News From The Other Side Of The Pond #8!

Megumi Ogata Shares Her Love of Macs With Japan!

Broadband Watch is a website in Japan that caters to the technological crowd kind of like what CNET is to us. They are currently running a special where they are featuring 100 desktops of celebrities in Japan, and #38 comes from Megumi Ogata, who we all know as Sailor Uranus. Broadband Watch conducted an interview with her and here are the highlights! Megumi has been a loyal Mac user for 20 years, since the days of the Classic II (our older readers may remember those computers!). At home she uses the 17-inch model and she doesn’t change her desktop frequently (pictured here, with a censored sticky). She does use the stickies on her Mac a lot though, from writing simple memos, to reminding her of passwords for sites she likes to use. Her husband 20 years ago was a programmer and that’s how she got started on first the black and white Mac Classic II, and then moved on to the color model. Her first game was called Makigame and she played it when she wasn’t doing housework, and remembers a screensaver with a flying toaster. Her private office uses a Windows Machine but she is happy that she can use Word and Excel on her Mac. She hates Internet Explorer and Netscape, but uses Safari on her Mac, and her only gripe with it is that it deletes her browsing history quickly. She uses Microsoft Entourage along with a memory stick for her email, and she is currently learning how to use Garage Band. We would have expected Toru Furuya to give this kind of interview as he is often seen at many tech events, and never expected to see Megumi Ogata for something like this! It’s an interesting read, and fnas should definitely go check it out. She also likes to blog, and fans can read her blog here.

Mitsuishi Kotono Narrates Commercial for Popular Tour

We found a tiny mention of Mitsuishi Kotono (Sailor Moon) with regards to a tour. Mitsuhiro Oikawa is a current heartthrob in Japan, having appeared in many dramas and live action movies. Starting in December, he is going to tour Japan singing on his very own tour, Ichaicha: Cherie, Tu Es Moi (Honey, You Have Me). Kotono Mitsuishi is doing the narration for the TV spots advertising the tour, and she is also impressed by Mitsuhiro. The article also mentions that many of his fans call him “Chest-Kun” because he is often shirtless.


Paprika Wins Another Award!

In 1996, the Animation Kobe awards were created for the promotion of anime and other Japanese visual media. This year marked the 12th anniversary of the awards, and critically acclaimed director Satoshi Kon has another reason to smile as Paprika won the Feature Film Award! The interesting thing is that last year’s winner(Mamoru Hosoda’s The Girl Who Lept Through Time), was released just a few months ahead of Paprika, but both of these exceptional films were able to win this award because of a technicality in the rules. The Girl Who Lept Through Time was released in July of 2006, and Paprika that November. August was the cutoff date for the 2006 awards. This is Satoshi Kon’s second win in this category, his film Millennium Actress won the same award in 2003. On November 12th, there will be an event showcasing the works of all the winners in Kobe, and other winners this year included one of Moon Chase’s favorite directors, Isao Takahata, and one of this years hottest OVAs, Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. Solid State Society.

Paprika will be coming out on DVD November 27th, so only a month and a bit before all our readers can finally see this film! On a side note, we’d really like to thank Mongrel Media for the terrible job they have done with the distribution of this movie in Canada. The movie spent most of it’s summer run in a single theater in Toronto, and is now being shown for barely a few nights in theaters all over the country. Considering how popular this movie was among the critics and how it was hailed to be a hit, unfortunately the distributor thought it would be better to let the movie sit for a long time in one theater and skip across the country. Even Ghibli films don’t get this kind of treatment. We know of several fans all over who were waiting in anticipation to see this movie on the big screen and have heard too many stories of disappointment, and that the United States did not experience these kinds of problems in most states.

Glass Rabbit Is Up For Grabs!

During the beginning of November, the American Film Market(AFM) is set to take place in Santa Monica, California. We told you not too long ago about The Glass Rabbit, which is currently making it’s way through Canada through special features from the Japanese Consulate. The Glass Rabbit is now going to be included as part of the AFM, where companies showcase films in the hopes that they will be picked up for production and/or distribution. We’re really hoping that it gets picked up – this movie did remind me a lot of the epicGrave of the Fireflies and it does hold potential to be a hit of close to that magnitude. We have since learned that this heartbreaking film is actually based on the real story of the author Toshiko Takagi. All of the performances were very good in this movie – especially of the young girl who played Toshiko, Rina Mogami. Taeko Kawata (Momoko Momohara) played the innocent role of Mitsuko, one of the younger sisters of the main characters. It was an exceptional film and we recommend fans go see this one if they can!

This film is making it’s way across Eastern Canada, and we recommend fans keep checking these links below for information when these films will be playing near them. Side Note: They were all good, but Hotel Hibiscus was a little mediocre.

For Ottawa, click here.

For Toronto, click here or here.

For Montreal, click here.

Paprika Finally Gets a Release Date!

It was just a few days ago when we were longing to hear news of a release date, and it came today! Paprika is going to be released on both Blu-Ray and Standard DVD on November 27th. As if you haven’t read it on this blog already a hundred times, this movie stars two Seiyuu of Sailor Moon in leading roles – Megumi Hayashibara (Himeko) plays Dr. Atsuko Chiba, and Toru Furuya (Tuxedo Kamen) as Dr. Kosaku Tokita. And it looks like some of the extras that are on the Japanese release are coming as extras here too. There is a half-hour behind-the-scenes commentary that looks at the film and staff, A Conversation About The Dream, which features the cast and the director, Satoshi Kon, speaking about the film in the style of a talk show, along with another commentary. It’s nice to see this film released on the newer, higher definition Blu-Ray DVD format. This is great news as now Paprika fans don’t have to go to great lengths just to get the Blu-Ray from Japan!

