9-22-06 (7:03PM EDT)—- Adapted Manga Selling Strong In Japan
Kakaku visited a Toranoana manga shop and has some picks of the current top sellers which happen to be the basis for many of the fall’s most popular anime and are arranged in special displays.
9-22-06 (6:54PM EDT)—- Reiji Matsumoto Speaks Out At Copyright Conference
Space Battleship Yamato and Harlock creator Reiji Matsumoto was a speaker at a September 22 “Originator Group Council To Consider The Copyright Problem” conference that was also composed of 16 copyright management groups. The event was assembled by the Agency for Cultural Affairs and largely focused on the question of extending intelectual copyright from 50-70 in postmortem of the original creator. The mangaka and animator said of copyrights: “Though the writer may have spent his whole life establishing it [his work], to be faced with it being discontinued in only 50 years is unbearable.” You can view images of the creator at the meeting at IT Media.
9-22-06 (1:20AM EDT)—- Yasuo Yamayoshi Dead
Manga author and animator Yasuo Yamayoshi died in Tokyo hospital at 3:58PM on 9/14 of acute aortic dissection. He was 64. He was involved with creation aspects of many popular anime including Ja Witch, Gratomagengar and Kinnikuman. His funeral was held in Nerima Ward Kotakemachi at noon on the 17th.
Source: Daily Sports
9-22-06 (1:20AM EDT)—- New York-Tokyo Music Festival Next Weekend
Fujisankei Communications International (FCI) and Sharp Electronics Corporation team up to bring you the New York-Tokyo Music Festival 2006 on Saturday, September 30, 2006 at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park a free, all-day, open-air music festival that will showcase the most inspired artistic talent from the East and the West. This year’s festival focuses on artists that are currently breaking new ground in emerging musical subgenres, ranging from Turntablism to Dancehall, Hip-hop to Progressive Jazz. It will establish a cultural and creative bridge between the U.S. and Japan, centered around the universal language of music provided by HIFANA (Break Beats 21st century Japan’s most anticipated artist), PE’Z (Samurai Jazz Japan’s No. 1 Instrumentalists), and MIGHTY CROWN (Dancehall Reggae 4-time world champion) from Japan, as well as DJ A-TRAK (Turntablism Kanye West’s live DJ) and TALIB KWELI (Hip-hop Brooklyn-bred prodigy) from the United States.
Prior to an exciting evening of music, the afternoon will feature high-energy performances by worldly B-boy groups and traditional New Age Japanese instrumentalists. In addition, The New York Tokyo Music Festival will concurrently be showcasing the 2006 collection of the year’s best MUSIC, GAME, and ANIME. MUSIC we will be introducing the top music videos from Japan, showing the uniqueness of the current scene in Japan. GAME we will be presenting our own event of EA’s “Def Jam: Fight for NY,” featuring Def Jam artists in furious battle. ANIME we will be holding a preview of Gonzo-produced “Afro Samurai,” an animation series aired on Spike TV, starring Samuel L. Jackson and the music of RZA. Lastly, the Festival welcomes all attendees with our one-of-a-kind exhibition. Uniqlo will be showcasing its “from Tokyo to NY” fashion in a real-size container. And of course, we won’t forget to have our Game Pavilion, featuring the pre-releases and recently released titles from each publisher, as New York Tokyo’s monthly game event GNG celebrates its 3rd year anniversary. By combining two varying cultures in the greatest outdoor venue in New York City, the Festival aims to highlight the influences, fascination and respect both nations have and share with each other. Festival-goers of all ages will experience first hand, a deeper appreciation of the music, dance, fine art, animation, fashion, and food of Japan and the Far East.
9-22-06 (1:13AM EDT)—- Devil May Cry Anime Presite
The official presite for the forthcoming animation series adaptation of the Devil May Cry videogame has launched at dmc-tv.com. Look for the broadcast start on WOWOW in 2007.
9-22-06 (1:06AM EDT)—- Mina Presite Opens
The Getsumen Usagi Heiki Mina TV animation is now confirmed with the official presite opening at www.mi-na.jp. Broadcast is set for Fuji Television Network at midnight on Saturdays weekly from January, 2007.
9-21-06 (8:23PM EDT)—- Gundam License Plate Draws $110,000 USD
The Turkish Daily News reports that in a first of a kind auction in the former British territory of Hong Kong, specialized registration plates were sold off to aid of local charities. One featuring “GUNDAM,” named after a Japanese anime character, fetched $110,000.
9-21-06 (8:14PM EDT)—- Mandarake Gets New Building In Akihabara
Japanese brick and mortar Anime and Manga second hand goods retailer Mandarake announced it will buy a new building store front location in the heart of the otaku’s sacred ground, Akihabara. To be located in Sotokanda, Mandarake is making the real estate purchase from present owner Suzuden Corporation. Altough the agreed price has not been revealed, the layout of the new location is about 231 square meter indoors on 1075 square meters of land. 11 branches of the store exist now.
