Movie News

AnimAICN: Porco Rosso; Demon Oronon; Gyo; Nadia; LOGH; Galaxy Angel; Gene Shaft; Runner Kuromi; Perfect Blue

Published at: Oct. 9, 2003, 11:53 p.m. CST by staff

Father Geek here yet again, and as is the usual Scott has a real wealth of info on everything connected to the worlds of Manga & Anime for us all to devour this week. Our regular weekly AICN column is simply overflowing with news on Comics; DVD; Video; Games; Online Sites; Merchandise; anything to do with Anime and Manga, even corperate takeovers and re-alignments. Sooooooo, get relaxed and prepare to spend some extra cool time at...

AnimAICN...

by Scott Green

Horror Anime Snapshot: Perfect Blue

Released by Manga Entertainment

The psychological thriller hasn't been animated too often. Fewer still escape without a heavy dose of the supernatural. However, animation has unique strengths that it can offer the genre. It blurs the lines between subjective and concrete reality, especially when subject begins to radically diverge. There is a seamlessness that even well made live action special effects can't reproduce.

Perfect Blue is first animated work directed by Satoshi Kon, who has been firmly building a reputation for stretching the boundaries of animation.

Mima Kirigoe is a member of the pop idol singing trio Cham. She's only a minor celebrity, who can go shopping (the luxuries she can afford include the good milk, and fish food for her tetras) without being recognized, but she has a cultish following. In order to take her career to the next level and add some longevity, Mima abandons the bubblegum outfits and music in favor of the path of actress. Her mother, and her manager aren't sure that she should be abandon her love of singing. Fans feel that she sold out, or worse, and react with death threats and letter bombs.

The leap isn't an upward one. While the remaining Cham duo are achieving new levels of success, Mima finds herself progressing from one line roles, to rape scenes, to nude photo shoots; a progression that violently upsets those who still see her as the pristine pop singer.

Satoshi Kon shows an adept hand at creating Mima's cerebral world as reality begins to unhinge. Cuts are made not with a MTV attention grabbing quickness, but asy the speed of association. From dream to acted role, to memory, to present, the experienced identity crisis plays itself out visually the screen. Thanks to the abstraction of animation when reality begins to melt, there is no artificial appearance.

As a thriller, the feature is more how identities will sort themselves out that physical safety. It is a fear that anyone who has taken an uncertain leap into the next stage of life can identify with.

Once you start questioning Perfect Blue, it gives itself enough rope to really hang itself. Not due to logical faults, but because by the time it is over there are enough subjective realties, and overlaps with the concrete to make a very tight noose.

When Perfect Blue first made the rounds of American theatres its harsh nudity, and violence raised eyebrows. With anime still a periphery buzzword, this elicited the "you don't see that from Disney" responses. It still stands out for its unflinching intimacy, and rare intensity.

Horror Manga Snapshot: Gyo Volume 1 By Junji Ito

Released by Viz

Viz stunned readers and critics when they release Junji Ito's Uzumaki, a three volume anthology of the descent of a down haunted by the spiral shape. A horro fan who experience Uzumaki is sure to look foward to the next Ito work.

Unlike Uzumaki, or Ito's early works (Tomie and Flesh-Colored Horror), Gyo is scripted with a horror movie's structure. Rather his vignettes, he uses progressive encounters, chases and expositions.

Gyo is a nature's revolt in the spirit of The Birds. After a close encounter with a shark while scubing diving around a World War II battleship wreck Gyo's frazzled hero and his neurotic girlfriend return home to find the forerunner of an invasion: a legged fish. It isn't long before people are chased down the street by schools/herds of fish, or attacked by squids lurking in the bushes. Fish are invading the land, not just physically attack humans, but attacking them with an oppressive smell.

When working with outlandish creatures, there can be a thin line between frightening and silly. Gyo freely allows itself to cross back and forth over this line. Even when rendered as well as Ito can, a shark barreling down a street, following someone into their house, rounding corners, then rushing out a window to it's death is far more likely to invoke mirth than frights. The Raimi movies should be proof enough that ignoring the boundary isn't necessarily a detriment. At times Gyo can be chilling, at times it can seem pure parody. Especially when done with a straight face you never known when you're going to be confronted with something strange or ghastly.

Gyo has less of Uzumaki's carnival of the grotesque, not to say it doesn't have some fresh stomach turners. Ito is a master of directing the narrative flow between panels of a comic. Uzumaki flowed into a crescendo every thirty pages, with sequences of small panels used for progression, and large panel to force you to linger the next shocking sight. In Gyo, he does an amazing job an amazing job capturing the cinematics of a horror movie. There probably hasn't been a comic to do it better. From the creatures darting shadow before the full reveal to the jumpiness of the chase, Gyo is an experience that feels like watching a movie.

