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This week we've got one live action movie trailer, live-action 'Akira' movie confirmed, an anime cancelled because it didn't have enough females, Potato Chips inspired by a shoujo manga, 'Queen's Blade' & 'Zetman' gets a TV anime, and six people were caught uploading 'One Piece' content illegally! Read On!~
Shonen Jump Alpha to be Available in U.S., Canada Only Viz: No plans right now to expand to other countries.
An interviewer, from About.com, had a chance to speak with Alvin Lu, the VIZ Media Senior Vice President and Sasaki Hisashi, Deputy Director of Shueisha's Shonen Manga Group. They talked a bit more directly about online piracy, the possibilities that digital publishing is opening up for new stories, new ways for fans to interact with Shonen Jump editors and creators, and perhaps new ways for North American comics creators to get a chance to be a part of the Shonen Jump phenomenon.
Former Weekly Shonen Jump editor in chief Sasaki Hisashi (l.) and Viz v-p Alvin Lu
Q: How are you going to address the piracy issue? Are there any concerns on your side, that people can just screengrab Shonen Jump Alpha pages and post them online anyway? As I understand it, that’s always been a concern with digital publishing from the Japan side.
Quote by Sasaki Hisashi:
Screen capturing is something we can’t avoid. If someone wants to do it, they’ll do it anyway. However, Shonen Jump Alpha is using ePAP3, a secure encryption platform. From Shueisha’s point of view, we agreed with what VIZ wants to do here. As far as screen captures go, the quality should be leass than what we will provide. As I said, technology keeps improving and I hope that this issue will be minimized.
Quote by Alvin Lu:
We have DRM (Digital Rights Management) practices in place that we feel good about. We know that no system is foolproof, but that said, given the convenience of the system that we’ve introduced, and given the price point, of 99 cents for a single issue, we think that the trouble that anyone would go through to get an illegitimate version is not worth the hassle to a lot of people. We think that there are a lot of compelling versions to go with this legitimate version.
Q: If, after all this, piracy continues at the same rate that it occurs now, will you be pursuing legal remedies more vigorously?
Quote by Alvin Lu:
We’ll continue to make the same kind of efforts that we are currently pursuing. Those efforts will continue. Obviously, having the official version, near simultaneous version helps us to make our case. But legal issues are legal issues, so there will probably be more to come on that front soon.
Q: Do you foresee a future where all manga will be digitally published?
Quote by Sasaki Hisashi:
Maybe. This is just the start. It will be changing in the future, and it should change in the future but I do not foresee how exactly it will change. Digital content is flexible, which makes it easy to change course.
Once we start Shonen Jump Alpha, how manga content is read will be changing. That said, there are still so many people, who like the tankobon (printed graphic novels). It will take some time for that to change. Me, I still like reading the print versions!
Rose of Versailles Manga Inspires Rose/Vinegar Potato Chips Suppa Mūcho Chips "overflowing with lavishness" of historical shōjo manga classic.
Frente's snack maker Koikeya announced on Friday that it will begin selling rose-scented vinegar-flavored potato chips — inspired by the classic shōjo manga Rose of Versailles — throughout Japan on November 7. Since 1993, Koikeya has been selling other flavors of Suppa Mūcho Chips — a Japanese/Spanish/English loanword combination that literally means "Very Sour Chips." The company notes that the brand is overwhelmingly more popular among females than males.
Made from Hokkaido potatoes, the new flavor is described by Koikeya as "representing the world setting of Rose of Versailles" and "overflowing with lavishness." The flavor comes from pink rose rock salt for a characteristic sweet-and-sour taste.
Riyoko Ikeda's original manga follows Lady Oscar, a girl raised as a man to serve in the palace guards, and the intrigue that surrounds her in Queen Marie Antoinette's court before and during the French Revolution. The manga has sold over 15 million copies since its 1972-1973 run in Shueisha's Margaret magazine. It has been adapted into a 1979-1980 television anime series, a 1990 animated film, a long-promised but unreleased animated film remake, perennial musicals by the all-female Takarazuka Revue since 1974, and even a live-action 1978 French/Japanese film. Lady Oscar, complete with her signature red rose in her mouth, appears on the new flavor's packaging.
Kimi no Iru Machi Manga to Get 2nd Anime DVD Next June Kouji Seo's school romantic comedy to bundle 1st anime DVD next March.
Retailers are listing a second original anime DVD of Kouji Seo's Kimi no Iru Machi: A town where you live manga for next June. The limited edition of the 18th manga volume will bundle the second DVD when it ships on June 15, 2012.
