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Logo handmade by Bannister Column by Scott Green

New Reviews Delayed to Monday...

New Director For Astro Boy

According to Variety, Flushed Away's David Bowers will be replacing Colin Brady as the director for Imagi Studios's CGI adaptation of Osamu Tezuka's classic Astro Boy. The film is scheduled to be released in 2009 by Warner Bros. Pictures and the Weinstein Co. Bowers started as an animator on "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" at British studio Cosgrove Hall before joining Steven Spielberg's Amblimation in London. His credits include "The Prince of Egypt," "The Road to El Dorado," "Chicken Run," "Shark Tale" and "Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit."

Release Date Named For Next Miyazaki Movie

According to Nausicaa.net and VARIETY Japan, the Japanese theatrical release of Hayao Miyazaki's Ponyo On A Clif is scheduled for the middle of July. The 19th (Sat) is very likely if production advances smoothly because the 21st (Mon) is a holiday in Japan. Ghibli World looks at Ghibli's latest comments

May CMX Releases

DC Comics will be releasing the first 48 page, Prestige Format issue of Yoshinori Natsume's BATMAN: DEATH MASK on April 9th. There's a new serial killer in Gotham, and he may have ties to the training Bruce Wayne acquired as a young man in Japan. Does the murderer know Bruce Wayne is the Batman? On sale April 9 o 1 of 4 o 48 pg, B&W, $5.99 US
The publisher's CMX manga releases for May include: TWO FLOWERS FOR THE DRAGON VOL.1 Written and illustrated by Nari Kusakawa Nari Kusakawa (THE RECIPE FOR GERTRUDE and THE PALETTE OF 12 SECRET COLORS) cooks up a funny and romantic new adventure. Teenage Shakuya is the next head of the Dragon Clan - and she can actually turn into a real dragon. As if that's not enough, she also finds herself with two fiancés! The first vanished years ago and has now returned, but the new guy is not about to step aside. So Shakuya will wait a year, then marry the man she loves the most. Magic tattoos on both of Shakuya's hands, will help her to decide. Each one represents one of her suitors and as her love grows, so do her tattoos! on sale May 7 o 5" x 7.375" o 192 pg. B&W, $9.99 US o TEEN
KING OF CARDS VOL. 4 Written and illustrated by Makoto Tateno on sale May 7 o 5" x 7.375" o 192 pg, B&W, $9.99 US o TEEN
SWAN VOL. 13 Written and illustrated by Kyoko Ariyoshi on sale May 14 o 5" x 7.375" o 208 pg, B&W, $9.99 US o EVERYONE
VENUS IN LOVE VOL. 3 Written and illustrated by Yuki Nakaji on sale May 14 o 5" x 7.375" o 208 pg, B&W, $9.99 US o TEEN
DOKKOIDA?! VOL. 2 Written and illustrated by Yu Yagami Created by Taro Achi on sale May 14 o 5" x 7.375" o 178 pg. B&W, $9.99 US o TEEN +
APOTHECARIUS ARGENTUM VOL. 5 Written and illustrated by Tomomi Yamashita on sale May 21 o 5" x 7.375" o 192 pg. B&W, $9.99 US o TEEN
THE PALETTE OF 12 SECRET COLORS VOL. 3 Written and illustrated by Nari Kusakawa on sale May 21 o 5" x 7.375" o 192 pg. B&W, $9.99 US o EVERYONE
KEY TO THE KINGDOM VOL. 4 Written and illustrated by Kyoko Shitou on sale May 28 o 5" x 7.375" o 200 pg. B&W, $9.99 US o TEEN+
ORFINA VOL. 3 Written and illustrated by Kitsune Tennouji on sale May 28 o 5.5" x 8" o 194 pg. B&W, $12.99 US o MATURE

Next Volumes of Freedom Scheduled

Anime on DVD reports that Bandai Visual will be releasing volumes four and five of the DVD/HD DVD Hybrid sci-fi Freedom on 02/26/2008 and 04/22/2008 respectively. The one-episode discs retail for $39.98

Avatar: The Last Airbender Book 3 Vol. 3 Scheduled

According to ToonZone and TVShowsOnDVD.com the third volume of Avatar: The Last Airbender's third season will be released by Nick and Paramount on 5/6/08 for $16.99. It will contain these five episodes:
  • The Day of the Black Sun Part 2: The Eclipse
  • The Western Air Temple
  • The Firebending Masters
  • The Boiling Rock: Part 1
  • The Boiling Rock: Part 2
  • Figures News

