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AnimAICN: Battle Angel Alita; Shaman King; DBZ; Love Hina; Broken Saints; DearS; Baron Gong Battle; GITS; Ikki Tossen

Father Geek here with Scott and this weeks edition of AICN's regular weekly column on all things Manga & Anime...


by Scott Green...

Anime Spotlight: Princess Tutu Volume 1: Marchen Princess Tutu

To be Released by ADV Films 01/25/2005

Princess Tutu sounds like a cute, youth oriented, magical girl anime series, and it certainly bears those features, but in execution Princess Tutu is the ideal all age anime. Launching from the meeting points of anime, fairy tales and art, it is not just something that young audiences with enjoy and older can endure, or something that older audiences wouldn't mind showing the young, but irresistiblely cute, intelligently and emotionally engaging.

The series is bound to grab attention in the new year. With entertainment characters, impressive production, and an unpredictable, secret laden plot, once Princess Tutu is seen, it will be a title to follow and watch out for. For its cuteness and emotional verve, it is a series that will appeal to people who might enjoy a series called "Princess Tutu" and for its inspired oddity and meta-textual fun with storytelling it is a series that will appeal to people who would be disinclined to try a series called "Princess Tutu". Creator Ikuko Ito (character designer for Maho Tsukai Tai/Magic Users Club, a number of Sailor Moon incarnations) and directors Junichi Sato (Gatekeepers, Kaleido Star, Pretear, Sailor Moon), and Shougo Kawamoto create a unique fashion of high culture form and pop culture ideas.

It is a world set to Tchaikovsky, where shoujo conventions of the magic girl who can assume the form and ability of her princess heritage and the journey to be the best meet fairy tales on Hans Christian Anderson and meta levels. At its foundation a dying old man's unfinished story of a prince's conflict with a raven bleed into real history.

Duck is a small yellow bird who dreams she's a princess, and an awkward ballerina student who dreams she's a small yellow bird. Duck, the bird tries to approach a silent, silver haired boy dancing on the water. Duck the student, is a charmingly squeaky ugly duckling, the well intentioned, but lost bottom of her class. Beyond the rigors of training, it isn't an easy life. Her pair of friends taunt her, mostly good natured, but mildly cruel, one looks annoyed, the other says "who cute", ie "she's cute"

The world of fiction finds its way into what should be hard reality, from a cat-teacher who threatens to marry his students then washes himself furiously or a bipedal anteater student, to materializing fire spirits or a prince missing pieces of his heart. The human Duck is amazed that she turns into a duck when she's feels like a duck and quacks, the duck turns into a human when she touches water.

The series has been rated "TV 14", but, at least so far, the violence has been mild, and objectionable sexual content has been absent. It aired on a "Kids Station" satellite programming, but so have rather violent or sexualized series such as Gundam SEED, Najica Blitz Tactics and Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi. The wary may wish to see how the series develops, but so far, it seems likes a particular intelligent series that an anime fans can show to younger viewers.

Anime Spotlight: Shaman King Vol. 1: A Boy Who Dances With Ghosts Vol. 2: Perfect Possession Unedited Edition

When comparing North American adapted into to its origin, there are gradations (ie Yu-Gi-Oh), and there are series whose English adaptation is entertaining in its own right (ie Pokemen), and there are televised anime that greatly benefits from an unedited release, especially to the anime fan whose familiarity with the medium alert them to differences or likely differences. Not that the swaths were through cut through Shaman King, as has happened with others, but it is one with substantial differences, especially in one of the series distinguishing features.

The localization to the series plays or at least speeds up the tournament action of the series, but more significantly, it changes the aspect of the series that makes it different. Shaman King is a singular antidote to the character of shonen fighting tournament series, and the younger skewering collect-em-all subset in particular. Despite being an action series which builds to physical combat, it more about understanding than exerting will. In this case it is genuine conviction rather than platitudes commonly found in similar material. Believing in oneself, giving truest, and finding friendship are overplayed mantra of youth oriented series, but in the case of Shaman King, and particularly the original version, it is convincing that the characters are attuned to a spirituality that puts them in touch with these values. Even for an older audience, seeing these character operate in this unconventional method is intriguing.

