With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

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

Saturday, July 27, 2013

ACF 1990: Happy Birthday wishes to Hong Kong action star Donnie Yen!

Donnie unleashes a high-flying kick in Dragon (2011)

Donnie Yen was born on July 27, 1963 in Canton, China. His birth-name is Zhen Zidan. He is currently one of Hong Kong's most active action stars, quite probably the most active. He has starred in many great films, including Wing Chun (1994), Seven Swords and Kill Zone - S.P.L. (both 2005), Painted Skin and Ip Man (both 2008), and Ip Man 2: Legend of the Grandmaster (2010), to name but a few. He is slated to star in Crouching Tiger hidden Dragon II: The Green Destiny, which is currently in pre-production and is slated to have a 2014 release date. For his complete filmography at IMDB, click here.

In 2012, Donnie received the Star Asia Award at the New York Asian Film Festival, an accolade well-deserved.

So happy 50th birthday wishes, Donnie, from AsianCineFest and your many fans arund the world. Keep the action comin'!

Friday, July 26, 2013

ACF 1989: Happy Birthday, Yuen Biao


Yuen Biao was born on July 26, 1957 in Hong Kong. His birth-name is Hsia Ling-Jun. He trained at the same school as Sammo Hung and Jackie Chan and starred in several films with them, as well as in some directed by Sammo. Just yesterday I happened to finish watching Sammo's Shanghai Express (a.k.a. Millionaire's Express, 1986) in which Yuen Biao performs an incredible flip off the roof of a three story building, as well as several other terrific stunts and fight sequences.

Most recently he was seen in Tai Chi Hero (2012) as Li Qiankun. In it his character squared off against Yang Lu Chan (Yuan Xiaochao), the star of the trilogy, in the final, fantastic fight sequence which takes place on the edges of narrow partitions within in a royal kitchen.

So happy 56th birthday wishes, Yuen Biao, from AsianCineFest and all your many world-wide fans.

ACF 1988: U.S. Theatrical Premiere of NARUTO SHIPPUDEN THE MOVIE: LOST TOWER at Japan Film Festival of San Francisco

VIZ MEDIA ANNOUNCES
NARUTO SHIPPUDEN THE MOVIE: LOST TOWER
U.S. THEATRICAL PREMIERE AT
JAPAN FILM FESTIVAL OF SAN FRANCISCO

First-Ever Dedicated Japanese Live-Action And Anime Film Festival
For The S.F. Bay Area Also Presents An Encore Screening of
BERSERK THE GOLDEN AGE ARC II – THE BATTLE FOR DOLDREY
And TIGER & BUNNY: THE BEGINNING

VIZ Media has announced its participation in the upcoming Japan Film Festival of San Francisco (JFFSF), the first annual dedicated Japanese film festival for Northern California and the S.F. Bay Area. The Festival, which is presented by the NEW PEOPLE Japanese pop culture entertainment venue at its NEW PEOPLE Cinema in conjunction with the 2013 J-POP Summit, will host the exclusive U.S. theatrical premiere of NARUTO SHIPPUDEN THE MOVIE: THE LOST TOWER on Saturday, July 28th as well as a special encore screening of TIGER & BUNNY: THE BEGINNING, on Friday, August 2nd, and also BERSERK THE GOLDEN AGE ARC II – THE BATTLE FOR DOLDREY on Sunday, July 28th at 3:50pm. Films will be presented with original Japanese dialogue and English subtitles.

The Japan Film Festival of San Francisco’s week-long series of film screenings includes more than 16 acclaimed live-action and anime titles and will take place at the NEW PEOPLE Cinema beginning Saturday July 27th and running through Sunday August 4th. Tickets are $13.00 per film unless otherwise indicated. NEW PEOPLE Cinema is located at 1746 Post St. (cross street is Webster St.) in the heart of San Francisco’s Japantown.

NARUTO advance tickets are available at: http://jffsf.org/2013/naruto-shippuden-the-lost-tower/

BERSERK THE GOLDEN AGE ARC II – THE BATTLE FOR DOLDREY advance tickets are available at: http://jffsf.org/2013/berserk2/

TIGER & BUNNY advance tickets are available at: http://jffsf.org/2013/tiger-bunny-the-beginning/

Complete film schedules and advance ticket information for other screenings are available on www.jffsf.org.

VIZ Media will also offer free manga samplers that highlight a bevy of its top graphic novel series to each ticketholder. Each ticketholder will receive a bag and of full-color promo posters.

NARUTO SHIPPUDEN THE MOVIE: THE LOST TOWER - U.S. Premiere! Saturday, July 28th, 1:30pm (During 2013 J-POP Summit Festival!) Monday, July 29th, 4:30PM The Rogue Ninja Mukade is about to be caught by Naruto's team when he summons forth the power of the LeyLine - an ancient underground channel of chakra. Naruto gets caught up in the chakra and is sent back in time to the city of Loran, known for its thousand towers. There he encounters the future Fourth Hokage, Minato Namikaze, on a top-secret mission, and the Queen of Loran, Sarah, whose rule is threatened by Mukade. Will Naruto be able to return to his own time, and can a chance encounter in the past save the future? Additional information on NARUTO and NARUTO SHIPPUDEN is available at www.Naruto.com.

BERSERK THE GOLDEN AGE ARC II – Special Encore Presentation! Sunday, July 28th, 3:50pm (During 2013 J-POP Summit Festival!) Wednesday, July 31st, 4:30pm The exciting second film in the BERSERK GOLDEN AGE ARC TRILOGY, based on the bestselling manga series. For three years, Guts believed his mission was to pursue Griffith’s dream together with him. But in order to become Griffith’s equal and truly be called his friend, Guts realizes he will have to leave the Band of the Hawk. At the same time, a bloody battle to capture the impenetrable Fortress of Doldrey from the Empire of Chuder is about to begin. The Band of the Hawk will face an army 30,000 strong!

TIGER & BUNNY: THE BEGINNING – Special Encore Presentation!!! Friday, August 2nd, 4:00pm The hero-inspired big screen action of the smash hit anime property – TIGER & BUNNY – returns to the Bay Area for one-night-only! The city of Sternbild is protected by corporate superheroes known as NEXT, who fight crime while promoting their sponsors on the popular show “HERO TV.” Veteran hero Wild Tiger relies on his years of experience and instincts to fight crime, but his tendency to destroy public property for the sake of protecting the lives of the innocent has earned him the nickname “Crusher for Justice.” Now, under orders from his new employer, Wild Tiger finds himself forced to team up with Barnaby Brooks Jr., a rookie with an attitude. Will the two unlikely new partners find a way to work together? Please visit the official TIGER & BUNNY Facebook page for more information http://www.facebook.com/TigerAndBunny.

The Japan Film Festival of San Francisco is presented in conjunction with the 2013 J-POP Summit, taking place Saturday July 27th and Sunday July 28th across the city’s historic Japantown district to celebrate 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.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

ACF 1987: ContemporAsian: Focus on Korea film series at MoMA

ContemporAsian: Focus on Korea @ MoMA
When: Monday, August 5 to Sunday, August 11, 2013
Where:  MoMA, 11 West 53 Street, New York, NY 10019
Map
(By Subway, E, M to 53rd Street and Fifth Avenue
or B, D, F to 47-50 Street Rockefeller Center)
Series and ticket info here

The Korea Society and MoMA (The Museum of Modern Art) co-presents 'Focus on Korea' as part of 'ContemporAsian' film series which presents many contemporary Asian films from pan-Asian countries. The series selects critically lauded Korean films, highlighting current social issues, injustice and human nature. The films maximize distinctive narrative skills from some of Korea's insightful and penetrative renegade filmmakers.

Three directors will be presented: Dir. Chung J-young (National Security), Dir. Lee Ji-seung (Azooma) and Dir. Jeon Soo-il (El Condo Pasa). National Security (New York premier) garnered acclaim by The Hollywood Reporter as "one such picture from South Korea, an entirely sincere and dignified effort by Chung Ji-young." Screen Daily commented that "El Condo Pasa (New York Premier) is a compelling addition to Jeon Soo-il's body of work," noting that the film "mirrors the Themes of religion, grief and forgiveness found in Lee Chang-dong's Secret Sunshine (2007)." Director Lee's Azooma had accolades from Beyond Hollywood, "Azooma is certainly a very angry film, though justifiably so, and it's all the more powerful for the fact that it's very well made."

