Anime News Service - January 3-10 Anime News

1-10-07 (11:02PM EST)---- Economic Impact Of Winny On Anime / Manga Estimated

Both the ACCS and JASRAC wrapped up an investigation of illegal file-swapping via the infamous Japanese Winny software. Winny and the game, the business software, and the image software and are the dissemination linguas as a result. The investigation was carried out by scanning network activity for six hours on October 10th, 2006 from 18:00-24:00. Over that period at least 210,000 users were observed and the money estimate of files being swapped was 10 billion Yen. The group found 180,000 anime files being traded, equating 1.72 million Yen and 1.59 million manga files being traded equating 700 million Yen.

1-10-07 (10:43PM EST)---- Tokyo Anime Fair Exhibition Space Sells Out Early

On November 28th The Tokyo Anime Fair executive committee stopped accepting exhibition applications for both the trade fair and Animation Bazaar. The event will be held March 22-25th, 2007. The original deadline for applicants was December 13th but all space had been allocated by late November.

1-10-07 (9:48PM EST)---- Hyakki Yakou Shou Becomes TV Drama

Mangaka Ichiko Ima's shojo horror manga Hyakki Yakou Shou, will be adapted into a TV drama to broadcast via Nippon Television Network in February 2007. The original comic has been serialized since 1995 in Asahi Sonorama's Nemurenu Yoru no Kimyou na Hanashi. Cast and other details are undecided.

1-10-07 (9:37PM EST)---- Taiwan Anime Pirate Goods Conviction

Japanese overseas contents watchdog organization CODA have reported a conviction in taiwan related to a trader in counterfeit toy goods. The trader was prosecuted and B-Legend ~Battle Bidaman pirate goods confiscated in shops located in Taipei and Kaohsiung City in April this year. Conviction came in October, 2006 and the offender was sentenced to three months prison and a 2 year suspended sentence. According to CODA 467 prosecutions in related to pirated Japanese goods were recorded in Taiwan by November, last year. Around 230,000 pirate edition DVD and CD's were confiscated and 550 people were arrested.

1-10-07 (9:06PM EST)---- Pizza Hut Japan Launches Code Geass Campaign

Pizza Hut Japan has kicked off a new promotional campaign with the BIGLOBE / Sunrise TV series anime Code Geass - Lelouch of the Rebellion. Running between January 11th and February 21st, visitors to the above link can obtain a special wallpaper, likewise, every week Pizza Hut Club subscription customers can obtain new presents related to the series.

1-10-07 (8:54PM EST)---- Tohoku Shinsya Loses Sankyo Suit Over Yamato Rights

Legal wranglings surrounding the Space Battleship Yamato franchise continue in Japan. Tohoku-shinsha Film Corporation recently lost a litigation case concerning alleged piracy of Yamato collectors cards, PS2 videogames, pachislot machines and animation videos being sold by Sankyo Corporation. TFC was demanding a cease and dessist on equipment, software production and sales related to 'Dai Yamato' and compensation for damages equalling around 500 million Yen. At the heart of the issue was Sankyo's use of characters from original creator Leiji Matsumoto's recent series Dai Yamato and their resemblence to the original SBY characters, the copyright to which is held by TFC. The judgement came down that ex Yamato producer Yoshinobu Nishizaki who entered into a copyright agreement with TFC for the series did not actually posess the legal rights to the copyright. The decision could further adversely affect TFC and Nishizaki's plans to produce a new Yamato anime film which ANS first reported on in a October 2nd, 2006 news entry.

1-10-07 (7:44PM EST)---- 19 Trillion Yen Japanese Contents Industry By 2015

On December 24th the Japanese government Cabinet Council approved their 2007 contents business promotion budget at 4.8 billion Yen. This represents a 9% budget increase previous year. Additionally a projection was made that the total Japanese contents industry will be a 19 trillion Yen marketplace by 2015. Likewise 3 goals were agreed to: 1. Strengthening of industrial structure by structural reform of contents industry. 2. Start-up in new markets overseas market and broaden exisitng ones. 3. Nurture creative talent.

1-10-07 (6:35PM EST)---- Toki Wo Kakeru Shoujo DVD Announced

Perhaps Japan's most popular anime film in 2006, Toki Wo Kakeru Shoujo has been announced to arrive on R2 DVD for the first time in Japan on April 20th. The regular version will retail at 4,935 Yen and a special limited edition will sale for 10,500 Yen. The sales agency is Kadokawa Shoten Publishing and the distributor is Kadokawa Entertainment. Product specifications other than release date and price are undecided and unannounced at this time. The film was animated by Madhouse, Directed by Mamoru Hosoda (One Piece, Digimon), features character designs by Yoshiyuki Sadamoto (Evangelion) and Art Direction by Nizo Yamamoto (Princess Mononoke). Although starting theatrical life in July, 2006 by screening in only a single theater in Tokyo, word of mouth regarding the high quality of the anime film rapidly spread via word of mouth across the internet and quickly gave the work the dynamic of an underground / cult / grassroots supported breakout hit.

1-10-07 (6:03PM EST)---- HD Cartoon Network Leak

IGN reports on a DirecTV announcement made Monday at CES 2007 that it plans to launch 100 new HD-dedicated channels in the coming year. The news has gained momementum as folks have realized that it prematurely leaked the plans of several networks who had not yet formally announced their own HD networks. Cartoon Network was on the list.

1-10-07 (5:59PM EST)---- Shaylaman On Live Action Avatar: The Last Airbender

The Chicago Sun Times reports on Director M. Night Shyamalan's plans to adapt the Nickelodeon's anime inspired Avatar: The Last Airbender to live action in USA.

1-10-07 (5:49PM EST)---- Gatchaman Gets Director

IGN reports Kevin Munroe, director of the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated feature, has said that he is working on a big-screen adaptation of the anime series Gatchaman next. "We're in the middle of the script right now, and we're doing pre-production -- some early [story] boards," Munroe said. Producer Tom Gray added that the forthcoming film will be more adult than TMNT: "It's going to be PG-13, in CGI. This is the one where we're going to let him do what he wanted to do on Turtles, Gatchaman, because I think it lends itself more to that than the Turtles. [But] we haven't made a deal yet." Kevin Munroe said that he plans to apply the lessons learned on TMNT to Gatchaman. Gray also said that Gatchaman will directly reflect the influences that inspired the animators who worked on TMNT.

1-10-07 (5:49PM EST)---- Viz Licenses Death Note Anime

VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry's most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, has announced that it has licensed from Nippon Television Network Corporation (NTV) the Download to Own (DTO) and Download to Rent (DTR) rights for the United States for the smash hit DEATH NOTE anime series, currently airing in Japan. The deal is significant because it marks the first time a well known Japanese anime property will be made legally available to domestic audiences for download to own while the title still airs on Japanese television. VIZ Media will seek to make the series available to consumers through a number of online providers in order to reach the widest audience possible.

