Animation and Anime

AICN Anime: To Terra, Noein and Mr. Reaper's Really Bad Morning

Published at: Feb. 23, 2007, 8:43 a.m. CST by scottgreen

Logo handmade by Bannister Column by Scott Green

Manga Spotlight: To Terra Volume 1 By Keiko Takemiya Released by Vertical

Given the lay of the North American manga market, Vertical's release of To Terra invites comparisons to the work of Osamu Tezuka. Not only is Tezuka the chief manga creator previously published by Vertical, the "God of Manga" is THE name thought of when considering classic manga published in North America. Others, such as the works of Kazuo Koike, or the CMX releases of works like Swan and From Eroica With Love seem to stray into the slot of "genre" first and "classic" second. The impression is further reinforced in that To Terra boasts experimental layouts, stellar landscapes and retro-future tech that call to mind the sci-fi volumes of Tezuka's Phoenix cycle. Perhaps unfairly, To Terra suffers in this comparison. By design, Takemiya's work doesn't have the quick, profound impact of Tezuka's. This is the sedimentary, slowly build terrain to Tezuka's cinematic volcanic fireworks. Consequently, To Terra is not the kind of work to hand to a reader disinclined to appreciate comics in general or manga specifically. A complexly constructed work by a creator who was instrumental in shaping the current form of manga, what Takemiya does and how she accomplishes it are the paramount points of interest. As such, To Terra is more compelling as an opportunity than work. Reading To Terra at an impressionable, young age, preferablely one with a large quotient of imagination still intact, the plot and look of the manga would have been unforgettable. For an older manga consumer, To Terra's plot familiarity might rob the work of an essential hook that would establish the work as traditionally entertaining. Yet, this is not just a work that a comic reader ought to appreciate. There's a beauty in the style and method that is potentially mesmerizing to students of the manga tradition or comics as an art form. In its plot construction, To Terra manga is inescapably informed by concerns of the 20th century. Many/most of these have carried over to the 21st, particularly maintaining Earth's habitableness, along with thoughts of the environment and overpopulation. And, while its idea of totalitarianism looks a bit Soviet, the worry is still relevant. Other aspects are more dated. Though it does leverage warp speeds, the view of sci-fi space travel is more realistic than something like Buck Rogers or Star Trek. However, this is clearly inspired by the space race. The monolithic super computers look and feel far from the current concepts and fears of technology. Even its view of the next step in human evolution feels less evolved than the current state of fiction. Cumulatively, the age of its ideas robs the work of a degree of novelty. Coupling an idea of heroism and travel is literally classic, calling to mind the likes of the Aeneid. Linking this to sci-fi that in turn calls to mind both Clark and Asimov can be powerful, but it does feel a bit book-shelf dusty. A minor controversy sprung up on whether the moniker "shonen" or "shoujo" should be applied to To Terra. If anything, this serves to illustrate the complex nature of the work. The school of thought that reflects the reality of Japanese publishing is that the anthology in which a work is serialized dictates which of these genre labels should be applied. By that rationale, Love Hina, Azumanga Daioh, and Kamichu are all shonen. To Terra was published in the anthology "Manga Shonen", which should be a good indicator of the audience for which the manga was written. And the prints of shonen are plain on the story construction. It follows a young man born special with the unique ability and responsibility to be a savior. As the title suggests, the manga is set in a post-Earth humanity, where the species has been forced to abandon its polluted home planet. However, humanity still longs for the world. In a Brave New World Manner, the society has been engineered such that individual perpetuate the system without challenging it. The threat to this is the Mu, people born with physical handicaps, but superhuman mental powers. Jomy Marcus Shin is an emotional teen about to join the adult world, when he discovers he is a latent Mu, with the rare extra gift of a physically strong body. From a plotting perspective, one of the strength's of Takemiya's work in this volume is in her portrayal of authority and rebellion. There's a chilling banal menace in the manner in which the depicted society prunes its outcasts. The panels promoting this idea could easily stick in the mind of a young reader that way that rats might in 1984. She builds on and justifies a teenage mistrust for the system that connects the reader to the protagonist on emotional and intellectual levels. The chief reason for calling To Terra a shoujo work is that the manga was created by Keiko Takemiya, one of the manga creators known as the Nijuuyo-nen Gumi or Magnificent Forty-Niners, so called because these influential women were born in the 24th year of the Showa calendar (1949). Manga like Mitsuteru Yokoyama's Sally the Witch and more significantly, Osamu Tezuka's Princess Knight had set the foundation for shoujo, but the 49er's were the trail blazers who opened the door for manga created by women for a female audience. Breaking this barrier advanced currents in the manga tradition that still have a strong creative and now commercial presence in the form. Gender roles, and particularly the mutability of gender was a signature thread in shoujo manga going back at least as far as Tezuka's Princess Knight, the fairy tale of a girl given male and female hearts. This took off with the work of the 49er's, particularly the hit Rose of Versailles, featuring a girl raised as a boy in the pre-revolution French court. For more information of see Matt Thorn's pieces here and here. In the case of To Terra, this duality is more abstract and more tied to gender ideas than born sexual identity. The physical humans, the emotional Mu and the maelstrom of confusion for the works' protagonists links to the same ideas. Another thread in the 49er's work, and Takemiya's specifically is the introduction of male homosexual romance. Again, at least so far, this is more implicit than explicit in To Terra, but it creates the possibility to read more into glances contact between characters Through this lens and this background, projecting these ideas through a boy's super hero/secret savior plot is a fascinating exercise in repurposing a well-worn plot construct. Takemiya shifts some focus from elaborate design of hair and attire (though there are noteworthy example of both) to speculative machinery and surroundings, but the look of To Terra is not too separate from her other works. 70's shoujo offers a unique aesthetic, given over to heightened melodrama that is uniquely beautiful. Like the gonzo machismo of Fist of the North Star, it is an approach that is currently rarely used outside of parody. Yet, with large eyes and idealized forms at their zenith, its graceful expressionism is captivatingly attractive. As Tezuka did in the sci-fi chapters of Phoenix, Takemiya uses the room of interstellar space for experimental page layouts or scene representations. She presents a divide between amorphous space and the rigid lines of human environments. What humans build fall into the latter category. This is emphasized in a set of pages that depict a harshly geometric wheel and axel space colony around an Earth that though spherical is covered in random weather formations. The imagery then equates Earth's shifting atmosphere to a child in a womb. This become sinstrumental in capture of the nature of the Mu and their psychic connection to the universe as space becomes caught up in their emotional confusion and strict manufactured environments are broken by borealis like effects. While To Terra is not a release that will strike every manga consumer, it is a boon to the North American manga reader. It's a time capsule, but, if it was newly produced today it would still be attention commanding. Takemiya's act of rewriting the rules of genre and her mix of beauty and symbolism make To Terra a powerful work of manga.

