16-30 APRIL 2003 NEWS

30 April 2003

  • Those who purchase all DVD volumes of the first season of the UFO Princess Walkure series will be able to apply for a movable figure of Sanada-san created by Yujin. The figure in the photos is not the finished product. You'll need to complete the application form that comes with volume 6, stick on the coupons from volumes 1 to 5 and send it in with a postal order for 2,800 yen. Applications must be postmarked by 31 May 2003 at the latest. The figures are expected to ship at the end of July 2003.
  • First pressing of volume of the DVD for the TV anime Kino no Tabi ~ The Beautiful World ~ will come with a card holder. For release details, see my 28 April 2003 entry. Source: Animate Yokohama.
  • Volume 1 of the DVD release of Di Gi Charat Nyo will be released on 25 July 2003. There'll be a Limited Special version and a regular version. The Limited Special version will cost 9,240 yen (including tax) while the regular version will cost 6,300 yen (including tax). I don't know what stuff will come with the Limited Special version. Source: Animate Yokohama.
  • Neko no Ongaeshi/The Ghiblies episode 2 will be released on 4 July 2003. Old news, but the next Studio Ghibli work to be released on DVD by Buena Vista after that will be one of my favourites Umi ga Kikoeru, on 8 August 2003, catalogue number VWDZ-8026, price 4,700 yen (excluding tax). Source: AV Express Online.
  • Nikkansports.com reports that the latest Pokemon movie has sold 280,000 advance tickets in two days. This is almost twice the 150,000 advance tickets which was sold over a period of 13 weeks for the previous Pokemon movie last year. This time the advance tickets came with a game item for the Game Boy Advance Pokemon game. The movie will be released theatrically on 19 July 2003. Source: Ma-ten.
  • The subtitle of the UFO Princess Walkure special DVD will be "Shichitenbattou Hanayome Shuugyou". Source: Moonphase. Anime Caravan states that this DVD will come with a new episode and a digest version of the first season of the TV series.
  • Volume 1 of the OVA Guardian Hearts (based on the sci-fi love comedy manga by Amatsu Sae) will be released on 23 May 2003. For now, you can view the opening credits sequence here. Just click on the pic on that page. Source: Moonphase. For release details, see my 22 and 28 March 2003 entries.
  • Too sleepy yesterday.

28 April 2003 (fourth update)

  • A trailer is up for the anime movie Momoko, Kaeru no Uta ga Kikoeru yo. The movie is scheduled to be completed in May 2003. This is the story of twins Riki and Momoko. Riki is a young, genki boy, but his sister Momoko is disabled and has trouble breathing. She has to attend a special school but is slowly introduced into her brother's primary school. Source: Aniota.
  • From the Yumeta Company website: spot the differences. Study the picture of Kuromi-chan. Then click on the "Flash" button and another image will pop-up, identical save for seven differences. You have a time limit of 60 seconds to find and click on the seven differences. If so, you'll be able to download a Kuromi-chan 2 wallpaper. If that's too hard for you, click on the "No Flash" button first. The second image will pop-up and you can take your time to find the differences before clicking on the Flash version. Source: Aniota.
  • Someone's posted to the Aniota BBS suggesting that at a screening of the RahXephon movie there was a preview of a work titled "Spirit" to be released by the movie company Shochiku in 2004, perhaps Gonzo's first theatrical release. I don't have anything to confirm this though.
  • Impress Corporation reports that pre-orders of the Neko no Ongaeshi/The Ghiblies 2 DVD (to be released 4 July 2003) will receive a 15mm x 30mm beckoning figure of Muta the cat in a 60mm x 40mm omamori (charm). It's said that all the omamori have been prayed over at the Namiyoke Shrine near the Tsukiji fish markets in Japan. The characters on the omamari state "Neko no omamori" (cat's charm). Source: Aniota.
  • The official Texhnolyze website has announced that the third part of the series, to be broadcast on 30 April 2003, will be a 30 minute remix of episodes 3 and 4 (called the "03-04 Remix"). Strange to have a remix when the original episodes haven't even been released. Episode 5 will then be broadcast on 14 May 2003. Source: Moonphase.
  • Megami magazine states that R.O.D - The TV - is to commence broadcast this (northern) summer. Source: Moonphase.
  • It's stated in the next issue of Megami animation magazine (on sale at the end of this month) that Onegai Twins is to commence broadcast on WOWOW on 15 July 2003. Source: Moonphase.
  • Volume 1 of the DVD release of the TV anime Kino no Tabi ~ The Beautiful World ~ will go on sale on 18 June 2003, catalogue number PCBG-50408, price 5,800 yen (excluding tax). Source: Mangaoh Club. I thought I'd mentioned that before... BTW, the Totteoki no Hanashi DVD and booklet makes a nice little addition to my collection, but the booklet is mainly two short stories (ie mainly text) - then again, that's not unexpected given that the anime series based on a number of novels.
  • Computer sounds worse than ever today.
  • Received Stuff today. There's Intron Depot 3 Ballistics. Is Shirow, is good. I note that the version on sale in Japan is bilingual as well. Usual Shirow stuff - if you've seen volumes 1 and 2, you can expect more of the same. I note a couple of Galhound illustrations in there. I note also a flyer included with the artbook states that Intron Depot 4 Bullets will be released soon, and that it will be a collection of Shirow's works from 1995-1999. Ballistics itself is a collection of works from 1992-2002, although Shirow himself states that many of the illustrations in Ballistics are from his "early digital days" (around 2001). I note also on page 91 Shirow refers to a future "Gashuu E" (art collection E) - Studio Proteus has translated the term as "Eros Depot". I'm assuming Studio Proteus will be releasing that at some time in the future as well.
  • Got volume 1 of of Iwahara Yuji's latest manga Ibara no Ou (King of Thorn) \^_^/ Still working my way though his previous manga Chikyu Misaki. I note that Iwahara will be providing the artwork for Marvel's "Quest" comic in the US, so I hope Chikyu Misaki will be translated sometime in future - a cute three volume manga.
  • Got my first pressing copy of volume 5 of the DVD release of Haibane Renmei. Comes with a really nice red booklet to store postcards and the character cards which come with the DVDs. Yum.
  • Listening to "1st Priority", the OP to Stratos 4. Yes, I like the song - not sure why, though. Like the opening credits sequence too. Same with "Kibouhou" and the opening credits sequence to Spiral.
  • Off to look through my Stuff ^_^