Introduced, and told in part, by the Manta, the stubby, bookish sidekick, defiant in his convictions, but small and easily and intensely frightened, the series follows the exploits of modern day spirit-talking shaman Yoh Asakura. Yoh's personality wavers between a Taoist acceptance of the flow of nature, and outright laziness. Though from a venerable family of shamans, his initial goal in life and inclination is to relax and listen to music. He is given purpose when he learns of the role of the shaman king, a station obtained every 500 years that allows the holder to control the world's most powerful spirits and govern the spiritual direction of humanity. Yoh's kept on the path by his iron willed and demanding fiancée, Itako (a type of medium) Anna.

Yoh arrives in Tokyo looking for a spirit partner and find one in the form of Amidamaru, a feared samurai from 600 year ago, said to have killed 100 men in his final battle. Skipping the help random people through channeling the deal anthology chapters of the original manga, other shaman begins turning up in preparation for a shaman tournament. Action begins to intensify in the later episodes of the second volume as Yoh's feud with a Chinese family of shamans sets him against the zombie reincarnation of a Bruce Lee-like character.

The familiar call of "I want to be the best..." and standard tournament model are evident, but given heart in characters like Yoh, Manta and Anna, beneficent platitudes are backed by real sentiment and actions.

In the televised localization, there is a notable shift towards western culture, removing Japanese written characters and references. Some this is odd, but explainable. It is easy to construct a scenario why a Chinese character would speak with a British accent and make British cultural references. The dub dialog plays up the impending tournament, talking it up earlier.

Similarly there the English dialog attempts add a hip edge to the localization. Ryo turned Rio speaks with a Spanish accent and belatedly introduces his gang's quest for a "Best Place" where they may belong and live unchallenged as a "Sacred Hang". In an already complex character, its best to play it a bit straight initially.

Less satisfying is English dub's dialog based shifts in Yoh's character, who, like most of the characters, is made more abrasive. Even minor characters such as Manta's classmates are more harsher, but the changes to make Yoh more cocky, confrontational and competitive contradict what made the initial version of the characters particular and engaging.

In additional to the series oddly character original music is the presence of once ubiquitous voice actress Hayashibara Megumi, who went from balancing Slayers' fire breather Lina Inverse with Evangelion's emotionally minimalist Rei to Cowboy Bebop's Faye Valentine. Hayashibara's use of a quiet by hard voice

Animation Spotlight: Broken Saints

Available at Broken Saints is the first great achievement in web animation. In a medium with famously high noise to signal ratio, it is chilling horror epic with a meditative look modern times and current events. The story, began in web-serialization in January 2001 is now collected on a 4 DVD set. At 700 minutes, it is an excellent weekend project to watch with the lights out and a jaw locked.

Flash animation, like digital video in film, is a technology with the potentially to allow highly motivated individuals or small groups to create complex projects with, comparable to more commercial endeavors, what would be a small budget. And, in the case of Flash, distribute the results more easily. Despite some popular gag shorts and technically impressive catalogues, there haven't been many been many productions to fully exploit the technology's the possibilities.

In a collage taking aspects from comic books, animation, film and prose, Broken Saints is revolutionary in style. It is very illustrative, immersing the viewer in a moment's place and time, typically with minimalist motion on the part of the characters, and voices speaking comic book style captions. The amalgam take the flexible focus of comic narrative, with cinematic pace direction, the emotive abilities of an impressive cast of skilled and recognizable voice actors and mood invocative music.

The scene based, almost theatrical nature of the work give it very deliberately pace. It frequently propelled by internal monologues, or lengthy speeches, which works perfectly with the style or presentation. Another type of story, not just one with more action, but one with more character interactive dialog would likely require the technique to be re-tuned or altered, but for Broken Saints, and beyond it, potentially, into other stories driven by personal perspective, it is highly effective

The character design style is influenced by Japanese animation in a manner than invokes, but not apes it. It doesn't look like design blindly riding the popularity of anime, but one that took a few aesthetic points from the medium's offerings. Where the design excels, and other manga or anime style working get caught capturing a range of ethnicities and body types. Broken Saints stands out going beyond shorthand nomenclatures to create a cast that really looks the part.