Azooma
Azooma (Gongjeongsahoe) 2012 (74 min, T2) directed by Lee Ji-seung.
An ordinary mother stands up against the corrupt and dysfunctional society plays the main protagonist in Azooma to protect her daughter. Friday, August 9, 2013 @7:00 p.m. (filmmaker present for this screening)

National Security
National Security (Namyeong-dong 1985) 2012 (106 min, T2) directed by Chung Ji-young.
This film is based on the memoir written by the late Kim Geun-tae, a famous politician and the former Minister of Health and Welfare in Korea. Kim was captured, imprisoned, and tortured for 22 days at a specially designed facility located at Namyoung-dong on September 1985. Monday, August 5, 2013 @7:00 p.m.; Tuesday, August 6, 2013 @4:00 p.m.; Wednesday, August 7, 2013 @7:00 p.m.; Thursday, August 8, 2013 @4:00 p.m.; Friday, August 9, 2013 @4:00 p.m. (filmmaker present for Friday's screening; Saturday, August 10, 2013 @1:30 p.m

El Condor Pasa
El Condor Pasa (Kon-dol-eun Nal-a-gan-da) 2012 (101 min, T2) directed by JeonSoo-il.
Catholic priest Park adored and cared much about a middle school girl, but she was murdered. He departs journey to look for the redemption. Sunday, August 11, 2013 @ 5:00 p.m. (filmmaker present for this screening)

Sleepless Night (Jammotdeuneun Bam) 2012 (65 min, T2) directed by Jang Kun-jae.
A working middle-class married couple in their early thirties struggle through daily trials and facing the decision of starting a family. Saturday, August 10, 2013 @ 7:30 p.m./Sunday, August 11, 2013 @2:00 p.m.

White Night (Baek-ya) 2012 (75 min, T2) directed by Leesong Hee-il.
The film is loosely based on a real-life hate crime that happened in Seoul, and two men try to overcome from the wound.Saturday, August 10, 2013 @ 4:00 p.m.

All films are in Korean with English subtitles.

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in Partnership with the City Council.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

ACF 1986: Naoki Urasawa's 20th CENTURY BOYS wins Eisner Award

20 SEIKI SHONEN © 2000 Naoki URASAWA/Studio Nuts
Story Coproduced with Takashi NAGASAKI 
Original Japanese edition published by SHOGAKUKAN
VIZ MEDIA ANNOUNCES NAOKI URASAWA’S
20th CENTURY BOYS
WINS 2013 WILL EISNER AWARD 

Acclaimed Apocalyptic Sci-Fi Manga Series Wins Comic Industry’s
Most Prestigious Award For The Second Time In Three Years

VIZ Media has announced that NAOKI URASAWA’S 20th CENTURY BOYS won the 2013 Eisner Award in the category of Best U.S. Edition of International Material - Asia during award ceremonies held this past weekend at the 2013 Comic-Con International in San Diego, CA. NAOKI URASAWA’S 20th CENTURY BOYS (rated ‘T+ for Older Teens) is published under the VIZ Signature imprint.

The Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards are considered the "Oscars" of the comic book industry and named for renowned cartoonist Will Eisner (creator of The Spirit and several award-winning graphic novels). The awards are handed out annually during a gala ceremony held at Comic-Con International in San Diego, the largest comic book and pop culture convention in the United States.

This is the second time that NAOKI URASAWA’s 20th CENTURY BOYS has won the Eisner Award for Best U.S. Edition of International Material – Asia; the acclaimed manga (graphic novel) series also won in the same category in 2011.

“We are tremendously proud to see NAOKI URASAWA’S 20th CENTURY BOYS recognized by the comics publishing industry for the second time in three years with a Will Eisner Award,” says Leyla Aker, Vice President, Publishing. “Urasawa is a master storyteller and manga artist whose work has been widely lauded by readers, critics and industry professionals for years. We hope that this award will help bring his work to the attention of an even wider international audience.”

NAOKI URASAWA’S 20th CENTURY BOYS is the story of a group of boys who try to save the world. 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. For Kenji, a simple convenience store manager who once dreamed of becoming a rock 'n' roll musician, a host of memories from his past come rushing back when one of his childhood friends mysteriously commits suicide. Could this new death be related to the rise of a bizarre new cult that's been implicated in several other murders and disappearances? Determined to dig deeper, Kenji reunites with some of his old buddies in the hope of learning the truth behind it all.

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 Farm; story by Kazuya Kudo), a captivating psychological suspense story (NAOKI URASAWA'S MONSTER), a sci-fi adventure manga (NAOKI URASAWA’S 20th CENTURY BOYS), and a modern reinterpretation of the work of the God of Manga, Osamu Tezuka in PLUTO: URASAWA X TEZUKA. 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 NAOKI URASAWA’s 20th CENTURY BOYS. Director Guillermo del Toro is currently developing NAOKI URASAWA'S MONSTER (also published by VIZ Media) into a live-action mini-series for HBO.

No stranger to accolades and awards, Urasawa is a three-time recipient of the prestigious Shogakukan Manga Award, a two-time recipient of the Osamu Tezuka Cultural Prize, and has received the Kodansha Manga Award. Urasawa has also become involved in the world of academia, and in 2008 accepted a guest teaching post at Nagoya Zokei University, where he teaches courses in, of course, manga.

For more information on NAOKI URASAWA’S 20th CENTURY BOYS and other VIZ Media manga titles, visit www.viz.com/manga.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

ACF 1985: Yang Yong-hi's OUR HOMELAND to screen at Asia Society

Our Homeland / Ga-zok-ui Na-ra
Directed by Yang Yong-hi
Cast: Sakura Ando, Arata Iura, Yang Ik-joon
South Korea, 2012, 100 minutes
When: Saturday, August 3, 2013 at 7:00 PM
Where: Asia Society
725 Park Avenue New York, NY 10021
Info and tickets here

The Korea Society and Asian American International Film Festival co-present this politically profound film made by Japanese-Korean director, Yang Yong-hi.

Her father was a patriotic Korean living in Japan, sympathetic to North Korea. He sent his three Japanese-born sons to North Korea by the ‘Repatriation program’, believing in North Korea's promise of a paradise. This movie starts after 25 years when Sungho, one of the director's brothers, is finally allowed to return to Japan for three months to get medical treatments. This film intertwines agony of her, and her family and hurt one another based on ideology, nationality and ethnicity but realize within the boundaries of family anything can be overcome gracefully.

The director's previous films, Dear Pyongyang (2005) and Sona, the Other Myself  (2009), were documentaries concerned with the same subject matter.

This screening will be followed by a director’s Q & A with the audience.

Monday, July 22, 2013

ACF 1984: Haikasoru Imprint announces latest acquisitions

 HAIKASORU ANNOUNCES LATEST ACQUISITIONS,
INCLUDING ALL YOU NEED IS KILL GRAPHIC NOVEL
AND ‘REMASTERED’ BATTLE ROYALE NOVEL

ALL YOU NEED IS KILL Graphic Novel, Based On The Book
That Inspired Upcoming Film EDGE OF TOMORROW;
BATTLE ROYALE: REMASTERED Novel Features New Translation;
New Non-Fiction THE BATTLE ROYALE SLAM BOOK
Explores The Novel’s Impact On Pop Culture

VIZ Media’s Haikasoru literary imprint previewed an exciting trio of brand new publishing acquisitions slated for debut in Spring 2014 during the company’s panel at the recent 2013 Comic-Con International, the nation’s biggest comic book, science fiction and pop culture event.

The acquisitions include the imprint’s first original graphic novel: ALL YOU NEED IS KILL, based on the hit science fiction novel by Hiroshi Sakurazaka. The release will coincide with the upcoming film Edge of Tomorrow, starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt, also based on the ALL YOU NEED IS KILL book. Haikasoru’s other new acquisitions include BATTLE ROYALE: REMASTERED, featuring a brand new translation of the smash hit dystopian action/adventure story, and the BATTLE ROYALE SLAM BOOK: Essays on the Cult Classic Novel by Koushun Takami, both debuting on the 15th anniversary of the novel’s first debut.

Haikasoru publishes some of the most compelling contemporary Japanese science fiction and fantasy stories for English-speaking audiences, and is the first imprint based in the U.S. dedicated to Japanese science fiction and fantasy in translation.

ALL YOU NEED IS KILL Graphic Novel• MSRP: $14.99 U.S. / $17.99 CAN • Full-Color • Available May 6th, 2014
When the alien Mimics invade, Keiji Kiriya is just one of many recruits shoved into a suit of battle armor called a Jacket and sent out to kill. Keiji dies on the battlefield, only to be reborn each morning to fight and die again and again. On his 158th iteration, he gets a message from a mysterious ally – the female soldier known only as the Full Metal Bitch. Is she the key to Keiji's escape or his final death? Art by Lee Ferguson (Green Arrow, Miranda Mercury); story adapted by Nick Mamatas (Move Under Ground).

