In today’s update: Disgaea TV anime preview trailer preview trailer, Idol Master anthology comic and drama CDs, Eva movies on UMD, maid-guided tours of Akihabara and a related HD-only special offer, Cave’s Ibara becomes a web manga, Muv Luv Alternative site update, more drama CD news, speculation on the eroge industry, Key’s planetarian sees a package release, and the most moe bit of political speech ever crafted by the spin masters at Maritan HQ.

Media Side

  • A trailer for the Disgaea TV anime preview disc is online today at the show’s official site, while the disc itself will be on sale February 23rd.
  • A preview of the first episode of Shinigami no Ballad is online today at the show’s official WOWOW site, complete with screencaps. The episode is scheduled to air on March 2nd (3rd) at 12:30 AM. From a straight reading of the screenshots without trying to parse the text, I’m guessing this is a show that’s meant to make you cry.
  • News in today that Idol Master is becoming both a set of drama CDs and an anthology comic, the latter courtesy of Toranoana. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, could this mean an anime is somewhere in the pipeline? From what I know of the franchise I’m guessing Idol Master could succeed where Lemon Angel Project seems to be failing miserably.
  • More screenshots from the PS2 version of Tsuyokisu than anyone but the most starstruck tsundere afficionado could possibly want are online today courtesy of Gpara.com.
  • Design sketches for TV anime Noein are online today courtesy of Web Anime Style.
  • Word comes from Bandai today that a special box release of Evangelion 2 for the PSP will come with slightly revised versions of Death / Rebirth and Air / A Pure Heart for You bundled in on UMD. It’s been awhile since I’ve watched either so pardon if I have the nomenclature mixed up; the release is set for April 27th. [AV Watch scoop]
  • According to this Comptiq scoop, starting on February 19th every Sunday in Akihabara maid-guided tours of the district will be offered at 2,000 yen a head. It’s a 100 minute tour, and other than the maid cafe where you take a 20-minute rest break they don’t let you enter shops as you roam around – basically a whirlwind exposition of what’s what and where, apparently. With tour groups limited to ten people this sounds like it might be worth it; 2,000 yen for 100 minutes of service is certainly the cheapest you’ll find anything with “maid-” tacked onto it in Akihabara. …although a little quick math does show this up; 100 minutes divided by ten people equals ten minutes of personal service, which seems to be closer to the going rate. I’d dress up in a maid costume and guide you around Akihabara for less than that – hell, I’d do it for half that, and I can speak English! Interested? shingo@heiseidemocracy.net … THIS IS NOT A JOKE.
  • A new episode of Radio To Heart 2 is online today, but if the seiyuu are going for yuri in that picture I’m afraid they’ll need to try harder.
  • Why focus on game development when you can push bishoujo products for a fraction of the cost and labor and rake in money hand over fist? Cave asks and answers this rhetorical question every day, with today’s answer coming in the form of an Ibara web manga (not yet online at time of writing but should be soon). They also have information online regarding the first stage of Espgaluda 2 and an event report from AOU 2006, complete with screenshots for their upcoming STG Pink Sweets.
  • The 2006 Tokyo International Anime Fair will be held from March 23rd through the 26th. After this month I’m afraid I’ll be pretty event-fatigued, but if the cash is available I may haul myself down to the Big Sight and see what all the fuss is about.

Ero Side

  • Age brings a significant set of updates to its official Muv Luv Alternative site today, after what feels like years of stagnation. Has it only been three months? The now substantial collection of sample CG hints that the game may actually be on target for its February 24th release date; I’m pencilling in a snowball fight in hell for that day if it goes on sale as advertised.
  • Covering drama CDs here as potential candidates for future anime has become something of an obsession recently, and August’s announcement of a six-part Youake Mae Yori Rui-iro na drama continues in this gloriously speculative tradition. If only Galge.com were scooping it an anime adaptation would be less credible, but with Animate and Dengeki hopping on as well it seems the project is aiming for the more mainstream out-of-ero transition market captured recently by the likes of Shuffle and Lamune.
  • While we’re still flouncing through the candyland of animatic speculation, have a _summer ~everblue~ days : 02 drama CD. Why there’s a Christmas illustration on the cover of a _summer disc is beyond me.
  • Over the past year of covering eroge several new brands have launched or been spun off from older makers, while a lesser few have closed their doors for ever. Whether this is a sign of increasing demand and supply rising to meet it or just a boom in otaku entrepeneurship is hard to say, as brands often die slow and agonizing deaths behind the scenes before officially announcing their disbanding. Alternatively, as I’m guessing may be the case with Burston’s closure announcement today, brands are formed expressly to produce a single game or two, make some cash, and then dismantle into their component parts. While an interesting phenomenon in itself, this makes tracking creators a more difficult process for those of us making some attempt to follow the industry.
  • Key fans take note: planetarian will be released in a package version on April 28th.
  • New Site Launches / Release Announcements
  • Demo Downloads
  • Sample CG
  • Wallpapers

Hobby Side

  • This Rin stuffed doll from Fate / stay night went on sale yesterday, and Akibajin has a good deal of fun with it in his review. [Akibajin scoop]
  • Wanfesu Corner
    • The Maritan Pinky St. figure set is complete, just in time for Wonder Festival! Click on the right-side arrows to view. Also available as a Wanfesu special will be the bumper stickers portrayed in this diary entry, which are perhaps the moe-est pieces of political speech ever created. I’d love to see one of those on a car in the States.
    • Hobby Channel provides the definitive scoop on Atelier-Sai’s Wanfesu offerings, including a mysterious purple-haired girl in a see-through dress… oh, it’s a resin kit. Alas.
    • Toranoana represents at the event as well, with a PVC Akiba Blog’s Naado-tan paired with a can of stylish Akiba Oden that was a short boom back in December.
    • [ERO] Art Road has an event page online, confirming what we already know regarding the complete edition cold cast Saber and Rider kits to be made available (for the fleeting moment until they sell out) at Wonder Festival.

…it smells like something is fermenting in my room. Not a bad smell, per se… perhaps I set up a moonshine distillery while sleepwalking last night. Should probably check that out.