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    Anime News of the Week (3/24 - 3/30)

Iconic Japanese Musical Theater Turns 100

The Takarazuka Revue, an all-female musical troupe, will turn 100 tomorrow. Based in Hyougo, the group was founded as an attraction for the hot springs town. Since its inception, the group has transformed the landscape of theater by incorporating pop culture and adapting anime such as Sailor Moon, Sengoku Basara, and Legend of the Galactic Heroes for the stage. Link

Tezuka Sketches Unearthed

Rumiko Tezuka, daughter of the manga legend Osamu Tezuka, has unveiled newly discovered artwork found in her father’s private desk. The sketches mainly involve Melmo, the heroine of the series Marvelous Melmo, and an unidentified female mouse character. Also found was an essay Tezuka wrote about Akira creator Katsuhito Otomo. Link

Manga Goes Global and Digital

Through collaboration between publishers Square Enix and Yen Press, 175 manga will be made available for digital download in English throughout 200 countries. Through various e-book platforms, manga such as Soul Eater, Black Butler, Fullmetal Alchemist, and Doubt will be the first to see release. Link

Kadokawa Jump to E-Books

Not to be outdone, publisher Kadokawa launched Comic Walker this week. An app designed to archive and promote titles, with upwards of 200 promised. Such titles include Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Sgt. Frog, and Haganai. In addition, several releases will include special editions with additional material. Link

The Macross Has Landed

The latest airing of Macross Frontier in the Kanto ended with the promise of a new series in the thirty-two year old franchise. With twenty-two iterations already created, one can only wonder what the next story will contribute. More news to come as it comes out.

A Bit of DRAMA For Your Summer

Game developer Nitro+CHiRAL has announced an anime adaptation of the popular game series DRAMAtical Murder. Directed by Kazuya Miura, the story is set on the island of Midorijima. After an entertainment complex displaces thousands of residents, a man named Aoba is confronted with several strange events, meeting the island’s street culture in the process.

The Train of Thought

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of Tokyo City train station, the busiest stop in all of Japan, A-1 Pictures has announced Time Flows – Tokyo Station -, set to premiere in Spring. The anime follows three generations of a family who all had their lives affected by the constant flow of trains that run through the station.

Tokyo Goes to the Ghouls

The first trailer for the anime adaptation of Shu Ishida’s horror manga Tokyo Ghoul has arrived. The story follows Kaneki, a bookish college student who keeps to himself. When he encounters Rize, a girl with similar likes, his life begins to change. Little does he know how far this change will go. The anime premieres this summer.

I Dance the Body Vocaloid

Announced through streaming service NOTTV, an upcoming summer anime will make history. Minarai Diva will be the first live broadcasted anime ever and the first to be completely animated in the animation software MikuMikuDance. The program will feature two virtual singers, Ruri Aoi and Ui Harune, and use Twitter and e-mail to use fan suggestions for lyrics. Link

Scenes From The Life of Niihama

Production I.G. has begun streaming five short films that encompass ideas found in the world of Ghost in the Shell. The works follow the architectural style, acts of secrecy, cerebral technology, love, and activity that is perpetrated in the streets of Niihama, the fictional prefecture that appears in the franchise.

Sailor Scouts, Reunite!

We once told you of a special project dubbed Moon Animate Make-Up, which seeks to reanimate an entire episode of Sailor Moon using only submitted content which changes styles every few seconds. We are pleased to announce the project is on schedule and has released its first preview.

18th Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prizes Presented

The Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prizes highlight manga in the industry that excel in their execution and impact. The winners are as followed:

  • Grand Prize: Chica Umnio – March comes in like a lion
  • New Birth Prize: Machiko Kyō – Mitsuami no Kami-sama
  • Short Work Prize: Yūki Shikawa - Onnoji
  • Special Prize: Motoo Abkio – Manga Michi, Ai… Shirisomeshi Kei ni
  • Reader Prize: Chūya Koyama – Space Brothers

7th Manga Taisho Awards Presented

The Manga Taisho Awards honor titles via bookstore staffers who take note of quality and overall sales. Any number of titles can win this award. The winners, from highest rated to lowest rated are as followed:

  • Karou Mori – The Bride’s Stories
  • Kei Sanbe – Boku Dake go Inai Machi
  • Kazuyoshi Takeda – Sayonara, Tama-chan
  • Nakaba Suzuki – The Seven Deadly Sins
  • Ryōko Kui – Hikidashi ni Terrarium
  • Naoko Matsuda – Jūhan Shuttai!
  • ONE & Yuusuke Marada – One-Punch Man
  • Gamon Sakurai – Ajin
  • panpaya – Ashizuri Suizokukan
  • Nami Sano – Sakamoto desu ga?

