New kit rumors
People on 2ch's Mokei board noticed listings for an HGUC Psyco Gundam and a MG Hizack for August on SM Hobby (a Korean site).
Astray Blue Frame promo anime
A message from Koichi Tokita on his personal site's BBS mentions that recording for the Astray Blue Frame promo anime has finished. The only casting mentioned at the moment is Yu Kobayashi for the role of Kazahana Adja, 6-year-old daughter of Serpent Tail member Loretta.
Gundam SEED DVD release tidbits
Bandai Entertainment's weekly retailer newsletter shows Gundam SEED's first volume is set to be released August 10th. The Limited Edition version comes with a collector's artbox and a "SEED original CD soundtrack". According to Bandai's Jerry Chu, this CD is SEED Complete Best.
SEED DS pics
JeuxFrance.com has a few screenshots of the Gundam SEED game for the Nintendo DS up. The Strike Dagger is shown as a playable MS.
SEED GBA sales
Famitsu.com's game software sales ranking Top 30 shows "Mobile Suit Gundam SEED: Tomo To Kimi To Koko De" for the GBA as having sold an estimated 39,252 copies between May 10th & May 16th. Enough to make it the 3rd highest selling game in Japan for its debut week.
Future Bandai-Club releases
Paratrick Model revealed future releases.
- 1/144 Red Warrior conversion kit for HGUC RX-78-2 - 12800 yen
- 1/100 Desert GM conversion kit for MG RGM-79 - 14800 yen
- HDM59 1/100 Astray Red Frame - 2200 yen
- HDM60 1/144 MS-14Jg - 1300 yen
- 1/144 Gouf ver The Origin - 148000 yen
- GM II conversion kit for MG
- 1/100 Crossbone Gundam X3
- HDM61 1/144 Freedom Gundam (ver Meteor)
- HDM62 GINN/CGUE
Winter 2004 Banpresto items
Softbank Games' G-Toys site has pics up of Banpresto prize items that'll be available starting in October, November, and December (plus a few for July & August). Gundam items include the Super DX Santa Haro stuffed toy and Mobile Suit Gundam Trading Mobile Suit Figures.
Other items from Bandai's vender division shown at G-Toys recently include the HG series Sunrise Imagination Figures (available now), the 3rd edition of the Gundam Head series (late June), and MS Selection 32 (early June).
Gundam Pilot Academy
And in other old-new news, Gundamofficial.com just now linked to the weeks-old Gundam Pilot Academy, a Gundam SEED crosspromo flash site. Users can sign up as a pilot, play simple flash games, and register to win prizes.
SEED & SD Gundam Force Fall merchandise pics
Earlier in the month, CollectionDX.com posted two reports with pics on American Gundam merchandise coming in the Fall: one for Gundam SEED, another for SD Gundam Force (including the not-seen-before Gunpanzer). Credit goes to HellCat Gundam at Gundamwatch for digging these up.
Tidbits from Gundam Ace
- Tomino x Fukui interview - Tomino shares his thought on the Zeta movies and why he is doing it. Gunota will have a translation for this later.
- Part 1 of Haruhiko Mikomoto's Ecole du Ciel concludes. Part 2 starts with the next issue.
- Turn A Gundam Side Story, Day of Rolan: Wind of the Moon - First appeared 5 months ago as a one time story, it will now become a permanent manga series by Akiman (aka Akira Yasuda) starting in the August issue (coming out June 26). This issue contained a preview.
- Starting in the August issue, another new manga series by Masahito Natsumoto, author of Lost War Chronicles and End of Space manga, will begin. Natsumoto will again team up with Tomohiro Chiba, who will be the scenario writer. Chiba is also the scenario writer for Tokita's Astray manga.
- Asuna Elmarit Figure - The Limited Edition Ecole du Ciel Volume 5 will come with Asuna Elmarit figure.
- Miyu Takizawa Figure - The Limited Edition End of Space Volume 3 will come with Yuki Takizawa figure.
Tidbits from Nikkei Characters!
- Sunrise's Koichi Inoue said that there is a plan to create a new, "serious" series based in the UC world for Japan. However, he can not comment any further regarding this. Koichi Inoue's comment came from a Q&A session with Hong Kong Gundam fans.
