Dirt-cheap Gundam and other Bandai anime
As they did for their March 2004 DVD re-releases, Bandai is putting out more, cheaper DVD re-releases for the month of April. The titles getting a price reduction this time include all of MSG TV, the MSG movie trilogy box set, Gundam 0080, Gundam 0083, and Brain Powerd. (Note: While the press release on Bandai Entertainment's site doesn't reflect the new prices, it's been subsequently confirmed on AnimeOnDVD.com's forums that Bandai's catalog does, in fact, list new, lower retail prices for these titles in April.)
And, if that weren't enough, places like The Right Stuf International and Planet Anime are selling these with further savings on top of Bandai's price reductions.
Update: AnimeOnDVD put up a more recent press release with the new prices in it.
Super Robot Wars MX + Gamecube Gundam screenshots
Game Online put up 31 screenshots of Super Robot Wars MX and 4 of the Gamecube Gundam.
Follow up on the Katoki comment
It was originally posted that the Katoki comments appeared in Dengeki Hobby Magazine. However, this was untrue. Hobby Japan's April issue is the magazine that had the Katoki interview. Now, the following is a translated portion of the interview:
MG Wing Gundam ver Ka development interview
Ka - Hajime Katoki
Kikuchi - Tomohiro Kikichu, Member of Bandai's Project Development Team
Karino - Yoshihiro Karino, Member of Bandai's Project Promotion Team
Q. Meaning behind the 2nd ver Ka?
Ka - I thought it was going to end with the first one. For ver Ka, RX-78 was the most acknowledged one, too. I had hopes that it would continue, but it could have been halted with that item and I was also worried about RX-78-2 ver Ka doing well business wise.
Karino - The MG Gundam ver Ka was a hit. Our sales division asked us if there is a MG that can match that kit. The 2nd kit is coming out based on the 1st kit's success.
Kikuchi - Wanted this to be a series after the first one, but didn't know whether we could do it or not. I said, "YES!" when Sales Division told us it was a hit. Doing a 2nd kit has a big meaning. If Wing ver Ka sells, a 3rd kit or a 4th kit won't be a dream.
Q. Reason behind Wing Gundam as ver Ka's 2nd kit?
Ka - I was surprised when they requested this. However, I did think this was the natural selection.
Kikuchi - For the 2nd kit, we did throw out various lineups, including the Big Zam. This was when we saw the MG Gundam ver Ka becoming a hit. We wanted to make sure the 2nd one would be a hit, too.
Q. Feedback from MG Gundam ver Ka?
Ka - I did spend more time with this kit. We had the MG GM Kai as a base for the first ver Ka, but this one had to be built from scratch. Parts are increased and the box is bigger. Overall, this is an extravagant kit.
Q. Thoughts of the finished kit?
Ka - I can't really find any part that I dislike. This kit was based on the reflection made from the previous PG kits and old kits. I'm very satisfied with the proportions of this kit. I'm especially happy with the curvature of the shoulders and the thighs. From the G.F.F. experience, these curvatures are very difficult to do. They are hard to make and often hard to explain to the staff. The MG Quebeley's binder did come out better compared to the HGUC version. However, I don't have much confidence in V Gundam or Gundams with a lot of curvatures. Doing these curvatures will be a future subject that I need to work on.
Q. Potential of Ver Ka?
Kikuchi - No decisions have been made at this point. We would like to continue, but honestly no official decision has been reached. Perhaps it might end with this kit.
Karino - Ya, this is why we would like to hear what the customers think or want from a Ver Ka. If we can, we would like to take a poll about "Next Kit".
Ka- Currently, we are doing HGUC and MG with an emphasis of staying within the original lineart design. It would be good if Ver Ka can be a separate line focusing on different styling from the original.
Q. If the release of a 3rd kit became official, what would you like to challenge?
Ka - I would like to do something with decals. Instead of just dry decals, perhaps include water decals as well.
Q. Any item you would personally like to do as Ver Ka?
Ka - Perhaps this is impossible unless it becomes a series, but I would like to do something like Ver Ka EX series ships.
