1-15 JUNE 2002 NEWS

15 June 2002

  • The official TV Tokyo website for Dragon Drive, the TV anime series to commence broadcast in July 2002, is now up. A preview movie will be available for download in due course.
  • Matsumoto Leiji's 113 episode Ginga Tetsudo 999 (Galaxy Express 999) TV series will be released on DVD in 6 parts commencing 19 September 2002:
    Ginga Tetsudo 999 Complete DVD box 1 Eien e no Tabidachi (Departure to Eternity), to be released 19 September 2002, price 20,790 yen (including tax), first pressing comes with mother's keepsake pendant
    Ginga Tetsudo 999 Complete DVD box 2 Shinku no Onna Kaizoku (Crimson Female Pirates), to be released November 2002, price 26,040 yen (including tax), first pressing comes with 999 train pin badge
    Ginga Tetsudo 999 Complete DVD box 3 Warukure no Majo (Valkyrie Witch), to be released January 2003, price 26,040 yen (including tax), first pressing comes with 999 train pin badge
    Ginga Tetsudo 999 Complete DVD box 4 999 no Hanran (999 Rebellion), to be released March 2003, price 26,040 yen (including tax), first pressing comes with the Conductor's hat pin badge
    Ginga Tetsudo 999 Complete DVD box 5 Jikan Shiro no Kaizoku (Pirates of the Time Castle), to be released May 2003, price 26,040 yen (including tax), first pressing comes with Doctor Ban pendant
    Ginga Tetsudo 999 Complete DVD box 6 Mugen e no Tabidachi (Departure to Infinity), to be released July 2003, price 26,040 yen (including tax), first pressing comes with special disc (presumably a DVD?)

14 June 2002

  • I hate computer crashes >_<
  • The first pressing of volume 1 of Tenshi na Konamaiki will come with a mousepad. Details:
    Catalogue number SDV-2661
    To be released 21 August 2002
    Price 3,000 yen (excluding tax)
    Contains two episodes.
  • Volume 1 of Tokyo Mew Mew will be released on 21 August 2002. Apparently it'll be 150 minutes long - will that mean 6 episodes? Price 4,800 yen (excluding tax).
  • Also to be released on that day will be volume 1 of the new Captain Tsubasa TV series, Captain Tsubasa ~ Road to Sky ~. Catalogue number AVBA-14445, price 4,500 yen (excluding tax).
  • A two episode OVA version of Mizuiro, the Dreamcast school love simulation game is to be released. Volume 1 will be released on 23 August 2002. Price 5,800 yen (excluding tax).
  • 25 August 2002 sees the release of the Sakura Tsuushin (Sakura Diaries) OVA Complete DVD Collection. Price 22,800 yen (excluding tax). 270 minutes, containing all 12 episodes and unreleased scenes. I don't know much about this series, but could the "unreleased" scenes refer to the LD version of the anime, or are there additional scenes which didn't appear in the LD version either...?
  • Volume 1 of Kinnikuman II Sei (Kinnikuman Second Generation) will be released on 21 September 2002, price 5,800 yen (excluding tax), 95 minutes.
  • The Galaxy Express 999 movie DVD box set is now out of print. But each of the three movies Ginga Tetsudo 999 (Galaxy Express 999) (128 minutes), Sayonara Ginga Tetsudo 999 ~ Andromeda Shukakueki ~ (Adieu Galaxy Express 999 ~ Terminus Andromeda) (130 minutes) and Ginga Tetsudo Eternal Fantasy (55 minutes) will be released separated on 21 October 2002, price 4,500 yen (excluding tax).
  • Just a reminder that episode or "log" 1 of the Blame! web anime is now available for download (24Mb) from the official site. However, you need to register and there's a suggestion that only the first episode is free (to commemorate the opening of the site). In addition, you'll have to use the Get Media Player (or if you already have Get Media, you'll need to install the Blame! link).
  • It's not particularly new news, but the Earth Work website, of which Urushihara Satoshi is one of the three members, reports that one of Urushihara's current projects is Front Innocent, an adult anime in which Urushihara will make his directorial debut. Production is underway but is currently in the storyboarding stage.
  • Idea Factory is working on a Playstation 2 adventure/simulation game Gakuen Toshi Vara Noir ~ Kingdom of Chaos the Universe ~ (University Town Vara Noir), to be released in the (northern) summer. Looks like an anime version is being planned as well.

