Animanga in the News: 1/21 - 1/27
Hi everyone! It's time for the weekly animanga news ^^. This week we have a look at japan comic sales, the end and start of various new series, japan voice actors singing disney songs! and many more~ To find out, read on!
Oricon: 503.61 million copies sold last year, which is 99.0% of 2010's total
The market research firm Oricon reported on Tuesday that Japan's comic (manga) sales totaled 271.71 billion yen (about US$3.533 billion) during the 2011 fiscal year. Around 503.61 million copies of comics sold in Japan last year which was 99.0 percent of the total from 2010.
Even though fewer copies were sold, the total revenue from comic sales did increase from the year before.
In 2010, the total revenue from comic sales was 270.67 billion (about US$3.519 billion) yen, also a small increase from 270.31 billion yen (about US$3.515 billion) in 2009.
Oricon reported that the total revenue from all book sales, including the comic/manga, bunko, and general book categories, was 1.112 trillion yen (about US$14.46 billion) in Japan in 2011. That number was 99.3 percent of the total from 2010. About 1.287 billion copies of all books sold in Japan last year, which was a one percent drop from 2010.
The research firm cited the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake disaster (Higashi Nihon Daishinsai) and the resulting production interruptions and material shortages as possible causes for the slight decrease in total book sales. It is expected for sales totals to increase as Japan continues to recover from the March 11 earthquakes and tsunami.
In 2011, the top-selling manga by series in Japan were One Piece (37,996,373 copies), Naruto (6,874,840 copies), and Blue Exorcist (5,223,712 copies). Oricon reported that top-selling manga by volume were One Piece #61 (3,382,588 copies), One Piece #62 (3,207,568 copies), and One Piece #63 (3,073,175 copies).
4Kids' Toonzaki representative: Hulu views are also up over this time frame
On its Facebook page on Tuesday, 4Kids Entertainment's Toonzaki reported that traffic to the site has risen 20% in the days following the United States government's closure of the Megaupload file-sharing service.
A Toonzaki representative added in a follow-up comment,
"I would suspect that many of the legitimate site have seen increases. Our Hulu views are also up over this time frame."
Toonzaki was launched by 4Kids in late 2010 as a portal for streaming anime content. The site includes videos sourced from Hulu.com, and features both content provided by 4Kids as well as other anime content providers such as FUNimation Entertainment and Toei Animation USA. In an interview with ANNCast in July 2010, 4Kids Senior Vice President of Digital Media Mark Kirk said that the site was geared towards teenagers, rather than the kids that 4Kids had previously focused its marketing towards.
Company: Bandai Ent., Beez Ent. news "has absolutely no affect" on its current, future releases
The Australian anime licensee company Madman Entertainment has revealed on its blog on Wednesday that it will still release the Gosick and Nichijō television anime series on DVD later this year. The company noted that although Bandai Entertainment and Beez Entertainment will stop offering new anime releases, that news has absolutely no affect on [its] current and future release slates.
Madman explained that the titles released by Bandai Entertainment and Beez was acquired from a different licensor. Madman added that any titles it licensed with Bandai Entertainment will not be affected, although it added that the DVD releases of Gosick and Nichijō will probably be subtitle-only releases.
Bandai Entertainment announced earlier this month that it will stop offering new DVD, Blu-ray Disc, and manga releases in February, and announced its upcoming releases of Gosick and Nichijō had been canceled. ANN then confirmed the next week that Beez Entertainment, the Namco Bandai Group company that has handled anime sales in France and several other European countries, is no longer releasing new anime.
Funimation announced on Thursday that it has suspended production on all future Blu-ray releases of the Dragon Ball Z television anime series, which includes the Level 2.1 disc that was originally scheduled to be released on March 27.
Funimation said that it had produced the Blu-ray editions of the series due to fan demand; however, the company explained that "due to technical challenges of restoring from the original film frame by frame, we are unable to continue these releases by way of this process." The company added it will re-evaluate its process of creating these Blu-rays and will be researching more efficient methods of restoration.
Funimation announced last July that it would release the series for the first time on Blu-ray. Funimation and the Dallas-based company ANDTRANSFER remastered the series from the original Japanese 16mm film reels at 1080p, keeping the original 4:3 aspect ratio. The first set, Dragon Ball Z Level 1.1, was released with the first 17 episodes on November 8.