- Reason why SEED's US broadcast is at 10:30pm? Due to strict US TV censorship laws even for cable channels, there was no way Sunrise could have shown episode 49 and 50 during the afternoon timeslot without major editing. Sunrise maintains a policy to broadcast the show closest to its original format which lead to the 10:30 slot.
- Top 3 Gundam merchandises sold in Asia
2) Action Figure
- Bandai's Top Selling Character Goods in America for 2003
1) Power Ranger - $117 million
2) Gunpla - $26 million
3) Digimon - $8 million
*Bandai America's total sales in 2003 was $213 million
Zeta Movie I info
Both Gundam Ace and Hobby Japan are reporting that the first movie will cover up to the point where Amuro and Char meet again (aka episode 14). 'Aging Effect', where old footage will be combined with new footage in order to give viewers a smoother looking feel, will be used for the Zeta movies.
SEED Special Edition update
Someone on 2ch's Char Custom board posted the contents of a SEED Club e-mail which looks to confirm the DVD releases of the two yet-to-be-aired SEED Special Editions along with the one already broadcast.
SEED MSV site update
On the official SEED MSV site, pics are now up of things like the Buster Dagger (Buster Gundam mass-production model) and the Deep Forbidden (Forbidden Blue mass-production model).
That's right, more Char goods. This time Char figure with a Haman mascot will be packaged as part of the Limited Edition CDA Volume 4. CDA, "Char's Deleted Affairs", is a monthly manga done by Hiroyuki Kitazume, the character designer of ZZ Gundam and Char's Counterattack, in Gundam Ace. This will be similar to the Limited Edition CDA Volume 1 which came with a Haman figure.
Free Gundam clip at Bandai Channel
Bandai Channel and Gundam Historica team up to provide free streaming broadband Gundam clip titled, "Mobile Suit Encyclopedia". The clip is narrated by Ichiro Nagai, the narrator of Mobile Suit Gundam, along with SD Gundam and SD Char Zaku.
First Part - From Zaku to Dom - Available between May 25 and June 24.
Second Part - From Z'gok to Big Zam - June 25 through July 22.
Third Part - From Elmeth to Zeong - July 23 through August 25.
The 17 minute long first clip is like a quick recap of the MSG plot from Side 7 to Odessa. It also includes a message from one of the editors of Gundam Historica. The clip can be viewed at:
courtesy of AII
or courtesy of So-Net
Three Year War
An article titled "Mobile Suit Gundam : Rights to the 100 Billion Yen" in this week's Shunkan Bunshu magazine details a feud between Sotsu Agency and Nagoya TV. To those unfamiliar, Sotsu Agency is one of the companies with the license to Mobile Suit Gundam and Nagoya TV is the network that aired MS Gundam 25 years ago. The argument is over Sotsu Agency not paying royalty fees to Nagoya TV for the past 10 years, which amounts to the total of 300 million yen according to Nagoya TV. Sotsu Agency claims they don't have to pay royalty fees anymore to Nagoya TV, but Nagoya TV claims the contract signed by both parties 25 years ago did not have an expiration clause. Seeing how Sotsu Agency won't change their stance, Nagoya TV demanded Sotsu Agency pay only 100 million yen (or 33%) of the unpaid royalties as long as Sotsu Agency pays the royalty fee from now on. Sotsu Agency agreed to the 100 million yen figure, but refuses to pay any more future royalty fees.
As no progress has been made in the past 3 years, Nagoya TV asked Bandai to be the mediator. Important note: Bandai is also a major stock holder of Sotsu Agency. Currently, Nagoya TV has agreed not to sue Sotsu Agency to prevent any bad publicity for the Gundam franchise and hopes that an agreement can be made with the help from Bandai. Sotsu Agency has not made any comments regarding this issue.
Shizuoka Galleries: The Curse of Michael Myers
Softbank Games: G-Toys
Tsukurikake Mokei Dojo
Asaka Bishoujo Character Laboratory
Electronic Brain Babylon
SEED Special Edition update
On the website of online retailer DVDirect, they have an entry for not one but two different versions of "Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Special Edition Final Volume 'Rumbling Universe'". One is listed as a "Mecha Box" and the other as a "Character Box". Release date is given as October 22nd and the price is 5,040 yen for each. No other details are available. Yahoo! Japan Shopping has a similar listing.
