1-15 JULY 2002 NEWS

14 July 2002

  • Again, sorry for the lack of updates. Been busy with other things.
  • Firstly, what's this site www.kuroitsuki.com (ie WWW Black Moon Dot Com) all about?  An upcoming anime perhaps...?
  • Tokuma Shoten will be publishing two books related to the OVA Hoshi no Koe at the end of September 2002. First is "Hoshi no Koe" no Kike, which will be published in paperback duodecimo size and will contain articles/reports by famous people relating to the release of the anime created by Shinkai Makoto. Price will be 1,800 yen (excluding tax). Second is the Hoshi no Koe Animage Library DVD Book. This mook will be hardcover A5 size and approximately 80 pages. It will include colour backgrounds and storyboards (including some storyboards which haven't been published before). The DVD will contain the stereo version of the "original" anime, that is, the version with amateur voice actors. Price will be 2,500 yen (excluding tax).
  • Here's another curry commercial with scenes from Studio Ghibli's Neko no Ongaeshi. Just click on the words below to view the clip. Thanks again to my friend Yankumi for encoding the clip ^_^/
    Watch my Video
    (Sorry, you'll probably need Javascript enabled on your browser to start the clip and also a relatively fast internet connection, otherwise you may only get sound).
  • Gonzo has updated its news page with an announcement that it is about to start production on a new TV anime series Gadguard. This sci-fi action drama is set in the city of Unit 74, where hero Sanada Hajiki meets the robotic Lightning. You'll see a few small design pics on the page. More details are in the August 2002 issues of Newtype, Animage and Animedia.
  • The third season of Galaxy Angel is set to commence broadcast in October 2002 on TV Tokyo.
  • Been working my way though the anime series Now and Then, Here and There. CPM has been pushing the fact that the series was directed by Daichi Akitaro. But while I like Daichi's works, I knew I'd have to buy this series when I found out that it was written by Kurata Hideyuki (the man behind R.O.D) and featured music by Iwasaki Taku (composer for R.O.D, and the two Rurouni Kenshin OVA series).
  • Ever wanted to be a seiyuu? ZDNet Japan reports that Namco has announced the arcade game Afureco (After Recording, ie Post-Recording - the voices in anime are recorded after the animation has been created), scheduled for release in the (northern) winter. In the game, players must perform the voice of a character in famous scenes from certain well-known anime such as Ashita no Joe, Alps no Shoujo Heidi, Ace o Nerae (Aim for the Ace), Tensai Bakabon, Versaille no Bara (Rose of Versaille).
  • GAiNAX's webpage for the third Mahoromatic CD-ROM is now up. It'll come with 40 wallpapers, calendar and other items. For more details see my 7 July 2002 entry. The CD-ROM will be for Windows XP/ME/98 computers.
  • A TV anime series will be produced in relation to the Game Boy Advance games Shin Megami Tensei Devil Children Book of Light and Book of Darkness. The game series deals with raising little creatures to fight against devils raised by other monster handlers.
  • Similarly, ZDNet Japan reports that a TV anime Bomberman Jetters will commence broadcast this (northern) autumn. The Game Boy Advance game Bomberman Jetters is set for release on 24 October 2002.
  • Ogawara Kunio, who designed some mecha for shows such as Gundam, has also created an idea sketch of a special Zoomer for Honda. The Zoomer is a 50cc scooter aimed at younger generations. You can view what a standard Zoomer looks like here.
  • The manga Mouse by Akahori Satoru (Saber Marionette J, Maze, Bakuretsu Hunters etc) and Itaba Hiroshi (and serialised in the fortnightly manga magazine Young Animal) is to be animated. Muon Sorata seems like a quiet, gentle, part-time teacher. But what the world doesn't know is that he's in fact the mysterious thief "Mouse", with three bishoujo accomplices Mei, Yayoi and Haduki.