27 April 2003 (third update)

  • Dub This! The webcomic about the trials and tribulations of an anime club.
  • Speaking of fan works, I recently read a volume of the fan manga anthology magazine Xuan Xuan. Published in Perth, Western Australia, the magazine also had a launch in Sydney, New South Wales, at the start of this month. I don't normally read fan stuff, whether webcomics, fan fiction, fan manga, doujinshi or whatever. So I'm not the best judge of this sort of stuff. But I was impressed by some of the artwork and some of the storytelling in this magazine. Bear in mind that the authors of the various manga are amateurs, so don't expect anything professional in quality (except perhaps in the construction of the volume itself), but you may find something there to interest you. Quite a number of different genres inside.
  • Finally watched some of volume 1 of the Madman (Australian) release of Noir. Everything seemed good. The box which comes with volume 1 is quite sturdy seems quite similar to the Japanese box (though I think the Japanese box just shades it in terms of construction). Much better than those flimsy ADV Films boxes which you have to fold yourself. I've only just started buying Australian releases again. I bought a few VHS tapes years back, admittedly from a different company, but it seemed like each time I tried to support an Australian release, there was something wrong (mainly edited releases), so I stayed away from Australian releases for a long time. The Noir release seemed perfect, until I noticed the timing of the subtitles was out. Subtitles for speech seems to come up before the character speaks. That's a matter of preference, so it's no big deal, but I prefer if the subtitle appears at the same time as the speaker. But translations for on-screen text (eg signs etc) appear before the signs themselves. That sort of thing doesn't seem professional to me (eg translations appearing on a character's face when there's no text to translate). I can (and do) time better than that. Not trying to say I'm great, but timing isn't hard, it's just time consuming. If I can do it, *anyone* can. For a commercial release, it'd be nice to see the company at least make the effort to time the translations properly. As for the translations, I know translation is also a matter of judgment, but translating "kouan" as "public peace" doesn't seem the best to me. Sure, if you break up the word into its two kanji, they'd mean "public" and "peace", but when put together, wouldn't a more natural translation be "public security", especially when you're talking about a government agency? Isn't it normally called a "public security department"? What's a "public peace department"? I'd expect that sort of thing from GiTS:SAC digisubs :P not a professional Noir commercial release. Okay, it's not a big deal, I just felt like a little rant :P I could type a bit more about their choices in subtitling and subtitling theory, but you're probably already bored enough...
  • It's been announced in Kodansha's monthly manga magazine Magazine Z that the Seventh Prison arc of the manga King of Bandit Jing by Kumakura Yuichi is to be animated and will be relased in the (northern) winter of 2003. I think it'll be three 30 minute OVA episodes. But whereas the kanji calls the arc "Seventh Prison", the announcement calls it "7th heaven" in English. Source: ultimatum half edition. Sony's website for the TV series based on the manga is here.
  • The final chapter of the manga Hikaru no Go (by Obata Takeshi and Hotta Yumi, serialised in Shueisha's manga magazine Weekly Shonen Jump) will be contained in the combined numbers 22-23 issue, on sale 28 April 2003. Source: ultimatum half edition.
  • Not unexpected, but I fell asleep yesterday before I could update any more :P
  • ZDNet Japan reports that on 25 April 2003 the Mainichi Shimbun Company opened its Mangatown website, where manga by various professionals and amateurs can be viewed. Viewing is free, but you'll need to register (also free) if you wish to enter comments. Internet sale of works is also planned for the future. Source: Ma-ten.
  • Nowadays a lot of stuff is manufactured in China, including Japanese otaku goods and toys. Asahi.com reports that Bandai has since April been disinfecting its toys made in China as a precaution against SARS. Although the risk of infection is low, the company states that it wishes to take all possible precautions, particularly where children are involved. Measures taken include using ultraviolet rays, appropiate masks and gloves for workers etc. 90% of Bandai's toys are now made in China. Source: Aniota.
  • The anime Super Kuma-chan (Super Bear-chan), the scenario for which won the 1st Animax Grand Prix, will be broadcast on 1 June 2003. Super Kuma-chan (the story of a stuffed toy) was chosen from among 1021 applications on the theme of an action hero and then realised by Toei Animation and Animax Broadcast Japan. Source: Aniota.
  • The 3D anime Umeyon Ekkisu will be broadcast on Animax on 2 May 2003. The "eccentric" character world Umeyon is the brainchild of illustrator Sugiura Hiroe. Source: Aniota. You can view Flash animations of the Umeyon world on this page of the Umeyon website. Cute!

