Animenewsnetwork – Interest

Inazuma Eleven’s Shūya Gōenji Enters Nike’s ‘Footballverse’

Animenewsnetwork - Interest

World-renowned players face off in humorous four-minute ad

Fans worldwide are drawing comparisons between Blue Lock and Japan’s Samurai Blue team at the World Cup, but another series has held the attention of sports otaku for years: Inazuma Eleven. Last month, the multimedia franchise made a surprise appearance in a humorous Nike ad. In the commercial, scientists in Geneva, Switzerland, create a “Footballverse” to settle an argument over who would win, French footballer Kylian Mbappé or 2006-era Ronaldinho.

The premise expands to add more world-renowned players, including two Ronaldos (different eras), Cristiano Ronaldo, Virgil van Dijk, Sam Kerr, Alex Morgan, Carli Lloyd, and Leah Williamson. It’s at the three-minute mark that things get animated as Shūya Gōenji (Axel Blaze) appears…only to receive a red card for being a fictional character.

Level-5 launched the Inazuma Eleven multimedia franchise in 2008 with the first game for the Nintendo DS. It has since inspired two sequels, several anime, the Inazuma Eleven GO series, and multiple spin-offs. The Inazuma Eleven: Victory Road of Heroes game (previously titled Inazuma Eleven Ares) has faced multiple delays.

Source: Famitsu

Sword Art Online Anime 10th Anniversary Book Ships on December 22

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Kadokawa‘s Dengeki G’s Magazine unveiled the cover of its “Sword Art Online 10th Anniversary Book” on Friday. The date (December 2) commemorates Kirito and Asuna’s first meeting in Aincrad’s first-floor labyrinth.

The book will ship in Japan on December 22. The book will bundle a B2-size poster of the cover illustration. The contents include celebratory comments from the anime production staff, and every interview Dengeki G’s Magazine has conducted with author Reki Kawahara since the beginning of the anime. It will also include a new interview with Kirito and Asuna’s voice actors, Yoshitsugu Matsuoka and Haruka Tomatsu, and new comments from each of the anime’s directors.

Singer and cosplayer Liyuu (Keke Tang in Love Live! Superstar!!) will cosplay as Asuna for a gravure photo.

The first Sword Art Online television anime debuted on July 7, 2012. It has since spawned multiple television anime and films. Besides the anime series, Reki Kawahara‘s novels have inspired a manga adaptation, the Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online spin-off light novel series, anime, manga, and multiple video games.

The anime is also celebrating its 10th anniversary with the launch of the Sword Art Online Variant Showdown game, which launched globally on November 23.

Source: Dengeki G’s Magazine

Disclosure: Kadokawa World Entertainment (KWE), a wholly owned subsidiary of Kadokawa Corporation, is the majority owner of Anime News Network, LLC. One or more of the companies mentioned in this article are part of the Kadokawa Group of Companies.

Lost 90s American Animated Saint Seiya Teaser Finally Unveiled

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Lost media documentary YouTuber Ray Mona posts opening animation

Fresh on the heels of her discovery of the full pilot of the American live-action Sailor Moon TV show, lost media documentary YouTuber Ray Mona unveiled on Thursday the opening animation for an American animated Saint Seiya adaptation. The proposed cartoon, titled Guardians of the Cosmos, was conceived and scrapped during the 1990s.

Ray Mona posted the complete footage in the first part of her Saint Seiya lost media documentary (you can watch it at 1:29:12).

The documentary maker obtained the footage from the Library of Congress. She had received permission from former Bandai America president Frank Ward to retrieve all documents related to the American live-action Sailor Moon TV show (known colloquially online as Saban Moon after Power Rangers producer Haim Saban). The Guardians of the Cosmos footage was bundled with the Sailor Moon documents.

The documentary concerns Ray Mona’s search for the entire pilot of StarStorm, a proposed American live-action adaptation of Saint Seiya. Only 20 seconds of footage from the pilot was ever made public. Like Saban Moon, the pilot was created by Power Rangers producers Renaissance Atlantic.

