The Month in Review - January 2002

Feb 1st 2002

Scott Green's Month in Review

January 2002

Editor's Note: After running his own Anime news website, UMJAMS Anime News, for several years, Scott Green joined ANN in mid 2001. Since joining ANN Scott has been helping in our news department, but we figured it was high time to give him his own column. The idea of a monthly news review has been floating around since early 2001, and who better to write it than Scott, who already writes AiCN's weekly Anime updates. Scott's column, looking back at the biggest news stories of the previous month, will be posted regularly at the beginning of every month. Enjoy.

Berserk Release Date Set

Possibly the most exciting news in January was that Media Blasters will be releasing the five episode first volume of Berserk on April 30th, 2002.

The series opens with a man known as the Black Swordsman entering the outskirts of a settlement ruled by a duke whose depravity has gone past acts to enrich himself into horrors such as cannibalism. The Black Swordsman looks like a man who has seen the worst. He is scarred. He's lost an eye and an arm. The back of his neck is market by a brand that occasionally still bleeds. His is haunted by mysterious forces. He carries a rage that lies barely below the surface.

The man who became the black swordsman was named Guts. He was found as an infant under the corpse of this mother. At age 15 he was serving as a mercenary when he killed a notorious warrior serving a rival band known as the Hawks. After the battle he rejects a lucrative offer to stay with the group he was serving in favor of a path that will provide more experience. He does not know what path he wishes his life to take, but he knows he wishes to hone his skills. He stumbles upon a several of the Hawk's commanding officers. Griffith, their charismatic leader, forces Gutts to join to the band after a duel, and sets Guts on the path of working towards Griffith's ambition of winning his own kingdom..

The series has been universally praised for the depth of its characters. Even jaded anime fans have called Berserk a reason to get excited about anime again.


Interesting Releases

A number of anime series, or stories concluded in January.

ADV released Gasaraki: To Be a Kai, the eighth and concluding volume of the giant robot series, which raised many eyebrows with its strong grounding in well thought out science fiction, strategy and politics .

Rurouni Kenshin - Fire Requiem, concludes the Kyoto story. Kenshin, a former political assassins during Japan's Meiji revolution faces Shishio, the man who replaced him when he gave up killing.

Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team (Vol. 4) ends the ground level look at Gundam's inaugural Year One War. The live action Gundam movie G-Savior, and the first volume of Mobile Suit Gundam 0083 - Stardust Memories were also release. After the One Year War, Mobile Suit Gundam 0083 pits the Federation against the remains of the Zeon.

ADV also release their swords and sociery title, Sorcerer on the Rocks, set in the same world at Sorcerer Hunters.

TOKYOPOP began releasing the Cowboy Bebop, Kodocha, and Ragnarok manga series. The Cowboy Bebop manga features more stories of the sci-fi/western bounties hunters from the anime series. After the four issue mini series TOKYOPOP will be releasing the Cowboy Bebop manga in collected form.

Kodocha (originally known as Kodomo no Omocha or "Child's Toy") is a dramatic comedy about the hyper child actress, who mother is an award winning author. Kodocha is cute, and humorous, but it does not shy away from serious and complex issues.

The third volume of CLAMP's surreal Clover was released.

Central Park Media manga released the first Slayers Special.


Disney Allows Fans To Vote For Kiki's Delivery Service DVD

Nausicaa.net; reports Disney's web site new features the opportunity for fans to shows their support for a DVD version of Hayao Miyazaki's Kiki's Delivery Service here;

Kiki's Delivery Service is a classic fairy tale like story about a young witch to leaves her parents to find her place in the world. Utilizing what skills she has, flying on her broom she starts a delivery service. The movie's earnest emotion, and beautiful animation of an idyllic Europe has ones the series fans of all ages.


FUNimation Acquire Fruit Basket

FUNimation has announced that they have acquired the rights to Fruit Basket, the latest from popular director Heitaro Daichi (Now & Then, Here & There, Kodomo no Omocha), Utena character designer Akemi Hayashi, and Studio DEEN (Rurouni Kenshin). The story is based on the legends of the Chinese Zodiac, from the manga series by Takaya Natsuki.

From FUNimation's site:; Toru Honda is a cheerful 16 year old girl. She was orphaned when her mother was killed in a car accident. Not wanting to burden anyone she buys a tent and begins to live in a forest. She is determined to finish school in order to fulfill her mother's last wish. It turns out that the land Toru is living on belongs to the Soma family. She is quickly invited to live in the Soma house (all males), as long as she is willing to cook and clean. One of the Soma's, Yuki, is the most popular boy at Toru's high school. He is swooned by girls constantly and is even referred to as the "prince" of the school. His cousins Shigure, Yuki's guardian, and Kyo make up the rest of the household. Toru knows that her living environment is out of the norm, but things turn out to get stranger. The members of the Soma family are possessed by animals and they turn into their true selves when they are embraced by the opposite sex! You can imagine Toru's surprise when she witnesses their secret. She promises not to tell a sou l, but the "cat" may already be out of the bag.