1-10-07 (5:47PM EST)---- Second Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo Season In USA

Toei Animation Inc., has secured their most popular newcomer, Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo for a second season on Cartoon Network. Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo will continue to air during Cartoon Network's popular Toonami programming block. The show's renewal on Cartoon Network follows the announcement of the release of Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo's first season on DVD in Q1 of 2007. The new DVD will contain unedited versions of the show, as well as an original Japanese soundtrack. Illumitoon Entertainment and Westlake Entertainment have jointly acquired North American distribution rights to the anime series.

1-10-07 (5:46PM EST)---- Japanese NPA Looks At "child pornography" Manga

Japan's National Police Agency recently investigated the influence that internet society had on children's healthy development. The report delved into a "high malignancy and anti-sociality" surrounding manga, computer games, and animation that depicts children in a sexual light. It specifies, "In comics, there are some sexual situations with those less than 18 years old and sex with school children etc. is described, too". The agency requested the strengthening of countermeasures which include independent review and sales regulations. Of particular interest to the NPA were bookstore websites where "pornography manga involving children" could be bought rather easily by the general public. The NPA surveyed these sites in November and found about 9,000 adult manga items with an estimated 30% of those being "child pornography".

1-10-07 (6:18AM EST)---- Ghibli Wants Foreign Director / Advances Western Animation

Yahoo Japan reports on Studio Ghibli's announcement Monday that it plans to step up its distribution of western animation in Japan to full scale level. After finding success with Outotori (Le roi et l'oiseau / King And Bird) last year, the studio will release Rusian Director Aleksandr Petrov's (The Old Man And The Sea) new film "Haru No Mezame" in Mitaka on March 17th. Producer Toshio Suzuki said "I want to introduce works of old and new". The studio plans to open a new "Ghibli Special Theater" in Tokyo's Shibuya district also. With Outotori, although starting with a single theater 20,000 people eventually saw the movie. In the summer plans are to release French Director Michel Ocelot's latest work "Azure To Asmar". Suzuki adds "It is the age when any film can be see with video now. However, I want you to see a work that dares to be good and original on a big screen." In the future, there is a plan to produce a Ghibli animation work with a foreign director.

1-10-07 (5:44AM EST)---- Kara No Kyokai Bags Command Premiums At Auction

An update on those Kara No Kyokai illustrated paper shopping bags that were being passed out for free in limited quantities at Comiket 71. The items are now fetching 5,000 Yen apiece on Yahoo Auctions Japan. Other Kara No Kyokai merchandise is also commanding premium prices with the news of the new movie.

1-10-07 (5:35AM EST)---- BlackJack Ni Yoroshiku Manga Spawns Sequel

The sequel manga to Sato Shuho's BlackJack Ni Yoroshiku will be serialized in Shogakukan's Big Comic Spirits from January 22nd. The original comic which ran in Kodansha's Morning from 2002-2005 told the story of an intern and the various problems and contradictions in the medical community. Setting sales record in Japan it went on to be adapted to a widely viewed TV drama and even took the Excellent Prize in "The 6th Agency for Cultural Affairs media art festival manga division". With 13 volumes on the market, over 10 million copies have been sold.

1-10-07 (4:54AM EST)---- Anpanman Museum Opening In Yokohama

It was announced in Japan on Wednesday that the "Anpan Kodomo Myuujiamu " Anpanman Museum will open in Yokohama, Minatomirai on April 20th, 2007. The three story complex will sit adjacent to a shopping mall with 22 stores. The museum is being managed by the "Anpanman Museum Limited Liability Partnership" limited (LLP). The partnership has a stock capital of 1.91 billion yen, and 22 companies are participating.

1-10-07 (4:44AM EST)---- Manga Find Spurs Library Privacy Concerns

A new article in the St. Paul Pioneer Press mentions mother Hillary Swanson was cleaning her 14-year-old son's room when she found several Manga comic books from a series called "DearS." Though Manga is a popular comic book genre, the subject matter is often aimed at young adults. In "DearS," the provocative drawings of women and sexual innuendos in the text worried her, Swanson said, and she wanted to find out if her son had checked them out himself. She called the St. Paul Public Libraries Bookmobile, where she figured her son had found the books, and was told she couldn't get that information. "They were saying they needed to protect people's privacy," Swanson said. "But it's my job to protect my son."

1-10-07 (3:16AM EST)---- Japanese Cosplayer Hosting Service

In Japan just ahead of Comiket 71, cosplay.info launched their free hosting Service for cosplaying fans on December 25th. The company RTV who does web server management setup the service which allows users space to create their own homepages and upload cosplay photo galleries.

1-10-07 (3:04AM EST)---- Gungho To Develop Fist Of The Northstar MMORPG

Hokuto No Ken (Fist of the North Star) will become a large scale online multiplayer video game courtesy Gung Ho Entertainment in Japan. Service begins in the 2nd quarter of 2007. The demographic sought are light users of online gaming and predominately men in the first half of their 30's-40's. The original manga by Tetsuo Hara and Buronson was serialized between 1983-1988 in Shonen Jump. The TV animation followed, telecast from 1984-1987 in Japan. Currently the latest wave of OVA's and anime films is being released.

1-10-07 (2:22AM EST)---- Reiji Matsumoto Museum In Kitakyushu

A Nishi-nippon railroad space adjacent to the "Dai Chachataun" in Kitakyushu shi, Kokurakitaku maybe developed to include a museum to legendary Yamato animator and mangaka Leiji Matsumoto. Redevelopment of district including these facilities is estimated in the several billion Yen range, estimated for completion around 2009. The city in 2006 allocated a budget of five million Yen toward the "Investigation concerning animation culture promotion". Past exhibition of a Maetel doll from area native Matstumoto's Galaxy Express 999 in the nearby Northern Kyushu International Airport was considered highly successful.

1-10-07 (1:40AM EST)---- Scooby Doo Creator Iwao Takamoto Dead

The New York Times reports Japanese artist Iwao Takamoto, creator of Scooby-Doo, and many other cartoon characters, died of a heart attack on Monday in Los Angeles. He was 81. Takamoto learned basic illustration in a Japanese internment camp during World War II from a couple of friendly co-internees.

1-10-07 (1:23AM EST)---- Original Gundam DVD Box Preorders Exceed 120,000

Bandai Visual annonced its planned DVD BOX 1 set release of the original 43 episode 1979-1980 television animation logged over 120,000 reservations as of December 22nd, 2006. The BOX retails at 37,800 Yen. Needless to say, the number elevates the set to the ost reserved BOX merchandise the company has ever sold. The set ships on January 26th and features video excrushiatingly filtered and process, supposedly exceeeding the quality of existing HD remasters. The Gundam franchise represents 20-40% of Bandai's total sales annually. The company first sold Gundam on home video and laserdisc in 1988, total video format shipments (including DVD also) until December, 2006 has exceeded 13 million units. According to Japanese industry standards a DVD is considered a hit if it sellsover 10,000 copies.

