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Poor Gonzo. As if all their financial troubles and staff cuts weren't enough, now rumor has it that the Japanese studio may have to make ends meet without their most promising project: Strike Witches 2. The unsubstantiated report originates from 2ch, and claims that publisher Kadokawa no longer needs Gonzo to produce the second season of last year's best lolicon anime.

The anime itself should be in no danger, however. The original seiyuu can reprise their roles just as well with another animation studio (Kyoto Animation and Gainax have been speculated to take over), and director Kazuhiro Takamura may easily do the same. But that still won't save Kadokawa from another round of flaming, should the rumor become reality.
PC users may have been blessed with three singing girls (Miku, Rin and Luka) for Crypton's Vocaloid2 software already. But what about Mac users? Well, aside from the obvious answer "screw Mac users", there's finally something similar out there for Apple's platform. It's called Macne Nana, which is the name of both the application, and the character pictured below - voiced by Haruna Ikezawa (Yoshino Shimazu from Maria-sama ga Miteru, Mao Mizusawa from KimiKiss Pure Rouge etc.).

Macne Nana can be downloaded from Act2, but while it's a lot cheaper than Vocaloid's voice packs, I should warn that it's not actually a stand-alone program. Instead, it's just a plugin for other Mac sound editing software, and so far only Garageband and Reason are supported. (...)

>  Continue reading 'Macne Nana, Sort Of Hatsune Miku For Mac'...
As proud as Animax Asia may be of their recently detailed broadcast scheme for Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, allowing them to air the new FMA anime in Southeast Asia six days after its Japanese premiere, they just got their proverbial asses handed to them. Madman Entertainment - over in Australia - has managed to secure a deal to stream each episode on its official website, just a couple of days after the Japanese airing.

Not only that, but Madman will also screen the first episode of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood simultaneous with its Japanese premiere this Sunday, April 5 at 6 p.m. (Australia time) at the Supanova: Brisbane convention (...)

>  Continue reading 'Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood In Australia'...
Pillow covers, bed sheets, even phone cards - we've seen plenty of those, depicting various anime characters of undisputable hawtness. But credit cards? Not too often. It would be pretty cool, though, to keep sticking 2D lolis into ATMs - at the risk of depleting your account rather fast. Now, sure, there are some things money can't buy. For everything else, there will soon be a Lucky Star credit card.

ANN's not-so-daily link of the day points at a diminutive website opened by the Japanese credit card issuer Orient Corporation (Orico), teasing their upcoming release of a Lucky Star credit card later this year. They will start accepting applications for the cards in mid May 2009, when a full website for the project will replace the current one. I wonder which illustration(s) they will pick...
A recent update on the official website(s) for the upcoming OVA prequel Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas - Meiou Shinwa gives a precise release date for the first DVD and Blu-ray volume: June 24, 2009. This will be the eleventh anime adaptation of the Saint Seiya manga series, but the first one based on the ongoing prequel manga The Lost Canvas - proving that the franchise is still going strong, over two decades since its 1986 debut.

Despite being announced as an OVA, Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas will span over 13 episodes, much like a full-fledged series. VAP (Video Audio Project) is producing the OVA, while TMS Entertainment is taking care of the animation - of which you can get a fair impression by watching this shaky-cam TAF 2009 trailer. Hopefully they'll release a proper trailer soon. In the meantime, here's the story outline (...)

>  Continue reading 'Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas Set For June 24'...
As the final episode airs today in Japan, Akikan! is joining the steadily expanding club of freshly-ended anime series that will be receiving some sort of follow-up. In this case, it will be an OVA, whose production has just been announced on its official website (via ANN). Other than that, no more details are known at this time about the OVA.

What may seem like a generic romantic comedy story at first, soon turns out to be... well, not much more, really; other than its ludicrous theme of soda cans transforming into hawt girls, called "akikan" ("empty can"), who "need to be infused with carbon dioxide from kissing to survive". Oh and our local Akikan! gallery has also received an infusion of its own.
The most lecherous anime series beginning this April, which is sure to be Queen's Blade, will go all the way on TV: at least on one station, it will allegedly be aired uncensored. The bold broadcaster in question is AT-X, who has taken upon its liberal self to air the "raw" version of Queen's Blade in all its oppai glory. Sankaku Complex believes it's possible that AT-X will stick to this policy (or rather lack of policy) throughout the entire season, unlike the other few TV stations airing the anime in a less risque version.

This would be a welcome change from the ongoing trend of censoring the hell out of TV airings, just to lure fans into buying the uncensored DVD releases. And even so, there will still be a valid reason to buy the DVD / Blu-ray version of Queen's Blade: (...)

>  Continue reading 'Queen's Blade Anime Uncensored On TV'...
I still don't see this one being mentioned on any of the usual Engrish animu news sites, so in case you missed the local trailer among the various gaming clips we posted today, allow me to point it out in this abusive manner. It shows, after all, a precious few seconds from the first zeroth episode of Spice and Wolf II - which some of us happen to be quite anxious to see, after the first season left us hanging high and dry.

Like previously described, this "Act 0" will be a special episode squeezed in between the first and second season. It will be bundled with the next Spice and Wolf novel on April 30, under the title "Ookami to Kohaku-iro no Yuuutsu". As for the actual second series, I'm affraid we still have to wait a while until the summer anime season begins in July.

Maybe you can kill some time with Horo's furry pics from the local gallery. I know I've killed aeons in there!
It's still to early to add any new info about CoMix Wave's upcoming 3D CG anime film The Asylum Session, on top of last week's announcement. But we do have something that might prove to be of slight interest, in the form of four screenshots "borrowed" once more from Dengeki. At least now we can see a bit better how the film will look like, without all that interlacing from the official website.

The Asylum Session is roughly set for a July 2009 premiere in a couple of Japanese theatres, and it's being directed by Tact Aoki (who also worked on Romanov's groovy anime Catblue: Dynamite). The story deals with teens in the distant future, and you'll find more about it further down below the shots. (...)

>  Continue reading 'The Asylum Session Screenshots'...
The second and final DVD volume of Ichigo Mashimaro encore was released a couple of days ago in Japan by Geneon, if anyone's keeping track. We certainly are, and since we're HUGE fans of the IchiMashi lolis, we couldn't let the occasion pass us by without writing anything. It's either now, or... loli-Jesus knows when the next flat-chested serving will arrive.

And what better way to write about it, than to let some screenshots conveniently speak for themselves. Cheers to Dengeki for the pictures, as usual. Though they're probably of little interest to die-hard fans, who could easily have grabbed the raw torrent by now. (...)

>  Continue reading 'Ichigo Mashimaro encore OVA 2 Screenshots'...
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