Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Kaizoku sentai Gokaiger Schedule and plot

New character info and episode summaries:

Imperial Guard Dyrando
One of the 2 elite Imperial Guards. He may talk silly but his true strength is immeasurable.

Imperial Guard Zatsurig
One of the guards that came to Earth with the Zangyack emperor. He has destroyed thousands of planets, so he's called the planet destroyer-god.

episode 41: That which we don't want to lose (12/4)
script: Naruhisa Arakawa
director: Noboru Takemoto
Imperial Guards Dyrando and Zatsurig appear.

Imperial Guard Zatsurig begins to invade Earth. When Ahim sees him, she gives him a fierce look and begins to attack. As it turns out, Zatsurig was the one who destroyed Ahim's home planet Famille! Ahim begins to explain her past and how she met Marvelous... Her reason for becoming a pirate is...!

episode 42: Strongest man in space (12/11)
script: Naruhisa Arakawa
director: Hiroyuki Kato
Damarasu is restricted to the Gigant Horse. However, Emperor Akudosu Gill finally allows revenge for Warz Gill. Joe, Ahim, Luka and Gai disappear when Damarasu and Basco attack together, and Marvelous is captured! The only one left is Doc!
And then Akudosu Gill orders a public execution for Marvelous on Earth!

Doc's past comes to light! In reality he is Don Dogoier, the hero who slayed an evil dragon that had destroyed thousands of worlds! According to an article in the Space Woman's Weekly, he disappeared soon afterward.... So amnesiac Don is actually a legendary hero?!

episode 43: Becoming the legendary hero (12/18)
script: Naruhisa Arakawa
director: Hiroyuki Kato

episode 44 (12/25)
script: Junko Komura
director: Taro Sakamoto
Commander Bibaboo appears. At Christmas time, a Santa who's good at dancing appears!

looks like they are showing on Xmas day (pending on where you live) the episode will be up here on xmas morning UK time or early xmas afternoon pending on personal time issues

Watch gokaiger episodes here

London Gaming Con This Weekend

The London Gaming Con will take place on Saturday December 3 and Sunday December 4 at The Rocket Complex (166 Holloway Road, near the Holloway Road underground station). As the name suggests, the focus is on gaming, offering a Handheld Zone, a Fighting Zone (fighting games), a Retro Zone (old-school consoles) and a Tabletop Zone. However, there will also be cosplay events on Saturday afternoon. A full schedule is now available on the site.

As the lower level of the Rocket Complex is a licensed bar, both events are restricted to attendees aged 18 and older. Tickets on the door are £10 for one day, £20 for both days, and £5 for admission after 6 p.m.

The event is run by AnimeLeague, which also runs the Alcon conventions at De Montfort University in Leiceseter.

Harajuku! Winter Ball in Camden on Sunday

The Proud Camden in London will host a Japan-themed "Harajuku!" club night on Sunday December 4 from 7 p.m. The venue on Chalk Farm Road features 9 rooms, plasma screens and projectors, location details here. Online tickets (available from sites such as fatsoma and ticketweb) are £8 (£6 for attendees in fancy dress).

From the event description:

The event celebrates Japanese wonders like Geishas, Lolitas, Comics, Gaming, Origami, Karaoke, Manga, Art with a mix of Live Bands, Indie Music and JPOP thrown in for good measure. Party goers mix together different styles and influences of Harajuku! fashion in a celebration of Japan, so make sure you're ready with bold colours and wicked style. Competition for the best dressed character is fierce with prizes for winners supplied by none other than Harajuku girl enthusiast, Gwen Stefani. Manga afficionados will also have their own zone too, with screenings of Manga and Anime all night. This is not to mention the Karaoke Zone where attendees can party in true Japanese style!
The event is presented by the Criminal Records group.

Oricon Poll: Views on Turning Anime/Manga into Live-Action

The market research firm Oricon posted the results of its survey on how people perceived live-action television series and movie adaptations of anime, manga, and video games. Oricon selected 1,000 panelists, evenly divided by gender and four age groups: teenagers, people in their 20s, people in their 30s, and people in their 40s. Oricon then conducted its survey with this nationwide sample between October 25 and October 28 online.

About 65% of respondents said they were not satisfied with live-action adaptations. Overall, 16.8% said they were "completely unhappy" with such films and television dramas while 48.4% were "somewhat unhappy." Only 3.8% were "very happy" with live-action adaptations while the remaining 31.0% said they were "fairly happy."

As the most negative respondents, 68% of men chose "somewhat unhappy" or "completely unhappy" while 73.1% of people in their 20s selected those replies. Panelists in their 30s had the most positive feelings towards these adaptions with 39.6% answering "fairly happy" or "very happy."

Oricon also asked fans what they want most in live-action adaptations of anime and manga. Most respondents (69.6%) said having a cast that matches the original work is important. About half of the panelists (49.5%) said they want the live-action versions' stories to remain faithful to the original work. Other criteria people desired in live-action adaptations were consultation with the original creator regarding the cast and script (33.7%), the inclusion of scenes that capture the "spirit" of the original story (29.7%), and diligence in incorporating characters' trademark items (22.7%).

Oricon conducted a similar poll in June that asked people which mange they thought were successfully adapted into live-action. Nodame Cantabile, Hana Yori Dango, and Jin topped the list. In September, the Japanese portal site Goo asked its readers which live-action adaptations of manga or anime they liked. That list's top three titles were Death Note, Umizaru, and Rookies.

Toaru Majutsu no Index Producer: 26-Episode Anime Costs 300 Million Yen

Producer Nobuhiro Nakayama (Toaru Majutsu no Index, Hatsukoi Limited, Modern Magic Made Simple) noted during a lecture on Sunday at Tokyo University that a two-cours (six-month or 26-episode) anime series costs 300 million yen (about US$3.85 million) to create.

Nakayama then added that if an anime is successful, "it is everyone's achievement; however, if it fails, it is the producer's responsibility, so bear that in mind."

Kazuma Miki (Toaru Majutsu no Index, Oreimo), the assistant editor-in-chief for ASCII Media Works' light novel imprint Dengeki Bunko, ran the lecture, which was about Dengeki Bunko and the relationship between entertainment novels and mixed media.

Miki mentioned during the lecture that because there are a lot of media competing for the audience's time, the most successful approach to get the audience's attention is to present the concept of the work clearly.

Light novel author Reki Kawahara (Accel World, Sword Art Online) also spoke at the lecture, mentioning that because he has a a difficult time ending his stories, he makes sure to consider the sequential order of his plot from beginning to end.

Marty Friedman, Kishidan's Show Perform Kamen Rider Film Theme

The American guitarist Marty Friedman and the Kishidan Japanese rock band's Show Ayanocozey (DJ OZMA) will perform the theme song for the live-action Kamen Rider × Kamen Rider Fourze & OOO: Movie War Mega Max film. Show is also writing lyrics for the "Samurai Strong Style" song while Friedman is composing and arranging the music. The rock song will highlight the partnership between the characters Kamen Rider Fourze and Kamen Rider OOO that will appear in the film.

