27 February 2002

  • The new GAiNAX/Karakura Shinji manga Boukyaku no Senritsu (Melody of Oblivion) will commence serialisation in monthly Shonen Ace magazine with the May 2002 issue. When high school student Bokka meets a certain girl, life changes. An anime version is also planned.
  • Nikkansports.com reports that we could see up to five Matsumoto Leiji works in future. There's New Space Battleship Yamato (TV series set for broadcast in October 2002, movie scheduled for August 2003), New Captain Harlock, Gun Frontier and collaborative offers from the US and France.

25 February 2002

  • 15 and 30 second previews for Rurouni Kenshin Seisou Hen episode 2 can now be downloaded from Sony here.
  • Updates to the official Love Hina Again website reveal the DVD cover and story outline (in Japanese) for episode 2.
  • Animate, the chain of anime and manga stores in Japan (with a branch in the US) has opened its Animate.tv website.
  • The Nakoruru OVA, based on the PC game of the same name, has been scheduled for a May 2002 release by Groove Corporation. The official website for the game is here. Will this be an adult title? I don't know anything about PC games...
  • A limited edition version of the Generation of Chaos Next anime will be released on 25 April 2002 packaged with a copy of the PS2 game for a total price of 8,800 yen (excluding tax). In addition, those who pre-order the limited edition version or the regular version of the PS2 game will receive an aluminium alloy bookmark.
  • A movie of Nihei Tsutomu's manga BLAME!, telling the story of Killy and his adventures in the Cyber Dungeon, is to be made. The manga is currently serialised in Kodansha's monthly manga magazine Afternoon.
  • Some interesting Flash animations by Japanese artists can be viewed here, including "Yukino" by Morino Aruji.
  • Nikkei Net reports that the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in collaboration with the TV dorama, anime and game industries will in April 2002 establish a unit to combat piracy

22 February 2002

  • Australia are 5 for 331 at the end of the first day's play against South Africa in the First Test ^_^
  • The release date of volume 1 of the Gatekeepers 21 OVA has been put back to 24 April 2002 (originally 20 March 2002).
  • Nikkansports.com reports that the manga Atashi'n chi (My Family), by author Kera Eiko and serialised in Yomiuri Shimbun Sunday edition newspaper, is to be animated by rival corporate group TV Asahi after years of negotiations. The manga focuses on the everyday lives of the Tachibana family of four from the point of view of high school daughter Mikan. It has been described as "Sazae-san of the Heisei (Emperor Akihito) period". This family anime is set to begin broadcast at 7.30pm on Fridays in April 2002, after "Doraemon" and displacing "Crayon Shin-chan", which will move into a Saturday timeslot.
  • The full digital animation Hoshi no Koe ~ The Voices of a Distant Star is set to be released on DVD on 19 April 2002. It's the story of a long distance love (and mail messages) between a boy and girl. Set in 2046 after the discovery of the ruins of an alien civilization on Mars, Man has been able to make leaps in technology and is planning to send an expedition into space in the next year. Nagamine Mikako and Terao Noboru are junior high school students. However, while Noboru will be entering senior high next winter, Mikako is selected to join the space expedition. This anime employs 2D and 3D CG work. Created by winner of the DoGA CG Animation Contest Grand Prix, Shinkai Makoto. Details:
    Tentative price 5,800 yen (excluding tax)
    4 soundtracks: original version 5.1ch Dolby Digital, original version stereo linear PCM, seiyuu version 5.1ch Dolby Digital, seiyuu version stereo linear PCM
    Story length 25 minutes
    Bonus contents of 55 minutes' length: animated storyboards for the whole volume, 4 trailers, Shinkai's previous work "Kanojo to Kanojo no Neko" (English title "Their Standing Points") with English subtitled version, 3 minute version and digest, interview with Shinkai
    Comes with 16 page colour booklet
    Trailers can be downloaded here and here while different aspects of the animation can be viewed in the screenshots here. The digest version of "Kanojo to Kanojo no Neko" can be downloaded here.

