Manga Classic Spotlight: 2001 Nights By Yukinobu Hoshino Released by VIZ
In the future... parents will not be there for their children. In the future, younger generations will attempt to abandon the ways of older ones. Nations will feud. Species will go extinct due to humanity's foolishness. Technology will have unintended consequences. Neither the good times nor the bad times will truly be capitalized upon. I think I'm on my way to accidentally rewriting Junot Díaz's predictions for 2010 As its title suggests, part of the premise of 2001 Nights is a conflation of 1001 Nights and 2001: A Space Odyssey. Explicit references to HAL and Scheherazade filter into generally hard sci-fi parables , along with nods to the likes of Paradise Lost, Asimov, and The Flying Dutchman. The series is comprised of 19 chapter lengthed "Nights." Each could be read in isolation as its own short story, with its own developed narrative, addressed concept and theme. However, there is also continuity between the Nights. This is sometimes direct. Something launched into the reaches of space in one will appear or be referenced in another, or a technology developed in one will enable and be named in another. Beyond those links, together the Nights plot a path into the stars as the stories chronicle humanity's Space Age. The political landscape is shaped to enable it. The species contends with the limitations of its technology, and as it begins employing exotic work arounds, new forms of propulsion are discovered. As humanity goes further into space, new forms of life are encountered. The frequently repeated line from the protagonist/narrator of Gary Shteyngart’s Super Sad True Love Story is “the true subject of science fiction is death.” 2001 Night's stories capture the birth, the development and maturation of an age of space exploration and colonization. What underscores it all is that the series ultimately also covers the fate of that stage of human evolution. 2001 Nights author Yukinobu Hoshino is still an active manga creator. His currently ongoing Professor Munakata, about an ethnologist investigating the history and folklore of artifacts was recently the subject of an exhibition at the British Museum. This series is a bit older. The three volume 2001 Nights ran in Monthly Super Action starting in June 1984. (It was released in North America by Viz, across 10 issues in 1990; an interesting period for manga in North America that also saw the eclectics releases Hoshino's Saber Tiger and Shion Blade of the Minstrel, Yoshihisa Tagami's Grey, Natsuo Sekikawa & Jiro Taniguchi's Hotel Harbour and Buichi Terasawa's by Viz, and Masamune Shirow's Black Magic, Akihiro Yamada's Lost Continent and Makoto Kobayashi's What's Michael by Eclipse - all of which would still stand out as unusual if released today). When sci-fi aims to earnestly project concepts into the future, it opens itself to becoming dated. The fictional technology can diverge from reality's. Its speculation on how society and its attitudes evolve can begin ringing false. Asimov's classic Foundation series survived a faith in micronized nuclear technology that began to look unfounded. However, recent history has the potential to be an even more devastating blow to the genre pillar as its mathematics driven concept of psychohistory begin to be viewed in the light of the role that staggeringly complex models and algorithms played in the recent economic collapse. 2001 Nights tries to deduce what might happen to humans if they departed from their home planet, and makes a serious attempt at offering intelligent supposition. It is informed by the geopolitics of 1984, specifically the NATO/Eastern Block tensions. That does seem like a past expiration, simplistic framework, but, the fact that the manga is launching from that point in history ultimately doesn't diminish the manga's view of the future.
The cornerstone of 2001 Nights' scientific credibility is the manga's appearance. The technology is marked by practicality rather than audience appealing flash. Whether boxy or missile-rounded, the objects moving through space are neither too clean nor too dingy. They appear as new, cutting edge technology, used hard. Hoshino employs a solid, concretely realistic look, closer to the steel and architecture of Katsuhiro Otomo than the local detail of Ryoichi Ikegami. He went into manga after dropping out of the Aichi Prefectural University of Fine Arts and Music, and takes an educated, considered approach to how he designs and illustrates the work. Lines and zip tone establish depth to the images, then Hoshino frames cinematic perspective. In turn, as the space craft move through the panels, the manga gets an extra bump from association, looking like the best of the carefully crafted practical effects sci-fi films. 