Anime News Service - January 19-24 Anime News

1-24-07 (11:45PM EST)---- Princess Resurection Anime Staff

The just released March, 2007 edition of Shonen Sirius confirmed rumors (see our January 7th entry) attaching Director Sakoi Masayuki (Strawberry Panic) to the forthcoming anime TV series adaptation of Yasunori Mitsunaga's Kaibutsu Oujo (Princess Resurrection) manga. Other staff inlude: Character Designs: Kazuya Kuroda (Sakura Taisen), Color Scheme: Shuji Uemura, Art Director: Yuka Okamoto, Sound Supervision: Takakuwa Ichi, Music Production: Jinnan Studio, Animation Production: Madhouse. Princess will be voiced by Ayako Kawasumi, Hiro Hiyorimi will be voiced by Oura Fuyuka. Broadcast start on TBS in April, 2007.

1-24-07 (11:17PM EST)---- Correction: Seiyuu Ami Koshimizu Married

On January 13th voice actresses Shinrou Sanpei (Not Yuko Sanpei) and Ami Koshimizu (Tenma Tsukamoto - School Rumble) were married. Their wedding was broadcast on the radio program AniSuper. The 2 knew each other since they were 12 years old time because of belonging to the same theatrical company Wakakusa. Kaori Nazuka who voiced Eureka and worked with Koshimizu gave a word at the ceremony. You can view pics of the on air ceremony here. ANS apologizes for our error.

1-24-07 (10:04PM EST)---- USA Premiere Of Mamoru Oshii's Tachigui

Mamoru Oshii's "Tachigui: The Amazing Lives of the Fast Food Grifters" (original title: Tachiguishi Retsuden) will receive its USA premiere at Film Comment Selects 2007, the film series organized by the Film Society of Lincoln Center from February 14 to 27, 2007 in New York City. Screening schedule:
Date: February 23, 2007 (Fri) Time: 08:30 pm Place: The Walter Reade Theater, 165 West 65th Street, Upper level
Date: February 25, 2007 (Sun) Time: 01:00 pm Place: The Walter Reade Theater, 165 West 65th Street, Upper level (Screening dates may changes. Please refer to Film Comment Selects 2007 official website: www.filmlinc.com) "

1-24-07 (9:11PM EST)---- Plagiarized Image In Switch?

Japanese comic fans online have raised concerns that portions of Rin Yoshii's manga serial SWITCH may contain imagery copied from elsewhere. According to the claims, a photograph from the Nivember, 2006 issue of the fashion magazine SWEET was copied for a serial of SWITCH appearing in Shuisha's January, 2007 edition of Cookie. You can see side by side comparisons here and here.

1-24-07 (8:40PM EST)---- Real Life Skullsuit

In an interesting move to promote the upcoming Skull Man TV anime, a series of photographs have been released to the media depiciting (what we thought were total CG at first) a mocked up real-world Skullman costume. Based on the original 1970 / 1998-2001 Media Factory manga by Shotaro Ishinomori and Kazuhiko Shimamoto, the staff was recently announced: Director: Takeshi Mori, Series Composition: Yutaka Izubuchi, Script: Hiroshi Ohnogi, Seishi Minakami, Music: Shiro Sagisu, Character Designs: Jun Shibata, Animation Director: Jun Shibata, Mechanical Designs: Yoshinori Sayama, Director of Photography: Susumu Fukushi, Conceptual Designs: Yutaka Izubuchi, Design Work: Shingo Takeba, Editing: Kengo Shigemura, Set Design: Masanori Kikuchi, Takuhito Kusanagi, VFX Director: Yasushi Muraki, Production: Skull Man Production Committee (BONES, Geneon Entertainment, Inc., Ishimori Entertainment Inc., Toyokasei Co. Ltd.), Animation Production: BONES. Broadcast is expected in the spring. Tokyopop has the USA manga license has released 7 English language volumes to market.

1-24-07 (7:52PM EST)---- J.C. STAFF On Concerto Gate Animation Sequences

Square Enix and NHN Japan held a massive press conference In Roppongi on the 24th for their new MMORPG Concerto Gate. Beta testing is expected to wrap in April. It was announced J.C. STAFF (Utena) will create animation sequences for the game. Kenji Ito is producing the soundtrack and played the theme on stage on piano. It was also hinted that this work would form the corner stone of a big project with all the elements (anime? manga?) not yet revealed. Square is looking at a domestic release in spring / summer followed by an international rollout.

