Monday, 31 March 2014

Monthly Fairy Tail Magazine to Launch With Fairy Tail Zero Manga

Fairy Tail manga creator Hiro Mashima announced on Monday that a new magazine called MonthlyFairy Tail will launch. Every 2,980-yen (about US$30) issue will include a DVD with four television anime episodes.
Mashima himself will launch a new series, tentatively titled Fairy Tail Zero, in the magazine. He plans to tell the secret origin story of the Fairy Tail guild, and indicated that the original Master Mavis will be the protagonist. Since Mashima is still serializing the main Fairy Tail story in Weekly Shōnen Magazine as usual, he acknowledged that means he will be working on two series simultaneously: "Yeah, I'm going to be in hell."
The magazine will also carry spinoff manga by other creators every month, and Mashima indicated one of them will be about Gray. The magazine will include pin-up posters, character profiles, and other content.
Kodansha Comics publishes the main Fairy Tail manga in North America, and Crunchyroll isreleasing new chapters online as they come out in Japan. The new Fairy Tail television anime willpremiere on April 5. Mashima just began publishing four one-shot manga in four different magazines.

Final Sword Art Online Volume Released Monday

On Monday March 31, Manga Entertainment will release the fourth and final volume of Sword Art Online, as both a DVD and as a Blu-ray/DVD double pack (pictured). It carries episodes 20 to 25 of the virtual reality action series.

Hiroyuki Yoshino Plays Pretty Boy/Dog in Dating Simulator

For any dog lovers out there whose love for canines has started to veer towards.... well...romance, Japanese media company liica has an app for you.
Wankoi (which translates to "Woof Love" just like Nyan Koi! translates to "Meow Love") presents Ken Shiiha, a cute, amiable boy who justs wants a nice girl to take him home with her. Turns out he's actually a dog — a stray Shiba dog (Shiba Ken in Japanese, echoing his name), to be exact, whom you adopt and come to love. He loves you back.... and morphs into a human.
Gameplay includes the standard date scenarios — the beach, the movies, the amusement park — complete with backdrops that change depending on the time of day you're playing. There are 15 total date scenarios. Once you two have progressed to a more intimate stage of your relationship,Wankoi gives you many options to use the touchscreen to tickle your doggie and watch him react adorably. You can even mess with his face while he's sleeping.

Ken is voiced by veteran voice actor Hiroyuki Yoshino, known for playing pretty boys like Heisuke Tōdō of Hakuōki and Allelujah Haptism of Mobile Suit Gundam 00. His voice garnishes scenes throughout the game as well as the tutorial and welcome screen; there's a total of 700 Yoshino clips included to melt the hearts of his fangirls.
Wankoi was released for the iPhone (iOS 6.0) and Android 2.3 on March 27. It's free to download, but some content in the game is not free.

Ressha Sentai TōQGer, Kamen Rider Gaim Get Double-Feature

The credits for the Kamen Rider and Super Sentai crossover film Heisei Rider vs. Showa Rider:Kamen Rider War feat. Super Sentai announced on Saturday that the Ressha Sentai TōQGer andKamen Rider Gaim casts will star in a double feature film this summer. Heisei Rider vs. Showa Rider: Kamen Rider War feat. Super Sentai opened in theaters in Japan on Saturday.
A website for the summer film opened on Saturday. Currently, it only reveals a release date of July 19.
Ressha Sentai TōQGer and Kamen Rider Gaim casts also costarred in the Ressha Sentai TōQGer Vs. Kamen Rider Gaim Haru Yasumi Gattai Special (Train Sentai TōQGer Vs. Kamen Rider Gaim Spring Vacation Combining Special) on Sunday.

Relive the Magic of Meat With All of Hanazawa's 'Zeushi-kun' Ads

The official channel for Japan's National Federation of Agricultural Co-operative Associations "Zeushi-kun" ads is now streaming all twelve "episodes." Zeushi-kun (Kana Hanazawa) is a prince that lives in Nikuniku Land above the clouds and loves meat. He lives with Mika's family (Maaya Uchida) and discovers the different kinds of delicious foods.
The ads are also getting a CD launch for the opening theme song and special tie-in curry packets.

