Anime News Service - January 31 - February 7 Anime News

2-7-07 (11:22PM EST)---- Bandai Ent. Acquires My Otome / Tide Line Blue

Sunrise's My-Otome, which follows its popular series My-Hime, also released by Bandai Entertainment Inc, is a re-imagining of the story, with the characters from My-Hime now in a new world. Arika Yumemiya must accept her destiny in a feudalistic world and follow in her mother's footsteps of becoming an Otome. The 26 episode series will be released over 7 volumes with a story by Hiroyuki Yoshino (Gundam Seed Destiny) and music by Yuki Kajiura (.Hack//SIGN, Gundam Seed). The first volume will be released from Bandai Entertainment in June.

Tide Line Blue, a 13 episodes series, is from Satoru Ozawa, the creator of the smash hit Blue Submarine No. 6 (also released in the US by Bandai Entertainment.) Tide-Line Blue features character designs by anime veteran Aikihiko Yamashiata (Giant Robo, Gin Rei, Princess Nine). When an apocalyptic disaster results in 90% of the earth's surface being flooded, mankind is forced to rebuild the world. When the commander of one of the few remaining nuclear submarines tries to take matters into his own hands, a group young mariners rises to the challenge. Tide Line Blue Vol. 1 is scheduled for a summer release.
For more information: www.bandai-ent.com

2-7-07 (8:12PM EST)---- Pirate Death Note DVD Contains Mysterious Code

Pirated DVD's of the live action film Death Note: The Last Name began hitting the Chinese black market in early January. Copies are being sold for as little as 120 Yen in Beijing. Unique to some pirated copies of the work being sold there is a strange watermark-like code in Japanese which appears over the entire video image. It reads: "Do not sell this to me! Do not buy it! (` O ') Kono Bakachingaa!!" The characters change their shade depending on the light of the background video. The inserter, creator, purpose and intended audience of this message is unknown.

2-7-07 (8:09PM EST)---- Takashi Murakami Reccomends New FPM Album

The 2 CD best hits collection album 'FPMB:Fantastic Plastic Machine Best' went on sale in Japan on February 7th. 30 tracks are included including unpublished tunes that FPM wrote for collaborations with a Louis Vuitton and anime inspired pop artist Takashi Murakami. Yahoo reports Murakami has heard the album and greatly reccomends it. Retail is 3,300 Yen.

2-7-07 (6:26PM EST)---- Hideaki Anno To Direct STRINGS

SMAP's Tsuyoshi Kusanagi and Miki Nakatani will be the starring voice actresses for the Japanese release of the 2004 Danish movie "STRINGS". Evangelion supervisor Hideaki Anno will direct the puppet themed film's cast, Masufumi Nagatsuka will take charge of the dramatization. Release is scheduled for April 28th. Vocal recordings were done over about 1 month last December. The official Japanese title will be: Strings Ai To Kizuna No Tabiji.

2-7-07 (4:44PM EST)---- Doraemon Final Story Video Report

Fuji News Network has a 4 minute video news report on the ongoing Doraemon Final Story Doujinshi affair. You can view it in 300KB and 56K Windows Media streaming formats.

2-7-07 (3:52PM EST)---- Joss Whedon To Direct Hollywood Sailor Moon?

Slashfilm has some info on a spreading rumor that has director Joss Whedon supervising a live action film adaptation of Naoko Takeuchi's Sailor Moon manga.

2-7-07 (3:34PM EST)---- Japan TV News Roundup

- The official website for the new Towards The Terra TV series has been announced as: http://terra-e.com/. It's currently inactive.
- "Gegege no Kitaro" will start broadcast on Fuji Television Network at 9 AM, weekly on Sundays , from April 1, 2007. Staff include Director: Yukio Kaizawa, Scenario: Keiichi Hasegawa and Art Supervision: Ueno Ken.
- El Cazador, to begin broadcast in April will feature the opening theme "Hikari No Yukue" by savage genius and the ending theme, "romanesque" by FictionJunction YUUKA.
- Telecast start in April is planned for "Over Drive". Staff include: Director: Kato Takao, Series Composition: Katsuhiko Koide, Character Design: Okayuu Ichi, Animation Production: XEBEC
- The official Sola animation website is: www.sola-project.com.
- The Heroic Era TV anime series has been announced, telecast start has been scheduled in April, 2007, via TV Tokyo Channel 12. Staff include Director: Risho Suzuki, Series Composition: Mihue Hinoto, Character Designs: Hisaji Hirai, Animation Production: XEBEC.
- Wednesday was the preopening date for the Kotesushin Jeeg website.
- A special website has gone up for the Rascal Racoon 30th anniversary. Look for some special news announcments there in the future.

2-7-07 (3:12PM EST)---- Code E To Be Animated

The new TV anime series Code E will begin broadcast at 11:30 on Tokyo MX, weekly on Sundays from July, 2007. The story will deal with a new female highschool transfer student who has the strange ability to disrupt electronic equipment. Staff includes: Original Concept and Script: Sakaki Ichirou Director: Katou Toshiyuki Series Composition and Script: Satou Takuya Script: Nishimura Junji, Kawase Toshifumi, Hanada Jukki Character Design and General Animation Director: Saitou Tetsuhito Art Director: Itou Kazuhiro Color Design: Mochida Takeshi Photography Director: Morishita Seiichi Audio Director: Gouda Hodumi Music: Kano Kaori Animation Production: STUDIO DEEN

2-7-07 (3:07PM EST)---- 3 Part Kiddy Grade Film Announced

2002's 24 episode Kiddy Grade TV animation will be recut, re-edited, an added to with all new animation sequences to form the just announced Kiddy Grade Gekijou Ban 3 Bu Saku Movie, which will screen in 3 parts beginning in April. Director Keiji Gotoh is handling all the recomposition work first hand and this will be considered to be the true "Director's Cut" of the story. Part one "Chapter Of Kiddy Grade - Ignition - Wakefulness" will open on April 7th and run through April 20th, The Second part "Kiddy Grade - Malestron - Flood Chapter" debuts June 23rd, running through July 6th and the third part "Chapter Of Kiddy Grade - Truth Dorn- Dawn" opens September 1st, screening through September 14th. at 21:20- schedule. All will screen at 21:20 daily at the Late Show theater in Shinjuku (the same theater where Tokikake had its start). A talk event with the staff and director will be held prior to each debut, lead voice actress Hirano Aya is scheduled to appear.

2-6-07 (11:59PM EST)---- Sakura-Con Announces Hideyuki Kurata, Kouta Hirano, Yashuhiro Nightow and K.T. Gray.

