1-15 FEBRUARY 2004 NEWS

15 February 2004

  • More later if I feel up to it.
     
  • To Catholic Christians, today is the World Day of the Sick. I commemmorated the day by contracting a virus and spending the day in bed with a splitting headache, stomache-ache and only a copy of Ultrajump and Gaijin! magazines to assuage my feeling sorry for myself.
     
  • Looks like the character designs for the TenTen anime that I've seen to date are just draft designs. Still, can't say I'm impressed by what I've seen, especially the design for Bob. No real Oh! great influence apparent. Chibi Maya was okay, though. Published draft designs have been for the five main Jyukenbu members, so it's hard to know which part of the story the anime will focus on.
     
  • I didn't really notice until now, but Masataka's jacket for the November 2003 issue of Ultrajump magazine says "Fuck Bush" on the sleeve. I wonder if that's a reference to the current US president...? :P I don't keep up with US anime convention news, but there seemed to be a lot of Japanese guests who cancelled last year. Is it normal for this to happen? Or could opposition to the invasion of Iraq have been an influence? Just speculation on my part. The November issue of Ultrajump is out of stock, by the way (probably because it came with the special cover for volume 10 of the Tenjou Tenge manga).
     
  • The image illustration for the Natsume Aya figure to come with the special edition of volumer 12 has even less clothing than the Maya figure. I wonder if there's any chance the dragon will come with it?
     
  • Over two months after its publication, I picked up a copy of Gaijin! magazine. Gaijin! is a new magazine with its first issue published in December 2003. Gaijin! is an "Australasian Sub Cult Magazine". Gaijin! is focused on East Asian and South-East Asian culture and its influences. Gaijin! is... well, not enough to get me buying every issue or subscribing. But that's not to say I didn't find it interesting - I may pick up an issue now and then if something in it catches my eye. I just don't generally rely on print media nowadays, and generally get my news (anime/manga or otherwise) from websites nowadays. I've stopped buying Newtype USA as well. Not because I find anything disappointing with the magazine, but just because I'd get an issue and then take weeks or months before opening it up. And well, to be honest, I never read Newtype USA enough to be qualified to actually review the magazine, even though I've got a year's worth of issues, so I can't really say whether it's a good magazine or not...
     
  • Anyway, back to Gaijin! magazine. Actually, if anything, my initial thought was that I wouldn't like the magazine, but I found the articles to be well-written and interesting, with the interviewees giving intelligent and thoughtful responses. A slick publication, but the professionalism of the writing and presentation is perhaps let down by the artwork, some of which was amateurish and of a fanzine nature (though of course, better than I could draw). There were a lot of reviews of anime, Asian live action movies, manga etc, but I found the lack of negative reviews questionable. Even where a reviewer has any negative thing to write about a subject, they would always find a postive aspect. The only reviews which were noticeably different in this respect were Orion Marchant's review of the Initial D manga and Rosanne Bersten's review of Matrix Revolutions (but it's pretty standard to bag that movie). Did the reviewers happen to generally like everything they reviewed? Did they chose to write only about stuff that they liked? Are they more fans of the genres that they review than objective critics? Or could commercial considerations (eg commercial ties or sponsorship) influence and restrain more open criticism? I have no idea, but it makes it harder for me to know how reliable the reviews are. Despite being described as an "Australasian" magazine, there's no apparent correspondence from the Northern, Southern or Western States and Territories of Australia - just references to events, goods, clothing etc available in Sydney, New South Wales or Melbourne, Victoria. But I guess people in the rest of Australia are used to being ignored by the Eastern States, particularly when it comes to media... Then again, any magazine that makes reference to Tenjou Tenge (even if in a footnote) can't be all that bad. The misspelling of Miyazaki Hayao's name in an article was unforgiveable however (at least, I assume it was supposed to refer to Miyazaki). But the fact that Kurimoto's Kaoru's fantasy series "Guin Saga" is being translated into English (or at least the first five volumes) was welcome news to me. As stated in the review, Kurimoto plans to write 100 novels in the series.

14 February 2004 (second update)

  • More at the end of the day if I'm not too tired.
     
  • The ED for the Tenjou Tenge TV anime is tentatively titled "Aishitene motto" (I'm not certain of the kanji reading) and will be Kayo Aiko's second single (her first being the OP for the TV anime Yami to Boushi to Hon no Tabibito). The CD single will be released 14 April 2004, catalogue number AVCD-30555, price 1,200 yen. Furthermore, first pressing will come in a special package with Tenjou Tenge sticker and trading card. I've put in my order \^_^/ However, it'll be a copy control CD >_< Source: Mangaoh Club and Neowing.
     
  • Today is Saint Valentine's Day. In the words of the great Australian orator Jeff Fenech, "I love youse all!"
     
  • Studio 4C states that its anime movie Mind Game (director Yuasa Masaaki) will be released theatrically in the (northern) summer. Based on the "hyper tension" manga by Robin Nishi. Source: alternative-live. I think that means heaps of tension, rather than referring to high blood pressure... :P
     
  • Publisher Gentosha has announced that Inoue Santa's manga Rinjin 13-go (Neighbour No. 13) is to be made into a live action movie. Psycho-suspense manga about a boy who develops a dual personality as a result of bullying as a child. When he grows up, he crosses path with the bully and plans his revenge. The movie will also feature Yoshimura Yumi from Puffy as the bully Akai's wife Nozomi. Planned for theatrical release in early 2005. Source: ultimatum.
     
  • Publisher Takeshobo has announced that the TV anime version of Sensei no Ojikan (based on the manga by Momose Tamami) will commence broadcast on TV Tokyo at 25.30 on 4 April 2004 (1.30am on 5 April 2004). Director will be Iwasaki Yoshiaki (Love Hina Again, Bottle Fairy etc), character design by Nakahara Kiyotaka (Green Green), music by Hirano Yoshihisa (Beyblade, Shichi-nin no Nana). Source: ultimatum.
     
  • Stomach-ache for most of the day -_-

13 February 2004 (third update)

  • That's all for today, Friday the 13th.
     
  • In September 2003, Futabasha suspended publication of its Weekly Manga Action magazine. Chuosha reports that publication will recommence on 20 April 2004 under the title "Manga Action" and the magazine will now be semi-monthly. The first new issue will come with a DVD containing Lupin III OP, ED, insert song, trailer etc. Price 276 yen. Source: ultimatum. Don't ask me which OP, ED, insert song, trailer etc.
     
  • BTW, the next episode preview for episode 10 of R.O.D - The TV - is the longest I've ever seen for an anime. Over three minutes. Well above the standard 15 or 30 seconds.
     
  • MMV has a webpage up for the TV anime Futari wa Pretty Cure. There's not much to see at present, though. Source: Moon Phase.
     
  • With Innocence to be released on the big screen soon, Bandai has a website up for director Oshii Mamoru's works.
     
