New Gundam arcade games announced
Game Watch reports that at the Tokyo International Anime Fair 2005, in the Bandai Group's booth, two new arcade games were shown for the first time: "Mobile Suit Gundam 0079 Card Builder" and "Mobile Suit Gundam SEED: Alliance Vs. ZAFT".
Banpresto's "Mobile Suit Gundam 0079 Card Builder" fuses trading cards and video games by allowing one to manage a tactical card battle game in realtime through arranging OYW character & MS cards on a flat panel reader surface. The player can create up to 5-card-combination units using 4 different types of cards. In the game, when units attack each other on the map screen, the battle screen displays a toon-shaded 3D fight sequence. According to Famitsu.com, the game's greatest feature is that each player's military record (win-loss results), totaled within fixed intervals, will have an influence on the overall progress of the One Year War at each gaming facility. Thus, at an arcade in which the Zeon army has many victories, the Zeon can win the war. Each arcade will have special cutscenes according to the game's "military balance". The game will be out by the end of the year and the cards will be on sale from Carddas Masters.
Capcom's "Mobile Suit Gundam SEED: Alliance Vs. ZAFT", the first rumblings of which were mentioned in October, is a 4-player (2 vs. 2) action game coming out in the Summer. It's said that the game uses a "new Boost System" and features speedy aerial battles.
Hidden Shadow Of G ver. Yanase
Mediaworks' site shows off Takayuki Yanase's fancy, new cover for the reissue of the ninja Gundam manga Hidden Shadow Of G.
Also a nice, clear version from Futaba-chan here.
GGG Final -GGG- update
TV Tokyo's site pre-opens. Meanwhile, Moon Phase says that the broadcast will be 12 episodes with "some new narration and dialogue".
DESTINY Suit CD series
Ads for a continuation of the SEED Suit CD series for SEED DESTINY turned up. "Suit CD Vol. 6: Shinn Asuka x Destiny" will be released on June 22nd. Further releases in the series will also be forthcoming.
Hitomi Takahashi poised for the big time
A Sponichi Annex article about Hitomi Takahashi states that even though the 15-year-old's debut single, "Bokutachi No Yukue", won't be released for another 2 weeks, advance orders from CD shops nationwide have exceeded 150,000 copies. This makes it very likely to hit #1 on Oricon's singles charts. The last time a new female artist topped the charts with a debut record was Yuki Uchida with "Tenca O Torou!" in 1994. But Uchida had appeared in commercials before then so for an unknown newcomer to do the same would be a first.
Not incidentally, you can hear a clip for her upcoming SEED DESTINY single at Sony Music Online Japan.
Zeta tickets at Tokyo International Anime Fair
Sunrise announced that visitors at the annual Tokyo International Anime Fair will have the opportunity to buy advance tickets for the first Zeta movie. A movie poster will be given out on a "first come, first serve" basis to those who have purchased tickets. This offer is only available during TIAF's public session (Saturday and Sunday). The fair itself starts on March 31st and ends on April 3rd at the Tokyo Big Site.
Zeta Gundam Historica
Updated info regarding this release. Total of 13 volumes will be released. Each volume will cost 580 yen.
Volume 0 - May 25th
Volume 1 - June 24th comes with a gold-colored binder
Volume 2 - July 8
Kodansha will release 2 new volumes each month (10th and 25th)
Volume 8 is scheduled for this fall which will cover the 2nd Zeta movie.
Volume 12, the last one, is set for Spring 2006 covering the last Zeta movie.
Regarding that Destiny Gundam info...
By the way, over the past few days, detailed profiles and weapons listings for the Destiny Gundam taken from 2ch have been posted on various boards out there. RGZ's perusal of the contents of this month's Dengeki Hobby, Hobby Japan, and Gundam Ace turned up no such info in the actual magazines. As we know ourselves too well, information from message boards, Japanese or otherwise, often has to be taken with a grain of salt.
