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Otaku Metaculture: Otaku no Video

Taking a step back in time today to take a look at what is arguably the grandfather of all otaku metaculture. Join us for the grandiose and yet ultimately very personal tale of otaku in the 1980s and beyond.

Otaku Metaculture: NHK ni Youkoso

Welcome back, Heisei Democratizers!

First of all, I want to thank each and every one of you for your ongoing support (seriously, if you’re reading this right now, that’s support). However the site evolves, I will do my best not to disappoint you.

This brings us to the first in a new (hopefully) ongoing series, properly titled On the Creation of a Comprehesive Index of Otaku Metaculture. Which is to say, my attempt at creating a (more or less) complete list of anime, manga, and video games which happen to be centered on characters who are themselves afficionados of anime, manga, and video games. For our first installment, we will be featuring a retrospective for a franchise that is very near and dear to HD (hint: the site is named after it).

Haruhi-chan, Churuya-san anime series announced

Moon Phase Diary updates with the news this evening that according to the October ’08 issue of Shounen Ace (on sale August 25th), two new short-episode anime series are being produced simultaneously for broadcast on the YouTube Kadokawa Channel: “Suzumiya Haruhi-chan no Yuuutsu” (based on the Haruhi spinoff manga by the same name) and “Nyoro~n Churuya-san” (based on the popular doujin 4-panel comic by Eretto). The Moon Phase author speculates that these may be a stopgap measure to placate ravenous hordes of Haruhi fans hungry for solid news of a sequel to the original TV series, but I for one welcome our chibi webcast overlords. I hope they give them voices… We’ll keep an eye out for further news on this over the coming weeks. (no more)

Fullmetal Alchemist second TV anime series announced

According to Moon Phase Diary, a second TV series of Fullmetal Alchemist will be announced on the dust jacket of the release of the 20th volume of the FMA manga tomorrow. According to information obtained by Moon Phase it is likely that the series will again be produced by Bones, with Irie Yasuhiro on directorial duty, and the story will continue as a faithful adaptation of events from the manga. The series is scheduled to last a year starting next April, and air at 5:00 PM Sundays on TBS/MBS stations in Japan. Those of us who are FMA fans can look for confirmation and further info to appear in the coming days! (no more)

Queen’s Blade anime announced

The two latest Queen’s Blade combat artbooks hit store shelves yesterday (Allean and Ardra), and with them the news that the Queen’s Blade franchise is scheduled for TV anime adaptation! Other than the bare fact that it’s in the works little is known about the project, but based on Hobby Channel’s official announcement it’s hinted that Reina will be the protagonist. This in turn leads to all sorts of wild speculation – with the shared character designer, can we expect animation from the My-HiME team? Hobby Japan is a Bandai property, Sunrise is a Bandai property, it’s not entirely out of the question… we’ll follow up on this as soon as further information is made known. (no more)

Zero no Tsukaima Tifania dakimakura announced

Character goods maker Chara Hai updated this evening with listings for a Tifania hug pillowcase from Zero no Tsukaima (officially from this summer’s third season, Princesse no Rondo). The case is scheduled for release on August 25th with preorders open until August 4th, and is double-sided with two pieces of original art and standard dakimakura dimensions of 150×50 cm. Like previous Chara Hai releases Tifania is available in two choices of cloth: smooth knit (9,500 yen retail) and two-way tricot (10,500 yen retail). Explanations of the differences in pillow fabric can be found here. Tifania pillow images below:

Magazine Review: Megami vol. 98 (July 2008)

With yesterday’s release of the July ’08 issue of Megami Magazine things are officially heating up in the countdown to issue 100! The sticker price was raised to reflect the presence of additional extras, and unlike last issue there are no Nanoha filler posters to be found – just pure original poster goodness, and a lot of nice ones at that. Read on for a look at one of the best Megami issues to appear in recent months:

