Team USA - Renee Gloger and Sonnya Paz - Talk The World Cosplay Summit
One of the most recognizable expressions of anime fandom, and geek fandom in general for that matter, is cosplay, or the act of adopting the appearance of a character from popular media. Mainstream coverage of a convention, a movie opening, or, more recently, a game launch is sure to prominently feature photographs of the cosplayers attending the event. Maybe there is a component of gawking, but at the same time, cosplay photos have become a universal short hand to illustrate a crowd of people brought together by their shared enthusiasm. And, insiders seem to have the same interest in taking a peak at the cosplayers. America's largest anime convention, Anime Expo was recently held in LA, over the forth of July weekend. No onsite, enthusiast press coverage was complete without a gallery of cosplayers. When San Diego Comic Con takes place, the comic press will undoubtedly take their turn snapping shots at the costume attired. For that matter, sports coverage, from the local broadcast to SI seldom fails to capture images of fans painted or otherwise decked out in proclaiming their allegiance to their team of choice. On August 2nd and 3rd 2008, The World Cosplay Summit will be held in Nagoya, Japan. Selected cosplayers from all over the world will meet to exhibit their work in the globe's most high profile cosplay competition, and, after a two year absence, the United States will return to competition. For the 2004 and 2005 World Cosplay Summits, American teams were selected during Anime Expo. However, after contentius episodes in the latter event, America took a hiatus from WCS participation. In 2007, during the inaugural New York Anime Festival partnered with World Cosplay Summit to stage the World Cosplay Summit's Official USA Preliminary Round. During the event, Renee Gloger and Sonnya Paz were selected to represent Team USA for their performance recreating characters Umi and Hikaru from CLAMP's fantasy adventure Magic Knights Rayearth. History suggests that America should have a part in the major leagues of cosplay. Even the term itself points to America's place in the global cosplay scene. English speaking fans borrowed it from Japanese fans, who coined the contraction of the words "costume play." When American interest in anime reached a point where it could support dedicated conventions, one of the tenets of these gatherings, modeled after Japanese events, was cosplay. Yet, the American adoption of cosplay proves to be one of many channels in the feedback loop between American and Japanese pop culture. Discussing the topic in the "Cosplay and Otakudom: the Draw of DIY" chapter in his book Japanamerica: How Japanese Pop Culture Has Invaded America, Ronald Kelts interviewed Hideki Ono, editor of Japanese online anime magazine Anime Style and contributor to the venerable print periodical Animage. "There seem to be many otaku in America these days, but we actually learned it from you. America is where otaku started. When I was in junior high school, Star Trek fans were the original otaku. They had activities and the costumes. Back then, America was already doing it. I never thought it would spread to Japan too." "Ten years ago, a woman researcher from America interviewed me. She asked 'Why do Japanese people act like otaku? Isn't it weird?' and I said 'We learned it from you.'" Since the majority of Ain't It Cool News visitors are from the United States, I'll take the liberty to engage in a bit of homerism and encourage readers to root for Renee Gloger and Sonnya Paz, as they compete August 2 and 3. And, they have been gracious enough to take some time from their busy preparation to share their thoughts on the The World Cosplay Summit and cosplay itself.
How would you explain cosplay competition to someone who has never been to an anime event?
(Renee Gloger) Cosplay and cosplay competitions do not necessarily go hand-in-hand.
A lot of people cosplay for fun. It's dressing up as a video game, cartoon or an anime character. Cosplayers could walk around in their costume at a convention; or even just take photos in their back yard.
You can also do competitions. You don't have to, but it's something that is fun to do if you are proud of your costume.
There are two different types of competition. There's the hallway competition, which is judged on craftsmanship, how well you made your costume. And there are masquerades, which are usually the center piece event of a convention. In a masquerade, you'd be judged beforehand on craftsmanship, and then you'd be judged on performance.
The competitions have lots of awards. You get craftsmanship awards, performance awards. Then there's Best In Show, which means that you had the best craftsmanship and the best performance.
During the preliminary round at the New York Anime Festival, you were selected US representatives to the World Cosplay Summit. How did that process work?
(RG) The preliminaries at the New York Anime Festival worked a little differently than most masquerades. There was a regular masquerade, because it was a normal convention. There was a Best in Show and Best Craftsmanship that was entirely separate from the World Cosplay Summit preliminaries.
We were selected for the World Cosplay Summit separately. It was a little unusual, because most masquerades don't have WCS coming.
(Sonnya Paz)America used to compete in the WCS back in 2004 and 2005.
(RG)When New York Anime Festival started up, I don't know who approach who, but they decided to try again. It's been a really, really positive experience so far. I think there are a lot of people who are interested in going out and competing for next year's American preliminaries because of what happened this year.
What is next for you in the WCS competition?
(RG)In two weeks, all of the countries' teams are flying out to Nagoya, Japan to compete in the Summit finals.
(SP)They range from all over the world, and we're the American team, so obviously we're the best!
(RG)Actually, I don't know.
(SP)No, no, we are. We're the best, I don't care what anyone says.
(RG) That's fabulous.
(SP)There's going to be a bunch of people out there for the final competition in two weeks.
(RG) There's a parade. Then the competition and it's on Japanese national television.
It's really exciting, and then someone wins. We have no idea what the prize is...
(SP) World bragging rights.
(RG) Yeah, bragging rights... I have no idea.
(SP)I'll take bragging rights.
(RG)That would be pretty cool.
The World Cosplay Competition selects teams of two. Is that a distinctive characteristic of the event? What difference does it make in terms of preparation and competition?
(RG)Yeah, that's a big difference. In normal masquerades at anime conventions, you can have as many or as few people as you want. A lot of people like to form big groups for skits.
It was a little bit difficult trying to think of something , because the World Cosplay Summit has craftsmanship and performance competitions. So, you had to think of something that would have a good performance with only two people.
(SP)It's a lot harder than it looks...
(RG) Oh my gosh! Three minutes with two people.. uhh...
And we had to pick characters that had really interesting costumes... because we wanted to do the best costumes we can, but that also had an interesting relationship that would make for a good performance. Craftsmanship is just as important as how well we entertain the audience.
(SP) And how well we stick to the characters that we've chosen.
(RG) Right, there's a third category that's being true to the characters. We still haven't figured out exactly what that means.
(SP) We will know.
(RG) I guess we'll find out.
(SP) We'll find out in two weeks.
(RG) Oh god! Two weeks. So excited!
