Halo Legends

Halo Legends is a collection of seven short anime films set in the Halo science-fiction universe. Financed by Halo franchise overseer 343 Industries, the stories were created by six Japanese production houses: Bones, Casio Entertainment, Production I.G., Studio 4°C, and Toei Animation. Shinji Aramaki, creator and director of Appleseed and Appleseed Ex Machina, serves as the project’s creative director. Warner Bros. released Legends on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on February 16, 2010.

The idea for an anime compilation existed for years before there was momentum for the project. 343 creative director Frank O’Connor produced story outlines or finished scripts that the production houses animated in a variety of styles.

To oversee development of the entire Halo franchise, Microsoft created an internal division, 343 Industries, to manage the Halo brand. Frank O’Connor, 343’s creative director, said that such a move was vital: “If you look at how George Lucas held on to Star Wars, not just to make money from action figures but to control the direction the universe went in, you can see why we think it’s pretty vital.”

Halo Legends

Halo Legends had origins in the 2006 Marvel Comics tie-in, The Halo Graphic Novel; O’Connor said that the idea of an anime compilation existed for years before there was momentum for the project. Wanting to tell smaller stories in a different format than video games and novels and in different art styles, O’Connor said that anime was a natural fit. An additional consideration was that 343 Industries felt that the Japanese style of narrative fit the stories well. Most of the animation studios Microsoft approached were available for the project. Most studios were “afraid” of creating their own stories, even if they were familiar with the series, so O’Connor sent them possible story treatments. Microsoft was deeply involved in making sure story details were correct and writing the scripts for the stories—O’Connor estimated that 50% of the dialogue in the final products were verbatim from the original scripts. While all the stories save one are considered canon, O’Connor noted that some discrepancies were the cause of artistic interpretation.

The animation studios were given wide latitude in their presentation. “We realized very early on [that Halo] could take interpretation,” said O’Connor, saying that the look-and-feel of the universe persisted even through differing artistic styles. In developing their stories and styles, the anime studios were supplied with access to Halo ’s story bible and art assets.

Image by halolab.altervista.org

Future Boy Conan

Future Boy Conan is a post-apocalyptic science fiction anime series, which premiered across Japan on the NHKnetwork between April 4 and October 31, 1978 on the Tuesday 19:30-20:00 timeslot. The official English title used by Nippon Animation is Conan, The Boy in Future. It is an adaptation of Alexander Key’s novel The Incredible Tide.

Future Boy Conan

Spanning a total of 26 episodes, the series was produced by Nippon Animation and featured the directorial debut of Hayao Miyazaki, also contributing to character designs and storyboards. Other future prominent anime creators like Isao Takahata and Yoshiyuki Tomino also worked on the series.

The story begins in July 2008, during a time when humankind is faced with the threat of extinction. A devastating war fought between two major nations with ultra-magnetic weapons far greater than anything seen earlier brings about total chaos and destruction throughout the world, resulting in several earthquakes and tidal waves, the earth thrown off its axis, its crust being rocked by massive movements, and the five continents being torn completely apart and sinking deep below the sea.

An attempt by a group of people to flee to outer space failed, with their spaceships being forced back to earth and vanishing, thus shattering their hopes. But one of the spaceships narrowly escaped destruction and crash landed on a small island which had miraculously survived the devastation. The crew members of the spaceship settled there, as if they were seeds sown on the island.

Amidst these survivors, a boy named Conan is born on October 2010, bringing a new ray of hope to the earth. After several years, during which most of the other survivors had died and the only people left on the island were Conan and his grandfather, he meets a young girl named Lana, and their adventure begins. Between the different islands left in the world: Industria, High Harbor, Remnant, and others, the young group of adventurers travel and conflict rises between good and evil people. Throughout the series a pure love story develops between Conan and Lana.

Future Boy Conan first aired across Japan on the NHK TV network between April 4 and October 31, 1978, during the Tuesday, 7:30pm timeslot. It has been regularly broadcast across Japan on the anime satellite television network, Animax, who have also later translated and dubbed the series into English for broadcast across its respective English-language networks in Southeast Asia and South Asia, under the title Conan, The Boy In Future.

Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water

Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water is a Japanese animated television series inspired by the works of Jules Verne, particularly Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and the exploits of Captain Nemo. The series was created by NHK, Toho and Korad, from a concept of Hayao Miyazaki, and directed by Hideaki Anno of Gainax.

Nadia

The series centers around Nadia, a young girl of unknown origins, and Jean, a young French inventor with a big heart. Early in the story, the two protagonists are chased by Grandis Granva, Sanson, and Hanson, a group of jewel thieves who pursue Nadia for the blue jeweled pendant she possesses. After being rescued by Captain Nemo and his submarine, the Nautilus, the jewel thieves and the young protagonists join forces and participate in the struggle against the Neo-Atlantean forces, who seek to dominate the world.

In the process, Nadia and Jean save the world from violent domination by the Neo-Atlantean forces led by Gargoyle, explore worldly mysteries and the powers of the blue pendant, uncover Nadia’s hidden family ties, and ultimately discover the secret origins of Nadia.

In its original Japanese broadcast, it aired from 1990 to 1991 and ran for 39 episodes, and was distributed by ADV Films in the United States. ADV’s Anime Network has broadcast the series in the United States. Following the 2009 closure of ADV, Sentai Filmworks has re-licensed the anime series, and it was re-released on Blu-ray and DVD in March 2014.

This show’s origins date to the mid-1970s when Hayao Miyazaki was hired by Toho to develop a television series. One of these concepts was “Around the World in 80 days by Sea”, (adapted from Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea), in which two orphan children pursued by villains team up with Captain Nemo and the Nautilus. It was never produced, but Toho retained the rights for the story outline, while the animator reused elements from his original concept in later projects like Future Boy Conan and Castle in the Sky.

The series won a number of awards in the Animage Anime Grand Prix of 1991 including “Best Work”. The opening theme Blue Water was voted as best song, Jean, Sanson and Nemo were respectively voted as fourth, fifth and thirteenth best male character.

Image by mcmurtriewifaubion.blogspot.com

Chobits

Chobits is a Japanese manga created by the Japanese manga collective Clamp. It was published by Kodansha in Young Magazinefrom the 43rd issue for 2000 to the 48th issue for 2002 and collected in eight bound volumes.

The series tells the story of Hideki Motosuwa, who finds an abandoned persocom, or personal computer with human form, which he names “Chi” after the only word it initially can speak. As the series progresses, they explore the mysteries of Chi’s origin together and questions about the relationship between human beings and computers. The manga is set in the same universe as Angelic Layer, taking place a few years after the events of that story, and like Angelic Layer, it explores the relationship between humans and electronic devices shaped like human beings. Chobits branches off as a crossover into many other stories in different ways, such as Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle, xxxHolic and Kobato.

The iconic Freya

Chobits was adapted as an anime television series by Madhouse. The series was directed by Morio Asaka with music by K-Taro Takanami and character designs by Hisashi Abe. The opening theme is “Let Me Be With You” by Round Table featuring Nino. The ending themes are “Raison d’être” (Reason to Be) by Rie Tanaka (episodes 1–13), “Ningyo-hime” (Mermaid Princess) by Rie Tanaka (episodes 14–25), and “Katakoto no Koi” (Awkward Love) by Rie Tanaka and Tomokazu Sugita (episode 26).

The series was broadcast in 26 episodes from 2 April 2002 to 24 September 2002 across Japan, East Asia, and Southeast Asia by the anime satellite television network, Animax and the terrestrial Tokyo Broadcasting System network. It was later released on 8 DVDs. The original episodes 9 and 18 are “recap” episodes, summarizing previous events. These episodes were re-numbered for the DVD release as episodes 8.5 and 16.5, respectively, and removed from their original sequence by being published together on the final DVD. As a result, the series is 24 episodes long on DVD. In addition, there are two DVD-only OVAs: a 27th episode recapping the series (numbered episode 24.5) and a 6-minute special, “Chobits: Plum and Kotoko Deliver”. The ending theme of the latter is “Book End Bossa” by Round Table featuring Nino.

