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Animation and Anime

AICN Anime - A Look at Katsuhiro Otomo's Live Action Mushi-shi and Update on the Adaptation of His Akira, Ultraviolet Anime...

Logo handmade by Bannister Column by Scott Green

Live Action Spotlight: Mushi-shi: The Movie Released by FUNimation

Even if the word is not used lightly, I'd argue that "visionary" can be applied to the source material and the director of the live action adaptation of Mushi-Shi. Both are magnets for grand pronouncements and deserving of effusive praise. Unfortunately, considering the manga or anime versions of Mushi-Shi or anime work by director Katsuhiro Otomo ( Akira, Memories, or even Steam Boy) sets expectations in the entirely wrong sphere for a movie that provokes interesting considerations, but is far from stunning. Yuki Urushibara's Mushi-Shi is a sublime work of manga. Its science fairy tales inhabit the boundary between juvenile "why" questions and profound philosophical queries. What causes a rainbow? What cause a dreams? What happens when there is no light or no sound? From these hidden spots outside the range of normal perceptions, it invents problems. Mushi-Shi then addresses these troubles through folk story inspired procedurals . Its silver haired, one eyed wandering protagonist, Ginko is a cross between a scientist and a scholar of lore. He applies reasoned investigation to beings that only he and other Mushi-Shi - "bug masters" can see: mushi, a classification of organisms that are the distant ancestor of plants and animals, and who, in their own way, shape the physical and spiritual worlds. Think of them like the kodama white mushroom people of Princess Mononoke.
Ginko walks into a village in which the pre-modern lives of the inhabitants have been interfered with due to mushi-caused maladies. The issue might be impaired senses, something out of a fairytale like Sleeping Beauty, it might be sci-fi-ish such as falling outside time, or at home in horror from hauntings to fungal baby changelings. Yet, the harm is caused by the alien mushi's life cycle . There is no more malice or judgment in the mushi than there is a virus. Ginko's serves as the doctor who diagnoses and when possible, he proscribes a cure. There are times when there are no solutions, and in that eventuality, Ginko does what he can to help the afflicted to live with their modified lives. Many of the stories distill into meditation about how to live life with challenges, relating to past mistakes, disability or loss. While Mushi-shi is far from humorless, it is sober. Few manga or anime take such an unblinking look at living with illness or suffering. Katsuhiro Otomo and Sadayuki Murai's (Perfect Blue - on which Otomo was animation supervisor, the Pierrot le Fou episode of Cowboy Bebop, Kino's Journey, Gad Guard) script re-architects the Mushi-shi story. In the manga and anime, Ginko's own history is presented as one of many episodes in a chronicle of interactions between humans and mushi. The stories, including that history had little bearing on each other. Alternatively, Ginko's story is the skeleton of the live action version. His origin opens the movie before the film begins cutting between his case work and his formative experiences. Once the movie has worked through Ginko's history, that history catches up with him, tying into his investigations. This might sound more approachable, but the movie is a push in that regard. Who Ginko is is more apparent, but less is explained about the mushi or their nature. With exposure to the anime/manga, the movie is apt to seem shaped to ease in newcomers to the concept through less mysterious guide. At the same time, newcomers have expressed bewilderment at the incomplete introduction to mushi.
Jô Odagiri (Shinobi: Heart Under Blade, Kamen Rider Kuuga) displays the quiet charisma of someone who knows and sees more than the rest in his depiction of the lead. In a pre-modern world, Ginko serves in the role of itinerant peddler of solution, and he fully inhabits that role in that work. In his behavior, his life beyond is work is slight. The irony of the Mushi-Shi movie is that while it is driven by Ginko's history, as someone whose life has been altered by mushi, the character himself does not have access to those memories. Ginko's unaware that he has stumbled onto his own case. Otomo's work has displayed an exceptional grasp of space. Akira is packed with brilliant examples from its highways to its industrial tunnels to the psychedelic room for the blue children, but a favorite is Domu - an earlier Otomo horror work in which a young girl found herself in a psychic duel with an elderly man losing his grasp on reality. The most potent effect in Domu is its "rabbit hutch" house project surroundings. In every direction, there is a claustrophobic enclosure of apartment buildings. The mass of people is inescapable.
In contrast to the man-made environments of Domu, Akira and Memories, Mushi-Shi is the most organic work produced by Otomo... at least his most organic work released in North America. In a world without concrete roads or electric lights, Ginko trudges through muddy paddies, mist shrouded mountains or snow locked settlements. Otomo establishes a sense of remoteness, in which small communities get by focusing on their own lives, while a few solitary travelers pursue their interests in the distance between those locales. As much as it is the story of Ginko's mushi shaped life, Mushi-Shi focuses on the character of the time. The movie opens with a mud slide and with bleedings and talk of falling off cliff sides, it's hardly idealized. However, even if the boundaries between human society and death and discomfort are far thinner than they are in a wealthy, post-industrial nation, the film succeeds in capturing the beauty of natural landscapes as well as the less regimented shapes of stone steps and wood way stations. The Mushi-Shi manga and anime were out of chronological order, but beyond that, no rigid timeline was apparent for the series. Ginko didn't dress quite appropriately for his surroundings. He was often with the subjects of his investigations for extended periods of time. Time might have matter for individual Mushi-Shi stories, but for the overarching series, Ginko's presence was a common thread in a catalog of isolated invents, the time between which had little bearing. In contrast, the passage of time is the backdrop for the live action Mushi-Shi. Ginko's past is due to catch up with him. Japan’s future is due to catch up with it. As a comment in the dialog indicates, electric lights will come to even the most remote mountains of Japan, driving away the once flourishing spirit world. As much as the manga and anime were defined by patterns of living, the movie is defined by a terminal point.
This is a distinct theme from the fairytale metaphors of the manga and anime, and in keeping with that difference, the film does not feature awesome, miraculous or horrific depictions of Mushi-Shi. The film's more naturalistic spirits look more like bits of phosphorescence or ghostly bugs. For example, seemingly intentionally, the manga's black and white depiction of a rainbow mushi is more spectacular than the movie's. Consequently, expectations set by Akira and Steam Boy are likely to be disappointed by the live action Mushi-Shi. Otomo works on depicting something akin the trickle of a glacier melting and not an orbital bombardments of Akira or the quiet morning and living with pain of the early incarnations of Mushi-Shi. Personally, I didn't find it as breathtaking as Otomo's anime spectacles or as effecting as earlier version of Mushi-Shi, but I did find it a fascinating movie to watch and consider.

