Thursday, 30 April 2015

Manga Entertainment Acquires Dragon Ball Kai for Blu-ray and DVD

Manga Entertainment has announced that it will release Dragon Ball Kai (the condensed, remastered version of Dragon Ball Z) on Blu-ray and DVD. Season 1 will be released on August 3, followed by Season 2 on September 28 (or September 23, according to the tweet caption).
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'sDragon Ball manga. The series features digital 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. A further run began in April 2014 in Japan, covering the Majin Buu Saga arc.

New Cardcaptor Sakura Figures Are Ready to Do Damage on Your Wallet

The Cardcaptor Sakura goods keep coming, this time with three new figures; two of Sakura herself and one of Li Syaoran.
Kotobukiya's ARTFX J 1/7-scale Cardcaptor Sakura comes beautifully detailed in the same outfit she wears in the series' first opening sequence. It costs 11,880 yen (about US$100) and measures about 185mm (7.25in) high. Sakura's magical mascot Kero is also along for the ride.
The same line is also producing a 1/7-scale Li Syaoran in his card-capturing regalia for the same price. Li measures 230mm (9in) high and is balancing on a leaning platform with his sword in hand. Li figures will ship on May 19.
The figure maker PLUM is also making a 1/7-scale Sakura figure in her yellow dress costume from the anime's second opening sequence. The figure will ship on May 31 and costs 12,960 yen (US$109). It measures 19cm (7.5in) high.
CLAMP's Cardcaptor Sakura manga is celebrating its 20th anniversary (officially, next year) and has since gotten a new doll and Nendoroidsfashion goods, a line of cosmeticsreplica wands fromMOVIC's new Eternal Masterpiece line, lottery prizes, and more.

Tokyo One Piece Tower Theme Park Draws 100,000 in 48 Days

he Tokyo One Piece Tower theme park drew its 100,000th visitor on Wednesday, 48 days after itopened on March 13. Tokyo resident Stefan Vaneiken was the 100,00th visitor along with his family.
The theme park recreates the world in Eiichiro Oda's pirate manga One Piece and its anime adaptation. The park is holding a campaign to celebrate the upcoming May 5 birthday of the main character Luffy.

Noriko Meguro's Game of Thrones Book Covers Are Gorgeous

George R. R. Martin's fantasy book series A Song of Ice and Fire and its HBO television seriesGame of Thrones adaptation have captured audiences the world over. Eddard “Ned” Stark's "Brace yourselves, winter is coming" phrase is a well-tread meme and the series' "Red Wedding" episode shocked audiences.
The book series is also being published in Japan with its own variant covers by artist Noriko Meguro. The art is absolutely gorgeous, with many of the character designs hearkening back to Martin's original descriptions (like Tyrion Lannister) instead of their actor counterparts. None the less, we decided to put together comparisons of HBO's actors in the show and Meguro's art. Which do you prefer?

A Game of Thrones Part 1 cover featuring Jon Snow

A Game of Thrones Part 2 cover featuring Daenerys Targaryen

A Clash of Kings Part 1 cover featuring Arya Stark

A Clash of Kings Part 2 cover featuring Sansa Stark

A Storm of Swords Part 1 cover featuring Margaery Tyrell

A Storm of Swords Part 2 cover featuring Tyrion Lannister

A Storm of Swords Part 3 cover featuring Samwell Tarly

A Feast for Crows Part 1 cover featuring Jaime Lannister

A Feast for Crows Part 2 cover featuring Cersei Lannister

A Dance with Dragons Part 1 cover featuring Daenerys Targaryen

A Dance with Dragons Part 2 cover featuring Bran Stark

A Dance with Dragons Part 3 cover featuring Jon Snow

DWM 486

Former showrunner Russell T Davies talks Sex Drugs and Rock & Roll in the latest edition of Doctor Who Magazine. 

