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Reviews
Manga Spotlight: Dogs
Manga Spotlight: Astral Project
News
Going Hollywood
Upcoming in Japan
New and Upcoming in North America
Eisner Nominations Announced
Digital Distribution
Anime x Games
Event News
VIZ Anime to Air on FUNimation Channel
Cool Figures News
The Business
Worth Checking Out...
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First...

I'm not sure how this issue is going to be panned out, and I'd like to think that it'll be resolved soon, but I feel it's worth mentioning. A number of books dealing with homosexuality have been flagged as adult content on Amazon and had their sales ranking removed sales ranking removed. Search results for books including Annie Proulx's Brokeback Mountain are also effected by the flag. From the blog of yuri (lesbian themed) manga publisher Erica Friedman Amazon De-ranks "Adult" Books This is not a crisis, nor should we run screaming, but I think it is important enough that every reader, writer, publisher, editor and all champions of freedom of expression should take note. Amazon has changed its policy and has de-ranked books that it deems "adult" in nature. This includes anything they count as erotica and many non-adult LGBT books, as well. De-ranking means that they have been pulled from the sales ranks and are also not coming up in the search engine. I do not advocate being outraged. Outrage accomplishes nothing. I *do* advocate a polite, but firm letter campaign asking that Amazon allow sales to indicate sales rank and nothing else. I distrust their definition of "adult" if it does not include Twilight, or Playboy, but does include Annie on My Mind. Please make a firm request that all books be ranked and that they do not involve behavior that can be seen as censorship or "protection." Please feel free to Digg this or forward it to MLs, forums, sites, etc. The more people who protest politely, the more of an impact we can make. You can contact the Amazon Executive customer service email at ecr@amazon.com, call the customer service phone number: 1-800-201-7575 or login to your Amazon account and visit: https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/contact-us/general-questions.html?ie=UTF8&browse_node_id=468496 You can also sign this petition against the policy:http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/in-protest-at-amazons-new-adult-policy As a publisher of LGBT comics, as a reader of whatever I bloody well want to read, as a member of the community of humans that prefers to think for myself, I ask for your support against this misguided policy. Also of note suggestion that the problem might be a glitch Christopher Butcher shares some thoughts

Manga Spotlight: Dogs 0: Prelude by Shirow Miwa Released by VIZ Media

While Dogs isn't necessarily a manga series that I was looking forward to, it has been on my radar for a while. Buried on my desk, I have a Power PC Mac Mini with its desktop image set to Dogs' "Blade Maiden" crouching down, flowing coat billowing dramatically behind her, hand hovering over the hilt of her katana. That image actually appears in this volume on the reverse side of a full-color fold-out. The front side of this is a similarly memorable illustration: the four principal characters are laid literally and metaphorically naked; a sad looking gray beard with battle scars distributed across his body, a steel eyed young woman with an "X" cut across her chest, a guy with long red hair and less combat-shaped musculature ... a cigarette dangling from his mouth and the eye patch that usually covers his damaged right eye resting in the palm of his hand, and finally, a silver haired young man with a feral gaze and metal collar bolted to his neck. After reading the book itself, I'd say that this pair of images is the best thing about the manga. Dogs might not be dull, and I wouldn't call it a failure. But, I wouldn't say that Miwa succeeds in his aims either. He shoots high with a mash up of elements in his stylish tales of urban violence, a sort of quasi-sci-fi action manga Le Samouraï. Unfortunately, the muddied landing is something of a hodgepodge. Reading it, you can see what Miwa was going for, as well as the deficits in the final product. This Prelude volume introduces the manga's four tragic anti-heroes in distinct stories that sometime pull in guest appearances by others of the quartet. The tone shifts in variations of a larger theme from story to story, reflecting the attitudes of the stories' subjects. "Blade Maiden" Naoto's stars in a typical steely revenge plot with the heroine training to acquire the skills needed to avenge her family's death. Heine, the "Stray Dog" is not a particularly talkative character either, but in contrast to The Blade Maiden's coiled tension, the Stray Dogs simmers up to a rage filled boil of bullet ballet. The real note of distinction comes from the story of information broker Badou the "Gun Smoker." It's the one entry that doesn't mention the tragedy that defines its subject's life. This character's story opens with the anti-hero rappelling from a roof top to photograph an adulterer. He spots an heiress' lost cat on a ledge. Going for the feline, he drops, but, fortunately, his rope catches him in front of the window of a crime boss engaged in a masochistic past time. Hijinx ensues, with plenty of running, gunning, cigs and comical shifts in design. Because of the loose binding between stories and shifts according to focal character, the overarching concept of what "Dogs" is as a manga series must assert itself through the visual style of the manga. The details of the protagonists' home city aren't laid out in these shorts, yet, the world and the stories do set the tone for each other. Despite the late inclusion of information about highly advanced genetic engineering, it's a cold looking, old world place without any artifacts to distinguish it from our time. On one hand, the tired looking city seems to encompass the events, fencing them in with stone facades and cracked pavement. On the other hand, Miwa situates actions in the middle of a void of negative space. The two approaches complement together to frame Dogs' brand stylish brutality. If anything, Dogs errs on the side of overcompensation in this aspect. Though the setting does look gritty, the air of the place has the ozone scent of fiction; like it's set up solely and specifically to stage the type of action on display in the stories. I'm not quite sure that Miwa has the taste or sense of moderation to pull off the slick, dark action that might be envision. Miwa can certainly draw an effecting figure. There's a specificity... a difference can be seen between how a loose, wild character stands and how a tense, knotted up one does. And, there's a rightness. If someone shoots low across the floor to advance below their opponent's guard in a knife fight or someone grips their head in their hands, it looks like the genuine article. Unfortunately, this rightness backfires when falling back on routine rather than introducing something fashionably new. The detailed world of homage layered on homage is fragile. It breaks rather than bends. When Miwa pulls from the familiar templates or presents an under-considered image, the dissonant note is enough to snap a scene's hold. A psychopath with his head tilted, a Joker smile-snarl across his face, holding his gun sideways or a young woman with tiny wings given the black and white frills of a loligoth ensemble becomes risible. The notion of a group of characters who aren't a team is intriguing, but the loose plot puts a keen focus on the manga's presentation. When its Heine painfully staggering forward, trying to return fire, it works. When it's a slow motion handgun duel, climaxing in a sentimental scene of synchronizing firing, the sappiness curdles the image from stylish to over-mannered. Dogs has a mature rating, which isn't inappropriate for a manga series with notable instances where nudity is mixed with violence in an almost sexually charged manner. For perspective, its original serialization took place in Ultra Jump, home of Battle Angel Alita: Last Order, Read or Die, Bastard!! and Tenjou Tenge. Due to its style of story telling, characterizations and approach to angst, I'm inclined to recommend Dogs more to a fan of Final Fantasy than I would to a fan of its cinematic antecedents. This might be unfortunate, considering that I think many of those readers might be younger than the explicit content/mature rating aims the book.

