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Anime AICN - New Round-Up


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Column by Scott Green

CPM Re-Organizes

CPM Set out the message:

Late last week, reports of extensive layoffs at anime licensor Central Park Media led to speculation that the company was preparing for bankruptcy. Though the company has not yet confirmed or denied the filing rumors, CPM founder and managing director John O'Donnell issued a statement to Toon Zone News with more information about the recent financial setbacks. "As our business has been significantly impacted by Musicland's bankruptcy filing, we are facing tightening sales conditions and are currently focusing on a cost cutting program which will structure the company for future growth without our largest customer. A number of very talented and dedicated employees have unfortunately lost their jobs through no fault of their own. CPM will be happy to assist these fine staff members find employment opportunities, so any company seeking experienced and professional employees are requested to email CPM at HR519@teamcpm.com for further details." The Musicland retailer chain, which included Suncoast, Mediaplay and Sam Goody and was well known as a major anime purchaser, filed for bankruptcy in January. Most of its assets were sold to Trans World Entertainment in March.

The company has announced that they still intend to release the fourth collection of Votoms and the collection of Wrath of the Ninja aka Yotoden in August.

Variety Updates Live Action Status

Anime News Network reports Variety said the following about Hollywood anime adaptations

Since 1997, Hollywood has been acquiring major anime properties like "Sailor Moon," about a group of young girls gifted with magical powers and skimpy costumes; "Speed Racer," a '60s series about a heroic racecar driver; and "Battle Angel Alita," in which a skull-cracking female cyborg searches for her past. .

Dozens of projects are already rumbling into production. Weta is attached to "EVA" and already started creating concept art. James Cameron is directing "Battle Angel," and he's spent the past 10 months developing the technology necessary to bring it to the bigscreen. "Pet Shop of Horrors," another Tokyopop project that's a "Twilight Zone"-esque series about a mysterious pet store, is set up with Rogue Pictures, and even Roy Lee is developing a TV series based on the acclaimed "Witch Hunter Robin" anime.

Earthsea Updates

According to Nausicaa.net, Studio Ghibli announced that the release date of "Gedo Senki" (Tales from Earthsea) will be July 29.
The site's June 5, 2006 update includes the Tower Record promo booklet for the movie's soundtrack single.

Twitch and Ghibli World have posted a new image of the second post for Studio Ghibli's legend of Earthsea here

In other Ghibli news, Lawson has an item on Globes Hayao Miyazaki painted for the Ghibli mueseam.

Bleach Movie Coming Up

Anime News Network reports Toho announced an anime movie based on the shonen anime/manga Bleach will be released in Japan this December.

GSC Burst Plans

Dark Horse Comics announced that they will be releasing Gunsmith Cats Burst, Kenichi Sonada's return to his bounty hunter girls with gun series will be released in 2007 with the re-release of the orginal series.

Carl Horn announces on Anime on DVD, the four omnibus editions of the original Gunsmith Cats will be 450 page each, condensing the original nine-volumes.

There may actually be as much as 90-100 pages of additional material, depending on how things go. This will include the atogaki (illustrated afterwords) and yonkoma (four-panel gag strips), which in GSC were done by such people as Hiroyuki Utatane, Tsukasa Kotobuki, and Hideaki Anno. Other material includes Sonoda's seven-page comic on the making of the RIDING BEAN anime, and the four RIDING BEAN manga stories he drew for Comic Noizy magazine back in 1989.

Devilman Live Action Licensed

Twitch reports Media Blasters will release the live action adapation of Go Nagai's classic horror superhero Devilman.

Koike At San Diego

Dark Horse has announce Kazuo Koike, co-creators of Lone Wolf and Cub, Crying Freeman and many others will be appearing for the first time ever at this year’s Comic-Con International in San Diego. This will be Mr. Koike’s first ever appearance at any US convention. The specific date and time of Mr. Koike’s appearance will be announced shortly.

Busou Renkin Anime Website Up

Anime News Service points out that the official site for the Busou Renkin, the later series from the creator of Ruruoni Kenshin is online at www.busourenkin.com

Brocolli to Release Disgaea Manga

Broccoli Books will be releasing the one volume manga based on strategy RPG Disgaea. The volume will be exclusive to Borders in July and released everywhere in October.

Disgaea is based on the PlayStation2 cult hit RPG video game of the same name. The story follows Laharl, the son of a deceased Netherworld king, in his quest to take back the throne with the help of devil-girl Etna and angel Flonne. The Disgaea manga is illustrated by newcomer Arashi Shindo, and is published by Ichijinsha in Japan.

