With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

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

Sunday, August 30, 2009

ACF 368: Traveling With Yoshitomo Nara DVD available September 15, 2009


The First In The NEW PEOPLE ARTIST SERIES That Spotlights
Renowned Modern Japanese Pop Artists

VIZ Pictures, an affiliate of VIZ Media, LLC that focuses on Japanese live-action film distribution, has announced the DVD release of Traveling with Yoshitomo Nara – NEW PEOPLE ARTIST SERIES, Volume 1 on September 15th. The DVD will carry an MSRP of $24.92 U.S. / $35.99 CAN and will be distributed in North America by VIZ Media.

Produced by VIZ Pictures, the NEW PEOPLE Artist Series is an intriguing collection of documentaries that each highlight a renowned modern Japanese pop artist who utilizes unique world views and inspirations to create captivating works of art. The series is an extension of the NEW PEOPLE entertainment destination, located in San Francisco, which brings the latest examples of Japanese popular culture to North America through film, art, fashion, and a variety of specialty boutiques.

Traveling with Yoshitomo Nara was directed by Koji Sakabe and captures the journey that the artist, Yoshitomo Nara, took during the creation of his exhibit, AtoZ, in his hometown of Hirosaki, Japan. The film is notably narrated by Aoi Miyazaki, an up-and-coming Japanese actress who appeared in the acclaimed manga-inspired film NANA (VIZ Pictures). Yoshitomo Nara’s work has captured the attention of the international art world and his cartoon-like girl images with characteristic big heads, chubby-faces and slanted eyes have become icons of the artist’s style. His paintings and sculptures have been auctioned at Sotheby’s and his sculpture, Light My Fire (2001), sold for over $1.1 million.

“We are very pleased to launch the NEW PEOPLE Artist Series with Traveling with Yoshitomo Nara,” says Seiji Horibuchi, President and CEO of VIZ Pictures and the founder of NEW PEOPLE. “This film documents Nara’s creative process and how he tapped the talents of many fellow artists to help bring this exhibition to life. The people, the experience, and the works of art all come together in this film and culminate in the grand opening of the AtoZ exhibit. Art aficionados as well as fans of Japanese culture will delight in this intimate portrait of one of the most talented modern pop artists working today.”

For more information, visit http://www.viz-pictures.com/ or http://www.newpeopleartistseries.com/.

Friday, August 28, 2009

ACF 367: TEGAMI BACHI: LETTER BEE available September 1, 2009

TEGAMI BACHI © 2006 by Hiroyuki Asada/SHUEISHA Inc.


Unique Series Combines Lush Artwork With An Adventure Story About A Special Delivery Boy That Reunites Lost Souls With The Ones They Love

VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media) has announced the North American debut of the new steampunk/action manga series TEGAMI BACHI: LETTER BEE on September 1st. The series, rated ‘T’ for Teens, will be published under the company’s SHONEN JUMP imprint and will carry an MSRP of $7.99 U.S. / $9.50 CAN.

In a land of perpetual night, your heart is your light.

Amberground is locked in darkness. A man-made star casts only a dim light over the land. The pitch-black wilderness is infested with Gaichuu--colossal insects with metal exoskeletons. The Gaichuu make travel between the cities of Amberground extremely dangerous. But thankfully the Letter Bees, a brave corps of messengers, risk their lives in order to keep the hearts of Amberground connected.

LETTER BEE first appeared in the pages of Monthly Shonen Jump magazine in Japan and is presently featured in Jump SQ. It’s also currently serialized in VIZ Media’s SHONEN JUMP magazine and its animated counterpart set to debut in Japan later this year as part of the annual Jump Super Anime Tour.

“Hiroyuki Asada is a widely known and loved manga creator in Japan and we’re very excited to debut his newest series TEGAMI BACHI: LETTER BEE,” says Gonzalo Ferreyra, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, VIZ Media. “This unique story blends visually captivating motifs of steampunk, an inventive mix of antique and futuristic technology, with the adventures of a boy who runs deliveries across a strange fantasy world. This manga has already captivated readers in the pages of SHONEN JUMP and we invite everyone to explore the manga’s debut volume in September!”

Thursday, August 27, 2009

ACF 366: Third 20th CENTURY BOYS film to premiere in San Francisco 08.28.09


Dynamic Japanese Pop Culture Venue Debuts Live-Action Science Fiction Feature On August 28th – The Same Day Film Premieres In Japan

Here's some great news for those of you lucky enough to be in San Francisco tomorrow, Friday, august 28th, 2009:

NEW PEOPLE, a dynamic entertainment destination bringing the latest examples of Japanese popular culture to North American shores, presents a very special world premiere the final chapter of the 20th Century Boys trilogy of live-action films – 20th Century Boys 3: Redemption – this Friday, August 28th at the newly opened VIZ Cinema located in the heart of San Francisco’s historic Japantown. The special world premiere will take place simultaneously with the theatrical release of the film in Japan and will continue to play at the venue through September 3rd. For schedule and ticket information, please visit http://www.vizcinema.com/.

