More Cast Members Announced for the Second Season of Kamisama Kiss

This year’s 23rd issue of Hakusensha’s Hana to Yume is announcing that the following cast members have been added for the second season of the Kamisama Kiss television anime series:

  • Wataru Hatono is Jiro
  • Akira Kamiya is Sojobo
  • Hiro Shimono is Yatori
  • Daisuke Hirakawa is Suiro
  • Ayaka Saito os Botanmaru

The magazine is also announcing that the second season of Kamisama Kiss is scheduled to premiere on Japanese television in January 2015.

SHIROBAKO: Episode 3 – “No More Recap Episodes”

SHIROBAKO starts out with five friends in a high school animation club producing an animation to screen at their school cultural fair. Aoi, Ema, Shizuka, Misa, and Midori swear that they’ll eventually reunite in Tokyo and make another anime together. The story then jumps ahead in time two-and-a-half years, where Aoi is working as a production assistant at Musashino Animation, a company that’s in the process of working on an anime titled, Exodus. Ema is also at Musashino Animation; she’s just getting her foot in the door as an animator. In Episode Two, we learn that Shizuka is a newbie voice actress at Akaoni Production.

Episode Three focuses on Aoi and all the stress she’s under; not only is she trying to keep straight what needs to get done for episode nine of Exodus, she’s also trying to coordinate everything for the last minute changes being made to episode four. When it comes to episode four, it seems like one obstacle after another gets in her way. As the episode progresses, we get to see Aoi starting to lose it more and more. Fortunately, she has co-workers who give her encouragement and help keep her going; without that, I think Aoi would have completely snapped before getting episode four completed.

As a viewer, I thought the episode convincingly conveyed the stressful environment at the studio due to the production of episode four falling more and more behind. That stress level was definitely at its highest when the FTP server was inaccessible and they really needed data from another studio in order to get episode four completed. The episode was written in such a way that it really started leading the audience to believe that Aoi wouldn’t be able to get episode four done in time for delivery.

I may only be three episodes in so far, but SHIROBAKO has given me a greater appreciation for all of the work and stress that goes on behind the scenes for the anime that I enjoy watching. While I’ve heard about these various issues and scenarios before, it’s a completely different story to see it depicted and to get a sense of what it all truly means. I also appreciate how SHIROBAKO is able to take these various stressful production issues and convey them in a light-hearted manner.

Now that this storyline is over, I hope that the series will find a way to start incorporating Misa and Midori into the story. While we’ve only seen Shizuka once or twice since they graduated, we’ve at least seen her and know what’s happened to her. I think we might have gotten brief glimpses of Misa and Midori in this episode, but if we did, they were really brief.

Right now, I’m enjoying SHIROBAKO. The series still shows a lot of potential at this point, and I hope that the series can follow through on this potential through to the end.

New York Times Manga Best Seller List: October 19-25, 2014

Here are the top ten selling manga in the United States for the week of October 19-25, 2014, according to the New York Times.

1. No Game, No Life Volume 1 by Yuu Kamiya and Mashiro Hiiragi
2. Naruto Volume 67 by Masashi Kishimoto
3. Food Wars! Volume 2 by Yuto Tsukuda and Shun Saeki
4. Haganai: I Don’t Have Many Friends Volume 9 by Yomi Hirasaka and Itachi
5. Attack on Titan Volume 1 by Hajime Isayama
6. Maximum Ride Volume 8 by James Patterson and NaRae Lee
7. Deadman Wonderland Volume 5 by Jinsei Kataoka
8. Black Butler Volume 1 by Yana Toboso
9. Happy Marriage?! Volume 8 by Maki Enjoji
10. Attack on Titan Volume 13 by Hajime Isayama

Anime Biography: Robert O. Smith

Robert O. Smith was born in 1942. He had a career in radio, where he was a DJ at such stations as KJR in Seattle, KMBY in Monterey, and KTAC in Tacoma. In the 1960s, Smith recorded and released a novelty record titled, “Walter Wart the Freaky Frog.”

Smith went on to provide voices for the English dub versions of several anime properties. His roles include: Major Domo in Dragon Ball Movie 1: Curse of the Blood Rubies; Dragon Ball Z (as a Guru in the episode, “Dende’s Inferno”); Kaijinbo in Inuyasha; Riden in Fatal Fury: Legend of the Hungry Wolf; Big Bear and Cheng Sinzan in Fatal Fury: The Motion Picture; Ran’s grandfather and the narrator in Green Legend Ran; Tsuchiya in Hikaru no Go; Editor in Human Crossing; Dr. Watson in The Humanoid; Sgt. Masao Goto in Kishin Corps; Mr. Ichinose, Kyoko’s father, and Akemi’s boss in Maison Ikkoku; Gravity Man in Megaman NT Warrior; D in Project A-ko; Genma in Ranma 1/2; Murata, Tokai’s man, and Escort service rep in Sanctuary; Politician A in Tetsujin 28th; and Burei Karima in Ultimate Teacher.

