Seven Companies Invest US$3 Million in Anime Consortium Japan

Anime Consortium Japan has announced that seven Japanese companies will invest 378.3 million yen (US$3.05 million) in Anime Consortium Japan (ACJ). Investors include Kodansha, Shueisha, Shogakukan, Kadokawa, Bushiroad Inc., Good Smile Company, and Toei Animation. While Toei Animation was a shareholder of ACJ previously, the other six companies are new shareholders. Additional shareholders include Sunrise, TMS Entertainment, Nihon Ad Systems, and Dentsu Inc.

ACJ plans to use the investment to expand to “value-added anime contents,” while collaborating with various anime studios, gave developers, publishers, merchandise companies, and other companies who own rights to anime franchises in Japan.

Bandai Namco Holding Inc., Asatsu-DK Inc., and Aniplex Inc. established ACJ in October 2014 to develop a new internet streaming platform for overseas markets along with an e-commerce business for official anime content. Daisuki, Inc. merged with Anime Consortium Japan with funding by the Japanese government’s Cool Japan Fund.

Source: ANN

Ray Performs Opening Theme for Wakaba*Girl

Ray performs “Hajimete Girls!” (First Time Girls!), which is being used as the opening theme for the Wakaba*Girl anime. The CD single will be released in two editions in Japan on August 26, 2015.

NBC Universal Entertainment Japan has posted a short music video for “Hajimete Girls!,” which I am embedding below. I apologize in advance to any of my readers who are unable to view it due to region blocking.

Source: Crunchyroll

Space Pirate Captain Harlock Returns to Hulu

The Fandom Post is reporting that the 42 episodes of the Space Pirate Captain Harlock anime have returned to Hulu. Hulu subscribers can watch the series on their TV and mobile devices.

The story of Space Pirate Captain Harlock is described as:

The year is 2977. Mankind has become complacent and stagnant. All work is done by machines, while humans spend all their time on entertainment. But when a mysterious invader from the stars catches Earth unawares, only the legendary space pirate Captain Harlock and the crew of the Arcadia have the will to stand against them.

Source: The Fandom Post

Children’s Detective Novels Tantei Team KZ Jiken Note Are Getting a TV Anime

The anime studio Signal.MD has announced that it is producing a television anime of Hitomi Fujimoto and Ryō Sumitaki’s Tantei Team KZ Jiken Note (Detective Team Kazs’ Case Notes) novel series. The anime will premiere on October 7, 2015 and run on the public broadcaster NHK’s E-Tele channel as part of the Tensai TV-kun program.

Kazuya Ichikawa is directing the series, Yuka Yamada is in charge of the series scripts, and she is co-writing the scripts with Kazuyuki Fudeyasu.

The cast for the series includes:

  • Yuiko Tatsumi is Aya Tachibana
  • Sōma Saitō is Kazuomi Wakatake
  • Takuma Terashima is Takakazu Kuroki
  • Kōtarō Nishiyama is Kazunori Uesugi
  • Mitsuhiro Ichiki is Kazuhiko Kozuka

The stories center around Aya Tachibana, a sixth-grader who frets and obsesses over friends, family, grades, and more. One day, she joins the “Tantei Team KZ” (Detective Team Kazs) with four very idiosyncratic boys she met at cram school.

There is the glib and attention-grabbing leader Kazuomi Wakatake, the mysterious “expert of personal relationships” Takakazu Kuroki, the smart and stoic math genius Kazunori Uesugi, and the sweet hearted Kazuhiko Kozuka who is good at social matters and science. Aya finds her place among them as the “language expert.” “Tantei Team KZ” gets involved in modern-day cases, and even if they bicker from time to time, they collaborate by pooling each of their talents and skills to solve these cases.

Source: ANN

Lionsgate is Working on a Live-Action Naruto Movie

Hollywood news website The Tracking Board has reported that Lionsgate has closed the rights to adapt Masashi Kishimoto’s Naruto manga into a film.

