AKB48's U.S. Debut at NYAF 2009

Rumors have been swirling around and now the New York Anime Festival officially announces AKB48! AKB48 is a female music group created in 2005 by songwriter Yasushi Akimoto. The group was born under the concept of "idols you can visit" and is based in Akihabara, the center of Japanese anime and manga culture. Members of AKB48 regularly appear in movies, television shows, and theater, and they are on top of Japan's pop culture consciousness, singing at Japan's biggest New Year's Eve broadcast, joining Prime Minister Taro Aso for cherry-blossom viewing, hosting their own weekly television show, and collaborating with artist Takashi Murakami on multiple projects. They perform almost everyday at their own theater in Akihabara, have performed internationally in Paris, and now they're coming to NYC!

AKB48 will hold a Q&A session, autographing, and short concert at the Jacob Javits Center on Saturday, September 26, and the musical group will then present a free concert at NYC's Webster Hall on Sunday, September 27th.

AKB48 is an awesome addition and this announcement is sure to perk up fans' ears. If you are still contemplating on whether or not to attend NYAF this year...AKB48 may be there to make your decision a bit easier. [Source: MediumAtLarge]


Far East To East Showcase Returns to NYAF with 4 Musical Acts

Last year, the New York Anime Festival and Karaterice launched the Far East To East Showcase at The Knitting Factory. It was a celebration of indie, punk, rock, and pop both from Japan and NYC. This year, NYAF and Karaterice -- now with the super name Superglorious -- are bringing FETES back, and bringing it into the iconic Webster Hall.

From Japan, FETES hosts Kokusyoku Sumire and Swinging Popsicle, and from NYC, FETES features Echostream and Gelatine. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 the day of the show and available now at www.ticketweb.com and www.websterhall.com. The show is open to audiences of all ages.

Kokusyoku Sumire, Swinging Popsicle, Echostream, and Gelatine are four amazing bands -- bands selected not because of their involvement in anime, but selected because of the intensity and integrity music.

For more on the Far East To East Showcase, Superglorious will hold a FETES Press Panel on Saturday, September 26 at the New York Anime Festival. Superglorious will also maintain a booth at NYAF all weekend long where various FETES artists will appear. [Source: MediumAtLarge]


Guild Wars 2 Teaser Trailer

The grounds are starting to rumble as NCsoft and ArenaNet bring us the Guild Wars 2 teases we've been waiting for. First we got confirmation that the project is still fully underway, second, some incredibly beautiful concept art, and now straight from GAMESCOM in Cologne, Germany, we have the trailer, just under 5 minutes long!

The few glimpses of concept art was just the beginning -- the trailer boasts stunningly gorgeous concept art that words simply can't describe. And from the look of things, GW2 is shaping up to be the sequel we've been wishing for. A vast amount of environments that not only look beautiful but bring such variation. No two places look alike. Though there isn't any gameplay, you do get some hints as to what the actual game will look like. The characters -- allies and foes alike -- bring just as much diversity as the environment. Let's just say, it seems like they are on the right track. So without further delay, here's the trailer...you HAVE to see it for yourself. Welcome back to Tyria!


Guild Wars 2 Lives On...

Back in 2007, we heard the first word on the official full sequel to NCSoft's original Guild Wars games -- Guild Wars 2. Since then, all has been quiet on the western front. Too quiet, in fact that I, like many other fans, were getting worried and contemplating GW2's release.

Well ArenaNet Mike O'Brien is here to ease those woes. In a letter to the fans on Guild Wars Wiki:
I want to thank all our fans for their patience as we developed the game to the point where we can start talking about it publically. I know you've all been anxiously awaiting this moment. You'll soon understand how ambitious we've been and what we've accomplished during these past two years of development. We still have a lot of work ahead of us, but from here on out we'll be able to provide you with more regular updates.

Guild Wars 2 is going to be a huge leap beyond the original. We have the best team in the industry executing at the top of their game, and I'm very proud of what our team has accomplished so far. As I said last week, I'm confident that when you get your first look at what we've been working on, you're going to love what you see. Stay tuned for an exciting week ahead.
Excitement!! Let the teases commence. Check out the official Guild Wars 2 website...not much there, but it brings enough affirmation as it is. Follow them on twitter (and Facebook) to get the updates we so crave.