1-9-07 (11:02PM EST)---- Comiket 71 Data

Comic Market is Japan's largest regular event in attendance. The 71st gathering drew 120,000 plus participants to Tokyo Big Sight over thre days: December 29th-31st. Additionally around 12,000 manga and dojin circles attended. One of the biggest draws formed to Type Moon and Nitro Plus's booth on the 30th, it's said there was about a three hour waiting line for items related to their joint novel project Fate Zero. Additionally Typemoon's Fate/stay night and Shogakukan's Black Lagoon were hot franchises at the show.

1-9-07 (9:22PM EST)---- Kamichama Karin Animation Decision

Based on the Koge Donbo (DiGi Charat) manga Kamichama Karin will be animated in the form of a television series. The original manga began running in 2003 through Nakayoshi, Tokyopop has te English rights and began releasing their graphic novels in September, 2005. Animation Production will come through studio Satelight (Hellsing OVA, Noein, Sousei no Aquarion, Heat Guy J, Geneshaft), Director will be Annou Takashi (Hotori, Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou, Spirit of Wonder Scientific Boys Club, Miracle Girls, Curse of the Undead Youma, Mahou no Star Magical Emi, Mahou no Yousei Persia), Character Designs by Shinohara Kenji (Galaxy Angelune, RAGNAROK THE ANIMATION) and Series Composition by Kakihara Yuuko (Otogi Juushi Akazukin, Kage Kara Mamoru!). The official animation website is: www.broccoli.co.jp/sp/karin/

AniDB describes the story in the following way:
Kamichama Karin is about a 7th grader named Karin Hanazono. Her parents and beloved cat, Shi-chan recently died, she`s getting horrible grades and is forced to live with her aunt. One day, Karin meets a young, orphaned, 7th grade boy named Kazune Kujyou, and discovers that her mother`s ring has the power to transform her into a goddess. She soon moves in with Kazune and his cousin Himeka. She and Kazune, who has godlike powers of his own, have to fight to protect Karin`s ring and Himeka from the evil intentions of Kirio Karasuma (whom Karin calls Mr. Glasses Man), who is also divine. The trio embark on crazy adventures and go on trips along the way. They also meet new friends and people, such as Micchi, who may know a lot of information not only about the divine transformation of the gods and goddesses, but also about Kazune-kun`s long lost father...

1-9-07 (9:03PM EST)---- Spider Riders Debuts

KIDS' WB has tapped SPIDER RIDERS to make its official series debut on Saturday January 20 at 11:00AM. SPIDER RIDERS sets a new standard in anime entertainment while it also pays homage to Japan's celebrated style of animation. The series gives fans a fresh new look to anime through cutting-edge graphics, valiant characters and exhilarating storylines - resulting in a look and attitude viewers have never seen before.

Coinciding with the official series launch of SPIDER RIDERS on KIDS' WB! is the unveiling of the all-new SPIDER RIDERS website, featuring the introduction of a groundbreaking multi-player online game. Located at www.spiderriders.com, the online destination has already attracted over 700,000 registered game playing visitors and has received over 50 million hits since its introduction last year.

Visually stunning with outstanding stories and multi-dimensional characters, SPIDER RIDERS is gaining widespread recognition for being the first-ever North American-Japanese anime series co-production. The SPIDER RIDERS co-production team includes Cookie Jar Entertainment and leading Japanese advertising agency, Yomiko, together with acclaimed Japanese animation studio, Bee Train. The series is produced under Cookie Jar Entertainment' action-adventure brand Coliseum.

SPIDER RIDERS follows the adventures of 11-year-old Hunter Steele who is suddenly transported into the fantastic subterranean world of Arachna, a land of eternal day where the sun is earth's molten core and waterfalls flow towards the sky. Trapped in this world, Hunter discovers a lost civilization. Struggling to survive and locked in battle with the Invectids - giant humanoid insects determined to wipe out human life - the people of Arachna are fearlessly protected by a group of elite warriors who ride aloft 10-foot tall Battle Spiders - the SPIDER RIDERS. In the city of Arachna, Prince Lumen's royal army defends the people - and Hunter and his spider Shadow are determined to help their cause. The stage is set for an epic battle and quest that follows Hunter, Shadow and their small team of warriors as they hone their skills to win their fight against the evil Invectids. In classic anime style, SPIDER RIDERS focuses on the everyday boy who becomes a great SPIDER RIDER warrior encountering field battles, competition - and gains friends along the way.

1-9-07 (8:55PM EST)---- NHK Documentary Film On Kenji Kamiyama

On January 19th at 22:00 Japanese state sponsored public broadcaster NHK's Ningen Document documentary series will air a special program on Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex Director Kenji Kamiyama. NHK followed Kameyama for one year and two months around Production I.G. The film crew covered the 40 year old director's progress on GITS: SAC. According to Production I.G. the series has sold 1,500,000 DVD's winning awards such as the Agency for Cultural Affairs excellent prize, etc. and logging top ratings on Cable Television in the United States. Among the intertesting features of the program is Kamiyama's sojourn to a mountain "Scenario Training Camp" where he and other attendees would take part in all night 10+ hour creative brainstorming sessions. The show's official title is "Taiwa ga Anime o Tsukuridasu Kantoku Kamiyama Kenji" (Conversation produces animation: Director Kenji Kamiyama). A repeat broadcast will occur on January 23rd at Midnight.

1-9-07 (7:54PM EST)---- Toki Wo Kakeru Shoujo Racks Up More Prizes

Director Mamoru Hosoda, Kadokawa Shoten and Madhouse's film Toki Wo Kakeru Shoujo has been honored by winning the "31st Kai Houchi Eiga Shou" sponsored by the Hochi Shimbun. The award ceremony was held at the Tokyo Prince Hotel and park tower on December 21st. The director was on hand and gave the following upon receiving it: "On behalf of the resourceful staff and cast, I accept such an honored prize, I reward them all as well." In 2006 the anime movie has also won The 10th Agency for Cultural Affairs media art festival and animation division grand prize, the excellent animation work prize of the Japanese Academy Awards and several lesser known best animated motion picture of the year prizes in Japan.

