In today’s update: a batch of media news left over from the weekend, including Hayashibara Megumi’s return to the anisongverse, My Otome Zwei site updates, the scoop on Shinkai Makoto’s latest project (warning: the heartfulness quotient may make your head explode), and goods news from December Newtype sure to be of interest to fans of Suzumiya Haruhi and Welcome to the NHK.

  • The Manabi Straight anime has recieved an official on-air date of January 7th, 2007. Of perhaps greater import is the news that Hayashibara Megumi will be handling vocal duties for both the OP and ED cuts; could this, along with roles in Mardock Scramble and Paprika, mark her gradual return to active seiyuu duty?
  • I don’t know much about Rocket Girls yet, but the show’s Characters page was updated recently and I have to say those are some pretty cute designs. No news yet on when we’ll see a broadcast.
  • Byousoku 5 Senchimeetoru (5 Centimeters per Second) ~a chain of short stories about their distance~. That’s the title of Shinkai Makoto’s latest project, due for preliminary screening at Shibuya’s Cinema Rise sometime in the spring of 2007; I’m not sure how long the Yahoo site has been online, but there’s a great 45-second trailer available for download there (click on the “8M(1280×720)” link) as well as a gallery of cuts from the first two segments in production, and wallpapers.

    According to the story description the work will consist of three vignettes in total, describing the reunion of two friends from elementary school and the spiritual bond they share. Having not had my requisite intake of lonesome piano solos and slow pans over empty classrooms since the release of Kumo no Mukou I’m just about ready for a new assay into the heartful world of Shinkai… will keep an eye on this.

  • Some goods release news from the December issue of Newtype:

Comp H's Christmas Sunny Side ni Youkoso Haruhi Drama CD vol. 1 announcement Haruhi Pinky announcement

  • The first issue of Comp H’s was speculated at release time to be a one-off by Kadokawa to capitalize on the Haruhi boom, but it seems they sold enough to justify the production of a second volume. A Christmas edition of the magazine will be released on November 25th, including posters from Haruhi, Kanon, Negima, and Yoake Mae Yori Ruri-iro na, among 15 titles to be represented. As with the first volume, a Haruhi pencilboard will be included.
  • Welcome to the NHK “sound collection” album Sunny Side ni Youkoso! will be on sale November 22nd, notable for its inclusion of a full verison of the Pururin theme (I can’t be the only one longing to blast this at incredible frequencies and annoy the neighbors) along with other incidental BGM and remixes / cut versions of the ED and OP.
  • Word from the Haruhi magazine that came with Newtype (the reason I picked it up after years of abstinence) is that the first volume of Haruhi Drama CD action will be available on December 21st. This will be the first new quasi-canon material out since the end of the anime, so those of us longing for further wacky adventures will have to be satisfied with this (and hopefully subsequent releases) leading up to the rumored second season next fall.
  • Finally, an item properly belonging in the hobby section: news that Haruhi Pinky figures (Haruhi, Mikuru, Nagato, Tsuruya) will be released in May / June of 2007. The hype can never begin too soon!
  • For those curious about the Haruhi insert in this month’s Newtype, Moeyo has the scoop here.