Friday, 27 February 2015

Anime Limited Acquires Production I.G's Miss Hokusai for Cinema and Home Release

In a press release, Anime Limited announced that it has acquired the forthcoming Production I.Gfeature film Miss Hokusai, a historical drama by the award-winning director Keiichi Hara (Colorful). It will have a UK cinema release from October into November, followed by a home release on both Blu-ray and DVD. (The film has not opened in Japan yet; its scheduled release date is May 9.)
Production I.G describes the story:
The time: 1814.
The place: Edo, now known as Tokyo. One of the highest populated cities in the world, teeming with peasants, samurai, townsmen, merchants, nobles, artists, courtesans, and perhaps even supernatural things.
A much accomplished artist of his time and now in his mid-fifties, Tetsuzo can boast clients from all over Japan, and tirelessly works in the garbage-loaded chaos of his house-atelier. He spends his days creating astounding pieces of art, from a giant-size Bodhidharma portrayed on a 180 square meter-wide sheet of paper, to a pair of sparrows painted on a tiny rice grain. Short-tempered, utterly sarcastic, with no passion for sake or money, he would charge a fortune for any job he is not really interested in.
Third of Tetsuzo's four daughters and born out of his second marriage, outspoken 23-year-old O-Ei has inherited her father's talent and stubbornness, and very often she would paint instead of him, though uncredited. Her art is so powerful that sometimes leads to trouble. "We're father and daughter; with two brushes and four chopsticks, I guess we can always manage, in a way or another."
Decades later, Europe was going to discover the immense talent of Tetsuzo. He was to become best known by one of his many names: Katsushika Hokusai. He would mesmerize Renoir and van Gogh, Monet and Klimt.
However, very few today are even aware of the woman who assisted him all his life, and greatly contributed to his art while remaining uncredited. This is the untold story of O-Ei, Master Hokusai's daughter: a lively portrayal of a free-spirited woman overshadowed by her larger-than-life father, unfolding through the changing seasons.
Sugiura made her manga debut in 1980 in the experimental magazine Garo, and made her mark with intricately researched historical stories about Japan's Edo period. Her unique storytelling won the Japan Cartoonists' Association Award in 1984 and the Bunshun Manga Award in 1988. She serializedSarusuberi in Manga Sunday magazine (Jitsugyo no Nihon Sha, Ltd.) from 1983 to 1987. She passed away in 2005 at the age of 46.
Hara worked for years on the Crayon Shin-chan television anime series before garnering critical attention for such films asCrayon Shin-chan: Arashi o Yobu Appare! Sengoku Daikassen(Crayon Shin-chan; Brilliant! The Great Battle of the Warring States) and Summer Days with Coo. He earned the Jury's Special Distinction and the Audience Award for the bittersweetfilm Colorful at Annecy 2011. He has since made his first live-action film, a 2013 biography about the Japanese filmmaker Keisuke Kinoshita.
Miho Maruo (Colorful, The Dog of FlandersKodocha) is writing the screenplay of Miss Hokusai, and Yoshimi Itazu (The Wind RisesDennō Coilplanned Yume-Miru Kikai film by the late Satoshi Kon) is serving as chief animator. Hiroshi Ohno (A Letter to MomoWolf Children) is handling the background art.

Alas, the Power/Rangers Short Film Is Quickly Disappearing

So far, several million people have gobbled up Adi Shankar and Joseph Kahn's Power/Rangers reimagination of the classic super sentai series, but that number is hitting a plateau. Both Kahn's Vimeo and Shankar's YouTube videos have been pulled, due to a copyright claim from Saban.
Shankar released a statement, saying:
Today, I was deeply disappointed to learn that Saban Brands decided to attack my Power/Rangers “Bootleg Universe One-Shot” film. To all the viewers that enjoyed this film, I consider this an outright infringement on freedom of expression and individualism. I set out to make this film because I am a childhood fan of the Power Rangers. As children our retinas are burned with iconic images and as we grow older these images come to represent crucial moments within the trajectories of our own lives. This film is a homage to the original creators of the Power Rangers, and a parody of a television series we all grew up loving. Films like my Power/Rangers “Bootleg” are vital expressions of creativity in our troubled world. If we suppress this creativity and become passive participants in the consumption of the culture we live in, we implicitly allow a dangerous precedent to be set for the future of the internet.
For the time being, the video is still up on Shankar's Facebook page.
What do you think about Saban's copyright claim or Shankar's statment? Share your views in the forums!

