Next Club Meeting: November 3, 2018, at the Wood Dale Public Library from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The Animatrix Network is an anime & manga fan club located in the Southwest suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. We usually meet on the fourth Saturday of each month (except when holidays or conventions coincide). The meetings are free and open to the public. Join us for a day filled with anime.

This site provides news, reviews, commentaries, and previews of the world of anime and everything it inspires, such as live-action films, comics, music, art, and other weird things to enjoy and contemplate.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Newsletter - October 2011

October 2011
News Collected and Edited by Octavio Soto

Ranma 1/2 Manga Gets Live-Action Special with Yui Aragaki posted on 2011-09-26 13:08 EDT  
Kento Kaku, Natsuna to play Ranma's male/female sides in 2-hour December special
A live-action television adaptation of Rumiko Takahashi's Ranma ½ martial arts comedy manga will air this December as a two-hour special on Japan's NTV network. Yui Aragaki (Digimon: Data Squad, Koizora) will play Akane Tendō, and Kento Kaku (Paradise Kiss, Gokusen) and Natsuna (Gantz) will play the dual male/female sides of the title character Ranma Saotome.
Man Arrested for Holding Woman Captive He Met at June Anime Con posted on 2011-09-26 16:30 EDT  
22-year-old man allegedly beat, cut 20-year-old victim after she moved in with him in July
A 22-year-old man from Chicago was arrested on Friday on charges of holding a woman captive after the two moved in together in July. According to prosecutors, the two had originally met at an anime convention in June. Sir Wilfred Camaligan (pictured at right) was denied bail on Sunday and is facing charges of attempted murder, kidnapping, and aggravated domestic battery. Police stated that Camaligan and the 20-year-old woman corresponded on Facebook and met at an anime convention in June. Police also stated Camaligan held the woman at his house and refused to let her leave for two months after they moved in together in July. Police and prosecutors stated that Camaligan beat the woman, cut an "X" into the woman's chest, and forced the woman to kneel on rice and cut herself during her captivity. The woman also told police Camaligan had choked her until she lost consciousness. Police also said the woman was allowed to leave the house on Friday to run an errand, and the woman then contacted her mother on a borrowed cell phone, who in turn contacted police. Prosecutors stated the woman suffered hearing loss in one ear and had a fractured shoulder blade.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal to Premiere on Toonzai on October 15 posted on 2011-09-27 16:40 EDT  
Newest anime in Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise premiered in Japan in April
The North American media distributor 4Kids Entertainment announced on its Facebook page and YouTube channel on Tuesday that it will begin airing Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal on the CW4Kids Toonzai on Saturday, October 15 at 9:30 a.m. Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal premiered in April in Japan. The near-future story revolves around Yūma Tukumo, a 13-year-old rookie duelist, and Astral, the mysterious lifeform from a parallel world who suddenly appears before Yūma. A manga version already launched in the February issue of Shueisha's V Jump magazine. 4Kids is involved in a court battle with the Japanese licensors of Yu-Gi-Oh!, ADK's Nihon Ad Systems (NAS) and TV Tokyo. Both Japanese companies intended to cancel their contract with 4Kids Entertainment due to allegedly fraudulent underpayment. 4Kids then filed for bankruptcy but it continues to operate in the meantime. ADK and TV Tokyo then planned to pitch Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal themselves at the Licensing International Expo, but 4Kids filed a legal motion against this. In June, Judge Shelley C. Chapman of 4Kids' bankruptcy case ordered a stay, barring ADK and TV Tokyo from selling the license to another company until the case of fraudulent underpayment is resolved. 4Kids then promoted Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal in a Las Vegas event in June attract potential merchandise producers.

Tezuka Pro Revives Budori Gusuko Anime after TAC's Bankruptcy posted on 2011-09-27 21:27 EDT
Film based on Kenji Miyazawa's story with cat characters still needs investors
The global art licensing magazine Total Licensing revealed in its fall issue that Tezuka Productions will take over Group TAC's The Life of Guskou Budori anime film project. The magazine published an interview with the film's producer Yoshihiro Shimizu (Black Jack The Movie, MURAMASA, Astroboy) discussing the new adaptation. As the general manager of Tezuka Productions, Shimizu said he wanted the company to release the film based on children's author Kenji Miyazawa's story because it fits in with Osamu Tezuka's ideals, especially in the theme: "how you actually live your life is more important than your environment." Shimizu also discussed potential plans to help victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake alongside The Life of Guskou Budori's production. In 2008, the Group TAC studio announced plans to revisit the fable first adapted into an anime film by Bandai Visual in 1994. At the time, Gisaburô Sugii (Galactic Railroad, Touch) was set to direct the new adaptation for release in 2009. However, after the unexpected death of Atsumi Tashiro, head of Group TAC, the company fell into bankruptcy and production of the film halted. The anime and computer graphics company owed "about 650 million yen (about US$7.7 million) to about 167 creditors" at the time of its demise. Shimizu stated in his interview with Total Licensing that the initial production cost estimate for the anime film was 300 to 600 million yen (about US$4,000,000 - 8,000,000) when Group TAC was set to produce The Life of Guskou Budori. According to Shimizu, the Tezuka Productions film has found some investors but still needs about 50,000,000 yen (about US$650,000) to ensure the film's completion. The Life of Guskou Budori is based on a children's tale by Kenji Miyazawa (Night on the Galactic Railroad, Yukiwatari, Spring and Chaos) about a boy named Guskou who loses his sister to a kidnapper. Guskou grows up to become a volcano researcher striving to protect his land. Set in a mythical version of northern Japan, the story revolves around early concepts of the greenhouse effect. As seen in Spring and Chaos and several other anime based on Miyazawa's works, all the characters will be depicted as cats. The well-known manga artist and animator Osamu Tezuka established Tezuka Productions in 1968. The company has produced many film and television anime based on Tezuka's works as well as assisting with other anime studios' projects.
Anime Director Kazuyoshi Yokota Passes Away posted on 2011-09-28 09:45 EDT Directed Cosmowarrior Zero, Maetel Legend; worked on Anne of Green Gables, Grimm Masterpiece Theater
Screenwriter Nobuyuki Isshiki reported on Tuesday that director Kazuyoshi Yokota passed away on September 7. Isshiki directed two anime titles created by Leiji Matsumoto — Cosmowarrior Zero and Maetel Legend. He also helmed Dagon in the Lands of Weeds, Miimu Iro Iro Yume no Tabi, and Uchūsen Sagittarius. (Isshiki made his major debut as a screenwriter on Miimu Iro Iro Yume no Tabi, and his first main writer job was on Uchūsen Sagittarius.) Yokota worked on such classic titles as Anne of Green Gables, Grimm Masterpiece Theater, Haikara-san ga Tooru, and Rascal the Raccoon.

