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Browsing Category: > Production

Sub Categories: [CLAMP] [Gainax] [Gonzo] [Production I.G.] [Studio Ghibli]

Nintendo and Uniqlo Team Up for T-shirt Design Competition

Date: Sunday July 3rd 2016 [15:11] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Events

Fans of Nintendo with an artistic streak will be interested to hear about Uniqlo's UTGP'17 T-shirt design competition. The grand prize is £7,000 and will be judged by Nintendo legend Shigeru Miyamoto (along with a special team of judges). The design competition is open world wide. The theme is simply Nintendo. So if you've got an idea for a Nintendo themed t-shirt you've been itching to get made, now is the time to get submitting!

The winning t-shirts will be sold through Uniqlo in Spring 2017.

The competition is due to close on Wednesday 31st August 2016.

Read More... | Source: Uniqlo

Fakku Publishing and Toshio Maeda Running Kickstarter to publish Legend of the Overfiend in English

Date: Wednesday June 22nd 2016 [16:02] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Freaky Things

Sitting on a train travelling home, a man wearing a trench coat walked past me, I couldn't see his face, it was covered by the brim of his hat, I could see he had a moustache. I thought this was strange attire for the middle of June. I didn't know who he was, but he clearly knew me. Just as the train pulled into the next station he passed me a plain brown envelope and left the train before I could process what happened.

I waited until I got home until opening the envelope, just in case, as it's not everyday mustachioed stranger delivers a letter on public transport. The letter was from on-line retailer United Publications, they wanted to tell us that they've started stocking books for *ahem* mature readers from publisher Fakku. The letter said Fakku are company driven by fans, something United Publications are keen to support.

Not wanting to stop, the letter carried on.

"We know you've met renowned hentai master Toshio Maeda, but are you aware of the Kickstarter to get his most famous work Legend of the Overfiend published in English?"

We weren't aware of this Kickstarter, but now we are. Thank you, kind trenchcoated stranger.

The Kickstarter is due to end on Wednesday 20th July 2016. As of the time of writing $32,919 has been pledged towards the $47,000 (USD) target.

Source: Fakku Kickstarter

Animatsu Licenses In This Corner of the World

Date: Wednesday June 15th 2016 [16:09] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Anime

We've just been sent details from Animatsu Entertainment, an affiliate company of Manga Entertainment UK. They've just announced that they've secured global distribution rights animated feature In This Corner of the World. The film is based on the the award-winning manga written by Fumiyo Kouno. It tells the tale of Suzu, who in 1944 moves to the small town of Kure in Hiroshima.

This is an interesting move by Animatsu, until now they've mainly acquired rights to distribute titles in the UK and Ireland. Often partnering with American and Australian anime companies for resources such as the subtitles and English language dub. We asked Animatsu to elaborate on their new acquisition strategy, but they can't divulge anything as yet.

Read More... | Source: Animatsu Entertainment

An Interview with Anime Director Michael Arias

Date: Monday June 6th 2016 [15:59] | Posted By: Lee
Category: > Features

Lots of anime fans aspire to join the anime industry. Very few from the west make it. Even fewer people go on to direct well known titles like Tekkonkinkreet, or produced the Animatrix. Michael Arias was a guest at the MCM London Comic Con this May 2016. We were lucky enough to catch him for an exclusive interview, while he was here to promote Harmony, his latest feature film, it's due for a home video release in the UK sometime in Q4 2016 thanks to Anime Limited.

Read More... | Source: Otaku News

Ozarin: Anime Japan 2016 - An Adventure in Odaiba!

Date: Friday April 22nd 2016 [16:11] | Posted By: Bryoz
Category: > Features

I was lucky enough to attend Anime Japan, a massive entertainment focused event in Odaiba, to check out some of the latest and upcoming Japanese animation!

Read More... | Source: Ozarin

Kadokawa Buy Majority Stake in Yen Press

Date: Tuesday April 12th 2016 [16:03] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Manga

Manga publishing imprint Yen Press have just announced that they have entered into an agreement with mega-content publisher Kadokawa. The Yen Press imprint will be span off to form a new company Yen Pres LLC. Kadokawa will own 51% of the new company while the original parent company of Yen Press, Hachette Book Group will own the remaining 49%.

This is interesting news. There are many reasons why a Japanese media giant like Kadokawa would want their own English language manga publisher. Industry watchers are already speculating about what Yen Press will do next.

The news was first announced on Anime News Network.

