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Tokyo Anime Fair 2009 Blowout
Page 3/3

by ANN Staff,


New Shows On Display:

Eureka 7: Pocketful of Rainbows (in Japanese theaters April 25) – A theatrical Eureka 7 movie with the series' familiar cast and an all-new storyline.


Bandai's booth was monolithic, and was mostly dedicated to the 30th Anniversary of Gundam, complete with a giant illuminated mural of a Gundam holding a naked baby (it's all about rebirth, get it?). Inside was a museum-like display of Gundam models, both recent and retro, along with various clips from Gundam series over the years.

A stage area was located to the left of the booth, with performances and idol appearances scheduled throughout the day. A handful of storefronts – products ranging from trading cards to models to DVDs to Blurays – were scattered throughout the booth. Gashapon machines could be found in most corners.

Plenty of merchandise from Tales of the Abyss could be found, as well, alongside a limited edition Pizza Hut box with Tales branding, a'la Code Geass.


New Shows On Display:

Hanasakeru Seishōnen (airs 04-05) – A new fantasy romance shojo series about a girl involved with four men (referred to in the title as the ‘Blooming Boys’), set in modern Japan.


Pierrot had a bright and very colorful booth on the southeast side of the hall, with huge banners for Naruto, Bleach and the upcoming shojo romance series, Hanasakeru Seishōnen. Two life-size mannequins of Naruto characters stood watch along the top of the booth's inner wall (complete with creepy deformed mannequin hands), while merchandise showcases featuring action figures, cards, CDs, books and video games from Pierrot's various series completed the experience.

Pierrot's latest series is a shojo “love square” romance between a high school girl and four impossibly attractive men (natch) aimed at teenager girls. Pierrot also had a number of events planned for Naruto's upcoming 10th anniversary, including a theme park event that would be launched around the same time as the new Naruto Shippūden movie scheduled to be released in Japanese theaters this summer.


New Shows On Display:

Detective Conan Movie (in Japanese theaters April 15th) – The 13th (!) movie in the Conan franchise is a brand-new story that retells Conan's origin.


TOHO had a very nicely themed booth, with a huge Conan inflatable balloon overhead and a massive standee of Conan in front of Tokyo Tower. A myriad of screenshots, storyboards and posters were hung on the walls.

Also displayed at the TOHO booth was an advertisement for the DVD of La Maison en Petits Cubes, the Academy Award-winning short, and Major, an animated baseball drama set for theatrical release this year.

According to the representative we spoke to, this year's Detective Conan movie is designed to bring new fans into the franchise, retelling the title character's origin story and introducing a plot that all audiences can enjoy rather than fans who have been following the series for years.


New Shows On Display:

Erin the Beast Player (began airing in January 2009)– NHK's 50th anniversary project, following the life of a girl who cares for the beasts that power the government's military.

Kobato. (airs Fall 2009) – CLAMP's latest manga adapted for television. Kobato. is a mysterious girl who fills a magic bottle with the painful emotions of those in need, alongside her sidekick, a dog named Ioryogi.

Element Hunters (airs July 2009) – An action/adventure show about a group of young warriors who hunt down precious elements, utilizing the principles of chemistry.


NHK's booth was large, but unassuming – mostly black, with a simple stage and a handful of framed posters of currently airing and upcoming new shows. They were heavily promoting Erin the Beast Player, which has been on since January, and is NHK's 50th Anniversary series. Also on hand was Tytania, the sci-fi drama about warring galaxies that has already seen a successful run on the channel and has seen release on both DVD and Bluray in Japan.

The two newest projects NHK would talk about – Kobato. and Element Hunters – were barely out of the gate. Kobato., based on the CLAMP manga that originally serialized in Newtype, will finally get an animated adaptation this fall. Very little is known about Element Hunters at this point; they had one promotional image, a brief description, and that's about it. NHK was also enthusiastic about their ongoing stop-motion Domo series, which features their ubiquitous mascot character, Domo-kun, who also currently shills for Target stores in America.


New Series On Display:

Sea Story (airs Summer 2009) – A magical girl action series about two sisters from the sea who meet a land-dweller and fight off nefarious creatures.


Sea Story was the sole show being promoted at this booth, and hence, they had a shallow sandbox filled with authentic white beach stand, some driftwood and a handful of other props (like jelly sandals and a lei).

The lead character is a scantily-clad sea-dweller with blonde hair, and the booth girls guarding the rim of the beach sandbox were dressed as her. According to the representative we spoke to, the series is focused on images and emotions inspired by the ocean, and the art direction reflects that; they're aiming for a sort of magical girl – action – high drama mashup, with a handful of moe elements thrown in. If the number of pleased TAF visitors playing in the beach sand is any indication, they may be on to something.

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