Animation and Anime

AICN Anime - Charging Through the Backlog with Digitally Distributed Anime/Manga, Business News and Other Cool Stuff

Published at: April 14, 2011, 12:12 p.m. CST


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Column by Scott Green


Digital Distribution News


VIZ Media continues the expansion of its digital manga library available exclusively for the VIZ MANGA APP for the AppleiPad™ mobile device with several new series that will premiere during the first half of April.

The latest update features the launch of the shojo series ABSOLUTE BOYFRIEND and the fantasy-action of KEKKAISHI. Another popular shojo manga series, BLACK BIRD, and the supernatural adventure BLUE EXORCIST premiered on April 11th. The VIZ MANGA APP is available for free through the iTunes Store and all manga volumes are generally available for purchase and download in the U.S. and Canada within the application for $4.99 (U.S. / CAN) per volume. More than 100 manga volumes are now available for download.

Other new releases have included:
April 4th:
DEATH NOTE Vol. 10
DRAGON BALL Z Vol. 3
NARUTO Vol. 20
ONE PIECE Vol. 20
OTOMEN Vol. 5
OURON HIGH SCHOOL HOST CLUB Vol. 5
ROSARIO + VAMPIRE Vol. 3
RUROUNI KENSHIN Vol. 10

April 11th:
BLEACH Vol. 12
CAPTIVE HEARTS Vol. 4
CLAYMORE Vol. 7
D. GRAY MAN Vol. 8
DRAGON BALL Z Vols 4
NARUTO Vol. 21
ONE PIECE Vol. 21

Netflix streaming has added Viz content (uncut & subtitled) including

BLEACH: Episodes 1-109 (Seasons 1-2; Rated TV-14)
NARUTO: Episodes 1-104 (Seasons 1-2; Rated TV-14)
HIKARU NO GO: Episodes 1-75 (Complete Series; Rated TV-G)
HONEY AND CLOVER: Episodes 1-36 (Complete Series; Rated TV-14)
NANA: Episodes 1-47 (Complete Series; Rated TV-MA)
INUYASHA: Episodes 1 – 167 (Seasons 1 – 7; Rated TV-14)



TIGER & BUNNY is streaming on VIZAnime.com


The highly anticipated TIGER & BUNNY is directed by Keiichi Sato (THE BIG O), with character designs by Masakazu Katsura, creator of I"S and VIDEO GIRL AI (DVD & manga both released by VIZ Media). The city of Stern Bild is protected by corporate superheroes known as NEXT, who fight crime while promoting their sponsors on the popular show “HERO TV.” Veteran hero Wild Tiger relies on his years of experience and instincts to fight crime, but his tendency to destroy public property for the sake of protecting the lives of the innocent has earned him the nickname “Crusher for Justice.” Now, under orders from his new employer, Wild Tiger finds himself forced to team up with Barnaby Brooks Jr., a rookie with an attitude, aka "Bunny". Two polar opposites work to fight evil in this thrilling buddy-hero action series!



Viz has completed the 50 episode run on baseball anime Cross Game on Vizanime.com and Hulu



VIZ Media has announced that it will serve as an official distribution partner for Aniplex of America’s domestic debut of the BLUE EXORCIT anime series. VIZ Media will carry the new action series (subtitled) on its VIZAnime website beginning Wednesday, April 20th, just days after its debut on Japanese TV on April 17th.

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New series streaming on Crunchyroll include

STEINS;GATE – the collaborative creation between 5pb. and Nitroplus – today.
STEINS;GATE will be exclusively streamed on Crunchyroll after broadcast in Japan for premium members, with free members able to view it one (1) week after it first airing on Crunchyroll. More information can be found on www.crunchyroll.com/steins-gate.

“STEINS;GATE follows an eclectic group of individuals who have the ability to send text messages to the past. However throughout their experimentation process, an organization named SERN who has been doing their own research on time travel tracks them down. Now it’s a careful game of cat and mouse to not get caught and moreover, try to survive.”

Shounen-ai series , Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi
“Ritsu Onodera quit working for his father’s company and transferred to work at the publishing company, Marukawa Shoten. To his dismay, he's assigned to edit shojo manga in which he has no interest or experience. He works with a strict boss, Takano, that he has trouble getting along with from the beginning. But, Onodera later discovers that he knows Takano from his past...”