  • forGamer.net has info and pics for the upcoming Ragnorak Online TV anime (to be broadcast in the (northern) spring of 2004). See also this pic. The TV anime will tell of the adventure of childhood friends Roan (swordsman) and Yufa (acolyte). Along the way they'll meet character like the merchant Maya, the archer Judia and the sorceress Takius. You can see those characters on the page linked above, from left to right, top to bottom as named. Click on the pics for enlargements. Source: Rakuga Kidou.
     
  • If t.A.T.u must change their name after their breakup with manager Ivan Shapovalov (see this Ananova report), then what will happen to the upcoming t.A.T.u Paragate movie...?
     
  • AIC's website for the currently airing series Burn-Up Scramble has updated with release details for volume 1 of the DVD. To be released 23 April 2004, contains two episodes, catalogue number GNBA-7071, price 5,775 yen (including tax). First pressing will come with seiyuu discussion CD and box to hold all six DVD volumes in the series. Source: Rakuga Kidou.
     
  • A bit of news (about a month old) about the upcoming Tenjou Tenge TV anime: director will be Kawase Toshifumi (Beyblade, technical director on Z Gundam and Gundam ZZ). Opening theme will be performed by e.c.A T, with the suggestion that it might involve rap music. Can't say I'm impressed with the character design if this is what Nagi will look like. Looking at broadcast commencement in the (northern) spring of 2004, probably April 2004. Source: Sa-i and Ultrajump magazine.
     
  • I decided to go with the regular edition of the Maria-sama ga Miteru DVDs. The limited edition version costs about half as much again, and big LP sized artwork would be nice, but the series to date hasn't been as good as it could be, IMNSHO. Character designs are great, but the stories are too simple to make it a series that I'd want to spend that much money on. Japanese stores are so polite that I feel so crude when I write to them in my basic sentences ^_^;;;
     
  • Fell asleep yesterday before I could type up anything. Sorry. But you'll be happy to know that I was able to watch some anime :)
     
  • The Asahi Shimbun reports that Matsumoto Leiji has designed a ferry "Himiko". The Tokyo Cruise Ship Co. will commence operation of the ferry from the end of March 2004, making five trips a day between Asakusa and Odaiba. The ship has a tonnage of 125 tonnes, length of 33.3 metres, breadth of 8 metres and capacity for 231 patrons. Designed with a space ship motif, Himiko features a silver metallic hull. Source: alternative-live. For an artist's impression of the ship, see the above Asahi Shimbun report. Further, if you go to the Tokyo Cruise Ship Co.'s website and clip on the "new ship!" pic, you'll get more pics and info. The ship actually does a bit of a round trip, but the Asakusa to Odaiba leg costs 1,360 yen (830 yen for children).
     
  • As you'll note, I get some of my news from the site alternative-live, run by tarax. It was tarax's birthday yesterday. So happy birthday ^_^
     
  • A manga version of GAiNAX's anime Kono Miniku mo Utsukushii Sekai (This Ugly and Beautiful World) will commence serialisation with issue number 5 of Young Animal magazine (on sale 27 February 2004). The author of the manga will be Morimi Ashita. Source: ultimatum. The TV series itself is scheduled for broadcast starting April 2004.
     
  • On 24 August 2003 I wrote about the independent anime by Okina-san. Enterbrain's Tech Win magazine now has a site up relating to some of his works (which are featured on some of the CD-ROMs enclosed with the Tech Win magazine). Presently you can download two clips, one being a higher quality version of one of the clips available on Okina-san's website, the other being the clip "Chou Muteki (Super Invincible) Mecha Pipo-kun - Okina version". Source: Moon Phase.
     
  • An Inuyasha TV special will be broadcast in the (northern) spring of 2004 (scheduled for April 2004). Titled "Meguri Au Mae no Unmei Koiuta". goo anime cites a Sankei Sports article that idol singer/actor Takizawa Hideki of Tackey & Tsubasa will make a guest appearance in his first voice acting role.

11 February 2004 (fourth update)

  • I'll leave at this for today. More tomorrow.
     
  • Character designs are now up at Kadokawa Shoten's website for the upcoming Keroro Gunso (Sgt Frog) anime. Source: Moon Phase. To commence broadcast on TV Tokyo in April 2004.
     
  • The Samurai 7 website is now up, but there's nothing to see at present. Source: Moon Phase. To commence broadcast in April 2004.
     
  • There are cosplay cafes. Now ITmedia reports that a cosplay izakaya (bar/pub) "Little BSD" will open in Akihabara on 3 March 2004. Source: Ma-ten.
     
  • CoMix Wave has announced that Daichi Akitaroh's independent OVA Makasete Iruka! will be released in the early (northern) summer of 2004. Source: alternative-live. A bit later than the previously projected time of spring 2004.
     
  • With the Yoshinoya chain of restaurants in Japan stopping sale of its gyudon beef bowl today (see for example, this thread at the Animeondvd forums), there's been an increase in sale of Yoshinoya gyudon ingredients on web auction sites, such as Yahoo Japan. Source: Rakuga Kidou.
     
  • The Yamagiwa Soft building in Akihabara caught fire yesterday. See this report by kakaku.com for pics. Source: Rakuga Kidou. They sell DVDs, CDs etc. I bought my copy of the Haibane Renmei ED there about a year ago...
     
  • Starchild has announced that the new Tetsujin 28-go (Gigantor) TV anime will commence broadcast on TV Tokyo on 7 April 2004 at 25:30 (ie 1:30am on 8 April 2004). Source: TA Group BBS.
     
  • A new doujinshi mail order information magazine will be published on 16 February 2004. Titled "comic tam^2" (comic tam tam). Source: ultimatum.
     
  • TBS has a website up for the upcoming GAiNAX series Boukyaku no Senritsu (The Melody of Oblivion). Source: ultimatum. Character designs by Hasegawa Shinya, which is a bit of a disappointment, since I didn't like his designs for the Ikki Tousen anime.
     
  • GAiNAX now has its own webpage up for its upcoming anime Neppuu Kairiku Bushilord. Source: ultimatum.
     
  • I didn't mention it earlier, but animate.tv reports that CLAMP will start a new mobile phone site CLAMP@mobile in the (northern) spring of 2004. I wonder if that's considered part of the big CLAMP news to be announced this year...?
     
  • In preparation for the broadcast of the new Hanaukyo Maid Tai series La Verite in April 2004, the official website has been renewed. Source: ultimatum. Many of the pages are still under construction, though.
     
  • A trailer and the ending theme song and character introduction page are now up for m.o.e's next short anime series Hit wo Nerae! (Smash hit!). Source: ultimatum. On the trailer page, the top button is for a 30 second trailer - click the lower button for the ending theme. The series will commence broadcast on TVK on 8 March 2004.
     
  • Episode 5 of the anime TV series Chou Henshin Kosu-pureiya (The Cosmopolitan Prayers) is now available for streaming download from the m.o.e website (until 16 February 2004). Source: Tentative Name. For further info about what's available on the download page, see my 31 January 2004 entry.
     