8-episode series to premiere on Fuji TV on February 2 & stream on February 3
The Nico Nico Douga video-streaming service's Nico Nico Channel will begin streaming the Black Rock Shooter television anime series worldwide with subtitles in eight languages on February 3. There will also be a Black Rock Shooter event at the Nicofarre event hall in Tokyo on that same day.
The anime will premiere in Fuji TV's Noitamina timeslot on February 2.
Shinobu Yoshioka (Black Rock Shooter OVA) is directing the series off of scripts by Mari Okada (AnoHana, Hourou Musuko) at Ordet/Sanzigen. Yusuke Yoshigaki (Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt, Gurren Lagann) is adapting huke's original character designs for animation, and he is also serving as chief animation director. Hiroyuki Imaishi (Gurren Lagann, Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt) is directing the CG battle sequences.
The franchise already inspired an original video anime by Yoshioka, figures, and games. The artist ringo launched the Black Rock-chan four-panel manga in the inaugural issue of Kadokawa Shoten's 4-Koma Nano Ace magazine in March, and Sanami Suzuki (Net Ghost PiPoPa) launched another Black Rock Shooter ~Innocent Soul~ manga in Kadokawa's Young Ace magazine in June.
Although the announcement's description is that of "worldwide" streams, the latest episodes will be available every Friday at 11:00 p.m. in the following countries:
English: United States, Canada
French: France, Belgium, Monaco, Switzerland, Andorra
Spanish: Spain, Mexico, Chile, Argentina
Korean: South Korea
Traditional Chinese: Taiwan
Simplified Chinese: Mainland China, Singapore
* The subtitled streams will not be accessible from within Japan.
The anime's official website already launched English and Chinese pages. Nico Nico Douga and its sibling services streamed another anime, Fate/Zero, worldwide with subtitles in eight languages last fall.
T3 Networks Media Distributor Shuts Down
The media licensor and distributor T3 Networks Inc. announced this week that the company has ceased operations. The company announced back in September that it signed an agreement with the anime distributor Viz Media for television and film distribution. T3 Networks intended to market titles on Viz Media's behalf to television companies and other venues looking for programming content.
T3 Networks' farewell message stated "we lack the sales, personnel and additional resources essential to continue operations as a business." The distributor cited problems with licensing, copyright issues, and day-to-day operations. The company is thankful for its supporters but said "we do not have the financial and human capital resources to take on all of these challenges."
Yasunobu Yamauchi's comedy about students at boy's high school debuted on January 9
NIS America (NISA), the American subsidiary of the Nippon Ichi Software game company, announced on Tuesday that it will release the television anime adaptation of Yasunobu Yamauchi's Daily Lives of High School Boys (Danshi Kōkōsei no Nichijō) manga. More information about the release format, the release date and a planned edition with "fan-favorite sturdy premium packaging" will be announced on the company's website.
The gag comedy manga follows the humorous yet "realistic" everyday life of Tadakuni (voiced by Miyu Irino), Hidenori (Tomokazu Sugita), Yoshitake (Kenichi Suzumura), and other students at a boys' high school. Shinji Takamatsu (Gintama, School Rumble) is directing the anime at Sunrise, 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.
The figure maker Good Smile Company posted the following notice from Kazuma Miki, editor of ASCII Media Works' Dengeki Bunko imprint, on its blog on Tuesday:
This year, ASCII Media Works marks its 20th anniversary! So, to celebrated the 20th anniversary, Dengeki Bunko works will be adapted one after another into animation!
- And...as a celebration of the 20th year anniversary, a movie of Toaru Majutsu no Index has been green-lit!
Index will have more happening this year. Please look forward to it. We still cannot say anything about Railgun [To Aru Kagaku no Railgun]!
This part of the blog entry is not included in GSC's official English translation.
Total copies sold of 1st novel almost doubled since October in Japan
Mary Pope Osborne's first Magic Tree House novel has been flying off store shelves 20 times faster in Japan this month, thanks to the January 7 release of the Magic Tree House anime film. The American novel series and the Japanese animated film revolve around Jack and Annie, two siblings who go on adventures throughout time with a mysterious tree house.
Even though Media Factory published the first novel, Dinosaurs Before Dark, a decade ago in 2002 in Japan, it ranked No. 3 on Kinokuniya Bookstores' bestseller list for children's books in the first week of the new year. In addition, the 31st and 25th volumes were in the top 10. (Worldwide, the entire novel series has sold about 100 million copies.)
