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AICN Anime Report: ExcelSaga; Ghibli; Metropolis; Evangelion; VampireHunter; CowboyBeBop; Ah!MyGoddess; 8ManAfter

Well, its Wednesday again and time for Father Geek to post another great fact filled Anime & Manga column from AICN Anime Editor Scott Green, buuuuut as is usual there are a couple of items ol' Father Geek will ad before hand...

, I've reported some things to you in the past, and thought you should know this. This mainly has to do with the concern that I and several of my friends have over Disney's idea to not even consider any more of Hiyao Miyazaki's films to see the light of day in the USA (I'm still hoping for "Castle in the Sky" on DVD/Video).

In these times, I've found my "Miyazaki fix" in the website These guys know almost everything under the sun, talking about the films of Miyazaki, and having certain articles translated. Just the other day, I found out the following information about "Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi," a.k.a. "Spirited Away."

(The information provided below was found by a translator of a Japanese article for the site):

1) "Spirited Away" has ousted "Titanic" from the Japanese Box-Office's #1 spot.

2) There are negotioations going on to try and get this film release. The two that "Tokuma" are talking with are Dreamworks and Disney.

This could be very interesting. Even though word is that Disney contributed 10% to "Spirited Away's" budget, they still seem reluctant to commit to giving other animated films the kind of publicity that they would exhibit towards their feature animated films like "Atlantis: The Lost Empire."

In my opinion, I hope that Jeffrey Kahtzenberg is able to obtain distribution rights to Studio Ghibli's films. Their idea to distribute films by Aardman Animations in England was a great alliance, and hopefully, Dreamworks wold give "Spirited Away" the kind of promotion the film deserves.

Sincerely, uruseiranma

P.S. also reports that Miyazaki's next film would possibly be released in summer of 2004. According to the translated news, Miyazaki says " I have to go into the totally different field (from where I've been) before."

Father Geek back with this bit about Disney...

Just thought you might like to know that Disney's upcoming Peter Pan sequel disgrace does have one cool thing. Their finally releasing the John Henry short to theatres after a couple of years of it being stored away in the vault. I think i heard sir etch a sketch talk about this animated short saying that it was so good the disney execs got scared. More than likely their adding on John Henry because of the short running length of Peter Pan (i think its barely over an hour) thought you might like to know


Th-Th-Th-That's all Folks... from Father Geek at least, Scott's got tons more interesting info for you below, sooooooo, check it all out now...

The AICN Anime Report

Crest of the Stars; Volumes 1 & 2

Crest of the Stars opens with orders being given in a strange language as an armed invasion fleet surrounding the colony of Martin. Humanity harnessed the power a newly discovered particle of unknown origin to colonize the galaxy. The invaders are the Humankind Empire of Abh, a race genetically altered to thrive in space. They appear like attractive, youthful humans with blue hair, and long elfin ears (possibly for political reasons, they look like "harmless elves"). A sensory organ on their forehead feels the space around them, allowing space piloting with a simple interface. Jinto Lin is the young son of Martin's elected president, Rock Lin. After determining his colony's defense are hopelessly out matched, Rock surrenders his colony without a fight. The Abh make Rock Lin the lord of their new possession, immediately angering the democratic population of the planet, who branding him a sell out. Jinto's innocent child's question are instantly met with sarcasm. He i! s accused of "already talking like a member of a higher class" when he asks about his father's deal.

After seven years away at military school, Jinto returns home on route to the Star Forces Academy at the Abh capital to train for the position a war secretary. The first Abh he meets is Lafeel, Crown Princess, and granddaughter of the Abh empress.

During the journey their ship comes into conflict with the forces of the Four Nation Union in the opening shots in a war between the Abh and the consolidated forces of the of the nations of human colonies. Lafeel and Jinto take a small craft to a human populated Abh vassal state where their arrive sets off a conflict with the state's duke.

The scope of the series is a narrow and personal take on space opera-esque galactic war. Space battles are montages are shown out of context with disjointed phrases flashed on the screen. It focuses on Jinto and Lafeel as a vehicle to explore the Abh and human cultures.

