ADV Films March Releases

HOUSTON, February 23, 2004—ADV Films, the #1 producer-distributor of anime, today announced street dates for Happy Lesson: Mama-Palooza; Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi Volume 3; Once Upon a Time; and Tokyo: The Last Megalopolis.

Second Volume of Wacky Romantic Comedy
ADV Films has set a street date of March 16, 2004 for the DVD release of Happy Lesson: Mama-Palooza, the second volume of the light-hearted, laugh-out-loud anime series that follows the beloved shonen tradition of Oh My Goddess! and Love Hina. Happy Lesson tells of Chitose, a teenager who suddenly finds himself surrounded by a bevy of beauties. But these ladies aren't vying for Chitose's romantic affection—they all want to be his mother!

The best piece of wisdom anyone ever gave Chitose was that things get a lot worse before they get any better. Unfortunately, in his case things only seem to get worse and worse and WORSE!

This action-packed volume of Happy Lesson brings new dimensions to Chitose's already vida loca. Uzuki thinks she's an angel and has fallen for a cute stranger. Minazuki can't decide which after-school club to join. And the Annual Field Day is on its way and the competition for Best Lunch is about to commence! All of this would be manageable if one of Chitose's moms wasn't intent on taking over the world.

It's just one of those school weeks. And the Second Period bell is about to ring.

Don't be marked absent from this exciting explosion of laughs and weirdness!

Happy Lesson was produced by KSS (Wedding Peach, Oh My Goddess!) and directed by Akira Suzuki (Blue Submarine #6, MAZE).

Happy Lesson: Mama-Palooza ($29.98 SRP) is a DVD-only release containing five complete episodes. It includes both English 5.1- and Japanese 2.0-language versions, with English subtitles. DVD extras include: character sketches; clean opening and closing animation; a mini poster with character profiles; voice actress/actor interviews; and ADV Previews.

Running Time: 125 minutes; Age Rating: 15+

Street Date: 3/16/04

Format SRP

DVD $29.98

Volume 3 of Smash Hit Anime Series, Combining Sharp Parody and Quick Action

ADV Films has set a street date of March 9, 2004 for Impractical Magic, the third volume of Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi, the runaway hit anime series that fuses thrilling action, slapstick comedy and a bit of family drama with uproariously clever parodies of anime, video games and any other pop culture target that stumbles into its crosshairs.

They've begged. They've pleaded. Heck, they've even threatened bodily injury. But for Sasshi and Arumi, getting back home to the real world ain't as simple as saying “abracadabra!” So once again, the pair plunges headfirst into strange, new worlds loaded with hyperactive girlfriends, magic, murder, and enough syrupy cuteness to choke the Sugar Plum Fairy!

Will Sasshi find true love before an angry Arumi's sniper bullet finds its way to his fluttering heart? What really goes on in Eutus' spellbound bachelor pad? And what is Sasshi trying so desperately to hide from Arumi? Don't miss a second of the hilarious hocus-pocus in the third outrageous volume of Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi!

The series is the latest creation of GAINAX, the mega-talented production studio that revolutionized the anime industry in the nineties with Neon Genesis Evangelion, and in the early 21st century with FLCL. Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi was directed by Hiroyuki Yamaga (Neon Genesis Evangelion, Wings of Honneamise) and co-produced by Madhouse (Vampire Hunter D, Trigun, Ninja Scroll etc.).

The critical response to the first volume of Abenobashi (released in December) has been overwhelmingly positive and expectations are high that this series will a winner in 2004. “Fans looking for the next funny thing shouldn't go any further than this great series. A bit late for one of the best series of 2003, Abenobashi is sure to be a big series for 2004,” raves Anime News Network.

Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi: Impractical Magic (SRP $29.98 DVD) is a DVD-only release, containing three complete episodes presented in widescreen anamorphic format. Includes English 5.1-language and Japanese 2.0-language versions, with English subtitles. Extras include: A.D. Vid-Notestm; outtakes; clean opening and closing animation; and ADV previews.

Collector's Edition Available!

The first volume of Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi is also available as a collector's edition, which includes a custom series art box sized to fit the entire series ($39.98 SRP).

