For various reasons, this week's reviews are delayed. They should be posted within a couple of days.
Kaiju Big Battel Pilot Filming
Monster wrestling troupe Kaiju Big Battel announced that they will be filming their live show for a G4 TV pilot February 21st at the Avalon Boston. “Japanese action comic punk” act Peelander-Z will be appearing as musical guests during the event.
This multi-media event will be a full-scale Kaiju Big Battel performance, complete with 42 blocks of crushable cityscape, a massive Midtown Tower, a gigantic Mocky Tomb of Doom, and a veritable who’s who of Kaiju Big Battel stars, including Dr. Cube, Kung-Fu Chicken Noodle, Pedro Plantain, Hell Monkey, Unibouzu, Call-Me-Kevin, and a host of others.
Tickets can be purchased here
Afro Samurai Releases
The Afro Samurai soundtrack has been released on January 30th. The collection features an original score by RZA, and tracks from Big Daddy Kane, GZA, Q-Tip, Talib Kweli and the extended Wu Tang Family.
FUNimation will be distributing the short series on DVD May 22nd. The TV version will retail for $19.98 and the uncut will retail for $39.98
Hideo Ogata Passed Away
Hideo Ogata has died of stomach cancer at age 73. Ogata founded the anime periodical Animage, which published the manga version Hayao Miyazaki's Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. Ogata also working as a producer for several of Hayao Miyazaki's Ghibli films
Haruhi Suzumiya Released Date
Bandai Entertainment's asosbrigade.com site lists that the first of four planned volumes of cult anime The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya will be released on May 29th.
Manga Entertainment Releases Dates
Anime on DVD points out that Right Stuf lists Manga Entertainment will be releasing Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex | Solid State Society on July 3rd and the Highlander Vengeance anime on June 5th.
A Blu-ray release of Solid State Society was also solicited for $39.98 retail, but Manga Entertainment subsequently sent out a notice stating that Blu-ray listing is incorrect.
Guyver Returning to Manga
ComiPress reports that violent power-armor manga Guyver will be returning to Kadokawa Shoten's Monthly Shonen Ace in its April issue.
Hellsing Ultimate OVA Delayed
Anime News Service reports the Japanese release of the third episode of the Hellsing Ultimate direct to video OVA has been moved back from its planned February 9th release date. Production delays are credited as the cause. No new release schedule has been announced.
Production I.G Talks Hollywood Ghost in the Shell
Production I.G has posted an English announcement concerning their plan to develop a live action adaptation of Ghost in the Shell here. The company re-iterates that they will be representing rights holder Kodansha in Hollywood negotiations.
From the Production I.G's post:
Pursuant to the agreement with Kodansha Ltd., Production I.G. Inc. will represent the author of the original work and the publisher in negotiations with major film companies for the production and distribution of the live-action Ghost in the Shell.
Giant Robot Revival News
Steel Jeeg, a strange entry in Go Nagai's strange giant robot pantheon is being revived for a sequel series, due to premiere on Japan's WowWow network in April. AltJapan has a rundown here and an image of the new incarnation can be seen here
The original Jeeg followed a racecar driver who was brought back to life by his scientist father with the help of a strange artifact. After being revived, he gains the ability to transform into the head of the robot Steel Jeeg and use the robot to fight off an invasion from the ancient Yamatai Kingdom.
Majoria's News has linked to a number of images of Evangelion/Gunbuster creator Gainax's upcoming Maiking Breakthrough Gurren-Lagann.
Robot figures can be seen on Konami's site here
Official sites include gurren-lagann.net and Gainax's page
New character pages include
New mecha pages include
The work, which was co-produced by Konami, Aniplex and GAINAX will begin on TV Tokyo Channel April 1st.
Twitch reports that the 1976 Korean robot film Robot Taekwon V has been remastered for a theatrical release.
Details on how to access the free-online first episode of Giant Robo is available here. And for Production I.G's new Reideen
Gunbuster 2 Planned for North American Release
Anime on DVD and NewType USA report that Bandai Visual will release Gunbuster 2 starting in April 2007. The six episode direct to video OVA, also known as Top o Nerae! 2 - Diebuster, follows the quest of a mecha-pilot hopeful. The series will be released across three 2 episode discs.
Anime News Network reports that Bandai Visual will also be releasing the two Gunbuster and Diebuster compilations film this fall.
Bandai Visual has noted that they did have to alter the music in one of Gunbusters training sequence for the original OVA's DVD release due to copyright issues. A follow-up comment for the distributor is expected to be posted on their site.
