Monday, March 31, 2014

Happy Birthday to Anime Voice Actress/Singer Maaya Sakamoto!

On today March 31, popular anime voice actress/singer Maaya Sakamoto celebrates her 34th birthday! She was born in Itabashi Ward, Tokyo, on March 31, 1980. When she was only 8 in 1988, she made her voice actress debut for the Japanese dub of Dana in the American TV drama series Our House. She is now well-known as the Japanese dub voice of Natalie Portman.


Her first protagonist role in anime was Chifuru in the 1992 OVA Little Twins (later re-edited as a TV series). But most of anime fans recognized her first in Sunrise's 1996 TV anime series The Vision of Escaflowne. She voiced the protagonist character Hitomi Kanzaki and also made her singer debut with the theme song for the show "Yakusoku wa Iranai" composed/arranged by her long-time companion Yoko Kanno.


So far she has released 23 singles and 8 original albums. Her biggest hit song in the charts was 15th

single "Triangler," the OP theme for the 2008 TV anime series Macross Frontier. It was released on April

23, 2008 and got a very good 3rd place in the Oricon weekly single ranking in its first week. What is your

most favorite song of hers? As a voice actress, she will play Moko in Captain Earth, the April 2014 robot

anime produced by Bones.



Maaya Sakamoto © FlyingDog,Inc.



PV collection

 (courtesy of Maaya Sakamoto official YouTube channel)


15th single "Triangler" (April 23, 2008)




16th single "Ame ga Furu" (October 29, 2008)




"everywhere" from her 1st best album of the same name (March 31, 2010)




19th single "Buddy" (October 19, 2011)




20th single "Okaerinasai" (October 26, 2011)




"Sayonara Santa" from her 3ed concept album "Driving in the silence" (November 9, 2011)




21st single "More Than Words" (July 25, 2012)




22nd single "Hajimari no Umi" (July 31, 2013)




23rd single "Be mine!" (February 5, 2014)


Poster Visual for "Patlabor" Live-Action Film 2nd Chapter

The official poster visual for the second chapter (episode 2 and 3) of the upcoming Mobile Police Patlabor live-action project titled The Next Generation -Patlabor- is revealed to the Japanese media today. It features AV-98 Ingram, Erina Mano as Akira Izuninom who is the forward pilot of Ingram no. 1, and veteran actor Naoto Takenaka as the strongest gamer oyaji (middle-aged man) who appears in the third episode "Tekken Akira." 58-year-old Takenaka previously voiced Shigeki Arakawa in Mamoru Oshii's 1993 film Patlabor 2: The Movie (and Kim in Innocence, Master in The Sky Crawlers).


The first chapter which consists the episode 0 and 1 hits theaters on April 5, then followed by the second chapter on May 31. The moviegoers who go to see the first chapter in its first week will receive a business card of Akira Izumino. You can hear a conversation between the third generation members of the Police Special Vehicle Section 2 by calling the number printed on the card. Those who visit

the theaters in the second week will get a card featuring AV-98 Ingram and its spec. Check the images below.



The second chapter poster



Akira Izumino business card



Ingram card



Source: Comic Natalie 1, 2


© 2014 "THE NEXT GENERATION -PATLABOR-" Production Committee

VIDEO: "Blade & Soul" Anime Ad

This April, Gonzo will be adapting Korean NCsoft's Blade & Soul, a martial fantasy MMORPRG, inspired by the four benevolent animals of Chinese mythology. 


A new ad offers a more animated look that some previous previews...




Staff includes: 


Directors : Hiroshi Takeuchi (animation director on Big O, Bodacious Space Pirates)

Hiroshi Hamasaki (Steins;Gate)


Original Developer : NCSoft
Original Character Design : Hyung Tae Kim (Blade & Soul, Magna Carta, Magna Carta II)

Series composition: Tomioka Atsuhiro (Fairy Tail)


Script Writers:

Tomioka Atsuhiro

Takeshi Konuta

Daisuke Ishibashi

Ayumu Hisao

Watanuki Hanayo


Character Design: Eri Nagata 

Chief Animation Directors : Eri Nagata

Satoru Kiyomaru


Music: Taro Iwashiro 

Production: GONZO 

Cast :
Alka : Yuki Takao

Jin Valel: Aoi Yuki  

El Karen : Sayaka Ohara  

Jin Hazuki : Sora Amamiya 

Dan Roana : Ayahi Takagaki

Yu Ran : Shizuka Ito 

Ga Gante : Rikiya Koyama

Yu : Marina Inoue 

Hong Dogen : Cho 

Ron : Ryoko Shiraishi

via Anime News

Scott Green is editor and reporter for anime and manga at geek entertainment site Ain't It Cool News. Follow him on Twitter at @aicnanime.

