1-15 MAY 2004 NEWS

15 May 2004 (fifth update)

  • Square Enix's CG anime Final Fantasy VII Advent Children will be released in the (northern) summer. The official website now also hosts the promo video which was screened at E3 in Los Angeles. ITmedia has some screenshots up here. Click on the pics for enlargements. Source: Moon Phase.
  • A Cream Lemon live action movie? Hatena reports that a Cream Lemon live action movie (the Cream Lemon anime was one of the first hentai anime) will be released theatrically this (northern) autumn. Script by Mukai Kousuke and Yamashita Atsuhiro, directed by Yamashita Atsuhiro. Looks like this movie will be "chotto ecchi". In addition, there's been a call for extras for the movie. If you wish to apply, send your resume and a photo (from the bust up) to the address stated on the page linked above. The leaflet dealing with extras apparently didn't state conditions as to gender or age. Applications must be received by 25 May 2004. Filming is planned to take place in mid-June 2004. Source: Rakuga Kidou.
  • The official Chrno Crusade website has a fourth wallpaper available for download from the DVD page, available for a limited time only. Source: Moon Phase.
  • Broccoli has announced that release of its Maria-sama ga Miteru trading cards has been put back from 17 June 2004 to 15 July 2004. Source: Moon Phase. For more info on the cards, see my 10 April 2004 entry.
  • Production IG has announced that Dead Leaves will be released on DVD on 24 July 2004. The main disc is 52 minutes long (main feature, trailer(s), voice commentary by staff), but the DVD will also come with a supplementary disc with 120 minutes of extras (clips from four events, clip of post-recording, Remix Dead Leaves by VJ, a "Chinko Drill Interview"(?), staff discussion, illustration gallery, etc). DVD will be double layer with DTS and Dolby Digital sound. There'll be a regular edition catalogue number DA-0359, price 6,090 yen (including tax) and a limited edition (3,000 sets) Special Box Set. Catalogue number for the Special Box Set is DA-0371, price 8,190 yen (including tax). On top of the two discs mentioned above, it'll come with two Kubrick figures and special booklet. See the page linked above for images of the packaging and Kubrick figures. Source: Moon Phase.
  • As stated on 8 May 2004, Samurai 7 will commence broadcast on 12 June 2004 on a Skyperfect TV pay per view channel. However, Animax has now announced the broadcast schedule for this 26 episode series: two episodes every two or three weeks -
    12 June 2004: episodes 1 and 2
    10 July 2004: episodes 3 and 4
    24 July 2004: episodes 5 and 6
    14 August 2004: episodes 7and 8
    28 August 2004: episodes 9 and 10
    11 September 2004: episodes 11 and 12
    25 September 2004: episodes 12 and 13
    9 October 2004: episodes 14 and 15
    23 October 2004: episodes 16 and 17
    13 November 2004: episodes 18 and 19
    27 November 2004: episodes 20 and 21
    11 December 2004: episodes 22 and 23
    25 December 2004: episodes 24 and 25
    Source: Moon Phase. Note that the schedule lists episode 12 as being broadcast twice and finishes up with only episode 25. Is this an error or will episode 26 only be available on DVD or something? Note also that although based on Kurosawa Akira's classic black and white movie, this series is a sci-fi series set in the future.
  • The Stratos 4 website has updated with screenshots of volume 1 of the OVA "X-1 Return to Base", to be released on 28 May 2004. The second page of screenshots mysteriously shows some scenes of planes combining to form a giant robot. For release details, see my 31 January 2004 entry (volume 1) and 25 March 2004 entry (volume 2).
  • Square Enix's Hagane no Renkinjutsushi (Full Metal Alchemist) website states that an Official Guide Book "Hagaren Kenkyuujo" (Hagaren Laboratory) (tentative title) will be released. More details in the June and July 2004 issues of GanGan magazine (on sale 12 May and 11 June 2004 respectively). Source: ultimatum. Sounds more like some official fan book to me.
  • Book Shop Keibunsha states that Murata Range's mook "rule" will be released in early to mid June 2004 by Takarajimasha, price 2,100 yen (including tax). Amazon Japan states an ISBN of 4796641130 and a tentative release date of 3 June 2004. The mook will contain new illustrations, rough design works (bike, fa goods, etc), interview with Murata, photos of fa goods used by fashion magazine "smart" and other photos of goods, "rm Pinky Comic" illustrated by Yasuda Suzuhito, new "rm Pinky" illustration (I assume these last two are refer to the Pink:st - Pinky Street - range of figures, where some of the future characters to be released have been designed by Murata, as shown at the bottom of the page linked), discussion with Kobayashi Makoto, and ABe Yoshitoshi illustrated column or discussion. Source: ultimatum.
  • Nihon Keizai Shimbun reports on Toei Animation strengthening its anime DVD sales position in Italy, where the company's anime works have been broadcast since the second of half the 1970s. Demand is expected particularly from those in their 20s to 30s who grew up watching the shows. The company is releasing previously broadcast works such as Candy Candy and Mazinger Z on DVD. First up, UFO Robo Grandizer will be released on DVD within the year. Toei Animation is also considering releasing DVD box sets. Source: Ma-ten.
  • Nikkan Sports News reports that TMS Entertainment, producer of anime such as the Detective Conan movies, announced its consolidated results on 12 May 2004 for the period ending March 2004. Revenue was up 11.2% to 14 thousand million yen, ordinary profit was up 19.1% to 2.1 thousand million yen - record results. Revenue from anime, including Detective Conan movies and sales of anime in Europe, was good. However, net profit was down 45.7% to 700 million yen on increased corporate tax liability. The company anticipates revenue to increase to 14.2 thousand million yen and net profit to increase to 900 million yen for the period ending March 2005. Source: Ma-ten.
