1-15 APRIL 2003 NEWS

15 April 2003

  • Movie news today.
  • It's been announced in this week's issue of manga magazine Weekly Shonen Jump that a second Kochira Katsushika-ku Kameari Kouen Mae Hashutsujo ("Kochi Kame" for short) movie will be released in January 2004. Official title and staff have yet to be announced. Source: TA Group BBS.
  • Bandai Visual has announced that Otomo Katsuhiro's movie Steam Boy will be released in the US and Japan at the same time in the (northern) autumn. Source: Aniota BBS. Bandai has previously announced on 14 March 2003 that the movie would be released in October 2003. If that schedule still stands, I guess the movie will be in cinemas in the US by October as well.

14 April 2003 (second update)

  • An "Eiken for PC" CD-ROM will be released (well, a package of 2 CD-ROMs, actually) on 23 May 2003. The CD-ROMs will be for Windows 98/Me/2000/XP and will cost 5,800 yen (excluding tax). Included will be an adventure game (comprising nine story segments and six mini-games), digest version of the manga "Kuma-chan to Issho" and desktop accessories (including illustration gallery, wallpapers, voice data, two screensavers and roughs illustrations by Matsuyama-sensei for the adventure game). Source: Moonphase.
  • L'ambition, the official fan club site for production company Group Komadori, whose stable of actresses includes Sakamoto Maaya and Kasahara Hiroko, has an entry under actor Namikawa Daisuke (Frodo in the Japanese version of LoTR) stating that Onegai Twins will commence broadcast on WOWOW in June 2003. Source: Moonphase.
  • Slept most of yesterday ^_^
  • The CD single of the OP "Revenge" for the new TV anime Ningen Kosaten Human Scramble will be released on 28 May 2003, price 1,000 yen (excluding tax). In addition, a first pressing limited edition version will be available on the same day for 1,600 yen (excluding tax) - this version will come with DVD. Source: Musicmarket.
  • Similarly, the CD single of the new OP for the TV anime Get Backers, "Barairo no Sekai (Rose-coloured World)" by Pierrot, will be released on 4 June 2003, price 1,200 yen (excluding tax) and a first pressing limited edition version will be available for 1,500 yen (excluding tax) and bonus DVD. Source: Musicmarket.
  • Those who buy their copy of the Marmalade Boy DVD box volume 1 from Animate (on sale 2 May 2003, price 30,450 yen including tax) will receive a special Animate CD. Source: Animate Yokohama.
  • Looks like friends Mr Bear and Mrs Bear will have a baby. Congratulations! I reckon, if it's a boy they'll name him Shinji, if a girl, Rei :P
  • More info on the Po Po Tan Housou Kaishi Kinen Ban ~ Mou Gamandekinai, San Shimai no Hi-mi-tsu ~ (Broadcast Commencement Commemoration Edition ~ Can't Bear It Anymore, Three Sisters' Secret ~ ) DVD to be released in June 2003. The DVD will be approximately 20 minutes in length and contain original promotion film and main cast discussion. It'll be single layer, Dolby Digital stereo and anamorphic letterboxed, catalogue number BCBA-1665. The binder which will come with the DVD is intended to hold materials which will come with the DVD release of the TV anime. Source: Chara-Ani.com. For more details on this limited edition DVD, see my 10 April 2003 entry.
  • Furthermore, other Po Po Tan related items are scheduled to be released, including desktop accessories, artbook for the PC game and DVD-ROM version of the game. Also scheduled is a Po Po Tan manga, to commence serialisation in the 26 May 2003 issue of Kodansha's monthly magazine Magazine Z. Source: Chara-Ani.com.
  • Kubonouchi Eisaku's manga Chocolat will be adapted into a live action dorama. The manga will also re-commence serialisation in issue number 26 of Shogakukan's Big Comic Spirits. Source: ultimatum half edition and Big Comic Spirits.
  • Shonen Magazine has a second webpage up for Tantei Gakuen Q (Detective School Q). Source: TA Group BBS. The other page can be found here.

