A post over on Kotaku a few days ago notes that Mexican actress Camila Sodi has auditioned for the role of Bulma in the upcoming American live-action adaptation of Dragon Ball for the big screen.
The final two Dragon Ball individual disc covers have been revealed. Discs #25 and #26 contain five episodes each, covering episodes 144 thru 153, and are slated to be released 05 December 2007.
You can still order any of the released Z discs or any of these discs from Amazon Japan.
Everyone’s favorite battle in the Dragon World — Atari vs. FUNimation — continued onwards today with Atari’s next quarterly report (also delayed, but not so delayed as their ridiculously delayed previous quarterly report… if that made any sense what-so-ever):
We are a party to two license agreements with FUNimation Productions, Ltd. (“FUNimation”) pursuant to which we distribute the Dragonball Z software titles. On October 18, 2007, FUNimation delivered a notice purporting to terminate the license agreements based on alleged breaches of the license agreements. We dispute the validity of the termination notices and have continued to distribute the titles covered by the license agreements. We and FUNimation are currently in discussions regarding a “standstill” agreement that would permit them to discuss and attempt to resolve the issues under the license agreements that resulted in FUNimation delivering the purported termination notice. There is no assurance that the parties will agree on the terms of the standstill or that they will be able to successfully resolve the issues under the license agreements. While we believe we have valid defenses to the purported termination, in the event that FUNimation is successful in terminating the license agreements it could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial position. We have recorded an additional $2.8 million expense related to the FUNimation dispute during the six months ended September 30, 2007. This amount is comprised of an additional royalty expense of $1.2 million and $1.6 million related to minimum advertising commitment shortfalls. As part of this dispute we have reduced our FUNimation prepaid license advance by approximately $0.8 million during six months ended September 30, 2007 and have a liability of approximately $2.5 million as part of royalties payable as of September 30, 2007.
So what is this actually saying in non-corporate-ese? Basically, their battle is still on-going, they have already put $2.8 million into the fight, and they expect more to go into the whole scenario.
I am really grabbed by that phrase “minimum advertising commitment shortfalls”. Does this mean that one of the reasons FUNimation is going after the license the fact that Atari has not put enough advertising support behind the franchise? Certainly we have seen the amount of television advertising drop over the years (think back to “Budokai 3″ ads). I know Filter was involved with some new-media advertising on Atari’s behalf during the “Super Dragon Ball Z” era (as shown by our giving away a copy of the game based on their involvement back on podcast episode #0045), and I was never able to get in touch with anyone at Filter regarding subsequent games. We could not go anywhere without seeing “Shin Budokai: Another Road” Flash banner ads quite recently, though.
In a nutshell, it sounds like everyone is still at a “standstill” and money is being pumped into the battle. As you know, Atari has completely bowed out of the game development business; this does not seem to affect DB in any way, since the last games they developed (as opposed to simply licensing from Japan and distributing) were “DBGT: Transformation” (GBA; August 2005) and “DBZ: Sagas” (GCN/PS2/Xbox; March 2005). “Sparking! METEOR” (“Budokai Tenkaichi 3″) for the PS2 is on shelves right now, and it looks like it will still be coming out for the Wii next month.
Episode #0103 of the podcast is available for download! This week we tried to answer a question… what will it take to make a watchable American live-action DB movie? Not even good… just watchable. We definitely have some thoughts on the matter, so tune in for that. Oh, and by the way… this is the two-year anniversary of the podcast! Holy snaps! Back on November 19th, 2005, we released little ol’ #0001, and here we are with #0103 two years later (not only that, but the website as a whole turns ten in January!). To celebrate the two years… well, we celebrated #0100 a couple episodes back by starting up a contest to give away daizenshuu numero dos (“STORY GUIDE”), so we’re giving it away this episode! Did you win?! You’ll want to tune in to find out. Definitely check it out.
Episode #0103! VegettoEX, Meri, and Julian discuss what it will take to make a WATCHABLE live-action American DB movie… not even GOOD, just WATCHABLE. We segue in with the loads of live-action movie news, FUNimation and Viz release news, and more Atari shenanigans. Meri’s Top 5, November’s releases, your e-mails, and our daizenshuu two giveaway contest round out the episode!
- Bardock / Trunks Double Feature DVD @ RightStuf
- Viz DB Manga Omnibus Volume 1 @ RightStuf
- “DragonBall Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3″ (PS2) @ Amazon
- “DragonBall Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3″ (Wii) @ Amazon
- Atari Departure From Development Business @ Atari
- CEO David Pierce Departure @ Atari
- DBZ To Shoot in Durango, Mexico @ SuperHeroHype.com
- American Live-Action Movie News @ Montreal Gazette
- Heroes’ Lee Auditions For DBZ Movie @ Anime News Network
- DB Movie Set To Roll @ Hollywood Reporter
- Chatwin, Marsters, & Chow News @ comingsoon.net
- Chatwin, Marsters, & Chow News @ movieweb.com
- Meri’s Top 5 We’d Rather See As Live-Action @ Daizenshuu EX
- DBZ “Remastered” Vol. 16 (Spain) @ zonadvd.com
- “Sparking! METEOR” Vocal OP @ YouTube
- Video Downloads @ Daizenshuu EX
- Mike & Meri eBay Auction Extravaganza @ eBay
- “Remix this: anime gets hijacked” @ The Japan Times Online
RightStuf has yet another new listing, this time for the Dragon Ball Z “omnibus” versions coming out from Viz (this coming after initial details came out for the first series’ release). Pretty interesting description, here:
This VIZBIG edition of Dragon Ball Z contains volumes 1-3 of the series, bonus color content and updated text.