The 20th Century Boys film trilogy is based on a critically-acclaimed manga (graphic novel) series created by Naoki Urasawa that was a national phenomenon in Japan, selling over 24 million copies. Excitement and anticipation for the release of the final chapter has built steadily from fans because the ending of the film is markedly different from the original manga series that inspired it.

VIZ Cinema is the nation’s first movie theatre devoted exclusively to Japanese film and anime. The 143-seat subterranean theatre is located in the basement of the NEW PEOPLE building and features plush seating, digital as well as 35mm projection, and a THX®-certified sound system. 20th Century Boys 1: Beginning of the End plays at VIZ Cinema until August 27th, while 20th Century Boys 2: The Last Hope runs through August 28th.

Directed by Yukihiko Tsutsumi and presented in partnership with Nippon Television, the 20th Century Boys saga begins in 1969 when a young boy named Kenji and his friends write “The Book of Prophecy.” In the book, they write about a future where they fight against an evil organization trying to take over the world and bring about Doomsday. Years later in 1997, a mysterious cult being led by a man only known as “Friend” has emerged and gained strong influence over society. A series of catastrophic events begin to occur, mirroring the prophecies made up by the young Kenji.

Now in 2019, could the catastrophe written in The New Book of Prophecy be happening for real? What’s the true purpose of Friend’s evil plan? Who’s the real savior to that will stand up against him?

In the final film, the year is Friend Era Year 3 (2017 A.D.) and the World President, Friend, rules humanity. After a deadly virus ravages Tokyo, a wall is built around the city and inhabitants’ lives have been severely restricted. Friend tells everyone that on August 20th, aliens will destroy mankind and only those who believe in him will be saved. But a movement to stop Friend is in motion. Is protagonist Kenji really still alive? What is Friend’s plan for August 20th? Will the mystery behind the true identity of Friend be uncovered? All of the prophecies, schemes and plans will be finally revealed in the saga’s exciting concluding chapter.

NEW PEOPLE offers the latest films, art, fashion and retail brands from Japan and is the creative vision of the J-Pop Center Project and VIZ Pictures, a distributor and producer of Japanese live action film. Located at 1746 Post Street, the 20,000 square foot structure features a striking 3-floor transparent glass façade that frames a fun and exotic new environment to engage the imagination into the 21st Century. A dedicated web site is also now available at: http://www.newpeopleworld.com/.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

ACF 365: Magnolia Pictures acquires right to Cheryl Hines' SERIOUS MOONLIGHT

Meg Ryan & Timothy Hutton in SERIOUS MOONLIGHT

I receive a fair amount of email announcements for films that are not in any way Asian or Asian-related. Many I just send direct to the trash, but this one really caught my interest. SERIOUS MOONLIGHT was written by the late Adrienne Shelly (I really enjoyed WAITRESS) and sports one helluva terrific cast. Because I'm so excited about it, I'm passing on this info from Magnolia Pictures, which will be distributing the film in North America:

The Wagner/Cuban Companies' Magnolia Pictures recently announced that it has acquired North American rights to Cheryl Hines’ directorial debut, SERIOUS MOONLIGHT. Warmly received at Tribeca this year, SERIOUS MOONLIGHT stars Meg Ryan, Timothy Hutton, Kristen Bell and Justin Long, and is especially notable for being written by sadly missed writer/director Adrienne Shelly (Waitress).

SERIOUS MOONLIGHT is about a troubled marriage on the precipice, centering on a high-powered female attorney who learns that her husband is about to leave her for a much younger woman, and holds him captive until he promises to stay with her and love her forever. The film is a labor of love for Hines, one of the stars of Shelly’s Waitress.

SERIOUS MOONLIGHT will be released through Magnolia’s Ultra VOD program, launching the film this November on VOD platforms in 50-million households one month prior to its theatrical release in early December.

The film is produced by Andy Ostroy, Ms. Shelly’s husband, and Michael Roiff, who produced Waitress, through their respective companies: all for A films and Night & Day Pictures.

“Cheryl Hines has done a fine job bringing Adrienne Shelly’s final script to life,” said Magnolia President Eamonn Bowles. “SERIOUS MOONLIGHT is a fitting tribute to a sorely missed talent and we’re happy to be bringing it to North American audiences.”

"We're very impressed with Magnolia's distribution model, their savvy team, and their overall vision for SERIOUS MOONLIGHT," said Ostroy. "I know Adrienne would be proud of this film and thrilled to have another movie of hers in theatres for audiences to see."

"I'm excited about where Magnolia's going to take us," said Hines. "SERIOUS MOONLIGHT is a dark, funny film, which I think audiences are going to really enjoy, especially Meg and Tim's incredible performances."

The deal was negotiated by Magnolia’s Senior Vice President Tom Quinn and Head of Business Affairs Chris Matson, with Andrew Herwitz of the Film Sales Company and attorney John Logigian.

Monday, August 24, 2009

ACF 364: Naoki Urasawa's MONSTER on Manga Entertainment's Ani-Monday Block

Naoki Urasawa’s MONSTER

Anime Based On Critically Acclaimed Manga Series Offers
Tale of Conspiracy, Political Intrigue and Murder

What would you do if a child you saved grew up to be a monster? An ice-cold killer is on the loose, and Dr. Kenzo Tenma is the only one who can stop him! Tenma, a brilliant neurosurgeon with a promising future, risks his career to save the life of a critically wounded young boy named Johan.

