16-30 APRIL 2002 NEWS

30 April 2002

  • Firstly, a couple of paragraphs about anime sequels. I received my copy of the Newtype Illustrated Collection "NOIR -Les deux vierges -" recently, in which the interview with Kuwashima Houko (seiyuu for Kirika) is the source of the speculation that a new series of Noir will be made. Anyway, *bearing in mind that I don't speak Japanese*, this is the last part of the interview with Kuwashima: ..I'm most happy to have taken part in such a great, original work. It's my treasure. Thank you. Truly, will a sequel be made? Look forward to it. "Let's meet again/see you next time/etc. Yoisho." (...Konna suteki na original sakuhin ni derureta koto ga naniyori ureshii. Watashi no takaramono desu. Arigatou. Honto ni, zoku hen tsukurun desu ka? Tanoshimini shiteimasu. "Mata aou ne. Yoisho.") Other than that, the book does have a nice collection of artwork by Kikuchi Yoko and others (mainly works earlier published in Newtype and other magazines).
  • It seems that in the latest issue of Paletta, at the end of the R.O.D article, Kurata Hideyuki speaks of making a sequel ("Zoku hen wa, yarimasu."). My copy of the magazine is still waiting to ship ;_; Apparently, however, the setting may be 5 or 10 years in the future and Yomiko may no longer be the main character (the title of "The Paper" may have passed on to someone else). Idle fan speculation includes the focus being on Yomiko's child, another agent, or Wendy as "The Paper" ^_^;; By the way, for those who didn't know, the kanji "yomi" in the name "Yomiko" means "to read" ^_^
  • The MorningStar Studio homepage has a pic up with the words "The Second Season Outlaw Star in future 200X!!!". Then again, on the other side of the pic are the words "Don't believe/trust me!" ^_^;; There will, however, been the continuation of the manga in Ultrajump later this year. The studio has earlier indicated on its English page that greater sales may be required before production of a sequel becomes viable.
  • The official site for the CG movie BonoBono ~ The Tree of Kumomo~ is up. The grand opening of the website will be on 1 May 2002. The shoujo magazine Ribon has a website up for Full Moon o Sagashite (not much to see, though) while Ciao magazine has a website up for Mirumo de Pon! (which is more interactive). Finally, Family Gekijyo has a website up for Saishu Heiki Kanojo (She, the Ultimate Weapon) but that doesn't have much to look at.
  • Tomy's website has updated with the start of another Zoids web comic.
  • A movie version of Bakuten Shoot Beyblade 2002 is due out on 17 August 2002. The title will be "Bakuten Shoot Beyblade 2002 Takao vs Daichi". The TV series is currently airing on TV Tokyo.
  • Zakzak reports that former anime movie producer Sengoku Shizuhiko (54 years old) was arrested today for threating to kill his brother in law (66 years old) with a mountain-climbing knife. His brother-in-law suffered a cut to his left hand in the incident, which was a dispute over the sale of Sengoku's parents' home. Sengoku worked on anime such as Lupin III, Jarinko Chie and Makoto-chan in the early 80s.
  • Victor Entertainment has webpages up for .hack//SIGN and 12 Kokki. Presumably in due course samples of the soundtracks will become available for download.
  • Studio Hibari, which has worked on various anime (including a number of Studio Ghibli movies) is working on an original anime planned for distribution over the internet. Five illustration boards can be viewed on the news page (just click on the picture).

29 April 2002

  • Upcoming DVD release information:
    Abenobashi Mahou Shotengai (Abenobashi Magic Shopping District)
         Volume 1 (one episode)
              To be released 26 June 2002
              Catalogue number KIBA-779
              Price 1,800 yen (excluding tax)
         Volume 2 (limited edition with box for the whole series)
              To be released 24 July 2002
              Catalogue number KIBA-9780
              Price 5,500 yen (excluding tax)
         Volume 2 (regular edition)
              To be released 24 July 2002
              Catalogue number KIBA-780
              Price 5,500 yen (excluding tax)
    Full Metal Panic
         Volume 0 EX with box (re-release)
              To be released 25 July 2002
              Catalogue number BBBA-3050
              Price 2,500 yen (excluding tax)
         Volume 6 (limited edition with figure)
              To be released 25 July 2002
              Catalogue number BBBA-3056
              Price 7,800 yen (excluding tax)
         Volume 6 (regular edition)
              To be released 25 July 2002
              Catalogue number BBBA-3036
              Price 5,800 yen (excluding tax)
  • More news on the Hoshi no Koe soundtrack to be released. The CD will have 12 tracks from the anime, including the theme song "Through the Years and Far Away". Running time will be approximately 25 minutes. Jacket will be illustrated by Shinkai Makoto. Price 1,600 yen. To be released 24 May 2002.

