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- The 5th season of Major will start airing in Japan in January 2009 - as was announced during the last episode of this baseball anime series' 4th season, which ended this past weekend.

- A second Neko Rahmen anime project has been announced, after that live-action movie adaptation revealed not so long ago.

- A new Gundam 00 manga is being published in Japan, starting with the August issue of Kadokawa Shoten's Monthly Gundam Ace magazine. The manga, titled Mobile Suit Gundam 00: Aoi Kioku (Blue Memories), will deal with the lives of the Gundam Meister pilots.

- The ongoing sci-fi manga series Dosei Mansion (preview) will be getting a live-action film adaptation, retelling the futuristic story in which humanity has has migrated into a massive aerial ring system above the Earth, which is now one big natural reserve.

- Patlabor, the classic mecha anime series, is being adapted into... stamps. Bet you didn't see that one coming. Meanwhile, we're still waiting for some lolicon anime to be adapted into ichigo-flavoured stamps. We'd lick that!
The catchingly-titled manga Kodomo no Kodomo (Child's Child), about an 11-year old girl who gets pregnant, is being adapted into a live-action movie, and ANN reports that the Japanese premiere is set for September 2008. An unrevealing trailer is up on the movie's website, and ANN has the background story if you're curious about it.

An interesting thing about this film is that, even though the subject of child pregnancy is not new, Kodomo no Kodomo pushes it far beyond below previous cinematographical takes on the issue - such as the American film Juno (about a pregnant 16-year old, played by the lolicious Ellen Page), the unrelated Korean film Jenny, Juno (15-year old), or the Japanese TV drama 14-Sai no Haha (14-year old).

The other interesting thing about the movie is the newcomer actress playing the lead role: 12-year old Haruna Amari, pictured below. Interesting from... various points of view; rotated or otherwise.

In totally unrelated "Kodomo no nyuuzu", Kodomo no Jikan appeared (sort of) in an American newspaper, as part of an advertisment for a digital TV converter box, with parental controls. The irony...
- By now, it's business as usual in Akihabara (well, almost), and the latest otaku attraction is... tadaa... a Miko Cafe (you know - miko, shrine maidens, Rika...). Sounds interesting, although Sankaku Complex isn't impressed at all - and it's no wonder: the news came right after his exquisite miko galleries of mostly-2D shrine lolis.

- ADV's PiQ Magazine is officially shutting down, after a few freelance editors broke the news on their blogs late last week. The PiQ magazine spawned from the asshes of ADV's former Newtype USA, and it lasted for only 4 issues, as its current July 2008 issue is the final one. Proof, once again, that investing in this kind of printed press right now is plain dumb. Especially when you have an incompetent management and marketing team, as was the case with PiQ.

- "The hugely popular Neon Genesis Evangelion Asuka / Rei rearing / kyouiku games have just received another iteration, under the title of (...) Shinseiki Evangelion Ayanami Rearing Plan DS with Asuka Supplementary Plan, due for release on August 28". Shameless rip from Sankaku, screenshots on Famitsu.

- "Man in Sendai found dead buried in his manga". Literally. Must be the funniest death attributed to the earthquake in Northeastern Japan from a couple of days ago - which, oddly enough, was predicted in Osamu Tezuka's BlackJack manga (volume 17), with the same time, date, and location! The mind boggles.

- Speaking of Osamu Tezuka, the live-action movie Dororo (which is based on his classic fantasy / samurai manga) will be released in the U.S. by Universal Studios Home Video on September 23, with English subs. And so will another Japanese movie, called Midnight Eagle. I think we still have a Dororo movie trailer around here, somewhere...

- And in even more Osamu Tezuka-related news, Nicolas Cage joined the cast of the upcoming CG animation film Astro Boy. Or at least his voice did. The film is created by Imagi Animation Studios based on the iconic character created by - you guessed - Osamu Tezuka (the mind truly boggles), and is expected to premiere in 2009.
After we have already witnessed one over-hyped anime series (which kinda took the hot spot, being voted as favorite by fans all over the world, especially those in the U.S. of A.) and three live action movies, all of them made in Japan, we are bound, whether we like it or not, to get some more cake.

This time, from the Americans themselves. You all know how they like to rip off all the quality stuff, they have been doing it with movies and cartoons for as long as I can remember. Rip off, then market it as their own grand idea. Universal Pictures are now proud to announce that Vertigo Entertainment is already in the process of developing their own, in-house, American movie adaptation of the famous manga, hiring dudes like Vlas and Charles Parlapanides to take care of the actual screenplay.

Luckly for me, I am not a big fan of Death Note, which implies I won't get on a killing rampage because some idiots decided to turn YET ANOTHER Japanese-made script into some "politically correct" bullshit movie, where all people are equal, women can vote and where lolis have no place to begin with. But even with that, I bet many fans out there will find this piece of crap at least insulting.

I guess on the other hand, some lazy Americans will like it, due to the fact that they will not be forced to learn to read their own damn language to visualize some subtitles. Because we all know subtitles are hard to read for some.

From Shock till you drop.
Tokyograph caught word that Yomigaeri, a hit Japanese fantasy movie from 2003, is headed for Hollywood, after Steven Spielberg's studio DreamWorks picked up remake rights for the film. They say William Nicholson ("Gladiator") is writing the script, Spielberg might direct it (but it's far from certain), and that production is expected to start this autumn, with a generous budget of 10 billion yen (almost $100 million).
"The award-winning movie was based on a novel by Shinji Kajio. The story revolves around the mysterious revivals of people who were once dead, reuniting with their loved ones and showing no signs of aging. Directed by Akihiko Shiota, the movie featured a stellar cast that included Tsuyoshi Kusanagi, Yuko Takeuchi, and Kou Shibasaki."

