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    Anime News of the Week (12/30-1/12)

Japan To Launch Universal Culture Channel

The Japanese government has announced the launch of a “Japan Channel,” meant to expose the world to all of Japanese culture. Programs will highlight dramas, music, travel, and, yes, anime. The nations confirmed to receive the channel this year include Thailand, Indonesia, and Cambodia. Also considered are the United States, and several European and African countries. Link

Anime Song of the Year Sets Tweet Record

On New Year’s Eve, a new Tweet record was set by Japan, only four months after the previous record. The recorded 180,420 tweets came during a live performance of Attack on Titan’s “Guren no Yumiya” by Linked Horizon. The tweets used the exclamation “Jaegar!” when the lyric was sung. Link

The 2012 Phenomenon Returns

During the TV special Sword Art Online: Extra Edition, a trailer was premiered officially confirming Sword Art Online II, which trades the medieval setting for guns and tactical supremacy. No official release date has been announced.

American Icon Honor Miyazaki

A scene from Sunday’s The Simpsons episode “Married to the Blob” featured a moving tribute to the works of Hayao Miyazaki. The scene features the characters of Springfield in various roles from Miyazaki’s film career, as envisioned through the eyes of a hallucinating Homer and his drinking buddy.

The Wind Rises Deflated At The Golden Globes

At the Golden Globe Awards, Hayao Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises was given one nomination in the category of Best Foreign Language Award. It faced stiff competition from France’s Blue is the Warmest Color, but lost to The Great Beauty, the dark horse nomination from Italy. In another category, the Animated Picture of the Year went to Disney’s Frozen, beating out Despicable Me 2 and The Croods.

Welcome Back, Space Cowboy

As announced by the ship’s crew themselves, anime convention Kami-Con 2014 in Birmingham, Alabama will host the very first reunion of the cast of the anime masterpiece Cowboy Bebop. Joining this event in the lineup is a Sailor Moon 20th Anniversary Panel, a Vocaloid concert, and the wedding of con chairs Chelsea Morrison and Raymond Lenzner. The con takes place February 14-16.

Biographical Film Gains Religious Support

The 14th Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso applauded the upcoming anime film, Buddha 2, at an early screening, saying he is “thankful to have the world of the Buddha be spread by film.” Buddha 2 premieres in Japan on February 18. Link

New Sailor Moon Not A Retread

Producer Atsutoshi Umezawa assured fans in a press release that the upcoming Sailor Moon adaptation will not retell the original anime’s story. Instead, it will follow Naoko Takeuchi original source material from the very beginning. The series begins July. Link

Case Closed? Perhaps

On January 4th, mangaka Gosho Aoyama held a conference in his hometown of Hokuei to discuss the details of his long-running manga, Detective Conan. During the event, Aoyama assured readers the climax was in sight and that the identity of the Black Organization’s leader would soon be revealed. Hints included that the person is one fans already know, and that it is not Professor Agasa. Link

The Nice Boat Reaches An Island Destination

A recently registered website has announced the latest incarnation in the School Days visual novel franchise. Island Days for the 3DS will set the franchise in a new story, this time on an island oasis with the female cast in tow. More information is to come in the following months. Link

The Immigration of Astro

In an odd collaboration between Tezuka Studios and Nigeria’s Chanel TV, a new Astro Boy series will be developed as a Nigerian exclusive. Robot Atom is the product of African animators looking to gain experience in production values and character creation. This marks the first of many possible international relations that Tezuka Studios promised last year. Link

Japanese-Filipino Cultural Exchange

Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs is inviting 23 Filipino students for a cultural immersion as part of the JENYSES 2.0 Project. Those chosen will travel to Japan and enjoy anime, manga, and cosplay displays as part of a ten-day program. This will culminate in a trip to Anime Japan 2014, one of the largest conventions in the world. Those eligible and interested can visit the Japanese-Philippines Embassy page. Link

Charges Leveled Against Trigger

Studio Trigger’s premiere year gave anime fans bombast and action. However, their first full-length anime, Kill la Kill is already being accused of plagiarism. The manga Gakuen Noise and Akuto have been labeled as direct victims, having plot points, characters, and even art styles not dissimilar to Kill la Kill. Gakuen Noise’s author Hiroyuki Ooshima is seeking restitution in the matter. Link

Nintendo Victorious In Patent Suit

In other legal news, a lawsuit against Nintendo made by IA Labs, LLC of Maryland has been settled in favor of Nintendo. The case involved alleged patent violations involving the similarities of the Wii Fit system, defined as an isometric virtual exercise plan, and IA Labs’ U.S. patents 7,121,982 and 7,331,226. Nintendo of America was awarded these patents in restitution. Link

The Day The Music Left

Shota Kageyama, best known for composing three iterations in the Pokémon video game franchise and collaborating on the Super Smash Bros. Brawl soundtrack with two others, has left his position at developer GAME FREAK in a push to focus on his music brand, Spica Musica. He made clear through his Twitter feed that this was not the end, and he hopes to return and collaborate in some manner. Link

