Anime News Service - February 18-21 Anime News

2-21-02---- Anime / Manga Gaming

According to The Magic Box:

Studio Skip announced that a new GameCube RPG is under development, Kenichi Nishi is the leading producer of the project, who produced Nintendo's Super Mario RPG 2 (Paper Mario in US) for Nintendo 64. The game is scheduled for release by the end of the year.

Media Ring has delayed the release of their GameBoy Advance RPG Lunar Legends in Japan by one month from March 15 to April 12.

2-21-02---- Asia AICN Items

Thanks to Daniel for this HK/China news:

1) Shaolin Soccer has been nominated for the 7th Golden Bauhinia Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor.

2) Jay Chou's manager, Jacky Wu, confirmed that Jay will star in the $25 mil US remake of Bruce Lee's classic "Fist of Fury". Jackie Chan also spoke up to approve the choice. Jackie was hurt last week during the shooting of "Highbinders". The actor was struck by a flying wire and was sent to hospital immediately. Producer Alfred Cheung said that while the close-up shots are delayed, the production cannot be shut down, as the film has to be finished before March 3rd.

3) Stephen Fung will star in a Japanese production, the film is literally titled "White Hair Ghost". [Stephen Fung is best known here for his role in Gen X Cops. (Amazon Link ) ]

Source: AICN

2-21-02---- Anime Figure Items

Figures.com has coverage of Bandai America's unveilings at Toy Fair, a snap of the bbi figures and the 12" Vash The Stampede figure.

2-21-02---- Matrix Reloaded Official Website Opens - New Media Overload

The following is from Corona thanks to Daniel for the scoop:

"1. Go to this website address: hackthematrix.warnerbros.com

2. Click on the keyboard that appears on your monitor until the ENTER CODE box appears.

3. Enter "reload".

4. Clear the next couple of hours from your schedule because a ton of new interviews, QuickTime VRs, stills, videos and downloads from The Matrix Reloaded just went online today. And soon there will be a lot more.." Daniel adds, click on the first box from the left on "Mainframe", you see a few stills from the anime, a production staff list for the shorts, and a statement telling you of more details coming soon.

2-21-02---- Japanese Sammo Hung Site

Thanks to Daniel for mentioning the Japanese Sammo Hung fan site, for those interested is at http://www.sammohung.com/Japan/.

2-21-02---- New Tekken Film Announced

This just in from Cinescape:

"Looks like the next video game series to get a big screen version will be the violent fight game, TEKKEN. Crystal Sky will be the production company doing the heavy work of translating a remarkably story-lite game into a feature film.

"Tetsu Fujimura, CEO of Gaga, and I have wanted to make a big commercial movie together for a long time," said Steven Paul, Crystal Sky president, to the Hollywood Reporter. "I have had a long and wonderful relationship with (him) and Masaya Nakamura, chairman of Namco, for over 12 years now. The time was right, and 'Tekken' was the perfect game to pursue our dreams together." No word on actor, director, script or release date as of yet."

[Note: This film is not to be confused with the Hong Kong production with Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao previously referred to as "Legend of Tekken", and now known as "Avenging Fist".]

Source: Daniel

2-21-02---- Metropolis In Cleveland

Excerpted from a newsgroup posting by Allen Peters:

The Madstone Cetrum (http://www.madstonecentrum.com/) in Cleveland Heights will be showing Metroplis starting Friday, March 1. They have a detailed description of the movie at this webpage (http://www.madstonecentrum.com/flicks/metropolis.html). This movie is rated PG-13 for violence and destruction.

2-21-02---- Imai Hobby Declares Bankruptcy

According to Scott Hards of Hobby Link Japan Japan's Imai Hobby has gone bankrupt. HLJ has reportedly confirmed rumors which have been circulateing in the Japanese hobby industry since last week. This is the fourth time the company has achieved the status in 25 years, however this time, it is expected that there may be no chance for recovery due to Japan's bankruptcy laws which impose a liquidation upon a firm that has failed repeatedly to get their business back on its feet.

