With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013
With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

Sunday, June 30, 2013

ACF 1943: Maiden Japan announces acquisition of ROYAL SPACE FORCE : THE WINGS OF HONNEAMISE


Maiden Japan is proud to announce their latest acquisition: Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honneamise, the movie that Roger Ebert called “…one of the most ambitious of all anime productions…”! This legendary film catapulted Studio Gainax to the fore as one of Japan’s premiere production houses and features direction and screenplay by Hiroyuki Yamaga (Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi, Mahoromatic Automatic Maiden) and character designs by Yoshiyuki Sadamoto (Nadia, Secret of Blue Water, Neon Genesis Evangelion).

Maiden Japan will be distributing Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honneamise in conjunction with home video distributor Section 23 (Clannad, High School of the Dead, Appleseed,) on bilingual DVD & BD and in digital formats.

Synopsis: In a world eerily similar to our own, war between the Kingdom of Honneamise and its archrival, The Republic, seems inevitable. But even as the two nations’ rapidly evolving technology creates new ways to wage greater and more deadly forms of warfare, a small group seeks to use those same advances to propel mankind forward into the future and into space in their world’s first manned spaceflight program.

For astronaut candidate Shirotsugh Lhadatt, it’s not just a journey beyond the reach of the atmosphere, but a personal odyssey as he grows from an aimless young man into a leader willing to put everything on the line in order to move the human race forward and away from the brink of Armageddon.

Staggering animation, brilliant storytelling and a scope that goes beyond epic combine to produce an emotional powerhouse that will send your spirit flying towards the stars with Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honneamise.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

ACF 1942: Sentai Filmworks acquires license for GATCHAMAN


Get ready for the one that started it all as Sentai Filmworks brings Gatchaman to the U.S. in high definition! All 105 episodes of the original TV series plus the three episode OVA series will be released in both DVD & BD versions. This classic action series is directed by Hisayuki Toriumi (Area 88) and features character designs by Tatsuo Yoshida (Hurricane Polymar) with sound direction by Shigeharu Shiba (Sorcerer Hunters) and music by Bob Sakuma.

Gatchaman will be available soon through select digital outlets and on bilingual BD & DVD later this year.

Synopsis: Using amazing weapons powered by super-science, the international terrorist organization known as GALACTOR is out to steal all of Earth’s resources for itself and its inhuman masters. Mankind’s only hope? The International Science Organization and their elite strike force, the Science Ninja Team! But these five young heroes will have their work cut out for them as they take on the seemingly impossible task of defeating GALACTOR’s horrific arsenal of mechanized weapons of mass destruction and endless armies of henchmen.

Can costumed commandos Ken the Eagle, Joe the Condor, Jun the Swallow, Jinpei the Sparrow and Ryu the Owl really overcome such overwhelming odds? Utilizing the incredible technology and fighting techniques created by Dr. Nambu, and with the mighty ship the God Phoenix at their command, they just might! It’s time for the bad guys to get old-schooled science-ninja style as Japan’s original super team defeat evil, one flying kick at a time, in the legendary, one and only Gatchaman.

Friday, June 28, 2013

ACF 1941: Korean Actor Ryoo Seung-Beom to be subject of special focus side-bar at NYAFF

Actor Ryoo Seung-Boem

The New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF) is an annual highlight for Asian film fans in the metropolitan area. It’s certainly one of the best such festivals in the U.S. and most probably in the world. Now in its twelfth year, the NYAFF will present over sixty feature films, and numerous filmmakers and celebrity guests will also be present. One of these will be the South Korean actor Ryoo Seung-Beom (sometimes spelled Ryu Seung-Beom), the focus of a four film side-bar within the festival.

Born August 9, 1980 in Seoul, he is the younger brother of actor and director Ryoo Seung-Wan, and has appeared in several films his older sibling directed. In fact, of the four films in the festival focus, which are listed below, only Bloody Ties was not directed by his brother.

While primarily known for action dramas, he is actually quite versatile. He provided the voice for Aachi in the wonderful and hilarious animation Aachi and Ssipak (2006; the film screened at the 2007 NYAFF and my review of it is here). Ryoo Seung-Beom played the chilling and cunning leader of an environmental group in Kim Hyoung-Jun’s No Mercy (2010; my review here). In 2011 he starred in the comedy The Suicide Forecast as Byeong-wu, a successful insurance salesman. When one of his clients dies under suspicious circumstances, he desperately — and hilariously — tracks down and tries to talk three “high risk” clients into converting their life-insurance policies That  way, if they do themselves in, the company won’t have to pay and Byeong-wu’s career won’t be ruined.

The NYAFF focus on Ryoo Seung-Beom will consist of  four films:

Ryoo Seung-Boem in The Berlin File

The Berlin File (2013), Saturday, June 29 @ 3:35PM. North and SouthKorean intelligence operatives go at one another in the city that symbolized the Cold War. (My review, which posted at VCinema earlier this year, is available here.)

Arahan (2004), Sunday June 30 @ 3:45PM. A martial arts movie set in contemporary Seoul.

The Unjust (2011), Monday, July 1 @ 3:20 PM. A tale about rape, murder and corruption.
 
Bloody Tie (2012), Monday, July 1 @ 6:15PM. A crime thriller about a detective and a meth dealer who join forces against a drug kingpin.

Ryoo will be present for Q&As for three of these screenings, the exception being The Unjust.

Information about the entire 2013 NYAFF schedule, including film descriptions, showtimes and ordering tickets, is available here.

Note: This article, in slightly different form, is also being posted at VCinema.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

ACF 1940: Section23 Films announces its October 2013 slate of releases


Home video distributor Section23 Films has announced its October 2013 slate of releases, including the classic action series Gatchaman on October 29th. All 105 episodes of the original TV series plus the three episode OVA series will be released in both DVD & BD collections.

Product details follow, in order of release.

Title:                 GODANNAR COMPLETE
Published by:    Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by:  Section23 Films
Run Time:         650 min.
Street Date:      10/1/2013
Format:             DVD
Language:         English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP:                $74.98

SYNOPSIS:  Five years ago, Goh, the pilot of the giant robot Dannar, rescued Anna Aoi as the monstrous Mimetic Beasts attempted to wipe human life from the planet.  Now the Beasts are back, but Goh's not going back into battle alone.  Not only does his new bride-to-be Anna have a mech of her own, but their "his and her" giant robots are designed to mate together to form the ultimate in alien-smashing technology, the mighty Godannar!  Unfortunately, while they may have the perfect partnership on the battlefield, things aren't running so smoothly on the home front and when "the other woman" from Goh's past suddenly returns, the rifts that are opened may be wide enough to put the entire defense of mankind in jeopardy!  Can an international supporting cast of the wildest giant robot pilots ever hold the line until Goh and Anna can come together in the cockpit, join interlocking parts and create the perfect marriage of man, woman and machine?  It's time to love, honor and kick serious monster ass as family ties go nuclear in GODANNAR!


