Hideo Kojima recently sat down in an interview with Kikizo to discuss everything from his age to Killzone 2 to his possible involvement in the next Metal Gear Solid title. Kikizo notes that the influential developer has stated he wants to stop working on the MGS series after the completion of every game since MGS2. Kojima insists that he still feels that way, even currently, but because of "political, business or technology reasons, there is always a time when I have to return ... when we look ten years into the future, maybe yes, I may well end up spending more time on the Metal Gear series!"
When questioned about his trademark long cutscenes, Kojima had this to say: "In MGS4, yes, I put everything in the cut sequences, which I kind of regret to some extent, because maybe there is a new approach which I should think about." He feels games like Halo and Bioshock, while brilliant in their own ways, "lack a kind of deeper storyline or the expression of the feelings of the characters." He thinks the key is to somehow offer both the freedom of an interactive story and the emotions brought on by FMVs. It looks like we'll definitely be hearing more from the famed video game designer, whether it is another MGS title or something entirely new. For more, the full interview can be read here.
On a related note, Kojima has once again, for the millionth time, confirmed that MGS4 will NOT be released on the Xbox 360, so quit asking already! "I've been doing a lot of interviews and stage shows," said Kojima to Eurogamer. "And half the questions are like: Will MGS4 be coming out on 360 or other formats?" Kojima reiterated to the publication that MGS4 will remain a PS3 exclusive because 1) he believed that MGS's success entwined with PlayStation and 2) MGS4 was optimized for the PS3 and wouldn't be possible with other hardware. There you have it, spread the facts.
Chef Morimoto will hold a question-and-answer session and a book signing. Festival attendees are also invited to visit Chef Morimoto's eponymous restaurant -- Morimoto -- from 7 to 9 PM on the last day of the New York Anime Festival for NYAF's Official After Party. Morimoto Restaurant is located at 88 10th Avenue in Manhattan. The New York Anime Festival's After Party will take place in Morimoto's downstairs bar and is open to all NYAF attendees, exhibitors, professionals, and press.
Almost 180 colored pages composed of a massive cosplay photo gallery, including a US exclusive section with American cosplayers. Lots of commentaries and how-to's are immersed within the hoards of cosplay pics. There's no doubt that the Japan to US transition was done with careful consideration and thought. For beginners to advanced cosplayers, and for those who are just curious, COSMODE USA is worth picking up. The second issue is due out this September.
Vampire Hunter D: The Wanderer's Ship, a story of D and his encounter with a blood-red battleship, dates back to one of the author's "Talk Live" events. Each year, Mr. Kikichi hosts several "Talk Live" gathering in the Kabukicho section of Shinjuku. At these events, he introduces a younger generation of fans to a wide variety of horror and sci-fi films and brings them face-to-face with guests from the worlds of publishing, animation, and film. The events conclude with drawings that give the audience chances to win signed books, artwork, and other exclusive prizes. The very best is saved for last -- short stories handwritten by Mr. Kikuchi with exclusive publication rights.
To date, three tales set in the Vampire Hunter D universe have come into the possession of lucky fans. Only the first has been published. The third -- Vampire Hunter D: The Wanderer's Ship -- was won by Ms. Hitomi Yasue, a longtime fan of Mr. Kikuchi and a regular attendee of his events. As someone who knew D from the novels before ever seeing the anime, she was surprised to hear the opposite was true overseas. Ms. Yasue has graciously agreed to share this short story with fans at the New York Anime Festival in the hopes of exposing more people to the literary incarnation of her favorite Vampire Hunter. Vampire Hunter D: The Wanderer's Ship has been translated for the New York Anime Festival by Mr. Kikuchi's friend and the translator of his Vampire Hunter D novel series, Mr. Kevin Leahy
The New York Anime Festival Guide Book will be available in the Jacob Javits Center lobby from September 26-28, 2008.
ABe's 53-page manga, which sells for US$4.99 or 600 yen, uses Ubiquitous Entertainment's multilingual comic viewer software for the Apple iPhone and iPod touch devices. The software allows faithful reproduction of original art and has the ability to toggle the dialogue between multiple languages. ABe's "Pochiyama at the Pharmacy" manga includes both Japanese and English dialogue in one edition; the software will display the manga in the language that the user has configured for his or her iPhone or iPod Touch. [Note: The iTunes manga application will only play on iPhone and iPod Touch].
Kodansha, Sonoran Blue, and Bbmf are adding about two dozen manga titles to Apple's App Store in Japan, but "Pochiyama at the Pharmacy" is the first manga to be released in 20 different countries. It is also the first to ship in one edition with two different languages.
Dir en Grey will release its new album, "Uroboros," on November 12. The album will be released in three editions; a standard edition, a limited edition (which includes a bonus disc) and a deluxe edition (which includes two CDs, one DVD and two LPs, and will be available for pre-ordering only until August 17th.
"The album will be stuffed with themes of 'guilt and reincarnation' as well as 'the past, present and future of DIR EN GREY,'" guitarist Kaoru explained back in May. "This will be heavier and darker than previous albums, with a sort of oriental and religious mood and connotations. We're experimenting with different sounds — we'd like to introduce a multitude of different instruments on this album."
