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In This Issue

Contents 2
Features 3
Chasing Otakuism 6
Anime Briefs 7
Reviews 8
Web Showcase 16
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Anime Briefs: March 2002
By Patrick King, Chris Foster, Ever Cheung, and Ridwan Khan

Kirby Vs. Pikachu!

4Kids, the American distrubtors of Pokemon have expressed intrest in the new Nintendo anime Hoshi no Kirby (Kirby's Star). The anime stars everyone's favorite blob of Pink marshmellow, HAL Lab's Kirby, star of a myraid of Nintendo games. 4Kids plans to broadcast Kirby, along with Kinnikuman Second Generation (the sequel to the 1983 Kinnikuman series), on the FOX Network's FOX Kids block. 4Kids also plans on releasing Pokemon movies 4 and 5 in the U.S. and they've picked up 52 new episodes of Pokemon for a 5th season.


Kare Kano's Set for Release

Masami Tsuda's Kare Kano manga, and the basis for the hit anime, has been given the April 30 along with other TOKYOPOP releases such as Angelic Layer Vol.1 and Chobits Vol.1. Kare Kano follows the rivalry of two highly competitive high school students Yukino and Soiichiro.


Armitage Gets the Royal Treatment

The newly announced limited edition Armitage III: Dual Matrix Lunch Box will contain the special edition of Armitage: III Dual Matrix and a limited edition variant of the Armitage III figure manufactured by McFarlane Toys packaged in a limited edition lunch box. The 2-Disc set will contain Armitage III: Polymatrix and the special edition of the sequal Armitage III: Dual Matrix. No word on a release date for the OVA series though.


SEGA in Hot Water

Nike has filed a lawsuit against games giants SEGA for alledgedly copying one of its most famous commercials. The advertisment in question? The 1996 'Frozen Moment' commercial featuring Michael Jordan in typical god like fashion with millions of idolising people watching with awe...well apparently SEGA's NBA 2K2 commercial was slightly too god like for Nike.
"We believe the SEGA ad has almost no original creative elements that weren't taken in whole or in part from Nike," said Scott Reames, senior communications manager for Nike. "It's rather shocking and disappointing to see another advertiser so blatantly shoplift our intellectual property."
Nike hope to protect their ad with a permanent injunction preventing SEGA from running their commercial at all. SEGA Vs Nike, now that would make a great game.


More Gundam on Cartoon Network

Cartoon Network will be bring Gundam 0083: Char's Counterattack, the fourth Gundam movie, and Mobile Fighter G-Gundam during 2002. Several Gundam in G-Gundam are going to recieve new names (i.e, God Gundam will become Burning Gundam, Minaret Gundam will become Gundam Scimitar).


Cowboy Bebop Sells Out

On February 07, 2002, the Cowboy Bebop: Knockin' On Heaven's Door DVD sales rankings hit number 1 in Japan. In a related story, Sunrise / Bandai Entertainment greatly underestimated the possible sales of the Cowboy Bebop: Knockin' On Heaven's Door DVD, resulting in a shortage of the DVD. DVDs ran out in early February and reprints are due out mid-February.


Another CLAMP Anime

The CLAMP manga Chobits is to become an anime series. The show will begin April 2nd at the ghastly hour of 2:20am on Japanese channel 'TBS.'


Lupin Back in Action

In commemoration of Lupin III's 30th anniversary which actually was in October of 2001, a new Lupin III OAV will debut in Japan on April 3rd. Lupin III: Ikiteita Majutsushi (Lupin III: The Living Magician) will return to the more serious tone previously seen in the first TV series. The plot of this 50 minute OAV has the magician Pycal, first introduced in the original 1971 TV series episode 2, returning to seek revenge for his defeat by Lupin.


Give It Up for Harlock

A new Captain Harlock TV series is set to debut in the fall. Director RinTaro, known most recently for Metropolis and director of the orginal Harlock series will be directing the new anime, set to show in September, based on the classic 1978 Captain Harlock series. Rather than being a remake of the orginal series, the new Harlock anime will boast a new story.


Yoko Kanno's Latest Project

Yoko Kanno has announced she will be the composer for the BONES anime Raxephon. From the manga by Takeaki Momose and Yutaka Izubuchi, set in 2027, Raxephon is a science fiction story involving a highschool boy dealing with mysterious intruders who invade Earth. The show will broadcast on Fuji and seiyuu talent includes Maaya Sakamoto.