Gyo differs from the its horror movie launch point in several aspects. Unlike other many of the stories of this mold, their are interjections of personalities rather than just playing with character types. Unlike Birds, or Uzumaki cause and mechanism are demystified with explanation.

Anime Spotlight: Animation Runner Kuromi

Released by US Manga Corps

There are novels about writing novels, movies about making movies, and anime about making anime. In anime, these introspective procedurals are rather rare, but the creators seem to have enjoyed venting when they happen. Animation Runner Kuromi is a quick 40 minute dash through the animation process from Akitaroh Daichi.

Daichi is one of the great pop anime directors whose work includes Fruits Basket, Now and Then Here and There, Kodomo no Omacha (aka Kodocha aka Child's Toy), and Jubei-Chan Mystical Ninja. Like many of his works, Kuromi has a Red Bull and Vodka mixture of manic energy and strangeness, including some of his trademark forth wall breaking mascot creatures.

Mikkiko, a new college graduate, walkw into Studio Petit for the first day of her job, and abrumptly learns that her boss is being carried out the hospital for a bleeding ulcer. While little instruction, she has become production manager, with days to get her staff to produce the majority of the needed key frames of "Time Journeys Episode 2" before it is sent over seas for the in-between animation to be completed. It turns out animation is like many deadline driven occupations, full of procrastinations, and workers who are easy to manage as herding cats.

The characters and personalities of the production staff are given the space to be established, but some of the animation concepts and procedurals are presented in a brisk manner that isn't easy to catch. Several concepts are given deep exploration, but many fly. The mix appears like plenty of in-jokes for those familiar with the process, and enough of a taste for those uninitiated with to catch the spirit of the proccess.

At a universal level it Kuromi is an ode to deadlines. It isn't Office Space, actually many of the characters often work from home, but the situation is one that any cubicle warrior can related to.

The DVD is bolstered by an excellent bonus features including interviews with Daichi and fan favorite English voice actress Lisa Ortiz, a commentary track by Daichi, and a few features about the animation process.

Daichi's commentary explains the where the features meets and diverges from reality, who the characters are models of, and the various in-jokes . Given the popularity and distinctiveness of his style it might have been nice to have more insight into some of Daichi's frequently used gags and stylistic choices.

Anime Spotlight: Gene Shaft Volume 2: Halo

Released by Bandai Entertainment

Driven by a hard rock soundtrack, bold CGI images, and a 13 episode lifespan, Gene Shaft is a forceful rush into some interesting sci-fi material. Plot points and revelations are coming fast and furious, as are some unexpected twists and diversions.

After reaching an untenable situation from war and environmental damage, the human race decided to bio-engineering itself into a new phase of evolution. Humans life now lasts 45 years and is evaluated by the usefulness of its genes. The male to female ratio has been reduced to 1:9, with the male population further mediated by registers whose job it is to control the male violent tendencies.

The crew of Gene Shaft are assembled for their highly rated genetically code Skills, and sent to investigate a 500km diameter ring began orbiting Earth that has been linked to alien ruins on Jupiter's moon of Gayemade.

Gene Shaft hasn't delivered on the gender politics, which has the most visual impact to the viewer (the youth aspect is given attention, but despite the female heavy ratio of many anime casts, it is the most striking aspect in Gene Shaft). However, it does have some thoughtful looks at the emotional implications of cloning and genetic manipulations. There are aspects of the genetically engineered existence that the race has become comfortable with to the point where they see it as intrinsic to the human condition, but the cast is still conflicted about other aspects, especially the ones exposed by war and danger.

The second episode of the volume throws a very unexpected and very interesting monkey wrench in the situation that provides some perspective.

The philosophic exploration isn't as good as a Asimov, Heinlein or Card, more time is spent of entertainment, but it there is more depth, and innovating features than the average derivative sci-fi. Beyond its radical genetic engineering there are some interesting facets added to the space/giant robot conventions, such as a reverse engineered alien construct that is being programmed with software scripts as it is used.

