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Archives for : August2014

AKB49 The Musical

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On September 11th through the 16th, members of AKB48G will take part in a comedy musical about a woman who tries to infiltrate the audition of AKB48.  Meanwhile, other girls try their best to make it into the group.

The musical will take place at AIA Theater Tokyo and will star Miyazawa Sae, Suda Kaori, Matsumura Kaori and many more.

For more information, you can click here!

Nogizaka46’s Ikuta Erika tops music news for “Sekai no Owari” for July 31-August 6

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Ikuta Erika becoming center for Nogizaka46’s next single was the top music news for “Sekai no Owari” surpassing news of Berryz Koubou going on indefinite hiatus, Momoiro CloverZ collaborating with THE ALFEE’s Kōnosuke Sakazaki and Baby Metal opening for Lady GaGa.

KOEI TECMO AMERICA RELEASES NEW “WARRIORS OROCHI 3 ULTIMATE” IMAGES AND FIRST XBOX ONE VIDEO DETAILING NEW AND RETURNING NETWORK GAMEPLAY MODES

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KOEI TECMO America today released new images and the first Xbox One video for the tactical action game WARRIORS OROCHI 3 Ultimate, highlighting numerous network modes for competitive Online and Offline combat. These include the all-new Gauntlet mode in which players create a party of up to five warriors and engage in missions on an ever-evolving dynamic battlefield. Gauntlet mode allows players to either upload their party or download another player’s for 2 player co-op or standalone gameplay.

Additionally, the company released the first Xbox One video for WARRIORS OROCHI 3 Ultimate featuring Duel Mode. Available for the first time on PlayStation and Xbox platforms, Duel Mode allows players to select warriors of their choice for 3 vs 3 battle against others Online or locally or against AI. Four unlockable Strategy cards can be armed to boost abilities, heal or deal a disadvantage to the opponent.

Additional returning network modes include 2 player co-op for both Story mode and Free mode.

WARRIORS OROCHI 3 Ultimate marks the series’ Western debut on PlayStation®4 computer entertainment and Xbox One and will be joined by the PlayStation®3 and PS®Vita system version launches on September 2, 2014, offering highly competitive combat for players regardless of platform preference.

The introduction of new, plus popular guest characters and stages including those from DYNASTY WARRIORS and SOULCALIBUR, exhilarating fighting moves, several game modes and special new generation console features, combined with copious amounts of story content, offers players a brand new OROCHI experience with limitless replayability.

WARRIORS OROCHI 3 Ultimate is developed by Omega Force and published in North America by KOEI TECMO America. The PlayStation 3 and PS Vita versions will be available exclusively through the PlayStation® Store for $49.99 (PS3) and $39.99 (PS Vita) respectively and the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions will be available for $59.99 on September 2, 2014. Special pre-order incentives are available at participating retailers including Halloween Costumes (GameStop and EB Canada), and TOUKIDEN-themed costumes (Amazon and Best Buy). This title has been rated T (Teen) by the ESRB.

To download new assets for WARRIORS OROCHI 3 Ultimate, please visit: https://app.box.com/s/dftycc14jhs7wy72gvl5.

For the latest WARRIORS OROCHI 3 Ultimate news follow us on https://www.facebook.com/koeitecmous or @KoeiTecmoUS or visit http://www.koeitecmoamerica.com/wo3u/.

About KOEI TECMO AMERICA CORP:
KOEI TECMO AMERICA CORP. is a publisher of interactive entertainment software for current generation consoles, handhelds and digital download content based in Burlingame, California. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of KOEI TECMO HOLDINGS CO., LTD., headquartered in Yokohama, Japan. KOEI is best known for its Dynasty Warriors® and Samurai Warriors® franchises. TECMO is best known for the Dead or Alive®, Ninja Gaiden®, Tecmo Bowl®, and Fatal Frame® series.
2009, KOEI TECMO HOLDINGS CO., LTD was established as a result of the TECMO, LTD. and KOEI Co., Ltd. merger.

Chikano Rina makes her JKT48 theater debut

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Former AKB48 member Chikano Rina made her JKT48 theater debut in Jakarta, Indonesia on August 6th. The crowd erupted with cheers when Chikano was unveiled with many chanting her name.

Chikano performed in all 13 songs with JKT48 including songs “Seishun Girls” and “Blue Rose”.

BoA to release new original album, her first in 4 1/2 years

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BoA to release her first original album in 4 1/2 years (her last album was “Identity” back in 2010) and will be titled “Who’s Back?”. Her new music video “First Time” features BoA recording “First Time” for her album but also the artist not wearing any makeup.

BoA will also having a Tokyo tour titled “2014 ~ WHO’S BACK? ~ BoA LIVE TOUR” with a performance at NHK Hall on Sept. 6.

