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


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24th August 2005

Manga Entertainment Release Dates

Manga have announced three releases for the 14th November - Robotech vol 2, a Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex boxset and an apparent re-release for the original Appleseed OVA.  There is no information on the Stand Alone Complex boxset at the moment, but Manga are understood to be looking at ways to produce boxes for those who have already been buying the series.  Appleseed appears to be a budget re-release, so it may be that it will be part of the Manga Collection, again there is no information at present but we are hopeful that the excellent Jonathan Clements commentary will be retained.

Source:  Manga Entertainment
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24th August 2005

AyaCon News

Last weekend's Ayacon anime convention was surprisingly quiet for anime license news, but there were still a few tasty morsels that have been announced.  ADV Films lead the line with the announcements of comedy actioner Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu!, mind-bending live action anime spin-off Boogiepop & Others, bizarre comedy Cromartie High, gothic thriller Gilgamesh and intriguing actioner Area 88ADV have also announced possible boxset releases for existing titles Boogiepop Phantom and Noir, and it seems that they may also bring us Gatchaman (more widely known as Battle of the Planets) in some form in 2006.

Rising distributor Beez also made their first UK appearance at the convention, but were still negotiating new licenses so news was a bit thin on the ground.  However, they do hope to license Stratos 4 Advance and were trying to gauge interest in fantasy series Scrapped Princess, as well as dropping heavy hints at a possible release for the excellent parody show Panda-ZBeez also announced that the prequel episode Birth of the Stars will be included with its release of Crest of the Stars, and that more Ghost in the Shell soundtracks are coming next month.

MVM appear to have been worse hit by the DVD factory fire (see news item below) than both Manga Entertainment and ADV Films, who use the same company as them.  After confirming their re-structured schedule (see news below), they went on to announce the new licenses Saiyuki Reload (a sequel series to Saiyuki, which has yet to be announced for UK release) and fantasy horror Requiem for Darkness.  A bit of bad news was that both MVM and ADV Films have mutually agreed to reduce their monthly releases from 6 DVDs to 4 next year, which is a shame but will help prevent the market becoming saturated.

An in-depth report on the TokyoPop panel can be found here, if is interesting to note the comments about releasing their US anime catalogue in the UK.

Source:  AnimeOnDVD, EyeOnAnime
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24th August 2005

Millennium Actress Site Up and Running

Manga Entertainment have launched a new mini-site for their forthcoming release Millennium Actress, which can be visited here: www.manga.co.uk/millenniumactress.  The site contains trailers and film clips and is also running a great competition to win a Sony PSP console along with Akira and Ghost in the Shell on UMD, as well as a shedload of runners-up prizes, make sure you have a look!

Source:  Manga Entertainment
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18th August 2005

Forthcoming 'The Ring Companion' To Feature Information On The Manga

It has come as a surprise to us to learn that the forthcoming guide to the world of the hugely successful Japanese franchise The Ring - The Ring Companion - will feature detailed information on all incarnations of the franchise, including its manga incarnation!  The Ring Companion is to be released from Titan Books on 21st October for £16.99 and is the third in their successful 'cult companions' series. 

Source: Titan Books
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18th August 2005

Ghost in the Shell Artbook & Street Fighter Alpha 2 Chronicles Release Dates

Play.Com have listed the forthcoming two new Manga Entertainment titles - Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex Official Log 01 and Street Fighter Alpha 2: Generations - for release on 24th October 2005.  The Ghost in the Shell Official Log is a book and DVD which contains making of features and production materials from the excellent series, whereas Street Fighter Alpha 2 is a prequel to the existing Street Fighter Alpha film.  Both look to be well worth owning, and with the two listed for £29.99 (Ghost in the Shell) and £10.99 (Street Fighter) they shouldn't completely break the bank either.  More news as and when we get it.

Source:  AnimeOnDVD, Play.Com
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17th August 2005

Millennium Actress To Feature An Exclusive British Dub

As importers of the American DVD are probably already aware, no English dub was ever made for Millennium Actress for the American market and was only released with the original Japanese dub.  That is set to change on 26th September, when the film is released on DVD in the UK, as it will feature an exclusive English dub that will only feature British voice talent! 

We are certainly pleased to hear this information as, with the exception of some titles in the past, exclusive British dubs have been generally rare and, with Manga indicating that they will be producing more exclusive British dubs on future titles, this is something we Britons can be treated too a lot more in future. 

Source:  Manga Entertainment
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16th August 2005

Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence Release Date Announced

As the headline says, the highly anticipated sequel to Mamoru Oshii's popular and influential 1996 film has been given a cinema release date of 28th October 2005.  Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence follows the events of the first film with Section 9 agent Batou trying to track down the reason for a robot revolt, however, it is never as cut and dried as all that in a Mamoru Oshii film and soon the very meaning of life is questioned in a world where man and machine are so close as to nearly be indistinguishable.  It is unclear how big a release the film will get, but its philosophical slant will most likely keep it away from mainstream cinemas.  More news as and when we get it.

