SciFi Japan
    Latest Instalment in the Hit Series Brings New Features and Multiplayer Action to PAL territories in Summer 2010 Source: NAMCO BANDAI Games Europe, Indigo Pearl press release Special Thanks to Holly Barnes Goku`s adventures have only just begun, with the news that NAMCO BANDAI Games Europe is bringing the next chapter in the Dragon Ball saga to fans across PAL territories in summer 2010, exclusively for Nintendo DS. Continuing Goku`s adventures from the first game for DS, DRAGON BALL: ORIGINS 2 throws in so many new features and cunning touches that Goku will barely be able to contain his Ki energy. The story in DRAGON BALL: ORIGINS 2 takes players through the Red Ribbon saga from Goku`s first meeting with the Red Ribbon Army to the resurrection of Upa`s father, with no shortage of colourful encounters and Ki energy-charged clashes along the way,

    The Special Effects Line Continues Author: John “Dutch” DeSentis Source: Anime Jungle Official Site: Special Thanks to Tetsu Shiota and Jim Ballard As previously reported on SciFi Japan, the Kaiyodo Company in Japan has begun a new series in their Revoltech figure line called Sci-Fi Revoltech. It will encompass a wide range of special effects and tokusatsu characters popular in both the United States and Japan. Thus far fan response has been overwhelmingly positive, noting the high quality of the sculpting and paint as well as accessories that come with each figure. The first two waves have already been released. April 1st brought figures based on the titular creature from Ridley Scott’s ALIEN and the classic, avenging god from Daiei’s DAIMAJIN series of films. Wave 2, which came out May 1st, includes the first Toho creature in the Revoltech line: the popular monster Baragon as he

    New US Edition of Classic Japanese Folktales Author: Dan Ross Source: Lexington Books Official 100th Anniversary Site (Japanese): The Legends of Tono (Tono Monogatari) is a book with a complicated history. In the prefecture of Iwate in the village of Tono a local folklorist, Kizen Sasaki (1886-1933), had been collecting the folktales of the region at the turn of the 20th Century. He was the sort of person who you might imagine walking from house to farm to field just conversing with the people of the land and mentally cataloging their reminiscences and anecdotes. In 1908 Sasaki had a chance meeting with Kunio Yanagita (1875-1962). Already an active writer in Tokyo, Yanagita was a fan of ghost stories ranging from Chinese folktales and Japanese classics to the Western stories of Grimm`s Fairy Tales. Meeting with Sasaki and hearing some of his local stories inspired him

    New Novels By Some Of Japan’s Best Sci-Fi Writers Set To Debut This Spring Source: VIZ Media, MediaLab press releases Official Site: Special Thanks to Evelyn Dubocq and Erik Jansen VIZ Media, LLC has announced the upcoming release of four new science fiction novels under its Haikasoru imprint. Slum Online, by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, and The Stories of Ibis, by Hiroshi Yamamoto, will hit stores on April 20th. Loups-Garous, by Natsuhiko Kyogoku, and The Next Continent, by Issui Ogawa, will be released on May 18th. Haikasoru publishes some of the most compelling contemporary Japanese science fiction and fantasy stories for English-speaking audiences. The imprint launched in North America with a dedicated focus on Japanese science fiction. Slum Online by Hiroshi Sakurazaka Price: $13.99 U.S. / CAN $18.99 · Available April 20th Etsuro Sakagami is a college freshman who simply drifts through life, but when he logs

    Official Site: (Germany) Special Thanks to Ralf Lorenz This month sees the premiere of Vintage Monsters, a new German magazine featuring rare and beautiful international posters and lobby cards from monster, sci-fi, fantasy and horror films. The magazine is the brainchild of Andreas Schiefler (owner of Vintage Movie Posters) and Ralf Lorenz (GUALAGON, Pranke: Das Filmmagazin für Monsterfreaks). Vintage Monsters #1 runs forty pages and focuses on the movies playing at next month`s VINTAGE MONSTERS FESTIVAL in Hamburg with more than 150 full color illustrations from CONAN THE BARBARIAN (1982), GODZILLA VS GIGAN (1972), THE BLACK PIT OF DR. M (1959), THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM (1961), THE GREEN SLIME (1968), ANDY WARHOL`S BLOOD FOR DRACULA (1974), DRACULA VS FRANKENSTEIN (1970), TASTE THE BLOOD OF DRACULA (1970), and PLANET OF THE VAMPIRES (1965). The text is written in both German and English. Vintage Monsters is

