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Anime Briefs: November 2001
By Ever Cheung and Ridwan Khan


TOKYOPOP's got Chobits and GTO

TOKYOPOP is going to have a busy year in 2002, with Initial D, Love Hina, and Cowboy Bebop all joining their manga lineup. It turns out that those aren't the only titles they're working on... According to inside sources, the new CLAMP series Chobits and the long running GTO (of which TOKYOPOP has already announced their acquisition of the anime) are also due to hit bookstores in early 2002.


VIZ to announce monthly The Big O manga

Think The Big O was finished with the final episode on Cartoon Network? Think again. The manga, drawn by Hitoshi Ariga (Rockman/Mega Man) and scripted by Hajime Yadata (Gundam Wing), is currently in it's fifth volume and features many stories not in the anime. Our sources say that Viz Communications is about to announce this series as a February release. The series will be a monthly 48 page comic.


The Return of Gatekeepers

Gatekeepers is back! After a long silence after the release of the Gatekeepers game for the Playstation game console, Gonzo announces the new six episodes OVA series that will be coming early next year. The new series will be a sequel to the original Gatekeepers TV series, but it will take place in the year 2001 instead of 1969(~ 1970) this time around. The thirty-year period without the existence of any Invaders did not bring peace and serenity to Earth as the brave heroes in the Earth Defense Agency thought. Instead, the pollution and crime rate only increased as human civilization entered a new millennium. With a new group of young fighters, the Earth Defense Agency must now fight a new war against the Invaders as they begin to show up once again. But the odds are against the Defense forces, now that they only have Invader Hunters who can summon what is called the Imitation Gate (similar to the original gate, however with far less power and strength) created by psychic powers and the aid of advanced electronic devices. Will the Invader win this time? Or will the new Gatekeepers Isuzu Ayane, Manazuru Miu and Houjyou Yukino triumph over the alien forces just as the original Gatekeepers did? All will be answered in Gatekeepers 21. =)

According to information obtained from the official site, cel work for episode one was finished in July, and the staff at Gonzo are currently working on episode two and three. (FYI: There are rumors that Ayane may actually be Shun's daughter, however, that has not been confirmed at this point.)

For more graphics and info on the latest about Gatekeepers 21, please visit Gonzo's Gatekeepers site at: http://www.gate-keepers.com/


Finally, Sakura Wars: The Movie

After months of preparation, the release date for the Sakura Wars has finally been announced. On December 22nd, Sakura fans in Japan will finally be able to see the side story that was never told in the game version of the Sakura Wars saga. Along with the release date of the Sakura Taisen ~ Katsudou Shashin ~ (Sakura Wars ~ the Motion Picture ~), several pages worth of original design sketches and screen shots from the movie itself were also released through the official site on Production I.G.'s web host. The estimated length of the Sakura movie is 80 minutes. Extensive computer graphics and special effects were used in the production, with qualities even surpassing those used in the third installment of the Sakura Taisen 3 game released on the Sega Dreamcast system earlier this year.

To be shown as sub-features along with the Sakura movie in theatres are Digi Charat the Movie, Slayers Premium and Azuman ga Daiou. Advance ticket buyers will also receive one of the two special gifts - a limited edition poster or a special card-shaped CD-ROM.

For more graphics from the movie, visit the Production I.G. site at: http://www.production-ig.co.jp/anime/sakurawars/index.html (Second link from top down is the link to the design sketches and the third link is the screen shots gallery)


Quick bits on Tenchi OVA 3

Information on both a new Tenchi-Muyo! OVA and third TV series have emerged. Creator Kajishima Masaki returns for both productions. Shinichi Watanabe will direct. A short trailer for the Tenchi-Muyo! Galaxy Police (GXP) TV series is online at the official site (http://www.tenchi-web.com/). The trailer features several new women, and even in Real Player format the animation quality looks high.


AIBO: The Anime

A new anime based on Sony's AIBO robotic animal product line began in Japan on October 11 on Fuji TV. The two newest models (released September 22) of the AIBO product will interact with the show via the program's audio. The AIBO models, Latte and Macron, were designed by Katsura Moshino and retail for 98000 yen (roughly $816, U.S.). No details have been released concerning an American release of the program; however, Sony plans to release the new AIBO line in the U.S. and is using the Big Apple Anime Fest in New York to promote the machines.

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