Anime News Service - August 15th-17th Anime News

8-17-06 (7:46PM EDT)---- Hollywood Looking At Death Note Remake

Over 10 companies (many in Hollywood) worldwide are said to be looking at remaking the live action Japanese Death Note films.

8-17-06 (7:30PM EDT)---- Death Note Hits Big In Hong Kong

The live action Death Note film opened in theaters across Hong Kong on August 10th through Golden Harvest. Starring Tatsuya Fujiwara and directed by Shusuke Kaneko ("Gamera" series, "Azumi 2: Death Or Love"), has become the Japanese film with the highest grossing first day ever there, drawing in 1,030,077 Hong Kong Dollars (15.45 million Yen). The Taiwanese opening is set for September 8th, followed by the Thai release at the end of September. South Korea rounds out major Asian theatrical openings in October.

8-17-06 (6:59PM EDT)---- No Blu-Ray Region Barrier For Japan / USA

Sony and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. have announced on Thursday that Blu-Ray disc media will be playable on hardware available on the market in both the countries of Japan and the United States. In effect, no region lockout will exist barring customers from, for instance, playing American released Hollywood films on Japanese equipment and Japanese released anime on USA equipment. Manufacturers and the U.S. movie industry are to thank for the move, deciding to remove a wall that has exited between Japan and U.S. media through the DVD standard since it's start in the late 1990's. Over the years American fans eager to see high resolution copies of the latest and greatest animation in Japan have bolstered a lucrative import market for JDM DVD releases, bypassing region coding lockouts through hardwire modifactions to US players, sharing secret backdoor diagnostic mode codes, buying Japanese DVD decks themselves and flocking to purchase inexpensive grey market "region free" players often manufactured in Asia.

8-17-06 (6:39PM EDT)---- ANIMAX Toei 50th Anniversary Marathon

On the occasion of the studio's 50th anniversary, Toei Animation is taking over the airwaves. Japan's all anime satellite network ANIMAX will commemorate the milestone by broadcasting exclusively Toei anime works for 36 hours straight from 9AM on August 19th- 9:00PM of the 20th. Founded in 1956 Toei has produced over 69 popular TV series, OVA specials and Movies. Many of these will be screened during the marathon including Galaxy Express 999, Dragonball, Fist Of The Northstar, Ge Ge Ge No Kitaro and Sally The Witch. Additionally, special commemorative spots featuring seiyuu and staff of Toei will appear in between the animation.

8-17-06 (6:29PM EDT)---- USB BBQ

In the WTF file, an intrepid Japanese computer geek has devised a way to roast meat on stove powered by USB connectors. In the past someone had fired an egg with 2.5W of electric power coming through 1 port. Six USB expansion cards each containing five ports were hooked together and their combied 30 ports were used for this experiment. 75W of electric power was generated. The actual heating device used was a modified cup warmer. The pictures at the link have to be seen to be believed.

8-17-06 (5:34PM EDT)---- Juno Reactor In Japan

UK trance / techno group Juno Reactor will perform a single concert in Japan after handling the soundtrack to GONZO's summer anime film Brave Story. The unit led by Ben Watkins also scored The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions and The Animatrix. Juno Reactor live -Audio Visual Experience- will take place on October 7th at Prince Shinagawa Stellar Ball. Doors open at 19:00, advance tickets are 5,500 Yen, and on the day of the event 7,000 Yen. Tickets go on sale September 1st.

8-17-06 (5:34PM EDT)---- UPDATE: Akira Toriyama On Top Runner

The reclusive creator if Dr. Slump and Dragonball is reportedly to appear on NHK's Top Runner chat show on September 12th. Akira Toriyama is known for having done very few media interviews over his years as one of the most popular mangaka in Japan.

8-17-06 (4:43PM EDT)---- Pumpkin Scissors Trailer

www.rikujyo3ka.com now hosts the first video of the new GONZO TV anime Pumpkin Scissors. The clip is the actual one that played at Comike 70 this past weekend.

8-17-06 (4:26PM EDT)---- Haruhi Suzumiya "Summer Vacation Assignment"?