9-21-06 (6:35PM EDT)—- FREEDOM OVA 1 New Release Date
Put on hiatus a few weeks back, OVA 1 of Katsuhiro Otomo’s FREEDOM will go on sale November 24th. The original release was set at October 27 but then suspended to improve the quality of the product.
9-21-06 (6:33PM EDT)—- English Subs And Dub On Japanese Brave Story DVD
GONZO has announced the simultaneous DVD, UMD, HDDVD and Blu Ray media release of their anime film Brave Story through Warner Brothers on November 12th, 2006. Extras on the 2980 Yen DVD include an English Dubbed audio track and English subtitles.
9-21-06 (5:54PM EDT)—- New Mystery Anime On TV Tokyo
Japan’s TV Tokyo Channel 12 mentioned a new and as yet untitled kids anime program is set to broadcast in a late night frame from January, 2007.
9-21-06 (5:42PM EDT)—- Inukami! Movie Announced
A commerical following the just broadcast (in Japan) 25th episode of Inukami! mentions the production decision for a theatrical film adaptation has been announced.
9-21-06 (4:48PM EDT)—- Lucky Star To Be Animated
According to informaiton published in the latest issue of bishoujo magazine Comptiq, Yoshimizu Kagami’s 4-panel Seinen / Comedy / Moe genre manga (which serializes within the pages of Comptiq and other magazines) will be adapted to an anime TV series to begin Japanese broadcast in the spring of 2007. 3 collected manga volumes are currently on the market. A big scoop with expanded information is expected in the next issue of Comptiq. It’s currently unknown if the Nintendo DS video game and drama CD voice cast will transition to the animation. The manga has ran since January 2004. Not originally meant to be serialized, Comptiq used Lucky Star as basically “page filler” at first but after gaining popularity it started it’s own dedicated run.
9-20-06 (12:25PM EDT)—- Paprika And More Anime Films In Korea
According to Sony Pictures Japan ‘Paprika’ will screen as an official invitation work at the 11th Pusan International Film Festival (www.piff.org/eng/index.asp). The screening will occur on October 20th. Also included among the anime films are Brave Story and The Girl Who Leapt Through Time. Thanks to Daniel Zelter for the news.
9-19-06 (1:53PM EDT)—- Geneon Confirms Original Paradise Kiss ED Theme
Specs for the dvd at Geneon indicates that the company was able to overcome legal hurdles, and obtain the music rights to the series. Thanks To Daniel For The Link.
9-19-06 (1:51PM EDT)—- Illumitoon Acquires “B’T X” and “B’T X Neo”
Illumitoon Entertainment announced that it has licensed the series “B’T X” and “B’T X Neo” for release in North America. Collectively, the 39 episodes mark the third acquisition for the newly-formed company, whose stated mission is to “focus on acquiring accessible anime for the US market.” “B’T X” is a series we feel has enormous potential,” stated Barry Watson, Illumitoon’s President/CEO. “It’s a high-energy, exciting series which we think will really catch on.” The series involves mechanized beasts which battle under the directives of one unique individual– the blood donor for the beast. It was originated by the creator of the popular “Saint Seiya” series and is slated for US release next year. The acquisition follows Illumitoon’s announcement of its license for Toei Animation’s popular series Beet the Vandel Buster,” and ADK America’s “Get Ride! AM Driver.” Illumitoon was founded in January of this year by three former executives from FUNimation and has focused on acquiring popular anime content while repositioning them for maximum accessibility in the US.
9-15-06 (10:51AM EDT)—- Jigoku Shoujo Drama Coming
The popular Jigoku Shoujo (Hell Girl) TV anime story will be adapted to a new drama series to start broadcasting on Nippon Television Network Saturday, November 4 at 25:20. Confirmed cast includes Sayuri Iwata as Ai Enma. Other roles to be played by Kazuki Kato, Sugimoto Irodowa, Kokura Hisahiroa and Kazuhiko Nishimura.
9-15-06 (9:51AM EDT)—- FMA Review In Entertainment Weekly
The latest issue of Entertainment Weekly gives Full Metal Alchemist: Conqueror of Shambala a B- review. Thanks to Daniel Zelter for the submission.
9-15-06 (9:43AM EDT)—- Video: Goro Miyazaki At Venice
Nippon Television has posted an awesome 15 minutes of windows streaming video of Director Goro Miyazaki and Toshio Suzuki at Venice. Speed is 300kbps.
9-15-06 (9:30AM EDT)—- Pepo And Conan
Daily Sports has pic of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department at mascot character “Pepo” together with Conan following the announcement of their big collaboration.
9-15-06 (9:21AM EDT)—- Dirty Pair Site
For the upcoming release of the DVD BOX in R2 Sunrise has launched an official website for the original DIRTY PAIR at www.sunrise-inc.co.jp/dirtypair/.
9-14-06 (12:01PM EDT)—- Ryosuke Takahashi On Bakumatsu Kikan Setsu Irohanihoheto
Prior to directing the revived VOTOMS anime, Ryosuke Takahashi has been signed on to direct the Bakumatsu Kikan Setsu Irohanihoheto anime to broadcast via Internet through GyaO from October 6th, 2006.