Source: Ray Mona’s YouTube channel

Rose of Versailles Tiara Lets You Be Marie Antoinette For 100 Million Yen

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Marie Antoinette’s tiara will be on sale at the Rose of Versailles 50th anniversary exhibit in Osaka

Ever wanted to experience what it’s like to be a queen? The Rose of Versailles 50th anniversary exhibit is offering that opportunity to fans by selling a model of Marie Antoinette’s tiara. The catch: It costs 100 million yen (about US$720,000), not including consumption tax.

This tiara is not just a pretty prop; it is modeled on historical tiaras from the 18th century. Much like other tiaras from that period, the pendant is detachable, allowing wearers to change the jewelry depending on the occasion. The tiara is made of diamond for a total of 10.21 carat, and is encrusted with 17 pearls of various sizes. The pendant is an 83.12-carat mixed-cut rhodolite garnet.

Yuko Yagi designed the tiara, and craftsman Hiromasa Tanaka handled its creation. It took approximately a year to create the lavish headpiece.

The tiara will be on sale at the Rose of Versailles 50th anniversary exhibit in Osaka’s Hankyu Umeda Gallery from November 30 to December 12. The exhibition first opened in Tokyo from September 17 to November 20. The exhibit also sells jewelry paintings based on iconic illustrations from the manga.

Source: Comic Natalie

Uncle From Another World Tries His Hand at Sonic Frontiers

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Ojisan is delighted that he can finally play a Sonic game in 3D

After announcing in July that it would collaborate with Sega‘s Sonic the Hedgehog franchise, the Uncle From Another World series is making good on its promise. Kadokawa began streaming a 10-minute Sonic Frontiers Let’s Play video on Monday, performed by the eponymous Ojisan (“Uncle”).

Ojisan, who is voiced by Takehito Koyasu in both the anime and the Let’s Play stream, shares his geekery for all things Sonic as he explores the opening minutes of the game. After spending so much time in another world, Ojisan is especially delighted that he can finally play a Sonic game in 3D.

Ojisan is depicted as a devoted Sega fan in Hotondoshindeiru‘s original manga series. After returning to the real world, he asks: “Who won the 90s console wars?” The anime adaptation also contains numerous references to Sega properties.

In an amusing publicity stunt in the real world, Sega designated Ojisan the “Official Sega Uncle” last December, with a certificate to prove it.

The Let’s Play stream also marks the anime’s return to television, after its eighth episode was indefinitely delayed due to COVID-19. The eighth episode finally debuted in Japan last Thursday.

The anime premiered worldwide on Netflix on July 6. The anime also debuted in Japan on AT-X on July 6.

Sonic Frontiers launched for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, and PC via Steam on November 8.

Source: Mainichi Shimbun’s Mantan-Web

Disclosure: As of November 1, 2022, Kadokawa World Entertainment (KWE), a wholly owned subsidiary of Kadokawa Corporation, has agreed to acquire majority control of Anime News Network. One or more of the companies mentioned in this article are part of the Kadokawa Group of Companies.

Live-Action Web Show Reinterprets Thomas the Tank Engine as a Japanese Salaryman

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New series commemorates the cartoon’s return to Japanese television after 12 years

The official Japanese YouTube account for the Thomas the Tank Engine franchise is streaming a bizarre new live-action series: Thomas the Salaryman, which retells the plots of classic Thomas the Tank Engine episodes but with the characters as salary workers for a Japanese company. The episodes have closed caption English subtitles.

Although the show is presented with human actors, each episode simultaneously presents the original Thomas the Tank episode in the bottom-right corner with the Japanese dub. There is quite a bit of dissonance watching a grown man lip-synching to a high-pitched female voice.

The first episode (shown above) is a retelling of “Down the Mine,” the 25th episode of the first series. In the original story, Thomas falls into a ditch, but his salaryman counterpart falls into “mobile game hell” instead. The story ends identically to the original, with Thomas becoming friends with his colleague Gordon after rudely snubbing him before.

The second episode (embedded below) is a riff on the sixteenth episode, “Trouble in the Shed.” This episode has gained notoriety over time for its anti-union narrative. In the original story, Gordon, James, and Henry go on strike but realize their foolishness when Sir Topham Hatt cheerfully replaces their roles. Their salaryman counterparts have retreated to the staff toilet, where they look extra silly by the episode’s end.

The third and final episode will stream next Friday. It will be based on “Thomas and the Rumours,” the 17th episode of the fifth series.