Seattle, WA- 2-6-2007 Sakura-Con is pleased to present four new Guests of Honor: Hideyuki Kurata, Kouta Hirano, Yashuhiro Nightow and K.T. Gray. Hideyuki Kurata, making his second Sakura-Con appearance, is the script writer for many popular anime such as: GUNxSword (TV) and most recently, Hellsing Ultimate (OAV). He is well known as the ingenious creator of Read or Die (manga, OVA and TV). He has also written screenplays and/or scripts for Magical Girl Pretty Sammy (OAV), Battle Athletes (TV and OAV) and Excel Saga (TV) among many others. Kouta Hirano is the colorful manga-ka most famous for his manga Hellsing. Starting his career first as a manga-ka's assistant- Hirano-San has become a celebrated figure for creating a series known through out anime fandom as setting a new standard for gothic storytelling. Yasuhiro Nightow is the manga-ka who created the anime and manga Trigun (TV) which has enjoyed incredible resonance, most especially among American anime fans. Nightow also created the characters and story for the Sega/Red Entertainment anime and video game series Gungrave. K.T. Gray, making her first ever convention appearance, is best known to fans as the voice actress behind the character of Seras Victoria in Hellsing (TV, OAV).

2-6-07 (7:32PM EST)---- March Opening For Toki Wo Kakeru Shojo In Taiwan

Mamoru Hosoda's crtically acclaimed anime film Tokikake will open in theaters in Taiwan on March 9th. The official Taiwanese website for the release is: www.bvi.com.tw/movies/timeleapt/. The live action Yuki Uchida TV drama telecast in the island nation in September, 1997. As an aside, Goro Miyazaki's Gedo Senki begins screening in Taiwan on the 14th of this month. The official web is www.bvi.com.tw/movies/earthsea/. BVI agency, is distributing both movies there.

2-6-07 (7:14PM EST)---- Takashi Yanase's 88th Birthday Bash

Mantan has a pic from Anpanman creator Takashi Yanase's 88th birthday party, held in Tokyo on the fifth of this month. The elder manga author was born in 1919 in Kochi Prefecture, he's 88 years old this year. Anpanman was adapted to TV animation in 1988 and 876 episodes later, is still running strong to this day.

2-6-07 (6:57PM EST)---- YouTube Meets With Japanese Copyright Reps

YouTube CEO Chad Hurley and Google CTO Steve Cen met with representatives of 23 Japanese copyright agencies in Tokyo on Tuesday, February 6th. Corporate lawyers were present as were members of the The Japanese Society of Rights of Authors and Composers (JASRAC) and The National Association of Commercial Broadcasters in Japan. Afterwards a large press conference was held, however, the Google and YouTube reps opted out of speaking at that event. YouTube has apparantly agreed to introducing a copyright warning message in Japanese on the site at this early stage. In addition, development of a new copyright management system will be undertaken in cooperation with Google. Regarding a request that users uploading content should register their home and name, YouTube told the group that might be difficult to implement and be effective. Satoyuki Uei of The National Association of Commercial Broadcasters in Japan described Hurley and Cen as gentlemen. The Japanese side seems to be not 100% pleased but has indicated there was no breakdown of negotiations from the meeting.

2-6-07 (4:59PM EST)---- Soseki Natsume Mannequin

Asahi Newspaper has a picture of a mannequin of Japanese classic fiction writer Soseki Natsume and his real life grand-daughter, famed manga critic Fusayuki Natsume. February 9th marks the 140th birthday of the eccentric novelist who's portait appears on Japan's 10,000 Yen note. Production of the lifelike mannequin was commisioned by Nikkatsu Corporation to promote their film Ten Dream Nights which is based on the author's enigmatic book.

2-6-07 (4:59PM EST)---- Terasawa Daisuke In South Korea

Innolife has video of Japanese mangaka Terasawa Daisuke's (Shota no Sushi) recent visit to South Korea. There, he spoke at an exhibition of his artwork.

2-6-07 (4:59PM EST)---- Index To Market Manga On Mobile Phones Worldwide

Index Holdings announced it will attempt to market Japanese manga accesible via mobile phones internationally on February 5th. The content will be available through a special channel setup in Europe and America in mid-2007. Russia and Asian markets could follow. Index wants to raise its income coming from international business from about 30 percent at present to 50 percent at 2010.

2-6-07 (4:25PM EST)---- Illustrator Kazuhiro Watanabe Dies

Kazuhiro Watanabe, illustrator and former editor in chief Garo Magazine has died of liver cancer on February 6th. He was 56 years old. His funeral will be held on the 10th. The chief mourner is his wife Noriko. He illustrated the Yukan serial Izumi Asa Jin No Tsuukin Kai Doku.

2-6-07 (4:12PM EST)---- Manga Publishers / Retail Outlets Plan RFID Tests

Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has gotten cooperation of retail outlets and six industry segments to hold real world RFID product placement and sales tests which began in Japan in January. Publishers Kodansha, Toppan Printing, Oji Paper, Shogakukan, Kodansha, and Shueisha will all take part in the experiment. Bookstores such as Nippon Shuppan Hanbai and Osakaya, will also participate. Manga is expected to be one of the products to be included in the tests.

2-6-07 (3:36PM EST)---- Death Note Anime OST 2 Release

Death Note television animation original soundtrack 2 will hit the Japanese market on March 21, 2007 for 2,500 Yen. The disc will include 30 tracks and both main themes.

2-6-07 (3:30PM EST)---- Nozokiya Drama

Hideo Yamamoto's pyscho-horror manga Nozokiya will become a late night live action television drama according to a comment made at the end of the just released No.10 issue of Big Comic Spirits. Details remain unclear. The original manga appears in Young Sunday and is licesned in North American by Viz Media.

2-6-07 (3:09PM EST)---- Kikoushi Enma DVD Volume 4 Release

Volume 4 of the Kikoushi Enma OVA series arrives on RS DVD in Japan on March 23, 2007 for 4,568 Yen. The series was recently announced to be licensed by Bandai Visual, planned for spring release in the USA.

2-6-07 (2:24PM EST)---- Slam Dunk Scholarship USA Connections

IT Planning mentions recipients of the Slam Dunk manga-ka's scholarship will be part of a foreign exchange program which will involve a small town named Kent on the east coast USA. Also revealed are Inoue-san's impressions of an American high school which will be involved with the program. Thanks To Daniel Zelter for the item.

2-6-07 (2:24PM EST)---- Tomo-Dachi 2007 In Northern Ireland

TOMO-DACHI SET TO BRING MIKE MCFARLAND TO THE UK AS PRE-REGISTRATION OPENS
February 7th 2007. Londonderry, Northern Ireland. Following the success of 2006's Tomo-Dachi event and the announcement of Tomo-Dachi 2007, Ireland's premier anime convention opens the New Year with special announcements and the opening of pre-registrations for the convention!

Guest of Honour:
2006 saw Tiffany Grant and Matt Greenfield's first ever visit to the United Kingdom and in 2007 Too-Dachi is offering another first. We are excited to announce ADR director, scriptwriter and voice actor Mike McFarland as our guest of honour for Tomo-Dachi 2007.