Anime Spotlight: Noein Volume 2 Released by Manga Video

If you're tracking names in anime worth remembering, add Satelight to the list. The studio has begun taking on more high profile projects, including Hellsing Ultimate and the animated adaptation of TOKYOPOP's Princess Ai, as well as producing larger projects on their own. Whether it is a familiar property like Hellsing, or a familiar plot like Heat Guy J, Aquarion or Geneshaft, there is a discernable attempt by the studio to challenge the viewer. Disparage their work on series like the spiritually environmental Arjuna if you want, but the work was at least provocative, which, regrettablely can't be said of the bulk of anime. Brainstorm the qualities that stand as the hallmarks of what distinguishes the anime tradition, and the list will probably include a sense of character reality in extraordinary circumstances, bold visual presentation and thoughtful engagement of absorbing concepts. What sets Noein apart from the bulk of anime currently being produced is that it takes these tenants as a call to innovation. Launched from the familiar touch point of young teens transported from their mundane school and family governed lives into realms of unreality, it springs off the platform into two distinguished currents. Some of the results are outstanding, some are what one wishes would constitute a baseline for anime. With these objectives, the anime is both distinctive and well implemented. The first point is the concept or concepts from which the series is launched. Arjuna's mix of Buddhism, cautionary science, and confrontational conjectures made the series an indelible experience. Arjuna creator and Satelight fixture Shoji Kawamori played only a marginal role in Noein, but his Escaflowne collaborator Kazuki Akane helmed the project and similarly arranged to present a set of perception challenging notions. The tag line for Noein could be 'The anime Donnie Darko' in that the show leverages concepts in string theory and quantum physics as the engine for its events. Rather than a carte blanche for any story telling phenomenon, the work establishes the rules, calling attention to diverging realities and quantum decoherence, then dramatically breaking the rules. It's the equivalent of demonstrating the way that gravity commands the decisions of a sky diver, then, showing a person flying like Superman. By playing with the potential and implications for these heady theoretical concepts, Noein can be thought provoking for those with and those without a previous knowledge of this branch of physics. However, Noein also distills the ideas into relatable principles of life. Ultimately, it doesn’t' matter t to Noein whether or not string theory is provable or a concept that can be demonstrated experimentally. The anime offers a moving demonstration of how decisions and perceptions branch the paths of one's life in both alterable and irrevocable manners. Whether the universe really splits off into diverging paths is ultimately less significant than demonstrating the impact on the character's lives. Part of the series commitment to character realism, and part of what makes the characters' stories compelling is a dusting on unneatness. Even when the characters take a path that the viewer would wish of them, they aren't strictly likable in an audience appeasing manner. This feeds into the concept of decision based branching of life/reality. When a character irrationally blames themselves or gives into feelings of helplessness, it is both deliberately aggravating to view, and feeding the physics of the series. The other branch in which Noein challenges the trend of anime to fall into comfortable ruts is in its fluidity of expression in characters and action. Frequently, the characters look in line with what is typically expected in anime, yet, in moments of violence, exasperation or flightiness, the flow of visual representation is allowed to be carried by the momentum. If you think of typical action animation as a solid form, with gears and muscles and objects moving into place, and something like Looney Toons, with shifts, transformations and waves as a liquid, Noein trends strongly towards the latter. This does lend itself to characters mugging and for action to have a flailing quality, it does offer the opportunity to see something that is both new and viscerally commanding.

