SciFi Japan
    Online Media Distribution Giant Partners to Begin Online Streaming, Subscription and Download-To-Own of Anime Titles Source: BAM! Marketing, Publicity & Promotions press release Special Thanks to Chase Wang The Japanese based multi-media entertainment company Pony Canyon Inc. has struck a partnership with online media distribution giant Crunchyroll to provide streaming and subscriptions for some of the company`s most popular anime titles. More information can be found at Pony Canyon Inc.`s Deputy General Manager Hideyuki Saida states, "Crunchyroll helps create a new business model for online monetization and we are looking forward to a long and prosperous relationship with them. We want fans abroad to know that we are here for them and want to bring them great anime titles for years to come." Vince Shortino, Crunchyroll General Manager comments, "Crunchyroll is proud to be working with Pony Canyon Inc. We are working

    Monster from SEVENTH VOYAGE OF SINBAD Stars in One-Shot Comic Source: Matt Frank In 2006, comic book publisher BlueWater Productions signed a licensing deal with special effects legend Ray Harryhausen to create new comic series based on Harryhausen`s classic films. The "Ray Harryhausen Signature Series" line launched in mid-2007 with titles such as 20 Million Miles More (a sequel to the 1957 film 20 MILLION MILES TO EARTH), Back to Mysterious Island, It Came from Beneath the Sea... Again, Jason and the Argonauts: The Kingdom of Hades, and Sinbad, Rogue of Mars. One of the most popular of these comics was Wrath of the Titans, which continued the story of Perseus and the other characters from Ray Harryhausen`s CLASH OF THE TITANS (1981) while adding elements and creatures from SEVENTH VOYAGE OF SINBAD (1958). The success of Wrath of the Titans series has led to a

    Edition Features 11 Full-Color Posters Inspired by Hit Animated/Manga Series and 2 Original Exclusive Creations Source: VIZ Media, MediaLab press release Special Thanks to Evelyn Dubocq and Erik Jansen VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media) has announced the upcoming release of a special BLEACH Posterzine, which features 11 massive full-color posters inspired by the smash hit manga and animated series (rated `T` for Teens) created by Tite Kubo. Available exclusively through participating newsstands nationwide beginning December 2nd, the Posterzine carries an MSRP of $9.99 and includes two original creations made especially for this unique release. Each poster in the collection folds out to 16” x 22” and depicts the heroic Soul Reaper Ichigo and his friends as well as villains rendered in beautiful detail. This special publication will also include 2 free BLEACH sticker sheets and an iTunes gift card valid for a free download of episode

    VIZ Media Announces Unprecedented Campaign To Provide Near Simultaneous U.S.-Japan Release Of New NARUTO SHIPPUDEN Animated Episodes Source: VIZ Media, MediaLab press release Special Thanks to Evelyn Dubocq and Erik Jansen VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media) has announced an innovative and unprecedented multimedia plan to provide near-simultaneous Japan-U.S. release of NARUTO, one of the most popular Japanese animated and manga properties in the world. This campaign is the latest expansion of VIZ Media’s ongoing strategy to utilize the web to its maximum potential to stream a variety of hit animated properties. Beginning on January 15th the latest episode of the NARUTO SHIPPUDEN (English-subtitled) animated series will be available for free viewing on the ultimate destination for anything NARUTO – the official NARUTO website,, within days of its original airdate in Japan. A new English-subtitled episode will be added every Thursday thereafter. On January 2nd, VIZ

    Two of the Hottest Animated Series in North America are Now Available for Download-To-Own Source: VIZ Media, MediaLab press release Special Thanks to Evelyn Dubocq and Erik Jansen VIZ Media, LLC has announced the availability of the hit animated action series BLEACH and DEATH NOTE (both Uncut and English dubbed) on the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment console from Microsoft. Fans in the U.S. will now have the ability to watch these episodes on a Download-To-Own (DTO) basis through Xbox LIVE for 160 Microsoft Points per episode. BLEACH features episodes 1-41 dubbed in English with more to be added, and DEATH NOTE features the full 37-episode series dubbed in English. The two series join NARUTO Uncut, which has been offered on Xbox LIVE since November 2007 and currently features episodes 1- 52 dubbed in English as well as episodes 1 – 24 subbed (with English