1-24-07 (7:25PM EST)---- Alcohol Manga Boom In Korea

In recent months South Korea has seen a small popularity explosion relating to Japanese manga that tackle the subjects of wine, cocktails, mixed drinks and bartending practices. The wine focused Kami no Shizuku (Teardrops of God), written by Agi Tadashi and drawn by Okimoto Agi is among the most popular, selling 550,000 copies in Korea (and 950,000 copies in Japan across 9 volumes). The creators are in South Korea this week, doing research for an upcoming series of serials to take place in the country. A production company there is said to have recently bought the rights to create a TV drama based on the work. Cocktail manga is Bartender written by Joh Araki and drawn by Nagamoto Kenji is also said to be extremely popular on the peninsula.

1-24-07 (6:53PM EST)---- Comic Dolphin Cancelled?

Bishoujo / ero manga magazine Comic Dolphin will suspend publication from the March edition to go on sale in Japan on January 22nd. Several magazine mangaka diaries announced the news although it has not been officially confirmed by the publisher Tsukasa Shobo.

1-24-07 (6:45PM EST)---- Death Note's Matsuyama In New Manga Based Drama

Japanese actor Kenichi Matsuyama (L In Death Note Movies) has signed on to the starring role of a NTV drama based on the Sexy Voice And Robo manga. The serial drama will start running at 22:00 on Tuesdays in April. Matsuyama will play the role of a young robot loving otaku with a collection of 15,000 action figures. He dreams to become a spy. In 2002 the original manga by Io Kuroda won the Japan Media Arts Festival Awards Grand Prize. It serialized in Shogakukan's Ikki Magazine but the story was never completed. 2 collected volumes exist on the market. Viz holds the USA license and released the English translation a few years back.

1-24-07 (6:29PM EST)---- Anime To Appear In Hollywood Film Smokin Aces

Adult Source Media has announced several of their best selling adult titles will be prominently featured in the new American major motion picture, Smokin Aces. The dark action comedy, starring Entourage star Jeremy Piven, Ben Affleck, Ray Liotta, Jason Bateman & Andy Garcia is the latest thriller from Narc director Joe Carnahan. "We are absolutely thrilled that a major mainstream studio chose several of our top notch live action adult films, as well as an adult anime classic to be showcased in Smokin Aces", said Wendy Crawford, President of Adult Source Media. The ASM titles featured include: Barrett Blade directed films "Finders Keepers" starring Kerri Sable, "She's Got Mad Skillz", starring Jenaveve Jolie & the Japanese anime classic "Daiakuji".

1-24-07 (5:44AM EST)---- Anime Tunerz Part 2: Osaka

Senka Blog took a camera into the parking lot of the Comic Treasure 9 event, held in Osaka, Japan on January 21st. They captured photographs of many cars and bikes with anime and manga graphic mods.

1-24-07 (4:02AM EST)---- Voice Actresses Used As Character Design Models

Ga-nime and Toei Animation are planning a DVD release in March, 2007 for the animation A day of a girl @TYO. Original conept and character designs by Mikimoto Haruhiko (Macross), Director: Kaneko Atsuji, Cast: Akiyama Nana, Tanaka Rie, Koshimizu Ami. In an unusual move, Mikimoto is basing his character illustration concepts on the above three voice actresses. The story revolves around daily life scenes of girls living in Tokyo.

1-24-07 (4:02AM EST)---- Tokikake Mainichi Film Award Followup

Madhouse notes Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo nabbing the top "Animation Movie Prize" at the 61st Mainichi Film Awards marks the 3rd time one of their works has won with them. At the 58th selection in 2003 Satoshi Kon's Tokyo Godfathers took the "Animation Movie Prize" and in 2002 Kon's Millenium Actress won the special Ofuji Noburo Shou award in the animation division. Kadokawa also made a log entry of the achievement on the animated film's official website.

1-24-07 (4:18AM EST)---- Taekwon V Boxoffice Earnings

Box Office Mojo reports that in its debut weekend opening, the South Korean animation film Robot Taekwon V earned $1,277,847.

1-24-07 (4:02AM EST)---- Video: Tokyopop Feature On JATV

Tokyopop has been profiled in a JATV news story. You can view the video at the above link.

1-24-07 (3:26AM EST)---- Hayate The Combat Butler Series Length

Mangaka Kenjirou Hata had some words on the state of the anime adaptation of his work Hayate the Combat Butler. According to Hata, he's hoping the series length will be longer than 26 episodes.

1-24-07 (2:41AM EST)---- Konami Announces Gurren-Lagann Broadcast Start

Konami, Aniplex and GAINAX are co-producing the animation project Gurren-Lagann. At Konami's Toy Forum 2007 booth in Japan on January 23rd, it was announced the TV series will air at 8:30 on TV Tokyo Channel 12 Sundays weekly beginning April 1st, 2007. Konami, who's producing the toys and merchandise also announced their 20 cm tall "Real Great Model Series" for Lagann. A card game also using action figures was confirmed. Both are expected in the spring.

1-24-07 (3:02AM EST)---- Edo Rocket Manga

The accompanying manga to the forthcoming TV anime adaptation of author Kazuki Nakashima's (Gurren-Lagann) novel will be published in Kodansha's Afternoon Magazine.

