This week we've got two new anime trailers, manga creator Kei Aoyama passes away, 'Nichijō' (anime) fans imitating the pranks and it reaches the TV media, 'Cartoon Network' launches community platform for China, 'Fairy Tail' gets animated movie, and 'Tokyopop' Confirms Intent to Publish Manga Again! Read On!~
Viz Launching 'Weekly Shonen Jump Alpha' Digital Magazine Viz's Shonen Jump Print Magazine will End Next March.
Starting in January of 2012 manga readers in North America will be able to subscribe to the Weekly Shonen Jump Alpha, a digital version of Japan’s leading manga anthology magazine, which will be available with official English language translations of all the magazines stories and features just two weeks after the print version appears in Japan. The first issue of the Weekly SJ Alpha goes on sale on January 30th, 2012 and will be available through Viz Manga.com and the Viz Manga apps for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. With the publication of the digital version of Shonen Jump, Viz Media plans to phase out the North American print edition of the manga anthology. The final tear-stained issue of the American version of Shonen Jump, which was launched in 2003 and played a key role in stimulating the manga boom, will be the April 2012 issue, which will ship to stores and newsstands in March.
The lineup of the Weekly Shonen Jump Alpha includes many of the most popular manga series in both Japan and the U.S. including Naruto, Bleach, One Piece, Bakuman, Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan, and Toriko. Readers will be able to purchase an annual subscription, good for 48 issues over 52 weeks, for $25.99, or they can rent single issues for a four-week period for ninety-nine cents. Each issue, once received on one device, can be read on all other enabled devices via the integrated Viz manga app and Website.
When asked why there was going to be a two-week delay in between the appearance of Shonen Jump in Japan and the digital Shonen Jump Alpha in North America, Viz Media's Senior VP and General Manager Alvin Lu said:
"We wanted to give ourselves some room for improvement. If we can get this right, we will close the two-week gap in the future."
In order to prepare North American readers for the launch of the Weekly SJ Alpha, Viz Media is offering the “Shonen Jump Digital Warp,” a limited collection of digital graphic novel speed-ups that will bring American readers up to date with the Shonen Jump manga series. In some cases this means that the digital speed-ups will jump ahead of print publication of those manga collections here in North America. The Digital Warp speed-up began with Naruto (see “Viz Media Releasing 7 Volumes of Naruto in 7 Days”) and will proceed with Bleach and other Shonen Jump titles.
Viz Media’s embrace of digital publishing reflects the nature of the largely computer-savvy audience it serves and the specific problems posed by fan-translated “scanlations” of manga released in Japan that have been available to North American fans often years before the arrival of officially translated print copies. As a major purveyor of anime as well as manga, Viz Media also saw first hand how Internet piracy nearly wiped out the once burgeoning North American anime market. Providing reasonably-priced, value-added digital alternatives to piracy is a strategy that was not available (for a number of technical and contract-related reasons) to North American anime companies during the crucial 2005-2009 period that saw the market contract. Given the intractable nature of the Internet piracy problem, Viz Media’s latest moves appear to be quite adroit.
'Silver Rabbit' Launches Next Year Dragon Quest Manga's Fujiwara, .hack's Ito Make Digital Media Work.
Dragon Quest manga artist Kamui Fujiwara and Kazunori Ito, a writer on the Ghost in the Shell and .hack franchises, are collaborating on a work called Giniro no Usagi (Silver Rabbit). Giniro no Usagi is the second entry in the digital media project that launches next year with Mamoru Oshii's manga/anime hybrid Chimamire My Love (My Blood-Stained Love).
NetDragon and Turner’s Cartoon Network launch animation community platform, 91kt.com Jointly developed by NetDragon and Turner Broadcasting System Asia Pacific.
Leading Chinese online games and mobile applications developer, NetDragon Websoft Inc., today announced the launch of a youth entertainment website, 91kt.com, featuring the world’s most popular Cartoon Network content. Jointly developed by NetDragon and Turner Broadcasting System Asia Pacific, the parent company of Cartoon Network, 91kt.com focuses on offering Chinese kids the best in animated products and online games.
The launch supports the Haixi Animation Creativity City Project, an initiative aimed at developing local talent, and also offers domestic upstream and downstream enterprises operating in the animation sector a valuable online marketing platform. Jam-packed with content suitable for all ages, and updated monthly, 91kt.com answers the call from kids who want and love animation, providing cartoon fans and kids-at-heart the best and safest online entertainment experience.
As a premier online destination, the website features award-winning Cartoon Network original series popular with kids around the globe, including alien-morphing boy hero Ben 10; The Powerpuff Girls; Chowder; Courage the Cowardly Dog; Dexter’s Laboratory; Samurai Jack; and The Secret Saturdays.
Also showcasing local talent, 91kt.com offers the Chinese-made production Artificial Intelligent Football GGO – a football themed animated series developed and produced by Puzzle Animation Studio in Shenzhen, China. The series was launched in 2010 and aired in over 60 countries to critical acclaim.
