Computer Animated Akira

Even those who aren’t all that familiar with manga or anime have heard about Akira. Either they’ve seen some of the iconic shots from the movie or they’ve heard about Warner Bros. Pictures trying desperately to turn it into a live-action movie. Now two Akira fans have given the beloved story by Katsuhiro Otomo a computer animated makeover by taking excerpts from the film and recreating them in 3D. The result is a movie that looks like the Wachowskis’ Speed Racer, albeit in a much less polished form.

Watch the computer animated Akira video after the jump. Read More »

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Unified Pictures, the production company founded by Keith Kjarval that produced Rudderless, Trust Me and A Single Shot among others, is developing an animated Vampire Hunter D TV series. The popular series of Japanese novels by Hideyuki Kikuchi has spawned two movies in 1985 and 2000. We spoke with another Unified founder, Kurt Rauer, and Scott McLean who are overseeing Vampire Hunter D.

They are beginning with a comic book adaptation of the unpublished Kikuchi story Message From Cecile. With 34 published Kikuchi stories, and Kikuchi sill working, Vampire Hunter D is in no danger of running out of material or catching up with the books like Game of Thrones did. The comic book, Message from Mars, is told from the point of view of Cecile, a human colonist on Mars. Unified launched a Kickstarter for the first issue and met their $25,000 goal, so have set an even higher goal to finish the comic book as a prequel to the TV series.

Unified have partnered with other artists to create more collectible material to reintroduce Vampire Hunter D to America including medals, buttons, jewelry and sticker packs. The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game made a character sheet for D and will do so for other characters as they’re introduced in subsequent issues of Message From Mars, ultimately planning a 32-page booklet of augmented rules for Vampire Hunter D games and their own short story. Fans can meet McLean at GenCon in Indianapolis this weekend, and read our interview with Rauer and McLean below.  Read More »

akira-conceptart4

Hollywood has been getting plenty of flack, and justifiably so, for the whitewashing of roles that should be meant for actors and actresses of different ethnic backgrounds. From Gods of Egypt to most recently Ghost in the Shell, plenty of minorities, especially the actors within these groups, are upset at the lack of diversity in mainstream Hollywood. Therefore, some might not be happy with the proposed concept art for a live-action adaptation of Akira that has been circulating.

Concept artist Ruairi Robinson was once working on one of the many iterations of the gestating live-action adaptation of the classic manga that Hollywood has been trying to get off the ground for years. In a couple pieces that have surfaced online, Captain America franchise star Chris Evans and Looper star Joseph Gordon-Levitt were depicted in the lead roles as Kaneda and Tetsuo respectively.

Check out the Akira concept art after the jump. Read More »

Justin Lin directing Akira

For years, Warner Bros. has desperately been trying to figure out how to make a live-action adaptation of the iconic cyberpunk manga Akira. There have been various iterations of the project over the years, but the most recent attempt may finally get some traction.

A report surfaced a year ago this month that Warner Bros. had commissioned a new script from Daredevil second season showrunner Marco J. Ramirez . Later a rumor pegged Christopher Nolan being involved to help plan a possible trilogy. However, if that was the plan, the studio’s approach has changed with Fast and Furious franchise and Star Trek Beyond helmer Justin Lin being sought as the new Akira movie director. Find out more about Justin Lin directing Akira after the jump. Read More »

Rila Fukushima in Ghost in the Shell

DreamWorks adaptation of the anime Ghost in the Shell has come under fire for whitewashing by casting Scarlett Johansson in the lead role as Kusanagi, a cyborg that is a part of an elite cybercrime-fighting task force known as Section 9. However, there will be some Asian talent on board the project in key roles in a poor attempt to heal the wounds left by this increasingly annoying method of casting.

Takeshi Kitano has already been brought in to play Daisuke Aramaki, the chief of Public Security Section 9. Now Japanese actress Rila Fukushima, who had her breakout role as Yukio in The Wolverine back in 2013, has come on board. More below. Read More »

Pacific Rim Anime

After facing some uncertainty over the past eight months, Legendary Pictures and Universal Pictures have Pacific Rim 2 making some progress towards becoming a reality with Daredevil showrunner Steven S. DeKnight stepping up as director instead of Guillermo del Toro. That gives fans something to look forward to, but we’re not going to get too excited until the sequel is actually in front of cameras.

In the meantime, one fan has decided to help hold us over with an opening credits sequence for a Pacific Rim anime. Sadly, it’s not a real Pacific Rim anime series that we’ll get to watch, but it does make me think that we need one immediately. Read More »

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Only Yesterday US release

GKids will release the English-language remake of Studio Ghibli‘s 1991 anime classic Only Yesterday. Academy Award-winning filmmaker Isao Takahata’s movie has never seen official release in North America and it i the only theatrical Studio Ghibli feature not yet released on home video in the United States or Canada (although a subtitled version of the film aired on Turner Classic Movies in January 2006 as part of the channel’s month-long salute to Miyazaki and Ghibli). GKids is planning the release the English-dubbed film theatrically in early 2016, coinciding with the film’s 25th anniversary. But the bigger news is the voice cast for this English-language release. Hit the jump to read more about the Only Yesterday US release.

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The Collected Works of Hayao Miyazaki Blu-Ray

The Collected Works of Hayao Miyazaki Blu-Ray Set will be released by Disney in North America and is now available for pre-order for $224.99. The U.S. release of this set appears to be an Amazon exclusive. Shipping is free with or without Amazon Prime. The set includes the following films: Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Castle in the Sky, My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Porco Rosso, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, Ponyo and The Wind Rises. An international trailer and details about bonus features included in the set, can be found after the jump.

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Akira

Marco Ramirez has been hired to write a screenplay for a live-action adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo‘s popular anime and six-volume manga story Akira. More details on the back-from-the-dead Akira adaptation after the jump.

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