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AICN Anime - New Series From the Creators of "Cowboy Bebop" - Previews of "Berserk" Movie and Disney's Release of Ghibli's Arrietty and More!



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Column by Scott Green



The Creators of "Cowboy Bebop" Are Back!

Wonder what Cowboy Bebop creator Shinichirō Watanabe has been up to since since his impressive follow-up work on 2004's Samurai Champloo? Well, he contributed a bit to the music on Eureka 7, some storyboard work on the worth-seeing sci-fi action Birdy the Mighty. The directed a short for Studio 4C's 2007 Genius Party anthology and supervised the music on the excellent, but unfortunately unlicensed Brazilian set mother/daughter crime epic Michiko to Hatchin.
Well, after long, dry spell, he's re-teaming with Cowboy Bebop composer Yoko Kanno on Sakamichi no Apollo, an upcoming anime show, that will be airing on Noitamina - an anime block that programs anime for audiences who don't typically watch anime.
via Crunchyroll News

Yuki Kodama, the artist of the Shogakukan Manga Award winning original work was quoted, "I've been blessed with the best staff—to the point where when the anime adaptation of the manga was announced I could have sworn there was no such thing as such a luxurious combination. I'm so happy my heart could burst. I'm just waiting to see what kind of visual and musical collaboration they have in store for us."


Director Watanabe commented, "Actually this is the first time I'm doing an adaptation. When I read the manga, I thought, 'This is something I should do.' I'm making it with the feeling of having jam sessions with Kodama-sensei and leveraging the distinct flavor of the manga."


Yoko Kanno had this to say: "In youth, jazz. This is the work I had been waiting for the most. By all means please listen to the sounds of these young prodigies performing that I can hear from the manga, the beat of their life. "


Other staff includes:


Script: Ayako Katou (from Fuji TV), Yuuko Kakihara (Chihayafuru, series composition for Persona 4)

Character Design: Nobuteru Yuuki (Maken-ki!, To Terra)

Chief Animation Direction: Yoshimitsu Yamashita (House of Five Leaves)



Disney "Secret World of Arrietty" Dub Preview

Disney's release of Studio Ghibli's The Secret World of Arrietty hits North America February 17th. The movie was previously released in the UK with a different English dub—Americans will be hearing actress/singer Bridgit Mendler as Arrietty along with Will Arnett, Amy Poehler, Carol Burnett, and David Henrie instead of Saoirse Ronan, Tom Holland, Mark Strong, Olivia Coleman, Phyllidia Law, and Geraldine McEwan.


The Hiromasa Yonebayashi directed movie, also known as Arrietty the Borrower, adapts Mary Norton's novel The Borrowers, about the little people secretly living in human dwellings.  Studio co-founder Hayao Miyazaki wrote the film's script.



Six Minutes of the "Berserk" Anime Film

Studio 4ºC's Berserk Golden Age Arc I: Egg of the Supreme Ruler, the first of a three movie adaptation of the first arc of Kentaro Miura's medieval horror action manga hits Japanese theaters on February 4th.


Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker - Production Update 01


EA, BioWare, and FUNimation are working with Vexille director Fumihiko Sori and studio Oxybot to produce an animated feature based on Bioware's Dragon Age games. Gackt and Sky Crawlers' Chiaki Kuriyama and Shosuke Tanihara have recently signed on to voice characters in a project that's intended to attract international attention.  


2012 is the Year of the Dragon, which is perfect timing for the release of Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker. To kick things off, we're unveiling our brand new website and behind-the-scenes Production Update. We here at FUNimation are so excited to be working with BioWare and Electronic Arts on this film. Site updates and behind-the-scenes info will be posted frequently, so check back often to learn about Cassandra, the Seekers, and the Dragon Age World.

Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker will be available on DVD and Blu-ray in spring 2012.
Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker -In the land of Orlais, where battles are fought with swords and magic, a young heroine rises as templars, mages, and dragons clash. Cassandra, a brash and beautiful Seeker, must stop a conspiracy that threatens the realm's most powerful religious order, the Chantry of Andraste.

Accused of treasonous crimes and hunted by friend and foe, Cassandra must clear her name and overcome her raging emotions in order to save the day and take her place in legend.


From Yale University Press - a New Book on Otaku Culture

YALE UNIVERSITY PRESS is pleased to announce the publication of Fandom Unbound Otaku Culture in a Connected World Edited by Mizuko Ito, Daisuke Okabe, and Izumi Tsuji In recent years, otaku culture has emerged as one of Japan’s major cultural exports and as a genuinely transnational phenomenon.


