So with the insane surge of news regarding anime and manga, I'm going to first give a qucik overview of some new facts then discuss some of the news regarding live-action adaptations and finally go over this year's noitaminA anime, which have now been confirmed. Along with some info and my views on the noitamina anime, I've included some PV's.
1. Results for the Manga Taisho, an award given by a collection of book store staffers, placed Hiromu Arakawa's Silver Spoon in 1st place and Giga Toybox Tokyo in second (the award is only given to manga which have less than 8 volumes published).
2. Tamayura ~hitotose~'s sequel has been talked about for a return in 2013.
3. Binbogami ga!'s anime has been confirmed for the summer season. The staff include the director of Gintama (Yoichi Fujita), the person who was in charge of the series composition for Bleach (Kento Shimoyama) and character design will be done by Kenji Tanabe who also did character design for the Narutp Shippuuden Movie: Bonds. Sunrise will be in charge of production. Can't you just smell the shonen
4. One Piece's 65th Volume has sold 3 million copies in less than 2 months.
5. To Love-Ru Darkness has been confirmed for an anime (Xebec is prodcuing, just like they did with the first anime). With this anime announcement, 3 manga running in Jump SQ will have been animated this year; New Prince of Tennis, Binbogami ga! and To Love-Ru Darkness.
6. Angel beats! is looking at another non-game project, for which more information is expected sometime in April.
7. Chitose Get You!! A 4-cell manga running in Manga Life MOMO has been picked up for an anime.
Code Breaker News
So the upcoming anime adaptation of the Code Breaker manga currently running in Weekly Shonen Magazine has fallen into the hands of Kinema Citrus. The production company itself isn't bad at all as they have provided assistance on Another, co-produced Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 with BONES and so I would remain hopeful that they will do a good job with the anime. The director for the series will be Yasuhiro Irie, who having been involved with so many different projects and of course most notably having directed Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood should bring some high quality to the project. Yukie Akitani is also set to do the character designs and be the animation director. Sounds quite promising, so let's see how the anime will turn out.
Bigger News - Live Action Talks
1. Lone Wolf and Cub, the manga by Kazuo Koike and Goseki Kojima, has been picked up for a western live-action adaptation. Granted I never heard about the series until seeing a slew of articles that somehow started popping up on the net these past few days, but after reading up about the series on Wikipedia I'm curious as to see whether this adaptation will actually make to the big screen. Works like Akira, Bleach and Death Note have both already ran into bumps in the road; Death Note's arises from Shane Black's (the director) refusal to change the plot from the original manga, which I would say is extremely admirable and as a fan of the manga I salute him. So why would a work which is over 40 year's old be picked up for an adaptation when three series mentioned above, which happen to have solid fan bases not only in Japan but globally
Well I think the reason is the studio that managed to somehow snag the rights to the film is the relatively unknown, actually very unknown, Kamala run by the daughter-in-law of Vince Mcmahon (CEO of WWE). Surprising to say the least, since I read on ANN that there was a proposal from Paramount and Mutual Film Company with Darren Aronofsky (director of Black Swan, The Wrestler). All I can say is that Kamala must have made the author Kazuo Koike and the publisher VERY happy - maybe discussing the adaptation with Koike-sensei whilst offering Futabasha (the publisher) very agreeable terms i.e. cash - or maybe Paramount were scared that should they acquire the rights they would face the same fate as Warner's and be stuck in production hell or even worse, end up like 20th Century Fox (with Dragon Ball) and bring out a piece that is equivalent to pure piss, making them decided to not really fight for this one.
Production company aside, the script has a good chance of being decent. With the scriptwriters being the duo that wrote Twelve Monkeys (awesome film, watch it if you already haven't) my expectations have been raised! How they tackle writing a script from the source material is yet to be seen and it is slightly worrying that this will be the first script they have written in over a decade, the last which was the box office flop Soldier (David-only project) but it is possible that the duo can produce something extraordinary.
The director for the series, Justin Lin, does seem to be the more inexperienced one and certainly compared to Darren Aronofsky he doesn't really seem up to the task made even more evident by his main directing experience revolving around the Fast and Furious franchise. If the production was to be green-lit could he pull this off Whilst Lin does lack experience, he is rumoured to be directing the adaptation of the comic book The Leading Man which could give him a boost should this film be made before Lone Wolf and Cub and since this film is also being done in cooperation with 1212 Entertainment which is dedicated to adapting anime, manga and games into films - Joshua Long, a producer at 1212 has been attached to the live-action adaptation for Cowboy Bebop for quite some time and has been pushing for it to be green-lit - Lin's lack of experience can be solved by a team of expert producers.
This manga is considered to be a classic (even if I haven't heard of it), so it should be done justice. Whether or not it is actually made is an entirely different story and judging from recent patterns we probably won't see it for years if ever. A ray of hope does lie with this Kamala and 1212 tag team, since neither one of these companies can be considered to be on the map yet and so every effort should be made by them to bring out a great adaptation.
