16-31 JULY 2003 NEWS

31 July 2003 (fifth update)

  • Actually, I think I've leave at this for today. Two or three more bits tomorrow.
  • In a complete surprise, Explorer crashed before FrontPage Express. Don't think I lost any info, but I can't be bothered checking...
  • Updated the Sailormoon news again...
  • Dragon Magazine has annouced that the TV anime Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu will be 11 episodes long. This series was originally scheduled to commence broadcast on 4 August 2003 but the air date was recently put back to 25 August 2003. The rumour is that the show was originally 12 episodes long but that the second episode involved the kidnapping of a child, and has been cut from the lineup because of the fact that there was a kidnapping in Japan just recently, thus also resulting in the delay in broadcast. The 12th episode may perhaps turn up on the DVD release, so the rumour goes... Source: Moonphase.
  • Gonzo's Hobby Expo 2003 report states that its samurai TV anime Peacemaker Kurogane (based upon the manga by Kurono Nanae and serialised in monthly Comic Blade) will commence broadcast this (northern) autumn. Source: Moonphase.
  • Updated the I've news as well.
  • Back on 7 July 2003 I wrote about IO Data producing USB flash memory "Gundam EasyDisks". Impress Corporation reports that the company is also working in collaboration with Banpresto, which will release a Gundam movie camera (price 19,800 yen - two models available: Zeon and Char) and Gundam MP3 player (price 19,800 yen - Zeon motif) later this year. Target market for these goods is 20-30 year olds. Source: Aniota. I won't go through the specs of these items...
  • The official website for the live action movie version of Casshan is now up, together with a trailer that reveals absolutely nothing. Source: Aniota BBS. The movie is presumably based on the old anime which was itself based on the even old live action TV series.
  • The official Sailormoon website has updated with more news about the live action series. It'll commence broadcast on 4 October 2003 on CBC and TBS. Official English title seems to be Pretty Guardian Sailormoon. See pics of the cast on the above page. From top, moving clockwise: Sawai Miyuu (16 years old this year) as Sailor Moon, Kitagawa Keiko (17) as Sailor Mars, Azama Miyuu (17) as Sailor Jupiter, Komatsu Ayaka (17) as Sailor Venus and Hama Chisaki (15) as Sailor Mercury. Update: it's been posted to the Aniota BBS that CBC now also has a website up with the cast as well. From that page, I've added the ages of the actresses. Second update: you can see the five in costume in this Nikkan Sports News report, including Sawai in the middle who mentioned that the skirts were quite short. They were chosen from over a thousand applicants. Source: Tentative Name. (Updated 1 August 2003 to insert link to Hama Chisaki's website. Source: Aniota BBS.)
  • For fans of I've (who produce music for various anime and games including Onegai Teacher), the I've Girls Compilation Lament/Outflow will be released on 5 Septmeber 2003 by Visual Arts, price 5,000 yen (excluding tax). The first pressing of this 2 CD set will come packaged as a premium box with bonus DVD. However, looks like the two CDs (one titled "Lament" and the other "Outflow") will be sold separately later. The DVD will contain an "I've Special Unit" promo video and a "making of" video. Source: Mangaoh Club. Update: you can see a tracklist for the two CDs and contents of the DVd on this page, where you can also download samples of each CD. Seems to me there's only one song from Onegai Teacher there - it's likely many of the other songs come from computer games. Source: Moonphase.
  • ZDNet Japan reports that at the Hobby Expo 2003, it was announced that the special Stratos 4 fan disc DVD will be released on 21 December 2003 and the box packaging will come with a figure. Source: alternative-live. For more info on the DVD, see my 19 July 2003 entry.
  • Web Newtype.com reports that the DVD release of the TV anime Happy Lesson Advance will commence in October 2003. Furthermore, the DVD versions of the episodes will include new scenes. Source: alternative-live.
  • What's happening to the Hand Maid Mai series? Back on 9 July 2003, Wonderfarm officially announced the delay in the release of volumes 2 and 3. Now according to Rakuga Kidou it seems the release may have been stopped altogether - based upon a cancellation email which Amazon Japan has sent out (presumably to those who had pre-ordered the OVA). Source: Moonphase.
  • Too busy, too tired to update any more yesterday. And my manga was calling to me ^_^
  • As reported on 12 June 2003, first pressing of volume 2 of the DVD release of Texhnolyze will come with a box. First pressing of volume 5 will come with a box as well. In total, the 22 episodes of this series will be released over eight volumes.
  • For anyone thinking of purchasing the Ghost in the Shell 1.5 manga and CD-ROM (released a week or so ago), your computer will need to be able to read Japanese file names - if not, you'll be unable to use most of the CD-ROM.

30 July 2003 (early update)

  • More at the end of the day.
  • gameonline.jp reports that the Watsuki Nobuhiro, author of Rurouni Kenshin, worked on the draft character designs for three characters (including main character Tokugawa Yoshitora) in the upcoming arcade game Samurai Spirits Zero. The game will start operation in arcades in Japan in October 2003. Source: ultimatum half edition. Watsuki's current manga is Busou Renkin (Weapons Alchemy).
  • The Hajime no Ippo OVA Mashiba vs Kimura: Shikeishikkou (Execution) will be released on DVD on 5 September 2003. The official website for the series has a digest movie for the OVA available for streaming download. Source: ultimatum half edition. There are also other clips available at the bottom of the linked page. For release details for the OVA, see my 26 June 2003 entry.
  • Too sleepy yesterday.