21 February 2002

  • Famitsu.com reports that the web anime Psychic Academy will commence streaming broadcast by Lycos over the internet on 29 March 2002, in Windows Media Player and Real Player formats. Based on the manga by Katsu Aki serialised in Kodansha's monthly manga magazine Magazine Z, this is a love comedy set in a school for children with the special "aura" ability. A release of the anime on DVD by King Records is planned.
  • 22 months after the release of the last volume of Megami Kouhosei (Pilot Candidate), a 13th episode is set to be released on DVD on 25 May 2002. Details:
    Megami Kouhosei Special Cirriculum
    Released by Emotion (Bandai)
    Catalogue number BCBA-0467
    Price 3,800 yen (excluding tax)
    Approximately 25 minutes
    For more details (in Japanese), see here.
  • Those purchasing all 13 volumes of the Hajime no Ippo DVDs will be able to apply for the Hajime no Ippo Premium Original DVD. A metal DVD box is also available for those who buy volumes 1-8 of the DVD and the soundtrack.
  • Initial details of the Ayanami Ikusei Keikaku (Rearing Project) Puka Puka Rei-chan CD-ROM from GAiNAX are up. The CD-ROM will be a collection of mini-games with desktop accessories including screensavers, calendar, calculator, clock, wallpaper. Details:
    For Windows 95/98/ME
    Release date 12 April 2002
    Price 2,980 yen
    Screenshots and other details are available at the official page here.

20 February 2002

  • Details of the new Urotsukidoji OVA, titled The Urotsuki, are out. This new OVA series will return to the school setting of the original series. Once every many thousands of years, the realms of humans, demons and man-beasts are united by the Chojin. On the day before he is scheduled to be executed in the man-beast realm, Amano Jyaku is sent to the demon realm to investigate the truth of the legend of the Chojin. While Amano's spending a pleasurable time with the queen of the demon realm, an accident causes the demon and human realms to converge. Amano takes the responsibility to travel to the human realm to destroy the demons who have escaped and to search for the Chojin. 300 years pass without any sign of the Chojin. This new series will span 3 DVD volumes/episodes. A limited edition first pressing of the first volume will come with a DVD box to hold all 3 volumes. Details:
    The Urotsuki, first chapter
    Release date 3 May 2002
    Catalogue number JVDW-58B
    Price 7,000 yen (excluding tax)
    A regular edition will be released at the same time (catalogue number JVDW-58) but a slightly lower price (6,800 yen). Volume 2 is slated for release on 9 August 2002 with the final volume out on 8 November 2002. Each volume will be approximately 40 minutes in length, with Dolby Digital sound. The official webpage can be found here, and a trailer will be able to be viewed here in future. Please note that the webpages contain adult images.
  • The You're Under Arrest No Mercy!! episode, to be released on DVD on 25 April 2002, will first be broadcast on TBS at 10.30 on 29 March 2002. The first pressing of the DVD will come with a 10 postcard set.
  • FrontPage Express keeps crashing on me. This is the second time I've typed today's news >_<

19 February 2002

  • The Morning Star website reports that the manga Outlaw Star 2 - The Retaliation is scheduled to commence serialisation in monthly Ultrajump manga magazine in September 2002.
  • The official webpage for OLM (Oriental Light and Magic), makers of Pokemon, Figure 17, Berserk and other anime, is now open. The site is mainly a database of its works and staff at present, but there are also some details about the upcoming Pokemon movie.
  • This English language Asahi Shimbun article by Fujitani Takeshi reports on the Korean animation industry and its role in Japanese anime including Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi.
  • The re-release of CLAMP's 1996 manga Shin Shunkaden will see a limited edition version with a postcard set of 8 cards. Details:
    Published by Hakusensha
    Release date 15 March 2002
    Price 714 yen (excluding tax)
    A regular edition will be released on the same day at a price of 524 yen (excluding tax)
  • New anime Wild 7 another has been set for TV broadcast commencing 6 April 2002.
  • You can play the Jojo's Bizarre Adventure Pinball game here. Click the play button to start, then press space to release the ball, shift for the right flipper, control for the left flipper and the left and right arrow keys for tilting. When the game's over, click on the ranking button. Those who achieve a high enough score qualify to download a movie.
  • Preview, OP and ED movies for the web anime Fairplays (based on the manga of the same name by Tenma Ranmaru and Okada Megumu) can be downloaded here.
  • Oh! great's poster for the current issue no. 8 of Shogakukan's manga magazine IKKI (published every two months) can be viewed here.