The story brings together a young woman raised on an island paradise, a successful software coder on the verge of a break down, a scarred Iraqi soldier, and a Japanese Shinto priest in a spiritual confrontation with the destructive nature of the modern zeitgeist. Ultimately, though they kind shadowy conspiracies, it is more about the reaction to events and experiences than shadowy conspiracies. The horror come from the ability of the world to come down hard on an individual, but also the intense fears of screwing up position in the world, having to face consequences of personal and societal action, identity and encountering a hopelessness situation.

Horror epics are rare. Without labeling anything with supernatural element horror, few come to mind outside the world of prose. Even acknowledged examples, such as Lovecraft with his dream cycle, or Steven King's linger work, seem to struggle with reining in tendencies to stray off while other creators' often collapse under their own weight. The moment based nature of most horror makes it more at home in self contained, or episodic stories, but Broken Saints find a way of taking a long more Lovecraftian view of what gnaws at the foundations. As a lengthy progression, and as a reflection of its time, Broken Saint fits the bill of an epic. It doesn't make many specific indictments, but does it have a strong opinion. Filtered through character perspective, the points are well founded. Its call for compassion and awareness go beyond the specifically addressed faiths. The results complement to the lasting spiritual leaders to come out times of trouble or oppression.

The story is aided by is dominant adherence to a grounded depiction of events. It builds to quite a climax, but it hold back on wild exaggerations/ One of few points that Matrix Reloaded received credit for was a realistic of a hack. Broken Saints goes on better with a granular depiction of computer with far more depth than plugging of technical vocabulary, a look at computers with far more UNIX than Movie OS.

There are a few odd quirks, where the qualities turn on themselves. The language and term of phrase are outstanding, it "brain floats like a dumpling swollen in a soup of adrenaline", but the linguistic games and word plays are troublesome when they are based on English work associations in dialog not spoken in English. Narration is effective as the world chief non-visual story telling instrument, but on several coactions it seems to loose itself in its own voice. Specifically, not recognizing the moment or brevity when the mind shuts up and the body works.

Manga Preview: Baron Gong Battle by Masayuki Taguchi

To be released by Media Blasters

Baron Gong Battle creator Masayuki Taguchi's claim to fame, at least in North America is having illustrated the manga version of neo-cult classic Battle Royale, in which a class of teenage students are forced to eliminate each other down to one survivor. Taguchi divorced his version further from reality, giving the character more exaggerated design, and abilities. Students had more chiseled or deformed bodies. They leapt across classrooms and moved with super-human ability. Still, he spiked Battle Royale with the brand of grizzly tableaus that horror movie fans live for.

Battle Gong Battle's violence is equally, if not more grotesque in concept, but in depiction is surprisingly restrained, at least in comparison to the graphic deaths of Battle Royale. The volume features a woman kept alive with just a head and bad of organs arms being cut off and grafted on, jaws being punched off, but none have Battle Royale's fleshy details. In fact, some of the most grizzly bits are overtly obscured.

The titular Baron Gong is brash, road warrior-knight errand, who gave up his successful night club to kill the Neo Hume: Nazi created genetic combinations from material taken from a nearly human creature found under the sands of Egypt. He becomes a hard drinking, hard fighting warrior against sadistic beings with powers to split their arms into blasters, or release clouds of poisonous gas.

The illustration uses the idealized figures of the super hero aesthetic: hard bodied heroes, large chested, small waisted women. It tries to combine guns, cars and guts with energy beams and wall toppling explosions, which would be a bit more novel if the hero didn't look so much larger than life, sharply spiked/parted hair, antenna bangs hero of anime/manga/video game. The results are more akin to 90's American super hero comic, without the restraints of a foundations in the Comic Code Authority, but also without the abandon of some manga.

Scrappy pulp action is not the newest concept, or the most intelligent, but there is something entertainingly attractive about a hero who instantly charges head along into action, and cannibalized his foes body parts to augment his abilities.