BATTLE GIRLS – TIME PARADOX
“Toward the end of the 16th century, a warlord, who was an upstart from the peasantry, defeated his rival warlords and created a unified Japan, putting an end to the so-called Warring States period. That’s what history tells us, but in Battle Girls, something different happens. A high school girl nicknamed Hideyoshi after the warlord who dominated the country, is accidentally dragged into time travel which is plotted by her history teacher who is a descendant of a warlord on the losing side, with the hope of letting her ancestor to seize the helm of the country by revising historical facts. Unlike the historical period, in the world where she is transferred to, all warlords look like high school girls. Hideyoshi teams up with one of them to fight the others, totally betraying the course of history as we know it”

DEADMAN WONDERLAND, based on the manga released in North America by Tokyopop

“Ganta Igarashi has been convicted of a crime that he hasn't committed, and sent to a new, privately owned and operated prison, where the inmates are the main attraction in a modern day twist to the gladiatorial coliseums of ancient times.”

TONO TO ISSHO: Season 2 - based off the Sengoku/Warring States history four-panel gag manga strips

SKET DANCE - based on the Shounen Jump manga
“Support, Kindness, Encouragement and Troubleshooting. SKET is a high school brigade whose mission is to help kids in trouble. Upon consultation, they will offer a tailor-made solution. Bullies, a ghost, lack of self-respect, a missing pet or a broken videogame, you name it! Serious, surreal or laughable, come to meet the threesome and they will do their best to find an answer. Come on in anytime! To tell you the truth, they are not so much in demand and are just hanging out in their club room, bored to death most of the time!”

ASTAROTTE’S TOY
“Naoya is taken to a magical land where he is to enter succubus Princess Astarotte's harem. Due to trauma during her childhood, she dislikes men and surrounds herself with women. Let's watch the lives of these individuals unfold.”

ORETACHI NI TSUBASA WA NAI – WITHOUT WINGS - UNDER THE INNOCENT SKY - based on a visual novel series
“In the big city of Yanagihara, the masses of people and buildings make it a bustling place to exist, and it too can take a life of its own and bury the render the beautiful starry sky expressionless. And yet, people will meet and fall in love here in this city; while that happens everywhere, this is no mundane tale. It may not be a fairytale but it will be a tale to remember nonethtless.”

MY ORDINARY LIFE
“If you think this is going to be a typical story of school life, you'll be surprised to know that the ordinary definitely doesn't happen in My Ordinary Life.”

HANASAKU IROHA
“HANASAKU IROHA centers around 16-year-old Ohana Matsumae who moves from Tokyo to out in the country to live with her grandmother at an onsen ryokan named Kissuiso. While restarting her life there initially seems daunting, Ohana begins working at the inn, makes friends with the other employees and watches her life take an unexpected twist.”

BLUE EXORCIST - Based on the Shounen Jump SQ manga series
“BLUE EXORCIST consists of two dimensions joined as one where demons live in one and humans live in the other. While movement between the two is impossible, demons can pass over into this world by possessing anything that exists within it. To take over the human world, Satan created a vessel – Okumura Rin, his son from a human woman – but will he follow his father’s bidding or become something else...?”

HOSHIZORA E KAKARU HASHI – A BRIDGE TO THE STARRY SKIES - based on the bishoujo (cute girl) game)
“Kazuma Hoshino moves to the beautiful countryside to take care of his little brother, Ayumu Hoshino. They ended up staying in a Japanese Inn that their father knows but not being accustomed to the streets of the countryside, they get lost on their way to the Japanese Inn. Moreover, Kazuma gets into a bit of mischief in the mountains...Being in an unfamiliar place, a woman appears before him. A Bridge to the Starry Skies - Hoshizora e Kakaru Hashi is a love comedy of the countryside. Watch this and forget about the daily hustle and bustle.”

geek relationship comedy WORLD GOD ONLY KNOWS - Season 2

the season series of Shounen Jump alternate history comedy adaptation GINTAMA

additionally, the following continuing series will be simul-streamed BEELZEBUB, BLEACH, CARDFIGHT! VANGUARD, FAIRY TAIL, GOSICK, KAASAN -- MOM'S LIFE, NARUTO SHIPPUDEN, and ST. SEIYA THE LOST CANVAS

Crunchyroll will also be streaming the second series of Patrick Macias (editor in chief, Otaku USA magazine) and Yuu Asakawa (voice actress, FINAL FANTASY VII, LOVE HINA)'s Otaku Verse Zero.


OTAKU-VERSE ZERO aims to bring “otaku all over the universe” fun and lively coverage of anime, manga, and Japanese pop culture. New episodes will be available immediately to world audiences except Japan every Friday at 6 p.m. PST starting on April 1st.

Crunchyroll, Inc., released the next major update of its popular Anime video streaming application for Android devices. The new release supports free ad-supported streaming of all shows, as well as premium member access to exclusive early released content of anime broadcast in Japan. The previous version of the Crunchyroll Android application was only accessible to premium members.

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In addition to its Crunchyroll streaming Blue Exorcist will be offered on Anime News Network and Hulu.



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Seven Seas' Amazing Agent Luna, Hollow Fields, Vampire Cheerleaders, Aoi House, Arkham Woods, and more are now available in Apple's iBookstore


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Publishers Weekly has taken a look at DMP's Digital Manga Guild.


