Category Archives: Ze Shows

Episode 28: Ah the xxxGoddess Chronicle

This week we review the new seasons of Ah! My Goddess and Tsubasa Resevior Chronicle. We also review xxxHolic.

Ah! My Goddess: Sorezore no Tsubasa – Download Now!
xxxHolic – Download Now!
Tsubasa Resevior Chronicle: Season Two – Download Now!

Show Notes


ADV Films Website Hacked
ADV Films’ Website has been defaced by a Turkish group called “ayyildiz”.

Bernie Mac Joins Transformers Movie
The BBC reports Bernie Mac and Josh Duhamel have signed onto Michael Bay’s upcoming Transformers movie. Mac will reportedly play a salesman who gives star Shia LaBeouf his first Transformer. The $100 million film comes out July 2007.

Monkey Punch Coming to Metrocon
Lupin III creator Monkey Punch will be a guest of honor at Metrocon, June 2-4 in Tampa, FL.

D’espairsRay at AnimeNext
Gothic rock group D’espairsRay will perform at AnimeNext, June 16-18 in Secaucus, NJ.

Death Note, XXXHOLiC Novels in the Works
Author Nisho Ishin announced here and here that he will write novelizations of Death Note and XXXHOLiC. Both books will be released August 1 in Japan.

Ugly Yet Beautiful Trailer Online
IGN hosts a trailer for Studio Gainax’s This Ugly Yet Beautiful World. Volume 1 comes out July 4.

Final Fantasy XIII Trailer Online
Check it out here.

Gundam Seed Destined for Movie
A Gundam Seed Destiny movie is in the works, Sunrise announced yesterday at the Sony Music Anime Fes’ 06. It will be the first original Gundam film since 1991.

John O’Donnell Interview Online
Anime Pulse now hosts an audio interview with text transcript with Central Park Media Managing Director John O’Donnell. The hour long interview discusses CPM, fansubbers, electronic distribution, and the future of the anime industry.

Musician Masahiro Kawasaki Dies
Masahiro Kawasaki, the composer of Street Fighter, Ninja Scroll, and Dagger of Kamui, passed away Thursday. He was 56.

Digital Manga New Acquisitions
Digital Manga has announced the acquisition of Princess Princess by Mikiyo Tsuda and Enchanter by Izumi Kawachi. The first volume of the Enchanter is due out on July 1, while the first volume of the Princess Princess manga is due out in November. Digital Manga will bring Izumi Kawachi to Anime Expo 2006 as a guest.


Ah! My Goddess: Sorezore no Tsubasa

Tsubasa Resevoir Chronicle: Season Two


Download Now

Episode 27: Lingerie Princess^2 wo Sagashite

This week we review some great series. Batou does Princess Princess, Chigo does Lingerie Senshi Papillon Rose, and I do Full Moon wo Sagashite.

Princess Princess – Wouldn’t kick it out of bed for crackers.
Lingerie Senshi Papillon Rose – Wait until it hits the US and Netflix it/Wouldn’t kick it out of bed for crackers.
Full Moon wo Sagashite – Download Now!

Show Notes

New Voice Clips
Thanks to Scott Fletcher for his great work on our new one-liners. Check him out for your voice acting needs.


Advent Children #2 on VideoScan
Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children ranked a “surprise” #2 on VideoScan’s First Alert sales chart in its first week, beating the DVD premieres of Tristan & Isolde (#4), Match Point (#7), and Casanova (#8). Exact sales figures were not available.

Hikaru no Go and Shingu on iaTV
Hikaru no Go will premiere on iaTV this coming Tuesday. It will be aired with Japanese dialogue and subtitles every Tuesday at 8pm and re-aired with the dub Saturdays at noon. Shingu: Secret of the Stellar Wars will premiere at 8:30pm on Tuesday May 9 subbed. Both will be completely uncut. Hikaru no Go will also include the “Go Go Igo!” live action instructional segments.MIT Japanese Culture Symposium Recording Online

MIT Japanese Culture Symposium Recording Online
Anime Pulse now hosts a transcript and audio recording of three of the lectures presented at the recent MIT “Violence and Desire in Japanese Popular Culture” academic symposium. Transcripts and an audio recording are available for Professor Anne Allison of Duke University on Pokemon capitalism and desire, CPM founder John O’Donnell speaking on otaku entrepreneurs and anime distribution in the US, and MIT professor Ian Condry on fansubs, piracy and global media.Mick Takeuchi Coming to Anime Expo (2006-05-02 09:16:55)

Mick Takeuchi Coming to Anime Expo
Mick Takeuchi, creator of Her Majesty’s Dog, will attend Anime Expo as a Guest of Honor. The convention runs July 1-4 in Anaheim.

Tokyopop Starts Young Adult Fiction Line
Tokyopop is launching a line of young adult fiction under the Pop Fiction imprint. The first titles will be Scrapped Princess, Kino no Tabi: Book One of The Beautiful World, and Witches’ Forest: The Adventures of Duan Surk. The books are scheduled to street in October.

Watanabe Interview Audio Online
The CBC’s Pedro Mendes conducted a 13-minute interview with Shinichiro Watanabe while the Samurai Champloo director was in Detroit. Audio of the full interview, which discusses how hip hop culture intersects with Samurai Champloo, is available here.

Details on Hayao Miyazaki’s Next Film Tomorrow
TBS’s News23 program conducted a 15 minute interview with Hayao Miyazaki for its May 5 edition. The program guide says, “Hayao Miyazaki talks about ‘Japanese children’ on Children’s Day… and his next film!” Studio Ghibli has noted that tomorrow’s News23 is “unmissable.”

Hyde Adds Hollywood, Fillmore Gigs
L’Arc~en~Ciel’s Hyde will appear at Hollywood’s House of Blues on July 3 and the Fillmore in San Francisco on July 6. This is in addition to his perviously announced concerts at House of Blues Anaheim and Slim’s in San Francisco on July 2 and July 5. Tickets go on sale Sunday at 1pm Eastern.