Ikkitousen news roundup

Monthly Comic Gum magazine is the home of the Ikkitousen manga, and yesterday its official site updated with a mountain of news covering virtually all aspects of the franchise – the upcoming Great Guardians anime, a new PSP game, and a crazy awesome new figure concept. Details below:

Kanokon pulled from free online broadcast

Moon Phase is reporting tonight that following episode seven, TV anime Kanokon will cease free distribution via online broadcasters GyaO and BIGLOBE. The reason given for the move is “ethical regulations”, which appear to have kicked in following the repeated depiction of racy visuals such as bare breasts, implied handjobs, flashes of nipple exposure, and etc. Apparently a particularly memorable scene occurs in episode eight that the free broadcasters weren’t willing to test against government regulation (Edit: the objectionable content was from “episode 7 and beyond” – not ep. 8 specifically), so from now on online viewing options will be restricted to paid only. Note that this currently does not affect any of the show’s terrestrial broadcast networks; we’ll keep an eye out for any further developments on this story or related censorship issues that may arise. (no more)

The story behind Himajin’s disappearance

June 30th, 2007 was a black day for eroanime fans, the day that studio Himajin closed its doors forever… or was it? When brands Amour and Suzuki Mirano appeared it seemed that the collapse of Himajin was short-lived, and that its reincarnated forms would carry on development of old Himajin properties uninterrupted. The actual story is a bit more complex, and required some digging around in Japanese Wikipedia to unearth; read on for a look at the tangled web of brand shuffling that led to the current state of affairs in one corner of the eroanime industry:

May 10th eroanime news roundup

Despite the grim news today from Pixy it seems the eroanime industry is still pumping out titles full steam ahead, as shown by a spate of new updates that came in yesterday from several major producers. We look at what’s up in the coming months for Milky, Pink Pineapple, and Vanilla below the fold:

Dire straits for the eroanime industry?

Eroanime production company Anime Antenna employee Murakami Kouichi (村上恒一: producer – Mahou Shoujo Ai, The Guts!, Taimanin Asagi, other Pixy titles) made a post on the official Ani-An company blog on May 6th relating the news that Lilith Soft affiliate brand Pixy is in danger of financial collapse within the year, and that other major brands may soon follow.

He describes how Pixy was established with the goal of setting a revolutionary low price point for the OVAs it produced while retaining a high standard of quality, to make legitimate purchase of the product an option for all consumers. As a result profit margins on each sale became razor thin, but for Pixy’s first year of operation they were selling well enough that it seemed they could squeak by. Now, however, according to Murakami Pixy titles are being so widely pirated that their low-cost sales model is proving untenable. He makes the claim that if the current status quo continues, not only Pixy but adult anime as a whole may cease production within the year. Continued below:

Eroanime brand Nihiki no Dozeu official site open

An official site was opened on Monday for eroanime brand Nihiki no Dozeu. The maker is the Anik subsidiary brand responsible for the production of the second episode of Sora no Iro, Mizu no Iro that we’ve been reporting on over the past month or so, and is apparently taking over operations from the Amour brand as well (Anik subsidiary Suzuki Mirano remains a discrete entity; their flagship brand Himajin closed in 2006). This is all very confusing but it seems the upshot is that we can keep an eye on this new site for current and upcoming news on Anik brand releases. The second Soramizu episode is still on target for its June 27th release. (no more)

Sora no Iro, Mizu no Iro OVA ep. 2 trailer online

Eroge, eroanime, and otaku goods online shop Getchu updated their Sora no Iro, Mizu no Iro OVA ep. 2 product listing last night with a 1’54” trailer for the upcoming eroanime episode. As we reported earlier the episode is scheduled for release on June 27th from Nihikime no Dozeu (a heretofore unknown subsidiary brand of Anik) and features the same talent combination of Taka Tony and Kuroda Kazuya that brought the first episode to fruition two years ago. Based on the content of the trailer it seems the episode’s animation is largely complete, but the voices have yet to be recorded; regardless it’s a great preview of what’s to come. (no more)