26 April 2003

  • Volume 4 of the manga Paniponi by Hikawa Hekiru will be published on 27 August 2003, price 590 yen. There'll be a limited edition version available as well, with A5 size, 24 page, character encyclopaedia mini book included, price 762 yen. Source: Mangaoh Club.
  • Volume 3 of the manga Tenshou Yaoyorozu by Kinatsu Kanoto will be published on 27 August 2003, price 552 yen. There'll be a limited edition version available as well, with a figure (made by Kotobukiya) 20 page booklet included, price 1,429 yen. Source: Mangaoh Club.
  • More to type up, but I've got a bit of a headache. I'm going to lie down first. More later if I don't fall asleep :P

25 April 2003 (final update for the day)

  • Release of the DVD Nurse Witch Komugi-chan Magical te Karte 2.5 has been put back to 6 June 2003. Source: Moonphase.
  • Forgot to add yesterday that it's stated on Aniota's webpage that Steve Jablonsky will be responsible for music in Otomo Katsuhiro's upcoming movie Steam Boy. I don't have any further confirmation of this matter, though.
  • I like this week's pic on the homepage of GAiNAX's website ^_^ The pic was rendered by Yoshizaki Mine. The pic on the homepage changes every week (on Friday).
  • Shogakukan's website for its monthly shoujo magazine Judy is now up. Source: ultimatum half edition.
  • The website for the upcoming TV bishoujo fighting anime Ikki Tousen, based on the manga of the same name, is now officially open. The series commences broadcast on AT-X in July 2003.
  • Starchild's webpage for the upcoming TV anime D.C. ~ Da Capo ~ is now up. The anime is based on the love adventure game of the same name and will commence broadcast in July 2003. Source: Magicalantique.com.
  • Release details for the DVD of the web anime Blame! Ver.0.11. Episode 1 of the web anime was distributed free, but the remaining five episodes were not free. Tentative title of the DVD will be "Salvage Disk by CIBO". Duration approximately 40 minutes (all six episodes and two bonus clips, one being approximately 3 minutes on length, the other being a digest clip about 1 minute 30 seconds long). This DVD will be in production for a limited period only, and is scheduled for release in May 2003. The DVD will only be available for sale via the official website. Price 4,700 yen plus 600 yen shipping. Single layer, Dolby stereo sound, Japanese and English subtitles. Unfortunately, they will ship only within Japan ;_;

24 April 2003 (second update)

  • Marine Entertainment states on its website that animate.tv's production the web anime Vie Durant (an eight episode series about seven vampires) is to commence distribution over the internet in May 2003. Source: Moonphase.
  • Starchild's website for the upcoming shoujo series Ultra Maniac is now open. Source: Moonphase. Not a lot to see, though. The TV anime will commence regular broadcast on 20 May 2003 (with a preview broadcast a few days prior).
  • JVC Music's website for D.N.Angel is now officially open. Among the features on the site are samples of the music from the series. Source: Moonphase.
  • Wonderfarm has announced that a manga version of the upcoming anime series Saint Beast, (a bishounen spin-off of the bishoujo series Tenshi no Shippo), will commence serialisation in the July 2003 issue of Monthly Comic Zero Sum (on sale 28 May 2003). The manga will be authored by Yaezaki Kaoru. Source: Moonphase.
  • Yamamura Koji's short anime Atama Yama (Mt Head) has won first place in the animation category of the 15th Dresden International Film Festival. Source: Aniota. Mt Head was also nominated for an Oscar in the short animation category.
  • The official website for the Green Green TV anime is now open. The series commences broadcast on 12 July 2003. Source: Magicalantique.com.
  • animate.tv has started free web distribution of the Princess Tutu and Kikou Sennyo Rouran anime series. One episode will be released each week, and an archive of episodes will be available, but only of the four most recent episodes. Episode 2 of each series is due out on 1 May 2003. To view Princess Tutu, visit this page. You'll see the two blue buttons in the middle of the page, on the right hand side. The left hand button is for narrowband internet connections, the right hand button is for broadband connections. Kikou Sennyo Rouran can be found here. Source: Magicalantique.com.
  • animate.tv has a few more details on the Kanon Fan Disc DVD to be released 25 July 2003. In fact, there will be a first pressing limited edition release as well as a regular release. The details:
    First pressing limited edition version
    Contains regular DVD plus special DVD
    Catalogue number MABP-7012
    Price 3,900 yen (excluding tax)
    Regular edition
    Catalogue number MABP-7013
    Price 2,800 yen (excluding tax)
    The regular DVD will contain music clips etc. No indication of what's on the special DVD. Source: Magicalantique.com.

