16-31 MAY 2004 NEWS

31 May 2004 (early update)

  • Sorry, fell asleep yesterday before I could update further. Just a few things for now. More at the end of the day. For now I need to get a bit more sleep...
  • The old bishoujo computer game series Sotsugyou (Graduation) is to continue as part of the Sotsugyou Revival Project. The official website for the Project is here. Apart from a computer game to be released in February 2005 (Sotsugyou Next Graduation - I won't go into the details), it's stated in relation to the Next Graduation game that there will be a manga serialisation in a monthly magazine, and an anime version. Character introductions for the latest game are up, so that should give us an idea of the characters who will appear in the Sotsugyou Next Generation anime. Source: Moon Phase. As the title suggests, this is a series of simulation games in which the player helps some female school students to graduate. Yay, another bishoujo anime -_-
  • Wonderfarm's staff diary refers to an "on air" time for the upcoming Ryuusei Sentai MusuMET, suggesting it'll be a TV anime. Moon Phase.
  • The official website for the TV anime of Sunabouzu is now open. Source: Moon Phase. For a bit more info on the series, see my 14 May 2004 entry.

30 May 2004 (second early update)

  • More to type up, but I'm busy. More at the end of the day.
  • Sega has a report up for its 13th Sega Prize Collaboration. Among the future goods to be released, you'll note the GitS "mini display figures" (look like cute SD figures to me ^_^ ) to be released in November 2004, Tokyo Daigaku Monogatari (Tokyo University Story) goods and figures (somewhat surprising given the release of only a mediocre two volume OVA - but then again Sega was involved with the series), more Evangelion figures and Evangelion replica NERV bag (with side pocket for mobile phone). Source: ultimatum.
  • I've previously written about the upcoming TV anime "Agatha Christie no Meitantei Poirot to Marple" (Agatha Christie's Great Detectives Poirot and Marple) and the fact that it'd feature a new character Mabel, a 16 year old relative of Miss Marple's. This had lead me to wonder: is the reference to Marple in the title merely a reference to Mabel...? However, a Sankei Sports article cited by infoseek anime reports that the famous (old) Miss Marple will appear in the anime, and will be voiced by 73 year old actress Yachigusa Kaoru in her first voice-acting role. The 39 episode series will commence broadcast on NHK at 7.30pm on 4 July 2004 and will continue until April 2005.
  • Asahi Shimbun article in English: "Market Watch: Recovery likely to leave most books and magazines still on the shelves" by Hara Manabu. Note the reference to bunsatsu hyakka. Is this part of the rationale for release of magazines this year like Gundam Historica, CLAMP no Kiseki and Watase Yuu Perfect World Fushigi Yuugi...?
  • Rumour has it that the Tenjou Tenge anime will be 26 episodes in length, but only 24 episodes will be broadcast in the terrestrial broadcast.
  • The fans are quick: already, there's Onegai Friends fan art. For example, the present illustration on Onagoya. Webmaster Kotobuki Hajime's previously done some great MariMite and R.O.D artwork. Though the line-work for the Onegai Friends pic is relatively rough compared to Kotobuki-san's previous stuff, it still looks good IMHO.
  • While the first pressing limited edition version of the first few DVD volumes of Chrno Crusade have come with hard case and miniature replica gun, Musicmarket states that the first pressing limited edition version of volume 5 (to be released 27 August 2004, price 8,190 yen including tax) will come with special booklet and special drama CD. Further the DVD will be a gold disc. On the other hand, Mangaoh Club states that the price will be 9,240 yen (including tax). Catalogue number BIBA-4405. Details for the regular edition: catalogue number BIBA-4305, price 6,090 yen (including tax).
  • Volume 1 of the OVA Prayers will be released on 6 August 2004, price 6,090 yen (including tax). Source: Musicmarket.
  • DVD volumes 1 and 2 of the kodomo anime Kaiketsu Zorori will be released on 16 July 2004, catalogue numbers BIBA-5051 and 5052 respectively, price 1,995 yen each (including tax). Each will contain two episodes. Source: Mangaoh Club.
  • Interesting that there'll be a low-priced re-release of the old Kimagure Orange Road CD Mogitate Special on 22 July 2004, catalogue number ABCA-5058, price 2,500 yen (including tax). Source: Mangaoh Club.
  • The Futari wa Pretty Cure Daihyakka (Encyclopedia) will be published by Jive on 21 June 2004. Price of the book is 840 yen (including tax). Source: Mangaoh Club.
  • The book TV Anime Saiyuki Reload Official Guide Vol. 2 will be published by Studio DNA on 25 June 2004, price 1,575 yen (including tax). Source: Mangaoh Club.
  • The third Inuyasha movie DVD will be released on 27 August 2004, catalogue number SDV-2891, price 6,300 yen (including tax). Source: Mangaoh Club. Musicmarket states that it'll come with a drama CD.
  • DVD volume 1 of Saiyuki Reload Gunlock will be released on 25 August 2004. There'll be a limited edition version and a regular edition. The limited edition version will come with mini-2D figure, sticker for your mobile phone and clear laminated card, catalogue number FCBC-24, price 3,990 yen (including tax). Regular edition catalogue number FCBC-31, price 3,465 yen (including tax). Source: Mangaoh Club.
  • Fell asleep yesterday before I update further...

