Just about everyone is a big fan of Hayao Miyazaki's output, especially Princess Mononoke. But I imagine not as many folks know about the original story (of the same name) that Miyazaki put together. The book was a collection of rough illustrations that told the tale of a girl and a Totoro-esque mountain lion trying to save her father. It bares little resemblance to the final film, but is still a fascinating look into the origins of the story.
Viz will be releasing this under the title Princess Mononoke: The First Story later this year in October. In addition, they'll also be re-releasing the Princess Mononoke art book in case anyone missed it the first time around. Here's the full PR details:
THE ART OF PRINCESS MONONOKE · MSRP: $34.99 U.S. / $39.99 CAN
Hardcover Available August 2014
Two new Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth videos were released today. You know what that means? Two new characters! Which makes me really excited because one of them is my favorite Persona characters.
In the first video, we have Fuuka Yamagishi from Persona 3, showing off her brain power to help take down enemies. She's so cute! I really like her character. In the second video, we have my favorite character from the series, Rise Kujikawa! In the video, she's extra cheery as usual. Nothing new if you've played the Persona 4 game. She's so adorable. Both of these characters don't help in combat, but instead serve as support characters. Also, I don't think I've mentioned it before, but aren't you loving the music in these videos?
One of the best kept secret of AnimeSols's pledging system is that you can buy previously funded sets with a pledge of a subsequent fundraising set. To highlight this helpful feature and to reward loyal backers who have floated this 4-cour TV production on DVD thus far, AnimeSols is giving away an autographed and illustrated signboard to a backers who pledged for four Creamy Mami sets, including those who may pledge only for set four and added the first three as add-ons. You can see a video of its creator Akemi Takada drawing the prize here.
You know Japanese variety shows are interesting, to say the least. In this episode, one of the games they had looks awfully salivating. The staff got together some master chocolatiers and had them craft objects within a room setup. The show's participants had to pick out what they thought was chocolate and take a bite.
It doesn't always work out so well.
Alright, can we talk about how creepy this is? A lot of people say cosplaying is the best way to take your love for a show or character to the next level. However, I think this goes beyond it. A Higurashi van. This is no joke, my friends.
This van is brutal as hell, and it definitely defines Higurashi if you haven't yet seen it. The van itself has been questioned by police multiple times, seeing as it's covered in blood and is none the less suspicious. Especially if you haven't seen the anime. If the blood and body hanging out of the back wasn't enough for you, the van has a prerecorded vocal playback that plays the voice of a woman. This person isn't messing around when it comes to Higurashi.
Question: Am I bad luck? Because as Tim and I realized this week, whenever I ask for something to happen in an anime, it never ever happens, even if it would be self-evidently awesome and the writers are nuts for not going with it. Why can't I have nice things?
Listeners: do me a favor and do something to help me test this theory. Listen to this episode of the podcast while eating an ice cream cone. If any of the ice cream ends up in your lap when my voice comes on, then we'll have some objective proof that I am jinxed for life and should never talk about Japanese cartoons and...what? You want me to specify what flavor ice cream you should be eating? For gosh sakes kids, have some agency! Or pick Cookies and Cream, whatever!
It's Rock the Charts with a new name. We highlight the bestselling music and movies in Japan, along with the best of the American manga sales each week.
Kiki's Delivery Service (the live-action version) made its debut this week to a decent showing, garnering a bit over $1m in its opening weekend. My bet is the film will have decent numbers for a couple of weeks before falling off the charts not long after. In the meanwhile, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug will surely hold the Japanese audience's attention for quite some time.
On the manga side, Blood Lad is the only title making a real dent in the charts this week. It debuted at #1, while older titles shuffled around in the bottom half of the charts. Let's take a look at the top titles from each list:
Oricon's Top Three Songs
After all the insanity from last week, it's time for Hazama to take it easy. We can just sit back, relax, and enjoy the peaceful world he's helped create. No serious crimes, no violence, just an average life. It's so peaceful it's almost unsettling. I highly doubt that something crazy would happen abruptly and throw everything into chaos again, right? Right?!
We've all experienced it. That horrible, empty feeling when one of our favorite characters dies in an anime or manga series that we had been enjoying up to that point. Plenty of series have done it (though I won't name names so that no one is spoiled on anything) but it's still always hard to stomach particularly when it is a main character who drifting off into the big sleep that no one wakes up from. At least this time we're being prepared for it ever so slightly.
In a recent blog post, the author of Magi noted that she is preparing to kill off some major characters. Notice the plural use of the word there. Not only is she going to kill off main characters... she's going to kill more than one!
This week has seen its fair share of Attack on Titan-related news. To start, the official soundtrack has been licensed by Anime Limited, and is now available digitally through iTunes, Amazon UK and Google play. The release seems to be an exact copy of the original Japanese soundtrack, with all 16 tracks complete and intact. A physical release is said to be on its way this summer, no doubt just in time for the bulk of convention season, though an exact date has yet to be announced.
