Manga Spotlight: Twin Spica Volume 2 by Kou Yaginuma Released by Vertical
Volume two of Twin Spica launches small, poor girl Asumi into the school used to groom Japan's youth for its relaunched space program. This story of a girl in an exceptional, imagination capturing school is at least as effecting as the scholastic based bits of Harry Potter. In fact, Harry Potter fans looking for something new to read, grab Twin Spica. This isn't to say that there's a unique bridge, overlap or even a tangential connection. They do however work some of the same triggers. Depending on age, school feels like or felt like something decisive. In a story like Harry Potter or Twin Spica, that sense that it all depends on what you're during is cast into a more explicit proving ground. In the lead defining themselves around the stakes set up in their academic journey, it's the familiar, made more pronounced. As in its first volume, Twin Spica is still driven by Asumi's big, imagination capturing dream of going into space. However, now that she's on the path to that goal, it has started to become involved with specific obstacles. Skill have to be mastered. People have to be contended with. Twin Spica has its audience hooked by virtue of its small, vulnerable lead with her disproportionately big hope, but it is affectingly careful about how it continues to reel in the audience. Expected outcomes are achieved. For example, Asumi starts to win over initially stand-off-ish peers. And through her striving, she does chalk up accomplishments and assert herself as a worthy if unlikely member of the student body. At the same time, not everything develops as expected. It seems like some of what might be expected to be constants aren't constant. Doubtless Kou Yaginuma had the manga planned out, but the resulting story feels malleable, ready to shift depending on how its heroine can manage a given test. Though the template for this sort of story has its imprint pressed into Twin Spica, it manages to feel surprising. The jump from the expected fosters a curiosity concerning how will develop and resolve. The flip side here is that Twin Spica is a delicate manga. If an element of the manga takes you out of the story and causes you to think about it as a fictional construct, that knocks a considerable hole in the experience. It has its own rules in this regard. It's not the elements of magical realism in the science involved story that'll do it. And it's not the characters that seem constructed to fit into plot niches. It's when a character whose relationship to Asumi comprises one of the manga's spokes doesn't behave or react in a way you credit. Cases where the issue crop up are rare, and the blemishes serve to demonstrate how powerfully human the rest of the manga is.
Manga Spotlight: Battle Angel Alita: Last Order Volume 13 by Yukito Kishiro Released by VIZ Media
Apparently, Battle Angel Alita is on the brink of a second defenestration. Creator Yukito Kishiro got into a spat with his editor concerning how he referred to mental illness. Kishiro gave in to his editor, then blogged that he regretted that decision and may discontinue his manga. Last Order is published in a monthly anthology and the US release is two volumes behind the Japanese. As such, Kishiro might reverse his decision before it becomes an issue for English language readers. But, beyond that, Last Order does not need an ending to be enjoyable. It's not the Battle Angel Alita that James Cameron keeps saying he's developing. The pleasure of Last Order is its hybrid of crazed, detailed Masamune Shirow style inspiration and warriors as extravegent as anything in fight manga. Yukito Kishiro's original Battle Angel Alita was an evolving work. Kishiro developed and explored his style and his storytelling, but he also changed his character. She starts the manga as a tabula rasa brain in a cybnetic bust. Discovered by a doctor in a dystopian dumping ground, she was given a new body and new life. That life evolved as she went from adolescent to athlete to wanderer to soldier. That trajectory was cut short and given a hasty blow off in 1995. Kishiro's dissatisfaction with the ending and desire to see the Alita story leave her junk yard home for the stars didn't stay much of a secret. Kishiro did not close the book on his creation. The same year the manga ended, he published his Sin City-esque prequel Ashen Victor. In 1997, he began publishing Alita Gaiden side stories. In 1998 he kicked off, Aqua Knight, sortof set in the same universe as Alita, but a very distinct piece thereof. And, the same year, the Alita story was continued with the game Martian Memory. As he's stated I started to draw GUNNM published at BUSSINESS JUMP in November 1990 when it was in last stage of bubble economy in Japan, and ended in March 1995 when "Tokyo subway sarin gas attack" caused great sensation. To tell the truth, in February 1994, one year before the end of GUNNM, "an affair" happened to me, and I was utterly dejected by it. I cannot say the details, but its great shock almost disabled me to continue GUNNM series, both in mental and physical aspect. But GUNNM series was not ended. Responsibility made me grit my teeth and continue to draw it. If you read GUNNM in BUSSINESS JUMP then, you know GUNNM series was reduced to once a month from biweekly, and number of pages was not constant. In the summer of 1994, at the meeting with chief editor of BUSSINESS JUMP, I told that I could not continue GUNNM series for a long time and wanted to end it early next year. At that time, I already had a concept of "Space Story" that Gally (Alita) goes to space through SALEM(TIPHARES) and JERU (KETHERES). So as a creator, it was regretful. But as a man, it was a limit. In the early spring of 1995, I struugled to write last installment of GUNNM series. I changed its plot at the eleventh hour and ended GUNNM series with the last episode of "SALEM(TIPHARES) Crash". I hated even to remember GUNNM for a while, but in the autumn of 1995, I thought by other media I might be able to write "Space Story" of my regret. So I made a plan of "role playing game of GUNNM" and had a meeting with game maker. This plan became Playstation game "GUNNM memory of the Mars" after. And in the spring of 1996, I painted illustrations for GUNNM Novels, and at that time, my damage that I felt when GUNNM ended was fairy eased. And I wrote 3 supplementary anecdotes of GUNNM from late of 1996 to the end of 1997. "GUNNM memory of the Mars" was planned to be released in 1997 when supplementary anecdotes of GUNNM was going, but it was delayed to next year, 1998. And besides, some troubles happened in the backstage before its release, I felt a great regret again. From the end of 1998, publication of "GUNNM delux books" which was a nickname of "GUNNM complete