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AICN Anime Report: Lone Wolf & Cub; Gundam G Generation Neo; Millennium Actress; Cowboy BeBop; Carried by the Wind

Father Geek here with Scott Green and another great regular mid-week edition of our column concerning ALL things Manga and/or Anime. !st I've got a bit Scott sent in at the last minute, just as I was posting, that I'm just going to put up front...

I got a good article about the anime network...

ADV Films Announces Launch Of The Anime Network(Tm) On Digital Cable ADV Films has released a press statement announcing a 24 hour Anime Network on digital cable.

"This has been in the works for some time," said ADV Films President, Founder and CEO John Ledford. "Until now, the market and the culture haven't been ready for it. But today ever-increasing numbers of Americans are becoming familiar with anime and its distinctive aesthetic; they're curious about anime, they're hungry for it, and The Anime Network(tm) is going to deliver it right to their televisions."

The Anime Network model is structured around four categorized content areas: Action Zone, Sci-Fi, Comedy Incorrect, and Horror/Martial Arts. These categories are designed to include virtually the entire spectrum of quality anime, while contextualizing content for new viewers unfamiliar with specific titles.

Father Geek back... now on to the regular...

AICN Anime Report...

Manga Spotlight: Black & White by Taiyo Matsumoto

Released by Viz's Pulp Line

Black & White is a bit like the comic equivalent of... name your favorite pre-over commercialized youth music movement. It's urban Steinbeck by way of Clockwork Orange violence. It's an honest and spirited story of a pair of opposites forcing their way in the world (and much more entertaining, and less pretentious than sounds). A pair of roof top inner-city avengers patrolling the city, issuing beat downs to those who slighted them, or the miscreants they protect. It's "bloody the guys that that try to screw you", " don't accept disrespect from anyone", and "don't bend to the system".

Despite it's unique appearance (schlock pan-culture amalgam architecture, gangs in Mad Max dress, conservative "good citizens" in numbered black body suits), the mechanics of Treasure Town is identical to any other city in human history. Business, organized crime, and police contend for control, but at the top of the food chain is Black and White. Black is the spirit of the city: scheming, studied, quick thinking, cynically analytical, both brutally efficient, and viciously temperamental, and his partner/charge White is an innocent unaffected by the quagmire of a rotting city, a mentally deficient boy with a natural, savage tendency for violence, he can't dress himself, he can kick and fight like his partner, and unlike Black, he can dream of apple trees and bright possibilities. No individual or institution can control them. Those who try end up beating into unconsciousness with a studded rod, If anything can shape them, it's the city as a whole.

Taiyo Matsumoto's art has a heavy European comic influence. The character design are more abstract character flaws and slight ugliness, rather than idealization prevalent in most American and Japanese illustration.

Between No.5 and Black & White, Matsumoto is demonstrates a real talent in creating uniquely odd landscape. Mixes of planet's cultural icons, architecture, and animal populations. The surreal touches extend beyond the design. For example Black & White may walk past a fortune teller, and his costumer who are bent as if reflected in the crystal ball that they are studying.

There's a broken record that plays when talking about translated manga, particularly in Viz's Pulp label. It's fresh, graphic, and rarely if ever seen anywhere else. Here's a fun, and maybe the word is too trite, and tired, but "touching" angry youth story, that you're unlikely to find in television, that's very rare in movies, rarely seen or toned down in anime, that you may find in music, but is buried or less accessible.

Spotlight: Newtype USA

The Japanese Newtype magazine is always a pleasure to page through, even if you can't read a word of Japanese. The English edition captures this with the same oversized format, and full capacity packing of images from the latest Japanese anime releases. It's announcement was one of the most exciting and potentially industry changing moments in the recent history of the American anime industry. There is a new immediatecy. For the first time, Americans can see what they're missing. Brand new shows like Gundam Seed, or Headguy-J, and shows that are eagerly anticipated in Japan like Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, all on huge printed pages.

The driving force of Newtype is graphical intensity. The magazine emits a siren's call asking you to flip threw it again, and again. The size of the images, the resolution, and their appearance of glossy paper need to seen to be appreciated. It's not likely to win any points with design purists, but its an optical black hole. You can't help but want to look at it.