What does the recognition of being selected for this competition mean to you?
(SP) It's a huge honor.
(RG) It's scary at the same time.
We did not expect to win.
(SP) We were preparing ourselves. We were just like "you know what, we're not going to win this, whatever... I don't care, let's just get out there and have as much fun as possible."
(RG) And then when we were picked...
(SP) Holey crap!
(RG) "Now we just have to do all this work... no!"
I've gone to a couple of conventions since we were picked. And random people have come up to us and said "oh we heard, good luck in Japan..."
We've been keeping blogs on LiveJournal with progress pictures documenting our preparation. People come up to me and go "hey, I've been reading your blog." It makes me really excited.
(SP) It has been huge, because of all this recognition and all these interviews... we're not really used to it. But, we welcome it, and it's fun. It's been a very fun and rewarding experience.
Other than winning, what are your hopes for your trip to the World Cosplay Summit?
(RG): Eating food.
(SP): Oh my god... FOOD
(RG): So much food! Green Kit Kats. That's number one on my list now.
(SP): That's our biggest thing... food. We're really looking forward to eating as much as possible. Just kidding...
(RG): And meeting other countries' cosplayers. Meeting people, eating food, seeing Japan.
(SP): We've never been to Japan.
(RG): I want to go to Tokyo Tower.
(SP): We're going to Tokyo Tower and be total and complete geeks... taking pictures there if we're allowed to... if we're not chased off by the police or something.
(RG) I'm really tall, and I want to wear really high heels and tower over every single person in Japan. That's one of my dreams.
If you've competed in athletic or academic competition, how does artistic competition like cosplay differ?
RG: I definitely don't limit myself to just cosplay. I graduated from college last year, but I majored in opera. I've always been attracted to music and that sort of creativity. I've done a lot of performances, and I like performing. In a way, cosplay is just another type of performance. And it's a little bit geekier than opera.
(SP) For me, I'm more into the costuming aspect. I'll perform, but I'd rather make a costume and just run around and be a geek.
I majored in fashion design, so for me the technical aspect is more fun them the performance itself.
So, you view it more as an artistic endeavor than a competition?
(RG): Yeah, I'll go to a convention and not compete at all, just to wear a costume.
(SP) We do that to have fun. It's not always about competition. We go there to dress up with our friends and generally be extremely geeky about what we do... which is a very geeky hobby, which we love... very much.
Stepping back a bit, how did you get into cosplay?
(RG) I went to middle school and high school in Maryland, about 45 minutes north of Baltimore. So, the local newspaper would run an article every summer on this really geeky convention... I decided to go in 2000, and it happened to be Otakon, the largest anime convention on the east coast.
I can't remember how big it was in 2000, but now it is up to about 25,000 people. And, most of them cosplay.
I went there in 2000, and I saw all these people dress up, and I thought it was the coolest thing ever. I don't know how old I was, 14.. 15.
The next year I decided to make a costume of Asuka from Neon Genesis Evangelion. The costume was terrible, but I thought I was awesome, so I had fun.
(SP) You thought you were the best one there.
(RG) I was the BEST Asuka. I had these safety pins and yellow fabric around me...
But I had fun and that is all that counts.
(SP) For me, I was actually vacationing in Spain, and I was watching anime, because I've always really been an anime fan....
I was watching "Oh My Goddess" and I was thinking to myself "man, it would be SO cool to have her outfit, the blue one that she wears all the time. I totally want to do that." So, not even knowing about conventions or anything like that, I started making it.
Oh god, it was so bad, but I don't care. And then, all of a sudden, in the newspaper, I saw there was a convention in New York City and I was like "oh wow, guess what, I'm totally wearing this costume there, cause I'll be the only one, but I'll have lots of pictures taken of me... "
So, I went and yeah... I wasn't the only one dressed in costume... apparently, it was a big thing.
So I researched more and ... that's when I started cosplaying. We both started around '01, which is a lot longer than most of the people who are in the scene now. Which is cool...
(RG) Yeah, all those young-in's running around.
(SP) Yeah, it's weird.
Could you describe your process for creating costumes?
(RG)I have a lot of costumes that I wanted to make at one time. I have this huge, long list on my computer. And I'm always crossing off or adding more as I watch a show or play a video game and fall in love with a character and their design.
Once I start buying materials, I really commit myself. The first step is planning out in my head EXACTLY how I'll make the costume. Just so I don't have to go back and buy new material, even though I end up doing that anyway.
Then, I'll start buying the materials drafting patterns, and making markups and muslins. Then, sewing it. I try to get done before the convention, but sometimes I don't. And then I haven't slept in two days... It's really stressful...
It really depends on the character. Sometimes I will be working with difficult material. Sometimes I'm just sewing a simple shirt and pants.
(SP) I go about it, kindof in the same way. I'm very impulsive with what I do... with the characters I choose, which is kindof bad. It makes my budget very difficult. I see something... I see a design.. I check out the series, and then, all of a sudden, the next day I buy everything. Then, more often than not, it just sits there in my room until I finally get around to it...
I'm a lot more impulsive. I don't actually plan anything out. I just kindof go with it.
(RG) I'm the more methodical one.
(SP) Renee's the methodical one, I'm the spontaneous one, I'll do whatever... at the moment.
In designing a costume, how do you reverse engineer what was initially designed for a 2D medium to create something that a person can wear?
(RG) I don't even sketch things. I plan in my head, and make sure I know what I'm going to make from all angles. I try to make sure I spend as much effort as possible gathering reference material, such as reference images. Sometimes its easier than others.
(SP) I can draw, so what I do is I tend to look at one reference picture and after that I just draw it like how I think it would fit. With the character, all the design aspects... I draw it out first, so I have an idea of what I have to do.
Is there anything that you have studied to improve your cosplay work?
(RG) I've never had formal training in sewing, but there is a costuming and sewing book that I've stolen from Sonnya.
I like working on costumes with other friends who cosplay, because I pick up techniques from them.. tips and tricks... slowly but surely over the years I've gotten better at my craftsmanship because I learned from other people.
(SP) I've actually had training. I had sewing training when I was 15 years old, and then from there I went to school for fashion, so I picked up A LOT while I was in school. So, that's where I learned. I'll say...
Given more resources and time, what would you improve about your work?
(SP) My craftsmanship itself is pretty good... I'd much rather improve my time management.
(RG) Boy, does she need that.
(SP) My time management is so bad. I can crank out costumes quickly, but I tend to leave everything for the last moment.