26 April 2002

  • Sorry for late news today.
  • Volume 1 of the manga Yaeka no Karte by Takeda Hinata and serialised in Monthly Comic Dragon manga magazine is to be released on 30 April 2002 from Kadokawa Shoten, price 740 yen (excluding tax). As the subtitle says, "Yaeka is exerting herself to become a veterinary surgeon" ^_^;; Very cute (if nothing else).
  • The life-sized Chobits cut-out of Chii is now available for pre-order. 6,800 yen (excluding tax). Scheduled release date is the end of June 2002. You can now view the cut-out here.
  • For those who've missed episodes of Psychic Academy, Lycos will have episodes 1 to 6 available for viewing on 3, 4, 5 and 6 May 2002 (during Golden Week). Episode 5 commenced online distribution today.
  • Those who collect all the coupons from the six Najica DVDs and the CD soundtrack can apply for the chance to win one of 100 prints illustrated by Yamauchi Noriyasu (each with serial number – or should that be "shiri-al" number ^_^;; - and autographed by Yamauchi and Nishijima). The illustration can be viewed here, but note that it is subject to change.
  • A limited edition of 10,000 units of a volume 0 DVD to the TV anime series G-on Riders (yet to commence broadcast) will be produced. The DVD will include a special clip, interviews with the three main cast members, an opening theme promo, etc. There will be a reversible DVD jacket and a character standing(?) as a bonus. Details:
    To be released 9 August 2002
    Catalogue number ASHB-1003
    Price 2,940 (including tax)
  • The TV anime Nurse Witch Komugi-chan Magical te (presumably a spin-off from Soul Taker) is to commence broadcast in August 2002.
  • Akiba-K News reports that an anime movie based on the game Pia Carrot e Youkoso will be produced, although the movie will have a new storyline, with the season planned to commence at the end of September 2002. A tentative title could be "Pia Carrot e Youkoso!! ~Sayaka no Natsu Monogatari~" (Sayaka's Summer Story).
  • Vandread.com has announced the production of a Vandread Gekitou Hen, as a new part to the Second Stage. It's the second instalment of "another Vandread" by director Higuchi Shinji, with new theme music.
  • A notice on the official Alien 9 website states that the site will end at the end of April 2002. That doesn't bode well for any more being animated ;_; On the other hand, the manga is to re-start.
  • CharaBiz.com reports that the new Tetsuwan Atom (Astroboy) TV anime is slated for broadcast in April 2003, with broadcast in South East Asian countries (South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, etc) likely to commence in October 2003. The full CG Tetsuwan Atom movie is scheduled for release in July 2004, with simultaneous release in the US. The movie will be a joint production of Sony Pictures Entertainment and Jim Henson Pictures. Director will be Eric Leighton (who worked on Disney's "Dinosaur"). Production costs are estimated at 10,000,000,000 yen with a similar budget for advertising. Apart from the two anime, a new manga will be published by Shogakukan commencing October 2002 and various Tetsuwan Atom events are planned, including on Atom's birthday on 7 April 2003.

25 April 2002

  • The June 2002 issue of Animage (published 10 May 2002) will have a feature on Hoshi no Koe. Moyu at Jungle SCS told me that the DVD has sold out quickly everywhere.
  • The official site for Enban Oujo Walkure (UFO Princess Valkyrie) has its grand opening today. Things are still to be added to the site, but you'll be able to view cast and staff details and character designs.
  • The Tokyo (parliamentary) Assembly has a streaming web anime for kids to learn more about this arm of government. But animation is of the basic paper cutout variety.
  • Two upcoming DVD releases with limited edition figures included are:
    Full Metal Panic volume 5 (to be released 25 June 2002, comes with Teresa Testarossa figure, price 7,800 yen (excluding tax) - regular edition is 5,800 yen (excluding tax)). The series will comprise a total of 12 volumes.
    Shichinin no Nana volume 8 (to be released 6 November 2002, comes with Nana Ranger figure, price 8,000 yen (excluding tax) - regular edition is 6,500 yen (excluding tax)). This is the final volume of the series.
  • Today is ANZAC Day, when we remember the men and women of the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps who have fallen in the line of duty when called by their country (and in the past the Empire). Lest we forget.