Show noted his respect for the franchise and said, "Kamen Rider is Japan's 'King of Heroes.'" Friedman praised the Kamen Rider's past theme songs and said he wants the song his song live up to their quality.

The two artists previously collaborated on a Fanta soda commerical. Friedman, former guitarist for the thrash metal band Megadeth, now resides in Tokyo and appears on music television programs in Japan.

Kamen Rider × Kamen Rider Fourze & OOO: Movie War Mega Max will feature the casts of the Kamen Rider Fourze and Kamen Rider OOO live-action special-effects television series and premiere in Japan on December 10.

J-Cast: Kadokawa Has No Plans for 3rd Haruhi TV Seaso

The J-Cast News website reported on Tuesday that Kadokawa Shoten has no plans to air a third season of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya anime. J-Cast News had asked a representative at the publisher about a third Haruhi season, after lead actress Aya Hirano posted the following on her Twitter account on Monday:

I'm starting a certain something at a certain place now. Hmmm… When can I reveal what I'm talking about? (¨;
28 Nov
All done with my morning work~♪ I did a purfication ritual for "a certain work" at the same Hanazono Shrine that I just visited 2 day ago. Heheheh (´∀') Just which work is a secret!
28 Nov
J-Cast reported that the Kadokawa Shoten representative could not respond directly to J-Cast's media inquiry about Hirano's postings, but the representative added that there are no plans to air a third Haruhi season.

The first season based on Nagaru Tanigawa's Haruhi Suzumiya science-fiction light novels aired in 2006, and the second aired in 2009.

Kaze Plans Roujin Z U.K. DVD/Blu-ray Next May

The classic 1991 feature-length OAV Roujin Z is planned for a U.K. release next May on both DVD and Blu-ray, Kaze has told ANN. The film is an SF satire about an elderly man at the mercy of his robot bed, which suddenly escapes and causes havoc in Japan.

The script was by Katsuhiro Otomo, who also co-created the mechanical design. In addition, Roujin Z had art design by future director Satoshi Kon. The film was released to British cinemas in 1994, and came out as a videotape (pictured) from Manga Entertainment the same year. However, the videotape has been long deleted.

As reported by the Anime UK News website, the French site Catsuka is streaming a trailer for the French edition of the film, which will be released on DVD and Blu-ray on February 22.

Update - Past U.K. release details corrected, thanks to Kristin Jones for the correction.

K-ON! Film Shown at Midnight at Toho Cinemas Nationwide

The TOHO Cinemas chain announced on Tuesday that it will hold midnight K-ON! film screenings in all of its theaters throughout Japan on Saturday. Like the Apollo Cinemas 8 theater in Osaka, TOHO Cinemas is now laying claim to Japan's earliest showings of the anime film.

Midnight screenings are very rare in Japan; even blockbuster films will not start playing in any theaters until 9 in the morning at the earliest. There were special "TOHO Cinemas Anime Night" events for Evangelion: 2.0 You Can [Not] Advance in 2009 and for The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya in 2010. However, they were held six months after each film's opening day. These two earlier "TOHO Cinemas Anime Nights" were also in the late evening, not after midnight.

For the character goods that are only available at the theaters, TOHO is limiting moviegoers to buying three items per person. The only exception is the "Ichiban Kuji Kyun Chara World SP K-ON!! ~Party Jikan~" lottery line, for which TOHO is allowing up to five chances.

Xmas @ DW Experience

The Doctor Who Experience will be running a special 'Christmas Grotto' to celebrate the festive season. The attraction aims to "showcase a magical world of Doctor Who festivity in a bespoke new grotto which will take visitors on a time travelling journey through the television series’ spectacular Christmas specials."

Santa Claus will be on hand to meet visitors who explore the yuletide treasure trove of props and costumes, which includes the waitress outfit worn by Kylie Minogue in Voyage of the Damned and the Robot Santas seen in The Christmas Invasion and The Runaway Bride.

Access to the grotto is via a £5 supplementary charge (adults accompanying children are free), with children receiving a Doctor Who gift as part of their visit. Tickets can be booked alongside a regular Experience ticket via See Tickets or at the Doctor Who Experience shop.

The grotto is open on the following dates: 2nd-4th, 9th-11th, 16th–21st December.

DW Xmas special UK TX Time confirmed

The BBC's official Doctor Who feed on Twitter has announced the broadcast of Doctor Who's festive adventure, The Doctor, The Widow And the Wardrobe, will be at 7:00pm on Christmas Day on BBC1/BBC1HD.

The hour-long special stars Matt Smith as the Doctor alongside Claire Skinner, Holly Earl, and Maurice Cole, with Alexander Armstrong, Bill Bailey and Arabella Weir.

The Radio Times has confirmed the episode's broadcast details, which will see it scheduled against All Star Family Fortunes on ITV1. The lead-up to Doctor Who will be The Gruffalo's Child, something its predecessor The Gruffalo successfully provided for The End of Time (pt1) back in 2009.

The full Christmas schedule will be in the festive double issue of the Radio Times, published this coming Saturday.

Monday, 28 November 2011

K-ON themed trains

Japan Railways' Yamanote line, one of Tokyo's busiest train lines (and therefore one of the busiest in the world), is celebrating this Saturday's opening of the K-ON! film by wrapping its trains with K-ON! art. The itasha-like decorations will remain on the trains until Sunday, December 11.

Down south in Shiga Prefecture's Ōtsu city, a separate "Ho-kago Tea Time Train" has been running with even more anime decorations. The "Ho-kago Tea Time Train" began service in August and will continue until late December.

Hyper Japan Tickets Available Online

Tickets for the Hyper Japan festival in Earls Court this February are now available online. The ticket prices are as follows:

Children ten and under: free

General Entry: £12 advance, £14 on the door. (As of writing, there are also "a few" special discount tickets at £6 for Saturday, and also £6 discounts on Sunday.)

Friday ticket: £6 advance, £7 on the door.

Late afternoon tickets on Saturday and Sunday: £6 advance, £7 on the door. (These tickets only allow entry between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m on the Saturday, and between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. on the Sunday.)

Fast track tickets on Saturday and Sunday: £14.

There are also "combined" entry tickets available for customers wishing to take part in saki and sushi events.

The opening times for Hyper Japan will be: Friday 3 p.m. to 9 p.m; Saturday 9.30 a.m. to 8 p.m; Sunday 9.30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Advanced "General Entry" tickets have limited availability.

The festival will take place from Friday 24 February to Sunday 26 February 2011, at Brompton Hall, Earls Court. This month it was announced that the Event would be hosting the U.K. rounds of both the World Cosplay Summit and the European Cosplay Gathering.

