Welcome to our News archive for April 2005 - to see this month's news please click on the button below.


25th April 2005

Comeback Kings!

Manga Entertainment may have been pretty quiet for a fair while but they are certainly determined to come back with a bang!  We're one of a select few UK sites to receive an exclusive press release (ah, smugness) from Manga which details some of their upcoming competitions and some new additions to their website, as well as confirming their presence at the upcoming London MCM ExpoClick here to read!

By the way, we recommend you visit the London MCM Expo, this year launches the Anime Village for the first time and there will be the opportunity to meet people from Manga Entertainment, MVM, Neo Magazine and Sweatdrop Manga!  There promises to be plenty of exclusives and freebies, as well as a cosplay competition, the chance to meet American voice actors and a Robotech Retrospective.  We're  planning on going so if you see a couple of West Country yokels (Webmaster Ric's fishing hat is a dead giveaway) wandering around come and say hello!  Check out the Expo website for more info, and if you can't make it look out for a report on this site once we return.

Source:  Manga Entertainment

25th April 2005

Anime Style Secrets Revealed!

In one of the most random pieces of news we've seen this year, cosmetics manufacturer Garnier have launched a new manga inspired hair product as part of its Fructis Style line.  The new styling putty is called Manga Head because it is apparently strong enough to allow you to create anime and manga inspired gravity defying styles that will actually stay in place (cosplayers rejoice!).  We will no doubt be reviewing this product at some point (Webmaster Tom is a bit of a styling wax fan, and has always dreamed of having Goku's hairstyle...), but in the meantime check out the Manga Head website for the chance to win a trip for 2 to Tokyo!! 
Please note that the site is very memory intensive, so will take a while to load on lower speed connections.

Source:  Manga Entertainment

21st April 2005

Rising Stars of Manga hits UK

Following the US success of their Rising Stars of Manga competitions - which give local artists who draw in the manga style the chance to compete for cash prizes and see their work published - TokyoPop have decided to launch them in the UK.  The competition runs from 15th May 2005 to 30th September 2005 and is open to residents of the UK and Eire.  The first prize is a pretty handy 1000 and the top seven entries will see their work published in the first Rising Stars of Manga anthology, as well as being given the chance to pitch an original idea for a manga style series to TokyoPop.

It's a testament to how the UK market is growing that TokyoPop are bringing this competition here, and all those budding artists out there should get your pencils ready and check out the TokyoPop website for more information.

Source:  AnimeOnDVD, TokyoPop

21st April 2005

BBFC Wield Axe, But Stay Cool For Cat & Howl

The BBFC have dealt with anime right across the spectrum this week, and there is good and bad news.  The bad news is that following their decision to make 8 mins of cuts to the first two episodes of La Blue Girl Returns, the next two episodes have suffered even more.  Of the initial run time of 65 min 10 sec for La Blue Girl Returns Episodes 3 & 4 a whopping 24 min 25 sec of cuts and substitutions was required in order for it to get an 18 certificate.  Click here for full info.

On a better note two Studio Ghibli films also came under the spotlight and were predictably passed uncut, both receiving U certificates.  The films - The Cat Returns and Howl's Moving Castle - were both being rated for their cinema release and both were submitted in Japanese with English subtitles, which suggests that Optimum will once more be serving anime fans well by giving the subtitled version a cinematic run.  The Cat Returns is expected to be released in May (click here for info), and Howl's Moving Castle is expected in September (click here).  We will of course be adding more info as and when it arises.

Source:  BBFC

21st April 2005

Five Alive!!!

We have broken the 5000 hits mark!!! 

Thanks very much for your continuing support, it's much appreciated, more content will be coming soon!

Source:  Sitemeter

21st April 2005

Kiki The Movie!

According to a report in US anime magazine Anime Insider a live action film based on Kiki's Delivery Service is currently in the early stages of development in America.  The film will be based on the original Kiki's Delivery Service novel by Japanese author Eiko Kadono rather than Hayao Miyazaki's classic anime adaptation, and producers Angry Films have also snapped up the rights to three sequel novels too.  The film is being developed for Walt Disney Pictures, which hopefully means it won't disappear without trace before reaching production...