Title:                 HAKUOKI SEASON 3 COMPLETE
Published by:    Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by:  Section23 Films
Run Time:         300 min.
Street Date:      10/1/2013
Format:             DVD
Language:         English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP:                $59.98

SYNOPSIS:  The year is 1863 and as Japan's long festering wounds of political discord erupt into violent waves of street clashes and murder, the Tokugawa Shogunate sends a new force of masterless samurai called the Roshigumi to the aid of the Aizu forces in Kyoto.  However, the new "police" are anything but a cohesive force and assassination has already split them into two opposing factions.  The stronger is led by the brutal Serizawa Kamo, and the lesser by the more honorable but less assertive Kondo Isami.  It is into this pack of wolves that Ryunosuke Ibuki is dragged by the rabid Serizawa.  Forced to be a virtual slave by blood debt, he hates the samurai and everything they stand for.  But as he sees how the other half of the samurai live, he begins to believe that there may still be a chance, for both himself and Japan, if only Kondo will step up and take down the mad dog Serizawa!  Historical truth provides the bloody groundwork for cloak, sword & dagger on an epic scale in the spectacular prequel to Hakuoki, HAKUOKI ~ DAWN OF THE SHINSENGUMI!


Title:                 HAKUOKI SEASON 3 COMPLETE BLU-RAY
Published by:    Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by:  Section23 Films
Run Time:         300 min.
Street Date:      10/1/2013
Format:             BD
Language:         English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP:                $69.98

SYNOPSIS: The year is 1863 and as Japan's long festering wounds of political discord erupt into violent waves of street clashes and murder, the Tokugawa Shogunate sends a new force of masterless samurai called the Roshigumi to the aid of the Aizu forces in Kyoto.  However, the new "police" are anything but a cohesive force and assassination has already split them into two opposing factions.  The stronger is led by the brutal Serizawa Kamo, and the lesser by the more honorable but less assertive Kondo Isami.  It is into this pack of wolves that Ryunosuke Ibuki is dragged by the rabid Serizawa.  Forced to be a virtual slave by blood debt, he hates the samurai and everything they stand for.  But as he sees how the other half of the samurai live, he begins to believe that there may still be a chance, for both himself and Japan, if only Kondo will step up and take down the mad dog Serizawa!  Historical truth provides the bloody groundwork for cloak, sword & dagger on an epic scale in the spectacular prequel to Hakuoki, HAKUOKI ~ DAWN OF THE SHINSENGUMI!



Title:                 PHI-BRAIN SEASON 2 COLLECTION 2
Published by:    Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by:  Section23 Films
Run Time:         325 min.
Street Date:      10/8/2013
Format:             DVD
Language:         English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP:                $59.98

SYNOPSIS: As the Orpheus Order continues to press their feud with Kaito, embroiling an ever increasing number of innocent bystanders in their deadly puzzles, Kaito struggles to recall just what it was he did to earn Freecell's undying enmity.  But even if he can remember, will he be able to set things right?  And if he does manage to reconcile things with Freecell, will that be enough to stop the Orpheus Order?  Or will the power of the mysterious Klondike be strong enough to keep the members of the Orpheus Order on task?  It's puzzles within puzzles as alliances are formed and other dissolved in Phi Brain ~ Puzzle of God: The Orpheus Order Collection 2!


Title:                 PHI-BRAIN SEASON 2 COLLECTION 2 BLU-RAY
Published by:    Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by:  Section23 Films
Run Time:         325 min.
Street Date:      10/8/2013
Format:             BD
Language:         English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP:                $69.98

SYNOPSIS: As the Orpheus Order continues to press their feud with Kaito, embroiling an ever increasing number of innocent bystanders in their deadly puzzles, Kaito struggles to recall just what it was he did to earn Freecell's undying enmity.  But even if he can remember, will he be able to set things right?  And if he does manage to reconcile things with Freecell, will that be enough to stop the Orpheus Order?  Or will the power of the mysterious Klondike be strong enough to keep the members of the Orpheus Order on task?  It's puzzles within puzzles as alliances are formed and other dissolved in Phi Brain ~ Puzzle of God: The Orpheus Order Collection 2!


Title:                 CAMPIONE! COMPLETE
Published by:    Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by:  Section23 Films
Run Time:         325 min.
Street Date:      10/15/2013
Format:             DVD
Language:         English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP:                $59.98

SYNOPSIS: Some people suddenly find religion, but for 16 year old Kusanagi Godo, it's that REALLY old time religion that's found him!  As the result of defeating the God of War in mortal combat, Godo's stuck with the unwanted position of Campione, or God Slayer, whose duty is to fight Herectical Gods whenever they try to muscle in on the local turf.  Not only is this likely to make Godo roadkill on the Highway to Heaven, it's also a job that comes with a lot of other problems.  Like how to deal with the fact that his "enhanced status" is attracting a bevy of overly-worshippy female followers.  After all, they're just there to aid him in his demi-godly duties, right?  So why is it that their leader, the demonically manipulative sword-mistress Erica Brandelli, seems to have such a devilish interest in encouraging some VERY unorthodox activities?  Get ready for immortal affairs, heavenly harems and lots of dueling deities taking pious in the face as the ultimate smash, bash and thrash of the titans rocks both Heaven and Earth in CAMPIONE!


Title:                 CAMPIONE! COMPLETE BLU-RAY
Published by:    Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by:  Section23 Films
Run Time:         325 min.
Street Date:      10/15/2013
Format:             BD
Language:         English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP:                $69.98

SYNOPSIS: Some people suddenly find religion, but for 16 year old Kusanagi Godo, it's that REALLY old time religion that's found him!  As the result of defeating the God of War in mortal combat, Godo's stuck with the unwanted position of Campione, or God Slayer, whose duty is to fight Herectical Gods whenever they try to muscle in on the local turf.  Not only is this likely to make Godo roadkill on the Highway to Heaven, it's also a job that comes with a lot of other problems.  Like how to deal with the fact that his "enhanced status" is attracting a bevy of overly-worshippy female followers.  After all, they're just there to aid him in his demi-godly duties, right?  So why is it that their leader, the demonically manipulative sword-mistress Erica Brandelli, seems to have such a devilish interest in encouraging some VERY unorthodox activities?  Get ready for immortal affairs, heavenly harems and lots of dueling deities taking pious in the face as the ultimate smash, bash and thrash of the titans rocks both Heaven and Earth in CAMPIONE!


Title:                 ROYAL SPACE FORCE
Published by:    Maiden Japan
Distributed by:  Section23 Films
Run Time:         125 min.
Street Date:      10/15/2013
Format:             DVD
Language:         English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP:                $29.98

SYNOPSIS: In a world eerily similar to our own, war between the Kingdom of Honneamise and its archrival, The Republic, seems inevitable.  But even as the two nations' rapidly evolving technology creates new ways to wage greater and more deadly forms of warfare, a small group seeks to use those same advances to propel mankind forward into the future and into space in their world's first manned spaceflight program.  For astronaut candidate Shirotsugh Lhadatt, it's not just a journey beyond the reach of the atmosphere, but a personal odyssey as he grows from an aimless young man into a leader willing to put everything on the line in order to move the human race forward and away from the brink of Armageddon.  Prepare to witness the legendary film that revolutionized the anime industry, launched the careers of dozens of today's animation superstars and put Studio Gainax forever on the map as one of Japan's premiere production houses.  Staggering animation, brilliant storytelling and a scope that goes beyond epic combine to produce an emotional powerhouse that will send your spirit flying towards the stars with THE ROYAL SPACE FORCE: THE WINGS OF HONNEAMISE!


