1-15 APRIL 2004 NEWS

14 April 2004

  • The chances of me updating this page again today or for the next few days are near zero. The earliest time I'll next update is Sunday, if not Monday. I wouldn't bother checking this page again until then. No news is good news.
  • Episode 6 of Hit wo Nerae! (Smash hit!) is now available for download from the official website, and will be available until 19 April 2004. Source: Moon Phase. For details on how to view the show, see my 10 March 2004 entry. Somewhere along the line I forgot to mention when episode 5 was available... ^_^;;
  • m.o.e has a 30 second trailer up for its next short TV anime series Love Love? Visit this page and click on the first yellow button. Source: Moon Phase. The bottom yellow button is a sample of the ending theme song "Only You".
  • m.o.e has also announced details for the Hit wo Nerae! (Smash hit!) Complete Album. This two CD set will contain the OP, ED and BGM. For the OP & ED, there'll be full size, TV size and karaoke versions of both included. The BGM will include unused music as well as variations. It'll come with reversible card and picture labelled CDs. Further, a limited edition of 10,000 sets will come with box to hold all four volumes of the DVD release. To be released 30 June 2004, price 2,940 yen (inlcuding tax).
  • Fuji TV's website for the Gantz TV anime has updated with a second trailer. Click on the lower "play" button on the right hand side of the homepage. Source: Moon Phase. The series commenced broadcast recently. I can't view the trailer myself because my internet connection is too slow ;_;
  • Moon Phase states that a fourth Inuyasha movie will be made, but I don't know what the source of this info is.
  • Anime production company Bones has posted up an image on its news page of its upcoming anime Kurau Phantom Memory, currently in the planning stages. Source: Moon Phase.
  • Sunrise's website for Mai - HiME is now officially open. Source: Rakuga Kidou. This TV series will commence broadcast in July 2004.
  • Taiyo Elec Co. Ltd has announced its new panchinko game will be a Mahou no Princess Minky Momo model. Source: Ma-ten.
  • Shogakukan will open its Sunday Goods Shop again for the limited period from 21 April 2004 to 18 May 2004. On sale will be the full size (33cm) Midori figure from Midori no Hibi. Price 1,800 yen (including tax). Source: alternative-live. See the page linked for a pic.
  • There have been a lot of reports about the announcement of the lead cast for Studio Ghibli's next movie Hauru no Ogoku Shiro (Howl's Moving Castle). See for example these Yomiuiri Online, Sponichi Annex, Sankei Sports (via anime goo) reports and this official release from Toho. Toho has announced the lead seiyuu. 62 year old Baishou Chieko will play Sophie. The 31 year old ever popular Kimura Takuya (from SMAP) will voice the young wizard Howl. Miwa Akihiro (a 68 year old male) will play the witch who turns the 18 year old Sophie into a 90 year old woman. Producer Suzuki Toshio stated that only a veteran like Baishou would be able to play both an 18 year old and a 90 year old. Further, Suzuki pointed out that Howl's Moving Castle will feature a handsome young man, a rarity in Miyazaki movies - and KimuTaku is representative of handsome young men in today's Japan, making him an easy choice for the role. Miyazaki Hayao doesn't normally watch TV, but when asked if he knew who SMAP were, he replied "Of course!" Katori Shingo, another member of SMAP, is known to be a big fan of Studio Ghibli movies. Recording for Howl's Moving Castle commenced on 12 April 2004. Storyboards have been finished. The anime is 60% complete, with work expected to be completed in the (northern) summer. Source: Rakuga Kidou, Ma-ten and Moon Phase. Miwa voiced Moro in Mononoke Hime. The guys from SMAP would be one of Japan's hardest working group of entertainers (singers, on many shows etc) in Japan. IIRC, Shingo will play the lead role in the live-action Nin x Nin Hattori-kun the Movie which I wrote about on 12 April 2004.
  • Yomiuri Shimbun English language article on the current revival of interest on the Shinsen Gumi (including walking tours in Mibu). I like the statement by Sonoda Takaya: "[o]ne problem is visitors, often young people, haven't properly learned at school about the time period when Shinsengumi was active. Instead, most of their knowledge about the period comes from comic books." ^_^;;
  • Sorry, when I wrote about Pugyuru yesterday, I meant a "short" 15 second clip, not 15 minutes. Sorry for the slip ^_^;;
  • animate.tv will be distributing episode 1 of Hanaukyo Maid Tai La Verite free over the internet from 15 April 2004 until 13 May 2004. Sorry, but I don't have the URL where you'll be able to download the episode from, and I won't likely be able update tomorrow to give a direct link to the page, but best to check out animate.tv's Web Anime Theatre page on the appropriate day. See this page for more info.
  • More details on the DVD release of Initial D Fourth Stage. Volume 1 catalogue number AVBA-14969, price 5,565 yen (including tax), contains two episodes. To be released 16 June 2004. Source: Mangaoh Club.
  • DVD volume 1 of Bobobobo Bobobo will be released on 23 June 2004, catalogue number AVBA-14934, price 3,990 yen (including tax). Source: Mangaoh Club.
  • Volume 2 of the OVA Phantom will be released on 25 June 2004. There'll be a limited edition version and regular edition. Limited edition version will come with booklet, special picture CD-ROM and miniature post-recording script book, catalogue number KSXA-24675, price 8,190 yen (including tax). Regular edition catalogue number KSXA-24672, price 5,250 yen (including tax). Source: Mangaoh Club.
  • Release details for volume 1 of the OVA version of "Wind ~ a breath of heart ~" (out on 25 June 2004). There'll be a limited edition version which comes with special drama CD, catalogue number KSXA-24924, price 8,190 yen (including tax). Regular edition catalogue number KSXA-24921, price 6,090 yen (including tax). Source: Mangaoh Club. Remember that the Advance Special Edition Serial No.0 DVD will be released on 28 May 2004 (see my 22 and 28 March 2004 entries for more details on that DVD). And remember that the TV series will commence broadcast in the (northern) summer, probably July 2004.
  • The concluding volume 2 of the Raimu (Lime) iro Senkitan OVA series Nankoku Yume Roman will be released on 25 June 2004. As with KSS' other DVD releases set out above, there'll be a limited edition version and a regular edition. The first pressing limited edition version will include a "making of" clip and come with a music CD, catalogue number KSXA-24904, price 8,190 yen (including tax). Regular edition catalogue number KSXA-24902, price 6,090 yen (including tax). Source: Mangaoh Club.
  • DVD Box 1 of Mujin Wakusei Survive (Uninhabited Planet Survive) will be released on 25 June 2004, catalogue number BBBA-9095, price 18,060 yen (including tax). Four discs containing episodes 1 to 14. Source: Mangaoh Club.
  • A special Hikaru no Go DVD is to be released. Tentatively titled "Hikaru no Go Special Character DVD ~ Memories ~", it'll contain all the OP and ED sequences. Catalogue number AVBA-14966, price 3,675 yen (including tax). Source: Mangaoh Club.

