1-15 APRIL 2002 NEWS
15 April 2002
Animation Online reports that when the French
movie "Amelie" is released on video
in Japan this (northern) summer, the Japanese
dub will feature Hayashibara Megumi in role
of Amelie (acted by Audrey Tautou). Hayashibara
will also dub the voice of popular Hong Kong
singer Sammi Cheng in the Hong Kong movie "Needing
You", to be released on video in Japan on 7
- The Art
Collection R.O.D volume 2 CD-ROM will be
released on 26 April 2002 by Kusanagi, with first
pressing copies coming with an original card.
This second hybrid (Windows and Mac) CD-ROM will
cover episodes 2 and 3 and will include cel
background gallery, design works, 14 wallpapers (including
one illustrated by Uon Taraku), three
screensavers, 40 screenshots, discussion between
Kurata Hideyuki (original concept) and Masunari
Kouji (director). Catalogue number KA-R006, price
3,600 yen (excluding tax). The Art
Collection Onegai Teacher volume 1 CD-ROM
will be released on the same day, with similar
contents (less the discussion between creative
staff). This CD-ROM will cover episodes 1 and 2
and the OP and ED. Catalogue number KA-Too7,
price 3,000 yen (excluding tax). Again, the first
pressing will come with an original card.
- A bit more information on the release of Sen
to Chihiro no Kamikakushi. Nifty
Animation Online reports that the DVD will
comes with a collection of 22 movie trailers and
be released at the end of July 2002.
- 14 June 2002 sees the video release by Toei of Blue
Remains, a full 3D CG sci-fi marine action anime,
directed by Takizawa Toshifumi (Densetsu Kyojin
Ideon, Dirty Pair) with character designs by
Mikimoto Haruhiko (Macross). In the story, a
scientific couple return in their spaceship to
Earth in 2062 only to find that its surface has
been rendered uninhabitable by nuclear explosions
and humanity is forced to live in the oceans. The
couple entrust their daughter Amamiku with the
task of revitalising the Earth. As you can tell,
this approximately 75 minute long movie has an
environmental theme. No details yet of a DVD
release, but you can visit the official site here,
where you can download a trailer. The VHS tape
will have Dolby Surround sound, with a Vista (ie
letterboxed) aspect ratio. Catalogue number VRZF-01068.
14 April 2002
- Character design for the modelling of the
Deunan character in the upcoming Appleseed movie
will be by Maeshima Shigeki. See the
illustrator's homepage here
for samples of his realistic style.
- Comet-san is being broadcast in Korea
on KBS2 TV on Sundays 7:50-8:40am, which
incidentally is available on streaming broadcast here.
However, note that some of the characters'
clothing has been altered for the Korean
version, as shown on this page.
The pics on the right are of Comet-san in the
Korean broadcast (perhaps wearing the traditional
Korean dress of chogori and chima), compared to
the Japanese DVD release screenshots on the left
(where she's wearing the Japanese keikogi and
- Chapters one to four the Zoids
web comic have been revised to add some
sound effects (although they appear to be just a
few beeps). The sixth and final instalment of the
present story is now available for download,
however the page will have new contents at the
end of April 2002.
12 April 2002
- Another anime by an independent group.
This time, the group is Odougadokoro
Ikkyu-an (5 members) and the work is Hotaru
(Firefly), a 3D CG anime of just under two
minutes' length. Hotaru was released for the
Tokyo Big Sight "CG Carnival 2002"
event on 30 and 31 March 2002 and has recently
become available for download here
in two different file sizes. Characters can be
and screenshots here.
The music is an original work as well. It's
short, but it looks good ^_^
- A bit more information on the storyline of the
new anime Akamatsu Ken is working on. The
year is 200X. When aliens arrive at Earth, the
Earth Defense Force selects three year 2 primary
school girls to protect Japan from the mysterious
enemy: Onigawara Mao, Tsukishima Misora and
- A couple of new books out from Kodansha
International: the bilingual edition of
the WWII naval manga Zipang,
volumes 1 and 2,
by Kawaguchi Kaiji (translation by Ralph McCarthy).
Price 850 yen (excluding tax). Also available is
Hina Eigo Juku (Private English School),
aimed at teaching English by reference to scenes
from the manga. Includes an interview with
Akamatsu Ken. By Akamatsu Ken, Giles Murray and
Watanabe Yumiko. Price 820 yen (excluding tax).