    Worldwide Premiere of New School Comedy Series Source: Anime Network press release Official Series Site (Japanese): Special Thanks to Christian Lopez ICHIBAN USHIRO NO DAIMAO, the latest series from famed director Takashi Watanabe (BOOGIEPOP PHANTOM, NEW FIST OF THE NORTH STAR), will begin simulcasting this April on Anime Network Online. From Marvelous Entertainment (MUSHI-SHI, AIR GEAR) and Artland (MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM 00, LEGEND OF THE GALACTIC HEROES) comes the story of young Akuto Sai, a new student at Constan Magical Academy. On the day of admittance, his aptitude test has predicted his future occupation as... Devil King. And so begins the trials and tribulations of school life as he is hounded by do-gooders, self appointed protectors, and overzealous followers. In this school, there`s no rest for the Devil King. The ICHIBAN USHIRO NO DAIMAO simulcast will be available to registered users. Registration is absolutely free

    Japan`s Leading Anime Broadcaster and World`s Leading Asian Media Lifestyle Brand Expand Partnership Source: BAM! Marketing, Publicity & Promotions press release Official Site: Crunchyroll Special Thanks to Chase Wang Crunchyroll, Inc., and TV Tokyo Corporation have announced the expansion of their industry-defining content alliance and partnership with the February 2010 conclusion of a $750,000 strategic investment by TV Tokyo into Crunchyroll. TV Tokyo will continue to provide Crunchyroll with content licenses for world-class Japanese entertainment, including hits like NARUTO SHIPPUDEN, TEGAMI BACHI: LETTER BEE, and many others, and Crunchyroll will continue to offer premium access to TV Tokyo content under its subscription plan one hour after its broadcast on TV Tokyo, and free access to TV TOKYO content one week after its broadcast on TV Tokyo. In addition, both TV Tokyo and Crunchyroll will continue to explore new business areas and work on mutually beneficial ways

    New VIZ Signature Release Comes from the Talented Creator of House of Five Leaves and not simple Source: VIZ Media, MediaLab press release Official Site: Special Thanks to Evelyn Dubocq and Erik Jansen On March 16th, VIZ Media, LLC released the manga - Natsume Ono’s Ristorante Paradiso. The story, a romance among the staff at a bistro in Rome, is offered in a single volume and will be published under the VIZ Signature imprint. Ristorante Paradiso is rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens and will carry an MSRP of $12.99 U.S. / $16.99 CAN. At the age of 21, Nicoletta travels to Rome to find her mother, Olga, who abandoned her long ago. Nicoletta finds her at Casetta dell`Orso, a charming little restaurant owned by Olga`s husband. The staff of bespectacled gentlemen welcomes Nicoletta warmly, but Olga`s reception is not so pleasant. Olga has never told

    SJ Championship Tournaments Offer Exciting Experiences For New And Existing Players Beginning April 2010 Source: VIZ Media, MediaLab press releases Special Thanks to Erik Jansen Bandai America Inc. and VIZ Media, LLC are pleased to announce the new NARUTO SHIPPUDEN Collectible Card Game (CCG) SHONEN JUMP Championship Tournaments in North America. There will be multiple tournaments held throughout the United States at select hobby retailers culminating in the National Championships to be held at the Gen Con Indy taking place in Indiana on August 7th and 8th. NARUTO SHIPPUDEN CCG, Bandai America’s top selling collectible card game, is a game of strategy where players construct card decks of Ninja that use their powerful Jutsu to complete Missions and protect their villages. The NARUTO SHIPPUDEN CCG, currently has hundreds of tournaments held each week at local hobby retailers throughout the United States. SHONEN JUMP Championship Tournaments will

    The Popular Toy Line is Expanded to Include Kaiju and Special Effects Movie Characters Author: John “Dutch” DeSentis Translations: Jim Ballard Source: Anime Jungle Official Site: Special Thanks to Tetsu Shiota Fans and collectors are probably familiar with the brand Revoltech, which is owned by the Kaiyodo Company of Japan. It is a series of super-articulated figures in the 4-6 inch scale and based on various popular characters from manga, video games, television, film, and anime. The name itself reportedly means “Revolver Technology” as the revolver joint is what gives the figures their super-articulation. Of interest to kaiju fans is the upcoming line, SCI-FI REVOLTECH, which will showcase popular characters from both east and west. The first figures up for release on April 1st are the Xenomorph from Ridley Scott’s ALIEN and the vengeful god DAIMAJIN from the Daiei movie series of the 1960s, followed on

