movie. There’s a page hosted by the network where web viewers can even submit questions to him.
10-25-05 (3:18AM EDT)—- Sony Has Sold 10 Million PSP’s
Sony Computer Entertainment announced PSP sales have exceeded 10 million units worldwide as of the 21st. Sales of UMD game software were said to have reached 19.6 million units. Sales of movie and music software has exceeded 15 million units. The device was first sold at the end of 2004.
10-25-05 (2:54AM EDT)—- Linux Powered GPX2 To Be Sold
South Korea’s Gamepark Holdings has announced their GPX2 (GP2X-F100) handheld video game platform will be sold globally. In it’s native market, Sony’s “PSP” currently dominates. The device will allow users to enjoy music, video and images also. An SD card slot will be used to import physical media. Flexibility in power use comes courtesy of a dry battery. A flash memory of 64MB resides inside the handheld along with dual CPUs (“ARM920T” and “ARM940T”). The OS is Linux. A 3.5 inch TFT LCD screen provides the images. USB 2.0 will also be supported. GPX2 can reproduce the MPEG-4/Xvid/DivX codec by the resolution of 720×480 pixels. Still image formats supported include JPG/BMP/PCX/GIF/PNG. Music formats supported are MP3/OGG/WMA. The game release method will be unique, users can only download titles from the internet via their PC and then transfer them to the physical media on their GPX2 via a USB connection. Around 10 games will be available from the launch for about $10 each. The game machine itself will retail at around $200. In Gamepark Holding plans to market it in Asia, Europe, the United States, Japan and China around the middle of November. On board WiFi may be added in the future. Minivan has a detailed review and some high resolution Images.
10-25-05 (2:38AM EDT)—- New Tamagotchi Models Due In November
Bandai’s portable pet breeding game will add new features along with new models when they hit the Japanese market on November 23rd. Called Tamagotchi Plus, the toymaker aims at sales of two million units by March, 2006. New attractions of the virtual pet games include allowing user to send their creatures to school and helping them find one of about 20 occupations. There are six types of colors, the retail is 2940 Yen.
10-25-05 (2:27AM EDT)—- Matsuya Candy Bags With Anime Illustrations Are Hot
The Mainichi Shimbun reports Traditional Japanese sweets sold in bags printed with anime characters have become a surprise hit with youngsters who flock to the Akihabara electronics shop area.
10-25-05 (2:24AM EDT)—- Guide To Making USB Devices At Home
One of the big fads among otaku in Japan now is hand making your own USB devices. A new book has debuted on the market to the interested how to do just that. Titled “Handmade USB Equipment From Web To Electronic Roulette Made From USB-IO”, the guide talks about a special firmware that can be applied to various applications.
10-25-05 (2:10AM EDT)—- New Nana Mizuki Nanoha Single Tops Charts
Oricon is reporting seiyuu Nana Mizuki’s ETERNAL BLAZE single featured in Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha A’s OP series has debuted in 2nd place, selling 23,000 units since it’s October 19th release.
10-25-05 (1:29AM EDT)—- Macias: Gaijin Otaku Guide To The Japanese Press
The Tokyo Shimbun recently had “Tokyoscope” and “Cruising The Anime City” author Patrick Macias take them on a tour around Tokyo. They asked him what spots in the city drew foreign otaku and he responded the answer varied. Tokyo Tower appears often in Godzilla and has a specialty store related to anime within it. Akihabara district which is world re known as the premiere otaku hot spot in Japan was also talked about along with Mitaka, which hosts the Ghibli museum. In traditional Japanese style when analyzing foreigners, the author’s various facial expressions are noted several times when he’s quoted. The author goes on to guide readers through Akihabara pointing out various locals and mentioning some trivia on the American fan scene. He says American otaku are divided by 3 generations: Those that grew up with Astroboy, the Macross generation of the 80’s and the current huge generation that loves Visual Kei rockers and Ai Yazawas Nana. He said the yearning of most foreign otaku growing up is to come to Tokyo eventually. A photo scan of the article in the actual print version of the newspaper can be viewed on Patrick’s Blog.
10-25-05 (1:19AM EDT)—- Japanese Seiyuu Are Regularly Transferred Into English Dubs
With news coming out of Oni-Con this weekend that Mari Iijima will reprise her voice as Lynn Minmay in ADV’s upcoming English dub for Super Dimensional Fortress Macross, some have bandied about the fact that it is almost unheard of for a Japanese actor or actress to also voice their English dubtrack counterpart. While it’s true this may be the case for actual remastering through an English licensor, Japanese seiyuu voices are routinely transferred into English dubs via several methods. The most common is the non-human character situation (animals etc..). Where in Japan these are acknowledged as true characters and as such provided unique voices, by the time they reach the English rendering studio, they are basically heard as “sound effects” and as such, the roles are often not acknowledged or cast anew. Other situations include background chatter and sound effects. This is also alot more common in older English dubs. As production values and budgets have increased, more of these non-human characters are being vocalized in fresh form by their English producers.