9-14-06 (10:24AM EDT)—- Astroboy Movie Coming From Imagi
Imagi Animation Studios announces that it has optioned rights from Tezuka Productions Company Limited of Japan to produce a new CG-animated feature-length motion picture based on the renowned anime franchise Astro Boy for theatrical release in 2009.
The new Astro Boy feature will be based on an original story developed by Imagi’s US studio. Physical production will take place at Imagi’s state of the art Hong Kong animation studio. Along with its current CG-animation productions Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Gatchaman, Imagi will continue its technical and creative leadership in bringing comic book heroes to the big screen.
The original Astro Boy story follows the adventures of a boy-sized robot named Atom. With the help of his friends, he battles enemies attacking the world and faces personal challenges in adapting to the human world. Created by the godfather of anime Osamu Tezuka, Astro Boy first appeared as a manga comic series in 1952. The original 1963 Japanese television series was among the first to embody aesthetics that later became known as anime. After enjoying success abroad, Astro Boy was remade in 1980 and again in 2003. In terms of recognition and popularity, Astro Boy is considered to be the Asian equivalent of Mickey Mouse.
“I grew up with Astro Boy as did so many of us at Imagi,” said Francis Kao, Chief Executive Officer and Vice Chairman of Imagi. “We now have an opportunity to bring our Astro Boy dreams to life by combining the power of high-end CG imagery and Imagi’s creative collaboration with Tezuka.” “Imagi is a world class producer of CG feature animation and has a unique talent for bringing 2D comic characters to life in stunning 3D worlds,” said Yoshihiro Shimizu, General Manager of Tezuka. “We are delighted to be working with them on Astro Boy.”
9-14-06 (9:57AM EDT)—- Getsumen Usagi Heiki Mina TV?
There’s a chance the Getsumen Usagi Heiki Mina OVA series could become a TV series instead with a broadcast start in 2007.
9-14-06 (9:57AM EDT)—- New Anne Of Green Gables Anime
Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne Of Green Gables novel series will become the basis of a new NHK anime. The formal title is still undecided.
9-14-06 (9:27AM EDT)—- Polysics On Sgt. Frog
POLYSICS second single release in 2006 following “Electric Surfin’ Go Go” will occur with “You-You-You” on October 25th. The song will become the opening theme of the TV Tokyo anime ‘Sergeant Keroro’ from October.
9-14-06 (8:23AM EDT)—- New Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure Movie
On the occasion of the 25th anniversary since the start of the original manga, a press conference has been held for the “Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures: Phantom Blood Project”. Bandai Namco revealed on Wednesday for the Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Phantom Blood PS2 (due on October 26th) it was announced the work will become a new 90 minute animated film from Studio A.P.P.P. Theatrical release is set for a tim period between February-March of 2007. Past manga sales have exceeded 70 million copies.
9-14-06 (8:06AM EDT)—- Takeshi Obata Became Yahoo Japan’s Top Search
Yahoo Japan announced that for the period of September 4th – September 10th, 2006 the words “Takeshi Obata” received the most number of searches.
9-14-06 (7:44AM EDT)—- Palm PS2
Brian Gardiner has taken apart a Sony PS2 and crammed the inards into a handheld game system of his own creation. Check the official wesbite for pics and details.
9-14-06 (7:37AM EDT)—- Ultraman Prays For Hit
Ultraman and company were spotted praying for their new movie to achieve hit status at the Hie Shinto shrine in Nagata-cho on the 13th. The film opens nationwide on the 16th. Ultraman happily received purification with the space villain Hoshihito and made a money offering.
9-14-06 (7:30AM EDT)—- Azumi R1 DVD Specs
Get ready for the “AZUMI” Two-Disc Collector’s DVD! “AZUMI” has been tearing up movie theatre screens across the country this summer. Now you can own the OFFICIAL U.S. DVD release on November 21, 2006! The two-disc set will boast BRAND NEW SPECIAL FEATURES, including interviews with both director and producer, behind the scenes segments, and more! Released on the AsiaVision label, the 128 minute feature will be presented in Japanese and English 5.1 surround with optional English subtitles. Disc Two special features include:
o Fighting on the Edge: The Making of Azumi
o Azumi in America: The U.S. Production
o The Battle of the Creators: Kitamura vs. Yamamoto
o About the Actors Featurette
o Cast and Crew Profiles
o Hidden Music Video, and more
“AZUMI” is based on the comics of Yu Koyama, which have sold more than 8 million copies, and stars popular Japanese singer/actress Aya Ueto. “AZUMI” was an official selection of the Sundance Film Festival. Its sequel “AZUMI 2: Death Or Love” is also scheduled to be released by AsiaVision.
Thanks To Daniel Zelter For The News
9-14-06 (6:00AM EDT)—- Kodai Ohja Kyoryu King Anime Announced
On Wednesday Sega unveiled it’s upcoming Kodai Ohja Kyoryu King (Ancient Ruler Dinosaur King) TV animation will telecast from next spring. The series will be based on their new kids card game which had 45 million cards in circulation as of August 2006. Players use a “Dinosaur Card” combined with a “Technique Card” in play against friends. Each retails for 100 Yen. Familiar dinosaurs such as Tyranosaurus and triceratopses appear in the game. Sega hopes to use the anime to maximize exposure of the brand. The official website is kyoryu-king.com.