  • New R.O.D goods coming out on 5 March 2004: pencil board (price 263 yen) and book cover (price 525 yen). Source: Animate Web Mail Order.
     
  • The Gunslinger Girl Playstation 2 game and TV anime DVD volume 1 pack will be released on 8 April 2004. As I wrote at the beginning of the month, it'll cost 6,800 yen (excluding tax) and the DVD will come with the first five episodes of the anime. Source: Chara-Ani.com.
     
  • Watched Animation Runner Kuromi-chan 2 yesterday. Good, but not great. The DVD comes with English subtitles. Took a while for me to really get into it. I feel the voice acting didn't really mesh with the animation, Yasuhara Reiko as art director Hamako excepted. But I enjoyed it by the end. Preferred the original OVA, though. The extras are interesting, such as Asou Kaori's day as an animation runner (Asou is the voice actress for Kuromi). Along the way, you come across a number of people in the animation industry who appear to be the inspiration for the various characters in the series. This live action clip is in Japanese, though. BTW, the clip ends with "to be continued". Wonder if that's serious...? The Engrish language promo for Kuromi 2 also brought a smile to my face ^_^ Finally the Kuromi Guide leaflet which comes with the DVD can be helpful, with its glossary of anime production terms (in Japanese though).
     
  • Watched some R.O.D - The TV - yesterday as well. Yeah. I think generally I prefer the first season. The animation quality is better (hopefully the touched up version of the later episodes will be better). And the small touches of the relationships between the characters is more interesting. I find the first season more character driven, the second season has been more plot driven to date. After I watch these DVDs through once, I'll have to watch them a second time, but with the audio commentary soundtrack instead.
     
  • Was hoping to update a bit yesterday, but fell asleep...

10 February 2004

  • Shhhhh. I'm watching my DVDs \^_^/ Do not disturb.
     
  • Well, maybe I'll update later.

9 February 2004

  • No more updates today. I'm tired, and I've got a stomache ache. And a big box of stuff arrived for me from Japan. There was much rejoicing \^_^/ Three R.O.D - The TV - DVDs. Finally got my Kuromi-chan 2 DVD \^_^/
     
  • Is this news? The information page of the Munto website talks of representatives from CPM visiting the offices of Kyoto Animation prior to the North American sale of Munto. So the show has been licensed to CPM? Kyoto Animation is currently working on Munto 2.
     
  • The official website for Legendz: Yomigaeru Ryuuou Densetsu (Legendz: Tale of the Dragon Kings) has announced that the anime version will commence broadcast on Fuji TV on 4 April 2004. Source: Moon Phase.
     
  • KSS has release details up for volume 2 of its 3 part OVA Moekan (Moekko Company). To be released 26 March 2004, catalogue number KSXA24632, price 5,000 yen (excluding tax), comes with character card. In addition, there'll be a first pressing limited edition version, catalogue number KSXA24635, price 7,800 yen (excluding tax), comes with school calendar, special mousepad, special CD and character card. Source: Moon Phase.

8 February 2004 (third update)

  • Actually, I've got too much stuff to do. I'll have to leave the updates here for today.
     
  • Most of the following news comes from the anime magazines due out in the next few days...
     
  • Classroom anime Sensei no Ojikan will be produced by JC Staff. Source: Moon Phase. To commence broadcast in April 2004.
     
  • Confirmation that GAiNAX's Boukyaku no Senritsu (Melody of Oblivion) anime will commence broadcast on TBS in April 2004. TBS will set up a website at this URL. Source: Moon Phase. That'll be two GAiNAX works in April, the other being Kono Miniku mo Utsukushii Sekai (This Ugly and Beautiful World).
     
  • Gonzo's anime Bakuretsu Angel (Exploding Angel) will commence broadcast in April 2004. Source: Moon Phase.
     
  • A second Gonzo work will also start broadcast in April 2004: Samurai 7. Official website will be set up here. Source: Moon Phase.
     
  • Meanwhile, Gonzo is also working on another TV anime Gankutsu Ou. Planning, direction and draft character designs by Maeda Mahiro. Source: Moon Phase. Directly translated, I guess the title would mean "Cave King". But I think Gankutsu Ou is the Japanese title for "The Count of Monte Christo". So will this anime be based on the Alexandre Dumas novel...?
     
  • The anime Fuujin Monogatari ~ Windy Tale (now apparently referred to as "Windy Tale Fuujin Monogatari") will be broadcast on a Sky Perfect pay per view channel in (northern) summer of 2004. Source: Moon Phase. If you recall what I wrote on 2 June 2003, the story for this anime was the winning proposal at last year's Anime Plan Grand Prix and as a result is being produced by Production IG and directed by Oshii Mamoru. You'll also recall that I'm not certain the reading of the first two kanji in the title should be "Fuujin".
     
  • The Keroro Gunso (Sgt Frog) TV anime will commence on TV Tokyo in April 2004. Source: Moon Phase.
     
  • As will the TV anime version of the manga Zukkoke Sanningumi. Source: Moon Phase.
     
  • The Panda-Z anime will commence broadcast on Kids Station on 12 April 2004. Director will be Kanbe Mamoru, anime production by Bee Media. Source: Moon Phase.
     
  • m.o.e's next short anime series Hit wo Nerae! (Smash hit!) will commence broadcast on TVK on 8 March 2004. Source: Moon Phase. For more info about the series, see my 8 November 2003 entry.
     
  • This month's Newtype magazine states that the TV anime Kenran Butou Matsuri The Daybreaker (tentative title) (Brilliant Dance Festival The Daybreaker) will commence broadcast in April 2004. Sci-fi story about a pirate ship in the oceans of Mars. Mecha/robots involved. This story appears to have some relation to the Gunparade March world. Source: Moon Phase.
     
  • Meanwhile, this month's Animage has a report on Madlax, a TV anime to commence broadcast in April 2004. A mystery involving a book. Produced by Bee Train. Character designs by Osawa Satoshi, direction by Mashita Kouichi, series composition by Kuroda Yousuke. Source: Moon Phase. Similiar to Bee Train's previous work Noir, the main characters this time appear to be two women, one looking about high school age, the other more mature.
     
  • Amemiya Keita (director of the Zeiram movies) has written on a fansite dedicated to his works (known descriptively as Amemiya Keita Fan) that the anime Mahou Shoujo Tai Arusu (I'm not sure how to render the name Arusu) will commence broadcast on the NHK Education channel in April 2004. The original story or the work was written by Amemiya. This anime has previously been referred as "Mahou Shoujo Tai" and also "Mahou Shoujo Tai Little Witches". The fansite further states that director will be Ashino Yoshiharu, character design will be by Nakayama Daisuke and anime production will be by Studio 4C. Source: Moon Phase.
     
  • I was finally able to access my R.O.D - The TV - wallpaper files \^_^/ (Damn those Japanese file names.)
     