18-m Eva Movie Poster on Charity Auction

Evangelion 2.0: You Can [Not] Advance celebrates its two millionth viewing of the film by auctioning an 18-meter-tall movie poster charity on the Yahoo! Auctions Japan website. The poster features Co-director Kazuya Tsurumaki's storyboard sketch as well as his autograph. 3.5-meter-wide (11.5-foot-wide) poster, which was created with weather-resistant printing on vinyl-covered cloth, hung on the 109-2 department store building in Tokyo's Shibuya district for three weeks starting on June 13. The auction will benefit the Japan Committee Vaccines for the World's Children (JCV).

A separate 2.78-meter-tall (9-foot-tall) character poster is also being auctioned for the same charity. The second poster features an illustration of the three main Evangelion pilots by animation director Hidenori Matsubara as well as Matsubara's autograph. The poster hung during the elaborate opening weekend event just outside a participating theater in Tokyo's Kabukicho neighborhood on June 27 and 28. Both auctions end on August 19; as of August 14, the larger storyboard poster is going for 70,000 yen (about US$734) while the smaller character poster is going for 111,000 yen (US$1,160). [Source: ANN]


Gurren Lagann: The Movie at NYAF 2009

New York Anime Festival will play host to the East Coast Premiere of Bandai and Aniplex's offspring, Gurren Lagann: The Movie - Childhood's End.

Gurren Lagann: The Movie - Childhood's End is a feature film retelling of the first half of the Gurren Lagann series, a feature film that's rarely been seen outside of Japan. So NYAF go-ers...REJOICE!

For those who miraculously haven't jumped on the Gurren Lagann train, the series is about a boy named Simon who's spent his entire life digging in the dirt. But when Simon finds a strange little drill buried deep in the soil, he starts on a journey that'll take him into the sky, into space, and busting through heaven. Gurren Lagann -- from the studio behind Evangelion and FLCL -- is one of the most acclaimed animations in years, and it deserves every ounce of praise it's received. [Source: MediumAtLarge]


Shiny Metal Qees

In a collaborative effort between TOY2R USA and FULLY VISUAL - fans of QEE can now celebrate the release of real metal 2.5" Qees. Available for a limited time in extremely limited amounts - FULLY VISUAL will drop the figures this today, Thursday, August 13th at 11am (PST) on their online store.

In addition - customers who purchase the set of all three will receive a special bonus chase figure that is so cool!![Source: Qee 4 All]


Official Silent Hill Attraction

Sinister Pointe, the mind behind the official "Saw" haunted attraction, teams up with Konami to bring us a fright that is sure to grab your attention and scare you out of your wits. That's right, ever imagined stepping foot in Silent Hill and striking fear onto yourself?

Enter the Silent Hill Haunted Attraction. The Silent Hill maze is located in Brea, California and will feature elements from both video games. The fright begins October 2nd. Be sure to check out Sinister Pointe at www.sinisterpointe.com for more details. Cue the nurses...


Cencoroll US Premiere at NYAF 2009

New York Anime Festival 2009 will host the US Premiere of Aniplex's Cencoroll. Cencoroll was created entirely by one man, award-winning artist Atsuya Uki. Uki originally created a Cencoroll short in 2007 and distributed the animation via the internet. In the same year, the short was screened at NYAF.

With an overwhelming wave of praise and support of this original short, Uki decided to single-handedly create a full film which will debut later this month in theaters in Japan. And lucky for us, the US debut will be at NYAF this September!

Cencoroll is the story of a provincial Japanese town under attack by a mysterious monster, and the young girl Yuki, and boy Tetsu, who hold the secret to fighting back: a strange and even-more-mysterious pet called Cenco. For more information and footage of Cencoroll, check out the film's official site (www.cencoroll.com). [Source: MediumAtLarge]


Gackt Slated for Samurai Warriors 3 Ending Song

Japanese musician Gackt has a lot of accomplishments on his belt and he is no stranger to video games as well. To add another notch, Gackt is apparently in the ropes to do the ending song for the upcoming Nintendo Wii game "Samurai Warriors 3" for developer Koei.

Gackt's music will also appear in TV ads for the game. You may recall his work in Square Enix's "Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII." Fans of Gackt can already be certain that we're in for a treat! [Source: Yahoo JP via Kotaku]