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AICN Anime: Shigurui - Ninja Scroll Meets Fight Club in One Superlatively Stomach Turning Anime, also Evangelion 2.0 and More

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Anime Spotlight: Shigurui: Death Frenzy
Manga Spotlight: Samurai 7
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Anime Spotlight: Shigurui: Death Frenzy Complete Box Set Released by FUNimation

In 1629, during the administration of the third Tokugawa shogun, a rivalry that had festered in sword school conflicts was settled in the courtyard of Suruga Castle. Observers were shocked when a one armed samurai entered the east gate of the proving ground. They were even more taken aback when a hobbling blind man, lead by a gaunt woman, entered the west gate.
The two are told to exhibit their skill without hesitation... the cicada buzz reaches a screeching pitch. The one armed swordsman puts his scabbard against his shoulder and draws.... An official observes "Violating the garden with this show unworthy to be called martial arts... there is no excuse..." To which another corrects "To a swordsman with an unbending spirit, having a cruel fate given to him indeed stirs his soul and it will finally..." The statement is cut short as the blind man draws his sword underhand, drives the point into his damaged right foot, and contorts his body with torso straining into a ninety degree bend. In blinks, the sun bleached scene is peeled away to reveal the straining musculature of the swordsmen. The anime pulls away from the lethal confrontation on the wings of a cicada, but from that point on, it rarely blanches from depictions of appalling violence. Norio Nanjô's novel The Suruga Castle Tournament chronicled the martial competition organized by the soon to be disgraced Tokugawa Tadanaka (younger brother of shogun Tokugawa Iemitsu) in which men broke tradition by fighting with metal katana rather than wooden bokken. In the manga Shigurui, Takayuki Yamaguchi took the framework of one of these duels and expanded it out in a remarkable story of effecting violence. Yamaguchi's previous translated work, Apocalypse Zero was cleverly grotesque, but never the less had more North American detractors than fans. Here we get the stunning, sometimes nauseating animated history of the conflict between Seigen Irako, the ambitious challenger to be blinded, and Gennosuke Fujiki, the consummate martial artist soon to lose an arm, as they jostle for primacy in the sword school of the wickedly deranged master and almost shogun's fencing instructor Kogan Iwamoto. In that Shigurui is fascinating rather than exciting; likening Shigurui to Ninja Scroll is largely a bad idea. Yet, bringing up the perennially popular swordsman versus freakish villain anime flick serves as more than a crutch. I've seen plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest that there is an audience who is not entirely disinterested in anime, but who has tuned out the field as a consequence of the work needed to filter out what's appealing from the noise of anime created by die-hard fans strictly for die hard-fans. Essentially, I'm introducing "Ninja Scroll" into the headline and the conversation because I'm reminded that like "Cowboy Bebop," and "Neon Genesis Evangelion," it's a name that draws the attention of occasional anime watchers. And, this is an anime that those fans should note. There's an impression among many that anime in general, and in North America specifically is cycling down... that Japanese production is stuck in a rut... that American distributors are eaking out what they can in the markets dying days. While it's undeniable that the industry is contending with a host of serious issues, Shigurui is a forceful sign that it is not ready to go quietly.
In terms of whether Ninja Scroll fans should rush to Shigurui: Death Frenzy, I'd give the new work a very qualified recommendation. The two works do branch from the same creative lineage. Shigurui was produced by Madhouse Studios, the people who animated Ninja Scroll, classic violent horror Demon City Shinjuku, Doomed Megalopolis, Vampire Hunter D, Wicked City, as well as more recent blood spattered work like Black Lagoon, and critical hits like Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Denno Coil and Satoshi Kon's Paprika, Paranoia Agents and Millennium Actress. And, it was directed by Hirotsugu Hamazaki, who previously worked on character design for Ninja Scroll director Yoshiaki Kawajiri's Goku: Midnight Eye and Biohunter (latter written, but not directed by Kawajiri); who also directed the very underrated cyberpunk anime Texhnolyze (written by Chiaki Konaka of The Big O and designed by Serial Experiments Lain's Yoshitoshi ABe). However, Shigurui is not a furious Kawajiri afair, and unlike many of the anime produced in the Kawajiri vein in recent years (AniMatrix, Highlander Search for Vegeance, Batman: Gotham Knight, you can possibly even add Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust to the list), Shigurui was not created with an American audience in mind. The shock of watching a rock man pull a dagger out of what used to be his eye certainly contributed to the sensational appeal of Ninja Scroll. However, the movie's success also owed plenty to its quick draw pacing. In contrast, Shigurui reminds me of a scene in Jim Jarmusch's acid western Dead Man in which a cannibal bounty hunter played by Lance Henriksen happens upon a gun-shot body laying on a patch of ground that gives the corpse's head a halo of twigs. Henriksen's character comments "Looks like a goddamn religious icon!" then crushes the head under his boot.
Shigurui is not a slow anime series. Director Hirotsugu Hamazaki succeeded in ordering the plot so that events are evenly distributed, without any episodes resting in lulls. In the tradition of Kazuo Koike's samurai manga (Lone Wolf and Cub), Shigurui fits in additional blood letting with characters envisioning possible outcomes of given confrontations. Yet, the anime unmistakably focuses on constructing tableaus. While watching the anime, I started having trouble with my DVD player. In one scene, the player stopped advancing the video and because this is an anime that is comfortable with tense stillness, it took me far laughably long to notice the problem. Personal embarrassment aside, this does serve the series. Though it might not be as staccato as Ninja Scroll, Shigurui takes the time to set up effecting, profound violence. Techniques for rendering broken object have been applied to twisted digits. Biological, oozing masses are now spilling organs. Early on, a samurai illustrates a point by reaching into his cut abdomen and pulling out his intestines, which quickly catapults the anime into the realm of particularly confrontational works. Proceeding from this precedent, Shigurui proves to be a work of grotesque art capturing the conflict between men in a samurai culture populated by individuals looking to make grotesque art of their lives. Though this is the showcase quality of the anime, Shigurui has a complicated relationship with the showiness of its violence. There is an extent to which the horror is cast as the product of shockingly cruel behavior on the part of the people being observed and not simply reveling in awfulness for the audience's sadistic benefit. The story is punctuated by people who tie up naked women or pop eye balls into their mouths. The psychology behind the behavior is evident, illustrating why it's being done for them, and not of you. Yet, spectacle is what the production is all about as it stretches anime technique to repurpose CG effects, motifs of film such as flickering and cues from manga such as ink like shading to embellish the action.
