Anime News Service – July 3-9 Anime News

7-9-03—- Pacific Media Expo Press

Anaheim Welcomes America’s First Asian-Pacific Pop Culture Festival

(Los Angeles, CA) Pacific Media Association (PMA) has unveiled Pacific Media Expo (PMX), America’s first major media show dedicated to Asian-Pacific Media and Popular Culture. Pacific Media Expo is a three-day-long media show sponsored by the Pacific Media Association. Pacific Media Expo will be hosted at the Anaheim Convention Center, May 29th-31st, 2004. This show will feature panel discussions, autograph sessions, live action and animation video rooms, art exhibitions and a charity auction. The centerpieces however, will be a concert facility designed to house 7,000 participants and one of the country’s largest exhibit halls dedicated to Asian media and pop culture.

Pacific Media Expo was created by Mike Tatsugawa, the founder of Anime Expo. When asked about the creation of PMX and its sudden interest within the anime community, Tatsugawa responded, “Now that anime is mainstream, it’s time to focus on the next generation of media and the next generation of challenges. Once we felt that we largely completed our goal of pushing anime into the mainstream, the question loomed, ‘What next?’ That’s where the concept of PMX was born. Many of us have spent the last two years conducting market research, contacting industry members and trying to create a plan for where we believe Asian media will go for the next ten years. This is why our slogan is, “New media for a new generation.”

Volunteers from conventions from throughout the country are working on this new project. Said Tatsugawa about the new staff, “Collectively, our executive committee has about one hundred years of convention experience under our belts. Our staff probably has a combined total of several hundred years of seniority. The greatest benefit of all this collective experience is the level of trust and goodwill we have in the entertainment community. Currently, we are collaborating with one of the United States’ largest electronics retailers, one of Japan’s largest music labels and most of the world’s largest anime companies to put this event together. There will probably be more industry collaboration on this project than anything else anyone in the industry has ever done in the past. We think that we have created a winning formula of veteran staffers, strong industry support and a vision that everyone believes in. The only thing that has surprised us is that nobody in California has tried to do it before.”

More comprehensive information on Pacific Media Expo can be found at http://www.pacific-media-expo.com or by sending E-mail to press@pacific-media-expo.com.

For additional information, write to: Pacific Media Expo 914 Westwood Blvd., Suite 586 Los Angeles, CA 90024-2905

7-9-03—- New Zealand Spirited Away Review And Giveaway

Fans in the NZ should note Nzoom is hosting a review and giveaway contest presently.

7-9-03—- Initial D Zip Zaps Coming

FORT WORTH, Texas, July 9 Beginning this fall, Radio Shack Corporation will unveil ZipZaps SE (Special Edition), the next generation of micro RCs featuring the latest innovations in ZipZaps technology including six-person racing, headlights and taillights for nighttime racing and digital-proportional steering for precision maneuverability.

“Following our success last year and earlier this year with our X2 and 2 Fast 2 Furious line up of ZipZaps, we decided to ask our fans about additional features for the next generation of ZipZaps,” said Don Carroll, senior vice president and general manager, Connecting Things, RadioShack. “We found out that consumers wanted the option to race with multiple friends, more precise steering and lights for nighttime racing. We listened and created ZipZaps SE, a great extension of the ZipZaps franchise that has proven so popular with kids and collectors alike.”

Hot New Features and Models The new ZipZaps SE line offers an industry first — six selectable 27 MHz frequencies that allow up to six people to race simultaneously. Headlights and taillights, perfect for nighttime racing or just showing off to friends, add another realistic dimension to the new line up. Catering to the most common request among avid micro RC racers for increased maneuverability, the ZipZaps SE series features digital-proportional steering for realistic control over speed and handling as racers zoom along fast curves and tight stretches. A steering trim adjuster allowing for pin-point tracking and an all-new controller design features a reversible control trigger for right or left hand use.

Kicking off the ZipZaps SE collection this September is a lineup of tricked-out cars based on Initial D, the fast-paced “manga comic book” series from Japan that features the action-packed adventures of reluctant hero, Tak, a teenage tofu delivery boy who gets swept up in the world of street racers. Truly an enormous hit in Japan, the Initial D property has already sold more than 30 million graphic novels, boasted a 47% market share in its television time slot and earned more than $300 million in revenue from the Asian market alone. “With Manga Mania just hitting the U.S., the Initial D ZipZaps will hit RadioShack store shelves at a great time to fulfill the desires of Manga fans,” added Carroll.

RadioShack’s Initial D ZipZaps SE lineup will consist of several red-hot vehicles from TOKYOPOP’s hit series, including two Special Edition (SE) Initial D starter kits: the SE Mazda Savanna FC3S RX-7 Starter Kit (driven by Ryosuke “Ry” Takahashi) and SE Mazda Enfini FD3S RX-7 Starter Kit (driven by Keisuke “K.T.” Takahashi). Each respective special edition starter kit includes the latest innovations in ZipZaps technology with six selectable 27 MHz frequencies to allow six cars to race at once and working headlights and taillights for nighttime racing.

Two special edition body kits will also be available for the Initial D ZipZaps line. The SE Initial D Body Kit I features the Nissan Skyline GT-R R32 (driven by Takeshi “Zack” Nakazato) and the Honda Civic SiR2 EG-6 kit (driven by Shingo Shoji) including four hubcaps for each car along with body tops with headlights and tail lights to work in the ZipZaps SE chassis. The SE Initial D Body Kit II features the Toyota AE86 Sprinter Trueno (driven by Takumi “Tak” Fujiwara) and


Anime News Service – July 1-2 Anime News

lms today announced a September 9, 2003 street date for the feature film Original Dirty Pair: Project Eden, packed with zany, action-filled polic7-2-03—- Akadot Forumsrent files sharing protocol first siezed upon widely by the i

Along with the rollout of ANS’s new forums linked above, Akadot and Akadot Retail have both come online with their own forum offerings which can be viewed here and here respectively.

7-2-03—- Manga Academy Launches

Attention manga artists!
Authentic Japanese manga instruction just got a little closer to the US…
Manga Academy strives to be a pioneering clearinghouse of information on how to draw manga online. We will be adding a variety of techniques in the same styles and ways manga is learned in Japan. Along with various forms of instruction not yet brought to the west, we will feature intense peer-to-peer forums and online galleries.
Don’t forget our contests either! Where coming soon your art can win you a trip to Japan!
School is in session…

[Discuss This News Item]

7-2-03—- Manga Show And Tell In VA

Fredricksburg Virginia’s Freelance Star has posted info that the Salem Church Snow branch will host the following event on July 7th:

Manga Maniacs: Graphic Novel Discussion: Come discuss your favorite graphic novel (Manga or otherwise!). Grades seven to 12. 3:30-4:30 p.m. Sign up.

[Discuss This News Item]

7-2-03—- Wizard World East Anime Bits

Sequential Tart has new piece on the goings on at this year’s Wizard World East. Of course anime and manga were hot draws, get the scoop at the above link.

[Discuss This News Item]

7-2-03— Classic Anime Revisited

Sequential Tart has another great article today looking at the past and present of anime and classics in the genre.

[Discuss This News Item]

7-2-03—- Crouching Tiger Comic’s Andy Seto To Attend Comicon

ComicsOne has announced it will bring Andy Seto, the famous kung fu comic creator to Comic-Con 2003 in sunny San Diego, California July 17th-20th. At the ComicsOne booth, Andy will be shaking hands, discussing comics and signing copies of his acclaimed Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Saint Legend and Story of the Tao graphic novels.