9-14-06 (5:51AM EDT)—- Digitized Manga Hits Asia In English And Chinese
ebookjapan and Kyocera Communication have announced a joint venture to translate manga from Japanese into Chinese and English, with sites set on the Asia region. Sales begin on the 19th in Singapore, expanding to include Taiwan and Hong Kong from April, 2007. 100 titles inclufing Riyoko Ikeda’s “Versailles Nobara” will be among the works to be sold. The plan has 300 titles scheduled to be released within 1 year. Estimated sales of 200 million Yen over the course of two years is projected.
9-14-06 (5:28AM EDT)—- Sony Enters Blu-Ray Hardware Market
After co-developing the technology, Sony has finally showed off it’s first lineup of Blu Ray decks on the 13th. You can view them at Watch Impress.
9-14-06 (5:11AM EDT)—- Conan Fights Real World Crime
The Production Committee (TV broadcaster and publishers) that produce Great Detective Conan will develop a crime prevention awareness campaign aimed at young viewers. A special ceremony will kick off a partnership between the National Police Agency and Conan involving the mascot Pepo at the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department on the 15th. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the opening of the 1st animated Conan. A “Reasoning power improvement test” and “Crime prevention appreciation of the situation test” are scheduled to be telecast and published on the TV series homepage, in the pages of the manga magazine, and on the Internet. The quizes will test youngsters’ skills on various situations they could find themselves in. A special pamphlet involving the character could be distributed in conjunction with the “Regional Safety Movement” that kicks off on the 11th of next month.
9-13-06 (3:30PM EDT)—- Josh Barnett At Galaxy Angel Production Symposium
UFC / PRIDE Fighter and (more recently) superstar gaijin otaku Josh Barnett was a special guest / announcer at a Galaxy Angel production symposium in Tokyo September 13th. Watch Impress has pics of him looking supercool on stage here, here and here.
9-13-06 (2:30PM EDT)—- Website Launches To Cultivate Animation Talent
Anicle.jp has gone live, the site uses a monster.comish new technology approach to helping studios find hot upcoming animation talent in Japan. Likewise, prospective animators who want to go pro will be bale to apply online. In the past the situation often had anime firms post a generalized help wanted ad on their official website.
9-13-06 (2:06PM EDT)—- Ghost Hunt Presite
TV Tokyo has launched their official presite for the upcoming Ghost Hunt TV series. Broadcast commences at 25:30 on Tuesday, October 3rd.
9-13-06 (1:20PM EDT)—- CPM Partners With Google
In response to the growing demand for anime programming, Google, the world’s largest Internet search engine, and Central Park Media, a pioneer in the distribution of anime in the United States, will make anime available to North American consumers on Google Video, a comprehensive index of free and paid, user-generated and professional video content, (http://video.google.com/centralparkmedia). Initial titles that will lead off Google Video’s anime offering include the critically acclaimed Black Jack series and video game based Battle Arena Toshinden. Central Park Media maintains one of the most extensive anime libraries for distribution in North America, making it the ideal provider of programming to New Media companies. “Working with Google is a real pleasure,” stated Newton Grant, Central Park Media’s Director of Business Development. “Google is one of the leading companies on the Internet and a household name. We are excited at the prospect of working with Google to bring our anime to a much larger audience than previously possible.”
9-13-06 (1:20PM EDT)—- Seven Seas Launches Light Novel Imprint
Seven Seas Entertainment announced today the launch of its all-new “Light Novel” imprint. Light novels, as they are known in Japan, are a new form of prose fiction geared towards young adults and the manga-reading audience. The imprint will feature a distinctive and innovative trim size of 10.5cm x 15cm (approx. 4.1″ x 5.9″) that will be instantly identifiable along with an iconic feather logo that will represent the Light Novel line. What’s more, all of Seven Seas’ light Novel titles will carry an affordable cover price of $7.95 each.
“We’re confident that our new Light Novel imprint will finally get manga fans excited about novels,” says Seven Seas’ president Jason DeAngelis. “We’e got some incredible content, so the rest is about price and format. Our bite-sized light novels will be the same dimensions as they are in Japan, and will be priced low in order to help expand the market.”
Light novels have been growing in popularity among North American manga fans for some time now, but publishers have always reformatted them to appear as either standard mass market paperbacks or similar to manga. Seven Seas will be the first publisher to truly distinguish light novels as something unique, presenting them in a more authentic format comparable to Japanese light novel dimensions. These pocket-sized books will contain approximately 200-300 pages of prose, interspersed with manga-style illustrations and color inserts.
Seven Seas’ new Light Novel imprint will launch in April 2007 with six titles that are all ongoing series: Ballad of a Shinigami, about a young female grim reaper; Pita-Ten, featuring the continuing adventures of Koge-Donbo’s loveable characters; Strawberry Panic, a popular “yuri” series set in a girl ‘dormitory Kanokon, a love triangle comedy in the vein of Fruits Basket about a boy, a fox girl and a wolf girl; Gun Princess, an epic fantasy about a trio on a quest for the ultimate weapon in a magical world; and Vamp!, a comedic dark fantasy about vampire clans, a vampire princess, and the man who hunts them.