When the boy, now a coldhearted and charismatic young man, reappears nine years later in the midst of a string of unusual serial murders, Tenma must go on the run from the police, who suspect him to be the killer, to find Johan and stop the monster he set loose upon the world.

Conspiracies, serial murders, and secret government experiments set against the grim backdrop of the formerly communist Eastern Europe are masterfully woven together in this compelling work of suspense.

VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media) has announced the debut of the animated Naoki Urasawa’s MONSTER featured by Starz Media’s Manga Entertainment on Syfy beginning on October 12th as part of the latest season of the network’s Ani-Monday programming block. MONSTER is based on the critically acclaimed manga series by Naoki Urasawa that is published in North America by VIZ Media.

New episodes of Naoki Urasawa’s MONSTER, rated TV-MA will air each Monday night on the Syfy Ani-Monday block and will be re-broadcast on SyFy’s sister channel, Chiller the week thereafter. Chiller airs a variety of horror and suspense-themed programs. Check local listings for specific airtimes.

“Naoki Urasawa’s MONSTER weaves an engrossing story of politics, psychological intrigue and murder,” says William Germain, VIZ Media’s Director of Programming Sales. “The multi-layered plot and mysterious characters that make Naoki Urasawa’s manga a smash hit are adapted wonderfully for the animated series, which remains true to the original story. We invite anime and manga as well as mystery and suspense fans to tune in each Monday this fall for an exciting chase as Dr. Tenma tries to catch the Monster!”

“We are very pleased to add MONSTER to the robust anime lineup found on the Ani-Mondays blocks on Syfy and Chiller,” says Marc DeBevoise, Starz Media senior vice president, digital media, business development and strategy. “We believe that this addition will give anime fans a lot to look forward to during the season.”

For more information on Naoki Urasawa’s MONSTER manga series (rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens) please visit www.vizsignature.com/monster.

About Starz Digital Media

Starz Digital Media, an operating division of Starz Media, LLC, is responsible for all digital and on-demand distribution of library content from Overture Films, Anchor Bay Entertainment, Starz Originals from Starz Entertainment, and Manga Entertainment. Through a range of distribution and marketing partnerships with multichannel video providers, Internet distributors and wireless operators worldwide, Starz Digital Media makes its content available under numerous business models including download-to-own/electronic sell-through, video-on-demand, pay-per-view, subscription video-on-demand and ad-supported streaming. The division also programs and supports numerous ad-supported broadband channels and develops games and gaming-related content from many of its properties for distribution worldwide.

About Manga Entertainment

Manga Entertainment Ltd (www.manga.com), a division of Starz Media, LLC, is an entertainment company specializing in the production, marketing and distribution of Japanese animation for theatrical, television, Internet, DVD and home video release worldwide. Manga Entertainment content is marketed and distributed for television by Starz Media, in traditional home video outlets by Anchor Bay Entertainment, and across digital platforms by Starz Digital Media through its various online video and gaming platform partners. Starz Media (www.starzmedia.com), a programming production and distribution company operating worldwide, is a controlled subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation attributed to Liberty Capital Group.

About VIZ Media, LLC

Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), is one of the most comprehensive and innovative companies in the field of manga (graphic novel) publishing, animation and entertainment licensing of Japanese content. Owned by three of Japan’s largest creators and licensors of manga and animation, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions, Co., Ltd., VIZ Media is a leader in the publishing and distribution of Japanese manga for English speaking audiences in North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and South Africa and is a global ex-Asia licensor of Japanese manga and animation. The company offers an integrated product line including the popular monthly manga anthology SHONEN JUMP magazine, graphic novels, and DVDs, and develops, markets, licenses, and distributes animated entertainment for audiences and consumers of all ages. Contact VIZ Media at 295 Bay Street, San Francisco, CA 94133; Phone (415) 546-7073; Fax (415) 546-7086; and website at www.VIZ.com.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

ACF 363: Contemporasian Film Series at MoMA from September thru December

From Babi buta yang ingin terbang (Blind Pig Who Wants to Fly). 2008. Indonesia.
Directed by Edwin. Image courtesy of BABIBUTAFILM.


Highlighting the Richness and Diversity of Asian Cinema,
One Contemporary Asian Film Is Featured
Each Month in a Weeklong Engagement

MoMA Presents: ContemporAsian
September 11–17, 2009
October 14–19, 2009
November 20–27, 2009
December 10–16, 2009
The Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters

MoMA has announced the fall line-up for its ongoing ContemporAsian series in The Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters. MoMA showcases one contemporary Asian film per month with a weeklong engagement, allowing audiences the rare chance to enjoy films not in wide distribution and to experience the diversity and richness of Asian cinema in its many forms.

ContemporAsian is organized by Jytte Jensen, Curator, Department of Film, The Museum of Modern Art, and William Phuan, independent curator.

