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This week we've got five new trailers, two news incidents involving illegal uploading of manga, FUNimation channel launches a new website, a copyright law that would affect cosplay, a voice actor died, an anime character having their birthday celebrated beyond realistic measures, and many new manga titles being launched! Read On!~
Viz Media Founder Seiji Horibuchi Talks Anime & Manga The retailer site ICv2 has had an interview with Seiji Horibuchi.
ICv2 had the opportunity to ask additional questions about the company’s plans. They've spoken with Seiji Horibuchi, Viz Media Founder. They talked about the development of the manga market in the U.S. since the founding of Viz 25 years ago, and its future and shares his view of the anime and broader markets for visual Japanese pop culture in the U.S.
What do you make of the rapid increases in manga sales in the U.S., until a few years ago, and their equally rapid declines since?
Quote by Seiji Horibuchi:
The decline of manga sales is due to many reasons. As you know, one of the largest bookstore chains, Borders, has closed, and it had a huge effect on the industry. The continued flat economy has also depressed consumer buying. And generally speaking, many publishers are in the process of the transition to digital books, media and distribution, which is an expensive and often unpredictable proposition. This is a period of major transition and re-strategizing and I think overall sales will start to rise again as this transformation evolves and is more widely integrated.
Piracy also has played an unfortunate but significant role and both American and Japanese companies have had to work hard to stay profitable in such an unpredictable market and protect their intellectual property. On the other hand, I definitely feel that the popularity of Japanese pop culture and the overall number of people interested has increased steadily. I think people’s interest in global pop culture, and in Japanese pop culture specifically, is broadening to include fashion, film, music, and art. I hope to foster a real global community of fans and artists influenced by many facets of what is called Japanese pop culture.
What are your observations on the rapid growth of digital comics content, and the less rapid embrace of that medium by manga publishers?
Quote by Seiji Horibuchi:
Going digital is a natural evolution for the publishing industry. Viz Media has definitely focused on moving in that direction, and they have been very successful. But I think this transition will take time to set in completely with both publishers and customers, and we’re bound to continue to see some big changes in the market.
U.S. publishers and distributors of Japanese content always face an added challenge in that they must secure the endorsement of the creators and rights holders back in Japan and this process can be slow and expensive and further impede the speed at which this digital transformation has taken place. But this convergence will continue regardless, and there will likely be an even bigger move to digital comics as a whole in North America over the next year for sure as the prices on tablet devices continue to go down and more choices are made available.
DVD sales have shrunk, and digital distribution has grown. These changes have been much more rapid than for U.S.-generated video content. Why?
Quote by Seiji Horibuchi:
Well speaking strictly for U.S.-produced content it’s also because many of these titles have major studios behind them, driving the transition to digital. You also have broadcasters and companies that previously were focusing on home video moving into the digital delivery market. Another reason is that the anime and manga audience are much more Internet savvy and have access to free illegal manga and anime content. But I think you will see much faster integration from U.S. based anime licensors and distributors to embrace the digital model in 2012. It’s a virtual requirement now if you’re to stay successful over the long-term.
Where do you see the U.S. manga market in 2016?
Quote by Seiji Horibuchi:
This is a good question! I predict that "light novels" will become more popular in the future. Light novels are literature written for a young adult audience that includes roughly the same demographics as manga, anime and video games. Light novels have the essence of manga, animation, and video games combined. It has been a tremendously popular genre in Japan for the past six or seven years and continues to grow both there and in the U.S. Viz Media’s Haikasoru imprint has published some good examples. Some popular anime films have been based on light novels and I think publishers here in the U.S. will begin to publish more of these titles as more readers become aware.
Once the digital transition is complete, I think manga could enjoy an even wider following in 2016, both in the U.S. and other countries outside Japan as well. U.S. publishers are getter ever closer to the simultaneous release of manga titles with their Japanese counterparts and digital channels will allow this to happen even faster. The digital medium also allows readers to browse, archive and transport manga more conveniently and compactly on a digital device than they ever could with the traditional print versions. I think this idea will have firmly taken hold in the U.S. consumer consciousness by 2016, not only for manga, but also for nearly every other form of media as well.
New Alice in the Country of Hearts Manga Launched Online Aoi Kurihara draws Heart no Kuni no Alice Koi Suru Ibara no Meikyū.
Manga creator Aoi Kurihara launched a new adaptation of QuinRose's Alice in the Country of Hearts (Heart no Kuni no Alice ~Wonderful Wonder World~) fantasy romance adventure game on Ichijinsha's Zero-Sum Online site on Thursday. The new manga is called Heart no Kuni no Alice Koi Suru Ibara no Meikyū (Alice in the Country of Hearts: Labyrinth of Thorns in Love), and it is based on QuinRose's loose reinterpretation of Lewis Carroll's novel Alice in Wonderland for female gamers.
The new manga's story begins with the interplay between Alice, the girl taken to the Country of Hearts, and Julius, a watchmaker and the master of the clock tower in which Alice lives. Zero-Sum Online is the web comic site for Ichijinsha's Monthly Comic Zero-Sum magazine, which carries another manga based on a game in QuinRose's franchise, Joker no Kuni no Alice.
Tokyopop published the first Alice in the Country of Hearts (Heart no Kuni no Alice ~Wonderful Wonder World~) manga adaptation in North America, and Yen Press has since picked up the license. Seven Seas Entertainment announced last month that it licensed the manga adaptations of another game in the franchise, Alice in the Country of Clover (Clover no Kuni no Alice). The Alice in the Country of Hearts: Wonderful Wonder World anime film opened in Japan in July.
Shonen Sunday Mag's Circulation Dips Below 600,000 An unplanned, unexpected mishap for the Sunday magazine.