2001 Nights does engage conceits. Crucially, it’s miraculous happenstance that enables mankind's space exploration. Then, the organisms encountered among the stars run a spectrum of plausibility from fungus that develops a credible, symbiotic relationship with humans to bird like animals with a decidedly more incredible migratory habit. The scientist reality of the stories bends, but it doesn't break, in part because of the thoughtfulness with which Hoshino explores matters of time dilation and antimatter, but also because it fits into what's meaningful about the stories. The problematically convenient discovery that opens up the galaxy to space travel is introduced in Lucifer Rising, a longer 2001 Nights story that frames the adaptation to a space age in terms of an attempt to reconcile physical cosmology with a religious, Catholic specifically, one. In the context of the specific story and the larger series, the discovery forces a complex and provocative debate, and as such, doesn't entirely register as a crutch to get beyond inconvenient science. It's the human reactions that make 2001 Nights consistently believable. For science fiction working with how humanity might push the boundaries of galactic travel, the series is movingly human driven. Hoshino speculates on how people would relate to living in space, and breaks that chronicle of a pioneering age into relationships between families or other small groups. While 2001 Nights does introduce figures such as the ones who lent their names to the propulsion system that opens up the expanses of space, it's not staged as a Great Man History. Instead, it depicts how the challenges of moving into the stars are contended with by people still minding basic relationships like those they share with their parents or children. What's moving about the manga is that the metal structures moving through space are piloted by people driven by their own, recognizable values, loves, and notions of self preservation. Hoshino builds his stories from an awareness of how sci-fi works. He presents a hard-sci-fi concept that will capture the reader's imagination, then demonstrates how a group of subjects might react to the challenge that that stimuli introduces. That awareness includes an embrace of where metaphor fits into science fiction. In "Posterity" a colony seed ship is sent into space with fertilized human embryos and the facilities to raise children. Shot towards the comet from which it will hitch a ride, the ship's body looks like sperm, moving towards an ovum. The extent to which 2001 Nights is informed by western stories makes it remarkably approachable to a western audience that might or might not be interested in manga specifically. There are several cases where the references are too redundant or too on the nose, but more often the connections are wind in the manga's sails. It is reminiscent of the classics and develops its science fiction well enough on its own that is not diminished by comparisons. When I was studying computer science in college, I had to take a related ethics course. What the course tried to drive into our heads was awareness of the trap of looking for a technology based solution to every problem. 2001 Nights takes an interestingly similar track in its exploration of what might happen if humanity's reach could be extended to the resources and infinite expanses of space. Its depiction of a failure to solves the woes of humanity does not necessarily make 2001 Nights pessimistic. Even if the species did not take full advantages of its opportunities, in its flawed manner, in a given moment, the individuals give it their best shot. There's soul to the stories of loss, aggravation, hope and disappointment as people who always remain relatable work their way into the galaxy. That's why 2001 Nights not only remains relevant, but belongs itself into the company of classic sci-fi of any medium. There are outstanding works of sci-fi manga that are regrettably difficult or expensive to obtain in English. Completing a set of the fascinating and moving Planetes, about a crew removing debris from Earth orbit, is far less easy than it should be. Conversely, though 2001 Nights was collected in three volumes in 1996, it takes little online hunting to find the parts for reasonable prices.
Digital Distrobution News
The three volume OEL GYAKUSHU! is online free for October News on a print version of volume 3 (Tokyopop dropped the series after the first two) is expected soon.
*FUNimation have begun streaming on Netflix. Among the more than 30 anime series that are now available to watch instantly at Netflix under the new agreement are Afro Samurai, Basilisk, Claymore, Fruits Basket, Fullmetal Alchemist, Gunslinger Girl, Mushi-Shi, Samurai 7, Witchblade and animated and live-action feature-length films like Vexille, Origin and Ichi in HD. The material will be available to stream from Netflix for a limited time. *Samurai Girls will be simul-streaming in Anime Network Online. In an alternate 21st century, the ancient Tokugawa Shogunate is at the seat of power. High School Student Councils act as enforcement squads, terrorizing the student body at every turn. One student reaches his boiling point, and with the help of a group of girls named after samurai heroes of the past, he opposes his student council. Join the fight this Fall as a group of sexy, sword wielding Samurai girls slice, cut, and slash their way through anyone who dare oppose them, on Samurai Girls, ONLY from Anime Network Online! Each Sunday a new episode will be released. CANAAN and Xam'd have also begun streaming on The Anime Network *Trigun has begun streaming on Funimation.com *Anime News Network is working with Aniplex America to offer the sites first simulcast streams: Oreimo and togainu no chi ~Bloody Curs~ © Nitroplus / HOBIBOX, Togainu Committee, MBS togainu no chi ~Bloody Curs~ is an adaptation of the hit bishonen video game from multimedia studio Nitro+CHiRAL (sweet pool, Lamento –BEYOND THE VOID-). A manga adaptation, which is available in English, is currently serialized in the