The series is told nearly equally through the eyes of Jinto and Lafeel, exemplified by the ending animation which is a montage of each characters' childhood that alternates by episode. Both Jinto and Lafeel are outgoing, likable characters with complex backgrounds. Both are very open with the other, and explain the circumstances of their childhood with a great deal of honesty, but some gaps.

There is good deal of culture clash tension between the two. The situation is made more awkward in its uniqueness. Jinto has never dealt with an Abh before. Lafeel has never known anyone without prior knowledge of her royalty. Jinto is questioned about basic reactions such as why he took a step back when Lafeel saluted him on their first meeting. The complexity of Abh society, and the foreignness of Jinto's make understanding difficult, but the two are intelligent enough to guess each other's intentions.

The appeal of the series is understanding the Abh culture. The thirteen episode television series is the first chapter of the anime adaptation of popular Japanese novel series. The cultural and scientific details of the series are all present and worked out. The high light of the series is the teasing clues when the working of these systems are explained, either in the episodes' opening monologues, or the series' many conversations. The Abh are interested in space, not the planets that litter it. The irony is that they decorate their war ships with paintings of the planets' surfaces. Sunflower fields, veldts, sea shorts and the like. The DVDs feature extra text section explaining details about Abh society. For example Abh nobility are conscripted in their Star Forces, and royalty must join combat groups, where performance dictates who is in line for the thrown.

The fact that the majority of its scenes are conversations and that battles that are shown are either montages for setting context, or emphasize strategy rather than adrenalin seems to suggest that a strict adaptation of the written source with few changes utilize the strength of the new medium that the story has been place into. However, it does exercise the medium's muscles a bit with some excellent, and highly detailed designs in the series' star ships.

Crest of the Stars is not a good source for an action or comedy fix. The pace is deliberate. Despite the youth of the characters, and the cute character design the ideas and implication of the series have a complexity that will appeal to older audiences. The appeal to the series is the ideas behind the events.

Rating: B+

This Week's Anime and Manga Releases

  • Ceres Celestial Legend #6 (Of 6)
  • Eagle Vol 22 Father & Son
  • Gundam Wing Episode Zero #8 (Of 8)
  • Inu Yasha Part 6 #7 (Of 15)
  • Kazan Vol 1 Gn #6
  • Lone Wolf & Cub Vol 15 Brothers Of The Grass Tp
  • No Need For Tenchi Part 12 #4 (Of 6)
  • Seraphic Feather Tp

  • 8 Man After: Perfect Collection
  • Ah! My Goddess - The Movie
  • Babel II: Perfect Collection
  • Dragon Ball Z - Frieza - Fall Of A Tyrant
  • Gasaraki - In The Spider's Web (Vol. 7)
  • Orphen - Ruins And Relics
  • Pokemon - The Johto Journeys - Azalea Adventures (Vol. 47)
  • Pokemon - The Johto Journeys - Buggy Boogie (Vol. 48)
  • Sailor Moon S - Heart Collection Vi: Tv Series, Vols. 11 & 12 (Uncut)
  • Shadow Skill

Inu-Yasha is Rumiko Takahashi (Ranma ½'s) genre shifting take of a school girl from the present time who meets up with a half-demon dog boy from Japan's Era of Warring states.

8 Man After is based on a popular 1960's Robo Cop-esque manga series. " With the recent disappearance of cyborg hero 8 Man, murderous drug-crazed gangs known as "cyber-junkies"the only super-android vigilante who can bring the lawless to justice and return order to a city consumed by corruption and violence. "

Babel II is a story based on the manga series by Mitsutero Yokoyama about a boy with untapped psychic powers who is lured by a beautiful woman into her evil cult.

AIC has opened their English website for Ah! My Goddess the Motion Picture

right here, The site features information, on the story, characters and staff, as well as many art shots. The movie's trailer can be seen at here.

The will take a deeper look at the characters that viewers of the OAV (direct to video release) and manga series have grown to love.