Seo launched the school romantic comedy in Weekly Shōnen Magazine in 2008 after ending his earlier Suzuka manga in the same magazine in 2007. The magazine announced the first anime DVD in August as a collaboration with Shōbara, the city in Hiroshima Prefecture where Seo's birthplace is now located. The city had posters drawn by animator Akemi Takata for its Shōbara Yoitoko Festival during the August 27-28 weekend.
AKB48 Idol Group Gets 1st Anime on Air Next Spring Macross creator Kawamori is chief director; 9 out of 200 to be chosen for theme song.
The Nikkan Sports newspaper is reporting on Tuesday that the idol group AKB48 is getting its first anime, which will air next spring. The broadcasting station and title of the project, which will have an all-original story, are still secret. Shoji Kawamori, the co-creator of the Macross franchise and the co-director of Macross: Do You Remember Love?, is the project planner and the chief director, and Toshimichi Ootsuki (Evangelion: 1.0 You Are [Not] Alone) is the executive producer. As the newspaper puts it, AKB48 producer Yasushi Akimoto is "of course" planning and supervising the project.
The anime will center around nine idol candidates who aspire to be "legendary idols," in the motif of AKB48's real-life sōsenkyō (general election) Top 8.
The idol group members will "battle" each other in auditions to be voice actresses in this project, and the newspaper reports that the members' standings in "sōsenkyō" (general elections) popularity contests will not be a factor. Out of 200 candidates from AKB48, SKE48, NMB48, and its other spinoffs, 30 will be selected and announced on a dedicated website in November. In the final round of auditions held in Tokyo, nine will be chosen to perform the theme song.
Madoka Magica Matchmaking Canceled Due to Not Enough Females K-ON! matchmaking event to hold lottery for male applicants due to high demand.
Yattaruimode's "I'm Single" matchmaking campaign announced on Monday that the "Madoka Magica Fans Only Men's and Women's Love Life/Married Life" matchmaking event party planned on October 23 has been canceled. The site notes that while they received a lot of applications from men, they did not receive enough applications from women to be able to hold the event. The event had invited women whose birthdays were in October to attend the event for free.
The campaign is still planning to host a K-ON! fans-only matchmaking party on October 22 at the Roumantei Italian restaurant in Tokyo. For that event, the campaign's website noted it has received so many male applications that it will hold a lottery drawing on Monday to pick which male applicants will be able to attend the event.
For the K-ON! event, male attendees must be between 20–45 and pay 6,000 yen (about US$78). Female attendees must be between 20–45 and pay 1,000 yen (US$13). That event is also inviting women whose birthdays are in October to attend for free.
6 Arrested in Japan for Uploading One Piece Manga, Anime, Games Six individuals, above the age of 30, were caught uploading "otaku" content in an illegal manner.
As of Monday, the Fukuoka Prefectural Police have arrested six suspects accused of using file-sharing software to upload One Piece and other manga, television anime, and games onto the Internet. A 35-year-old part-time worker and five other men were apprehended in Osaka prefecture's Yao City for violations of the Japanese Copyright Act, after allegedly uploading 42 items from April 2010 to May 2011.
There have been several other arrests this year for illegal anime and manga uploaders in Japan. A man was arrested on September 28 for uploading the Suite Precure and Danbōru Senki anime using a file share program. After allegedly uploading Toaru Majutsu no Index II and other anime, police apprehended a 28-year-old male part-time worker from Nagoya City in August. Police in Hyōgo prefecture arrested a man in April for uploading about 28,000 files from 300 different animated and comic titles including Sunrise's Turn A Gundam.
According to the Association of Copyright for Computer Software (ACCS), the suspects used the program Share. The 35-year-old part-time worker from Osaka shared first volume of Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin, and the 58th volume of One Piece. A 33-year-old company worker from Nagasaki shared various personal computer software. A 46-year-old company worker from Saitama Prefecture shared the 366th, 369th, and 370th installments of Detective Conan. A 46-year-old company worker from Aichi Prefecture shared Speed Learning English Beginning and Intermediate as well as Inazuma Eleven 4 Sekai e no Chōsen!! Bomber. A 31-year-old excavation worker from Tottori Prefecture and a 31-year-old carpenter both shared Professor Layton and Inazuma Eleven games.
Kamisama Dolls Sequel Still Undecided A draft does exist for continuing the story.
Makoto Uezu, series script editor and scriptwriter for the Kamisama Dolls television series, indicated that a sequel remains undecided as of Monday. Uezu noted that a draft does exist for continuing the story, but "various difficulties" have complicated the possibility of proceeding with a new series for the action anime.