The short web series commemorates the cartoon’s return to Japanese television after 12 years. The 13th series was the last to air in Japan in 2010. The 25th series will debut on NHK on Saturday. The Thomas & Friends: The Movie film will open in Japan in spring 2023.

[Via Hachima Kikо̄]

Manga Industry Survey: Over 20% of Artists Fear Bankruptcy Due to Japan’s New Invoice System

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Last Tuesday, representatives from four entertainment industry lobby groups held a press conference to express their opposition to Japan’s controversial new invoice system. Manga artist Reon Yutaka revealed worrying statistics based on a manga industry survey: 98% of respondents were sole proprietors, and among them 20.6% reported that they fear that the invoice system will force them to go out of business.

The “STOP! Invoice” advocacy group is streaming the press conference in full:

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Under the new system, which will take effect in October 2023, freelancers and sole proprietors will lose their tax-exempt status because invoices will be subject to consumption tax. Yutaka explained that manga artists face a difficult situation because royalties are unstable, while manuscript fees have flatlined due to the long-term stagnation of the Japanese economy and the recession in the publishing industry. She argued that if artists need to hire accountants and pay tax on their invoices, then they will be forced out of business.

According to the manga industry survey, which was conducted from November 3 to 10, only 17 out of 1,275 respondents were in favor of the invoice system. The majority of respondents indicated a general understanding of the system, but did not understand who or what the system is for.

The impact will also severely impact manga assistants. 31% of assistants currently make between 1-2 million yen (about US$7,213-14,425) per year, and 30% make less than 1 million yen (US$7,213), for a total of 60% making less than 2 million yen (US$14,425). More than half cannot make a living unless they work a side job. Yutaka said she fears that the invoice system will worsen this situation, and fewer people will become manga artists. In that scenario, the Japanese manga industry could be swallowed by foreign countries such as South Korea and China, leaving only the most well-known publishers and artists intact.

The system is also controversial for compromising individual privacy. Invoices can only be considered “verified” if individuals file them using their real names, and the names will be accessible to the public via a national database. This poses problems to workers who wish to keep their real names private, such as manga artists and Virtual YouTubers.

Masuo Ueda, former Sunrise producer and representative director of Skyfall, cited similar survey results among freelancers in the anime industry. 60% are concerned about the impact, while one in four said they are in danger of going out of business altogether.

Ueda remarked: “People call the anime industry a black industry. However, in recent years, the industry as a whole has been working to improve the working environment and ensure employee status for animators. However, the reality is that not everyone can be made an employee, and the importance of supporting freelancers will remain unchanged in the future. Forcing freelancers, especially animators, to close their businesses will mean that young people will no longer be able to enter the industry. I fear that the anime industry will be devastated in a few years’ time.”

Maya Okamoto, voice actress and co-chairperson of the voice actor advocacy group Voiction cited the results of two surveys from September to October conducted through the group’s website. 76% of voice actors self-reported an income of less than 3 million yen (about US$21,638). 27% responded that they might go out of business due to the invoice system. 80% said they have not yet been briefed by their agency or clients about the introduction of the invoice system, as of the end of October.

Among the 20% who said they had been briefed, some reported that they had been told that they could not be promised future contracts unless they were registered, or that their pay would be reduced if they did not operate a taxable business. Okamoto remarked that even if voice actors are not directly told this, they may be quietly turned down for roles without ever knowing the real reason.

After the press conference, the speakers went to the Houses of Representatives to participate in a caucus on re-evaluating the invoice system. Representative Yoshinori Suematsu said that nearly 5 million people in Japan will be affected negatively by the system and expressed his opposition to the system. The meeting had 55 members, mostly in agreement with Suematsu. House of Representatives member Takayuki Ochiai streamed the meeting on his YouTube channel:

[embedded content]

Despite the system’s unpopularity, the number of registered users is increasing. According to Tetsushi Shimono, who manages the invoice system at the National Tax Agency, the system has 1.43 million registered users as of the end of October, up 228,000 from the end of September. Around 200,000 new registrations are filed per month. Because the number of taxable businesses is estimated to be 3 million, just under half have already been registered.