28 July 2003 (seventh update)

  • That's all for today. More tomorrow. The price of the Shirow Poster Books seems a bit low to me. 680 yen for 52 B4 size pages...? Still, that's the best I can make out of it. They couldn't mean 680 yen for a pack of eight illustration cards could they...?
  • More Shirow news. A poster collection Togi-hime Zoushi (tentative title) is in production. This will contain 12 A3 size posters and come with a clear file.
  • Details on the first series of Shirow Masamune Galgrease booklet poster collections (ie "Poster Books"). Details are a bit unclear but what I can reasonably work out is that it looks like the three Poster Book volumes for the first series, ie Wild Wet West, Hellhound (originally titled Hyakki Shou) and Galhound 1 will be released in mid-September 2003, price 680 yen each (excluding tax). I think each Poster Book will come with two additional items: (i) the four booklet posters which were originally serialised in Uppers magazine - each poster will be folded in the same way as it was in the magazine to retain the same "character" - and (ii) a pack of eight randomly selected A5 size illustration cards. As to the illustration cards, a total of 72 will be made for the first Galgrease series, so the inclusion of a few cards in the Poster Books is meant to entice you to collect all the illustration cards as well. Volume 1 of the Poster Books, "Galgrease 001 Wild Wet West", is in production (as are the illustration cards) and is expected to be roughly B4 size (ie roughly same size as the Intron Depot books) and 52 colour pages (originally it had been stated the book would be 48 pages).
  • Picked up volume 1 of the manga R.O.D Read or Dream. Nice jacket. Under the jacket, the cover has part of a text story about Anita, Maggie and Michelle (presumably to be continued on the cover of volume 2). I'm expecting the TV anime storyline to be quite different to the manga itself, though... And got volume 2 of Air Gear as well, of course. Got the Mahou Tsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto Someday's Dreamer's book as well - the usual mix of artwork, episode summaries, character introductions, interviews, design works etc. Nice, though I could always do with more Yoshizuki Kimuchi illustrations. I prefer the Die Sterne book though ^_^
  • Updated my review of Die Sterne. I'll write about the Refrain of Evangelion CD some other day when I have more time.
  • Well it's not everyday an official Japanese anime website emblazons English swear words on its pages. See this webpage on the official Tamala 2010 website - it's about an exhibition of Tamala goods. Source: Aniota. I'm not sure why they've given it that name, though... ^_^;;
  • Coming 25 September 2003: the Animex 1200 series of low priced (1,200 yen excluding tax) re-releases of anime CDs, each a limited edition of 5,000. There's at least 30 CDs to be released on that day so I won't bother going through all of them, but they do tend to be older series like Galaxy Express 999, Captain Harlock, Gatchaman (Battle of the Planets) etc. Just see this page on the Mangaoh Club website.
  • Studio Ghibli is hiring for 2004! In the sections of animation, background art and finishing (digital painting). You should be 18 to 25 years old. Gender, school education, experience and nationality aren't issues but you must have strong Japanese language skills to communicate with staff. Starting salary 167,000 yen per month plus travel expenses, training period nine months from April 2004, working hours 10am to 6pm with overtime, holidays (I think it's three days during your training and 11 days during your first year after that). Applications close 8 September 2003 for the animation section, 18 September 2003 for the other two sections. For more details (in Japanese) see this page.
  • A limited edition DVD: Musical Tennis no Oujisama (Prince of Tennis), exclusive to Animate stores only. To be released 20 September 2003, price 6,800 yen. Contains approximately 110 minutes of the live action performance from Golden Week 2003 including cast interviews and back-stage clips. Plus the DVD comes in a box with special pamphlet, libretto to the musical, photo of the cast and tennis ball mobile phone strap. To get this DVD, either try Animate Yokohama (as I mentioned recently, I think they'll deal with English language emails - if you live in the US, I'd think you'll be able to work out some form of payment by postal money order, but if you live in Australia, good luck...) or see if stores like Jungle SCS or AMO Tokyo will be able to get it in for you (though perhaps with a service charge added on).
  • The next issue of Magi-Cu Premium (on sale 30 July 2003) has announced that the anime version of the story Bindzume Yousei (Bottle Fairy) - about pint sized (female) fairies, of course, and their interactions with humans - will commence broadcast in this (northern) autumn. Animation production by XEBEC. Source: Moonphase.
  • CBC's website for the horror TV anime Kyogoku Natsuhiko Kousetsu Hyaku Monogatari (based upon the novel "Kousetsu Hyaku Monogatari" by Kyogoku Natsuhiko) is now up. The tentative title had been "Kyogoku Natsuhiko Yami Emaki" but it looks like they decided to just go with the title of the novel. The series will commence broadcast in October 2003. Source: TA Group BBS.
  • Well, the Monthly Comic Zero Sum website has updated with the September 2003 issue (on sale today) confirming that a TV anime of Saiyuki Reload will commence broadcast this (northern) autumn. Info on the website states that the anime will be produced by Studio Perriot. Source: ultimatum half edition.
  • Also confirmation today via the Shueisha S-manga.net website that the manga Bobobobo Bobobo by Sawai Yoshio (serialised in Weekly Shonen Jump) will be animated and commence broadcast this (northern) autumn. Source: ultimatum half edition. For more info on this gag comic, see my 25 July 2003 entry.
  • Back on 15 July 2003, I wrote about Mandarake's 2003 Big Summer Auction and some of the items being auctioned off. The auction has now finished and some of the winning bids included the following:
    Ayanami Rei cel for 300,100 yen. Rei fans still scare me.
    Pencil and watercolour pic by Miyazaki Hayao - 582,000 yen
    Miyazaki Hayao shikishi (autograph and illustration of Nausicaa) - 880,700 yen (!)
    Hana Yori Dango cel - 201,700 yen
    Takeuchi Naoko shikishi (autograph and illustration) - 121,100 yen
    Bear in mind that Mandarake charges a 10% handling fee on top of the winning bid price... That means someone's paying almost one million yen for a doodle by Miyazaki Hayao on a piece of paper less than a foot square.
  • Firstly, if you're an Eva fan trying to decide which artbook to get, Die Sterne (published three days ago) is definitely the one to get. Just received it today \^_^/ Published by Kadokawa Shoten, B4 size (ie same size as the Intron Depot books), ISBN 4-04-853652-4, 122 pages, price 2,800 yen (excluding tax). Whereas early blurb said that the book would contain over 200 pics, there are actually 321 in total. This artbook has no new pics (not even the cover is a new pic) but it's full colour (except for the last six or so pages which give a short description of the artist and first publication of each pic. Why I like it is basically because there are so many illustrations. I'm not someone who goes surfing the web for every Eva picture I can find, but I'd think that even the Eva fan who did that would find some illustration in this book which he or she hasn't seen before. Of course many of the illustrations would be well-known from magazines, LD, DVD, CD jackets, manga covers, etc - but a lot are new to me at least. The illustrations are drawn from the entire range of Eva goods: model packaging, telephone cards, illustrations on the collector's CD-ROM discs, posters etc. In general there'd be one to four illustrations on each page, sometimes more, in which case the pics can be quite small, but when you get an single illustration on B4 size paper, it looks great. This book is just finished illustrations. If you're looking for design works, try the Newtype 100% Collection book, or if you're looking for original linework for cel art, try the Groundwork series of books, but if you're looking for colour illustrations, this is the one.
  • Listening to the new Refrain of Evangelion CD. Released 23 July 2003. Nothing really new, I think just "digital mastering" and a cardboard slipcase for first pressing copies. A few nice pics in the booklet though. I got the S^2 box some time ago so everything else since then has been pretty unnecessary, but being an Eva completist I've got all the GAiNAX attempts to cash in on the series like the Second Impact CD and the Birthday of Ayanami Rei CD... ^_^;;