Hikaru Sasahara, CEO of Digital Manga Publishing, first floated the idea of the Digital Manga Guild—recruiting manga fans to work in teams as translators—less than six months ago, and the idea is starting to take concrete shape. Sasahara said last week that he has acquired 508 manga titles, and hopes to start signing agreements with localization groups as early as this week. Once that is done, the groups can get to work translating, editing, and lettering the manga so it can be posted online at DMP’s eManga.com site as well as being distributed via the Kindle and Nook devices.


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Ahead of the launch of its digital comics platform, Dark Horse is inviting fans to sign up for a newsletter/contest at Digital.DarkHorse.com

Visitors who can find other's to sign up will receive.

1st Free: Criminal Macabre #1
2nd Free: Fray #1
3rd Free: Abe Sapien: The Drowning #1
4th Free: The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite #1
5th Free: Mass Effect: Redemption #1

One lucky person will win an iPad 2 (16G/black/black Smart Cover) and a $100 Dark Horse Digital Store credit

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Toei Animation Inc. and FUNimation Entertainment will stream the official English-subtitled episodes of eating adventure "Toriko" tarting Thursday, April 14th 6:00 p.m. PST, four days after the Japanese broadcast, each episode will be available on www.hulu.com as well as www.funimation.com/video . A new episode will be rolled out weekly as "Toriko" continues its Japanese television run.

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Nintendo is shutting down their Wii Theater streaming video channel, which had offered Japanese consumers rental content including Astro Boy.

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Japanese internet service provider Biglobe has announced the launch of a Sugoi Books Android app, featuring a bookstore will 100 volumes of translated manga, including Kazuo Umezu's Cate Eyed Girl and Yoshikazu Yasuhiko's Joan, as well as adaptations of Japanese literature and legends including Rashomon, Hachiko, Potrait of Hell and The Setting Sun.

Pages are fitted to 3.5 inch and most other displays.


BIGLOBE also plans to release the SUGOI BOOKS app for iPhone/iPad, Symbian, and BlackBerry.

Payment method: PayPal.

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Anime producer and distributor Right Stuf, Inc. and Nozomi Entertainment have announced that an encore presentation of Junjo Romantica will be streamed at www.youtube.com/nozomient, to celebrate the upcoming release of the Junjo Romantica 2 DVD Collection (Season 2) on May 3, 2011.



The first four episodes of Junjo Romantica’s first anime season are now available at the Nozomi Entertainment channel on YouTube and at www.youtube.com/show/junjoromantica. Two additional episodes will be added each week, for the next four weeks, and be viewable for free (for a limited time) to fans in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.


The Junjo Romantica 2 DVD Collection includes the series’ complete 12-episode second season – plus video extras and a 24-page booklet with character biographies, artwork and behind-the-scenes information – housed in a colorful, Thinpak-style art box. Like the first season, which is also available on DVD from Right Stuf’s Nozomi Entertainment, it features Japanese audio, English-language subtitles and English on-screen translations.

About Junjo Romantica

Based on Shungiku Nakamura’s best-selling boys’ love (yaoi) manga, the Junjo Romantica anime consists of two seasons (a total of 24 episodes) and features direction by Chiaki Kon(When They Cry - Higurashi, Nodame Cantabile: Paris) and animation by Studio DEEN(Gravitation, Kyo Kara Maoh!).
The romantic comedy stars a cast of veteran voice actors, including Takahiro Sakurai (“Suzaku” in Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion, “Yuri” in Kyo Kara Maoh!), Hikaru Hanada (“Raul” inErgo Proxy), Kentarou Itou (“Renji” in Bleach), Nobutoshi Canna (“Tasuki” in Fushigi Yûgi, “Ban Mido” in Getbackers), Kazuhiko Inoue (“Eiri Yuki” in Gravitation, “Hatori Soma” in Fruits Basket), and Daisuke Kishio (“Kaname Kuran” in Vampire Knight).

Spanning more than 12 collected volumes, Nakamura’s original comic has been serialized in Japan’s Asuka Ciel magazine since 2002. The English-language edition of Junjo Romantica – published in North America by TOKYOPOP’s BLU imprint – appeared on the New York Times’weekly list of best-selling graphic books during Summer 2009.

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The Anime Network has begun simul-streaming SHAFT (He is My Master, Pani Poni Dash) and director Shinbo Akiyuki's (Hidamari Sketch, Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei) Maria Holic Alive.