Anime Video Sales Jump 6.5% in Japan in 2013

The Japan Video Software Association (JVA) released its "JVA 2013 Year Statistics Results" report on March 17. Sales in the entire video software market had a slight decrease, but sales of domestic anime Blu-ray Disc and DVD sales were strong.
Japanese animation sales rose 6.5% to 78.99 billion yen (about US$768.4 million) in 2013 to its highest total in six years. Sales of foreign animation for the general public and children were 6.191 billion yen (US$60.2 million), and foreign and domestic animation sales combined were 85.17 billion yen (US$828.5 million).
Japanese anime now accounts for one-third of the domestic video software market.
Retail sales of Japanese anime for the general public rose 14.8% compared to 2012 to 61.062 billion yen (US$594 million), with 12,435,495 discs sold (an increase of 23.6%). Conversely, rental store sales fell 1.7% to 13.167 billion yen (US$128.1 million yen).
Video software sales in Japan in 2013 were 251.77 billion yen (US$2.449 billion), a 2.6% decrease over last year. DVD sales were down 12.8% to 162.988 billion yen (US$1.585 billion), and Blu-ray Disc sales were up 24.1% to 88.782 billion yen (US$863.6 million).

Video: Cat Cafe in London

ITN ran the above news-story on London's first cat cafe, in Shoreditch. According to a separate Reuters report, Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium is already booked out until June. It was part-financed by a crowdfunding campaign which raised more than £109,000, and opened on March 1. 'Cat lovers stormed the cafe's online booking system within hours of its launch, making more than 3,000 bookings and causing the system to temporarily crash,' said Reuters.
The cafe's website is here, including directions and booking. There is a £5 cover charge; children under 8 are not permitted because the cats are afraid of children.
Reuters adds that 'The same area of London is set to get its own dog cafe, Happiness of Hounds, later this year.'

New Dragon Ball Z Kai's Promo Video Features Majin Buu

Toei Animation began streaming a Majin Buu promotional video on Friday for the return of theDragon Ball Z Kai anime. The video highlights the character Majin Buu before the "new age of Kai" series begins covering the Majin Buu Saga arc on April 6.
The same video played Toei's booth at last weekend's Anime Japan event.
Dragon Ball Z Kai (known as just Dragon Ball Kai in Japan) condenses the 1989-1996 Dragon Ball Z anime series to more closely follow Akira Toriyama's Dragon Ball manga. The series featuresdigital high-definition remastering, a re-recorded soundtrack, and select scenes updated with new effects or re-animated footage. The 2009-2011 run of Dragon Ball Z Kai covered from the Saiyan Saga to the Android Cell Saga.
Funimation confirmed last month that it has not begun recording a dub for the Majin Buu Saga, and does not yet have plans to do so. Dragon Ball Z Kai voice actors Kyle Herbert and Sean Schemmel reported in April of 2013 that they were recording for the arc.
Voice actress Shino Kakinuma (Sailor Moon's Naru Osaka, Kemonozume's Rie Kakinoki) will be replacing Yuko Minaguchi (Sailor Moon's Hotaru/Sailor Saturn, Kanon's Akiko Minase) in the role of Videl, as Minaguchi is still on hiatus.
The main voice cast includes:
The main staff includes:
Japanese rock band Good Morning America is contributing their song "Haikei, Zarathustra" (Dear Zarathustra) as the new ending theme.

Boy Band One Direction Performs Theme for Live-Action "Say 'I Love You'" Film

British boy band One Direction is contributing the song "Happily" as the theme song for the live-action film ofKanae Hazuki's Suki-tte Ii na yo (Say, "I Love You".) manga.
"Happily" was included in One Direction's album Midnight Memories, which has sold over 4,500,000 copies worldwide and 400,000 copies in Japan alone. The staff members of this film said they chose this song "because of the gorgeous melody and lyrics that make the heart beat are perfect for this movie's world. So we made an offer to the band since we had nothing to lose by trying."
The story of first love centers around Mei Tachibana, a girl who has never made friends or had a boyfriend in 16 years. One day, she accidentally injures Yamato Kurosawa, the school's most popular boy. For some reason, Yamato becomes interested in Mei and starts a one-sided friendship with her. He even protects her from a stalker — by kissing her.
Haruna Kawaguchi (Ouran High School Host Club's Haruhi, Zekkyō Gakkyū's Kana) stars as Mei Tachibana, and Sōta Fukushi (Library Wars' Hikaru Tezuka, Kami-sama no Iu Toori's Shun Takahanta, Kamen Rider Fourze) co-stars as Yamato Kurosawa. Additional cast members include Tomohiro Ichikawa (Otomen's Kitora Kurokawa, Silver Spoon's Ichiro Komaba) as Kai Takemura,Rika Adachi (Ama-chan, Giga Tokyo Toy Box) as Aiko Mutō, Tasuku Nagase (Lesson of the Evil, Ouran High School Host Club, Kamen Rider Wizard) as Kenji Nakanishi, Rima Nishizaki (Stella Women's Academy, High School Division Class C3's Rento Kirishima) as Asami Oikawa, Ryōsuke Yamamoto (2011 Hana-Kimi's Akira) as Masashi Tachikawa, and Arisa Yagi as Megumi Kitagawa.
Asako Hyūga (Forgotten Dreams, Morisaki Shoten no Hibi) is directing and writing the film. The film will open in Japanese theaters on July 12.
Hazuki launched the manga in 2008, and Kodansha published the 12th volume of the manga in February. The 1th volume came with an original anime DVD. Crunchyroll streamed the television anime as it aired in Japan in 2012, and Sentai Filmworks has licensed the anime for North American home video release. Kodansha Comics has licensed the original manga for western audiences.