The man who brought Doctor Who back to TV in 2005 returns with an audio adaptation of his very first Doctor Who adventure, the 1996 novel Damaged Good. Davies tells DWM how the story influenced his reinvention of the TV series
It kind of shows the promise that I didn't know was there with Doctor Who. Because Doctor Who – the 'classic' Doctor Who that I grew up loving – didn't, famously, blow up the world. Invasions and monsters would tend to limit themselves to the gardens of UNIT, or a country house. It's interesting, that sequence in Damaged Goods with the train blowing up, which then led to me destroying the entire city – that kind of liberated me, and then I carried that into Doctor Who. So I was thinking 'Right, you can have a spaceship crash into Big Ben, you can do anything you like..
Also inside this issue
  • Damaged Goods – The Audio Version
  • DWM talks to the cast of the new audio of Damaged Goods, including Sylvester McCoyYasmin BannermanMichelle Collins, Denise Black, Peter Barrett, Daniel Brocklebank, Richard Hope and the script-writer of the adaptation,Jonathan Morris.
  • Carole Ann Ford Is Taken Back In Time
  • Carole Ann Ford reminisces about being the Doctor's very first companion, as she looks through fascinating scrapbooks containing rare and unique clippings that were compiled by the original producer of the series, Verity Lambert.
  • Video Tasty
  • DWM reveals the history of how Doctor Who was brought to home video, and talks to the people responsible for the early releases. Plus, never-before-printed information on what the censors thought of the episodes...
  • Barry Newbery Remembered
  • A tribute to the late Barry Newbery, the man who designed many classic Doctor Who stories during the 1960s and 70s.
  • The Highlanders
  • Discover fascinating new facts about the 1966-67 Second Doctor adventure The Highlanders in The Fact of Fiction.
  • Doctor Who Adventures
  • Go behind the scenes of the children's magazine Doctor Who Adventures, as DWM chats to editor Jason Quinn about his plans for the relaunched title.
  • Blood and Ice
  • Clara sees double while the Doctor makes a chilling discovery! Blood and Ice – the brand new comic strip written by Jacqueline Rayner and illustrated by Martin Geraghty – continues...
  • Steven Moffat Answers Your Questions
  • Steven Moffat answers readers’ questions, and talks about the casting of Game of Thrones star Masie Williams in Doctor Who.
PLUS! Reviews and previews; Relative Dimensions; Wotcha!; The DWM Crossword, prize-winning competitions, official news and more. 

Doctor Who Magazine 486 is on sale from Thursday 30 April 2015, price £4.99.

Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular comes to New York

BBC Worldwide North America has announced the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular is coming to New York later this year. 

The a live show, which sold out when it premiered in Australia, and is touring the UK this spring, will be staged for the first time in the U.S. at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on Wednesday October 7, 2015. The event, produced and presented by Vision Nine, will be one of the headline events of New York Super Week, which takes over the city October 5-11 in the lead-up to the main event New York Comic Con, taking place October 8-11 at the Javits Center. 

The show will be hosted by actor Michelle Gomez who portrays Missy, the latest incarnation of the Doctor’s arch-nemesis the Master. She first appeared on-screen in 2014 and returns to Doctor Who in the new season scheduled to air on worldwide this autumn. 

Michelle Gomez comments
I was a big fan of Doctor Who before I joined the cast, and I love Murray Gold’s powerful and emotional soundtracks for the series. This live show has been a big hit with fans of the series in other countries, and I know that Doctor Who fans in North America have been waiting for their turn to see it. I’m so excited to be presenting the first-ever American performances, and to be doing this in the city that has become my home. I can’t wait ’til this fall to see how the amazing U.S. audience reacts to the show being staged in the Big Apple. I’m honored to be a part of it.
The Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular, which celebrates the world’s longest running science fiction TV series, features the captivating and award-winning music ofMurray Gold who has composed for the series since 2005. The show will feature over 100 musicians and singers under the conducting baton of Ben Foster(conductor, The Theory of Everything). Fans can expect to see some of the Doctor’s most fearsome adversaries live on stage including Daleks, Cybermen, Judoon, Whispermen, and more. The live performance will be accompanied by a big screen presentation of key moments and specially edited sequences from the past decade of Doctor Who. 

Tickets will go on general sale via the venue box office and website at 10am on Friday, May 8, 2015, with prices starting at $50.50 per ticket.

DW series 9 update

David Schofield has been signed up to appear in the next series of Doctor Who. 

Schofield is best known for playing King Alined in the BBC fantasy drama series Merlin. Other TV appearances include roles inFootballers' Wives, Holby City, Jekyll & Hyde and, most recently, as Police Sergeant Foley in Hugo Blick's The Shadow Line for BBC Two. Big Screen appearances include roles in An American Werewolf In London, The Last of the Mohicans, Anna Karenina and Gladiator as well as playing as Mr. Mercer in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. 