  • Yahoo! Japan cites a Kyodo News report that music composer Hisaishi Joe (known for his music for Studio Ghibli movies) has composed music to be set to Buster Keaton's 1927 silent movie The General at the request of the music company which owns the rights to Buster Keaton movies. The main type of music in the 75 minute movie is waltz. Source: alternative-live.
  • The official Kita e (for the games and anime etc) now has release details up for the first pressing limited edition Kita e ~ Diamond Dust Drops ~ DVD Box 1 and individual DVD volumes 1 to 4. DVD Box 1 will be released on 18 August 2004, catalogue number AVBA-22031~4, price 22,890 yen (including tax) and will contain volumes 1 to 4 (episodes 1 to 7). It'll come with special booklet, character postcard(s) and 60cm Akanegi Atsuko paper figure. The individual volumes will be available on the same day, catalogue numbers AVBA-22035~8, price 6,090 yen (including tax) each except for volume 4 which will be 3,990 yen (including tax). Source: alternative-live.
  • The CLAMP 15th Anniversary has updated with more details regarding CLAMP no Kiseki. Now if you click on each of the icons next to each of the 12 issues, a pic will pop up showing photos or designs for the three chess pieces which come with the respective issues. Further, I earlier wrote that a binder would be available separately (as stated on the Kodansha page), but the 15th Anniversary page states that a box to hold the issues and a chessboard will be available. Price is stated to be undetermined, and release date undetermined, but Amazon Japan lists the box as being released on 22 September 2004, price 2,700 yen (including tax). I presumed both the box and chessboard would come as one package, but the Amazon Japan listing makes no mention of the chessboard. As I stated previously, those who purchase all 12 issues will be able to apply for Kero and Suppi chess pieces and a box to hold all the chess pieces - it's now stated on the 15th Anniversary page that there'll be an application fee of 1,000 yen. Source: alternative-live.
  • As discussed on the Anime on DVD forums, first pressing of DVD volume 5 of Kimi ga Nozomu Eien will come with a figure of Ayu together with reversible jacket and two trading cards. The DVD itself will contain episodes 9 and 10 and also a previously unreleased promo video. To be released 25 June 2004, price 5,775 yen (including tax). See the page linked above for volume 5 for a pic of the figure.
  • TV Osaka has a website up for the fourth anime season of Galaxy Angel, though there's nothing to see at present. Source: Moon Phase. To commence broadcast on 7 July 2004.
  • The official Kono Miniku mo Utsukushii Sekai (This Ugly and Beautiful World) has updated, confirming the release details which I posted up on 20 March 2004 for DVD volume 1 and CD OST 1. Only differences: the catalogue numbers which I posted up earlier are for the first pressing versions only. The catalogue number for the regular edition of DVD volume 1 is GNBA-0001 and for the regular edition for the OST is GNCA-1015. The page linked above also shows a pic of the box which will come with the first pressing of DVD volume 1 and confirms that those who purchase all six volumes of the DVD will be able to apply for a DVD containing a new omake anime. Source: Rakuga Kidou.
  • At the GAiNAX 20th anniversary event on 5 May 2004, it was announced that the first stage of the anime Neppuu Kairiku Bushilord will be the production of a "short version" to be directed by Yamaga Hiroyuki. Source: Magicalantique.com.
  • Details for the Yomiuri Shimbun's International Cartoon Contest. Entries close 24 September 2004. You could win up to 500,000 yen. See also this article by the newspaper.
  • Japanese PM tells young lawmakers to ditch phones, comic magazines. From Mainichi Shimbun.
  • More release details for the KaleidoStar DVD Box set for the final TV season: to be released on 23 July 2004, contains episodes 40 to 51, comes with velvet digipak case for five discs (four DVDs and CD), illustrated box, 60 page liner notes (main staff and cast interviews, four panel manga, character design works, glossary), soundtrack CD, special replica post-recording script (for episodes 40 to 51) and picture labelled discs, price 30,660 yen (including tax). This will contain volumes 13 to 16 of the DVD release. The regular edition individual volumes will be available for the price of 6,090 yen (including tax) each - volumes 13 and 14 to be released on 23 July 2004 and volumes 15 and 16 in mid-August 2004. Source: official KaleidoStar website and Chara-Ani.com.
  • DVD volume 1 of Sensei no Ojikan (Doki Doki School Hours) will be released on 4 August 2004, catalogue number KIBA-1071, price 3,000 yen (including tax), includes a previously unbroadcast episode. Source: Musicmarket.
  • DVD volume 1 of Kenran Butou Sai The Mars Daybreak will be released on 23 July 2004, catalogue number BCBA-1916, price 5,250 yen (including tax), containing two episodes. First pressing will come with illustrated magnet clip. Source: Musicmarket.
  • DVD volume 1 of the Dan Doh!! TV anime will be released on 23 July 2004, catalogue number ASBY-22528, price 2,625 yen (including tax). Source: Musicmarket.
  • More release details on DVD volume 1 of Tenjou Tenge (the anime): catalogue number AVBA-14991, price 6,090 yen (including tax), contains three episodes, first pressing comes with special disc (seiyuu and staff interviews, TenTen clip collection etc). Source: Musicmarket and Yamagiwa Soft. To be released 28 July 2004. Amazon Japan has it on preorder for 20% off.
  • Yujin's completed figure of Maggie Mui from R.O.D - The TV - will be released at the end of August 2004, price 2,625 yen (includin tax). It's not looking too bad.
  • And in the (northern) summer of 2004, Yamato is releasing its first set of Story Image Figures for R.O.D - The TV -. Price will be 6,300 yen (including tax). There will be six types of figures, with a repaint version of each, making a total of 12 types of figures. I'm not sure how many figures will come in each box, but each box will come with a random assortment of figures >_<
  • Animaxis.com English language article about TYO Group purchasing 47% of the stock in anime production company Genco, which has produced works like Figure 17.
  • Yeah, too tired at the end of yesterday.