1-24-07 (2:41AM EST)---- EVE - New Generation X - Shokai Ban

The latest Installment in the fan favorite Adult EVE videogame series is set to be released in Japan on March 23rd. EVE - New Generation X - Shokai Ban (First Version) for Windows PCs is being produced by TYRELL LAB. The DVD-ROM package will retail at 10,290 Yen. Takashi Hashimoto (Pia Carrot e Youkoso!! - Sayaka no Koi Monogatari) provided character designs, Uchigoshi Koutarou wrote the game's script. The player controls two main characters from past EVE games: the young, careless private investigator Kojiroh (voiced by Wasshoi Taro), and special agent Marina (voiced by Kaze On) who boasts a 99% mission success rate. The "Multisite System" of past games is brought back, players must examine their environments, collecting info on the case at hand and talk to characters. Hentai games studio C's Ware concieved the series as their first stab at doing a non-pornographic game. It became a huge hit. This latest title does contain material suitable for audiences 18 years of age and up.

1-24-07 (1:27AM EST)---- New Sponsor: Collectica.com

ANS wants to welcome Collectica.com as a featured site sponsor. Collectica is a community launched by anime fans for anime fans and collectors. It started out of Chicago in late 2006 and has been growing ever since. It's a lot like MySpace specifically for anime and manga. Upload your collections, share them with current and new friends, chat in forums, get the latest news and con happenings, and use free classifieds to trade your stuff. All at Collectica.com. Please pay them a visit and help support ANS.

1-24-07 (1:11AM EST)---- Ten Nights Of Dream (Yume Juya) Screening Report

Inclding the direction of Yoshitaka Amano (Vampire Hunter D, Final Fantasy), Jissoji Akio (Ultraman, Doomed Megalopolis), Matsuo Suzuki (Otakus In Love) and Shimizu Takashi (Juon, The Grudge), the mixed media format movie Ten Nights Of Dream (Yume Juya) opens nationwide in Japan this Saturday, January 27th. ANS chief editor Jonah Morgan was there for the world premiere screening and stage greeting at The 19th Tokyo International Film Festival and has an exclusive report available for your viewing.

1-23-07 (8:49PM EST)---- Otomo Unveils Mushishi / Talks On Live Action Future

On January 23rd in Shinjuku, Director Katsuhiro Otomo held the stage greeting for his live action work Mushishi. Lead actor Joe Odagiri joined him. You can see some pictures of the shy, reclusive Akira creator speaking at the event courtesy Cinema Leaf. The Japanese theatrical opening is March 24th. On the topic of his delving back into live action in the future, Otomo confirmed he'd be open: "I will want to shoot a movie when there is an occasion."

1-23-07 (5:40PM EST)---- Free Manga Magazine For Girl Otaku Launches

Described in the press release as a "world's first", the LLC Creator's Partner has started publishing a new manga magazine in Japan titled Bourgeon, "by Otaku girls for Otaku girls". The free publication will feature a selection of works from Comi Furi Magazine. Females in their twenties are targeted. Interested parties can vote for the content to end up in the anthology at the official website. Bourgeon was first published in 2005 and announced to go big and regular at Comiket 71 on December 29th. 6 mangaka will eventually see their work in its pages. A web version will also be published. Besides manga, readers can expect interview articles with professionals including writers, seiyuu and singers. Many first edition copies were passed out at Comiket. Print version dimensions are B5 size (257mmx182mm), initial circulation is 30000 copies. In Tokyo you can find the print copies at cosplay events and manga cafes. The editor in chief is Seiakira Katahami.

1-23-07 (5:22PM EST)---- 2006's Most Popular Anime In France

This past summer, French anime magazine Animeland polled 1067 of its readers in a number of areas to rank their top anime releases over 2006. In The DVD Category the ranking was: 1. MONSTER, 2. NARUTO, 3. Samurai Champloo, 4. Count of Monte Cristo, 5. BECK. For best classic series (broadcast before July, 2005): 1. Full Metal Alchemist, 2. Saint Seiya, 3. Cowboy Bebop, 4. Love Hina, 5. Gundam SEED. The top 5 Movies: 1. Final Fantasy AC, 2. Howl's Moving Castle, 3. Princess Mononoke, 4. Spirited Away, 5. My Neighbor Totoro. The top theme songs: 1. Melissa (Full Metal Alchemist), 2. HIT IN THE USA (BECK), 3. Rewrite (Full Metal Alchemist), 4. Pegasus Fantasy (Saint Seiya), 5. Inner Universe (GITS:SAC), 5. Battle Cry (Samurai Champ Loo). The top male character: 1. Edward Elric (Full Metal Alchemist), 2. Ryo (City Hunter), 3. Onizuka Eikichi (GTO), 4. Naruto, 5. Spike Spiegel (Cowboy Bbeop). Top Female Character: 1. Naru Narusegawa (Love Hina), 2. Toru Honda (Fruits Basket), 3. Faye Valentine (Cowboy Bebop), 4. Kusanagi (Ghost in the Shell), 5. Kinomoto Sakura (Card Captor Sakura). In the Noteworthy Work category: 1. BLEACH, 2. Saint Seiya Zodiac, 3. NANA, 4. Full Metal Alchemist Movie, 5. Ergo Proxy