Funimation Licenses Jinsei - Life Consulting Anime

North American anime distributor FUNimation Entertainmentannounced on Thursday that it has acquired streaming and home video rights for Jinsei - Life Consulting.
The full English-subtitled series will be available streaming forFunimation subscribers at 6:00 p.m. EST on Thursday. The episodes will be the broadcast versions, and Funimation plans to release the final versions at a later date.
The 13-episode series premiered last July and adapted Ougyo Kawagishi's Jinsei (La Bonne Vie) light novel series.
The light novel series will end with the 10th volume in March.
Keiichiro Kawaguchi (Hayate the Combat ButlerZettai Karen ChildrenHunter × Hunter -The Last Mission-) directed the anime at studio feel. in collaboration with millepensee. Naruhisa Arakawa (Outbreak CompanyMAOYUSteel Angel Kurumi) was in charge of the series composition, and Keiichirō Ōchi, Arakawa, and Tsuyoshi Tamai wrote the scripts. Tomoyuki Shitaya (Hatsukoi LimitedBakuman) adapted Meruchi Nanase's original character designs.
Funimation describes the story:
When bespectacled Yuki Akamatsu joins his school's 2nd Newspaper Club, he finds himself caught in the crossfire between three pretty panelists assigned to the Life Advice column. Rino Endo has a mind for science, Fumi Kujo loves literature, and Izumi Suzuki covers the world of sports. If students have questions that need answers, these are the girls to ask, but cute as they may be, these panelists never seem to agree on anything! Needless to say, navigating life in the 2nd Newspaper Club is gonna be more than poor Yuki bargained for!

Verity Lambert a tribute

The British Film Institute has announced a tribute event to honour Verity Lambert, Doctor Who's first producer. 

Lambert produced the series from 1963-1965 and went on to become one of the most successful producers in British Film and Television. The tribute event is being held as part of the Women in Film season, and will be followed by a brief retrospective of some of her rarer titles, including The Norman ConquestsComics and Achilles Heel

The 90 minute panel event will take place April 1st at 6.10pm at the BFI Southbank, and will be hosted by Richard Marson, who is writing a biography the producer, Drama and Delight: The Life of Verity Lambert

Guests include Joanna Lumley and Lynda La Plante and the discussion will be interspersed with clips from many of her most memorable productions 

Marson's book will be available at the event and Richard will be signing from around 7.45pm at the BFI shop. Tickets to the season are available from March 10th.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Shuriken sentai Ninninger ep1

Starz Sells Manga Entertainment

The website Home Media Magazine reports that Starz has sold both Anchor Bay Entertainment and Manga Entertainment to those companies' managing director, Colin Lomax.
According to the report, Lomax 'has held senior positions at VCI,PolyGram/Universal, plus his own publishing business Maximum entertainment prior to joining Anchor Bay.'

Check Out Joseph Kahn and Adi Shankar's Incredible Power/Rangers Short Film While You Still Can

Lots of folks probably have nostalgic memories of the Power Rangers, whether it's the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers from the 90s or one of the many Power Rangers iterations that have been filmed over the past couple of decades. Whatever it may be, though, one doesn't easily forget the time they've spent watching the masked heroes and their fight for justice.
That's why it's so cool to see a darker, grittier take on the Power Rangers. Producer Adi Shankar and director Joseph Kahn have created a 14-minute short film called Power/Rangers (starring Katee Sackhoff and James Van Der Beek), which has already received over 8.5 million hits onYouTube alone. It's a "bootleg" take on the classic sentai superheroes, only it answers a vital question—how would all the battles really affect high school fighters?
In his "Why Bootleg the Power Rangers," Shankar says, "They're gonna straight up have f****** PTSD." He also mentions that because of their lives as "child soldiers," they probably didn't get into good colleges, having spent all their time "judo-chopping and spin-kicking monsters," derailing the rest of their lives.
If you need another reason to watch it ASAP, though, it appears that Kahn might be running into some legal battles with Haim Saban, who own the rights to the franchise. Kahn's copy of the video on Vimeo has already been taken down, although the film is still up on YouTube.
For some more insight on Power/Rangers, here's Shankar's accompanying video on why he chose to tackle the project.