27 July 2003 (second update)

  • Maybe more later.
  • The Dai Ginga website - for the upcoming Dai Ginga Series Dai Yamato Hen 7 vs 7 (Great Galaxy Series ~ Great Yamato Arc 7 vs 7) anime - has updated with designs for some of the mecha. Source: Moonphase. Click on the pics for enlargements.
  • More unconfirmed reports of series to be animated:
    Saiyuki Reload (by Minekura Kazuya, serialised in Monthly Comic Zero Sum), as a TV anime - the sequel to Saiyuki.
    Papuwa (by Shibata Ami, serialised in Monthly Shonen Gangan).
    Source: TA Group BBS. Interestingly, both of those series would have relatively large yaoi followings, both manga are sequels and the original manga series of each was animated - Papuwa is the sequel to the manga Nankoku Shonen Papuwa-kun (Papuwa-kun, the Boy from the Southern Nation), which was animated back in the early 1990s. For all these unconfirmed reports of new anime, it's all a matter of waiting until the relevant magazines where the manga are serialised are published. For manga like Papuwa and Teizokurei Daydream, it's already been announced that there'll be big news in a coming issue - and the big news is of course expected to be confirmation of an anime adaptation.
  • It's suggested (but not confirmed) on the Sakamoto Maaya Music File website that a piano score collection of Sakamoto Maaya's works will be released in August 2003. According to the news, the book will be published by music publisher KMP (which also publishes various other anime music such as Studio Ghibli music etc) and will contain piano arrangements of all the tracks from the Hotchpotch album and the Nikopachi album. It's also stated on the same site that the DVD of the short movie 03+ (03 Cross) (in which Sakamoto stars) to be released in December 2003 will cost 3,500 yen. Source: alternative-live.
  • Sorry, fell asleep again yesterday. For now, I borrowed a camera, so here's my collection of figures/statues. From left to right, firstly there's Natsume Maya. Next is Natsume Maya. Followed by Natsume Maya. To the right is Natsume Aya. Fifth is Natsume Aya. Last, but not least, Yomiko, Yomiko Readman. In the background is my computer monitor with my Haibane Renmei sleeping-Reki-with-black-wings wallpaper. Here's a slightly different arrangement of the figures. I've got one or two other figures, but they were bonus items which came with DVDs etc (eg Chise from volume 1 of SaiKano).

26 July 2003 (second early update)

  • Impress Corporation gives details on the 19 November 2003 release of the highly anticipated Kaze no Tami no Nausicaa (Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind) DVD. Double layer, anamorphic letterboxed, Dolby Digital monoaural (original soundtrack) and Dolby Digital stereo. As expected, Japanese and English subtitles, and there'll be two discs - the movie and special features. This time, the movie disc will include audio commentary by Anno Hideaki (supervised the giant god soldier/Ohmu attack scene) and Katayama Kazuyoshi (animation director). As usual, the bonus disc will contain multi-angle storyboards and trailers for the movie. Other features are also under consideration. The DVDs will be housed in an Amaray double box with a reversible jacket. Plus, there'll be three versions of the DVD release:
    Collector's Box
    Preorder only?
    Nausicaa figure
    Torumekia original mounted artwork
    Ohmu real model (the link is to an illustration only)
    Price 24,800 yen
    Nausicaa Figure Set
    Limited edition of 50,000
    Nausicaa figure
    Price 7,800 yen
    Regular edition
    Price 4,800 yen
    Plus, first pressing will come with a soft case for the DVD. For the Collector's Box, it'll be the Giant God Soldier version of the soft case. For the other versions, it'll be the Blue Angel version.
    Source: Aniota.
  • It's suggested in this 2channel message that the manga Teizokurei Daydream (Vulgar Ghost Daydream), original story by Okuse Saki, manga by Meguro Sankichi, serialised in Kadokawa Shoten's manga magazine Monthly Shonen Ace-A, is to be animated. Source: ultimatum half edition. The news is unconfirmed but said to arise from an advance copy of Ace. Saiki Misaki is a shaman who protects the inhabitants of Tokyo from ghosts that lurk in the city. She also happens to be a 19 year old woman and a queen of sadism and masochism. I haven't seen much of this manga, but if it's serialised in Ace it can't be as adult as the premise suggests (I think ^_^;; ).
  • The Shinano Mainichi Shimbun reports about the Uminokuchi train station. In the past, it was a just a little unmanned train station on the Japan Rail Oito Line on the shores of Lake Kizaki near Omachi city. But with the advent of the Onegai Teacher and Onegai Twins anime, fans have been making their way to the train station. The anime is set in a fictional town, but it's said that the Uminokuchi train station building and surrounding scenery are similar to the setting in the anime, and it's been stated on fan websites etc that a location around Omachi city or Matsumoto city was the model for the anime. See the newspaper report linked above for a pic of the humble little train station. Fans visiting the station have put notebooks in the waiting room to allow fellow fans to write down their impressions (and also add in their own renderings of the anime characters). Already seven notebooks have been filled, with entries from Kanto, Kansai, Hokkaido etc. Residents of the area say that Onetei fans started gathering at the site last year and are mainly male fans between 10 and 30 years old. Source: Aniota. There you go, next time you visit Japan, remember to put Uminokuchi station in your itinerary next to the Ghibli Museum.
  • Tired of anime to live-action movie adaptations? How about anime to live-action musical theatre productions? Sankei Sports reports that the manga/anime Kochira Katsushika-ku Kameari Kouen Mae Hashutsujo (Kochi Kame) will make its way to the stage for the third time. The first time was in 1999, with a repeat production two years later. This third production will be a new story which promises something to entertain both children and adults. La Salle Ishii will reprise his stage and seiyuu role as Ryoutsu Kankichi. The show's season runs from 6 to 17 August 2003 at Hakuhinkan Theatre in Ginza, Tokyo with a performance in Osaka on 28 August 2003. Tickets 5,500 yen for adults, 3,500 yen for children (including tax). Source: Aniota.
  • Happiness is when you receive emails from Mangaoh Club and Amazon Japan in your Yahoo email account inbox and you can't read the subject lines properly (because Yahoo doesn't deal with Japanese script well) but you know that it means that your orders have shipped ^_^ Just waiting for the other two stores to email me now as well and for a fifth package to arrive... ^_^;;

