August - September 2011
News Collected and Edited by Octavio Soto
Iron Vendetta Robot Anime Production Put on Hold posted on 2011-08-13 06:00 EDT
Ankama Japan division's dissolution cited for halt on former dōjin robot anime
The staff of the Iron Vendetta (Kōtetsu no Vendetta) military robot anime project confirmed in a Thursday blog entry that the project is on hold due to the dissolution of the production division of its sponsor Ankama Japan. As a result, the release of the anime's episode 0 is now unscheduled. The staff is looking for a new sponsor, and the members are manning a booth at the semiannual Comic Market event — just as they have had since they started the project, before Ankama Japan agreed to sponsor it. The staff members thanked their fans for their email messages of support and expressed their desire to continue with project. The project began as a series of dōjin (self-published) shorts by the unit Thumbnail, but the Japanese arm of the French company Ankama Games agreed to produce the anime. The voice cast would have included Ami Koshimizu as the heroine Rain Yashima and Rie Kugimiya as Flor.
Hulu to Launch Subscription Streams in Japan This Year posted on 2011-08-13 22:14 EDT
The online video service Hulu announced that it will launch a subscription service in Japan later this year — its "first international expansion." Hulu will offer films and television shows on personal computers, televisions, mobile phones, and tablets. The Hulu announcement did not give any more specific details about the Japanese launch, but described its move into the country as meeting an “unfulfilled market need with respect to premium film and TV content."
Hulu also announced that it opened Tokyo offices with a Japanese staff designing and running the new service, which will be tailored for Japanese customers.
Quake Charity Miku Figure Delayed in Overseas Shipping posted on 2011-08-13 22:17 EDT
The figurine manufacturer Good Smile Company apologized about delays in delivering its “Nendoroid Miku Hatsune: Cheerful (Support) Ver.” figurines, which may not arrive in some countries until mid-October. Good Smile said that the delays were caused when the figurines were accidentally sent by surface mail, whereas they were supposed to be sent by Express Mail Service (EMS). Express Mail takes about 10 days, but surface mail can take three months. (The Miku Hatsune figures were shipped by surface mail in July.)
As international orders were charged 2,000 yen (US$26) for EMS delivery, this fee will be refunded to credit cards or PayPal accounts depending on how the original payment was made. The refunds will start on August 11 and should be completed in a few days, the company said. Any figures that turn out to be damaged during the surface delivery will be replaced. As of August 10, surface mail packages have started arriving in mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and Thailand. However, other countries may have to wait until mid-October. Good Smile will update its website as the deliveries come through.
The company promised that all future shipping from its online shop will be sent by Express Mail. It said in its statement that, “We wish to extend our apologies to everyone who ordered the figure, there is no excuse for the error we have made.”
New Mari Iijima Songs to Air on Tennessee Radio Tuesday posted on 2011-08-13 23:18 EDT
Four new songs by Mari Iijima, the voice of Lynn Minmay in the Macross anime franchise, will air and stream on the radio show Battle Fever on the Tennessee college radio station 88.3 WMTS on Tuesday, August 16. The songs are from Iijima's new EP recording, 2 Seconds of Infinity. The broadcast will be from 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m CDT, with two songs aired back-to-back each hour at around 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Listeners in the Murfreesboro area can tune-in to 88.3 FM, and worldwide listeners can find the stream at http://wmts.org.
Attendance Dropped by 20,000 at Comic Market 80 posted on 2011-08-14 23:57 EDT
An estimated 200,000 people came to the third day of this year's Comic Market 80 event in Tokyo on Friday, tying the record for the most visitors on one day. However, the total attendance for this summer's event was 540,000, compared to the 560,000 that came to the Summer Comic Market events of 2009 and 2010. The 20,000-visitor decline is the largest year-to-year drop for a summer Comic Market since 2006's Comic Market 70 (430,000 visitors) attracted 50,000 fewer people than the previous summer's event. The event organizers cited the effects of the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake (Higashi Nihon Daishinsai) disaster. Comic Market 81 will take place at the same Tokyo Big Sight event center from December 29 to 31. (A person who came to all three days of Comic Market would be counted three times, under the tallying system it uses.)
New Company to Export Anime, Other Content Overseas (Updated) posted on 2011-08-15 12:15 EDT
Production I.G, ASMIK Ace, Nikkatsu, Dentsu, Fuji TV, TBS, TOHO-Towa, Tomy to collaborate
Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ), a joint investment fund between the Japanese government and the private sector, announced on Monday that it will establish a new company to handle the overseas planning and development of anime, films, and other Japanese content. The All Nippon Entertainment Works will be established this October with 6 billion yen (about US$80 million), 100% of which will be invested by INCJ. The new company will have offices in Tokyo and Los Angeles, and one of its specific goals will be to attract interest for adapting Japanese content into films in Hollywood. According to the INCJ, "experts with the proven track record and hands-on expertise in both Hollywood and the Japanese contents community will be brought on board."
The collaborating partners include the anime studio Production I.G, the production companies Asmik-Ace Entertainment and Nikkatsu, the advertising agency Dentsu, the television broadcasters Fuji TV and TBS, the conglomerate Mitsubishi, the film company TOHO-Towa, and the toy maker Tomy. The Japanese government expects more partners to join.
Last month the INCJ revealed it was setting up a new company to plan and produce Japanese anime and films, then distribute them internationally. However, INCJ had said then it was investing 5 billion yen (about US$63.48 million) in the project. The INCJ also revealed then it was aiming to produce about 10 box-office hits in its first five years.
The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya Will Have '169 Minutes' of Extras posted on 2011-08-16 09:04 EDT
Bonus material includes Behind the Scenes, trailers, commericals.
Manga Entertainment has tweeted some details about its upcoming release of The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, scheduled for November 7 on DVD and Blu-Ray.
According to Manga, both formats will include a bonus DVD disc, carrying 169 minutes of extras. These will include Behind the Scenes material, commercials, teasers and trailers.
The film itself runs 163 minutes. The first movie in the Haruhi Suzumiya franchise, it adapts the fourth volume from Nagaru Tanigawa and Noizi Ito's original light novel series about Haruhi, the eccentric, assertive girl who creates her own school club for her strange antics.
