Anime & Manga
Doraemon 2023 Film Stays at #1, The First Slam Dunk Back to #2
Eiga Doraemon: Nobita to Sora no Utopia (Doraemon the Movie 2023: Nobita’s Sky Utopia in English), the 42nd film in the Doraemon franchise, stayed at #1 in its second weekend. The film sold 384,000 tickets and earned 468,105,440 yen (about US$3.51 million) from Friday to Sunday. The film has sold a total of 1.02 million tickets and earned a cumulative total of 1,248,995,240 yen (about US$9.36 million).
The film opened in Japan on March 3 and sold 542,000 tickets and earned 663 million yen (about US$4.87 million) in its first three days.
The film is set in a perfect, utopian world in the sky, where everyone lives happily. Adventurers have equated the land with other mythical cities, such as Atlantis or Ryūgū-jō. Doraemon and Nobita set out on an adventure to find the utopia with the help of a gadget that is brand-new for the film, the time zeppelin equipped with a time warp function.
Takumi Dōyama (Genbanojō, Doraemon episodes) directed the film. Ryota Kosawa (Always: Sunset on Third Street, Great Pretender) penned the script — his first for a Doraemon film. The television anime’s current cast members reprised their roles for the film. Ren Nagase of the idol group King & Prince made his voice acting debut as the “perfect cat robot” Sonya in the film.
The First Slam Dunk, the new anime film of Takehiko Inoue‘s Slam Dunk basketball manga, sold 137,000 tickets and earned 200,332,920 yen (about US$1.50 million) from Friday to Sunday, rising back up from #3 to #2 in its 15th weekend. The film has sold a total of 8.19 million tickets and earned a cumulative total of 11,915,399,520 yen (about US$89.50 million).
The film is now the 29th highest-earning film of all time in Japan, as well as the 12th highest-earning anime film, surpassing Evangelion: 3.0+1.0.
The film ranked at #1 in its opening weekend. The film sold 847,000 tickets and earned 1,295,808,780 yen (about US$9.50 million) over its opening weekend.
The film opened in Japan on December 3. The movie has IMAX screenings in 40 cinemas all over Japan, and Dolby Atmos screenings in 34 cinemas. The movie added Dolby Cinema screenings on December 10.
Inoue personally directed the film at Toei Animation and wrote the script. Among the listed staff members are character designer/animation director Yasuyuki Ebara (Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress) and technical directors Katsuhiko Kitada (Attack on Titan episodes, Major: Yūjō no Winning Shot), Naoki Miyahara (Digimon Adventure, Popin Q), Toshio Ōhashi (LayereD Stories 0), and Yū Kamatani (Looking for Magical DoReMi, Precure Super Stars!).
Daiki Nakazawa directed the CG, and Yūta Ogura produced the CG. Kazuo Ogura directed the art. Yota Tsuruoka directed the sound with Koji Kasamatsu.
The live-action film of Kujira Anan‘s And Yet, You Are So Sweet (Na no ni, Chigira-kun ga Amasugiru) manga dropped from #2 to #3 in its second weekend. The film sold 103,000 tickets and earned 122,089,000 yen (about US$917,400) from Friday to Sunday. The film has sold a total of 407,000 tickets and earned a cumulative total of 491,442,530 yen (about US$3.69 million).
The film opened in Japan on March 3 and sold 207,000 tickets and earned 255 million yen (about US$1.87 million) in its first three days.
Mei Hata played heroine Maaya Kisaragi, while Naniwa Danshi idol unit member Kyōhei Takahashi played Sui Chigira.
Takehiko Shinjō directed the film, with a script by Haruka Ōkita. Shochiku is distributing the film. Naniwa Danshi performed the film’s theme song “Special Kiss.”
Kodansha USA Publishing licensed the manga and is releasing it digitally. The company describes the manga:
Maaya Kisaragi, 16 years old, finally confessed to her crush…only to be flatly rejected and ridiculed on social media after. To make matters worse, the most popular guy in her grade, Chigira-kun, overheard her despondent muttering about the whole thing. But instead of making fun of her, he comforts her…and proposes an odd solution to her heartbreak!
