SciFi Japan
    YAMATO: THE NEW VOYAGE Takes Off Following Success of YAMATO 2 Author: Tim Eldred, and SPACE BATTLESHIP YAMATO, Part 1: The Anime Classic That Nearly Wasn`t SPACE BATTLESHIP YAMATO, Part 2: From Valley to Peak SPACE BATTLESHIP YAMATO, Part 3: ARRIVEDERCI YAMATO Goodbye Dark Ages, Hello Global Village SPACE BATTLESHIP YAMATO, Part 4: We`re Off to Outer Space How do you top yourself after you’ve made two tremendously popular YAMATO stories for both TV and the cinema, changed the entire world of anime, and taken command of the status quo? If your name is Yoshinobu Nishizaki, you multiply your output by a factor of four. No joke, this is what made him the hardest working man in anime in the year 1979. Academy Studio, the nerve center of SPACE BATTLESHIP YAMATO, benefited more than anyone from the anime explosion after the YAMATO booms of ’77

    Source: Barbican Centre, Sarah Harvey Publicity press release Special Thanks to Laura Bushell In June the Barbican Centre in London continues their JAPANIMATION event series with a night of Mitsuteru Yokoyama`s classic robot anime TETSUJIN 28 on the big screen. The screening will be introduced by anime expert Helen McCarthy (The Anime! Movie Guide, Hayao Miyazaki: Master of Japanese Animation, and founder of the magazine AnimeFX). Mitsuteru Yokoyama was one of Osamu Tezuka`s legion of assistants, and shared his scepticism about Japan`s wholesale rush to embrace technology as an unmixed blessing. His best-known work in the West, TETSUJIN 28-GO (screened in the USA in 1966 as GIGANTOR) has the same deep, dark undercurrents as Tezuka`s TETSUWAN ATOM, and just as much of ATOM`s darkness was glossed over for his American debut as ASTRO BOY,

    YAMATO 2 and the genesis of STAR BLAZERS Author: Tim Eldred, and SPACE BATTLESHIP YAMATO, Part 1: The Anime Classic That Nearly Wasn`t SPACE BATTLESHIP YAMATO, Part 2: From Valley to Peak SPACE BATTLESHIP YAMATO, Part 3: ARRIVEDERCI YAMATO Goodbye Dark Ages, Hello Global Village As reported last time, ARRIVEDERCI YAMATO (A.K.A. Farewell to Yamato) was the biggest thing anime had ever seen when it was released in 1978. Hugely popular, amazingly successful, groundbreaking in every respect, it ignited a whole new world of anime and was loved by all…except one. Just one guy among millions thought it was a big mistake. And his opinion counted for a lot, because his name was Leiji Matsumoto. It’s well-documented by now that he was invited onto SPACE BATTLESHIP YAMATO at just the right time with just the right skills to turn it into a classic. The story

    Source: VIZ Media press release Special Thanks to Evelyn Dubocq VIZ Media, LLC has announced that five of its animation series will launch on the FUNimation Channel, the premiere anime network from FUNimation Entertainment and OlympuSAT, and will debut in late Spring and Summer 2009. Titles include BUSO RENKIN, HONEY AND CLOVER, HUNTER X HUNTER, MONSTER, and NANA. The series that will be debuting on FUNimation Channel are: HONEY AND CLOVER (drama/relationship/comedy, TV-14) Based on the popular manga by Chica Umino, HONEY AND CLOVER is a romantic comedy about a group of art school students who try to find their way. But when an innocent and talented 19-year-old girl enters their lives, things get a lot more complicated as love triangles result. For more information on HONEY AND CLOVER, please visit NANA (drama/relationship/comedy, TV-MA) Based on the popular manga by Ai Yazawa, NANA follows the