The Disgaea illustration book will be Broccoli Books' second art book following the Juvenile Orion illustration book. This hardcover illustration book will feature color artwork by character designer Takehito Harada, conceptual designs, and interviews with video game staff and voice actors. The Disgaea illustration book is slated for release in November 2006.

Yoki Koto Kiku is a black comedy about triplets: Yoki, Koto, and Kiku who are thrown into an inheritance war when the patriarch of the Nekogami clan passes away. Yoki Koto Kiku is the brain child of Koge-Donbo, the creator of Di Gi Charat and manga artist of Pita-Ten, and was originally serialized in Comic Di Gi Charat Magazine in Japan by Broccoli Co. Yoki Koto Kiku will be sold in Borders Group bookstores from July 2006 through September 2006, and will be available for wide release in October 2006.

Witchblade Anime News

Comicbook Resource's Wizard World Philly report states that FUNimation will be distributing Gonzo's anime version of Witchblade in the North America and that talks are underway to air on the show on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim. The "Aphrodite IX" anime was also mentioned . The anime will be a 98 minute movie that will likely get a theatrical release in Europe and possibly Japan before going straight to DVD in the US sometime in 2007 or 2008.

New CLAMP in Wonderland

Akadot reports CLAMP In Wonderland 2 1995~2006, a second animated short featuring a compendium of characters from CLAMP manga is in development at Madhouse, the traditional anime adapter of CLAMP works.

Anime Game News

The official site for the upcoming Playstation 2 Kenshin game Rurouni Kenshin: Enjou! Kyoto Rinne is online here

AnimeNation points out that Game News Site EG now hosts images of the upcoming Japanese arcade fighting game The Battle of Yu Yu Hakusho: Shitou! Ankoku Bujutsukai (The Battle of Yu Yu Hakusho: To the Death! Dark Martial Arts Tournament).

The official site for the Applessed Playstation 2 game is online here

4Gamer now hosts a downloadable WMV format trailer for the upcoming Japanese PC adventure game My Hime: Unmei no Keitoujyu Shura. The revised edition of the Unmei no Keitoujyu game will be released on June 30th.

The Magic Box reports Bandai Namco will release SD Gundam G-Generation Portable for PSP in Japan on August 3, 2006, for 5040 yen.

Manga Harvey Award Nominees

The nominees for the comic industry's Harvey Awards have been announced. Winners will be announced at the Baltimore Comic-Con, September 9-10. Manga/OEL titles nominated include Dramacon for Best New Series and Blame!, Buddha and Push Man And Other Stories for Best American Edition Of Foreign Material.

Naked Star Collection

MangaNews.net report Manga no Mori will be releasing 100 copies of the hentai Naked Star by Tengo Tenghe creator Oh! Great as a special edition tankobon for 21,000 yen on June 10th. The collection will be printed on high quality paper, with exclusive artworks as well as Oh! Great's signature.

Negima News

Anime News Service reports Gainax might not be on the production team for the second season of Mahou Sensei Negima. The site for the Negima OAV is online here

ADV Legal Downloads

ZVUE is offering ADV's anime on cell phones through the ZVUE portable media player

Japan Time Looks at Non-Japanese Manga

The Japan Times has run an article looking at OEL and other comics inspired by manga.

Peggy Sue Anime

Akadot reports GONZO will be adapting Serge Brussolo's French novel series Peggy Sue as an anime scheduled for the latter half of 2008.

Princess Princess Live Action

Akdadot reports a live action version of cross dressng comedy Princess Princess will be making its live action debut in Japan on June 28th.

Merchandise News

Figures.com has images of Organic Hobby Lain 6" figures, to be released this month for $60.00 here.

A preview of Mattel's Ninja Academy Naruto figure can be seen here.

Toymani's 1/6 Scale Hikaru Ichijo (Rick Hunter) can be seen here and the company's Talking Chobits "Sumomo" Figure can be seen here

ICV2 has Max's oringal 70's Kikaida here.

If you are interested in robot figures, be sure to check out AltJapan's articles and Toybox DX, for example, Getting Garada is a must read epic.

D.Gray-Man Creator Talks Return

D.Gray-Man manga creator Katsura Hoshino commented in the Shonen Jump table of connects, concerning the manga's re-commencement "I'm sorry for taking such a long break. My neck is feeling much better, so I'm restarting the serialization. m(_ _)m"

Kenshin Manga Re-Packaged

MangaNews.net reports Shonen Jump has announced that starting in July 4th in Japan, 2 volumes per month will be released on a 22 volume re-collection of Rurouni Kenshin.

