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AnimAICN: Miyazaki; Petshop of Horrors; Beautiful Dreamer; THOR; Saint Seiya; Devilman; Wedding Peach; Ghibli

Father Geek here with Anime Guru Scott and the brand spanking new edition of our regular weekly Manga & Anime column...


by Scott Green

Anime Spotlight: Ninja Resurrection

Released by ADV's Essential Anime Line

Ninja Resurrection is a dream come true for samurai geeks with a taste for pulp: the legends of 16th and 17th century samurai history told by the creative forces that constructed the operatic tribute to the history of boy pilot action sc-fi, Giant Robo (one of the great domestically anime titles that still isn't available on DVD).

The story is the anime telling of the involvement of Jubei Yagyu, historical sword master and instructor, and legendary James Bond to the shogun, in the factual Amakusa Christian revolt, then the fictional subsequent birth of Satan into the world.

One of the many similarities between samurai lore and wild west lore is nobody ever died how history says they died, or if they did, it was more complex than the accepted facts would have you believe. Like the conjecture about deaths of Billy the Kid, Jesse James, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, ect, a samurai's wildest adventures always happen when history loses track of him, or writes him off.

Ninja Resurrection attests to creed that if your going to rewrite history, you might as well go all stretch it as far as it will go. Most of Giant Robo was mesmerizing, before the manic became depressive as it was weighed down by the bill of compounding tragedies in the story and rapid fire references to the canon of Mitsuteru Yokoyama manga. Even when the action veered towards the idiotic, the bold animation and symphonic music built the emotional swell captured the possibly of a new form, before president could resist what was allowable.

Ninja Resurrection applies that this wild eyed pulp extravagance to the gory poetry of sword slices, blood spurts and huge body counts.

The series opens with the history of the Toyotomi and Tokugawa war for control of the Japan, which ended in the Battle of Sekigahara, leading into the conflict with the Christian population and their messianic leader Shiro Amakusa. As the names and faces progress, it seems that the only one that's needed is Miyamoto Musashi before samurai "bingo" can called out. Before long, Musashi pops up, then in the second episode Satan is handed an entourage of undead versions of the great samurai allstars, and the roster is really complete. The proximity to historical characters and events that will have any samurai enthusiast grinning ear to ear.

The first of the two episode rushes into action as Jubei charges at the spear point of history. After the premise's initial introduction, there is little time for exposition as the heroes literally dive headlong into a massive confrontation of armies and supernatural forces. The scope and savagery of the violence is breathtaking.

The second slows down to enjoy basking in the personalities, and building towards the confrontation between Jubei, his apprentices and allies, and Satan his entourage and the architects of his birth.

While it is difficult to delineate whether horror or pulp has cross a line and gone to far. Too much of a strength in certain aspects of Ninja Resurrection's oddity and gore become jarring.

Part of the fun of this style is that it doesn't hold allow itself to be restricted by the convention of the genre. There's plenty of exotic Christian magic, and leaps of mundane super-skill into unearthly powers. While the strangeness benefits from some odd juxtaposition, but a shoulder mounted rocket launcher and a man who flies in a metal jet like armor may have stretch bizarre awe beyond suspension of disbelief.

Even before Ninja Scroll, mostly through Madhouse's movies, graphic violence is the stock and trade of any flavor of horror action anime. The level of creativity Ninja Resurrection applied to gore can be a dangerous, unsettling thing. While an undead samurai using his intestines as a weapon is all in good fun, a group of such creatures wading into a festival to kill mass numbers of civilians before the victims could know what was happening, then desecrate the bodies is taking things far. A man's animated severed finger molesting his daughter, the birth of an adult Satan from a living woman, or the murder of children goes beyond the pleasantries of shock. Conversely, there is some welcome restraint shown. The creators appear not to have been keen on sexual assault, so while it appears, and doesn't always appears as unsettling as it could, there is distance from some of the titillating aspects that where seen in Ninja Scroll.

There are several serious flaws with Ninja Resurrection, that make a repriced release of the series as part of ADV's new Anime Essentials line far more palatable.

Firstly the marketing implied that the OAV (direct to video) was a sequel to ninja scroll. While this in some ways overshadowed the series' original release, it is less of a lasting detriment. Though it angered many, Resurrection use of the historical basis for Ninja Scroll's Jubei, technique and dress similarities between the characters, and the influence of the Scroll on the Resurrection made the claim forgivably close to the truth. Ninja Resurrection's Jubei Yagyu and Ninja Scroll's Jubei Kibagami were certainly closer than Burton's and Schumacher's Batmen, and even closer to the original than the Ninja Scroll television series.

The more lasting problem is that after two episodes the series ends in a dead stop. Satan has been reborn and with his entourage he is literally leaping into action. Jubei is making arrangements, and it is over. Not an opened ended conclusion, but completely incomplete. Real frustration for those who enjoyed the series

There were huge gaps in the production of Giant Robo, but there are airs of an economics induced stake through the heart finality in this case. The series began in the dying days of the OAV boom, and it seems that the economics didn't work out. On the convention circuit ADV has mentioned production of more episodes. There haven't been any firm announcements, but it would seem that if more were to be produced it would probably be initiated by ADV's funding.