Marvel Comic's Manga Influences Increase

Marvel Comics' Marvel Mangaverse fifth week event took place in January with manga-style versions of their characters, including New Dawn and Eternity Twilight bookends by Ben Dunn, Avengers Assemble, Fantastic Four #1 Cover by Keron Grant and Adam Warren, Ghost Riders by Chuck Austen, Punisher by Lea Hernandez and Peter David, Spider-Man #1 by Kaare Andrews, and X-Men #1 by Jeff Matsuda and C.B. Cebulski.

Marvel has announced that they will be releasing a monthly Marvel Mangaverse series, beginning in April to be written, and illustrated by Ben Dunn. The news comes on the heels of Dunn's Marvel Mangaverse: New Dawn #1 selling out at various major retailers across the country within twenty-four hours of its Wednesday release. A description of the first issue can be seen here.

C.B. Cebulski has joined Marvel Comics as an Associate Editor. Cebulski's past credits include working with Central Park Media in in bringing titles such as Record of Lodoss War, Slayers, Plastic Little, Geobreeders, Dark Angel, and Nadeisco to U.S. audiences. While at Fanboy Entertainment, Cebulski worked closely with Kia Asamiya to produce Dark Angel: Phoenix Resurrection comic series, the first color Manga to land on American shores in over 10 years. Cebulski then followed this up by producing the first shojo (girls') Manga ever created specifically for Western sensibilities and styling were successfully combined with super hero themes in the series Sidekicks, by J. Torres and Takeshi Miyazawa, which Cebulski edited. He also worked with such creators as Yoshtoshi Abe of Serial Experiments Lain and Range Murata of Blue Submarine No. 6 on their critically acclaimed art collections.

Indications are that Cebulski will be working on projects aimed at brining younger readers, and girl into comics, an initiate Marvel has been hinting at for a while, in addition to bringing Japanese names to Marvel projects.

Cebulski stated "Recently, in Japan, many Manga creators have been taking more 'American comic style' approaches to their art and storytelling, which they freely admit... They are just as influenced by our comics as we are by their Manga, and I know many of the Japanese artists are already chomping at the bit to take a crack at drawing Marvel's heroes."

"Well, I think it goes without saying that Kia Asamiya's name will be turning up on some Marvel Comics before too long. In fact, just look for his cover to IRON MAN #55 in May. I have also talked with Takehiko Ito, creator of Outlaw Star, and illustrator Katsuya Terada of Zenbu and Blood: The Last Vampire fame, and they have also lined up some upcoming work for Marvel. And the list continues to grow daily!".


Evangelion Box Set

Anime on DVD reports ADV will be releasing Neon Genesis Evangelion in a DVD box set on April 9th for $169.98. The Neon Genesis Evangelion Perfect Collection boxset contains all 8 DVDs (including the re-mastered Volume 1 and all matching spine covers ).

Cowboy Bebop movie

A press release for Columbia Tristar Home Entertainment's release of Metropolis includes Cowboy Bebop:Knocking on Heaven's Door as one of the trailer on their release of Metropolis.

Knocking on Heaven's Door re-teams bounty hunter Spike Spiegel, ex-cop Jet Black degenerate gambler Faye Valentine, and odd-ball computer hacker Ed as they track down a terrorist intent on releasing a deadly virus. The movie features the impressive Yokho Kanno music, arial dog fights, and some of the best animation martial arts battles, as you would expect from a movie version of the popular TV show.

Anime News Service reports after going several months without update, the official Japanese Cowboybebop.com; has renewed in regards to Heaven's Door film released onto DVD on the 25th and a newly announced CD-BOX set.

The CD-BOX compilation will feature music by Yoko Kanno from previous TV and movie albums, some tracks will be mastered from different sound sources and new tunes and tracks not previously released will make it into this special set release. The planning of the BOX release is still in the preliminary stages, many details regarding what will go in are still being determined. The BOX (as of now) due in spring 2002 will include 4 CD's + 8cm CD and retail at 9,800 Yen from Victor Entertainment.

The Cowboy Bebop: Knockin' on Heaven's Door DVD lists a running time of 114 minutes with 13 minutes of extras, Sound Track is Dolby Digital (5.1ch), DVD is sin gle sided dual layer, aspect ratio 16:9, retail is 7,800, serial: BCBA - 1065. Extras include Special information for theatrical release, TV ads, textless OP and ED, special I.S.S.P. FILE (16 page booklet). As for the contents of the disc, director Watanabe personally selected the chapter marks for the Movie chapter menu. Release was on January 25.

