16-28 FEBRUARY 2003 NEWS

27 February 2003

  • Volume 1 of DVD release of the OVA Hitsuji no Uta, to be released on 25 May 2003, will cost 5,565 yen (including tax). The cast of this four episode OVA will include Hayashibara Megumi and Seki Tomokazu. First pressing of volume 1 will come with a postcard. Source: Animate Yokohama.
  • The latest issue of Young Animal states that the TV anime series Air Master will commence broadcast on 1 April 2003, April Fool's Day. Source: the new TA Group BBS.
  • Furthermore, it's been announced on the website for Narue no Sekai (The World of Narue) that the TV series will commence broadcast on MBS on 5 April 2003 and on CBC on 23 April 2003. Source: TA Group BBS.
  • Game maker Age Soft has announced that its game Kimi ga Nozomu Eien is to be adapted into a TV anime series later this year. Source: Magicalantique.com.
  • Kodansha has a website up for the medical manga Black Jack ni Yoroshiku (Say Hello to Black Jack) by Satou Shuuhou (serialised in the weekly magazine Morning). The live action dorama version of the story will commence broadcast on TBS on 11 April 2003. Source: ultimatum half edition.
  • A Hajime no Ippo TV special will be broadcast on NTV on 4 April 2003. Meanwhile, volume 25 of the DVD, to be released on 21 March 2003, price 6,090 yen (including tax), will contain a previously unbroadcast episode. Source: Moonphase.
  • On 13 October 2002, I wrote about the French label Louis Vuitton using a new design for its famous "L" and "V" mark by Japanese artist Murakami Takashi. Ascii24.com reports that on 25 February 2003, a preview screeing was held of the 5 minute anime "Superflat Monogram" by Murakami and Louis Vuitton. The anime is to commemorate the release of some of Louis Vuitton's 2003 spring and summer collection and has a theme of the "spirit of travel". Superflat Monogram features the character designed by Murakami "LV Panda". Young schoolgirl Aya is waiting for her friend in front of the Louis Vuitton store when LV Panda suddenly appears - so starts Aya's Alice in Wonderland-like adventure. The anime was produced by Toei Animation, including staff from the series Digimon. Click on the photos on the above link for enlargements. It's planned to screen the anime in at least 18 of Louis Vuitton stores across the globe from 1 March 2003, including at Matsuya in Ginza (Tokyo), Fifth Avenue (New York?), Beverley Hills Rodeo Drive (Los Angeles), Champs Elysees (Paris), Canton Road (Hong Kong), Plaza 66 (Shanghai) and Ngee Ann City (Singapore?). You can view a few screenshots of the anime on this page of the Murakami's Kaikai Kiki website. You can also see the LV Panda character gracing the Louis Vuitton website in a Flash animation. Source: Aniota.
  • The Playstation 2 love simulation game True Love Story ~ Summer Days, and yet... will be released in July 2003. And in the (northern) summer, a three volume OVA will also be released by KSS. I have no idea whether this is going to be a hentai game or OVA... Source: Moonphase.
  • Remember the card game Uno? From March 2003, One Piece and Doraemon versions of the card game will be released (price 1,200 yen each). Source: Bandai and Aniota.

