Posts in Category: archived news

Anime News Service – January 11-18 Anime News

1-18-07 (9:18PM EST)—- Chiaki Kuriyama Digs Otaku Culture

In a Goo Movie article dated January 19th Japanese actress Chiaki Kuriyama (GoGo Yubari In Kill Bill) confessed commuting in Akihabara. The admission was made in front of 400 students at a commemoration talk show event for her latest movie held at Rikkyo St. Paul’s University in Tokyo on the 18th. When Kuriyama was asked by an otaku schoolboy, “Do you like manga?” she replied that she loved anime and manga and going to Akihabara manga cafes.

1-18-07 (6:47PM EST)—- Manga Author Ken Ishikawa Dead

Getta Robo creator and longtime Go Nagai student / collaborator Ken Ishikawa died of heart failure at 22:00 on Wednesday, November 15th. He was 58 years old. His current manga Comic Ran Twins had just appeared on the market on 11/13. In a November 16th internet diary entry, his friend and fellow mangaka Takachiho Haruka (Dirty Pair, Crusher Joe) says he first learned of Ishikawa’s death around 6 pm that day when he got an email from someone who asked if had heard the news. He of course hadn’t and phoned Go Nagai at 20:00 and got his answering machine. Nagai returned the call at 21:00 confirming the news and saying Ishikawa collapsed at his seat at a dinner banquet, after playing several rounds of golf. He was immediately given first aid, an ambulence was called and rushed him to the hospital but not in time to save his life. Examiners were hard pressed to explain his rather sudden death after looking at his body which did exhibit the traditional traits of heart disease, he had no prior warning signs or symptoms. Takachiho Haruka himself mentions having sat down to begin writing after the conversation but his head didn’t work at all and he was shaking considerably in light of the news. The creator’s wake was held the following Monday and his funeral, on Tuesday.

1-18-07 (5:45PM EST)—- Sahaquiel XX Figure Release

Hobby firm Wave has been continuing their unusual Apostles alternatives Shito XX Evangelion figure series with No.2 A-10 Sahaquiel XX. The the figure’s appearance is supposed to be shaped by how Ayamani Rei would have looked in her childhood. The PVC figure is 14-centimeters tall. The Prototype was crafted by Creation Group OWL and GAINAX. The concept image was created by Yoshizaki Minesya. Strett release date is the end of January.

1-18-07 (5:30PM EST)—- Evangelion Noh

On December 23rd, 2006, Gainax released a clip on their website of “Nou Mai Evangelion” combining their highly popular anime, Neon Genesis Evangelion and Japanese Noh theater. The main character was mixture of a traditional dancer and Eva Unito 01. The only performance occured at the noh music temple in saitama prefecture in Koshigayashi on December 17th. The theatrical event was part a series art projects commisioned by GAINAX called “EVA AT WORK“. The studio entrusted artists in various fields to make EVA a theme. The list includes Japanese style painters and tattoo artists. Additionally you can view the Noh clip at You Tube here and other Eva At Work examples here.

1-18-07 (5:09PM EST)—- Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro To Be Animated

Yusei Matsui’s Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro (Private Evil-Eye Nougami Neuro) will be animated in the form of a TV series. The supernatural detective story serializes in Weekly Shonen Jump. Beginning its run in February, 2005 8 collected volumes now exist on the market. A Drama CD was released on November 6, 2006 starring Takehito Koyasu as Neuro and Kana Ueda as Yako. Possibly seiyuu carryovers and other details are not available at this time. uragi. Yako Katsuragi’s father was murdered in a locked room. The mystery plunges Yako’s life into chaos until she meets a man named Neuro Nougami.

1-18-07 (4:43PM EST)—- Mr. FullSwing To Be Animated

Shinya Suzuki’s baseball themed manga Mr. FullSwing will be adapted to an animated TV series at some point in the near future. The manga is published by Shueisha. The news comes via TV spots airing in Japan.

1-18-07 (12:11PM EST)—- Winter TV Anime Season 2007 Class Picture

You can view a photographic collage, collecting screen grabs from 27 of the 28 anime and sentai related programs to begin running on Japanese television between January and March 2007 at this link.

1-18-07 (11:13AM EST)—- Kei Toume Art Exhibition

Mangka Kei Toume (Kurogane) will have her 3rd “Fuyu E Ten” (Picture in Winter) original art exhibiton hosted by Aoyama’s GOFA (Gallery Of Fantastic Art) from Saturday, February 24, 2007 – Sunday, March 11. 11:00-18:00. Admission fee is 500 Yen.

1-18-07 (11:13AM EST)—- Naoki Urasawa Defines Professionalism

For NHK’s Professional spotlight, 20th Century Boys, Monster mangka Naoki Urasawa gave his definition of a professional: “There must be a deadline. Isn’t it a person who can make their best effort by a deadline?”

1-18-07 (11:06AM EST)—- Mini Tezuka Manga

Sega Toys will make a limited release of their “Minikomi Tezuka Osamu Manga Zenshuu”. The miniature manga volumes 4.45×3.65 centimeters in size. A 200 volume series set (including Kimba, Ribbon Knight, etc.) will be sold in Japan for 73,500 yen on January 27th. 400 volumes in total are planned.

1-18-07 (10:39AM EST)—- Goshou Aoyama Manga Factory Opens In March

The Goshou Aoyama Manga Factory or Aoyama Tsuyoshi Akira Furusato Kan showcasing the works of the popular Great Detective Conan author opens in Tottori Prefecture, Kitasakae-cho on March 18th. The move is part of a construction initiative to make various landmarks in “Conan’s Hometown”. A number of tourism related efforts have also been efforts have also been carried out. The new facility will be divided into 6 zones including a cafeteria, show room of cartoon, anime and manga museum and shop. The city wants to bring 130,000 people into the pavillion in the fist year.

1-18-07 (10:00AM EST)—- Sylvanian Families 3DCG Japanese Animation

Nippon Columbia, ITOCHU Corporation, Epoch and Shogakukan will participate in the “Sylvanian Families” 3DCG animation production committee. The toy series has reached

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

Anime News Service – December 5 – January 2 Anime News

12-16-06 (5:41AM EST)—- Production I.G. USA Sends Season’s Greetings

We found the following warm message featuring a new pic I.G.’s forthcoming REIDEEN in our inbox Friday evening and would like to share it with all of you:

12-15-06 (3:10AM EST)—- Busou Renkin PS2 Website Live

Marvelous Interactive has launched an official presite for the forthcoming PS2 game based on the Nobuhiro Watsuki manga Busou Renkin.

12-14-06 (12:20AM EST)—- Neko Ramen To Be Animated

According to Mag Garden, Sonishi Kenji’s Neko Ramen manga will be adapted to TV animation. Look for expanded details in the Comic Blade Masamune Winter which goes on sale in Japan on December 15th.

12-11-06 (11:15PM EST)—- Tohan: Gin Tamashii Is 2006’s Top Selling Novel

Japanese publishing industry watcher Tohan has declared the best-selling new novel in Japan for the period between December, 2005 and November, 2006) as “Gin Tamashii 3 Nen Z Gumi Gin Hachi Sensei”. Transcribed by Oosaki Tomohito, the novel is an adaptation of the popular Sorachi Eiaki / Shueisha manga. In third place is the Katsura Hoshino manga based D Greyman: Reverse (2) novel written by Kizaki Kaya.

12-11-06 (10:52PM EST)—- One Piece Movie 8 Site Opens

On Sunday in Japan the official web presence for the 8th One Piece anime movie, One Piece: Episode of Alabasta (Episodo obu Arabasuta Sabaku no Oujo to Kaizoku-tachi), went live at The plot is said to take place during the Alabasta arc of the TV series and manga. According to Toei Animation, viewers may leave the theater in tears. Original story by Eiichiro Oda, Director: Takahiro Imamura. Production by the 2007 One Piece Production Committee composed of Toei Animation, Shueisha, Fuji Television, and Bandai. Theatrical release is set for March 3, 2007.

