Neon Genesis Evangelion TV animation art book coming to new book shelves soon.

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News from a recent release for Evangelion fans (myself included)…

Udon Entertainment recently announced a soon to be released hardcover release of Neon Genesis Evangelion TV animation Production Art Collection. Credited with revitalizing the anime industry, Neon Genesis Evangelion infused the genre with incredible depth and emotion, telling the story of a world on the brink of destruction and the teenagers that are tasked with saving mankind.

(See preview pages below)

The Neon Genesis Evangelion TV animation Production Art Collection collects the making of one of anime’s most influential series in the ultimate compendium of behind the scenes and archival design sketches for the 1995 television series, as well as the 1997 theatrical release. Draft artwork of characters, mecha, weapons, vehicles, as well as interior and exterior locations, are supported by the original artists’ detailed design notes. The Neon Genesis Evangelion television series revolutionized anime with its groundbreaking animation, sophisticated storytelling, and dynamic mecha designs. This massive 432-page tome is a must-have for any fan of Neon Genesis Evangelion, animation production, and character design.

The Neon Genesis Evangelion TV animation Production Art Collection will be released in March 2019, with 432 pg, on an 11.75 x 8.25” hardcover, at a suggested retail price of $39.99 USD. Check your local comic store or retail book store for availability.

FLCL Archives, artbook for the anime classic is set for English release

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Good news for fans of FLCL, Gainax, or experimental anime classics…

UDON Entertainment recently announced the coming release of The FLCL Archives, translated in English for the first time.

FLCL, for those unfamiliar, is a mesmerizing, 6-episode series told at a breakneck pace, produced by studios GAINAX and Production I.G. It featured everything from giant, destructive robots, to a crazy, pink-haired, bass guitar wielding alien woman. Raising the bar to tell complex, fantastic stories in a short episodic run, FLCL’s continued impact on modern anime can still be seen today.

The FLCL Archives collects artwork from this landmark production, including key promotional art, character and location designs, and rough sketches in 248 full color, softcover pages. Early proposal sketches, concept art, and illustrator notes provide incredible insight into the making of this beloved and influential series.

The FLCL Archives will arrive in stores on March 19, 2019. Check with Udon online at www.udoncomics.com for more info.

Rumiko Takahashi’s earliest manga Urusei Yatsura, set for new deluxe reprint editions

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VIZ Media, LLC recently announced all-new deluxe editions of famed manga creator legend Rumiko Takahashi’s (perhaps best known for Inuyasha)  classic work, Urusei Yatsura.

Urusei Yatsura was originally serialized in Weekly Shonen Sunday (1978-1987), about the hilarious misadventures of an unlucky human boy who meets a beautiful alien princess. The successful manga series was adapted into anime format and spawned a TV series and half a dozen theatrical-release movies. All were well-received and propelled creator Rumiko Takahashi towards more acclaimed manga hits including Maison Ikkoku (1980-1987), Ranma 1/2 (1987 to 1996), and Inuyasha (1996-2008).

The deluxe volumes will publish under the Viz Signature imprint. Each volume will have 400 pages of content, for English publication by VIZ Media on a quarterly basis. The series is rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens; Volume 1 will carry a print MSRP of $19.99 U.S. / $26.99 CAN.

Urusei Yatsura is an iconic manga series, and until now, has never been fully published in English,” said Amy Yu, Editor in a recent press release. “Our new VIZ Signature editions allow readers to enjoy the complete URUSEI YATSURA for the first time ever. We hope new and veteran manga fans will add this legendary series to their collections!”

For more information on Urusei Yatsura and other Rumiko Takahashi anime and manga titles distributed and published by VIZ Media, please visit viz.com.

Naoki Urasawa’s hit manga 20th Century Boys, set for new Perfect Edition deluxe volumes

From a recent Viz Media press release:

VIZ Media recently announced the re-release of Naoki Urasawa’s award-winning manga 20th Century Boys as a deluxe new omnibus edition, arriving in stores on September 18th as 20th Century Boys: The Perfect Edition Volume 1.