12 June 2002

  • I hate power surges >_<
  • GAiNAX has announced that work is underway on Shin Seiki Evangelion Koutetsu no Girlfriend 2nd (Neon Genesis Evangelion Girlfriend of Steel 2nd). This will be an adventure game for Windows XP/ME/98. Storyline could be based on the "alternate universe" sequence of the final TV episode of the anime, where Shinji and Asuka are childhood friends and Rei's a new transfer student.
  • The Happy Lesson page has updated with further details of the bonus goods included with the TV series DVDs (including pictures of the figures). Volume 6 will contain episode 11 and a previously un-broadcast episode. In addition to the box and extra items included with the deluxe edition of volume 1, each DVD volume (to be released approximately one month apart) will come with a character CD and postcard. The deluxe edition of each volume will have the character CD and postcard but will also include a figure and trading card. The final volume 7 (both regular and deluxe editions) won't have a character CD but what will be included in its place has yet to be revealed. In addition, those who purchase a complete set of the deluxe edition DVDs will be able to apply for a set of five items: figure of Kanna, special DVD (with 3 minute chibi character anime and seiyuu secret video), group photo of the seiyuu, animation cel of the TV anime series (an in-between cel, not a key cel - and applicants will not be able to choose their cel) and a trading card (Nakagawa Akiko cosplaying as Kanna). Applications must be postmarked by the end of April 2003 and I presume there will be a fee involved as well. For more details, particularly regarding volume 1, see my 26 May 2002 entry.
  • Here's a news report on Miyazaki Hayao and Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi, particularly in relation to the awarding of the Golden Bear in Berlin. Clips from the movie are shown. As before, you probably need Javascript or something enabled, and thanks again to my friend Yankumi for encoding the clip ^_^ Just click on the words below:
    Watch my Video

11 June 2002

10 June 2002

  • Late update - fell asleep.
  • This month's (July) issue of Animedia magazine comes with a Rave mousepad (among other things).
  • The official website for the Overman King Gainer TV anime series is now up. Not much to see, though. Similarly, the official website for Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou (Yokohama Shopping Travelogue) is also up.
  • A different sort of web-anime. Blood Sucker is an anime by Tatsubon, created using animated gifs. Check it out here.

9 June 2002

  • Been busy again recently.  Thankfully there hasn't been that much news recently either ^_^
  • Volume 8 of the manga Tenjou Tenge is due out on 19 July 2002 (price 530 yen including tax). The R.O.D manga volumes in the past have come out within about a month of the Tenjou Tenge tankouban, so volume 4 of R.O.D will probably be released in August 2002.
  • A 15th anniversary book will be released by Production IG. Titled "Kiseki (Locus) Production IG 1988-2002", it'll contain production stills, design works, illustrations, various data, discussions between staff (including Oshii Mamoru and Ishikawa Mitsuhisa) and staff interviews. Details:
    To be released 25 September 2002
    ISBN 4-04-853517-X
    Price 3,500 yen
    Published by Kadokawa Shoten
  • The TV anime series Fortune Dogs is to commence broadcast on TV Tokyo on 4 July 2002 (and on AT-X on 8 July 2002).
  • The TA Group fansite reports that the Oobari Masami TV anime series Chojushin Gravion is set to air in the (northern) autumn. The animation of this series was first reported in 1999 and Oobari's 1999 website for the show can be found here.
  • TA Group also questions whether the upcoming TV anime series Boukensha (The Adventurer), to commence broadcast in the (northern) autumn, may not be the 1992 work Christopher Columbus. It seems a picture of the show in an anime magazine credited copyright to "Nippon Animation Co Ltd 1992". Looking at Nippon Animation's product list, item no. 75 "Christopher Columbus", a 26 episode series in Heisei 4 (1992), has no listed air date and no broadcasting TV network.
  • On 29 May 2002, Anime News Service reported about Matsumoto Leiji (as Tochiro) appearing with Kimura Takuya (as Captain Harlock) on the variety show SMAP x SMAP. For those who are interested, after learning a bit more about movie clips, I've finally uploaded the clips for the two episodes. I don't know much about computers, so I hope the following links will work. Please don't distribute the clips. Again, many thanks to my friend Yankumi for encoding the clips for me - I really appreciate it   m(_ _)m
    The first set of links may give a better picture, but if you have any trouble viewing the picture, try the second set of links. Oh yeah, you may need Javascript or something activated on your computer (I think). Fingers crossed...
    Click these words for episode 1
    Click these words for episode 2
    Click these words for episode one
    Click these words for episode two
    Kimura Takuya is a very popular idol singer, actor and entertainer. As a singer, he's a member of the very popular J-pop group SMAP. Anime fans may recall that SMAP performed the opening and ending songs to Hime-chan no Ribbon (and made an animated appearance in the show). Episode 30 of Kodomo no Omocha (Child's Toy) also featured a "Kimuchi Takuya" and "SNYAP". As an actor, Kimura played the lead role in the hit dorama Long Vacation - readers of the GTO manga will note references to that live-action series (IIRC, in volume 1 of the manga, Onizuka tries to impress a girl by telling her he wrote the screenplay for Long Vacation).