Karino - I want a Shining Gundam. The illustration Katoki-san did in Newtype was good.
Kikuchi - I want to see Tallgeese or Leo. How about Zock? I want to do a Zock done by Katoki-san.
Katoki - Zock should be done in the HGUC line. If we are going to do one, it should be Juagg. Juagg is really awesome looking.
Tomino Appearance at Houston
Thanks to DEMON LORD OF PANDA at AnimeX.com forums, we now have some info about Yoshiyuki Tomino's appearance at Houston. The following is taken directly from DEMON LORD OF PANDA's post at this Animex.com thread.
Tomino came into the room to a round of applause. He didn't get a standing ovation, but it was still pretty loud. Tomino doesn't speak English (he seemed to understand more than a few words, though), so he had an interpreter, Frederik Schodt. Tomino talked about a wide range of topics, and I took 3 pages of notes over some of the highlights:
- Tomino kicked things off by showing the openings from every anime he worked on up till 1982.
- Line drawins were popular in Japan long before Walt Disney began doing similiar work. At the same time people in Europe were concentrating on oil paintings, Japanese artists were focusing on wood block paintings.
- Japanese people are trained from early on to understand text as images, and to form mental pictures when reading.
- Western people are trained to read from left-to-right, while Japanese people (as well as some middle-easter people) are trained to read from right-to-left, top-to-bottom.
- Used an image of the Mishima Manuscript to illustrate the previous point, as well as the fact that older Japanese text, as well as modern text, sometimes contained a mix of both Kanji and Hiragana. He likened this to mixing in Arabic characters with Roman characters. He commented that while Japanese people are often trained to expect this mix, it would confuse most Westerners.
- In Japanese productions (plays, movies, TV shows, etc.), a persons importance can be depicted by what side of the screen or stage they enter from. He did a demonstration at this point. He went to went down the stairs the lead off the right side of the stage, then entered again and introduced himself in a formal manner. He did this on the left side, but introduced himself in a casual fashion. Then he said he was going to do his impression of the Prime Minister of Japan. He exited stage right, entered again, walked to center stage, and said in remarkable good English, "I am Yoshiyuki Tomino." That got some laughs.
- Early in the 1800's artists made colored woodblock prints that used text and pictures as a form of newspaper. They could be unreliable at times though, since it was artists who made them, not news companies.
- Manga are sometimes incorporated into Japanese textbooks. He then showed an image from a Japanese science school book.
- When TV became widespread in Japan, manga translated naturally into anime.
- When creating Gundam, Tomino had to work within the framework of what was essentially a big toy advertisement. He was able to incorporate serious storytelling elements into the series though.
- In terms of quality, Tomino prefers story over animation.
And now, what I like to conseder the BEST. YOSHIYUKI TOMINO QUOTE. EVER.
- "People go to the movies today to see movement more than story, and then you end up with something like the third episode of The Matrix."
The room erupted in laughter, and at this point Tomino said that he was getting tired of talking, so he'd end his lecture and open up the Q&A session.
I was seated in the third row (the front two rows were for VIP's, a bunch of Japanese people and staff), so I was pretty close to the front. I was so close that I was the second person up to the podium to ask a question. Here's my question and his response:
Me: "I've noticed that in a lot of your shows, specifically your Gundam series', you kill off a lot of really popular characters. (audience laughs) Is there a reson for this?"
Tomino: (laughs and pauses to think) "I kill them off because I want better ratings form my shows."
After that I took notes on some of his responses to other questions.
- One person began speaking about how Gundam was such an inspiration to other anime creators, and asked what inspired Tomino to create Gundam. Tomino responded the he was inspired by the work NASA was doing, and how they were trying to get to the Moon. He was also interested in how this could be done.
- When asked what his favorite and least favorite Gundam series' were, he responded that he couldn't put into words what he thought about his favorte Gundam series, but it was easy for him to pick his least favorite: Victory Gundam.
- When asked what he thought about Gundam SEED, Tomino said that he was sort of angry that he didn't get to work on the series himself, but what he really couldn't stand was seeing so many characters in SEED with big anime eyes.