This timely volume investigates how this once marginalized popular culture has come to play a major role in Japan’s identity at home and abroad. In the American context, the word otaku is best translated as “geek”—an ardent fan with highly specialized knowledge and interests. But it is associated especially with fans of specific Japan-based cultural genres, including anime, manga, and video games. Most important of all, as this collection shows, is the way otaku culture represents a newly participatory fan culture in which fans not only organize around niche interests but produce and distribute their own media content. In this collection of essays, Japanese and American scholars offer richly detailed descriptions of how this once stigmatized Japanese youth culture created its own alternative markets and cultural products such as fan fiction, comics, costumes, and remixes, becoming a major international force that can challenge the dominance of commercial media. By exploring the rich variety of otaku culture from multiple perspectives, this groundbreaking collection provides fascinating insights into the present and future of cultural production and distribution in the digital age.

MIZUKO ITO is Professor in Residence and John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Chair in Digital Media
and Learning, Department of Anthropology and Department of Informatics, University of California, Irvine.

DAISUKE OKABE is lecturer in psychology, Tokyo City University, Japan. IZUMI TSUJI is associate professor of
sociology at Chuo University, Japan.

Fandom Unbound: Otaku Culture in a Connected World
Edited by Mizuko Ito, Daisuke Okabe, and Izumi Tsuji
ISBN: 978-0-300-15864-9 PB-with Flaps * eBook ISBN: 978-0-300-17826-5
Price: $35.00 * 352 pages, with 55 b/w illus.

Publication Date: February 28, 2012

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Readers Talkback
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  • Jan. 27, 2012, 9:14 p.m. CST


    by Mr.Macphisto


  • Jan. 27, 2012, 9:15 p.m. CST


    by eloy

    That´s all

  • Jan. 27, 2012, 9:15 p.m. CST

    Fuck, macphisto

    by eloy

    You just made me look dumb

  • Jan. 27, 2012, 9:19 p.m. CST


    by Xenodistortion

    Oh hell yes! I am down as fuck for three movies of this. Loved the anime series and the manga! Any idea when it'll be available in the U.S.? I always thought this would make an awesome live action show. Great stuff. Guts is the ultimate medieval badass!

  • Jan. 27, 2012, 10:05 p.m. CST


    by JudasPriestly

    I'm kinda psyched out about this, but a lot of graphic violence and sex has undoubtably been omitted from these movies. I think the ideal format, other than the manga of course, would be a live-action HBO series. Especially considering the rape, child molestation, ultraviolence, incest and the surreal, dark shit that goes on.

  • Jan. 27, 2012, 10:52 p.m. CST

    Well Berserk sure looks awesome, but...

    by Sean

    ... Was it really necessary to spend so much on making such an elaborate remake, that in MANY areas is shot-for-shot, when the existing anime is has one of the most notoriously soul-crushing cliffhangers ever. I'm told the stories were continued in the manga but I could care less. All this work on a 3 part remake that will take years to conclude, years that could have been spend unfolding the further trials and adventures of the survivors of the original Berserk finale. I'm glad to see any new Berserk at all but for Christ's sake.

  • Jan. 27, 2012, 11:21 p.m. CST


    by Xenodistortion

    Yeah the end of the anime series killed me! It's sad to think what could have been. I think making more would have got the series the recognition it deserved too. Then who knows what would have happened. At this point though, it feels like it's too little too late. I hate it when they drag it on. Just like Neon Genesis. As long as they keep making them I'll keep watching them though, sadly. The dude has my money.

  • It's soundtrack really added to that anime, should use some of same music again. Berserk was such an involving anime with depth - Gutz & Griffith were amazing character leads, so well done in many ways that anime but......... then it tore out your heart totally in a dark, demonic, rape & orgy of a conclusion! Don't know if i could go through that again in an anime without an somewhat redeeming point to the characters and story to be had - you just want Griffith to turn out well after such an epic & at times uplifting epic journey but instead it all turns into a totally nihilistic hell!

  • Jan. 28, 2012, 2:34 a.m. CST

    Wow.. that Arietty dub sounds like ass

    by Cash907

    Who did they get to do the guy's voice, a freakin' wooden plank with an emo hairdoo?

  • Jan. 28, 2012, 3:12 a.m. CST

    Typical fucking Yanks

    by mossad77

    Not only do you have to have it dubbed into English, but it has to have American voices too? What the *fuck* is up with that? (Btw the Brit cast is clearly better. Amy Poehler? Some "singer/actress"? Please!)