24 April 2002

  • The soundtrack for Hoshi no Koe (The Voices of a Distant Star) is to be released on 24 May 2002.
  • Mahoro.vesper.com, a Japanese fan site, reports that this month's issue of Comic Gum contains the official announcement of a second series of Mahoromatic, confirming the earlier speculation. Details (including whether the second series is to be a TV or OVA series) have not yet been released.

23 April 2002

  • A correction: sorry, in my rush to get the news out yesterday, I stated that Paletta was a manga - in fact it's a magazine. I hope that was implied from the context anyway ^_^;;
  • For those who can't afford the Paper Moon life-size Chii doll, Kodansha will be releasing a life-sized Chii cut-out. Preorders start 26 April 2002. Otherwise, there's the life-sized Chii body pillow to snuggle up to in bed. 3 kg in weight and only 12,600 yen ^_^
  • The Mainichi Shimbun reports that the winners of the 6th Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize (for manga released in 2001) were announced yesterday. The grand prix went to Inoue Takehiko for Vagabond (original work by Yoshikawa Eiji), while the prize for excellent work was awarded to Miura Kentaro for Berserk. Apart from the bronze statues, the winners received 2 million and 1 million yen respectively.
  • A compilation volume of the manga Abenobashi Mahou Shotengai by Tsuruta Kenji (and serialised in monthly manga magazine Afternoon) was released today. Apart from compiling the manga into a B5 size volume (same size as Afternoon), the volume includes extra pages such as guest illustrations, discussion between the creative staff of the anime. Price 1,200 yen (excluding tax). For more details, see the GAiNAX news report on 22 April.
  • The release of the Art Collection Onegai Teacher CD-ROM by Kusanagi has been put back from 26 April 2002 to 1 May 2002.
  • A preview movie for Arcade Gamer Fubuki volume 2 (to be released on DVD on 25 April 2002) can be viewed here.
  • JVC's "Chobits the Limited Room" is now open. This room will be open only until 30 November 2002. If you've got RealPlayer, Shockwave and ConnecteD installed on your computer (each can be freely downloaded via the links on the page), and you insert your Chobits CD into your CD drive (the first Chobits music release will be the OP single tomorrow), then you'll be able to access a special page with "images" to see and or hear and wallpapers to download.
  • The first part of the manga Nasu (Eggplant) by Kuroda Iou, "Andulusia no Natsu" (Andulusian Summer), is to be animated by Madhouse. The manga, published by Kodansha, deals with bicycle road racing. The anime will be directed by Takasaka Kousaka Kitarou from Studio Ghibli. (Updated 7 February 2004.)
  • Details of Iwao Junko's sixth and latest CD album "1/f" (F Bun no Ichi) have been released. The album will be released on 15 May 2002 and cost 3,000 yen (including tax). A track listing can be found here.

22 April 2002

  • Sorry for late update - I fell asleep ^_^;;
  • Uchiyama of Ruputer Fan has created an Azumanga computer keyboard.
  • The spring 2002 issue (no. 3) of Paletta (published by Enterbrain on 18 April 2002, price 1,143 yen) has a 6 page article on R.O.D. Hopefully my copy will ship soon ^_^ Paletta is a magazine with information about games, anime and manga. Other topics in this issue include Onegai Teacher and Xenosaga.
  • Speaking of Onegai Teacher, those who purchase all seven volumes of that DVD release from Animate stores will receive a Quo card. When you purchase volume one, you'll receive a card at the register. Collect the stamps with each volume to receive the Quo card with the seventh volume. I know few people would be able to order their copies from Animate, but thought I'd mention it anyway ^_^;; Don't know if the US branch of Animate would offer the same item.
  • The Museum of the Institute for Fire Safety & Disaster Preparedness includes references to Gundam (and Tetsuwan Atom/Astro Boy) in its "Firefighting in the Future" section here and here. Not much to see, but I thought I'd mention it ^_^;;
  • For fans of H-anime, it looks like a DVD box of Septem Charm Magical Kanon will be released, with a new 30 minute anime. Release date is expected to be 25 August 2002, with the box to be illustrated by Yokoto Mamoru. Note that the above site does have linked pages which contain adult images.
  • The website for 6 Angels (a sci-fi anime about an all-female private security firm) is now open.

