Monday, January 26, 2009

So what's new with the Imagi film? A follow-up

According to, the American branch of Imagi is indeed shutting down, but only temporarily until its next round of expected funding arrives. The Hong Kong branch is currently closed for Chinese New Year. Production on Astro Boy is set to continue, and Gatchaman is set for release November 2010... providing it gets funded.

All the gory details are here:

Sunday, January 25, 2009

So what's new with the Imagi film?

Following the Imagi Gatchaman film has been like riding a roller coaster. First we get news that Imagi has been rated a "going financial concern," which is worrying, but not devastating... yet. Felix Ip's blog mentioned that all is moving along according to plan. But then, in light of the current recession and many companies shutting down worldwide, comes the rumor that Imagi is temporarily shutting down. If this is indeed happening, could this lead to a permanent shutdown? Stay tuned...

Here's the link from First Showing:

Hisayuki Toriumi, Chief Director for first Gatchaman series, passes away

Hisayuki Toriumi, the Chief Director/Supervisor of the first Gatchaman series, passed away of heart failure on January 23, 2009. He was 67 years old.

Much of the pivotal work in Gatchaman belonged to Toriumi. He directed 32 episodes of the first series—#1 ("Gatchaman vs. Turtle King"), #39~40 ( the Jigokiller two-parter), #53 ("Farewell Red Impulse"), #78 (Joe's confession aboard the Marine Satan), #81 ("Fight on Gallactor Island"), #102 (Berg Katse's unmasking), the final episode, and the 1978 Gatchaman Feature Film. He also acted as a writer, co-writing the following episodes with Satoshi Suyama: #22 ("Firebird vs. Fire-Eating Dragon"), #53 ("Farewell Red Impulse"), #71 ("The Immortal Gov. X"y), and #92 ("The End of Crescent Base")) and five episodes on his own (#52 ("Secret of Red Impulse"), 68 (Micro Saturn), #88 ("Iron Snake #828"), #102 (The unmasking of Berg Katse), and #105 (The series finale). In my own opinion, these were some of the most suspenseful and involving episodes in the entire series.

Mr. Toriumi wrote a novel version of the Gatchaman feature film that added some details to the events in the movie (and unlike the movie, it also involved what happened in #81, "Duel on Gallactor Island"). He later became an accomplished novelist with over two dozen titles written.

He remained active in the animation industry until 1998, and acted as a mentor to director Mamoru Oshii. Funeral services will be held Monday, January 26 in Hachioji. He is survived by his wife, Hiroko.

Thank you, Oshii-sensei, for the inspiration.