Japanese manga anthology comic B's LOG. The story follows Akira, a post-apocalyptic street fighter who must win the bloody Igura tournament to win his freedom after he is falsely accused of a crime he did not commit. togainu no chi ~Bloody Curs~ is produced at A-1 Pictures (Welcome to THE SPACE SHOW, Kannagi, Black Butler), directed by Naoyuki KONNO (Dance in the Vampire Bund, 009-1) with a screenplay written by Natsuko TAKAHASHI (Antique Bakery, Hell Girl, Romeo X Juliet). The series also features an all star cast with the voices of Kousuke TORIUMI (Ai no Kusabi, Black Blood Brothers, Naruto) as Akira and Tomokazu SUGITA (Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Gintama, X) as Keisuke, as well as Hikaru MIDORIKAWA (Sailor Moon R, Slayers, Fushigi Yugi), Jun FUKUYAMA (Durarara!!, Code Geass, Count of Monte Cristo), and Kishô TANIYAMA (Highschool of the Dead, Hetalia, Gurren Lagann). ©Tsukasa Fushimi/ASCII MEDIA WORKS/OIP Oreimo is an adaptation of Tsukasa Fushimi's Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai comedy light novel series, which has sold over a million copies across its first 6 volumes. The story follows the daily life of an ordinary high school boy named Kyosuke Kosaka. Kyosuke's younger sister Kirino is a pretty fashion model — but also a secret otaku of adult games. Kyosuke is the only person to whom Kirino reveals her hidden obsession and other issues. Oreimo is directed by Hiroyuki KANBE (SaiKano, Basilisk, Full Metal Panic) with scripts written by Hideyuki KURATA (Kamichu!, Welcome to THE SPACE SHOW, Read or Die). The series also features an all star cast with the voices of Ayana TAKETATSU (K-ON!, Yumeiro Pâtissière, Kiss×sis) as Kirino Kosaka and Yuuichi Nakamura (Arakawa under the bridge, Clannad, Durarara!! ) as Kyosuke Kosaka, as well as Fumihiko TACHIKI (Arakawa under the bridge, Bleach, Evangelion 1.0), Hitomi NABATAME (Hayate the Combat Butler, SKIP BEAT, Gantz), and Satomi SATOU (K-ON!, Hell Girl: Three Vessels and Fairy Tail). Anime News Network has begun streaming Moeyo Ken ep. 1-2 (dub) BASToF Syndrome ep. 1-26 (dub & sub) Blue Gender ep. 1-4 (dub) Peach Girl ep. 1-26 (dub) Trinity Blood ep. 1-4 (dub) 1-26 (sub) Pani Poni Dash! ep. 1-4 (dub) Nerima Daikon Bros ep. 1-2 (dub) Shin-chan ep. 1-4 (dub) X ep. 1-24 (sub) Vandread ep. 1-4 (dub) 1-26 (sub) Right Stuf's horror anime Boogiepop Phantom is now screening in YouTube Bubblegum Crisis is on Hulu Crunchyroll will stream the second season of Fortune Arterial, "flying panties" anime Sora no Otoshimono and anime adaptation Lily Hoshino's parallel world supernatural adventure manga Haikasoru sci-fi prose on Kindle include Slums Online and Next Continent
Upcoming in North America
During its Tokyo premiere, the creators of Redline stated that "nationwide" screenings are planned for the United States early next year. According to the staff members at the screening (led by Koike and writer Katsuhito Ishii), a subtitled version will open in the United States in 2011, although the exact scale of the release has yet to be decided. Piers Anthony's Split Infinity novel is no longer on tap for an anime adaptation. Anthony indicated "It was going to be anime, but may become a regular feature film. We'll see." Aniplex Aniplex has confirmed that it is working with “The Store,” Bandai Entertainment Inc.'s online retail shop and Right Stuf.com to distribute Aniplex's upcoming release of Durarara!! DVD Part 1 due out on Tuesday, January 25, 2011. Pre-order will start on Friday, October 8. As part of an online promotion for the official January 2011 release, each customer who pre-orders Durarara!! DVD Part 1 (a 2-disc set) through either “The Store” or Right Stuf.com. by December 7th, 2010 will receive a set of Durarara!! limited edition PVC Key chain in their order shipment. Durarara!! DVD Parts 1-3 can be pre-ordered at: The Store: Right Stuf Durarara!! DVD Info • Exclusive new artwork images on deluxe digipak packaging • Includes the original Japanese and English dub audio • Exclusive post cards (4-5 cards per release) • English subtitles • 16:9 Anamorphic widescreen • 3 parts total. Each part is a 2-disc set that contains 8 to 9 episodes • SRP: $49.98 Part 1 Jan 25, 2011 Ep.1-9 AOA-0701 850527-003004 Part 2 March 29, 2011 Ep.10-17 & Special Bonus Episode 12.5 AOA-0702 850527-003011 Part 3 May 2011 Ep.18-24 & Special Bonus Episode 25 AOA-0703 850527-003028 About Durarara!! Story of Durarara!! Ikebukuro, Tokyo. Mikado Ryugamine is a young man who yearns for the city like no other. At the invitation of his childhood friend, Masaomi Kida, he leaves his hometown and enters Raira Academy in Ikebukuro. Masaomi warns Mikado about some dangerous people in Ikebukuro to watch out for. There are two in particular: the brawling champion Shizuo Heiwajima and hobbyist information broker Izaya Orihara; And also the mysterious organization of unknown origin known as the “Dollars.” On his first day out in the city, Mikado, remembering Masaomi's stories, sees a jet-black motorcycle being driven by the fabled “Headless Rider.” From then on, a series of random attacks and events begin to occur on the streets of Ikebukuro, and a group known as the Yellow Scarves arises as Ikebukuro begins to crumble! Bandai Entertainment Bandai Entertainment's single December release is Mobile Suit Gundam 00 Season 2 Part 4, scheduled for the 7th. Media Blasters Queen's Blade release data have been suffled again Queens