“World Tour Jōei: Kimetsu no Yaiba Jōgen Shūketsu, Soshite Katanakaji no Sato e” (World Tour Screenings: Demon Slayer: The Upper Ranks Gather and Onward to the Swordsmith Village), the theatrical screenings of the upcoming Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Swordsmith Village Arc (Kimetsu no Yaiba: Katanakaji no Sato-Hen) television anime, stayed at #4 in its sixth weekend. The film earned 113,623,130 yen (about US$853,700) from Friday to Sunday. The film has earned a cumulative total of 3,697,051,044 yen (about US$27.77 million).
The screenings opened on February 3 in 418 theaters in Japan. The film ranked at #1 in its opening weekend. The film sold 813,000 tickets and earned 1,158,765,410 yen (about US$8.75 million) in its first three days in Japan. The film began screening in MX4D, 4DX, and Dolby Cinema on February 25.
The screenings include episodes 10 and 11 of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Entertainment District Arc, as well as the first Swordsmith Village Arc episode. The screenings will play in theaters in over 95 countries and territories.
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Swordsmith Village Arc will premiere on television in April with a one-hour special.
Director Haruo Sotozaki, character designer and chief animation director Akira Matsushima, the animation studio ufotable, and the main cast are all returning for the new arc.
The anime film adaptation of Shinichi Ishizuka‘s Blue Giant manga stayed at #6 in its fourth weekend. The film earned 81,273,790 yen (about US$610,500) from Friday to Sunday, and has earned a cumulative total of 629,824,450 yen (about US$4.73 million),
The film opened in Japan on February 17 and earned 116,561,020 yen (about US$867,600) in its first three days.
Yuzuru Tachikawa (Death Parade, Mob Psycho 100 all three seasons, Deca-Dence) directed the film at studio NUT. NUMBER 8, the editor of the Blue Giant manga and the story director for the Blue Giant Supreme manga, wrote the screenplay. TOHO animation is distributing the film.
World-renowned pianist Hiromi Uehara composed the original music that the film’s in-story jazz trio JASS performs, and also played the piano for the character Yukinori Sawabe. Saxophonist Tomoaki Baba played the saxophone for the character Dai. Shun Ishiwaka, the drummer of the Millennium Parade band, played drums for Shunji Tamada.
Makoto Shinkai‘s Suzume (Suzume no Tojimari) film earned 57,831,800 yen (about US$434,200) from Friday to Sunday, and rose back up from #8 to #7 in its 18th weekend. The film has now earned a cumulative total of about 14,135,342,670 yen (about US$106 million).
The film is now the 15th highest-grossing film of all time in Japan, and the ninth highest-grossing anime film of all time in Japan, having surpassed Jujutsu Kaisen 0.
The film opened at #1 on November 11 and sold 1.33 million tickets to earn 1.88 billion yen (about US$13.49 million) in its first three days.
The film sold 38.7% more tickets and earned 47.4% more than Shinkai’s acclaimed your name. film, which earned 1,277,960,000 yen (about US$12.51 million at the time) in its first three days. It also sold 14.8% more tickets and earned 14.4% more than Shinkai’s previous film Weathering With You, marking the strongest opening three days of Shinkai’s films.
Actress Nanoka Hara voices the heroine Suzume Iwato in the film. SixTONES idol group member Hokuto Matsumura (live-action Liar × Liar film’s Tōru, live-action xxxHOLiC film’s Shizuka Doumeki) made his voice acting debut in the film as Sōta Munakata, a young man who embarks on a journey with Suzume as the “Door-Closing Master.”