The issue features a number of what are best described as extras, include Raxephon post cards, a centerfold poster of Cowboy Bebop fem fatale Faye Valentine, a Bandai sample DVD, internal, and detached chapters of the manga series Full Metal Panic.

The issue features several impressive creator interviews, including one with director of the manic comedy Excel Saga Shinichi Watanabe, who included himself in the series, as afro hair man of action Nabeshin (though is a little tacky that a statement was redacted because of spoiler information.

Fears that coverage would be skewed towards anime licensed by the magazine's products ADV Films turn out to be completely unfounded. There does not appear to be any agenda is promoted anime licensed by any particular company.

The only format complaint is the right to left page flow (from what's traditionally the back cover, to the front, though within a pair of pages, reading is done left to right). There are a number of valid arguments for right to left publishing of translated manga (comics), mostly revolving around preserving the artist's original story telling, but there doesn't seem to be a call for this degree of authenticity for the sake of authenticity. The fact that most articles are only on two pages mitigates the issue, but it because very noticeable in longer episodes. Maybe there are production side economic benefits of the format, but it doesn't enhance the reading experience, it's more like a minor annoyance.

Though it is impossible to complain about the number and quality if the magazine's images, the written content is often a little lacking. It's pretty clear that at least for this issue, the emphasis was getting the visual format and style. Some article give a good sense of the anime being describes, but most are too superficial, and could stand to include a more qualitative and background content. Which is problematic considering the number of poor high concept anime series, and plenty more with tired concepts that are well executes.

Articles often consist of descriptions of the series plot, and characters without much in the way of execution. For example, a two page spread of the hot new series "Getbackers" focuses on the special powers of its two lead characters. The full page images of a grunge-youth with a fist full of lightning and his dark haired partner with purple John Lenin glasses hanging bellow is evil eyes is striking, but a super powers description is an awful introduction to an anime/manga, which is generating buzz for its interesting play character.

There are plenty of exceptions on both ends of the spectrum. There are articles in back section of the magazine that are as terse as their more graphical predecessors, but provide the background and description to get a good sense of the described show, but there are also articles that are barely comprehensible, or completely impossible to follow without a working knowledge of the series described.

Given the sparsity of text, it is hard to imagine more adding that much more information, while preserving the graphic format. More background information, such as connecting creators to projects known in the US in particular would be helpful, but it doesn't seem likely. The initial announcement of an English Newtype seemed to herald a force that would overshadow all other providers of anime information, but for better or worse, the final result is more a visual catalogue, unlikely to burry its competition. It's a pleasurable browse, and its going to create a splash, but not a tsunami,

This Week's Releases

Anime
  • Armitage III - The Complete Ova
  • Carried By The Wind - Tsukikage Ran - Shocking Secrets (Vol. 2)
  • Excel Saga 3
  • Fancy Lala - Taking Center Stage (Vol. 3)
  • Inu-Yasha - Down The Well ~
  • Mobile Fighter G Gundam - Round 1
  • Mobile Fighter G Gundam - Round 2
  • Mobile Fighter G Gundam - Round 3
  • Mobile Fighter G Gundam Boxed Set - Rounds 1-3
  • Yu-Gi-Oh - Attack From The Deep
  • Yu-Gi-Oh - Give Up The Ghost

Manga
  • Animerica Extra December 2002 Vol 5 #12
  • Banana Fish Vol 7 Tp
  • Big O Part 3 #1 (Of 4)
  • Blade Of The Immortal #73 Fall Frost (Part 1 Of 6)
  • Blade Of The Immortal On Silent Wings Tp (Re-Release)
  • Blood Last Vampire 2002 Gn
  • Dark Angel Vol 5 Tp Legend Of The Sacred Beast Ii
  • Gunsmith Cats Bonnie & Clyde Tp (Re-Release)
  • Magical Pokemon Journey Vol 7 Tp From The Heart
  • Medabots Part 4 #3 (Of 4)
  • Oh My Goddess Queen Sayoko Tp (Re-Release)
  • Project Arms Part 1 #3 (Of 16)
  • Ranma 1/2 Part 11 #9 (Of 11)
  • Super Manga Blast #26
  • Zoids Gn New Century

Also Marvel Mangaverse Tp Vol 2

Carried By The Wind

Tsukikage Ran is an episodic samurai tale featuring a wandering samurai woman, and her Chinese martial artist partner, that riffs on traditional samurai tales with a humorous take, and impressive cinematic action.