1-23-07 (5:02PM EST)---- Byousoku 5 Centimeter Release In March

Following production wrapping on January 22nd, its been announced Director Makoto Shinkai's Byousoku 5 Centimeter - a chain of short stories about their distance will make its debut to the public in March, details to follow. The anime film compilation of short stories was previously targeted for a spring release.

1-23-07 (2:21AM EST)---- HD-DVD Encryption Cracked

Torrent Freak reports the HD-DVD format has officially been cracked, and high definition content sourced from commercially sold media is now being distributed over the internet.

1-23-07 (1:47AM EST)---- Haruhi Suzumiya Event Ticket Draws $540 At Auction

After selling out its complete run of tickets, an upcoming Haruhi Suzumiya event has seen the same admission passes originally sold for 6,000 Yen apiece, being resold online for as much as 66,000 Yen or $544 US Dollars. The 4 hour event to occur in Saitama, Japan on March 2nd will feature the entire main Drama CD and anime TV Series seiyuu cast including Hirano Aya (Haruhi), Sugita Tomokazu (Kyon), Gotou Yuuko (Mikuru), Chihara Minori (Yuki), Ono Daisuke (Itsuki), Yuki Matsuoka (Tsuruya-san), Aoki Sayaka (Kyon's imouto), and Shiraishi Minoru (Taniguchi). Hirano Aya recently posted a picture of herself practicing God Knows on the guitar to her blog. It's speculated Chihara Minori play guitar live there with her. Yahoo Auctions logged the record bid thus far, similar tickets with less than prime seating are still drawing as much as 30,000 Yen.

1-22-07 (12:15PM EST)---- Victor Seeking Fresh Talent For Anime Heroine Role

Animate reports Victor Entertainment (Gundam SEED, Macross) is holding an open audtion to the public to find a single, unmarried woman aged between being in the first year of junior high school and 25 to appear as the title heroine and themsong performer for a "masterpiece animation" that the company is producing now. Those fitting the description can apply between January 15th and March 31st by filling out a form and sending it in with a demo recording of two songs and two personal photographs. Those with both singing and acting skills are especially sought. www.jvcmusic.co.jp/audition/v3/

1-22-07 (11:42PM EST)---- Satoshi Kon Interviewed On Paprika

Nishi Nippon Shimbun published an interview with Director Satoshi Kon on December 27th. The Paprika Director mentioned that in foreign countries a question he often gets is "Why does Japanese Animation depict science and technology?" He adds nobody dares to pose such a query in Japan and he thought it was interesting. Original novel author Yasutaka Tsutsui saw the anime version and said the dream sequences were done very well. Kon first read Paprika ten years ago just prior to directing Perfect Blue. As for his next project, Kon says he wants to create a different type of animation that children can also enjoy with a science fiction fused with fairy tale theme.

1-22-07 (11:06PM EST)---- Anime Doesn't Make Competition Division At Berlin

22 movie works were officially announced as screening in the competition division at the 57th Berlin International Film Festival. The event kicks off on February 8th in Germany. Not among their number this time around are representatives of Japanese animation. In 2002 Director Hayao Miyazaki's "Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi" (Spirited Away) won the coveted top honors at the festival, The Golden Bear. None the less, anime will be at Berlin, Tekkon Kinkreet Directed by Michael Arias is scheduled to screen in the "Generation 14 Plus" division, intended for younger viewers.

1-22-07 (7:21PM EST)---- Robot Taekwon V South Korean Box Office

The restored South Korean animation film Robot Taekwon V drew in 235,087 spectators over 4 days since the opening in theaters last Thursday. The number of screens showing it in the country are expected to jump from 175 to 216 in coming weeks.

1-22-07 (3:53PM EST)---- Legal Issues Gaining Importance In Contents Industry

Following up on some fairly widespread sentiment (see our November 1st, 2006 entry) we found among Tokyo's anime buisnesses in October, recent events (companies losing money by not getting paid in a timely manner or at all, due on part to lack of knowledge of the language of their own contracts and binding agreements) are prompting legal matters and education to take center stage in the overall national promotion strategy. The contents special investigation committee of the Japanese government proposed on Monday the promotion of fielding and retianing well informed attorneys, highly knowledgeable in international laws and practices related to the entertainment copyright business. Its admitted that inside Japan there not many special attorneys related to the entertainment business and for many companies discussion / negotiations can be difficult. Revision of the copyright law to accomadate new distribution technologies via the internet is also being considered. The findings will make their way into a final report to be issued in June.