Manga Spotlight: Saint Seiya: Knights of the Zodiac Volume 1 by Masami Kurumada

Released by Viz's Shonen Jump Graphic Novel Line

The strange thing about Saint Seiya, or Knight of the Zodiac as it has been renamed for its English release, is that though it predates most of the well known and well trodden tournament fighting anime or manga series, it reads like a cognizant distillation of the formula to it's core: fighting, an abundance of characters, heroics and a little spirituality.

The first volume is a sprint introduction of the lead and circumstance. By it's end, the tournament is already underway, and progression system is clearly defined. From its inception Saint Seiya/Knights of the Zodiac is perfect mental light lifting entertainment with heroes battling it out with ring based kung fu action.

The series opens in modern Greece where the young Japanese boy Seiya is receiving training from an instructor dressed as women's professional wrestler in a Greek chorus mask. He must undergo one more battle before becoming a Knight of Athena and claiming one of the Bronze Cloth armors.

You can tell that if that Americans were exposed to Saint Seiya at the same times as it contemporaries (the manga began in 1986), it would hold a place in our hearts along side Volton, Transformers, or GI Joe. The combination of super powers, Greek myth, martial arts and pro wrestling isn't entirely novel, particularly novel among Shonen Jump style adventure high concepts, but there's a dam the torpedoes approach to the action that can't help but win audiences. The series is rated for teen audiences, but any story that opens with a boy ripping the ear off a giant Road Warrior thug is going to win the heart young boys of any age as surely as wolf man getting his arm sliced off in Star War's cantina.

Manga Spotlight: Petshop of Horrors Volume One by Matsuri Akino

Released By TOKYOPOP

Merging the irony and tragedy of horror anthology works with the shoujo (in this case comics for a female demographic) eye for characters and relationships it a perfect fit. Petshop of Horrors didn't discover the mix, but it certainly leverages it the qualities of both aspects. The two genres complement each other well, employing a supernatural creation to reflect the desires, needs or personality flaws of the focal character, with room to explore a wide range of human experiences (though at least in this first volume there is a tendency towards affluence) and outcomes from tragedies of personal destructions to sweeter resolutions.

The host/catalyst of the stories is Count D, a beautiful man with mismatched eyes who runs a mysterious Chinatown petstore (the reference to the Gremlins movie comes early). Perhaps with sinister intent, Count D pairs his clients with a strange creature that has the potential to be an instrument of the recipient's salvation or destruction. An aspect of on going continuity is introduced with a police detective investigating the connection between Count D's shop and various strange events and deaths. Being a shoujo series, the detective is young, handsome and a bit rebellious looking, and there is some vaguely flirtatious behavior between him and Count D.

Too much irony has been introduced into horror not to see a level of glibness in "Petshop of Horrors". The title itself certainly invokes Little Shop of Horrors, Lifetime television movies, as well as many B, and faux-B movies. While Petshop of Horrors is a successful fusion of Twilight Zone anthology horror tale with shoujo manga conventions rather gaudy B horror, it certainly doesn't tread the line between serious and comically absurd very carefully. (as evidenced by a dominantly straight face telling of a killer rabbits story, or Doberman who may be able to assume the form of a young man in a uniform that's a little too fascist).

This Week's Releases

  • Doggy Poo (Korean animation)
  • Dragon Ball Z - Cell Games - Guardian's Return
  • Kiddy Grade:Pierces of the Past V 2
  • Kikaida Vol 7
  • L/R (Licensed By Royalty) - Broken Angel (Vol. 3)
  • Legend of Mystical Ninja:New Villian
  • Robotech Remastered - Volume 2 Extended Edition

  • Animerica Extra Apr 2004 Vol 7 #4
  • Bastard Vol 3 Tp 2Nd Ed
  • Big O Vol 6 Tp
  • Gundam The Origin #10
  • Inu Yasha Vol 9 Tp 2Nd Ed
  • Inu Yasha Vol 10 Tp 2Nd Ed
  • Inu Yasha Vol 17 Tp
  • Marionette Generation Vol 5 Tp
  • Beast Wars Transformers - The Complete Second Season

Disney Ghibli Release Announcement

Walt Disney Home Entertainment and Studio Ghibli have announced that the Hayao Miyazaki films My Neighbor Totoro, Nausicaä Of The Valley Of The Wind And Porco Rosso will be released on a two disc sets on August 31st.


Critically acclaimed as one of the most delightful and charming family films ever, MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO is a stunning animated treat full of magical adventure for the whole family.

A bright young girl named Satsuki and her 4-year-old sister, Mei, have just moved into their new house in the countryside. To their delight, they discover that their neighbor is a huge, funny creature called Totoro, who can only be seen through the eyes of a child. With a bag full of acorns and a heart as big as nature itself, Totoro becomes more than a play pal just when the girls need him the most. Through an act of kindness, their new friend helps to unite their family and teaches them the power of trust and imagination.

The English-language version of this wonderful film includes the voice talents of Dakota Fanning ("The Cat In The Hat") as Satsuki and Elle Fanning ("Daddy Day Care") as Mei.