Manga Spotlight: Astral Project by marginal and Syuji Takeya Volume 2 Released by CMX

Astral Project is sufficiently clever, intriguing, provocative and, most of all, convoluted, that I have no problem calling it the Lost of manga. In that vein, Astral Project starts with what looks like a familiar story, kicks out well worn supports from its framework, and replaces those pillars with less not quite oblique hints towards its intellectual underpinnings. I'm a sucker for a literate manga that tells an involving story while being engaged with philosophy and stranger than fiction reality. Like other favorites Kuragi Corpse Delivery Service and Eden: It's an Endless World, Astral Project fits the bill. Astral Project weaves together references to artists like avant-garde jazz saxophonist Albert Ayler and figurative painter Francis Bacon with threads of pseudo-science in the context of a genre tale. Rather than simply name checking this esoteric knowledge the manga leverages it to build its own, unique mystery. The resulting heady exercise places its hero at the center of a mystery, surrounds him with people he probably can't trust, then forces him into a metaphysical confrontation with the limitations of his perception. According to an invented anecdote in Astral Project, during the 20th century, westerners made contact with a tribe in New Guinea that had previously been isolated from the modern world. The head of the expedition pulled a cigar out of his breast pocket and gave it to the village elder. Later, a child from the now assimilated tribe commented "we didn't know what clothes were, so we all thought the leader of the expedition slipped his hand into his chest and pulled out a cigar." Rather than have an unreliable point of view, Astral Project fumbles into an investigation with a hero who soon discovers that all senses provide subjective, ambiguous information at best. This uncertainty proves to be a compelling operating model for a highly distinctive manga. The credited marginal might be better known as Garon Tsuchiya, the writer of Old Boy, a manga which won the prestigious Eisner Award, spawned the cult Park Chan-Wook movie, and is set to be adapted by Steven Spielberg. Oldboy is equally famous for its twisted revelations and for its twisted premise: a man is kidnapped and locked away for ten years; in that time, he becomes the hard boiled force able to investigate his past for the truth behind whatever prompted his incarceration. Like Old Boy, Astral Project starts with a genre style investigation. In this case, it's a seinen Get Carter." Masahiko has spent a few years estranged from his family, building a new life for himself as a driver for yakuza call girls. When he learns his elder sister died of "heart failure or something," he briefly returns to his family's home, taking a CD as a keepsake from his sister's room before hastily leaving. Given the title of the work, and given expectations of manga running in a relatively mainstream anthology (Comic Beam, the home to manga like Emma, Desert Punk/Sunabozu Bambi and Her Pink Gun), it should come as no surprise that the first step in investigating the truth behind his sister's death is a supernatural one. Listening to her CD, Masahiko finds his consciousness leaving his body, floating into the stratosphere. Old Boy turned the magnifying class of the investigation into a mirror as the protagonist inspected his own life and history. Similarly, Astral Project doesn't go in the direction that might be expected from either a claustrophobic yakuza tale or an exercise in supernatural world building. Like a prodigal son's investigatory plot, Masahiko makes the rounds, talking to people who seem disreputable and/or untrustworthy. Masahiko's sister's self-confessed "cold" college friend, the stiffly formal man she met on an internet suicide site, the duplicitous jazz guru, and the homeless man/astral projection veteran "Zampano" are all creepy, but these folks pail in comparison to the globular monstrosity "Slimy-kun" or the animated bit of modern art that introduces itself to Masahiko as "the part of you that is alienated." A volume in, it seemed like Masahiko was in the deep water in managing the search for the truth behind his sisters death and the higher planes of astral projection. It also seemed like he had the assistance of knowledgeable guides. Two volumes in, Masahiko is being deluged with "help," promising to reveal the truth behind his sister's life, a secret history for his sister's CD that bleeds into war atrocities and government black projects, and even the nature of reality. Beyond the alarm bells set off by moodiness or manipulative actions, many of these guides are also warning Masahiko not to trust other guides. Yet, while Masahiko is out of his element, Astral Project's hero is a person who enters the venture already comfortable in the criminal element, and as such, seems prepared to deal with the challenge of unreliable, contradictory data in a measured, thoughtful manner. Volume 2 of Astral Project didn't so much change my opinion of the manga as intensify by respect for it. I was pleasantly surprised for discover that the series has not settled down. It still has not solidified its landscape. It hasn't offered concrete clues about who might be an antagonist and who might be an ally, and with everything up in the air, distinctive action focuses on Masahiko testing out strands in his web of relationships. It also puts the reader in a similar position to the hero in that you can't really accept information at face value, even when the data concerns what the work is "about." Few manga offer Astral Project's level of thought provoking mind games.

Going Hollywood

Anime News Network calls attention to Nikkan Sports concerning Leonardo DiCaprio's potential casting of Japan's SMAP entertainment group (Masahiro Nakai, Takuya Kimura, Tsuyoshi Kusanagi, Goro Inagaki and Shingo Katori) as the main leads in Warner Brothers and Appian Way's proposed live-action adaptation of the Ninja Scroll anime. According to Nikkan Sports, casting is in progress with DiCaprio's expressed intention to "cast with Japanese people." At a SMAP event at the end of last year, Nakai said, "I want to do a movie with [all the members of] SMAP." SMAP's agency told Nikkan Sports, "We have no official comment, but if this comes to fruition, we would certainly want to consider it strongly."
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According to Hollywood Reporter, Mandalay Pictures has acquired the film rights to adapt Full Metal Panic, a series of light novels that have been adapted into anime and manga. Zac Efron as been mentioned in connection to the series' hero Sousuke Sagara, a military raised teen who divides his time between piloting a mecha on the battlefield and the hijinx of protecting a classmate.
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LA Times blog on the the fan hate for DragonBall Evolution? Why the hate? it might have something to do with comments like “He kind of embodies the essence of Master Roshi,” explained Jaime Chung (Chi Chi), “Minus being perverted.” The movie ranked 8th in its US opening weekend box office returns, taking in an estimated $4,650,000 from 2,181 screens.
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The Japanese images for the live action Blood: the Last Vampire
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Five Films That Prove Anime & Manga Shouldn’t Be Adapted