12 April 2003 (sixth update)

  • As pointed out by Sly on the revamped AoD forums, my 8 April 2003 post about the internet distribution of Munto referred to distribution in March when it should've in fact been April. I've now corrected that entry ^_^;;
  • Animax has a website up for the upcoming shoujo TV anime Ultra Maniac. The series commences normal broadcast on 20 May 2003, with an advance premiere broadcast on 17 May 2003. Source: Magicalantique.com.
  • Website for the Green Green series. Nothing to see at present, though. The TV anime version will commence broadcast in July 2003, with internet distribution under consideration. Source: Moonphase.
  • Screenshots up for volume 1 of the OVA series Lingerie Soldier Papillon Rose. IIRC, this will be a six volume release. Volume 1 will be released on 25 April 2003, price 5,800 yen (excluding tax). Source: Moonphase. The pic in the centre is Tsubomi (Papillon Rose) performing her Pinkish Viagra move ^_^;;
  • JVC Music's website has updated again. Amongst the CDs which you can sample are the RahXephon movie. Source: Moonphase.
  • A fifth screenshot of the upcoming Tenchi Muyo! third OVA series is now up at the official website. Source: Moonphase.
  • TV Tokyo's websites for Di Gi Charat Nyo and Corokke! are now up. Source: Moonphase.
  • TV Tokyo's website for Sora no Stellvia is now also officially open. Source: Moonphase.
  • The Asian edition of Time magazine is running a poll of Asian heroes. Among them, Chinese basketballer Yao Ming, Pakistani cricketer Wasim Akram and Japanese Oscar winner Miyazaki Hayao. Source: Aniota BBS.
  • The official Gadguard website is still yet to officially open. However, Fuji TV now has a website up for the TV series which is set to commence broadcast in four days' time. Source: TA Group BBS.
  • Sorry for not updating further on 10 April 2003. I was going to take a little rest, but fell asleep... ^_^;; Then yesterday I fell asleep again -_- Also, was watching that Chinese movie Hero ^_^ A martial arts movie with a bit of a difference. I liked the cinematography from the very start of the movie. Then I found out that the cinematographer was Du Ke Feng, better known in some places by his name Christopher Doyle. He's Caucasian and an Australian, but is regarded by some as the best cinematographers in Asia, doing work on a lot of Chinese and some Japanese movies (enough work in Asia to get a Chinese name Du Ke Feng). He filmed the beautiful Chungking Express, one of my favourite movies. Doyle also appeared in the live-action Japanese pop sci-fi movie Andromedia as the villain. I think he should remain behind the camera instead of trying to act in front of it ^_^;; But to be fair, the entire movie was pretty average. If anyone's interested in that movie, the region 2 DVD of Andromedia comes with English subtitles, IIRC.
  • For fans of Enomoto Atsuko (Kurumi in Steel Angel Kurumi, Yukino in KareKano), her official site is now open. Source: Reinbo Actress.
  • Fuji TV's website for the upcoming anime Texhnolyze is now up. Source: Moonphase.
  • It was a day late, but the R.O.D website has been renewed for the upcoming TV series. Not a great deal of info there, but at least it's something. I note that music for the TV series will also be done by Iwasaki Taku (R.O.D OVA, Rurouni Kenshin OVAs), so that's a good thing.
  • It's been announced on the official website for the doujin product Tsuki-hime that the TV anime will be broadcast on BS-i this (northern) autumn. Source: ultimatum half edition.