Independent Animation Spotlight: Mr. Reaper's Really Bad Morning By Fifteen Pound Pink Productions

Available on DVD from www.mrgeorgereaper.com One of the legendary projects in anime was Gainax's Daicon III and Daicon IV sci-fi convention opening shorts. Produced by the then amateur animators, through, to pull a line from the studio's later Gunbuster, "guts and hard work", these several minute long features still stand up as exuberant demonstrations of cell animation. Older anime fans lament that while current enthusiasts with spend time editing anime clips to pop music, produce flash animation, or doujinshi fans comics, nothing comes close to the passionate dedication of the Daicon shorts. Fifteen Pound Pink Productions are by no means anime ignorant, but they don't appear to be anime enthusiasts, certainly not to the degree of early Gainax (a metric few could live up to). Yet, one of the most exciting qualities of Mr Reaper's Really Bad Morning is the evident dedication. Maybe it’s not completely ironic that the anime that is mentioned in several contexts throughout the feature's numerous commentary tracks is Gainax's Neon Genesis Evangelion. Fifteen Pound Pink Productions' Kevin D.A. Kurytnik and Carol Beecher were artists who have become self-taught animators. The short's creators plunged into the medium, and literally after years of labor, were able to produce a work of quality and inventiveness. The irony in animation starts with its foundation in artificial creation suggesting the illusion of movement. It's further divorced from straight reality in that it often works in visual representations that are abstract depictions of ideas. Yet, when done well, it can be at least as reminiscent of human experience as any acting caught on film. At its roots, Mr. Reaper's Really Bad Morning is all symbols. It opens will a procession of animated art work. Set to Dem Bones/Dry Bones cave painting illustrate the relationship between humans and animals leaning to the horned god clubbing a human soul; an Egyptian ka flies away; Sumerian arrows of death leave the frame and hit Achilles' heel. European wood blocks come to life as the reaper takes more souls. This fades into the dream of Mr George Reaper: the familiar bones and black cloak representation of death. Other than the paintings on his wall (classic depictions of the deeds of death; these are memorable additions to the feature, but they also suggest a personality that is a bit more narcissistically vain than the character at work), it is mundane domicile. And, Death's morning tribulations trying to arrange a meal, find the motivation to start the day and arrive at work are equally the frustrations any modern North American might feel upon meeting what seems to be a conspiracy of hindrances preventing oneself from smoothly transitioning into another iteration of the occupational grind. Sluggishness turned into panic when a transportation problem (being stuck between dimensions) couples with the unexpected introduction of an important business event (a meteorite hitting Calgary). Then, inter-entity interactions rear its head, causing Mr. Reaper to really lose his composure as he becomes trapped with his antithesis: a flower singing Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. Love of the medium and what it has to offer manifests itself as the work not only displays experimentation though the various processes, but the evident painstaking dedication to getting it right. Figuratively (and in some piece literally), this is the handmade side of animation. It doesn’t have all the perfectly smoothed edges of the factory model, but it is more rewarding for that. Even before listening to the commentaries (and after checking these out, you'll wish all animated work would offer depth of creator insight offered by this feature) viewing it, you are invited to contrast the visual concept with the method used to achieve the results and consider effect. As such, though Mr Reaper's Really Bad Morning plays like a witty, semi-goofy short, the work is more in line with experimental music, sculpture or painting more widely consumed works of animation. The contrast between ambition and results aren't uniform. Some of it instantly registers as well realized, dazzlingly clever, memorable ideas. The Dem Bones introduction or a gag that shifts to the geometric and literally symbolic visuals for a molecular view of Mr Reaper's between world's detour click in this manner. Some of it works better on subsequent viewing. For example, a sequence in which the Reaper assaults the singing flower with a succession of firearms, his bony face morphing into a jowly, derby adorned gangster as he fires a tommy gun, a stone faced soldier in helmet as he fires an M16, and finally, he rips open his cloak, bunks up, ties a band around his skull and fires a Rambo mini-machine gun. At first this pastiche seems familiar to the point of routine. Upon closer inspection many of the effects and actions are fascinating to watch: the approach to black on black animation, the detail in the effects such as the edges of bullet holes and the character motion, particularly the pantomime as Reaper regain strict formality, calming himself after the outburst. Some of the effects work better after hearing the indentions from the commentary tracks. At first, the pans and dissolves traversing Reaper's dwelling as he wakes up seem dizzyingly over done, but knowing that it was attempting to depict a groggy re-familiarization with surroundings, and the technical struggle to create the effect, the transitions become interesting to watch. Some of it clicks intellectually, but never viscerally. Reaper's between-worlds stop acquires a solid black border which offers a number of outlets for interaction. As this border is produced, ignited and shifted, the direction seems to be missing a half beat. Its frequently just a bit too quick to develop and change, making the logic a bit obtuse. Mr Reaper's Very Bad Morning offers the craft, innovation and visible human touch that make independent animation such an exciting field. It doesn't offer what every anime fan is looking for, but it should offer an intriguing prospect for any fan of animation. If it doesn't provoke any other reaction, it will at least leave you dying to seen Fifteen Pound Pink Productions' next project: Intergalactic Who's Who, a series of one minute "documentaries" on the strange creatures of the planet Zig 5, the concept art (seen briefly on the DVD) of which looks stunning.