Manga Spotlight: Maria Holic Volume 1 By Mundi Endou Released by Tokyopop

While generally disinterested in teen/gender comedy anime/manga, I did have an eye out for Maria Holic. I had caught Tatsuya Oishi's imaginative and humorously naughty opening to the anime adaptation. The trailer that Mediafactory put together wasn't bad either. What clinched by hopes for what I'd normally find was some pictures from a bonus section of the manga that had also looked cleverly absurd. I came away less than impressed by Mundi Endou's sense of what is funny or ability to convey build gag. Maria Holic opems with the familiar ode to the dead mother, not unlike Ouran High School Host Club. "Dear mother in heaven... Kanako has finally arrived!! Here where you and father met... I too shall find my soul mate!!" The declaration refers to second year high school student Kanako's transfer to girl's Catholic academy Ame no Kisaki. (Her father was a teacher and her mother was a student. There was an age discrepancy. Yeah, it's creepy.) And, the manga quickly introduces the reasons to derive mirth from Kanako: she's tall (5'8") and she likes girls. She's also self conscious about both of these elements of her identity. Her ability to mask her preferences is not helped by the familiar-in-manga visual gag of spouting blood from her nose when she needs a girl she finds attractive, and in a less familiar twist, she breaks out in hives when she comes in contact with boys. Matters appear to be off to a rocky start when she wanders onto the campus only to be greeted by a stiff young woman in a maid’s outfit who welcomes Kanako with "what's a SWINE like you doing in a place like this?... That's right, I'm talking to you giant pig. You're as tall as the Eiffel Tower." Luck seem to swing into positive territory when she runs into Mariya Shidou, a pleasant girl in pig tails and the school uniform of the junior high connected to Ame no Kisaki. Not only is she cute, she's well off. Unlike hardscrabble Kanako, Mariya's family estate overlaps school grounds. Furthermore, Mariya expresses enthusiasm towards Kanako's life story. When told about Kanako's parents meeting at the school "how wonderful! The Virgin Mary must have brought the two of them together." Kanako's heart leaps for joy when she discovers that Mariya doesn't have a boyfriend. "Oh mother in heaven! I might have found my soul mate already! Mariya Shidou... your name... you face... Everything about you is brilliant and beautiful!" Then Kanako notices hives on her wrist... Kanako checks into her dorm, where she's abused again. The dorm matron proves to be a girlish figure with cat ears accompanied by a dog wearing an apron. In a less than pleasant or expected exchanged, the matron informs Kanako that she is to be referred to as "boss or god" noting that "defiance means death." Then, Kanako stumbles onto Mariya being fit into a corset and falsies... and the reason for the earlier hives is revealed. The conceit here is that Mariya is a mean spirited boy who has adopted the persona of a sweet, helpful girl in order to become the chair of both the girls school and the sibling boy school once chaired by her grandmother. Fearing that Kanako might out his/her true gender, thereby forcing her out of Ame no Kisaki, Mariya responds by ripping open the blouse of her maid and threatening to frame Kanako as a predator. Even as absurd manga comedies go, this one strains credibility in its distance from believable motivation or action. If you find these concepts amusing, then you have a fighting chance with Maria Holic. The manga runs in Monthly Comic Alive, a seinen (older teen to adult male targeted) anthology, along with other cute girl series, in numerous cases adapted from eroge games. As such, the perspective of the reader is not expected to align with that of the subjects. The reader is position to gawk and judge rather than empathize with the characters. If you're not inclined to smirk at the tribulations of girl design to appear cute to that Monthly Comic Alive audience, the manga does little bridge the deficit. Unfortunately, Minari Endou does not display an aptitude towards comedy in this volume. Compared to the character cartooning and pacing of Shizuru Hayashiya's Hayate x Blade or Koji Kumeta's intelligent way of conveying even obscure jokes in Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei, Endou is seen to simply rest on ideas assumed to be funny. And, the fundamental assumption that defines Maria Holic is that presumably transgressive behavior, such as a girl liking girls or a boy dressing as a girl, are inherently funny. Endou tries to embellish the gags, but shifting the level of abstraction in the character designs and adding a few visual effects does not do the trick. One chapter revolves around a student assembly that becomes an opportunity for Mariya to win over the audience and advance her aims of becoming the school chair. Kanako disturbs the assembly with her growling stomach, but Mariya covers for her in such a way that the other student both let up on Kanako and credit Mariya's act of kindness. As Mariyama leaves the stage, she trades barbs with her rival. "Nice speech flat-chest." "Thanks a lot fat-ass." Cut to panels of Mariyama and rival forcing smiles with veins bulging, against a black background, crackling with sparks - one with hands to chest, the other with hands to posterior. Accounting for the subjective nature of humor, I have to say that I don't think that chapter's jokes were funny, nor do I think Endou accomplished much in pushing the material beyond its inherent humorousness. The assembly situation is par for the course. As such, I don't think I as much as cracked a grin throughout the volume. The "food is terrible and the portions are too small" criticism of Maria Holic is that is the page reproduction in the book is painful bad, possibly exacerbated by paper quality. Manga released by a major publisher in 2009 should not have pages that look as muddy as ones in Maria Holic. Without exaggeration, there are pages where faces look obscured by shadows, which in the Japanese version are merely shaded. If Maria Holic approached the cleverness that I expected, this would only be an annoyance, but when reading the manga turned into a grind, the production problems added insult to injury.