Court Is Back In Session

In a recent interview with 4Gamer Magazine, Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies director Takeshi Yamazaki and the original creator of the franchise Shu Takumi dropped some impressive news. Mere months after Dual Destinies was released in The United States, Takumi is back to work, writing a script to a new title. It’s not yet clear whether this is a new Ace Attorney installment. Link

This Strain Has Died Out

Masayuki Ishikawa, creator of the iconic bacterial manga Moyashimon, announced via a four-panel comic that his series is to end later this month. The manga started back in 2004 and is the story of college student Tadayasu Sawaki and his friends, the visible microscopic germs that surround him daily. Link

Legend “Heading Toward The Climax”

In a blog post, mangaka Yuu Watase confirmed rumors that she will soon be ending her mythological title Arata The Legend. The title began in 2008 and told of a time-traveling mix up, in which two boys named Arata switch places between modern day Japan and the country’s feudal era. Link

Has Pokéscience Gone Too Far?

Have you ever wanted to find a shiny Pokémon or breed your creatures like mad? YouTube user dekuNukem has a solution. Using a series of microcontrollers and two 3DS, he was able to hack Pokémon X/Y to enter a series of commands that would guarantee shiny appearance, trade cloning, organization and data entry on all previous commands.

Snoop Used References! It’s Super Effective!

Musician Snoop Lion, formerly Dogg, released a music video for “Get Away,” a single off his upcoming album Reincarnated. In it, the Doggfather pays tribute to classic video games like The Legend of Zelda, Pokémon, and Metal Slug in a duel against his producer Major Lazer and various enemies.

Music Lesson Invites Special Guest

At the Fujimura Girl’s Junior and Senior High School, students are encouraged to learn about the arts. However, this isn’t your traditional school band. In the modern world, music theory and technology met in a series of lessons taught by songwriter and Vocaloid producer Ashin Kuroda. The girls created melodies via Vocaloid software with the subject of "school life" as their base.

Why Do We Play Video Games?

They proved Mario and Peach to be mentally unstable, revealed that Link was dead all along in Majora’s Mask, and stated all games exist within the same universe. Now, The Game Theorists celebrate one million YouTube subscribers with a loaded question. Why do we play video games? Using the trends of Japanese society and the science of common psychological needs, they settle the argument.

RIP James Avery

Actor James Avery passed away on December 31st from complications following heart surgery. He was 65. While best known for his portrayal of Uncle Phil on the show Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Avery also had a prolific voice-acting career, which included the roles of Boss Fang in 1984’s Fist of the North Star and Shredder in the first two incarnations of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Link

RIP Eiichi Ōhtaki

Composer Eiichi Ōhtaki passed away on December 30th from a sudden aortic dissection. He was 65. In the music industry, he was a recognizable figure for several singles through his record label Niagara and his award-winning album, 1981’s A Long Vacation. He also composed “Ureshii Yokan,” which was used as the first opening theme of the second Chibi Marako-Chan series. Link

RIP Yasuki Hamano

Tokyo University emeritus professor and Tokyo University of Technology professor Yasuki Hamano passed away on December 30th from a sudden stroke. He was 62. Hamano was best known for his knowledge regarding Japanese media and served on the boards for the Japan Media Arts Festival and the International Manga Awards. In addition, he published books on American and Japanese media. Link

RIP Takajin Yashiki

Singer/songwriter Takajin Yashiki passed away on January 3rd from complications stemming from esophageal cancer. He was 64. Yashiki was best known for his early compositions from between 1976 and 1968, including several Oricon charters. He later hosted three successful television shows. Yashiki also composed the theme music for the Mobile Suit Gundam film trilogy in 1981. Link

Anime Premieres (with streaming sites)