    Barbican Centre Hosts Three Days of Anime From Gonzo Inc. Source: Barbican Centre, Sarah Harvey Publicity press release Special Thanks to Laura Bushell From Tuesday, April 7 to Thursday, April 9 the Barbican Centre in London, UK presents a festival of animation from Gonzo Inc., the Japanese studio behind AFRO SAMURAI, BLUE SUBMARINE NO. 6, and HELLSING. Full details are available in the following press release... JAPANIMATION: GONZO FOCUS As part of Animate the World 2009 (Saturday 4 to Sunday 12 April), Barbican Film is delighted to present a special Japanimation: Gonzo Focus. Gonzo Inc. was founded in 1992 and founder Shouji Murahama chose the Italian name, a slang term for ruffian, because he imagined the company as a gang of ruffians. Over sixteen years, the studio has preserved its core

    Save Money, Save Time, Register Online... and be Entered in the Grand Prize Getaway to Japan! Source: BAM! Marketing, Publicity & Promotions press releases Official Site: Special Thanks to Chase Wang Anime Expo 2009 will be held during the 4th of July weekend (July 2-5, 2009) at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, CA. Pre-registration is now available for attendees, industry members and press representatives. AX 2009`s pre-registration system includes full-service registration support with: · An online pre-registration site with customized registration pages, group reservation options, hotel reservations, main event ticketing and an immediate confirmation (via email) · "Scan and go technology" which pre-registered attendees will be able to print a bar code confirmation

    Celebrate Anime, Manga, Cosplay, and Japanese Pop Culture in NYC Source: Roger Bilheimer Associates press release The New York Anime Festival is partnering with Del Rey Manga, Japan Society, Karaterice, Keio Academy , Samurai Beat Radio, and Yen Press to hold an Anime Day at the largest Japanese bookstore in North America— New York City `s Kinokuniya Bookstore. Taking place Sunday, March 15, Kinokuniya Bookstore (located at 1073 Avenue of the Americas in Manhattan ) will present a day-long series of events showcasing the cute, cool, and diverse worlds of anime, manga, cosplay, and Japanese popular culture. "We`re thrilled to be behind Kinokuniya`s Anime Day," NYAF Show Manager Lance Fensterman said. "The anime fanbase in NYC in hungry for events, and we plan to provide them with a number of unique activities and attractions in

    Author: Tim Eldred, and Anyone who’s been paying attention over the last twenty years or so knows that Japanese cartoons (“anime”) have pretty much changed the world forever with their dynamism, variety, and impossibly eye-catching visuals. Anyone who’s into anime now probably had a “gateway” program that got them started. In the 1990s there was POKEMON, SAILOR MOON, EVANGELION, and COWBOY BEBOP. In the 1970s there was SPEED RACER and BATTLE OF THE PLANETS. But for my money the rubber really hit the road in the 1980s with AKIRA, ROBOTECH, and the greatest of them all: STAR BLAZERS. Why so great? Part of it was timing. STAR BLAZERS hit American TV in 1979, when science-fiction movies were on a dramatic upswing and the appetite for more was never greater. It was a genre that American cartoon companies showed little to no interest in exploiting,

    Media Blasters’ Hit Sci-Fi Action Series Now Available Online in Both Dubbed and Subtitled Formats Source: MediaLab press release Special Thanks to Erik Jansen Anime News Network, the world’s largest anime web publication, has released its first full anime video program for legal online streaming: the hit science fiction anime KITE LIBERATOR. The show is the first full-length anime to be distributed by Anime News Network’s new Video Player portal, which was unveiled over the summer. Created by anime powerhouse Yasuomi Umetsu (ROBOT CARNIVAL, KITE, MEZZO FORTE), KITE LIBERATOR follows the life of teenager assassin Monaka, who’s a clumsy and shy girl by day and a mysterious, stealth-like killer by night. When her father, an astronaut on the International Space Station is the victim of a bizarre form of radiation poisoning, he becomes a hideous monster with lethal destructive powers. Filled with edge-of-your-seat action and tongue-in-cheek