In the monthly exhibition ContemporAsian, MoMA showcases films that get little exposure outside of their home countries or on the international festival circuit, but which engage the various styles, histories, and changes in Asian cinema. The films in the series include recent independent films and little-seen classics.

From September’s opening feature, a stylistically flamboyant series of surreal urban vignettes of social and racial strife offset by characters who break into song Stevie Wonder-style (Blind Pig Who Wants to Fly, 2008, Indonesia), to October’s intimate portrait of a resilient octogenarian, featuring venerated actress Anita Linda in a tour de force performance (Adela, 2008, Philippines), the films showcased encompass a variety of styles and themes. In November, a South Korean film explores the aftermath of a romantic breakup, in which a sticky financial situation gives rise to a revealing roadtrip (My Dear Enemy, 2009), while in December, a Taiwanese film depicts the struggles of two illegal migrant workers trying to build a relationship in a culture alien to both of them, even as they live in fear of deportation (Sincerely Yours, 2009.)


MoMA Presents: ContemporAsian

September through December 2009

September 11–17, 2009

Dajang Soembi, perempoean jang dikawini andjing (Dajang Soembi, the Woman Who Was Married to a Dog). 2004. Indonesia. Directed by Edwin.

Following the examples of silent cinema, Indonesian filmmaker Edwin uses expressionistic sets reminiscent of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and plot overtones of Oedipus Rex to retell an Indonesian folk tale about a beautiful but dull-witted princess who marries a dog. 7 min.

Babi buta yang ingin terbang (Blind Pig Who Wants to Fly)
. 2008. Indonesia. Directed by Edwin. With Ladya Cheryl, Pong Harjatmo, Carlo Genta.

In a departure from the short films for which he is celebrated, Edwin brings his prodigious talent for episodic, kaleidoscopic storytelling to this compelling feature film. In a series of minimal, slightly surreal tales, characters loosely linked by their minority status as Chinese-Indonesians are set within a contemporary urban Indonesia beset by social and racial tension. Past and present are jumbled, and events are vaguely symbolic and doubtlessly—albeit obscurely—connected to the violent political events playing out on TV. In this expertly crafted universe, the one constant, bizarrely enough, is Stevie Wonder’s “I Just Called to Say I Love You”—sung by each of the characters at different points in the film. In Indonesian; English subtitles. 77 min.

Screening Schedule:
Friday, September 11, 7:00; Saturday, September 12, 1:30 ; Sunday, September 13, 5:00; Monday, September 14, 7:00; Wednesday, September 16, 8:00; Thursday, September 17, 7:00

October 14–19, 2009

Adela. 2008. The Philippines. Directed and cowritten by Adolfo Alix Jr. With Anita Linda, Jason Abalos, Joem Bascon.

To celebrate her 80th birthday, Adela wants nothing more than a meal with her children and family. Yet as the widow goes about her day preparing and shopping, often stopping to help out her fellow slum-dwellers, the wait for the celebration is long and futile. In a stylistic break from the energetic, fast-moving contemporary cinema we have come to expect from the Philippines, Alix trains his camera on veteran Filipino actress Anita Linda throughout the film, to great effect and with moving results. Adela is as much a tribute to the quiet dignity and indomitable spirit of the titular character as it is to the actress whose compelling, poignant performance inflects every scene. In Tagalog; English subtitles. 88 min.

Screening Schedule:
Wednesday, October 14, 7:00; Thursday, October 15, 4:00; Friday, October 16, 7:00; Saturday, October 17, 7:30; Sunday, October 18, 5:00; Monday October 19, 4:30

November 20–27, 2009

Meitjin haru (My Dear Enemy). 2009. South Korea. Directed and cowritten by Lee Yoon-ki. With Jeon Do-yeon and Ha Jeong-woo.

Heui-Su shows up unexpectedly at the betting haunt of her former boyfriend and demands that he pay up the 3.5 million won (about $2,600) that he owes her from more than a year ago. This beautifully crafted film teases out the intricacies of modern relationships as it follows the ex-lovers on an unlikely road trip to borrow money from his contacts to pay her back. The natural chemistry between the two leads makes credible a partnership that is by turns prickly and inscrutable, yet surprisingly tender. In Korean; English subtitles. 123 min.

Screening Schedule:
Friday, November 20, 4:30; Saturday, November 21, 1:30; Sunday, November 22, 12:30; Monday, November 23, 7:00; Wednesday, November 25, 4:00; Friday, November 27, 8:15.

December 10–16, 2009
Qilu tiantang (Sincerely Yours). 2009. Taiwan. Directed by Rich Lee. With Lola Amaria, Banlop Lomnoi, May Kuei-Mei Yang.

Setia and Supayong are both illegal workers in Taiwan. Setia works as domestic help to support her child and family in Indonesia, while Supayong, from Thailand, takes on odd jobs to scrape together a living. Even as they develop a tentative love affair while forging a new life, the constant fear of deportation threatens to overwhelm them. Lee's finely tuned first film acutely captures the precarious plight of migrant workers who are often nameless and invisible in big cities; in spite of their halting Mandarin, the characters’ yearning for connection and for a better life is as unmistakable as the contradictions that divide the city. In Mandarin; English subtitles. 96 min.

