NEWS IN 2005
10th April 04

Interview with Katsuhiro Otomo regarding Steamboy

Otomo was recently interviewed about the Production of Steamboy which has
been 9 years in the making. He talks about the use of CGI animation as opposed
to traditional cel work and has some interesting points to make.
http://www.theonionavclub.com/feature/index.php?issue=4114

March 04

AKIRA rated one the best Animations

Here in the UK, Channel 4 commissioned another of their '100 Best' programmes
this time featuring animation, aptly named "100 Greatest Cartoons".
Akira came out at number 16 which isn't bad for a country like us that knows little
about asian culture. Mind you, Urotsukidoji: Legend of the Overfiend was voted
72 so there's no accounting for taste :P Heh, it got my vote anyway...
Pokemon was voted 45 while Spirited Away reached a respectable 8th position.
www.channel4.com/entertainment/tv/microsites/G/greatest/cartoons/index.html
 

 


 

NEWS IN 2004
28th May 04

'Soul of Popynica' Kaneda's Bike Collector's Toy

Bandai are about to release a new collectors toy of Kaneda and his powerbike.
It's a 1/12 scale (200mm) replica and includes a very detailed construction of
the inards which can be seen clerly when the chasis is removed.
Goes on sale in July for around US$75.00 (GB£40.00).





Full-Sized Bike showcased at the 2004 Shizuoka Hobby Show!

Enough to get any of you bike fans drooling!
http://www3.hlj.com/shs/sf/index.html
For more info on both bikes please visit Kaneda's Bike Page

Thanks again to Matt for this link
24th May 04

AKIRA series 3 Gashapon Toys
The first two series of 'Capsule' toys were released over 2002-2003 and the next
wave is due out in Japan shortly.
For those who are unaware of these figurines, they are 3" plastic toys that come
from specialist vending machines- like an 'egg toy'. As such you never know
what character your going to get since they're concealed within the opaque
packaging. Full sets wil become available on the net in due course. 

For details see the website http://www.hlj.com/scripts/hljpage.cgi?KAMX-02

 


 

NEWS IN 2003
23rd June 03
New R2 DVD

On 23rd June another Akira DVD was released entitled 'Ultimate Collection'.
This 2-disc set features the original 'Orion/Streamline' English dub as released
through Manga Entertainment on VHS back in 1991. Since the official release
of Akira on DVD in 2002, fans have expressed their desire for the original
English dub because it's an element that many of us remember most when
watched this title all those years back. Manga have now given it to us (probably
after reading through our comments on the forum ^__^)

The cover shows the familar 'Kaneda with Gun over Neo Tokyo' just like the
'91 release.
Features are lacking compared to the superb R1 2002 Special Edition.
This 2-disc set shows AKIRA in two formats- 16:9 anamorphic transfer with 5.1
Dolby Digital Surround Sound, and a stereo version in the original 4:3 transfer.

25th Jan 03
AKIRA screening in London
A Sci-Fi Festival is taking place at The Other Cinema in London.
They are screening a full night/morning of anime movies/series on
Friday 31st January (I know it's a little late posting this- I tried
booking tickets but they already sold out!) Still, the playlist is:
Akira, Macross Plus, Patlabor 2, Armitage: Dual Matrix on screen 1;
Spriggan, Wings of Honneamise, Perfect Blue, Armitage: Dual Matrix
on screen 2.
Tickets are £20 and doors open at 11pm- this is an event for the real
Otakus out there (and/or those with no jobs to go to ^__^)

There are short breaks between each feature and free snacks are provided too!

For details see the website http://www.sci-fi-london.com/movies/anime1.htm

 


 
NEWS IN 2002
15th Apr 02

AKIRA destined for a western remake

Published 12th April 2002 on Silverbullet Comic Books

Matt, being the star he is, found this link to some brief info on the planned production
of a US live-action Akira movie. Personally I think this could be BAD news
http://www.silverbulletcomicbooks.com/news/101859158264796.htm

1st Apr 02

UK AKIRA DVD and its hidden Extras

There are 3 hidden extras (Easter Eggs) on the UK discs- One on disc 1 and Two
on disc 2. Thanks to Dave, he has found one of the extras- a montage of Akira film
clips edited to Drum 'n Bass music like a music video.
To access this extra, watch the film Trailer and when you see Kaneda riding his bike,
playing Chicken with Joker- press the 'Play' button on your remote...