- When asked about where he thought Gundam as a whole was going, Tomino remarked that he has a hard time accepting what some of the more recent shows (such as G Gundam and Gundam SEED) are doing with space and the colonies. He realizes though that he needs to recognize and encourage what the new writers are doing with the material.
- Someone finally asked Tomino about his inspiration for the beam saber. Tomino said that whereas when you fire a pistol, you don't see the bullet and the trail it leaves. This was very important to him, so for this reason he created the beam rifle. Coincidentally, this question came from the last person in line, and Tomino finished up by saying the the beam saber was NOT influenced by Star Wars.
After the Q&A the organizers presented Tomino with a gift. It was a cowboy hat. Tomino put it on, which prompted me to finally break the no photography rule and snap off a few pics of Tomino.
Thanks to DEMON LORD OF PANDA for allowing us to post this news. -Gunota Staff
Gamecube Gundam update
eg has a pic of the cover and the Battle Of Loum Char's Zaku figure as well as some more screenshots.
ASM Toy Fair 2004 reports
Altered States Magazine now has Toy Fair reports up covering Gundam SEED and SD Gundam Force. They also plan to hold a moderated IRC chat to discuss Toy Fair on Monday, March 1 at 9:00 p.m. EST. It'll be held on irc.nightstar.net in the #ASM channel.
Gundam Ace Info
Yas x Furuya x Ikeda Roundtable - Yoshikazu Yasuhiko (character designer of MSG, Zeta, F91 and author of The Origin), Toru Furuya (Amuro's VA), and Shuichi Ikeda (Char's VA) discuss Yas' The Origin, their involvement with Gundam in the past 25 years, and reveal some of the production stories from MSG.
SEED Special Edition - Apparently the words "To Be Continued" were shown last at the SEED Festival. The first airing of Part 1 will cover up to episode 10. The second airing will cover up to episode 21. This will be a compilation with new scenes. Due to the retirement of Mami (VA of Nicol), Romi Paku (VA of Loran Cehak in Turn A Gundam) will be the new VA for Nicol. Episode of Rusty (aka ZAFT's intended pilot for the 5th Gundam and killed in episode 1) will be included as well.
SEED MSV - Astray will not be an animated series. Instead, two 5 minute animation featuring Red Frame and Blue Frame will be made as part of the SEED MSV promotion.
The Origin - Jaburo Section 4 - White Base is again damaged from Hamon's raid. Crews of WB are shocked and sad. Matilda's Medea resupply team comes to the rescue only to be attacked by the Black Tristars. Amuro vs Black Tristar's "Jet Stream Attack" with Matilda doing whatever possible to protect WB.
Space, To the End of Flash - Makes its return to Gundam Ace. Masahito Matsumoto does the manga version of the IF-Story shown in the sidestory mode of PS2 MSG Encounters in Space game.
C.D.A. - The battle between EFF and Axis is over. The mystery woman from Side 3 is introduced. She also happens to have an interest in Char as well. Meanwhile a political faction between Karn and Colonel Enzo heats up as Colonel Enzo plots his move.
Ecole du Ciel - Asuna Elmarit's MS Academy is caught in a battle between the remnants of Zeon and EF. During this battle, Asuna can hear everyone's voices, incapacitating her.
Blue Sky in 0087 - A new manga by Miki Matsuda appearing in this issue and the next only. Story centering around Dan, a Gaplant test pilot for Augusta Labs, and Glenis, an orphan at the Augusta Labs.
SEED-MSV on TV Asahi?
Japanese fans have taken note of a curious bit in Musicnet's description of T.M. Revolution's new album, "Seventh Heaven". The last sentence says that "'Zips' is the theme song of TV Asahi's 'Gundam SEED MSV'". A mistake or a hint that there is a SEED-MSV series in the works? Just something else for the rumor pile for now.