Manga Preview: DearS Volume 1 By Peach-Pit

To be Released by TOKYOPOP 1/15/05

As a magical girlfriend manga series DearS, in the vein of CLAMP's popular Chobits or the classic Ah! My Goddoess, a number of its routines are exceedingly familiar. Bubblegum-attractive design makes the flaws a bit more forgivable. Not just the titularspritish alien girl with logic defying cascading ice blue air, but the mundane but memorable look of land-lady's daughter, an irreverent girl, with natty hair and stylish glasses.

The series is almost the kind of light, fun, but inconsequential work that functions better in anthology than graphic novel format. Because it isn't too frantic or episodic it gels in collective form. DearS supports the weight of stand up alone better than some works, but it doesn't stand out as a comedy, sci-fi or drama. Like the attractive alien alien women it depicts, it has some eye catching features, but it is a little pale.

The series is set on Earth after the landing of a still mysterious alien species. Beautiful DearS appeared unarmed, and a year later, they have become Japanese citizens and begin integrating into Japanese society, introduced into schools and the likes. Average student Takeya helps out a blanket bundled person and streets, and find it to be a lone and naked DearS, who binds herself to the young man. Over the course of the volume, the DearS, whose name is abbreviated to Ren, is a bit behind the DearS learn curve slowly integrates herself into Takeya's life.

The role of Dears on earth is the source of some intrigue. There is clearly some agenda driving their presence, but what number of pale, cute, women are suppose to accomplish of Earth, or how they are supposed to accomplish it, has been left a mystery. However, dominantly, the volume is the familiar exercise in Average Joe, a character who isn't complex, or well defined, but in this case not washy either, introducing a strange girl with ability to his domestic and academic lives.

Anime/manga fans, particularly those familiar with Chobits and Mahoromatic will find a number of situations very recognizable. Little is added to the already seen helpless, attractive gir, who initially can't communicate or even dress herself, down to the joke about buying underwear. And again, there is a teacher who flaunts her tremendously oversized chest (even by the series' exaggerated standards), who serves to exacerbate similarities.

Beyond differences in emphasis in the familiar jokes; the undergarments issue was downplayed while the exhibitionist teacher shows up to class in lingerie, the new joke in the series is that Dears are slaves, and they wear collars. Consequently Ren gets make embarrassing S&M allusions.

At least concerning the first volume, despite a lead who seems to have that self-insertion vague characters, and some large chested women, the sexual and romantic aspects of the situation have been dialed down. The hero rejects the notional that Ren is his girlfriend (presumably this will changed), with more overt sexual advances on the part of the teacher are looked at askance. Despite the sexually unenlightened inclination of the magical girl story type, and the "slave" labels applied, DearS has been one of the less creepy recent examples.

The translation of school life gets into some trouble with mixed metaphors. The characters are Japanese, they are speaking Japanese, but what's presumably an English class is called Spanish. In this case the argument is more clearly tied to logic than purism. The motivation for localization changes to manga in comprehensible, but if the reader is already following a world where characters are speaking English, and calling it Japanese, and the fact that is Japanese is a story point, it is more logical for the characters to be studying English It is a logical extension to for the reader to follow a mundane experience that the character may engage in contrary to either own, but a jump to encounter the experience overtly changed to something contrary to expected behavior of the character. If there was a real need to make the series more familiar, a more substantial gesture would have been to translated or annotate the visual sound effect illustrations. Since, in this case, they are typically surrounded by white space, the re-touching effort would have been minimized.

Anime Spotlight: Ikki Tossen volume 2: Historic Battles

Released by Geneon

T&A laced teen fighting tournament Ikki Tossen heats up in its second volume. While it doesn't clinch ideal execution in characters or action, it has achieved the level where fights are anticipated and can be counted on for some degree of spectacle.

Ikki Tossen lays the story of a teenage girl with a dormant, destructive martial arts ability over the Chinese epic Romance of the Three Kingdoms. While the parallels are still relied upon for irony and providing a foundation to the characters and their tortuous web of relationships, as quickly introduced characters begin reappearing, they have begun to establish themselves in their own right.

The quality and quantity of martial arts battles between the characters have improved in the series' second volume. An added psychology is joins the physical conflict. There are predictable constants, almost to the level of running jokes, capped by the promise that all fights will reveal the female combatants bra and panties, but the action flows in more complex rather than a repeated build to a specific move. A new level of bone braking brutality increases the drama of the combat.