    Studio and ASTRO BOY Distributor, Summit Entertainment, Also Unveil Global Marketing Alliances Source: Imagi Studios press release Official Website: Imagi Studios Imagi Studios announced that it has signed worldwide licensing agreements with American Greetings, Penguin Group (USA) Inc., Jazwares Inc., D3Publisher and IDW Publishing for ASTRO BOY, its upcoming CG-animated film based on the adventures of the superhero icon. The studio’s agreement with American Greetings also extends to future Imagi films. ASTRO BOY, slated for domestic release on October 23, 2009, is being distributed worldwide by Summit Entertainment except for Imagi’s reserved territories of Japan, Hong Kong and China. “The strategic partnerships with these product category leaders speak volumes about Astro Boy and its reach to fans of all ages around the world,” said Erin Corbett, President, Imagi Studios U.S. “In addition, the ongoing relationship with American Greetings reflects a shared vision for

    Online Media Distribution Giant and Leading Animation Production Studio Begin Online Streaming, Subscription and Download-To-Own of Many Titles Source: BAM! Marketing, Publicity & Promotions press release Special Thanks to Chase Wang One of the most prolific animation production studios, Toei Animation Co., Ltd., is partnering with online media distribution giant, Crunchyroll, to provide streaming, subscription and download-to-own options for some of the several popular anime titles to begin October 27, 2008. More information can be found at Toei Animation Co., Ltd. is responsible for some of the most famous anime series including DRAGONBALL Z, ONE PIECE, and SAILOR MOON.“A partnership with Toei Animation is fantastic for Crunchyroll and the anime industry in the U.S. and international markets,” states Mr. Kun Gao Crunchyroll CEO, “it is great validation to have one of the oldest, largest Japanese animation studios using our platform to bring anime to a much

    Source: VIZ Media press release Special Thanks to Evelyn Dubocq Exciting December Issues Highlight Hot New Video Game Titles And Trends Of 2008 And Will Offer Holiday Sweepstakes To Win Free Wii Game Platforms; December SHOJO BEAT Contains Extensive Coverage Of Super-Popular Shojo Series Vampire Knight VIZ Media, LLC has announced special December issues of its magazines, SHONEN JUMP and SHOJO BEAT, highlighting a variety of the latest video game titles and trends. Each magazine will also feature a holiday sweepstakes for a Nintendo Wii video game system. In addition, SHOJO BEAT includes a special supplement, the official guide to the hit shojo (girls) manga series Vampire Knight (rated T+ for older teens). The December issues of SHONEN JUMP and SHOJO BEAT go on sale nationwide on November 4th and 18th respectively. There is a strong inter-relationship between manga, anime and video gaming, as one

    Anime Clips Available with Free vSNAX Videos App Source: Rhythm NewMedia, ADV Films Special Thanks to Lisa Friedrichs The best shows from Anime Network, America’s #1 Anime Channel, are now available on the Anime channel of vSNAX Videos, a free app for the Apple iPhone and iPod touch. vSNAX is the destination for video on the iPhone, aggregating and refreshing short video clips from over 25 premium media partners every day. Anime Network titles, including AZUMANGA DAIOH, SAIYUKI and MYTHICAL DETECTIVE LOKI, are now accessible on the iPhone with updates throughout the day so that Anime fans will always have their favorite shows with them. The shows are available as short three to five minute clips, which are perfect for the mobile environment as a snack sized bite of entertainment on the go. Anime fans can download the FREE vSNAX Videos app at “We chose

    Collectible Miniatures Game Starter Sets Sell Out; European Release Announced Source: Privateer Press press releases Official Site: Privateer Press has made a pair of major announcements concerning their new collectible miniatures game MONSTERPOCALYPSE. First up comes word that starter sets for MONSTERPOCALYPSE Series 1: Rise (PIP 50001) have sold out at the manufacturer level prior to the product’s upcoming launch date of October 10th, 2008. “We have seen such an overwhelming demand,” said Sherry Yeary, President of Privateer Press. “That we already have a re-stock of starter sets ordered and due to arrive in November.” Currently, Privateer Press still has Series 1: Rise Monster boosters and Unit boosters in stock to accommodate the ever-increasing demand for the game. In addition, starter sets will be readily available at the distribution and retail level to support the launch since the majority of initial distributor