Upcoming in Japan

Previews Cencoroll Taisho Era Baseball Girls Crayon Shin-chan the Movie: Roar! Kasukabe Wild Kingdom Mamoru Hosoda’s (Girl Who Leapt Through Time) Summer Wars Asylum Session Anime Production I.G and Namco Bandai Games have announced the production of TALES OF VESPERIA: THE FIRST STRIKE, a full-length animated feature film based on the universe of the 2008 role-playing game "Tales of Vesperia." This is the first theatrical film adaptation of the "Tales of" universe. The film will be directed by veteran animator Kanta Kamei ("Tales of Legendia" game movie part director, "Kill Bill: Vol. 1" animation segment visual supervisor, "Innocence" visual effects), and will be theatrically distributed in Japan by Kadokawa Pictures in 2009. The story takes place on the planet Terca Lumireis, where people rely on an ancient civilization's technology called blastia in order to power their cities and machinery or cast magic spells. However, two factions are in conflict: the powerful Imperial Knights and the dissenting group known as the Guild. Yuri and his childhood friend Flynn had joined the Imperial Knights together, but Yuri has left to stay true to his belief, while Flynn has continued to rise in the ranks. As the two young men travel separate paths in pursuit of the ideal of justice they once shared, their fates interwine in an epic adventure that threatens the existence of all. The story of the movie, TALES OF VESPERIA: THE FIRST STRIKE will be set before the events narrated in the game. MAIN STAFF Original Story: Namco Bandai Games Director: Kanta Kamei (Tales of Legendia, Kill Bill: Vol. 1, Innocence) Screenplay: Reiko Yoshida (Kaleido Star, Romeo x Juliet) Original Character Design: Kosuke Fujishima (Oh My Goddess!, You Are Under Arrest) Character Design, Character Animation Supervisor: Tokuyuki Matsutake (Tales of series, The Sky Crawlers, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time) Animation Directors: Takuya Saito (Reideen, Macross Zero), Kazuchika Kise (Innocence, Musashi: The Dream of the Last Samurai) Toshihisa Kaiya (Tales of series, IGPX) Art Director: Hiroshi Ono (Le Chevalier D'Eon, Kiki's Delivery Service) 3D Director: Makoto Endo (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex) MAIN CAST Yuri: Kosuke Toriumi (PandoraHearts, Romeo x Juliet) Flynn: Mamoru Miyano (Mobile Suit Gundam 00, Death Note) Estellise: Mai Nakahara (Clannad, My-HiME) Rita: Rika Morinaga (Rozen Maiden, Seto no Hanayome) Raven: Eiji Takemoto (One Piece, Mononoke)
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Sankaku Complex (NSFW) is reporting the buzz in Japan is that Kadokawa is working to quiet rumors that the re-airing of the original Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya will lead into a new, second season of the anime. Renewed rumors of the new anime were sparked when broadcasters listed a 28 episode run of the anime, twice the length of the original series.
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The next Naruto movie, Naruto Hurricane Chronicles: The Will of Fire Still Burns is scheduled for August 1st Manga Izumi Matsumoto's classic romantic triangle Kimagure Orange Road will return in a Super Jump one-shot titled Panic in the Bathouse. The 25 page story, originally from Comic On CD-ROM, will be on sale April 22nd. The details on Rumiko Takashi's new work have been announced. Kyokai no Rinne follows Sakura Mamiya, "a girl who was able to see ghosts after a certain incident when she was young. One day, she gets a mysterious visitation." The manga launched is the issue of Weekly Shonen Sunday that goes on sale April 22. Live Action Nearly Eisner nominated, new grad manga Solanin is slated to be adapted into a live action film by Takahiro Miki, with Aoi Miyazaki and Kengo Kora as the leads. From Viz's description Critically acclaimed SOLANIN tells the story of Meiko Inoue, a recent college grad working as an office lady in a job she hates. Her boyfriend Naruo is permanently crashing at her apartment because his job as a freelance illustrator doesn't pay enough for rent. And her parents in the country keep sending her boxes of veggies that just rot in her fridge. Straddling the line between her years as a student and the rest of her life, Meiko struggles with the feeling that she's just not cut out to be a part of the real world. In addition to SOLANIN, VIZ Media will also be releasing Inio Asano’s two-volume WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD! later this year. Ooku, nother Viz manga, this one to be release in August , is also scheduled to be adapted into live action. Ooku follows the male harem of the Shogun in alternate history Japan. Fuminori Kaneko ( Kisarazu Cat’s Eye and Ikebukuro West Gate Park) will direct.