1-22-07 (2:53PM EST)---- Myspace Japan Goes Big In 2007

Myspace Japan currently has a total of 6.6 million users. In 2007 the site plans to make a big push and has already done special things such as holding a secret concert for members only in November featuring the British rock band Oasis. Adding celebrity pages is another strategy, one of the big ones recently was the addition of Mika Nakashima.

1-22-07 (2:38PM EST)---- New Anime To Air On Adult Swim

In some TV schedules viewers have noted a a slot preceding Bleach which is titled "New Anime" with a March premiere date.

1-22-07 (2:20PM EST)---- 52nd Shogakukan Manga Prize Winners

Shogakukan has announced the winners of its 52nd Manga Prize. They are: In the Childrens Division: An Nakahara's Kirarin Revolution which has seriaized in Ciao Magazine since 2004 ; In The Boy's Division: Yellow Tanabe's Kekkaishi serialized in Weekly Shonen Sunday since 2004 ; In The Girls Division: 7SEEDS by Yumi Tamura, it has serialized in Flowers since 2002 ; In The General Division: Bengoshi No Kuzu by Iura Hideo, serialized in Big Comic Original and finally the Review Commissioner's Special Prize went to Hoi Choi Production's (Writer Yasuo Baba, illustrations Matsuda Mitsunobu) Kimagure Concept first serialized in Big Comic Spirits Magazine in 1981. The 4 frame comic serial did not feature traditional advertisments but was sponsored by Dentsu, an extremely unusual practice for the time. The setting was an advertising agency office said to be modeled very similar to Dentsu. A collected works books was just released in Japan on January 10, 2007.

1-22-07 (1:47PM EST)---- Death Note: The Last Name Box Office

As of January 15th the live action film Death Note: The Last Name has been seen by 4,156,574 people nationwide in Japan earning, 5,148,939,550 Yen. While still running in theaters, its estimated the final tally for DN2 will be around 5.2 billion Yen. The first movie earned 2.8 billion Yen. The DVD release for the "The Last Name" in Japan is March 14th. A spinoff focusing on the detective Light is scheduled to be released next year.

1-22-07 (12:15PM EST)---- Byousoku 5 Centimeter Production Finished

Production wrapped on Monday, January 22nd for Director Makoto Shinkai's Byousoku 5 Centimeter - a chain of short stories about their distance. The animated shorts compilation is the latest effort from the independent director responsible for Hoshi No Koe (Voices Of A Distant Star) and The Place Promised in Our Early Days. You can view the trailer here. According to an official film blog entry dated 10:59: "I'm sorry to have kept you waiting ..everybody... The last editing work ended a minute ago." A photograph of the production team helped to capture the "moment". The blog goes on to say that although initial production is complete, there is still alot of work yet to be done on packaging the contents for the eventual public delivery and distribution. A spring premiere is expected to occur in Shibuya.

1-22-07 (12:10PM EST)---- Jojo's Bizzare Adventure Phantom Blood Movie Update

The official blog for Jojo's Bizzare Adventure Phantom Blood has some preliminary pictures of the settings for the upcoming anime movie prequel for Jojo's Bizarre Adventure. There are also photos of a promotional card and stone mask key-chain tie-in for the film. The theme song appears to be "Voodoo Kingdom" by "Soul'd Out". Finally, the film is scheduled for a February 17 release in Japan. Big Thanks to Daniel Zelter for this news.

1-22-07 (12:09PM EST)---- Live Action Evangelion In 2009?

While most likely unofficial, IMDB suggests the WETA-produced adaptation of the Gainax mecha series will be ready to go in a couple of years. Thanks to Daniel Zelter for the item.

1-22-07 (2:35AM EST)---- Moyoco Anno Manga Adapted Film To Screen In Berlin

Variety reports "Sakuran," the debut feature by Mika Ninagawa, will make its world premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival, having been selected for an out-of-competition screening, distributor Asmik Ace has announced. The Feb. 9 Berlin screening will preced its Feb. 24 opening in Japan. Based on a manga by Moyoco Anno (wife of Evangelion Director Hideaki Anno), the pic stars Anna Tsuchiya ("Kamikaze Girls") as an oiran (high-class prostitute) in the feudal-era Tokyo red-light district of Yoshiwara. Both Ninagawa and Tsuchiya will travel to Berlin for the screening -- and their first red-carpet appearances at a major international fest. Thanks To Daniel Zelter For The Link

1-22-07 (2:05AM EST)---- Kindaichi Shounen No Jikenbo DVD BOX

Another one of those insanely popular anime in Japan that didn't quite catch the eye of American licensing agents, on Monday, Toei Animation announced its R2 first time ever DVD release for the 148 episode Kindaichi Shounen No Jikenbo (Case Files Of Young Kindaichi) TV series. Scheduled for an April 6th release with a 35,000 Yen pricetag, in the DVD BOX you get 55 episodes on 10 discs. Extras inlcude voice actor / actress commentary. Kindaichi helped establish the "mystery serial" genre of animation similar to Detective Conan. Based on the original by Fumiya Sato and Kanari Yousaburou the anime telecast for 3 years from 1997, spawning crossmedia projects extending to novels and videogames. Over the TV run it maintained an average viewer rating of 14.7%.