Japanese Author Wins Andersen Award

Nahoko Uehashi, known for her Beast Player and Guardian series, has received the Hans Christian Andersen Award for children’s literature. This makes her the second Japanese author after Michio Mado to win the award. Mado received the award twenty years ago and passed away in February at the age of 104. Uehashi was noted by judges for her portrayal of ethnic conflict and nationalism.

The War of the Megas

Pokémon Japan began streaming the first trailer for their upcoming special Pokémon XY: Strongest Mega Evolution Act 1. The work will feature Alan, a trainer who fights with a Charizard and Mega Stone against other Mega evolved Pokémon to become the undisputed master. However, the Elite Four member Siebold stands in his way. The episode premieres April 3rd.

Red Data Girl English Trailer Released

FUNimation has released the English trailer for 2013’s Red Data Girl. The story follows Izumiko Suzuhara, a girl born to a shrine family with electrokenetic abilities. Wanting to learn more of her gift, she leaves home and learns of her connection to the goddess Himegami. All the while, her life is haunted by shadowy figures. Expect a release date of June 17th.

Controversy Surrounding Manga Reignites

It appears new problems have arisen for Keiji Nakazawa’s manga masterpiece Barefoot Gen. Izumisano, Osaka mayor Hiroyasu Chiyomatsu recently ordered all copies of the work to be temporarily removed from the shelves of schools, due to its derogatory stance on beggars. Barefoot Gen has seen its fair share of dispute in the past several months, becoming a symbol of Japan’s problem of historical revision. Link

Manga of Manga-ka

On what would have been Fujiko F. Fujio’s 80th birthday, the manga world paid tribute to the man who created Doraemon. F Life, an inaugural magazine honoring the franchise, included works from Naoki Urasawa (Monster), Inio Asano (Nijigahara Holograph), and Masakazu Ishiguro (And Yet The Town Moves), as well as an analysis of Doraemon’s style and influence. Link

When Legends Collide

Magazine Anime Busience often has one-of-a-kind artworks for their fans on the covers. This month, anime director Katsuhiro Otomo honored Osamu Tezuka’s Astro Boy by drawing the young hero in the style of Akira. Anime Busience previously honored Otomo with a drawing of Kaneda in the style of Neon Genesis Evangelion, courtesy of artist Yoshiyuki Sadamoto. Link

Bizenghast Welcomes You Back

Ten years ago, Tokyopop released the first issue of M. Alice LeGrow’s graphic novel Bizenghast. It returns in the form of a video game, courtesy of animation studio Cosmic Forces. Bizenghast told the story of Dinah Wherever as she navigated her way through the titular New England town amidst the living dead. Below is the Kickstarter campaign, meant to offset development costs.

Beyond the Broadcast

With the DVD release of 2013’s Beyond the Boundary, Kyoto Animation has announced a special prologue episode. Titled “Daybreak”, the episode follows characters Akihito and Hiroomi two years before the first episode. Additionally, the seventh volume will feature two new OVA shorts, based on three videos previously published online. Link

The Rebirth of the Onryō

Film companies Ghost House Pictures and Good Universe have announced the reboot of a classic horror franchise. Specifically, the American adaptation of Ju-On: The Grudge. The new work has called on the talents of Sam Raimi and Robert Tapert (The Evil Dead), and Taki Ichise (The Ring). The original film told of an American family living in Japan whose house was haunted by a violent spirit.

