‘Grendizer’ returns with new anime series through Manga Productions

Also known as “Goldorak” in France and “Goldrake” in Italy, “Grendizer” is a robot launched in 1975 to save planet Fleed and help Duke Fleed to reach safely to Earth to defend it and its inhabitants. (Supplied)
Also known as “Goldorak” in France and “Goldrake” in Italy, “Grendizer” is a robot launched in 1975 to save planet Fleed and help Duke Fleed to reach safely to Earth to defend it and its inhabitants. (Supplied)
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Updated 05 August 2023
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‘Grendizer’ returns with new anime series through Manga Productions

‘Grendizer’ returns with new anime series through Manga Productions
  • Anime series making comeback with new logo and features for main characters
  • Teaser shown at Japamura stage screens at Gamers8 in Riyadh Boulevard

RIYADH: Manga Productions, a subsidiary of Misk Foundation, and Dynamic Planning have released the official teaser for the new anime series “Grendizer U.”

The anime series is making a comeback with a new logo and features for the main characters. The release is planned for next year on various screens and platforms.

The teaser was launched during the AkibaDaisuki Festival in Tokyo and has received positive feedback from audiences. Elite members of the anime and manga communities were in attendance, such as the mangaka or manga artist Go Nagai; Ichinao Nagai, the executive producer of Dynamic Planning; director Mitsuo Fukuda; character designer Yoshiyuki Sadamoto; and screenwriter Ichiro Okouchi.

The teaser was also shown on Saturday at Japamura stage screens at Gamers8 in Riyadh Boulevard. It can be viewed on the official social media accounts via @GrendizerAnime.

Essam Bukhary, CEO of Manga Productions, said: “We are happy to have collaborated with Dynamic Planning to revive the popular series ‘Grendizer’ and present it in an innovative way to its fans and a new generation of anime and manga enthusiasts after more than 40 years after its original broadcast.

“The series has a massive global following and is widely recognized as one of the most beloved anime and manga series worldwide. This achievement is a distinctive and unforgettable contribution of the Saudi youth who played a significant role in the distribution and licensing of the series. At Manga Productions, we take pride in empowering and investing in our youth.”

Abdulaziz Alnaghmoosh, director of the distribution, marketing and business development department, said: “The return of ‘Grendizer’ to its fans through Manga Productions is a qualitative leap in the field of distribution and licensing in the world. Through this return, Manga Productions has proven to the content creators the potential to lead the creative future sector in the world, through the efforts of Saudi competencies that have struggled and sought to make the name of the Kingdom reach the world.”

The credits include Nagai, the creator of ‘Grendizer,’ director Fukuda Mitsuo known for his work on “Mobile Suit Gundam SEED,” and character designer Yoshiyuki Sadamoto who has worked on “Neon Genesis Evangelion” and “Summer Wars.”

The screenwriter is Ichiro Okouchi, best known for his work on “Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion,” and the music is being composed by Kohei Tanaka, famous for his work on “ONE PIECE” and “Sakura Wars.”

A strategic partnership was established with Dynamic Planning last year that granted Manga Productions the licensing rights for products and characters from the “Grendizer” series. These rights were intended for use in entertainment facilities and cities across the Middle East.

The partnership’s first achievement was the unveiling of the Grendizer statue in Riyadh, which was recognized by Guinness World Records as the world’s largest metal figure of a fictional character, standing at a height of more than 33 meters.

Also known as “Goldorak” in France and “Goldrake” in Italy, “Grendizer” is a robot launched in 1975 to save planet Fleed and help Duke Fleed to reach safely to Earth to defend it and its inhabitants. The series has received the largest number of views in the Arab world, France and Italy, and has become iconic in the world of animation and manga.


Saudi development fund agrees $50m loan deal with St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Saudi development fund agrees $50m loan deal with St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Updated 7 sec ago
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Saudi development fund agrees $50m loan deal with St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Saudi development fund agrees $50m loan deal with St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Funding will help rebuild and repair facilities damaged by natural disasters in the Caribbean island nation

RIYADH: The Saudi Fund for Development signed a $50 million loan agreement with St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Friday to assist communities affected by natural disasters, Saudi Press Agency reported.

The deal was signed by SFD CEO Sultan Abdulrahman Al-Marshad and Camillo Gonsalves, finance minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, during the 2024 spring meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in Washington.

According to the World Bank, the southern Caribbean nation faces a host of natural threats, including floods, hurricanes, droughts, landslides, and volcanic eruptions.

The agreement will fund a project to rebuild and repair buildings and facilities damaged by natural disasters in the island nation.

This initiative includes the restoration and construction of essential infrastructure, such as housing, healthcare, educational, and sports facilities, aimed at boosting their durability and resilience against future disasters and climate change impacts.

