9-8-06 (7:43PM EDT)—- New Evengelion Movies: Will Original Voice Cast Be Reprised?
With 4 new animated Evangelion movies now confirmed and in production there has been some questioning regarding the Japanese voice casting. All of the main original members of the TV and Movie cast are still living but some have retired or moved away from voice acting work. Megumi Hayashibara (Rei Ayanami) had retired for a period but then returned to seiyuu work. Likewise, Yuko Miyamura (Asuka Langely Sohryu) is thought to have put some distance between herself and voiceover work. A comment from one of her her last known public appearances can be viewed at her official website at the above link mentioning paid travelling expenses would be a requirement to persue any further vocal work.
9-8-06 (7:22PM EDT)—- Update: Evangelion Shin Gekijou Ban
A few new details regarding the new Eva project, Evangelion Shin Gekijou Ban from the October, 2006 Japanese edition of Newtype Magazine:
– The cover illustration featuring characters Ayanami Rei Nagisa Kaworu is by Shunji Suzuki. Suzuki had worked on the Shin Seiki Evangelion TV series as chief animator and on the End Of Evangelion movie as an animation director. Although not officially connected by name to the new project as yet, his image appearing on the Newtype cover would suggest involvement.
– Images released so far depict Rei Ayanami in observably more provacative and animated moods than before. How will she change? The silent and submissively naturered character with her trademark blue hair and style made her an all time fan favorite of otaku everywhere, catapulting her to the top of the monthly Animage character poll for many, many issues.
– From Toshimichi Ohtsuki’s interview: Just before this new project started up director Hideaki Anno rewatched the entire original television series back to back. Ohtsuki relays that he heard Anno say for the first time: “Eva is interesting, I did not think it was so interesting (laughing).” The comment almost broght Ohtsuki to tears.
– Ohtsuki goes on to say that it is true Eva has become a smash hit animation. However, it’s success caused misunderstanding and disarray has arisen in the animation field because of it. An overproduction of inferrior works was caused.
– Ohtsuki says the Newtype cover image featuring Rei and Kaworu symbolizes the new movie project. Japanese fans have questioned whether this is a hint at Rei And Kaworu’s possibly being at the center of the new story or getting expanded focus in the course of the story of the films.
9-8-06 (6:23PM EDT)—- Newtype: REBUILD OF EVANGELION Commercials
Kadokawa Shoten has posted 2 Quicktime radio commercials (although as yet not the video commercial, the screenshots of which went worldwide) for the October, 2006 Japanese edition of Newtype Magazine. The spots are narrated by seiyuu Noriko Kuwajima. The magazine, which features an exclusive on 4 upcoming Evangelion movies was released in Japan today, Saturday, September 9th.
9-7-06 (11:03PM EDT)—- Binbou Shimai Monogatari Sequel Coming
According to a September 9 entry in Episode Director Keiichi Sugiyama’s blog, the Binbou Shimai Monogatari TV series may get a sequel animation. The news comes as the 9th episode (of 10) airs on TV Asahi in Japan.
9-7-06 (10:11PM EDT)—- Aquaplus Comes Out Against Doujinshi
Aquaplus, the Japanese company behind such hugely fan favorite manga and anime as To Heart, Comic Party, Utawarerumono and a host of lesser known underground favorites has revised it’s rules regarding the use of it’s properties in doujinshi and fanfiction. They ask fans not use their original material directly in the production of such works. Distribution of such material at events (like Comike), websites or mail order venues is also prohibited. The rules were first amended to the above link on September 1st. Third party observers have pointed out the doujinshi market of such material may now be a very real threat to mainstream publishers and copyright holders in Japan.
9-7-06 (7:32PM EDT)—- Shueisha: Obata’s Works Not To Be Affected At Present
The Mainichi Shimbun contacted Shueisha Thursday regarding their position on the arrest of 37 year ol illustrator Takeshi Obata. The company publishes his Hikaru No Go (23 volumes – 10 million copies sold) and Death Note (12 volumes – 20 million copies sold) manga. According to the Shueisha public relations office they are presently checking facts in the matter and there are no plans on the table at this time for any of his works to be affected (suspension of publication etc..). An effort to get a position from Nippon Television which will broadcast the Death Note animation adaptation from October was fruitless as the person responsible for issuing a response was not present to comment at the time of press.