1-9-07 (5:18PM EST)---- Bandai Visual, Microsoft, Memory-Tech To Develop HD DVD Authoring Technology On Freedom, Royal Space Force-The Wings of Honneamise, Patlabor The Movie and Patlabor 2 The Movie

Bandai Visual, Microsoft and Memory-Tech Agree to Collaborate on the Development of HD DVD Authoring Technology for the Release of "Freedom" (a New Anime Title), "Royal Space Force-The Wings of Honneamise", "Patlabor The Movie" and "Patlabor 2 The Movie" as HD DVD Titles. As a result of the project to improve image quality for the latest HD DVD video compression technology with the aim of globally marketing anime software titles, Bandai Visual Co., Ltd., Memory-Tech Corporation and Microsoft Co., Ltd. have agreed to release the following 4(four) HD DVD titles during 2007: "Freedom", a brand new digital OVA series, and feature-length anime movies "Royal Space Force-The Wings of Honneamise", "Patlabor The Movie", and "Patlabor 2 The Movie".

The participation in recent VC-1 image tuning of Bandai Visual, with its strong track record in high-end animation production and packaged DVD sales, has enabled the creation of high picture quality titles. And the three companies are contributing to the building of services that make use of next-generation formats such as HDi. Memory-Tech will handle the service infrastructure for the development of high definition products, and Microsoft will support HD DVD solutions for partners and users. The above 4 titles will be used for:
1) Improvement of image quality with VC-1 video compression technology aimed at the creation of HD DVD products
2) Use of HDi authoring to add value to HD DVDs and develop promotion plans
3) Collaboration on new business models based on HDi network functions, Managed Copy and other functions that combine of packaged media with networks

VC-1 is a video codec specification that has been standardized by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) and implemented by Microsoft as Windows Media Video (WMV)9. Formal standardization of VC-1 represents the culmination of years of technical scrutiny by over 75 companies, leading to a codec that is well-documented, extremely stable, easily licensable, and accepted by the industry.

HDi is a specification of interactivity adopted by HD DVD. It supports various features for great interactivity including high definition graphics with transparency and animation, picture-in-picture, network, etc to create exciting user experience. HDi is based on the open-standard technologies and being used on most of the existing HD DVD titles in the world.

Managed Copy is a part of the AACS specification which is adopted by HD DVD. It is a function which will allow users to make legal copy of the content through authentication process over network. It will bring new user value and business model with great flexibility of supporting multiple formats of the content and business scheme.

Comments of participating companies:

Bandai Visual
"We are excited to be working with Microsoft and Memory-Tech" said Akio Maeda, senior managing director of Bandai Visual. "Bandai Visual has always prided itself on delivering the highest quality home entertainment packages in the anime field. We hope that this opportunity to explore the possibilities of the HD DVD media will enable us to give the best possible value to our customers in the new format."

Microsoft
"In our collaboration with Bandai Visual and Memory-Tech, who are the both industry leaders, we would like to improve the quality of one of the greatest animation works in Japan to the level which meets next-generation's expectation. As broadband infrastructure expands, we believe our collaboration will result in creation of dynamic and attractive media realized thru integration of network interactivity and managed copy technology driven by HDi advancement, in addition to the high picture quality enabled by VC-1." Kazuo Sakai, General Manager, Digital Entertainment Partner Group. Microsoft Co., Ltd

Memory-Tech
"Memory-Tech will work with Bandai Visual and Microsoft to develop a complete one-stop service (encoding, authoring, disc replication and HDi network infra-structure) for creating new HD-era packages with the kind of high picture quality and HDi navigation that is sure to attract consumers." Shinoharu Kawasaki, President & CEO, Memory-Tech Corporation

1-9-07 (5:07PM EST)---- BA Preproduction Could Begin During AVATAR

From AICN courtesy Daniel:
Harry - Now, while your doing the Visual Effects work on this, will you be doing any work on BATTLE ANGEL..
Jim - Probably, Yeah, I'll probably be sliding into PRE on Battle Angel during that time, it's hard for me to know, until I've gone through the process to know what my time management is going to be capable of. You know, if I spend 5 hours a day doing Visual FX, which is probable, that will leave me time to do Battle Angel. If it winds up being 8 hours a day. NO. But I can't answer that for right now. I'm hoping to telescope Pre on Battle Angel into post on Avatar. Which has always been the plan.

1-9-07 (2:05PM EST)---- Cameron Opts For Avatar Over Battle Angel

Variety mentions that the Titanic director will shoot his "dream" project for a 2009 release, making the possibility of a live-action Battle Angel film being released in that same frame unlikely. Thanks to Daniel Zelter for the news.

1-8-07 (7:42PM EST)---- Comic Market 71 Wrapup

Besides the plethora of new anime, manga and other commercial announcements made at Winter Comic Market this year, the event's human element shown through moreso than in past years. The chief reason being the event's founder Yoshihiro Yonezawa had just passed away on October 1st. A special Dojinshi was published and sold there to remember him. It's come to light that the venue creator's death came on the very next day following the first organizational meeting for Comiket 71. The management of the 31 year old event was left in the hands of 3 people: Kahoru Yasuda, Yoshi Fudeya and Koichi Ichikawa. Speaking at Big Site Tokyo over 3 days from December 29th to 31st all agreed Yonezawa was full of life and had the energy of about 3 people. The latest Japanese cosplay trends were also on display there and you can see some collect photo galleries at Hobby Channel here, here, here and here and more at Gamesite Eg here.

1-8-07 (5:50PM EST)---- Prism Ark Animation Announced

Scheduled for telecast in 2007, Pajama Soft's erotic videogame Prism Ark will be adapted to TV animation. Character Designs by Ebata Risa, Production by Media Factory and Prism Ark Production Committee. The February edition of Megami Magazine (on sale as of late last month) contains a scoop and details on the project.

1-8-07 (5:39PM EST)---- Kara No Kyokai Animation Official

On August 8th ANS reported TYPE MOON's first novel Kara No Kyoukai will be adapted to a 26 episode anime TV series. The Nasu Kinoko work preceded "Tsukihime", which gave the Dojin circle super cult status in Japan, catapulting them into a full fledged business and leading to the commercialization of their many properties. While the source of the purported TV conversion came out as an apparant a hoax, plans for animation were not. On December 28th concrete plans were announced to adapt the novel to a full length animated feature film. Ufotable will animate and Production will come through Aniplex. Rakkyo shopping bags were being passed out by Aniplex who promoted the project at their Comiket 71 booth. You can view a video trailer at the above link. The edition of Animage Magazine to go on sale on the 10th of this month will contain a feature article and in-depth information.

1-8-07 (5:10PM EST)---- GP Museum Soft Moves

GP Museum Soft is introducing its "JAM" series of low-priced Hentai animation on DVD. Each disc will retail at 1,890 Yen. Rollout begins March 25th with Kaihou Ku Chikan Harem. The company is also introducing a new "bootleg" and "animan" 'DVD Comics' brands.