Read More... | Source: Yen Press

Sherlock Manga Release Details Update

Date: Saturday March 26th 2016 [15:21] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Manga

We've already published details about Titan Comic's up-coming release of the Sherlock Manga. As news is spreading we wanted to know more details about the actual release. So we go it touch with Titan Comics editor Andrew James to talk about the release.

Read More... | Source: Titan Comics

Miss Hokusai Screening Review

Date: Monday February 1st 2016 [13:43] | Posted By: Voxie
Category: > Features

Whether I'm reviewing or not, when I go in to watch a new feature film, I try to read up on it as little as possible. With Miss Hokusai, I had only seen the short Japanese trailer (on purpose, so I wouldn't understand everything), and later skimmed the first few paragraphs of the production notes, handed to me when I walked into the screening. What I was expecting was something of a behind-the-scenes, biographical approach to Katsushika Hokusai's life, through his daughter's eyes. But instead I got something a little different.

Read More... | Source: Otaku News

An Interview with Shigeto Koyama - Anime Character Designer

Date: Friday November 6th 2015 [18:31] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Features

The May and October MCM London Comic Cons are without doubt the biggest geek events in the UK. With over 130,000 people attending this October. It caters for all geeky tastes. Anime fans are also well looked after, each event regularly has an anime guest of honour. The October Comic con played host to Shigeto Koyama, renowned designer, he designed Baymax from Disney movie Big Hero 6. He was also involved in the character designs for fan favourite anime show Kill La Kill, as well as designing the weapons and lots of gear in the well loved game No More Heroes. We were lucky enough to catch up with him and ask some interesting questions.

Read More... | Source: Otaku News

The Osamu Tezuka Story - A Life in Manga and Anime Book Details

Date: Monday October 19th 2015 [16:02] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Manga

The good folks from publishers Stone Bridge Press have just sent us details for a new book out in July 2016. They'll be publishing The Osamu Tezuka Story A Life in Manga and Anime by Toshio Ban & Tezuka Productions. This is going to be a huge book weighing in at over 900 pages, it covers the entire life of Osamu Tezuka, the creator of Astro Boy and man seen as the founding father of modern manga and anime.

This book is translated by Frederik L. Schodt. He's known for many things in including translating the original Ghost In the Shell manga into English (with Toren Smith). He's also written numerous award winning books books on manga. He knows his stuff!

You can pre-order the book from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.

Stone Bridge Press publish high quality books on Japanese culture, anime and manga. They're the publishers behind the The Anime Encyclopedia.

Read More... | Source: Stone Bridge Press

Anime Pioneer Osamu Tezuka Documentary on NHK World This Weekend

Date: Thursday August 27th 2015 [11:50] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Anime

Anime fans keen to know about the origins of their hobby will be very interested to tune into NHK World this weekend to catch Artist in Motion: Anime Pioneer Osamu Tezuka. The documentary looks at the famed manga and anime creator who often considered the founding father of modern anime. It focuses on the triumphs and tribulations of an artist driven to new forms of expression.

It will be broadcast on NHK World on
Saturday 29th August
23:10
Sunday 30th August
5:10, 10:10 and 17:10
All times are in UTC (as NHK world is a global channel).

NHK World is free to access, and is broadcast on most satellite providers. It broadcasts it's content in English, either dubbed into English, or in Japanese with English subtitles. Details on how to watch it can be found here.

UK based readers can find NHK World on:
Sky Channel 507
Freesat Channel 209
Virgin Media (with certain packages) Channel 625

Australian based readers can catch it on Foxtel Channel 656

American readers can get it with different cable or satellite providers.

You can also watch a live stream on the NHK World Website or download their live streaming app for your tablet or smartphone.

Read More... | Source: NHK World

An Interview with Space Dandy writer Kimiko Ueno

Date: Tuesday August 4th 2015 [2:31] | Posted By: Eeeper
Category: > Anime > TV

As fans of anime, we often wonder how some of our favourite shows get put together by the staff. While it's true that directors, actors and character designers shape the look of the show, it's anime writers who tell the characters what to say.

One writer who is getting more exposure these days is Kimiko Ueno. Having written for long running shows such as Shin Chan, she's currently writing episodes for Space Dandy, the hit show from Cowboy Bebop creator Shinichiro Watanabe (released by Anime Limited) While in the UK for MCM Manchester Comic Con 2015, Miss Ueno was kind enough to sit down and have a chat with us about Space Dandy, Shin Chan and what she looks forward to when travelling abroad.

Read More... | Source: Otaku News

Inside The Industry: Anime Talk - Report

Date: Tuesday July 14th 2015 [16:27] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Features

It's not often you get to see behind the scenes of the anime industry and find out what it's really like. This week the Japan Foundation in London hosted a talk called Inside The Industry: Anime.