Man Arrested for Uploading Minami-ke Onto Video Site posted on 2011-09-28 23:45 EDT Police arrested a 20-year-old male company worker from Nara Prefecture's Kitakatsuragi District on Wednesday on suspicion of uploading anime online without the copyright holders' permission. According to the Association of Copyright for Computer Software, the suspect uploaded the first episode of Minami-ke ("Minami Sanchi no Shimai") around April 26. The suspect allegedly kept the file on the online storage site Petite Soeur and then uploaded it to the video-sharing site Himawari Dōga. Police seized a personal computer, hard disks, and other items after a search of the suspect's home on the day of his arrest.

Teacher Arrested for Uploading K-ON, Haruhi, Oreimo via Share Program posted on 2011-09-28 23:26 EDT
The cyber crime unit of the Hyōgo Prefectural Police arrested Kōhei Miyagishi, a 32-year-old elementary school teacher from Kanazawa City, on Wednesday on suspicion of using the Share file-sharing software to upload anime online without the copyright holders' permission. According to a person connected to the investigation, the suspect uploaded an episode each from the K-ON!!, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, and Oreimo anime off his personal computer in early August. The suspect allegedly had over a thousand television anime episodes, each about 30 minutes long. The police are investigating how the suspect acquired the anime by analyzing the suspect's confiscated computer.

Twitch Site: Dragon Tattoo's Rooney Mara Considered for Oldboy posted on 2011-09-29 10:00 EDT
The Social Network actress is up for female lead role
The film website Twitch reported on Wednesday that actress Rooney Mara (The Social Network, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo remake) is being considered for the female lead role in Spike Lee's remake of Park Chan-Wook's live-action film Oldboy. Park's film was itself inspired by Garon Tsuchiya and Nobuaki Minegishi's manga Old Boy. According to Twitch, Mara has not yet been given a formal offer for this character, who is renamed Marie in the American version. Mara played the crucial role of Mark Zuckerberg's girlfriend Erica in The Social Network, and she will next appear as the title character in American remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. (David Fincher directed both films.) Director Spike Lee (Do the Right Thing, Jungle Fever, Malcolm X) signed onto Mandate Pictures' American remake of Oldboy in July, and Josh Brolin is slated to play the male lead. Mandate Pictures is developing the project with producers Doug Davison and Roy Lee (The Ring, Dark Water [2005], 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 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.

Man Pleads Guilty to 'Anime' Pornography in New Zealand posted on 2011-09-29 17:15 EDT
22-year-old Chinese student accused of importing 10 DVDs in baggageA 22-year-old Chinese man has pled guilty on Wednesday to five charges of importing prohibited goods into New Zealand. According to the New Zealand news source The Press, Xiran Zhang (pictured at right), a first year engineering student at Canterbury University, had brought 10 DVDs of "cartoon films, known as 'anime', [that] depicted scenes of rape, abuse, and bestiality" into the country when he flew in from Shanghai. Zhang's lawyer Simon Clay had argued for Zhang to be discharged without conviction under section 106 of New Zealand's Criminal Justice Act, which states, "If a person who is charged with an offence is found guilty or pleads guilty, the court may discharge the offender without conviction, unless by any enactment applicable to the offence the court is required to impose a minimum sentence." However, Judge Raoul Neave did not grant the discharge, noting that he was concerned about issues raised in Zhang's pre-sentence report, although Neave did not mention what those issues were. The judge is giving Zhang time to address the issues before he hands down a sentence, so that he might consider discharging Zhang without a conviction. The prosecution in the case has said that they consider supervision as the appropriate sentence. Zhang is currently in New Zealand on a student visa, but that visa has been suspended pending the outcome of his case.
Japanese Man Arrested for Selling 200 Modified Wii Consoles posted on 2011-09-29 23:56 EDT
On Thursday, police in Aichi Prefecture arrested Shintarō Monishi, a 33-year-old agricultural worker from Ehime Prefecture's Yawatahama City, for modifying Nintendo Wii game consoles to play illegally pirated software and then selling them. The suspect is being charged for infringing on Nintendo's trademarks. According to the police, the suspect purchased used Wii consoles at about 5,000 yen (about US$65), modified them, and then sold them for about 20,000 yen (about US$260). Between last November and this month, the suspect allegedly sold about 200 consoles and earned 4.5 million yen (about US$59,000). In particular, he is accused of selling the modified Wii consoles on Internet and mobile phone site auctions between December of 2010 and March of 2011.
Voice Actress Satomi Akesaka Leaves Space Craft Entertainment (Updated) posted on 2011-09-30 10:30 EDT
Aya Hirano, Mako also left agency last month; Yumi Kakazu joins Atomic Monkey 
Voice actress Satomi Akesaka confirmed on her blog that she left the management agency Space Craft Entertainment as of Friday, September 30. She described her decade at Space Craft as the "greatest treasure in my life." She did not say if she decided on her next agency, if she will work freelance instead, or, in her words: "Retire? Become a NEET [Not in Education, Employment, or Training]?? Marry??? Carrying a baby????" However, she indicated that the answer will be revealed on Saturday, October 1. Akesaka's many voice-acting roles include Kyo no Gononi's Yuki Asano, Level E's Miho Edogawa, Mitsudomoe's Futaba Marui, and Tantei Opera Milky Holmes' Arsène. Two other voice actresses, Aya Hirano and Mako, also left Space Craft Entertainment for another agency last month. In a separate development, the agency Atomic Monkey announced on Friday that voice actress Yumi Kakazu is joining the company. In still another separate development, Production baobab no longer lists the following voice actresses and actor in its talent roster: Ai Orikasa, Ami Koshimizu, Yuko Sanpei, Eri Taruta, Yuko Mizutani, and Yoshitaka Kure. Neither Production baobab nor the six performers have announced the reason for their removal from the agency's website.
Update:Akesaka and the agency Amuleto announced early on Saturday morning that she is joining that agency.
Voice Actresses Ai Orikasa, Ami Koshimizu, Yuko Sanpei Leave Baobab posted on 2011-09-30 11:45 EDT
3 announce Axl-One as new agency; Eri Taruta, Yuko Mizutani, Yoshitaka Kure also no longer on Baobab's roster
Three voice actresses — Ai Orikasa (Gundam Wing's Quatre, Tenchi Muyo!'s Ryōko), Ami Koshimizu (Spice and Wolf's Holo, Suite Precure's Cure Melody), and Yuko Sanpei (Eureka Seven's Renton, Seikon no Qwaser's Sasha) — all confirmed early on Saturday morning that they left the agency Production baobab for the relatively new agency Axl-One. Axl-One was co-founded by fellow voice actor Toshiyuki Morikawa earlier this year. Voice actor Takuma Terashima also switched from Production baobab to Axl-One in September. Three more performers — Eri Taruta, Yuko Mizutani, and Yoshitaka Kure — are no longer listed on Production baobab's website as of Friday, September 30.