Last month, Dinosaurs Before Dark was selling at about 10.4 times the rate it did one year earlier. So far this month, the novel has been selling 20 times the rate. Since the end of last October, the total number of copies sold has almost doubled. (The trailer for the Magic Tree House anime film began running at the end of October.)
As of January 15, the film has sold 234,000 tickets and earned 260 million yen (about US$3.34 million) in nine days. It ranked No. 3 at the Japanese box office in its first weekend, and then No. 4 in the second weekend.
Hiroshi Nishikiori (Azumanga Daioh, Toaru Majutsu no Index) directed the film off a screenplay written by Ichiro Okouchi (Code Geass, Azumanga Daioh, Negima). Yoshiaki Yanagida (Genshiken, Spirit of Wonder) designed the characters and supervised the animation process. Actress Keiko Kitagawa (live-action Sailor Moon, live-action Paradise Kiss) played Jack, while Mana Ashida (live-action Bunny Drop) played Annie. Miki Maya (Takarazuka Revue, live-action Absolute Boyfriend) voices Morgan, the enigmatic woman who owns the Magic Tree House.
Hideki Yamada's "ultimate bishōjo action" story inspired 12-episode anime last summer
Enterbrain will publish the seventh and final volume of Hideki Yamada's Manyū Hiken-chō "ultimate bishōjo action" manga on January 25. Yamada began serialization on the manga in Enterbrain's Tech Gian game magazine in 2005.
The historical story is set in a parallel Taihei Edo period and follows Chifusa, an amply proportioned sword fighter in the Manyū clan.
The manga inspired a 12-episode television anime series last summer. Director Hiraku Kaneko and animation director Jun Takagi reunited to work on the anime after working on Seikon no Qwaser.
The Toranoana retail store will offer the last volume with a special 16-page booklet, and the Mangaoh retail store will offer a specially-illustrated card with the volume.
original source, 1
Manga creator Santa Inoue confirmed on his Twitter account last Thursday that he will end his Tokyo Tribe 3 sequel manga in the March issue of the Ollie fashion magazine on February 14. Gentosha will publish the fifth and final volume in the series on February 28.
Inoue started the sequel manga series in 2008. Tokyo Tribe 3 takes place several years after Tokyo Tribes and revolves around the main character Minato.
Tokyopop published part of the Tokyo Tribes sequel manga in North America, while the live-action film adaptation of Inoue's The Neighbor No was released by Tokyo Shock. Thirteen manga on DVD. MADHOUSE adapted the Tokyo Tribes series into the 13-episode Tokyo Tribe 2 television anime series in 2006.
Dai Suzuki's spinoff series Kuzu!! to star the delinquent Tatsuo Kuzugami
This year's fourth issue of Akita Shoten's Young Champion magazine announced on Tuesday that a spinoff of Hiroshi Takahashi's Crows manga will launch in the next issue. Dai Suzuki (Drop) will create the new gangster manga titled Kuzu!!.
The new series will center on the original manga's character Tatsuo Kuzugami who is the son of a yakuza crime boss. In his solitary life, Tatsuo faces many challenges as the delinquency world's strongest man.
The original Crows manga ran for 26 volumes, and Digital Manga Publishing partially published its sequel manga Worst in English. Crows also inspired a two-episode anime OVA adaptation, the 1994 Koukou Butouden Crows. The video label MVM slated Takashi Miike's two live-action prequel films, Crow Zero and Crow Zero II for U.K. DVD releases in April and July.
Akita Shoten will release this year's fifth issue of Young Champion on Valentine's Day.
original source, 1
Utau! Heian-kyō to follow Heian-period aristocrats who write poetry
The official website for Square Enix's Monthly G Fantasy magazine has announced that Shin Mashiba (Nightmare Inspector: Yumekui Kenbun, Torikago Gakkyū) will launch Utau! Heian-kyō in the March issue on February 18.
The manga series will take place in Heian-kyō (a former name for Kyoto) during Japan's Heian period (794-1185). Mashiba's fantasy story will center on famous Heian aristocrats as they compete with Japanese waka poems during the peaceful period.