(RG) It drives me a little nuts.
(SP) Not my craftsmanship or anything like that. I'm pretty happy where it is right now. Definitely DEFINATELY time management for me.
(RG) And, for me, I don't have any time right now, because I have an office job that I work full time.
I graduated last year and I did a musical and an opera. I've taken the summer off from pursuing music so that I can work on these costumes for Japan. But, I don't have any time and its really frustrating. So, if I had all the time in the world, I'd make one of my dream costumes, which are insane.
I've always wanted to do Gilgamesh from Final Fantasy V, who is this evil villain, who is also goofy, but has eight arms and is really creepy looking. Or, creepy, IMPRESSIVE looking, even though he is a total doofus.
Is it mostly that complexity that you would work towards if you had that extra space in your schedule?
(RG) Yeah, I'd love to do more complex stuff.
(SP) Oh yeah, definitely, but the more complex stuff gets really expensive.
(RG) If I had the time and resources...
(SP) If I had that time, I'd probably make Gurren Lagann
(RG) The actual mecha?
(SP) I'd totally make that. I don't have the skill to make it. I'm good at sewing stuff, I'm not good at building stuff.
(RG) We're getting better. We're working on building stuff right now. I don't know how it's going...
(SP) It's going well, I think...
(RG) It's going pretty well. I'm pretty excited.
(SP) I'd probably make mecha at all hours of the day. Sit at home and build.
(SP) I want to make stuff out of fiberglass... props... I want to learn how to do that... I can't do any of that right now...
I can only sew... That's it.
(RG) As we work on props...
(SP)We're working on puppets right now. I hope they're pretty cool.
The puppets are for Japan. This is the first time we're actually building stuff. It's fun so far.
All images courtsey of Anna Fischer of Cosclips Thanks to Renee Gloger and Sonnya Paz for their time and thoughts. Thank you to Peter Tatara from the New York Anime Festival and Anna Fischer of Cosclips for their help. The World Cosplay Summit's Official USA Preliminary Round will be held again during this years New York Anime Festival, as part of the convention which takes place, September 26-28, 2008 at the Jacob Javits Center Follow Team USA's blog at community.livejournal.com/teamusa2008
Come back Friday for part two...
Big Dreams, Little Tokyo DVD Give-Away
Congratulations to the winners of the Big Dreams, Little Tokyo DVD Give-Away
The film was released on DVD July 22d. Synopsis Boyd, a self-proclaimed businessman convinced he's Japanese, and his roommate Jerome, a sluggish but affable Japanese-American sumo wrestler, have big dreams for themselves. Together, the two travel door-to-door by tandem bike, giving flyers and sales pitches to anyone who listens...but Boyd's Japanese clients aren't buying his "Translation Services," and no one will give Jerome—a paltry 200 pounds—a chance in the ring. When they meet Mia, who is unfazed by their oddities and offers a hand, Boyd and Jerome discover that in a world where cultural identity is seldom what it seems, there's a place for everyone. Bonus features on the $14.99 DVD release include * DVD Commentary from Director/Writer/Star Dave Boyle and Co-star Jayson Watabe * Pipe Dreams Little Tokyo Featurette: Behind the Scenes Interviews and "Making of" Footage * Yamamoto and Company Featurette: Raising Money for Production * Deleted Scenes with Commentary * Storyboard to Film Comparison * Web Spots * Trailer * Stills Gallery
- Rhonda Van Buskirk
- Shawn Grover
- David Widtfeldt
FUNimation Licenses Baccano!
FUNimation has revealed that they have licensed light novel based period action anime Baccano!. The first episode can be seen online at here (password "Flying Pussyfoot")
Peter Chung Tackles Astro Boy, Cyborg 009
Via Astro Boy World Speaking to Animation World Magazine, Aeon Flux creator Peter Chung revealed that is current projects include storyboarding the Imagi Astroboy, as well as working on adaptation of Shotaro Ishinomori's shonen classic Cyborg 009 and violent, urban supernatural Wicked City. "One of the things that I'm working on now is an adaptation of Cyborg 009, which is a Japanese comic book character and an animation series from the '60s, which I grew up with. Japanese animation is very popular all over the world, so a lot of it is being adapted into animated features." ... "Yeah, I've written a story and redesigned the characters. It's funny, late last year I worked on the Astro Boy movie -- I did storyboards on that -- and I'm working on an adaptation of Wicked City. With a lot of those projects, I guess I end up getting involved because they were such a big source of inspiration for me. But those are adaptations."
Ponyo and More From Ghibli
The final trailer for Hayao Miyazaki's new film, Ponyo on a Cliff by the Sea has shockingly stayed on YouTube without being pulled. Miyazaki fans should be sure to read Ghibli World's summary/transation of NHK’s Ohayou Nippon interview with Hayao Miyazaki Also, Animage's interview with Ghibli veteran, Ponyo key animator Katsuya Kondo Goro Miyazaki, Hayao's son, director of Legends of Earthsea and model for a principal character in Ponyo shares his thoughts GhibliWiki notes that Miyazaki stated in an interview with TOKYO FM. "I was mad at myself after Howl. Everyone does not understand it. Though to say "everyone" is rude. I said, 'I must make a movie for children', I have made such a movie." According to Miyazaki, he believes he suffered from an autonomic imbalance after finishing Howl. He lived on Tomonoura alone for two months to heal the fatigue of his mind. Miyazaki says, "It is considerably restored when I live simple life alone. 'Simple life' is to eat by myself, wash, walk, eat again, read a book, sleep, and wake up again. I walked the same way many times. I could see the scenery very well at the time due to my mental condition. And I understood that best lunch for me is two bean-jam buns." The site notes Variety Japan reports that first day box office receipts of Ponyo is 83% of Spirited Away. Japan Times' English language review of Ponyo The next Ghibli film will likely be from Ghibli's second most prominent director, Isao Takahata, his first film since 1999's My Neighbors the Yamadas. Studio Ghibli president Kouji Hoshino has stated "The preparations for director Takahata's new film advance. I cannot yet speak about the contents, but it became considerably more concrete since a year ago. Because director Takahata is very cheerful, please expect his new film. We are preparing for director Goro Miyazaki's new work too."
Simpson Comic To Parody Death Note
Anime News Network reports that Nina Matsumoto of anime-version-Simpsons fame has been brought on board to create a Death Note-meets Simpsons parody in the annual Halloween issue of Bongo Comics' The Simpsons. Matsumoto recent work also includes Yokaiden for Del Rey and drew a Simpsons comic short that paid homage to anime in Bongo Comics' Free Comic Book Day issue this year.