9-13-06 (1:25AM EDT)—- Past Mangka Suicides
– Akio Chiba (41) – In 1977, he won the 22nd Shogakukan Manga Award for his work on Captain and Play Ball. He commited suicide by hanging himself at his home in Nerima on September 13, 1984.
– Hanako Yamada (24) – Jumped to death from 11th floor apartment on May 24, 1992. Yamada had just left hospitalization the day before for schizophrenia. Won Nakayoshi prize for fine work at the age of 15. Won Young Magazine Prize in 1987.
– Nekojiru (31) – Found hung in Machidashi home on May 10, 1998. Known for unique style shown in works such as Nekojiru Udon.
In 2004 Thom Bailey wrote a lengthy article on manga artist suicides you can read here.
9-12-06 (11:49PM EDT)—- Japanese Box Office Sept. 9-10
The big news in the Japanese boxoffice world this past weekend is that of Korean produced SFX film “Gemuru” (The Host) which has dropped to 10th place from a 7th place opening last week courtesy Kogyo Tsushinsha.
1. X-MEN: THE LAST STAND
2. Tales From Earthsea
3. PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN:DEAD MAN’S CHEST
5. MIAMI VICE
6. Sinking Of Japan
7. SUPERMAN RETURNS
8. Back Dancers !
9. Rough 10. THE HOST
9-12-06 (11:45PM EDT)—- The Death Note Curse?
Following last week’s arrest of Death Note manga writer Takashi Obata and death by stroke of live action film cinematographer Hiroshi Takase there has been some uneasiness among others working on various adaptaions which makes death a central theme. Nippon Television Network announced this past weekend they will continue with the broadcast start of the anime on October 3rd. TV series producer Toshio Nakatani is also shocked at this situation of untimely death following scandal. It’s been revealed by Kabuki actor Shidou Nakamura who is voicing the character Ryuuku that just prior to voice work starting he recently joined 50+ staff members of the TV animation team in a purification ritual at a Shinto shrine in Tokyo. NTV won the broadcasting rights for Death note following a fierce competition between 30+ companies.
9-12-06 (6:48AM EDT)—- Rin Inumaru Death Deemed Suicide
On September 10th, 48 year old mangka Rin Inumaru, known for her children’s manga Ojaru Maru, was deemed to have commited suicide by jumping from the roof of her 14-story apartment building building in Tokyo. She left a note behind saying she was competent / good at her job…. etc.. Her health was questionable at best in recent years, after repeated hospital admissions and releases. A Hommachi local spotted her body which fell 19 meters and actually landed on a 5th floor roof of an adjacent building at around 1:30PM, she was still alive, but died soon thereafter, she was rushed to a hostpital. “Rin Inumaru” is a Pseudonym, the creator’s real name was Noriko Yamazaki. Her mother later found the note. Living alone, police of said concluded she probably jumped to her death. The Ojaru Maru TV series, which is still running and now in it’s 9th season, was first produced and supported by NHK educational television in 1998. Enoki Films holds or held a master license to the work in North America although it was never released there. The long running animation has been successful in Hong Kong, Taiwan and other Asian nations. As to why she really did it? An unnamed source who claimed to be close to the author says they believed her suicide was a result of constant stress over a fluxuating health condition which has stretched back about 6 or 7 years. She was thought to have suffered from sleep depravation and to have taken anti-depressants in the past. After being released from hospital last month the anonymous aquaintance says her voice was shakey and related she said she may have to put a halt to work due to physical condition. Inumaru, who had created the character, was involved at first involved with story composition for Ojaru Maru TV at the begininng. Her role was later changed to advisor from the fifth series. NHK’s official response to the news included that the producer’s shock was great. Debuting in the pages of kodansha’s “Morning” in 1990, she had just completed a visual transmission design master’s course at Tsukuba University graduate school. She was known widely for not only manga but also essay and short story writings. Source: Sankei Sports
9-12-06 (6:48AM EDT)—- Bandai Channel To Provide Anime Content For Amazon Unbox
Bandai Channel, the on-demand video distributor of the Bandai Namco Group (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; President Satoru Matsumoto) and Bandai Entertainment Inc., one of North America’s leading distributors of anime for broadcast and DVD (headquartered in Los Angeles, California; President Ken Iyadomi) announced today that they will provide anime content for Amazon Unbox, a high-quality digital video distribution service that will launch on September 7th (US time) from Amazon.com Inc. (headquartered in Seattle, Washington, USA). With “Amazon Unbox,” Bandai Namco and others will have a new platform through which their content will be sold. At the launch of this service, Bandai Namco Group will be the only Japanese corporation which has its own branded site “Bandai Channel,” through which will be offered the popular anime series -Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, Outlaw Star, Infinite Ryvius and Escaflowne. This will be followed by other anime series including: Eureka Seven and Gundam Seed Destiny. More titles will be offered. As part of this project, in addition to providing anime content owned by the Bandai group companies and others, Bandai Channel will lend its expertise in on-demand distribution including such topics as conversion of content to online formats and protection of copyrights. Similarly, Bandai Entertainment Inc. will bring its vast experience in the North American video and television business.
