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AICN AnimeReport: JunkersComeHome; WildArms; VirginFleet; CowboyBeBop; SpeedRacer; KaiDohMaru; DevilChildren; Raijin

Father Geek here... Well, I've just removed the bandages from my fingertips sooooo that means its Wednesday and time again for our regular mid-week column on everything related to Manga and Anime.

Yeah, Father Geek is here at our barbwire entangled North Central Austin Geek Headquarters Compound with another jam-packed edition of the AICN Anime Report for all you fans of Manga/Anime out there, across the globe.

As usual my fingertips are a bit numb from typing the code needed to set this column up for you. Our compiler, Scott Green has once again managed to gather together in one convenent location every bit of news even vaguely related to the varied worlds of Anime & Manga; conventions, merchandise, gaming, TV, DVD, VHS, Comics, theatrical releases, Good news and Bad, its all right here in one easy to locate place for you every Wednesday.

Special Anime Preview: R.O.D: Read or Die

To be released by Manga Entertainment May 27th

Any day you see an anime like Read or Die for the first time is a good day. The three episode OAV is a Matrix age pulp serial, populated by hyper-competent adventures, missions to exotic locales, and ass kicking chicks in tight outfits. The mix of Indiana Jones if Indie was a cute and quirky librarians, and Giant Robo if it was all Experts of Justice and Big Fire, sans giant robots, and creates the kind torrent of the unexpected that makes anime worth watching, where you can expect machine gun rate demonstrations of jaw dropping feats. It's hard not to sound like a die hard geek talking about Read or Die.

A samurai, complete with elevated wooden sandals, thin pipe and kimono battles the Secret Service at the White House with a strange lightning producing device on his back. The only clues to the attack are musical notes scatter in the margin of rare books. Opening volleys have been fired in a war between the British Library Special Operations, and the I-Jin, a cadre of resurrected historical visionaries (a strange selection that ranges from 19th century entomologist Jean-Henri Fabre to Genjo Sanzo, the priest who inspired The Journey to the West).

Yomiko Readman is mousy girl, the type of sweet, smiling introvert that Sandra Bullock typically plays. She's a fiendish biblio-junky, scourge of book stores, a substitute teacher, and the Library Special Operations' chief field agent : "The Paper". For some reason Yomiko's affinity for paper goes beyond immense stacks that range from classic poetry to comics, and rare finds. It does odd things for her: stop bullets, cracks concrete, forms anything from a sword to a giant paper airplane.

Yomiko's companions on the mission are the stoic American soldier Drake, and special agent Miss Deep, a women skilled in disguise, and a gun, who can alter her body density to pass through solid objects.

From ultra-modern/Victorian fusion head-quarters of the British Library Special Operations to the stream powered I-Jin citadel, Read or Die created intricately strange situations, then unleashes its characters, with fascinating results. It always errs on side of the too grandiose.

It's consistently fun to see what it stretched out of these characters, both because there os more to the characters than bland plot devices, and because they abilities are as larger than life as they should be. A person who can phase through sold objects isn't particularly novel for sci-fi/comic fans, but seeing Miss Deep make technician grasp of the skill is like seeing the Matrix's Trinity or Jackie Chan's drunken master style for the first time.

Read or Die isn't an overtly politically motivated series, but it does seem to play with the issue. The half-serious political statements contradict themselves often, but are interesting and amusing. At the same time it both skirts and rebukes such as an imperialistic sense of protectorship (a scene of a submarine popping up expecting in India, to be met with "huh? imagine that" expression from the traditionally garbed witnesses", as women being defined by men (the relationship between the head of the Library division and his secretary/information gatherer in particular). On one hand, America is a show stopping powerhouse that the British Library Special Operations is tip toeing around to save face, alternatively the president is a lunatic who has to be physically restrained, and who wets himself in fear. It is hard to tell whether it is making a statement, or just pushing buttons.

Like some of the best visual features, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, or Lord of the Rings, regardless of how well the story was resolved, it's end comes as a disappointment. There are plenty of summer block-buster style adventure in anime, but this Read or Die is the kind of summer blockbuster you remember years later.

Anime Spotlight: Noir Volume 2: Hit List

Released by ADV Films

Noir's a meditation on killing, or as close to one as to one as can be created in an anime series for a general audience with commercial appeal. The assassin "Noir" is feared among the criminal world, and the underside of global politics. The latest incarnation is a pair: Mireille Bouquet haunted by her past, and Kirika Yumura doesn't have one. From middle eastern revolutionaries to former KGB agents, to Mexican/ Mafia turf wars they bring death to people who may deserved dit, people who may not, and maybe eachother each other.

