New York Anime Festival: 3 premiers and more!

The New York Anime Festival took place at the Javitz Center this year (12/07-12/09) bringing in anime fans from all over. We were lucky to have six of our films featured in this event, and got to meet many die-hard anime fans that also love the live-action films that we bring to them.

NANA, Honey and Clover, LOVE☆COM THE MOVIE were all premieres andKamikaze Girls, Ping Pong, and Gackt: The Greatest Filmography RED also played as all-time favorites. We’d like to thank many people for singning up for our e-mail newsletter. If you missed out on this opportuniy, please give us your information here. We should be coming out with one very soon!

Thank you New York Anime Festival for having us. Thank you all the fans for being so involved! While it was rainy and grey outside, we felt very warm at our booth.

December 7th, 2007

Shinto purification at the J-POP Center site

As our symbolic first step in the J-POP Center construction plan, we held a traditional Shinto purification ceremony to offer closure to a historical building and an old tree that is standing on the future J-Pop Center site in the heart of Japantown, San Francisco. In this ceremony, we thanked the spirit of the land, offered the building and the tree an apology for its termination, and prayed for safety of the demolition workers.

The formal ceremony was conducted by Reverend Koichi Barrish from the Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America in Seattle, WA, the only Shinto priest to ever be ordained outside of Japan. We would like to thank Reverend Barrish and all of those who gathered to pay respect to the former Hokebei Mainichi Newspaper Building and bring proper closure to its history.

Once the demolition is complete and the new foundation is set, we will have another purification ceremony for the new construction of the J-Pop Center.
For more information about the Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America and the fabulous Reverend Barrish, please visit www.tsubakishrine.com.

November 16th, 2007

DVD DEBUT OF HULA GIRLS at Yoshi’s in Oakland

Aloha! We had quite the exciting Hula Girls DVD release celebration at Yoshi’s
on the 7th of November. On tour on the mainland soil, Jake Shimabukuro was in town to play a two set show at the world-renown Jazz club.

One of the world’s top ukulele musicians, and the composer and performer for the soundtrack to HULA GIRLS (available in the US from Hitchhike Records), Jake Shimabukuro is known for his revolutionary playing techniques and category defying music; you name it, he has incorporated it in his style. 

Thanks to Jake’s generosity and his loyal fan-base, we were able to kick off our
DVD release on a very good note. If you are interested in hearing this phenomenal musician play, please visit www.jakeshimabukuro.com to catch him on his tour.

November 7th, 2007

VIZ Pictures licenses four live action films based on popular Shojo Beat Manga titl

VIZ Pictures has licensed the live action versions of four films based on popular titles released under VIZ Media痴 SHOJO BEAT imprint. These include HONEY AND CLOVER, LOVE*COM THE MOVIE, NANA and NANA 2.

All films except NANA 2 will have special premiere screenings at the upcoming New York Anime Festival December 7-9, 2007. HONEY AND CLOVER will be released theatrically in select cities beginning in December. LOVE*COM THE MOVIE will be released straight to DVD in February 2008 and distributed by VIZ Media. NANA will be released theatrically in early 2008 and NANA 2 will have a theatrical release in the spring of 2008.”

November 1st, 2007

Destination: Tokyo Int’l Film Festival

Towards the end of this month VIZ Pictures will fly to Tokyo to visit the 20th Tokyo International Film Festival to scope out new talent in the industry. We are looking forward to viewing Japanese festival entries for possible licensing and future distribution in North America.

As the TIFF (Tokyo International Film Festival) is ranked 11th on the list of top film festivals, competition should be spirited. This year marks the festival’s 20th anniversary; as the title trailer states, “The child of cinema has turned twenty,” signifying the festival’s coming of age. Make sure you visit here to check out all of the film entries sent to Tokyo from around the world!

October 20th, 2007

Interview with Kaiju Shakedown

VIZ Pictures had the pleasure of engaging in an email interview with Grady Hendrix for Kaiju Shakedown, Variety Magazine’s Asian film blog.

In this interview, we were able to speak of our motivations and goals as a film distributor in the U.S. Grady asked Manami Iiboshi, VIZ Pictures Director of Marketing, and Brian Ige, Director of Sales for VIZ Media, how we choose and distribute our films to theatres in North America, and how we aim to stand out from others in this competitive industry.

“We know the popular Japanese movie genres here are horror and violent or samurai/ninja action movies, and there are so many of those available in the market already, which is really great. But we want to explore something new, so we carefully choose movies which represent ‘J-Pop’ from our point of view, and that’s our difference.”
– Manami Iiboshi, Director of Marketing, VIZ Pictures

To read the whole blog, please visit here.

October 9th, 2007

Gackt’s North American Debut on DVD!

Unlike our usual features, Gackt’s Filmography is a compilation of music videos featuring one of the biggest Japanese Visual Kei star. Outside of Japan, Gackt has a huge following for his affiliations with anime and games. As a cutting edge specimen of J-pop, VIZ Pictures is very excited to announce the release of the 2 DVDs; RED / BLUE on October 9th of 2007!

“The genre of J-rock and Visual Kei has become increasingly popular with anime fans across North America and we are honored to release these two DVD editions by one of the genre’s most notable artist,” says Seiji Horibuchi, President and CEO of VIZ Pictures. “The popularity of music drawn from anime and video game titles continues to grow and is an ideal vehicle to bridge cultural and language gaps. The delivery of an even wider range of J-pop culture through visual entertainment is our new challenge.”

October 9th, 2007

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