Title:                 ROYAL SPACE FORCE BLU-RAY
Published by:    Maiden Japan
Distributed by:  Section23 Films
Run Time:         125 min.
Street Date:      10/15/2013
Format:             BD
Language:         English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP:                $39.98

SYNOPSIS: In a world eerily similar to our own, war between the Kingdom of Honneamise and its archrival, The Republic, seems inevitable.  But even as the two nations' rapidly evolving technology creates new ways to wage greater and more deadly forms of warfare, a small group seeks to use those same advances to propel mankind forward into the future and into space in their world's first manned spaceflight program.  For astronaut candidate Shirotsugh Lhadatt, it's not just a journey beyond the reach of the atmosphere, but a personal odyssey as he grows from an aimless young man into a leader willing to put everything on the line in order to move the human race forward and away from the brink of Armageddon.  Prepare to witness the legendary film that revolutionized the anime industry, launched the careers of dozens of today's animation superstars and put Studio Gainax forever on the map as one of Japan's premiere production houses.  Staggering animation, brilliant storytelling and a scope that goes beyond epic combine to produce an emotional powerhouse that will send your spirit flying towards the stars with THE ROYAL SPACE FORCE: THE WINGS OF HONNEAMISE!

Title:                 DI GI CHARAT
Published by:    Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by:  Section23 Films
Run Time:         65 min.
Street Date:      10/22/2013
Format:             DVD
Language:         English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP:                $19.98

SYNOPSIS: Dejiko is a perfectly normal princess from the planet Di Gi Charat, who arrives in Tokyo with dreams of becoming an idol.  Unfortunately, girls with cat ears and a tail, and who can shoot ray beams out of their cat eyes, aren't exactly what most prospective employers are looking for.  But there's one place where Dejiko does fit in perfectly: Akihabara, where a kindly game store owner offers a job to Dejiko, her sidekick Puchiko and their balloon-like protector Gema.  But things still aren't going to be simple, as Dejiko's bunnysuit clad rival Rabi-en-Rose wants to become an idol too.  And when the notorious Black Gema-Gema Gang, led by Princess Piyoko of the planet Analogue, lands in Tokyo, it will be all Dejiko can do to keep up with Piyoko's nefarious plot of opening a rival game store across the street!   (She's kind of on a budget, since her parents spent all their money unsuccessfully trying to take over Di Gi Charat.)  Can an interstellar cat princess really find happiness on Earth in the music industry?  Find out in the DI GI CHARAT ORIGINAL TV COLLECTION!


Title:                 KOKORO CONNECT
Published by:    Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by:  Section23 Films
Run Time:         325 min.
Street Date:      10/22/2013
Format:             DVD
Language:         English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP:                $59.98

SYNOPSIS: The five members of the Cultural Study group that meets in class 401 have spent a lot of time wondering what it would be like to be in someone else's shoes.  But they're about to learn that there's a huge difference between thinking about it and literally BEING in someone else's shoes!  Because that's exactly what happens when, suddenly and inexplicably, they each find themselves inside the body of the girl (or boy) next door!  What happens next?  Well, besides bringing a whole new meaning to the term "Exchange Student" and the to be expected freaked out runs to the bathroom, it's not hard to do the math:  Take one wrestling geek, the resident cool girl, the class clown, the popular chick and one sultry maid of mystery, scramble thoroughly and divide, and you can bet that pretty soon they'll be answering ALL of the questions they never wanted to know about the opposite sex in ways they never anticipated!  Get ready for the wildest game of musical bodies ever as Taichi, Himeko, Yoshifumi, Yui and Iori have to survive seeing the world through each others' eyes in: KOKORO CONNECT!


Title:                 KOKORO CONNECT BLU-RAY
Published by:    Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by:  Section23 Films
Run Time:         325 min.
Street Date:      10/22/2013
Format:             BD
Language:         English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP:                $69.98

SYNOPSIS: The five members of the Cultural Study group that meets in class 401 have spent a lot of time wondering what it would be like to be in someone else's shoes.  But they're about to learn that there's a huge difference between thinking about it and literally BEING in someone else's shoes!  Because that's exactly what happens when, suddenly and inexplicably, they each find themselves inside the body of the girl (or boy) next door!  What happens next?  Well, besides bringing a whole new meaning to the term "Exchange Student" and the to be expected freaked out runs to the bathroom, it's not hard to do the math:  Take one wrestling geek, the resident cool girl, the class clown, the popular chick and one sultry maid of mystery, scramble thoroughly and divide, and you can bet that pretty soon they'll be answering ALL of the questions they never wanted to know about the opposite sex in ways they never anticipated!  Get ready for the wildest game of musical bodies ever as Taichi, Himeko, Yoshifumi, Yui and Iori have to survive seeing the world through each others' eyes in: KOKORO CONNECT!


Title:                 GATCHAMAN OVA COLLECTION
Published by:    Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by:  Section23 Films
Run Time:         145 min.
Street Date:      10/29/2013
Format:             DVD
Language:         English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP:                $29.98

SYNOPSIS: With Earth’s resources dwindling, the new Mantel Plan, which unifies all of the planets power sources into a single network, is vital to the continued survival of mankind.  But the terrorist entity Galactor wants those resources for itself, unleashing giant engines of mass destruction while, one by one, key members of the International Science Organization begin disappearing.  To combat this threat, the ISO’s secret squad of science ninjas and their ship the God Phoenix are brought into play.  But between Galactor’s new technology and superior numbers, it may be that not even the Gatchaman team is up to the task.  But a mysterious new force is about to enter the fight, one whose forces could turn the tide of battle.  But who is behind the mysterious Red Impulse?  And why have they remained hidden for so long?  The war for Earth’s future hits an all new level as the classic anime series gets a radically new look in GATCHAMAN – THE OVAs!


Title:                 GATCHAMAN COMPLETE
Published by:    Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by:  Section23 Films
Run Time:         2770 min.
Street Date:      10/29/2013
Format:             DVD
Language:         English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP:                $129.98

SYNOPSIS: Using amazing weapons powered by super-science, the international terrorist organization known as GALACTOR is out to steal all of Earth's resources for itself and its inhuman masters.  Mankind's only hope?  The International Science Organization and their elite strike force, the Science Ninja Team!  But these five young heroes will have their work cut out for them as they take on the seemingly impossible task of defeating GALACTOR's horrific arsenal of mechanized weapons of mass destruction and endless armies of henchmen.  Can costumed commandos Ken the Eagle, Joe the Condor, Jun the Swallow, Jinpei the Sparrow and Ryu the Owl really overcome such overwhelming odds?  Utilizing the incredible technology and fighting techniques created by Dr. Nambu, and with the mighty ship the God Phoenix at their command, they just might!  It's time for the bad guys to get old-schooled science-ninja style as Japan's original super team defeat evil, one flying kick at a time, in the legendary, one and only GATCHAMAN! "Includes the previously unreleased Gatchaman OVAs!"