The event brought together:
Hirokatsu Kihara who worked at Studio Ghibli before becoming a best selling author.

Michihiko Suwa who works as Chief Producer at the Animation Department of Yomiuri TV and credits include Detective Conan (aka Case Closed) anime.

Aya Suzuki a British/Japanese Layout artist, 2D Character/FX animator and occasional animation lecturer. Projects worked on include (but are not limited to) Hayao Miyazaki's The Wind Rises at Studio Ghibli, plus Mamoru Hosoda's Wolf Children.

Stephen Cavalier acted as chair, bringing his two decades experience in the animation and games industries along with authoring a book on The World History of Animation

The event ran on Monday 13th July 2015. It was free to attend and it was so popular there was waiting list. The audience was a mix of anime/manga fans along with animation students and animation industry professionals.

Read More... | Source: Otaku News

Viewster Opens Los Angeles Office to Drive Revenue Initiatives

Date: Friday June 19th 2015 [17:13] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Anime

It's always interesting to keep up to date with industry news. The good folks from streaming service Viewster have sent us details of their new office. It seems that they'll be setting up in Los Angeles. This means they'll be expanding and perhaps getting some additional interesting licenses too.

Viewster also intend to start a premium service soon. This makes sense, as they currently have a free to view option that is add supported. Services like Crunchyroll have proven that some anime fans are willing to pay for an ad free offering.

Read More... | Source: Viewster

An Interview with Hidetaka Tenjin Mechanical Illustrator and Mecha Designer

Date: Monday June 1st 2015 [15:36] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Features

As children we've often spent our time drawing giant robots and fighter jets. Many of our readers would still do this for fun now and again. But what if you want to do it professionally? We were lucky enough to meet one such man - Mecha Designer Hidetaka Tenjin. He's does technical illustrations and designs cool mechanical things. He's done technical illustration for Macross Zero, Macross Frontier, Macross Frontier: The False Diva and Macross Frontier: The Wings of Goodbye.

He's got a few art books to his name too. Plus he also does lots of box art for model kits.

We were lucky enough to catch up with Hidetaka Tenjin at the May 2015 MCM London Comic Con where he was invited by streaming service Viewster to be the anime guest of honour.

Read More... | Source: Otaku News

Convention Season - A Quick Reminder About Pirate Goods

Date: Saturday May 16th 2015 [10:34] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Retail

With convention season kicking off it's time for us to issue our regular reminder to everyone to keep an eye out for pirate goods. Do you know if the event you are going to has a pirate goods policy? Do you know how to spot and avoid pirate goods? We find that pirate goods are still present at some events. If you haven't already, please read the Pirate Anime FAQ and learn how to avoid dodgy merchandise.

Source: The Pirate Anime FAQ

Coluboccoro Kickstarter Details

Date: Tuesday March 31st 2015 [16:40] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Anime

Crowd soucing is all the rage now, so it makes sense that more and more anime could be supported by backers paying up front. Kenji Itoso the director behind Santa Company will launch a new Kickstarter to fund his latest production Coluboccoro. The Kickstater will go live on Wednesday 1st April 2015.

Read More... | Source: Coluboccoro Kickstarter

An Interview with Mizuho Nishikubo director of Giovanni's Island

Date: Saturday January 10th 2015 [18:06] | Posted By: Eeeper
Category: > Anime

Recently, we got a chance to interview Mr. Mizuho Nishikubo, director of Giovanni's Island, and ask him about the film and some of his other works.

The film is going to be released on DVD and Blu-ray by Anime Limited.

You can enter our competition to win a copy of the film.

Read More... | Source: Otaku News

Fascinating Tokusatsu Museum on NHK World

Date: Friday December 19th 2014 [15:04] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Anime

Fans of all things Tokusatsu will want to tune into NHK World on Saturday 20th December 2014. They'll be broadcasting a special show about the Fascinating Tokusatsu Museum. It's set to feature Hideaki Anno the famed anime director behind Neon Genesis Evangelion.

It'll be broadcast the following times - 4:10, 10:10, 16:10 and 22:10 (all UTC). The NHK World schedule page will allow you to figure out how this converts to your local time.

You can watch NHK in many regions around the world.

UK viewers can catch it on Sky Channel 507, Freesat Channel 209 and Virgin Medial 625. NHK

World generally broadcast in either English or in Japanese with English subtitles depending on the programme and context. They'll also have some great Viewers Choice content during the end of December.

