Turning Japanese Weekly News (June 29th – July 12th)
We apologize for the news being backed up, as many of our editors have been away. So to catch up~
VIZ Media announces the anime series finale of Neuro: Supernatural Detective
VIZ Media has announced that the exciting concluding episode of the anime series Neuro: Supernatural Detective will stream beginning Friday, July 1st on VIZAnime.com (www.VIZAnime.com), the company’s own premier website for free anime, as well as the streaming content provider HULU (www.Hulu.com).
Neuro: Supernatural Detective is based on a popular manga (graphic novel) series created by Yusei Matsui, and was produced by the famed animation studio, MADHOUSE. The series depicts the adventures of Neuro Nogami, a demon that feeds on unsolved criminal mysteries and riddles of the human world. In order to protect his identity, he forms a secret partnership with Yako, an incisive 16-year-old high school girl. This unlikely crime-solving duo devours one mystery after another in search of the ultimate appetizing mystery!
In the series’ final episode, Neuro’s demon powers do not work inside the ruins, and he is near-death as monstrous Sai the Thief impales him. Yako stops Sai as he is about to end Neuro’s life, and she gets to the bottom of all the unsolved mysteries. She also figures out who killed her father, why Laritta seems to have seen Selene, and who Selene truly is. Yako even unravels details of Sai’s birth and his innermost thoughts. Sai is taken aback, but that won’t stop him from trying to kill Neuro!
For more information on Neuro: Supernatural Detective and other animated titles from VIZ Media please visit www.VIZAnime.com.
Summer Reading heats up with new July VIZ Manga App updates
VIZ Media delivers more summer manga reading fun as it announces the debut of four new manga (graphic novel) series that join the extensive library of VIZ MANGA APP titles currently available for digital download for the Apple iPad™, iPhone™ and iPod™ Touch.
Launching during the first-half of July will be Shunju Aono’s slacker-inspired I’ll Give It My All Tomorrow, as well as Grand Guignol Orchestra, creator Kaori Yuki’s twisted tale of horror and tortured romance. The newest round of updates also features the debut of the VIZBIG omnibus version of Rumiko Takahashi’s classic supernatural adventure, Inuyasha. After shopping, also enter to win a $50 iTunes gift card by taking the VIZ Manga App survey, running through the end of August.
The VIZ MANGA APP is now available for free for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch devices through the iTunes® Store, and all manga volumes are generally available for purchase and download in the U.S. and Canada from within the application for only $4.99 (U.S. / CAN) per volume.
I’ll Give It My All Tomorrow Vol. 1 · Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens · Available July 4th
Created by Shunju Aono, I’ll Give It My All Tomorrow is the story of a hapless forty year-old salaryman who quits his job to pursue his dream of becoming a manga artist – and the family that has to put up with him. While not terribly unhappy, Shizuo Oguro can’t fight the feeling that something in his life just isn’t right, so he walks away from his stable (yet boring) day job to embark on a journey of self-discovery. Unfortunately for his family, this journey also involves playing video games all day while his teenage daughter and elderly father support him. Will Shizuo succeed in creating a true manga masterpiece, or will he be just another dropout living a life of slack?
Inuyasha VIZBIG Vol. 1 · Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens · Available July · iPad Exclusive!
Kagome is an ordinary modern schoolgirl living an ordinary life. Who would have thought the dried-up old well on the site of her family’s shrine would be a gateway to Japan’s ancient past? Drawn through the gate against her will, Kagome finds herself battling demons for control of what she thought was a worthless trinket but is actually a powerful magical gem, the Shikon Jewel! Together with an unlikely ally, the half demon Inuyasha, Kagome begins a quest to recover the shards of the Shikon Jewel and learn more about her link to the past.
Grand Guignol Orchestra Vol. 1 · Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens · Available July 11th
Grand Guignol Orchestra is the latest series from gothic manga queen Kaori Yuki. Lucille loves heading up the traveling Grand Orchestra, roving from town to town, entertaining the masses and making money. But now the musicians have met their toughest audience yet: people infected with the Guignol Virus, turning them into zombie dolls intent on killing all humans!