9-12-06 (6:45AM EDT)—- eigoMANGA To Provide Content To Anime Network
eigoMANGA LLC, a comic book publishing studio, has announced its deal to distribute video content through Anime Network, a subsidiary of A.D. Vision, Inc. (parent company to ADV Films and Newtype USA) and America’s #1 anime channel. With distribution reaching 40 million households, Anime Network is not only the largest video-on-demand offering, but is also available as a 24/7 linear cable channel in several U.S. markets. Under the terms of the newly signed agreement, eigoMANGA will provide Anime Network with content from its extensive library of music videos, live concert footage and original programming, which features independent and mainstream Japanese music artists and groups. The content will become part of the Network’s popular music-themed Bento Beat Box programming block. eigoMANGA has been producing and distribution Japanese music and media content through its business brand, Shibuya Airwaves, which initially began producing and distributing Japanese music video programs for the college close-circuit television network called “The U Network” in 2004. Shibuya Airwaves currently broadcasts a weekly radio program in San Francisco and produces a series of concerts and live events featuring Japanese musicians. Austin Osueke, CEO of eigoMANGA is excited about this partnership. “I’m particularly interested in this venture because it will enable independent Japanese groups to get much needed exposure because there are some subgenres within J pop that have a strong and pervasive fan base at anime conventions but have no exposure on television.” “We look forward to delivering our viewers the wealth of wonderful programming for which eigoMANGA is known,” said Stacy Slanina, Anime Network’s Director of Operations/Programming. “This content will provide an excellent complement to our high-quality lineup of anime series, specials and films.”
9-11-06 (5:03AM EDT)—- Hitman Reborn TV Site
www.j-reborn.com has launched, the website will serve as the official web presence for the upcoming Hitman Reborn TV series.
9-10-06 (11:09PM EDT)—- New York Film Fest Paprika Tickets Sell Out In Hours
Peter Tatara writes in mentioning the North American premiere of Satoshi Kon’s anime film “Paprika” will be on October 7th as part of the New York Film Festival. Tickets for “Paprika” and the festival entries went on sale September 10th. Peter adds: “The New York Film Festival at first didn’t specify when on the 10th tickets would be available, so I had been checking the site almost hourly since 12:01 AM. Tickets went on sale at noon. When I checked back next, around 3:30 PM, there were only four left for “Paprika.” Checking the site again at 4 PM, they were sold out. ” The official film fest website for Paprika can be viewed here.
9-10-06 (8:40PM EDT)—- Over $100 USD For PS3 Games
PS3 Land has prices for some of the first European PS3 game titles. Sonic The Hedgehog lists at 9800 Yen while Snooker Championship lists at 10600 Yen.
9-10-06 (8:40PM EDT)—- Buttler Cafe At Yaoi-Con 2006 October 20-22
Yaoi-Con (www.yaoicon.com), the only Western fan convention dedicated solely to the yaoi genre of Japanese anime and manga, is pleased to announce its sixth annual event, to be held the weekend of October 20-22, 2006 at the Westin San Francisco Airport and adjacent Clarion San Francisco Airport hotels in California. Special events include a Friday night Butler Cafe.
9-10-06 (8:12PM EDT)—- Viz Pictures Announces Train Man: Densha Otoko
VIZ Pictures, an affiliate of VIZ Media LLC, the leading U.S. publisher of Japanese animation and comics that focuses on Japanese live-action film distribution, has announced the forthcoming theatrical release of the quirky romantic comedy TRAIN MAN: DENSHA OTOKO. The film, which received widespread critical acclaim and caused a sensation in Japan upon its release in 2005, will have a private press screening on September 12, 2006 at the ImagineAsian Theatre in New York with the theatrical premiere and exclusive one week showing begin on September 22, 2006.After its initial premiere in New York the movie will move on to Portland, Chicago, Seattle and other major cities. TRAIN_MAN: DENSHA OTOKO, the manga will be released by VIZ Media on October 3.
You can now catch a trailer for the film, as well as a screening schedule, and more at the official website www.trainman-movie.com. Thanks to Daniel Zelter for the link.
9-10-06 (9:27AM EDT)—- Known Titles For New EVA Movies Are Tentative
Gainax mentions in their writeup that the existing titles (“Evangelion Gekijou Ban: ‘REBUILD OF EVANGELION'”) are tentative at this point.