Screening Schedule:
Thursday, December 10, 7:00; Friday, December 11, 4:00; Saturday, December 12, 8:00; Sunday, December 13, 5:30; Monday, December 14, 4:00; Wednesday, December 16, 7:00

Thursday, August 20, 2009

ACF 362: MISSIN' & MISSIN' 2 novels now available from VIZ


Pair Of Novels Show Author’s Style Of Combining Pop Culture Sensibilities With Music, Fashion And Romance

Into exploring themes of obsession, alienation, love, rococo and haute couture fashion, and punk rock and rebellion? Then check out the novels MISSIN’ and MISSIN’ 2: KASAKO, written by best-selling author Novala Takemoto. They're the latest additions to VIZ Media’s SHOJO BEAT imprint, and are available separately for $8.99 US / $10.50 CAN each or as a slip-case packaged set for $16.99 US / $19.99 CAN.

How far can you go to get what you want before you lose your mind?

Enter a strange world created by novelist Novala Takemoto (author of KAMIKAZE GIRLS, also available from VIZ Media) where music and the lost art of maidenly virtues walk hand-in-hand with madness. His characters stress, obsess, and sometimes get what they want... but often the life they thought they wanted is not always what they expected!

MISSIN'© 2000 Novala TAKEMOTO/Shogakukan

MISSIN’ focuses on obsession and how it can bring one to the brink of madness. In this bittersweet short story, the themes of KAMIKAZE GIRLS (rococo, punk rock, high fashion and rebellion) are pushed even further toward the edge of reason. A young woman estranged from the modern world longs for the feminine ideals and companionship depicted in the tales of a bygone era. When she finds her mentor in a rebellious punk rock singer named Missin, how far will her infatuation take her in a world where no one understands? And in "Little Shop at the End of the World," the designs of the legendary Vivienne Westwood keep a young woman with a secret from losing her mind.

MISSIN' 2 KASAKO © 2004Novala TAKEMOTO/Shogakukan

MISSIN 2: KASAKO is the stylish, stressed-out sequel to MISSIN'. Stalker turned rock star Kasako has everything she ever wanted. But between the restraints of forbidden love, a suffocating record deal, and fans overdosing at their concerts, Kasako must find a way to keep hair-trigger tension pitched to a dangerous high without destroying herself. Kasako has never been what you'd call a stable girl--and this new fast-paced life may be just enough to finally push her sanity over the edge. Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it. And your dream life may turn out to be a nightmare!

”Novela Takemoto took Japan and then the U.S. by storm with his hugely popular novel, KAMIKAZE GIRLS, and these works, MISSIN’ and MISSIN’ 2: KASAKO show the early urgent energy and pop culture themes that later brought the author international recognition,” says Gonzalo Ferreyra, Vice President Sales & Marketing, VIZ Media. “Takemoto is loved by readers for his incorporation of all that is dark, cool, different and defiant, and these new novels will delight fans of rock and roll, high fashion, romance and rebellion in all its wonderful forms!”

Novala Takemoto was born in Kyoto and was a candidate for the Yukio Mishima Prize for Literature two years in a row with EMILY in 2003 and LOLITA in 2004. He has published more than a dozen works. In addition to KAMIKAZE GIRLS, Takemoto's other novels include Uloko Hime, Twins, A Child Abandoned by Deus, and Calps Alpis. In Japan a collection of his essays as well as a picture and photo book have been published, and his sequel to Kamikaze Girls was published in June of 2005.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

ACF 361: DETROIT METAL CITY to have NY Premiere on Thursday, August 20th, 2009

© 2008 TOHO CO., LTD. /HORIPRO INC. / HAKUSENSHA, INC. / Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc. / DENTSU INC. / d-rings Inc. / PARCO CO., LTD. / SDP, INC. / TOKYO FM Broadcasting Co., Ltd. / Yahoo Japan Corporation / NIPPON SHUPPAN HANBAI INC. / TSUTAYA Group All Rights Reserved.



Japan | 2008 | 103 min. | 35mm film | Japanese with English Subtitles

Thurs., Aug. 20 - Doors open 6:15pm - Film starts 7:00pm
The ImaginAsian, 239 East 59th Street (Bet. 2nd & 3rd Ave.), NYC
For RSVP, www.newyork-tokyo.com/wp/dmc

"Detroit Metal City" (DMC) is a cartoon series that started in 2005 in Young Animal magazine. It soon earned a cult following for its eccentric setting, distinctive characters, radical story and the funniest jokes. As soon as it was released as a comic book, it quickly sold out at every bookstore, and those who couldn't get the comic were called "DMC refugee".

The rumor was spread by word of mouth as well as the blog/message board on the Internet, and DMC gained popularity not only among the subculture mania, but also among the writers, actors, musicians, artist, etc, who then competed to introduce this comic at their shows/columns. With all these phenomenon, the comic sold over 3 million copies to date.

DMC became the front cover of an authoritative culture magazine, Studio Voice, on its issue in September 2006. It also topped the Japanese comic chart in 2006 surpassing "Death Note", which already had been made into the award-winning movie.

