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2003 April Fools Jokes

by Christopher Macdonald,
This is a companion article to this editorial.

Oscar Scandal: Spirited Away Loses!

Spirited Away Oscar taken back! Recount reveals Lilo & Stitch to be the true winner!

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today that a special request by Disney executive Kym Murphy has revealed Lilo and Stitch to be the winner of the Oscar for Best Animated Feature.

"The difference was quite small," Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Frank Pierson explained. "Only a small number of votes separated Spirited Away and Lilo and Stitch. The recount revealed a cache of additional votes that were previously unaccounted for. After tallying these votes, Lilo and Stitch ended up on top by fewer than five votes!"

Studio Ghibli representatives could not be reached at the time of publishing, but Anime News Network will continue to follow this story as it develops.

Kodomo no Omocha Licensed; Hikaru no Go, Too?

In addition to their recently announced original production, ANN Pro has announced that it has secured the North American rights for the Kodomo no Omocha anime series. Additionally, rumors on the Internet cite ANN Pro as having acquired the Hikaru no Go TV series, although ANN Pro refused to comment on these rumors.
While working on their original production, Cookie-san no Newsroom, ANN Pro CEO Christopher Macdonald today announced that North America's newest Anime website turned production company has secured the North American translation and distribution rights to Kodomo no Omocha.

"We're a bunch of guys who sit around doing nothing but working on a little website all day," explains Mr. Macdonald, "We figured that since we had nothing better to do with our time...we may as well do something better."

"Actually, while we're just announcing it today, we licensed Kodocha close to 6 years ago," explains producer Daniel DeLorme. "We already have the entire staff worked out, and production should start within a year or so; our current release date is planned for Spring 2004. Given the delays associated with this kind of work, we're confident that Kodocha will be on DVD shelves sometime this decade."

Meanwhile, when asked why ANN Pro chose Kodomo no Omocha, George Phillips, VP-acquisitions explained, "Because TOKYOPOP said it wouldn't happen."

Apollo Smile, the voice actress for Sana-chan, was present at the exclusive press party held at New York's luxurious Avalon Hotel. "Like, its just an absolute honor to be cast as a voice actress person in this show! I'm not entirely sure why they think I'm suited for the part, but they kept saying that I was perfect to play the part of cute little Sana-chan so, like, it's an honor!"

Last week, Zac Bertchy announced from Anime News Network's Tokyo office the formation of ANN Pro, along with the production of their first title, "Cookie-san no Newsroom," an original co-production with Gainax, the studio behind the best selling Otaku no Video. Further production details are available from the ANN Encyclopedia.

Cookie-san no Newsroom is said to be an entirely fictional Anime series about a wacky team of crack reporters who constantly miss deadlines and struggle to maintain a pop culture newspaper that's way too popular for them to handle. The main character, Cookie-san, is joined by hilariously overbearing editor Tempesto, bitter and cynical editorialist Zacku and the girl-who-busts-everyone's-balls Bamboo-chan. Along with their sidekicks, the Fuzzy Garry, Sexy Super-Deformed Jadress, crack marketer (and Butter Fanatic) Izakada, and the glowing coder Danalyzer, Cookie-san, Tempesto, Zacku and Bamboo-chan are expected to provide non-stop laughter every week on ATV and Cartoon Network. A simultaneous launch is planned for Japan and North America.

With an opening song by L'arc~en~Ciel, and merchandising by Gamers!, Cookie-san no Newsroom is expected to be the breakout hit of 2003!

ANN Pro marketing director Isaac Alexander is enthusiastic, and with good reason. "We're working every single chance for marketing gimmicks into this. We expect it to spin off into a CCG, there will be collectible plushies, Giant Robot episodes, tons of fan service (including Family-friendly fanservice!) and we've worked out special deals with major corporations such as Sony, Microsoft, and Ford to have their products appear in the series, lending it the credibility of their established brands."

In another recent development, speculation on the Internet suggests that ANN Pro signed contracts for Hikaru no Go only hours after Viz PR agents stated that they were "in final negotiations" for this title. ANN Pro CEO Christopher Macdonald refused to comment on this development.