Blade volume #2 has been movedfrom Oct 26 to Dec 14: Queen's Blade: Wandering Warrior, Vol #2, The Beaten Path DVD (Eps #5-8) - Moved from Oct 26 to Dec 14 Vol #3, and the regular and BD boxed sets have all been moved off the schedule and will now street sometime during the 1st quarter of 2011, so we're probably looking at late February or March: Queen's Blade: The Exiled Virgin, Vol #3, Journey's End DVD (Eps #9-12) - Moved to 1st Quarter 2011 Queen's Blade Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-12) - Moved to 1st Quarter 2011 Queen's Blade Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-12) (BLURAY) - Moved to 1st Quarter 2011 Section 23 Section23 Films has released the first collection of KIMIKISS: PURE ROUGE. KIMIKISS: PURE ROUGE COLLECTION 1 Running Time: 325 min. Age Rating: TV 14 Language: Japanese with English Subtitles CAT: SF-KPR100 UPC: 814131013415 Published by: Sentai Filmworks Distributed by: Section23 Films Street Date: 10/5/2010 Format: DVD SRP: $49.98 SYNOPSIS: Kouichi always thought of Mao as his little sister, but when he wakes up from a dream and she walks into his house, he doesn't even recognize her. Probably because, after living in France for several years, Mao is definitely not anyone's little sister anymore! To further complicate things, Koichi's mom has invited Mao to stay at their house while she attends the same high school as Kouichi and their mutual friend Kazuki. But given that Kouichi's been trying to build a relationship with Yuumi, the revelation that he's now sharing accommodations with a non-related girl is definitely going to cause some emotional waves. Or maybe a tsunami by the time Kazuki's sister Nana, her best friend Narumi and all the other kids at school get overly involved. Young love and teenage angst are the rule as histrionics and history classes collide in the first spellbinding collection of KIMIKISS ~ PURE ROUGE! Seven Seas Seven Seas will be releasing Strawberry Panic: The Complete Novel Collection. The 600 page omnibus will retail for $14.99 in June 2011. The three novels expand upon the storyline far beyond what is told in the manga, and contain new illustrations by Strawberry Panic manga artist Takuminamuchi. About Strawberry Panic: The Complete Novel Collection– Story by Sakurako Kimino Art by Takuminamuchi ISBN-13: 978-1-934876-99-2 / ISBN-10: 1-934876-99-2
This omnibus collection contains all three novels from the hit yuri series Strawberry Panic at one low price. Included in this edition is the third and final Strawberry Panic novel, which has never before been published in North America. For new transfer student Aoi Nagisa, St. Miator Girls’ Academy offers her the chance at a fresh start and a way to redefine herself. But these noble intentions go out the window when she catches her first glimpse of honor student Hanazono Shizuma, whose porcelain white skin and goddess-like beauty leave Nagisa speechless. It’s puppy love at first sight, but naive Nagisa is unaware that Shizuma is a serial heartbreaker who has set her sights on Nagisa herself. Will Nagisa end up as another notch on Shizuma’s belt, or does fate have other plans in store for the new couple? Seven Seas will also be releasing Dance in the Vampire Bund Gaiden: Dive in the Vampire Bund, a one volume side story that introduces new characters, and also contains cameo appearances by the main cast. Dive in the Vampire Bund takes place during the early half of Dance in the Vampire Bund Vol. 6 and explores the origins of a deadly nanovirus that is wrecking havoc in current volumes of the series. Dance in the Vampire Bund Gaiden: Dive in the Vampire Bund (ISBN-13: 978-1-934876-38-1 / ISBN-10: 1-934876-38-0) will hit stores in April 2011. About Dance in the Vampire Bund Gaiden: Dive in the Vampire Bund – The Vampire Bund, a peaceful island nation of vampires off the coast of Tokyo, ruled by Princess Mina Tepes, has seen its share of conflict and turmoil. And yet there are times of relative tranquility when the Bund is a popular tourist destination during daylight hours. When two teenage tourists, Akira Garcia Fujisaki and his best friend Masaki, intentionally ditch their tour group to find a vampire who will turn Masaki, it’s Garcia who pays the price. Awakening as an unwilling creature of the night, Garcia finds himself entangled with a seedy band of terrorists looking to destroy the only known cure for vampirism—a drug that must be administered within 48 hours or the condition is irreversible. With the only remaining vials in the hands of Garcia’s crazed friend Masaki, Garcia finds himself teamed up with Mina’s loyal lycanthrope bodyguard, Akira Kaburagi, in a cat and mouse race against time that takes him across the entire Bund in pursuit of the one person who holds the key to his salvation. Shout! Factory Shout! Factory and Rainmaker Entertainment, Inc. announced a new alliance to bring CGI animation TV series ReBoot to the home entertainment marketplace. Under its multi-year agreement with Rainmaker Entertainment, Inc., Shout! Factory will be the exclusive home entertainment distributor with digital rights to the entire action-packed series ReBoot in North America Dot Matrix and her brother Enzo, plus thousands of friendly binomes, live in Mainframe, which is plagued by viruses Megabyte and sister strain Hexadecimal. Guardian Bob is sent from the Net to protect them, and soon makes it his home. Together, they must prevent Megabyte