29 May 2004 (third update)

  • From an advance issue of Megami Magazine, it appears that the bishoujo TV anime series "W ~ Wish ~" and "Final Approach" (both based on Princess Soft games) will each have 15 minute long episodes. Source: Moon Phase.
  • The diary on the AT-X website states that a manga version of Kita e ~ Diamond Dust Drops ~ is in the works - looks like it'll be serialised in Monthly Comic Gum. Source: Moon Phase.
  • The Digimon website has some info up on the Digial Monster X-evolution anime to be released next year. By clicking on the arrow pointing to the right on that page, you'll be able to access a few screenshots from the movie. Source: alternative-live.
  • Computer crashed.
  • Following on from Onegai Teacher and Onegai Twins, a TV series titled "Onegai Friends" is in the works. Source: Rakuga Kidou. According to Moon Phase, it'll be set a year after Onegai Twins and will be the story of two girls' love. Actually, from the pic I've seen, there's no clear reference to it being an anime or a series, but the fansites seem to be treating it as such.
  • The August 2004 issue of monthly Dengeki Comic Gao! magazine will come with a DearS Premium DVD. Source: ultimatum. The TV anime based on the manga is set to commence broadcast in July 2004.
  • animate.tv is distributing the anime of Narutaru (Shadowstar) over the internet. Although it's generally on a fee-paying basis, episode 1 is available for download free. Source: ultimatum. However, I'm not sure if you'll be able to view it outside Japan - I wasn't able to... If you'd like to try, visit this page and scroll down until you see a column of dark blue buttons. Click on the top-most one, the one in the same box as the screenshot.
  • Animaxis.com English language article "Anime-Only Theater Opens in Akihabara".
  • On a tangent, International Herald Tribune article "Soaking it up: Japan's hot-bath amusement parks catch on" by Elizabeth Heilman Brooke.
  • DVD volume 1 "Melon Pan Hen" (Melon Bread Arc) of the 2004 TV anime series of Massugu ni Ikou will be released on 14 July 2004. CD Japan has the details here. Volume 1 will contain three of the five episodes in the series. Volume 2 will contain the final two episodes and will be released in August 2004.
  • DVD volume 2 of Godannar Second Season will be released on 23 July 2004. There'll be a limited edition version which comes with figure and box to hold all six volumes of the series. CD Japan has the details here.

27 May 2004 (third update)

  • It's too late for me to type any more. I'll leave the rest for tomorrow or the weekend.
  • Staff details for the bishoujo TV anime of W ~ Wish ~ (Double Wish), which commences broadcast in October 2004:
      Director Sekita Osamu
      Series composition and script Hasegawa Katsumi
      Character design Nitta Yasunari
      Animation production Trinet(?) Entertainment / Picture Magic
    Source: Moon Phase. Based on the Playstation 2 game of the same name by Princess Soft.
  • Another bishoujo computer game by Princess Soft is being adapted into a TV anime: Final Approach. Japanese title is actually "Fainaru Apuro-chi" with the "fai" written as the Greek letter "phi". Hope that makes sense. Anyway, staff details as follows:
      Director Yamamoto Takashi
      Series composition and script Hasegawa Katsumi
      Character design Shimasawa(?) Noriko
      Animation production Trinet(?) Entertainment / ZEXCS
    Cast will include Nogawa Sakura and Tamura Yukari. Broadcast is scheduled to commence in the (northern) autumn of 2004 - perhaps October as with W ~ Wish ~ ...? Source: Reinbo Actress and Moon Phase. The Playstation 2 adventure game itself will be released later this year.
  • Damn all these bishoujo anime series >_<
  • I'd always wondered whether the Futakoi (Twin Love) bishoujo story from Dengeki G's Magazine would be adapted into an anime (it's already being adapted into a game). Media Works' page for Futakoi is here - it's about five sets of twin girls, I think. I'm not sure: was this originally some text story, or radio drama, or something else...? Frankly, I don't care - these bishoujo stories don't interest me at all. However, it's been announced that the story will be adapted into two anime series. Both anime series will be tentatively titled "Futakoi", however the title of one is written in kanji and the other in katakana. So how am I going to distinguish the two in romaji...? For now I'll just call them "Futakoi (kanji)" and "Futakoi (kana)" ^_^;; Futakoi (kanji) will be a love comedy. Futakoi (kana) will be a "mysterious" story. Looks like seiyuu cast will be the same for both series and will be the same as for the (Playstation 2) game (ie it'll include Horie Yui). Further, it seems both series are to be broadcast on TV Tokyo in the (northern) autumn of 2004. Staff details:
    Futakoi (kanji)
      Director Tomizawa Nobuo
      Series composition Konparu Tomoko
      Script Maruo Miho and Yokotani Masahiro
      Character design Ueda Mineko
      Animation production Telecom Animation Film
    Futakoi (kana)
      Director Inokawa Shintaro
      Script Kingetsu Ryuunosuke
      Character design Kobayashi Toshimitsu
      Animation production ufotable zippers flag feel (what the?!)
    Source: Reinbo Actress and Moon Phase.
  • It's unfair for Japanese banner ads to advertise 40Mbps ADSL connections while I only have a dial-up connection >_<
  • GAiNAX has announced that a life sized (159cm tall) figure of Hikari from Kono Miniku mo Utsukushii Sekai (This Ugly and Beautiful World) is available for order from its mailorder page. Made by Paper Moon, poseable, clothing can be changed, price a cool 399,000 yen (including tax). Shipping is free, but presumably only within Japan. Orders accepted until 1 July 2004. See this page for more pics of the figure and others by Paper Moon. Source: Moon Phase.
  • A manga version of Production IG's upcoming anime Otogizoushi will commence serialisation in the August 2004 issue of Comic Blade magazine. Author will be Seto(?) Narumi. Source: Moon Phase.
  • The official website for the Chrno Crusade anime has updated with a fifth wallpaper for fans to download. Available for a limited time only. Source: Moon Phase. The wallpapers are bitmap files compressed as lzh files. If you have any difficulty de-compressing the files, see my 12 May 2002 entry regarding URDA.
  • animate.tv states that the TV anime version of the comic ninja manga "Ninin ga Shinobuden (2 x 2 = Shinobuden) ~ the Nonsense Kunoichi Fiction" will commence broadcast in July 2004. Further, you can download a trailer for the anime by visiting the page linked above and clicking on the dark blue button towards the bottom of the page. Click on the left hand button if you have a narrow band connection, right if you have a broadband connection. Source: alternative-live.