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Magazine Review: Megami vol. 97 (June 2008)

The June ’08 edition of Megami Magazine was released today, and we’re here with the scoop of its contents! With poster entries from most of the bishoujo anime of the season along with several looks ahead at what we can expect in the summer it’s a pretty well-rounded issue, and though soft in a couple of parts (too much tiny Nanoha) there are a few standout offerings that make the purchase worth it in the end. Moon Phase scoops the news of a new Higurashi OVA and talks about yuri love in Koihime Musou revealed in this issue, but we’re here for the posters:

Sora no Iro, Mizu no Iro OVA ep. 2 announced

This particular item has been on a lot of folks’ eroanime wish lists for awhile now (mine included), so when the news of its production showed up at Getchu yesterday I was very happy indeed: at long last the conclusion to Anik/Himajin’s Sora no Iro, Mizu no Iro eroanime OVA is being produced! Based on the 2004-released Ciel eroge by the same name, the first Soramizu episode was originally released in July of 2006. With the passage of time many of us abandoned hope that we would see further work from the combination of Taka Tony and Kuroda Kazuya, who has been occupied with character design duty on such titles as Kaibutsu Oujo and Spice and Wolf. The Getchu product entry reveals that the two will be united once again for this second episode, which is scheduled for release on June 27th. Production is credited to a new brand called Nihikime no Dozeu, which Getchu links back to Anik, the parent company of the now-defunct Himajin as well as brands Harenchi Restaurant Amour and Suzuki Mirano. Screen shots from the new episode below:

TV anime Slayers REVOLUTION official site open

We first broke the news of a new Slayers TV anime back in February, and this evening we’re happy to report that the official site for Slayers REVOLUTION is now online! Details posted to the site reveal that the cast and staff remain unchanged from the original Slayers TV series (with the exception of J.C. STAFF now helming animation production), which is significant as it marks the return of seiyuu goddess Hayashibara Megumi to the small screen as Lina Inverse (the most recent of her increasingly infrequent TV appearances was as the childhood version of the school principal in episode nine of Manabi Straight). She will be joined by Matsumoto Yasunori as Gourry, Midorikawa Hikaru as Zelgadis, and Suzuki Masami as Amelia. Watanabe Takashi reprises his directorial role, and character design is from mangaka Araizumi Rui and Miyata Naomi. Series composition (writing) is from Takayama Jirou, who in addition to Slayers Next and Try also wrote several episodes of King Gainer. According to Moon Phase Diary the story will be a mix of elements from the original work that have yet to be animated, and material newly created expressly for the show.

I was never much of a Slayers fan back when the show was really popular, but this new incarnation looks like a lot of fun. I’ll be keeping an eye on it as development moves forward. (no more)

Toradora! anime confirmed

Via Moon Phase: The rumored report of a Toradora! anime that we mentioned last night was confirmed this morning by a post at the Forest Field blog. The news will be officially announced in the coming edition of Dengeki Bunko Magazine set for release on April 10th along with vol. 7 of the Toradora! light novel. No further details regarding the production are yet available, but we’ll be keeping an eye out. (no more)

Magazine Review: Megami vol. 96 (May 2008)

The May 2008 issue of Megami Magazine was released today, and we’ve got a thorough review of it here! The sticker price was bumped up from the standard 780 yen to 840 yen for this issue, but it comes with a couple of great extras that more than make up for the slight price increase – a double sided pencil board brings us a look at Saber of Fate/stay night as drawn by Nanoha creator Tsuzuki Masaki, with the reverse side an illustration of Fate Testarossa by Takeuchi Takashi. Other extras include large Clannad and Shana posters and an alternate cover for Nanoha StrikerS manga vol. 2, as well as the continuation of Ditama Bow‘s Yotsunoha manga. Oh, and there are lots of great posters, too. :3

North Korean abductee anime “Megumi” released

Via Moon Phase Diary: Today an animated version of the story of Megumi Yokota was released for free download by the Japanese Government Abduction Issue Countermeasure Headquarters (政府拉致問題対策本部), an agency that works to resolve the issue of North Korean abductions of Japanese citizens (an official explanation can be found here). It’s a 25 minute short “documentary anime” that covers Megumi’s life from birth through abduction and the subsequent unresolved quest to determine her fate, and seems to have received some budget as the film was simultaneously released dubbed in four languages (Japanese, English, Chinese, and Korean). I downloaded the English version first expecting subtitles, and was greeted by a truly awful dub – I shut it down as soon as Megumi’s mom went into labor and decided to watch the Japanese version instead.