edition" started. Its publication was a promises of Mr.Tomita (chief editor of ULTRAJUMP) from ULTRAJUMP had been launched. And it was also a project that realize his ambition. He had wanted to publish books with CD-ROM for a long time. Finally, It was published not with CD-ROM, but with DVD because of changes of the times. And this publication became a trigger for me to determine to write "Space Story of my regret". After a few transitional volumes, Kishiro built out Last Order into an engine. This was not new chapter's of Alita's life story. It became a fantastic exploration of genre fiction through the explosive tradition of tournament action manga. It yielded wowing creations wushu Habsburg vampire and sci-fi's most phallic kaiju. Though already longer than the original Alita, narratively, it's done far less. Though there is not much of an evident larger purpose, it's geek fun of the highest order. Featuring a separate bracket of the central fighting tournament, volume 13 of Battle Angel Alita: Last Order has little of Alita and her Angel companions. Instead it is the battle between the Allied Space Karate forces, karate robots including resolute Super-electromagnetic karate disciple Toji, lobster-esque recently introduced defense-oriented master of Super-carapace karate Taraba, emaciated, dangerously pervy master of armor piecing karate Rakan, and uber-macho world beater, Zekka. Their oponents are genetically engineered abominations constructed by the aristocrats of Venus' Genome Kingdom - a pair of kaiju - 500 ton T-Rex with pincher tail and bio-missile firing spinal scales Violent Monster Bigorne, laser firing wolf Chichevache, and team lead, and tragic Beast, dreaming of devouring his Beauty, Homme de Feu. Only from Kishiro would we get warrior wisdom spouting robo martial artists trading karate forms with sci-fi augmented Euro-fable beast. A Hieronymus Bosch vision spawning and launching fish missiles from its back, only to have the barrage deflected by the punch from the hip of a Rock-em Sock-em Robot in a gi; that isn't diminished by the absence of a resolution to an overarching story that has almost always been of secondary importance to Last Order. It's not that the manga has been an incoherent stream of ideas. It's that narrative has been one of its least interesting features. For a carnival of oddities fighting each other, few works of any medium come close to Last Order. In terms of offering value for the nerd buck, Kishiro is the best at what he does.
Manga Spotlight: Hyde & Closer by Haro Asa Released by Viz Media Also serialized on Shonen Sunday
Jojo's Bizarre Adventure was a classic Shonen Jump manga. Its initial Phantom Blood stage focused on the heroics of Victorian gentleman Jonathan Joestar, who employed the Ripple martial art to stop his killer vampire foster brother Dio. The second part, Battle Tendency, cut to Jonathan's Jazz Age, giddy globetrotting adventurer grandson Joseph Joestar, who employed even more flamboyant martial arts against more vampire. This was a guy who'd match fists with super-blood suckers over pits of spikes or while engaged in a Ben Hur style chariot race. The third part, the part released in North America by Viz and adapted into anime, Stardust Crusaders, cuts again, this time to Joseph Joestar's half Japanese grandson, Jotaro Kujoh... an intelligent, standoff teen, violently rebelling as a response to his belief that he's become haunted by a malignant spirit. After a montage of his idyllic childhood, his phase of the manga opens with Jotaro shotgunning a Heineken while locked up in a prison cell. Still physically capable and still an adventurer, an Indiana Jones fedora capped Joseph Joestar turns up to set his grandson straight, and brag about how many plane crashes he survived. It turns out Dio survived his conflict with Jonathan, and is now ready to send his proxies out to make matters difficult for the Joestar descendants. With both parodies and straight action frequently tipping their hats to the series, comparable to Fist of the North Star, Jojo's Bizarre Adventure's signature is inscribed all over anime and manga. Imagine if, rather than being resolute, Jotaro was defined by his self doubt. And, rather than a scruffy veteran adventurer, Joseph was a fedora clad, cigar chomping teddy bear with a chainsaw sewn/sealed in his back. That's Hyde and Closer. Overly tentative Shunpei Closer is the grandson of globetrotting once king of Sorcerers Alsyd Closer. Shunpei receives a stuffed bear from his missing grandfather, and that bear becomes animated with Alsyd's spirit as other exotic magic users start turning up and attempting to assault Shunpei via their own toy proxies. Hyde & Closer is manga that does what it says on the tin. JoJo bear kicks ass; chain saw duels; leaps off a roof and throws a school locker through a window; throws accelerant on a creepy horror movie-esque doll, lights himself on fire with a stove and charges his porcelain faced foe. It's seven volumes long, a reasonably brief span for a manga series that runs in Shonen Sunday, home of Ranma 1/2 and Detective Conan. That suggest that the manga doesn't have, the legs to churns out as many interesting confrontations as Jojo's, hidden depths or fascinating qualities to the characters that the first volume did not have time to showcase. The manga's creator Haro Aso was an assistant to Zatch Bell's Makoto Raiku. Both manga go for a contrast between the teen lead and his human/Pokemon hybrid fighting partner. Zatch Bell paired a sour, introverted intellect with a sunny, curious Poke-person. There isn't less potential in the Hyde and Closer matching of a kid prone to doubt paralysis and a stuffed bear who keeps attacking even after his body is stuck through with a multitude of kitchen utensils. But, Haro Aso isn't Makoto Raiku. Aso work is sometimes too much in a good way, as in the action sequences mentioned above. But, it's often too much in a bad way. Frowning, weeping Shunpei is difficult to take. It seems like he has to tip over into heroism rather than develop it. At the same time, with all of the manga's lines and extreme close-ups it's busy rather than manically energetic. These issues do not render the manga unenjoyable, but they do encumber it. Making it too broad, they limit it, and make it difficult to get around and embrace it. Hyde and Closer also suffers from the Case Closed/Detective Conan problem. The manga has a young audience aesthetic and the perspective involved matches that by skewing young. Yet, the manga is rated for older teens, and given its violence, the recommendation is not unjustifiable. While there is fun to be had for that older audience, slightly younger readers would be more likely to thrill at the antics than those who have more hard core action fare within their reach.