While a character like Seigen is using the system rather than whole heartedly dedicating himself to the ideology, Shigurui is defined by a world where men devote themselves to perfecting their bodies and their art, then using this transcendently refined state to shatter the bodies of others. With sword schools engraving their reputations on the mutilated bodies of their opponents, Shigurui is honing in on studied movements and the refined, sculpted musculature, comparing the adept swordsmen to butterflies or Buddhist carvings, then littering its grounds with their plucked eyes, dislodged jaws and scattered teeth. The best example of this near sexual idolization of the bodies of the swordsmen, juxtaposed with repulsive rending of that form might be a book jacket illustration from the manga that features Seigen and Gennosuke, naked, showing their knotted muscles in a fatal strike that looks like an embrace, vital organs spilling out between them. To quote a section of Iwa Ni Hana that was taken down in that's site redesign, reactng to Shigurui in relationship to the works of Yukio Mishima Zankoku bi may be roughly translated into English as 'beauty of cruelty'. It refers to beautiful images and noble sentiments framed in stark contrast to hideous images and perverse cruelty. The net effect is that the latter cast a strange veil of seductive mystery on the former and vice versa. Zankoku bi often appears in scenes of death, destruction or violence and may well be considered an offshot of hakai no bi or 'beauty of destruction'. ... To put it another way, the context of cruelty bestow on these beautiful things a layer of aesthetics that is at once dangerous and alluring. What is ordinarily beautiful is rendered soul-shakingly beautiful as horror strikes to the heart. The bonus material for FUNimation's release of Shigurui quotes Hagakure (The Book of the Samurai) and introduces the philosophy of shigurui or "desperateness," in which desperate action rather than common sense achieves greatness. Again, Mishima is invoked. "The way of the samurai is found in death." It's not really a subject I'm qualified to address with any depth or certainty, but I am intrigued to note that Shigurui provokes comparisons to nationalist Yukio Mishima and at the same time parallels exploitation style films of the 60's in which violence was used to illustrate more left leaning politics. To draw another connection, like the Madhouse project of the previous year, Black Lagoon, Shigurui commits itself to producing bold, vibrant expressions of violence, and at the same time, condemns the mindset behind the violence and its celebration as pathological. At one point in writing this piece I was batting around the notion of referring to Shigurui with a phrase like "bloody Shakespearian drama." Beyond the distaste of committing to something that reeks of quote whoring, I didn't want to overstate the case for the anime. I do find the causal patterns of the anime to be Shakespearian, particularly how the consequences of one set of actions fester and spring up in later derangement. Yet, I don't want to say that this is some absolutely brilliant, absolutely mature work.
No character is captured in a positive light in the anime. Neither the martial artist nor the ambitious manipulator is a good guy. Neither is entirely unsympathetic either. However, this does not mean that everything evens out. While no one holds a moral high ground and everyone at some point is a victim, the treatment of female characters is troubling. A guy in Shigurui will inevitably get a blade in the mouth, a fist through the jaw or otherwise maimed, but even the young rookie of the dojo gets to inflict some damage too. While they don't seem horribly more put upon than the males, from the perspective of a North American viewer processing this story about Edo Japan, the women's lack of agency is a black spot on the script. Unlikely Shakespeare, they are simply acted upon reflection of the men's power struggle. If an anime is based on a manga series, in the majority of cases, the anthology that ran the original manga offers insight into who the work was written for, and what was promised to that audience. At times, Shigurui does feel like it is gekiga, written to play to the fears and desires of a professional aged adult male. Yet, the manga ran in Monthly Shounen Champion spin-off Champion Red. That's a shounen-seinen bordline package that ran Grappler Baki Gaiden - Scarface, Ray (the sci-fi medical adventure/Black Jack homage, briefly published in North America by ADV), Shin Mazinger Zero, Giant Robo: Chikyuu no Moetsukiru Hi and the Witchblade manga. In other words, keep in mind, the Shigurui manga was written for the guy who's excited to see Witchblade lose her clothes in battle, not the guy looking to share or release the angst of a day's work. The other cause for second guessing Shigurui's story telling is the fact that it's a twelve episode anime series based on the first six volumes of a manga series that's still running, currently about eleven volumes in. As such, the anime reveals more about specific minor characters than specific major ones. These characters are not meant to be mysterious. The issue is that the anime does not reach the appropriate point. The outcome of the opening duel is not revealed, nor is how key characters arrived at the state in which they appear in the duel. Personally, I'm not one to dock anime for being open ended. Low fantasy Berserk famously closed on an unresolved note rather than inventing an ending for the still running manga, but to my mind, the cyclical path back to its opening flash forward worked perfectly. I'm not quite as sold on Shigurui's handling. It's smart enough, but my impression is that it's a worthy and effective effort given the far from optimal parameters of having 12 episodes to mirror a manga that is still in the middle of the key action. Ultimately, this anime reminds me of a bit of exposition in Satsuma Gishiden, a grueling samurai manga that only saw three volumes released in North America. The historical anecdotes related how, in order to keep their mind focused on proper matters, if a samurai crossed paths with a woman, that samurai should scream and run past her. Shigurui is narrowly focused on a world of men who lock themselves into dojos in order to perfect the art of dominating others in martial competition, maiming the foe in the process. As such it's a red meat anime. Though the anime skewers that ethos, as appalling as these characters, their actions and the consequences of those actions might be, there's also a romanticized machismo that says "ignore the pain! hit the gym! emulate these bad-asses." And maybe this does have consequences. With this rattling around in my conscience, I worked out on a day that I shouldn't have and aggravated an injury. See, dangerous stuff. At the same time, with the bits of Mishima and the other contentious political connotations of this sort of samurai story, I haven't stopped trying to intellectualize Shigurui since first watching it. It's a remarkable series, distinct from other anime chanbara. If its pacing and graphic violence don't deter you, you will find the kind of captivating, distinctive experience that makes anime watching worth while.