  • The company Chuosha states that the April and May 2004 issues of Shonen Gangan magazine (on sale 12 March and 12 April 2004 respectively) will each come with a Hagane no Renkinjutsushi (Full Metal Alchemist) drama CD. The two-part drama will be an original story with Hisakawa Aya and Miki Shinichirou appearing as new characters. In addition, the spring 2004 issue of Shonen Gangan Powered will come with a CD case. Source: ultimatum.
     
  • Chuosha also states that for the 19th anniversary of Newtype, the magazine will include a 172 page book with its April 2004 issue (on sale 10 March 2004). This book will be the same size as the magazine itself, and will reproduce its articles on Gundam Seed from its August 2002 to April 2004 issues. Source: ultimatum. Is an announcement in the works?
     
  • Manga no Mori's list of March manga releases is now up. Source: ultimatum. Among them is volume 7 of Shiozaki Yuji's manga Ikki Tousen (to be published 25 March 2004, price 900 yen) and volume 4 of the manga Koikaze by Yoshida Motoi (to be published 23 March 2004, price 514 yen).
     
  • 27 days to go. New trailer available for download at the official website for the Innocence movie. Source: ultimatum.
     
  • Takabayashi Tomo's "Ma" novel series (published by Kadokawa Shoten in its Beans line of books) is to be animated as a TV series "Kyou kara Ma Ou" by Studio Deen. Broadcast will commence in April 2004. Draft character designs by Matsumoto Temari (who illustrates the novel series). Source: Reinbo Actress. Fantasy series with comic elements. Our hero high school student Shibuya Yuri is drawn into another world via the toilet in a park.
     
  • Too tired last night to update further ^_^;;
     
  • First of all, I need to make (yet another) correction. (For some reason I always seem to make errors with Shirow news... -_- )On 2 February 2004 I wrote about Shirow Masamune's Togi-hime Zoushi Koban mini-illustration collection. I wrote that there were two types. After some questions by Ken Lee (thanks ^_^/ ), I've checked the details again. Yes, there are two types (and Kodansha's page on the item confirms that the first type has the same illustrations as the original Togi-hime Zoushi Koban poster collection). However, the two types come as one item for a total price of 1,000 yen. So, for 1,000 yen you get two CD-sized cases, one containing the 13 original illustrations and the other containing 13 more risque versions. I'll update my 2 February 2004 entry. Sorry for any inconvenience caused m(_ _)m

7 February 2004 (fifth update)

  • Quite a bit of old news in this update.
     
  • The second season of Godannar is tentatively scheduled for broadcast in the (northern) spring of 2004. Source: Animage magazine.
     
  • The OVA Wind ~ a breath of heart ~ will be three volumes, not the six volumes which I previously reported. Source: Animage magazine. Based on the school love story computer game of the same name. Release scheduled for the (northern) spring of 2004. Animage magazine also states that the upcoming Raimu (Lime) iro Senkitan Jun OVA will be two volumes, not the three volumes previously suggested by Comptiq magazine. Release of that series is planned to commence in the (northern) spring of 2004.
     
  • The OVA Prayers is scheduled for release in April 2004. Set in Shibuya district of Tokyo in the near future, this is a "music battle action" anime, where Tasuku with his powerful guitar meets Shoko with her beautiful voice. Of course, in keeping with the best traditions of anime, Shoko is a human weapon created by the government... Yep. Source: Animage magazine.
     
  • Gonzo's first anime movie Spirit is scheduled for theatrical release in 2004. I'm basically typing this up, cos this is the first print confirmation I've seen that release will be in 2004. Anyway, it'll be a sci-fi adventure about a boy and mysterious girl, set hundreds of year in the future. Source: Animage magazine.
     
  • Volume 1 of the DVD for the anime Hikari to Mizu no Daphne will be released on 23 April 2004, price 5,800 yen. This will contain two DVDs and a booklet including an original comic by Shiki Satoshi. In addition, first pressing will come with a box (illustrated by Shiki) to hold seven volumes. This series will comprise 12 volumes in total. Source: Animate.
     
  • The OST for the OVA "True Love Story: Summer Days, and yet..." will be released on 24 March 2004, price 2,800 yen. First pressing will come with a "paper stand character" (ie a 2D cardboard figure). Source: Animate.
     
  • the band "move" is releasing a best-of album on 24 March 2004 (well, a 2 CD set, actually). Title has yet to be determined. 19 songs including many from anime such as Initial D, Final Fantasy: Unlimited, Ikki Tousen and Asobotto Senki Gokuu. Price 3,000 yen. In addition, there's a first press limited edition version available, which will come with DVD containing music videos. Source: Animate.
     
  • On 27 January 2004, I wrote about the the release of DVD volume 7 of Bouken Yuuki Pluster World. Updated details now state that the first pressing will come with a figure as well as the trading card and box. To recap, it'll be released 17 March 2004, price 1,800 yen. Source: Animate.
     
  • Those who purchase all 13 volumes of Gungrave on DVD will be able to apply for some bonus item, though I don't know what it'll be. Source: Animate.
     
  • The upcoming OVA Teizokurei Daydream (Vulgar Ghost Daydream), based on the manga of the same name, will be four volumes in total. Source: Animage magazine. Release will start in the (northern) winter of 2004.
     
  • During my travels across the internet in the past couple of weeks, I've come across a number of official anime (and related manga) websites which were set up while I was away at the end of last year. This isn't comprehensive in any way, and I'll add to them as I continue to check up on what I've missed in the past few months:
    Area 88 TV: Avex
    Bakuretsu Tenshi: official website
    Battle B-Daman: TV Tokyo
    Burn-Up Scramble: AIC
    Futari wa Pretty Cure: Toei and Asahi
    GiTS:SAC: NTV
    Gokusen: NTV and VAP
    Jubei-chan 2 Siberia Yagyu no Gyakushuu (Siberia Yagyu's Counterattack): TV Tokyo
    Kaiketsu Zorori: Nagoya TV (a kodomo anime which commenced broadcast on 1 Feb)
    Maria-sama ga Miteru: TV Tokyo
    Me Gumi no Daigo: Fuji TV and Shonen Sunday magazine (live action dorama series)
    Mezzo: Happinet
    Monkey Turn: TV Tokyo and VAP
    Mousou Dairinin (Paranoia Agent): WoWoW
    Phantom: KSS
    SD Gundam Force: Sunrise, TV Tokyo and Shonen Sunday magazine
    Yugo: official website
    Source: Magicalantique.com, ultimatum, TA Group BBS, Rakuga Kidou and Moon Phase
     
  • The Klockworx now has a website up for the upcoming OVA Aoi Umi no Tristia (Tristia of the Deep Blue Sea). Source: Moon Phase. Volume 1 will come with soundtrack CD (which also contains a drama) and a digipak to hold the DVD and CD. The DVD itself will be 30 minutes in duration, single layer, 4:3 aspect ratio, linear PCM sound. If you order from The Klockworx's online store, you get a bonus telephone card. For further release details, see my 26 January 2004 entry.
     