20th Century Boys: The Perfect Edition, Volume 1 will publish exclusively in print and includes two complete volumes of the original 22-volume epic manga series in a deluxe omnibus edition featuring new cover art and select pages in their original color presentation. Volume 1 will carry a print MSRP of $19.99 U.S. / $26.99 CAN. Future Perfect Edition releases of the 20th Century Boys: series will publish quarterly.

As 20th Century Boys begins, humanity, having faced extinction at the end of the 20th century, would not have entered the new millennium if it weren’t for them. In 1969, during their youth, they created a symbol. In 1997, as the coming disaster slowly starts to unfold, that symbol returns. This is the story of a group of boys who try to save the world.

“20TH CENTURY BOYS is one of Naoki Urasawa’s best known and most beloved works,” says Mark de Vera, Editor. “Urasawa has become one of the most respected creators not only among manga fans but also among a widespread comics and graphic novel fanbase around the world. We invite new and longstanding fans to enjoy the Perfect Editions of this extraordinary manga series.”

Naoki Urasawa’s career as a manga artist spans more than twenty years and has firmly established him as one of the true manga masters of Japan. Born in Tokyo in 1960, Urasawa debuted with BETA! in 1983 and hasn’t stopped his impressive output since. Well-versed in a variety of genres, Urasawa’s oeuvre encompasses a multitude of different subjects, such as a romantic comedy (Yawara! A Fashionable Judo Girl), a suspenseful human drama about a former mercenary (Pineapple Army; story by Kazuya Kudo), a captivating psychological suspense story (Monster; also published by VIZ Media), a sci-fi adventure manga (20th Century Boys), and a modern reinterpretation of the work of the God of Manga, Osamu Tezuka (Pluto: Urasawa X Tezuka; co-authored with Takashi Nagasaki, supervised by Macoto Tezka, and with the cooperation of Tezuka Productions; published in English by VIZ Media). Many of his books have spawned popular animated and live-action TV programs and films, and 2008 saw the theatrical release of the first of three live-action Japanese films based on 20th Century Boys.

For more information on 20th Century Boys and other manga titles published by VIZ Media, please visit viz.com.

Cosplay outside the 2018 Sakura-Con

Sakura Con 2018, Overwatch

This weekend, I spent some time around but not inside the 2018 Sakura-Con, an annual event for the fandom of Japanese style of anime, manga, gaming and its cultural influences on related modern pop-culture, held in downtown Seattle.

I sadly did not attend this year, not having enough time for the membership purchase this time. But, I did have some hours to spend outside the show, among the beautifully fresh bloomed sakura trees and colorfully dressed people.

Out of the many conventions and fandoms, the cosplay representation at the Sakura-Con (among other big anime cons) remains among the best. I took some pics of the many displaying their well-crafted attire present, with some notes below:

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The main area throughout the day held impromptu dancing set to J-Pop, along with glomp circles, meet-ups, games, and other fun.

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Cosplaying is still the big thing here as usual, always fun for geek fans of the related pop-culture varieties to express their love and appreciation by dressing in elaborate costumes.

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Group meetups among the cosplayers are often planned. Not sure, which property this is above.

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One of my favorite anime/manga series that I have been following for over 20 years now is Berserk. Not a big gathering, but wonderful to share in-jokes and discuss developments among each other.

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A group shot of the Berserk gathering here.

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Usagi Yojimbo, the samurai rabbit is ready for this Easter Weekend.

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Batman!!

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Pokemon strike a pose.

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A group of Marvelous people, ready for the Infinity War.

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Not the Pikachu, but Mimikyu, who according to Wikipedia is “dreadfully lonely and in an effort to emulate the popularity of Pikachu, wears the Pikachu-like costume in order to make friends.”

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Overwatch character Zenyatta, levitating before your very eyes.

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More Overwatch cosplay as some Junkrats and a Roadhog get together.

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Lots more Overwatch cosplay, with more than my camera can handle.

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hell yeah to the Dragonball Z cosplay

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From Voltron, Haggar the Witch

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Kairi from Kingdom Hearts.