Source: NHK World

An Interview With Anime Director Shinichiro Watanabe

Date: Sunday November 2nd 2014 [12:22] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Features

The MCM London Comic Con is always a treat for top notch anime guests. The October 2014 weekend was no exception. Renowned anime director Shinichiro Watanabe returned to London as a guest of the event to promote the up and coming home video release of Space Dandy as well as the newly launched show Terror In Resonance.

He attended the Anime Limited stand on Saturday and Sunday of the show as well as appearing on stage to answer questions for fans.

We've been lucky enough to interview Shinichiro Watanabe in May 2013 at his previous appearance at the MCM London Comic Con. It's was then he first revealed Space Dandy.

We caught up with the Mr Watanabe to talk about music from a cold country, Terror In Resonance and a bit of Space Dandy. As we knew a lot of people would be asking about Space Dandy, we were keen to focus more on Terror In Resonance, as it had just finished it's run.

Read More... | Source: Otaku News

The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness Australian release details

Date: Thursday October 2nd 2014 [17:09] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Anime > DVD

We don't normally post Australian anime news (but we do want to change that and post more). Australian Fan of Studio Ghibli are in for a treat the December. Anime company Madman Entertainment will be releasing The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness. It's a behind the scenes documentary at Studio Ghibli, you can see the masters of animation at work and get some inside details of Miyazaki making his last feature film The Wind Rises. It's due out in Australia on Wednesday 10th December 2014 and is set to retail for $29.95 (AUD).

If you've enjoyed any kind of DVD extra on behind the scenes at Studio Ghibli, you'll want to see this insightful film focusing on the creative process behind the scenes.

The film will also be showing as part of Madman's The Tale of Studio Ghibli Showcase theatrical event

Source: Madman Entertainment

Studio Ghibli to close down (or is it?)

Date: Sunday August 3rd 2014 [17:16] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Production > Studio Ghibli

The internet has lit up with the news that Studio Ghibli is to close down. Being the internet it's also full of misinformation. According to sources, Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki said on the MBS Channel that they're restructuring Studio Ghibli. They are considering closing animation department. Many speculators in the industry are not surprised by this.

Kotaku have a good analysis of the story and it's details. As they correctly point out, an event like Studio Ghibli closing down would be all over Japanese News sources. Currently it is not.

Update: We've changed the source of this article to Kotaku, as they have a great analysis of what's going on.

Read More... | Source: Kotaku

An interview with Blue Exorcist Movie Staff Takamitsu Inoue and Atsushi Takahashi

Date: Wednesday June 4th 2014 [16:59] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Features

A few weeks ago two of the production staff behind the Blue Exorcist Movie were visiting the May 2014 MCM London Comic Con. They were there to promote Manga Entertainment's UK release and catch up with fans. We were lucky enough to meet and interview Takamitsu Inoue the film's Producer and Atsushi Takahashi the director.

Read More... | Source: Otaku News

The Anime Encyclopedia, 3rd Revised Edition release details

Date: Wednesday May 7th 2014 [15:01] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Retail

Anime expert Jonathan Clements has just updated his website revealing that The Anime Encylopedia will have a third edition and is schedule for publication in December 2014.

The popular book written by Jonathan Clements and Helen McCarthy has been expanded with over 1,000 new entries, over 4,000 updates and corrections. This book is one of those amazing multiple purpose references. If you're an anime fan you should own a copy. If you're an academic it's essential. If you're running a website dedicated to news for fans of Japan (just like this one), you'll already have the first and second editions and regularly use them to fact check and research, so you'll be keen to get your hands on the third edition.

You can pre-order the book from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com. Remember that Amazon's pre-order price promise means you'll also pay the lowest price offered by Amazon, so if the price dips between now and when it's released, you'll only pay the lowest price.

Source: Jonathan Clements Website - Schoolgirl Milky Crisis

Mai Mai Miracle UK and US Release Kickstarter Update

Date: Saturday February 8th 2014 [15:24] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Anime

The big news in anime circles this week has been from Anime Limited and their Kickstarter campaign to bring Mai Mai Miracle to home video.

Within the first 18 hours the Kickstarter hit it's $30K (USD) funding goal. So now they're going for a stretch goal. If they hit the goal of $60K, they'll be able to fund a dub. At the time of writing (with 26 days left on the Kickstarter), they have reached just over $54K. You can keep up to date with news about the Kickstarter here or check out Anime Limited's own website.