Shinkai (your name., Weathering With You) directed the film and wrote the screenplay. He is also credited with the original story. Masayoshi Tanaka (your name., Weathering With You) designed the characters. Kenichi Tsuchiya (your name., Garden of Words) was the animation director. Takumi Tanji (Children Who Chase Lost Voices) was the art director. CoMix Wave Films and Story Inc. produced the movie. TOHO is distributing the film. RADWIMPS scored the film. Seattle-based Hollywood film composer Kazuma Jinnouchi (Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045, RWBY: Ice Queendom) scored the film alongside RADWIMPS. TikTok performer Toaka performed one of the film’s theme songs “Suzume.”
The SSSS.Dynazenon television anime’s compilation film opened on Friday and ranked at #1 on the mini-theater rankings for the weekend. The film will have a two-week limited run in cinemas.
Sources: Kōgyō Tsūshin (link 2, link 3 link 4), comScore via KOFIC
Anime & Manga
Capcom Streams MegaMan NT Warrior Anime on Twitch, YouTube
CAPCOM announced on Monday that it will stream the first two seasons of the MegaMan NT Warrior (Rockman.EXE) anime, based on the company’s Mega Man Battle Network games, on its Capcom U.S.A. Twitch channel from Tuesday-Friday. Episodes will stream on each of the four days from 1:00 p.m. EDT to 10:00 p.m. EDT.
CAPCOM will upload episodes on YouTube after they stream on Twitch.
The anime premiered in 2002, and the first two seasons follow Mega Man Battle Network 1 & 2. The Kids WB block aired the series in the West in 2003.
The anime got multiple sequels in Japan, including Rockman.EXE Axess, Rockman.EXE Stream, Rockman.EXE Beast, and Rockman.EXE Beast+.
Mega Man Battle Network Legacy Collection, a collection of the Mega Man Battle Network 1-6 Game Boy Advance games, will launch for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and PC via Steam on April 14. The collection will feature 10 games (including alternate versions): Mega Man Battle Network, Mega Man Battle Network 2, Mega Man Battle Network 3: Blue/White, Mega Man Battle Network 4: Red Sun/Blue Moon, Mega Man Battle Network 5: Team Protoman/Team Colonel, and Mega Man Battle Network 6: Cybeast Gregar/Cybeast Falzar. The collection will also be available digitally as two separate volumes. The first volume will include Mega Man Battle Network 1-3, and the second volume will include 4-6.
The first Mega Man Battle Network game, an RPG spinoff of the Mega Man platformer games, launched for GBA in 2001. The second game launched in 2001 in Japan and in 2002 in the West. Starting with the third entry, the games had two versions each. Mega Man Battle Network 3 launched in 2002 in Japan and 2003 in the West, the fourth game debuted in 2003 in Japan and 2004 in the West, the fifth entry launched in 2004 in Japan and 2005 in the West, and the final game in the mainline series launched in 2005 in Japan and 2006 in the West.
Source: Press release
Anime & Manga
Bushiroad President Takaaki Kidani Steps Down as BanG Dream! Franchise’s Executive Producer
Bushiroad president and founder Takaaki Kidani announced at the BanG Dream! franchise‘s “Garupa 6th Anniversary Fan Festa in Akihabara” event on Saturday that he is stepping down as the franchise‘s executive producer.
Kidani had been leading the BanG Dream! project for nine years since its conception. For the past two years, he had already been entrusting the project to other developers.
Bushiroad appointed Kidani as chairperson in June 2020. During that time, he also returned to his former position as a representative director alongside the company’s previous president Yoshitaka Hashimoto.
Kidani had previously stepped down from the representative director position at a stockholder’s meeting in October 2017, and took a position as board member of the company. He stepped down from the position so he could directly lead and manage the production of content better in the company’s following three or four years, which the company called a “decisive” period. Kidani was focused on and directly responsible for developing the company’s intellectual property.
Kidani founded Bushiroad in 2007. The company owns a number of cross-media franchises, some of which originate from its card games. Bushiroad‘s Cardfight!! Vanguard and Future Card Buddyfight series have both inspired long-running television anime series, and its Luck & Logic card game inspired two television anime series. Bushiroad also owns the Weiß Schwarz anime crossover card game. The company owns the Tantei Opera Milky Holmes franchise, as well as the BanG Dream! franchise, both of which have television anime series. The company owns the Revue Starlight franchise, and both BanG Dream! and Revue Starlight have active smartphone games. Additionally, the company owns the New Japan Pro Wrestling promotion.