12 April 2004

  • Volume 5 of the manga Sensei no Ojikan by Momose Tamami will be published by Takeshobo on 15 May 2004. There'll be a special edition which will come with student notebook, price 1,100 yen (including tax). Source: Mangaoh Club. The TV anime based on this manga is currently airing in Japan.
  • Bandai has announced that release of DVD volume 7 of Onegai Twins (containing the new episode) will be put back five days from 23 to 28 April 2004. For other release details, see my 28 January 2004 entry.
  • Konami has a website up for Get Ride! Amdriver, but the focus is more on its toys than on the TV anime which recently commenced broadcast. Source: ultimatum.
  • The Nihon Keizai Shimbun reports that on 9 April 2004 Broccoli announced a loss of 716 million yen for the period to February 2004 - an improvement on the loss of 1,139 million yen in the previous period, but still 234 million yen worse than expected. Sales were flat at 8,229 million yen although sales at Broccoli stores increased by 1% to 5,761 million yen. The ratio of gross profit to sales fell 2% to 28% due to animation production expenses and a fall in prices of goods. The company, which is being restructured, made an operating loss of 643 million yen. Source: Magicalantique.com.
  • Namco has posted up some pics from its upcoming OVA Tales of Phantasia. Director will be Tominaga Takuo. Source: ultimatum. Click on the pics for enlargements.
  • Official website for the live-action Hattori-kun movie. Full title appears to be "Nin x Nin Hattori-kun the Movie". Source: ultimatum. Further, it looks like the movie is scheduled for theatrical release on 28 August 2004. For a bit more info, see my 19 July 2003 entry.
  • The TV anime version of Pugyuru commences broadcast tonight (shortly after midnight). The official website has a short 15 second minute opening movie available for download. Source: Rakuga Kidou. (Updated 13 April 2004)
  • The official Gravion website has announced that DVD volume 6 of Chojushin Gravion Zwei (on sale 25 August 2004) will include an epilogue which has not previously been broadcast on TV. Source: Rakuga Kidou.
  • Gonzo has webpages up for the following anime: Samurai 7 (26 episodes, to commence broadcast in June 2004), Bakuretsu Tenshi (26 episodes, currently airing) and Gantz (commences broadcast a couple of hours after midnight tonight). Moon Phase points out that Fuji TV's website for Gantz states that that series will have 11 episodes, but then again that website refers to "Gantz ~ the first stage ~".