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Deadpool seeks to blend in.

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I was told this costume is from Bendy and the Ink Machine, a cult indie game that I should check out.

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Not sure on this anime property, but her staff and pose style is awesome.

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And there was a lot of Final Fantasy game cosplay around, with a heavy focus on XV. There were two gatherings, of which I took many pictures. I personally love the Final Fantasy games, as I will dedicate the next cosplay installment to the local meetups here, soon.

Seven Seas set to release Cutie Honey: The Classic Collection manga, next summer

Honey Flash!!!

Seven Seas Entertainment recently acquired new rights to reprint the original Cutie Honey classic manga into one hardcover omnibus as Cutie Honey: The Classic Collection, set to release in the summer of 2018.

Cutie  Honey is the original magical transforming heroine from Japan, with a history going back to 1973. The original manga became an instant cult classic, leading to multiple TV shows and a live-action movie.

Cutie Honey is also the creative work of legendary manga cartoonist, Go Nagai. With a career spanning 50 years, Go Nagai created many immensely popular series including Devilman and Getter Robo, and Cutie Honey–his edgy magical girl aimed at boys–remains one of his most influential works to this day.

The North American release for Cutie Honey: The Classic Collection, in one complete hardcover, will flash on July 3, 2018, for $24.99 US.

CAPTAIN’s NOTE: I am a huge fan of Cutie (or Cutey) Honey from the various anime series of her. I am excited about the news of the manga. Soon, I hope the classic 70’s anime series will eventually see the light on local DVD and Blu-Ray releases.

New MAZINGER Z film is coming, see the teaser trailer now…

Toei Animation gave its first look at the highly-anticipated Mazinger Z feature film at the recent Annecy International Animation Film Festival, in France.

With an introduction from Mazinger Z’s original creator, Go Nagai, and producers Ichinao Nagai and Yu Kanemaru, attendees at the Annecy International Film Festival on June 14 were treated to an exclusive look at what the talented team at Toei Animation has been working on these many months. Here’s the teaser trailer:

And, here are some added details also announced at the festival:

It’s not an adaptation or reboot, but a sequel! The film’s brand-new story takes place ten years after the final episode of the 1974 TV series. Humanity was once in danger of its downfall at the hands of the Underground Empire, which was led by the evil scientist Dr. Hell. Koji Kabuto piloted the super robot Mazinger Z, and with help from his friends at the Photon Power Laboratory, he thwarted Dr. Hell’s evil ambitions and returned peace to the world. It’s been ten years since then… No longer a pilot, Koji Kabuto has taken after his father and grandfather by starting down the path of the scientist. He encounters a gigantic structure buried deep beneath Mt. Fuji, along with a mysterious indication of life… New encounters, new threats, and a new fate await mankind. The former hero Koji Kabuto has a decision to make about the future: whether to be a god or a demon… This grand action film depicts the fierce battle fought by the people and Mazinger Z–once again entrusted with the future of mankind!

Toshiyuki Watanabe Will Score The Film. He’s the son of Chumei Watanabe, a giant of the Tokusatsu music world, known for being on the front lines of creating opening songs for Showa-era anime and hero shows, including the Mazinger Z  opening theme.  The film will have a revised theme, sung by Ichiro Mizuki with a full orchestra.

More details of the Mazinger Z film to be announced. Check back on mazingerz-world.com for more details. In the meantime, here is the official teaser poster…

The Amazing Cosplay of the 2017 Sakura-Con

The cosplay at many anime conventions often represents the best in fandom participation, especially when such comes to craftsmanship and detail. The 2017 Sakura-Con Northwest Anime Festival in Seattle showed a tremendous frequency in the costumed participants and gave the event a special vibrancy for this year.

I present this follow-up to my recent Sakura-Con report, to the amazing cosplay present among the attendees. Below, are those in small groups and individual shots, who kindly posed for the camera (thanks to all featured below). Click on each picture for costume reference. For those I could not identify  but marked with “?,” I would love some help in the comments.

