Anime Programming in the US
Making a Living in Manga in Japan with Felipe Smith
Lost in Translation
The North American anime distributor Section23 Films has announced on Friday that Sentai Filmworks has licensed The Skull Man and Maria Holic anime series. Section23 will ship the complete DVD sets for these two anime on February 2 and February 23, respectively.
The Skull Man anime adapts the manga of the same name from pioneering storyteller Shotaro Ishinomori (Kamen Rider, Cyborg 009, Harmagedon). The title character is a mysterious figure in a skull mask who has been committing horrific slayings in an alternate-history version of Japan.
Takeshi Mori directed The Skull Man anime at the acclaimed anime studio Bones. The production features head writer and conceptual designer Yutaka Izubuchi (RahXephon, Patlabor) and musical composer Shiro Sagisu (Evangelion, Bleach, Megazone 23). The anime aired in Japan in the spring of 2007. Just before he passed away in 1998, Ishinomori personally chose Kazuhiko Shimamoto to continue The Skull Man manga, and Tokyopop published Shimamoto's retelling in North America.
Maria Holic's story centers on a sophomore named Kanako who enrolls in all-girls school because she has a phobia of men and wants to find her destined yuri partner. She meets a captivating freshman named Mariya who fits her criteria — except her seemingly ideal mate happens to be a sadistic, cross-dressing boy.
The anime studio Shaft based the Maria Holic anime on Minari Endo's romantic comedy manga of the same name. Akiyuki Shinbo (Le Portrait de Petit Cossette, Sayonara Zetsubō Sensei) directed off the scripts that were supervised by Masahiro Yokotani (Reideen, World Destruction: Sekai Bokumetsu no Rokunin). The anime just aired in Japan from January to March of this year. Tokyopop is publishing the second volume of the manga in North America this month.
Section23 also announced that the second volume of the To Love-Ru anime will ship on February 16. The company will distribute Switchblade Pictures' live-action Kirenji Women's College collection on February 9 and Switchblade's live-action Ryuji the Yakuza collection on February 23.
Update: More background and story information added.
Images © 2007 Shotaro Ishinomori/The Skull Man Production Committee
2009 Minari Endo, Media Factory/Maria Holic Production Committee
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