Episode one will be available to site guests. Episode 2 will be available to registered users and the reest of the series to premium subscribes

The craziness continues in Maria Holic Alive! Kanako and Mariya are back, and up to their old tricks once again at the Ame no Kisaki school for girls. With Kanako's penchant for breaking out in hive's when a boy is near and Mariya's sadistic nature (plus her love of torturing poor Kanako), there's no telling what kind of antics they'll get into! Don't forget Matsurika, the sharp-talking maid, who puts them both in their places every chance she gets. The nose bleeds will run wild, as silly, sexy fun collides with short-fused cross dressers and towering terrors in Maria Holic Alive!

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eManga.com Harlequin releases include
4/1
The Millionaire's Secret Wish

4/5
Passionate Fantasy

4/7
The Millionaire's Revenge

4/11
Something from the Heart

4/13
The Apartment (French)

4/13
If the Slipper Fits (Korean)

Blue Moon Bride (Chinese)

4/15
The Sheikkh's Ransomed Bride

4/19
Pregnant by the Millionair

4/21
By Love Alone

4/27
The Italian's Token Wife

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Anime News Network apan's Digital Comics Association's manga portal JManga.com. An unauthorized login lead to an inaccurate list of titles and prices being posted.

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Ken Akamatsu (Negima! Magister Negi Magi, Love Hina) posted a proposal on his manga distribution site J-Comi to "purify" or legalize unauthorized manga scans on file-sharing networks by adding advertising to the existing files — with the creators' permission.
The beta version of J-Comi already serves legal, free downloads of manga, but the new proposal will deal directly with illegally distributed files of manga. Akamatsu presented his plan under the title "Illegal (Out-of-Print) Manga File Purification Project."

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Yen Press has added the series Innocent to the digital manga anthology

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Super Milk Chan and Karas have been added to Hulu

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The Robotech novels are now available in ebook formats

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IDW Publishing announced the distribution of over one million of its comic reader apps on the Apple App Store.

IDW digital comics are presently available for more mobile devices and platforms than any other major publishers, including the Apple App StoreSM, Sony Digital Comics for the PSP, the Nokia Ovi Store, Amazon’s Kindle Store, the AT&T AppCenter and BlackBerry’s App World, with more to be announced throughout 2011. The IDW digital comics catalog includes single issues and graphic novels, all formatted for tablets, phones and game devices, with titles ranging from top licensed brands to fan-favorite creators. IDW also offers comics through several partners, including iVerse, Graphic.ly, and For-Side.

Brigid Alverson offers some top picks for viewing comics on the iPad




Anime x Games


Nintendo 3DS game One Piece Unlimited Cruise SP has added characters Phoenix Macro and Diamond Jozu
more here

Screenshots of strategy RPG Dai-2-Ji Super Robot Taisen Z: Hakai Hen, due to be released in Japan April 14th - featuring mecha from series such as Gundam, Gurren Lagann, Mazinger and Getter Robo

more pomo images - and here



Bleach: Soul Ignition is slated for the Playstation 3 this year. - more here - and here

Screenshot for PSP game Naruto Shippuuden: Narutimate Impact - slated to hit Japan this fall - and here

Super Sentai Battle Ranger Cross for the Wii will feature rangers from Himitsu Sentai Goranger, Tensou Sentai Soseiger, Samurai Sentai Shinkenger, Engine Sentai Go-onger, and Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger

Reminiscence of Haruhi Suzumiya (PSP game) screen shots

Gundam Memories: Tatakai no Kioku for the PSP, due to hit Japan June 23, 2011 - featuring Mobile Suit Gundam, Mobile Suit Seta Gundam, Char's Counterattack, After War Gundam X, Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz, Gundam Seed Destiny, Gundam 00, Gundam 00: Awakening of the Trailblazer and Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn.
more here

A promo for new PSP fighting game Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Kenkaku Romantan Saisen

BlazBlue, a fighting game series the courts an anime audience, is getting a Nintendo 3DS game

The Reminiscences of Haruhi Suzumiya for the Playstation 3 and PSP has been delayed from March to May 3rd

A look at the Steins; Gate: Hiyoku Renri no Darling XBox 360 adventure game - associated with a series running this anime season

Nintendo DS game Solatorobo: Red the Hunter, which had Nobuteru Yuki design and Madhouse animation is getting a European release

In development indie mecha game Hawken


Richard Berg talks board game Godzilla: Kaiju World Wars

Haruhi skins for Toy Wars

Level-5, makers of Professor Layton, the successful Inazuma Eleven game series and the less than successful Ghibli collaberation Ni no Kuni has opened a Santa Monica office with aims of expanding into the USA.


The Business


By now you have likely seen a press release distributed by Navarre Corporation announcing the sale of FUNimation Entertainment.

Navarre has sold Funimation Entertainment to an investment group led by president and CEO Gen Fukunaga and includes John A. Kuelbs who was then instrumental in selecting Darwin and Doug Deason to join the team. In connection with the sale, the Company has entered into an agreement to act as FUNimation Entertainment's exclusive distributor in the United States on a continuing basis, and will also act as FUNimation Entertainment's logistics and fulfillment services provider.