Bandai Visual also announced plans to release Gundam creator Yoshiyuki Tomino's Wings of Rean. The series is a spin-off of Aura Battler Dunbine, released in North America by ADV Films.
Sexy Voice and Robo Live Action
MangaCast reports that Koruda Iou's manga Sexy Voice and Robo will be adapted into a live action drama, scheduled to air on Nippon TV starting April 23.
The manga followed a 14 year old girl who used her skill at mimicking voices and acute people skills to solve cases introduced to her by a local gangster.
Kenichi Matsuyama, Death Note's L, will play the socially awkward geek Robo.
After Announcing that they acquire the license to the anime incarnation Korean online RPG Ragnorok, FUNimation announced the following new license acquisitions:
Mushishi,a spiritual sci-fi following a shaman who can track strange life forms known as mushi. The anme is scheduled for release starting Summer 2007.
Suzuka, a borderline risqué shounen relationship comedy/drama. The manga version of Suzuka is released in North America by Del Rey.
Aquarion: a new mecha series from Shoji Kawamori (Escaflowne, Macross Plus, Earth Girl Arjuna), animated by Satelight (Noein, Hellsing Ultimate, Heat Guy J). Scheduled for release in Fall 2007.
Shuffle: a magic girlfriend series with a boy chased by a god and a devil. Scheduled for release in Summer 2007
My Santa an OVA with a girl who is a Santa-in-training and a hard luck boy. Schedule for release in Fall 2007.
FUNimation also announced that the first volume of Tsubasa, the anime adaptation of CLAMP's dimension hopping adventure, will be released on May 22nd.
Bugmaster Grabs Interest at Sundance
Anime News Network and Sanspo report that Bugmaster, Katsuhiro Otomo's live action adaptation of Mushishi, screened at the Sundance Film Festival. After being well recieved by audiences, the movie reportedly had the attention of distributors looking for rights to the film.
American Tachigui Premiere
Production I.G has announced that Mamoru Oshii's "Tachigui: The Amazing Lives of the Fast Food Grifters" will receive its USA premiere at Film Comment Selects 2007, the film series organized by the Film Society of Lincoln Center from February 14 to 27, 2007 in New York City.
Date: February 23, 2007 (Fri)
Time: 08:30 pm
Place: The Walter Reade Theater, 165 West 65th Street, Upper level
Date: February 25, 2007 (Sun)
Time: 01:00 pm
Place: The Walter Reade Theater, 165 West 65th Street, Upper level
The mockumentary features retells Japan's post-war history through the lives of legendary dine and dash con-artists. Oshii animates his films through a new technique called "superlivemation, "in which real people still photos are first digitalized and then computer-animated. Participating case members include Toshio Suzuki (Studio Ghibli’s producer), Kenji Kamiyama ("Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex" director), Shoji Kawamori ("Macross" and "Aquarion" director), and Shinji Higuchi ("Lorelei" and "Sinking of Japan" director). Music was composed by , Kenji Kawai ("Ghost in the Shell", "Innocence").
Street Fighter Alpha Manga
Udon has announced that it will be introducing a Capcom Manga line with three Street Fighter series,
STREET FIGHTER ALPHA Vol.1(of 2) by Masahiko Nakamura (Anime: Sadamitsu the Destroyer)will be released in April.
STREET FIGHTER II Vol.1(of 3) by Masaomi Kanzaki (Xenon, Gun Crisis) will be released in June.
SAKURA GUNBARU! Vol.1(of 2) by Masahiko Kanzaki will be released in July.
Rozen Maiden Manga Follow-up
ComiPress reports that PEACH-PIT's Rozen Maiden was omitted from the latest edition of the Birz anthology with the note "Suspension due to circumstances." PEACH-PIT previously posted a message stating "Our work has been suspended, if the editorial team decides to explain the situation, it will be in the next issue [of Comic BIRZ], until then we cannot disclose any details regarding the matter, it is very regrettable."
Unrelated TOYKOPOP has an interview with the duo online here.
FUNimation Channel News
From Anime News Network
The FUNimation Channel has launched an ction centric "Pow Wasabi" block, scheduled to run weekdays between 9 and 11 p.m. Eastern. Featured shows include Revolutionary Girl Utena, Dragon Ball, Slayers, and Baki the Grappler.
FUNimation Channel will be adding a number if Right Stuf licensed anime to its line-up, including Boogiepop Phantom, Ninja Nonsense: The Legend of Shinobu and Shingu: Secret of the Stellar Wars.
Upcoming In Japan
A new trailer for the second Keroro Gunsou/Sgt. Frog movie is online on www.keroro-movie.net
The official sci-fi espionage/action Kiddy Grade site has been update to reflect the follow-up series.
