Halo Legends Anime - A First Look

Acclaimed anime and live-action film director Mamoru Oshii will take the reins as the creative director of Production I.G.'s two episodes in the Halo Legends Anime Project, adapted by Microsoft's Halo game franchise. The production team clarifies that he will not personally direct either short. Production I.G. is one of the five Japanese studios that is animating the seven shorts (a al Animatix, perhaps?) in the project, including BONES, Casio Entertainment, Studio 4°C, and Toei Animation.

In addition, Appleseed director Shinji Aramkai will join Oshii in this project and will oversee a short about the history of the Spartan warrior class from the games. The shorts will be available on DVD and via digital media some time next year. According to Kotaku, it will preview on Xbox Live this fall on the Halo Waypoint. [Source: ANN and Kotaku]

And without further ado, I bring you the debut trailer. What are your thoughts?


Viz Acquires Vampire Knight Anime Series

It really has been a long time coming which has been very surprising to me, but Viz Media has finally announced that it has acquired the Vampire Knight anime series, during its second Saturday panel at Comic-Con International. Rejoice!

Viz Media will release Matsuri Hino's eight manga volume next month.


Castlevania Movie Update

Looks like things are brewing for the movie adaptation of the incredibly massive video game series "Castlevania." James Wan, the co-mastermind behind the Saw franchise, and director of Dead Silence and Death Sentence, will be co-writing and directing Castlevania. (Sylvain White was originally slated to direct.)

In an exclusive interview with Bloody-Disgusting, James Wan goes to say:

"I'm very fresh on this project, so its early stages and I'm still trying to work things out, but the producers love my vision for it. I'll be working on the script with a writer to give it a new spin, different to the previous versions. This will have my stamp on it which Konami is very excited about.

The thing I love about what Konami did with Castlevania, was taking the iconic Dracula mythology and Eastern-European setting, and retelling it with a Japanese pop-cultural sensibility. That’s the East-meets-West tone I want to visually expand on for the film. I’m thrilled by the opportunity to make a highly stylized, fantasy, action film that focuses on the gothic storyline and the cool, anime-like characters. For once, the human hero is as sexy and dangerous as the vampire villain, and his weapon of choice was what attracted me to the project in the first place – The Vampire Killer Whip.” [Source: Bloody-Disgusting]

All I can say is the artwork is absolutely striking and impressive, hopefully it will translate well.


FUNimation at Otakon 2009

FUNimation announces several recent acquisitions over the course of Otakon weekend. One in particular has got me excited, so let's get down to it.

First up is four "Detective Conan" movies - The Last Wizard of the Century; Captured in Her Eyes; Countdown to Heaven; and The Phantom of Baker Street. FUNimation will release each movie individually beginning Winter 2009. On the live action realm comes "Daytime Drinking," a comedy produced by StONEwork Film Production. This is set to be released sometime in 2010.

FUNimation has acquired home entertainment, broadcast, digital and merchandise rights to the first season (24 episodes) of the post-apocalyptic sci-fi anime series "Casshern Sins" from Tatsunoko Productions! This sci-fi series is directed by Shigeyasu Yamauchi (“Blood+”, “Digimon”, “Dragon Ball Z”) produced by Tatsunoko Productions (“Speed Racer”, “Robotech”, “Gatchaman”) and animated by Madhouse (“Claymore”, “Hellsing Ultimate”, “Death Note”, “Gungrave”). FUNimation Entertainment will release the first season of the series in two 12 episode sets fall 2010.

Casshern Sins is a revisioning of the early seventies series “Neo-Human Casshern” presented with a unique animation style. This sci-fi android series begins in a time when humans are subjugated by androids. Desperate for freedom, humans summon a mysterious girl named Luna in order to save mankind. Braiking Boss, leader of the androids, fears what this girl may do, and sends three assassins to remove her. The strongest of these assassins, Casshern, manages to track down and kill Luna. This triggers a cataclysmic event which sets in motion the end of the world.

Hundreds of years later, the world is in ruin and both humans and androids fear for their lives. Casshern, who has disappeared since Luna’s death, returns to the world with no memory. Thus starts his journey of self discovery and redemption that will determine the future of both humans and androids.

Changing gears a bit,...listen up all you diehard original Dragon Ball fans...the next acquisition is a big one. FUNimation Entertainment has got their hands on the original masters for the ENTIRE Dragon Ball Z anime series, episodes and films. They plan on releasing all as the Dragon Box for the very first time in the U.S. The Dragon Box will be produced from the original Dragon Box masters after a frame by frame restoration and will span the entire 291 episode television series and all 13 of its movies.

You can grab the first of seven Dragon Boxes nationwide on November 10, 2009 and is retailed at $79.98. Dragon Box One will include the first 42 episodes, uncut, on 6 discs. It will feature the original Japanese audio (with options for an English track or English subtitles), the original episode previews, complete opening and closing credits and a collector’s booklet.