LA Area College to Display Banned Manga Book
Barstow Community College orders copies of Paul Gravett’s Manga, 60 Years Of Japanese Comics following its removal from local libraries.

Oh! My Goddess Pre-Order for $29
AnimEigo has received their first shipment of the Oh! My Goddess OAV Collector’s Edition and is selling it from their website for $29.95 ahead of the regular June release. The SRP in June will be $39.98. An upgrade for people who bought the original DVDs is available for $15.


Full Moon wo Sagashite,879,qqczyu,full_moon_wo_sa.html

Lingerie Senshi Papillon Rose

Princess Princess

Download Now

Exclusive Interview with John O’Donnell, Managing Director of Central Park Media

Enjoy and exclusive interview that Rangiku and I had with John O’Donnell, the managing director of Central Park Media. CPM is one of the oldest American Anime distributors, and John was a pleasure to talk to.

We spoke with John just over an hour on his company, fansubbers, electronic distribution, and the future of the industry. We found John to be honest and candid, someone that we want to be involved with the industry.

Central Park Media

Be Beautiful

Places to get CPM Anime online:
Below is the transcript from the session, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view.


JOD Interview with Anime Pulse.pdf

Download Now

MIT’s “Cool Japan” Symposium 04/15/2006

Enjoy the first of three parts of Rangiku’s special report from MIT. On 4/14 and 4/15/2006 MIT hosted a symposium on “Cool Japan”.

This session was entitled “Violence and Desire in Japanese Popular Culture: Anime Capitalism”. It ran from 2-4pm on 4/15/2006.

The people and topics covered:

Professor Anne Allison (Duke University) on Pokemon capitalism and desire
John O’Donnell (founder, Central Park Media) on Otaku entrepreneurs and anime distribution in the US
Professor Ian Condry (MIT) on fansubs, piracy and global media

Below is the transcript from the session, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view.


Cool Japan 04_15_2006.pdf

Download Now

Episode 26: The Card Captoring Cluster Edge and Utawarerumono

This week we review Utawarerumono, Cluster Edge and Card Captor Sakura. We get some more fanmail, and announce our new donation/advertising program.

Utawarerumono – Wouldn’t kick it out of bed for crackers
Cluster Edge – Wouldn’t kick it out of bed for crackers
Card Captor Sakura – Wouldn’t kick it out of bed for crackers

Show Notes


In the Saiyuki review I mixed up a couple names. Sha Goyjo was the 1/2 breed and Cho Hakkai was the human who became a demon.
Tween is 9-12, not 19-20


Animate Group Acquires Biblos Catalog
BE x BOY magazine to return

Death Note Movie Full Trailer Available
A full length theatrical trailer for the first live action Death Note movie is now available in streaming Windows Media format.

Sailor Moon Movie News False
Several news sites have repeated a rumor that the latest issue of Animage reports Lindsay Lohan and Joss Whedon will be involved in a Fox produced live-action Sailor Moon movie. ANN has verified that neither the April nor May issue of Animage says any such thing. Joss Whedon is currently slated to direct the upcoming Wonder Woman movie, due out in 2007. No cast details for that film have been announced.

Idoru Anime?
William Gibson’s Idoru book is expected to be adapted into an anime film, according to Now Playing magazine. No details are given other than the involvement of scriptwriter Alex Steyermark.

Star Blazers Goes Hollywood
Benderspink and producer Josh C. Kline are teaming to adapt Star Blazers into a live-action film. No production timetable has been announced.

New Battle Angel Manga Series in Development
A note at the end of Ultrajump MegaMix Vol. 1 says Gunnm (Battle Angel) Alita will be taking a 3 month hiatus for the creator to develop a new series, Gunnm Gaiden, for the next issue of MegaMix.

Anime Boston Guests
Anime Boston has announced five new guests, including their first two Japanese guests for the 2005 event, voice actress Sumi Shimamoto and character designer Shuzilow.HA. A full list of Anime Boston’s guests (announced to date), is available here. Anime Boston takes place May 26-28 at the Hynes Convention Center.

Toonami & Viz Partner to Offer Anime Online
Toonami Jetstream, a partnership between Cartoon Network and Viz Media, will launch on July 17. The ad-supported site will offer free, full-length episodes of shows including Naruto, Samurai Jack, Hikaru No Go, MAR, and The Prince of Tennis. ICv2 News reports that Toonami Jetstream will also host the American premier of Zoids Genesis. The site will be refreshed with new episodes weekly, and will offer an archive of previously run episodes.
ICv2 has published an interview with Viz Media Executive Vice President John Easum regarding the Toonami Jetstream partnership.

Madman Announces New Licenses for Australian Market
At last weekend’s Supanova Brisbane, Madman Entertainment announced that Gundam Seed Destiny and Eureka 7 have both been acquired. Both are planned to be released in August 2006 and Madman is also looking at releasing the OST for Eureka Seven. Additionally Naruto is confirmed for Australia, planned for an October 2006 release and 100% guaranteed to be uncut and bilingual.

Guitar Vader Pulls out of Fanime
Lead singer has “serious illness”

Nintendo Revolution official name is Wii

Ghibli is #1 Consumer Brand in Japan
Studio Ghibli ranked first in the Business to Consumer market category of Nikkei BP’s Brand Japan 2006 survey, narrowly beating Toyota. Ghibli took 2nd place in 2005 and 5th place in 2004.

Animax Crashes Korea on Saturday
Sony Pictures Television International and Korean satellite TV broadcaster SkyLife will launch Animax in Korea on April 29 to a subscriber base of about 1.9 million. Gankutsuou, Otogi Zoshi, Monkey Typhoon, Tweeny Witches, and Galaxy Angel are among the shows that will run exclusively (in Korea) on the network.

America Gets Screwed
Panik House is releasing Teruo Ishii’s Screwed on July 26. The live-action film is an adaptation of Yoshiharu Tsuge‘s Neji-Shiki manga.