Universal Studios Japan Hosts K-ON Cast, Life-Size Statues

The amusement park Universal Studios Japan hosted a live performance by the K-ON anime's main voice cast and unveiled the life-size figures of the anime's five main characters on Sunday. Over 5,000 showed up for the live performance by Aki Toyosaki (Yui Hirasawa), Yōko Hikasa (Mio Akiyama), Satomi Satou (Ritsu Tainaka), Minako Kotobuki (Tsumugi Kotobuki), and Ayana Taketatsu (Azusa Nakano), even though it only lasted about half an hour.

The life-size statues recreate a live performance by the anime's Ho-kago Tea time band, complete with all of their musical instruments.

Sunday is also the birthday of the main lead Yui, so like many fans of K-ON did, Universal Studios Japan celebrated with cake. The park decorated a giant cake with Yui's "Gui-ta" guitar made of the strawberries, and the park's Beverly Hills Boulangerie bakery served birthday cake. For Sunday only, the park's Studio Stars Restaurant and Parkside Grill offered a Ho-kago Tea Time set with a five-chestnut Mont Blanc dessert, "Jun-chan's half-eaten donut," and a soft drink.

The Sunday festivities were actually a preview for the month-long "K-ON! in Universal Studios Japan" campaign. The campaign will run from November 28 through December 3, and people who purchase a special pass to the park will receive an original K-ON! six-sided puzzle.

During the campaign, the Studio Stars Restaurant will serve a Ho-kago Tea Time set with just a Mont Blanc and a soft drink. On weekend and holidays next month, there will be carts with strawberry-flavored popcorn in front of the outdoors Gramercy Park Stage for special events, as well as in front of Stage 18 with the life-size figures. The nearest LAWSON store turned itself into a K-ON! movie goods store. Finally, the roller coaster "Hollywood Dream: The Ride" will play the movie's ending theme "Singing!"

The K-ON! anime film will open in Japan on December 3.

70,000+ Yen Needed to Get All K-ON! Film Ticket Bonuses

An anonymous person calculated the minimum it would cost to get all the different advance tickets with all of theirbonuses for next Saturday's K-ON anime film:
Exclusive key holder bundled with special advance ticket (5 variants*)1,30056,500
Eye mask bundled with special advance ticket (5 variants*)1,30056,500
Exclusive film commemorative tickets (5 tickets on one sheet)6,50016,500
Clear file bundled with advance ticket (5 variants*)1,30056,500
5-mask & super multi-cloth set bundled with advance ticket5,77515,775
T-shirt (packed inside a CD case), bundled with advance ticket4,45014,450
Original carabiner bundled with advance ticket (3 variants)2,35037,050
Toaster bundled with advance ticket6,55016,550
Yui hugging doll bundled with advance ticket1,82511,825
Kyoto Animation-illustrated advance ticket & panorama poster set3,00013,000
Nationwide advance ticket + rubber mascot strap (5 variants)1,80059,000
"Precious Memories" limited-edition card game pack bundled with advance ticket1,80011,800
Supikotto (mascot figurine with talking voice) bundled with advance ticket (Animate/Gamer variants)2,03524,070
Regular general-admission ticket (different design from the others)1,30011,300
Grand Total:70,820 yen (about US$920)
The asterisked items have randomly distributed variants, so there is no guarantee that you can get all of the variants by paying just the minimum.

PR Samurai clash of the red rangers review and synopsis

A narrator explains about the RPM Rangers being in another dimension and we see giant Professor Cog against the RPM Ultrazord. They take down Professor, he says he is not out. The SkyRev Megazord goes down. They hit in his magnet shield. Red says he will track him down. He says he'll go to another dimension a he will destroy two worlds. We see a special opening, with clips from the special itself with RPM Red and the Samurai Rangers and Shark Attack mode. Antonio is not in the opening. The title is 'Clash of the Red Rangers' The Movie. A train arrives with Professor Cog and the Grinders. He wonders how to go to the Netherworld. The five Samurai Rangers arrive in the city morphed and a building explodes. A nighlok monster says 'zip zip' and he says he is a twister wrapped with a shark, named Shark Jaw. Gold Ranger arrives and fights the monster. Professor cog watches this, amazed that there is more Rangers around. Shark Jaw leaves as he is drying. Shark Jaw arrives on the ship where the Nighlok Serator is giving a drink to Xandred. General Gut has an army of Moogers. Shark jaw refreshes and leaves.

Professor Cog enters a gap to the Sanzu ship. He wants the Sanzu Water to poison his people in his dimension, saying he can defeat the Samurai Rangers. Xandred thinks about it. Meanwhile at the train station, Red booted feet gets off the train. The Rangers are eating ice cream, except for Kevin, Mike makes fun of Kevin. A car crashes in front of them. They run up to the bridge. The Red foot goes to the car and turns it off. Grinders are attacking on the bridge, the Rangers recognize them as robots and they transform and fight. The Rangers talk and fight, commenting on the Grinders, how they look like they have armors. A blast takes down Grinders around Jayden. Ranger Red appears, shocking the others. He flips and shoots and fight the Grinders. Emily thinks he's a Samurai Ranger. Mia says hes no samurai. Scott finishes off the Grinders. The Samurais de-morphs and Scott explains they are from another dimension, he introduce himself as Scott, saying he has his reasons not to de-morph. Emily and Mia go on his side and drag him to the headquarters, while the boys are not sure. Scott sees Jii's bike as they enter the house, saying he thought they had horses. Scott says he is hunter Professor Cog. He says he doesn't know if he can breathe the air here because he lives in a dome. Jayden gives him a spare room.

Xandred gives Professor Cog a Sergeant Tread Nighlok. Grinders target Antonio (in shadow, maybe Steven Stryker was out of town). Antonio becomes Gold Ranger and fights the Grinders. Back at the house, Mike offers Scott food but he doesn't respond. Mike says next time Mia cooks, he will wear his helmet. Scott takes Jii's bike. Grinders fight Gold Ranger and Ranger Red arrives. We see Genta's sushi cart because it is from the footage. The Professor Cog arrives and Ranger Red fights them. Gold Ranger and the other Samurais arrive. Scott and Jayden get hit by Hypno Bolts and a vortex is sent toward them and the five Samurai Rangers block it. The five (Gold, Blue, Pink, Yellow and Green) are sent to Ranger Red's dimension.

Part 2
Jayden enter the house, upset at Scott, Scott says it is their (Mia, Emily, Kevin, Mike and Antonio) fault are in another dimension. Jii and Jayden see a map that it is full of Grinders. Scott says it is a piece of cake for him. Jayden morphs and gets on his horse. Scott hops on Jii's bike. Jii says, 'not again.' Jayden and Scott race to where the baddies are at through the forest. Jayden gets there first, fighting the Grinders and Moogers. Scott is mad, saying it is his fight alone and points his Nitro Blaster at Jayden. Professor Cog says the posion made them into enemies, that it is better than he thought. They two have a stand still standoff. Scott starts blasting and Jayden blocks with the Grinders. Jayden says he doesn't want to hurt him. They battle it out. Scott shoots bullets at Jayden a Jayden throws his sword, both being hit at the same time, getting rid of the bolts. Scott had given him a RPM shield necklace and Jayden gave Scott a symbol power. Jii noticed they were hating each other and figured out a symbol power to work on the poison, effecting both.

