Bandai March merchandise
The Bandai Hobby Site has pics and release dates for hobby items coming in March.
Gundam Evolve site update
The Story section has pages for two more of the Evolves.
Evolve 11: "A Baoa Qu, the grounds of the final battle of the One Year War. As the scars of war remain fresh in the battlefield, novice Federation pilot Hiden surveys the area in a RB-79 Ball. Word comes in that Zeon remnants are about. Though afraid, the young pilots proceed through the silent interiors of A Baoa Qu. Without warning, gunshots echo through the air and the party is decimated one-by-one. When the sole survivor Hiden presses further into the depths, he discovers the harsh reality behind war..."
Evolve 12: "Quattro boards his Rick Dias for a battle simulation to transfer combat data to the mass-production model. The data personnel has some fun with him, turning the monitor's Rick Dias red, revealing his own old Zaku from his Red Comet days as his opponent. Quattro is gradually cornered by the Zaku...can he win against the Red Comet? And then he switches to the Hyaku Shiki..."
Zeta II and DESTINY 13 rank #1 & #2 on DVD UPDATED
Bandai Visual put out a press release announcing Zeta II DVD and DESTINY 13 DVD took the top 2 spots in Oricon's weekly DVD sales (Feb 20-26). While the press release made no mention of exact sales figure for Zeta II, it did mention over 1,300,000 copies of DESTINY DVDs have been shipped so far and all 13 DESTINY DVDs have made it into the Top 10 in its first week.
Edit: The numbers from Oricon's site say that Zeta II sold 92,000 copies in its first week of release (very nearly the same as Zeta I's DVD in its first week out) and the the final volume of Destiny sold 63,000 copies.
Gpara has screenshots of Crossbone Gundams in action from the Climax UC game.
A recent MG Gunpla ad by Bandai has a silhouette of F91 with "now planning!?" on it. The ad featured other MG Gundam kits (like Gundam ver1.5, Ez8, Alex, GP03S, Zeta ver2.0, ZZ, Nu) which are included in the upcoming Climax UC game.
More Climax U.C. video
Up-Rise.TV has another streaming video feature on Climax U.C. The 3-minutes of footage begins at about 7:25 in the first PLAY link on the page.
Keroro year 3
Moon Phase says the Gunpla-loving alien frog is going into his third year on the air starting April 7th, with a slight timeslot change to 5:30 pm Fridays on TV Tokyo. The 100th episode of Keroro Gunsou will be broadcast on March 10th, the day before the theatrical feature opens.
A New Translation Review track list
HMV's entry for the Zeta movies soundtrack has the listing for the music. All of Gackt's theme songs are included among the 43 tracks.
Zeta III premiere
Cinema Topics Online and Mainichi covered the premiere for Love Is The Pulse Of The Stars that took place on the 23rd. 750 fans were chosen to attend from 10,000 who sent in requests. Appearing onstage were Yoshiyuki Tomino, Gackt, Nobuo Tobita, Hirotaka Suzuoki (Bright Noa), Toru Furuya, Daisuke Namikawa (Katz Kobayashi), Shuuichi Ikeda, Masako Katsuki (Reccoa Londe), Bin Shimada (Paptimus Scirocco), Maya Okamoto (Emma Sheen), and Satomi Arai (Fa Yuiri).
HJ EMSiA poll results
The final tally of Hobby Japan's EMSiA poll (mentioned previously here and here) are given at MIA Sora. The column on the left being HJ's poll and the column on the right being MIA Sora's own poll of site visitors:
1) Hyaku Shiki (80 votes)
2) Nu Gundam (78 votes)
3) Wing Gundam Zero Custom (60 votes)
4) Sazabi (58 votes)
5) V2 Gundam (54 votes)
6) Strike Freedom Gundam (53 votes)
7) Crossbone Gundam (52 votes)
8) Gerbera Tetra (41 votes)
9) Gundam DX (36 votes)
10) Gundam X (33 votes)
Additionally, MS In Action!! Syndrome says the deadline for reserving the Titans Test Team Galbaldy Beta and Marasai is March 24th, with the figures shipping in June.