In the OAV the college student Keiichi is trying to order out for food when he accidentally dials the Helper Goddess Hotline. When the goddess Belldandy appears Keiichi, believes he's the victim of a practical joke and wishes Belldandy would date him. Eventually he ends up living with Belldandy, her older sister, the mischievous seductress Urd, her younger sister, the immature techie Skuld, and his younger sister Megumi. It's a fun romantic comedy that turns out to be very sweet.

Keiichi is trying to attract new members to the Nekomi motor club, but has problems with people being attracted to the goddess Belldandy and not racing. At a party being thrown to welcome four new members the normally quiet and shy usually shy and quiet Sora Hasegawa gets drunk and hits on Keiichi. When bottles begin to fly around Belldandy's jealousy is suspected. In the movie new goddess Operetta, the Systems Manager for the "Earth Assistance Center", joins Peorth as rivals of the goddesses known to OAV watchers.

Missing Bebop Episodes may Return to Cartoon Network

According to Cartoon Network's online schedule click here, the three previously unaired episodes of Cowboy Bebop are to air during the series second run. All three episodes are believed to have been removed from Cartoon Network's Schedule as a result of the events of September 11th.

According to the schedule, Sympathy For the Devil is scheduled to air on December 16th and 20th Waltz for Venus on the 23rd and 27th and finally Cowboy Funk is scheduled to air on February 10th and 14th.

Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust Release Set

Urban Vision will be releasing Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust on VHS and DVD on February 12th.

'D' has been hired to track down Meier Link, a notoriously powerful vampire who has abducted a Human woman, Charlotte Elbourne. 'D''s orders are strict find Charlotte, at any cost. For the first time, 'D' faces serious competition. The Markus Brothers, a family of Vampire Hunters, were hired for the same bounty. 'D' must intercept Meier and conquer hostile forces on all sides in a deadly race against time. Despised by Vampires for his profession and by Humans for the blood in his veins, 'D' relentlessly pursues his prey. for a price.

DVD Special Features Include:

  • Behind the Scenes Featurette
  • Storyboard to Feature Comparison
  • Theatrical trailers and TV spots
  • Viewers' Top Ten Picks
  • Image Gallery
  • Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Motion Menus
  • Close Captioning
  • UV Trailers
  • Weblinks


  • Producers: Mataichiro Yamamoto, Masao Maruyama
  • Based on a Novel by: Hideyuki Kikuchi (Asahi Sonorama)
  • Director/Screenplay: Yoshiaki Kawajiri
  • Based on Character Illustrations by: Yoshitaka Amano
  • Character Designer & Animation Director: Yutaka Minowa
  • Mecha Designer: Ken Koike
  • Conceptual Designer: Yasushi Nirasawa
  • Art Director: Yuji Ikehata
  • Animation Studio: MADHOUSE
  • Production: Filmlink International

Shounen Jump Founder and Editor-In-Chief Passes Away

Tadasu Nagano, the founder and editor in chief of Japanese manga anothology Shounen Jump passed away on November 24th at the age of 75. The periodical launch such wll known series as Akira Toriyama's Dragon Ball, Nobuhiro Watsuki's Rurouni Kenshin, and Tsukasa Hojo's City Hunter, Cat Eyes.

Manga Entertainment Release Info (Evangelion Movies, Giant Robo)

According to Anime Tourist's report on Manga Entertainment Press Panel at Metreon Festival of Anime the dates posted on the company's web site are the outers bounds of the titles release date. They hope to get releases out as soon as possible. The release of the Evangelion movies has been delayed while they wait for a better Japanese audio track (a 5.1 version rather than the current stereo). An effort is being made to interview Evangelion creator and directory Anno Hideaki, but the likelihood is looking dim. Tsurumaki Kazuya will be providing an interview and possibly a director's commentary. English dub actress Amanda Win Lee will be providing a commentary track as well. Other special features include their own version of the "Red Cross Book", with images and information about the series, interviews (English dub actress Tiffany Grant has been named) and a look behind the scenes.