10 April 2003

  • The Hajime no Ippo TV Special 2003 will be released on DVD on 25 June 2003, price 6,090 yen (including tax). Source: Animate Yokohama.
  • A Po Po Tan Housou Kaishi Kinen Ban ~ Mou Gamandekinai, San Shimai no Hi-mi-tsu ~ (Broadcast Commencement Commemoration Edition ~ Can't Bear It Anymore, Three Sisters' Secret ~ ) DVD will be released on 27 June 2003, price 2,940 yen (including tax). This will be a limited edition DVD, with a pressing of 10,000 units. As suggested by the title, this DVD will be released to celebrate the broadcast of the Po Po Tan TV anime. It'll come with character image song CD, binder and stuffed toy. Source: Animate Yokohama.
  • Volumes 2 and 3 of the DVD release of Maju Sensen The Apocalypse will go on sale on 25 July 2003, with volumes 4 and 5 to hit the streets on 22 August 2003, price 6,090 yen (including tax) each. In addition, a limited edition version of volumes 2 and 4 will be available on the same respective days, which will each come with a figure. These versions will cost 7,140 yen (including tax). Source: Animate Yokohama.
  • Volume 1 of the DVD for Ebenbourg no Kaze (Wind of Ebenbourg) will be released on 25 July 2003, price 7,140 yen (including tax). I'm assuming this will be an non-adult-but-still-bishoujo OVA based on the adult love simulation computer game by Studio e.go! and set in the latter half of the 19th century. Source: Animate Yokohama.
  • The DVD for the second Inuyasha movie Kagami no Naka no Mugenjo will be released on 21 August 2003, coincidentally a year to the day that the DVD for the first Inuyasha DVD was released. The second movie DVD will come with a drama CD, booklet etc. Source: Animate Yokohama. (Edit 12 April 2003: price 6,300 yen including tax).
  • The fourth One Piece movie Dead End no Bouken will be released on DVD on 21 July 2003, price 4,725 yen (including tax). Source: Animate Yokohama.

9 April 2003

  • Another low-price re-release from Sony. Volume 1 of Gravitation will be re-released 25 June 2003 at the price of 2,500 yen, catalogue number SVWB-1567. Source: Neowing.
  • Akamatsu (Love Hina) Ken has announced in the diary (7 April 2003 entry) on his website that volume 1 of his latest manga Mahou Sensei Negima! (Magister Negi Magi!) be will be published on 17 July 2003. Source: ultimatum half edition.
  • The sequel to Chojushin Gravion will be called Chojushin Gravion Zwei (at least that's how I read the katakana). This second season will include a new character the pilot Faye and new mecha - see the official website linked above for pics.
  • gameonline reports that Konami is to produce a Playstation 2 adventure RPG game based on 12 Kokuki. Release is scheduled for the (northern) summer. Source: Ma-ten.
  • JVC Music has a website up for the TV anime D.N.Angel, however it won't officially open until the end of April. Source: Moonphase.
  • Takara Toys has a website up for the TV anime Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch, but it's mainly just to flog their toys. Source: Moonphase.

