Shirow's News
News and updates on Shirow-related products, events or activities. Some 'news' might be outdated as informations are quite hard to come by. Any help or further details are always welcome. New entries at the News Page.

Arch. 2001 | Arch. 2000 | Arch. 1999
Title Images: Exon Depot Shimban, Copyrights: Shirow, Seishinsha.

28th Dec. 2000

Seishinsha Has A New Home On The Web!

In time for the new year, Seishinsha's Homepage has moved from its old address to a more dedicated one! The site is also re-designed with frames but at this moment the English section is still under construction, and the Data Library is still on. No important announcements or news today though but the new site looks good! So pay Seishinsha and Shirow Sensei's new home a visit and update your bookmarks. The new URL is http://www.seishinsha-online.co.jp/

Seishinsha Online!

3rd Dec. 2000

Gum No.1 2001
Cover, Comic Gum, 01 (Jan.) 2001
Kawaii Neko-Neko Girl Sisters for Christmas... Meows!~ ^_^

Could it be that after 14 years of holding the top Shirow cat-girl sisters award, Anna and Uni are just about to lose their hold on the title? "But they have artificial ears, and that silly bell for an earing is definitely lame compared to my spikes", commented Anna, flipping through the January 2001 issue of Gum Comics. "For all you know they could just be normal girls dressed up as cats to sell more magazines. Copycats!", Uni added. Good points, Puma twins, but that doesn't oppose the fact that Shirow fans LOVE to see Shirow cat-girls, in whatever form, pose or costume. ^_^ Superb! What a great way to kick off another year of Gum. Long live Gum Comics! Long live Shirow covers!

On sale in Japanese bookstores December 2000, 620 Yen.

23rd Nov. 2000 - Loud Ghost Whispers From Kodansha Japan!...

An announcement was just made recently at Kodansha Japan's ikodansha page, regarding a curious Koukaku Kidoutai (GITS) appearance in some 'Kiyara Maga DX' form. In 'Japan-glish' that sounds crazily like... a colour manga? Or am I just hallucinating? ^_^ Ikodansha deals with stuff published or offered by Kodansha for the i-mode phone that's the rage in Japan. So its really confusing. The 'Maga' in the title is more for 'Maga'zine than 'manga' which has its familiar kanji representation. There are 3 possibilities- some i-mode phone graphics application, a special manga magazine in colour, or a re-make of GITS in full colour.

The short announcement and picture preview at ikodansha's homepage:

I see Motoko and Batou in colour...
Ghost In The Shell... as you've never seen before?!

Of course we all hope the last one is true but I can't confirm for now. Two similiar 'Kiyara Maga' projects are already in the final stages of completion for release in year 2000- Love Hina and Cardcaptor Sakura, so I hope we'll find out soon what this is all about!

Little Update on The Ghost Solid Box - the Kodansha Bookclub lists the Ghost Solid Box as having a release date scheduled for 19th December 2000 4 days earlier than the 22nd December date set at the Young Magazine homepage. 4 days allowance for delivery I suppose.

19th Nov. 2000 - Fuzen Naru Anju and Gang Bids Sayonara ~

Goodbye!
All good things must come to an end someday.
And we'll all miss you dearly too, Naru!

On 30th October 2000, Game Net Japan (GNJ) announced the conclusion of the Orion NRPG, ending a 2-year period of role-playing since autumn 98'. The Orion NRPG staff decided to end it as they have been providing free service to support the software for the past two years (unlike other online RPGs which charges members to play). The website will remain until end of December this year for those who wish to re-live the experience before going offline for good. We bid a warm farewell to Fuzen Naru Anju and cast of the Orion NRPG, its a great game and in every way a very fitting sequel to Sensei Shirow's Orion. Will we meet again someday? Manga-form perhaps? ^_^ With all my heart I hope so!
Orion NRPG: Autumn 1998 - Autumn 2000. Concluded.

25th Oct. 2000 - Themed News: Statues with Wings.
Caution: Money Can Grow Wings Too!