The Rangers fight the Nighlok. Grinders become bikes and the Moogers get on the bikes. One Grinder remains regulr and the Mooger piggyback rides, like in Shinkenger vs Go-Onger, well, it is the footage. Jayden makes a car and Scott drives it and Jayden takes down Moogers. Jayden and Scott race away from the new Nighlok. Scott gives Jayden his Nitro Blaster and he shoots the Nighlok. Professor Cog arrives and shoots at them. Jayden gives Scott a disc, Shark Attack Mode, Scott dons a red vested cloth armor (Hyper mode for fans). Jayden goes to Super Mode. A portal opens and the five Rangers arrive. Emily says Scott's team says 'hi.' The two destroy Professor Cog and the Nighlok. Scott and Jayden power down from their power-up and giant moogers and regular moogers are around them.

Behind the Moogers, there is a new Nighlok General Gut that tells them to charge. The five call for their 'war horses' and race towards the Moogers. Gold Ranger enters the car and Ranger Red drives. The five do a small roll-call. Jayden fights the fat general. Scott's car is stalling so Scott and Antonio get out of the car and fight. Jayden gets beaten down. Jayden goes to Shark Mode and says to meet the Shark Sword. Jayden slices and dices the Moogers down with his Sword, even around RPM and Gold. The five Samurai Rangers destroy General Gut. General Gut does grow giant, while the Sargaent guy didn't. They become Battle Wing Megazord, Jayden has his Shark Attack Mega Mode. General Gut powers up and powers down the Megazord. Scott and Antonio fix their car. Jayden uses the Shark Sword in the Megazord, the sword goes free and bites off the super serprent. They form the Megazord and destroy the general. Candred complains to Octoroo of the failures. Mike goes to Ranger Rpm, wishes he could see him face to face, he tells him good luck with Emily, he says he sees the 'way she looks at you.' Kevin asks what Scott said. Mike says that Scott opened his eyes. Mike jumps in the air after she smiles at him.

Much better than I thought. I am glad they include lots of stuff from RPM, story-wise. Nice excuse as to not having Scott show his face--about the oxygen. But it is Scott's voice, Eka Derville, and he does some good acting voice wise, with expressions and nuisances. Surprise they mixed in the Shinkenger movie footage, it seems to come out of nowhere. That out of nowhere, there is a Mooger army and the Grinders somehow gone. It is obvious there is a shift tone as we see less of Scott. It felt like lipservice when Emily said, "Your team says hi." that we didn't get to see the Samurai rangers meet the RPM Rangers. For some reason, Antonio doesn't appear out of suit and no Bulk and Spike. Also, this episode seems to take place after Antonio gets the lantern thing, Jayden gets super mode, and that Nighlok Serrator (the one who made Dayu) comes, which I am not sure all of those things have been named. But with what it is, it is pretty good episodes. I dare say they are the best Samurai episodes, Party Monsters coming at number 3. Even though it wasn't advertised, it felt like a special, it was shot in a manner to match the footage, with a 'movie'-like quality. I also liked the ending, it was sweet. Scott really changed things around. Without Bulk and Spike, it is unnoticeable, the two episodes flowed better for me, not that I am saying they aren't missed and they shouldn't be in every episode, but for this two-parter, they weren't needed.

The credits say that the Gold Ranger's voice was done by Jeremy Birchall and Tobias Reiss did RPM Red, but I think it is a fake name adopted by Eka Darville. I think the reason we didn't see Bulk, Spike and Steven Skyler as Antonio was because of money. They didn't have money to even get the RPM cast. I think this was indeed a special, that they had money allocated to pay a certain amount of people. Also, to get footage of Shinkenger VS Go-Onger and the Shinkenger Movie costs money, so probably that got sunk in and probably why they used footage from Episode 36.

People round- up -The doctors

Tom Baker

Tom Baker appeared at the launch of Elisabeth Sladen’s autobiography which took place on Saturday at the Doctor Who Experience in London. Baker said that meeting Sladen changed the direction of his life as it made him so happy in the role of The Doctor that her realised he could play the character for the rest of his life and didn’t need to act any more. He spoke of how they adored each other and how he fondly remembered standing arm in arm with her inside the TARDIS, giggling while they waited for their cue.

Baker was joined at the launch by former Script Editor Terrance Dicks and by Sladen’s daughter Sadie Miller. Dicks remembered Sladen’s qualities of self possession, dignity and independence, qualities he drew on when writing scripts for the character of Sarah Jane, while Miller said the family were keen to have the autobiography published as a thank you to the fans of Elisabeth.

Colin Baker

Colin Baker is looking forward to being back in panto next month: "I absolutely love playing the bad guy - and they don’t get much worse than Fleshcreep. I feel as though if there’s one child in the audience crying, I’m doing ok. If they are all crying - perhaps I’ve gone too far!". He'll be appearing in Jack and the Beanstalk in the Mansfield's Palace Theatre. [Mansfield Chad, 26 Nov 2011]

Channel 4 have released a publicity photograph for Colin's forthcoming appearance in Celebrity Come Dine With Me that will be broadcast over Christmas, alongside other celebrities Linda Nolan, Bianca Gascoigne, Nick Bateman and Danny Young.

Paul McGann

Paul McGann explores the rumour that Adolf Hitler spent time in Liverpool before the First World War in an item to feature on the BBC's regional programme Inside Out (North West) on Monday 28th November, 7:30pm.

Paul talks to author Mike Unger, who has written the book The Hitlers of Liverpool based on the memoirs of Hitler's sister-in-law wherein it is reported that the future German leader fled to England to avoid national service in Austria, staying with his half brother and her in late 1912.

The programme will be available to viewers in the UK on the BBC iPlayer after broadcast for seven days.

Christopher Eccleston

Christopher Eccleston is starring as Pod in The Borrowers this coming Christmas, and talks about taking on the role:
As the book was such an important part of my childhood, I was very familiar with the character of Pod. Ian Holm, who I’ve worked with, is one of my heroes, as is Jim Broadbent – both fantastic actors, so it was nice to think that I’d play a role that those two great actors have played. I also thought it was interesting, because I’m obviously a very different type to Jim and Ian and I like the fact that Pod can adapt like that. Pod borrows his clothes from an action figure of the 80s, perhaps loosely based on a character from Raiders Of The Lost Ark. I think that appeals to Pod’s image… he’s quite an adrenaline junkie, he likes risk and adventure. Pod is also a lovely dad, and a hero. I’ve played lots of troubled men and ‘anti-heroes’, but Pod’s a straight hero. There’s a great sense of humour to him, and a gentleness. That’s what attracted me to the role.
You can read more of Chris's interview and about the programme via the BBC's Media Centre.