New and Upcoming in North America

ADV Films 6/2 Mazinkaiser/Shuten Doji Double Pack 6/9 Lady Death 6/19 Elfen Lied Collection - $39.98 6/23 Colorful 6/30 Divergence Eve Seraphim Collection - $49.98 Appleseed (2004 movie) Bandai Bandai Entertainment has cancelled or delayed a number of titles Wolf's Rain Perfect Collection DVD Boxed Set (Anime Legends) from April 7th to May 5th Gurren Lagann Part 3 from March 17, 2009 to May 5, 2009 Ghost Slayers Ayashi Part 2 from April 7, 2009 to May 5, 2009 The Gundam Seed Destiny DVD Collection #2 Boxed Set (Anime Legends) from April 21st to May 19th Freedom DVD Boxed Set from April 7, 2009, new release date July 7, 2009) Gundam 00 (Eps #1-9) from May 19th to June 16th Flag Complete Collection (Anime Legends) and Zegapain Complete Collection (Anime Legends) have been cancelled Dark Horse
BERSERK VOLUME 31 Kentaro Miura (W/A) On sale Sept 30 b&w, 208 pages $14.95 TPB, 5 1/8? x 7 1/4?
BLOOD+ ADAGIO VOLUME 2 Kumiko Suekane (W/A) On sale Sept 2 b&w, 184 pages $10.95 TPB, 5? x 7?
BRIDE OF THE WATER GOD VOLUME 4 Mi-Kyung Yun (W/A) On sale Sept 9 b&w, 176 pages $9.95 TPB, 5 3/4? x 8 1/4?
GUNSMITH CATS: BURST VOLUME 4 Kenichi Sonoda (W/A) On sale Sept 16 b&w, 192 pages $12.95 TPB, 5 1/8? x 7 1/4? NEON GENESIS EVANGELION: THE SHINJI IKARI RAISING PROJECT VOLUME 2 Osamu Takahashi (W/A) On sale Sept 9 b&w, 192 pages $9.95 TPB, 5 1/8? x 7 1/4? Amazon Canada is listing the novel Blade of the Immortal: Legend Of The Sword Demon from creator/artist Hiroaki Samura (artist) and illustrator Junichi Ohsako, for release in November 15, 2009 Publisher's description: "The first novel based on the worldwide sensation! Rendered immortal by an infusion of mystical worms that can repair any wound, the masterless samurai Manji wanders the hillsides of feudal Japan, his quest to slay one hundred evil people to atone for his past sins. By his side is the young woman Rin, an orphan who seeks vengeance for the murders of her parents. Driven in a quest for absolution, the two have faced many deadly challenges, both natural and supernatural. But can they survive their greatest battle against the all-powerful Inugami?" Del Rey On April 7th, Del Rey released Wolverine: Prodigal Son volume 1, with story by Antony Johnston and art by Wilson Tortosa. This is not the Wolverine you know. Logan is a teenage rebel with a real good reason for having a real bad attitude. Ever since being left in a nearby forest—with no memory of who he was or how he got there—Logan (or Wolverine, as his classmates sometimes call him) has been stuck in a martial arts school in the icy wilds of Canada. No wonder he’s bored, restless, yearning. There’s a whole world out there, and Logan can almost taste it. But he’s chained to a past he can’t remember and can’t escape. Now it just may destroy his future. CBR spoke to Johnston here FUNimation AnimeVice.com‘ s visit to FUNimation revealed that the distributor will be releasing Linebarrels of Iron and Strike Witches in North America Go Comi Kuriousity reports Amazon Canada is listing Cosplay AI, a Japan Ai follow-up by Aimee Major-Steinberger for release in October.
Media Blasters Anime Voltron Vol. 8 4/28/2009 to 7/21/2009 Adult Bible Black New Testament Third Scripture (Eps. 5&6) 4/28/2009 to 7/28/2009 Media Blasters has announced a number of release delays Live Action One Missed Call Final 4/28/2009 to 7/7/2009 Releases that have been delayed indefinately include Genshiken 2 Vol 1,Twelve Kingdoms Complete, Death Trance Blu Ray and Zatoichi Season 1 & 2 Right Stuf Anime producer and distributor Right Stuf, Inc. and Nozomi Entertainment announced that The Irresponsible Captain Tylor Ova Series Remastered DVD Collection will be released on July 28, 2009. The new, thinpak-style box set will include the entire 10-episode OVA series and feature remastered video footage from the Japanese DVD release, as well as “soft” subtitles for on-screen text. The 4 disc set will retail for $39.99 The Irresponsible Captain Tylor TV Series Remastered DVD Collection, which features the franchise’s 26-episode television adaptation, will be available on May 26, 2009. The Irresponsible Captain Tylor is based upon a series of novels by Hitoshi Yoshioka and features direction by Koichi Mashimo (Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE, Noir, Sorcerer Hunters), with production by Big West (Macross, Macross Frontier), d-rights (El Cazador de la Bruja, Gun X Sword) and Tatsunoko Production (Gatchaman, Casshern Sins). The English dub stars Crispin Freeman as “Captain Justy Ueki Tylor,” Lisa Ortiz as “Azalyn,” Rachael Lillis as “Yuriko Star,” Carol Jacobanis as “Harumi Nakagawa,” David Brimmer as “Lt. Makato Yamamoto” and Veronica Taylor as “Shia Has.” As a service to long-time fans who purchased the “Ultra Edition” releases of this title, Right Stuf will offer a trade-in program. Information for the TV series trade-in program will be posted on www.tylor.com this week, and the details of the OVA series trade-in program will be made available by the end of May 2009.
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The Trade-In/Upgrade Program for the TV series has been announced, as a service to long-time fans who purchased the previous “Ultra Edition” releases of THE IRRESPONSIBLE CAPTAIN TYLOR By sending in the form found at www.tylor.com and the four discs pictured on it, fans who purchased the “Ultra Edition” release of the Tylor television series are eligible to receive the five remastered discs from the upcoming collection for a flat fee of $20. Please note: A chart detailing the differences between the discs and releases can also be found on www.tylor.com. This trade-in program is for the discs only. Fans who participate in this program will keep their “Ultra Edition” packaging and extras, and they will receive the five new discs ONLY – no new packaging – as part of this offer. The details of the OVA series trade-in program will be made available by the end of May 2009. THE IRRESPONSIBLE CAPTAIN TYLOR TV Series Remastered DVD Collection will be released on May 26, 2009. The new, thinpak-style box set will include the entire 26-episode television series and feature remastered video footage from the Japanese DVD release, as well as “soft” subtitles. This release also marks the first time the series will be available to North American audiences with the original Japanese eye-catches, openings and closings and without digital overlays for signs and other on-screen text.
Shout! Factory According to Hollywood Reporter Shout! Factory has signed a multiyear agreement with toymaker Hasbro to bring to DVD several animated properties based on the company's toy lines. The deal includes episodes of 1980s animated series "The Transformers" and "G.I. Joe.," as well as the direct-to-DVD animated movie "My Little Pony: Twinkle Wish Adventure."

Eisner Nominations Announced

The slate of nominees for the 2009 Eisner Awards have been announced. Ballots with this year’s nominees will be going out in mid-April to comics creators, editors, publishers, and retailers. The results in all categories will be announced in a gala awards ceremony on the evening of Friday, July 24 at Comic-Con International. Manga related nominees include Best Short Story “Actual Size” by Chris Ware, in Kramers Ergot 7 (Buenaventura Press) “Chechen War, Chechen Women,” by Joe Sacco, in I Live Here (Pantheon) “Freaks,” by Laura Park, in Superior Showcase #3 (AdHouse) “Glenn Ganges in ‘Pulverize,’” by Kevin Huizenga, in Ganges #2 (Fantagraphics) * “Murder He Wrote,” by Ian Boothby, Nina Matsumoto, and Andrew Pepoy, in The Simpsons’ Treehouse of Horror #14 (Bongo) Best Continuing Series All Star Superman. by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely (DC) Fables, by Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham, Steve Leialoha, Niko Henrichon, Andrew Pepoy, and Peter Gross (Vertigo/DC) * Naoki Urasawa’s Monster, by Naoki Urasawa (Viz) Thor, by J. Michael Straczynski, Olivier Coipel, Mark Morales, and various (Marvel) * Usagi Yojimbo, by Stan Sakai (Dark Horse) Best Publication for Kids Amulet, Book 1: The Stonekeeper, by Kazu Kabuishi (Scholastic Graphix) * Cowa! by Akira Toriyama (Viz) Princess at Midnight, by Andi Watson (Image) Stinky, by Eleanor Davis (RAW Junior) Tiny Titans, by Art Baltazar and Franco (DC)
Best Archival Collection/Project—Comic Books Breakdowns: Portrait of the Artist as a Young %@&*! by Art Spiegelman (Pantheon) Creepy Archives, by various (Dark Horse) Elektra Omnibus, by Frank Miller and Bill Sienkiewicz (Marvel) * Good-Bye, by Yoshihiro Tatsumi (Drawn & Quarterly) Herbie Archives, by “Sean O’Shea” (Richard E. Hughes) and Ogden Whitney (Dark Horse) Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Japan Cat Eyed Boy, by Kazuo Umezu (Viz) Dororo, by Osamu Tezuka (Vertical) Naoki Urasawa’s Monster, by Naoki Urasawa (Viz) The Quest for the Missing Girl, by Jiro Taniguchi (Fanfare/Ponent Mon) Solanin, by Inio Asano (Viz)
A full list can be read here At About.com:manga Deb Aoki reacts, and offers some titles she wishes made the cut. Icarus' Simon Jones shares his thoughts David Welsh comments Noah Berlatsky downplays the awards Brigid Alverson defends the judges The Beat collects reactions, as does Robot 6