Inu-Yasha is the first volume of the anime series based on Rumiko Takahashi's "feudal fairytale", a mix of horror, action, and romance, about a girl from the modern era, and a half dog demon from Japan's era of warring states (not be mention of host of other interesting characters, including fox demon trickster, cursed priest with a lecherous street, and life long demon hunter with enormous boomerang).

See last week's column for a review of G Gundam, the tournament fight take on the traditional giant robot war story.

Super Manga Blast, Dark Horse Comics' manga anthology began Ghost in the Shell creator Masamune Shirows Appleseed Hypernotes in issue 25. Translators Studio Proteus has reiterated that the story will not be collected until Shirow finishes Appleseed 5, which given Shirows schedule, temperament and work rate is not likely in the forseeable future, if ever.

Cowboy Bebop Movie Theatrical Plans

Anime News Service reports Columbia Tristar plans to start a limited theatrical release of January 2003, with English dub, and Japanese prints provides to each theatre.

FLCL Volume 2 Release Date Set

Synch-Point has set a February 25th release date for the second volume of Gainax and Production IG's FLCL.

Features: -Bilingual DVD -Subtitles -2 episodes -Translation notes -Reversible cover -Bonus Booklet -Image Gallery -Commentary by Original Japanese Creator/Director And more!

Naota wants to be normal. But with a talented brother leaving Japan for the US to play baseball, everyone now looks at him a bit differently. His brother's girlfriend is acting strange and now there's an even stranger girl hitting on him. Literally. With a bass guitar. Oh, did I mention the robots that keep springing from his head? Produced by GAINAX (Neon Genesis Evangelion) and animated by Production I.G. (Ghost in the Shell), FLCL takes animation to yet another level. Get ready for this shocking and funny digital animation about adolescence, expectations and alien intrigue. Ready, steady, GO!

Volume 2

Episode 3

Marquis de Carabas Naota is tired of being harassed to star in the school play, Puss and Boots, by that obnoxious class president Ninamori, but when she gets hurt in an accident with that violent alien Haruko, Ninamori is stranded at Naota's house for the night. Soon, Naota finds out that Ninamori has more personal reasons for wanting him in the play..

Episode 4 - Full Swing

Naota feels bad enough that he can't live up to his brother's reputation as a star baseball player, but when Haruko - who's been shamelessly flirting with his father - presumes to take him under her wing and teach him a thing or two about baseball.well, it's the last straw. But things take a strange turn after Naota confronts his Dad about Haruko: Who is that weird guy with the eyebrows searching for Haruko, anyway? And if Haruko doesn't stop a runaway satellite from hitting the town, who will?

Cartoon Network Anime Line-up Changes

Starting November 4thm Pokemon, and Yu-Gi-Oh will airing on Cartoon Network weeknights 9:00-10:00pm, and G-Gundam returns at midnight weekdays, and 2:00-3:00pm on Saturdays.

Dragon Ball Z Finally on DVD in Japan

Toei has finally announced that Dragon Ball Z will be released on DVD in Japan. The 291 episode series will be released in two 26 disc sets on March 19th and September 18th 2002 for 100,000 yen each.

Viz Experiencing Licensing Problems

There have been recent issues with licenses comic properties being distributed outside the agreed license issue, stemming from issues around the hot new Transformers comic from DreamWave. Reports such as this week's "Lying in the Gutters" comic rumor column have been stating manga licensor/translator Viz has become entangled in the issue.

From the column:

Brazil has already suffered the loss of "DragonBall," "Akira," and "Lone Wolf And Cub" (the latter two being released by Dark Horse) when comics distribution company Devir Liveria had licensing restrictions placed upon it, and now has and Viz Communication titles withdrawn.