Andy has come all the way from Hong Kong to meet his loyal fans, brand their Seto comic du jour and talk about his future projects with ComicsOne, namely the comic book adaptation of the Miramax film – Shaolin Soccer! This one is sure to be a hit sensation. Flyers and concept sketches will be available at the booth!
Be one of the first to meet the legend.
Andy Seto has worked in comics for nearly 20 years. In 1983, he started his career with Jade Dynasty Publishing. Later, in 1989, he joined Freeman Publications LTD, and created Sword Kill followed by the famous Gambling Saint. During 1993, a comic book named Cyber Weapons Z was born, drawn by Seto. Upon its creation, he became the star of the comics world in Hong Kong. Fast forward a few years, in 1997, he served as illustrator for Story of the Tao, which was originally a novel. Then he went to establish his own company – Neo Company Limited. Over the next couple of years Seto and the NCL acquired the copyrights to illustrate The King of Fighters Z, and Saint Legend, both of which were well received with rave reviews. In 2002 Seto took on the challenge of producing the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon series and in 2003 he is going to outdo himself by recreating the Shaolin Soccer movie in comic form.

Purchase or bring your copies of your favorite Andy Seto titles to the ComicsOne booth #3550. Seto will have a scheduled autograph session on Friday and Saturday. Check the ComicsOne booth for times. Hope to see you there!

[Discuss This News Item]

7-2-03—- Metrocon Cosplay Details

TAMPA BAY, FL, July 1, 2003 – Fans of Japanese animation will have the chance to compete for recognition and prizes in two, separate costume contest events during METROCON 2003 – Tampa Bay, Florida’s first, full-fledged anime convention – taking place at the Crowne Plaza – Tampa at Sabal Park, 10221 Princess Palm Ave., on the weekend of July 18-20, 2003.

The “Cosplay” Contest, scheduled for 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 19, showcases the Japanese hobby of “costume play” as costume-clad individuals and groups perform skits featuring their favorite anime and video game characters. Awards for this “Gong Show-style” contest will include “Best Presentation,” “Fan Favorite,” “Best Comedy,” “Best Drama” and a “Judges’ Award.” Entries for the Cosplay Contest will be processed at the convention registration desk. The deadline for entry is 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 19.

Participants will be judged primarily on the construction and execution of their anime-related costumes at METROCON’s more traditional, runway-style Costume Contest, scheduled for 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 20. Awards will include “Best of Show,” “Best Technical,” “Best Costume – Junior, Under 12 Division,” “Best Costume,” and “Judges’ Honorable Mentions.” Mandatory pre-judging will start at 12 noon, and sign-up for the Costume Contest will take place outside the main ballroom. The deadline for entry is 1 p.m. on Sunday, July 20.

Full rules for both competitions may be found at the METROCON site, www.metroconventions.com.

Visit www.metroconventions.com for more information.

[Discuss This News Item]

7-2-03—- Anime News Service Forums Live

Discussion returns to ANS! Hi guys, I’m very excited to officially unveil our new forums utilizing the PHPBB system and graciously hosted by the folks at Manga Academy. The setup went live yesterday and we’ve been refinining things since then. Currently, we have 10 solid discussion topics which I’m happy with and room to expand or contract based on feedback from our readers. I want to build this community for you all and offer the same unique spin on the boardside that you’ve come to expect from ANS siteside. By all means feel free to interact mail me with your opinions and get involved at the forums via this URL:
http://www.mangaacademy.com/forums/index.php?c=3

Jonah Morgan


Anime News Service – June 23-27 Anime News

6-27-03—- Ninja Scroll Site Live

Urban Vision has gone active with it’s Ninja Scroll website. Thanks to John for the info.

6-27-03—- How To Draw Anime Class In Illinois

Elgin Illinois’ Gail Borden Library will host a how to draw anime class next month according to the Kane County Chronicle. The class is open to all teenagers.

6-27-03—- Bebop Movie Reviews

Here it is Friday again and in the states that means it’s time to turn to the papers for weekend entertainment options. Cowboy Bebop The Movie gets a mention in 3 of the USA’s biggest papers today, review #1 comes in the Chicago SunTimes. Review #2 is in The San Francisico Chronicle. Review #3 can be found in The Times Picayune

6-27-03—- Yugioh Article

CNN has a big piece today in it’s online edition concerning the phenomena that is Yugioh.

6-27-03—- Anime Gets Bit Piece In New Indie Film

The Orange County Weekly has a review of a new film entitled Charlotte Sometimes which revolves around a 20 something Asian love theme. Apparantly, a part of the plot involves female lead Lori (Eugenia Yuan) who sneaks over to male lead charter, Michael’s apartment to watch anime. Written and directed by Eric Byler, Charlotte Sometimes is now playing at the University Of Irvine.

6-27-03—- Doi Database Hit’s 60,000 Entries

Hitoshi Doi’s Seiyuu Database has surpassed 60,000 entries. The listing roster includes:

18676 DB.anime
7511 DB.books
8391 DB.cd
433 DB.cdrom
3203 DB.drama
12680 DB.event
6111 DB.game
215 DB.internet
9 DB.narration
1104 DB.radio
463 DB.tv
1336 DB.video
60132 total

6-27-03—- Exclusive: First Images Of Region 2 Evangelion DVD BOX

Courtesy Yukio in Yokohama, comes a set of 12 exclusive hands on images of the limited reservation Region 2 Neon Genesis Evangelion DVD BOX, released yesterday (6-25) in Japan. The craftsmanship put into the actual construction of box itself rivals that of anything we’ve seen on either side of pacific to date. Carrying a hefty 41,790 Yen price tag, it’s clear this set will be talked about in fan and collectors circles for some time. The remastered audio video contents are almost as impressive a draw, could it poissible this material could be licensed outside of Japan eventually?

6-26-03—- Anime’s Influence

Courtesy Anime Research’s Brian Ruh, the latest installment of the column “From Here to Shinjuku” is now online. Titled “The Animatrix and Anime’s Burgeoning Influence,” this month’s column takes a look at the growing force of anime on popular culture in the United States. The column is available online here.

6-26-03—- High Court For Japanese Intellectual Property Issues May Be In The Works

The Japan Times brings news today that some rearangements could be coming Tokyo and Osaka High Courts which rule on intellectual property matters.

Also it seems the highest tiers of Japanese government are indeed aware of the global success of it’s pop culture. Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s Strategic Council on Intellectual Property Prime plans to promote intellectual property, proposing legislation in May of this year which would require the Patent Office to screen applications in a speedy fashion. The government could also prepare a bill to promote the information distribution business on the Web, covering animation, games and music.

6-26-03—- Female Manga Artists

From the great state of Texas, San Antonio Current has an article on female artists. Increasingly it seems many are being inspired by anime and manga.

6-26-03—- Lone Wolf Canadian View

Review today in the Toronto Eye Weekly of the manga epic Lone Wolf & Cub.

6-26-03—- Broekn Saints Interview

Candaian Christianity has an interview with Broken Saints creator and North Vancouver native Brooke Burgess.

6-26-03—- Cablevision Adds Anime Network VOD Content

Cablevision Systems Corporation and The Anime Network today announced the launch of Anime Network On Demand as Cablevision’s seventh subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service for its iO: Interactive Optimum digital cable customers. Anime, a uniquely Japanese style of animation that explores the boundaries of animated moving pictures, has become a western pop culture phenomenon, and anime titles explore a multitude of genres including action, science fiction, martial arts and comedy.

Anime Network On Demand is Cablevision’s latest addition to iO’s industry-leading on demand offering, which features more than 700 titles available at any time and existing SVOD services from HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, Fox, Disney Channel and Playboy. iO customers also enjoy access to hundreds of a la carte movies and on demand content that is included at no additional cost including Mag Rack’s original collection of niche lifestyle video magazines and the best of public television from Thirteen On Demand.

“We are committed to enhancing the level of control our iO customers have over the television viewing experience, and continuing to build upon our industry-leading on demand offering is the cornerstone of that effort,” said Kristin Dolan, senior vice president of digital product management. “Anime Network On Demand is a unique and compelling SVOD service that we expect will be very popular with the growing universe of iO customers.”

“America’s growing fascination with anime tells us that this is the ideal time to launch Anime Network, a channel dedicated to this popular style of animation programming,” said John Ledford president, CEO and co-founder of A.D. Vision, Inc., parent company of the Anime Network. “We’re excited to be bringing the Anime Network to Cablevision subscribers,” added Anime Network President Kevin Corcoran. “We’re confident that they will enjoy the Anime Network’s exclusive anime series and feature films in four genres — action, science fiction, martial arts and comedy.”