Noir is far from the typical action series. Violence is more often quick brutality than slick thrill. So far, Noir's compulsion to kill, the ethics of their action, and the ramification have been questions that the series asks the viewer as much as it asks itself. The development of the characters, and role of the mythos that is slowly building seems like they may dictate the direction of the series. It makes up for a distinct lack of subtly by applying open endedness as a virtue. A cute white cat my be symbolic, but what it stands for is debatable.

The look of Noir marks it as original. Rather than realism, or the range common abstraction techniques, Noir is imbedded in an impressionistic paintings. The beatify, either from architecture or nature, is almost a direct counter to the drab or bleak lives of the characters. Violent, scenes, which pound the viewer as well the participants are often set against soft muted tones.

The first episode of the volume has the resonance. It provides material wortth pondering, especially regarding the perennial geo-political hot topic of reconciliation. A tangled mess of ethnic feuds ended with a KGB officer watching his enemies die in a gulag. Years later he's a dying old man who went underground and reinvented himself as a saint, living out his days toiling to improve the lives of the down trodden. Noir have taken the commission to find and kill him.

The second episode deals with the relationship between the two half of Noir, and how though they've set up house together, each still, at least in part views, the other as a tool and potential liability.

The second half of the volume is "Intoccabile", the first story in Noir to extend beyond a single episode. Clues to the fragility of the Noir agents, and the deep roots of their station are unearthed, but it's mostly the pair facing blow back from an equal opposite, someone as dangerous as themselves. The tried congenitally trouble character with twisted upbringing is brought out. The story hinges on periwinkle haired, Sicilian mafia princess. She's a fearless sociopath who has been used by her family, who crossed paths with the Corsican Mireille as children. Her glassy eyed stares, and clockwork motivations make her more of a drone, than a person whose perspective is worth considering. The sleepwalking Kirika is infinitely more interesting than a woman whose sole repertoire of actions seems to be charging people with an ornate knife. Repeat flashbacks is a tool frequently used in Noir, but when used with a character so hollow, and predictable, they become a buzzing nuisance.

"Intoccabile" was more action centric than the other episodes in volume two, but it seem to miss the mark that Noir aims for by substituting the chess work of the first volume with playing tricks on the viewer. It doesn't click until a late, almost redeeming moment, when a character displays believable desperation, and twilight falling on marble ruins serves as a reminder of the beauty of the animation.

This Week's Releases:

  • Castle in the Sky
  • Dirty Pair Flash Collection
  • Dragon Ball Gt:Baby-Affliction
  • Dragon Ball Gt:Baby-Incubation
  • Gate Keepers 21 - Invader Hunters (Vol. 1)
  • Hyper Police - Episodes 17-20
  • Kiki's Delivery Service
  • Neo Ranga - Lost in the Spectacle (Vol. 2)
  • Spirited Away

  • Big O Part 4 #2 (Of 4)
  • Dragonball Vol 1 Tp 2Nd Ed
  • Dragonball Vol 2 Tp 2Nd Ed
  • Dragonball Vol 3 Tp 2Nd Ed
  • Dragonball Vol 4 Tp 2Nd Ed
  • Dragonball Vol 5 Tp 2Nd Ed
  • Dragonball Vol 6 Tp 2Nd Ed
  • Dragonball Vol 7 Tp 2Nd Ed
  • Dragonball Z Vol 1 Tp 2Nd Ed
  • Dragonball Z Vol 2 Tp 2Nd Ed
  • Dragonball Z Vol 3 Tp 2Nd Ed
  • Dragonball Z Vol 4 Tp 2Nd Ed
  • Dragonball Z Vol 5 Tp 2Nd Ed
  • Dragonball Z Vol 6 Tp 2Nd Ed
  • Dragonball Z Vol 7 Tp 2Nd Ed
  • Futabakun Change Vol 7 Gn
  • Inu Yasha Vol 1 Tp 2Nd Ed
  • Inu Yasha Vol 2 Tp 2Nd Ed
  • Oh My Goddess #96 Phantom Racer (Part 1 Of 4)
  • Raijin Comics #19
  • Rayearth Special Gn Box Set Collection Vol 2 (Of 2)
  • X 1999 Vol 1 Prelude Tp 2Nd Ed
  • X 1999 Vol 2 Overture Tp 2Nd Ed

The Viz second editions are repriced re-releases. DragonBall, and DragonBall Z retail for $7.95, Inu Yasha retails for $8.95, and X 1999 retails for $9.95.

Cowboy Bebop Video Release Information

Columbia TriStar Home has announced that Cowboy Bebop: The movie will be released on home video on June 24th for $26.95.