23 April 2003 (fourth update)

  • For the AV buff, this Impress Corporation report compares the Japanese, French and US DVD versions of Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi. I won't go into all the details, but you can see graphs of the colour tones. Of the 16 graphs in the middle of the page linked above, the columns are (left to right) luminosity, red, green and blue. The rows are (top to bottom) French version (yellow graphs), US version (green graphs), Japanese version (red graphs) and US-Japanese comparison. US and French graphs were almost the same, but differed from the Japanese version. Note that the Japanese version has the red shifted to the right compared to the US and French versions and its green and blue shifted to the left compared to the other two versions. And the graph at the bottom shows the bitrates of the three DVDs. Red line is Japanese (average rate 7.44 Mbps), yellow is French (average rate 7.22 Mbps) and green is US (average rate 7.1 Mbps). Source: Tentative Name.
  • It seems I "spoke" too soon on 20 April 2003 when I wrote that Shirow Masamune's booklet poster series in Uppers magazine had finished. It had finished, but those 12 booklet posters are now referred to in the most recent issue of Uppers as the "1st series" (or perhaps you could call it the Gun & Action series) and the Galhound title which finished in that issue is now called "Galhound I". ie it looks like another series of booklet posters is going to start, perhaps with the number 11 issue (on sale 20 May 2003). Also, on 26 March 2003 I wrote that the booklet poster artwork would be published in a collection and that the first volume may be called "Galgrease 001 Wild Wet West". Now I don't think that's entirely correct. A "Booklet Poster Collection" will be released, but it seems that the title "Galgrease 001 Wild Wet West" will rather be the name of one of the new titles in the second series of booklet posters to appear in Uppers (presumably still with main character Juliona Trans). The other title would be "Galgrease 002 Hellhound", replacing Hyakki Shou (with main character Shion). Presuming there would again be three titles in the next series of booklet posters, and since Galhound is now "Galhound I" (with main character Cyril Brooklyn), I'm guessing that the other title would be "Galhound II". Hope that all makes perfect sense... ^_^;; (Updated 27 May 2003, however the information about Juliona Trans being the main character in Wild Wet West and Shion being the main character in Hyakki Shou remains correct.)
  • The third Hamtaro movie is to be released in Japan in December 2003. Source: Moonphase.
  • Bandai's website for its Playstation 2 game RahXephon Soukyuu Gensoukyoku is now open. Source: Moonphase. I don't care for computer games, so this will be the last I'll write about the game. For more info, see my 21 April 2003 entry.
  • My Witch Hunter Robin Original Sound Score 1 CD case was crushed ;_;
  • FrontPage Express crashed again >_<
  • Asashi Shimbun has an English language op-ed article by Susan Napier, a professor of Japanese literature and culture at the University of Texas at Austin: " 'Spirited Away' presages golden age of anime".
  • Nasu ~ Andulusia no Natsu (Eggplant ~ Andulusian Summer) will be formally screened at the 56th Cannes International Film Festival this May 2003. Directed by Studio Ghibli's Takasaka Kousaka Kitarou, a pupil of Miyazaki Hayao's, this will mark the first time that a Japanese anime movie has been formally exhibited at Cannes. Source: goo anime. (Updated 7 February 2004.)
  • The DVD box of the live action dorama Skyhigh will be released on 27 June 2003, price 15,200 yen. This will be a first pressing limited edition item. Episodes 1, 2, 6, 8, 9 and 10 will be director's cut versions. A Shaku Yumiko "mini pop" will be included - not sure what that is ^_^;; The DVDs will be stored in a digipak, will be anamorphic letterboxed and will have Dolby Digital (stereo) sound. Skyhigh is based on the manga of the same name by Takahashi Tsutomu and the dorama stars Shaku Yumiko (Princess Blade, recent Godzilla movie).
  • As if there weren't enough Tennis no Oujisama CDs out already, the Tennis no Oujisama "Fuji Shusuke" Album will be released on 2 July 2003, price 2,999 yen (including tax). First pressing will come with a special disc. Source: Animate Yokohama.
  • More details on the DVD release for Sora no Stellvia. To consolidate the info:
    Volume 1, to be released 2 July 2003, price 6,090 yen (including tax)
    Volume 2, to be released 6 August 2003, price 6,090 yen (including tax)
    Volume 3, to be released 3 September 2003, price 6,090 yen (including tax)
    Volume 4, to be released 1 October 2003, price of 8,190 yen (including tax)
    Volume 5, to be released 6 November 2003, price 6,090 yen (including tax)
    Volume 6, to be released 3 December 2003, price 6,090 yen (including tax)
    Volume 7, to be released 7 January 2004, price 6,090 yen (including tax)
    Volume 8, to be released 4 February 2004, price 8,190 yen (including tax)
    However a Sora no Stellvia DVD Box Vol. 1 will be released on 1 October 2003, price 27,090 (including tax) and will include at least volumes 1 to 3. (Edit 5 May 2003: see now my 5 May 2003 entry - it'll contain four discs). DVD Box Vol. 2 will be released on 4 February 2004 and will include at least volumes 5 to 7. Source: Animate Yokohama. What's the difference between the DVD Boxes and buying the individual volumes? Sorry, I don't know at this point. What's above is all I know ^_^;;
  • Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex clothing: Laughing Man T-shirt, Kusanagi Motoko T-shirt and Laughing Man jumper. Source: Tentative Name.