Going Hollywood

Collider has learned Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby have prepared a new script for the live action adaptation of Akira. The pair's previous work includes adapting P. D. James' Children of Men for the screen. Also, while I couldn’t get a lot of info about what changes are being made from the anime to make the feature film work, I did confirm the story is still set in post-apocalyptic Manhattan in the near future. I also confirmed the famous motorcycle is definitely a part of the film, but that bit of info shouldn’t surprise anyone. From what I could gather, the movie is still a priority for the studio, and if the script meets with approval from key people, the movie could go into production in 2010 with a release date in 2011. Also, this isn’t going to be some mid-range budget movie. If the film goes into production, it’s going to be one of those BIG event movies.
The landmark 1988, Katsuhiro Otomo directed anime version of Akira is now available in North America on Blu-ray through Bandai Entertainment. Amazon listings suggest that Japanese manga publisher Kodansha will be entering the North American market with an October 13th re-release of the Akira manga.
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In the original Osamu Tezuka Astro Boy, Doctor Tenma created the robot Astro to replace his diseased son. When he finds that the surrogate will not grow up, he sells the robot child to Ham Egg's circus. New picture depict Ham Egg's Gladiatorial fights from the Imagi retelling A round-up of Astro Boy interviews An interview with the makers of the game adaptation

Upcoming in North America

Abrams ComicArts The Art Of Osamu Tezuka, God Of Manga By Helen McCarthy (Anime Encyclopedia) Hardback PLC + DVD 272 pages, 350 colour illustrations Osamu Tezuka has often been called the Walt Disney of Japan, but he was far more than that. Tezuka (1928-1989) was Disney, Stan Lee, Alan Moore, Tim Burton and Carl Sagan, all rolled into one incredibly prolific package, and he changed the face of Japanese culture forever. Tezuka's work - especially his Astro Boy animation and comics, and the phenomenally successful TV series Kimba the White Lion - achieved worldwide acclaim. The Art of Osamu Tezuka reveals what makes Tezuka one of the key figures of 20th century pop culture. Packed with stunning images, many never before seen outside Japan, the book pays tribute to the work of an artist, writer, animator, doctor, entrepreneur, and traveller, whose insatiably curious mind created two companies, dozens of animated films and series, and more than 150,000 pages of comic art in one astonishingly creative lifetime. With a foreword by Akira creator Katsuhiro Otomo, and including a unique 45-minute DVD documentary never aired outside Japan, this is the most comprehensive tome on Tezuka ever produced. Like Tezuka's own work, this book is an amazing adventure for the manga and anime neophyte, an essential reference for the confirmed fan, and a visual treat for anyone who loves art. The book's accessible style, clear chronology, and references to other Asian and world events will enable the general reader to place Tezuka's work in its wider context, while the bibliography and indices will be invaluable to animation and comics scholars. McCarthy shares her thoughts on the project here Dark Horse Not only will Dark Horse be addressing the paper quality issue in Berserk, they'll be bringing back Ghost Talker's Daydream FUNimation Soul Eater's main cast has been confirmed Death the Kid - Todd Haberkorn Liz - Jamie Marchi Patty - Cherami Leigh Death Scythe - Vic Mignogna Black?Star - Brittney Karbowski Tsubaki - Monica Rial Franken Stein - Chuck Huber Maka - Laura Bailey Soul - Micah Solusod Death - John Swasey The main cast and director Zach Bolton are guests of the New York Anime Festival later this month FUNimation will release the first 13 episodes on the supernatural series on DVD in early 2010. Bamboo Blade cast Tamaki Kawazoe - Cherami Leigh Toraji Ishida - Ian Sinclair Kirino Chiba - Luci Christian Satori Azuma - Carrie Savage Sayako Kuwahara - Brina Palencia Miyako Miyazaki - Leah Clark Yuuji Nakata - Chris Burnett Danjuro Eiga - Sean Michael Teague Rin - Colleen Clickenbeard Mimi - Jamie Marchi APOS - Todd Haberkorn Laura - Clarine Harp Sayara - Monica Rial Kouki - Robert McCollum Section23 Films Anime 11/3/2009 YOU'RE UNDER ARREST SEASON 2 COLLECTION 1 Running Time: 325 min. Published by: Sentai Filmworks SRP: $39.98 11/10/2009 SPECIAL A COLLECTION 1 Running Time: 300 min. Published by: Sentai Filmworks SRP: $39.98 11/17/2009 BLUE DROP COMPLETE COLLECTION Running Time: 325 min. Published by: Sentai Filmworks SRP: $39.98 LITTLE SNOW FAIRY SUGAR COLLECTION 2 Running Time: 325 min. Published by: Sentai Filmworks SRP: $39.98 POLYPHONICA COMPLETE COLLECTION Running Time: 300 min. Published by: Sentai Filmworks SRP: $39.98 11/24/2009 TEARS TO TIARA COLLECTION 1 Running Time: 325 min. Published by: Sentai Filmworks SRP: $39.98 Live Action 11/3/2009 KI-GAI Running Time: 130 min. Published by: Switchblade Pictures SRP: $19.98 11/10/2009 NU-MERI ~ BOOK OF THE NEW SPAWN Running Time: 76 min. Published by: Switchblade Pictures SRP: $19.98 Sony Anime News Network notes Sony Music Entertainment indicated in a September 3 press release that the Ultraviolet: Code 044 anime will be "coming out in [the] U.S. soon." The 2008 television anime series adapts Kurt Wimmer's 2006 live-action Ultraviolet film which starred Milla Jovovich. Tokyopop Via Tokyopop Webinar, critically praise office woman josei Suppli will be brought back with volume 4 New titles include Deadman Wonderland by Jinsei Kataoka and Kazuma Kondou Hanako and the Teller of Allegory, by Sakae Esuno(Future Diary) .hack//Alcor (4 panel strips) MangaBlog reports on the webinar - Comic Worth Reading's report Viz BLEACH THE MOVIE 2: THE DiamondDust Rebellion will be released on DVD September 8th
( (C) Tite Kubo/Shueisha, TV TOKYO, dentsu, Pierrot (C) BMP 2007) 12/15 BLEACH, VOL. 23 HONEY AND CLOVER BOX SET 2 Warner Home Video THE SMURFS: VOLUME THREE

