Saudi film production firm reveals 1st ‘Grendizer U’ trailer

Saudi film production firm reveals 1st ‘Grendizer U’ trailer
The show is set to be released in 2024. (Screengrab)the
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Updated 11 December 2023
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Saudi film production firm reveals 1st ‘Grendizer U’ trailer

Saudi film production firm reveals 1st ‘Grendizer U’ trailer
  • ‘Grendizer’ is a robot anime that follows Duke Fleed, who decides to fight King Vega and his army using the Grendizer to save the earth
  • The anime is a favorite among 56 percent of people aged 40 and over

RIYADH: Saudi company Manga Productions has put out the first official trailer of the upcoming “Grendizer” series titled “Grendizer U,” which is set to be released next year.

Created by Japanese manga artist Go Nagai, Grendizer is a robot anime that follows Duke Fleed, who decides to fight King Vega and his army using the Grendizer to save the earth.

It is favorite among 56 percent of people aged 40 and over, according to a YouGov survey conducted by Arab News Japan.

Manga Productions is a Saudi animation production company that focuses on developing animations and video games.

The firm released a short teaser for the show in August which revealed that the anime will be directed by Mitsuo Fukuda, who previously worked on “Future GPX Cyber Formula,” and written by Ichiro Okouchi, who worked on “Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion.”

The official trailer, released on Sunday, introduced the voice actors for the first time. Miyu Irino, who voiced Haku in Studio Ghibli’s “Spirited Away,” will play the main protagonist Duke Fleed, while Hiro Shimono, the voice of Dabi in “My Hero Academia,” will play Kouji Kabuto.

The original soundtrack will be composed by Kohei Tanaka, the co-composer of “One Piece.” Japanese rock bands Glay and Band-Maid will perform the opening and ending songs of the show.

In a post on X, Essam Bukhary, CEO of Manga Productions, said: “This series marks a significant milestone as Manga Productions takes on the global distribution and licensing responsibilities for events … presenting a unique opportunity among Arab and Middle Eastern companies.

“With our skilled team and exceptional talents, we eagerly anticipate achieving international success and introducing ‘Grendizer U’ to our global audience,” he added.

Fans of the show have been posting positive reviews on social media regarding the trailer and were looking forward to the appearance of the character Mazinger.

Manga Productions has also collaborated with Microids, a French video-game company, on a Grendizer video game titled “UFO Robot Grendizer: The Feast of the Wolves,” which was released on Nov. 15.

Alain Milly, Microids’ vice president of publishing and former video-game journalist, told Arab News Japan that it was the first time the firm had released a video game in Arabic.

He said: “Manga Productions helped us a lot, and they managed all the Arabic translations and voiceovers in the game. We are managing the integration, and it is a little tricky sometimes as it is the first time we have produced a game in Arabic.”

Originially published in Arab News Japan

 


Saudi cultural center to launch reading, anti-desertification project

Saudi cultural center to launch reading, anti-desertification project
Updated 28 February 2024
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Saudi cultural center to launch reading, anti-desertification project

Saudi cultural center to launch reading, anti-desertification project
  • Ithra in Dhahran hosts event which includes Alexandria and Rabat
  • Goal is to read 500,000 pages and plant 5,000 trees in 3 Arab cities

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture launches Thursday a three-day reading marathon and anti-desertification project, that will take place in three Arab cities.

Also known as Ithra, the center will host the event in cooperation with the Library of Alexandria and the Moroccan National Library. It will be held simultaneously in the Kingdom’s city of Dhahran, Alexandria in Egypt and Rabat in Morocco, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Tuesday.

The center is promoting reading, especially in public libraries, and all three cities will ensure a tree is planted for every 100 pages read.

The aim is to have participants read 500,000 pages and plant 5,000 trees.

To plant the trees, the Ithra center is working with the National Center for Vegetation Development to Combat Desertification in Saudi Arabia, and authorities in Egypt and Morocco.

Each reader will receive a commemorative medal for participating.

Bronze medals will be awarded to those who read 100 pages, silver for 200 pages, and gold for 1,000 pages.

The first edition of the marathon was held inside the Ithra library, achieving 162,000 pages read and 1,622 trees planted. The second edition was also held in the Ithra library and two libraries in Riyadh and Tabuk, with 422,000 pages read and 4,222 trees planted.

The planting of seedlings took place in October in the Al-Ahsa National Park with the participation of several readers.


Saudi crown prince meets with Ukraine president in Riyadh

Saudi crown prince meets with Ukraine president in Riyadh
Updated 28 February 2024
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Saudi crown prince meets with Ukraine president in Riyadh

Saudi crown prince meets with Ukraine president in Riyadh
  • Saudi-Ukrainian relations, latest developments in Ukrainian-Russian war were discussed
  • Crown prince stressed Kingdom’s support for all international efforts aimed at resolving crisis

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met with the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky in Riyadh on Tuesday.

