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Taking a cue from the hollywoodian habit of milking games from movies before they even premiere, the Japanese anime and gaming industries are coming together in the production of a Wii game based on the upcoming The Sky Crawlers animation film. The project was revealed in the pages of Famitsu (via Gamersyde), who say that the Wii game is being developed by the Namco Bandai team responsible for the Ace Combat series.

The only reason I give a damn is that the Sky Crawlers anime is directed by Mamoru Oshii, who made a name for himself by directing the Ghost in the Sell animation film and its sequel Innocence (among other anime and live-action stuff). It's based on a novel series which follows a group of young fighter pilots involved in dogfight warfare, during an alternate historical period, and it's animated by Production I.G. The film premieres on August 2 and, by the way, I lied: I don't really give a damn about the game.
Milla Jovovich is hot. Yes, I know I've said it before (I'm not that senile yet), and I'll say it again whenever I get the chance. But getting to the point before I start browsing for Milla pics again, it seems like another one of her movies - namely Ultraviolet - will be getting an anime adaptation tentatively called Ultraviolet: Code 044.

The link betweeen the anime and the movie is by no means official (yet), as it was only briefly mentioned in a press release issued by the Tokyo International Anime Fair (TAF), ahead of this year's edition at the end of March. Ultraviolet: Code 044 is being produced by the Japanese anime satellite TV network Animax, and more details should surface after the network's 10th anniversary press conference this March 27. Until then, here are a few bits scooped by AnimeNation from Moon Phase.
"The [Ultraviolet] anime series will be directed by veteran animator Osamu Dezaki and feature character designs from veteran character designer Akio Sugino. Dezaki and Sugino have worked together numerous times on classic anime franchises including Ashita no Joe, Aim for the Ace, and Space Adventure Cobra."

Also worth noting is that Masao Maruyama will serve as producer. He just so happens to be a co-founder and big boss at studio Madhouse, so you can pretty much guess who will animate the Ultraviolet anime...
I'm confused. Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Vexille or Appleseed Ex Machina? Was the former born from the latter's twin embryo, or was it the other way around? Because it only takes ten minutes of watching each of them, to see that they're the exact same goddamn thing. For ten minutes, anyway...

- futuristic setting involving cyborgs / androids / bioroids - check
- hot chick in the lead role - check
- random imposing building assaulted by the good guys - check
- the good guys making an airborne insertion - check
- idle chatter during the flight - check
- pew-pew - check
- the bad guys are cyborgs - check
- big bad guy with a big bad machine gun - check
- random imposing building goes boom - check

The pattern is there, it's clear as the day, and it's absolutely infuriating. Yes, I'm pissed off. I'm pissed off because somebody is clearly ripping off the other production team, (...)

>  Continue reading 'Vexille vs. Appleseed Ex Machina'...
Another anime adaptation spotted on the AnimeSuki forum is one based on the shounen light novel series Chrome Shelled Regios (Koukaku no Regios). The announcement is being made on the obi strip of volume 8, which is coming out later this month.

Chrome Shelled Regios already has two ongoing manga adaptations - the first one since April 2007, and the other one (Chrome Shelled Regios: Missing Mail) since June 2007 - as well as short text story spinoffs. The orignial story is decribed on ANN as a fantasy set in a distant future with mobile cities and sword-fighting.
"In this school fantasy story set in the distant future, creatures contaminated by pollution have overtaken the land, forcing humanity to live in isolated mobile cities called Regios. One such city named Czerni is a self-contained school in which freshman Reifon Aruseifu has just enrolled. Reifon reluctantly joins the 17th Martial Arts Studies Unit led by the third-year student Nina Antouku and embarks on a series of adventures. Readers voted for this series as the Best Story with an Academic Theme in Kadokawa's 2007 Light Novel Awards."

That last bit sounds promising enough to make us hope that a good story will make up for the presumable shortage of lolis in this upcoming anime.