A recent flyer puts Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death & Rebirth on 4/30/02 and Neon Genesis Evangelion the Movie (AKA: End of Evangelion) on 7/30/02.

When the Neon Genesis Evangelion television series ended there was a great deal of controversy about the last two episodes. Many viewers where dissatisfied about the method in which the series was concluded. In response the Evangelion movies presented an alternative ending. The first half of Death & Rebirth is a summary of the events of the television series leading up to the last two episodes with new animation for transition. The second half features a new penultimate chapter. The first half of End of Evangelion is the same as the second half of death and rebirth. The feature then goes on to a new conclusion to the story.

Other manga release dates include:

  • Virus in May 2002.
  • Macross Plus Movie DVD is Feb.
  • Shadowskill is end of Nov. 2001
  • Gunbuster is late summer 2002.
  • Giant Robo is also late summer 2002. Currently trying to get the Gin Rei shorts as well.
  • Fist of the Northstar DVDs. Going to be as many episodes as possible on a dvd. So only 4-5.

Macross Plus: The Movie is a re-edited version of the four episode OAV series about three friends who have succeeded in the careers, but failed in their personally lives who are reunited when they return to their home planet, two of them as test pilots and the third of the manager to a popular virtual idol singer. The movie features two footage and a different take on the story than the OAVs.

Gunbuster is a OAV series from Gainax that has been compared to Evangelion with more of a traditional sci-fi bend.

Giant Robo is a pulp/retro take on the boy and his giant robot.

By popular demand, the Manga Entertainment website forum is coming back.

From Anime Tourist's "it was taken down because too many troublemakers were showing up and there was no way to keep them out. However, to get into the forum, you have to be part of Manga Fan Club. Keith is creating a manga membership card that has a serial number on it. That way only fans will be posting and not people who are trying to cause trouble. However if all you want to do is use the forum, then a membership card can be had for free by signing up at a convention that Manga is at or writing Keith and requesting one. Manga also plans to offer discounts to card holders and contests will be held for cardholders only. "

Metropolis Release Information.

The latest Diamond Comics Previews lists Metropolis for release in March with a retail price of 27.95$. According to the retailer Archonia, it will have only the Japanese language on it with English subtitles.

Second Ranma Box Set?

Viz's Holiday Shop By Mail catalogue list the Anything Goes Martial Arts DVD for release in March 2002 for $119.98.

TOKYOPOP Licensing News

TOKYOPOP's Smile magazine included an ad for the Marmalade Boy manga with the line "Look for the Marmalade Boy anime on VHS & DVD coming soon from TOKYOPOP".

Marmalade Boy is a comedy/drama about a girl whose parents return from a trip and announced that they are getting a divorce in order to swap spouses with another divorcing couple.

It has been confirmed that TOKYOPOP has licensed the Initial D anime series. Initial D a popular series in Japan about a street racer who excels due to his driving skill, despite the handicap of using a low power Toyota. Its known for its race scenes and beat music.

Cowboy Bebop Manga Starts February

The new Diamond preview soliciting for February releases lists the first two (of four) issues of Cowboy Bebop from TokyoPop. They are also listing the first issue of Ragnarok from TokyoPop, and Big O from Viz.

Bandai Japan acquires Ashi Productions

Animaxis reports the Bandai group Banpresto has added Ashi Productions, producers of Macross 7, All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku and Blue Seed to its list of subsidiaries. Bandai, which own 90% of Ashi Productions' stock, is seen as having made the move in order to improve its profit margins in the merchandising area.

Further Confirmation Of "Howl's" Ghibli Film

According to "A scan of the wraparound slip that is included with the Japanese version of "Howl's Moving Castle" is now available for consumption. The text says: "Planned to be made into an animated film by Studio Ghibli! The slightly strange love story of Sophie, an 18 year old cursed to become a 90-year-old woman, and Howl, a magician who cannot truly love anyone." "

Gasaraki 8 Release Information

ADV has set a January 29th release date for "To Be a Kai", the eighth and final volume of Gasaraki.