  • * Digitally Mastered Audio & Anamorphic Video
  • * Mastered in High Definition
  • * Widescreen Presentation
  • * "From the Small Screen to the Big Screen" featurette
  • * "International Appeal - What's Not to Like?" featurette
  • * "Spike: A Complex Soul" featurette
  • * "Faye: Intellectual Vixen" featurette
  • * "Ed: Resident Eccentric" featurette
  • * "Jet: No Ordinary Dad" featurette
  • * Character Profiles
  • * Music Videos - "Ask DNA" & "Gotta Knock A Little Harder"
  • * Conceptual Art Galleries (Characters / Aircrafts / Automobiles / Monorail / Accessories)
  • * Four Storyboard Comparisons
  • * Theatrical Trailers
  • * Audio: English 5.1, Japanese 5.1, French (Dolby Surround)
  • * Subtitles: English, French
  • * Interactive Menus
  • * Scene Selections

Also available is the Cowboy Bebop: The Movie / Osamu Tezuka's Metropolis DVD 2-pack priced at $48.95 SLP

From the press release: Mars - 2071 A.D. On the eve of Halloween, a tanker explodes on a freeway in the crater of Alba City, releasing a deadly virus that kills hundreds. When the surviving witnesses begin to die mysteriously, the police suspect a terrorist attack using a biological weapon and offer an astronomical reward for the arrest and capture of the person behind the destruction.

On the space ship "Bebop," Spike Spiegel and his crew of intergalactic bounty hunters (muscle-bound brute Jet Black, vixen Faye Valentine, computer whiz Ed and data dog Ein) are in dire straits as usual, but the news of the reward changes everything and this rogue vigilante crew gets on the case, each using his or her own tactics to stop the tragedy.

Spike begins his search to identify the poison on Moroccan Street, where "anything can be had." He obtains a vase containing a small round capsule from a guy named Rashid. Meanwhile, using his ISSP connections, Jet comes across a rumor that a pharmaceutical company may be involved in the incident.

After analyzing an image taken from the scene of the crime, Ed and Faye discover that the prime suspect has a tattoo on his arm and further investigation leads to the information that he is a military officer named Vincent Volaju. The case becomes stranger as they learn, according to official records, that Volaju has been dead for some time and has a dangerous connection with Spike's love interest Elektra.

As the Bebop crew pieces the information together, the mystery takes shape. A suspect who died a long time ago. A pharmaceutical conglomerate. A special unit of the military. And a mysterious round capsule. It's obvious that there was more to this incident than just a random terrorist attack.

Battle Royale Manga Update has posted an interview comic writer Keith Giffen, or wil be writing the English adapation of the Battle Royale manga here.

The interview has caused contraversy for the spark of Giffenization that is being added to the transation.

"A lot of times when you work on Japanese books, you realize that they have a different pacing from us, and they also have different visual and narrative shorthand," Giffen continued. "For example, somebody may be looking at someone else with gossamer eyes and thinking good thoughts about them, and the word balloons will just say the person's name - over and over, or spend two pages trying to get the name out. That wouldn't play with American readers.

" Battle Royale had stuff like, "I have to kill you first, because you would have killed me otherwise." The translation is right on the nose. You can't give that to an American audience. Specifically, in the scene where the wicked girl almost slices her friend's head off with a sickle - in the translation, she said, 'I had to kill you before you killed me.' No way - I changed it to 'Fashion tip, red's not your color,' as the dead girl lies on the floor in a growing pool of blood.

Manga Fares Poorly in Eisners

2002 may have been the year that manga came into its own commercilly in North America, but it recieved little notice in nominees for one of the most prestiguous comic awards, the Eisners (named for inovator Will Eisner, probably best known as the creator of The Spirit). Volumes 2 & 3 of Viz' horror series Uzumaki was nominated for Best U.S. Edition of Foreign Material (volume 1 was nominated last year), and Dark Horse Comics/Studio Proteus' Super Manga Blast was nominated for Best Anthology (What's Michael from the anthology has previously been nominated).

Winners will be announced at San Diego Comic-con on Friday, July 18th.

Raijin in Trouble?

Comic rumor column Lying in the Gutter is giving credence to rumors that Raijin Comics is having finacial trouble from with its own cash flow, and with Raijin/Gutsoon's parent company Coamix.

From the column: With nervous investors and without sufficient profits, the CEO has already left without replacement. Sega's involvement has meant to have been withdrawn and certain staff have left and not been replaced - the American crew now half what they were. This includes the departure of Sam Humphries, seen by many as the company's friendliest and most pro-active employee in the US. When contacted by LITG, Humphries would only say, "Yes I have left Gutsoon effective immediately, and yes it has been amicable split. I was brought on over a year ago to help launch the company and their main publishing lines, and now that they're up and running, it's time for me to move on. I wish them the best of luck. Everything else, I have no comment on."

Anime Convention Guests

Three members of Studio Gainax will be attending FanimeCon.