There are several aspects preventing the series from becoming a great fighting anime. There aren't may character who the viewer still of whom the viewer is wants to their capabilities Apart, maybe, for the heroine breaking loose, there aren't any abilities that want seeing, no specific anticipated matches, no curiosity of how character x will defeat character y.

The trouble in the direction being advanced is that it seems to be leaning to soft strike ultimate moves: a touch that will disable an opponent or cause them tocough up blood. Snapping an arm, or slamming an opponent to the group a visually intense action, but when such a move is brushed off in favor of a slight flick or static punch it lowers the drama or expectations of the work.

The level of sexual violence, hinted as an aspect of certain character is given form in this volume. There is no explicit intercourse, and the series is far from a hentai title, but there is at least one rather ugly scene in which am immobile girl is abused. It is taking the clothes shredding titillation of the series too far. There is a clear over the top goofiness in the characters, so that even when a character is meant to established as cruel, charged actions that have serious emotional resonance with the audience is a mistake. The characters can't support the burden.

New CPM Anime Titles

Anime on DVD points out that announcements of CPM's anime distribution from WEA has revealed several new titles that have not been officially announced.

Outlanders (7/12/05): Late 80's anime based on Johji Manabe's fantasy manga

Shadowstar Narutaru (4 volumes) (4/12 - 10/11): A tragic/violent version of the story of a child who finds a cute alient greature

Patlabor: New Files Vol. #1 (6/14/05): intelligent sci-fi drama about a polic force using power armors

Patlabor TV #10 (3/8/05)

The Yu Yu Hakusho Movie: Poltergesit Report will not be reissued from CPM.

Cruising the Anime City Released

Stone Bridge Press has announced the release of anime-culture focused travel guide/social commentary Cruising the Anime City: An Otaku Guide to Neo Tokyo by Patrick Macias and Tomohiro Machiyama. The 144 page book features Cruising the Anime City: An Otaku Guide to Neo Tokyo and retails for $16.95.

Plans for Uncut Early DBZ

ICv2 reports FUNimation is planning to release the first 63 Dragon Ball Z episodes, complete and uncut, entitled Dragon Ball Z Ultimate Uncut Special Editions, for the first time in the U.S starting with the first two volume in April and June, 2005.

Some of the material from these episodes was previously released in Ocean editions, which presented the material as it had been edited for broadcast. The first 63 episodes were edited down into 50 episodes, with many key segments, including major fight scenes (such as a key battle between Goku and Vegeta), heavily edited. FUNimation is re-recording the dubbed versions with voice actors consistent with the other FUNimation episodes; subtitled versions of each episode will, of course, also be included on the same discs.

Three New Viz Manga Series

ICv2 reports Viz will launch three new manga series in March.

Shonen Jump title Legendz,by Rin Harai and Makoto Haruno, mixes a manga story with roleplaying games, like a number of other properties. In Legendz, mythical creatures like mermaids, dragons, and werewolves actually exist, and can be raised and trained to play the ultimate roleplaying game.

Happy Hustle High, by Rie Takada (who also did Wild Act from Tokyopop)

stars a 16-year-old tomboy who falls for a boy on the Student Council of their newly coeducational school.

Doubt!!, by Izumi Kaneyoshi

Features angst of a type familiar to many high schoolers. The lead character is a girl who gets a makeover before entering her new school and gets her wish as the hottest guy in school falls for her. But her anime geek past haunts her, especially a traumatic incident in which she was pantsed at her previous school, revealing her dorky underwear.

Ah My Goddess TV Start Date

The TV incarnation of Ah! My Goddess is scheduled to start on Japanese TV on January 6th. The manga series following a college tech student dating a goddess has previously been adpated into an OAV (released domestically by AnimEigo) and movie (released domestically by Pioneer/Geneon).

Dark Horse Daks Collected Ghost in the Shell 2: Man-Machine Interface

Dak Horse Comics announced that Masamune Shirow's manga follow up to the original Ghost in the Shell,Ghost In The Shell 2: Man-Machine Interface will go on sale January 19th for $24.95.