  • On 26 February 2004 I wrote about the upcoming bishoujo OVA release Natsuiro no Sunadokei. The OVA is based on the game by Princess Soft, and Princess Soft has now announced what goods will come with the first pressing limited edition version of volume 1: a drama CD and a box to hold the two DVD volumes. Further, volume 2 (the final volume) will be released in July 2004. Source: Moon Phase.
     
  • The official GANTZ website has reported that the TV anime will commence broadcast in the (northern) spring of 2004. Source: Moon Phase.
     
  • The official website for the Yumeria 3D love adventure computer game (on which the anime is based) has a second movie clip available for download to commemmorate the broadcast of the anime. This clip (from the computer game) will be available until 11 March 2004. Source: alternative-live.
     
  • 28 days to go. The movie Innocence is set to hit the theatres on 6 March 2004. Impress Corporation reports that KFC has an Innocence promotion scheduled to start 26 February 2004. With the "Innocence Pack" you buy two Twister wrap sandwiches and a large fries for 980 yen and you can get an Innocence promo DVD free. The DVD will be 16 minutes long and will also include previews for the upcoming movie Hauru no Ogoku Shiro (Howl's Moving Castle), as well as trailers for the older movies Nausicaa, Laputa and Totoro. A limit of 100,000 such meals will be available. Source: alternative-live.
     
  • The Hi no Tori (Bird of Fire/Pheonix) TV anime broadcast schedule has been determined. NHK's BS-hi channel will broadcast the first six episodes over the period 21 to 25 March 2004 and then broadcast the entire series of 13 episodes starting 16 April 2004. While NHK's general channel will commence broadcast of the whole series from 4 April 2004. Source: alternative-live.
     
  • Cosplayer Arale has a number of pages on her website showcasing her Yomiko Readman cosplay. A few other characters appear as well.
     
  • Houtou Opera House's 5 February 2004 entry has comparisons of scenes for R.O.D - The TV -. In each block of pics, the upper pic is presumably a screen cap from the early broadcast on Sky Perfect, while the lower pic is either the terrestrial broadcast or DVD picture - as you can see, a fair bit of touching up of the scenes. Which is good, since the animation quality has dropped for the past few episodes I've seen. Source: Rakuga Kidou. BTW, my copies of DVD volumes 2 to 4 have shipped (together with a whole lot of other stuff) \^_^/ so hopefully I'll get it all on Monday or Tuesday \^_^/
     
  • Sorry this is late, littleharlock (I fell asleep ^_^;; ). Staff involved with the Monster anime: draft character designs will be drawn by Kousaka Kitarou (character designs for Master Keaton, animation director for Sen to Chihiro, director of Nasu), character designs by Fujita Shigeru (animation director for several episodes of Master Keaton), directed by Kojima Masayuki (director for Master Keaton), series composition/script by Urahata Tatsuhiko (series composition for Master Keaton). Voice cast has yet to be determined. Anime production by Madhouse of course.
     
  • In past entries, I've written Kousaka Kitarou's name as Takasaka Kitarou. I believe his family name should be Kousaka. Sorry for the error m(_ _)m I've updated my previous entries.
     
  • Gokigenyou. On 2 February 2004 I wrote about the DVD release of Maria-sama ga Miteru. Yesterday a number of stores updated their info with the news that there'll be two versions of the DVD release. There'll be a Collector's Edition release and a regular edition. The Collector's Edition is limited to preorders only (although of course, your preferred import store may preorder some copies themselves):
     
    Collector's Edition: six volumes in total. Volume 1 to be released 13 May 2004, catalogue number GNBA-7031, price 8,800 yen. Contains episodes 1 to 3. Comes in an LP sized jacket (33cm x 33cm). Volumes 2 to 6 will cost 7,800 yen each and will contain two episodes each.
     
    Regular edition: seven volumes in total. Volumes 1 to be released 2 April 2004 (Mangaoh Club earlier stated 7 April 2004), catalogue number GNBA-7021, price 2,000 yen. Contains only episode 1. First pressing limited edition of volume 1 will come with a bookcase. Volumes 2 to 7 will cost 5,000 yen each and will contain two episodes each.
     
    Also, the stores also point out that volume 1 of the Collector's Edition release and of the first pressing of the regular edition will come with a bonus clip featuring SD characters ^_^ I ordered volume 1 earlier. Now to decide whether to get the Collector's Edition or not... The LP sized jacket, or the bookcase... Source: Mangaoh Club, Animate Web Mail Order and Toranoana.
     
  • Furthermore, for St Valentine's Day, the official Maria-sama ga Miteru website, the animate.tv website and the Geneon website have combined to provide wallpapers for download. From the official MariMite website you can download a wallpaper of the Red Rose family of sisters. From the animate.tv website there's one of the White Rose family. And the Geneon website has the Yellow Rose family. These wallpapers will be available for a limited time only. (Sounds like some special Macdonald's burger, doesn't it?)
     
  • Sorry, been a bit busy later, so I haven't been able to update as much I wanted in the last couple of days...

5 February 2004 (second update)

  • Sorry, I'll have to leave it at this for now. I'm not even half caught up on the past couple of months' news yet, I think...
     
  • The R.O.D - The TV - OST will be released on 24 March 2004, catalogue number SVWC-7192, price 3,675 yen. This item will comprise 2 CDs (hence the higher price). First pressing will come with a special jacket card. Source: Paper Moon new releases list and Moon Phase. Finally \^_^/
     
  • Volume 1 of the DVD release of the Yumeria TV anime will be out on 21 April 2004, price 5,000 yen. It'll contain two episodes. Source: Rakuga Kidou. Six volumes in total.
     
  • Too tired yesterday.
     
  • The new series of Massugu ni Ikou (Let's Go Straight!) will commence broadcast on YTV on 27 March 2004. Source: TA Group BBS.
     
  • Monthly Shonen Magazine has announced that the manga Shura no Toki by Kawahara Masatoshi is to be animated as a TV series. The series will commence broadcast in the (northern) spring of 2004. Source: ultimatum.
     
  • A website for the upcoming Panda-Z TV anime is now up, but there's nothing much to see at present. Source: ultimatum. The series will commence broadcast on Kids Station in April 2004.
     
  • The official website for the anime version of Pugyuru (based on the manga by Konno Tohiro) is now working, although there's just the one page at present. The series will commence broadcast on Kids Station on 12 April 2004. Source: TA Group BBS.
     
  • Remember the poor quality OVA From I''s which was released last year and which was only available from convenient stores? Well a From I''s 3 Disc Deluxe Edition will be released on 25 March 2004. CD Japan has the details here. Musicmarket states that this will be a first pressing limited edition item.
     
  • infoseek anime, citing a Sponichi Annex report, states that the TV anime Monster, based on the manga of the same name by Urasawa Naoki, will commence broadcast in April 2004. The story of Tenma Kenzo, who becomes involved in a serial murder mystery.

3 February 2004 (third update)

  • A post to the TA Group BBS states that the GAiNAX anime Boukyaku no Senritsu (Melody of Oblivion) is to be commence broadcast in April 2004.
     