12-11-06 (9:50PM EST)—- Winter Anime TV Season Dialed In

Excluding one shot specials and movies, 27 new anime series are set to debut on Japanese television between January and March 2007. This period is unofficially known as the winter anime TV season. Oddly enough, the figure is lower than this year’s winter or summer manifests. A big push seems to be gearing up for the springtime however, with a possible 70+ (or more) new series in the works.

12-10-06 (1:52AM EST)—- Paprika Music Could Be Up For Oscar

On Friday the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science announced 56 songs are eligible for consideration in the Original Song Oscar category for this year’s 79th Academy Awards. Among them was an entry from Satoshi Kon / Sony / Madhouse’s anime film Paprika. The ending theme “The girl in Byakkoya – White Tiger Field” will be screened and judged along with the 55 others on January 16th,2007. Academy members will the vote on 3-5 final nominees. Nominations will be announced on January 23rd. The awards themselves will be presented on February 25th.

12-10-06 (1:10AM EST)—- Mayumi Kurata’s Company Withholds Income

According to the Tokyo Tax Administration Bureau, it has been uncovered that Mangaka Mayumi Kurata’s production company (Yuu) Tamakura has withheld accounting for about 18 million Yen worth of income over a period of 3 years. There also seems to be some question on how many actual people have worked for the company although 60 employees are listed for the period. A heavy penalty tax of about six million Yen has been applied and will have to be payed back to the bureau. Kurata is best known for her work Damen’s Walker which features a series of stories based on women’s real and varried relationship experiences with men. The manga was recently made into a TV drama starring Norika Fujiwara.

12-8-06 (4:25PM EST)—- Masako Nozawa Quote On Modern Seiyuu

70 year old Japanese voice actress veteran Masako Nozawa recently gave an interview to the Yomiuri Shimbun. She’s known for a wide range of roles including Kitaro in Gegege no Kitaro and Tetsuro in Galaxy Express 999. Among her quotes in the piece is this one:”(Voice actors these days) Young people today are aiming at animation from the beginning unlike me who originally wanted to do dramatic performances on the stage. I think there seems to be a lack of depth expressed [by up and coming seiyuu], could it stem from either a lack of interest in reading the script or not studying it beforehand?

12-8-06 (3:39PM EST)—- North Korea Major Animation Industry Player?

Radio free Asia takes look at the region’s almost unknown quality in the article: North Korea Quietly Emerges as Major Player in Animation Industry.

12-8-06 (5:47AM EST)—- New TMS Studio Nears Completion

TMS Entertainment, the company behind the Lupin III anime, is building a new 396 square meter, 600 million Yen animation studio in Nakano, Tokyo with a planned completion date of February, 2007. Anime-wise, in 2005 TMS produced 11 television series works, 3 TV special works, and 5 theaterical works. The company headquarters is located in Shinjuku, Tokyo. Although TMS stands for Tokyo Movie Shinsa, the company only this year moved its corporate headquarters from Nagoya to Japan’s largest city.

12-8-06 (5:09AM EST)—- Gundam Pocky On Store Shelves Next Week

Bandai and Glico have teamed up to offer 3 different “Pocky Gunpla Packs” combining the popular plastic model and bestselling snack brands of both companies in one box. Sale begins in Japan December 11th. Bandai has sold Gundam models for 26 years and Glico has sold Pocky for 41 years. Interestingly, men in ones 20’s-30’s are chief buyers of gunpla and women are the top buyers of the chocolate covered pretzel sticks. Bandai slips out in its release that gunpla has sold 380 million units worldwide as of September, 2006. A special box and corresponding 1/144 model will be sold with a different variety of Pocky. The thinnest type “extra fine Pocky” will be combined in a package with the traditional RX-78 Gundam, “Men’s Pocky” will be sold with the Zaku MS and “Pocky Chocolate” will be matched up with Char’s custom Zaku. Each model can grip the Pocky sticks in their hands and exclusive stickers will be included in each set.

12-8-06 (4:59AM EST)—- Battle Of Wits Opens In Hong Kong At #1

Battle Of Wits

Special Report: Tokyo Project Gathering In-Depth: Be Rockin’

DOWNLOAD: Be Rockin’ English Windows Media Video Trailer

By Jonah Morgan

ANON PICTURES’ production plan for Be Rockin’ represented one of 3 surefire anime projects shown off at Tokyo Project Gathering 2006. The showings were held on Oct 22nd from 14:00 at the Auditorium in Roppongi Hills Mori Tower on the 49th Floor. In order, it was the 5th shown. ANON was seeking possible investment and distribution partners at the event. The fully digital musical animation will be produced in TV series format with a planned 26 30 minute episode run. Projected budget is 2.5 million US Dollars. Sales Point: “We know a faint remaining scent of 1960’s. – That is called the golden age of rock – , though we were not born yet. The age had neither information nor things from now, but a piece of music which came from the sea made our mind rich. Be Rockin’ puts something that is forgotten in our daily life ; such as wonderful magic, passion, love and peace on the spirit of rock, and it shouts to us. Will you regain not empty not empty realism but “rich visions” – “to believe from your heart” – once again? If you do it, you are sure to find a way to ‘tomorrow’ that we long for.” Director: To Be Announced, Producer: Tadashi Matsuyama, Original Story: Tadashi Matsuyama, Screenplay: Masayuki Oiwa.

Story Summary is as follows: He was happy whenever he had a guitar. Shun was an ordinary guitarist, the type who was likely to be found anywhere. He worked for a business company when he was 27 years old, but he still couldn’t give up his dream to be a musician. One day he came across a mysterious woman, Kyoko, who proposed to form a new band and get him out of his current situation. Behind her back there was an expert guitarist, Terada, whom Shun respected. He admired Shun’s undeveloped and hidden talent. Shun’s mind was wavering between Kyoko with the great talent which he could not resist and his girlfriend Kaori who felt uneasy. All 3’s feelings and relationships soon got complicated and fell at the mercy of the huge vibration of rock. Is Rock Alive Or Dead?

As with all the presentations, attendees were treated to a short trailer first off. Deep themes of a pure rock & roll story make themselves evident from the start. The 40 years between 2007 and 1967’s Haight-Ashbury district / Francisco “Summer Of Love” pilgrimage is drawn in the opening statement. The animation is immediately recognizable as fully digital: 3D polygons cell shaded and colored in a way as to make them look similar to traditional 2D anime. The music itself seems integral to the overall plot, a wide variety of sounds from the different acts and elements of a love triangle are evident. Shun’s struggle from amateur guitarist to actually finding his own unique “sound” are made known to viewers. The trailer ends with a bizarre cliffhanger. Kyoko makes a reference to wanting to start over and then collapses on stage (as the background transforms to a wash of psychedelic colors) to the shock of onlookers.

The lights went up, like with most of the presentations I couldn’t gauge much of a crowd reaction to this project, everyone there seemed pretty stoney faced, indifferent and business oriented. Producer Tadashi Matsuyama took the podium and gave a short statement in Japanese. I arranged a private meeting with him on Wednesday, October 25th at TIFFCOM. We hit it off pretty well from the start, he asked if I was a musician because of the long hair. Indeed, long hair can tell you a lot about a person’s lifestyle and help you establish a rapport with likeminded individuals (regardless of nationality) pretty quickly, and as it turned out, we both had long hair and shared a very special place in our heart for music. Tadashi made his passion and enthusiasm for music very clear to me, he’s a guitarist himself today and supposedly one of the most knowledgeable music experts working in the Japan’s budding CG industry.