11 April 2004 (fifth update)

  • Maybe more later. I'm feeling pretty tired at present.
  • A post to the TA Group BBS gives more details of the staff for the upcoming Bones anime Kurau Phantom Memory, although it's not stated what the source of the info is. To add to the direction (and original work) by Irie Yasuhiro and animation production by Bones, it's stated that series composition will be by Yoshinaga Aya, character design by Ozaki Tomomi(?), mecha design by Suzuki Masahisa and set design by Takeba Shingo.
  • I've previously written about Gundam Evolve (see my 10 June 2003 entry). Bandai Channel will be distributing all five volumes over the internet, but on a fee paying basis. However, from 9 April 2004 until 23 May 2004, the company is distributing a condensed "premium" clip of the five episodes for free. The clip is approximately six minutes long and file size is approximately 40.5Mb. There are two catches: firstly, you need to register your email address (in return for which, Bandai Channel will send you updates in future) and secondly, when you link to download the file, the site will check your IP address - if your location is outside Japan you won't be able to view the clip. I might see if I can find a way around it, but it's not a big priority for me. If you'd like to try yourself, visit this page and you'll see an orange button roughly in the middle of the page. Click on that button to register/download. Source: Rakuga Kidou.
  • BTW, as I've mentioned on a number of occasions, I'm not a Gundam fan and don't know much at all about the various series. For Gundam and other news, I'd recommend Gunota Headlines. Since I don't know Gundam, my recommendation may be of limited value, but the Gunota website is run by RGZ-91 and Neo-Era and I know that Neo-Era at least is clued in about things Gundam and anime in general. (Sorry, I don't know RGZ-91 ^_^;; )
  • There was an ad at the end of the broadcast of episode 2 of Midori no Hibi, stating that volume 1 of the DVD (known as "Memory 1") will be released on 23 July 2004. This will be a three disc digipak, with two DVDs containing five episodes and the third disc being a special CD containing the insert song performed by CooRie. Source: Rakuga Kidou.
  • There was other stuff which I was meaning to type up, but either other sites have already covered the news so I won't or the particular articles are no longer being hosted by the original sites, so I can't get the details...
  • Mainichi Shimbun English language report that judo champion Tani Ryoko, known also as Yawara-chan, has qualified to represent Japan in this year's Olympics in Greece.
  • On 27 September 2003 I posted the results of a Japanese poll conducted by Every Precious Things. Here are the results of the latest (third) poll conducted from 12 to 16 March 2004. Source: Moon Phase. Firstly, I'll set out details about the respondents (733) to give you an idea of the type of people who answered the questionnaire. As previously, I'll describe the graphs which appear on the page (note that there are some graphs which are linked on the page but don't actually appear - these are graphs for lower placings in the results):
    First graph: gender of respondents 92% male, 6% female, 2% didn't answer the question.
    Second graph: age of respondents 12% 30-34 years old, 17% 25-29 years old, 30% 20-24 years old, 31% under 20 years.
    Fourth graph: what anime people are currently watching 65.9% MariMite, 60.6% Full Metal Alchemist, 52.4% R.O.D - The TV -, 46.4% Gravion Zwei, 43.4% Mezzo TV. (The blue bar is the current response, the purple bar is for last time).
    Fifth graph: among people's favourite current anime 40.9% MariMite, 39.3% Full Metal Alchemist, 37.9% R.O.D - The TV -, 25.0% KaleidoStar, 23.6% Planetes. (The blue bar is the current response, the purple bar is for last time).
    Sixth graph: favourite current anime 11.5% R.O.D - The TV -, 10.9% MariMite, 9.5% Planetes, 8.3% Full Metal Alchemist, 7.4% KaleidoStar. (The blue bar is the current response, the purple bar is for last time).
    Seventh graph: favourable impressions of current anime 72.3% R.O.D - The TV -, 71.7% Planetes, 68.7% KaleidoStar, 68.1% GiTS:SAC 2nd GIG, 64.9% Full Metal Alchemist.
    Eighth graph: comparison of respondent's expectations of certain anime in the last poll (the blue bar) against their favourable responses to the anime now that it's airing (the purple bar). I won't go through this, but note that Pretty Cure and Hikari to Mizu no Daphne appear to have been a pleasant surprise for people.
    Ninth graph: uninteresting current anime 23.1% Di Gi Charat Nyo, 16.9% Mezzo TV, 16.2% Henshin Kosu-pureiya (The Cosmopolitan Prayers), 15.6% Burn-up Scramble, 14.5% Maburaho. (The blue bar is the current response, the purple bar is for last time).
    Tenth graph: anime which people are looking forward to (including this current April season) 39.6% Kono Miniku mo Utsukushii Sekai (This Ugly and Beautiful World), 36.3% Keroro Gunso (Sgt Frog), 30.7% Monster, 29.7% Midori no Hibi, 28.8% Tenjou Tenge.
    Eleventh graph: most anticipated anime 8.5% Monster, 8.2% Kono Miniku mo Utsukushii Sekai (This Ugly and Beautiful World), 7.8% Keroro Gunso (Sgt Frog), 7.0% nothing in particular, 5.2% Godannar 2nd season, 5.2% Samurai Champloo.
    Twelfth graph/table: what people want to see animated (this part refers to the number of responses, not percentage) 30 Fate/stay night (the latest doujin computer game by the circle which brought you Tsuki-hime), 20 Yotsubato! (manga by author of Azumanga), 12 Bleach (manga), 12 Demonbane (adventure computer game), 11 Air (bishoujo computer game), 11 Mahou Sensei Negima! (Magister Negi Magi!) (manga by Love Hina's Akamatsu Ken).
  • Old news. I don't think I ever mentioned the next (seventh?) Pokemon movie "Pocket Monster Advance Generation Retsukuu no Houmonsha Deokishisu" (Deoxys, Visitor from the Fissure in the Sky). Official website is here. To be released theatrically in Japan on 17 July 2004. For a trailer, click on the third button from the top on the left hand side of the screen. Source: Ma-ten. With special advance tickets to the movie (on sale 17 April 2004) will come some means to get the Pokemon Deokishisu/Deoxys.
  • On 18 and 28 March 2004 I wrote about Micott & Basara Inc. planning to produce an anime based on Masumura Hiroshi's "Atagoul" manga series. Here's a short Atagoul anime by Digital Frontier, a full 3D CG musical titled "Fushigi Sekai Atagoul Monogatari" (Mysterious World Atagoul Story). Source: alternative-live.
  • On 2 March 2004 I wrote about the Growlanser ~ Arata naru Densetsu ~ (Growlanser ~ a New Legend ~) DVD to be released on 19 May 2004. Then on 22 March 2004, I found out it was to be an interactive DVD. However, it looks like it's not going to be a DVD player game (as people may be used to the term). Instead, NTT Publishing reports that while this two disc set will contain an original Growlanser episode in six parts (including post-recording of the voices using the multi angle feature, so that you can watch the seiyuu's expressions as their voice their characters) as well as two mini-games: a quiz (about the Growlanser games) and fortune telling function. Dengeki Online expands on this by stating that disc one contains the opening movie from one of the games, storyboards by character designer Urushihara Satoshi, staff comments on the creation of Growlanser IV, original Growlanser episode and mini-games. Disc two will contain seiyuu interviews and discussion, Urushihara interview, illustration gallery (design illustrations by Urushihara etc, together with voice samples) and other things. Makers Altus also have a page up for the DVD here, from which one can see that the DVDs will also include a Growlanser goods database. First pressing comes with two SD character postcards illustrated by Urushihara. Source: Moon Phase.
  • Old stuff: the life-sized (and other) PC cases created by Matsumura Katsuya. Like Ellen, Maya and most recently Kana. The cases are made from PVC pipe and styrofoam. In this Impress Corporation report on Maya, it's stated that the PCs are created for exhibition purposes. Matsumuru has no plans for commercial marketing but says that if he did, the price would be between 400,000 and 500,000 yen. Source: Tentative Name. There's an earlier Impress Corporation report on Ellen here.
  • Speaking of life-sized figures of women, Sarasiru-san of the website Tentative Name ordered the 150cm tall Candy Girl Jewel 2 doll from Orient Industry (note that both webpages contain nudity). 600,000 yen. Comes with underwear set, special hole part (marriage hole), anniversary ring and repair kit. The doll won't be delivered until the end of May 2004. Sarasiru-san ganbare!
  • The Kobe Shimbun reports that the Kozuki Foundation for Higher Education has set up the Mangaka Kyouiku Jigyou (Comic Artist Nurturing Program), a foundation in Kobe to assist in the education of mangaka, illustrators, animators etc. Each year, 600,000 yen will be made available to successful applicants (15 to 25 years of age) who live or study in Hyogo prefecture. The Kozuki Foundation was established by Kozuki Kagemasa, founder of Konami. This program for mangaka program is said to the first of its kind in Japan. This year, interviews with the applicants and practical exams will be held in mid June. Successful applicants (the Foundation will select 15) will receive 50,000 yen a month as well as training every three months. In return, they must undergo period examination and submit work on a monthly basis. If you wish to apply, applications must be in by the end of this month - submit an A3 size original work which has not previously been published. Source: Ma-ten.
  • New production unit YamatoWorks has announced its original, full digital anime titled Kakurenbo (Hide and Seek). You can view a trailer here. To be released in the (northern) summer of 2004. The anime will have a length of approximately 25 minutes. Direction (and technical direction) by Morita Shuhei, character design and "world" design (for want of a better word) by Sajiki Daisuke. Actually, it looks like production of the anime will be performed by just two or three people. In addition, script will be by Cthulhu. YamatoWorks was formed in 2003 by Morita and Sajiki, members of the animation company Kamikaze Animation (which I wrote about back on 17 May 2002). Source: ultimatum. Supernatural hide and seek in the night-time streets of Tokyo. Nice trailer. Looking forward to it. Characters' movements still have that CG look to them, though.
  • The official website for the Air movie is now up, though there's nothing to see at present. Source: alternative-live. To be released theatrically in the (northern) autumn of 2004.
  • A limited edition of volume 4 of the manga Loveless by Kouga Yun (serialised in Monthly Comic Zero Sum) will be published by Studio DNA on 25 June 2004, price 800 yen (including tax). It'll come with an illustrated booklet, similar to the previous limited editions. Source: Mangaoh Club.
  • The official Bakuretsu Tenshi website has updated with details of the DVD release. Source: Moon Phase. Same details as I posted on 8 April 2004, except that there's no mention of the Collector's Set I "Jo/Joe" Box coming with a poster or sticker book.
  • The website for Mahou Shoujo Tai Arusu is now officially open. Source: Moon Phase. The show commenced broadcast yesterday.
  • Sorry, again, I fell asleep the day earlier before I could type up more.