Additional new VIZ Media manga volumes launching include:
BLACK BIRD Vol. 7
BLEACH Vol. 18
CLAYMORE Vol. 13
DENGEKI DAISY Vol. 2
D. GRAY MAN Vol. 14
DRAGON BALL Z Vol. 16
HOUSE OF FIVE LEAVES Vol. 3
NARUTO Vol. 33
ONE PIECE Vol. 33
DRAGON BALL Z Vol. 17
FUSHIGI YUGI: GENBU KAIDEN Vol. 4
HYDE & CLOSER Vol. 3
KEKKAISHI Vol. 8
NARUTO Vol. 34
ONE PIECE Vol. 34
ROSARIO + VAMPIRE Vol. 10
RUROUNI KENSHIN Vol. 17
THE STORY OF SAIUNKOKU Vol. 3
The VIZ MANGA APP is the leading application to read Japanese manga on the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch, with an extensive downloadable library of the most popular manga series in the world. The app now offers nearly 300 volumes available for download. Readers should check the app regularly, as new additions to the store and free Chapter 1 previews of other forthcoming manga series are featured.
For more information on the VIZ MANGA APP, please visit www.VIZ.com/apps/.
VIZ Media announces Simulcast Premiere of Season 2 of Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan
To Celebrate, Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan Vol. 1 Manga Available For Limited Time As Free Download On VIZ Manga App
VIZ Media has just announced the online simulcast of the second season of the hit animated fantasy action-adventure, Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan – Demon Capital, on VIZAnime, the company’s own free website for anime, as well as on content provider HULU. The first subtitled episode of the new season (rated TV-14) launches on Sunday July 3rd, with new episodes to debut weekly.
To celebrate the premiere, VIZ Media also makes the Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan manga (graphic novel) Volume 1 (rated ‘T’ for Teens) available digitally for FREE via the VIZ Manga App for the Apple iPad™, iPhone™ and iPod touch™. The special promotion runs for a limited time only starting July 1st. The VIZ Manga App is free to download through the iTunes store and is the leading digital application to read Japanese manga. For more information on the VIZ Manga App, please visit www.VIZ.com/apps.
Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan – Demon Capital is based on a bestselling manga series created by Hiroshi Shiibashi, and also published in North America by VIZ Media under its Shonen Jump imprint. Rikuo Nura looks like your typical junior high student, but in reality, he is a quarter yokai and is the grandson of Nurarihyon, the leader of all yokai! As the Third Heir to the Nura Clan, Rikuo has successfully brought an end to the territory conflict against the Shikoku yokai. Now, Rikuo must face his most powerful enemies yet—the Hagoromo-Gitsune and her Kyoto yokai! With her absolute power and charisma, the Hagoromo-Gitsune is taking the ancient capital of Kyoto by storm in a quest to fulfill her four-hundred-year-old wish. Joined by the Oshu-Tono Family yokai and the Keikain Clan Onmyoji, Rikuo and his Nura Clan will take on the Hagoro-Gitsune for an epic showdown!
VIZ Media teams with Autodesk on Art for Hope to benefit Japan Disaster Relief
Curated Digital Artwork Created With Autodesk SketchBook® Apps Will Be Unveiled At The VIZ Media 25th Anniversary Event At Comic-Con
VIZ Media announced today a collaboration with Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) to create a limited edition digital art book anthology that will be sold through VIZ Media’s Manga App, with 100% of VIZ Media’s net proceeds going to support disaster relief efforts in Japan. All of the artwork in the collection, titled ART FOR HOPE, will be created using Autodesk SketchBook® digital paint and drawing software applications.
VIZ Media and Autodesk have already started working with artists to create works that deliver a message of hope to victims of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Artists interested in submitting work to be considered for the collection can email firstname.lastname@example.org. The VIZ Media editorial team, together with Autodesk’s team, will select and curate the selections for the digital anthology, which will be released later this fall exclusively through the VIZ Manga App, available on iPad™, iPod touch™ and iPhone™. VIZ Media will donate 100% of its net proceeds to the disaster relief and rebuilding efforts in Japan.