    An Overview and Price Guide for the Bandai Godzilla Toy Market Author: John “Dutch” DeSentis Special Thanks Mike Russo, Jean Carbajal, Brandon Shields, Bob Johnson, Greg Cordaro, Andy Shields, and James Bond A SciFi JAPAN EXCLUSIVE Welcome to the market overview and price guide to Bandai Godzilla collectibles. The Bandai Company for decades now has been the standard for producing toys based on popular Japanese characters; they are essentially the Mattel of Japan. As it pertains to this article, they began producing toys based on characters in the GODZILLA Series in 1983. Over the years since, both the output and quality of the company has steadily increased. The figures themselves are made of vinyl and have been primarily produced in two sizes, 6 inch and 8 inch scale, with the 8 inch scale being the most popular with collectors. There are also

    Voltron Lands this Summer Source: Privateer Press press release Official Sites:, Privateer Press has announced that the highly anticipated VOLTRON: DEFENDER OF THE UNIVERSE battle miniatures game (PIP 50030) for MONSTERPOCALYPSE will be released July 2010 with an MSRP of $49.99. The VOLTRON game will include everything two players need to stage epic battles between the forces of Voltron and the Galaxy Alliance and Lo-Tron of the fiendish Drule Empire. Part of the popular MONSTERPOCALYPSE line, VOLTRON: DEFENDER OF THE UNIVERSE will be completely compatible with all current MONSTERPOCALYPSE series. In celebration of the release, Privateer Press is offering the VOLTRON: DEFENDER OF THE UNIVERSE Launch Kit (PIP 50033, MSRP $399.92) to brick-and-mortar retailers. The kit includes eight copies of the VOLTRON: DEFENDER OF THE UNIVERSE battle miniatures game and two limited edition Mega Voltron figures for use in promoting the game’s release in

    Source: MediaLab press release Official Site: VIZ Media Special Thanks to Erik Jansen VIZ Media, LLC has announced some of their exciting new manga set for release throughout the first half of 2010. The new releases will be published by VIZ Media under its best-known imprints including VIZ Kids, VIZ Signature, Shojo Beat, Shonen Sunday, Shonen Jump and Shonen Jump Advanced. February Biomega Vol. 1 by Tsutomu Nihei Available February 2nd Rated ‘M’ for Mature Audiences VIZ Signature Imprint Zoichi Kanoe plunges into the depths of 9JO, a sprawling island city in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, in search of Eon Green, a girl with the power to transmute the N5S virus. The deadly contagion is spreading across the world and turns humans into disfigured zombie-like "drones.” But he`s not the only one looking for her. Agents of the Public Health Service`s Compulsory Execution

    Source: Privateer Press press release Official Site: Privateer Press of Bellevue, WA has announced that the next expansion for its collectible miniatures game MONSTERPOCALYPSE will be released in April 2010. The expansion, SERIES 5: BIG IN JAPAN, takes the monsters and minions of MONSTERPOCALYPSE to the heart of Japan with new iconic buildings from the Tokyo skyline. BIG IN JAPAN will be available in Monster Boosters and Unit Boosters. To celebrate the release of BIG IN JAPAN, Privateer Press is offering two special promotions to retailers and players. Players can get a limited edition Mega Mechathugrosh figure free from participating retailers by ordering the BIG IN JAPAN Mega Kit (PIP 50915). The kit includes one case of BIG IN JAPAN Boosters, one case of BIG IN JAPAN Unit Boosters, and one Mega Mechathugrosh figure. The second promotion is available to retailers who order the BIG

    L has 23 Days to Live, and 22 Days to Save the World in New Novel Source: VIZ Media, MediaLab press releases Official Site: Special Thanks to Evelyn Dubocq and Erik Jansen VIZ Media, LLC expands the thrilling psychological suspense of DEATH NOTE with the release of Death Note: L, change the WorLd, a new novel featuring the master detective from the hit animated, film and manga series. Death Note: L, change the WorLd is available now from Shonen Jump Fiction and carries an MSRP of $17.99 U.S. / $24.00 CAN. In an alternative continuity in the DEATH NOTE setting, ace detective L`s name has been placed in a Death Note. He has twenty-three days to bring a terrorist group to justice, or they will use a deadly new virus to change the killing off most of humanity. “Death Note: L, change the WorLd

