Haaai, dekimashita! Our new Release Dates section is open for business, as promised, giving you a glimpse at things to come, things to go, and things to remember... You may find that certain anime and game titles are missing - especially the old ones, which we didn't get a chance to cover in our two years of virtual being (and hence couldn't be arsed to add them to our database, with no other content attached to them). But starting from 2007, the list should be pretty thorough, we hope. If still not, feel free to poke us constructively.
The section also includes a simple RSS feed with the latest releases, which should come in handy for hunting anime fansubs of interest - legal or otherwise - from day one. And now, if you'll excuse me, it's cooking time! Coding only keeps hunger at bay for so long...
Spring 2009 will bring along the start of the TV anime series Tears to Tiara, based on the 2005 eroge by Leaf & Aquaplus, which was also adapted as a PlayStation 3 game this year - perfectly safe for work, and great looking, too.
For now, however, all we have is a freshly opened website, giving us a pretty good idea of what the anime will look like, if even through this one single picture cropped above. Studio White Fox is the one working on the animation, after having contributed to titles such as Tetsuwan Birdy Decode, Hidamari Sketch x365 and Night Wizard.
A-ha! So it does have tentacles, after all! Maybe not the slimy, sticky kind of tentacles that normally slurp into mind, but still. The new sci-fi comedy anime series Fight Pantsu Fight Ippatsu! Juuden-chan!! announced earlier this month is slowly starting to reveal itself in pictures, complete with a power cable that looks like some electrifying tentacle species, lecherously constricting a couple of girls.
The original Fight Ippatsu! Juuden-chan!! manga was authored by Bow Ditama (Mahoromatic, Kiss x Sis), and it told the story of Puragu, or Juuden-chan, "a mysterious office lady who came to our world from a parallel world to "charge" up dejected people". The anime is currently schduled to start airing in Japan from summer 2009, at best.
Let's stick around AnimeNews.biz for a bit longer. Their latest news today reveals how Gonzo's parent company GDH aims to hack and slash its work force by 20%, echoing this month's earlier announcement that the anime studio will be cutting its 2009 anime line-up in half. After having fired some of the top executives, and lowering the salaries of those lucky enough to keep their confy jobs at the top, Gonzo and GDH are now turning their corporate eye of Sauron over to the commoners down below.
But before they start calling out names, they are offering their employees a chance to resign willingly, and beneficially. Those who agree to quit working from January 2009 will receive one month's extra salary as a bonus, the report says. Ideally, by the end of this year, around 40 people should "cash in" their resignation - accounting for 20% of the company's 200-or-so employees.
With our currently running poll asking for your favorite anime licensor, it has become apparent that Bandai comes through as the marginal winner, with FUNimation on a close second spot. Granted, they both pale into insignificance when faced with the angry mob of anime fans who rightfully agree that "English dubs suck yankee balls" (which is not to say they don't have a favorite licensor, despite certain dubbed releases).
It's interesting to point out that this vote of confidence for Bandai Entertainment comes after a yearlong of changes and problems for the company - including their unfortunate release of Code Geass, which was plagued by large numbers of defective DVDs. On the other hand, they also had some good things going for themselves, and we can only hope to see more of these, with fewer hiccups.
But let's not get too intimate with Bandai's happenings this year, because the studious folks from AnimeNews.biz already covered the topic in an editorial this week, titled "The Possible Consolidation of Bandai Entertainment". The article concludes with some speculation about the company's immediate future, and its rumored plans to officially launch the Bandai Channel service in the US.
Coincidentally, the day after said editorial (yesterday), the same website ran anoter story about Bandai's divisions from Japan - Bandai Visual and Bandai Networks - "consolidating" into the same building. Nothing major, though, from the sound of it.
As undercover UNICEF special agent Mahoromatic would surely tell us, on and on and on, "ecchi is not appropriate!". But we know better, don't we... Too bad that UNICEF doesn't, though. The world would be such a lovely place without their constant nagging. And in particular without the constant nagging of one dr. Ethel Quayle - who seems to be as much of a "doctor", as Jack Thompson is a lawyer. Take this quote of hers, for instance:
"In countries such as the UK, sexual or abusive depictions of children are illegal. Japan currently has restrictions on photographs of children, but the likes of manga and anime are not censored. As a result, problematic images flood out into the world."