Metropolis DVD Release Information

Home Entertainment will be releasing Metropolis in a Special Edition 2-Disc set on March 12th. The movie brings together a story by Osamu Tezuka, who sharped anime and manga into the from seen today, with direction by Rintaro ("X", "Galaxy Express 999"), and screenplay by Katshuhiro Otomo ("Akira")

In the late 1940s, long before "Astro Boy" and "Kimba the White Lion" established Osamu Tezuka as one of the most influential animators of all time, the legendary illustrator created the classic manga "Metropolis." More than fifty years since it was first imagined, Tezuka's vision of the inability of scientific progress to fulfill basic human needs -- in spite of its mechanizing even the most fundamental aspects of life -- confirms him as a prophet as well as a fabulist. Directed by Rintaro and written by Otomo, the retro-futurism of the story - as well as its precautionary tale -- is spectacularly rendered in its visual style, combining the best in Japanese cel animation with the latest in digital technology.

DVD ADDED VALUE ELEMENTS
  • Two disc set
  • First ever "pocket DVD" of added value elements
  • Special packaging - new fold-out packaging with outer sleeve
  • Widescreen and Full Screen presentations
  • Animax Special: The Making of Osamu Tezuka's Metropolis
  • Exclusive Featurette: Interview with Rintaro Katsushiro
  • Two Animation Comparisons
  • History of the "Metropolis" Comic Book
  • Digitally mastered audio & anamorphic video
  • Theatrical Trailers
  • Biography of Osamu Tezuka
  • Animated Menus
  • Production Notes
  • Scene Selections

TOKYOPOP Adjusts Anime and Manga Formats

TOKYOPOP announced they will discontinue "flopping" their manga, the act of mirror the pages so that the panels, and action in the panels appears in a left to right format, rather than the original right to left.

Reaction has been mixed. Purists, and other with a preference for the original format have hailed the move. Others who have difficulty reading right to left, or comics in general, especially those who are interested in comics in general, with an eye of expanding into manga have sworn off the unflipped comics. Many have puzzle why a company whose products are aimed towards the mainstream, and young readers has taken this move.

Excerpts from Tokyopop Press Release:

TOKYOPOP has made an unprecedented move to keep the English-language versions of manga (comic books and graphic novels) as close to their Japanese originals as possible. Starting in April 2002, TOKYOPOP will publish all of its new manga titles in the authentic right-to-left format, and give fans the true experience they have been asking for. This not only maintains the integrity of the original artwork, but also enables TOKYOPOP to release most graphic novel series on a frequency three-to-six times faster than the current industry standard. TOKYOPOP volumes will hit the shelves monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly versus the six months or longer typical of competitors.

In Japan, all published manga (and most Japanese printed material) is written to read from right to left. This is also true for most European adaptations of manga. When an English translation is published in the U.S., however, the common practice has used computer-reversed or mirror images that allow the books to read from left to right (the Western standard). Unfortunately, this often compromises the integrity of the title's original artwork.

Today's announcement makes TOKYOPOP the first U.S. publisher to adopt such a sweeping policy. While some Japanese manga artists have required that the English versions of their manga be published from right to left, TOKYOPOP is the first American publisher to unilaterally announce that it will maintain the original format for all of its future manga titles.

Additionally, TOKYOPOP will leave the original printed sound effects in place, one more way in which American readers gain from the authentic manga experience. In the Japanese language, use of the onomatopoeia (i.e., printed sound effect words like 'buzz' or 'thump') is incredibly well developed, and many manga artists have intricately incorporated these sound effects into their art - again, an element that has been commonly altered in U.S. translations.

"A good manga is a work of art," said Senior Manga Editor, Jake Forbes. "If you reversed the works of Picasso and showed them to art lovers, they would know that something was off. Manga fans are no different. Staying true to the original format is an exciting move, both for the fans and for the artists."

TOKYOPOP's manga research has generated promising feedback, with enthusiastic reception from the fans and test-groups adjusting to the right-to-left format within just a few pages. An "authentic manga" how to guide will be included in each graphic novel, but tests indicate that the new format will quickly become second nature. The authentic manga launch will also feature special packaging.

Upcoming TOKYOPOP Manga Releases in New Format:

Their new anime releases will be DVD only, starting with the upcoming March release of Great Teacher Onizuka (GTO). Currently running series such as Vampire Princess Miyu will be released on VHS and DVD. The first volume of the GTO manga will be releases on April 23rd, in an unflipped, right to left page format, the GTO sound track will be released on July 23rd. .