Doctor Who Magazine reveals that Schofield will appear in episodes five and six of the new series, currently being filmed in Cardiff. 

As reported last month, the episodes also feature Game of Thrones actress Maisie Williams as well as comic Rufus Hound. The BBC have released a video of Hound at the script read through. 

Showrunner Steven Moffat hinted to DWM that the role played by Williams is particularly significant saying she would "challenge the Doctor in very unexpected ways".

DW to air on FX India

BBC Worldwide have signed a deal to bring Doctor Who to the Indian channel FX. 

All eight post 2005 series of the show will be screened starting 15th May 2015. The deal marks largest volume sale of the BBC series in the country. FX is owned by Star India Private Limited and is available in a million homes in the country. 

Myleeta Aga, SVP and GM of BBC Worldwide in India said
This partnership marks a milestone for us. It will be the first time Whovians in India will be able to participate in the global Doctor Who phenomenon. And it is also the first time we’ve concluded a major deal with Star India.

We’ve seen an increasing interest in British drama from our partners in the last 12 months or so. Viewers now recognise the originality of British drama, and this has caused a surge in interest in our drama series like Doctor Who. We are very glad to be working with Star India to bring this very iconic series (including series 9 which is currently being filmed) to viewers in India.
A Star India spokesperson commented:
We are very excited to be bringing Doctor Who to our viewers in India. Doctor Who is distributed to over 200 territories across the world. We are very happy India will now be part of this global sensation and we’re sure that the series will resonate with our viewers.
Brian Minchin, Executive Producer, Doctor Who says:
We are delighted that Doctor Who is going to hit the screens of FX. We’re hugely proud of the show and the Doctor’s adventures in time and space. Hold on tight - there are thrills and wonders ahead! 51 years ago, the very first episode of Doctor Who was directed by Waris Hussein, born in Lucknow. I like to think we’ve finally come full circle with the new modern series launching in India on FX

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

New Dragon Ball Z's Song Recorded in English by Momoiro Clover Z Idols

The pop idol group Momoiro Clover Z confirmed on Tuesday that they recorded an English version of "'Z' no Chikai" (The Oath of "Z"), the ending theme song for this year's Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection 'F' film. The idols made the announcement in full Dragon Ball cosplay during a stage greeting, held at a Tokyo screening of the film to thank fans for the film's success.
The group's leader Kanako Momota admitted that before they could sing the English version, the English lyrics were transliterated into phonetic Japanese characters (katakana) so they could pronounce the words. Nevertheless, she said that they sang the English version with everything they had. She previously said that she hoped the song will bring energy to a lot of people like a "reverse genki dama (spirit bomb)."
During the same stage greeting, Momoiro Clover Z announced Dragon Ball Super, a new television anime premiering this July. Original manga creator Akira Toriyama is drafting the original story and character concepts for this anime.
Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection 'F' premiered on 658 screens in both 2D and 3D in theaters across Japan on April 18, although advance screenings were held before then. The film is the first Japanese film to open in 3D IMAX Digital Theaters.
The film will eventually screen in 74 countries worldwide.Funimation hosted the North American premiere of the film on April 11 in Los Angeles. The company plans to release the film in more theaters with an English dub this summer.
Toriyama is personally credited with the original concept, screenplay, and character designs of the new movie. Dragon Ball Z animation director Tadayoshi Yamamuro directed the new movie.
Momoiro Clover Z also voiced roles in the movie, playing "angels" of hell that reside where the protagonist Son Goku's enemy Freeza has been imprisoned. Previously, they sang theme songs for Sailor Moon Crystal and Bodacious Space Pirates.

President Obama's Welcome for Japan's Prime Minister Abe Includes Thank You for Anime, Manga

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is visiting the White House today as part of ongoing trade discussions between the United States and countries within the Pacific Rim. While Abe's visit is mostly business, a certain amount of fanfare is also planned.
President Obama introduced Abe, noting his visit was an opportunity for young people to express gratitude for Japanese cultural imports, including anime and manga.
"Today is a chance for Americans, especially our young people, to say thank you for all the things we love from Japan, like karate and karaoke, manga and anime, and, of course, emojis," the President said.
Along with discussions concerning the Japanese and American auto industry, Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto will prepare Japanese Wagyu beef in an American style for this evenings state dinner. Both chopsticks and silverware will be available. The cast of the musical Jersey Boys will also perform for the guests.
The two dignitaries also toured the Lincoln Memorial together and are expected to hold a toast at a state dinner tonight.