UPDATE: Gundam Ace makes no reference regarding SEED MSV becoming a series or any mentions TV Asahi. The note on Musicnet.co.jp is probably an error on their part. Nishikawa (aka TM Revolution) did make a comment that "Gundam SEED still has a future." Besides peforming the main theme song of SEED MSV, Nishikawa is also the official head of publicity for SEED MSV.
UPDATE 2: Musicnet's description now omits the part about TV Asahi so I guess that settles that.
Gundam SEED for Toonami / major changes at CN
According to Animation Insider, Cartoon Network announced that Gundam SEED will be airing on a new Saturday Toonami block starting April 17th.
In addition, the new Toonami block on Saturdays will become the only place for Toonami while its weekday airings are being dropped for a new block called "Miguzi". Miguzi is described as "action entertainment for kids 6-11". With its shift exclusively to Saturdays, Toonami is now targeting an older, teenage audience.
Finally, in somewhat Gundam-related news, Cartoon Network also announced a slew of new shows, including "Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi" a December 'toon based around Japanese pop-duo Puffy (aka Puffy AmiYumi).
Hobby Magazine Info
Dengeki Hobby Magazine
- Katoki commented "Juagg is awesome!" and mentioned Big Zam as a possible candidate for the next MG ver Ka.
- June issue will feature an extra goodie aka Lacus Clyne (figure?).
- MSV Promo
- Astray linearts
- Testshots of Providence, M1 Astray, 1/100 Astray, CGue, BB Senshi Captain Gundam
Expect a full review of Gundam Ace tomorrow.
Wonder Festival 2004 Winter photo report
Mechaheads and lolicons alike can rejoice. Pesu Kari HP has a 7-page photo report up from Wonder Festival 2004 Winter.
Gundam Ace important SEED announcement update?
According to a post on Moon Phase's news board, the "Gundam SEED important announcement" was simply none other than the news already announced by Hobby Japan a few days earlier (the Gundam SEED Special Edition). More on this if anything new comes up...
This month's Shonen Ace
According to this month's release of Shonen Ace, Astray animation will only appear in the promotion for SEED-MSV.
SEED Special Edition Info
Based on the wording, looks like more of these will be made in the future. Part 1 is a compilation of Kira and Athrun's path in SEED with 300 additional cuts (aka new scenes). Mitsuo Fukuda will be returning as the director along with the rest of the staff and voice actors.
SD Gundam G Generation SEED first day sale numbers
Game Online reports that SD Gundam G Generation SEED sold 215,159 copies in its first day out on February 19th. This is virtually as much as the 216,558 copies MSG: Encounters In Space sold on its first day, slightly more than the 194,400 copies AEUG vs. Titans sold on its first day and nearly matches the 219,102 copies the PS2 Gundam SEED sold in its entire 5 months on the market last year. This probably means the game is doing at least as well as its predecessor, G Generation Neo, which sold 345,144 copies in its first 4 days.
Confirmed: SEED Special Edition - UPDATED
Based on the early sales of this month's hobby magazines, the SEED Special Edition Part 1 has been confirmed.
It will air on TBS:
Battlefield of Empty Space
March 22 at 10:30am to 11:25am
March 23 at 10:30am to 11:25am
Unconfirmed reports are surfacing that the big news on Gundam Ace will be about Astray becoming animated. However, the hobby magazines have included linearts of various Astray characters and MS suspecting the manga will become animated. Expect a confirmation of this in the the next few days.
Scans of this stuff, however long they might be up: 1 2 3
Brief explanation of each scans to avoid any misunderstandings.
Scan 1 - Linearts of the characters appearing in the 5 min OVA and confirmation of SEED Special Edition.
Scan 2 - Top: Linearts of High Mobility CGue, CGue equipped with beam weaponry, and various Astray characters. These were created for the SEED-MSV cm. The magazine is also hinting they will be used for Astray animation. Bottom: First glimpse of the SEED-MSV cm. "Red Frame" edition will appear at Tokyo International Anime Fair 2004.
Scan 3 - Additional lineart with sketch of an unknown sequence (whether it's the cm or the anime version)
500,000 visit the Bandai Museum
Bandai put out a press release announcing that since the Bandai Museum opened 7 months ago on July 19th, 500,000 people have visited. That's about 100,000 more than they had originally predicted would attend by the end of February. By the end of February 2005, they expect that the number will have reached 1 million.