“To create and share happiness is NetDragon’s ultimate goal,” said Liu Luyuan, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of NetDragon Websoft Inc. “We feel honored to be collaborating with Turner Broadcasting System, Asia Pacific to develop this Internet-based animation ecological community, delivering a whole new entertainment experience for kids and parents in China who love creative animation. It is yet another developmental milestone in demonstrating NetDragon’s strong base in research and development, as well as its rich experience in globalized operations.”
Taiwan Comic Exhibition 2011 Over 550,000 attendees (Animation Insider).
Anime and manga fans over in Taiwan, who just spent the past week and a half surging down aisle after aisle in search of limited edition soundtracks and light novels, can finally take a breather.
Closing up shop last week was the 12th Comic Exhibition (Taipei, Taiwan), the largest and by far most frenzied fan gathering of Taiwan-based otaku in the nation. This year witnessed record attendance, a record number of booth exhibitors, and perhaps most importantly, a greater mix of local and international comics artists attending meet-and-greets.
The convention’s other numbers of note include:
. 38 scheduled autograph sessions,
. 70 publishers setting up booths,
. 357 registered booths,
. NT $180 million (USD $6.19 million) (six days’ worth of business at the booths),
. and NT $30 million (USD $1.03 million) (booth revenue more than expected by event organizers).
Nichijō-Inspired Broccoli/Bicycle-Seat Pranks Make TV News A security guard found bicycle seats replaced with broccoli and red paint.
At around 6:00 a.m. today, a security guard found bicycle seats replaced with broccoli and red paint on the ground in the bicycle parking lot at the campus of Japan's esteemed University of Tokyo. The pranksters were presumably inspired by a similar event depicted in the recent Nichijō anime. The story made television news after a major newspaper reported the same prank at the university last month (pictured).
The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department is still investigating the this morning's property damage case. The three young men found responsible for the September incident were not charged with any crime because police found no evidence of thievery or damage.
Keiichi Arawi's original Nichijō manga was first published in 2007, received and OAV (original animation video) in March, and was adapted into a television anime earlier this year. The story follows the peculiar lives of students from class 1-Q and their odd acquaintances.
Level-5 Plans Yōkai Watch TV Anime, Manga, Game Supernatural title with boy as lead character with ghost friend.
The game developer Level-5 confirmed during its Level-5 Vision 2011 press conference on Saturday that it has television anime, manga, and game projects planned for its recently revealed Yōkai Watch franchise. The main character is a boy named Keita whose watch has a secret. He has a ghost named Whisper as a friend in this "weird yet humorous" story. Enterbrain's Famitsu news source posted images of Keita, Whisper, and elements from the franchise, and it indicates that more information will come in the future.
The story begins one hot summer days when a boy named Keita discovers an old capsule toy vending machine in the forest. Keita receives a mysterious watch and meets a ghost butler named Whisper. Whisper tells Keita that the watch allows him to see supernatural creatures — both good and evil — that he could not see before in everyday life.
Fairy Tail Adventure Manga Gets Film on August 18 Film of Hiro Mashima's manga that already inspired TV anime, 3 original anime DVDs.
The email newsletter for Kodansha's Comic Plus members revealed on Wednesday that a film adaptation of Hiro Mashima's Fairy Tail manga will open next August. More details will be provided in future postings of the newsletter.
The manga and the ongoing television anime follow the adventures of world's most notorious mage guild, Fairy Tail. In addition to the television series, three original anime DVDs have been bundled or will be bundled with the manga.
Kaichū! School Archery Manga's 2nd Web Anime Yuki Hayashi's comedy about high school archery club inspires new 2-part anime.
Shueisha's Web Young Jump website is streaming the first part of the second original web anime based on Yuki Hayashi's Kaichū! high school archery manga. Like the first web anime from last year, the second two-part anime revolves around a high school archery club with a boy named Tatsuya Tachikawa and a comely transfer student named "Gon-chan" Fudō.
Both web anime were inspired by the original Kaichū! one-shot manga that ran in Young Jump Zōkan Mantarō magazine in 2006. The new anime tells an original story that Hayashi penned, and its second half will be put online on October 27.
The regular manga series launched in Weekly Young Jump magazine in 2009, but it has since moved to the Web Young Jump site last year. The seventh print volume will ship on October 19.
Writer: AnoHana Originally Had Slapstick Erotic Elements Mari Okada reveals changes from drama anime's beginning concept.
Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Boku-tachi wa Mada Shiranai. (AnoHana) scriptwriter Mari Okada revealed in the August issue of Media Factory's monthly Da Vinci magazine that the drama included slapstick erotic elements in its original conception. As a contemplative slice-of-life story with a quieter tone, the anime's final version differs greatly from the writer's original plans.
Okada explained that the AnoHana anime depicted friends' awkward youthful sexual attractions to each other during the story's first planning stage. The writer imagined balancing the slapstick erotic aspect with a deeper tone focusing on the flow of time through childhood. As Okada explained, it was later in the drama's development that the ghost and supernatural themes appeared.