Miyazaki's epic masterpiece! In the tradition of J.R.R. Tolkien comes the epic masterpiece of Nausicaä, a compassionate princess warrior in the future. In this action-packed adventure Nausicaä fights to negotiate peace between kingdoms battling for the last of Earth's precious natural resources.

A thousand years after a great war, a seaside kingdom known as the Valley of the Wind is one of the only areas that remains populated. Led by the courageous explorer Princess Nausicaä, the people of the Valley are engaged in a constant struggle with strange-looking creatures called Ohmu, who guard a poisonous forest that is spreading across the earth. Along with her mentor, Lord Yupa, and Asbel, a brave young prince from a neighboring kingdom, Princess Nausicaä battles to restore the bond between humanity and the earth. The English language version of the film includes the voice talents of Alison Lohman ("Matchstick Men") and Patrick Stewart ("X-Men;" "Star Trek: The Next Generation").

The first full-length feature that Hayao Miyazaki both wrote and directed, NAUSICAÄ OF THE VALLEY OF THE WIND is an exquisitely crafted masterpiece of action, adventure, suspense and stunning animation. It is based on Miyazaki's popular comic book series, known as Manga in Japan.


A stunning tale of freedom, flight and adventure! PORCO ROSSO is the story of Marco "Porco" Rosso, a valiant World War I flying ace, whose face has been transformed into that of a pig by a mysterious spell. When Marco's aerial heroics exasperate a band of sky pirates, they hire Curtis, a comical rival pilot, to "get rid" of him.

On the ground, the two pilots compete over the affections of a beautiful cabaret singer. But it is in the air, with Fio, a young and talented airplane engineer/designer, that "Porco" Rosso learns the secrets that keep him one step ahead of Curtis. With courage, pride, and a ride you'll never forget, PORCO ROSSO beats the odds.

From its Mediterranean Sea settings to its dazzling aerial dogfights of amazing sweep and grace, PORCO ROSSO is full of humor, courage and compelling characters. PORCO ROSSO is one of Japan's highest-grossing films of all time. The English language version of this high-flying adventure features the voice talents of Michael Keaton ("Batman Returns"), Brad Garrett (TV's "Everybody Loves Raymond"), Susan Egan ("Spirited Away"), Kimberly Williams (TV's "According To Jim") and David Ogden Stiers ("Lilo & Stitch"). Geneon Holds TenTen Anime?

The new website for the upcoming anime adaptation of popular slickly violent manga series Tenjou Tenge displays Geneon USA as one of the series copy right holders.

Anticipated Air Dates

The anime adpatation of sci-fi horror action Gantz will air on Japanese TV starting April 13th at 2:28 AM.

Cowboy Bebop director Shinichiro Watanabe's Samurai Champloo will start May 20th at 2:28 AM

Phoenix Anime Produced With PBS Station

The staff page for the upcoming anime adaptation of Osamu Tezuka's epic Hi no Tori Phoenix identifies PBS station WNET/ Thirteen New York as the series international joint producer.

ADV Acquires New Akitaro Daichi Anime

ADV has announced that they will be releasing Akitaro Daichi's (Jubei Mystical Ninja, Kodomo No Omoch, Now and Then Here and There) independant direct to video OAV "Makasete Iruka!" domesticall as Grrl Power

From Natsume Maya , Mangazoo has a promo clip up for the upcoming title here Just go to the Mangazoo page linked above, and you'll find the button for the promo clip at the bottom of the page.

More Evidence AGAINST a Live Action Dragon Ball Z flick...

According to Comic2Film, voice actor Kyle Hebert received a denial from ILM when following up on reports that they had been contracted to produced the special effects for a live action adaptation of Dragon Ball Z.

When Kyle Hebert spoke with Ellen Pasternack, Public Relations for ILM he asked her if the rumor was true; if ILM was brought on board to provide the special effects for the Dragonball/Z live action movie. Ms. Pasternack's reply was that it had been mentioned, but ILM never officially signed off on anything and it never came to be. She also commented that, as far as she knows, the film is not being made.

Anno Hideaki to direct re: Cutie Honey

Neon Genesis Evangelion creator/director Hideaki Anno will be directing upcoming anime series Re: Cutie Honey anime. Anno worked on the upcoming live action adaptation of Cutey Honey, based on Go Nagai's manga series will brought an early magic girl (Sailor Moon)-esque story together with Nagai's strange horror sensibilities.

New TOKYOPOP Manga Titles

From Anime on DVD

TOKYOPOP announced at the Wizard World comic convention that they be teaming up with a Japanese publisher to release an original manga anthology based on the Star Trek franchise's Next Generation continuity.

The second Bandit King Jing manga series, Twilight Tales will begin in September.

Boys Be... 2nd: A Guys Guide to Girls was announced at Wizard World. This is the second Boys Be manga series. The original is currently unlicensed, because as representative Jake Forbes describes, its subject matter is more contemporary, mature, and compelling than the original.

A site has been launched for the new series STONe

Appleseed 2 Announced

2004 Tokyo International Anime Fair plans for a followup to the new CGI adapation of Masume Shirow's Appleseed.

Akira Yoshida Talks THOR...

Newsarama has an interview with Japanese manga creator Akira Yoshida about writing "Thor: Son of Asgard" for Marvel Comics here .