The Japanese Magazine Publishers Association reported this month that Shogakukan's Weekly Shonen Sunday magazine dipped in circulation below 600,000 for the first time. Its July-September 2011 circulation number stood at 583,750.
Man Arrested for Uploading SoraOto, Kono S o, Miyo! Manga via Share Program A 49-year-old on suspicion of uploading manga online without the copyright holders' permission.
On November 7, police in Gifu Prefecture arrested a 49-year-old male company worker from the prefecture's Ibi District on suspicion of using the Share file-sharing software to upload manga online without the copyright holders' permission. According to the Association of Copyright for Computer Software (ACCS), the suspect uploaded the 11th volume of the Sora no Otoshimono and the 2nd volume of Kono S o, Miyo! around June 17.
According to the police investigation, the suspect also uploaded an animation program via Share and said under deposition that he uploaded because he wanted to let people know about these titles.
K-ON's Azusa's Birthday Celebrated with 2,222 Cards TBS stores, fans mark manga/anime guitarist's birthday this Friday.
The TBS Store in Tokyo's Akasaka district and the related online ishop are celebrating the birthday of K-ON! manga/anime guitarist character Azusa Nakano on Friday with exclusive birthday cards. However, in honor of Azusa's November 11 birthday, each store will only offer 1,111 cards while supplies last.
On Friday, the first 611 people who spend at least 5,000 yen (about US$65) at the online ishop will receive an exclusive birthday card for Azusa Nakano. Another random 500 online shoppers will be selected to receive the same card. The physical TBS Store in Akasaka will offer 1,111 copies of a different, serial-numbered "premium birthday card" to people who spend at least 2,000 yen (US$26). The online shop is selling an Azusa birthday-themed Casio Exilim digital camera, various t-shirts, a plush Azusa figure, a premium pocket watch, and other character goods.
The K-ON! anime film will open in Japan on December 3.
Japan to Join Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Talks Prime minister decides before APEC summit, despite concerns in copyrights, agriculture.
The Japanese government decided on Friday to participate in the negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), a pact between several nations that could affect copyrights along with agriculture, financial services, and many other areas of the economy. Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda is heading to this weekend's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Hawaii. There, he will meet with U.S. President Barack Obama and the heads of other nations, including the eight other TPP partners (Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam).
Noda had delayed the government's decision on whether to join the talks by one day, as debate continued not only in the national legislature, but also within Noda's own Democratic Party of Japan and among regular citizens. Noda's administration argued that TPP would stimulate Japan's economy with more international trade with less tariffs and other restrictions. Much of the media coverage focused on the effects that TPP and the possible increase of imports will have on Japanese farmers, but some critics also raised concerns about copyrights and other areas.
Kensaku Fukui, a lawyer and a Nihon University professor, argued last month that the TPP could extend copyright terms and change the Copyright Law of Japan to allow unilateral enforcement by the police, as well as statutory damages. Negima and Love Hina manga creator Ken Akamatsu further argued that the changes "would destroy derivative dōjinshi" (or self-published works based on other creative works) and that "the power of the entire manga industry would also diminish." Media artist Kazuhiko Hachiya warned that even cosplay could be affected along with other derivative works.
Full Moon Manga's Tanemura Ends Exclusivity with Ribon Mag Sakura Hime will be her last Ribon series, but it will continue until story's end.
Manga creator Arina Tanemura confirmed on Thursday that she had ended her exclusivity contract with Shueisha's Ribon magazine this past spring. As a result, her Sakura Hime: The Legend of Princess Sakura (Sakura-Hime Kaden) manga will be her last series for Ribon, although she assured her readers that she will continue the series until the end of the story.
To mark the new stage in her career as a freelancer, Arina Tanemura launched her official website on Friday morning (11/11/11 at 11 a.m.)
Tanemura had already launched her first manga series ever outside Ribon or its spinoffs in July, although it was in another Shueisha magazine. She launched the Fudanjuku Monogatari (The Fudanjuku Story) manga about the idol group Fudanjuku (the male alter ego of the seven-member female idol group Nakano Fujo Sisters) in Margaret magazine, and the seven-chapter mini-series just ended on November 5.
Tanemura debuted in 1996 with the one-shot story "2-banme no Koi no Katachi" and her first series, I.O.N, started a year later. She launched her Sakura Hime manga in 2009.
Viz Media began publishing Sakura Hime in North America this past April. Viz also published most of her other titles such as Full Moon O Sagashite, The Gentlemen's Alliance Cross, Time Stranger Kyoko, and I.O.N. DC Comics' CMX Manga imprint published her Kamikaze Kaitō Jeanne series.
Ushicon to Host Aria Director Junichi Sato in Texas Also helmed early Sailor Moon, Magic User's Club, Doremi, Pretear, Umi Monogatari, Tamayura.
The organizers of Ushicon announced this week that they will host prolific veteran director Junichi Sato at the February 3-5 convention in Austin, Texas. It will be his first anime convention appearance in the United States.
Sato established himself in the anime industry with work on such magical girl anime as the early seasons of Sailor Moon, Magic User's Club, Ojamajo Doremi, Pretear, and Princess Tutu. He then co-created Aria, Umi Monogatari ~Anata ga Ite Kureta Koto~, and Tamayura — three titles that became known as "healing anime" for his style of storytelling.
Sato developed Tamayura as a four-episode video series last year, and Sato has since turned it into a television anime series that began airing this past October.
Yamato 2199 Anime Remake Film's Teaser Streamed Film to be 50-minute preview of 1st 2 TV episodes; 1st Yamato TV anime in 30 years.