Source: Mai Mai Miracle Kickstarter

An interview with WIT Studio the company behind the Attack on Titan Anime

Date: Saturday November 2nd 2013 [14:25] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Anime

One of the biggest anime titles of the year has been without doubt Attack on Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin). The title is due for a UK DVD release soon by Manga Entertainment UK. To prepare everyone for the advancing giants WIT Studio the producers of Attack on Titan were guests at the October 2013 MCM London Comic Con.

We caught up with 3 of the main staff behind the company at the MCM London Comic Con - producer George Wada, Katsuhiko Kitada (character designer on Hal, animation director for Attack On Titan) and Ryotaro Makihara director of feature length anime HAL.

Read More... | Source: Otaku News

Wolf Girl - The Princess Mononoke fan film

Date: Saturday September 14th 2013 [11:05] | Posted By: Franki Webb
Category: > Fandom

Any filmmaker will tell you that producing a movie is- hard work. The time, effort and sometimes budget issues can get in the way of making a vision a reality. That challenge is only intensified when it's a fan-based film, reaping no financial rewards at the end and with only the love of the story to keep them going. But that's exactly what filmmakers, Nate Drake and Georgie Donovan are doing, currently in the works is Wolf Girl, a movie about a modern teenage girl struggling to save the forest she calls home from humans, who are cutting down the trees for their own needs. She then joins forces with wolves in a bid to defend her home.

Read More... | Source: Wolf Girl Movie

New Cyborg 009 Graphic Novel Coming from Archaia

Date: Friday July 12th 2013 [16:45] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Manga

The good people from Archaia Entertainment have sent us details of their new upcoming release an original hardcover graphic novel based on the manga classic Cyborg 009.

Produced directly in conjunction with Ishimori Production Inc. in Japan, this is version has clearly been produced with a more US Comic book feel that the original. The art has clearly been influenced by anime and manga, but it has a very western feel still.

Advance copies will debut at San Diego Comic-Con on July 19th, also known in Japan as Cyborg 009 Day, commemorating the date Ishinomori's original manga was published in Japan in 1964. For those not able to be at Comic-Con, the book goes on sale Sept. 11 2013.

Read More... | Source: Archaia Entertainment

On location at Fosse Farm - Alice Cartalet's house from Kinmoza

Date: Sunday July 7th 2013 [8:19] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Features

For most otaku it would be a dream come true to be contacted by an anime studio wanting to use their home as a location in a new anime series. For Caron Cooper, it is just the latest unlikely chapter in her incredible life story.

Read More... | Source: Otaku News

NHK World at the Japan Expo 2013 Paris

Date: Tuesday July 2nd 2013 [17:13] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Events

The good folks from NHK World have sent us details of their latest European adventures.

They'll be at the Japan Expo 2013 in Paris from 4th to 7th July 2013. NHK world will have a host of events at the Expo, highlights include a Shironuri Makeup Session with leading shironuri artist Minori.

We've been told that they'll also be at Hyper Japan 2013 in London on Friday 26th to Sunday 28th July 2013.

For the latest event schedule, please visit their Japan Expo 2013 Website.

UK based readers will be pleased to hear that you can now watch NHK World on Virgin Media Channel 625, along with FreeSat Channel 209 or on Sky Channel 507.

Read More... | Source: NHK World

Voice Acting Open Auditions at Anime Expo 2013

Date: Friday June 28th 2013 [17:47] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Production

The good folks from Bang Zoom Entertainment have sent us details of an open audition they'll be holding for an up coming anime title. The auditions will be held at Anime Expo 2013 from July 4th-7th 2013. The anime title up for audition is yet to be revealed. They will be in search for talent with a variety of voices.

It's not every day you get a chance to audition for an anime voice acting role and be a part of the anime industry! It should be noted that Bang Zoom have been involved with a lot of major anime titles. Recent credits include Sword Art Online and Blue Exorcist.

Read More... | Source: Bang Zoom Entertainment

An Interview With Anime Director Kenji Kamiyama

Date: Monday June 3rd 2013 [15:20] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Features

April 2013, it's spring time in London, it should be warm and sunny, but instead it's snowing sideways. We're off to meet renowned anime direction Kenji Kamiyama, writer and director of hit titles like Ghost in The Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Eden of the East and Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit.

Read More... | Source: Otaku News

009 RE:Cyborg Cinema Review 2

Date: Monday June 3rd 2013 [14:58] | Posted By: Eeeper
Category: > Anime > Film

We're not going to give you one, but two different takes on the latest anime cinema screening of 009 RE:Cyborg. We also have an interview with the film's director Kenji Kamiyama. Here's Eeeper's take on the title.

