News Weekend Wrapup: 10/Apr - 17/Apr
Madman Entertainment will simulcast the new series Blue Exorcist for free on its Madman Screening Room site. Blue Exorcist, directed by Tensai Okamura (Memories (movie), Wolf's Rain, Darker than Black), is based on a manga about a half-human son of Satan becoming an exorcist to stop his father from using his body to enter the human world. The simulcast will begin on April 20th and episodes will be screened shortly after the Japanese broadcast. Madman also announced that it has acquired the Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood movie Fullmetal Alchemist: the Sacred Stars of Milos, with plans to release it theatrically as well as other titles including the two Battle Royale live-action films, the live-action Gantz films, Digimon Adventure (TV) and K-ON!.
Tokyopop has announced that its North American publishing operations will cease on May 31st. Tokyopop was founded in 1997 under the name Mixx and contributed to America's manga boom in the last decade with high-profile titles such as Sailor Moon, Cardcaptor Sakura, Fruits Basket, Love Hina and GTO. The company popularised publishing translated manga in 'unflopped' format reading right to left, as printed in Japan, and promoted Korean comics (manwha) and original English language (OEL) manga. The company has experienced trouble in recent years, with Japanese publisher Kodansha annulling its Tokyopop licenses in 2009 and the bankruptcy of bookstore chain Borders leading to staff lay-offs. Tokyopop will continue to run European publishing and film operations from its office in Germany.
Japanese manga distribution website J-Comi, founded by Ken Akamatsu (Love Hina, Negima! Magister Negi Magi), has begun a new initiative to release illegally-scanned manga free with advertising. Called the "Illegal (Out-of-Print) Manga File Purification Project" by Akamatsu, people may anonymously submit scans of out-of-print manga to J-Comi, which then contacts the manga creators for approval. If the creators give permission, the scans are released on J-Comi with added advertisments, the revenue of which goes to the creators. The first title to be "purified" is a one-volume manga from 1993, Player wa Nemurenai: The Man Lost in the Network Labyrinth. Miracle Hime Jubilee by Gaku Miyao (Devil Hunter Yohko) was the second title but has been taken down temporarily.
The Atlus role-playing video game Persona 4 will be adapted to a television anime series by AIC ASTA, with direction from Seiji Kishi (Angel Beats!, My Bride is a Mermaid). Several staff from the original game development team are working on the anime, including concept and character designers Kazuma Kaneko and Shigenori Soejima, music composer Shoji Meguro, and the voice acting cast (including Daisuke Namikawa, Showtaro Morikubo, Yui Horie and Ami Koshimizu). The announcement was made, after a teaser campaign including television advertising and a countdown website, on www.mayonaka-tv.jp on April 11th; April 11th, 2011, is the in-game date the Persona 4 protagonist arrives in the town in which the game takes place.
Finally, Siren Visual has revealed C (for Control) will be its second anime streamed on Anime News Network Video, following Tiger & Bunny. C (for Control) is a Noitamina title directed by Kenji Nakamura (Mononoke (TV), Kūchū Buranko) about a scholarship student in an economically-devastated Japan who is offered an executive job at a bank in a mysterious parallel universe. Simulcasting will begin on April 22nd.