Anime at Cannes
The first episode of Tokko, which aired in Japan on April 15, is expected to screen at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. The episode will screen on May 19 and 23, subtitled. A subtitled trailer of Production I.G’s Le Chevalier D’Eon will also be screened (both titles are produced by Shochiku). The 59th Cannes Film Festival runs May 17 to 28. Tokko will be distributed in North America by Manga Entertainment, no North American distributor for Chevalier D’Eon has been announced.



Cluster Edge

Card Captor Sakura

Download Now

Episode 25: Great Teacher Devilman takes a Journey to the EXTREME (Saiyuki)

This week we read our very first fanmail! We review the Great Teacher Onizuka saga, Saiyuki and the Devilman live action movie. We also review “The Art of Otaku”, a great drawing book by

Great Teacher Onizuka

  • Manga – Download Now!
  • TV Series – Download Now!
  • Live Action – Wouldn’t kick it out of bed for crackers.
  • Movie – Wouldn’t kick it out of bed for crackers.

Saiyuki – Wouldn’t kick it out of bed for crackers.
Devilman live action – Wait until it hits the US and NetFlix it.

Show Notes

The Samurai Champloo character designer was Toshihiro Kawamoto, not Shinichiro Watanabe. Watanabe is the director.

Wolf’s Rain was not done by Gonzo, but by Bones. The character designer was Kawamoto.

Show News
Batou(or Balto, whichever) will be going to Anime Expo in Anaheim over July 4th. Go and glomp him and gift him with lots of Yaoi merchandise.


Suburban LA County Pulls Manga Textbook
The San Bernadino, CA, County libraries have pulled Paul Gravett’s Manga: Sixty Years of Japanese Comics from circulation following a request from Bill Postmus, Chairman of the county’s Board of Supervisors. “That book is absolutely inappropriate for a public library and as soon as I was made aware of it yesterday, I ordered it to be removed immediately,” he said in a press release.

4Kids Grows Up, Launches Tween to Adult Licensing Subsidiary (Not to be confused with their toy line “4Play” and their Hentai label “4Skin”)
4Kids Entertainment has announced the launch of a new subsidiary, 4Sight Licensing Solutions, inc. 4Sight will specialise in the licensing and marketing of brands aimed at adults, teens and tweens. Current 4Kids brands being moved to 4Sight to not include any of 4Kids anime properties. Todd Fromer of KCSA publicity, representing 4Kids, said that anime isn’t necessarily ruled out of the 4Sight line up, but that anime lends itself more to a children’s market.

Mamoru Oshii Does Radio Drama
The first episode of Mamoru Oshii‘s radio drama, Kerberos Koutetsu no Ryoken -kerberos panzer yager-, will broadcast April 26 in Japan. Kenji Kawai is providing the music.

XXXHOLiC Episode Online
The first half of XXXHOLiC episode 1 is now available for free online.

Witchblade Anime Trailer
The trailer for Gonzo’s upcoming Witchblade anime is now online.

Guitar Vader at Fanime
Guitar Vader, who performed in the Beck anime, will make their first US appearance at Fanime this year, May 26-29 in San Jose.

Dir en Grey to Open for Korn
Dir en grey to Join Korn‘s 2006 Family Values Tour.

Art Book Review

Art of Otaku – Download Now! (Actually Buy it now, only $24.95!)

Podcast Promos

Happy House of Hentai

Oz Anime Podcast


Great Teacher Onizuka


Devilman Live Action

Download Now

Episode 24: Rozen Maiden Champloo’s Keroro Gunsou’s Samurai

This week we’ve got lots going on, from the return of Rukia, to a report from Rangiku. We review Rozen Maiden, Keroro Gunsou and Samurai Champloo.

Rozen Maiden – Wouldn’t kick it out of bed for crackers.
Keroro Gunsou – Wouldn’t kick it out of bed for crackers.
Samurai Champloo – Wouldn’t kick it out of bed for crackers.

Show Notes:

Trivia Contest

Since no one has answered the questions from Episode 22. We’ve upped the prize and added two more questions. Send the answers to all eight questions to and you can win the following prizes:

A statue of Winry
A statue from Ghost in the Shell

Question 1: What car does George drive in Paradise Kiss?
Question 2: In Kino’s Journey, who is Hermes named for? (No, not the greek god)
Question 3: What are the calibers of the two guns that Kino carries in Kino’s Journey?
Question 4: In the first volume of Battle Angel Alita manga, what is the famous robot (from a famous American Sci-Fi series) in the basement of Doc Ito’s lab?
Question 5: In RahXephon, how are Itsuki and Ayato related?
Question 6: In RahXephon, how are Maya and Quon related?
Question 7: List the titles that Akira’s father holds in Hikaru no Go.
Question 8: What was the name of the Inui drink in the Bowling Episode of Prince of Tennis?


Naruto Marathon Next Week
Cartoon Network will show four episodes (3 new) of Naruto back-to-back on Saturday, April 15 starting at 8pm Eastern.

Bleach Set for September Adult Swim Debut
Bleach‘s Fall 2006 debut on Adult Swim has now been narrowed to September.

Naruto Uncut Preview for Shonen Jump Subscribers
Shonen Jump subscribers will receive a Naruto uncut preview DVD in the July issue, according to the latest Shonen Jump newsletter. The first Naruto uncut box set streets on July 4.

MIT Anime Symposium
MIT is holding a free anime symposium, Violence and Desire in Japanese Popular Culture, on Friday and Saturday. Details are available here.

CLAMP at Anime Expo
Funimation has announced that CLAMP will be attending Anime Expo 2006 as guests of honor.

Dark Horse Offers Free Comic-Con Trip
Dark Horse Comics is offering a free trip to Comic-Con International in San Diego, including airfare and hotel. To register for the contest, sign up at Dark before May 31.

New Cyborg 009 Anime
Aniplex is developing a 009-1, according to Oricon Magazine. The new anime is based on Shotaro Ishinomori‘s manga, “009-1”, which is not related to his Cyborg-009 manga.