“It has been several months since the earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan, and financial support is needed now more than ever,” said Hidemi Fukuhara, President and CEO of VIZ Media. “ART FOR HOPE is a very special project for VIZ Media, and we thank Autodesk for making it possible for artists and fans to support the relief efforts in such a unique manner.”
“Digital painting and drawing is within everyone’s reach, and we’re excited to help unlock the artistic potential of VIZ Media fans and professional artists alike for this extremely worthy cause,” Samir Hanna, vice president of the Autodesk Consumer Products Group.
Autodesk and VIZ Media will unveil some of the artwork from the ART FOR HOPE project at the VIZ Media 25th Anniversary Event to be held during Comic-Con on Thursday, July 21st at the Andaz Hotel in San Diego. VIZ Media will also announce a groundbreaking new initiative for the manga community.
New People in San Francisco expands the 2011 J-Pop Summit Festival for August
Annual Bay Area Event Expands To 2-Days In August And Features Japanese Fashion Designers, Film & Anime Premieres, And The “Vocaloid” Phenomenon In A Special Weekend-Long Pop Culture Celebration In San Francisco’s Japantown; Special Design Contest Also Announced
NEW PEOPLE, San Francisco’s dynamic entertainment destination showcasing the latest examples of Japanese popular culture, has announced the expansion of its annual J-Pop Summit Festival. The 2011 J-Pop Summit Festival will take place August 27th- 28th across the city’s Japantown.
The weekend-long celebration brings back many popular attractions that have made the J-Pop Summit Festival a must-attend event for fashion, film, anime and music fans as well as hipsters, pop culture enthusiasts, Bay Area residents, and as tourists visiting the city. A dedicated web site is now available at J-pop.com and will feature regular updates.
“The expansion of the J-Pop Summit Festival is a result of the overwhelming support from our partners and sponsors and strong attendance by a wide array of people from all backgrounds and interests,” says Seiji Horibuchi, president of NEW PEOPLE, Inc. “From rock music to fashion shows, film premieres, interactive video game displays, and a special focus this year on the ‘Vocaloid’ music phenomenon, there will be something for everyone at this year’s event! We look forward to announcing more details and additional participants and sponsors in coming weeks.”
“Vocaloid” music has become the latest pop phenomenon sweeping Japan and the trend is spreading fast to the U.S. with the advent of personalities like Hatsune Miku, who has become the world’s first true virtual pop star. The J-Pop Summit, where made her first film concert debut last year, returns for 2011 with even more exciting projects featuring Hatsune Miku. More details will be announced soon!
With the recent earthquake and tsunami tragedies in Japan still fresh in everyone’s minds, the J-Pop Summit Festival has incorporated multiple benefit events into the programming. New People and San Francisco Japantown merchants are partnering with Piapro.jp (run by Hatsune Miku’s Crypton Future Media), to host two unique design competitions.
The first is for a banner design, carrying the theme of “Hope for Japan’s Recovery,” to be displayed on Post Street, the main Japantown thoroughfare where the J-Pop Summit Festival will take place. The banner should feature at least one (or more) of the following Volcaloid characters: Hatsune Miku, Rin Kagamine, Len Kagamine, Luka Megurine, MEIKO or KAITO. Special charity goods with the winning design will be available at the J-Pop Summit to benefit Japan’s ongoing relief efforts. Grand Prize will be a roundtrip trip to San Francisco (flexible travel dates) from anywhere in the United States, furnished by NEW PEOPLE and the Japantown Merchants Association. For complete entry details, please visit J-pop.com.
The second competition will be to develop a new character design for “Hatsune Miku U.S. Version” and also will award the winner with a special Grand Prize roundtrip trip to San Francisco (flexible travel dates) from anywhere in the United States, furnished by Crypton Future Media. For complete entry details, please visit J-pop.com.
NEW PEOPLE opened in 2009 and has become a unique must-see attraction of San Francisco’s cultural landscape. The 20,000 square foot contemporary venue features the latest examples Japanese popular culture expressed though film, art, fashion, and a variety of specialty boutiques and ongoing monthly events. NEW PEOPLE is located at 1746 Post Street in the city’s Japantown.
