My first picture in years. It doesn't look like Natsume Maya, but I like it anyway ^_^


16-31 MAY 2002 NEWS

31 May 2002

  • As you can probably guess, I fell asleep again -_- The news is from 31 May 2002, though I'm typing this up on 1 June 2002. June may not be a good month with the World Cup, either...
  • The official website is now up for Sentou Yousei Yukikaze (Battle Fairy Yukikaze). Volume 1 of this OVA series is to be released on 25 August 2002. Amongst the features on the website, there's a promotion video available for download, though I can't remember whether it's the same as the previous one.
  • More official R.O.D calendar wallpapers are now up for download.
  • An Onegai Teacher Visual Collection will be released by Gakken in July 2002, price 2,400 yen (excluding tax). This will be a collection of 32 A4 sized illustrations on card. It will include illustrations from advertisements, Megami magazine and Animedia magazine (both published by Gakken). Also included will be a 70cm pop-stand illustration of Mizuho-sensei, drawn by Uon Taraku, character designer for the series.
  • The Kamakur@Love story has commenced. Kamakur@Love is a "3D sound novel" - basically a radio dorama, with an accompanying Flash animation, not that there's really much real animation, more like stills of anime-style characters superimposed on photographic backgrounds (often of the Kamakura area, where the story takes place). Story 1 is now up, with four chapters. Each chapter is about 7Mb in size. Sakamoto Takuya graduates from high-school and moves to Kamakura to study at nearby Shonan Keihin University. In Kamakura, he meets three bishoujo instructors at a car driving school.
  • The official Blame! website is up. A Blame! movie is to be released in the (northern) winter of 2003. Not much to see now, but six 5 minute episodes of a web anime are scheduled for distribution commencing 7 June 2002. The website itself just says mid-June, however.
  • After last week announcing the broadcast of Space Pirate Captain Harlock ~ The Endless Odyssey ~, AT-X now says that its scheduled commencement on 27 June 2002 will not go ahead...
  • In relation to Rikujyou Bouei Tai Mao-chan (Ground Defense Force Mao-chan), the XEBEC webpage has updated with a little pic of the three primary school girls Mao, Misora and Silvia, who protect Japan from mysterious aliens. XEBEC was involved with the animation of Akamatsu Ken's other anime Love Hina as well.
  • Two short ads for the upcoming TV anime Saishu Heiki Kanojo (She, the Ultimate Weapon) can now be viewed at the official website. Just click on to the Gallery webpage.
  • It's been announced that the Special Limited Edition version of volume 7 of Tenshi no Shippo (to be released on 25 July 2002) will come with a 13cm x 17cm photo stand of Goro and his angels.
  • Prior to the DVD release of Nurse Witch Komugi-chan Magical te on 23 August 2002, episode 1 will be broadcast on TV Kanagawa on 3 August 2002 and on Kids Station on 5 August 2002.
  • The CD Reverie, a "sound sketch" by Little Wing based on the novel "Kino no Tabi", will be released on 16 June 2002. In the meantime, a sample of the music and a promotion clip can be downloaded here.
  • A Playstation 2 game/"visual novel" based on Vampire Princess Yui will be released in December 2002. Price is yet to be determined.