Dance Along to The Shuriken Sentai Nin'ninger Ending Theme

The first episode of Toei's Shuriken Sentai Nin'ninger, the company's latest Super Sentai special-effects series aired last week. The ending credits roll to the "Nan ja Mon ja! Ninja Matsuri!" theme song by Daiki Ise. The singer also choreographed a dance to the track and invites viewers to follow along in an instructional video. It makes for a good workout too!
Shuriken Sentai Nin'ninger marks the 40th anniversary of Toei's Super Sentai franchise. The story takes place after The Last Ninjer sealed away all the yokai in the world. This lasted until The Last Ninjer's death, when the yokai returned. His descendants, five cousins, battle the yokai as the Nin'ninger.
For more Super Sentai dancing, the cast of Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger: Gaburincho of Music film collaborated with Japan's J-League soccer teams and danced in and out of costume with J-League soccer players, team mascots, and a few children, too.

Animation Veteran Claims That Industry Newcomers Only Make 120 Yen An Hour

In a recent attempt to draw awareness to an injustice in the animation industry, veteran animatorSachiko Kamimura (City HunterDoraemon movies) posted on her blog about what she claims to be the starting pay for a newcomer in the field. After having watched "numerous young animators fresh out of school suddenly be thrust into a job where they can't even eat," she feels that she must reveal what could be considered one of the most shocking facts of the anime industry - a starting wage of roughly 120 yen (US $1) an hour.

In her post, Kamimura explains that animators tend to be paid per frame of completion, rather than by a fixed salary or an hourly wage, making their wages based solely on how much they can accomplish. However, she also points out that while that was reasonable twenty years ago, today's style of animation, which needs more attention to delicate details, is not something that newcomers fresh on the scene can accomplish at a fast enough rate to make a decent living. Though she herself has become used to the pace through years of experience, she argues that it is simply not feasible to ask that much of a rookie. She estimates that even by sacrificing sleep hours and forgoing vacation time, the most that can be done is around 500 frames a month. In her calculations, an average work month of 250 hours will only earn a worker about 30,000 yen (US $251.78), much less than the national minimum wage of 888 yen (US $7.45) an hour.
Still, some other members of the animation industry seem to be in disagreement with Kamimura's claim. Noriyuki Fukuda (D.Gray-manLupin III vs. Detective Conan The Movie), who in her own right is an established animator, posted on her Twitter in response saying, "It's really best not to use someone's 'animators get 120 yen an hour' statement as a reference." Fukuda states that in reality, while the amount that one animator can produce does influence their pay, this is only in addition to the fixed rate that they receive beforehand, which can be between 50,000 (about US $419.63) and 80,000 yen (about US $671.41). She also explains that the more detailed work that Kamimura speaks of is rarely given to a newcomer, who is more likely to take on simple frames like those which require lip-synching. She estimates that for frames like these, one can easily accomplish four frames an hour, and that no company would take on someone who can do less than two an hour.
Another animator by the Twitter handle of @SAKUOLI says that the standard that Kamimura laid out didn't really apply to his group when he first started, but does not think that she is wrong, and has heard of even worse. He states that while there do seem to be a lot of studios that use rookies in this manner, it is a matter of sorting through them to find the good ones.
Still, while doubt may be placed on the figures that she's put out, Kamimura's claims that new animators have been forced to leave the industry due to such disproportionate pay. She believes that in order to preserve the quality of anime, and to keep new animators coming in, a fixed salary of at least 100,000 yen (about US $839.26) a month is necessary.
Kamimura's original post can be read on her blog on Blogger.

CGI Harlock Gets U.K. Theatrical Release

A new press release from Fetch Publicity announces that Space Pirate Captain Harlock - the 2013 CGI film version of the anime - will have a UK cinema release on April 22 (a Wednesday).
The film is currently listed on Amazon and anime-on-line for a DVD release, as well as a Blu-ray 2D/3D Steelbook, on April 27.