14 May 2004 (second early update)

  • Gotta go now. More later. Unless I'm too tired at the end of the day...
  • DVD release details for Mutsu Enmei Ryu Gaiden Shura no Toki:
    Volume 1 to be released 23 July 2004, catalogue number ZMBZ-1931, price 3,990 yen (including tax), contains two episodes, first pressing comes with box to hold three volumes and some special anime information collection (design works etc, I presume).
    Volume 2 to be released 25 August 2004, catalogue number ZMBZ-1932, price 6,090 yen (including tax), contains three episodes.
    Volume 3 to be released 24 September 2004, catalogue number ZMBZ-1933, price 6,090 yen (including tax), contains three episodes.
    Volume 4 to be released 22 October 2004, catalogue number ZMBZ-1934, price 6,090 yen (including tax), contains three episodes, first pressing comes with box to hold three volumes and some special anime information collection (design works etc, I presume).
    Volume 5 to be released 25 November 2004, catalogue number ZMBZ-1935, price 6,090 yen (including tax), contains three episodes.
    Volume 6 to be released 22 December 2004, catalogue number ZMBZ-1936, price 6,090 yen (including tax), contains three episodes.
    Volume 7 to be released 25 January 2005, catalogue number ZMBZ-1937, price 6,090 yen (including tax), contains three episodes, first pressing comes with box to hold three volumes and some special anime information collection (design works etc, I presume).
    Volume 8 to be released 25 February 2005, catalogue number ZMBZ-1938, price 6,090 yen (including tax), contains three episodes.
    Volume 9 to be released 25 March 2005, catalogue number ZMBZ-1939, price 6,090 yen (including tax), contains three episodes.
    Source: Neowing.
  • CD Japan has the release details for DVD volume 1 of Top wo Nerae! 2 here. To be released 24 September 2004.
  • The online store also has details for the Top wo Nerae (Gun Buster) Perfect Guide here, while it's Japanese language sister site Neowing confirms that, like the Patlabor Archives, this item will contain DVD and book. The 60 minute DVD contains mainly sound, music and cast related info, but also a promo clip. The book contains new interviews, discussions and illustrations as well as articles published in anime magazies and mooks at the time of the release of the OVA series. The book cover and book case will feature new illustrations.
  • CD Japan also has details up for the Mind Game Remix DVD which I wrote about earlier. As I said, this is a preview/"making of" DVD for the upcoming movie (to be released in the northern summer) which combines anime and live action. CD Japan's listing also states that the movie is to be released theatrically in July 2004. The official website for the movie states that the DVD will include a clip about the live action "virtual studio" photography, interview with author Robin Nishi, promo video for the image song sung by Fayray, interview with director Yuasa Masaaki, etc.
  • Toei Animation's Space Pirate Captain Harlock website has updated with details of the first pressing limited edition Space Pirate Captain Harlock DVD Box to be released on 21 July 2004. It basically confirms what I've written before, but to consolidate the details and add a few more: Contains the 42 episodes of the series on seven DVDs and a bonus disc, all picture-labelled. Also comes with mobile phone strap of the Arcadia. See the page linked above for pics of the picture labels and mobile phone strap. Catalogue number DSTD-02333, price 45,000 yen (excluding tax). The page confirms that the bonus disc will contain the 1978 movie Space Captain Harlock Arcadia-go no Nazo (Mystery of the Arcadia), (creditless?) OP and ED and trailer for episode 1. Source: ultimatum.
  • The manga Sunabouzu (by Usune Masatoshi) serialised in monthly Comic Beam magazine is to be made into a TV anime by Gonzo. To be directed by Inagaki Takayuki, script by Yamaguchi Hiroshi, character design by Yoshimatsu Takahiro. Broadcast details are still undetermined. Source: ultimatum. Sunabouzu is a sci-fi action manga set in the near future where the Kanto region of Japan has turned to desert.
  • Issue 24 of Weekly Comic Bunch magazine (on sale today) marks the third anniversary of the magazine and will come with a PC demo version of the popular pachinko slot machine Hokuto no Ken (First of the North Star) game. Source: ultimatum. On the popularity of the slot machine game, see my 28 Feburary 2004 entry.
  • Still busy and still tired.
  • Shueisha's monthly manga magazine Bessatsu Margaret (Bestuma) has announced that Kamio Yoko's new manga series will commence serialisation in the August 2004 issue of that magazine (should be on sale 13 July 2004). Source: ultimatum. Kamio of course wrote the manga Hana Yori Dango (Boys Over Flowers).
  • Speaking of HanaDan, I finally had the chance to start watching the TV anime version on DVD (I can only watch it while eating dinner of course, since I'm busy). This is the best picture quality which I've ever seen Hana Yori Dango in, which is good because for a long time I never thought we'd see it on DVD ^_^, but which is also bad because the DVD picture's so grainy and we'll probably never see a better quality release -_- Still, it's nice to go through the series again.
  • Chibi Natsume Maya should not sound like Kero-chan.