Viz Talks Hollywood Intiative
VIZ Media has launched a new wholly-owned Hollywood-based company named VIZ Productions to produce and license live-action theatrical film and TV projects based on animated and manga series, incuding properties its Japanese parent companies Shogakukan, Inc. and Shueisha, Inc., as Hakusensha. VIZ Productions will also serve as liaison between Japanese creative licensors and Hollywood production houses, studios and agents and plans to produce or license live action films covering a wide range of graphic novel genres. Jason Hoffs, formerly of Dreamworks, will assume the role of Head of Production. Viz has specifically mentioned titles Naruto Bleach Death Note Inuyasha Naoki Urasawa’s Monster Variety adds Vampire Knight
Ethics thriller Monster is particularly of potential interest to AICN readers. See here for an introduction ICV2 spoke to Hoffs here
Upcoming in Japan
The upcoming third season of Black Lagoon has been confirmed via an announcement in the Japanese release of the heroic bloodshed title's novelization. From Tatsunoko, home of the original Mach Go Go/Speed Racer, comes Mach Girl. Racer girl Lip (or Rip) was design by Suzuka Yoshida, for the anime directed by Nurse Witch Komugi's Masatsugu Arakawa A video can be seen here
From a geek by any other name, Misono Bridge 801 shopping center in Kyoto 801 will be the start of a Tonari no 801-chan anime. 801 has significance in the fan community as code for yaoi (8=ya, 0=o, 1=i) Visual kei rock band jealkb will be performing the theme for the antagonist focused Fist of the North Star Satelight animated series, Raou Gaiden: Ten no Haou. The violent martial arts title will start in Japan on October 3rd. Manga series School Rumble, the comedy the took high school relationships to an absurd degree, which end in its next chapter. The series, released in North America by Del Rey, ran 22 volumes. From Anime News Network The anime adaptation of Peach-Pit's magical girl story Shugo Chara! will add on a second season. Kazurou Inoue's (Midori's Days, Ai Kora) new manga, Undead will launch in the July 28 issue of Shogakukan's Big Comic Spirits. The omnibus series of zombie stories is being promoted as a comedy that is "moving and heartrending." Upcoming release of CLAMP's XXXHOLiC and Tsubasa manga will be packaged with original anime. The XXXHOLiC anime will be pacaged with the limited edition of volume 14, scheduled to be release in January '09. Tsubasa will be packaged with volume 26. The new anime will feature CLAMP's writer Nanase Ohkawa (now listed as Ageha Ohkawa outside anime), directors Shunsuke Tada (Tsubasa Tokyo Revelations) and Tsutomu Mizushima (XXXHOLiC, xxxHOLiC: Kei, xxxHOLiC the Movie: A Midsummer Night's Dream), and the animators at Production I.G. Voice actors Sayaka Ohara, Jun Fukuyama, and Kazuya Nakai will return to the series. Trailers/previews Stitch (based on Lilo and Stitch) Gegege no Kitaro: Nippon Bakuretsu!! Gurren Lagann movie Major Doraemon the Movie: Nobita's How Space Was Won, New Edition Live action Yatterman
Battle Angel Anime Back... Sortof
AnimeNation announced that ADV Films has released limited quantities of the pre-existing print run of Battle Angel Alita. Anime retailers including Anime Nation and Right Stuf currently have tht title on sale. The anime release has been out of print due to rights considerations with the James Cameron adaptation of Battle Angel Alita. The original manga and its follow-up Last Order were released by VIZ Media.
Worth Checking Out At San Diego Comic Con...
Fanfare / Ponent Mon will be appear at booth C04, with copies of their praised, but hard to obtain manga, including the last few copies of the "awaiting reprint Blue" by Kiriko Nananan. Center stage will be Eisner nominee "The Ice Wanderer" by Jiro Taniguchi. SDCC will also mark the first West Coast appearance of Disappearance Diary by Hideo Azuma which caused quite a stir during it's unveiling at NYCC. "Awabi", "Korea", "My Mommy" and "Summit of the Gods" will also be available. Last Gasp will be bringing jujitsu meets zombie manga Tokyo Zombie to booth #1614.
The Same Hat! Same Hat! folks will be there to promote the work Friday from 2pm - 7pm Other artists at Last Gasp's booth include: Thursday 1:30pm - 2:30pm - Craig Yoe signing Clean Cartoonists’ Dirty Drawings Friday 12 - 1pm - Carlos Batts signing posters and DVDs for Kiss Attack 2pm - 3pm - Ron English signing his new book Abject Expressionism 3pm - 4pm - Gary Baseman signing his new book Dying of Thirst Saturday 12-1pm - Carlos Batts signing posters and DVDs for Kiss Attack 1:30pm - 2:30pm - Craig Yoe signing Clean Cartoonists’ Dirty Drawings Thursday 1:30pm - 2:30pm - Craig Yoe signing Clean Cartoonists’ Dirty Drawings Friday 12 - 1pm - Carlos Batts signing posters and DVDs for Kiss Attack 2pm - 3pm - Ron English signing his new book Abject Expressionism 3pm - 4pm - Gary Baseman signing his new book Dying of Thirst Saturday 12-1pm - Carlos Batts signing posters and DVDs for Kiss Attack 1:30pm - 2:30pm - Craig Yoe signing Clean Cartoonists’ Dirty Drawings Friday, the VIZ Media Anime and Manga Panel will be happening from 3:00pm to 4:00pm in Room #2. The SHOJO BEAT magazine panel discussion is scheduled on Saturday from 3:30pm to 4:30pm in Room #10. VIZ media will be hosting Tite Kubo will be in the VIZ Media booth for two special signings and participate in the panel 'Spotlight on Tite Kubo' with his editor, Atsushi Nakasaki (on Saturday) The panel will be held Saturday from 1:00pm to 2:00pm in Room#7AB. Panel attendees will receive a limited edition BLEACH poster while supplies last. Throughout the convention, the VIZ Media Prize Patrol will be awarding prizes to fans dressed in BLEACH attire. The BLEACH Movie: MEMORIES OF NOBODY will be screened Friday, July 25 at 7:00pm at the Gaslamp 15 theatre located in downtown San Diego with Tite Kubo in attendance to offer opening remarks. (on Friday) VIZ Media will be launching a literacy initiative with Portland Trail Blazers center Greg Oden at San Diego Comic Con. Oden will be featured in the campaign using basketball manga SLAM DUNK to help promote