Title:                 GATCHAMAN COMPLETE BLU-RAY
Published by:    Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by:  Section23 Films
Run Time:         2770 min.
Street Date:      10/29/2013
Format:             BD
Language:         English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP:                $149.98

SYNOPSIS: Using amazing weapons powered by super-science, the international terrorist organization known as GALACTOR is out to steal all of Earth's resources for itself and its inhuman masters.  Mankind's only hope?  The International Science Organization and their elite strike force, the Science Ninja Team!  But these five young heroes will have their work cut out for them as they take on the seemingly impossible task of defeating GALACTOR's horrific arsenal of mechanized weapons of mass destruction and endless armies of henchmen.  Can costumed commandos Ken the Eagle, Joe the Condor, Jun the Swallow, Jinpei the Sparrow and Ryu the Owl really overcome such overwhelming odds?  Utilizing the incredible technology and fighting techniques created by Dr. Nambu, and with the mighty ship the God Phoenix at their command, they just might!  It's time for the bad guys to get old-schooled science-ninja style as Japan's original super team defeat evil, one flying kick at a time, in the legendary, one and only GATCHAMAN! "Includes the previously unreleased Gatchaman OVAs!"

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

ACF 1939: Sentai Filmworks acquires license for DI GI CHARAT


Get ready for cat girls, aliens and idol singers galore in Sentai Filmworks’ newest acquisition: Di Gi Charat! The original 16 episode TV series directed by Hiroaki Sakurai (Maid Sama!) features character designs by Koge Donbo (A Little Snow Fairy Sugar manga) and Yoshinobu Yamakawa, with music by Yusuke Sakamoto (Aquarian Age the Movie). Sentai Filmworks’ license also includes the Di Gi Charat Specials (14 episodes) and Di Gi Charat Winter Garden (2 episodes).

Di Gi Charat will be available soon through select digital outlets and on bilingual DVD later this year.

Synopsis: Dejiko is a perfectly normal princess from the planet Di Gi Charat, who arrives in Tokyo with dreams of becoming an idol. Unfortunately, girls with cat ears and a tail, and who can shoot ray beams out of their cat eyes, aren’t exactly what most prospective employers are looking for. But there’s one place where Dejiko does fit in perfectly: Akihabara, where a kindly game store owner offers a job to Dejiko, her sidekick Puchiko and their balloon-like protector Gema. But things still aren’t going to be simple, as Dejiko’s bunnysuit clad rival Rabi-en-Rose wants to become an idol too. And when the notorious Black Gema-Gema Gang, led by Princess Piyoko of the planet Analogue, lands in Tokyo, it will be all Dejiko can do to keep up with Piyoko’s nefarious plot of opening a rival game store across the street! (She’s kind of on a budget, since her parents spent all their money unsuccessfully trying to take over Di Gi Charat.) Can an interstellar cat princess really find happiness on Earth in the music industry? Find out in the Di Gi Charat.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

ACF 1938: 2013 J-POP Summit Festival will include a live concert in San Francisco's Union Square

KYARY PAMYU PAMYU
The 2013 J-POP SUMMIT FESTIVAL MAKES “KAWAII” UNIVERSAL
AS IT EXPANDS TO S.F.’s UNION SQUARE FOR A SPECIAL
LIVE PERFORMANCE BY KYARY PAMYU PAMYU

San Francisco’s Biggest Japanese Pop Culture Celebration Expands Beyond Japantown
For Special FREE Concert Also Featuring Harajuku Singer/Model Una, Sony Music Japan
J-Pop Star Kylee, And The Human Beat Box Phenomenon Daichi

The 2013 J-POP Summit Festival, San Francisco’s annual celebration of Japanese pop culture, music, fashion and film, celebrates its 5th anniversary by announcing its expansion – to Union Square – as celebrates this year’s theme, “Make Kawaii Universal!!” with a special live concert on Sunday, July 28th from 2:00pm-4:00pm, featuring one of Japan biggest J-Pop stars – Kyary Pamyu Pamyu.

Presented in partnership with Union Square Live presented by the City of San Francisco, the 2013 J-POP Summit Festival will take downtown San Francisco by storm with “cute” J-Pop as a complement to the Festival’s core location, taking place Saturday and Sunday, July 27th and 28th. A variety of live bands, fashion shows, anime and live-action film premieres, Guest of Honor appearances, vendors and a special POP GOURMET Sake Tasting event are scheduled. Additional details on J-POP Festival events and programming are available at: www.J-POP.com.

An integral part of the theme of J-POP SUMMIT 2013, “kawaii” is a universally celebrated Japanese word that means “cute” or “loveable” and has become a prominent aspect of modern Japanese popular culture and expressed prominently in fashion, music, anime, games, characters, and cosmetics. The word has also become part of daily youth vernacular and is widely used to comment on style and fashion.

“The celebration of the J-POP Summit spreads beyond Japantown this year and we are very excited to bring a special edition of the festival to Union Square, led by one of Japan’s biggest pop stars, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu,” says Seiji Horibuchi, the President/CEO of NEW PEOPLE, Inc. and Chairman of the J-Pop Summit Festival Committee. “By having this opportunity to present the essence of Kawaii Culture to a mainstream and demographically diverse area of the city, we hope to deliver the spirit and creativity of this unique pop culture phenomenon to even more people.”

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu personifies the style and sound of Tokyo’s fashion Mecca – Harajuku. Born in Tokyo 1993, she began as a model for several Harajuku fashion magazines when she was still in a high school and her unique looks and bizarre language and behavior caught Japan’s, and soon the world’s attention. Kyary Pamyu Pamyu released her major debut, MOSHI MOSHI HARAJUKU in August 2011 from Warner Music Japan, and the music video for its single “PONPONPON,” has been played over 50 million times on YouTube. Her first full-album, Pamyu Pamyu Revolution, was released in May 2012. In February 2013, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu began a world tour and recently released her sixth single, “Invader Invader,” in May.

Una was formally a charismatic shop assistant in Harajuku and began her modeling career as a model by getting a snapshot taken by a fashion magazine in 2010. It didn't take her long to begin appearing regularly in numerous fashion magazines. With her beautiful looks, edgy style, and perfectly balanced body proportions, she represents a new type of Harajuku model capable of expressing not only kawaii style but also showcasing other cool aspects of Harajuku culture. This iconic figure of the Harajuku street scene will also debut her first musical single, "Juicy Juicy," on August 14th.

Kylee is an upbeat 19 year-old pop singer/songwriter currently signed to Sony Music Japan and has become a fast-rising multi-cultural star that is developing a major following in both the U.S. and Japan. Kylee has been featured in the U.S. on the Today Show, and her second single, "missing/IT'S YOU," released in 2010, was featured heavily in a commercial for online apparel retailer NISSEN. In 2011 she performed for an audience of more than 50,000 people at an official Major League Baseball game and has also sang for President Barack Obama.