The king is ousted
The monthly Gundam power rankings in Gundam Ace (which seems to be polled by 500,000 DESTINY fans)
Top 30 Male Characters
1) Kira Yamato - SEED DESTINY
2) Athrun Zala - SEED DESTINY
3) Char Aznable - MSG/The Origin
4) Amuro Ray - MSG/The Origin
5) Shinn Asuka - SEED DESTINY
6) Kamille Bidan - Zeta Gundam
7) Heero Yuy - Wing
8) Quattro Bageena - Zeta Gundam
9) Anavel Gato - 0083
10) Yzak Joule - SEED DESTINY
11) Shiro Amada - 08th MS Team
12) Rey Za Burrel - SEED DESTINY
13) Ramba Ral - MSG/The Origin
14) Auel Neider - SEED DESTINY
15) Garrod Ran - Gundam X
16) Dearka Elthman - SEED DESTINY
17) Duo Maxwell - Wing
18) Neo Lorrnoke - SEED DESTINY
19) Gilbert Dullindal - SEED DESTINY
20) Kai Shiden - MSG/The Origin
21) Judau Ashta - Gundam ZZ
22) Seabook Arno - F91
23) Norris Packard - 08th MS Team
24) Andrew Bartfeld - SEED DESTINY
25) Kou Uraki - 0083
26) Miguel Aiman - SEED
27) Haine Westenfluss - SEED DESTINY
28) Katz Kobayashi - MSG
29) Master Asia - G Gundam
30) Kinkedo Nau - Crossbone Gundam
Top 30 Female Characters:
1) Lacus Clyne - SEED DESTINY
2) Lunamaria Hawke - SEED DESTINY
3) Cagalli Yula Athha - SEED DESTINY
4) Stellar Loussier - SEED DESTINY
5) Sayla Mass - MSG/The Origin
6) Four Murasame - Zeta Gundam
7) Haman Karn - Zeta Gundam/Portrait Of A Young Comet
8) Emma Sheen - Zeta Gundam
9) Meer Campbell - SEED DESTINY
10) Murrue Ramias - SEED DESTINY
11) Tiffa Adill - Gundam X
12) Aina Sahalin - 08th MS Team
13) Elpeo Ple - Gundam ZZ
14) Cima Garahau - 0083
15) Matilda Ajan - MSG/The Origin
16) Fraw Bow - MSG/The Origin
17) Meyrin Hawke - SEED DESTINY
18) Roux Louka - Gundam ZZ
19) Crowley Hamon - MSG/The Origin
20) Ele Vianno - Gundam ZZ
21) Sara Zabiarov - Zeta Gundam
22) Mirai Yashima - MSG/The Origin
23) Miriallia Haw - SEED DESTINY
24) Flay Allster - SEED
25) Rosamia Badam - Zeta Gundam
26) Asuna Elmarit - Ecole du Ciel
27) Natarle Badgiruel - SEED
28) Dianna Soriel - Turn A
29) Rain Mikamura - G Gundam
30) Shiho Hanenfus - SEED MSV
Top 30 MS:
1) Freedom Gundam - SEED DESTINY
2) Saviour Gundam - SEED DESTINY
3) Zeta Gundam - Zeta Gundam
4) Nu Gundam - CCA
5) Hyaku Shiki - Zeta Gundam
6) Wing Gundam Zero - Wing: Endless Waltz
7) Gundam - MSG/The Origin
8) Justice Gundam - SEED
9) Sazabi - CCA
10) Gundam Mk-II - Zeta Gundam
11) Strike Rouge - SEED
12) Gaia Gundam - SEED DESTINY
13) Zaku II - MSG/The Origin
14) GOUF Ignited - SEED DESTINY
15) Qubeley - Zeta Gundam
16) Gundam F91 - F91
17) ZZ Gundam - Gundam ZZ
18) Gunner ZAKU Warrior - SEED DESTINY
19) Force Impulse Gundam - SEED DESTINY
20) ZAKU Warrior - SEED DESTINY
21) Gouf - MSG/The Origin
22) Gundam Double X - Gundam X
23) Blaze ZAKU Warrior - SEED DESTINY
24) Sword Impulse Gundam - SEED DESTINY
25) Abyss Gundam - SEED DESTINY
26) Char Custom Zaku - MSG/The Origin
27) Slash ZAKU Phantom - SEED DESTINY
28) Acguy - MSG/The Origin
29) Gelgoog - MSG
30) Strike Gundam - SEED
DESTINY 3rd ED audio clip
Over at Sony Music Online Japan, they have a sample clip of Rie fu's "I Wanna Go To A Place..." Also accessible by clicking on the direct link for the file.
Project Pegasus site update
Another set of imageboards for stages in the game set in the interior of the White Base, Odessa, Belfast, and Jaburo are now up.
DESTINY official site update
The official site updated their Mechanics section with a profile of the Destroy Gundam. While mostly identical to the descriptions from magazines a few days ago, it clarifies that the Destroy is indeed equipped with a positron reflector.