    Boys Over Flowers: Jewelry Box Concludes Acclaimed Shojo Manga Series with Two Short Stories Source: VIZ Media, MediaLab press releases Special Thanks to Evelyn Dubocq and Erik Jansen Fans of shojo (girls) manga can look forward to VIZ Media`s release of Boys Over Flowers: Jewelry Box on October 13th. The new volume is rated ‘T’ for Teens and will carry a MSRP of $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN. Boys Over Flowers: Jewelry Box is a collection of two new short stories by Yoko Kamio, the creator of the acclaimed Boys Over Flowers (Hana Yori Dango) series. The new epilogue takes place one year after the end of the original Boys Over Flowers story, which concluded with Volume 36. It also contains a section with some of the important events in the series that show the characters maturing, plus a special bonus strip. “Yoko Kamio, one of

    Source: VIZ Media press release Special Thanks to Evelyn Dubocq and Erik Jansen VIZ Media, LLC will delight young as well as adult fans with the release of the company’s first POKÉMON Poster Collection today! The POKÉMON “posterzine” is rated ‘A’ for All Ages and carries an MSRP of $9.99 U.S. / $9.99 CAN. Packed with 11 full color fold-out posters, this large (16” x 22”) edition is a must-have for any fan of Pikachu and his friends. A variety of favorite characters from the POKÉMON DIAMOND AND PEARL animation seasons, from Pikachu and Piplup to Chimchar and Turtwig, are all featured. “POKÉMON is a timeless favorite that continues to delight multiple generations of fans with its mix of adventure, unique and loveable characters, and a positive storyline,” says Gonzalo Ferreyra, Vice President Sales & Marketing, VIZ Media “Our POKÉMON Poster Collection will be available exclusively

    Exhibit of Art Inspired by Japanese Toys at the Rotofugi Gallery Official Site: Toy Karma Special Thanks to Alex Wald TOY KARMA is an art exhibit featuring artists expressing their love for classic Japanese toys. But it’s so much more than that. As Mark Nagata, founder of Max Toy Company and curator of this exhibit explains on his blog, it’s the idea that if you’re honest in your dealings that one toy that you’ve always dreamed of getting will eventually come to you. For many serious toy collectors it’s a guideline, a mantra and yes, even a lifestyle. This exhibit pays homage to the mysterious force and power that toys have over us. TOY KARMA, the exhibit, is held every other year at Rotofugi Gallery, Chicago. The first TOY KARMA exhibit was held in September 2007. TOY KARMA 2 (aka TKII) will be

    New VIZ Media Titles Include 4-Volume Official Film Comic, Picture Book And Art Book Source: VIZ Media, MediaLab press releases Official Movie Site: disneypictures/ponyo Special Thanks to Evelyn Dubocq and Erik Jansen VIZ Media, LLC will publish a series of new releases based on PONYO, the new animated film from Studio Ghibli and Academy Award-winning director and world-renowned Japanese animation legend Hayao Miyazaki. To support the release, VIZ Media will offer the official 4-volume full-color Ponyo Film Comic, a Ponyo Picture Book, and The Art of Ponyo, which presents a comprehensive collection of original art, sketches, character designs and storyboards from the film. Walt Disney Studios will release PONYO throughout North America on August 14, 2009. PONYO is a wondrously imaginative retelling of the timeless Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale “The Little Mermaid,” and offers the adventures of little fish-girl whose father happens to be a

    Comprehensive Edition Debuts as Famed Director`s Latest Animated Film PONYO Hits North American Theatres this Summer Source: VIZ Media, MediaLab press releases Special Thanks to Evelyn Dubocq and Erik Jansen VIZ Media, LLC has announced the publication of the first of a new collection of essays, interviews, memoirs and manga from legendary animation director, Hayao Miyazaki, titled Starting Point: 1979-1996. The book has an estimated street date of August 4th and will carry an MSRP of $29.99 US and $34.99 Canada. At over 450 pages, Starting Point: 1979-1996 is a comprehensive and insightful look at the first-half of Miyazaki’s legendary career, during which he rose from humble beginnings to create some of the most seminal animated features ever made, including NAUSICAÄ OF THE VALLEY OF THE WIND, CASTLE IN THE SKY, MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO, KIKI`S DELIVERY SERVICE, and PORCO ROSSO, as well as his launch of

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