    Source: Privateer Press press release Official Site: Special Thanks to Bobby Stickel Privateer Press has announced additional products for its new collectible miniatures game, MONSTERPOCALYPSE. These products include the MONSTERPOCALYPSE Series 1: Rise Strategy Guide, two varieties of Accessory Packs and the MONSTERPOCALYPSE: Rise Map Pack. The MONSTERPOCALYPSE Series 1: Rise Strategy Guide (PIP 50008) contains 64 full-color pages of tips, tactics, spoilers, and commentary on every figure, faction, map, and format. Also included is an EXCLUSIVE double-sided battle map. MSRP for the Strategy Guide is $14.99 and will be available in October. “We’ve created more than just a resource for players and tournament organizers,” said Erik Yaple, Lead Game Developer for MONSTERPOCALYPSE. “The Strategy Guide compiles all the tricks and inside knowledge straight from the designers behind the game. A lot of the ‘nasty stuff’ that came out of our R&D and play test sessions

    Both Titles Now on Sale Source: VIZ Media, MediaLab press release Special Thanks to Evelyn Dubocq and Erik Jansen VIZ Media has announced the North American debut of the manga series Black Lagoon, as well as the DVD debut of BLUE DRAGON, a new animated series based on the popular Microsoft Xbox 360 Role Playing Game. The Black Lagoon manga by Rei Hiroe follows a misfit group of mercenaries and their adventures on the high seas of Southeast Asia. Black Lagoon is available now from the VIZ Media imprint and is rated “M” for Mature audiences. It carries an MSRP of $12.99 U.S./$15.00 CAN. Readers will lock ‘n’ load with Dutch the Boss, Benny the Mechanic, Revy Two Hand, and Rock as they seek adventure and fortune aboard their World War II-era torpedo boat, the Black Lagoon. In the treacherous underworld of the Russian Mafia, Chinese

    Giant Monsters Attack in new Collectible Miniatures Game Source: Privateer Press press release Official Site: Special Thanks to Bobby Stickel Privateer Press has announced that MONSTERPOCALYPSE, their new collectible miniatures game, has an official street date of October 10th, 2008. The long-awaited, action packed strategy game has already riveted the attention of the hobby game industry, making a big impression at the GAMA Trade show, International Comic Con in San Diego, Gen Con in Indianapolis and PAX in Seattle. “The attention that this game has received so far has been huge,” stated Matt Wilson, Creative Director for Privateer Press. “We already have a huge audience burning to get their hands on MONSTERPOCALYPSE.” More good news followed as Privateer Press also recently announced that MONSTERPOCALYPSE will be fully supported by free Organized Play at the launch of the game on October 10th. Retailers

    Author: Dan Ross Special thanks to Gregory Starr, Kodansha International Ltd. A SciFi JAPAN EXCLUSIVE A new book has arrived in the English speaking world on the Japanese phenomena known as "yokai". These are the goblins that haunt the night in modern cities and reside in classic folktales. They are as old as Japanese mythology itself and as new as the latest urban legends. Yokai Attack!: The Japanese Monster Survival Guide takes a look at a selection of the mythical beasties and brings them to the Western world. Matt Alt and Hiroko Yoda are co-writers and creators of this field guide and they will take us behind the scenes on the creation of this book. SciFi Japan: Matt, you`ve been working in Japan for a while now and in 2003 co-founded AltJapan Co., Ltd., a translation and localization service for entertainment production in video games,

    Source: Kodansha International Ltd. Special Thanks to Matt Alt and Gregory Starr The legends of Japan are replete with tales of the strange creatures known as yokai. Not quite apparitions, monsters, or ghosts, the yokai are mystical beings that secretly live in the world of men. Mostly unseen, they come in a variety of bizarre forms— some hideous, some cute— and have incredible supernatural powers. They tend to be mischievous and playful, but they are sometimes dangerous towards humans because the yokai are not restrained by the laws of nature. Most avoid people and simply haunt the province where they were “born”, but others enjoy the company of men and travel all over Japan. Following their prominent place in Japanese folklore, the yokai have been the subject of numerous films over the years. Notable examples include the classic trilogy produced by Daiei Motion Picture Company in