Z x R "Ai Senshi" update
Tower Records Japan's listing for the upcoming Gundam cover album includes the English titles being used for the songs, the mention of virtuoso bassist Billy Sheehan's presence on several tunes, and says a Japanese language version of "Tobe! Gundam" will be a bonus track. Also worth pointing out is the note on the site saying Cyndi Lauper is no longer involved with the album.
UniversalCentury.net updates UPDATED
ITmedia +D Games has a 4-page report on an large-scale update to take effect on the MMORPG on March 1st, the second such upgrade to be made for the game. The addition will include resource mining (using equipment available at various locations), MS enhancements (for offense, aiming accuracy, & defense), making clothes (fabrics & dyes for civilian clothing & normal suits), shields, a new Federation town called "Southern Cross", and some new MS for manufacturing (GM Kai, Guntank II, Gouf, Zaku II F2 type). A planned event later in the month will see the appearances of Amuro Ray and Char Aznable as in-game characters.
Edit: Many more pics to be seen at Gpara.com.
Game Watch Card Builder playing guide #5
Game Watch's latest Card Builder article covers the game's weapon cards.
DESTINY Special Edition release dates
Dates are surfacing on the web based on Animate:
#1 May 26, 2006 (as reported earlier)
#2 Aug 25, 2006
#3 Nov 24, 2006
#4 Feb 23, 2007
Newsflash: Japan loves Gundam
Mainichi's infamous WaiWai section recently presented an English translation/summation of a Yomiuri Weekly article about the popularity of Gundam in Japan. The story has a particular focus on Gunpla.
An interesting bit of info not mentioned in the English version but present in the original article is that there are 100,000 core fans and, if one includes more casual Gunpla enthusiasts, the number is about 1 million.
MS IGLOO: Apocalypse 0079 episodes 2 & 3 release dates
The official site has pics of Apocalypse 0079 episode 1 on their Story page and info for the DVD release of upcoming volumes. Episode 2 (the title of which can be read as something like "Go Beyond The Peak Of The Beams Of Light") comes out June 23rd and the yet-to-be-titled episode 3 is scheduled for August 25th.
Old forum closes, new ones open
As an unspoken policy, we try not to make it a habit to announce the opening of new fansites as it's all too easy for anyone to start one up only to abandon it after a few weeks or months when they find out how much work maintaining it can be. That said, as the closing of a website like Gundam Watch was bound to bring forth attempts at a replacement, we'll make an exception this once.
Gundam Watch has endorsed Dendrobium Stamen's Gundam Evolution as a successor site. Many of the regulars can now be found there.
GW member Tercero also opened up his own forum dedicated to information, reviews, and news about Gundam merchandise.
Namco Bandai 2006 fiscal report
ANN put up info about Namco Bandai business forecast for 2006, including the announcement that they'll buyout Banpresto's stocks and make the company a wholly-owned subsidiary.
March Side B
March issue of Side B is finally available on the web.
Gundam #1 & #2
Oricon has Zeta II DVD and SEED 13 DVD coming at the top 2 spot in their daily DVD rankings.
Limited Edition HGUC Zeta
Once again, Bandai will be releasing a clear Limited Edition HGUC Zeta Gundam at movie theatres showing Zeta III. It is priced at 1700 yen.
Destiny Special Editions, SEED OVA confirmed UPDATED
Bandai Visual's site put up a listing for Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny Special Edition: The Broken World, which goes on sale May 26th.
And returning once again to the rumor mill, a post on 2ch contained what appears to be a copy & paste of a sales solicitation for the Destiny Special Edition stating that the Destiny SE's will be 4-parts rather than the traditional 3 for Gundam compilations. Also mentioned is that the Special Edition will be broadcast on TV sometime this Spring. But the bigger potential news is the following detail: "The SEED boom heats up! OVA 'Mobile Suit Gundam SEED C.E. 73 Stargazer (tentative title)' currently being planned!"