The Lies End Here

As announced in Young Jump magazine, Shinobu Kaitani’s Liar Game has entered the final arc. This news comes after a yearlong hiatus. The original manga follows Nao Kanzaki, as she navigates her way through a dangerous competition known as “The Liar Game” with the help of a brilliant con man. Link

The Rust Settles

Weekly Shonen Jump has announced the final chapter of Tomohiro Yagi’s manga Iron Knight. The short-lived three-part manga is about a young child named Teppei living in relative peace. When his town is reduced to rubble by a sudden attack, his rage consumes him, morphing him into a demonic warrior. Link

The Good Kind of Westernization

Online comic book forum Comic Book Resources posed a simple question. In honor of Yukinori Xum’s 100th issue of “The Line is Drawn,” they asked what would anime characters look like if they came from America? The result is Stan Lee’s Akira, Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Chobits, Disney’s Cowboy Bebop, and many others. http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2014/03/28/the-line-it-is-drawn-183-western-re-designs-of-mangaanime-characters/

The Oculus Rift’s Only Competition

While many lament the buying of the Oculus Rift technology by Facebook, there’s good news. Sony has announced plans for their own head-mounted device (HMD). The technology is currently in development, but one can already interact with an 3-D anime setting, as well as characters from The [email protected]. Link

The Secret Ingredient is Leek

Though a Hatsune Miku themed restaurant isn’t so hard to visualize, how about a Hatsune Miku themed Chinese fast food joint? Hatsune With Moe did just that when it opened this past week in Yulin, Guangxi Province. Highlights include merchandise themed décor and a cosplay friendly environment. Link

Synth Repping The Miku Colors

Not to be outdone, KORG unveiled a Hatsune Miku limited edition synthesizer through convenience store chain Famima. For roughly $683, you receive thirty sound patches, 22x2 dual speakers, and a signature trim of teal and purple, Hatsune Miku’s trademark colors. The instrument goes on sale May 26. Link

Anime Releases

  • Dragon Half - Film DVD (English)
  • Fist of the North Star: The TV Series - The Complete Series Collection DVD (English)
  • Ghost Stories - Complete Collection DVD (English)
  • Lupin the 3rd: Bye Bye, Lady Liberty - Film DVD (English)
  • Mardock Scramble: The Third Exhaust - Film DVD/Blu-Ray (English)
  • Maria Holic Alive - Complete Collection DVD/Blu-Ray (English)
  • Pokémon: Black and White: Rival Destinies - Set 2 DVD (English)
  • Ranma ½ - Set 1 DVD (English)
  • Ranma ½ - Set 1 Special Edition Blu-Ray (English)
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! - Season 4 Volume 1 DVD (English)
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! - Season 4 Volume 2 DVD (English)
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! - The Official Fourth Season DVD (English)
  • Rio - Rainbow Gate! - Complete Collection DVD (Japanese)

Manga Releases

  • Are You Alice? Volume 4
  • Blood Lad: Bloody Brat Volume 1
  • Bloody Cross Volume 2
  • Eden: It's an Endless World! Volume 14
  • Fairy Tail Volume 36
  • Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days Volume 3
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica: The Different Story Volume 1
  • Soul Eater Volume 19
  • Sword Art Online: Aincrad Volume 1
  • The Seven Deadly Sins Volume 1
  • What Did You Eat Yesterday? Volume 1
  • Wolf Children: Ame & Yuki [Hardcover] Volume 1

Video Game Releases

  • Betrayer (PC) (USA/EU/AUS)
  • Castlevania: Lord of Shadows - Mirror of Fate HD (PC) (USA/EU/AUS)
  • Deception IV: Blood Ties (PS3) (USA/EU/AUS)
  • Destiny of Spirits (VITA) (USA/EU/AUS)
  • Diablo III: Reaper of Souls (PS3/360/PS4/PC) (USA)
  • Escape Goat 2 (PC) (USA/EU/AUS)
  • Ether One (PC) (USA/EU/AUS)
  • Fez (PS3/PS4/VITA) (USA/EU/AUS)
  • MXGP: The Offical Motocross Videogame (PS3/360/PC/VITA) (USA/EU/AUS)
  • Pier Solar HD (PC) (USA/EU/AUS)
  • Platformines (PC) (USA/EU/AUS)
  • Quest of Dungeons (PC) (USA/EU/AUS)
  • Sly Collection (VITA) (USA)
  • The Witch and the Hundred Knights (PS3) (USA/EU/AUS)
  • Titanfall (360) (USA/EU/AUS)

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