Manga Spotlight: Samurai 7 Volume One Manga by Mizutaka Suhou Orignal Story by Akira Kurosawa Released by Del Rey Manga

Mizutaka Suhou's Samurai 7 is a manga based on an anime, which changes the proposition as compared to the more frequently seem situation of anime based on manga. The latter case leverages a proven idea formed in a median with slightly more creative/commercial flexibility. Cutting an unpopular manga from an anthology is less costly than producing an unpopular anime series. Manga based on anime generally serves to extend the product offering for a successful franchise. Like comics based on games or movies, manga based on anime have not earned a particularly stellar reputation. In this case, the product often reads like a novelization; a quickly constructed change in media based on the design material more than the final product. Samurai 7 is neither the best nor the worst of this field. To it's credit, it recognizes an accentuates the appeal of the original. Mizutaka Suhou has a light touch that could have benefited the anime. By its definition, this manga is not doing anything new, but Samurai 7 still manages to have some fun with its genre mash-up premise. Gonzo's 2004 anime series offered a sci-fi reimagining of Akira Toriyama's revered film epic concerning a farm community's ploy to hire masterless samurai in order to protect their harvest from devastating bandit raids. The anime was an early high def TV production, boasting a considerable $300,000 per episode budget. With strong buzz from the promise of a well funded adaptation of a much loved movie, anticipation was further magnified by a breathtaking CG sizzle reel featuring ornate mecha modeled after samurai armor dueling in the midst of battalions of steam-style barrel-like mass production mecha troops. Collimating with a 2D animated swordsman hurtling off a fighter, leaping towards a capital ship, and causing it destruction with a slice of his sword, the preview was exactly the sort of spectacle that might be hoped for from a big budget sci-fi homage to a classic film that genre fans had long adored. I know there are some Seven Samurai fanatics around AICN who are fond of Samurai 7. I thought it had its moments, but as a series, it disappointed. It took some guts to hand the series over to Hiroyuki Okuno for a signficant part of an episode. A similar exercise during the production of Gurren Lagann resulted in a spat that saw Gainax co-founder Takami Akai leave the company. On a more routine footing, there were scenes where the well realized world and the depth of field in the animation succeeded in bringing a new feel to the chambara sword fights. More often, it seemed like veteran director Toshifumi Takizawa was uncertain of how to best utilize what he had to work with. Plot wasn't efficiently distributed across its 26 episode run. Beyond that, the notion of how to repurpose the Kurosawa story for sci-fi never coalesced. While the series captured the theme of bandits and samurai as forces that were both cast desperate and armed into the world after the cessation of formal wars, it often bent itself in awkward contortions to work pre-industrial rice farmers into a world of flying cities and giant robots. Unburdened by a huge budget or promise of forging a new vision of Kurosawa's legacy, Mizutaka Suhou's manga benefits from diminished expectations. It's still going to provoke comparisons with the film, but, to a greater extent than the anime, it can simply be a story of swordsmen fighting mecha. Its opening pages illustrate this with an explanation of how a samurai, equipped with a taisenshatou sword can carve up a mech many, many times his size. As a symptom of this focus, the groundwork for the farmers' desperate venture into "city at the bottom of the valley" to recruit samurai is slower in coming. The first introduced, and perhaps primary member of a cast that has been modified from the version seen in the anime is the young samurai Katsushiro Okamoto. Katsushiro Okamoto's back story is made more explicit and maybe a bit more involved, but he also serves to simplify the proceedings. Most of the issues of uncertainty pertaining to the samurai have been shifted to this one character. In particular, Kikuchiyo, the raging outsider swordsman famously portrayed by Toshiro Mifune in the film and recast as a red cyborg for the anime, abdicates much of the drama of his role in favor of Okamoto, whose being set up to star as the outsider-novice who becomes an able martial force. Mizutaka Suhou has also reworked the characters graphically, with a variation on the broad themes of the anime. For example, the captain of the samurai, Shimada Kambei has a Van Dyke rather than a goatee and an outfit that looks more like something traditionally samurai with modern tailoring rather than the anime's exotic/sci-fi white tunic and wrap. However, the point is best illustrated with quiet, hyper-competent swordsman Kyuzo. In either case, the character goes for the bishonen (pretty boy) aesthetic, but again, the manga steers closer to the typical look for samurai, yielding a design that's entirely distinct from the anime's red overcoat, cropped blonde hair configuration. Mizutaka Suhou further departs from the anime with a cartooned, accentuated expressiveness. In terms of a manga with mouths gaping in surprise, I had to go to the horror works of Kanako Inuki to find something that commits to the extent that Samurai 7 does. This lends the manga an air of silliness that isn't entirely inappropriate considering the muddied explanations for why massive flying towers coexist with cities of pre-industrial buildings and swordsmen fight metal titans. If feudal conflicts mixed with sci-fi hardware, shaped around a recognizable Akira Kurasawa plot doesn't excite you, Mizutaka Suhou's manga is not going to offer a convincing argument as to why you should be interested. This is both the manga's chief asset and liability. It gets about its business, jumping into the proceedings and having fun with the concept, free of the grand notions of importance that tangled the anime. While inconsequential, it is a fast, fun read.

The Business

A recently issued Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) "State of the Content Market in North America 2008-2009" report valued the 2007 anime-related market in North America at US$2.829 billion (about 280 billion yen). According to the white-paper, the North American market peaked in 2003, where it was valued at US$4.84 billion. Anime News Network has more details here
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Gonzo (Hellsing, Samurai 7) parent company GDH announced that as party of their plan to return to profitability they will be devisting themselves of their game development division Gonzo Rosso. After absorbing the Gonzo animation studio, new organized enterprise will be using the "Gonzo" name. Having failed to improve its financial circumstances in the fiscal year ending March 31, Gonzo is set to be delisted from the Tokyo Stock Exchange this summer. Gonzo founder and former president announced that he has left Gonzo to launch new studio Lambda Film.
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Anime Vice reports that the Lupin vs Conan anime TV special scored a respectable 19.5% TV rating. For comparision, top shows tend, consisting of long-running kids' fare like Doraemon, Chibi Maruko-chan, Pretty Cure, and more recently Shugo Chara! generate ratings in the 4-15% range.
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Publishers Weekly reports that Borders Group has posted an operations lost of $184.7 million in the ended January 31 compared to a loss of $19.9 million in the previous year, due to one time charges and lower sales. Total revenue declined 8.9%, to $3.27 billion. Sales fell 9.4% at the company’s superstores in the year, to $2.65 billion, and declined 14.7% at Waldenbook Specialty Retail, to $480.0 million. Comp sales were down 10.8% at the superstores for the full year, with book comps off 8.2% and non-book sales down 16.1%. Walden comps were off 5.1%. Aslo on PW, Association of American Publishers reported that book sales fell 2.8% in 2008, to $24.25 billion. Sales declines eight of 13 categories, led by spoken word. E-books increased 68%, but the estimated sales of $113.2 million represent about 0.5% of total industry sales.
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Bloomberg reports that Silicon Graphics Inc., a provider of computing and data-storage products, filed for bankruptcy protection for the second time in less than three years and agreed to sell its assets to Rackable Systems Inc. Rackable will pay about $25 million and assume some of Silicon Graphics’ liabilities. Silicon Graphics was known for their high-performance workstations with advanced graphics for 3-D, video and animation.
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At Okazu, Erica Friedman discusses the difficult of special edition first volumes of anime series, packaged with art boxes for the series, here
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Roberts Anime Concern Store on pricing
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There's talk that Gemstone, the publishing arm of Diamond Distributors may be ending its Disney license. There are assertions from Gemstone that plans have not been comented, but recent Diamond cancellations include Donald Duck Adventures: Lost In The Andes/Return To Plain Awful The The Daan Jippes Collection Volume 2: Donald Duck Family The Don Rosa Library Volume 1: 1987-1988 The EC Archives: Tales From The Crypt Volume 4 The EC Archives: Vault Of Horror Volume 2 Uncle Scrooge Adventures: The Mysterious Stone Ray/Cash Flow Walt Disney Treasures - Donald Duck: 75 Unlucky Years Walt Disney’s Spring Fever Volume 3 Walt Disney’s Vacation Parade Volume 6 Walt Disney’s Christmas Parade #5 Walt Disney’s Comics And Stories #699-on Uncle Scrooge #384-on A follow-up can be read here
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Rumors out a Japanese toy fair concerning the rumored expansion of manga publisher Kodansha into the US - basically what might be assumed if you believed that there was to have been a Kodansha expansion: the economic downturn quashed it.
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Kotaku reports that according to research conducted by Famitsu publisher Enterbrain, the Japanese gaming industry's year-to-year sales dropped in 2008. Last year's total industry. Total industry revenue of ¥552.42 billion as an 18 percent decrease from ¥676.95 billion in sales during 2007. Hardware sales dropped 27 percent from the previous year to ¥231.52 billion, while software sales only fell 11 percent, ending up at ¥320.91 billion.