The musical elements in Be Rockin’ are obviously sourced by the eye a true rock and roller. The series subtitle reads “Dedicated To Woman Tone”. Woman Tone is a term known to any experienced rock & roll guitarist, used to refer a distinct sound pioneered in the mid-late 1960’s by Eric Clapton. I asked about the extreme detail in the guitars the characters used. Matsuyama told me they are based on real models created by Japan’s #1 guitar manufacturer Tokai. For the series, ANON acquired the actual rights to use the likenesses of some of the maker’s models. Shun, the male lead appears to play a NLS70F VF. Some of Japan’s top up and coming rock talent will participate in the soundtrack including Aisa, the rise 4 surprise, Dr. K and Fuzzy Control. The trailer also shows the sillouette of a mystery “Japanese Famous Charismatic Guitarist” who has accepted to participate. We’ll end the mystery and tell you who he is: legendary Japanese Rock guitarist Hisato “Char” Takenaka. For a possible American release I was told the Japanese musicians may be substituted with well known US bands. I mentioned the growing popularity of Japanese music among American fans and told him they should consider keeping the Japanese acts in and giving it a shot.

Moving on to the animation’s technical side, only 10 people will make up the total staff on the Be Rockin’ project. This is in comparison to the 40 or 50 people you’d commonly find on an average contemporary anime TV series. This can be done in part because of the full 3DCG digital nature of the production. The plot will be a fairly mature one featuring older characters (in their late / mid 20’s) than your typical anime. In closing,

Anime News Service – November 10 – December 4 Anime News

12-4-06 (10:13PM EST)—- A-I-R Animation Team Tackles Short

Shirogumi who worked on the movie version of A-I-R has created a 3 part short work, “Poppura” for USEN and TLIP’s 3DCG and VFX focused “Original Short Animation Theater” which went up in November.

12-4-06 (2:47PM EST)—- Wachowski / Silver Dream Team Helm Speed Racer

According to the Hollywood Reporter: After years of idling, the big-screen, live-action version of “Speed Racer” is ready to zoom, this time with Larry and Andy Wachowski behind the wheel. The Wachowski brothers are writing and will direct the movie, which will be produced by Joel Silver. The movie will be the duo’s first directorial outing since completing the Silver-produced “Matrix” series in 2003. They are reuniting with several of the creative behind-the-scenes talent from the “Matrix” films, including executive producer Grant Hill and visual effects supervisor John Gaeta, who won an Oscar for his work on “The Matrix.” Based on the classic 1960s series created by anime pioneer Tatsuo Yoshida that later was retooled for North The plan is for the Wachowskis to shoot in summer 2007 for a summer 2008 release. Courtenay Valenti is overseeing for the studio. “Speed” will be a Warner Bros. Pictures presentation, in association with Village Roadshow Pictures, of a Silver Pictures production.

12-4-06 (2:11PM EST)—- Tokikake Gets Nominated For Japan SF Grand Prize

The annual Japan SF Grand Prize (Nihon SF Taisho) has seleceted Mamaoru Hosoda and Madhouse’s theatrical animation Toki Wo Kakeru Shoujo as one of five grand prize candidate works for the 2006 selection. Tokikake is the only animation nominated. Founded in 1980 this marks the 27th year for the awards. Original author Yasutaka Tsutsui took the 13th prize in 1992 with his work “Gaspar In The Morning”.

12-4-06 (1:44PM EST)—- Mokke TV Series

Takatoshi Kumakura’s Mokke manga will become an animated TV series to broadcast on Tokyo MX in 2007. Look for details in the next issue of Afternoon which serializes the manga.

12-4-06 (1:20PM EST)—- USA Howl’s Moving Castle Box Office Final

According to JETRO Howl’s Moving Castle earned 4.21 million dollars during its 2005 theatrical run in the United States.

12-4-06 (11:52AM EST)—- Kid Suspends Business / Declares Bankruptcy

Kid, developers of such fan favorite video game software as Ever 17 and Memories Off has suspended business on November 30 and declared voluntary bankruptcy in Tokyo District Court on December 1st. Liabilities are estimated at around 530 million Yen. Kid Game was established in 1988 and cranked out new titles at a frequency of one per month in 2006. Games on the table with uncertain futures include the highly anticipated 12RIVEN.

11-28-06 (2:37AM EST)—- Ikkitousen: Dragon Destiny To Be Animated

One page adverts making the rounds in Japanese magazines have spilled the beans on a new Ikkitousen: Dragon Destiny TV animation. Broadcast is set through AT-X from the end of February, 2007. Terrestrial broadcast will follow in the spring. An official website has launched concurrent with the start of the publishing campaign: Confirmed staff on the anime include: Original Story by Yuji Shiozaki, Direction by Koichi Ohata, Screenplay by Takao Yoshioka and Character Designs / Chief Animation Direction by Rin Shin. Animation Production by Arms, Production by Genco and Ikkitousen DD Partners. Confirmed cast include: Masumi Asano – Hakufu Sonsaku, Eri Kitamura – Myousai Kakuen, Hajime Iijima – Gakushuu, Hitomi Nabatame – Unchou Kan’u, Kei Shindou – Gentoku Ryuubi, Kenta Miyake – Narrator, Kikuko Inoue – Goei, Kouji Yusa – Genpou Saji, Mai Kadowaki – Koumei Shokatsuryou, Minori Chihara – Ekitoku Chouhi, Satoshi Hino – Koukin Shuuyu, Shiho Kawaragi – Bunwa Kaku, Shuuhei Sakaguchi – Genjou Kakouton, Susumu Akagi – Moutoku Sousou, Takayuki Fujimoto – Houkou Kakuka, Yuko Kaida – Shimei Ryomou, Yuu Asakawa – Shiryuu Chouun.

11-28-06 (2:23AM EST)—- New Pretty Cure TV Series Broadcast Decision

Toei Animation’s “Yes! Precure 5” anime TV series will debut via Asahi Broadcasting Corporation in the spring of 2007. 2 official wesbsites are now open: |

11-23-06 (4:41AM EST)—- Death Note Movie 2 Grosses 26 Million Dollars

Leading the Japanese Boxoffice for 3 weeks on the trot, Death Note 2: The Last Name has grossed $26,166,109 in theaters as of November 19th. Source: Box Office Mojo

11-21-06 (11:23PM EST)—- Big Names On New 2007 Toei Animation Works

Among Toei Animation’s upcoming projects for 2007 are Tori No Uta (Bird’s Song), A day of a girl @TYO and Eko Eko Azaraku. For Tori No Uta Yoshitaka Amano will create the script, storyboards as well as direct. Eko Eko Azaraku is of course based on the seminal horror manga by Shinichi Koga. The story was adapted to live action film in 1995. Koga will return to draft a scrip and storyboards for this new version, Directing will be Nagae Toshikazu (Ghost System). Look for the above 2 works in January. Due in March A day of a girl @TYO will be based on the original story by Hayashi Seiichi. Mikimoto Haruhiko (Macross) will do storyboards and character designs. Toei has partnered with ga-anime to produce these works with a new animation style in mind.

11-21-06 (9:23PM EST)—- Ichigo Marshmallow OVA Staff

Staff details for Ichigo Marshmallow have been released: Direction and Composition by Takuya Sato, Character Design by Sakai Kyuta, Scenario by Takuya Sato, Music by Watanabe Gou, Music Production by Music Brains, Animation Production by Doumu, Production by Ichigo Marshmallow OVA Partners.

11-21-06 (7:29PM EST)—- New Saiunkoku Monogatari Series Coming

Headed for NHK broadcast in Japan in April, 2007, Saiunkoku Monogatari will get a second series. The anime is based on the light novel by Sai Yukino and Kairi Yura published under the shoujo/josei light novel label Beans Bunko. The story is set in a nation similar to feudal China. The original aired in the 9:00 slot on NHK-BS2 on Saturday’s weekly.