DMC is the first Death Metal comic book to be released on screen and in animation at the same time. Both were released in August, 2008 in Japan. The animation is produced by STUDIO4°C, known for its recent works such as "Tekkonkinkreet", "Animatrix" and "Mindgame".

In the movie, Gene Simmons of KISS plays the "legendary and world-renowned" Death Metal artist, "Jack IL Dark" who competes with DMC on stage. The final live performance scene is not only the craziest spectacle and the climax of the story, but a collaboration any Death Metal music fan would crave to witness!


Souichi Negishi is a conservative and pure-minded boy, who came to Tokyo from the country in Japan with a dream of becoming a fancy pop-song musician. He writes a song "Raspberry Kiss" to send to a music label, however, by a mere accident, he is forced to make a debut as the member of the satanic Death metal band "Detroit Metal City" (DMC), whose trademark is an eccentric make-up and destructive performance.

Despite of Souichi's hope of becoming a lovely pop musician, DMC's debut single "SATSUGAI - genocide" (which used to be "Raspberry Kiss" before arranged by the madly strange music label's owner) achieves explosive sales, and Johannes Krauser II bounces up to the position of charisma in the Japanese Death Metal music scene.

Meanwhile, his girlfriend Ms. Aikawa, who loves cute outfit and French pop songs, does not know the fact that Souichi becomes Johannes Krauser II. Therefore, Souichi has to live with the extreme caution to keep this biggest secret not to disappoint her.

After its sensational debut, DMC continues to build up "legends" as a Death Metal band - defeating a rival band on stage and messed up the live show of the No. 1 Japanese HIP-HOP artist, to name a few. Souichi always, in all of the cases, first tries to act nicely but presses all the wrong buttons to end up in creating the image of furious Johannes Krauser II. One day, when DMC is totally recognized as an up-and-coming Death Metal band throughout the country, Souichi has received unexpected news. The legendary Metal artist, Jack IL Dark, starts his world tour and DMC is named to perform on his stage in Japan. The members of DMC and the fans are thrilled to hear the news, but it gives Souichi (chicken-hearted) a shudder***


Born in 1964 in Osaka. After graduating wiText Colorth a literature major from College of Art, Nihon University, Lee worked on many TV drama productions. He made his feature directorial debut with "Backdrop of My Papa" (2004) and "Detroit Metal City" is his second feature film.


Kenichi Matsuyama (L: Change the World), Rosa Ogawa, Yasuko Matsuyuki, Gene Simmons and others

Monday, August 17, 2009

ACF 360: BLEACH THE MOVIE 2 in S.F. for 2 nights only starting tomorrow August 18th


Newly Launched VIZ Cinema To Debut Feature Film
Based On Smash Hit Anime Series

Just a reminder that VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), will celebrate the theatrical engagement and U.S. premiere of BLEACH THE MOVIE 2: THE DIAMONDDUST REBELLION, for two nights only with two showings each day, on August 18th and 19th 2009. The special screenings will be held at the brand new VIZ Cinema, located inside NEW PEOPLE – San Francisco’s newest entertainment destination.

Tickets for BLEACH THE MOVIE 2: THE DIAMONDDUST REBELLION (rated ‘T’ for teens) go on sale Friday, July 31, 2009 at http://www.vizcinema.com/. NEW PEOPLE and the VIZ Cinema are located at 1746 Post Street in San Francisco’s Japantown and will open officially on August 15th.

Adapted from the wildly popular animated series and best-selling BLEACH manga series by acclaimed Japanese creator Tite Kubo (both distributed and published in North America by VIZ Media), BLEACH THE MOVIE 2 continues the action-packed adventures of Soul Reaper, Ichigo Kurosaki. In the newest feature film, after the treasured Ouin is stolen, Toshiro Hitsugaya disappears and becomes suspected of treason. When the Soul Society calls for his capture and execution, Substitute Soul Reaper Ichigo Kurosaki vows to prove Hitsugaya's innocence. Will the secret of the Ouin and Captain Hitsugaya's motives be revealed before his honor, his life, and the Soul Society are destroyed?

VIZ Media is scheduled to release the DVD of BLEACH THE MOVIE 2: THE DIAMONDDUST REBELLION (rated ‘T’ for teens) on September 8th.

“This two day event will be very exciting as it marks the U.S. theatrical debut of BLEACH THE MOVIE 2: THE DIAMONDDUST REBELLION and also the opening week of the brand new VIZ Cinema,” says Brian Ige, VIZ Media Director, Home Entertainment. “BLEACH is one of the most popular and successful manga and animated properties in the world and we encourage fans to go online and get their tickets early as this event will likely sell-out!”

BLEACH is a tremendously successful multimedia property internationally. The manga series has been licensed to more than a dozen countries, and has sold over 52 million copies in Japan alone. In North America the manga has been a sales hit and the popular animated series is viewed weekly by millions in the United States and Canada. This success has further spawned an array of related video games, apparel, action figures, trading cards and other merchandise. For more information on BLEACH and BLEACH THE MOVIE 2: THE DIAMONDDUST REBELLION, please visit the official BLEACH website at bleach.viz.com or http://www.viz.com/. BLEACH episodes can also be viewed on the SONY PlayStation VIZ Media channel, online at hulu.com and also on iTunes.