Fans may recall Imai as being responsible for kits including Harley-Davidson motorcycles, wooden sailing vessels, traditional Japanese architecture and character-related merchandise from shows like Thunderbirds, Gotchaman, Mospeada, Orguss and most recently, Speed Racer.

2-21-02---- Japan's First Ninja School Opens Outside Of The Shadows

The Mainichi is running an article today via Weekly Playboy on Japan's first publicly acknowledged ninja school, Koga Iga Ninjutsu Gakuen. Tuition for an entire course will set one back 1.5 million Yen, the school will begin offering classes in the Shiga Prefecture village of Koga in six weeks.

"We haven't made or done anything special. And the school will not be officially recognized by the government," ninja expert and ninja school boss Keiichiro Kashiwagi tells Weekly Playboy. "What we aim to do is help people develop by instructing them in the practical skills of ninjutsu."

Students will be taught ninja history, ninja logic and undergo practical lessons on the fighting arts of the ninja. Graduation from one level requires students to complete all seven subjects offered.

"We'll also make sure people learn such things as defending themselves from an armed attack, as well as train them thoroughly in the use of throwing stars, swords and chains," Kashiwagi tells Weekly Playboy.

2-20-02---- DVD Replacement Unveiled

According to the Asia BizTech article:

The world's 10 leading electronics companies have reached agreement to standardize their recordable digital video disc (DVD) devices.

The 10 electronics leaders are Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., Sony Corp., Toshiba Corp., Hitachi Ltd., Sharp Corp., Pioneer Corp., Royal Philips Electronics NV, France's Thomson Multimedia Group, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. and LG Electronics Inc.

They are slated to make public the basic standard in the week and start the concerted effort by forming a joint technology development team for launching the new DVD disc and drive in 2003. The agreement was prompted by the need to fend off fledgling Chinese competitors, which are rapidly catching up with the global leaders.

New DVD discs will hold around six times as much information as existing discs, which hold a minimum of 4.7GB, enough for a full-length movie. The development of standardized DVD-R players should enhance the popularity of advanced products, by enabling video data recorded by one DVD-R device to be recognized by other types of DVD-R device.

2-20-02---- Newsworld Mentions Sen

Newsworld International (a splinter of the Canadian CBC Newsworld, with focus on world news) has reportedly ran English subbed clips from Hayao Miyazaki's Sen to Chihiro as part of a feature on media which inspired youth rather than servig to be simply a commercial product.

2-20-02---- Spriggan Expands Theatrical Venues

Thanks To Daniel for the following 2 Movie Items:

These are the following new venues added at www.sprigganthemovie.com :

Feb. 22, you can catch Spriggan at Avon Cinema - Providence, RI
"March 1st Rice Media Center - Houston, TX
March 26th Duke University Media Center - Durham, NC G&S Entertainment - Marietta, GA"

2-20-02---- Vampire Hunter D Returns For Second Theater Run

This just in from www.vampirehunterdbloodlust.com :

"Due to popular demand, we are starting a second limited theatrical run!" So far, you can see D at the following venue: 2/21- The Screen 2/22 College
of Santa Fe 1600 Saint Michaels Dr. Santa Fe, NM 87505

2-20-02---- Lost American Astroboy Prints To Broadcast In Japan In April

Classic lost prints for Osamu Tezuka's classic anime TV series Tetsuwan Atom, broadcast in America from 1963-1966 as Astroboy will begin airing on Japan's NHK BS2 from April 20th. Composing 187 episodes total, the whereabouts of the American prints of the TV series were unknown for many years, and were subsequntly found 3 years ago in a warehouse in the United States. The run will feature Japanese subtitles and the original English Language Dialouge.

2-20-02---- Jin-Roh Figure

Toybox DX has this review of Medicom's new Jin-Roh Riot Police figure.