Initial programming will include more than 20 hours of regularly refreshed fan-favorite feature films and multi-episode series. Over the next few months, the amount of programming available to iO customers through Anime Network On Demand will nearly double. Titles include “NOIR,” “Spriggan,” “Full Metal Panic!,” “Gunsmith Cats,” “You’re Under Arrest: Mini Specials,” “Neon Genesis Evangelion,” “RahXephon,” “Zone of the Enders: IDOLO,” “Excel Saga,” “Golden Boy,” “Colorful!,”


Anime News Service – June 11-13 Anime News

6-13-03—- Pokemon Heroes Reviews

5 years after introduction is Pokemon burnout descending over America? Reviews posted to The Salt Lake Tribune and Akron Beacon Journal would seem to lend toward an answer.

6-13-03—- The Age Miyazaki Piece

Australia’s The Age has an article on famed director Hayao Miyazaki.

6-13-03—- TIME Animatrix Look

One of the most popular print and digital magazines in America, Time has posted it’s look at The Animatrix.

6-13-03—- American Librarys Playing Host To Summer Anime/Manga Clubs

More popular than ever this summer is a thread ANS is picking up on across the USA in the form of local libraries hosting community anime/manga clubs for kids and teens on summer break from primary school. The Miami Herald has a mention of the weekly club being organized at the Miami Public Library. Likewise as reported yesterday a similar library hosted event had occured in Glendale, AZ as reported in the Arizona Republic.

6-13-03—- North And South Eastern Hemisphere Dominate World’s Top Animation Festival

Courtesy Screen Daily, Japanese, Asian and Oceanian animated works took top honors at France’s Annecy Festival over the weekend with Tony Yeun’s Chinese/Hong Kong co-production My Life As McDull taking top prize. Top award for short film was taken by Japan’s Koji Yamamura for Atama Yama. Finally, Australian Adam Benjamin Elliot won the jury prize for his claymation work Harvie Krumpet.

6-13-03—- New 3rd Version Of Astroboy To Air In USA

+ “Astro Boy,” the internationally known sci-fi hero created by legendary cartoonist Osamu Tezuka, will appear again in a new version of the series to be shown in the United States, show-biz officials have said. Officials at Tezuka Productions and Sony Pictures Entertainment said that the latest, third version will be broadcast in the US from early next year. Kids WB!, a cable TV station operated by Warner Brothers, will broadcast 26 installments of the latest Astro Boy series.

Sony Pictures Entertainment officials said that each episode of the series cost some 30 million yen to make, three times the normal cost of an animated film.

The creators hope the new version of Astro Boy will also be shown in European and Asian countries.

Source: MDN Via Kiji-Anime

6-12-03—- Biloxi Casino Restaurant’s Anime Namesake – First Anime Inspired American Eatery?

Poker Magazine has in a new article highlighting a Restaurant edition to an American Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi. The Beau Rivage will add the Ann Mae Japanese Restaurant at the end of the month. According to the piece:

Another new casino dining offering is Ann Mae, the Japanese restaurant at Beau Rivage that will open at the end of the month. The restaurant, which replaces Ta.ke Ma.ku, is a verbal take-off on “anime,” a hot style of Japanese animation.

6-12-03—- Tecmo Game News

New developments on the Dreamworks Fatal Frame movie can be found at http://www.jaggedteam.com/bin/shownews.cgi?id=2784, and information on actual Tecmo Dead or Alive Beach Volleyball bikinis for sale can be found at http://www.jaggedteam.com/bin/shownews.cgi?id=2783.

Thanks to Daniel for the news

6-12-03—- Saint Seiya Reborn For US Release As Knights Of The Zodiac

DIC Entertainment (DIC), in partnership with General Mills, today announced plans to bring Knights of the Zodiac, the famed Japanese property formerly known as Saint Seiya, to the U.S. market. Cartoon Network, U.S. will be airing 40 serial episodes of the show beginning in August, Bandai America Incorporated has been awarded the master toy license for the U.S. and Canada, and ADV has distribution rights for home video.
“Knights of the Zodiac is among the three biggest hits to ever come out of Japan; Power Rangers and Pokemon being the other two,” said Andy Heyward, CEO and chairman, DIC Entertainment. “The success that Knights of the Zodiac has had internationally is phenomenal. Furthermore, there has never been a Japanese series that has been a mega-hit in Asia, Europe and South America that has failed to become a mega-hit in the U.S. We have every expectation that its seductive and hypnotic story line will generate the same amazing results here.”
“Knights of the Zodiac was an international phenomenon particularly in Japan, where it originated, but also in Europe and Latin America,” said Nancy Bassett, senior vice president of worldwide consumer products, DIC Entertainment. “Although there are a few recent examples of Japanese anime properties making it big in the U.S., we’re not taking anything for granted. We are strategically planning the launch in close collaboration with Bandai America Inc. using both traditional and non-traditional marketing tools. Bandai America Inc. brings a lot of great knowledge to the table considering their long successful management of the Power Rangers franchise. We’re close to announcing additional licensees at the Licensing Show.”
Bandai America Inc.’s product line will consist of 5-inch and 8-inch action figures, collectible game cards, role play items and other toys based on the Knights of the Zodiac property. The Knights of the Zodiac follows the adventures of the Bronze Knight Seiya, as he leads his team in battle against Phoenix and the Black Knights. The toyline is slated to hit retail shelves in January 2004.
“Given the property’s history and tremendous international popularity, we are excited to introduce the Knights of the Zodiac with action figures and toys that are exclusive to the U.S.,” said Bill Beebe, senior vice president, sales and marketing, Bandai America Inc. “With our extensive experience on some of the most popular boys action brands today, including Power Rangers and Gundam, we expect the Knights of the Zodiac to be a hit with young kids who love action play.”
Timed to coincide with the comprehensive merchandising launch, ADV, the number one distributor of anime content, has signed on to distribute 40 episodes of Knights of the Zodiac. The first release is scheduled to street in first quarter 2004.

About Knights of the Zodiac

Knights of the Zodiac is a fast-paced, futuristic action-adventure series which pits the forces of good against evil as the Knights of Athena battle the Knights of Aries


Anime News Service – June 2-10 Anime News

6-10-03—- Kikuko Inoue’s Agency Site Online

Popular Seiyuu Kikuko Inoue’s management firm, Office Anemone has launched it’s web presence today at http://www.office-anemone.com/. Not much is there yet but there is news in the form of Nagai Noa (Nagai Nobuko) joining the agency.

6-10-03—- New Transformers Series CN Bound

Hasbro announced yesterday that a new Transformers series, Transformers Energon is currently in the works. The series will premiere in early 2004 on Cartoon Network.

Read the full story from the following source link provided by Michael:
http://www.animationinsider.net/forums/index.php?act=ST&f=7&t=1224

6-10-03—- 2 Fast 2 Furious Director Cites Anime

In Hollywood it’s the summer of car chases and high speed road action or so it would seem. An article examining that aspect of this summer’s cinema releases has been posted in Southern Florida’s Sun-Sentinel. South Florida itself serves as the steamy backdrop for Universal’s JDM heavy street racer sequel 2 Fast 2 Furious. The Sentinel scored the following quote by the film’s director John Singleton:

“I started thinking in terms of other media like Japanese anime movies and video games like Gran Turismo,” Singleton explains. “It was thinking about, through that, how to make it exciting by the way that I shot it and, also, by the juxtaposition of certain images, like going from the eyes to the speedometer to the tailpipes to the zooming. In that way, you have some type of montage that makes a speed gestalt.”

(Universal Studios Photo)

6-10-03—- Adult Swim Strong Competitor With American Late Night Talk

As referenced below, a new TV Week article has published within some CN analysis of Nielsen ratings data from the May 2003 sweeps which deserves a mention of it’s own:

During the May sweeps, for example, in the 11:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. period, Adult Swim delivered an average of 249,000 young men 18 to 24, compared to the 121,000 and 183,000 that “The Late Show” and “The Tonight Show,” respectively, delivered in the period, according to Cartoon Network’s analysis of Nielsen data.

