The Gantz Saga is a two movie adaptation of the popular manga. At first, it seems like a straightforward superhero vs. aliens tale – albeit with an odd origin – but as the story progresses, it begins to ask questions and shift from one perspective to another.
Bleach, one of the most popular manga and anime´ series in the world is going Hollywood. VIZ Media today announced that Warner Bros. Pictures has acquired the live-action feature film rights to the series.
Peter Segal (Get Smart, The Longest Yard) of Callahan Filmworks is producing with an eye toward directing. The film’s creative team also includes screenwriter Dan Mazeau, who recently penned Warner Bros.’ upcoming sequel to Clash of the Titans, Wrath of the Titans.
Details from the full press release follow the jump.
Inuyasha, one of the most acclaimed and long-lived manga in recent memory, is coming to a conclusion with the release of this week’s issue, Vol. 56: Curtain of time. Details follow the jump.
Just a little something to whet your appetite.
GANTZ, a live action film based on the hit manga of the same name, will play in 334 theaters across America – including five in Maryland – with a special screening at the Mann’s Chinese 6 in Hollywood. The special Hollywood screening will be followed by a discussion and interviews with cast members with Otaku USA Editor-in-Chief, Patrick Macias. The event is being presented by San Francisco’s New People, an entertainment company that specializes in bringing ‘the latest examples of Japanese pop culture’ to America.
The press release and summary – and link to the list of locations involved – follow the jump.
‘You must never touch things if you don’t know what they are,’ says March at the beginning of Volume 1 of March Story, a darkly entertaining manga from VIZ Media. Ills are dark spirits that hide within the form of beautiful works of art and possess the unwary who come in contact with them – forcing them to acts of unspeakable violence. March is one of the Ciste Vihad, hunters who track down the Ills – and/or the unfortunates who have become possessed by them. Some they can save. Others…
The population was beginning a slow descent into decadence. No one seemed to care about the important things in life: honor, integrity, even life itself. So, the government began a new program to make life precious once more. When vaccinations were given to every child, a certain percentage was, instead, randomly injected with a capsule that would activate at a random time, resulting in that person’s death. Through a complex set of procedures, these capsules were tracked in such a way that, without anyone knowing the particulars, an Ikigami – a death paper – would be sent to each of those selected twenty-four hours before the capsule activated. The uncertainty this caused would make people value their lives more, and increase social productivity.
Volume One of Motoro Mase’s Ikigami contains two episodes – each dealing with different aspects of the process. Episode One, The End of Vengeance, is concerned with Fujimoto, a young man who gets work delivering Ikigami, and the story of one of the people to whom he delivers them – a bullied youth who uses his last day for actions both heroic and evil. Episode Two, The Last Song, deals with a young man in a busking duo who tries to achieve pop stardom even though it means deserting his partner.
Death Note, the twisted, unique manga series by Tsugumi Ohba [writer] and Takeshi Obata [artist] has been turned into an anime´ series as well as a movie franchise and has done very well in each format. The films Death Note and Death Note: The Last Name, adapt the battle of wits between Light Yagami [Tatsuya Fujiwara] and master detective L [Ken’ichi Matsuyama]. The DVD releases – Death Note, and Death Note: The Last Name – tell one complete story.
The premise is that a bored Shinigami [death god] name Ryuk [voiced by Shido Nakamura] dropped his Death Note where a recently bullied Light Yagami could find it. Light learns that the Death Note gives him the power to slay anyone whose name he records in the notebook – as long as he can form a picture of the person in his mind [he wouldn’t want to kill the wrong person…]. He promptly puts the notebook to good use, writing down the names of murderers who were never punished. Unfortunately for him, the sudden epidemic of dying criminals is noticed by the police, who request the aid of the master detective L to help them find the killer, dubbed Kira, and bring him to justice.
Four manga series distributed by VIZ Media have been nominated for five Eisner awards – the awards named in honor of comics pioneer and legend, Will Eisner. The four titles nominated are: Cat-Eyed Boy, by Kazuo Umezi, BestU.S. Edition of International Material – Japan; COWA! by Akira Toriyama, Best Publication For Kids; Naoki Urasawa’s Monster, by Naoki Urasawa – Best continuing Series and Best U.S. Edition of International Material – Japan, and Solanin, by Inio Asano – Best U.S. Edition of International Material – Japan.
Cat-Eyed Boy [Rated “T” for Older Teens] is a series of dark vignettes revolving around Cat-Eyed Boy, a half-human/half-monster child whose mostly human appearance bans him from the demon world. Being half of each means he is hated by both.
COWA! relates the adventures of Paifu, a half-human/half-vampire child, who gets into mischief with his ghostly best friend, Jose – until the Monster Flu strikes his town and only he, his few cuddies and a retired, curmudgeonly former Sumo champion are left healthy enough to find a cure. [Previously reviewed here, COWA! received a grade of “A”]
Double nominee Naoki Urasawa’s Monster [Rated “T” for Older Teens] spins the layered tale of how a famous surgeon, Dr. Kenzo Tenma, becomes the prime suspect in a series of murders after he saves the live of a critically wounded young boy who is destined for a terrible fate.
Solanin is the story of Meiko Inoue, a recent college grad who works as an office lady – a job she hates; her freelance illustrator boyfriend crashes at her apartment because his job doesn’t well enough to rent a place of his own, and her parents send her packages of fresh vegetables that rot in her refrigerator. Meiko struggle comes from being unable to figure out how she fits in the world.
North Americans might not recognize the name Osamu Tezuka, a significant percentage of them know about Astro Boy – which, along with Tezuka’s Kimba the White Lion, was the first anime´ to really connect with that audience. One of the best Astro Boy adventures – both in a twelve-part manga serial and as an episode of the anime´ series – was The Greatest Robot in the World. Naoki Urasawa, best known for his manga series, Monster, has chosen to take that epic adventure and re-work it for today’s audience.
Naoki Urasawa’s 20th Century Boys is an odd and interesting manga. It’s about a group of men who formed a club when they were kids and now find the symbol they used for their club appearing in their adult lives.
As Kenji and his friends come together for the funeral of one of their old gang, Kenji receives a letter from the deceased – a letter that includes the symbol [which the others in the gang have long since forgotten]. At the same time, there is a mysterious fellow who calls himself Friend, who performs feats, like levitation, above a stage floor on which is inscribed the circle. There’s also a mysterious girl who is troubled by unusual noises that emanate from something big in the night.
Disappearing families, deaths made to appear to be suicides, seeming supermen – and the evilest twins in history – make for an exciting read. Urasawa balances the mundane and the unusual with deftness. He has a gift for delineating a solid character with a minimum of information, and his layouts are fresh and frequently subtle. The story’s complexities – it frequently moves between time periods and groups of characters – are intriguing, and Urasawa builds layers of mystery which each shift.
I finished the two hundred-pages of Volume One: Friends in almost no time at all. Indeed, 20th Century Boys practically read itself to me – Urasawa’s storytelling skills are that sharp. If this isn’t classic storytelling, I don’t know what is.
Final Grade: A