The 22-year-old Japanese human beat-box, Daichi, began teaching himself his amazing skill beginning at the young age of 10. Without using any instruments or machines, Daichi can make more than 50 different sounds using his voice, and moreover, can play rhythm beat and sing melody at the same time. Daichi is known internationally for his talents and he has opened for the likes of Boys II Men and collaborated with numerous singers, dancers, DJs and performers.

Founded in 2005, Union Square Live brings free music, dance, circus, theater, outdoor movies and other entertainment to Union Square Park for everyone's enjoyment. Held April through October, most programs are presented on Wednesdays at 12:30pm and 6pm and on Sundays at 2pm.

About J-POP SUMMIT FESTIVAL
The J-POP SUMMIT FESTIVAL is an annual Japanese Pop Culture celebration that features live bands and artists from Japan, pop culture panel discussions, film premieres, fashion and DJ dance events, and celebrity appearances. The Festival is hosted by NEW PEOPLE in cooperation with the Japantown Merchants Association. In 2012, the two-day event attracted 65,000 attendees.

More information about the J-POP Summit Festival is available at J-POP.com.

Monday, June 24, 2013

ACF 1937: Special “K DAY” planned for 2013 Anime Expo, July 4th-7th

 VIZ MEDIA CELEBRATES THE ANIME SERIES “K”
DURING A SPECIAL “K DAY” AT 2013 ANIME EXPO

Hit Action Anime Series Comes To The Nation’s Largest Anime Convention
With Exclusive Episodes Premiere And Appearances
by Special Guest KANAME☆ And English-Language Cast

VIZ Media celebrates the action and kinetic storyline of one of its newest anime properties – K – at the 2013 Anime Expo, taking place July 4th–7th at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, CA. Now celebrating its 22nd consecutive year, Anime Expo is sponsored by the SPJA and is the nation’s largest anime convention. VIZ Media will host a variety of special activities and panels throughout “K Day,” on Friday July 5th.

Anime Expo Industry Guest and official Fushimi cosplayer from Japan KANAME☆ (appearing courtesy of King Records) will be a special guest for the day. English-language voice actors Patrick Seitz (voice of Reisi Munakata), Stephanie Sheh (voice of Neko), Matt Mercer (voice of Kuroh Yatogami) and Keith Silverstein (voice of Mikoto Suoh) will also be in attendance.

Join the English language staff and cast at the celebration, beginning with the exclusive K Episodes 1 & 2 English Language World Premiere at 11:15am in Room LP1. At 12:15PM, directly following the premiere and held in the same room, Josh Lopez, VIZ Media Dub Producer for K, will join the staff and cast in a Behind the Scenes Q&A on the process of bringing K to North America. At the end of the panel, fans will receive an exclusive commemorative Neko character fan.

The celebration continues with a special autograph session with the K English language dub cast from 2:30-3:30pm in the Anime Expo Autograph Area. Each attendee will receive an premium poster to get signed by the guests. The autograph session will be followed by a photo opportunity at the VIZ Media booth (#1501) with K cast and staff, including Johnny Yong Bosch (English voice of Fushimi), and the K cosplayers of ACParadise.com. Attendees that show up in K Project cosplay will receive a special gift. Finally, end the day with a photo op with KANAME☆ at the VIZ Media booth K wall at 5:30pm. Meet this legendary cosplay idol as he brings the cool and suave Fushimi to life.

"K is such a gorgeous and action packed series, we knew it was an excellent choice for a special event at Anime Expo,” says Charlene Ingram, Senior Manager, Animation Marketing. “K makes its Neon Alley broadcast premiere on July 12th, and we're thrilled to give AX attendees an opportunity to meet some of the staff and cast that helped bring K to North America. We are also honored that one of the most renowned male cosplayers in the world, KANAME☆, will be joining us! "

The exclusive NEKO bell

For those who can’t attend K Day on Friday July 5th, the festivities continue throughout the show. KANAME☆ will appear at the VIZ Media booth on Saturday July 6th at 2PM for a special autograph session and photo opportunity, and will appear at the booth for additional photo ops through the show (please check the daily booth schedule). All days of the show, attendees can find the special ACParadise NEKO cosplayer around the show floor to receive an exclusive NEKO bell (while supplies last). Attendees can also stop by the VIZ Media booth to play the King’s Game for prizes – check the daily booth schedule for game times.

K is set in a world where history has taken a slightly different course from the one we’re familiar with and follows the story of a young boy whose life is caught in a psychic war between seven kings. Yashiro Isana, also known as Shiro, is wanted for a crime he has no recollection of committing. He finds himself being hunted by the groups Homura, led by Mikoto Suoh, “The Red King,” and Scepter 4, led by Reisi Munakata, “The Blue King.” While on the run, another young man named Kuroh Yatogami helps him. Will this fated encounter change Shiro’s life forever?

For more information on K and other animated titles from VIZ Media visit www.VIZAnime.com/k.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

ACF 1936: Jackie Chan Retrospective - SNAKE IN THE EAGLE'S SHADOW

Pai Cheng-Tien (Hsiao-Tien Yuan) and Chien Fu (Jackie Chan)

Went to see The Snake in Eagle's Shadow (1978) this afternoon. It was the first film playing in the Jackie Chan retrospective at the Munroe Film Center of the Film Society of Lincoln Center. It's about the deadly rivalry between the Snake and Eagle schools of Kung Fu.

The 35mm print was pretty faded with a yellowish-tan look overall, and had a fair number of scratches. So it was a bit of a grindhouse experience visually. But the reel(s) with the climactic fight at the end was in much better shape, which was very nice.

And, hey, it's Jackie in a great comic kung fu performance, the kind that would pretty much define his style for years to come, so I didn't really care all that much about these visual flaws. Plus it was directed by Yuen Wo-ping, probably best known to non-aficionados as the action director of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

All-in-all, it was a terrific experience, shared with a decent-sized and very enthusiastic, into it audience.

Complete information about the remaining films, showtimes, and ordering tickets for the thirteen film Jackie Chan retrospecte, which runs through Thursday, June 27th is available here.

ACF 1935: U.S. Premiere of EVANGELION 3.0 YOU CAN (NOT) REDO at 2013 Japan Film Festival

The 2013 JAPAN FILM FESTIVAL OF SAN FRANCISCO
TEAMS WITH FUNIMATION ENTERTAINMENT TO OFFER
THE EXCLUSIVE U.S. PREMIERE OF
EVANGELION 3.0 YOU CAN (NOT) REDO
AT NEW PEOPLE CINEMA

The First-Ever Dedicated Japanese Film Festival For The S.F. Bay Area
Premieres The Latest Anime Sci-Fi Feature In Director Hideki Anno’s
Rebuild Of Evangelion Saga During The 2013 J-POP Summit

The 2013 Japan Film Festival of San Francisco (JFFSF), the first fully-dedicated annual Japanese film event for the S.F. Bay Area, has just announced an exciting new addition to its programming as it partners with leading anime distributor FUNimation Entertainment to present the exclusive U.S. premiere of Evangelion 3.0: You Can (Not) Redo. This new, high octane anime sci-fi thriller will be seen for the first time by U.S. audiences exclusively at NEW PEOPLE Cinema on Saturday, July 27th at 11:00am, and also presented as part of programming for the 2013 J-POP Summit Festival. The film will be presented with original Japanese dialogue featuring English subtitles.