When it came to men 18 to 34 watching during the sweeps, Adult Swim had 421,000 in its pool, while Dave and Jay had 351,000 and 553,000, respectively.

6-10-03—- Big O Future On Cartoon Network

TV Week has broke out with a major scoop on Cartoon Network’s future with The Big O TV series to return this August to Adult Swim. According to the article, this will be the first instance where CN served as co-producer on an anime project. The original 13 episodes which had aired before in an earlier timeslot and edited form will return un edited supplemented by 13 new additional episodes. Finally according to TV Week’s research series success could relay to some action on a standing option towards the order of 26 additional episodes.

6-10-03—- Animatrix Review In Sydney Morning Herald

From the land down under where winter is getting underway comes a review of one of the most heavily covered anime properties in some time in this morning’s SMH newspaper.

6-10-03—- Blackbelt TV Amasses World’s Largest Martial Arts Library

Blackbelt TV, the first and only 24-hour Martial Arts Entertainment Cable Network, today announced a major addition to its martial arts entertainment library which already includes over 20,000 hours of programming from the biggest Hollywood studios and leading worldwide fight organizations. The programming coup includes an unprecedented acquisitions deal with News Corp’s Fortune Star and a deal with Universal Domestic Television for their martial arts film and TV libraries. These deals position Blackbelt TV as the holder of the largest martial arts entertainment library in the world.

The Fortune Star acquisition calls for 30 movies a year over the next five years from the Asian media behemoth including contemporary Chinese/Hong Kong films and TV shows starring Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Chuck Norris, Michelle Yeoh, Bruce Lee, Sammo Hung, Yuen Woo Ping and many more. As one of the top providers of martial arts entertainment in the U.S., Universal has licensed a series of films and TV shows including Double Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story and Street Fighter as well as hit action flicks like the Jean-Claude Van Damme starrer Hard Target and Vanishing Son.

“At Blackbelt TV, we’re committed to serving the hundreds of millions of martial arts entertainment fans throughout the world. With Universal we have now secured the key martial arts titles from three of the major U.S.Studios and our partnership with Fortune Star, the world’s largest contemporary Chinese movie library, will ensure a steady flow of heart stopping, leg flying martial arts movies many of which have never before been seen in the United States,” said Paul Presburger, Blackbelt TV’s Senior Vice President of Programming & Acquisitions.

The network is working directly with the biggest Hollywood studios to bring the best martial arts films and TV shows to their new home on television. Blackbelt TV has assembled the largest martial arts entertainment and sports library in the world from leading worldwide fight organizations and Hollywood studios including Warner Bros. and Sony Pictures Entertainment. Totaling over 20,000 hours, the library consists of some of the greatest martial arts films of all times including Enter the Dragon, Once Upon A Time in China, The Karate Kid, Drunken Master, Double Impact, Out For Justice; classic and new martial arts television series such as Kung Fu and Mortal Kombat Conquest; exclusive and never-before-seen fights from all over the world including World Championship Kickboxing from Thailand, Mixed Martial Arts from Japan, Boxing from Europe and the U.S., Judo from Korea; Japanese animation; health, fitness and self defense programming as well as original shows like Soul of the Champion.

“Blackbelt TV is well-positioned to capture the enormous business opportunities brought forward by an insatiable appetite across the globe for martial arts movies. We are thrilled with the alliance which enables Fortune Star to showcase its extensive martial arts library to a wider and more targeted audience base,” said Peter Poon, General Manager of Fortune Star.

“Blackbelt TV provides the perfect platform for our slate of top martial arts movies and television shows, and we are very pleased


Anime News Service-Exclusive Interview: Luci Christian


By: Jay Levy

An Interview with Voice Actress Luci Christian

I had an opportunity to sit down and chat with four American voice actors from some of the most popular anime out there while at Metrocon in Tampa, FL, on July 20. Their answers are virtually unedited and hopefully give a little insight into their personalities and their work. To get to know them better, skip to the bottom and check out their speed round answers. Now, onto the interview:

Luci Christian pulled her legs up into her chair and wrapped her hands around her coffee mug as she took a sip. She was obviously a bit worn out after three days helming panels, signing autographs, and judging cosplayers at her first anime convention ever. Christian’s background that did not exactly prepare her for events with cosplayers prowling the hallways and otaku arguing about the viability of a battle between a Gundam and a Valkyrie.

Christian, who currently lives in Houston, has her Master in Fine Arts in acting from Louisiana State University and is a card carrying member of the actors union (with an agent to boot). Yet, exhausted and sitting here in the green room of Metrocon, she seems exhilarated by and thankful for where her career as an actor has taken her. While at ADV, she has done roles in Those Who Hunt Elves, Neoranga, and Gamera 2 & 3, but her first starring role is as Kaname Chidori in the current release Full Metal Panic. She is currently working on parts in Orphen Revenge as Lycoris, and Ran Kotobuki in Super GALS.

What was it about acting that pulled you into it?

I think it kind of chose me. My mother put me on stage when I was 3 to sing in a talent show, and I did beauty pageants in Texas from when I was 3 until I was 9, with big hair and big dresses and little pageant shoes. After that I got into high school and it turned out I wasn’t so good in sports, but I was really good at theater. Didn’t think about it going anywhere until I got a full scholarship going to college. They said if I’d change my major from journalism to theater they’d pay my way, and I went, ok! And, so I went and ended up going to grad school. And, again, things just fell into place. So, things continued being put in my path. And when I went to Houston I didn’t know anyone; my aunt lived there. The Alley Theater was there and I was like, “Oh, I want to work there.” Didn’t have any idea about anything, then within a year I started getting hooked into things again, so I think it found me.

Of the parts you’ve played, which is the most difficult and why?

Actually, Full Metal Panic is the hardest for me. [At this point, a hearty “Amen” echoed through the room from Chris Patton who was lounging on a recliner and who plays Souseke in Full Metal Panic] I don’t know if it was because it was the first lead I had or what. I think Don [Rush, director on Full Metal Panic] will tell you this, he really knows what he wants. It’s a different experience when somebody has a very definite idea and they want you to sound they way they want you to sound. It’s not quite as organic as some [acting situations]. That was kind of a trip, and knowing that it was a title that everyone was anticipating and being a relative unknown [She laughs] It was daunting and scary and you end up going, “Are they going to hate me?” And we had … Don, for episodes six through eight had a conflict, and someone else took over those episodes. So, having a different director in sort of the middle of the project was different, too, in terms of continuity.

Be a social commentator for a moment, what are some aspects of anime you would praise:

This is actually easy and I only have the answer because I came here [to Metrocon]. I’ve seen a lot of people here that are at a very formative time in their life, and, through this medium, they get to become somebody else with very positive qualities – brave people, courageous people, fun people, magical people, people with all kinds of magic around them. I think it’s very romantic. I really do. I think it’s romantic. I think people look to escape adolescence or whatever. And the thing is, when you grow older, you still retain the fandom of whatever it is you’re a fan of. That allows you that kind of escapism or role-play like when you were younger.

Nothing’s perfect, though. What aspects of anime deserve some criticism?

That’s interesting. I’m not sure. I think it is interesting how everything has in-house debate. Like the debate between the sub people and the dub people. And this kind of thing, voice actors come to things like this [Metrocon] and there are people who are angry. [She laughs] And you know, I guess that’s all just in-house stuff that happens with every medium … that’s certainly not just this genre. I guess it’s just hard, this is not the sort of medium the majority of people know much about. You know, when I said I was doing it [anime voice acting], people automatically jumped to maybe I’m doing the porn stuff, and I’m like “No no no no no!” you know?

Anime fans notoriously separate into camps, one of the most vocal being the sub vs. dub debate. If you could say something to the purists to get them to give dubbed shows a chance, what would you say?