Chris's current project is a new thriller for the BBC, The Fuse, which started filming this month.
Dervla Kirwan (Injustice, The Silence) and Ewen Bremner (Page Eight, Perfect Sense) join Christopher Eccleston in this original four-part drama for BBC One, written by Bill Gallagher (Lark Rise To Candleford, The Prisoner) and produced by Red Production Company (Exile, Single Father).

The Fuse follows Daniel Demoys (Eccleston), a stranger in his own life. Over the years he has gone from being an idealistic young man with a burning desire to make the world a better place, to a disillusioned and corrupt council official. His alcoholism has driven a wedge between him and wife, Alex (Kirwan), and their three children. The fallout from his alcohol-fuelled actions prove agonising for all around him.

Christopher Eccleston says: "Bill Gallagher has written a fantastic four episode drama about obsession, addiction and redemption. I'm very excited about the role of Daniel Demoys and to be working with Red Production Company and BBC One".
You can read more about The Fuse via the BBC's Media Centre.

Matt Smith

The BBC have released some more information on Matt Smith's project Bert and Dickie, which he filmed over the summer.
Written by William Ivory and starring Matt Smith, Bert And Dickie is the uplifting story of how two young men defied all the odds and achieved gold in the double sculls.

Thrown together just five weeks before the final of the 1948 London Olympics, Bert Bushnell and Dickie Burnell not only pushed physical and emotional limits, but also rose above distinctions of birth and class to become Olympic gold medallists.

Bert and Dickie’s personal battle reflects a much greater struggle as London prepares to host the Olympic Games. In 1948, just three years after the end of the Second World War, London is half-destroyed. But, determined not to “let the Games die”, the British Olympic Committee convinces Prime Minister Attlee that the Olympics could help bring the country back together – and the Austerity Olympics are born.

While London again prepares to host the 2012 Olympics in a difficult economic climate, this film will remind viewers what the Games are really about – heroic personal endeavour, courage, determination… and a little bit of luck!

Matt Smith is Bert Bushnell, Sam Hoare is Dickie Burnell, James Frain is Jack Beresford, Douglas Hodge is John Bushnell and Geoffrey Palmer is Charles Burnell.
The film will form part of the BBC's Cultural Olympiad 2012.

The Three Doctors

Steven Moffat celebrated his birthday in style with a party last Saturday (19th November) that saw three Doctors alongside the show's lead writer! Speaking on Monday's BBC Breakfast, Matt Smith said:
I saw David (Tennant) on Saturday; it was Steven Moffat's birthday party. I was like, "It's Doctor Who!" I saw Peter Davison as well who was at the same party. Steven was very excited that there was more than one Doctor there, and I can't help but go "Oh my God. It's Doctor Who!"

But then I realise I'm the Doctor!

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Detective conan 639

RT DW Xmas 2011 cover

As predicted on Tuesday, the new Radio Times for 3rd-9th December 2011 published today features the latest in the now traditional covers for our festive adventure with the Doctor! Here we present the cover in both publication and clean versions, courtesy of the Radio Times:

This issue features an article on specials we can look forward to over Christmas told by the stars themselves; two pages are devoted to Doctor Who, with Matt Smith saying:
There's a Narnia-esque shape and feel to the telling of this story. Whereas last year felt more like a Christmas romp, there's a slow-burning, ethereal magic to this.
Guest star and long-term fan Bill Bailey said of appearing in Doctor Who:
It's the equivalent of a knighthood. I've watched Doctor Who for as long as I can remember. My earliest memory of watching TV is hiding behind the sofa from the Cybermen. I had an irrational fear of leaving doors open for years after that.

You can read the full interviews with Matt Smith, Bill Bailey, and also with co-stars Alexander Armstrong and Arabella Weir in the issue, available in shops from 26th November. The next issue is published on 1st December, with the 'legendary double issue' of the Radio Times for the Christmas period following on 3rd December.

   Radio Times Cover, 5-11 Dec 2010

Universal radio remote dalek

The BBC Research and Development Department have been studying how future television communications can be utilised to assist in functions within the viewing environment:
In short, the technology allows an internet-connected device, whether that’s a smartphone, a pair of headphones (or in our case, a toy Dalek) to pick up Wi-Fi signals synchronised to the TV programme, to allow that device to perform a specific function at a specific time. We call this technology Universal Control.
The Dalek mentioned above was a prototype developed by Andrew Bonney to demonstrate how such technology could work, in this case having the toy react upon scenes broadcast that involved its television counterpart.

Andrew Bonney with Dalek
Photo: Rory Cellan-Jones via TwitterAndrew's deft modification of an off-the-shelf Dalek toy achieved everything we wanted from the project. We gained valuable insights into the challenges of developing Universal Control clients for an embedded platform with just 32kB of RAM, while demonstrating their feasibility in a very striking way. It's also an entirely new take on the concept of "dual screen", demonstrating that the things you can synchronise to a TV programme go way beyond smartphone and tablet applications.

Developing toys is not part of BBC R&D's remit! But the Dalek helps us with a part of our mission that is far more important: helping BBC programme makers understand how changes in technology could affect their work. As computing power continues to become cheaper and as more and more devices gain wireless connections to each other and to the Internet, we expect to see an increasing number of everyday things gaining these capabilities.

However, several media sites reporting on the demonstration that took place at the R&D Lab in MediaCity last week implied the technology was just around the corner, leading the department to clarify otherwise:
Of course, this is the world of R&D. Today's televisions and set-top boxes don't support the Universal Control API, or anything like it, so you won't see WiFi-enabled Daleks taking over your living room this Christmas. But we firmly believe that the experiments broadcasters are currently performing with Dual Screen experiences are just the tip of the iceberg, and that tomorrow's television programmes won't always be confined to a screen in the corner of the living room.

The practical application of such technology can lead to the development of devices such as those that can provide 'single-switch' remote control interfaces for severely disabled people, or speech-operated controls for those whose vision has been impaired.