Manga UK: Redline Planned for N. America in 2012 posted on 2011-08-17 00:04 EDT
Manga Entertainment revealed on Tuesday that Anchor Bay will release the anime film Redline in North America early next year. A more specific announcement is expected at New York Comic Con. The NYCC takes place at Javits Center in New York City from October 13 to October 16. Redline is a racing film by director Takeshi Koike, creator Katsuhito Ishii, and the Studio MADHOUSE (Paprika, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Summer Wars). The film follows the biggest and most deadly racing tournament in the universe.
Anchor Bay Films announced its acquisition of Redline in May.
Funimation Confirms Some Geneon Licenses Have Expired posted on 2011-08-17 12:30 EDT
Paradise Kiss, Kamichu!, Kyo kara Maoh!, The Story of Saiunkoku, The Law of Ueki
Sophie McNutt, an online community lead for the North American anime distributor Funimation, confirmed on Tuesday that Funimation will let some of its licenses from Geneon Entertainment expire:
- Paradise Kiss
- Kyo kara Maoh!
- The Story of Saiunkoku
- The Law of Ueki
Man Arrested for Uploading Phoenix Wright, Mario via Share Program posted on 2011-08-19 00:01 EDT
Police arrested a 38-year-old male company worker from Nishinomiya City on Wednesday on suspicion of using the Share file-sharing software to upload Nintendo DS games online without the copyright holders' permission. According to the Association of Copyright for Computer Software, the suspect uploaded Phoenix Wright - Ace Attorney, Phoenix Wright - Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations, New Super Mario Bros., and Mario Kart DS around July 14. He allegedly uploaded about 1.6 terabytes of games, anime, manga, music videos, and obscene videos. The suspect was also arrested on Wednesday for allegedly distributing child pornography via Share.
JManga Site Launches with Works Never Printed in U.S. posted on 2011-08-17 13:00 EDT
1st Macross F works in U.S., Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru, Crime and Punishment
JManga, a platform for reading legal manga online, launched in the United States on Wednesday with titles that have not been published in this country before. Among the new titles are the first listing of Macross Frontier material in the United States, the manga Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru, and Crime and Punishment (Naoyuki Ochiai's re-imagining of Fyodor Dostoyevsky's novel classic that is inspiring an upcoming live-action film).
Update: Some of the many titles are currently available for purchasing at launch:
- Crayon Shin-chan (1-11) by Yoshito Usui
- Sherlock Holmes (1) by Toyo Ataka
- THE YOUNG MAGICIAN (1) by Yuri Narushima
Liberty Invests in Barnes & Noble But Ends Buyout Bid posted on 2011-08-19 23:56 EDT
On Thursday, Liberty Media agreed to invest US$204 million in the bookstore chain Barnes & Noble, but ended its proposal to acquire the chain, according to Publishers Weekly. In mid-May, Liberty Media (the parent company of Manga Entertainment) had offered a bid worth about US$1 billion to purchase Barnes & Noble. Barnes & Noble chairman Len Riggio said that the company will use Liberty Media's investment “to further fuel the explosive growth of our digital strategy.” Liberty will be entitled to elect two nominees to Barnes & Noble's board of directors. According to Publishers Weekly, a possible problem which hindered Liberty's acquisition bid was "uncertainty in the debt markets which made financing difficult."
Man Arrested for Uploading Gundam UC #3 on Nico Nico posted on 2011-08-23 02:00 EDT
Police: 1st arrest for unauthorized uploading of anime to video-sharing site
Police in Tachikawa arrested Kenji Igarashi, a 46-year-old unemployed suspect from the town of Ikeda in Nagano Prefecture on Tuesday, on suspicion uploading an episode of the newest Gundam anime without permission to the video-sharing site Nico Nico Douga. According to the police, the arrest is Japan's first for unauthorized uploading of anime on a video-sharing site.
The suspect allegedly uploaded the third volume of Mobile Suit Gundam UC, "The Ghost of Laplace," from his personal computer around 10:25 p.m. on March 7. According to the police, the suspect said that the episode was originally downloaded from an Internet site. (The anime had just opened in Japanese theaters on March 5.)
AnimEigo's Battle Royal High School License Expires posted on 2011-08-23 23:53 EDT
The North American video distributor AnimEigo is letting the anime series Battle Royal High School go out of print. Not to be confused with Battle Royale, Battle Royal High School is a 60-minute original anime video about a school karate fighter who becomes a demon king. Directed by Ichiro Itano (Violence Jack), it was based on the four-volume manga by Shin'ichi Kuruma. Previously, AnimEigo announced that several of its other titles were going out of print, including Urusei Yatsura this September and You're Under Arrest in January 2012.
Weekly Wrapup 15/Aug - 21/Aug
A new venture to promote anime in Hollywood, new Black Rock Shooter anime, and wow, a lot of people buying doujinshi....
A new company will be established by a joint investment fund between the Japanese government and private sector to handle the overseas planning and development of anime, films and other Japanese content. The All Nippon Entertainment Works, announced last month will be established this October by the Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ) fund with offices in Tokyo and Los Angeles. One of the company's goals will be to attract interest for adapting Japanese content to Hollywood films and according to the INCJ, "experts with the proven track record and hands-on expertise in both Hollywood and the Japanese contents community will be brought on board." Several major companies are already collaborating with INCJ on the venture including anime studio Production I.G, toy maker Tomy and television broadcasters Fuji TV and TBS.
The original video animation Black Rock Shooter, based on a song and artwork by the doujin music group supercell, will be adapted to a television series to air during Fuji TV'S Noitamina timeslot in January next year. The franchise already includes an upcoming video game, two manga series and figures. While Yutaka Yamamoto, director of the original video animation, is not directing the new project, supercell members huke and Ryo will be involved in the television series according to the official website.
Finally, this year's summer 'Comiket', Comic Market 80, reported a drop of 20000 attendees from its numbers in 2009 and 2010. The major doujinshi and industry convention, which takes place from August 13 to August 15 and from December 29 to December 31 every year at Tokyo Big Sight, reported a total of 540000 attendees at the latest event, compared to 560000 attendees for 2009 and 2010's summer 'Comikets'. The event organisers cited the effect of the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake (Higashi Nihon Daishinsai) disaster as the reason for the decline. Posters on the ANN forums speculated that the unusually hot weather Tokyo is experiencing may have also had an effect. Despite the drop in attendance, 200000 people visited the event on its third day, matching the current record for attendees on a single day.