The project will also include establishing four healthcare centers, building primary and secondary schools, renovating government buildings, and restoring homes damaged by volcanic activity.

The loan is in line with the SFD’s commitment to supporting vulnerable communities around the globe.

Since its inception in 1975, the Saudi fund has financed over 800 development projects and programs worldwide, with total funding exceeding $20 billion.
 


Art Jameel announces open call for Hayy Jameel Facade Commission

Art Jameel announces open call for Hayy Jameel Facade Commission
Updated 47 min 55 sec ago
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Art Jameel announces open call for Hayy Jameel Facade Commission

Art Jameel announces open call for Hayy Jameel Facade Commission
  • Antonia Carver, director of Art Jameel, said: “At Art Jameel, we are committed to fostering the role of the arts in public life

JEDDAH: The Hayy Jameel Facade Commission is inviting new and established artists in Saudi Arabia to reimagine the facade of the Hayy Jameel art building in Jeddah.

In its fourth year and third open call process, the commission will select a winning artwork that serves as conversation starter between the complex, the community it serves and the broader public.

Antonia Carver, director of Art Jameel, said: “At Art Jameel, we are committed to fostering the role of the arts in public life.

“Through this annual commission which positions the facade as the first point of contact with the Hayy Jameel community, we are providing a platform that propels mid-career artists forward and challenges them to produce a large-scale, highly imaginative work that remains in-situ, front and center in Jeddah, for around 10 months.”

The commission encourages artists to consider the site-specific nature of the project and the technical requirements of a public work.

Sustainability considerations are also appreciated in managing the carbon footprint of the artwork and its installation.

Eligibility is open to all Saudi and Saudi-based artists and collectives, with at least one member required to be a Saudi citizen or resident if applying as a collective.

The commissioned artists will receive a work fee and a production budget managed by Art Jameel.

The jury, consisting of local and international art professionals, curators, artists and museum directors, will select a single work for production.

Applicants are required to submit a concept statement (200-500 words), up to four sketches and diagrams, and an estimated production schedule through the application portal.

The deadline for the facade submission has been extended to May 1, with the launch scheduled for October. Following the unveiling, there will be a public viewing period from October 2024 to September 2025.

Previous works displayed on the building have showcased the talent of artists such as Nasser Al-Mulhim, Tamara Kalo, Mohammad Al-Faraj and Dr. Zahrah Al-Ghamdi.

 


Saudi universities participate in Geneva’s International Exhibition of Inventions

Mohammed Al-Sudairi
Mohammed Al-Sudairi
Updated 57 min 9 sec ago
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Saudi universities participate in Geneva’s International Exhibition of Inventions

Mohammed Al-Sudairi
  • More than 1,000 inventions from over 40 countries showcased at event

RIYADH: Mohammed Al-Sudairi, the Saudi deputy minister of education for universities, research and innovation, opened the Kingdom’s pavilion at the 49th Geneva International Exhibition of Inventions.

Some 26 Saudi Arabian universities are taking part at the event — including 19 government universities, two independents and five private bodies — and a total of 113 inventions have been produced, in scientific, theoretical, medical, and biological specializations, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Among the universities taking part is Qassim University, which is showcasing a display that highlights innovations and several inventions.

Abdulaziz bin Bani Alharbi, a faculty member at Qassim’s College of Agriculture and Food, said that the college was showcasing a patent registered with the Saudi Authority for Intellectual Property: a method for desalinating salt water using a halophyte plant.

He said the invention involved introducing water and placing the plant in a closed system that allowed the collection of water from the plant after the transpiration process.

Alharbi added that gas exchange followed and then desalination to obtain salt-free water.

Fahad Alminderej, a faculty member at the College of Science, said his group had obtained a patent for extracting materials from date waste, and was then using them in pharmaceutical manufacturing in an innovative manner. This patent had also been registered with the Saudi Authority for Intellectual Property.

Abdullah Almohaimeed, the head of the Innovation Center and Intellectual Property at the university, said that Qassim was participating in the exhibition as part of the Ministry of Education’s initiative to enhance the international presence of Saudi universities, in line with national objectives.

He added that the university’s participation aimed to highlight its role in supporting the innovation system and entrepreneurship, as well as showcase many inventions.

The exhibition, which is taking place until April 21, is displaying more than 1,000 inventions from over 40 countries. Some 800 exhibitors are featured at the event and 30,000 visitors are expected to attend, in addition to 650 journalists.

It is the world’s largest annual event devoted exclusively to invention.