11 May 2004 (fourth update)

  • Updated the Cosmopolitan Prayers news. So tired...
  • Episode 2 of the m.o.e TV anime series Love Love? is now available for download from the official website and will be available until 17 May 2004. Source: alternative-live. For details on how to view the show, see my 6 May 2004 entry.
  • Impress Corporation reports a glitch in copies of DVD volume 3 of Henshin Kosu-pureiya (The Cosmopolitan Prayers) which went on sale 21 April 2004. If watching the superior picture quality version of the episodes, there's line noise in the bottom half of the screen at the 17 minute 14 second mark. Pony Canyon will replace the faulty DVDs until 31 July 2004 (but I presume this doesn't extend to shipping from outside Japan). To arrange replacement, either telephone the company on the number set out in the page linked above, or fill out the form on this page. Corrected versions of the DVD will have a round pink sticker on them. Source: Rakuga Kidou. Update: see also the official announcement on the m.o.e website. The line noise occurs during the ending theme of episode 14.
  • ITmedia report on the upcoming Top wo Nerae! 2. Nothing particularly new in the report (or that I can be bothered translating) but there are some pics, and you can click on them for enlargements. Source: Magicalantique.com.
  • Asahi.com reports that singer songwriter Okazaki Ritsuko died on 5 May 2004 of sepsis shock (which arises from an infection in the blood). She was 44 years old. Okazaki wrote and performed the theme songs for the anime Fruits Basket. She was also one half of the group Melocure, responsible for the theme songs in Stratos 4. Source: Reinbo Actress.
  • On 20 April 2004, I wrote that a limited edition version of manga volume 5 of School Rumble by Kobayashi Jin would be published on 17 June 2004. Manga no Mori now states that it'll come with an extra comic booket, price 670 yen (including tax). Source: ultimatum. Regular edition will cost 410 yen.
  • The Z Gundam website states that the Z Gundam movie "Hoshi wo Tsugusha" will be released theatrically in 2005. Chief director will be Tomino Yoshiyuki. Source: ultimatum.
  • Mangazoo's website for Makasete Iruka! (Grrl Power) has updated with a trailer to download. Source: ultimatum. You'll see two buttons at the bottom of the linked page. The top one is the new trailer. The bottom button is the opening anime, which was made available earlier.
  • Bishoujo game maker Age Soft has updated its website with an announcement of an anime based on its game Akane Maniax. Source: ultimatum. Title of the game should be spelled "Akane Maniax", not "Akane Maniacs".
  • It's stated on seiyuu Iizuka Mayumi's official website that a limited edition box set of two CDs and one DVD will be released on 22 July 2004. More details in future. Source: Reinbo Actress.
  • The June 2004 issue of Animage magazine (published yesterday) contained its 26th Anime Grand Prix. In the seiyuu section, the top ten voice actors were:
    1. Paku Romi
    2. Ishida Akira
    3. Hoshi Souichirou (Nagi in the Tenjou Tenge anime)
    4. Hayashibara Megumi
    5. Yamaguchi Kappei
    6. Ohkawa Toru
    7. Horie Yui
    8. Morikubo Shoutarou
    9. Seki Toshihiko
    10. Kanna Nobutoshi
    Source: Reinbo Actress.
  • Sunrise's website for its upcoming TV anime Mai - HiME has updated with a second 15 second promo video. Source: Magicalantique.com. The series will commence broadcast in July 2004.
  • VAP's website for the live action movie Cutie Honey has updated with details of the contents of the Making of Cutie Honey DVD: "making of" (including transformation scenes and special effects scenes), movie trailer, interview with Nagai Go, interview with Anno Hideaki, collection of Sato Eriko clips. A total of 40 minutes. As previously stated, to be released 26 May 2004, catalogue number VPBT-12067, price 2,100 yen (including tax). The movie will be released theatrically on 29 May 2004.
  • 13cm Yujin PVC figure of Anita King from R.O.D - The TV -. To be released in July 2004, price 2,500 yen (excluding tax). Comes with extra parts to allow a couple of different expressions and a pose holding Kaeru-kun. See the additional pic linked on the above page for the extra parts. Source: Hobby Search. Mangaoh Club states that release will be in late July. Sorry, back on 25 April 2004 I wrote that the Paper Sisters figures would be released at three month intervals. This is incorrect. The figures will be released over three months: Michelle in June, Anita in July and Maggie in August. I will correct what I wrote then.
  • Corrected link to April 2004 news archive.
  • Too tired and too busy yesterday to turn on the computer. Still busy now...

9 May 2004 (second update)

  • Too tired. I'm just going to type up one thing and leave the rest to some other day. The creative unit Loopcube has stated on its website (9 May 2004 diary entry) that a Binchou-tan anime is to be made (a clip announcing the anime was screened at the 16th DoGA CG Animation Contest today). Anime production will be by Ishikawa Pro, which had alluded to the announcement on its online diary (2 May 2004 entry). Ishikawa Pro is the independent anime circle which made Mahou no Chocolate and Ramen Chai-nyan. The difference is that this time the Binchou-tan anime will not be an independent (fan) work but rather a real job for the studio/circle. Readers of Megami Magazine would know of Binchou-tan from the four panel manga which has appeared in the past seven or eight issues. Binchou-tan is the pint-sized mascot character (of sorts) for bishoujo computer game maker Alchemist. Source: Moon Phase. For more info about Mahou no Chocolate, see my 17 March 2002 and 5 April 2002 entries. For more info about Ramen Chai-nyan, see my 26 May 2002 entry.
  • The character page of the website for the TV anime version of "Tsuki ha Higashi ni Hi ha Nishi ni - Operation Sanctuary" has updated with voice samples for the characters. Source: alternative-live. The series will commence broadcast on 30 June 2004.
  • Moon Phase has provided sources for some of yesterday's news. Easiest for me to go back to yesterday's entry and update it...
  • Yesterday's news about Kidou Senshi Gundam Seed Kokuu no Senjyou Orb Hen has been confirmed in the June 2004 issues of Newtype and Animedia magazines. Source: Char Senyou Blog and Rakuga Kidou.
  • 6 May 2004 saw the release of Akeshinsha's "new stylish boys' love (manga) anthology" magazine Edge, volume 1 being the spring issue. A5 size, price 940 yen (including tax). The summer issue will be released on 24 July 2004. Source: ultimatum.
  • Manga no Mori has its list of June manga releases up. Source: ultimatum. As with Comic Toranoana, the bookstore states that Shirow Masamune's Intron Depot 4 Bullets will be released in mid-June 2004, price 2,940 yen.
  • Asahi Shimbun English language article on the live action Cutie Honey movie, which is released theatrically on 29 May 2004.
  • Sorry, not further update yesterday cos got home too late.

8 May 2004(early update)

  • Bits of news from Moon Phase. I'm not sure of the source of this news, perhaps from the various magazines to be published shortly (Animage, Animedia, Newtype, game magazine Comptiq etc):
    Samurai 7 will commence broadcast on 12 June 2004 on a Skyperfect TV pay per view channel. (Update 9 May 2004: the source of this news is the June 2004 issue of Animedia magazine.)
    Release dates for the Tales of Phantasia the Animation OVA -
    Volume 1 ~ 25 November 2004
    Volume 2 ~ 21 January 2005
    Volume 3 ~ March 2005
    Volume 4 ~ early (northern) summer of 2005
    (Update 9 May 2004: the source of this news is the June 2004 issue of Animedia magazine.)
    Gonzo's anime Gankutsu Ou (The Count of Monte Christo...?) is to commence broadcast in the (northern) autumn of 2004.
    The TV anime version of Girls Bravo will commence broadcast in the (northern) summer of 2004. (Update 9 May 2004: the source of this news is the June 2004 issue of Animedia magazine.)
    Kidou Senshi Gundam Seed Kokuu no Senjyou Orb Hen (Orb story arc) will be broadcast in the (northern) summer of 2004. (As I mentioned on 21 Feburary 2004, the digest anime Gundam Seed Special Edition is comprised of two parts. The first part "Kokuu no Senjyou" was first broadcast on 22 March 2004. "Kokuu no Senjyou Orb Hen" is now the second part. I'm presuming that, as with the first digest episode, this one will also contain new scenes and new post-recording.)
    A Kidou Senshi Gundam MSIGLOO - Ichinen Sensou Hiwa - (One Year War Secret Story) is to be produced. This is to be a 3D CG original story. However, it doesn't appear this will be an normal TV anime, OVA or movie. Rather, the first part (three episodes) will be screened at the Bandai Museum at Tokyo from 19 July 2004. Directed by Imanishi Takashi, staff includes Izubuchi Yutaka and Katoki Hajime.
  • Yahoo! Japan reports (via Kyodo News) that game machine maker Ace Denken has announced the release of its Rose of Versailles pachinko game - its first with a theme based on a shoujo manga. The machine is aimed at housewives who've read the manga or seen the TV anime version (the game features the theme song from the anime). Expect to see this machine in pachinko parlours from June 2004. Source: Ma-ten.
  • Media Works has a list up of its June 2004 publications. Source: ultimatum. This includes the Jubei-chan 2 Siberia Yagyu no Gyakushuu (The Counterattack of Siberia Yagyu) Official Visual Book (tentative title). To be published 21 June 2004.

