Weekend Wrapup: 27/Mar - 2/Apr

posted on 2011-04-03 12:24 EDT
Further manga delays due to earthquake damage, Broccoli bows out of retail, new FMA trailer released, and Leiji Matsumoto animates real-life Japanese space program.

Japanese publisher Shogakukan has joined Shueisha and Kodansha in releasing manga online for free to avoid further delays caused by damage from the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake disaster on March 11th. Weekly Shonen Sunday will be uploaded for free on the its Club Sunday website starting with this year's issue 16 and 17 on April 5th and continuing through to issue 23.

Boys-love manga creator Ayano Yamane (Target in the Finder, Crimson Spell) noted on Twitter that a shortage of paper and ink, caused by major earthquake damage to paper mills in Japan, has resulted in release delays for several books including her own title Finder no Netsujō. Several mills located in the severely-affected Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures are currently inoperable. NHK and Publisher's Weekly have also reported on the paper and ink shortages affecting newspapers and manga anthologies.

Broccoli announced on Wednesday that it will leave the retail business on June 1st to focus on manufacturing character goods. Its retail operations, including 16 stores and a mail-order business, will be sold to ANIMATE, which purchased a 11% stake in Broccoli in 2008.

In animation news new teaser trailers for the Fullmetal Alchemist: Milos no Sei-Naru Hoshi movie have been released on its official website. Music group L'Arc-en-Ciel will return to provide a theme song for the film. The new anime film Onigamiden and the live-action adaptation of manwha Priest also released trailers this week.

Finally, Leiji Matsumoto (Space Battleship Yamato, Space Pirate Captain Harlock, Galaxy Express 999) has supervised an animated adaptation of the Japanese space probe Hayabusa. The segment, narrated by SMAP member Tsuyoshi Kusanagi, was played on Fuji TV on April 3rd, as part of a special on the 50th aniversary of the first human spaceflight. Matsumoto has been involved with Japan's JAXA space agency in the past, including several Galaxy Express 999 short films to educate viewers on space and Japan's space program. Japanese astronauts Naoko Yamazaki and Sōichi Noguchi were inspired as children to become astronauts by Matsumoto's Space Battleship Yamato series.

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