Upcoming in North America

Dark Horse Dark Horse's Director of Asian Licensing Michael Gombos announces that the color Oh! My Goddess is ready Digital Manga Publishing Digital Manga Publishing announced the acquisition of Hideyuki Kikuchi (Vampire Hunter D & Wicked City novel series) tot;es: Yashakiden: The Demon Princess and Taimashin: The Red Spider Exorcist. Taking place in the city of Shinjuku-Yashakiden: The Demon Princess novel is based in the same universe as the popular Wicked City animated series, and is spun out of the Demon City Shinjuku world.
Of all the novels Kikuchi has ever written, Yashakiden is the one series he has wanted to have published stateside, and he considers it to be in his own words, "...the best novel series I've ever written, this is my vampire masterpiece. In my personal opinion, this novel transcends Vampire Hunter D." The novel features illustrations by Jun Suemi, who also illustrated a number of "The Guin Saga" novels in Japan. Beginning with volume one in December, Yashakiden: The Demon Princess will span four vampire-filled volumes of horror. A first chapter preview will be included in May 2009 release of Hideyuki Kikuchi's Vampire Hunter D vol. 3 and on the newly revamped DMP books website www.dmpbooks.com. Taimashin: The Red Spider Exorcist is based upon a novel series also by Kikuchi, and is illustrated by manwha artist Shin Yong-Gwan. An ongoing series in Japan, with over 20,000 units sold, Taimashin: The Red Spider Exorcist is a crafty story about a demon-hunter who traverses between the worlds of the living and the dead, all to save lost souls being preyed upon by evil spirits of the underworld. With amazingly detailed art by Shin Yong-Gwan. Catch preview pages of this title in the November 2009 release of Hideyuki Kikuchi's Vampire Hunter D vol. 4 and on the newly revamped DMP books website www.dmpbooks.com. YASHAKIDEN: THE DEMON PRINCESS VOL. 1-Rated YA+ (for ages 16+), MSRP: $13.95, Available: December 16, 2009, DMP Novel, 5 1/8"x 7 3/16" TAIMASHIN: THE RED SPIDER EXORCIST VOL. 1- Rated 18+ (for ages 18+), MSRP: $9.95, Available: December 16, 2009, DMP Manga, 5 1/8"x 7 3/16"
Digital Manga Publishing is also offering a contest for pre-orders of Hideyuki Kikuchi's Vampire Hunter D Vol. 3. Every pre-order comes with a free Vampire Hunter D 4"x11" illustration card, and by placing a pre-order, you will be entered into a promotional contest for one of these free, limited autographed Vampire Hunter D items: -Saiko Takaki and Hideyuki Kikuchi autographed Vampire Hunter D 4"x11" illustration card-(10) prizes -Hideyuki Kikuchi autographed softcover Vampire Hunter D Vol. 1 novel-(5) prizes -Hideyuki Kikuchi autographed limited hardcover Vampire Hunter D vol. 1 novel-(5) prizes -Saiko Takaki autographed Vampire Hunter D vol. 1 manga-(5) prizes -Vampire Hunter D vol. 1 manga Japanese edition-(5) prizes -Vampire Hunter D vol. 2 manga Japanese edition-(5) prizes -Hideyuki Kikuchi and Saiko Takaki autographed Vampire Hunter D vol. 1 poster-(3) prizes -Hideyuki Kikuchi and Saiko Takaki autographed Vampire Hunter D vol. 2 poster-(3) prizes GRAND PRIZE-Hideyuki Kikuchi and Saiko Takaki autographed shikishi with a sketch of D by Takaki Pre-orders are taken at www.dmpbooks.com until April 16yh Fanfare/Ponent Mon
Jiro Taniguchi's Distant Neighborhood will be released by Fanfare June 30, 2009 Who hasn't dreamt of going back to childhood? But who has actually made the journey? Hiroshi Nakahara is a forty-something salaryman returning to Tokyo from an intense business trip. He is tired and somewhat hungover as he boards his train at Kyoto's enormous station. He awakens to discover he is traveling back to the town of his upbringing, not Tokyo. Memories of his mother surface and he realizes he has the same age as her when she died. Arriving in Kurayoshi he is drawn through his distant neighborhood to the cemetery and his mother's grave. Here, under a late afternoon moon, he is transported back into his 14 year-old body and life whilst retaining all the character and experience of the adult. Will he change his past or be forever condemned to relive each painful moment? That fateful day his father disappeared without explanation, the death of his mother ... would he ever see his wife and daughters again? Master manga-ka Taniguchi at his most powerful with the art individually reversed to western style by craftsman Frédéric Boilet. Volume 2 due in September. Kino International Kino International and KimStim announced the release of the four-DVD set Debauched Desires: Four Erotic Masterpieces by Masaru Konuma.
Directed by the master of Japanese erotic cinema Masaru Konuma, CLOISTERED NUN: RUNA'S CONFESSION (1976), TATTOOED FLOWER VASE (1976), EROTIC DIARY OF AN OFFICE LADY (1977) and a re-mastered version of WIFE TO BE SACRIFICED (1975) are now available in one four-DVD set at the reduced price of $49.95. Previously, each of these films was available at $29.95. The street date for Debauched Desires: Four Erotic Masterpieces by Masaru Konuma is May 19, 2009. "Stylishly directed and singularly harrowing" (Japanese Cinema Encyclopedia), these four films are classic examples of pink cinema, a style of Japanese, softcore theatrical films which was common in the early 1960s. Right Stuf Right Stuf, Inc. and Nozomi Entertainment announce the fourth original design in the Nozomi line of casual wear – the CRANE INSPIRATION T-shirt – for Summer 2009. The t-shirts will be release July 28th for $17.99 (XXL $19.99) 1. Crane Inspiration T-Shirt – Charcoal Available in sizes S-XXL Regular fit; 6.1 ounce, 100% pre-shrunk cotton - Small: Catalog #: 5544S - Medium: Catalog #: 5544M - Large: Catalog #: 5544L - XL: Catalog #: 5544X - XXL: Catalog #: 5544XX 2. Crane Inspiration T-Shirt – Light Blue Available in sizes S-XXL Regular fit; 6.1 ounce, 100% pre-shrunk cotton - Small: Catalog #: 5545S - Medium: Catalog #: 5545M - Large: Catalog #: 5545L - XL: Catalog #: 5545X - XXL: Catalog #: 5545XX
© 2009 Nozomi Entertainment. Thomas Dunne Books Thomas Dunne Books will be releasing Cathy Yardley's manga-related "chick lit" novel Turning Japanese in April. Have you ever wanted to just pack up and leave your old life behind? In TURNING JAPANESE by Cathy Yardley, you will meet Lisa Falloya, an aspiring half-Japanese, half-Italian American manga artist who follows her bliss by moving to Tokyo to draw the Japanese-style comics she's been reading for years. Leaving behind the comforts of a humdrum desk job and her workaholic fiancée, Lisa has everything planned--right down to a room with a nice Japanese family--but hasn't taken into account that being half-Asian and enthusiastic isn't going to cut it. Faced with an exacting boss and a conniving "big fish" manga author, Lisa risks her wedding, her friends, and her fears for a shot at making it big. VIZ Media 7/14 Bleach: Vol. 18 7/21 Nana Uncut Box Set 1 ($59.90) Naruto Uncut Box Set 15 7/28 Pokémon Elements Volume 1 Nana Two girls with the same name leave their old lives behind and come to Tokyo to start fresh--what adventures await these two hopeful young women under the bright lights of the big city? Nana Osaki wants nothing more than to make it big as the singer of a rock 'n' roll band, while Nana Komatsu wants to put her life in motion and get her new relationship off to a good start. When the two Nanas fall in love with the same apartment, they become roommates and then best friends, and the party has just begun! Warner Home Video The first five episodes of Cartoon Network show The Secret Saturdays will be released on July 21 for $14.98
Yen Press Tiamat's Review recent spoke to Yen Press' Kurt Hassle and during the conversation, Hassle revealed that in addition to continuing child's view comedy manga Yotsuba, the publisher will be re-releasing creator Kiyohiko Azuma’s prior work, 4 panel high school girls comedy Azumanga Daioh starting in December. Kuriousity reports that Amazon.ca lists that Yen Press has picked up former Broccoli Pandora Hearts by Jun Mochizuki in addition to Mochizuki's Crimson Shell.