LDP Petition: Japan's Child Porn Laws Should Apply to Manga/Anime/Games posted on 2011-09-30 13:45 EDT
Proposed revision of laws would also outlaw possession of child pornography
Two national legislators of Japan's Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) submitted a petition this month to change Japan's child pornography laws so that they apply to anime, manga, and video games. Some members of the LDP have been advocating for this revision since at least 2008, but have not succeeded thus far. The revision would also make "simple possession" of child pornography illegal. Currently, buying, selling, or distributing child pornography is illegal in Japan, but not its possession. The petition introduced by Hiroyuki Hosoda and Yuriko Koike has 222 signatures. The proposed revision to the "Act on Punishment of Activities Relating to Child Prostitution and Child Pornography, and the Protection of Children" would make it illegal to own, buy, sell, or possess child pornography in anime, manga, and video games, and other "virtual obscene images." The LDP also wants to revise the law to prosecute those who possess child pornography on their computers and mobile phones, as well as those who distribute it online via child pornography websites. The LDP submitted the petition at the 178th meeting of the National Diet, which ran from September 13 to September 30. The LDP in the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly was a major backer of a separate revision to Tokyo's Youth Healthy Development Ordinance. This revision expanded the number of manga and anime that fall under "harmful publications," the legal category of works that must not be sold or rented to people under the age of 18.

Japan Government Helps Fund Budori Gusuko, Blood-C Film posted on 2011-10-02 10:15 EDT

2 of 5 works to get Support Program for International Co-Production funds in 2011The Agency for Cultural Affairs of the Japanese government announced on Friday that it will help fund five projects for this year's Support Program for International Co-Production, including two anime: The Legend of Budori Gusuko (Gusukobudori no Denki) and the Blood-C film. Tezuka Productions and Production I.G will each receive 50 million yen (about US$650,000) for the two anime projects. Tezuka Productions took over Group TAC's The Legend of Budori Gusuko anime film project after TAC's bankruptcy. In 2008, the Group TAC studio announced plans to revisit the fable by Kenji Miyazawa (Night on the Galactic Railroad). The tale was previously adapted into an 1994 anime film by director Ryutaro Nakamura. At the time, Gisaburô Sugii (Galactic Railroad, Touch) was set to direct the new adaptation for release in 2009. However, after the unexpected death of Group TAC head Atsumi Tashiro and the resulting bankruptcy, production of the new film was halted. The anime and computer graphics company owed about 650 million yen (US$7.7 million) to about 167 creditors at the time of its demise. Yoshihiro Shimizu, general manager of Tezuka Productions, stated in his interview with Total Licensing magazine that the initial production cost estimate for the anime film was 300 to 600 million yen (US$4-8 million) when Group TAC was set to produce the film. According to Shimizu at the time of the interview, the Tezuka Productions film has found some investors, but still needed about 50 million yen to ensure the film's completion. The manga creator team CLAMP developed the story and original character designs for the Blood-C anime project based on Production I.G's Blood: The Last Vampire film. This past April, just weeks after the first announcement of the Blood-C anime project, the staff revealed that the project will be both a television series and a film next year. The final episode of the television series ended with an teaser that the film will open on June 2, 2012. Eight live-action films and three animated projects had applied to receive this year's funds, but only five projects will receive funding. The three live-action films that will also receive funds are CMC's Tenjō no Kaze, Shimensoka's Legend of the T-Dog, and Eurospace's The End.