Anime Eva Movies News

Neon Genesis Evangelion creator Hideaki Anno has confirmed that the review of the new Evangelion movies will be released in Japanese theatres September 1, 2007. A teaser trailer can be seen here. While the trailer strictly features words and effects, it does have the English: New character New machine New story Anime News Network translated Anno's comments here "Specifically, among the stagnant mood of the present day, it is the portrayal of will - not technology - that is most important. To support the fans that support animation, we felt that a work that would appeal to middle and high school-aged men, who quickly grow away from Anime, was necessary. When we decided that we wanted to something to support the anime [industry] of today, the determination to return to this title was strong."

Geneon Licenses Karin

Geneon has indicated that they will be releasing the first volume of Karin on May 15th. The manga for the series was retitled Chibi Vampire in TOKYOPOP's release of the work, which is a cute shonen school comedy featuring the exploits of a teenage girl vampire born with the rare requirement to put blood into humans rather than drain them. Geneon's release of the first volume of gun blazing adventure Black Lagoon will be released on May 22. A complete box set collection of school room comedy Doki Doki School Hours will also be released on the 22nd. The complete collection of slice of life anthology Human Crossing has been moved to April 17th. Finally, Geneon has announced that the fifth volume of Fate/Stay Night, entitled "Medea" will be releasing on August 21, 2007.

Anime on NA TV

Cartoon Network will be airing the Production I.G follow up to Blood: the Last Vampire, Blood+, on their Adult Swim block starting on March 10th. The anime will be distributed in North America by Sony. ToonZone.net reports that FUNimation's panel at Megacon revieled that Shin-Chan will be returning to Adult Swim in late spring or early summer of this year. A Shin-chan "season one" DVD set with episodes in dub production order will be released in August. Gundam SEED Destiny will be airing on Canada's YPV starting March 9th.

