News From the Other Side of the Pond #2!

Junichi Sato to Supervise Animation of New Series!

Junichi Sato (Director of the first season and the Doom Tree/Makaiju Saga) is set to supervise the animation of Rental Magica based on a shounen light novel (made for boys) of the same name. From what we have read, it’s a story about a student of the secondary school Italy Garden who becomes the president of the second generation of a well known agency of magicians. These magicians lend all sorts of magic to each other like divination, Celt magic, dark magic, and astrology. The author of this 9-part series is Makoto Sanda, who has also written a light novel series called Scar/Edge, which supplemented a tabletop RPG called Double Cross. Makoto will be editing the scripts along with Fruits Basket writer Mamiko Ikeda.

Aya Hisakawa in New Anime!

Aya Hisakawa (Sailor Mercury) can be heard in El Cazador de la Bruja (The Witch Hunter) which is on the air in Japan as we speak! She plays Jody Hayward aka Blue Eyes, a woman who works in accounting at the CIA. She wears a special Philosopher Stone around her neck which may be important later. This series tells the story of Ellis, a girl who is suspected of murdering a prominent physicist. She is on the run when she is discovered by the bounty hunter Nadi, who instead of turning her in, takes her on a journey to find clues to her past! The Bee Train show is the third and last member of director Koichi Mashimo’s “Girls with Guns Trilogy” (the others are Noir and Madlax) and is turning out to be a hit!

Blockbuster Paprika to hit North American Cinemas soon!

Satoshi Kon’s Paprika is the latest anime to be garnering a lot of buzz from critics in Hollywood! The feature is about 29 year-old Dr. Atsuko Chiba, a psychiatrist who uses her 18 year-old alter ego Paprika to enter the dreams of her patients to discover the roots of their anxieties or neuroses. At her lab, a new technology device has been developed to allow a person to enter the dreams of another – however if misused, an entire personality can be wiped out and changed while they are asleep! One of these four devices has been stolen and it is up to Paprika to find it before people are destroyed! Once again there is a blend between reality and the dream world, much like what we had seen in Kon’s earlier masterpiece, Perfect Blue. This movie is based on the groundbreaking novel of the same name by Yasutaka Tsutsui. Sailor Moon fans are treated to not one but two seiyuu in this film! Megumi Hayashibara (Himeko Nayotake) plays the starring role of Atsuko Chiba/Paprika, and Toru Furuya (Tuxedo Mask) plays Dr. Tokita Kohsaku, a colleague who is a nerdy, overweight genius!

So far the release is limited and has popped up at a few film festivals in the USA, but as with all limited release anime, we suggest fans wanting to see this go pester their local indie cinemas to bring this film to their city. In our experience, we’ve found most times management is really receptive if the movie is popular!

Jedite Heard in Fighting Game!

A popular title for the PS2 in Japan is Musou Orochi , a crossover between Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors. This was released March 21st of this year. The evil demon Orochi has disrupted time and space, and the heroes of these two games unite to defeat the demon and restore the universe! The game has four stages set in the Three Kingdoms Period of China , each stage based on a force (Shu, Wei, Wu, Sengoku). Masaya Onosaka (Jedite) plays Chouun and Shokatsuryou in this game. Koei is set to release this for the PS2 and XBOX 360 sometime in Fall of 2007, and the game may be titled Orochi Warriors.

Sailor Venus is Everyone’s Favorite Viera Warrior!

Okay, this sighting is a little old but we thought we’d mention it anyway since there are probably a lot of Final Fantasy XII geeks who read this site! The next time you’re at a gaming party and you feel like making connections between games you play and Sailor Moon, mention this: Rika Fukami (Sailor Venus) plays the scantily-clad, Viera (Bunny) Warrior, Fran in the Japanese version. Two of us have played the game and we’ve really enjoyed it, and recommend it to any gamers who haven’t tried it already! The graphics are to die for and the gameplay (though a bit different compared to other Final Fantasy games) is amazing! We were able to find a few clips of the Japanese version for fans wanting to hear a very different , lower, Rika Fukami here and here

In Cross-Cultural News:

And to close, A book called Plastic Culture: How Japanese Toys Conquered the World has just been released outlining the influence of Japanese toys (such as those popular gashapon figures) on toys around the world! The book goes into the history of the influence, from dolls and figures to toys given out with meals at fast food restaurants. Editors of the book say: “Plastic Culture explores the world of toys: why we love them, what they represent, and why there is a growing market for “designer” and “art” toys aimed at adults”.

Want to watch Panchanne?

Last Month, we reported on a new Tokusatsu being directed by Masataka Takamaru, better known as the director of PGSM . We have gotten ahold of the raws of the show and we are impressed with what we have seen so far!