10 April 2004 (third early update)

  • The Nihon Keizai Shimbun reports that Disney is closing its Japanese anime production subsidiary Walt Disney Animation Japan (established in Suginami, Tokyo in 1989) in early June 2004. This is part of Disney's switch to CG based animation. Source: Ma-ten.
  • Mangazoo has the opening credits sequence for Makasete Iruka! (Grrl Power) available for download (109 seconds, 14Mb mpeg file). Just visit this page and click on the button at the bottom of the page. Source: alternative-live.
  • Yomiuri Shimbun has an English language article that universities in Japan are starting to offer novelty courses, like hot spring studies, to lure students to their campus.
  • Updated the MariMite trading card details.
  • Mandarake is having another one of its Big Web Auctions, wherein I can look at stuff which I'd like to own but have not the funds to compete with the incredible prices which some fans are willing to bid at for rare cels etc. But like, 8,000 yen as the starting price for Yuki Nobuteru's doujinshi Anvil III? I got that in a store in Tokyo for about a third of the price.
  • Maria-sama ga Miteru trading cards from Broccoli's Hard Card Collection. The trading cards will be based on the TV anime series, rather than the novel or manga series. To be released 17 June 2004, one box will contain 12 packs (each with eight cards) and cost 5,998 yen (including tax). There are 137 types of cards in total: nine SP cards (of which each box will contain two), nine rare cards (of which each box will contain four), 117 normal cards and two promotion cards. Source: Mangaoh Club. Update: then again, Chara-Ani.com states that the price for a box will be 6,300 yen including tax and that each pack will contain nine, not eight, cards. What I'm really wait for, though, is a MariMite artbook.
  • Comic Toranoana is looking for foreign students in Japan to make inroads into the overseas market. Check out the bilingual details on the linked page if you wish to apply for a job. Yay \^_^/ Hopefully we'll all be able to order direct from Toranoana soon. Although as I stated on 4 April 2004, it's not yet clear whether the company's plans extend to shipping doujinshi overseas.
  • On 8 April 2004 I wrote about the movie adaptation of the manga Mayonaka no Yaji-san Kita-san. Animaxis has an English language article on this for more info.
  • Sorry, fell asleep on Thursday before updating further and fell asleep yesterday before updating at all.
  • I notice that I spelt mashadar's name incorrectly in my post on 4 April 2004. I apologise for this and have corrected that post m(_ _)m By way of explanation (not excuse), some of the things which I stuff up on this page occur when I come across some info but don't type it up immediately, but rather go away and do something else and later type up the news from memory without bothering to re-check the details (as was what happened in this case).
  • And while I'm clearing stuff up, since posting up info on Makasete Iruka! on 4 April 2004, I've realised that that work is what ADV Films has been calling Grrl Power ^_^;; I hate it when companies change the title of shows, though - makes it harder for me to keep track of things (to know what DVDs I want to buy). Like when Media Blasters released Apocalypse Zero some years back. Took me a long while before I realised it was actually Kakugo no Susume ^_^;;
  • The local bookstore told me that "The Last Light of the Sun" by Guy Gavriel Kay is only being published in Australia in June. Stuff that. I couldn't be bothered waiting that long, and I wanted a hardcover copy anyway, so I bought the US ROC edition recently. I've covered the jacket in plastic (*strokes book* my Preciouss...) and have added the book to the rest of my Guy Gavriel Kay hardcover collection ^_^
  • Once again it is the Easter season and the Easter egg season, which means I must once again remind you all that half the world's cocoa (used to make chocolate) comes from east African countries, where much of the cocoa is produced by child slaves. And if you live in the US, remember that the Food and Drug Administration will allow a chocolate company an average of up to 60 insect fragments per 100 grams (roughly 3 ounces) of chocolate and an average of 1 rodent hair per 100 grams, without taking action against the company. For more info, see my 30 March 2002 and 26 January 2004 entries. Happy Easter.