25 July 2003 (fifth update, I think, I lost count... ^_^;;)

  • I'll add a few more things tomorrow.
  • As to the GAiNAX, Broccoli, Takara and Nitroplus project Neppuu Kairiku Bushilord, I note that Moonphase has this listed as an anime. For more info, see my 21 July 2003 entry. A drama CD has already been announced.
  • This 2channel thread suggests that the manga Bobobobo Bobobo by Sawai Yoshio (serialised in Weekly Shonen Jump) will be animated and commence broadcast this (northern) autumn. Source: Moonphase. I can't confirm this. It's the 31st century and Bobobobo Bobobo, master of the Nostril Hair Ultra Fist Attack, stands between Emperor Tull Tullina the Fourth and his plan to turn the entire world bald.
  • Shueisha's website for its Young You manga magazines has updated. In particular the Young You Colours webpage has announced that the manga Shin Locker no Hanako-san by Ishii Mayumi will be adapted into a live-action dorama. Locker no Hanako-san has been made into a live-action dorama before, that previous series being broadcast on NHK in August last year. Source: ultimatum half edition. The ghost of 1960s office lady Hanako-san inhabits one of the lockers at the office. Not a horror story ^_^
  • The official website for the Playstation 2 game RahXephon Soukyuu Gensoukyoku, to be released 7 August 2003, has updated with a trailer/promotion video. Source: Moonphase. The special "Plusculus" package of this game will come with an OVA side story. For more info, see my 5 July 2003 entry. The current trailer is for the game, but a later update will see a trailer for the OVA being available.
  • The official Mahoromatic website has a few screenshots from the upcoming Mahoromatic Natsu no TV Special, to be broadcast on 14 August 2003. Source: Moonphase.
  • What's happened to Anime Caravan? ;_;
  • After originally announcing that the Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu series would commence broadcast on Fuji TV on 4 August 2003, Fujimishobo has now announced that it'll commence broadcast on 25 August 2003. Source: Moonphase.
  • Steam Boy official website is now up. Source: Aniota BBS. Not much to see at present but there's a wallpaper to download if you want. The movie will be released in 2004.
  • Mainichi Interactive reports that Walt Disney Japan yesterday filed its defence in the legal action by purchasers of the Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi (Spirited Away) DVD. The action was commenced by three purchasers in the District Court of Kyoto on 28 November 2002 seeking a correction of the DVD's reddish colour tone and compensation of 10,000 yen each. One of the plaintiffs is Otani Tetsuo, a lawyer and member of the Kyoto Bar Association, who has set up this (Japanese language) webpage to report on the status of the proceedings. The two main points pleaded by Walt Disney Japan in its defence are that it was just pressing and selling the DVD based on the master provided by Studio Ghibli (and it therefore does not accept responsibility for the colour issue) and that there is no defect in the DVD since the colour tone of the DVD was a decision made based upon the colour temperature of Japanese televisions (and that the colour tone for movies should not be a justiciable issue anyway). The plaintiffs' reply to the defence is due by 2 October 2003. Source: Ma-ten. I wonder if the plaintiffs (a man, a woman and a lawyer) will now seek to join Studio Ghibli to the proceedings since Disney seems to be denying responsibility... Actually, I don't know for certain that it was Otani Tetsuo who set up that webpage (I haven't tried to read the entire page) but since the URL has the domain www.otanilaw.jp I reckon it'd be a safe bet it's his webpage ^_^
  • G'zStyle reports that the OVA Aoi Umi no Tristia (Tristia of the Deep Blue Sea), based on the computer adventure game by Kogado Studio, will be released in the (northern) spring of 2004 and will be a two volume release. Source: ultimatum half edition.
  • The October 2003 issue of manga magazine Afternoon (on sale 25 August 2003) will come with a Kaiyodo figure of Kiku-hime from the manga Genzou Hitogata Kiwa by Takada Yuzo (3 x 3 Eyes). Visit the link above for a pic of the figure in the top right hand corner of the page. Source: ultimatum half edition. Below that is a pic of the Manji (Blade of the Immortal) figure which comes with the September 2003 issue (on sale today).
  • Since the new Onegai Twins series is set at the base of the Northern Alps, why not buy a case of 500mL bottles of Onegai Twins natural mineral water "OneSui"? The label has Miyafuji Miina, Onodera Karen and Mizuho-sensei on it, and each bottle cap will have one of twelve stickers on it. One case (24 bottles) will set you back only 4,800 yen (excluding tax), or buy 12 bottles for 2,400 yen (excluding tax). If you buy one case, you'll receive a sticker sheet with the 12 bottle cap stickers on it as a gift.
  • Those looking for the Neon Genesis Evangelion DVD Box (renewal version), Animate Yokohama has five copies left. First come first served. Personally I've never placed an order with them but I think they may be willing to accept orders in English (they'd prefer if you write in Japanese of course). The difficulty for people in Australia like me is the forms of payment which they're willing to accept.
  • The D.C. ~ Da Capo ~ DVD Box 1 will be released on 22 October 2003, price 10,290 yen (including tax). Source: Animate Yokohama. Neowing adds that the catalogue number is KIBA-9940 and that this box will contain two DVDs - one of episodes 1 to 4, the other of episodes 5 to 7 and bonus clips.
  • To add to yesterday's info about the Narutaru (Shadowstar) DVD release, Animate Yokohama now states that the regular edition of volumes 2 onwards will each cost 4,500 yen (excluding tax). Furthermore, the first pressing of those volumes will come with trading cards - three if you get the limited editions, one if you get the regular editions. Otherwise, see yesterday's entry for more details. Looks like this'll be a seven volume release.
  • This week, I've been falling asleep most days before typing up everything I wanted to. Sorry about that. On the other hand, I'm sure you'll all be pleased to read that I wake up refreshed each day ^_^