Heavenly Creature
I Believe I Can Fly,
for US$155.95

An update on 'new' Shirow statues available west-side. The Shirow War Angel statue mentioned previously (ref: 27th Feb 2000) is now on-sale. Officially called the 'Requiem Statue' sculpted by Sam Greenwell (Morning Star Statue) and released under Dark Horse. Priced at US$150.00. Another one is the Ghost In The Shell 'Techno Angel' statue sculpted by Kenji Ando, 11.5 inches of angelic Motoko. Brought in from Japan by Toycom (Alpha Motokos) and is available to show-off to your buddies for a pricey US$155.95. This isn't exactly a new statue as the Japanese kit version has been available since 1996, when I saw a fully-painted kit at a local model specialty shop selling for ~US$50 (Although damned attractive I'ma young kid with no pocket money to spare at the time, very deprived life)... So go figure.

Not-So-Heavenly Creature
I Believe I Can Touch The Sky,
for US$150.00

Recommends: Definitely go for the Techno Angel. I take back what I said about the Requiem Statue earlier this year. Up-close the end-user version looks... unbalanced and lacking... Ah well. Shirow fans have LOTS of money (some major publishers' theories ^_^) so just accept it as it is. 'Hey, life's a bitch!' - M. Kusanagi.

For more info on the statues in this update, or if you decide to get one for yourself, visit the good folks at TFAW.Com. At the main page, go to the 'search' field and type 'Shirow' or 'Masamune Shirow Statue' if you're the really particular type. Prices quoted above are based on their listings. Also note that TFAW.Com is taking pre-orders now for the US Shirow 2001 calendar (see 11th Sept. 2000 News) at a special offer price of US$17.99 (listed price US$19.99). Feel free to let me know if you do purchase one of these statues and what you think of the real thing. I'm passing.

21st Oct. 2000 - Can Someone Please Give Me That Man-Telephone Interface Card?

Oh my little Ghost...! Look at that!
Oh please don't turn your back on us, Dear Major!

That's IT! I'm packing my bags and flying off to Tokyo first thing tomorrow! What? A return ticket costs a bloody 460? Dammit! >_< The good stuff is always in Japan! To appease Shirow fans in the land of the rising sun and keep their minds off the Solid Box, Kodansha apparently came out with this absolutely fabulous looking boxed Collector's Seburo Masters 35A - Manmachine Interface Telephone Card Set some months ago. Little is known about it, but the cards are those little pieces in the middle with Motoko's backview and the Seburo gun.

They are in a box with the plain words 'Koukaku' printed on the front cover. Price is unknown (but going by trend, I can safely say its easily worth at least 5000++ Yen now), and release date is sometime in mid-2000. Probably Limited Edition as well. I completely missed this one!

14th Oct. 2000

Its A Cool Autumn's Day... Waiting For You? ^_^

This is getting to be a routine now. Shirow Sensei seems to be always on-time with his Gum covers. Guess this is as 'regular' as you can get from Sensei Shirow these days. So those who have been keeping tabs with Gum for Shirow covers, another one for this month: Comic Gum No.11 (November 2000).
This October-November months' theme is autumn, reminiscent of what Shirow did last year at the Cherry Blossom season for Gum Comics. I've noticed that lately Shirow draws a lot of little bugs and weird creatures to accompany his girls. Is that a certain preference or merely a requirement from the Gum editors? Anyway, with Part I of Koukaku 2 painfully finalised by this December, I really wonder if we will finally see that fantasy-themed manga Shirow was so keen about a year ago.

On sale in Japanese bookstores October 2000, 620 Yen.

Gum No.11 2000
Cover, Comic Gum, 11 (Nov.) 2000

When can I see you...
Please DON'T be joking this time...!
6th Oct. 2000 - We Have a DATE with Major Kusanagi!
Koukaku 2 Release Status Update #5: 2 more months of peaceful sleep!

Koukaku Solid Box release date is now officially announced by Kodansha after many many months of 'uncertain xx day xx month release' statements. The expected date is 22nd December 2000. Write that down in your diaries and planners, guys and gals, and we'll see if Motoko decides to turn up or not. It can be really easy to get lost in the sea of information networks (^_^) but we'll wait. Motoko's worth it. 11 months after the first announce... Wow. That was almost a year in delays! I didn't realise that...

12th Sept. 2000 - Next Year's New Star is Confirmed Japan-side!

Masamune Shirow Calender 2001 - 'Angel Star'
Published by Seishinsha. Release: October 2000, Price: 1400 Yen.

All the above info now confirmed by the publisher! Seishinsha's 2001 Shirow Calendar carries on an annual tradition that was set with the release of Dominion 1997, and has never failed to impress old and new fans alike. Expect a barrage of Gum Comics images this year though. Also comes in an attractive colour wrapping. The cover looks nothing short of excellent!