26 February 2003 (second update)

  • Well, I'm finally getting back into the swing of reporting news ^_^
  • The website for the AD Police spinoff OVA series Parasite Dolls is now up. Volume 1 of the three volume DVD release will go on sale on 22 May 2003, price 4,800 yen, catalogue number BBBA-3571. Volume 2 will go on sale 25 June 2003 (catalogue number BBBA-3572) and volume 3 on 24 July 2003 (catalogue number BBBA-3573). Source: Moonphase.
  • The Comptiq website for .hack//Tasogare no Udewa Densetsu is now up. Source: Moonphase.
  • A second image from the upcoming third Tenchi Muyo OVA series is now up on the official website. Click on the image for an enlargement. Source: Moonphase.
  • It's noted in this month's issue of manga magazine Shonen Ace that volume 1 of the OVA Guardian Hearts (based on the manga of the same name) will be released on 23 May 2003. Source: Moonphase.
  • The assistant director of the TV anime Gadguard, Miyao Yoshikazu, has posted on his website that the series will commence broadcast on Fuji TV on 2 April 2003. Source: Moonphase.
  • Cute Berserk Kubricks, especially Gatts ^_^;; On sale July 2003, price 3,800 yen.
  • Volume 1 of the ecchi Lingerie Soldier Papillon Rose OVA, to be released 25 April 2003, will cost 5,800 yen. Source: DVDCatalog and Aniota. This is the Sailor Moon parody series which web anime version apparently had a transformation scene to the words "Rose Orgasm Power - Make Up!" and attack calls like "Rose Pinkish Viagra!" Though I don't know whether this OVA series is going to be hentai or not. I never saw the original web anime.
  • Volume 0 of the series Tenshi no Shippo chu! will be released on 24 April 2003, price 2,500 yen. Source: DVDCatalog.
  • Toei Animation has announced that it will produce the second series of the anime Kinnikuman II Sei (Kinnikuman Second Generation) primarily for the overseas (US) market. The series finished broadcast with episode 51 in Japan on 25 December 2002. However episodes 52 onwards will be broadcast in the US. These later episodes will be tailored more to US tastes, while maintaining the original world of Kinnikuman. Source: Ma-ten.
  • I thought the Gundam laptop computer wasn't such a bad idea (see my 16 February 2003 entry). The Gundam bicycle was pretty pointless, though (see my 16 February 2003). But the Gundam Floor Chair seems pretty stupid to me ^_^;; Only 14,800 yen. The chairs will go on sale at the end of April 2003. 57cm tall x 58.5cm wide x 64cm deep, these chairs come in three colours: grey, blue and yellow. Source: Ma-ten.
  • The official website for the upcoming TV anime Scrapped Princess (based on the novel and manga series) is now up. Not much to see at present, though. Source: Ma-ten. The series will commence broadcast on 8 April 2003.
  • New official website for Naruto. Source: Ma-ten.
  • Sankei Web reports that JR East Japan and Miyagi prefecture have come up with a manga train, to start operation in March 2003. The body of the train will feature art of manga characters such as Cyborg 009. The "Mangattan", so named in reference to Manhattan in New York, will see its maiden journey on 22 March 2003, where Kamen (Masked Rider) Ryuuki will be present to cut the tape. Source: Ma-ten.
  • First pressing of the DVD release of volume 4 of Princess Tutu will come with a box. To be released 21 May 2003, price 7,140 yen (including tax). Source: Animate Yokohama.
  • Yomiuri reports that the manga Doubutsu no Oisha-san (Animal Doctor) by Sasaki Noriko is to be adapted into a live action dorama series commencing 17 April 2003. The manga was serialised in the bi-weekly shoujo manga magazine Hana to Yume from December 1987 to November 1993 and went on to sell over 21.6 million volumes. IIRC, another dorama series in this season's lineup to be based on a manga is Kimi wa Pet. Source: ultimatum half edition. [Updated 1 March 2003 to correct author's personal name]
  • The monthly manga magazine Afternoon has announced that its May 2003 issue (on sale March 2003) will come with a figure of Miggy. Sorry, I don't know what series that figure might relate too. Looks weird ^_^;; Source: ultimatum half edition.
  • On the same page on the Afternoon website, it's stated that the Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou (Yokohama Shopping Travelogue) Ashinano Hitoshi Art Collection artbook will be released on 20 March 2003. This A4 size book will cost 2,800 yen. In addition to illustrations, there'll be rough drawings and an interview in which the author talks about the design of the world of Alpha and her friends. The first edition of the book will come with a paper diorama you can set up.