Collection DX Bandai Toy Fair 2004 report
Collection DX has a report up on Bandai's Toy Fair appearance. It's explained that Bandai didn't allow photos to be taken in their showroom this year. Hence, only the canned promo images have been available. Still, there's some mention about what doesn't show up in the promo shots.
Some more new Banpresto products
From the AOU 2004 Amusement Expo, Banpresto had a couple more things on display: Mobile Suit Gundam High Quality Keyholders ~Mobile Suit Variations I~ (July release, no price listed) and Gundam head-shaped speakers (Also July, no price listed).
2nd OP theme song for SDGF confirmed
The 2nd OP theme song for SDGF will be titled "Love & Peace" performed by "little by little". little by little is known to anime fans as the group that performs Naruto's 3rd opening song, "Kanashima O Yasashisa Ni". "Love & Peace" will be their 2nd single. The release date is April 14th and the limited edition version, like Puffy and Whiteberry's SDGF singles, will come with a Captain Gundam plamodel ("little by little version").
Meanwhile Sony Music have opened a site dedicated to SDGF.
Bandai will be releasing an HG Meteor in March. This news was mentioned in copies of the PS2 G Gen SEED. Overall length of this HG will be 480 mm.
Special Episode of SEED airing in March?
Posted at Tetsu Shiratori's BBS, there are rumors that a special episode of SEED, titled "Battlefield of Empty Space", will air on TV in late March. Tetsu Shiratori did the voice of Ssigh in SEED and Yuu Isamu, the main character in Tomino's Brain Powered. However, this was not posted by Tetsu Shiratori himself. It was posted by a person named "Takaharu Shimomura", who happens to be listed as one of the SEED production crews in the ending credits. No confirmation if this is the same person. Stay tuned for more info about this rumor.
Slight correction: Originally translated the poster's given name as "Keiji" as that seemed to be the standard way of romanizing "敬治" and Newtype USA once even wrote it that way. But a simple look at a recent issue of Newtype Japan pretty clearly has it as "Takaharu" in both hiragana and English and so it's been corrected. That's the fun of kanji readings. Credit goes to darkhunger on Gundam Forum for originally pointing this out.
Whiteberry breaks up
All-girl J-rock band Whiteberry has an announcement up on their Sony site that states that they've decided to disband on March 31st after 10 years together. "Shinjiru Chikara", their end theme for the Japanese run of SD Gundam Force, would seem to be their last single.
Banpresto/Unifive Gundam keyholders
Softbank Games has pics up of several lines of Gundam keyholders:
Universal Century All Gundam Keyholders Ver. 2.0 (Last 3rd of Apr., 380 yen)
Mobile Suit Gundam Evolution Keyholders II (Feb., 680 yen)
MS Gundam: Mobile Suit Spirits Keyholders (Last 3rd of Apr., 800 yen)
MS Gundam: Mobile Suit Spirits Keyholders ~Soldiers Of Sorrow~ (Last 3rd of May, 800 yen)
MS Gundam: Mobile Suit Spirits Keyholders ~Encounters In Space~ (Last 3rd of June, 800 yen)
New Century All Gundam Keyholders (Now on sale, 380 yen)
Char Aznable Selection Keyholders (June, 380 yen)
MS Gundam Diecast Keyholders (June, 880 yen)
MS Gundam ZakuZaku World Keyholders Ver. 4 (Mar., 300 yen)
There's also Super Robot Wars, Kamen Rider Blade, Dr. Slump, and One Piece figures and keyholders shown.
Gundam Gamecube game official site open
The official site is up here. Judging by the front page, they're using the translation "Fighter's Locus" for the title for now. At the moment, only some of the pilots and MS are listed. The MS Graphics section will soon have "impression movies" narrated by Amuro Ray (Toru Furuya).
Super Robots Taisen MX delayed
Game Online reports the release of Super Robot Taisen MX has been delayed by 2 months. The new release date is May 27th, 2004.