Well, we respect the Japanese; we don’t think we’re better than the Japanese. We’re happy to have work [she laughs]. I don’t know how they do it in Japan, I really don’t. But, here the people I know at ADV who


Anime News Service – May 24-31 Anime News

5-31-03—- Anime Gets A New Medium: Gameboy Advance Cartridges

4 Kids Entertainment (NYSE: KDE) announced today the debut of GBA-TV, an exciting new application for the estimated installed base of 12 million Game Boy(R) Advance systems.

GBA-TV cartridges containing cartoon episodes play on Game Boy Advance and Game Boy Advance SP systems in the same manner as video game cartridges. Special proprietary technology developed by the 4Kids Entertainment subsidiary, 4Kids Technology, Inc., enables kids to watch the cartoons contained in the GBA-TV cartridges on their Game Boy Advance. The technology enables the Game Boy Advance to function as a personal video player with the Game Boy controls allowing the viewer to Pause, Resume, Stop, Rewind and Chapter Search each of the television episodes on the GBA-TV cartridge. There is no need to buy any adapter. 4Kids intends to roll out GBA-TV cartridges at retail in the 4th quarter 2003. Each GBA-TV cartridge is expected to retail for under $20 and feature two television episodes from popular animated kids programs such as Pokemon(R), Kirby: Right Back At Ya!(TM) and Yu-Gi-Oh!(TM) 4Kids has set the upcoming E3 Expo (May 14-16 at the Los Angeles Convention Center) to debut content from the first GBA-TV shows.

“There will be more than games to the Game Boy Advance,” said Al Kahn, Chairman and CEO of 4Kids Entertainment. “GBA-TV will be an exciting, new way in which kids can enjoy some of today’s best animated entertainment. We are delighted to join with Nintendo in enabling Game Boy Advance, the top portable video game system, to also serve as a portable video player.” “4Kids Entertainment has developed a new and valuable dimension to Game Boy Advance with the launch of GBA-TV,” said Peter MacDougall, Executive Vice President, Sales & Marketing for Nintendo. “Now kids can watch their favorite cartoons and play their favorite Game Boy video games anywhere, anytime.” GBA-TV is a trademark of Nintendo. All Rights Reserved. Game Boy Advance and Game Boy Advance SP are registered trademarks of Nintendo of America Inc.

5-30-03—- A Tree Of Palme East Coast Premiere At BAAF

Big Apple Anime Fest (BAAF) has announced that The Tree of Palme (subtitled) will be premiered as the East Coast Premiere at BAAF 2003, in Times Square, New York, between August 29 and 31. This movie was directed by Mr. Takashi Nakamura, who worked on the famed-movie, AKIRA, as a director of picture. At the premiere, Mr. Nakamura will be introducing the film and holding a Q & A session with the audience after the movie.

This story happens on a planet which is mostly desert. Palme is a wooden robot created by an old doctor, Foe, to care for his sick wife, Xian. While taking care of Xian, Palme learns about the soul and heart that most human beings have. When Xian passes away from a heart attack — in spite of Palme’s diligent care — Palme looses his desire to live and stops communicating with anyone. One day, Foe sees Palme talking to a female warrior, Koram, who has suddenly appeared with a magical bowl that she has taken from a land above the planet, a land where legend says that God stays. She leaves the bowl with Foe, and makes him promise to take it to the underground city of Tamas. But before Foe can keep his promise, he is mortally wounded by a one of Koram’s pursuers. Knowing that death is approaching, Foe asks Palme to take the bowl to Tamas. This journey leads him towards a goal that Palme had sought for a long time – to become a human being with soul and heart.

Mr. Nakamura sees the movie as depicting Palme’s struggle to give meaning to his life. Palme’s journey seems very much like what most human beings go through in their spiritual lives. Mr. Nakamura believes that the Tree of Palme is a vital story for us right now; and that each member of the audience will find it significant in their own way, because its meaning will found in the person’s own soul and heart.

Festival Director & COO Victor Eisenberg says, “The Tree of Palme looks at the theme of love and humanity as seen through the differences between robots and human beings. Through the journey with Palme, from robot to human spirituality, the audience will see a reflection of the human quest for a way to live in this world. I urge people to see this movie. It is a serious anime that can change not only your perception of anime, but also of the meaning of your life.”

About Mr. Takashi Nakamura
Born in Yamanashi prefecture, Japan, in 1955, Takashi Nakamura began his anime career at TATSUNOKO Production. After his debut as an Animation Director in the TV series Golden Soldier, Gold Rytan in 1981, Nakamura teamed up with Katsuhiro Otomo and assisted Otomo as a character designer in Harmagedon (1983: Theatrical Movie). His talent and ability in drawing were rapidly acknowledged after his work on Nausica of the Valley of Wind, Macross, and many other smash hits. In 1987, he debuted as a screenwriter and a director in his segment of Robot Carnival, called Chicken Man and the Red Neck (referred to in its American release simply as Nightmare).

Nakamura, as a chief animator, left a strong impression of his talent in AKIRA (1988), and in 1995’s Catnapped! and proved his unlimited ability as scenario writer, screenwriter, director, character design, and animation director. His multiple talents have led Nakamura to the top of the Anime industry.

5-30-03—- Metrocon 2003 In Tampa

Experience Japanese animation 24 hours a day at METROCON 2003 – Tampa Bay, Florida’s first, full-fledged anime convention – from Friday, July 18 through Sunday, July 20, at the Crowne Plaza – Tampa at Sabal Park, 10221 Princess Palm Ave.

The weekend-long event celebrates numerous facets of Japanese popular entertainment – from anime (Japanese animation), manga (Japanese comics), J-pop and J-rock (Japanese pop and rock music, performed by “idols”) to cosplay (costume design and performance) and video games, with:

– An


Anime News Service – May 12-23 Anime News

5-22-03—- Fox Box 2003-2004 Schedule

“Drum Roll Please…” The 4Kids Entertainment (NYSE: KDE) Saturday broadcast network FOX BOX is announcing a line-up that will be filled with fun, action and adventure…”Ba Dum!” The FOX BOX will unwrap its second season, September 6, with a line-up of established shows and exciting program debuts.

Anchoring the FOX BOX are such network favorites as TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, KIRBY: RIGHT BACK AT YA!, THE CRAMP TWINS and ULTIMATE MUSCLE: THE KINNIKUMAN LEGACY. The Fall ’03 line-up also boasts the television premieres of SONIC X, SHAMAN KING and FUNKY COPS, as well as the hit show CUBIX, an acclaimed 3-D CGI animated series, which is jet-propelling over to lead off the FOX BOX.

Introducing The New Season FOX BOX Saturday Morning Schedule:
8:00AM: Cubix
8:30AM: The Cramp Twins
9:00AM: Ultimate Muscle: The Kinnikuman Legacy
9:30AM: Sonic X
10:00AM Kirby: Right Back at Ya!
10:30AM: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
11:00AM: Shaman King
11:30AM: Funky Cops

“FOX BOX has got funk, squares (cubes), kings, twins, muscles, pink super heroes, mutant turtles and one crazy hedgehog – all packed into a vibrant Saturday morning,” said Norman Grossfeld, President of 4Kids Productions. “We do more before noon every Saturday than most networks do in a week! The FOX BOX line-up continues to deliver quality shows and is rapidly becoming a Saturday morning destination.”

FOX BOX PREMIERES…

SONIC X Accidentally transported by Chaos Control, Sonic finds himself on a strange planet inhabited by humans and teams up with his newest friend, Christopher. Together, Sonic and Christopher embark on a series of exhilarating and elaborate quests as they search for the “Chaos Emeralds,” precious stones delivering the power to conquer the world to whoever possesses them. Through their adventures, Sonic and Christopher must battle Sonic’s archrival, the evil Dr. Eggman, a robotics authority, who wants the “Chaos Emeralds” for himself so that he can establish his own empire to dominate the world. Known for speed, power and energy, Sonic helps Christopher overcome his boyhood fears as they meet up with long-time friends Knuckles, Tails and Amy, and encounter new pals Cream and Cheese. In a distant galaxy, the confrontation between Sonic and Dr. Eggman begins once again!