This is 100% consistent with the news back in April that had the Special Editions as being a 3-part work in all, though for some reason neither site lists the 2nd volume, "Dawn Becomes Distant", yet.
SEED Sequel Confirmed?
The on and off SEED 2 rumor has finally come to an end with what looks like a confirmation via Gundam War advertise. Courtesy of Teleca & Hobby AmiAmi's site, they have a scan of the 13th series of Gundam War trading cards ad. The key part of ad says, "New Mobile Suit Gundam SEED series enters Gundam War! The main hero's MS from the new SEED series, currently under production for the 2004 Fall airing, will become a card!"
Looks like Gundam's 25th Anniversary will be a busy year with a SEED sequel series and the Zeta movies.
Yoshiyuki Tomino appearance
On June 26th, Yoshiyuki Tomino will appear at the Miyazaki Film Festival (June 19-27). Tomino is scheduled to speak before the showing of Mobile Suit Gundam I Special Edition.
Several sources such as 2ch's Mokei board and Pam's Homepage confirm the following for July based on early release issues of this month's model mags:
MG Freedom Gundam
1/100 Astray Blue Frame Second
HG Hyperion Gundam
Gundam SEED DVD details
As AnimeOnDVD.com points out, Diamond Comics's Previews site lists Gundam SEED Vol. 1, "Grim Reality", for $29.98. A limited edition of Vol. 1 is also listed for $59.98 but, at the moment, there are no details on what it comes with. Running time is listed as 125 minutes, which means it comes with 5 episodes.
Shizuoka Galleries V: The Final Frontier
Hobby Shop Kasare has listed the HG Hyperion "currently under plan" in their SEED MSV gunpla section.
Attack of the Shizuoka Hobby Show galleries
Pesu Kari HP
School Swimsuit & Shrimp Fry
Suruga Denryoku/Sukumizu (5/15 update)
To commerate the 25th Anniversary of Gundam, a new fansite called Gundam Quarter opened up. A Japanese only site, its first article is about Yasuhiko Yoshikazu's involvement with Gundam and his other famous works. The article includes lots of guest commentaries to supplement the article. Their next article will be about the 43rd Shizuoka Hobby Show. The site also has gundam artworks by the webmaster with replay feature to see how it was drawn.
Gameonline webmaster arrested
Some people might be wondering whatever happened to Gameonline, a site we and other places used to reference often for videogame news but has been down since April. According to Yahoo! Japan News, the ACCS (Association of Copyright for Computer Software) announced that the webmaster of the site was arrested for suspicion of violating a Japanese copyright act. Basically, he's being held for making a large quantity of game images (20,000 pictures) available to the public without permission. SNK Playmore, Capcom, Square Enix, and Namco are named as companies making complaints.
Tomokazu Seki, MIQ at Anime Expo
ANN posted a press release announcing that Tomokazu Seki, known to Gundam fans as Domon Kasshu from G Gundam and Yzak Joule from Gundam SEED, will be a guest of honor at Anime Expo. In addition, singer MIQ (formerly MIO) will also be a guest of honor. MIQ is well-known amongst mecha fans for performing Gundam 0083's "Men Of Destiny", Xabungle's "Hey You", Dunbine's "Dunbine Tobu", and L-Gaim's "Time For L-Gaim".
New SEED MSV info
G-GOODS.net has a couple of pics from the Shizuoka Hobby Show that introduces some info about certain SEED MSV: The MS known up until now as the Proto GOOhN is officially the YF-3A GINN Femuusu. The last part is the romaji as your guess is as good as mine as to how it should be written in English (Femus? Femurs? Maybe an obscure mythological reference?). It'll be appearing in the July issue of Hobby Japan. Next to it is your first look at the Kunio Okawara-designed MBF-M1A Astray. Finally, there's the Hobby Japan design contest winner, the Lightning Strike.