This Week's Releases

Anime
  • Android Kikaider - Conflicting Hearts
  • Argentosoma - Our Memories (Vol. 5)
  • Aura Battler Dunbine - The Kings Of Byston Well (Vol. 3)
  • DNA^2 - Dvd Collection
  • Eden's Bowy - Fallen Angels And Flower Towns (Vol. 4)
  • Hamtaro - Ham Ham Times First Issue
  • Inu-Yasha - The Scars Of Battle (Vol. 10)
  • Kimagure Orange Road Tv Series Vol. 1
  • Steel Angel Kurumi 2 - Earth's Guardian Angels (Vol. 2)
  • Witch Hunter Robin - Arrival
  • You're Under Arrest Set 3
  • Yu Yu Hakusho Dark Tournament:Sword

Manga
  • Angels Wing
  • Bride Of Deimos Gn #5
  • Chobits Vol 8 Gn (Of 8)
  • Dragon Hunter Vol 3 Gn (Of 9)
  • G-Gundam Vol 3 Gn (Of 3)
  • King Of Hell Vol 3 Gn (Of 5)
  • Lupin III Vol 8 Gn (Of 14)
  • Oh My Goddess #102 Dr Moreau (Part 3 Of 5)
  • Planetes Vol 1 Gn (Of 3)
  • Raijin Comics #38
  • Rebound Vol 3 Gn (Of 10)
  • Rebound Vol 4 Gn (Of 11)
  • Seraphic Feather Vol 4 Dark Angel Tp
  • Shonen Jump Vol 1 #11 Nov 2003
  • Storm Riders Gn #12
  • The Kindaichi Case Files Vol 3 Gn Death Tv (Of 10)
  • Trigun Vol 1 Tp

Trigun is a popular sci-fi Western that has been adapted into an anime series which appeared on Cartoon Network. According to ICV2, Dark Horse will be shipping an impressive 35,000 copies of the volume 1. The 360 page book retails for $14.95

DNA^2 is the anime adaptation of the romantic comedy manga by Video Girl Ai creator Masakazu Katsura about a girl from the future who comes to the present to stop a boy from becoming the "super playboy", a man irresistible to women who causes explosive overpopulation. Unfortunately when she shoots a shy boy with the preventative drug, she causes him to become the super playboy.

Plantes is a science fiction life in space story. According to TOKYOPOP, creator Makoto Yukimura has become known for the heartfelt 'ordinariness' of his approach to life in space and the depth of the characterization he achieves in his painstakingly beautiful illustrations.

Someday Dreamers Site

Geneon formerly known as Pioneer has opened a Somday's Dreamers site at www.somedaysdreamers.com/. The first volume of the series will be released November 11th.

Fruits Basket Price Drop

According to Anime Nation, shojo comedy drama Fruits Basket is being repriced from $39.99 per volume to $29.99. A review of the first volume can be seen here

Shake Ups At IC Entertainments

According to an Anime on DVD forum report from the AnimeNext convention. There are some significant changes occurring at manga company Studio Ironcat. After changing their name to IC Entertainment, they have game back to the Ironcat name.

The company is currently in debt, which they are attributing to a former employee, who also took the contact information for the artist of Central City with him/her.

Anime News Network has interviewed several departing staff members here. Most of their new staff are donating their time to the company.

The Amerimanga anthology is gonna be put on hiatus as of the current issue.

Sound effect glossaries are going away. Some artists want them in English, others don't want them retouched. Expect footnotes for FX in the future.

DiGiCharat is one of the big titles they're working on, and it's coming out soon.

Cartoon Network November Schedule

Starting November 3rd, Cartoon Network's Adult Swim block will feature Fooly Cooly, Big O, Trigun and Kikaider.

Dragon Ball GT will be appearing on the Toonami block Fridays starting November 7th.

Wonderful Days Reaction

A short review of the Korean animated Wonderful Days can be found in Natsume Maya's October 6th update.

New Tech TV Anime Series

According to Anime News Network, Tech TV will be showing Geneshaft and Banner of the Stars in their Anime Unleashed. Banner is scheduled to begin Tuesday, November 4th, and Geneshaft will premiere at a date to be determined.

Adult Swim Update

According to ICV2 Cartoon Network state at Anime Weekend Atlanta that they are interested in expanding their Adult Swim block to Saturday night, which they would use to show anime movie.

Ratings for the third quarter of 2003 demonstrated the ratings power of the growing Sunday-through-Thursday Adult Swim audience. The Adult Swim block led all cable channels in delivery of adults 18-34, adults 18-24, men 18-34, and men 18-24 during its time period.

As long as the Adult Swim block continues to garner such strong ratings, expansion, both in terms of additional days and late night hours, remains a distinct possibility.

The panelists also announced that the Cartoon Network will show 52 new episodes of Inu-Yasha (Episodes 53-104) during 2004.

Angelic Layer Site Online

ADV has posed a site for the anime adaptation of Angelic Layer, CLAMP's take on Pokemon style seires, at www.angeliclayerdvd.com

Japanese Manga Rental

Comics Journalista points out an article about the trend in Japan where owners of for-pay lending libraries will have to pay extra royalties on the works they offer, thanks in part to the efforts of a group of cartoonists who see such shops as part of the reason for the recent sluggishness in manga sales.