Even more Hokuto no Ken (Fist of the North Star) animes - right, as in plural - were announced according to a MoonPhase article relayed on the AnimeSuki forum, continuing the recent renaissance of the classic fighting manga / anime series. Not to mention that Hokuto no Ken MMORPG we mentioned a year ago. Or this month's new OVA, Shin Kyuuseishu Densetsu Hokuto no Ken: Toki-den.

ANN has more details on this subject, and they say the next anime series will be based on the Hokuto no Ken Raoh Gaiden - Ten no Haoh manga spinoff (which instead focuses on Kenshiro's older brother Raoh), and it will begin this autumn. A dedicated website is up already.

There will also be a DD Hokuto no Ken anime with "deformed" (chibi?) characters, as well as a rather gay-sounding Muscle Musical project, all of these marking the upcoming 25th anniversary of the original manga. If you're one of its fans, you should be feeling pretty fucking old right about now.
It feels kind of weird to present our first annual award here at Animekon, but it's about time we did it. After running our previous top for an extended period of two months, the people have spoken: Kodomo no Jikan was the Best Lolicon Anime of 2007 - and we couldn't agree more!

From here on, however, our personal (and highly professional) oppinion starts to part ways with the community's, although shows like Lucky Star and the Ichigo Mashimaro OVA still ranked high in both lists. And since self-importance is one thing we never seem to lack around here, we'll only present below our own refined choices (the uers' picks are available in the Loli-Tops section).

Thanks everyone for your votes, and let's hope 2008 will be just as full of lolis as last year - a fine year it was!
Phew, we're safe! For now. Even though Japan is currently pushing some new law to make possession of child pornography illegal (for the first time, in fact), the legislation in question does not cover our most beloved mediums - anime, games and manga - only real-life stuff. Which basically means our fellow lolicons from Japan can keep on doing whatever sticky things they used to be doing up to now, as long as the flat subjects of their fantasies are purely virtual.

Still, certain unsatisfied individuals (who probably need to wank more, if getting laid is such an inconceivable fact of their bureaucratic life) and organizations (UNICEF) demand that the law should also ban virtual child pornography. Something that not even American politicians were able to accomplish, due to various constitutionality issues. Like, hello, freedom of expression!

Ironically, given my comrade's previous post about Ikkitousen facing ban in Russia, vodka-land will thus become the last of the G8 countries where the possession of child pornography is not banned. I wonder why...

P.S. Nu zaietz pagadi!
We all know that the men of The Church usually have a busy time doing things. Be it preaching, being raping little boys, leading them to the Holy Light (well, at least in Romania they do so, and we all know where Romanians got their... orthodox habits from), be it building more monasteries, be it starting some peculiar Crusade in Antarctica. But well, even they get bored from time to time. And they have nothing better to do than to learn from the Americans (oh, the irony), spreading bullshit about media fucking up their children's minds.

Now, take Mother Russia, for example. Great country, great people. No, seriously, I mean it. I am a huge Russian culture fan. But as of late, the leaders of the Protestant churches there have started to actually grow a penis and to scream from the top of their lungs, calling for various bans in the television broadcasts. How nice of them. The main target of this restless assault, TV channel 2x2, has been "kindly" asked to remove certain shows from their air schedule. Also, the attorney general was bugged to cancel the channel's broadcast license.

One of the shows mentioned by the so-called Consulting Council of Heads of Russia's Protestant Churches is none other than the dreaded Ikkitousen, a.k.a. the TV series where high school girls rip their clothes off each other, kicking a lot of butts on the way of doing so. This one was blamed for "glorifying cruelty and containing elements of child pornography" - obviously something that DOES NOT ACTUALLY HAPPEN in the dark depths of Russian Churches. Since they lack women and a boner.

The guys at 2x2 were plain and simple, saying that: 1. The shows on their TV channel are intended for mature audience only, and aired after 10.00 p.m., and 2. STFU church nazis, do you want us to make the commies ban your oh-so-not-boring gospel-spreading TV stations? I bet not. The problem seems to be that 2X2 canceled already 2 shows this month, after certain government warnings, more exactly Happy Tree Friends and The Adventures of Big Jeff.