Man Arrested for Auctioning Pirated Anime for 5 Million Yen posted on 2011-10-03 23:55 EDT

On September 30, police in Kanagawa Prefecture arrested a 35-year-old male part-time worker from the prefecture's Odawara City on suspicion of selling pirated anime, mainly to users of auctions sites via mobile phones. The suspect allgedly sold Case Closed The Movie: The Time Bombed Skyscraper and other titles on 15 DVD-Rs to a female buyer from Chiba Prefecture for 3,600 yen (about US$47) around May 6. The suspect also allegedly sold the first volume of Sengoku Basara, Pokemon: The First Movie, Case Closed The Movie: The Time Bombed Skyscraper, and other titles on 115 DVD-Rs around August 3. According to the police investigation, the suspect allegedly sold pirated titles from last November to this past August to 2,100 people for about 5 million yen (US$65,000). Police seized a personal computer, a duplicator, and other equipment after a search of the suspect's home in August. Source: Association of Copyright for Computer Software

Man Arrested for Uploading Precure, Danbōru Senki via Share Program posted on 2011-10-04 00:43 EDT
On September 28, police in Hyōgo Prefecture arrested a 27-year-old unemployed male from the prefecture's Kawabe District 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 (ACCS), the suspect uploaded the 23rd episode of Suite Precure and the 17th episode of Danbōru Senki (Little Battlers eXperience) around August 1. According to the police investigation, the suspect allegedly had 2,400 files of animated videos — about 3.7 terabytes — uploaded via Share. Police seized a personal computer after a search of the suspect's home on the day of his arrest. The ACCS also provided more information about the previously announced arrest of a teacher for uploading anime via Share. The teacher was also arrested on September 28. The teacher allegedly uploaded about 1.5 terabytes of animated works and manga, including Oreimo, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, and K-ON!! Source: Association of Copyright for Computer Software

Akamatsu's J-Comi Site Posts Adult Manga Restricted by Tokyo Law posted on 2011-10-03 09:30 EDT

Tokyo vice governor had shown My Wife Is an Elementary Student on TV to push for change in law
Manga creator Ken Akamatsu announced on Monday that the new Premium service on his online manga site J-Comi has posted Seiji Matsuyama's Oku-sama wa Shōgakusei (My Wife Is an Elementary Student) manga. The manga made headlines last year when Tokyo Vice Governor Naoki Inose had shown this manga on television last year. He showed the manga as an example of which manga should be restricted under Tokyo's recently revised Youth Healthy Development Ordinance. The revised law expanded the number of manga and anime that fall under "harmful publications," the legal category of works that must not be sold or rented to people under the age of 18. Erotic material was already restricted before the amendment, but the amended law also restricts the sales and renting of materials that the Tokyo Metropolitan Government considers "to be excessively disrupting of social order." The manga's story is set in the near future when the marriageable age was lowered in response to the declining birth rate. A 24-year-old man marries a 12-year-old girl in this gag comedy. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government revealed in April that it had designated this manga to be restricted due to its depiction of child rape. Akamatsu launched the J-Comi site last November, and the site's "J-comi Premium" service began its beta test on Saturday. The premium service distributes adult, boys' love, and erotic and violent manga, including out-of-print titles, to users for a fee. The site restricts users by requiring a credit card. Matsuyama explained that he considered various ways that his manga could be published after the revised Tokyo law restricted his manga, and came to the conclusion that J-Comi is the most suitable venue. Masahiro Itosugi, the author of another manga (Aki Sora) restricted by the revised law, had discussed the possibility of publishing the manga on J-Comi, but added she "probably" cannot do so. Itosugi had revealed in April that there would be no more printings of volumes 1 and 3 of this manga after July. At the time, Akamatsu had not yet announced J-Comi's paid Premium service. In addition to J-Comi, Akamatsu is known for creating manga such as Negima and Love Hina.

Digimon Singer Kouji Wada Puts Career on Hold Due to Cancer posted on 2011-10-04 08:45 EDT
Tumor that was treated 8 years ago has metastasized, but Wada resolves to returnKouji Wada, the 37-year-old singer of theme songs for almost every Digimon anime project, announced on Tuesday that he is putting his singing career on hold so he can focus on treatment for a sudden illness. Wada had gone on hiatus eight years ago due to an earlier bout with illness; that time, he revealed few details about his condition, but he resolved this time to tell everything about his current illness. Eight years ago, a malignant tumor was discovered on his upper pharynx and a lymph node on his neck. He was able to treat the tumor with chemotherapy and surgery and was told that he had recovered completely. However, he felt a change in his health recently, and an examination at a hospital confirmed that the cancer had metastasized or spread to another location. The diagnosis came as a sudden shock to Wada, but he is striving to focus on immediate medical treatment so he can return to normal again. As a result, he has to put his singing career on hold, and he apologized for the sudden notice. He will take a break from his blog, Twitter account, and Facebook account, and he has cancelled all scheduled events related to his career for the rest of the year. He apologized to his fans who were anticipating his appearances in Chile and Peru, as well as his guest performance at an X'mas live concert in December. He had planned to resume his solo concerts in November, but they have been delayed. Nevertheless, he promised that when he returns, it will be with a smile as he spends "the best of times with the best of friends in concert" again. Wada sang songs for Digimon Adventure, Digimon Adventure 02, Digimon Tamers, Digimon Frontier, Digimon: Data Squad, and Digimon Xros Wars. He also performed the opening theme song for the original Japanese version of Transformers: Robots in Disguise (Transformers: Car Robots).

Animator: Gurren Lagann Helmer Imaishi Establishes Studio posted on 2011-10-06 15:05 EDT
Masahiko Ohtsuka: Newtype reports on studio with FLCL/Panty & Stocking collaboratorsAnimator Masahiko Ohtsuka (pictured far right) reported in a Friday Twitter post that he, director Hiroyuki Imaishi (Dead Leaves, Gurren Lagann, Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt), and others have established a new studio. Ohtsuka acknowledged that it is still a small startup studio, but added that they want to strive to make interesting works. According to Ohtsuka, the November issue of Kadokawa Shoten's Monthly Newtype magazine is publishing a one-page introductory article with an illustration by Imaishi on Saturday, October 8. Ohtsuka collaborated with Imaishi on FLCL, Gurren Lagann, Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt, and many other works at Gainax. Both animators have not been listed on Gainax's staff pages since at least this past summer.