Working off the notion that all good remakes don't try and make sense of their origins, RE: Cyborg 009 is a fresh and funky look at a classic manga and anime. If you've ever read or watched Shotaro Ishinomori's original tale then you are missing out on a great thing. Despite having a cute exterior with cartoonish designs, Ishinomori's ideas in the background tackle things like racism, war, poverty and the brutal nature of the, then, growing military industrial complex that arose after the Second World War. Kenji Kamiyama's version takes all of these aspects and posits an interesting question? If after we stop fighting nations, ideologies and groups who is left to fight? Ourselves would be the main answer but what if it's not another person but our own values, beliefs and morals? While there is a definable enemy that the main heroes fight, the best way to describe them are antagonists who are created by the situation not by themselves.

Read More... | Source: Otaku News

009 RE:Cyborg Cinema Review 1

Date: Monday June 3rd 2013 [14:54] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Anime > Film

We're not going to give you one, but two different takes on the latest anime cinema screening of 009 RE:Cyborg. We also have an interview with the film's director Kenji Kamiyama. Here's Joe's take on the title.

Production IG's Latest movie is a big budget action adventure based on the manga Cyborg 009 that started in the 1960's. Since then it's had several incarnations with different twists. The film was released in Japan in October 2012 and has already made its way to the UK at the BFI as part of a special screening with a Q&A from director Kenji Kamiyama. It'll also show in Scotland soon before hitting UK cinemas in June 2013 thanks to the good people from Anime Ltd. We like such a speedy turn around and hope it becomes such a regular thing for top notch titles.

Read More... | Source: Otaku News

A Quick Reminder About Pirate Goods

Date: Sunday May 12th 2013 [9:40] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Retail

With convention season kicking off it's time to remind everyone to keep an eye out for pirate goods. Do you know if the event you are going to has a pirate goods policy? Do you know how to spot and avoid pirate goods? We find that pirate goods are still present at some events. If you haven't already, please read the Pirate Anime FAQ and learn how to avoid dodgy merchandise.

Source: The Pirate Anime FAQ

Manga Industry Pioneer Toren Smith Passes Away

Date: Friday March 8th 2013 [16:00] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Current Affairs

Readers will be sad to hear that manga industry pioneer Toren Smith passed away on Tuesday March 5th 2013.

We could write an obituary about the man who brought manga to the English speaking world, but we don't have the words. We suggest you read the one written by Jonathan Clements.

We've never had the privilege of meeting Toren. For many of us, ourselves included, his work were fundamental in discovering the world of anime and manga.

The news was first broken on Twitter and Anime News Network.

Source: James Hudnall's Blog

An interview with Production I.G.

Date: Saturday January 12th 2013 [15:28] | Posted By: Priss
Category: > Anime

Returning for the second time in 2012, the fourth Hyper Japan festival in November welcomed thousands of visitors to Earls Court for a three day extravaganza of entertainment. The event flourishes every time with an array of Japanese cultural experiences, encompassing fashion, film, games, cuisine and of course anime and manga for people to see.

For anime fans, this Hyper Japan was host to an astounding public event - a panel chaired by Helen McCarthy in which Production I.G. President & CEO Ishikawa Mitsuhisa was joined by esteemed anime critic Hikawa Ryusuke. It was an exciting opportunity to gain unique insight into the Japanese animation industry from one of today's greatest studios and a major modern figure in Japanese cultural criticism.

Read More... | Source: Otaku News

An interview with director Kazuya Murata and producer Masahiko Minami of Fullmetal Alchemist - The Sacred Star of Milos

Date: Tuesday June 26th 2012 [16:08] | Posted By: Priss
Category: > Anime

Fullmetal Alchemist (Hagane no Renkinjutsushi or Hagaren for short) is a series that has made a significant mark on anime fans across the world. With the conclusion of the manga and the anime adaptation Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood over the past year, it is with great excitement that we are once again given the chance to join the Elric brothers on their second cinematic adventure - Hagaren the Movie 2011 - The Sacred Star of Milos.

For fans of the series they will enjoy return to the world of their favourite characters. Mystery, intrigue and all converge in this epic that calls into question the bonds of blood and national loyalty. The film was made to slot into the timeline of the Brotherhood series narrative. This new adventure, however, has a very different look and feel to the Hagaren previously produced by Studio Bones (株式会社 ボンズ Kabushiki Kaisha Bonzu).

Read More... | Source: Otaku News

France is the biggest manga market in Europe

Date: Thursday February 2nd 2012 [17:36] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Manga

Facts and figures for the the manga industry always make an interesting read. CNN's Geekout Blog has a good article about the European Manga Industry.