MVM Release Update

UK Anime News notes the following MVM releases, as listed on the Anime-on-line website.
March 2 tsuritama Collection
March 9 Pack collecting ef: a tale of memories and ef: a tale of melodies (DVD)
March 16 Onimonogatara (Blu-ray, DVD)
March 23 Kaimonogatari (Blu-ray, DVD)
April 6 The Ambition of Oda Nobuna (DVD, Blu-ray)
April 13 Log Horizon Season 1 Part 1 (DVD, Blu-ray)
April 20 Needless Complete Series Collection (DVD)
April 27 Sankarea Complete Series Collection (DVD)
May 4 Shakugan no Shana 2 Complete Series Collection (DVD)
May 11 Log Horizon Season 1 Part 2 (DVD, Blu-Ray)
May 18 The Familiar of Zero - Season 2 Complete Collection (DVD, Blu-ray)
June 8 Infinite Stratos - Complete Season 2 Collection (DVD)
June 15 Super Sonico The Animation Complete Series Collection (DVD, Blu-ray)
June 22 The Familiar of Zero - Season 3 Complete Collection (DVD, Blu-ray)
June 29 Patlabor Mobile Police OVA Series 2 Collection (DVD)

RIP Barry Newbery

Veteran Doctor Who designer Barry Newbery has died at the age of 88. 

Barry Newbery was one of the most prolific designers of Doctor Who, working on more episodes of the classic series than any other designer in its 26 year history. His contribution ranged from the very first story An Unearthly Child in 1963 through to The Awakening in 1984, a total of 62 episodes across 14 stories. 

Barry Newbery joined the BBC in the late 1950's after working as a freelance designer in London, overseeing window displays and designing exhibitions. Early work for the Corporation included Comedy Playhouse and The Last Man Out, a 1962 period drama starring Barry Letts

In 1963 he found himself attached to the new science fiction programme, planned by the BBC, Doctor Who. He was one of two designers drafted in to replace original designer Peter Brachacki, who had left the series following disagreements with the series producer Verity Lambert. Brachacki had designed the sets for the original pilot, but had left the show by the time the first episode was reshot, leaving Newbery to recreate the original Junkyard and School set, which had been destroyed following completion of the pilot. 

For the majority of Doctor Who's first two years Newbery would share the design work with Raymond Cusick, with Cusick taking the Science fiction stories, while Newbery worked on the historical adventures. After creating a stone age settlement for An Unearthly Child, he was tasked with creating the court of Kubla Khan in Marco Polo, the city of Tenochtitlan in The Aztecs, the cities and deserts around Jaffa in The Crusadeand Saxon England in The Time Meddler 

In 1965 he worked on the first Doctor Who Christmas episode, The Feast of Steven, before competing the remaining 5 episodes of the The Daleks' Master Plan. He voyged into the future with The Ark before returning to the historicals, recreating the town of Tombstone, Arizona in the story The Gunfighters

In 1968 he worked on his one Second Doctor story, The Dominators and in 1970 his one Third Doctor story The Silurians. He completed three Fourth Doctor stories, The Brain of Morbius and The Masque of Mandragora in 1976, followed by The Invisible Enemy in 1977. 

His final credit for Doctor Who came in 1984 when he designed the Fifth Doctor storyThe Awakening

Outside of Doctor Who Newbery worked on vast range of projects, being involved in some of the most iconic television series of the time. He wroked on historical dramas including The Onedin LinePrince RegentThe Citadel and The Shadow of the Tower as well as more modern dramas such as Z CarsSoftly Softly and The Expert. He ventured into comedy with shows such as Dad’s Army and Sykes

In 1979 Newbery won an RTS Television Award for his work on The Lost Boys and the following year he received a BAFTA nomination for Prince Regent

Newbery took a great many behind-the-scenes photographs during his time on Doctor Who and a large selection were published in The Barry Newbery Signature Collection, published by Telos Publishing Ltd. in 2013. 

Barry Newbery died peacefully in his sleep this morning.

DWA 362

The latest edition of Doctor Who Adventures magazine is offering readers a chance to win tickets to the upcoming Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular. Inside, there are 12 chances to win tickets to the concert, which is coming to venues around the UK this May. 