 

 

Group shots are coming soon. Check back with SW soon for more Sakura-Con and cosplay action!

All pictures taken by me (Orion Tippens), please ask permission and give source credit to strangerworlds.com before sharing elsewhere. For cosplayers featured and pictured here, please feel free to use the pics on your site and social media connections (but sourcing would be kind).

Sakura-Con Northwest Anime Convention 2017 Show Memories…

Last weekend marked the 20th year of the Pacific Northwest’s oldest and most well-known anime convention, the annual Sakura-Con Northwest Anime Convention.

The three-day event brought much joy to lovers of not only the Japanese anime and related styles, but those of the manga, gaming and close cousins of geek culture entertainment. Over time, this convergence brought fans of all ages to experience the joy in various forms and presentations through theater, competition, cosplay, discussion panels, dances, concerts, and much, much more.

For 2017, the Sakura-Con had some great guests. Those of honor included anime director Hiroshi Nagaham (Mushishi), character designer/illustrator Kenichi Sonoda (Bubblegum Crisis, Riding Bean, Gall Force), anime director Yasuhiro Irie, (Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood), character designer/illustrator Shiki Douji (Full Metal Panic). Many more guests were present and were present for panels and autographs.

Meanwhile, I explored much of the Sakura-Con. Here are some personal notes and observations of my adventure…

Many people in costume, far more than the recent Emerald City Comic Con just weeks ago held in the same location.

Indoors and in the Exhibit Hall is often the first place I go to find many collectibles. Good quality figurines everywhere!

Many plushes of all shapes and sizes, familiar and unfamiliar, all huggable!

Sakura-Con,  for your cosplay and J-pop fashion wig accessories!

Here comes the Catbus (from My Neighbor Totoro)!

Some of the featured figures at the Good Smile booth,

One of many cheerful faces in the Exhibit Hall, this one representing the city of Hyōgo

It’s what’s inside that counts..

The work of Jackie Lo, who makes indie comics and ramen bowl heads (customized to fit upon Nenderoid figures). Follow her on Twitter – @pennydox

The Artist Alley at large, on two floors this year.

A place for the best headwear. I regret not buying the Mimikyu.

P-shinobi at the Boomslank Booth, an amazing artist and cool guy to chat with. Check out his work and high-quality merch at boomslank.com.

The Neon-Genesis Evangelion panel gave a hilarious introduction for fans and Nerv aficionados.

Another panel featuring the best and worst of vintage Korean bootleg anime. Here’s Golden Bat!!

Games everywhere on the upper floor. All free to play, including the Jubeat rhythm chines.

A group dance tutorial, with an emphasis on K-Pop.

A drawing session, where the crowd gives ideas on what to draw and votes on the best! Lots of fun!

A costume contest on the Main Stage. Lots of amazing display. I would have captured more, but my camera battery died.

There was so much more to the Sakura-Con, pretty much impossible to experience it all in just a few days. A wonderful time was had, with much also missed (next year, for sure!!).  I have more pics and notes to share, especially with the cosplay. Look for bonus Sakura Con postings up soon, here at Stranger Worlds!

New, upcoming Yen Press manga and light novel acquisitions…

 

Import book publisher Yen Press announced new acquisitions for manga and light novels at the recent 2017 Sakura-Con anime convention in Seattle, Washington.

The list is grand and featured below,  containing the upcoming licensed manga and light novels set for English translation and localization:

ACCA 13

Original Story & Art by Natsume Ono – When political conspiracies abound, preserving the peace is no piece of cake. It’s up to one deceptively aloof hero to sniff out corruption in this atmospheric thriller by Natsume Ono (House of Five Leaves, Ristorante Paradiso)!

ANGEL OF SLAUGHTER

Original Story by Kudan Naduka, Art by Nakoto Sanada – Most girls waking up without any memory and meeting a serial killer would panic, but not Ray. In fact, far from being her biggest problem, killer Zack might just prove a convenient resource when it comes to finding a way out of the building in which they’re both trapped!