Upcoming in Japan

Previews Yamato Dance in the Vampire Bund Kaiji - based on the gambling anime/manga Nodame Cantabile Saishu Gakusho 1 & 2 - live action adaptations Anime Via Anime News Network Death Note's Takeshi Obata is creating the designs for an anime adaptation of an unnamed "literary masterpiece." Yasuomi Umetsu revealed that his next project is in its plannng phase. Weekly Shonen Magazine confirmed that the anime movie adaptation of Negima! Magister Negi Magi is due theatres in 2011 Russian character Cheburashka will star in a TV Tokyo anime series this October Manga Via Anime News Network Usamaru Furuya (Short Cuts, 51 Ways to Save Her) just launched a manga version of No Longer Human in Comic Bunch Frequent adult manga artist Benkyo Tamaoki , best known in North America for his work on the Blood: The Last Vampire, 2002 manga has launched a new manga called Kanojo no Hitorigurashi (A Woman's Single Life) in the October issue of Monthly Comic Birz magazine on Saturday. The comedy follows the life of Rika Koshimizu, a 27-year-old woman with no boyfriend or money.
Shiho Komiyuno, the artist who adapted the Demashita! PowerPuff Girls Z anime into manga, has launched a remake of Megumi Mizusawa's classic Hime-chan's Ribbon (Hime-chan no Ribon) in Ribon magazine

Event News

Regrettably, Shin Mazinger director Yasuhiro Imagawa (G Gundam, Giant Robo) and animator Tsuyoshi Nonaka have had to cancel their Anime Weekend Atlanta appearances
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Eleven Arts, a film distribution company based in Los Angeles has announced a slate of upcoming screenings of EVANGELION 1.0: YOU ARE (NOT) ALONE in Canada on September 30th and October 3rd at Empire Theaters and Cineplex Screenings in Major US Cities include 9/11- San Francisco, DC & Baltimore, Yellow Springs 9/18- New York, Honolulu, Detroit, Louisville 9/25- Los Angeles, Irvine, Atlanta, Charlotte, Minneapolis, Anchorage, San Antonio
FUNimation's schedule is online here
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Anime Expo organizers, the Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation (SPJA) announced that Michael Lattanzio will now serve as President and Chief Executive Officer for the organization.
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Geek Event Twitter Directory

Anime x Games

Nagano Mamoru (Five Star Stories, mecha design for anime such as Zeta Gundam) has design costumes for Tekken 6 Super Robot Wars Neo
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Wear Kaiju Hides In Kaiju Busters