The 13-episode supernatural anime based on Hajime Yamamura's manga originally aired in Japan from July 7 to September 27. Crunchyroll streamed Kamisama Dolls in various countries as it aired in Japan on Tuesdays.
Kemono no Chat Manga Ends 4-panel manga about girl who can talk to cats inspired 2009 OVA.
The December issue of Takeshobo's Manga Club Original published the last chapter of Takayuki Mizushina's Kemono to Chat 4-panel manga on Wednesday. The story centers on Chacha Kenomoto, a high school freshman girl who can understand the language of cats and speak with them. (The girl's family name Kenomoto is a wordplay on the title, which literally means "Chatting with Creatures.") The magazine's January issue will feature a one-shot manga from Mizushina.
Mizushina began drawing Kemono to Chat in Manga Club Original in 2005, and Takeshobo will publish a total of seven compiled book volumes. As of 2009, the series had sold more than 300,000 copies.
The manga had inspired an original video anime (OVA) adaptation in 2009. Yūji Umoto directed animators at the Usagi.Ou studio, and Maaya Sakamoto, Kana Ueda, and Sayuri Yahagi starred in the OVA. Mizushina not only created the manga but also produced and wrote the anime's theme song. In addition to drawing manga, Mizushima has also been a game tester, a reporter, a stage actor, and a teacher.
Psychometrer's Ando Creates Detective Dog Sherdock Manga Yuuki Satou draws mystery manga based on Arthur Conan Doyle's original character.
The 47th issue of Kodansha's Weekly Shōnen Magazine began serializing Yuma Ando's new manga Detective Dog Sherdock on Wednesday. Ando (Psychometrer, Shibatora) is writing the story while manga artist Yuuki Satou (Ushiro no Shindere-san, Yōkai no Oisha-san) illustrates the detective manga based on Arthur Conan Doyle's original Sherlock Holmes character.
Detective Dog Sherdock re-imagines the famous fictional detective as a talking dog named Sherdock. The detective dog must solve riddles that appear as he tries to solve mysterious crimes.
This current issue of Weekly Shōnen Magazine features the first two chapters of Ando's manga. In the story, Sherdock begins to investigate a murder case.
Absolute Boyfriend Manga Has Live-Action Korean Show Planned Korean drama adaptation of Yuu Watase's romance manga slated to air in 2012.
The Korean pop culture website Soompi noted on Tuesday that a Korean production team is planning a new live-action adaptation of Yuu Watase's Absolute Boyfriend manga. Titled Absolute Him, the program is slated to air in Korea in the first half of 2012.
The Korean actors Kim Ha Neul and TOP may star in the upcoming television drama, but their roles have not been confirmed. The show's producers are currently planning and organizing roles for the new comedy manga adaptation.
Absolute Boyfriend already received a Japanese live-action television drama series in 2008 and a special in 2009. There has also been a Taiwanese live-action drama adaptation of Watase's romance manga.
In North America, Viz Media serialized the manga in Shojo Beat magazine from its premiere issue in 2005 until the manga's ending in 2007. Viz Media also announced the manga series for its digital manga library iPad application in April.
Live-Action Himizu Film's Trailer Streamed Award-winning adaptation of Minoru Furuya's manga opens in Japan theaters on January 14.
The film distribution company Gaga Corporation began streaming a two-minute trailer for Shion Sono's live-action adaptation of Minoru Furuya's Himizu psychological drama manga on Wednesday. The film played at various film festivals earlier this year, and it will open in theaters across Japan on January 14, 2012.
19-year-old actor Shōta Sometani (live-action Uso-tsuki Mii-kun to Kowareta Maa-chan, Always: Sunset on Third Street '64) plays Yūichi Sumida, a third-year middle school boy who longs for a normal life. A certain incident sets him on the descent into darkness. 16-year-old actress Fumi Nikaidō (Sono's Gama no Abura) portrays Keiko Chazawa, Sumida's classmate.
Himizu premiered at the 68th Venice International Film Festival, which ran from August 31 to September 10 in Venice, Italy. Sometani and Nikaidō won the Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best New Young Actor or Actress at the event. The film also screened at the Toronto International Film Festival in September.
Sono (Suicide Circle, Strange Circus), writer and director of the film, revealed that he had to rewrite the film's story before shooting, due to the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake (Higashi Nihon Daishinsai) disaster and the resulting nuclear power accident.
Furuya's original manga ran in Kodansha 's Weekly Young Magazine from 2001 to 2003, and Kodansha compiled and published four book volumes.