2-20-02---- Animation HQ Crispin Freeman Chat Back On For 7 PM EST

Thanks to Animation HQ's webmaster for the news:

I just spoke with Crispin about his pushing the time of our chat back, and he mentioned that b/c some of the people at the studio he is taping at saw that he had to push the chat back on ANS, they volunteered the use of a studio computer. SO, (as i have just been informed of this) I am letting you know ASAP if it's AT ALL possible for you to post that the chat is actually BACK to the starting time of 7 pm EST.

2-20-02---- DVD Vision Japan Moves

From the announcement:

We wanted everyone to know that DVD Vision Japan will be relocating to a new server. Our new address is http://www.cybamall.com/dvdvision/.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

2-20-02---- Bruce Lee X Box Game Details

Thanks to Daniel for this:

The following was taken from Cinescape:

"Universal Interactive has announced that it plans on releasing BRUCE LEE: QUEST OF THE DRAGON this fall for the Microsoft Xbox. As Bruce Lee, players will travel from Hong Kong all the way to San Francisco to attempt to recover the Golden Relic. It would be too easy, though, if you weren't the only person in the world after the relic, so expect to fight through many minions to achieve your goal."

2-20-02---- Jackie Chan Injured On Highbinders

Thanks to Daniel for this:

This came in from Cinescape:

"Chan was working on his new film, HIGHBINDERS, in Bangkok when he fell while hanging from a sling.

"There was nothing serious. Everything is OK and the filming is going on as usual. His fans need not worry," a spokesman told AP. Chan was back to work the next day."

2-20-02---- Miyazaki Issues Dire Outlook On State Of The Industry - Other Items Of Interest Upon Return To Japan

A huge thanks to Yukio-san (ISDN Fanclub | Dead Shot Club) in Kanagawa for the following translations:

1. It is Director Miyazaki "Japanese animation is at bottom."

Director Hayao-Miyazaki of "Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi" who gained "Golden Bear grab" (Grand Prix) for the first time in 39 years(and As an animation movie, it is the first) at the 52nd Berlin International Film Festival was interviewed in the Teikoku hotel of inside Saiwai-cho, Tokyo on February 19.
Attending the award ceremony in Berlin, Director Miyazaki who received the trophy from Stephen-Albert foreign-operations bureau chief of Studio Ghibli who went back on the same day said, "Is also this heavy although the Mainichi movie contest was also heavy fairly?", and he showed the smiling face.
However, he became ill-humored when it was asked about him "Whether to be that Japanese animation was set to the world level" from the members of coverage. He told. "In my opinion, animation manufacture of Japan is coming to the bottom. Director Hideaki-Anno has said himself as beginning [ of a copy generation ]", and it is the copy of a copy which is younger than it. [ "] Which is distorted, and it is thin or it feels keenly. How it overcomes criticized young persons' subject", and the present condition of animation work of present Japan.
Moreover, he criticized also about Japanese consumption habits. "Although we also sell video, video should not be seen or an honest child should not grow up because a game is carried out and it is in front of television for many hours. Dilemma is felt, so that it will be nice, if nice. It was said that it was the biggest problem of this country."
(by Sport Nippon 2002/2/20)

http://www.sponichi.co.jp/entertainment/kiji/2002/02/20/03.html

2. Hayao-Miyazaki say "such a bear is waiting."

Director Hayao-Miyazaki (61) of "Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi" (Spirited Away) awarded "Golden Bear grab" (Best Picture) for the first time in 39 years as a Japanese movie at the "52nd Berlin International Film Festival" gave an interview in Imperial Hotel of inside Saiwai-cho, Tokyo on the 19th.

"Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi" (Spirited Away) is the big hit article in which it was opened in July, last year, and the box office revenue of the domestic movie highest ever of about 29,300 million yen was struck and built. It was a mood that Director Miyazaki who had the trophy of a golden bear handed flies joke, saying, "He did not think that such a bear was waiting with future which has made the movie" etc. As for this movie, the expansion special road show (partly, the English title version is also exhibited) from March 9 was decided.