Yoshiyuki Sadamoto has contributed character design to "Wings of Honneamise", "Neon Genesis Evangelion (series and Movies)", and most recently ". Hack (Hack//Sign)".

Takami Akai is a founding member of Gainax and responsible for the visual conception of the "Crest of the Stars", and "Banner of the Stars" anime.

Hiroki Sato is one of Gainax's most active producers whose works include FLCL and Kare Kano.

FanimeCon celebrates its 10th event June 20-22 at the Westin Hotel, and Santa Clara Convention Center, in Santa Clara, California. For pricing and expanded event information please visit

Goro Taniguchi, who is known for his direction on Infinite Ryvius and s-CRY-ed, will appear at Anime Expo 2003 as their Guest of Honor.

Koushi Rikudo, creator of the Excel Saga manga will be attending Anime Expo 2003.

Devil Children Coming to America

AnimeNation reports Atlus has officially announced plans to bring the Game Boy Advance monster collecting game Shin Megami Tensei Devil Children Light & Dark to America under the title "DemiKids." The game will be released in separate "Light" and "Dark" versions. The popular game is the basis for the current Shin Megami Tensei Devil Children Light & Dark anime TV series.

Rising Stars Interview

IcV2 has an interview with TOKYOPOP's Director of Editorial Jeremy Ross and Vice President-Sales and Marketing Steve Kleckner about "Rising Stars", the results of their manga talent competition here.

Kai Doh Maru From Manga

Manga Entertainment has sent out a press release concerning the upcoming Kai Doh Maru.

Skypilot Entertainment, producers of films and revised versions of international film properties, has announced the completion of audio and video post-production on the English language adaptation of the highly anticipated "Kai Doh Maru", the forthcoming DVD release from Manga Entertainment on June 24th. "Kai Doh Maru" is the brand new anime production from Japan's Production IG studios, creators of "Ghost in the Shell" and "Blood: The Last Vampire". The story is set during Japan's Heian era and follows the tale of Kai Doh Maru, a strong woman who is enlisted as a warrior with 'the four knights' to protect the capital city of Kyoto from warring enemies. The anime film combines traditional animation with stunning computer generated imagery.

Skypilot producer Peter Bavaro was chosen by anime distributors Manga Entertainment to spearhead the English production. "A variety of excellent source materials were made available to us" say Bavaro, "and the project remained 100% digital throughout production, preserved at 1:1 resolutions". All audio services were performed using ProTools Mix 24 and video post was performed on Avid Symphony systems. Bavaro adds, "We chose to post on the Symphony to keep multiple methods of color correction available, allowing us to accurately preserve the original image and eliminate even the most subtle shifts in color when creating text treatments and other necessary paint-outs".

For fans of the DVD format "Kaidohmaru" contains a variety of significant extras. In addition to the main program Skypilot revised character trailers, interviews, and spectacular 3D fly-throughs of rendered models used in the film. According to Mr. Bavaro "This is one of those works that subtly resets the frontiers of the art form, and the additional material helps exemplify the talent involved."

Kevin Wilson, Skypilot's audio engineer on the project adds, "When [Mr. Bavaro] first showed me the film I was completely blown away. The action scenes are incredible. With this kind of imagery it was essential to create custom tonalities for the voice performances. For the final mix we combined a variety of ambient "surfaces" within the digital environment to ensure the dramatic accuracy of voice placements and proximities". Wilson continues, "Even the title track by Yutaka Fukuoka is in surround, and it's one of the best examples to date of what's possible with 5.1 music mixes. Basically, if you sprung for a surround setup at home, get this disc."

According to Margo Coughlin, Production Manager for Manga Entertainment, "We are very excited about this project. Meshing 21st century animation technology with traditional artistry and story elements has resulted in a spectacular film. IG PLUS and Production I.G. have once again pushed the boundaries of imagination". Additional information about the release can be found at

Skypilot Entertainment continues to supply film dubbing, territory revision and placement services for entertainment released around the world. Skypilot has provided services on over 100 titles including previous releases by Manga Entertainment such as "Virus", "Ghostsweeper" and the "RayEarth" series and continues to expand its reputation as a premier service provider for exceptional programming destined for release in North America.

Skypilot Entertainment is located in New York and is contacted at 1-212-248-7600, by e-mail at or by visiting their website,

Blue Submarine No. 6 CE Details (05:05 PM EST): After some back and forth, we've got the final specs for the Blue Submarine No. 6 Collectors Edition that's coming out this summer: Anime on DVD has learned the detailed on the collected release od Blue Submarine No. 6 as a special Collector's Addition.