Splendent to Handle Rights to 69 Akira Kurosawa Titles posted on 2011-08-23 19:00 EDT
Works by filmmaker include The Masque of the Black Death which had anime planned
The Los Angeles-based film and television production company Splendent Media signed a multi-year deal to represent the rights outside Japan to 69 titles from legendary director Akira Kurosawa. Among the works Splendent is handling are many of his live-action classics and The Masque of the Black Death, an unproduced script that Kurosawa co-wrote before his death in 1998. The Masque of the Black Death was slated to receive a theatrical animated film adaptation in 2010 (see picture below).
The Masque of the Black Death was to be one of two theatrical projects that would celebrate the 100th anniversary of Kurosawa's birth in 2010, along with a Hollywood remake of Rashomon. Japan's Kurosawa Production and Lotus, America's Lexicon Film Entertainment and Harbor Light Entertainment, and Singapore's Upside Down Entertainment were to jointly produce The Masque of the Black Death.
Kurosawa and his writing collaborator Masato Ide (Red Beard, Kagemusha, Ran) based their unproduced script on "The Masque of the Red Death," Edgar Allan Poe's 1842 horror short story about a prince's attempt to escape a plague while holding a masquerade in his abbey. Kurosawa and Ide's version moves the setting to a fictional version of Russia at the beginning of the 20th century, when most of humanity faces a deadly contagion. The suspense story deals with the human condition when people are pushed to extremes and despair.
Splendent, founded by Sakiko Yamada (executive producer, Wilde Salome), will represent the rights to 26 films Kurosawa directed, including Rashomon, Ran, Yojimbo, Dreams, and Kagemusha; 24 films he penned but did not direct, and 19 screenplays Kurosawa wrote but were never produced. Splendent, aside from representing the films, is also considering producing some of the titles.
Four Kurosawa works — Seven Samurai, High and Low, Drunken Angel, and Ikiru — are not part of the Splendent deal. Seven Samurai inspired the anime series and manga Samurai 7 as well as a new film remake that The Weinstein Company is developing with director Scott Mann (The Tournament). Yojimbo also inspired an anime series, Kaze no Yojimbo.
Borders' Losses for July Total US$328 Million posted on 2011-08-25 07:25 EDT
The American bookstore chain Borders' monthly report to its bankruptcy court revealed a loss of US$328 million for the month of July. The retail chain's sales were US$94.7 million with US$114.5 million in cash and US$208.5 million in inventory.
The chain first filed for bankruptcy in February. The bankruptcy came after a string of difficulties for Borders, including the departure of two of its executives and delay of payments to publishers, followed by additional layoffs and an attempt to convince publishers to treat its debts as loans, which failed.
Man Arrested for Uploading Index II via Share Program posted on 2011-08-25 07:28 EDT
Police arrested a 40-year-old male company worker from Aichi Prefecture's Iwakura City on Wednesday on suspicion of using the Share file-sharing software to upload anime online without the copyright holders' permission. According to the Association of Copyright for Computer Software, the suspect uploaded the eighth episode of Toaru Majutsu no Index II around June 25. He allegedly uploaded 20,000 or more anime videos, mostly for mature audiences — about 2.7 terabytes. Police seized two personal computers and five hard disks after a search of the suspect's home on the day of his arrest. The suspect allegedly told the police that he had been using the earlier file-sharing software Winny about a decade ago, and he moved to the Share network three to four years ago because it had the uploaded files that he wanted.
Negima Anime Film Altered 'Due to Production Issues' posted on 2011-08-25 09:00 EDT
Onstage cast appearance after Saturday screening pushed forward by 20 minutes
The Japanese publisher Kodansha announced on Thursday that part of this week's Negima Magister Negi Magi: Anime Final film has been altered "due to production issues." Kodansha did not specify which scene or scenes had been altered, but it did say that the part affected was originally slated to be in the film and was even revealed in the film's promotion.
The film is part of a double feature with Hayate the Combat Butler! Heaven is a Place on Earth, and the two films will open together on Saturday.
An animator named Obata reported in a July 5 blog entry that he had just started working on the animation for the Negima film, even though the film would open at the end of August. The blog entry has since been removed.
Akiyuki Shinbo (Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei) is returning to direct the Negima film at Studio Pastoral and SHAFT with character designer Noboru Jitsuhara of the recent Negima video anime projects. Manga creator Ken Akamatsu is credited with the original story, and Deko Akao (Arakawa under the bridge, Astarotte's Toy, Pretty Rhythm Aurora Dream) scripted the film.
Books-A-Million Seeks to Acquire 14 Borders Stores posted on 2011-08-26 05:22 EDT
The retail chain Books-A-Million (BAM) has agreed to acquire the leases to 14 Borders store for a total of US$934,259, provided that the deal is approved by the court by August 29 and the transaction closed by August 30. Borders and BAM have asked for a hearing on Monday, tentatively set for 3:00 p.m., to approve the agreement. Borders announced its closure in July.
If the deal goes through, it would let BAM open its first stores in seven new states: Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota, Michigan, and Illinois. BAM would take over the stores after the completion of Borders' going-out-of business sales or October 1, whichever is later.
Voice Actor/Narrator Junpei Takiguchi Passes Away posted on 2011-08-29 09:00 EDT
Voice of Yatterman's head villain Dokurobee, Dragon Ball's Uranai Baba
Voice actor and narrator Junpei Takiguchi passed away Monday, August 29 at 7:33 a.m. due to stomach cancer. He was 80 years old. Takiguchi's best known voice-acting role was Dokurobee, the head of the Dorombo Gang in the Yatterman franchise from the first anime series to the 2008 remake and even Takashi Miike's live-action film. He was also Uranai Baba and other roles in the Dragon Ball series. From 1992 to July of this year, he narrated the popular railroad travel program Burari Tochū Gesha no Tabi on NTV for a total of 958 episodes.
Deadline: Josh Brolin to Star in Spike Lee's Oldboy Remake posted on 2011-08-29 16:30 EDT
True Grit/No Country for Old Men star reportedly attached to film originally inspired by manga
The Deadline website reported on Monday that actor Josh Brolin (True Grit, W., No Country for Old Men) will star in Spike Lee's remake of Park Chan-Wook's live-action film Oldboy, which in turn was inspired by the manga Old Boy. Brolin just finished working on Men in Black 3, and he is slated to act in Jason Reitman's Labor Day film with Kate Winslet next June.