    Source: New York-Tokyo press release, The Film Society of Lincoln Center Official Site: Yesterday we reported that the award-winning anime film THE SKY CRAWLERS (Sukai Kurora, 2008) was beginning its US theatrical run with a limited engagement in Los Angeles. Today, the media company New York-Tokyo announced they were partnering with Sony Pictures, Stage 6 Films, Production I.G., and the Film Society of Lincoln Center to present the New York Premiere of THE SKY CRAWLERS. The screenings will also feature a video introduction by director Mamoru Oshii (GHOST IN THE SHELL). From the publicity materials: "We are proud to announce the New York Premiere of Director Mamoru Oshii’s latest film, THE SKY CRAWLERS. Nominated for the Golden Lion and winner of the Future Film Festival’s Digital Award during this

    New Film from Director of GHOST IN THE SHELL Opens Today in Los Angeles Source: NTV (Nippon Television Network), Production I.G., various Official Site: Somewhere, in a country similar to ours, there are children who do not become adults. They are very similar to us. The world-acclaimed animation auteur Mamoru Oshii brings his latest masterpiece to light… THE SKY CRAWLERS (Sukai Kurora), the new animated film from director Mamoru Oshii, begins its North American theatrical release today in Los Angeles. Story: The story takes place in another possible ‘now’ - a world that has eradicated war and finally attained peace. However, this prolonged state of peace created demand for a new kind of war. A war happening elsewhere, that could be seen on TV

    Casting Call for Fanboys/Fangirls for Documentary Series Source: BAM! Marketing, Publicity & Promotions press release Special Thanks to Chase Wang Obsessed with comic books, anime, fantasy, or manga? Obsessed with cosplaying and attending anime conventions? Do your friends consider you a fanboy/fangirl? Have you ever missed work, school, or other important events to engage in role-playing or cosplay? Are you misunderstood by your family or significant other because of your loyal fandom? Anime Expo 2009 and MTV Network`s TRUE LIFE series wants to hear your story and is looking to cast three (3) individuals for an upcoming show. More information can be found on the website Individuals must appear to be between the ages of 16 and 28 and must identify as a fanboy/fangirl. Interested applicants can click on the

    Special One-Night-Only Event of Mega-Hit Anime Series To Delight Fans Countrywide in Canada Source: VIZ Media press release Official Site (Japan): Official Site (North America): Special Thanks to Evelyn Dubocq Publishing, animation and licensing company VIZ Media, LLC has announced that BLEACH THE MOVIE: MEMORIES OF NOBODY will make its Canadian debut in a special one-night only event at theatres across Canada. The film will screen at select Cineplex Entertainment and Empire Theatres locations on Monday, October 20, 2008. For more information, advance tickets and a complete list of participating theatres, go to or BLEACH THE MOVIE: MEMORIES OF NOBODY (2006) is the first feature film adapted from the wildly popular animated series and best-selling manga series (both distributed and published in North America by

    Uncut Episodes of NARUTO, DEATH NOTE and BLEACH Available for Free Source: VIZ Media, MediaLab press release Special Thanks to Evelyn Dubocq and Erik Jansen VIZ Media has had a busy week. On Tuesday, the publishing, animation and licensing company announced that Joost, the world`s first broadcast-quality internet television service, will carry the original Uncut (Japanese version/English subtitled) episodes of the hit animated series NARUTO, DEATH NOTE and BLEACH in the United States. Yesterday came word that the original uncut Japanese versions of those three series will also be available subtitled in English on Hulu. NARUTO, DEATH NOTE, and BLEACH have emerged as three of the world`s most popular Japanese animated series, each attracting millions of devoted viewers with a blend of stylish animation, multi-faceted characters and riveting story lines. Each series is based on a popular manga series and enjoys tremendous international popularity. JOOST

    World`s Leading Animators, Artists and Illustrators to Auction Original Artwork for Totoro Forest Fund Source: Totoro Forest Project Special thanks to Dice Tsutsumi and Joy O`Brien The Totoro Forest Project is an international charity effort to save Sayama Forest, also known as Totoro Forest. This endangered sanctuary on the outskirts of Tokyo is where director Hayao Miyazaki got the inspiration for his much loved character "Totoro." September 6 Auction at Pixar Animation Studios to Showcase Artwork Inspired by Acclaimed Film Director Hayao Miyazaki’s Classic MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO The world’s top film animators, comic book artists and illustrators have come together to create original works of art inspired by the iconic animated film MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO (Tonari no Totoro, 1988) for an auction to benefit the

