Anime Programming in the US
Making a Living in Manga in Japan with Felipe Smith
Lost in Translation
Kadokawa Shoten's Movie Walker website began streaming the 107-second trailer for the Magic Tree House fantasy adventure anime film on Sunday. Since 1992, American author Mary Pope Osborne has been writing the original children's books about Jack and Annie, two siblings who go on adventures throughout time with a mysterious tree house. The film will open nationwide in Japan on January 7, 2012.
The anime film is based on Ayana Amako's illustrations for the Japanese edition of the book series, as opposed to Salvatore Murdocca's illustrations for the original American edition. Hiroshi Nishikiori (Azumanga Daioh, Toaru Majutsu no Index, Kaiketsu Zorori) directed off a screenplay written by Ichiro Okouchi (Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion, Azumanga Daioh, Negima!, Brave Story). Yoshiaki Yanagida (Genshiken, You Are Umasou, Spirit of Wonder) designed the characters and supervised the animation process.
Actress Keiko Kitagawa (Sailor Mars in the live-action Sailor Moon, Yukari in the live-action Paradise Kiss) played Jack, while Mana Ashida (Rin in the live-action Bunny Drop) played Annie. Miki Maya (Takarazuka Revue, live-action Absolute Boyfriend and Shibatora) voices Morgan, the enigmatic woman who owns the Magic Tree House. Kana Uemura sang the theme song "Message," and Akira Senju (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Mobile Suit Victory Gundam, live-action Rampo) composed the music.
More than 92 million copies of the franchise's 46 books have been sold in 33 countries, including 3.3 million in Japan alone. 30 volumes have been published in Japan since 2002, although the first 14 Japanese volumes each contained material from two American volumes. The books are a major part of "morning reading time" in many Japanese elementary schools.
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