VIZ Cinema is a 143-seat underground cinema located inside NEW PEOPLE in San Francisco, part of the J-Pop Center Project produced by VIZ Pictures. Equipped with cutting-edge HD digital projection and a THX®-certified sound system, VIZ Cinema is the soul of the NEW PEOPLE experience. Its programming focuses on the latest and hottest films from Japan, as well as an incredible legacy of classics, favorites, documentaries and anime – making it the only venue of its kind in the United States. For more details on the cinema and its programs, visit http://www.vizcinema.com/.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Ooku © Fumi Yoshinaga 2005/HAKUSENSHA, Inc


Award-Winning Historical Science Fiction Drama Set In An Alternate Version Of Edo Japan Where Gender Roles Are Reversed

VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media) has announced the release of ŌOKU: THE INNER CHAMBERS, Fumi Yoshinaga’s historical manga epic set in an alternate version of Edo-era Japan. ŌOKU, which was released under the company’s VIZ Signature imprint on August 8th, is rated ‘M’ for Mature Audiences and will carry an MSRP of $12.95 U.S. / $15.00 CAN.

In Edo period Japan (1603 to 1868), a strange new disease called the Redface Pox has begun to prey on the country’s men. Within eighty years of the first outbreak, the male population has fallen to a quarter of the total female population. Women have taken on all the roles traditionally granted to men, even that of the Shogun. The men, precious providers of life, are carefully protected and the most beautiful of the men are sent to serve in the Shogun’s Inner Chambers.

Fumi Yoshinaga is a Tokyo-born manga creator who debuted in 1994 with THE MOON AND THE SANDALS. Her series ŌOKU: THE INNER CHAMBERS has received numerous prestigious awards, including the 2009 Osamu Tezuka Cultural Prize and the 2006 Japan Media Arts Festival Excellence Award. Fumi Yoshinaga was also nominated in the United States in 2008 for the Eisner Award for Best Writer/Artist.

“ŌOKU: THE INNER CHAMBERS is an acclaimed story that blends science fiction themes with strong female characters and will captivate readers with a mix of historical drama and royal intrigue,” says Gonzalo Ferreyra, Vice President Sales & Marketing, VIZ Media. “Incorporating the richly detailed history of Edo era Japan, ŌOKU presents a unique portrayal and examination of gender roles in Japanese society. The series was a commercial as well as a critical success in Japan and we look forward to the readers in the US and Canada discovering this unique story.”

Monday, August 10, 2009


(KIMI NI TODOKE © 2005 Karuho Shiina / SHUEISHA Inc.)


Karuho Shiina’s celebrated romantic shojo manga (graphic novels for girls) series KIMI NI TODOKE: FROM ME TO YOU is now available from VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media). The new series, published under VIZ Media’s SHOJO BEAT imprint, is rated ‘T’ for Teens and carries an MSRP of $8.99 U.S. / $10.50 CAN. Bonus stickers are also included in limited quantities of Volume 1.

Sawako Kuronuma is the perfect heroine – for a horror movie! With her jet-black hair, sinister smile and silent demeanor, she’s often mistaken for the haunting movie character Sadako. But behind her scary façade is a very misunderstood teenager. Too shy to fit in, all she wants to do is make some friends. But when the most popular boy in class befriends her, she's sure to make more than just that – and she's about to make some enemies too!

KIMI NI TODOKE: FROM ME TO YOU is creator Karuho Shiina’s second manga series following several one-shot stories, but it has received numerous accolades and appeared on many "Best Manga of the Year" lists. Winner of the 2008 Kodansha Manga Award for the shojo category, KIMI NI TODOKE: FROM ME TO YOU also placed fifth in the first-ever Manga Taisho (Cartoon Grand Prize) contest held in 2008. An animated series is in production in Japan as well. In North America, KIMI NI TODOKE: FROM ME TO YOU was recently selected as a Hot Fall Graphic Novel for Libraries at the 2009 Book Expo America (BEA), the nation’s largest publishing event.

“Sawako is actually very sweet and considerate and readers will root for her as she struggles to overcome her shyness and open up to the one boy in her school who can see beneath her seemingly dark and cold exterior,” says Gonzalo Ferreyra, Vice President, Sales & Marketing for VIZ Media. “KIMI NI TODOKE: FROM ME TO YOU shows how appearances can be deceiving, and lots of drama ensues as Sawako becomes the subject of jealousy and judgments from her peers. For anyone who has experienced this situation or appreciates the adage of ‘opposites attract,’ KIMI NI TODOKE: FROM ME TO YOU will be a heartwarming read.”

Sunday, August 02, 2009

ACF 357: DEATH NOTE: L, change the WorLd DVD out August 18th

DEATH NOTE: L, change the WorLd
Riveting Unwritten Concluding Chapter Of Edgy DEATH NOTE
Psychological Crime Drama Available on DVD on August 18, 2009

VIZ Pictures, an affiliate of VIZ Media, LLC that focuses on Japanese live-action film distribution, has announced the DVD release of DEATH NOTE: L, change the WorLd live-action film. The DVD will be distributed by VIZ Media, available on August 18th and will carry a MSRP of $24.92 US/$35.99 Canada.