9-10-06 (8:51AM EDT)—- Old Century Evangelion
Combing through the new Evangelion movie material on the official Japanese Evangelion website, something else interesting sticks out for those out to soak up every last detail of this story. A term therein refers to the pre-existing Evangelion animation of the 1990’s (TV series and Movies) as “kyuu seiki ban” or “old century version”. Japanese observers are reading possible deep meaning into the use of this term as it’s not exactly clear why it was used as of yet. But it’s use would seem to indicate a definite “seperation” of the old eva vs this new work. This is opposed the name of the new film series: “shin gekijou ban” or “new movie version”. Interestingly, the Japanese title of the original TV series was “Shin Seiki Evangelion” or “New Century Evangelion”, An alternate title for the 1997 movie END OF EVANGELION was “Evangelion Gekijou-ban” or “Evengelion Movie version.
9-10-06 (5:28AM EDT)—- MGS4 Hi Def Trailer
Gametrailers is hosting a high definition video trailer of Konami and Hideo Kojima’s Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns Of the Patriots. Windows Media and Quicktime formats available.
9-10-06 (3:24AM EDT)—- Japan Goes Home Empty From Venice
On Saturday night the prizes were handed out the 63rd Venice International Film Festival and Japanese Live Action and Animation works have lost out to their rivals in various competiton caterories. Katsuhiro Otomo’s Mushishi and Satoshi Kon’s Paprika both competed in the main division. Likewise, Miyazaki Goro who was nominated to get a prize for a debut directorial appearance for Gedo Senki at the festival was not honored with the prize.
9-10-06 (2:53AM EDT)—- Galaxy Express 999’s Matel Greets Visitors At Airport
At the Tourist Board Information Centre on the first floor arrival lobby in the Northern Kyushu airport which first opened in March, a robot has been setup styled in the likeness of Leiji Matsumoto’s Matel character from Galaxy Express 999. Mangka Matsumoto-san himself is a resident of Kitakyushushi. The 170 cm tall automoton is a near aesthetically perfect representation of the character voiced by Masako Ikeda. Entertaining travellers questions, the robot utilizes FAIS recognition technology co-developed by the Kyushu Institute of Technology. You can see images Goo News.
9-10-06 (2:53AM EDT)—- Could Japan’s Next Prime Minister Be An Otaku?
Fox News mentions Foreign Minister Taro Aso is in the preliminary running to be Japan’s next prime minister. At this time when the nation’s soft power is at an all time high many see his affinity with modern culture to make a him prime shoe-in candidate: A comic book enthusiast, Aso emphasized the importance of keeping up with the Japanese specialty of animation, an obvious appeal to “otaku,” or “geek” voters. Saturday the 3 candidates took their campaign to the streets of Akihabara (aka the otaku’s sacred ground). This could be considered in a round of bout sort of way as “home turf” for Aso. The Foreign Minister capitlized on the venue starting off his speech saying “You who calls yourselves ‘Akihabara Otaku'”. There were around 10,000 spectators who gathered for the event. The statement drew a ton of laughter. He mentioned the growing influence of Japan’s animation and pop culture in the world. He told the story of Italian football super striker Francesco Totti who’s role was vital in that country clenching the World Cup this year. Aso said it’s well known Totti saw the anime TV series Captain Tsubasa as a child and it’s having influenced him to start playing soccer. Another example came from Japan’s SDF involvement in middle east peacekeeping. In an inncident involving a local’s car in a country the SDF was patrolling, a sticker of an anime character was seen to be placed on the car somehow and averted troops from firing on it. YouTube has a 7 minute video of the speech he delivered there in front of the Akihabara UDX building which houses the Tokyo Anime Center. The otaku even came out to support him, Akiba Blog has pics of Aso at the event. Japanese fan bloggers themselves have given him the nickname of Aso Rozen after a fairly widespread rumored event involving him possibly having read a Rozen Maiden manga.
9-9-06 (10:07PM EDT)—- Kimi ga Nozomu Eien: Haruka Route Anime Confirmed
Age Soft has reposted an image mentioning Kimi ga Nozomu Eien: Haruka Route will be adapted to animation. ANS first reported the possibility on August 28th. At that time the same image linked above mysteriously appeared on Age Tech’s website between 16:00 and 19:00 on August 28th but was later pulled.
9-9-06 (8:59PM EDT)—- Amazing Nuts! From Avex And Studio 4 Degrees C
Major Japanese record label Avex Trax and anime studio 4 Degrees C are coming together on a new OVA music video project called Amazing Nuts!. J-Pop Singer Koda Kumi will participate. Volume 1 will be released in Japan on December 20th. Each volume consists of 4 short animation of about ten minutes in length each, different Avex recording artists will provide the music for each.
9-9-06 (8:02PM EDT)—- UFC’s Josh Barnett Buys 580,000 Yen Fist Figure
Nikkan Sports reports former Ultimate Fighting Championship king Josh “The Babyface Assassin” Barnett reportedly spent a whopping 580,000 Yen on lifesize figure of Kenshiro from Fist Of The Northstar (Hokoto No ken). He made the admission in an interview in Tokyo on the seventh, mentioning he was a big fan of the anime. Barnett bought the figure after winning the championship. Additionally Barnett said he kept a collection of 100 figures or more on display in his home.