More Difficulties for Amano's Hero

Comic rumor column Lying in the Gutters reports the trouble North American release of Yoshitaka Amano's Hero (from the Final Fantasy character designer is having more problems. Chris Stone, who did the scanning the original paintings, assembling the book, and doing most of the pre-press work has left Boom! Studios. Tony Lee told Lying in the Gutters "Chris has left the project and unfortunately it's left a domino effect. I don't know any more as, being the writer that Chris brought on board, I too am off the project - I found out by email after Chris had left. That said, I've spoken to Ross Richie and you should expect some BOOM! news down the line.'"

More Korean Adaptations of Japan Works

The Korea Times has run an article on the upc,ing Korean adapation of Japanese works here. The article points out that The rights to the Japanese manga ``Survival'' written by Gaiji Kawaguchi, had as many as 17 film companies competing for the work. Scenarios of more than 20 films currently in production in Korea come from Japanese novels. Considering about 80 Korean movies are produced each year, this means about a quarter are based on Japanese novels.

Shonen Jump's Dragon Ball Z Is Coming To A Close

Viz points out Dragon Ball Z will be ending this summer. SHONEN JUMP magazine will be celebrating the conclusion of this tremendous series all summer. The July 2006 issue of SHONEN JUMP magazine (on newsstands June 6) will include extensive DRAGON BALL Z coverage. There will be a special dual magazine cover, featuring two different Dragon Ball Z images, a sneak preview chapter from the final volume of DRAGON BALL Z, a feature on the 10 Best Fights in Dragon Ball history and an exclusive interview with DRAGON BALL Z creator Akira Toriyama.

DRAGON BALL was originally a 42-volume manga series in Japan, and was divided into two parts by VIZ Media for its North American release: Dragon Ball, which represents volumes 1-16 of the series, and DRAGON BALL Z, which encompasses volumes 17-42. VIZ Media originally began publishing DRAGON BALL in 1998 and the series has been a mainstay of its manga library for years.

Manga Eagle Award Winners

British Eagle Awards winners were announced at the Bristol Comic Expo. Dark Horse's release of Blade of the Immortal won the award for Favourite Manga. Asterix and the Falling Sky, which tool shots at manga and Disney comic won for Favourite European Comic.

Pillows in San Francisco

FLCL, the Japanese rock band best known for the performing the sound track of FLCL will be promoting their new CD New Foot with a start thar condludes at SHIBUYA NIGHTS, June 28 at Slim's in San Francisco, CA.

More AX Guests

Anime Expo 2006 (AX2006) has added Romi Paku as a Guest of Honor at the nations largest Anime/Manga convention¹s 15th year anniversary at the Anaheim Convention Center July 1-4, 2006. More information is available at www.anime-expo.org

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As one of the leading female seiyuu in the industry, Romi Paku has had many roles, making her well known to Japanese and American fans alike. She has done work in Samurai Seven, Matantei Loki Ragnarok, Shaman King, Turn A Gundam, Gakuen Alice, Stellvia, Brain Powered and Digimon but has become better known for her roles in Naruto, NANA, Full Metal Alchemist and Gundam SEED (Special Edition only). She usually plays male roles, but has the capacity to voice either gender at any age.

Ms. Paku joins, previously announced, CLAMP, Seiji Mizushima, Vic Mignogna, Laura Bailey, Mick Takeuchi , Yutaka Izubuchi, Tomoki Kyoda and Koge-Donbo as Anime Expo 2006 official Guests of Honor.

Anime Expo 2006 and Broccoli Co., Ltd. also announced the attendance of Koge-Donbo.

Koge-Donbo will be unveiling an exclusive world premiere of a new DI GI CHARAT anime to be released later this year at the DI GI CHARAT panel (details of the panel are TBD).

Koge-Donbo is one of the most popular illustrators, manga artists and character designers in Japan. Her claim to fame is creating DI GI CHARAT, whose popularity spawned a line of character merchandise, anime, manga and video games. She also drew the manga PITA-TEN which inspired an anime version of the same title. Her other works include character designs for SNOW FAIRY SUGAR and PRINCESS CONCERTO. Her manga works include DI GI CHARAT, DEJIKO¹S CHAMPION CUP, DEJIKO DA NYO, PITA-TEN, KAMICHAMA KARIN and YOKI KOTO KIKU. She is currently working on KON KON KOKON, which is a story about a little fox girl who tries to help a country bumpkin become the coolest guy in his school.

More Details on Latest CMX Titles

CMX manga's upcoming Penguin Revolution by Sakura Tsukuba follows a high school girl who is able to see special talents in others, manifested as wings in their aura. She spots these wings on her beautiful classmate Ryoko Katsuragi, bur also finds out that Ryoko is a boy is disguise. The first volume of the manga is due to be released is October.