This is actually laughable, coming from Russia. At least for me. Send them a bottle of pure win vodka and they will shut up about it. Or better yet, send some damned ex-KGB uber soldiers to clear up the mess and to restore atheism where it belongs.

ANN scoop.

Sure enough, the Seiyuu Awards - recognizing the best anime voice actresses (oh, right, and actors) - have returned this year, after the first edition was born where all good things are born: in Akihabara, Tokyo, Japan. And sure enough, last year's super-cute best rookie actress - Aya Hirano (pictured below) - has now won not only the best lead actress award, but also the best singing award. Among other high-profile roles, she was the voice behind Haruhi Suzumiya, Konata Izumi from Lucky Star, and our undisputed favorite, Mei Etoh from Manabi Straight.

Aya Hirano - best rookie actress in 2007, best lead actress and best singer in 2008

Rie Kugimiya (Shana) won the best supporting actress award, and Emiri Katou (Kagami Hiiragi from Lucky Star) won the best new actress award. We'll be keeping an eye on her... hoping to catch her while undressing, of course. The full list can be found on ANN.
Due to our slow start this month, a round-up of recently announced animes is once again in order (blame the whistling coder who would rather work on our next website, than dedicate himself to a life full of virtual lolis)... *whistles*... Here we go then.

- Batman: Gotham Knight - the website is live, with a new trailer (Update: now also available here on Animekon), and a solid date announced for the DVD and Blu-ray release: July 8.

- Blue Dragon 2 - or formally Blue Dragon: Tenkai no Shichi Ryuu (The Seven Dragons of the Heavens), will be the second series to follow last year's (and still ongoing) Blue Dragon anime. Begins on April 5.

- Fireball - a 3D CG anime developed and produced for Disney Japan. "The gag comedy takes place in the near future on another planet and centers on Rosselle, the daughter of the Duke of Flugel, and her two steward robots."

- Kara no Kyoukai - the DVD release dates of the animation movie's three chapters were finally announced: May 21, June 25 and June 23, respectively.

- Michiko to Hatchin - an original anime in the works at studio manglobe (Samurai Champloo, Ergo Proxy). "The title's Michiko is a free-willed "sexy diva" who destroys a supposedly inescapable prison fortress, while Hatchin is a girl fleeing her strict foster parents. The two join forces on an improbable escape to freedom". Begins in 2008 (website - I smell a Gurren Lagann clone).

- N.Y. Salad 2 - more veggies. Begins on March 31.

- Onegai My Melody Kirara! - the fourth Onegai My Melody anime based on... whatever. Begins on April 6. To be ignored.

- Penguin Musume - after last month's announcement, here comes a website, some flowers (?!), and a broadcast starting date: April 19.

- Sekirei - the anime version of the ecchi Sekirei manga (first 38 pages sample) was confirmed to be in development, as rumoured earlier this year. Begins this summer (website, new wallpaper).

- Shimajiro - yet another season for the children's anime Shima Shima Tora no Shimajiro. It's only been going on since 1993, so you'll pardon me if I'm not excited. Begins on April 7.

- Stitch! - based on Disney's "Lilo & Stitch" animation film, in the works at Madhouse. The first footage is supposed to be shown at this month's Tokyo International Anime Fair.

- Sugar Bunnies 2 - uhh, whatever. Begins this April. To be ignored.

- The Tower of Druaga: The Aegis of Uruk - based on the ancient arcade game The Tower of Druaga from the '80s, and produced by Gonzo K.K. for simultaneous broadcasting on TV and the Internets via GayO GyaO. Begins on April 4 (website).

- Titania - based on a series of space opera novels, "about a soldier who flees the spacefaring Titania empire and seeks refuge with a rebellion force". This month's confirmation comes quite a few years after a Titania anime was first revealed at Anime Expo 2003. A manga adaptation of Titania is also in the works.
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