10 July 2002

  • Sorry for the delay in updating again. No news yesterday because I couldn't be bothered :P
  • Tokuma Shoten's roman album for Studio Ghibli's Neko no Ongaeshi will be released on 6 August 2002. The Art of Neko no Ongaeshi book will be released by the same publisher on 9 August 2002. No details on price yet.
  • The cover for volume 4 of the R.O.D manga (to be released on 19 July 2002 - when hopefully my order from Mangaoh Club will ship ^_^ ) is now up.
  • A second series of each of the TV anime series Rizelmain and TV live action series Koutetsu Tenshi Kurumi Pure has now been confirmed by CharaAni.com. Both series will commence broadcast in October 2002.
  • Avex Mode now has a page up with details of the release of the Ginga Tetsudo 999 (Galaxy Express 999) TV series DVD box sets. Each box set will also come with a illustration board. Box 1 comes with episodes 1-16, box 2 has episodes 17-36, box 3 has episodes 37-55, box 4 has episodes 56-74, box 5 has episodes 75-93 and the final box 6 has episodes 94-113. The special bonus disc that comes with the 6th box will include creditless OP and ED, commercials for the series, a digest episode which was originally only broadcast in certain regions, and the Glass no Claire short (17 minute) film. On that page you'll also see an image of the mother's keepsake pendant to come with the 1st box. For further details, see my 15 June 2002 entry.
  • Gendai.Net reports that the manga Dragon Head by Mochiduki Minetaro (serialised in Young Magazine) is to be converted into a live-action movie and will feature singer Sayaka. What's Dragon Head about? Online magazine EX has a review here.
  • GAiNAX now has a page up for its upcoming Abenobashi Digital Shotengai CD-ROM. Release date seems to be 30 August 2002 now, though. For further details, see my 23 June 2002 entry.
  • CDJapan has the Saiyuki - Kibou no Zaika - "interactive animation" DVD (to be released 31 August 2002) on its listings now. As the name suggests, as the story unfolds, icons appear on the screen and the viewer makes a selection which affects how the story continues and ultimately ends. During some battle scenes, you may need to press the remote button pretty quickly, as this may affect the outcome. All sounds a bit like the old LD based arcade game Dragon's Lair. Included on the DVD is a special discussion by the four main seiyuu - this clip can only be accessed after you've viewed all the endings on the DVD. For a pictorial sample of how the system works for general decisions, battle scenes and other action scenes, see Studio Pierrot's page for the DVD.
  • A pachinko game with the theme of Science Ninja Team Gatchaman (Battle of the Planets) has been released.
  • Not satisfied with just cubic watermelons in Japan (see my entry on 18 June 2002), the United Arab Emirates is growing a range of cubic fruits and vegetables, the ABC reports (that's Australian Broadcasting Corporation). Sorry, no pic this time.
  • Even stranger, the ABC reports that a German psychic has developed a method of buttock-reading (as opposed to palm-reading)... Ewww ^_^;;;;;
  • For fans of Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou (Yokohama Shopping Travelogue), the music page of the official website now has a sample of the main theme song by Choro Club. Seems in keeping with the music which Gontiti wrote for the first OVA series.
  • Character illustrations and introductions for the upcoming Nurse Witch Komugi-chan Magical te OVA (with associated TV broadcast) are now up. (Edited 22 September 2002 to update link).
