animefringe may 2003 / briefing room
.hack Manga Coming to North America

Sources at TOKYOPOP have reviled that the .hack (or Dot Hack) manga series has been licensed and is currently scheduled for an Early Fall/September 2003 release. The manga itself takes place five years after the fourth installment of .hack for the PlayStation 2 and is the basis for the sudo-sequel television series .hack//Legend of the Twilight Bracelet.

New Pokemon in the Works

The fifth Pocket Monster movie, Pokemon Heroes (originally Gods of the City of Water in Japan) is being readied by Miramax. A trailer for the new movie is avaliable at Miramax's web site.

Bebop Comes Blazing Onto DVD

According to Anime on DVD the Cowboy Bebop Movie has been confirmed for a June 24th release at a suggested retail price of $26.95. The DVD will contain a number of extras including a widescreen presentation and a number of "featurettes", including "From the Small Screen to the Big Screen," "International Appeal - What's Not to Like," and ones on each of Cowboy Bebop's main cast. The disc will also have music videos for "Ask DNA" and "Gotta Knock A Little Harder" and character profiles, as well as conceptual art for characters, automobiles, and accessories.

Gundam Seed Comes to the PS2

GameSpot has the first details on Bandai's newly announced shooting game based on Gundam SEED. The game is scheuled for a summer release on the PS2 in Japan.

Kingdom Hearts 2 Is in the Works

Jagged Team reports that Square Enix has officially announced the development of Kingdom Hearts 2. No announcements have been made as to whether Disney, Final Fantasy, or Dragon Quest characters will make apperances in the game.

E3 Pre-Show Announcements

A number of details have come flooding out of Nintendo about their upcoming releases.

Square Enix will be releasing three games for Nintendo in the upcoming year. Final Fantasy: The Crystal Chronicles, Final Fantasy Tactics: Advance, and Sword of Mana. Crystal Chronicles, for the Gamecube, will be a GC exclusive and will utilize the Gameboy Advance/GC connection for gameplay. Reportedly, the connection is used much more extensively, than in the recently released The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. Final Fantasy Tactics: Advance, the sequel to the PlayStation sleeper hit, improves upon its PS1 predcessor. A 2-D RPG, Sword of Mana (presumably part of the Secrect of Mana series) will also be released on the GBA.

The latest addition to the Mario Kart franchise will be entitled Double Dash. The game is the first major alteration of the Mario Kart formula since the SNES original. The game will feature two races on one go-kart, with one character driving and the other throwing weapons. The driver and defender can be changed at any time during the race, adding strategy to each race. Confirmed characters include Mario, Luigi, Peach, Baby Mario, Baby Luigi, Yoshi, Birdo, Wario, Waluigi, Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong, Bowser, Bowser Jr., Koopa, and Paratroopa. The game will also allow LAN play; with two Gamecubes and two copies of the game, up to eight players can play (the game will still feature the four player split screen featured in Mario Kart 64). More information is avaliable on Nintendo's E3 website.

A Pikmin 2is also in the works. The game will feature a cooperative two player mode as Captin Olimar returns to the Pikmin world in order to start his business. He brings an assistant with him, allowing for two player play. In addition, the game will do away with the time limits from the original Pikmin.

Finally, F-Zero GC and AC (GameCube and Arcade). The games will be similar on the GameCube and in the arcades and the arcades will allow a player to use their memory cards to transfer information from their home to the arcade. The GC version will also sport a machine creation mode and twenty tracks.