SciFi Japan
    The Popular Yokai Manga is Adapted as a Live Action Film Author: Keith Aiken Source: BCI Eclipse LLC, Shochiku Co., Ltd. Official Movie Site (Japan): GeGeGe Special Thanks to Amy Killian, Brooke Carney, Cliff MacMillan, and Dan Ross In modern-day Japan, the worlds of the humans and the yokai often collide, and usually not in the most pleasant of manners. Half-human and half-yokai, one-eyed Kitaro (Eiji Wentz) lost his parents at birth. His father’s soul lives in one of his eyeballs. Raised within the yokai clan, he lives with his bickering friends, Nezumi Otoko (Yo Oizumi) and Neko Musume (Lena Tanaka), in Gegege Forest where he dedicates his time to maintaining peace between humans and yokai. Kitaro always keeps an eye on the human society, and fights the evil monsters in order to save the human beings from the threats from another world.

    September 14 is Day of Celebration for U.S. Release of DEATH NOTE Movie DVD Source: Roger Bilheimer Associates, VIZ Media Official Movie Site (Japan): Death-Note-Movie Official Movie Site (US): Death Note Films The New York Anime Festival (NYAF) announced it has partnered with VIZ Pictures to hold DEATH NOTE Day at the largest Japanese bookstore in North America -- New York City`s Kinokuniya Bookstore -- on Sunday, September 14. Kinokuniya Bookstore, located at 1073 Avenue of the Americas in Manhattan, will present a day-long series of events celebrating the US DVD release of the DEATH NOTE motion picture by VIZ Pictures. The DEATH NOTE movie goes on sale at retailers across America on Tuesday, September 16, but Kinokuniya will have the movie in stock on Sunday, September 14. In addition, the first 50 fans to purchase the DEATH NOTE movie on DVD on September 14 will

    Source: Classic Media, Inc. Official site: Godzilla on DVD Special Thanks to Lisa Bull Classic Media completes their "Toho Master Collection" with a 2-disc set of RODAN (Sora no daikaiju Radon, 1956) and WAR OF THE GARGANTUAS (Furankenshutain no Kaiju: Sanda tai Gaira, 1966), featuring the American and Japanese versions of both films. As an added bonus, the RODAN DVD also includes the brand-new feature length documentary BRINGING GODZILLA DOWN TO SIZE. The RODAN and WAR OF THE GARGANTUAS DVD collection is available now from Classic Media`s Godzilla on DVD website. The set will be available from online retailers and in stores on September 9, 2008. The suggested retail price is $19.95. DISC ONE MENUS RODAN: Japanese Version RODAN: US Version BRINGING GODZILLA DOWN TO SIZE: The Art of Japanese Special Effects

    Entire 1966 Anime Series on DVD; Packaged in Mach 5 Tin Source: Lionsgate press release Offical Site: The Official Store of Speed Racer Special Thanks to Katie Walsh and Marissa Weinstein Go back to the roots of the animation-craze and relive the classic SPEED RACER series from the beginning as Lionsgate releases the SPEED RACER COMPLETE CLASSIC SERIES COLLECTION. The collection, sure to be on any fan’s holiday wish list, is packaged in a stylish tin shaped like the classic Mach 5 and features all 52 episodes of the hugely successful animated series on 5 discs. The set also features a sixth disc packed with bonus material, including “The History of Speed Racer” featurette, a look at the all-new franchise, SPEED RACER: THE NEXT GENERATION, plus an actual episode from the new series. SPEED RACER COMPLETE CLASSIC SERIES COLLECTION will be available on October 7th for the

    Standard and Deluxe Box Set Editions for Popular Series DEATH NOTE, BLEACH, NARUTO, INUYASHA And RANMA ½ Source: VIZ Media VIZ Media, LLC has announced an exciting array of new DVD releases for the 3rd Quarter of 2008 that expand some of the most popular animated series in North America. The new releases include DVD Box Sets and Special Editions containing limited edition collectible figurines, as well as the latest single disc editions for popular series including BLEACH, NARUTO, and DEATH NOTE, as well as much-loved classics like INUYASHA and RANMA ½. DEATH NOTE Volume 6 With Limited Edition Rem Collector’s Figure Rated “T+” for Older Teens • 4 Episodes • MSRP: $39.98 US / $49.99 CAN • Available August 26, 2008 The Yotsuba Group enlists an investigator to uncover L’s identity, while Misa, who’s been hired as their spokesperson, does some