Lionsgate is in talks with Michael Gracey to direct. Gracey has previously worked in visual effects and animation, and is now directing several upcoming films. These include an adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The Witches and an Elton John biopic titled Rocketman.

Avi Arad is producing the film at Arad Productions, and Erik Feig, Geoff Shaveitz and Kelly O’Malley are overseeing the film.

Source: ANN

Cast Announcement for Magical Somera-chan

The official website for the television anime adaptation of Choboraunyopomi’s four-panel manga Magical Somera-chan (Fushigi na Somera-chan) has announced the main cast:

  • Sayaka Nakaya is Somera Nonomoto
  • Kaede Hondo is Kukuru Nonomoto
  • Rika Momokawa is Shigeku Tendō
  • Maria Naganawa is Ai Matsushima

The anime will be the third one based on Choboraunyopomi’s manga, after Ai Mai Mi and Choboraunyopomi Gekijō Dainimaku Ai Mai Mi: Mōsō Catastrophe. Itsuki Imazaki returns from those earlier anime to direct Fushigi na Somera-chan, again at Studio Seven. Imazaki is also serving as scriptwriter, producer, and character designer. Dream Creation is producing the anime.

Fūga Hatori is returning to compose the music.

The manga follows the daily life of Somera-chan, a wielder of mysterious magical powers, and those around her.

Source: ANN

Snow White with the Red Hair: Episode 4 – “From the Small Hand, a Burgeoning Concerto Resonates”

Snow White with the Red Hair focuses on Shirayuki, an herbalist in a small village who has to flee because Prince Raj wants her to become his concubine due to the unusual color of her hair. During her journey, she becomes friends with Prince Zen, who ultimately helps Shirayuki to win her freedom from Raj.

The first half of Episode 4 sees Shiryuki taking the exam to try to qualify to become an apprentice court herbalist. Shirayuki takes things so seriously that she goes into the greenhouse one day before dawn to tend to the herbs and flowers there. Zen sees her and goes to check on her, but someone locks the two of them inside.

As we’ve come to expect from Shirayuki, she doesn’t panic. In fact, as she continues her work, she discovers a mix up of two similar plants that causes issues for the health and growth of some of the other plants. She takes it upon herself to fix the situation, and gets Zen to help.

The chief herbalist is impressed that Shirayuki passed the test that had been set up, but surprised by the fact she had replanted everything instead of just making notes. This helps Shirayuki become one of two people to be accepted as apprentice court herbalists. So with this, Shirayuki is able to come to the castle freely, which will likely make the castle the major setting for the series going forward.

The second half of the episode sees Shirayuki being trained under Ryu, the youngest court herbalist in history. We get some great character development for Ryu, as we see that there are people prejudiced against him because of his age. So it makes it interesting that Ryu and Shirayuki have been paired together, since the two of them have to deal with some form of prejudice for being “different.” But they still have differences from each other, since Ryu has trouble understanding people, while Shirayuki is very personable. I suspect that Ryu will be learning just as much from Shirayuki as she’ll be learning from him.

Shirayuki also gets to see Zen’s medical records. She’s around him so much that she needs to know what to do in case of an emergency. Shirayuki discovers entries in his record that bother her, even though Zen had hinted at this back in the first episode. There’s a great moment between Shirayuki and Zen here, and it serves as another strong indicator that the series is trying to head toward making these two characters a couple. However, we do see Obi, who we were introduced to in the previous episode, watching Shirayuki from afar. I suspect that a love triangle is in the works.

I’m still enjoying Snow White with the Red Hair. This episode shows that while Shirayuki is courageous and has agency, she still has a side to her that is compassionate and sensitive to others. It seems these traits will all come together to help her become a very effective court herbalist in the future. From the preview for the next episode, it looks like Obi will be playing an important role in the story, so I’m interested in seeing how he’ll be utilized as a character,