Zeta Gundam Official Passport
Sunrise announces that with advance tickets bought through Lawson's from April 1st through May 8th, one can receive an "Official Passport" (available at the store on May 23rd, not sold separately). Essentially a convienient-sized guidebook, it contains fundamental info for people before viewing the movie: character listings, a mecha reference, character quotes, historical materials, a Universal Century chronology, and an essay by Yoshiyuki Tomino.
MS IGLOO update
The official site put up a summary of the upcoming episode 4:
"I Saw The Ocean In Jaburo's Skies"
December, UC 0079. The 603rd Technical Test Corps' mission is to test out the experimental weapon known as the "Mobile Diver System" together with the prototype's pilot, Ensign Werner Holbein. This time, the dangerous task imposed on the prototype is to shoot down an Earth Federation battleship fleet launching from Jaburo to space....
Also put up were QTVR's of the Jotunheim (camoflauge version) and a space colony.
What is GaoGaiGar Final -GGG-?
Since no one else seems to be mentioning it: Yusha.net put up an official notice that Yuusha Ou GaoGaiGar Final Grand Glorious Gathering is to begin airing late-night every Monday at 1:30 am (that is, early Tuesday morning) on TV Tokyo starting on April 11th. According to Moon Phase, this will be a "TV edition" of GaoGaiGar Final. Whether that means this will be a simple rebroadcast or somehow different from the OVA version isn't clear.
This month's new kit news UPDATED AGAIN
MG Ball K Type (08th MS Team version, May, 2,520 yen)
1/144 Destiny Gundam (May, 630 yen)
PG Aile Grasper (June, 5,250 yen)
1/100 Blaze & Gunner Zaku Warrior (green, with both Wizard packs?, May, 3,150 yen)
Reposting this in a revised version as it seems yesterday's info from hobby magazines was invalidated by the appearance of actual proof (ie., pics) contradicting it.
Edit: Hobby Japan also stuck up a notice on their official website announcing their magazine erred in listing the release date of the 1/144 Destiny as June. The actual release will be towards the end of May.
GFAS-X1 Destroy Gundam - A gigantic mobile suit developed by the Earth Alliance. Various firearms are distributed over the entire body and it possesses equipment which invalidates beam weaponry. One unit by itself can easily destroy an entire city and, by now, one can say that "genocide machines" of this strategy level have exceeded the realm of standard tactics.
ZGM-1000/R4 Command Zaku CCI - An MS made for communications, command, and control. Distinctive features include a large-scale parabola antenna on its left shoulder and a handheld beam antenna gun. The "F" in the serial number "ZGMF", which indicates "fighter", has been removed to denote it as a non-combat model.
More Gundam World 2005
DESTINY DVD & CD Commemoration Event
AV Watch reported on the Gundam SEED DESTINY DVD & CD Sale Commemoration Event, held in Tokyo on Saturday. The 90-minute gathering included appearances by most of the main cast.
First, they separated the seiyuu into two teams for a quiz corner competition, which included questions like "What kind of hairstyle do you think Tomokazu Seki wanted for Yzak Joule?"
Next was a "Haro Teyandei Throw Showdown", which consisted of the actors creating makeshift Haros with balls and pens and throwing them into the audience. The losers were punished by being made to say silly things in their character voices: Mitsuishi Kotono did her "next episode" preview voice while Akira Ishida had to shout "Please make me a man!" at the audience.
The second half featured Mika Arisaka as well as Rie Tanaka in a Lacus Clyne outfit for a musical performance. As with other events of the kind, the article once again makes note that female fans accounted for most of the audience (90%).
Sunrise issued a formal apology today for the episode title flub in last week's broadcast of SEED DESTINY, in which Phase-22 was erroneously labeled as Phase-21, saying that they had "invited a lot of confusion". Not really news, but amusing.
Gundam World 2005 report
alternative-live looks to have the first photo report from Gundam World 2005 in Expoland.
Gundam Evolve 13
The official Gundam Evolve site now has a second promo for Gundam Evolve 13 featuring the Marasai, this time using only footage from the short itself. Just put this link into your Windows Media Player.
Some mysterious Gundam pics being passed around Japanese imageboards:
Zeta Gundam Historica
Mentioned a while back here, Kodansha has announced the release date for the first volume of Zeta Gundam Historica. The first set, which comes with a binder, will come out on May 25th, 3 days before the Zeta movie is out. Zeta Gundam Historica will cover both TV episodes and the movies.