26 May 2004 (third update)

  • Didn't really catch up with news today. Tired now. Still have a long list of stuff to translate and type up, but not today. Either tomorrow or the weekend... Good night ^_^
  • The company Chuosha states that it's been announced in the July 2004 issue of monthly manga magazine Afternoon (on sale yeseterday) that future issues of Afternoon magazine will come with more Oh! My Goddess figures. There will be three figures, sculpted by Enoki Tomohide and they will be known as the "Aa Megami-sama terzetto version" figures (a terzetto is a form of song which uses three voices). Anyway, the details:
    The September 2004 issue (on sale 25 July 2004) will come with Belldandy figure.
    The November 2004 issue (on sale 25 September 2004) will come with Urd figure.
    The January 2005 issue (on sale 25 November 2004) will come with Skuld figure. Note that Chuosha gives the publication dates of the particular issues as late November 2004, late Jannuary 2005 and late March 2005, but I reckon they've got the dates wrong.
  • Avex's website for Kita e ~ Diamond Dust Drops ~ has updated with some DVD release details. To add to the details I posted up on 15 May 2004, not only is DVD Box 1 a first pressing limited edition item, it is a preorder only item. Furthermore, the page refers to four bonus items. I presume they only come with DVD Box 1, not if you purchase the four individual volumes. The items are a box illustrated by Nocchi, 60cm paper figure of Akanegi Atsuko (see the page linked for pics), set of three character postcards and 32 page booklet. DVD Box 2 will be released in October 2004. Source: Moon Phase.
  • Hey, I thought the Evangelion S^2 Works CD Box was a first pressing limited edition item. Now GAiNAX has announced that it's going to sell more copies starting 18 June 2004. Of course, this time it'll be a limited edition as well -_- Details appear to be the same (price 10,000 yen including tax, six CDs and one bonus CD, box with serial number etc) - the only apparent difference is that whereas the 1998 release came with a telephone card, this version will come with six stickers of the jacket illustrations. Note however, that this time, the CD Box will only be available by internet mail order, ie by ordering from the GAiNAX website. Source: Moon Phase.
  • A trailer/pilot clip for the Binchou-tan anime is now available for download from the website of Binchou-tan creator Ekusa Takahito. Just click on the title screen of the screenshots which appear on the download page. Source: Moon Phase. For more info about the Binchou-tan anime, see my 9 May 2004 entry.
  • The Re: Cutie Honey website has updated with a few more DVD release details. The box which comes with the first pressing of volume 1 will actually hold four items, not just the three DVD volumes. I presume the fourth space is for an OST CD...? DVD volume 2 will come with a Panther Claw mask. DVD volume 3 will come with a Kisaragi Honey mascot. Source: Moon Phase. Note that the mask and mascot are *not* stated to be first pressing only items.
  • The opening sequence for the Re: Cutie Honey OVA is now available for download from the official website. The opening clip is the right hand image (the left hand one is the promo clip). Source: Rakuga Kidou. For broadcast and DVD release details, see my 27 March 2004 and 6 May 2004 entries respectively.
  • Another magazine relating to a particular manga or particular mangaka: Shoujo Comic magazine has announced a special "Watase Yuu Perfect World Fushigi Yuugi Vol. 1" issue of the magazine. Contents of this Fushigi Yuugi world magazine include 101 pages of the Fushigi Yuugi Genbu Kaiden manga, "all star" poster, three trading cards (gotta collect them all ^_- ) and a map of the world of FY (hyped as the first publication of the "Shijin Tenchi Sho World Map"). Price 590 yen. The magazine is released today, I think - the same day as publication of volume 2 of the Genbu Kaiden manga. Source: ultimatum. It's been 12 years since the start of the Fushigi Yuugi story.
  • Thanks to pv82 for posting up info from the special Tenjou Tenge issue of Ultrajump magazine - this confirms that the past arc (or at the very least part of it) will be animated. There are character designs and seiyuu details for Shin, young Mitsuomi, young Maya, Mana and young Bunshichi.
  • Comic Gum magazine has announced that the eighth and final volume of the Mahoromatic manga by Ditama Bow will have a first limited edition version which comes with a 50mm x 50mm x 80mm Mahoro crystal. See the page linked for a pic. The crystal will feature a 3D image of Mahoro lit up by a four colour (red, blue, yellow, green) LED display. The LED is powered by three AA batteries (batteries not included). The cover for the first limited edition version of the manga will also be different to the cover for the regular edition of the manga. To be released 25 September 2004. Price of the limited edition version with crystal is 3,470 yen (including tax). Pre-order cutoff date for the first limited edition version is 30 June 2004.
  • I received another order today. More DVDs to add to my backlog...
  • Intron Depot 4 Bullets (to be released towards the end of June 2004, price 2,940 yen including tax) will contain Shirow Masamune's design works, image boards, package illustrations etc (some previously unpublished) for games and anime from 1995 to 1999. As with previous volumes of Intron Depot, there'll be comments by Shirow in both English and Japanese. Roughly B4 size, 112 pages, full colour. Source: Mangaoh Club.
  • Those who purchase all three volumes of the Honoo no Shinkirou (Mirage of Blaze) OVA series "Minagiwa no Hangyakusha" will be able to apply for a drama CD. Source: Animate. Further, it seems that if you order from Animate, you can apply for a second drama CD ("Animate Original Another Version"). For release details for the OVA, see my 17 and 22 May 2004 entries.

