Aug 04 2017

Hiroyuki Takei & Megumi Hayashibara to appear on Japanese TV Show “Great Connection”

It has been recently announced that Hiroyuki Takei, Megumi Hayashibara, and several other guests will appear on the Japanese TV show “Great Connection” (グレートコネクション) on the August 7th episode. The episode will air from 21:00 to 22:54. “Great Connection” is a typical Japanese  “talk variety” program where a panel of hosts interact with one or more special guests.

Interestingly, Megumi Hayashibara, who has previously voiced Anna from Shaman King will be on the show with Hiroyuki Takei. Other notable guests include Yoshikazu Yasuhiko and Kunio Okawara (both worked on Gundam anime/manga series), Makoto Tezuka (son of Osamu Tezuka), and Yoshitaka Amano (character designer, including Final Fantasy). With this extremely notable line-up, it’s possible that Hiroyuki Takei will be sharing some screentime with one or more of them.

However, on twitter today, Hiroyuki Takei posted a preview of an image (shown above) he hopes we’ll enjoy “next week.” The timing of this will most likely line-up with this TV appearance. It is unknown who the character is, but she is holding some items that do reference Shaman King. It is possible that Takei may talk about the future of Shaman King during this program!

Last time Hiroyuki Takei was on TV was in the “imagine-nation” program in May 2016 as part of the promotion of the Nekogahara volume 2 release in Japan.

Official Website: [Link]

Yahoo! TV Japan’s show listing: [link]

Jul 28 2017

Wonder Festival Summer 2017 Preview

On July 30th, 2017 will begin the Summer edition of Wonder Festival (ワンダーフェスティバル) for 2017. This is also know as Wonderfest, Wonfes( ワンフェス). This is a special, twice-a–year convention that is based around promoting and selling of figures, typically from anime, manga, and comic series.

The event is split between the official figure manufacturers promoting their upcoming figures to be sold through normal outlets for the rest of the year and one-off “groups” that make their own custom figures for sale during the event. These one-off, fan-groups’ figures typically get a “look-the-other-way” in terms of copyright infringement for using licensed characters on this special day in this special location. Typically these figures are sold at high prices with a very limited quantity. And often these figures are promoted online via social media. A such, there has been a couple new figures (unofficial, fanmade) being advertised and some reprints from last year, which we have listed below. As more are posted online, we’ll have additional news posts. Sometimes we won’t see them until the day of the event!

There is a total of 23 figures on display or for sale, with 7 of the figures being new to this event! Click to continue reading this post to check them all out!

Post updated on 7/30 with some additional figures! (Image on left taken by @metretsk)

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Jul 28 2017

Shaman King’s Anna Featured on Cover of “Train Vert” August Issue

In the upcoming August issue of Train Vert Hiroyuki Takei has drawn Anna from Shaman King for the cover. Similar to the April issue previously this year, it should also include a special interview with the mangaka about tourist and sightseeing destinations available by train within Japan.

Based on Anna being on the cover and his recent trip to the Mount Osore region in June, the topic of conversation will most like be about the Aomori Prefecture.

Train Vert is a magazine published by the JR East Shinkansen company and is sold at local train stations along that line. The title of the magazine comes from the French term meaning “green train.” In addition to being purchased at the local train stations, it is also possible to have an 8 volume subscription service for 1,856 yen. But to receive the August issue, you will need to purchase the subscription before the end of the month.

Train Vert does upload the previous month’s issues to their website, so if you aren’t able to pick up an issue you will be able to read it (in Japanese). They do also post official English translations on their website, but it may not include the interview with Hiroyuki Takei as only portions are translated.

Jul 13 2017

2 new images of Hana from Shaman King Flowers posted on Twitter

Hiroyuki Takei made 4 tweets today with some new images. This is the first time he’s publicly commented since his promotional event for Nekogahara volume 3.