Densha Otoko or "Train Man", from writer Hitori Nakano and artist Wataru Watanabe (Seifuku Nuidara) is also due in Otober. Based on a true story, the relationship manga follows an otaku geek who improves himself with the help of online contacts in order to win over a girl. The story has inspired TV and movie adaptations. The version published by CMX and featuring the art of Wataru Watanabe was first serialized in Akita Shoten's Champion RED magazine in 2005 and lauded by critics as the strongest and definitive version of the modern romance.

ADV Licenses Comic Party Revoltion

Anime on DVD reports that ADV announced at Metrocon that they have licensed Comic Party Revolution, one of the anime adapation of the dating sim game set in the world of doujinshi fan comic creation.

TOKYOPOP in Oceania

TOKYOPOP has partnered with Funtastic, Australia’s premier supplier of children’s books, toys and apparel to the mass market, to launch TOKYOPOP’s manga business in the Oceanic territories. Not only does this partnership mark TOKYOPOP’s presence in what is now its fourth continent, it makes TOKYOPOP the first manga company to establish a local presence in Australia and New Zealand. TOKYOPOP Oceania begins in July 2006 with 24 of TOKYOPOP’s manga titles, including the successful Princess Ai, Warcraft and Peach Fuzz series, continuing with monthly new releases subsequently.

Late July ADV Releases

ADV Films has announced he original OVAs for Area 88, volume six (of 7) of Mythical Detective Loki Ragnarok, volume six of Princess Tutu, and a brand new thin-pack collection for Gravion Zwei will be released on on July 25.



Area 88 Original Ova
Before the Area 88 TV series that ADV released over 2005 and 2006, several OVAs were produced that are still beloved by fans today. Now fans can own both all the full length Area 88 movies on DVD, and for the first time ever they can enjoy it with an English dub.

Synopsis: A classic tale of love, war and tragedy comes to life in the original fast-paced, emotionally charged thrill ride, Area 88. In a cruel twist of fate, talented young pilot Shin Kazama is tricked into serving as a mercenary for Area 88: a hell on earth where men survive by gunning down anyone who stands in their way. To return home, Shin must sell his soul to the battlefield and pave the road back to Japan with the corpses of his fallen opponents. Two feature length films, full of dizzying dogfights and heart wrenching drama that make Area 88 one of the most memorable anime classics of all time. Get ready for the ride of your life!

Area 88 Original OVA (SRP $29.98 DVD) is a two disc DVD release including both complete features, presented in both English and Japanese with English subtitles. Video extras include a short segment "Introduction of the Fighters" and an extensive interview with original manga creator Kaoru Shintani, plus previews of upcoming ADV Films releases.

Princess Tutu: Abschied (volume 6 of 6)
Directed by Junichi Sato (Sailor Moon, Kaleido Star) and Shougo Koumoto (You're Under Arrest! Season 2) and produced by HAL Film Maker (Kaleido Star) and TBS (Chobits), Princess Tutu is a classic fairy tale story with a twist of mystery, magic and romance. Darkness hid the pieces of her beloved's shattered heart, and time is running out for Princess Tutu to find them. Her dream of becoming a human girl has come true. However, peril lurks in the unseen shadows. Using the power of an enchanted amulet, she must unravel a dark and twisted mystery to keep her Prince and herself alive.

Gravion Zwei Complete Collection
"Effeminate Heroes! Giant Fighting Robots! Gravity-defying Breasts!"

Directed by Masami Obari and animated by world renowned animation studio GONZO Digimation (Full Metal Panic!, Gantz, Chrono Crusade), Gravion Zwei continues the hit Gravion series with a new season of surprises featuring the well-armed (and well-endowed) fighting force Earthgertz. Their mission: defend the Earth from the deadly Zeravire invasion... only this time, they won't be the only ones on duty!

Synopsis: There's a new player in the game of Earth Defense. Enter the elite G-Soldier Squadron, the first of the government's attempt to mass-produce Gravion technology. Led by ace pilot Faye, will the G-Soldiers push the Earthgertz gang out of a job? While facing a series of stepped up Zeravire attacks, Sandman decides his team needs some time off... at a hot springs resort.¬ What better way to form a cohesive fighting unit than to see everyone in their skivvies? Towels fly and karaoke maids abound as the Gravion team battles a hidden danger deep within a nearby volcano.

Gravion Zwei Complete Collection (SRP $39.98 DVD) is a thin-packed release including all 300 minutes of the fan-favorite series, presented in both English 5.1 and Japanese 2.0 with English subtitles.



