Kazuo Koike to Appear at Comikaze

Comikaze has announced that manga creator Kazuo Koike will be a guest at their upcoming convention. Koike’s credits include Lone Wolf and Cub, Samurai Executioner, and Crying Freeman. He also established Gekikia Sonjuka, a college course that teaches manga.

Comikaze will be taking place October 31-November 2, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.

Anime Biography: Junpei Takiguchi

Junpei Takiguchi was born on April 17, 1931, and his hometown was Chiba, Japan. Takiguchi had various roles in anime television series and films, as well as for video games.

Takiguchi began his anime voice acting career in the 1960s. He can be heard in such early anime productions as Dororo, Goku no Daiboken, Hakushon Daimao, Hyokkori Hyoutan-jima, Kimba the White Lion, Kurenai Sanshiro, Moomin, Sinbad no Boken, and Under Sea Boy Marine.

In the 1970s, Takiguchi’s voice could be heard in such productions as The Adventures of Hutch the Honeybee, Alibaba to Yonjubiki no Tozuku, Animation Kiko Marco Polo no Boken, Chiisana Viking Vicke, Chingo Muchabei, Devilman, Dororon Enma-kun, Fables of the Green Forest, Galaxy Express 999, Gatchaman, Hajime Ningen Gyatoruz, Hokkyoku no Muushika Miishika, Hurricane Polymar, Jim Button, Kashi no Ki Mokku, Kyoryu Daisenso Aizenborg, Kyoryu Tankentai Born Free, the first and second Lupin III series, Mazinger Z, Nagagutsu o Haita 80 Nichikan Sekai Isshu, New Moomin, Nobody’s Boy – Remi, Takarajima, Time Bokan, Uchu no Kishi Tekkaman, The Ultraman, Umi no Triton, Wansa-kun, a Yatterman series and film, Yuusha Raideen, and Zendaman.

In the 1980s, Takiguchi provided his voice acting talent to Aoi Blink, the Bug tte Honey series and film, Cat’s Eye, Chikkun Takkun, a Dirty Pair OAV, Don Dracula, a Doraemon film, the Dr. Slump series and a film, the Dracula: Sovereign of the Damned special, Dragon Ball, the Fist of the North Star film, Fumoon, the third Gegege no Kitaro series and the film, Harmagedon, Kiko Senki Dragonar, Lucy of the Southern Rainbow, the third Lupin III series, Mado King Granzort, Maeterlinck’s Blue Bird, Manga Aesop Monogatari, Meiken Jolie, Mock & Sweet, the Mugen Shinshi: Boken Katsugeki Hen OVA, Muteki Robo Trider G7, My Melody no Akazukin, Nanako SOS, Ninja Hattori-kun, Norakuro-kun, the Patalliro! series and film, Patlabor The Mobile Police, Sherlock Hound, Soreike! Anpanman, Space Adventure Cobra, Star Blazers: The Bolar Wars, Techno Police 21C, Time Patrol-Tai Otasukeman, Time Trouble Tondekeman!, Tokimeki Tonight, Uchusen Sagittarius, Urusei Yatsura, The Wonderful Adventures of Nils, Yoroshiku Mechadock, and Yume no Hoshi no Button Nose.

Takiguchi’s voice acting credits in the 1990s include Alice SOS, a Black Jack OAV, The Brave Fighter on Sun Fighbird, a Crayon Shin-Chan film, Dragon Ball Z, the fourth Gegege no Kitaro series, Genji Tsuushin Agedama, Gozonji! Gekko Kamen-kun, the Hakkenden: Legend of the Dog Warriors OAV, Heisei Tensai Bakabon, one of the JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure OVAs, Kochira Katsushika-ku Kamearikouen-mae Hashutsujo, a Lupin III special, a Mado King Granzort special, Mahojin Guru Guru, Master Keaton, Montana Jones, O-bake no… Holly, One Piece, RPG Densetsu Hepoi, Rurouni Kenshin, Slayers Gorgeous, the Sonic the Hedgehog film, the Time Bokan OVA, and Tomatoman.

In the 2000s, Takiguchi’s voice appeared in Animal Crossing, the third Astro Boy series, Cyborg 009 The Cyborg Soldier, D.Gray-man, Daa! Daa! Daa!, Dragon Ball Kai, .hack//Roots, Hamtaro, the Kaiketsu Zoroi series and film, Kaito Kiramekiman, Karin, Kirarin Revolution, Kurozuka, a Lupin III special and an OVA, Metropolis, Mokke, Princess Resurrection, Tetsujin 28th, Wonder Bebil-kun, and a Yatterman series and film.