The first post contains a drawing (shown above) of the Rise Emperor as included in the Hyper Dash! Yonkuro volume 2 special edition that is now on sale. He encourages fans to buy it as it has limited copies being printed. His other tweet, was about a spelling error in the recently released volume as noted by a fan.

Next Takei posted two images of Hana from Shaman King Flowers. Interestingly, these are 2 new image that are in the style of his previous “Shaman File” images that has posted. Below is a rough English translation of both of his tweets followed by his original tweets.

Thank you for coming to last month’s autograph session, even if you traveled a long way. Things can change, but kindness is always reliable. I hope next time we’ll have another opportunity to do so!

I’m thinking about recruiting some more staff in a while. For more details…

With his trailing off comment and the new images.. it looks like Shaman King Flowers will continue (or have a sequel) in the near future. It still may take some time, but it looks like it’s more promising that the story will continue from where Flowers left off.

Jul 11 2017

Hyper Dash! Yonkuro volume 2 releases in Japan

On July 10th, the Special Edition of Hyper Dash! Yonkuro volume 2 released in Japan. Some locations may not receive the new release until the Standard Edition which releases on July 12th, 2017. The release date discrepancy isn’t very clear, but it may have been done to send the Special Edition to some non-traditional retailers, such as Mini 4WD and hobby shops.

The box art is featured to the left for the Special Edition and the standard edition cover art for the manga is shown at the end of the article on the right.

 

The Special Edition contains the following:

  • Hyper Dash! Yonkuro volume 2 (standard edition)
  • Mini 4WD kit for Gold-colored Rise Emperor (including decorative stickers. Assembly required)
  • 2 sided clearfile featuring art from Hiroyuki Takei and Tokuda Zaurus

The following are the promotional images for the completed Mini 4WD and Clear File.

Additionally, the volume 2 of the manga has the following contents (the chapters are called “Phases”):

  • Phase 4: Birth of the Hyper Dash Corps! (ハイパーダッシュ軍団誕生!!)
  • Phase 5: Burning! Child Prodigy, Rhyme in the Street (バーニング! 神童、韻・ザ・ストリート)
  • Phase 6: And then Horizon Legend (さらに蘇るホライゾン伝説)
  • Hyper Dash! Collection 2 “God Burning Sun” (ハイパーダッシュ!コレクション2「バーニングゴッドサン」)
  • Zaurus Encyclopedia (ザウルス大全)
  • Dear Tokuda Zaurus-Sensei PART 2 (拝啓 徳田ザウルス先生 PART2)

(Note that a rough English translation for the contents above are not official translations.)

Similar to what Hiroyuki Takei did with the Shaman King: Kang Zeng Bang (KZB or Perfect Editions), he has redrawn and added to portions of the 3 released chapters in the volume. The “Hyper Dash! Collection” and “Zaurus Encyclopedia” are sections that contain more technical information. Specifically the Encyclopedia contains information on the 49 mini 4WD featured in Tokuda Zaurus’s original Dash! Yonkuro manga series. The “Dear Tokuda Zaurus-Sensei” is a manga continuation to the first comic he drew for Corocoro Aniki prior to starting the Hyper Dash! Yonkuro series.

The Special Edition costs 2,500 yen (plus tax), and has a ISBN of 9784099418960. The standard edition of the manga costs 583yen (plus tax) and has a ISBN of 9784091424273. The manga has a size of “B6” and contains 192 pages.

You can read a small preview of Hyper Dash! Yonkuro volume 2 via Shogakukan’s website.

Jul 09 2017

Shaman King, Jumbor, & Butsu Zone are no longer published by Shueisha in Japan

From earlier last month, we got the heads up that some of Hiroyuki Takei’s series were leaving the digital manga service Bookwalker. However, with July coming around, we now have the final confirmation that Hiroyuki Takei is no longer associated with Shueisha for the following titles:

  • Shaman King
    • Shaman King Kang Zeng Bang
    • Shaman King Flowers
    • Shaman King Zero
  • Jumbor
    • Jumbor Angzenbang
  • Butsu Zone

All of these series have been removed from all Japanese digital marketplaces. This includes S-MANGA.net and books.shueisha.co.jp which, has the listing of the currently published titles for Hiroyuki Takei. The official Ultra Jump website still lists Hiroyuki Takei as an artist, but it will most likely be removed soon, as indicated by the recent omission of Jumbor from the print July issue. Physical books may be hard to find as they have been out of print for a while. Some bookstores may be returning their current stock back to Shueisha, so finding these series in Japan may become difficult.