Digital Distribution

Veoh Networks and FUNimation Entertainment have entered into a distribution agreement through which Veoh will offer dozens of popular anime titles. Veoh will launch a dedicated FUNimation channel which will house in one easy-to-navigate place FUNimation’s extensive programming. The FUNimation channel will launch this week with nearly 200 hours of content and is being spotlighted on Veoh’s home page. The deal will also give Veoh an exclusive window to screen episodes of Gunslinger Girl: Il Teatrino and new episodes of current anime sensation Shikabane Hime – with new episodes debuting on Veoh within weeks of their Japan television premiere. FUNimation is streaming more anime on Anime News Network including * Aquarion (all English-subtitled episodes, 4 dubbed episodes) * Ga-Ra-Ku-Ta: Mr. Stain on Junk Alley (all dubbed episodes) * Ghost Hunt (4 subtitled episodes, 4 dubbed episodes) * Glass Fleet (all dubbed episodes) * Jyu-Oh-Sei (all subtitled episodes, all dubbed episodes) * Kiddy Grade (4 dubbed episodes) * MoonPhase (all subtitled episodes, 4 dubbed episodes) * Mushi-Shi (4 dubbed episodes) * Ouran High School Host Club (all subtitled episodes) * Rumbling Hearts (4 subtitled episodes, 4 dubbed episodes) * Suzuka (4 dubbed episodes) * XXXHOLiC (4 dubbed episodes)
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Asian media streaming site Crunchyroll has announced more anime including: Natsu No Arashi Title Synopsis: Natsu No Arashi NATSU NO ARASHI is based on the hit manga by the man who brought School Rumble's Jin Kobayashi. At the old town's coffee shop, Yasaka - in a chance encounter - meets an older high school student, named Arashi. Just his luck, Yasaka finds out she is in fact a ghost, as the two take off on an unusual journey together! Yet in the shadows, figure wearing sunglasses with a shady past shrouded in mystery is chasing after Arashi! Joining the two is Yasaka's middle-school classmate, Kamigano, and a German girl named Kaja...but what is everyone's connection to each other? The events that transpired at the coffee house will kick off an unforgettable summer holiday with an amazing story that is guaranteed to captivate audiences of all types!~ Saki ­ The Player (Saki) Title Synopses: Saki ­ The Player (Saki) is a cross between sports action and high school drama that revolves around a girl's spiritual growth through a tactical and adventuresome mahjong competition with keen rivals all aiming for the high school club championship. What makes it different from traditional mahjong-themed pieces is that the character are all colorful and charming whose personalities are far from being dark, cunning or cowardly. The story opens with the arrival of Saki who demonstrates her almost magical talent by instinctively playing the game in an extremely calculated manner so that she never loses or gains even a point... Kigurumikku Title Synopsis: Three high spirited girls Azuki Edomae, Mutsumi Mutsuki and Serika Shihodo, put on their "KIGURUMI"costumes instantly transforming them into the super heroes Kigurumikku-Swan, Kigurumikku-Falcon and Kigurumikku-Swallow. Follow these super-girls as they defend Minamachi City and bring peace to the town. Kaasan ­ Mom's Life (Mainichi Kaasan) Title Synopses: Kaasan ­ Mom's Life (Mainichi Kaasan) is based on the award-winning comic strip by Rieko Saibara A sidesplitting essay in animation that depicts the simple everyday life of career-committed mother and her rather out of standard family set in contemporary Japan. She is, like any career-committed mother is, jaded after struggling with her job and child care all together as she goes through a lot of hardship to keep the balance between her professional and personal lives. But the life is filled with rewarding moments too. Many stories are inspired by incidents in the author's own life, and their honest and thoughtful tone will surely be appreciated by a wide range of audiences. Ristorante Paradiso Title Synopsis: Italy, Rome When she was a child, Nicoletta was taken in by her grandmother so that her mother could remarry. Now grown up, she leaves everything in the countryside behind to visit her mother and her mother's second husband, a ristorante owner. To her surprise, her stepfather did not know his wife had a daughter! A ristorante she had previously visited, casetta dell'orso is hosted by a cast of dreamy, cool gentlemen who all happen to wear glasses. This curious restaurant's staff include cameriere (waiters) Claudio, Luciano, and Vito, GiGi the sommelier, and chefs Furio and Teo. Because women find the staff so enchanting, business is bustling and reservations are extremely hard to come by at this little Roman treasure. Amongst all this, Nicoletta decides, on a whim, to work at the ristorante. Gradually, she begins to become interested in one of the gentlemen... Delicious food and dreamy gentlemen await at the ristorante, casetta dell'orso. For everyone who works there, a tender connection to the hearts of each visitor is spun, and the curtain raises on a story about these first-rate Italian gentlemen in spectacles.
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VIZ Media streamed Naruto Shippuden episode 103 at NARUTO.COM on April 9th, the same day that the show aired in Japan.
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Earlier NARUTO Shippuden episodes are also currently available for free at www.Naruto.com and through a variety of other web-based, video streaming outlets that have partnered with VIZ Media, including Hulu and Joost. VIZ Media has teamed with Makena Technologies, creator of the 3D social virtual world There.com, to launch a special new VIZ Media store within the popular 3D social networking destination. The store opened on March 26th and initially will carry a variety of virtual apparel inspired BLEACH, which There.com members can purchase to further customize the appearance of their avatars. Additional items inspired by other popular animated properties will be added in the near future. A complete catalog of the VIZ Media BLEACH items is available at www.There.com.
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All visitors to Crunchyroll received free access to the NARUTO SHIPPUDEN episode 103, normally only available to Crunchyroll's Anime Members, and only one hour after airing on TV TOKYO in Japan. Crunchyroll will be the only place in the world to see episode 104 one hour after broadcast with English subtitles. NARUTO SHIPPUDEN returns to its normal schedule the following week, with Crunchyroll's Anime Members having exclusive access to the latest episodes only one hour after Japan, commercial free, and in 720P high-definition. Everyone else will be able to continue to enjoy the same episodes for free in standard definition made possible by advertisements.
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FUNimation's Playstation Network store is now open. The distributor now has Download to Own offerings on Xbox Live, iTunes, Playstation Network, and Amazon Unbox.
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Anime Vice notes Masahiro Itabashi's romantic comedy series Boys Be will be continued serialized on the mobile phone site of Comic MiChao
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Not, anime/manga related, but potentially related to the future of digital distribution: Wizard of the Coast has file three lawsuits against eight individuals for copyright infringement of the recently released in the United States, Poland and the Philippines alleging copyright infringement of its recently released Dungeons & Dragons Player’s Handbook 2 by uploading the book via file sharing. WotC President Greg Leeds commented: “Violations of our copyrights and piracy of our products hurt not only Wizards of the Coast’s financial health but also the health of whole gaming community including retailers and players. We have brought these suits to stop the illegal activities of these defendants, and to deter future unauthorized and unlawful file-sharing.” WorC has announced that it has ended sales of PDF editions of its products, which had been sold by online retailers such as DrivethroughRPG.com, RPGNow.com, and Paizo.com. CEO Greg Leeds comments
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Reading manga on Android phones with Droid comic
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On the Kindle front A nice wish list feature for Manga on Kindle Japanamerica, the book on the relationship between Japanese and American pop media is now available on Kindle

