Another Cast Announcement for the Absolute Duo Anime

The official website for the forthcoming anime adaptation of the Absolute Duo light novel series has announced more cast members:

  • Haruka Tomatsu is Imari Nagakura
  • Yukari Tamura is Rito Tsukimi
  • Yui Horie is Sakuya Tsukumo
  • Natsuki Hanae is Tora
  • Yoshihisa Kawahara is Tatsu

Absolute Duo is scheduled to debut on Japanese television in January 2015. However, there will be ad advance screening event with the main voice cast at Kadokawa Cinema Shinjuku in Tokyo on December 28, 2014.

Discotek Media Announces Releases for 2015

Discotek Media has announced four releases that the company will be putting out during 2015:

  • Lupin III: Bank of Liberty (aka Lupin III: From Russia With Love) is being released on DVD.
  • IGPX will be released as a complete collection with the original Japanese audio with English subtitles and the English dub.
  • Descendants of Darkness will be released as a complete collection with the original Japanese audio with English subtitles and the English dub.
  • Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas will be released as a complete collection with the original Japanese audio with English subtitles.

Discotek Media to Release Magic Knight Rayearth

Discotek Media has announced that the company will be releasing the Magic Knight Rayearth television anime series on DVD and Blu-ray.

According to the company, the series will be released on DVD in 2015, with a Blu-ray release to follow in 2016.

SHIROBAKO: Episode 6 – “Idepon Miyamori: On the Move”

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 Six focuses primarily on the conflict between hand-drawn and 3D animation. It starts out with a continuity issue that arises when it’s discovered that the explosion at the end of Episode Eight that was done with CG was hand-drawn for the opening of Episode Nine. Of course, this throws Aoi into a tizzy because it affects the episode that she’s in charge of, and it ultimately pulls her into Takanashi’s situation with Endou. Poor Aoi has already been dealing with her confusion with what her goal in life is, and now she’s suddenly thrown into the middle of an escalation situation that wasn’t of her making.

When Endou refuses to come back, Aoi takes it upon herself to tell Honda about him quitting because Takanashi refuses to. As expected, this causes Honda to blow a gasket. Fortunately, he realizes that Takanashi was the root of the problem and not Aoi. At this point, it really surprises me that Takanashi still has a job on the production when you consider his track record up to this point.

There’s an exhibition for an anime called Idepon that the company is giving tickets out for, and it’s decided to give the few tickets they have left to the key animators. When Aoi picks up work from Misato and tries giving a ticket to the exhibit, Misato tells her that it was Idepon that got Endou into animation and suggests giving it to him.

Aoi goes to see Endou, but talks with his wife instead and hands her the tickets. Aoi runs into Takanashi, Endou, and Shimoyanagi (the 3D animator who did the explosion with CG) at the exhibit, and things look tense at first. But it was amazing to see how Endou and Shimoyanagi ended up bonding when they discovered that they are both fans of Idepon. I think for both of them, it helped to revisit the property that got the two of them interested in becoming animators in the first place, as well as to show them that just because they may animate in different ways, they’re still capable of enjoying the same things. As we see at the end of the episode, they admit that they like each other’s work and ask for help from the other; Endou decides he needs to learn how to use the 3D CG software, while Shimoyanagi asks Endou for help with key frames.

Aoi ends up being the one who helps lead the way toward bringing around a resolution; even though running into Shimoyanagi was purely coincidental, Aoi was able to find ways to keep Endou and Shimoyanagi from getting at each other’s throats. After the visit to the Idepon exhibit, Endou says he’ll come back to serve as the animation director for Episode Eight of Exodus and will also animate the explosion at the end of the episode in order to match the work done for Episode Nine. By getting this done, Aoi receives praise from the others who work around her, with one going so far as to say that Aoi has good sense and skills for being a producer. Hopefully this praise, as well as what she’s gone through in recent episodes, will help Aoi realize that perhaps her goal is to eventually become an anime producer.

There was also some focus on Shizuka and her lack of confidence due to not landing much in the way of voice over roles. Shizuka’s voice acting mentor comes to visit her while she’s at her part-time job and is able to talk with Shizuka; Shizuka’s mentor also invites her to see the rehearsals for a play that she’s involved with. When Shizuka goes, she says she likes what she sees and wants to act. This ends with her mentor saying she’ll give Shizuka a call the next time they do something. These actions, as well as the encouraging words from her mentor, help Shizuka feel better about herself and her talent.