Collector's Slipcase... Interactive Animated Menus Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound (Japanese only) English and Japanese Language English Subtitles option Disc 1 & 2 Contains OVA 1-4 Creator's Eye Interview OVA 1-3 Summary Feature Disc 3

Blue Submarine No. 6 "Digital Plus" Background Info on Blue Submarine No. 6 "Antarctica" Blue Submarine No. 6: "Antarctica" Playstation Game - Anime Footage Making of the Playstation Game Featurette Interviews with Shoji Kawamori, Mahiro Maeda, Satoru Ozawa, The Thrill and "Antarctica" Game Creative Staff Cartoon Network Promo Spots Collection Blue Submarine No. 6 Trailer Collection Animerica Feature Spotlight: Blue Submarine No. 6 Blue Submarine No. 6 Cover Illustration Gallery Character Encyclopedia Blue Fleet Background Info Zorndyke Forces Background Info Key Terminology Submarine Terminology EXCLUSIVE Music Clip Approx TRT: 200 min. SRP: $34.98

Speed Racer Entertainment Facing Lawsuits

Anime News Network reports Speed Racer Entertainment is facing two lawsuits, one from DIC and the other from E-Lan. DIC claims that SRE backed out of a deal that granted it sole distribution rights, while E-Lan claims it is the owner of the music used in the latest Speed Racer series airing on Nickelodeon.

Upcoming in Japan

The site for the Shin Hokuto no Ken (New Fist of the North Star)\ will is online at here. The first of three scheduled volumes will be released June 13th.

The staff is Production Director: Takashi Watabe Screenplay: Nobuhiko Horie & Hiroshi Toda Character Design & Animation Director: Haruo Sotozaki Music: Yasuharu Takanashi Songs by: Gackt 3D CG: Pastel Animation: A.C.G.T. Voices: Kenshiro: Takehito Koyasu Sala: Yurika Hino Tobi: Akimitsu Takase Doha / Vista: Romi Pak Seiji: Gackt

The site for the Read or Die TV series has gone online at here

The site for Sakura Wars Ecole de Paris OAV is online at here

Onegai Twins, the sequel to Please Teacher!, will air on the WOWOW sattelite network this June.

Japanese News

From Natume Maya The DVD for the second Inuyasha movie Kagami no Naka no Mugenjo will be released on 21 August 2003, coincidentally a year to the day that the DVD for the first Inuyasha DVD was released. The second movie DVD will come with a drama CD, booklet etc.

Akamatsu (Love Hina) Ken has announced in the diary (7 April 2003 entry) on his website that volume 1 of his latest manga Mahou Sensei Negima! (Magister Negi Magi!) be will be published on 17 July 2003

The recent region 2 Neon Genesis Evangelion 01 Test-Type DVD is notable because it refers to the series as Neon Genesis Evangelion, rather than the original Shin Seiki Evangelion, and for some cleaner shots of the scenes in which rapid images are flashed on the screen.

The Sankei Shimbun reports that the bicycle racing anime movie Nasu ~ Andulusia no Natsu (Eggplant ~ Andulusian Summer) will debut theatrically on 26 July 2003. The 47 minute long movie is based on a 48 page short manga. As reported a year ago, this work will be directed by Studio Ghibli's Takasaka Kitarou (who is an amateur bike racer himself), with production by Madhouse. Voice cast will include idol Koike Eiko.

Bandai Channel has commence distributing the RahXephon TV series on the internet. Episode 1 is available for viewing free, but presumably the rest of the series will only be available on a fee paying basis. Just click on the pop-up window that appears, to take you to the correct page and a list of sites from which you can view the episode. Before the episode starts, there's a 90 second trailer for the upcoming movie.

Shogakukan's manga magazine Big Comic Original has announced that issue number 9 (on sale 19 April 2003) will feature Takahashi Rumiko's manga "Help".

The Nihon Keizai Shimbun reports that Bandai has shipped 85,000 units of volume 1 of DVD release of the Gundam Seed series (volume 1 went on sale on 28 March 2003). For a normal TV series, moving even 20,000 units for the first pressing of the first volume of the DVD would make it a big hit. Further, in the Oricon charts for the week 24-31 March 2003, Gundam Seed volume 1 was fourth on the DVD sales charts (the top 3 being music DVDs). Bear in mind that Gundam Seed was only released on 28 March 2003, so that chart position was achieved with only four days of sales. With one volume of the series to be released every month, Bandai is hoping to achieve sales of 1.3 million units by the end of April

The TV anime Cinderella Boy, with original story by Monkey Punch, will commence broadcast on AT-X on 21 June 2003. Among the cast of this gag and action detective drama will be Koyasu Takehito as Ranma and Touma Yumi as Rera (Rella?).

GAiNAX has announced that the upcoming Mahoromatic TV special will be an original side story.