25 February 2003

  • First pressing of volume 8 of Ojamajo Doremi Dokkan! will come with a box and sticker. It'll be released on 23 April 2003, price 6,090 yen (including tax). Source: Animate Yokohama.
  • Volume 1 of the OVA Generation of Chaos 3 ~ Toki no Fuuin ~ will be released on 21 May 2003, price 4,935 yen (including tax). Source: Animate Yokohama. Volume 2 will be released on 25 June 2003 for the same price.
  • Madhouse's website for Kon Satoshi's latest work Tokyo Godfathers is now up, although not all the sections are open yet. One Christmas night, three homeless people - two middle-aged men (one gay) and a 16 year old girl - start on a small adventure. Theatrical release is planned for this (northern) winter. Source: ultimatum half edition.
  • Seishinsha has announced that sale of Shirow Masamune's artbook Intron Depot 3 has been put back to mid-April 2003 in Japan. For more details on the book, see my 5 February 2003 entry. Source: ultimatum half edition.
  • The official website for the movie Dragon Head, to be released 30 August 2003, is now up. Source: Ma-ten. The live action movie is based on the manga by Mochiduki Minetaro. A trailer is available for download at the site.

24 February 2003

  • Been away.
  • It'll be announced in the April 2003 issue of monthly manga magazine Comic Gum (on sale 26 February 2003, I think) that the manga Ikki Tousen by Shiozaki Yuuji is to be animated. This "hyper bishoujo action" manga is a high school fighting manga with reference to the Three Kingdoms period of China. As I've mentioned before, this manga of Shiozaki's reminds me of Oh!great's manga Tenjou Tenge - except Shiozaki seems to have less sex and more panty shots ^_^;; Not only is the genre of the two manga the same but Shiozaki seems to blatantly copy Oh!great's artwork from time to time. Compare page 144, volume 5 of Ikki Tousen (first published about September 2002) with page 125, volume 5 of Tenjou Tenge (first published about July 2000) for example. Amazing resemblance, huh? ^_^;; Still, Shiozaki's character designs and style, which remind me of Sadamoto (Evangelion) Yoshiyuki's style, are attractive. It'll be interesting to see how this anime turns out. I've sometimes wondered whether a Tenjou Tenge anime would be good - but ultimately I think Oh!great's work would be best enjoyed in the manga format.
  • Useless piece of information: Sadamoto Yoshiyuki says that apart from "Evangelion", another title which director Anno Hideaki considered was "Arushion" (Alshion?). More useless information: in the recent March 2003 issue of Newtype, a number of staff of Evangelion were asked approximately ten questions, one of which was about more Evangelion. I didn't checked all the responses carefully, but IIRC a number of the responses seemed to be along the lines of it being up to Anno. Nothing new there.
  • The website Gasaraki Web is now open. No longer a current series, and nothing really new there, but if you're a fan you might want to have a look...
  • Episode 4 of the full 3D CG independent anime URDA by Romanov Higa is now available for download. Source: ultimatum half edition. Just click on the #4 link on the left hand side of that page. For more details about the anime and how to view it, see my 7 and 12 May 2002 entries.
  • Screensavers for the Playstation game version of Tenshi no Shippo are available for download here. Source: Magicalantique.com.
  • Hand Maid Mai is being distributed over the internet on a fee paying basis. However a pilot film is available for download free here. Just click on the clapperboard pic on the bottom right hand corner of the page. Source: Magicalantique.com.
  • TV Tokyo has announced that it'll commence broadcast of the following anime series on the following dates:
    Sora no Stellvia on 2 April 2003. (To me, the title appears to be Uchuu no Stellvia in kanji, but the furigana suggests the title should be read Sora no Stellvia)
    Bouken Yuuki Pluster World on 3 April 2003.
    Ningen Kosaten Human Scramble on 5 April 2003.
    Sonic X on 6 April 2003.
    Fire Storm on 6 April 2003.
    Dear Boys on 7 April 2003.
    Last Exile on 7 April 2003.
    Source: Magicalantique.com.
  • Azumanga Daioh school uniform for fans or cosplayers. Only 29,800 yen.
  • Lawson, the convenience store chain in Japan, have planned a special 5121 Pack version of the DVD release for Gunparade March ~ Arata naru Kougun Uta ~ (A New March Song). Basically, the 5121 Pack of each volume of the DVD release will come with a limited edition figure (approximately 14cm tall) and cost 8,000 yen instead. For regular DVD volume release details, see my 15 February 2003 entry. Figures will be:
    Volume 1: Hayami Atsushi
    Volume 2: Higashihara Nonomi & Buta
    Volume 3: Hara Motoko
    Volume 4: Twin seater Spirit of Samurai mecha
    Volume 5: Tanabe Maki
    Volume 6: Shibamura Mai
    Source: Nifty Animation Online and Gunparade March official website.
  • Groove Corporation has a page up for the four volume vampire OVA series Hitsuji no Uta. Volume 1 of the DVD will be released on 25 May 2003. Source: ultimatum half edition.
  • The May 2003 issue of Monthly Comic Dengeki Daioh (on sale 20 March 2003) will see the start of the manga version of the anime Sora no Stellvia by Akizuki Ryo. Source: ultimatum half edition.