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time News

From Anime News Network Tokio Kakeru Shojo or The Girl Who Leapt Through Time has received the Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year. The animation prize was added to the prestigious awards this year. The other nominees were On a Stormy Night, Gedo Senki, Brave Story and Detective Conan: Requiem for the Detectives. In addition to screenings at the New York International Children's Film Festival, the film be screened in San Francisco Bay Area theaters from March 15-25 as part of the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival. Based on a novel by Yasutaka Tsutsui concerning a time travelling girl, the story was previously adapted into an live action movie in 1983

xxxHOLiC selected for Anima 2007

Production I.G has announced that xxxHOLiC - A Midsummer Night's Dream (2005), based on CLAMP original comic book and directed by Tsutomu Mizushima, is one of the eleven feature films in the Official Selection of the prestigious Belgian animation film festival Anima 2007. The festival, that this year celebrates its 26th edition, will be held from February 16 to 25, 2007 in Brussels.

Anime Game News

New screen shots of Gundam Musou for PlayStation 3, showing playable Turn A Gundam, God Gundam and Epyon mobile suits can be seen at here. The game is scheduled to be released in Japan on March 1st. Gunoata points out that the media page for the game's site, here now features videos of the Wing Zero, The O and the ZZ, The Turn A and the Quebley. Screenshots of Bleach DS 2nd: Kokui Hirameku Chinkon Uta can be seen here and Shijou Saikyou no Deshi: (History's Strongest Disciple) Kenichi for the Playstation2 can be seen here Kotaku posted a piece looking at the history of the poorly recieved Playstation 2 adaptation of Appleseed here Majoria notes that the Ah! My Goddess game site features a preview here, also downloadable at here THE (unofficial) ROBOTECH REPORTER notes that the Palladium Robotech :The Shadow Chronicles RPG game now appear to be scheduled for July or August. According to a post on Robotech.com, the Shadow Chronicles book will likely be published in a "manga sized" book, but many details are still not finalized due to contract talks between the publisher Palladium and Robotech rights holder Harmony Gold.

Giant Robot News

AnimeNation reports that the site for the new Reideen anime series now features 30 second and 120 second streaming trailers. The series is scheduled to premier on March 3rd. From Majoria The official site for Shin Kotetsu Jeeg is online here. Gainax's Breakthrough Gurren-Lagann website now has a streamed trailer, which is ripped here here

FUNimation Status

Anime Neews Network looks at FUNimation parent company Navarre's Q4 2006 report at . The company boasted a 24.9% gross profit increase, credited in part to FUNimations strong sales. The report cited new releases Black Cat, Basilisk, Dragon Ball Z movie packs, Fullmetal Panic, and Trinity Blood, as well as Funimation's increased television exposure. FUNimation announced that their analysis of Nielsen VideoScan data for the year 2006 indicates that the distribtor controls 23.2 percent of the market. The company's next closest competitor held 12.6 percent of the market. The Nielsen VideoScan point of sale sell-through data is collected weekly from traditional channels of video distribution including mass merchants, audio/video and video specialty retailers, electronics outlets, grocery stores, drug stores, and some Internet sites.

NANA "Battle of the Bands" in Shibuya

Anime News Network reports that the bands "Black Stones" and "Trapnest" from the anime adaptation of shoujo hit Nana will perform live at in a "Battle of the Bands" on March 30th at Shibuya AX Hall in Tokyo.

New UK Manga Commissioned Manga

MangaBlog notes that British manga Monocle has commissioned a political thriller manga from Niels Watanabe. The magazine will focus on global affairs, business, culture and design.

Ah! My Goddess Season 2 Release

ADV Films has scheduled their release of the first volume of Ah! My Goddess Season 2 for May 8th. The first season of the magical girlfriend anime was released by Media Blaster, while the original OVA was released by AnimEigo and the movie was released by Geneon.

Arcadia on My Youth OOP

AnimEigo has revealed that their release of Arcadia on My Youth will be going out print as of summer 2007. The anime movie telling the melodramatic origin of Leiji Matsumoto's Harlock.

New CPM Release

Looking through the May/June Diamond comic soliciations, MangaCast notes that the largely dormant CPM will be releasing the first volumes of the Korean Manwha Platina for $15.99.