Project .hack is Huge

Promised to be one of the biggest project ever put together, anime creator Yoshiyuki Sadamoto (well known character designer of Neon Genesis Evangelion) joined forces with Kazunori Itoh and Mashita Kouichi in the production of Bandai's new feature product entitled .hack Kazunori Itoh had been famous for his involvement as the original creator of Creamy Mami, one of the old school classic magical girl fantasy adventure stories. Kouichi Mashita was also a well known figure in the anime community as the director of Eat-Man, Popolocris Monogatari, and The Irresponsible Captain Taylor.

From the information released so far, Project .hack is consisted of four major line of productions, a game, an OVA series, a TV series and a comic series. The background for the main story in .hack is set for the year 2007, a world class network game "The World" is taking the gaming world by storm with its vast game space and never ending possibilities. However, behind the scene a new type of AI is actually feeding on the information within "The World", hiding within the deepest part of the network program. Aimed to take down "The World", players will become the main character in the gaming version of .hack, going through the storyline from the "Game World" point of view. Though the story line for the other three sectors of Project .hack is still sketchy, the OVA sector is said to be a series that looks into the same storyline from the "Real World" point of view; the TV version of the series will focus mainly on the days prior to the blooming of "The World"; where the comic series will be focusing mainly on the days after "The World" came into existance.

As his first big budget project working outside of GAINAX, Yoshiyuki Sadamoto will be taking part in the character planning, which will also be his first time to design characters aimed to be rendered in 3D.

The title had been decided as .hack//SIGN (pronounced as "Dot-Hack-Sign") for the TV anime sector of Project .hack, first episode is scheduled to be aired on April 3 this year. In addition to the official site that revealed the details about this project, a stand-alone site is currently up and running with a high-tech design at: http://www.hack.channel.or.jp/ Episode two of the comic version was released earlier in February 9 on the monthly magazine Competic in Japan.

To see a group picture taken at the official announcement ceremony visit the Anime X-Press' info page at: http://www.tv-tokyo.co.jp/anime/whats_new/hack_p.html We will be sure to keep our eyes open for any more information regarding this project as it develops.


The Skinny on Tenchi Muyo! GXP

Here it comes again! Tenchi-Muyo! is back with another brand new series. Don't throw rotten fruit just yet, this time the story and characters will be brand new, though characters from the original series were also scheduled to show in the later half of the series.

The new story begins one year after the end of the third season of the original TM! OVA series, through the eyes of a normal human teenage boy by the name of Yamada Seina (15) - a boy who seems to be attracted to bad luck wherever he goes, not being able to ride the bus because of sickness Seina was soaked by rain at the start of the series, his luck is so bad he actually seen all of the "Seven Unbelievable Events" at school (typical ghost stories in Japan surrounding school campus). Because of his unbelievable string of bad luck he is refered to by his friend not as Seina but "Sainan" (Disaester). But because of this he has a relatively high tolerence level of stress and can solve problems better than most.

Of course, as the traditional Tenchi, Seina will encounter man girls, among them are: Amane Kaunakku (20), friend of Mihoshi at the Galaxy Police. A GP officer famous for her 88% shooting accuracy on combat missions onboard her ship. Her respectful record was shattered after she met Seina, who brought his bad luck into her life. Dispite the bad luck Seina brought with him, she's quite impressed by Seina's ability to deal with unexpected situations. For getting Earthlings out into space and involved in her work (namely Seina), she was suspended by the GP main office and forced to become a temporary teacher back at the GP academy. Next up is Masaki Kiriko (21, actual age 33) - on the surface Kiriko is a university student from Tokyo, in reality she is an investigation officer for the immigration office for the Galaxy Police. As Seina's friend from Kindergarden, Kiriko had always looked at Seina as her little brother, who is always trying his best to overcome his seemingly never ending string of bad luck.

And on the other end of the spectrum from the Galaxy Police officers, we have Ryouko Balda (19) - A member of the remaining forces of Da Luma, a pirate group who once went against the Jurai Royal Forces and the Galaxy Police in the past. Eventhough her name was taken from the well known pirate Ryouko who once invaded the Jurai main planet, Ryouko Balda is quite the opposite from the real thing. Great at dancing, cooking, the traditional art of tea brewing but no good with alcohol. Because of her cuteness and slender figure, she is also well known within the Galaxy Police force as an idol worshipped by many. Also featured in the new OVA is Mihoshi's mother Kuramitsu Mitoto, who is working at the housekeeping division inside the GP. Sharing the same careless trait, Mitoto can still sometimes accomplish things others can't when she's extremely focused.

Tenchi-Muyo! GXP is scheduled to air on Nihon TV network April 2, 2002 (24:55-25:25) with Masaki Kajishima as the character designer once again. For additional and up-to-date information, please visit the official VAP/AIC website at: http://tenchi-web.com/

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