The official Haruhi Suzumiya animation website has updated with an unusual item towards the bottom of the main page. "Summer Vacation Assignment" (Natsuyasumi No Kadai) gives a list of things for SOS members to do during their summer break, they include Camping, Pool, Bon Festival Dance, Fireworks, Celestial Observation, Batting Practice, Insect Collecting and Testing Courage. Even stranger, at the bottom this page is a hidden code. Hold the left mouse button and pan across the center of the white box at the bottom of this page. You will highlight some text, which translated reads "Your Summer Vacation [followed by random number sequence]". Could these be hints of a coming anime sequel TV series? The cover of the just released September, 2006 edition of Japanese Newtype Magazine featured the SOS leader for the first time along with the text "Haruhi Suzumiya Returns".

8-17-06 (3:32PM EDT)---- Animeigo Acquires Yawara

Animeigo has revealed on thier official website that they have licensed the Yawara TV series. The first box set is projected all though not guarenteed to ship in early 2007: Celebrating 17 years of "Death of AnimEigo" rumors! Once again, we risk our sanity for our loyal fans, by taking on the brain-destroying task of releasing another classic TV series! More details coming soon. There will be an extremely fashionable preorder.

8-17-06 (3:15PM EDT)---- Yu-Gi-Oh! Capsule Monsters Premieres

The ultimate battle begins as Yugi and his friends Tea, Tristen and Joey must fight for survival on the new television series Yu-Gi-Oh! Capsule Monsters, premiering Saturday morning, September 9th on 4Kids TV (4kids.tv) (Fox affiliates nationwide). Created in Japan, the action-packed, 12-episode series expands on the overwhelming international success of Yu-Gi-Oh! with an all-new series that follows the exciting adventures of high-school freshmen Yugi and his three friends who are mysteriously transported into the strange world of Capsule Monsters.

8-17-06 (3:15PM EDT)---- Metrocon Anounces Yoshitaka Amano's World

METROCON (www.metroconventions.com) has the honor and privilege to announce that Yoshitaka Amano, best known for his illustrations for Vampire Hunter D and for his character designs for the video game series Final Fantasy, will be attending the second METROCON this year. METROCON: Amano's World will showcase the works of Yoshitaka Amano and give a glimpse into the mind of the famous illustrator. Voice actors and artists Doug Smith, Steve Bennett, and Lauren Goodnight will also attend as guests. METROCON: Amano's World takes place October 14-15 at the Tampa Convention Center located in Tampa, Florida.

Meanwhile, METROCON 5 Florida's largest anime convention will take place on the weekend of July 6-8, 2007.

8-16-06 (10:11PM EDT)---- Featured Sponsor: www.otakubooty.com

We want to draw attention to our latest featured sponsor www.otakubooty.com. The website is a networking focused venue where fellow anime and manga fans can find friends and lovers. Additionally, one can read insightful and amusing content there in the form of articles and comics about conventions, gaming, and Japan. Unlike alternatives such as Myspace, you can see who has viewed your profile and how many times. Additionally the Otaku Booty forums offer a no holds barred forum for fans to discuss virtually any topic releated love and relationships. Please help support ANS by paying them (and all our other sponsors) a visit, you can view our Otaku Booty profile at: http://otakubooty.bootyproject.org/otaku_profile.asp?id_member=6599.

8-16-06 (8:10PM EDT)---- Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo Author Talks Remake Sucess

Sankei Shimbun interviews Yasutaka Tsutsui who in 1972 penned the juvenile sci-fi novel Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo. Madhouse's anime film adaptation directed by Mamoru Hosoda is running in limited release now. The author talks of the remake sucess his work and Japan Sinks (originally released as a novel in 1948) have been enjoyng at the Japanese boxoffice. He attributes the enduring allure of such stories to the fact that they are science fiction, always lying in the realm of the future, so they can be revived and retold: "SF will be prophesied in the future always". He surmises the recent boom in adaptation to anime and live action of the above works and Paprika being directed by Satoshi Kon may lie in the fact that the full world atmosphere / immersion experience of the original stories can only just recently be achieved through advances in CG and animation technology.

8-16-06 (8:03PM EDT)---- Final Sakura Taisen Kayou Show Underway

Dengeki Online has a report and images from the 10th and final Sakura Taisen Kayou Show. The musical theatrical event runs through August 22nd and features the original seiyuu of the popular game series and animation.

8-16-06 (8:02PM EDT)---- Kyojin No Hoshi Comes Back

The baseball themed classic comic Kyojin No Hoshi is being remade as an original manga serial 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 and spawned several animation series.