More on Fox Distributed Broken Saints

Fox Home Entertainment will be distributing the Flash animated anime/manga inspired horror epic Broken Saints on August 1st for $49.98

The 24 episode, 12 hour work will be present in a four disc collection. The Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround remastered original audio featuring text/music only will be available with a newly recorded narrated version of the series as well. In addition, the DVD is packed with hours of comprehensive behind-the-scenes bonus features about the creation of this instant cult-classic animated epic including full 12-hour series commentary from the creators, in-depth featurettes, hilarious fan films, extensive DVD-ROM features, hidden easter eggs and more. Visually stunning, masterfully told and viscerally thrilling, Broken Saints features the voice talents of William B. Davis (Cigarette Smoking Man from "The X-Files"), Kirby Morrow ("X-Men: Evolution"), Scott McNeil (Bionicle 3: Web of Shadows), Michael Dobson ("Transformers: Cybertron"), David Kaye ("Dragon Ball Z") and Emmy Award-winner Janyse Jaud ("Andromeda").

SYNOPSIS
In the quiet corners of the globe, four strangers - a cynical American programmer, an aging Japanese priest, a troubled Arabic mercenary and a mysterious Fijian girl - receive a series of chilling apocalyptic visions. Desperate to understand their frightening visions of the future, these four troubled souls are simultaneously drawn to a dark city in the West where their fates - and the fate of the world - are revealed to be linked together and somehow part of a global conspiracy. Amidst an epic struggle of man, machine and otherworldly fear, these reluctant heroes must be willing to sacrifice everything...in order to know the truth and save us all!

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES
The Broken Saints DVD will be presented in fullscreen (1.33:1) with English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound and the Classic 2.0 Mix Track with French and Spanish subtitles. Additionally, the DVD has two separate audio tracks available including the remastered original text/music audio plus all-new narrated version. Individual disc content as follows:

Disc One
• Chapters 1- 8 (with optional commentary by series creators)
• Production featurette
• Voice-Over and Audio featurette
• Various Broken Saints trailers
• Broken Saints game trailer

Disc One cont.
• Broken Saints soundtrack
• Art Institute panel discussion with creator Brooke Burgess, voice talent David Kaye, executive producer Carol Parnell from Telefilm Canada and the audio team
• Two easter eggs

Disc Two
• Chapters 9 - 15 (with optional commentary by series creators)
• Walker National Art Center (Minneapolis) lecture session with creator Brooke Burgess • Biocom website stills gallery
• Media Buzz - a collection of broadcast press interviews about Broken Saints:
o G4 Tech TV
o Urban Rush
o Canada Now
o Zed TV
o CBC Vancouver
o My City Radio
o Press quotes / awards slideshow
• Three easter eggs

Disc Three
• Chapters 16 - 20 (with optional commentary by series creators)
• Broken Saints Tarot Tree character profiles
• Fan Showcase - video footage / artwork from fans around the world that presents their personal take on the Broken Saints phenomenon
o "Insertion" Revisited
o "Cryptic" (a live-action retelling of Chapter 2)
o DTTC (a parody of Broken Saints)
o Sponge Saints
o Broken Legos
o Fan Art Slideshow
o Flash Fan Film
o 3D Fan Film
• DVD-Rom features
o Classic episodes
o MP3s
o Wallpapers
• Two easter eggs

Disc Four
• Chapters 21 - 24 (with optional commentary by series creators)
• Broken Saints making-of documentary
• Sundance Film Festival featurette
• Behind-the-scenes material
o Comic Con Interview
o 3D Face Test
o Splitscreen Intro
o Process Slideshow
o Old School Slideshow
o Live From Berlin
o Shadowmen Theme
o Classic Intro
o Visions of Funk
o Chapter 1 Classic
• Five easter eggs



Transformers: The Movie 20Th Anniversary Special Edition DVD

SONY BMG Entertainment has announced the creation of the TRANSFORMERS: THE MOVIE 20TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL EDITION DVD, which will hit retail in November. Packed with exclusive special features to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the animated classic film, the DVD release is timed to the debut of a TRANSFORMERS Classics line of figures.

The 20th Anniversary Special Edition DVD includes never-before-seen footage, exclusive interviews, interactive games and collectible packaging. The film features the voice of Orson Welles in his final role, as well as stars Eric Idle, Judd Nelson, Leonard Nimoy, Casey Kasem, Robert Stack, John Moschitta, Peter Cullen, and Frank Welker. The DVD also features a winning soundtrack featuring the iconic theme "The TRANSFORMERS" performed by Lion, and the popular "The Touch," performed by Stan Bush.
For more information on TRANSFORMERS: The Movie 20th Anniversary Special Edition DVD see www.TRANSFORMERSthemovieDVD.com

To coincide with the special edition DVD release, this fall Hasbro will release the TRANSFORMERS Classics line of figures. Available in November 2006, these new figures will feature updated versions of the first generation of TRANSFORMERS (or "G1"), inspired by the look and spirit of the original figures and characters.