- The May
2002 issue of Animage has a three page
article on R.O.D, while the May 2002 issue of
Newtype has a two page interview with Shinkai
- A larger pic of the Deunan promotional image
for the upcoming Appleseed movie can be
Just click on the pics for enlarged images. The
ascii24.com report also states that the creators
of the movie will seek Shirow's collaboration.
Further, it is possible that a new storyline will
be created for the movie. Interestingly, of the
50,000 units of the Appleseed action figure with
DVD sets to be sold worldwide starting June 2002,
it is expected that 15,000 will be sold within
Japan with the rest being sold abroad. Another
image, this time of Briareos, is available in
- Dengeki Online reports
that Capcom is releasing "The Anime Super
Remix" series of Playstation 2 games, based
on various anime. First up for release in
June 2002 will be game conversions of Kyojin
no Hoshi (a baseball anime) and Ashita no
Joe 2 (a boxing anime). The software will
contain mini-games and memorable scenes from the
anime. Each game will retail for 5,800 yen (excluding
- Volume 1 of the five episode OVA series Sentou
Yousei Yukikaze (Battle Fairy Yukikaze) by
GONZO and Bandai Visual will be released on 25
August 2002. This sci-fi anime will employ CG and
involve collaboration with the Air Self Defense
Force to try to emulate realistic aviation action.
Volume 1 will be 45 minutes long, while the
remaining four episodes will be 30 minutes each.
GONZO's page on the work-in-progress can be
but the official homepage is scheduled to open in
May 2002. A few designs can also be viewed here.
- Katsu Aki's manga Futari Ecchi is to be
made into an OVA. The manga is currently
serialised in monthly Young Animal magazine.
Katsu's other manga works include Vision of
Escaflowne (shonen version) and Psychic Academy (episode
3 of the web anime version of which is now
available for streaming download). It is
anticipated that the Futari Ecchi OVA will be
released this (northern) summer.
11 April 2002
- This Asahi Shimbun report
(in English) states that the Tokyo District
Court has issued an injunction against
company MMO Japan providing its free MP3 music
file swapping service. MMO Japan has said
that it will appeal the decision.
- A reminder that GAiNAX's promotional trailer for Anime
Tencho is now available for download here
until 10 May 2002.
- FS Comics (First Smile Comics) (related to
Entertainment, a record company) has
opened its website.
The first instalment of free web comics is "Yajiten",
however please note that this web comic, and
indeed the homepage for FS Comics, has adult
- Yomiuri reports
that a large 70m x 35m picture of the Space
Battleship Yamato has been created using field of
100,000 tulips in Tanto-cho, Hyogo for the
2002 Tanto Tulip Festival. Since 1992, other
floral artworks in this field have included
images from Tonari no Totoro and Doraemon. This
year, with the theme in mind of the 21st century
as the environmental century, the creators chose
to depict the "Messenger of Peace"
Yamato, with its mission to save the Earth from
ruin. A small aerial view of the tulip field is
included in the linked report.
- There are love simulation computer games (or
whatever you call them) aimed at males, but are
there many for females? I don't play computer
games, so I don't know. Anyway, 26 July 2002 sees
the release of the PC game "Silver Chaos",
a `fantasy boys love game' aimed at females,
from makers Vivid
Color. See this animate.tv
report for more details.
- Sony is re-releasing a number of its
anime DVDs at reduced prices. Each item
is said to be limited production. Basically, each
disc is 2,000 yen (excluding tax) and all of the
following are scheduled for release on 10 July
GTO DVD Collection (11 discs)
22,000 yen (excluding
Arc the Lad DVD Collection (9 discs)
18,000 yen (excluding
Hakaima Sadamitsu DVD Collection (5 discs)
10,000 yen (excluding
Kodomo no Omocha ~Shogakusei Hen~ DVD Collection
24,000 yen (excluding
Fuma no Kojiro DVD Collection (5 discs)
10,000 yen (excluding
Vampire Hunter D popular edition (the 1985 anime)
2,000 yen (excluding
Shin Megami Tensei Tokyo Mokushiroku popular
2,000 yen (excluding
Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou popular edition
2,000 yen (excluding
Tekken popular edition
2,000 yen (excluding
Plastic Little popular edition
2,000 yen (excluding
Seirei Tsukai popular edition
2,000 yen (excluding
Street Fighter II movie popular edition
2,000 yen (excluding
- Another report of the upcoming Appleseed
CG anime. This time from Famitsu.com
and with a screenshot, presumably of Deunan. The
Famitsu report states that the DVD previews with
figures earlier reported will be limited to a
production run of 50,000 sets worldwide. It
appears the voice actor for Deunan will be the
lady pictured (not Japanese), but I can't work
out her name ^_^;;
10 April 2002
- Volume 3 of Iwahara Yuji's manga Chikyu
Misaki (serialised in monthly Ace Next
magazine is due out on 1 June 2002. Iwahara's
homepage is here,
where you can get an idea of his artistic style
from the pics.
