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News Low-Down

News Low-down for 4th January

Arc the Lad Gaming News
Bandai has revealed new info on the WonderSwan Color SRPG Arc The Lad: Resurrection of the Machine God, the game is being developed by Bandai and Sony. The main characters are Erk and Felia. Erk is the main character from Arc the Lad II and III, who is from the clan of flame; Felia is an original character, who is said to be the key character of the whole story, she also has a special relationship with Erk. The game is a side story of Arc The Lad, taking place 3 years after Arc the Lad III, the peace of the world has once again been ruined by a mystical force, and Erk begins his journey to gather his companions of the past to restore the peace to the land.

Sony has officially announced the next installment of the Arc the Lad series for PlayStation 2, the title is Arc the Lad: Spirits of the Dead's Dusk, the game is scheduled for release sometimes in 2002. This time the game will be in complete 3D environment, the developer said the game will return to its root, more details will be available soon.

Sony is working on the a new installment of the popular SRPG series Arc the Lad for both PlayStation 2 and WonderSwan Color. The WonderSwan Color version of the game is titled Arc The Lad: Kijin Fukkatsu, in which the main character is Elk, one of the main character from Arc the Lad II, and the story takes place 3 years after Arc the Lad III. Both Arc The Lad new works are scheduled for a 2002 release in Japan.

Source: The Magic Box

Final Sakura Taisen Game
Sega Overworks has released new info for the Dreamcast dramatic adventure game Sakura Taisen 4: Maidens fall in Love, the final chapter of the Sakura Taisen series. This time the entire cast of characters from Sakura Taisen 1~3 will present in the game, and the story advances to the "Grand Finale". Similar to Sakura Taisen 3, the whole game will be in 3D, and the movie sequences will have a mixture of traditional animated movies and CG cutscenes. Sakura Taisen 4: Maiden falls in Love is scheduled for a March 2002 release in Japan.

Source: The Magic Box

Tokyo International Anime Fair In February
The first annual "Tokyo International Anime Fair 21" (TAF) has been announced by The New Century Tokyo International Anime Fair 21 Executive Committee. Through this first-of-its-kind event, TAF plans to bring all Anime worlds together in Big Sight, Tokyo bay area's most beautiful venue. This should be the exciting place which Anime industry, creators, and media/press from Japan and the world network to discuss and set up future projects together, provide the public and other entertainment firms with information about themselves, and where companies sell their products to the festival attendees. New talent discovery and Anime Awards will also be featured themes at this yearly event, as well as symposium.

Date : February 15-17, 2002 Place : Tokyo Big Sight in Tokyo, Japan Organized by : New Century Tokyo International Anime Fair 21 Executive Committee Secretariat Sponsored by : Tokyo Metropolitan Government Contents : [A] Trade Fair [B] Competition [C] Event Exhibitors : Production I.G. (best known for "Ghost in the Shell" and "Blood"), Studio Ghibli ("Princess Mononoke"), ShoPro ("Pokemon"), Mad House ("Metropolice"), Toei Animation ("Dragon Ball Z"), Sunrise ("Gundam") , NATPE and others around 100 exhibitors from the world.

For further information, please visit TAF official website : http://www.taf.metro.tokyo.jp

Source: Anime News Service

Gundam Operation U.C.
Bandai will release Gundam side scrolling action game for WonderSwan Color called SD Gundam Operation U.C., scheduled for a February 16 release in Japan, for 3980 yen. In this game you can take control of Gundam, Z-Gundam and Gundam ZZ, each character will have separate episodes and scenes. There are both ground stages and space stages, the ground stages have diagonal view, while in space stages you can enjoy speedier combat and free movement.

Source: The Magic Box

New Love Hina "Fan" DVD
A New Love Hina DVD is scheduled to be released on March 15th. The DVD, Love Hina 0->14, will take a look at the manga series from 1998-2002.

The DVD features all the colored illustrations, some new illustrations, a guide to Love Hina, and a Love Hina Dictionary. As a bonus you will be able to access Screens, a Calendar, and Mini Computer Plays. When released the DVD will retail for ¥4500.

Source: Anime News Network

Jojo's Bizarre PS2 Adventure
Capcom announced that Jojo's Bizarre Adventure Chapter 5 for PlayStation 2 will have network support, up to 8 players can battle online over the internet, and of course the game can be played offline in single player mode. Jojo's Bizarre Adventure Chapter 5 is scheduled for a spring release in Japan, for 6800 yen.

Source: The Magic Box

Manga Rave Turns RPG Konami will release a new action RPG for PSone called Groove Adventure Rave in Japan in January 2002. The game is based on the popular manga Rave, featuring an original story and characters from the manga. In the game you can control 3 different characters at the same time through the RPD System, the leader of the team can give commands to the other 2 characters, but the action of the two supporting character will depend on the leader's reliability point (RP), they may follow the commands when the leader's RP is too low. There are also two original characters in the game, they are Eason - a commander of a criminal organization; and Angela - a mysterious girl who saved the life of the hero.

Source: The Magic Box

Famous Illustrator And Model Designer Shigeru Komatsuzaki Passed Away
He was the man who´s brought us Thunderbird and the Nitto Gamera, Shigeru Komatsuzaki, famous illustrator and model kit designer, passed away on December 7th at heart failure. He was 86.

Born in 1915 Komatsuzaki was a household name to Japan´s post-war generation. His prolific career as an illustrating artist began after WWII with numerous cover arts for boys´ magazines. He also did some character designs for Toho's "The Mysterians" and advertising art for the SF novel series "Atragon". For model kits collector Komatsuzaki might be best remembered for his works on Imai´s Thunderbird and the Nitto Gamera/Gappa series, including the Mirrorman series, Dinosaur series and Military series, to name a few.