8-16-06 (7:20PM EDT)---- DrMaster Announces Kia Asamiya's JUNK

Manga publisher DrMaster Publications Inc. has announced JUNK, their upcoming manga release by acclaimed comic creator Kia Asamiya. JUNK vol. #1 will be on store shelves in December 2006! "We're so excited to offer this great series from such an international comic creator." says Marketing Director Shawn Sanders. "Kia Asamiya is one of so few creators who can boast of his success on both sides of the Pacific - from Steam Detectives to his work on X-Men, Asamiya-san has garnered fame and prestige on a global scale. Hiro is a high school student refusing to go to school after a traumatic run-in with the local bullies. But his feeble life is forever changed when, one day, he applies online for a new gadget called "JUNK". Once the mysterious package arrives, he activates the gadget and finds himself encased within a powered armor JUNK suit. Apparently "the clothes DO indeed make the man" as Hiro is granted abilities far beyond anything the muscle-bound jocks at his school could ever dream. Soon after, he embarks on nightly rampages getting back at the bullies and destroying property until he discovers.... There is another with a unit nearly identical to his own. The owner of the other JUNK suit is a woman who's not too keen on Hiro's abuse of his new super-powered threads, and smacks him around real good for it. To complicate matters even further, he accidentally destroys his home and kills his parents! (oops!) Now, a naive boy must learn to fend for himself and choose to use his power for good or evil. Creator - Kia Asamiya is a highly accredited comic creator in both Japan and USA. From his work on Marvel's X-men (Marvel), Batman (DC) to greats like Martian Successor Nadesico, Silent Mobius (Viz), Steam Detectives and even Star Wars Episode One Manga, Asamiya-san has managed to mount a formidable following on several shores. JUNK #1 ships in December 2006. Each 200-page graphic novel will be priced at $9.95. Visit www.drmasterbooks.com for more detailed series information.

8-16-06 (5:42PM EDT)---- Japan's Association With Animation Is Growing

Nishinippon Shimbun asks the question: "What is Japan's Image Overseas?". At one time many would answer "High Technology", but now anime and manga are quickly surpassing it especially in the younger generation. France which doesn't traditionally permit the advancement of other country's cultures is no different. Comics and Animation from Japan were on display at the "Japan Exposition" in Paris last month. The event gathered 60,000 people over 3 days. Many of visitors were said to be familiar with Japanese books and the television from a young age. The same situation can be seen in China where areound 90% of the animation on TV there is Japanese. The audience rating of "Doraemon" was reported to four times that of the most popular animation created in China. Last summer a private advisory body "Informal Social Gathering Concerning Promotion Of Cultural Diplomacy" was held where the Prime Minister submitted the report entitled "Creation of Peaceful Nation Of Cultural Exchange". One of the aims of the report was to increase awareness of Japan related to those who understand the "Japanese Animation Generation".

8-16-06 (5:34PM EDT)---- Theatrical Quality Animation For My Hime Zwei OVA

Sunrise has mentioned it's Mai Otome Zwei OAV will feature theatrical quality animation. The Japanese release is November 24th.

8-16-06 (5:31PM EDT)---- Anime And Manga Focused SNS

In the last week 2 new Japanese-based SNS sites have sprung up targeted in whole or in part towards anime and manga fans. www.mangayomo.com hopes to cultivate and promote budding manga artist talent through their Mixi style profile, blog and wiki features. They hope to draw 20,000 users in the first year and 200,000 by the second year. Secondly, a former Livedoor employee has started up Posh Me! looks to make business tie-ups in cooperation with users who contribute original photographs, animation, self-made music and video.

8-16-06 (3:55PM EDT)---- Negima Season 2 Site

TV Tokyo's new Negima website has gone up at www.tv-tokyo.co.jp/anime/negima/.

8-16-06 (3:55PM EDT)---- Hollywood Monkey King Film Adaptations?