Artists Reimagine Anime Characters, Western Comics Style

The folks over at Comic Book Resources posted their latest "The Line It Is Drawn" installment where artists honor readers' requests for artwork based on given themes. This week, the theme was "Western Re-Designs of Manga/Anime Characters" and some of them are pretty creative.
Some of the highlights include "Stan Lee and Jack Kirby's Akira" draw by Marco D'Alfonso and "Samurai Champloo drawn by IDW" by Paul Hostetler.
For the rest of the artwork, head over to their website.
Do you have any favorite illustrations featuring anime characters drawn in the style of Western comics? Let us know in the forums!

RIP Kate O'Mara

Actress Kate O'Mara, forever known to Doctor Who fans as The Rani, died today at the age of 74. 

O'Mara was one of the best-known actresses of her generation, famous for playing a succession of power-hungry and ruthless women in some of the most iconic television dramas of the 20th century. 

Born in 1939, the daughter of actress Hazel Bainbridge and RAF flying instructor John F Carroll, she made her stage debut in 1963 in a performance of The Merchant of Venice. The following year she began her television career which led to guest roles in series such as Danger Man, Adam Adamant Lives!,The Saint, Z-Cars and The Avengers. 

In 1975 she was cast as Jane Maxwell in the BBC's Sunday night drama The Brothers, playing alongside Colin Baker. Appearing in 30 episodes, her portrayal of the tough, uncompromising businesswoman would define the roles she would play throughout her career. 

In 1982 she joined Triangle, the notorious early-evening soap opera, filmed on a cross-Channel ferry, playing Katherine Laker. Hollywood called in 1986 when she was cast as Caress Morrell, the younger sister of Joan Collins, in the American series Dynasty. Back in the UK, she starred in Howard's Way,Crossroads and Bad Girls. 

Her fame led to guest appearances on such shows as Morecambe and Wise,The Two Ronnies and Absolutely Fabulous. 

In 1985 John Nathan-Turner reunited O'Mara with Colin Baker, when he asked her to take on the role of The Rani in the Sixth Doctor story The Mark of the Rani. Her character was so successful she returned in 1987 in the first story of the Seventh Doctor, Time and the Rani, a script which required her to impersonate the Doctor's then companion Mel, played by Bonnie Langford. Her final appearance as The Rani came in 1993, when she appeared in the Children in Need spoof set in the world of EastEnders, Dimensions in Time. 

Last year she spoke to Digital Spy about her work on Doctor Who:
If you put a much older woman in Doctor Who, they can identify with it. I think it's quite an interesting concept and if you remember things like Grimm's Fairytales, the older woman is often the villainess, often the terrifying figure - why I do not know, but often she is. I think it's an idea to be exploited.
Stars have taken to Twitter to pay tribute. Colin Baker said: "Oh my goodness. Kate O'Mara is no longer with us. Sad sad news. A delightful, committed and talented lady and actress. We are the poorer", with Bonnie Langford adding: "So sad to hear that the wonderful Kate O'Mara has gone. Treasured memories xxx". Nicola Bryant saidsuch sad news:Kate O'Mara is no longer with us. A charismatic, courageous, & caring soul; a wonderful actor & a friend. May she finally RIP while Dynasty co star Joan Collins added Tragic news about Kate O'Mara , we had great fun on Dynasty when she played my sister Caress... RIP.. Tracey Childs who worked with O'Mara on Howards Way said Today the world lost a fine actress & dedicated producer & I lost a friend of 3 decades. Safe journey Kate O'Mara. You were an inspiration X 

O'Mara died in a Sussex nursing home following a short illness. She was married twice, both times to actors, firstly to Jeremy Young and then to Richard Willis, and leaves a sister, actress Belinda Carroll, and a son, Christopher Linde. Her first son, Dickon Young, died last year. 