Source:  Manga Entertainment
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16th August 2005

Millennium Actress News

We were lucky enough to see this film in London yesterday, and it's absolutely superb.  Therefore we are awaiting the DVD release (due on 26th September) with bated breath!  Some more information has come out about this title in the meantime, firstly (unlike the US release) the UK release will have an English dub, and will also contain a behind the scenes documentary and a UK exclusive slipcase.  Buy this when it comes out, trust us, it blows Perfect Blue and Tokyo Godfathers out of the water.

Source:  Manga Entertainment
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16th August 2005

More Optimum Ghibli News

Yes, Ghibli goodness never ends thanks to Optimum!  We have recently spotted that alongside a cinematic print of Kiki's Delivery Service, prints for both Laputa, Castle in the Sky and Whisper of the Heart have also been passed through the BBFC by OptimumLaputa, Castle in the Sky was previously released as Castle in the Sky by Buena Vista Home Entertainment but missed out on the cinema release it really deserved, whereas Whisper of the Heart is a heartwarming fantasy romance from which the recently released The Cat Returns was a spin-off.  It is likely that these films have been picked up for Optimum's forthcoming Ghibli cinema tour, something we are eagerly awaiting further news on.

Source:  BBFC
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16th August 2005

Transformers The Takara Collection vol 1: Headmasters Release Date Confirmed

A boxset of the entire Japanese Transformers series Headmasters has been given a release date of 26th September 2005.  Released just three weeks after the previously announced Transformers The Movie: Reconstructed, the Headmasters boxset contains 35 episodes and weighs in at a whopping 12 hours and 45 minutes for the great price of £29.99.  The set is unusual in that it will be dual language, so for the first time you will also be able to listen to the original Japanese dub, and it will also be the first of three series boxsets - the other two, Takara Collection vol 2: Masterforce and Takara Collection vol 3: Victory will follow in 2006.  As fans of Transformers we can't wait to see these, especially considering they have not been released in the West in their entirety before.  For more information check out Metrodome's Transformers website - www.transformersdvd.com

Source:  Metrodome
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16th August 2005

DVD Delays

All six of MVM's scheduled releases for August have unfortunately been delayed due to a fire at the production plant that manufactures their DVDs.  This means that September will see five extra releases, all out on the 5th - Gungrave vol 3, Haibane Renmei vol 3, Fullmetal Alchemist vol 2, Texhnolyze vol 2 and Tsukihime Lunar Legend vol 2 - whilst Yu Yu Hakusho vol 4 is pushed way back until 5th December.  Although it is a shame it is definitely out of MVM's control and the DVDs are coming, so don't go cancelling those orders!

Source:  MVM
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14th August 2005

More Optimum Release News

According to UK Anime.Net, some forthcoming anime releases from Optimum Asia have been exclusively announced to Neo magazine.  Apparently due for release on 17th October, the two new titles are The Little Norse Prince, an early film from Studio Ghibli's Isao Takahata, and a re-issue for Hayao Miyazaki's classic Lupin III film The Castle of Cagliostro.  It is interesting to see Optimum pick up Castle of Cagliostro, as the film was previously released in the UK by Manga Entertainment, but it's The Little Norse Prince that excites us most.  Also known variously as Hols, Prince of the Sun, Horus, Prince of the Sun and Little Prince Valiant, the film is (to our knowledge) unavailable on DVD in the US and is one of the earliest collaborations between the eventual founders of Studio Ghibli, Isao Takahata and Hayao Miyazaki.  Great stuff!

Source:  UK Anime.Net
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12th August 2005

WH Smith Manga Deal

Still not picked up any of the newly released Gollancz manga titles?  Well if you live near a branch of WH Smiths you have no excuse!  WH Smiths are offering all eight of Gollancz's first manga titles in a 3 for 2 offer, which means that you can pick up three volumes of manga goodness for a mere tenner!  Hurry though, cos it looks like the offer may only be on for one week...

Source:  WH Smiths
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12th August 2005

Optimum Acquire Kiki's Delivery Service?

Although we have heard no official word it seems that Optimum Releasing may have acquired the rights to Kiki's Delivery Service.  A screening of the classic Studio Ghibli film at the National Film Theatre in London comes 'courtesy of Optimum Releasing', which suggests that they have picked up the rights to the theatrical print at least, and possibly those to the home video release.  The film was originally released straight to DVD in the UK by Buena Vista Home Entertainment as one of two launch titles for its 'Studio Ghibli Collection' line, however, they never released anything further and the DVD has since become increasingly difficult to find.  Optimum have a great track record with Ghibli releases and it would be really good to see both Kiki's Delivery Service and the seemingly deleted Castle in the Sky - two of Hayao Miyazaki's finest films - get a re-release from them.  Here's hoping...

Source:  NFT
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5th August 2005

Anime Films Soon To Be Available For Legal Download?

Reported in the The Times on 3rd August, the British Internet Broadcasting Company (BiBC) is currently in negotiations with Optimum Releasing to provide films for what will be the first service in the world to enable the legal download of mainstream films to your PC.  Current legal download sites such as Tiscali only offer little-known B-movie titles and not films such as Fahrenheit 9/11, which would be the first film available for download if the deal goes ahead.  What is really exciting about this though is that it could eventually see Optimum Asia's anime titles such as Spirited Away, Grave of the Fireflies, Barefoot Gen and Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust available for legal download for half the price that it costs to buy them on DVD. 