The full press release follows below:



MONTREAL, March 31, 2003 ? Anime News Network (http://www.animenewsnetwork.com) is proud to announce its second acquisition, fan-favorite Kodomo no Omocha! Kodomo no Omocha is a popular series amongst fans, known for its emotionally charged storylines as well as its humorous jokes!

ANN Pro's CEO Christopher Macdonald said he was very pleased with the fan-favorite acquisition. "We're happy to be bringing one of the most famous anime series ever produced to North America! We couldn't be happier!"

"For years, fans begged and pleaded for -anyone- to license Kodocha, but the other companies said it wasn't going to happen." VP-Acquisitions George Phillips said. "We looked at the situation and decided that Kodocha would be a runaway hit in America. We had to license it, if for no other than because TOKYOPOP said it wouldn't happen."

Last week, ANN Pro announced their first co-produced series, "Cookie-san no Newsroom" (Cookie's Newsroom), an inspiring new series made in conjunction with GAINAX. Cookie-san is a distraught editor for a newspaper that is far too popular for its own good! He, along with overbearing editor Tempesto, the bitter editorialist Zacku, and ball-busting Bamboo-chan constantly wage a war against missed deadlines, slow work days and the occasional giant robot assault! Along with their zany sidekicks Fuzzy Garry, the sexy Super-Deformed Jadress, crack marketer (and Butter Fetishist) Izakada, and Master PHP H4x0r Danalyzer, join Cookie-san and company for non-stop laughter every week on Y-TV, WOWOW, and Cartoon Network! Premieres July 1st.

ABOUT ANIME NEWS NETWORK ? Founded in 1998 Anime News Network is one of the few first rate sources of Anime News available on the Internet in the English language. Anime News Network works closely with the Anime industry, fans and companies alike, to bring Anime fans up to date and relevant coverage of the Anime Industry, coverage that isn?t available from the mainstream press of the general entertainment industry press. In 2003, ANN expanded into anime production with its ANN Pro division.

Godzilla Assisting U.S. Army in Nuclear Arms Search

According to an article in today's Ikamono Shinbun, Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi announced the deployment of Godzilla to the Persian Gulf to search for nuclear arms.

Translated from the Ikamono Shinbun:

Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi announced that Japan would deploy Godzilla to Iraq to provide assistance to U.S. troops in locating nuclear waste and possible nuclear weapons. In a public announcement outside the Tokyo Diet Building, Koizumi said, "The Japanese constitution does not allow the Self-Defense Force to deploy in the offensive assault on Iraq. As Godzilla is not a part of the recognized Self-Defense Force, he cannot be subject to our laws. We send Godzilla to the American forces as a token of good-will, and we hope that he proves useful in their search missions."
It is not clear if Japan is allowing Godzilla to go to Iraq or if Godzilla is traveling independent of the wishes of the government. Godzilla has historically not cooperated with government officials, and Tokyo has burnt down on more than one occasion due directly to a Godzilla-related incident.

Astro Boy Signs Up!

News flash, Tokyo! The Tokyo Shimbun reports that the Japanese Diet has voted to send prototype Tetsuwan Atom model robots to Iraq in the form of humanitarian aid. This is no doubt to soothe the international uproar brought about by sending over their own weapon of mass destruction, as seen earlier today.

ANN Exclusive: TOKYOPOP to Buy All Japanese Manga

Leaked documents from an anonymous TOKYOPOP executive indicate that the company is in negotiations with the Japanese government to singlehandedly buy translation and distribution licenses for every manga produced since 1987.

A high-level TOKYOPOP executive provided Anime News Network with an exclusive look at classified documents indicating their intent to purchase thousands of manga translation and distribution licenses. Instead of dealing with each individual company, however, TOKYOPOP has taken an unconventional approach to acquiring these titles: Directly contracting the rights from the Japanese Government!

TOKYOPOP's executive said, on condition of anonymity, "Fans will love this! We've been working on it for years, back when we were Mixx Entertainment. It's been a long process, and there have been some setbacks, but we've signed the papers. Now all we have to do is wait for the material to arrive so we can translate and release it. We'll begin announcing the new titles soon, but we first want to finish up work on our current product lines. Soon, every bookstore will look like Kinokuniya--manga piled from floor to ceiling, all along the walls!"