Did you know that France accounts for 50% of VIZ Media Europe's manga sales? The article also highlights that combined Europe and the Middle East generates more manga sales than America -

"'In Europe, manga is most popular in France, then Italy and Spain,' said Hyoe Narita, president of VIZ Media Europe, which is headquartered in Paris. Annual manga sales in Japan are about $5 billion, he said, whereas American manga sales are $120 million and Europe and the Middle East combined make $250 million. This combined number given out is probably because VIZ Media Europe distributes to the Middle East as well. Japan is still the huge maker, but these numbers show that manga is moving well outside of Asia."

"The popularity does vary by country, but France is by far the leader in European otaku interest, as it brings in 50% of European manga sales. Narita said itís the same size or a bit bigger than the market in the United States."

Source: CNN's Geekout Blog

Digital Manga Inc Launch Anime Cel Art Shop

Date: Friday November 25th 2011 [14:27] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Retail

We've received some rather interesting news from Digital Manga Inc. They've just opened a new site Anime Cel Art, which like the name implies is dedicated to selling anime cel art. They've currently got Naruto, Bleach and One Piece cels for sale.

Collectors should note, that these are not production cels used to make the anime as production now is digital. These are officially licensed reproductions. They are hand painted, and made exactly the same as production cels, but these images have never been used to make anime. As a result you get more for your money. You get a high quality image along with a background for a reasonable price.

Read More... | Source: Anime Cel Art

American Comic Companies battle for readers

Date: Monday August 22nd 2011 [4:47] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Manga

BBC News are running an interesting story about Marvel and DC's current strategy of expansion into Asia.

"With sales in decline at home, US comic-book giants Marvel and its old rival DC Comics have been looking towards foreign markets to grow their businesses."

CB Cebulski at Marvel declares that "Sales are down and we've been losing market share to things like video games, social media, to film, to piracy."

The article highlights the difficulties DC and Marvel will have with manga and it's culture strong established in the Asian market. It also mentions that sales of manga are falling in Japan as well. The Japanese government are trying to fix this.
"The Japanese government has recently announced a new plan to aggressively further promote its pop culture and content, including manga, to international markets"

We've already seen this at events like the JETRO talk at Hyper Japan.

The article concludes with Marvel's current strategy of hiring local talent in Asia to draw comics and that they are given more creative control. It ends with an table of percentages of market share of Japanese manga versus American comics in Asia.

Source: BBC News

An Interview with Voice Actors Ben Diskin and Brian Beacock

Date: Monday July 25th 2011 [16:37] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Production

Every now and again at Otaku News, we like to interview voice actors, the very people who provide the voices for anime. At the May 2011 MCM London Expo we were lucky to catch up with Ben Diskin and Brian Beacock.

Read More... | Source: Otaku News

AM2 to screen Mai Mai Miracle for passport holders only

Date: Tuesday May 31st 2011 [17:30] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Events

US readers who can make it to Anaheim, California should head over to AM2 on July 1 to 3 2011 get a chance to view a special Passport holders only screening of Mai Mai Miracle.

We've seen Mai Mai Miracle, and must say it is worth seeing, especially on the big screen. It's everything you'd expect from a high budget Madhouse production. It's one of those films screaming out for a Blu-ray release. It's a title making the effort to get out and watch. It's in instant classic.

Read More... | Source: AM2

Tokyopop to Close at the end of May 2011

Date: Friday April 15th 2011 [15:07] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Manga

Manga publisher Tokyopop are to close in the US as of May 31st 2011 . The company's film, TV, and European operations, including its Hamburg, Germany-based publishing and international rights sales will continue. ICv2 have more details along with Bleeding Cool News and The Beat which broke the news. As always Anime News Network has coverage of the story too.

Tokyopop's Founder Stu Levy has posted a personal statement.

As the details were announced today we have no idea what impact this will have on their release details, as well as what will happen to the rights of existing Japanese manga and original English language comics also published. Any artists who have worked with Tokyopop should read the small print of their contracts now.

Source: Tokyopop

An Interview with Figure Sculptor Momiji

Date: Sunday February 27th 2011 [14:00] | Posted By: Priss
Category: > Production

Last year, the second annual MCM London Expo returned to bring together a myriad of media and popular culture exhibitors and merchants. It is an exciting occasion for anime fans who attend to meet, mingle and fight their way through the melee of merchandisers and organisers.