9 April 2002
- Well, Sponichi
is now reporting that work on an Appleseed
movie is to commence soon, with
theatrical release planned in Japan, USA and
Europe in the next (northern) spring. This movie
will employ a new "Trinity Engine"
method of 3D CG animation. As a pre-cursor to the
movie, 3 DVDs with figures will be released on 25
June 2002 by Pioneer. For details of those DVD/figure
releases, see my 29 March 2002 news.
- New label Garinpeiro
has two anime in the works, 6
Angels (to be released 6 July 2002) and Xevious
(to be released 3 August 2002). 6 Angels is about
an all-female private security company and is set
in a 2026 world where the death penalty has been
abolished and a growing number of criminals need
to be imprisoned. A web anime version has been
distributed (via a fee paying service) since 2001.
Xevious is based on the computer game of the same
name. Trailers at the linked pages are not yet
- For Gundam fans, 2 August 2002 sees the release
of the Gundam Fix Box. Only a limited
edition of 6,000 boxes will be produced by
Impress. This Katoki Hajime work will include two
artbooks, an explanatory book of image data,
figure and DVD-ROM. Price 19,000 yen (excluding
tax). The first artbook "Pression" is a
collection of works (published in Newtype) prior
to Gundam Fix. The second artbook "Popular
Edition" is a special box set edition of the
Gundam Fix popular edition previously released by
Kadokawa Shoten. The explanatory book "Transition
++" is a new version of the book (Transition
+) previously sold only at Katoki Hajime art
exhibitions, but this time with explanations of
new artworks added. The Gundam Fix Figuration #004
G Armour clear version figures are special clear
versions of Bandai figures. The DVD-ROM contains
artwork data. Also included are postcards of
works from Pression. For more details and images,
- It appears that a manga version of Tenchi Muyo!
GXP is set to commence serialisation in the
June 2002 issue of monthy Comic
Dragon (published on 9 May 2002).
- Second hand store Jungle SCS are set to
release their own items. First up are the
"Junko Collection CD-ROM Photo Collection
volume 1" (price 1,800 yen excluding tax)
and a "Junko Collection Making Video" (VHS,
price 1,500 yen excluding tax). The CD-ROM will
include 170 cosplay photos of 'image girl' "Junko"
(presumably Kanagawa Akiko), Junko's Jungle
commercial collection, 15 minute photo shoot
making animation and `commercial making' images.
The Making Video will relate to the making of the
CD-ROM cosplay photos and will include Jungle
commercials. For more information, see the 8
April 2002 entry on the Jungle indies movies BBS here.
Junko also has a new webpage here.
- The upcoming episode of Kochira Katsushika-ku
Kameari Kouen Mae Hashutsujo on Sunday 14
April 2002 will feature the five member boy band Arashi
reports that yesterday, Judge Kurasawa of the
Tokyo District Court ordered a subcontracting
paper processing company to pay over 13,420,000
yen damages to a Tokyo printing company for selling
Cardass Masters Neon Genesis Evangelion trading
cards through illegal channels. The printing
company had been seeking over 26,850,000 yen in
compensation. Bandai sold the trading cards in
1996-7. Most of the cards were common and packs
of ten sold for 300 yen, but certain special
cards were trading among fans at between 20,000-50,000
yen each. Instead of returning any surplus
special cards, the paper processing company
delivered them to a broker, who circulated them
on the market. The printing company, with its
contract to Bandai, ended up buying up the
surplus cards at a cost of 26,850,000 yen to
maintain the scarcity of the special cards. The
judge ordered the paper processing company to pay
compensation although there was no proof that it
had acted intentionally to circulate the cards. A
fuller report is available here.
- I hate FrontPage Express continually crashing on
me >_< Hopefully StarOffice will do a
8 April 2002
- The anime Maou Dante (Dante the
Devil) (presumably based on the manga of the same
name by Nagai Go) is to broadcast in July 2002 on
AT-X while Princess Tutu (an
anime with a ballet setting) is to air in August
2002 on Kids Station.