Gundam SEED DVD's in the Fall
Press releases up on Bandai America's site covering Gundam SEED and SD Gundam Force mention a few minor details about the franchises. The most notable is that, like Zeta, Gundam SEED will hit DVD in the Fall. And the public acknowledgement that it is Gundam's 25th anniversary this year is nice, too.
UC.net reaches Beta testing phase
MMORPG UniversalCentury.net's official site updated, notifying visitors that the game is now in 'UC.Beta' testing level. This is the last phase before the game opens to the public.
Bandai 2004 Toy Fair merchandise
The first pics from Bandai at this year's show are up at Figures.com.
Zeta Gundam DVD boxset date
Jerry Chu mentioned in his chat room tonight that the long-awaited Zeta Gundam DVD boxset has a release date of September 7, 2004.
Japan Hero Daitarn 3 review
Sentai/Tokusatsu/Super Robot/Kaiju fansite Japan Hero put up a review of one of Yoshiyuki Tomino's more overlooked shows, the pre-Gundam Daitarn 3 from 1978.
Gundam F91 to hit theaters in May
According to a report from Katsucon on the front page of Animeondvd.com, Bandai announced at a panel that Gundam F91 will have its theatrical release starting at the end of May.
More Path of Soldiers Info!
Rest of the pilots were confirmed this weekend!
EF- Hayato, Kai
Zeon - Gaia, Aina, Bernie, Ridden, Gato
However, there is a pilot with only 1 mission.
EF: RX-78-2, RX-75, RX-77, RX-79[G], RGM-79[G], RGM-79, RX-78-6, Char Zaku II, MS-06
Each mission lasts about 30 minutes. Narration done by the original MSG narrator, Ichiro Nagai.
TV CM will start airing on March 13th.
Further info on Tomino's Houston appearance
The Consulate General of Japan at Houston's site now has specific details and info on the upcoming "A Weekend With Yoshiyuki Tomino" event in Houston on February 27-28.
The first 30 minutes of Tomino's 2-hour lecture will include a screening of one of his works. A 45-minute Q&A session will follow afterwards and a 30-minute autograph session will wrap things up. Other Gundam-related happenings at the event include a model-building workshop and "a day and a half of screenings of Gundam".
More details on "Path of the Soldiers" game
Game Online has posted some details on this game.
40 MS - 12 for Earth Federation & 28 for Zeon
15 pilots - 6 for EF & 9 for Zeon
Confirmed pilots are:
Amuro, Sayla, Shiro, Chris, Char, Lalah, Norris, Ramba Ral
As previously mentioned here, this game will focus on strategy more with new features like Ability and Skill. 360 degree control for the space environment as well.
Meanwhile, Famitsu.com has revealed that the number of pilots will increase as you clear more missions. For an example: Ramba Ral missions become available as you go further into Char's missions. Advanced reservation for this game will come with "FW Gundam Ulitmate Operation 'MS-06S Zaku II' (Battle Of Loum version)".
Armored Trooper VOTOMS to be re-released on DVD
According to Animated Bliss, Ryosuke Takahashi's Armored Trooper VOTOMS is going to be re-released on DVD remastered, with a brand new dub, and director's commentary in the Fall.
Next MG opinion poll
Taking this story down since a few immature American fans felt the need to skew the poll in a silly way.
"Sunrise" hits the charts
Oricon's daily CD single ranking chart shows Puffy's opening song for SD Gundam Force, "Sunrise", debuting at #16 on the day of its February 11th release in Japan.
Tetsujin 28 Gou airdate
The new Tetsujin 28 Gou series begins airing in Japan on TV Tokyo on April 7th. Yasuhiro Imagawa (Giant Robo, G Gundam) is credited as director and for series composition, scenario, and storyboards.
T.M. Revolution's new album/Gundam SEED-MSV theme song
Sony Music Online Japan announces T.M. Revolution's new album, "Seventh Heaven" (to be released March 17th), will include the SEED-MSV theme song. The tune, entitled "Zips", can be heard in the Bandai booth at the upcoming Tokyo International Anime Fair on March 27-28. It'll begin showing up in Bandai commercials starting the last 3rd of March.