BATTLE ROYALE: REMASTERED • by Koushun Takami • MSRP: $16.99 U.S. / CAN $19.99 • Available April 1st, 2014
In a dystopian future Japan, forty-two junior high school students are outfitted with weapons and bid to kill one another until there is only one left standing! Koushun Takami's notorious high-octane thriller envisions a nightmare scenario: a class of junior high school students is taken to a deserted island where, as part of a ruthless authoritarian program, they are provided arms and forced to kill until only one survivor is left standing. Criticized as violent exploitation when it was first published in Japan—where it became a runaway best seller – Battle Royale is a Lord of the Flies for the 21st century, a potent allegory of what it means to be young and (barely) alive in a dog-eat-dog world.

THE BATTLE ROYALE SLAM BOOK: Essays on the Cult Classic Novel by Koushun Takami • MSRP: $15.99 U.S. / $19.99 CAN • Available April 1st, 2014
The cult phenomenon Battle Royale has been lauded as a masterpiece and decried as exploitative gore, but it’s always remained in the public consciousness. This collection of essays by some of the best science fiction, horror, and thriller writers working today, including Brian Keene, John Skipp, and Catherynne M. Valente, each explore the depth, details, and controversies surrounding Battle Royale in an intelligent, accessible fashion.

“ALL YOU NEED IS KILL was the debut release for the Haikasoru back in 2009 and it has remained one of our most popular titles,” says Masumi Washington, Editor-in-Chief, Haikasoru. “We’ll complement the new movie tie-in novel edition and support the release of the upcoming live-action film adaptation, Edge of Tomorrow, with our graphic novel release—which is based on and closely holds to Hiroshi Sakurazaka’s novel.”

Haikasoru imprint editor Nick Mamatas, Haikasoru says, “BATTLE ROYALE remains one of the biggest novels to ever come out of Japan and nearly 15 years after its initial publication, the controversy and discussions surrounding it continue. Fans won’t want to miss BATTLE ROYALE: REMASTERED and the companion THE BATTLE ROYALE SLAM BOOK, featuring insightful essays by some of the West’s most important popular fiction writers and cult filmmakers on the global impact of the novel, the associated theatrical films and manga series, the controversies they caused, and the title’s place in the larger pop culture pantheon!”

For more information these titles and the Haikasoru imprint, visit the dedicated website at www.haikasoru.com.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

ACF 1983: J-POP Summit Festival adds Takara Sake USA as sponsor & announces co-presentation of Japanese human beat-box Daichi

Japanese human beat-box - Daichi 
The 2013 J-POP SUMMIT FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES
TAKARA SAKE USA AS FESTVAL SPONSOR AND
PRESENTS HUMAN BEAT-BOX DAICHI FOR
A SPECIAL SERIES OF LIVE PERFORMANCES

Takara Sake USA’s Popular Sparkling Cocktail “JPOP” Returns
To J-POP SUMMIT Festival Along With An Amazing
22 Year-Old Human Beat-box Star From Tokyo

The 2013 J-POP Summit Festival has announced Takara Sake USA, Inc. as a Platinum Sponsor for the 2013 J-POP Summit Festival, taking place across San Francisco’s Japantown on Saturday and Sunday, July 27th and 28th. Takara Sake USA will host a booth to promote its popular sparkling cocktail Takara Can Chu-hi “JPOP” on Saturday and Sunday, July 27th and 28th, from 11:00am to 6:00pm each day.

Takara Sake USA and the 2013 J-POP Summit will present Takara’s J-POP Ambassador, 22-year-old Japanese human beat-box – Daichi – for a special free live concert on the J-POP Summit Main Stage in Peace Plaza at 11:30am on Saturday, July 27th and 12:00pm on Sunday, July 28th .

Daichi will also perform at series of special appearances at Takara Sake’s booth. The brewer invites attendees to enjoy a refreshing Japanese-style sparkling cocktail, Takara Can Chu-hi “JPOP,” and new flavors of “Grapefruit” and “White Peach,” while catching Daichi’s beats

Daichi Takara Sake USA Booth Performance Times
Saturday, July 27th
12:45PM
2:15PM
4:30PM

Sunday, July 28th
12:45PM
4:15PM

Daichi will also perform along with Japan’s Official Ambassador of Kawaii, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, J-Pop singing sensation Kylee, and ex-Morning Musume star Reina Tanaka’s new girls band LoVendoЯ, as part of the “Make Kawaii Universal!!” free concert taking place on Sunday, July 28th from 2:00pm-4:00pm in Union Square, presented by the 2013 J-POP Summit in partnership with Union Square Live.

22-year-old Japanese human beat-box, Daichi, taught himself his amazing vocal skill beginning at the young age of 10. Without using any instruments or machines, Daichi can create more than 50 different sounds using his only voice, and moreover, can play rhythm beat and sing melody at the simultaneously 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.

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 GINJO 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. More information on Takara Sake USA, available at http://www.takarasake.com.

“We’re honored to welcome festival sponsor Takara Sake USA to celebrate the 5th anniversary of J-POP Summit,” says Seiji Horibuchi, the President/CEO of NEW PEOPLE, Inc. and Chairman of the J-Pop Summit Festival Committee. “We invite attendees to catch the phenomenal human beat-box Daichi in a series of special intimate performances live at the Takara Sake USA booth!”

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.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

ACF 1982: VIZ announces PERFECT SQUARE imprint for children

VIZ MEDIA EXPANDS CHILDREN’S PUBLISHING
INITIATIVE WITH NEW PERFECT SQUARE IMPRINT

New Brand Delivers “Squarely Perfect Storytelling” And
Will Launch BRAVEST WARRIORS Books And Be New
Home Of Popular Kids Comics and Manga Titles

VIZ Media has launched a brand new comprehensive publishing imprint aimed at kids and “kids at heart.”

The Perfect Square imprint was unveiled at the recent 2013 Comic-Con International and will be focused on delivering comics, manga (graphic novels) and other children’s books with an emphasis on strong storytelling, eye-popping graphics, empowering themes, and a dash of irreverence, that captures the imagination of a whole new generation.

Among the original publishing projects Perfect Square plans to debut in 2014 will be books based on BRAVEST WARRIORS, the popular animated science fiction/action/adventure series created by Pendleton Ward (creator of Adventure Time) and produced by Frederator Studios. The animated comedy set in the far future follows the adventures of four teenaged heroes-for-hire as they warp through the universe to save adorable aliens using the power of their emotions. Since its debut November 2012, the Shorty Award-winning Bravest Warriors season 1 has averaged more than 1.5 million views per episode on Frederator’s innovative YouTube-funded channel Cartoon Hangover. Season 2 of Bravest Warriors will debut in fall 2013, and is heralded by five one-minute mini-sodes beginning in August.

“Frederator is honored to have VIZ Media join our team of Cartoon Hangover licensees and help BRAVEST WARRIORS leap from the digital world into the physical one with the new titles from Perfect Square," says Fred Seibert, CEO and Executive Producer, Frederator Studios.

The Perfect Square imprint will also offer a wide range of original graphic novel series including HELLO KITTY®, MAX STEEL, BEN 10: OMNIVERSE, UGLYDOLLS, MONSUNO: COMBAT CHAOS, MAMESHIBA and MR. MEN LITTLE MISS™. Popular manga titles published by the VIZ Kids imprint, including POKÉMON and THE LEGEND OF ZELDA, round out the catalog. A digital component for the new imprint has also been announced with the launch of the Perfect Square App, which has titles available for the Apple iPad® and iPad® Mini.

“Perfect Square is a bold new children’s publishing initiative dedicated to bringing the best products to market with compelling stories, great adventures, a generous dose of humor, and a sense of wonder and discovery,” says Beth Kawasaki, VIZ Media Senior Editorial Director, Children's Publishing. “The brand will become the new home for many legacy titles featuring favorite characters fans know and love, as well as brand new series readers can explore and fall in love with. We are ecstatic to be working with properties we love and we’ve assembled an unbelievably talented team of editors, writers and artists who are fans themselves and have a strong commitment to great storytelling. We can’t wait for fans of all ages to discover the tremendously fun, and funny, releases Perfect Square has planned!”

Additional details on Perfect Square are available at www.PerfectSquare.com.

For more information on other manga titles from VIZ Media, visit www.VIZ.com.