Dragon Ball Gets 1st New TV Anime in 18 Years in July

Dragon Ball Super, a brand new television anime inspired byAkira Toriyama's Dragon Ball manga, will premiere on Fuji TVand other channels in July on Sundays at 9:00 a.m. This will be the first new Dragon Ball television series since Dragon Ball GT, which aired from 1996 to 1997.
The story of the anime is set a few years after the defeat of Majin Buu, when the Earth has become peaceful once again. The voice of Goku, Gohan, and Goten, Masako Nozawacommented on the new anime, saying, “We've always used the word 'chō' (Super) with Dragon Ball in commercials, games and the like, but the fact that the series titled Dragon Ball Super is beginning is the best thing ever.”
Fuji TV producer Osamu Nozaki commented on the new series as well, saying, “As I read the plot [of the series] I've already received from Akira Toriyama, my dreams for this begin to expand. An enemy even stronger than Buu or Freeza may appear...”
Toriyama is credited as the original creator, as well as for "original story & character concepts."Toei Animation's Kimitoshi Chioka (Hakaba KitarōKamisama Kazoku) is the series director, andNaoko Sagawa (Yomiko Advertising, Inc.) and Atsushi Kido (Toei Animation) join Nozaki as producers. Kido entered Toei just as the company was animating the Dragon Ball Z anime's Freeza arc.
A new film taking place after the Majin Buu Saga, Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection 'F' (key visual seen right,) premiered in Japan earlier this month. The film will eventually screen in 74 countries worldwide. Funimation hosted the North American premiere of the film on April 11 in Los Angeles. The company plans to release the film in more theaters with an English dub this summer.

Study: New Entry-Level Animators Earn US$9,200 a Year in Japan

The Japanese government's Agency for Cultural Affairs, along with the Japan Animation Creators Association (JAniCA), conducted a new study of the working conditions, average income, and working hours of new animators in the Japanese animation industry. The study surveyed 759 animators.
The study reports that young animators work an average of 11 hours every day, and in-between (dōga) animators — many of whom are in their 20s — earn a yearly income of around 1.1 million yen (around US$9,200). The in-between animator is the entry-level position in the anime industry, and this income average does not include animators in higher positions or with more experience.
The report notes that the primary factors for the low yearly income for new animators is the low labor costs from neighboring Asian countries, as well as in-betweeners' signing contracts where they earn only a few hundred yen per animation drawing.
JAniCA vice spokesperson and animation director Osamu Yamasaki (Toward the TerraHakuōki,Hakkenden: Eight Dogs of the East) said, "I know the working conditions are hard, especially for the younger animators. If we don't take care of the animators that will succeed us, the industry risks becoming unsustainable."
JAniCA conducted a similar 2009 study with nearly identical results. Yamasaki cautioned people to not jump to conclusions on that study. He said that the salaries rise as animators are promoted to higher positions such as key animators and animation directors.
Animator Sachiko Kamimura (City HunterDoraemon movies) also drew attention to the industry's working conditions earlier this year, stating that newcomers work at a starting wage of roughly 120 yen (US $1) an hour. However, Noriyuki Fukuda (D.Gray-manLupin III vs. Detective Conan The Moviesaid that the pay rate rises with more detailed work for experienced animators.
JAniCA will make the new study public on Wednesday. The agency also plans to hold symposiums in the future to raise attention on the working conditions of young animators.

Interview With Ninth Doctor Comics Writer Cavan Scott

Doctor Who News has conducted another interview with a writer for one of the Titan Comics series; this time meeting Cavan Scott - who is behind the brand new Ninth Doctor mini-series. 

Scott first experienced Doctor Who during the Tom Baker era, but it was the early version of Doctor Who Magazine (when Davison's version was contemporary) that saw him become a real fan. The regular comic strip in  'Doctor Who Monthly' was pivotal in his career path of being a major contributor to the comic strip medium. He has always regarded the iconic Daleks as the best adversary to the Doctor but also rates the Zygons (who have appeared both in the classic series, as well as the anniversary special 'The Day Of The Doctor'). 

Scott was already producing Adventure Time strips for Titan, when the new Doctor Who licence was granted to the company. He then approached editor Andrew James, who had read the reference book 'Who-ology' (co-written byMark Wright and Cavan).  