    Source: Barbican Centre Special Thanks to Laura Bushell, Sarah Harvey Publicity OSAMU TEZUKA: MOVIES INTO MANGA Thursday 18 to Wednesday 24 September One of Japan’s most influential animators, Osamu Tezuka revolutionised the comic and cartoon industries, having created hundreds of comics and dozens of films and television series during his extensive career. Remaining a major influence on Japanese popular culture to this day, Tezuka’s creations include Astro Boy and Jungle Emperor Leo. Barbican Film marks the 80th anniversary of the birth of Tezuka with a major season of feature films, short films and television episodes curated by Helen McCarthy (author of The Anime! Movie Guide, Hayao Miyazaki: Master of Japanese Animation, and founder of the magazine AnimeFX), many of which will be screening in the UK for the first time.

    Source: Click Communications From the press release... IMAGI STUDIOS AND SUMMIT ENTERTAINMENT BRING ASTRO BOY TO ANIME EXPO Voice talent includes Nicolas Cage, Donald Sutherland Imagi Studios and Summit Entertainment will be at Anime Expo 2008 (Booth #913 and #915) introducing its upcoming CG-animated motion picture ASTRO BOY. A special edition ASTRO BOY t-shirt will also be distributed to anime fans on a limited basis at the show which will be held July 3-6 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Slated for worldwide theatrical release in 2009 from Summit Entertainment, ASTRO BOY will feature the voices of Academy Award-winning actor Nicolas Cage, Donald Sutherland, Bill Nighy, Nathan Lane and Eugene Levy with Freddie Highmore in the title role. David Bowers is directing from a screenplay written by Timothy

    THEATRICAL POSTER GIVEAWAY AT IMAGINASIAN CENTER AND IMAGINASIAN THEATER, JUNE 13 Source: ImaginAsian Entertainment Official Movie Site: THE GIRL WHO LEAPT THROUGH TIME Special Thanks to Adriana da Rosa The ImaginAsian and the ImaginAsian Center, New York and Los Angeles’ premier Asian American theater, will host the Japanese anime film THE GIRL WHO LEAPT THROUGH TIME in an exclusive one-week (June 13-19) theatrical run. The film will play with an English language track in New York, and a Japanese language track with English subtitles in Los Angeles. THE GIRL WHO LEAPT THROUGH TIME (also known as TokiKake) was directed by Mamoru Hosoda with original character designs by Yoshiyuki Sadamoto (Evangelion) and features animation from Studio Madhouse. A continuation of the novel The Little Girl Who Conquered Time by Tsutsui Yasutaka, the

    Source: Barbican Centre Special Thanks to Laura Bushell, Sarah Harvey Publicity In the mighty city of Metropolis, powerful men jockeying for position under dictator Duke Red plot their own advancement, while detective Ban and his nephew come from overseas hunting an international criminal. Meanwhile the Duke is driving technology to its limits in pursuit of two insane dreams - control of a superweapon and recovery of a beloved, lost child - while another child yearns for his love and approval. All the while, the rumblings of dissent are growing, as a despised urban underclass seeks justice in this very contemporary classic. On June 24, the Barbican Centre in London will host a theatrical screening of the 2001 anime film METROPOLIS, directed by Rintaro (GALAXY EXPRESS 999, DOOMED MEGALOPOLIS). The movie is based on the

    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. Part 4: What Came Next? Sequels and Remakes by James Long Once MACH GO GO GO finished its initial Japanese broadcast run in March of 1968, the series remained popular and well remembered thanks to it being shown in syndicated reruns. As a result, toys and model kits based on the series continued to sell quite well, and were readily available for many years after the show ceased production. There were even attempts to expand these lines by creating new items like model kits of vehicles that never appeared in the series, such as a Mach 6 racing car and a motorcycle named "Gallant." With that kind of

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