Angel Cop Redux

ComiPress reports that the Simon Wiesenthal Center has accused Rhie Won-bok of Duksung Women's University of anti-Semitism based on the content of Rhie's manwha Far Country, Neighbor Country. Rhie responded to criticism pf the work "depicting Jewish influence in the U.S. media" by apologizing and explaining he was neither anti-Semitic nor out to criticize Jewish people: 'I drew the cartoons based on data I gathered while living in the U.S. for two years.'" (Angel Cop was a violent action anime with a North American release featuring a translations that glossed over the fact that the movie blamed a Jewish conspiracy for Japan's economic problems.)

English Language Witchblade Anime Site

FUNimation has launched their site to promote the company's upcoming release of the WitchBlade anime a href="http://funimation.com/witchblade/">here. The site currently offers a trailer of the GONZO anime.

Upcoming in Japan

Yasuomi Umetsu's slick, violent tragedy Kite will be continued in a new anime from Arms Corporation called Kite Liberator Moetron reports that a follow-up to the 2006 one episode OVA Sky Girls in the works. The TV series, referred to as Road to Sky Girls will be produced by J.C. STAFF. The 10th Pokemon Movie, entitled Pocket Monsters Diamond & Pearl: Dialga VS Palkia VS Darkrai is scheduled for a theatrical release in Japan on July 14th. Anime News Network reports that Yukihiro Matsushita will be directing the Studio Pierrot animated adaptation of the game Blue Dragon, scheduled to debut on Japanese TV this April. From Ikimashou.netm Toeie's Love Con ~ Lovely Complex~ adaptation is due out in August. Studio Deen will be animating romantic comedy Code-E for July. Madhouse will be producing a Mokke anime. A trailer for the Murder Princess OVA can be seen here AnimeNation notes that screen shots of the upcoming adaptation of fantasy/horror action manga Claymore were included in a GA Graphic article

Minmay Voice at Con

AnimeCons.com reports that Mari Iijima, voice of Lynn Minmay in the original Japanese language version of Macross and ADV's dub of the series, will be performing at Tekkoshocon this April.

Upcoming Art Books

MangaNews.net reports TOKYPOP has announced Princess Ai: Roses & Tattoos and Bizenghast: Falling Into Fear art books, based on the publisher OEL titles. Roses & Tattoos will include stickers, art work and D.J. Milky poetry. Falling Into Fear will feature s, paper dolls, and pinup pages. PWCW notes that the company will also be producing Princess Ai and Bizenghast coloring books. Udon Entertainment has announced that the distributor will be releasing two new translated art books. Megaman Zero Official Complete Works will be released in April. The 180 page, 8 ¼ X 11 ¼ inches book will retail for $34.99 The cover can be seen here ToonZone.net notes that The Art of ReBoot will be on display at the New York Comic-cib, The book will feature rendered images from the Mainframe series, character design and original art.

New TOKYOPOP Rating System

TOKYPOP has announced that they will be adopting a new content rating system for their translated manga and original graphic novels. Michele Gorman (Getting Graphic!: Using Graphic Novels to Promote Literacy with Preteens and Teens and Connecting Young Adults and Libraries) has served as a consultant in division more than 40 content indicators divided among five age ranges. ICV2 reports that the indications will include: A = All Ages
  • Cartoon Violence
  • Potty Humor
  • Slapstick Humor
Y = 10+
  • Mild Language
  • Fantasy Violence
  • Bullying
T = Teens 13+
  • Moderate Language
  • Aggression
  • Mild Violence
  • Mild Gore
  • Crude Humor
  • Sexual Innuendo
  • Mild Sexual language
  • Non-sexual Nondescript Nudity
  • Mild Sexuality/Sexual Themes
  • Mild Fanservice
  • Tobacco Use/Reference
  • Alcohol Reference
  • Illegal Drug Reference
  • Occultism
OT = Older Teens 16+
  • Strong Language
  • Moderate Sexual Language
  • Moderate Violence
  • Moderate Sexual Violence
  • Moderate Gore
  • Non-sexual Partial Nudity
  • Non-sexual - Full Body Nudity
  • Sexual-Partial Nudity
  • Sexual Nondescript Nudity
  • Sexual Humor
  • Representation of Pornography
  • Moderate Sexuality/Sexual Themes
  • Moderate Fanservice
  • Alcohol Use
  • Illegal Drug Use
M = Mature 18 + (shrink wrapped; content advisory label on cover)
  • Excessive Language
  • Explicit Sexual Language
  • Intense Violence
  • Explicit Sexual Violence
  • Excessive Gore
  • Sexual Full Body Nudity
  • Explicit Sexuality/Sexual Themes
  • Incest
  • Explicit fanservice