8 April 2003 (second update)

  • Been watching the Neon Genesis Evangelion 01 Test-Type DVD again. Interesting that this time, the title on the region 2 DVD cover is the English title of "Neon Genesis Evangelion" rather than the Japanese title of "Shin Seiki Evangelion". Anyway, what's interesting about the full size OP included with the DVD is that it has the clearest shots yet of the images which are superimposed with the Reis in the tank in episode 23. The images aren't sharp, but they're certainly easier to discern than in episode 23 itself. For example, there's a shot of what I presume is the unearthing of Adam in Antarctica. You can see two prongs sticking out of its back, presumably the Lance of Longinus. The shot of what is presumably Eva 01 being cloned from Lilith is clearer too.
  • A limited edition of volume 3 of the manga Loveless by Kouga Yun (serialised in Monthly Comic Zero Sum) will be published by Studio DNA on 25 June 2003, price 762 yen (excluding tax). It'll come with an illustration booklet, just as the limited editions of volumes 1 and 2 did. Source: Mangaoh Club.
  • Asahi.com English language reports relating to Astroboy: editorial hoping that robots will not be developed for non-peaceful purposes, report on fans lining up to collect their momento of Astroboy's birthday, report on scientists inspired by dreams to build their own Astroboy.
  • The Sankei Shimbun reports that the broadcast of Astroboy on Fuji TV on 6 April 2003 got ratings of 11.2%, with a peak of 13.6% at 9.54pm. Source: goo anime.
  • Shueisha has a website up for the manga Papa Told Me by Haruno Nanae (serialised in Shueisha's monthly shoujo Young You magazine). The live action dorama series based on the manga will commence broadcast on NHK on 12 April 2003. Source: ultimatum half edition.
  • ZDNet Japan reports that Bandai Channel has commence distributing the RahXephon TV series on the internet. Episode 1 is available for viewing free, but presumably the rest of the series will only be available on a fee paying basis. Just click on the pop-up window that appears, to take you to the correct page and a list of sites from which you can view the episode. Before the episode starts, there's a 90 second trailer for the upcoming movie. Source: alternative-live.
  • Currently listening to "Like a Snowy Kiss" by globe...
  • The Nihon Keizai Shimbun reports that Bandai has shipped 85,000 units of volume 1 of DVD release of the Gundam Seed series (volume 1 went on sale on 28 March 2003). For a normal TV series, moving even 20,000 units for the first pressing of the first volume of the DVD would make it a big hit. Further, in the Oricon charts for the week 24-31 March 2003, Gundam Seed volume 1 was fourth on the DVD sales charts (the top 3 being music DVDs). Bear in mind that Gundam Seed was only released on 28 March 2003, so that chart position was achieved with only four days of sales. With one volume of the series to be released every month, Bandai is hoping to achieve sales of 1.3 million units by the end of April 2004. Source: Aniota.
  • The DVD of the anime Munto was released on 21 March 2003. However, less than a month after release, producer Kyoto Animation will distributing all 50 minutes of the entire anime free over the internet. Of course, this free distribution is subject to conditions that it's for home view only, and won't be re-distributed etc. The anime will be split into three parts, with each part being available for download for one day only:
    Part A will be available only from 10am 14 April 2003 to 10am 15 April 2003.
    Part B will be available only from 10am 15 April 2003 to 10am 16 April 2003.
    Part C (including ending) will be available only from 10am 16 April 2003 to 10am 17 April 2003.
    All times would be Japan times, I presume. Source: Moonphase. (Updated 12 April 2003).

7 April 2003

  • Too tired yesterday to go online. However, in future if you find that I don't update this page for a while, it could be that computer has kicked the bucket and I'll need to time to repair it. Already it's making noises it shouldn't be making ^_^;;
  • Today is the birthday of Astroboy of course. Japanese anime has come a long way since episode 1 of Tetsuwan Atom back in 1963. Back then, the character design and the humour (slapstick, visual gags etc) was much more like US cartoons than the sort stuff we're used to now from Japanese anime. Not that Tetsuwan Atom was the first Japanese TV anime. The Complete Anime Guide (Trish Ledoux & Doug Ranney, Tiger Mountain Press, Issaquah, 1997) suggests that that distinction may go to Otagi Manga Calendar which commenced broadcast in 1962. Lip synching of the voices actors was pretty bad back in those days ^_^;; Japanese voice actors still aren't great at lip synching compared to their Western counterparts, but IMNSHO they more than make up for this with the emotion they're able to give to their characters.
  • Volume 1 of the TV anime Sonic X will be released on 23 July 2003, catalogue number POBE-5501, price 3,800 yen. The series commenced broadcast yesterday. Source: Neowing.
  • It's been about three months since I bought any region 1 or region 4 DVDs, and now my list of stuff to get is huge (or at least larger than before). On the upside, I'm so behind that stuff I want is actually already out in Australia, which means that lots of stuff I was intending to buy will only cost me half now ^_^
  • The TV anime Cinderella Boy, with original story by Monkey Punch, will commence broadcast on AT-X on 21 June 2003. Among the cast of this gag and action detective drama will be Koyasu Takehito as Ranma and Touma Yumi as Rera (Rella?). Source: Reinbo Actress.
  • GAiNAX has announced that the upcoming Mahoromatic TV special will be an original side story. Source: Magicalantique.com.
  • Maru Production, the website of illustrator Maruyama Kaoru, has a new Flash animation up. Just go to the "Flash" page (of course) to select which clip you wish to view. Source: Moonphase.
  • TV Tokyo's website for D.N.Angel is now officially open. Source: Moonphase.
  • Independent amateur CG anime group T-Zero Factory is creating a six episode full 3D CG anime of Choco Naruto. Note that the Choco Naruto website has some nudity, so I'm not sure if this anime will have adult content. Each episode will be approximately three minutes long and the work is scheduled to be completed in mid-July 2003. Previous works by the group are Heart (at which website you can download approximately half of the movie) and the sci-fi Planet Carrier (where you can also download the first part of the story). In each case, to see the whole movie, you'll need to buy the CD-ROM. Source: Moonphase.