9-7-06 (7:07PM EDT)—- Suga Shikao Puts Out New Album
After providing theme songs for Death Note and XXX HOLiC Suga Shikao has released his first original album ‘PARADE’ after an interval of about two years. Arriving in Japanese stores on September 6th, the album will be accompanied by the first single “Gogo No Parade” (Parade In The Afternoon). Hi past anime / manga related hits will be incorporated into the album along with new material. Also for the first time a DVD collecting varios music videos will be released to the public.
9-7-06 (6:45PM EDT)—- Paprika Gets “So-So” Reaction In Venice
According to the Asahi Shimbun Satoshi Kon’s Paprika has received a “so-so” overall international response and review at the 63rd Venice International Film Festival.
9-7-06 (6:07PM EDT)—- Itochu Becomes Strategic Investment Partner in Comic Book Movies, LLC
Comic Book Movies, LLC, a new franchise-building entertainment company based in Hollywood established by veteran film producer Michael Uslan and partner M. Jonathan Roberts welcomes the Itochu Corporation as its strategic investment partner. As a result of this investment, Itochu Corporation now holds a 10% share of CBM and becomes CBM’s merchandise partner in Japan. The investment is a dramatic step for Itochu into the world of film, television and digital media, and is expected to bring significant long-term growth opportunities to both companies.
Comic Book Movies (CBM) was formed to build multi-media entertainment franchises based on classic American and international comic book and graphic novel properties as well as important Japanese Manga and Anime properties. Uslan is well known in the film and comic book industries as executive producer of the “Batman” franchise films, among others. Roberts made his mark in Hollywood over the last decade developing financing for a variety of films.
“We are very excited to make this announcement and by the commitment of this world leader in commerce,” says Mr. Roberts, President and Chief Executive Officer of CBM. “Itochu is one of the world’s largest trading companies and through this new partnership CBM will have direct access to the Asian markets both creatively and financially. With Itochu as our licensing and merchandise partner in Japan, CBM will emerge as the premier independent company.”
“This ground-breaking alliance is the first in what will be a series of key announcements over the next ninety days as Comic Book Movies, LLC will welcome a number of additional important strategic partners and will announce its impressive initial slate of branded feature films and DVD Original franchises,” reports Michael Uslan, Chief Creative Officer of CBM.
“Itochu Corporation strengthens the business of life-consumer industry in areas such as broadcasting communication, brand business and FamilyMart (Japanese convenience store). Itochu has a relationship with more than 100 companies whereby Itochu licenses and promotes entertainment content. As CBM’s merchandising partner in Japan, Itochu will work together with CBM in the license business and joint promotion of CBM movies. Itochu will also help in the world-wide promotion of CBM movies based on original Japanese content such as the works of Mr. Shotato Ishimori,” says Kazuaki Takada, Chief Operating Officer, Media Business Division, Aerospace, Electronics & Multimedia Company, ITOCHU Corporation.
A recent agreement between Ishimori Entertainment Inc., Comic Book Movies, LLC, Itochu Corporation, and Lotus Inc., CBM’s exclusive agent in Japan, provided a partnership to jointly develop motion picture franchises based on the original properties of the late Shotaro Ishinomori. Shotaro Ishinomori (1938-1998), often referred to as “The Walt Disney of Japan,” is one of the most famous Manga authors of all time, distinguished by his creations of more than 500 Manga characters.
“It is indeed an honor to be a part of this unprecedented business and creative alliance between East and West,” said Hiroshi Koizumi, President of Lotus Inc. “CBM is now poised to be the world’s premier independent production company producing comic book and Manga franchise content.”