17 February 2002

  • Cosplay photos from the Wonder Festival 2002 in Tokyo are up here. Some pretty impressive costumes, even a Natsume Aya cosplayer in gallery 4 ^_^
  • The first 13 episodes of the internet version of the anime Mahou Yuugi are again available in a streaming format until 21 February 2002 from the official website.
  • Nikkei Net reports that 10 companies from Japan, Europe and Korea (Matsushita, Sony, Toshiba, Hitachi, Pioneer, Sharp, Phillips, Thomson Multimedia, Samsung and LG) have agreed upon a standard for DVD with 6 times the present storage capacity, expected to be marketed in the 2003-4 year. A DVD recorder with a 30Gb storage capacity is to be developed, which will allow the user to record up to 2 hours of broadcast satellite digital broadcasting or 40 hours of standard TV broadcasting.
  • Among the awards given at the Tokyo International Anime Fair 21 were the following (not exhaustive):
    Academy awards-
    Grand Prix: Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi
    Best TV series: Inuyasha, Ojamajo Doremi # (Sharp), Hikaru no Go, Fruits Basket, One Piece
    Director's prize (TV series): Daichi Akitaro
    Best movie: Princess Arete, Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi, Metropolis
    Director's prize (movie): Miyazaki Hayao
    Music prize (movie): Hisaishi Jo
    Best OVA: Animation Runner Kuromi
    People's choice awards-
    Most popular TV series, children's/family category: Ojamajo Doremi # (Sharp)
    Most popular TV series, general category: Cosmic Baton Girl Comet-san
    Most popular movie: Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi

16 February 2002

  • Forgot to mention that Production IG reports on its webpage that its booth at the Tokyo International Anime Fair 21 will have a 4 minute pilot film for a new anime Insect Guardner which the company is creating with XEBEC. This anime will reunite the creative staff of Zoids. Sounds like it'll be a sci-fi anime with CG and lots of mecha.
  • The art on the GAiNAX homepage is changed every week. A new picture is up today, this time of Mahoro.
  • The broadcast date for Tenchi Muyo GXP anime TV series has been set at 2 April 2002. Source: TA Group webpage.
  • A limited first edition version of volume 5 of the manga Hanaukyou Maid Tai, published by Akita Shoten, will be released on 25 April 2002 (price 781 yen) with a collection of 12 illustrations (and a calendar sticker). Pre-order cut-off date is 13 March 2002. A regular edition of the manga will be released at the same time.
  • The 3D CG "creature battle movie" Gulstein will be released in cinemas in Japan in June 2002. The flyer for the movie can be seen here.
  • I don't know if it's been reported much, but a DVD box for the anime series Legend of the Galactic Heroes is being produced. It looks like you'll need to order direct from the company, though, rather than through your preferred retailer (to keep the price of the box down). The episodes will span 45 DVDs, and some scenes will be re-done. Included in the box will be 3 books of episode summaries and a DVD version of the novel-sized "Encyclopedia Legend of the Galactic Heroes" (published by Tokuma Shoten). This DVD version will not be identical to the hardcopy version but will include history, characters, mechanical glossary, seiyuu profiles, 3D graphics, staff lists, design works and cast interviews. The box will be shipped in instalments of approximately 7 or 8 DVDs every two months, with the last instalment due in August 2002. Details:
    Price 231,000 yen (including tax)
    Pre-order cutoff date 31 March 2001
    Contents 45 DVDs for the series, 3 books and 1 encyclopedia DVD
    Ordering details and samples of the re-done scenes can be found here.