Evangelion 3.0: You Can (Not) Redo will have two encore screenings, on Monday, July 29th at 7:00pm, and again on Sunday, August 4th at 11:00am. Tickets are $13.00 each. NEW PEOPLE Cinema is located at 1746 Post St. (cross street is Webster St.) in the heart of San Francisco’s Japantown. Advance ticket information is available at http://jffsf.org/2013/evangelion3.

Evangelion 3.0: You Can (Not) Redo, aka “Evangelion: The New Movie: Q,” is the third of four films released in the Rebuild of Evangelion saga, directed by Hideaki Anno. Fourteen years after the third impact, Shinji awakens to a world he does not recognize and his body has not aged a single day. Earth lies in ruins and those he once fought valiantly to protect have cruelly turned against him. NERV is nothing but a distant memory. Trapped in a harrowing cycle of death and rebirth, Shinji continues to courageously battle the angels – even as the world spirals down towards what could be a tragic end.


“We’re extremely honored to make this U.S. premiere of Evangelion 3.0: You Can (Not) Redo a special part of the first-ever Japan Film Festival of San Francisco,” says Manami Iiboshi, the Executive Director of Japan Film Festival of San Francisco. “The film was one of the biggest recent movie blockbusters in Japan and its screening at the 2013 J-POP Summit will be a must-see for many anime fans! We know this show may sell-out so we have also announced a pair of encore showings the following week. Don’t miss the opportunity to catch the exciting latest chapter in one of Japan’s most celebrated sci-fi properties on the big screen at San Francisco’s one-and-only NEW PEOPLE Cinema!”

The Japan Film Festival of San Francisco takes place Saturday, July 27th thru Sunday, August 4th and will deliver vivid cross-section of the best in recent Japanese anime as well as live-action cinema and is presented in conjunction with the 2013 J-POP Summit. Marking its 5th Anniversary, the annual J-POP Summit takes place Saturday July 27th and Sunday July 28th across the city’s historic Japantown district and celebrates the phenomenon of Japanese pop culture with a colorful array of live bands and artists, panel discussions, film premieres, edgy fashion shows and DJ dance events, celebrity appearances and more.

The J-POP Summit Festival is hosted and organized by NEW PEOPLE in cooperation with the Japantown Merchants Association. In 2012, the two-day event attracted nearly 65,000 attendees. More information is available at www.J-POP.com.

NEW PEOPLE Cinema is a 143-seat cinema located in the underground floor of NEW PEOPLE in San Francisco. Equipped with a cutting-edge HD digital projection and THX®-certified sound system, NEW PEOPLE Cinema is home for local film festivals and entertaining events. www.newpeoplecinema.com.

About J-POP SUMMIT FESTIVAL
The J-POP SUMMIT FESTIVAL is an annual Japanese Pop Culture celebration that features live bands and artists from Japan, pop culture panel discussions, film premieres, fashion and DJ dance events, and celebrity appearances. The Festival is hosted by NEW PEOPLE in cooperation with the Japantown Merchants Association. In 2012, the two-day event attracted 65,000 attendees.

More information about the J-POP Summit Festival is available at J-POP.com.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

ACF 1934: The Jackie Chan Experience film retrospective begins tomorrow


Just a quick reminder that "The Jackie Chan Experience," a five-day, thirteen-film retrospective of great films starring, and in some cases directed by, Jackie Chan begins tomorrow at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center of the Film Society of Lincoln Center. The films will be shown in 35 mm prints, except for the two Armour of God films and Miracles; these three will be shown as digital projections.

I'll be at the 12:30 screening of Snake in the Eagle's Shadow (1978) tomorrow and at several other screenings during the retro.

Complete information about the films, showtimes, and ordering tickets here.

"The Jackie Chan Experience" is dedicated to the memory of Daniel Anderson Craft, a film fan and director of Subway Cinema who died earlier this year. The retrospective is a co-presentation of the Film Society of Lincoln Center, the New York Asian Film Festival and the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office.

Friday, June 21, 2013

ACF 1933: Exclusive L.A. One Night Only Theatrical Premiere of PERFUME WORLD TOUR 2nd IN UK


LIVE VIEWING JAPAN ANNOUNCES A SPECIAL
L.A. J-POP CONCERT BROADCAST EVENT:
PREMIERE OF PERFUME WORLD TOUR 2nd IN UK

Popular All-Girl Japanese Pop Group Performs
From the U.K. In A Special Big Screen Event;
Catch The Exclusive One Night Only Screening!!!

Live Viewing Japan, a distribution company focused on bringing Japanese entertainment media to an international audience, will thrill J-Pop music fans with its latest announcement of the exclusive Los Angeles theatrical premiere of Perfume WORLD TOUR 2nd in UK LIVE VIEWING in L.A. – for one-night-only – at the Regal Cinema L.A. LIVE, in Los Angeles, CA, on Sunday, July 7th at 1:00pm. The upbeat 2½ hour delayed broadcast event will capture the popular all-girl Japanese pop group in action from an upcoming concert that will take place in London on July 5th.

Tickets are $25.00 and are available at: perfumeliveviewinginla.com. Regal Cinema L.A. LIVE is located at 1000 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90015.

Live Viewing Japan also extends a special invitation to 2013 Anime Expo attendees at the nearby Los Angeles Convention Center to catch this exclusive J-Pop concert broadcast event premiere! Regal Cinema L.A. LIVE is a short walk from the L.A. Convention Center grounds, located adjacent to the Nokia Theatre and Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles.

Perfume is a very popular all-girl Japanese pop group that formed in Hiroshima in 2001 and features Ayaka Nishiwaki (Aa-CHAN), Yuka Kashino (KASHIYUKA), and Ayano Omoto (NOCCHi). As of January 2012, the group has released fourteen major label singles. Perfume began with a post-Shibuya-kei pop sound but began to transition to electronic dance-pop music beginning in 2003, influenced heavily by 1980s synthpop and chiptunes and electro house. In 2005, the single “Linear Motor Girl” signaled their major debut. The following singles resulted in Perfume receiving the label “technopop of the future,” partly because of their science fiction-like themes. Their first album, Perfume: Complete Best, released in 2007, was a compilation of six popular singles and reached Number 33 in the Oricon Music Charts.

With Perfume’s success, many Japanese brands enlisted the help of the group to add a pop-driven soundtrack to various promotional campaigns. Natural ni Koishite is a tie-in with the Japanese brand, Natural Beauty Basic and Pepsi NEX also featured Perfume’s cover The Cardigans’ “Lovefool.” In 2010, Perfume received major international attention when their song “Monochrome Effect” was featured in an episode of "American Dad!" Another Perfume song, "Polyrhythm," was featured in Disney Pixar's Cars 2.