Lotus is CBM’s exclusive agent for the procurement and development of existing and original motion picture content from Japan and Asia and was instrumental in the procurement of Itochu’s investment in CBM. Lotus also develops original motion picture content in collaboration with Japanese alliance partners and holds the Japanese and Asian distribution rights of motion pictures produced by CBM. Films, video and animation derived from graphic novels and comics, have generated, near $25 billion-dollars in business at the box office, on DVDs, videogames, toys and other merchandising.
9-7-06 (5:51PM EDT)—- Koi Suru Tenshi Angelique 2nd Season
“Koi Suru Tenshi Angelique: Kagayakino Ashita” will represent the second TV series anime based on the “Koi Suru Tenshi Angelique” shoujo dating sim. Telecast is scheduled for January, 2007 via Kids Station.
9-7-06 (5:18PM EDT)—- Update: Kino’s Journey Animated Film Sequel
Japanese novelist Keiichi Shigusawa’s “Kino No Tabi” (Kino’s Journey) novel series, first released in Japan in 200 will be adapted to a new animated feature film. This will mark the 3rd animation adaptation and 2nd movie adaptation. The specific story to be told in the new work is currently unknown. The novel series is published by Dengeki Bunko in Japan and follows the unique travels of a young adventurer named Kino as well as Kino’s traveling companion, a talking motorcycle named Hermes. Together, they visit many different places throughout their adventures and meet many different people. They spend three days at each location they visit before heading out to their next destination. Everyone they encounter during their journey is somewhat compassionate and very admirable.
9-7-06 (7:45AM EDT)—- Fall 2006 Anime TV Season Collage
Japanese fan ‘Master Of Epic’ has created a 500kb size 1000×1760 pixel collage of images and heraldry featuring the 52 major anime TV series and movies to broadcast this fall in Japan. You can view the collage here.
9-7-06 (1:05AM EDT)—- Death Note Mangaka Takeshi Obata Arrested
According to Fuji Television Network News, Death Note manga artist and co-creator Takeshi Obata has been arrested on the morning of Thursday, September 7th in Japan for violation of the Gun and Sword Control Law. Tokyo Metropolitan Police Shakujii Station officers pulled over his car in Tokyo’s Nerima Ward Oizumimachi at 0:45AM after seeing a head light that was out. Officers questioned the author about the light issue and found him to be in posession an folding type army knife with a blade of 8.6 cm in length. The knife was located in the car’s internal console box. When asked about the knife Obata reportedly replied that it was for camping. According to the law one may not be in posession of cutlery with a blade in excess of 6cm in length unless they have legitimate reason. Breach of the law can be punished by a 30,000 Yen fine and/or imprisonment of up to 1 year. Obata hails from Niigata Prefecture and is of course known for the smash hit Death Note comic he created with writer Tsugumi Ooba. The work was serialized in Shuesiha’s “Weekly Shonen Jump”. His “Hikaru No Go” manga won the Osamu Tezuka cultural newborn prize in 2003.
9-7-06 (12:23AM EDT)—- Tachigui At Venice
Mamoru Oshii’s Tachigui: The Amazing Lives of the Fast Food Grifters screened in the main theater at the 63rd Venice International Film Festival in Italy the morning of Wednseday, September 6th. Oshii’s longtime friend Toshio Suzuki who had a cameo in the film was on hand for the screening.
9-6-06 (8:58PM EDT)—- Web Roundup
– Golden Corda Primo Passo Tv premieres on TV Tokyo Sunday, October 1st at 25:00.
– GONZO’s new TV anime Pumpkin Scissors premieres on MX Television at 25:30 on Friday, October 6th.
9-6-06 (8:53PM EDT)—- Mangaka Jun Suemi Interviewed
Hudson Entertainment has posted an exclusive interview with mangaka and illustrator Jun Suemi. The creator, known for his reclusive nature doesn’t grant many interviews and is well known as the designer of the “Haikibutsu 13” creature in Patlabor WXIII movie. He also did many designs for Hudson’s new PSP title Rengoku 2.