    Organic Hobby, Inc in conjunction with Happinet will be releasing Princess Resurrection “Reiri Kamura” & “Hime” (Special Edition) statues in March for $105.00 each. "Reiri Kamura" is based on an ongoing supernatural manga know as "Princess Resurrection" by Yasunori Mitsunaga and later adapted into an anime series. The story portrays a boy (Hiro) who encounters a young woman (Hime) whom he must serve. "Reiri" is a female vampire who attends the same school as Hiro. She has long black hair, always dresses in a dark sailor fuku, and has idol status in her school. This special edition includes "Riza Wildman," a half-breed girl who has a werewolf father, called Volg Wildman, and a human mother. "Reiri Kamura & Riza Wildman" is an 8 ½" tall PVC figure fully painted and comes in a window box with a custom base for display.
    "Hime" is based on an ongoing supernatural manga know as "Princess Resurrection" by Yasunori Mitsunaga and later adapted into an anime series. The story portrays a boy (Hiro) who encounters a young woman (Hime) whom he must serve. "Hime" is the titular character of the series. She is the second princess of the royalty, daughter of the king of all monsters. This special edition includes "Flandre," a small and incredibly strong android at the service of Hime. Hime (7") & Flandre (4 ½") are two fully painted PVC figure and comes in a window box with a custom base for display.
    Organic Hobby, Inc and CM’s Corporation will be releasing “Patlabor Mobile Police Collection Figure (Part. 2). in March for $7.50.. "Patlabor Mobile Police Collection Figure (Part. 2)" are based on the famous Anime action series "Patlabor, Mobile Police." "Patlabor Mobile Police Collection Figure (Part. 2)" is a twelve piece assortment of 5-6" scale trading figures and includes two secret item. Each figure comes in a closed box along with a handy twelve piece counter display case.
    Super7 will be releasing the MIDNIGHT MARAUDER SQUIRM this Saturday at their store for $50.
    Cool Japanese Toys reviews Appleseed Ex Machina 1:6 Scale Figures and the Jun Planning CraftLabel Death Note Statue Also of note Foam Fanactics' 3" and 10" FOX Sports Robot CollectionDX reviews the MG Model KitStrike Freedom Gundam and previews the Evangelion Soul of Sofubi Israfel (Seventh Angel) Hasbro is releasing a Cloverfield figure Topless Robot looks at the Mattel Speed Racer figures Street Fighter Devotion speaks to Guang Yang, Chief Executive of Sota Toys about their creative process and their plans for the 20th Anniversary of Street Fighter

    European Releases

    Katsuhiro Otomo's live action adaptation of Mushishi will be released on DVD on UK Region 2 March 3rd 2008 priced for £15.99 ADV announced that they are putting their UK releases on hold while they weigh options. From their statement: ADV Films as an international media group is facing up to the new digital future with clear-eyed vision. Recognizing the need to be more streamlined and customer-responsive, the group is transitioning its UK operations from a US-run office outsourcing to retail partners, to a partnership with a yet-to-be-named local home entertainment group possessing both the track record and the forward planning to handle such a valuable library of international licenses. For the moment, however, certain DVD titles will have to be placed on hiatus pending the outcome of current negotiations. These include all the titles listed below: The Titles On Hiatus: Pumpkin Scissors The Wallflower Ah! My Goddess Series 2: Flights of Fancy 009-1 Red Garden Innocent Venus Kurau: Phantom Memory Utawarerumono Paniponi Dash Guyver: The Bio-boosted Armor Le Chevalier D'Eon Coyote Ragtime Show Jinki:Extend According to Anime on DVD, simular processes are happening in Germany. ADV Films releases for Germany have been put on hiatus pending changes which includes Guyver - The Bioboosted Armor, Utawarerumono - Heldenlied, Perfect Girl, Venus Versus Virus and Moonlight Mile. TOKYOPOP has put all of its releases on hold as well stating "The rapidly increasing numbers of illegal downloads, which clearly show that the interest in anime by young media consumers is enormous."