Media Blaster Con Guests

Mediua Blasters will be hosting two Tokyo Shock personalities at this year's San Diego ComicCon, July 20-23 to promote DEATH TRANCE etc., sign autographs and take pictures.

Tak Sakaguchi, star of our upcoming mayhem extravaganza, DEATH TRANCE, as well as other Tokyo Shock favorites, VERSUS, ALIVE and ARAGAMI.

Yoshi Chiba, of Media Suits (Producers of NEIGHBOR No. 13, DEATH TRANCE and FUDOH).

Monster Samurai

According to Cartoon Brew, Sprite Animation Studios has started up at the Howard Hughes Center in West Los Angeles. Moto Sakakibara's (co-director of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within) Monster Samurai has preview images here. Their upcoming works include an adaptation of the beuatiful nature manga (starring a minature dinasour) Gon, planned for release in 2008.

AniPike Turns 10

The Anime Web Turnpike, once the go to source for anime online, has announced that it hit its tenth annivesary June 1st, 2006. The site will be offering a new design with forums, galleries, chats, blogs, as well as other useful tools. In addition, users with cellular phones can create blogs, v-logs, and watch videos up to 50 MB in size.

New Vertical Tezuka Release

Vertical who released award winning edition of Osamu Tezuka's Buddha will be releasing his Ode To Kirihito in October. It's over 800 visually complex and complicated pages of Man v. Beast, which turns into Man v. Man, and guess what? A goat wins! With publication of this graphic novel and the Buddha series, we hope to permanently nail shut the coffin on Tezuka's reputation as a Disney-like kids cartoonist. Be prepared. We have plenty of sample galleys left so don't miss out. Drop us a line.

Classic Shoujo Finally Released in NA, Sortof

An AnimeJump forum goer points out that classic shoujo Rose of Versailles, about a girl raised as a boy who becomes a palice guard for Marie Antoinette, is available to Canadian with French audio here

Looking at Best Sellers

Irresponsible Pictures looked at claims that the hit Nana was the best selling shoujo title of all timehere. The points to ComiPress's all time best seller list here.

The top 10 were
Hana Yori Dango (Boys Over Flowers) [complete]
Glass no Kamen (Glass Mask)
Ouke no Monshou
Nana
Chibi Maruko-chan
Tokimeki Tonight [complete]
Asari-chan
Yuukan Kurabu
Patalliro!
Doubutsu no Oishasan [complete]

The top titles from the Shonen Jump anthology can be seen here.

RZA scores AFRO SAMURAI for Spike

Anime News Network reports the upcoming Samuel L. Jackson anime vehicle, adapted from the manga by Takashi Okazaki will feature music from RZA. The animated series is produced by Japanese studio Gonzo and will premiere on Spike TV this fall. FUNimation Entertainment will bring the story to DVD in spring 2007.

Sukeban Deka/Yo-Yo Cop Movie in September

Twitch reports Toei will be releasing the new live action adaptation of the yoyo wielding juvenile delinquent / undercop cop manga Sukeban Deka in Japan on September 30th. A summery, image and more information is available in Twitch's article.

Fan Work Follow-ups

Page 17 and the first full-view of American Godzilla'94 project are online here. Also see American Kaiju and American GODZILLA '94 The Graphic Nove

The next chapter of Oliver Coombes' thesis on the Ghibli work Pom Poko, with an annotated synopsis, is online here

Viz Sweeps Bookscan Top 10

VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media has announced that ten of its manga titles have again swept the top spots on Nielsen BookScan’s Adult Fiction Overall Graphic Novel list for the week ending May 28, 2006. This is the second time in the past seven months VIZ Media took the entire Top Ten list - in December 2005 VIZ Media also dominated the weekly sales list. Nielsen BookScan has the best and most comprehensive data in the industry, picking up sales information from over 6,500 retail locations across the country.