29 May 2002

  • Sorry for the lack of updates. I've been flat out for the past few days. I need a holiday... ^_^;;
  • Tomino Toshiyuki's King Gainer is to commence broadcast on WOWOW on 6 July 2002.
  • As earlier reported by Anime News Service, Lupin has been licensed in North America and the official site for Kon Satoshi's Millennium Actress is now up.
  • The Inuyasha movie DVD will be released on 21 August 2002. Price 6,300 yen. It'll come with a special drama CD amongst other things.
  • Volume 1 of the TV series Tenshi na Konamaiki will be released on the same day (21 August 2002). Price 3,150 yen.
  • Takahashi Youichi's new soccer manga Hungry Heart, serialised in Akita Shoten's Weekly Shonen Champion manga magazine, is to be animated as a TV series. Takahashi is the author of the Captain Tsubasa manga.
  • Update on Space Pirate Captain Harlock ~The Endless Odyssey~. AT-X will be broadcasting the series (to commence 27 June 2002), which will be a total of 13 episodes.
  • Volume 1 of the manga Saiyuki Reload by Kinekura Kazuya will be released on 25 July 2002. The limited edition version will come with an illustration booklet. Price 857 yen (excluding tax). The regular edition will cost 724 yen (excluding tax) and be released on the same day. Saiyuki Reload is serialised in Studio DNA's Monthly Comic Zero Sum.
  • Similarly, volume 1 of Kouga Yun's manga Loveless will be released on 25 July 2002 and will have a limited edition version with an illustration booklet. Price 762 yen (excluding tax). The regular edition 552 yen (excluding tax) will be released on the same day. Loveless is also serialised in Monthly Comic Zero Sum.
  • The Mainichi Shimbun has reported that as of 1 June 2002 the Mitaka no Mori Ghibli Art Museum in Tokyo will, in collaboration with JTB (the Japan Travel Bureau), commence sale of tickets in 6 countries: the US, Canada, England, France, Italy and Australia. Initially, the tickets on offer will be for the period July to September 2002. Tickets to the museum have since December been sold in Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea, where approximately 2,500 tickets have been sold to date.
  • Nikkei Net reports on the next stage in PuriKura (Print Club) photographs. Now the Osaka based ten pin bowling/amusement chain Round One, with 39 locations across Japan is providing a free service "CosPuri" to female members. Members will be able to choose from a range of 22 outfits when taking their photos at the PuriKura corner of the sites. Outfits include the wedding dress, nurse uniform and police uniform. Particularly popular are the sailor suit and China dress.

26 May 2002

  • Sorry for late update. Fell asleep (again) yesterday and have been busy today.
  • Independent anime studio/circle Ishikawa Pro now have one of their earlier works available for download. In Ramen Chai-nyan, 14 year old Chai-nyan from China runs a ramen shop. With her Men-robo (Noodle-robo), she fends off troublemakers. This 5 minute 30 second anime took 40 days to make and 1,300 cels. I love the ending theme "Rame Rame Ramen" ^_^ Screenshots and download can be found here. Click on the sitting Chai-nyan for broadband connections and the snail if you've got a narrowband connection (the file is the same but the latter is a zipped file). A manga story of Chai-nyan is also available here. If you wish to purchase the anime, you can probably get it from Jungle SCS. Ishikawa Pro's current title is Mahou no Chocolate (see my news entries on 5 April and 17 March 2002).
  • It's been officially announced that the title of the second series of Mahoromatic will be "Mahoromatic ~ Motto Utsukushii Mono~".
  • Kodansha's monthly Afternoon manga magazine has announced that a new Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou (Yokohama Shopping Travelogue) anime will be produced. Sounds like it'll be a 2 volume OVA, to be released in the (northern) winter.
  • More information on the Happy Lesson TV series DVD releases. Each volume will contain 2 episodes and be released on a monthly basis. There will be a deluxe edition of each volume, which will come with a 1/10 scale figure. Details for volume 1, to be released on 26 July 2002:
    Limited edition first pressing deluxe edition-
         Catalogue number KSXA-24391
         Price 7,800 yen (excluding tax)
         Comes with box to hold all 7 volumes, Ninomai Kisaragi figure, limited edition Furuyama Kimiko trading card, WakuWaku CD-ROM (containing art data collection, character design works collection, complete storyboards for episode 2, photos from a Happy Lesson event, character personal data collection, TV series opening sequence, seiyuu and staff comments, character compatability test). The deluxe edition will also come with the items in the regular edition
    Regular edition-
         Catalogue number KSXA-24401
         Price 2,800 yen (excluding tax)
         Comes with Minaduki character CD and Mutsuki postcard
    Later volumes of the deluxe edition will cost 7,800 yen (excluding tax) and of the regular edition will cost 5,000 yen (excluding tax). For a picture of the Kisaragi figure, see here. The figures for future releases are scheduled to be Yayoi (volume 2), Uduki (volume 3), Satsuki (volume 4), Minaduki (volume 5), Fumitsuki (volume 6) and Haduki (volume 7).
  • A Chobits computer game is set for release on 5 July 2002, price 7,580 yen (excluding tax).

24 May 2002

  • Sorry for the late update (again). I fell asleep (again). Not much news, but that's good for me at least ^_^
  • A preview for the upcoming CG Appleseed work is available for download here. English voice acting... hmm...
  • The new Captain Harlock work, titled Space Pirate Captain Harlock ~ The Endless Odyssey ~ will be broadcast on AT-X on 27 June 2002 before seeing the first volume "Hakidame no Blues" of the DVD release on 19 September 2002. I presume the June broadcast will only be of volume one. For more information see my 13 February 2002 news. Though this seems to indicate that the original plan of a TV series to broadcast in September 2002 has been changed.