Japanese Sites and Trailers

From Natsume Maya

TV Tokyo has posted a numbers of trailers here, including Bastof LeMon, F-Zero Falcon Legend, Gungrave, Papuwa, Popolocrois, Rockman.exe Axess, Saiyuki Reload, Takahashi Rumiko Theater: Mermaid's Forest and Wagamama Yousei Mirumo de Pon! Golden.

Official sites are:

Gungrave

The site is online Papuwa.

Avenger

Gunslinger Girl The manga version of Gunslinger Girl is being released by ADV.

Saiyuki Reload and here href="/">TV Wakusei Survive

The Ikki Tousen official website has updated with various clips to download: Previews for episodes 2 to 7 here General commercial (click on either the words "Media Player" or "Real Player", not the little graphics) here

Movie From Kite Creator

Umetsu Yasuomi, creator of slickly violent anime OAVs (direct to video) Kite and Mezzo Forte will be working for Access-A to produce a movie called Kiss and Cry

Upcoming Broccoli Books Manga Releases

November 18th:

Di Gi Charat Theater - Dejiko's Summer Vacation

December 16th:

Di Gi Charat Theater - Piyoko is Number One!

Di Gi Charat Theater - Dejiko's Summer Vacation

What happens when an alien hybrid cat-eared girl with aspirations of becoming the next idol super star lands on earth?

Well first of all, she discovers that she needs money. And in order to pay for their high living expenses Di Gi Charat (aka. Dejiko) and her pal Puchiko have to work. Fortunately for them, an anime retail chain called Gamers has openings! As a new employee, Dejiko becomes quite popular with the customers. But what happens when Rabi~en~Rose, her self-proclaimed rival, seeks to steal the show? And what about Piyoko and the Black Gema Gema Gang, a group of neighboring aliens who seek to kidnap her? These things can only mean one thing for Dejiko: non-stop adventure!

Join Dejiko as she spends her summer break tricking Piyoko, blowing up the Black Gema Gema Gang, and switching bodies with Rabi~en~Rose!

Di Gi Charat Theater - Piyoko is Number One!

The Black Gema Gema Gang are from Planet Analogue, and due to their poor resources they have been trying to conquer planet Di Gi Charat for years. Upon learning that that Princess Di Gi Charat (Dejiko) went to Earth, they quickly follow to kidnap her and hold her for ransom to support their home planet.

Piyoko is the head of the Black Gema Gema Gang, and Rik, Ky, and Coo work under her loyally and lovingly. However, Piyoko's plans always seem to backfire, and the goal of a prosperous planet is far away...

Piyoko is number one! ...At least in this second installment of Di Gi Charat Theater - Piyoko is Number One! Piyoko and the Black Gema Gema Gang take over. This is your chance to look into the (poor) lives of Piyoko, Rik, Ky, and Coo. But Dejiko won't give up the lead role that easily. She will be making appearances occasionally (so watch out)!

Also coming soon from Broccoli Books:

Galaxy Angel Manga series by Kanan

A sci-fi comedy adventure centered around five very different warriors of the female persuasion.

In the future, five beautiful and powerful warriors operate Emblem Frame, the remains of Lost Technology. Prince Eonia was expelled from his homeland only to come back and kill off the royal family. The only hope remaining for Transbalt Kingdom is to protect Prince Shiva, who was raised by the Mother Queen of the White Moon.

Commander Takuto has been assigned to take the Angel Troupe under his command in order to escort Prince Shiva to safety. Milfeulle Sakuraba, Second Lieutenant, has the gift of luck. Of course, that doesn't always mean good luck. And when it's bad... it's bad. Ranpha Franboise, Second Lieutenant, loves all things spicy. Her reflexes and speed are legendary. Mint Blanchmanche, Second Lieutenant, junk food addict, loves to cosplay. She has the power to read minds. Forte Stollen, First Lieutenant, handles weapons and loves yakitori. Second Lieutenant Vanilla H is a religious-based vegetarian and heals using the nanomachines.

Fighting for the Empire, they travel through space along with 200 other brave souls through on a large ship, one of the remnants of Lost Technology, equipped with its own beach and even space whales!

Aquarian Age - Juvenile Orion Manga series by Sakurako Gokurakuin

As the Aquarian Age rises, the violence escalates between the various female factions, the Mindbreakers and the alien Erasers.