    11 Japanese Directors Explore the Writings of Revered Author Natsume Soseki Source: Cinema Epoch Japanese Movie Website: yume-juya.jp Special Thanks to Gregory Hatanaka "I am an ambitious man who wants the people of 100 years hence to solve my riddle." – author Natsume Soseki (1906) Japanese author and poet Natsume Soseki (1867-1916) first came to public attention with his short story I Am a Cat (Wagahai wa Neko de Aru) in Hototogisu magazine in 1905. The next few years saw the publication of his popular stories and novels as London Tower (London To, 1905) Botchan (Master Darling, 1906), The Three-Cornered World (Kusamakura), The 210th Day (Nihyaku-jyu Nichi), and Poppy (Gubijinso, 1907). In 1907, Soseki became a writer for the newspaper Asahi Shimbun. Many of his works were first serialized in the paper then later collected in novel form; this included such acclaimed tales as Ten

    Hammer Films` Stop-Motion Animation Classic Finally Released Uncut and in Widescreen on DVD Author: Loren Portillo Special Thanks to Jim Danforth Warner Bros. Home Video`s latest wave of Best Buy exclusive "Sci-Fi Double Feature" DVDs includes the stop-motion animation favorite WHEN DINOSAURS RULED THE EARTH paired along with the space thriller MOON ZERO TWO. This "moon-themed" set (featuring the creation of the moon and the first "moon western") has caught the attention of monster movie enthusiasts because it finally presents WHEN DINOSAURS RULED THE EARTH uncut and in widescreen— unlike the earlier VHS and laserdisc versions from several years ago. The suggested retail price for the DVD is $19.98. Released in 1970 by Hammer Films and Warner Bros., WHEN DINOSAURS RULED THE EARTH is supposedly a direct sequel to Ray Harryhausen`s 1966 version of ONE MILLION YEARS B.C. starring Raquel Welch, but I

    Source: Paramount Home Entertainment and Click Communications Official Website: Indiana Jones Special Thanks to Scott Neumyer From Paramount Home Entertainment... On October 14th, Lucasfilm Ltd. and Paramount Home Entertainment will release the worldwide box office blockbuster INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL on DVD and Blu-ray! One of cinema`s greatest adventure heroes is back in this latest chapter of the immensely popular INDIANA JONES franchise! Directed by Steven Spielberg and produced by Frank Marshall, with George Lucas and Kathleen Kennedy as executive producers, the smash hit stars Harrison Ford, Cate Blanchett, Karen Allen, Shia LaBeouf, Ray Winstone and John Hurt, all following Indy on a perilous adventure to find the coveted Crystal Skull of Akator. Utterly packed with exciting bonus features, this may just be the biggest DVD and Blu-ray release of the year! Put on your fedora and grab your handy whip

    Synapse Films Presents Three Serious Satires from Japan`s Top Cult Comedy Director Source: Synapse Films, Twitch Special Thanks to Marc Walkow and Donald May, Jr. In November, Synapse Films will release DVDs of three movies by cult filmmaker Minoru Kawasaki, the director of the internationally acclaimed comedy THE CALAMARI WRESTLER (Ika Resura, 2004) and the recent kaiju film MONSTER X STRIKES BACK/ ATTACK THE G8 SUMMIT! (Girara no Gyakushu / Samitto Kiki Ippatsu!, 2008). Minoru Kawasaki was born in Tokyo in 1958. He grew up on a steady diet of Toho monster movies, comedies like the CRAZY CATS series, and Tsuburaya Productions` ULTRAMAN and ULTRA SEVEN. After graduating from Meiji University, he directed and produced a number of independent films. He was also a disciple of famed ULTRAMAN director Akio Jissoji, who acted as an executive producer for two of Kawasaki`s films— THE CALAMARI WRESTLER and

    Source: Paramount Home Entertainment and Click Communications Official Website: Iron Man Movie Special Thanks to Scott Neumyer From Paramount Home Entertainment... On September 30th, Paramount Home Entertainment will release the critically acclaimed box office smash IRON MAN: 2-DISC ULTIMATE EDITION on DVD and Blu-ray! What more can be said about this enormous blockbuster hit Super Hero film? IRON MAN is easily one of the year`s most exciting, inventive, and entertaining cinematic thrill rides. Directed by Jon Favreau (Elf) and boasting an all-star cast full of Academy Award nominees Robert Downey Jr. (Zodiac, Chaplin), Jeff Bridges (The Contender) and Terrence Howard (Hustle & Flow) and Oscar winner Gwyneth Paltrow (Shakespeare In Love). With several hours of exciting bonus features, this is easily a "can`t miss" release! Get ready as IRON MAN: 2-DISC ULTIMATE EDITION blasts off on DVD and Blu-ray September 30th!! $315 Million