Director Spike Lee (Do the Right Thing, Jungle Fever, Malcolm X) signed onto Mandate Pictures' American remake of Oldboy in July. Mandate Pictures is developing the project with producers Doug Davison and Roy Lee (The Ring, Dark Water , Death Note and Godzilla remake plans) of Vertigo Entertainment and Lee's 40 Acres & A Mule Productions. Mark Protosevich (Thor, I Am Legend) wrote a script, and Mandate Pictures President Nathan Kahane is serving as executive producer.
The trade magazine Variety earlier described the Korean film's story about "a man who's kidnapped and imprisoned for 15 years. When he's finally released and begins looking into the reason for his captivity, he soon finds out that his kidnapper has even more torturous plans for him." (The original manga by Garon Tsuchiya and Nobuaki Minegishi has the protagonist imprisoned for a different number of years and does not have the Korean film's added plot twist ending.)
Dreamworks had plans in 2008 to adapt the manga with director Steven Spielberg and actor Will Smith. Soon after Spielberg's planned involvement was made public in 2009, Smith told the Film School Rejects website that Spielberg's team would be adapting the original Oldboy manga, and not remaking Park's film version.
JapanManga App Offers Creators Multilingual, Global Releases posted on 2011-08-29 20:30 EDT
Pro, amateur manga creators can have their works translated, distributed digitally
The Japanese company JapanManga Inc. is currently offering an application for Apple's iPod Touch and iPhone devices titled "JapanManga." The app itself allows both professional and amateur manga creators to have their manga or doujinshi translated into other languages and distributed digitally worldwide. Currently, the app provides manga titles in Japanese, English, and Chinese, but the company also plans on offering works in French and Korean soon. Each title, once downloaded, can be read in any of the languages offered by sliding each manga page up or down. The company is currently streaming a 62-second video on how to use the app. The company is providing the app so foreigners can read manga in their own language and to also aid Japanese students of other languages. The app currently has seventeen manga chapters available to download for free, and the company notes new manga will be made available on the app every three days. The app also allows readers to send a message directly to the manga creator after they are done reading the chapter. JapanManga Inc. also plans to also release the app for both Apple's iPad device and Android devices.
Voice Actress Mako Leaves Space Craft Entertainment posted on 2011-08-30 23:08 EDT
New management agency already decided; new blog planned
Voice actress Mako announced in her blog that she left the management agency Space Craft Entertainment as of Wednesday. She confirmed that she already decided on her new agency, and she asked for her fans' patience for the announcement.
Mako, who was born Mako Sakurai, noted that she was with Space Craft Entertainment since she was a first-year student in middle school, so she spent half her life with the agency. She thanked the staff for "raising" her until now.
Mako intends to launch a new blog, and she asked her fans to check her Twitter account @manya02 until then.
Another voice actress, Aya Hirano, also left Space Craft Entertainment for another agency earlier this month.
Space Fanzine Yamato Co-Editor Jerry Fellows Passes Away posted on 2011-09-01 10:30 EDT
Co-Editor of 1 of the 1st English-language anime publications
Jerry Fellows, a member of the early English-language anime fandom and a co-editor of Space Fanzine Yamato, passed away on Tuesday. Space Fanzine Yamato debuted in February of 1983 as a 44-page digest publication about the Space Battleship Yamato anime and its American adaptation, Star Blazers. It was one of the first English-language publications to cover anime. The publication never saw a second volume, but it later developed into the online resource Space Webzine Yamato in 1995.
Shark Night's Ellis to Helm Live-Action Kite Remake (Updated) posted on 2011-09-02 19:00 EDT
Producers are casting now for planned January production launch
The entertainment trade magazine Variety reported on Friday that director David R. Ellis (Shark Night 3D, Cellular, the sequels Final Destination 2 and The Final Destination, Snakes on a Plane, Asylum) has been attached to the live-action film remake of Yasuomi Umetsu's Kite anime. Distant Horizon's Anant Singh and Brian Cox are producing the project along with Moisés Cosio and Alejandro Saevich of Detalle Films in Mexico. Ellis told Variety, "I am a big fan of Yasuomi Umetsu and honored to bring the amazing world of Kite to the big screen." Ellis' debut as a director took place in 1996 with the film Homeward Bound 2: Lost in San Franciso, and he is currently directing several films in pre-production. In 2006, Jorge and Javier Aguilera were attached to the proposed live-action Kite film as directors. At that time, Anant Singh was set to produce with Rob Cohen from a screenplay by Joshua Rubin. The remake was originally announced in 2003, when Rob Cohen (Director of XXX, The Fast and the Furious) acquired rights to the live-action film. According to Variety, the Kite remake will be an action film about a young woman with financial troubles. A corrupt security force that had been selling young women murders her police officer father. The woman teams up with her father's former partner to uncover the mystery of his death, unaware she was betrayed from the start. The producers are now casting with an eye towards a January start of production.
Studio Ghibli's Isao Takahata Confirms He Has New Work posted on 2011-09-03 01:00 EDT
Grave of the Fireflies/Only Yesterday director cautions it may be 2 years from completion
Isao Takahata, the co-founder of Studio Ghibli and the director of such works as Grave of the Fireflies and Only Yesterday, confirmed on Friday that he has a new work. However, he cautioned that the new work is still not close to complete, and that it may be about two more years before it is.
Takahata was responding to a question at an event at the Museum of Contemporary Art at Tokyo. The museum is hosting an exhibition for the works of Canadian animator Frédéric Back in collaboration with Ghibli, and Takahata was speaking alongside actress Keiko Takeshita (Ghibli's From Up on Poppy Hill) and craftsman Tadashi Inamoto. (All three speakers are involved in environmental efforts related to Back's work.)
It has been 12 years since Takahata's last feature film, 1999's My Neighbors the Yamadas. Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki had hinted in 2009 that Takahata was working on a project based on the classic Japanese folktale Taketori Monogatari (The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter) in the style of the classical Japanese scroll Chōjū-jinbutsu-giga. Takahata himself mentioned Taketori Monogatari at the 62nd Locarno International Film Festival in August of that year. The 10th century tale, known by virtually every Japanese child, revolves around a princess named Kaguya who was discovered as a baby inside the stalk of a glowing bamboo plant. Suzuki also said at the same Museum of Contemporary Art last month that the new work of the studio's other famous co-founder, Hayao Miyazaki, is an "autobiography." However, Suzuki's vague phrasing in Japanese did not indicate if the work is Miyazaki's own autobiography, or an adaptation of another person's autobiography.