Among other topics is a discussion of why his name doesn't appear on any manga releases.

Manga Free Comic Day

Newsarama has a listing of the comics that will be made available in as part of July 3rd annual Free Comic Book Day. Beyond numerous manga-influenced American creator comics, among the 10 Gold Sponsor, participants that will be available at all participating stores will be del ray's Manga Sampler, a 32 page preview of the second volume2 of CLAMP's xxxHOLiC and Ken Akamatsu's Negima.

New Yu Gi Oh Manga Series

On the heels of the recent conclusion of the Yu-Gi-Oh! manga series, the V-Jump anthology has announced that a new series Yu-Gi-Oh! - R! will run starting in April.

Anime Game News

From Magic Box:

Screen shots of the Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex Playstation 2 game, released in Japan March 4th can be seen here

The upcoming wrestling game based on Kinniku Man Generations can be seen here

Bandai confirmed they will release Mobile Suit Gundam Seed for GameBoy Advance in Japan on May 13, an animation adventure game based on the Gundam Seed series, the story covers the first 50 episodes of the TV series, plus original "if" stories.

Konami announced Prince of Tennis: Rush & Dream for PlayStation 2, a new tennis club management simulation game based on the popular anime Prince of Tennis can be seen here

ADV Licenses Chrno Crusade Anime

ADV announced that they have licensed the video and broadcast rights to the Chrno Crusade anime, to be released as Chrono Crusade. The original manga series were previously licensed, and will be released by ADV Manga in May. The anime will air on the Anime Network.

About Chrono Crusade... New York City, the 1920s: With the Great War firmly behind it, America enjoys a period of great peace and prosperity. Of course, history has proven that such times rarely last for long. Lurking in the shadows is a sinister force born of hellfire and evil, with the power and desire to feast upon the nation's tranquility like a lion would its prey. Sister Rosette Christopher, a gun slinging nun, and her partner, Chrono, are exorcists with the Convent of Magdalene-NYC's first line of defense against the demon hordes that plague the city. Unfortunately, the city might be better off in the hands of the demons, as the adventurous pair tend to cause more rampant collateral than their hellspawn foes.

In releated news a second season of the series will air on Japanese television starting in April.

ADV Release Plans

From Anime on DVD, AnimeNation and Right Stuf The Korean animated sci-fi/action series BASToF Syndrome (Bastof Lemon) will debut on May 4th, retailing at $29.98.

Slayers Premium, the 30 minute long fifth and final swords and sorcery comedy Slayers theatrical movie, will retail at $14.98 beginning on May 11th.

Kaleidostar, the cult hit, Gonzo produced shoujo/circus anime drama will debut on May 11th in a 29.98 disc only and $39.98 disc with series box version.

The Gonzo produced giant robot anime Gravion will debut on May 25th in a 29.98 disc only and $39.98 disc with series box version.

The indefinitely delayed Cosplay Complex has now been re-scheduled for release on June 1st.

Nadia, Secret of Blue Water Collection 1 will contain DVD volumes 1-5 plus a soundtrack CD and retail at $49.98 beginning on May 18th. Nadia is a children's adventure from Evangelion creator Studio Gainax, influenced by the world of Jules Verne and Hayao Miyazaki.

The Soul Hunter Complete Collection will include all 6 DVDs at a retail price of $49.98 beginning on May 18th.

The Cutey Honey and Golden Boy Essential Anime collections will both be two disc complete series sets retailing at $19.98 each beginning on May 25th.

Other releases:

  • Legend of the Mystical Ninja Goemon Vol. #4

  • Saiyuki Vol. #10

  • Hello Kitty & Friends Vol. #1
  • Kino's Journey Vol. #3
  • Robotech Remastered: Extended Edition Vol. #3
  • Saint Seiya Vol. #06

  • Final Fantasy Unlimited Vol. #6
  • Steam Detectives Vol. #6
  • Nuku Nuku TV Vol. #3

  • Angelic Layer Vol. #6

Azumanga Anime Site Launched

ADV has launched a site for the Azumanga Daioh, based on the school life manga strip here

Manga Creator Salaries

The World's Within World blog points out an article on the wages of Japanese manga creators. Rranslating to US dollars, an unknown makes around $65-75 per page. A moderately successful one at around $185 a page, and a veteran at $450 per. It also mentions that the bigger names can get over $900 a page. However, an assistant might be paid around $1,800 a month. Carl Horn notes that many creators also supplement their income by selling doujinshi (amateur comics) at conventions like Comiket, where a topselling doujinshi might make as much as $45,000US

Guardians Of Order Acquires Neon Genesis Evangelion RPG License

Guardians Of Order, Inc., in association with ADV Films, announced that it will publish role-playing game fan guides based on the outstandingly popular Japanese anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion. The two-volume set of books, covering both the original television series as well as the re-released directors' cuts, will debut back-to-back in autumn 2004.

A third edition of Guardians of Order's Big Eye, Small Mouth anime and manga RPG will be released in late 2004.