    Hit Show Premieres on BBC America in August, Region 1 DVD from Warner Bros. in November Source: Warner Bros. Home Video, BBC America Official Sites: Primeval, ITV Primeval View the DVD Trailer The past and present collide in the energetic new sci-fi thriller PRIMEVAL. When evolutionary zoologist Nick Cutter (Douglas Henshall – THE STRANGE CASE OF SHERLOCK HOLMES AND ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE, FRANCES TUESDAY, ANNA KARENINA, IT`S ALL ABOUT LOVE) discovers prehistoric creatures alive and well in the present day, the natural world is turned on its head and humanity faces a threat to its very existence. PRIMEVAL is a science fiction series produced by London-based Impossible Pictures, the award winning team behind WALKING WITH DINOSAURS. The show premiered on the British network ITV on February 10, 2007. A second season followed on January 12, 2008, and a third is now in production

    Press Kit and DVD Info for the Hit Japanese Film Source: VIZ Media Official Movie Site (Japan): Death-Note-Movie Official Movie Site (US): Death Note Films The first live action DEATH NOTE movie will be released on Region 1 DVD by VIZ Pictures on Sept. 16, 2008. The DVD will include the uncut 126 minute-long film in the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1, the original Japanese audio track, a brand-new English language dub, and removable English subtitles. Bonus features include an interview with director Shusuke Kaneko, Making of the Movie featurette, Japanese trailers, DEATH NOTE anime trailer, and Death Note manga sneak peek - Chapter 1. The suggested retail price is $24.98. DEATH NOTE Press Notes Directed by SHUSUKE KANEKO Based on the Bestselling Japanese Comic by TSUGUMI OOBA and TAKESHI OBATA Starring: TATSUYA FUJIWARA as “LIGHT” KENICHI MATSUYAMA as “L

    Source: Warner Bros. Home Video Official Site: Speed Racer The Movie View the Theatrical Trailer ________________________________________________________________________________________________________ For more information on both the original SPEED RACER and the new Warner Brothers` motion picture please see the earlier coverage here on SciFi Japan: Here He Comes! Here Comes SPEED RACER! Part 1: Go Speed Go! A Series Overview Part 2: Racers Start Your Engines! How it All Began Part 3: Speed Racer is Born! MACH GO GO GO Comes to the U.S. SPEED RACER Production Notes SPEED RACER: Interview with Rain First 7 Minutes of SPEED RACER Part 4: The Aftermath of Speed: Remakes and Sequels Part 5: Speed Racer Now! RETROSPECTIVE AND REVIEW: SPEED METAL SPEED RACER Coming to Blu-ray and DVD

    Source: Classic Media, Inc. Official site: Godzilla on DVD Special Thanks to Lisa Bull, Maria Lago, and Emily Schwab A SciFi JAPAN EXCLUSIVE In 2006 and 2007 Classic Media released seven early Godzilla films on DVD. The company now completes their "Toho Master Collection" with a 2-disc set of RODAN and WAR OF THE GARGANTUAS, featuring the American and Japanese versions of both films. As an added bonus, the RODAN DVD also includes the brand-new feature length documentary BRINGING GODZILLA DOWN TO SIZE. RODAN: A small village is besieged by deadly man-sized insects. Shigeru (Kenji Sahara) descends deep into a mine shaft to exterminate the monsters, but a landslide traps him in a cavern where he makes an even more horrifying discovery: Rodan, the flying monster! Two giant pterodactyls emerge from their mountain hiding place and terrorize Japan, soaring through the skies