    Author Stuart Galbraith IV Details Every Toho Film from 1933-2007 Source: Scarecrow Press, Inc. Official Site: The Toho Studios Story Author`s Blog: Stuart Galbraith IV Since its inception in 1933, Toho Co., Ltd., Japan`s most famous movie production company and distributor, has produced and/or distributed some of the most notable films ever to come out of Asia, including SEVEN SAMURAI, GODZILLA, WHEN A WOMAN ASCENDS THE STAIRS, KWAIDAN, WOMAN IN THE DUNES, RAN, SHALL WE DANCE?, RINGU, and SPIRITED AWAY. While the western world often defines Toho by its iconic classics, which include the Godzilla franchise and many of the greatest films of the legendary director Akira Kurosawa and actor Toshiro Mifune, these pictures represent but a tiny fraction of Toho`s rich history. The Toho Studios Story: A History and Complete Filmography provides a complete picture of every Toho feature the Japanese studio produced and released—as

    Author: Daisuke Ishizuka Source: Dream Planet Japan, Inc. Special Thanks to Koichi Kawakita A SciFi JAPAN EXCLUSIVE Among the most popular toys in Japan are the Chogokin (super metal) line; die-cast metal figures of robot, anime, and movie characters. In 2003, Bandai made the Chogokin Mechagodzilla 1974 (based on the design from GODZILLA VS MECHAGODZILLA), which was followed in 2006 by the Chogokin Mechagodzilla 1975 (from TERROR OF MECHAGODZILLA). Both had big success in quality and sales. Now, a high-specification model Mechagodzilla is coming from Bandai... the Radio Controlled-type Mechagodzilla (1974 model). Specifications: Approx. 50cm (20 inches) tall Rotating head (action for making energy shield) Mouth opens/closes Arms move up/down Hands rotate at the wrists Flashing lights in eyes, mouth and fingertips Chest opens and flashes light (but it cannot shoot the cross-attack beam lasers) Installed sound effects for each action

    Fireworks International Brings Classic Tatsunoko Productions Anime to Global Online Media Distribution Giant Source: BAM! Marketing, Publicity & Promotions Press Release From the press release... GATCHAMAN, the 90`s Original Video Animation, will officially stream from July 2008 on the online airwaves of media distribution platform, Crunchyroll to audiences in both the U.S. and Canada, after a licensing deal with Fireworks International, a ContentFilm company, for this classic Harmony Gold mini-series. More information can be found at “We are excited and proud to work with Fireworks International and Harmony Gold on this project. Not only do we bring all three (3) episodes of this legendary anime to the public, but we will also be providing an additional gift of free virtual ‘badges’ for people who purchase the download” states Kun Gao, CEO and President of Crunchyroll. Gao continues with “we are very pleased to bring another

    Source: Privateer Press Official Site: The MONSTERPOCALYPSE is upon us! Join Privateer Press and celebrate the world premiere of the MONSTERPOCALYPSE Collectible Miniatures Game. A limited amount of sneak preview starters and boosters will go on sale for the first time ever on Thursday, August 14th. The sneak preview contains a sampling of the figures in Series 1: Rise. The figures are not limited edition and are identical in all respects to the figures in Rise due out October 2008. Be among the very first to play MONSTERPOCALYPSE in its debut event at Gen Con Indy! Purchase your product at the Privateer Press booth 1201, grab a ticket to play, bring a desire to level cities, and join us in rooms 105/106 for this participation event! This is not a sealed box event, so boosters are allowed and encouraged. You can participate

    Source: Bill Kerner and Tom Tvrdik Official Site: Far East Monsters Ltd. The Cleveland, Ohio-based company Far East Monsters Ltd. has sent an early look at the latest additions to their “Godzilla Destroy All Monsters Battlezone Collectible Series” line. First up is the Wizard World Chicago Exclusive Godzilla Battlezone Figurine. Limited to only 50 pieces, the figurine will only be available at Booth #834 at the Wizard World Chicago convention, running June 26-29 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, 5555 N. River Road, Rosemont, IL 60018. The exclusive version has the same features as the standard Godzilla Battlezone Figurine but comes with a rock that can be placed in Godzilla`s hand or on the figure`s base. The figure also has working lights and sound, batteries included. Each figurine is hand painted, signed and numbered by artists Tom Tvrdik

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