• 05Apr

    Turning Japanese Weekly News (March 29th – April 5th)

    For convenience purposes, we’ve decided to do a weekly Turning Japanese News update so it’ll be easier for our readers to keep up with press releases and new anime/manga releases.

    New Fantasy Shojo Manga from VIZ, Sakura Hime from creator Arina Tanemura

    Loved The Gentlemen’s Alliance† and Full Moon? You won’t want to miss Arina Tanemura’s newest supernatural fantasy! Sakura Hime: The Legend of Princess Sakura Vol. 1, arrives in stores next Tuesday, April 5th!

    The latest series from creator Arina Tanemura takes us to the Heian era of Japan (with the resultant lush period costumes, and enhanced by Tanemura’s fantastically detailed artwork), weaving the myth of the legendary moon princess with a bit of magical shojo and the supernatural! Sakura is the granddaughter of a mysterious moon princess who slew demons with her Blood Cherry Blossom sword. All her life, Sakura’s been forbidden to look at the full moon without knowing why… One night, unhappy over her impending marriage, Sakura gazes up at the moon, only to see a demon attacking her.

    For more information, check out www.vizmedia.com

    Gamers Heart Japan

    Members of the global videogame community have come together in an unprecedented effort to create a special video to show their appreciation for the Japanese game industry and to raise awareness for Red Cross relief efforts for the people of Japan.

    Titled “Gamers Heart Japan”, this 60-minute special will premiere on April 3, 2011 on broadcast networks G4 in the U.S. and Canada, SCI FI Australia, and Musique Plus and SPACE in Canada as well as online. This special is filled with veteran game industry journalists from all over the world as well as some of the top game makers on the planet who will be sharing their thoughts on the incredible work and talented creators from the Japanese videogame development scene.

    “For those of us whose lives revolve around games, the tragic and ongoing effects of the disaster in Japan are particularly painful because the people who live there are some of our best friends and our most admired heroes,” says Editor of wired.com, Chris Kohler.

    “Japanese game developers have had a profound influence on us, shaping who we are and what we do. The decision to participate in and support the ‘Gamers Heart Japan’ project was an easy one to make,” says Editor-in-Chief of Destructoid, Nick Chester.

    “Most of us at Insomniac grew up immersed in Japanese games and through that experience we developed a love of Japanese culture and its people – given this awful tragedy we’ll do whatever we can to give back!” says President and CEO of Insomniac Games, Ted Price.

    The special will be a positive and uplifting tribute to a country that is so vital to videogame fans the world over. Donations for The Red Cross in your area can be made through the GamersHeartJapan.com website. You can also follow GamersHeartJapan on Facebook and GamerHeartJapan on Twitter.

    “Local Red Cross teams have been working around the clock to help thousands of people left devastated by the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan,” “We are grateful to the Gamers Heart Japan special for supporting Red Cross relief operations underway in affected communities,” says Secretary General and CEO of Canadian Red Cross, Conrad Sauvé.

    “Gamers Heart Japan” will feature interviews with journalists from and/or air on these outlets starting on April 3, 2011:
    G4 (US & Canada)
    SCI FI Australia
    SPACE (Canada)
    Musique Plus (Canada)
    MTV.com (Multiplayer)
    Yahoo! Games
    USAToday.com (GameHunters)
    and more…

    Confirmed game developer interviews:

    Game Developers:
    Jade Raymond – Ubisoft Toronto – Assassin’s Creed / Splinter Cell
    Dr. Greg Zeschuk – Bioware – Mass Effect / Dragon Age / Star Wars: The Old Republic
    Dr. Ray Muzyka – Bioware – Mass Effect / Dragon Age / Star Wars: The Old Republic
    Ken Levine – Irrational Games – Bioshock
    Tim Schafer – Double Fine – Brutal Legend/Costume Quest
    Cliff Bleszinski – Epic Games – Gears of War
    Ted Price – Insomniac Games – Ratchet & Clank / Resistance
    Siobhan Reddy – Media Molecule – Little Big Planet
    Maxime Beland – Ubisoft Toronto – Assassin’s Creed / Splinter Cell
    Todd Howard – Bethesda – Fallout 3 / Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
    Peter Molyneux – Lionhead – Fable
    Alex Rigopulos – Harmonix – Rock Band / Dance Central
    Robin Hunicke – thatgamecompany – Flower / Journey
    Jenova Chen – thatgamecompany – Flower / Journey
    Evan Wells – Naughty Dog – Uncharted
    Ed Boon – NetherRealm Studios- Mortal Kombat
    Sid Meier – Firaxis – Civilization
    and more…

    Demons Are Vanquished In New Paranormal Manga Series Blue Exorcists from Viz Media

    VIZ Media has announced the release of the manga (graphic novel) series BLUE EXORCIST, by creator Kazue Kato, on April 5th. The new title will be published under the company’s Shonen Jump Advanced imprint, is rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens, and will carry an MSRP of $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN.

