Saturday, September 29, 2007

New releases in Japan: Gatchaman goodies

Summer's barely over, and it's time to start thinking about Christmas. If you have a Gatchaman fan on your shopping list, here are a few new goodies coming out:

Kewpie Gatchaman update:The Kewpie Gatchaman cell straps will be followed next month by a ballpoint pen with a Kewpie Ken figure on it. You can see a picture of it at the bottom of this page:

By the way, does anyone else find the naked "Medama Oyaji" Kewpie (the one with the eyeball on its head) vaguely disturbing?

Look for Gatchaman "Squeeze" Kewpie figures to come out in December.

Gatchaman children's goods: The Fotoist store chain is carrying a line of clothing, lunch boxes, notebooks, etc. with Tatsunoko characters on them. The Tatsunoko Web site has photos of the actual products here:

Prizes from Daily Yamazaki: If you bought enough merchandise from the Daily Yamazaki store chain between August 1st and August 27th, you were entered in a drawing for a Nintendo DS Lite that came with an original carrying pouch with Tatsunoko Style Gatchaman characters on it or book cards (used to pay for rental books). One of the three cards had the Tatsunoko Style Gatchaman characters on it. You can see additional pictures of the prizes at:
and at:

Gatchaman keitai RPG game: Kotobuki Solutions announced the upcoming release of a Gatchaman-themed RPG game to be played over cell phones. The game will be available through several outlets in Japan starting in December. The press release is here: (Site in Japanese only, no pictures.)

Tatsunoko cell phones: The SoftBank online shop is working with fanfun.815t to release a series of Tatsunoko-themed cell phones. The phones are supposed to be available by the end of September, but there's only a "Coming Soon" notice on the Web site.

Once again, thanks to Tatsunokofan for the scoop!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

And now, the Gatchaman movie poster now has a snippet from the Kevin Munroe interview and a new Gatchaman movie poster. Check it out.

Thanks again, Tatsunokofan! Y'know, I really need to start Googling Gatchaman news again, or I'm going to have to turn in my fan card. ;-)

Warner Bros. and the Weinstein Company to distribute Imagi Gatchaman movie

From a new press release from the Imagi Web site:


Hong Kong (September 27, 2007) – Warner Bros. Pictures, The Weinstein Company and Imagi Animation Studios agreed upon principal terms for the worldwide distribution of the feature films Gatchaman and AstroBoy. The announcement was jointly made by Jeff Robinov, President, Production, Warner Bros. Pictures; Harvey Weinstein of The Weinstein Company; Imagi Co-CEOs Douglas Glen and Francis Kao; and brokered by The William Morris Agency.

The new pact builds on the success of TMNT, Imagi's first theatrical motion picture, also distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures and The Weinstein Company. TMNT opened in March 2007 at the top of the U.S. box office.

"Imagi is breaking new ground with big action pictures done entirely in CG animation," said Robinov. "It's an exciting new genre, with the potential of attracting big mass market audiences."

"TMNT had the kind of beautifully choreographed action sequences you'd expect from Hong Kong animators," said Weinstein. "The next two films will confirm Imagi's reputation as the world's leading action hero animation studio."

"We are delighted to be allied with the marketing and distribution power of Warner Bros. Pictures and The Weinstein Company," said Glen. Added Kao, "We're making Hollywood-style movies with Hong Kong-style excitement and stories that are fusions of Western and Asian themes."

From what I've heard, the budget for Gatchaman is about $40 million. The budget for TMNT, also distributed by Warner, was around $35 million, so we're looking at a budget with about the same scope.

This is good news indeed. Each step increases the possibility we'll see this movie in theaters. And I'm still full of warm fuzzies about the Paul Dini news.

Thanks, Tatsunokofan!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Paul Dini to work on Imagi Gatchaman Screenplay

Looks like they're bringing out the big guns! Here's a press release recently posted on Imagi's Web site (


Hong Kong (September 21, 2007)– Paul Dini has been signed to collaborate on the screenplay for Imagi Animation Studios' upcoming CG-animated motion picture, Gatchaman. Announcement was made by Francis Kao, Co-CEO & Chief Creative Officer. "We are excited to have Paul on our talented Gatchaman team," said Kao. "His extensive background in animation and superhero comics will contribute greatly to this ambitious action movie."

"The original series was one of the classics of early anime, and the film will be very true to the Japanese source material," said Dini. "As a studio, Imagi is constantly breaking the boundaries of animated adventure. Not only are their action sequences amazing, but their characters are driven, complex and play for life-or-death stakes. It's a great environment for a writer with a rather dark
take on animation."

Writer-producer Paul Dini's career spans animation (Batman: The Animated Series), television (Lost) and comics (Detective, The World's Greatest Superheroes) . The winner of multiple Emmy, Eisner and Writers Guild of America Awards, Dini is also currently masterminding the DC Comics 2007 weekly series Countdown. His creations Jingle Belle and Mutant, Texas continue to appear frequently from Dark Horse, Oni Press and other publishers. Dini and his wife, magician Misty Lee, have also launched a popular series of Internet shorts featuring their puppet creation, Little Rashy.

Gatchaman is based on the successful Japanese franchise created in the early 1970s by anime pioneer Tatsuo Yoshida. Aired in the U.S. as Battle of the Planets and G-Force, the TV series soon became one of the top syndicated shows. Scheduled for release in early 2009, Gatchaman is a big, effects rich movie set in a future world grappling with environmental and technological issues. The story focuses on five reluctant heroes whose remarkable genetic code makes them Earth's only hope of defeating extraterrestrial invaders.

Kevin Munroe (TMNT) is the director of Gatchaman, being produced by Lynne Southerland.

Thanks to the eagle eyes of Tatsunokofan!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

New Kevin Munroe interview at Imagi Web site

Imagi has just updated their information on the upcoming Gatchaman CGI feature film with this new interview with director Kevin Munroe. From the main page, click "What's New" and then the interview title.

I can't comment on this immediately because my browser is gagging on the Flash used on the site. More once I get access to another computer.