1-8-07 (5:05PM EST)---- Rensa Byoutou

Based on the erotic videogame by Selen, Rensa Byoutou will be adapted to adult OVA and go on sale in Japan in the Summer of 2007.

1-8-07 (5:00PM EST)---- Doki Doki Haha Musume Ressun

Based on the Cyberworks hentai videogame, Doki Doki Haha Musume Ressun will be adapted to adult OVA in summer, 2007. Original Story by TinkerBell.

1-8-07 (4:58PM EST)---- Megachu! Animation Decision

Based on the Front Wing erotic videogame Megachu! will be adapted to hentai animation (presumably OVA) and scheduled for release in Summer, 2007. Character Designs by Yoshi Ten.

1-8-07 (4:42PM EST)---- ICE OVA Surfaces

Yasushi Akimoto (6 Angels, Azuki-chan, Nurse Angel Ririka SOS) is heading up a new OVA project in Japan entitled ICE. Rather discretely and without much fanfare details were announced at Comiket 71. Akimoto has in the past written the One Missed Call screenplay for Takashi Miike, he's also a professor at Kyoto University Arts And Design. Ice is a science fiction story where men have been killed off the face of the Earth through a catastrophe and only women survived.

The 3 OAV series is being directed by Kobayashi Makoto who worked on 6 Angels in 2002 and in the past did mecha designs for Gundam Z, Gundam ZZ and 1992's Giant Robo. Covering the character designs post is Masaya Onishi who worked with Studio Pierrot on many productions including Gegege No Kitaro (1985-88), Bleach and Key the Metal Idol. Yasushi Hirano will write the script, he also worked on 6 Angels and in the past wrote the third season of Lupin III and Gundam Zeta. Korean Musician Won Ill will score the original soundtrack. Producer Hiroaki Inoue worked with Tezuka Productions before joining Gainax as a founding member in 1984, he later helped AIC develop the Tenchi Muyo! boom in the early-mid 1990's. P.P.M will produce the Animation on ICE. The first volume hits retail in Japan on May 25th and releases will follow a monthly schedule through July. Seiyuu include Junko Minagawa, Kurumi Mamiya, Otori Yoshino, Akira Ishida, Yuko Oshima, Tomomi Kasai, Natsuki Sato, Masaru Imai and Haruna Ikezawa. A limited anbimation flash trailer exists on the official website: www.project-ice.com. An extended trailer was shown at Comiket 71 and can be seen at You Tube.

1-8-07 (5:26AM EST)---- Hayate No Gotoku! Animation In 2007

Kenjirou Hata's Romantic Comedy manga Hayate No Gotoku! (Hayate The Combat Butler) will be adapted to TV series format according to Shonen Sunday. Details including a possible staff are unclear at this time however. Scheduled broadcast is set for sometime in 2007. A special telephone card promoting the decision was sold at publisher Shogakukan's booth at Winter Comiket. Viz Media has licensed the manga for release in North America, the first English graphic novel volume was released in November. 7 collected volumes exist on the Japanese market. Prior to the official confirmation a few weeks back, The 25th World Hobby Fair had posted information about the move and then imediately deleted it, perhaps leaking word too early.

1-7-07 (8:36PM EST)---- Potemayo To Be Animated

Late last month an official website for the upcoming TV anime adaptation of Ogataya Haruka's (To Heart 2, PINK PARADE ) 4-koma seinen fantasy / comedy manga Potemayo went live at www.potemayo.com. The official announcment came through the January edition of Futabasha's Comic High Magazine which serializes the comic, 1 collected volume exists on the market published under the seinen moe comic imprint Action Comics Moeyon. Back to the anime, Animation production will be through J.C. STAFF with Production by Bandai Visual. Confirmed staff include: Director: Shinichiro Kimura, Series Composition by Yasutomo Yamada, Screenplay by Hideki Shirane, Kazuki Yamanobe, Masaharu Amiya, Yasutomo Yamada, Character Designs by Tsuyoshi Kawada, Art by Studio Easter A major promtional showing was made at Comic Market 71 last weekend. There, a specially setup booth sold miniature figures and comics. Broadcast will occur in 2007.

1-7-07 (8:28PM EST)---- New Haruhi Suzumiya Light Novel To Be Published

Writer Nagaru Tanigawa and Artist Noizi Ito have signed on to produce the long awaited Volume 9 light novel of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. The past print iterations have all served as the basic canonical underpinning of spinoff media such as manga and anime. The formal title and release date is currently unclear. SOS group members distributed solicitation handbills last month hyping the news, look for a big scoop in the March issue of Kadokawa Shoten's Sneaker Magazine.

1-7-07 (8:01PM EST)---- Indian Summer (Koharu Biyori) Anime?

A substantial announcement (possibly anime conversion) regarding Mizuki Takehito's Indian Summer (Koharu Biyori) manga is expected in the April edition of Dengeki Teioh magazine. The issue streets on February 26th.

1-7-07 (7:44PM EST)---- Mushiuta Anime?

A big announcement (possibly regarding an anime or manga adaptation) surrounding Iwai Kyohei and Ruroo's light novel Mushiuta is due in the April, 2007 edition of Kadokawa Shoten's Sneaker.

1-7-07 (7:17PM EST)---- Big Slayers Franchise Announcement Coming

Promo spots for the March, 2007 edition of Gekkan Dragon Magazine indicate a big Kamisaka Hajime feature is planned outlining the future of the Slayers series in print and quite possibly other mediums. The original Slayers story ran in Dragon between 1995-Present. The last Slayers animation was the film Slayers Premium released in Japanese theaters in 2001. In the United States FUNimation has licensed the TV series and it could very well get onto nationwide television there, reviving international interest for new material.

1-7-07 (6:36PM EST)---- Dezaki Wraps Storyboard On Clannad Movie

A journal entry at Osamu Dezaki's (Black Jack, Golgo 13) official fanclub site indicates the prolific director has just completed storyboard work on the Clannad Movie. The animated film based on the Visual Art's/Key game series is being animated by Toei with character designs by Itaru Hinoue. The movie's production was first announced at the 2006 Tokyo Anime Fair in March. Since then, new developments on the project have stagnated, becoming virtually non-existant.

1-7-07 (6:01PM EST)---- Sola Crossmedia Project Announced

Scheduled for broadcast in Spring is the anime TV series tier of a new Crossmedia Seinen / Fantasy project titled Sola. Creator Hisaya Naoki created the work while Nanao Naru concieved the idea for the charcters. Makoto Koga is covering character designs on the anime. Animation Production will come through studio NOMAD. A manga drawn by Abeno Chako will begin running in Januray 20th, 2007 issue of Dengeki Daioh. A Drama CD series and a PS2 game were announced at Comiket 71 and will follow.