March 6, 2035. Motoko Aramaki is a hyper-advanced cyborg, a counter-terrorist net security expert heading the investigative department of the giant multi-national, Poseidon Industrial. Partly transcending the physical world and existing in a virtual world of networks, Motoko is a fusion of multiple entities and identities, deploying remotely controlled prosthetic humanoid surrogates around the globe to solve a series of bizarre crimes. Meanwhile, Tamaki Tamai, a psychic investigator from the Channeling Agency, has been commissioned to investigate strange changes in the temporal universe, brought about by two forces, one represented by the teachings of a professor named Rahampol, and the other by the complex, evolving Motoko entity. What unfolds will be all in a day's work...a day that will change everything, forever.

See here

Yamato's December releases include:

Votoms Figure For Pre-Order, Currently Shipping GITS & ROD

Yamato USA announced the final call for retailer pre-orders of Yamato's impressive 1/12 scale ATM-09-ST Scopedog from the classic anime, Armored Troopers Votoms.

Measuring over 12.5" and constructed of over 300 individual parts, the Scopedog is one of a kind, fully articulated and loaded with features -- removable armor plating, rotating lens turret, special internal spring mechanisms for simulation of arm punch and stand-by modes, as well as wheels in the base of the feet for simulation of the Scopedog's "roller dash" gliding action. The cockpit even opens with accommodating seating for the Chirico Cuvie action figure, sold separately. Window boxed, the Scopedog comes with its GAT-22 heavy machine gun with removable magazine, decals, and an extra set of hands.

The ATM-09-ST Scopedog is scheduled to ship early Spring 2005.

Collectibles from Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, and ROD the TV are currently shipping.

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex PVC Statue Twin Pack

Two exceptional figures in one convenient pack - Section 9's Major Motoko Kusanagi and Batou. Pre-posed and painted, these PVC statues are sculpted on a 6.5" scale and come packaged in a collector's style window box.

Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence Poster Figure

A 3-D replication of the film's promotional poster, the Innocence Poster Figure was previously only available in Japan with purchase of a movie ticket.

ROD the TV -

Michelle PVC Statue Standing approximately 7" and packaged with display base in a collector's style window box.

Yamato's December pre-order for Spring releases releases include:

Capcom Figure Collection: DarkStalkers - Morrigan & Lilith Miniature Collectible Figures This six piece assortment features a pair of figures fashioned by three of the leading Japanese "garage kit" artists. Standing at approximately 5" in height and sealed in a blister card.

P lease Teacher - Mizuho in Space Suit Resin Statue This eloquent sculpture by Toy Fujiura features the title character from Bandai Entertainment's popular series Please Teacher! dressed to the nines in her skin tight, black space suit with revealing midriff beneath her flowing red hair and purple eyes. Measuring approximately 5.25" in length, Mizuho Kazami in Space Suit comes sealed in collector's style closed box.

Love Hina Again -

Naru Mutsumi, Motoko & Shinobu PVC Statues From Love Hina Again in hot springs bathing apparel. Each figure either sits, lies, or stands between 3.25" and 8.50" tall and comes sealed in collector's style window box with display base. Items sold separately.

ROD the TV -

Maggie PVC Statue Standing approximately 7.25" tall, this attractively detailed PVC statue by Miki Ousaka of Cherry Blossom High displays Maggie ready for battle, pre-posed with the same stern and serious attitude that shines so brightly in the popular anime series. Maggie comes pre-painted with a display stand, sealed in collector's style window box.

Guilty Gear Isuka -

Ino PVC Statue From an original sculpture by Kazunori Oomoto, Ino stands approximately 8.25" in height and comes with display base and her mystical guitar, sealed in a collector's style window box.

Iron Leaguer Miniature Collectible Figures Each figure stands approximately 4" tall and comes blister packed.

Cyber Formula -

Asurada GSX Vehicle Designed by Shoji Kawamori, this is an amazing 1/24 scale replication of the Asurada GSX from Cyber Formula (available from Bandai Entertainment). The Asurada GSX comes with boost engine, detachable upper body, free-rolling wheels, and a collector's style display case.

Media Blasters Special Edition Delays

Media Blaster's special edition releases of the first volumes of Giant Robo and Gokusen have again been delayed, now to late December.