1-22-07 (12:24AM EST)---- Video: Taekwon V Movie Opening

KBS has a 12 minute streaming video news report on the theatrical opening of Robot Taekwon V this weekend in South Korea.

1-21-07 (11:53PM EST)---- Robot Taekwon V Statue Unveiled

JoongAngIlbo is hosting a great hi-res pic of a commemorative statue of Robot Taekwon V which was originally first shown at the Seoul Entertainment Center in July. It was recently moved in front of Seoul city hall. It stands 3.5m high and weighs 2.5 metric tons.

1-21-07 (10:07PM EST)---- Korean Yeu Woo Bi Opens This Week

January, 2007 is shaping up to be a pivotal month for South Korean animated film. This past week we had the highly anticipated Takwon V opening in 150 theaters nationwide, it's estimated to break boxoffice records there. Now, this upcoming week on Thursday, January 25th, Sun Woo Entertainment and Lee Sung-Gang's (My Beautiful Girl, Mari) full length animated feature 'Yeu Woo Bi Cubby The Fox' opens there. A family tale featuring a mystical five-tailed foxgirl, with a direction style reminiscent of Hayao Miyazaki, the work was 2004's KOFIC Long-Animation Production Support Recipient. Actress Son Ye-jin voices the lead character, Yeu Woo Bi in the 90 minute romantic fantasy which makes creative use of a combination of 2D and 3D animation techniques. 2.7 billion won ($2.9 million) and three years were spent completing the film. Some in Korea are saying it could be the animated film of the decade. Sunwoo is actively promoting the film rights for international distribution. Innolife is hosting a WM video trailer.

1-21-07 (8:02PM EST)---- Akihabara Turns 140 This Year

The region of otaku and electronics shops down Chudori street and those surrounding Akihabara Station is modernly often referred to as Akihabara although this area of Tokyo is actually part of the Sotokanda, Chiyoda ward. Maps inhdicate the original, true Akihabara lies a little to the north. According to Wikipedia: The area was just out of Sujikai-gomon city gate (present Mansei bridge) which was one of the city gates (Mitsuke) of old Edo (Tokyo) city. It was the gateway from inner Edo city to northern and northwestern Japan and Kan'ei-ji temple in Ueno. Many dealers, craftsmen and relatively lower class samurai lived there. In 1869 A major blaze destroyed the area. It brought about the decision to clear the 30,000 square metres land in order to keep future fires into inner Tokyo city. In 1870 this cleared land saw a small shinto shrine once located in old Edo Castle built. The shrine's name was (chinka-sha, which means "the extinguisher shrine"). But many downtown Tokyo residents misunderstood the shrine. They thought that the deity Akiba or Akiha which was the most popular fire-controlling deity in central and eastern Japan must have been enshrined in it. They also called the cleared land "Akiba ga hara" or "Akibappara" which means "the deity Akiba's square". In 1888 The shrine moved to Matsugaya, near Asakusa. In 1890 an extension of JR rail line (now the Tohoku Line) from Ueno to Akihabara was created.

1-21-07 (1:29PM EST)---- Anime Themes On UNICORN TABLE CD

TenBu Productions proudly announces the US release of UNICORN TABLE'S debut CD: "uncountable" featuring the title theme: "FLY AWAY" from "Jinki:Exted" and songs from "School Rumble" in late February. Exact street date to be announced later. www.unicorntable.com | www.tenbuproductions.com

1-21-07 (3:10AM EST)---- Urasawa Starts 20th Century Boys Final Chapter

After a complete dislocation of his shoulder joint and some rehabilitation, mangaka Naoi Urasawa's 20th Century Boys returned to Big Comic Spirits with the issue released in late December. The creator is beginning "the final chapter" of the work which he started in 1999. The series has been licensed in North America by Viz Media, however, at Urasawa's request, its release has been rescheduled until after Monster finishes its English serialization due to the change in his art style over time. NHK aired a documentary, following the creator's work procedure as part of their "Professional" series on January 18th. Among other things, they established his manga exceeds 100 million copies in print worldwide and that he views himself as a cross between Osamu Tezuka and Bob Dylan.