11-21-06 (6:19PM EST)—- School Days Animation Still On Track

Based on the 2005 hentai videogame by 0verflow, School Days is headed to an anime TV series adaptation in 2007. Confirmed staff on the project includes: Director: Aoki Ei,

Exclusive Screening Report: Ten Nights Of Dream (Yume Juya) At TIFF 2006

By Jonah Morgan

After being the first English Language media to report (see our October 25th entry) Souseki Natsume’s novel Ten Nights Of Dream (Yume Juya) ( would be adapted to film back in 2005, catching the world premiere screening while attending the 19th Tokyo International Film Festival in October, 2006 was very high on my list of priorities.
This movie had simply not gotten 1/10th the attention I thought it deserved in the mainstream international entertainment press or even our own circle of anime and manga media. On the whole this has held true until this very writing 3 months later. In the interim, the theatrical opening in Japan has been planned for January, 27th, 2007. Its my hope that after it actually gets out into theaters where masses can see it, its notoriety will quickly grow. Ten Nights’ emergence should be highly significant to followers of Japanese Popular Culture, you need look no further than the panoply of eclectic crossmedia talent which has been assembled to be involved in the project.

Directors include: Jissoji Akio (Doomed Megalopolis, Ultraman), Ichikawa Kon (Harp Of Burma, The Maki Sisters, Dora-Heita), Shimizu Takashi (Juon, Grudge), Shimizu Atsushi (Snake Woman), Toyoshima Keisuke (Shin Mimi-Bukuro), Matsuo Suzuki (Otaku’s In Love), Amano Yoshitaka (Vampire Hunter D, Final Fantasy), Kawahara Shimmei (Andoromedia VFX Creator), Yamashita Nobuhiro (Linda, Linda, Linda, Ramblers), Nishikawa Miwa (Sway, Wild Berried), Yamaguchi Yudai (Battlefield Stadium). Actors and actresses include: Kyoko Koizumi (Choushojo Reiko, Onmyouji), Koji Yamamoto, UJIKI Tsuyoshi, ICHIKAWA Mikako, ABE Sadao, FUJIOKA Hiroshi, OGAWA Tamaki, Pierre TAKI, ISHIZAKA Koji, Kenichi Matsuyama (Death Note), Matsuo Suzuki (Night Head, Gensou Midnight, Koisuru Youchuu).

Producer Nikkatsu’s official writeup summary for the TIFF program book describes the film in the following way:“A hundred years ago Soseki Natsume challenged us all by saying “I am an ambitious man who wants the people of 100 years hence to solve my riddle” (Quoted from a letter to Sohei Morita on 22nd October 1906.) The resulting omnibus film “YUMEJUYA” brings forth an amazing labyrinth of entertainment brought to life by a selection of Japan’s greatest living directors of film. Their bold interpretations imaginative presentation and fantastic visuals actually solve Soseki’s century old riddle and present their audience with a beautiful world of immortal fantasy as so keenly depicted in Soseki’s masterpiece “Ten Nights of Dream.”

What really drew my attention going in was the fact that some of the 110 minute film’s 10 segments would use different techniques including silent film, black and white color and 2d+3DCG animation. Yoshitaka Amano and Simmei Kawahara jointly produced the most powerful of these in an utterly mind blowing example surrealistic animation. The version of Ten Nights screened at TIFF was qualified as the TIFF Special Version, this was because there were only 9 segments presented. The 3rd Night segment directed by Takashi Shimizu (Juon) was still in production at the time and would make it into the final cut. A number of the featurettes had been shot the year before in 2005.

The screening was held in the smaller Toho Roppongi Hills theater 7, to a capacity crowd. I actually noticed a few gaijin had strayed in to see this one. TIFF listed this movie as being in its Special Screenings section. Before the start though, an official stage greeting took place. 7 men and a woman filed onto the platform in front of the large movie screen. Sadly, Nobuhiro Yamashita, Akio Jissoji, Kon Ichikawa and Yoshitaka Amano were the only directors of the 11 who worked on the project not to appear here. 90 year old Ichikawa’s reason was because he was handling something at the festival related to his remade Murder Of The Inugami Clan (which also was showing there). Sadly, Jissoji’s reason was because of health and he ended up dying about a month later on November 26th, 2006 of stomach cancer.

The moderator welcomed everyone and even made a comment about the large number of tickets sold for the showing. He added the riddle posed by the original author 100 years ago would be answered tonight. Each director was asked to give comments on their respective segment and the original author’s fiction. Takashi Shimizu of Grudge fame said he had read the book along time ago and personally wanted to do an adaptation the 3rd night story. Simmei Kawahara who co-directed the 7th night story with Yoshitaka Amano said the original plot was able to transferred fairly easy to animation.

The movie itself is wonderful, and a truly powerful assembly of so many different types of Japanese storytelling. An underground sleeper… cult classic in the making…. although mostly live action, manga and anime fans around the world will really get into this one when given the chance. You can view the original trailer in Windows Media format here and the second more revealing trailer at Internet TVMovie Guide here.

Exclusive Report: GR-Giant Robo At TIFFCOM 2006

By Jonah Morgan

After publishing (see our October 10th, 2006 entry) details Soft Garage was going to hold their major production announcement event for the new GR-Giant Robo TV Animation during TIFFCOM at the 19th Tokyo International Film Festival, the company’s booth was one of the first on my list to visit. The visual entertainment tradeshow opened its doors on Monday, October 23rd, 2006, occuring on the 49th floor of the Mori Tower in Roppogi.SG’s cubicle was richly decorated with various art, exclusively dedicated to the new GR release. An LCD video monitor tied to a DVD player was looping the first episode which I was told, had recently just been completed. High quality canvas prints, posters, alloy figures, papercraft busts and other merchandise examples were on display. I was greeted by international representative, Mr. Tatsuro Saito and project executive director, Mr. Ren Usami who had previously been the executive producer on Initial D: 4th Stage. Being invited to sit down, I took a seat at a small table inside the booth.
Usami-san explained his deep desire to have the new series positively received in countries around the world. It was with this goal in mind that the idea of international distribution and consumption was built into the promotional activities from the conception. This extended to their unusually rare all English web presence (posted before even the official announcement) and a beautifully illustrated all English pamphlet being handed out (to mostly licensing agents from around the world) at the show. Breaking further with traditional Japanese animation TV series rollout plans, SG would tease viewers with a freely available first episode in January, followed by a more traditional Pay Per View satellite broadcast via Animax in February. (Since October, the sat-broadcaster has changed to SKYPerfecTV! Ch.160 Perfect Choice, broadcast start is slated for Friday, February 9, 2007.) Advertisements for the R2 DVD would follow in April.
Another important factor of the production is that on the occasion of the 40th anniversary, preserving Mr. Yokoyama Mitsuteru’s 1967 original manga vision while presenting it in a package facilitated by modern animation production techniques and storytelling methods. Yokoyama first said that he wanted to see a new Giant Robo anime 8 years ago and began laying the foundation for this start-up project at that time. He unfortunately died on April 15th, 2004. “How does a person’s mind change when the ultimate power of GR is obtained?” is a main theme. I reassured them that the existing fanbase for Giant Robo in the English speaking world would more than adequate to facilitate financial success there where the series is widely regarded as an anime classic. Saito-san added the initial number of episodes planned in the first series are 13. A second season of 13 episodes is already being planned and scheduled for a 2008 broadcast. A third season may be produced as well. I was handed a numbered oversized postcard-like invitation for their production symposium to be held the following day.
Because of the Tekkon Kinkreet screening, the next day I was about 40 minutes late for the event which was being held in a small presentation room in the Mori Tower. The sheer number of greeters (more than 10) male and female, all wearing 3 piece suits posted up along both sides of the hall leading up to the door was unreal. I proceeded through a human tunnel of Japanese verbal greetings and deep bows. A shock to me, I was told the event had not even started yet. Handing in my numbered invitation, rather shamefully I was forced to wonder a) if this because they were specifically waiting for all invitations (ie: ME since I ended up handing in the last one) to start or b) if, similar to the film screenings, they usually would wait 30 minutes to begin something like this.
Taking a look around the presentation room, it was filled to overcapacity, there were about 100 people here seated and lining both walls leading up to a central stage and projection screen. Glancing about I realized something else too, I was the only non-Japanese person here. Not more than 5 minutes after taking a seat a file of people took the stage. Among them were Soft Garage Representative Takumi Ogawa, Director Masahiko Murata, Opening Theme “Answer” performer Rockwell, Ending Theme (entirely in English) “it was yesterday” performer Youna, and several members of the voice cast: Daisuke Namikawa and Romi Paku.