7 May 2004

  • The CD single "Mune Ippai no Kono Ai wo Dare yori Kimi ni", being the OP to the TV anime Monkey Turn, will be released on 16 June 2004. CD Japan has the details here. In addition, there's a first pressing limited edition which comes with special DVD and a couple of bonus cards. CD Japan's listing for that edition is here.

6 May 2004 (fourth update)

  • Kadokawa Shoten's radio commercial for the June 2004 issue of Newtype magazine has confirmed the making of a Z Gundam movie. Source: Moon Phase. To listen to the commercial, go to the furthest right column. You'll see four Quicktime icons. Click on the second one for the 40 second radio commercial about the Z Gundam movie. Click on the bottom one for the 20 second commercial on the movie.
  • The official Keroro Gunso (Sgt Frog) website has updated with two wallpapers to download. However, first you have to fill out this questionnaire. Too many questions, I can't be bothered setting it all out here. There's also a puzzle game here. Source: Moon Phase.
  • DVD volume 1 of Ragnarok the Animation will be released on 23 July 2004, price 4,725 yen (including tax) and will contain two episodes. Subsequent volumes will contain three episodes each. Looks like first pressing of each volume will come with an illustrated trading card-sized "New Account 14 days ticket" - which presumably allows new account users to play Ragnarok Online for free for 14 days. Those who purchase volumes 1 to 5 will be able to apply for a "neko-mimi cap" (cap with cat ears). Source: Moon Phase.
  • The TV anime versions of "Tsuki ha Higashi ni Hi ha Nishi ni - Operation Sanctuary" and "Wind ~ a breath of heart ~" will commence broadcast on 30 June 2004 on AT-X. Source: Moon Phase. Just prior to the previously suggested commencement in July 2004.
  • ITmedia reports that the Ikari Shinji Ikusei Keikaku (Ikari Shinji Rearing Project) game by GAiNAX will be released on 27 August 2004. First pressing will come with a voice message CD (featuring the three seiyuu who voice female NERV operators in the game) and a short comic by Yonekura Kengo (character designer and genga artist for the game). Source: alternative-live. For Windows-based computers IIRC. This info presumably comes from the GAiNAX 20 anniversary event.
  • The same article also reports that at the GAiNAX event, it was stated that Neppuu Kairiku Bushilord will be released in 2005.
  • Episode 1 of the m.o.e TV anime series Love Love? is now being distributed free over the internet. It'll be available until 10 May 2004, and a new episode should be available every week thereafter. To view the episode, go to this page, and click on the first yellow button from the top. This will bring up Windows Media Player together with a window for licence acquisition. Click on the gray button in the middle of the window to receive your licence to view the episode. Then press the play button at the bottom of the window to start the episode. Other things you can download from the same page are (the yellow buttons, from top to bottom) next episode previews, OP and ED.
  • animate.tv is distributing episode 1 of Kono Miniku mo Utsukushii Sekai (This Ugly and Beautiful World) free over the internet until 3 June 2004. To view the episode, visit this page and click on the dark blue button marked "play". I can't view the episode myself. I wonder if this is because the Digital Rights Management somehow limits the audience to those within Japan...?
  • The Re: Cutie Honey official website has updated with release details for the OVA series:
    Volume 1 to be released 21 September 2004, catalogue number DSTD-06628, price 6,090 yen (including tax), first pressing will come with a box to hold all three volumes.
    Volume 2 to be released 21 October 2004.
    Volume 3 to be released 21 November 2004.
    Source: alternative-live.
  • Updated the Gunbuster 2 news.
  • DVD volume 9 of Peacemaker Kurogane will be released on 25 August 2004. There'll be a first pressing limited edition Premium Box, which will come with box to hold volumes 6 to 9, mini-pencil board, dog-tags, etc. Price 8,190 yen. Source: Musicmarket.
  • The GAiNAX Festival ~ 20th Anniversary ~ event took place yesterday. Moon Phase states that the new work announced at the event was Top wo Nerae! 2 (ie Gunbuster 2). Further, the fan site states that this will be a six volume OVA, with volume 1 due out on 24 September 2004, directed by Tsurumaki Kazuya, character design by Sadamoto Yoshiyuki, Buster Machine mecha design by Izuna Yoshitsune, animation production by GAiNAX. Updated: the news is basically confirmed in this month's issue of Newtype (out in a few days' time), except that Izuna Yoshitsune will be responsible for the Buster Machine design, not all mecha designs (general mecha designs will be the responsibility of Ishigaki Junya and Koyama Shigeto) and release of volume 1 is simply stated to be in the (northern) autumn, with subsequent volumes being released every second month. Each episode will be 30 minutes long. Future visuals by okama. There'll be 3D CG modelling (hardly rare in today's anime). "Top wo Nerae! 2" is the tentative title of the OVA. Sadamoto's designs give this work more of a FLCL look - quite different (IMO) from that of the original Gunbuster. To be released by Bandai Visual.
  • Didn't update the last few days 'cos too busy and too tired.
  • My R.O.D - The TV - book covers arrived. I ordered a number of sets. Hmm, a few more than I needed. Each set comes with six book covers and six bookmarkers (two different kinds of bookmark, three of each). I couldn't be bothered checking how many book covers would be in each set before I ordered. Each is B6 size (ie R.O.D manga sized) of course. Oh well, I might give some away some time.
  • The limited edition version of manga volume 27 of Samurai Deeper Kyo will come with a special picture book. Price 1,260 yen (including tax). Source: Mangaoh Club. To be released 17 June 2004.
  • Further the limited edition version of manga volume 19 of Beck by Harold Sakuishi (which comes with your choice of black or white T-shirt) will cost 2,625 yen (including tax). Source: Mangaoh Club. To be published 17 June 2004.