Other FUNimation announcements include the cast lists for "Nabari No Ou" and "Spice and Wolf."


Hideo Kojima on MGS: Peace Walker

Metal Gear creator and Video Game genius Hideo Kojima reiterates the significance of the Metal Gear Solid PSP installment deeming it a "MGS5-class game," in a press release Q&A "unveiled" by Konami yesterday.

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker" picks up where MGS3 leaves off as players take control of Naked Snake. Taking place in 1974, Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker features original game design, story and scenario by Hideo Kojima. The game takes the series in an exciting new direction with its incredible visuals and its unique new game system designed specifically with the PSP in mind.
This game is an MGS5-class game. I am supervising, designing, producing, directing, and editing this title together with the MGS4 team. Therefore in that sense, "METAL GEAR SOLID" has not ended, and the "METAL GEAR SAGA" continues.
Though Kojima had intended to place the project in the hands of the next generation of creators at Kojima Productions, he, in the end, "felt that it was still a little too early to leave it completely in their hands, so [he] decided to take the reins.

While Kojima doesn't give away too much details surrounding gameplay, he does state that the game will be stealth-action based. However, "the game will be a little different from the METAL GEAR that players have come to know. However, the story can be replayed numerous times and the game is full of challenges to complete, so...this title will really satisfy players with its long-lasting play time."

To end, Kojima also gave us a little insight into the strange code that appeared on the teaser website pre-E3 2009.

5=it is an MGS5 class game
巳=snake in Kanji
3=3 from 360 and E3
6=6 from 360
P and S=PSP and adding 3 makes it PS3
Aside from the Snake and Raiden visuals, we featured a total of 10 "symbols" and when all of these are rearranged, they form connections to the announcements that we made at E3. The first symbols that appeared were the number "5" and the letter "S" for Snake that represented PW which, to me, is a "5" class title. "巳" not only hints at the lowercase lettering of "E" for E3, but it is the kanji for the word "snake." Also, the symbol that appeared at the very end is the kanji "日" and represents a sunny background and the sunrise that links to RISING.

The "RISING" of "METAL GEAR SOLID RISING" implies "the sun rising," "the sun shining," and "the sun shining on Raiden" that was revealed in the visuals on the HP. In addition, RISING" also represents how "METAL GEAR SOLID" will be taking the next step up.

Going back to the symbols found on the HP, they also link to "the day of 360" and also to each of the titles that we announced at E3. When each of the symbols are rearranged, I think you'll be able to recognize E3, PSP, PS3, 360 and others. So everyone, how did you like it? Were your predictions on the mark?
Check out the entire press release here.


Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood Kai Figures

Kotobukiya is back with another set of very cool looking Full Metal Alchemist figures. These Square Enix Play Arts figures comes from the new FMA: Brotherhood series. Each figure comes with additional heads and accessories. I especially like the additional faces of Alphonse and Roy Mustang. They will be released in October this year and is retailed about 4,200 yen a pop. Some very nice detailing make this a must-have addition to any FMA fan. [Source: Tomopop]


1/1 Scale Gundam Photo Op

We all have dreams and for some it may include getting the chance to sit upon a Gundam's shoulder and being immortalized alongside with it via a once-in-a-lifetime photoshoot. Well the planners of the 1/1-scale, "life-size" statue of the Gundam robot are auctioning the opportunity for one person to have a photograph taken at the statue's shoulder!

The Green Tokyo
Gundam Project will be adding the Tokyo 2016 Candidate City logo to the statue on August 1, to promote Tokyo's bid to host the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The winner of the charity auction on Yahoo! Japan will take part in the Tokyo Olympics bid logo ceremony in a high-altitude construction lift. (The statue stands at 18 meters or 59 feet.) [Source: ANN]


Otakon Q&A: Calling all Fans...

With Otakon just about a week away and all the guests having been announced, I have started thinking about what I really want to learn about this year's guests. And as I am brainstorming and wait for the press schedule, I figured why ponder alone? So I call out to my readers...What do you wish you could ask if given the chance? What would you be interested in learning more about? Is there something you've been dying to ask VAMPS, for example, or maybe Mary Elizabeth Glynn? Perhaps you'd be interested in hearing about Yutaka Yamamoto's future projects? Check out the entire guest list here.

I'd be intrigued to know what some of you have to say. And for those with inquiring questions, especially those who won't be able to make it to Otakon, I'd be happy to try and relay your questions..so with that, I'm all ears. Feel free to comment to this post or email me directly at eva001berserker@aol.com.


Happy 4th of July!

As I prepare to enjoy this three-day weekend, I figured I'd bid everyone Happy Independence Day...even if it's one day too early! Whatever your plans may be today and tomorrow (mine will include trying to console my fireworks-fearing doggie), be sure to add this on your list of things to do.

Download the new (and free) LittleBigPlanet costume to commemorate our Independence -- LBP presents The Sacktue of Liberty. Happy 4th everyone!