5 April 2003

4 April 2003 (final update for the day)

  • The official Sakura Taisen (Sakura Wars) website now has a page for the Ecole de Paris OVA series, setting out the release details and including a promo movie for download. I already reported details for volume 1 in my 27 January 2003 entry. I previously also reported details for volume 2, but now more information is available, so I'll consolidate the information for that volume: volume 2 will be released on 18 June 2003. There will be a first pressing limited edition version which will come with a box, picture label DVD, 12cm CD including a different ED and a Chattes Noires spoon and pin brooch set - catalogue number HSB-0005, price 8,800 yen (excluding tax). The regular edition of the DVD will cost 5,800 yen (excluding tax), catalogue number HSB-0006. The third and final volume will be released on 20 August 2003. Again, there will be a first pressing limited edition version. However, as with volume 1, the first pressing limited edition version will be the same price as the regular edition - 5,800 yen (excluding tax). The limited edition version, catalogue number HSB-0007, will come with picture label DVD and 12cm CD including what is presumably yet another ED. Regular edition catalogue number is HSB-0008. Source: Moonphase.
  • Rondo Robe's website for Texhnolyze will open on 16 April 2003. Source: Moonphase.
  • Updated the news on Shin Hokuto no Ken.
  • TV Tokyo's website for Mugen Senki Portriss (Tank Knights Portriss) is now official open. In addition, Sunrise's website for the same TV anime is also open. Source: Moonphase.
  • TV Tokyo's website for Matantei Loki Ragnarok is also now officially open. Source: Moonphase.
  • Rondo Robe has acknowledged that there's an error with the chapter menu on volume 9 of the Tokyo Underground DVD, released 28 March 2003. Those who have bought volume 9 can send in the DVD only to the address on the page linked above. Rondo Robe then hopes to start shipping out the corrected DVD around 24 April 2003. Source: Aniota. I have no idea whether this exchange plan applies to people outside Japan.
  • Daichi Akitaroh (director of Kodomo no Omocha) has written in his diary (3 April 2003) that he was to attend Sakura Con 2003 in Seattle but he has had to cancel. His short anime Dango Gonta was to be screened at the convention, but since he's unable to attend, he's got the "overseas edition" available for download (a 6.3Mb Quicktime file). You'll see it in the 3 April 2003 diary entry linked above. Source: Aniota.
  • Broadcaster MBS has a website up for the TV anime Narue no Sekai. Source: TA Group BBS.
  • The opening of the official Gadguard website has been put back to 11 April 2003. It had originally been planned to open the site on 1 April 2003. However, the illustration on the site has changed, if you're interested.
  • I hate it when there's lots I want to type up and the computer crashes >_<
  • The Sankei Shimbun reports that the bicycle racing anime movie Nasu ~ Andulusia no Natsu (Eggplant ~ Andulusian Summer) will debut theatrically on 26 July 2003. The 47 minute long movie is based on a 48 page short manga. As reported a year ago, this work will be directed by Studio Ghibli's Takasaka Kousaka Kitarou (who is an amateur bike racer himself), with production by Madhouse. Voice cast will include idol Koike Eiko. Source: goo Anime. (Updated 7 February 2004.)