In 2012, Perfume embarked on their very first tour in Asia, visiting Taiwan, Hong Kong, Korea and Singapore. With all shows completely sold out and their new record, “Perfume Global Compilation LOVE THE WORLD”” being released worldwide, the group is proving their popularity goes far beyond Japan. Perfume plans a European Summer Tour for 2013.

About Live Viewing Japan:
Live Viewing Japan is a Japanese-based media distribution company focused on bringing a variety of entertainment properties to a global theatre-going audience. More information on the company and its projects is available at www.liveviewing.jp.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

ACF 1932: “Harajuku Kawaii!! in S.F.” Event at J-POP Summit Festival

UNA
The 2013 J-POP SUMMIT FESTIVAL SHOWCASES JAPANESE
HARAJUKU FASHION CULTURE AND STREET STYLES
WITH “HARAJUKU KAWAII!! IN S.F.” EVENT

J-Pop Lovers And Fashionistas Invited To Catch A Unique And Colorful Fashion
Event At The 5th Annual J-POP Summit Featuring Top Japanese Models
Highlighting The Epitome Of “Kawaii” Culture And Design

The 2013 J-POP Summit Festival, San Francisco’s annual celebration of Japanese pop culture, music, fashion and film, has announced “Harajuku Kawaii!! in S.F.,” a special fashion event that will feature popular Japanese models and live music. The colorful show, which is produced in conjunction with ASOBISYSTEM, an entertainment company based in Harajuku, Tokyo, will showcase some of the latest hip Japanese fashions from a variety of designers and augments this year’s J-POP Summit theme of “Make Kawaii Universal.” The 2013 J-POP Summit Festival takes place across Japantown Saturday and Sunday, July 27th and 28th.

“Harajuku Kawaii!! in S.F.,” will take place at 1:00pm on Saturday, July 27th on the J-POP Main Stage located in Japantown’s Peace Plaza. The dynamic fashion show will feature a number of popular Japanese models including Una, Saki Sato, Ayumi Seto and YURA. Una will also complement the show with a special live on-stage musical performance. Admission is free!

“Harajuku Kawaii!! in SF” will also have a pop-up store on the NEW PEOPLE Mezzanine Floor selling exclusive lines of fashion merchandise imported strait from Harajuku! Participating brands include: SPINS (spinns.com/) , GLADNEWS (gladnews.jp/) as well as Innocent World (innocent-w.jp/), and Helcatpunks (hellcatpunks.com) and many more!

“Kawaii” is a universally celebrated Japanese word that means “cute” or “loveable” and has become a prominent aspect of Japanese popular culture and expressed in fashion, music, anime, games, characters, and cosmetics. The word has become part of daily youth vernacular and is widely used to comment on style and fashion. The Harajuku, Akihabara, and Shibuya districts of Tokyo are regarded as the birthplaces of kawaii culture and legions of devotees around the world follow these trends closely to catch the latest fashions coming from these areas.

Additional details are available at www.J-POP.com.

Participating Harajuku Fashion Models Include:
UNA (http://una.asobisystem.com) Una was formally a charismatic shop assistant in Harajuku and began her modeling career as a model by getting a snapshot taken by a fashion magazine in 2010. It didn't take her long to begin appearing regularly in numerous fashion magazines. With her beautiful looks, edgy fashion style, and perfectly balanced body proportions, she represents a new type of model capable of expressing not only kawaii style but also showcasing other cool aspects of Harajuku culture. This iconic figure of the Harajuku street scene will also debut her first musical single, "JUICY JUICY," on August 14th.

SAKI SATO (http://asobisystem.com/satosaki) Born 1993, her unique fashion style caught the eye of numerous magazine editors and she has been featured in many fashion spreads. Eventually Sato became an in-house model for the fashion magazine, “Zipper,” and she has participated in many fashion events since.

AYUMI SETO (http://asobisystem.com/setoayumi) Born 1993, Ayumi Seto mainly models for the fashion magazine, “Zipper.” Her coordination and creative hairstyles have caught the attention of many teenage girls in Harajuku, and her popularity in the scene has skyrocketed. Today, Ayumi models for magazines, participates in fashion events, and also works as a buyer for several apparel shops.

YURA


YURA (http://asobisystem.com/yura) Born 1993, YURA mainly models for the fashion magazines, “KERA” and “Zipper.” The contrast of her bright cuteness against unique personality as a nerdy gamer draws attention and has grown her popularity among Japanese teens, especially through her eccentric tweets. YURA became one of the most wanted cover girls in fashion now and participates in numerous fashion events in Tokyo.

“Showcasing the latest popular and emerging fashion trends from Japan has always been a prominent aspect of the J-POP Summit Festival and this year, we are especially proud to partner with ASOBISYSTEMS to present this special event,” says Seiji Horibuchi, the President/CEO of NEW PEOPLE, Inc. and Chairman of the J-Pop Summit Festival Committee. “Our goal is to create and celebrate true culture rather than mere trends and for the 2013 J-POP Summit, we have put an extra emphasis on supporting and nurturing the unique content born in Harajuku such as music, fashion, and overall lifestyle. ‘Harajuku Culture’ has evolved into ‘Kawaii Culture’ and gained an ardent global following. We look forward to J-POP Summit attendees joining us to celebrate this colorful and creative movement!”

About J-POP SUMMIT FESTIVAL
The J-POP SUMMIT FESTIVAL is an annual Japanese Pop Culture celebration that features live bands and artists from Japan, pop culture panel discussions, film premieres, fashion and DJ dance events, and celebrity appearances. The Festival is hosted by NEW PEOPLE in cooperation with the Japantown Merchants Association. In 2012, the two-day event attracted 65,000 attendees. More information about J-POP Summit Festival is available at J-POP.com.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

ACF 1931: Free screening of A Werewolf Boy next Tuesday

Korean Cultural Service New York
presents
Korean Movie Night 2013
Series Three: Laughter and Love at the Box Office
 
A Werewolf Boy / Neuk-dae-so-nyeon
Directed by JO Sung-Hee
South Korea, 2012, 122 minutes
When: Tuesday, June 25, 2013 @ 7:00 PM
Doors open: 6:30 PM
Where: Tribeca Cinemas
54 Varick Street, on the corner of Canal Street, NYC
Near the A, C, E @ #1 Canal Street subway stops
Map

From director Jo Sung-Heecomes a timeless romance about young, innocent love and the lengths we will go for passion and promise. When a young girl, played by Park Bo-Young, moves into an old house, she’s startled by the discovery of a “wolf boy” locked inside the property’s barn. As she slowly teaches him how to behave like a normal human boy, they begin to realize their affections for each other, even though another man has set his sights on the her. The biggest romantic hit in the history of Korean cinema, this tale of star-crossed tenderness will have you dabbing away tears of joy and believing in true love all over again!