Expo is an event that I attend on the front line behind the dealers' tables as an assistant for sales. I am predominantly positioned ready and waiting to serve customers who are on the hunt for anime, manga and figures from the store United Publications. It is an intense and demanding event and catering for the volume of visitors is often a challenge that affords little time to explore the wonders of the wider event. This time, however, I had to make the exception for a remarkable appearance amongst October's exhibitors.

Read More... | Source: Otaku News

Schoolgirl Milky Crisis now on Kindle

Date: Wednesday September 15th 2010 [14:42] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Retail

Anime expert and industry insider Jonathan Clements has just posted details on his blog about Schoolgirl Milky Crisis being released on Kindle.

It's available to buy from Amazon.com in the US and Amazon.co.uk in the UK.

Source: Schoolgirl Milky Crisis Blog

Anime director Satoshi Kon passes away

Date: Thursday August 26th 2010 [12:53] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Anime > Film

Acclaimed anime director Satoshi Kon passed away 2 days ago on 24th August 2010. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer on 18th May 2010.

Satoshi Kon has directed several popular films which generally have a cerebral dream like element to them, where the imagination, dreams and reality all mix together. He directed the films Perfect Blue, Millennium Actress, Tokyo Godfathers, Paprika and the TV series Paranoia Agent. Satoshi Kon was working on a feature film called Yume-Miru Kikai, which is unofficially known as Dream Machine in English.

News of death spread like wild fire on the internet, with many anime fans expressing their sadness of his death.

Prominent food and bento blogger Makiko Itoh has translated Satoshi Kon's last words.

The New York Times also have a detailed obituary.

Anime expert Helen McCarthy points out that "at that age Miyazaki hadn't finished Totoro, Tezuka hadn't created Black Jack, Kurosawa hadn't made Yojimbo."

The Anime News Network have details from his wife.

The Guardian also has a good write up.

Source: Anime News Network

High School of the Dead hits North America

Date: Friday July 2nd 2010 [19:41] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Anime > DVD

Want zombies with your anime? The good folks at Sentai Filmworks and Anime Network are willing to provide you with infected flesh eating monsters! Sentai Filmworks have the license for High School of the Dead. and will be releasing it subbed and dubbed throughout North America.

The Anime Network will also be showing the first and second episode from Monday July 5th to subscribers in North America.

Read More... | Source: Sentai Filmworks

Interview with Daisuke Ishiwatari and Toshimichi Mori the creators of the Guilty Gear and BlazBlue series

Date: Sunday June 13th 2010 [13:46] | Posted By: Dallas Marshall
Category: > Gaming

On the memorial day weekend at Fanimecon, a bay area anime convention in San Jose California, I had the privilege of sitting down with both Daisuke Ishiwatari and Toshimichi Mori of ARC System Works. The studio that brought you the Guilty Gear series and BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger and the soon to be released BlazBlue:Continuum Shift.

Read More... | Source: Otaku News

Multi-National Manga Anti-Piracy Coalition Formed

Date: Tuesday June 8th 2010 [16:47] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Manga

Multi-National Manga Anti-Piracy Coalition Formed

We've received some very interesting details from VIZ Media about the formation of a Multi-National Manga Anti-Piracy Coalition.It seems that the industry has grown tired of Scanlations - manga scanned into a digital format and distributed without the copyright holders consent. The coalition include the 36 members of Japan's Digital Comic Association, Square Enix, VIZ Media, TOKYOPOP and Yen Press.

Originally scanlations were manga translated by fans into their native language from Japanese. This can be seen as the manga equivalent of anime fansubs. Some scanlation sites branched out to scans of manga that was already official translated and licensed outside of Japan.

This has cost the manga publishing industry significant amounts of money, not just in lost book sales, but lost opportunities in the relatively new market of eBooks and mobile devices.

The coalition intend to target scanlation sites and aggregators of scanlation sites. They've drawn up a list of 30 sites to targeted for action. First they will ask the sites to cease distributing scanlations. If the sites fail to cease distributing further action will be taken depending on the jurisdiction of each site. Actions include legal injunctions against the sites, reporting the sites to governmental anti-piracy units of law enforcement, including the US Justice Department, local law enforcement agencies and the FBI.

Fans curious about piracy in the anime and manga industry should read the Pirate Anime FAQ.

This is not the first time the anime and manga industry has attempted to stop piracy in the industry, but this is the biggest and most coordinated international effort so far. With many companies in the industry forced to make cut backs, closing down offices, laying off staff, we wonder if this is the start of a new approach? Will more companies pursue legal options? Are fansubbers next?

Read More... | Source: VIZ Media

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