  • The Hokkaido Shimbun reports that Satelight Inc. (makers of Heat Guy J) are working on a new TV anime which they hope to have broadcast in the (northern) autumn of 2004. Title will be something like "Sousei no Akuerion" (I'm not sure of the kanji reading of the first word, nor of how the katakana of the third word should be rendered either). Set in the future where environmental calamities have ravaged the world, teenage youths must use their robots to defend humanity against an enemy. Three of them can combine their robots to form the "guardian deity" Akuerion. The plan is for the series to run half a year of 30 minute episodes. Director will be Kawamori Shoji of Macross and Arjuna fame. Source: TA Group BBS.
     
  • A Konjiki no Gash Bell!! movie is to be released theatrically in August 2004. Anime production by Toei Animation. Source: TA Group BBS and Moon Phase.
     
  • The Panda-Z anime will be broadcast on Kids Station from April 2004. Source: TA Group BBS.
     
  • I didn't mention this earlier, because I thought it may be old news: back in 1996 a Neon Genesis Evangelion game was released for the Sega Saturn. Now the game has been adapted into an interactive DVD game and will be released on 7 April 2004. CD Japan has the details here. This game will be based upon the original 1996 game, not the later 2nd Impression game.
     
  • TMS Entertainment has a webpage up for the upcoming TV anime Aishiteruze Baby, based on the manga by Maki Youko. Source: Moon Phase. Nothing to see at present, though, except to get an idea of how the characters will appear in the anime. Due to commence broadcast on 3 April 2004.
     
  • Episode 4 of the anime TV series Chou Henshin Kosu-pureiya (The Cosmopolitan Prayers) is now available for streaming download from the m.o.e website. Source: Moon Phase. For further info about what's available on the download page, see my 31 January 2004 entry.
     
  • AT-X has an article up about the GANTZ TV anime - a discussion/interview about the anime will be broadcast in mid-February 2004. The anime will be produced by Gonzo. Source: alternative-live.
     
  • Shueisha now has a page up for the manga version of the novel/anime series Maria-sama ga Miteru. Source: ultimatum. Doesn't really say much, though. For release details for the manga, see my 27 January 2004 entry.
     
  • Books Ruhe's listing of upcoming magazines suggests that Kodansha is planning the release of a number of magazines focused on particular topics. Among those is the magazine "CLAMP Part Work" (tentative title), a monthly publication which will start at the end of September 2004. Price 1,600 yen - pretty steep for a magazine... (Is this the news Nakuru-chan was writing about? See my post yesterday.) There's also the Gundam Historica magazine, published semi-monthly from 9 April 2004, price 570 yen, which I knew about, but, well, it's Gundam, so I can't really be bothered looking into the details. There's a Kamen Rider magazine due out in June 2004, but that's tokusatsu - not my scene. Finally, there's the Kachou Shima Kosaku Plus Magazine (Section Chief Kosaku Shima Plus Magazine) dealing with the manga by Hirokane Kenshi. That'll be semi-monthly as well, due out on the 10th and 25th of every month starting 10 May 2004. Price 350 yen. Source: ultimatum.
     
  • On the re-release of the Card Captor Sakura manga, the official CLAMP website states that it'll be A5 size, and will include the colour pages which were originally in the manga when it was serialised. Source: ultimatum. I was hoping there may be some touching up, but no mention of that. For release details, see my 26 January 2004 entry.
     
  • The Last Exile official website has announced that those who purchase all 13 DVD volumes of Last Exile will be able to apply for another paper craft - this time the Sylvana. To view parts of the paper craft ship, click on the DVD Video section of the website - the parts are the section in the dark grey box. Note also that first pressings of volumes 9 and 10 (out on 24 March 2004 and 21 April 2004 respectively) will come with paper craft vanships. As with previous volumes, assembly of the paper craft is required.
     
  • Nikkan Sports News reports that INAX has produced an automated toilet that uses a memory card to play classical music when the lid of the toilet is lifted. Claimed to be a world first. Otherwise it's got the usual sort of stuff for hi-tech toilets: heating, odour removal etc. Cost 300,000 yen. Source: Tentative Name.

2 February 2004 (fourth update)

  • That's all for today, folks.
     
  • Oh, almost forgot to mention two things:
     
    On 8 and 10 October 2003, I wrote about the Togi-hime Zoushi poster collection by Shirow Masamune. Just wanted to add that in mid-January 2004 the Togi-hime Zoushi Koban was released - basically a mini-version of the poster collection: two sets of 13 CD-size illustrations each in a plastic CD-size case. There are two versions of the illustrations Koban: while the illustrations for each set both are similar, one set is more risque than the other. Price 1,000 yen each. While I don't have any of the Togi-hime Zoushi items, I think the poster collection would be equivalent to the less risque set. (Update: 8 February 2004 - There's only one version of the Koban itself, but for 1,000 yen total you get two sets of illustrations, one being the original 13 illustrations and the other being 13 more risque versions.)
     
    Manga no Mori is releasing limited deluxe editions of the three hentai manga tankoubon Oh! great produced at the start of his career "5 - Five", "Junk Story" and "Engine Room". These items will be available only via Manga no Mori and the publisher Core Books. Each volume costs 3,000 yen (excluding tax) and will be hardcover with a slipcase, telephone card and a "colour paper" with a new illustration. Other than that, I don't think there'll be any new content in any of the books. Those who buy all three will be able to apply for another telephone card. The deluxe "5 - Five" was published on 23 January 2004, "Junk Story" will be released on 23 February 2004 and "Engine Room" will be released on 23 March 2004.
     
  • Looks like the CLAMP announcement in the March 2004 issue of Nakayoshi magazine (out tomorrow) is just about re-runs of Card Captor Sakura on TV and the re-release of the Card Captor Sakura manga. I wouldn't call that big news. However, in her column on the CLAMP website, Yamatani Nakuru (who deals with character goods), writes that fans should pay attention to the obi wrapped around volume 4 of Tsubasa and volume 3 of xxxHOLIC, both of which will be published on 17 February 2004. Also to the last pages of those tankoubon. More news there. Source: Moon Phase. My guess (nothing to back it up) is the announcement of an anime...?
     
  • Kyoto Animation is to produce a Munto 2 OVA. For now, you can view character designs here. Source: Moon Phase.
     
  • After the four episodes in 2003, a new series of Massugu ni Ikou (Let's Go Straight!) is to be produced and broadcast in the (northern) spring of 2004. The official website has been renewed. Source: Moon Phase.
     
  • JVC Music has a webpage up for the Innocence movie, which movie is to be released theatrically on 6 March 2004. Source: Moon Phase. The OST CD by Kawai Kenji will be released three days prior.
     