ACF 1981: Harajuku Pop-Up Shop at 2013 J-POP Summit Festival

Girl band LoVendoЯ will perform
TOKYO’S EDGY FASHION DESIGNS AND THE OFFICAL
AMBASSADOR OF KAWAII BRING JAPANESE CUTE TO
SAN FRANCISCO FOR THE 2013 J-POP SUMMIT TO LAUNCH
A SPECIAL HARAJUKU POP-UP STORE AT NEW PEOPLE

Celebrate Kawaii Style As Designer Sebastian Masuda Joins Kawaii
J-Pop Ambassador Kyary Pamyu Pamyu For Unique Showcase
Of Premiere Harajuku Fashion Apparel At NEW PEOPLE

The 2013 J-POP Summit Festival, San Francisco’s annual celebration of Japanese pop culture, music, fashion and film, celebrates true Kawaii style and Tokyo’s latest fashion trends with a special Harajuku Pop-Up Shop.

Stationed in the heart of the city’s historic Japantown, NEW PEOPLE The Store (located on the Mezzanine Floor of NEW PEOPLE at 1746 Post St.) will be transformed into a colorful Harajuku fashion boutique for a limited time throughout J-POP Summit, taking place Saturday and Sunday, July 27th and 28th.

Complete details are available here.

The theme for the 2013 J-POP Summit is, “Making Kawaii Universal,” and this year’s festival celebrates both the cute and the bold sides of Japanese fashion in several unique events throughout the weekend. Harajuku Kawaii!! Pop-Up Shop shoppers are invited to browse and try on a variety of pieces and ensembles from a truly diverse collection of premiere Harajuku fashion labels such as 6% DOKIDOKI, MILK, MILK BOY, SPINS, INNOCENT WORLD, GLAD NEWS, ON THE COUCH, Candies, Hell Cat Punks, Omocha-Party, and NADIA.

Fashion designer Sebastian Masuda

During J-POP Summit, the Harajuku Pop-Up Shop will also host a celebrity Guest of Honor appearance on Saturday, July 27th at 12:00pm by the visionary Kawaii fashion designer, Sebastion Masuda, founder of 6%DOKIDOKI. He will be joined by Japan’s official Ambassador of Kawaii – Kyary Pamyu Pamyu – in a very special appearance. Human beat box phenomenon, Daichi and Harajuku Kawaii!! Models - Ayumi Seto, Yura, and Saki Sato will also join.

The first 5 customers that purchase over $200.00 in Harajuku Kawaii products between 12pm until 1:30pm on Saturday July 27th will be invited to a private photograph session with Kyary Pamyu Pamyu!! The first 100 customers to purchase over $100 will receive a premiere poster pre-autographed by Kyary Pamyu Pamyu at ASOBISYSTEM’s booth, to be located on Post St. close to NEW PEOPLE.

Sebastian Masuda will also appear for a special meet-and-greet at ASOBISYSTEM’s booth on both days. A detailed schedule will be announced soon at www.j-pop.com.

Harajuku Kawaii!! is presented by J-POP Summit in partnership with ASOBISYSTEM, an entertainment company based in Harajuku, Tokyo, and will be held on Saturday, July 27th in Japantown’s Peace Plaza on the J-POP Summit Main Pagoda Stage. Kyary Pamyu Pamyu will join. The FREE event will combine an edgy fashion show with music performances by an array of iconic Harajuku fashion models highlighting the latest in Kawaii style.

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu

Fans and fashionistas can also catch J-Pop superstar Kyary Pamyu Pamyu in a very special FREE live concert performance taking place on Sunday, July 28th from 2:00pm - 4:00pm in the city’s Union Square. Kyary Pamyu Pamyu will be supported by ex-Morning Musume star Reina Tanaka’s new girls band LoVendoЯ, along with fast-rising Sony Music Japan recording star, Kylee, and the human beat box phenomenon, Daichi. Presented in partnership with Union Square Live, the 2013 J-POP Summit Festival’s expanded show will take downtown San Francisco by storm with “cute” J-Pop as a complement to the Festival’s core location in Japantown.

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.

Friday, July 19, 2013

ACF 1980: THE KING OF THE STREETS coming on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital on July 23rd

THE KING OF THE STREETS
Rising Action Star Yuen Song in the Gritty Martial Arts
Drama Debuting on Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital July 23rd

Produced, written, directed and starring Yuen Song, the action-packed, martial arts-fueled THE KING OF THE STREETS debuts on Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital July 23rd from Well Go USA Entertainment. A story of guilt, redemption and rebirth, Yuen Song plays an angry young man looking to avenge the death of his parents some eight years earlier by local gangsters. The cast also includes Becki Li, Yang Junping, Hou Xu, Li Changhai, Zhang Chao and Yu Xin.


Synopsis: Set in the gritty underbelly of modern day Beijing, the film follows the story of Fang, an ex-convict who is given a second chance of fulfilling his dream of a better life, and breaking away from his labeled status in society. We follow Fang as he discovers a possible future, and as he clashes with his past. His journey takes him through newfound friendships, to exceedingly violent conflicts, causing him to experience the deepest unspoken love, and also the darkest hatred. The film features an up and coming Chinese Martial Arts actor Yuen Song, as well as many real life professional fighters, all combining efforts to show some of the most cerebral and kinetic fight sequences to grace the screen.

THE KING OF THE STREETS has a runtime of approximately 88 minutes and is not rated.

AsianCineFest will have a review for you on or before the July 23rd street date. Look for it!

ACF 1979: VIZ digital manga library now available at Kobo

 VIZ MEDIA ANNOUNCES AVAILABILITY
OF DIGITAL MANGA LIBRARY FOR
KOBO.COM READERS IN NORTH AMERICA

More Than 500 Volumes Debut Today, With Library Of
Over 1,500 Manga Volumes Across 130 Different
Series Coming Soon To North America

VIZ Media brings its massive digital manga (graphic novel) library to Kobo, a global leader in eReading. Readers across Canada and the United States can now access Viz Media’s manga titles at Kobo’s eBookstore and enjoy a seamless eReading experience with the company’s E Ink eReaders, the award-winning Kobo Arc Android tablet, and top-ranking free apps for iOS, BB10 smartphones and Android devices.

Supporting Fixed Layout ePubs, Kobo provides comic-lovers with a responsive reading experience that allows users to zoom and pan into scenes and images effortlessly with a simple double-tap of the screen as well as seamlessly swipe through titles with no delays. With a highly responsive experience, Kobo is dedicated to providing Viz Media customers with the best platform for reading comics and manga.

The Kobo eBookstore offers VIZ Media’s most popular titles including over 500 volumes across 60 different series made available at launch, quickly expanding to the full digital manga catalog of over 1,500 volumes and 130 series. The launch list includes the latest volumes of blockbusters like NARUTO (rated ‘T’ for Teens), BLEACH (rated ‘T’ for Teens), BLUE EXORICIST (rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens), ONE PIECE (rated ‘T’ for Teens) and VAMPIRE KNIGHT (rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens). VIZ Media has also synchronized its digital publishing schedule for future manga titles to have near-simultaneous domestic release of their print counterparts, closing the gap between print and digital manga formats. The complete library of VIZ Media manga titles is available at www.kobo.com/viz.

New series and volumes from popular VIZ Media manga imprints such as Shonen Jump, Shonen Jump Advanced, Shojo Beat, and VIZ Signature will be added regularly on Tuesdays.


“Kobo users will be thrilled to have direct access to the world’s most popular and acclaimed manga titles delivered through their family of sleek and compact eReading devices,” says Gagan Singh, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, VIZ Media. “Manga continues to be one of the fastest growing and most popular segments of the digital publishing market and we are very pleased to continue to expand the range of integrated delivery models available to fans. Check out Kobo.com today and discover an array of VIZ Media manga series that are now available for download!”

“We’re thrilled to bring VIZ Media titles to Kobo’s growing catalogue of manga and to be expanding our diverse content catalogue for our most passionate Readers,” says Nathan Maharaj, Director, Merchandising, Kobo. “Together with Viz Media’s collection of titles and our crisp, dynamic and colorful reading experience, manga fans will fall in love with the digital reading experience.”

For more information on VIZ Media manga titles, visit www.VIZ.com.

ACF 1978: Sentai Filmworks licenses DIVERGENCE EVE


Sentai Filmworks has announced its newest acquisition: Divergence Eve. This 26 episode sci-fi epic is overseen by chief director Hiroshi Negishi (Sonic Soldier Borgman TV, Tenchi Universe TV) and features character designs by Toshinari Yamashita (Burn Up W) with sound direction by Kouji Tsujitani (Fate / stay night TV) and music by Yousuke Houga.

Divergence Eve will be available soon through select digital outlets with a home video release on bilingual DVD later this year.