9-9-06 (7:50PM EDT)—- Rebuild Of Evangelion Official
Gainax and the official Japanese Evangelion website have updated with information on the new movie project. A few new details from these sites: Production will be carried out by: PJT EVA, Distribution: Klockworx | Media Suits, Advertisement: Media Suits. Additionally theater distribution will occur through the Shibuya Tokyu System and not Toei as last time. Oddly enough, the enigmatic Khara.co.jp, thought to house the future site of the Khara (Color) animation studio developing the films has yet to go live.
9-9-06 (6:50PM EDT)—- Mushishi Review
Variety Magazine reviews Katsuhiro Otomo’s Mushishi at Venice. The film will screen at the Toronto Film Festival on the 13th and 15th of September. Thanks to Daniel Zelter for the link.
9-9-06 (6:50M EDT)—- Keiko Takemiya Exhibition
An original illustrations exhibition of mangaka Keiko Takemiya (Toward Terra) who is a multiple time Shogakukan manga award winner and said to be a pioneer of Japanese girls’ comics will be held from November 9th-26th in the municipal hall special show room in Saitama City Kitaku. Takemiya is now working on production research and the works to be shown include something akin to reproduction paintings. They very close to the original picture using a technique in which an original manga illustration is scanned into a computer and colored. Through the process, which was invented for preservation and public presentation of manga, discoloration, dirt and other deficiencies are removed from the original. Around 40 images from Kaze to Ki no Uta (The Song of Wind and Trees) and Towards Terra will be shown. Today, Takemiya is a manga subject professor at Kyoto Seika University.
9-9-06 (8:55AM EDT)—- Further Evangelion Shin Gekijou Ban Details
With Newtype’s scoop out in Japan this weekend the floodgates of inquiry on the 4 new Evangelion movies have apparently opened wide. While the Newtype information is new to general public, like most print magazines the material was most likely put together several weeks to a month in advance of publication. In that time new things with story have happened and Sankei Shimbun has interesting new information on the project already. First off they mention the original 3 Eva films made 4.5 billion Yen in total at the Japanese boxoffice. The manga published by Kadokawa Shoten has exceeded 15 million copies sold over the existing 10 volumes. Videos and DVD’s sold exceed 4.5 million copies and about 30 billion Yen. Total goods sales exceeds 100 billion Yen. While the overall project is being called “Evangelion Shin Gekijou Ban” as mentioned in Newtype, the individual films are being titled “REBUILD OF EVANGELION”. The First Volume, REBUILD OF EVANGELION:01 is due out in early summer 2007 it will have an estimated running time of 90 minutes. The Second Part, REBUILD OF EVANGELION:02 is expected in January 2008, also with a running time of 90 minutes. The Latter Part + Last Program of the series, REBUILD OF EVANGELION:03-04 are expected in early summer (possibly June) of 2008, they will have an estimated length of 45 minutes each. Additionally, ANS has learned the 3rd part (Latter Part) (which corresponds to the events of the movies and episodes 25 and 26 of the TV series) and the 4th “Last Program” will be mostly new stories and material. Parts 1-3 will use some key animation sequences from the original TV series, with new backgrounds (settings) and music. Shinji Higuchi is confirmed on the project and has already completed a new story board for the 1st film. A good deal of 3DCG animation will be implemented. The total economic effect of the 4 new Evangelion films is estimated at around 100 billion Yen or more. Director Hideaki Anno has chosen this point in time specifically to produce the new Eva, waiting until the hype of the previous works to cooled down.
9-9-06 (8:45AM EDT)—- Otomo’s Mushishi In Venice
Akira creator Katsuhiro Otomo’s Live Action film Mushishi has screened at Italy’s 63rd Venice International Film Festival on Friday, September 8th. A press conference was held with showing. Mushishi is in the festival’s competition division. Otomo mentioned he did not expect the film to win any prizes. He did comment, however, that he thought Venice was the most voluminous of the three largest world film festivals (venice, Berlin, Cannes), and said he thought the place suited him well. Nao Omori, Yu Aoi and Joe Odagiri star in the the movie, an adaptation of Yuki Urushibara’s manga. Mushishi and Paprika happen to be the only 2 Japanese films competing for the Golden Lion award (main prize) in this year’s competition. Awards will be announced on the night of Saturday, the 9th. You can scope pics of Otomo and his cast at Yahoo (Thanks to Daniel Zelter for that link), Sponichi and Nikkan Sports.
9-9-06 (6:51AM EDT)—- Shonen Onmyouji OP Clip
Animate TV has posted a preview clip of “Egao No Wake” by Kaori Hikida, the Opening theme to the upcoming TV anime Shonen Onmyouji.
9-9-06 (5:48AM EDT)—- Death Note Cinematographer Hiroshi Takase Dies
Sankei Shimbun reports Death Note Cinematographer Hiroshi Takase has died on the 7th in Japan of a seizure, he was 50 years old. His Wake will be held on September 10th at 6 p.m., and his service will be held on the 11th from 10 a.m. at Nikka funeral hall in Fuchu, Tokyo. His younger brother Tsutomu will be the chief mourner. After a stint working as assistant for Nikkatsu he became independent in 1995. He worked on the live action Death Note films and “Paradise Lost” that went on to take a Japanese Academy Award for best photography.