9-6-06 (8:36PM EDT)—- FUNimation Doubles Programming for Syndicated Anime Block
FUNimation Entertainment announced today that it has doubled the content on its syndicated anime block to four hours. CoLours TV Network, available nationwide as part of DISH Network’s basic satellite TV package, is the first broadcaster to pick up the extended block. The new block covers key prime time programming slots and will launch on September 11, 2006. “Based on strong fan feedback and network partner response, we are pleased to announce that the FUNimation Channel syndicated anime block will double from two hours to four hours,” said Gen Fukunaga, president and CEO of FUNimation Entertainment. “Once again this is outstanding news for anime and entertainment fans in the United States as we continue to offer new and exciting programming to a growing number of households.”
9-6-06 (8:17PM EDT)—- Shuffle! Memories Announced
Also due to be announced in the October, 2006 Japanese edition of Newtype Magazine: Director Naoto Hosoda is going back into the studio turn out “SHUFFLE! MEMORIES”, a Director’s Cut version of the 2005 24 episode WOWOW TV series Shuffle!. The new series will re-edit the original, combining entirely new material, an added new story and new OP’s and ED’s. Broadcast is expected to be carried out by Chiva Television and others this winter. The story will focus in on the 5 girls (Sia, Nerine, Kaede, Asa and Primula).
9-6-06 (6:46PM EDT)—- Confirmed: “Evangelion Shin Gekijou Ban” Details
Apparent scans from the October, 2006 issue of the Japanese edition of Newtype Magazine (not officially due out on shelves until this weekend) have appeared online, backing up almost word for word the information reported below. Images Copyright (c) Kadokawashoten 2006 / (c) GAINAX – Khara / Project Eva The title for the new film series is “Evangelion Shin Gekijou Ban”, it will consist of 4 parts (First volume, Second part, Latter part and Final story) with the first part arriving in Japanese theaters in early summer, 2007. Staff include General Supervisor: Hideaki Anno, Director: Tsurumaki Kazuya , Character Design: Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, Mecha Design: Ikuto Yamashita, Animation Production: Khara (Color) Studio. The scenario of the 1st part will be written by Hideaki Anno with storyboard by Shinji Higuchi. Key points of an interview in the magazine with Toshimichi Ohtsuki of King Records have also been circulating. According to that information:
-The content is quite different though the time base of the story is the same as the original TV series.
– It will be a remake, however, it is not a re-creation but a “new work”.
– The approach will be different than what Tomino-san did with the Gundam Z New Translation films, there will apparantly be a large amount of new material.
– Even if the TV series has not be seen, the viewer will be able to enjoy it. Though the content becomes easy, it is not redundant to those already familiar with the series.
– The technique that purposely scatters difficult words and phrases will not be used any longer.
– As an antithesis to current animation industry segments, it is an attitude on the production side to pull the act in the age that started from Eva.
9-6-06 (3:34AM EDT)—- Update: Newtype Scoop: REBUILD OF EVANGELION
Due on Japanese newstands in less than 1 week, some advertisements for the October, 2006 edition of Newtype Magazine have been circulating around hyping their big Evangelion scoop. The cover will supposedly read ‘REBUILD OF EVANGELION’. Thanks to Pete for sending in a screen grab from Japanese TV.
9-6-06 (1:43AM EDT)—- Variety Reviews Gedo Senki And Paprika In Venice
9-5-06 (8:40PM EDT)—- GUN X SWORD Heroines Figures
eg has images of details of gorgeous GUN X SWORD figures coming from Max Factory in October. Based on the girls of the TV anime which telecast from July through December, 2005 on TV Tokyo. Characters Wendy Gallet, Carmen99, Fasalina, Priscilla and Yukiko Stevens are represented, depicted in their bathing suits from episode 17. The official set name is “Collect 600 GUN X SWORD # 17”, material construction is painted PVC, overall height 3.5cm-10cm. Protype designs by Yuji Kudo, Shinji Koshinuma and Tetsuya Yamada. Retail is 600 Yen each.
