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Weekly Wrapup 20/Nov - 26/Nov

posted on 2011-11-28 08:39 EST
Doraemon begins his birthday celebrations early, Oshii complains about anime these days and Gintama upsets somebody. Who? It could be anyone, it's Gintama after all. Plus, embarrassment-free karaoke and new Dragon Ball anime!

2012 marks the 100th anniversary before the birth of famous robotic cat Doraemon, who was built on September 3, 2112, then traveled back in time to help his owner's hapless ancestor Nobita in his popular manga and anime series. A new Doreamon movie titled Doraemon: Nobita to Kiseki no Shima ~Animal Adventure~ will also be released in March next year. Voice actors Nana Mizuki, Kouichi Yamadera, Masako Nozawa and Atsuko Tanaka will voice new characters in the film, and Masaharu Fukuyama, Japan's biggest selling solo male artist, announced he will sing the film's theme song during the final concert of his latest tour.

Director and scriptwriter Mamoru Oshii (Ghost in the Shell, Patlabor, The Sky Crawlers) discussed the anime industry and his previous works in a lecture he gave to the Tokyo University of the Arts last week. Oshii commented that the anime industry today is focused on otaku and merchandising and described current anime as "copy of a copy of a copy that is no longer a form of 'expression.'" Oshii also discussed the advantages of working in animation, his work on the Ghost in the Shell movies, The Sky Crawlers and the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Oshii did not discuss his future projects but is currently working on an anime/manga hybrid for mobile devices titled Chimamire My Love, which he has said will be a return to the slapstick comedy he has not done since Urusei Yatsura.

Japanese newspaper Mainichi Shimbum ran an article discussing TV Tokyo's decision to not re-air episode 232 of Gintama, a comedy action anime set in an alternate version of feudal Japan which commonly parodies real life events and figures. The episode parodied public service announcements presented by the Advertising Council Japan (AC Japan) and featured a politician character named Renhō, who bore a resemblance to the current Minister for Government Revitalisation, Renhō Murata. Mainichi claims that TV Tokyo withdrew the episode after it was contacted regarding alleged defamation of character. However, TV Tokyo claims that it made the decision of its own accord and Renhō Murata's office, AC Japan, and and others parodied in the episode deny contacting the studio. Gintama anime supervisor Shinji Takamatsu has stated that he would rather stop the anime than be prevented from following the spirit of Hideaki Sorachi's original manga, though he believes that day will never come. A decision on whether to remove the episode from DVD collections has not been made but Crunchyroll is still streaming it overseas.

Dragon Ball: Episode of Bardock, a spin-off Dragon Ball manga created by Naho Ōishi, will be adapted to anime as part of the "Dragon Ball Force Project." Based on the Dragon Ball manga by Akira Toriyama and the Dragon Ball Z Special 1: Bardock, The Father of Goku television special, the series focused on Bardock, Son Goku's father, and ran in Shueshia's V Jump magazine earlier this year. V Jump announced that advance screenings of the anime will be held at the Jump Fiesta 2012 event.

Finally, a karaoke venue allowing customers to sing alone and in private has opened in Kanda, Tokyo. Karaoke boxes allow a group to rent a room where they can sing together while ordering drinks and food. The new establishment, by comparison, contains two square meter booths where customers sing by themselves, using headphones instead of traditional speakers to help contain sound. The single-person karaoke booths follow a trend of single-person dining, with restaurants allowing people to cook and eat yakiniku (grilled meat) and shabu-shabu (hot pot dishes) by themselves opening earlier this year.


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