Manga Spotlight: Chi's Sweet Home Volumes 1 and 2 by Kanata Konami Released by Vertical
One of the manga tradition's remarkable qualities is its ability to fascinate readers who are not pre-disposed to be interested in the subject it addresses. In fact, it's famously the inverse. Japanese interest in basketball grew because of Slam Dunk. Hikaru no Go spawned a resurgence of the classic game, go. However, in that I didn't come away from Chi's Sweet Home wanting to adopt a cat, I'm not sure that the generalization applies to this manga. Chi's Sweet Home concerns a kitten separated from its mother who is taken in by a couple and their young son. In the early goings, Chi's sniffing around and wrestling with sneakers are interrupted by sudden memories of her mother, and the family's apartment complex has a rule against keeping pet. That's what passes for drama here. So, the ten page stories follow Chi as the kitten is trained to urinate on a box of shredded paper or discovers the joy of chasing after bouncing balls. The cat is minimally anthropomorphized. Her thoughts are verbalized, and even given mannerisms such as childish mispronunciation, but there's an evident intension to keep her thinking like a cat. Prior to the release of the manga, Chi's had some anime/manga fan awareness in North America due in part to a run of episodes on Crunchyroll. These were three minute shorts, with descriptive titles like "Chi, smell things" "Chi, frets" or "Chi, goes into the yard," but due to its attention commanding cuteness, Chi garnered some talk. There was a lot of breathless anticipation expressed when Vertical announced the licensing and oo-ing and ah-ing when people saw a bit. Following some of the vocal proponents on Twitter, it certainly seems like Chi's is adored by cat, or at least pet loving audiences. As someone who is neither bothered by or drawn to critters, I have to say that Chi's didn't exactly melt my frozen heart. I found Chi's to be a low key pleasure and appreciated its precise truthfulness to cattishness. However, I wasn't left agape by its darling cuteness. The joy of watching a cat play is well translated into manga, but for someone who isn't a cat lover, it didn't have the mood/perception altering power of more human manga, like Yotsuba&! Maybe deeper recognition of cat behavior gives the manga the needed extra juice to be as adorable as some have said to find it. Chi fits into a tradition of pet manga, and when a work like that makes it over to North America, it raises the question as to how appropriate is it for all ages/audiences. I've second guess Yotsuba's appropriatness, and like Yotsuba, Chi's runs in a seinen anthology for older male audiences. Yet, there's a distinction here. Yotsuba&! runs in Dengeki Daioh, an anthology that specializes in showcasing cute girls for that audience. Chi's runs in Morning, an anthology that's as eclectic as any. It's run Makoto Kobayashi's cat based What's Michael?, published in North America by Dark Horse, that mixed Chi style pet stories, with more anthropomorphic ones, with more bizarre or pop-culture parody comedy sequences. And, it's the anthology that house perennial kids' recommendation Gon, Masashi Tanaka's wordless, painstakingly rendered nature studies, humorously intruded upon by a micro t-shirt. However, it's also home to soccer title Giant Killer, the anime of which is streaming in North America, Monster/20th Century Boys creator Naoki Urasawa's look at the significance of symbols, Billy Bat, Youji Fukuyama's manga version of Don Giovanni, Kaiji Kawaguchi's provocative look at World War II Zipang, Go Nagai's older audience revisitation of a classic Devilman Lady, Takehiko Inoue's much praised look at the life of "Sword Saint" Miyamoto Musashi, Vagabond, Moebius and Jiro Taniguchi's Icaro, Moyoko Anno's look at the life of a career woman, Hataraki Man , and many other notables. As such, this will be one case in which I don't read much extra out of the manga's context. Chi's is in color, its pages are flipped to left to right orientation, and it generally features large panels. It seems that its page layouts could be easily read by young audiences and those who have trouble with the manga/comic medium. Where they to come into the manga with little affection for the subject, as I did, they'd probably find it a pleasure read. If they actually had some affection for felines, it's going to be adorable all the way.
If you're not at Comic Con, on July 24th fifty-five comic book shops across the country will host parties in conjunction with ChinaShop Magazine and Dark Horse Comics to celebrate the of sequential art. Branded #NotAtComicCon, based on the Twitter hash-tag those unable to attend San Diego Comic-Con have been using, fifty-five participating stores will create a fun and creative atmosphere where free drinks and over $200 worth of Dark Horse prizes will be available. In addition, Dark Horse Comics will make an exclusive announcement to fans at participating stores before releasing the special information to crowds in San Diego.