The magazine also looks back at the last ten years of Doctor Who. Check out the best scares and scenes since the series returned in 2005. 

The issue comes with a Doctor Who set, which includes stickers, a TARDIS box, badges and key ring. 

All this and loads more, including:
  • Find out how to claim a free book to celebrate World Book Day.
  • The Alien Babies get a fright!
  • There’s trouble for the Doctor and Clara in comic strip written by Simon Guerrier.
  • We continue with our the guide to the 2014 episodes of Doctor Who.
  • There are some brilliant behind-the-scenes secrets.
  • Find out what Y stands for in the Monster A-Z
  • Plus, cut out and keep some fact figures!
The new issue of BBC Doctor Who Adventures magazine, Issue 362, is out from 25 February – 24 March, priced £3.99.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Magical Warfare Anime Gets English Dub

Section23 Films announced its June 2015 release slate on Tuesday and listed the Magical Warfare DVD and Blu-ray setswith an English dub. The series will ship on June 30.
Crunchyroll streamed the series as it aired.
In this modern magic action story, Takeshi Nanase is an ordinary high school boy who has a somewhat dark past. Due to certain circumstances, he formed a "fake" couple with his childhood friend Kurumi Isoshima, but otherwise, he lives a normal life. However, one day, he comes across a girl named Mui Aiba, in a uniform he has never seen before, collapsed on the school campus. This encounter changes Takeshi's destiny completely. Mui tells Takeshi that she is a magician, and she apologizes, for she turned Takeshi into a magician, too. What Takeshi once knew as one world is actually two — the world where magicians live and the world where humans live.
The series debuted in Japan last year.
Hisashi Suzuki launched the light novel series in 2011 with art by Lunalia, and Media Factorypublished the sixth volume in August. Yū Ibuki has drawn the manga adaptation in Media Factory'sMonthly Comic Gene magazine since last year.
The release slate also includes Haikyu!! Collection 1, Kinghts of Sidonia Season 1, Mardock Scramble film trilogy set, Captain Earth Season 1, Hayate the Combat Butler Season 4 (Hayate the Combat Butler: Cuties) and Space Brothers Season 3. All the releases are planned for DVD and Blu-ray release.

Anime Limited Updates

Anime Limited has made the following announcements.
Kill la Kill Part 2 has been pushed back from March 2 to 23 (the latter date is still tentative), due to 'approval times' on the packaging.
- The Makoto Shinkai twin pack containing The Place Promised in Our Early Days and Voices of a Distant Star has been delayed, due to 'issues regarding access to the English language audio from the English rights holder.' (It is currently 'TBC.')
Anime Limited adds that it 'toyed' with the idea of a sub-only release of the twin pack, 'but we know there are a lot of people who want to watch these with English audio so we sticking with making it a dual-language release.'
- The Standard Edition Blu-ray release of Tiger & Bunny the Movie: The Beginning has been cancelled in favour of a 'Standard Edition movie twin pack release,' which will contain both Tiger & Bunny the Movie: The Beginning and Tiger & Bunny The Movie -The Rising-. This twin pack will be released on April 27 with an SRP of £19.99 (DVD) and £24.99 (Blu-ray).
The Wings of Honneamise has been delayed to mid or late April, exact date TBC.
- The HAL Standard Edition DVD and Blu-ray will be moved forward to sometime in March.

Gatchaman Crowds Scheduled for April 27

Animatsu has told ANN that it will release the series Gatchaman Crowds on April 27 on both DVD and Blu-ray. It will be the first release by the new UK label.
Set in Japan's Tachikawa City, the series involves "Gatchaman" — warriors who fight in special reinforced suits powered by "NOTE," the manifestation of special spiritual powers in living beings. A council has scouted a group of individuals with latent powers to protect Earth from alien criminals. In recent years, the council has assigned Gatchaman warriors to deal with the mysterious entity known as "MESS." The cast includes Maaya UchidaKatsuji MoriRyota OhsakaDaisuke NamikawaAya HiranoDaisuke HosomiKotori KoiwaiMamoru MiyanoAyumu Murase, and Sakura Tange.
Kenji Nakamura (Mononoke, tsuritama) directed from scripts by Toshiya Ono (Suite Precure,tsuritama) at Tatsunoko Productions. Illustrator Kinoko did the original character designs for the characters, while Koji Nakakita (Wandaba StyleJūsō Kikō Dancouga Nova) did the mecha designs. Four-member rock band WHITE ASH performed the opening theme song "Crowds." Uchida performed the ending theme song "Innocent Note."
The series is loosely inspired by the original Gatchaman anime, which screened in Japan in 1972 and was later Americanised as Battle of the Planets.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