Nobuo Uematsu Coming to Chicago
Final Fantasy composer Nobuo Uematsu will join Yasunori Mitsuda, Akira Yamaoka, and several other composers at the world premiere PLAY! concert on May 27 in Chicago. Tickets are available here

Anime Rental Site Shutting Down closing three years after launch

Manga Cafe + 34 Days + 16 Yen = Bad Idea
Kiyoshi Ikeda, 37, was arrested for fraud today after staying at a manga cafe in Gifu for over a month. The cafe handed him over to police after asking him to pay a bill and discovering he was carrying only 16 yen. He allegedly failed to pay about 150,000 yen (US$1266 approx.) in fees. After ordering a grilled beef dinner on March 10, he reportedly survived on only coffee and toast every morning.

Hyde in Anaheim Confirmed
The Ticketmaster listing for Hyde’s July 2 concert at Anaheim’s House of Blues has returned. Tickets go on sale Saturday at 1pm Eastern.

Cartoon Network Creating In-House Department for Tv Movies & Mini-Series
Cartoon Network is creating an in-house longform department that will be overseen by Ramsey Naito, who previously supervised the development, production and marketing of Nickelodeon’s Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius, Rugrats in Paris and Rugrats Gone Wild.


Rozen Maiden
Keroro Gunsou

Samurai Champloo

New Series

Glass no Kantai – La Legende du vent de l’univers
Yoshinaga-san chi no Gargoyle
Utawareru Mono
Ah! My Goddess Season 2
Tsubasa Season 2 4/29

Podcast Promos

Ninja Consultant Podcast
Anime World Order

Download Now

Episode 23: Azumanga Daioh faces off against Cromartie with Mushishi and Black Cat refereeing

We’ve got a great show for you this week. We review Azumanga Daioh and Cromartie High School Live Action. We also do updates on Mushishi and Black Cat.

Azumanga Daioh – Download Now!
Cromartie High School (Live Action) – Wouldn’t kick it out of bed for Crackers.
Mushishi – Download Now!
Black Cat – Download Now!

Show Notes


GunXSword Roundtable Interview has translated a roundtable interview with the director, writer, and character designer of the new GunXSword series, along with one of its voice actors. The interview was conducted last weekend at Sakura-Con.

New Monkey Punch Anime
Musashi, a new anime series from the creator of Lupin the 3rd, will premiere April 9 on Japan’s BS-i network.

Anime Village Returns with Free Eureka 7 Episode
The first episode of Eureka 7 will be streamed free for a week beginning April 16, courtesy of Bandai’s newly revived The episode will also be availalbe for purchase and download. “To be able offer free streaming for one week is a tremendous value to our fans and customers and it is part of our plan to introduce legal digital distribution, which is very important to our business,” said Ken Iyadomi, President of Bandai Entertainment.

Transformers, Even Stevens Star Close to Deal
Shia Labeouf is in final negotiations to star in Michael Bay’s Transformers film. Shooting is scheduled to begin in May, with a theatrical release on July 4, 2007.

Tokyo Governor is Not a Mickey Mouse Fan
Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara denounced Mickey Mouse at the opening of the Tokyo International Anime Fair, according to UPI. “I hate Mickey Mouse,” he reportedly said. “He has nothing like the unique sensibility that Japan has. The Japanese are inherently skilled at visual expression and detailed work.”

Late Night Ghibli on TCM
Six Ghibli films for TiVos and insomniacs in May

Hyde in Anaheim, San Francisco in July
L’Arc~en~Ciel’s Hyde will be performing July 2 at Anaheim’s House of Blues and July 5 at Slim’s in San Francisco. Hyde’s US debut album, Faith, drops June 27.

G4TechTV Canada Wants to Air Anime
G4TechTV Canada has applied to have its license amended by the CRTC in order to allow it to dedicate up to 15% of its airtime to “drama and comedy.” While the application makes no mention of what kind of “drama or comedy” content G4TechTV is interested in airing, sources at the network have confirmed that there is interest in creating a completely new, and independent, Anime Unleashed block for Canadian viewers. Comments for the CRTC can be left here.

Hyde in Anaheim “Not Yet Been Confirmed”
Hyde’s Anaheim concert at the House of Blues “has not yet been confirmed,” Tofu Records tells ANN. The Ticketmaster listing has been removed. Hyde is still scheduled to play July 5 in San Francisco.

Still no New Anime Unleahed on G4
While comments made by G4 staff two weeks ago suggest that Anime Unleashed has not been cancelled, and is merely on hiatus due to technical problems, no new airings of the block have been added to G4’s online schedule.

Italian Police Seize 400 Pirated Anime Titles
Italian police raided three stores in Rome and Bologna and seized about 400 pirated titles, according to Mainichi News. This is the first time authorities have exposed a case of pirating anime in Europe. The case had been investigated since October 2004, when the Association of Copyright for Computer Software made a complaint to six Japanese companies, including Kodansha and Shueisha.

KOTOKO Coming to Anime North
The Starship Operators and Please Teacher! singer will perform at Anime North, which is May 26-28 in Toronto. KOTOKO’s debut US album, -hane-, drops in June.

Biblios Bankrupt
Biblos, one of the largest Japanese publishers of Boys-Love / Yaoi manga, has announced that it is bankrupt and ceasing all operations effective immediately.

2006 Eisner Nominations
Osamu Tezuka’s Buddha and Cromartie High Nominated for Eisners

Gonzo Film Nominated for Annecy
Gonzo announced its Origin – Spirit of the Past film had been nominated for the Annecy International Animated Film Festival. We previously reported Production IG’s xxxHOLiC had also been nominated. Winners will be announced during the festival, June 5-10.

Production IG Prez Lecture Online
Anime Pulse has recorded Production IG President Mitsuhisa Ishikawa’s lecture at the University of Colorado at Boulder in its latest podcast. They also have a transcript online.

Penicillin Coming to A-Kon
Vocalist Hakuei and guitarist Chisato from Penicillin will perform at this year’s A-Kon, June 9-11 in Dallas. Their “Penicillin nano” single and album are set for a summer release, though no plans for US editions have been confirmed.

