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volume 3 issue 5

In This Issue

Contents 2
Features 3
Chasing Otakuism 8
Anime Briefs 9
Reviews 10
Web Showcase 19
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Anime Briefs: May 2002
By Chris Foster, Ridwan Khan, and Ever Cheung

Web Site Relaunches

TOKYOPOP launched a new version of their web site on April 29 which features a streamlined layout and easy to access information on all of their anime, manga, soundtracks, and various other products.
ADV Films also recently updated their site with a brand new flash layout. The site is a lot more user friendly now and finding info on their latest titles is even easier! Bandai Entertainment has also announced a web site relaunch is forthcoming.

The Live Action Akira

More details have emerged on the upcoming live action "Western" remake of Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira, according to Yahoo! News. Stephen Norrington is on board to direct and possibly write the screenplay for the project, with Jon Peters producing. Norrington's most notable project to date was 1998's Blade.

DBZ: The Legacy of Goku Date Set

Infogrames has announced that Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy Of Goku for Game Boy Advance will ship on May 14th. The June 2002 issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly has a full review of the title and the verdict isn't good. The title is mediocre action/RPG that is roughly 8 hours long and scored at and below a 6.0 in the magazine.

Yu-Gi-Oh! is Top Dog

KIDS WB! Has announced that Yu-Gi-Oh! is the top rated TV show in several categories. This has also helped gets KIDS WB back to the top of the ratings after the decline of Pokemon.

Pokemon: Fusha and Pokemon: Beige ?

Currently making the rounds on the Internet are screenshots from the upcoming Gameboy Advance Pokemon game. The shots reveal some Pokemon new to the Advance incarnation of the series and gameplay similar to previous titles. The biggest difference, other than the new Pokemon, is a graphical upgrade.

ToeJam, Earl, & Latisha

SEGA has announced that ToeJam & Earl III will be an XBox exclusive. The game will feature a new female alien called 'Latisha'. The game will also feature randomly generated levels as well as the ability to play single-player or multiplayer via a split-screen mode.

The Latest on Spirited Away reports that Studio Ghibli and Buena Vista Japan have hammered out the details of the DVD release of Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi (Spirited Away), scheduled for a summer release. The movie will be released in three editions. The standard edition will retail for 4700 yen and Japanese preorders will feature a model rice ball.
A two disc box set will include 3 posters, the model rice ball, a press booklet. This edition will be limited to 10,000 copies at 15,000 yen a pop.
The 19,800 yen DVD set will include the movie and a faux wood grain DVD player, complete with acorn shaped remote. All versions of the movie and the DVD player are all encoded for Region 2. However, the movie will feature English subtitles (i.e., anyone who orders the DVD will be able to play it and watched it subtitled on a) Computer DVD-ROM b) a modifed set top DVD player). AnimeNation will be taking preorders closer to the release date.

In other Spirited Away news the web sites Ain't It Cool News has the list of the English voice cast for Disney's release of Spirited Away:
Chihiro - Daveigh Chase
Haku - Jason Marsden
Boiler Room Man - David Stiers
Twin Witches - Suzanne Pleshette
Mom - Lauren Holly
Dad - Michael Chiklis Dad
Lin - Susan Egan
Bathouse Manager - John Ratzenberger

i-Mode Finally Making a Blip in the West

Japan's popular i-Mode service, the cell phone service from DoCoMo, is seeing the light in the West. DoCoMo has formed an alliance with France's Bougues Telecom to offer i-Mode in that country. AT&T has launched it's mMode, an AT&T version of i-Mode service in select U.S. cities.

WXIII Kidou Keisatsu Patlabor

With a nine year long silence, Mobile Police Patlabor is finally back in action with the release of their latest, and finest movie yet - WXIII Kidou Keisatsu Patlabor (released date March 30th in Japan). Under the gray and cloudy sky of the Tokyo bay, the number of horrifying incidents involving a mysterious creature are growing but yet nobody seem to know anything about who or what may be behind these unsolved mysteries. Unlike all of the previous chapters of the Patlabor series the new Patlabor movie will focuse mainly on police investigators Kujyuu and Tai Shinichirou who had been supporting characters in the original series for quite some time. Following their footsteps viewers will take on the journey to solve the baffuling mystery surrounding this unknown creature, possible involvement of the Japan Self Defense Forces under layers and layers of government conspiracy and as expected by fans, all will end with a final showdown between the 2nd Patlabor Team and the monsterous creature that was labelled as "Disposed Material No. 13" by its creators under the darkened skies of Tokyo bay.
With the help of character designer Takagi Hiroki (artwork director of Kimagure Orange Road) and big time production manager Watanabe Shigeru who's famous for his involvement in the planning and production of Ghost in the Shell and Shin Kidou Senki Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz among many others, WXIII Kidou Keisatsu Patlabor is a sure bet for anime fans who may be looking for a deep story plot built upon a fasinating science fiction setting. Although fans in the US may not be able to see the movie just yet, the nicely designed offical website still provide a number of screen shots and a detailed background on the story, history and background on all characters, old and new since the very beginning of the Patlabor series:

éX-Driver: The Movie

Now as one of the biggest name in the anime world, famous artist Fujishima Kousuke (character designer for the Sakura Taisen saga and Ah! My Goddess series) once again bring his artistry to new heights with the release of éX-Driver: The Movie recently out in theatres in Japan on April 20th. As a seqeal to the OVA series, the story begins with Sugano Souichi, Sakakino Lisa and Endou Lorna's journey to America to participate in the éX-Driver World Championship as representatives of Japan. To their suprise the trio find themselves deep in trouble as soon as their arrival in California, locked up as suspects in a recent AI car-gone-berserk incident. Upon further investigation, they begin to uncover a much more sinister plot than they once thought. Theme song to the éX-Driver: The Movie - "Crucial Spirits" will be performed by MILK and insert song by well known anime theme song artist Endou Masaki, who's famous for his performance in the theme songs of series such as Yuushao Gaogaiga, B'T Neo, and Masou Kishin Cybuster plus many others.
As a sub-feature, éX-Driver - Nina & Rei's Danger Zone will be shown along with the movie version as a side story with a plot that focuses on Souichi, Lisa and Lorna's side-kick Nina and Rei and an event that happened several years prior to the original story line. For additional information and samples of special gifts for fans please visit the official website of éX-Driver at:

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