Saint Tail will be dropping its English language track on volume 5, and increasing the number of episodes per disc from 4 to 7.


Initial D News

A recent Animation Magazine article; spotlighted TOKYOPOP's marketing of Initial D as a possible candidate for English speaking television at last week's National Association of Television Program Executives (NAPTE) 2002.

The series follows a young street racer. It successfully integrates tradition 2-d animation with CGI 3-d animation for the race scenes.

When asked how they select the properties for license deals, Brand Manager and Executive Producer Kenneth Lee replied, "The first requirement is that the property has to entertain us. There are a lot of clones out there now. We liked Initial-D because it was different; no explosions, no line-up of 500 different toys."

Adds Lee, "In Japan, Initial-D earns a 47% share for its time slot and has generated some $300 million in sales throughout Asia." It also generates a ton of pop music that will be re-recorded in the U.S. with top-name stars. Yet, Lee believes one of the best things about Initial-D is its crossover appeal. "The characters deal with real life problems that every kid or teenager goes through. There are some real relationships here. Plus," he adds with a grin, "Every kid wants to have a car."

Anime on DVD received a clarification from Kenneth Lee regarding the comment about the series' music. "I was misquoted. I did NOT say that we were replacing the music with top name stars." This makes sense, considering that the series techno-esque music is considered by many to be one of its strong selling points "Essentially, I was telling Animation magazine that Initial D used Avex Trax as a venue to have lots of top-name artists / hip music that really took off in Japan. And there was a *potential* that we could do the same IF IT GOT ON TV." "If we ever got on TV with this property, I would of course release the Uncut, Unedited Version - pristine with everything intact. If we did replace music *FOR TV* I would release that as a separate video anyways (if it wasn't possible to integrate it as a 3rd audio track)."

Anime News Service the latest Initial-D; production as being a 1 hour 25 minute special titled "Initial D: Battle Stage", it is planned to be broadcast in Japan on February 1st on Sky PerfecTV channel 121. The Computer Graphics utilized for the OVA and Third Stage Movie were slightly more detailed over the 1st and 2nd TV series CGI and this Battle Stage recompilation will feature the respective car races from the 1st and 2nd TV series re-computer animated with the latest technology and updated effects on a detail level of that on par with the quality seen in the the film. Additionally, the battles will play out to brand new Super Eurobeat tracks and the special will include commentary by the legendary Drift Racer Keiichi Tsuchiya. DVD rental of t he special is slated for March and DVD sale is expected to occur in May.


ADV Acquires Southern Cross, and Mospeada

ADV announced the licensing of the second and third third of what was edited into Robotech, Southern Cross, and Mospeada.

Southern Cross and Mospeada on DVD with only the original Japanese dialog and subtitles. There will be no English dub of Mospeada. Harmony Gold requires that the Robotech source material not be dubbed as they believe it could lead to competition between the two separate products.

ADV's release of Southern Cross marks the first time all 23-episodes of this seminal anime series have ever been made available to North America in their original, uncut form. Southern Cross was originally released in Japan as a Japanese-language series, and was first seen in North America in an English-dubbed format as Robotech: Robotech Masters, the second act in the 85-episode Robotech series.

When the Zor -- a warlike alien species -- attacks the human colony world of Grolier, the task of saving humanity from extinction falls on the shoulders of hot-headed Jeanne Francaix and the 15th Squadron of The Southern Cross army. But to save their world from extinction, they will have to rely on members of the Zor themselves.

ADV's release of Genesis Climber Mospeada marks the first time ever all 25-episodes of this classic animated series have been made available to North American audiences in their original, uncut form. MOSPEADA was first seen in North America in an English-dubbed format as Robotech: New Generation, the third and final act of the 85-episode Robotech series.

It's the year 2083, and mysterious aliens known as the Inbit have ruled the Earth for a generation. A fleet of rebel fighters from humanity's outpost on Mars journeys to Earth to reclaim their homeworld, but they are tragically wiped out, leaving heroic young pilot Stig Bernard as the last survivor. Determined to succeed in his quest, Bernard sets out on a suicide mission to invade the Inbit headquarters. Along the way, he gathers a small group of freedom fighters, along with an assortment of powerful robotic weapons and fantastic transforming vehicles to help his cause. Can this valiant band of rebels stare down extinction and wrest their homeworld from the clutches of their violent oppressors? Or will the human race meet its end?


Central Park Media Manga News

Starting in April 2002, Central Park Media will be shifting their focus away from the production of monthly 32 page comics so they may increase our production of graphic novels. Some previously solicited material will now be unavailable at the announced format or price point.