Cool Figures News

Super7 upcoming releases include
Mongolion by Lamour Supreme, Cosmo Liquid and Super7. Offered for sale at $60, April 4th, 11am Pacific. Ooze Bat, designed by Chanmen of Gargamel, and sculpted by Gargamel. Available April 11th from Super7. Super 7 Gargamel Upcoming Releases Japanese Boutique Soft-Vinyl toy icons Gargamel have announced their next batch of new releases, due for release at Super7 and Distribution Network Stores in Mid April! On the roster are new versions of Gargamel's Odoron, Ojo Rojo, and Rokuron. Super7 will also be receiving a very limited amount of the already legendary Camo Zagoran. Due to huge demand and low supply, these figures will be sold by raffle.
CollectionDX presents Tamashii Nations 2009: The Video A visit to HobbyLink Japan Takayuki Takeya (Super Imaginative Chogokin) Studio Visit G-Saviour - the Gundam from the live action movie On figures.com Medicom RAH Piccolo reviewed Hot Toys Reveals GOEMON Action Figures Elsewhere Blame! Sanakan Clear Version Revoltech 3.0 Preview Jumbo Machinder 101 Gatchaman Figures New Die-Cast Gatchaman Vechicles On the custom front Lee "Leecifer" Gajda 's Devil-Bat Man, horrific Astro Boy, and more strange figures
Voltron Munny and Qee Megatron Ozzel Soundwave Madl; Stikfas-Piloted Munny and Stump-Grinder Mazinger-Z Stikfas Voltron Munny Space Channel 5 and Final Fantasy 7 Sack Peopel