Man Arrested for Selling Pirated One Piece, Z Gundam Copies posted on 2011-09-05 23:57 EDT
On September 1, the police of Chiba Prefecture's Cyber Crime Task Force arrested a 31-year-old male Chiba company employee on suspicion of selling 14 DVD-R copies of Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam and One Piece: Episode of Chopper + Fuyu ni Saku, Kiseki no Sakura to two bidders for 4,780 yen (about $62.20) from around last December to this past March. Police searched the suspect's home on May 13 and confiscated his computer and other items. According to the police, the man first copied rental DVD copies and then sold about 300,000 yen (US$3,900) in pirated discs since January 2010. Under police questioning, the man admitted to wanting to make money by selling the DVDs. In similar cases, a man was arrested in July for selling illegal anime copies, and several other people were arrested last year for uploading anime without authorization.
Creators/Publishers Issue Letter to Shops That Digitize Manga posted on 2011-09-06 12:30 EDT
122 artists, 7 publishers express concern for shops that scan books without creators' OK
On Monday, 122 manga creators joined seven Japanese publishing companies in signing a letter of concern to over 100 Japanese shops that are known to scan and digitize works without authorization by the creators or publishers. Major Japanese publishing companies Kadokawa Shoten, Kodansha, Kobunsha, Shueisha, Shogakukan, Shinchosha, and Bungeishunju, along with the manga creators, conveyed their worry over the shops' policies of making digital copies of manga for a small fee without authorization. This is the first time Japanese publishers and authors have joined together to issue an inquiry letter of this type. One typical shop advertises on its website that it will cut the pages out of one book and scan them for 800 yen (about US$10). The shop will also scan one book without cutting it apart for 2,500 yen (US$32).
Publishers and manga authors are concerned that this digitization is an infringement on proper usage of the works and may violate Japanese copyright laws. The letter signers said that because these businesses do not seek the authors' permission, they should not create scanned copies of the publishers' properties. However, because these copies are claimed to be for individuals' private usage, these policies remain in a gray area under Japanese law.
The letter writers are seeking a response from scanning shops by September 16. After that date, the publishers are hoping to discuss how to move forward and create policies resolving the issue with the digitizing businesses.
9th Dantalian no Shoka Novel with Unaired Anime Cancelled (Updated) posted on 2011-09-07 02:25 EDT
Both regular & DVD-bundled editions of Gakuto Mikumo's 9th novel no longer offered
Kadokawa Shoten's Sneaker Bunko imprint announced that sales of both the regular edition and the DVD-bundled limited edition of Gakuto Mikumo's ninth Bibliotheca Mystica de Dantalian (Dantalian no Shoka) novel have been cancelled "due to various circumstances." The ninth novel volume was slated to ship next January.
Update: Mikumo explained in a Wednesday blog entry that the main reason for the cancellation was his disagreement with his editors' desire to extend the series. He had planned at the end of last year to end the series in the eighth volume, and he had reached an agreement with the editors. (He had originally wanted to put "Episode Final" in the seventh volume, but The Sneaker magazine, which carried the light novel, ceased publication, so he extended the series one more volume.)
Mikumo then said that he suddenly received a request from the editors to extend the series this past spring. He emphasized that the disagreement had nothing to do with the anime adaptation since discussions happened before the anime started. He added that there are no plans at this time for new Dantalian no Shoka novel material from Sneaker Bunko.
Japan's A.P.P.P. Works on Moksha with Cybergraphix, Stan Lee posted on 2011-09-08 15:50 EDT
Stan Lee voices protagonist's grandfather in supernatural action story
The American animation company Cybergraphix Animation (Guardians of Luna) confirmed with ANN on Thursday that it is collaborating with Japan's Studio A.P.P.P. (Project A-Ko, Robot Carnival, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure) and Automaton Productions on a project called Moksha. The project's voice cast features American comic book pioneer Stan Lee, Maulik Pancholy (30 Rock, Weeds, Phineas & Ferb), and Lauren Tom (Futurama, King of the Hill, The Joy Luck Club). Cybergraphix describes the story as follows: Amidst an explosion that nearly takes his life, Daniel Zoran (Maulik Pancholy) is miraculously saved by his enigmatic Grandfather (Stan Lee), but at a great cost. Daniel awakens to find himself with a mysterious tattoo branded upon his chest, his grandfather in an etherial state of being, and he now must rely on his grandfather's fiery steward, Claire (Lauren Tom), to guide him with his new and emerging supernatural abilities. While keeping the Monstrous Fiends of Chaos at bay and coming to terms with her own personal demons, Claire will be pushed to the breaking point, while good-natured Daniel struggles to keep up during the action-packed and surreal adventures.
Production I.G, Shaft, Studio 4°C to Animate Kid Icarus: Uprising Shorts posted on 2011-09-13 00:15 EDT
Animated shorts available for free to download when game is released on 3DS
President and CEO of Nintendo Satoru Iwata announced at the Nintendo 3DS press conference on Tuesday that animation studios Production I.G, Studio 4°C and SHAFT will create 3-minute animated shorts for the upcoming video game Kid Icarus: Uprising. The animated shorts will be made available for free worldwide to download when the game is released in the first quarter of 2012.
G4 to Premiere X-Men Anime in October with Scott Porter posted on 2011-09-14 23:55 EDT
The American television channel G4 and the production company Marvel announced on Wednesday that G4 will premiere Marvel's anime series X-Men on October 21 with Scott Porter as the voice of Cyclops. This summer, G4 has been running Marvel's Iron Man and Wolverine anime. G4 will launch the 12 half-hour weekly episodes of X-Men on Friday, October 21 at 11:00 p.m. ET. The story of X-Men revolves around the title mutant team being reunited after a death of a teammate. The members search in Japan for a missing teenage girl, Hisako Ikichi. "There, they encounter the fanatical and anti-mutant group, U-MEN, and discover what was important enough for Xavier to bring them back together." Marvel's Blade anime will be released through the same partnership with G4 this coming winter.