People update

Karen Gillan spoke about Jean Shrimpton, who she plays in BBC Four's forthcoming We'll Take Manhattan: "She left a lovely message saying she really enjoyed it. David Bailey loved it too. And they're really honest people so that means something to me. I find her really, really intriguing." [Evening Standard, 23 Nov 2011]

John Barrowman helped tackle a thief at the Glasgow hotel he was staying at during his stage tour: "We heard this woman scream and shout, 'Stop him, stop him.' We saw this young boy running down the hallway. ... I grabbed the kid's ankles, yanked him to the ground and then pulled him out into the hallway. I pinned him down." The actor responded, however: "I'd like to find out the boy's story and give him a second chance. Maybe he could work in the pantomime over Christmas to give him a sense of responsibility." [Scottish Daily Record, 25 Nov 2011]

Bill Bailey is under strict instructions not to talk about his role in the Christmas Special: "I will be just about to tell you what happens and then a tranquilliser dart will thud and the phone will go dead. They’ll [the Beeb] be all over me like a rash if I divulge any of the secrets, but yes just to say I have a cameo in it and great fun it is too. It’s fulfilled a lifetime's ambition for me, being a Doctor Who fan." [East Anglian Daily Times, 19 Nov 2011]

Eve Myles comments on Torchwood fandom: "I used to think Torchwood fans were a bit scary. I was petrified – these people know that I've got 57 freckles on my face, they know everything. And being such a fiercely private person, I started to feel like I was having to cocoon myself. ... I started doing signings and meeting fans, and it proved me wrong. These people were completely energised and generous and excited, and loved what we did. Why else make a programme? If people aren’t energised about it, if people don’t want to watch it, blog about it, meet up in groups about it, why am I in front of this camera?" [Western Mail, 19 Nov 2011]

Nicola Bryant will be performing in the SoundPower Orchestra's Christmas concert at the National Trust's Gibside Chapel on Saturday 3rd December at 2pm; the orchestra will be playing a piece with words and music by the actress herself. [Nicola Bryant website]

Billie Piper has been asked to be a spokesperson for the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals after she expressed regret at her behaviour towards animals in her youth: "Peta is very happy to hear that Ms Piper regrets the casual cruelty that she perpetrated against animals when she was a child - that's the difference between a person with the real potential to be kind and someone who denies wrongdoing, takes pleasure in it and escalates the damaging behaviour. ... We will be asking Ms Piper to be a spokesperson for our campaign to sensitise children, parents and teachers to the need to develop compassion in childhood through humane-education training in schools and at home." [Contact Music, 21 Nov 2011; Guardian, 18 Nov 2011]

Friday, 25 November 2011

Detective conan movie 16 trailer - The 11th striker

The official site for the Detective Conan anime films relaunched on Saturday for the 2012 entry, Detective Conan: The Eleventh Striker, and the site began streaming the half-minute teaser trailer. The 16th Detective Conan film has the pint-sized detective being stalked by a criminal unless he can decipher the criminals' coded messages.

The story begins when the Mōri Detective Agency suddenly receives a threatening phone call. Then, a car explodes right before Kogorō Mōri's eyes. If Detective Conan, Kogorō Mōri, Ran Mōri, and the others cannot decipher the coded message that the culprit lays down as a challenge: "Aoi shōnen to aoi shimauma, ue kara no ame" (A blue boy and a blue zebra, rain from above…), they won't be able to stop the next bomb. The threats continue until Conan and the others are at a soccer match between the rivals Ganba Osaka and Tokyo Spirits, and the culprit threatens the entire stadium

BBC Christmas 2011 Trailer

PR Samurai thanksgiving parade

DW Series 6 Soundtrack listings reveled

Silva Screen have released the tracklisting for the soundtrack to Series Six of Doctor Who, due for release in the UK on 19th December, 2011.

The two-disc set includes music from throughout the series, composed by Murray Gold and played by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, conducted by Ben Foster. The CD is available to pre-order on Amazon.
The Impossible Astronaut / Day of the Moon
I Am The Doctor In Utah
The Impossible Astronaut
Trust Me
Help Is On Its Way
Another Perfect Prison
Greystark Hall
Apollo 11
Day Of The Moon
I See You Silence

The Curse of the Black Spot
You’re A Dead Man
Deadly Siren
Perfect Reflection
All For One
The Curse Of The Black Spot

The Doctor’s Wife
I’ve Got Mail
Run, Sexy
Locked On

Rebel Flesh / The Almost People
The Chemical Castle
Which One Is The Flesh?
Scanning Me
Always With The Rory
Double Doctor
Tell Me The Truth
Loving Isn’t Knowing (The Almost People Suite)

A Good Man Goes to War
River’s Waltz
Tell Me Who You Are
Melody Pond
Let’s Kill Hitler
Growing Up Fast
The Blush Of Love
Terror Of The Reich
The British Are Coming
A Very Unusual Melody
When A River Forms
Pay Attention Grown Ups
The Enigma Of River Song

Night Terrors
Bedtime For George
Tick Tock Round The Clock
A Malevolent Estate
Night Terrors

The Girl Who Waited
36 Years
Lost In The Wrong Stream

The God Complex
The Hotel Prison
Room Of Your Dreams
Fear Enough
What’s Left To Be Scared Of?
Rita Praises

Closing Time
Stormageddon, Dark Lord Of All
Definitely Going
Over Your Shoulder
My Time Is Running Out

The Wedding of River Song
Tick Tock (Vocal Track)
5:02 PM
The Head Of An Enemy
My Silence
Brigadier Lethbridge – Stewart
Time Is Moving
The Wedding Of River Song

Day of the Moon
The Majestic Tale (Of A Madman In A Box)

Bon-hams DW Auction begins

The next Entertainment Memorabilia auction at Bonhams takes place on the 15th December, and features a range of costumes from the 21st Century series of Doctor Who - including several of the Doctor's outfits. There are also a couple of 'classic' items, with the preliminary artwork for 1964's The Dalek Book and a spaceship prop from Battlefield.

Lot No: 173 - Doctor Who - Human Nature/ The Family Of Blood, 2007

David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor: A three-piece suit, shirt and tie, being the principle character costume, worn during the sequence where the Doctor is hiding under the persona of the Teacher John Smith, the brown tweed suit, with orange and black coloured thread, comprising jacket, waistcoat and trousers, bearing 'Total Look Costumes' label inside, together with a white cotton shirt with removable collar and a brown bow-tie with circular motif, together with a black teachers cape, with inscribed label inside 'Smith', a square academic hat (mortarboard), of black cotton, and a pair of black leather boots.

The suit part of this lot features during the Dance sequence onward, and in the promotional photographs for the episode. The cap and gown feature during the school sequences. The label inside is typical of modern BBC television labelling.

Estimate: £1,000-1,500, €1,200-1,800

Lot No: 174 - Doctor Who - Human Nature/ The Family Of Blood, 2007

David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor: A three-piece suit, worn during the sequence where the Doctor is hiding under the persona of the Teacher John Smith, comprising a grey/ blue tweed suit with brown/ cream plastic buttons, together with a brown paisley type tie, all items bearing 1980s Morris Angel & Sons Ltd. labels.

Estimate: £500-600, €590-700

Lot No: 175 - Doctor Who - Human Nature/ The Family Of Blood, 2007

David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor: The Doctors sleepwear - a pair of pyjamas and a dressing gown, worn during the sequence where the Doctor is hiding under the persona of the Teacher John Smith, the pyjamas of cream coloured cotton with blue pinstripe, with wide and narrow stripe, the dressing gown of checked brown wool mix fabric, with red rope edging and details to cuffs and sleeves, together with a pair of slippers

Estimate: £400-600, €470-700

Lot No: 176 - Doctor Who - Human Nature/ The Family Of Blood, 2007

David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor: A grey/brown 3/4 length overcoat, hat and scarf, featured during the outdoor scenes, the coat of tweed with large plastic buttons, with black masking tape applied over interior label; a grey and orange wool scarf, with a black trilby type hat, of black fabric with synthetic trim, together with a pair of red cotton pyjamas featured in the scene where the Doctor is an old man.

Estimate: £300-400, €350-470

Lot No: 191 - Doctor Who - The Big Bang, 2010

Matt Smith as The Eleventh Doctor: A complete Wedding guest outfit, comprising: a black satin 'Opera' type collapsible top hat, in original box, with black ribbon trim; a black tail coat, of wool with satin effect collar; a white waffle type waistcoat; a white shirt with waffle type front together with matching collar and bow-tie; a cream coloured silk scarf with tasselled edge; a pair of black tuxedo trousers, with matching braces and a pair of black size 10 men's shoes, together with the original costume returns bag.

Estimate: £1,200-1,800, €1,400-2,100

Lot No: 154 - Doctor Who: The original preliminary design artwork for 'The Dalek Book'

Watercolour and gouache on paper, unsigned, mounted on board, 11½ x 15 inches (29 x 38cm)

Estimate: £500-700, €590-820

Lot No: 155 - Doctor Who: original spaceship model from 'Battlefield'

Well-detailed, removable top section with internal electric wiring, on stand, with certificate of authenticity approximately 51cm (20in) diameter

The ship is classed as an 'Organic Spaceship' in this episode. It lies on the bottom of Lake Vortigern containing the body of King Arthur, apparently in suspended animation, and his sword Excalibur. The ship is made from different materials including metal, resin and fibreglass. The ship was used for underwater shots - the 'blow hole' where a stream of bubbles emanates at one point is clearly visible. This can be operated by a switch. This was one of two models made, the other model was blown up.

Estimate: £4,500-5,000, €5,300-5,900

Full list of auction items related to Doctor Who

Lot Description Estimate (£)
154 Preliminary artwork for The Dalek Book (1964) 500-700
154a Spaceship model from Battlefield 4500-5000
155 Doctor Constantine costume from The Empty Child 400-500
156 Adherent of the Repeated Meme costume from The End of the World 250-300
157 Partial Sycorax costume from The Christmas Invasion 350-400
158 Sisters of Plenitude tunic from New Earth 200-300
159 Maid's costume from Tooth and Claw 100-150
160 The Host cloak from Tooth and Claw 150-200
161 Guardian monk's robes from Tooth and Claw 200-300
162 Clockwork Droid costume from The Girl in the Fireplace 300-400
163 Two Roboform costumes (one pos worn by Tennant) from The Runaway Bride 400-500
164 A Slab guard costume from Smith and Jones 300-400
165 Lilith's nightdress and slippers from The Shakespeare Code 150-250
166 William Shakespeare's costume from The Shakespeare Code 400-500
167 Frank's costume from Daleks in Manhattan 500-600
168 Tallulah's costume from Daleks in Manhattan 150-200
169 Laszlo's human and pig slave costumes from Daleks in Manhattan 300-400
170 Two Pig Slave costumes from Daleks in Manhattan 250-300
171 Mr. Diagoras's costume from Daleks in Manhattan 200-300
172 Solomon's costume from Daleks in Manhattan 250-300
173 John Smith's Teacher costume from Human Nature 1000-1500
174 John Smith's suit from Human Nature 500-600
175 John Smith's pyjamas from Human Nature 400-600
176 John Smith's overcoat/hat/scarf from Human Nature 300-400
177 Martha's maid costume from Human Nature 300-400
178 Baines's costume from Human Nature 200-300
179 Lucy/Jenny/Rocastle costumes from Human Nature 300-400
180 Futurekind Chieftain costume from Utopia 400-500
181 Lucius Petrus Dextrus's costume from The Fire of Pompeii 300-400
182 Quintus and Lucius costumes from The Fires of Pompeii 400-500
183 UNIT Trooper part costume from The Sontaran Strategum 200-300
184 Rosita's costume from The Next Doctor 250-350
185 Four Smilers costumes from The Beast Below 400-500
186 Four Winders part costumes from The Beast Below 250-350
187 Guido's costume from The Vampires of Venice 600-700
188 Vincent Van Gogh's costume from Vincent and the Doctor 350-450
189 Dorium Maldovar's costume from The Pandorica Opens 250-350
190 Rory's Wedding outfit from The Big Bang 400-600
191 The Doctor's Wedding Guest outfit from The Big Bang 1200-1800

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Watch/Download Gokaiger episodes here

Live-Action Manga Adaptation Himizu Scheduled for U.K. Cinema Release in April

The live-action film of Minoru Furuya's manga Himizu, directed by Sion Sono (Suicide Circle, Strange Circus), will have a U.K. cinema release in late April from Third Window Films. This will follow Himizu's U.K. premiere at the Terracotta Far East Film Festival. (The festival site currently still has details of the previous festival in May 2011; next year's festival is scheduled for April 12-15.)

Furuya is known for his gag manga Ike! Ina-chuu Takkyuubu (which inspired the Ping Pong Club comedy anime), but Himizu is a far starker tale. 18-year-old actor Shōta Sometani (live-action Uso-tsuki Mii-kun to Kowareta Maa-chan, Always: Sunset on Third Street '64) plays Yūichi Sumida, an abused middle school boy; a certain incident sets him on a descent into darkness. 16-year-old actress Fumi Nikaidō (Sono's Gama no Abura) plays Keiko Chazawa, Sumida's female classmate and stalker. Both actors won the Best New Young Actor or Actress Award for their roles in Himizu at the Venice Film Festival in September.

The original Himizumanga ran in Kodansha's Weekly Young Magazine from 2001 to 2003, and Kodansha compiled and published four book volumes.

Pokémon the Movie: Black to Run on U.S. TV on December 10

Pokémon the Movie: Black — Victini and Reshiram, one of this year's two films in the Pokémon anime franchise, will air on the American cable channel Cartoon Network on December 10.

The digital theatrical distributor Cinedigm will also hold a limited two-day screening of the other 2011 film, Pokémon the Movie: White — Victini and Zekrom (Gekijōban Pocket Monster Best Wishes! Victini to Kuroki Eiyū Zekrom), in the United States during the December 3-4 weekend. The official Pokémon movie website is streaming two individual trailers and one joint promotional video for both of this year's Pokémon films.

UK's Third Window Films Licenses Himizu, Mitsuko Delivers

The distributor Third Window Films will release Sion Sono's manga-based live-action film Himzu (pictured) and Yuya Ishii's live-action comedy film Mitsuko Delivers next year.

The U.K. premiere of Himizu is scheduled to take place during the Terracotta Far East Film Festival 2012 from April 12-15, followed by a U.K. theatrical run beginning in late April, while Mitsuko Delivers is tentatively scheduled for theatrical release in the U.K. in mid-May.

Himizu follows the story of the teenaged boy Yūichi Sumida who seeks a normal life but falls into darkness after a certain incident. Mitsuko Deilviers centers on a woman who makes a new life for herself after becoming broke and friendless in her ninth month of pregnancy.

Dragon Ball's Goku, One Piece's Luffy Appear at Int'l Emmys

Costumed character versions of Dragon Ball's Goku One Piece's Monkey D. Luffy appeared at the 39th International Emmy Awards Gala on Monday in New York. They stood on stage for presentation of the Children & Young People Award, won by the Chilean Children's program ¿Con Qué Sueñas? (What is your Dream?).

The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences holds the International Emmy Awards to celebrate the best television programs produced and aired outside the United States.Toei Animation, production studio for the Dragon Ball and One Piece anime, was a sponsor of the 2011 International Emmy Awards.

Kanji Kazahaya, Director of Toei Animation's Global Licensing Business Department, said the company was honored to participate as a presenter at the television awards ceremony. He said, "Dragon Ball Z and One Piece are internationally beloved brands that convey what the International Emmys are all about – the ability for companies to transcend borders and reach people on a global scale."

K-ON! Pig Plush Animals & Other Character Goods Sold

The creators of the K-ON! anime series are collaborating with the TBS television channel to release a variety of crossover goods featuring the network's mascot pig, BooBo. The partnership is offering BooBo plush holding the instruments of K-ON!'s Ho-kago Tea Time girl band, notepads decorated with the K-ON! pigs, and various other items.

TBS already teamed up with the makers of the live-action adaptation of Masanori Morita's Rookies baseball manga to produce similar BooBo goods.

The Nikkei Entertainment magazine revealed earlier this month that goods tied to the K-ON! slice-of-life manga and anime franchise have surpassed 15 billion yen (about US$192 million) in sales. The magazine reported that there are over 1,050 K-ON! tie-in items.

Other companies collaborating with the December 3 opening of the K-ON film include the LAWSON chain of 9,000 convenience stores, the Lotteria fast-food restaurant chain, the Denny's family restaurant chain, the Universal Studios Japan amusement park, and the Lumine department stores.

World's 1st 1-Person Karaoke Box Opens in Tokyo

The world's first one-person karaoke box will open in Kanda, Tokyo on Friday. The shop is designed for single guests to enter their own "pit" rooms and sing karaoke music alone with a headset and microphone. To help contain sound in the two-square-meter rooms, this karaoke box will not include speakers like typical karaoke chains in Japan.

Traditional Japanese karaoke boxes cater to groups and allow them to sit in larger rooms while singing, drinking, and eating together for a rented time period.

This solo karaoke box follows in the footsteps of a recent single-dining restaurant trend. A yakiniku ("grilled meat") shop where guests can cook and eat a meal in a single-person space opened in Chiyoda, Tokyo in April, and similar shabu-shabu (a type of hot pot) restaurant also exists.

Spirited Away at London's ICA cinema This Saturday

In addition to the numerous U.K. anime cinema screenings listed on Monday, the Oscar-winning film Spirited Away by Hayao Miyazaki will be screened on Saturday November 26 at London's ICA cinema (map), starting at 12 p.m. lunchtime. The fantasy story involves a ten year-old girl, Chihiro, who finds herself trapped in a world of Japanese gods and monsters. The screening is rated “PG” and will be in Japanese with English subtitles. Tickets are £5.

On the same day (4.30 p.m.), the ICA will also show the French animated film Kirikou and the Sorceress, about a heroic African infant who protects his people from a witch. Although it was not made by Studio Ghibli, the film was released in Japan by the Museum Ghibli label. (The Japanese DVD is pictured left.)

Bandai Entertainment to Close its Online Store in December

Bandai Entertainment announced on Wednesday that it will close its online Bandai Store on December 29. The company noted that it will begin selling store items at a discount starting today. Bandai Entertainment also mentioned that customers who accumulated points through store purchases must use those points before the store closes on December 29.

The company mentioned it will continue to sell its DVDs, Blu-ray Discs and other products and merchandise at other online retailers.

Live-Action Ranma 1/2 TV Special's 1st Ad Aired

Manga Entertainment To Release Baka and Test Next May

Manga Entertainment announced on twitter that it will be releasing the series Baka and Test (Baka to Test to Shōkanjū) on DVD in May 2012. Based on Kenji Inoue's fantasy-comedy light novels, the story centers around Akihisa Yoshii, the "baka" of the title. He is in F class, the lowest rung of the school ladder. The school has developed experiments to summon fantasy creatures, and Akihisa decides to rally F class to take on the higher-tiered classes and seize their perks.

Monthly Shōnen Ace runs the manga adaptation of the novel series, which Enterbrain has been publishing since 2007.

Hyperdimension Neptunia Mk2's U.S. Trailer Streamed

K-ON! Film Gets Midnight Screenings

The Apollo Cinemas 8 theater in Osaka announced this week that it plans to hold midnight screenings on December 3 so it can lay claim to "Japan's earliest showings of the K-ON! film."

Midnight screenings are very rare in Japan; even blockbuster films will not start playing in any theaters until 9 in the morning at the earliest. Most theaters, including Apollo Cinemas 8, close their doors by 11:00 p.m. or earlier. In fact, Apollo Cinemas 8 warns people driving to its K-ON! midnight screenings to park elsewhere; its own parking area in the Apollo Lucias Building closes from midnight to 7:00 a.m.

The theater will charge its usual adult ticket price of 1,800 yen (about US$23).

DW Xmas special synopsis

The first proper synopsis of The Doctor, The Widow, and The Wardrobe has been released;

It’s Christmas Eve, 1938, when Madge Arwell comes to the aid of an injured Spaceman Angel as she cycles home, in this year’s Doctor Who Christmas Special, starring Matt Smith as the Doctor.

He promises to repay her kindness – all she has to do is make a wish.

Three years later, a devastated Madge escapes war-torn London with her two children for a dilapidated house in Dorset. She is crippled with grief at the news her husband has been lost over the channel, but determined to give Lily and Cyril the best Christmas ever.

The Arwells are surprised to be greeted by a madcap caretaker whose mysterious Christmas gift leads them into a magical wintry world. Here, Madge will learn how to be braver than she ever thought possible. And that wishes can come true…

Madge Arwell is played by Claire Skinner, Lily Arwell by Holly Earl and Cyril Arwell by Maurice Cole.

All 5 series 6 DW minsodes

More images of DW Xmas special 2011