3 May 2004

  • Convenience store Lawson is selling a special DVD "Road to Steam Boy" which comes with a ticket to the movie. You can either buy it with an adult admission ticket (2,900 yen - for high school students or older) or a children's admission ticket (2,400 yen - for three year olds to middle school students). (Details appear identical otherwise, but I've linked both packages anyway.) The DVD is approximately 25 minutes in length and contains Steam Boy trailer, Steam Boy introduction (story, characters, mecha), Otomo Katsuhiro filmography, Steam Boy staff interview and the three minute film "Gundam Mission to the Rise" which Otomo directed in 1998. Standard aspect ratio (one part is letterboxed), Dolby Digital stereo sound, single layer DVD. Pre-order period is during the month of May 2004. The DVD will be released on or after 20 June 2004. Source: Rakuga Kidou. The Steam Boy movie will be released theatrically on 17 July 2004.
  • Age Soft, makers of bishoujo computer games (adult and non-adult) has announced on the official fan club pages of its website that an anime version of Akane Maniacs (which I believe is one of its non-adult computer games) will be made. No details on format as yet. Source: Moon Phase. Akane is the Suzumiya Akane in Kimi ga Nozomu Eien, I believe.
  • Got my DVD volume 1 of MariMite today. Regular edition. Packaging (apart from a flimsy slipcase) is pretty bare bones, including the no-nonsense menu. No insert. Nice to get a poster with it, but it just shows the backs of all the girls, no faces -_- Got R.O.D - The TV - volume 7 as well. Instead of a racy picture of one of the women in the show, this time there's a racy pic of Junior ^_^ Also received my copy of the June 2004 issue of Dengeki Daioh magazine, which comes with Yotsuba action figure. Very small, but I knew it was only going to be about 6cm tall. Construction of the figure is cheap (the arms fall off often when I try to position Yotsuba) but still very cute ^_^ In true Japanese tradition, there's a lot of packaging. The figure is roughly 5.5cm x 2cm - a small keyring-sized figure. But the cardboard box it comes in is a roughly 17cm x 12cm overkill size. Also got my May 2004 issue of Ultrajump magazine with remixed version cover for volume 11 of the Tenjou Tenge manga and Kim Hyung Tae pinup. My deluxe edition Oh! great hentai manga happened to arrive as well. Good quality hardcover books. Now to see if I can apply for the special telephone card... And then there's the limited edition volume 9 of the Eva manga with Rei action figure. Haven't opened that up yet, but it appears better construction than the Yotsuba one. Also received some other stuff but I might leave any other comments for another day.
  • Not anime related, but you know the floats I wrote about yesterday - at the Hakata Dontaku Minato Matsuri? They made the news, since a government official was arrested for filming up the skirt of a four year old girl near one of the floats -_- See this Mainichi Shimbun report in English.
  • Seiyuu Nogawa Sakura has announced on a radio program that she's gotten a role in a (presumably live action) movie. Source: Reinbo Actress.

2 May 2004 (third update)

  • More later, maybe. I'm feeling pretty tired at the moment...
  • Fujimishobo, publisher of the Galaxy Angel manga, has a page up for the series, which states that the fourth season of the TV anime will commence broadcast on TV Tokyo at 1.00am on 7 July 2004. Source: Moon Phase.
  • On 26 April 2004, I wrote about the anime theme floats at the Hakata Dontaku Minato Matsuri (Hakata Dontaku Habour Festival). tarax-san of the website alternative-live has a photo report of the Futari wa Pretty Cure float.
  • NHK BS has a new image character Nanami-chan to commemmorate its 15th anniversary. A mini Nanami-chan anime will commence broadcast on NHK BS2 and BShi from 17 May 2004. When the Aoba family move into Shiawase-sou, daughter Micchi-chan meets the strange creature Nanami-chan. To view a trailer, click on the third circle clockwise from the top (the TV screen icon). And to view a clip to announce the naming of Nanami-chan, click on the fourth circle (the movie camera icon). Source: alternative-live. Flash websites annoy me.
  • More on Fuji TV investing in Gonzo. At an interview, President of Fuji TV Murakami Kouichi stated that he's aiming at the world market in this tie-up with Gonzo. Further, Kameyama Chihiro, head of the movie section of Fuji TV commented that Pixar would be a rival. Source: goo anime citing a Sankei Sports report. Does this mean more emphasis on the 3D digital work that Gonzo can produce?
  • The Mezzo Perfect File book will be released at the end of May 2004, price 1,995 yen (including tax). Published by Ohzora Publishing. Source: Mangaoh Club.
  • Volume 1 of the DVD release of Madlax will be out on 21 July 2004, price 6,090 yen (including tax). Contains two episodes. There'll be first pressing limited edition version which comes with a box to hold the first seven volumes, catalogue number VIBA-4. Regular edition catalogue number VIBF-201. Source: Mangaoh Club.
  • DVD volume 1 of the new Tetsujin 28-go (Gigantor) TV anime series will be released on 7 July 2004, catalogue number KIBA-1022, price 2,940 yen (including tax). Contains two episodes. Source: Mangaoh Club. DVD Box 1 of the original black and white 1963 series will be released on 23 June 2004, catalogue number KIBA-91038, price 18,000 yen (including tax). Six discs containing the first 24 episodes.
  • Forgot to mention: Kajiura Yuki's Madlax Soundtrack CD will be released on 23 June 2004, catalogue number VICL-61319, price 3,045 yen (including tax). Source: Mangaoh Club.
  • I don't normally type up game related info, but it looks like the 2 CD Xenosaga II soundtrack to be released on 7 July 2004 has music by Kajiura Yuki. Catalogue number VICL-61431, price 3,255 yen (including tax). Source: Mangaoh Club.
  • The manga Chrno Crusade by Morimoto Daisuke finishes up in the June 2004 issue of monthly Dragon Age magazine (which should be on sale on 9 May 2004). Furthermore, the Galaxy Angel manga is going to finish up in that magazine soon as well, and to commemmorate that event, the June issue will also come with Galaxy Angel pencil board (as well as post-recording script for final episode of the TV anime Maburaho). Source: the publisher Fujimishobo.
  • Those posters of Natsume Maya and Natsume Aya are nice. I wonder if they're from the recent issue of Megami Magazine? Or Dengeki Animaga perhaps? BTW, apart from coming with a TenTen poster, volume 10 of Dengeki Animaga (out on 27 April 2004) comes with an Onegai Twins mousepad.
  • Asahi Shimbun article on the term "moe". I'm referring to the kanji which means "to sprout", but which in fan circles refers to one's appreciation of cuteness/sexiness (of a female character) etc (it's a difficult term to define). Anyway, in a survey of 300 Japanese about the use of the term "moe" as a feeling, 35% said they had heard of the term but didn't know its meaning, 29% said that they didn't know the term at all, 21% said that they knew the term but didn't use it, 9% said that they only used the term on the internet and 6% said that they used it in conversation. Also, 50% said they expected use of the vogue term to fade, 24% expected it to become an established term in future and 14% considered it an established term already. One place where the use of the term may be relatively common would be Akihabara - the article refers to that district of Tokyo as the "sacred ground" of "moe" ^_^ Source: Ma-ten. BTW, the report also states that the average reader of Dengeki Moeoh magazine is a 24 year old male and that the magazine has a circulation of 60,000 copies.
  • Impress Corporation reports that on 13 April 2004 the Entertainment Lawyers Network was founded, an organisation for lawyers, patent attorneys, accountants working in the content/entertainment industry (movies, music, anime, games etc), aimed at legal support for the content/entertainment industry. The body will also provide training, with symposiums once or twice a year and research sessions once a month. The Network currently has 108 lawyers and is hoping for over 200 within six months and 500-600 within two years. The US is said to have one million lawyers with 20,000 of those working in the field of entertainment, whereas Japan has 20,000 lawyers of which less than 1,000 would deal with entertainment. (Bear in mind that the bar exams in Japan are tough with, perhaps, only about 3% of applicants passing, so there can be relatively more people in Japan who have law degrees and work in legal fields but aren't strictly speaking lawyers.) The Network is concerned with not only in legal issues in overseas licensing and negotiations, piracy etc but also with contracting and the legal relationships between, for example, creators and anime producers etc. Source: alternative-live.
  • Sorry, once again I fell asleep yesterday before uploading some stuff I'd written up.