However, a new change is on the horizon. Great power awakens in certain men and boys. Like the young girls of ages past, they learn to wield the magic found deep inside themselves.

And now female Mindbreakers emerges in the battle to decide the fate of the Earth.

Mana transfers to a high school in Tokyo, where she is reunited with her childhood friend, Kaname. But she is attacked by another classmate named Naoya Itsuki, who wants to test Mana's ability as a Mindbreaker. Kaname rushes to her aid, but when Mana reaches out to touch him, black wings rip out of Kaname's back. Naoya accepts Mana's powers, and begins to explain the history of Aquarian Age.

Di Gi Charat Theater: Leave it to Piyoko!

Manga series by Hina.

Has a manga ever focused on such an evil villain!? Don't let her cuteness fool you! Piyoko has grand evil plans to kidnap Dejiko. The people of her poor Planet Analogue are all counting on her. Of course, she can't be a very good bad guy without her hench men, the Black Gema Gema Gang - Rik, Kai and Coo. Sure her grand plans seem to keep falling apart. But don't worry. Piyoko plans to come out on top. Dejiko, you'd better watch out!.

Media Blasters Licenses Mouse

Media Blasters announced at the Anime Next convention that they had licensed recent anime series Mouse.

CPM News

According to Anime on DVD's AnimeNext convention report, on the Alien 9 front, in addition to the Alien 9 box (3 volumes of manga plus 1 DVD), the manga team is hard at work on the followup, Alien 9 Emulators. This one volume manga should be released early next year.

World of Narue will hit DVD sometime in 2004. The DVD release is planned to be packed with extra features, include actor and director commentaries and a feature about the 2003 Anime Idol contest.

CPM is exploring the acquisition of Korean animated titles and manwha (Korean manga).

Maison Ikkuku Anime Update

According to Anime on DVD's AnimeNext convention report, more Maison Ikkoku is coming. Production has started back up with script writing currently taking place. Expect to see more released around January

New Evangelion 2 Images

Magic Box has posted new images of the Shinseiki Evangelion 2 game here

Legend of Galactic Heros Update

From Anime News Network

The presale intention petition imitative for the strategic space war epic the Legend of Galactic Heroes has gathered "hundreds" of signatures.

While the total number of pledges received is still "somewhat short" of the goal of 1,500 necessary before production will be considered, Wright Staff Co., which holds the overseas distribution rights for LoGH, is convinced the goal will be met. The Japanese release of the series retails for Y231,000 (approximately $1925). If an R1 release will take place, Wright Staff is "pretty confident" a price point of $1700 can be set.

Hello LOGH fans -

Because of LOGH's popularity in Hong Kong and China, the official LOGH DVDs were prepared with Chinese audio (in addition to Japanese) and Chinese subtitles, and so these official DVDs released in Japan recently are sold in those countries as well.

There have been reports of Manga International and possibly other companies selling what may seem like legitimate LOGH DVDs in Hong Kong, and that many of these are imported and being sold in the US as well.

While it is true that one Hong Kong-based company held LOGH DVD rights until earlier this year, it no longer is the case. No other parties in Hong Kong, including MI, currently hold LOGH DVD rights.

It should be obvious that the DVDs MI sells are bootlegs. And it goes without saying, purchasing bootlegs is not unlike supporting criminal acts, and it can be harmful to anime creators, companies and everyone involved in making legitimate releases available.

As we all know, LOGH is a gigantic production that was made over many, many years. Due to its age, material conditions, etc., it was decided to restore and/or re-animate countless parts of the series for the DVD release, especially the earlier episodes, despite the enormous expenses that that would incur.

The producers of LOGH would like to acknowledge receiving hundreds of email comments and pledges for the release of R1 English-Subtitled LOGH Limited-Edition DVD Boxset. While the total number of pledges so far is still somewhat short of our goal, they feel confident that the Boxset can be sold for US$1,700, not US$2,000+ (as previously speculated), provided that the goal of 1,500 pledges be met.

Stay tuned for more announcements...

Sincerely, An US-based staff, on behalf of the LOGH project team and Producers.

Nadia Soundtracks

ADV Films set a street date of November 25, 2003 for the release of four ADV Music titles from the beloved anime franchise Nadia, Secret of the Blue Water-three soundtracks from the acclaimed Nadia television series and one from the motion picture. All four of these soundtracks boast high-quality production and artwork from the original animation releases.

The soundtracks feature Music composed by Yoshimasa Inoue, Shiro Sagisu, Hiromasa Ijichi and Joe Rinoie. Lyrics by Etsuko Kisugi, Ha Sa Ko and Miho Morikawa. Vocal performances by Miho Mirokawa and Satomi Matsushita.