Astray official site update
The Gundam Astray official site updates with mecha and characters from X Astray (including the new Hyperion and Dreadnaught Gundams).
SD Gundam Force Festival
In Purimo Garden at Sanrio Puroland, an indoors amusement park in Tokyo, they'll be hosting the SD Gundam Force Festival from March 20th to May 5th. Things such as video imagery and dioramas will be on display as well as games and a large number of SDGF goods.
It's also mentioned that in the Summer, a new SD Gundam Force "4D attraction" called "Time Machine Of Dreams" will be presented. It'll combine the use of video images on a large screen, "motion seats", some kind of "aroma/fragrance system", and lasers.
Newtype special Gundam SEED book pack-in
Natsume Goushin Ryu Dojo reports that the April 2004 issue of Newtype Japan (on sale March 10, 2004) will be celebrating the magazine's 19th anniversary by including a special 172 page book reprinting all of their Gundam SEED articles (from August 2002 to April 2004). It's also speculated that the reason for this is so that it will coincide with the previously reported upcoming SEED announcement to appear in the next issue of Gundam Ace.
Pre-Toy Fair Bandai images
Altered States Magazine has a few Toy Fair preview images sent in from Bandai showing a little of the American merchandise line-up this year.
F-91 and Gundam X Ikimassuuuuu!
According to Hobby Search, Bandai will be reproducing the F-91 series and Gundam X series models in April.
Different SEED ending?
The "For Sale" only SEED DVD Volume 13 will contain a different ending for ep50 to tie in with the special 5min OVA epilogue. Meanwhile, the rental only DVD and VHS versions will contain the same ending as the TV version.
Yoshiyuki Tomino appearance in Houston!
Yes, that's right. Mr. Tomino will be a speaker in Houston on Feb 28th (Sat) discussing about anime's influence in Japanese society and business world. And the cost is free. More info will be posted at Houston Navi, a informational site for the Japanese people living in the Greater Houston area.
Update: Further info from KamiKazeCon's press release. Tomino's appearance is part of a two-day event starting February 27th billed as "A Weekend With Yoshiyuki Tomino" sponsored by KamiKazeCon and the Consulate-General of Japan at Houston.
Gundam goes highclass
According to otaku blog Artifact, TV Tokyo news program World Business Satellite aired a report on Wednesday about wars between highclass Japanese-style restaurants in New York. It was shown that in one trendy restaurant, Geisha, they apparently use screen projections of the first episode of Mobile Suit Gundam as atmosphere.
Nami Tamaki to release first album
After going the singles-only route, Nami Tamaki's first album, "Greeting", is scheduled to be released on February 25th. Audio clips and video clips from music vids are up on Sony Music Online Japan. The limited edition version of the album comes with a DVD with live footage from the Gundam SEED Festival.
New GFF, Zeonography, and MSiA announced
Noda Ya and Paratrick Model report the following new items:
Soul Of Chogokin Invincible Superman Zambot 3 (combining three machines: Zambo Ace/Zambot Bird, Zambull, Zambase) - List price 17,800 yen. On sale sometime during the last third of May.
GFF RX-78-6 Mudrock (convertable to RX-78-5 Gundam) - List price 3,980 yen. On sale sometime during the last third of May.
Zeonography Ramba Ral Zaku I (convertable to Zaku II) - List price 3,200 yen. On sale sometime during the last third of June.
MSiA Full Armor Gundam - List price 1,500 yen. On sale in the middle of April.
MSiA Aile Strike Gundam - List price 1,500 yen. On sale in the middle of May.
MSiA Astray Red Frame - List price 1,500 yen. On sale in the middle of May.
MSiA Astray Blue Frame - List price 1,500 yen. On sale in the middle of May.
MSiA Dom 2nd version - List price 1,500 yen. On sale in the middle of June.
Update: Prototype pics of the GFF and Zeonography figures can be seen on Rakuten Market's site.