24 July 2003

  • The official Narutaru (Shadowstar) website has updated with news that volume 1 of the DVD release (on sale 25 September 2003, price 3,800 yen excluding tax) will contain just the one episode (as expected) but will come with a special disc containing a previously unbroadcast clip of Sanada Asami, Noto Mamiko and Nogawa Sakura from the Narutaru event at the 2003 Tokyo International Anime Fair. Volumes 2 onwards will be released on the 25th day of following months (volume 2 at least will contain two episodes). Furthermore, it's suggested that there'll be a limited edition of following volumes, priced at 5,800 yen, with bonus clips. Source: Moonphase.
  • As reported on 17 June 2003, GAiNAX's manga based on the Evangelion computer game Koutetsu no Girlfriend 2nd (Iron Maiden 2nd) will commence serialisation in the October 2003 issue of Kadokawa Shoten's shoujo manga magazine Monthly Asuka (on sale 24 August 2003). Based on the game, but with a new story. GAiNAX has now announced that the author will be Hayashi Fumino. Furthermore, there's a four page preview of the manga in the September 2003 issue of Asuka (on sale today). Source: Moonphase.

23 July 2003

  • Maybe more later. I think I'll try to learn how to apply decals to a figure now ^_^;;
  • A preview for the upcoming shoujo anime Massugu ni Ikou (Let's Go Straight) is now up at the official website. Source: Moonphase. Select from either narrowband or broadband by clicking on the appropriate button in the top right hand corner of the homepage. Based on the manga of the same name by Kira, this is the story of high-school girl Ikuko and her dog Mametarou. However, the story is told (at least partly) from the point of view of the dog Mametarou, as the preview suggests. The series will be broadcast over four days commencing 18 August 2003. Presumably it'll just be a four episode series...?
  • Preview for Kon Satoshi's upcoming movie Tokyo Godfathers. Source: Moonphase. Not a very revealing preview, though. Note the new address for the official website. This movie is slated for theatrical release in Japan in November 2003 but will have its world premiere in New York at the Big Apple Anime Fest 2003 from 29 to 31 August 2003.

22 July 2003 (fourth update)

  • I'm off shopping on the internet again. Anime and manga: the cute path to financial ruin.
  • Kodansha has a Flash preview up for Ghost in the Shell 1.5, which was either released today or will be tomorrow. Source: ultimatum half edition. For more info about manga and CD-ROM package (the CD-ROM mainly containing an e-manga version of the comic), see my 27 May 2003 entry.
  • Galge.com reports that the TV anime version of the adult game Yami to Boushi to Hon no Tabibito will be 13 episodes. Source: Moonphase. The series will commence broadcast in October 2003.
  • Bandai is re-releasing Memories, the anthology of three short anime, at the low price of 3,990 yen on 24 October 2003. Specifications seem to be the same as original 9,800 yen release (including English subtitles) except whereas the original release came in an LD size package and with two LD sized booklets totalling 32 pages, this re-release will come with a six page booklet (and presumably won't come in an LD sized package). Source: Aniota BBS.
  • Updated the GiTS:SAC Official Log details.
  • Impress Corporation reports that from 24 July 2003 to 31 December 2003, those who purchase the individual DVD volumes of the Renewal version of Neon Genesis Evangelion from HMV Japan (or its mail order site) can get original limited Evangelion figures by Kubrick while stocks last. There'll be nine DVD volumes released (eight for the TV series, one for the movies) and correspondingly nine Kubricks figures released (Angels, Eva units and sources of life). The figures themselves will only be available after 26 September 2003, so volumes 1 to 4 of the DVD release will come with a coupon. Each figure will be about 60mm tall. Source: alternative-live. HMV Japan's page for the campaign states that you'll receive an HMV original Eva postcard with each volume as well.
  • Sony's website for the upcoming two volume OVA series Submarine 707R states that episode 1 will be broadcast on the pay per view Sky Perfect TV Channel 160 from 29 to 31 August 2003. Source: Ma-ten. The DVD for volume 1 will be released on 26 September 2003.
  • A promo clip is up for volume 3 of the OVA series Sentou Yousei Yukikaze. After you enter the official website, click on the "Movie" option. The promo clip for volume 3 is the top clip. Source: ultimatum half edition. Volume 3 is out on 22 August 2003.
  • Bandai states that the .hack//Integration DVD will cost 7,800 yen (excluding tax). For more details on this OVA collection, see my 9 July 2003 entry.
  • The same listing announces the release of volume 1 of the GiTS: SAC Official Log on 24 October 2003, stated to be the first official guide to Ghost in the Shell. This package of DVD and book will contain and analysis of the GiTS:SAC TV series together with comparison with the movie version of GiTS, the manga and the real world. Price 4,800 yen (excluding tax). As posted to the Aniota BBS, Bandai's catalogue listing for the DVD and book has more details:
    Catalogue number BCBA-1761.
    DVD will be 60 minutes, Dolby Digital Stereo, single layer, 4:3 aspect ratio. DVD contents: highlights from the series, digital anime/CG "making of" video, interviews, post-recording clip.
    The book will be A5 size, hardcover, 162 pages (48 four colour pages, 48 two colour pages, 64 monochrome pages). Book contents: making of the anime, discussion of the GiTS series from the original manga to the movie to SAC to the upcoming Innocence movie, introduction to each episode, design works, introduction to "Tachikoma na Hibi" (those Tachikoma clips after each episode on the DVD release), introduction to the cyber world.
    The package will come with a slipcase. Though since the DVD boxes for the GiTS:SAC release are the flimsiest I've seen for a R2 release (save only for Ajimu), I wouldn't expect much of the slipcase.