Singapore Submits Tatsumi Film for Oscar Consideration posted on 2011-10-07 15:45 EDT
Animated film based on Yoshihiro Tatsumi's A Drifting Life manga screened at Cannes Film Festival in May

The Variety entertainment industry magazine reported on Friday that Singapore will submit Eric Khoo's animated film adaptation of Yoshihiro Tatsumi's A Drifting Life autobiographical manga for consideration in the foreign-language film category for the 84th annual Academy Awards. Official nominees have yet to be selected from the pool of films that countries submitted. The film was screened at this year's Cannes Film Festival in May. The manga is based on a semi-autobiographical account of Tatsumi's struggle to make a living after World War II. Tatsumi and others began challenging normal standards of manga drawing by pioneering a nontraditional gekiga style of storytelling and art design. A Drifting Life originally shipped in Japan in November of 2008 as a two-volume series. The Canadian comic book publisher Drawn & Quarterly picked up the North American license and released the manga as a single, 840-page volume in April of 2009. The manga since won two Eisner awards in 2010. Tatsumi was also nominated to enter the Eisner Hall of Fame that year, but was not selected. The 84th Academy Awards will be held on February 26.

Voice Actor Akira Kamiya Puts Work on Hold for Hospital Stay posted on 2011-10-08 07:00 EDT
Work for next month turned down or postponed due to treatment lasting a few weeks
Voice actor Akira Kamiya announced in a Saturday blog entry that he underwent another MRI examination the day before, and the examination discovered a small lesion. According to his doctor's diagnosis, he needs a treatment which will last a few weeks. As a result, Kamiya has to decline or postpone work that he had planned to do for the next month, and he apologized to all those involved. Nevertheless, he plans to post about one blog entry every day from his hospital room from Saturday onward. Kamiya has voiced dozens of anime roles, including Kinnikuman's title character, Fist of the North Star's Kenshiro, City Hunter's Ryo Saeba, and the Macross franchise's Roy Focker. He voiced the character of Kogoro Mouri in Detective Conan for over a decade until Rikiya Koyama replaced him in 2009.

Dead Island Movie Being Developed By Lionsgate Posted Last week - By Leah Jackson
Lionsgate has optioned the film rights to develop a Dead Island movie. Sean Daniel will spearhead the production through the Sean Daniel Company along with Stefan Sonnenfeld. No director is attached to the film yet, as it's still in the early stages of development but it will be interesting to see who Lionsgate chooses to take on this project. According to Deep Silver, the Dead Island film will "be an innovation of the zombie genre because of its focus on human emotion, family ties and non-linear storytelling." As Dead Island's story focuses on vacationers whose island paradise has become a living hell, the opportunity to extract a decent zombie story is definitely there. At the very least, the creative team can draw from the game's debut trailer which garnered over 10 million views only two days after it was released. I'm interested if the movie is going to go backwards like the trailer did, or how exactly it will work. According to Lionsgate co-COO and Motion Picture Group President Joe Drake, "Like the hundreds of journalists and millions of fans who were so passionate and vocal about the Dead Island trailer, we too were awestruck.” He continued, “This is exactly the type of property we’re looking to adapt at Lionsgate – it’s sophisticated, edgy, and a true elevation of a genre that we know and love. It also has built in brand recognition around the world, and franchise potential.”

Mortal Kombat Movie Announced Posted Last week - By Stephen JohnsonFan film-makers, your dreams can come true. New Line cinema revealed today that it is developing a big screen Mortal Kombat movie to be made by Kevin Tancharoen, the guy who directed the Mortal Kombat: Legacy films, films that were born of a fan-film with no official affiliation with the original product. The writer of the web series, Oren Uziel, will write the big-screen adaptation, but the movie will not serve as an extension of the game or digital series. There are no actors attached as yet to the project, and no more information available; it's in the early stages of development, but I'd like to offer my services to play Noob Saibot. I love that Noob Saibot. Given the track record of 30 years worth of game-to-film adaptations, I fully expect this flick to never be made, and if it is, to be terrible, but at least we know that, should Uziel and Tancharoen stay onboard, people with a love and understanding of the game will be involved in making the movie. So there's a (tiny bit) of hope.

Farmville Movie May Be In The Works -- Toy Story Team Behind It Posted Yesterday 2:15 PM - By Stephen Johnson 
There are not many movies that can legitimately be called "Events," but the Farmville movie hinted at by the writers of Toy Story deserves that moniker. When asked about upcoming projects, Hollywood blockbuster-writers Alec Sokolow and Joel Cohen said:"We are also working on several new and very exciting opportunities. We're in conversations with Zynga to do something with one of their brands. Can't really say too much on that front yet, but 'Old MacDonald' didn't have a factory, if you get our drift." This hint of a Farmville flick is the best news I have ever heard. It would take the combination of Cohen and Sokolow (Evan Almighty, Daddy Daycamp) with deep stories created by Zynga to truly bring the pagendtry and majesty of Farmville to the big screen! If I were writing Farmville: The Movie, I would use the interlocking stories of Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio as a template. My film would focus on the people who play Farmville, as opposed to its fictional universe. Where Anderson's small town residents all suffered from an unknowable, quiet despair, the people who play Farmville all day would just click things a lot.


Seth Macfarlane Used Frank Sinatra's Microphone To Record Standards Album October 2nd, 2011 3:00pm EDT  
Celebrated animator-turned-crooner Seth MacFarlane attempted to conjure up a little Sinatra magic as he recorded his new standards album by using the singer's very own microphone. The Family Guy and American Dad creator also recorded his vocals for "Music Is Better Than Words" in the Capitol Records studio in Los Angeles Sinatra used for many of his classics. MacFarlane tells, "That mic is over 60 years old and you can see it. But it has a really nice, dark sound to it. It really plays a significant part on how this stuff sounds. You don't want it to sound too crisp."