22 April 2003 (second update)

  • The official Tenchi Muyo! website has updated with further details on the preview DVD for the 3rd OVA series. Title for the DVD has changed, though it's still long. To consolidate the details:
    Tenchi Muyo! Nouchiiwaii ~ To wa iu mono no, itsu ni narunda ~
    Catalogue number VPBY-11764
    To be released 25 June 2003
    Price 1,900 yen (excluding tax).
    Duration 30 minutes, single layer, 4:3 aspect ratio, stereo sound.
    Contents of the DVD will contain the OP for the upcoming third OVA series (to be released this (northern) autumn), staff interview, Tenchi Muyo! GXP broadcast end credit and eyecatch collection, and something to do with the Radio Tenchi dramas (I'm not quite certain what ^_^;; ).
    Included with the DVD will be a 50 minute CD containing Tenchi Muyo! GXP BGM, Tenchi Muyo! OP/ED original karaoke, and "Radio Tenchi" special issue mini-drama.
    Source: Moonphase.
  • I reported yesterday that the Atashi'n chi movie would be released by Toei in the January 2004. While it's be to be Toei's new year movie, Nikkansports.com reports that it'll actually hit the theatres in December 2003. Source: Aniota BBS. I've now updated the previous entry.
  • The TV anime Po Po Tan will commence broadcast on BS-i on 17 July 2003. Source: TA Group BBS.
  • "Pump up", the CD single for the ending theme for the upcoming TV anime Divergence Eve will be released on 25 June 2003, price 1,050 yen (including tax). A first pressing limited edition version will be released on the same day, price 1,890 yen (including tax) and will come with a DVD. Source: Animate Yokohama. "Pump up" marks the singing debut of idol Nagasawa Nao. Divergence Eve is to be commence broadcast on AT-X in July 2003.
  • Kodansha has announced that it's manga magazine Evening will be changing from a monthly format to publication twice a month starting with the 13 May 2003 issue (on sale today), price 330 yen. To celebrate the change, this first issue will come with a bonus booket "Evening - the First" and a "What's Michael" keyholder. The second issue will come with a Vagabond mousepad, and the third issue will come with a bonus booklet "Evening - the First - Gag".
  • Shueisha's website for Naruto has a couple of Shockwave webgames up.
    The first game (with the pic of Sakura next to it) is found by clicking on the "Go" button, with an explanation of how to play next to it. You control Naruto, Sakura and Sasuke. Kill the enemies and pick up the scrolls. To move one character, drag the character as you would a file in Windows (ie move the mouse over a character, hold down the mouse button and move the mouse). To move all the characters at once, do the same, but position the mouse somewhere other than over a character. Attack the enemies by throwing shuriken - click on the character who will attack. The power and speed of the shuriken attack will increase as hold down the mouse button - release the button to throw the shuriken. Each character has a Chakra bar which will decrease if they contact an enemy, are hit by an enemy attack or if they attack themselves. To regain Chakra, either pick up blue scrolls which are sometimes dropped when an enemy is killed, or position the character directly behind another character. The character behind will look "faded" but his or her Chakra will start to increase. Other scrolls which may be dropped when enemies are defeated are red scrolls (temporarily immobilise the enemy) and the green scroll (end of the stage). Note that the scrolls may only appear for a short time. The game finishes when any one character's Chakra drops to zero. Kakashi will rank the characters' performance based on time taken to clear the stage, accuracy of attacks and the level of the characters' Chakra at the end of the stage. You can register your score with Shueisha's computer.
    The second game has the pic of Naruto next to it. The orange button explains how to play. Click on the "Go" button to play. Your enemies will appear from behind trees. Run your mouse over them to stop them before they move behind another tree. Earn points for each enemy you hit and try to earn as many points as you can before your Chakra bar runs down to zero. However, not only are there enemies, but also villagers. Avoid the villagers - if your mouse touches a villager, it'll cause your Chakra to fall further. As you'll see from the "how to play" page, there are six types of characters who might appear - three enemies and three villagers. Bonus pouches may also appear - touch those to earn extra points. And if you touch the scrolls which appear from time to time, they'll increase your Chakra. After the game finishes, you can register your score with Shueisha's computer.

