Speed Racer only lasted one year? That's what IMDb seems to indicate. The Japanese import is so much a part of popular culture I assumed it had lasted longer than that. Regardless, the popular cartoon was around before my time, so I know very little about it, save for little bits of information I've picked up here and there. If you're older than myself, however, or you fell in love with the show while watching it in reruns, you may have already heard that a live-action film versions of the cartoon is in the works. Larry and Andy Wachowski, the brothers behind the Matrix movies, will write and direct the project, which is slated for a 2008 release. The brothers apparently have big plans for the racing sequences, and given the ever-duplicated special effects of the Matrix trilogy, I'm more than a little curious to see what they have up their sleeves. I'm a little bummed out that it's live-action rather than animation, but The Matrix was essentially a live-action cartoon in many ways, so maybe this could work.
[via Toon Zone]
While it hasn't been added to the schedule grid yet, the '80s animated series Voltron will in fact be a part of Adult Swim starting on November 13. However, the episodes will air at 5:30 am, so if you want to see them on television you'll either have to never sleep, or wake up really early. The addition was announced on the Adult Swim messageboard (hat tip to Adult Swim HQ). If you don't have a DVR to record the episodes, but you have a broadband connection, you'll also be able to catch them on Adult Swim Fix, Adult Swim's video site.
This should thrill folks my age who grew up with this cartoon, though I must admit that while I was aware of it as a kid, I don't think I ever watched a single episode. I guess this is my chance to see what all my friends loved so much about it. I'll just have to regress back to my eight year old self, which shouldn't be too difficult.
It's funny how popular manga has become in the last several years. And to think all I did was read Garfield and Heathcliff books. These days many people in the biz point to the Cartoon Network Effect on manga sales due to the increasing popularity of anime on the network. Thomas J. McLean, writing for Publishers Weekly, uses Bleach as an example. That particular manga was never a huge seller, but when the anime debuted on Adult Swim, sales of the manga began to soar. This is not true, though, for all comic books and graphic novels. In the case of manga and anime, the two often have a direct connection that makes it easier to move from one to another. American animated series based on comic books don't always have that connection, and the result is that a series like Fantastic Four, while popular, doesn't help the sale of Fantastic Four comic books that have no direct correlation with the television series. This difference, however, can work, as in the case of Teen Titans, a cartoon that looks nothing like the original comic books. The anime-style of that show probably doesn't hurt much, either.
[via Toon Zone]
Reviewed here: End of the Line, Squid Dragon Legend and Strange Transmissions.
The popularity of the series led to the story being continued in '97 and '98 with three movies, Death and Rebirth, The End of Evangelion, and Revival of Evangelion. All three movies borrow heavily from the series and present an alternate ending to the story. The first three of the new movies will be an alternate version of the series, including new backgrounds, characters, and scenes. The fourth movie is a new conclusion to the Evangelion story. Release dates have been announced as July '07, January '08 and June '08.
[ via comingsoon.net ]
Shin Chan, a dubbed version of the Japanese anime (and manga) also known as Crayon Shin Chan, will debut on Adult Swim this Saturday at 10:30 pm. My anime knowledge is rather limited, so if you know anything about this series feel free to school me in the comments below. I did find some clips of the original version on YouTube, and clips of the newly dubbed version can be found here. Evan Dorkin, creator of Welcome to Eltingville, helped with re-writing the dialogue and dubbing the series for American audiences. He talks about it on his Live Journal, and it sounds like he's trying to distance himself somewhat from the project, or at least protect himself from the ire of anime lovers who hate dubbed versions of anything. Click here for the Adult Swim schedule grid, which as far as I can tell is the only place on the site that mentions the show.
[via Toon Zone]
I wasn't hallucinating, and neither were you. Adult Swim really is going to air a bunch of Saved By The Bell episodes. No joke. They've just announced a schedule (and I see they've put [crappy 1980's live action tv show network] at the bottom right hand corner during some of their programming). I have yet to hear a good explanation as to why they're doing this instead of doing a Venture Bros. marathon and making me a happy girl, but I'm sure it's all part of Adult Swim's master plan to take over the world. Or they're just being silly.
Big news on the anime front: Spike TV sent out a press release recently that Samuel L. Jackson will produce and voice the hotly anticipated five episode anime series Afro Samurai with Japanese anime studio Gonzo and Fuji Television.
The tale spins around a black samurai, Afro, to be voiced by Jackson, who is on a quest to avenge his father's death, meeting "enemies, friends and challenges along the way". Hopefully the series will be more original than the storyline of "antisocial warrior avenging the wrongful death of his (insert relative of your choice here)". Jackson overflows with talent on the big screen, but Afro Samurai will need to pack a lot more punch than its initial press release to stand out in the anime crowd, even with his gravely voice bringing life to the lead role.
The series blends samurai style with hip-hop, something the Spike TV folks claim in their press release "American audiences have never seen before". Guess the Spike TV guys haven't been keeping up with Shinichiro Watanabe's latest effort, Samurai Champloo.
Fans of Cowboy Bebop and The Animatrix have been anxiously awaiting the premiere of Shinichiro Watanabe's newest effort, Samurai Champloo, on Adult Swim. The first episode didn't disappoint, I'm happy to say, and from what I've read from folks who have seen later episodes, this series will just get better and better.
Seamlessly blending hip-hop music with crisp, artsy action sequences, Watanabe brings his characters to life with an irreverance best captured in the show's opening sequence: "This work of fiction is not an accurate historical portrayal. Like we care. Now shut up and enjoy the show." Original music by Force of Nature, Fat Jon, Tsutchie, and Nujabes drives the show on a frentic pace, but the animation crew has no trouble keeping up with the score.
Historically accurate or not, Samurai Champloo is set in the Edo Period of Japan, when Samurai stood at the top of the social hierarchy. Mugen is a brash, self-trained young warrior who fights with a unique breakdance style of fighting. Jin is a more traditional Samurai - quiet, calculating and controlled. These two polar opposites are bound to get into conflict, but before they can fight each other they meet up in the first episode with Fuu, a young waitress who saves both their lives.
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