9-5-06 (5:54PM EDT)—- Nuclear Japan
According to the Sankei Shimbun Japan’s Atomic Energy Commission has announced the nation posessed about 43.8 tons of seperated plutonium in the form of spent nuclear fuel rods as of the end of 2005. In Kaiji Kawaguchi’s 1989 manga, Silent Service, Japan and the US enter into a secret arrangement allowing Japan to operate a submarine which carries nuclear balistic missles. That work and his later manga “Zipang” fueled alot of heated discussion in the country regarding Japanese nationalism and a possible secret real world nuclear weapons program. During the Sato cabinet in the 1960’s, it is reported that Japan secretly studied the development of nuclear weapons. On 17 June 1974, Japanese Prime Minister Tsutomu Hata told reporters that “it’s certainly the case that Japan has the capability to possess nuclear weapons but has not made them.” This remark aroused widespread concern in the international media at that time. The nation has the raw materials, technology, and capital for developing nuclear weapons. Many believe Japan could have an arsenal of around a dozen such devices in around years time if they decided to start up a development program today. What’s more, analysts such as Charles R Smith point out that such is the technological state of Japan, that they would be capable of creating highly advanced devices (perhaps among the most advanced in the world). They also have very accurate long range delivery systems in the rockets (basically ICBMs) developed for their space program. On Wednesday in Japan The Japan Times reported Former Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone said Tuesday that Japan needs to consider developing nuclear weapons, taking into account the presence of nearby nuclear states and the uncertain future of the alliance with the United States.
9-5-06 (5:54PM EDT)—- Transformers Movie 20th Anniversary Lenticular Cover
SONY BMG Music Entertainment today revealed the collectible, limited-edition lenticular cover for the TRANSFORMERS: The Movie 20th Anniversary Special Edition DVD on the DVD’s official Web site. Being released on November 7, 2006, this one-of-a-kind two-disc set has already become one of the most anticipated DVDs of the year. SONY BMG revealed the first “transforming” image at Comic-Con 2006. When displayed, fans saw for the first time Optimus Prime appropriately situated in a position of prominence. Joining the Autobot leader are Megatron, Bumblebee, Starscream, Blaster and more of the most popular TRANSFORMERS characters. In August, SONY BMG released the second of two Figueroa images. In this piece, Hot Rod as he transforms into Rodimus Prime is grasping the Matrix of Leadership as it lights the Autobots’ darkest hour. Above, Unicron begins to destruct, while Galvatron, Arcee and Springer look on. Since the publication of the two cover images, fans have been speculating about the collectible cover. Beginning today, SONY BMG is providing fans a preview of the lenticular cover on the official Web site of the DVD www.TRANSFORMERSthemovieDVD.com. The image will demonstrate the motion effect of the “transforming” images as the viewing angle changes.
9-5-06 (4:01PM EDT)—- Super Robot Taisen XO Site Launches
An official website for the coming Banpresto XBOX 360 game Super Robot Taisen XO is now up at: www.suparobo.jp.
9-5-06 (3:41PM EDT)—- Japan Manga Tour 2007
After yet another fantastically successful Japan Manga Tour, Japan Journeys (a British company) is again offering Manga and Anime fans a unique insider’s view of Japan with their Japan Manga Tour 2007. You’ll be able to experience the real Japan – the subways, the nightlife, the neon & pop culture that makes Tokyo the world’s busiest, wildest, craziest non-stop megalopolis. Highlights of the tour include a visit to the Ghibli Museum, guided tours of Tokyo including visits to Akihabara and Nakano Broadway- famous for dozens of anime and manga stores. See the Cosplay dolls at Harajuku or maybe hang out in a “Maid Cafe”. Alongside the ultra-modern, you’ll also experience the traditional culture and sites of Tokyo. The “Land-only” tour for passengers coming from the US costs ??745 per person (approximately $1,399) and includes 6 nights hotel accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis, all entrance fees and the services of a Japan Journeys guide throughout. For fulll details please visit www.japanjourneys.co.uk
9-5-06 (1:35AM EDT)—- Haruhi 13 Manga Spoof
Under the date 9/3 Oba-Q is running an interesting manga crossover spoof: Haruhi 13: houkago no yuuutsu (melancholy after school).