The actress last posted a message on Twitter on 17 March, to say:
Thank you so much for your kind tweets. It's both humbling and completely overwhelming to read all of your messages. Much Love x.

Panini launches new DW series magazine

Publisher Panini has launched a new series of specials called The Essential Doctor Who, with the first title centring on the Cybermen.

It follows last year's 50th-anniversary "bookazines" by the makers of Doctor Who Magazine.

Highlights of the first edition include a new Cyberman, specially illustrated by original designer Alexandra Tynan (formerly called Sandra Reid).

The Essential Doctor Who: Cybermen is a 116-page guide featuring details of every Cyberman episode. There are exclusive new interviews with scriptwriters Neil Gaiman, Gareth Roberts and Marc Platt, choreographer Ailsa Berk, and four of the actors who have portrayed Cybermen.

The publication also includes archive interviews with Kit Pedler and Gerry Davis, who created the Cybermen, as well as features on comics, novels, audio stories and Davis's unmade serial The Genesis of the Cybermen.

Editor Marcus Hearn, who authored the New York Times best-seller Doctor Who: The Vault, said:
Our writers include the estimable Andrew Pixley and our art editor is the brilliant Peri Godbold, so we obviously share our DNA with Doctor Who Magazine. But there are a lot of new voices in there as well, and I hope we've been able to preserve DWM's authoritative tone while creating our own identity.
The special is on sale now at WH Smith and other newsagents.

RIP Derek Martinus 1931-2014

Veteran Doctor Who director Derek Martinus has died at the age of 82. 

Derek Martinus was a BBC drama Director, responsible for 26 episodes of Doctor Who. 

His first story was the premier of the third season of the series, directing Willam Hartnell in the 1965 storyGalaxy Four. He stayed on to look after the single episode story Mission to the Unknown, which is unique in the series for not featuring either The Doctor or any of his companions. 

Martinus returned to the series the following year, looking after The Tenth Planet which not only saw the arrival of the first Cybermen, but the departure of the First Doctor, giving Martinus a chance to direct the first ever regeneration scene. 

He directed Patrick Troughton in The Evil of the Daleks in 1967, the story which saw the introduction of a new companion in the form of Victoria Waterfield as played by Deborah Watling. Later in the year he got the chance to introduce the public to another iconic monster, this time The Ice Warriors . 

Martinus's final story for Doctor Who was in 1970 when he took the series into colour with the first Third Doctor story, directing Jon Pertwee in Spearhead from Space, the only classic Doctor Who episode to be shot entirely on film. 

Martinus started his career in the theatre, where he continued to work after meeting his Swedish wife Eivor, to whom he was married for 50 years. They worked together on many productions and she translated many of the stage plays he directed. His theatre credits include Ben Jonson's Volpone, Caryl Churchill'sMad Forest, Harold Pinter's The Homecoming and Stephen Lowe's The Ragged Trousered Philanthropistsfor different theatres in Sweden. 

As a Director his other work included Crown Court, Angles, Z Cars Penmaric and two episodes of Blakes 7. He worked on several children's TV programmes including The Paper Lads and Dodger, Bonzo and the Rest, both of which won the Pye Award for best children's drama. He directed TV shows The Black Tulip, What Maisie Knew, A Legacy and A little Princess.

Martinus studied at Yale Drama School and worked as an actor, before turning his attentions to a career as a director. He had a minor role in the first Carry On film,Carry on Sergeant which starred William Hartnell. 

Derek Martinus' family told the BBC he died on Thursday evening having suffered from Alzheimer's for many years. His daughter Charlotta Martinus, who later joined the BBC as a documentary maker, paid tribute to her father
He was a legend, just an absolute legend. He taught me how to love, live and laugh, he was just such an amazing man.

It was an amazing childhood to be living among the Doctor Who paraphernalia. We used to go down and watch Doctor Who being made and see the Daleks, and even get inside the Daleks. Having those famous people walk through your door... Jon Pertwee would come for tea.

Ten years after he left, everyone used to say to me, 'Are you really his daughter?'. He was really inspirational for me and my sister Pia who is a doctor. He was a leader of men and he inspired everyone.
Martinus is survived by his wife, two daughters and three grandchildren.