Synopsis: In the early 21st century, the discovery of the first wormhole made faster than light travel possible. However, what promised to be a gateway to the stars also proved to be a Pandora’s Box, and the process of jumping through space via parallel universes unleashed terrifying consequences. Now, a quarter millennia later, the deep space outpost Watcher’s Nest must stand on guard, defending the vanguard of humanity against attacks by the monstrous Ghoul, who emerge from alternate time streams and turn their victims into the living undead horrors known as Necromancers.

For newly arriving cadets Misaki, Luxandra, Susanna and Kiri, it’s going to be an assignment in Hell as they train to become members of the elite Seraphim Squadron. Because this is a war mankind has been losing, and a new, top secret plan to take the fight back to the Ghoul may end up costing them their minds, lives and even their humanity. At the edge of known space, fighting an enemy from beyond time, the battle to keep the final frontier from becoming mankind’s final resting place has begun in Divergence Eve.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

ACF 1977: Three new yaoi mangas launched by SuBLime

FALSE MEMORIES: © Isaku Natsume/ SHINSHOKAN
GLOBAL YAOI MANGA PUBLISHER SuBLime DELIVERS STEAMY
SUMMER LOVIN’ WITH THE LAUNCH OF THREE NEW SERIES,
SLEEPING MOON, FALSE MEMORIES, AND HIDE AND SEEK

Time Travel, Unexpected Reunions And Romantic
Trysts Heat Up Summertime Reading

SuBLime, the global yaoi manga (graphic novel) publishing initiative between VIZ Media and Japan’s Animate, Ltd. (Animate), heats up summer reading for yaoi fans with the North American debut of creator Kano Miyamoto’s SLEEPING MOON, Isaku Natsume’s FALSE MEMORIES, and Yaya Sakuragi’s HIDE AND SEEK; all three available at retailers now. Each series is rated ‘M’ for Mature Readers and carries an MSRP of $12.99 U.S. / $14.99 CAN.

A digital version of FALSE MEMORIES will also be available for an MSRP of $5.99 U.S. / CAN each and will offer fans digital access to the debut volume in two ways on SuBLimeManga.com – a DRM-free downloadable PDF that is viewable on any enabled eReader device and computer, as well as via the online manga viewer found on the web site.

NEMURERU TSUKI © KANO MIYAMOTO 2009/TOKUMA SHOTEN

In Kano Miyamoto’s SLEEPING MOON, in order to solve the mystery of a rumored curse that brings early death to the male descendants in his lineage, Akihiko Odagawa goes back to stay in his family's ancestral home. One night, he experiences a time slip that lands him 100 years in the past! There he meets Eitaro, a student from the Meiji Period who is also trying to solve the same mystery. Bridging the gap between the past and the present, the two men traverse time and space as they work together to unravel the family's secret.

SLEEPING MOON creator Kano Miyamoto has developed over a dozen yaoi manga series, several of which have been published internationally. Her previous English language releases also include Say Please, Two of Hearts, and Lovers and Souls. She has also published over two dozen independent comics (doujinshi) under the penname “Curve.”

Creator Isaku Natsume’s FALSE MEMORIES offers a romantic story of a long lost high school romance that is rekindled. Although they were once best friends in high school, Nakano and Tsuda haven't talked in ten years, which may have a little something to do with the fact that not only were they more than best friends, but also that Tsuda broke Nakano's heart, leaving him to pick up the pieces. Now that they’ve been thrown back together thanks to a work project, Nakano is determined to put the past behind him, and both men decide to keep their relationship strictly professional. The question is, can they?

Manga artist Isaku Natsume’s previous works include DEVIL’S HONEY, also available from SuBLime, as well as Dash!, Tight Rope, and her debut title, No Color. She has also published several doujinshi (independent comics) titles under the circle names "139" and "Cheke-rara."

HIDE & SEEK: HIMEGOTO ASOBI Volume 1  © Yaya SAKURAGI 2012

Manga creator Yaya Sakuragi’s HIDE AND SEEK is a spinoff of the popular SuBLime yaoi series, BOND OF DREAMS, BOND OF LOVE. In this story, Shuji, a divorced single dad running a modest corner shop, has an easy-going attitude and an eye out for anything to break the boredom of his days. So when Saji, the serious, reserved pediatrician who’s been coming into his store, suddenly declares that he’s gay and wants to take Shuji home, Shuji goes along with it out of simple curiosity. He thought they’d just mess around, have some fun, and that would be that. But he gets a lot more than he bargained for in this story of opposites in love.

Yaya Sakuragi’s previous English-language yaoi releases include Tea For Two, Hey, Sensei?, and Stay Close to Me, in addition to BOND OF DREAMS, BOND OF LOVE.

“SuBLime delivers a fresh dose of steamy summer lovin’ - yaoi style – with three new manga series about unexpected love,” says Jennifer LeBlanc, Editor, SuBLime. “Readers will delight in the titillating and often hilarious results of an unexpected reunion between two former high school best friends that rekindle their love affair in FALSE MEMORIES, and also savor the fresh mix of drama and comedy between a doctor and a shopkeeper in HIDE AND SEEK. For those fans looking for a little more mystery and suspense with their romance, SLEEPING MOON is a must read. Don’t miss these new series guaranteed to heat up every yaoi fan’s summer reading!”

For up-to-date news and release information, please visit the SuBLime website at www.SuBLimeManga.com, or follow SuBLime on Twitter at @SuBLimeManga and Facebook at facebook.com/SuBLimeManga.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

ACF 1976: NYAFF Awards Announced

12th NEW YORK ASIAN FILM FESTIVAL announces
HENTAI KAMEN: FORBIDDEN SUPERHERO as the Audience Award Winner
and IP MAN: THE FINAL FIGHT as recipient of the inaugural
Daniel A. Craft Award for Excellence in Action Cinema

Here's what I consider a "must share" item from the the fantastic people at Subway Cinema who, in con-junction with Film Society of Lincoln Center and Japan Society, brought us the 2013 NYAFF:

The New York Asian Film Festival 2013 ended Monday night with the sold-out North American Premiere of Jay Chou’s THE ROOFTOP, but there is still news to report.

Every year the New York Asian Film Festival gives an Audience Award. This is voted on by the audience who fill out ballots after each eligible screening. Then our team of top scientists go to work and use complicated math to figure out the most popular movies at the festival.

HENTAI KAMEN: FORBIDDEN SUPERHERO

The audience has spoken and the winner of the NYAFF 2013 Audience Award is...HENTAI KAMEN: FORBIDDEN SUPERHERO (Japan, 2013)!

Based on a popular manga series, and directed by Yuichi Fukuda, this motion picture about a young man born to a dominatrix and a masochist, who uses perversion to fight evil while wearing panties over his head and a mankini was originally intended to be a direct-to-DVD release in Japan. Accidentally unleashed in theaters by a hentai-liberation group, it became a box office hit and turned out to be the most popular film of this year’s festival.

Previous Audience Award winners include: ACE ATTORNEY (NYAFF 2012), A BOY AND HIS SAMURAI (NYAFF 2011), CASTAWAY ON THE MOON and GALLANTS (NYAFF 2010), THE MAGIC HOUR (NYAFF 2009), FINE, TOTALLY FINE (NYAFF 2008), MEMORIES OF MATSUKO (NYAFF 2007), ALWAYS: SUNSET ON THIRD STREET (NYAFF 2006), THE TASTE OF TEA (NYAFF 2005), PLEASE TEACH ME ENGLISH (NYAFF 2004), PING PONG (NYAFF 2003), and MY SASSY GIRL (NYAFF 2002).

The runners-up for this year’s audience award were:
HOW TO USE GUYS WITH SECRET TIPS (South Korea, 2013)
THERMAE ROMAE (Japan, 2012)
COMRADE KIM GOES FLYING (UK/Belgium/North Korea, 2012)
THE LEGEND IS BORN: IP MAN (China, 2010)
RUROUNI KENSHI (Japan, 2012)
EUNGYO (South Korea, 2012)

In addition, this year the New York Asian Film Festival has initiated another award. The Daniel A. Craft Award for Excellence in Action Cinema is designed to celebrate the memory of longtime Subway Cinema member, Daniel Craft, who passed away this January, and to celebrate kick ass action movies, a genre too often dismissed or looked down on by the kind of people who usually give out movie awards.

IP MAN: THE FINAL FIGHT

This year, the inaugural Daniel A. Craft Award for Excellence in Action Cinema goes to Herman Yau’s IP MAN: THE FINAL FIGHT, written by Erica Li and choreographed by Nicky Li Chung-Chi and Checkley Sin Kwok-Lam.

