In today’s update: a litany of Marimite news (new novel, web radio date set, TAF appearances, etc.), Higurashi anime characters in color, Ibara PS2 on sale, Moetan in Dengeki Daioh, Cleavage eroanime released, chugging through the figure backlog (mostly Hobbynet scoops today), and the beginning of hype for this summer’s round of hobby events.

Media Side

  • Whenever the official Marimite site updates it’s an occasion for celebration, and today’s update brings us several interesting news items: the April edition of Cobalt magazine, on sale March 18th, will contain a one-shot Marimite short story along with further details regarding the “Maria-sama ga Miteru Project 2006”, of which everything presented here is a part. Coming on March 31st will be the next installment in the Marimite novel series, entitled “Kumori Garasu no Mukou-gawa” (trans “Beyond the Clouded Glass”). Of greater immediate interest is the March 9th launch of Marimite web radio, to be anchored by Ueda Kana (who plays Fukuzawa Yumi in the anime). Each broadcast will also feature a new episode of original Marimite radio drama, and a rotating list of special guests; the March 9th installment will include Itou Miki (Sachiko-sama) and Shinohara Emi (Mizuno Youko). Finally, a stage event is planned for March 26th at the Tokyo International Anime Fair, which will feature the three actresses mentioned above as well as Noto Mamiko (Shimako-sama). Ahh, it’s a good time to be a Marimite fan.
  • The official Higurashi no Naku Koro ni TV anime site updates with color character design sketches and April broadcast information today. [higher res]
  • Sasami Mahou Shoujo Club will launch April 13th on WOWOW, and has cast information online today. [see also: WOWOW’s updated character page]
  • TV-size OP and ED samples for the upcoming Dai Mahou Touge OVA are online at the show’s official site. [OP sample] [ED sample]
  • A new CM movie is online today in the download section for Nippon Ichi’s Disgaea 2 PS2 game.
  • Much in the news recently for its various colorful spinoffs, the PS2 version of Cave’s Ibara STG hit store shelves yesterday.
  • New episodes of web radio for To Heart 2, Aria, and Kashimashi Girl Meets Girl are online today.
  • Kotoko‘s fifth maxi single, entitled “being” (aka the Shakugan no Shana OP), will hit store shelves on March 23rd.
  • April’s edition of Dengeki Daioh went on sale February 21st, and though I haven’t had the time to fully look through it yet the bonus Moetan booklet that comes with it is pretty funny – it contains the usual awkwardly translated anime / manga reference lines, only this time explicitly tied to various Dengeki / Media Works properties. I’ll try to squeeze in a review some time soon.
  • Yesterday’s design sketches from xxxHolic? Those were from the movie, the DVD version of which goes on sale February 25th. As is this set of background CG, again courtesy of Web Anime Style.
  • A preview of the Black Lagoon anime will be screened for the first time at the Tokyo International Anime Fair on March 26th.

Ero Side

Figure Side

  • News from Sega’s prize figure division by way of GA Gaphic: Rei and Asuka in kimono will be out between July and September, Rei and Asuka policewomen out in September, Sakura and Tomoyo also in September, Tsubasa Chronicle girls in August.
  • More Wonder Festival reportage in today from:
  • It’s never too early to begin the hype for the summer’s round of figure event goodness, and Hobby Channel steps in with the news that Chara Hobby 2006 will be held on August 19th and 20th at Makuhari Messe in Tokyo. Unfortunately, the Wonder Festival guidebook reports that as with last year the two events will be conflicting: Wanfesu 2006 summer will occur on August 20th, at the Big Sight. Given the choice I think I’ll be opting for the latter once again, and there’s always the particularly insane option of doing both… but landing on the week after natsukomi I think fatigue will win out on this one.
  • This Eureka and Talho pair of PVCs coming from Banpresto in late February looks decent at the resolution provided, but given Banpresto’s track record of low price and quality I’m guessing any up-close shots will be rather underwhelming.
  • Now On Sale
  • Coming Attractions (mostly release delays)

    Early March 2006

    Late March 2006

    Late April 2006

    • Ootsuka’s Tomoyo PVC from Tomoyo After

    Late May 2006

    Late June 2006

To be continued…