9-5-06 (2:30AM EDT)—- Dai Mahou Touge Covers Spoof Kadokawa Flims
A Japanese blog has posted side by side image comparisons of some promotional photos Music CD / Drama CD / DVD covers from the Dai Mahou Touge OAV release. Maybe not know widely outside Japan, a number of these images were spoofs of posters of older Kadokawa films such as 1983’s “Tanteimono Go”, 1981’s “Makai Tenshou” and 1979’s “Yomigaeru Kinrou”.
9-5-06 (1:30AM EDT)—- Japanese Box Office Sept. 2-3
1. Tales From Earthsea
2. MIAMI VICE
3. PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST
5. SUPERMAN RETURNES
6. Sinking Of Japan
7. THE HOST
9. Hanada Shonen-shi
10. Masked Rider Kabuto/Go Go Sentai Boukenger
9-5-06 (1:00AM EDT)—- Kon VS Afflek
Goo Movie pointed out something interesting regarding the attendance numbers of Paprika at Venice. American actor Ben Afflek’s latest film Hollywood Land screened in the same theater on August 31st. Despite the star himself being in attendance, tickets were sold only filling 700 seats. Satoshi Kon’s screening on the 2nd drew 1060 people filling it to overcapacity. Tickets sold in out in less than an hour. As an aside Hochi Shimbun has more on the director’s 5 minute standing ovation. Ringing applause, bravos and shouts of joy filled the theater for 5 minutes or more. During this time Satoshi Kon says he recalled faces of his staff, many sitting in front of a computer in a dark room for 2 years during the production. He said he was there as his staff’s representative. Feeling excited and rattled he said he also wish his staff could hear the applause for 2 years time.
9-5-06 (12:45AM EDT)—- Music Video For New Naruto Theme Online
Sony Music is now hosting the new music video spot for Beat Crusaders’ new single “TONIGHT, TONIGHT, TONIGHT” which will be released in Japan on September 6th. The song is the new opening theme to the TV Tokyo anime BLEACH. 2 varieties are available: 56kbps and 300kbps in Windows Media Player format.
9-5-06 (12:29AM EDT)—- Goro And Hayao Miyazaki’s Relationship
The Los Angeles Times interviews Director Goro Miyazaki on he and his father’s ongoing dispute.
9-5-06 (12:27AM EDT)—- Gay Love In Manga
As part of a 2 page article, After Elton looks at Gay love in Japanese manga.
9-5-06 (12:18AM EDT)—- Kyojin No Hoshi Revival In Japan
Not likely to surface outside it’s shores anytime soon, the land of the rising sun is currently undergoing a revival of the classic baseball manga and anime series Kyojin No Hoshi. The 182 episode TV anime is going to be released in a 3 DVD BOX set by Warner Home Video for 30,000 Yen each. An original picture collection will be included in each set. Likewise, the original manga serial has recently been remade after an interval of 40 years. Subtitled “New Testament”, The work is quite popular among middle aged men. Kodansha’s Weekly Shonen Magazine began running the new story last week. The original, by Ikki Kajiwara and Noboru Kawasaki was serialized for five years.