21 April 2003 (second update)

  • Volume 1 of the two part fantasy OVA series Generation of Chaos 3 ~ Toki no Fuuin ~ will be released on 21 May 2003. Until 5.00pm 23 April 2003 (presumably Japan time) you can download Quicktime previews of up to 12 minutes' length from this Idea Factory page. A 15 second mpeg commercial can also be downloaded here. Source: Moonphase.
  • ZDNet Japan reports that the 12 Kokki Net RPG is to start in June 2003. Price of playing will be 500 yen for 30 days, with a charge for 100 yen for adding a character (up to three). Source: Moonphase. I'm still confused - is the official title "12 Kokki" or "12 Kokuki"?
  • The official Po Po Tan website is now up.
  • A Kanon Fan Disc DVD will be released on 25 July 2003. This will be a first pressing limited edition item. (Edit 24 April 2003: see now my 24 April 2003 entry) Catalogue number MABP-7012, price 3,900 yen, duration 30 minutes, single layer. Source: Magicalantique.com.
  • The third Inuyasha movie is to be released in December 2003. You can view a trailer on the website linked above. The drama CD which will come with the DVD release of the second Inuyasha movie Kagami no Naka no Mugenjo will contain information about the third movie. Source: Animate. For details of the second movie DVD release, see my 10 April 2003 entry.
  • The Yomiuri reports that a 90 minute Atashi'n chi movie will be released by Toei in (edit 22 April 2003: December 2003). Source: TA Group BBS and Ma-ten.
  • Famitsu.com reports that Bandai is to release an action adventure DVD-ROM Playstation 2 game based on the series RahXephon in the (northern) summer of 2003. Price 6,800 yen. Source: Ma-ten.
  • Sankei Sports reports that an eighth Detective Conan movie is to be made. Source: TA Group BBS.

20 April 2003 (early update)

  • Ultrajump magazine has announced that the release of volume 2 of the Complete Edition of the Bastard!! manga by Hagiwara Kazushi has been delayed - originally the tankoubon was scheduled for publication on 18 April 2003. I note that when Viz first announced that it had licenced the manga, the company stated that the graphic novel release would be based on the retouched Complete Edition version of the manga. Since only volume 1 of the Complete Edition has been released in Japan (and that was back in December 2000), I presume that the English edition had to revert to the original Jump Comics version of the manga (which series started publication back in 1988) for the second half of volume 2 and volume 3 onwards. Is that right? Living in Australia, it's harder for me to get a copy of Viz's version of Bastard!! due to that company's strict line on overseas sales >_< So I haven't had a chance to look at the Viz version. However, I recently saw a comparison between the original 1988 manga and the upcoming volume 2 of the Complete Edition. This tankoubon will be Hagiwara's first full digital work and the differences between the two versions of the manga are marked. Hagiwara has certainly put a lot of effort into retouching the manga. Though for 2,800 yen per volume (compared to 390 yen for the original Jump Comics version) you're certainly paying for that effort, even if the Complete Edition volumes have more pages than the original volumes. You can certainly see the influence of working as an assistant for Matsumoto (KOR) Izumi in Hagiwara's original Bastard!! What's interesting is that in the years since then, both Hagiwara's and Matsumoto's styles have developed and yet there are similarities in their new styles. BTW, the release of volume 2 of the Complete Edition hopefully shouldn't be too many months away.
  • As I guessed, it seems that the Shirow Masamune booklet poster series in Uppers magazine has finished, the last booklet poster being included with the number 9 issue published on 15 April 2003. (Edit 23 April 2003: see now my 23 April 2003 entry).