Mike has worked as ADR director on series' including FullMetal Alchemist, Trinity Blood and DragonBall for FUNimation Entertainment, as well as lending his voice to characters in DragonBall Z (Master Roshi), Fruits Basket (Ritsu Sohma), FullMetal Alchemist (Jean Havoc) and countless others. Mike also worked in a fairly unique role as the Music Director on BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad.

Change of dates:
Circumstances outside our control mean that the convention has had to be rescheduled from the original dates. Tomo-Dachi 2007 will now be taking place on Friday 24th through to Sunday 26th of August 2007, at the University of Ulster's Magee Campus in Londonderry.

Booking system / forums
As Wednesday February 7th pre-registrations for the convention have gone live, so you can now book your place for Tomo-Dachi 2007! Convention memberships are limited to 250 places, so book early to avoid disappointment. Full en-suite accommodation is available on-campus for the Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.

The costs of the convention are as follows:
2 day entry - 25 Quid
3 day entry - 25 Quid [Up to March 31st, 30 Quid thereafter]
En-suite Accommodation - 25 Quid per night
That's it for now but we look forward to seeing you at Tomo-Dachi 2007!

About Tomo-Dachi and DAMA:
DAMA was founded in 2004 to bring anime and Manga to the North-West of Northern Ireland, but has managed to appeal much further in its three-year lifespan. 2005 marked the first Tomo-Dachi convention, which surpassed all expectations for both the staff and attendees. TD06 was the largest anime event in Ireland's history, with three days of events and guests from the US and UK in attendance. TD07 promises to be even bigger. More information is available at www.tomo-dachi.com Tomo-Dachi is run by the Non-Profit Trust 'Wakaratai', dedicated to expanding understanding of Asian culture in Northern Ireland.

2-5-07 (11:24PM EST)---- First Anime Based Hollywood Movie To Get Specific Release Date

According to a bulletin Daniel Zelter received from Box Office Mojo, Speed Racer is tentatively scheduled for Memorial Day weekend 2008. Thanks For The News Daniel.

2-5-07 (1:44PM EST)---- Japanese Weekend Boxoffice February 3-4

Kogyo Tsushinsha has this past weekend Japanese boxoffice share. The manga based Battle Of Wits debuted in the number 2 slot for its opening over Feb. 3-4.

2-5-07 (1:11PM EST)---- Criminal Charges Loom For "Doraemon Final Story" Doujinshi Creators

Following up a report ANS made last week, fan authors of the 15,500 selling smash hit "Doraemon Final Story" doujinshi manga could could be in big trouble. Doraemon copyright holders Shogakukan have deemed the work as "malignant piracy" and ordered a sales discontinuance of the comic late last year. Bringing a compensation of damages claim is bsing discussed now. Criminal Charges could be applied as well.

2-5-07 (12:38PM EST)---- Tokyopop & HarperCollins To Release Warriors Graphic Novels

TOKYOPOP, the leader of the Global Manga Revolution and HarperCollins Publishers, one of the top English-language publishers in the world, are pleased to announce the May 2007 release of Warriors: The Lost Warrior, the first graphic novel series to be launched under the two companies' recently announced innovative co-publishing deal. Drawn from Erin Hunter's #1 nationally best-selling Warriors books, The Lost Warrior features a very special note from the author to Warriors fans. Warriors: The Lost Warrior manga series, created by Dan Jolley and James Barry, tells the untold tale of the feline hero Graystripe: his life with humans and his ultimate quest to be reunited with his clan. Graystripe's story in the manga series bridges the gap between Hunter's "The New Prophecy" and the next installment of the Warriors novel series "Power of Three." As Erin Hunter writes to Warriors fans: "Manga brings out the best in Graystripe. The drawings are so powerful and so direct. Alongside the punchy dialogue, they speak volumes. I love them, and I am so proud of the all-new action Graystripe. Well done, Graystripe! Well done, manga!" In a word from TOKYOPOP Publisher Mike Kiley, "It is truly an honor to bring such a wonderful children's series to manga form. Dan Jolley and James Barry have reveled in the Warriors universe I think the end result does this very special story proud." The Lost Warrior is the first of a trilogy. The second book will release in December 2007.

2-5-07 (12:08PM EST)---- First Byosoku 5cm Story To Be Available Freely Online

Prior to the March 3rd theatrical premiere of director Makoto Shinkai's Byosoku 5cm, Yahoo has announced it will freely stream "Cherry Blossom Excerpt", the first part of the 3 part film online from noon (Japan Time) on February 16th - noon on February 19th. The movie's official theme, Masayo Yamazaki's "One more time, One more chance" will be released as a maxisingle on March 3rd for 1,000 Yen. The jacket will feature an illustration by the director.

2-5-07 (11:18AM EST)---- Akiyamakobo's 2 Meter Tall Evangelion Figure

Akiyamakobo has announced their massive 2 meter, 9 centimeter tall "Evangelion Shogou Ki Human Scale Figure". Retail will be 985,000 Yen. The company is planning a lifesize Rei Ayanami figure in the future.

2-5-07 (10:41AM EST)---- Philippines Lawmaker Warns of Porn Anime Through Internet, DVDs

All Headline News reports: A lawmaker from the Philippines on Monday warned against pornographic anime or animated cartoons called "hentai." He also said the images threatened to invade living rooms either through the Internet or pirated VCDs or DVDs. Congressman Robert Jaworski from Pasig City, Philippines said, "There are more than two dozen hentai Web sites that could be easily accessed by grade schoolers. Video pirates readily offer these pornographic cartoons to teenagers."

2-5-07 (10:37AM EST)---- Shinkyoku Soukai Polyphonica TV Details

The new Shinkyoku Soukai Polyphonica TV series has been cleared for 12 episodes, to begin broadcast on TBS-MBS from April, 2007. Cast will include: Hiroshi Kamiya, Tomatsu Haruka, Ayako Kawasumi, Katsuyuki Konishi, Nana Mizuki and Rina Sato. Staff will include: Original Concept: Sakaki Ichiro (Scrapped Princess), Director: Masami Shimoda, Series Compositions and Script: Ichiro Sakaki, Character Designs: Hiroyuki Horiuchi. Animation Production: TO Entertainment - Gingaya. An accompanying manga will be serialized online via Yahoo and Web Blood.

2-5-07 (10:13AM EST)---- Victor Casting For New Macross?

Following up our report (see the January 22nd item) that Victor Entertainment was holding an open audtion to the public to cast a title heroine and themesong performer for a "masterpiece animation", the title of that work may have now come to light. The devil is in the details, and those participating in the audition seem to have spotted the Macross title in a number of areas, ranging from the addresses appearing on postcards to fliers and other items. Monthly Debut magazine also covers the event in its latest issue and information contained in their writeup also seem to lead in the Macross direction.