15 February 2002

  • An Asahi Shimbun report states that 12 former students of a Tokyo seiyuu school have filed a petition against the school with the Tokyo District Court claiming 13,000,000 yen (including the refund of tuition fees) alleging misleading advertising that famous seiyuu would lecture every day. The former students, both male and female, and between 16 to 24 years of age, ranged from high school graduates who had come to Tokyo, to anime fans and amateur actors. The students claim that the school's magazine advertisement in the 2000 (northern) summer solicited 2001 enrolments with statements "Learn from first-class seiyuu!" and "Thorough instruction from 5 full-time instructors" and content from a sample lesson. Photographs of the seiyuu were displayed, corresponding to the days of the week. The school's admission guidebook also described the seiyuu as lecturers. With the annual fees cheap at approximately 800,000 yen, the students enrolled in the (northern) spring, only to quit in November. They claim that only 1 of the 5 seiyuu gave lectures every week and that, despite request, the low level of the lectures was not improved. The school maintains that the 5 seiyuu did lecture and claims that the students disrupted classes.
  • A real-time streaming test of the Playstation 2 Final Fantasy XI game world of Vana'diel is now available here. Click on the button "Live Vana'diel Streaming Test" to start the streaming (Media Player 7.0). Note that unauthorised reproduction of pictures may lead to discontinuation of the service.

14 February 2002

  • Real audio samples of the following music can now be heard at JVC/Victor Entertainment's website:
    Sakamoto Maaya's OP "Hemisphere" for Rahxephon (music by Kanno Yoko) (click on the link to get to Maaya's page)
    ED, insert song and BGM to the movie Palme no Ki (A Tree of Palme)
    OP and ED for Aquarian Age
    OP, ED and other songs from the TV series X
  • This week's issue of Weekly Shonen Magazine sees the start of Akamatsu Ken's stop-gap project after Love Hina. Apparently, this will include instalments about the planning of Love Hina, character creation, and secret techniques of the Akamatsu Ryu ^_^
  • A new model of pachinko based on the anime/manga Fist of the North Star has been released this month. See here.
  • In the lead up to the preview telecast of the concluding 2nd episode of the OVA series Rurouni Kenshin Seisou Hen, a new pic from the anime can be viewed here every day.

13 February 2002

  • The sixth trailer for the Tenchi Muyo GXP anime is now up here.
  • Details about the forthcoming Captain Harlock TV anime have been released. Rin Taro, who directed the original 1978 TV anime, will return as director. At the request of Rin, the coming series will have a completely original story, though it appears the design of the Arcadia will remain the same. Space pirate Harlock sets out in the Arcadia to thwart the evil Nuu's plan to destroy the Earth and rule the universe. This time, the production will include character design by Yuki Nobuteru (Record of Lodoss War, Vision of Escaflowne), script by Murai Sadayuki (Perfect Blue, Boogiepop Phantom). Cast will include Yamadera Kouichi (Spike in Cowboy Bebop) reprising his role as Captain Harlock, Nozawa Nachi (Cobra) as Doctor Zero, Minakuchi Yuko (Yawara), Sakuma Rei (Aika), Seki Tomokazu (Van Fanel in Vision of Escaflowne), Shinohara Emi (Mizuki Kaho in Card Captor Sakura) as Shizuka and Orikasa Fumiko (Nazna in Inuyasha) as Nana. The series is slated to commence broadcast in September 2002 and post-recording is underway.

12 February 2002

  • Perfect Juliet, the manga by Watase Nozomi (original concept by Yamaguchi Ryota) is to be turned into an anime. The manga has been serialised in monthly Ace Next manga magazine since the October 2001 issue. This is a science-fiction love comedy about a be-spectacled girl who descends from the sky to a young boy who aspires to be a novelist. Is she really an angel?