8 April 2004 (third update)

  • Fuji TV's website for the Gantz TV anime has updated with a trailer for episode 1. Click on the upper "play" button on the right hand side of the homepage. Source: Moon Phase. The series commences broadcast on 12 April 2004.
  • KSS' website for the OVA version of "Wind ~ a breath of heart ~" as undergone a facelift. Among the changes is the announcement that volume 1 of the series will be released on 25 June 2004. Source: alternative-live. Remember that the Advance Special Edition Serial No.0 DVD will be released on 28 May 2004 (see my 22 and 28 March 2004 entries for more details on that DVD). And remember that the TV series will commence broadcast in the (northern) summer, probably July 2004.
  • The second episode of the Tenjou Tenge TV anime will be broadcast today \^_^/
  • gameonline reports that the Godannar Playstation 2 game to be released on 24 June 2004 will come with a DVD containing a 90 minute digest of the first season of the TV anime. Source: Rakuga Kidou.
  • Yahoo Japan reports that Saruyama Hagenosuke's manga "Mayonaka no Yaji-san Kita-san" is to be adapted into a live-action movie. Filming will start on 28 April 2004, with the movie planned for theatrical release next year. Yaji-san and Kita-san travel along the Tokaido on the way to Ise. Source: ultimatum.
  • On 28 March 2004, I wrote about a new special issue of Young Animal magazine, Young Animal Island, to be published on 27 April 2004. Now the Young Animal website has a couple of pages up for Young Animal Island, including pics of the bonus items such as the special cover for volume 13 of the Ai Yori Aoshi manga (and competitions). Source: ultimatum.
  • DVD volume 2 of Gunslinger Girl will be released on 17 June 2004. As with volume 1, it will be released with a Playstation 2 Gunslinger Girl game for the one price of 7,140 yen (including tax). The title of the game this time will be "Gunslinger Girl Vol.2". Cool. The "gun action adventure" game will feature an original story, but you'll be able to carry over your items from the first game to volume 2. The anime DVD itself will contain episodes 6 to 9 both inclusive. Source: Chara-Ani.com.
  • If you're interested in getting the Wonderful Days DVD, note that YesAsia now lists a Limited Original Edition version, which comes with three DVDs. Note that this is a region 3 DVD set.
  • Yomiuri Shimbun English language article on T.M.Revolution.
  • DVD volume 1 of Mousou Dairinin (Paranoia Agent) will be released on 28 April 2004. For release details, see my 2 March 2004 entry. However, I note that Amazon Japan states that the DVD (which contains just episode 1) comes with storyboards using the DVD multi-angle feature. Interesting, I wonder if it'll affect the picture quality though...
  • BTW, the reason why I've rendered the name as "Joe" in the following paragraph is... cos that's how CD Japan rendered it. Yeah, I know the female version of the name should be "Jo". But I haven't seen Bakuretsu Tenshi and haven't seen any official romanisation of the name. In the absence of that, I'll follow CD Japan's spelling for now. Then again, CD Japan doesn't always get its details correct...
  • DVD release details for Bakuretsu Tenshi. Looks like each volume will contain two episodes with volume 1 to be released on 23 July 2004, price 6,300 yen (including tax). CD Japan has the details here. Further, CD Japan states that volume 2 will be released on the same day at the same price. However, there'll be limited edition Collector's Set Boxes. The first Collector's Set "Joe" Box will be released on 23 July 2004 and will contain volumes 1 to 3, extra disc volume 1, poster, sticker book and a figure of Joe, for a price of 21,000 yen (including tax). Furthermore, Amazon Japan has listings up for four Collector's Set Boxes: apart from the "Joe" Box, there's the "Meg" Box to be released on 24 September 2004, the "Amy" Box to be released on 25 November 2004 and the "Sei" Box to be released on 25 January 2005. No details on what those future Collector's Sets will contain but I assume they'll be similar to the "Joe" Box. And note that the Amazon Japan preorder price is 20% off. Source: Rakuga Kidou. The number of Collector's Set Boxes makes it clear that Bakuretsu Tenshi will be at least two seasons.

6 April 2004

  • Maybe more later but I'm feeling pretty tired at present.
  • The CD single for the new ED for SD Gundam Force will be released on 26 May 2004, price 971 yen. In addition, there'll be a first pressing limited edition version which comes with an SD Gundam plastic model, price 1,465 yen. Source: Musicmarket.
  • The Yomiuri Shimbun reports that Studio Ghibli has made a TV commercial for the Yomiuri Shimbun and that the commercial will commence broadcast this month. November 2004 will mark the 130th anniversary of the newspaper. Source: alternative-live. Last year, Studio Ghibli created commercials for House Foods Corporation.
  • This Nikkan Sports News articles states that the second CG Appleseed movie is planned to be released theatrically next year (bearing in mind that the movie is hoped to be completed in the (northern) summer of 2005). Source: alternative-live.
  • Impress Corporation reports that yesterday Bandai Visual announced that sales of DVDs (for sale and rental) and videos (rental) for the series Gundam Seed reached 1.3 million by the end of March 2004. Sales of the volume 1 DVD (for sale) were over 100,000 and the company reached 1 million in sales with volume 11 on 23 January 2004. The series has attracted not only the traditional Gundam fan base of male fans in their 20s and 30s, but also younger age fans and female fans as well. Source: alternative-live.
  • Approximately 90,000 kids enter primary school in Tokyo today. Asahi Shimbun has an article on school principal Kubota Fukumi(?) (52 years old) dressing up as Doraemon in an effort to make Takaido Primary School in Suginami, Tokyo, a more welcoming place to new students. Source: Tentative Name. The head looks a bit small though ^_^;;
  • Akita Shoten has put up a list of its June 2004 manga releases. Among those is the final volume 4 of Samuraiji (Samurai Rising), with story by Kurata Hideyuki, art by Yamada Shutaro, the duo who brought you the R.O.D manga. To be published 3 June 2004, price 410 yen (including tax). Source: ultimatum.
  • Shogakukan has webpage up for the Korean manga Shin Angyo Onshi, which is serialised in Japan and which Japanese-Korean anime movie version is due for theatrical release in the (northern) autumn of 2004. Source: ultimatum.
  • ABC report on the new Astroboy currency to be used in Takadanobaba, Tokyo (birthplace of the robot). I rarely look at the US ABC website, so whenever I refer to ABC I'll mean the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. See also this Mainichi Shimbun English language report which has a pic of the new currency.
  • On 18 March 2004 I posted up the release details for volume 1 of the new Memories Off OVA series "Memories Off 3.5 ~ Omoide no Kanata e ~". Volume 2 will be released on 23 June 2004. As with volume 1, there'll be a limited edition version which comes with two figures, and a regular edition. Limited edition version catalogue number SDDV-21, price 9,240 yen (including tax). Regular edition catalogue number SDDV-22, price ,6090 yen (including tax). Source: Mangaoh Club.