The show doesn’t take itself seriously at all, and pokes fun at a lot of elements of Tokusatsu! For example in the first episode when she receives her powers, she has no costume. She is then taken to Cospatio (a real cosplay tailoring service) to have her costume made. In episode 2, her wand doesn’t work and she’s told by her guardian (the God Kami-Sama) that she isn’t strong enough to attack, but near the end she finds out that it was just switched off! It’s also fun to see how she balances motherhood with her superhero duties as well! So for any fans who want to watch this show, we have found a streaming video service that allows users to upload videos longer than 10 minutes (Youtube has limits on time, and the episodes are there but in pieces). And here they are for your enjoyment!

Edit: These have been removed!

Emilie-Claire Barlow to Release a New Album!

And She’s Got a New Cartoon and Will be Performing Some Concerts Too!

The Cover of Her New Album!
Photographer: Ian Brown.
Design: Caroline Brown.
Special Thanks to Emilie-Claire Barlow
for permitting us to post this image!

Critically acclaimed jazz singer Emilie-Claire Barlow (Sailor Mars #2, Sailor Venus #2), announced today via her official website that her new album, The Very Thought of You will be released on June 19th! She is currently listening to the final mixes before they go off to the manufacturer on Monday. We’re looking forward and one of us on staff will be waiting at HMV that day to get it! Her music is also available on iTunes International and we suspect her new album will be there close to the release date.

She is also going to be performing a few concerts this summer, and fans in Toronto should definitely try to check her out! She will be performing at:

☼The sold out Jazz Lives! concert at the Convocation Hall, University of Toronto May 3rd
☼The Art of Jazz at the Distillery in Toronto, June 2nd.
☼ Her album release party June 29th at the Rex Hotel as part of the Toronto Jazz Festival.

There are more dates in July and August! For more information fans should check out her official website or her official MySpace. . If you are a fan who is planning to attend one of her concerts, we’d love to know how it went! Contact us at

Emilie-Claire can also be heard next in a new cartoon series premiering on Teletoon July 8th! Canadian fans keep your eyes peeled for Total Drama Island , a show about stereotypical teenagers pitted against each other in an environment much like the popular reality show, Survivor. This show was created by the same team behind the hugely popular 6Teen, also on Teletoon! She plays Courtney, the “Goody Goody Force to be Reckoned With” . Fans eagerly awaiting this show can check out a trailer here !

Yet Another Sailor Sighting in an Anime!

In a Comedy Too!

Combat Butler Hayate Says:
“Don’t watch TV too close
or in a dark room!”

We first heard about this sighting from Kyaa the Catlord on Genvid’s forums . The sighting was found at the beginning of episode 3 of “Hayate no Gotoku” (Hayate the Combat Butler) , where the preceding episode was recapped. This Geneon produced series is based on the manga about an unfortunate teenager, Hayate Ayasaki whose irresponsible parents abandoned him to pay off their ¥ 150,000,000 debt. As fate would have it he meets a 13-year-old heiress, Nagi Sanzenin. He saves her life, and is hired by her to serve as her butler. This series is hilarious! There’s narration, breaking of the fourth wall, parodies of other anime, and some very creative censorship (to mock worldwide censors) in each episode!

In episode 2, Nagi got angry with Hayate and kicked him out of her mansion. Hayate was then surrounded and kidnapped by the very people who had lended his parents money but were never repaid. These debt collectors were about to put him on one of their ramshackle ships when Nagi appears with a mask as the super hero “Mask the Money!”. She pays off his debts and saves him.

And here’s the scene in question! EDIT: We will be providing screenshots very soon.

In episode three, things change and Hayate is now forced to spend the rest of his life working for her to pay off this gesture. We recommend this anime to fans looking to watch an anime comedy or looking for a good laugh to take their minds off things! The episodes are currently being fansubbed by several groups.

Rubeus Spotted in a Sitcom!

But He’s Not the One In Charge!

As we reported earlier , Robert Tinkler (Rubeus, Pupuran) according to many sources was set to appear on ABC’s new sitcom, Notes From the Underbelly . The sitcom is loosely based on the book of the same name by Risa Green, which chronicles the virtues of impending motherhood. We were impressed with the premiere, but we couldn’t spot him even after going through the episodes several times. We were beginning to think this was a scam until we read on his official site that he had a reoccurring role on the show.

And lo and behold, we finally spotted him on last week’s episode! He plays Ben, the assistant to the workaholic lawyer, Cooper (played by Rachel Harris). He was seen during a visit to a beach where Cooper was trying to convince pregnant Lauren (Jennifer Westfeldt) that she should not give up her career to be a mother full-time. Cooper was extremely busy and had an interesting request for Ben as she left to go tend to some urgent business (pictured here).

Yes, that actually happened in the episode! The wonderful comedy, Notes From the Underbelly airs Wednesday nights on ABC, check your local listings!