Do you like it??? I'd LOVE to have this one on the wall next year~ ^_^

Wave those bells baby!
Angel Star 2001 Frontpiece

11th Sept. 2000 - Shirow Sensei Dual-Calendar Coming Soon! Save Up Now Kids! ^_^

Don't Get Too Close. My Steel Punch is Wicked! ^_^
Possible 2001 Calendar Frontpiece
Steel Space-Angel: "Do You Like Me Or My Armour Suit?"

Lucas- "Honestly~~ both, my dear," *^_^*. This just announced in this month's (September) Diamond Comics Previews. There will be a Western release of the Shirow 2001 Calendar. The US Version is being prepared in Japan exclusively for Dark Horse Comics, and will be using the exact materials and pictures as its Japanese counterpart put together by Seishinsha. The calendar will be 'translated' (*shrug* Hey, I don't know what there is to translate in a calendar either!) and US holidays added. It was advertised as a Limited item in Previews, though I think it shouldn't be a problem getting it from Dark Horse directly. It will ship on November 22nd, not too late for a very Shirow new year. ^_^ Additionally the other pic advertised was the Bunny-suit Nurse from August Gum, so who says overseas fans won't be seeing those 'impossible' to get Gum pictures huh? I think the whole Calendar's going Gum! Oh, and get Angel Star 2001 too for those Kanjis and Japanese holidays ne? ^_^

Shirow 2001 Calendar. On Sale November 22nd. 13 full color illustrations, packaged in an imprinted plastic envelope, 19 3/4" x 18 1/4" unfolded. Wholesome Shirow goodness for US$19.99. Thanks for the beep Stefan! ^_^

Steel Space-Angel: "Hi! Its Me Again. I Have Words All Over Me Now!"

Lucas- "Those words make you prettier, my dearest!" *^_^*. Okay, okay, I'll cut with the nonsense. Looks like Shirow's 'new-style' as observed in previous Gum covers didn't last very long. Or possibly this could be an old piece done some time ago. However, its cool. Very cool. To see Sensei Shirow rendering a Sci-Fi piece, the genre he is so famous for. The cute cute girl, the metal mean-looking body armour, the winding cables and wires, and that weird Alien too (what the hell?!...). Very symbolic of Shirow Sensei! Comic Gum October 2000's cover looks to be another signature Shirow picture for his upcoming calendar (see news entry above), similiar to the October 98 Comickers cover piece which made it as the front for the Millenium 2000 Calendar.

On sale in Japanese bookstores September 2000, 620 Yen.

Gum No.10 2000
Cover, Comic Gum, 10 (Oct.) 2000

What Are Those Fuchikomas Doing?!?
Fuchikomas Decided to Keep ALL the Solid Boxes. A Conspiracy!?! Ack!
Bits and Pieces about the Ghost Solid Box......

I have ceased to bother with more 'Status Updates' for this particular merchandise. No doubt its going to be a little piece of Shirow Collector's heaven, but come on Kodansha! What in nine-hells are you doing!! >_< To the point. The Solid Box was mentioned in September's Previews again indicating that Diamond is still accepting orders for the Box, now called the 'Ghost In The Shell Gift Box' (Sheesh!). More importantly, it implies that the Solid Box has NOT been cancelled. The advertisement did do an update on the Box items though- 2 hardcover mangas, poster, CD-size Shirow booklet, Fuchikoma figure, Clear Folder with illustration, plus that secret gift. I can't believe I'm saying this again, but its the sad truth. "We await, with high hopes, for the Solid Box!"...

12th Aug. 2000

Seeing Stars This Coming October

What is extra cool, highly collectible, every Shirow fan's little piece of heaven and usually comes out October annually? The year 2001 piece's title have just been announced:
Masamune Shirow Calender 2001 - 'Angel Star'
Published by Seishinsha. Release: October 2000, Price: 1400 Yen (expected, will confirm).
I expect an official announcement by Seishinsha soon, and will follow-up on this news as more info is made available.
Thanks to Retep (Europe-side Shirow fan and collector extraordinaire! ^_^) for the beep.