Metamorphoze single details
Sunrise's official site states that the other song on Gackt's "Metamorphoze" single will be "Kimi Ga Matteiru Kara". The 1,600 yen version will come with a DVD containing the promotional video of "Metamorphoze", a Z Gundam -Heirs to the Stars- theatrical news flash, and "other things".
Gundam World 2005
As mentioned on this site briefly a month or so back, from March 18th through June 26th, Gundam World 2005 will be held at Expoland in Osaka. Things to see include:
Mobile Suit Gundam SEED DESTINY/Gundam SEED Zone - A 1/12 Impulse Gundam model will be on display as well as 1/9 scale versions of the five initial Gundams from the original SEED.
Gundam Figure Introduction Zone - From MSG to SEED DESTINY, figures from all the movies, TV series, and OVA's will be on display under one roof.
Mobile Suit Gundam Zone - An enormous 1/10 scale diorama featuring the RX-78 fighting the Zeong will be shown here.
Mobile Suit Z Gundam Zone - 1/10 scale models of the Zeta Gundam, Hyaku Shiki and others are slated for this. A 1/1 Zeta Gundam cockpit will also make its public debut.
Gundam Shop - Merchandise from the successive Gundams on sale, naturally.
More old Gundam merchandise CM's
Over on Gazo Box's Nostalgic CM Review board, another pair of old Gundam commercials were put up (2.65 MB, .wmv). They were posted under the title "1981 Gundam" though the Clover toy commercial is probably even older.
HCM-Pro CM UPDATED
EDV9000's Diary stuck up a 45-second HCM-Pro figures commercial (8.08 MB, .mpg).
Edit: Apparently, our direct linking to files hosted on their site has caused many problems for the webmaster from people accessing it from outside Japan so I'm removing all links to it. Sincere apologies to EDV9000's Diary.
OYW Famitsu pic
Useless Gunota's Notebook stuck up a Famitsu scan showing off the Prototype Gundam and GM doing their take on the old "Gundam standing up from the ground" scene.
DESTINY 3rd ED title
Rie fu's official site says the title will be "I Wanna Go To A Place...".
Zaku! Zaku!! Campaign
From March 10th to May 31st, Bandai Plamo is holding a pair of contests under the name "Zaku! Zaku!! Campaign" (as usual, probably not valid outside of Japan).
In the first, fans can use this application form to create their own custom-colored Zaku Warrior and a select few sent in will appear in a future broadcast.
In the second, 1,000 people applying will receive a certificate of enlistment in the Heine special forces team as well as a 1/144 Heine team group member custom Zaku Warrior, which all have orange shoulders and are scheduled to appear later in the show.
Zeta Gundam site update
A few days ago Sunrise promised a site update.
First, the theatrical release of Zeta Gundam: A New Translation -Heirs to the Stars- is set for May 28.
Second, through the official site, fans can view 2 versions of the Zeta trailers. One is the 15-second trailer which was part of the special bonus dvd package for the PS2 Gundam the Best series. The other is the 65-second version which was part of this month's Animage Magazine.
Last, the official site's opening flash and top page were updated.
OYW site update
The official site put up a sound effects page in their Gallery section as well as a streaming version of that commercial linked to a few days back.
As part of Newtype Magazine's 20th anniversary giveaway, Satoshi Shigeta's illustration (mechanical animation director for DESTINY) may have revealed Kira's next MS. A close up view scanned from magazine reveals the name, Nu-Freedom/M AKF-0. This will be the 3rd MS name in DESTINY based on UC World.
Edit: Turns out the real reference here is to the Nu Asurada AKF-0 from Future GPX Cyber Formula.
Ratings for 4th month of SEED DESTINY courtesy of Newtype magazine.
Ep 14: 5.5
Ep 15: 5.8
Ep 16: 3.9
Lorelei #1 at Japanese box office
Eiga.com reports that Lorelei was the #1 movie in Japan this past weekend. 220,000 people went to see the submarine film this weekend, bringing in 3.1 hundred million yen. It beat out Shark Tail and the new One Piece movie, which also debuted, and knocked Phantom Of The Opera out of the #1 spot it held for the past several weeks.