Record of Lodoss War: Chronicles of the Heroic Knight will end with issue 18, 19 and up will be canceled. Issue #18 is the last issue necessary to complete the third story arc. The third story arc will be released as graphic novel #3 Street date TBA

Record of Lodoss War: Deedlit's Tale will end with issue #7, 8 and up will be canceled. to complete the first story arc. The first story arc will be released as graphic novel #1 Street date TBA

Slayers Special will end with issue #6. Issue #6 is the last issue necessary to complete the series. A graphic novel compiling the issues will be released. Street date TBA

Slayers Super Explosive Demon Story will end with issue #6.Issue #6 is the last issue necessary to complete the first story arc. The first story arc will be released as graphic novel #1 Street date TBA

Upcoming releases include:
  • Nadesico GN #3 4/3/2002
  • Slayers Special #4 4/17/2002
  • Slayers Super Explosive Demon Story #6 4/17/2002
  • Geobreeders Graphic novel #3 5/1/2002
  • Slayers Special #5 5/15/2002

AnimEigo adds references to Macross

AnimEigo has added subtle, comedic references to the Macross subtitles.

The references, which were suggested by Robert Woodhead while the script was being finalized, were used to flesh out certain aspects of the script, and not to add new content to the script.

For example "On a battleship on the ass-end of space," was used to translate a sentence that could also have been translated as "On a battleship in the furthest reaches of space." The ass-end of space is a term believed to have been first coined in the Star Wars fan-film "Troops". The majority (or perhaps all) of the references come from Star Trek.

Reaction to this has been mixed. On one side people find it amusing and have no problem with the added references because they do not change the meaning of the original script. On the other side some people are deeply disappointed by AnimEigo's decision to add references to the subtitled Macross script that were not in the original script.

Robert Woodhead, AnimEigo CEO, has posted his own reply to the AE mailing list responding to the questions & comments regarding the decision to add Star Trek references to the Macross subtitles.

"It has been a longstanding tradition in AnimEigo translations, right from day one, that when a famous movie line is a perfectly reasonable translation for a line, we tend to use it, in particular if its a humorous scene. We never bend the translation to fit the cute line, but when the opportunity presents itself, we take it. Most of them are very, very subtle and obscure."


New York Times Article Causes Manga Controversy

In a positive article spotlighting Hayao Miyazaki here; James Brooke controversially stated "Comic books account for 60 percent of printed publications in Japan, a reflection of low literacy rates due to the difficulty of learning Japanese characters."

The ASSOCIATED PRESS immediately responded with an article on Brooke and his statement, titled "NY TIMES ARTICLE SAYS JAPAN HAS 'LOW LITERACY RATES' which pointed out that "According to the U.S. State Department, Japan has a literacy rate of 99%, as compared with about 97% for the United States."

The AP reported: "Reached by phone for comment, the article's author, James Brooke, said, ''The cheap shot is to say the New York Times doesn't know how to read the U.N. literacy tables.'' He said the popularity of comics reflects the difficulty of kanji, or Chinese characters, used in Japanese. ''What we are talking about here and a lot of older Japanese have told me this, reading and writing kanji skills are deteriorating. And this is what I meant by low literacy. In other words, a lot of Japanese people read comic books because they don't want to sit on the subway with a long full text kanji book.''


Dragon Ball Z Price Drop

FUNimation will be dropping the prices of Dragon Ball Z volumes 18-39, cover the 18-39, the Captain Ginyu through Androids saga from $24.95 to $14.95.


Upcoming Bandai Release (Gundam, Brain Powered, Ronin Warriors)

The three MS Gundam Movies will be released on DVD on May 7th for $24.95 each, and $69.98 for the box set The movies are an abridged version of the First Gundam TV series footage from the TV series and varying amount of new footage.

The movies also change the order and effects of some events.

Bandai representative Charles McCarter posted on Anime on DVD's forum:

"The Gundam Movies on DVD will be as follows:

  1. They will be JAPANESE AUDIO with ENGLISH SUBTITLES ONLY. There will be no English Dub track. The information on the Bandai Entertainment website is incorrect.
  2. The two audio tracks will be the same as those released on the R2 DVDs, including the 5.1 Japanese audio and the Dolby Surround Audio. The original mono soundtrack is not available for the DVD release, per Sunrise.
  3. The Box Set will contain a special 12-page booklet that will not be available anywhere else, and will include an introduction written by Yoshiyuki Tomino, creator of Gundam, especially for this release."

The second DVD volume of Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Operation Stardust will be released on March 19,

Mobile Fighter G Gundam has been confirmed by Bandai Ent for a DVD only release in Fall 2002 release.