The Sacred Blacksmith Manga Adaptation to End in 10th Volume

The final page of the ninth compiled volume of Kōtarō Yamada's manga adaptation of Isao Miura's The Sacred Blacksmith light novel series lists that the manga will end in the tenth volume. The ninth volume was published in Japan on Monday.
Seven Seas describes the story of the manga:
Like her father and grandfather before her, Cecily Campbell has entered the knighthood and joined the ranks of the Knight Guards of Houseman. Eager to do her heritage proud and defend her city, Cecily rushes to the marketplace to stop a madman from terrorizing the populace. She quickly realizes, however, that she is hopelessly outmatched and ill-prepared for an actual fight. A lone figure named Luke Ainsworth swoops to the rescue, a swordsman and blacksmith of much renown, who will repair the broken sword Cecily has inherited from her father and take her down a road of perilous adventure beyond her wildest dreams.
Yamada began the manga in Media Factory's Monthly Comic Alive magazine in 2009. Seven Seas Entertainment haslicensed the manga for North American release, and will ship the seventh compiled volume on March 3. Miura began the original light novel series the novel series in 2007, and ended the series in 2013 with a total of 16 volumes.
Miura's light novel series also inspired a 2009 television anime series, and Funimation releases the anime in North America.

Digimon Fusion's 2nd Season to Premiere on Nicktoons in March

The official Twitter account for Digimon announced on Monday that the second season of Digimon Fusion (Digimon Xros Wars in Japan) will premiere on the Nicktoons Network on March 8.
The show's distributor, Saban, describes the series:
Digimon Fusion is the all-new animated series and sixth installment of the Digimon franchise, the longest-running Japanese anime property. The series will feature all-newDigimon action and excitement following Mikey, a human boy, who is transported into the digital realm and must team up with his new “Digimon” or “Digital Monster” friends before their world is deleted once and for all. New fusion powers allow Digimon to combine and fuse their abilities to create endless battle possibilities.
Digimon Xros Wars, the original name of the sixth Digimon television anime series, premiered in Japan in 2010, and its follow-up Digimon Xros Wars: Toki o Kakeru Shōnen Hunter-tachipremiered in October 2011. Crunchyroll streamed the first series and also streamed the second series as it aired in Japan.
Nicktoons ran the first season of Digimon Fusion in September 2013. It also briefly ran Digimon Adventure in June 2013, and Digimon Adventure 02 in August 2013. The new series Digimon Adventure tri. will premiere in Japan this spring.

Animax Adds Red Data Girl

In a press release, the Animax UK site announced that it will be adding P.A. Works' television anime adaptation of Noriko Ogiwara's RDG Red Data Girl novel series.
The modern fantasy story revolves around Izumiko (voiced bySaori Hayami), a girl raised within the confines of Tamakura Shrine, one of the Kumano shrines that are part of a World Heritage site. However, after Izumiko spent practically her entire life at Kumano until middle school, she wants to become a normal girl. It was decided that she and her childhood friend Miyuki (voiced by Kouki Uchiyama) would enroll in Hōjō High School in Tokyo. On a school trip to Tokyo, a mysterious entity known as Himegami appears and a terrible incident occurs. Izumiko's family carries a great secret that Izumiko is about to learn.
Toshiya Shinohara (Black ButlerInuYasha films, The Book of Bantorradirected the series and Michiko Yokote (Bleach,GintamaPrincess Tutu) handled the scripts. Minako Shiba (Black Butler, .hack franchiseNoir,Letter Bee) adapted Mel Kishida's original character designs. Musicians myu and Masumi Itou(Bungaku Shōjo) scored the soundtrack.