Mr. Ogawa took the stage saying “This project is single-mindedly focused on preserving Mr. Yokoyama’s Original Story. The staff is united behind the goal of making this series a success.” Masahiko Murata followed by saying: “Everyone in the staff is a fan of the original manga.” About halfway into the presentation 2 well known members of the American anime industry bumbled their way into the room, indicating possible licensing interests.
After a few more statements and posing for press pictures, the first episode was screened in its entirety. The story opens with alot of action. GR-2 is being barraged on air and land by military forces. The focus switches to the Japanese island of Yonaguni near Okinawa. Main characters Daisaku Kusama and Alex Mckenzie are established. Their relationship reminds me of Shinji and Misato’s in Evangelion. Daisaku goes diving at some of the supposed manmade ruins off Yonaguni and finds his way into a chamber containing Giant Robo (aka: GR-1). The episode ends with a lot drama as Giant Robo reveals himself to the outside world and UNISOM forces. 3DCG and SFX integration is quite good, as is the musical soundtrack. Definitely a series I will be highly anticipating to see more of!

Anime News Service – October 18 – November 9 Anime News

11-9-06 (7:00AM EDT)—- Madhouse To Animate Maple Story

Japan’s Madhouse animation studio will take charge of creating an animated adaptation of Nexon Japan’s popular online MMORPG Maple Story. The online game first beta tested in Japan in August 2003 and today claims 1.4 million memberships there, mostly made up of those in their teens. The free, 2D, side-scrolling MMORPG boasts several versions of the game available for specific countries or regions and an estimated 50 million players have participated in all of its versions to date. No further details are available although Nexon Japan does mention they hope to telecast the animation in each country where the game is available in the future.

11-9-06 (6:11AM EDT)—- Paprika FYC Image

Oscar Watch currently hosts a FYC image ad created for Sony Pictures Classics’ release for Paprika. The film currently contends for a possible nod for an Best Animated Feature Oscar. Huge Thanks To Daniel Zelter for the news item.

11-9-06 (5:49AM EDT)—- Additional Reideen Details

Unrelayed details in the official English press release for the new Reideen anime are:
Production I.G. mentions Karasuma Tasuku with illustrate a manga based on Tohokushinsha’s original story. It will be published in Kadokawa’s Monthly Shonen Ace from the January issue, to be released in Japan November 25th.
Tohokushinsha in their unique release mention the original REIDEEN aired via 50 episodes from April 4 1975 – March 26, 1976 on what is now TV Asahi.

11-9-06 (5:39AM EDT)—- Production I.G. Announces New REIDEEN For 2007

Production I.G and Tohokushinsha Film Corporation are teaming to produce a new animated TV series entitled Reideen, inspired by the TV classic “Reideen The Brave” (Yusha Reideen). When aired in Japan in 1975, “Reideen The Brave” undoubtedly represented a turning point in the history of super robot animation, and a few years later, director Yoshiyuki Tomino and character designer Yoshikazu Yasuhiko became the creative duo behind the success of “Mobile Suit Gundam”. While inheriting the DNA of “Reideen The Brave”, the new TV series is not going to be a mere “re-make”, but rather a true “re-birth” of its glorious forebear, featuring lavishly detailed mechanical designs by Atsushi Takeuchi (“IGPX”, “Innocence”) and Shinji Aramaki (“Appleseed”), stylish character design by Takuya Saito (“Sakura Wars: The Movie”) and visually stunning 3D animation created with the know-how that made “IGPX”a milestone in computer-generated animation. The music score is entrusted to Yoshihiro Ike, the composer of “Blood: The Last Vampire”. Coming up in spring 2007, Reideen will be directed by Mitsuru Hongo (“IGPX”, “Outlaw Star”). More information coming soon!

official website (Japanese only)
Production I.G official English website

Director: Mitsuru Hongo
Assistant Director: Shunsuke Tada
Story Supervisors: Mitsuru Hongo, Masahiro Yokotani
Character Design: Takuya Saito
Mechanical Designers: Atsushi Takeuchi, Shinji Aramaki
Music: Yoshihiro Ike
Sound Director: Masafumi Mima
Animation Production: Production I.G

11-9-06 (5:14AM EDT)—- Seto No Hanayome To Be Animated

According to a promo image circulated by Square Enix and info published in the December, 2006 issue of Monthly Gangan WING, Kimura Tahiko’s shounen manga Seto no Hanayome will be animated. 10 tankobon volumes are currently in release in Japan. The manga remains unlicensed in America. Courtesy Anime Waves, the comedy / romance plot focuses on male lead Nagasumi who visits his grandmother near the sea during the summer. While visiting, he goes for a swim, and drowns right after entering the water. Fortunately for him he is saved by a young mermaid. Later as he tells the story to his family, a young girl named San appears at his home and begs Nagasumi to marry her. She’s followed by two large thugs and they take both him and his parents to San’s home under the sea. If that wasn’t strange enough, it turns out San’s parents are mob bosses. Nagasumi is left with the choice of either death or marrying San. He chooses to marry a mermaid. This would likely be that, except San’s father and some members of the mob are not exactly thrilled to have Nagasumi courting San and are determined to bring an end to their relationship–or him. And there is also the matter of keeping it a secret that San is a mermaid.

11-7-06 (10:50PM EDT)—- Hidamari Sketch TV Series Go!

The current issue of Houbunsha’s Manga Time Carat Magazine features one of the first animation screen grabs of Hidamari Sketch TV sereies. Additionally, the cover mentions a TBS premiere in Januray, 2007. The story is based on the manga by Ume Aoki. Cast has been solidified as follows: Kana Asumi: Yuno, Kaori Mizuhashi: Miyako, Ryoko Shintani: Sae, Yuko Goto: Hiro, Miyu Matsuki: Yoshinoya-sensei. The second book volume based on Hidamri Sketch releases in Japan in December.

11-7-06 (10:24PM EDT)—- Dyogrammaton OAV Volume 1 Release

Based on the Clockup adventure game with original concept by Shinozu Katsuto, Dyogrammaton OVA ACT-1 is scheduled to go on sale December 15, 2006.

11-7-06 (9:43PM EDT)—- New Game From Ever 17 Supervisor

Sometime in 2007 Yeti is expected to release the love advanture game Myself;Yourself for PS2. Original concept / direction and production is being handled by Takumi Nakazawa (Ever 17). Character Design and Art Supervision by Sasaki Mutsumi (Happy Lesson), Scenario by Asaginu Nakano , art by Akino Shin, Masahisa Ito and others, title song and music production by Chiyomaru Shikura, development by Regista. The plot involves young men and women who fall in love in a school setting, the heroes being two people. Hirameki first released Nakazawa’s Ever17 Visual Novel Suspense game in English in Fall 2005. From that time the creator has gained a small cult following in America and beyond.