FC (Future Century) 60: the Gundam Fight has begun anew. Fleeing the polluted Earth, the elites of Earth's nations have created luxurious space colonies from which they could control the rest of humanity that was left behind. In the true nature of humanity, the colonies soon found themselves at war with one another. In an effort to resolve their conflicts, a decision was reached to rotate leadership among the space colonies.

Now, every four years a tournament called the Gundam Fight is held to determine which colony will control the fate of the world below. Each colony forms its own mobile fighter to launch into a massive combat on Earth until only one remains… But the 13th Gundam Fight will be different from any that has ever gone before. A technological terror, created by Domon Kasshu's father, has been stolen by his brother. It's up to Gundam Fighter Domon Kasshu to find this Devil Gundam before a catastrophe befalls the world that will dwarf anything ever before imagined...

Bandai has set a May 21st release date for the first volume of Brain Powered. The $44.98 release will include the first nine episodes of the series. Brain Powered was to be Gundam creator Tomino Yoshiyuki's answer to the success of Evangelion. It features the talents of Yadate Hajime (Escaflown, Cowboy Bebop), the elegant mechanical design of Nagano Mamoru (Five Star Stories), character design by Inomata Mutsumi (Tales of Destiny), and music by Yoko Kanno (Escaflowne, Cowboy Bebop, Macross Plus).

Volume four of Pilot Candidate will also be released on 5/21.

Right Stuf is listing the first volume Ronin Warriors as being released on April 23. The three episode volume will include Japanese and English language tracks. Right Stuf lists "Feature both the English "Ronin Warriors" series and the Japanese "Yoroiden Samurai Troopers" episodes uncut and presented in their original format."

While working on the coming Ronin Warriors release, Bandai Entertainment was also looking toward last weekend's theatrical release of their film Escaflowne. Due to unforeseen circumstances however, the San Francisco opening of Escaflowne has been delayed. Updated information for SF will be released by the studio in a few weeks. Bandai has just announced one more screening in Los Angeles:

Escaflowne Release Information

According to an article in Video Business Escaflowne started its limited theatrical run on January 25th in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Chicago and Vancouver, expanding slowly after February.

"We're really looking to make it a big deal, much like Akira was," said marketing producer Jerry Chu. "This is our first time dabbling in the film business."

Bandai is planning a big campaign for Escaflowne's video launch--on DVD only. The effort will include promotion at the July 4-7 Anime Expo in Long Beach, Calif., and cross-promotion with a new collector's edition DVD box of all eight volumes of the Escaflowne TV series, which has aired on the Fox Network.

The trailer for the Escaflownie movie, a Girl in Gaia has gone online here;.

In the movie Hitomi is a girl alienated her shyness, and suicidal from her feelings of alienation. She is directed by a silver haired man in black to the world of Gaia, where she is found by a feral young warrior named Van. Van needs her to summon the Escaflowne, a biomechanical armor that will be his instrument of revenge against the Black Dragon clan which destroyed his kingdom. The movie features music by popular composer Yohko Yanno (Cowboy Bebop, Macross Plus, the Escalfowne TV series), character design by Nobuteru Yuki (Escaflowne TV, Lodoss War) and mechanical design by Kimitoshi Yamane (Escaflowne TV, Macross).


Bones On RahXephon

Anime News Service reports Bones;, best known for their work on Cowboy Bebop, and Escaflowne, has announced their next project Rahxephon;, a Scifi TV anime series to begin airing on Fuji TV.

The show's staff will be headed by premium talents as well including Director / RahXephon Designer Yutaka Izubuchi (Mechanical Designs: Patlabor OVA), Chara Designer Akihiro Yamada (Illustrator: Lodoss War), and Mecha Designer Michiaki Sato (Producer: Earth Girl Arjuna). The plot occurs on Earth in Japan where in the year 2012 an "intruder" appears in Tokyo's sky called the "MU". An autonomous region called " TOKYO JUPITER " is formed in response to the threat and the viewers are flashed forward to the present: 2027. Tokyo Jupiter consists of a dome type, self contained city 150km in diameter centered from Tokyo Haneda airport and extending out over open sea. A high school student must meet his challenge in this world threatened by unknowns. Broadcast is set for Mondays from January 21st at 4: 25 on Fuji TV.Seiyuu include Maaya Sakamoto (Escaflowne).


Metropolis

Anime News Service From Columbia Tristar final preperations for the release of Metroplis is running smoothly. The opened this Friday, January 25th in NY and LA and so far the critics' reaction has been overwhelmingly positive.

Rintaro And Maruyama Metropolis Audio

Anime News Service has posted an interview with Metropolis director Rintaro here;, in which he comments on the release of Metropolis in America.