  • The website for Gundam Seed is now up, in a fashion. You'll be able to view the characters and the Strike Gundam. The basic premise of the story is also set out at that site and in the following press release by Bandai - but I don't really care much about Gundam, so I'm not going to bother translating it at present ^_^; With the main characters being 16 year old Kira and Asuran, the anime is aimed at children 10 years and older in high school. One production insider said that it's hoped that this new Gundam can generate the same feeling with the current generation of viewers that the original series did when broadcast in 1979 (source: Sponichi). Further, ZDNet Japan reports that Bandai has announced that it'll be release Playstation 2 games based on anime series Gundam Seed (in December 2002) and Dragon Drive (on 3 October 2002).
  • The official website for the anime Heat Guy J is now up. The TV series will commence broadcast this (northern) autumn. Character designs remind me of Tenkuu no Escaflowne (Vision of Escaflowne).
  • The August 2002 issue of Comic Dragon has announced that the recently commenced manga Mahou Tsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto (I'd translate that meaning something like: Important for Using Magic) is to be animated. The same pair Kojita and Yamada Norie who produce the manga will work on the anime as well, with Kojita preparing the original character designs and Yamada working on the script. Kojita's website (including a gallery of artworks) can be found here.
  • Looks like a third season of Galaxy Angel is set to commence broadcast in October 2002.
  • The first pressing of volume 1 of the Tokyo Mew Mew DVD (to be released 21 August 2002) will come with a box. CDJapan states that the box will house two volumes only, but that the first pressing of every alternate volume will come with a box. Six episodes for 5,040 yen (including tax) for a region 2 DVD isn't bad.
  • The Vandread Gekitou Hen DVD will be released on 25 October 2002. The first pressing limited edition version will cost 8,925 yen (including tax) and will come with five bonus items. The regular edition will cost 7,140 yen (including tax). Sounds rather expensive for what will presumably be mainly a digest film. Think I'll give it a miss. It's not like I can really afford most of the stuff I report on anyway ;_;
  • Volume 2 of the .hack//SIGN OST CD will be released on 21 September 2002, price 3,045 yen (including tax). First pressing will come in a box. As most people know, the music for this series is composed by Kajiura Yuki, who also did the music for Noir. I recently realised that Kajiura also composed the music for the Shin Kimagure Orange Road movie, with its excellent main theme "Kyosuke No. 1".
  • Volume 7 of the sci-fi manga GANTZ by Oku Hiroya (and serialised in Shueisha's Young Jump manga magazine) will be released on 19 September 2002. The first limited edition will come with a mobile phone strap, price 1,500 yen (excluding tax). Relatively little text in the manga makes it a bit easier to read. Though each volume generally tends to have a number of ecchi illustrations of female Kei (two of the main characters are named Kei, one male, the other female). There's also a girl named Sadako in the manga, who looks a lot like her namesake in the Japanese horror movie Ring series.
  • First my internet connection is slow, then my computer crashes on me >_<
  • The movie version of Guystars, the TV series which aired over 2001/02, will be released in two parts on 17 August 2002 and 24 August 2002. You can view a trailer here.
  • A transcript of an AX panel with Mashimo Koichi, director of Noir, posted on Animeondvd.com suggests that there will be no sequel to the TV series.