The official website for the Space Battleship Yamato 2199 anime film opened with the first teaser trailer. The teaser confirms that Nobuteru Yuki (Escaflowne, Record of Lodoss War) is designing the characters, and that the anime studios XEBEC and AIC are producing the film.
The basic story of the new film is the same as the first Yamato anime set in 2199, but Yutaka Izubuchi (RahXephon), the 52-year-old animator who worked on mechanical designs and science-fiction concepts on some of the earlier projects in the franchise, is directing. Yoshinobu Nishizaki, the late producer of the franchise, is credited with the original story. Mechanical designer Makoto Kobayashi (Giant Robo, Last Exile, Space Battleship Yamato Resurrection) revealed at Anime Expo in July that he is working on a Yamato remake for next year.
Nishizaki and Leiji Matsumoto's Yamato space opera anime franchise began with the first Space Battleship Yamato television series in 1974. The titular spaceship Yamato is built from the remains of the World War II battleship of the same name to protect Earth from extraterrestrial threats. Over the next 35 years, the television anime spawned two television sequels, two video projects, and six films including 2009's Space Battleship Yamato Resurrection. The anime was dubbed and partly rewritten in English as Star Blazers. A live-action film remake of the original Space Battleship Yamato anime opened in Japan last December.
Space Battleship Yamato 2199 will open in Japan on April 7.
Twitch Site: Colin Firth Offered Villain Role in Oldboy Remake The King's Speech actor offered role as Adrian in Spike Lee's remake film.
The Twitch film website reported on Friday that actor Colin Firth (The King's Speech, A Single Man, Love Actually) has been offered the villain role of Adrian in Spike Lee's remake of Park Chan-Wook's live-action film Oldboy. Twitch noted that Firth was at one point slated to play a role in Chan-wook's English-language film Stoker, but that did not work out.
Director Spike Lee (Do the Right Thing, Jungle Fever, Malcolm X) signed onto Mandate Pictures' American remake of Oldboy in July, and Josh Brolin is slated to play the male lead. Park's film was itself inspired by Garon Tsuchiya and Nobuaki Minegishi's manga Old Boy.
Last month, a writer for the entertainment trade magazine Variety reported that Mandate Pictures is still filling its female led role for the film since Rooney Mara (The Social Network, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo remake) passed on it.
Mandate Pictures is developing the project with producers Doug Davison and Roy Lee (The Ring, Dark Water , Death Note and Godzilla remake plans) of Vertigo Entertainment and Lee's 40 Acres & A Mule Productions. Mark Protosevich (Thor, I Am Legend) wrote a script, and Mandate Pictures President Nathan Kahane is serving as executive producer.
The trade magazine Variety earlier described the Korean film's story about "a man who's kidnapped and imprisoned for 15 years. When he's finally released and begins looking into the reason for his captivity, he soon finds out that his kidnapper has even more torturous plans for him." (The original manga has the protagonist imprisoned for a different number of years and does not have the Korean film's added plot twist ending.)
Dark Horse Comics publishes the manga in North America.
Enterbrain Starts Fellows! (Q) Manga Mag for New Artists 1st issue to feature one shots from Kaoru Mori's A Bride's Story, Aki Irie's Ran to Haiiro no Sekai manga.
Enterbrain's Fellows! bi-monthly magazine announced on Friday that it will launch a quarterly special edition magazine titled Fellows! (Q) starting on November 15. The new manga magazine will center on featuring works from new artists. The first issue will contain 484 pages and will cost 530 yen (US$6.87). The "Q" in the new magazine stands for "quiet."
Kaoru Mori (Emma) will draw a one-shot chapter from her A Bride's Story manga for the first issue. The first issue will also feature a one-shot from Aki Irie's (Blue school) Ran to Haiiro no Sekai manga. In addition, Satoshi Fukushima's (Sumire no Hana) Hachiya Otome no Makyū manga will switch publication from Fellows! to Fellows! (Q). The magazine will also feature works from 26 new artists.
Each volume of the magazine will feature a cover from a different artist. The first issue will feature a cover (pictured at right) from manga artist Natsuko Takahashi (Shiro Shishi no Kodomo-tachi). The magazine's first issue will also feature a one-shot manga from Takahashi.
Love Roma's Toyoda Launches New Manga New manga in Monthly Shōnen Sunday revolves around world's unhappiest girl.
This year's December issue of Shogakukan's Monthly Shōnen Sunday magazine announced on Saturday that Minoru Toyoda (Love Roma, Flip-Flap) will launch a new manga in the magazine's January issue on December 12. The manga, tentatively titled Takewo-chan Mokke Roku (pictured at right), tells the story of the world's unhappiest girl, who has not felt happiness her entire life.
Del Rey published the all five volumes Toyoda's Love Roma manga in North America. Toyoda launched the five-volume Tomodachi 100-nin Dekiru kana (I Wonder If I Can Make 100 Friends) manga series in Kodansha's Afternoon magazine in 2009.
The December issue of Monthly Shōnen Sunday is also beginning serialization on short manga from Maiko Ogawa, Mutsumi Banno, and TALI.
Artist K. Hachiya says Copyright Law Changes Would Affect Cosplay Kazuhiko Hachiya says If Japan joins TPP, police will have discretion on which cosplay to allow.
Media artist Kazuhiko Hachiya warned on Monday that if Japan joins the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), the resulting changes in the Copyright Law of Japan would affect cosplay, among other derivative works (works based on other works). Hachiya spoke at a Nico Nico Live seminar on "How Would TPP Change the Net and Copyrights? An In-Depth Examination: From Extending Copyright Terms to Changing the Law to Allow Unilateral Enforcement and Statutory Damages."