Devil Hunter Yohko on DVD

David Williams of ADV Films posted on Anime on DVD's forum that Devil Hunter Yohko will be released across two sets. The first set will have 1 disc with both versions of episode 1 and disc 2 having episodes 2 & 3. The second set will have all the music videos (aka Yohko 4-ever) and episodes 5 & 6. There are also trailers, music video, art retrospective and an ADV Historical Commentary with David Williams, Matt Greenfield and Janice Williams talking about ADV's early days and what it was like working on Yohko back then. The discs will be released in 2002 for their 10 year anniversary.


Lupin III: Legend of the Twilight Gemini

Last week's release of the second volume of FUNimation's Blue Gender included a flyer that states Lupin III: Legend of the Twilight Gemini will be released in Spring 2002.

The 1996 takes Lupin to Morocco where he joins forces with a group of desert guerilla. The animation has a modern look to it, and it shows a bit more skin than other Lupin features.

Lupin III is the grandson of French literary gentleman thief Arsène Lupin. He is accompanied in the series by his accomplishes, the somber gunman Jigen, the stoic samurai Goemon and his love/rival Fujiko, as well as the Interpol agent tracking him, Zenigata.


Spirited Away Announced for Japanese DVD

Nausicaä.net has referenced a pair of Japanese links that suggest that Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi will be released on DVD in Japan in June. One link gives a June 19th date. A second link lists a release date of June 5th. Thus far all of the Studio Ghibli films released on Japanese DVD, including Gouche the Cellist and Tonari no Yamada-kun which have never been officially released in America, have included optional English subtitles.


Legend of Crystiana on DVD

ADV has announced that the Legened of Crystania: The Chaos Ring will be released on DVD on 3/19. The three episode OAV follows the knight Ashram and dark elf Pirotess after the events of Lodoss War. Ashra,m Pirotess and their followers fled to Island of Crystania where Ashram fell under the influence of the Beast God Barbus. After 300 years Pirotess returns with a group of adventurers. The OAV series is follow up to the Legend of Crystiana movie.


TRSI Releases

Information on Right Stuf Releases of Boogiepop Phantom and Kare Kano From Anime on DVD: For Boogiepop Phantom, the bonus music CD will be available at retail. Should have a sticker on outside of packaging. Official release date is 2/12; likely it will be in stores by 1/29 or so anyway. The CD is the "Overture "Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg" Boogiepop Version". The Boogiepop Phantom box set currently in a Nextpak-5. They're doing something different in that they will be adding foam inserts inside to make it so the discs can't come off, also makes the package much more solid. In talking with the folks at Nextpak, who supply cases for all of the Hollywood studios, the problems people have noted here with things like the Tylor OVA case was the only reported instance. No other studios have reported any problems with their packaging. Since the box set is a 5 disc pack (that takes up the same amount of space as a three pack supposedly), they're gauging intere st in doing an open artbox.

"If there is interest in doing an "artbox" I am open to that, but I'd need at least 1000 orders. I'd throw in the CD with it, also maybe empty Amarays with the 1-4 inserts. Thoughts?" His & Her Circumstances will definitely have a hard-box, not multi-pak nextpak. Will it be available with disc 1? Not sure - may be only at Right Stuf directly for box +1 (waiting for retail response), but there will definitely be a box at the end, no matter what.

The Right Stuf has started a Kara Kano(His & Her Circumstances) journal here;. Kare Kano is a shoujo series from Gainax, and Anno Hideaki (creator and director of Evangelion) about a girl who the perfect student at school, and a slouch at home who meets a boy who seems to be as perfect as she acts.


AnimEigo Release Information

AnimEigo's release DVDs of the fan parody Otaku no Video, and the sci fi BAOH are now entering replication. Kimagure Orange Road will enter replication as soon as the liner notes are finished printing. Kimagure Orangle Road is about a love triangle between a boy with ESP, who has fallen in love with a mysterious girl, who in turn is loved by a sweet childhood friend.

The ESP aspect of the story is handled very well, with attention paid to the implications of a boy with physic powers in the Japanese culture. The comedy is considered a classic by many fans.


Official Word on Adult Swim Action

from Toonzone;

On February 23, Cartoon Network launches ADULT SWIM ACTION, extending its mission as the world's leader in animated entertainment with a new block of animated action-adventure programming aimed at adults ages 18-34. The block will air only on Saturday nights from 11 p.m.-2 a.m. (ET, PT). ADULT SWIM ACTION will feature three hours of action-packed programming including Cowboy Bebop, Outlaw Star and Tenchi Muyo!, among others. Saturday, February 23 will also mark the U.S. premieres of three popular Japanese animé imports - Yū Yū Hakusho, Pilot Candidate and Gundam 0083.