Moreover, the official guidebook of Studio Ghibli with which the supervisor is engaged in animation manufacture will be put on the market by Lawson of a convenience store from the 20th.
(by Sankei Sport 2002/2/20)

http://channel.goo.ne.jp/news/sanspo/geino/20020220/20020220-10.html

3. Director Miyazaki says, "A child's future is more important rather than a golden bear is awarded."

Director Hayao Miyazaki of an animation movie "Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi" who shone with Grand Prix (Golden Bear) of the 52nd Berlin International Film Festival gave an interview to the trophy in the hotel in the city of Tokyo on February 19 at the hand.

He said. "I am although it thought that it would be indifferent -- (laughter) Even if I grow older, I do not want to be glad in having got the decoration. I do not want to forget to make the work towards children."He emphasized his own belief.

although he was alike at first and the smiling face was shown, the expression of anger was shown when the present condition of animation of Japan was referred to "There is a problem also in the method of a life of Japan!" He made anger open and criticized consumption habits of Japan.

"There was also time when the adult was careful of the influence of comics or television to a child. Now, such a thing cannot be found, either. If a game appears, not to mention it will be careful, it is making a fuss with which mass communications' sold well. Animation,television,a game without an actual feeling, Consequently, what did children become? Now, a cruel incident also occurs. If it is doing such a thing, a child will not grow up directly! " and,"I also have the responsibility. In order to see my work repeatedly for many hours, it is in front of television. It is important whether children are finer than a stock price of Japan something. I worry about dilemma." He revealed the painful trouble.

It was the maestro who values a smile with a child finer than honor called the highest prize award of the first animation movie in the three major film festivals.

It was him who values a smile with a child finer than honor called the highest prize award of the first animation movie in the three major film festivals.

# It is show implementation specially.
Toho which has rationed "Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi" commemorates an award, and shows specially from March 9 in about 100 movie theaters, such as the Hibiya movie of Tokyo, aiming at "the performance profit of 30 billion yen" in addition to the movie theater under present show further.On the Hibiya movie, it restricts to the last show time and the English title version is shown.

Moreover, limited sale of the guidebook (Tokuma Shoten Publishing) of "the woods JIBURI art museum in Mitaka" where Director Miyazaki acts as a proprietor will be carried out by Lawson of a convenience store from the 20th. The charm of an art museum, the interview of the persons concerned, etc. are introduced.
(It continues by Sport Nippon 2002/2/20)

http://www.nikkansports.com/news/entert/p-et-tp0-020220-09.html

2-20-02---- Robotech Flash Contest Winners

After a long delay, you can finally view the winners of the Robotech flash contest at this link.

2-20-02---- Miyazaki News And Images

Thanks to Daniel for this: The following came from Nausicaa.net : 1) "Here are a couple of articles (in Japanese) that shows pictures of Miyazaki holding the Golden Bear:

Article One Article Two

"He commented, "It's heavy," when he was handed the Bear, and said "It's a heavy award. But the film has been already rewarded when audience saw it." "It's not like you are 40 and you have a future. Getting an award at this age...I will try not to think about it." Thanks to Ryoko Toyama for the links and translation."

Finally, this came in from www.nausicaa.net:

"Be sure to keep an eye on the two new sections for the latest info on upcoming Ghibli movies:

The Cat Who Returned a Favor

Howl's Moving Castle

"Another note: There will be a second episode of Ghiblies released in theaters with The Cat Who Returned a Favor."

2)" According to Toshio SUZUKI, president of Studio Ghibli, Miyazaki's next film will probably be released in 2004. The quote from the press conference interview at the Berlinale Film Festival: "If I can believe Mr. Miyazaki, this will happen in 2004. (smiles)"...Thanks to Jens Vogel for the tip."

2-20-02---- Games News

From Daniel:

Gamespot states that Acclaim will release Sega's Ecco the Dolphin and Headhunter for PS2.