To celebrate this release, VIZ Pictures will have a special event at their brand-new VIZ Cinema in San Francisco, a one-night-only screening of the film on Tuesday, August 25th at 8:00 PM. Enjoy the L movie screening and an exclusive L gift-box including the newly released DVD, poster and more. Visit www.vizcinema.com for ticket info and more details.

DEATH NOTE: L, change the WorLd is inspired by the immensely popular DEATH NOTE feature films, which are based on the best-selling supernatural action manga series written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata. This spin-off follows a new original storyline. DEATH NOTE: L, change the WorLd was directed by Hideo Nakata, who also directed the U.S. #1 hit horror movie The Ring 2, which was remade from his own smash hit Japanese horror trilogy, Ringu.

Inspired by the best-selling manga DEATH NOTE, DEATH NOTE: L, change the WorLd reveals how L spends the last 23 days of his life. For his final case he takes on a bio-terrorist group and must also save the lives of two children who have no one else to turn to.

“DEATH NOTE: L, change the WorLd stars Kenichi Matsuyama, an up-and-coming Japanese actor who has also appeared in acclaimed films such as DEATH NOTE, LINDA LINDA LINDA, NANA and DETROIT METAL CITY,” says Seiji Horibuchi, president and CEO of VIZ Pictures. “He reprises his role as the ace detective L and audiences will be riveted to their seats as his character once again works to save society from a monstrous new threat.”

The DEATH NOTE manga (rated ‘T+’ for older teens) and animated series (rated ‘T+’ for older teens) have become extremely popular domestically. The 37-episode animated series is seen by millions each week on cable broadcast and the series is also distributed on DVD by VIZ Media. On the print side, the DEATH NOTE manga series and DEATH NOTE 13: HOW TO READ, a companion volume to the successful manga series, is published domestically by VIZ Media and has been ranked in USA Today's Top 150 list of America's best-selling books.

For more information on the DEATH NOTE: L, change the WorLd live action films and other VIZ Pictures films, please visit www.viz-pictures.com or www.deathnotefilms.com. For more information on the DEATH NOTE manga and animation, please visit deathnote.viz.com.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

ACF 356: VIZ announces Four New Manga Titles online at SIGIKKI.COM

House of Five Leaves
SARAIYA GOYOU © 2006 Natsume ONO / Shogakukan



VIZ Media invites fans to explore the four new manga series that recently launched on its innovative new IKKI website. Located at www.sigikki.com, this groundbreaking online manga destination debuts the opening chapters of Kingyo Used Books, HOUSE OF FIVE LEAVES, Afterschool Charisma, and Tokyo Flow Chart – for free.

For those seeking manga with an emphasis on creative quality and on pushing the boundaries of the manga norm, check out www.SIGIKKI today!

Kingyo Used Books By Seimu Yoshizaki
(Rated ‘T+’ for older teens)

This manga bookstore has a thousand stories to tell.

A businessman discovers how his childhood memories can brighten his day. An art student finds inspiration. An archer hits a surprising bull’s eye. A housewife rediscovers romance. Welcome to Kingyo Used Books, a place where people find their dreams in manga…

House of Five Leaves By Natsume Ono
(Rated ‘T+’ for older teens)

A many–sided tale of faith and betrayal, drama and intrigue, set in the world of old Edo.

Masterless samurai Akitsu Masanosuke is a skilled and loyal swordsman, but his naïve, diffident nature has time and again caused him to be let go by the lords who have employed him. Hungry and desperate, he becomes a bodyguard for Yaichi, the charismatic leader of a gang called “Five Leaves.” Although disturbed by the gang’s sinister activities, Masa begins to suspect that Yaichi’s motivations are not what they seem. And despite his misgivings, the deeper he’s drawn into the world of the Five Leaves, the more he finds himself fascinated by these devious, mysterious outlaws.

Afterschool Charisma By Kumiko Suekane
(Rated ‘T+’ for older teens)

History repeats itself... Or does it?
St. Kleio Academy is a very exclusive school: all of the students are clones of famous historical figures such as Beethoven, Queen Elizabeth I, Napoleon, Mozart, and Freud. All of them, that is, except for Shiro Kamiya. As Shiro struggles to adapt to this unusual campus, St. Kleio’s first graduate, a clone of John F. Kennedy, is killed. Are the clones doomed to repeat the fate of their genetic progenitors, or can they create their own destinies? And how does a normal boy like Shiro fit in?

Tokyo Flow Chart By Eiji Miruno
(Rated ‘T+’ for older teens)

This manga will f(low) with your brain!
Have you ever wished that somebody else would just DO SOMETHING about the chaos in your life? Then this is the perfect manga for a slacker like you! Tokyo Flow Chart is (probably) the world’s first four-frame comic strip in flow chart format. It breaks down the complexities of life and aids in the mastery of brain skills such as flow-chart-manga comprehension or mental bullet-dodging. As Confusious say, “Let your brain flow with the chart!”