21 July 2003 (fourth update)

  • This Impress Corporation report on a Monolith Soft event held today refers to the start of work on a novelisation and anime version of the game Xenosaga. Source: Moonphase.
  • The Kadokawa announcement about the Keroro Gunso anime may be gone, but this jbook entry for volume 7 of the manga states that an anime based on the manga will commence broadcast in October 2003. Source: Zaregoto. That entry also shows a pic of the five figures which come with the first limited edition of volume 7 of the manga. For more details of that limited edition release, see my 26 May 2003 but note that the publication date has since firmed to 20 September 2003.
  • The official website for the second Kochira Katsushika-ku Kameari Kouen Mae Hashutsujo movie is now up. Title will be "UFO Shurai! Tornado Daisakusen!!" (UFO Attack! Operation Tornado!!). A UFO sighting and mysterious circle causes havoc in Kameari. Looks like the theatrical release date has been brought forward a month from January 2004 to December 2003. Source: Moonphase. You can dowload a streaming trailer here. Click on the top link if you have a broadband connection, the lower one if you have a dial-up connection.
  • Broccoli has announced that the release of the "Shin Seiki Evangelion Ayanami Ikusei Keikaku With Asuka Hokan Keikaku" (Neon Genesis Evangelion Ayanami Rearing Project With Asuka Complementation Project) computer game has been put back from 11 September 2003 to 23 October 2003. Source: Moonphase.
  • Updated the info about the Aoi Umi no Tristia (Tristia of the Deep Blue Sea) OVA to point out that the series will be released in 2004.
  • A new series of KaleidoStar will commence broadcast in October 2003. Source: Moonphase.
  • animate.tv's sales arm Frontier Works Inc. states that sale of the Kanon Fan Disc has been put back from 25 July 2003 to 13 August 2003. Source: Moonphase.
  • Asahi.com reports that the US market for Japanese anime and related business in 2002 was worth US$4,359,110,000 (approximately 520 thousand million yen) - four times the value of Japanese exports of steel to the US. Of that market, approximately US$3,937 million related to licence fees for related goods, games and TV broadcast, approximately US$414 million related to video and DVD sales and approximately US$8,110,000 related to box receipts at theatres. There were over 18 conventions in 2002, attracting over 100,000 attendees and racking up attendance fees of approximately US$3,549,000. In the first half of the 1990s, there were 13 anime works broadcast on US TV, but in this new century there have already been 40. Source: Aniota BBS. George W Bush shouldn't be worried about steel tariffs. He should be imposing anime tariffs.
  • Gundam Zeon outdoor goods: backpack, chair, tent etc. Source: Aniota BBS. For the military anime otaku.
  • News out of the Tokyo Character Show: ZDNet Japan reports on a new project by GAiNAX, Broccoli, Takara and Nitroplus. Titled "Neppuu Kairiku Bushilord", a meteor crashes into the earth in 2026, causing much destruction, with the resulting dust etc in the atmosphere blocking out the sun and causing an ice age. The decimated human survivors fight over the inhabitable land which remains. The story takes place 500 years in the future, during an age of civil war. Involves mecha. So what exactly is this project? An anime? A game? Or a "media mix"? I'm not certain... If Takara's involved, I guess that means a toy tie-in. Nitroplus is doing the mecha design, but Nitroplus make computer games, I think. GAiNAX make games and anime. The official webpage for Bushilord is now up here. Source: ultimatum half edition and alternative-live.
  • The same ZDNet Japan also reports that an OVA will be produced in 2004 of the computer adventure game Aoi Umi no Tristia (Tristia of the Deep Blue Sea). Source: alternative-live. The computer game is made by Kogado Studio, which is also the maker of the game Magical Twirler Angel Rabbie. That game is also to be animated under the name Tenbatsu Angel Rabbie (Divine Punishment Angel Rabbie).
  • Volume 1 of the DVD release of Narutaru (the manga being known as Shadowstar) will go on sale on 25 September 2003, price 3,800 yen (excluding tax). Source: Musicmarket.