2-4-07 (1:13PM EST)---- Tokikake R2 DVD Extras

Some of the contents of the highly anticipated R2 Limited Edition DVD release of Mamoru Hosoda's Tokikake film were revealed. One of the DVD's in the 2 disc set will contain video extras including a "visual notes" section. Release is April 20th.

2-4-07 (12:46PM EST)---- Freesia Live Action Opens In Japan

February 3rd saw the Japanese theatrical premiere of director Kazuyoshi Kumakiri's Freesia - Bullet Over Tears. The movie is based on the manga serial Furijia by Jiro Matsumoto which ran in Ikki magazine. The script was written by Takashi Ujita and stars Tetsuji Tamayama, Hidetoshi Nishijima, Tsugumi, Masaki Miura, Tasuku Emoto, Pistol Takehara, Shoji Kokami, Kyusaku Shimada, Maki Sakai, Hiroshi Oguchi, and Kei Suma. In the near future of a fictionalized Japan under wartime, the ancient "Act of Vengeance" (aka: Revenge Law) is revived and professional executioners are permitted to kill criminals by the requests from their victims. People who are to be executed are notified of the execution time and date in advance and they are allowed to have their own guard. Running time is 100 minutes and the project had an estimated budget of $1,000,000 (USD).

2-4-07 (12:17PM EST)---- Mamoru Oshii On Live Action Blood

For the first time, director Mamoru Oshii's name has been connected in a production capacity on the coming live action movie version of Blood: The Last Vampire. Oshii has written a trilogy of novels using the storyline. Bill Kong (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) will produce and Ronny Yu (Fearless) will direct. Filming is expected to begin in March in China and Argentina. Korean actress, Jun Ji-Hyun will star as Saya. France's Pathe helm production, distribution rights and licenses under the consent of Production I.G.

2-4-07 (11:12AM EST)---- FFXII DS Trailer

A new video preview has gone up on the official Nintendo DS Final Fantasy XII: Revanant Wings website.

2-4-07 (8:33AM EST)---- Sega's Shining Tears To Be Animated

This weekend, Sega's Chief publicist Takezaki Tadashi announced their long runnung Shining RPG series would see its debut adaptation to animation in Japan. Closely following the game storyline, Shining Tears will become a TV series scheduled to begin in April, 2007. The news was broke in the Planet Sega World corner of veteran voice actor Megumi Hayashibara's radio program, Heartful Station. Seiyuu Soichiro Hoshi, who voices the game's lead protagonist, Xion, has offered to reprise his role in the anime. The show's theme song will remain the same and be reused which is sung by Hoshi. Hayashibara herself voices the game character Blanc Neige. Auditions for all cast positions will be held in the future. Confirmed staff include director Watanabe Hiroshi (Jigoku Shoujo) and animation production by Studio Deen. The original game was first released for PS2 in 2004. It featured 8 different endings related to each main chracter. Japanese hentai illustrator Tony Taka did the RPG chara designs.

2-3-07 (1:02PM EST)---- Tekkon Kinkreet Distribution Expected In 50+ Nations

Director Michael Arias' Japanese animated film Tekkon Kinkreet will be released in North American via Sony Pictures. Screening in 50 countries is planned and the wide international theatrical push will start sometime after May of this year following screenings at both the Berlin and Cannes film festivals. SP's US-based staff apparantly "fell in love" with the title, taking it immediately underneath the corportation's massive distribution wing. Such a major, mainstream film studio picking up the title is being looked at in the Japanese press as being akin to Ghibli and Disney's agreement several years back. Negotiations with other international distributors began at the Tokyo International Film Festival in October, 2006.

2-3-07 (9:14AM EST)---- Israeli FM Talks Manga With Taro Aso

Israel's Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni visited Japan in mid-January. On the trip she met with Japanese Foreign Minister and celebrity Otaku Taro "Rozen" Aso. He's admitted to reading around 20 different manga serials a week. Livini was quoted as saying to Aso: "My children love manga of Japan. It is also seriously popular in the state of Israel." The remark on Japanese comics drew laughter from both officials during a meeting, otherwise dominated by rather tense and serious international affairs. In mid-December an AFP photograph was posted online that shows a young Gaza City girl holding a sign with a illustration of Haruhi Suzumiya. The girl was part of a demonstration against a vehicle shooting in which three Palestinian juveniles were killed. The young girl's sign reads in Arabic "do not kill children". The link went viral worldwide among internet using anime and manga fans.

2-2-07 (4:47PM EST)---- $20K Per Episode Average For TV Series Licenses

According to info out of the recently held Nikkei BP Anime Business Forum in Japan, if you happen to be in the market to localize and distribute your own anime TV series in the USA in 2007, look to spend about $20,000 per episode on average. That baseline figure has grown over the years. Before 1995 you could get even a hit show for a couple thousand dollars per episode. The trend supposedly pierced the $10K per episode milestone in the mid 1990's with Gainax's Neon Genesis Evangelion. Pokemon fetched 40K per episode in the late 90's and in recent years, some of the most popular anime TV properties have fetched $80K or more depending on the contract. On the production side, a figure of 7 million-8 million Yen per episode was quoted for a long time from the 1980's until around the middle of the 1990's. Fom that time period until now, studios can ask anywhere from 10 million-13 million Yen to produce a typical TV series anime episode.

2-2-07 (3:54PM EST)---- Doujinshi Could Be In Trouble

Recent sales of fan produced parody comic based on j-chara icon Doraemon have gotten so big that it may have created an uncomfortable situation with the original rights holders. Not at all uncommon in Japan, Doujinishi have enjoyed a long and healthy existance over the years in Japan in a mostly gray legal zone. "Doraemon Final Story" as it's titled, went on sale at Comiket 71 at the end of 2006. 400,000 people attended the event. The story collects elements from a chain mail of the same name that originated in the late 1990's. Mostly through word of mouth internet advertising, news that the unofficial manga would be published surfaced in late 2005. Over 2006 the planned title took on a buzz dynamic of huge proportions. The circle has sold 15,500 copies to date, huge numbers for a dojin. However, the authors didn't attain permission from official publisher Shogakukan, throwing the comic into a technically illegal "priacy" status. They contacted the group at the end of 2006 to cease circulation. J-Cast, our source for this news, asked Shogakukan for a comment. They were told the issue is unresolved, but gave the following statement: "Will severely deal with the piracy in the future." The situation is interesting becuase Comiket has been ongoing for 30 years and most of the fan-produced manga works you can buy there are based on existing copyrighted characters. What's more, many of today's mainstream, corporate backed manga artist stars got their start in dojin and at Comic Market. "Manga inc." underpins Japan's huge animation industry. The nation's exponentially growing soft power in the world is often tied to both of these pop culture corporate segments. If Doujinshi is agressively addressed in the future, could this have any effect on the entire system of contents creation that has existed in Japan in modern times? Where this situation will go from here is uncertain, but some believe this development could be precedent setting.