For a list of participating stories see here *Dark Horse's Comic Con signing schedule of AICN Anime note RIDAY, JULY 23: 10:00 - 11:00 Stan Sakai: Usagi Yojimbo SATURDAY, JULY 24: 11:00 – 12:00 Shinjuku: Yoshitaka Amano, Mink (*ticketed event: See Dark Horse employee for details) 4:00 - 5:00 Adam Warren: Empowered SUNDAY, JULY 25: 1:00 – 2:00 Shinjuku: Yoshitaka Amano, Mink (*ticketed event: See Dark Horse employee for details) *This year's Giant Robot booth (1729, as always) at Comic-Con will feature the following appearances: Thursday, July 22, 12:00 - 2:00 Artist David Choe will be signing his brand-new, hardcover monograph from Chronicle, as well as the Giant Robot booth's exclusive new Munko figure. Friday, July 23, 12:00 - 2:00 Artist David Choe will be signing his brand-new, hardcover monograph from Chronicle, as well as the Giant Robot booth's exclusive new Munko figure. Saturday, July 24, 11:00 - 12:00 David Horvath, artist and co-creator of Uglydoll indie plush toys, will be signing hand-painted custom figures. *Shocker Toys (booth 3849) include Mallows Hunter Rose (Grendel), Lord Death (Soul Eater) and Luffy (One Piece) Also available at the Funimation and Viz booths). *FUNimation's Comic Con plans *Yamato USA's Comic Con Booth (4429) will feature Fantasy Figure Gallery: Black Tinkerbell (Luis Royo) Limited Edition Resin Fantasy Figure Gallery: The Touch of Ice (Luis Royo) Pre-Production Sample There's also a Fantasy Figure Gallery: Medusa’s Gaze (Luis Royo) autographed by the Luis Roy give-away *Seven Sea's Booth(#2301-2303) features BOOKS FOR SALE Amazing Agent Luna Omnibus 1-2, Aoi House Omnibus 1-2, Arkham Woods, Avalon: The Warlock Diaries 1-3, Avalon: Web of Magic 1-2, Dance in the Vampire Bund 1-7, Destiny's Hand Omnibus, It Takes A Wziard, Hollow Fields Omnibus, Kashimashi Omnibus 1-2. AUTOGRAPH SIGNINGS FRIDAY, JULY 23 3:00 - 4:00 PM AMAZING AGENT LUNA & DESTINY'S HAND signing with writers NUNZIO DEFILIPPIS & CHRISTINA WEIR 4:00 - 5:00 PM AOI HOUSE signing with writer ADAM ARNOLD SATURDAY, JULY 24 2:00 - 3:00 PM AMAZING AGENT LUNA & DESTINY'S HAND signing with writers NUNZIO DEFILIPPIS & CHRISTINA WEIR 3:00 - 4:00 PM AOI HOUSE signing with writer ADAM ARNOLD SUNDAY, JULY 25 (Kid's Day) 12:00 - 1:00 PM AMAZING AGENT LUNA & DESTINY'S HAND signing with writers NUNZIO DEFILIPPIS & CHRISTINA WEIR *Shout Factory (booth 3749) exclusives include Purchase Max Headroom: The Complete Series and receive an exclusive 8x10 cast shot. Purchase both Dark And Stormy Night and The Lost Skeleton Returns Again and receive a bonus DVD, Tales From The Pub, featuring a series of film shorts from the same crew. Purchase either Gamera DVD and receive a limited-edition 8-postcard pack. Purchase G.I. Joe: The Movie on DVD or Blu-ray and receive a free G.I. Joe dogtag flash drive. Purchase Piranha on DVD or Blu-ray and receive an exclusive Piranha poster! *Actor-authors Yuri Lowenthal and Tara Platt have released Voice-Over Voice Actor: What It’s Like Behind the Mic Platt and Lowenthal will be selling their book, speaking on panels and signing autographs at SDCC. The book is distributed nationally through Emerald Book Group and is available on-line and in brick and mortar shops like Borders, Barnes & Noble and specialty theatre bookstores like Samuel French. Voice-Over Voice Actor also recently became available as an eBook on lulu.com and will be available for the iPad soon. * Warner Bros. Entertainment’s limited-edition, signature oversize canvas will be available at Comic Con with designs from WBE divisions, including Warner Bros. Television, Warner Bros. Animation, Warner Bros. Pictures, Warner Home Entertainment, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and DC Entertainment. More than 125,000 collectible bags have been produced and will be distributed to attendees when they check in at Comic-Con throughout the five days of the convention, including Preview Night Designs include Warner Bros. Animation series “The Looney Tunes Show,” coming soon to Cartoon Network Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment’s “Batman: The Brave and the Bold – The Videogame DC Comics’ best-selling “Brightest Day” comic book series Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s Blu-ray™, DVD and digital download release of Warner Bros. Pictures’ “Clash of the Titans,” available July 27 *Deb Aoki lists Top 20 Must-See Manga Events at Comic-Con 2010 The Manga Critic list *Animated comedy DEATH ROW DIET, starring Jonathan Katz and Tom Leopold, will be screened at the San Diego Comic Con on Thursday, July 22. The animated short was directed by Mike Salva and Tom Snyder. *Frequent anime theme song performers Dir en grey will be touring North America from August 23 to September 11. *NYCFF will be presenting the east coast premiere of Goro Miyazaki's Tales From Earthsea Sun, Aug 1 - 11:00am - IFC Center, 323 Sixth Avenue (at West Third) One Show Only Free Posters And Miyazaki Dvds To The First Families In Line The film is set in a medieval world of castles and dragons, a world that has been thrown into chaos by an imbalance of magical forces and is being overtaken by a dark sorcerer on a quest to attain immortality. Meanwhile, troubled young Prince Arren is pursued by demons of his own, until he falls in with the master wizard Sparrowhawk and young Therru - another in a long line of strong-willed Miyazaki female protagonists - and together they set out to defeat the sorcerer and restore balance to Earthsea. Featuring voices of Timothy Dalton, Mariska Hargitay, and Willem Dafoe as the demonic Cob, a goth villain of indeterminate gender, who comes across as the evil lovechild of Morticia and Stardust-era Bowie. Comment: Rated PG-13, film contains animated violence and bloodshed. other screenings include Los Angeles (The Landmark) 11:50 a.m. — 2:20 p.m. — 4:50 — 7:20 — 9:45 San Francisco (The Kabuki) 1:40 p.m. — 4:20 — 7:20 — 9:35 Seattle (Harvard Exit) 1:30 p.m. — 4:15 — 7:00 — 9:40 Honolulu (Victoria Ward) Showtimes to be determined *Anime Festival Orlando will take place August 6-8 at the