The Office of the United States Trade Representative describes the TPP as "an Asia-Pacific regional trade agreement currently being negotiated among the United States and eight other partners" (Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam). The agreement aims to make copyright laws uniform across all the signatory countries. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda will be attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Hawaii this weekend, and he is expected to announced on Thursday whether Japan will join the TPP talks.
Hachiya's comments came after Kensaku Fukui, a lawyer and a Nihon University professor, wrote an essay on TPP's potential effects last month. Under the current law, the police and prosecutors cannot act against copyright infringement unless the copyright holders themselves file a formal complaint. Fukui asserted that under TPP, such violations will no longer require a complaint for prosecution. The proposed changes under TPP would also allow statutory damages to be levied against defendants.
At the Monday seminar (during which Fukui also spoke), Hachiya said that he fears that the police would be given the discretion on what to prosecute, particularly on "erotic" material. He further asserted that even cosplay outfits can been prosecuted if the police decides that they are not allowed.
Critics of the TPP assert that the part of Japanese culture developed through parody, dōjinshi works, and similar derivative works would be harmed. Negima and Love Hina manga creator Akamatsu further argued that the changes "would destroy derivative dōjinshi." He added, "And as a result, the power of the entire manga industry would also diminish."
Clamp's 1st Gate 7 Chapter Posted in English Dark Horse Comics printed 1st volume of supernatural manga last month.
The MTV Geek site posted the first chapter from Dark Horse Comics' English release of CLAMP's Gate 7 manga on Friday. The series revolves around a young man named Chikahito Takamoto who visits a legendary shrine and is transported to a fantastical alternative world. In this world, he learns that he is immune to the powers held by local inhabitants, who therefore believe he is special and conscript him into a war against elemental beasts.
Dark Horse Comics published the first volume last month, and the next volume will ship in February. In addition to the North American release, the series is being serialized in South Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, and the French magazine Animeland launched a limited four-month run in March. The one-shot version of the story originally ran in Shueisha's Jump Square magazine in Japan last November, and the full series launched in the same magazine in February.
Cat Sh*T One Screened for Free in LA Saturday Cat Shit One - The Animated Series.
The Japan Film Society announced last week that it will screen Kazuya Sasahara and IDA Entertainment's Cat Shit One anime free of charge this Saturday as part of the Competition Shorts Program of LA EigaFest 2011.
15th Detective Conan Film to Open in 1,500 Chinese Theaters Will air in China on 1,500 theaters with 2,000 screens on November 14.
Detective Conan: Quarter of Silence, the 15th Detective Conan anime feature film, will open nationwide in China on 1,500 theaters with 2,000 screens on November 14. This represents a threefold increase from the 500-theater opening of Detective Conan: The Raven Chaser in spring of last year. Detective Conan: Quarter of Silence debuted in Japan this past April as the #1 film in its opening weekend.
The Drops of God Manga Launch Celebrated with Wine-Tasting NYC's BottleRocket to pour 6 wines featured in Shū Okimoto's manga from Vertical.
The North American manga publisher Vertical announced that, BottleRocket, a wine purveyor in New York City, is holding a wine-tasting on Wednesday evening to celebrate the October launch of Shū Okimoto's The Drops of God (Kami no Shizuku) manga.
As Vertical describes the event: "After a brief introduction to the comic and the impact it made on both the comics and wine industries, BottleRocket's knowledgeable crew will be pouring 6 wines featured in the series. Cheese, conversation and comics will follow on what should be a rare night where comics become reality." People who wish to attend must be 21 or older and must RSVP on Vertical's Facebook page.
The story of Drops of God revolves around a young man whose father, a famous Japanese wine critic, passes away. When he visits his father's estate to lay claim to his inheritance, he learns that his father adopted another man and that the two must compete to identify 13 wines in order to earn the inheritance: a vast fortune in the form of a wine collection.
Vertical's first volume of The Drops of God debuted at #9 on The New York Times newspaper's manga bestseller list.
Madoka Magica Film Project to Be Trilogy 2 films to be compilation of TV series; 1 film to be all-new story.
Atsuhiro Iwakami, the producer of the Puella Magi Madoka Magica anime, is revealing in the December issue of Kadokawa Shoten's Newtype magazine on Thursday that the upcoming theatrical film project will be a trilogy. In particular, two films will be a compilation of the television series, while one film will be an all-new story.
Iwakami made the comments in an interview that also included director Akiyuki Shinbo (SHAFT), original character designer Ume Aoki, and writer Gen Urobuchi.
Urobuchi had already pretty much finished the final draft for the new film, and production is proceeding next. According to Shinbo, the subtitle of the new film is still undecided, but he really wanted to call it "Incubator no Gyakushū" ("Incubator Strikes Back" or "Incubator's Counterattack").
Young Black Jack Manga Inspired by Tezuka Classic Yakuza Girl's Ōkuma, Shin Mazinger 0's Tabata depict maverick doctor's past.
This year's 23rd issue of Akita Shoten's Young Champion magazine announced on Tuesday that Yū-Go Ōkuma (Yakuza Girl ~Blade Shikake no Yanayome~) will launch the Young Black Jack manga in next issue on November 22. Yoshiaki Tabata (Akumetsu, Wolf guy - Wolfen crest, Shin Mazinger Zero) is writing the story based on the brilliant maverick doctor created by manga pioneer Osamu Tezuka. The prequel follows Black Jack when he was still a medical student in the 1960s.
Actor Masaki Okada (Hana Zakari no Kimi-tachi e, Boku no Hatsukoi o Kimi ni Sasagu) already starred as the young Black Jack in a live-action television special that aired in April. Kentaro Otani (live-action NANA films) directed the special.