2-2-07 (2:45PM EST)---- My Otome, Votoms Items Apear On Cure Maid Menu

Animation studio Sunrise has cut a deal with Akihabara based Cure Maid Cafe to offer special menu products based on their anime properties. The collaboration will take place during the month February. Between the 9th and 18th a first phase campaign will see the cafe offer a unique My Hime / My Otome food and drinks menu with items taking on names like "bubu tsuke onna no bubu tsuke set", "mai koromo no tedukuri ramen" (Mai's Handmade Ramen), "neko jinyama ramen" and "armitage jun shou no konjou drink" (Commodore Armitage's Spirit Drink). The second phase will occur February 23rd - March 4th and cover Ryosuke Takahashi's Votoms, including unique items like: "ballarant kannai shoku dabofissh" and "kumen oukoku san wine".

2-2-07 (2:45PM EST)---- Rilakkuma Themed Condoms Promote Cute Safe Sex

Based on Aki Kondou's popular bear character, Okamoto Industries plans to market a series of Rilakkuma themed condoms in Japan. The character is a hit among women in their 10's-40's. Look for the rubbers in drugstores, pharmacys, and convenience stores nationwide there beginning on Wednesday, February 21st. Colored pink they'll retail at 1,050 Yen per box. The company hopes to make 100 million Yen in sales of the product in the first year.

2-2-07 (2:32PM EST)---- 2 New Countries To Contend In World Cosplay Summit

The World Cosplay Summit takes place every year in Japan. This year are 11 contries. Participating cosplayers from each country will take part in teams of 2 people. In 2006, the newness was the entrance of Brazil in the event. Brazilian pair was winner. This year, Mexico enters in the dispute (Brazil, China, Italy, Thailand, Germany, Singapore, France, Mexico, Spain and sure, Japan). A country will participate, but it was still not announced. And three countries already had chosen its pairs: Gemany, Italy and Spain. The others as Brazil are in course. More informations in WCS 2007 official site.
Source: Sandra Monte In Brasil

2-2-07 (2:23PM EST)---- Next Type-Moon Work Due At End of 08

Insanely popular fan favorite studio Type-Moon's 2007 slate looks to concentrate on their Fate Zero project and the coming Kara No Koyokai film. Look for their next major new project to surface in Japan towards the end of 2008.

2-2-07 (8:28AM EST)---- Goshou Aoyama Manga Factory Details

Some Updates on the Goshou Aoyama Manga Factory due to open in Tottori Prefecture Kitasakae-cho on March 18. The operating expenses of the facilities are 200 million Yen, the main building is two stories, and the display space is about 680 square meters. 130,000 people per year are expected to come to visit. Besides of the usual assortment of art materials related mostly to Case Closed (Detective Conan), some special items will on display such as a 1/1 scale "Skateboard with turbocharged engine" which appeared in the manga / anme. Admission will be 700 Yen for adults.

2-2-07 (8:01AM EST)---- AMD Awards Ceremony

On January 30th director Mamoru Hosoda accepted 2 AMD awards for his animated movie Toki Wo Kakeru Shojo. You can see a pic of the director after accepting his 12th AMD for prizes for best director and the Minister For Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications Grand Prize at Watch Impress.

2-2-07 (6:56AM EST)---- Tokikake North American Premiere

From the illustrator and author of Neon Genesis Evangelion, THE GIRL WHO LEAPT THROUGH TIME will premiere at the New York International Childrens's Festival on March 3, at 6:30 PM NYICFF is excited to present the US Premier of the lush and beautifully drawn shoujo animation with a sci-fi twist from the illustrator and author of Neon Genesis Evangelion

Tokyo teenager Mokoto Konno prefers to play baseball with the boys than gossip with the other girls. Stuck in a midpoint between child and adult and with graduation approaching, she's not too sure of what she'd like to do with the rest of her life that is, until a mysterious accident in the science lab gives Mokoto the ability to leap (literally) back in time. Once she recognizes the life-changing potential of her newfound power, Mokoto;s life becomes increasingly chaotic. In a series of breathtaking freeze-frame sequence, she plunges repeatedly into the past in an attempt to manipulate fate in her favor; yet, it soon becomes painfully clear that she cannot avert the inevitable.

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is a metaphorical tale of teenage angst: Motkoto's manic time ? leaping reflects her deeper fear of growing up, a denial of creeping adulthood, of uncomfortable romantic feelings, uncertainty about her future, and growing nostalgia for her simple high school life circumscribed by the baseball diamond and her two best friends.

THE GIRL WHO LEAPT THROUGH TIME Japan US PREMIERE Animation, Mamoru Hosoda, 2006, 98 min Japanese with English Subtitles Recommended ages 10 to 18 CANTOR Sat, March 3, 6:30 PM $10 www.gkids.com

2-2-07 (6:33AM EST)---- Tokyopop Picks Up Gutsoon! Manga Title

Daniel Zelter sends in the following:
When I contacted one of the reps from Tokyopop about publishing new editions of manga from the now defunct American anthology from Gutsoon-after discovering they will be handling the Brave Story manga-I got the following response: "It's not out of the question. In fact, we've already licensed one of the old Raijin titles. It isn't scheduled yet though, so saying which one it is would be premature."

2-2-07 (6:29AM EST)---- Pies Anthony / Split Infinity Anime Movie

A report here confirms the forthcoming anime adaptation of his fantasy/sci-fi series will take on a movie format. Thanks Daniel Zelter.

2-1-07 (5:42PM EST)---- 10 Years Later - Tamagotchi Sales: 40,000,000 Units

A tenth birthday party was held for Bandai's Tamagotchi Virtual Pet in Ikebukuro's Sunshine on November 18th. The toy became a worldwide blockbuster selling 40 million units over 10 years.

2-1-07 (5:31PM EST)---- Top Wo Narae! Gattai Gekijouban Box Office

Figures are in from Gainax's limited theatrical release of Top Wo Narae 2! & Top Wo Narae! Gattai Gekijouban in Japan. The film screened exclusively at the Akiba 3D Theater which is adjacent to the Tokyo Anime Center inside Akihabara's UDX building. The final showing was November 5th, 2006. Running 22 days, from October 1st 5,182 people paid to see Gunbuster on the big screen, the final boxoffice revenue was 9,225,200 Yen. Additionally, sales of a special 1,000 Yen pamphlet brought in 2,749,000 Yen. Other related product sales drew 7,214,000 Yen.

2-1-07 (4:52PM EST)---- Hana Yori Dango Drama Shot In New York City

The sequel Hana Yori Dango (Boys Over Flowers) TV drama began running on TBS in Japan on January second. The show was being shot on location in New York City at the end of November. The previous season logged a high audience rating of 19.7% on average.

2-1-07 (4:20PM EST)---- Ghost In The Shell: SAC Walkman

In November 2006, Bandai Networks and Sony Style announced plans for a "Walkman Ghost In The Shell S.A.C. NW-A1000 limited edition model". The item went on sale in Japan at the end of December. The production run was only 350 units, based on the NW-A1000/Black. The carry pouch bears the marque of the Laughing Man.