19 February 2003 (third update)

  • Those who purchase all seven volumes of the DVD release of Shin Seiki Den Mars will be able to apply for a special figure. At least I think it's a special figure. The small print is hard to read ^_^;; Source: Newtype March 2003 issue.
  • The first pressing limited edition version of volume 4 of the DVD for Mahou Tsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto ~ Someday's Dreamers will come with a box illustrated by Yoshizuki Kimuchi, presumably to hold the last three volumes of the series. To be released 6 June 2002, price 5,000 yen (excluding tax), catalogue number PIBA-7180. The regular edition catalogue number is PIBA-7184. Volumes 5 and 6 will be released on 10 July 2003 and 8 August 2003 respectively, at the same price, catalogue numbers PIBA-7185 and PIBA-7186. Source: Newtype March 2003 issue.
  • The renewal version of Neon Genesis Evangelion will be broadcast on WOWOW starting April 2003. Source: Newtype March 2003 issue.
  • Updated: the DVD box set for Nanaka 6/17 will be released on 17 June 2003, price 26,250 yen (including tax) and will come with a booklet. Source: Animate Yokohama. This box set will contain 4 DVDs (all 12 episodes) plus an extra disc with an original episode. Source: Newtype March 2003 issue.
  • Inoue Sora, author of manga Real Bout High School, will be releasing an artbook on 20 March 2003, titled "Real Blue". This book will be published by Media Works, A4 in size, 112 pages, price 2,000 yen (excluding tax). Source: Toranoana.
  • Akamatsu (Love Hina) Ken's latest manga Mahou Sensei Negima! (Magister Negi Magi) will commence serialisation with issue 13 of manga magazine Weekly Shonen Magazine, on sale 26 February 2003. It's another school love comedy, this time about 10 year old boy and magic-user Negi and a junior high school class 30 female students. For a pic of the new manga, see here, though the pic may not be up for long. Further, issue 4 of sister manga magazine Magazine Special (on sale 20 March 2003) will contain a colour poster of "Negima" as well as three chapters of the manga Rikujyou Bouei Tai Mao-chan (Ground Defense Force Mao-chan) and a special Mao-chan paper figure. Source: ultimatum half edition.
  • Issue 7 of the manga magazine Shoujo Comic (on sale 5 March 2003) will contain the final chapter of Watase (Fushigi Yuugi) Yuu's manga "Alice 19th". Source: ultimatum half edition.
  • Sorry I didn't update further yesterday. Too tired.

18 February 2003 (early update)

  • Sorry for lack of update yesterday. Headache.
  • Finally saw episode 1 of the renewal version of Neon Genesis Evangelion yesterday. The picture was sharper and colours brighter. I've never seen Eva look this good/clear, though this does seem to have given rise to a certain grainy-ness in the picture. There's still the dust etc visible on the cels. Significantly, the screen wobble gone - and GAiNAX have done it in a manner much better than ADV Film's attempt with it's original volume 1 of the DVD. Overall, this will be the best version of the series yet, I think. Eva fans should look forward to it.
  • Got more to post, but busy. If I've got time, I'll type up more stuff tonight.