Red Hot Chilli Peppers Song For Death Note
Dani California, a song from the Red Hot Chilli Peppers upcoming album Stadium Arcadium, will be the theme song for the upcoming Death Note live-action movie. The Dani California video can be viewed in its entirety here.

No New Gatchaman
The Gatchaman commercials are actually reruns of the same commercials that were produced in fall 2000 and are available on Rhino’s Best of Battle of the Planets DVD set. There is no new Gatchaman in the works, only another run for the old NTT commercials.

Naruto for Xbox 360
Ubisoft announced it is developing a Naruto game for Xbox 360. It is scheduled for North American release in 2007.

Podcast Promos

Happy House of Hentai
Otaku Generation
Anime 101


Azumanga Daioh
Cromartie High School
Black Cat

Download Now

A night with Mitsuhisa Ishikawa

A night with Ishikawa – March 24, 2006

This was a lecture with Mitsuhisa Ishikawa, President of Production I.G. Some parts of the event were edited out of the recording and the following due to the wishes of those present. The following is not the entire event, but most of it.

Interpreter: David Wheeler

All written answers below are transcribed from the Interpreter’s dialog.

At this point the first episode of IGPX Immortal Grand Prix was played.

Ishikawa: Nihao (Chinese for hello)

Interpreter: IGPX started in November 2005 and what you saw was the inaugural episode. The next series starts in May and will run until June and will be a thirteen episode series. So although you may learn more about it soon, you can certainly look forward to May when the next series starts, 10 o’clock Saturday nights on the cartoon channel. Just tell your kids or your little siblings that there is something you gotta watch. Now what I want to suggest to you is if you have any questions about this or about the process of creating Anime in general, anything germane to what you just saw, ask away.

Q: Where do you get your ideas?

A: First by way of explanation, not in general but about this, IGPX comes from Maha Go Go Go, it may not ring a bell for that is what it was called in Japan. In English it was called Speed Racer. That was the inspiration for this idea of a futuristic competitive race, based on Formula 1 racing taken into a futuristic level.

Q: The city design was interesting, how about a little background on how you came up with that and why you decided to design it that way?

A: Interestingly, this was the first time we had the animators and designers, of both the background and all the mechanics themselves, as the same people. So we weren’t compromising the background because it was the background. So we put a lot of time into it, interesting that you noticed. We decided that in order to create this futuristic scene we wanted something that would have a quality to it that would pass where we are. Having done that not only the foreground but the background was done in 3-D.

And some of you may have seen GITS (Ghost in the Shell). And GITS 2: Innocence. The creators of those, both the mechanics design and the layout were the same people, so this is a continuous process. Going on for about ten years.

Q: How do you feel about 3-D vs. 2-D and the integration of the two?

A: As you may know the tradition in Japan of writing Manga and even historically going back centuries, the tradition of writing comic figures, and then everything from wood block through the the present Manga printing all has a tradition of two dimensional condition.

So while we would like to be able to do everything on characters themselves in two dimensional drawing, when you get to the using these mechanical designs like these futuristic racing machines; to do that with just two dimensions and hand drawing it is a nightmare. So we do a lot of that digitally in 3-D. I’s sort of a compromise.

Q: Do you use a 3-D rendering program to draw these? What software do you use for your animating?

A: It is an interesting process and we use a variety of 3-D software programs. But what we use is basically something that I.G itself has devised that is sort of a compromise of 3-D software and physical human animators. The problem of 3-D software is that once you go into a digital mode you can’t get a human flex, for example the way a camera man would follow something physically, and the way that image could be drawn physically by an animator. So what you have to do is take the mechanics of moving across the racing machines, moving across the screen, digitally create that, and then have input by a physical human animator to make that digital form look more natural, to a human viewers eye. That is something that I.G has worked to develop themselves. This is something that they have in house.

Q. What is the specific name of the software that you use now?

A: Formerly we were using a software called LightWave that was very economical that we used for quite a while. What we are now using is a Software called MAYA.

An interesting aspect of this process is, this is sort of when you’re compromising between the past and the future, and technology is that, we have animators, older animators that all their lives have been animating with a pencil and paper. And one picture after another, each a little bit different, that’s how you made animation. And now these same people are using mice to do the same job, and the cursor becomes the tip of the pencil. And it’s interesting that, just like for example with 20th century when automobiles were established it was a big thing and people were trying to learn how to use them. We grew up with automobiles and it no big deal; we know how to drive them before we ever get behind the wheel. Kids in school now draw pictures with out ever picking up a pencil they start by using a mouse. So moving that cursor around is a very natural thing for them. Ironically draftsmen, people that learned to draw with a pencil, are much quicker even when they switch over to a mouse at getting a much higher quality of picture than someone who has just learned from their childhood at just using a mouse. So the experience of drafting is something that we can’t compromise on.

Q: What is the best thing for someone interested in getting into animation to do?

A: Draw a lot of pictures. Draw more pictures than anyone you know or can imagine. Really pay attention at looking at things and be very clear about what you are seeing that you want to draw.

Q: How much time goes into production?

A: 3-D stuff is 10-15 people for 2-3 weeks, and the 2-D animators is about 10 people working for a month, to create that 20-minute clip.

Q: How much of the 2-D animation is reused?

A: The 3-D, since it is all absolutely digital, is able to be recycled and reused, so the more we create the more we have this pool this backlog of stuff we have archived we can easily access. In contrast the 2-D animators working on human expressions, it is something that has to be done from zero every time.

Ishikawa talks directly to the audience.


I am so excited to be here, I love American culture, American ladies and American food, but I need chopsticks to eat. Also American baseball, but maybe the CO Rockies could use some Japanese players. I’d like to see Japanese players. Thank you.

Back to the Translator

Q: How do you feel about collaborations with other studios? Like the AniMatrix?

A: I’d like to spend a little bit of time now looking back at the ten years, since the first movie came out, GITS to the present where Production I.G is now.

When we made GITS 10 years ago, we were actually just a sub-contracting production company, it was not our production.