Also, Gamespot mentions that Nintendo, Sega and Namco are collaborating on an arcade board called the Triforce.

Thanks to Daniel for the above game news

2-20-02---- Cinescape News

There's also an article in the current Cinesacpe on the Sitges International Film Festival held in Spain, where the columnist raves about Battle Royale, Kairo and Inugami (Midnight Eye), but seems to be uninmpressed by Metropolis.

2-20-02---- New On DVD From Rhino

Thanks to Daniel for the following item:

This came in from DVD File :

"Just in from Rhino are a number of new April announcements, including a number of classic TV fare coming to DVD for the first time. 4/18 will see the release of The Transformers: Season One, a 4-disc set featuring all 16 episodes from the first season, presented in full frame and mono mastered off of a new digital transfer from the original 35mm elements. Extras include promo bumpers, outtakes, alternate sequences, an original Transformers series script, and a never-before-seen mini documentary from the Botcon 2001 Convention. In addition, each DVD boxed set includes two limited-edition animation cels. Retail is $49.95.

"Also debuting on 4/18 are Battle Of The Planets Volume 5 and Volume 6, each with two uncut and remastered episodes presented in full frame, plus bonus episodes of "Gatchaman" and "G-Force." Retail is $19.95 apiece...."

2-20-02---- Matrix Reloaded Release Schedule

Thanks to Daniel for this news:

The March 2002 issue of Cinescape mentions that Matrix: Reloaded and Matrix: Revolutions will both be released in 2003, with Reloaded coming out in May and Revolutions coming out in November.

2-19-02---- Manga Rolls Out New Site - Some Surprise Updates

Thanks to InitialDFan1 for posting this news to our mailing list:

Manga Entertainment has completely re-designed and updated their website. Check it out at www.manga.com.

Of particular importance to anime fans is their new section devoted to the Eva movies release. They've got wallpaper, synposis, an upcoming contest, and a streaming video clip from D&R. Nice stuff. It also seems like they may be keeping the 'The End of Evangelion title.

Also, the site now features the boxart for D&R (nice choice, I might add) and what would appear to be the final release date for D&R: June 25th 2002.

2-19-02---- ADV Films Press: Medabots / Soul Hunter Vol. 4

Soul Hunter Vol. 4From the official ADV Films press releases:

RELEASE DATE SET FOR SOUL HUNTER: GAME OF KINGS

HOUSTON, Feb. 18, 2002 - ADV FILMS has set the street date of May 7, 2002 for the DVD release of Soul Hunter: Game of Kings, the fourth volume of the fantastic anime series based on one of China's most popular folk stories.

Series Plot: With the young princes away on Mount Kunlun, it seems the Yin Dynasty may be finished for good. Taikoubou and Lord Ki Shou must forge a new order before the entire nation collapses into chaos and anarchy. Can they recruit the Northern armies into their cause? Or will their poor diplomacy end up accidentally provoking them into a bloody battle? Meanwhile, Bunchu hasn't given up hope for the future of the Yin. Foreseeing an impending conflict with the armies of the West, he sends his four most trusted minions to crush Ki Shou and his allies. Bunchu's Shisei are dangerous immortals with fantastic powers over earth, water, and light. Without the backup of the Western military, nothing stands between the Shisei and the destruction of the West... nothing except Taikoubou and his rag-tag crew of allies!

Release Format: Soul Hunter is based on one of China's most popular novels and an incredibly successful Japanese comic book. ADV FILMS' DVD release of Game of Kings ($29.98 SRP) will feature the English-language version as well as the Japanese-language version with English subtitles. DVD extras include: translator notes, a "relationship tree" with character descriptions, a comprehensive glossary of terms, voice actor profiles, and ADV previews.

SOUL HUNTER: GAME OF KINGS
Running Time: 100 Minutes; Age Rating: 12+
Pre-Book Date: 4/9/02
Street Date: 5/7/02
Format SRP
DVD $29.98

RELEASE DATE SET FOR MEDABOTS: TRANSPORT METABEE!