Check out the tour schedule below:
Nov. 05 - Revolution - Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Nov. 07 - The Club @ Firestone - Orlando, FL
Nov. 08 - Center Stage - Atlanta, GA
Nov. 10 - Rams Head Live - Baltimore, MD
Nov. 11 - The Theatre of Living Arts - Philadelphia, PA
Nov. 12 - Wilbur Theatre - Boston, MA
Nov. 14 - Terminal 5 - New York, NY
Nov. 15 - Le Medley - Montreal, QC
Nov. 16 - Kool Haus - Toronto, ON
Nov. 18 - Clutch Cargo's - Pontiac, MI
Nov. 19 - House of Blues - Chicago, IL
Nov. 20 - First Avenue - Minneapolis, MN
Nov. 22 - The Eagles Club - Milwaukee, WI
Nov. 23 - Pop's - Sauget, IL
Nov. 25 - House of Blues - Houston, TX
Nov. 26 - Palladium Ballroom - Dallas, TX
Nov. 28 - Marquee Theatre - Tempe, AZ
Nov. 29 - The Wiltern LG - Los Angeles, CA
Nov. 30 - Warfield Theatre - San Francisco, CA
Dec. 02 - Hawthorne Theatre - Portland, OR
Dec. 03 - The Showbox - Seattle, WA
Dec. 05 - Gothic Theatre - Englewood, CO
The live action film's setting is shifted slightly from the anime to 1948 at a United States Army camp in Tokyo, shortly after the conclusion of World War II during the American occupation of Japan. Saya will be a 400-year-old half human-half vampire who hunts vampires which are also her only source for food. Normally a loner, Saya forms a friendship with a young girl while preparing to battle Onigen, the highest ranking of the vampires.
When talking about "Natsu no Sora" or even when watching it for the first time, I guarantee the first aspect of the series to be brought up is its visuals. It achieves in high respects with its absolutely realistic and stunning background visuals that have you questioning what's real and what's rendered. I can only guess the backgrounds are made of a mixture of real use of photography and CG rendered work. The backdrops remind me of the work we normally see from Makoto Shinkai including "5 centimeters per second" and "A Day Promised in our Early Days," and in the ranks of "Denno Coil." The actual animation (non-background elements), on the other hand, is very simplistic and clean. That fact alone has brought in some differing views - like HAL Film production spent much of its focus on the background and skimped out on the actual animation. But I have to say that the simplistic animation kind of counter-balances the real-life background. It had a old-school kind of feel, sort of Studio Ghibli-esque a la "Only Yesterday" and "Whisper of the Heart." It makes for a nice artistic aesthetic in my opinion.
VA work is on point and OP/ED as well as other music tracks dispersed throughout the series are appropriately melodic and lyrical. "Natsu no Sora" has got me curious and has made it on my watch list. Now if only I didn't have to wait for the next episode to air.
Now I'll have to say I wasn't quite sure what to expect, so I basically was going into this raw. RPG-turned-anime titles sometimes turn out great and equally as such can turn out to be a big flop. Coming in only equipped with a vague story description and a grand-standing production company - Production I.G. - behind it, I was ready to meet "World Destruction." The most interesting aspect of the story is its focus. Rather than your run of the mill "save the world" mantra, the main goal is the destruction of the world.
When I saw the term "otherkin," I wasn't expecting to see cutesy bears and cats that appeared in episode 1. The first episode immediately gives you an idea of what to expect and if you like what you see, you'll probably want to continue. Anything but serious undertones, mixed quality of voice acting (always a big fan of Maaya Sakamoto), a slew of different characters, and an animation style to be expected by Production I.G., "World Destruction" has a fighting chance and the intrigue of rooting for destruction is still present. We'll see how things unfold.
In episode 1, Kanu meets and ends up adopting Rin-Rin, a young girl with a similar past. Together, along with several other companions, these warriors seek to change the world.
Watching "Koihime Musou" reminded me of other fantasy anime titles bordering the lines of "Slayers," "Rayearth," and "Fushigi Yugi." A whimsical blend of light-hearted action, comedy, and plenty of female characters, I think if you are already a fan of "Koihime" via the PC game and/or manga, you will probably enjoy and appreciate the anime. If not, "Koihime" may seem a bit predictable to say the least, and can be considered a "casual" title. I'm not itching the watch the next episode, but at the same time, I wouldn't necessarily look away if it was playing in the background.
Update (9/03/2008): The five pre-order goodies have now been finalized. Narito Sackgirl goes to Best Buy, Kratos Sackboy to Gamestop, the LBP sticker book goes to Circuit City, the canvas pouch to Gamecrazy, and a digital game guide will be available through Amazon. Now for those of your outside of the U.S., plans are still being hatched. But thus far, Canada will be getting Kratos (via EB Games/Gamestop) and Nariko (location still to be determined). Europeans can nab Nariko from Play.
Before you jump to conclusions, avoiding preconceptions, "Antique Bakery" is actually not a yaoi anime title, rather it is best to classify this series under the shoujo and slice of life/comedy categories. A hilarious anime with some serious depth. I've been surprisingly hooked ever since the first episode and five episodes in, I am definitely intrigued. Character development and interaction for that matter keeps growing and the storyline is forming at a nice pace. The nice splash of comedy here and there make it hard not to laugh out loud yourself. If you're looking for entertainment from an unsuspecting source, I would recommend giving "Antique Bakery" a try. I first wanted to loosely group "Antique Bakery" with the likes of "Azumanga Daioh," "Yotsubato" (Yotsuba!) or maybe "Hidamari Sketch" and a mix of "Welcome to the NHK," but ended up a bit reluctant. If anything, if any of the aforementioned titles are your cup of tea, "Antique Bakery" may be the perfect title to start.
The roster is huge and not without some familiar faces, and with customization abilities, the roster has even bigger potential. And if you're anything like me, you'll be spending lots of time creating your own characters -- the system makes it feasible to create potentially any character you envision. Actual gameplay screams an ease that both novices and veterans can enjoy. There are several modes but in the end, you'll probably enjoy Tower of Souls mode better. I haven't had a chance to play online for too long, but from what I can see, Soulcalibur IV definitely impresses me in this realm. No lag is a plus but lack of team battles is a negative. But in the end, we're talking Soulcalibur here, and you won't regret picking this title up.