2. Bleach's Live Action seemed to have progressed in terms of getting it ready for filming since Warner Bros. have put their adaptation of Akira on hold. ANN has recently posted a snippet of a discussion with Dan Mazeau, the writter attached to the project who is also in the midst of scripting The Flash and Jonny Quest and wrote the script for Wrath of the Titans (sequel to box office monster Clash of the Titans). I loved how in the interview he brought up how he wants to avoid what happened with Dragon Ball' s adaptation and even sat down with Tite Kubo and his publisher to discuss and re-assure him that the film won't lay waste to great work, something I think all screenwriters adapting manga and anime should do (if anime studios talk to the authors, then why shouldn't film studios from the west ). I'm interested to see how he lives up to his hopes for not messing up Bleach, so since Wrath of the Titans made it's debut like yesterday I might have to check it out to give further comments as to whether he can pull it off. Enthusiasm he's got, his ability however is still unknown since he's making his debut with Wrath of The Titans.
3. Noir's Live Action series has been put on hold. Surprise surprise, you'd think at least a TV series could make it to the screen at least because Starz, the channel, is partially owned by the Weinstein Company. I never go around to watching Noir, so all I can say is that this is a classic example of everything going well for live action adaptations and then in less than one year everything turns to shit.
Just to finish off the news about live action's currently (trying to be) on their way to being adapted are:
1. Bleach - In process
2. Death Note - Production Hell because of because of directors noble beliefs
3. Akira - On hold, ergo why Bleach is in process
4. Cowboy Bebop - God knows, probably hell and at this point Keanu Reeves can't possibly play Spike Spiegel
5. Lone Wolf and Cub - In process
Noitamina's 2012 Anime
Okay anime fans here's the deal, the noitaminA midnight slot is possibly the most sought out one for an anime that doesn't focus on the shonen demographic with the aim of expanding the overall popularity of anime. Previous works have included [C]: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control, UN-GO, Guilty Crown, Usagi Drop, Fractale and so on. Generally this slot can be seen as an indicator of quality and instils confidence in the viewers choice to watch the anime. In general most of the anime I have seen that have aired in this slot have been good and most recently I was impressed with Black Rock Shooter, so I'm a little bit excited as to what they have in store for us for the rest of 2012.
For the sake of completion I have included Tsuritama and Sakamichi no Apollon which are also in the spring preview review. So let's get started!
Spring Slot - April 12th
1. Sakamichi no Apollon
No way in hell has any otaku or anime enthusiast not heard of this one; not the source material itself but rather the fact that the composer and director of Cowboy Bebop are teaming up again to bring us a coming of age story about Jazz set in the 60's. Ignoring the fact that they're adapting this anime from a Josei manga the story alone sounds different and interesting, not to mention good enough to catch attention of a golden duo in the anime world and probably the rest of the anime loving world. It's safe to say that as soon as I caught wind of this one, I added it to my must watch list.
As I mentioned in the Spring Preview this one feels like a Kimi to Boku like anime but whether it will be shounen like Kimi to Boku is probably not likely and hence why I'm also watching this anime. The production company behing this, A-1, has been on fire recently with the anime they have produced and will have this as their 3rd original animation appearing in the noitamina slot in just since 2011. The studio also tends to bring out rather adaptations.
Summer Slot - July
3. Moyashimon Returns
This will be the second season of the anime, which was adapted from a seinen manga. The first season ran in the noitamina slot in the summer season of 2007 and the manga as well as the anime seem to be popular. The story is strange but then again so are many original anime's and other manga's. Since I don't have much to say about this one I'll just leave this one, also because it's a second season.
4. Natsuyuki Rendezvous
Another Josei manga adaptation but this time it seems this one is actually a romance and a rather sad one at that; love triangle between a widow who owns a flower shop, a part-time worker and the ghost of the widows deceased husband. Dogakobo is the production company behind this anime and it seems like this is one of the rare occasions when they'll be the ones taking the lead on this one (they usually assist in areas of animation and in-between animation). I'm not sure how this one will be made more appealing to a wider audience since the plot seems SO Josei but I might be wrong.
Autumn Slot - October
5. Robotics; Notes
Can you guess from the title where this adaptation is coming from Well your clues are Steins; Gate and Chaos; Head. Seems like game developer 5pb. is bringing out another visual novel this summer and thus this game will be adapted into an anime ready for the Fall Season 2012. From what I read it is indeed centred around robots and possibly some type of romance element (since it's a visual novel and all). Production I.G is in charge, possibly after seeing how well received the Steins; Gate anime and possibly Chaos; Head as well.
The anime shrouded in most mystery. Seriously. The only trailer that was released is totally focused on a futuristic pistol (something one can mistake for from any video game like Halo, Mass Effect etc.) and nothing about the plot was even revealed. The name makes me hope that it's something dark like a thriller or mystery and not an action series which it could easily turn out to be.
Time to give credit where credit is due. Thanks goes to Manga-news Japon (https://twitter.com/#!/manganewsjapon) for the info on Binbogami, To Love-Ru, One Piece and Code Breaker as well as the image of all the WSJ and SQ volumes out in April. The rest of the credit goes to ANN for their various articles and of course for posting the noitamina 2012 list.