    Part 2: PRODUCTION NOTES and PERSONNEL FILE Author: George Lawrence Official site: Godzilla on DVD A SciFi JAPAN EXCLUSIVE The original documentary BRINGING GODZILLA DOWN TO SIZE: The Art of Japanese Special Effects will be included as a bonus feature with WAR OF THE GARGANTUAS (1966, dir. Ishiro Honda) and RODAN (1956, dir. Ishiro Honda). The three films will be released in a DVD set by Classic Media on September 9, 2008. Available at retailers everywhere. SciFi Japan continues our coverage with a look at the making of the film and the people behind the production. PRODUCTION NOTES From the outset, the creative team behind BRINGING GODZILLA DOWN TO SIZE was not content to simply string together a series of movie clips and re-hash the story of Godzilla’s five-decades-long career. "We wanted to explore what makes Japanese science fiction and

    Part 1: SYNOPSIS Author: George Lawrence Official site: Godzilla on DVD A SciFi JAPAN EXCLUSIVE Last week, SciFi Japan reported that BRINGING GODZILLA DOWN TO SIZE: The Art of Japanese Special Effects will have a premiere screening (along with WAR OF THE GARGANTUAS and MOTHRA) at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood on August 3. BRINGING GODZILLA DOWN TO SIZE is an original documentary produced by Classic Media, the company responsible for the recent "Toho Master Collection" Godzilla DVDs in the United States. The film will be included as a bonus feature with Classic Media`s DVD set of the Toho genre classics WAR OF THE GARGANTUAS and RODAN, which goes on sale across the country on September 9, 2008. We are now pleased to present an exclusive

    Source: Warner Bros. Home Video Official Site: Speed Racer The Movie View the Theatrical Trailer Warner Bros. Home Video has announced that the Wachowski Brothers’ live-action SPEED RACER movie will be released on DVD and Blu-ray on September 16. Based on the popular 1967 Japanese animated series and budgeted at $120 million, SPEED RACER has been a huge commercial failure, taking in only $43 million to date in the US box office. Studio hopes for a successful theatrical release in Japan were also dashed when the film opened on July 5 and finished in 5th place at the Japanese box office. Reviewers savaged the movie with 36 top national critics giving SPEED RACER a paltry 31% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.com. The film fared much better with audiences, who gave it a 77% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a B- average at Yahoo Movies. The positive opinions

    J-Horror from the Creator and Director of UZUMAKI Author: Keith Aiken Source: Tidepoint Pictures, Facets Video Dr. Kuroda (Masami Horiuchi) is perplexed by one of his patients, Tetsuro Mukouda (Shuuji Kashiwabara), who is terrified of going to sleep. It seems the young man`s dreams are spanning months and even years in a single night, and he can no longer tell what`s real life and what`s just a dream. As the dreams grow longer and longer, they begin taking as disturbing a toll on Mukouda`s body as they have on his mind. Overtaken by ambition, Kuroda begins to believe that the secret to human immortality can be found in the long dream. He experiments on Mukouda, then another patient, Mami Takeshima (Tsgumi), who believes she is being hunted by Death. Finally, Kuroda begins the long dream experiment on himself, hoping to be reunited with his long-lost love Kana

    Batman gets animated again as prelude to new film Author: Aaron Cooper I have to give Warner Bros. credit for interesting marketing ideas regarding the new and improved Batman film franchise. I personally have always enjoyed different anime anthologies, going as far back as ROBOT CARNIVAL to THE ANIMATRIX of a few years ago, and what better character to play with in terms of animated interpretations than Batman, a character that has endured various incarnations and versions throughout his 70 year history? BATMAN: GOTHAM KNIGHT is an anthology of six animated shorts that occurs after the events of BATMAN BEGINS and acts as a prelude of sorts to the upcoming DARK KNIGHT film. Several Japanese directors and animation studios, as well as American comic creators worked under Executive Producer Bruce Timm to create several unique visions of the Dark Knight. Yet, while all the stories feature unique

    Can the Man of Steel come back from the dead? Author: Aaron Cooper Prepare yourself for a look at some recent animated delving into the DC Universe. As the resident SciFi Japan comic book geek, I’ve been promising the staff to do these reviews for a while. It took me a while to sit and watch SUPERMAN: DOOMSDAY. I’ll be the first to admit that the entire “Death and Return of Superman” storyline that permeated comics in the early 1990’s was far too excessive in hype, multiple covers, and bagged editions mixed with mediocre and melodramatic storytelling. Sure, it was exciting at the time…for about a month. It wasn’t necessarily something I wanted to revisit. Add to that, of all the DC Superheroes animation that Bruce Timm and Paul Dini had been producing for Warner Bros. for over a decade, the Superman series was the least interesting

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