Monday, June 17, 2013

ACF 1930: Sake Tasting Event At 2013 J-POP Summit Festival

 The 2013 J-POP SUMMIT FESTIVAL PRESENTS SAKE TASTING EVENT
AS PART OF BRAND NEW “POP GOURMET FOOD FESTIVAL”
FOR THIS YEAR’S JAPANESE POP CULTURE CELEBRATION

A Unique Japanese Food Industry Collaboration Takes Place For
The 5th Annual J-POP Summit
In S.F.’s Japantown With Premiere Sake Brewers And Distributors
Presented In Association With Consulate General Of Japan In San Francisco

The 2013 J-POP Summit Festival, San Francisco’s annual celebration of Japanese pop culture, music, fashion and film, will launch a brand new component to this year’s programming with the launch of a Sake Tasting Event. A dream-come-true collaboration as three of the largest sake brewers and three of the largest sake distributors come together for the first time at J-POP Summit. The Sake Tasting Event is presented as part of the “POP GOURMET Food Festival”, the newest addition to the annual J-POP Summit.

The J-POP Summit Festival’s Sake Tasting Event takes place in San Francisco’s Japantown and runs Saturday and Sunday, July 27th and 28th, from 11:00am to 6:00pm each day. Admission is $5.00 and participants must be at least 21 years of age (IDs will be checked). Additional details are available at: www.J-POP.com.

Multiple sake tasting booths will be located near the intersection of Post St. and Webster St., in San Francisco’s Japantown, where attendees can enjoy real Japanese sake and gain historical insight into the roots of Japan’s national spirit, as well as how it is made, how it should be enjoyed, and what foods it complements in an informative lecture delivered on both days by the Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco.

“We are extremely excited to present this special new component of J-POP Summit Festival,” says Takeshi Yoshida, General Producer of J-POP SUMMIT Festival, “Presented within the context of the POP GOURMET celebration of Japanese food and spirits, attendees will be able to sample a wide array of sake brews and learn about the rich history of sake in a special presentation by the Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco. We invite anyone that enjoys good food and drink and a festive atmosphere celebrating one of Japan’s most colorful aspects to attend the 2013 J-POP Summit Festival!”

Kikkoman (http://www.kikkomanusa.com), the global brand of soy sauce, will also provide a variety of scrumptious Japanese appetizers to complement the sake samples offered by the following premiere brewers and distributors.

Participating Sake Brewers Include:
Takara Sake USA, Inc. (http://www.takarasake.com)
The Takara Shuzo Company has been a leading producer of sake in Japan for over 160 years. In 1982, it established an American brewery, Takara Sake USA, in Berkeley, California. SHO CHIKU BAI is Takara’s premier sake and the #1 selling sake brand in the U.S. Takara will serve wide selection of sake at J-POP Summit, including its newest product, SHO CHIKU BAI REI, JUNMAI DRAFT, which offers a rich, floral bouquet with full taste and won a gold medal at the 2013 Los Angeles International Wine & Spirit Competition. Takara will also offer visitors samples of MIO, a sparkling sake brand that has grown to become internationally popular. Because of its mellow taste and smooth texture it has become a new alternative to champagne.

Ozeki Sake USA, Inc. (http://www.ozekisake.com)
In 1711 Ozeki Sake was established in Imazu, Hyogo prefecture, which has been praised for centuries for its great water quality. Over the years, Ozeki Sake has become one of the most prominent sake brewers in Japan. In 1979, Ozeki became the first Japanese sake brewer to locally brew sake within the U.S. During J-POP Summit, Ozeki Sake will be proud to serve wide range of sake at J-POP Summit, including following best-sellers such as KARATANBA, which is light, smooth and dry, OZEKI KARATAMBA, the masterpiece of the Tamba Toji (brew master), whose unique brewing methods and techniques produce a superb, dry and crisp sake that feels smooth on the palate. HANAAWAKA, a sparking, fragrant and sweet sake brew, and OZEKI HANA AWAKA (Sparkling Flower) is a refreshing, fizzy, low-alcohol sake. This light, pleasant bubbly sake is just perfect as brunch and after-work drinks. OZEKI HANA AWAKA has a mild sweetness and acidity and should be served well chilled.

Gekkeikan Sake USA, Inc. (http://www.gekkeikan-sake.com)
Gekkeikan's state-of-the-art sake brewing facility in Folsom, California, is the latest chapter in a continuing success story that began almost 380 years ago in Fushimi, Japan. Just as Fushimi was ""discovered"" centuries ago, Folsom was found to offer high quality water and an abundance of rice –the perfect setting for a skilled brew master backed by over three-and-a-half centuries of experience. Gekkeikan will offer sample tastings of its premium HORIN JUNMAI DAIGINJO sake (imported from Japan) as well as ZIPANG Sparkling Sake, (imported from Japan), and HAIKU TOKUBETSU JUNMAI sake (made in U.S.A) , among several others.

Participating Sake Distributors Include:
Nishimoto Trading Company, Ltd. (http://www.ntcltdusa.com)
Nishimoto Trading celebrated its centennial in 2012. The company been serving customers by providing excellent customer service and quality Japanese products. For J-POP Summit, Nishimoto Trading will introduce sophisticated sake including, TSUKASABOTAN YAMA YUZU, a sake made from a Japanese citrus called Yuzu. NARUTOTAI NAMAGENSHU is un-pasteurized sake that has sharpness and sweetness, while MU sake possesses a smooth, light, and refreshing taste, in contrast to the taste of KATANA sake, which has a sharp and dry flavor like Japanese sword.

N.A. Sales Company, Inc. (http://www.nasales.com)
The philosophy of N.A. Sales is “BRING JAPAN CLOSER” and builds on its mission is to introduce not only Japanese food, beverage and dishes, but also food culture to S.F. Bay Area. For J-POP Summit, N.A. Sales will introduce several flavors of sakes including KIKUSUI JUNMAI GINJO, which offers a crisp, smooth and well-balanced taste, KIKUSUI FUNAGUCHI NAMA GENSHU, an undiluted, rich brew that used to be only enjoyed by sake brewers, KIKUSUI PERFECT SNOW, another undiluted sweet brew with clean finish, and OZE NO YUKI DOKE OH KARAKUCHI JUNMAI SHU, a dry, full bodied sake with a complex and crisp finish.

JFC International Inc. (http://www.jfc.com)
JFC International’s roots date back to the early 1900's. Today's modern JFC International was formally established in 1958. Ever since, the corporation has broadened and enhanced its 15,000-item product line by penetrating new geographic and consumer markets in fulfilling its commitment of leading the way to tomorrow. They are committed to developing "Sake" that offer a whole new concept and vision by working together with Japanese brewers. At J- POP SUMMIT, they serve and promote Sake including MIZBASHO, very soft and pure sake inspired by elegant Mizubasho water flowers, as well as SUMIDA COCKTAIL BASE, the Japanese best cocktail mixes for CHU-HI, which is one of the most popular Japanese alcoholic cocktail drinks among young customers.

About J-POP SUMMIT FESTIVAL
The J-POP SUMMIT FESTIVAL is an annual Japanese pop culture celebration that features live bands and artists from Japan, pop culture panel discussions, film premieres, fashion and DJ dance events, and celebrity appearances. The Festival is hosted by NEW PEOPLE in cooperation with the Japantown Merchants Association. In 2012, the two-day event attracted 65,000 attendees.

More information about the J-POP Summit Festival is available at J-POP.com.