New Taste of Tea Screenings Announced

VIZ Pictures has added new dates for their American screenings of Katsuhito Ishii's (Shark Skin Man & Peach Hip Gir) kuve action film The Taste Of Tea. THE TASTE OF TEA will screen in the following cities: New York General opening: February 23 - March 1, 2007 The ImaginAsian 239 East 59th St., New York 10022 http://www.theimaginasian.com Chicago General opening: March 2-8, 2007 FACETS CINEMATHEQUE 1517 West Fullerton Avenue, Chicago, IL 60614 http://www.facets.org/asticat Portland April 6-12, 2007 The Hollywood Theatre 4122 N.E. Sandy Blvd., Portland, OR 97212 http://www.hollywoodtheatre.org Seattle April 27 - May 3, 2007 GRAND ILLUSION CINEMA 1403 NE 50th St., Seattle, WA 98105 http://www.grandillusioncinema.org

Last Gasp to Publish Town of Evening Calm

MangaNews.net reports that Last Gasp Publications will be publishing Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms, a manga concerning the impact on the atomic bombing on Japan as viewed through the eyes of an average woman.

To Heart V. 2 Release

Right Stuf has announced that the second volume of their remastered release of To Heart, entitled "Finding Courage" hit stores on May 29th. The relationship anime adapts a dating game from the makers of Comic Party.

American Anime Awards to be Covered Online

The ceremony for the first American Anime Awards will be broadcast in a live a live webcast on IGN 9pm EST Saturday, February 24th here.

LA Dororo to Become Trilogy

Twitch reports that the recent live action adaptation of Osamu Tezuka's horror/samurai tale Dororo will be followed by two sequels, scheduled 2008 and 2009. The recently released first film has been dominating Japanese box office charts for the last several weeks.

Broccoli Books Launches Boysenberry

Broccoli Books has announced that they will be launching their new Boysenberry Books boys live imprint with Delivery Cupid, Pet on Duty, and Sex Friend starting in summer 2007.

Kadokawa Pictures to Release The Third

Kadokawa Pictures is now planning to release anime series The Third in North America.

Animated Castlevania Status

Warren Ellis has indicated that his treatment outline for the animated adaption of video game franchise Castlevania is awaiting approval by right's holder Konami.

Rebellion acquires Clickwheel

The Beat notes that Clickwheel a venture that sought to provided comic content directly to iPods, has been acquired by Rebellion, the publisher of 2000AD (home of Judge Dredd). “Being already involved in the next gen video game market, we know well the pace of development in world of entertainment”, says Jason Kingsley, CEO of Rebellion/2000 AD. “With the acquisition of Clickwheel, we look forward to pushing the boundaries of innovation even further”.

2007 Glyph Comics Awards

A number of OEL creators have been nominated for the second annual Glyph Comics Awards, recognizing the works of black comics and creators. Earthlight Volume 1 by Christopher Schons and Stuart Moore has been nominated for Story of the Year, Best Writer, and Best Artist. Felipe Smith of MBQ has been nominated for Rising Star Award. Tokyo Tribes Vol. 5 has been nominated for Best Reprint Publication, For a complete list of nominees, see here

Worth Checking Out

An Eternal Thought in the Mind of Godzilla is pimping friend Yoshiki Takahahi’s entry into the Quentin Tarantino-Robert Rodriquez sponsored GRINDHOUSE TRAILER competition, Shougun tai Shogun. "SHOGUN TORTURE IS THE MOST BRUTAL JAPANESE FILM EVER MADE!! Filmed in Japan where life is cheap and fresh fruit is expensive!" Matt Alt provides the voice over. Brian Hibbs evaluates the manga dominated graphic novels sales charts here Japanator has translated an article looks at Japan's parental reaction to the quantity of sexual material in shoujo manga. Heisei Democracy looks at some prime real-estate for anime industry dumpster diving here ComiPress translates the next part of Leiji Matsumoto's proposal to extend the copyright limit from 50 years to 70 years. here. "Of course there are pros and cons regarding this issue, and I understand some part of what the other side is saying. However, I believe that more than 90% of those who have had any kind of creative experience would say yes to 70 years [of copyright protection]. Even those who only read manga would surely not want to see something to be completely altered from what the original used to be." "Even if you're alive, you don't know what people would do to your work. If you're dead, there would come eccentric interpretations, alterations and transmutated sequels." SameHat takes up the case of the disappearing Dark Horse horror manga here Shots of Makoto Shinkai new film 5 Centimetres Per Second can be seen here

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Readers Talkback

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  • Feb. 23, 2007, 8:35 a.m. CST

    Could It be

    by garcicr

    Awwww right here we are ........