April ADV Releases

April 20
  • Aura Battler Dunbine: Return to Byston Well (Volume 5)
  • Knights Of The Zodiac: Out Of The Arena (volume 3)
  • Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi: There's No Place Like Home (Volume 4, final)
  • Wedding Peach: Pluie's War (volume 2)

April 27
  • Azumanga Daioh Volume 1

Azumanga Daioh

To reflect the concept of the manga, each episode of the Azumanga Daioh anime consists of several loosely related, character-driven segments, many of which adapt Azuma's original strips. Produced by Genco (Serial Experiments Lain) and JC Staff (Excel Saga), Azumanga Daioh follows the day-to-day adventures of a comical group of high school girls and their equally eccentric friends and teachers.

In Miss Yukari's English class, every day is an adventure. First off, there's the teacher herself. A bit of an airhead, she may have graduated from high school, but she sure hasn't left. And with the arrival of not one, but two transfer students - one ten-year-old prodigy and one space cadet - it's going to be an interesting year. It's going to be a full year, too. Between handling enormous assignments, dodging murderous volleyballs, and enduring endless rivalries, summer vacation should serve as a welcome break for the weary student - unless your teachers come with you! Get ready a serious lesson in laughter! Crack open those books, and don't forget to pack your lunch for the first side-splitting volume of Azumanga Daioh!

Fifth Volume Of Aura Battler Dunbine

First broadcast in Japan in the mid 1980's, Aura Battler Dunbine is widely considered one of the finest and most significant titles from the "golden age" of televised anime. Conceived by Yoshiyuki Tomino (creator and director of Gundam) and based on Tomino's novel Wings of Lin, Aura Battler Dunbine has long been celebrated not only for its exciting plot and extraordinary mecha designs (by Studio Nue, of Macross fame), but also for the series' emphasis on strong and detailed characterization, and the consistently excellent quality of its animation (produced by Sunrise Animation).

Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi, Fourth Volume

All the world-hopping, eye-popping, role-swapping, non-stop madness has come down to this-the fantastical final volume of Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi! And the action and mystery don't let up until the last satisfying minute! First, Sasshi and Arumi go to war-both figuratively and literally-as they face off in a contest of wills over the prospect of returning home, all while dodging bombs, bullets and more than a few militaristic bullies. Then, it's off to a "Holly-weird" episode that lets the crazy Hollywood references fly! Suddenly, our homesick duo runs smack dab into a revelation that could change their lives forever. If our intrepid heroes manage to find their way home, things may never be the same for them again. The magical journey's end is in your hands-in the oh-so-revealing wrap-up of Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi!

The series is the latest creation of GAINAX, the mega-talented production studio that revolutionized the anime industry in the nineties with Neon Genesis Evangelion, and in the early 21st century with FLCL. Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi was directed by Hiroyuki Yamaga (Neon Genesis Evangelion, Wings of Honneamise) and co-produced by Madhouse (Vampire Hunter D, Trigun, Ninja Scroll etc.).

Wedding Peach: Pluie's War

A charming, magical, girl series championing the power of love over evil, Wedding Peach is based on a manga by Sukehiro Tomita (Sailor Moon), Nao Yazawa and Tenyu, with animation produced by KSS, known for other bright, vibrantly animated comedies such as Happy Lesson, Oh My Goddess! and To Heart. The stellar staff also includes Pokemon films' Director Kunihiko Yuyama and Character Designer Kazuko Tadano of Sailor Moon fame.

About Wedding Peach The mystery of the Saint Something Four continues to unravel, as our three heroes are once again called upon to save the world from Raindevila's wicked plans. Sleep monsters, time demons and evil fortunetellers are summoned one by one to wreak their havoc on the world. And as if that weren't enough, there are still all those cute soccer boys to chase! But in perhaps his cruelest move yet, Pluie launches an even more diabolical plot of his own, one that very well might drive a wedge between Momoko, Yuri and Hinagiku forever. Can the power of love prevail to save this precious friendship?

Wedding Peach - Volume 2: Pluie's War (SRP $29.98 DVD) is a DVD-only release, including six complete episodes in both English and Japanese language versions, with English subtitles. Extras include: clean opening and closing animation, a reversible cover and ADV previews.

Inu-Yasha CCG Announced

AnimeNation reports trading card manufacturing company Score has announced plans to release an American Inu-Yasha Collectable Card Game (CCG), based on Rumiko Takahashi's feudal fantasy, this October. The initial 280 card set will be expanded with 140-card expansions every 3-4 months.

Madhouse to Animate Natural Born Kittens

Accoding to Animeation Corsham Entertainment has issued an official press release announcing that Japan's Madhouse Studios will animate 26 half-hour episodes of Natural Born Kittens.

Natural Born Kittens is the brainchild of UK anime artist Larry Bundy Jr., and centers around the anarchic activities of four ancient Egyptian cat goddesses posing as teenage schoolgirls in low rent suburbia, with the ensuing mayhem making South Park look like Noddy. The Natural Born Kittens website is one of the UK's most visited anime sites, with more than half a million hits a year. Scripts will be written in the UK and the US, while the rest of the production will be handled entirely in Japan by Madhouse.

According to Shinichi Kobayashi, CEO of Madhouse, 'Natural Born Kittens is a great combination of Western and Japanese animation - we are very excited about the prospects for the series.' In fact, Corsham Entertainment believes that this will be the first ever genuine UK/Japanese anime co-production.