 


Al-Baha’s monuments: A pivotal testament to civilizational advancement

Al-Baha’s monuments: A pivotal testament to civilizational advancement
Updated 19 April 2024
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Al-Baha’s monuments: A pivotal testament to civilizational advancement

Al-Baha’s monuments: A pivotal testament to civilizational advancement
  • Characterized by intricate designs, the residential buildings, castles, and forts embody a harmonious fusion of environmental adaptability and cultural resonance

RIYADH: Nestled in Al-Baha region in southwestern Saudi Arabia lies a treasure trove of ancient architecture in the quaint villages that dot its landscape.

Characterized by intricate designs, the residential buildings, castles, and forts embody a harmonious fusion of environmental adaptability and cultural resonance.

Crafted with precision, these structures seamlessly integrate with the rugged terrain and fluctuating climate, while also paying homage to the long-standing customs and traditions of ancient Arab society.

Seventy-three-year-old Mohammed bin Salem Al-Ghamdi told Saudi Press Agency: “For decades, I have dedicated myself to the craft of stone house construction.”

Currently, he and his companions are diligently crafting a stone room, employing stones as their primary building material. Together, as a cohesive team of builders, craftsmen, and eager participants, they collaborate harmoniously to bring their vision to life. He described it as both a hobby and inheritance passed down through generations.

“In every construction endeavor, we rely on what’s known as the cornerstone, strategically positioned at the room’s corners. Additionally, a lengthy stone, referred to as the ‘link,’ is essential for connecting each stone within the structure. We also use sturdy stones known as ‘Al-Mateen’ or ‘Al-Daher’ to fortify the room’s foundation.

“Moreover, we meticulously place ‘Al-Lazza’ stones, tiny yet significant, within the larger stones, ensuring a seamless fit without any gaps or openings in the room’s structure,” he added.

“Once the corners are meticulously stacked and leveled, I proceed to roof the room with wood. This involves utilizing a series of wooden beams cut to specific lengths to interconnect all corners of the room. Next, I scatter small plants across the wooden framework to fully cover the ceiling, upon which clay is applied to secure the structure. This method ensures durability against erosion and rainfall, further reinforced by specific paving techniques.”

Al-Ghamdi emphasized the importance of post-construction plastering with clay, which not only gives the interior an earthy tone but also regulates the temperature — ensuring warmth in winter and coolness in summer.

He mentioned the practical use of juniper trees for doors and windows, facilitating easy replacement and serving a dual purpose in construction.

Dr. Abdulaziz bin Ahmed Hanash, professor of urban design at Al-Baha University, highlighted the profound significance of human construction in Al-Baha region, portraying it as a living chronicle of urban civilization’s evolution over time.

He underscored the traditional architecture and urban legacy of Al-Baha as foundational elements, inherently distinguishing the region. With its wealth of historical landmarks spanning the Sarat and Tihamah regions, the area has gained the attention of state authorities, who aim to nurture its potential as both a summer and winter tourism hotspot through strategic development initiatives.


Saudi minister of culture explores KSA pavilion at Venice Biennale

Saudi minister of culture explores KSA pavilion at Venice Biennale
Updated 19 April 2024
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Saudi minister of culture explores KSA pavilion at Venice Biennale

Saudi minister of culture explores KSA pavilion at Venice Biennale
  • Prince Badr met his Italian counterpart, Minister of Culture Gennaro Sangiuliano
  • Prince Badr also explored the “Journeys in Land Art: Towards Wadi AlFann, AlUla” exhibition

VENICE/LONCON: Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, Saudi minister of culture and governor of the Royal Commission for AlUla, has concluded his official visit to Italy.

Throughout his trip, he engaged in discussions with prominent Italian cultural figures, aiming to strengthen cooperation and foster cultural exchanges between the two countries.

During the visit, the Saudi minister convened with his Italian counterpart, Minister of Culture Gennaro Sangiuliano.

They delved into strategies to strengthen cooperation and deepen cultural exchanges between the two countries.

The pair praised noteworthy cultural initiatives and projects that unfolded in 2023 across diverse spheres including heritage preservation, fashion, music, museum exhibitions, architectural innovation, design, and visual arts.

During this week’s trip, Prince Badr visited the Saudi Pavilion at the 60th Venice Biennale, hosted at the Arsenale center, which was showcasing Manal AlDowayan’s “Shifting Sands: A Battle Song.”

AlDowayan’s work illuminates the evolving role of Saudi women in the public sphere, and their efforts to redefine both their physical spaces and the narratives surrounding them.

Prince Badr also explored the “Journeys in Land Art: Towards Wadi AlFann, AlUla” exhibition, which serves as an introduction to the Kingdom’s culturally and historically rich region of AlUla.

It also features work by AlDowayan alongside exhibits by Agnes Denis, Michael Heizer, Ahmed Mater, and James Turrell, and includes photographs and video presentations.

The exhibition runs until April 30, and will host discussion panels on topics such as land art, art in public spaces, visitor experiences, museum curation, and the interplay of art and archaeology, offering a range of perspectives.