Source:  Anime Insider

12th April 2005

Casshern Comes To DVD

With so few live action films based on anime & manga receiving UK releases (only The Guyver, Fist of the North Star and City Hunter spring immediately to mind) it's great to see the sci-fi epic Casshern receiving a release here!  Out on the 25th April from Momentum Asia, Casshern is based on a classic 1970's anime series which boasted much of the same creative team as Battle of the Planets, as well as design by internationally renowned artist Yoshitaka Amano.  The film version has earned rave reviews in many quarters and looks absolutely stunning - for a taste of what to expect check out the trailer, and keep your eyes open for a review in the near future.

Source:  Momentum Asia ___________________________________________________________________________

10th April 2005

Piece at last!

No doubt most of you reading would have known this for sometime but we feel that it is definitely worth mentioning again.  Yes, today at 5.00pm the first episode of the excellent One Piece will be shown on cable TV on the channel ToonamiToonami will be repeating the same episode at 7.30pm tonight in case you miss it and from then on it will be shown every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 5.00pm and 7.30pm!!  This really is great news for UK anime fans as we have been a bit deprived of anime on TV recently, so let us hope that the showing of One Piece will change that. 

Source:  Toonami

9th April 2005

ADV Press Release

ADV Films have confirmed their release schedule for May, which will consist of the following:

Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040 Complete Collection
Chrono Crusade vol 2 - Holy War
Gad Guard vol 3 - Persona
Get Backers vol 3 - Into the Limitless Fortress
Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi vol 4 - There's No Place Like Home
Rune Soldier vol 6 - Louie Punch!

The big surprise in the schedule is the boxset of Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040, which features UK exclusive artwork and sees all 6 discs of the popular cyberpunk actioner collected together for 59.99.  We're a big fan of collected releases (and especially UK exclusives!) and are glad that ADV continue to release them here - hopefully more will follow in future.  All of the above titles hit the shops on 16th May, so start saving your pennies!

Source:  ADV Films

9th April 2005

MVM Confirm Licenses

This month is turning out to be a good one for anime news, with MVM following the announcement of Gantz and Burst Angel by confirming some of the other anime titles that will be released in the latter half of this year.  The announced titles are:

Gunslinger Girl
Ikki Tousen
Tenjo Tenge
Tenchi GXP
Tenchi - Ryi ou ki
Twin Signal
Love Hina Christmas Special

There aren't really any surprises as pretty much all of the titles have been previously reported, but it is good to see them confirmed for this year.  It is also worth noting that the list isn't comprehensive, so expect to see a couple more titles announced before the year is out.  MVM are definitely on the up!

Source:  MVM

8th April 2005

MVM Snap Up New Licenses

EyeOnAnime report that in a surprise move MVM have snapped up the UK rights to Burst Angel and the highly controversial actioner Gantz, two popular series from Japanese studio Gonzo.  Many believed that these two titles would be released by ADV Films, who have released several titles from Gonzo over the last year or so, including Last Exile, Hellsing and Chrono CrusadeBurst Angel - a stylish actioner about a cook who ends up working for a group of sexy mercenaries - is a big fan favourite which should prove a major coup for MVM, as is Gantz - which is a graphically violent actioner about a young man who seems to die, but wakes to find that he must participate in dangerous missions for a mysterious intelligence.  It will be interesting to see how the sexual and violent content of Gantz is received by the BBFC and critics, but whatever the outcome we can at least look forward to two more great new titles!

Source:  EyeOnAnime

6th April 2005

La Blue Girl Returns From Censors

The controversial La Blue Girl Returns has been granted an 18 certificate by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), after suffering over 8 minutes of cuts.  Scenes of sexual assault and scenes 'encouraging an interest in underage sex' (as it's a cartoon the characters can't technically be underage) were cut by the BBFC and further material was removed by distributor ILC Prime, which amounted to total cuts of 8 minutes and 33 seconds.  In fairness no-one really expected it to escape uncut, and 8 minute is a great improvement in the fortunes of the franchise - the original La Blue Girl was banned outright back in 1996.  The rating should hopefully prevent a delay in the release of the DVD, which is due on 25th April.  Full info on the BBFC decision can be found here.

Source:  BBFC

4th April 2005

Manga Launch Ghost in the Shell Website

With all the upheaval of their takeover far behind them Manga Entertainment have started to re-establish their presence in the UK market, and have launched an official Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex website to support their release of the series.  The site - www.standalonecomplex.co.uk - is one of the first official UK sites dedicated to an individual series, and will hopefully be the first of many.  Content includes character biographies, episode summaries, downloadable wallpapers, video clips and even a competition!  Keep an eye on it too, as it seems that the competitions and updates may be regular...