Director Tatsuyuki Nagai and character designer and chief animation director Masayoshi Tanaka contributed to the story's evolution during planning, according to Okada. The AnoHana writer said her emotions were shaken after learning much of the story had to be changed in order for the anime's proposal to be accepted. During that phase, the two staffers suggested to Okada that the current story might have been too cliche and that focusing on friendship would be a better alternative.
'Yasashi March', 'Rain Town' Win Kichijoji Festival Awards Wataru Uekusa and Hiroyasu Ishida's anime shorts win at October contest.
Wataru Uekusa's "Yasashi March" anime short won the Grand Prix competition at the 7th Kichijoji Animation Film Festival on October 8. Uekusa created the piece as an animation student at the Tokyo University of the Arts graduate school in Yokohama. "Yasashi March" previously won the Animation Award at the 23rd CG Anime Contest.
The Tokyo University of Arts graduate school began streaming a video with clips of students' animation projects, including Uekusa's, in April. "Yasashi March" is the second animated short featured in the video below.
Hiroyasu Ishida's "rain town" also won the Excellence Award, STUDIO4℃ Award, and the Ghibli Museum Award at the Kichijoji Animation Film Festival this year. Ishida was studying in the Animation department in Kyoto Seika University's famed Faculty of Manga. Along with fellow student Shogo Yoshida, he had been working on the "rain town" anime short as his graduation project for at least two years. Ishida began streaming the entire graduation film in March.
Ishida gained worldwide recognition by streaming his previous multiple award-winning anime short "Fumiko's Confession" on YouTube. The short won the grand prize in the 8th Independent Animation Festival (Indies Anime Festa), making this year's win with "rain town" Ishida's second consecutive triumph at the festival.
Guilty Crown to Get Manga Adaptation in Shonen Gangan Mag 1st chapter in manga based on Production I.G's Guilty Crown TV series to be released on Wednesday.
The November issue of Square Enix's Monthly Shonen Gangan will begin serialization on a manga adaptation of Guilty Crown. The issue will go on sale on Wednesday. Shion Midzuki will illustrate the manga, and Yousuke Miyagi will write the story. A preview of the first chapter will be available starting on Wednesday on Monthly Shonen Gangan's official website.
Tetsuro Araki and Production I.G's Guilty Crown television anime series will premiere on Fuji TV's late-night Noitamina programming block starting on October 13. Araki directed Death Note and Highschool of the Dead before this Aniplex project, which will run until March.
The anime's script supervisor is Hiroyuki Yoshino (Macross Frontier, My-HiME), while redjuice, the artist best known as the illustrator of the music group supercell, is working on the original character designs. The group supercell's leader ryo himself is composing the music.
The anime is set in Japan in 2039, 10 years after the "Apocalypse Virus" devastated the land. The story revolves around Shū Ouma, an unsociable 17-year-old second-year high school student, and a 17-year-old rival named Gai Tsutsugami who is a young "Jiikundō" pilot of a guerilla organization.
Manga Creator Kei Aoyama Passes Away at 32 Creator of Evening's Yoiko no Mokushiroku, SWWEEET found in his apartment.
The television station TBS is reporting that manga creator Kei Aoyama was found dead, hung from his neck, in the bathroom of his Tokyo apartment on October 9. He was 32.
There were no visible signs of wounds or a struggle in the bathroom, and the last posts on Aoyama's Twitter account, dated October 6, discussed mortality, including a final post that said:
Well, I have much left to do and much I dreamed of doing, but I hardly have any "regrets." I am content with the 32 years I have lived. Aoyama was serializing the manga Yoiko no Mokushiroku in Kodansha's Evening magazine from last year to the time of his passing. He also created or drew the manga SWWEEET in Shogakukan's Monthly Ikki magazine, China Girl, and Strobe Light. According to the police investigation, Kodansha was not able to contact Aoyama since October 6.
Tokyopop Returns Tokyopop Confirms Intent to Publish Manga Again.
The new TokyopopManga Twitter accountconfirmed on Wednesday that it is "hoping that [it will] be able to release new manga very soon." The account mentioned it is "laying the groundwork for publishing new manga again," but added that because all of its previous titles had "reverted back to their Japanese publishers" that the company would "have to work to get them back." The Twitter account also stated the company's "ultimate goal is to start publishing manga again."
The Twitter account noted it is "planning on starting with an old license." The account also stated it plans to release manga in both print and digital form.
Tokyopop founder Stu Levy was quoted in a widely-circulated newsletter for GeekChicDaily stating:
“GeekChicDaily and its daily, opt-in format provide the perfect opportunity to revive the original Tokyopop concept with a refreshed approach. The time is right for a well-balanced Asian pop culture publication with a West-looks-East perspective. We couldn't be more thrilled to continue the Tokyopop brand and its contribution to pop culture with GeekChicDaily."
This talk of reviving the “original Tokyopop concept” raised the hopes of some fans that Tpop would return to manga publishing, but a notice posted on Tokyopop’s Facebook page clarified the former publisher’s intentions:
“unfortunately we are not re-launching the manga -- those properties have reverted to their owners and are amazingly difficult to get back. We’re launching an all new editorial Tokyopop newsletter about all things otaku and Asian pop-culture, powered by our friends at GeekChicDaily.”
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