HELLO ANIME! THE DOCUMENTARY DVD BEHIND THE SCENES OF ANIME

Sep 8th 2005
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

HELLO ANIME! THE DOCUMENTARY DVD BEHIND THE SCENES OF ANIME

Over 2 hours of interviews on 2 DVDs with the anime pioneers, artists and entrepreneurs who helped anime explode in America

LOS ANGELES – September 7, 2005 – Gokaza, a content provider specialized in J-pop culture, is pleased to announce the DVD release of Hello Anime! In 19 exclusive interviews, the maverick pioneers who defined the movement talk about their personal success stories and reveal the inside scoop on anime. Filmmakers Manuel Stagars and Georg Fick followed the anime movement for one year. In trips to Tokyo, San Francisco, Hollywood and various conventions, they garnered exclusive interviews with anime pioneers, artists, animators, designers and entrepreneurs, altogether over 2 hours of personal inside knowledge about Japan's most successful cultural export. Once an underground revolution, anime is now revitalizing Hollywood, in the process redefining the very nature of American culture, movies and games.

Not a long time ago, finding Japanese animation in the United States was quite a challenge. “I was going in back alleys paying 80 bucks to get underground copies of tapes or to get laserdiscs”, says Scott Haile, a game designer at Sony and longtime anime fan. Well, the times have changed. There are more than 3,100 anime DVD titles on shelves as of this month and by title, they account for nearly 7 percent of all DVDs. In 2005 alone, 473 anime DVDs have been released. It all sounds rosy, but as the anime bubble expands, problems are starting to spring up. “The companies are putting out too much stuff that the fan base is unable to soak up. They're cannibalizing themselves right now as we speak”, complains Vince Sam from AAA Anime Distribution.

“Japanese pop culture is American pop culture today”, concludes from anime and manga powerhouse VIZ Media. Once an underground revolution, anime is now revitalizing Hollywood, in the process redefining the very nature of American pop culture, movies and games. “We would try and find a way to bring anime into video games at the time and suddenly our video games were much more dynamic, powerful, and beautiful than anything else that was out there”, says Scott Haile. “Well, now it's so widely available that you have to have anime-quality effects in your games or you don't even have a game.”

Hello Anime! boasts a second disc of interviews with the triumphant titans of the billion-dollar industry - VIZ Media, Bandai America, Tokyopop, ADV Films, Geneon - filmed at Anime Expo 2005. The marketing executives reveal in up close and personal interviews the future trends of anime and describe the rising power of the fans. Yumi Hoashi, Vice President Magazines at VIZ Media brings it to the point: “I'd like to see anime reach that level where, if you're writing a word document and you write "anime," it doesn't come up in the spell check as an error anymore.”

Hello Anime! is a new documentary DVD by filmmakers Manuel Stagars and Georg Fick that chronicles the anime boom in America. The DVD delivers a firsthand look at the dawn of anime in America, the rise of the otakus, the anime internet community, anime in Kill Bill and The Matrix and the Japanization of America. In 19 exclusive interviews, the maverick pioneers who defined the movement talk about their personal success stories and reveal the inside scoop on anime. Filmmakers Manuel Stagars and Georg Fick followed the movement for a year. In trips to Tokyo, San Francisco, Hollywood and various conventions, they garnered exclusive interviews with anime pioneers, artists, animators, designers and entrepreneurs, altogether over 2 hours of personal inside knowledge about Japan's most successful cultural export. Manuel is a music producer and director with a long time affiliation to Japanese pop culture. Georg is a filmmaker and cinematographer with a passion for all things animation. The DVD is published by Los Angeles based J-pop content provider Gokaza.

Hello Anime! is available on http://www.hello-anime.com


List of interviews on the 2-DVD set:

Disc 1:
Cindy Yamauchi, (Akira, Ranma, Final Fantasy, Jojo's Bizarre Adventure)
Masahiro Kimura (Video Girl Ai, Battle Angel Alita, Chobits, Gungrave)
Scott Haile (SEGA, Sanrio, ATARI, Sony)
Masanori Shino (Inuyasha, Gungrave, Gundam, Sol Bianca)
Marlon Schulman (Bandai America, Gundam, Saber Marionette J)
Elaine Clark (JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Saikano)
Tak Tsurukawa (owner Mikado Anime Shop)
Hiromi Makepeace (Saikano, Maison Ikkoku)
Tatsuya Hayashi (Domo Records, soundtracks Steamboy, Metropolis)

Disc 2:
Anthony Jiwa (VIZ Media, Director of Marketing Home Video & Publishing)
Mike Kiley (Tokyopop, Vice President, Editor in Chief)
Darold Higa (Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation, Chairman AX 2005)
David Williams (ADV Films, Producer, Director)
Evelyn Dubocq (VIZ Media, Director Public Relations)
Peter Payne (owner J-List.com)
Jim Yardley (Geneon, Vice President Sales North America)
Liza Coppola (VIZ Media, Vice President Marketing/ Sales, Publishing/Home Video)
Vince Sam (AAA Anime, Distributor)
Yumi Hoashi (VIZ Media, Vice President Magazines)

DVD product Details

Number of DVDs: 2
Running Time: 120 minutes
Age Rating: not rated
UPC: 850108001993
Format: DVD NTSC
SRP: $17.99

Product specifications and content configuration subject to change.

About Gokaza:

Gokaza is a new company founded in 2005 dedicated to providing J-pop content on DVD. Hello Anime! is Gokaza's first product in the American marketplace. At the moment, J-pop is better known as a uniquely Japanese style of music performed by beautiful and disposable idols. The J-pop that Gokaza promotes is claiming affiliation with everything under the Japanese pop culture banner: television shows, fads, fashion, trends, girls' comics, boys' comics, and most certainly anime and manga, movies and music. You know... J-pop! For more information, visit www.gokaza.com.

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