16 February 2003 (second update)

  • It's been announced in the March 2003 issue of Monthly Coro Coro Comic (on sale 15 February 2003) that the TV anime version of the manga "Corokke!" will commence broadcast in April 2003. Source: ultimatum half edition.
  • Is it just me or has animation quality been dropping with TV anime series episode length? Maybe it's just the particular series I've been watching. And while use of computers is the way of the future for animation, it's annoying where it becomes an cheap and unattractive alternative to properly animate a particular sequence. Sorry for the rant. Give me the higher quality series like Figure 17 ^_^ which maintained its high production values throughout the episodes.
  • Yomiuri reports that for the first time, Studio Ghibli has invested in Western animation. That work is France's "Kirikou and the Sorceress", directed by Michel Ocelot. Takahata Isao will oversee the Japanese subtitled version and Japanese dubbed version. Kirikou and the Sorceress was first released in France in 1999, where it became that country's most popular animation at the box office. Kirikou and the Sorceress tells the story of Kirikou, a new born baby in an African village, who sets out to free his village from the curse of the witch Karaba. While this is the first Western animation that Studio Ghibli has obtained rights in, it's not the first Western movie it's invested in - that being the Czech movie Dark Blue. Source: Source: Ma-ten.
  • The TV anime Gold Muscle commenced broadcast yesterday. The year is 2036 and advances in biotechnology see superhuman athletes in competition, striving to break record after record. Source: Ma-ten. This series is just a few episodes, I think.
  • The website Gasaraki Web is to open on 25 February 2003. Source: Ma-ten.
  • Starchild has a website up for the upcoming TV anime Uchuu no Stellvia. Nothing to see at present. It just basically states that director of this sci-fi anime will be Sato Tatsuo, who directed Nadesico, and that character designer will be Uno Makoto (who did the designs for the anime version of Love Hina). Source: Ma-ten.
  • The official Tenchi Muyo website has a pic from episode 1 of the third OVA series up. It's the pic of Ryoko. Click on the pic for an enlargement. Source: Ma-ten.
  • ZDNet Japan reports that Bandai Networks is selling Gundam bicycles. There'll be two models: a Gundam design "Gundam Bicycle Type 20 RX-78-2 Gundam-7S" and a Zaku design "Gundam Bicycle Type 26 MS-06 Zaku II-21S". Release date is planned for the end of April 2003. Price 50,000 yen each. The bicycles were designed with the advice of Ogawara Kunio, mecha designer in the Gundam series. Pictured in the report is the Zaku model of the bicycle. Source: Ma-ten.
  • Or if you want something Gundam that's more hi-tech, there's the Gundam personal computer series. First up is the "Char Model". It's red, of course, for the Red Comet. CPU 1.33 GHz Celeron processor, 256MB memory, approximately 20GB hard drive, CD-R/RW and DVD-ROM drive, bundled with various software including Lotus Super Office, Win DVD 4.0, Norton Antivirus 2002, etc. Also included will be various Gundam icons, wallpapers, sounds etc. More specs on this page. And more pics are available on this page. Price 198,000 yen. Preorder cutoff date is 28 February 2003. Source: Ma-ten.
  • Echizen Ryoma, the hero of the anime Tennis no Oujisama (Prince of Tennis), will release a CD album on 5 March 2003. The CD has yet to be titled, but price will be 2,857 yen (excluding tax) and first pressing will come with special disc. Source: Musicmarket.
  • Shiina Hekiru's CD "10 Carat" will be released on 12 March 2003. There'll be a first pressing limited edition version which will cost 3,300 yen (excluding tax) and will come with a DVD of Shiina live at the Budokan. Otherwise the regular edition of the CD will cost 2,913 yen (excluding tax). Source: Musicmarket.
  • The manga Mamotte Shugogetten by Sakurano Minene is being re-released in Japan. Volumes 1 and 2 of the new release were published on 10 February 2003 for 552 yen each. What's different about this version is that the final volume will contain chapters 67 and 68, which were not included in the Enix tankoubans. Also, those who purchase all volumes of the new release will be able to apply for a bonus, which I think will be a figure set of Shao and Rishu. Source: Mangaoh Club.
  • The TV anime Narue no Sekai (The World of Narue) is set to commence broadcast on MBS on 5 April 2003. Source: TA Group BBS.
  • It's been announced in the manga magazine Young Animal that the TV anime Air Master is to commence broadcast on NTV in April 2003. Source: ultimatum half edition.
  • I'd like to report more, but I'm busy at the moment. Work... Subbing... Plus, I'm just too tired now -_-


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