“We have a great history with Navarre and we thank everyone there for their longstanding support throughout the last five years,” said Gen Fukunaga, president and CEO at FUNimation Entertainment. “It is due to Navarre’s logistical expertise and wide distribution network that we were able to grow our company into the Anime industry’s market share leader. Though it will no longer be our parent company, Navarre will continue to distribute our product and we look forward to working with them for years to come. We are very excited about our new partners all of whom understand our vision and will help us develop our initiatives in physical product, digital entertainment and other growth areas.”

J. Reid Porter replaced Cary Deacon as Chief Executive Officer on an interim basis while the board conducts a national external search for the next CEO. Deacon also stepped down from his position on Navarre's Board of Directors.

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Shintaro Ishihara, signficant to anime and manga fans for his advocacy of the Youth Healthy Development Ordinance and known for contraversial statements about homosexuals and the March earthquake, as been elected to serve a fourth term as Tokyo's governor.

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Dark Horse has laid off 7 of its 100 employees. Tim Ervin, an editor whose manga work has include, Hellsing, Trigun, Blade of the Immortal and Lone Wolf and Cub was affected by the cuts. Colter credits slow book sales, the bankruptcy of reliable manga buyer Borders and licensing decisions.


Mobile software company Aplix Corporation will acquire anime producer Anime International Company (AIC) for 700 million yen (about US$8.5 million), with plans to use AIC to produce contents for the Asian smartphone market.

Aplix is buying AIC from the pachisuro (pachinko-parlor slot machine) maker Oizumi

AIC is best in North America for its work in the 80's and 90's, on series such as Tenchi Muyo, El Hazard, Bubblegum Crisis and Oh! My Goddess.



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Toei announced plans to replace select background music on Dragon Ball Kai, the re-edit of the popular Dragon Ball Z series due to suspicision that the music may infringe on third pary rights.

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Broccoli (source Digi Charat and Galaxy Angel) will be leaving the character good retails business to focus on manufacturing. Animate will take over Broccoli's mail order and retail stores.

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Japanese toy giant Tomy will purchase the Illinois-based toymaker RC2 for $640 million. RC2 is best known here for its Thomas, the Tank Engine, Learning Curve, Johnny Lightning, and Ertl brands. Tomy merged with fellow Japanese toy giant Takara in 2005, but kept the “Tomy” name in the U.S

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On March 24th, TV Tokyo and Nihon Ad Systems filed a law suit against 4Kids Entertainment alleging that 4Kids 50% of gross Yu-Gi-Oh income, minus pre-defined expenses, as agreed upon in the original licensing agreement, with profits hidden from deals with Cartoon Network and Funimation (not named as plantiffs). The suit claims that, after an audit, 4Kids owes the companies US$4,792,460.36

4Kids Entertainment filed a Form 8-K report to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission stated that the suit as "wrongful and devoid of any factual and legal basis."

"If the Company’s continued attempts to resolve the dispute with the Licensors are unsuccessful, the Company intends to take all actions it deems necessary to preserve its business and assets, including the potential filing of a petition under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. In addition, the Company will seek to recover for all damages sustained by the Company and its business arising from the recent actions of the Licensors."

Then, on April 6th 4Kids filed for bankruptcy

In conjunction with the Chapter 11 filing, 4Kids also filed a variety of first day motions that will allow the Company to continue to manage operations in the ordinary course.

"We want to assure our clients, business partners and licensees that during the pendency of the bankruptcy, 4Kids will continue to provide the same level of service and dedication that it has in the past," said Michael Goldstein, interim Chairman of 4Kids Entertainment, Inc. "The Company will also continue to explore its strategic alternatives, including, the possible sale of the business or reorganization as a stronger and more focused company,".

The 4Kids bankruptcy filing automatically “stays” the lawsuit filed by the licensors of the Yu-Gi-Oh! property, Asatsu-DK Inc and TV Tokyo Corporation, until such time as the Court may order otherwise.


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Hakuhodo DY Holdings, the parent company of the ad firm Hakuhodo, and director Kenji Kamiyama (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Eden of the East) established Steve N' Steven — a new consulting firm for planning and producing animation in advertising

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Following the decision by Senior US District Judge Royal Furgeson's decision against efforts to sue a group of 1,337 individuals accusing of pirating One Piece, Funimation has dropped its suit against the remaining defendant

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Cartoon Network's season upfronts did not include Genndy Tartakovsky mecha series Sym-Bionic Titan. The talk is "Genddy's moved on to Sony Pictures Animation. Titan got competitive ratings with other action shows, but what shut it down was it didn't have enough toys connected to it. If you don't have the, the studios don't want to renew for another season."