Anime x Games

The Magic Box has posted screenshots of SD Gundam G Generation Wars, a strategy RPG to be released in Japan for the Wii and PlayStation 2 Gundam mecha will be pulled from * Mobile Suit Gundam * Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam * Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ * Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack * Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket * Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory * Mobile Suit Gundam: 08th MS Team * Mobile Suit Gundam F91 * Mobile Suit Victory Gundam * Mobile Fighter G Gundam * Mobile Suit Gundam Wing * Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz * Mobile Suit Gundam: After War Gundam X * Turn A Gundam * Mobile Suit Gundam SEED * Mobile Suit Gundam SEED DESTINY * Mobile Suit Gundam SEED C.E. 73 STARGAZER * Mobile Suit Gundam 00 * Gundam Sentinal * Mobile Suit Gundam MS IGLOO: The Hidden One Year War * Mobile Suit Gundam MS IGLOO: Apocalypse 0079 * Advance of Z * Mobile Suit Crossbone Gundam * Mobile Suit Crossbone Gundam: Skull Heart * Mobile Suit Crossbone Gundam: Steel 7 * Mobile Suit Gundam: Hathaway’s Flash * MSV * Mobile Suit Gundam F90 * Mobile Suit Gundam Silhouette Formula 91 * Gundam Senki
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Screenshots of Evangelion: Prologue (Jo) for the Playstation 2 and PSP, scheduled to be released in Japan on June 4, 2009
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On the collectable card game from, via ICV2 Konami has announced that it is organizing its second round of Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG sneak peaks, supporting the release of the Raging Battle expansion, for the weekend of May 2-3. The official street date for Raging Battle is May 12th. The acquisition of Score by Panini has scuttled the Bleach collectable card game. “Unfortunately, Score Entertainment, the TCG division of Donruss Playoff, LP, was not part of the Donruss assets purchased by Panini America, Inc. As a result, the upcoming Bleach Infiltration TCG launch will be cancelled.” The Bleach TCG Infiltration expansion was supposed to have been released in March.
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2009 Pokémon Video Game Championships will be held at May 9 - Seattle, WA May 16 - San Francisco, CA May 23 - Phoenix, AZ May 30 - Dallas, TX June 6 - Philadelphia, PA June 13 - Nashville, TN June 27 - St. Louis, MO - The Nationals
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Not really a game, but quasi-related... Appliya Inc. announced two applications featuring Ukiyo-e art for the iPhone and iPod Touch.
“Ukiyo-e Beauties ” Application Details - Device iPhone / iPod touch - Release Date April 2, 2009 - Price $3.99 (50% off for limited time $1.99) - Category Reference URL Special Page
Features: - 5 paintings and 20 woodblock prints, in stunning 1150 x 800 resolution - 4x Zoom - Descriptions and notes from the top experts in the field - Original colors “JAPANESE ART CALENDAR UKIYO-E ” Application Details
12 pictures f"Ukiyo-e Beauties" collection. Create calendar images to use as your iPhone/iPod Touch wallpaper by specifying the month and layout. Once you've chosen your desired background image, you can choose to display up to several months on top of it, or choose a different picture for each month of the year. Features - Device iPhone / iPod touch - Release Date April 5, 2009 - Price $0.99 - Category Utilities
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Cheating to make the Naruto game looking good

Event News

VIZ Pictures has partnered with Trans World Entertainment (TWE) to sponsor a special retail ticket giveaway campaign at participating F.Y.E. and SUNCOAST stores nationwide in support of the U.S. theatrical premiere of DEATH NOTE: L, change the WorLd. VIZ Pictures and NCM Fathom will present this live-action film, in a two-night, multi-city event taking place on April 29th and 30th. For a limited time, beginning April 13th, F.Y.E. and SUNCOAST customers who purchase any DEATH NOTE DVD or DEATH NOTE related merchandise (in-store only) will receive a free ticket to attend the English-dubbed screening on April 30th., while supplies last. Trans World Entertainment Corporation is one of the largest specialty music and video retailers in the United States and operates more than 700 F.Y.E. and Suncoast stores nationwide. For store locations please visit www.fye.com or Suncoast.com. For a complete list of theatre locations and prices for the L screening, please visit www.FathomEvents.com (theatres are subject to change).
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Anime Expo announces the launch date of its Masquerade Online Registration for the anime and manga convention held July 2-5, 2009 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. More information and registration details can be found here found on the website h Anime Expo 2009 Masquerade Online Registration opens Friday, April 10th, 2009; 7:00 pm PDT. This online registration (not to be confused with the Anime Expo online pre-registration system) will close May 17th 2009. In an ongoing pursuit to protect the personal information of group members there will be at least one change to Anime Expo 2009 Masquerade Online Registration. This change only applies to entries with more than one member. After at least one member of an entry submits their information completely, all other members will have until May 17th, 2009 to submit their personal contact information. To match each member to the correct group ALL members must use the same Entry Name, and spell that name in the same manner.
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The New York Anime Festival (NYAF) announced online registration for its 2009 event has gone live. The 2009 New York Anime Festival, an anime, manga, and Japanese pop culture convention from the creators of New York Comic Con, will take place September 25-27, 2009 at the Jacob K. Javits Center in Manhattan, and attendees, Professionals, and Press can all register now at newyorkanimefestival.com. NYAF is offing all attendees who register online two complimentary weeks of premium online service on crunchyroll.com Online attendee tickets are available now at the following, discounted prices. Friday tickets are $35, Saturday tickets are $40, Sunday tickets are $35, and Weekend tickets (good for all three days) are $55. At the Javits Center, all tickets will be priced $5 higher. Additionally, attendees who purchase their tickets online will be able to bypass the registration lines on-site. Subatomic Brainfreeze reports on I-Con
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The desk on which Osamu Tezuka drew Phoenix and Black Jack will go on display beginning April 18 as part of an exhibition on Tezuka's work at the Edo-Tokyo Museum in Sumida Ward, Tokyo