Anime News Network points out, less than a month after releasing the anime on DVD in Japan, Kyoto Animation is distributing Munto online for free. The 50-minute production has been split into three parts, each of which will be available for only 24 hours. Part A is currently available for download, and the other two OVA segments will be distributed on subsequent days.

Upcoming Central Park Media Releases

Central Park Media will be releasing limited time deal two packs of Legend of the Dragon Kings: Under Fire/ Black Dragon Two-Pack, Angel Sanctuary/Harlock Saga Two-Pack, as well as DNA2: Mutation, Hades Project Zeorymer: Separation, and Machine Robo: Revenge of Cronos 1 this June.

Legend of the Dragon Kings: Under Fire/ Black Dragon Two-Pack DVD

From Director Osamu Dezaki, Director (Golgo 13: Queen Bee & Black Jack). THajime has the power to transform into a dragon, and has superhuman fighting skills. He'd rather be taking care of his family than fighting the world's wars, but when the richest man in the world targets his brothers, Hajime finds himself drawn into a nefarious plot for military domination. Explosions rock the city as a legend awakens, and an enraged dragon emerges to save its captured kin! Contains episodes 1-4. SRP PRICE: $24.99 STREET DATE: June 10, 2003

Angel Sanctuary/Harlock Saga Two-Pack DVD

From the creators of Saber Marionette J and Star Blazers. Angel Sanctuary: A beautiful angel is reborn as a human boy. Angels and demons flock to his awakening, spoiling for battle. Will he lead them to salvation, or to the apocalypse? Harlock Saga: A killer has stolen a legendary treasure, awakening a planet of vengeful gods. Noble space pirate Captain Harlock must restore the treasure before humanity is caught in the crossfire! SRP PRICE: $29.99 STREET DATE: June 10, 2003

DNA2: Mutation

From Masakazu Katsura (Creator of Video Girl Ai, Art Director of Iria - Zeiram the Animation) and Kumiko Takahashi (Character Designer of Card Captor Sakura, Tokyo Babylon, and Birdy the Mighty). Beautiful but bungling time traveler Karin Aoi accidentally transforms a high school loser into the super-charming Mega-Playboy, with disastrous results. The Mega Playboy wreaks havoc throughout the school, wooing every female in his path. If he's not stopped, Karin faces execution for her mistake. Worse, she finds herself falling for her own flirtatious creation. If she cures him, she'll lose the only man she's ever loved, but if she doesn't, the Mega-Playboy will break the heart of every girl on Earth! Contains Episodes 7-9. SRP PRICE: $29.99 STREET DATE: June 10, 2003

Hades Project Zeorymer: Separation

From the character designer of Silent Mobius and Detonator Orgun! High school student Masato Akitsu led a normal life until his parents revealed that he is a genetically engineered life form. Fifteen years ago, the Hau Dragon Corporation created Masao to pilot the giant fighting robot, the Zeorymer, and take over the planet. But a mysterious double agent stole the machine and raised its infant pilot as an ordinary boy. Now the Hau Corporation has found Masao, and is determined to exterminate him. Masao must take control of the monstrous robot and battle for survival, or be destroyed. His life will never be ordinary again. Contains episodes 1-2 SRP PRICE: $19.99 STREET DATE: June 10, 2003

Machine Robo: Revenge of Cronos 1

This Authentic Anime release is only available in subtitled format. The planet Cronos is a world of super-robotic life forms, ruled by the wise and gentle Master Kurai. But their peaceful existence is shattered by the conquering armies of the Gandora robots. Now, machine combats machine in an epic battle for the planet. Master Kurai's son, Rom, must lead a company of transformable mecha warriors into the fray. The time has come for this young robot to do what he never dreamed, and become his people's last great hero! Contains episodes 1-5 SRP PRICE: $19.99 STREET DATE: June 10, 2003

Central Park Media has set July 29 for the DVD re-release date for Wrath of the Ninja, Dominion Tank Police, A Wind Named Amnesia, Guardian of Darkness, Detonator Orgun, and Virgin Fleet, offering fans these newly re-packaged DVDs for an incredible value of just $19.99 each.

Wrath of the Ninja

From the director of Gestalt and the producer of Ninja Scroll. The year is 1580, and the unholy armies of Lord Nobunaga Oda spread across Japan, murdering all who oppose them. Narrowly escaping the slaughter of her clan, a young ninja steals into the shadows. She is the last of her kind, and the dagger she wields is one of three mystical blades that can end Lord Oda's rule. On her quest to overthrow the tyrant, she is joined by two other renegade ninjas, possessors of the sacred sword and spear. Together, these shadow warriors must unite their weapons and skills to fulfill the Prophesy of the Enchanted Swords.or die trying.