from taking control of all the systems. As an added complication, games being played by the mystical User invade the system regularly, and must be defeated, or else portions of the city are laid waste... this gives us a chance to see every genre of video-game ever conceived, from the point of view of the characters! When Megabyte finally manages to banish Bob, Enzo takes over as the city's Guardian, but things will never be quite the same. Shout! Factory plans an aggressive rollout of the ReBoot home entertainment product-line, beginning with the collectible complete series DVD box set release and digital distribution in 2011. VIZ Media VIZ Media will release Mitsuru Adachi’s baseball manga CROSS GAME on October 12th. The first volume, containing the first three volumes as originally released in Japan, will carry an MSRP of $19.99 U.S. / $27.00 CAN. Subsequent volumes will retail for $14.99 U.S. / $19.99 CAN, and will contain two complete volumes from the Japanese release. The CROSS GAME anime series also streams – for free – on VIZ Media’s own VIZAnime web site (www.VIZAnime.com). To celebrate the launch of the manga, a special double-episode installment of new anime episodes (subtitled) will be available on the site the week of October 11th. CROSS GAME anime episodes are also available from streaming content provider HULU (www.Hulu.com). Upcoming anime releases include 1/25 Naruto Shippuden Box Set 5 Pokemon Elements Collection Part 2 Vampire Knight The Complete Series ($49.95)
Upcoming in Japan
Promos Kuragehime - "Jellyfish Princess" from the oddbeat noitaminA block Berserk - 4 more trailers Anime Hayao Miyazaki's new short film, Yeast and Princess Egg will premiere on November 20th
*Keiko Sootome and writer Toru Hosokawa's Baka Mukashi Banashi (Silly Folk Tales) will be adapted into an anime OVA *Studio Kuma (Bizarre Cage, Doraemon films) is working on psyhic horror anime Timing. The Japanese-Korean production is set for 2012. a preview can be seen online *The 10th volume of Yozakura Quartet will ship will the second OVA anime episode Manga A new chapter of Arina Tanemura's (Full Moon O Sagashite, The Gentlemen's Alliance Cross, Kamikaze Kaito Jeanne) I.O.N will be included in Ribon Fantasy Zokan-go m *Yoshiyuki Sadamoto (character designer of Evangelion and Summer Wars) will be launching a new manga called Nana Maru Batsu San 7O3X in Shonen Ace *Shogakukan's Weekly Big Comics Spirits will be celebrating it's 30th anniversary withone shorts including "Hoshi wa Sen no Kao" by Rumiko Takahashi "Inu wa Nan to Naku" by Taiyo Matsumoto (Tekkonkinkreet, Gogo Monster, Ping Pong), Subsequent issues will feature works from Satoshi Yoshida (Shonan Bakusozoku), Mitsuru Adachi (Touch, H2, Cross Game), Fumi Saimon (Tokyo Love Story, Shin Dosei Jidai), and Tsubasa Fukuchi (The Law of Ueki) *Boys Be Artist Tamakoshi to Start Double Heroine Manga posted on 2010-10-04 23:19 EDT Hiroyuki Tamakoshi (the Boys Be… and Gacha Gach) will launch a new manga series called Double Heroin in the December issue of Kodansha's Monthly Shonen Rival magazine on November 4. Takuya Fujima's (Negima!? neo, Deus Vitae) THE iDOLM@STER Break! and Yoichi Tsukamoto's Othello manga in Monthly Shonen Rival's current November issue.
Original, subtitled Japanese trailer for Kaneto Shindo's KURONEKO (BLACK CAT), now playing in theaters courtesy Janus Films. October 22 - 28 New York, NY - Film Forum October 29 - November 4 Boston, MA - Landmark Kendall Square November 5 - 11 Portland, OR - Cinema 21 November 19 - 25 Los Angeles, CA - Landmark Nuart December 3 Rochester, NY - George Eastman House The Kaiju Big Battel event will take place at New York's Warsaw on October 15h
*SugiPOP!: Anime, Manga, Comics and Their Influence on Contemporary Art opens on October 13th at New Hampshire's Portsmouth Museum of Art. The show is a collaborative effort, co-curated by Beau Basse of LeBasse Projects in Los Angeles and Katherine Doyle of the Portsmouth Museum of Art, with John Wolf as Assistant Curator. SugiPOP! Opens on October 13, 2010 and runs through January 16, 2011, with an Opening Reception on October 14th from 5:30 to 7:30 . The Portsmouth Museum of Art is located at One Harbour Place in downtown Portsmouth. Admission is free. Hours of operation for the Portsmouth Museum of Art are Wednesday-Sunday, 11:00-5:00, Fridays until 8:00; it is closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Guided group tours are available by appointment by contacting the museum at 603-436-0332 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org *VIZ Cinema and NEW PEOPLE will present a special encore performance of Hatsune Miku U.S. Live – for One Night Only – on Monday, October 11th at 7:15pm. Also set to make a very special appearance at the screening will be the man behind the creation of Hatsune Miku, Hiroyuki Ito, president of Crypton Future Media. Prior to the screening, Ito give audiences the back story on the birth and development of Hatsune Miku and the growing international interest in her. Don't miss this rare chance to see this internet virtual phenomenon on the big screen and purchase one of a very limited supply of Japanese First Edition Blu-ray disc sets! Miku Hatsune is a virtual pop idol that has taken Japan by storm. She was born as the premiere product in the Vocaloid2 Character Vocal Series developed by Crypton Future Media. The technology, originally designed for professional musicians, enables