1-21-07 (2:29AM EST)---- Mushishi & Dororo Live Action Movie Trailers

Quicktime video previews for the live action versions of Mushishi and Dororo are now available at Apple Japan's website. Thanks to Daniel Zelter for the links.

1-20-07 (11:16PM EST)---- Advance Ticket Sales High For Taekwon V

On January 18th the long anticipated restored film version of the South Korean robot animation classic, Taekwon V opened in theaters nationwide there. Advance ticket sales were considerably high in the days leading up to the release, achieving #1 status in many cases as reported by websites dedicated to logging ticket reservations and box-office revenue outlook. 150 theaters will screen it from the opening. 180,000 people flocked to see it just in seoul in 1976.

Debuting in that year, creator / director Cheong-gi Kim's Taekwon V was the first full length animated feature to be released in South Korea. It enjoyed wide commerical success and is seen today as a classic and masterpiece. Original prints of the film were thought to have all but rotted away and vanished. Seven sequels spun off, running through the early 1990's. The work has come to the news forefront in Korea and Japan recently due to a miraculous find a few years ago by the Korean Film Council. What they discovered was an original 35mm reel containing the '76 feature. In September of 2005 the KOFIC announced the completion of a two-year effort to restore the film from various sources, including the newly discovered print. Transferred to digital format and restored by a team of 5000 people, the effort cost a total of one billion won (US$1 million). Employing color correction, reducing grain, erasing the effects of dirt and scratches and providing a new 5.1ch Dolby soundtrack in addition to the restored original soundtrack, the team worked on every one of the film's 108,852 frames, one-by-one. Due to the robot's appearance, criticizms have been made of its resemblence to the Japanese Animation classic mecha anime Mazinger Z.

1-20-07 (10:18PM EST)---- GITS: Solid State Society Fansubs Emerge

Despite a warning (see our August 22nd entry) issued by Bandai Entertainment in August, 2006, ANS has discovered English fansubs of Ghost In The Shell: Solid State Society have appeared online. The North American premiere of the film will occur at New York Comic Con (February 23-25). DVD release is slated for sometime this year.

1-20-07 (5:33PM EST)---- RGB Adventure Cancelled

Channel surfing Japanese BS-i viewers found the following program information card (seen left) for the RGB Adventure anime TV series this weekend: "For the convenience of the production company, continuing broadcasting became impossible. This becomes the final episode of the series. Thank you for watching." The program has broadcast weekly via the satelite channel since November, 2006. In all 7 epsiodes have been broadcast. The episode scheduled to air on the 21st is effectively a recap summarizing the story thus far, such episodes are often inserted becuase of delays or other complications in production. ACC production took capital contributions from the public to produce the series. 18 anonyomous investors contributed funds to amass a total of 360 million Yen to fund the production. An issue arising with investors could have effectively ended the production in this way.

1-20-07 (4:55PM EST)---- GDH And So-Net Announce Tieup

On Friday Gonzo Digimiation Holdings and Sony Communication Network Entertainment (So-Net) have announced a new joint business venture that will involve develoment an deployment a new network entertainment business combining anime, characters and the online gaming. In the capital tie-up So-net acquired 12,569 shares of GDH stock becomig the #2 shareholder in the company. Look for GONZO characters in some future MMORPGs and Postpet creations.

1-20-07 (3:40PM EST)---- JA Zennoh Drops Takao Yaguchi Bag Design

JA Zennoh agricultural company has announced its changing the designs of its bags of Komefukuro grain after 8 years. Since 1999 the design was a manga style illustration based on Takao Yaguchi's Tsurikichi Sanpei series. The company is looking for a new mascot character / design which will be chosen between the end of this month and March. Before it passes into the mists of time you can see an image of the Tsurikichi Sanpei bags at Akita Sakigake Shimpo.

1-20-07 (3:35PM EST)---- Dororo Live Action Movie To Go Worldwide

Based on the Osamu Tezuka 1967 Dororo manga, North American rights to distribute the newly produced live action film starring Actor Kou Shibasaki and Actress Shibasa Hao have been picked up by Universal Pictures. Negotiations for distribution in Britain are almost complete and current plans are to have distribution in 20 countries worldwide. Directed by Shioda Akihiko, "Dororo" is currently planned for 2007 in Toho-affiliated theaters in Japan. Filming was done on location in New Zealand and about 2 billion Yen is being poured into production. The original manga debuted in Shogakukan's Weekly Shonen Sunday in 1967; a 26 episode animated TV series followed, being produced by Mushi Pro in 1969; a Playstation 2 game was developed in 2003. Director Akihiko Shioda in the past received glowing reviews for his work on "Gekkou No Sasayaki" which is based on the comic book by Masahiko Kikuni. The story deals with a samurai who must make a pact with the devil to become a king. In exchange for the devil's help, he offers his own son's life, a boy born with the features of a worm. The child is adopted by a craftsman who reconstructed his eyes and other missing bodyparts in wood. Dororo becomes a skillful fighter and is forced to confront many enemies while reclaiming his 48 missing bodyparts. Legendary HK action choreographer Ching Siutung (Lovers, Hero) will create the fight scenes.