    Anime Screening in California

    ImaginAsian Entertainment and Bandai Entertainment Inc. announced that three of Bandai’s Anime Movie Classic releases will be screened theatrically on 35mm at the newly opened ImaginAsian Center from February 15-21 in downtown Los Angeles. The three films to be screened starting Feb 15th at ImaginAsian are: Escaflowne-the movie, is a theatrical rendition of the classic series which features music by the Yoko Kanno of Cowboy Bebop fame, and produced by animation studio Sunrise. A depressed girl named Hitomi is whisked away to a fantastical land where she meets young King Van and learns that she alone has the power to summon Escaflowne – a warrior/protector that can end the fierce conflict that has been raging between the forces of light and dark. Mobile Suit Gundam: The Counterattack of Char, is the final chapter of the first Gundam saga. The foundations of peace between the Federation and the Neo Zeon Army are shattered as the notorious Zeon leader Char Aznable threatens the Federation with nuclear devastation. Only Amuro Ray and the state of the art mobile suit, Nu Gundam, can stop them! Jin-Roh, created and written by the acclaimed Mamoru Oshii (Ghost in the Shell-the Movie, Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence), is a powerful allegory which centers on a very different Tokyo than the one we know today, where a totalitarian government rules with an iron fist. Constable Fuse of the Capital Police’s Special unit defies his orders to shoot and kill a young protestor and as a result is “re-conditioned” as a solider. As Fuse’s world comes crashing down around him, he is challenged to do what is right in the face of an oppressive regime. The newly renovated ImaginAsian Center is located at 251 S. Main St., Los Angeles California. For ticket information call (213) 617-1033 or www.iacenterla.com/la Santa Monica's Aero Theatre will be screening NAUSICAA, VALLEY OF THE WIND (Friday, February 1 – 7:30 PM), MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO (Saturday, February 2 – 3:00 PM) and SPIRITED AWAY (Saturday, February 2 – 7:30 PM)

    Third Annual Shojo Beat Music Awards Issue

    The February 2008 issue of VIZ Media's SHOJO BEAT manga anthology features a reader’s choice vote and a new, exclusive contest in conjunction with MYX, the first and only music lifestyle channel focused on the Asian American market. The issue offers a beginner’s guide to Japanese bands, a Tokyo record store’s top 10 and two music-themed Hot Lists in addition to the featured awards. In the Best Pop Artist or Group category, artists include: Budo Grape, Puffy AmiYumi, Swinging Popsicle and HALCALI. In the Best Rock Artist or Group category, artists include: L’Arc~en~Ciel, AN CAFÉ, ROCKET K and DOGG BONE. There is also a new category for Music Videos made possible by the folks at MYX. SHOJO BEAT readers who vote for their favorite music will be entered into a random drawing for one of 15 prizes, including 100 song downloads on JapanFiles.com, and the latest edition of Dance Dance Revolution, SuperNOVA2 donated by Konami. For more details and Official Rules, visit http://shojobeat.com/music/rules.php In addition to its help with the Music Video category in the Awards, MYX is also working with SHOJO BEAT to promote Asian music. For details on their ‘MYX a Music Spot SHOJO BEAT Style’ see here

    Worth Checking Out

    A subtitled trailer for The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is on IGN Same Hat! Same Hat! posted a translation of Shintaro Kago's Drunkard Condo Syndrome. The site also previews Kazuo Umezu's Cat Eyed Boy! ahead of Viz's release. Midnight Eye's Best and Worst of 2007 (lots of TekkonKinkreet love) Cartoon Brew survey Genius Party. The site also looks at Koji Yamamura's A Child’s Metaphysics The site for Endless Frontier: Super Robot Wars Original Generation Saga has been updated. Bloomberg glances at the world of manga here Chris's Invincible Super-Blog's scrambles Peanuts with Azumanga Daioh here and here Comics Worth Reading points out that Del Rey is accepting submissions for OEL manga here ComiPress' Year in Design Patrick Macias at the Young Jump New Years Party, photographed with Kazuo Koike, Go Nagai, and Hirohiko Araki Newsarama spoke to the localization team for Crayon Shin-Chan.

    For more commentary see the AICN Anime MySpace. Scott Green's Google Reeder shared items feed

    Readers Talkback
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    • Jan. 25, 2008, 9:47 a.m. CST

      Bill Frist

      by Cletus Van Damme

      word

    • Jan. 25, 2008, 9:48 a.m. CST

      Batman: Death Mask does sound good though

      by Cletus Van Damme

      It's got my cash!