  • Idea Factory's love adventure game Steady x Study (for the Playstation 2) will be released on 25 March 2004. An OVA based on the game is also scheduled for release in May 2004. However, Dengeki Online reports that a limited edition of 1000 advance version copies of the OVA will be available from Idea Factory - preorders start today and the advance versions will be released on 25 March 2004 in a jewel case. Price 3,990 yen (including tax) - price for the later regular edition has yet to be determined. For now, you can view a five minute 16.8Mb sample here. Source: alternative-live.
     
  • For completeness' sake, I'll point out that the t.A.T.u Paragate anime movie website is here. Sankei Sports reports that production costs for the 100 minute movie will be 500 million yen. To be released theatrically in Japan, Europe and Russia in November 2004. Source: ultimatum.
     
  • The new live action Kekko Kamen movie (based on the manga by Nagai Go) will be released theatrically on 6 February 2004. Kodansha has a trailer up here for everyone's favourite naked heroine. The official website has a trailer too (I haven't check if they're the same) - click on the left graphic for narrowband connections, right graphic if you have broadband. Source: ultimatum.
     
  • There's now a website up for the novel/manga/anime Legendz: Yomigaeru Ryuuou Densetsu (Legendz: Tale of the Dragon Kings). The TV anime is scheduled to commence broadcast in April 2004. Source: ultimatum. The manga is serialised in Monthly Shonen Jump and volume 1 of the tankouban will be released on 4 March 2004.
     
  • Shueisha has published its list of March 2004 manga tankoubon releases. This includes volume 2 of R.O.D - Read or Dream - by Kurata Hideyuki and Ayanaga Ran. To be published 19 March 2004, ISBN 4-08-876591-5. No mention of volume 11 of Tenjou Tenge, which has previously been declared will be published in March. Source: ultimatum.
     
  • On 27 January 2004, I wrote about the special limited edition version of volume 7 of the manga LoveCom (Lovely Complex) by Nakahara Aya. Shueisha's website for the manga now states that the bonus CD will be a CD single of an insert song used in the LoveCom drama CD (drama CD which was released in December 2003). First edition of the regular edition of the manga will come with a sticker. Source: ultimatum.
     
  • On 26 January 2004 I gave some release details for the final DVD volume 13 for Gundam Seed. Animate points out that among the bonus materials included on the DVD will be a new 5 minute long OVA "Hoshi no Hazama de".
     
  • Volume 1 of Maria-sama ga Miteru will be released on DVD on 7 April 2004, catalogue number GNBA-7021, price 2,000 yen. First pressing will come with a bookcase. This will be a seven volume release. Source: Mangaoh Club.
     
  • Just to confirm: the limited edition version of DVD volume 4 of Ai Yori Aoshi will come with box to hold volumes 4 to 6. To be released 21 March 2004, catalogue number GNBA-1010, price 5,000 yen (excluding tax). Source: Mangaoh Club.
     
  • The Pinky:st (Pinky Street) range of figures by Vance Project feature interchangeable parts so that you can co-ordinate your own fashions. Mangazoo points out that (as featured in the February 2004 issue of Newtype magazine) a Rei and Asuka set (from Evangelion) will be available from May 2004. Source: Ma-ten.
     
  • Seiyuu Horie Yui has announced on her radio program that her new CD album and DVD will be released on 28 April 2004. The DVD will include music videos. Source: Reinbo Actress.
     
  • The official Appleseed website now has a two minute long movie trailer. Source: Moon Phase.
     
  • Seiyuu Enomoto Atsuko and Nogawa Sakura will feature in the live action short comedy DVD Onsen Tamago ~ Yukemuri Kidan ~, to be released 28 May 2004. Source: Reinbo Actress.

1 February 2004 (sixth update)

  • The March 2004 issue of Comic Monthly Dengeki Daioh (on sale 21 January 2004) saw the start of Kaishaku's new manga titled "Kagi-hime Monogatari Eikyuu Alice Rinbukyoku" (Key Princess Story, Eternal Alice Rondo). Kaishaku is of course the duo responsible for works such as Steel Angel Kurumi, UFO Princess Walkure and Taruto. Note that Kaishaku's website refers to the title as Enbukyoku (Waltz), not Rinbukyoku as stated in Dengeki Daioh. Note also that Kaishaku are supposed to have a new series starting in Monthly Shonen Ace-A as well, since Steel Angel Kurumi has just finished in that manga magazine. Source: ultimatum.
     
  • The same issue of Comic Monthly Dengeki Daioh saw the start of the Jubei-chan 2 Siberia Yagyu no Gyakushuu (Siberia Yagyu's Counterattack) manga, with story by Daichi Akitaroh and art by Mucchiri Muunii (as with the first series). Source: ultimatum.
     
  • Back in December, animate.tv announced that a OVA based on the Tales of Phantasia game would be produced in 2004. This will be a four volume release. Source: ultimatum.
     
  • The official Gunslinger Girl website states that a Playstation 2 game will be released in the (northern) spring of 2004, based on the manga/anime. Price 6,800 yen (excluding tax). The 3D action adventure game will also come with volume 1 of the anime DVD, which will contain five episodes. Source: ultimatum.
     
  • Mario Kaneda's manga Girls Bravo (serialised in Monthly Shonen Ace-A magazine) is to be made into an anime. Source: ultimatum.
     
  • After last year's disappearing annoucement, Kadokawa Shoten has a more lasting announcement up that the TV anime based on Yoshizaki Mine's manga Keroro Gunso (Sgt Frog) will be broadcast commencing the (northern) spring of 2004. Source: ultimatum. So much fuss about an anime/manga that doesn't interest me...
     
  • Obana Miho's latest manga Honey Bitter commenced in the February 2004 issue of Cookie magazine (published back on 26 December 2003). Source: ultimatum. Obana of course wrote Kodomo no Omocha (Child's Toy).
     
  • Hakusensha has opened up a website for its English language version of the Fruits Basket manga. Source: ultimatum. Too bad the site is in Japanese... :P Of course, the manga is already being released in English by TokyoPop.
     
  • GAiNAX has announced that work has started on a Ikari Shinji Ikusei Keikaku (Ikari Shinji Rearing Project) game, along the same lines as the Rei and Asuka rearing games which have previously been released. The game will be developed for Windows-based computers. Source: ultimatum.
     
  • CLAMP editor Yamanouchi Hideki wrote in his column on 9 January 2004 that CLAMP fans should expect lots of big news this year. Source: ultimatum. Has any news broken since I was away? I don't know - I haven't come across anything at present. For one thing, Yamanouchi says there'll be news in the March 2004 issue of Nakayoshi magazine, on sale 3 February 2004.
     
  • A TV anime based on the manga Zukkoke Sanningumi by Nasu Masamoto will air in the (northern) spring of 2004. Source: ultimatum. I think it'll be a kodomo anime rather than something anime fans in the West would be interested in...
     
  • The official Mousou Dairinin (Paranoia Agent) website put up a new promo clip in mid-January. Source: ultimatum. To view, it click on the second yellow option (from the left) at the bottom of the main menu. If you've having difficulty seeing the menu options on the main page, click here. The new promo clip is then the top option on the new page (the second line from the top). Hope that makes sense. This series commences broadcast tomorrow.
     