Smith also had roles in some American animated productions. Those roles include: Sparkles in Pocket Dragon Adventures, Alfred Hamhock in Madeline, Bernie in The Adventures of T. Rex, Nelson Oilar in Robin and the Dreamweavers, Grunt in G.I. Joe, Big Horn in Cyboars, Buddy Diddley and The Wraith in Stone Protectors, and Manx and Sanctifur in Billy the Cat. He also provided voices for The Hulk and Monster Mash video games.

Smith also did voice-over work for commercials during his career. His voice can be heard on commercials for the Miami Dade County School System, Pizza 73, Hyundai Gallery of Alberta, the Government of Alberta, Mysask.com, Gimbel Eye Centre, Evanston’s Symons Corners Alberta, Money Mart, Westminster Credit Union, Dupont Steadfast, London Drugs, Toyota Dealers of B.C., Mac’s Convenience Stores, Province Newspaper, Subway, B.C. Lotteries, Farm Credit Canada, Interior Savings, Richmond Auto Mall, Ricky’s All Day Grill, Kootenay Savings, Burlington Athletic Club, IKEA, and Boston Pizza.

Smith was an animation enthusiast, who created and voiced his own comedic short animations under the name Thorndike Pickledish. In addition to animation, Smith also was a wrestling and power-lifting enthusiast.

Sadly, Robert O. Smith passed away on May 30, 2010 at the age of 67 from pancreatic and liver cancer. He is survived by his children, Justine Wintersmith and Zach Monroe.

References

“Robert O. Smith.” Anime News Network. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/people.php?id=2470

“Voice Actor Robert O. Smith Passes Away.” Anime News Network. June 8, 2010. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2010-06-08/voice-actor-robert-o-smith-passes-away

Cinelicious Pics to Restore Belladonna of Sadness For a U.S. Release

Cinelicious Pics has signed an exclusive deal to restore and distribute the long-unavailable 1973 Japanese animated masterpiece Belladonna of Sadness, as its first major restoration and re-release.The last film in the groundbreaking Animerama trilogy produced by the godfather of Japanese anime & manga, Osamu Tezuka and directed by his long time collaborator Eiichi Yamamoto, Belladonna of Sadness is a mad, swirling, psychedelic lightshow of medieval tarot-card imagery with horned demons and haunted forests.

Cinelicious will restore the feature using the original 35mm camera negative and sound elements in anticipation of a 2015 theatrical, VOD, and home video re-release in North America.

An innocent young woman, Jean (voiced by Katsutaka Ito) is savagely assaulted by the local lord on her wedding night. To take revenge, she makes a pact with the Devil himself (voiced by Tatsuya Nakadai, from Akira Kurosawa’s Ran) who appears as an erotic sprite and transforms her into a black-robed vision of madness and desire. The film is fueled by a Japanese psych rock soundtrack by Masahiko Sato. The deal was negotiated by Cinelicious Pics’ President Paul Korver, President of Business Affairs Kristine Blumensaadt and EVP Dennis Bartok with Japanese rightsholders Gold View Co. and Mushi Productions.

“It took months of negotiations to convince the Japanese rightsholders to entrust us with the original camera negative of the film which we’re restoring in-house,” says Cinelicious Pics’ President Paul Korver. “People will be simply blown away by the wild, hallucinatory images and soundtrack,” he adds.

“BELLADONNA OF SADNESS belongs on a short list with Rene Laloux’s FANTASTIC PLANET and Ralph Bakshi’s WIZARDS as one of the trippiest animated films ever conceived,” adds Cinelicious Pics’ EVP of Acquisitions & Distribution Dennis Bartok. “This is a major rediscovery – and I have to give credit to Hadrian Belove at The Cinefamily here in L.A. for bringing the film to our attention.”

Bandai Namco, ADK, and Aniplex Establish Anime Consortium Japan Streaming Service

Bandai Namco Holding inc., Asatsu-DK inc., and Aniplex inc. have announced that they will establish a joint company called Anime Consortium Japan, Inc. (ACJ). The company’s goal is to develop a new internet streaming platform for overseas markets along with an e-commerce business for official anime content.

The platform will simulcast new anime titles and stream older series in various languages. The company will launch on November 7, 2014 and expects to be in full operation by April 2015. Daisuki, Inc will merge with Anime Consortium Japan with funding by the Japanese government’s Cool Japan initiative. The initiative will invest one billion yen (which is about US$9.1 million) in the project.

Additional shareholders include Toei Animation, Sunrise, TMS Entertainment, Nihon Ad Systems, and Dentsu Inc. Bandai Namco Games’ executive vice president Shin Unozawa will serve as ACJ’s representative.

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya Is Nominated for APSA’s Best Animated Film

Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk has announced the nominees for the eighth Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA). Studio Ghibli and Isao Takahata’s The Tale of the Princess Kaguya is nominated for Best Animated Feature Film, and it is the only Japanese film nominated for an award.

The other nominees for Best Animated Feature Film are:

  • China’s Frog Kingdom
  • Australia and Germany’s Maya the Bee
  • South Korea’s On the White Planet
  • South Korea’s The Satellite Girl and Milk Cow

The APSA ceremony will be held in Brisbane, Australia on December 11, 2014.