Takiguchi also performed one of the theme songs for the Yatterman anime series. For Japanese video games, he can be heard as Heart in Hokuto no Ken: Seikimatsu kyuseishu densetsu, Nitros Oxide in Crash Bandicoot Racing, and Sawamura in Ghost in the Shell. Between 1992 and July 2011, Takiguchi narrated Burari Tochu Gesha no Tabi, a popular railroad travel program on NTV.

Sadly, Junpei Takiguchi passed away on August 29, 2011 at the age of 80 from stomach cancer.

 

References

“Junpei Takiguchi.” Anime News Network. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/people.php?id=7260

“Voice Actor/Narrator Junpei Takiguchi Passes Away.” Anime News Network. August 29, 2011. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2011-08-29/voice-actor/narrator-junpei-takiguchi-passes-away

Ads for the Ushinawareta Mirai o Motomete Anime

The official website for the anime adaptation of the Ushinawareta Mirai o Motomete adult game is now streaming the first two ads for the series.

The site also announced that an advance screening of the first episode will take place in Tokyo on September 27, 2014. Cast members Hatsumi Takada and Akane Tomonaga will be in attendance. The series is scheduled to debut on Japanese television on October 4, 2014.

I am embedding the two ads below, and I apologize in advance to any of my readers who are unable to view the videos due to region blocking.

Sengoku Collection Is Now on YouTube

The Fandom Post is reporting that Lucky Penny Entertainment has started adding episodes of the Sengoku Collection television anime series to YouTube.

According to their report, the first two episodes of the series are now available for viewing on YouTube.

Information on the Second Season of Log Horizon

NHK’s Log Horizon website has been updated with information for the forthcoming second season.

The second season is being produced by Studio Deen instead of Satelight. The second season is being directed by Shinji Ishihira, Toshizo Nemoto is serving as the series composer, and Tetsuya Kumagai is serving as the character designer.

The main cast is returning to reprise their roles and includes:

  • Takuma Terashima is Shiroe
  • Tomoaki Maeno is Naotsugu
  • Emiri Kato is Akatsuki
  • Jouji Nakata is Nyanta
  • Daiki Yamashita is Touya
  • Nao Tamura is Minori
  • Eriko Matsui is Isuzu

“Database” by Man with a Mission featuring Takuma, which was the opening theme for the first season returns for the second season.

The site also has a promo available for streaming, which I am embedding below. I apologize in advance to any of my readers who are unable to view the video due to region blocking.

Sailor Moon Crystal: Episode 6 – “Act 6 TUXEDO MASK”

Sailor Moon Crystal is a remake of the original Sailor Moon television anime series that began airing in Japan in 1992. Unlike the original anime series, Sailor Moon Crystal aims to remain as faithful to the original manga source material as much as possible. While this new series utilizes more modern animation techniques, the character designs try to retain as much of the early 1990s look as it possibly can.

Episode Six sees both Usagi and Mamoru having dreams that they can’t explain. One day, after they both have they dream, Usagi accidentally bumps into him while walking down the street as she thinks about her dream. Makoto and Ami start asking Usagi questions about Mamoru. Just then, they see on a nearby television that Tuxedo Mask has sent a statement to the media that says he’s been committing crimes in order to obtain the “Legendary Silver Crystal.”

When I saw the broadcast, I was wondering what Tuxedo Mask would gain by making such a statement. Fortunately, this was quickly answered within a short amount of time, when we see Tuxedo Mask thinking to himself that doing this should help him collect more information that can aid him in acquiring the “Legendary Silver Crystal.” Unfortunately, as we see in the episode, he didn’t have the foresight to see how much chaos this would ultimately create and would bring out Queen Beryl and her henchmen. Zoisite takes on the task of taking advantage of the public’s curiosity about the “Legendary Silver Crystal” in order to try to find it and acquire more of the humans’ energy.

Another important aspect of this episode is that Usagi is unsure about being the leader of the group, especially since she doesn’t have the abilities that Ami, Makoto, and Rei. Usagi gets some unexpected help and encouragement from Tuxedo Mask that gives her the confidence to take the lead and go after Zoisite and Queen Beryl.

It was quite amusing, though, when Usagi was afraid to transform into Sailor Moon in front of Tuxedo Mask, but then he reveals that he already knows. If Usagi had thought about it, she should have remembered that Tuxedo Mask came to her bedroom in the previous episode in order to lead her to Makoto and her senpai; why would he have come to Usagi unless he knew that she was Sailor Moon? But then again, Usagi is rather flighty and isn’t exactly the brightest of people; remember, she got a 30% on her English test in the first episode! And the episode ends with Usagi figuring out that Mamoru, the boy who’s always sarcastic to her when they bump into each other, is Tuxedo Mask, the mysterious guy she’s fallen for.