11-7-06 (7:25PM EDT)—- Website Roundup

– The Kyoshiro Sora TV anime has been given a 2007 broadcast timeframe.
Purple Software has released an extremely high quality anime trailer for it’s new PC adventure game Primitive Link.

Anime News Service – October 9-17 Anime News

10-17-06 (4:48AM EDT)—- Warren Ellis Writing Anime Inspired Castlevania

Dark Horizons linked a news item at Film Junk which indicates Transmetropolitan author Warren Ellis will be writing the script for a direct-to-video Castlevania animation film. Of note is the following section of the article: …chairman and CEO of Panacea Entertainment Eric Gardner, had this to say: I think there will be anime elements of it, but it’s going to be more hints of anime as opposed to traditional, full-blown anime – we’re hoping it has a very distinctive, unique style that’s instantly recognizable as what will become the animated Castlevania brand.
A big thanks to Daniel Zelter for the above news.

10-16-06 (5:14AM EDT)—- Takehiko Inoue Plans Instructional Video / BBall Scholarship

IT Planning mentions that one of his upcoming projects is an instructional drawing guide for home video, which is tentatively scheduled for an 11/28 release. He also intends to start a basketball scholarship for Japanese players. Thanks To Daniel Zelter for the news items.

10-16-06 (12:59AM EDT)—- Grudge 2 Tops US Box Office Weekend

Friday the 13th proved to be an ideal launch date for “The Grudge 2,” as Sony Pictures’ horror sequel scared up an estimated $22 million over the weekend to lead the movie industry at the box office. The picture opened at the low end of expectations and grossed 44 percent less than its predecessor from two years ago, “The Grudge,” based on Sunday’s studio estimates.
Source: The Los Angeles Times

10-15-06 (7:25PM EDT)—- Grudge 2 Opens In 3000 US Theaters This Weekend

Directed by Takashi Shimizu the Sony Pictures Hollywood sequel to 2004’s The Grudge has opened this weekend in more than 3000 movie theaters across the USA. The horror film comes just in time for the Halloween season where movie goers usually seek a bit of a scare. The first film, based on the Japanese original The Juon became a smash hit in America, bringing more than 110 million dollars at the boxoffice. Look for a few Japanese celebrity cameos including Misako Uno of the music group AAA. Grudge 2 will open in Japan in 2007. In recent years Japanese horror films have become an increasingly popular pop culture export joining anime, manga, video games and J-music. Their appeal demonstratably crosses over and overlaps with audiences of these other products as well.

10-15-06 (6:51PM EDT)—- Kyocera: Overseas E-Manga Sales At 200 Million Yen In 2 Years

Japanese company KCCS recently started their business plan rollout to distribute manga digitally overseas. With a heavy initial focus on the Asian market Kyocera aims at sales of 200 million Yen in 2 years. A Chinese Language website established in Singapre will be followed by web presences in Taiwan and Hong Kong in the near future. Their delivery model currently uses encrypted net delivered content which can be read in a propriatary single purpose browser. 30 works are being offered now and will be increased to about 50 works within the year. The price is said to be about equivalent with that of manga sold in book stores in Singapore.

10-15-06 (6:16PM EDT)—- Dai Aku Tsukasa Hentai Controversy In Spain

After a short run nationally on Spanish televison, Green Bunny’s hentai anime OVA Dai Aku Tsukasa has generated a bit of national controversy in the European nation. This has culminated in a discontinuance of the anime’s future broadcast following a wide array of media attention on the nature of the content, which some say shows child character pornography and adult characters having sex with children characters. The origin of the affair apparantly started in several critical Spanish blogs after the initial broadcast on September 24. Conservative viewer groups immediately jumped on the bandwagon and began to voice their disapproval to the network and maintream media until eventually newspapers and later televison caught wind of the story. Despite the fact of disclaimers being aired beforehand on the adult nature of the content and the midinight timeslot, a weight of negative viewer responses has ended the anime’s chances for future broadcast.

10-15-06 (5:25PM EDT)—- 1,000 New Animation Frames Added To Haruhi DVD’s

In an October 14th entry to Kyoto Animation’s restarted Haruhi Suzumiya production diary some info on the added scenes and props in the DVD was mentioned. At the bottom of the page the diary entry states over 1,000 pieces or frames have been inserted into the existing animation for the DVD release of the original TV series. On August 27th ANS first reported on new scenes and props showing up on the Japanese release R2 DVD’s.

10-15-06 (5:09PM EDT)—- Captain Tsubasa Mangaka Stars In Toyota CM

46 year old Yoichi Takahashi, creator of the worldwide hit Captain Tsubasa manga will star in a new TV comerical spot for Toyota Motor in Japan. The artist and storyteller becomes the latest celebrity to be part of an ad campaign Toyota launched in April. Past stars in the commercial series include American actor Leonardo DiCaprio. Anime and Manga luminaries promoting Japanese automobiles is nothing new, a few years back Evangelion animation director Hideaki Anno starred in a spot for Nissan.

10-15-06 (3:19PM EDT)—- Tokikake Wins Best Animated Film Award At Sitges

Winner results are out from the Festival Internacional de Cinema de Catalunya 2006. More commonly known as Sitges (for the name of the city it’s held in), the Spanish film festival has been held 39 times as of this year. It occured October 6-15th. The big news for anime fans, Director Mamoru Hosoda, Kadokawa and Studio Madhouse’s Toki Wo Kakeru Shoujo (Tokikake) has taken the ANIMA’T Gertie Award for Best Animated Film. Screening under the title THE GIRL WHO LEAPT THROUGH TIME (which seems to be the semi-official English title Madhouse is using for screenings outside Japan, having used it several times) it joins other honored Japanese animation works more recently including Square-Enix’s Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children whoch won the Honorary Maria Award last year. Likewise, other anime winners of the top long piece animation prize include Satoshi Kon’s Tokyo

Anime News Service – October 2-9 Anime News

10-9-06 (6:40PM EDT)—- Grudge 2 Director Signings In Burbank

Japanese director Takashi Shimizi will make a rare stop in the US to sign copies of two new releases this Sunday, October 15th in Burbank, California. The Great Horror Family (a horror/comedy anthology, which doesn’t officially hit streets until October 17th) and Ju-on 2 will be available for signing at Burbank’s horror store “Dark Delicacies” starting at 2pm. Copies of Ju-on 2 purchased at the store will contain a signature of Takako Fuji, who had pre-signed copies of the dvd. The actress has appeared in both the Ju-on and Grudge series.
Source: Kung Fu Cult Cinema | Thanks To Daniel For The News Submission

10-9-06 (6:40PM EDT)—- Negima Broadcast Format Video Differences

The Japanese blog Yakuroantena has done an illustrated writeup of the video differences between terrestrial and BS broadcasts of the new Negima anime series. Some side by side frame comparisons are posted, displaying how much of the 16:9 BS Japan image is lost in the terrestrial TV version.

10-9-06 (6:19PM EDT)—- Split Infinity Anime Will Be American Co-Production

Daniel Zelter writes in mentioning he contacted English fantasy author Piers Anthony by e-mail on the possible format of the forthcoming anime adaptation his Split Infinity novel and recieved the following reply:

“It seems to be an American company supervising the Anime and I don’t know how they are doing it. In fact I don’t know the company; the contract is obscure, at least to my eyes. So I am simply waiting to see what results.”

Split Infinity is published by Del Ray.

10-9-06 (6:01PM EDT)—- New Gov’t Committee To Look At Contents Power

Following his first speech last week mentioning the global pop-culture reach of Japan, new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Liberal-Democratic Party have put plans into action aimed at strengthening the nation’s “Soft Power Diplomacy”. A new “Cultural Tradition Creation Investigation Committee” has been appointed, to be chaired by Kenji Kosaka. The committee will look at supporing traditional culture and pop culture including promotion and exports of anime, manga, fashion and music.