AS MISS BEELZEBUB LIKES

Original Story & Art by Matoba – Murin’s lands his dream job with the demon king he’s always held in awe, but when his tenure begins, it turns out the demon king isn’t quite what he expected…

GRAINELIERS

Original Story & Art by Rihito Takarai – Rihito Takarai (Ten Count) pens anything but a garden-variety fantasy! In a world where the seeds of plants are imbued with power, the wheels of fate begin to turn for Luca, an illegal seed cultivator, when the government-sanctioned Graineliers come to take away his father, who in turn hands Luca a rare and powerful seed…!

LAID-BACK CAMP Δ

Original Story & Art by Afro – Two girls, one bike, one camp, one mountain. A heart-soothing story about camping that feels like you’re on the slopes before you’re even out the door!

THE MONSTER TAMER GIRLS

Original Story by Mujirushi Shimazaki – Two girls start attending a new school and find themselves responsible for the care and feeding of monsters!

A POLAR BEAR IN LOVE

Original Story & Art by Koromo – A polar bear falls in love with a seal, but the seal thinks the polar bear is trying to eat it!

ONE WEEK FRIENDS

Original Story by Matcha Hazuki – A boy notices his classmate is always alone. He starts hanging out with her only to discover that at the end of every week, she loses her memory. He resolves to befriend her each week.

REGARDING REINCARNATING AS SLIME

(Light Novel), Original Story by Fuse, Illustration by Mitz Vah – Living alone and never having had a girlfriend, 37-year-old Satoru Mikami is dissatisfied with how his life has turned out. But after dying at the hands of a robber, he awakens to a fresh start in a new world…as a slime monster.

THE SAGA OF EVIL TANYA

(novel & Manga), Original Story by Carlo Zen, Art by Shinobu Shinotsuki (light novel), Chika Tōjō (manga) – At the very edge of the front lines stands a young girl. She has golden hair, Blue Eyes, and pale, almost translucent skin. Her name is Tanya Degruechaff, and she will join the ranks of the Imperial Army’s Military Mages to become one of the most feared figures in this new world…

SO I’M A SPIDER, SO WHAT?

(Light Novel), Original Story by Okina Baba, Art by Asahiro Kakashi – I used to be a normal high school girl but in the blink of an eye, I woke up in a place I’d never seen before and—and I was reborn as a spider?!

SWORD ART ONLINE ALTERNATIVE GUN GALE ONLINE

Story by Keiichi Shigusawa, Art by Tadadi Tamori – A spin-off to the massively popular story by Reki Kawahara, a new player steps onto the battlefields of the MMORPG Gun Gale Online! Pint-sized and dressed in pink, she’s ready to blast her way to the very top!

SWORD ART ONLINE ARTWORKS

Art by abec – The art of abec takes center stage in this full-color compendium of some of his most striking work from the world of SAO!

SWORD ART ONLINE CALIBUR

Original Story by Reki Kawahara, Art by Shii Kiya – When the existence of Excalibur in ALO – and the fact that it hasn’t been acquired yet! – is made known, it’s only a matter of time before Kirito and friends embark on a quest to obtain the fabled blade!

TERRIFIED TEACHER AT GHOUL SCHOOL

Original Story & Art by Mai Tanaka – Haruaki Abe is the kind of guy wouldn’t say boo to a goose. But when he starts his teaching career at a high school full of creatures that go bump in the night, he soon discovers that his students have no such qualms, and they’ll have him screaming “Eeeek!”

THOUGH YOU MAY BURN TO ASH

Original Story & Art by Kakashi Oniyazu – To save his dying sister, Ryouma Shinomiya is willing to do anything. When an angel offers him a chance to change her fate, he accepts—only to find himself trapped in a twisted game of greed where the stakes are life and death!

VAL X LOVE

Original Story & Art by Ryousuke Asakura – High schooler Akutsu Takuma has learned to accept his lonely lot in life and is content surrounded by his studies, but when the god Odin taps him to save the world alongside nine Valkyries fueled by intimacy, Takuma can say good-bye to his solitary existence!

Release dates are not yet announced. For more info, visit yenpress.com.