Anime x Games

The PSP game based on live action movie DragonBall Evolution allegedly sold 1,800 copies its first weekend. In contrast Super Robot Wars K for the Nintendo DS sold 117,000 units in its first week.
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"Anime/manga style police investigation game" Case Closed: (aka Detective Conan) One Truth Prevails for the Nintendo Wii due for release on 1st May 2009 from Nobilis and Ascaron Entertainment.
From the official dscription In Case Closed: One Truth Prevails the lead character is 17 year old Shichi Kudo, a very intuitive high school detective, well known in Japan as a modern day Sherlock Holmes. Shichi is on a mission to infiltrate a secret group known as the Black Organisation when he is drugged with a poison that was meant to kill him, but instead transforms him into a seven year old boy. In his new body, Shichi adopts the alias Conan Edogawa and pretends to be a child whilst continuing to secretly solve cases. Players can use a number of special detective tools that feature in the Japanese TV series of Case Closed, including a voice changing bow tie and a solar powered skateboard. The Wii remote is used to touch or manipulate objects and also can also be used as a magnifying glass when players lead Shichi undercover to investigate crime scenes and search for clues.
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Newly formed videogame publisher Rockin' Android announced during Game Developers Conference 2009 the U.S. release of five "anime style" doujin videogame titles it has acquired. The localized games for the PC include SUGURI Perfect Edition and GUNDEMONIUM Collection will be released for direct retail sale, while Flying Red Barrel –A Diary of a Little Aviator–, Qualia and Miku Miku will be exclusively available as download-only titles. All five titles are side-scrolling, shooting/fighting action games slated for a summer 2009 release. “Doujin games are basically home-made videogames programmed, coded and created entirely by hardcore fans and game enthusiasts, but contrary to the perception of something 'home-made,' they look and play like professionally produced arcade games,” says Enrique Galvez, president of Rockin' Android. “In Japan, doujin videogames are the innovatively cool, small indie label alternative to mainstream console games, as thousands of anime, manga and videogame fans regularly seek out these limited-run products at conventions and specialty shops in Tokyo. As such, we're thrilled to finally have the rights to introduce these very unique retro arcade-style games to a wider audience in North America, South America and Western Europe. Rockin' Android's first PC game release will be the SUGURI Perfect Edition, streeting on June 30, 2009 and value-priced at $19.99 SRP.
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Via ICV2 Upper Deck has planned a Dinosaur King expansion named Colossal Team Battle. "TV Moment" cards from the collectable card game will tie into the anime, which airs on CW4Kids. Mecha anime inspired BattleTech is celebrating its 25th birthday. In Commemeration, 160 page art book BattleTech: 25 Years of Art and Fiction ($59.99) is planned with a retrospective sample of 25 years of art, plus over a hundred thousand words of new original fiction from top BattleTech authors such as Thurston, Charrette, Milan, Gressman, Coleman, Keith, Long, Pardoe and Stackpole. The deluxe volume also will contain a universal timeline of the BattleTech universe as well as a definitive bibliography of all the published material relating to BattleTech from FASA to Fan Pro to WizKids to Catalyst. A novel publishing plan is scheduled to start in the fall with A Bonfire of Worlds($7.99) by Stephen Mohan, Jr. and Shadows of Faith($7.99) by Loren L. Coleman as well as anniversary editions of some of the best BattleTech novels such as the Warrior Trilogy by Michael Stackpole.
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SRW Hot News reports that Neon Genesis Evangelion: Battle Orchestra for the PSP will be released July 30th, 2009. Eva Geeks reports that Girlfriend of Steel 2 for the PSP will be released on June 11th. The first Girlfriend of Steel is scheduled to be released April 9th. The extras for the special edition are the opposite of the first game: An original commuter pass of Asuka and an original key chain of Rei. Weekly Famitsu reports that Rebuild pjrect based Evangelion: Prologue (Jo) will be released on June 4th 2009 for PS2 and PSP. EvaGeeks notes "The game seems to incorporate things from the series and Rebuild: for instance, Ramiel’s appearance is the same as in 1.0, yet both Asuka and Kaworu seem to be present in the game. There are at least two scenarios in the game, one based on the Television series and the other based on Evangelion: Jo. Because of this, Asuka for instance will supposedly be called Soryu in the TV series Scenario and Shikinami in the Evangelion 1.0 Scenario, although the official site refers to her as Soryu.The game’s graphics are more detailed than Evangelion 2 and the battles in this game are in full-3D. "
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The Magic Box reports that Namco Bandai announced SD Gundam G-Generation Wars for Wii and PS2, the latest installment of the popular tactical simulation series. The game will have characters from 29 series plus G-Generation originals.
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A look at the well regarded Astro Boy: Omega Factor for the Gameboy Advanced

Going Hollywood

The Hollywood Reporter indicates that Paul Bettany is in negotiations to play the title role in the Scott Stewart directed adaptation of the Tokyopop manhwa Priest by Min Woo Hyung. In 2006, Gerard Butler was to star in the role of the demon hunting priest. Cory Goodman (The Brood) penned a script, to be produced by Screen Gems (Legion)
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MTV's Movie Blog is reporting that Justin Chatwin has confirmed an already scripted Dragonball Evolution sequel. “I know they’ve written a second one and it’s pretty far out there,” actor Justin Chatwin told MTV News.
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The Live Action Anime blog is noting that a Chilean newspapar is claiming the budget for DragonBall Evolution was $45 Million, rather previously reported $100 Million. The veracity of either figure has not been confirmed.
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A Blood: The Last Vampire live action UK poster