China-based newspaper Star Daily reports that Peter Jackson is being sought as director for an upcoming Jackie Chan-Jet Li movie project. According to Monkeypeaches, the news source cites an anonymous insider for the tip. Jet Li has also reportedly been offered $9 million for his participation. But wait, there's more. In an earlier posting, Monkeypeaches also cited The Beijing News for carrying an article on a likely story for the Chan-Li project. It appears to be inspired by China's classic fable Journey to the West. In a twist on the original story, screenwriter John Fusco (Hildago) has a teenage boy in present-day New York with a passion for kung fu movies whisked away to ancient China after picking up a magic cudgel from a pawnshop owner. The cudgel belongs to the Monkey King and in an effort to find a way home the boy searches for the imprisoned anti-hero to free him from his long confinement at the hands of the God of the Heavens. In doing so, the boy learns about the true meaning of kung fu and the redeemed Monkey King is free to go on his epic journey after helping his rescuer to get back to his own time.
Source: Kung Fu Cinema

Producer Zhang Weiping, a long-time working partner of director Zhang Yimou, just told Sina.com that Zhang and Steven Spielberg had agreed to make a movie together and this movie would probably be based on Classic Chinese fantasy novel Journey to the West. Both Zhang and Spielberg have been enlisted for producing the opening and closing ceremonies of Beijing Olympic Games in 2008. Zhang Yimou has decided to suspend moviemaking until the Olympic is over. According to a report back in June, Steven Spielberg showed interest in developing several China-related projects, including adapting Journey to the West. Zhang Weiping is very excited by the idea and so far it still remains as an idea.
Source: Monkey Peaches | Thanks to Daniel Zelter for the link

8-16-06 (3:53PM EDT)---- Miike On Yakuza Prequel

Gamespot mentioned that http://yakuza.sega-europe.com/en/index.html has a short film from the Great Yokai War director which precedes the story established in the forthcoming Yakuza videogame from SEGA. Three more shorts will be uploaded in the near future. Due to some of the violent content in the film, viewer discretion is advised. Thanks to Daniel Zelter for the item.

8-16-06 (3:42PM EDT)---- Inspired Corporation Announces New Fusian Label

Inspired Distribution announces the creation of its new label, Fusian. Just like its name, this label "fuses" the newest, most supreme Asian Pop-Culture (A-Pop) content and creative direction with reality entertainment that simply is not offered through any other channel. The productions that the Fusian team will create and distribute will include Martial Arts, Gun Action/Crime, Action Horror, and Historical/Drama, along with TV Programming. Shaolin Master, Shi Yan Ming is not only the spokesperson, but also represents the mind, body, and soul of the Fusian label. Upcoming Fusian releases are equally as fascinating and rock solid as this 34th generation Shaolin monk fighter! Inspired Corporation, formerly known as Peter Pan Industries, is celebrating its 79th year. Inspired produces and distributes a quality product, with a constant supply of successful children's, fitness, and horror DVDs to wholesaler/retailers and directly to the consumer. Donald Kasen who is CEO/President of Inspired, views the Fusian label as a gateway to the future, and is proud to be a part of something so influential to an international audience! Director of Acquisitions for the European division of Fusian will be Scott C. Mauriello of Crash Entertainment Inc. With the history and professionalism of Inspired Distribution merging with Asian Pop-Culture (A-Pop), Martial Arts Action Cinema and Japanese Animation, the new Fusian label is a sure-fire success.

8-15-06 (8:00PM EDT)---- Heidi Exhibition

JR Nagoya Takashimaya will hold an exhibition to the 1974 television animation Heidi on Thursday, August 17th. Many of the original design materials will be on display and character goods will be on sale. A photo session where children can take pictures with their favorite characters will be held.

8-15-06 (7:50PM EDT)---- Armored Core: Fort Tower Song First Images

Goo has some of the first production sketches from Armored Core: Fort Tower Song. The OVA is set for release in Spring of 2007.

8-15-06 (7:48PM EDT)---- Gundam PS3 Stills

Watch Impress has some impressive hi-res stills of the coming PS3 title Gundam Target In Sight.

8-15-06 (7:30PM EDT)---- Laputa DVD Sets Sales Record

Oricon reports a noteworthy record has been broken by the DVD release of Studio Ghibli's Laputa: Castle In The Sky. The DVD which originally was released to market in October, 2002 has consistantly remained on their TOP 300 ranking list for 200, with 532,000 units sold. This gives the title a chart longevity only second to My Neighbor Totoro, which has listed for over 242 totaling weeks.