The Business

Beleaguered North American anime publisher ADV Film (Neon Genesis Evangelion) has announced that it has sold off its assets in a series of transactions. Through an asset purchase agreement, AEsir Holdings, LLC acquired a subordinated interest in selected programming from ADV’s film library together with other intellectual property subject to all liens and security interests of the Company’s senior secured lender. The transaction requires Aesir to assume specific obligations and scheduled liabilities of the Company under legacy license agreements associated with the acquired programming. Concurrently, the ADV concluded an asset purchase agreement with SXION 23, LLC, doing business as “Section23 Films,” a home video distribution company, under which it assumes account servicing and distribution operations in connection with the library acquired by Aesir, subject to all liens and security interest of the Company's senior secured lender. John Ledford, ADV’s President and CEO, states “We believe the actions we initiated and completed provided the same or more value to the Company’s secured lender and its programming licensors while giving other key stakeholders such as employees and customers some potential value or the reasonable probability of realizing value.” In a separate transaction, Valkyrie Media Partners, LLC (“Valkyrie”) acquired a 100% equity position in Anime Network, Inc. (“ANI”), formerly ADV’s television unit, pursuant to a stock purchase agreement between ADV and Valkyrie. That transaction includes an assumption by Valkyrie of specific liens and security interests of the Company's senior secured lender. In another separate transaction, Seraphim Studios, LLC acquired Amusement Park Media, the production unit of A.D. Vision, Inc. For some previous thoughts on ADV's tribulations, see comments on the brief return of ADV Manga in 2007 (Yotsuba has subsequently been licensed by Yen Press) and managed to release a bit of Devil May Cry early last year (the title was subsequently released by FUNimation) Anime on DVD's farewell During the boom times, ADV expanded itself far too much without a sufficient revenue base or capital reserves to underwrite their many ventures. NewtypeUSA. ADV Music. ADV Manga. ADV Toys. The Anime Network (which, ironically, is thriving in spite of the rest of the company). The fantasy of producing or co-producing a live-action film based upon Evangelion. ADVocates. They licensed far too many shows for their own good (even if we, the fans, loved them for it). With the bust and the general downturn in DVD sales (which affected DVD sales across the board, not just anime DVD sales), ADV's cash flow began to dry up. The result was the closing of their second dubbing studio (Monster Island in Austin), some layoffs, and a vast reduction in the number of new licenses (which would have necessitated the closure of Monster Island anyway). This fallow period seemed to be the future until Sojitz came, with their cash and the promise of better access to Japanese properties. For a while the money helped a whole new slew of titles to come into the mix. It seemed as if a new Golden Age was upon A.D. Vision of Houston, Texas. Once outspoken, once ADV employee Avatar on the end of business ANN offers an interpretation of the press release Retailer Robert of Robert's Anime Corner Store on the announcement and transition Just got off the phone with Mike Baliff, formerly of ADV Films who is now heading up Sales and Marketing at the new company Section 23 Films. Section 23 has acquired all of ADV's former licenses and most of the staff (including Chris Oarr, Destiny, Michelle, everyone formerly at ADV that mattered), and is picking up distribution of all former ADV titles, so the DVD's will remain available and our orders will just be processed and filled by the new company. That means the changeover will be pretty much transparent to you guys. This includes pre-order items in the pipeline but not yet released. They will still be coming out, and the schedule will not change. We'll be updating our catalog over the next few days to reflect Section 23 as the new distributor of ADV's (former) titles. I also think it's worth mentioning that John Ledford is not part of the new company. Thanks very much to Mike for calling me personally to walk us through the changeover. Mike and I go back a long way, maybe 10 or 11 years, and I feel like ADV's former line of products could not have fallen into better hands.
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Updates on the disposition of CPM's assets following their bankruptcy
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ICV2 reports that the manga released in North America by Kodansha will be distributed through Random House. Kodansha continues to license manga titles to Del Rey addition to launching its own manga publishing operation in the U.S. Kodansha will be releasing Akira and Ghost in the Shell this fall
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Japanese cell phone giant DoCoMo eying the US again? Christopher Butcher on the challenges of ordering manga and the direct market
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Reuters reports Toho says Hollywood losing luster in Japan "The popularity of Japanese movies is a very good thing for us as a distributor but in terms of our cinema operations the drop-off in Hollywood movies is not something to smile about," Toho President Hideyuki Takai told Reuters in an interview.
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Mechawarrior 5 is in danger of being tied up in the famous Battle Tech/Robotech/Macross rights mess. Harmony Gold - the media company that holds the rights to the Robotech universe in the US is commencing legal action against the upcoming mech title. Harmony Gold has demanded that web sites pull the game's trailer. Harmony Gold's complaint in this instance is that the Mechwarrior 5 trailer uses designs that they own the trademark to.
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Australian article about effect of wine manga Drop of the God

Anime on Blu-ray

Ponyo will be released on Japanese Blu-ray December 8th for ¥7,140 ($77 USD) The disc will feature English subtitles. Making-of Ponyo wa Koushite Umareta will also be available for ¥11,340 ($122 USD)
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Manga Entertainment will release Blood: The Last Vampire and Ghost in the Shell 2.0 Edition will be released on Blue-ray November 24th for $29.97 each
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FUNimation will be releasing 'Tsubasa: Season One' and 'Vexille: 2 Disc Special Edition' on Blu-ray November 10th. The Fullmetal Alchemist movie will be release on Blu-ray November 17th
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Serial Experiments Lain is coming to Japanese Blu-ray from producer Kazuyuki Ueda Fortunately, film part is in decent condition. All films to be converted to HD video and digitally re-mastered. It wiill be fine. But, only half of four digital part is left. Honestly, backup for a couple dozen cuts were destructed by me, myself. It's all my fault. And also raw materials processed in cutting-room are not left. We only have Digital Beta Cam master for them.
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Classic Media will be releasing the original, complete and uncut, Japanese classic—Gojira (Godzilla)—on Blu-ray September 22 for $29.93 SRP Gojira contains 40 minutes of footage that was not seen as part of the re-edited, re-dubbed Americanized Godzilla: King of Monsters. In the US version 40 minutes were cut and 20 minutes of new scenes were added, starring Raymond Burr as an American reporter. As a result, the original tone of the movie was changed and the anti-H-Bomb message dropped. Bonus features include Making of the Suit featurette Godzilla: Story Development featurette Audio Commentary from Godzilla experts Steve Ryfle and Ed Godziszewski Original trailers