users to synthesize singing by inputting lyrics and a melody. In Japan, Vocaloid singers have become the hottest new trend in the pop culture landscape. Miku Hatsune features a singing voice based on samples of voice actress Saki Fujita. VIZ Cinema is the nation’s first movie theatre devoted exclusively to Japanese film and anime. The 143-seat subterranean theatre is located in the basement of the NEW PEOPLE building and features plush seating, digital as well as 35mm projection, and a THX®-certified sound system. *Ablaze Media is proud to present the book launch and photo exhibition of Cosplay Fever Red, at London's Café 1001, Brick Lane on 21st October. The exhibition will run for one week. BOOK LAUNCH AND EXHIBITION Thursday 21st October 12 noon - Exhibition opens to public 12-6pm: book signing by Rob and Pete, cosplay photo shoots, free cosplay sketches 6-8pm: band (TBA), DJ High Priest, prize draws 8pm-late: stick around and dance the night away TAKE-DOWN PARTY Thursday 28th October 4-8pm: book signing, cosplay photo shoots 8pm: exhibition taken down *Bandai Entertainment Inc. announced that the English subtitled theatrical film The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya will play at the Kahala Theatre, part of the Consolidated Theatres, in Honolulu, Hawaii as part of its “Spotlight Asia!” series on October 29, 2010. The Kahala Theatre is located in the Kahala Mall Shopping Center at 4211 Waialae Avenue, Suite 3080, Honolulu, Hawaii, 96816. 808-733-62355. http://www.consolidatedtheatres.com/cinema/content/theaterinformation.asp?cID=16 * Giant Robot will be at APE: Alternative Press Expo 2010 October 16-17, San Francisco, CA Giant Robot Booth 425 *Mamoru Hosoda's (the Girl Who Leapt Through Time) Summer War will be screened by the Anaheim International Film Festival *Mamoru Oshii short film Je t'aime has been selected in the Official Fantastic Competition section of the 43rd SITGES International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia 01 (Sitges 2010), to be held October 7 - 17, 2010 in Sitges, Spain. Screening Schedule at SITGES 2010 Date: October 11th (Mon) Time: 16:30 Place: Auditori Junko Mizuno's 'Flora Delirium' will be presented at Alhambra CA's Gallery Nucleus.
Kodansha Ltd. and Random House Inc. have announced their plans to change and expand their manga publishing relationship in North America. The companies are shifting from a licensing relationship to a sales and distribution arrangement as of December 1, 2010. Under the new arrangement, Kodansha’s subsidiary, Kodansha USA Publishing, LLC, established in 2008 and led by Yoshio Irie, will be publishing Kodansha-originated manga themselves directly in the U.S. English-language market with strong support from Random House Publisher Services (RHPS), Random House’s third-party distribution division. Del Rey Manga associate publisher Dallas Middaugh will remain with the program, transferring to RHPS. Del Rey’s ongoing manga titles which were licensed by Kodansha will be gradually taken over by Kodansha USA Publishing on a per-title basis.
*ICv2 reports at its Comics & Digital Conference reported that the North American anime market is valued at between $160 and $200 Million. It had been valued from US$275 to US$300 in 2007 and peaked at US$550 million in 2003 The manga market has dropped 50% since 2007, with a drop of 9% in the first half of 2010. Comics in general have dropped 12% in the first half of the year. Digital comic distribution is expect to grow to US$6-8 million this year. (see a write-up here and here) ANN notes values digital Japanese manga market at US$600 million in annual sales with the complete Japanese manga market at 270.5 billion yen (about US$2.983 billion) *the anime production company Future Planet Co. filed for bankruptcy. Staff were laid off and operations were shutdown down in July. Future Planet recently worked on an adaptation of Romance of Three Kingdoms with China's CCTV and Beijing Glorious Animation Co,m released in Japan under the title Saikyo Busho-den Sangoku Engi. production costs ran over 200 million yen (US$2.4 million) *TV Asahi will turn Shin-ei Animation into a wholly owned subsidiary. Shin-ei produce the Doraemon and Crayon Shin-chan anime series *Female fans are helping music tie-ins to K-on! a best seller
And the Award Goes To...
Shinsuke Sato's CGI animated feature film "Oblivion Island: Haruka and the Magic Mirror" has been awarded with the DCAJ Chairman Prize at the 25th Digital Content Grand Prix. The award ceremony will be held in Tokyo on October 15, 2010. The Jury Committee commented their decision as follows: "From the Jury comment: The mainstream of made-in-Hollywood American animation has consolidated around three-dimensional computer-generated images. In this context, "Oblivion Island" aims to establish a Japanese way to CG animation, in a challenging effort where both three- and two-dimensional expressive renderings are harmonically implemented. This effort demonstrates spirit of trial and innovation that should be regarded as an essential driving force in the evolution process of the animation industry." The 25th Digital Content Grand Prix, cosponsored by Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Digital Content Association of Japan (DCAJ) praises those people or companies who brought such technologies, service systems, and hit digital content that helped the Japanese digital content industry grow in 2010.