  • Feb. 23, 2007, 9:14 a.m. CST

    That Yellow Britney

    by Sardonica

    www.brotherscarr.com/art/That_Yellow_Britney.jpg

  • Feb. 23, 2007, 9:20 a.m. CST

    Whoops, broken link... Here's That Yellow Britney

    by Sardonica

    www.brotherscarr.com/art/That_Yellow_Britney.jpg

  • Feb. 23, 2007, 9:22 a.m. CST

    ?!@#$?!???

    by Sardonica

    Why does AICN keep adding a space before the word "Yellow"...? Strange...

  • Feb. 23, 2007, 11:27 a.m. CST

    Where's my HELLSING

    by WarpedElements

    Supposed to be out a week or two ago. Want it. Where's volume 3 of the OVA series. GIMMIE! WHERE CAN IT BE?!

  • Feb. 23, 2007, 12:02 p.m. CST

    Evangelion

    by One-Eye Tigh

    New Machine! New Machine! Does this mean new Eva units, or just new angels? Hopefully both.

  • Feb. 23, 2007, 3:41 p.m. CST

    Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles

    by Johnno

    I recently picked it up on DVD along with the WXIII Patlabor movie boxset. And I just have to go on a fanboy rant here, but I fucking love it!!! Sure the animation and 3D isn't groundbreaking, but classic robotech designs etc make it all work out, it's definately a step up from the old school animation. Reviewers were right in that the epic battle takes place at the start leaving us with a smaller scale sabotage mission at the end, but heck, it works! Sure the dialogue and characters are a bit cheesy, but that's just like the old show! In other words, only die hard Robotech fans will love it, and for me it was a chance to have my childhood dream of seeing Scott and Marlene reunited (Yeah I know it's really Ariel, but that was only revealed closer towards the end of the show I just prefer the name they gave her when they found her but I guess that would confuse new-comers since they brought the real Marlene and her bro into the picture). Anyway, the ending of the New Generation saga with Scott leaving her to go into space was kind of like my 'Gone with the Wind' and this movie fixes that :P. Plus I'm sure they've got room and story for more so it isn't the end, so keep it coming Harmony Gold!<br><br> As for Evangelion, new character? new mecha? Do they mean that literally, or are they totally redesigning things? Well I hope they include that Mana chick from the Iron Maiden game, I think Shinji could use a more feminine supporter, haha unless they go with the manga Shinji who's got some balls. Anyway we'll see how this plays out... And it seems the 10th manga book by Sadamoto is due out in April on thsi side! Nice!

  • Feb. 23, 2007, 3:44 p.m. CST

    As for Noein...

    by Johnno

    I'm impressed with what I've seen so far, definately one to check out if you're looking for something that's a visual break from the norm!

  • Feb. 24, 2007, 3:30 a.m. CST

    Keiko Takemiya's BUTTSECKS

    by godoffireinhell

    I have no idea why Vertical chose to introduce Takemiya to US audiences with TO TERRA, which is an anomaly in her body of work. TO TERRA was, AFAIK, the only manga she conceived for a young boy audience. Ironically, most of her other works are about young boys having gay sex with each other. Yeah, I can see how that'd be controversial in the US but still, KAZE TO KI NO UTA (The Song of Wind and Trees) would have been a much more interesting title for Vertical to port over than TO TERRA.

  • Feb. 24, 2007, 10 p.m. CST

    Reideen

    by veritasses

    Looking forward to that series but from the looks of it, it doesn't seem to have anything even remotely connected to the original TV series... I'm not sure why but it's sort of a bummer. Re: Harlock/Arcadia. From what I can remember, The "Arcadia of my Youth" movie wasn't all that great. If you're interested in great classic/almost-vintage Leiji anime get the original Harlock TV anime series from the 70's. It's one of Matsumoto's best works along with the original Yamato 1&2 TV series, original GE999 TV series and it's 2 feature films. Most of the other Matsumoto stuff were all rather bland.

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