In contrast to Variety's needlessly biased write-up, a Yahoo! Japan article notes Lorelei's hit status seems to have sparked a "war movie boom" this year, the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II. Other war-themed films like "Aimless Aegis" and "Otokotachi No Yamato" are slated to be released in Japan this year.
More on Harutoshi Fukui, the writer of Lorelei, and his acknowledgement of Yoshiyuki Tomino's influence on him can be read at an Asahi.com article about Japanese writers going theatrical.
DESTINY DVD sales
Oricon clarified the actual sales figures of DESTINY Vol. 1: 57,000 copies. Apparently, this beats a previous record for Gundam DVD initial sales set by SEED Vol. 13, which sold 52,000 copies from the outset.
Destiny Gundam pics
Early copies of this month's anime mags have leaked out. Pics of the Destiny Gundam have already been posted on imgboards and such:
Info is still sparse other than it's a "trump card" MS developed by ZAFT which Gilbert Dullindal was involved with. Its power eclipses that of the Second Stage Series models like the Impulse.
PS2 OYW CM UPDATED
One of the commercials for One Year War for the PS2 can be seen at EDV9000's Diary (2.35 MB, .mpg).
Edit: Link removed per request of the site's webmaster.
From Newtype magazine:
ZGMF-X42S DESTINY Gundam - ZAFT's trump card. Its power surpasses the Impulse Gundam. Gilbert Dullindal also participated in its development.
ep21 "Wandering Eye" - By the order of Dullindal, Haine is assigned to Minerva.
ep22 "Blue Sword" - Orb dispatches its force as an ally of the Atlantic Alliance. The Orb force heads out to the Black Sea with Yuna as its supreme commander. Meanwhile, the Minerva heads out to Dardanelles Channel to stop Earth Alliance's invasion. A battle breaks out between the Minerva and the joint forces of Neo and Orb.
ep23 "Shadow of Results" - The Archangel intervenes in the battle between the Minerva and Orb. The battle stops for a while after Cagalli calls for a ceasefire. Under pressure by Neo, Yuna orders the Orb force to resume fighting. The Minerva is in a dilemma.
ep24 "Passing each others' sights" - Haine is KIA as a result of Kira's Freedom intervening. Unable to understand Kira's actions, Athrun leaves the Minerva in order to talk with him. Kira, Cagalli, and Athrun reunite.
ep25 "Location of the Crime" - The facility Shinn investigated turns out to be Earth Alliance's enhanced human research center.
Z movies 2 & 3 estimated release dates
Info posted on 2ch said to be from Shochiku studio's yearly movie lineup announcement states that the second movie will come in the Fall while the third will follow in Spring 2006.
Gundam book news
Enterbrain, publisher of Weekly Famitsu magazine and Anaheim Journal, will be releasing 3 books in April.
G20 Revival sideA - coming out on April 2 priced at 2100. It will be reprint of the G20 magazine, published 5-6 years ago for Gundam's 20th anniversary.
G20 Revival sideB - coming out on April 2 priced at 1260 yen.
MS IGLOO 603rd Corps Mid Report - coming out on April 2 priced at 1890 yen. Reference book for MS IGLOO including story analysis, weapon analysis, and visual story.
Hobby Japan will be releasing Gundam Weapons XXG-00W0 Wing Gundam Zero edtion. This will come out on March 31 priced at 1575 yen.
Destiny Gundam revealed
Tonight's broadcast of SEED DESTINY finally showed off the long-awaited Destiny Gundam (bigger pic here). And the commercial revealing the new design also formally announced the 1/144 Destiny Gundam kit for "this Summer" (slightly clearer pics here and here).
Finally, the actual commercial, featuring the return of Mentally-Disturbed Marasai Girl (7 MB zipped .mpg, password = "cm"). Copying & pasting the link into your browser usually works best.
MS IGLOO 1-3 theatrical run ends
Sunrise put up a notice saying MS IGLOO episodes 1 through 3 will end their run at the Bandai Museum's Theater B-One on March 31st. As stated before, episodes 4 through 6 are currently in production.
Tsutaya Online says the name of Hitomi Takahashi's opening for SEED DESTINY is "Bokutachi No Yukue" ("Our Whereabouts"). Kind of breaks the one-word-title theme for all the previous SEED opening songs.
DESTINY DVD 1 figures
A Bandai Visual press release touting the #1 position of the DVD on the charts states that 110,000 copies were shipped, which puts the series off to a good start to reach that 1.5 million total copies they want to sell of all 13 volumes.