7 July 2002

  • Sorry for the lack of updates (again) - been particular sleepy this week ^_^;; All eyes are focused on AX anyway ^_^
  • I hate it when FrontPage Express freezes up >_< As reported on 23 June 2002, the broadcast of TV series Wei▀kreuz GlüEen was delayed due to copyright issues regarding the character designs (see also the 19 June 2002 entry). The new character designs can now be viewed on this page of seiyuu Koyasu Takehito's website. Just click on the bishonen of your choice. Designs are quite different.
  • Yamauchi Noriyasu of AIKa, Honoo no Labyrinth (Labyrinth of Flames) and Najica Dengeki Sakusen fame/infamy is working on a new TV series to be released next year. The series will include airplanes and bishoujo (of course).
  • Starchild's webpages for the following anime TV series are now up: Samurai Deeper Kyo, Rikujyou Bouei Tai Mao-chan (Ground Defense Force Mao-chan) and Asagiri no Miko. Sunrise's official webpage for Witch Hunter Robin is also up. [Edit 29 July 2002 to correct transposed links]
  • More details on the Tokinoyu limited edition version of volume 1 of UFO Princess Valkyrie: it'll come with drama CD (which includes a previously unreleased track), 40 page hardcover design works book, trading card, 3 clear cards and picture label. The first pressing of the regular version will come with trading card and picture label. For further details, see my 29 June 2002 entry.
  • Looks like GAiNAX will be releasing a third Mahoromatic Digital Maiden desktop accessory CD-ROM. This time, contents will include wallpapers, mini-game(s), sound files of characters, a comical screensaver and other mini-accessories. To be released 30 August 2002, price 4,800 yen (excluding tax).
  • Like CDJapan, Jungle SCS has now opened a character goods section to its online store.
  • Yomiuri Online and Sankei Web report that volume 24 of the manga One Piece by Oda Eiichiro (former assistant of Rurouni Kenshin's Watsuki Nobuhiro), published on 4 July 2002, has broken the record for the highest circulation for a first edition, with 2,520,000 copies on the market. At 390 yen per copy (excluding tax), publisher Shueisha must be pretty happy. A second impression of 20,000 copies is said to be in the works. The previous record was volumes 21-23 of the manga Slam Dunk (author Inoue Takehiko), where 2,500,000 copies of each were published in 1994-5.
  • The Puchipuri Yushii official GAiNAX page has now shifted to this address.
  • A few days ago was 4 July 2002. Which means, of course, it's the celebration of Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Competition in New York. Last year's champion hailed from Japan: Kobayashi "Tsunami" Takeru, who smashed the previous record by doubling it. Read an in-depth report into the subtle techniques and factors in this complex sport here. Could Tsunami defend his Mustard Yellow International Belt this year? ZakZak reports that the answer was... yes, Tsunami this year broke his own record by half a hot dog. Runner-up Eric "Badlands" Booker could only manage 26 hot dogs. On 3 July 2002, Tsunami was weighed as being 51.3kg. After the competition, his weight was 58.5kg. The prize is of course a year's supply of hot dogs.
  • Kahoku Online Network and Mainichi Shimbun have articles on the anime industry. A report released by a study group of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry points to the de-industrialisation of the Japanese animation industry as a result of the increasing tendency to shift production overseas (eg, to South Korean and southeast Asia). Other issues have been low wages in the industry to attract talent and the weak bargaining position of anime production companies (traditionally the broadcasting stations own the intellectual property rights and subcontract production to the anime companies). The group recommends application of existing trade practices/antitrust laws to try to redress the balance. The Ministry also unveiled a plan to amend the business trust laws to widen the avenues by which finance can be raised for anime productions.
  • On the other hand, there's good news in other sections, with an article in the August 2002 issue of Nikkei Entertainment! (published 4 July 2002) on how Japanese animation is influencing Hollywood and a Mainichi Interactive article that sales of toys aimed at adults continue to be strong at a time when the Japanese birthrate is declining. Apart from mecha for the (grown-up) boys, certain stuffed dolls such as Bandai's Primopuel have proved popular with the (grown-up) girls. Toys such as the beer serving robot "Let's Beer" have also proved popular.
  • The latest instalment in the gif anime stories of Non-chan by Nosferatu is up. Nosferatu has an English language site here too. You can view the anime in Quicktime format at Shot-san's page here. There's a number of stories, including the 8 chapter Kidou Senshi Non-chan (the 37Mb clip - my favourite), so it may take a while to watch them all. The latest instalment is the one highlighted in green.
  • Looks like there'll be a fourth episode to the Happy Lesson OVA series next year.
  • CDJapan has the Mizuiro volume 1 DVD available for pre-order but doesn't list the bonus items with the first pressing. Looks like the items will be a stand with picture CD (containing mini-dorama and characters' answering machine voice messages).
  • Three versions of the Galaxy Angel CD-ROM will be released on 23 August 2002. There's the limited edition version which comes with booklet, soundtrack CD and poster (price 9,240 yen). Then there's the super limited edition Mint Pack and Millefeuille Pack, both of which come with booklet, soundtrack CD, poster, figure, T-shirt and sticker (both priced at 13,440 yen).