Heisei Democracy anime news: North Korean abductee anime documentary

This is a fascinating piece from several angles, both as a look at the rare intersection of documentary and anime narrative forms, and in light of its overtly political / propagandistic nature. It’s something I’m sure a visual anthropologist would have a field day dissecting – Moeyo’s initial response is “for this topic, is it really alright to give Megumi such a moe design?” An interesting question, in light of the film’s purpose. (no more)

Sekirei TV anime announced! (updated)

The official Sekirei manga site at Square-Enix’s Young Gangan Magazine brought the announcement last night: as previously rumored, the bishoujo fighting-themed manga from Gokurakuin Sakurako (Ashika Sakura) will become an anime some time this year! It will be directed by Kusakawa Keizou (recent directorial work includes Nanoha StrikerS and Inukami), script from Yoshioka Takawo (Sky Girls, Ikkitousen Dragon Destiny, Zero no Tsukaima), character design from Tomooka Shinpei (Inukami), and animation production from Seven Arcs (the Nanoha series, Inukami, SHAFT’s Negima, Red Garden, Zero no Tsukaima II, Da Capo II, the Yakin Byoutou series). The official anime website will be at Sekirei TV.com when it’s established; we’ll be keeping a close eye out for further news on the series as it develops. Update: The show’s official site is now online, and while it doesn’t offer much information beyond what we already knew we do get a first look at the anime character designs, and the cover of the 6th volume of the manga, due out on March 25th. (no more)

Appleseed TV anime announced

The new series based on the Masamune Shirow Appleseed manga is to be called Appleseed Genesis and will be directed by Romanov Higa and feature the voice talent of Paku Romi, according to Moon Phase and the series listing on the Tokyo International Anime Fair website. This is all we know about the series at present, but more details should appear leading up to the TIAF stage event on March 30th and we’ll be keeping an eye out for them. (no more)

Tanaka Yoshiki’s Titania to receive anime adaptation

Via Moon Phase: Word is in from the official Wright Staff president’s blog that Tanaka Yoshiki‘s serial novel Titania is to receive an anime adaptation. Titania is described in its Japanese Wikipedia article as:

Humanity’s advance has spread colonies through out the breadth of the vast universe, but the majority of them are under the control of the Titania family. In the year 446 of the star calendar, trouble arises surrounding one of the family’s special interests in the galactic city-state of Eulia. They send in a force to repress the uprising, but it is unexpectedly driven back.

Using this conflict as an opportunity, groups discontented with the Titania hegemony begin to move. Coupled with discord sown internally among the family members, an era of strife and terrible upheaval is ushered in for the galaxy.

Beginning in 1988 three volumes of the Titania novel have been published to date. Those familiar with Tanaka’s earlier work to receive anime versions such as Legend of the Galactic Heroes and The Heroic Legend of Arslan will no doubt find this an interesting development; we’ll be watching for further details on what could be the next great space opera anime. Update: Iwa ni Hana brought news two days ago regarding a manga adaptation of Titania as well. Their coverage has more information about the title as it relates to Legend of the Galactic Heroes; definitely worth a quick read. (no more)

Magazine Review: Megami vol. 95 (April 2008)