  • Issue number 37 of Young Jump Mankaku magazine (on sale 15 January 2004) stated that a TV anime will be produced based on the manga GANTZ by Oku Hiroya. So I guess this GANTZ site actually relates to a TV series instead of a movie (as previously thought - the first trailer for GANTZ was screened at theatres).
     
  • A Panda-Z (pronounced "Panda-Zed" as if you were from Australia, NZ or the UK) anime is to be produced. Panda-Z is the brainchild of Oshida Shuichi. Source: ultimatum.
     
  • The March 2004 issue of G Fantasy magazine (on sale 18 February 2004) will feature the start of Shibata Ami's new manga Kamiyomi. Source: ultimatum. Shibata wrote the manga Papuwa.
     
  • A third trailer is now up for download at the official website for Oshii Mamoru's upcoming Innocence movie. Source: ultimatum.
     
  • I've got to get one of these! The 10th anniversary memorial June 2004 issue of Monthly Comic Dengeki Daioh magazine (on sale 21 April 2004) will come with a Yotsuba action figure from the Yotsuba to! (Yotsuba &!) manga by Azuma Kiyohiko. The action figure has been created by Masaki Apsy, who created the popular Ayanami Rei action figure to be sold with limited edition version of volume 9 of the Evangelion manga (in respect of the Eva manga, see my 26 October 2003 entry). You can have a look at the Yotsuba figure on this page of Apsy's website. It's about 5 or 6 cm tall, but can be put in 12 poses. Source: ultimatum. Very cute ^_^
     
  • Yesterday I wrote about manga Hagane no Renkinjutsushi (Full Metal Alchemist) by Arakawa Hiromu winning the shonen category of the 49th Shogakukan Manga Award. Actually, there were two winners in that category, the other being the breadmaking manga Yakitate!! Japan by Hachiguchi Takashi (serialised in Shogakukan's Weekly Shonen Sunday manga magazine). In the shoujo category the winner was Nakahara Aya's LoveCom (Love Complex). In the children's category was Shinozuka Hiromu's Mirumo de Pon! Finally, in the general category, the winner was Dr Kotoh - Shinryousho (Dr Kotoh - Clinc) by Yamada Takatoshi. Source: ultimatum.
     
  • Ribon magazine has announced that the manga Aishiteruze Baby by Maki Youko is to be animated as a TV series. Looks like it'll commence broadcast on 3 April 2004. Source: ultimatum.
     
  • Inoue Sora would be known in the West for the manga Real Bout High School. Volume 1 of his latest action manga Zeroin was published today by Kadokawa Shoten, price 580 yen, ISBN 4-04-712349-8-C0979. Nazume Mikuru is a 16 year old girl, idol of her high school, but she's also the agent of a private security force dealing with major crimes. In addition, the March 2004 issue of Dragon Age manga magazine (on sale 9 February 2004) will come with a booklet "Zeroin Vol. 0" which will include the story "Zeroin: Proto", two short comics, colour illustrations and draft designs for the manga. Source: ultimatum.
     
  • The publisher Enterbrain has announced that the love comedy manga Koi no Mon (Gate of Love) by Hanyunyuu Jun (serialised in Comic Beam magazine) is to be made into a live action movie. The movie will be released in 2004. Source: ultimatum.
     
  • For the Tsuki-hime fan, a life-sized Arcueid figure. Release details (including price) are yet to be determined. Source: ultimatum.
     
  • Mikako and Noburo are back. CoMix Wave has announced that the April 2004 issue of monthly manga maazine Afternoon will see the start of the manga version of Hoshi no Koe (Voices of a Distant Star). Hoshi no Koe is of course the independent anime created by Shinkai Makoto. But the manga will be by Sahara Mizu. In addition, the April 2004 issue of Afternoon will come with a DVD containing trailers for Hoshi no Koe and Kumo no Mukou, Yakusoku no Bassho "The place promised in our early days" - the latter being Shinkai's upcoming anime, set for release in the (northern) autumn of 2004. Source: ultimatum.
     
  • Yagami Ken's new manga Arisa 2 (Arisa no Jijou) will commence serialisation in the April 2004 issue of Monthly Shonen Ace-A (on sale 26 February 2004). Source: ultimatum. Yagami created the manga Nanaka 6/17. That issue of Ace-A will also come with a large "stand panel" (ie 2D figure) of Asuka Langley from Evangelion.
     
  • A Quicktime trailer for the upcoming 3D CG Appleseed movie is available from the Japanese Apple website. It's longer than the trailer up at the official website which I mentioned on 26 January 2004. Source: ultimatum.
     
  • Heat, the manga about Tokyo's underworld by Buronson and Ikegami Ryouchi (serialised in Shogakukan's Big Comic Superior magazine) has been made into a live action movie. There's also a trailer available for viewing from the official movie website. Source: ultimatum. The movie will hit selected cinemas on 14 February 2004.
     
  • Yuki Kaori's vampiric manga Yorugata Aijin Senmonten - Bloodhound - (published in Hakusensha's monthly magazine Bessatsu Hana to Yume) is to be turned into a live action dorama, to commence broadcast on TV Tokyo starting 4 April 2004. Source: ultimatum and Bessatsu Hana to Yume.
     
  • A manga version of the adventure game and OVA Aoi Umi no Tristia (Tristia of the Deep Blue Sea) will be produced. Authored by Yuki Sakuya, it'll be serialised commencing the next issue of Dengeki Comic Gao! (the March 2004 issue, published on 27 February 2004). ufotable's website for the two volume anime series is here. (Interestingly, that commercial website is stated to be best viewed with Mozilla). Source: ultimatum. For DVD release details, see my 26 January 2004 entry.
     
  • A 30 second trailer is now up at the Samurai Champloo website. In addition, a Samurai Champloo manga (by Gotsubo Masaru) commenced serialisation in the March 2004 issue of Monthly Shonen Ace-A (on sale last week). Source: ultimatum. The anime will be broadcast in the (northern) spring of 2004.
     
  • The manga Kanojo ga Shinjatta (story by Isshiki Nobuyuki, art by Okazaki Mari) has been adapted into a live action dorama series on NTV. Source: ultimatum. Note that the URL for ultimatum has changed.
     
  • The 4-koma (4 panel) manga Sensei no Ojikan by Momose Tamami (serialised in Monthly Manga Life Momo magazine) is to be animated as a TV series to commence broadcast in April 2004. Source: Magicalantique.com. Sensei no Ojikan tells of high school language teacher Suzuki Mika (who is short and has child-like features) and her class of strange students. Comparisons with Azumanga Daioh will probably be inevitable...
     
  • IT Media reports that TV Tokyo's Anime ch.com website is distributing episode 1 of Kita e ~ Diamond Dust Drops ~ free over the internet until 19 February 2004. Source: Magicalantique.com. Just visit this page and click on the small gray button on the right hand side under the main graphic. Bitrate is 500Kbps.

  

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