The Quiz is a little tricky but if you're having trouble answering them all correctly, to
get into the VIP section of the website, the password is BABCC

25th Jan 02

New UK AKIRA DVD/VHS Press Release          
After hearing that the DVD is due for a UK release on 18th March 2002 from Manga
Entertainment, many fans have been wondering what the disk(s) will contain.
The remastered film will be released on both DVD and VHS formats. A limited 2-disk
DVD boxset is £21.99 and the VHS for £13.99. The extras have been especially
created for the UK release and will include: Making of AKIRA featurette, a stills
gallery, a 'Make Your Own AKIRA Trailer', a multiple-choice quiz, DVD ROM
Hyperlink and a collection of Easter Eggs.
For more detailed specs on the releases, look at the UK DVD Page

This release celebrates the 10th Anniversary of Manga.
It's a shame Manga don't have much of a pressence in the UK anymore.

3rd Jan 02

BlueBlade AKIRA gets published and reviewed in special Otomo Magazine
Thanks to Zicrom for sending me this mag! The Spanish publisher Estudio Ryuu
published a magazine in December 2000, 'Especial Otomo', dedicated to the works
of Katsuhiro Otomo. Information included Biography and examinations of his main
films Akira, Robot Carnival, Harmagedon, Roujin-Z, Memories and Spriggan. In the
Web section, this site along with Sebas' Unofficial Akira Webpage' were credited as
the best Akira sites out there!
 
1st Jan 02

AKIRA finally gets a European release date         
The DVD had been released in the US over July and the Japanese release at the
end of October, The UK will see its release on the 18th March 2002. It may be eight
months behind but promises to include extras that even the US special 2-disk set
didn't; 'Build You Own Akira' a brief video editing game, and an Interactive Quiz
whereby correct answers to the questions will enable you to unlock parts of the
Official Website, plus more to be confirmed.
See DVD Page for pictures and info on the US DVDs

 


 

NEWS UP UNTIL 2002

8th Nov 01

SPRIGGAN Official release and review

The movie Spriggan was reviewed on 27th October following it's release on the 23rd
at the following selected cinemas in the US:

Clinton Street Theater, Portland, OR
Cinemark 12, Hadley, MA
Cinemark 17, Springfield, OR

November 2nd Camera Cinema - San Jose, CA 
November 9th Alamo Draft House - Austin
November 17th New Falls Cinema - Bellows Fall, VT 
November 29th Red Vic Movie House-San Francisco 
November 30th Cinefest - Atlanta 
January 11 thru 26 Reel Art Ways in Hartford, CT (weekends only) 

The review wasn't too enthusiastic. The reviewer's fave words are "dumb violent
crap", usually arranged in that order.Still, you can read it here as found on IGN.com
Visit the Official Spriggan Website

4th Sept 01

AKIRA DVD release date in Europe   (Thanks to Matt for this info)

According to Diamond UK, the UK comic book wholsaler/distributer, the R2
Akira DVD has been rescheduled by Manga Entertainment for an Easter release.
To me, this seems like a long wait, but at least that's some confirmation!

26th July 01

Anime screenings on UK Television

As an update to the last news item concerning the screening of Akira on Sci-Fi
channel in the UK, I can confirm it is being shown TWICE THIS WEEK!
Here are the listings for anime films the week comencing Saturday 28th July:

Saturday:     10.35pm The wings of Honneamise
                   12.55am AKIRA
Sunday:       12.00am Macross Plus part 1
Monday:       12.00am Macross Plus part 2
Tuesday:      12.00am Patlabor
Wednesday: 12.00am Patlabor 2
Thursday:     12am AKIRA
23rd July 01

DVD & new VHS released now!

After reading the news post of 6 July you may have been disappointed about the
delay of the AKIRA DVD; however I can confirm that news was wrong!
Today I received confirmation from two sellers that the DVD is in retailers hands
ready to be sold. My copy is in the post so I'll let you know what I think of it next
week ^__^
19th July 01

Loss of anime companies in the UK

Read an interesting, but brief article by Jonathan Clements on the fall of Manga
Entertainment entitled When Manga Ruled the Earth (On Sci Fi Channel website)
(It even includes a couple of Akira pics)

19th July 01

Akira on the small screen

Today I saw an advert on the UK Sci-Fi channel for a week of 'award winning'
anime they have planned for 28th July. The clips I noticed included Wings of
Honneamise, Ghost in the Shell, Patlabor and Akira. It's been a while since
Akira was shown on British TV so make the most of it!
It'll be a great opportunity to see some great films anyway.
Akira is being screened on Thursday 2nd August at Midnight.
6th July 01