Law of Ueki's Fukuchi Launches Anagle Mole Manga Comedy manga's 1st chapter appeared in Weekly Shonen Sunday on Wednesday.
Shogakukan's 47th issue of Weekly Shonen Sunday magazine began serializing the new Anagle Mole manga by The Law of Ueki creator Tsubasa Fukuchi on Wednesday.
Weekly Shonen Sunday serialized Fukuchi's The Law of Ueki manga beginning in 2001, and the manga artist launched the ping pong manga series Takkoku!!! in Shogakukan's monthly Shonen Sunday Super Zōkan spinoff magazine in 2009.
Baseball Manga Major Gets New Final Original Video Anime OVA to ship with Takuya Mitsuda's exclusive manga book in mid-December.
This year's 48th issue of Shogakukan's Weekly Shonen Sunday magazine is announcing on Wednesday that an all-new, "truly the last" original video anime project of Takuya Mitsuda's Major baseball manga will debut in the middle of December. A new OVA volume will be bundled with the first new special compiled book volume (tankōbon) of the manga.
The OVA project will adapt the thus-far-unanimated World Series arc and the story's illusive final matchup, while the new book will let fans see the last pitch in the manga. The project promises the return of the "Golden Battery" in America.
The original manga ended in July of 2010 after a 16-year run. The story follows Gorō, the son of a major league batter who dreams of making it big himself. The manga began in the magazine in late 1994.
A compiled book volume of BUYUDEN, the boxing manga that Mitsuda launched this past March, will also ship in the middle of this December.
Queen's Blade: Rebellion TV Anime Green-Lit Rebellion storyline from Hobby Japan's games already inspired 2 anime DVDs.
The December issue of Monthly Hobby Japan magazine is announcing on Tuesday that a television anime adaptation of the Queen's Blade: Rebellion storyline has been green-lit. The story originated in Hobby Japan's Queen's Blade fantasy game book franchise that also inspired the previous two television anime series and several original video anime volumes.
The Queen's Blade: Rebellion game books serve as a sequel to the original Queen's Blade game books, which are Japanese spinoffs from Flying Buffalo's Lost Worlds game series. In combat picture book games, players simulate turn-based fighting with books that each represent a character.
U.S. Disney XD Airing 'Stitch!' Anime TV series produced by Disney, Madhouse to air on weekdays at 9 a.m..
The anime series based on Disney's Lilo & Stitch! film — will premiere this Monday. Disney co-produced the series with Japan's MADHOUSE anime studio. The series will air on Disney XD on weekdays at 9:00 a.m. starting on Monday, October 24.
Unlike the previous Lilo & Stitch! sequels which starred a Hawaiian girl named Lilo, the Stitch! series is based in a fictional island (not dissimilar to Japan's Okinawa) with a heroine named Yūna. The title character Stitch, a runaway alien test subject, remains largely unchanged in MADHOUSE's version.
Digital Manga to Present Yaoi-Con Next Year North American publisher to sponsor boys-love/yaoi event starting in 2012.
The North American publisher Digital Manga announced at its Yaoi-Con panel on Saturday that it will present the Yaoi-Con event next year. The publisher promised to offer a "bigger and better" event in the future. Yaoi-Con is being held this year at Burlingame in Northern California this weekend with guests Fusanosuke Inariya and Jo Chen.
Monthly Persona Magazine Launches on November 7 1st issue to have Persona 3 & 4 manga, interviews
The Japanese publisher ASCII Media Works will launch the monthly Persona Magazine on November 7. The first issue will have a 16-page feature on the Persona 4 The Animation television series that just premiered this month. The feature will include interviews with director Seiji Kishi and Daisuke Namikawa, the voice of the main character Yu Narukami.
The magazine will also run a regular column that delves into the world, characters, and game system of the original Persona game franchise. Other sections will cover the latest information on upcoming titles such as Persona 4 The Golden and the franchise's first fighting game, Persona 4: The Ultimate in Mayonaka Arena. Leading artists will contribute "tribute illustrations" in every issue. Shūji Sokabe will bring back his Persona 3 manga, which ran in Dengeki Black Maoh magazine, and the Persona 4 manga that is currently running in Dengeki Maoh magazine will have a spinoff installment in the new magazine.
The first issue will bundle an A4-size clear file with Persona 4's main character and Naoto on the front, and Risechii in a swimsuit on the back.
Sentai Filmworks is streaming Persona 4 The Animation on The Anime Network as the anime airs in Japan.
Tatsumi Wins Best Animated Film Award at Sitges Animated film based on Yoshihiro Tatsumi's A Drifting Life manga also nominated for APS Awards
The 44th annual Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival in Spain revealed on Saturday that Eric Khoo's animated film adaptation of Yoshihiro Tatsumi's A Drifting Life autobiographical manga won the festival's Best Animated Film award.