Yuki Azuma also moved her Schoolmate manga from Young Champion Retsu to the main Young Champion magazine in the 23rd issue. Fumi Kanai's Tanpen-Renai manga ended in the same issue.
Chi's Sweet Home Bonus Extra to Be Created by Fans Contest winner will receive royalties, illustration of pet cat drawn by Kanata Konami.
The Japanese publisher Kodansha is currently accepting applications for ideas for the bonus item that will be bundled with the limited edition of the ninth volume of Kanata Konami's Chi's Sweet Home cat manga. The ninth volume is scheduled to be released in Spring 2012.
The winner of the contest, which will be chosen by the readers themselves, will receive a special illustration of the winner's pet cat or a portrait of the winner drawn by Konami. The winner will also receive credit in the volume itself and will also receive some royalties from sales of the limited-edition of the volume. The deadline for submission is December 15.
Chi's Sweet Home centers around a kitten who gets lost after walking out into the real world for the first time. A boy named Yōhei Yamada discovers her, but the Yamada family's apartment building prohibits pets. After failing to find a new home, the Yamadas decide to defy the rules and raise Chi themselves.
Vertical licensed the manga in 2009 and the company released the manga's seventh volume on October 18. The manga inspired two television anime series in 2008 and 2009, and Crunchyroll streamed the sequel Chi's New Address.
What's Michael's Kobayashi Launches Edo-Period Manga Third manga based on Japanese writer Shin Hasegawa's stories.
This year's 23rd issue of Kodansha's Evening magazine began serializing a new Edo-period manga by What's Michael?'s Makoto Kobayashi on Tuesday. Ippon Gatana Dohyou Iri will be the third manga based on novelist and playwright Shin Hasegawa's "wandering life of a gambler" stories.
The story follows the journey of a strong man who wants to become a grand champion sumo wrestler during Japan's Edo period (1603 - 1868).
Kobayashi also began a manga about Hasegawa's Tokijirō Kutsukake novel character in 2008 and launched a manga based on the writer's Seki no Yatappe adventure play in 2009. Hasegawa's stories have inspired various live-action film and television drama adaptations in the decades since his death in 1963.
Voice actress and singer Megumi Hayashibara confirmed on Tuesday that she sang Shaman King's "Osorezan Revoir" song for the video of the same name that was posted on Nico Nico Douga on October 21. The video features an illustration by Shaman King creator Hiroyuki Takei while Hayashibara's recording of the song as the character Anna Kyouyama provides the audio. Osorezan Revoir is the title of the 19th compiled volume of the manga series and an arc of the story.
The video received about 700,000 views within ten days of its posting. Fans questioned whether the art was actually Takei's and whether Hayashibara was really singing the song. Shueisha's official Jump X [Kai] magazine website also posted the video and confirmed it was created in collaboration with Takei and Hayashibara.
The "Osorezan Revoir" video was created to celebrate the revival of the Shaman King manga with a new 44-page story in Jump X [Kai]'s fifth volume on November 10. The manga short will depict a previously untold "zero story" about the main character Yō Asakura. According to the magazine, the manga short will be the first part in a series of short manga stories and lead up to a "Big Project" next spring.
Funimation Posts Q&A Video on Elite Subscriptions Funimation is offering a two-week free trial..
The North American anime distributor Funimation posted a recording of its live video question-and-answer session from Monday about its new Elite Subscription service.
For US$7.95 a month, service will offer high-definition (HD) anime, including uncut and exclusive titles, with no commercials. The subscripton will feature English dubs on the same day as their Blu-ray/DVD releases or sooner (at least fourth months before non-subscribers will see them online). The service will have a catalog of more than 200 titles with 5,500 videos, including 1,500 in HD. Funimation is offering a two-week free trial.
Sugoi Books Android App Now Offers Manga in Canada The app offers manga in both Japanese and English.
The Japanese Internet service provider NEC BIGLOBE announced on Tuesday that its Sugoi Books app for Android devices is now available in Canada. The app offers manga in both Japanese and English. Its lineup includes Appleseed by Masamune Shirow, Stop! Hibari-kun! by Hisashi Eguchi, Kaze no Jin by Hiroshi Motomiya, The Transformers series, the Locke & Key series, and the True Blood series.
Houbunsha, Ume Aoki to Start Manga Time Kirara Carino Mag Sunshine Sketch/Madoka Magica's Aoki to draw new story for magazine.
The official website for Houbunsha's Manga Time Kirara magazine revealed this week that Houbunsha will launch a new magazine called Manga Time Kirara Carino on January 27, 2012. The magazine will run a new story from Ume Aoki, the creator of Sunshine Sketch (Hidamari Sketch) and the original character designer for Puella Magi Madoka Magica.
Manga Time Kirara had revealed at Comic Market in August that Aoki was working on a new story manga. (The illustration to the right is preliminary and not the finalized version.)
Manga Time Kirara's spinoff magazine Manga Time Kirara Carat published Sunshine Sketch in Japan. Yen Press publishes the Sunshine Sketch manga in North America, and Sentai Filmworks licensed the three television anime series that the manga inspired.
Aniplex of America, the American arm of the Japanese production company Aniplex, will start releasing the Madoka Magica television anime on February 14. Aoki herself is working on the new three-part theatrical film project of Madoka Magica.
Voice Actor Ken Yamaguchi Passes Away at 55 Voice of Fist of the North Star's Ein, Sakigake!! Otoko Juku's Genji, St. Seiya's Tarantula Arakune, Dragon Quest's Flazzard.
Voice actor Kiyohiro Yamaguchi and voice actress Midori reported that fellow voice actor Ken Yamaguchi passed away on October 24 due to illness. He was 55.