the love of reading. VIZ Media will donate copies of several of their popular manga titles including the highly anticipated SLAM DUNK manga series to Greg Oden’s charity, Oregon Mentors. Oden will make a special in-person appearance in the VIZ Media Booth #4113 at the 2008 Comic-Con International. Oden will appear in the VIZ Media booth on Sunday July 27 from 12:00-1:00pm to meet fans and sign autographs. VIZ Media will also welcome two of the Los Angeles Laker Girls to San Diego Comic-Con for a special appearance in the booth in support of the release of SLAM DUNK, on Friday, July 25, from 12:00pm to 2:00 pm. Advanced copies of the first volume of Slam Dunk, which will be released starting August 11th, will be available at the retail area of the VIZ Media booth at this years Comic-Con International. As part of their recently announced iTunes anime distribution initiative, Viz will be giving away card redeemable for episode 1 of one of their anime anime titles throughout the convention. Thursday is DEATH NOTE Friday is NARUTO Saturday is BLEACH Yamato USA will be showcasing the Fantasy Figure Gallery, which pairs western fantasy painters with Asian portrait sculptors, at the San Diego Comic Con at booth 4429. On display in a show of the development process will be Luis Royo’s "Medusa’s Gaze" sculpted by Shungo Yazawa, Dorian Cleavenger’s "Akira" by Plant-jzero Moekichi, and Boris Vallejo’s "Monica’s Axe" by Heavy Gauge’s Tobe. Also on display, the latest figures from Yamato’s Story! Image! Figure! EX; Creators’ Labo; TANDEM TWIN Animal Girls; and the GN-U Dou, Yamato’s tribute to the giant robots of Japanese anime. Dark Horse's schedule is WEDNESDAY, JULY 23 (Preview Night) Domo raffle! Come to our booth to win a San Diego Exclusive Domo Figures THURSDAY, JULY 24: 11:00 - 12:00 Rick Geary: The Adventures of Blanche 12:00 - 1:00 Joshua Dysart: B.P.R.D., Conan and the Midnight God 12:00 - 1:00 Bernie Wrightson: Bernie Wrightson’s Frankenstein 1:00 - 2:00 Gabriel Ba & Fabio Moon: Umbrella Academy, Myspace Dark Horse Presents 2:00 - 3:00 Nathan Fox: Pigeons From Hell 2:00 - 3:00 Dean Motter: Mister X 3:00 - 4:00 Greg "Stainboy" Reinel: Vicious Intent 3:00 - 4:00 Gilbert Hernandez: Speak of the Devil 4:00 - 5:00 Jim Hardison: The Helm 5:00 - 6:00 Eric Powell: The Goon FRIDAY, JULY 25: 11:00 - 12:00 Matt Wagner: Grendel 11:00 - 12:00 Mike Kennedy: Aliens Vs. Predator 12:00 - 1:00 Jim Hardison: The Helm 12:00 - 1:30 Yoshitaka Amano: Vampire Hunter D; Shinjuku (*ticketed event: See Dark Horse employee for details) 1:00 - 2:00 Scrambled Ink: Dreamworks Animators - Ken Morrissey, JJ Villard, Ennio Torresan, David Pimental, Keith Baxter, Jenny Lerew 2:00 - 3:00 Mike Mignola: Hellboy (*ticketed event: See Dark Horse employee for details) 3:00 - 4:30 Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog: Joss Whedon, Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Fillion, Felicia Day (*ticketed event: See Dark Horse employee for details) 5:00 - 6:00 Yasuhiro Nightow: Trigun (*ticketed event: See Dark Horse employee for details) 6:00 - 7:00 David Lloyd: Kickback ALSO, FRIDAY, JULY 25TH IS STAR WARS DAY! STAR WARS CREATOR SIGNINGS ALL AFTERNOON: 1:00 - 2:00 Travis Charest: Star Wars cover artist 2:00 - 3:00 Matt & Shawn Fillbach: Star Wars - The Clone Wars 3:00 - 4:00 Jeremy Barlow & Dan Parsons: Star Wars: Rebellion, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 4:00 - 5:00 Dustin Weaver: Star Wars: Rebellion, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 4:00 - 5:00 Travis Charest: Star Wars Legacy 5:00 - 6:00 Dustin Weaver & Michael Atiyeh: Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic 6:00 - 7:00 Dave Filoni & Henry Gilroy: Star Wars: Clone Wars SATURDAY, JULY 26: 10:00 - 11:00 Stan Sakai: Usagi Yojimbo 11:00 - 12:00 Larry Marder: Beanworld 11:00 - 12:00 David Malki: Wondermark 12:00 - 1:00 Nicholas Gurewitch: Perry Bible Fellowship 1:30 - 3:00 Bruce Campbell: My Name Is Bruce (*ticketed event, see Dark Horse employee for details.) 3:00 - 4:00 John Landis: Groundbreaking filmmaker 4:00 - 5:30 Gerard Way, Gabriel Ba: Umbrella Academy (*ticketed event, see Dark Horse employee for details.) 6:00 - 7:00 Bryan Talbot: Celebrating 30 years of Luther Arkwright! 6:00 - 7:00 Matt & Shawn Fillbach: Roadkill SUNDAY, JULY 27: 11:00 - 12:00 Emily The Strange: Creative team Rob Reger, Buzz Parker, Nix Turner, Jessica Gruener 12:00 - 1:00 Yasuhiro Nightow: Trigun (*ticketed event: See Dark Horse employee for details) 1:00 - 2:00 Steve Niles: Criminal Macabre 1:00 - 2:00 Tara McPherson: Lonely Heart 1:00 - 2:00 Frank Kozik: Plasticland 2:00 - 3:00 Eric Powell: The Goon 2:00 - 3:00 Greg "Stainboy" Reinel: Vicious Intent 2:00 - 3:00 Rich Black: Futura 3:00 - 4:00 Keith Knight: K Chronicles ALSO, Weta WILL HAVE SIGNINGS ALL WEEKEND Martin Baynton - Jane & the Dragon, Richard Taylor/Paul Tobin - Crafting of Narnia, Greg Broadmore - Dr. Grordbort’s Dingus Directory *See a Weta employee for details THURSDAY JULY 24 Robert E. Howard Panel 1:30 - 2:30 Room 3 Dark Horse Horror Panel 4:00 - 5:00 Room 2 FRIDAY JULY 25 Joss Whedon Panel 1:30 - 2:30 Ballroom 20 Larry Marder’s Beanworld Panel 6:00 - 7:00 Room 2 Eric Powell’s Goon Panel 6:30 - 7:30 Room 30AB Free Premiere! Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog: Join Joss Whedon and the cast for the big screen premiere! 10:45 PM - Rooom 6B SATURDAY JULY 26 Mike Mignola’s Hellboy Panel 11:00 - 12:00 Room 8 The Dark Horse Publishing Panel (Featuring a surprise guest!) 