10 February 2002

  • After releasing the El Hazard Art CD-ROM Collection and the R.O.D Art CD-ROM Collection Vol. 1, the company Kusanagi has announced plans to release an Onegai Teacher Art CD-ROM Collection Vol. 1, which will come with a poster and card. Vol. 2 of the R.O.D CD-ROM is scheduled for release in March 2002 and will include art from episodes 2 and 3 of the OVA series and (for first pressings of the CD-ROM) two limited edition original cards. Among the wallpapers on the CD-ROM will be two illustrated by Uon Taraku (who did designs for Onegai Teacher and illustrations for the novelisation of R.O.D).

9 February 2002

  • Following on from Steel Angel Kurumi and Mahou Shoujo Neko (Magical Nyan Nyan) Taruto, another manga by Kaishaku is to be animated. Enban Koujo (UFO Princess) Walkure, which will commence serialisation in the monthly manga magazine Shonen Gangan's March 2002 issue (due out 12 February 2002), is a space love-comedy. The anime version is expected in the (northern) summer.

8 February 2002

  • Wallpapers for R.O.D can be downloaded here.
  • Mag Garden is releasing a new monthly comic magazine. Titled Comic Blade, the first regular issue will be out on 28 February 2002. A special issue 0 containing illustrations and authors' messages will be released on 15 February 2002 and will be free. Authors will include Sakurano Minene (with a new Mamotte Shugogetten comic), Azuma Mayumi (Star Ocean EX), Kurono Nanae (Peacemaker), Kinoshita Sakura with Higashiyama Kazuko, Fujino Mayamu, Amano Kozue, Asano Rin and others.

4 February 2002

  • The official site for the latest CLAMP animation Chobits (set to commence broadcasting on 2 April 2002) is open.
  • Trailers for the movie Palme no Ki (A Tree of Palme), which hits the cinemas in March 2002, can be downloaded here.
  • GAiNAX will be releasing a second Mahoromatic desktop accessory CD "Digital Meiden 2" on 22 March 2002. It will include wallpapers of scenes from the anime, a mini-game involving making lunches, screen-saver, etc. This CD will also come with a sticker-memo pad for the desktop. Price 4,800 yen.

2 February 2002

  • A TV anime version of the manga Tokyo Mew Mew, serialised in the shoujo Nakayoshi magazine (story by Yoshida Reiko, art by Ikumi Mia), is set to start broadcast on 6 April 2002. Join catgirl Ichigo-chan and her friends as they keep the world safe ^_^ The official website for the anime will be here. For now, pics of the main characters can be seen here.

1 February 2002

  • In commemoration of the release of the third Patlabor movie WXIII, Fujimi will be releasing a new Takada Akemi artbook Takada Akemi Patlabor Gashuu (Art Collection) - now or never. Included will be rough character designs and rough illustrations. As a bonus, the book will come with a DVD said to show the secrets of Takada's work. Scheduled for sale in mid-March 2002. Details:
    ISBN 4-8291-9125-2-C0076
    Price 11,000 yen (excluding tax)
    An exhibition of Takada's works on Creamy Mami and Patlabor are also scheduled to be held in Shibuya from late February to mid April 2002.
  • For Love Hina fans, I was just thinking today: I don't know if it's been widely reported, but an English version of the Love Hina novelisation is available. Details:
    Title: Love Hina - (Mixed Bathing Not Allowed) Secrets of Hinata Lodge
    (Original title: Love Hina - Konyoku Genkin)
    Novelisation by Hazuki Kurou
    Based on the manga by Akamatsu Ken
    Translated by Giles Murray (who translates Kodansha's bilingual manga version)
    Published by Kodansha International Ltd (part of its Kodansha English Library)
    ISBN 4-7700-2848-2
    128 pages (with occasional B&W illustrations by Akamatsu, the last 13 pages are translation notes)
    Size 10.6cm x 15cm (it's a pocket-sized slim volume)
    Price 650 yen (excluding tax)


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