1-7-07 (4:45PM EST)---- Kotetsu Zieg Remake

Go Nagai's 1975 mecha manga Kotetsu Zieg will have it's 1976 TV anime adaptation remade sometime in the future. The tentative title for the project is Shin Kotetsu Zieg. The setting will see battles at sea and in space.

1-7-07 (3:19PM EST)---- Cup Noodle Creator Momofuku Ando Dies

On Friday at 6:40 PM Nissin Foods founder and former president Momofuku Ando died of heart attack. Born on March 5th, 1910, he was 96 years old. The Chief mourner will be his wife Masako Ando, the funeral will include only close members of the family. A company-sponsored funeral will also be held at an undetermined date. The man is credited with developing the world's first instant ramen noodle in 1958. Ando was given the title "The Father Of Ramen". In 1970 as fierce competition developed in the Japanese food industry he ordered his employees Kunio Matsumoto and Kazuo Ohnojin to develop the ultimate instant noodle product. Cup Noodle was born and became an international success. The story of the company's struggles on the product (with Ando as the main character) was adapted to the manga "Project X Challengers - Cup Noodle - The Miracle Of 8.2 Billion Served" in 2002 by Tadashi Katoh, NHK and Ohzora Publishing. The single volume work was translated into English and sold in the USA in 2006 by Digital Manga Publishing. Nissin has gone on to become a $3-billion multinational corporation with 29 subsidiaries in 11 countries. Ando is survived by his wife, Masako; two sons; and a daughter. His son Koki Ando is president of Nissin Food Products Co. Ltd.

1-7-07 (12:55AM EST)---- Denno Coil Date

Tokuma Shoten, Madhouse and Director Mitsuo Iso's TV Animation Denno Coil anime will broadcast through NHK sometime in 2007.

1-7-07 (12:41AM EST)---- Sakoi Masayuki Attached To Direct New Anime

Sakoi Masayuki (Strawberry Panic) will direct a new TV series to be animated by Madhouse. The premise will be based on a certain popular Shonen Manga. Broadcast scheduled for this spring. This is series is being rumored Kaibutsu Oujo (Princess Resurrection).

1-7-07 (12:36AM EST)---- Another New Anime From Mizushima Seiji

Dai-Guard and Fullmetal Alchemist Director Mizushima Seiji is said to have another new anime project in the works within 2007 besides the Oh! Edo Rocket TV series being produced by Madhouse.

1-7-07 (12:26AM EST)---- New Kouji Masunari Work

R.O.D. The TV Series and Kamichu Director Kouji Masunari is said to be cooking up a lavish new anime "masterpiece", look for further details soon.

1-7-07 (12:18AM EST)---- Manabu Ono Working On New Series

Transformers Cybertron and Galaxy Force Director Manabu Ono is developing a new original TV series now scheduled to broadcast in the autumn of 2007. Look for a proper announcement in spring.

1-6-07 (11:51PM EST)---- Correction:New Gankutsuou Manga And Maeda Live Action Film

Mahiro Maeda, director of Gankutsuou - The Count of Monte Cristo produced in 2004 by GONZO will direct a new Live Action theatrical film to be released at some point in the future. Production is now progressing on it. A special extra Gankutsuou manga chapter (being created by Maeda) will serialize this winter in the pages of Kodansha'a Afternoon.

1-6-07 (7:48PM EST)---- Tatsuo Sato On Upcoming TV Series

Director Tatsuo Sato's (Gunslinger Girl, Tokyo Tribes 2) name has been connected to an as yet unnamed anime TV series project to air sometime after the summer of 2007.

1-6-07 (7:44PM EST)---- Masahiko Okura's Next Project

Blue Sub No. 6 and Yukikaze Director is said to be developing a new TV series based on "Suu Nin No Onnanoko Tachi Ga, Tagaini Seichou Shi Nagara Issho Ni Tsukuriage Tei Ku".

1-6-07 (6:27PM EST)---- Toward The Terra TV Remake Debuts In Spring

Based on the classic Japanese science fiction manga by Keiko Takemiya To Terra (Terra E) will revive in animation when it begins broadcast in April 2007. The work will be a remake of the 1980 anime film. Staff include Director Osamu Yamazaki, Character Designs by Nobuteru Yuki and Original Mechanical Designs by Yutaka Izubuchi.

1-6-07 (6:19PM EST)---- WB Answer to HD War: A Bi-Compatible Disc

Acording to Playfuls.com Warner Bros has come up with its own solution to the HD disc war. According to media reports, Warner Bros plans to unveil at the Consumer Electronics Show a DVD disc, called Total Hi-Def (Total HD) that would make it possible to play a movie in either a HD DVD player or Blue Ray player. By using reflective films, the inventors say their disc would enable the lasers to read the top layer and "see through" to the lower one if necessary. Additional information also could be stored on the other side of the disc.

1-6-07 (3:40PM EST)---- Yoshitomo Yonetani To Helm Independent OAV

Similar to what we've seen come from Makoto Shinkai and what's been proposed for Be Rockn', word on the street is director Studio Hibari and Yoshitomo Yonetani (Betterman, Gaogaigar, Brigadoon) are looking to become involved in a new independent OAV project. Staff will be virtually non-existant, production will be carried out by a mere handful of people. This can be done becuase almost all of the work is being done in a computer. Original concept, Direction, and Screenplay will all be handled by Yoshimoto, Character Design will be provided by MA@YA, Animation Production proper is being credited to: Studio Hibari CG Team. It's said MA@YA will totally flush out the full range of character expressions and articulation in a 3D program.

1-6-07 (12:47PM EST)---- Unofficial Noir / Madlax Sequel - El-Cazador

Scheduled to begin broadcast in April, 2007 is the El-Cazador anime TV series. Confirmed staff include Dirtector: Koichi Mashimo (Noir, Eat Man, .Hack), Character Designs: Yoko Kikuchi (Noir), Series Composition: Kanemaki Kenichi (Jigoku Shoujo), Music: Yuki Kajiura (Noir, Eat Man, . Hack), Animation Production: Bee Train. Official Site: www.elcazador.tv. The story centers on characters Ellice and bounty hunter Nadi. Following Noir and Madlax, this will be the thrid installment in a series of what Director Koichi Mashimo has referred to as his girls-with-guns genre trilogy. Look for spreads and images in the current crop of anime magazines making their way into Japanese retail outlets this next week.