The programming line-up and show descriptions follow:

  • 11 p.m. Yū Yū Hakusho
  • 11:30 p.m. Cowboy Bebop
  • 12 a.m. Pilot Candidate
  • 12:30 a.m. Gundam 0083
  • 1 a.m. Outlaw Star
  • 1:30 a.m. Tenchi Muyo!

Yū Yū Hakusho follows the adventures of fourteen-year-old Yusuke Urameshi. Formerly a young rebel, Yusuke saves the life of a child and ultimately surrenders his own life. He is sent back to Earth with a mission to solve troubles between the Spirit World's dark creatures and the unsuspecting Living World. Yusuke joins a motley crew of former rivals, who join forces as friends to fight spirit criminals in this action-packed adventure series.

Following the exploits of the ship Bebop and its bounty hunter crew as they take on various assignments, Cowboy Bebop takes place in the future when the population of Earth has migrated into space. The show follows the exploits of bounty hunters, Spike and Jet, as they roam the galaxy with their dog, Ein, taking on various assignments and tracking down criminals in a hyperspace world rampant with crime and opportunities.

Pilot Candidate tells the story of the planet Zion, under attack by a powerful enemy from deep space. Zion's last hope rests upon a team of fighting machines known as the Goddesses. One trainee, Zero, realizes that it takes more than skill to become a pilot. He and the other pilot candidates must overcome their differences and complete their training or Zion will be destroyed.

Gundam 0083 takes place during the Stardust Memory (October U.C. 0083 - December U.C. 0083) which occurs three years after the end of the war between the Zeon and the Federation, when a group called the Delaz Fleet is formed by the survivors of the Zeon army. Their goal is to rebuild Zeon. Ace pilot Major Anavel Gato steals the Gundam GP02, a nuclear equipped mechanized battle-armor model, in development by the Federation. Lieutenant Kou Uraki pilots the Gundam GP01, the only one left, in an attempt to stop him.

ADULT SWIM ACTION shows will carry ratings of TV-PG, TV-14 and TV-Y7FV. The block will be packaged differently from other Cartoon Network programming, and will contain bumps at every break to notify viewers of the adult-targeted content. ADULT SWIM ACTION will only be promoted on Cartoon Network late at night.


Read or Die Third OAV Gets a Release Date

Anime News Network reported that Sony Visual Works has given a release date for the last installment of the Read or Die OAV. The DVD will be released in Japan on February 6th for ¥6000.

The US rights for Read or Die were rumored to have been picked up by Manga Entertainment. They have not yet given a date or any indication for the US release of the series.

Read or Die is a story about Yumiko Readman. She is your ordinary 25 year old high school teacher with a secret. She's a secret agent! A secret agent for the Royal British Library's Division of Special Operations. Poor Yumiko is forced to quit her teaching job and team up with a new partner, Nancy Deep, to take on a new mission.

You can check out the official wesbite for Read or Die with artwork, information and screenshots. If you prefer your websites in English you can view the English portion of the website here;.


AniPike Founder Retires

Jei Fubler Harvey, founder of the most popular anime portal, Anime Web Turnpike has announced that he will be retiring from work on the site after working on it for six years. The new owner(s), believed to be Ron Scovil's Anime Broadcasting Inc. have not yet publicised their plans regarding the Turnpike. With the recent addition of February's "Last Exit Before teh Toll" it seems that the Turnpike will continue regular operations for the time being at least.


Lone Wolf 2100

Dark Horse Comics announced Lone Wolf and Cub: 2100, a sequel to the samurai series by Kazuo Koike.The series will be written by Mike Kennedy (Ghost, Ghost/Batgirl, Star Wars: Underworld) and edited by Randy Stradley. Kenneday says "The only common element with the original series is the core concept of the mysterious warrior escorting a child across a hostile land.. While this future environment does include some fantastic bits of technology, time travel isn't one of them. Hopefully any comparisons will stop right there. Ronin was perhaps the first comic to make a significant impression on me as a kid, and I wouldn't want to be so blatant as to rip off such an original concept. This isn't intended as a 'sequel' per se, though there's no reason why the believable history in Koike's original series didn't actually occur in our future's timeline."

That said, there are more than a few similarities to Koike's original. "Our hero does mirror the original Itto Ogami in that he follows a strict code of Bushido and eventually comes to wield a sword, but other than that, the only similarity is in the name 'Itto,' The child he is protecting is a young girl named Daisy, ne 'Diagoro', who may or may not contain the secret behind a deadly virus tearing its way across the planet. Whether that secret is the cause of or solution to the imminent global genocide is one of the mysteries of our plot." See Newsarama's description here and preview here.


bookmark/share with:

Article archives

Around The Web