As with the MSiA the other day, there's more details on the previously reported new GFF (with pics from Hobbynet):
GFF #0021a Gundam F90, convertible to Harrison's Custom F91 from Crossbone Gundam (3,980 yen, August)
GFF #0021b Gundam F91 (standard colors), convertible to F90II (3,980 yen, August)
Zeonography #3004a Pezun Dowadge, convertible to Rick Dom (3,680 yen, September)
Zeonography #3004b Char's Rick Dom, convertible to Char's Pezun Dowadge (3,680 yen, September)
Pam's Homepage also mentions a Kahen Senshi Zeta Gundam Titans color version for August at 5,500 yen.
New Gundam SEED PS2 game?
National Console Support, Inc.'s site mentions a Gundam SEED PS2 action game coming from Japan on August 26. Maybe a Japanese version of Battle Assault 3 rather than a new game outright.
A PS2 game based on Giant Robo is also listed for the same date.
Gunpla and MSiA miscellaneousness
According to G-GOODS.net, on display at the Shizuoka Hobby Show during their general public admission days was a 1/100 Gundam Astray Blue Frame Second L kit. Apparently, this is only a test product for now but it was there nonetheless.
And a post on 2ch's Toy board clarifies the prices on some of the recently announced MSiA's while throwing in a new item or two:
MSiA Rick Dias, black (1,575 yen, July)
MSiA Hyaku Shiki + Mega Bazooka Launcher (1,785 yen, August)
MSiA Strike Rouge + Launcher & Sword units (1,575 yen, August)
MSiA Buster Gundam (1,260 yen, August)
MSiA GINN (1,260 yen, September)
MSiA Miguel's Custom GINN (1,260 yen, September)
ADV at Anime Central
There's an interesting con report on Anime News Network regarding A.D. Vision at Anime Central. Some tidbits:
"When asked about any future giant robot shows, ADV would not comment on any specifics but stated that they will be making announcements in the near future that will cause fans to 'lose control of their bowels over.'"
"ADV expects to license more older titles. Greenfield explained that The Anime Network was conceived of as a way to establish market interest in titles that did not already have an established market."
Given the above and that ADV's classic anime of the moment, Tomino's Aura Battler Dunbine, is selling well, one might be inclined to think that more of his older series (Ideon, Xabungle, L-Gaim, etc.) are potentially bound for domestic release.
Also worth mentioning is that the current circulation of Newtype USA is over 100,000.
Bandai E3 game movies UPDATED
Over at Gpara.com are promo movies for Bandai E3 games in Quicktime. Disappointingly, the only Gundam one with any actual game footage is the SD Gundam Force GBA promo. The Battle Assault 3 movie is just SEED's Invoke opening while the SDGF PS2 one is just scenes from the TV show plus toys waving around.
Meanwhile, at TVRealm.com, they have Divx movies of Nintendo DS games in action. The second one, "Major footage!!!", begins with a test run of the Gundam SEED DS game. Both are about 35 MB.
There's a mirror of the DS video here.
Gundam SEED DS pics
If you scroll down this page at Dengeki Online, you'll see a few screenshots of upcoming Nintendo DS games, including Gundam SEED.
Astray R licensed?
Though not listed on Tokyopop's site or part of any announcement I'm aware of, Amazon.com lists Yasunari Toda's Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Astray R manga as coming out in September from Tokyopop. Thanks to resident librarian Psycho Al for noting this.
43rd Shizuoka Hobby Show
The 43rd Shizuoka Hobby Show is underway. Source: Hobby 2chan's BBS, Hobby.co.jp's gallery (Gundam-relevant stuff can be seen from the end of Plamodel page 3 to the beginning of Plamodel page 5), Pam's HP, PN Miyako's Mokei Production Chronicle's gallery, and G-GOODS.net:
Radio Control Guntank - Bandai's 3rd R/C toy (Zaku II and Dom being the others, late July release, 10,290 yen)
HGUC Hyaku Shiki + Mega Bazooka Launcher (no gold plating, July, 1,890 yen)
HG CGUE Deep Arms (July?)