Wyndham Orlando Resort This year, AFO is honored to have Sonny Strait, Reuben Langdon, Dan Southworth, Jason David Frank, David Yost, Tony Oliver and Tommy Yune as guests at their event. > Sonny Strait is best known for his voice acting on popular anime series Fullmetal Alchemist as the beloved character Maes Hughes. Other fan favorites include his work on Lupin III, Dragon Ball Z and One Piece. Despite his obvious talents as a voice actor, Sonny is also an extremely gifted and successful artist. His art can be seen in several comic strips and even the time honored Elfquest. Reuben Langdon and Dan Southworth are most beloved for their work as brothers at odds against each other in the Devil May Cry videogame series. However, they are both extraordinarily talented stunt coordinators and performers. With credits such as James Cameron’s Avatar (Reueben) and The Scorpion King (Dan) under their belts these actors are a force to be reckoned with for any foe. The Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers is a long lived, and much loved series. This year AFO attendees will have the opportunity to meet two of the series’ most popular actors, David Yost and Jason David Frank. David played Billy for many years and now works not only as a successful actor, but as a producer as well. Through his 12 year run as Tommy, Jason David Frank has actually played more colors than any other Ranger and has had the longest run appearing in 4 different Power Ranger series. Though still working as an actor, Jason David Frank is also a champion MMA fighter. Though Tony Oliver and Tommy Yune are also multitalented industry professionals with many years in the entertainment business, they are both known and loved most for their work on Robotech. Despite the many roles Tony has portrayed over the last 25 years, he got his start as the lead role of Rick Hunter on the original American incarnation of Robotech. Helping launch Robotech.com in 2001, Tommy has since become the Creative Director at Harmony Gold, having overseen the development of Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles. *Anime Weekend Atlanta has announced the guests for this year's convention AWA is proud to have SHINJI ARAMAKI as this year's guest. His credits include Full Metal Alchemist (Production Design), Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles (Original Mechanical Design), and Soul Eater (Conceptual Designer). This year's guests includes voice talent such as LAURA BAILEY (Soul Eater, Shin Chan, Full Metal Alchemist), SAMANTHA INOUE HARTE (Sakura Wars, Soul Hunter), VIC MIGNOGNA (Full Metal Alchemist, Macross, Dragonball Z, Saiyuki), AMY HOWARD WILSON (Star Blazers, Irresponsible Captain Tylor) TRAVIS WILLINGHAM (Full Metal Alchemist, Naruto,) MIKE SINTERNIKLAAS (Full Metal Alchemist, The Venture Bros., Kappa Mikey) , artists JENNIE BREEDEN (The Devil's Panties), ROBERT AND EMILY DEJESUS (Studio Capsule), RIKKI & TAVI SIMONS (Tavicat), TIM ELDRED ( Star Blazers.com, Grease Monkey) and industry figures such as CARL GUSTAV HORN (Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service, Evangelion, Oh My Goddess), NEIL NADELMAN (Gundam, Macross, Utena, Code Geass, Slayers, Fist Of The North Star), JONATHAN TARBOX (Raijin Comics, CMX Manga), DAVID WILLIAMS (Sentai Filmworks), author HELEN McCARTHY (The Art of Osamu Tezuka: God of Comics), and more to be announced soon. * *If you're around Kobe
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*The Yayoi Museum museam is current hosting an exhibit look at the work of Guin Saga creator Kaoru Kurimoto
Upcoming in North America
Imagi, or laid of their own animation department after Astro Boy has posted a new Gatchaman teaser
*Takeshi Koike's (The Animatrix's "World Record") highly anitcipated racing anime Red Line is listed on Manga Entertainment's slate of upcoming releases. *Larry Kenney, the original voice of Lion-O, will be returning for the new Thundercats, scheduled to hit Cartoon Network in 2011 new photos of the live action Priest adaptation An Avatar: The Last Airbender follow-up animation has been confirmed The series will build on the “mythology” of the original “The Last Airbender” series, which inspired this summer’s live-action movie from filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan. The “Legend of Korra” is from the creator-producers of “Avatar: The Last Airbender.” Nickelodeon executive Brown Johnson says the new series will focus on a teenage girl avatar named Korra. Brown describes her as hotheaded, independent and “ready to take on the world.” FUNimation Today Cybergraphix Animation announced the addition of Boo Boo Stewart (Seth Clearwater, Twilight Saga) to the cast of the upcoming anime DVD feature Guardians of Luna. Boo Boo will play Jake Segerstrom alongside fellow Twilighter Kellan Lutz in the dark-action film, which will be completed in Fall 2011, and distributed by FUNimation Entertainment in North America. Guardians of Luna centers around Carson Stone, who has come to Steelhenge looking for answers about his lineage. Driven by a mysterious letter from his father, what Carson uncovers is a city bearing an ancient curse. With each full moon, the city is terrorized by a pack of vicious werewolves. City leaders plan to eradicate the threat, and Carson must team up with three other werewolves in order to protect an ancient power source. In the process, they discover a dark secret about their ancestors that will force the “heroes” to make a crucial decision…on which could save humanity, or destroy it. Go West The release of Oshii's live action Assult Girls is list for October 19th Media Blasters 10-05-2010 Queen's Blade: The Exiled Virgin Collection 10-26-2010 Kanokon Vol. #3 and, a host of titles have been delayed to 8/31/2010 Ikki Tousen Dragon Destiny: Vol 3 Ultimate Machine Girl Collectors Tin Ikki Tousen Collection 9/7/2010 Queen's Blade The Exiled Virgin: The Beaten Path, Vol. 2. Rayearth Season 2 - Remastered Urotsukidoji: Legend of the Overfiend (The Movie) Urotsukidoji: Legend of the Overfiend (The Movie) Blu-Ray / DVD