There are also some brief scenes focusing on the director as he’s supposed to be working on the storyboards for the final episode. By the end of this episode, the director has finally finished one portion of them. He may not be done yet, but at least there’s some progress! Hopefully he’ll actually get the storyboards done on time! I’m a little worried, though, since the title of the next episode is, “Retake With Cats.” I’m hoping that the director hasn’t come up with another ridiculous idea that will throw a wrench in the works for the production of Exodus!

New York Times Manga Best Seller List: November 9-15, 2014

Here are the top ten selling manga in the United States for the week of November 9-15, 2014, according to the New York Times.

1. Attack on Titan Volume 14 by Hajime Isayama
2. Nisekoi: False Love Volume 6 by Naoshi Komi
3. Bleach Volume 62 by Tite Kubo
4. Fairy Tail Volume 43 by Hiro Mashima
5. No Game, No Life by Yuu Kamiya and Mashiro Hiiragi
6. All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, Ryosuke Takeuchi and Takeshi Obata
7. Attack on Titan: No Regrets Volume 2 by Gun Snark, Hikaru Suruga and Hajime Isayama
8. Attack on Titan Volume 1 by Hajime Isayama
9. Black Butler Volume 18 by Yana Toboso
10. UQ Holder Volume 3 by Ken Akamatsu

Anime Biography: Yoko Kanno

Anime music composer Yoko Kanno was born on March 19, 1964 in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan. Kanno is also a keyboardist; she cites Maurice Ravel and Claude Debussy as her primary influences.

Kanno was married to composer Hajime Mizoguchi, and they collaborated together on the soundtracks for Please Save My Earth and Vision of Escaflowne; however, the couple divorced in 2007. Over the years, it has been rumored that Kanno also records under the pseudonym Gabriela Robin, because this vocalist has only ever worked with Kanno or her ex-husband, Mizoguchi.

Kanno has released six albums in Japan: Song to Fly was released on January 1, 1998; 23-Ji no Ongaku was released on May 22, 2002; CM Yoko was released on May 2, 2008; CM Yoko 2 was released on April 22, 2009; Space Bio Charge was released on May 27, 2009; and Yoko Kanno produce Cyber Bicci on June 8, 2011.

Kanno formed the blues/jazz band The Seatbelts to record the music for Cowboy Bebop, and she served as the frontwoman for the group. However, because the group became successful through their music for Cowboy Bebop, they stayed together and toured primarily in Japan. The Seatbelts also worked on the music for Darker Than Black: Kuro no Keiyakusha.

Yoko Kanno has also composed music for the following anime: Macross Plus, Memories: Magnetic Rose, Clamp School Detectives, Noiseman Sound Insect, Record of Lodoss War: Chronicles of Heroic Knight, Cardcaptor Sakura, Brain Powerd, Gasaraki, Turn A Gundam, Dai-Guard, Earth Maiden Arjuna, RahXephon, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Genesis of Aquarion, Oban Star-Racers, Genius Party, Macross Frontier, Wolf’s Rain, Kids on the Slope, Space Dandy and Terror in Resonance.  In 2005, Kanno was nominated for an Annie award for Music in an Animated Television Production (for the music she composed for Wolf’s Rain).

In addition to her anime compositions, Kanno has also composed, arranged, and performed on some Japanese pop albums. She has also composed music for live-action films, video games, and television commercials. Kanno’s clients for television commercials have included Canon, DoCoMo, Fuji Xerox, Seven-Eleven, Microsoft, Nissan, Toyota, Shiseido, Avon, and Master Card. Video games featuring Kanno’s compositions include: Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Nobunaga’s Ambition Zenkokuban, Genghis Khan, Nobunaga’s Ambition Sengoku Gunyuden, Ishin No Arashi, Uncharted Waters, Nobunaga’s Ambition Busho Fuunroku, Nobunaga’s Ambition Haoden, Uncharted Waters 2: New Horizons, Nobunaga’s Ambition Tenshoki, Napple Tale: Arsia in Daydream, Cowboy Bebop, Cowboy Bebop: Tsuitou no Yakyoku, and Ragnarok Online 2.

In addition to Japanese, Kanno can speak a little English and some French.

References

“Grand Funk Inc. Official Website.” Grandfunk.net. http://www.grandfunk.net/

“Yoko Kanno.” Anime News Network. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/people.php?id=734