From AnimeNation a preview of magical girl sequel Yes! Precure 5 is online here.
The site for the Tetsujin 28 gou: Hakuchuu no Zangetsu film features a trailer. Click the last button on the right side of the page to access the trailer. The movie is scheduled to open on March 31st.
Akira Toyima's Dragon Ball precursor Dr Slump will be featured in a new movie, which will be released on March 3rd with the 8th Dragon Ball movie.
A trailer for Sunrise's Idol M@ster Xenoglossia anime on online here
The official homepage for the anime television series now hosts a15 second TV commercial. The series is scheduled to premier in April.
The site for Ayumayu Theater homepage now hosts a trailer
The official page for Seto no Hanayome is online.
A trailer for the upcoming JoJo's Bizarre Adventure movie, based on the Victorian tough-guy-gentleman versus vampire initial phase of the manga, is on the official site at www.jojo-movie.comKono Aozora Ni Yakusoku Wo is the latest eroge game scheduled to be adapted into a televise anime series.
Girls card game Love and Berry will be adapted into a movie directed by Tomomi Mochizuki
Anime News Network reports that Sekiya Tetsuji's cooking manga Bambino! has been adapted into a live action TV series, scheduled to air on the NTV network starting in April.
Anime on Canadian TV
From Anime News Network and Zannen, Canada
The Canadian Radio Television and Telecommunications Commission has approved YTV's appliction for The Anime Channel in Canada. The network will run at least 65% anime and up to 35% "anime-related content
G4TechTV Canada will be airing a selection of Geneon shows including Tenjho Tenge, GunxSword, and Trigun.
Hare+Guu OVA Release
AN Entertainment will be releasing the first volume of the OVA follow-up to absurd comedy Hare+Guu on May 1st.
Viz Q1 '07 Manga Premieres
Viz Media will be releasing the first volumes of Inubaka: Crazy for Dogs and the shoujo series Backstage Prince and Gentlemen's Alliance+ in the first Quark of 2007.
Inubaka: Crazy For Dogs, scheduled for February 2007 stars and an 18 year and her dog Lupin (named for Monkey Punch's thief). Due to a doggy mishap, the young woman ends up working for a pet shop owner, after which more canine/pet owner hijinks ensue,
Backstage Prince, scheduled for March 2007, is a school romance set against the backdrop of Kabuki theatre.
The Gentlemen's Alliance+, scheduled for March 2007, concerns a girl given up for adoption in exchange for a business loan, who is sent by her new family to the prestigious Imperial Academy,, The manga is created by Arina Tanemura, best known for Full Moon.
Australian Release for Live Action Cutie Honey
Twitch points out that Evangelion creator Hideaki Anno's live action adaptation of Go Nagai's Cutie Honey is scheduled to be released on Australian DVD February 7th.
Del Rey Premieres
Anime News Network points out that Right Stuf lists the following first volume manga premieres:
Make 5 Wishes
My Heavenly Hockey Club
Del Rey Manga, announced that Make 5 Wishes will be created in collaboration with recording artist Avril Lavigne.
In volume one of MAKE 5 WISHES, introverted teenager Hana stumbles upon a website that will change her life forever. After a demon grants her a series of wishes that go bad, Hana meets her hero Avril Lavigne, who helps her find the courage to conquer her own personal demons once and for all. The concluding volume of MAKE 5 WISHES will release in July 2007. Both volumes will appear in full-color.
The graphic novel will be illustrated by Camilla d’Errico, whose comic work includes Zevon-7, a four-part mini-series published by AngelGate Press; and Nightmares and Fairytales, by Slave Labour Graphics and written by Joshua Dysart, who wrote a Hellboy backup story for Dark Horse, and the comic book adaptation of the film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon for Art Asylum.
Dysart speak on the project in his blog here
More Princess Ai Releases
TOKYOPOP has announced that they plan on expanding the Courtney Love inspired manga Prince Ai into art and poetry books, novels, newspaper comic strips, music and film.
Princess Ai of Ai-Land will be a daily newspaper comic strip, written by D.J. Milky and illustrated by Pauro Izaki. The strip will follow the early teen years of the title character in the magical Ai-Land. Fifty U.S. and international newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune and the Boston Globe will be running the comic starting July 9, 2007.
The Ai-Land Chronicles: Book of the Second Revolution is a five book young adult novel series which will be released starting in August 2007.
The Art and Poetry Book: Princess Ai: Roses & Tattoos will offer illustrations by Misaho Kujiradou and with poetry by D.J. Milky.