RELEASE MARKS THE HOME VIDEO PREMIERE OF FOX KIDS' TOP-RATED SATURDAY MORNING SERIES

HOUSTON, Feb. 18, 2002 - ADV FILMS has set the street date of April 30, 2002 for the home video release of Medabots: Transport Metabee!, the first volume of the mega-popular FOX Kids Network animated series that has already become Saturday morning's must-see television event. ADV plans a concurrent day and date release for both the DVD and VHS formats of this successful children's franchise.

Medabots is a major franchise in Japan, with sales of comic books, toys, video games, and other licensed merchandise in the millions. In America, merchandise from major vendors such as Hasbro, Topps, NTD Apparel, and Serious USA, are already selling briskly.

Series Plot: Ten-year old Ikki has one wish: to show off his Medabilities by representing his country in the World Robattle Tournament. Unfortunately, Ikki doesn't have a Medabot of his own, so all he can do is dream of one day becoming a top-notch Medafighter. But when Ikki stumbles across a Rare Medal, the key to every Medabot's soul, the chance to become a part of this super-charged world of high performance fighting robots suddenly becomes a reality. Will Ikki scrape together enough money to build his own pet Medabot, or will his dreams of glory go unfulfilled? Find out in the first exciting volume of Medabots!

Release Format: ADV FILMS' home video release of Medabots: Transport Metabee! includes the first five episodes of the highly-rated children's television series from FOX Kids. DVD extras include character bios, a Medabots A to Z special feature, and ADV previews.

MEDABOTS: TRANSPORT METABEE!
Running Time: 125 Minutes; Age Rating: All
Pre-Book Date: 4/2/02
Street Date: 4/30/02
Format SRP
DVD $19.98
VHS $14.98

2-19-02---- Shadowskin Japanese Style Animation Project

Studio ArtFX Officially Launches Shadowskin. Original independent animation directed by Terrence Walker

Las Vegas, NV - February 19, 2002 - Studio ArtFX, helmed by independent artist and animator Terrence Walker, announced today the official launch of the Shadowskin website, complete with a trailer for the new original video animation (OVA) series. The trailer for volume 1 of the new Japanese style animated OVA series can be seen at:

http://www.studioartfx.com/SS_Teaser.htm

Following in the footsteps of their previous DVD release of Understanding Chaos, Shadowskin will be coming to DVD in May of 2002. The volume one release will feature the first full OVA episode of the series and contain production extras. The Shadowskin site allows viewers to keep up to date with the progress of the series production through a chronicle section. Here, viewers can see the latest artwork from the show and read production reports from Terrence Walker, the series creator. The site also contains a complete gallery of images from the show and information about the story, characters and creators.

The site address:

http://www.studioartfx.com/ShadowSkin/

About Studio ArTFX
With headquarters in Las Vegas, Nevada, Studio ArtFX is a new type of studio, pushing new ideas to bring independent animation to the forefront in the digital revolution. Founder Terrence Walker has worked in the animation and video game industry for over ten years. Now with the latest tools and technology, Terrence Walker hopes to show animators everywhere that independent animation can be a reality. Studio ArtFX is currently in production on Shadowskin, which will be an original video animated series.

website: http://www.studioartfx.com

2-19-02---- Animeigo News

Animeigo's website has updated with news that Kimagure Orange Road has now gone into DVD replication. The company's FAQ has noiw updated, among the updates for the question Are you doing the You're Under Arrest TV Series? the reply reads: Yes, we're hard at work subtitling and dubbing it. As of 2/19/02 we're actually about half done. The first set of DVDs will be coming out in late spring. Hopefully of 2002.

2-19-02---- OLM Site Opens

OLM (Oreintal Light And Magic), a diverse player in the Japanese industry has renewed their presence on the web with new site which can be accessed at: www.olm.co.jp

The company is responsible for such well known series as Berserk, Pokemon and produced the opening sequence animation for the American X-Men Cartoon back in 1994.