Event News

Sci-Fi Japan ran down Japan Film Festival - Los Angeles: April 10-26
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The Hawaii International Film Festival's 12th Annual Spring Showcase will feature Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone, Sky Crawlers, Ichi and the live action 20th Century Boys.
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About.com:Manga reports that gekiga innovator Yoshihiro Tatsumi and comics creator / editor Adrian Tomine will be making appearances at the PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature in New York City (April 29 - May 4, 2009), and at the Toronto Comics Arts Festival (May 8 - 10, 2009). Both appearances will be to promote Tatsumi's latest mega-manga memoir, A Drifting Life from Drawn and Quarterly, which is due to hit better books and comics stores on April 14, 2009.
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Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s 28th Annual Sakura Matsuri is scheduled to take place May 2 and 3, 2009 In addition to Brooklyn Botanic Garden's renown collection of cherry trees, events include two days of music, dance, martial arts, food, film, workshops, demonstrations, and guided tours of the Garden’s plant collections. Festival hours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. All activities take place rain or shine, with indoor locations provided for all activities in the event of rain. Tickets are available through www.TicketWeb.com; for same-day ticket information, visit bbg.org or call 718-623-7200. A detailed schedule of the festival is available at bbg.org/sakuramatsuri, and information is available by calling the public events hotline (beginning late March) at 718-623-7333. Admission fees of $12 for adults and $6 for students and seniors will be charged all weekend, including Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon. Music Visitors to the Garden enjoy traditional Japanese music performed with authentic instruments as well as contemporary music by leading musicians. The Sakura J-Lounge returns with an expanded lineup of DJs spinning a wide variety of Japanese pop and rock old and new to give extra punch to the festivities! Other musical highlights include a Japanese pop concert by star Ai Kawashima, who has gained national renown in Japan; Minami Kuzuki, singing and playing shamisen J-pop melodies inspired by the folk songs of her home in the Amami Islands; and a performance of traditional koto and shamisen music by Misayo Ishigure and the Miyabi Koto Shamisen Ensemble. Brooklyn favorite Kagero will bring the house down with its border-crossing Japanese gypsy rock. A Children’s Suzuki Recital features kids ages 4 to 13 performing string versions of Japanese folk songs. Traditional music lovers will be enthralled by an ethereal shakuhachi flute concert and a classical koto and shamisen concert. Enjoy the adrenaline-pumping sounds of taiko performances by Taiko Masala, Soh Daiko, and the all-child Genki Daiko—then try this ancient art of drumming in two hands-on taiko drumming workshops for families! Dance and Martial Arts The J-Lounge features fabulously attired dancers throughout the afternoon rocking to Japanese group sounds, Shibuya-kei, ’60s pop rock, and anime-themed J-pop. Samurai Sword Soul returns with another original piece, Bushido: The Soul of Samurai, showcasing the mastery of these sword-fighting professionals. Enjoy works by the legendary dance troupe Sachiyo Ito & Company, which performs in the expressive tradition of Ryukyu Buyo, Okinawan dance, and graceful Nihon Buyo, Japanese classical dance. Experience vibrant Japanese folk dance with the colorful Hanagasa Odori (Flower Hat Dance) parade and minbu dance, performed by the Japanese Folk Dance Institute of New York. Witness a moving performance of butoh, a Japanese style of dance that emerged after World War II, performed by Dean Street FOO Dance. Traditional Arts Explore Japanese art forms and creative disciplines with special workshops and demonstrations of ikebana flower arranging, origami paper folding, mataro ningyo wooden doll making, and washi ningyo paper doll making. BBG’s own curator of the C.V. Starr Bonsai Museum, Julian Velasco, shares his expertise in bonsai pruning techniques. Other highlights include a traditional Japanese tea ceremony presentation, and a whimsical soft sculpture sushi display and photo op. Plus, enjoy the New York premiere of the film Transcending—The Wat Misaka Story, which recounts the story of the first Japanese-American basketball player in the NBA. Manga and Anime With the N.Y. Anime Festival, Sakura Matsuri presents the most exciting manga and anime activities around! During NYC’s Largest Cos-Play Photo Shoot, thousands of festival-goers in costume will gather together under BBG’s peerless flowering cherry trees for some unforgettable image-making. The Funny Voices: Anime Voice Actor Roundtable features the city’s hottest talents in anime cartoon voice talent talking about, and as, their legendary characters. At the AnimeNEXT Manga Library, children and adults can partake of the global phenomenon of these exquisitely illustrated Japanese comics and read nature-inspired manga. Plus, renowned manga illustrator Kensuke Okabayashi presents a fantastic character-sketching talk and demo and signs copies of his book Manga for Dummies. Manga mania will continue with Misako Rocks! A Crazy Comic Life, during which illustrator Misako Rocks!, known for her works Rock and Roll Love, Biker Girl, and Detective Jermain, will guide visitors through her colorful childhood in Japan and other sources of inspiration for her manga. Children’s Activities Children’s activities include a special session with manga illustrator Misako Rocks!, and the AnimeNEXT Manga Library’s display of nature comics is a must-see. Other kid-friendly events include Samurai swordplay performed by Samurai Sword Soul, a hands-on workshop all about haiku and papermaking, an entertaining origami paper-folding workshop, plus taiko drumming for the whole family. Kids will love watching their peers star onstage in a kimono show, a suzuki recital, and a taiko-drumming performance.
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Anime Vice notes that the New York Asian Film Festival (June 19th - July 5th) announced plans to screen both of the currently released 20th Century Boys live action movies (a third will be released in Japan this summer)
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Wizard World Philadelphia comic convention will host the 2nd Annual ToyFare Hall of Fame Awards on Saturday at 6 p.m. at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in downtown Philadelphia. ToyFare has chosen Hasbro’s Transformers brand to receive this year’s award in commemoration of the franschise’s landmark 25th anniversary. Wizard World returns to Philadelphia June 19-21, 2009 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
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Anime Expo has launched its online volunteer registration system. Those wishing to volenteer at the July 2-5, 2009 at the Los Angeles Convention Center is easier and better can register here . Volunteers work in all areas of the convention. Volunteers assist Anime Expo staff in these areas: • Packet stuffing • Line/crowd control • Entry/exit monitoring (badge check) • Gophering • Special assignments AX also announced registration for its artist alley here The Artist Alley at Anime Expo is a venue for amateur and semi-professional artists to celebrate Japanese pop culture through fantastic works of art. Artists come from all over the country and beyond to share their original artwork, prints, crafts, clothing, comics and Œzines. Event registration information can be found here
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The Maelstrom International Fantastic Film Festival(MIFFF), a three day international showcase of animation, fantasy, horror, and science fiction cinema, announced that its inaugural will be held September 18-20th, 2009 at the SIFF Cinema at McCaw Hall in Seattle, Washington USA. Isaac Alexander, Festival Director of Publicity and Co-Founder, comments: "Seattle has a great history of supporting genre films with Poltergeist, The Empire Strikes Back, & Return of the Jedi having had their World or American premieres in the city. Also Seattle has a diverse local genre fandom community, as well as it hosts the Science Fiction Museum & Hall of Fame. We will be able to promote this city and offer a venue to gather and celebrate this unique form of entertainment, and join film festivals of the fantastic across the globe in celebrating this form of cinema." Blogspot - http://maelstromfestival.blogspot.com Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=584266240&ref=ts#/group.php?gid=18959875871&ref=ts Film Community - http://www.filmcommunity.com/profile/MaelstromInternationalFantasticFIlmFestival Myspace - http://www.myspace.com/maelstromfestival Twitter - http://twitter.com/mifff
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Hellsing manga artist Kouta Hirano is exhibiting his work at Yodabashi in Akihabara through April 23rd. NHK will kick off a National Anime Karaoke Battle Royale
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Stars and Stripes looks at anime conventions

Digital Distribution

FUNimation Entertainment has acquired digital, broadcast, DVD and merchandising rights to the megahit anime series “Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood” from Aniplex and debuting on Japan’s MBS and TBS nationally at 5:00 pm on April 5th. Starting Thursday, April 9 at 10:00 a.m., FUNimation will deliver high-quality, free, original Japanese dialogue accompanied by English subtitles, streaming episodes of studio Bones’ new Fullmetal Alchemist via www.funimation.com as well as key video-sharing partners. “Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood” is directed by Yasuhiro Irie (“Kurau: Phantom Memory”, “Soul Eater”). Romi Paku and Rie Kugimiya will reprise their roles as Edward and Alphonse, though some of FMA’s original cast have been replaced. Roy Mustang will now be voiced by Shinichiro Miki (Asato Tsuzuki, “Descendants of Darkness”). Winrey Rockwell will now be voiced by Megumi Takamoto (Mahou Sensei Negima!) and Riza Hawkeye will be voiced by Fumiko Orikasa (Bleach, RahXephon, Vandread) ABOUT FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST: BROTHERHOOD “Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood” is set in a fictional world where alchemy – the transmutation of raw materials into objects – is science and the way of life. The series follows the Elric brothers Edward and Alphonse on their perilous journey in search of the legendary Philosopher's Stone. They set forth in the hope that the magical artifact can restore their bodies after a failed attempt to revive their dead mother cost Edward's left leg and right arm; as well as Alphonse's entire body, leaving his soul affixed to a suit of armor. FUNimation Entertainment and Japanese powerhouse producer Toei Animation Co., Ltd. have entered into a digital content partnership in which the U.S. anime leader will distribute seven series from Toei’s catalog starting Friday, April 3rd. English-subtitled episodes from “Air Master”, “Captain Harlock”, ”Digimon Adventure 02”, “Fist of the North Star”, “Galaxy Express”, “Pretty Cure” and “Slam Dunk” will be offered in the U.S. by streaming via FUNimation’s online video portal, www.funimation.com/video. Totaling more than 500 episodes, these seven series launch with “Fist of the North Star”. One complete series will be added each week for seven weeks. Fist of the North Star -- Set in a time when war has turned the world into a nuclear wasteland. The oceans have dried up, the land is scorched and the surviving humans have formed a violent society. In this world of mayhem, a drifter in possession of a lethal fighting style known as the Divine Fist of the North Star wanders the arid desert seeking to rescue his lover, Yuria. Slam Dunk -- A high-school drama about a young loser who goes out for the basketball team in hopes of winning the affection of a cute girl. In his quest for love, he sparks a rivalry with the team’s star as they set out to win the championship. Digimon Adventure 02 -- New enemy Digimon Kaiser, appears in the Digital World and is out use his considerable powers to control all Digimon. The crisis gives rise to a new generation of hero, the Veemon, which is able to combine with DigiMental to create a new type of Digimon. Captain Harlock – Set in the year 2977
Readers Talkback
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  • April 4, 2009, 7:51 a.m. CST