This is the third film Checkley Sin Kwok-Lam has choreographed, the other two being Herman Yau’s THE LEGEND IS BORN: IP MAN and THE WOMAN KNIGHT OF MIRROR LAKE. Nicky Li Chung-Chi was a longtime member of the Jackie Chan Stuntman Association and he was the action choreographer on 50 films including SHAOLIN (2011), LET THE BULLETS FLY (2010), NEW POLICE STORY (2004), GEN-X COPS (1999), RAPED BY AN ANGEL (1993), and PROJECT A II (1987).

And that’s it for 2013! This year saw us take on a double-barreled blast of movie madness with the “Jackie Chan Experience” event right before the New York Asian Film Festival, which was probably unwise from a logistical point of view, but we’ve always wanted to bring Jackie to NYC and give him an award. As things turned out, tons of people showed up, nothing caught on fire, and no one lost any major body parts. In other words, it was an outrageous success.

So sit back and enjoy spending the rest of the summer melting and we’ll see you next year for the New York Asian Film Festival 2014!!! (and possibly for another edition of the Old School Kung Fu Fest next April).

ABOUT NYAFF & SUBWAY CINEMA
The New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF) is North America’s leading Festival of popular Asian cinema, which the New York Times has called "...one of the city's most valuable events..." Launched in 2002 by Subway Cinema, the Festival selects only the best, strangest, and most entertaining movies to screen for New York audiences, ranging from mainstream blockbusters and art-house eccentricities to genre and cult classics. It was the first North American film festival to champion the works of Johnnie To, Bong Joon-Ho, Park Chan-Wook, Takashi Miike, and other masters of contemporary Asian cinema. The Festival has been produced in collaboration with the Film Society of Lincoln Center since 2010.


ACF 1975: VIZ has expanded worldwide English audience for WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP

AO NO EXORCIST © 2009 by Kazue Kato/SHUEISHA Inc.
 VIZ MEDIA DEBUTS WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP
IN THE U.K., IRELAND, SOUTH AFRICA,
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

The Home Of NARUTO, ONE PIECE, BLEACH And More
Expands Global Audience For Acclaimed Weekly Digital Manga
Magazine Featuring The Latest Chapters Released
The Same Day As Japan Starting This Month!

On July 4th VIZ Media significantly expanded the global English audience for WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP as it debuts the innovative digital manga (graphic novel) magazine in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP is VIZ Media’s weekly digital serial anthology that features the latest chapters from a variety of popular manga (graphic novel) series on the same day they appear in the Japanese Weekly Shonen Jump magazine.

Issues in the new territories will be available every Monday at 10 am Pacific Standard Time through the WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP Newsstand App available for the Apple iPad®, iPhone and iPod touch. WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP currently features the latest installments of some of the world’s most popular manga series including ONE PIECE, NARUTO, NISEKOI, BLEACH, TORIKO, WORLD TRIGGER and coming soon, JACO THE GALACTIC PATROLMAN by Akira Toriyama, released each week to English readers on the same day as their general release in Japan. Monthly series such as BLUE EXORCIST and YU-GI-OH! ZEXAL debut on the closest Monday after the Japanese release. Also serialized in the anthology is ONE-PUNCH MAN as well as a new color version of DRAGON BALL.

WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP International Subscription Pricing:
- UK - £1.99 / month
- Ireland - 2,69 € / month
- Australia - $2.99 (AUD) / month
- New Zealand - $4.19 (NZD) / month
- South Africa - R24.99 / month

“The launch of WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP in these new territories is an important milestone for international manga publishing, and will give English reading fans in these countries access to the same award winning content contained the Japanese edition appearing on newsstands the same day,” says Andy Nakatani, Editor-in-Chief. “VIZ Media is committed to the global growth of the Shonen Jump brand and to utilizing digital technology and innovation to deliver manga content in the best possible way to readers everywhere. We look forward international fans joining the global WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP movement!”

In North America, WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP is available as both an annual subscription (for $25.99/year) and monthly subscription (for $2.99/month). Annual subscriptions are available from vizmanga.com and in the VIZ Manga App for the Apple iPad®, iPhone® or iPod® touch, Android-enabled tablets, as well as the Kindle Fire. Annual members receive exclusive YU-GI-OH! promotional trading cards throughout the year (cards are not available to iPad Newsstand subscribers or in overseas territories), and access to additional magazine content, including creator interviews and insightful promotional videos. Current subscribers can also access their account via the Newsstand App.

For more information on WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP and exclusive subscriber offers, visit shonenjump.viz.com.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

ACF 1974: Sentai Filmworks has licensed YUMERIA


Sentai Filmworks has announced its newest acquisition: Yumeria. This 12 episode series is directed by Keitaro Motonaga (Majikoi ~ Oh! Samurai Girls, Majestic Prince) and features character designs by Shinobu Nishioka (Devil Lady) with sound direction by Hiromi Kikuta (Neo Angelique Abyss) and music by Kazuhiro Nagaoka.

Yumera will be available soon through select digital outlets with a home video release on bilingual DVD later this year.

Synopsis: It’s one thing to wake up from a dream and be a little confused, but on his 16th birthday Tomokazu Mikuri wakes up WITH a dream, right next to the strange girl that he’d just been dreaming of! Weirder yet, his hot older cousin, Nanase, takes the new addition to the household perfectly in stride and enrolls her in Tomokazu’s high school, despite the fact that the girl can only say one word: “Mone.” But things get totally out of control when Tomokazu discovers that he can take others back and forth to Mone’s dream world, where his new found abilities may be the key to stopping a nightmarish invasion!

Faster than you can say “Harem Anime,” Tomokazu’s two worlds collide as girls from his “real” world join with those from the dream world to take on the evil forces of the Feydooms! But can a 16-year-old nobody really lead a super hero team, stop the bad guys, save the world(s,) and/or get the girl(s) in the end? It’s the kind of thing that only happens in dreams, but when the whole world’s a dream world, anything might be possible in Yumera.

ACF 1973: VIZ celebrates Annual Kids Day at 2013 Comic-Con International

™® and © 2012, Pretty Ugly, LLC. All Rights Reserved
VIZ MEDIA WELCOMES THE YOUNG AND THE
YOUNG-AT-HEART TO ANNUAL KIDS DAY
AT 2013 COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL

VIZ Media Celebrates A Day Of Fun Aimed At Younger Readers At
The Nation’s Largest Comics And Pop Culture Gathering With
Special Booth Activities And Guest Appearances For HELLO
KITTY®, MAX STEEL, And UGLYDOLL

VIZ Media welcomes the young and young-at-heart to an annual pop culture tradition – Kids Day! – at the 2013 Comic-Con International. VIZ Media will offer an entire day of fun booth appearances and autograph sessions by an array of visionary creators and artists for hit kids series including HELLO KITTY®, UGLY DOLL, and MAX STEEL. Fans can also catch a variety of free promotional giveaways, pick up a free kids comics sampler, and learn more about the company’s array of colorful kids titles. VIZ Media will be located in Booth 2819.

Comic-Con International is the nation’s biggest annual comic book, science fiction and pop culture event, and takes place July 18th-21st at the San Diego Convention Center, in San Diego, CA. Complete details on Comic-Con are available at: www.comic-con.org.

Sunday, July 21st – Comic-Con Kids Day! Events & Activities
10:30 – 11:30AM
Signing: UGLYDOLL Co-creator David Horvath and Artist Ian McGinty
(VIZ Media Booth 2819)
Meet UGLYDOLL co-creator David Horvath, artist Ian McGinty and a special Uglydoll pal at the VIZ Media booth and get an exclusively signed free poster and UGLYDOLL comic! Also catch the first original graphic novel for Wage™, Babo™, OX™, Ice-Bat™ and their friends in this fun new adventure, available now from VIZ Media.

12 – 1PM
Panel: Kids Comics: Here to Stay!
(Room 28DE)
What do BABYMOUSE, HELLO KITTY®, UGLYDOLL, NINJAGO, MAX STEEL, and BEN 10 have in common? They're now all part of the incredible world of kids’ comics! Moderated by author/librarian and Good Comics for Kids contributor Scott Robins, the panel features Eisner-nominated BABYMOUSE creator and CBLDF board member Jennifer Holm, UGLYDOLL co-creator David Horvath, artists Ian McGinty (UGLYDOLL, HELLO KITTY) and Jolyon Yates (NINJAGO), VIZ Media editor Traci Todd (HELLO KITTY, UGLYDOLL), and Jesse Post, Director of Marketing for Papercutz.