    Raised by Father Fujimoto, a famous exorcist, Rin Okumura never knew his real father. One day a fateful argument with Father Fujimoto forces Rin to face a terrible truth – the blood of the demon lord Satan runs in Rin’s veins! Rin swears to defeat Satan, but doing that means entering the mysterious True Cross Academy and becoming an exorcist himself. Can Rin fight the demons and keep his infernal bloodline a secret? It won’t be easy, especially when drawing his father’s sword releases the demonic power within him.

    “Kinetic action and a storyline with plenty of twists and surprises awaits readers as the material world collides with the world of demons in this gripping new series,” says Mike Montesa, Editor. “At the True Cross Academy, Rin faces many challenges and makes new friends, but becomes involved in a secret struggle between Mephisto Pheles, the principal of the school, and the Order of the True Cross. Will he ever achieve his goal to become an exorcist? Or will he become something more sinister?”
    Manga creator, writer and illustrator Kazue Kato won the prestigious Tezuka Award when she was only 19 for her work, Rabbit And I, published in Japan in Akamaru Jump magazine. From 2005 to 2006 her series, Robo to Usakichi, a sci-fi adventure featuring a rabbit (again!), was published in the monthly magazine Shonen Sirius (Kodansha). Her latest manga series, BLUE EXORCIST, debuted in Jump Square magazine in April of 2009. Kazue Kato has used a rabbit as a self-portrait in her author’s notes and her works often have some relation to rabbits.

    For more information on BLUE EXORCIST and other titles from Shonen Jump Advanced, please visit: www.ShonenJump.com.

    VIZ Media Weekend News: Tiger & Bunny Simulcast Debut, Uniqlo Naruto Promo

    It’s finally feeling like spring in many parts of the U.S.! And what better way to kick off spring than with:

    The exclusive VIZAnime.com simulcast debut of Tiger & Bunny tomorrow! The highly anticipated anime (character designs by Masakazu Katsura, creator of I”S and VIDEO GIRL AI) follows veteran hero Wild Tiger on his fight against crime for NEXT, all the while being filmed by superhero reality show HERO TV… Now, under orders from his new employer, Wild Tiger finds himself forced to team up with rookie Barnaby Brooks Jr., aka “Bunny”… Will these two polar opposites be able to work together to fight evil?!

    This coming Monday, April 4th, Uniqlo presents their next lineup of T-shirts, including designs featuring your favorite characters from Naruto! The latest collaboration features 11 designs, including 2 original sketches by creator Masashi Kishimoto, and 4 exclusive sketches from Studio Pierrot! And, for every purchase of the Naruto t’s, get an exclusive DVD featuring clips from the original manga series and original theme song by Aqua Times – ‘Midnight Orchestra’!

    Nec Biglobe Provides English Manga through its Android App, Sugoi Books

    EC BIGLOBE, Ltd. (BIGLOBE), one of Japan¹s leading
    internet service providers, announced today the launch of its digital
    bookstore Android app, ³SUGOI BOOKS.²

    SUGOI BOOKS launches with a library of more than 100 authentic manga books
    translated into English. Titles include: ³Cat Eyed Girl,² by Kazuo Umezu,
    the legendary horror manga creator, and ³Joan,² by Yoshikazu Yasuhiko,
    another renowned manga artist. This month¹s SUGOI BOOKS lineup includes
    original manga based on modern Japanese literature and legends such as
    ³Rashomon,² ³Hachiko,² ³Portrait of Hell² and ³The Setting Sun.² Expanding
    its manga library to 50,000 books by the end of 2012, SUGOI BOOKS aims to
    become the largest manga provider for users of smartphones and multimedia

    Featured Content:

    -Cat Eyed Girl (c)Kazuo Umezu/ SHOGAKUKAN CREATIVE
    -Joan (c)Yoshikazu Yasuhiko/ JAPAN BROADCAST PUBLISHING Co., Ltd
    -Psychic File Ogata Katsumi (c)Mayuri Yamamoto/ Jitsugyo no Nihon Sha

    SUGOI BOOKS¹ original manga, based on modern Japanese literature, are
    adapted to smartphone dimensions. Pages are perfectly fitted to 3.5 inch and
    most other displays.