Ken Yamaguchi's numerous roles include Ein in Fist of the North Star, Genji Togashi in Sakigake!! Otoko Juku, Flazzard in Dragon Quest: Dai no Daibōken, Ankoku Dragon/Tarantula Arakune/Heat Saint in Saint Seiya, Ashuraman/Prisman/The Omegaman in Kinnikuman: Kinnikusei Ōi Sōdatsu-hen, Blurr in the Japanese dub of Transformers, and Blueberry/Raspberry in Dragon Ball Z. His final posthumous project was voice work which will air later in the ongoing Soreike! Anpanman television series.
Ken Yamaguchi was born under the name Kiyoshige Yamaguchi in 1956. He founded OYS Produce and Planning as a management agency for voice actors and actresses, particularly for newcomers training in the field. He was also the father of Kiyohiro Yamaguchi.
Shaman King -Flowers- Sequel Manga to Launch in April Yō Asakura's son Hana to star in new Shaman King series in Jump Kai.
The fifth volume of Shueisha's Jump Kai magazine announced on Thursday that Hiroyuki Takei will launch Shaman King -Flowers-, the sequel series to his Shaman King manga, in the same magazine next April. The main character of the new manga will be Hana Asakura, the son of the original manga's protagonist Yō Asakura. Hana demonstrates abilities exceeding even those of his father.
The magazine had indicated in volume 4 in September that there would be a "Big Project" next spring. Takei is already starting a series of short manga about previously untold "zero stories" about Yō and other characters in the current volume.
Voice actress and singer Megumi Hayashibara confirmed on Tuesday that she sang Shaman King's "Osorezan Revoir" song for the video of the same name that was posted on Nico Nico Douga on October 21. Osorezan Revoir is the title of the 19th compiled volume of the manga series and an arc of the story.
Viz Media publishes Takei's Shaman King and Ultimo manga in North America.
Tokyo Nameless Girl's Story Manga Gets Film Yōko Nemu's "Nokonoko," Dodo Yamasaki's "Change" shorts filmed for next summer.
Two stories from Feel Young's Tokyo Nameless Girl's Story comic anthology, Yōko Nemu's "Nokonoko" and Dodo Yamasaki's "Change," will receive live-action short film adaptations. The anthology was written by Yūsei Naruse.
Mitsuki Tanimura (The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Summer Wars) will star as Nozomi in the "Nokonoko" and Megumi Yanagi will star as Sae in "Change." The shorts will be directed by Akio Ōku (Koi Suru Madori).
"Nokonoko" revolves around female arts college students who are worried about their futures. "Change" is about two female roommates whose personalities are complete opposites of one another. The short films will be released in early summer 2012.
Tokyo Nameless Girl's Story was serialized in Shodensha's Feel Young from 2007 to 2008.
Peach Girl's Miwa Ueda to Launch Rokomoko Manga School romance story to start in December along with Ruka Ichinose's Kimi ni Happiness.
The December issue of Kodansh'a Bessatsu Friend magazine is announcing on Friday that Peach Girl creator Miwa Ueda will launch a manga series called Rokomoko in the next issue on December 13. The magazine describes the new story: "Hiroko has fallen in love with Takeru at her school's broadcasting club. Just when she is about to confess her love, her rival appears!?"
Ruka Ichinose will also launch a new romance series called Kimi ni Happiness in the same magazine in the next issue. In the story, "Yume is nothing but high-spirited!! Satsuki, whose cool demeanor keeps other people away, happens to have his desk next to her desk!?"
Tokyopop published Ueda's Peach Girl manga in North America, while Funimation released the anime adaptation. Del Rey published six of the Japanese volumes from Ueda's Papillon - Hana to Chō manga. Bessatsu Friend serialized both of these manga and more recently, her Puri-Mari series.
Lone Wolf & Cub's Koike to Create Magical Girl Story His excitement over Madoka Magica inspired Magical Girl Mimi Mimitsuki's QED.
Acclaimed manga creator Kazuo Koike (Lone Wolf and Cub, Crying Freeman) revealed on Sunday that he plans to make a magical girl story called Mahō Shōjo Mimitsuki Mimi no QED (Magical Girl Mimi Mimitsuki's QED). He said during the fifth installment of his live Koike Kazuo no Nico Nico Character Juku (Kazuo Koike's Nico Nico Character Cram School) net show that he was spurred by his excitement while watching the Puella Magi Madoka Magica anime.
The 75-year-old creator had said in August that he disliked the beginning of Madoka Magica, but added that the anime forcefully won him over. On Monday, he continued his praise, saying that watching Madoka Magica made his "blood boil [with excitement]" and inspired him to want to do something himself. "Will I be competing with Madoka Magica? That's my challenge at 75!"
Koike explained the concept of Mahō Shōjo Mimitsuki Mimi no QED by noting that with today's cutting-edge scientific advances such as neutrinos and nano-machines, "what once was magic is no longer magic, thanks to the progress of science and medicine." He continued, "And so, since the magical world no longer exists, it is a serious matter to send a girl gifted in magic to the human world." He also addressed the real-life issue of the number of females enrolling in engineering schools leveling off or dropping, and noted that the person who will be drawing his story is a female engineering school student.
On his live show, Koike discussed his magical girl story with his guest Takeshi Okazaki, the manga creator and illustrator known for Elementalors and Let's Lagoon. Okazaki happened to be a disciple of Akira Sakuma, who was a disciple of Koike — thus making Okazaki a "grandson" in Koike's school of gekiga (manga with serious storytelling) arts.