The film was screened at this year's Cannes Film Festival in May. Singapore is submitting the film for consideration in the foreign-language film category for the 84th annual Academy Awards. The film was also recently nominated for Best Animated Feature Film for this year's Asia Pacific Screen Awards. Winners will be announced for the APS Awards on November 24.
The manga is based on a semi-autobiographical account of Tatsumi's struggle to make a living after World War II. Tatsumi and others began challenging normal standards of manga drawing by pioneering a nontraditional gekiga style of storytelling and art design.
A Drifting Life originally shipped in Japan in November of 2008 as a two-volume series. The Canadian comic book publisher Drawn & Quarterly picked up the North American license and released the manga as a single, 840-page volume in 2009. The manga since won two Eisner awards in 2010. Tatsumi was also nominated to enter the Eisner Hall of Fame that year, but was not selected.
Daily Lives of High School Boys Manga Gets TV Anime in January Gintama's Takamatsu directs Yasunobu Yamauchi's Danshi Kōkōsei no Nichijō comedy at Sunrise
Square Enix's Gangan Online website announced on Thursday at midnight that a television anime adaptation of Yasunobu Yamauchi's Daily Lives of High School Boys (Danshi Kōkōsei no Nichijō) web manga has been green-lit for a January premiere. As the title indicates, the gag comedy manga follows the humorous yet "realistic" everyday life of Tadakuni, Hidenori, Yoshitake, and other students at a boys' high school. Shinji Takamatsu (Gintama, School Rumble) is directing the anime at Sunrise, and the anime has the following cast:
----------- Miyu Irino as Tadakuni Tomokazu Sugita as Hidenori Kenichi Suzumura as Yoshitake Noriko Hidaka as Bungaku Shōjo Aoi Yūki as Ringo-chan Ayahi Takagaki as Tadakuni's sister Daisuke Namikawa as Motoharu Yuuki Ono as Karasawa Hiroki Yasumoto as Vice President Akira Ishida as President Nobuhiko Okamoto as Mitsuo Yu Kobayashi as Yanagin Yukana as Habara Chiwa Saito as Ikushima ----------
Ai Yoshimura (episode director on Gintama, Oreimo) is serving as assistant director, and Yoshinori Yumoto (Battle Spirits: Brave, Strait Jacket) is designing the characters and overseeing the animation.
Yamauchi launched the manga in 2009, and the fourth compiled book volume shipped this past April.
Live-Action Akira Film Green-Lit by Warner Production based on Katsuhiro Otomo's manga to begin in late February/early March
The Variety entertainment trade magazine is reporting on Wednesday that Warner Bros. has green-lit the live-action film adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira manga. Production on what Variety describes as a "potential tentpole project" is set to begin in late February or early March. (A "tentpole" franchise is a property which will, in theory, support a studio financially for much of a particular movie season.)
According to Variety, the film's current story goes as follows: "Set in New Manhattan, the cyberpunk sci-fi epic follows the leader of a biker gang who must save his friend, discovered with potentially destructive psychokinetic abilities, from government medical experiments."
Variety had reported in July that Warner hired director Jaume Collett-Serra (Unknown, Orphan, House of Wax) to direct the film, which was "being reenvisioned as a $90 million" blockbuster project. In May, previous director Albert Hughes left the project due to "creative differences" on the film.
The development team with producer Andrew Lazar (Jonah Hex, Space Cowboys, Get Smart) hired a writer named Albert Torres last year, after screenwriters Gary Whitta, Mark Fergus, and Hawk Ostby were previously attached to the project. When the project was originally announced in 2008, it was intended to be the directorial debut for Ireland's Ruairi Robinson. Actor Leonardo DiCaprio (Titanic, The Aviator) is producing through his Appian Way production company.
Fairy Tail's Funkist Flutist Yōko Kasugai Passes Away Kasugai stopped playing due to health, but still performed on anime's 1st opening
Yōko Kasugai, the flutist for the band FUNKIST which performed two of the opening theme songs for Fairy Tail, passed away on October 13 at 12:17 p.m.
Kasugai stopped performing with the band in July of 2009 due to her poor health, but she still performed on Fairy Tail's first opening theme ("Snow Fairy") and appeared in its music video. Kasugai's ailment and the cause of her passing have not been made public.
The band posted a message on Kasugai's passing, and canceled the performances that the members had planned in Fukushima on October 15 and in Tokyo on October 16.
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