FUNKY COPS Fresh from winning a Best New Animated Series award from the prestigious “Cartoon on the Bay” international animation conference, Funky Cops is 1970’s nostalgia and outrageous comedy! Modeled after ’70’s cop shows, Funky Cops chronicles the adventures of two brothers on the police force who become stars at a San Francisco disco. Brother Ace is the smooth one … The head of a band fashioned after the Jackson Five, Ace used to be a hairdresser before he became a cop. His partner Dick is the Clint Eastwood Dirty Harry-type. The show was created by brothers Christophe and Benoit Di Sabatino and is produced by Antefilm.

SHAMAN KING From the producers of Yu-Gi-Oh! comes the Shaman King. This adventurous series takes place in a world where anything is possible … where spirits and ghosts interact with humans. The main character is a 13-year-old boy who is a modern-day shaman, one of the gifted few who can see the spirit world. His power comes by teaming up with Amidamaru, a samurai warrior spirit. Together they travel the globe fighting evil spirits and misguided shamans on their quest to be the next Shaman King. Each battle prepares them for the once every 500 years “Grand Tournament” that will name the new Shaman King.

CUBIX 4Kids’ first original animated series, Cubix follows the adventures of robot whiz-kid Connor, a 13-year-old who brings to life a robot named Cubix that had been discarded as useless. After Connor gets done, though, Cubix is anything but useless … applying his phenomenal super-charged powers to help Connor and his friends face down the endless stream of threats posed by the town’s wacky mad scientist, the evil Dr. K. Set in the futuristic world of Bubble Town, where 10,000 of its population of 24,000 residents are robots, Cubix is all about action, adventure – and uncommon friendship.

FOX BOX RETURNS…

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES They’re the biggest heroes ever transformed and empowered by globs of weird, glowing green alien ooze. They’re a family filled with love for each other – and committed to battling evil wherever they find it. This new series sets itself apart from the past by staying close to the original comic books’ strong graphics and rich stories, combining serious butt-kicking ninja action and irreverent humor. This exciting series unfolds in a linear fashion, with each episode setting up the next – keeping kids on the edge of their seats!

KIRBY: RIGHT BACK AT YA! One of Nintendo’s most popular characters of all time, Kirby made his U.S. broadcast debut on the FOX BOX. Loaded with action, Kirby is a cosmic comic adventure. Kirby is a Warpstar knight-in-training who crash-lands on the Planet Popstar – and accidentally ends up as the pink protector of villagers. When King Dedede conjures up all his maniacal monsters, Kirby inhales their powers and gives them back a taste of their own medicine! Don’t mess with Kirby. He’ll send it “Right Back at Ya!”

THE CRAMP TWINS They’re sibling rivalry’s twin spokesmen … Meet Wayne and Lucien, a pair of twins with zero in common who have turned Saturday morning television into a raucous laugh fest. Produced by TV-Loonland and based on two graphic novels by Brian Wood, The Cramp Twins is the story of Wayne and Lucien Cramp, 10-year-old twins who are not at all alike. And, that’s not just because Wayne has a big, oval shaped, purplish-gray head, in contrast to Lucien’s small, round, pink head. It goes much deeper, no doubt all the way back to the womb. Delightfully mischievous, Wayne has one mission in life: to embarrass and bother his brother Lucien. His hobbies include eating, stirring up trouble and collecting weird stuff in his bedroom. And then there’s Lucien, eager to please and thoroughly well mannered, he wants to save the world through knitting!

ULTIMATE MUSCLE: THE KINNIKUMAN LEGACY Nothing captures


Anime News Service – April 30 – May 9 Anime News

5-9-03—- Pop Japan Travel Fall 2003 Tour Schedule

Fresh on the net, Pop Japan Travel’s Fall 2003 Tour schedule has been posted. Although the schedule is tentative noted changes include an excursion to the Fall Tokyo Game Show. Anime studio(s) to be visisted this time around are to be announced, more details to come. Start your journey by checking out what happens on days 1-2.

5-9-03—- Princess Nine Soundtrack Coming From Anime Trax

Princess Nine Original Soundtrack 1 CD Pre-book date: 7/29/2003 – Street date: 8/26/2003 Running Time: approx 46 minutes, 22 tracks

Audio CD Catalog#: AT9327 ISBN: 1-57032-934-6 UPC#: 7-42617-9327-2-4 SRP: $14.98

From renowned composer Masamichi Amano (SiN: the Movie / Ninja Resurrection / Giant Robo / Ruin Explorers / Urotsukidoji) comes the Original Soundtrack to Princess Nine!

Head back out to the mound with the music from Princess Nine! Featuring songs composed by Masamichi Amano and performed by the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, this CD has all the touching melodies and stirring themes that played during the Princesses’ rise to the top. It also has the TV-size opening and closing songs, “Princess Nine” and “Passionate Days”! Toss in liner notes and story exposition from series producer Kensei Date, and you have a package that no Princess Nine fan should be without.

Graphic of this CD jacket is located at: http://www.rightstuf.com/outgoing/sleeves/at9327.jpg

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING ABOUT THE PRINCESS NINE ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACKS: “Princess Nine’s music is… some of the best background music you will hear in recent anime.” – AnimeOkashi.com

5-9-03—- Anime North Updates

Anime North, Canada’s hottest Anime Convention gets ready for another action packed weekend during the Victoria day long weekend of May 16-18, 2003 at Toronto’s Regal Constellation Hotel.

Highlights for this year’s event include Special Guest of Honor- comic book artist and screenplay writer- Frank Miller! Mr. Miller is noted for his work of Lone Wolf and Cub, Batman, Dark Knight Returns, Sin City, Ronin and Daredevil. YTV hosts Sugar, Carlos and Paula will be going ‘anime crazy’, broadcasting The Zone and Vortex live from the event.

Anime North will be honoring Mr. Miller with the prestigious, “Momiji” Award, in appreciation for his tireless efforts on behalf of classic titles like Kazuo Koike’s Lone Wolf and Cub, and his integration of Eastern influences and styles in his original creations like Ronin, Dark

Knight Returns and Sin City, Mr. Miller has been an important force in bringing Japanese creators, their art form and influences to a wider audience

This award will be presented jointly by the organizers of Anime North and by the Consul of Japan.

Other special guests include:

* Hikaru Midorikawa: a famous “seiyuu” (voice actor) whose notable roles include the popular original Japanese anime- Yu-Gi-Oh, to which Mr. Midorikawa was the voice for Kaiba. Other roles include anime titles of Fushigi Yuugi, Sailor Moon, Weiss Krues, Cowboy Bebop and Gundam Wing.

* Stan Sakai- a three-time Eisner award winner! His creation, Usagi Yojimbo, is the story of a samurai rabbit living in a feudal Japan populated by anthropomorphic animals. It first appeared in Albedo Comics in 1984, and since then, Usagi has been on television as a guest of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and as toys, on clothing, in comic books and in a series of trade paperback collections.

* Actor David Kaye- whose credits include the next X Men movie- XMEN 2-X2 ! David is also the voice of Professor Xavier in the popular show, X-Men: Evolution, not to mention his continued work in as the evil leader- Megatron in Transformers: Armada. David is one of the most heard voices around.

Also included are many more voice actors of various favorite anime series to include Scott McNeil, Brian Drummond, Kirby Morrow, Saffron Henderson, Mark Hildreth and Brad Swaile.

Special events include the Red and White Show, J-Rock Room, Art show, anime and manga workshops, a Masquerade, the National Dragon Ball Z card tournament and the Beyblade blast off!

Special anime premieres include Kaidohmaru- from Production I.G and Manga Entertainment.

Kaidohmaru is a touching story on how a girl, named Kintoki, is brought up as a boy and fights battles like a boy, but in reality, she is a girl. She falls in love with the General who leads her, but he is hardly aware of her feelings. At the same time the beautiful evil princess, Ouni-Hime, being driven by jealousy, tries to destroy not only these two but also the whole city in the course of her rage. It is a dramatic plot that is developed by puzzled emotions between these three characters.