Combo 9/21 Death Kappa 9/28/2010 Iron Bodyguard 10/26 Queen's Blade, Vol. 3 Queens Blade Collection Section23 English dub casts have been announced for Ghost Hound and Blue Drop Trade in programs for the older, subtitled only releases can be found here Right Stuf GRIMES, Iowa, July 21, 2010 – Anime producer and distributor Right Stuf, Inc. and its Nozomi Entertainment division announced the GRAVITATION Complete DVD Collection will be available on November 2, 2010 for $59.99. This new release collects both anime adaptations of Gravitation the 13-episode television series and the 2-episode OVA series – together for the very first time. The set will feature remastered Dolby Digital 5.1 English audio, plus Dolby Digital 2.0 English and Japanese audio options, and English subtitles and on-screen translations, and it will be housed in a thin-profile, collectors’ art box. Gravitation is based upon the boys’ love manga by Maki Murakami. The manga series, its sequel and the Gravitation novel are published in North America by TOKYOPOP. DIRTY PAIR: The Original TV Series, Part 1 DVD Collection will be available on November 2, 2010 for $49.99 The TV Series Pt. 1 DVD Collection is the first of two, 13-episode DVD sets, which will feature remastered video from the Japanese DVD release, as well as Japanese audio, English-language subtitles and English on-screen translations. The Dirty Pair television series, which consists of 24 episodes and two TV specials, is the first anime adaptation starring the iconic heroines of the long-running Dirty Pair novels and short stories. It features production by Sunrise (Gundam, City Hunter, Sgt. Frog, Cowboy Bebop,) and Studio Nue (Crusher Joe, Macross). The Dirty Pair’s literary adventures – written by Haruka Takachiho (creator of Crusher Joe) and illustrated by Yoshikazu Yasuhiko (character design for Mobile Suit Gundam, Gundam Unicorn) – have won two Seiun Awards for science fiction and inspired an array of media, including anime, radio series and English-language comics. The first two novels, The Great Adventure of the Dirty Pair and The Dirty Pair Strike Again, are published for English-speaking audiences by Dark Horse. DIRTY PAIR Original TV Series © Takachiho&Studio Nue - SUNRISE Seven Seas after Twitteriing hint suggest that Seven Seas has confirmed that they've licensed Amnesia Labyrinth (volume 1 coming February 2011) ToraDora! (volume 1 coming March 2011) A Certain Scientific Railgun (volume 1 coming June 2011). Subsequent volumes in each series will follow every 3-4 months. Amnesia Labyrinth From Nagaru Tanigawa, the author of the acclaimed The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya series, comes a new offbeat tale of murder and demented love! When high school student Souji Kushiki, an academic achiever and talented athlete from a well-to-do family, returns home from boarding school, he finds that his sisters Harumi, Youko, and Saki have changed. Their strangely clingy behavior borders on the inappropriate and bizarre, yet Souji just brushes off their odd behavior at first. However, when Souji arrives at school the next day, he learns that, during the summer, one of the students in his class was pushed to his death in front of a subway train. And what’s more, two other students were stabbed by an unknown culprit. Are the victims linked, and could Souji’s sisters have anything to do with the murders? With the help of his cheery and spunky new girlfriend Yukako Sasai, straight-laced Souji is about to venture into a twisted world that might just be the end of everything he believes to be true. ToraDora! Ryuji Takasu has learned the hard way that appearances can be deceiving. For despite his inwardly sweet personality, his unintentionally sharp gaze and aggressive features give him the air of a delinquent thug, putting his chances at making new friends, let alone a girlfriend, next to zero. It’s Ryuji’s first day in junior high school and it seems as if things are looking up. He gets to sit in between his only friend, Yusaku, and more importantly, the girl he’s secretly crushing on, Minori Kushieda. But just when he thinks the stars are aligned in his favor, he unwittingly crosses the most feared girl in school, Taiga Aisaku, making her into his arch enemy. To top it off, Taiga has moved in right next door to Ryuji and happens to be Minori’s best friend! Can this school year possibly get any worse?! The Toradora! franchise began as a long-running light novel series that won “best romantic comedy” in the 2007 Kadowawa Shoten’s Light Novel Award contest and spawned a popular manga, as well as a visual novel for the PSP. Its much-loved, off-the-wall characters have made cameo appearances in Japanese video games. A 25-episode Toradora! anime series ran on Japanese TV in 2009 and has been released to much acclaim in a deluxe DVD boxset in North America by anime newcomer NIS America. A Certain Scientific Railgun Welcome to a world where mysticism and science collide, and supernatural powers are derived from either science or religion. At the heart of this world is Academy City, an advanced metropolis whose population is comprised mostly of students. The majority of students are enrolled in the city’s “Power Curriculum Program,” where they must learn to master their latent psychic powers. Out of several million students, only seven are deemed powerful enough to have Level 5 status. Meet Mikoto Misaka, the third most powerful Level 5 esper in Academy City. Together with her best friend Kuroko Shirai and the other members of Judgment, a student-run law enforcement agency, Mikoto delves deep into the dark heart of the scientific sprawl she calls home, and uncovers secrets she wishes she hadn’t! The “Certain” franchise began with the long-running light novel series A Certain Magical Index, which was adapted into both a manga and an anime series. Its spin off, A Certain Scientific Railgun, became a breakout hit. A new anime series following the further adventures of both series’ protagonists is set to air in Japan starting October 2010. The franchise has also