    SUGOI BOOKS Summary
    Android Market:


    Available Platforms: Android 1.6 or higher.
    BIGLOBE also plans to release the SUGOI BOOKS app for iPhone/iPad, Symbian,
    and BlackBerry.

    Payment method: PayPal.

    BIGLOBE¹s digital bookstore aims to reach a total of 1 billion yen in sales
    by the end of 2012 by: increasing its available content with a focus on
    manga, expanding its business into additional devices and countries, and
    providing additional services such as translation and digitalization.

    Manga for Charity ­ Support for Japan Earthquake Recovery Efforts
    BIGLOBE has created Manga for Charity to support those affected by the March
    11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. BIGLOBE will donate all proceeds from
    the following titles towards disaster relief efforts until April 28 (JST);

    - ³Run, Melos!² by Osamu Dazai (300 JPY)
    - ³Night on the Galactic Railroad² by Kenji Miyazawa (300 JPY)

    BIGLOBE would like to extend its sincere sympathy and condolences to all who
    were personally affected by the recent earthquake and tsunami in
    northeastern Japan.

    Free Manga Giveaway
    SUGOI BOOKS is making an introductory offer of select manga available free
    of charge until April 28, 2011(JST). Please access the SUGOI BOOKS app for

    Viz Media Launches New Anime Series On Netflix in April


    Popular Series BLEACH, NARUTO, INUYASHA and More Become Available Starting April

    San Francisco, CA, April 4, 2011 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry’s most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, has announced that several of its most popular anime series will be offered to U.S. audiences by Netflix, Inc., the world’s leading Internet subscription service for enjoying movies and TV shows. Starting in April, BLEACH, NARUTO, and INUYASHA are among the popular titles which can be instantly streamed from Netflix. More titles will be announced shortly.

    VIZ Media series (Uncut and Subtitled) to be offered by Netflix include:

    BLEACH: Episodes 1-109 (Seasons 1-2; Rated TV-14)
    NARUTO: Episodes 1-104 (Seasons 1-2; Rated TV-14)
    HIKARU NO GO: Episodes 1-75 (Complete Series; Rated TV-G)
    HONEY AND CLOVER: Episodes 1-36 (Complete Series; Rated TV-14)
    NANA: Episodes 1-47 (Complete Series; Rated TV-MA)
    INUYASHA: Episodes 1 – 167 (Seasons 1 – 7; Rated TV-14)

    “VIZ Media is excited to bring some of our bestselling animated properties to its Netflix subscribers in the U.S.,” says Brian Ige, Senior Director, Animation. “Netflix is the market leader and the availability of these new VIZ Media titles through the service will give fans the flexibility to choose how and when they want to consume their favorite anime. We look forward to expanding our relationship with Netflix to include additional titles in the near future.”

    “We are pleased to partner with VIZ Media as a means to offer popular anime series to our members,” said Lisa Nishimura, VP of Content Acquisition. “It is our goal to add a wide variety of content to our growing library of movies and TV shows, and building relationships like this, helps us move forward in our efforts.”

    First Half of April VIZ Manga App Updates, Incl. Absolute Boyfriend, Kekkaishi and More!

    The VIZ Manga App continues to grow by leaps and bounds! There so much coming in April that we had to split it up into TWO announcements (stay tuned mid month for the next batch!)! =)

    The first half of this month sees the debuts of some oldies but goodies: the romantic shojo drama ABSOLUTE BOYFRIEND (by celebrated creator Yuu Watase) and the demon busting action of KEKKAISHI today, and hit shojo adventure BLACK BIRD next Monday April 11th, as well as the just-released in print supernatural adventure BLUE EXORCIST on April 11th! Updates to 12 other series will be available as well!

    The VIZ Manga App is the leading application to read Japanese manga on the iPad! With the VIZ Manga App, your manga library fits in the palm of your hand, available to read anytime, anywhere!

    Check back next week for more TJ news!

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