After the fight, Sailor Moon has gotten weak and Tuxedo Mask saves her. But he does something that’s not entirely cool; he kisses Sailor Moon on the mouth at a time when she’s unable to give any consent. I would’ve expected Tuxedo Mask to act more like a gentleman than that. And as I seem to remember in the manga that he gave her a kiss on the cheek.

This episode also throws in a couple of references to Sailor V, which includes showing Sailor V and a white cat in the shadows watching Sailor Moon fighting with Zoisite and Queen Beryl. Unfortunately, it looks like Sailor V isn’t going to be an important part of Episode Seven; hopefully we’ll see her make an important appearance in Episode Eight.

It looks like Episode Seven is going to be another episode that has a focus on Tuxedo Mask; and from the title, it looks like Mamoru will also play a role as well. At this point, it looks Sailor Moon Crystal has made it through the first volume of the Sailor Moon manga, and is just starting into the second volume. From refreshing my memory, it appears that each episode of the anime is roughly corresponding to a chapter in the manga. It’ll be interesting to see if this holds true over the remainder of Sailor Moon Crystal.

Anime Book Review: The Rough Guide to Anime

The Rough Guide to Anime is a book written by Simon Richmond, and it was published in 2009. The book contains an introduction, acknowledgements, seven chapters, a glossary, and an index. The introduction covers some of the very basics of anime.

The first chapter of the book chronicles the history of anime, which is covered in seven sections. The ending of the chapter goes into the future challenges and the new directions of anime. Within the chapter, some properties from each of the eras are highlighted, and there are also some boxes included within the text that provide additional information for the reader concerning some of the topics discussed in the chapter. There are also still images of various anime sprinkled throughout not just the first chapter, but throughout the whole book.

The next chapter goes into the fifty “must-see” anime, and includes several obvious choices: Akira, Astro Boy, several of the Studio Ghibli films, Macross, several of Satoshi Kon’s works, and Mobile Suit Gundam, among others. This chapter also includes boxes with additional information. As I read this chapter, I didn’t find myself wondering why particular titles didn’t appear in the list; for the time this was written, it was a comprehensive list. The only way this section will become outdated is if there are titles that have been released or will be released in the future that should be included in the list but aren’t because they didn’t exist at the time this book was written.

The third chapter goes into the history of the studios that have produced anime in Japan over the years, as well as highlighting some of the properties produced by the studios. It then goes into biographies of some anime directors and animators; this also includes an information box about some of the women who work in anime. Then, there are biographies for four Japanese voice actors, and a brief discussion of the music in anime. I was pleased to see the boxes about some of the women involved in anime, because that’s something you just don’t see much in books like this; I was happy to see some of the women in the industry getting their due.

Chapter four focuses on the connection between manga and anime, and includes a history of manga, and about how manga became some of the source material for anime. Then, there are biographies for some manga artists whose works have been adapted into popular anime series. I thought the manga artists that were selected for this section deserved to be featured.

The fifth chapter goes into the various genres that are represented in anime, and highlights some of the anime that fit into each genre. The sixth chapter talks about how anime has come to influence some American series, the European influences on anime, and the connections with the rest of Asia. The chapter also talks about merchandising tie-ins, as well as anime’s influence on art, fashion, and the theater. In this section, my favorite parts were anime’s influence on some American series and the European influences on anime. These tend to be topics that are ignored by many books written about anime.

The final chapter talks about various ways of being able to watch anime, and recommends various anime books, periodicals, and websites that readers can go to for additional information. There is also information on anime cons, and places of interest to anime fans in Japan.

Overall, I thought this book was very well-done, and is very informative. Overall, a lot of the book should be able to hold up over the test of time; the main exceptions would be the chapters featuring the fifty “must see” anime and the various ways of being able to watch anime. This book would have been published before simulcasts became a common way to view anime, so information on simulcasts will be missing from it.

There’s a lot of information included in the book, but it is written in such a way that it is accessible to the reader, regardless of whether the reader is already knowledgeable about anime, or is learning about anime for the first time. I also thought this book made itself stand out from other books about anime with some of the information that was included that isn’t found in other periodicals.

After reading The Rough Guide to Anime, I believe this book should be in the reference library of any anime fan.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of The Rough Guide to Anime that I checked out through the King County Library System.