1-6-07 (12:23PM EST)---- Kishin Taisen Gigantic Formula Mecha Designers

14 legendary mecha designers of Japanese animation have been assembled together to work on the upcoming Kishin Taisen Gigantic Formula TV series. They are: Ikuto Yamashita (India) (Isthar 12), Junya Ishigaki (Great Icarus) (Griffin 6), Kanetake Ebikawa (Roman Italian Republic) (Vulcanus 1), Katsushi Murakami (North America) (Jupiter 2), Kazumi Fujita (Vulcanus 1), Kazutaka Miyatake (Chinese People's Republic) (Xuan Wu Shen #3), Kimitoshi Yamane (Germanic Federation) (Minervas XI), Kunio Okawara (UN) (Chronos 0), Shingo Takeba (Venezuelan Caribbean Republic) (Ceres 4), Shinji Aramaki (Egypt African Arabic Republic) (Nephthys IX), Shoji Kawamori (Eastern European Russian) (Yunowa VIII), Takeshi Takakura (Legitimate Greece) (Chiron the 5th), Yasuhiro Moriki (Japanese Republic) (Susano-o 10-shiki), Yutaka Izubuchi (French Union) (Diane 7).

1-6-07 (11:09AM EST)---- Kiddy Grade Sequel Details

The rollout of K-G.2 (tentatively titled Kiddy Grade 2 although the title Kiddy Generation has also been spotted) will kick off with the release of a Pilot DVD scheduled for sale in Japan at the end of March. Production details are as follows: Original Story: Gimik - Kadokawa Shoten Publishing, Direction, Storyboard, and Production: Keiji Goto, Supervision of Character Designs: Megumi Kadonosono, Composition and Scenario: Hidefumi Kimura, Mechanical Designs: Kanetake Ebikawa, Art: Studio Easter, Animation Production: Aslead, Project Producer: Atsushi Ito, Production Producer: Konori Hiramatsu. Official website: www.kiddygrade.com. Story Open: Foucs on KG1 leads Eclair and Lumiere who were doing special duties as ES members. The war was won and crisis was evaded. The two go on their own way out into the Milky Way. Stage and world outlook are basically unchanged, it's uncertain how many years in advance of the previous work the new story occurs. Two new characters appear and form the basis of K-G.2. "Kufi-yu" and Asuku-ru" become the heroines of this work. Retail on the Pilot DVD is 2,940 Yen and the running time of the main preview is about 7 minutes.

1-5-07 (10:41PM EST)---- Zero No Tsukaima Second Season Confirmed

A second TV series is now official for Zero No Tsukaima. The announcement came simultaneously in late December through a mention on the fourth volume DVD, the first volume of the manga, the tenth volume of the novel, and the latest insert for MF Bunko J. Details are still unclear.

1-5-07 (10:19PM EST)---- Hidero Horibe Game "Muragiri" Cancelled

Interchannel announced on December 27th that a video game being developed at the studio with deceased illustrator Hidero Horibe was to be officially cancelled. Initially development continued on the entirely original Playstation 2 title "Muragiri" after Horibe's June, 2006 death but after much discussion a decision was made to axe the game. A statement to expectant customers from the company reads: "I apologize deeply for putting a large trouble on the customers who expected of Muragiri". An art book containing many of the production designs destiend for the game will be sold in March. Please see our August 5th obit entry regarding the illustrator's lifeworks.

1-5-07 (8:11PM EST)---- Rumors Foretold Mardock Scramble Cancellation

Prior to Gonzo's official announcement in late December, rumors had already hit the Japanese web, speculating production on the Mardock Scramble OVA project may be headed for the rocks. D-Rights Yahoo Blog was among the earlybirds making a brief mention of the possibility in a December 13th entry. Unconfirmed rumors elsewhere indicate a sponsor may have pulled out of the project leaving inadequate funding for the completion. An interview in the July edition of SF Fantasy Magazine indicated production was considerably advanced. Many Japanese observers have mentioned for an anime work of this scale to be cancelled at this stage of development is truly unprecedented and may be even an industry first.

1-5-07 (2:34PM EST)---- Mardock Scramble Production Discontinued

On December 21st GONZO announced the following:

"Apology for "Mardock Scramble" Production Discontinuance - Apology from limited company Gonzo - To our regret, Production on "Mardock Scramble", an Original Video Animation that is under development will be discontinued becuase of various circumstances. To fans and affiliates: it will not be possible to produce the goods. I am very sorry for troubling you. - Representative Junji Fujita

The same apology can now be seen on the official website at mardock.jp. Gonzo first announced the project in February, 2005 by acquiring the rights to the popular cyberpunk genre Japanese science fiction novel by To Ubukata. The author had played a creative role in video game and manga production in the past, most recently in 2004 he worked on Soukyuu no Fafner. Scramble won the Japanese SF Grand Prize in 2003, and has sold 160,000 copies across three volumes in Japan's domestic marketplace. This marked the first time GONZO had planned to adapt the work of a Sci-Fi novel. Another first for this project, all of the characters were to be fully rendered in 3DCG. Scheduled release was planned for the end of 2006. According GONZO, their plans were to create a distinctly Japanese feel with the fully CG production that differs from offerings coming from outside Japan. By the start of 2006 the production had gained serious momentum, GONZO began referring to it as their 15th anniversary project. Talented staff had been assembled such as Director Yasufumi Soejima, Character Designer Range Murata and weapons designer Mahiro Maeda. Likewise, a cast of top shelf voice actors were announced including Hozumi Goda as Doctor, Jouji Nakata as Boiled and Megumi Hayashibara as Ballot. Hayakawa Publishing released the 1st book in the sequel novel series Mardock Velocity in Japan in November, 2006.

1-5-07 (12:42PM EST)---- Worldwide Haruhi Suzumiya Updates

Just before Christmas the official Japanese Haruhi Suzumiya website at www.haruhi.tv was revamped. An official presence was made at Comiket 71 this past weekend, some limited edition goods were sold there. On December 23rd Kadokawa Pictures USA and Bandai Entertainment Inc. announced they will jointly release the TV anime in North America. The announcement was made at the official USA site at www.asosbrigade.com. According to Bandai "Literally tens of thousands of people came to ASOS Brigade.com at midnight on 12/22 and by the time the dust had settled hundreds of thousands of requests were generated to the webserver overnight". Following the announcement, a Myspace page was launched, and in less than 24 hours, the page has ranked among the top 50 viewed pages on Myspace.

1-5-07 (10:45AM EST)---- Job Listing Reveals Princess Resurrection Anime

A now deleted online job listing placed on Japanese portal Goo litteraly spilled the beans on animation adaptaion plans for Yasunori Mitsunaga's manga Kaibutsu Oujo (Princess Resurrection). After being discovered by Japanese fans around the 15th of December, details contained in the employment solicitation by production studio Imagine went viral across the world. Princess Resurrection is the first manga from Shounen Sirius magazine to be animated. One detail in rumors surrounding the listing, that broadcaster NTV will carry the series, has been proven wrong in recent days as it's now official that TBS and BS-i will be the telecasters. After a strong promotinal effort at Winter Comiket TBS launched their official website this week.