HCM-Pro RX-75 Guntank (Aug. 11th, 1,575 yen)
HCM-Pro RX-178 Gundam Mk II (Sept. 11, 1,575 yen)
HG GINN High Manuever (June, 1,260 yen)
SDGF Deathscythe The Knight Of Darkness (June, 420 yen)
SDGF Musha Gundam Kibaomaru (July, 525 yen)
HCM-Pro MSM-07 Z'gok
HCM-Pro MSM-10 Zock
Gundam Collection Quin Mantha
Gundam Collection Xamel
AEUG vs Titans DX
According to Able Corporation's site, Capcom's "AEUG vs Titans DX" arcade game will come out in August.
Hobby Japan magazine news
Couple news regarding Hobby Japan.
Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Model Vol3 - Probably the first ever mook dedicated to SEED MSV. It will have all 16 SEED MSV designs like the Strike IWSP and Verune35A MPFM, which were published in the past Hobby Japan magazine. This book will also include Kunio Okawara designed M1-A Astray, review of MBF-02 Strike Rouge ISWP, and new designs by Matsumi Numoto and Studio Neue's Shigeru Morita. source
Hobby Japan magazine renewal - Reported at the Shizuoka Hobby Show, Hobby Japan magazine will be different. Instead of the B4 size paper, the new format will be A4 size paper. The first issue will come with Sword Calamity conversion parts for the HG Calamity and a "How To Build Sword Calamity" DVD.
Shizuoka Hobby Show 2004 Bandai Hobby Catalog
Bandai's Plamo Net has online versions of their latest Bandai Hobby Catalogs that are being handed out at the Shizuoka Hobby Show 2004. Nice pics and/or lineart of soon-to-be-released items. And, if I recall the series correctly, that 2nd page pic of SD Gundam Force's Deathscythe The Knight Of Darkness is the first time they've shown him without his cloaking active.
Bandai reports record net profits
The Japan Times Online has an English language article about Bandai's recent success. Notable items in the article are that Mobile Suit Gundam-related merchandise made up an entire 1/5 of total group revenue for fiscal 2003 and that profits in North America are down 60%. Thanks to business insider Psycho Al for pointing this out.
Gundam, SRW for Sony PSP
It's also been revealed at IGN, as well as in this Sony press release, that Bandai has a Gundam game of unknown genre in the works for the Sony PSP portable in Japan. Also listed is a Super Robot Wars game from Banpresto.
Gundam games from E3
Gamespot seems to be the first to put in any real mention of the Gundam games at E3, though there's not all that much:
Gundam SEED Battle Assault 3 (PS2 & GBA) (screenshots)
Mobile Suit Gundam SEED (DS)
SD Gundam Force (PS2) (screenshots)
SD Gundam Force (GBA) (screenshots)
Gundam SEED for Nintendo DS
Gamecube Heaven has an interesting leaked press release up which details the line-up for the upcoming portable Nintendo DS system. Among the games listed as showing at E3 is Mobile Suit Gundam SEED from Bandai. The description reads as follows:
"The game starts with the top screen showing a view of outer space. On the bottom screen, players choose one of the three giant flying robots to battle the enemy. The game then switches to show a radarscope up top and the battle at the bottom. Use a tap of the stylus to lock onto the enemy circles. Once all three are locked, players select a weapon to destroy them. The game then transforms into a series of stylized anime movie clips as the robots fires on the enemies."
Thanks goes to Mark064 for pointing this out.
New FIX, Zeonography, & MSiA
According to Horikawa Web Mail Order, the following are announced:
Gundam FIX #21 - Gundam F90/Gundam F91 (3,980 yen, middle of Aug.)
Zeonography #3004 - Pezun Dowadge/Char's Rick Dom (3,680 yen, middle of Sept.)
MSiA Rick Dias, general machine (presumably the black version, 1,500 yen, end of July)
MSiA Buster Gundam (1,500 yen, middle of Aug.)
MSiA Strike Rouge + Launcher & Sword units (1,500 yen, middle of Aug.)
MSiA Hyaku Shiki + Mega Bazooka Launcher (1,500 yen, middle of Aug.)
SEED MSV promo CM's
These have been up for awhile at Modeledom Inc. but I figured I'd link to them anyway for people who haven't seen them:
SEED MSV promo CM 1 (Sword Calamity & Strike IWSP)
SEED MSV promo CM 2 (Serpent Tail)