22 May 2002

  • Volume 1 of the new Macross Zero OVA will be released on 25 October 2002, price 5,040 yen (including tax).
  • More details on the Azumanga DVD release (see my 17 May 2002 news). It'll be a 3 volume release, with the box which comes with volume 1 to hold all 3 volumes. Each volume will have 2 DVDs. Volume 1 will have 9 episodes, volume 2 10 episodes and volume 3 will have 7 episodes.
  • Love Hina Infinity will be released on 17 July 2002. This fan book, the companion volume to Love Hina Zero, will come with 2 pages of clear stickers. Price 900 yen (excluding tax). Total 450 pages with the main part being 320 pages (64 in colour). A separate volume "Hinata Hiyori" (128 pages) will contain early character designs, a previously unreleased story, Akamatsu's detailed notes etc. Volume 4 of Iro-Hina will be released on the same day with a sticker mousepad(?).

21 May 2002

  • Sorry for the late update. Have been busy in the real world ^_^
  • Yomiko-san, poster desu yo ^_^ My R.O.D art collection vol. 2 CD-ROM arrived. Because I pre-ordered, I received some posters, the main one being an illustration by Uon Taraku (who did the character designs for the novels) of Yomiko, Nancy, Drake, Joker and Wendy at the beach (well, mainly Yomiko and Nancy). First pressing of the CD-ROM also comes with a card of the same pic. (As one of the first 30 pre-orders for vol. 1, I received 2 A3 size cel background reproductions - one for R.O.D and one for El Hazard). Whereas vol. 1 came in a CD jewel case, vol. 2 comes in a DVD-size case with space to hold the vol. 1 CD-ROM as well. The spine is similar to the volumes of the anime, so this item sits nicely next to my R.O.D DVDs ^_^
  • There's a couple of interviews on the CD-ROM. The first is an interview with director Masunori Kouji. The last question by the interviewer was: If there's something about the sequel to R.O.D, please tell me. (R.O.D no zokuhen nitsuite nanika arimashitara kikasete kudasai.) Masunori: I'm just going to say I've had concrete/definite discussions with Kurata-san and that it's pretty much settled (laughs) [I'm unsure of this line, but I think Masunori is saying something along those lines ^_^;; ]. (Kurata-san to gutaiteki na hanashiai wo shiteiru tokorode hobo kimatta toiu tokorodesu.) Although I can't give details yet, I think it can be called a sequel because it will shed light on some of the mysteries. (Kuwashii koto wa mada ienai no desuga, fukusen no nazo no kaimei mo fukumete sonomama zokuhen toiu kanji ni naruto omoimasu.)
  • There's also a long discussion between Kurata Hideyuki and others which was conducted on 18 March 2002. At one spot, Masunori says: The manga will finish soon. (Mou sugu manga wa owarunda yo ne.) Kurata: Two more chapters. But is it really the end? (laughs) (Ato 2 kai desu. Demo honto ni owaruno kanaa.) Kusanagi staffer (Kusanagi was the company which painted the backgrounds for R.O.D): By the way, will the anime R.O.D have a sequel? (Tokorode, anime R.O.D wa zokuhen wa arun desu ka?) I can't work out Kouji's reply, though ^_^;; Anyway, I wasn't sure with last month's issue of Ultrajump whether we were merely coming to the end of a story arc or the end of the manga. Looks like it's the latter. Further, it seems pretty much clear that the chapter in this month's issue of Ultrajump (June 2002, released 19 May 2002) is the final chapter (though I won't get my copy until early June). So the manga will be 4 volumes and basically dealt with introducing us to Yomiko and Nenene and matters relating to Donnie Nakajima.
  • ZDNet Japan reports that au's anime distribution service "ezmovie" for mobile phones is using a Gundam theme to teach people English conversation while they're commuting.
  • More details on the sCRYed Fan Discs. Fan Disc Gold will include openings for the characters Kazuma, Kanami, Kimishima and Cougar, a seiyuu round-table discussion (Native Team), previously unreleased BGM, voice drama etc. Catalogue number BCBA-1296, price 2,800 yen (excluding tax). Fan Disc Silver will contain openings for the characters Ryuhou, Sherisu, Mimori and HOLY, a seiyuu round-table discussion (HOLD), previously unreleased BGM, voice drama etc. Catalogue number BCBA-1297, price 2,800 yen (excluding tax). Each disc will be approximately 50 minutes in length.