Geneon Introduces Signature Series

Anime on DVD reports Geneon is looking to introduce their new attempt and marketing older titles to the continually growing audience. Called the Signature Series in name (no indication of actual branding on the product), it looks by this first solicitation that it's mostly older series and the first volumes of them as well as a few one-off's.

These are essentially the repricings that take effect on 01/06/2004:
  • Akira - $19.98
  • Armitage III: Polymatrix - $14.98
  • Beyblade Vol. #1 & Vol. #2 - $14.98
  • Cardcaptors Vol. #1 - $14.98
  • Catnapped! - $14.98
  • Dog of Flanders - $14.98
  • Gatekeepers Vol. #1 - $19.98
  • Lain Vol. #1 - $19.98
  • Nazca Vol. #1 - $19.98
  • Panda! Go, Panda! - $14.98
  • Sailor Moon R Movie - $19.98
  • Sailor Moon S Movie - $19.98
  • Sailor Moon SuperS Movie - $19.98
  • Tenchi in Tokyo Vol. #1 - $19.98
  • Tenchi The Movie: Tenchi Muyo! In Love - $14.98
  • Tenchi Universe Vol. #1 - $19.98
  • Trigun Vol. #1 - $14.98

New TOKYOPOP manga license

Anime on DVD reports that TOKYOPOP's site lists the first volume of The Demon Oronon (Akuma no Ororon) for a April sixth release.

A lonely yet caring 15-year-old Chiaki, the half-angel daughter of the Archangel Michael and a human woman, welcomes into her home a dejected devil Ororon who pledges to stay at her side forever.

Both of them have been ostracized from their respective celestial realms .Chiaki because her origins are impure and Ororon because he is the youngest son of the Lord Devil and therefore a threat to his older brothers for leadership of the underworld.

As various agents of heaven come by to destroy the angel Chiaki, she learns that having the incredibly powerful Ororon by her side is useful. And as assassin after assassin comes to eliminate Ororon, he learns that Chiaki can teach him a valuable lesson about the sanctity of life.

Mizuki Hakase's compelling manga first appeared in Japan as Akuma no Ororon in the April 1998 issue of Wings, and concluded its run there in the January 2001 issue.

eigoMANGA From Diamond Distributors

Excerpted from the press release" eigoMANGA - THE INTERNET DOT COM SURVIVOR: FORMER DOT-COM COMPANY SUCCESFULLY EVOLVES INTO PROMISING PUBLISHING COMPANY eigoMANGA has partnered with Diamond Book Distributors as the premier U.S. and worldwide distributor of the company's comic book publications to the bookstore, library, warehouse club, mass merchandise, and comic book specialty markets. Upon the distribution partnership, eigoMANGA will release it's first of many comic book publications worldwide beginning February 2004.

eigoMANGA, formerly a dot-com company(eigoMANGA.com) in 2000 had earned the comic book industry acclaim for being amongst the first, innovative, and leading companies to produce dot-comics on the internet during the internet boom. eigoMANGA(then eigoMANGA.com) strived through the dot-com days and persevered during the dot-com bust. With high-quality and compelling original comic book work, eigoMANGA as a core company has proven to become a valuable brand to the eyes of the comic book industry and fans worldwide. This along with genuine company loyalty among employees enabled eigoMANGA to survive the declining Internet business industry and successfully evolve into a promising enterprise level publishing and media company.

eigoMANGA has long since moved out of being a web-based business and because of that the company now has an opportunity to earn addition recognition as being amongst the first and leading US-based comic book company to create a new genre within the manga industry: American manga. The company will officially ship its first issue of its flagship comic book series eigoMANGA RUMBLE in stores worldwide February 2004. eigoMANGA RUMBLE PAK is a monthly anthology comic book series portraying original manga stories created by American artists and creators.

"We feel that the comics in RUMBLE PAK represent the advent of a new breed of talented American manga artists. The visually striking artwork and compelling storylines in these comic books will put to rest any to rest any stigma that Americans can't compete with Japanese manga" states Osueke.

Diamond's Sales Team will begin working with bookstores, book wholesalers, warehouse clubs, mass merchandisers, and libraries to place eigoMANGA's titles across the country.

For information about eigoMANGA.com, visit the site at http://www.eigoMANGA.com.

Specialty Stores Opinion on Anime

Icv2 has posted more opinions from comic speciaty stores' attempt to sell anime, and the relationship between distributors and large chains here and here

Disney's Porco Rosso Dub Cast

According to Nausicca.net and Anime on DVD, Disney has announced the cast that they will be using for the English dub of the Hayao Miyazaki/Studio Ghibli movie Porco Rosso. John Lasseter will be serving as executive producer and Tony Bancroft doing the direction.