1:30 – 2:30PM
Signing: Hello Kitty® & HELLO KITTY® Artist Jacob Chabot
(VIZ Media Booth 2819)
Celebrate the release of VIZ Media’s new HELLO KITTY® original graphic novels by meeting Hello Kitty in-person as well as Eisner-nominated HELLO KITTY graphic novel artist Jacob Chabot, and get a free signed poster! Don’t miss Hello Kitty as you've never seen her, in brand new stories filled with fashion, music and adventure! 3:30 – 4:30PM Signing: MAX STEEL Writer Tom Pinchuk (VIZ Media Booth 2819) Pick up an exclusive, free sneak preview comic of the upcoming turbo-charged graphic novel MAX STEEL: THE PARASITES and meet graphic novel writer Tom Pinchuk, and receive a special free signed art card.

For more information about kid’s titles from VIZ Media, visit www.VIZ.com.

Monday, July 15, 2013

ACF 1972: Sentai Filmworks licenses WATAMATOE ~ NO MATTER HOW I LOOK AT IT, IT’S YOU GUYS’ FAULT I’M NOT POPULAR


It’s grand delusions, desperate measures and more than a few dates with destiny in Sentai Filmworks’ newest acquisition: WATAMOTE ~ No Matter How I Look At It, It’s You Guys’ Fault I’m Unpopular! This 12 episode series is directed by Shin Oonuma (Kokoro Connect) and features character designs by Hideki Furukawa with series composition by Takao Yoshioka (Demon King Daimao) and sound direction by Saotshi Motoyama (From the New World).

WATAMOTE ~ No Matter How I Look At It, It’s You Guys’ Fault I’m Unpopular! will be available starting in July through select digital outlets with a home video release to follow in 2014.

Synopsis: At the tender age of 15, Kuroki Tomoko has already dated dozens and dozens of boys and she’s easily the most popular girl around! The only problem is that absolutely none of that is real, and her perfect world exists only via dating games and romance shows. In fact, the sad truth is that she gets tongue tied just talking to people, and throughout middle school she’s only had one actual friend. All of which makes Kuroki’s entrance into the social pressure cooker of high school a new and special kind of hell.

Because while Kuroki desperately wants to be popular, she’s actually worse off than she would be if she was completely clueless as to how to go about it. After all, the things that work in “otome” games rarely play out the same way in reality, especially when the self-appointed “leading lady” isn’t the paragon she thinks she is. There’s not much gain and plenty of pain ahead, but even if it happens again and again, there’s always someone else to blame in WATAMOTE ~ No Matter How I Look at It, It’s You Guys’ Fault I’m Not Popular!

ACF 1971: VIZ at 2013 Comic Con

ONE PIECE © 1997 by Eiichiro Oda/SHUEISHA Inc. 
VIZ MEDIA ANNOUNCES EXCITING BOOTH
ACTIVITIES, SHOW EXCLUSIVES, AND OTHER
EVENTS FOR 2013 COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL

VIZ Media Showcases Digital Manga, WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP, And
Neon Alley Anime Channel, And Offers Collectable Giveaways,
Fun Booth Activities, Panel Discussions And Much More
At The Nation’s Largest Comics And Pop Culture Convention

VIZ Media prepares to delight legions of anime, manga (graphic novel), and pop culture fans at the 2013 Comic-Con International as it announces a wide array of special events, unique giveaways, informative panel discussions, and other fun activities and convention exclusives.

Comic-Con International is the nation’s biggest comic book, science fiction and pop culture event, and takes place July 18th-21st at the San Diego Convention Center, in San Diego, CA. VIZ Media will be located in Booth 2819. Complete details on Comic-Con are available at: www.comic-con.org.

Visitors to the VIZ Media booth are invited to try out the digital manga experience on the Apple iPad® – bring an entire manga library wherever you go! Over 130 series and 1,500 volumes are now available through VIZManga.com, as well as the exclusive WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP digital manga magazine that features the world’s most popular series released simultaneously with Japan.

Want the latest information on new and upcoming VIZ Media manga and graphic novel releases? Want to enter to win a special signed UGLYDOLL poster? Booth visitors can get their badges scanned in the Kids Corner and get signed up for the VIZ Media newsletter and receive an exclusive TIGER & BUNNY collectible card pack! And don’t forget to also charge your mobile device at the special MAX STEEL charging station.

Fans are further invited to participate in a fun ONE PIECE stamp rally and enter to win a new iPad® Mini! Pick up a treasure map at the VIZ Media booth and collect stamps at partners Namco Bandai (Booth 121) and FUNimation (Booth 4135). For an extra chance to win, also visit the WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP truck on Saturday afternoon (7/20) during the SHONEN JUMP Fan Meet Up at the 5th Avenue landing behind the convention center.

WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP show specials continue at the VIZ Media booth throughout Comic-Con. Fans can receive a limited edition SHONEN JUMP button by getting their badge scanned and can also sign up for an annual membership at a $19.99 SDCC exclusive price. The show special includes the 2013 WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP Yearbook and a choice of an exclusive YU-GI-OH! card OR an exclusive glow-in-the dark Shonen Jump button set.

VIZ Media also invites Comic-Con attendees to check out its Neon Alley 24/7 anime channel, which recently expanded to deliver online web access from Mac and PC devices in addition to offering access on the Xbox 360® and Xbox LIVE® and the PlayStation®3 (PS3™) gaming system and the PlayStation®Network. During Comic-Con, booth visitors can fill out a Neon Alley survey and receive a free 30-day trial membership to the channel and a tote bag! Or join Neon Alley and test your skills to win a prize – the higher the score, the more awesome the prize.

Additional Comic-Con giveaways will include an array of special VIZ Media manga samplers, posters, buttons and more. And don’t forget to check out the extensive Comic-Con anime screening schedule for an array of VIZ Media titles to be screened throughout the weekend, including the highly anticipated BERSERK THE GOLDEN AGE ARC II - THE BATTLE FOR DOLDREY, ACCEL WORLD, and many more.

Sunday, July 21st is Kids Day at Comic-Con. VIZ Media will offer a full day of fun booth appearances and signings, including one by UGLYDOLL co-creator David Horvath and UGLYDOLL graphic novel artist Ian McGinty. HELLO KITTY® graphic novel artist Jacob Chabot and MAX STEEL graphic novel writer Tom Pinchuk. The young and the young-at-heart can also learn more about VIZ Media’s kid’s titles and upcoming plans during a special “Kids Comics: Here to Stay!” panel discussion. VIZ Media will release additional details on all of its Kid’s Day activities.

VIZ Media Comic-Con Panels & Special Events Include:
Thursday July 18th 4:00 – 5:00PM
VIZ Media Panel (Room 7AB) – Special Announcements at Panel!
Get the latest updates and exciting news directly from VIZ Media staff on your favorite manga and anime! You'll also get the scoop on new acquisitions, upcoming releases, and special new projects to be announced.

Friday July 19th 1:00 – 2:00PM
VIZAnime Featuring Neon Alley Panel
(Room 32AB)
Find out what's new and hot in the world of VIZ anime, distributors of Japan's super hit NARUTO, BLEACH and many more. Come join members of the VIZ Media animation team for special announcements, fun prize giveaways, and get an exclusive look at Neon Alley, the 24/7 anime streaming experience that's like nothing ever seen before.

Saturday July 20th
4:00 – 5:00PM WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP Podcast – Live Recording!
(Room 5AB)
Join podcast controller Urian Brown and the rest of the WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP team at our first-ever LIVE podcast recording session, only at Comic-Con! We’ll also be giving away a ton of prizes!

2:00PM WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP Fan Meet Up!
(5th Avenue Parking Lot)
Join other fans at the 5th Avenue Landing Parking Lot (Exit the convention center past Hall H and walk down Convention Way toward the harbor and follow the signs) for a special SHONEN JUMP meet-up. Get energized with the SHONEN JUMP team - attendees will receive free sodas and energy drinks featuring Naruto and the rest of your favorite SHONEN JUMP characters. Get there early for a chance to design your own custom-printed SHONEN JUMP t-shirt. Free while supplies last!

Sunday July 21st
12:00 – 1:00 PM Panel: Kids Comics: Here to Stay!
(Room 28DE)
What do BABYMOUSE, HELLO KITTY®, UGLYDOLL, NINJAGO, MAX STEEL, and BEN 10 have in common? They're now all part of the incredible world of kids’ comics! Moderated by author/librarian and Good Comics for Kids contributor Scott Robins, the panel features Eisner-nominated BABYMOUSE creator and CBLDF board member Jennifer Holm, UGLYDOLL co-creator David Horvath, artists Ian McGinty (UGLYDOLL, HELLO KITTY) and Jolyon Yates (NINJAGO), VIZ Media editor Traci Todd (HELLO KITTY, UGLYDOLL), and Jesse Post, Director of Marketing for Papercutz.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

ACF 1970: Sentai Filmworks licenses SUNDAY WITHOUT GOD


Sentai Filmworks has announced its newest acquisition: Sunday Without God. This provocative 12 episode series is directed by Yuji Kumasawa (The Ambition of Oda Nobuna) and features character designs by Shinichi Miyamae with series composition by Tomoko Konparu (NANA), sound direction by Satoshi Motoyama (From the New World) and music by Hiromi Mizutani (Hell Girl).