5 April 2004

  • TV Tokyo's website for Madlax is now open. Source: alternative-live.
  • Making headway into my backlog of DVDs to buy, but no real headway into my backlog of DVDs to watch...
  • GAiNAX has a website up for the Re: Cutie Honey OVA series. Source: Moon Phase. DVD release will commence in September 2004. For broadcast details, see my 27 March 2004 entry.
  • Fuji TV has a website up for the Gantz TV anime. Source: Moon Phase. Broadcast will commence on 12 April 2004.
  • The next issue of Animedia magazine (on sale 10 April 2004) refers to a new anime titled "Kurau Phantom Memory". Moon Phase states that this show will be directed by Irie Yasuhiro (who refers to the show in his online diary) with animation production by Bones. It's stated to be a bishoujo sci-fi action anime to be broadcast in the (northern) summer of 2004.

4 April 2004 (ninth update)

  • Finally got around to watching the trailer on the TV Tokyo website for Kenran Butou Matsuri The Mars Daybreak and I notice that the reading of the fifth kanji/third word should be "sai", not "matsuri". So the title should be Kenran Butou Sai The Mars Daybreak. I'll use the correct title from now on, and I'll correct the usage in today's posts, but I can't be bothered changing the title in the past occurrences on this website...
  • On 1 April 2004 Moeru Network announced an internet/TV anime about twin sisters "Rumiroi". See the bottom graphic of the homepage. The anime is to be distributed over the internet on a trial basis in the (northern) summer of 2004 with TV broadcast in the (northern) spring of 2005. School love story. Although the announcement was made on 1 April 2004, the top of the homepage states that it's not a joke. Source: Moon Phase.
  • Updated the Makasete Iruka! news.
  • Episode 4 of Hit wo Nerae! (Smash hit!) is now available for download from the official website, and will be available until 5 April 2004. Source: Moon Phase. For details on how to view the show, see my 10 March 2004 entry. Sorry I was late with posting this info up - only a day left.
  • JVC Music has websites up for Bakuretsu Tenshi, Keroro Gunso (Sgt Frog), Kenran Butou Sai The Mars Daybreak and Boukyaku no Senritsu (The Melody of Oblivion). Source: Moon Phase.
  • Trailer for the TV anime Gag Cro Studio G-star. Source: Moon Phase.
  • From the latest issue of Megami Magazine (published 30 March 2004), Green Green Ero Regions will be released on 28 May 2004. Source: Moon Phase. For more details, see my 13 March 2004 entry. I think this OVA is to be a soft adult release.
  • Updated the Madlax news.
  • Updated the Rozen Maiden news.
  • Fuji TV has a website up for Legendz: Yomigaeru Ryuuou Densetsu (Legendz: Tale of the Dragon Kings). Source: Moon Phase. The anime commenced broadcast on the station today.
  • Starchild has a website up for the TV anime of Sensei no Ojikan (Doki Doki School Hours). Source: Moon Phase.
  • Official website for a new anime Sengoku Eiyuu Densetsu Shinshaku Sanada Jyuu Yuushi, set in 17th century Japan during the Warring States period. You can find a TV commercial here, though there's no real animation to be seen in the clip. Planning by Tahara Masatoshi, original work and script by Kawanaka Shimao, direction and character design by Shimizu Keizou, animation production by Magic Bus. All of those persons and company worked on Legend of the Galactic Heroes. Source: Ma-ten. Fansites seem to write the title as Shinshaku Sengoku Eiyuu Densetsu Sanada Jyuu Yuushi (ie with the word "Shinshaku" at the front), but I've used the word arrangement in line with the voiceover on the trailer. "Sanada 10" (Sanada Jyuu) is a much shorter title (as used in the website URL).
  • The official UFO Princess Walkure now has a statement confirming the production of a sequel. Source: Ma-ten.
  • The Nihon Keizai Shimbun reports that second hand manga and toy store Mandarake plans to expand its business across Japan. At present the company has seven stores, but it plans to increase this number to 25 within three years. One 800 square metre shop will be opened in a shopping mall in Fukuoka in April 2004, with hopes of sales of over 100 million yen in the first year. Source: Ma-ten.
  • Speaking of business plans, a friend tells me that doujinshi store Comic Toranoana (though they also sell commercial manga, DVDs, CDs, figures etc) has hired some gaijin staff and is planning international mail order in English and other languages. Unfortunately, this international mail order may not extend to doujinshi (since some circles may not want their works sold overseas). Still, I understand that these business plans are still in their formative stages, so perhaps there's hope still that the company will ship doujinshi outside Japan.
  • TV Tokyo has a website up for the TV anime Gag Cro Studio G-star. Source: Ma-ten. At least that's how I think the name should be rendered. Nothing to see at the website at present, however. This is the series which I previously described as a Zettai Zetsumei Dangerous Ji-san and Corokke! new series.
  • The official website for the Yumeria 3D love adventure computer game (on which the TV anime is based) has a Nanase version opening movie clip available for download. This clip (with no sound) will be available until 22 April 2004. Source: alternative-live.
  • TV Tokyo website updates: it now has websites up for Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch Pure (ie a new season which commenced broadcast yesterday) and Marshmallow Tsuushin (The Marshmallow Times). Furthermore the following of its websites are now open: Soreike! Zukkoke Sanningumi, Kenran Butou Sai The Mars Daybreak, Dan Doh!!, Saiyuki Reload Gunlock, Tetsujin 28-go (Gigantor), Aqua Kids, Get Ride! Amdriver, Ragnarok the Animation, Sensei no Ojikan (Doki Doki School Hours) and Keroro Gunso (Sgt Frog). Source: alternative-live.
  • Apparently at the end of the final DVD volume 5 of Nurse Witch Komugi-chan Magical te (which was released on 2 April 2004), there's an announcement of a Nurse Witch Komugi-chan Magical te Z (or Nurse Witch Komugi-chan Magikarte Z, which is presumably the more correct rendering of the name). Source: Hatena and Moon Phase. This news came out on 1 April 2004, but I'm assuming it's true.
  • JVC Music has website up for Madlax, which starts broadcast tomorrow. Source: Rakuga Kidou. Update: if I haven't mentioned it before, this website confirms that music for the series will be by Kajiura Yuki (not just the OP).
  • Pierrot now has a website up for the TV anime version of Midori no Hibi, which commences broadcast today. Source: Rakuga Kidou. Animation production for the series is by Pierrot.
  • The SD clip which comes with the first pressing copies of the MariMite DVDs looks cute. Check out the 2 April 2004 entry at the Houtou Opera House website. Volume 1 of the non-Collector's Edition is now out, but my order won't ship until the end of this month ;_; BTW, nice MariMite counter at Yoshirin's blog website. I come across a number of cute graphical counters, but the one with the school girls in their swimsuits is a bit too lolicon for me.
  • A friend of mine who lives in Perth, Western Australia has written a play and now it's being produced. Temporo is a sci-fi story written by a sci-fi fan (and occasional anime fan) and something that I think other fans would appreciate. If this play becomes big and Hollywood buys the rights to make it into a movie, just remember that I was one of the proof-readers ^_^ If not, bear in mind that not all my suggestions were adopted ^_^ The play starts on 7 May 2004 in Perth.