This is a notable milestone – it is extremely rare for titles from a single publisher to capture all top ten top spaces on BookScan’s Graphic Novel list. The complete Top Ten list included NARUTO, RUROUNI KENSHIN, BLEACH and DEATH NOTE. 1. NARUTO, Volume 10
2. RUROUNI KENSHIN, Volume 27
3. NARUTO, Volume 9
4. BLEACH, Volume 13
5. FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST, Volume 7
6. NARUTO, Volume 1
7. NARUTO, Volume 8
8. NARUTO, Volume 2
9. DEATH NOTE, Volume 5
10. NARUTO, Volume 7

New Kujibiki Unbalance Anime Announced

Anime News Network reports New Kujibiki Unbalance the no-longer fictional anime from the geek study Genshiken is being adapted into a full length TV series, where it has previously been a short OVA packaged with Genshiken. The show, to be directed by Hare+Guu's Tsutomu Mizushima will air on Japanese TV this fall. It appears that the rumored Genshiken second season is on hold.

Alex Toth Passes Away

Comic artist and designer Alex Toth died May 27th, at age 78. His contribution to animation included designs for Space Ghost, Jonny Quest, The Herculoids, and Superfriends.
The Beat points out the LA Times obituary here

Yasahiro Koshi Teams with TenBu Productions for Cove, Pirate Mercenary Release

TenBu Productions to Release Bilingual Manga
Bu Productions, a new independent production studio and Asian entertainment licensing company, today announced that Cove, Pirate Mercenary is scheduled to be pre-released on June 16, 2006 at the Anime Mid-Atlantic conference in Richmond Virginia. The bi-lingual comic is 3 years in the making by author and illustrator, Austell Callwood who will unveil a 7th character to round out his cast of dark heroes for the title.

The story is set in a futuristic yet fallen age after a heavenly war between the "Seven gods of luck and fortune" and their power hungry disciples. The triumphant gods banish the disciples to a chaotic and now faithless earth - only to be vexed by the disciples' conquest of earth as their own. A heavenly army is formed on earth to protect the gates to heaven, but is soon scattered by the death of its leader. These skilled fighters flee to the island of "Cove".

Callwood's story revolves around these former fighters who organize and become "pirate mercenaries for hire" in order to survive. The pirates consist of the book's seven main characters, all specially skilled and equally engaging. Such are the times and the reputation of the pirates that all who know of them believe the mantra: If you want it, take it. If you can't, hire someone who can!

An original manga-style graphic novel, Cove, Pirate Mercenary, will be pre-released on June 16, 2006. The pre-release version of the title is written in both English and Japanese. This limited edition package will feature 96 black & white pages of the manga, an ashcan (pre-story), production notes and posters. The title, classified as fantasy adventure, is appropriate for readers 16 years old and older.

The Cove, Pirate Mercenary package will be available for sale at the Anime Mid-Atlantic conference June 16-18, 2006 at the Greater Richmond Convention Center located in Richmond Virginia. The title will also be available for sale at the company's retail store, Anime FX, beginning June 19, 2006. The full release is scheduled for December 2006.

TenBu Productions confirmed that Yasahiro Koshi (Japan), actor and military advisor, will make an extended appearance in the United States for the pre-release of Cove, Pirate Mercenary. The new manga and production company will be launched in conjunction with the Anime Mid-Atlantic conference June 16 -18, 2006 in Richmond Virginia.

Yasahiro Koshi is a well-known advisor for action movies in Japan and the U.S. including Battle Royal, Last Samurai, Godzilla Final Wars, and Saikano: the Final Weapon. In recent years Koshi has founded Big Fighter Project (B.F.P.) an entertainment and management company based in Japan which specializes in talent building, management, set advisory and casting.

Koshi will make appearances as special guest of TenBu Productions and featured guest of the Anime Mid-Atlantic conference. He will present alongside TenBu Productions owner Austell Callwood in the following panels:

Live Action & Stunt Demonstration – [Saturday May 17, 2006 at 3pm -5pm]
Participants can experience a 2-hour "behind-the-scenes" demonstration of live action stunts and fight sequences that appear in movies including Samurai techniques.

Akihabara, Japan: Home of Anime [Saturday, May 17, 2006 at 10 P.M.]
Take a virtual tour through "Electronic City", the Akihabara district in Tokyo where every conceivable electronic devise and interpretation of Anime & J-Pop culture can be found- it's known as "the true Otaku."

New Release of Target: Akai-I Refuse to Die

A new edition of the farce Target: Akai-I Refuse to Die is now available through various book retailers, including Amazon.com.

- Somewhere betwixt the heaven and hell of reality... deep within the purgatory of the psyche... lays the ultimate battle. (The new and improved edition) is a post-apocalyptic fairy tale that contains adult situations, strong language, and violence. A satirical social allegory that touches upon subjects from bigotry to political/religious corruption to pop culture, layered with the author's love of history and things Japanese, Target: Akai-I Refuse to Die is sure to entertain anime and South Park fans. Wielding a wry sense of humor, Shield's message is: no matter how much your life sucks, there's somebody out there who has it a lot worse.

