3-8-01—- Big O Official
Excerpted from the press release:
There’s A New Giant Robot On The Block BIG O Joins Toonami Line-up on Cartoon Network on April 2
Cartoon Network will premiere BIG O (TV-Y7/FV) on Monday, April 2 at 5:30 p.m. (ET, PST) as part of the Toonami action-adventure programming block. This marks the first time that the Japanese animated series will appear on American television. BIG O will replace Outlaw Star in the Toonami line-up. BIG O takes place 40 years after a mysterious occurrence known only as “The Event” has destroyed Paradigm City and erased the memories of its citizens. Although Paradigm City has since recovered, it maintains an austere existence under police rule and its citizens are forever questioning what happened to them 40 years ago. Roger Smith, also known as The Negotiator, travels through Paradigm City’s bleak urban landscape, rubbing elbows with both shady criminals and captains of industry. He solves problems on behalf of his clients, while he struggles with his own mysterious past. In his quest to safeguard Paradigm City, the Negotiator is assisted by Norman, his loyal butler, Dorothy, an android companion and BIG O, a towering robot.
Toonami, Cartoon Network’s popular afternoon action-adventure programming block airs weekdays 4-7p.m. (ET, PT) and features programs like Sailor Moon, Dragon Ball Z, Gundam Wing, Tenchi Muyo!, Outlaw Star and Ronin Warriors. Intermittently throughout the three-hour programming block, Toonami features popular music, computer generated 3-D animation segments and the block’s host, TOM, an animated character who inhabits the space vessel Absolution.
3-8-01—- Irwin Toy Bought Out
Irwin Toy, license holder for Dragonball Z action figures, announced Tuesday, March 6 that it had been acquired by Livgroup Investments Ltd., a private holding company. Livgroup bought 100% of Irwin stock, for which they paid $6.25 per share, for a total of nearly $55 million, a figure which includes the debt they assumed from Irwin. This announcement comes nearly a week after rumors that Irwin was in negotiations to sell. There was speculation that one of hte major US toy companies, such as Hasbor or Mattel, was the potential buyer; however, Livgroup Investments, owned by investor Richard Ivey and consumer products specialist Jean-René Halde, turned out to be the buyer. Mr. Halde, who has experience in consumer products companies throughout Canada, will step in as new CEO.
“What I like is that they’ve gone from, 10 years ago, basically being a distributor of products in Canada to today being a manufacturer of exclusive products which seem to be doing well in the U.S. and other countries,” Mr. Halde said.
3-8-01—- X Suspended In Animerica Extra
From the Viz release:
The serialization of X/1999 has been suspended in the manga anthology Animerica Extra starting in Volume 4, Number 5. We apologize for the suspension, especially during a crucial point in the plot, but we must adhere to the terms in our contract for publishing X/1999. Our licensing department is working to bring the title back to Animerica Extra for Volume, 4, Number 9 and to be sure that this type of problem can be prevented in the future.
3-8-01—- DBZ Manga Uncut Update
According to Viz via Planet Namek:
AND NOW…A SHOCKING MESSAGE FROM THE EDITOR! As most of you know, back in Dragon Ball Part 3 #3, we announced that due to parental complaints the Dragon Ball manga was going to be “edited” for content. Soon after that, we got hundreds of letters and e-mails begging us not to censor the manga. An online petition to bring back uncensored Dragon Ball was set up by Julian Grybowski, and soon got more than 10, 000 signatures. We listened to your suggestions, and now we are proud to announce:
STARTING THIS MONTH, DRAGONBALL WILL BE UNCENSORED AND HAVE A “13-AND-UP” LABEL ON IT!!!
After much consideration, we’ve decided that this is the best way to do it. Many of you suggested this (too many to thank you all individually), and you can see the label on this comic and on Dragon Ball Vol. 4 which came out in February. Also, we will soon be reprinting Dragon Ball Vol. 1-3 and re-inserting the material which was censored in the graphic novel version. You can tell which is the uncensored version because it’ll have the “13 and Up” label in the lower right corner. The censored graphic novels will not be reprinted and will soon be unavailable.
Because of this label, you might not be able to find Dragon Ball graphic novels at certain large chain stores. (You should still be able to find Dragon Ball Z.) However, we at Viz have decided that this trade-off is worth it-it’s better to keep Toriyama’s spirit intact. Our thanks go out to all the fans who signed the petition and wrote us intelligent letters saying what you think-it’s because of you and all the other Dragon Ball readers that this happened.
3-8-01—- Financial Stance Of Tokuma
According to Anime News Network:
Speaking with Nippon Keizai Shimbun (“Japan Economic Newswire”) in an interview published on March 8th, Matsushita Takeyoshi, the new president of Tokuma, announced the sale of several divisions in order to cut the company’s 100 billion yen (US$840 million)debt, which includes a 5 billion yen operating deficit for the 1999 fiscal year. He said that it should take the company 4-5 years to pay off its debt.
Tokuma has already sold its Direct TV assets, as well as cut back its operation in BS and CATV. Their movie division, Daiei will also suspend all major production for a while.
On the other hand, Tokuma is launching 3 new magazines geared towards female students and middle aged people. And most importantly to Anime fans, Tokuma will not be selling Studio Ghibli. It is expected that Ghibli will turn a profit with Miyazaki’s latest film, Sen to Chihiro.
3-8-01—- Sen To Chihiro Image Album
A post to the Nausicaa.net mailing list mentions the image Album of Studio Ghibli’s latest film, “Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi” will be released on April 4, 2001. The cover can be viewed here.