Update on The Orion Manga-Video

The Orion Manga-Video as mentioned in a previous news entry (12th Jun. 2000) is now completed and on sale, as informed by Seishinsha's Official Shirow page. The video is available from specialist Japanese video outlets (and Franken), and caries a 8800 Yen price tag. Note that the video is not an anime movie. Its Shirow's Orion manga, scrolled on-screen with narrations by voice actors. More like a storytelling session. Worth mentioning is that Orikasi Tomiko (Seska) previously worked on GTO (Great Teacher Onizuka) and Touyama Akio (Susano) worked on Sakura Taisen.

Masamune Shirow's Sensjutsu Chou Koukaku Orion Manga-Video, Produced by TurnOn~G (Not sure), Price 8800 Yen. On sale in Japan 7th Aug. 2000.

2nd Aug. 2000

Gum No.9 2000
Cover, Comic Gum, 9 (Sept.) 2000
And Just What Are You Looking At, Silly Boy?

Oh... Sorry if I stared, but who could resist? Its all Sensei Shirow's fault! Yes, blame him, and we love his works to the last drop of ink (or pixel)! Those Gum covers just keep getting better. Although it is pretty much expected to be monthly Shirow by now, they still come with such a pleasant sense of surprise. And I am very delighted at the slight change of style in Shirow Sensei's art. The aftermath of long hours on Koukaku 2 perhaps? Very high possibility. At any rate this mix of mature look with a hint of cute is stirring something inside that is similiar to the feeling when catching a first glimpse of Dominion Conflict many years back. Intron Depot 3 is going to be one visually-addictive artbook I'd say. *sigh* Koukaku 2... WHEN will you be out, my dearest? Man... now I'm falling in love books I've never seen. Preeetty damned scary ne? ^_^

On sale in Japanese bookstores August 2000, 620 Yen.

13th Jul. 2000

Be Afraid of the Sexy Bunny-Suit Nurse! Wait... That's No Nurse...!

Wowow. Its a new Gum Comic again. And of course its Sensei Shirow's art gracing the cover once more (This is becoming a monthly routine now! ^_^). This new Gum-girl's costume somewhat reminds me of a nurse. However due to the bunny-ear hat and little bob-tail, I came to the conclusion she's a Bunny Nurse. But doubts began to creep in when I noticed that nasty thing she's holding... it might be a giant syringe but looks more like a painful spiky baseball bat. Oh well...! (yeah I know I'm ridiculous ^_^)
On a more serious note, looks like Sensei Shirow's art style is evolving again. This piece and last month's (Gum No.7) stands out from the rest of the recent Shirow illustrations where facial features are concerned. This one looks a bit Ghost In The Shell-esque. Shirow often portrays his 'serious' females this way (the Motoko Kusanagi look). If this is a new style or simply a little break from the usual, we can only tell when we see more. I like this new one! Very much.

On sale in Japanese bookstores July 2000, 620 Yen.

Gum No.8 2000
Cover, Comic Gum, 8 (August) 2000

5th Jul. 2000 - GITS 2 Status Update #3: Oh My Ghost! Latest Sightings of Paradise...

Young #24 advert
Young Mag #24 advert. Note the Solid Box package near the bottom!

Koukaku 2 sample page
WOW. That's Impressive! WOW again...
CG - Traditional Style Interface? Cool!

This is it people! GITS Solid Box 'Renewal' by Kodansha. The latest updates tell us that Sensei Shirow finally got sick of drawing GITS 2 (kidding! ^_^) and the plates are now off to the printers' (serious!). Everything is set and once finishing touches are done on Koukaku 2, our Solid Box is ready to go! Again is a repeat of apologies for the frustrating delay, reason being Sensei Shirow re-working on the Koukaku 2 manga to 'keep up with high expectations'. Worth the wait? I definitely think so!
Here is a brief run-down on the advertised release dates since February. Young #10 - 7th Feb. 2000, Young #14 - 6th March 2000, Young #24 - 15th May 2000 and finally the latest Young #30 - 3rd July 2000. No firm commitment on Kodansha's part but as of today (5th July) I haven't heard anything. Might be out in Japan already though, but I doubt it. I'm looking at middle or end of this month.
And another quick take on the confirmed contents of the Box (remember there are extra additions as mentioned in previous updates):