Tokyopop will be relaunching their company website on April 26th without previously submitted user generated content.

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ICV2 on the Tokyopop's March layoffs

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A look at Why Vertical Inc. is Successful

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MADHOUSE's Former Manager Says Domination of Fansubs and 3D Anime Puts Anime in Crisis - According to ASCII.jp, Masuda Hiromichi, the former executive director of Madhouse Studios, said that fansubs and the shift of the worldwide trend toward 3D anime have become the major obstacles for Japanese anime producers to establish a business model outside of Japan.

IDW Publishing announded that GODZILLA: KINGDOM OF MONSTERS #1 sold out just a day after making its debut at comic book retail stores throughout North America. Written by Eric Powell and Tracy Marsh, with artwork by Phil Hester, the rapid sell-out marks a fantastically successful return for the giant fire-breathing lizard to comics. To meet the continued demand and ensure fans everywhere have access to the comic, GODZILLA: KINGDOM OF MONSTERS #1 will be returning in a ground-shaking second printing.



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Oricon's sales chart for top selling voice actresses of 2010 - Nana Mizuki (Hinata in Naruto, Wrath in the original Fullmetal Alchemist Anime and Lan Fan in Brotherhood) headed the list with 1,209,600,000 yen. The data covers sales between December 20, 2009 and December 12, 2010. It does not include sales of releases which are listed only by fictional character names.

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Producer Koji Yamamoto confirmd on Twitter that Fractale and Wandering Son received the Noitamina blocks lowest ratings. The Fuji TV programming aims to expand anime viewership beyond its traditional audience.

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Tim Maughan says that the anime industry is ignoring The Elephant in the Room

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ICV2's Top 25 Manga PropertiesQ4 2010

Code Geass: Shikkoku no Renya manga manga artist Tomomasa Takuma announced plans to sue a blogger who repeated accused Takuma of plagurism

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Boing Boing has continued to try to track down whether the Tolkien estate explicitly asked Zazzle to take down a "While you were reading Tolkien, I was watching Evangelion" button.

Awards and Nominations


The nominees for the 2011 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards have been announced. Naoki Urara's 20th Century Boys work has been nomated for Best Writer/Artist and Best Continuing Series. 7 Billion Needles, Nobuaki Tadano's adaptation of Hal Clement's Needle was nominated for Best Adaptation from Another Work

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Best U.S. Edition of International Material-Asia nominees include
Ayako, by Osamu Tezuka (Vertical)
Bunny Drop, by Yumi Unita (Yen Press)
A Drunken Dream and Other Stories, by Moto Hagio (Fantagraphics)
House of Five Leaves, by Natsume Ono (VIZ Media)
Naoki Urasawa's 20th Century Boys, by Naoki Urasawa (VIZ Media)


Honey and Clover creator Chika Umino's March Comes in like a Lion was recognized with this year's Manga Taisho Award

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Favourite Manga nominees for the London Comic Con's Eagle Awards include
Favourite Manga
• One Piece by Eiirchiro Oda (Shueisha/Viz Media)?• Fullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa (Square Enix/Viz Media)?• Berserk by Kenatro Miura (Hakusensha/ Dark Horse Comics)?• Bleach by Tite Kubo (Shueisha/Viz Media)?• Naruto by Masashi Kishimoto (Shueisha/Viz Media)

Masami Tsuda's Eensy-Weensy Monster, Ririko Tsujita's The Secret Notes of Lady Kanoko and Yuki Fujimoto's The Stellar Six of Gingacho , all published by Tokyopop, were nominated for The American Library Association's Young Adult Library Services Association 2012 Great Graphic Novels for Teens list


Worth Checking Out...


Neill Cameron is doing a second A-Z of Awesome, this time dedicated to Japan

FUNimation has launched a series of quake charity auctions

An illustrated email from Japan

LWLies X Japanese Cinema Print all proceeds going to Mercy Corps and ShelterBox



Insight
Otaku-Verse Zero S2 ep01


Comic distributor Diamond spoke to Dark Horse editor Car Horn

Anime News Network spoke to Blue Exorcist manga creator Kazue Kato and Kazuhiro Furuhashi, Director of Gundam UC

Vanity Fair on 4chan and its founder, Moot and Forbes

contraversally, Richard Smart proposes some positives in Ishihara’s manga censorship policy

Salon on Japanese pop media and disaster
Foreign Policy on the subject
NPR's History Of Tsunami - with comments from Susan Napier
The Guardian on how Japan's fantasy films act as a buffer against the reality of the natural world
Japan: The Imagination of Disaster - Studio 360
The Grady Hendrix comments not included in that NPR Godzilla/disaster piece

And, on that channel of conversation, Grady Hendrix notes The Next Stupid Godzilla Reference Might Be Yours

NPR Reading List: Books To Help You Understand Japan

Essayist/commentator/anime-manga creator Hiroki Azuma in the NY Times about Japanese pride

Speaking of Azuma, Anime World Order returns with talk of Disappearance Diary

New York Times on “Bye Bye Kitty!!! Between Heaven and Hell in Contemporary Japanese Art”
The New Yorker On Bye Bye Kitty!!!
Interview with Tomoko Shioyasu - Bye Bye Kitty!!!
Interview with Hiraki Sawa - Bye Bye Kitty!!