Mashiba's Nightmare Inspector: Yumekui Kenbun debuted in 2002, and Square Enix published nine compiled volumes. Viz Media began publishing the series in North America in 2008. Mashiba's Torikago Gakkyū began serializing in G Fantasy in 2008, and Square Enix released the manga's seventh volume in Japan in September.
Masahiro Itabashi, Hiroyuki Tamakoshi restarted their Boys Be… manga in 2009
The official website for Kodansha's Magazine Special has revealed that it will publish the last chapter in Masahiro Itabashi's and Hiroyuki Tamakoshi's Boys Be… Next Season manga in this year's third issue on February 20.
Itabashi and Tamakoshi restarted their popular Boys Be… comic anthology manga in 2009. The first installment of Boys Be… Next Season dealt with two people who, after graduating from different high schools, have a fateful meeting at a cultural festival. Kodansha released the manga's fifth volume last month.
Itabashi and Tamakoshi started another Boys Be… manga series called Boys Be… 2009 1-Gakki (Boys Be… 2009 Term I) on Kodansha's MiChao mobile comic website in April 2009. There have already been two previous follow-up manga series, Boys Be...2nd Season and Boys Be...L Co-op. Tokyopop published most of the Boys Be...2nd Season series, without the "2nd Season" appellation, in North America. Right Stuf first released the 2000 animated adaptation in 2006. There were also live-action television drama and stage musical adaptations in Japan.
Adaptation to launch in Square Enix mag; anime film to open this year
The official website for Time of Eve creator Yasuhiro Yoshiura's Sakasama no Patema (Patema Inverted) film announced on Wednesday that the anime will receive a manga adaptation.
The manga will appear in Square Enix's Monthly Big Gangan magazine, which launched on October 25. The Sakasama no Patema site also revealed that Yoshiura will appear at the Wonder Festival event in Chiba's Makuhari Messe convention center on February 12. Details about the manga and Yoshiura's appearance will appear on the film website's news page.
Yoshiura is writing and directing the Sakasama no Patema film, and the anime studio Purple Cow Studio Japan is producing the project for release in Japan this year. The story follows a girl named Patema who lives in an underground village. Patema loves to explore the abundant tunnels, but her village bans entry to her favorite place and labels it a "danger zone." Despite warnings, Patema strives to uncover the secrets of her underground world.
Yoshiura previously wrote, "This new animation is … a story about girl-meets-boy, and boy-meets-girl. It is an extremely righteous, but also extremely strange, story."
The Next Sheet of MAPS concludes in Flex Comix Blood after 5 years
Yuichi Hasegawa will end his The Next Sheet of MAPS sequel manga on the Flex Comix Blood website in February after five years. Flex Comix published the manga's first volume in January 2007, and its 14th compiled book shipped in October.
Hasegawa drew the original 17-volume MAPS series between 1985 and 1994. The manga inspired a 1987 OVA and an OVA remake in 1994. ADV Films released the 1994 remake in North America in 2005.
Hasegawa launched his Mobile Suit Crossbone Gundam: Ghost manga series in the January issue of Kadokawa Shoten's Gundam Ace magazine in November. The first Mobile Suit Crossbone Gundam ran from 1994 to 1997. Hasegawa then drew the sequels Mobile Suit Crossbone Gundam: Skull Heart from 2002 to 2004 and Mobile Suit Crossbone Gundam: Kōtetsu no Nananin (Mobile Suit Crossbone Gundam: Steel Seven) from 2006 to 2007. The creator's other manga include the Yuusha Raideen Yuusha spinoff God Bird and the Dancougar - Super Beast Machine God spinoff Chōjū Kishin Dancougar Burn.
The March issue of Hakusensha's LaLa magazine published Ouran High School Host Club manga creator Bisco Hatori's "Detarame Mōsōryoku Opera" one-shot manga on Tuesday. The story centers on a Hifumi, a student who barely failed an entrance exam. One day, "harmonious people" suddenly appear out of her apartment closet and ask for help in saving their parallel universe.
Hatori's Ouran High School Host Club manga launched in LaLa in August of 2003, and Viz Media launched its North American release in July of 2005. The manga ended in Japan last September, and Viz published the 17th of 18 compiled book volumes in December. The live-action television series premiered in July. A live-action film adaption will premiere in theaters throughout Japan on March 17, and a mobile phone drama spinoff is also planned.