Hiroshi Someya, director of planning for the taxation bureau, argued that the invoice system is necessary to properly calculate taxes under the multiple brackets. He nevertheless stated the government also considers it important to support Cool Japan, and suggested that specific concerns could be resolved through a separately drafted policy.

Other key figures at the conference were Masahiko Otsuka, representative director of Studio Trigger, and actors Satoshi Maruo and Aya Hirose. The Professional Motion Picture Workers Association Japan filed an official request on Thursday to members of the Japanese government to postpone and improve the invoice system.

Source: Comic Natalie

Blue Lock Manga Illustrator Draws Illustration for Japan Win at FIFA World Cup

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Yūsuke Nomura draws Isagi along with the caption: “A historic victory! Go and get ’em, Japan!”

Blue Lock manga illustrator Yūsuke Nomura is as delighted as anyone to see the Japan team take its first win at the FIFA World Cup 2022 on Wednesday. Japan defeated the four-time World Cup champion team Germany 2-1 in a surprise victory. To celebrate the historic upset, Nomura drew an illustration of Blue Lock protagonist Isagi roaring in victory along with the caption: “A historic victory! Go and get ’em, Japan!”

In August, Nomura collaborated with the World Cup to draw the Blue Lock characters wearing the Japan team’s uniform. Fellow soccer manga creator Masaya Tsunamoto (Giant Killing) also participated in the promotion.

The story of Blue Lock is set in the wake of Japan’s defeat at the 2018 World Cup. In order to hone the talent that can stand on the world stage, the Japan Football Union gathers 300 of the brightest young strikers and pits them against each other at a harsh competitive training camp. Writer Muneyuki Kaneshiro and illustrator Yūsuke Nomura launched the ongoing manga in Weekly Shōnen Magazine in August 2018. Kodansha Comics is publishing the manga in English digitally and in print.

A television anime premiered on October 8 on TV Asahi and its affiliates in the “NUMAnimation” programming block. Crunchyroll is streaming the series as it airs.

Source: Yūsuke Nomura‘s Twitter account

Former AKB48 Idol Miki Nishino Marries Comedian Keiichi Yamamoto

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Nishino is 23 years old, while Yamamoto is 54

Comedy duo Gokuraku Tombo member Keiichi Yamamoto announced on his YouTube channel on Tuesday that he has married the former AKB48 idol Miki Nishino. (The date, November 22, is “Good Married Couples Day” in Japan.)

Nishino is 23 years old, while Yamamoto is 54. In a livestream on Wednesday, the couple revealed that they first met on the set of a television show in 2018.

They began to grow more intimate in March 2022 and would eat out together. Nishino messaged Yamamoto to say “I wonder if I have feelings for you. But that’s impossible, right?” Later, while eating together, she confessed that she could not get him out of her mind. They discussed whether or not they should have a relationship. Yamamoto confessed that he loved Nishino at a gathering of fellow celebrities, which made Nishino decide that their feelings were genuine.

After they started dating, Yamamoto would regularly ask Nishino to marry him. Nishino remarked that Yamamoto might have proposed to her around 50 times.

Publicly, the two were seen together on an Abema variety show in 2020, where they participated in a joke segment pretending to be a couple. Nishino also appeared in a video celebrating Yamamoto’s 54th birthday in February 2022.

Nishino debuted as an AKB48 member in 2012 at the age of 13. She graduated from the group in 2017. She is now primarily active as a variety show talent and idol under the Twin Planet agency.

Yamamoto joined the Yoshimoto Kōgyō group in 1989. In 2006, the group terminated his contract after he faced a sexual assault charge against a 17-year-old girl. The charge was settled out of court. Yamamoto returned to the agency in 2016, and is currently active as a YouTube entertainer.

[Via Arama! Japan, Daily]

Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya Film Holds 1-Day Screenings on Story’s December 18 Date

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It’s becoming a yearly tradition for Haruhi fans to celebrate the day the world got altered

It’s becoming a yearly tradition for Haruhi fans to celebrate the day the world got altered. Last year, Kyoto Animation‘s The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya film held one-day screenings on December 18, the date when much of the action of the film takes place. Kadokawa announced last Wednesday that the screenings will happen again this year.

The two screenings will take place at Tokorozawa Sakura Town’s Japan Pavilion. The daytime screening will occur at 11:40 a.m., while the evening screening will be at 3:10 p.m.