21 April 2002

  • A big thank you to Falls on Deaf Ears for correcting my previous news about Jungle wa Itsumo Hare nochi Guu. The DVD release in August is NOT a re-release of the TV series but rather is the release of a new OVA series. I've corrected the entry below now. Sorry for any inconvenience caused. Please forgive me ^_^;;
  • Famitsu.com reports that at a Tenshi no Shippo event today, a Playstation game based on the anime was announced. To be released by Bandai, the price and sale date are still undetermined. The production of a second part to the anime was also formally announced, although whether it will take the form of a TV series or OVA series is unknown.
  • A collaboration of the doujin circles Watanabe Seisakujo and Shunpuutei Koubou has produced a game version of Glove on Fight, a one-on-one fighting game for Windows computers. Originally a Flash animation, now you can pit your favourite bishoujo characters against each other (eg Dejiko from DiGi Charat, Tsukimiya Ayu from Kanon, etc). Price 2,000 yen (excluding tax). To be released 21 May 2002. For screenshots, see here and click on the pictures for enlargements.

19 April 2002

  • Upcoming region 2 DVD releases by Bandai on 25 August 2002 include:
    Jungle wa Itsumo Hare nochi Guu deluxe volume 1 (this is the OVA series, not the TV series; comes with an eight page booklet and a Hokute strap, price 3,800 yen, Dolby Digital stereo)
    Sentou Yousei Yukikaze volume 1 (Dolby Digital 5.1, price 5,800 yen, comes with 15 minute making video and reversible DVD jacket)
    Dominion volumes 1 and 2 (three episodes per volume, Dolby Digital stereo, price 3,800 each, includes four page booklet)
    Fushigi Yuugi OVA series volume 1 (three episodes, Dolby Digital stereo, price 3,800, includes the bus trip omake clips)
    Macross 20th Anniversary Premium Collection (price 3,800 yen, a limited edition item) (I don't think this is an anime; could be a live event)
  • The first episode of the web anime Fairplays is now available for download here (together with the OP, ED and trailer).
  • The website for Shueisha's shoujo manga magazine Ribon has updated with a new Flash game based on the serialised manga Mujyuuryoku Shonen by Azuki Ryo. Click on the green sign to download the Flash game. Help Fuuko to catch Choro within the time limit. However, make sure none of the cameramen snap Fuuko using her gravity-defying superpowers or the game's over. Use the cursor keys to direct Fuuko – she can move along the thick black lines (eg walk up walls). Use the space key to jump, to use the trampoline (eg so that Fuuko can jump onto the signboard) and to catch the balloon (to rise to the top of the apartment). The large red arrows which appear on the screen will give you the general direction of Choro. The four previous games are available on the site as well.

18 April 2002

  • The May 2002 issue of the monthly manga magazine Ultrajump (published 19 April 2002) will come with a Tenjou Tenge clear file. The illustration will be the picture of Natsume Maya ^_^ used for volume 6 of the manga.
  • Looks like first copies of Mimi o Sumaseba (Whisper of the Heart) (to be released 24 May 2002) will come with a pin badge.
  • For those who missed out on the Full Metal Panic volume 0 EX DVD with box, the item will be re-released on 25 July 2002 – the same day of the release of volume 6 of the series. The contents of the re-release are not expected to change (including the 2,500 yen price), although the box art will be different.
  • For hentai fans of Words Worth, 25 June 2002 sees the release of Words Worth Kaiden: Honryu no Naka de... volume 1. Price 6,800 yen. This will be a two volume series.
  • Issue no. 1 of Wani Magazines' latest monthly manga magazine Comic Love Love goes on sale on 19 April 2002. Described as a love comic for men, I presume it'll have adult content. Contributors will include Ditama Bou (Mahoromatic), Hiryu Ran, Takahashi Mako, Hoshiai Hiro, YUG, Itaba Hiroshi, Pon Takahanada, Eno Akira, Katuomaki Asahi and others. B5 size, price 350 yen (excluding tax).
  • Short ads for Gatekeepers 21 (volume one of which is to be released on 24 April 2002) are available for streaming download here.
  • This isn't something particularly new, but with the recent airing of the Chobits anime, I thought I'd point out that the Chobits fanatic can buy a life sized Chii doll from Paper Moon. With 14 movable parts (and fingers), the doll stands 152 cm tall and costs 450,000 yen (excluding tax). Click on the pictures for enlargements. Other dolls in the product lineup include Ayanami Rei (Evangelion), Maehara Shinobu (Love Hina), Hoshino Ruri (Nadesico), and in the past Kinomoto Sakura (Card Captor Sakura).
  • The Nakoruru website has updated with a 90 second promo now available for download.
  • Studio Tron's website reports that Asamiya Kia's new Silent Mobius Tales manga will commence serialisation in Enix's monthly shonen manga magazine G Fantasy with the June 2002 issue (released 18 May 2002). Seven instalments are planned, to deal with each of the AMP members one by one. After that, a new work Silent Mobius Neos is planned, also to be serialised in G Fantasy. The website also mentions the release of the Silent Mobius DVDs in June 2002 in the US and refers to a DVD special package and a special version of the manga, but suggests that these may be for promotional purposes, not retail sale.
  • A promo for the upcoming Sentou Yousei Yukikaze can now be downloaded here.

16 April 2002

  • The official website for the 2 volume OVA of Nakoruru ~ Anohito karano okurimono~ (to be released on 25 May 2002) is now open here, with a short ad available for download from the promotion page. A limited edition version of the volume 1 DVD is available with a phonecard. Details:
    Limited edition version-
         Catalogue number GSTT-29034
         Price 6,800 yen
    Regular edition-
         Catalogue number GSTN-29034
         Price 5,800 yen
    In addition, the first pressing (presumably of either edition of DVD) will come with a pencil board. For pics of the phone card and pencil board, see the video & DVD page of the website.
  • A limited edition box of the manga Okusama wa Joshi Kousei by Kobayashi Hiyoko (and serialised in Young Jump) is to be released by Shueisha. Details:
    To be released 20 June 2002
    Includes 125mm figure of Asami-chan, Asami-chan poster (728mm x 514mm), and guide chart for the Playstation 2 game "Roomate: Asami ~Okusama wa Joshi Kousei~" to be released on the same day
    Price 2,700 yen (excluding tax)
    The figure seems a bit ecchi to me ^_^;; For more details, see this page. For another picture of the figure, see this page, where you can click on the arrows to alter the point of view and enlarge the photo. (Edit 21 November 2002: corrected name Asami).
  • For fans of Mahoromatic, a DVD with the end of year special will be released after volume 6. Details:
    Shotaiken! Mahoromatic
    To be released 25 June 2002
    Planned contents are the Mahoromatic end of year special (broadcast on 14 December 2001) (with a digest of episodes 1 to 8) and "Live! Mahoromatic"
    Length 25 minutes
    Catalogue number PIBA-1357
    Price 1,800 yen (excluding tax)
  • Chara-ani reports that those who purchase all 8 volumes of the Chobits DVD will be able to apply for a special DVD. The release schedule for the volumes has also been set:
    Volume 1 - 26 June 2002 (first pressing will come with box to hold three volumes, sticker, stationery set, picture label DVD and guidebooklet)
    Volume 2 – 25 July 2002
    Volume 3 – 23 August 2002
    Volume 4 – 26 September 2002
    Volume 5 – 25 October 2002
    Volume 6 – 22 November 2002
    Volume 7 – 21 December 2002
    Volume 8 – 24 January 2003
  • Details for volume 2 of Cosplay Complex have been released. As with volume 1, there will be a limited edition version of volume 2 with similar bonus items. Details:
    Limited edition version-
         Catalogue number BIBA-3142
         Price 5,800 (excluding tax)
         Includes picture label, special case, 4 page all colour booklet, 32 page directorial collection and 2 kisekae (changing clothes?) plates
    Regular edition version-
         Catalogue number BIBA-3122
         Price 4,800 yen (excluding tax)
         Includes 4 page all colour booklet
    Both versions will be 30 minutes in length and released on 25 July 2002. The final volume 3 is set to be released on 25 September 2002.

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