Cool Figures News

Strong Edition (as in the 10th movie) versions of One Piece's Luffy and Chopper CollectionDX reviews the amazing Getter 1 + Getmachine Eagle Repaint Ver. Revoltech Fist of the North Star juxtaposed with Revoltech Queen's Blade here and here Soul of Chogokin Big O - not due to hit the US due to name rights issues. Not so tasteful Masamune Shirow Juliona Trans Freaky He-Man Dr. Wily, Tron Bonne custom action figures

Digital Distribution

Crunchyroll and Media International Corporation (MICO) have partnered to bring the epic fantasy anime BEAST PLAYER ERIN, based on the novels by Nahoko Uehashi (Moribito), to Crunchyroll. Simulcast will begin with episode 34 September 6th . Additional prior catalog episodes of the title Title Synopsis: BEAST PLAYER ERIN ERIN has an awesome gift: she succeeded in control of the OHJU, the regal Beasts which legend claims no human can tame, with her spirit of inquiry and great zeal. As a result of this, young Erin becomes involved in a long-standing power struggle in which the fate of the entire Kingdom rests in her hands.
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Bandai Visual is working with Namco Bandai Games Inc. to offer iTunes Stores in the US and Japan. To inaugurate this launch, Namco Sounds has released tracks from PAC-MAN, Xevious, and Soulcalibur" Suite - The Resonance Of Souls And Swords. Subsequent releases from games past and present will be available on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of every month. Only available through Namco Sounds on Apples iTunes, SOULCALIBUR SUITE - THE RESONANCE OF SOULS AND SWORDS is a special soundtrack that commemorates the September 1 release of SOULCALIBUR: Broken Destiny for the PSP, performed by the Australia-based Eminence Symphony Orchestra Single tracks from PAC-MAN, Xevious, and Soulcalibur Suite - The Resonance Of Souls And Swords retail for $.99 with the entire album available for $2.97 or $2.99 respectively. Ringtones are also available in the US store.
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ExoSquad on Hulu Astro Boy(2003) on Hulu
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Sony is screening episode one of Gunslinger Girl Il Teatrino in its Playstation Home Theater from 9/3 until 9/10. The episode will run continuously 24 hours a day so fans can stop in anytime and watch it. Sony is also offering the first episode free to download from 9/3 until 9/17. This is the first time Sony is screening anime in their theater. Anime Content Available on PlayStation Network Anime Network Angelic Layer Appleseed Aquarian Age Burn Up Excess E’s Otherwise Madlax Neon Genesis Evangelion Sister Princess UFO Ultramaiden Valkyrie FUNimation Afro Samurai Ah! My Goddess Aquarion Baccano! Baldr Force EXE Basilisk Black Blood Brothers Blue Gender Burst Angel The Count of Monte Cristo: Gankutsuou Darker than BLACK Desert Punk Devil May Cry Fruit Basket Fullmetal Alchemist Gad Guard Galaxy Railways Ghost Hunt Glass Fleet Gunslinger Girl Hell Girl Heroic Age Jyu-Oh-Sei Kaze no Stigma Kiddy Grade Last Exile Moon Phase Murder Princess Mushi-Shi Negima Magister Negi Magi Ouran High School Host Club Peach Girl Project Blue Earth SOS Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles Romeo X Juliet Rumbling Hearts Samurai 7 Samurai Champloo School Rumble Shigurui: Death Frenzy Shuffle The Slayers The Slayers Next Solty Rei Speed Grapher Strain: Strategic Armored Infantry Suzuka Tony Hawk in Boom Boom Sabotage Trinity Blood Vexille Witchblade xxxHOLiC Manga Entertainment Descendents of Darkness Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex Gurren Lagann Hell Boy Animated: Sword of Storms Macross II Noein Now and Then, Here and There Rave Master Read or Die Robotech Street Fighter II V Tactics Tokko Virus Nozomi Boogiepop Phantom Gravitation Gravitation: Lyrics of Love His & Her Circumstances Shingu: Secrets of the Stellar Wars Sony Pictures Television Astro Boy Toei Animation Air Master Captain Harlock Digimon Adventure 02 First of the North Star Galaxy Express 999 Slam Dunk Viz Media Bleach Death Note Naruto Wep Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs Voltron
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The Anime Network website has begun streaming the Clannad After Story and He is my Master

Update on the Return of Sailor Moon

Moon Chase has an update on the extra-Japanese resurgence of Sailor Moon AnimeFun finally posted the last part of their interview with Mediaset Programming Director, Fabrizio Margaria... Q: I have learned that Sailor Moon will go back on the air on a pay channel on Mediaset Premium, Hiro, a channel that is entirely dedicated to Japanese animation that we love a lot! Is there some remote possibility that this series can be broadcast on Italy 1? Will you be using the old [Italian] dub, or will you make a new one that is close to the original? Will there still be censorship? And above all, has the release also freed the rights for sales of DVD and the manga of Sailor Moon? A: Sailor Moon will be broadcast on Italy 1 next autumn. I have been requested that the dub is not touched at all, even though I have heard complaints over all of the edits made to the original. I do not know anything about DVD or manga rights, but I suppose that it may be possible. ... "We asked the head of Kodansha, the licensor of the Sailor Moon manga, but we have been told that the situation on the manga rights has not changed and that it is not yet possible to publish Sailor Moon in Italy. We have to be patient. unfortunately."