Japanese release of Evangelion Manga Volme 9

Kadokawa Shoten has announced that volume 9 of Yoshiyuki Sadamoto's Neon Genesis Evangelion will be released in Japan on April 23rd. A limited edition version will include a Rei action figure. Sadamoto, who provided the character design for the anime series is retelling the popular destructionist giant robot story in a manner which differs from the anime original.

May Bandai Soundtracks

Bandai has announced they will be releasing soundtracks for Wolf's Rain and Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex in May.

Astro Boy Figures Release Info has a run down of the lines of Astro Boy figures to be released in June, July and August here

New Viz Manga Licenses

Based on copy right notice Anime on DVD assertained that the following manga title likely have been licensed by Viz
  • W-Juliet by Emura
  • Kare First Love by Kaho Miyasaka.
  • Kanata Kara (From Far Away) by Kyoko Hikawa
  • Yami no Matsuei (Descendants of Darkness)
  • Dolls (possibly Planet Dolls)

Toomami Schedule

From ToonZone and Anime News Network, Toonami's upcoming Saturday schedule:

April 17:
  • 7.0PM: Duel Masters (#106 Episode 6)
  • 7.5PM: Transformers: Energon (#12 Crisis of Jungle City)
  • 8.0PM: MOVIE (TBA)
  • 9.5PM: Gundam SEED
  • 10.0PM: MOVIE (TBA)
  • 11.5PM: Dragonball Z (#195 The World Tournament)
  • 12.0AM: .hack//SIGN (#6 Encounter)
  • 12.5AM: Knights of the Zodiac (#33 Sightless Dragon's Tears)
  • 1.0AM: Teen Titans (#6 Nevermore)
  • 1.5AM: Cyborg 009 (#19 The Hero)

April 24:
  • 7.0PM: Duel Masters (#107 Episode 7)
  • 7.5PM: Transformers: Energon (#13 The Enemy is After Kicker)
  • 8.0PM: MOVIE (Dragonball Z: Lord Slug)
  • 9.5PM: Gundam SEED
  • 10.0PM: MOVIE (Dragonball Z: Lord Slug)
  • 11.5PM: Dragonball Z (#196 Trunks Vs. Goten)
  • 12.0AM: .hack//SIGN (#7 Reason)
  • 12.5AM: Knights of the Zodiac (#34 Farewell, Comrade)
  • 1.0AM: Teen Titans (#7 Switched)
  • 1.5AM: Cyborg 009 (#20 A Phantom Dog)

May 1:
  • 7.0PM: Duel Masters (#108 Episode Eight)
  • 7.5PM: Transformers: Energon (#1 Cybertron City)
  • 8.0PM: Dragonball GT (#16 A Grand Problem)
  • 8.5PM: Rave Master
  • 9.0PM: Megas XLR (#1 Test Drive)
  • 9.5PM: Megas XLR (#2 Battle Royale - The Most Dangerous Game)
  • 10.0PM: MOVIE: Sanurai Jack: The Legend Begins
  • 11.5PM: Dragonball Z (#197 Best of the Boys)
  • 12.0AM: .hack//SIGN (#8 Promise)
  • 12.5AM: Knights of the Zodiac (#35 Seiya's Journey of Hope)
  • 1.0AM: Teen Titans (#8 Deep Six)
  • 1.5AM: Cyborg 009 (#21 Fossils of Evil)

Devilman Movie Delayed

From AnimeNewsNetwork and Yahoo Japan, Toei announced that the theatrical release of the live action movie adaptation of Go Nagai's horror super Devilman has been delayed from June 5th to fall 2004. As many as 100 supplemental cuts delayed completion of production from a May schedule date to summer. Devilman will cost 1 billion yen (US$9.4m) to produce.

Media Blasters Release Information

Media Blasters has announced that the 27 half hour episode of Invader ZIM will be released across 3 double DVD sets in May, July and September.

A fourth release in November will be a very special collector's DVD box in the shape of the Invader ZIM House.

The first, Invader ZIM Volume 1 of 3: Doom Doom Doom (Eps. 1 - 9), will be release May 11th and retail for $24.96

Show Synopsis from the press release: Invader ZIM, created by comic book artist Jhonen Vasquez, is about Zim, an alien from the planet IRK, a society where height rules. When you are as short as ZIM you need to do something to get noticed. Unfortunately for ZIM, piloting a giant destructo-bot that obliterates your home planet during an important invasion doesn't really make you a local hero. In a plot to rid themselves of Zim, IRK's leaders, the ALMIGHTY TALLEST (of which I am secretly a member) have sent ZIM on a mission to a far-away space rock called Earth. If all goes as planned, irksome Invader ZIM will be out of their hair forever. But ZIM discovers a race of Earthenoids just waiting for him to take over their puny planet. That is until an Earthenoid named DIB discovers his plot for world domination.