I asked what he regarded the Ninth Doctor's greatest strengths and weaknesses:
Enthusiasm, Renewed hope. Straight-talking.

His temper. Intolerance, at times. [Flirting with ] women.
Other discussion centred on just how pleasing the hit success of Doctor Who in 2005 was.
One of the best moments of 2005 was doing a signing and seeing so many children at the event. Finally, Doctor Who was back and where it belonged - in the heart of families! 
We also talked about the Ninth Doctor/ Rose/ Captain Jack dynamic that is a major focus point in the mini series, and how plot and character motivations were connected with the Time War and the universe now bereft of any Time Lords (barring of course the Doctor and the 'hidden' Master). 

Scott also stated how he sees both fiction and non-fiction as story-telling processes that should somehow 'hook' the reader or viewer, and how the diversity in his projects keeps his creative energies going. 

When asked about other programs he rates highly, he mentioned 'Star Trek', 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' and 'Angel'. Ultimately though Doctor Who was the standout for its  'infinitely flexible' premise and scope. 

Cavan Scott's Ninth Doctor mini-series has already seen release with Issue 1 available online or at all good comic book stores and newsagents. 

Full Interview

RT DW Cover awards

The Radio Times cover, from the issue which announced the arrival of Peter Capaldi as The Doctor, has been nominated as the Cover of the Year by the PPA. 

The Professional Publishers Association have listed the cover as one of ten nominated for the award. Radio Times was nominated last year for the cover celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who, but lost out to Metal Hammer when the results were announced. 

This year Radio Times faces competition from The Big Issue, Crumbs, GQ, ShortList, Country Life, Elle, n, Red and Time Out. 

Voting can be done via the PPA website. 

The winner will be announced at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane in London's Mayfair on the evening of Thursday, July 9.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Coluboccoro Kickstarter Adds Stretch Goal for English Dub

The Kickstarter campaign to fund KENJI STUDIO, director Kenji Itoso's studio, and Awesome Japan's Coluboccoro fantasy anime film added a US$60,000 stretch goal for an English dubon Monday. A second stretch goal, at US$78,000, will add an English dub to KENJI STUDIO's Santa Company anime.
The campaign to release the film on Blu-ray and DVD with English subtitles met its goal of US$38,000 last week. The project's previously announced stretch goal of US$100,000 would add 30 minutes to the film's run time.
As of press time, the Kickstarter has earned US$41,264 with three days remaining.
The Kickstarter campaign describes the film:
It is a time not of the now. At the birthplace of culture and religion. Where science has evolved amongst a gathering of races and people both high and low. In a town, with a ruler. Like any other town, unlike any other ruler. Suzu, the girl's name is. Her parents lost to her at a young age, her days strict with an upbringing befitting of the now and future sovereign. But doubt had crept in for the life she lived. So out she stole one day, to that place one must never set foot, to the Forbidden Grounds. Far above the town the Forbidden Grounds lay. And there, Suzu finds a seed, the likes of which she has never seen before. What kind of seed could it be? Wondering, she wanders back and waters the seed… And there, it sprouts right before her eyes, a mysterious creature popping up from the dirt!
A startled Suzu timidly speaks, “…and you are?”
“Colu!” it peeped.
Suzu returns to the Forbidden Grounds, to find out just what the creature is. Beyond lays a world she has never seen, the secret of the town waiting hidden. And just like that, destinies are laid bare. All possibilities become one thread, spinning the ultimate truth. Will Suzu take hold and lead it to the end?
Coluboccoro was originally a fantasy short that Itoso produced with Anime Innovation Tokyo, and it won the grand prize in the Creative Market Tokyo 2011 event. (Itoso was the unit director on the late Satoshi Kon's dormant Yume-Miru Kikai film.)
Itoso conceived, planned, wrote, storyboarded, and directed the "Coluboccoro" short himself. Its grand prize led to Itoso receiving a go-ahead to make the Santa Company film. Norihiko Tsuru composed the music, Hanami performed the theme song, and the voice cast starred Emiri Katō.
KENJI STUDIO had already run a Kickstarter campaign for Santa Company in 2013, and itcompleted the film last year after meeting its fundraising goal. Itoso stated on the ColuboccoroKickstarter page that Coluboccoro and Santa Company "are part of a larger work," and a third anime fantasy is planned to make a trilogy.