The Princess Ai Soundtrack will feature 8 songs from the Princess Ai manga is written and produced by D.J. Milky and b_nCHANt_d, featuring Skye as Princess Ai on vocals and the indie-pop band Nude. The album is scheduled to be available on iTunes and other digital music distributors in summer 2007.
The Ai-Land Chronicles film is scheduled for 2009, animated by Satelight (Macross Zero, Arjuna, Heat Guy J). The folm will be written and directed by D.J. Milky with animation direction by Eiichi Sato (Full Metal Manic, Fortune Quest L).
Organic Hobby will be releasing the 1/8th scale PVC Renji Murata (Last Exile and Blue Submarine No. 6) “PSE Products #06 (Ribbon Style) statue in April for $82.00
The Mine Yoshizaki (Sgt Frog) designed Angel XX Envangelion figures now have super deformed versions.
South Island will be releasing a line of 12" figures based on the Samurai 7 anime. The first wave will feature Kikuchiyo and Kyuzo.
More AAAAnime PVC statues, including Fate/Hollow Ataraxia: Sakura Matou and Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi can be seen here.
Art of War's limited, unpainted "Guts & Farnese" Berserk statue can be seen hereGo Hero's Yira, Dragon of Doom, 17" long and 7" tall kaiju figure will be releasing in multiple colors next month. The figure can be seen here. Go Hero is currently accepting pre-orders on an advanced glow-in-the-dark Yira exclusive.
Figures.com's latest views include Masked Rider Toynami's 1/100 scale Macross Valkyries here
From Majoria's News screenshots of Super Robot Wars W for the Nintendo DS, the first Super Robot to star GoLion aka Voltron, can be seen here and here. A trailer has been put on YouTube here.
From The Magic Box
News screen shots of Bandai Namco's PS3 action game Gundam Musou, featuring exotic mobile suits from Zeta Gundam and later works here
Takara Tomy's Naruto Shippuuden: Gekitou Ninja Taisen EX for the Nintendo Wii here and Bandai Namco's One Piece Unlimited Adventure for the Wii can be seen here
Bandai Namco / Atari's Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai Another Road, scheduled for American release in March, can be seen here
DMP Licenses Heroes Are Extinct
Digital Manga Publishing has announced that they have licensed Ryoji Hido’s manga Heroes Are Extinct. Volume 1 will be released July 25th.
A hero from a distant star arrives on Earth to pit his strength against Earth’s famous superheroes! Only problem is… Earth doesn’t really have any superheroes. Growing up watching superhero TV shows from Earth – think Power Rangers of Ultraman, our fearless hero decides to amass an army on his home planet and invade Earth in the ultimate test of strength. Only the invasion starts and no one comes to stop him… What is an alien on Earth supposed to do with an entire army and no one to fight?!?
TWO-MIX Return to Anime
Anime News Service reports TWO-MIX, best known for the music to Gundam Wing will be returning to anime via the theme and background music for Kissdum - ENGAGE Planet.
Persona 3 Adapted for Manga
ComiPress reports that the game Persona 3 will be adapted into a manga series, scheduled to be serialized starting in the April issue of Dengeki Maoh.
Production I.G. to Animate Maaya Sakamoto Video
According to Anime News Service, Production I.G will animate a 5 minute short for the DVD packaged with Maaya Sakamoto's (known for Escaflowne and Card Captor Sakura) '30minutes night flight'.
Go! Comi Announces Portfolio Reviews At NYCC
Manga publisher Go! Comi has announced that it will be hosting portfolio reviews for the first time ever at their booth during New York Comic Con. The reviews will be held at booth 564 on Saturday February 24th between 10:00 AM and noon. More details can be found here.
Worth Checking Out...
MangaCast has images of some Brokeback doujinshi here
A production blog has been started for the animated Castlevania movie.
MangaBlog has looked at Non Non Ba, by Shigeru Mizuki, took the prize for Best Album at the Festival International de la Bande Dessinee in Angouleme, France here.
AniPages Daily looks at Masami Otsuka's work here
A follow up to last week's link concerning Anime on DVD forum English adaptation drama: here
June manga discusses the difficult with translating name here
ComiPress translates a Naoki Urasawa (Monster) editorial on professionalism here
Newsarama has interviewed the VP of the FUNimation channel here
Geneon has included an interview with New Generation Picture’s Jonathan Klein in their latest podcastIkimashou.net has added a number of new features to their ikiKOYOMI anime calendar.
For more commentary see the AICN Anime MySpace
I've also jumped on the ComicSpace bandwagon. Manga fans should definitely check out the networking site. See my profile here.