25 May 2004 (third update)

  • Going to leave it at this today. Need to get some sleep.
  • Impress Corporation reports that Bandai has announced a new Digimon project: the feature length CG anime Digital Monster X-evolution (apparently pronounced "Digital Monster Zevolution") will be released in 2005. Director will be Kakudou Hiroyuki, script will be by Itou Kazunori and Kawasaki Miu. Of course, tie-ins are planned with computer game software, toys etc. Source: alternative-live. Moon Phase states animation production will be by Toei Animation.
  • Nikkan Sports News reports that Suzuki Anne will be appear in the live action Hong Kong movie version of Initial D. Apparently she'll play the role of Natsuki. Filming in the Gunma area will commence in June. Source: alternative-live.
  • Volume 1 of the OVA Cossette no Shozou (Le Portrait de Petit Cossette) will be released tomorrow. Mangazoo has a promo clip available for download here. You'll see two buttons at the bottom of the page, one for high speed internet connections, the other for low. Source: Rakuga Kidou.
  • Kadokawa Shoten has confirmed the TV anime version of Girls Bravo (manga by Mario Kaneda) and stated that it'll commence broadcast at 2.28am on 5 July 2004 on Fuji TV. Directed by Aoki Ei, series composition by Watanabe Hiroshi(?), character design by Makino Ryuichi, animation production by AIC. Source: Moon Phase.
  • Episode 4 of the m.o.e TV anime Love Love? is available for download from the official website until 31 May 2004. Source: Moon Phase. For details on how to view the show, see my 6 May 2004 entry.
  • Further to my 23 April 2004 entry, it's since been revealed that the limited edition version of DVD volume 1 of Boukyaku no Senritsu (The Melody of Oblivion) will come with not only drama CD and booklet but also a box to hold six volumes (ie half the series).
  • Kodansha has listed its shonen and shoujo manga and related publications for July 2004. They include a Steam Boy Mechanical Book and Steam Boy Adventure Book, both to be published on 17 July 2004, price of each yet to be determined.
  • Magazine Z has announced that its August 2004 issue (on sale 26 June 2004) will see the start of the manga version of Kurau Phantom Memory. The TV anime by Bones is scheduled to commence broadcast late night on TV Asahi in the early (northern) summer of 2004. Source: ultimatum.
  • The 24 May 2004 entry to the diary on the Tenbatsu Angel Rabbie (Divine Punishment Angel Rabbie) website states that the Genshiken TV anime and the Kujibiki Unbalance TV anime will be broadcast in the (northern) autumn. Source: Moon Phase.
  • Zakzak report on filming of the live action movie Azumi 2, based on the Azumi manga by Koyama Yu. Ueto Aya will reprise her role as Azumi. The movie will be released in the (northern) spring of 2005. Source: Ma-ten.
  • ITmedia report on the new (third) Pikachu jumbo jet for ANA, which commenced service yesterday. Click on the pictures for enlargements. For more photos, see also this page. This is part of the promotion for the latest Pokemon movie "Pocket Monster Advance Generation Retsukuu no Houmonsha Deokishisu" (Deoxys, Visitor from the Fissure in the Sky) which will be released theatrically on 17 July 2004. The previous two Pokemon jets were created in 1998 and 1999. Source: alternative-live. See also this Famitsu.com report. Source: Ma-ten.
  • The official website for My - HiME (I note that the official rendering of the first word is "My" not "Mai") has updated with a third 15 second trailer for download. Source: alternative-live.
  • JVC Music has a website up for Samurai Champloo, which TV anime commenced broadcast roughly a week ago. Source: Rakuga Kidou. You can hear samples of the OP and ED here.