"Witch Craft Works" 3D Mouse Pad and Hug Pillow Planned

At least a bit incongruous with the powerful character, Hobby Stocks is offering couple of risque character goods featuring Witch Craft Works' Ayaka Kagari. There's hug pillow cover, offered in 160 cm x 50cm standard site, and Hobby Stock Online Shop limited queen size 190 x 50cm size. Its reverse side has a "bold bikini" illustration, and, Kagari's again in a bikini for a 3D mouse pad. 


The Hobby Stock Online Shop shop is offering an exclusive microfiber cleaning cloth with the mousepad. Both items ship in May.





via @ikari_gendo

"Fairy Tail" Author Announces Spin-off Manga

Fairy Tail author Hiro Mashima took to Twitter to announce the launch of Monthly Fairy Tail, a 2980 yen periodical that will feature magazine content along with a four episode anime DVD.  Along with spin-off manga, such as a planned Gray story, this will include character guides, pin-up art, and a new manga series by Mashima himself.


Mashima's tentatively titled Fairy Tail Zero will explore the back story of first Guild Master and co-founder of the Fairy Tail Guild, Mavis Vermilion and the guild's creation. His main series will continue in Weekly Shonen Magazine.




Scott Green is editor and reporter for anime and manga at geek entertainment site Ain't It Cool News. Follow him on Twitter at @aicnanime.


FEATURE: Bandai Akiba Showroom March 2014 “Kamen Rider” Edition

FEATURE: Bandai Akiba Showroom March 2014 "Kamen Rider" Edition

As reported several times, Tamashii Nations AKIBA Showroom for Bandai's popular and latest character figures is located in the JR Akihabara station's East-West Hall and has become one of the must-go places in the otaku town for the fans. It is now greatly promoting its latest Kamen Rider figure-S.H.Figuarts Kamen Rider Kabuto Rider Form from the 7th Heisei Kamen Rider TV series of the same name in 2006-2007. The 140mm-tall Kabuto figure is just released in Japan on March 29. The exhibition featuring the figure and other Kamen Rider items will be held till April 2. Check the latest Bandai character figures below.

* all of the photos were taken by the writer Mikikazu Komatsu with the gallery's permission

The gallery is now decorated with the Kamen Rider Kabuto images

The screen keeps playing the PV for the figure below

One of two rooms is entirely dedicated to the successive Kamen Rider figures

-Other latest items

S.I.C.: Sagohzo Combo - Kamen Rider OOO (July)

S.I.C.: Mezool - Kamen Rider OOO (June)

Figuarts ZERO: "Fujitora" Issho - One Piece (August)

Figuarts ZERO Artist Special: Monky.D.Luffy - One Piece (July)

Figuarts ZERO: Portgas D. Ace Special Color Edition - One Piece (June)

(you can actually see the fire from Ace's body with a special effect display)

Figuarts ZERO: Freeza Final Form - Dragon Ball Z (July)

S.H.Figuarts: Smile PreCure! series

Cure March (June)

Cure Sunny (September)

S.H.Figuarts: Wild Tiger Style 2 (September) & Barnaby Brooks Jr. (September)

S.H.MonsterArts: Larva Battla & Larva Mothra - Godzilla vs Mothra (June)

The Robot Spirits: Unicorn Gundam (Destroy Mode) Support Fullarmor (April)

The Robot Spirits: Kshatriya (March)

Figuarts ZERO: Sailor Moon (March)

S.H.Figuarts: Sailor Mercury (August)

S.H.Figuarts: Alisa Illinichina Amiella-GOD EATER 2 Edition- (June)

D-Arts: Noel=Vermillion - Brazblue (March)

S.H.Figuarts: Golden Darkness (Whiteness ver.) - To Love-Ru (October)

S.H.Figuarts: Momo Belia Deviluke (March)

Super Robot Chogokin: Genesic Gaogaiger (March)

Chogokin: Hello Kitty (June)

The flyer


FEATURE: Bandai Akiba Showroom December 2013 "Super Heroes/Mecha" Edition

FEATURE: Bandai Akiba Showroom August 2013 "One Piece" Edition

FEATURE: Bandai Akiba Showroom August 2013 "Ultra-Act" Edition

FEATURE: Bandai Akiba Showroom May 2013 Edition

FEATURE: Bandai Akiba Showroom April 2013 Edition

FEATURE: Bandai Akiba Showroom January 2013 Edition

FEATURE: Bandai Akiba Showroom November 2012 Edition

FEATURE: BANDAI Akiba Showroom October 2012 Edition

FEATURE: BANDAI Akiba Showroom May 2012 Edition

FEATURE: BANDAI Akiba Showroom April 2012 Edition

FEATURE: BANDAI Akiba Showroom February 2012 Edition

FEATURE: BANDAI Akiba Showroom November 2011 Edition

FEATURE: BANDAI Akiba Showroom September 2011 Edition

FEATURE: Bandai Akiba Showroom July 2011 Edition

Read more here: Crunchy Roll