Anime Conventions and Events News

From Anime Cons and Anime News Network

Anime Central announced the following guests

Yasuhisa Kato

* Character Designer: Azumanga Daioh, Happy Lesson

Koji Masunari

* Director: Read or Die OVA/TV, Kokoro Library, Omishi Magical Theater Risky & Safety, Photon

Yuji Moriyama

* Director: 801 T.T.S. Airbats, Jungle De Ikou, Project A-Ko

* Character Designer: 801 T.T.S. Airbats, Jungle De Ikou, Maison Ikkoku, Gensomaden Saiyuki, Agent Aika, Tokyo Underground, Project A-Ko

* Animation director, Chief animator: Macross Plus Movie

Shinichi Watanabe

* Director: Excel Saga, Puni Puni Poemi, Tenchi Muyo! GXP

* Voice Actor: Nabeshin from Excel Saga

Seatle's Sakura Con announced the following Guests of Honor

YoshiToshi ABe - story and screenwriting for Haibane Renmei, character design for Serial Experiments Lain, and character conceptual design for Texhnolyze.

Yasuyuki Ueda - director of Hellsing (as an Executive producer), Hyper Doll, Nazca, Texhnolyze. He also worked on Serial Experiments Lain as Original story and planning, and the Legend of Black Heaven as Music Producer.

Monica Rial - prolific voice actress including Hyatt from Excel Saga, Kirika from Noir, Haruka from RahXephon, Saki from Steel Angel Kurumi, and Minamo from Azumanga Daioh. She is currently playing the role of Lumiere in Kiddy Grade.

Colleen Clinkenbeard - Colm from Dragonball GT, Éclair from Kiddy Grade.

PS COMPANY Co., Ltd has sent press releases and letters of apologies to all US anime conventions (in particular Anime Central and PMX) where Miyavi was scheduled to appear, indicating that the artist will be unable to attend due to the unforeseen unavailability of the engineer who was consigned to Miyavi's concert performances in the US.

PMX is still scheduled to feature rare concerts by T.M.Revolution and Nami Tamaki (who is also booked to appear at Fanime Con), both of Gundam SEED fame, as well as newly added Chinese act Silver Ash. Mamoru Oshii's (Ghost in the Shell) Angel's Egg will be shown at the Austin Texas Alamao Drafthouse April 30th in Japanese without substitles with the score performed live by "My Education".

Anime Boston has announced a secnd round of including character designer Nobuteru Yuuki, writer Carl Horn, and voice actors Lex Lang and Michael Coleman.

Nobuteru Yuuki, is best known for his design work on the Record of Lodoss War OAV and Escaflowne television series and movie.

Carl Horn has been a professional anime writer for the last ten years and has been a manga editor for the past seven.

Lex Lang,has appeared in dozens of anime projects, including Heat Guy J, Apocalypse Zero, and Rurouni Kenshin, and has directed episodes of Ex-Driver and Babel the Second.

Michael Coleman appeared in several anime projects such a Dragon Ball Z, Galaxy Angels, Dragon Drive, and X-Men.

Viz Release Dates


  • Naruto, Vol. 3
  • Rurouni Kenshin, Vol. 4
  • Ultimate Muscle, Vol. 1
  • Dragon Ball Z, Vol. 15

  • Animerica - Apr. '04 - Vol. 12 #4
  • Shonen Jump - May '04, Vol. 2 #5

  • Hana-Kimi, Vol. 2 (Available at Waldenbooks/Borders)
  • Ceres, Celestial Legend, Vol. 7: Maya
  • Ranma 1/2, Vol. 9 (Action edition)
  • Ranma 1/2, Vol. 26

  • Ceres, Celestial Legend, Vol. 3: Suzumi (SHOJO edition)
  • Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Vol. 3 (Editor's Choice edition)
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion, Vol. 2 (Action edition)
  • Flowers & Bees, Vol. 3
  • Excel Saga, Vol. 6
  • X/1999, Vol. 14: Concerto
  • Vagabond, Vol. 10

  • Animerica Extra - May '04, Vol. 7 #5
  • Battle Angel Alita, Vol. 3: Killing Angel (Action edition)
  • Hot Gimmick, Vol. 4
  • Please Save My Earth, Vol. 4
  • Ranma 1/2, Vol. 10 (Action edition)
  • Short Program, Vol. 2

  • The Prince of Tennis, Vol. 1
  • Megaman NT Warrior Vol. 1
  • Phoenix: Karma, Vol. 4
  • Alice 19TH, Vol. 4: Unrequited Love
  • Animerica - May '04, Vol. 12 #5
  • Dragon Ball, Vol. 15
  • Shaman King, Vol. 3
  • Shonen Jump - June '04, Vol. 2 #6
  • The All-New Tenchi Muyô!, Vol. 4: Girls Get Busy
  • KNIGHTS OF THE ZODIAC (Saint Seiya), Vol. 3

Video Street Date

  • Inuyasha, Vol. 16 (DVD)
  • Maison Ikkoku Box Set, Vol. 3 (DVD)

  • Saikano, Vol. 1 (DVD)
  • Inuyasha, Vol. 17 (DVD)

Mamoru Oshii'S Beautiful Dreamer Awakens At Central Park Media

In June, Central Park Media set to release Urusei Yatsura Movie 2: Beautiful Dreamer ($29.99 SRP), Black Jack: Incubation ($24.99 SRP), Spirit Warrior: A Harvest of Cherry Blossoms ($19.99 SRP), Spirit Warrior DVD Collection ($79.99 SRP), Domain of Murder ($19.99 SRP), Machine Robo: Revenge of Cronos: Volume 3 ($19.99 SRP) and The Bondage Master ($19.99 SRP) on DVD.