Although it is unlikely that we will see any films available for download for six months if the deal goes ahead, this is one story we will definitely be keeping an eye on. 

Source:  The Times
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5th August 2005

Cat Returns and Nausicaš DVD Release Dates!

Play.Com are currently listing Studio Ghibli classics The Cat Returns and Nausicaš of the Valley of the Wind for release on 26th September!!  Both titles appear to be from Optimum Asia, and although we have received no official word from them about the release, they do appear on several DVD retailer websites which suggests that the dates are accurate.  We'll keep you posted on both releases as and when we hear more.

Source:  Play.Com
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5th August 2005

Gollancz Manga hits the Shelves!

Yep, after a long period of legal wrangling over distribution rights which saw Viz manga titles become decidedly more difficult to come by in the UK, a distribution deal with UK publisher Gollancz ensures that we will once more be able to get a regular fix!  The first batch of titles from this partnership - Dragonball vols 1 & 2, Yu-Gi-Oh! vols 1 & 2, Case Closed vols 1 & 2 and Fushigi Yugi vols 1 & 2 - were released at the start of the month and are available from most large book chains like Waterstones and WH Smith.  Best of all each volume is a mere £4.99 each, and online retailer Play.Com are offering them as part of a '3 for £12' deal, so crack that piggy bank open and get buying!

Source:  Play.Com
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5th August 2005

Time Magazine's Top Five Anime

Respected American magazine Time has published a list of its top five anime films on DVD, with all but one of its choices also available in the UK.  Optimum Asia's Spirited Away and Barefoot Gen make the list, alongside Manga Entertainment's Akira and Perfect Blue, whilst Columbia Tristar's much delayed (and still unreleased) Steam Boy rounds off the five.  We are disappointed to see the stunning Grave of the Fireflies omitted, but their comments on each film make interesting reading, click here to have a look.

Source:  Optimum Asia
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5th August 2005

bfi Anime Season

The British Film Institute (bfi) are to screen a fortnight long season of anime in August at their National Film Theatre in London's South Bank area.  The season kicks off with daily screening of Princess Mononoke from 5th - 11th August and also features animation workshops before Kiki's Delivery Service takes up the Ghibli reins from 12th - 18th August.  Also screening are Steamboy, Perfect Blue, Tokyo Godfathers and a triple bill of Paranoia Agent episodes, but the icing on the cake is Manga's screening of the forthcoming Millennium Actress and ADV's screening of Voices of a Distant Star complete with an appearance by the film's creator Makoto Shinkai for a Q&A session.  If you can get to London over the next few weeks then don't miss it, for more info check out the NFT website (film links are in the top left hand corner).

Source:  Manga Entertainment; ADV Films
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5th August 2005

Out in August!!

1st August 2005

Barefoot Gen / Barefoot Gen 2 (Optimum Asia) Cert: 12

8th August 2005

s-CRY-ed vol 2 (Beez) Cert: PG
Yu Yu Hakusho vol 4 - The Gate of Betrayal (MVM) Cert: ??

15th August 2005

Fullmetal Alchemist vol 2 - Scarred Man of the East (MVM) Cert: 15
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex vol 5 (Manga Entertainment) Cert: 15
Gungrave vol 3 - Undead War (MVM) Cert: 15
Haibane Renmei vol 3 - Free Bird (MVM) Cert: PG
M.D. Geist - Director's Cut / Death Force (Animazing) Cert: 15
Mobile Suit Gundam SEED vol 3 (Beez) Cert: PG
Mobile Suit Gundam SEED vol 4 (Beez) Cert: PG
Texhnolyze vol 2 - Spectacle (MVM) Cert: ??
Tsukihime: Lunar Legend vol 2 - Lunar Dance (MVM) Cert: 12

22nd August 2005

Digimon vol 3 (Jetix) Cert: U
Digimon vol 4
(Jetix) Cert: U
Divergence Eve vol 1 - Welcome to the Watcher's Nest
(ADV Films) Cert: 12
DNAngel vol 1 - Dawn of Dark (ADV Films) Cert: PG
Gravion vol 2 - Knights of Gravity
(ADV Films) Cert: PG
Hello Kitty vol 6 - Once Upon a Kitty
(Firefly Entertainment) Cert: U
Last Exile vol 5 - Grand Stream
(ADV Films) Cert: PG
Neon Genesis Evangelion: Platinum vol 4
(ADV Films) Cert: 12
New Fist of the North Star vol 3 - When a Man Carries Sorrow (ADV Films) Cert: 15
Pokťmon Chronicles vol 2 & 3 (Contender Entertainment) Cert: U
Witch Hunter Robin vol 3 (Beez) Cert: PG

29th August 2005

Sonic X vol 1 (Warner Home Video) Cert: U
Sonic X vol 2 (Warner Home Video) Cert: U
Transformers: Energon - The Return of Megatron (Paramount Home Entertainment) Cert: U

Source:  MVM, Manga Entertainment, ADV Films, Play.Com
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