    First

    by Astrosquall

    that was a good read

  • April 4, 2009, 8:52 a.m. CST

    I grew up with Mazinger Z and Gaiking !!!

    by Prometeo

    Part of my earlier memories as a kid. Japanese animation from WAY back in the day was VERY popular around this latitudes. Anime like Mazinger, "The Robot's Festival" - a mashup of Gaiking, Kōtetsu Jīgu (Steel Jeeg), SF Saiyuki Sutājingā (Starzinger) and Magne Robo Gakeen. We also saw Heidi (Arupusu no Shōjo Haiji), Marco (Haha wo tazunete sanzenri), The Tallac Forest (Seton Dôbutsuki Kuma no ko Jacky). Miyazaki was involved in all of this, as far as I know. Most of them where edited, americanized versions, like Starblazers, or Robotech of course. This shows usually arived to our TV sets through convoluted production, deals, not tu metion full re-scoring and dubbing, like Captain Future's wonderful Mark Mercury soundtrack (full 70's regalia) or the french-ized version 'Les Chevaliers du Zodiaque', aka Saint Seiya. Of course we also saw american animation, like Scooby Doo, or He-Man; But I haven't seen anyone dressed up like Shaggy or Man-at-Arms over here ;) So, it's fair to say that that Mazinger remake brought tears to my eyes, like I know it will for a lot of 30-somethings around this side of the globe. And by the way, that video about the false premise that anime characters looks caucasian is spot on!

  • April 4, 2009, 9:05 a.m. CST

    "that Japanese production is stuck in a rut"

    by Amy Chasing

    You say "There's an impression among many that anime in general, and in North America specifically is cycling down" - this may be the case, but after the last few years with Miyazaki winning the Oscar, wonderful movies like Paprika, The Girl Who Fell Through Time and Mind Game (off the top of my head), and wonderful series like Guardian of the Sacred Spirit, Baccano! and the ongoing Hellsing OVA, I got the impression that anime production was going from strength to strength. Ah well, hopefully Studio Ghibli and Production IG are able to keep things going. They do amazing stuff and do all the things that Disney/Dreamworks/etc wouldn't.

  • April 4, 2009, 9:46 a.m. CST

    I don't know...

    by wampa 1

    ...but it sure smells good!

  • April 4, 2009, 2:18 p.m. CST

    Wasn't Mazinger made into Tranzor Z here in the US?

    by Han Cholo

    I seem to remember that, plus they cut out a lot of the violent stuff like people getting blown up. That shit was dope!!!!!

  • April 4, 2009, 5:06 p.m. CST

    "Evangelion" is coming back bitches!!!!!

    by Evangelion217

    And 2.0 will definitely be the most gorgeous looking anime of this decade. Anybody can see that during the trailer. Fucking awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

  • April 4, 2009, 9:35 p.m. CST

    Full Metal Alchemist Plot...

    by davebdun

    Correct me with I am wrong, but it seems as though the plot for the new FMA anime is roughly the same as the original series...? Or am I missing something??? Is this a remake, or a continuation on from where the FMA movie left off? Maybe I haven't research this enough, hopefully someone can shed some light!

  • April 4, 2009, 11:05 p.m. CST

    Anime going downhill

    by GilbertRSmith

    I've gone from a regular anime fan to an occasional fan. As a casual observer, I think anime has been stagnant for awhile, and is kind of starting to reinvent itself, but is still sort of stuck in a ghetto of schoolgirl robots and stoic bishies. That's not to say there isn't some excellent stuff out there, nonetheless.

  • April 5, 2009, 12:14 a.m. CST

    FRIEDMAN HAD A FAMILY!!

    by lanalangsucks

  • April 5, 2009, 8:47 p.m. CST

    New FMA Plot

    by The Dreaded Rear Admiral

    The new FMA is supposed to hew closer to the actual manga, which means a whole new set of Homoculi. Sloth, Pride, and Wrath will be different. Lust and Gluttony should remain the same. That's all I know right now.

  • i agree with him, i dont know if it its the case or not, but it seems like the big japanese animation time is ending, of course the animation wont dissapear or anything, but ten years ago the general public interest for animation was much more obvious. i think its for the reason he said in the review, "I've seen plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest that there is an audience who is not entirely disinterested in anime, but who has tuned out the field as a consequence of the work needed to filter out what's appealing from the noise of anime created by die-hard fans strictly for die hard-fans" theres to much anime out there, and the majority of it its for the die-hard anime fans, because in my opinion its repetitive and cliche. but there are great series that are unique and cool and worth watching, but its difficult to know which ones are those with so many series out there. great review of Shigurui,i will try to buy it.

  • April 6, 2009, 3:44 a.m. CST

    I love Shintaro Kago

    by The Amazing G

    his stuff is so perverted and insane and awesome

  • April 6, 2009, 9:32 a.m. CST

    Anime is not going downhill.......

    by Evangelion217

    It's just on a stand still. And that's mostly due to the economy going downhill.

  • April 6, 2009, 8:36 p.m. CST

    Evangelion in the title...

    by OutlawsDelejos

    ...was just a ruse to lure Eva fans into a thread with no info in it. Shame on you.

  • May 2, 2009, 3:59 p.m. CST

    I love anime

    by shazam7

    <p>I love anime.</p> <p>but not all the time.</p>

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