How Japan’s Tragedies Are Affecting Its Film Industry



Comic Book Resources looks at 20 Years of Gold Diggers


"I've enjoyed anime since it first appeared on local television for me in the late seventies. 'Speed Racer' and 'Marine Boy.' I didn't know it came from Japan until the mid to late eighties when 'Robotech' aired. I guess 'Robotech' was the show that made my love for anime and manga really click," Perry told CBR. "In 1989, I saw a comic called 'Ninja High School.' That book is what lit the spark for me to want to draw manga. But not in Ben [Dunn]'s style. He already was doing an awesome job at doing Ben's style. I wanted to find my own 'manga' style. So I studied the references I could get at that time -- mostly Viz comics: 'Xenon,' 'Street Fighter 2' and 'Lum.' Eventually, I learned enough about the style that I was confident in my ability to practice without references. I filled tons of sketchbooks!"




Tom Gill on Tatsume, Tsuge, and fetuses in the sewer

Chris Mautner reviews Oji Suzuki's gekiga collection, A SINGLE MATCH

Mike Toole on cel collecting - Ghibli before Ghibli

a look at anime's TV ratings

AniPages Daily discusses Yosuke Oomomo's The River of Brightness


The Best Manga You’re Not Reading: Kekkaishi - and Qwan
Also on the Manga Critic Katsuhiro Otomo's Memories
Twin Spica 5 - 6
The infamous Hideshi Hino's Red Snake

Anja Flower on uses for yaoki and on queer bodies and Ghost In The Shell

Seinen manga title commentary: Combat

Jonathan Clements looks at the work of the great Shotaro Ishinomori - creator of influencial Cyborg 009, Kamen Rider and Kikaider
and at Yukinobu Hoshino - the manga artist behind 2001 Nights and the Professor Munakata series

also on location hunting in the anime biz

Alex O. Smith Talks Harmony, Translating, Japanese, and JRPG

Mathew Brady speaks highly of Summer Wars


An introduction to the anthology Kiss

Speaking of josei Catherine the Great manga from the author of Rose of Versailles


Sean Russell, Deb Aoki, Jordan D. White and Erica Friedman talk Sailor Moon

NPR recommends Boys Over Flowers

in his book column, Brian Ruh on the Paprika novel
Sharon Kinsella's Adult Manga
Studio Ghibli: The Films of Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata by Colin Odell and Michelle Le Blanc

Gritty Is The New Pretty: Q Hayashida's 'Dorohedoro'



Best Sci-Fi Anime

An Introduction to Gekiga, 6970 A.D. - and a more general introduction the beginnings of alternate manga



Jason Thompson (Manga: The Complete Guide) on
Antique Bakery - the anime of which was recently released by Right Stuf
classic magic girl series Card Captor Sakura and Sailor Moon
Dragon Ball - with a look at some interesting lore

For fans of Masayuki Ishikawa's microbe/agriculture manga Moyashimon, related kids picture books and his gag series Weekly Masayuki Ishikawa



New York Times critics discuss Akira

Otaku USA has an early look at Usamaru Furuya's trangressive Lychee Light Club
Anime programming at the New York International Children Film Festival
also fantasy anime Guin Saga and explosive OVA Mazinkaiser

Artist Luke Chueh Talks 'Possessed,' Sanrio, Anime and The Venture Bros.

Liz Ohanesian at LA Weekly on the Shibuya Girls Pop exhibition

5 Japanese Bands You Should Hear Right Now

Charles Solomon on manga about manga creation Bakuman

an updated explination of "yuri"

On Manga UK
Hetalian History
Summer Wars
SkyCrawkers
Tokyo Zombie
Solo produced anime
background art in anime

So farewell then, Plutonium kun

interesting observation on all the animators contributing to Gundam Unicorn

ad folks on sponsorship spoof anime Tiger and Bunny

video of Haruo Nakajima at Monsterpalooza

a Portuguese language look at Jules Verne inspired anime Secret of Cerulean Sand

an interview with Itano Ichiro - known for the "Itano Circus" - Macross' birlliant missile displays