12:00 - 1:00 Room 2 Gerard Way with Grant Morrison 2:15 - 3:15 Room 6B SUNDAY JULY 27 Emily the Strange Panel 12:30 - 1:30 Room 2 Booth #2207 will feature cartoonists Darwyn Cooke, Cameron Stewart and David Bullock, where they will launch a variety of new projects and merchandise. In addition to the release of new deluxe art books compiled by each artist, an all-star roster of friends and collaborators will be appearing for special signing sessions, complete with exclusive free giveaways, special advance previews of future projects, and a wide selection of original artwork. Joining Cooke, Stewart and Bullock in the booth over the course of the convention will be: Grant Morrison, Bruce Timm, Tim Sale, Jimm Palmiotti, Jason Aaron, Ed Brubaker and more Booth #2207 BOOTH SCHEDULE AND EVENT LISTING Wednesday July 23rd 6:00 - 9:00 CAMERON STEWART/WORK DARWYN COOKE RETROACTIVE 1998-2008 DAVID BULLOCK BULLOCK ART WORKS Preview night sees the launch of these 48-page, full-colour hardback collections of unpublished and never-before-seen pin-up illustrations by all three artists. Thursday July 24th 9:30 - 10:30 Darwyn Cooke Signing IDW Signature cards 11:00 am - Noon SENTRY SIGNING: Cover artist Dave Bullock, writers Jeff Parker, Paul Tobin, artists Nick Dragotta & Colleen Coover, with EXCLUSIVE SENTRY give-away 5:30 - 6:30 SUPERMAN SIGNING: Tim Sale, Darwyn Cooke and Dave Bullock Friday July 25th 10:30 - 12:00 WB/NEW FRONTIER SIGNING: Darwyn/Dave & Bruce Timm 12:30 - 1:30 SEAGUY SIGNING: Grant Morrison & Cameron Stewart w/ guest host James Sime 2:00 - 3:30 JONAH HEX SIGNING: Darwyn & Jimmy Palmiotti 4:00 - 5:00 THE SPECTACULAR SPIDERMAN: Director of the Animated Series, Dave Bullock with Vic Cook/Producer, Sean "Cheeks" Galloway/Art Director, Adam Van Wyk/Story Artist, with an EXCLUSIVE Spiderman "Villains" poster give away. Saturday July 26th 11:00 - 12:00 THE OTHER SIDE SIGNING: Jason Aaron joins artist Cameron Stewart 4:00 - 5:00 CATWOMAN SIGNING: Darwyn/Cameron & Ed Brubaker Sunday July 27th 11:00 - 12:00 Darwyn Signing IDW Signature Cards 1:00 pm - 2:00 THE APOCALIPSTIX: Ray Fawkes and Cameron Stewart launch Volume 1 of THE APOCALIPSTIX For details on the Darwyn Cooke, Cameron Stewart and David Bullock works to be showcased, see iFanboy.com's Localization studio Bang Zoom! Entertainment will be presenting their Adventures In Voice Acting work shop 4:00-5:30pm on Saturday, July 26th in Room 30CDE at the San Diego Convention Center. Panelists Hynden Walch (Starfire in Teen Titans), Lance Henriksen (Bishop in Aliens and Mass Effect), Tom Kenny (SpongeBob SquarePants) and Steve Blum (Green Goblin in the new The Spectacular Spiderman, Spike Spiegel in Cowboy Bebop) will give insights on how animated series are dubbed and how technologies are used in the recording and overall post production process, as well as offer an insider’s view of the voice acting business with a special focus for those interested in entering the industry. Organic Hobby, Inc will be hosting a signing session with Afro Samuraicreator/illustrator Takashi Okazaki session Fri. July 25th (ONLY) at 2:00 pm at Organic Hobby's booth (#3245). Afro Samurai "Afro & Kuma" will be available ONLY this July at the SDCC.’08 with a SRP of $45.00 each. [LIMITED to 200 pcs each] [SDCC package - "Afro & Kuma" on sale for $70.00] UDON ENTERTAINMENT announced Street Fighter’s 20th Anniversary with an all-new hardcover art book, exclusive art prints, and the return of new Street Fighter comics with 3 exclusive covers will be available at Booth #5368. UDON’s featured item is the Street Fighter Tribute limited edition hardcover. The book featurs 320 pages of pin-up work from artists including Adam Hughes, J.Scott Campbell, Mark Brooks, Sean "Cheeks" Galloway, Bobby Chiu, Bryan Lee O’Malley, Penny Arcade’s Gabe, Arnold Tsang and Alvin Lee. Street Fighter Remix #0 features three stories by Omar Dogan, Jeffrey "Chamba" Cruz, and Joe Ng, each of which leads into one of UDON’s three new Street Fighter comic series. Kotobukiya has announced that they will be hosting an exclusive contest. The daily conest will feature the following prizes Thursday July 24, 2008 - (1) SET OF DEVIL MAY CRY DANTE & NERO PROTOTYPES Estimated value of the prize: $150.00 PRIZE Friday July 25, 2008 (1) STAR WARS BOUNTY HUNTER SERIES DARTH VADER BONUS Estimated value of the prize: $100.00 PRIZE Saturday July 26, 2008 (1) HALO 3 MASTER CHIEF FIELD OF BATTLE PROTOTYPE Estimated value of the prize: $100.00 PRIZE Sunday July 27, 2008 (1) AUTOGRAPHED INCREDIBLE HULK FINE ART BUST Estimated value of the prize: $80.00 On Friday July 25, 2008-5:30PM, the lucky winner will be able to receive a DARTH VADER "BOUNTY HUNTER SERIES" ARTFX STATUE from the great Empirical Vader himself. This event will be supported by 501st Region and fans may have the chance to see some more special guests at the event. Also available at the booth; SHUNYA YAMASHITA ARTBOOK $40.00 Just for the event Shunya Yamashita has autographed 20 of his art book and will be available for limited exclusive purchase. HULK FINE ART STATUE SDCC EXCLUSIVE $75.00 Limited to 300pcs, This is the inaugural Fine Art Bust in The Kotobukiya Collection, and San Diego will be the first time for any Marvel item from Koto’s new series to be made available. To try to ensure that fans attending on different days of the convention will all have an opportunity to obtain the Hulk, each day’s sales will be limited as follows: Wednesday July 23 Preview Night - no sales Thursday July 24 - 75 pieces Friday July 25 - 100 pieces Saturday July 26 - 100 pieces Sunday July 27 - 25 pieces The Incredible Hulk, the Movie © 2008 MVL Film Finance LLC. Marvel, The Incredible Hulk, all character names and their distinctive likenesses: TM & © 2008 Marvel Entertainment, Inc. and its subsidiaries. All Rights Reserved INDIANA JONES TEMPLE OF THE LOST ART ARTFX STATUE $119.99 Also available, will be the final epic masterpiece from the INDIANA JONES ARTFX STATUE series. Erick Scarecrow's con exclusive Kissaki will be available at Toy Tokyo booth#5237. Super7 will be at booth #4729, where they will be offering the following convention exclusives Stomp - Taigan Tribute Squirm - Ikageruge Tribute Zombie - C.O.B.R.A. Tribute Skeletal Carnival 3 Check out Super7 for images and addition details. Imagi Studios and Summit Entertainment booth # 3530, introducing its upcoming CG-animated motion picture ASTRO BOY. The film's director, David Bowers and producer, Maryann Garger will be attending Comic-Con on Saturday, July 26. A special-edition ASTRO BOY oversized BAG will also be distributed to anime fans on a limited basis at the show. Yen Press will be holding at Svetlana Chmakova signing at the Yen Press booth, #1120 Saturday 1:00 - 2:00 p.m.