The Karakuri Dôji Ultimo manga series is still listed with Shueisha as that series has some additional licensing issues and was a collaboration project with Hiroyuki Takei.

Typically when one of these “breakups” occur there can be some other side-effects for the international markets as well. Currently Shaman King is still listed by Viz Media as an active title for both print and digital in English. Any other  international publishers will most likely continue their current contract with Shueisha until it’s run it’s course. However, once it becomes time to renew the contract, there may be some difficulties doing so as currently they would need to work with Hiroyuki Takei directly, rather than through Sheuisha (or via Viz Media Europe to Shueisha). Until this is sorted out, it is highly unlikely that any of these series will be licensed in any country until next year at the earliest.

It’s possible that these series could be picked up by another publisher, such as Kodansha, who is currently publishing Nekogahara. Hiroyuki Takei has recently stated that he hopes to have an announcement before the end of the year, which would indicate that he is in negotiations with a publisher.

Jun 26 2017

Shaman King, Jumbor, & Butsu Zone To Be Removed From BookWalker

Popular ebook distributor, BookWalker, has recently updated it’s website that they will discontinue selling several of Hiroyuki Takei’s manga series. The series affected by this change are as followed:

  • Shaman King (The original series)
  • Shaman King Flowers
  • Shaman King Zero
  • Butsu Zone (digital edition – 2 volumes)
  • Jumbor
  • Jumbor Anzengbang (2 volumes – original Weekly Shonen Jump series + 2 oneshots)

The manga volumes can be purchased up till the end of the month (June 30th, 23:59). If you have the volume in your BookWalker library, you can still redownload the volume from the service. However they will not be selling the series on the service for new buyers after that date, as confirmed by Bookwalker’s Twitter.

This is timed with the previously announced consolidation of the Shaman King app which closes at the end of the month. But other series that are being consolidated are not being removed from the service.

Interestingly, not all of Hiroyuki Takei’s series are being removed from the service. Karakuri Dôji Ultimo (機巧童子ULTIMO), which was published by Shueisha is not being removed, nor is Hiroyuki Takei’s current manga series of of Nekogahara. Hyper Dash! Yonkuro is not currently for sale on the service. Only Nekogahara is available on the Global/International store and is also not affected.  Previously, the Shaman King Kang Zeng Bang (Perfect Edition – KZB) was a timed exclusive on Yahoo! eBook app, so digital exclusivity is not uncommon with Hiroyuki Takei’s series.

Jun 26 2017

Hiroyuki Takei’s 3rd Nekogahara Autograph Session Report

As previously announced at the end of May, Hiroyuki Takei held his third autograph and talk session on June 25th, 2017 at the Animate Shinjuku for promotion of the third volume release of Nekogahara. The event started with some of Takei’s classic dry humor before going directly into a Q&A from the attendees. After several questions, they moved onto a trivia contest to win some prizes. Some of the prizes awarded were:

  • A set of special prints that Takei had previously posted on his Twitter (multiple winners)
  • One (of two) of his personal ink pens for drawing
  • One (of two) of his computer mice

 (From Takei’s editor)

After the contest winners were selected, Takei fielded one more question about the status of Shaman King Flowers and Jumbor. His response is that he hopes to have an announcement at the end of the year and that fans should continue to support Shonen Magazine Edge (which is currently running the Nekogahara manga). After that, he went into the autograph/signing session (and distributed the prizes).