  • The Macross 20th Anniversary Premium Collection DVD (a first pressing limited edition item) will be about 45 minutes long and contain a pilot film for the Macross Zero OVA to be released in the (northern) autumn, the "Macross 3D" pilot film for the next Macross work, a completely new "Macross 20th Anniversary" clip, clips from Macross computer games, collection of no-credit opening and ending sequences for 5 Macross series, trailer collection for 3 Macross movies and more. To be released 25 August 2002. Catalogue number BCBA-1286, price 3,800 yen (excluding tax).
  • The WXIII Patlabor movie DVD box set (the "Special Edition") will have a booklet and 2 DVD tall cases (including "making-of" clips) contained in the box. Again, it's to be released 25 September 2002, price 12,800 yen.
  • As CD Japan has noted on its site, the new CD by Hayashibara Megumi to be released this June 2002 will be titled "free well". [Edited 22 May: the title should be "feel well"]
  • Oniisama E... DVD box 2 will be released on 21 December 2002 for 15,000 yen (excluding tax) and will contain the final 13 episodes (325 minutes).
  • Previews movies for episodes 8 of Rizelmain and Kotetsu Tenshi Kurumi Pure are now up.
  • Samurai Deeper Kyo will commence broadcast on 1 July 2002. Rikujyou Bouei Tai Mao-chan will commence on 3 July 2002. Asagiri no Miko will commence on 3 July 2002 as well. Horie Yui will voice-act in all three. Horie played Naru in Love Hina. Rikyujyou Bouei Tai Mao-chan is Akamatsu Ken's latest work, and apart from voice acting, Horie will sing the OP and ED. The manga version of the anime will commence serialisation in the July 2002 issue of the monthly Magazine Special, to be published on 20 June 2002. While Akamatsu worked on the original concept and original character design, the manga seems to be credited to "RAN".
  • The first pressing of volume 1 of Nurse Witch Komugi-chan Magical te will come with a Komugi-chan figure. To be released 23 August 2002. Price 5,800 yen (excluding tax). The DVD otherwise comes with a Komugi-chan fan club membership card and booklet.
  • A new Quicktime 5 sample movie of Tsukiyo no Banni can be downloaded from director Yaginuma Kazuyoshi's website. (See also my 12 May 2002 news).
  • The Yomiuri Online reports that 3 people, including two sub-editors of Kodansha's manga magazine Shonen Magazine, were arrested for possession of cannibis. The accused are sub-editor Ohtsubo Satoshi (42), his wife and sub-editor Kubo Masahiko (36). The Ohtsubos are alleged to have been in possession of 1 gram of cannibis, whereas Kubo is alleged to have been in possession of 4 grams. Such arrests may affect the image of the magazine.
  • A Komatsubara Kazuo animation art collection will be released in mid-August 2002. Hardcover, A4 size, 160 pages, price 4,800 yen (excluding tax). Komatsubara was a famous animator who worked on anime such as Tiger Mask, Devilman, Getta Robo, Captain Harlock, Galaxy Express 999, Kaze no Tami no Nausicaa and Metropolis.
  • The web television pages of Jungle's Japanese language site has updated with previews for a few indie works (2 anime and 2 sentai). A commercial for Jungle can also be viewed here.
  • A TV anime series of the manga Get Backers, serialised in weekly Shonen Magazine, is to commence broadcast in October 2002. The website for the manga (about two boys with special powers) is here. Authors are Aoki Yuya and Ayamine Rando.
  • Volume 7 of the Tenshi no Shippo DVDs will come with a 13th episode, not previously broadcast. The DVD, to be released on 25 July 2002, will come with a Mini Mini Shippo Theatre clip and a 2 month school calendar. The Special Limited Edition of the DVD will also come with a bonus DVD (approximately 30 minutes long) containing seiyuu interviews, post-recording clips etc.