  • Impress Corporation reports that Volume 1 of the Shin Hokuto no Ken (New Fist of the North Star) OVA will be released on DVD on 24 July 2003, price 6,800 yen. Volume 2 will be released in October 2003, with volume 3 to come in January 2004. More may be produced depending on popularity. This OVA series will include 3D CG, but then again, what anime doesn't have CG in it nowadays...? Theme song will be sung by Gackt, who'll also voice a character in this OVA series. Sega's name has appeared among the companies involved with the production, prompting speculation that a game is in the works. Screenshots for the OVA can be seen in the article linked above. Click on the images for enlargements. Source: Magicalantique.com. In addition, you can view two sample movies for the OVA on production company Obi Kikaku's website. For a few more screenshots, see this ZDNet Japan report. Further, another report by Impress Corporation states that the first DVD will be approximately 60 minutes long, catalogue number BBBA-3681, with Dolby Digital 5.1ch sound and anamorphic letterboxed picture. The story for the OVA series is based on the Hokuto no Ken novels, which tell the story of Kenshiro after the end of the mana. Source: Moonphase.
  • Shogakukan's manga magazine Big Comic Original has announced that issue number 9 (on sale 19 April 2003) will feature Takahashi Rumiko's manga "Help". Source: ultimatum half edition.
  • Crashing once is bad enough, twice is really annoying >_< >_<
  • Three times! Now I'm really pissed >_<
  • A special Tenchi Muyo! DVD will apparently be released on 25 June 2003, price 1,900 yen (excluding tax). The tentative title appears to be the unwieldy "Tenchi Muyo! Notenkasu Nabe ~ Kitai wa Tsunoru ga OVA wa itsu nanda ~". Contents will include the OP for the upcoming third OVA series, to be released this (northern) autumn. Included with the special DVD will be CD containing a mini-drama as well as source music for Tenchi Muyo! GXP which wasn't included on the OST. Source: Musicmarket.
  • Animate now states that Shirow Masamune's Intron Depot 3 Ballistics will be released in Japan at the end of April 2003. Doesn't make much difference to me - other stuff I've got ordered won't be published until the end of April.
  • Volume 2 of Asobotto Senki Gokuu volume 2 will be released on 21 May 2003, price 3,800 yen (excluding tax). First pressing will come with a box to hold three volumes. Source: Musicmarket.
  • First pressing of the Yamamura Koji Works Collection DVD will come with a mousepad. For more details of the release, see my 16 March 2003 entry. Source: Musicmarket.
  • Looks like volumes 2 onwards of the DVD release for Stratos 4 will contain 3 episodes, not 2 episodes as previously suggested.
  • Volume 1 of the upcoming OVA series Eiken (based on the manga of the same name) will be released on 25 June 2003. The first pressing limited edition version will cost 6,800 yen and come with CD among other goodies. Source: Musicmarket.
  • As previously reported, there'll be a first pressing limited edition release of volume 1 of Wandaba Style with a box to hold all six volumes, mini CD and design works. Musicmarket states that the box will also hold a binder. I'm not sure what the binder is to store. Perhaps the design works booklets? First pressing of each volume will come with a design works booklet. For further release details, including for all volumes, see my 28 March 2003 entry.