Dr. Murray Gave Michael Jackson Powerful Sleeping Aids Hours Before Death October 8th, 2011 9:30am EDT

Dr. Conrad Murray admitted to police that he had provided Michael Jackson a variety of powerful drugs in the hours leading up to the King of Pop's death after the singer complained about his inability to sleep. The Thriller hitmaker's doctor stands accused of administering the fatal dose of powerful anaesthetic Propofol which cost Jackson his life in 2009. On the ninth day of his involuntary manslaughter trial, prosecutors played a tape recording of Murray's interview with Los Angeles police detectives, which took place on 27 June, 2009, two days after Jackson's passing, in which he details the series of events surrounding the singer's death. In the two-hour interrogation, which had never before been heard in public, Murray explains his history with Jackson, revealing he first treated the superstar in 2006 when he and his three children caught a bout of influenza. He continued to treat Jackson on and off, before he was appointed as his personal physician as the King of Pop prepared for his doomed This Is It series of concerts in London. The most interesting admission in the police interview concerns Murray's own confession stating that he "took all precautions that were available to me" to help put Jackson to rest as he "was unable to sleep naturally". He reveals that he began administering anxiety drugs Lorazepam and Midazolam to Jackson at around 1.30am on the fateful morning of 25 June, 2009, and continued to do so over the course of the next nine hours. The drugs failed to work so Murray gave the singer a 25-milligram dose of Propofol - the same substance the doctor had been trying to ween Jackson off, admitting, "Michael loved that drug." The evidence is likely to prove damaging to Murray's case - he has pleaded not guilty to the charge and his defence lawyers argue that Jackson administered the fatal dose himself. The trial will resume on Tuesday.

Johnny Depp To Perform The Performance Of Dr. Seuss October 7th, 2011 8:55am EDT And now comes an act of Enormous Enormance! No former performers performed this performance!
Quoting his own "If I Ran the Circus" might be the way that Dr. Seuss himself might've responded to the news that Johnny Depp will be playing him in a movie. According to Risky Business, the "Pirates of the Caribbean" star will produce and most likely star in a live-action movie about the life of the classic children's author and illustrator born Theodor Geisel but known worldwide as the inimitable Dr. Seuss. Geisel was born in 1904 and went on to publish 46 children's books known for their imaginative characters and the author's knack for rhyme and trisyllabic meter. The most beloved and celebrated of his works include "Horton Hears a Who!," "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," "The Cat in the Hat," "Green Eggs and Ham," "One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish" and, of course, one of the most popular graduation gifts of all time, "Oh, the Places You'll Go!" Depp is no stranger to playing eccentric and brilliant writers, having portrayed "Peter Pan" author J.M. Barrie in "Finding Neverland" and a funhouse version of Hunter S. Thompson in "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas." He's an absolutely perfect choice for Dr. Seuss -- we can already hear him reading some of that wonderful writing out loud. The currently untitled biopic will be distributed by Universal, which released live-action versions of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" (2000) and "The Cat in the Hat" (2003). Universal is currently in post production on an animated adaptation of Seuss' "The Lorax," opening March 2, 2012. Johnny Depp will next be seen in another Hunter S. Thompson adventure, "The Rum Diary," opening Oct. 28, and in Martin Scorsese's "Hugo," opening Nov. 23.

'Blues Brothers' Actor Charles Napier Dies At 75 October 6th, 2011 8:49am EDT Veteran actor Charles Napier has died at the age of 75.
The Blues Brothers star passed away on Wednesday at Bakersfield Memorial Hospital in Bakersfield, California. His death came 24 hours after he was found collapsed at his home and transferred to the medical facility, where he was put on life support in the intensive care unit, according to the Hollywood Reporter. His cause of death was not known as WENN went to press. Napier began his career in the U.S. army before moving to Los Angeles in the 1960s to work as a substitute teacher. He reportedly became friends with Hollywood star Jack Nicholson, who helped him find work as an actor. He enjoyed roles in TV hits such as Mission: Impossible, Star Trek, Kojak and The Rockford Files, before finding fame as Tucker McElroy in 1980 movie The Blues Brothers with John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd. Napier's other movie credits include Philadelphia, Silence of the Lambs, Rambo: First Blood Part II, The Cable Guy and Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery.

Kevin Sorbo Reveals He Had An Aneurysm While Making 'Hercules' October 3rd, 2011 8:36am EDT
TV hunk Kevin Sorbo has opened up about a secret health battle he faced while shooting hit show "Hercules" - the actor suffered a series of strokes. Sorbo suffered severe aches and pains during and immediately after intense work-outs as he was fighting to maintain his impressive physique for the show in the late 1990s, but doctors he visited on a press tour insisted his ailments were nothing to worry about. Sorbo tells Neurology Now magazine, "At the time, I was promoting the feature film 'Kull the Conqueror.' I had several doctors on my publicity tour check me out, but they didn't believe it was anything serious. I even had what seemed like a rational explanation, having recently injured my ulnar nerve - the funny bone." But then one day, he began to suffer blurry vision and dizziness as he drove home from a visit to his chiropractor after suffering a spinal pain during a weightlifting session. He woke up the following morning with slurred speech and headed for a nearby hospital, where doctors discovered he had suffered an aneurysm in an artery near his shoulder. Sorbo recalls, "Apparently, the aneurysm had been producing blood clots for some time. I had blockages all down my arm that were making my fingers cold, tingly, and numb." Opening up about the health crisis in his new book "True Strength: My Journey from Hercules to Mere Mortal and How Nearly Dying Saved My Life," Sorbo reveals TV network bosses covered for him and writers were commissioned to rewrite scripts to allow the star time to recover as he underwent treatment, during which the actor discovered he had suffered three strokes. He admits the scare made him take a long, hard look at his life: "I felt like I had been transformed overnight from a youthful, carefree jock into someone who needed to grasp the backs of chairs and counters for an arduous five-yard trip to the bathroom. "I went through two years of hell before I began to feel like myself again. I was depressed and frustrated and had a bad attitude."