The DVD release will feature the English-language version as well as the Japanese-language version with English subtitles. DVD extras for this volume include production staff interviews, "textless" open and close credit animation, production sketches, a comprehensive glossary of terms, and previews of ADV releases. Format SRP VHS $19.98 DVD $29.98

Excel Saga Dub Cast

Anime on DVD's forum has revealed that the dub cast for the highly anticipated comedy Excel Saga will be as follows:

  • Excel - Jessica Calvello
  • Ilapalazzo - Jason Douglas
  • Misaki Matsuya - Tiffany Grant
  • Great Will of the Macrocosom - Kelly Manison
  • Menchi - Hilary Haag
  • Hyatt - Monica Rial
  • Cosplay Excel - Cynthia Martinez
  • Nabeshin - Brett Weaver
  • Pedro - Rob Mungle
  • Watanabe - Jay Hickman
  • Iwata - Mark Laskowski
  • Kabapu - Mike Kleinhenz
  • Puchuu VA #1- Kira

The series should present a challenge to the actor due to the manic speed of its dialogue.

Fox and NBC Plan Saturday Morning Cartoon Changes

According to ICV2 Fox's removal of their afternoon animation block may be a sign of things to come for network televised animation. Variety reports that Fox is considering a number of scenarios, most of which will spell the end Fox's animated programming. The problem is that ad sales have softened and Fox's Power Rangers-led ratings dominance of the past has been eclipsed by competition from the WB (with Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh), ABC (One Saturday Morning), CBS (Nick Jr.), and the Cartoon Network. Now the four-hour, anime-laden Fox Kids Saturday lineup is in jeopardy, and shows like Transformers, Medabots, Mon Colle Knights , and Digimon could be looking for new time slots on a different network.

It is possible that Fox will "lease" the Saturday morning block to a "packager" like Nelvana, 4kids, or DIC Entertainment, but Variety also notes that Fox might use the time block to attempt to attract an older 18-34 audience by recycling programming from its FX network, which could eventually yield more in the way of ad revenue if the network could get the more mature audience to watch.

NBC, which currently fields a group of live-action shows featuring teen actors and aimed at slightly older demographic than the other networks' Saturday morning lineups, is reportedly looking to partner with a cable network that could help bring an audience to Saturdays by promoting the shows throughout the week. It is possible that NBC could return to an animated lineup at the same time that Fox dumps its toons, but it is unlikely that anime would be as well represented on NBC as it currently is on Fox Kids.

Bandai Sets Jin-Roh DVD Release

Bandai has announced that the Jin-Roh will be released on DVD March 5th. A standard edition will retain for $29.98; and a Special Edition, which includes a Jin-Roh CD soundtrack, a 12-page booklet, and Special Edition Slip Case packaging. The Special Edition, which also includes interviews with the cast and creators as well as theatrical trailers will retail for $59.98.

Central Park Media Delays

Central Park Media has officially indefinitely delayed the release of their Battleskippers movie and My My Mai DVDs, originally scheduled for release last month.

Changes at Guardians of Order

Guardians of Order has announced that they will be changing gears to focus on their fan guides. Their guides to Serial Experiments Lain and Trigun have been delayed to February and May respectively. Future guides include Fushigi Yugi, Dual, NieA_7, and Armitage III. The guides will try into their Big Eyes, Small Mouth RPG, but many of their other RPG licenses expire at the end of the 2001.

Come January 1, 2002 GOO is discontinuing the following RPG related products:

  • Sailor Moon RPG and Resource Book
  • Sailor Moon Supplement: Complete Book of Yoma
  • Sailor Moon Supplement: Sailor Scout Character Diary
  • Sailor Moon Supplement: Knight Character Diary
  • Sailor Moon Supplement: Dark Warrior Character Diary
  • Dominion Tank Police RPG and Resource Book
  • Demon City Shinjuku RPG and Resource Book
  • Sailor Moon Button Men

New Detail on US CCS Movie

Anime on DVD has learned that the upcoming release of the Card Captor Sakura movie from Pioneer will come in two different DVD versions. The "Cardcaptors" version will be dubbed only but uncut, cropped to be full-screen/pan & scan. The "Card Captor Sakura" version DVD will retain the original Japanese anamorphic 16:9 widescreen and include the English dubbed "Cardcaptors" version and the original Japanese dialogue with optional subtitles in Dolby 2.0 and 5.1. While no confirmation has been released yet, presumably this will be the first of the two Japanese CCS theatrical movies.

