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Battle of the Planets and Mysterious Cities of Gold director and animator dies

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Sad news: Hisayuki Toriumi (1941 – 2009) passed away on Friday, and his funeral will be held today in Hachioji City, Tokyo.

Although his name may not be familiar, his work certainly will be to millions of my generation – not just in Japan – but also in the UK, the US and across the world where series like Gatchaman (known outside Japan as Battle of the Planets and G-Force), The Mysterious Cities of Gold and Speed Racer became huge childrens TV hits in the 1970s and 80s, and for fans like myself were our first introduction to the world of anime.

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Oshii’s ‘Sky Crawlers’ fails to recieve Oscar nomination

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Not that I expected him to win, especially in the year that Academy darlings Pixar released what is arguably their finest work to date, but I have to say I was surprised and disappointed he didn’t even get a nod when the nominations were announced today. It’s especially confusing when only three films where put forward, and one of them was the decidedly average Kung Fu Panda (I haven’t seen Bolt, and can’t honestly say I’m that bothered either).

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Denno Coil 13 – 26 (2007): Review

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(Note: this is the second part of a review of Denno Coil. The first part can be read here.)

It was slightly embarrassing last week, when I sat down to write a post about the Denno Coil art book I picked up in Tokyo, when I realised I’d never actually finished reviewing the series. In fact, it had been so long since I penned the first part, that I had to go back and re-read it to see exactly what i had said:

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Links > Anime & Manga Makoto Shinkai news teh internets

Don’t forget the 1st Annual Global Shinkai Day…

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…which is on 28th February, apparently. At least according to Makoto Shinkai fansite Cherry Blossoms Falling, who are organising this (probably less than official) event. According to this post:

In order to celebrate the works of Makoto Shinkai we’ve decided to throw a Global Shinkai Day. We’ll spend 24 hours watching Shinkai’s films, chatting during the movies and having discussions and contests along the way. We hope you will be able to drop in and join the party/conversation 🙂

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Takashi Iwai – Manga Headphones Catalogue & Guidebook (新・萌えるヘッドホン読本) (2008)

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I know a lot of people really dug the Anime Guide to Headphones image I posted up a few months ago, myself included, so I couldn’t resist picking up the book it was meant to promote when I stumbled across it in Mandarake.

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Yet again – as with all these Japanese artbooks – it’s beautifully printed. Each double page spread features a page of Japanese text and diagrams about a particular brand and model of headphones opposite a large, full colour illustration of a girl modeling them.

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Ghost in the Shell 2.0 (2008): Review

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Some of you might remember my concern back in June when I first reported on Production IG’s planned visual update to Oshii’s 1995 classic Ghost in the Shell. Well, the Blu-ray of GiTS 2.0 (not to be confused with GiTS 2: Innocence, which will also be referred to a lot in this piece) hit Japanese stores a few weeks ago, and via sources that I’m not at liberty to identify I have managed to get my hands on a preview copy – months before the (still yet to be confirmed) UK release. So it was that I found myself, on the first morning of 2009, sitting down to watch one of my favourite movies of all time again, but instead of being filled with the usual satisfying feeling of anticipation, I was gripped with something nearer to dread.

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