News Weekly Wrapup 15/5 - 21/5
Madman Entertainment announced that its latest anime acquisition is Dance in the Vampire Bund, a horror series directed by Akiyuki Shinbo (Hidamari Sketch, Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei, Puella Magi Madoka Magica). Madman has also acquired the second series of Spice & Wolf, and the second series and OVA of Darker than Black. No release dates have been announced as yet.
A new Cyborg 009 short advertising the drink Pepsi Nex is now screening in Warner Mycal 3D theatres in Japan, playing before Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. The feature was produced by director Kenji Kamiyama (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Eden of the East), Production I.G, and the groups Dandelion and Sanzigen. Kamiyama previously produced a Xi AVANT animation last year tying in with NTT Docomo, and recently established a consulting firm for producing animation for advertising and other purposes.
The popular shoujo manga Ouran High School Host Club is being adapted to a live-action J-drama series. The series will begin screening on the TBS network in July, and stars Haruna Kawaguchi (Yankee-kun to Megane-chan, Moshidora) as the heroine Haruhi, a poor student in a prestigious school who is forced to pretend to be a boy in the Host Club run by eccentric Tamaki, played by Yūsuke Yamamoto (Kamen Rider Kabuto, Hana Zakari no Kimi-tachi e). BONES previously adapted the manga to a 26-episode television anime.
Veteran art director Mitsuki Nakamura passed away this week, aged 67. Starting his career in 1965 with Space Ace, he worked on background art, mechanical designs and visuals for Tatsunoko Productions and contributed to classic anime such as Gatchaman, Casshern and Mach Go Go Go (Speed Racer). Other credits at various studios include the first Mobile Suit Gundam series and Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind, and Mashi Productions noted that he continued to work in the industry as recently as 2008.
Japan's National Diet Library and the Agency for Cultural Affairs are planning a cultural preservation project for Japanese media. Part of the project will include collaborating and maintaining bibliographic information on anime, manga and video games. The Japanese government has put forward several plans to preserve anime and manga, including a manga museum also covering anime, games and other media, to be finished in 2014.
Finally, the first virus to affect Japanese smartphones has been discovered--in an pirated version of an anime app. Security firm Symantec confirmed that the Trojan horse, discovered in pirated copies of an Android app based on Isshoni Training: Training with Hinako, could allow unauthorised access to the phone, allowing attackers to remotely access the phone's contacts and emails and make phone calls. Symantec stated that Japanese phones were unaffected by viruses for a long period of time due to the country's phone system being incompatiable with other phone systems, but that virus infections will increase in future. Anime has featured in Japan's computer security issues before, with a virus allegedly created by the country's first accused virus creator using still images from the series Clannad.