3 April 2003 (final update for the day)

  • Asahi.com reports that the Ghibli Art Museum at Mitaka today recorded its one millionth visitor since opening in October 2001. Visitor number 1,000,000 was four year old Kato Chinatsu from Nagoya, who was visiting with her parents and eight year old brother Masahito. Chinatsu (that's how I'm reading her name anyway) received a cel from Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi. She said that her favourite character was Tatari-gami from Mononoke Hime. Chinatsu is the girl on the left hand side of the photo in the link above. Source: Aniota. Looks like my friend Ruri, who was in Japan a week ago, just missed out ^_^;;
  • TV Tokyo has trailers up for the following TV anime: Firestorm, Sonic X, Matantei Loki Ragnarok and Ningen Kosaten Human Scramble. Source: Moonphase.
  • Animation production company Studio Deen also has a website up for Matantei Loki Ragnarok, which is to commence broadcast on 5 April 2003. Not all the sections of the webpage are up yet, though. Source: Moonphase.
  • A trailer for the final episode 5 of the full 3D CG independent anime URDA by Romanov Higa is now available for download. Source: Moonphase. Just click on the #5 link on the left hand side of the URDA page. The trailer will be available until 20 April 2003. For more details about the anime and how to view it, see my 7 and 12 May 2002 entries.
  • ZDNet Japan has a 12.4Mb trailer for download of the upcoming Mizuiro OVA. Volume 1 of the OVA will be released on 25 April 2003, price 6,800 yen (first pressing limited edition version), 5,800 yen (regular edition). Further, animate.tv has the entire first episode available for broadband viewing as of today, but on a fee-paying basis (400 yen). A sample is also available on that site. Source: Moonphase. I haven't written much about the Mizuiro OVA cos, well, frankly, I don't care much for anime based on bishoujo games...
  • TV Tokyo's websites for Last Exile and KaleidoStar are now officially open, as is TV Osaka's website for Di Gi Charat Nyo. Source: Moonphase.
  • Updated the report about the Astroboy figure.
  • A 12 Kokuki internet RPG is set to start this (northern) spring, courtesy of Asmik Ace Entertainment Inc. At present the homepage doesn't have much information other than that this will be a new style of RPG using web browser and email. More details will be released near the start of this month. Source: Ma-ten.
  • Asahi.com reports that a bejewelled 100 million yen figure of Astroboy has been created and is on display at Takashimaya in Nihonbashi, Tokyo until 15 April 2003. See the report linked for a pic of the figure. The figure is approximately 10cm in height and is made from precious stones such as diamonds, rubies and emeralds. The exhibit, including other works related to creator Tezuka Osamu, will travel to other Takashimaya stores in Yokohama, Kyoto and Osaka from May 2003. Source: Ma-ten. Sankei Web reports that Astroboy's black head and pants are black diamonds, his red mouth and boots are rubies, his belt is emeralds and other parts of his body have over 32 carats of diamonds. Source: Aniota.
  • Hobby Search's Japanese catalogue states that Yamato will release a Rurouni Kenshin Story Image Figure Set. This set of 10 completed PVC figures will be modelled by Shiragami Takayuki (who made the second version of Natsume Maya and Natsume Aya figures for Epoch). The figures will be released at the beginning of June 2003, price 6,000 yen. Apparently, of the 10 figures, five will be "original colour" and five will be "repaint colour". Does that make sense? I don't know much about figures. I've got my Tenjou Tenge and R.O.D (Yomiko ^_^) figures, but that's about all. Then again, on Yamato's Rurouni Kenshin page, there are pics of five figures from the Kyoto arc: Kenshin, Kaoru, Sanosuke, Yahiko and Saitou, the release date is stated to be end of May 2003 and price is stated to be 500 yen each. Figures are stated to be 6-10cm in height. The details on that page are stated to be subject to change, though.
  • Fujimishobo's new manga magazine Monthly Dragon Age kicks off this 9 April 2003, price 540 yen (excluding tax). The magazine will include manga serialised in Monthly Comic Dragon and Monthly Dragon Junior. To commemorate the first issue, the magazine will come with special "comics private jackets" for volume 1 of the manga Galaxy Angel, volumes 1 and 2 of Mahou Tsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto and volume 0 of Maburaha, presumably new jackets which you can use to cover those particular tankouban. New manga to be featured in the magazine will include Zeroin, a new offering from Inoue Sora (Real Bout High School). Source: Animate and Moonphase.
  • Sorry I didn't update more yesterday. I had a couple of headaches, one of the physiological kind, one of a metaphorical nature. Neither's completely gone away yet -_-
  • On 22 March, I wrote about the limited edition version of volume 1 of the upcoming OVA series Guardian Hearts. Mangaoh Club and the official KSS website refer to the limited edition version with a drama CD and a character song CD. However, this Nifty Animation Online report states that it'll come with a CD containing two drama episodes and two character songs. Wonder which is correct...
  • The TV Aichi website for the upcoming shoujo TV anime Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch now has a trailer available for download. Source: Tentative Name. The series commences broadcast on 5 April 2003.
  • Strange story about the time traveler from the future who's been busted for insider trading: in two weeks he's converted US$800 into US$350 million.