Let us dig into this. First off, we know they are doing “DB” and “DBZ” separately, just like they did with the original “graphic novel” releases previously (despite the fact that the entire 42-volume series is simply called Dragon Ball, beginning to end, in Japan; the “Z” distinction is anime-only). Second is this “bonus color content” — this implies the color chapters have returned, similar to the kanzenban release in Japan. “Updated text”…? That is a doozy of a speculation to make. Are the translations simply “touched-up”? Censoring being addressed? Who knows…?!? Well, someone at Viz does. It would be nice if they would speak up. Drop us a line, guys! Help a fan out.
According to Hollywood Reporter (and also being posted on sites like comingsoon.net and movieweb.com), Justin Chatwin (known for the most recent “War Of The Worlds” theatrical adaptation), and James Marsters (most well known as Spike in the “Buffy” & “Angel” universe) have apparently been picked up, and the story is reporting a 15 August 2008 “worldwide release date” with James Wong indeed at the helm.
That information somewhat contradicts the news from the other day of James Kyson Lee (who auditioned for the role of Yamcha) saying that it is looking like a 2010 release time frame. This does not mean that Lee was simply wrong in everything he said, and this does not mean that everything we have heard thus far has been complete Hollywood fabrication… so, eh, do what you will with the info.
Atari has been on a roll today (in addition to that whole “shipping a new Dragon Ball video game” thing). Two additional press releases have come out, (1) announcing the complete departure from the production business, a refocusing on the distribution business, and a workforce reduction, and (2) announcing the departure of their current CEO, David Pierce.
What does this mean for Dragon Ball? Nothing, quite yet. “Budokai Tenkaichi 3″ has already shipped, and they are nothing more than the North American (and abroad) distributor for the game (remember, it is created and developed over in Japan for Bandai by Spike as the “Sparking!” series). As far as we know, they are also still in corporate shenanigans land with FUNimation regarding supposed breaches of contract. We will let you know if anything else surfaces.
According to Toei, the first set of Dragon Ball GT individual discs will be released 06 February 2008. There will be 11 discs released, covering episodes 1-64 (complete series), and two discs will be released on the first Wednesday of every month. Unfortunately, they did not tell us how they are handling an odd number of discs, but we will find out eventually. If you loved GT, now is your chance. Check out Amazon Japan and pre-order the first two discs today.
“Budokai Tenkaichi 3″ (originally released in Japan as “Sparking! METEOR”) for the Sony PlayStation 2 has officially hit store shelves in North America:
Atari’s Dragon Ball Z(R): Budokai Tenkaichi 3 for Wii(TM) and Playstation(R)2 System Headed to Store Shelves for Holiday Season
— The Ultimate Dragon Ball Z Title Features More In-Depth Story Mode and Enhanced Graphics –
NEW YORK, Nov. 13 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Atari, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATAR), one of the world’s most recognized brands and a third-party video game publisher, today announced that Dragon Ball Z(R): Budokai Tenkaichi 3 has shipped to retailers in North America for the PlayStation(R)2 computer entertainment system and will be arriving for the Wii(TM) later this holiday season. Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3 is rated T for Teen and is available for a suggested retail price of $49.95.
Developed by Spike, Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3 is the first Dragon Ball Z title to incorporate online play with the Wii, making it one of this holiday’s must-have fighting titles. Fans playing on the PlayStation 2 system have the option to unlock several more hours of hidden game play with the Disc Fusion System, which requires either Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 1 or 2 to unlock never-before-seen battles.
“We’re pleased to bring exclusive content and online play to the loyal fans of the Dragon Ball series,” said Donny Clay, Producer, Atari, Inc. “We have delivered what we believe is undoubtedly the best Dragon Ball game yet. This is a must-have for the holidays.”
Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3 features a roster of over 150 playable characters, 30 enormous and varying 3D battle environments, fine-tuned fighting controls for the Wii and revamped audio, including the original Japanese voices. For more information on Dragon Ball Z video games, please visit http://www.atari.com/dragonballz.
While the music in the North American version is supposedly better than average, there is no selectable Japanese music option, which is a bummer for all of you that were holding out hope. The Japanese voice cast is at least selectable, though.
As a reminder to everyone, Meri and I gave our initial thoughts on the game (based on the JP “Sparking! METEOR”, of course) back on Episode #0099 of the podcast. We will be following up with our final thoughts on the game in the next week or so — look forward to it!
As we reported a while back in July, Viz has announced they are going to be putting out a so-called “omnibus” version of the manga, which in a single volume will collect three individual volumes of the original “graphic novel” run. The first of these is apparently due out 06 May 2008 for a retail price of $17.99, though RightStuf has it listed for a pre-order price of $13.49. This should cover Dragon Ball volumes one, two, and three… which itself covers chapters one to thirty-six.
We will give details on the cover art and assorted other things as they come in.