U.S. Embassy of Japan to Show Welcome to the Space Show in D.C. posted on 2011-09-16 18:11 EDT
JICC holds free screening for the sci-fi film on September 30
The Japan Information and Culture Center (JICC), part of the Public Affairs Section of the Embassy of Japan, will screen Welcome to THE SPACE SHOW on September 30 at 6:30 p.m. Held at the JICC Auditorium in Washington D.C., the showing will include English subtitles.
The event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. Guests must register for the event on the JICC website. Although registration does not guarantee guests a seat, registered guests will be seated first.
The story follows five children who gather in the mountains of rural Japan, far from the gaze of adults. During their explorations of their natural environment, they discover a dog-like alien. Pochi rewards them for his rescue by taking the children to an alien colony on the moon. A ban on space travel between Earth and the moon traps the children in space, and they must find their way home before their parents discover their disappearance.
The science-fiction adventure movie premiered at the Berlin Film Festival last year, debuted in America at Otakon 2010, and screened at the New York Int'l Children's Film Festival. Welcome the Space Show will be shown in London on October 8. Manga Entertainment announced its license of the film in July, and a DVD/Blu-ray release is slated for December 5.
JICC has screened various anime films since 2008 in collaboration with the DC Anime Club.
Barnes & Noble Wins Assets in Borders IP Auction posted on 2011-09-16 23:55 EDT
The bookstore chain Barnes & Noble tentatively acquired a portion of the intellectual property assets from its former competitor Borders for US$13.9 million in an auction this week. The industry news source Publishers Weekly reported that Barnes & Noble "appears to have acquired most all of Borders's domestic assets that includes its Internet domain names, the Borders.com Web site and such trademarks as Borders, Waldenbooks and Brentano's." Court records had listed Borders' membership lists and customer information as assets to be auctioned. Borders is shutting down this month after filing for bankruptcy in February.
Ben Affleck May Direct Video Game-Based Movie Posted August 24, 2011 - By Stephen Johnson
When you think of gaming, do you think of Ben Affleck? You might soon. The Hollywood director/actor is in talks to make a movie called "Line of Sight" that takes a huge cue from the world of gaming. The proposed flick isn't based on a specific game, but it centers on an elite commando squad transporting cargo and is told from a point-of-view like a first-person shooter game. Another game connection: It's being written by Peter O’Brien, the guy who wrote the game Halo: Reach.
If everything goes perfectly, Affleck will both direct and star in the movie and it will be produced by Joel Silver's production house at Warner Bros. While the project is in an early stage, the attachment of Affleck may be enough for this interesting-sounding film to actually be made. I can only hope that the entire movie takes place in the first-person view familiar to gamers. Imagine a full movie like the only worthwhile 10 minutes of the movie Doom. Whether it can work and not seem gimmicky for a full 90-120 minute flick remains to be seen. After all, a lot of the fun of the first-person-shooter is the shooting part. Worst-case-scenario: It feels like watching someone else play Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.
Roland Emmerich Not Directing Asteroids Movie Posted Last week - By Stephen Johnson
Mega-director Roland Emmerich (Independence Day, The Patriot, Ghost Chase) was recently asked about whether he is directing a movie based on ancient video game Asteroids. He said he is not.
"I was very honored that they wanted to have me as a director, and I kind of liked the script very much," Emmerich told Collider, "but at that time I was writing with my writing partner Harold Kloser a new script called Singularity and I opted for that." I would be very curious to see this script that Emmerich liked very much. I can only hope it's actually a movie about kids in an arcade in 1978 playing Asteroids, as opposed to a literal interpretation of the game itself.
Mass Effect Movie Will Tell 'A Completely New Story' Posted 2 days ago - By Adam RosenbergI waited on a very long line a few months ago at San Diego Comic-Con, enduring sunburn and crazed fans just for the opportunity to hear more about the planned Mass Effect movie at the Legendary Pictures panel. Very few questions were answered at the time, something that the studio is aware of and has addressed in a newly posted Q&A on its website.
The revelations are minimal, but it is now confirmed that the movie won't follow the games, instead telling "a completely new story" set in the Mass Effect universe. Commander Shepard will be the focus -- the male version -- though the only casting reveal is that Seth Green won't be taking the role of Joker, the character he voices in the game series. The studio is also "working closely" with BioWare to ensure that any story changes are acceptable to fans.
Nintendo Creating Massively Single Player Game? Posted August 15, 2011 - By Stephen Johnson
Patent-diggers have uncovered a 2010 filing for the phrase "Massively Single Player" in connection with, apparently, a new game, or, more accurately, a new kind of game.
The idea of the MSP genre is that you play as a single player, but exist in a world where other player's actions impact the characters and environment. This would offer players some of the benefits of a traditional online world without the drawbacks inherent to massively multiplayer online games.
According to the application, "Those who want to play games that are more dynamic, not-based on Al and not-pre-scripted like multiplayer games, however, don't want to 'deal' with other people, appreciate the privacy it provides."
The game also could allow gamers to communicate through NPCs, so if you talk to an NPC, the rumor might be passed on to other gamers in their own world. Also, if you happen upon a pile of lumber and build a house, other players will see a house, but no builder.A massively single-player game could have an economy, in which supply and demand is determined by the collective of players as opposed to arbitrarily determined. Eventually, when loneliness overtakes you, you can add friends and share a world in common. The filing includes more information beyond the "massively single-player" concept. Specifically, it refers to an implementation of the idea on "a home video game system such as the Nintendo Wii 3D video game system, a Nintendo DS or other 3D capable interactive computer graphics display systems."
Wii Console Redesigned, GameCube Support Ditched Posted August 17, 2011 - By Adam Rosenberg
UPDATE: Nintendo of America has responded with an official statement, though there's nothing about the console re-design:
"Nintendo of America does not currently have any plans to release the Wii bundle that was announced by Nintendo of Europe on Aug. 17. Consumers in the United States can currently purchase a Wii console bundled with the Mario Kart Wii game and Wii Wheel accessory for a suggested retail price of $149.99. The Wii Party game is available separately for a suggested retail price of $39.99."
ORIGINAL STORY: There might not be any Wii U release this fall, but Nintendo is still releasing a new console, sort of. A new Wii SKU is coming, with a redesigned form factor and some hardware tweaks, according to The Official Nintendo Magazine. The console is only pegged for a UK release right now, though we're waiting to hear from Nintendo on whether it's coming to other regions as well.