- More information on the upcoming
Hayashibara Megumi CD to be released on
26 June 2002. The first pressing will cost 3,980
yen but will come with a DVD of the commemorative
event for the 500th episode of Tokyo Boogie Night
(one of Hayashibara's weekly radio shows). The
regular edition of the CD will cost 3,000 yen.
- The website otome
X magazine (which focuses on anime,
manga and game "heroine characters")
has finally updated with details of the second
issue, to be published on 10 May 2002. Features
will include Chobits, Pitaten, Ai Yori Aoshi,
Onegai Teacher and R.O.D.
7 April 2002
- A new BonoBono movie will be released this (northern)
summer, this time as a full CG anime. Titled BonoBono
~ The Tree of Kumomo~, the story and
script of this movie will be by Igarashi Mikio,
author of the long running manga series. When he
sits under the Tree of Kumomo on the highest hill
of the forest, the beaver BonoBono can forget his
sadness or pain. One day he meets a young ferret
Popo there. Then a branch of the Tree is broken
and the forest animals suspect that Popo is the
culprit. That's when a new power of the Tree of
Kumomo is revealed. For more information on this
family anime, see here,
although the official site for the movie will
open in late April 2002.
5 April 2002
- No news yesterday because I was sleeping ^_^;;
- The first piece of news is that Impress
that Buena Vista has annnounced that Sen
to Chihiro no Kamikakushi will be released on DVD
in the (northern) summer. Also available will be
a special Ghibli DVD player. Details:
Vista size (ie letterboxed) squeeze (ie
Dolby digital stereo soundtracks: Japanese,
DTS ES soundtrack: Japanese
Subtitles: Japanese, French, Chinese, English
2 discs, picture discs, includes storyboards for
the entire film and film trailers, packaged in an
Amaray double box
Pre-orders will also receive the "Haku's
rice ball" figure noted below
Catalogue number VWDZ-8036
Price 4,700 yen
Limited edition collector's edition- (10,000
Price 15,000 yen
Comes with set of 3 movie posters, oil store
diorama, Berlin Film Festival press booklet and
"Haku's rice ball" figure
Limited edition DVD player bundle edition-
Comes with Ghibli DVD player (Chihiro edition)
Price 19,800 yen
For a picture of the DVD player, see here.
The acorn on the top is the remote control. In
October 2001, Buena Vista released a Disney
DVD player bundled with the Snow White DVD.
Functions on the Ghibli DVD player will be
similar to those on the Disney one. For a picture
of the rice ball figurine, see here
(the rice ball is being held by promotion manager
- Bandai's website
has updated with trailers for various
anime, including the new You're Under Arrest
special and Patlabor WXIII (& Mini-Pato).
- Kon Satoshi has announced on his
that his new work in production is Tokyo
Godfathers (not a mafia movie). The
movie centres on three homeless people - two
middle-aged men (one gay) and a 16 year old girl.
Storyboards are 90% finished and the movie is
expected to be completed within a year. Details:
Original concept, director - Kon Satoshi
Script - Kon Satoshi and Nobumoto Keiko
Character design - Kon Satoshi & Konishi
Produced by Madhouse and GENCO
number 2 is now up for Tenchi Muyo!
GXP, which commenced broadcast a few
- Sony's TV anime series King
of Bandit Jing is to commence
broadcast on 15 May 2002.
- More details have emerged on the Slayers
Premium DVD release. The newly opened
on the movie. The DVD will include a scene(s) not
in the threatrical release. Details:
Limited edition version:
Catalogue number KIBA-9784
Comes with drama CD, special booklet containing a
previously unpublished instalment of the Slayers
Premium comic (serialised in Dragon Junior) and
To be released 3 July 2002
Price 5,500 yen (excluding tax)
A regular edition will be released on the same
day, catalogue number KIBA-784, price 3,800 yen (excluding
- TV Tokyo's website
for the series Bakutou Sengen Daigunder
(commencing broadcast today) is now open, with a
trailer available for download.
- The website for the anime movie Guilstein
with 3D CG (to commence screening in June 2002)
is now open.
A trailer can be viewed by clicking on the green
button. The narrow band version is 2.37Mb in size.