  • Koukaku Kidoutai 2 - B5 Hardcover Special Edition Tankubon. Collecting in a thick volume the sequel, Koukaku Kidoutai Manmachine Interface. Serialized irregularly since 1997 in Young Magazine. Shirow Sensei's new work.
  • Koukaku Kidoutai 1 - B5 Hardcover Special Edition Tankubon. Reprinting the Koukaku Kidoutai manga from 1991, using repaired, improved and more detailed original printing plates.
  • CD-sized Mini Book - The making of Koukaku 2. Rough sketches and preparation, plus commentaries by Sensei Shirow.
  • Fuchikoma Figure - Clear, transparent high quality figure of the Fuchikoma. Overall length is about 20cm and may be coloured according to the owner's liking. May vary slightly from box to box.
  • Solid Box Poster - Made exclusively for the Solid Box. A2 sized poster in luxurious 6-colour printing. Dimensions are 42 x 60 cm.

This has got to be the coolest thing in years! I can hardly wait to see Motoko's 'children' etc. While I'm not too happy about the whole Solid Box affair, I guess the CD-sized mini-book and whatever extra in the hardcover GITS 2 manga is worth it. Let's hope that the next status update will be one where paradise is here in hand. We wait yet again for the Box. One last time.

25th Jun. 2000 - The Cyber Queen is on Kodansha's Young Magazine!

Our beloved Major Kusanagi is back for Kodansha Young Magazine's 20th Anniversary celebrations. Part of the string of special offers is a set of 'free' big super posters including this one with lovely Motoko Kusanagi. It measures at 1000 x 1500 mm and can only be obtained by filling out a form available in Young Magazine issue 28 (page 65) and sending it off to Kodansha with a 1200 Yen 'shipping and handling' fee (They are masters at doing this kind of difficult, agonizing mail order stuff). Problem with availability aside, this looks to be one heck of a cool picture / item! If all else fails, I'm really hoping for it to at least make it as one of Studio Proteus' direct editions GITS 2 covers or inserts, whenever they get published.

Shirow Masamune's Ghost In the Shell . Super Bisigu Poster (1200 Yen Postage). Kodansha Young Magazine no.28, 260 Yen. I'm in love with this pretty one!

Major Cool!!!
M Kusanagi Cyber-Throne Super Poster for YM

12th Jun. 2000 - Dear Editors, Comic Gum / Wani Books...

Gum No.7 2000
Cover, Comic Gum, 7 (July) 2000

First of all, I'd like to say its always refreshing and interesting to see *new* Shirow CG cover & illustrations every month or so. As you know very well, us Shirow fans don't get to see Sensei Shirow's new works much. More often than not, we're fed with posters, wallscrolls, 'Cybergirls' etc. daily which are basically the 1000th reprint of the same picture in different forms. Thank you and all the Gum staff for breaking the staleness.
If it isn't too much to ask... mayhaps you great folks at Gum could commission Sensei Shirow for a short manga series instead of covers alone? You know, like those little thingies Sensei Shirow did for Seishinsha's Comic Gaia... those Exon Depot things? One colour page a month or two wouldn't matter... we Shirow fans are patient! Consider this humble request? Please? Pretty please?... ^_^

On sale in Japanese bookstores June 2000, 620 Yen.

Watch the Collapse of the Yamato Empire... on your TV!

Can this be real?!? ORION on video? Oh yes! Thank the good people at Franken, Future Comix Shop. Aside from the hip Shirow digital calendars and Illustration Rallies, they are working on a series of videos. While not exactly anime, it is billed as a 'new medium' to experience manga. If I'm not mistaken, this works by picture scrolling with narration as the pages progress on screen. While Orion is still 'in the works' at the moment, there is information about the voice actors (seiyuus)- Seska: Orikasa Tomiko, Susano: Touyama Akio, Fuzen: Nishimura Tomomichi, Dr. Hebime: Ogata Toshikazu. Now that is commitment! They have several series of videos on sale already (although just in Japan) at a hefty price of 7920 Yens each. Might write in and ask about availability overseas sometime. Oh, and their English section is back up! Coolest future comix shop? Franken has my top vote!

Susano on the Cover!
Shirow's Orion... on VHS?

Manga Max 19, Nadesico cover
Dammit! Small print again!!!