Viz's New Director of Sales for Publishing

VIZ, LLC, the Japanese anime and manag distributor, hass retained Dudley Jahnke as its new Director of Sales for Publishing. Jahnke comes to VIZ with many years of executive experience for a variety of leading book retailers and publishing houses.

In his new role, Jahnke will be responsible for the operations, tactical coordination, functional management and oversight of all sales activities. He'll also lead the sales team's development and implementation of strategies across a variety of vertical markets and work closely with VIZ's nationwide network of vendors, as well as its national publishing house, Simon & Schuster.

More Hints on Nintendo Anime Plans

Anime News Network relays that Japanese newspaper Nihon Keizai Shimbun reports that Nintendo will enter the anime business in 2006. It will produce properties with anime and video game tie-ins.

Fashion Designer to Work on Anime

Anime Nation reports that fashion designer Anna Sui has designed clothing for the characters of Gankutsuou, the currently running anime retelling of the Count of Monte Cristo.

CPM Talks ImaginAsian Anime Programming

In response to the demand for more anime programming from its core viewers, ImaginAsian TV, the first and only 24-hour national television network committed to promoting and serving the diverse cultures that comprise the Asian American community, and Central Park Media, a leading supplier of anime in the United States, have concluded a deal for the broadcast of such celebrated anime titles as The Heroic Legend of Arslan and Venus Wars.

"Our viewers want quality anime programming, in its original language, that goes beyond what is available from the major broadcasters," stated David Chu, ImaginAsian TV's Vice President of Programming and Acquisition. "Central Park Media is a pioneer in the US anime market and has a great appreciation for Japanese pop culture." Central Park Media maintains one of the most extensive anime libraries for distribution in North America, making it the ideal provider of programming to broadcasters.

"We are proud to be associated with ImaginAsian TV," stated John O'Donnell, Managing Director of Central Park Media. "They share our vision of exposing American audiences to Asian culture as it is seen and experienced in Asia."

The Heroic Legend of Arslan, Venus Wars, A Wind Named Amnesia, Roujin Z, and They Were 11 will now join Patlabor: The Mobile Police and Armored Trooper Votoms in ImaginAsian's growing offering of anime, broadcast with the original Japanese Dialogue and English subtitles.

Battle Angel Alita Confirms Movie

Battle Angel Alita manga creator Yukito Kishiro commented on James Cameron's aptation of the work, saying that the script is complete.

Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle Anime Update

AnimeNation reports that the anime adpation of CLAMP's action remix Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle will air on Japanese TV next April.

Mid December ADV Releases

ADV will be releasing the following anime titles on December 14th:
  • Get Backers: Into The Limitless Fortress (volume 3 of 10)
  • Mezzo: Shell Two (Volume 2 of 3)
  • New Fist Of The North Star: When A Man Carries Sorrow (volume 3 of 3)
  • Saint Seiya: Challenge Accepted (volume 9 of 12)
  • Sister Princess: Sibling Revelry (volume 2 of 7)

TOKYOPOP Talks Rising Stars of Manga 5

TOKYOPOP has announced the that the fifth Rising Stars of Manga competition, launches on December 1, 2004 and runs through February 15, 2005.

Aspiring artists and writers are encouraged to submit their 15-to-20-page manga-along with completed entry forms-to TOKYOPOP for the chance to join the next generation of nationally published manga-ka. A handful of talented winners will score cash prizes and have their winning entries presented in the next Rising Stars anthology, to be published in Summer 2005. Due to overwhelming demand, the competition will introduce a brand-new People's Choice on-line component where the top 20 finalists will have their entire entries posted on the TOKYOPOP website and judged by the fans.

The top seven entries, as selected by TOKYOPOP's editorial staff and the on-line People's Choice selection, will receive monetary prizes and be published by the fifth Rising Stars of Manga anthology. In addition, all the winners will have an exclusive opportunity to pitch a full-length manga story idea to TOKYOPOP executives for possible development as a graphic novel series. Entrants are encouraged to submit content from all genres-comedy, drama, horror, science fiction, action, fantasy, romance-and even under-represented subjects such as political, historical or instructional manga. Complete details for the fifth Rising Stars of Manga competition are available NOW on TOKYOPOP's website at:

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