24 May 2004 (third update)

  • Animax's broadcast of Midori no Hibi has been censoring nipples as compared to the terrestrial broadcast of the TV anime. See the 20 May 2004 comparison on Suko-san's website. Source: Rakuga Kidou.
  • Official website for the TV anime based on the otaku manga Genshiken by Kio Shimoku is now up. As is the official website for the TV anime based on the fictional school love comedy manga Kujibiki Unbalance (which fictional manga is featured in Genshiken). Source: Moon Phase.
  • ITmedia has a page up for the upcoming GAiNAX OVA series Top wo Nerae! 2. Click on the five screenshots on the side of the page for enlargements. Source: Rakuga Kidou. For release details for the first of six volumes, see my 14 May 2004 entry.
  • While fans are waiting for Shinkai Makoto's new work Kumo no Mukou, Yakusoku no Bassho "The place promised in our early days" to be released, he's put up a wallpaper and poster on his website in relation to the anime. Just visit this page, scroll down to the 23 May 2004 entry and you'll see a collection of six links to download the poster and wallpaper (the latter in five different sizes). Source: Moon Phase. The anime is scheduled for release in the (northern) autumn of 2004.
  • Ever wonder: if you buy one of those life-sized dolls, how would it be delivered? Tentative Name's Sarasiru-san has received his Jewel 2 doll. Check out his 24 May 2004 entry for photos and report. For a few more details, see my 11 April 2004 entry.
  • Out today is the first issue of Koike Kazuo's monthly jidai-geki (ie basically, samurai) manga magazine "Jin". Published by Koike Shoin, price 350 yen. Source: ultimatum. On sale every 24th.
  • Manga magazine Kiss has announced that Karube Junko's manga Aozora Clinic (serialised in the same magazine) is to be adapted into a live action TV dorama series commencing broadcast on 28 June 2004 at 1.30pm on Fuji TV. Source: ultimatum. Story of a female doctor.
  • Also to be adapted into a live action TV dorama series is the manga "Yoiko no Mikata" by Sakou Atsuko (serialised in monthly Judy magazine). To commence broadcast on TBS on 7 June 2004 at 1.00pm. Official website is here. The final chapter of the manga will be published in the August 2004 issue (on sale 24 June 2004). Source: ultimatum.
  • The results of the 57th Cannes International Film Festival have been announced. The Korean movie "Old Boy" by director Park Chan-Wook received the Grand Prix. The Asahi Shimbun reports that the movie is based on the Japanese manga of the same name by Tsuchiya Garon (story) and Minegishi Nobuaki (art). Source: ultimatum.
  • The official website for the TV anime version of Maria-sama ga Miteru has confirmed the second season of the anime, to commence broadcast at 7.30am on 4 July 2004. Title will be "Maria-sama ga Miteru ~ Haru ~" ('haru' meaning 'spring'). Source: ultimatum. In addition, CD details for the second season have also been announced. The OP will remain the wonderful "pastel pure" but this time an Ali Project take on the music. The CD single will be released on 25 August 2004, catalogue number FCCM-0052, price 1,260 yen (including tax). As for the OST album, it'll be released on 24 September 2004, catalogue number FCCM-0053, price 2,940 yen (including tax) and will contain new BGM as well as the TV size version of the new OP. Katakura Mikiya remains credited with the music, even though Ali Project's online diary had previously referred to work on the BGM of the series (see my 8 and 10 March 2004 entries).
  • Meanwhile, hopefully my MariMite doujin card game "Mari Un Zero" CD-ROM will be winging its way to me (together with separate MariMite doujinshi "Lillian Rapport" by Kawarajima Kou's circle Henreikai - Henreikai's work is adult, but the artwork is good).
  • I note that Dark Horse changed release of Cannon God Exaxxion (by Sonoda Kenichi) from individual issues to being part of its Super Manga Blast! magazine in recent issues. They seem to have celebrated this change by censoring out a three page bath scene from the first instalment (stage 4.1) -_- two pages of which contained oral sex.
  • Started reading the Crest of the Stars manga as released by Tokyopop. The cutish artwork and style doesn't seem quite right to me, but I guess since I watched the anime first I'll have a natural bias towards that medium. The heavy use of Abh terms is cumbersome too. But I assume that stems from the original Japanese manga - one occasion where I would've preferred the English adaptation to take some liberties.
  • Sorry I didn't type up more yesterday. Just too tired. I'll have to see what I can get done today and over the next few days...