Clearly, freedom of expression means nothing to her, nor to anyone else buying into her bucketful of moralistic bullshitting. And clearly, the world faces no other bigger social threat worth of UNICEF's attention, than the flat-chested 2D invaders from Japan. Perfectly legal flat-chested 2D invaders from Japan, might I point out.
Men are from Mars, women are from Venus. Loli invaders are from Japan.
And so, the crusade against virtual child porn goes on. San'plex warns us of more things to come from the ongoing UNICEF world conference, aptly called "World Congress III Against Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents". Held in Rio de Janeiro, go figure!
I laughed a bit inside, and a bit more on the outside, when I first read that part of the title on ANN. Just imagine the perplexity of Suzumiya Haruhi or some other 2D anime character, watching back over us in mind-boggling 3D... And then trying to convince themselves that a flat chest is fine, too!
Reading on, however, revealed a completely different perspective. The news actually announces a (pseudo-)3D animation short based on the Mari-sama ga Miteru franchise, summarizing the story so far. The feature will be screened in 10 Japanese movie theaters on New Year's Eve, and to top it off, attendees will also be entertained with a sneak preview of Maria-sama ga Miteru 4th Season, episode numero 1.
And here's some clarification on the 3D thingie, if needed, from ANN:
"the event will also have the first official 3D footage from the franchise. The Maria-sama ga Miteru Special Digest will recap the previous two television seasons and the video season using digital 3D technology. The event will also screen special messages from the two main voice actresses, Kana Ueda (Yumi Fukuzawa) and Miki Itou (Sachiko Ogasawara)."
This story is so wrong, for so many reasons, it's just... wrong. First of all, one does not simply walk into a goddamn shrine to raep a loli! Don't they know that bad things happen when you mess around with cute lolis aroud shrines? Like... really, really bad things. This definitely calls for another commandment - so loli-Jesus, if you hear me up / down there, see if you can talk to your pal Moe'ses and do something about it...
Next, if you do insist on being a lolicon heretic and go on with it, do not, ever, under any circumstance, allow yourself to get busted. Like that putz from San'plex's story did. A foolish schoolboy he was, and soon enough a foolish prison-butt-raped schoolboy he shall be, because police recently arrested him for "indecent assault". He stands accused of touching and "etc."-ing a 10-year old girl, after he invited her for a chat at a local shrine.
Which brings me to my final point. If you do insist on picking up a girl in a religious context, you don't just invite her "for a chat". The standard procedure, as my pedo comrade informs me, is to ask her: "Would you like to read the Bible together with me?". Now, I realise not everyone gives a crap about the Bible in Japan. But surely they have... like, sacred scrolls or something, not just unsacred manga.
It took studio BONES over 4 months just to come up with a final answer with regard to their "corporate plumbing" problem this past summer, when an internal company document was allegedly leaked (along with early news of 2 new anime projects), and yet they still have nothing more to say about the hottest topic touched upon in that leak: Fullmetal Alchemist 2. To them, fairly enough, the main issue was the security of their employees' personal information, which was pretty much compromised, not to say fudged up.
While most of us were simply thrilled by the prospect of new Fullmetal Alchemist and Darker than Black animes, BONES had to deal with the nightmare of seeing the personal information of nearly 300 animators be made public. In this latest report, as interpreted by ANN, the company decided to support the costs of changing the contact information for the animators affected by the incident. And, just to be sure, to enforce stricter information management from now on within the company.
Still, I can't help wondering: since the leaked document also included personal addresses, it would be interesting to see how they would "cover the costs", should several grumpy employees ask for new places of residence. Workers... can't live with them, can't make animu without them.
Meanwhile, we have yet to hear anything about Darker than Black 2, but at least the new Fullmetal Alchemist 2 series - confirmed along the way - is pretty firmly set for an April 2009 TV debut in Japan.
And the final news of the day goes to Eden of the East (Higashi no Eden), a freshly revealed anime adaptation based on a pretty damn old manga series, from 1989, by Sugiura Hinako. The anime already has a broadcasting segment reserved in Fuji TV's late-night "Noitamina" timeslot, starting from April 2009 - right after the upcoming Tale of Genjianniversary anime clears that spot.
The only two staffers named so far are director Kenji Kamiyama (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Seirei no Moribito), and character designer Chika Umino (Honey and Clover manga). Considering that both of them are credited with doing original work - and original character designs respectively - for the anime, this might not be such a direct adaptation from the Eden of the East manga, after all. We may get a few more crumbs of information after its official announcement this Friday, in the Young Animal magazine.