And a short note on Manga Max No.19, July 2000. Pick it up. There's going to be a Dominion Tank Police article this time around. I'll most probably be getting my copy a few months later (due to me not in UK for the summer and all) so just giving advance notice. I'm expecting it to be as good, if not better than the previous Shirow-related articles in this magazine. Release dates: UK- 29th June, US- 21st July, Aus- August. Its the one with the Nadesico cover (as advertised in MM18). And another short note for Shirow fans in Australia. Siren Entertainment (Sydney-based) was reported to have re-secured their license to distribute Manga Video titles down under (Manga Max 18, News, Pg. 8). Apart from VHS format, Siren is also releasing DVD anime titles- First up! Shirow's.. ooops! I meant Oshii's Ghost In The Shell (why else do you think I'm writing this?- Lucas) along with Yoshiaki Kawajiri's blood and guts, cool Ninja Scroll. MO's GITS? 'Emotionless, super digital effects + overbudget' pretty much sums it all up...

24th May 2000 - GITS 2 Status Update #2: Silver linings are showing in the dark clouds! Hope, faith...

At long last! Kodansha has finally stopped taking pre-orders for the Solid Box. The latest update at Young Magazine's homepage states the following (vaguely speaking... problem with Kanji text again):
The delay from the May deadline is very 'short' i.e. it will start shipping very soon (No dates committed. Hmmphh!-Lucas). The 'Box' items are all finalised, the only remaining work is on the Koukaku 2 (GITS 2) manga, so the project is 95.5% complete. And yes, we have news of changes in Box contents apart from the items already announced (2 x manga, poster, Fuchi model, booklet). Addition #1- an 'original Takochu clear file' (I suspect there is an immense fan base for Shirow Sensei's 'self-portrait' in Japan). Addition #2- Phone card order sheet, much like the Cyberdelics one, where you fill and send to Kodansha to get your card(s) and pretty useless outside Japan. There will be a special 'Aluminium Case(?) Solid Box Comemorative Phone Card' for the first 500 responses. Addition #3- The MOST important one. First timers (i.e. those who place their orders waaaay before all this nonsense and delays) will get a special, bonus booklet/pamphlet for which the contents are maintained a 'secret' by Kodansha at the moment. Damn it had better be something real good! Holding people's money for a bloody half-year! I'm pretty curious.
The general tone of the announcement is apologetic, and I guess Kodansha does realise how much grief this is causing for fans. But the damage in confidence was done. It's inexcusable to do such things. The only way to make up for this- make sure that this time its for real. No more 'phantom' dates and all that hype. For the full text of this update in Japanese, check the manga section of Young Magazine's Homepage.
So I guess its safe to say 'the long wait is finally over...' but again, I'd like to be holding the Box and GITS2 in my own hands before I can believe anything. This could probably be the first documented wait for a Shirow product by a fan. And for once, this is pretty good news- just get it here before my summer break starts! I'm happy tonight.^_^

Maza, GITS 2 Evil Boss
We NEED the Box! Now!
Shirow / Kodansha

18th May 2000 - GITS 2 Status Update: We all LOVE the Ghost Solid Box. Frustratingly...

NO %$@#&*@ BOX!!!
What a Tease! Even Major Kusanagi is Ticked!
Edited by Lucas for Satirical Purpose! Image Copyrights Shirow / Kodansha

Yup, my fellow fans! It has happened again. May 2000? You've got to be kidding. New release date is now mid-June or July, unconfirmed (note that the Kodansha Young Magazine's promo page doesn't have a release date anymore). But frankly, I'm just giving up on these schedules. Wow! A half-year delay on a product that's advertised 'ready' for release. For the un-initiated, welcome to the world of Shirow fandom! Take your time Sensei Shirow! And patience people, because I have no doubts- Manmachine Interface will be more than a dream come true. It's worth waiting for. Sensei Shirow never dissapoints.

2nd May 2000

Punch... Punch.. Teddy Bear Punch! (You Know It Won't Hurt!)

Inspired by her dream of dominating a scary bear-creature in Intron Depot 2 (2147 & 2146), our scantily clad Kintaro Girl decides to play sumo-wrestling with her little teddy instead, this time with proper loincloth. This might sound weird (and corny), but that's the way it is... (Still don't get it? Check pages 061-062 of ID2!)
The rate at which Wani Book's Gum Comics is going with those Shirow covers is nothing short of amazing... Seems like every alternate month they get our beloved Sensei to draw something hip n' cool for them. And not a bad selection of comics either, even carrying a Yukiru Sugisaki title (Candidate for Goddess). A new force in Japan's already saturated monthly 'phone book' manga magazine market? Keep those Shirow covers coming, and there will be peace and harmony on earth...