Leonard Nimoy Attends His Last 'Star Trek' Convention October 4th, 2011 8:35am EDT
Star Trek legend Leonard Nimoy has retired from the show's hugely popular conventions after almost 30 years.
The actor made his name playing half-Vulcan Spock in the original Star Trek TV series back in 1966. Nimoy, along with other beloved stars of the show, has been a regular at the annual conventions set up by Creation Entertainment over the last three decades. However, the 80 year old has decided to step down, and has confirmed his last appearance was at the 45th anniversary event in Chicago, Illinois last weekend. At the convention, he spoke to fans about his life and thanked them for their support, before making his famous Vulcan salute and saying his catchphrase from the show, "Live Long and prosper."

NBC pulls 'Playboy Club' after 3 episodes By Curt Wagner, RedEye 12:28 p.m. CDT, October 4, 2011 
NBC said Monday it will replace "The Playboy Club" with its news program "Rock Center with Brian Williams" beginning Oct. 31.
After three low-rated episodes, NBC has axed the Chicago-set sudser about Bunnies in the first of Hugh Hefner's Playboy Clubs in the 1960s. Last night's episode averaged 3.4 million viewers. NBC will air repeats of the new drama "Prime Suspect" at 9 p.m. Mondays until "Rock Center" debuts, an NBC publicist told me. He did not say if the remaining episodes of "The Playboy Club" would be broadcast. "The Playboy Club" becomes the first new series of the 2011-12 TV season to be pulled from the schedule. The show, starring Laura Benanti, Amber Heard, Eddie Cibrian, Naturi Naughton and Sean Maher, didn't have much of a chance after being targeted for boycott by everyone from the Parents Television Council to feminist Gloria Steinem. Recently seven advertisers pull their commercials from the broadcast. It's a shame for film production in Chicago, where the series is filmed at the new Cinespace Chicago Film Studios on the Southwest Side. Fox's "The Chicago Code" filmed in Chicago last year, but also was cancelled. The Starz series "Boss," which also filmed at Cinespace and throughout the city this summer, already has been renewed for a second season despite the fact its first season does not debut until Oct. 21. Showtime's "Shameless," which is partially filmed here, returns in January. Despite what critics, viewers and I have said about the quality of "The Playboy Club," I was entertained by aspects of it, especially the musical performances of Tony winner Benanti and guest stars. I also applaud creator Chad Hodge's look into the early history of the fight for gay rights in the U.S. Rarely, if ever, has a series tackled the subject of the Mattachine Society, an underground organization that worked for gay rights mostly in the 1950s. (Yes, Chicago-area native Hodge took some liberties with history, but I was OK with that.)

Hugh Hefner: "Playboy Club" should have been on cable by Tim Kenneally, Reuters 3:52 p.m. CDT, October 5, 2011
LOS ANGELES ( - Hugh Hefner and the Parents Television Council agree on one thing, at least -- that NBC never should have aired "The Playboy Club." The Playboy publisher reflected on Tuesday's cancellation of the series -- set at the Playboy Club in Chicago in the 1960s -- via his Twitter shortly after the news, opining that the series was a very poor fit for network television."I'm sorry NBC's 'The Playboy Club' didn't find it's audience," Hefner wrote. "It should have been on cable, aimed at a more adult audience." The beleaguered series -- which starredAmber Heard and Eddie Cibrian -- had a lot more to contend with than just poor ratings. It sputtered from the start and slipped further from there. The show met resistance from all sides of the ideological spectrum, with both feminist icon Gloria Steinem and conservative-leaning Parents Television Council calling for boycotts of the series. NBC even felt push-back from its own affiliates, with Salt Lake City station KSL-TV refusing to air the program. Whether due to the faltering numbers -- the series posted an anemic 1.2 rating in the adults 18-49 demographic for its final episode Monday -- or the pressure from outside forces, the series also saw advertisers flee from the series, with seven sponsors pulling up stakes following the show's September 19 premiere.

Woo Hoo! Fox Orders Two More Seasons of The Simpsons Oct 7, 2011 08:45 PM ET by Natalie Abrams TV GuideThe Simpsons will live on! Fox has renewed the longest-running comedy for two more seasons, Seasons 24 and 25, which will include the show's 500th episode in February 2012, the network announced Friday. The Simpsons cast close to signing deal — but how much will they make? The renewal comes as a relief to fans. On Monday, the network reportedly gave the cast an ultimatum: Agree to take a 45 percent pay cut by Friday or the animated series will be canceled. The new deal reportedly won't reduce their salaries as much as Fox originally demanded, but it will not include any revenue pay.On Monday, it was reported that the actors — Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria and Harry Shearer — proposed a 30 percent pay cut in exchange for a small percentage of the show's back-end profits, which includes syndication and merchandising. But that offer was swiftly rejected by the network. Early Friday, Shearer spoke out against Fox, saying he would take a pay cut as large as 70 percent in order to get a share of the sitcom's hefty profits. Shearer said there were "simply no circumstances under which the network would consider allowing me or any of the actors to share in the show's success." Fox gives Simpsons actors an ultimatum The show's producers already agreed to salary reductions, but several of them already have deals that include compensation from back-end profits. Created by Matt Groening, The Simpsons airs Sundays at 8/7c on Fox. Following the World Series, The Simpsons will return with "Treehouse of Horrors XXII" on Sunday, Oct. 30.