Image by www.taringa.net

Hideaki Anno

Hideaki Anno is a Japanese animator, film director and actor. Anno is best known for his work on the popular anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion. His style has come to be defined by the touches of postmodernism that he injects into his work, as well as the thorough portrayal of characters’ thoughts and emotions, often through unconventional sequences incorporating psychoanalysis and emotional deconstruction of these characters. He married manga artist Moyoko Anno on April 27, 2002.

Hideaki Anno

Anime directed by Anno that have won the Animage Anime Grand Prix award have been Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water in 1990, Neon Genesis Evangelionin 1995 and 1996, and The End of Evangelion in 1997.

Anno began his career after attending Osaka University of Arts as an animator for the anime series The Super Dimension Fortress Macross (1982–1983). Wrapped up in producing the DAICON III and IV Opening Animationswith his fellow students, he was eventually expelled from Osaka.

However, his talent was not recognized until the release of his work on Hayao Miyazaki’s 1984 film Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. Running short on animators, the film’s production studio posted an ad in the famous Japanese animation magazine Animage, announcing that they were in desperate need of more animators. Anno, in his early twenties at the time, read the ad and headed down to the film’s studio, where he met with Miyazaki and showed him some of his drawings. Impressed with Anno’s work, Miyazaki hired him to draw some of the most complicated scenes near the end of the movie, and regarded his work highly.

Anno went on to become one of the co-founders of Gainax in December 1984. He worked as an animation director for their first feature-length film, Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honneamise (1987), and ultimately became Gainax’s premiere anime director, helming the majority of the studio’s projects such as Gunbuster (1988) and Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water (1990–1991).However, Anno fell into a four-year depression following Nadia — the series was handed down to him from NHK from an original concept by Hayao Miyazaki (of which Castle in the Sky is also partly based upon) and he was given little creative control.

Image by de.ghibli.wikia.com

Shaman King

Shaman King is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Hiroyuki Takei. This manga follows the adventures of Yoh Asakura as he attempts to hone his shaman skills to become the Shaman King by winning the Shaman Fight. Takei chose shamanism as the main theme of the series because he wanted a topic that had never been attempted before in manga.

The characters and their spirits

The Shaman King manga was originally serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump between 1998 and 2004. The individual chapters were collected and released in 32 tankōbon volumes by Shueisha. An animated television series was co-produced by TV Tokyo, NAS, and Xebec, which aired on Japan’s TV Tokyo network from 2001 to 2002. The manga has also been reprinted in a kanzenban edition, and has spawned video games, a trading card game, and many types of Shaman King-related merchandise.

In North America, Viz Media obtained the English-language license for the manga and published chapters of Shaman King in its Shonen Jump magazine from March 2003 to August 2007. The anime series was licensed in North America by 4Kids Entertainment in 2003, and aired on Fox Box. Exclusive video games were released by 4Kids Entertainment in North America and Europe.

In Japan, the manga has been popular, selling over 26 million volumes. Both the manga and anime have been featured, at various times, in “top ten” lists of their respective media. The Shaman King anime has been watched by a large number of television viewers in Japan. Publications about manga, anime and other media have commented on the Shaman King manga, with positive comments on the series.

The episodes of the Shaman King anime series are directed by Seiji Mizushima and co-produced by TV Tokyo, NAS, and Xebec.At an early stage of anime production, Takei himself helped the anime’s staff. However, he soon left the staff due to his lack of time as he was working in the manga. The 64 episodes were aired between July 4, 2001, and September 25, 2002, on TV Tokyo in Japan. 4Kids Entertainment obtained the rights to broadcast the Shaman King anime in the United States, where it premiered on Fox Box on August 30, 2003. The final episode aired on September 3, 2005.

 

Image by www.wattpad.com

Vampire Hunter D

Vampire Hunter D is a 1985 Japanese horror/science fiction OVA film produced by Ashi Productions, in association with Epic/Sony Records, CBS Sony Group Inc. and Movic. The screenplay is based on the first in the long-running series of light novels written by Hideyuki Kikuchi. Billed by the Japanese producers as a “dark future science-fiction romance”, the film, like the novel before it, is set in the year 12,090 AD, in a post-nuclear holocaust world where a young woman hires a mysterious half-vampire, half-human vampire hunter to protect her from a powerful vampire lord.

