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Anime Briefs: September 2001
By Ever Cheung and Ridwan Khan


Kenshin OVA

A sequel to the orginal Rurouni Kenshin OVA has been announced by Sony. The latest addition to the series, Seishouhen ("Years Chapter") will be only two volumes. The latest information and a single picture is avaliable at the Sony site.


Love Hina Advance

Set to be released on September 7th, the cast of the romantic comedy series Love Hina will once again make their way to the gaming world with their latest title, Love Hina Advance for Gameboy Advance, priced at 5800Yen (plus 500Yen in tax). Eight female characters will be featured in the game (plus Tama and Keitaro of course). Special discounts are being offered from the TV Tokyo website until August 28th. Experimental screen shots can be seen on the official Love Hina website at: http://www.tv-tokyo.co.jp/lovehina/news/news.html


Interactive Gundam

A new Gundam toy, due out in December this year is said to probably be the most likely to be out-of-stock toy come Christmastime in Japan. It's a Zaku MS-06 fully interactive robot with a head-mount video camera display inside it's head. Videos will be directly shown on the LCD monitor on the control console that comes with the set with control stick to control its movements and other optional actions you can see in the Gundam series. Official price will be 98,000Yen. (Source: Newtype.com September 2001)


Newtype.com Top 10 Web Picks

According to the staff of Newtype.com, the top 10 ranking anime sites for September that are related to current or upcoming series are as follows:


1) Noir (jvcmusic.co.jp/m-serve/tv/noir/index.html)
2) Kidou Tenshi Angelic Layer (tv-tokyo.co.jp/angelic_layer/)
3) Sister Princess (mediaworks.co.jp/gamers_s/sispri/index.html)
4) You're Under Arrest (tbs.co.jp/taiho)
5) Comic Party (kss-inc.co.jp/main/anime/comipa/comipa.html)
6) Mahou Senshi Ryui (runesoldier.com/)
7) Jungle wa Itsumo Hare Nochiguu (tv-tokyo.co.jp/anime/jungle.html)
8) Gene Shaft (geneshaft.com)
9) Hana Youko Maid Tai (anime.can-d.com/moe/)
10) Star Ocean EX (tv-tokyo.co.jp/star_ocean/)


Final Fantasy: Spirits Within DVD

The ground breaking CG film has been penciled for an October 23rd release date (DVD and VHS). The DVD comes with a number of extras, spanned across two DVDs, including two feature length commentaries, storyboards with their own commentaries, and trailers. The second disc contains an interactive documentary about the making of the film, music videos, a mini-film, character morphs, and the ability to rearrange the movie's scenes and play your own final cut. DVD-Rom users get a complete screenplay, a tour of Square pictures and a screensaver. Fans of the film will find plenty to be happy about. The film proper will clock in at 106 minutes with a 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer and English 5.1 and 2.0 Dolby surround sound tracks.


Sakura Taisen 4

In response to the support and requests from fans that followed the release of Sakura Taisen 3 ~ Pari wa Moeteiruka ~ back on March 22nd this year, with sales well over 400,000 copies at last count in July, Sega Enterprises announced that a new project to produce the final chapter of the Sakura Wars saga is currently underway. Little is known at this point about the game since it's still in it's designing / planning stage. Entitled Sakura Taisen 4 ~ Koiseyo Otome ~ (ST4), the fourth installment (last chapter of the series) is currently scheduled for release in Spring of 2002 on the Sega Dreamcast system.

On June 25, a media conference was held at the Imperial Hotel's Sakura Conference Hall in Japan, with refreshing news for otakus world-wide - the official release of the Sakura Taisen (Motion Picture) will be in Japanese theatres come this December. All original voice actors/actresses and staff members from the game and TV series are expected to participate in the making of the movie version.

According to Hiroi Ohji (Excecutive Producer), fans of the series will be able to take a first look at the progress of ST4 before the showing of the ST movie, and there will also be chances to see a two hour special on the progress of the game in Spring of 2002 before the release. During the conference, several other issues and announcements were also addressed, including the upcoming live ST musical show performed by the voice actresses from the series and a self introduction / interview with the music director from ST4.

The storyline of the ST movie will be a counterpart story about the members of the Teigoku Kagekidan in the Imperial Capital during the period when Oogami Ichiro was away in Paris (ST3). To keep the team in check, a new captain was assigned to the Hanagumi after Oogami's departure. As the new captain Racchat Altau (name translated from Japanese pronounciation, offical English version to be announced) tries to get the group back on track after Oogami's departure, a new mysterious enemy group begins to make their moves in the shadows. Will the members of Hanagumi be able to defend the Imperial Captial without Oogami around? Watch the movie and find out! =)

For more information on the movie and ST4, visit Sakura Taisen's official Japanese website at: http://sakura-taisen.com/sakura_movie/ (There is one picture taken from the movie posten on the story briefing page under the website listed above) More info from Toei's movie page at: http://www.toei.co.jp/kadokawa-anime/

Here are also some interesting statistics released by the ST offical site (all numbers came from Japan alone):

Game sales - ST1 ~ ST3 = 2,500,000 Copies sold
Novel - 1,400,000 Copies sold
OVA - 400,000 Copies sold
Music CDs (all combined) - 1,000,000 Copies sold
Official Sakura Taisen Fan Club - 10,000 Members

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