2-1-07 (3:51PM EST)---- Leiji Matsumoto Inspired Gundam And Star Wars?

Police Japan has a decidely more cynical and critical view on mangaka Leiji Matsumoto, copyrights, credits and inspirations. The article references a recent instance that involved him "fussing" over a song's lyrics which he claimed appropriated phrases from the theme of his Galaxy Express 999. The question is asked: "However, when Mr. Matsumoto's complaint is heard, I cannot help thinking, "How should authors, poets etc. be act in the future when such things are said?" The arguement being that Japanese use a combination of 50 sounds to form speech, given the limited and common nature of language, education, lifes experience to begin with, is it not natural that someone could have come up with similar lyrics on their own? Police Japan has a quote from the creator: "It is I that originally hit on the title of Gundam!" It is true he developed the series Dangard Ace in which there is a "Jasdam" organization. The term was considered to be used in the series official title. This example is often asserted as proof. Matsumoto is quoted as saying: "There was certainly a concept of Gundam [in Danguard Ace], Tomino must have gotten it from somewhere!" Additionally he's been quoted as saying George Lucas may have been inspired by his films prior to creating Star Wars. The creator cites Princess Leia was clearly modeled on a Captain Harlock heroine.

2-1-07 (2:01PM EST)---- m.o.v.e. To Perform At Sakura Con

With the support of Avex, Sakura-Con is proud to present musical guests m.o.v.e. Best known to many anime fans as the music behind the smash hit Initial D, m.o.v.e is also known for breaking down musical barriers. Featuring a unique style with which they blend rock, rap, electronica, metal, and many other genres, m.o.v.e., as their name implies, is always exploring and searching out an original sound. With over 8 original albums, dozens of amazing singles and an international fan base-m.o.v.e. has pushed well beyond the borders of their native Japan. m.o.v.e's latest album is entitled GRID and features singles such as "Freaky Planet", "Angel Eyes", and "Disco Time". To find out more about m.o.v.e and to purchase their material visit http://www.electropica.com/en/. Better yet, to see m.o.v.e. live come to Sakura-Con 2007!

2-1-07 (1:59PM EST)---- Bleach Fights Crime

A cross promotion with the anime film Bleach: Memories Of Nobody involved a crime prevention poster which went up around Japan in December, 2006. The Japan Crime Prevention Association sponsored the B3 size which went up in public spaces nationwide.

2-1-07 (12:34PM EST)---- Bae Doona Resmbles Rei Ayanami?

Late last year the homepage of Korean OCN television ran a questionnaire survey asking visitors which drama actors and actresses resembled heros and heroines from other media. 1106 people said actress Bae Doona most resembled Eva's Ayanami Rei.

2-1-07 (12:09PM EST)---- Kotobukiya Markets Votoms Coffee

Japanese toymaker Kotobukiya began selling their "Uoodo Original Blend Armored Trooper Votoms Canned Coffee" in Japan on December 1st, 2006. The drink reproduces a phrase that had only been alluded to in a few of the TV series coming episode previews: "Chirico drinks, and the coffee of Uoodo is bitter indeed." The drink formula is a custom black coffee blend and comes in a 190 gram can for 160 yen. This marks Kotobukiya's first softdrink outing, with the black blend they want to embody the grim and gritty nature of Director Ryosuke Takahashi's creation, a ultra-minute of sugar is added as well to signify the coolness of Chirico, the taciturn hero, who's face appears on the can.

2-1-07 (10:39AM EST)---- Miura Explains Recent Berserk Manga Break

In some of his sidebar comments printed in just about every issue of Young Animal where his Berserk manga serial appears, creator Kentaro Miura often gives some reference to events in his personal life or current goings on with the comic. In recent issues he gave an explanation for the recent 3+ months of lapse in the manga's serialization. In late 2006 he first warned the manga may go to temporary irregular publication format as the coming storyline would deal with a huge army of over 1000 soldiers. After returning to Young animal a few weeks ago, Miura confirmed the break was due to the fact that he was drawing soldiers during that time (he draws each one by hand with no computer aids). Rumors spread online through the Japanese web in 2006 that the series could be coming to a grand finale soon. Those sentiments apparantly sprung from another one of these sidebar comments: "Finally 30 volumes. At first though I was going to end it within 2-3 volumes." "

2-1-07 (9:09AM EST)---- NANA Being Considered For Hollywood Remake

The USA premiere for the live action film "NANA2" was held in New York in December, 2006. According to Director Kentaro Otani, Hollywood producers have expressed interest on remaking the series in America. Cable music channel MTV covered the event, conducting interviews with the staff and cast. Meanwhile the Japanese version is scheduled to screen in France and 9 Asian countries.

2-1-07 (7:50AM EST)---- 50 Years Of Shoujo Manga Talk

The Agency for Cultural Affairs Media Arts Festival 10th Anniversary "Power Of Expression Of Japan" innitiative continues in Roppongi. On January 31st the special talk event "A Half Century Of Shoujo Manga" was held. 4 female mangaka spoke, they were Moyocco Anno (Hataraki Man), Keiko Takemiya (Kaze to Ki no Uta), Watanabe Masako and chairperson Machiko Satonaka (Tenjo no niji). Takemiya who founded the popular Boy's Love genre of manga said she faced alot of hurdles with publishers when first breaking out into the mainstream. At that time getting bedroom scenes involving 2 men into print was incredibly difficult. But after proving herself imensely popular with other serials she was finally allowed to go ahead with Kaze to Ki no Uta. Moyocco Anno said she wants to sepak as a panelist at the "100 Years Of Shoujo Manga" event in 50 years time. Eg has images from the event.

2-1-07 (7:18AM EST)---- New Gegege No Kitaro Animation

On February first Toei Animation announced they are producing a totally new the 5th animation series based on Umezu's Gegege No Kitaro.

2-1-07 (6:52AM EST)---- CB Character Go Nagai World OVA Remaster Release

Bandai Visual has announced the 1990 "CB Character Go Nagai World" OAV series will be released to R2 DVD in Japan for the first time in a special DVD-BOX set. Noteable character from several of the creator's vast lineup of works appear side by side in SD form in the series. The 35mm telecine was digitally remastered for the set. Release is set for June 22nd, 2007 at 12,600 Yen. Directed by Umanosuke Iida (08th MS Gundam), Character designs by Kazuo Komatsubara (Devil Man, Getta Robo), Music by Kawai Noritsugu (Palabor, Devil Man).

2-1-07 (7:19AM EST)---- Sega Hosts Hidenori Matsubara Art Exhibition

Sega will bring the event "Hidenori Matsubara - February- Exhibition" to Tokyo, Aichi, Osaka, and Fukuoka to promote the release of a paintings book by the Sakura Taisen creator. Matsubara will be available to the public in those venues to sign autographs.