During their meeting, aspects of Saudi-Ukrainian relations were reviewed, and the latest developments in the Ukrainian-Russian war were discussed, Saudi Press Agency reported. 

The crown prince stressed the Kingdom’s support for all international endeavors and efforts aimed at resolving the crisis and achieving peace, and continuing efforts to alleviate the humanitarian repercussions of the war. 

Zelensky wrote on social media platform X that he would discuss prisoners of war and deportees with the crown prince.

“The Kingdom’s leadership has already contributed to the release of our people. I am confident that this meeting will also yield results,” he wrote. 

The crown prince was involved in securing the release of 10 foreign prisoners captured in Ukraine in September 2022 which then enabled a major prisoner swap between Russia and Ukraine.

The president added that he will discuss “promising areas of economic cooperation and Saudi Arabia’s involvement in Ukraine’s reconstruction” during his visit. 

Zelensky left Riyadh later on Tuesday evening and was seen off by deputy govenor of Riyadh Prince Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Abdulaziz.


Saudi, Qatari communications ministers discuss joint initiatives to support growth of digital economy

Saudi, Qatari communications ministers discuss joint initiatives to support growth of digital economy
Updated 28 February 2024
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Saudi, Qatari communications ministers discuss joint initiatives to support growth of digital economy

Saudi, Qatari communications ministers discuss joint initiatives to support growth of digital economy
  • The parties discussed ways to expand the strategic partnership between the countries in digital government

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Communications and Information Technology Abdullah Alswaha on Tuesday met his Qatari counterpart Mohammed Al-Mannai in Doha, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The parties discussed ways to expand the strategic partnership between the countries in digital government and the digital economy, and techniques to enhance the innovation and entrepreneurship system.

“This is in line with the aspirations of the Saudi-Qatari Coordination Council to support and strengthen the partnership between the two brotherly countries,” the SPA’s statement said.

The meeting was attended by several leaders of national technology companies in the fields of business, digital transformation, and digital health solutions, along with other representatives from both parties.


Saudi Cabinet approves new railway law

Saudi Cabinet approves new railway law
Updated 28 February 2024
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Saudi Cabinet approves new railway law

Saudi Cabinet approves new railway law

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Cabinet approved on Tuesday new regulations that govern the railways in the Kingdom.

The decision “supports achieving the goals of the National Transport & Logistics Strategy, and contributes to the governance of the railway sector and regulates the relationship between the infrastructure owner, the operator and the beneficiary,” Minister of Transport and Logistic Services Saleh Al-Jasser said.

The new regulations will ensure that railway services providers continue to apply the highest standards and requirements for safety and quality, and will develop policies and legislation that ensure fair competitiveness, the minister added.

In 2023, the number of railways passengers exceeded 11.2 million, a 55% increase compared to 2022. Trains also transported 24.7 million tons of goods and minerals, an increase of 6% during the same year.

Al-Jasser stated that regulations will contribute to encouraging use and ensure the protection of railways, their infrastructure, and facilities in accordance with internationally approved standards. 

The new law also specified penalties to protect railway tracks from violations and damage to the network.

The minister thanked King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for approving the new law.


Saudi Cabinet calls for an end to escalation of military operations in Gaza

Saudi Arabia’s Cabinet held a meeting in Riyadh on Tuesday. (SPA)
Saudi Arabia’s Cabinet held a meeting in Riyadh on Tuesday. (SPA)
Updated 27 February 2024
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Saudi Cabinet calls for an end to escalation of military operations in Gaza

Saudi Arabia’s Cabinet held a meeting in Riyadh on Tuesday. (SPA)

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Cabinet called for an end to the escalation in military operations in Gaza and the dire humanitarian crisis that it is causing, Saudi Press Agency reported on Tuesday.

The Cabinet also reviewed the outcomes of the Kingdom’s participation in a two-day meeting of G20 foreign ministers in Rio de Janeiro and its vision regarding the group’s role in dealing with existing international tensions and restructuring global governance.

The Cabinet also reiterated the Kingdom’s support for regional and international efforts to ban all types of weapons of mass destruction as was expressed during its participation in the UN Conference on Disarmament in Geneva.

The Cabinet also praised the outcomes of a recent Arab Interior Ministers’ Council held in Tunisia and stressed the Kingdom’s constant keenness to support and enhance joint Arab action in all fields in a way that contributes to establishing the foundations of security, stability, and prosperity in the region.