Dominion Tank Police

Created by Masamune Shirow, the world-renowned creator of Ghost in the Shell, Appleseed, and Black Magic M-66. Welcome to the year 2010 A.D. - it's a nice place to visit, but you definitely wouldn't want to live here! The world is covered by a poisonous bacterial cloud and vicious gangs rule the cities through violence and fear. What's a poor, defenseless citizen to do? Desperate times call for desperate measures.

A Wind Named Amnesia

The amnesia wind came silently and swept away all mankind's knowledge. Human civilization vanished overnight as people forgot who they were, how to work the machines, how to speak. everything. Now, two years later, a young man explores a world reduced to barbarism, a nation once known as America. Accompanied by a mysterious woman, he searches for those responsible for stealing their memories. "Original, creative, well-drawn and highly interesting." - Protoculture Addicts. "A total gem." -

This DVD features the talents of Yoshiaki Kawajiri, director of Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust, The Animatrix: Segment "Program," X - The TV Series, and Ninja Scroll; Taro Rin, director of Metropolis; Hideyuki Kikuchi, writer of the Vampire Hunter D Series and Demon City Shinjuku; and Kazuo Yamazaki, director of Please Save My Earth.

Guardian of Darkness

Deep within the Earth, an ancient evil is stirring. According to legend, three dragons will be reincarnated in human flesh. Once resurrected, they will ravage the world and slaughter the innocent. Now, the dragons grow stronger as they devour the souls of their human hosts. As the victims writhe in agony, a long dormant warrior god awakens to combat the growing evil. But will his chosen host refuse to fight? "Get this trilogy, watch it, enjoy it, then go back and watch it again!" - Unreel Magazine

This DVD features the talents of Masami Ohbari (Fatal Fury: The Motion Picture, Battle Arena Toshinden, Shadow Skill, Detonator Orgun, and Bubblegum Crisis) and Kenichi Ohnuki (Wrath of the Ninja and Earthian).

Detonator Orgun

In the two-fisted tradition of Ultra Man! From Masami Ohbari (Fatal Fury: The Motion Picture, Battle Arena Toshinden, Bubblegum Crisis). If it weren't for the horrific dreams, Tomoru would be having the time of his life cutting classes and playing video games. But an alien intelligence has invaded his mind, and is about to plunge him into interstellar war. Battleships are headed to Earth, and Tomoru's psychic link is humanity's only hope! Contains All 3 Episodes!

Virgin Fleet

From Ohji Hiroi, creator of Sakura Wars and Legend of Himiko. They're doing it all for love! Life isn't easy for the girls in the super-secret Virgin Fleet. Schoolwork is rough, and the competition's brutal. Luckily, cadets are trained in the use of "Virgin Energy," serious blasting power useful for playing pranks, scuffling with the (ick!) boys, and blowing enemy war planes out of the sky!

Upcoming ADV Releases

Rahxephon 3: Harmonic will be released June 17th

Zoe: Dolores, I: Only The Strong Survive ( 5 Of The Series) and Medabots: World-Class Medabots (Vol. 10) will be released July 1st.

Sakura Wars Tv: Overture (Vol. 2 of the 25 episode TV series) and Wild Arms: Sheyenne's Last Stand (Last Stand, Indeed--Fifth And Final Volume Of The Hit Series) will be released July 8th.


RahXephon was created and directed by Yutaka Izubuchi (Gasaraki, the Gundam franchise), and produced by Bones (Angelic Layer), Victor Entertainment (Noir) and Fuji TV (Astro Boy, Battle of the Planets). The RahXephon series debuted on Japanese TV in 2002 and became an immediate sensation, with fierce action and the multilayered complexity of the plot and characters drawing in viewers by the tens of thousands.

The Story: Just when Ayato thought he had finally learned the truth, the walls between the world of the Mu and our own "real" world begin to crumble once more. With the enigmatic Quon and Reika as guides, he must discover the truth of his own nature or be forever trapped inside a prison of his own dreams. Reality and fantasies intertwine in nightmarish rhythm, but the ultimate horror is yet to come as the fabric of time and space itself begins to unravel in the third volume of RahXephon.

Sakura Wars Tv: Overture

Well known for its enthusiastic genre hopping, including robot combat, musical theatre, romance, a dose of history lesson and more, the Sakura Wars franchise-including video games, OVAs and this television series-has proven an enduring fan favorite.

The Story: The Imperial Flower Combat Troop gains two new members: Kouran the Brain and Kanna the Brawn. But the Evil Darkness has gained new members too: Setsuna the Imp and his trusty companion Resatsu the Lumbering Brute! To make matters worse, the printing shop has delivered the programs for the Gala Premiere and they're full of spelling errors!