spawned an RPG for the Nintendo DS and a fighting game for the Sony PSP. Vertical Vertical announced the licese of Usamaru Furuya's Lychee Light Club (Litchi Hikari Club) manga, expected to ship in April 2011. Anime News Network describes the story as revolving around nine students at an all-boys school who create a god-like Lychee machine — that runs on lychee fruits — to seek out the beautiful women of the world. However, the machine eventually becomes self-aware "and is soon equally capable of measuring beauty and executing justice." VIZ Media Warner Home Video (Viz's distributor) lists that the live action adaptation of Detroit Metal City will be released 11/9 This isn't the music I wanted to play!! Not this kind of music at all! Soichi Negishi is a sweet and shy young man who dreams of becoming a trendy singer songwriter. But for some reason, he is forced into joining the devil worshipping death metal band "Detroit Metal City" (DMC). In full stage make-up and costume, he transforms into Johannes Krauser II (Sir Krauser), the vulgar-mouthed lead vocalist of the band. But he must keep his secret from his crush Yuri Aikawa who strongly despises death metal. What would she think if she found out? But against Negishi's will, DMC rises to stardom. Now the legendary king of death metal Jack ill Dark himself is challenging DMC to a duel. What is the fate of the innocent Negishi as he climbs to the top of the death metal world? Based on a popular manga series with over 3 million copies sold in Japan Film was box office success in Japan, drawing over a million people in the first 3 weeks. Stars popular Japanese actor Kenichi Matsuyama, best known for playing 'L'in the smash hit DEATH NOTE films. Cameo appearance by Gene Simmons (KISS). New sci-fi prose from the Haikasoru line includes HARMONY by Project Itoh Price: $14.99 U.S. / CAN $19.99 • Available July 20th In the distant future, Utopia has finally been achieved thanks to medical nanotechnology and a powerful ethic of social welfare and mutual consideration. But this perfect world isn't that perfect, and three young girls stand up to totalitarian kindness and super-medicine by attempting suicide via starvation. It doesn't work, but one of the girls – Tuan Kirie – grows up to be a member of the World Health Organization. As a crisis threatens the harmony of the new world, Tuan rediscovers another member of her suicide pact, and together they must help save the planet ... from itself. Keikaku (Project) Itoh was born in Tokyo in 1974 and graduated from Musashino Art University. In 2007, he debuted with Genocidal Organs and took first prize in the "Best SF of 2007" in Japan’s SF Magazine. Itoh is also the author of Metal Gear Solid: Guns of the Patriots, a Japanese-language novel based on the popular video game series. After a long battle with cancer, Itoh passed away in March 2009. He wrote HARMONY while in the hospital receiving treatment for the disease. ROCKET GIRLS by Housuke Nojiri Price: $13.99 U.S. / CAN $18.99 • Available September 21st Yukari Morita is a high school girl on a quest to find her missing father. While searching for him in the Solomon Islands, she receives the offer of a lifetime. She'll receive the help she needs to find her father, and all she must do in return is become the world's youngest, lightest astronaut. Yukari and her half sister Matsuri, both petite, are the perfect crew and payload for the Solomon Space Association's rocket launches, or they will be once they complete some rigorous and sometimes dangerous training. SUMMER, FIREWORKS, AND MY CORPSE by Otsuichi Price: $14.99 U.S. / CAN $19.99 Available September 21st Two short novels, including the title story and Black Fairy Tale, plus a bonus short story. Summer is the simple story of a nine-year-old girl who dies while on summer vacation. While her youthful killers try to hide her body, she tells us the story--from the point of view of her dead body--of the children's attempt to get away with murder. Black Fairy Tale is classic J-horror: a young girl loses an eye in an accident but receives a transplant. Now she can see again, but what she sees out of her new left eye is the experiences and memories of its previous owner. Its previous deceased owner.
Upcoming in Japan
Promos Buddha - adaptation of the Tezuka manga Gundam Unicorn episode 2 - also a short, slightly less spoilery one Air Gear - to be released as OAD with manga Heroman Second Mystery Heartcatch Precure! Hana no Miyako de Fashion Show … Desu ka!? Doraemon: Shin Nobita to Tetsujin Heidan ~Habatake Tenshi-tachi~ Mokei Senshi Gunpla Builders Beginning G a Kaichu! Yozakura Quartet: Hoshi no Umi Kaiden Restaurant Black Rock Shooter Tantei Opera Milky Holmes Live action adaptations Ooku Kimi ni Todoke Beck Gantz About the Lucky Star fan invasion of Washinomiya Redline Anime the Wall Street Journal's preview of Arrietty the Borrower describes the movie “Karigurashi no Arrietty” is based on Mary Norton’s fantasy novel “The Borrowers,” about tiny people living a secret life, and occasionally shuffling off with necessities, in the homes of regular-sized people. Disney/Everett Collection A scene from “Ponyo,” Hayao Miyazaki’s last film. Mr. Miyazaki suggested an adaptation in July 2008, as his studio was finishing production of “Ponyo,” said Junichi Nishioka, a spokesman for Studio Ghibli, his animation studio. The questioning of mass consumption is a common theme in Miyazaki films, which include last year’s “Ponyo,” 1997’s “Princess Mononoke” and “Spirited Away,” which won a Golden Bear award at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2002. “He always says this bubbly, money-driven world will end, and a new age will come where people sweat their guts out and live only with what’s necessary,” Mr. Nishioka said. Mr. Miyazaki, he added, “is convinced that the theme (of borrowing) is suitable for a time like this.” “Karigurashi no Arrietty” is directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi, who Mr. Nishioka called in a YouTube video “the best animator in Ghibli in depicting lovely girls.”