3 July 2002

  • GAiNAX's webpage for Puchipuri Yushii is now up. As is TV Tokyo's website for Rikujyou Bouei Tai Mao-chan (Ground Defense Force Mao-chan) and Asagiri no Miko. The latter two series commenced broadcast today and share the same entry webpage.
  • Volume 6 of the Chobits manga is expected out towards the end of July 2002 from Kodansha. The limited edition version will come with a telephone card this time. Price 2,200 yen (excluding tax). The regular edition will likely be released on the same day, price 514 yen (excluding tax). Looks like both editions will come with a postcard illustrated by CLAMP as well.
  • The release date for Kodansha's mook for the Oh! My Goddess movie, titled The Field of Goddess, has been put back to 23 September 2002. Price remains 3,400 yen (excluding tax). Similarly the release date for Media Works' Urushihara Satoshi Growlanser Character Collection book has been put back to 5 August 2002.
  • The August 2002 issue of Newtype, to be released 10 July 2002, will include an article on the new Gundam series, provisionally titled New Mobile Suit Gundam Seed. Main mobile suit for this series will be the G-5 Strike Gundam, while main character will be Kira Yamato. I wonder if there's any chance the preview issue of the English language NewtypeUSA, to be released at Anime Expo 2002 shortly, will contain a similar article...?
  • The lineup of new works that will be discussed in the August issue of Newtype also seems to include Gungrave. Does this mean an anime version of the computer game is to be produced...?

2 July 2002

  • Sorry, another late update.
  • GAiNAX's Puchipuri Yushii will commence TV broadcast on 31 October 2002.
  • The second Inu Yasha movie Kagami no Naka no Mugenjo (the first being Toki o Koeru Omoi) will see theatrical release during the (northern) 2002 winter vacation. See the official website for further details. A trailer will be available for download in due course.
  • The official website for 12 Kokki is now up. Though I note the site URL is Kokuki... Anyway, DVD release is scheduled to commence this autumn, but no further details at present.
  • Even further details on the Mahoromatic Housou Kaishi Kinen DVD (Broadcast Commencement Commemoration DVD). Disc one will contain the trailer for the new series, a short 4-5 minute digest for episode one and cast interviews. Disc two will contain all the songs from the 27 April 2002 event "Live! Mahoromatic". For further details, see my 1 July 2002 and 26 June 2002 entries.
  • KSS now has a webpage up for the upcoming TV series Raimu (Lime) iro Senkitan. It's only the one page at the moment, though.
  • That's all for now. I'm out of time ^_^/

