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Weekend Wrapup: 20/3 - 26/3

In this week's wrapup, Manga publishers doing the right thing after the earthquake, Production I.G announces a collaboration with Clamp, Siren Visual announces new titles and more.

Various anime, manga and video game delays continue to occur due to issues resulting from the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake. To counter the delays, Kodansha has announced they will release six of their magazines, including Young shounen Magazine, online for free and without advertising. Kodansha will release more details on the online releases next week. Shueisha has already distributed the latest Weekly Shounen Jump on the internet for free for similar reasons.

Siren Visual has announced that they will release Welcome to the NHK and Kaiba in Australia on June the 17th. This will be the first time Kaiba (a science-fiction love story directed by Masaaki Yuasa) will be released in English.

Japanese satellite channel BS Fuji ran a TV special last night (March the 26th) on the Japanese content industry, covering anime, video games, music and other Japanese popular culture being exported overseas. Content Business Saizensen Japa-Con TV (Content Business Frontline: Japanese Content TV) combined live-action documentary sequences with animated sequences featuring voice actress Aki Toyosaki. The opening animation sequence for the special was personally animated by Tatsuyuki Tanaka (Genius Party Beyond's "Tojin Kit", Akira key animation).

Production I.G has announced they are collaborating with manga creators CLAMP on the new title Blood-C. CLAMP created the story and original character designs for Blood-C, which is the latest in the Blood vampire anime franchise that begun with Production I.G's film Blood: The Last Vampire. Blood-C will launch in July, with an accompanying manga series adapted by Ranmaru Kotone (Diasta of Ultima Thule, Toki wo Kakeru Shōjo: Tokikake-) launching in Shōnen Ace on May 26th.

This year is the 10th anniversary of Higurashi ni Naku Kono ni, a doujin horror game series that gained popularity and was adapted into two television series as well as manga, live-action movies and other animated projects. To mark the anniversary, Frontier Works has announced a new original video anime series, Higurashi no Naku Kono ni Kira, will be released this year in four volumes. The first volume will come out on July 21st and will adapt the original game's Batsukoishi-hen storyline; the following volumes will have all-new stories. Toshifumi Kawase, who worked on previous Higurashi anime series, will return as script supervisor.

Finally, Funimation has dismissed its January lawsuit against 1337 people alleged to have downloaded and distrubited an episode of One Piece via Bittorrent. Funimation had asked the court to stop defendants from distrubiting any videos and destroy copies of the videos on the defendants' computers. In February, the court ordered Funimation to remove all defendants except one from the lawsuit, as they were found not to be "acting in concert". While the lawsuit is withdrawn, Funimation has stated that it retains the right to re-file claims against the defendants, as a group or as individuals, in the future.


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