*Animator Satoshi Kubo (Eureka Seven, Fullmetal Alchemist, Guin Saga) indicated plans to work on a new anime adaptation of tactical simulation role-playing games Super Robot Taisen. Masami Obari is suggested to be invovled *The upcoming To Love-Ru sci-fi rom-com will be a tv series titled Motto To Love-Ru -Trouble- *The upcoming anime movie continuation of manga series Soukyuu no Fafner: Dead Aggressor: Heaven and Earth will hit Japanese theatres on December 25 *Hajime Yamamura’s (Kamunagara: Rebirth of the Demonslayer) Kamisama Dolls is getting an anime adaptation *Collectable card game Cardfight Vanguard is getting an anime tie-in *The Qwaser of Stigmata: Portrait of the Empress anime will be packaged with volume 10 of the manga series *a new otokonoko ("male maidens" or boys in skirts) anime called Mayo elle Otokonoko is in the works *the Bleach Movie, Hell Chapter will hit Japanese theatres on December 4th Manga Shin Crayon Shin-chan, new manga from deceased creator Yoshito Usui's UY Studio will launch in the September issue of Monthly Manga Town magazine, on sale August 5th *Shonen Sunday is Hitting its 3000th issue *Koji Matsumoto's vampire manga Higanjima is ending in Young Magazine *Iron Wok Jan's Shinji Saijo is a launching horror manga in Shonen Champion *After only three installments since the last one, Kentaro Miura is putting Bersek on hiatus again Hiroyuki Takei's new manga Jumbor has started in Ultra Jump *Oh! great is ending Tenjho Tenge in Ultra Jump's September issue. *Takayuki Yamaguchi is ending Shigurui: Death Frenzy in the September issue of Monthly Champion RED Live Action Manga series Tokyo23 will be adapted into a 4 episode TV series
The Wall street Journal on Japanese publisher's efforts to stop online piracy
*FUNimation has begun streaming Sengoku Basara Season Two The series will now stream every Monday at that time – one week and one day after each new episode airs in Japan. *Nozomi has launched a Youtube channel with anime such as Irresponsible Captain Tylor *Golgo 13 and sci-fi Tytania have begun being offered on The Anime Network and for rental on Anime Network's YouTube Channel *FUNimation is promoting its anime on iTunes through 8/3 The following shows will be discounted: Free Episodes * Fullmetal Alchemist -Episode 1 – “To Challenge The Sun” * Ouran High School Host Club-Episode 1 – “Starting Today, You Are a Host!” * Soul Eater-Episode 1 – “Resonance of the Soul – Will Soul Eater Become a Death Scythe?” 99 cent episodes * Afro Samurai (5 episodes) * Soul Eater Parts One, Two & Three (39 episodes) * Samurai Champloo Season One (26 episodes) * Ouran High School Host Club Season One (26 episodes) * Fullmetal Alchemist Seasons One & Two (51 episodes) Discounted Seasons (entire season for 30% off regular price) * Ouran High School Host Club * Samurai Champloo * Fullmetal Alchemist Season One * Fullmetal Alchemist Season Two * Soul Eater Part One * Soul Eater Part Two * Soul Eater Part Three * Afro Samurai Season One Discounted movies (30% off) * Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles * Afro Samurai: Resurrection *VIZ Media is currently promoting Inu-Yasha ib the iTunes Store in the U.S. and Canada (www.iTunes.com), as well as the streaming content provider HULU (www.Hulu.com) and VIZAnime.com, the company’s premier website for anime. iTunes will offer the first three INUYASHA feature films (dubbed) – INUYASHA THE MOVIE: AFFECTIONS TOUCHING ACROSS TIME, INUYASHA THE MOVIE 2: THE CASTLE BEYOND THE LOOKING GLASS, and INUYASHA THE MOVIE 3: SWORDS OF AN HONORABLE RULER, for a special Download-To-Own (DTO) sale price of $4.99 (U.S.) each until August 3rd. Additionally, INUYASHA TV episode 1 is available to download for FREE, and episodes 2-167, covering Seasons 1-7, will be 50% off and available for iTunes users to download for only $0.99 each. HULU will stream INUYASHA: AFFECTIONS TOUCHING ACROSS TIME (subtitled) for free until August 11th; it will also be available during the same period on VIZAnime.com, the free-to-use interactive web destination that is the permanent home to some of the company’s best-loved animated series. *Square Enix today announced that it will launch a digital manga store serving customers in North America and France in the fall of 2010. Localized electronic editions of such popular Square Enix manga series as Fullmetal Alchemist and Soul Eater will be made available for the PC via the Square Enix group's North American and European websites. Details on the number and pricing of titles available at the store's launch will be announced at a later date. North American and French Digital Manga Store Details Service Launch Fall 2010 Fees and Pricing TBA Note: Access to the digital manga store requires registration with the SQUARE ENIX MEMBERS site (registration free of charge). Current membership: over 1,500,000 members worldwide (as of July 14, 2010) Access to the free downloads available on the preview site does not require SQUARE ENIX MEMBERS registration. System Requirements Supported Operating Systems / Browsers Windows XP / Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 or above, Firefox 3.x, Safari 3.x Windows Vista / Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.0 or above, Firefox 3.x, Safari 3.x Mac OS X v.10.4 or above / Firefox3.x, Safari 3.x Note: The newest Adobe Flash Player plug-in (version 10 or above) is required for all browsers. Display 1024 x 768 resolution or higher Internet Connection ADSL or faster Official URLs North America: http://www.Square Enix.com/na/manga/ France: http://www.Square Enix.com/eu/fr/manga/ *TAI SENG is proud to announced that their action and martial arts movies are now available on the PS3 system via the PlayStation3 Network. The initial Tai Seng motion picture lineup includes Dragon Tiger Gate. Also in the lineup are top box office hits including House of Fury, and the popular Manga based motion picture Initial D, claimed as the Asian version of The Fast and The Furious, and Shaolin Vs. Evil Dead 1 & 2, all available in HD. Additional and exciting new martial arts and action movies will be released by Tai Seng to the PS3 system on a regular basis as part of this new distribution agreement. *New streaming content on Anime News Network includes Fist of the North Star and Digimon Adventures *BeeTV, Avex Broadcasting & Communications' Japanese mobile phone service will be offering an adaptation of Sanrio/Osamu Tezuka's Unico viuced by Nana Mizuki *Mangatoshokan and OneManga have stopped hosting unauthorized digital manga content
Importer Sasuga Japanese Bookstore announced that their business closed in July 6th. "The current economic climate and the many changes in the international bookselling market" were credited as causing for the retailer that went online only after closing their physical store in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 2004.
*The Japan Toy Association announced that its domestic market dipped 0.9% to 694.9 billion yen (about US$7.84 billion) in 2009. *Right Stuf has managed to get copies of the formerly exclusive Gurren Lagann movies and Gundam Unicorn *
Cool Figures News
Blythe “Manga Girls Inspiration” Tokyo Show Pictures
CollectionDX is sharing photos from IPMS Ontario MiniCon 2010 Model kit Expo and Contest Cat Shit One figures Grendizerand Spirited Away Yubaba Munnys
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Another Century's Episode:R mecha pron