9-4-06 (10:29PM EDT)—- Gedo Senki At Venice
Goro Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli’s animated film Gedo Senki screened at the 63rd Venice International Film Festival on September 3rd. Over 1000 people filled (1087 tickets to the show were sold) the theater where Gedo was screening in the special invitation section. Over 40 international agencies filed media applications to cover the event. The ending credits were followed by a standing ovation nearly equalling that received by Satoshi Kon and Paprika just a day before. At a press conference he mentioned this was his first film festival to attend as a director so from that standpoint as a newcomer he was somewhat puzzled at times but glad overall. When asked about his next work, Goro said “becuase Papa is working now” it will be around 4 years out (he made a joking analogy to the World Cup soccer tournament which occurs every 4 years). Ghibli’s Toshio Suzuki was seen in public sporting a Chunichi Dragons baseball team cap, he jokingly made a comment “Goro will be thrown out next year and converted into a pitcher”. Gedo, while not competeing in the main section has been nominated in ten areas including the The Luigi De Laurentis Prize for best first film where it’s chances of winning is considered highly probable. Gedo Senki is expected to open in 50 countries around the world. The USA will not get it until 2009 when Sci-Fi Channel’s rights expire. Father, Hayao Miyazaki won the Golden Lion at Venice for Howl’s Moving Castle last year. You can view images of Goro Miyazaki at Cinema Today, Yahoo, at the official film festival website here, here, here, here, here and here. (Editors Note: The fact that Goro referred to his father as “papa” and not the formal “Hayao Miyazaki” as he has in almost every publicity interview done around Gedo Senki is highly significant.) Thanks To Daniel for many of the photo links.
9-4-06 (8:43PM EDT)—- Ishii Tatsuya To Work On Atagoal Ha Neko No Mori
Carl Smoky Ishii (ISHII TATSUYA) of the popular group Kome Kome Club will supervise the music of the coming anime film Atagoal Ha Neko No Mori which opens in October. It marks his first time as a music director although he has directed 2 movies of his own in the past. Another first for the musician, this time as a voice actor, he’ll also appear as the character MC Tatsuya in the movie. The work is based on the popular comic series which has sold 5.6 million copies.
9-4-06 (8:43PM EDT)—- South Korean SFX Movie Plagiarizes Anime?
After doing quite well in Korean theaters where it achieved blockbuster status, “Guemuru” also known as “The Host” will open in Japan this month. Ahead of the release, the South Korean produced Live Action SFX movie is being called out by Japanese critics on the internet for having blatantly plagiarized some monster designs appearing Japanese animation. Specifically a close similiarity between the Madhouse Patlabor WXIII 2001 anime film’s “Haikibutsu 13” and Guemuru are being talked about. Similarities in setting are also brought up. The pressure has been so hard that Japanese importer Happynet Pictures and Korean distributor Chungeorahm have released statements viemately denying any resemblances. Happynet says they would have become aware of the plagiarism of such a popular anime prior to initial release. They had a 4.7 million dollar investment and helped with the scenario and character designs for Guemuru. Kadokawa begins distributing the movie to 250 theaters. in Japan on September 11th.
9-4-06 (8:43PM EDT)—- GONZO Gives America Bound Japanese Travellers Shot At Becoming Anime Character
GDH K.K. (Head Office: Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, CEO: Shinichiro Ishikawa, Securities Code: TSE Mothers 3755, hereafter GDH) has announced that, in collaboration with H.I.S. Co, Ltd. (Head Office: Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Representative Director and President: Yoshio Suzuki, hereafter H.I.S.), it will launch a campaign in which travelers can win the opportunity to be made into animation characters and appear in RED GARDEN, an animated TV series produced by GDH’s group company, GONZO K.K. (Head Office: Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Managing Director: Koji Kajita, hereafter GONZO).
To be eligible contestants must purchase travels (either air tickets or package tour) to the mainland United States (or to Canada or the Caribbean if traveling via the United States) at H.I.S. East Japan offices and must register on the special website of the campaign. Twelve people will be selected from the applicants and these winners will be given the opportunity to appear as animation characters in RED GARDEN, scheduled to premier from October 2006. GONZO’s world-renowned animators will make the winners into animated characters and these characters will appear in the episodes to be aired between January and March 2007. The winners will also have their names listed on the end credits and receive a recording script of the episode they appear in along with the recorded DVD. This never-seen-before campaign in the industry will provide unique opportunities not only for GONZO animation fans but also for a wider TV audience.
GDH has always been proactively encouraging close interactions with GONZO fans and discovering new talents by organizing events for fans and auditions for voice actors for GONZO titles. GDH will continue to explore and implement innovative ideas and build closer ties with fans.