Voice talent will be...
  • Porco - Michael Keaton
  • Curtis - Cary Elwes (Princess Bride, Robin Hood: Men in Tights)
  • Gina - Susan Egan (Hercules, Spirited Away)
  • Fia - Kimberly Williams-Paisley

Porco Rosso a testament to Miyazki's love of flight. Set in 20's, the movie follows the adventure of a pig-man pilot with a spirit closer to Lupin III: Castle of Cagliostro than his other movies.

The French dub of the movie is renown for featuring Jean Reno as the lead character, and being one of Miyazaki's favorite foreign adaptations of his work.

GTO on Showtime Channel

TOKYOPOP Inc. has announced that it has entered into an agreement with Showtime Networks Inc. to bring the critically acclaimed and hilarious GTO anime to TV viewers. The 43-episode series begins airing on the Network's SHO Next channel on November 3rd at 9:00pm, with newepisodes nightly Monday through Friday.

Based on Tohru Fujisawa's hugely popular manga, GTO is the story of Eikichi Onizuka-a 22-year-old ex-biker who becomes a teacher to make a difference. Unfortunately, he's also crude, foul-mouthed, and has a hair-trigger temper! Using his street smarts to deal with colleagues, students and troublemakers, Onizuka finds that he, too, has many lessons to learn as he strives to become the greatest high school teacher in the world.

Readers Talkback

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  • Oct. 10, 2003, 12:31 a.m. CST

    LoGH

    by TenDeuChen

    Legends of Galactic Heroes sounds like an awesome show, but at $1700 dollars ALL AT ONCE, I just can't see how I can buy it...especially when there's not even an english dub on the 47 dvds...

  • Oct. 10, 2003, 12:52 a.m. CST

    Wonderful Days

    by The Gline

    Did a review of this striking but hollow anime here: http://www.thegline.com/dvd-of-the-week/2003/09-25-2003.htm A shame it isn't better.

  • Oct. 10, 2003, 2:56 a.m. CST

    I couldn't stand PERFECT BLUE.

    by Cash Bailey

    Mainly because Mima was such a vacuous twit.

  • Oct. 10, 2003, 4:04 a.m. CST

    GiTS SAC

    by Han Ol' Buddy

    I want more (or any) news on when and if Adult Swim will be expanding their anime block to incorporate the English dub of Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex. And whether or not the English R1 DVDs will be anywhere near as cool as the ones out in JP. Late.

  • Oct. 10, 2003, 4:30 a.m. CST

    Kyrptonight

    by Bcphil

    My first skills are getting weak, i wonder what is casuing this? Is there any news on another Vampire Hunter D movie I keep hearing about??

  • Oct. 10, 2003, 7:26 a.m. CST

    Yeah, it's called VAN HELSING.

    by Cash Bailey

  • Oct. 10, 2003, 10:37 a.m. CST

    Jean Reno as Porco Rosso

    by ChaseSequence

    Don't even try to tell me the casting director wasn't influenced in THAT decision by the oven mitt scene in the Professional ...

  • Oct. 10, 2003, 11:01 a.m. CST

    Market unrealities...

    by WizardX

    Did I just read an article that said, "Don't buy bootlegs! They're bad! You can buy the official title for $1,700!" Someone isn't living on this earth. Right or wrong, if whatever series isn't released normally in the US, a few people are gonna bootleg it. And they sure aren't going to pay $1,700. ... And in other news, Keaton seems wrong for Porco. His original voice was so gruff and gravelly. I just can't see Keaton saying, "But I'm just a pig," and make it work.

  • Oct. 10, 2003, 11:05 a.m. CST

    So...

    by mbeemer

    ...what is Legend of Galactic Heroes and why is it I don't seem to have heard of it before? (Obviously I've missed something many fans consider *very* important.)

  • Oct. 10, 2003, 12:19 p.m. CST

    What Is Legend Of Galactic Heroes

    by ScottGreen

    Legend Of Galactic Heroes is about the longest, most complex space opera you could possible hope for (110 episodes, plus movies and OAVs). Lot's of fleet battles, lot's of attentions to military and political strategy. If you're into 18th century history, or navil warefare it is worth a look. It's the kindof thing you are either fascinated by, or bored by. See http://www.logh.net/logh.htm for some general infomation.

  • Oct. 10, 2003, 12:29 p.m. CST

    Perfectblue

    by IAM GAWD

    Let me get this straight.... You just started to review Perfectblue now? This thing has been out for, like, 3 years? And you're just getting to it? Sheesh...get a little faster on those reviews, man.