    • Jan. 25, 2008, 11:58 a.m. CST

      Hate to be a Negative Nancy but...

      by lonecow

      Please stop including Avitar in anime news. It might be an excellent show, but it isn't anime.

    • Jan. 25, 2008, 12:49 p.m. CST

      re: ricarleite

      by ScottGreen

      I'm not inclined to care about criticism or defend myself, but what the hell are you talking about? I think I tend to be fairly critical in my reviews. Even in my very favorable Gurren Lagann review , a show which I would like to promote, I pointed out flaws. Beyond that, if it is paid advertising, I'd love to see the money. Not that this hurting industry has the funds to put together a paid column.

    • Jan. 25, 2008, 12:52 p.m. CST

      Miyazaki!!!!

      by rxse7en

      That is all, keep moving...

    • Jan. 25, 2008, 1:21 p.m. CST

      Mmmmm Gurren Lagann

      by lonecow

      That is all you needed to say.... Gurren Lagann fixed everything that was wrong with anime.

    • Jan. 25, 2008, 3:58 p.m. CST

      I say this in every Miyazaki thread...

      by Strabo

      ...but, for the love of god, someone give him a copy of Salman Rushdie's book Haroun and the Sea of Stories. It would make a _perfect_ Miyazaki film. And it would give Rushdie some well deserved and overdue cinematic exposure.

    • Jan. 25, 2008, 4:26 p.m. CST

      I should say this in every Miyazaki thread...

      by FlickaPoo

      ...but I don't. Find a copy of Future Boy Conan, or Conan, Boy in the Future...you won't be sorry.

    • Jan. 25, 2008, 6:37 p.m. CST

      re: ricarleite

      by ScottGreen

      Thanks for clarifying your position. Yes, there are unlicensed Japanese titles that deserve coverage that I haven't covered: Dennou Coil, Seirei no Moribito, Bocanno, Hataraki Man, Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei and Oh! Edo Rocket immediate come to mind. I think it a fair criticism that they aren't covered enough here. I disagree about Gainax. I wrote a 5K word preview of Gurren Lagann. This Ugly Yet Beautiful World, The Melody of Oblivion, Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi, Gunbuster, Gunbuster 2, Mahoromatic , His and Her Circumstances, Evangelion and Nadia have all been reviewed. Some of those negatively. Here's the thing I tell my friends. It's about time. I choose to view and review titles that are licensed in North America because I believe that the North American industry is worth supporting. We get anime like Stand Alone Complex and Texhnolyze rather than the next moe series because there is interest in North America. I have problem working on a Cyborg 009 review rather than Ghost Hound review, and I think that just because I'd like to encourage readers to purchase titles like that, that mean I'm in the pocket of the industry.

    • Jan. 25, 2008, 11:04 p.m. CST

      Please don't screw up Astro Boy

      by veritasses

      Please....

    • Jan. 25, 2008, 11:11 p.m. CST

      I think it's ok to include Avatar here

      by veritasses

      I'd rather know about the news then not and I don't think any Japanese are going to riot for having it included here.

    • Jan. 26, 2008, 2:32 a.m. CST

      Miyazaki's previous film Howl's Moving Castle sucked

      by BadWaldosRevenge

      ...because the story's convoluted and the last act of the movie ridiculous with deux ex machina BS. Worst Miyazaki movie to date, tied with Kiki's Delivery Service. I hope this time Ponyo on a Clif is an original story without contrivances. Spirited Away is a masterpiece whose top notch quality in storytelling and fertile imagination may never be repeated. If Miyazaki's next film turns out to be as bad as Howl's Moving Castle, count me as a "former fan".

    • Jan. 27, 2008, 1:47 a.m. CST

      Howl's Moving Castle doesn't suck

      by GenPion

      I can't believe that some of you think this film sucks... I don't think it's on the same level as Spirited Away, which is one of my Top 5 films of all time, yet there's a lot going for it. I loved it and It seems like the kind of film that will find it's audience over time. As for Kiki's Delivery Service - that one is amongst my absolute favorite Miyazaki movies. I know it's possible to have a difference of opinion but I've felt like Miyazaki is the most consistent high-quality film maker in animation. That's high praise.