20 July 2003 (fifth update)

  • Each day I keep falling asleep before I can type up everything I want to... ^_^;;;
  • Bandai's website for Jungle wa Itsumo Hare nochi Guu has updated with the news that following the Deluxe OVA series, a new OVA series Jungle wa Itsumo Hare nochi Guu Final will be produced, with volume 1 on sale on 21 December 2003. Source: Moonphase.
  • TMS Entertainment has a webpage up for the latest Lupin III TV special "Otakara Henkyaku Dai-sakusen" (Mission to return the treasure). Source: Moonphase. Not much to see, but there are some screenshots. The special will air on 1 August 2003.
  • FrontPage Express crashed. Don't think I lost anything really...
  • The CLAMP has updated their website with information regarding the release of volume 1 of Tsubasa - RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE -. Some of the details are slightly different from what the stores and Kodansha have previously listed. The regular edition will go on sale on 12 August 2003, price 390 yen (excluding tax) and will be pocketbook sized. The Deluxe Edition (it's now called the "Deluxe Edition", not the aizou version) will be published on the same day, price 1,143 yen (excluding tax) and will be hardcover with a cas, will be A5 size and will include the colour pages from the original serialised version (which implies that the regular edition either won't have those pages or they won't be in colour). The Deluxe Edition will also come with a special large postcard. Source: Moonphase.
  • Episode 1 of the vampire web anime Vie Durant is now available for download, but there's a fee of 300 yen. One episode will be released each week, with the next episode being available on 22 July 2003. You can view a sample however: on the download page, you'll see two dark blue buttons below the pic of the seven vampires. Click on the top button if you have a narrow band connection, the bottom one if you have a broadband internet connection. Source: Moonphase.
  • Trailer for the Matsumoto Leiji/Daft Punk work Interstella 5555 - the 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem. Just click on the word "Play". Source Aniota. No firm word on the DVD release yet, though.
  • Updated the news about Pioneer. I wasn't sure previously, but the ZDNet Japan reports states that the deal includes the sale of all stock in Pioneer Entertainment to Dentsu.
  • This Yahoo Japan report on Japanese high school baseball has reference at the end to a baseball fan Mr Satsuta, whose twin sons play baseball and are named Tatsuya and Kazuya. Those happen to be names of the twins in the baseball manga/anime Touch. Coincidence...? Source: Aniota. Different family name, though. Then again, Tatsuya and Kazuya will be pretty common names, I'd think.
  • Back on 18 July 2003, I wrote about the horror novel Kousetsu Hyaku Monogatari being animated under the tentative title will be "Kyogoku Natsu Yami Emaki". Thinking back on it, I think there was one kanji missing from the title in the report which I quoted. Makes sense that the title would be "Kyogoku Natsuhiko Yami Emaki", Natsuhiko being the personal name of the author of the novel. I've amended my 18 July 2003 writings.
  • The official website for the live action movie version of the manga Umizaru is now up. The movie is scheduled for theatrical release in June 2004. Source: Aniota. A second live action dorama series is also in the works.
  • Anime director Daichi Akitaroh writes in his online diary (17 July 2003 entry) about finishing of an anime "Norstein no Shougai" (Norstein's Life) by November 2003. Source: Ma-ten. Presumably about the respected Russian animator Yuri Norstein. Daichi was director of works such as Kodomo no Omocha (Child's Toy), so it stands to reason that his webpage wouldn't be the run-of-the-mill sort of page. Even his homepage is a bit different.
  • The July 2003 issue of Enterbrain's monthly bishoujo magazine Magi-Cu Premium (Magical Cute Premium) (on sale 30 July 2003) has announced that an anime version of the story Bindzume Yousei (Bottled Fairy) will be produced. About cute little female fairies, of course. There's a game based on the story as well.
  • Nikkan Sports News reports that Going Merry, the pirate ship from the manga/anime One Piece is docked in Tokyo Bay for the 45th Odaiba Bouken Ou (Odaiba Adventure King) event from 19 July 2003 to 31 August 2003. The pirate ship is in fact a transport ship which has been converted into a cruise ship at a cost of 100 million yen. It's 40.4 metres long, 12 metres wide, with three levels and can carry 300 people. For 800 yen (or 500 yen if you're a primary school student or junior high school student), you can go about the ship for a 40 minute cruise. For a pic of the ship, see the above Nikkan Sports News report. Source: Ma-ten.
  • The anime Mugen Senki Portriss (Tank Knights Portriss) was based on an online game. The success of the game across Asia means there's now a Portriss 2 online game. And now ZDNet Japan reports that based on Portriss 2, Bandai Game Venture (Bandai GV) has an offline Portriss shooting game "Tatakae (Fight)! Mission Leader" available for free download for Windows computers. This page on the website will provide you with four places where you can download the 38Mb game. Source: Ma-ten. I won't go into how to play the game. No time. However, this anime, which commenced broadcast in April 2003, looks like an kodomo anime, which is why I've never really written much about it.
  • Bandai Channel started distributing the anime Witch Hunter Robin over the internet over a week ago. Episode 1 is free for streaming download, but subsequent episodes require payment of a fee to view. Go to this page on the Bandai Channel website and click on one of the ISPs listed, such as @nifty, select Witch Hunter Robin from the list of available series, and then click on the your choice of screen size (depending on your internet connectio). Source: Ma-ten.
  • Further to my post on 23 June, Impress Corporation and ZDNet Japan report that on 17 July 2003, Pioneer announced that it had reached a basic agreement for the sale of Pioneer LDC and the US corporation Pioneer Entertainment to Dentsu, although the details are yet to be sorted out. Pioneer's position is that although the two corporations have contributed to Pioneer's software business, they look forward to the corporations doing well under the new management. Source: Ma-ten and Aniota. Does this new management mean changes for anime coming from Japan under the Rondo Robe label and/or for anime coming out of the US from Pioneer Entertainment...?
  • As you can see, I'm still catching up with the news, still writing about some stuff which happened three days ago. Plus there's the Character Show in Tokyo at the moment. Will there be more news to come out of that event...? Sorry for all the recent typos...
  • According to this Famitsu.com report, more Rockman EXE will be broadcast from October 2003 on TV Tokyo, it's been announced at the Takara Business Forum on 17 July 2003. Takara markets the toys related to the anime series. Source: Ma-ten. The anime is a Capcom and Shogakukan production. The next game in the series will be released in December 2003 (for the Game Boy Advance).
  • The webpage on Kadokawa Shoten's website that announced the anime version of the manga Keroro Gunso has now been changed and the announcement deleted. A premature announcement...?

19 July 2003 (third early update)

  • The Sakura Taisen themed Sakura Cafe in Ikebukuro was officially opened yesterday in a ceremony attended by production staff and cast including Yokoyama Chisa (Shinguuji Sakura). See this Impress Corporation report for pics - click on the pics for enlargements. On the menu of the cafe are items like Sakura Ice (presumably ice cream, selling well), Maria's Borsch (not so popular), Orihime Neapolitan and Okinawa Kanna Curry. On display are the cafe are shikishi and costumes, figures of Iris, Sakura etc. Source: Reinbo Actress.
  • It's stated on the official Stratos 4 website that a special fan disc DVD will be released at the end of the year with travelogue of the staff and cast at Shimoji island, where the story is set, highlight scenes from the 13 TV episodes. Further details have yet to be announced. Source: alternative-live. At least two OVA episodes of the series are planned to be produced, to be released in the (northern) spring of 2004.
  • For lovers of anime to live-action conversions, Nikkansports reports that Katori Shingo of popular entertainment group SMAP will play Hattori-kun in a live-action movie version of the manga/anime Ninja Hattori-kun. Hattori-kun has been animated numerous times, including four movies, but this will be the first live-action movie. Filming will start this month and the movie is scheduled for theatrical release in the (northern) summer next year. Shingo plays Kondo Isamu, leader of the Shinsen Gumi in the live action Taiga dorama "Shinsen Gumi!" Source: ultimatum half edition.
  • Yoshizaki Mine's manga Keroro Gunso is to be adapted into a TV anime to be broadcast from October 2003. Source: ultimatum half edition. Keroro Gunso is serialised in Kadokawa's magazine Monthly Shonen Ace-A. I've never really read the manga but it always seemed pretty silly to me. Yoshizaki would be known for other works such as VS Knight Lamune & 40 Fire and Arcade Gamer Fubuki.
  • Digital Chosun reports that Gravity, a Japanese-South Korean consortium of companies will invest 10 thousand million won to produce two anime versions of the online game Ragnarok Online. The adult version (by adult I mean aimed at older people, not hentai) will be 13 episodes to be broadcast on TV Tokyo this October. The children's version will be 52 episode series. Ragnarok Online the game claims 10 million members across six countries including Japan, South Korea and China. Source: ultimatum half edition.
  • The official website for TV anime version of Gunslinger Girl is now open, though there's just staff and cast info at present. To be directed by Asaka Morio (Card Captor Sakura). Source: ultimatum half edition. The anime will commence broadcast in the (northern) autumn. The manga by Aida Yu has been licensed by ADV Films. "The girl has a mechanical body. However, she is still an adolescent child." Girls and guns with mecha thrown in - a time tested formula.
  • Ogata Megumi fans, here's your chance to go on a conducted tour of Kansai, Japan with your idol ^_^ Ogata voices Sanada Yukimura in the anime version of Samurai Deeper Kyo. The tour will trace the life of Sanada, the leader of a samurai clan which did not side with the Tokugawa Shogunate. The tour has two legs which you can join:
    20 September (Kyoto) to 21 September 2003 (Shin Osaka), accommodation at the Fukuchiin at Mount Koya at night (I planned to go to Mount Koya once, but never got around to it).
    21 September (Shin Osaka) to 22 September 2003 (Kyoto), accommodation at the Hatoya Zuihoukaka in Kyoto at night.
    Or you apply for both. Each leg of the tour is 42,800 yen or if you join both legs, the price is 72,800 yen. But add 10,000 yen if you're not in the Ogata Megumi supporter's club. Ogata will accompany the group on the tour. I won't go through the entire itinerary, but tour destinations include places such as Sekigahara, site of the famous battle in the early 17th century, and Osaka castle. Each leg will have two optional activities which you can also join - 4,000 yen to play dodge ball and have a meal? (The winners get a prize, though). You can also get commemorative photos with Ogata (additional fee applies). One breakfast and one dinner provided on each leg of the tour. 65 places available on each tour. Applications close 20 August 2003. For more details (in Japanese), see the information page on Ogata's website. Source: Reinbo Actress.
  • Volume 21 of Takaya Yoshiki's Bio-Booster Armour Guyver will be published by Kadokawa Shoten on 10 December 2003. There'll be a first limited edition available with 1/6 size Guyver figure by Max Watanabe and Max Factory. Price 2,800 yen (excluding tax). Source: Mangaoh Club and Animate Yokohama.
  • It's the 19th of the month. That means another issue of Shueisha's monthly magazine Ultrajump. No Tenjou Tenge this month ;_; However the September 2003 issue (on sale 19 August 2003) will come with a desktop "character stand" of Melty and friends from the manga Puchimon (Petit Monster) by Nanase Aoi. That volume will also see the restart of Hagiwara Kazushi's Bastard!! manga after a year and a half hiatus.
  • Further, volume 2 of Puchimon will be released on 17 October 2003. A special edition will be available with a mobile phone strap with a 5cm figure of Ruru. The figure has been created by Miyagawa Takeshi, who created the Natsume Maya figure which come with the first limited edition of Tenjou Tenge volume 9. Price of this special edition of Puchimon volume 2 has yet to be determined. Regular edition of the manga will probably be 620 yen.