On sale in Japanese bookstores May 2000, 620 Yen.

Gum No.6 2000
Cover, Comic Gum, 6 (June) 2000

28th Apr. 2000 - Manga Max No.17 - Ferris Squeals !!! Oooo-err...

Manga Max #17
Dammit! Its in small print!
I HAVE to highlight it for you!

If you haven't already done so- go and grab your copy of this month's Manga Max Magazine (#17 May 2000) out in the UK now. Better still, grab 2 copies because the Black Magic article feature in this issue by Mr Peter J Evans is more than just a stereotype review. 'Mechanised Infantry' is the title of the 2-page article and in true Manga Max style, the author did his homework well (even with some details about the WIZ BM-M66 PC game - not bad!). Although generally providing a very good background and analysis of the Black Magic M-66 anime and its manga roots, there are some very interesting points in the article about Shirow's early years. Also a very good representation of Sensei Shirow's overall view of the anime industry. Its been a while since I've read any good articles related to something that Sensei Shirow's been deeply involved with, and I really recommend this reading. Even more so for those who are new to Shirow and want to know a little bit about Sensei's early manga years. Get this article, and respect Shirow Sensei more!
Manga Max Vol 1 Number 17 / May 2000 (UK) June (US) July (Aus), the one with the 'Ninja Scroll' cover. Publisher: Titan Magazines (Titan Books Ltd).
ISBN 9-770968-957036-17 TBN6317. Price: 3.25 GBP, US$5.99.

20th Apr. 2000 - Role Playing Games from Cosmo Engineering

Currently in session are two new MailTalk RPGs from Cosmo Engineering featuring Shirow illustrations (mainly just the box art). Firstly is Dragonic Trooper Dragoon Blade, a fantasy series set in the heavenly worlds. It's to be played online and requires a registration fee from the player. Next is a new Shin Taimasenki series- Densiyou Youma Kourin (Legend of Demon's Descent?), also to have an online gaming session. Comes in a CD-Rom start pack costing 10 000 Yen and requires either Mac OS7, Windows 3.1/95/98/NT4.0 or OS/2 WARP3.0.0 (or better).

Dragonic Trooper Blade
MT11: DT Blade
Shin Taimasenki
MT9: STSD YoumaKourin
Knowledge of Japanese is essential and players are only allowed access from Japan. Guess that more or less shuts the door... More details on the Cosmo Engineering RPGs Page. Note the Youma Kourin illust. which didn't make it to the Intron Depot 2: Blades collection.

26th Mar. 2000 - Dress Up in Guns and Go Trash Some Terrorist Baddies!

Front Cover

Cyborg Arisa and her bouncy Gundress sidekicks are back in a new game for the Playstation. Its one player, and (I'm not sure) SLG-type, with a bit of strategy and shoot em' up. Comes with rough sketches and designs from Sensei Shirow and the animation team. Pay attention! Masamune Shirow worked on the designs! (Okay, okay.. enough sarcasm ^_^). All this for a hefty price of 7800 Yen. If you are in 'deep' with the Bayside Bouncers, get it. Otherwise, just know it exists.
Code: SLPS-02512~3, Release: 24th Feb. 2000, Price: 7800 Yen.
Produced by SCEI / Star Fish Inc. / ORCA Group.
Review and further details: Gundress for the PSX.

18th Mar. 2000 - Superbly Deliciously Scrumptuosly Sweet Chewy Yummy Gummy...

Those edible cake-balls look awfully delicious. Must be really tasty... and of course, a new Shirow picture is ALWAYS tasty. Here's another one- April 2000 Comic Gum. Featuring yet another amazing, new Shirow cover and pin-up (same girl as cover, but variant background).
This girl kinda reminds me of the Orion NRPG characters, Shirow's interpretation of a traditional-fantasy style costume. She has a real cute, natural look; and the CG is unbelievable. After seeing this I have to say that Sensei Shirow is definitely not wasting his time playing with the computer. What's this myth about Shirow's slow output? A few months in a row now... Heaven...

On sale in Japanese bookstores March 2000, 620 Yen.