Edit: The listing for the SE at Aishin Mail Order's Rakuten site confirms all the above information.
More Climax U.C. streams
The official site added a 2nd promotion movie and 2 TV commericals.
Special Edition deja vu
Anican Vol17 is reporting that Fukuda and his partners are currently working on DESTINY Special Edition. The upcoming Animage magazine, containing interview with Morosawa, will have more details on this.
Zeta series USB memory
ITmedia +D reports IO DATA will be releasing 4 Zeta-related USB memory, Zeta Gundam, Hyaku Shiki, Qubeley, and Asshimar. Each stick will store up to 256mb and will come out on mid-March.
Zeta III Quicktime teaser
Apple Japan has a Quicktime version of one of the Zeta III previews. Unlike the other Quicktime Zeta offerings, this one is of the teaser rather than the full-length trailer.
Gundam Watch to close
Webmaster GrayBear posted a message informing users that the site will close March 1, 2006. The announcement is viewable at their forums.
The Bandai Hobby Center arrives
In Shizuoka, Bandai completed construction recently on the Bandai Hobby Center, a new production site for their hobby division. While the facility is intended as a more environmentally-friendly successor to the current Gunpla manufacturing factory, Bandai Shizuoka Works, it's also planned to be a recreation establishment with field trip routes, a showroom, and exclusive hobby items. The website for the building can be seen here.
Sony Music Anime Fes '06
The official site for this year's Sony Music Anime Fes opened. It'll be taking place on May 6-7 at Tokyo's Yoyogi Stadium and June 10-11 at Osaka's Osakajo Hall. Artists and seiyuu associated with Bleach, Gintama, Gundam SEED & SEED Destiny, Eureka Seven, Blood+, and Fullmetal Alchemist are slated to appear at both venues.
Wonder Festival 2006 Winter pics UPDATED
The annual event took place this weekend and photos are starting to appear on websites.
Senkawa Otaku Court
Toy News International
Yoshikazu Yasuhiko art exhibition
Hirata Honjin Kinenkan will be hosting Yoshikazu Yasuhiko art exhibition from April 1 to May 28. Autograph session will take place on April 1st and 30th while a lecture by him will take place on the 29th. To those who are thinking about making the trip, Kinenkan is located in Hirata, Shimane-ken.
Toshihoro Kawamoto artbook
Softbank will be releasing 2 Toshihiro Kawamoto art books in late March. To those unfamiliar with the name, Toshihiro Kawamoto worked as character designer and animation director in series like 0083, 08th MS Team, Cowboy Bebop, and Wolf's Rain. Both books are priced at 2940 yen.
Toshihiro Kawamoto The Illusives 2 1985-1995 : It cover his debut series like Venus Wars, Patlabor, 0083, Gundam PC games, Golden Boy, etc
Toshihiro Kawamoto The Illusives 2 1996-2005: Covering 08th MS Team, PS games like Ghost in the Shell, Space Battleship Yamato, Cowboy Bebop, Wolf's Rain
Climax U.C. tidbits
Famitsu.com has another web article mentioning Crossbone Gundam and giving details on two extra mode levels: "Silver Counterattack", in which you fight Sanders (GM), Burning (GM Sniper), Glemy (Gaza C), and many other enemies using a Gelgoog, and "Demons Of The Earth", a land-based stage that pits you against the Big Zam, Psyco Gundam, Asshimar, Apsalus, and other high-powered opponents.
Additionally, Enterbrain's site has details on the contents of the Climax U.C. Player's Bible, which lists the game's Chronicle Mode as having 26 stages and the Progress Mode being 16 stages long.
Tamashii Web update
U.C. Arms Gallery Vol. 2
New Zeta III trailer
With only 2 weeks until the release, the offical site now has a 1 minute 37 second long trailer.
Wings Of Rean site update
The official site's mecha section has a page for the Oukaoo, the new Houjou army Aura Battler used by Shinjiro Sakomizu.
Banpresto July/August prize items
From GA Graphic's coverage of AOU 2006.