  • Buddy Complex (BANDAI Channel, FUNimation)
  • D-Fragments (FUNimation)
  • Detective Rascal
  • Future Card Buddyfight (Hulu, YouTube)
  • Go! Go! 575 (Niconico)
  • Hamatora (Anime-on-Demand, Crunchyroll)
  • Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kaku ~Outbreak~(OVA)
  • Hozuki no Reitetsu (Crunchyroll)
  • Kōkaku Kidōtai Nyumor Arise
  • Love, Chūnibyō, and Other Dillusions! (Crunchyroll)
  • Magical Warfare (Crunchyroll)
  • Mikakunin de Shinkōkei (Crunchyroll)
  • Minna Atsumare! Falcom Gakuen
  • Mushi-shi: The Shadow That Devours The Sun (Crunchyroll)
  • Nisekoi (Anime-On-Demand, Aniplex USA, Crunchyroll)
  • Nobunaga The Fool (Crunchyroll)
  • Nobunagun (Crunchyroll, FUNimation)
  • Noragami (FUNimation)
  • No-Rin (BANDAI Channel, FUNimation, Niconico)
  • Oneechan ga Kita (Crunchyroll)
  • Patema Inverted (Film)
  • Pupa (Crunchyroll, Niconico)
  • Recently, my sister is unusual. (Crunchyroll)
  • Robot Girls Z
  • Saki – The Nationals (Crunchyroll)
  • Sakura Trick (Crunchyroll)
  • Seitokai Yakuindomo* (Crunchyroll)
  • Silver Spoon Season 2 (Crunchyroll, Wakanim.tv)
  • Space Dandy (Animax Asia, Hulu, Toonami)
  • SoniAni –Super Sonico The Animation- (Crunchyroll)
  • Strange+ (Crunchyroll)
  • Tesagure! Bukatsu-mono Season 2 (Niconico)
  • The King’s Daughter Cries For The Moon (Film)
  • The Pilot’s Love Song (Crunchyroll)
  • Tonari no Seki-kun (Crunchyroll)
  • Wake Up, Girls! (Crunchyroll)
  • Wake Up, Girls! Shichi-nin no Idol (Film)
  • Witch Girl Works (BANDAI Channel, Crunchyroll)
  • Wizard Barristers: Benmashi Cecil
  • Wooser’s Hand-To-Mouth Life Season 2 (Crunchyroll, Niconico)
  • World Conquest Zvezda Plot (Crunchyroll)
  • Yōkai Watch
  • Z/X Ignition (Crunchyroll)

Anime Releases

Chrono Crusade – The Complete Series [S.A.V.E. Edition] DVD (English)
Dragon Ball Z Blu-Ray Season 1 (English)
Fate/Zero – Box Set 2 [Limited Edition] Blu-Ray (English)
Fate/Zero – Complete Second Season DVD (English)
Ikki Tousen: Great Guardians DVD (English)
Lagrange: The Flower of Rin-ne Season 2 – Set 2 DVD/Blu-Ray (English)
Monster Rancher – Complete Season 1 DVD (English)
Nyan Koi! Complete Collection DVD/Blu-Ray (English)
Patlabor: The Mobile Police – The TV Series Collection 4 DVD (English)
Aria The Natural – Collection Part 1 [Litebox] DVD (Japanese)
So I Can’t Play H – Complete Collection DVD/Blu-Ray (Japanese)
Uta no Prince Sama – Season 1 Complete Collection DVD/Blu-Ray (Japanese)
Yuruyuri: Happy Go Lilly – Season 2 Collection Blu-Ray (Japanese)

Manga Releases

  • Alice in the Country of Hearts: The Mad Hatter’s Late Night Tea Party Volume 2
  • Attack on Titan Volume 10
  • Dictatorial Grimoire – Snow White Volume 2
  • Fairy Tail Volume 34
  • Haganai: I don’t have many friends Volume 5
  • Hana-Kimi [Omnibus] Volume 7
  • Kimi ni Todoke Volume 18
  • Love in Hell Volume 2
  • Monster Musume Volume 2
  • My Boyfriend is a Vampire Volumes 11 & 12
  • Naruto Volume 64
  • Naruto [Omnibus] Volume 7
  • Natsume’s Book of Friends Volume 15
  • Otomen Volume 17
  • Pokémon Adventures – Ruby and Sapphire Volume 20
  • Psyren Volume 14
  • Strobe Edge Volume 8
  • The Flowers of Evil Volume 8
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal Volume 4
  • Zero’s Familiar [Omnibus] Volume 3

Video Game Releases

  • Attack on Titan: Jinrui Saigo no Tsubasa (3DS) (JPN)
  • Avadon 2: The Corruption (PC/MAC) (USA/EU)
  • Barkley 2 (PC) (USA/EU)
  • Choko Inu (3DS) (JPN)
  • Cocoto Magic Circus 2 (WIIU) (USA/EU)
  • Command and Conquer Online (WEB) (USA/EU/AUS/JPN)
  • Corpse Party: Blood Drive (VITA) (JPN)
  • Clockwork Empire (PC) (USA/EU/AUS)
  • Detective Grimoire (PC/MAC) (USA/EU/AUS)
  • Devil Survivor 2: Break Record (3DS) (JPN)
  • Don’t Starve (PS4) (USA/EU/AUS)
  • Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft (PC/MAC) (USA/EU/AUS)
  • Infinite Crisis (PC) (USA/EU)
  • Infinite Stratos 2: Ignition Hearts (PS3/VITA) (JPN)
  • Hex: Shards of Fate (PC/MAC) (USA)
  • Meta Gear Rising Revengeance (PC) (USA/EU/AUS)
  • Persona 4: The Ultamix Ultra Suplex Hold (ARC/PS3) (JPN)
  • Routine (PC) (USA/EU)
  • Sacred 3 (PS3/360/PC) (USA/EU/AUS)
  • Secrets of Rækiton (PC) (USA/EU/AUS)
  • The Castle Doctrine (PC) (USA)
  • Unearthed: Trail of Ibn Battuta (PS3/360/PC/MAC) (USA/EU/AUS)
  • Wii Fit U (WIIU) (USA/EU/AUS/JPN)

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