2-1-07 (6:08AM EST)---- Sunadokei To Become TV Drama

Mangaka Ashihara Hinoka's Sunadokei will be adapted to a live action television drama, to broadcast via TBS's "Theater Of Love" starting March 12th. The story deals with a 12 year girl's life after her parents seperate. Karen Miyama stars in the lead role along with Megumi Sato and Ryoko Kobayashi.

2-1-07 (5:42AM EST)---- Leiji Matsumoto Interviewed On Copyrights

Sankei Shimbun has interviewed (their video podcast interview can be seen at the link with the videocamera icon at the the top of the page) mangaka Leiji Matsumoto (Space Battleship Yamato). Also the chairman of the Copyright Board of the Japan Cartoonists Association and the Association of Copyright for Computer Software (ACCS), Matsumoto spoke on his push to have Japan extend copyrights from 50-70 years. "Being safeguarded by the copyright gives great mental relief to those with family and descendants. It drives the creative impulse. " He restated his case that at least 20 years should be tacked on to the existing 50, mentioning some of Osamu Tezuka's first manga works will pass out of Copyright under the existing scheme in only 30 years. He adds most developed nations have adopted the 70 year policy and this is gradually increasing. The veteran creator believes 120 years will become a standard in the future. Matsumoto feels too much attention of the copyright debate is focused on the purely economic side and not enough on the human element of the creator and his or her property. He says he wants to keep drawing for another 20 years.

2-1-07 (4:40AM EST)---- Cookie Drops Rin Yoshii's SWITCH

Following a small online campaign by Japanese netizens who revealed that portions of Rin Yoshii's manga serial SWITCH contained an image copied from a fashion magazine photograph (see our January 24th entry), Mitsuo Umeoka, the editor and chief of Shueisha's Cookie revealed the magazine will cease publication of the work. "This is an action that violates copyright, and I sincerely express my apologies to all affiliates. 'SWITCH' will no longer be carried in our magazine from the April edition, under these circumstances, to all readers who were looking forward to this work, I am indeed sorry." In addtion, similar appropration of imagery was perceived in Yoshii's past manga "Silent Summer Snow" and "Kurabe You Mo Nai Hodo Ni" and these comics will no longer be sold by the company. Finally, the editor affirmed his commitment to readers that Cookie's editorial staff of will make a greater effort in the future to be aware potential copyright violations. A side by side image comparison showing a photograph from the November, 2006 issue of the fashion magazine SWEET and SWITCH, appearing in Shuisha's January, 2007 edition of Cookie was posted online about a week ago. The magazine editor's e-mail address was listed below the photographs, concerened parties were urged to write in their concerns.

2-1-07 (4:08AM EST)---- Worldwide Death Note Anime Licensing Spread

Nippon Television Network Corporation announced on Wednseday that they have wrapped agreements with several international licensees regarding Death Note TV. Plans are to have their Death Note anime TV series release on a worldwide scale, centering on American, Asian and European territories. The live action film has already seen release in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and South Korea. Broadcast, DVD, distribution and merchandising rights have been awarded to VIZ Media in the American and European regions. Television broadcast of the series will come first followed by a DVD release campaign and character merchandising to commence from this spring. A similar market schedule is expected for Europe. In the Asian region (excluding some parts) Taipei based MIGHTY MEDIA CO. LTD will acquire the above mentioned rights, DVD release in Taiwan is expected for January 30th. Total circulation of the manga has exceed 24.5 million copies.

2-1-07 (3:54AM EST)---- Initial-D 4th Stage Carbon DVD-BOX

AVEX announced the 24 episode OAV Initial D 4th Stage will be released in R2 DVD-BOX form on March 24th for 46,200 Yen. The set will come in a carbon fiber style box.

2-1-07 (3:16AM EST)---- Avril Lavigne Develops Manga With Del Ray

Canadian musician Avril is partnering with Del Rey Manga, to publish the 2 volume "Make 5 Wishes," the company's first American manga. The first volume will be released in North America shortly before the second volume of her "The Best Damn Thing" album in July.

2-1-07 (2:54AM EST)---- Gunbuster 2, Honneamise And Enma Coming From Bandai Visual

Bandai Visual USA Inc., a leading innovator in Japanese animation, today announced that they are set to release 3 (three) new anime titles in the U.S starting Spring 2007. The three titles are "Gunbuster 2," "The Wings of Rean" and "Demon Prince Enma."

"Gunbuster 2" Sixteen years after the release of the original "Gunbuster" release in Japan, legendary studio GAINAX returns with an epic sequel! Directed by Kazuya Tsurumaki ("FLCL"), "Gunbuster 2" is the story of country girl Nono's quest to become a Topless, the elite pilots whose Buster Machines protect Sol System from the mysterious space monsters!

Set thousands of years after "Gunbuster," the sequel focuses on a space pilot wannabe named Nono from a lonely snow-bound village. Her efforts lead her to join the elite teenage pilot group called Topless in order to defend the Sol System with their superpowers. Nono aspires to and seeks friendship of ace Topless pilot Lal'C even as Space Monsters encroach upon the Sol System and threaten the existence of mankind.

GUNBUSTER 2 Vol. 1 (of 3) Catalog #: BUDH0105 UPC#: 858604001059

GUNBUSTER 2 Vol. 2 (of 3) Catalog #: BUDH0106 UPC#: 858604001066

GUNBUSTER 2 Vol. 3 (of 3) Catalog #: BUDH0107 UPC#: 858604001073

"The Wings of Rean" The newest work by the famed Gundam creator Yoshiyuki Tomino and a culmination of his personal vision in which he explores the family torn in war set against a sci-fi/fantasy backdrop. DVD will be released in 3 (three) volumes. Each volume will have original 32-page booklets and bonus features including interviews and other extras.

In "The Wings of Rean," Sakomizu, a WWII kamikaze pilot transported to an alternate universe returns to wreak havoc on present day Japan. His daughter Lyucus tries to stop her father from conducting his plot, and eventually falls in love with Aesap, a youth living in present day Iwakuni.

The Wings of Rean Vol. 1 (of 3) Catalog #: BUDH0108 UPC#: 858604001080

The Wings of Rean Vol. 2 (of 3) Catalog #: BUDH0109 UPC#: 858604001097

The Wings of Rean Vol. 3 (of 3) Catalog #: BUDH0110 UPC#: 858604001103

"Demon Prince Enma" An action horror animation series based on a manga created by Go Nagai, a master manga artist who brought classics such as "Devilman," "Mazinger Z," and "Cutey Honey."

Working as a private investigator among humans, prince of demons Enma brings to justice those ghouls that stray into the human world. DVD will be released in 2 (two) volumes. Each volume will have original 16-page booklet and bonus features including interviews.