Gainax lectures translation

Media

Indie animator Hiroyasu Ishida's (award winning Fumiko’s Confession) new Rain Town


an interesting looking opening for [C] Opening


Sushi Typhoon has launched a YouTube channel

magazine articles about the samurai film genre


Hiroyuki Yamashita MAD


Hidetsugu Ito MAD


Ghibli fanart book marks

Samurai Pizza Cats

Fuck Yeah Horror Manga

Colossal Mechanical Dinosaur

if you were curious what Thomas the Tank Engine sounded like in Japanese

moe preditor

4-koma Star Driver manga by FMA author Hiromu Arakawa

Takehiko Inoue Cup Noodles Ad

Dyna Moe covers Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon

Neat Planty and Stocking fanart

Awesome Incredible Change Bots picture

Hausu inspired art

Dungeons and Drawings hits the kappa

Shintaro Kago has a gag for Black Jack fans

Shingo Fujii MAD


Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magika MAD - features spoilers


Mecha Sakuga MAD


March 2011 sakuga MADs




Takarazuka- The Final Countdown


American Comic/Japanese pop culture mash-ups

Princess Miyazaki grafitti

The Anime Network has posted a number of openings, endings and clips

Download Summer Wars trailer music

Misc
Ken Watanabe reads Miyazawa Kenji - a beloved children's author and poet whose works has been adapted into anime Night on the Galactic Railways and whose inspired many in the field

a translation

100 smiles for Japan


A preview of Shimura Takako’s Wandering Son

for Araki's 30 anniversary and Jojo's Bizarre Adventure's 25th, JoJo.com (not actual URL) launched http://www.araki-jojo.com/

Well Go USA, who releases some noteworthy Japanese movies relaunched their web site

what anime looked like in the 90's

Daruma SDF1

figma THE BIG O • Dorothy Waynright by Max Factoy

A different sort of robot girl figure EX Gohkin ARALE-CHAN - from Akira Toriyama's Dr Slump

Dennou Chogokin Tachikoma review

Revoltech Monsters, Inc. and T-Rex

horror Astro Boy


Play the game of world leaders playing games with The Legend of Koizumi card game

Hobo with a Shotgun apparently has foundation in He-Man, Ghostbusters, Transformers, Voltron and BraveStarr

Miami News Times profiles Urban Ronin cosplay group

Anime Boston is going to have a Tomino signed Zeta Gundam cel in their charity auction

Kaneda's Bike From Akira For Sale On Craigslist!

Ender's Game Author Praises Cowboy Bebop

MMA heavy weight great Fedor gets a copy of the Natural Born Comics doujinshi

Exploring Japan's Yokai with Shonen Magazine

Agency funds short anime production to groom 'key animators'

a Natsume Ono croquet 4panel



Peggel Doujinshi

Band of Ninja Criterion proposal

Twittering from Japan

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex: Solid State Society 3D promotion

promo installation in which you control a GitS Tachikoma with Xbox Kinect

Kyoto International Manga Museum Adds U.S. Yuri Works

Miyazaki's First Manga - People of the Desert (Sabaku no Tami)

DIY exo=suit

if you're morbidly curious about “Health and Physical Education for 30 Year-Olds”

Takashi Murakami Toy Sculpture by Mike Leavitt

J-Horror + Dubstep + Yoda = Creepy video for Rusko & Reso "Lick the Lizard"

Panty and Stocking×galaxxxy iPhone4 cases

Exploring Japan's Yokai with Shonen Magazine

New Tezuka Ukiyoe prints

limited edition Astro Boy camera

Short story “Mardock: Two Hundred Below” by Tow Ubukata

Astro Boy and URAN for Giant Robot's UNICEF benefit



One Piece Pepsi bottles

Augemented reality Suwappu


One of this year's OED gimmick additions is "hentai"



 

 



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Readers Talkback

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  • April 14, 2011, 12:15 p.m. CST

    Superman!

    by Rob

  • April 14, 2011, 12:20 p.m. CST

    GO, GO, GODZILLA!!!!

    by darthderp

    You can tell how much of an anime/manga fan I am when Big G's the only thing that I notice in the article. I'll take that and leave the rest, thanks.

  • April 14, 2011, 12:37 p.m. CST

    The Hawken fps mecha game looks fantastic.

    by CodeName

  • April 14, 2011, 3:24 p.m. CST

    Agree on Hawken

    by Johnno

    Probabl runs on high end PCs. Reminds me that we need a crazy Zone of the Enders game for PS4 if they're not gonna bother doing one now. Might as well get one ready for launch years down the road.

  • April 14, 2011, 4:40 p.m. CST

    hey Scott Green

    by spidercoz

    love the column and all but you do realize that all those youtube embeds kill the page load and response times, and damn near freeze up the browser, how about just some links instead?

  • April 14, 2011, 6:10 p.m. CST

    Damn.

    by gopher

    Still no news on Black Lagoon and/or Rei Hiroe.