Cool Figures News
Kotobukiya has announced its latest slate of upcoming imports MARVEL X BISHOUJO COLLECTION BLACK CAT BISHOUJO STATUE Black Cat comes to life in the Japanese Bishoujo (pretty girl) style based on original character art by illustrator Shunya Yamashita, and is the first in the series to be enlarged to the 1/7th scale. Black Cat stands just over 9 inches tall (in the new Marvel x Bishoujo 1/7th scale) atop an exclusive display base consisting of a miniature building in deep perspective and an adorable plush Spider-Man. Sculpted by Takashi "GILL GILL" Tsukada srp $59.99 Available in MARCH
Marvel, BLACK CAT: TM & C 2010 Marvel Entertainment, LLC and its subsidiaries. Licensed by Marvel Characters B.V. www.marvel.com. All rights reserved. TOARU MAJUTSU NO INDEX ~ MISAKA MORI ONE COIN MINI FIGURES The series of 1 ½ in figures includes Misaka Mikoto Accelerator Last Order 9 Sisters While the set is sold in individual blind boxes, each container has a full collection: nine sisters, one Misaka Mikoto, one “Accelerator” and one “Last Order.” srp $3.99 each Available in JANUARY © ????/????•????????/PROJECT-INDEX DANCE IN THE VAMPIRE BUND MINA TEPES ANI*STATUE Mina is almost 7 ½ inches long (in 1/7th scale) and was sculpted by Yuzo. srp $89.99 Available in DECEMBER © 2010?????????????/???????????? SO RA NO WO TO ~ KANATA SORAMI ANI*STATUE Sculpted by Zenko, the cute bugler stands more than 7 inches tall (in 1/8th scale). srp $69.99 Available in DECEMBER © Paradores•Aniplex/?1121?? BAKEMONOGATARI ~ KANBARU SURUGA ANI*STATUE She comes with two different left arms (bandaged or “monkey paw”) that offset her innocent beauty. Sculpted by Hirotoshi Nakamura, Kanbaru stands just over 6 inches tall (1/8th scale) on a specially designed display base that also captures her second basketball in mid-air. srp $69.99 Available in JANUARY © 2007 Leaf/AQUAPLUS PATLABOR THE MOBILE POLICE ~ AV-X0 ZERO TYPE-ZERO D-STYLE MODEL KIT With 30 pre-painted parts and easy snap-fit assembly, no glue or paint is necessary! Primarily white with accents in black, gray, and red, the Labor has additional tampo print logos for further detail and customization. You can display the diminutive robot with various included parts like the different faceplates, stun stick, and large shield. Standing slightly under 4 inches tall, this little robot has approximately 10 points of articulation. srp $19.99 Available in FEBRUARY © 1989 HEADGEAR / BANDAI VISUAL / TOHOKUSHINSHA ONE-SHOT BUG KILLER!! INTERCEPTOR DOLL HOI HOI-SAN CUSTOM CRADLE BATTERY CHARGER STAND he charging stand is in 1:1 scale along with all of the other One-Shot Bug Killer!! robots and accessories. srp $14.99 Available in DECEMBER © ?????/????•???????? ARMORED CORE OMER TYPE-LAHIRE STASIS FINE SCALE MODEL KIT Standing 9 ½ inches tall, this fearsome unit is comprised of approximately 600 parts and when fully assembled it has over 100 points of articulation for extreme poseability! No painting or glue is necessary. srp $54.99 Available in FEBRUARY © 1997-2011 FromSoftware, Inc. All rights reserved.
Cartoon Network announced the Season Two premiere of Adventure Time is slated to air on Monday, October 11th at 8 p.m.
Adventure Time introduced viewers to unlikely heroes Finn & Jake, buddies who traverse the mystical Land of Ooo and encounter its colorful inhabitants. The best of friends, our heroes always find themselves in the middle of heart-pounding escapades. Finn, a silly kid with an awesome hat, and Jake, a brassy dog with a big, kind heart, depend on each other through thick and thin. From the mind of creator Pendleton Ward, Ooo is a land built for adventure. Teeming with imposing mountains, lush green plains, accessible forests, ubiquitous prairies and winding rivers, the cities and towns are filled with bizarre characters in need of unique assistance. Whether it’s saving Princess Bubblegum, defeating zombie candy, mocking the “oxy-moronic” Ice King, or rocking out with undead music wiz Marceline the Vampire Queen, with Finn & Jake it’s always Adventure Time. Robotomy premieres on Cartoon Network Monday, October 25 at 8:45pm ET/PT following MAD Robotomy tells the story of Thrasher and Blastus, two outsider teenage droids who are only slightly less horrific than the ultra-powerful robots that populate their planet, Killglobe. Now they face their greatest challenge yet: high school. Armed with a desire to fit in (and little else), Thrasher and Blastus navigate their lives with varying degrees of success. Stand up comedy icon Patton Oswalt (Ratatouille, King of Queens) voices Thrasher, with John Gemberling as Blastus. Other celebrity cameos in the first season include Jack McBrayer (30 Rock), Lewis Black (Daily Show), Eliza Dushku (Dollhouse), rapper Lil Jon, and comedians Gilbert Gottfried and Lisa Lampanelli. Created by Michael Buckley (N.E.R.D.S., The Sisters Grimm), Joe Deasy and co-executive produced by Christy Karacas (Superjail), Robotomy, a quarter-hour series, is produced in at New York World Leaders Entertainment. Batman: The Brave and the Bold "The Last Patrol" Friday, October 8 at 7:30 p.m. on the Cartoon Network Synopsis The outsider-heroes The Doom Patrol are pulled out of a hasty retirement when supervillains begin trying to assassinate them -- or perhaps re-unite them?
