Sunday, December 30, 2007

News From The Other Side Of The Pond #13!

Toru Furuya Reprises Role in A Ramen Commercial?

Some say it was bound to happen. The Nissin Freedom Project reminded us a lot of other anime series, mainly Gundam, Evangelion and Eureka 7. Now we have learned of a new crossover between Nissin and the Gundam series, wherein Gundam characters revel at the sight of a bowl of noodles after being starved from fighting their battles. The noodles are inserted into memorable scenes from the first-ever Mobile Suit Gundam series. Toru Furuya (Tuxedo Kamen) reprises his role as Ray Amuro, who can be seen here (left side) joyously relieved after seeing a floating bowl of noodles in space, before his delusion causes him to fall out of his spaceship. Banjou Ginga also reprises his role as Gihren Zabi in the commercials (on the same page as above, but on the right). We find it funny the lengths some Japanese companies will go through to have their products appeal to the masses - we couldn’t help but laugh at the randomness of the noodles that floated in space.

Ai Nonaka Inspired by Megumi Ogata

Ai Nonaka is 26 years old, but has dreamed of being an actress since she was very young. In high school, she was the head of the drama club and dreamed of playing the male roles in the famous Takarazuka Revue. However she was not tall enough for an audition there, and turned to radio acting school. Today she is both a singer and a Seiyuu, and sat down with Famitsu for an interview. She revealed that she was inspired by the performances of Megumi Ogata (Sailor Uranus) who typically plays roles of women who are tomboyish, sometimes playing even boys and men. She even got to meet Megumi Ogata when she was a guest star on one of the radio shows that she was acting in, and stayed behind so that she could meet her idol. Ai says that while she is happy to have achieved her dream, she has very little time to herself. She has just added aromatherapy to her daily regiment to help relieve all the stress from being an actress and singing! Ai Nonaka is famous for such roles as Shima Katase in Stellvia of the Universe, Konoka Konoe in Mahou Sensei Negima, and most recently, Fuko Ibuki in Clannad.

New Gackt Album Inspired by Gundam!

Japanese Rocker Gackt released a new album of covers from 0079-0088 Gundam Series on December 21st. Entitled 0079-0088 , the limited edition features narration from none other than Toru Furuya and Shuichi Ikeda. There was a party held that day in Kinokuniya to commemorate the album’s release, and Keiko Han (Luna and Queen Beryl) was in attendance. She once played the role of Lalah Sune on the series. A video message was also shown from Toru Furuya, who was in China for a cultural exchange on that day. Fans looking to purchase either narrated version (Toru’s or Shuichi’s) or the normal version can click the links to find them on

Jadeite and Artemis in Upcoming Anime!

Masaya Onosaka (Jadeite) is set to voice the character Jade “J.D.” in an anime to debut this April, Neo Angelique Abyss. There will also be a video game out for Sony’s PlayStation 2 at around the same time. This one is a romantic, magical girl anime which continues from the previous series, Angelique. Angelique is now a Queen and must defend her kingdom from Thanatos, which has consumed many other societies around her in darkness. The show also stars Kappei Yamaguchi (PGSM Artemis) in the role of René. Jade is on Angelique’s side and wants to help so he can see lots of people smiling, however René is a very gloomy and devilish person. The series was created by Koei and is expected to be a big hit.

Aya Sugimoto Takes On New Role...

As a producer! Aya, who is famous to us for playing Queen Beryl in PGSM , and to others for her "modelling", produced a Kabuki show in Japan on the 23rd of December. She attended one of the classes to learn Kabuki, and found that it took a lot of energy ! She found the restrictive movements difficult, and admired the 12 women for their grace and persistence in the art. For those of our readers who are unaware what Kabuki is, it is a style of dance drama that is usually performed by females, though in recent history some men perform it as well. They are usually short comedic plays based on stories along the walk of life. The performers always wear fancy kimonos and a lot of makeup when they perform these on stage.

Mika Kanai Soldiers on!

Mika Kanai (Mimete) put on quite the show at the Suchi Pie Christmas Special December 16th! Despite recent news of her divorce, she sang alongside several maids and put on a very successful concert along with the rest of the cast of Suchi Pie. When she came to perform, not many people knew that it was her, since she rarely appears in public, let alone even to sing. She sang You And Me , the second ending to the most recent video game of the series, Idol Sparrow Suchi Pie IV. Mika also serves as the voice of a character in this game, Misaki Kyoko. Rika Fukami (Sailor Venus) plays the role of Nanjou Rie, but she was not at this event. Mika was supported by a chorus of girls dressed up as café maids, which serve as the premise of this game. She came dressed in a cute black elf costume and sang with lots of enthusiasm! This game is unique because it was formatted for the home market, and is based on the popular Asian matching game of Mahjong. Fans can check out some more information about the series here. As of this writing, we have not heard if this game will be released here.

Masaya Kikawada to Appear in Chronic Complainer!

Chronic Complainers is a short TV Movie that is set to air January the 6th on Fuji’s Tokai TV. It is about life in a department store, specifically the complaints that are received at the returns counter. The department store is 140 years old, and has an aging management that has to deal with a variety of occurrences at the store, such as a drunk person who passes out while shopping, and not wanting to have to reimburse a customer for a faulty piece of kitchenware - that should be the manufacturer’s job! It looks like it will be a heartwarming comedy about the skills needed to cope with such a job, as well as the relationships among the workers. Masaya Kikawada (PGSM Motoki) plays Eren Tatsuya, a clerk at the store.

And thus ends our last article of the year! Thanks for a great 2007!

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