News From The Other Side Of The Pond #7

It’s been a while since we’ve had a few news stories about the Japanese Seiyuu, so here we come with two short news updates!

Megumi Ogata To Release New CD!

Megumi Ogata (Sailor Uranus) is celebrating her 15th anniversary in the acting business by releasing a CD of covers of songs from anime that she has been in. Animeg is coming out on October 3rd, and will feature theme songs from Galaxy Express 999, City Hunter, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Magic Knights Rayearth, and of course Moonlight Legend from Sailor Moon. The CD is currently available for pre-order from Amazon Japan, YesAsia, and CDJapan. Sadly, the news release just announced it without comment from Megumi herself.

Paprika Coming to CinemaNow VOD Site!

Internationally acclaimed hit Paprika, was released on DVD in Japan in May, and is now coming to a VOD site in a limited run. For ¥420 ($3.70), users of Japan’s CinemaNow service can watch the movie as many times as they want for 48 hours. The movie will be offered only until December 5th. This psychological drama stars two Seiyuu that were involved in Sailor Moon, Megumi Hayashibara (Himeko in the S Movie) and Toru Furuya (Tuxedo Kamen). Still no word yet on a DVD release date for North America, but we are really hoping that the Blu-Ray DVD makes it’s way over here alongside the standard DVD format release.

New Evangelion Tetralogy To Feature Four Former Seiyuu

Some of you hardcore Evangelion fans may have heard of a new tetralogy (four) of movies – of which the first opens a month from now in Japan. The tetralogy is called Rebuild of Evangelion, and will be an alternate retelling of the entire series and ending with something completely different than the original. Fans can read a translation of his rationale for a revamp here. The reaction of the fans to this is pretty mixed, some are happy, some are sad, and some just have no idea what to expect (like our translator.

The first movie , Evangelion: 1.0 You Are [Not] Alone will open September 1st in Japan. This movie is a prequel, and details about what exactly is going to happen in this movie have been kept mum. The creator, Hideki Anno, wrote the story and has a huge role in the production of the others. The theme song Beautiful World will be performed by popular J-pop star Utada Hikaru , and the popular endings song Fly Me to the Moon will have a brand new remix just for this incarnation. Fly Me to the Moon is sung by Megumi Hayashibara, best known for playing Lina Inverse in Slayers, and known to us as Himeko Nayotake in the S Movie. She will also appear in the movie reprising her role as teenager Rei Ayanami. Megumi Ogata (Sailor Uranus) will also be reprising her role as Shinji Ikari – and to some fans who don’t know, her voice is very tomboyish and husky so she is often selected to play male roles. Kotono Mitsuishi (Sailor Moon) is also returning to her role as Captain Misato Katsuragi and Akira Ishida (Fisheye) also reprises his role as Kaworu Nagisa.

Breaking News: New Kamen Rider-Crayon Shin-Chan Crossover Special!

We Bring it to You First!

A few hours ago, a news story broke in Japan, and we are probably the first English site to bring this to you all. Crayon Shin-Chan is a popular, long-running, anime which has made its way over to North America in recent years. The animation style is very primitive and looks like it has been drawn with crayons – hence the name. Shin-Chan is Shinosuke Nohara, a pesky 5 year old who lives his life very unusually, with his inappropriate behaviours and misuse of language. Sailor Moon fans if they watched episode 104 of the S series might have noticed Chibi-Usa picking up a Crayon Shin-chan mini-UFO doll (pictured). Sailor Moon was probably the only external production to feature Shin-chan, even though it was so small. It seems that the producers of Kamen Rider are going to make some kind of hour-long, animated crossover special with Crayon Shin-chan. The release will coincide with the release of the Kamen Rider Den-Omovie which will be released in Japanese Theaters August 4th. The feature will be called Den-O vs. Shin-chan King Storm Special!, and marks Kamen Rider’s first foray into televised anime in it’s 36 year history! The special will air on TV Asahi on August 3rd at 7 PM. They don’t go a lot into the plot (except for mentioning Shin-chan’s snot attack) , but featured a comment from Rina Akiyama who will play a Queen in the movie. She simply said, that Shin-chan’s transformation “looks good”. Since we could barely find any Japanese sites on this special, we are unaware of who will be in it. In the past though, several stars of Sailor Moon have been involved in both series. Shibue Jyoji (PGSM Tuxedo Mask) appeared in Kamen Rider Hibiki as Iori Izumi, and Masaya Kikawada (PGSM Motoki) plays Takeshi Hongo in the new movies. And many seiyuu from the anime appeared in Crayon Shin-chan over the years: Michie Tomizawa (Sailor Mars) as Matsuzaka-sensei, Aya Hisakawa (Sailor Mercury) as Sailor Iyaan, Emi Shinohara (Sailor Jupiter) as Sailor Bakaan, Kae Araki (Sailor Chibi-Moon) as Sailor Muffoon, Kazuyuki Sogabe (Nephrite) as James, Mitsuishi Kotono (Sailor Moon) as Ageo-Sensei, Megumi Hayashibara (Himeko) as Chris Evert, and Megumi Ogata (Sailor Uranus) as Yoko!

Special thanks once again to our special Toku Correspondent UltraMatt for all his help!