8-15-06 (7:27PM EDT)---- Haruhi Suzumiya Theme Goes Gold

On August 10th the CD single containing the ending theme to the Suzumiya Haruhi TV series "Hare Hare Yukai" has gone "gold" and been officially recognized by the Recording Industry Association of Japan for exceeded 100,000 units sold.

8-15-06 (6:17PM EDT)---- Anime Music Roundup

South Korean rock band "Loveholic" will provide music for the coming Black Blood Brothers anime TV series. Their song Nice Dream will become the ending theme. Yoko Takahashi (Cruel Thesis Angel - Neon Genesis Evangelion) will perform the opening theme song for Gonzo's Pumpkin Scissors TV series. Puffy Ami Yumi returns to animation, this time providing the theme to the anime TV adaptation of Anno Moyoko's Hatarakiman. They will cover the song Hataraku Otoko by Unicorn. It's also said they will get cameos as seiyuu in the show.

8-15-06 (4:53PM EDT)---- New Book From Australia: 100 Anime

The Australian mentions a new book, 100 Anime which explores the collision of cultural ideas seen in anime. Written by Melbourne film-maker, composer, theorist and anime devotee Philip Brophy, the sparingly illustrated, scholarly tome does not seek to demystify anime's appeal.

8-15-06 (2:41PM EDT)---- New Websites

www.anime-nomoney.com | www.geass.jp - trailer available | www.megadere.com

8-15-06 (2:41PM EDT)---- Hollywood Directly Selects Japanese Voice Cast

Sankei Sports reports that for the first time in history, Hollywood has directly nominated the main Japanese voice cast for a US animation release there. The film, Sony Pictures "Open Season" starts there in theaters from December. Ishiduka Hidehiko will play Boog the bear, Satoshi Yashima plays the deer Elliot and Yoshino Kimura will play Beth. Usually, when an American studio decides the voice cast of the Japanese dubbed version, the Japanese production company selects candidates and a sample tape featuring those voices is sent back overseas for approval. The American headquarters then examines the image of the character and the voice and can oppose the selections even in the case of big name Japanese stars being attached to the roles. Sony Pictures Animation's Executive VPs are Sandra Rabins and Penney Finkelman Cox. Having worked on "M:i:III" it's said advice from Jodi Toll (sp?), a translation adviser well versed on Japapanese entertainers was sought.

8-15-06 (1:50PM EDT)---- Illumitoon Announces 2nd License: GET RIDE! AM DRIVER

Illumitoon Entertainment, Ltd. announced that it has licensed the 2004 51 episode GET RIDE! AM DRIVER for release in the US. The series is an action-adventure drama that focuses on the exploits of a young group of warriors, known as AM Drivers, as they battle a dominating empire of machines. The series was developed by ADK, and is backed by Japanese toy company Konami. US release of the series is anticipated for early 2007. 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. www.illumitoon.com

8-15-06 (1:34PM EDT)---- Dual Japanese Boxoffice Rankings For Gedo - Pirates

Kogyo Tsushinsha has updated it's Japanese boxoffice rankings for Aug 12-13. They list Gedo Senki Tales From Earthsea in the #1 position with Pirates Of The Caribbean:DEAD MAN'S CHEST following in second. Oricon however, reports Pirates has actually beat out Gedo for the top spot this weekend, earning over 6 billion Yen since the initial release 16 days ago. Likewise, the Johnny Depp adventure drew 516 million Yen and 380,000 in those 2 days. It may very well be winning the earnings war against Ghibli's latest as well. Oricon predicts Pirates to break 7 million Yen by August 16th.

8-15-06 (1:11PM EDT)---- Akira Toriyama On Top Runner?

There's been some rumblings and rumor on the net of Dragonball creator Akira Toriyama possibly appearing on NHK's Top Runner interview show sometime in September. Top Runner's official website only lists future guests one week in advance of the program's airing.

8-15-06 (1:51AM EDT)---- Ursula K. Le Guin Gives Initial Opinion Of Gedo Senki

Japanese blog (b-kan) Kyoku Shiteki Manga Watching references Ursula K. Le Guin's initial response to Gedo Senki: "I am told that Mr Hayao has not retired after all, but is now making another movie. This has increased my disappointment. I hope to put it behind me." As for when Americans can see the film in America, the author mentions "When the contract with the TV people [Sc-Fi??] for their film and rights runs out: not before 2009. Alas! There are dogs in the manger."

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