Wild Arms: Sheyenne's Last Stand

The Story: Sheyenne hasn't found his body yet, but he has found Laila. The trouble is she's in the hands of an evil cult who thinks she's the reincarnation of a goddess. To make matters worse, someone's posted a huge reward for Sheyenne, Kiel and Issac. Is five million gala enough to make the girls turn on them? Plots are unraveled, justice is paid and everyone gets their just rewards in the final action-packed volume of Wild Arms!

Wild Arms: Sheyenne's Last Stand (SRP $29.98) is a DVD-only release, including both English- and Japanese-language versions, and English subtitles. It includes five complete episodes: "The Days of the Bacchas," "Gone with the Smoke," "Faluna Struck," "Once Upon a Time in Fargaia" and "The Last of Sheyen

Latest Poll of Favorite Anime Characters

Anime News Service has posted the results of a Daily Yomiuri poll which asked 10,000 Japanese adults their favorite anime character.

The most popular male anime characters were:
  • 1. Lupin III (Lupin III)
  • 2. Char Aznable (Kido Senshi Gundam)
  • 3. Doraemon (Doraemon)
  • 4. Conan (Meitantei Conan)
  • 5. Joe Yabuki (Ashita no Joe)

The most popular female characters were
  • 1. Nausicaa (Kaze no Tani no Nausicaa)
  • 2. Minami Asakura (Touch)
  • 3. Fujiko Mine (Lupin III)
  • 4. Lum (Urusei Yatsura)
  • 5. Kyoko Otonashi (Maison Ikkoku)

The article also included the results to the question "Which anime character would you most like to be?", with Lupin and Fujiko taking first place and Minami Asakura and Doraemon taking second. The most hated characters according to the survey were, female: Ocho-fujin (Ace o Narae), male: Shinnosuke Nohara (Crayon Shin-chan).

The article continued with a very negative editorial on Crayon Shin-chan, blaming the show for "introducing cynicism and sarcasm to small children." It then moved on to reviewing a few of the new animated shows that started this month, with D.N.Angel, Kaleidostar, and Tantei Gakuen being it's picks for "most likely prospects this quarter."

First American Clear Poster Coming

Anime News Service reports Anime Gamers has announced plans to release the first official American "clear poster." This FLCL wall poster of Haruka on her Vespa is printed with bright colors on transparent plastic. The poster will be produced in Japan for sale in the US at a retail price of $12.95 beginning this May.

NewType News

NewType USA has announced that pre-orders for their May issue have exceeded 100,000 units. The seven issue run started at 30,000 units for its first issue.

NewType US volume 2, issue 5, is set to hit stands May 2003:

COVER STORY: The Animatrix, including interviews with Peter Chung and Andy Jones

Ninja Scroll TV Series

As announced at Sakura-Con this weekend - Ninja Scroll, 13 episode series is coming, Currently in production, the series begins airing in Japan on the WOWOW network April 14th, 2003. We are working to get it on cable TV in the US as well.

Urban Vision Entertainment is setting a precedent by releasing the DVDs first in the US, with a Japanese DVD release to follow. The first DVD of 3 will be released early this September in the US.

>Bandai To Screen Junkers Come Home

Bandai will be screening children's anime movie Junkers Come Home at California's Universal CityWalk Loews Cineplex Theatres on April 23rd.

Hiromi Nozawa is in the sixth grade and she hardly gets to see her parents at home because both her father (Shintaro) and mother (Suzuko) are busy with work. But she still manages to stay cheerful in the company of her dog, a schnauzer that speaks the human language and always cares for Hiromi. He is an excellent companion and his name is Junkers.

One night, Hiromi overhears her parents discussing a divorce and is disturbed by this unexpected news. While trying to comprehend her parents' feelings, she cannot admit that she is feeling lonely, and in the midst of all this, Junkers reveals to Hiromi that he can make three miracles happen. What may these miracles be? Can Hiromi restore happiness in her life?

The Director of Junkers Come Here is Junichi Sato and the cast includes Shinnosuke Furumoto, Mei Oshitani, Katsunari Mineno, Sakiko Tamagawa, Hiroko Takahashi, Momoko Ishi, Toshihiko Nakajima, Mitsuaki Madono, Kappei Yamaguchi; Producers are Minoru Takanashi, Kazuo Yokoyama, Yoshimi Asari; Screenplay is by Hiroichi Fuse; Music is composed by Naoto Kine and SYS musicians.

This touching fantasy story about true friendship and a tale of family ties will have its North American premiere on Sunday, May 4 (12:00PM/PT) at The American Cinematheque Anime Festival in Los Angeles. For additional information, visit

Bandai Entertainment is proud to present Junkers Come Here in its original Japanese-language with English subtitles.

Please join us for the advance screening:

Wednesday, April 23 -- 7:00 p.m. Universal CityWalk Loews Cineplex Theatres 1000 Universal Center Drive Universal City, CA 91608

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