1 July 2002

  • A giant explosion rocks the earth. 13 years later, the story starts when a young boy sees a mysterious girl. Mysterious attacks on mankind. Mecha. Penguins. A man who cannot forget the past, consumed with his goal for the future. One of his lieutenants, a woman of science who betrays him. A white giant creature in a huge cavern under the surface of the earth. A boy and girl laying on the shore as the waters lap the sands. Crayon illustrations. Themes of the power (and danger) of science and nature, the lessons of growing to adulthood, loneliness, the need for social interaction. The TV anime series directed by Anno Hideaki, which soon became a hit, with character designs by Sadamoto Yoshiyuki and music by Sagisu Shiro and which spawned a movie. Yes, it's Nadia, the Secret of Blue Water, and my R2 DVD box set arrived today, just a few days after my Eternal Nadia Series of CDs which contains all the music from the series (and a number of vocal songs). A wonderful ocean-blue box illustrated by Sadamoto, containing six Amaray cases (five of them slick double cases) with jackets illustrated by Sadamoto and picture discs (art by Sadamoto again), the next episode previews for each episode on the DVDs (cf the ADV Films R1 release), a bonus disc with 135 minutes of extras including the Nadia Omake Theatre clips, a 100 page DVD-case-sized book of notes, character designs etc, a 68 page DVD-case-sized book of colour illustrations, and a figure of Nadia and King, all in a thin, clear plastic box. This is how DVD box sets should be. If you don't mind the lack of English subtitles (or a dub) and have a spare A$800 (or can't resist the temptation), this is the set to get ^_^;;
  • Oh yeah, I ordered the box set through CDJapan's Japanese sister site Neo Wing and effectively received 5% off the purchase, as someone mentioned on the AoD forums earlier. When you order through Neo Wing, you receive 15% off for payment by cash and 8% off for payment by credit card. I only got a 5% discount, I guess either because it's a foreign credit card (or perhaps a foreign purchase) - the downside is that the 5% discount can only be applied to your next purchase, you can't use it on the purchase you earn it with, ie I only really save the 5% on the Nadia boxset if I make another purchase through Neo Wing. Note a couple of things: the Neo Wing site is in Japanese and you have to register separately with that site (registration with CDJapan is insufficient); secondly, Neo Wing refuses to accept emails in English, so if there's any problems, you'll need to be able to read their Japanese emails and reply in Japanese.
  • Well, the World Cup is over for another four years. I was barracking for the Mannschaft, but at least they got into the final. Friend Ruri tells me that there's a bit of an anime/manga connection to the soccer players: certainly it wouldn't be unusual that Japanese players such as Nakata Hidetoshi and Ono Shinji grew up reading the Captain Tsubasa manga and/or watching the TV series. But did you know Italian players Francesco Totti and Alessandro Del Piero apparently did as well? They grew up with the Italian language version, of course.
  • The TV Tokyo webpage for Witch Hunter Robin is now up. The anime commences broadcast tomorrow. Similarly, the TV network's page for Fortune Dogs is now up with a preview available for download. In addition, some pics of the main characters in Rikujyou Bouei Tai Mao-chan (Ground Defense Force Mao-chan) can be found on XEBEC's page. That anime commences broadcast on 3 July 2002.
  • Asahi.com has an English language article about Mizuki Shigeru, author of the manga Ge Ge Ge no Kitaro, and his inspirations and experiences.
  • VAP has today changed its information page regarding the halt of Space Pirate Captain Harlock ~ The Endless Odyssey ~ to announce that it will now resume production after receiving messages of encouragement from fans and more importantly the consent of Matsumoto Leiji. While the first episode was originally scheduled for sale on 19 September 2002, the new release date has yet to be announced.
  • Looks like the Mahoromatic Housou Kaishi Kinen DVD (Broadcast Commencement Commemoration DVD) will come with a set of Mahoro playing cards, mousepad and postcard. For more details on the DVD, see my 26 June 2002 entry.
  • Looks like the five episode Sentou Yousei Yukikaze OVA series is going to be released over twelve months. Volume 1 will be released on 25 August 2002 at a price of 6,090 yen (excluding tax). Volumes 2 to 5 will then be released at 3 month intervals: 25 November 2002, 25 February 2002, 25 May 2002, 25 August 2002.
  • Medi Com is releasing a set of Lupin: Castle of Cagliostro Kubricks, with the first series out in October 2002. Click on the picture for an enlargement.
  • The August 2002 issue of Dengeki G's Magazine (published on 30 June 2002) reports that more Sister Princess is to be animated.
  • A trailer is now up for download of the movie version of 6 Angels. A web anime version of 6 Angels was earlier released.
  • And a trailer for Kon Satoshi's Millennium Actress movie can be downloaded here.
  • Pioneer will release the movie Genso Dai Yoj˘han Dai Monogatari on DVD on 23 August 2002. This 1980 movie was directed by Matsumoto Leiji and is based on his manga of the same name - a semi-autobiographical work that's a romance/coming-of-age story. Judging by the catalogue number, I think it's a live-action movie. Details:
    Catalogue number PIBD-1111
    Price 4,700 yen (excluding tax)
    97 minutes, Dolby Digital monoaural Japanese language track, using a new 16:9 anamorphic telecine master and including a 2 minute trailer for the movie
    Comes with 4 page booklet
  • Last but not least, Sega has announced its Sakura Taisen World Project series, which will comprise a manga series, six Playstation 2 games, one game for Windows based machines, a musical event and two OVA series. I won't bother reporting on any of it except the OVA series and manga. First up will be a one-shot OVA: Sakura Taisen ~ Kanzaki Sumire Intai Kinen (Retirement Commemoration) "Su-mi-re", to be released in December 2002. Next will be a three volume OVA series: Sakura Taisen ~ Ecole de Paris, to be released over the (northern) spring to summer of 2003. The manga will commence serialisation in Kodansha's monthly Magazine Z with the 26 July 2002 issue. Further, Famitsu.com reports series editor Akahori Satoru as saying that a TV series and movie should also be produced.


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