VIZ announces activities for 2011 Comic-Con International
VIZ Media Celebrates 25th Anniversary And Returns To The Nation’s Biggest Sci-Fi And Comics Event With A Full Slate Of Activities, Panel Discussions, And Special Giveaways
gears up for the 2011 Comic-Con International with a packed agenda of exciting events, product giveaways, panel discussions, interactive activities, and convention exclusives. Comic-Con is the nation’s largest comic book, science fiction and pop culture event, and takes place July 20-24 at the San Diego Convention Center, CA. VIZ Media will be located in Booth 2813. Complete details on Comic-Con are available at: www.comic-con.org.
VIZ Media’s Booth (#2813) will be a hub of continual activity on the main show floor. The VIZ MANGA APP is the latest technological innovation for digital manga comics for the Apple iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. Fans that drop by the booth and show the App installed on their Apple device will receive a special free tchotchkie as a ‘thank you’ from VIZ Media while supplies last.
Video game fans will also want to be sure to check out playable demos for Namco Bandai’s Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations, which will be released in Spring 2012, and NIS America’s new Bleach: Soul ResSurrección, launching in August 2011.
Sunday July 24th is Kid’s Day at the VIZ Media booth. Young and older fans alike are invited to pose for pictures with Kon from Bleach, Naruto (Classic Version), Edamame from Mameshiba, and more. Visitors can also attend screenings of Episode 1 of the new Voltron Force anime series and stay for special free VIZ Kids samplers and product giveaways.
Don’t miss other exclusive VIZ Media product giveaways during special times throughout the show (attendees should check the booth for a daily schedule). There will be free Naruto ninja headbands and whisker tattoos, as well as Mameshiba headbands and the ever-popular VIZ Media convention tote bag. This year the tote commemorates VIZ Media’s 25th Anniversary. Don’t miss the chance to score this special convention exclusive!
The 25th Anniversary celebrations continue with a special VIZ Media panel discussion on Friday, July 22nd at 2:00pm in Room 9. The session will be packed with exciting news and prizes for fans and will provide the latest updates on new acquisitions and upcoming releases, as well as give the scoop on groundbreaking new projects. Get in line early and secure a raffle ticket for a chance to win prizes such as iTunes gift cards, special prizes from VIZ Media partners, and more!
Have you ever dreamed of becoming a manga creator? This year the Shonen Jump panel will give you a once in a lifetime opportunity to learn the secrets to being a professional artist and a storywriter. Attend the panel discussion on Friday, July 22nd at 3:00pm in Room 9 and get inside tips from those in the industry! Weekly Shonen Jump Editor-in-Chief Hisashi Sasaki will give you straightforward tips and advice on how to improve your manga. Don’t miss this unprecedented opportunity to learn from the editor of Japan’s #1 manga magazine! PLUS, a chat with Hiroshi Matsuyama, the President of CyberConnnect2, about the upcoming Namco Bandai’s Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations video game
Finally, the 2011 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, considered the Oscars of the comic book industry, are scheduled for Friday, July 22nd at 8:00pm at the Hilton Bayfront Hotel, and VIZ Media is honored to be have titles nominated in four categories. House of Five Leaves, by Natsume Ono, is nominated for Best U.S. Edition of International Material – Asia, while Naoki Urasawa’s 20TH Century Boys is nominated in two categories for Best Continuing Series and also for Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia. In addition, Naoki Urasawa is nominated for Best Writer/Artist, for his work on Naoki Urasawa’s 20TH Century Boys.
Otakon 2011 to host World Premiere of Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos along with director Kazuya Murata
Director, and Otakon Guest of Honor Kazuya Murata will be hosting the world premiere of Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos.
Kazuya Murata is known for his directorial work on Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion, Eureka Seven and Steel Angel Kurumi to name a few. Murata will also be hosting a special Q&A panel afterwords.
In the lost holy land of Milos, the Elrics search for the truth behind an unknown form of alchemy. What secrets are hidden in Milos? Riddles must be solved, and dangers faced, before Ed and Al can find the truth.
For more information, check out www.otakon.org.