10-9-06 (5:52PM EDT)—- Haruhi Suzumiya Sweeps Awards At Animation Kobe

Kyoto Animation reports their Melancholy Of Haruhi Suzumiya TV anime has won top honors in 2 prize categories (“Best motion picture of the year and TV division” and “Radio Kansai Prize (theme song prize)”) at the 11th Animation Kobe.

10-9-06 (5:37PM EDT)—- Mekabi Issue 2 Confirmed

The official Mekabi Blog has confirmed issue 2 of Kodansha’s “Mekabi” (“otaku information synthesis magazine”) is in the pipes and on the way.

10-9-06 (4:14PM EDT)—- JFilm At AFM

Among the films screening at the American Film Market event to be held November 1-8, 2006 are Death Note [a subbed trailer is up at this link.] , Brave Story, Sukeban Deka (re-titled to Yo-Yo Girl Cop), Dororo, Heavenly Forest(based on a novel from the author of Viz’s “Be With You”) There’s also another Japanese film called Angel’s Egg which is in no way related to the Oshii movie. Thanks to Daniel Zelter for the news.

10-9-06 (4:14PM EDT)—- Fashion Designers Inspired By Anime

Fashion Week just went down in Milan, Italy. There, designers were showing off their Spring, 2007 collections. Dolce & Gabbana mentioned in their show notes that they were inspired by the voluptuous female heroines of anime with accented breast and hip features. You can view images from the show at the The Los Angeles Times. Anime and manga character designs wiht their eccentric uniqueness have been the basis for mainstream real world fashion designers many times in the past.

10-9-06 (3:30AM EDT)—- Shinkyoku Soukai Polyphonica To Be Animated

The Shounen/Seinen Kinetic Novel and game series Shinkyoku Soukai Polyphonica by Sakaki Ichiro (Scrapped Princess) and publisher Ocelot has been cleared for a future animation adaptation in Japan. The news broke on a promotional poster for GA Pocket Edition due in stores later this month. First released in 2005, 3 different novel series currently exist (Crimson, White And Black). The story occurs in a different world where “Spirits of the dead” exist naturally. A man is summoned from the earth to the Polyfonica continent on an alternate earth. There seems to be a big secret in this new world, and the spirits of the dead wait eagerly for the time when men discover this truth and their destiny. Wikipedia describes a Kinetic Novel as: notable for being an experiment in online content distribution. Most of these fall into the completely linear category, lacking any choices at all; as a result, some fans have begun using the term to describe other non-interactive titles.

10-7-06 (2:10PM EDT)—- Google Looking At You Tube

The Seattle Times reports Google maybe considering buying up You Tube. For better or worse (legal or legally ambiguous), the video site is currently the largest repository of Japanese animation video content on the web.

10-7-06 (11:23AM EDT)—- More Western Fantasy Gets Anime Adaptation

Piers Anthony, writer of the Xanth series, mentioned at the end of this newsletter that his Split Infinity novels will be getting an anime adaptation. More information on the series can be found at wikipedia. Thanks to Daniel Zelter for the news.

10-6-06 (11:12PM EDT)—- Geneon Ergo Proxy Site Goes Up

Geneon has just launched the teaser website for their November 21st release of Ergo Proxy at: The website features a trailer showcasing the title’s upcoming release and a countdown to the launch of the full website, which will be loaded with all sorts of goodies for everyone to enjoy.

10-6-06 (10:55PM EDT)—- FMA Director On Oh! Edo Rocket TV Series

Broadcasting next spring is a TV anime adaptation of author Kazuki Nakashima’s (Gurren-Lagann) novel Oh! Edo Rocket. The story is described as a super spectacle fantasy centering on a young pyrotechnician and his mysterious daughter who seek to build a huge firework that can shoot high into space. It was turned into a theatrical play presented in Osaka and Tokyo in August, 2001. Featuring a star studded cast (and no less than 6

Anime News Service – September 24th-29th Anime News

9-29-06 (5:21AM EDT)—- Anime / Manga Gaming Updates

Gamespot has info on the U.S. release of the Namco Bandai Tales of the Abyss for the PS2, as well as info on the upcoming DS Jump Ultimate Stars here. Thanks To Daniel Zelter for this news.

9-29-06 (5:21AM EDT)—- Sailor Blouse / Delinquent Girl Cop Revival In Japan

Although it didn’t really go anywhere, Asahi Shimbun reports a Japanese movie and TV heroine are bringing back the sailor uniform by donning it widely this autumn. Both are based on works of the 1980’s. The first film is Kenta Fukasaku’s “Sukeban Deka: Code Name Asamiya Saki starring Aya Matsuura. It opens in theaters September 30th. Interestingly, The Japan Times has an article today titled “Return of the ‘delinquent girl cops'” mentioning this movie. The second is “Sailor Fuku To Kikan Juu” (Sailor Blouse And Machine Gun) starring Masami Nagasawa. It begins running on TBS on October 13. Madhouse’s underground hit anime movie Tokikake also happens to feature a sailor bloused female lead. Many have seen the uniform type a kind of social shackle until the 1980’s when it first attained foothold in pop culture. Sailor Moon did alot to establish the sailor fuku social phenomenon in the 1990’s which had girls adopting unique styles including rolled up loose socks and mini-miniskirts. |

9-29-06 (4:36AM EDT)—- Anime Gets A Mention In New Prime Minster’s Keynote

On Friday, September 29th Incoming Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe deliered his first keynote address after assuming the position. Amongst a host of issues outlined was the new government’s “Japanese Culture Industrial Strategy” which will involve hardening the information sending power and international competitiveness in the world of its’ contents, pop culture, and traditional cultures etc. Thes include the animation, and music sectors.

9-29-06 (4:20AM EDT)—- Giant Robo Gohkin Densetsu

Soft Garage has setup a page for it’s forthcoming high quality Giant Robo Gohkin Densetsu figures.

9-29-06 (4:12AM EDT)—- Kotobukiya Opens New Store In Akihabara

Japanese hobby company Kotobukiya is making preperations to open a new shop in the Akihabara Radio Hall. Various manga character merchandise, figures and related products will be sold there. have been treated. It opens in December, 2006.

9-29-06 (3:50AM EDT)—- “Chinese Culture Is Blasphemed” By Japanese H Game

Controversy surrounding Hentai video game character copying is in the news again today. This time around some Chinese net critics are calling foul over a new Japanese made hentai computer game released there which they say uses direct character likenesses from the 18th century classic Chinese novel Kouroumu. Some say the game and it’s depiction of characters is a “Blasphemy”, others demand a formal apology to the Chinese peope and the cease of production and sales by the game designer. Many of these comments can be seen at the portal site A comment could not be obtained from Takayashiki development who is the development agent of the game. Source: IT Media

9-29-06 (3:38AM EDT)—- Comic SEED 11 Out

Issue 11 of the free online Japanese language manga anthology Comic SEED has just hit the web.

9-28-06 (8:54PM EDT)—- Pokemon Diamond And Pearl Movie Opening

It was announced on the official website,, today that the tenth anniversary Pokemon Diamond And Pearl movie will officially open in the summer of 2007. Currently, the staff are looking at settings and stories, you can read a special note by Director Kunihiko Yuyama as well.

9-28-06 (10:02AM EDT)—- Death Note Anime Episode 1 Recording Wraps

More than likely the biggest anime TV series to start this fall, AV Watch has images from the Death Note Anime episode 1 post recording event held on September 28th in Tokyo. There, cast and staff assembled after wrapping voice work on the initial TV story titled “shinsei” (newborn) which airs on NTV at 56 minutes past midnight on October 3rd. The entire episode itself was screened for reporters. Toshio Nakatani, Producer for Nippon Television said the network had examined a prime time airing frame because of the original story’s extraordinarily high popularity and awareness. However, it came to be thought that a midnight slot might to better embody the world outlook of this work the most. Visual observations from the screening say the animation quality in Death Note is drastically higher than other midnight TV series. Additionaly it is said to be more violent than usual (something else you can get away with in the late night slots). The BGM selections and timing with events are said to be excellent as well.