17 May 2002

  • The Wonderfarm site wallpaper page has updated with wallpapers for Cosplay Complex.
  • Animate's website has updated with release details for Azumanga Daioh DVDs, presumably for the TV series:
    25 September 2002
         Azumanga Daioh 1-nensei first pressing limited edition version (comes with box)
         Price 13,440 yen (including tax)
    22 November 2002
         Azumanga Daioh 2-nensei first pressing limited edition version (special art collection included)
         Price 15,540 yen (including tax)
    22 January 2003
         Azumanga Daioh 3-nensei first pressing limited edition version (comes with Chiyo-chichi key holder)
         Price 11,550 yen (including tax)
  • ZakZak reports that the rankings of highest income tax payers with the National Tax Administration Agency are out. In the "others" section, the highest income tax payer was Takahashi Rumiko (225,360,000 yen - projected income 615,810, 000 yen). With Inuyasha's popularity on TV, the big screen in print, Takahashi was up from 5th place the previous year. Note that is only in the "others" section. Over all sections however, Takahashi's ranking may be relatively low. For example, in 1999, the highest income tax payer in Japan was Okada Kazuo, president of a pachinko machine making company (2,540,000,000 yen tax).
    Ranking in the "others" section:
    1. Takahashi Rumiko (tax 225,360,000 yen - projected income 615,810,000 yen)
    4. Komuro Tetsuya (song writer and producer to a number of singers and bands) (tax 183,930,000 yen - projected income 503,840,000 yen)
    5. Tsunku? (music producer of groups including Morning Musume) (tax 165,410,000 yen - projected income 453,780,000 yen)
    6. Aoyama Gosho (author of Detective Conan) (tax 162,340,000 yen - projected income 445,490,000 yen)
    10. Horii Yuji (writer for the game Dragon Quest) (tax 101,060,000 yen - projected income 279,860,000 yen)
    By comparison, Miyazaki Hayao's tax was 31,820,000 yen. Income levels are estimates because only income tax liabilities are released.
  • Check out the CG anime movies by the group Kamikaze Animation. The latest work Mars Brat, is a 15 minute film set on Mars 100 years after mankind has started to settle the planet. The anime was completed by 4 people over the last three months of 2001. The movie available for download is just a 53 second digest of the work. The group's two previous works can also be downloaded. Also on the site are some screenshots and design works.

16 May 2002

  • The second thousand number of requests for this page took less than half the time of the first thousand (since I start counting). Thanks again ^_^ /
  • reports that one the three editions of the Hiropon artwork by Murakami Takashi (who runs a studio also named Hiropon - slang for "heroin") sold at a Christie's auction in New York yesterday for US$380,000. Hiropon is a larger than life-sized, near naked and very well-endowed fibreglass figure of a bishoujo created by Murakami, an artist known for his anime/manga designs and dubbed the "Ota-king" by none other than Okada Toshio of GAiNAX. For Christie's description of Hiropon, see here. For a picture of the figure, see here. Click on the picture for an enlarged image.
  • Samples can now be downloaded from JVC's page of the Kanno Yoko/Sakamoto Maya mini-soundtrack "23-ji no Ongaku" to the NHK live-action dorama Mayonaka wa Betsu no Kao (The Other Side of Midnight). Price 1,500 yen (excluding tax). Catalogue number VICL-60885. To be released 22 May 2002.
  • Both and Dengeki Online report that an anime movie version of the Sony Playstation game Sarugecchu (Ape Escape) is to be released on 17 August 2002 by Toho.
  • JVC's page for the Cowboy Bebop CD box is also up. Perhaps not much by way of new information, but at least you can see what the box and goods will look like.
  • The Enix webpage for the manga version of Tokyo Underground is now up. The anime TV series version of the story is currently being broadcast in Japan.
  • Nikkei Net reports that Shinchosha and Sega today announced that they'd commence publishing their US weekly manga magazine Raijin Comics in October 2002, with titles including Hokuto no Ken (First of the North Star), City Hunter and Slam Dunk. Together with Coamix, these companies have established the company Gutsoon Entertainment in California. Apart from serialising manga, the magazine will also provide anime and game information. At present, the companies are aiming at sales of 15,000 copies. In future, sales of related videos and games are also planned. Also planned are sales in European nations such as Germany and Italy.
  • Another Nikkei Net report states that, based upon pre-orders, DVD and video sales of Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi are expected to pass the 5 million mark in Japan. Titanic has sold over 4.5 million copies.
  • A sample of the anime Time Bokan, which commenced distribution on the internet on 10 May 2002, can be downloaded here. A fee will be charged to view the episodes, though.
  • Yomiuri Online reports that the CG anime TV series based on the mascots of the 2002 Japan/South Korean soccer World Cup, the Spherics, will commence broadcast in Japan on 7 June 2002 after earlier problems securing a sponsor.
  • Yomiuri reports that the manga Keisatsu Shochou (Police Chief) by Takamochi Gen (who passed away in July 2000), will be turned into a live-action dorama to commence broadcast on 8 July 2002. Keisatsu Shochou was serialised in weekly Morning manga magazine.


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