For the autographs, only volume 3 of Nekogahara was allowed to be signed, but the fans could request a character sketch with Takei’s autograph. Based on what has been posted on Twitter, here’s the count (not counting prize drawings 35 drawings were posted online) :

Shaman King/Flowers/Zero: 28

Nekogahara: 4

Jumbor: 1

Hyper Dash! Yonkuro: 1

Butsu Zone: 1

Ultimo: 0

In no particular order, here are the twitter posts with the images!

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Jun 20 2017

Jumbor Hiatus Missing From Next Ultra Jump Issue

The status of the Jumbor manga in the monthly Ultra Jump magazine has been partially unknown for the last 2 years. The most current chapter of Jumbor is number 53, which was in the August issue.  In that issue there was also a notice that the series is on hiatus and that new information will be announced once it returns.

However, since that date, it has been effectively on “hiatus.” Every new Ultra Jump issue lists the series appearing in the next issue, and Jumbor would be listed under series still in the magazine, but not in the next issue. However, for the next issue preview, for the August 2017 issue, Jumbor has not been listed. This may have been a simple mistake, or it could have been intentional, since there has been no new chapter in exactly 2 years.

It’s also worth noting that Jumbor isn’t completely removed from the July 2017 Ultra Jump magazine, as it was still listed under the “published volumes” page. Jumbor is still listed on the official Ultra Jump website as well. With the announcement of Hiroyuki Takei creating a manga in the Corocoro Aniki magazine, he listed an end date for Jumbor. Unlike with Shaman King, where he has been more hopeful, he hasn’t said as much about Jumbor.

The official reason why Jumbor is on hiatus is still unknown, and probably will stay unknown for a while. In a recent interview with Kono Manga related to “Back to the Future”, the conversation does drift into talking about the Jumbor series. Below is a rough English translation of the excerpt talking about Jumbor hiatus (after being reborn from it’s original Weekly Shonen Jump run).

Interviewer: By the way, you also restarted with “Jumbor” and “Shaman King Flowers” but stopped halfway through the story…?

Takei: I’m planning on how that takes shape, but I definitely want to draw the continuation. That is the responsibility of the creator of those characters. However, “Jumbor” has special circumstances that I mentioned earlier that need to be figured out first.

So it’s less likely about his willingness to continue the manga, but another factor either with Shuiesha or with his Author, Mikami Hiromasa. It’s possible that during the Q&A session of Hiroyuki Takei’s upcoming public appearance that a question may be asked. Unless the answer is that the series has no hope of coming back to Ultra Jump (they ended his contract), Hiroyuki Takei will most likely give another non-direct answer due to these special circumstances.

Source: @sasakura_i on twitter

Jun 18 2017

“Cannon D. Ball” Mini 4WD Car Designed by Hiroyuki Takei Releasing This Fall

With the national “Japan Cup 2017” currently underway (the annual Mini 4WD national tournament), it has been officially announced that in Fall 2017, the “Cannon D. Ball (Brand Name)” (キャノン”D”ボール(商品名)) Mini 4WD will be released. This is yet another Mini 4WD car designed by Hiroyuki Takei in relation to his Hyper Dash! Yonkuro manga that is currently running in the Corocoro Aniki magazine. In the issue that released earlier this week, this same image (as shown left and posted on Takei’s twitter) was printed and he added that there is a “secret” about this car that has yet to be revealed.

 

The Mini 4WD car was also teased in Mid-May at the Shizuoka Hobby Show, as posted on Twitter by AmiAmi Hobby News. That single announcement image is presented below.

The 2nd compiled volume of Hiroyuki Takei’s Hyper Dash! Yonkuro will be released in Japan on July 12th. Similar to the first volume, there will be a “limited edition” version of the manga in addition to the “standard edition.” The limited edition will feature a gold plated version of the “Rise-Emperor” Mini 4WD car with the standard edition of the manga. The ISBN of the manga is 9784099418960 and cost 2700 yen (tax included). The cover of the volume will most likely feature the artwork in this color page spread from this month’s Corocoro Aniki issue.