Central Park Media announced the release of the hilarious sci-fi comedy Urusei Yatsura Movie 2: Beautiful Dreamer. One of the many features included in this digitally re-mastered and re-packaged Collector's Series Edition DVD is a feature-length director's commentary by renowned director Mamoru Oshii (Ghost in the Shell, Blood: The Last Vampire). June's DVD releases span over diverse genres; action/adventure Black Jack: Incubation, supernatural; Spirit Warrior: A Harvest of Cherry Blossoms and Spirit Warrior DVD Collection; mystery; Domain of Murder; science fiction; Machine Robo: Revenge of Cronos: Volume 3;

All DVDs will have audio tracks in both English and Japanese with English subtitles, unless otherwise noted; a pre-order date of May 10, 2004 and a street date of June 8, 2004.

Urusei Yatsura Movie 2: Beautiful Dreamer Collector's Series Edition

From Mamoru Oshii director of Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade, Patlabor: The Mobile Police. Ataru was a teenage loser until he encountered the beautiful and electrifying space princess Lum. Her very existence warps the space-time continuum trapping the star-crossed couple in an alternate reality bursting with obnoxious aliens. Digitally re-mastered and re-packaged DVD includes a feature-length director's commentary by Mamoru Oshii. Running time: 90 minutes

Black Jack: Incubation

From the creator of Astroboy and Metropolis. The mercenary doctor Black Jack faces a harrowing paranormal mystery when a young man is haunted by visions and strange wounds that appear, bleed, and disappear without a trace. "Original and entertaining" - Running time: 100 minutes

Spirit Warrior DVD Collection

From the director of Metropolis and X: The Movie and the producers of Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust and Reign: The Conqueror. Kujaku, a young demon-slayer with no memory of his past, struggles with superpowers beyond his control. To fulfill his destiny, he must face the insane Regent of Darkness, who holds the key to his past. DVD Collection includes a re-mastered and re-packaged DVD for Volume 1: Revival of Evil, which is only available in this box set. And in addition, Volume 1: Revival of Evil and Volume 2: Regent of Darkness both contain director's commentary by Rintaro.

Domain of Murder

From Hiroshi Morioka (.hack//Sign). On the trail of a missing husband, private investigator Goro crosses paths with a deranged killer. As the web of clues begins to tighten, Goro is drawn into a bizarre psychological mystery.

Viz Talk Second Edition Manga Releases

Viz has announced the next round of titles that will be re-released and re-priced as part of their second edition line.

The titles being reprinted for a second time will cover diverse selections from VIZ's Action, Editor's Choice, and Shôjo categories. Second edition titles from VIZ's Action catalog include INUYASHA, RANMA ½, BASTARD!!, BATTLE ANGEL ALITA, NEON GENESIS EVANGELION, and VIDEO GIRL AI. VIZ Editor's Choice second editions include Rumiko Takahashi's MAISON IKKOKU and Hayao Miyazaki's NAUSICAÄ OF THE VALLEY OF THE WIND. The tremendous popularity of shôjo manga, or comics aimed at young girls, has also spurred VIZ to release second editions of BANANA FISH, REVOLUTIONARY GIRL UTENA, and Yû Watase's CERES, CELESTIAL LEGEND and FUSHIGI YÛGI.

As part of VIZ's continuing mission to popularize manga domestically, all of these titles remain true to the artistic and narrative layouts of the original editions, but are now being offered with new, lower price points - in most cases between $8.95 (USD) and $9.95 (USD) - in order to make these selections available to more readers nationwide. With first editions now out of print or largely sold out, VIZ hopes that these second editions will help create new legions of fans and entice existing ones to explore manga titles they may have previously missed. The new second editions began shipping in February with various new titles becoming available each month through fall 2004.

For fans of Academy Award®-winning anime and manga dynamo Hayao Miyazaki, the second edition of NAUSICAÄ OF THE VALLEY OF THE WIND proves a special treat. The 7-volume masterpiece, which many have called the best graphic novel ever produced, accurately reproduces the rustic sepia ink artwork from the original story that ran in the pages of Animage magazine in the early 80s. The second editions are also presented in a new, extra-large book size and each of the seven volumes will feature a beautiful fold-out poster drawn by Miyazaki. Volume 1 released in February 2004 the remaining volumes will be released on a monthly basis with Volume 7 releasing in August 2004. The popularity of action and shôjo stories from Rumiko Takahashi and Yû Watse continues to grow. Second editions of RANMA ½, MAISON IKKOKU, and INUYASHA showcase the captivating artistic and storytelling abilities of Takahashi, and reinforce why she is one of the most prolific and popular female manga artists of all time. Equally comparable are the second editions of Yu Watase's CERES, CELESTIAL LEGEND and FUSHIGI YÛGI that feature her signature stylized character designs and fantasy-based plots. These shôjo manga have attracted legions of both female and male fans, and both titles have made the Top Ten for graphic novel sales according to Nielsen BookScan.

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