VIZ MEDIA’S PERFECT SQUARE IMPRINT PREVIEWS SPECIAL VOLTRON® 30th ANNIVERSARY COMMEMORATIVE EDITION SET FOR FALL RELEASE

VOLTRON DEFENDER OF THE UNIVERSE: FROM DAYS OF LONG AGO – A 30th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION Explores The History And Impact of The Classic ‘80s Sci-fi Animated Epic

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San Francisco, CA, August 6, 2014 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest distributor and licensor of anime and manga in North America, marks the 30th Anniversary of the launch of VOLTRON: DEFENDER OF THE UNIVERSE with the announcement of the upcoming release of a comprehensive new edition exploring the entire VOLTRON® universe and its notable impact on pop culture.

VOLTRON: FROM DAYS OF LONG AGO, A 30th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION will be released in print on October 28th from the company’s Perfect Square imprint. The book will carry an MSRP of $29.99 U.S. / $34.99 CAN.

Thirty years ago, Voltron: Defender of the Universe hit the airwaves, and the world of pop culture hasn’t been the same. Now, VOLTRON: FROM DAYS OF LONG AGO chronicles the story of VOLTRON and its cultural relevance, taking a detailed look at the story behind the show and the many related toy releases, the mythology of both Lion Force and Vehicle Voltron (with a nod to Albegas), and concludes the exciting Voltron Force saga. This new book is truly for fans, by fans: authored by Brian Smith, writer on Perfect Square’s VOLTRON FORCE® series of original graphic novels, Marc Morrell, co-host of the popular “Let’s Voltron!” podcast, and Joshua Bernard, founder of CollectionDX; with a comic written by Smith and illustrated by Jacob Chabot, illustrator of the VOLTRON FORCE series; and a foreward by Jeremy Corray.

“To celebrate VOLTRON’s 30th, we wanted to do something really special,” says Traci Todd, Senior Editor. “There are so many fans out there, and we wanted to both honor their devotion and invite them to be part of this project. The book starts almost like a yearbook of fan memories and then dives right in with archival images, celebrity interviews, and an examination of the Voltron mythology that will blow your mind. Everyone who worked on this book is a huge Voltron fan. And we all hope you love Voltron: From Days of Long Ago as much as we love bringing it to you!”

VOLTRON® is a hugely successful brand that is recognized globally ever since it was introduced in the early 1980’s. VIZ Media’s Perfect Square imprint also publishes VOLTRON FORCE®, a full-color original graphic novel series that complements the animated series that airs on Nicktoons. The first season of VOLTRON FORCE debuted in 2011 and became the highest rated series premiere ever for the network. DreamWorks Animation has become the licensing agent for the Voltron brand and is planning a year-long celebration of Voltron’s 30th anniversary, launching in Fall 2014. Since the classic cartoon’s debut, related products have generated over $225 million in sales.

VOLTRON writer Brian Smith is a former Marvel Comics editor whose past credits include The Ultimates, Ultimate Spider-Man, Iron Man, Captain America, The Incredible Hulk, and dozens of other comics. 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 all-ages comic The Intrepid Escape Goat.

Smith is also the illustrator of The Adventures of Daniel Boom AKA LOUDBOY!, named one of The Top 10 Graphic Novels for Youths 2009 by Booklist Online. His illustration clients include Time Out New York Magazine, Nickelodeon, MAD Kids Magazine, Harper Collins, Bongo Comics, Grosset & Dunlap, and American Greetings.

Marc Morrell is co-host of the “Let’s Voltron!” podcast and head writer for ToonBarn.com

Joshua Bernard is the founder of CollectionDX, a site devoted to the best coverage of Japanese toys, action figures and pop culture.

Jacob Chabot is a New York City-based cartoonist and illustrator. His comics have appeared in publications such as Nickelodeon Magazine, Mad Magazine, Spongebob Comics, and various Marvel titles. He also illustrated Voltron Force: Shelter from the Storm and Voltron Force: True Colors for VIZ Media. His comic The Mighty Skullboy Army is published through Dark Horse and in 2008 was nominated for an Eisner Award for Best Book for Teens. More examples of Jacob’s work can be found at www.beetlebugcomics.com.

Additional information on VOLTRON FORCE or other graphic novel titles published by Perfect Square is available at www.PerfectSquare.com.

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

About Voltron®
In a galaxy plagued with chaos and evil, five robotic lions, piloted by a team of brave space explorers, combine to form the mighty robot hero, Voltron®. After blazing onto TV screens in 1984, Voltron: Defender of the Universe quickly became a top-rated animated series. The hit series inspired a best-selling toy line and made Voltron a pop-culture icon. An all-new 2D/CGI animated series, Voltron Force®, is currently airing in the U.S. on Nicktoons. Follow Voltron on Twitter @Voltron or join the official Voltron Facebook page at Facebook.com/VoltronOfficial for all the latest news.