18 July 2003 (third update)

  • More later. But I've got a headache now (or it's gotten worse for now), so I'm going to lie down and read a bit of Barbara Hambly's Dragonstar first.
  • The novel Kousetsu Hyaku Monogatari by mystery/horror author Kyogoku Natsuhiko is to be made into a TV anime, it's been reported in the 16 July 2003 evening edition of Chunichi Shimbun. Tentative title will be "Kyogoku Natsu(hiko?) Yami Emaki". Source: TA Group BBS. (Updated 20 July 2003.)
  • The official Lupin III website has a page up now for the 2003 Lupin III TV special "Otakara Henkyaku Dai-sakusen" (Mission to return the treasure), confirming that the special shall be broadcast on 1 August 2003. Source: ultimatum half edition.
  • Kodansha has a list of its 2004 calendars up on this page. Source: ultimatum half edition. What, no Air Gear calendar?
  • The Ikki Tousen website has updated with 20 small screenshots of episode 1 and three large screenshots. Source: ultimatum half edition. This bishoujo fighting TV anime based on a manga will commence broadcast on 30 July 2003. Volume 6 of the manga by Shiozaki Yuji will be published by Wani Books on 25 August 2003, price 900 yen (excluding tax). I like the character designs for the anime even less now that I've seen the screenshots -_-
  • Mahoromatic fans, CD Japan now has details up for the DVD release of the Mahoromatic TV Special to be broadcast on 14 August 2003.
  • I'm back. First up, I notice that George W Bush and Tony Blair (and John Howard, the US ambassador to Australia) still haven't found any weapons of mass destruction. Perhaps they should try searching on Google. Try this:
    1. Go to www.google.com
    2. Type in (but don't hit "return"): "weapons of mass destruction".
    3. Hit the "I'm feeling lucky" button, instead of the usual "Google search" button.
    4. If it's still working, you should be directed to an unusual error message.
  • Catching up on sleep yesterday.

16 July 2003

  • Even busier and even more tired today, so I'll just post up a couple of things. The rest I'll have to leave for another day. My job's supposed to be 9 to 5.30. So why do I get home at 11.20pm? 'Course, they only pay me til 5.30 >_< Sometimes it feels so strange going home while the sun is still up. As you can see, it doesn't leave much time for watching anime or reading manga... Hence my DVD and manga backlog... I hear in England some of the businesses in my line of work provide beds for their employees to save them the inconvenience of having a life. That way the staff can just work, go to bed, wake up and get straight to work again >_<
  • CLAMP have announced on their website that Shinshokan will be publishing an RG Veda Collector's Edition Box. This will be a "bunko" version of the manga - this format generally means a smaller page size and sometimes a lesser number of volumes (but more pages per volume). In this case, whereas the original version of RG Veda was 10 volumes of B6 size, the bunko version will be 7 thicker volumes in the smaller A6 size. To be published 28 September 2003, price 4,800 yen (excluding tax). There'll be reversible covers, a box to hold the volumes and a "premium book" RG Veda gag comic. This box set will be a limited edition item. The 7 volumes will also be published individually, but no gag comic or box (of course) and perhaps no reversible covers. Of the individual release, volumes 1-3 will be available 28 November 2003, volumes 4 & 5 on 27 December 2003 and volumes 6 & 7 on 28 January 2004. Price of each separate volume will vary from 580 yen to 650 yen (excluding tax). Source: ultimatum half edition.
  • It's been officially announced in the August 2003 issue of the Shueisha's magazine Cobalt that an anime version of the novel series Maria-sama ga Miteru by Konno Oyuki will be broadcast in the (northern) spring of 2004. The series is about the students at a very proper all-girl school. More details in the next issue of Cobalt. Source: TA Group BBS and MariMite DB. An anime version had previously been rumoured.


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