A day late with the news, due to things happening, but not a dollar short, I'm sure.
The wanderer returns: Takehiko Inoue's sensational Vagabond, his manga treatment of the story of Miyamoto Musashi and one of the X Number Of Manga You Need To Read Before You Drop Dead, is finally returning after a year's hiatus. Go grab it and see what all the noise is about
A link, or a blast?: The manga version — yes, manga version — of Zelda: A Link to the Past — yes, Zelda: A Link to the Past — is being reissued by Viz. Drawn by Shotaro Ishinomori. Yes, that Shotaro Ishinomori. This is a big deal on so many fronts it's impossible not to put this first.
Dogged: After months of silence, the folks behind the Kickstarter-funded animation project Under the Dog have revealed that the project is to be changing hands: "... the team managing the UTD project, Creative Intelligence Arts (CIA) is announcing its departure from the UTD project and handing over the management of the project to Kinema Citrus." It is being stressed that the project will continue to be delivered, but something this major is rarely good for the future of any Kickstarter, and so many people — me included, as I'm a supporter — are understandably keyed up.
Climb ev'ry mountain: If you haven't read Jiro Taniguchi's The Summit of the Gods, go grab it and kill an afternoon or two with it; like most everything else the man has created, it's beautiful stuff. Now a French company is planning a CG-animated version of the story — not a surprise since Taniguchi, and many other manga-ka, are taken far more seriously there than here. Looking forward to this one, provided we get a version with English subs!
3, 2, 1, let's jam: Italian jazz pianist Giovanni Mirabassi has released an album of anime theme song covers. It's mostly Ghibli tracks (hey, Jo Hisaishi is nothing to sneeze at), but Wolf's Rain, Cowboy Bebop, and Origin: Spirits of the Past also figure into the lineup.
Soft power growing softer: The Japanese publishing industry is in a state of free fall, according to this Nippon.com article. Many insights there into how said industry has coasted along on fumes for too long.
Pluto hits the boards: Yes, it's another manga-to-stage adaptation, but this one is particularly fascinating: Pluto, Naoku Urasawa's remarkable remix of Osamu Tezuka's Astro-Boy / Tetsuwan Atomu. The adapter and lead actor is Mirai Moriyama, a Japanese cultural envoy who is approaching this project with a seriousness of intent that you might not expect from something with such a pedigree. Then again, given the general level of Tezuka's cultural cachet in Japan, perhaps you would.
Due to circumstances beyond our control: The airing of the third episode of Assassination Classroom was delayed due to the ISIS hostage situation (Reddit discussion).
Re-in-car-NAY-shun!: The TV anime version of Rumiko Takahashi's successor to Inu-yasha, Rin-ne, is slated to hit the channelwaves this April 4th. Looking forward to it; it's closer in spirit to something like Ranma ½ than the unending shōnen slugfest of Inu-yasha.