DVD Release date pushed back   (Thanks to Matt for this link)

Published 27th June at AICN
The new, official Akira DVD was meant to be released on 24th July 01, but it's
been reported the release date will now be September 25th 01. This date goes for
both the tin version and regular edition.
17th May 01

AKIRA DVD Collector's Tin

Published 2nd May at ICv2
When the new Akira DVD is released on 24th July 01, there are 75,000, 2 DVD
tin box versions as well as the standard cases. For a picture/info on this visit the
Akira Tin article on ICv2
12th May 01

New Playstation 2 Computer Game

Published 26th April at ICv2
Due out in August, this game is said to make full use of the PS2 3-D capabilities
(they all say that)! Read the brief article on The Game at ICv2 I'll try to add screen
shots when/if I see them
11th Apr 01

2001 Restored Akira Cinema Reviews

Both the following were published 1st April at AICN
Review by Harry A decent review of the digitally restored Akira.

Review by Ansylum Both had gone to watch the movie at the AMC Empire in
Times Square, New York, USA. Click the above links to read these worthwhile
pieces and check out the 'Users Talk Back' message boards at the end!
25th Mar 01

Rare Otomo Anime
I recently noticed that Katsuhiro Otomo had contributed to an animated film
compilation tape entitled 'Neo Tokyo'.
Along with segments by Rin Taro and Yoshiaki Kawajiri, it features Otomo's 23-
minute film titled 'The Order to Stop Construction'.
For more information click here
Mid-Mar 01

Resoration of the Anime
Some more info on the restoration of the Akira movie can be found at:
Akira 2001.com See the Flash version of the site- it's cool!
23rd Feb 01

Article by Scott Green at Ain't It Cool News   (Thanks to Matt for this link)
AKIRA DVD Release

In addition to dubbed and subtitled VHS versions, Pioneer will be releasing two
DVD versions of Akira on 3rd July 2001.
In addition to the US$24.95 standard edition Akira DVD, there will be a US$34.95
Deluxe Edition double disc set. The second disc is entirely extras, such as the
Making of Akira production report, a documentary on the creation of the sound-
track and other unspecified extras still to be listed.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 track is for the English only, the Japanese track will retain
it's original theatrical soundtrack format. 

23rd Feb 01

Article by Scott Green at Ain't It Cool News   (Thanks to Matt for this link)
This might be of interest to Otomo fans:
SPRIGGUN

ADV has stated that the action movie Spriggan is currently before the MPAA.
There is a 50/50 chance it will be released this autumn.
ADV has previously stated that they would like the series to receive a wide scale
theatrical release.
Spriggan is based on manga released in the US as "Striker". The movie focuses
on a chapter of the manga in which a super agent with muscle augmenting armour
fights to keep Noah Ark's power locked away.
The movie is directed by Hirotsugu Kawasaki, who previously worked on the "Stink
Bomb" segment of Otomo's MEMORIES as character designer and animation
director. Katsuhiro Otomo Supervised the direction of Spriggun.
Mid-Feb 01

AKIRA to be restored for cinema re-release in Spring 2001, then on DVD

The million dollar restoration of Akira includes new film interpositive, HD-5
high-definition mastering with digital restoration, THX certification, re-mixed
Dolby Digital AC3 Surround Sound and a brand new English dub.

Read the full Press Release from Pioneer
Mid-Feb 01

Series 2 AKIRA Action Figures
Todd McFarlane has unveiled the lineup of his 3-D Animation from Japan Series2
AKIRA TOYS! The toys include Akira himself with his throne, the Clown Gang
leader Joker, and a deluxe Kaneda whos actually sits on his bike.
Visit Spawn.com for the latest.
These are due for a summer 2001 release to coincide with the DVD and new VHS
re-release.
20th Dec 00
       
From Darkhorse Press Release
AKIRA English language Graphic Novel #2           
After spending years out of print, Akira has risen! Dark Horse's re-release of the
Japanese graphic masterpiece continues March 21 with the highly-anticipated
debut of the series' second volume.
"Some things need to be kept in the public eye and this manga masterpiece is
one of them," raved Comics International writer Phil Hall. "This is essential reading
for those who want to understand everything that is good about comic books."
Akira #2 is a giant graphic novel, featuring 304 pages of stunning black-and-white
storytelling. This book retails for $24.95.

If anyone has new, reliable information about Akira or Otomo San, please let me know

 

 

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