23 May 2004 (fourth update)

  • More later. I may be briefer in the short term to try to catch up with news.
  • Episode 3 of the m.o.e TV anime Love Love? is available for download from the official website until 24 May 2004. For details on how to view the show, see my 6 May 2004 entry.
  • m.o.e has also posted up DVD release details for Love Love? Details are similar to those for Hit wo Nerae! (Smash hit!) and Chou Henshin Kosu-pureiya (The Cosmopolitan Prayers). There'll be a four volume release in which each of the first three volumes will include two TV broadcast episodes and a new episode linked to the two episodes: 45 minutes for each of those three volumes. The final/fourth volume will include three TV broadcast episodes and one new episode: 60 minutes for that volume. Further, the double layer DVDs will contain two versions of each episode: one with superior picture quality and Dolby Digital sound and the other with superior linear PCM sound but lesser picture quality. And again the the jacket will have a sheet (or two) so that you can change the clothing of the characters on the front. There'll also be a standard (less risque) jacket. Each volume will also come with a reversible card and a picture labelled disc. In a change from the previous releases, the first pressing of volume 4 will come with a box to hold all four volumes in the Love Love? series. Release schedule:
    Volume 1 to be released 14 July 2004, price 3,990 yen (including tax)
    Volume 2 to be released 4 August 2004, price 3,990 yen (including tax)
    Volume 3 to be released 18 August 2004, price 3,990 yen (including tax)
    Volume 4 to be released 1 September 2004, price 5,250 yen (including tax).
  • The same company has also set out the release details for the Love Love? Complete Album. Similar to the CD release for Henshin Kosu-pureiya (The Cosmopolitan Prayers) and Hit wo Nerae! (Smash hit!), the Love Love? Complete Album will be a two CD set containing 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. One aspect which is different from the CD release for the previous two series is that the first pressing of this Complete Album will come with box to hold all three Complete Albums. To be released 1 September 2004, price 2,940 yen (inlcuding tax).
  • The National Tax Administration Agency has released its lists of highest income tax payers for the 2003 financial year. See this Mainichi Shimbun article (in English) for a general report. For a list of the top 100 overall, see the list (in Japanese) in this Sankei Sports report. However, in the "others" section, where people in the anime/manga industry are most likely to appear, Takahashi Rumiko has risen from her 8th place the previous year to 3rd place in the 2003 financial year with income tax of 170,640,000 yen. Relevent persons in the top 10 of the "others" section this time around are (as reported by the Asahi Shimbun):
    3. Takahashi Rumiko (tax 170,640,000 yen) - last year in 8th position
    5. Aoyama Gosho (author of Detective Conan) (tax 159,430 yen) - not in the top 10 last year
    6. Tsunku (music producer) (tax 151,600,000 yen) - last year in 7th position
    9. Konomi Takeshi (author of Tennis no Oujisama/Prince of Tennis) (tax 122,670,000 yen) - last year in 10th position
    10. Hishaishi Jo (composer of music for Studio Ghibli movies etc) (tax 120,400,000 yen) - not in the top 10 last year
    Again, note that this only in the "others" section. People in the anime/manga industry do not figure in the overall lists. Takahashi does not make the top 100 overall. This year, the highest income tax payer overall in Japan was Saitou Hitori, president of a cosmetics company, who paid income tax of almost 1,150,000,000 yen. Source: ultimatum. For the 2002 financial year results, see my 18 May 2003 entry. For the 2001 financial year results, see my 17 May 2002 entry.
  • The August 2004 issue of Champion Red manga magazine (on sale 19 June 2004) will feature a bonus 24 page booklet with a one-shot manga "Eat-man vs Ray / Drop In", combining two of Yoshitomi Akihito's manga "Eat-man" and "Ray". In addition, the magazine will also contain another one-shot manga by Yoshitomi: the 40 page "Gate Runner". Source: ultimatum.
  • The Neon Genesis Evangelion interactive game DVD will be released on 2 June 2004. You can download a 97 second promo movie from this page Sega has set up for the game. Source: ultimatum. For more details, see my 3 February 2004 entry but note the change of release date.
  • Old news by now, but Production IG's new anime series to commence broadcast on NTV in July 2004 is Otogizoushi, set in the Heian period of Japan. Two pages of design works can be found starting here. Directed by Nishikubo Mizuho, series composition by Sakurai Keiki, character design by Kise Kazuchika (based on original designs by Tajima Shouu), music by Taniuchi Hideki. Source: ultimatum.
  • Issue number 26 of Shonen Magazine (on sale 26 May 2004) will contain 40 page one-shot manga "Tokyo Drive" by Inoue Santa (author of Tokyo Tribe). Source: Shonen Magazine and ultimatum.
  • NHK's official website for the live action TV dorama series adaptation of Ninomiya Tomoko's manga "Green ~ Nouka no Yome ni Naritai ~". Source: ultimatum. The short series will commence broadcast on NHK's general channel on 24 May 2004.
  • Mag Garden has updated its list of future releases. They include:
    Romeo e Julietta Kinoshita Sakura Monochrome Art Collection, to be published 29 July 2004, price 1,300 yen (including tax), A4 size, including line art from Matantei Loki Ragnarok.
    Wolf's Rain Kawamoto Toshihiro Art Collection, to be published 29 July 2004, price 2,200 yen (including tax), A4 size.
    Source: ultimatum.
  • Looks like the time has come to announced new series for the next season.
  • A second season to the anime of Monkey Turn will commence broadcast in July 2004, eg at 24.55 on 3 July 2004 on TV Tokyo (ie 0.55am on 4 July 2004). Title will be Monkey Turn V. Source: TA Group BBS. Update: see this official announcement on the Web Sunday website.
  • Interesting four blade knife from Rivertop. Length 56cm, width 36cm, weight 2.63kg, price 31,290 yen (including tax). May be a good accessory for fantasy cosplay ^_^ Source: Magicalantique.com.
  • ITmedia reports that Sony Communication Network and Kadokawa Pictures will be jointly producing a TV anime based on the Sony's email software PostPet. It'll commence broadcast on 4 July 2004. Title of this series will be "PostPet Momo Bin", which will be comprised of episodes approximately three and a half minutes long. A "heartful comedy" using 3D CG animation. DVD release is planned for the (northern) autumn of 2004. Source: TA Group BBS.
  • Tezuka Productions has announced that a TV anime series based on Tezuka Osamu's manga Black Jack will commence broadcast this (northern) autumn. Source: ultimatum. See the pop-up window on the Tezuka Productions website.
  • Yomiuri Online reports that Kanzaki Shummi's manga Aa Tantei Jimusho (Aa Detective Office) (serialised in Young Animal manga magazine) is to be adapted into a live action TV dorama series to commence broadcast on TV Asahi on 2 July 2004. Source: ultimatum. Presumably called the "Aa Detective Office" so that the business appears first in the telephone directory.
  • Back in October 2003 there were suggestions of an Ichigeki Sacchuu!! Hoihoi-san anime being produced. Now Media Works has announced that the publication of the tankoubon of the manga by Tanaka Kunihiko (serialised in Monthly Comic Dengeki Daioh magazine). There'll be a first edition limited edition version which comes with 10 minute OVA DVD, to be released 30 September 2004, price 3,000 yen (including tax). Regular edition of the manga (without DVD) will be published 9 October 2004, price 945 yen (including tax). Direction, script and storyboards by Satou Takuya, character design and animation direction by Ochi Nobutsugu(?), animation production by Doumu. Source: ultimatum. Hoihoi-san is an 11.5cm female maid pest-exterminating robot. See the page linked for a few small screenshots of the OVA.