1 May 2004 (sixth update)

  • I'm not interested in game to anime conversions, which is why it's taken me so long to write about the Ragnarok Online Special Limited Edition ~ Ragnarok the Animation ~ (volume 1). A limited edition of 3,000 copies. This CD for Windows 2000/XP computers will be released on 23 July 2004 and will contain anime version wallpaper collection (scenes from the first half of the series) and Ragnarok Online client software with installer. Comes with mini guidebook (anime version design works and starting guide to the game), two 7cm tall figures of Roan and Yufa, fan and Ragnarok Online new account 30 days ticket (30 days' free play for new accounts). Price 5,040 yen (including tax). Available exclusively from Amazon Japan and 7Dream.com (presumably some branch of 7 Eleven). The online stores started taking pre-orders on 19 April 2004. The second and concluding volume 2 will be released in October 2004. See this infoseek anime report for a pic of the Roan figure. Click here for the Amazon Japan listing for the item. Click here for the 7Deam.com listing.
  • On 25 April 2004 I wrote about the Mind Game Remix DVD (promo DVD for the Mind Game movie). Musicmarket states that price for the DVD will be 2,500 yen. 
  • Those who purchase DVD volumes 6 to 9 of R.O.D - The TV - from Animate will be able to apply for a box to hold all the volumes.
  • A CD by Hisaishi Joe and the New Japan Philharmonic Dream Orchestra will be released on 16 June 2004, price 3,059 yen (including tax). Source: Animate. CD Japan states catalogue number will be UPCI-1003. Hisaishi has of course composed much music for Studio Ghibli movies and the Nagano Winter Olympics.
  • Updated the Eva interactive DVD news.
  • Originally Nishizaki Yoshinobu's anime "Space Battleship Yamato Rebirth Chapter" was to be released this year. Now the producer Engio's website states that it'll be released in the (northern) summer of 2006. Source: Ma-ten. The anime will feature new scenario and characters.
  • Last year Studio Ghibli made those TV commercials for House Foods. Then there was the "Okaa-san no Shashin" (Mum's Photograph) CD album. Now Yomiuri Online's Studio Ghibli News On-line reports that a documentary DVD on the creation of the CD will be released by Buena Vista on 6 August 2004. The DVD will have two parts: firstly, the documentary, secondly a concert by Kamijou Tsunehiko (sings the 16 tracks on the CD) at the Ghibli Museum to commemmorate the completion of the CD. Source: alternative-live. I wonder if the DVD will actually have the commercials on it...?
  • Last year Fuji TV got into the movie making business. Business newspaper Nihon Keizai Shimbun reports that Fuji TV has announced that now it's getting into the anime movie making business. Fuji TV will be taking an approximately 10% stake in anime production company Gonzo Digimation Holdings for approximately 350 million yen; partly a purchase of shares from a current shareholder, partly an allotment of new shares originally intended for a third party. The two companies will work together on movie production and hope to have the first movie completed in two years' time. By putting up the funds for movie production, Fuji TV will secure the DVD sale rights etc. Source: alternative-live. This is the Fuji TV which broadcasts Gonzo works like Chrno Crusade and Gantz.
  • The diary at the StarLink website (StarLink is the distributor of the upcoming Green Green Ero Regions OVA) states that there's been an "export determination/decision" of the Green Green TV anime series to the US, England, Ireland, Russia and Taiwan. (This is part of their Green Green TV anime world domination plan.) I assume that statement means the show has been licensed, rather than that they've simply decided to look to license to those specific countries. If this is correct and if it was the same company obtaining rights in the US and England, I'd look to ADV Films... Again, I unfortunately don't have time to keep up with news in the US nowadays. Would this be news at all?
  • On 22 May 2004, Daitosha will publish Shiozaki Yuji's manga Frontier Roots (I'm not sure about how to render the second word, since it's in katakana). I don't know anything about the manga, but I believe it may have a Western theme. Source: Mangaoh Club. Shiozaki is the author of the Ikki Tousen (Battle Vixens -_- ) manga.
  • A Hagane no Renkinjutsushi (Full Metal Alchemist) TV Anime Rough Sketch Collection will be published by Square Enix on 31 May 2004, price 1,500 yen (including tax). Source: Mangaoh Club.
  • A Chojushin Gravion Complete book will be published by Media Factory on 25 May 2004, price 2,310 yen (including tax). Source: Mangaoh Club.
  • On 2 March 2004 I wrote about the Gadguard Complete Works book. Release date has been put back to 6 May 2004. Further, Softbank Publishing has posted up its own details for the book. Title is "Gadguard Visual Guide". Price has dropped to 1,995 yen (including tax). 96 full colour pages, A4 size, comes with poster (a new illustration of the female characters), ISBN 4-7973-2667-0. The book will contain design works, long interview with the director and seiyuu comments. Source: ultimatum.