This wild tale begins in 2246 and spans a period of 13 years. In North America in the year 2259, honor is a joke, dignity is a sin, and sadistic perverts rule the land—somewhat like today. Akai Hinode Devlin Arcadius is the angel with the eyes of a demon, a heroic hybrid of Miyazaki's Nausicaa, Joan of Arc, serial heroine Pearl White, and Marvel Comic's Wolverine. Dashing hero and damsel in distress rolled into one; she's cute, she's cuddly, and everybody wants her… six feet under!

Sporting a weird cast of fantasy stereotypes like Princess Felicity Olivia Arcadius, heir to the Euro-American Commonwealth, Nimrod, the Black Knight, Caligula Gaius Tiberius, the Wicked King, and Prince Akira Bully Tanaka, the Handsome Prince, Target: Akai offers a bizarre and dark blend of Pythonian satire, samurai drama and spaghetti western, a manga without pictures, and a surreal mixture of philosophy and black comedy. A delightful read for all those who love the clever and bizarre. "Remember," says author Shields, "insanity is only a state of mind..."

ROSM Refugees

Manga Blog points out new home for refugees of TOKYOPOP's Rising Stars of Manga talent program here.

Non-Anime

Twitch looks at avian martial arts films Mr Duck Fight here and here

The Beat points out Sony PIctures Classics has optioned Persepolis for an animated feature. Creator Marjane Satrapi, creator of the graphic novel about growing up in Iran and animator Vincent Parannaud have co-written the script and will codirect the film.

Comic World News reports funding is being said for an animated version of anthropomorphic noir Blacksad animated noir comic Blacksad.

Apropos of little, from pro-wrestling parody site Gum God this.

Readers Talkback
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  • June 5, 2006, 11:36 p.m. CST

    Second!!!

    by VFXpert

    Oh dang it... First....

  • June 6, 2006, 1:27 a.m. CST

    Korgoth of Barbaria

    by Wingnut1A

    Hey out there! Did anyone happen to catch the latest example of Aaron Springer and Genndy Tartakovsky's brilliance: Korgoth of Barbaria? Pretty darn funny. Conan and Thundarr the Barbarians blended together with lots more blood and jokes, all very much inspired by Frank Frazetta's imagery. Also with a big dose of Heavy Metal, both the magazine/movie and the musical genre. Highly recommended!

  • June 6, 2006, 2:53 a.m. CST

    THE THIEF AND THE COBBLER - tanned, rested, & ready

    by Harry Weinstein

    Biggest animation news of late for me has to be the "RECOBBLED CUT" fan-edit-restoration of this that is drifting around. I have been waiting for this for a long long time. True, this isn't exactly the million-dollar Roy Disney-powered restoration I was hoping for, but it is better than any other option for viewing the film that there has ever been. It's all about the War Machine sequence. Oh my God. If you've seen only the Miramax or Aussie cuts of this, you're missing out. It's on YouTube, but that resolution simply doesn't do it justice - track down the DVD image on bittorrent or Usenet. Do what you must, but get RECOBBLED CUT. This has been a motherfucking public service announcement.

  • June 6, 2006, 8:31 a.m. CST

    Well Viz books are cheaper.

    by DigitalDong

    Dunno if that has anything to do with it, but I do have 2 books of Naruto I been menaing to read.

  • June 6, 2006, 1:51 p.m. CST

    Sukeban Deka

    by veritasses

    is possibly my favorite manga (book form, not anime) series of all time and the author, Wada Shinji is old-school (circa 1970 to present) but consistantly in top form and is IMHO, among the best story tellers ever. The Aska series, Kaitou Amaririsu, Asagi Iro No Densetsu, his short stories etc are all excellent works. He keeps his stories relatively "straighforward" but manages to keep things engaging with strong pacing of his stories and entertaining with a perfect balance of action, humor, romance, suspence and mystery. Neither does he overcomplicate his artwork. He frames everything just right and each cell flows into the next seemlessly. A master among manga authors. His works are considered "Shoujo" but that's really only because his protagonists are all female. The stories themselves have no sterotypical shoujo slant and are about as shoujo as "Tomb Raider" is. Highly recommended. It's too bad though that the anime and live action adaptations of his work have been so horrible.

  • June 7, 2006, 2:16 p.m. CST

    Finally, maybe I can get my hands on Broken Saints...

    by Johnno

    Assuming Fox is behind it I may actually be able to walk into a store and get it.