22 May 2004 (fourth update)

  • So tired. I think it's in part due to my recent illness and subsequent workload. Was hoping to type up more today, but it'll have to wait for tomorrow and next week...
  • DVD volume 6 of GitS:SAC 2nd GIG will be released on 27 August 2004, price 6,300 yen (including tax), containing two episodes. First pressing will come with a box to hold volumes 6 to 10. Source: dvdcatalog.
  • Looks like Animate is selling memo pads which come housed in a case moulded to look like Anita-chan's paper holsters in R.O.D - The TV -. Price 525 yen (including tax).
  • The company Chuosha states that the manga "Haruka naru Toki no Naka de" by Mizuno Tooko (serialised in Monthly LaLa magazine) is to be adapted into a TV anime (an OVA was released not too long ago). Title will be "Haruka naru Toki no Naka de _ Hachiyou Shou". Director will be Tsunaki Aki, character design by Ohnuki Kenichi, production by Yumeta Company. Cast will include Seki Tomokazu, Takahashi Naozumi and Hoshi Souichirou.
  • On 14 April 2004 I wrote about the release details for DVD volume 1 of Initial D Fourth Stage (to be released 16 June 2004). Nifty Animation Online reports that the remaining six volumes will be released every two months thereafter, each containing two episodes, so that the final volume 7 will be released in June 2005.
  • A few weeks old, but Chris Dixon's article "Drifting: the Fast Art of the Controlled Slide" in the New York Times, with reference to Initial D.
  • A post to a message board on the Oh! great fansite Sa-i states that episode 10 of the Tenjou Tenge anime (to be broadcast on 3 June 2004) will be titled "Kioku" (Memory) and that that will be the start of the past arc. There's no source sited for the info, though.
  • Updated the Koikaze DVD release info with one extra tidbit.
  • I gave release details for DVD volume 1 of the latest Tetsujin 28-go (Gigantor) TV anime series on 2 May 2004. Neowing states this item will be a first pressing limited edition item of 30,000 copies, though CD Japan refers to it being a low priced limited edition, suggesting future editions would simply cost more.
  • On 17 May 2004 I typed up the release details for volume 1 of Honoo no Shinkirou (Mirage of Blaze) OVA series "Minagiwa no Hangyakusha". CD Japan now has listings for volume 2 and the final volume 3. Further, the company's sister site Neowing states that those who purchase all three volumes will be able to apply for some bonus item.
  • The July 2004 issue of Ultrajump magazine (on sale 19 June 2004) will come with three anime version Tenjou Tenge character stands (ie 2D figures). Looks like the main figure will be of the Natsume sisters with two mini-stands of Bob and Nagi (or is it two main figures of Maya and Aya and one mini-stand of Bob and Nagi...?).
  • The concluding volume 2 of the OVA series Natsuiro no Sunadokei will be released on DVD on 23 July 2004. There'll be a first pressing limited edition version: catalogue number KSXA-24804, price 8,190 yen (including tax), which comes with special drama CD and box to hold both volumes of the DVD series. Source: Musicmarket. Hmm, I thought the first pressing limited edition version of volume 1 already came with a box to hold both volumes...?
  • The concluding DVD volume 2 of the OVA Aoi Umi no Tristia (Tristia of the Deep Blue Sea) will be released on 23 July 2004. There'll be one version which will be available for a limited time only. Catalogue number KWBA-35L, price 7,140 yen (including tax), comes with 12 page colour booklet, OST CD and digipak to hold both DVD and CD. Source: Musicmarket. I'm presuming that after the time period is over (or perhaps once, say, 10,000 units are sold), only a regular edition will be available, as is the case with the first volume.
  • DVD release details for Koikaze the anime:
    Volume 1 to be released 23 July 2004, catalogue number GNBA-1041, price 2,100 yen (including tax), contains one episode.
    Volume 2 to be released 25 August 2004, there will be a first pressing limited edition version. (A box perhaps...?)
    Volume 3 to be released 29 September 2004, catalogue number GNBA-1043, price 6,300 yen (including tax), contains three episodes.
    Volume 4 to be released 22 October 2004, catalogue number GNBA-1044, price 6,300 yen (including tax), contains three episodes and first part of some "kuma geki (bear drama/movie)" (some clip involving the teddy bears...?).
    Volume 5 (final) to be released 25 November 2004, catalogue number GNBA-1045, price 6,300 yen (including tax), contains three episodes and the concluding part of "kuma geki".
    First pressing of each volume will come with "memorial photo card" and special jacket.
    Source: Musicmarket. Update: Neowing states that first pressing of volume 1 will come with a clear file.
  • Also, the Koikaze Soundtrack CD will be released on 23 July 2004, catalogue number GNCA-1013, price 2,835 yen (including tax). First pressing will come with another "memorial photo card". Source: Musicmarket.
  • DVD volume 1 of the anime Keroro Gunso (Sgt Frog) will be released on 27 August 2004, catalogue number BCBA-1936, price 3,990 yen (including tax), first pressing is tentatively planned to come with special Keroro goods, contains four episodes (duration of the disc is 94 minutes). Source: Musicmarket.
  • The most recent Saint Seiya movie Tenkai Hen, which was released in cinemas this year, will be released on DVD on 24 September 2004, catalogue number BCBA-1960, price 9,240 yen (including tax). Features include staff audio commentary. Source: Musicmarket.
  • DVD Box 2 of Mujin Wakusei Survive (Uninhabited Planet Survive) will be released on 25 August 2004, catalogue number BBBA-9096, price 17,220 yen (including tax). Three discs containing episodes 15 to 26 together with a special disc with a digest version. Source: Mangaoh Club.
  • DVD volume 1 of Panda Z will be released on 27 August 2004, catalogue number BCBA-1891, price 3,990 yen (including tax), containing five episodes. Source: Mangaoh Club.
  • DVD volume 2 of the new OVA series Shin Getta Robo will be released on 27 August 2004, catalogue number BCBA-1886, price 4,725 yen (including tax). As with volume 1, it'll contain two episodes and first pressing will come with a CD single. Source: Mangaoh Club.
  • Mangaoh Club now also states that Shirow Masamune's artbook Intron Depot 4 Bullets will be released in mid-June 2004, price 2,940 yen (just as Comic Toranoana and Manga no Mori have previously stated). However Animate states that the book will be released towards the end of June 2004.
  • Mag Garden will be publishing a book Nakajima Atsuko Style "Tsuya" on 29 June 2004, price 2,200 yen (including tax). Source: Mangaoh Club. Nakajima of course being the well known artist (for the anime version of Rurouni Kenshin etc) and character design (Ranma 1/2, You're Under Arrest etc).
  • A special issue of Shonen GanGan magazine will be published by Square Enix on 18 June 2004, price 450 yen. Titled "Zoukan Hagane no Renkinjutsushi 2" (Special Issue Full Metal Alchemist 2) it'll come with special sticker(s) and (mobile phone) strap. Like the first volume, it'll contain a "best selection" of story arcs from the manga. In addition, this time the issue will contain author Arakawa Hiromu's earlier 44 page one-shot manga "Shanghai Youma Onikai(?)". Interview(s) and HagaRen four panel manga will also be included. Source: Mangaoh Club. Shanghai Youma Onikai (or perhaps Kikai...?) has never been collected into a tankoubon. IIRC, it was printed in the May 2000 issue of GanGan magazine, about 15 months before HagaRen started.