Interestingly in Japan still most animation companies are sub-contractors, someone else has the money, someone else pays for them to do the job, and someone else takes the credit for the job. And it’s interesting that it was American producers that said it could all be done under one roof.

In 1996 James Cameron, who was in the process of producing the blockbuster Titanic, became aware of the phenomenal talent of the animators in the industry in Japan, he invited 5 of the top animators in Japan to see if they could help in what he was doing. He had them all flown over and met them at LAX in a big black limo. And I was very excited to be able to work with Cameron and in my role as producer I was honored to send five of my top animators to meet with him. So when they came out of LAX after this trip over the pacific, and those who have done this know afterward you are physically and mentally toast afterwards, so they come out of the airport and see this huge black limousine and the two big bodyguards in sunglasses and tuxedos, they are a little shocked at what they are getting into.

So now they have arrived, got through customs, they realized they forgot to eat breakfast, and they are getting hungry, as it is getting on into the afternoon. So they have this stretch limo take them to a 7-11. So as they pull into the parking lot a bunch of panhandlers see this limo pull in and realize that this is their chance, they go up to the limo and out pop a bunch of guys worse dressed than I am, (see photo on Anime-Pulse website for image of Ishikawa that night) and they been awake for the last 24 hours and they look like it. And the homeless guys were shocked that they were dressed better than the guys that got out of the limo.

James Cameron runs Digital Domain, and the third shocking thing for these five animators on their trip to see the new world was they were met not just by James Cameron, but also by Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger (who wasn’t the governor yet).

Actually I’ve already signed a contract to preserve the confidentiality of that meeting, so I can’t tell you everything but I’ll tell you what I can.

So Mr. Scott Ross, who is the CEO of Digital Domain had these five animators come, and this is how he convinced them to come and see him. If you’re gonna do baseball you want to play it in the major leagues in the US, and if you’re going to do movies you want to be in Hollywood. Interestingly those five animators, after having this meeting went back to Japan and are still working at I.G.

And so while I am still aware Scott Ross’ words that if you’re going to do movies you need to be in Hollywood, in an era like now, where everything is moving around so quickly digitally, where ever you may see that movie, that becomes your Hollywood, where you produce that movie becomes your Hollywood. And hopefully through this IGPX series I’m able to show a little bit of that idea to someone who lives in Hollywood and still thinks it’s the center of the universe.

And now I’d like to move on to 2001 when the famous actor and more famous movie director named Quinton Tarantino, showed up at Production I.G’s studio in Kokubunji City on the Western side of Tokyo, without an appointment or anything, he just showed up.

Why he did that is explained by his having seen, first GITS and then Blood: the Last Vampire, two animations that Production I.G had produced. And Tarantino, the movie fanatic that he is, wanted to use I.G’s Anime in Kill Bill. So he came to Japan to make sure he could do that.

But he didn’t make an appointment with anyone, he just showed up all of the sudden, and I wasn’t there that day. So he’s walking around the studio’s looking around, with people looking at him wondering what’s this all about?

So my employees, not having ever met him before thought that maybe this was a double. It’s not like Tarantino is going to show up and walk around here. But then he sat down and for three hours talked about how he wanted to use animation created by production I.G in his movie Kill Bill. And my simple answer was “sorry can’t do it”.

So as the CEO and head producer of my company, we’re in the middle of GITS:2 and GITS Stand Alone Complex, there was just no time in my schedule, and my employee’s schedule to fit in another animation project. So I told him sorry, to busy.

Apparently in Tarantino’s vocabulary there isn’t the word that “no means no”.

So time after time he sends me the first draft the second draft, the third draft for the scenarios for Kill Bill, and each time they are getting more interesting.

And finally I was convinced this was something, even though we were really busy, this was probably something we should do. So I said sorry guys you’re going to get even busier and were going to do this. And I told him I would do it. And if you want to know what kind of director Tarantino is I can tell you, I worked with him, “crazy”.

And now I’d like to show you the trailer for the second Ghost In The Shell movie, Innocence.

As I said Tarantino as a director is insane. After we watch this I’d like to say a couple words about Mamoru Oshii the director in that context.

(Note: We actually watched the trailer for Tachigui:Retsuden)

The first time I saw this movie I thought, “well this is probably the end of my life as an animation director”. (This was in response to the movie for the trailer we watched, the trailer really was insane) So while I said I thought that Tarantino was crazy. Mamoru Oshii is way more crazy than that. The first time I saw it I was convinced that as an animation producer my life was done, the second time I saw it I thought there might be something there, and on the third time I thought this is going to fly.

So it took me three times from my standpoint that this will work as animation, so it’ll take you a little more than that so you should all watch it ten times. So far the second in the series GITS2:Innocence we expended a huge amount of money to make that movie. So from the stand point as a producer we decided for this film, Tachigui:Retsuden (Biographies of Standing Fast Food), two years later, the first consideration I made clear to Oshii, was that I wanted to spend as little money as possible on this film. So from the technique of what you watched you might be able to call this animation or you might not be able to call this animation. It’s like you took animation and real film with real actors mixed it up and took half of that. For each of the characters in this film we took a variety of digital shots, 30,000 for each of them. And then incorporated that in to computers and the post-production process moved them around, expending huge amounts of time to develop the images you will see in this movie. It’s way to expensive to pay a lot of people to do this, so we had college students do it for us. So the students did the post-production work and the animators and people who are very famous in the world of animation are the actors.

For example the art director of Macross, Shoji Kawamori, or Shinji Higuchi who wrote scripts for Evangelion, Toshio Suzuki from Studio Ghibli and a very famous illustrator in Japan, Buichi Terasawa.

And in this unique situation where the students are doing this for the honor and the experience of doing this. All these actors, the conditions of their contracts are they won’t be paid and they are obligated to promote the movie. So our marketing cost was zero. And all these people are really famous and if we find they aren’t advertising our stuff, we will just cut their scenes. So at the very least I can say this film will be well advertised and financially secure. And with GITS2 we went through a lot in making it 3-D while trying to make it look not 3-D.