Bushiroad launched the BanG Dream! multimedia project in January 2015.
The main BanG Dream! television anime’s first 13-episode season premiered in January 2017, and Anime Network Online and Crunchyroll streamed the first season as it aired in Japan. The anime’s second season premiered in January 2019. Sentai Filmworks licensed the anime, and HIDIVE and Crunchyroll both streamed the series as it aired.
The BanG Dream! 3rd Season television anime debuted in January 2020. Sentai Filmworks licensed the season, and HIDIVE and VRV streamed the series as it aired. The BanG Dream! Poppin’ Dream! anime film continued the story from the third season, and it opened in Japan in January 2022. The franchise‘s Morfonica band got a two-episode anime in July 2022.
The franchise also includes the BanG Dream! FILM LIVE and BanG Dream! FILM LIVE 2nd Stage films, the two-part BanG Dream! Episode of Roselia films, as well as several web anime spinoff series.
Sources: Famitsu.com, Gamer via Otakomu
Anime & Manga
Live-Action Drops of God Show Premieres on April 21
Entertainment news magazine Variety reported on Sunday that Drops of God, the new internationally co-produced, multilingual live-action television series of Tadashi Agi and Shū Okimoto‘s The Drops of God (Kami no Shizuku) manga, will premiere on April 21.
Apple TV+ has acquired the eight-part series and will broadcast and stream it worldwide simultaneously in 2023.
The official title in Japan is Kami no Shizuku/Drops of God. (Similar to the title in Japan for the second Fullmetal Alchemist television series, the live-action series’ title includes both the Japanese and English titles of the manga.)
Legendary Television is handling worldwide distribution outside of France and Japan. Hulu Japan will exclusively stream the series inside Japan alongside its world premiere. The series filmed over 10 months in France, Italy, and Japan.
The series is a collaboration between U.S., French, and Japanese companies. Legendary Television, Dynamic Television, France Televisions, and Hulu Japan are backing the project, and are producing the project with Adline Entertainment. Oded Ruskin (Absentia, No Man’s Land) is directing the series, and Quoc Dang Tran (Marianne, Parallel) wrote the scripts. Dynamic’s Klaus Zimmermann (Borgia, Trapped) is producing the series.
As previously announced, Tomohisa Yamashita (pictured left) and French actress Fleur Geffrier (Elle) star in the series. The announcement noted that Geffrier’s character is named Shizuku Kanzaki, the protagonist of the manga. A previous announcement noted that rival character Issei Tōmine would be the show’s protagonist, but an earlier report in 2021 from entertainment news service Variety described the series as having a female protagonist, with Geffrier playing the role.
Variety describes the story of the TV series:
The story involves a woman who discovers that her estranged father has left her the world’s greatest wine collection in his will. But, to claim her inheritance she must compete against a Japanese man who her father regarded as a son and may have been more.
Siblings Shin and Yuko Kibayashi — under the pen name Tadashi Agi — launched The Drops of God manga with artist Okimoto in Kodansha‘s Morning magazine 2004. A live-action series based on the manga aired in Japan in 2009. The manga ended in June 2014, and the 44th and final compiled book volume shipped in July 2014. The manga’s final arc, titled Marriage ~Kami no Shizuku Saishūshō~ (Marriage ~The Drops of God Final Arc~), launched in May 2015, and it ended in October 2020.
Comixology and Kodansha USA Publishing have released the manga in English digitally.
Throughout its serialization, the manga had famously boosted the sales of wines profiled in the story. The French wine magazine La Revue du vin de France has recognized the manga, giving it the magazine’s top award in 2010. The New York Times also profiled the manga in its Dining and Wine section in 2008.
Source: Variety (Marta Balaga)
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