The new SKU does away with backwards compatability support for GameCube games and the associated controller inputs. The redesigned body is described as "streamlined," with the console now meant to sit horizontally.
The tweaked Wii will be available as part of a bundle that includes Wii Party and Wii Sports, as well as a Wii Remote Plus and Nunchuk. Other bundles will be announced as well in the coming weeks.
Bayonetta 2 Announcement Coming This Week? Posted Last week - By Leah Jackson
According to a tip from Sega fansite TSSZ, we should expect a Bayonetta 2 announcement "fairly soon" from the Tokyo Game Show which is going on this week. Their sources didn't have too much info on the game, not knowing if it was a proper sequel or a spinoff, but they did mention that Sega Sammy's animation studio Marza Animation Planet is working on an "animated component" for the series. Keep in mind that nothing official has been confirmed by Sega regarding Bayonetta 2
Teased By Online Survey: Oswald The Lucky Rabbit Is Back Posted August 29, 2011 - By Leah Jackson
According to an anonymous source at Destructoid, Disney Epic Mickey 2 is being teased by an online survey that's trying to gauge interest in the title. The suggested titles for the game are: Epic Mickey 2: Return of the Mad Doctor, Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two, Epic Mickey 2: Mystery on Mean Street or simply Epic Mickey 2. Disney Epic Mickey is an action-adventure platforming game for the Nintendo Wii that sends Mickey Mouse on an epic journey through a dark version of Disney's past. The main mechanic of the game is Mickey's ability to wield both paint and thinner to dynamically change the world. While Epic Mickey was released exclusively on the Nintendo Wii, Disney Epic Mickey 2 is allegedly planned for a release on the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360 according to Destructoid's source. They've also reported that Epic Mickey 2 will include co-op split screen with Mickey Mouse and his older brother Oswald The Lucky Rabbit (because bunnies and mice can be brothers). Mickey will once again be able to use his paint and thinner mechanic from Epic Mickey, while Oswald will able to fly like a helicopter and use electricity. I thought the concept of Epic Mickey was fantastic, and I'd love to see the game again on the more core consoles. As for the box art, my favorite box would either be number three or number four.
Console Sales Down In August According To NPD Posted September 8, 2011 - By Nikole Zivalich
The NPD results for the month of August are in. I'll spare you the charts but the gist of it was hardware sales are down at $628.9 million dollars; 21% less than this time last year. That's not to say console weren't sold. Portable consoles did see a bump in sales compared to August 2010. The 3DS' drastic decrease in price can take credit for that.
The number one console for the month of August was the Xbox 360. Again. It holds 43% of the current-gen console market with 308,000 units sold last month.
Thanks to the PS3's price cut, the PS3 saw an "uptick" in sales. Now before you cry foul "why aren't you posting Sony's numbers?" It's because they didn't release them. They did however release a statement:
"Despite inventory constraints at retail during the first half of August, PS3 hardware sales were very strong the last two weeks of the month following the $50 price cut and the new inFAMOUS 2 bundle. The new PS3 price point, combined with PlayStation Move and the industry's strongest lineup of exclusive titles, including Uncharted 3 and Everybody Dance, positions us for an amazing holiday season."
Why Video Games Should Come From Books Posted August 26, 2011 - By Jonathan Deesing
It’s no secret that video games and movies have had a tumultuous relationship. It’s a negligent relationship, really. While one forgets birthdays and only discusses prior flings, the other often goes out on benders and forgets they’re even dating. And like any bad relationship, someone needs to call it quits before both sides suffer irreparable damage.
Movies rarely make good video games – they’re too short. The length of a movie usually results in a game chock full of filler levels that either don’t make sense or feel uninspired and obligatory. Further, movies rarely contain subject matter that lends itself to an eight-hour game. Even the most action packed Michael Bay films only contain at most a little over an hour of material that would fit in a game. No one wants to play Shia LeBeouf as he banters with his mother about jerking off. At least, I hope they don't.
The other member of our unhappy couple, video game movies, is no saint either. Like an inattentive boyfriend who spends all day watching SportsCenter and considers drive thru at McDonalds a date, video game movies have only ever gone through the motions. It doesn’t help that they have been repeatedly bullied and abused by Uwe Boll to the point that any competent actor or director will avoid a video game film like the plague.
Either way, the subject material is often too much to work with. Just like the epic Lord of the Rings trilogy took 50 years to find a halfway decent film adaptation, video games are rarely under ten hours long and cutting that into a two-hour film is a tall order. Beyond the length, the cost of creating an authentic video game world is often cited as a reason for killing high profile projects like the Halo and BioShock movies.
But there’s no need to worry. There is one source material that is almost infinitely exploitable: books. Like I’ve said before, many video games fit into book form seamlessly. The flip side of the coin, games made from books, is territory shamefully underexplored.
Books offer a much larger experience, entirely more malleable and open to interpretation than movies. Because any book that takes two and a half hours to read would not generally be considered a “book,” they almost always contain more source material to work with than films. Books are so full rich detail that is often ignored by movies, but would definitely be welcomed by video game developers. Airport novels typically offer detail down to the make and model the main character is driving. It’s like having a storyboard for a video game outlined for you.
As an unrepentant dork, I spend the entire time I read a book trying to sculpt it into a video game. To be perfectly honest, most books would not make a good video game. However, there are a select few that would be a shame to resign to the dusty prison of a bookshelf. Some authors seem to write novel after novel that would fit in the paradigm of a video game. Lee Child, Clive Cussler (and his myriad coauthors), and Tom Clancy have all written dozens of novels screaming for video game adaptations.
Other books, those that would never be considered for film adaptations, could make for some seriously impressive video games. Just think about it – a generation of video games springing from the pages of beloved masterpieces. These games would offer unique story-driven games more along the lines of Catherine and LA Noire than Saints Row and Grand Theft Auto. I recognize that video games using books as source material would be foreign territory for most gamers, but I for one would welcome it. Simply thinking about the variety of gameplay types, characters, and entire worlds that books could offer video games is a bit overwhelming.