Dark Horse Comics publishes the Lone Wolf and Cub manga in North America, while Media Blasters licensed a Japanese live-action television series based on it. Previously, AnimEigo licensed a Japanese 1972 live-action film version and its five sequels. Both Viz and Dark Horse Comics published Crying Freeman, and Dark Horse Comics also licensed Koike's Lady Snowblood and Color of Rage.
Detective Conan's New Kaitō Kid Special to Air on Xmas Eve Shogakukan indicates special will follow caper on holy night.
The Japanese publisher Shogakukan announced that the Detective Conan anime will air the next Kaitō Kid special on Christmas Eve, December 24. Shogakukan indicates that, now that the mystery behind the death of Kaitō Kid's father Toichi Kuroba — the original Kaitō Kid — has been unraveled, the new special will follow a caper on the holy night.
The original Magic Kaito manga centered on a young budding magician named Kaito Kuroba who follows in his late father's footsteps as the legendary thief Kaitō Kid. The character has since appeared in Detective Conan stories, often as a formidable rival. Kaitō Kid or Magic Kaito specials also aired in Japan in August and September. A new 2-part Magic Kaito manga ran in Shogakukan's Weekly Shonen Sunday magazine in September as well.
Giant Killing, Walkin' Butterfly Creators Collaborate Ball Meets Girl high school baseball manga by Masaya Tsunamoto, Chihiro Tamaki.
The fifth volume of Shueisha's Jump Kai magazine announced on Thursday that Chihiro Tamaki (Walkin' Butterfly, Fool on the Rock) and Masaya Tsunamoto (Giant Killing) will launch a series in the magazine's sixth issue, due out on December 10. The high school baseball manga is titled Ball Meets Girl.
Aurora Publishing published the four-volume Walkin' Butterfly manga (pictured at right) in North America. Walkin' Butterfly was adapted into a live-action television drama series in 2008.
Tsunamoto wrote the story to the Giant Killing soccer manga, which received a television anime adaptation in 2010. Crunchyroll simulcast the series outside Japan as it aired.
The fifth volume of Jump Kai also began serialization on Takuma Morishige's (Aihoshi Modoki, Tonari no Seki-kun) Iinari Gohan gourmet essay manga.
Phi Brain: Kami no Puzzle Gets Manga Adaptation Kadokawa Shoten's Newtype Ace magazine begins serialization on manga by Cloverfield: Kishin artist.
The third volume of Kadokawa Shoten's Newtype Ace magazine began serialization on a manga adaptation of Sunrise's Phi Brain: Kami no Puzzle anime on Thursday. Artist Yoshiki Togawa will be drawing the manga.
The story of the school adventure story revolves around Kaito, a puzzle-loving freshman at the private high school named "Root Academy." He is selected as a candidate for "Phi Brain" for his extraordinary mental skills. One day, he and his childhood friend Nonoha tackle the "unsolvable puzzle" hidden in the underground ruins near the school. They are guided by the mobile device given to Kaito by the student council president.
The puzzle is the "philosopher's puzzle," a life-threatening creation of a mysterious intelligence group known as "POG." When he defeats the puzzle, he is designated as a "Solver." Together with Nonoha and other Solvers, Kaito battles POG at "philosopher's puzzles" all over the world.
CN Asia-Pacific: HD Launch CN Asia-Pacific News Update.
Cartoon Network Asia-Pacific is keying in on viewers interested in getting a little bit closer to their favorite cartoons. Considering CN Asia-Pacific's current penetration of nearly two dozen territories, the recent announcements of Cartoon Network HD and the latest, regional iteration of the stage show Ben 10: Live should do well, all things considered. TBS Asia-Pacific and its regional Cartoon Network division have stepped up their presence in the region considerably in recent years, providing noticeable points of contact for fans and artists alike.
On-air, CN Asia-Pacific reaches an estimated 63 million households. Late last month, Cartoon Network officially announced plans to push Cartoon Network HD to the Asian and Pacific consumer bases. Starting January 2012, CN HD, the first children's HD channel in the region, will offer cable viewers a shot at higher visual quality programming that millions of others around the globe are already privy to.
The addition is a natural transition for viewers who are increasingly conscious of their expanding media consumption habits.
"Cartoon Network HD is set to become the benchmark for the TV viewing experience," Sunny Saha, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Turner Broadcasting System Asia Pacific, Inc., comments. "HD opens up a crisper and more vivid world of animation that's truly captivating."
Elsewhere for CN Asia-Pacific, Cartoon Network's traveling spectacle Ben 10: Live finally arrives in China. Ben 10 Live: Power of the Omnitrix brings wild acrobatics and multiverse storytelling to Hong Kong-based Tennyson fans by way of live performance. The Asia-Pacific tour has already had stops in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and earlier this year, Australia [recent A.I. news: "Ben 10 AU: Live Tour in Australia" (04/2011)], but this week descends onto the Kowloon International Trade & Exhibition Centre. As with event's other regional presentations, Power of the Omnitrix will be a stage show canvassing characters from each of the animated series: Ben 10 (2005-2009), Ben 10: Alien Force (2008-2010), and Ben 10: Ultimate Alien (2010-present). The story tracks the history of the omnitrix device to its connection to young Ben Tennyson, eventually setting the scene for the teen hero as he grows increasingly familiar to the adventures (and villains) that seem inexorably connected to the DNA-based wristwatch.
FUNimation Channel Launches New Site The site is aiming to be more useful to readers in planning out their schedules.