VIZ Anime to Air on FUNimation Channel

The FUNimation Channel is adding five new animated series from VIZ Media, LLC to debut throughout late Spring and summer line-ups. Titles include “NANA”, “HONEY AND CLOVER”, “MONSTER”, “BUSO RENKIN” and “HUNTER X HUNTER.” The Nana box set is scheduled to be released by Viz in July. This is the first confirmation that the Monster anime will be available in North America NANA (drama/relationship/comedy, TV-MA) Based on the popular manga by Ai Yazawa, NANA follows the adventures of two girls both named Nana. While they share the same name, they couldn't be more different. Nana "Hachi" Komatsu follows her boyfriend to Tokyo in the hopes of making a new start, while Nana Osaki, who arrives in the city at the same time, is a punk rock beauty who has the ambition of making it big in the world of rock and roll. Although these two young women come from different backgrounds, they quickly become best friends while chasing their happiness and dreams. HONEY AND CLOVER (drama/relationship/comedy TV-14) Based on the popular manga by Chica Umino HONEY AND CLOVER is a romantic comedy about a group of art school students who try to find their way. But when an innocent and talented 19-year-old girl enters their lives, things get a lot more complicated as love triangles result. Naoki Urasawa’s MONSTER (Thriller TV-MA) What would you do if one of the young lives you saved turned out to be a monster… An ice-cold killer is on the loose, and brilliant Dr. Kenzo Tenma is the only one who can stop him! Conspiracies, serial murders, and a top-secret project with origins that trace deep within the mysterious past of former East Germany are all masterfully woven together in this compelling thriller. Tenma risks his promising medical career to save the life of a critically wounded young boy. Unbeknownst to him, this child is destined for a terrible fate. Who could have known that Tenma would create a monster! BUSO RENKIN (Action/Fantasy TV-14) High school student Kazuki Muto thinks he's saving a girl from a monster, but it turns out that he's the one who needs saving! Kazuki is killed while fighting a homunculus, a malevolent creature that feeds on humans. The girl, Tokiko Tsumura, revives him by replacing his heart with an alchemical device called a kakugane. With this device Kazuki can create his own Buso Renkin, an alchemical weapon in the form of a huge lance, capable of destroying homunculi. With his new weapon in hand, Kazuki decides to join forces with Tokiko to eliminate the homunculi and destroy their master, the strange and eccentric Papillon Masked Creator! HUNTER X HUNTER (Action/Fantasy TV-14) Hunters are a special breed, dedicated to tracking down treasure, magical beasts, and even humans. But such pursuits require a license, and less than one in a hundred thousand can pass the grueling qualification exam. Gon might be a country boy, but he has high aspirations. Despite his aunt's protest, Gon decides to follow in his father's footsteps and become a legendary Hunter. The journey begins on the long, arduous road to the Exam Hall, where he meets Leorio and Kurapika, two applicants with the same determination. Gon and his two companions must now prove their worth and earn the right to call themselves Hunters!

Cool Figures News

Super7 will be offering the Second Pressing of the Super7 x Gorilla Biscuits for sale at $55, April 18th at 7pm Pacific (in-store only) and April 19th at 11am Pacific online.
On the impressive figures front Soul of Chogokin Tetsujin 28 VS Black Ox Set Chogokin Review: Demonbane + Gurren lagann Chogokin Bandai Movie Monster Mothra Ashley Wood's latest giant robot Prefect Transform Getta Robot Renewal Version Not sure that this one is too cool, but Masamune Shirow’s Starship Police Intron Depot 3 Police S.S.A.T. PVC figure Customs... I.W.G. Kaneda by Owen DeWitt Transforming Lego Valkyrie Legion of Doom Papercrack L. Gaim mecha Also... Yotsuba wrongness safe for work, but not sanity

The Business

The Anime Blog collects the s_ storm of bad news here
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Japanese Prime Minister, and reputed manga fan Taro Aso recently commented than a plan for economic growth includes 500,000 coming from the country's so-called "soft power" in anime, manga, and "cool Japan" culture exports. As noted that there is a potential for 20 to 30 trillion yen (US$200-300 billion) in exports. The Guarden quotes Aso "Japanese content, such as anime and video games, and fashion draw attention from consumers around the world," the prime minister, Taro Aso - a self-confessed manga addict - told reporters this week as he waved copies of magazines from China and Taiwan featuring Japanese pop stars on their covers. "Unfortunately, this soft power is not being linked to business overseas. By linking the popularity of Japan's soft power to business, I want to create a 20-30 trillion-yen market by 2020 and create 500,000 new jobs. The Agency for Cultural Affairs is organizing an over 11 billion yen project to build a "shrine" to anime and manga. The government plans to collaborate with regional museums, galleries and institutions such as the Kyoto International Manga Museum and the NTT InterCommunication Centre in Tokyo in the establishment of the new centre. The project is included as part of a new economic package/ Specific locations and time frames have not been announced.
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NAMCO Bandai Holdings ad agency Sotsu has reported a 20.4% year to year decline to 6.977 billion yen (US$69.1 million) in its second quarter results. Sotsu's operating profit fell 24% to 991 million yen (US$9.8 million), and net profit fell 49.6% to 377 million yen (US$3.7 million). Sotsu has worked on the second season of Mobile Suit Gundam 00, Shugo Chara!! Doki—, and Chibi Ani Gekijo. It
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Anime News Network notes a Shuho Sata (Say Hello to Black Jack) blog post in which the creator outlined his production expenses and income. By producing 450 pages a year, he receives about 16 million yen a year (about US$160,000) for the magazine publication of his current work, Say Hello to Black Jack. However, it costs 18 million yen (US$180,000) a year to run his current staff of six. Sato makes up the difference in the compiled volumes, for which he is paid 10% of the retail price (580 yen/US$5.80). The fifth and latest volume of New Say Hello to Black Jack sold 98,579 copies in its first two weeks. Sato reports that there are manga artists working in shojo magazines who earn only 8% or 9% royalty on their compiled volumes. During his earlier Umizaru run, Sato estimates that he lost 200,000 yen (US$2,000) a month before he received royalties: Umizaru Manuscript payment rate: 10,000 yen (US$100) per page Monthly output: 80 pages for 800,000 yen (US$8,000) (20 pages for each weekly installment) Monthly income tax: 80,000 yen (US$800) Monthly personnel expenses for 3-person staff: 470,000 yen (US$4,700) Monthly food expenses for staff: 100,000 yen (US$1,000) Monthly paint and material expenses: 100,000 yen (US$1,000) Monthly studio rent: 70,000 yen (US$700) Monthly fuel and other expenses: 50,000 yen (US$500) Monthly loss after additional living expenses: -200,000 yen (-$2,000) Sato earned 25,000 yen (US$250) per page on The Isle of TOKKOU, while he now earns 35,000 yen (US$350) per page on Say Hello to Black Jack. Thus, he earns 150,000 yen (US$1,500) before taxes to produce each monthly magazine installment of Say Hello to Black Jack. Each of his assistants earns 3,000,000 yen (US$30,000) a year, which he acknowledges is lower than the average salary of a salary
Readers Talkback
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  • April 13, 2009, 6:29 a.m. CST

    first

    by hirst

    ??