Converting books into video games isn’t a far cry from what we have already seen. BioShock, the quintessentially over analyzed game, sprang partially from the pages of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. Ken Levine has often discussed molding Rand’s epic into something gamers could relate to. I’m under no dissolutions that crafting a successful video game out of a novel would be easy, but it is by no means impossible. Especially with Levine’s strategy of using the concept of a book to devise a universe for a game, instead of simply adapting the entire book.
I suppose I should present this argument with a large disclaimer – letting narrative dominate a game is ill-advised in almost every case. Unless the game’s story is written by God himself, it is not good enough to make people forget they’re playing a video game and therefore need to enjoy the actual gameplay. In most cases, books converted into video games will still need a vast amount of tinkering to result in a product pleasing to the masses. The gameplay experience always comes first, and while appropriate attention should be paid to the source material, if developers were to get carried away with their adaptations of books without developing a proper game, the results would be undoubtedly disastrous.
When movies are converted into video games, fans expect a religious attention be paid to character portrayal, storylines and dialog. However, books are much more open to interpretation. Characters can be manipulated to better fit in a game and even story structure can be altered slightly if necessary. As we’ve seen in countless movie adaptations of books, fans are less concerned about accuracy as they are about how attractive the lead actor is. Conversely, a character from a book can take on a depiction with sketch artist-like accuracy in a video game. So Jack Ryan might actually look like Jack Ryan in a video game, not that guy from Gigli.
Perhaps someday Hollywood and video games will go their separate ways. No drama, no more blathering from Roger Ebert, no more Uwe Boll, just an amicable separation. In this void, maybe books could offer some source material to studios looking for a pre-written game. There are far more good books than there are good movies, so this is really the logical choice. The best part I suppose would be waking up in a world in which Marky Mark was not cast to play Nathan Drake.
Crunchyroll, TV Tokyo Sue YouTube Users for Unauthorized Anime Uploading posted on 2011-09-21 12:45 EDT
13 defendants accused of uploading Naruto, Naruto Shippūden, Bleach episodes
Crunchyroll and TV Tokyo have issued a lawsuit against 13 YouTube uploaders for allegedly illegal distribution of anime episodes, according to a copyright infringement complaint filed on May 11 and served between July and September. Crunchyroll and TV Tokyo are seeking reparation for "great and irreparable injury that cannot fully be compensated or measured in money" because of the defendants' allegedly unauthorized copying, uploading, and distributing via YouTube of multiple Naruto, Naruto Shippūden, and Bleach episodes.
Based on their YouTube subscriber information, the defendants reside in the United States, Japan, Canada, Denmark, and Hungary. Crunchyroll maintains its main offices in California (as does YouTube), so the suit was filed as a U.S. copyright violation in the Northern District Court of California. For the purposes of the lawsuit, TV Tokyo is giving Crunchyroll legal permission to act on its behalf in order to "permanently remove the illegal uploads of infringing parties from file-sharing services and to obtain legal relief against infringers."
The plaintiff companies' claim is that they "lose a customer opportunity" each time the uploading parties illegally disseminated anime episodes for which TV Tokyo and Crunchyroll hold legal distribution rights. TV Tokyo holds the broadcasting rights for Naruto, Naruto Shippūden, and Bleach. Crunchyroll holds online streaming rights for the mentioned episodes, including worldwide exclusive streaming rights for the first week after the original Japanese broadcast.
Crunchyroll issued a takedown notice to YouTube to remove the offending episodes. YouTube complied with the request, and the episodes involved in the suit have since been removed from the site. Under YouTube's video removal procedures, counter notifications were sent to the defendants, and the defendants each responded that the videos were removed due to a "mistake or misidentification of the material to be removed or disabled." However, Crunchyroll and TV Tokyo claim that because the defendants knew they did not have legal rights to the videos, they were engaging in willful copyright infringement.
Crunchyroll and TV Tokyo want the defendants to cease illegal uploading, destroy all illegal copies, and refrain from further unauthorized uploading. Crunchyroll and TV Tokyo are also seeking court costs and damages caused by the worldwide YouTube streaming.
On August 18, the Northern District Court of California granted a motion to allow the involved sides to pursue settlement outside of court if they so choose. The first date for the Crunchyroll and TV Tokyo representatives to meet with the defendants and a judge is set for November 18. According to documents filed on Wednesday, September 21, summons were served to three of the defendants on July 11, July 21, and September 20.
Crunchyroll co-founder and CEO Kun Gao has provided ANN with a comment on the situation:
Crunchyroll fully supports the legal streaming of anime, and even encourages users to watch our licensed videos on our official anime channel on YouTube. Categorically, we don't endorse legal action against anime fans and viewers.
Recently, we have identified a few specific accounts on YouTube which were responsible for over 200 million unauthorized streams of our licensed content. These accounts were owned by repeat uploaders who continued to illegally distribute licensed shows despite receiving multiple DMCA takedown notices. In compliance with YouTube's TOS, filing a formal legal complaint was a necessary step in order to keep these illegal streams off of YouTube.
With permission and cooperation of our Japanese partners, we will continue to work on their behalf to protect their content from illegal distribution.
Crunchyroll is the only legal website where anime fans can watch shows such as Naruto Shippūden and BLEACH immediately after TV broadcast in Japan. Revenue we receive is shared with anime producers in Japan and goes toward making more great anime titles in the future. We want to thank anime fans worldwide for their continued support in helping us promote legal distribution of Anime.
Previous Legal Actions Against Anime/Manga Uploaders
This is not the first time legal action or proactive measures have been taken to stop the illegal uploading of anime and manga. The Japanese Society for the Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers asked YouTube to strengthen anti-piracy policies in 2006. 10 people were arrested in Japan in 2009 for using Share file-sharing software to upload various content including anime onto the Internet. In June 2010, a Japanese teenager was arrested for uploading scans of the One Piece manga onto YouTube. Other individuals were also apprehended in Japan last year for illegal uploading of anime with Perfect Dark file-sharing software.
Internet downloading of anime episodes has also received prosecution around the world in the past. In 2007, Japan's Agency for Cultural Affairs proposed plans to crack down on illegal downloaders and continued to push forward the initiative. In 2008, several Japanese anime studios filed a writ of summons for "heavy downloaders" in Singapore. Last March, Funimation filed a copyright infringement complaint against 1,337 BitTorrent downloaders of a One Piece episode. Funimation later dismissed its claim but retained the right to re-file the suit.