The folks at the FUNimation Channel have updated their sites but also rolled out a new one today called http://funimation.tv/. The new site, aimed to really highlight its TV presence which is continuing to grow, is set provide the most up to date information as to what you can find on their channel. With the network now showing pre-DVD releases for some episodes, such as Fairy Tail and Chaos; Head, the site is aiming to be more useful to readers in planning out their schedules. The cross promotion is a bit stronger as well with a more clearly defined shop now available on it sa well, though it’s focused just on the home video versions of the shows you can see and not what swag might be available such as shirts, bags and the like.
B.O.D.Y's Mimori Launches New Manga Series color Ao Mimori finished She Is Mine, ran earlier 2-part version of color in Bessatsu Margaret.
Manga creator Ao Mimori launched her new series color in the December issue of Bessatsu Margaret magazine on Friday. The story depicts the rocky romance between two former childhood friends and neighbors who are polar opposites: a naive girl and a more savvy boy. Mimori had already created a two-part manga of color in the August and September issues, but she is restarting the story as a regular series.
Viz Media published part of Mimori's B.O.D.Y. manga in North America. Mimori launched her last manga series, She Is Mine, in Bessatsu Margaret in 2009, and she finished it a year later.
Manga-Based Afro Tanaka Comedy Film's Trailer Streamed Masaharu Noritsuke's story about wayward Afro-haired man (Liar Game/HanaDan's Shota Matsuda)
The official website for the live-action film adaptation of Masaharu Noritsuke's Afro Tanaka comedy manga began streaming a trailer on Saturday. Shota Matsuda (Liar Game, Hana Yori Dango ) stars as an odd, Afro-haired young man named Hiroshi Tanaka who faces his greatest challenge at the age of 24: his first potential girlfriend (live-action Sazae-san special and Kaitō Royale's Nozomi Sasaki). The girlfriend is a new character that does not appear in Noritsuke's original manga. Daigo Matsui is directing the film.
Launched in Shogakukan's Weekly Big Comic Spirits magazine in 2002, the manga has gone several title changes as it follows Tanaka through every stage of his life: Kōkō Afro Tanaka (High School Afro Tanaka), Chūtai Afro Tanaka (Dropout Afro Tanaka), Jōkyō Afro Tanaka (Tokyo-Bound Afro Tanaka), and Sasurai Afro Tanaka (Wandering Afro Tanaka). The manga has sold 3.6 million copies so far, and it already inspired an animated music video from the three-man rock band Tsuru (Gegege no Kitarō, Cross Game).
The film, which loosely adapts the Jōkyō Afro Tanaka (Tokyo-Bound Afro Tanaka) story, will open in Japan on February 18, 2012. Atsushi Tsusumishita of the comedy duo Impulse and Kei Tanaka also co-star in the film.
Man Sentenced for Uploading Gundam UC #3 on Nico Nico 46-year-old to not serve prison time if he is not convicted again in next 3 years
On Monday, the Tachikawa branch of the Tokyo District Court sentenced 46-year-old Kenji Igarashi for uploading the third episode of Mobile Suit Gundam UC without permission to the video-sharing site Nico Nico Douga.
Judge Haremitsu Mōri sentenced Igarashi to a one-year prison sentence, but suspended for three years. The prosecution had asked for a one-year prison sentence without suspension. If Imai is not convicted of another crime in the next three years, he will not have to serve the prison sentence. Mōri explained his sentence, "[The suspect's] carefree conduct demonstrated a problem with a normal awareness of the issues, and he seriously violated copyrights. However, he did not make profit out of it, and moreover, he regrets it."
According to the decision, Igarashi uploaded the third volume of Sunrise's Mobile Suit Gundam UC, "The Ghost of Laplace," from his personal computer in his Nagano Prefecture home twice on March 7 and March 8. (The anime had just opened in Japanese theaters on March 5, and the Blu-ray Disc release was available for advance purchase at the theaters.)
Live-Action Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trailers Posted Teaser, full trailer streamed for Takashi Miike's courtroom film opening next February
The official website for the live-action Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (Gyakuten Saiban) film began streaming the film's teaser trailer and full trailer.
Takashi Miike's film adaptation of CAPCOM's videogame franchise takes place in a parallel Japan, where a large increase in harsh crimes has led to a new court system. Under this new system, the defense attorney and public prosecutor have three days to battle cases out in open court to determine guilt or innocence of the accused, placing priority on speed instead of thorough investigation.
Hiroki Narimiya (Gokusen's Noda, NANA's Nobu, Akihabara @ DEEP's Page) stars as Phoenix Wright (Ryuichi Naruhodo). The film also has Takumi Saitō (RoboGeisha, Princess Princess D) as prosecutor Miles Edgeworth (Reiji Mitsurugi) and Mirei Kiritani (Arakawa under the Bridge's Nino) as Maya Fey (Mayoi Ayasato).
Bunny Drop/Usagi Drop Spinoff Manga to End in December Yumi Unita ended main manga in April; TV anime aired July - September
The December issue of Shodensha's Feel Young women's magazine is revealing on Tuesday that Yumi Unita's Usagi Drop: Bangaihen (Bunny Drop: Extra) spinoff manga will end in the January issue on December 8. It began serializing in the magazine's July issue. The main Bunny Drop manga ended in Feel Young in April.
In the beginning of the main Bunny Drop manga, 30-year-old bachelor Daikichi comes home from his grandfather's funeral to discover a little girl named Rin in his garden. Rin is the 6-year-old illegitimate daughter of Daikichi's grandfather, and Daikichi decides to take her in when no one in the family accepts the responsibility.
The Bunny Drop manga began in 2006, and the ninth compiled book volume shipped in July. Yen Press published the fourth manga volume in North America in September, and the title was nominated for this year's Eisner Awards. Production I.G produed a television anime version of the manga for Fuji TV's late-night timeslot Noitamina, and it aired from July 7 to September 15.