2-19-02---- Outlaw Star 2 Manga Coming In September

According to an update to the Morning Star website here, the manga for Outlaw Star 2 - The Retaliation will begin it's run in Ultrajump magazine monthly from September 2002. On the page at the above link one can see preview images for the manga.

2-19-02---- Korean Animation And Influence On Japanese Animation

The Asahi Shimbun English edition has an article here on Korean animation and crossovers with the Japanese industry.

2-19-02---- Wild 7 Another

The TV series sequel Wild 7 Another was announced on a recent episode of Diamond Time DX to air from April 7th, direction will be handled by Sumio Watanabe.

2-19-02---- One Third Of Japan Now Wireless

NTT DoCoMo Inc. has announced the total number of subscribers to its cellular phone services provided by nine DoCoMo group companies has reached 40 million, which nearly equals one-third of Japan's population of 127 million.

Growth of subscribers has been spurred by its mobile Internet service "i-mode," says NTT DoCoMo. The i-mode service acquired more than 30 million users since it was launched in February 1999.

Source: AsiaBizTech

2-19-02---- Tenchi Web Contest

According to the update on AIC's English Site: Tenchi-web will hold a " 'Tenchi Muyo! GXP' TV series episode 1 and 2 preview" (voice overs and other guests will appear on the stage too) on March 31th in Ginza Gas Hall, Tokyo. If you have chance to visit Japan at the end of March, also want to try your luck at the same time, please send a email with your name, address(have to be a address in Japan), age, occupation and phone number to the address list on "yo" zone in Tenchi-web before March 15th. The website will hold a lottery to determine which of applicants has the chance to view this new Tenchi anime.

2-19-02---- Spring 2002 Cartoonist Event Announced

The latest Festival International du Film d'Animation Cartoonist has been announced to occur in Toulon, France from 4-26 (Friday) to 4-28 (Sunday)
Opening: 10:00 - Closing: 19:00 at the PALAIS NEPTUNE. Admission is 9 Euros a day. Current guests include:

1) SEIYUU
- IKEZAWA Haruna

2) SUPER SENTAI ACTOR
- SAKAMOTO Ryosuke
- OSUGA Akihito
- MASUJIMA Yoshihiro

3) MANGAKA
- NONAKA Minoru
- MURATA Range
- HASHIMOTO Masae
- KAKINOUCHI Narumi

4) ANIMATORS
- ABE Yoshitoshi
- INOMATA Mutsumi
- OBARI Masami

5) SINGER
- KUSHIDA Akira

For more information: http://cartoonist-france.com (French language only).

2-19-02---- Production I.G. Updates - Tokyo International Animation Fair Report & More

Production I.G. has released a small Tokyo International Animation Fair Report with several images and has released a visual development gallery for Kaidomaru.

2-18-02---- Disney Acquires Asian Films

Thanks to Nick for this:

This news is from Asian Cult Cinema http://www.kfccinema.com/news/news.html

""Tears of a Black Tiger," a big western / psychedelic / sci fi / martial arts film from Thailand was bought out by Disney (Miramax) a couple of months ago. And Thailand was the only place that sold the DVD. Fortunately, the DVD was subtitled. Just recently though, All shops are being made to have the DVD pulled and replaced with non subbed DVD's because of Disney! But a UK release is still planned for 4th Mar 2002." "The terror strikes again, it seem that Miramax Films has picked up Zhang Yimou's historical adventure "Hero," starring Jet Li and Maggie Cheung, for North and South America, the U.K. and Australia. The tale concerns three famous assassins who undertake the monumental task of confronting the King of Qin. We are praying that the movie will be untouched this time!"