Running Time: 75 minutes; Age Rating: 17+

Street Date: 3/9/04

Format SRP

DVD $29.98

1980s Classic Romeo-And-Juliet Tragedy

ADV Films today announced a March 16, 2004 release date for the classic 1980s anime movie Once Upon A Time, a fantasy tale of star-crossed loves in a time of war.

For years the citizens of Lunaria have shared their sacred natural resource—water—with the industrious inhabitants of the Shadowlands in exchange for advanced technology. That is, until the Prince of Lunaria decides such high-tech wonders are obsolete, and cuts the water supply. War looms, battle lines are blurred and Veronica, daughter of the Prince, shares forbidden love with Rolland, heir to the Shadowlands. Agents and spies are lurking eager to infiltrate Lunaria and restore water to all the lands. Meanwhile, a conspiracy brews as the manipulative and nefarious Lagado is determined to conquer Lunaria.

But what is the mysterious Tree of Life trying to reveal; and can it steer the people back to the ancient path of happiness and peace and away from destruction?

Once Upon a Time (SRP $14.98) is a DVD release, including English- and Spanish-language versions in 2.0 audio. Includes ADV previews.

Running Time: 95 minutes; Age Rating: 13+

Street Date: 3/16/04

Format SRP

DVD $14.98


Title Features Creature Designs by Oscar-Winner H.R. Giger

The first-ever U.S. DVD release of Tokyo: The Last Megalopolis, the live-action version of the seminal anime classic Doomed Megalopolis (ADV Films released the latter on DVD in November, 2002), has a release date of March 16, 2004.

Produced by Takashige Ichise, Tokyo: The Last Megalopolis is a supernatural tale of horror, set in the Tokyo of the early 20th century and depicting a battle to save Tokyo from the malevolent spirit Masakado and the depraved psychic Kato who has called him forth. Of particular note are the title's creature designs, by the Academy Award-winning artist, sculptor and designer H.R. Giger (Alien, Species).

The Story:

In the depths of the Earth, an ancient evil stirs as a madman prepares to offer it the life of an entire city! A grim tale of ambition, supernatural horror and undying evil that surpasses the boundaries of physical existence, Tokyo: The Last Megalopolis tells the story of Masakado, whose malevolent spirit lives on despite his execution a thousand years ago for his crimes against humanity. The presence of this dark soul renders Tokyo a haunted city; when a prophet, a physicist and a businessman unite for the purpose of protecting Tokyo from spiritual invasion, they find their way blocked by rogue psychic Kato. Kato intends to use the young female medium Yukari to revive Masakado, and use Masakado's evil energy as a weapon to destroy the city. One by one, Kato gathers the strands of fate that will cause the ultimate destruction of Tokyo: The Last Megalopolis!

Tokyo: The Last Megalopolis (SRP $19.98) is a DVD-only release, in Japanese with English subtitles. Includes ADV Previews.

Running Time: 135 minutes; Age Rating: 17+

Street Date: 3/16/04

Format SRP

DVD $19.98

About ADV Films:

In 1992, ADV Films began to forge the international market for Japanese animation (“anime”) by combining unique titles, outstanding production values and efficient large-scale distribution. Today, ADV Films is the #1 producer-distributor of Japanese animation to the North American market, with the firm's holdings including such premier titles as “NOIR,” “Sailor Moon,” “Hello Kitty's Paradise,” “RahXephon,” “Robotech,” “Full Metal Panic” and “Neon Genesis Evangelion.” In addition, ADV Films' product line has expanded to include other forms of genre programming, including live-action science fiction programs “Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda,” “Mutant X” and The Jim Henson Company's “Farscape,” and classic science fiction such as the updated “Gamera” trilogy. ADV Films' parent company, A.D. Vision, Inc. also publishes Newtype USA, the premier anime and manga monthly magazine; operates Anime Network™, broadcasting anime and anime-related programming via digital cable, 24 hours a day; and publishes ADV Manga, a line of Japanese and other East Asian comics, illustration books, graphic novels and more. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, with additional offices and distribution across four continents, ADV Films is fast becoming an international multi-media entertainment powerhouse. For more information, visit ADV Films on the web at .

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