Source: Anime News Service

New Digimon Game
Bandai has released a new PlayStation action combat game in Japan on December 6 called Digimon Tamers: Evolution, based on the popular anime series. Each Digimon in the game will carry an elemental attribute like Flame, Nature and Water. During the battle, the Digimons can pick up evolution treasure in the stage to warp-evolve into a more powerful form for a limited time. There are 6 battle stages in the game, each with various traps and evolution treasures.

Source: The Magic Box

AKIRA Pinball
AIA / Kaze's PlayStation 2 pinball game Akira Psychoball is scheduled to release in US in Q1 2002. The game features characters from the popular anime series Akira, and continuously evolving pinball play field. There are dozens of event triggers and side rooms, changing just like an action adventure game as you progress through the game.

Source: The Magic Box

Fifth Media Arts Festival Awards Announced
Metropolis and Millenium Actress both won awards in the animation category at this year's annual Media Arts Festival. Sponsored by Agency for Cultural Affairs and in cooperation with Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, the Media Arts Festival aims to "provide the general public with insights into outstanding artistic achivements."

Winners in other categories this year include:

  • Digital Art [Interactive]: Protrude, Flow [Installation]
  • Sachiko KODAMA, Minako TAKENO
  • Digital Art [Non-Interactive]: Anjyu [Moving Pictures]
  • Yasuo Ohba
  • Manga: A Day in the life of Mr.F [Youth - General Manga]
  • Yoji FUKUYAMA
With special prizes recommended by Adjudication Committees to Hayao Miyazaki, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within and Phantasy Star Online Ver.2

The complete 20 award winning works and 80 nominees will be exhibited/screened at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography from March 1st to 10th, 2002.

For a full list, and images from, the 20 award-winning works (1 Grand prize in 4 categories and 4 excellence prizes per category, with the exception of the Animation category which had 2 grand prize winners and 3 excellence prize winners) visit the Media Arts Festival's website at http://www.cgarts.or.jp/festival2001e/top.html.

Source: Anime News Network

Super Robot Taisen Impacts PS2
Banpresto announced Super Robot Taisen Impact for PlayStation 2, the latest installment of the ever popular robot battle war simulation series. The game features 3D battle system like in the Dreamcast version, and 2D combat animated cartoon like in the PlayStation version. It is possible to turn on and off the animation movies. This time the game will feature characters from 26 anime series, including Gundam, Nadesico, Dangaioh, Ninja Senshi Tobikage, Getta Robot, Dancougar, Zambot 3 and many more.

Source: The Magic Box

Inu Yasha RPG
Bandai will release a new PlayStation RPG called Inu-Yasha in Japan in mid-December, for 5800 yen. The game is based on Rumiko Takahashi's widely popular anime series Inu-Yasha. The story is based on the original manga series, where you play as the main character Inu-Yasha, a half devil human, your mission is to search for the shattered pieces of the Jade of the Four Spirits, in the Sengoku-Jidai time (year 1534-1615). The game will feature cutscenes from the anime series, as well as new stories not found in the series.

The game is scheduled for release on December 20, for 5800 yen. A reservation campaigns is announced for this title, you can receive a specially made Inu-Yasha Pocket Book, which contains collector's cards and a card folder. You also have a chance to receive 1 of the 100 "Jade of the Four Souls", by sending in a password from the game. The password can be obtained when you collected all fragments of the Jade of the Four Souls in the game.

Source: The Magic Box

Hayao Miyazaki honored
His SEN TO CHIHIRO NO KAMIKAKUSHI still staying well with the pace, Hayao Miyazaki has now been given another kudos for his work. December 7th saw the award of the 49th Kikuchi Cultural Prize and Japan´s beloved animator counts himself among the two who could actually walk away with the trophy. For the other lucky winner trophies aren´t really something new as well, it´s none other than baseball star Ichiro Suzuki of the Seattle Mariners.

Source: Anime News Service

Final Fantasy News
Square has released new info on Final Fantasy X International for PlayStation 2. The game is scheduled for release in Japan on January 31, for 7800 yen. The International version will have English voice and Japanese subtitle. The appearance of the Sphere board, the location of items are also altered, and a new recall function is added. A privilege disc is also attached with the game, featuring a new scenario named "Eternal Nagi Paragraph", and interview of the producer.

Square has released new details on the PS2 Online RPG Final Fantasy XI. First the job system from FFIII and FFV are back! Initially you can select from 6 different jobs, and more jobs will become available as your job level increases. The 6 initial jobs are Warrior, Monk, White Mage, Black Mage, Red Mage and Thief. When the enemy monster comes into sight, you can set the target to the monster and take actions. Auto Attack allows you to continuously attack the target, until you select the Combat Release command or defeated the enemy. After battles, all items will be stored in the "Booty Pool" (Party) or "Master Collection" (Alliance). You can set the distribution rules to automatically distribute the items among all party or alliance members.

In addition, two new races have been announced, Galka and Mithra. The Galka tribe lives in The Republic of Bastok, they have very strong physical strength, and they do not pass their physical traits to their descendants, so each Galka may look very different from the other. The Mithra tribe lives in the Federation of Windurst, they have big ears and long tails, and they excel in speed, and there are very few Mithra males, the whole race are mostly female, and only female venture outside Windurst.

Source: The Magic Box

Reported by
Thurston Sherman

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