Upcoming Release Dates


Bubblegum Crash


Vampire Princess Miyu DVD 2


Vampire Princess Miyu DVD 2Otaku No Video


Blue Gender Vol. 2 (DUB / DVD)


Battle of the Planets 3 (VHS / DVD) and 4 (VHS / DVD

DBZ 28 Garlic Jr.: Black Water Mist DVD

DBZ 64: Cell Games: The Games Begin (D) (EDITED / UNCUT)

DBZ 65: Cell Games: Surrender (D) (EDITED / UNCUT)


DBZ Movie 5: Cooler's Revenge (Edited) (DUB / DVD)

DBZ Movie 5: Cooler's Revenge (Uncut) (DUB / DVD)


Beast Wars VHS 1 / VHS 2 / DVD

DBZ 39: Imperfect Cell: Encounter DVD

DBZ 40: Imperfect Cell: Discovery DVD

DBZ 62: Majin Buu: The Hatching DVD

DBZ 63: Majin Buu: Atonement DVD

Gasaraki Volume 8


Urusei Yatsura DVD 5


Rurouni Kenshin: The Firefly's Wish

Zenki Collection 2


Cardcaptor Sakura 8: Sweet Trouble (SUB / SUB DVD)

Gatekeepers 4 (DUB / DVD)

Vandread 2: Nirvana (DUB / DVD)


Sailor Moon Super S TV 3-4 DVD: Pegasus Collection II

Sailor Moon Super S TV 3: Amazon Trio Uncut DUB

Sailor Moon Super S TV 4: The Dream Mirror Uncut DUB


Cardcaptors the Movie (DUB / DUB DVD)

Cardcaptor Sakura the Movie DVD

Pokemon: The Johto Journeys 51 (DUB / DVD)

Gatekeepers 4


Cardcaptors 8: Times of Need (DUB / DUB DVD)


Adventures of the Mini-Goddess 2: The Belldandy Files (DUB / DVD)

AD Polic DVD set

Gundam: First Gundam 8 (DUB / DVD)

Gundam: First Gundam 9 (DUB / DVD)

Tenchi Muyo 12: The True Prince! [Toonami] DUB

Zoids 1 (DUB / DVD)


Soul Taker DVD 2: Flickering Faith


Gundam 0080 DVD 2

Love Hina DVD 2

Ronin Warrior 1 DVD

Saber Marionette J-X DVD



AD Police will feature the 12 episode series on a double disc set. The series, about a police force who protects people from rampaging androids is a companion piece to Bubblegum Crisis 2040.

ADV has also picked up the Saturday morning robot battle favorite - Metabots. The show has been tentatively scheduled to begin release on 4/30/02.

Rurouni Kenshin: The Firefly's Wish on VHS and DVD contains episodes 63-66. These episodes, immediately following the Kyoto story, feature Kenshin, the wandering swordsman, and his companions, the young dojo instructor Karou, her student Yahiko, and the reformed gangster Sano, to Tokyo. They are self contained, humorous episodes, about matters such as mistaken identities, dogs, and engagement rings. A dramatic change of pace from the long, continues, and dramatic story that just ended.

The next volume will start the first continuous story that did not appear in the original Kenshin manga, in which Kenshin figts the semi-historical figure Shogo Amakusa, a powerful swordsman who fights tom protect Japan's Christian population

FUNimation's Blue Gender Volume will contain extras like cast bios, image galleries, character profiles and something called 'Blue File' which describes the show from concept to finished product.

The 325 minute long second DVD collection of Zenki including the North American premier of episodes 14-26

Well, That's it for Scott this Wednesday...

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