Just when the plot was going somewhere a couple weeks ago, we're left with episodes like this one, last week's, and the week before, where the relationships are made up and the little sisters don't matter. I'm confused as to why all of a sudden we're being relegated to what is essentially filler when we're so close to a "conclusion" -- unless there's going to be a second season for some reason. There are a projected 12 episodes and there's so much mucking about with Mitsuki going to the aquarium, screwing around with after school clubs, and now wasting time falling asleep under a kotatsu and getting into a cooking battle. I want to say there was some weird creepy fetishy stuff happening in this episode, but the truth is, like last week, it was boring. I struggled to stay awake.
Painting! Puppets! Crazy looking giant bugs! Yeah, I don't remember half of the stuff in this trailer appearing in the original OVAs, and I suppose that's exactly why I'm so excited for David Production to cover Stardust Crusaders. I never got around to reading the manga, so there's plenty I don't know about part three. April 5th can't come soon enough.
With over 1900 backers and over $107,100+ pledged, Anime Limited's Mai Mai Miracle Kickstarter ended with all the numerated stretch goals reached. This means the eventual Kickstarter release will contain an English dub, a localized version of the original theatrical pamphlet, and All The Anime will have enough money to produce the soundtrack, licensing agreement pending. A non-Kickstarter edition of the movie will also be made available down the road, Anime Limited has mentioned.
If you watch this trailer where other people can see or hear you, do not blame me because I'm warning you right now that this is NOT safe for work or public. In fact it's barely safe for private consumption.
That being said, remember a few weeks ago when I reported that a live action ImoCho was in the works? Well apparently they were really serious about it because a trailer has been released to the internet.
Last week's Kill la Kill predictions proved to be true.
I think ultimately the last thing anybody wanted was for this particular mini-arc to get dragged out for longer than a handful episodes. In a show that is often very fast paced, it was especially important that we didn't get stuck with a renegade Ryuko for too long. With the show coming up on its climax, Imaishi and his team needed to bring her back to the side of light and make her a contributing member of the party again sooner rather than later.
Thank goodness it turned out to be sooner.
Viz has my number, you guys. They've been consistently bringing the noise, bringing down the house, coming here to turn the party out. They're raising the roof to prove they can get loose, y'all, with high-profile releases like a new One Piece manga box set, the North American debuts of Assassination Classroom and Jaco the Galactic Patrolman, and a brand new Resident Evil manga tie-in.
November brings us the release of One Piece Box Set 2: Skypeia and Water 7, which collects Volumes 24-26 of the third and fourth story arcs, as well as the "Strong World" mini-comic and double-sided poster. I tried reading One Piece back in the day, but I admit I just couldn't get into it. There are some unique character designs and all, but I wasn't feeling it. Maybe someday.
Crunchyroll has really been on point with their manga system lately! They've been adding new titles left and right. Recently, they've added two new ones which you can read now.
Memoirs of Amorous Gentlemen (Bikacho Shinshi Kaikoroku) by Moyoco Anno was one of the newest titles they've added. The manga tells a tale about a young woman named Colette who works in a brothel located in Paris. The series talks about Colette and all of the other girls who work beside her. All the girls are there for each other, because they know what it's like to live a life like they do. Leon, Colette's love interest, is the only person she had hope for. But can she really be sure Leon loves her like she loves him?
Sorry for the interruption! I swung by Japan for a couple weeks with the hopes of catching a glimpse of the actual Wake Up! Girls! in the flesh. To no avail, their events in Tokyo at the time were booked solid and I was way too late in on the act, so like many I had to make do with their Wonfest stream. This also means we have a three-episode recap this week since actually trying to watch late-night TV while traveling is a major pain in the rear.
As I've said before, in general I am not a fan of mecha anime. I do love moe girls though which is why I am absolutely in love with Robot Girls Z! It really has all the elements that I love in a series including cute characters, over the top action and explosions and fun writing that doesn't take itself too seriously in the least and it seems that I'm not alone in loving this series because to celebrate the release of the DVD and Blu-ray in Japan the entire nine episode series will be getting a theatrical run on May 31st! So not fair!
According to the official Twitter account, the entire series will be run along with a special unaired episode which will be included in the DVD/Blu-ray release (scheduled to hit store shelves in Japan on June 13th). More information about the theatrical screening will be released soon via social media.
Do you want to make your voice heard? Vertical is always open to what its readers want, and their seasonal reader survey is the best way to do so. Apart from following them around at convention after convention, pestering them constantly. Ed gets the hint at that point.
This survey features an early feeler for a subscription program. Vertical has been floating the idea of running a subscription service to automatically sign readers up for either books, manga, or all Vertical publications as a means of helping to sell more independent titles that wouldn't normally meet minimum sales requirements. It's a program I think would be a great solution for bringing a greater breadth of titles to audiences that you wouldn't normally see from larger publishers.
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