Source: Manga Entertainment

3rd April 2005

Viz Titles to Hit the UK

No, this is not an April Fool!  UK publisher Gollancz has signed a deal with US manga publishing giant Viz Communications to bring four popular manga series to the UK.  Starting from August of this year Gollancz will bring us Dragonball, Fushigi Yugi, Yu-Gi-Oh! and Case Closed (aka. Detective Conan) for the superb price of 4.99 per volume!  At present 30 titles across these four series are planned for release across a twelve month period, but we wouldn't be surprised to see this line-up bolstered by more titles if the releases prove popular.  Hopefully this will be the case, and we wouldn't be surprised to see Gollancz follow TokyoPop's example and push manga into high streets shops like WH Smiths.  If you still don't believe us check out the news story here!

Source: UK Anime.Com

3rd April 2005

New Anime Games Out in April

22nd April 2005

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (Atari) - Sony PlayStation 2
Yu Yu Hakusho Dark Tournament
(Atari) - Sony PlayStation 2

29th April 2005

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (Atari) - Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP)
Wild Arms (UbiSoft) - Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP)

All for Sony consoles this month, starting off with the much anticipated release of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, which we had a brief play of when in Japan (it's pretty good), and cel-shaded beat-em-up Yu Yu Hakusho Dark Tournament which was delayed from last month as expected.  The other anime game releases for this month are apparently launch titles for Sony's new PSP console, however, most sites don't even list them which suggests that they may only be coming out in the US at present, so don't be surprised if they aren't on the shelves this month.

Source:  Play.Com; Amazon UK

1st April 2005

Out in April!!

4th April 2005

Dominion Tank Police Acts 1 & 2 (Animazing) Cert: 12

11th April 2005

Grappler Baki (Manga Entertainment) Cert: 18

18th April 2005

Adventures of Mini-Goddess vol 2 - The Belldandy Files (MVM) Cert: PG
Angelic Layer vol 7 - Seventh Heaven
(ADV Films) Cert: PG
Azumanga Daioh! vol 5 - Seniors! (ADV Films) Cert: PG
Gungrave vol 1 - Beyond the Grave (MVM) Cert: 15
Haibane Renmei vol 1 - New Feather (MVM) Cert: PG
Kiddy Grade vol 8 - Emerging Anew (MVM) Cert: 12
Kino's Journey vol 4 - Not Without Reservations (ADV Films) Cert: PG
Last Exile vol 3 - Discovered Attack (ADV Films) Cert: PG
Neon Genesis Evangelion Platinum vol 2 (ADV Films) Cert: PG
New Fist of the North Star vol 1 - The Cursed City (ADV Films) Cert: 15
Yu Yu Hakusho vol 2 - Artefacts of Darkness (MVM) Cert: PG

25th April 2005

Cowboy Bebop vol 4 (Beez) Cert: PG
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex vol 3
(Manga Entertainment) Cert: 12
La Blue Girl Returns vol 1 (Animazing) Cert: tbc (expected to be 18)
s-CRY-ed vol 1 - Lost Ground (Beez) Cert: tbc
Stratos 4 vol 1 - Blast Off (Beez) Cert: tbc
Witch Hunter Robin vol 1 - Arrival (Beez) Cert: tbc

The month of April starts off in quiet fashion with the second title from ILC Prime's fledgling Animazing label, the classic sci-fi actioner Dominion Tank Police, and Grappler Baki, a much delayed OVA from Manga Entertainment which was originally due out last year.  However, your wallet will really be struggling mid-month when both ADV Films and MVM unleash their latest round of releases on the same day.  Their schedules include a number of new series, including the excellent Haibane Renmei from MVM and the long awaited Gungrave, whilst Kiddy Grade and Kino's Journey both draw to a close.  The final batch of releases come mainly from Beez, who surprised everyone by announcing a glut of new titles.  Coming this month is the Fist of the North Star style actioner s-CRY-ed, sci-fi series Stratos 4 and gothic supernatural actioner Witch Hunter Robin, alongside volume 4 of the excellent Cowboy BebopManga Entertainment bring us another volume of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex but most eyes are on Animazing's release of the controversial La Blue Girl Returns, a sequel to an anime notorious for being banned by the BBFC for its scenes of sexual violence.  The sequel has yet to be rated which suggests that heavy cuts will be made if it is released at all, and it is likely to be delayed.

Source:  MVM, Manga Entertainment, Anime-On-Line, Play.Com