Gum No.4 2000
Cover, Comic Gum, 4 (April) 2000

Masamune Shirow 2001 English Edition Calendar

This has been announced quite sometime ago, but here are the details. The Calendar is a collection of images from ID2, with explanatory notes etc for each picture. Published by Golden Turtle Press with Dark Horse comics will be available from July 2000, and you can pre-order yours. Click Here for further details.

27th Feb. 2000 - Are You Ready? Target 001:

Gum No.2 2000
Cover, Comic Gum, 2 (Feb) 2000

And I thought the Firecats pin up in the January Gum issue was great. Gum comics February 2000 features yet another great fantasy style Shirow cover and military style pin-up. It appears that this magazine would end up as something like the Griffon cover series. Two months of Shirow in a row now, and I hope to see more in future.
The pin-up in this issue of Gum is definitely one of the best I've seen in a long time. A girl in military uniform carrying a big gun and tipping her beret at you. And what a BIG gun. I adore girls with big weapons and guns. ^_^ Nice! More Shirow CGs? Why not? Better than nothing...

On sale in Japanese bookstores February 2000, 620 Yen.

Shirow's Requiem War Angel - in 3D! Too Cool!

After the Morning Star Statue, this could be Dark Horse's next Shirow-related statue project. While I'm not particularly a big fan of the Morning Star statue, this one looks amazing! Now the only issue is the price. From the looks of it, this would definitely cost US$150 at least. I really hope I could afford this... Very little details are available at the moment, except for this stunning picture, but I'll post any updates as soon as I get them.

Price: N/A, Scale: N/A, Sculptor: N/A, Release Date: N/A

War Angel
Cool & Amazing Shirow Statue

Cybergirls Portfolio
Cybergirls or Sexygirls? Maybe both
Masamune Shirow / Cybergirls Portfolio

Advertised as an 'item of interest' for Shirow collectors. Consists of six 13-1/2" x 10-3/8" full-color plates featuring Shirow's 'sexiest science-fiction women', plus explanatory notes on separate sheets (I'm quoting directly from the product summary here). Comes in an attractive illustrated folder package. Everything looks great until they decided to include the Neuro-Heaven and Steam-Angel pictures in this collection. BAD MOVE!!! Out of so many other nice pictures- WHY??? More about this portfolio later- I'll start a page for it with more details.

A Dark Horse product, US$19.95, Release: N/A (but currently available)

Go Go Tank Police! Version 3!

A new Dominion Tank Police TPB from Dark Horse / Studio Proteus! Unfortunately, its not a new Conflict series, rather a 3rd Edition of the original Dominion TPB. What's new then? It will include the Phantom of the Audience one-shot, and I suspect some of the character bios and commentaries found in the original Japanese tankubon. Also a new cover. Release date set at April 2000. Worth having, just for the sake of a more 'complete' collection, so get one!

Price: US$16.95, 224 Pages, Release: April 2000

Version 3
Wow! Annapuma is Back!

21st Feb. 2000 - Oh Hell! Not Again...... (Patience is good. Repeat 1000x)

Arghhh!!!!!
*SIGH*

Ghost Solid Box (and hence, GITS 2) has been delayed again! Date of release have been re-set to May 2000. Apparently Shirow is doing massive re-working on the pages, and could NOT make the February dateline. What can I say? Its typical of Sensei Shirow to be late, but what really irritates is all the hype and promos, even up til' January when the Preview was featured in Young Magazine.
So far, my best guess based on Shirow's recent comments at the Seishinsha page is that the delay is due to cost, as the many extra color pages means a more expensive manga. But I have to ask, what's the deal with this box? Just the final, finished manga - no other nonsense necessary - would make millions of fans worldwide VERY happy. I'm really sad with the way things have turned out after so many months of hype and the way things are handled. Hey, Kodansha. Next time please be more careful about all the advertising ne? This is really disappointing.

7th Feb. 2000

Love n' Peace!
Isn't She Cute???
Hitomi - Let Me Protect YOU!

I can't resist NOT putting this up! Way back in 1987 when Appleseed was the rage in the Japanese SF world (and it still is now!), Shirow Sensei's fans have been showing their devotion and tribute in many wonderful ways! And this lovely Appleseed / Hitomi helmet was done by Mr. Shun Yoshida. What could be cooler than riding on a bike with lovely Hitomi? And I bet you wouldn't crash and be extra careful on the road for fear of damaging the helmet! Value: Priceless!!!


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