  • The official website for Sentou Yousei Yukikaze has a promo video up for volume 4 of the OVA. Just click on the "movie" section and the promo video you're looking for is the topmost one. Source: ultimatum. DVD volume 4 will be released on 23 April 2004. Actually, episode 4 is being broadcast on AT-X today.
  • Publisher Hakusensha now has a webpage up for the limited edition version of manga volume 14 of Ai Yori Aoshi (which comes with Aoi figure). Source: ultimatum. For release details, see my 24 March 2004 entry, but note that the pre-order cutoff date has been put back a week to 7 June 2004.
  • For fans of the cooking manga Oishinbo by Kariya Tetsu, a cookbook for the series was released by Shogakukan on 30 March 2004, price 1,300 yen (including tax): Oishinbo no Ryouri Hon (Oshinbo Cookbook). Contains 54 recipes. Source: ultimatum.
  • Some of my doujinshi arrived from Japan \^_^/
  • JVC Music has a webpage up where you can listen to samples of the OP and ED from this month's new TV anime series: Madlax, Kenran Butou Sai The Mars Daybreak, Keroro Gunso (Sgt Frog), Bakuretsu Tenshi and Boukyaku no Senritsu (The Melody of Oblivion). In future promo video clips will be available too. Source: ultimatum.
  • Issue number 18 of Weekly Shonen Champion manga magazine (on sale 1 April 2004) contained a special Hanaukyo Maid Tai one-shot manga. Source: ultimatum.
  • The June 2004 issue of monthly manga magazine Ribon (on sale 30 April 2004) will see the final chapter of the manga Full Moon wo Sagashite by Tanemura Arina. Source: Ribon magazine and ultimatum. In addition, the Ribon Haru no Bikkuri special issue of the magazine (on sale 17 April 2004, 570 yen including tax) will contain a special on Full Moon wo Sagashite, including interview with Tanemura, report on Taiwanese signing event, glossary, illustration special, comments on the coming final chapter etc.
  • Shogakukan has released its list of May 2004 manga publications. Source: ultimatum. Among those are volume 5 of Aoki Kotomi's manga "Boku wa Imouto ni Koi wo Suru" (I Love My Younger Sister). To be published 26 May 2004, ISBN 644091590330. There'll be a special edition, price 680 yen. I don't know what'll come with the special edition, but for 680 yen, it can't be anything too spectacular. Regular edition will probably cost around 390 yen.
  • MMV has a website up for the TV anime Mutsu Enmei Ryu Gaiden Shura no Toki, which commences broadcast on 6 April 2004. Source: ultimatum.
  • TV Tokyo's Anime ch.com website is distributing episode 1 of the sci-fi TV series Star Ocean Ex free over the internet until 12 April 2004. Visit this page and click on the grey button on the right hand side of the page. Source: ultimatum. The rest will be available later, but on a fee paying basis.
  • With the TV anime versions of "Tsuki ha Higashi ni Hi ha Nishi ni - Operation Sanctuary" and "Wind ~ a breath of heart ~" set to be broadcast in July 2004, the July issue of Dengeki G's Magazine (on sale on 30 May 2004) will see the start of serialisation of manga versions. The manga version of HaniHani will be by Takeda Mika. The manga version of Wind will be by Cagiva Ataru. Source: ultimatum.
  • Peach-Pit have announced on the diary (1 April 2004 entry) on their website that their manga Rozen Maiden (serialised in Monthly Comic Birz magazine) is to be made into a TV anime. Source: ultimatum. High school student Jun received an antique doll (the Rozen Maiden) by mail order. The TV anime based on another of the duo's manga, DearS, is already set for broadcast on 4 July 2004. Although announced on 1 April 2004, I don't think it's an April Fool's joke. Update: Moon Phase confirms the news of the Rozen Maiden anime and adds that the TV series will commence broadcast in the (northern) autumn of 2004.
  • Computer game maker Visual Arts/Key has announced (on 1 April 2004) that the Air movie (based on the computer game) will be released in the (northern) autumn of 2004. Animation production by Toei Animation. To be directed by Dezaki Osamu. Source: Magicalantique.com. Although announced on 1 April 2004, I don't think it's an April Fool's joke.
  • Seiyuu Ogata Megumi announced on her website on 1 April 2004 that she got legally married on that day. The guy is a company employee who's 13 years younger than her and whom she's known for five and a half years. Source: Magicalantique.com.
  • On 1 April 2004 Peach Parasol announced that it was working on an fighting adventure doujin game R.O.D - The Act -, set a year after the TV series. But being 1 April 2004, it was an April Fool's joke. Would've been interesting though. The "screenshots" looked good ^_^
  • I've been really busy recently, hence the lack of updates at the end of March, beginning of April. On the upside, you didn't have to try to work out whether any thing I wrote was an April Fool's joke or not ^_^ I'll be busy again this week and there'll be no updates from me in the middle part of April... 30 March 2004 was Hayashibara Megumi's birthday BTW. She turned 37. And 31 March 2004 was Sakamoto Maaya's birthday. She turned 24.
  • infoseek anime cites an NTT Publishing report that the independent OVA "Makasete Iruka!" by Daichi Akitaroh will be released June 2004. Remember that this OVA will be released simultaneously in Japan and the US. Further, this Web Newtype report states that release date in Japan will be 10 June 2004 and that it'll be released in the US by ADV Films. I don't know if that's news. I don't have time to keep up with stuff in the US nowadays... ;_; Note that Makasete Iruka is being released in Japan through CoMix Wave. Note also that Hoshi no Koe was released in Japan through CoMix Wave and in the US through ADV Films. Update: Furthermore, Moon Phase points out this Mangazoo report states that the anticipated price for the DVD in Japan will be 3,980 yen (including tax). The report also quotes John Ledford of ADV Films saying that they decided on simultaneous release in Japan and the US in an effort to reduce the circulation of pirate copies of the anime after the Japanese release.
  • The Yomiuri Shimbun has an English language article on the new Hi no Tori (Phoenix) TV anime.
  • More on universities: in this English language article the Mainichi Shimbun cites a Shukan Gendai report that the biggest seller at the Tokyo University (Todai) bookstore is Moetan, the English phrase book with character Inku (Ink). Those who got the March 2004 issue of Animage (out in February 2004) would be familiar with Moetan - a little Moetan booklet was one of the bonus items. Todai is of course the university that Urashima Keitarou was trying to enter in Love Hina. Being a primary school age character, Ink has of course spawned lolicon doujinshi etc. The Animage booklet is packed full of English phrases which would be useful only if you were studying to become fluent in speaking with Western otaku, with stuff like "Q: Could you make up the girl's uniform of this game? A: Sure. Up to XXL size." or "Meals cooked by the heroine always taste either delicious like ambrosia or distasteful like toxic poison." Or "Q: I am looking for a MANGA without climax, bottom-line and meaning. A: Yeah, there are so many comics of such kind at the back of the store." I love this booklet, it cracks me up ^_^