  • KSS' website for the Happy Lesson the Final OVA series is now officially open. Source: ultimatum. The DVD information page gives you an indication of the contents of the Yazakura Hazuki character book which comes with the first pressing limited edition version of DVD volume 1: mini pin-up, Sonozaki Mie (seiyu for Hazuki) pinup photo, character introduction, Hazuki illustration gallery, highlight scenes and phrases, Sonozaki interview, JohnnyFish music factory (Sonozaki part), staff comment, other cast's comments on Hazuki, animation director's retouch art collection, serialised novel from Yoshioka Takao, post-recording script for episode 1. For release details for volume 1, see my 18 March 2004 entry.
  • Seiyuu Tamura Yukari's official website is now officially open. Source: alternative-live.
  • The 29 April 2004 broadcast of the program "News 23" on TBS dealt with Japan's anime industry and the dilemma it faces. (There've been a number of TV reports on anime, otaku etc recently.) Anyway, the report stated that in April 1980 there were approximately 25 anime shows broadcast on TV. In April 2004 there were 90. Despite this, there's the shortage of staff, tough working conditions etc. On the other hand, the show also referred to the South Korean animation industry and visited the offices of the well known Dr Movie while they were working on the Tenjou Tenge TV anime. (TenTen would be an apt case as an example because that's one show where basically all the production work has been outsourced to a South Korean company. If you look at the end credits of the Tenjou Tenge episodes, basically all actual animation is done by people with Korean names with one or two Japanese names scattered there in various episodes.) In 2000 Dr Movie had revenue of approximately 200 million yen. This has increased approximately five-fold to 2004. In the report, South Korean students studying animation state that they hope to catch up to and exceed Japanese anime within five years.
  • The Neon Genesis Evangelion interactive game DVD will be released on 2 June 2004. This Dengeki Online report has a pic of the packaging and one screenshot, if you're interested.For more details, see my 3 February 2004 entry but note the change of release date. Source: Rakuga Kidou. Update: Moon Phase also refers to this ITmedia report where you'll see more screenshots. Further, that report states that (i) scenes from the TV anime used in the game will be the Renewal version and (ii) the DVD will not play on Xbox but will play on Playstation 2 (DVD Player version 2.02 and higher).
  • On 20 and 24 April 2004 I wrote about the first limited edition version of volume 1 of Utatane Hiroyuki's manga Tengoku ~ Heaven's Prison ~ with Saki action figure. The creator of the figure Masaki Apsy now has a webpage up for the figure. Source: Tentative Name. Nice looking figure. Note the Saki action figure battling the Yotsuba action figure (also created by Apsy) at the bottom of the page. Apsy also created the Ayanami Rei action figure...
  • Enterbrain has updated its catalogue of future releases. Source: ultimatum. Among the releases are:

    Yoshizaki Mine Illust. Gashuu (Illustration Art Collection) (tentative title), to be released June 2004, price 2,835 yen (including tax). Yoshizaki would most recently be known for Keroro Gunso (Sgt Frog).

    Volume 4 of the manga Ibara no Ou (King of Thorn) by Iwahara Yuji, to be released September 2004. There'll be a special edition version, price 1,659 yen (including tax). I don't know what the bonus item(s) will be. Regular edition price 651 yen (including tax).
  • Watched the final volume of Tokyo Daiguki Monogatari (Tokyo University Story) recently. Not bad, unremarkable, but that's not bad for a hmp release, considering what From I''s was like. The alternative soundtrack with female roles voices by idols is still bad. Animation quality seems to have picked up with this second episode.
  • My Jane Siberry DVDs arrived recently \^_^/
  • Bishoujo Senshi Sailormoon Visual Book, on sale yesterday. Well, actually the book relates to the live action dorama series Pretty Guardian Sailormoon. Photos of the senshi in costume and original dress, discussion by the senshi, Q&A with the senshi, etc. Full colour, 112 pages, A4 size, price 2,520 yen (including tax). Source: Tentative Name.
  • Ali Project's CD "Etoile" (tentative title) will be released on 23 June 2004. CD Japan has the basic details here. Sister site Neowing's details state that the unit has worked on Maria-sama ga Miteru.
  • The Saint Seiya Platinum Box, a combination of four CDs and one DVD, will be released on 23 June 2004. CD Japan has the details here - not that the DVD will contain "rare footage" previously released on CDV (CD-Video). CD-Video is a format different from VCD. CDV is more like a CD-sized laserdisc. Needless to say, it's an obsolete format. Though I still have my Kimagure Orange Road CDVs ^_^ Anyway, back to Saint Seiya. I'd don't know anything about the series, so I don't know how "rare" the CDV footage is.
  • The KaleidoStar Stage 13-16 Box (ie containing DVD volumes 13 to 16) will be released on 25 July 2004. CD Japan has the basic details here. This will be a first pressing limited edition item, although the DVD volumes will be available separately (and usually there's a regular edition and a limited edition version of the individual volumes as well).
  • No further update yesterday because, well, I was busy with other things.


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