- I watched Mahou no Chocolate
today, the 8 minute anime by independent studio
Ishikawa Pro and was impressed by the quality of
this non-professional work: direction, music,
animation, use of CG. The sweet storyline is
nothing out of the ordinary, but it has its
moments. For more details on the anime, see my 17
March 2002 news report. The remaining 4 minutes
on the VHS tape includes an omake item with Mami-chan
as well as trailers for previous works by
Ishikawa Pro. At only 500 yen, why not give it a
try when next you make a purchase at Jungle SCS?
- In this Infoseek news article,
Matsumoto Leiji played down fears that the recent
District Court judgment would jeopardise
production of the new Space Battleship
Yamato series, saying that Nishizaki had
previously already sold certain copyrights and
that Matsumoto had now been able to secure those
- The promo movie for Anime Tencho (Captain
Anime) - produced by GAiNAX - was
previously only to be aired at Animate stores.
However, it has been announced by Animate.TV
that it will have the promo movie available for
streaming download for a limited time, between 11
April 2002 and 10 May 2002.
3 April 2002
- The Tokyo Mew Mew website
had its official opening today. But the
individual sections are still being added.
2 April 2002
- Questions are being raised about the
future of the sequel to Space Battleship Yamato
and the company Venturesoft after
Matsumoto Leiji's courtroom loss to Nishizaki
Hirofumi over the authorship rights to the
original anime work. Venturesoft was incorporated
in 1999 and has since raised four thousand
million yen. This Excite news article
suggests that Matsumoto would now face obstacles
in creating the new series.
- The Asahi Shimbun has compiled a report on Professor
Yokoyama Yasuyuki of Toyama University and his
research into Doraemon. The English
language report can be read here.
- It seems from the 1 April 2002 diary
entry of Akamatsu Ken (manga
author of Love Hina) that the next anime series
he'll work on is Rikujyou Bouei Tai Mao-chan
(Ground Defense Force Mao-chan), in which he will
prepare the original concept and characters. The
story will be unrelated to Love Hina and will be
a King Records and XEBEC production. It has not
yet been decided whether it'll be an OVA series
or a cable broadcast TV anime. Other staff
involved will include Kuroda Yosuke (Tenchi Muyo,
Trigun) as scriptwriter (who has already drafted
two episodes), Yanagisawa Masahide (Love Hina
Again opening) as art director and Iwasaki
Yoshiaki (Love Hina) as director. Seiyuu have yet
to be cast.
- Toei Animation's Web
Theatre started distribution of episode one
of its Kinnikuman anime
yesterday. The five minute episode will up for
download for one week, with the next instalment
due on 8 April 2002.
- The SaiKano (Saishu Heiki Kanojo - She,
the Ultimate Weapon) website has been
updated with the broadcast date for episode one:
2 July 2002 for CS broadcasting, 3 July 2002 for
terrestial broadcasting. Some trailers are also
now available for download.
- A trailer for episode one of the Tokyo
Mew Mew TV series to air this month can
now be viewed at the official TV Aichi site here.
- TV Tokyo has a couple of websites up for two of
its new anime series this month:
Fairy Mirumo de Pon!
1 April 2002
- It seems that on Hayashibara Megumi's
weekly radio show "Tokyo Boogie Night"
it was announced that her new album will
be released on 26 June 2002, with the first
pressing to come with a DVD.
- Akitaroh Daichi has announced on his website
that the manga version of Jubei-chan:
Secret of the Lovely Eyepatch will continue.
Jubei-chan 2 is anticipated to start in May 2002.
The original manga series was published by Sony
Magazines, with story by Akitaroh (director of
the anime version and many other series) and art
by Mucchiri Muunii. However, Akitaroh pointed out
that there is no talk of a second anime series at
- To commemorate the release of her first album
"Primary" on 21 March 2002, Kawasumi
Ayako's internet live broadcast "Primary
Web" program is
available for streaming download again, until 7
April 2002. Kawasumi's roles as a seiyuu
include Melfina in "Outlaw Star". The
48 minute program (in two parts) contains mainly
discussion between Kawasumi and Iwasaki Taku (composer
of the soundtracks for R.O.D and Rurouni Kenshin
Tsuioku Hen). Kawasumi does however play at least
three songs on the piano during the program, two
with accompaniment at the beginning of each part,
and a short solo at the end of the second part.
Iwasaki was the producer on Kawasumi's album,
while all the songs were composed by Kawasumi
herself. Samples of the album can also be heard
at the Victor Entertainment website
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