3 April 2004 (second update)

  • An image single by angela for the upcoming TV anime Soukyuu no Fafnir will be released on CD on 26 May 2004, price 952 yen. There'll be a limited edition version which will come with DVD. Source: Musicmarket.
  • Those who purchase all seven DVD volumes of the Mezzo TV anime will be able to apply for some bonus good(s). Source: Animate. For release info for volume 1, see my 20 February 2004 entry.
  • DVD volume 1 of Initial D Fourth Stage will be released on 16 June 2004, price 5,565 yen. Source: Animate.
  • Updated the Onsen Tamago info.
  • The Gundam Seed Special Edition Kokuu no Senjyou, which was broadcast on TV on 22 and 23 March 2004 will be released on DVD on 27 August 2004, price 5,040 yen (including tax). Source: Chara-Ani.com.
  • "Kero! to March", the OP for the TV anime of Keroro Gunso (Sgt Frog) will be released on 21 May 2004, catalogue number VICL-35630, price 1,050 yen (including tax). In addition, there'll be a limited edition version which will come with original mobile telephone strap, catalogue number VIZL-114, price 1,575 yen (including tax). Source: Mangaoh Club.
  • An Angelique Special Video will be released on DVD on 26 May 2004. This will be a first pressing limited edition item. CD Japan has the details here (price being exclusive of tax). A variety video for the OVA (volume 1 of which was released in mid March 2004), containing special talk and clip of the post-recording of volume 1, creditless opening sequence and "video letter" from those who perform the OP and ED. Looks like CD Japan is still stating prices exclusive of tax... Additional info from Gamecity.
  • As I've previously written, the DVD for the live action comedy Onsen Tamago, starring seiyuu Enomoto Atsuko and Nogawa Sakura, will be released on 28 May 2004. CD Japan has details up here. In addition, there'll be a limited edition version which comes with figure and mobile phone strap. Further, Animate states that the limited edition version comes with a mini-drama CD.
  • As pointed out by mashadar on the AoD forums, one of the two executive producers of Koikaze is from Geneon Entertainment USA. I note also that the ending theme is sung by the distinctive voice of Itou Masumi (who sang the ED for Haibane Renmei). Ending animation is pretty poor though, IMO. They seem to have played up Odagiri's role in the anime adapation of the manga, but the storyline for episode 1 has generally followed the manga. I get the feeling I'll prefer the manga though (then again, it's the medium I was first familiar with for this story). An interesting change to have a 15 year old (Nakamura Yuki) voice the 15 year old Nanoka, and that she doesn't try to effect a falsetto moe-type voice that I was expecting. (Updated 10 April 2004: changed name from "madashar" to "mashadar". Sorry for the spelling the name wrong ^_^\ )
  • 100% cotton Japanese battle flags available from Animate Web Mail Order in late June 2004, price 5,250 yen (including tax) each. Those on the top row (from left to right: Oda Nobunaga, Tokugawa Ieyasu, Mouri Motonari, Shimazu Yoshihiro) are 90 x 35 cm. Those on the bottom row (from left to right: Takeda Shingen, Uesugi Kenshin, Sanada Yukimura) are 60 x 50cm. Note that the flags do not come with the flag poles.
  • DVD volume 5 of R.O.D - The TV - comes with a "director's edition" of the Kamigami no Tasogare episodes 12 and 13 but it basically looks like they've just spliced the two episodes together by removing the ED from episode 12 and the OP from episode 13. I didn't notice any change to the content of the episodes themselves. The DVD still comes with separate episodes 12 and 13, so you technically get five episodes of anime on the DVD, it's just that two of those episodes are repeats.


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