Yoko Kanno, composer of the soundtracks for anime as diverse as Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Cowboy Bebop, MACROSS Frontier, and many others, will have the world premiere of her new music project, "Piano Me," at Otakon 2013.
Mecha lovers, pop the champagne: Anime distributor Right Stuf, Inc. has signed a distribution deal with Sunrise, creator of the beloved Mobile Suit Gundam giant-robot franchise. Starting in August, Right Stuf will be doing Stateside distribution for the most recent entry in the Gundam lineup, Mobile Suit Gundam UC (aka Gundam Unicorn) (compare prices).
With Mother's Day just around the corner and your lunch reservations already locked in, how about a movie afterwards? Or a whole TV series, although you'll probably only be able to slip in the first few episodes. To that end, here's a few anime of recent note with motherly themes that might have slipped below your radar.
Long-time anime fans know the name Tenchi Muyo! ("No Need for Tenchi!"), one of the founding examples of what we now call the harem genre of anime -- one guy, many girls, tons of trouble. Tenchi has spawned a whole slew of spinoffs and side stories, and now comes a new one, at least for English-speaking audiences: Tenchi Muyo!: War on Geminar.
Three titles from Aniplex's catalog, out of print on DVD since Bandai closed their overseas operations, are now available on Crunchyroll for streaming: Gurren Lagann, R.O.D. - The TV, and Ghost Slayers Ayashi.
Gurren Lagann has become something of an instant classic since it originally aired in 2007, about a boy living a humdrum existence in an underground warren when one of his brash friends comes up with the idea of escaping to the surface. With the aid of a robot that grows ever larger in each successive incarnation, the two of them embark on an adventure that will eventually encompass not just their world but the cosmos as well. It's one of the few shows that most fans consider essential viewing, and rightfully so.
Hats off to Nozomi Entertainment once again, as they've delivered the first English-language version of a shojo anime that has exerted untold influence over anime for decades. The Rose of Versailles has been a perennial favorite in Japan, but relatively unknown elsewhere -- until now.
Chalk up yet another mark in the anime/manga adaptation column for Hollywood. Except this time, it looks like something well worth rooting for. According to Deadline.com, Guillermo del Toro, most recently of the giant-robot/giant-monster mashup movie Pacific Rim, is preparing an adaptation of Naoki Urasawa's Monster for HBO.
Yes, 'Kiki's Delivery Service' Is Being Made As Live-Action, But It's Not an Adaptation of the Anime
And it looks like I guessed right about a major aspect of this production. This isn't actually a live-action reworking of the Studio Ghibli film (one of their best ones, if you ask me), but rather a re-adaptation of its source material -- the children's books written by Eiko Kadono. Read More...
Last we checked, an English-language live-action version of Death Note (compare prices) was being worked on by none other than Shane Black, the screenwriter who first hit it big in the '80s with Lethal Weapon and has since gone on to write and direct Iron Man 3. Now, in a conversation with Bleeding Cool, he's admitted that the project is still very much alive at Warner Brothers.
The experience of staying at a Japanese inn, or ryokan, is a luxury that you need to travel to Japan to experience. But if you work there, it's a different feeling entirely. And if you work there because your mother ditched out on you to run to another part of the country with her boyfriend, and the inn is owned by your grandmother who doesn't even see you as family ... then it's definitely a different feeling. Hanasaku Iroha: Blossoms for Tomorrow, a new anime series brought to us in English by NIS America, starts with this as its setting and premise, and leaps from there into both comedy and drama in about equal measure.