Studio 4°C co-founder, Φphy art director to appear at Aug. 31 - Sept. 3 convention
Planners of Dallas' AnimeFest announced on Monday that this year's convention will host The Animatrix co-director Koji Morimoto. The event will take place at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel from August 31 to September 3.
Morimoto has worked as an anime director, filmmaker, visual creator, and art director. He was involved with television anime series, films, and original video projects including Akira, Magnetic Rose, Extra, Ai Monogatari, Macross Plus, and Tekkonkinkreet. He directed the Beyond segment in The Animatrix.
As a founding member, Morimoto worked at the Studio 4°C from 1989 to 2011. He now helms the new Φphy creative team as Executive Art Director. The studio produces anime but also creates other works.
Go on a Disney Date with Hiroshi Kamiya, Kenichi Suzumura, Kouichi Yamadera, others
10 Japanese seiyus will sing covers of songs from Disney animated films in a CD which will ship on February 22. In addition to the 10 songs, Disney Date: Koe no Ōji-sama (Disney Date: The Princes of Voice) includes a booklet with photos of the voice actors going on various dates.
The Deluxe Edition on the album bundles an exclusive "Disney Date Story" CD that runs over 30 minutes long. However, the Regular Edition has its own exclusive: the bonus "Mickey Mouse March" track as sung by all 10 voice actors. The Disney Date: Koe no Ōji-sama CD is billed as the male edition, which strongly suggests that a companion CD with Japanese voice actresses is in the works.
The Disney Date: Koe no Ōji-sama CD's official website is streaming 45-second samples of all 10 main songs:
1 "You Can Fly!" Peter Pan Hiroshi Kamiya
2 "A Whole New World" Aladdin Kenichi Suzumura
3 "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo" Cinderella Jun Fukuyama
4 "When You Wish Upon a Star" Pinocchio Takahiro Sakurai
5 "One Jump Ahead" Aladdin Tomokazu Sugita
6 "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" The Lion King Hikaru Midorikawa
7 "Once Upon a Dream" Sleeping Beauty Toshiyuki Morikawa
8 "Go the Distance" Hercules Tomokazu Seki
9 "Under the Sea" The Little Mermaid Miyu Irino
10 "Circle of Life" The Lion King Kouichi Yamadera
The Cyzo Woman blog reported on Wednesday that actor Jun Matsumoto (Hana Yori Dango , Gokusen, Boku wa Imōto ni Koi o Suru, Kimi wa Pet) will star in a live-action film adaptation of the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure manga. The blog quotes an unnamed weekly magazine reporter without further corroboration.
Bungeishunju's Weekly Bunshun magazine reported last August that live-action and anime film adaptations were in the works by separate film companies for this summer or later, but no other source has corroborated Weekly Bunshun's report. Weekly Bunshun also reported that a "super-popular idol" is being cast for the live-action version. Shueisha, the publisher of the manga, downplayed the report, "We don't know where that story came from, but nothing has been decided at this time."
16-meter Transformers character to appear at 53rd annual Asahikawa Winter Festival
The Japanese toy maker Takara Tomy revealed this week that a life-size snow sculpture of The Transformers franchise character Optimus Prime will appear at this year's Asahikawa Winter Festival.
Artists are sculpting the giant robot from a 16-meter (about 53-foot) snow mound. Construction crews began piling snow on January 6, started work on the character's head on January 10, and raised trusses to continue sculpting Optimus last Thursday.
The 53rd annual Asahikawa Winter Festival will take place in Asahikawa, Hokkaido Prefecture from February 8 to 12.
Kunio Okawara reinterpreted mobile suit designed by Syd Mead (Blade Runner, Aliens)
Kunio Okawara, the mechanical designer of many Gundam projects including the very first television anime series, posted his interpretation of the title mobile suit from the Turn A Gundam anime this weekend. Turn A Gundam was one of the projects in 1999 that celebrated the 20th anniversary of the first Gundam television series.
Syd Mead, the famed conceptual artist who worked on Blade Runner, Aliens, and Space Battleship Yamato 2520, drew inspiration from Okawara's original Gundam for his Turn A Gundam design. Okawara, in turn, reinterpreted Turn A Gundam himself. Okawara notes that Mead, a former Ford car designer who has worked on both real-life engineering projects and Hollywood films, visited his home in Japan. Mead's Turn A Gundam design is below:
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