In addition- there will be various fundraising events for the Hospital for Sick Children Foundation, to which Anime North, a non- profit organization, proudly supports.

YTV and Beyblade will be present, in full force. Corus Entertainment will be hosting Beyblade demonstrations as well as having the voice actors of Kenny and Kai at their booth, meeting the fans and signing autographs.

YTV’s after-school programming block The Zone will be broadcast LIVE on Friday, May 16, 4 – 6 p.m., from Anime North, with hosts Sugar and Carlos. On Saturday, May 17, 7 a.m. – 12 p.m., Paula hosts Vortex LIVE from the first official day of Anime North. Get to know Paula, Vortex’s new host, as she gets to know anime, from movies to games, books to dancing, and plenty of surprises.

This will be Anime North’s Seventh year and Canada’s largest fan run anime convention! It hopes to have over 5000 attendees for 2003 to make it the largest party ever for anime and manga fans!

For more information about specific guests and events, please visit: www.animenorth.com

5-8-03—- Animatrix Exclusive Teletoon Premiere

Matrix mania is already well underway, with The Matrix Reloaded opening in theatres across Canada on Thursday, May 15th. But now Matrix fans can get the inside track on 2003’s biggest entertainment phenomenon, by tuning in for a one-night only exclusive TELETOON animation premiere.

On Monday, May 26th, TELETOON Unleashed will present Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Village Roadshow Pictures’ groundbreaking animated short film Final Flight of the Osiris, a visually spectacular prelude to The Matrix Reloaded. It will air at the beginning of


Anime News Service – April 10-29 Anime News

4-29-03—- Tokyo Mint Statue Schedule

Here’s an update on the statues currently solicited by Tokyo Mint with ship dates.

Statue Name Ship Date
Naru Narusegawa in Bikini December, 2002
Shinobu Maehara in Bath Towel June, 2003
Aoyama Motoko with Sword July, 2003
Naru Narusegawa in Pink August, 2003
Naru Narusegawa in Bath Towel September, 2003
Mitsune Konno in Purple October, 2003

Note: There will be two additional Love Hina statues from Tokyo Mint shipping November and December, 2003, which will complete the Tokyo Mint Love Hina statue series.

4-29-03—- Sega Adapts Tezuka Manga

Gamespot mentions Sega will make a game based on Osamu Tezuka’s manga, Dororo, which is about a samurai named Hyakkimaru who goes on a journey “to uncover his past and regain his humanity”. It’s being developed for the PS2.

4-29-03—- Tokyo Mint Announces Mitsune In Purple

Tokyo Mint Announces “Mitsune Konno in Purple” Sixth in Love Hina Series

Tokyo Mint has announced that the sixth statue in its Love Hina line will be the Mitsune Konno in Purple Statue, which is being pre-solicited in May for shipment in October. Mitsune Konno polls near the top of the Love Hina character list, and this larger (1/6 scale) rendering in a dramatic pose and striking outfit make this a strong entry in the line. The exclusive North American Tokyo Mint edition size for the Mitsune Konno in Purple Statue will be only 600 pieces. Each statue displays beautifully on a wooden base, and comes carefully packaged in an attractive color box (Japanese packaging with Tokyo Mint edition labeling). MSRP will be $129.

4-29-03—- ADV Official Details For Latest Acquisitions

From the official ADV Films release:

ADV FILMS ANNOUNCES ACQUISITION OF “AZUMANGA DAIOH” SWIRLING RUMORS AT LAST PROVE TRUE; ADV FILMS PLANS MULTI-VOLUME DVD RELEASE FOR CAPTIVATING JAPANESE ANIMATED SERIES

HOUSTON, April 28, 2003-ADV Films today formally announced the acquisition for stateside release of “Azumanga Daioh,” an acclaimed Japanese animated series that premiered in early 2002 in Japan. “Azumanga Daioh,” was produced by Genco (“Serial Experiments Lain”) and JC Staff (“Excel Saga”), and is based on the manga (serialized in the Japanese magazine Dengeki Daioh) by Kiyohiko Azuma. ADV plans an Anime Network(tm) debut, followed by a DVD-only release for this comedy title.

About “Azumanga Daioh” “Azumanga Daioh” follows the day-to-day adventures of a comical group of high school girls and their equally eccentric friends and teachers. The manga by Kiyohiko Azuma was published as a series of four-panel strips, much like the traditional comic strips published in American newspapers. To reflect the concept of the manga, each episode of the “Azumanga Daioh,” anime consists of several loosely related, character-driven segments, many of which adapt Azuma’s original strips.

ADV Films leadership praised the title. “‘Azumanga Daioh’ is one of the most inventive and clever anime series to come out of Japan in the last few years,” ADV Films President, CEO and Co-Founder John Ledford said. “The original manga was a master stroke of originality, and the anime is very much in keeping with it. I think fans are going to be thrilled.”

Release Plans ADV has not yet announced specific release plans for “Azumanga Daioh,” but Ledford expects the title to debut sometime later this year.

ADV FILMS TO RELEASE “NEON GENESIS EVANGELION: DIRECTOR’S CUT” EPISODES FINAL SIX EPISODES OF ACCLAIMED TELEVISION SERIES TO BE RE-RELEASED ON TWO DVD VOLUMES, EACH INCLUDING ORIGINAL AND DIRECTOR’S CUT VERSIONS.

HOUSTON, April 28, 2003-ADV Films today announced formally that the firm will release the Director’s Cut of the final six episodes of the enormously influential anime series “Neon Genesis Evangelion.” These Director’s Cut episodes include additional footage, never before released in the U.S. ADV Films expects to release the Director’s Cut in two three-episode DVD volumes; each volume will include both the extended Director’s Cut versions and the original versions of the episodes.

ADV Films Co-Founder and Senior Producer Matt Greenfield produced ADV Films’ original release of “Neon Genesis Evangelion,” and he is at the helm of the firm’s Director’s Cut release as well. “It’s very exciting to be working on ‘Evangelion’ again after so many years,” said Greenfield. “The release of the original series was a pivotal moment in the development of the North American anime market, and we’re very eager to see how fans will react to the revisions and refinements the creators have made to their original vision.

“By including both the original and revised episodes,” continued Greenfield, “we’ve made it possible for Eva-philes to get an inside look at the directorial decisions that went into the creation of one of anime’s most brilliant and original series. If you’ve ever wondered what Eva’s really all about, these new collections will get you closer than you’ve ever been before.”

Release Plans ADV Films has not yet announced release dates for “Neon Genesis Evangelion: Director’s Cut” (note: this is a working title only).

ADV FILMS ACQUIRES “MAGICAL SHOPPING STREET ABENOBASHI” FOR BOTH TELEVISION BROADCAST AND HOME VIDEO MAGICAL, HILARIOUS 13-EPISODE ANIMATED (ANIME) SERIES COMBINES JAPANESE SPIRITUALISM, ADVENTURE, AND SAVVY GENRE PARODY

HOUSTON, April 28, 2003-ADV Films today formally announced the acquisition of the rights to release the hit 13-episode Japanese animated (anime) series “Magical Shopping Street Abenobashi” (AKA “Abenobashi Maho Shotengai”). ADV plans an Anime Network(tm) broadcast debut followed by a DVD-only release for the acclaimed title. “Magical Shopping Street Abenobashi” was originally broadcast in Japan in 2002, earning favorable comparisons to such disparate titles as the satirical “Excel Saga” and Hayao Miyazaki’s spiritually informed “Spirited Away.”

“Magical Shopping Street Abenobashi” was directed by Hiroyuki Yamaga (“Neon Genesis Evangelion,” “Wings of Honneamise,” “Automatic Maiden”) from a script by Satoru Akahori (“Sorcerer Hunters,” “K.O. Beast”). It was produced by the Japanese animation powerhouses GAINAX (producers of the seminal titles “Neon Genesis Evangelion,” “FLCL,” “His and Her Circumstances,” “Otaku no Video” and many others) and Madhouse (“Vampire Hunter D,” “Trigun,” “Cardcaptor Sakura,” “Doomed Megalopolis,” “Ninja Scroll” etc.).

