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Figure News: Griffon’s Samurai Spirits Iroha up for preorder, due out in September

Amiami posted a listing this evening for a hot if slightly tired-looking Iroha PVC from Samurai Spirits and maker Griffon. While as usual Griffon’s site has nothing to say on the matter Amiami divulges that the kit is sculpted by Fujii Takashi of circle A-ya, a veteran of the garage kit scene who appears to be making his PVC debut with this kit. While a tempting offering for the Iroha fans, at this price point I think I’ll hold off on a preorder until a production sample of the actual PVC is in evidence. (no more)

Anime News: Oshii Mamoru’s next cinematic anime “The Sky Crawlers” is unveiled

An official site is now online for The Sky Crawlers, a Production I.G. / Warner Brothers joint project helmed by Oshii Mamoru and set to hit theaters in 2008. Based on a series of novels by Mori Hiroshi, it’s the story of a fighter pilot and the dogfights that make up his daily life in a country not unlike Japan. While war is the story’s backdrop apparently the progress and actual status of the campaign take a back seat to the pilot’s philosophical inquiries, a notion that follows on the heels of Oshii’s most recent animated film, Innocence; we’ll definitely be following this as it develops, if only for the anticipated deep quotes from philosophers delivered amidst a slow motion shower of bullets. (no more)

Figure News: Konami shows us Kamina, Simon, Gurren and Lagann in miniature

Konami has updated their Gurren Lagann goods page with the news that a set of small figures is currently in production, slated for release in synthesis with the Gurren Lagann card game, an item which is as yet veiled in mystery (there’s a tab for it on the Konami site, but as of posting it’s a dead link). We’ll be keeping an eye on this as it develops. (no more)

Figure News: Revoltech Yotsuba from Yotsubato! coming this fall

There is no decent human upon this green earth, green like the top of Yotsuba‘s head, who does not love Azuma Kiyohiko‘s slice of life manga about a little girl, her father, and the tiny universe of wonder that surrounds them. There’s something ineffably refreshing about its simple humor, something that makes it in spirit the closest thing to a Japanese Calvin and Hobbes, and like Calvin and Hobbes’ Bill Watterson Azuma has jealously guarded the rights to production of goods based on the property. Thus it is with incredible glee that I am able to report the announcement on Yotsuba Studio’s official home page today of the production of a Revoltech Yotsuba figure, in conjunction with Kaiyodo and Organic, due out this fall. I daresay the world, or at least many devoted fans, will be happier for it. (no more)

Anime News: Moetan anime screenshots, voice actor interviews online

From the incredibly ancient and already scooped to death news division: last Friday Famitsu posted a bunch of screenshots and a cast interview from this summer’s upcoming Moetan anime. While it’s a bit sad when you can tell from the sample screens that no particular attention has been paid to anything but the characters, I doubt anyone watching this (myself included) will be doing so for the panoramic backdrops or pulse pounding THREE-DEE ACTION. For those repulsed by Famitsu’s horribly artifacted jpgs presents a prettier alternative with much the same content. You know it’s a moe sign when the three lead seiyuu respond to a question regarding the English they’ve learned recently with “apple”, “this is a pen”, and “Happy!” respectively… For the uninitiated, Moetan is a series of otaku-oriented English phrasebooks combining POP designs with quirkily translated references to anime and manga in a format that has proven to be both memetic and moetic. I hope rq will resurrect his random Moetan phrase script in commemoration of the anime, perhaps as a Wordpress plugin… (no more)

Anime News: yuri fans take note – Yoshitomi Akihito’s BLUE DROP manga scheduled for anime adaptation

Via Moon Phase: the latest issue of manga serial Champion Red announces the anime production of Yoshitomi Akihito‘s (Wikipedia) BLUE DROP manga, a science fiction story of girls growing up in the twilight of humanity in the far future aftermath of interspecies war. The aliens they fought with? All female, apparently, and aside from the first chapter yuri themes abound (according to this review of the first volume, all that has yet been released – another review here). This is an item that must be procured for review purposes – as Genshiken’s Ohno once famously said, レズが嫌いな男なんていません!! …or was it the other way around… (no more)

Figure News: Goodsmile / RED Entertainment’s Shuraki vol. 1 for sale, sold

As of midnight tonight, June 20th (eight minutes ago as I type this) the first installment of the Shuraki original figure / artbook / drama CD collaboration series from Goodsmile and RED Entertainment went up for preorder. This first “trinity box” release features original character Mishiro Akatsuki, designed by Migarashi Aki and sculpted by zenko of circle Iousen. This first limited edition box release due out in September consists of 5,000 units, containing the figure itself (with interchangeable parts), a 92-minute drama spanning two CDs and featuring some of Japan’s finest voice talent , and a 24-page A5 size booklet with production art and other material. At 4,800 yen price point this is a staggeringly good deal, and one that’s definitely worth looking into if you can find her in stock anywhere after tonight’s rather vicious run on the market. I have to say that hair does look rather silly, though… Edit: a list of officially authorized Shuraki vendors can be found here. It looks like HLJ will be getting it, as will Hobby Search, so stay on guard for the preorder listings. (no more)