6 June 2002

  • Sorry for lack of update yesterday. Been too busy. I shouldn't even be making an update today...
  • Received the third and final volume of Chikyu Misaki (by Iwahara Yuuji) yesterday, yay! ^_^ Also, got the June issue of Ultrajump (published 20 May 2002, with cover by Oh!great). It has the last chapter of the R.O.D manga. Looks like next month, a new manga by Utatane Hiroyuki titled Tengoku ~ Heaven's Prison ~ will commence serialisation in its place. And got volume 2 of the colourful otomeX magazine ("the new style 'heroine' magazine"), with its R.O.D article. No time really go through any of those books/magazines yet, though -_-
  • Speaking of Ultrajump, KSS has a webpage up for its yet to be released 3 episode OVA series Happy World!, based on the manga serialised in Ultrajump.
  • The special July 2002 issue (zoukangou) of manga magazine Young King Ours, on sale 12 June 2002, will come with an Asagiri no Miko mousepad. A TV anime series of the manga will be broadcast in Japan later this year. Note that the mousepad will come with the special July 2002 issue, not the regular July 2002 issue.
  • In mid-July 2002, Media Works will be releasing a Urushihara Satoshi artbook, Growlanser Character Collection, price 1,600 yen (excluding tax).
  • The yon-koma (4 panel comic) of Animation Seisaku Shinkou Kuromi (Animation Runner Kuromi) has been running in the back pages of Animage for some time now. However, the Yumeta Company website has now announced that a manga version of the work will begin serialisation with the first issue of new magazine Toramaga by Eichi Publication, to be published on 29 June 2002. With the original work by Daichi Akitaro and Yumeta Company, the manga will be by Watanabe Hajime, character designer for the OVA. On the Yumeta page, click on the pic for an enlargement.
  • First there was the debable with the AT-X announcement and then retraction of its Space Pirate Captain Harlock broadcast. Now the VAP website for the anime is missing. Is this a precursor to a site renewal, or is there a problem with the release?
  • On the Weekly Shonen Sunday website, manga author Kumeta Kouji has anounced in his article that his manga Katte ni Kaizou, serialised in that magazine, is to be animated.
  • The commencement of the web anime version of Blame!, serialised in monthly manga magazine Afternoon, has been put back from its originally announced 7 June 2002 date. No new date seems to have been set yet.

4 June 2002

  • The homepage for Media Factory is now up, containing mainly release details for its products. Media Factory produces anime including RahXephon and Vandread. A link page for its anime series can be found here.
  • Yahoo Japan reports that yesterday, Gonzo Digimation announced a new storage system for full digital animation to decrease workload and production time after collaboration with IBM Japan. The Gonzo Digimation Holdings group is one of the few companies in the industry which can carry out all the stages of production in-house, from planning to animation to editing. However, because many people (up to 50 or 60) may be employed to create different parts of the animation, data management is important when it comes to combining the different sections into one work. Since the original animation is deleted as the editing is completed, the storage server is used as a temporary work area and must be accessed frequently. A 30 minute TV episode of digital animation might require 30-50Gb of storage space, whereas a movie might require 300Gb. Particularly with upcoming works like Yousei Sentou Yukikaze, billed as a high quality production, a huge amount of data would have to be handled, which called for a new storage system to be developed. A lot of processing is required, and it is common for the system to run 24 days a day in the labour-intensive creation of digital animation. To meet these requirements, Gonzo is using IBM's NAS 300G file server, which, with a capacity of 4.3Tb (terabytes) and ultra high speed processing, is able to operate 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. Creative staff can backup data without stopping work, and even though more than 50 creators may be working at once, the new system can remain stable.