19 April 2003 (third update)

  • The Kyoto Shimbun reports that the young adult novel "Nodoshiro no Umi" by Okayama Kazuo is to be made into an anime movie and released in the (northern) summer of 2004. Set in the 1970s at Shiretoko Peninsula in Hokkaido, the story is about a youth Yoichi who seeks revenge after his father, a fisherman and hunter, is killed by a Steller sea lion. Source: Aniota.
  • If you're going to Osaka, the Osaka World Trade Centre Cosmotower exhibition of Matsumoto Leiji's Cosmo World will open on 24 April 2003. Admission is 800 yen for adults. Source: Aniota.
  • Character designs for the upcoming TV series of Green Green can be found at the bottom of this Impress Corporation report. The series is scheduled to commence broadcast in July 2003. Source: Moonphase.
  • A trailer is available for download in relation to volume 2 of the Sakura Taisen (Sakura Wars) OVA series Ecole de Paris at the official website. Source: Moonphase.
  • A second trailer is now available for download at the official website for the live action movie Dragon Head, to be released 30 August 2003. Source: Aniota. The movie is based on the manga by Mochiduki Minetaro.
  • Wonderfarm has announced that Kids Station will be re-broadcasting the entire Tenshi no Shippo Chu! TV series on two nights in June 2003. Episodes 1 to 6 will be broadcast on 14 June 2003 and episodes 7 to 11 on 21 June 2003. In addition, a new 30 minute episode will also be broadcast on 21 June 2003. Source: TA Group BBS.
  • The May 2003 issue of manga magazine Ultrajump (on sale today) should see enough chapters of Tenjou Tenge for a tenth tankoubon. Hopefully an announcement will be made soon about when it'll be released. Meanwhile, I've ordered my copies of Air Gear volume 1 and Alien 9 Emulators, both to be published in May ^_^
  • Volume 1 of the DVD for the anime version of Kino no Tabi ~ The Beautiful World ~ will be released on 18 June 2003, price 6,090 yen (including tax). First pressing will come with cardholder. Source: Animate Yokohama.
  • Volume 6 of Mahoromatic ~ Motto Utsukushii Mono will be released on 6 June 2003. First pressing will come with mascot for use with a mobile phone strap. Meanwhile volume 7 will be released on 2 July 2003 and the first pressing will come with mobile phone strap. Each volume will cost 5,250 yen (inlcuding tax). Source: Animate Yokohama.
  • Volume 1 of the DVD release for Sora no Stellvia will hit the shelves on 2 July 2003, and volume 2 on 6 August 2003; price of each volume will be 6,090 yen (including tax). Source: Animate Yokohama.
  • DVD release schedule for Gadguard:
    Volume 1 to be released on 25 July 2003; first pressing will come with a box to hold four volumes and two trading cards.
    Volume 2 to be released on 23 August 2003; first pressing will come with trading card.
    Volume 3 to be released on 25 September 2003; first pressing will come with trading card.
    Volume 4 to be released on 25 October 2003; first pressing will come with trading card.
    Volume 5 to be released on 22 November 2003; first pressing will come with box to hold five volumes and two trading cards.
    Volumes 6 and 7 to be released on 20 December 2003; first pressing of each will come with trading card.
    Volumes 8 and 9 to be released on 23 January 2004; first pressing of each will come with trading card.
    Volume 10 to be released on 25 February 2004; first pressing will come with box to hold four volumes and two trading cards.
    Volumes 11 and 12 to be released on 25 March 2004; first pressing of each will come with trading card.
    Volume 13 to be released on 23 April 2004; first pressing will come with trading card.
    Price of each volume is 6,090 yen (including tax). Source: Animate Yokohama.
  • A UFO Princess Walkure Special DVD will be released in August 2003, price 5,040 yen (including tax). Source: Animate Yokohama.
  • Volume 1 of Kikou Sennyo Rouran will be released on 6 August 2003, price 6,300 yen (including tax). Source: Animate Yokohama.
  • It's been announced in Shogakukan's manga magazine Big Comic Original that Takahashi Rumiko's "Takahashi Rumiko Gekijo (Theatre)" (serialised in Big Comic Original) is to be made into a TV anime to be broadcast this (northern) summer. Details in the next issue of the magazine (issue number 10, on sale 5 May 2003). Source: ultimatum half edition.
  • Volume 1 of the manga Tokyo Graffiti by Inoue Santa, serialised in Shueisha's manga magazine Weekly Young Jump, will be published on 19 June 2003, price 648 yen (excluding tax). In addition, a limited first edition of the tankoubon will be available: it will be published on 20 June 2003 and will come with a free size "Love" T-shirt, price 3,800 yen (excluding tax). Pre-order cutoff date is 20 May 2003. Source: ultimatum half edition.
  • Furthermore, another of Inoue Santa's manga, Tokyo Tribe 2, is to be made into an anime movie. The plan is for a simultaneous release of the movie in Japan and the US in 2005. You can sample an official English translation of a chapter of this manga about Tokyo's subcultures at the link above.
  • Didn't expect to have to type up so much stuff on a Saturday...