So having done GITS, a type of thriller, IGPX and Tachigui, we hadn’t done something from a woman’s perspective. There is a group of 4 women Manga writers called Clamp who have been very successful, so this last year we started a road show for two of their shows. So we took their stories and turned it into a theater movie.

(Now we watched the preview for the XXXHolic movie)

So as you may understand these two stories are converted into movies and was a really big deal in Japan last year. This is such a big deal because these women are so popular in Japan. They are so popular that now they are famous as speakers. So while doing Tachigui we felt bad about not paying them and we asked what we could do for them and they asked if we could get Clamp to come talk to them. So that ended up being their payment.

Now I would like to talk about my personal life. When I was a college student instead of studying in classrooms I spent most of my time traveling the world. For some reason as a student I was interested in Bunraku (puppet storytelling). So the group I had become a member of went on an international tour, they said I wasn’t good enough and told me to stay behind and earn some money. So while looking for a job since I didn’t get to go with the group I thought I was a member of, I saw an ad for Tatsunoko Production, the company that produced Speed Racer, so I got a part time job as an assistant producer, and then a producer, and then 5 years later I quit that job. And while I was working so hard in this job I wasn’t able to practice Bunraku so I was cut from the theater group. So after quitting Tatsunoko Production I started Production I.G (Originally I.G Tatsunoko). So my mother didn’t really care too much about what I was doing in all my academic performances good or bad, mostly the latter I’m sad to say, but she did say I don’t ever want you to become the president of a company. She was very worried about this, and so I felt bad about starting my own company, and as such was president. So for four years I didn’t tell my mother, till one day she called my previous employer looking for me and they told her I hadn’t been there for 4 years. So she called me at home and said even now, it’s just fine, just quit being president of your company. So I apologized and said I have so much going on just give me one more year, and here I am 18 years later and I’m still doing it. For those who don’t know this Production I.G is now on the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE), this is the thing I am most worried about my mother finding out about.

So if I were to explain why my mother feels this way, my mother’s theory about life is to make sure we have a good idea about where our feet are. Don’t look up looking for the next thing, make sure we have a solid footing, that what she told me my whole life. In first grade I got my first report card, and my mom got shocked and told me “I don’t care what’s on them just don’t show them to me anymore”. And it’s ironic that I always had terrible grades and that through college I was traveling around the world and now I’m a special lecturer at the prestigious Tokyo University. I’m not sure my mother would even believe this. There are students now in Japan who want to be venture capitalists, get listed and by the time they are 30 be able to retire. And so for me that I got listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange is no big deal, it’s not my dream. If anything, getting listed is just one more step in my long list of goals, in making my dream come true. So my philosophy is that it’s important to have huge dreams. But in order to reach those huge dreams you have to have a series of small goals. And my feeling is that having a big dream is important, but if you set your goal and your dream at the same place, you’re never going to get there. It’s just too hard to do all at once. The thing you have to do is set a bunch of small goals that you are committed to, you can’t decide it’s too hard. If you did that then obviously your goal was too hard or you weren’t committed enough. But through a series of small goals that you commit yourself to, you get to a place that’s high enough that then that big dream you had isn’t all that high anymore. So as you get through those goals you can reach that dream, but you don’t have to, because you can make your dream bigger, and this is what make my life beautiful and exciting, and should be a part of everyone’s life.

And its true that in Japan they say don’t boast about your family, it’s important to be humble and I think that is an important thing.

Q: In the 19 years since you started Production I.G with your partner Takayuki Goto, I believe he’s a character designer and you do the rest of the production work. How has your relationship with him evolved over that time?

A: My feeling is that the producer, which is my role as the President, and the creators, the animators or various designers, is a separate role, which is needed. Because if a creator was at the top that creator will be worried about hiring any other creator that might challenge him, however I can hire whoever I want and put them all together and let them work on something, and by them working together they can work on something much greater than them working by themselves. I believe it’s important to keep the two separate.

Q: How is the competition, considering that there are hundreds and hundreds of titles out there, how do you stay afloat?

A: I believe that simply producing one piece after another is not going to lead to much. The important thing is to have everyone you’re working with be motivated. Motivation is the source of good production. That is something that has been a central philosophy in all my work and I think that’s one reason that we are able to keep going as we are.

Interestingly as you can imagine no work is so fun that you can survive on motivation alone. In cases like that I make sure that work is well paid for.

Q: Why is it you think major productions like Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within have failed in the US. And do you think there will be something that will respond well with American Audiences.

A: As you may know Final Fantasy was a flop as a movie, but in the process they got a bunch of know-how that enabled them to make a successful game. So it has been a success, but there is a give and take sense in investing in one area to realize a benefit in another area. So you can see that there are multiple games but there will not be a sequel of the movie. I.G is making one major movie a year. And not every movie will be a success, but by making one major movie a year we are going to have a variety of different successes down the road.

Q: Current animation in the US is being influenced by Japanese animation, is Japanese animation influence by classic US animation.

A: Techniques in Disney’s Classical animation are really high technical quality, and this is still highly respected in Japan, but technology be it as it may, now animators are watching things made by Pixar.

Q: In 2003 you gave an interview to Newtype, in which you said there were so many Anime series coming out that the quality would decline. Now three years later is that still your view or what do you think about that now?

A: My impression is that the quality may have lowered some, chances for people to do things have increased.

Q: Do mothers have a lot of influence to children in Japan?

A: I have two daughters, there is no way I can influence them more than their mother.

Q: Does work get outsourced much?

A: My personality is that I do the opposite of what everyone else does, so while many companies are outsourcing to China and Korea., Production I.G is unique in that they not only don’t outsource to other countries, they don’t outsource to other companies.

Q: What does I.G stand for?

A: It stands for two words Itsumo (always) and Genki (happy), you should ask is that true. In reality it stands for Ishikawa, and my artist collaborator’s name Takayuki Goto, the initials of our last names. But now though I am the sole president, we kept the name. But I am happy to say it means Itsumo Genki.

Q: Do you see future collaboration with US companies?