10-24-05 (11:25PM EDT)—- Joe Hisaishi Concert In South Korea
The Korea Herald reports Hayao Miyazaki’s preferred soundtrack composer Joe Hisaishi will soon perform in the country. Hisaishi also recently scored the Korean blockbuster “Welcome to Dongmakgol”. The composer will be in Korea on Nov. 3rd for a concert at the Opera House of the Seongnam Art Center in Gyeonggi Province. At the concert, Hisaishi, who is often hailed as Japan’s greatest modern day composer, will lead the Korean Symphony Orchestra to present some of Miyazaki’s feature animation scores that are widely loved as much as the animations.
10-24-05 (9:32PM EDT)—- Maaya Sakamoto Photo Essay
Longtime Yoko Kanno Collaborator and fan favorite anime vocalist / musician Maaya Sakamoto will take her artistic talent to photography and the printed page with the upcoming release of a personally crafted photo essay collection. Titled aidei, the book will sale for 1,980 Yen. A web based sale will launch on 11/1.
10-24-05 (8:04PM EDT)—- UPDATE/CORRECTION: 3 New Miyazaki Works To Screen At Ghibli Museum
It’s been revealed that director Hayao Miyazaki will present three new animation projects at the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka city on January 23rd. Titles of 1 of the shorts has been revealed. A work thought to be in production for the museum is his long planned Kemushi No Boro (Boro the Caterpillar) which was discussed at the Tokyo International Film Festival this weekend. The only confirmed animation to screen at the museum at this time is Mizugumo Monmon. It will have a running time of about 15 minutes. A wider theatrical release is currently not being planned. It’s been known since the beginning of 2005 that Miyazaki was working on storyboards for these shorts. Information on a third and 4th unconfirmed short to possibly screen in the museum have been discussed. One of these is Hoshi wo Katta Hi which was reported to have been talked about by Naohisa Inoue who says the short will be based on his “Iblard” story. Yet another is said to take place on a river, in a past time when ships were used to transport goods. Official details on the screening are to be announced by Studio Ghibli in November.
According to a post to the Hayao Miyazaki Mailing List by Ryoko Toyama, on Oct. 23rd, the TIFF talk event between Miyazaki-san and Nick Park took place. At the end of the event, Nick presented a clay statue of Miyazaki-San, which was made by Aardman animators. Ghibli Museum is currently planning to have a exhibition about Aardman studio. Miyazaki-San visited Aardman studio when he went to Bristol to show “Howl’s” to Diana Wynn Jones. The screening was held at Aardman Studio. One of the audience asked what happened to “Boro the Caterpillar,” a pet project Miyazaki-San has been planning to make for a long time. Miyazaki-san said that it has become a different project, “Mizugumo Monmon (Water Spider Monmon),” which is one of the three shorts Ghibli is making for the Museum. He said that he wanted to depict a world seen by a small insect (Boro), and thought that the underwater world is more interesting. So he decided to make a story about a water spider. It will be screed at Ghibli Museum in next January.
10-24-05 (7:55PM EDT)—- Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex On UMD
Manga Entertainment and Bandai Entertainment to jointly release �gGhost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex�h on UMD Season 1, Volume 1 starts on November 22, 2005
Chicago, IL Manga Entertainment and Bandai Entertainment to release one of the most influential Japanese animated TV series “Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex” on UMD format for viewing on the Portable Sony Play Station player. Volume One will be released on November 22, 2005 and distributed to all retail outlets nationwide by Anchor Bay Entertainment.
“Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex,” originates from the wildly popular manga by Shirow Masamune, combining action, adventure, political intrigue and ethics into a masterfully told sci-fi futuristic anime series. Produced by such anime powerhouses as Production I.G. (Kill Bill) and Director Kenji Kamiyama (Blood: The Last Vampire, Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade), the series follows female cyborg Major Motoko Kusanagi and her fellow police officers of Section 9 as they hunt down a host of criminals in both the real and online worlds.
In the first four episodes Kusanagi and Section 9 must resolve a hostage crisis, hunt down a runaway state-of-the-art killing machine, solve a mystery behind recent android suicides and investigate a high level conspiracy involving a mysterious computer hacker. Set in the not too distant future where technology plays a key role in everyday life, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex utilizes the latest in full CG animation presenting illustrious characters and meticulous design along with dramatic animated action.