18 April 2003 (third update)

  • The official website for the upcoming TV anime Narutaru is now up. Source: Moonphase. The anime, based on the manga of the same name by Mohiro Kitou serialised in monthly manga magazine Afternoon, will commence broadcast in the (northern) summer on Kids Station.
  • Meanwhile, Afternoon magazine itself has announced that its June 2003 issue, on sale on 25 April 2003, will come with a full colour Kaiyodo figure of Skuld from Oh! My Goddess. You'll see the figure near the top of the page on the Afternoon website. Looks nice ^_^
  • Shirow Masamune's Intron Depot 3 will be published on 23 April 2003 in Japan. Source: Mangaoh Club.
  • Having problems updating this site... >_<
  • A preview CG movie is available for download in relation to the upcoming full 3D CG anime of Choco Naruto by independent amateur CG anime group T-Zero Factory. Source: Moonphase. For more info on the anime, see my 7 April 2003 entry. Again, note that the Choco Naruto website has some nudity, so I'm not sure if this anime will have adult content. The preview movie is 53Mb in size, so I haven't had time to download it yet on my dialup connection. If anyone wants to donate towards the Official Natsume Maya Broadband Connection Fund, it'd be much appreciated ^_^
  • Asahi.com reports that Crayon Shin-chan has earned the title of the number 1 show which should not be watched by children, following a National PTA Conference questionnaire. The National PTA Conference has approximately 11 million members in Japan. The result was obtained through a questionnaire in November 2002 for 5,000 parents of fifth-grade primary school students and second year high school students. Crayon Shin-chan came first with 201 responses. As for the reason why the program should not be watched, 37% said the content of the show was stupid, 20% referred to the lack of common sense and morals, 17% to the language and 10% to the many scenes which promoted bullying and prejudice. Earning the title of the show which should be watched was Project X. Many other shows in that category were broadcast by NHK. Source: Aniota.
  • Sankei Web reports on 100,000 tulips used to create a picture of Astroboy in Tanto, Hyogo prefecture. Tulip bulbs of six colours were planted in (northern) autumn last year in preparation for the work. Go to the report to see a picture of the view of the flowers from a helicopter. Source: Aniota.
  • (Update: see now my 20 June 2003 entry, which substantially affects my comments on this item). Apparently about 9,000 cels or frames were used for episode 1 of KaleidoStar. Assuming the average TV anime is about 22 minutes long, that works out about 6.8 cels/frames per second. I don't know much about animation standards, but 6.8 seems fairly low. Furthermore, broadcast of the rest of TV series has been delayed until May. Source: Aniota. Doesn't sound too good. The Ghibli short movie "Mei to Ko-nekobus" (Mei and the Little Catbus) used 15,000 cels and that was under 14 minutes long (ie over 18 cels per second). Then again, that was Ghibli and a one-shot, not a TV series.
  • Sanspo.com reports that the TV anime Ojamajo Doremi is to be adapted into a musical. Source: Tentative Name.
  • AV Watch reports that GAiNAX has announced the six contents of the special disc which will come with the Neon Genesis Evangelion DVD box:
    Neon Genesis Evangelion- Genesis 0:0 In the Beginning (previously released on VHS, a preview of the TV series including staff interviews)
    Neon Genesis Evangelion- Genesis 0:0' The Light from the Darkness (previously released on VHS, a preview of movie including main cast interviews)
    Gekijoban # 26 Part (live action video of main seiyuu Hayashibara Megumi, Mitsuishi Kotono and Miyamura Yuko expressing the world of real world of Evangelion - of which some footage was used in the movie)
    Trailer Collection (for movie and TV series)
    Non-telop OP and ED (creditless remastered OP and ED)
    AR Rush Film (rush film used at the time of After Recording, ie post-recording of dialogue)
    Source: alternative-live.
  • Rondo Robe's website for Texhnolyze is now open. Source: Magicalantique.com.
  • You may have noticed that Kyoto Animation stopped its internet distribution of the Munto OVA, originally planned to continue until 10am 17 April 2003. However, the company has now re-scheduled the internet distribution. Part B will be distributed again from 10am 18 April 2003 to 10am 19 April 2003. And Part C will be distributed from 10am 19 April 2003 to 10am 20 April 2003. Japan time, of course. For more info, see my 8 April 2003 entry.
  • The manga Dr. Kotoh - Shinryousho (Dr. Kotoh - Clinic) by Yamada Takatoshi (serialised in the manga magazine Weekly Young Sunday) will be made into a live action TV dorama, to commence broadcast on Fuji TV from July 2003. Source: ultimatum half edition.
  • Web Newtype.com reports that the DVD of the full CG anime Denkineko by Hokkaido illustrator Nakamura Inuzou is to be released on 25 April 2003. Prior to DVD release, the work has been screened at CG competitions and indie movie festivals. Source: Reinbo Actress. This work was created by Nakamura Inuzou, using one personal computer (presumably a PowerMac G4), with a music director and producer. The time is 1970 and Denkineko is venturing into space. However, a meteor is approaching the earth. What can be done to avoid a catastrophe? (No pun intended ^_^;; ) Destroy the meteor with explosives? Or move the Japanese islands using energy harnessed from its hot springs? Details of the DVD release:
    Denkineko: Nihonrettou Gaizou Keikaku (Plan to Remodel the Japanese Islands)
    Official English title- Denkineko: Japan Vanishings
    The DVD version will apparently be in the neko (cat) language but will also come with a Japanese language dub, featuring the talents of various seiyuu including Inoue Kikuko.
    Duration approximately 60 minutes.
    DVD contents include making video, three trailers (including a "Hayao version"), bonus short video "Neko-rider", seiyuu profiles, etc.

16 April 2003

  • The Gonzo TV anime Gadguard commenced broadcast today, and the official website is finally open as well.
  • There's a wallpaper available for download from the official Scrapped Princess website. See the bottom left hand corner of that webpage. Source: Moonphase.
  • Independent anime studio/circle Ishikawa Pro has revamped its website. Furthermore, its last work Mahou no Chocolate is now available for download from this page. Source: Moonphase. For more information about Mahou no Chocolate, see my 17 March 2002 and 5 April 2002 entries. Still also available for download is the circle's previous work Ramen Chai-nyan. For more info about that anime, see my 26 May 2002 entry.

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