2-18-02---- Soul Calibur Movie

This came in from http://www.sammohung.com/news.html:

"On the Soul Calibur front, producer Alan Noel Vega signed the movie rights agreement with Namco vice-chairman Ryuji Hashiguchi in Hawaii last January 30th, 2002. This clears the way for Soul Calibur to be made into a movie which our man Sammo will direct and play an acting part in. With the rights secured, the producers will now work to attach talent and, hopefully, succeed in reuniting the 3 brothers (Jackie Chan, Yuen Biao and Sammo Hung) in a big budget movie. Word has it that Germany-based Senator Entertainment is interested in funding the project. More on this exciting story as we get the news."

Source: Daniel

2-18-02---- Maho Yugi Episodes Up

Episodes 1-13 of the AIC Maho Yuugi are online for stream viewing until February 21 2002.

2-18-02---- Anime Movie Trailers

OCN Broadband Media is carrying varrying bandwidth trailers for Patlabor WXIII, Metropolis, The Japanese release of the remastered Akira, eX-D and as a bonus the Hong Kong crossover project "Legend Of The Sacred Stone".

2-18-02---- Tenchi Muyo GXP TV Series Broadcast Debut Date Set

April 2nd, 2002 has been officially set as the day on which the new Tenchi Muyo GXP TV series will debut in Japan on NTV. The timeslot asigned for the AIC program is 24:55-25:25.

2-18-02---- Sen To Chihiro Berlin Festival Award In The Japanese Press

Kyodo News is among several Japanese media outlets reporting on Studio Ghibli's Sen to Chihiro Golden Bear grab at the Berlin International Film Festival, according to their description:

The hit Japanese animation ''Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi (Spirited Away)'' won the Golden Bear award, the top prize at the Berlin International Film Festival on Sunday.
''Spirited Away'' is a fantasy about a 10-year-old girl Chihiro, who suddenly finds herself working in a hot-spring resort that caters to spirits and gods after she and her parents wander through a tunnel.
The film, directed by Hayao Miyazaki, broke box office records in Japan last year. More than 22 million Japanese flocked to see it.
Another Japanese film, Junji Sakamoto's ''KT,'' also vied in the competition section of the annual 52nd film festival.

Japan Today has their article here. Asahi has their report in the Japanese edition here, here and here. The Daily Yomiuri has their Japanese language reports here and here. The Mainichi has a photojournal entry here and article here.

The official prizes press release can be viewed here.

2-18-02---- Tokyo International Animation Fair 21 Awards

Awards have handed out for the wrapped weekend Tokyo International Anime Fair 21:

Academy Judges Choice:

Grand Prix: Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi - Production Studio Ghibli - Director Hayao Miyazaki

TV Series:

Excellent Work Prize - Inuyasha, Ojamajo Doremi #, Hikaru no Go, Fruits Basket, One Piece
Encouragement Prize - Magic Cirlce Guru Guru, This Is Police Box, Hamtaro, Pokemon, Detective Conan

Script Prize: Takashi Yamada
Directors Prize: Daichi Akitaro
Arts Prize: Yuji Ikeda
Music: Kohei Tanaka

Movies:

Best Movie:
Excellent Work Prize: Princess Arte, Sen to Chihiro, Metropolis
Encouragement Prize: Pokemon, Vampire Hunter D, One Piece

Script Prize: Hayao Miyazaki
Best Character: Hayao Miyazaki
Directors Prize: Hayao Miyazaki

OVA:

Excellent Work Prize:
Animation Runner Kuromi
Encouragement Prize: Sakura Taisen

People's Choice:

TV series - Children's/Family Category: Ojamajo Doremi #
TV series - General: Cosmic Baton Girl Comet san
Movie: Sen to Chihiro

2-18-02---- Studios Using Refreshed Artwork To Attract Visitors

A number of Japanese production websites are using a relatively new and (although conceptually old) novel tactic to lure in visitors for repeat visits to their respective online venues. Among them, Production I.G.'s English site which has updated it's main page irregularly with art stills from the FLCL OAV, Gainax's website which updates weekly with associated character images and Sony's site for the 2nd Kenshin OVA series, where a new sneak peek image can be viewed daily.

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