We revisit the hallowed posteriffic pages of Megami Magazine for the first time in a few months to find a very solid issue indeed, including offerings from Shana II, Clannad, Aria, Kimiaru, Nanoha, Spice and Wolf, To Heart 2, Kanokon, Minami-ke, Gunslinger Girls, Kimikiss, Bamboo Blade, Yotsunoha, Rosario to Vampire, Ikkitousen Great Guardians, and more. Is it just me, or is there more nekkidness in this issue than in the past year’s lot combined? See below for a preview:

Gurren Lagann movie version announced

Via Moon Phase and Kadokawa’s exhibitor entry at the Tokyo International Anime Fair website: according to the April edition of Newtype magazine (on sale March 10th), a theatrical version of the Gurren Lagann TV anime is currently in the planning stages of production. No details of the project are currently known, but Moon Phase speculates that it might be similar to the Top wo Nerae! theatrical release in that it would combine new animated sequences with brushed up material from the TV series to present a condensed version of the story. We’ll keep an eye on this as further information comes to light. (no more)

New Slayers TV anime announced

Via Moon Phase: The Kanzaka Hajime official fan club is reporting that Slayers is to receive a new TV anime adaptation! It will feature an original story and be divided into two cours of ~12-13 episodes each. Direction will be from Watanabe Takashi, with animation production from J.C. Staff. The voice cast is reported to have “no significant changes.”

This news is still officially rumor until it can be corroborated with the upcoming release of Dragon Magazine, but the official fan club source seems credible enough. (no more)

TRIGUN THE MOVIE announced for 2009

Via Moon Phase Diary: The promotional dust jacket cover (“obi”) from volume 14 of the Trigun Maximum manga [AA] brings the news that a Trigun animated feature film is currently in production! It will feature an original story developed by manga author Yasuhiro Nightow and director Nishimura Satoshi who collaborated with Nightow on the Trigun TV series and is also known for his work on the Hajime no Ippo anime. The script will be helmed by veteran anime writer Kobayashi Yasuko, with character designs from Yoshimura Takahiro (an unknown?) and animation production from Madhouse. The tagline reads: “Vash vs. Wolfwood?! The familiar characters erupt on screen in an all-original Trigun story!” As a fan of the original TV series I’ll be keeping a close eye out as this project develops… (no more)

Anime News: Ikkitousen 3rd season announced

The cover of the April 2008 edition of Comic Gum makes the announcement that Ikkitousen will be returning in a third series, entitled “Great Guardians”! Moon Phase Diary brings details regarding the anime staff and cast, which seem nearly identical to that of the second season (Dragon Destiny); the official anime site is scheduled for an update on February 25th to reflect the news, and the series is scheduled to air on TV this summer. April ’08 Comic Gum cover image and inner magazine scoop below:

Anime News: Macross Frontier official site grand open

The official site for spring ’08 TV anime Macross Frontier (Wikipedia) staged a full renovation today, with sections open detailing the story, mechanics, characters, music, and staff credits for the show. In addition, the information section was updated with the news that spinoff manga will be serialized in both Shounen Ace (starting in the February ’08 issue, already on sale) and Comp Ace (starting in the April issue, out on 2/26) magazines, and that a “25th Anniversary MACROSS MUSEUM” will be on display at Wonder Festival 2008 Winter. The exhibit will include new promotional footage from Macross F as well as a history of Valkyrie models on display, a talk show featuring artist Tenjin Hidetaka and modeler Yamazaki Gunsou, a karaoke contest, and more. We’ll stay on top of this as more details come to light! (no more)

Anime News: Sekirei rumors pick up speed (updated)

Moon Phase Diary reported last night that the Animate online shop listing for volume six of the Sekirei manga contained the news that the manga will receive an anime adaptation in summer 2008! That line was subsequently removed from the product description, but it seems more and more likely that the earlier information from Moon Phase is correct; we can expect official corroboration to appear in March, most likely in the March 21st edition of Young Gangan magazine or when volume six goes on sale on the 25th. Update: Moon Phase is reporting that Aniplex has registered the domain sekirei-tv.com. We’ll watch for content to appear there in the coming month. (no more)