Sunday Without God will be available starting in July through select digital outlets with a home video release to follow in 2014.

Synopsis: 15 years ago, the stories say, God abandoned the World, leaving the souls of the human race in limbo. No new lives are born, and no one can die. Yet people still age, while their bodies whither with the years. Into this strange new landscape come the Gravekeepers, charged with the task of bringing peace to those who cannot otherwise die. This is what Ai has always believed to be her destiny, taking care of the forty-seven empty graves that wait for the people of her village.

However, Ai is wrong. Wrong about her destiny and wrong about what a Gravekeeper truly is. But the veil is only lifted from her eyes when a gun-wielding stranger comes into town, and fills the graves she has tended by murdering the people she has loved. And more shockingly, the man who has done this is the man Ai believes to be her father. And yet, in a world where no one can die, is Death truly the ultimate blessing? A journey unlike any other begins as Ai unlocks the secrets that begin on a Sunday Without God.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

ACF 1969: Free screening of PLAY next Tuesday in New York

Korean Cultural Service New York
presents
Korean Movie Night 2013
Series Four: The K-Pop Explosion!
Play
Directed by NAM Da-Jung
South Korea, 2011, 99 minutes
When: Tuesday, July 16, 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
International Premiere!

Mate was an indie band from Korea who happened upon fame in 2009, when Irish musician Glen Hansard (of Swell Season and the hit musical “Once”) spotted them busking in the lobby of one of his concerts. This was the beginning of a dramatic debut, which would see bandmembers Jung Joon-Il, Yim Hun-Il, and Lee Hyun-jae rocketed to fame. Play chronicles these events, with the band appearing as themselves – and staying very truthful to their inspiring story.

Friday, July 12, 2013

ACF 1968: Sentai Filmworks announces acquisition of KINMOZA!


The British are coming! The British are coming! Coming to Sentai Filmworks that is! Sentai’s latest acquisition is KINMOZA!, a 12 episode series directed by TENSHO, featuring character designs by Kazuyuki Ueta, with series composition by Yuniko Ayana, sound direction by Jin Aketagawa and music by Ruka Kawada.

KINMOZA! will be available starting in July through select digital outlets with a home video release to follow in 2014.

Synopsis: When Shinobu was still in middle school, she had the amazing opportunity to study in England while living with a host family as an exchange student. And while that was several years ago and she still doesn’t do all that well in English class, Shinobu has had warm feelings for everything English ever since. So when Shinobu learns that the daughter of her host family, Alice Cartelet, is coming to stay with her and study in Japan, she’s thrilled.

But will Alice be able to fit in with Shinobu’s Japanese schoolfriends, Youko and Aya? And how will the arrival of Shinobu’s old rival Karen, who’s half-English and half-Japanese, affect the potential culture clash? Every day is an adventure in international diplomacy and self discovery as a group of schoolgirls learn new lessons about each other and themselves in KIMOZA!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

ACF 1967: VIZ announces launch of MONSUNO COMBAT CHAOS

VIZ MEDIA ANNOUNCES THE LAUNCH OF
MONSUNO® COMBAT CHAOS™
ALL-NEW ORIGINAL GRAPHIC NOVELS
BASED ON THE POPULAR KIDS
ANIMATED ACTION SERIES

The Power Of The Human Heart Will Decide Whether The World
Is Saved or Destroyed In An Epic Adventure Led
By Mankind’s Newest Teenage Hero

VIZ Media delivers the newest release under its popular VIZ Kids imprint with the launch of the MONSUNO® COMBAT CHAOS™ original graphic novel series. Available now, the first volume of this new action title features a story written by Brian Smith and artwork by Erwin Prasetya, is rated ‘A’ for All Ages, and carries an MSRP of $7.99 U.S. / $9.99 CAN.

The graphic novel is inspired by the popular MONSUNO animated series co-produced by Pacific Animation Partners LLC, a joint venture between JAKKS Pacific, Inc. and Dentsu Entertainment USA, Inc., with FremantleMedia Kids & Family Entertainment and The Topps Company, Inc. The animated series airs in North America on Nicktoons, as well as more than 140 markets around the world. The property has also spawned an array of collectible toys, electronic accessories, and other consumer products.

MONSUNO COMBAT CHAOS is an epic character-driven adventure that follows five teenagers as they create emotional bonds with huge monsters called Monsunos, mysterious creatures that were delivered to Earth via meteors millions of years ago.

In Volume 1 of the graphic novel, “The Moto Mutants,” main character Chase Suno and his Core-Tech teammates encounter an underground lab where scientists have been secretly performing extensive tests on the all-powerful Monsuno essence. One such scientist, Dr. Moto, tried to create a Monsuno of her own, but the experiments went horribly wrong. Trapped in an icy lab for years, Dr. Moto and her minions have continued her terrible experiments, and Chase, Bren, Jinja, Dax and Beyal have no idea what kind of horrifying creatures they are about to stumble upon.

“We’re excited to expand our range of kids original graphic novel titles with the launch of MONSUNO COMBAT CHAOS,” says VIZ Media Editor Joel Enos. “Our first comic, Monsuno Combat Chaos: The Moto Mutants is based on the popular Nicktoons series and features a new villain, the mad scientist Dr. Moto, created for the Monsuno comics series by writer Brian Smith. She’s bent on harnessing the power of Monsuno to rule the planet and beyond, and it’s up to Chase Suno and his friends to stop her and her mutant Monsunos. The story of how Dr. Moto becomes integrated into the Monsuno universe is just the first in a series of new full-color, action-packed comics with all-new original stories launching this summer!”

MONSUNO COMBAT CHAOS writer Brian Smith is a former Marvel Comics editor whose credits include The Ultimates, Ultimate Spider-Man, Iron Man, Captain America, The Incredible Hulk, and dozens of other renowned comic book titles. Smith is also the co-creator/writer behind the New York Times best-selling graphic novel The Stuff of Legend, and the writer/artist of the all-ages comic, The Intrepid Escape Goat. His other writing credits include Finding Nemo: Losing Dory, from BOOM! Studios, and SpongeBob Comics from Bongo. He also writes for the VOLTRON FORCE and MAX STEEL graphic novel series, both available from VIZ MEDIA.

Artist Erwin Prasetya is a Kudus-born artist working for Papillon Studios and has penciled multiple comic book series while based in Indonesia. Monsuno Combat Chaos: The Moto Mutants also features eye-poppingly gorgeous colors by Papillon Studios’ Fajar Buana and additional artwork by Alfa Robbi.

For more information on MONSUNO COMBAT CHAOS or other VIZ Kids titles, please visit www.vizkids.com.

ACF 1966: Sentai Filmworks licenses FATE/KALEID LINER PRISMA ILLYA


In a universe filled with “what ifs” and “could have beens”, sometimes the same elements combine to produce something completely different. As they have in Sentai Filmworks’ newest acquisition: Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya. This mystical fantasy set in an alternate universe to the popular Fate/Stay Night franchise is directed by Shin Oonuma (Dusk maiden of Amnesia, ef ~ a tale of memories) and features character designs by Nozomi Ushijima, with series composition by Kenji Inoue and music by Tatsuya Katou.

Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya will be available soon through select digital outlets with a home video release to follow in 2014.

Synopsis: Illyaviel von Einzbern seems like a normal school girl, but all that changes when a magic wand named Ruby decides that young Illya is the perfect choice to be her new “master.” On the plus side, that means Illya can use Ruby to gain magical powers. On the negative, Ruby’s previous owner, Rin Tosaka, isn’t exactly thrilled to be de-wanded, especially since she’s just accepted an assignment from the Wizard Zelretch to collect seven magical Class Cards holding legendary spirits inside. However, since the unbending wand is sticking to its decision, the only solution is for Illya to take up the task while Rin supervises.

Meanwhile, another girl named Miyu has been chosen by the magic wand Sapphire as HER new master, much to the irritation of Sapphire’s previous master, Rin’s arch rival Luvia Edelfelt! Exactly what kind of plan are the wands conjuring up? It’s a mystical fantasy set in an alternate universe to the popular Fate/Stay Night franchise, in which some very familiar looking characters end up in some very different and completely unexpected situations! Prepare to be en-spelled as six magic-challenged maidens hit the road to adventure in Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya.