Friday, 28 February 2014

Hairy Bikers to Visit Japan Next Week

According to the BBC website entry for next week's edition of The Hairy Bikers' Asian Adventureon BBC2:
Japanese is the Hairy Bikers' all-time favourite food and they fulfil a lifetime's ambition to visit this incredible country. Si finds himself a bit lost in translation at a manga café when he has to wear kitty ears. Dave and Si discover the ultimate sushi at Tokyo's famous fish market and have the rare privilege of spending time in a sumo stable, where they take part in a wrestling bout.

Patema Inverted in Birmingham and Bo'ness

Screenings confirmed in Birmingham on March 22 and Bo'ness on May 31.

The UK website for the film Patema Inverted has confirmed two forthoming screenings in Brirmingham and Bo'ness (near Falkirk). The film will also have a wider UK cinema release on May 2.
The Birmingham screening will be at the The Electric Cinema on March 22 at 6 p.m., showing as part of the Flatpack Film Festival. The screening can be booked here. The Bo'ness screening will take place at the Hippodrome on May 31 at 2.30 p.m. Tickets are available here.
Patema Inverted won both the Judge's Award and the Audience Award at the Scotland Loves Anime festival last October. The film is summarised on the Edinburgh Filmhouse website:
Patema has lived her whole life underground. Following a catastrophic attempt to harness alternative power sources, her community were driven to settle in a dark, cramped network of tunnels below ground. She roams them by torchlight, dreaming of adventures on the surface. But she gets more adventure than she bargained for when she sneaks into a forbidden area of the settlement that takes her above ground. Patema's world is turned upside down – literally! Gravity pulls her away and she must rely on Age, a local boy, to help keep her on the ground. Gravity isn't the only force at work here though: the pair are about to be pulled into something much bigger...
The above trailer debuted on Yahoo! Movies Japan.

Kamen Rider War Film's Full Trailer Streamed

The official website for the Heisei Rider vs. Showa Rider: Kamen Rider War feat. Super Sentai live-action film began streaming the first full trailer for the movie on Thursday. The video is narrated by Japanese voice actor Fumihiko Tachiki.
In the trailer, Takeshi Hongo tells the younger Riders that he does not accept them as Riders, as they are just “little chicks.” The trailer hints that “The way of Kamen Rider will be brought to the extreme.”
The film will feature a total of 30 Riders, including 15 Showa-era Riders led by Kamen Rider 1 and 15 Heisei-era Riders such as those from the ongoing Kamen Rider Gaim television series. The late manga pioneer Shotaro Ishinomori created or co-created Kamen RiderHimitsu Sentai Go-Ranger(the first Super Sentai/Ranger series), Jinzou Ningen KikaidaCyborg 009, and dozens of other projects. In this film, Fujioka will transform into Kamen Rider 1 for the first time in 38 years. Voice actors Kenichi Suzumura (GintamaUta no Prince-sama - Maji Love 1000%) and Hiroshi Kamiya(BakemonogatariNoragami) will appear as guest characters.
The film will open on March 29. Participating theaters are selling advance tickets with one of two kinds of Super Hero craft paper tape.

Anime Dublin Pre-Reg Open for April 26 Event

The website for the one-day Anime Dublin convention has now opened pre-registration for the upcoming event on April 26. Tickets are €10, and the one-day event aims to cater for about 350 people. According to the website, "Tickets will be available on the day at the door also but only while space permits so if buying at the door please try arrive early."
The event will take place at the Academy Plaza Hotel, in Findlater Place, just off O'Connell Street (website). Anime Dublin also has a facebook page.
According to a press release:
Anime Dublin is back for 2014, bringing with it an anarchic day of fun events, exclusive screenings, panels, workshops and more into one of Dublin's finest hotels this April 26th (..). the Academy Plaza Hotel on Findlater Place, just off O'Connell St in the heart of Dublin city. Recently refurbished and housing an ample sized main room, along with two side rooms for gaming, panels and screenings, the Academy Plaza couldn't be a better spot for A.D. 2014. Doors will be open at 10am and events will run right through until 10pm at night. A special food menu is being prepared for Anime Dublin and will include hot food and Asian style classics, along with hot & cold drinks and plenty of snacks.
For all our late night 18+ attendees we'll be hosting a pub quiz and DJ sets from 8pm til 12.30am in the hotel's pub! We have plenty of surprises planned on the night that will keep the partying going til we're kicked out onto our backsides.
2014 will feature a fantastic games room with plenty of consoles, loads of tournaments, card games, RPGs and lots of fantastic prizes! A purpose designed all-seated room will host our exclusive screenings, panels, workshops and more, and like the other rooms will be open from 10am til 10pm.
Limited preregistration has opened and for €10 lucky attendees will receive guaranteed entry to the festivities. Preregistering is the only guaranteed way of attending Anime Dublin! We have a total of 300 preregistration tickets available. On the door tickets cost €10 and are strictly limited in number – we can't be held responsible for anyone who turns up at 1pm expecting a ticket!
A ticket not only guarantees you full access to the madness that will be A.D. 2014 but, subject to showing our lovely front desk volunteers the correct ID, a pass to our late night pub quiz and DJ sets that will take place in the hotel's pub!

Gatiss in Brazil

Doctor Who actor and writer Mark Gatiss will be visiting Brazil in March in a special publicity tour for BBC Worldwide to talk about British drama including his work on Doctor Who and Sherlock 

Gatiss, who is the co-creator and executive producer of Sherlock which has sold to over 200 territories across the world, has been invited to speak at the prestigious Rio Content Market – an annual industry event for producers, TV content buyers and commissioners in Latin America. At the conference, he will be giving a presentation on his career in British drama with a focus on Sherlock and also An Adventure in Space and Time – the drama about the genesis of Doctor Who which he wrote and produced last year as part of the brand’s 50th Anniversary celebrations. He will also talk about his work writing for and acting in various episodes of the sci-fi series. The event will be hosted by TV journalist Liv Brandao and Brazilian stage director Claudio Botelho. 

As part of the tour, Gatiss will also be meeting fans at two events specially organised by BBC Worldwide. The first will be a screening of The Empty Hearse – the opening episode of the latest series of Sherlock, written by Gatiss and in which he stars alongside Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock’s brother Mycroft Holmes. The screening will take place at Livraria Cultura (Cine Victoria) in Rio de Janeiro on Friday 14th March at 7pm. As part of the event, Mark will take part in a Q and A and signing session with fans. 

The second event will take place at Livraria Cultura (Shopping Iguatemi) in Sao Paulo at 7pm on Saturday 15th March. Fans will have the opportunity to ask questions about Mark’s work Doctor Who, Sherlock and the recent drama An Adventure in Space and Time. He will also take part in a limited signing of Sherlock and Doctor Who merchandise. Further details of both events and how to obtain tickets will be released soon Details of the venues can be found at 

Commenting on the forthcoming tour Mark Gatiss says:
It’s fantastic that British TV is being enjoyed all across the world and I’m really looking forward to meeting Brazilian Doctor Who and Sherlock fans!
Sherlock and Doctor Who have both seen notable growth in Latin America in the last year, with a huge number of fans engaging with both shows on social media. The official Sherlock Facebook page has seen an 80% increase in the number of Brazilian fans in the last year and the Doctor Who page a 54% increase – the highest for any country in the world. Both series air on BBC HD and BBC Entertianment in Brazil which are pay-TV channel wholly owned and operated by BBC Worldwide. They are also both available on Netflix Latin America.

Thursday, 27 February 2014

DW remake across the globe

As one of BBC Worldwide's staple mainstays, there was a lot of Doctor Who stuff at the BBC Worldwide Showcase (essentially a convention where international broadcasters are invited to come and discuss buying BBC shows). Apparently arecord number of buyers showed up this year. Al Jazeera Children’s Channelbought "The Day of the Doctor", "The Time of the Doctor" and Series Eight, so that's nice. Peter Capaldi was trotted out, and the BBC put together an articleabout Steven Moffat's presence, which is where the above quote comes from.

Here's Rory's Dad talking his experience at last year's event.

Classic DW DVD news

Pup Ltd, the company responsible for the classic Doctor Who range of DVDs over the last few years, have reported that several of the lead creatives involved with the production of the animated episodes of the recently released The Moonbase were absent from the credits due to a technical error.

Executive producer Dan Hall has confirmed the following:

As the Executive Producer of the commissioning company I should like to confirm that the following should have recieved credits as Animators on the project:

Chris W Chapman
Crystal Chappell
Sarah Harper
Hayley Parker
Derek Moore
Thomas Barkel
Charlotte Barkel
David Donnelly
Tim Proust
Joshua Wolski
James Marsh

Their involvement was of an important creative level, and was crucial in producing what was both a creative and commercial success for the Classic Doctor Who DVD range.

The Moonbase is available now from our Region 1 and Region 2 Amazon shops.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Kanpai Senshi After V Sentai Parody Slated for April

A new live-action super sentai parody show titled Kanpai Senshi After V (Cheers! Warriors After Five) will premiere on April 7. The show follows the Golden Warriors Treasure Five members who battle an evil organization around Akihabara. The comedy-drama picks up "after hours" when the members have a beer after fighting evil all day. The show was shot at the real Nijyu-maru Akihabara sake bar.
The series stars Ryota Murai (Kamen Rider Decade) as the red warrior, Kazuki Kato (Kamen Rider Kabuto) as the blue warrior, singer You Kikkawa (Kirarin Revolution,Sengoku Collection) as the pink warrior, Akihiro Kimura (one half of the Buffalo Goro comedy duo, live-actionMoyashimon) as the aging yellow warrior, and stand-up comedian Tsubasa Tobinaga (one half of the Rubber Girl comedy duo) as the green warrior. Toru Hosokawa (Polar Bear's Café scripts) is directing the series.
Toei produced the Hikōnin Sentai Akibaranger (Unofficial Sentai Akibaranger) super sentai parody for two seasons. The show followed three "unofficial rangers" as they protect Tokyo's Akihabara otaku shopping district from the evil Malseena and the Stema Otsu Corporation, despite the fact it is all a ruse.

Heisei Rider vs. Showa Rider: Kamen Rider War's Teaser Streamed

Bandai began streaming a teaser trailer for the Heisei Rider vs. Showa Rider: Kamen Rider War feat. Super Sentai film on Monday.
The film features the return of Takeshi Hongo as the original Kamen Rider 1, as well as Kouta Kazuraba (Kamen Rider Gaim), Tsukasa Kadoya (Decade), Takumi Inui (Faiz), Shotaro Hidari (Joker), Haruto Souma (Wizard), and Kaito Kumon (Baron). Voice actors Kenichi Suzumura andHiroshi Kamiya will guest star in the film.
The film will feature a total of 30 Riders, including 15 Showa-era Riders led by Kamen Rider 1 and 15 Heisei-era Riders such as those from the ongoing Kamen Rider Gaim television series. The late manga pioneer Shotaro Ishinomori created or co-created Kamen RiderHimitsu Sentai Go-Ranger(the first Super Sentai/Ranger series), Jinzou Ningen KikaidaCyborg 009, and dozens of other projects.
In this film, Fujioka will transform into Kamen Rider 1 for the first time in 38 years. The Tokusatsu Network translated his thoughts on his return from his blog entry.
The film will open on March 29. Participating theaters are selling advance tickets with one of two kinds of Super Hero craft paper tape.

Fairy Tail's English Grimoire Heart Dub Cast Announced

North American anime distributor Funimation announced the dub cast on Tuesday for the Grimoire Heart antagonists of Fairy Tail:
Azuma: Ray Hurd
Bluenote: Chuck Huber
Capricorn: Michael Johnson
Hades: John Swasey
Kain: Bryan Massey
Kawazu: Ian Sinclair
Meldy: Bryn Apprill
Rustyrose: Justin Locklear
Ultear: Lydia Mackay
Yomazu: Matt Thurston
Zancrow: Ian Ferguson
Zordio: Marcus D. Stimac
The Grimoire Heart arc will begin in Funimation's ninth box set release of the series, which covers episodes 97-108 and ships March 20.

Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya Collaborates with Red Cross for Blood Donations

The Red Cross of Japan is teaming up with Nagaru Tanigawa and Noizi Ito, the creators of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, to raise awareness for Japan's need for blood donors. Starting March 8, participating blood donation centers will be giving out promotional posters featuring Haruhi, Yuki, and Mikuru of the SOS Brigade along with the Japanese Red Cross mascot Kenketsu-chan to anyone willing to donate blood for a charitable cause.
According to the Red Cross, the number of blood donors in Japan has decreased in recent years, especially among members of the younger generations. This collaboration was designed to help draw in the attention and interest of new donors.
The campaign will run for one week's duration. Posters will be available at any of the following blood donation centers:
  • Mint Kobe 15 Blood Donation Center
  • Sangu Center Plaza Blood Donation Room
  • Shin-Nagata Blood Donation Room, near the Tetujin 28-go statue
  • Akashi Drivers License Testing Center Blood Donation Room
  • Nishikita Blood Donation Room
  • Tsukaguchi Sun Sun Town Blood Donation Room
  • Himeji Miyuki Blood Donation Room
In the past, the Red Cross has also collaborated with Girls und PanzerHatsune MikuNaruto Shippuden, and more.

Makoto Shinkai's 'Cross Road' Anime Ad Posted With English Subtitles

Correspondence education service Z-Kai released "Cross Road," a television commercial directed by anime director Makoto Shinkai (The Garden of WordsChildren Who Chase Lost Voices), on Tuesday. The project debuted on television, YouTube, and Niconico in 120-, 30-, and 15-second versions on the same day. The YouTube streams have English subtitles that can turned on in the Closed Captions (CC) menu.
The story of "Cross Road" centers on high school students Miho (Ayane Sakura) and Shōta (Kensho Ono) as they prepare for tests. Miho comes from an island without even one cram school, while Shōta lives in Tokyo and works a part-time job. Both are striving to pass tests so they can enter college. The pair enroll in Z-Kai's correspondence education courses, and their lives cross before they realize it.
Shinkai storyboarded, directed, edited, and worked on the backgrounds in the animated commercial at CoMix Wave Films. Masayoshi Tanaka (anohanaToradora!) served as the character designer, the animation director, and a key animator. Nagi Yanagi (BakemonogatariNagi no Asukara) performs the insert song "Cross Road." An Irish folk song inspired the melody, and Shinkai wrote the song's lyrics with Aki Oxford. The key animators include Taisuke IwasakiHiroshi Tomioka, Tomoyuki Shimoya, Yuu YamashitaUshio Tazawa, Kōichi Hayashi, and Miho Suzuki.Masahiko Tanaka voiced the instructor in the ad.
Shinkai began his career by creating his own anime titles almost singlehandedly — being responsible for the writing, directing, and even voice-acting. He now works with CoMix Wave Films and other staff members on anime projects. His titles include She and Her CatVoices of a Distant StarThe Place Promised in Our Early Days5 Centimeters Per SecondChildren Who Chase Lost Voices, and 2013's The Garden of Words.

DW Academic study

One Rae Kershaw is writing about "fandom evolution". If you'd like to help out, she's been asking everybody on Twitter to talk about their experiences as a fan.

(Minimal examination of her Twitter page indicates that she started off planning to write about the "Save Chuck" campaign and likes writing essays about "Shaun of the Dead", so goodness knows what the completed thesis will be like.)

DW in Australia event canceled

The Hub productions Whoniverse event has been cancelled following the withdrawal of Matt Smith from the event for family reasons. 

The convention was due to hit the four main Australia cities over the next two weeks, bringing together the original Eleventh Doctor team of Smith, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill. Although Gillan pulled out of part of the tour last week, the absence of Matt Smith has proved a fatal blow with the organisers having no choice but to cancel the event. 

Matt Smith is unable to leave the UK at present due to a family matter. He gave the convention organisers the following statement.
I am deeply saddened to have to advise that I will not be able to come to Australia for the Hub Productions' Whoniverse event. Although I wish it were otherwise, due to a personal family emergency it's not possible for me to leave England at this time. I truly regret the situation, and the disappointment it must be causing, but I'm hoping to be able to reschedule as soon as possible for the future; I look forward to see you all then.
The organisers have said they are working to try to bring the team to future events, but in the meantime, Ticketek will be in touch regarding refunds.

Lego DW

Many fans of Doctor Who and the Lego building toy sets have long wished for Doctor Who Lego toys. Now, a post onLego's Cuusoo crowdsourcing design site suggests that Doctor Who Lego sets may be coming soon.

Lego Cuusoo is a crowdsourcing platform where people can submit and vote on designs for Lego toy sets. If a project receives 10,000 votes of support, it is considered by a Lego review board, which decides whether the project is suitable to be produced commercially. Previous sets which have made it through this process include sets based on the Mars Curiosity rover, Back to the Future, and Ghostbusters (available this summer).

In the past, Lego Cuusoo proposals based on Doctor Who have been rejected due to conflict with Character Building's license to produce Doctor Who toys. Character has produced Lego-compatible Doctor Who building toys since 2011. It is not known whether Character's license has changed or expired, but today Lego posted the following on the Lego Cuusoo website:

Sometimes we have to turn down project submissions that refer to specific brands or licensed properties. We do this to avoid getting your hopes up for something we know we aren't able to make. In these cases, we already know the LEGO Group can't secure licensing rights to produce construction toys based on a particular brand or property, due to a conflicting interest with a third party.

If such a conflict goes away, we'll then be able to accept projects based on a particular brand or license.


Resolved Past Licensing Conflicts

We now welcome projects based on the following licenses that used to have conflicts:
  • Doctor Who - February 2014
Last updated February 25, 2014

This does not mean that Lego is definitely going to license and produce Doctor Who toys, but it does mean that they no longer consider it impossible.

Image: a fan-created Eleventh Doctor minifigure. Source: Brickimedia. License: CC BY-SA 3.0

Capaldi at BBC Worldwide event

The new Doctor, Peter Capaldi, has made a surprise visit to the BBC Worldwide showcase event in Liverpool 

The 4 day event, attended by international TV buyers from around the world, gives the BBC a chance to sell many of its programmes to international broadcasters, with Doctor Who being one of the most important products. All BBC Worldwide profits are ploughed back into BBC programme making, with £156 million being made last year. 

Capaldi emerged from the TARDIS to chat briefly with another BBC star Graham Norton. Speaking after the event he said
As a lifetime follower of the show, I'm delighted to see its global success. And I'm looking forward to sharing with the world the very exciting journey the new series is taking us on.
Capaldi is currently filming for the 34th series of Doctor Who, due to be screened later this year.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Animax Adds Roberta's Blood Trail

The Animax website has now added the OAV miniseries Black Lagoon: Roberta's Blood Trail. This is the sequel to the original Black Lagoonhardboiled crime TV series, and features the return of the deadly maid Roberta. The series can be found with the other Black Lagoon episodes (here, with the new episodes designated 'Season 3'; the first part is called 'Collateral Massacre.'

Sumitomo Mitsui Introduces Black Butler Visa Card

While most of us likely aren't carrying an American Express Black Card with us, those with accounts at Sumitomo Mitsui can at least get their hands on a Black Butler credit card.
With enrollment limited to 1,000, this special Visa card features an illustration of Sebastian Michaelis specially drawn by mangaka Yana Toboso, and is a special collaboration with the Black Butler II anime series. The card has an annual fee of ¥1,250; those eligible can apply online.
With the special Japanese limited edition Blu-Ray boxset being released this May, it feels like the series is strongly hinting at how fans should fund their $370 purchase.

Yahoo! Posts Results of Manga Valentine Crushes Poll

The bookstore of Yahoo's Japanese server put out a survey earlier this month asking readers to vote on which manga guy they would choose to have as a Valentine. From January 17 to February 14, voters were given a list of the top 30 manga heartthrobs and had to pick their favorite out of all of them. The results were posted on February 21.
1st Place: Levi from Attack on Titan

2nd Place: Arata Wataya from Chihayafuru

3rd Place: Yato from Noragami
Beyond the Top 3, the rest of the Top 12 were:
  • 4th Place: Ginko from Mushishi
  • 5th Place: Hibito Nanba from Space Brothers
  • 6th Place: Wataru Sanjou from L DK
  • 7th Place: Hajime Yuou from Coplay Animal
  • 8th Place: Kyousuke Tachibana from Tonari no Atashi
  • 9th Place: Yōichi Takato from Kindaichi Case Files
  • 10th Place: Ai Takano from Shiro no Eden
  • 11th Place: Sōsuke Natsume from Suki Yori mo Chikaku
  • 12th Place: Yūhi Shinatsuhiko from Yozakura Quartet
  • The voting page is still up if you would like to see the complete list of nominees in unranked order.

Mai Mai Miracle Director to Hold Reddit Ask Me Anything Session

British distributor Anime Limited announced on Monday that Mai Mai Miracle director Sunao Katabuchi will hold an Ask Me Anything session on Reddit on Thursday, February 27 at 6 p.m. EST. The thread will be open 15 minutes before the start time to begin taking questions.
Anime Limited opened a Kickstarter earlier this month to release Katabuchi and MADHOUSE's anime film adaptation of Nobuko Takagi's Mai Mai Miracle (Mai Mai Shinko to Sennen no Mahō) novel in the United States and United Kingdom. Within one day of launching the campaign, the company met its US$30,000 for an English-subtitled release, and within a week had added and met a stretch goal for an English dub. The company plans to produce the dub "with friends in the USA," and is soliciting suggestions for who should produce the dub.
The Kickstarter has currently raised US$79,545 with 1,408 backers and 10 days to go, meeting its second stretch goal at US$75,000 to replicate and localize the original theatrical pamphlet.
Anime Limited describes the story:
Shinko, is a third grade elementary school student with a magically active imagination. She spends a lot of her time listening to her grandfather's history lessons, imagining what her town was like 1,000 years earlier. One day, a sad and sombre girl called Kiiko transfers to Shinko's school from Tokyo. A strong friendship soon grows between the two girls as Shinko helps Kiiko come out of her shell and deal with her loss - all thanks to their adventures, both imagined and real.
The film opened in Japan in 2009 and premiered in the U.S. in 2010. It won the Audience Award for the Best Animated Feature for adults at Belgium's Brussels Animation Film Festival, Best Animated Feature Film at Montreal's Fantasia Festivaland the Excellence Prize at the 14th Japan Media Arts Festival Awards.