3 June 2002

  • Today is Foundation Day in Western Australia, when we celebrate the foundation of the colony in 1829 (and later the State).
  • And now for something different. For the first time, I'm going to try to have a movie clip available for viewing. I don't know much about html, as you've probably gathered, so I hope this works. Anyway, if you click here, you should see an ad running in Japan which features snippets of Neko no Ongaeshi. Hope you enjoy it, but please don't distribute the clip at this time ^_^ Also, I don't know how long such a clip will stay up. Depends on the bill I get from my ISP. I may possibly add other clips later.
  • The upcoming Macross Zero OVA series will be 5 episodes long, presumably each episode being 30 minutes in length.
  • For those who missed the first pressing limited edition release of Initial D Third Stage, it looks like a regular edition will be released on 21 August 2002. Price 5,800 yen (excluding tax).
  • Watase Seizo's work Heart Cocktail Again is to be made into a TV anime series, though the episodes will be a short 5 minutes long. I don't know of a "Heart Cocktail Again", but Watase's "Heart Cocktail" romantic manga sold well. As well as being a manga author, Watase is an illustrator, and has given exhibitions of his work, including in the US.
  • ZDNet Japan reports that 19 July 2002 sees the release of volume 1 of the Tenchi Muyo! GXP digital accessory collection for Windows. Over 150 wallpapers featuring scenes from the TV series will be included. There'll also be character sound files and design works for characters and mecha, including some works which can be rotated 360 degrees. Price will be 5,800 yen. First pressing will come with a "stand chara pop" (does that mean a "pop-stand" of a character?)
  • Looks like another song collection will be released for Rurouni Kenshin. The Complete CD Box will be released on 18 September 2002, but production will be apparently limited to preorders only.

2 June 2002 (updated)

  • Sorry another late update. Wasn't well today... Hmm, today's update is on matters legal.
  • Don't you hate spam? I don't normally report news about computer/internet/IT issues, but in what's being described as a world-first court case in Western Australia, a marketing company (The Which Company Pty Ltd, trading as T3Direct) is suing a man (Joseph McNicol) for allegedly getting the company listed on an anti-spam black-list. Here's a link to a page on the legal action - as you can see, the litigation has been mentioned on Yahoo, Slashdot, ZDNet Australia etc. From those news articles, it appears that the company alleges that Mr McNicol sent an unfounded complaint to SPEWS.org (which publishes a list of IP addresses which are used for spam) that T3 was sending spam and had thus "procured, induced, incited, persuaded, encouraged, organised, facilitated and/or advised" SPEWS to block T3's IP addresses, causing disruption to the company's business. Jeremy Malcolm, the lawyer for the anti-spammer, is a friend of mine. He's a lawyer, but has been known to watch the occasional bit of anime, so you know he can't be all that bad ^_-
  • Kahoku Online Network reports that on 30 May 2002, the Tokyo District Court awarded 29,500,000 yen compensation to Mizuki Kyoko against Igarashi Yumiko and 5 companies for breach of copyright in the production and sale of Candy Candy related goods. Candy Candy was a popular shoujo manga in the late 1970s by Mizuki (story) and Igarashi (art), and later turned into a TV anime series. However, Igarashi embarked upon the venture with the companies without Mizuki's consent. In making his finding, Judge Mimura Ryoichi followed the decision of the Supreme Court in October 2001 in which that court accepted that Mizuki held the copyright. Damages were fixed at 3% of total sales by the enterprise. The dispute between Mizuki and Igarashi has been in the courts for some years now.

1 June 2002

  • Another late update. Nikkei Net reports that sales of the independent anime Hoshi no Koe have now [edit: reached] the 10,000 unit mark. Very impressive for an anime created by one man (Shinkai Makoto) on a home personal computer (I think he did everything except the music and the two female voices). Further, there were no magazine advertisements for the release of the DVD, merely an advance screening in February 2002, publicity over the internet and some shop posters in the month prior to release. The first pressing of DVDs were almost completely sold out on the release date of 19 April 2002, so another 7,000 units were ordered to be produced. After working for a game company for five years, Shinkai resigned his position and shut himself in his house for seven months to create Hoshi no Koe on [edit: a G4 Mac] which he purchased two years ago. Shinkai's next work will be another solo 30 minute work, which he is aiming to complete within half a year. Of course, there's now a lot of interest from the Japanese animation industry. In addition, it's said that a US company is looking to invest in the work.


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