  • Jan. 28, 2012, 4:26 a.m. CST

    Beserk! Bitches!

    by Stalkeye

    I also said it before how much I loved the Dreamcast game which still holds up well against some current gen action games. (Despite 10 years ago since it's release.) If only SEGA can port this pup in HD res to XBL and PSN for a good price. But in the meantime, I'm still holding on to my DC. Didn't care for the Anime series as I rather have the events take place post Black Sun Massacre. Plus Casca's rape scene was distasteful (AS in borderline Hentai.) IMO. I'll take the one eyed caped swordsman with wrist rockets anyday over this shit.

  • Jan. 28, 2012, 4:35 a.m. CST

    Typical fucking Yanks

    by Stalkeye

    I for the most part prefer watching Anime in it's native language solely due to the piss poor American Voiceovers it's as if they were hired from Community College or waiting on tables. As for the Brits, I have heard more than enough Cockny accents on Television these days oh, and not to mention how your countrymen have snagged most of the roles for American Comic Icons in film: Batman, Superman, Spiderman,etc. No need to be salty Mate, you are now witnessing the second British Invasion. Thank gawd Marvel didnt cast a Brit to star as Captain America. That would be a spat on the face of us Yanks, no? :P

  • Jan. 28, 2012, 7:33 a.m. CST

    Bebop and Champloo


    Are THE best 2 anime series I have ever seen. If anyone here hasn't seen them. Do it now. I guarantee you won't regret it.

  • Jan. 28, 2012, 7:48 a.m. CST

    Well that preview of Berserk outdid any Pixar that I've seen in some years!

    by HollywoodHellraiser

    Anime tends to push boundaries and be creative. While american animations are just one note stories about saving princesses and overcoming cowardiness.

  • Jan. 28, 2012, 7:54 a.m. CST

    Voice cast for america version of Ghibli's Arrietty

    by HollywoodHellraiser

    is that teen chick from Disney Good Luck Charlie and the dude is the older brother from Wizard Of Waverly. Typical Disney move of getting the lowest qualities of actors because they could care less about Ghibli's Arrietty!

  • Jan. 28, 2012, 9:07 a.m. CST

    Bring on Berserk

    by Rob Jenson

    I love Berserk and can't wait for this. I'm a little worried they've toned the sex and especially the violence way down for this. I didn't see a single speck of blood in that whole trailer, and Berserk ain't shy about the gore. In fact, it uses gore wisely and the violence lends the story a certain weight that would be absent without it. Same for the sex. Guts better spill some guts.

  • Jan. 28, 2012, 9:48 a.m. CST

    Why do Japanese use adult voices for adolescents?

    by JudasPriestly

    I'm talking about Guts of course. It's not like he bypassed puberty or anything. They pretty much did this with the orginal anime too. And the Japanese voice actor for Isidro in the videogame sounded like an idiot, but certainly not like a boy. I would actually prefer an English dub to the Japanese since Berserk takes place in a pseudo-version of Europe. Maybe they'll even hire an actual teen voice actor for teen Guts.

  • Jan. 28, 2012, 2:05 p.m. CST

    Not feeling CG in Anime, both in Berserk and Dragon Age

    by kirttrik

    And I didn't like the Appleseed adaptations either, still, I think taking an anime sensibility to CG films would be fantastic. If you look at the Berserk clips, the winged Demon is cell shaded CG, also some of the crowd scenes and cavalry scenes are done digitally. I've seen similar attempts that worked with mecha stories, like the new Macross films and series, but for organic creatures it is still odd and noticeable. That said, it would be fantastic if they did all 3 story arcs to Berserk, what a great story.

  • Jan. 28, 2012, 2:06 p.m. CST

    New Watanabe? Sweet!

    by bat725

    Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo are two of my all-time faves! Can't wait!

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 6:17 a.m. CST


    by Trenox

    Please dont change the ending from the anime..

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 9:06 a.m. CST

    Trenox, I don't think the "eclipse" will be changed, BUT

    by JudasPriestly

    The series isn't supposed to end at the eclipse, but detailing how Guts and Casca escape from it. I really can't say why they're retelling what the original anime already has. They could easily shoe-horn Skullknight and Puck into a second series. But I guess they're trying to make Berserk more mainstream. Good luck with that. All you have to do is read the manga to realize that it is far from mainstream as you can get.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 4:15 p.m. CST


    by kufirst

    So stoked for this!

  • Feb. 6, 2012, 11:54 p.m. CST


    by kufirst

    Why not? I assume it's just easier and cheaper to have one voice actor voice two parts than to hire and/or train a kid to do it. Plus, I know for a fact One Piece uses the main voice actors for extra roles.