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  • Sept. 8, 2009, 12:05 p.m. CST

    interesting...

    by Nerd_Rage_Retard_Strength

  • Sept. 8, 2009, 12:16 p.m. CST

    Hmm, I love the animated MUSHI...don't think...

    by FlickaPoo

    ...I need a live action. The clean, spare animation and lush backgrounds are a big part of the appeal. Great to watch right before bed...the show hypnotizes you right into a dream state...

  • Sept. 8, 2009, 12:20 p.m. CST

    No Tokyo, No Akira!

    by GravyAkira

    Akira set in Manhattan is kinda like Michael Jordan playing baseball rather than basketball.

  • Sept. 8, 2009, 12:22 p.m. CST

    Akira question (no spoilers, please!)

    by GravitysRainbow

    I just finished Vol. 1. I'm trying to find the most cost efficient way of getting through the rest of them. Is there an alternative to purchasing the other volumes in hardcover?

  • Sept. 8, 2009, 12:26 p.m. CST

    Mushi-shi

    by Dollar Bird

    has been the best anime series I have ever seen. Quiet, contemplative, dark, and honest. The mushi all are metaphors for people's fears and seeing how they deal with the mushi sheds light on how individuals face the frightening realities of life, especially the loss of a loved one. Great, great series.

  • Sept. 8, 2009, 12:41 p.m. CST

    live action Akira would be the greatest movie of all time

    by Al_Shut

    if directed by Luc Besson

  • Sept. 8, 2009, 12:47 p.m. CST

    re: GravitysRainbow

    by ScottGreen

    Some of the later volumes of the Dark Horse release are a bit hard to find and can be pricey. You might be stuck following the new Kodansha release. It's worth it. Akira develops in an interesting, direction, with some of the movie's minor points developing into significant plot threads. If it happens, it'll be strange to see the movie try to rework the manga's political sentiments to reflect America,

  • Sept. 8, 2009, 12:48 p.m. CST

    love that naruto fight scene

    by HaterofCrap

    no shaky cam, you can fuckin see whats going on. learn from it, hollywood hack losers.

  • Sept. 8, 2009, 12:49 p.m. CST

    AKIRA

    by CharyouTree

    Is my all time favourite. Greatest Book, Movie and Soundtrack, EVER. And a live action movie I would welcome<p>GravitysRainbow you can download them online if you wish. Also I've been meaning to get Mushi for awhile is it any good? I was slightly dissapointed with Steamboy.

  • Sept. 8, 2009, 12:49 p.m. CST

    this one

    by HaterofCrap

    http://tinyurl.com/l5fjwb

  • Sept. 8, 2009, 12:59 p.m. CST

    Yamato, Fuck Yeah!!

    by Stalkeye

  • Sept. 8, 2009, 1:56 p.m. CST

    Can't wait to see Mushi-shi

    by StrokerX

    looks great! Domu is the greatest thing EVER btw.

  • Sept. 8, 2009, 1:57 p.m. CST

    My anime inspired comic is in a DC Comics contest

    by StrokerX

    over at www.zuda.com. It's a science fiction yarn called Goldilock. Please go vote!

  • Sept. 8, 2009, 2:01 p.m. CST

    NEO MANHATTEN?!!

    by spider_neil

    BULLSHIT!! if it isn't set in japan why bother?

  • Sept. 8, 2009, 2:45 p.m. CST

    How can it be called Akira

    by Defrost

    and be set in America? Is America supposed to be experimenting on the Japanese?

  • Sept. 8, 2009, 3:10 p.m. CST

    Defrost (Akira Spoilers!)

    by vadakinX

    Apparently, After Akira goes nuclear in New Manhattan, the Japanese buy the entire island because the "attack" has left the American economy in tatters...or something along those lines. So what you end up with is Japanese and American cultures meshing together in a Japan-owned Manhattan Island. <p> We then follow the adventures of Kaneda and Travis...I'm not kidding....Tetsuo has been renamed. <p> Imagine Kaneda on his bike, gun in hand, screaming: TRAVIS!!!!!!!!!! <p> And there's your Americanised Akira