Maiden Japan announces license of RAY
Entertainment label Maiden Japan today announced its acquisition of RAY, the 13 episode anime series based on the original manga by Akihito Yoshitomi (Blue Drop, Eat Man.) Directed by Naohito Takahashi (Berserk, Steel Angel Kurumi,) RAY also references the classic Osamu Tezuka (Astroboy, Kimba the White Lion) series Black Jack and follows the lead of that series in examining the complex ethical conflicts brought on by modern medical science, with a particular focus on the black market for human organs.
If you have enough money, you can buy anything. So why wait for an organ you need to become available? Raised to be harvested for parts, Ray had already lost her eyes when renegade surgeon Black Jack rescued her. Now, ten years later, she has grown up to be a surgeon herself. And thanks to the unique artificial eyes she received as replacements, she has with a reputation for performing incredible medical operations that no one else could even attempt. But unknown to any but a select few, her surgical endeavors are only part of a greater mission: to discover what happened the other children she was raised with, and to find the men who stole the eyes she was born with and to bring them to justice. Vengeance wields a scalpel and sees with X-ray eyes in RAY – THE COMPLETE COLLECTION!
Maiden Japan will be distributing RAY in conjunction with home video distributor Section23 (Clannad, High School of the Dead, Appleseed,) with the entire series to be released in both English Subtitled DVD and Digital Formats.
NEW PEOPLE announces theatrical Comic-Con screening of Sci-Fi Thriller GANTZ II: Perfect Answer
has announced a series of special theatrical screenings of the live action sci-fi thriller GANTZ and its sequel, GANTZ II: Perfect Answer, at the Pacific Gaslamp 15 Theatres in San Diego, CA.
GANTZ screens on Friday, July 22nd at 6:00pm and 9:00pm, while GANTZ II: Perfect Answer screens on Saturday, July 23rd at 6:00pm and also at 9:00pm. Both films will be shown in Japanese with English subtitles. The film screenings will take place during the 2011 Comic-Con International, the country’s largest comic book, science fiction and pop culture event, which takes place at the nearby San Diego Convention Center.
Tickets to the GANTZ screenings are now available for online purchase at www.fandango.com/gaslampstadium_aaeet/theaterpage?date=7/22/2011. Seating is extremely limited to advance ticket purchase is highly recommended. Tickets are $15.00 each.
GANTZ is based on a popular manga series created by Hiroya Oku. The ongoing 31-volume sci-fi action epic is a bestseller in Japan with sales exceeding 16 million copies and is also published in North America by Dark Horse Comics. Both films star leading Japanese actors Kazunari Ninomiya (Letters from Iwo Jima) and Kenichi Matsuyama (Death Note, Detroit Metal City).
NEW PEOPLE Entertainment plans to release the first GANTZ film on DVD and Blu-ray on August 30th. The release will include both English and Japanese dialogue options and a bonus disc with an exclusive director’s interview.
“Audiences will be in for a thrill with the kinetic big screen action of these films with elements that remain true to the original manga comic and anime series as well as an exciting original storyline for the second film,” says Seiji Horibuchi, President and CEO of NEW PEOPLE Inc. “Ever since the U.S. premiere of the first GANTZ film in January, legions of fans asked us when the sequel would be released. Comic-Con provides the ideal backdrop for these screenings and we’ll be teaming up with Dark Horse Comics to do some special promotions during the convention. Stay tuned for more details coming later this month on this exciting film event!”
In the first GANTZ film, Kei Kurono and his childhood friend, Masaru Kato, attempt to save a man who has fallen onto the train tracks but are run down by an oncoming train. However, rather than finding themselves dead, they are transported to a strange apartment in which they find a mysterious black orb known as ‘GANTZ’. Along with others there, they are provided weaponry and sent on missions to battle alien beings and gain “points”. Is this world, which tests your will to survive, a game or reality?
How will we face the end? The GANTZ saga meets its ultimate conclusion in GANTZ II: Perfect Answer, which offers an intensely gripping story-line yet to be known to even readers of the original manga series. Determined to resurrect his friends who have died on previous missions, Kei and other members trapped in the world of GANTZ aim to score the 100 points needed to break through and regain their freedom. But with the emergence of a mysterious man investigating the Gantz members, Gantz begins to act up and the next target shocks the members. Some fight for love, some for justice but what will each member sacrifice?