1/72 scale Assembled Sofubi Mobile Suits 3
Zaku Animotion Figures 2
High Quality Keyholders: Gundam edition IV
Customize Mobile Suit Selection 4
Destiny Heroines DX Figures 4
DX Aggressive Pose Figures 2
Genkina Haro cellphone straps
Gundam Quiz: Toi Senshi @ AOU 2006 UPDATED
Game Watch has coverage of Gundam Quiz: Toi Senshi, being shown off at Banpresto's booth at this year's Amusement Machine Show. The trivia includes questions like "What was the first thing Amuro said in the first episode of Mobile Suit Gundam?", "Who was the Ghost Of Solomon?", or "Starting from which episode does the opening theme of Zeta Gundam change?" and portions where the player has to choose the correct quote from a character during a scene from the anime (such as Char's during Gihren Zabi's speech at Garma's funeral).
Edit: Gpara.com has plenty more pics. Not necessarily anime or Universal Century questions: "What equipment does the 3rd Crossbone Gundam unit have that isn't found on units 1 and 2?", "The school of the Undefeated East! ..." (complete the phrase: "The fist of the king!", "The light of the king!", "The winds of the king!", or "The proof of the king!"), etc.
Game Watch Card Builder playing guide #4
Game Watch posts the fourth in their continuing coverage of the game, this time with a look at the use of characters.
EA vs ZAFT II site & pics UPDATED
The official site for the upcoming arcade game, EA vs ZAFT II, is up now. Screenshots and Mobile Suits for Destiny, Legend, and GOUF Ignited are up too.
Edit: More pics can be seen at Gpara.com.
Famitsu.com Climax U.C. video clips
Famitsu.com has another two exclusive streaming videos for viewing. This time, the movies feature two extra mode levels, "Zaku Planet" and "The Three Qubeley Sisters". Once again, a password is required. Hint: the calendar year Gundam F91 takes place in (no caps).
Climax U.C. site update
More in the Characters and Screenshots sections of the official site can be seen.
Crossbone Gundam for Climax U.C.
This week's Famitsu reveals that the Crossbone Gundam X1, X2, and X3 units as well as characters Kinkedo Nau, Zabine Chareux, Berah Ronah, and Tobia Arronax all appear in the game.
A New Translation Review jacket
HMV has the pic of the upcoming Zeta Trilogy OST CD jacket.
To commemorate the 0083 5.1ch release, Enterbrain will be releasing "Mobile Suit Gundam 0083 Documenta" this upcoming Friday. Based on the description, the book sounds like MS ERA version of 0083 containing secret document of Titans' formation, court marshal trial of Kou Uraki and Eiphar Synapse, and new artwork of GM Quel and GP04 Gerbera. The book is priced at 1890 yen.
Climax U.C. Chronicle Mode pics
Gpara.com has a gallery showing playable characters in the game's Chronicle Mode.
Tomino at the Japan Media Arts Festival
The 9th Japan Media Arts Festival announced their winners a short while back. As was the case last year, the head of the Animation Division was Yoshiyuki Tomino. An English translation of his critique of this year's offerings are available at the official site.
SEED/DESTINY PV DVD
Victor Entertainment will be releasing DVD containing 4 promotional video of songs that covered SEED and DESTINY. The songs are:
1) Anna ni Isshou dattanoni : See-Saw
2) Life Goes On : Mika Arisaka
3) Kimi wa Boku ni Niteiru : See-Saw
4) Honoo no Tobira : FictionJunction YUUKA
The promotion video will feature 5.1ch/2ch/Karaoke sounds and will be released on May 24 priced at 2100 yen.
Suit CD Vol. 10 details
Info from Animate lists the 10th in the Suit CD series as "Kira x Strike Freedom". Contents include the new Souichiro Hoshi-sung character song "Tomorrow", "Nicol's Piano" BGM, and a drama about Athrun, Yzak, and Dearka going to visit Nicol's grave after the end of the TV series. It comes out April 21st.