DEMON PRINCE ENMA Vol. 1 (of 2) Catalog #: BUDH0111 UPC#: 858604001110

DEMON PRINCE ENMAVol. 2 (of 2) Catalog #: BUDH0112 UPC#: 858604001127

Product specs are subject to change. Updates and more information will be available through Bandai Visual's MySpace site www.myspace.com/honneamise as well as on the following official sites: "Gunbuster 2" (www.bandaivisual.us/gunbuster/), "The Wings of Rean" (www.bandaivisual.us/rean/) and "Demon Prince Enma" (www.bandaivisual.us/enma/)

2-1-07 (2:52AM EST)---- Yamato USA Announces New Website

Yamato USA, the North American division of Yamato Co., Ltd. with headquarters in the otaku capital of the world - the Akihabara district of Tokyo, Japan, is proud to announce the launch of its newly enhanced website, including search and online shopping functions, at www.YamatoToysUSA.com. Inaugurating its freshly designed website, Yamato USA is pleased to offer three exciting Yamato USA OnlineShop exclusives from its popular line of TANDEM TWIN ANIMAL GIRLS and CREATORS'LABO, as well as free shipping through February 29, 2007.

1-31-07 (12:00PM EST)---- Shigofumi: Stories Of Last Letter To Be Animated

According to information published in MediaWorks Dengeki Bunko newsletter no. 65 illustrator Poko and writer Amamiya Ryou's light novel Shigofumi: Stories Of Last Letter will be animated. 1 volume has been released to the Japanese market (on January 31st in Japan actually). The second volume is scheduled to follow on March 10th. The anime will feature character concepts by Kuroboshi Kouhaku (Kino no Tabi, Summon Night).

1-31-07 (7:22AM EST)---- Hellsing Ultimate OVA Release Suspended

The Japanese R2 DVD release of Hellsing OVA volume 3 has been suspended by Geneon Entertainment. An update to the official Japanese website broke the news, citing that animation production has fallen behind. The previously announced street date of February 9, 2007 will not be met and at this time a new release date is not yet known. The move could easily affect International release as well, Hellsing Ultimate's American version has closely mirrored the Japanese release pattern. For America, Vol. 2 is expected to hit on 03/31/2007. The first OVA volume also saw a release delay due to production.

1-31-07 (6:59AM EST)---- Yes! Pretty Cure 5 Site Launches

Toei Animation opened their official website for the forthcoming Yes! Pretty Cure 5 TV series. Japanese fans have noted the close resemblence to past bishoujo senshi shows like Sailor Moon.

1-31-07 (5:56AM EST)---- Byosoku 5cm Images

Cinema Today snagged some new pics from Makoto Shinkai's forthcoming film Byosoku 5cm. The images reflect an attention to detail of the highest order paid to renditions of objects and natural settings such as light, wind, sky, plants, etc.

1-31-07 (5:49AM EST)---- Taekwon V Becomes Korea's Most Theatrically Viewed Animation

After opening to the public in South Korea on January 18th, its been revealed 503,326 people have paid to see Robot Taekwon V as of the 30th. This figure surpasses the 500,000 that went to see Blue Seagul, which logged the highest theatrical attendance ever for an animated film produced in the country. 196 screens are showing Taekwon V and more are expected to be added.

1-31-07 (5:17AM EST)---- Tokikake Director Hosoda Speaks

The special "What Do You Express With Media?" lecture, held in conjunction with the Agency for Cultural Affairs Media Arts Festival 10th Anniversary "Power Of Expression Of Japan" innitiative took place in Roppongi January 29th. Tokyo University Professor Yasuki Hamano was the symposium's host, Director Mamoru Hosoda and Tsunetaro Sugiyama of Dentsu spoke as panelists. Hosoda mentioned the high praise Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo has gotten at international film festivals: "A world market has been established without a hint of consideration. Because animation is also seen by children, there is a certain "public responsibility" that one must always consider when developing the work. Even if there are differences and economic discrepancies within a given culture I think people on the whole are the same. Seeing the reactions in various overseas film festivals the sense of "public responsibility" to deliver in a project grows stronger." Tsunetaro Sugiyama said Dentsu's animation promotion techniques have grown more individualistic in recent years to include using Google's Ad Words system which returns ads based on search terms entered into the search engine. Eg has images from the talk.

1-31-07 (4:07AM EST)---- Huge Chinese Television Documentary Series On Japan To Include Anime And Manga

Recent years and months have seen Japanese / Chinese relations warming up. This extends to cultural exchange and interest. Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao will pay an official state visit to Japan in the coming months. This week, China's CCTV has announced they will produce a large documentary series entitled "Let's Correctly Know Japan", broadcast begins there in March of this year. A production team consisting of a reportedly record high number of journalists have been in the island nation collecting material for the 20 episode series. Besides rare interviews with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Japan's anime and manga industries will be a focus of the documentary.

1-31-07 (3:17AM EST)---- Unseen Goddess Episodes To Appear On Final DVD

R2 DVD Volume 8 of Aa! Megami-sama TV series 2 will feature 2 previously unreleased epsiodes (#23-24) when it hits the market on February 23rd.

1-31-07 (3:13AM EST)---- Gurren Lagann Site Preopens

TV Tokyo's official Gurren-Lagann website had its preopening on the 30th.

1-31-07 (2:37AM EST)---- Canada Approves Anime Channel

Digital Home reports In Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2007-41, the Government regulator approved an application from YTV Canada, Inc. for a broadcasting licence to operate a new Category 2 specialty programming called the Anime Channel. The proposal by YTV stated the station would include a minimum of 85% animated and related programming and a maximum 15% information-based programming. The channel would be targeted at adults over the age of 18.

1-31-07 (2:30AM EST)---- Unidentified New Anime Coming Up In Japan

Signs have made themselves known that Geneon Entertainment is sharing a close relationship with Megami Magazine in Japan according to the March issue. Look for a new Geneon anime project to be announced soon based on one of the magazine's serialized manga works. Additionally, Frontier Works is brewing up a new as-yet unidentified new anime which could be revealed in the coming months.

1-31-07 (12:00AM EST)---- Otaku TV Block Hits Brazil - Latin America Next

The block OTACRAZE will premier on Brazilian Play TV in March 5, 2007. OTACRAZE is similar to Cartoon Network's Adult Swim, but its for "open television". Cloverway is the company responsible for the block. Cloverway General Manager Daniel Cataneda said that "we are negotiating OTACRAZE for all of Latin America, but Brazil will be the country where it will premier". He still didn't inform details of block to Latin America and nor channels. The block will air Monday to Friday between 11:30 and 00:30 half hour and one hour on Saturdays at the same time. The series that will be premier are Ranma 1/2, Samurai Champloo, Trigun, and Love Hina. Other series that will follow are Gungrave and Heat Guy J. About name OTACRAZE: "OTA" is derived from Otaku and "CRAZE" from Crazy; meaning "crazy for anime".
Source: http://papodebudega.blogspot.com

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