“It’s a great time to be a Ghost in the Shell fan.” Car Audio & Electronics Magazine
“Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex” made its debut on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim November 2004. The second season, 2nd Gig begins airing in November 2005.
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex: Season 1, Volume 1
UMD: Pre-Book Date: October 25, 2005 Street Date: November 22, 2005
SRP: $19.98 SKU #: 21104 Running Time: 100 minutes Rated: PG 13.
The UMD includes:
Episodes 1- 4, Widescreen, English and Japanese Languages, English Subtitles.
10-24-05 (7:49PM EDT)—- Central Park Media Webzine Online
October’s issue of the Central Park Media webzine is now online. Twenty pages co-written by staffers at CPM as well as anime fans across North America, it features everything from anime news and reviews to stories about fishing. (I’m serious. Really. Check it out if you don’t believe me.) October’s Gogai! Gogai! also includes a printable Kakurenbo mask that’s been a big hit at the office as well as the debut of the Gogai! Gogai! exclusive online store. (Want Yu Yu Hakusho for only $9.95? Step inside.) Gogai! Gogai! has an open submission policy and invites news, essays, articles, and recipes from anime fans around the world. http://www.centralparkmedia.com/animeu/gogai/10-2005-gogai.pdf
10-24-05 (10:30AM EDT)—- Mini OP/ED: Some Anime And Manga Is Illegal In Canada
Last week it was reported in an Edmonton Journal website article that “Anime is illegal in Canada but not illegal in Japan and the United States.” This caused an uproar of controversy among fans on the internet, even stretching to Japan and Europe. The statement was made in an article which talked about the conviction of a man who was arrested for importing manga with pornographic depictions of minors. The newspaper later issued a retraction on the statement and removed the article. I think such a blanket proclamation against this material that we as fans love in regards to it’s legality in Canada is probably incorrect. However, many observers have gotten so lost in the absurdity of this ancillary item that they have honestly forgotten that a man in Canada……. was arrested,………. pleaded guilty,…….. convicted……. and now sentenced…….. for importing manga. In this regard, I think Canadians have to come to grips with the fact that until they make a positive action to change their existing laws, a fraction / form / facet / component / portion of manga IS illegal in the country of Canada. If it wasn’t then the man couldn’t have been convicted on a crime for trying to possess it! The CANADA BORDER SERVICES AGENCY (CBSA) actually issues collection sheets of banned media by name and title regularly and several anime and manga works appear on these as prohibited items for import into the country.
10-24-05 (2:30AM EDT)—- Takara Dumps Broccoli Stocks
On Monday, Takara announced it was selling 20% or less of it’s 51.6% stake in Broccoli, the company behind the animated series DiGi Charat and anime retail outlet, Gamers. The sale was made to Gungho Online Entertainment which manages online games. The purchase was made for about 1.2 billion Yen.
10-24-05 (2:30AM EDT)—- Initial D 4th Stage Episodes 21-22 Announced
OB Planning has confirmed 2 further episodes will be created for Initial D 4th Stage. Episodes 21 & 22 will air on ANIMAX PPV December 17th, 2005. Each features OVA quality animation. The 4th Stage series was originally to go only 14 episodes when first announced in 2004 but has been indefinitely expanded since then.
10-24-05 (1:45AM EDT)—- John Gaeta Directed Anime Will Screen First Overseas
Tokyo based Neoplex and 21 City have announced they are coming together to develop 2 unique movie projects that will be executed in Japan and then screened initially in Europe, America and South Korea via the internet. After raising notability in this venue, a theatrical opening and net delivery will occur in Japan. The aim is a new business model where the costly fees of theatrical advertisement and promotion will be bypassed for the relatively cheap net distribution where buzz is generated by word of mouth. The first is a CG science fiction animation tentatively titled BRIDGE that will be directed by Academy Award winning John Gaeta, known for his mindbending SFX work on the Wachowski Brothers’ MATRIX trilogy. Actor Takao Osawa (Crying Out Love, in the Center of the World) An unnamed famous Japanese creator will collaborate in the areas of scenario and music. Executive Producers David Albert & Rick Jacobs will elaborate on the project on October 29th and 30th.
10-24-05 (12:07AM EDT)—- Gun Parade Orchestra Blog
It’s been fashionable lately for various anime works to get their own blog. Today, one has appeared for the upcoming Gun Parade Orchestra TV series. Inside production info and the list of latest goods are to be published. The actual blog skin for this GunParade journal is offered by host, So-net blog. This means fans can start their own blogs with the theme.