They had me at Yuko Takeuchi and Kou Shibasaki, but they totally lost me at "Hollywood".
- The Death Note-based live-action movie L change the WorLd will be screened at this year's New York Asian Film Festival, during June 20 - July 6. And so will another couple of dozen films, none of which I ever heard about, I think, maybe.

- And the first Death Note live-action movie itself will be screened once again (after this week's screening event), at the AnimeNEXT 2008 convention, between June 20-22.

- Vexille will also be screened stateside soon... real soon... on May 29 "soon", in Washington, D.C., thanks to the Japan Information and Culture Center of the Embassy of Japan and DC Anime Club. Just in case you missed its dubious online "release", or this past Tuesday's DVD release from FUNimation.

- Speaking of live-action stuff, have some more scans with the Dragonball movie actors. Hawt Chi Chi and loli-faced Bulma included.

- Suzumiya Haruhi pirated on a Russian Belarusian chocolate waffle called "Yulechka". Not quite loli-on-a-stick, but close - and presumably yummy - enough.

- Namco Bandai chokes on $250,000 compensation bill, after baby chokes on a perfectly legal sized 40mm gashapon toy. Parents asked for $1.7 million. *cough*

- The four-panel comedy manga Ganbare! Memeko-chan will be getting a Flash anime, at some point in web-space and time.

- JoJo's Bizarre Adventure anime and manga shipments halted, after "online Islamic protesters objected to imagery in the anime that they deemed offensive". Lawl, the anime has only been out for like... 15 years. Muslims really need to get that politically-correct carrot out of their stiff ass.
- Long Dream, the 58-minute live-action film adapted from the psychological horror manga Nagai Yume (by Uzumaki creator Junji Ito) will be released stateside by Tidepoint Pictures on June 24, as an English-subbed DVD.

- Bandai is keeping busy these days, even though they had jack shit to announce at Anime Central. Their website, on the other hand, is counting down to... something, which will happen on May 23 (which just so happens to be the first day of FanimeCon).

- Also from Bandai's continually-changing website, we got a trailer for The Girl Who Leapt Through Time; it's not really new, just properly subbed, so we updated our old one accordingly. Aside from the venues announced so far (in LA, NY and Seattle), at ACEN it was said that Tokikake will also be screening in 7-10 other theaters, which may or may not be located in other cities. I was going to get the other trailers they have there, too, but I just got struck by a sudden lazyness attack.
- The live-action movie adaptation of Honey & Clover has just been released on DVD by Viz Pictures, featuring English subtitles and a price tag of $24.98. "Special bonus features on the disc include cast interviews, and a dedicated website about the film is available at".

- Mobile Suit Gundam MS IGLOO 2: Juuryoku Sensen (Gravity's Warfront) will be an OVA, with the first episode to be released this October 24. As mentioned one month ago, it's a 3D CG mecha anime, sequel to The Hidden One Year War film series.

- Axe murders are so last year. The latest murderistic trend seems to be placing needles inside food in stores, Rena-style. On the same day, Mainichi reported about a needle found in cabbage (Cryo backup), and a nail found in ham package (Cryo backup). Itadakimasu!

- And for our closing HD linking, Shingo went through the trouble of researching the story behind Himajin's disappearance. It was the ero-anime studio which closed its doors last summer, and the story involves titles like Sora no Iro, Mizu no Iro (episode 2 finally coming this June), and Spice and Wolf... And the story goes on with various offspring studios, including one called Shelf, working on its debut eroge Kagiroi Kagirohi - pictured bellow.

The trailer for the Higurashi movie that we added yesterday already revealed this, but it's well worth saying it again: a second live-action Higurashi movie is already in the making, even as we (or at least the Japanese) wait for the first one's premiere this Saturday, May 10. Judging by this trailer, it doesn't look bad at all. And neither do the would-be lolis. (Update: Just noticed on Canned Dogs that a Japanese movie review site rated the movie 10... out of 100... so much for my enthusiasm)

Other bits and pieces of information surfaced a few days ago from the Megami Magazine (via ANN), teasing us with a few more details about the third Higurashi no Naku Koro ni anime. First of all, it appears that Higurashi 3 will not be a full-length series, but only a short, 3-episode OVA. And secondly, we have a tentative title for it: Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Rei - just like a fan-made software disc from 2006 which added two chapters based on the original Higurashi visual novel.

Sadly, there's still no release date for Higurashi 3, but we should at least see some preview footage this year. Like we said in our "Higurashi vs. Higurashi 2" article, it's gonna be an excruciating wait.

P.S. In case you missed it last month, the Higurashi manga was licensed by Yen Press, and will begin serialization in their new magazine Yen Plus, starting from July 29.
The two Kill Bill movies directed by Quentin Tarantino will soon be re-released together, with some added story in between them, presented in the form of another anime sequence. So says lead actress Uma Thurman, according to MTV Movies Blog (via ANN), who further speculated that this second anime short will focus on Bill's character. The first one was about Lucy Liu's character, O-Ren Ishii, if you recall...
"Right now [Tarantino] is putting the two films together with an intermission with an added anime sequence he had already written", she said of the ongoing saga of Beatrix Kiddo. "So additional stories are in there, in animation."

MTV's assumption that this new animation will be about Bill is based on something Tarantino said about two years ago, that he wanted to make two more anime shorts: one about the origin of The Bride, and the other about Bill. In this week's article, however, Uma Thurman says it pretty loud and pretty clear - "It has nothing to do with me. It has to do with another character. You'll have to see". I'm sure we will...

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