20 May 2004

  • Sick the past two days. Very busy today, tired now, and still busy. No news today. Try again tomorrow... (though it may not be until Saturday).

17 May 2004 (second update)

  • Will probably leave the rest for another day. Getting tired...
  • Toei Animation's website for the three volume OVA series Interlude states that volume 2 will be released on 25 June 2004 and volume 3 on 27 August 2004. Source: Moon Phase. Volume 1 was released on 25 March 2004.
  • Fuji TV's website for Samurai Champloo. Source: Ma-ten. The series commences broadcast at 2.28am on 20 May 2004.
  • Official website for Kenran Butou Sai The Mars Daybreak. Source: Ma-ten. Check out the Bones Camera.
  • DVD volume 7 of Hagane no Renkinjutsushi (Full Metal Alchemist) will be released on 28 July 2004, price 6,090 yen (inlcuding tax). Musicmarket states that the first pressing of that volume will come with a bonus disc (along with the usual extras).
  • The first pressing of Kajiura Yuki's Madlax Soundtrack CD will come with a mousepad. Source: Musicmarket. To be released 23 June 2004, catalogue number VICL-61319, price 3,045 yen (including tax).
  • VAP's website for the Monkey Turn anime has updated with a TV ad for the DVD sales to download. Visit the video & DVD page and click on the image with the word "DVD" written over it.
  • An Onegai Twins Visual Collection book will be published by Gakken on 8 June 2004, price 2,520 yen (including tax). It'll be 64 A4 size illustrations (which can be removed from the book) and will come with a 70cm "stand pop" (ie 2D figure) of the twins. Source: Mangaoh Club.
  • To add to my 15 May 2004 entry about Murata Range's mook "rule", Mangaoh Club states that the release date will be 2 June 2004, that the book will be B5 size, 88 pages and contents will include introduction to the clothing, watch, sunglasses etc drawn by Murata, an essay on his idea sources etc.
  • More release details for the Futatsu no Spica (Twin Spica) DVD Box to be released on 22 July 2004: catalogue number KIBA-91066, price 31,290 yen (including tax). As previously stated, it'll contain all 20 episodes. Source: Musicmarket.
  • Further release details for volume 1 of the three volume Honoo no Shinkirou (Mirage of Blaze) OVA series "Minagiwa no Hangyakusha": to be released 28 July 2004, catalogue number ANSB-7001, price 6,300 yen (including tax). Source: Mangaoh Club. Volume 2 is to be released in September 2004 and volume 3 in November 2004.
  • Pic of an uncompleted version of the Maggie Mui figure which I wrote about on 15 May 2004. Source: Hobby Search.

16 May 2004 (second update)

  • More stuff to type up, but minor stuff, and I wanna read more of my Rurouni Kenshin manga, so I'll leave the news for another day.
  • Yomiuri Online reports that the TV anime "Agatha Christie no Meitantei Poirot to Marple" (Agatha Christie's Great Detectives Poirot and Marple) will commence broadcast on NHK on 4 July 2004 at 7.30pm. Source: alternative-live.
  • Sorry if you couldn't access this page earlier. Had some problem connecting to server to upload my updates >_<


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