Other Event News
The New York Anime Festival announced Japanese voice actress Rie Tanaka (Lacus Clyne in Gundam SEED, Chii in Chobits, Suigintou in Rozen Maide) will appear at its 2008 event as a Guest of Honor Loligoth cornerstone Baby, The Stars Shine Bright designers Miho Satoh and Masumi Kanoh rull be running a panel as well as a tea party at NYAFF. The New York Anime Festival announced Vampire Hunter D author and NYAF Guest of Honor Vampire Hunter D creator Hideyuki Kikuchi will be celebrating his birthday at the close of the 2008 New York Anime Festival at a restaurant in Midtown Manhattan with illustrator Yoshitaka Amano, translator Kevin Leahy. Ten fans can participate at the event. A ticket to Mr. Kikuchi's birthday party is priced at $125, includes appetizers, salad, an entrée, dessert, birthday cake, unlimited drinks, and autographs from Mr. Kikuchi, Mr. Amano, and Mr. Leahy. The New York Anime Festival takes place September 26th through the 28th at the Jacob Javits Center in New York, NY. Hideyuki Kikuchi turns 59 on September 25, the day before the start of the New York Anime Festival, and his birthday dinner runs from 6-8 PM on Sunday, September 28. For more details see here 21+ event Providence Anime Conference announced that voice actor and ADR director Chris Ayres will join Kevin McKeever (Harmony Gold), Adam Sheehan (FUNimation), Tom Wayland (TripWire Productions), and David Williams (ADV Films) as a guest. Ayres will be hosting a "Mock Combat for Cosplay" workshop . Yaoi mangaka Youka Nitta has cancelled her scheduled appearance at Yaoi Con, running September 26-28 in San Francisco, after facing allegations that her work traced from fashion photography. (the copied 55dsl reacts The convention later annonced that Nase Yamato (Pet On Duty, Chinko no Tsubuyaki) will be appearing at the event. New Jersey's MangaNEXT will be returning for a third year. To pre-register, check out here The UK's Barbican Film will mark the 80th anniversary of the birth of Osamu Tezuka with a major season of feature films, short films and television episodes curated by Helen McCarthy, many of which will be screening in the UK for the first time. Alongside this, Barbican Film will present an exhibition of Tezuka's drawings. Editor's note: this is amazing, so I'm going to include the whole list... Thursday 18 September 7.30pm - Short Film Showcase (PG*) Tales of the Street Corner (Aru Machikado no Monogatari) (1962 38 min) Mermaid (NIngyo) (1964 9 min) Drop (Shizizu) (1965 4 min) Pictures at an Exhibition (Tenrankei no E) (1966 39 min) Jumping (1984 6 min) Broken Down Film (Onboro Film) (1985 6 min) Push (1987 4 min) Muramasa (1987 9 min) Friday 19 September 5.45pm - Tezuka on the Telly 1 (PG*) A programme featuring the first episodes in each series of Tezuka's television works Astro Boy (Tetsuwan Atom) (1963 24 min) Tezuka's first TV series, designed for fast, low-cost production, enjoyed success in Japan and America. The tale of a childlike robot Astro Boy: The New Adventures (Shin Tetsuwan Atom) (1980 25 min) Kimba the White Lion (Jungle Taitei/Jungle Emperor) (1965 23 min) Friday 19 September 7.30pm - Marine Express (Kaitei Chotokkyuu Marine Express/Undersea Supertrain Marine Express) (12A*) (1979 Dir. Dezaki Tetsu 91 min) plus introduction by Mr Yoshihiro Shimizu Saturday 20 September 11.00am - Family Film Club: Jungle Emperor Leo (Jungle Taitei/Jungle Emperor) (PG*) (1997 Dir. Takeo Takeuchi 99 min Dubbed) Saturday 20 September 1.15pm - Childrens' Programme: Astro Boy: The Brave In Space (Tetsuwan Atom: Uchuu no Yuusha) (PG*) (1964 Dir. Atsushi Takagi, Eiichi Yamamoto & Shigeyuki Hayashi 87 min) ^ Osamu and Musashi (PG*) (2005 Dir. Rintaro 18 min) ^ Saturday 20 September 3.45pm - The Film Is Alive: Osamu Tezuka Filmography 1962-1989 (PG*) (1990 42 min) A documentary made for the Tezuka Osamu Exhibition at the Tokyo National Museum the year after Tezuka's death, this film boasts probably the most over specified title card in the world. Each of the ten letters has been handwritten by one of his friends, all superstars of the manga and anime community. It provides a thumbnail introduction to his work and records its diversity and energy, as well as featuring live footage of Tezuka himself. + Panel discussion: Being Osamu Tezuka Season curator Helen McCarthy discusses Tezuka's work with a panel of experts. Legend of the Forest (Mori no Densetsu) (PG*) (1988 Dir. Osamu Tezuka & Kouji Ui 30 min) Saturday 20 September 6.00pm - Phoenix 2772/Space Firebird (Hi no Tori 2772: Ai no Cosmozone) (PG) (1980 Dir. Suguru Sugiyama 122 min) Saturday 20 September 8.30pm - The Phoenix: Chapter of Dawn (Hi no Tori: Reimei Hen) (PG) 1978 Dir. Kon Ichikawa 138 min) Sunday 21 September 12.00pm - Jungle Emperor Leo (PG*) (1966 Dir. Eiichi Yamamoto 75min) ^ Sunday 21 September 1.45pm - Fantastic Adventures of Unico 1 (Unico) (PG) (1981 Dir. Toshio Hirata 90 min Dubbed) Sunday 21 September 3.45pm - The Lion Books (12A) Akuemon (1993 Dir. Macoto Tezuka 25 min) Adachigahara (1991 Dir. Hisashi Sakaguchi 25 min) The Green Cat (Midori na Neko) (1983 Dir. Osamu Tezuka 24 min) Lunn Flies