  • Oct. 10, 2003, 2:19 p.m. CST

    Porco Rosso

    by Urge to Kill

    Wizard X go back and watch Bettlejuice, Keaton can do a gravly voice if neccesary although I still think he was miscast.

  • Oct. 10, 2003, 6:56 p.m. CST

    Legend of Galactic Heroes

    by Bemlayze

    Wow! My first ever AICN talkback post! In reply to mbeemer, Galactic Heroes is a very involved serious-SF saga. Many fans have described it as the "Babylon 5 of anime". Not a bad comparison, although LoGH features a human universe without aliens, it shares a lot of similar explorations of politics, government, war and human relationships. This depths comes from the source material, since LoGH was originally a very popular series of SF novels in Japan by author Yoshiki Tanaka before it was adapted to anime. (Tanaka also wrote the novels on which "Heroic Legend of Arslan" is based, for those who've seen that anime. Catch a joke about it at the great webcomic Tsunami channel: http://tsunamichan.keenspace.com/d/20030926.html ) For years I've described LoGH to literary SF fans as something like what Isaac Asimov's "Foundation" series would come out if it were animated. I didn't realize how accurate I was until I learned that Tanaka had written a preface for a Japanese edition of "Foundation" a few years ago! Although parts of it have been available in fansubs for years, regrettably not many have heard of this great show because it rarely gets pushed at anime clubs and the like because it doesn't have most of the popular anime cliches: transforming robots, girls in sailor skirts, super-deformed wild takes, etc. If you like serious SF and are looking for an anime that is a bit more challenging than usual, check out Galactic Heroes!

  • Oct. 10, 2003, 7:28 p.m. CST

    Cash Bailey, did you watch it in dub or sub?

    by empyreal0

    The dubbed Perfect Blue is just, well... bad. The voices RUIN the effect horrendously, and most of the lines fail to convey the same eerie effect as the Japanese lines. Frankly, it's one of the best examples of anime that can only be watched with subtitles. My only problem with the film is that once you truly grasp the ending... the movie is never quite as good. Perfect Blue is best at its most delirious, where you're left never quite certain what is hallucination and what is real, and thus the ending is only good when it's ambiguous. After that second viewing, when all the pieces fall together... it's disappointing and unrealistic.

  • Oct. 11, 2003, 4:03 a.m. CST

    O JOY, MORE ANIME ON ADULT SWIM

    by Dan_Average

    Here's some advice for the AS guys: make some new fucking shows.

  • Oct. 11, 2003, 2:45 p.m. CST

    You know,....

    by Lady_Hyde

    I would've prefered Jean Reno in the English dub of "Porco Rosso". He was also probably the only good thing about that '98 "Godzilla" movie....

  • Oct. 13, 2003, 2:35 p.m. CST

    AS make new shows?

    by The Killer-Goat

    like what, for example? Adult Swim's weekly anime run is cheap imported labor, really. Some fun stuff, no doubt, but right now AS is working off reruns of home-grown Space Ghost CTC, Brak show, AquaTeen HF, and a few other really oddball series. Sealab 2021 just lost Capt Murphy (RiP) so that may not go anywhere. Regardless, they're all shows done just for yuks. A few years ago the AS segment of CN was a smart sign of things to come, but right now it's an intermediary block-filler for shuffling around countless import shows throughout the week, or getting 15min sight gags on Sunday nights. JL Season2 makes for decent drama on occasion; the last Dr. Destiny 2-parter was more human than I expected. That's one potential example of "adult" atmosphere that teeters the line, but doesn't quite go over. Can CN match the production of a series like LOGH or even 'Crest of the Stars' (as opposed to co-producing foreign anime hits like Big O and one-shots like IGPX)? Or even top their contemporaries' flawed dub acting? The closest I've heard to 'gritty' and 'involved' dubbing came from Cowboy Bebop. CN could garner a strong fan base with a strong original. But regarding any mature fare that might actually be considered "adult", CN is simply a cartoon-bartering network... that actually has the power to executive-produce something really, really good. How 'bout it, CN? Up to a dare from your older fans? (Please, no giant robots.) Tell you what, I'll even throw out a possible example: EXO-squad. Talk about a mismatched bunch of talents: underneath the crappy animation, over-dramatic VA, and marketing pretense (it WAS a toyline first, after all) was a pretty tense war drama with all the death, destruction, plague and conflicted militaristic values a show could get away with, considering the age group. Surprisingly, it enjoyed at least 2 seasons. As an american comparative to Robotech or [classic] Gundam, it was decent, mature writing.

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