9-28-06 (9:51AM EDT)—- 8 Arrested for “Otaku Hunting” In Akihabara

8 14-18 year old school boys were arrested Thursday by the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department juvenile crime section, Manseibashi station for what is being called “Otaku Hunting”. The students are suspected of blackmailing “otaku” in the Akihabara region. Some have already fessed up, saying “Otaku were weak and they are blackmailed easily and had money”. Extortion cases of this type have begun to increase over the past three years in the Akihabara region. About 25 such inncidents were logged this year.

9-28-06 (7:30AM EDT)—- Mini OP/ED: Why Unpackaged Media Doesn’t Exist

The newest buzzword in the English Language internet anime news community recently is “Unpackaged Media”. This term has virtually appeared out of nowhere overnight, being used to refer to the recent launch of online video delivery sites such as Google Video, ADV Universe and Amazon Unbox. The term refers to the idea of the video contents being delivered online somehow being unconfined by the physical constraints of a DVD case (for instance). Oddly enough, no one seems to use it, the companies themselves with their millions of dollars and brilliant corporate minds have failed to think to list this word in reference to their new services and partnerships, probably because they know better. “Unpackaged Media” is somewhat of a contradictory and misleading term in this case. While it might not ship in a plastic shrinkwrapped black thinpack box-set, anyone who

Anime News Service – September 9th-22nd Anime News

9-22-06 (7:03PM EDT)—- Adapted Manga Selling Strong In Japan

Kakaku visited a Toranoana manga shop and has some picks of the current top sellers which happen to be the basis for many of the fall’s most popular anime and are arranged in special displays.

9-22-06 (6:54PM EDT)—- Reiji Matsumoto Speaks Out At Copyright Conference

Space Battleship Yamato and Harlock creator Reiji Matsumoto was a speaker at a September 22 “Originator Group Council To Consider The Copyright Problem” conference that was also composed of 16 copyright management groups. The event was assembled by the Agency for Cultural Affairs and largely focused on the question of extending intelectual copyright from 50-70 in postmortem of the original creator. The mangaka and animator said of copyrights: “Though the writer may have spent his whole life establishing it [his work], to be faced with it being discontinued in only 50 years is unbearable.” You can view images of the creator at the meeting at IT Media.

9-22-06 (1:20AM EDT)—- Yasuo Yamayoshi Dead

Manga author and animator Yasuo Yamayoshi died in Tokyo hospital at 3:58PM on 9/14 of acute aortic dissection. He was 64. He was involved with creation aspects of many popular anime including Ja Witch, Gratomagengar and Kinnikuman. His funeral was held in Nerima Ward Kotakemachi at noon on the 17th.
Source: Daily Sports

9-22-06 (1:20AM EDT)—- New York-Tokyo Music Festival Next Weekend

Fujisankei Communications International (FCI) and Sharp Electronics Corporation team up to bring you the New York-Tokyo Music Festival 2006 on Saturday, September 30, 2006 at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park a free, all-day, open-air music festival that will showcase the most inspired artistic talent from the East and the West. This year’s festival focuses on artists that are currently breaking new ground in emerging musical subgenres, ranging from Turntablism to Dancehall, Hip-hop to Progressive Jazz. It will establish a cultural and creative bridge between the U.S. and Japan, centered around the universal language of music provided by HIFANA (Break Beats 21st century Japan’s most anticipated artist), PE’Z (Samurai Jazz Japan’s No. 1 Instrumentalists), and MIGHTY CROWN (Dancehall Reggae 4-time world champion) from Japan, as well as DJ A-TRAK (Turntablism Kanye West’s live DJ) and TALIB KWELI (Hip-hop Brooklyn-bred prodigy) from the United States.

Prior to an exciting evening of music, the afternoon will feature high-energy performances by worldly B-boy groups and traditional New Age Japanese instrumentalists. In addition, The New York Tokyo Music Festival will concurrently be showcasing the 2006 collection of the year’s best MUSIC, GAME, and ANIME. MUSIC we will be introducing the top music videos from Japan, showing the uniqueness of the current scene in Japan. GAME we will be presenting our own event of EA’s “Def Jam: Fight for NY,” featuring Def Jam artists in furious battle. ANIME we will be holding a preview of Gonzo-produced “Afro Samurai,” an animation series aired on Spike TV, starring Samuel L. Jackson and the music of RZA. Lastly, the Festival welcomes all attendees with our one-of-a-kind exhibition. Uniqlo will be showcasing its “from Tokyo to NY” fashion in a real-size container. And of course, we won’t forget to have our Game Pavilion, featuring the pre-releases and recently released titles from each publisher, as New York Tokyo’s monthly game event GNG celebrates its 3rd year anniversary. By combining two varying cultures in the greatest outdoor venue in New York City, the Festival aims to highlight the influences, fascination and respect both nations have and share with each other. Festival-goers of all ages will experience first hand, a deeper appreciation of the music, dance, fine art, animation, fashion, and food of Japan and the Far East.

9-22-06 (1:13AM EDT)—- Devil May Cry Anime Presite

The official presite for the forthcoming animation series adaptation of the Devil May Cry videogame has launched at Look for the broadcast start on WOWOW in 2007.

9-22-06 (1:06AM EDT)—- Mina Presite Opens

The Getsumen Usagi Heiki Mina TV animation is now confirmed with the official presite opening at Broadcast is set for Fuji Television Network at midnight on Saturdays weekly from January, 2007.

9-21-06 (8:23PM EDT)—- Gundam License Plate Draws $110,000 USD

The Turkish Daily News reports that in a first of a kind auction in the former British territory of Hong Kong, specialized registration plates were sold off to aid of local charities. One featuring “GUNDAM,” named after a Japanese anime character, fetched $110,000.

9-21-06 (8:14PM EDT)—- Mandarake Gets New Building In Akihabara

Japanese brick and mortar Anime and Manga second hand goods retailer Mandarake announced it will buy a new building store front location in the heart of the otaku’s sacred ground, Akihabara. To be located in Sotokanda, Mandarake is making the real estate purchase from present owner Suzuden Corporation. Altough the agreed price has not been revealed, the layout of the new location is about 231 square meter indoors on 1075 square meters of land. 11 branches of the store exist now.

9-21-06 (6:35PM EDT)—- FREEDOM OVA 1 New Release Date

Put on hiatus a few weeks back, OVA 1 of Katsuhiro Otomo’s FREEDOM will go on sale November 24th. The original release was set at October 27 but then suspended to improve the quality of the product.

9-21-06 (6:33PM EDT)—- English Subs And Dub On Japanese Brave Story DVD

GONZO has announced the simultaneous DVD, UMD, HDDVD and Blu Ray media release of their anime film Brave Story through Warner Brothers on November 12th, 2006. Extras on the 2980 Yen DVD include an English Dubbed audio track and English subtitles.

9-21-06 (5:54PM EDT)—- New Mystery Anime On TV Tokyo

Japan’s TV Tokyo Channel 12 mentioned a new and as yet untitled kids anime program is set to broadcast in a late night frame from January, 2007.

9-21-06 (5:42PM EDT)—- Inukami! Movie Announced

A commerical following the just broadcast (in Japan) 25th episode of Inukami! mentions the production decision for a theatrical film adaptation has been announced.

9-21-06 (4:48PM EDT)—- Lucky Star To Be Animated

According to informaiton published in the latest issue of bishoujo magazine Comptiq, Yoshimizu Kagami’s 4-panel Seinen