Robert Downey Jr. Tapped To Play Perry Mason October 6th, 2011 9:12am EDT
Robert Downey, Jr. is in talks to bring another famous literary detective back to life as Warner Brothers bosses move forward with a new Perry Mason film franchise. The actor, who is currently playing Sherlock Holmes on the big screen for director Guy Ritchie, has emerged as the favorite to play Raymond Burr's iconic TV crime solver. Downey, Jr. and his wife Susan Downey are also interested in producing the project and the "Iron Man" star has dreamed up the screenplay for the revamp with executive producer David Gambino, according to trade paper Daily Variety. Burr played Perry Mason on TV in the 1960s. The detective character first appeared in Erie Stanley Gardner's novels and also features in a radio series.

Is Eddie Murphy Returning To 'SNL'? October 5th, 2011 4:43pm EDT

Eddie Murphy is back! The comedian, actor and future Oscar host has a new lease on life. After suffering a career slump he's priming himself for a major return, which could include a special appearance on this week's Saturday Night Live. Eddie Murphy appeared on Saturday Night Live for four years and went on to become one of the show's most successful stars. With a new film heading to theaters and a prestigious hosting gig on the horizon, rumors are swirling that Murphy might return to his SNL roots. Murphy co-stars with Ben Stiller in the new comedy Tower Heist, which opens in theaters November 4. In promotion of the film, Stiller is hosting this week's episode of Saturday Night Live. His appearance has some people wondering whether or not Murphy will make an unexpected cameo during the show. According to the New York Post, Murphy hasn't appeared on SNL since he left the series over 25 years ago. He's also never participated in any reunions or specials, which fueled the rumor that there might be bad blood between Murphy and executive producer Lorne Michaels. In the early '90s, Murphy's career was in a decline when SNL cast member David Spade poked fun at him in a sketch where he showed a picture of Murphy followed by the quip, “Look children, a falling star ... Quick, make a wish!” This supposedly rubbed Murphy the wrong way and he's kept his distance because of it. Regardless of the backstage drama, many are anxious to see if Murphy will step on the SNL stage for one last hurrah. A rep for the actor said, “There are no plans for Eddie to appear on SNL at this time, but perhaps in the future he will make a return.”

Lady Gaga In Talks To Become New Singer Of Queen? October 6th, 2011 8:32am EDT
Lady Gaga is in talks with Queen guitarist Brian May to take over as the band's new lead singer. Original frontman Freddie Mercury died in 1991 and Paul Rodgers took on vocal duties for the group for five years from 2004. The collaboration ended in 2009 and now the rockers are looking for another singer to complete their line-up so they can go back on the road. May is hoping Gaga, whose stage name is inspired by their hit song Radio Ga Ga, will accept an offer to sing for them. He tells Britain's Daily Express, "We talk about going out on the road all the time but there's a bit of a singer problem to put it mildly. We get a lot of offers to work with other people. I worked with Lady Gaga and she's very creative and is someone we've talked about singing, fronting the band with. She's not just a singer, she writes her own material." The musician is also considering bringing in several guest vocalists to give renditions of Queen's hit tracks as part of a TV show: "We have talked about doing duets with other people and in a strange way I almost pressed the yes button. We were debating the idea of a TV show where we have all these guest stars." "We didn't press it today but we are still looking at it. Lady Gaga has said she would like to do something with us."


Apple Founder Steve Jobs Dies Posted 3 days ago - By G4 Staff

According to the Associated Press, Apple Co-Founder and technological giant Steve Jobs has died. He was 56. According to a statement issued by his relatives, "Steve died peacefully today surrounded by his family." Jobs, who founded Apple Computing with Steve Wozniak, Mike Markkula, and others in the late 1970s, is responsible directly and indirectly for the iPhone, the iPad, The Apple Macintosh line of computers and a number of other innovations that have revolutionized the way we work, play, and interact. Jobs had been battling a rare and painful form of pancreatic cancer since 2004, and resigned from his position as head of Apple on August 24 of this year, writing that he could "no longer meet his duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO." Since then, Jobs had served as the chairman of Apple's board of directors. "In his public life, Steve was known as a visionary; in his private life, he cherished his family," the Jobs' family statement reads, "We are thankful to the many people who have shared their wishes and prayers during the last year of Steve's illness; a website will be provided for those who wish to offer tributes and memories." "Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple," Apple said in a statement. Sometimes referred to as the Thomas Edison of his time, Jobs was either the primary inventor or co-inventor of 338 US patents or patent applications ranging from computer and portable devices to user interfaces, speakers, keyboards, power adapters, staircases, clasps, sleeves, lanyards and packages. His impressive array of patents speaks towards his creativity, ingenuity, and love of innovation, along with his hands-on approach to management, one that he applied very successfully during his time at Apple. Jobs was also instrumental in the success of computer animation company Pixar, purchasing the company in the late 1990s and acting as its CEO through one of the most successful times in the company's history, producing classic movies like A Bug's Life, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Cars, WALL-E, and Toy Story 3. With his trademark black turtleneck, Apple fans always looked forward to Jobs getting up on stage and announcing "just one more thing," but it was never just one more thing; it was always so much more than that. Apple, under Jobs's impressive leadership, introduced products that were not only useful, but incredibly simple to use and stylish. Jobs transformed Apple from a producer of products to a worldwide brand that oozes class and sophistication. In recent years with the release of the iPhone and iPad which ushered in the era of smart phones and mobile gaming for the masses, it seems as though the entire tech industry has been trying to keep pace with Apple, without ever been able to catch up. What Steve Jobs built was a company that made computing sexy. The allure of owning an iPhone is not only that it's an impressive piece of machinery, but that all the cool kids have one. . .and Steve Jobs was definitely one of the cool kids. We'll miss you, Steve.

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