A: I may be collaborating with people, or I may not, I would like to tell you more but there is recording equipment turned on at the front of the hall (Yeah, that was us. We felt pretty bad because we really wanted to hear what he had to say) and I can’t say anymore.

Q: As your company gets bigger and expands, are you going to get into distributing your own stuff?

A. Production I.G is a B2B (business to business) company, as opposed to a B2C (business to consumer). Right now I am most attracted to production and creation as opposed to distributing. The advantage of this is that I can team up with the best company for whichever region I need to distribute something in. Even if the different distribution companies have issues with each other, it doesn’t bother me, I go with the best company for the situation.

Q: How is it that GITS: Stand Alone Complex came to be written by a committee instead of an individual?

A: Even though the title Stand Alone Complex talks about, sounds like one person but we had many people working on it. The aim of this was putting science, a very concrete thing together with animation, a very abstract thing. In order to do that we used a committee.

Q: What are the differences between speaking to college students here and giving lectures at Tokyo University?

A: I guess the big point here is that it’s not just one class, it’s more of a whole 2 year curriculum. Only 20 students get to take this course, so even after getting into Tokyo University they have to take a test to get into this course. Then we take 20 people from the public domain. It’s very selective.

And in this course, for example we are doing a Q&A session here, but in Tokyo, all the students ask one question, and I answer the questions I want to answer. Recently at one class where I got 10 questions that were all too hard for me so I didn’t answer them. And so honestly one of the reasons I accepted this position at Tokyo University even though I’m not big on academics. It is a good opportunity to scout out new talent. The largest amount of people from any one university is Tokyo University. The only problem is that the parents don’t want them to come and work for me because they spent so much to get their kid into Tokyo University, and then when they want to come to Production I.G, the parents wonder what they spent the last 20 years on. I can understand the parents feelings. On the other hand I would like to say to them that it’s a wonderful thing that their child has found what they really have a passion for and want to do and have taken the first step into their personal life in a way that is paved for success. And I truly believe that 10-20 years from now these people will look back and be glad that they came to work for me. And the reason I can believe that is that I know the people I hired and I believe that they are the best people in the world that I could have hired. With that point alone I’m proud to be able to lead them down the road into this world of animation to be the best company in the world in animation.

And to end this, I would like to say something to these three guys up front here, (yes it’s us the Anime-Pulse staff). What I want to say is from here on out in your lives there are two things that you should not try to chase after and get, that is women and money. (We really wish we knew why he said that to us).

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Episode 22: Kino takes a Drifting Journey through Tokyo to see RahXephon

We’ve got a great show this week. We review Kino’s Journey, Tokyo Drifter and RahXephon. Also, the long-awaited third installment of Mist Finer’s Whine Time.

Kino’s Journey – Download Now!
RahXephon – Download Now!
Tokyo Drifter – Download Now!

Show Notes


New P.O. Box

Anime Pulse
P.O. Box 2266
Boulder, CO 80306-2266

Trans World Bid for Musicland Approved
The US Bankruptcy Court in New York has approved Trans World Entertainment’s acquisition of 400 Musicland stores. After the transaction closes Monday, 65 stores will be liquidated. About half of the remaining 335 will be Suncoast, and half will be Sam Goody.

Digital Manga Fall, Winter Yaoi Releases
Digital Manga is releasing Cold Sleep on August 8, Kissing, Rin!, and The Man Who Doesn’t Take Off His Clothes on October 25; and Hero Heel on November 8. All the titles will be listed under their new June Yaoi imprint.

Manga Hits Japanese Mobile Phones
A BBC article explains the growing trend of publishing manga on mobile phones in Japan, including how Yuu Yoshi’s Deep Love moved from mobile to print to theatrical film.

Voltron Finally on DVD?
Cryptic message on official site counts down to “V-Day”

Seiji Mizushima Comes to AX
Anime Expo has announced Fullmetal Alchemist director Seiji Mizushima will appear at the convention, which takes place July 1-4 in Anaheim, California.

Miyazaki Makes a Clock
Hayao Miyazaki is designing a big copper clock (33ft. x 59ft.) for the NTV tower in Tokyo. Sculptor Shachimaru Kunio, who created the robot on the roof of the Studio Ghibli Museum, will make the clock. It is scheduled to be done in mid-July.

Hiroshi Miyagawa Dies
Composer Hiroshi Miyagawa passed away Tuesday at the age of 75. Miyagawa was best known for his Star Blazers and Arrow Emblem Grand Prix no Taka scores.

Free Advent Children Screening in LA
Square Enix and Sony are sponsoring a free screening of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children at 7 p.m. on April 3 at the Cinerama Dome in Los Angeles. Key production staff and cast are scheduled to appear after the screening.

IFC Anime Documentary Online
As part of Samurai 7’s April 1 premiere on the network, the Independent Film Channel has commissioned a documentary series on anime’s popularity in the US. It is available here by scrolling to “Anime in the USA.”

Tokyo Anime Fair: Award Winners

Pokemon Voice Actors Replaced with Sound-Alikes
According to several confirmed sources, the entire Pokemon voice cast is being replaced for the Tenth Anniversary Special and following seasons. “We who work on the show care very much about it and are heartbroken over the possibility of not continuing production,” says Veronica Taylor, who has played Ash since 1998. “Unfortunately we have no say in what is going on. We are simply forced to wait for the outcome.”

Adult Swim Acquires Eureka 7
Adult Swim has listed an April 14 online premiere for Eureka 7. The midnight Saturday/Sunday morning slot on April 15/16 is also listed as “TBD” on Adult Swim’s TV schedule.

Eureka 7 Premiere Banner Pulled

Adult Swim has removed from its site a banner announcing Eureka 7’s April 14 online premiere.

Howl’s Moving Castle Cracks Top 10
Disney’s release of Howl’s Moving Castle debuted at #9 on Video Business Magazine’s DVD sales charts two weeks ago. Last week, the DVD stayed strong at #11.


Kino’s Journey

Tokyo Drifter


Podcast Promo’s

Ninja Consultant Podcast
Happy House of Hentai

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