1-20-07 (3:32PM EST)---- Kawasaki City Museum Doraemon Exhibition

IT Media is hosting an excellent photo report on the grand opening of the "Minna No Doraemon Ten" (Everyone's Doraemon Exhibition) which kicks off at the Kawasaki City Museum on January 20th, running through February 25th. Among the 300 items on display are plans are never before seen plans and models for the Fujiko F Fujio Museum and library scheduled to open in Kawasaki in 2010.

1-20-07 (3:08PM EST)---- Comic Gumbo Available Online

Those wishing to checkout the new free manga anothology Comic Gumbo without having to travel to Tokyo and take part intheir massive handout campaign can do so online. On January 19th Softbank's e-booksystems division announced the manga magazine will be made available free of charge on their newly launched portal site Flib. Short for "Flip Book" the portal will host several digital books which can be viewed on their proprietary "FlipViewr" software. Over 300 books and magazines are expected to be hosted there soon. The site is Japanese language only but the navigation is fairly straight forward for international viewers.

1-20-07 (2:20PM EST)---- Shimanaka Publishing Shuts Down

Japanese publishing house Shimanaka has announced putting steps in motion to begin the dissolution of the company as of January 10th. Degrading sales are cited as the reason. Shimanaka was known for printing its "Island Comics Primo" masterpiece series of manga reprints by authors including Shotaro Shotaro Ishinomori, Fujiko F Fujio, Reiji Matstumoto, Monkey Punch, Go Nagai and others.

1-20-07 (2:12PM EST)---- Trailer Roundup

New video trailers are up for: - The Higurashi Matsuri PS2 Game - Moonlight Mile (1st Trailer) - 2 Heart 2 OVA (2nd Trailer) - Strawberry Marshmellow (Promotional Trailer)

1-20-07 (1:52PM EST)---- Paprika American Theatrical Release May 25th

According to the official Sony Classics website, Satoshi Kon's Paprika will see its official "wide" theatrical release on May 25th, 2007 in the United States. The film is rated R.

1-20-07 (12:22AM EST)---- Tokikake & Tekkon Win At Mainichi Film Awards

Winners of the 61st Mainichi Film Awards have been announced. Mamoru Hosoda's Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo took the top "animation movie prize". The Michael Arias directed Tekkon Kinkreet took the special Ofuji Noburo Shou award in the animation division. The awards ceremony will be held on February 6th.

1-19-07 (6:51PM EST)---- GR-Giant Robo Seasons 2-3 Planned

Proving you can sit on a scoop for over 3 months in the anime news world, our exclusive report on the GR-Giant Robo production announcement includes details we obtained from Soft Garage that a 13 episode 2nd TV series is planned for certain in 2008, followed by a possible 3rd season.

1-19-07 (6:36PM EST)---- Exclusive Report: GR-Giant Robo At TIFFCOM 2006

Commemorating the launch of the 1st GR-Giant Robo Animation episode on Friday, we've dug deep into our notes and images from The Tokyo International Film Festival which took place 3 months ago and pieced together a report from the official production symposium. Anime News Service's Jonah Morgan was the only non-Japanese media representative to be invited to the event.

1-19-07 (2:36PM EST)---- GR-Giant Robo Episode 1 Online - Free To World

Prior to the official broadcast, Soft Garage has informed ANS that the first episode of their GR-Giant Robo TV series was been uploaded to SG-TV on January 19th. The site is currently down as of this posting (perhaps a testament to the popularity) but viewers can view it free there until January 31st. You will need to register before viewing. According to SG, although the main audience targeted is Japanese there is a "English Help" section that will tell you the signup procedure which apparantly only requres an email address. Additionally, SG has uploaded their official YouTube trailer. SKYPerfecTV! Ch.160 Perfect Choice will broadcast the series via subscriber satellite TV from Friday, February 9, 2007.

1-19-07 (12:21PM EST)---- Shining Wind Features Allstar Japanese Seiyuu Cast

The website for Sega's upcoming PS2 RPG Shining Wind has gone live. Of note is high popularity of almost every name in the vocal cast: Akira Ishida, Ryutaro Okiayu, Soichiro Hoshi, Nana Mizuki, Noriko Kuwajima, Mishinuke Horie, Ayako Kawasumi, Shiraishi Ryoko, Chiyori Saito, Fushitou Egawa, Nakai Kazuya, Toru Inada, Tsuyoshi Kusao, Midorikawa Hikaru.

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