1-5-07 (10:40AM EST)---- Ookiku Furikabutte TV Series Announced

Asa Higuchi's seinen baseball manga Ookiku Furikabutte will be adapted to TV animation, debuting next spring in Japan. This month's issue of Animedia Magazine (due out on the 10th) is expected to contain a major article on the new work. Confirmed staff are Director Tsutomu Mizushima, Script Writer Yousuke Kuroda and Character Designer Takahiko Yoshida. Animation Production will come through A-1 Pictures Inc. and TBS will broadcast. The original comic is serialized in Kodansha's Afternoon, 6 collected volumes now exist on the Japanese market. TBS's official website is www.tbs.co.jp/anime/oofuri/ and the official website is www.oofuri.com. Adapting sports genre manga to animation in Japan can often be a dicey affair and when it comes to selling such a production overseas, we're talking a whole other matter but there is quite a bit of hope riding on Ookiku Furikabutte's success. Besides being voted the number one baseball comic of all time in one poll, it also won the Tezuka Cultural Award in May 2006 for showing new possibilities of expression in baseball manga.

1-4-07 (3:07PM EST)---- Domo-kun Products Arrive In USA / Anime To Air In Fall

Fresh from the coasts of Japan, Domo is making his name known in the United States, and his first stop is the popular teen scene and alternative music inspired retail shop, Hot Topic. The widely popular animated character is a hilarious looking, fuzzy brown cave-dweller who became a cultural icon with his first appearance as the Japanese television station NHK's mascot in 1998. Domo's unique look and personality catapulted the character into one of Japan's biggest sensations and helped create a merchandise phenomenon, generating tens of millions of dollars in Japan. Now, not only is Domo a hit in Japan, but in just a few short years Domo has turned into a global internet sensation becoming the poster child for user generated content spawning thousands of fan-made websites and videos.

Now for the first time Domo products are to be sold here in the United States. A trendy Domo t-shirt will hit floors in select Hot Topic stores nationwide on 12/15, retailing at $17.99. This is just the beginning for Domo merchandise and sightings - starting in Fall 07, Domo will have his own series on the hot animation network Nicktoons, so stay tuned - this is a trend icon in the making!

1-4-07 (12:43PM EST)---- IFC Anime Premieres

Gunslinger Girl and Basilisk will debut on the Independent Film Channel on Friday, January 5th, at 11 PM EST.

1-4-07 (12:26PM EST)---- Ikkitousen: Dragon Destiny Trailer Stirs Controversy

The content of a new video trailer (we won't link it here but check your favorite video site) for the forthcoming Ikkitousen: Dragon Destiny TV series is generating alot of attention online in Japan. The uncensored clip features a great deal of nudity. Yuji Shiozaki's original storyline drew a considerable fan following among Japanese otaku for featuring character likenesses of more mainstream anime characters. After spawning a 2003 animation and subsequent scantily clad action figures, a firestorm of controversy was ignited among Chinese critics who lambasted the work for its parody of Romance Of The Three Kingdoms novel. This new work takes the Ecchi, Martial Arts, Bishojo storyline to a whole new level. A censored version preview screened at the production company's Comiket booth this past weekend. Due to Japanese TV regulations, a preseumably edited version will broadcast via Chiba television and other terestrial affiliates upon the debut in April. The full uncensored version may telecast via ATX and will certainly be present on the eventual DVD release.

1-4-07 (9:00AM EST)---- Kaibutsu Oujo (Princess Resurrection) To Be Animated

According to a promotional postcard passed out to attendees of Winter Comiket 71 which just wrapped a few days ago at Big Sight in Tokyo, Yasunori Mitsunaga's (Trafficker) manga Kaibutsu Oujo (Princess Resurrection) will become a TV animation to broadcast via TBS and BS-i in 2007. Imagine will produce the series. The original gothic horror / dark comedy / heavy moe themed comic serializes in Kodansha's Shounen Sirius Magazine. Del Rey acquired the manga for USA / English release in November. 3 collected volumes now exist on the market in Japan. The story centers on the character of school boy Hiro Hiyorimi who is struck by a car in an accident. Unbeknownst to him, his life is saved by a princess of darkness who feeds him her blood immediately after the inncident. After sharing blood a second time, he's pulled into a covenant of servitude to the gothic mistress.

1-4-07 (7:55AM EST)---- eigoMANGA To Speak During Macworld 2007 Week

The Apple Store in San Francisco will feature special events during Macworld 2007 week. eigoMANGA's CEO, Austin Osueke is scheduled to deliver a presentation on Wednesday, January 10, at Noon (PST). He and his team will be introducing their latest publishing and media projects from eigoMANGA. Using Mac computers, the San Francisco-based company is able to seamlessly produce Japanese-styled comics and animations for print, video, and the web. A complete schedule of Apple Store events during MacWorld Week available at http://www.apple.com/retail/sanfrancisco/

1-3-07 (1:33PM EST)---- Naruto DS Game America Bound

Nintendo DS owners will finally have a NARUTO game to call their own. TOMY Corporation and D3Publisher of America, Inc. (D3PA) today announced the upcoming release of NARUTO: Ninja Council 3 for the Nintendo DS. Anticipated to ship in Spring 2007, NARUTO: Ninja Council 3 is based on episodes from VIZ Media's hit anime series SHONEN JUMP NARUTO and will feature mission-based gameplay for up to four players. The ninja action game utilizes an interchangeable attack system allowing players to combine attack techniques from all available characters in the mission to increase their chance of success.

"In 2006, NARUTO was a significant brand for TOMY and our expectation for 2007 is that we will continue to grow the brand with NARUTO: Ninja Council 3 and other titles for Nintendo systems," said Mark Shinohara, executive vice president, TOMY Corporation. "TOMY is very proud to bring the action, characters and story of NARUTO to the Nintendo DS." "The new interchangeable attack system and the ability to choose from over 20 playable characters are a first in hand-held NARUTO games," said Careen Yapp, vice president of licensing and business development, D3PA. "We feel very strongly that this game will appeal to both the fans of NARUTO and DS gamers that enjoy action games."

Using the new interchangeable attack system, players select a main character to complete the mission and then customize their attack scheme by selecting special techniques from other available characters increasing their chance of success by combining the best techniques for the mission. Players can activate special attacks using the Nintendo DS stylus on the touch screen or by blowing into the microphone. Just like a true ninja, in NARUTO: Ninja Council 3, players will have to protect, defend or defeat as they train hard to perfect their skills in order to progress through the ranks in over 40 missions ranging in difficulty from moderate to challenging. Up to four players (wireless) can choose from over 20 different characters with four different playing modes including Timed Mode, Scroll Collection Mode and Head-to-Head Versus Mode.

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