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Insight Brian Ruh on “How Manga Reinvented Comics” by Paul Gravett and One Thousand Years of Manga by Brigitte Koyama-Richard Colony Drop offers commentary of the fan reaction to a decision not to include honorifics in subtitle translation Laputa’s Top 150 Japanese and World Animation Films Paul Gravett presents his essay Manga Impact: How Manga Reinvented Comics Five Favorite Films With Animator Bill Plympton ... of particular note Mind Game (2004, N/A Tomatometer) I want to start off with a film you’ve probably seen called Mind Game, by Masaaki Yuasa. It’s a very interesting story. It’s a Japanese film; it’s not anime. It’s very western, actually. It came out in 2005, and critics panned it in Japan, and therefore the producers lost their nerve and shelved the film, which is very sad. I saw it at the Asian Film Festival, and I think you can see it online, but to me, it’s the Citizen Kane of animation. It is such an ambitious and visually unique film. It’s just full of action and full of crazy ideas and surrealism and humor and just beautiful, beautiful craftsmanship. Otaku USA talks to Schoolgirl Milky Crisis' Jonathan Clements also Clements indepth on Redline - Mark Schilling wasn't too high on the movie Brooklyn Rail on the Yoshitomo Nara: Nobody’s Fool exhibition Shaenon Garrity on Hanako and the Terror of Allegory Volume 1 & 2 Mono no Aware on Harmony by Project Itoh Daily Yomiuri on the live action Ooku Manga Maniac Cafe on the unusual work, Tenken Helen McCarthy on Hyper Japan Manga Xanadu on Halloween Manga Mathew Brady on the end of Drifting Classroom Manga Critic on The 14th Dalai Lama: A Manga Biography Three Steps Over Japan continues a look at AX Also, a look at manga based on Tezuka's crash page Tokiwa Sou - part 1 - part 2 Whisper of the Heart's Yoshifumi Kondo's early work Jason Thompson gets into the crazy spirit of Bastard!! also - 20 Questions with Jason Thompson Producer Hisashi Koinuma talks Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage Osmos New York Times on Gothic Lolita at Fashion Institute of Technology Teaching basic film theory through Hayao Miyazaki’s Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind Nick Mamatas on Japanese Speculative Fiction and SF Translation HOT TEARS OF SHAME x Episode 39 - Society for the Destrustion of Japanese Animation Media Joblo has posted concept art of Voltron's Blue Lion 80's Cartoon Concert posters Dynasty Warriors 3 screenshots From Studio 4C's Koji Morimoto Wow Sean Hartter covers Doraemon Volume 2 Kiki’s Delivery Service Picture/Poem Book Master of Manga Tumblr energy company Galaxy Express 999 promo videos Misc Right Stuf has launched the site promoting their Dirty Pair release, which includes an interview with series creator Haruka Takachiho, The Dirty Pair: 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. DIRTY PAIR: The Original TV Series, Pt. 1 DVD Collection Pre-Book: 10/5/2010 Street Date: 11/2/2010 Runtime: Approximately 325 minutes, Dolby Digital Stereo, Color Genre: Sci-Fi / Action Suggested Rating: 13+ Jhonen Vasquez on the resemblence between Panty and Stocking's Chuck and Invader Zim's Gir Statue of long-legged manga character to be replaced after prankster attack Kobe figure taxi The Oshii 3D Cyborg 009 Lego Mazinger Astro Boy inspire fashion Kaiji Kawaguchi in Action Shintaro Kago Inking Videos From His New Manga The opera web browser is getting a -tan personification figure Umezu Carnival 2010 Oden Shrine - Makoto Tezuka's short starring Kazuo Umezu, Osamu Tezuka and Shigeru Mizuki lea Unintentional Evangelion Jacket from The North Face An interview with the voice os She-Ra A preview of TopShelf's Tonoharu: Part Two Tonoharu: Part Two will be published this December. But you can get a sneak preview of it here! As the months go by, Dan Wells settles into his life as an assistant junior high school teacher in the rural Japanese village of Tonoharu. Isolated from those around him by language and cultural barriers, he leads a solitary existence, until the day an unrequited crush extends him a dinner invitation. What follows shakes up Dan’s quiet life and expands his social circle into unexpected quarters. But do these new associates exert an influence that is beneficial, or detrimental?Ain't It Cool News Animation RSS Feed