D, so much bad-assness in one letter.

Vampire Hunter D is credited as one of the earliest anime productions targeted explicitly at the male teenager/adult demographic in favor of family audiences, and capitalized on the emerging OVA market due to its violent content and influence from European horror mythology (such as the films of British film studio Hammer Productions). The film’s limited budget made its technical quality comparable to most anime TV series and other OVAs, but not with most theatrical animated films. During the film’s production, director Toyoo Ashida stated that his intention for the film was to create an OVA that people who had been tired from studying or working hard would enjoy watching, instead of watching something that would make them “feel even more tired”. At the time of the OVA’s production, Ashida was known for directing Toei Animation’s TV series adaptation of Fist of the North Star, and included cameo appearances of two characters from the series, Kenshiro and Lynn, inVampire Hunter D.Similarly, D makes a cameo appearance in Fist of the North Star.

Yoshitaka Amano, the illustrator of the original novels, acted as character designer for the OVA. However, alternative designs were provided by Ashida (who also acted as the film’s animation director), and elements from both artists’ works were combined to create final designs by the animators. Acclaimed pop artist Tetsuya Komuro was responsible for the film’s soundtrack, and also performed the film’s ending theme, ‘Your Song’, with his fellow members of TM Network.

Vampire Hunter D was the first of several film adaptations (both live-action and animated) of Hideyuki Kikuchi’s works. Several of these (Wicked City, Demon City Shinjuku and Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust) were directed by Yoshiaki Kawajiri of Madhouse.

Image by www.escapistmagazine.com

Japan Condemns SoKor Manga Festival

 

The media for expressing one’s self is numerous and comic books or manga is one of them.  Japan has expressed its regret at a South Korean exhibit at an international comic book festival in France featuring “comfort women” forced into wartime sex slavery in Japanese military brothels. Japan’s ambassador to France, Yoichi Suzuki, said he “deeply regrets that this exhibition is taking place”, saying it promoted “a mistaken point of view that further complicates relations between South Korea and Japan”.

Angouleme Festival featuring comic books portraying the Japanese comfort women system

Up to 200,000 women from Korea, China, the Philippines and elsewhere were forced into brothels catering to the Japanese military in territories occupied by Japan during World War II, according to many mainstream historians. Franck Bondoux, director of the Angouleme International Comics Festival in western France, told AFP that Japan had not asked for the expo to be cancelled. South Korea’s Gender Equality and Family Minister Cho yoon-sun was present at the opening of the South Korean exhibit, entitled “The Flower That Doesn’t Wilt”, on Thursday.

“The subject was proposed by the South Korean government but the artists were completely free to evoke the subject independently,” Bondoux said.

The politically-charged issue of comfort women has stoked regional tensions, with South Korea and China insisting that Japan must face up to its World War II-era sexual enslavement of women from across occupied Asia. In a landmark 1993 statement, then-chief Japanese cabinet secretary Yohei Kono apologised to former comfort women and acknowledged Japan’s role in causing their suffering. Not to mention, a number of Vietnam Comfort Women are as well suffering. But in remarks in 2007 that triggered a region-wide uproar, then-Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said there was no evidence that Japan directly forced women to work as sex slaves.

An old photo of comfort women

Last week, the Japanese government distanced itself from remarks by the head of the NHK public broadcaster, who had said the Japanese Imperial Army’s system of wartime sex slavery was commonplace “in all countries during war”.

Katsuto Momii later apologised for “causing trouble” with the statement. The French regional Sud Ouest daily newspaper received a petition, ahead of the festival’s opening, from Japanese women indignant at the South Korean exhibit. On top of the comfort women row, the festival’s organizers shut down the booth of a Japanese association that displayed revisionist WWII content and swastika images among the comics on display.

Image by www2.koreatimes.co.kr and womensspace.wordpress.com