Sunday, March 18, 2007

Gonzo Celebrates Its 15th Anniversary

Leading anime studio Gonzo is celebrating its 15th Anniversary this year. This momentous occasion will be marked by the premiere of two cutting edge anime, one of which was previously aired on African-American channel Spike TV in the U.S., and never on Japanese TV.

The first anime is Afro Samurai, which tells the story of a Black samurai who embarks on a journey to find the man who murdered his father. Based on the manga by Takashi Okazaki, Afro Samurai was originally aired on Spike TV and it featured the voices of Samuel L. Jackson (who also served as co-producer) as Afro, Ron Perlman (of Hellboy fame) as Justice, and X-Men 2 star Kelly Hu. For its Japanese airing, this five-episode anime will be shown in English with Japanese subtitles. For more information, you can go over to

The second anime is Romeo x Juliet, and it is already being touted as the next Count of Monte Cristo. It is a futuristic retelling of William Shakespeare's classic play. The setting is Neo Verona, an aerial city that is being held under the tyrannical rule of the Montague family. The Montagues are the bitter enemies of another ruling family, the Capulets. Romeo is the son of the present despot while Juliet is the last descendant of the Capulets, who disguises herself as a man named Odin to get revenge upon the Montagues.

Romeo is going to be voiced by Takahiro Mizushima, who is noted for his role of Wataru Ozawa from the popular anime Gakuen Heaven. Fumie Mizusawa, known for her role of Minamoto Hikaru from Otogi Zoshi, plays Juliet. Also, in the cast is Okiayu Ryoutarou, more popularly known as Kuchiki Byakuya in Bleach (and who was himself nominated for Best Supporting Actor in the Seiyuu Awards for the said role), who will be playing the villain Tybalt.

The official Romeo x Juliet site at has exclusive trailers, which you might want to check out.

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