About VIZ Media, LLC
Headquartered in San Francisco, California, VIZ Media distributes, markets and licenses the best anime and manga titles direct from Japan. Owned by three of Japan’s largest manga and animation companies, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions, Co., Ltd., VIZ Media has the most extensive library of anime and manga for English speaking audiences in North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland and South Africa. With its popular monthly manga anthology SHONEN JUMP magazine and blockbuster properties like NARUTO, BLEACH and INUYASHA, VIZ Media offers cutting-edge action, romance and family friendly properties for anime, manga, science fiction and fantasy fans of all ages. VIZ Media properties are available as graphic novels, DVDs, animated television series, feature films, downloadable and streaming video and a variety of consumer products. Learn more about VIZ Media, anime and manga at www.VIZ.com.

J-POP SUMMIT FESTIVAL 2014 TURNS IT UP TO 11 by Kenneth Eric Tran (J!-ENT Event Coverage)

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The 6th annual J-Pop Summit Festival returned to the beautiful confines of Union Square for a twilight exhibition of the top musical artists from Japan. On the heels of last year’s very successful matinee main event featuring Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, organizers succeeded in providing programming surpassing any other previous festival to date. The headlining show, dubbed J-Pop Live, featured singer/model Una, human beatboxer Daichi, idol group Tokyo Girls’ Style, former-AKB48 member Tomomi Itano, and vocalist May’n.

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Starting the night off was Una, a Harajuku fashion icon who debuted as a singer just one year prior. Donning an incredible yukata-like outfit befitting of a charismatic Aomoji-kei queen, she sparkled in her performance of her heavily electro-pop setlist, including her debut single “Juicy-Juicy”.

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Next on stage was the return of Daichi, known around the world as one of the best beatboxers alive. Besides his amazing skill with the mic, Daichi was incredibly entertaining cracking jokes and initiating audience participation.

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A brief intermission featured Koji Mizutani’s Merry Project. The project featured umbrellas printed with smiling faces from the children affected by the Fukushima tragedy. It is a reminder to stay strong despite overwhelming obstacles.

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Anticipation grew as Tokyo Girls’ Style slowly appeared on stage, amidst a sea of sunflowers, and started singing “Himawari no Hoshikuzu”. The crowd went absolutely wild, cheering and dancing through their whole performance.

As a surprise, TGS sang “Himawari no Hoshikuzu” once again, this time in English.

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The momentum continued with Tomomi Itano, who suddenly appeared from the curtain to the greeting of “Tomochin” chants. In her Swagalicious attire, she struck the audience with the same type of charisma as her days with AKB48, leaving many in attendance yelling “SWAG” as a recognition of her debut album.

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Finally, May’n greeted the San Francisco crowd. But rather than just promoting her performance planned for the following night, May’n gave everyone a treat and began performing, much to the delight of everyone.

After such an amazing headlining show, it is easy to forget the rest of the events planned for the weekend. The rest of the fun would be held in Japan Town for the duration of the festival. Live events would be held at the Pagoda Stage, as each of the headliners performed once again along with many other artists such as Kylee, Yanakiku, Pinky Doodle Poodle, Black Diamond, DJ Coco and DJ Amaya. Cosplay, fashion, and idol events would also be held on stage.

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Besides the main stage, New People Cinema hosted the inaugural Japan Film Festival of San Francisco featuring screenings for the entire week. The top floors of New People were reserved for the fashion events, with numerous appearances by iconic figures in Japanese youth fashion: Ayumi Seto, Una, Akira, and Misa Kimura. The fashion events featured live performances by Akira and Una, meet and greet sessions, and a fashion show.

Along the main street of Japan Town were dozens of vendors and booths of every kind. Kinokuniya and SEGA hosted a special signing session with Miku Hatsune illustrator, KEI, as well as featuring the upcoming video game of the digital diva. Along the other booths were many meet and greet opportunities with most of the Guests of Honor.

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Down Post Street was the crowded Ramen Street event, with patron standing in line for over an hour just to try each ramen masterpiece. The Pop Gourmet Food Festival was also held offering creative snacks and sake tasting.

The J-Pop Summit had something for everybody, as intended by the organizers. This year’s festival easily surpassed last year’s attendance of 80,000 people with 120,000 attendees in 2014.

“The 2014 J-POP Summit was the biggest and most successful we have ever staged. The addition of the Ramen Street attraction and the array of artists, performers and other events also made it one of the most exciting. We are looking forward to presenting an even bigger J-POP Summit for 2015!”, said Seiji Horibuchi, President/CEO of NEW PEOPLE, Inc. and Chairman of the J-Pop Summit Festival Committee.

With this momentum, it is likely J-Pop Summit will continue to grow in popularity and feature even more headliners in the near future. We could be witnessing the genesis of a future marquee festival.

Our interviews from J-POP SUMMIT FESTIVAL 2014 will be featured in our upcoming J!-ENT ANNUAL 2014 issue to be released in late SEPTEMBER. Stay tuned!

Article by Kenneth Eric Tran, J!-ENT

Photos by Dennis A. Amith, J!-ENT

Videos by Charles Amith, J!-ENT