2 April 2003 (second early update)

  • With the Saint Beast TV anime set to commence broadcast on 8 May 2003, Arisugawa Kei has announced that a manga version will be released as well. Source: Moonphase.
  • TV Tokyo now has trailers up for Corokke! and Last Exile. Source: Moonphase. Both those series commence broadcast on 7 April 2003.
  • TV Tokyo's website for the TV anime E's Otherwise, based on the manga E's, is now open. Source: Moonphase. The series commenced broadcast yesterday.
  • Shogakukan's manga magazine Shonen Sunday has a website up for the TV anime Konjiki no Gash Bell!!, based on the manga of the same name. Source: Moonphase. The series commences broadcast on 6 April 2003.
  • A Sankei Web photo of judo champion Tamura Ryoko (also known as Yawara-chan after the judo anime series Yawara) pitching the ball at the opening ceremony of the Orix Blue Wave vs Seibu Lions match on 31 March 2003. Yawara-chan is engaged to an outfielder on the Orix team. Source: Aniota.
  • JIJ Web reports that TYO Group's CG production company Digital Frontier will produce a full CG anime based on the manga Atagooru Monogatari by Masumura Hiroshi. Source: Ma-ten. Masumura mainly uses cats as the main characters in his manga, and it appears it was Masumura's version of Miyazawa Kenji's "Ginga Tetsudo no Yoru" which was used to create the anime "Night on the Galatic Railroad".
  • Mangazoo has a small screenshot of the anime which Shinkai Makoto created for the song "Egao" for NHK's program "Minna no Uta". For more information about the work, see my 19 March 2003 entry. Source: alternative-live.
  • Anime production company arms have announced on their website that Yasuomi Umetsu's Mezzo TV series is in the planning stages. This is based on the Mezzo Forte OVA previously released. Source: Ma-ten. Click on the each of four main characters in the picture for more character designs.
  • T & K Telefilm has anounced that it expects to finish work on the feature-length anime Ryokan-san this April. The anime will tell the life story of Ryokan-san, a Zen Buddhist priest and poet who led a simple life between 1758 and 1831. Source: Ma-ten.

1 April 2003 (second update)

  • Limited edition tankouban of manga serialised in Monthly Comic Blade come with bonus limited edition items:
    Erementar Gerad volume 3, to be released 10 July 2003, will come with design artwork and an additional card set for the Erementar Front trading card game, price 933 yen.
    Peacemaker Kurogane volume 3, to be released 10 July 2003, will come with a mobile phone strap and cost 933 yen. (Title corrected 27 June 2003.)
    Jinki Extend volume 3, to be released 10 July 2003, will come with an all-colour comic book titled "Ura-Jinki", price 952 yen.
    Regular editions of each manga will be published on the same day, price 552 yen. Source: Mangaoh Club.
  • First pressing of volume 4 of the DVD release of L/R will come with a box and "mission cigarette". To be released 25 June 2003, catalogue number PIBA-1407, price 5,000 yen (excluding tax). Source: Mangaoh Club.
  • The manga magazine Young Animal has a website up for Air Master, a TV anime based on a manga of the same name. Source: ultimatum half edition. The TV series commenced broadcast today.
  • Had some stuff to post yesterday, but decided to sleep instead :)
  • It's 1 April and a number of companies have decided to renew their websites, including Sony Visual Works (with its new Aniplex name), Kadokawa Shoten, Fujimishobo (a division of Kadokawa), the goo Anime news website, NHK's Anime World, WOWOW (with its new Wow Ani website).
  • Among those websites, note that the R.O.D website will be updated on 10 April 2003 in relation to the upcoming TV series. Further, NHK's Anime World website now includes pages for anime including Kasumin and 12 Kokuki. And the Wow Ani website includes pages for anime including Jubei Ninpucho TV, Scrapped Princess, Kino no Tabi and Evangelion.
  • The ABC reports that Japan is considering deploying Astroboy-type robots to help reconstruct Iraq.
  • Headache coming on... More later if I don't feel too bad...

Back to archive

Back to latest news


All rights (copyright and otherwise) reserved.