FRIDAY ACE: “Still Number One” Edition – Week of 11/16/08

With that one music video and song, I fell in love with Hikaru Utada and began my downward spiral trek into the world of Japanese music. No matter what genres or artists I find myself getting into, “Hikki” has always been in my top favorites and apparently, after all this time, Japan still thinks she’s number one.

From Tokyograph:

Oricon Style has published this year’s edition of its annual “Favorite Artist Ranking.” Over 20,000 people were surveyed, and for the second year in a row, Hikaru Utada was the #1 choice.

Since the rankings started in 2004, Utada has topped the list three times (2004, 2007, 2008). She was ranked #2 and #4 in 2005 and 2006, respectively, while aiko had back-to-back victories.

Nicely done, Hikki! If that weren’t enough, this week marks the anniversary of Bill Watterson’s legendary comic strip, Calvin and Hobbes!

(Forgive the voice…)

Many rounds of Calvinball were played this week…sort of…I wish. Actually, how the hell do you play that game in the first place?

Anyway, here’s Friday ACE.

Nothing says Friday like a wonderful WTF moment: World Event Productions is suing Toei….OVER FSCKING VOLTRON!


Long and short of it folks, WEP and Toei has their agreement back in the 80’s to adapt Dairugger XV and King of Beasts GoLion into the Voltron series that we all know and love. This was all fine until the 90’s when WEP decided to make Voltron: The Third Dimension….

Though the series sucked (and eventually bankrupted the company responsible for the CG effects), they kinda did it without keeping Toei in the loop. Needless to say, Toei was pissed and sued them. The suit was settled in 2000 but with news of the live-action Voltron in the works, Toei contacted WEP…

From ANN:
Congratulations! We, however, were surprised with the fact that Toei has not been contacted in connection with this movie planning. As you remember, we had a dispute in the past and settled it in 2000, and now we have no dispute for the animation of Voltron or Golion, which are now all yours.

We, however, do not think that the settlement and the assignment made thereunder shall have given you an exclusive right for live-action movie for Voltron. As you know, in our business, animation and live-action are completely different products and traded separately.

We are especially concerned about the marketing
of the possible live-action film in Japan, and we expect you would contact us in due course to deal with this matter.

After they got wind of this letter, New Regency Productions, the studio looking to produce the movie, did some digging and found out that the original character designer of GoLion apparently has rights to the series that hadn’t been known until now.

So then what is WEP’s new lawsuit over? The fact that Toei’s claim to the project resulted in New Regency’s investigation and eventual bail-out of the project. Yeah, talk about sore losers. Now Toei and WEP are locked in legal disputes to figure out who has the rights to what.

Lesson learned boys and girls: If you ever adapt something and want to do something original to it, KEEP THE CREATORS IN THE FREAKING LOOP. Honestly, in my opinion, had WEP not had dreams of grandeur and asked Toei for the assist with Voltron 3D, it probably would have saved them a lot of trouble. *sigh* Ah well. Least I’ve got the GoLion DVDs to tide me over.

Monty Python is pissed….But with some good side effects!

-So okay, Shaolin Soccer is to Shaolin Girl as Kung Fu Dunk starring Jay Chou *shudder* is to..wait..ANOTHER martial arts basketball movie?!

According to Twitch, we’re getting a Muay Thai-infused action/sports extravaganza next year entitled Fireball


Nothing on plot yet or who’s starring in it, all the same I’m scared.

-On the subject of fear, Crunchyroll has won the title of Kingdom of Evil fair and square in my book. Why? They’ve won over the Narutards.

From their ANN Press Release:

Crunchyroll has announced a major step toward creating a new distribution channel for anime content by entering into a strategic initiative with Japanese Anime industry leaders, TV TOKYO Corporation (“TV TOKYO”), SHUEISHA Inc. (“Shueisha”) and Pierrot Co., Ltd. (“Pierrot”)–collectively producers of many of the most popular anime titles of all time….

The first program to launch will be NARUTO SHIPPUDEN, the most popular anime title by the trio of producers. Beginning January 8, 2009, Crunchyroll will offer episodes of the NARUTO SHIPPUDEN series, as well as a lineup of other blockbuster anime titles, as a “simulcast” for the first time immediately following it’s broadcast in Japan. Crunchyroll’s online community of 4.6 million users will be able to access the content in both subscription streaming and advertising-supported services.


-Everybody else is making a big deal out of this so I figure I’ll jump on the bandwagon: If you have no shame and want to show the world how much of a fanboy/girl you are, rejoice. MTV is casting for the next installment of True Life which will be centered around fanboys/fangirls. Yeah. Details are here.

-And finally, a bit of great news for Jackie Chan fans everywhere. Remember how Police Story 3 was butchered into the god-awful mess of an import that was Supercop? Well good news folks, Dragon Dynasty has snatched up the rights and will be releasing Police Story 3: Supercop uncut and unedited on January 13th!

I’m sorry but I keep finding the Japanese trailers for the Police Story series to be cooler if only for the theme always being re-used.

But yeah, all we’re missing now is an uncut DVD release of Police Story 4: First Strike and the cycle will truly be complete.

NEW BLACK DYNAMITE TRAILER! Not safe for work but damn if it isn’t of the motha fawking CHAIN!

Honorable Mention:

And now, some links
Sandy “Batman: Dead End” Collora is back with Hunter Prey
The Murderer is Wikipedia! (Japan Probe)
-*headdesk* Remake of The Host is Still Alive (Scifi Japan)

That’s it for this week’s Friday ACE. And now, Sammy Davis Jr. showing how much he loves Suntory:


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