into the Wind (Lun wa Kaze no Naka) (1985 Dir. Osamu Tezuka 24 min) Rain Boy (1983 Dir. Osamu Tezuka 24 min) Sunday 21 September 6.30pm - Tezuka On The Telly 2 More first episodes from Tezuka's later work for television. Princess Knight (Ribon no Kishi/Knight of the Ribbon) (PG*) (1967 Osamu Tezuka & Sadao Tsukioka 23 min) Vampire (PG*) (1968 Dir. Ken Yamada & Kikuchi 22 min) Marvellous Melmo (Fushigina Melmo) (PG*) (1971 Dir. Osamu Tezuka 23min) The Three-eyed One (Mitsumi ga Toru) (PG*) (1990 Dir. Hideki Hiroshima 25 min) Sunday 21 September 8.30pm - 1001 Nights (Senya Ichiya Monogatari) (18*) (1969 Dir. Eiichi Yamamoto 128 min) Monday 22 September 11.00am - Schools Screening: Tezuka on the Telly 1 (PG*) Monday 22 September 6.00pm - Prime Rose (Time Slip 10000-nen Prime Rose) (12A) (Japan 1983 Dir. Tetsu Dezaki 90 min) Monday 22 September 8.00pm - Baggy (aka Bagi, the Monster of Mighty Nature) (12A) (1984 Dir. Osamu Tezuka 90 min) Tuesday 23 September 11.00am - Schools Screening: Baggy (aka Bagi, the Monster of Mighty Nature) (12A) Tuesday 23 September 6.00pm - Kamishibai theatre: Tezuka Osamu (Two stories introduced by Helen McCarthy and Paul Gravett. With soft titles. Location: Garden Room). A live performance from artist Mr Yasuno of two stories including a Kamishibai based on episodes from Tezuka's life. Kamishibai (paper-theatre) evolved in Japan in the late 1920s from a long tradition of picture storytelling, performed on street corners. The form became so popular that television was initially referred to in Japan as denki kamishibai, or "electric kamishiba". As its popularity declined, Kamishibai artists turned to manga and Mr Yasuno's recreation offers audiences a rare opportunity to witness this street performance whose influence lives on in modern anime. Wednesday 24 September 8.30pm - Cleopatra (aka Cleopatra, Queen of Sex) (18*) (1970 Dir. Osamu Tezuka & Eiichi Yamamoto 112 min)
Digitally Distributed Anime
VIZ Media has announced today the availability of action-packed episodes from some of the most anticipated animated series to come to the iTunes Store. English dubbed versions of Naruto (Uncut Version) Season 1 (Volumes 1 & 2), two story arcs of Bleach (The Substitute and The Entry), and all 37 episodes of Death Note are available for purchase and download on the iTunes Store in the United States. Sony Computer Entertainment America launched the company's new video delivery service on PLAYSTATION Store for PLAYSTATION3 and PSP systems in the United States. Consumers will have the ability to download full-length movies, television shows, and original programming accessible through the PLAYSTATION Store on PLAYSTATION Network. Sony is offering the 2003 version of Astro Boy for $1.99 an episode FUNimation is offering the anime titles for $1.99 an episode, including
The movie Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles is being offered for $7.99 BONES' new anime series Xam'd: Lost Memories is available to be rented for $2.99 and $3.99 hi-def Consumers who rent a movie from the video delivery service have 14 days to watch the content. Once content playback is started, consumers have a full 24 hours to enjoy their rental. Pricing for rental movies at launch ranges from $2.99 to $5.99, and pricing for purchased movies ranges from $9.99 to $14.99. FUNimation has posted the entire 11 episode shoujo action sci-fi Jyu-Oh-Sei on their video on domain service for $16.99 or $1.99 an episode. Digimon Adventure 02 and action/magical girl series Pretty Cure are now being offered by Toei Animation through Direct2Drive. The Japanese audio/English subtitles episodes are selling for $1.99 each. On the music front, anime music remix compilation "ANIME TOONZ Volume 4: Yukari Fukui" will be digitally distributed via iTunes, Traxsource, Rhapsody, Napster, Beatport, and all other major outlets in either compilation or single format on August 12th 2008
- Afro Samurai
- Burst Angel
- Desert Punk
- Gunslinger Girl
- Kiddy Grade
- Samurai 7
- Trinity Blood
The original sound track for Battle Royale will be offered digital only through Milan Records on iTunes and Amazon, July 22.
New York-Tokyo Film Grand Prix
New York-Tokyo will be recognizing the 300 films will be released out of Japan with New York-Tokyo Film Grand Prix (NYTFGP) Those films that receive the most votes will then be screened at the NYTFGP MINI-FESTIVAL in early September at NYC’s Anthology Film Archives. In 2008 alone, nearly 300 films will be released out of Japan, and we plan on introducing you to many of those films on the New York-Tokyo website with the New York-Tokyo Film Grand Prix (NYTFGP). This project has three parts; first, it will act as constantly updated encyclopedia of Japanese film in 2008, with key image, film information and web links for many of this year’s films. Second, trailers for most of these films will be viewable just one click away. Third and most importantly, the NYTFGP will be a place where readers can vote on the films that they want to see the most! Those films that receive the most votes will then be screened at the NYTFGP MINI-FESTIVAL in early September