  • Sept. 8, 2009, 3:16 p.m. CST

    Live action Akira

    by Johnno

    As far as what we know, the American Adaptation takes place in Manhattan after the Akira disaster. A world war takes place and America gets all fucked up. Later Neo-Manhattan is then rebuilt with funding from the Japanese government and designed with Japanese aesthetics. So It'll pretty much be Neo-Tokyo, except in Manhattan with White people. Akira is a minor character who never says much anyway... so I'm sure they'll pick some asian kid to play Akira. The question is who plays Kaneda and Tetsuo... It'll likely be American actors, and their names could change or they could jsut be given Japanese names for whatever reason. Yeah it's pretty much all fucked up and I'd prefer to see it take place in Tokyo wit Asian actors much like what Memoirs of a Geisha did. I'm not asking specifically for Japanese actors if they're hard to come by in terms of speaking english well. So long as they look Japanese and play a Japanese character it's alright by my book. But there's really no hope of that happening. But so long as this is indeed being made into a trilogy/2 movie deal covering the manga and is given the budget and effects work of an event film! that translates all the crazy shit that happens in the manga, then this will be a spectacle for the ages!!! I very much look forward to it. I'm okay with the consession of moving it to America so long as they find a way to translate the aesthetics and every detail from the manga in all it's sheer spectacle and violence into an R movie, then I'm totally down with that!!! There's no way they'll get away with making this PG-13... that's what we should worry about! Americanize Akira - I'll cope. Watered down Akira - FUCK YOU HOLLYWOOD! 2-3 movies and R rated, or GTFO!

  • Sept. 8, 2009, 3:20 p.m. CST

    And 'Travis' is fucking dumb!

    by Johnno

    Just call the white guys Kaneda & Tetsuo, and say they were white orphans raised in some Japanese run institution. Change the political messages in the movie to sort of reflect American pride and nationalism against Japanese/UN occupation or some shit and it'll work out! Someone get in touch with Leonardo Dicaprio and tell him I'll make a simple fucking outline for him free of charge!

  • Sept. 8, 2009, 5:20 p.m. CST

    vadakinX

    by mode_7

    Please tell me you're joking. Travis???!!!

  • Sept. 8, 2009, 5:45 p.m. CST

    It's no Joke

    by vadakinX

    I wish it were. This isn't Dragonball where you can cast a white guy as Goku because the character is an alien. Tetsuo, Kaneda and the others are Japanese characters in a Japanese story set in a Japanese city. <p> So of course the studio wants to change everything. Yeesh.

  • Sept. 8, 2009, 6:35 p.m. CST

    I'd be more excited about Domu

    by StovetopStuffin'

    That would make a killer movie!

  • Sept. 8, 2009, 8:05 p.m. CST

    StovetopStuffin

    by StrokerX

    That's what I'm doing when I get to Hollywood! It's been my dream job ever since reading it. No one really knows about Domu and it's greatness. It seriously is the best thing ever. <p> Now go vote for my comic Goldilock dammit! www.zuda.com :D hehe I'm a whore!

  • And make it exactly like this: <br>tinyurl.com/56or9m<br><br>I'd pay good money for that!

  • Sept. 8, 2009, 11:36 p.m. CST

    Next: Adam Shankman's My Neighbor Totoro

    by Toilet_Terror

    Set in Beverly Hills, starring Mike Myers.

  • Sept. 9, 2009, 1:25 a.m. CST

    Fucking Hollywood

    by Uridium

    You cant set Akira in Manhattan. Holy Jeebus, thats a crock of shit. Oh and its is NEVER going to be an R rated film. If they are going big budget then they will want all the teenagers in there watching it. Watchmen killed the big budget R rated film (unfortunatly).

  • Sept. 9, 2009, 8:22 a.m. CST

    you ppl need to peep Avatar: The Last Airbender

    by Judge Briggs

    That is some quality!

  • Sept. 9, 2009, 8:39 a.m. CST

    'Akira' is the only anime...

    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

    I've ever watched and enjoyed. We're remaking it? Big fucking suprise.

  • Sept. 9, 2009, 11:56 a.m. CST

    Re:'Akira' is the only anime...

    by Stalkeye

    Then you missed out on a lot of good stuff that Anime has to offer;Helsing Ultimate,Gungrave,Ninja Scrol,Wicked City,End of Evangelion,Appleseed,Speed Grapher,Cowboy Bebop,Samurai Champloo,Gatchaman 94,etc.<p>Yeah, I can't blame you for watching only one Anime based film or series as there is soo much to choose from.It can often consume plenty of one's precious time..trust me I know.

  • Sept. 9, 2009, 5:18 p.m. CST

    AKIRA Blueray = P.O.S.

    by CENOBITE

    wow, I was hoping they would have used a clean copy of the movie, but WOW... so much dust, it's like watching an old 8mm home movie. So sad

  • Sept. 10, 2009, 2:13 a.m. CST

    Otomo and Domu

    by conbarba

    Well, Guillermo del Toro announced in theonering.net that he will start soon a new project and the key letter is "D". He was after the Domu rights for so many years, maybe he just got them. So maybe we have a live action adpatation fo Domu coming soon.

  • Sept. 10, 2009, 11:18 p.m. CST

    Gungrave & del Toro on Domu

    by Xanthos Samurai

    I'm so glad to hear someone else singing Gungrave's praises. It's a fantastic series and criminally underviewed and underrated. I have no idea why it gets such little recognition considering that it is one of the best series I've ever seen. Sadly, I heard a rumor that Gungrave is going to fall victim to a live-action adaptation as well, but maybe it's just a rumor. I can't even begin to imagine how bad a Gungrave adaptation could suck in the wrong hands. ...However if del Toro really does have his hands on the Domu rights, it might just even it out. We can only hope.

  • Sept. 15, 2009, 11:58 p.m. CST

    CENOBITE

    by Johnno

    Heh... that's the power of blu-ray! The transfer is so precise that it actually shows you the dust and light reflections on the original animation cells! : P

  • Jan. 18, 2010, 4:28 p.m. CST

    Re

    by KimGi28

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