  • April 13, 2009, 6:40 a.m. CST

    Second

    by TheKGB01

    That's because no one cares about Anime or this guys writing

  • April 13, 2009, 8:48 a.m. CST

    Scott, the Best New Shows of the Season are...

    by Prof_Ender

    EDEN OF THE EAST, BASQUASH!, and CROSS GAME. Keep a look out for them.

  • April 13, 2009, 9:39 a.m. CST

    The case for "Dragon Ball: Evolution"

    by Hikaru Ichijo

    My 7 year old nephew loves Dragon Ball Z and I was a fan of the manga back in the 80's. We saw this on opening day with a crowd of disheartened twenty-somethings, and I think I know why they didn't respond. The action was good, the humor remained intact, the cast was great, and any problems the film had were easily pushed aside by the surprising amount of cleavage on display. The scale of the story is smaller, but the real problem is this isn't an update in the sense that it makes Dragon Ball safe for grownups to like, and DBZ's mid-90's audience isn't mature enough to appreciate that. Any one of these disappointed reviewers probably loves a real dog like "TMNT" having been the target age range when that stinker was released, but it's okay since that's who the movie was intended for. "DB: Evolution" will someday enjoy that kind of love. I think anyone can tell by looking at the ads that it's okay to check it out if you have kids or are a kid at heart. Good clean fun.

  • April 13, 2009, 11:59 a.m. CST

    10 Films That Prove Anime & Manga SHOULD Be Adapted

    by godoffireinhell

    Story of Ricky, Ichi the Killer, Angel Guts, Fudoh, Star of David: Beautiful Girl Hunter, Zero Woman: Red Handcuffs, Female Convict Scorpion, Uzumaki, Black Angel, Bohachi Bushido: Code of the Forgotten Eight.

  • April 13, 2009, 1:13 p.m. CST

    Looking forward to Summer Wars

    by Johnno

    And did 'Girl who leapt through time' get a blu-ray release stateside?<br><br>As for dragonball evolution, I don't doubt that the movie itself could pass off as fairly entertaining schlock... but it ain't dragonball... In truth a real dragonball adaptation would approach it more in a period/semi futuristic crouching dragon hidden tiger if you ask me. A very young boy Goku of about 10 years of age who's charming and michevious fighting thugs and dinosaurs in bamboo forests and on mountaintops and deserts. Main baddy should be King Kai, and two comic henchpeople and a band of martial arts baddies under him. The other characters ought to be Goku's adoptive grandfather, a young krillian about half the age of Goku and the scientist Bulma who King Kai is after to help him locate the dragonballs. Throw in a potantial love interest of Yamcha as well and the four of them BUlma, Yamcha, young GOku and Krillian and you've a search for legendary dragonballs through fantastic landscapes that generally avoid the big cities and opt for small towns and villages and you've got something that could be great! There are plenty of talented 10 year old monk kids that work in the circuses and do martial arts. The movie could be made in Japanese or Mandarin if it helps, if it must be in English, then have the kid stars speak their own language and dub over them. It'll be odd but it'll work! If slumdog millionaire could mix non english speaking child actors then surely it could work somehow... but maybe I'm thinking too arthouse for dragonball??? NO, I just think that unlike FOX I'm actually trying to make a good dragonball!

  • April 13, 2009, 2:56 p.m. CST

    Ninja Scroll

    by veritasses

    Casting the members of SMAP would worry me. From what I know/remember of them, they're neither great actors nor action stars. Though I suppose if DiCaprio wants to set the bar low and settle for an "OK" movie (at best) instead of a potentially great movie then I guess they'll do. I'd pick Kaneshiro Takeshi (from House of Flying Daggers) over anyone in SMAP.

  • April 13, 2009, 3 p.m. CST

    Say...what's going on with the amputee dog people?...

    by FlickaPoo

    ...that was disconcerting.

  • April 13, 2009, 6:46 p.m. CST

    Shotaro Ishinomori vs. Masamune Shirow

    by Charles Calthrop

    Let me see if I get this straight. You're saying that Shotaro Ishinomori's Covergirls for Play Comic is "cool stuff," but you're "not sure" about Masamune Shirow’s Starship Police Intron Depot 3 Police S.S.A.T. PVC figure.

  • April 13, 2009, 9:06 p.m. CST

    re: FlickaPoo

    by ScottGreen

    Two words... "Violence Jack"

  • April 13, 2009, 9:11 p.m. CST

    re: Shotaro Ishinomori vs. Masamune Shirow

    by ScottGreen

    Ishinomori did dream up the machine gun bust, but I also get the impression that he know when to stop and how to keep things aesthetically pleasing and within the realm of good taste. Masamune Shirow started drawing this stuff http://tinyurl.com/c9b8gd

  • April 13, 2009, 9:54 p.m. CST

    Re: VIOLENCE JACK

    by Prof_Ender

    I LOVE the scene where a transexual attempts to rape a woman. Jack comes in, and with one swipe of his knife, cuts off the head, breasts, and dick of the transexual rapist. They certainly don't make 'em like they used to.

  • April 13, 2009, 10:04 p.m. CST

    I must agree that Shirow certainly has gone overboard...

    by Johnno

    But at least it's better than Hajime Sorayama... who's a damn talented artist but damn there are some things I can't unsee and I'll spare you any links to examples.

  • April 14, 2009, 4:05 a.m. CST

    BASQUASH!

    by BrainFart

    i know it looks amazing....but i cant get into a show about cars that turn into robots and play basketball. Its just too weird, not the cars or the robots, just the basketball.

  • April 14, 2009, 5:57 a.m. CST

    'Bout time they gave Gunsmith Cats Burst a date

    by Psycho_Kenshin

    Sheeeeeeeeeeyit, its been over 30 years.

  • April 14, 2009, 6:24 a.m. CST

    not just images for Blood....trailer too!

    by GoldenLegFung

    There's a full on awesome looking trailer for Blood: the Last Vampire on that site. Navigate the japanese site: click on menu at the bottom, then "movie" to get the trailer. looks awesome.

  • April 14, 2009, 6:26 a.m. CST

    @godoffireinhell...

    by GoldenLegFung

    props for mentioning Story of Ricky and Ichi the Killer. :-)

  • April 14, 2009, 7:02 a.m. CST

    Shirow's output of late

    by Charles Calthrop

    It's not all porn. Recently he has also done a number of designs for games and relatively tame illustrations for books and magazines.

  • April 15, 2009, 2:29 a.m. CST

    WHAT IN THE FLYING FUCK!?

    by The Amazing G

    Zac Efron as Sousuke in a live action Full Metal Panic movie? I must be tripping balls...

  • April 15, 2009, 5:52 p.m. CST

    Zac Efron confirms that he's not involved with FMP

    by Johnno

    According to ANN. He also mentions that the project might not get underway at all... Which is good, there's no way live action can match the comic timing of animation.