Anime News Network was unable to see the 572-page listing of all the acquired manga titles, but our contact assured us that virtually every manga, one-shot story, and doujinshi produced between 1987 and 2002 was accounted for. "We spent years talking with Comiket to secure material from every doujinshi ring, ever. Even the ones that vanished with the collapsing economy. We got 'em all!"

What is the price of all this manga? Our contact couldn't provide an exact number, but he did say "Eight digits! Can you believe it? It was a steal, but that's why we dealt with the Japanese government directly."

It is uncertain if this will override contracts made previously by other manga vendors, such as Viz and Dark Horse Comics. Anime News Network will continue following this story as it develops.

Heero Yui and Duo Maxwell Not Gay!

In a brief announcement today, Heero Yui's agent announced that Heero is not dating Duo Maxwell.

LONG BEACH, CA -- Heero Yui's agent, Mr. Chu, announced today, "We are sorry to inform the fans of Gundam Wing, but contrary to rumors circulating on the Internet, Mr. Yui is not dating Mr. Duo Maxwell. While he and Mr. Maxwell are indeed good friends, Mr. Yui is currently engaged to Ms. Relena Peacecraft."

Mr. Chu also announced that Trowa and Quatre are not gay either. "These fine young men have had their names slandered on the Internet long enough. It's time that everyone involved in these unsightly rumors move on to bigger and better things."

Mr. Chu refused to take questions after the press conference.

Outside, fangirls screamed "1x2! 1x2!" and "DIE RELENA!" as Mr. Chu walked to his Hachi-Roku. "Give us back our shonen-ai!" an unidentified fanfiction writer screamed, tossing Heero UFO dolls at Mr. Chu. Mr. Chu smiled and waved at the mob before quickly departing the scene.

After Mr. Chu left, many fans stayed around to discuss possible underground fanfic circles. "Just because it isn't true doesn't mean we can't dream!" a self-proclaimed 1x2 and 1x5 writer said.

Most writers, however, seem to believe that a local Flower Shop (run by five eligible bachelors) is the next big scene.

Dance Dance Resurrection Anime Announced

Konami has announced that its upcoming Dance Dance Resurrection game is set to be turned into an Animated series by Madhouse. While details are still sparse, Go Nagai is expected to provide the script and Takashi Miike will make his Anime debut as the director. The voice of Jesus has yet to be cast, but Mary will be voiced by Megumi Hayashibara.

ADV Films buys Manga International

Not to be confused with Manga Entertainment.

Special Thanks to Dan Milliken for this item.



(Houston,Texas) - ADV Films has bought out Manga International (formerly Anime Cartoon) in a bold move to expand production facilities. This strategic move is in perfect precision with industry smarts and consumer demand. ADV's immense distribution network and marketing savvy will be supplemented with a large increase in anime titles through Manga International's library in addition to more production facilities.

ADV Films PR Representative Rod Petrs states, "We listened to the demand from our consumers through the internet anime fan community as well as the convention circuit to increase monthly releases of titles while lowering prices. We estimate that we should be able to move all physical replication of DVD releases to Manga International's plants within four to five weeks. This will benefit our supply chain by allowing us to move more product into the retail level at a more agressive pace. By improving our vertical integration with Manga International's immense source library and their replication facilities we will be able to target the lower prices our consumers are looking for. An added bonus is that we will be able to entice our consumers through improved packaging of DVD releases by using Manga International's gatefolds with their exquisite artwork. This is clearly a win-win situation for everyone."

Plans are underway to utilize key members of Manga International's translation staff to assist ADV Films in finishing production of titles licensed within the last several years and moving them rapidly into retail venues. ADV Films has already picked Hana Yori Dango as the first title to release from Manga International's back-catalog. As translation and general DVD authoring are already complete for Hana Yori Dango it only needs to go through a brief post-production check to make sure the release is up to the ADV Films reputation. A new release that Manga International was preparing before the buy-out was the Renewal of Evangelion which features a new telecine and 5.1 audio mix of the seminal classic Neon Genesis Evangelion from the 1990s. Plans are already in place to move this production into the forefront of releases during fourth quarter of this fiscal year. "We can only hope that consumers will no longer complain about pricing and episode counts for our DVD releases after this visionary step forward," stated Petrs.

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