About “Magical Shopping Street Abenobashi” While in pursuit of the truth about a bit of minor family intrigue, the two friends Sasshi and Ayumi discover that, courtesy of a cross-shaped layout and a quartet of animal deities


Anime News Service – April 1-9 Anime News

4-9-03—- Manga And Skypilot Reveal Key DVD Summer Release: Kai Doh Maru

Skypilot Entertainment (http://www.skypilotentertainment.com/), producers of films and revised versions of international film properties, has announced the completion of audio and video post-production on the English language adaptation of the highly anticipated “Kai Doh Maru”, the forthcoming DVD release from Manga Entertainment (http://www.manga.com) on June 24th. “Kai Doh Maru” is the brand new anime production from Japan’s Production IG studios, creators of “Ghost in the Shell” and “Blood: The Last Vampire”. The story is set during Japan’s Heian era and follows the tale of Kai Doh Maru, a strong woman who is enlisted as a warrior with ‘the four knights’ to protect the capital city of Kyoto from warring enemies. The anime film combines traditional animation with stunning computer generated imagery.

Skypilot producer Peter Bavaro was chosen by anime distributors Manga Entertainment to spearhead the English production. “A variety of excellent source materials were made available to us” say Bavaro, “and the project remained 100% digital throughout production, preserved at 1:1 resolutions”. All audio services were performed using ProTools Mix 24 and video post was performed on Avid Symphony systems. Bavaro adds, “We chose to post on the Symphony to keep multiple methods of color correction available, allowing us to accurately preserve the original image and eliminate even the most subtle shifts in color when creating text treatments and other necessary paint-outs”.

For fans of the DVD format “Kaidohmaru” contains a variety of significant extras. In addition to the main program Skypilot revised character trailers, interviews, and spectacular 3D fly-throughs of rendered models used in the film. According to Mr. Bavaro “This is one of those works that subtly resets the frontiers of the art form, and the additional material helps exemplify the talent involved.”

Kevin Wilson, Skypilot’s audio engineer on the project adds, “When [Mr. Bavaro] first showed me the film I was completely blown away. The action scenes are incredible. With this kind of imagery it was essential to create custom tonalities for the voice performances. For the final mix we combined a variety of ambient “surfaces” within the digital environment to ensure the dramatic accuracy of voice placements and proximities”. Wilson continues, “Even the title track by Yutaka Fukuoka is in surround, and it’s one of the best examples to date of what’s possible with 5.1 music mixes. Basically, if you sprung for a surround setup at home, get this disc.”

According to Margo Coughlin, Production Manager for Manga Entertainment, “We are very excited about this project. Meshing 21st century animation technology with traditional artistry and story elements has resulted in a spectacular film. IG PLUS and Production I.G. have once again pushed the boundaries of imagination”. Additional information about the release can be found at www.manga.com.

Skypilot Entertainment continues to supply film dubbing, territory revision and placement services for entertainment released around the world. Skypilot has provided services on over 100 titles including previous releases by Manga Entertainment such as “Virus”, “Ghostsweeper” and the “RayEarth” series and continues to expand its reputation as a premier service provider for exceptional programming destined for release in North America.

4-9-03—- CPM July DVD Offerings

All new releases will be available on July 8, 2003.

Alien Nine From the creators of Excel Saga. From the screenwriter of Millennium Actress, Cowboy Bebop and Bubblegum Crisis, and the producer of Tenchi Muyo! Based on the best-selling manga by Hitoshi Tomizawa. Defense from Grade 6! Yuri is totally bummed. She just started 6th grade and has been elected to capture and eliminate the aliens that are constantly invading the school…a difficult and dangerous job! Even worse, she has to wear a creepy symbiotic alien helmet to get the job done…GROSS!

The Alien Nine DVD offers the following features: * Behind-the-Scenes Video (Making the English Dub) * Producer Taro Maki Comments on Alien Nine * Alien Nine Japanese Promos * Alien Nine Manga Preview * Art Gallery * Sketch Gallery * Alien Nine Trailers * Previews * English & Japanese with English Subtitles

TITLE: Alien Nine RUNNING TIME: 100 minutes RATING: Ages 13 & Up SRP PRICE: $29.99 GENRE: Science Fiction CATALOG #: USMD 2241 STREET DATE: July 8, 2003 PRE-ORDER DATE: June 9, 2003

Descendants of Darkness DVD Collection Terror stalks the night and only one man can save the innocent! Evil walks the earth and only supernatural detective Tsuzuki can stop it! Tsuzuki takes on vampires and demons with style and skill, but his afterlife has been haunted by the specter of the evil Dr. Muraki, a heartless immortal serial killer. Can Tsuzuki’s brash and beautiful new partner help him control his deadly supernatural powers and defeat the villainous Dr. Muraki before he kills again? Contains episodes 1-13. “Gripping” – NewtypeUSA Magazine. “Stunningly beautiful” – AnimeNewsNetwork.com

The Descendants of Darkness DVD Collection DVD offers the following features:

* Fun Facts Video * Virtual Tarot Card Reading * Music Video * Art & Sketch Gallery * Character Profiles * Descendants of Darkness Trailers * Previews * English & Japanese with English Subtitles * DVD-ROM Features: Art Gallery, Scripts, Cast & Production Credits…and more!

TITLE: Descendants of Darkness DVD Collection RUNNING TIME: 325 minutes RATING: Ages 13 & Up SRP PRICE: $99.99 GENRE: Action/Adventure, Supernatural CATALOG #: USMD 2220 STREET DATE: July 8, 2003 PRE-ORDER DATE: June 9, 2003

Descendants of Darkness: Demon’s Reckoning A Demon Snare! A mad scientist stalks Tsuzuki, seeking to cage him and clone his supernatural powers. Trapped in the diabolical doctor’s laboratory, Tsuzuki comes face to face with his oldest enemy, a vengeful immortal who has hunted him throughout his afterlife. Now, his brash young partner must rescue him from the killer’s underground lair, before Tsuzuki loses his soul and sanity to the demon, and is forced to make the ultimate sacrifice! Contains episodes 10-13.

The Descendants of Darkness: Demon’s Reckoning DVD offers the following features:

* Art Gallery * Character Profiles * The Legend of Suzaku Synopsis * Descendants of Darkness Trailers * DVD Previews * English & Japanese with English Subtitles

TITLE: Descendants of Darkness: Demon’s Reckoning RUNNING TIME: 100 minutes


Anime News Service: NEON GENESIS EVANGELION DVD-BOX Region 2

Anime News Service: NEON GENESIS EVANGELION DVD-BOX Region 2

Images Courtesy Yukio

Specifications (According to http://www.evangelion.co.jp):
Release: June 25th 2003 (reservation limited commodity)
Item #: KIBA – 91001 – 91010
Retail Including Tax: 41,790 Yen

10 DVD’S+Bonus Discs
920 Minutes Total Running Time
Color/Single Sided/ Dual Layer
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
Rental Prohibition

Digitally Remastered Video
New masters have been created for this release. The Movies 35mm prints have been transfered to HD24P telecine. TV edition (16mm) 26 episodes have been cleaned up as well as image shaking. Supervised by Director Hideaki Anno, the color tone has been pured to original specs. Enormous time was taken to go through the frames and remove scratches and rubbish.

Digitally Remastered Audio
Supervised by the director, all TV episodes soundtracks have been remastered digitally including sound effects, music, the mixing etc. Original 2 channel audio included.

Bonus Disc Material’s:
Neon Genesis Evangelion Genesis 0:0 In the Beginning
Neon Genesis Evangelion Genesis 0:0′ The Light from the Darkness
Gekijoban # 26 Part (Live Action Video including Hayashibara Megumi, Mitsuishi Kotono and Miyamura Yuko)
Trailer Collection
Remastered OP and ED (minus credits)
AR Rush Film

Print Extras:
95-page explanatory book (Data of EVANGELION), and 14 reports for fan clubs.