The lottery for early tickets will be open until November 27, and general sales will begin on December 3. Theatergoers will receive a set of three film-style cards as a bonus. Regular tickets cost 2,800 yen (about US$20).

The 163-minute film is based on the fourth volume in the light novel series by Nagaru Tanigawa and Noizi Ito. In the story, it is mid-December, and SOS Brigade chief Haruhi Suzumiya announces that the Brigade will hold a Christmas party in their clubroom. The brigade members Kyon, Yuki Nagato, Mikuru Asahina, and Itsuki Koizumi start preparing for the party. Still, a couple of days later, Kyon arrives at school to find that Haruhi is missing. Not only that, but Mikuru claims she has never known Kyon before, Koizumi is also missing, and Yuki has become the sole member of the literature club…

The film opened in Japan in 2010. Funimation licensed the film in 2016. Bandai Entertainment previously released the film on DVD and Blu-ray Disc in North America in 2011.

Source: Press Release

Disclosure: As of November 1, 2022, Kadokawa World Entertainment (KWE), a wholly owned subsidiary of Kadokawa Corporation, has agreed to acquire majority control of Anime News Network. One or more of the companies mentioned in this article are part of the Kadokawa Group of Companies.

Free Comic Book Day 2023 Lineup Includes Shaman King Flowers, Choujin X

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Diamond Comic Distributors announced last Wednesday the full lineup of titles for Free Comic Book Day 2023. A preview of Hiroyuki Takei’s Shaman King Flowers and Sui Ishida’s Choujin X are among the available titles.

The Gold Sponsor titles include Viz Media’s preview of Sui Ishida’s Choujin X and Shu Sakuratani’s Rooster Fighter manga. Kodansha Comics will present an all-ages sampler that includes Takayuki Mizushina’s Lovely Muco!.

Kodansha’s Silver Sponsor titles are Hiroyuki Takei’s Shaman King Flowers and Osamu Nishi’s Welcome to Demon School! Iruma-kun (Mairimashita! Iruma-kun). Viz’s titles are Kokonasu Rumba’s Animal Crossing New Horizons: Deserted Island Diary (Atsumare Doubutsu no Mori: Mujintо̄ Diary) and Hirokazu Hikawa’s Kirby manga Mania.

Other titles of interest for fans of Japanese manga include issue #0 of Street Fighter 6: The Comic Book Series. Udon Entertainment is collaborating with CAPCOM to produce the comic based on the upcoming Street Fighter 6 fighting game.

The event will take place on May 6 at participating comic shops worldwide.

Every year, Free Comic Book Day allows fans to obtain a selection of free comic book titles at participating comic book shops worldwide. A complete listing of all the participating titles is available at the Free Comic Book Day website.

Source: Press Release

Kinmoza Voice Actress Asuka Nishi Announces 1st Pregnancy

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Voice actress Asuka Nishi (Shinobu in the Kinmoza! series) announced on Twitter last Friday that she has entered the fifth month of her pregnancy. She said she will work as much as her health allows and plans to take it easy during her pregnancy.

She also noted that she feels uncertain because this is her first pregnancy, but she is full of happiness when she considers the child’s life steadily growing inside her.

Besides her role as Shinobu, Nishi is also known for voicing Rika in The Devil Is a Part-Timer!, Ursula in Bodacious Space Pirates, Tsubaki Akabane in Anime-Gataris, and Eri Nakamura in Arifureta – From Commonplace to World’s Strongest.

In April 2021, she announced her marriage to a man outside the entertainment industry.

In other celebrity pregnancy-related news, fashion model and actress Nozomi Sasaki announced last Tuesday that she is pregnant with her second child.

In 2017, she married comedian Ken Watabe of the comedic duo “Unjash.” The couple welcomed their first child in September 2018.

Sasaki starred in Juon: Owari no Hajimari (The Grudge: Beginning of the End) and Ju-on: The Final horror films in 2014 and 2015 and since appeared in Kanon, Shizumanu Taiyō , and the live-action Tokyo Ghoul film.

Image via Asuka Nishi‘s website

Sources: Asuka Nishi‘s Twitter account, Oricon via Yahoo! News, Hachima Kikо̄

December 2022