Viz has only just started to be mentioned - and non-US customers of the massive Diamond distributors can also expect to lose a number of Viz titles as well. Viz manga titles sell very well across Europe, some estimates being from 10 to 20% of total sales. South America makes up another sizeable chunk.

The implications of these restrictions is expected to have a number of knock on effects. First, the increase in online ordering, for both shops and customers - while Diamond and Devra may be unable to go against the licensing agreements, individual businesses and people are more likely to create a "grey" market, the same that fuels region specific DVDs being sold outside their respective regions. If businesses don't, then individuals will just bypass them.

Also, expect price increases across the board.

ADV Talks Up Anime TV Network

At ADV Films recent 10th anniversary party, ADV CEO, President and Founder John Ledford announced that ADV has just made arrangements to have a 24 hour All anime Cable channel.

Satoshi Kon Presents Millennium Actress

Director Satoshi Kon will be present for question and answer sessions at two screenings of his latest anime film, Millennium Actress, at the American Film Institute Film Festival on Saturday the 16th and Sunday the 17th at ArcLight Hollywood in Hollywood, California. Millennium Actress is the Perfect Blue director's dramatic tribute to Japanese cinema.

Upcoming and New Anime In Japan

The new official Zoids pages opened at ZoidsCore.com

Winter Anime Releases:

November 15

Princess Tutu:"Hiyoko no Shou"

Starting 11/21

Pokemon Advance Generation 1 (tv)

Starting 11/28

Weiz Kruez Gluehen

Start 1/8

Gunparade March ~Aratanaru Kougun See here and here (tv) .hack//Tasogare no Udew Densetsu starts (tv)

Nekketsu Denpa Club/Try Try Try/D.N. Angel starts (tv) Mahou Tsukai Ni Taisetsu na Koto(tv) Transformer Legend of Micron (tv)

Raimuiro Senkitan from Love Hina auther Akahori Satoru also starts in January.

February 19th

Hunter x Hunter OVA: Greed Island Story (2nd OAV series)

Upcoming OAVs

Sakura Taisen (Sakura Wars) website OVA Kanzaki Sumire Intai Kinen (Retirement Commemoration).

Makasete Iruka!based on a manga series by Daichi Akitaroh and Takashita Takashi

VAP's site for the Space Pirate Captain Harlock ~ The Endless Odyssey

New Manga From GTO Creator

From Natsume Maya Volume 22 of the bi-weekly Young Magazine Upcoming will include the first entry in Fujisawa (GTO) Touru's new manga Rose Hip Rose. . It's about Asakami Kasumi, the "cute hip" highschool girl (with a gun, of course), who's a specialist at dealing with terrible crimes.

Live Action Jin-Roh Movies on Japanese DVD

The live action movies in Oshii Mamoru's "Kerberos Saga" (stylistically and themeatically connected to the anime Jin-Roh), will be released in Japan. on DVD February 25th. The three DVD set will cinlude two movies from the "Kerberos Saga", Kurenaii Megane (Crimson Glasses) and Kerberos ~ Jigoku no Banken (Kerberos ~ Watchdogs of Hell), and the separate movie Talking Head.

Super Milk Chan Episode 2

The Super Milk Chan site has been updated with the second episode of Oh! Super Milk-chan Milk no IT Kakumei here.

Anime Game News

From The Magic Box

Images Bandai's 3D cel-shaded GameCube Shaman King: Soul Fight can be seen here

Images of the Playstation 2 SD (super deformed big head, small body) Gundam G Generation Neo battle simulation can be seen here.

Bandai's site features four movies of the game:

TVCM #1 (15 secs, WMV) Broadband, 56K/ISDN

TVCM #2 (15 secs, WMV) Broadband 56K/ISDN

TVCM #3 (15 secs, WMV) Broadband 56K/ISDN

TVCM #4 (15 secs, WMV) Broadband 56K/ISDN Konami's PS2 beat'em up action GetBackers: Recapture! All Sets! can be seen here.

Newtype Usa Doubles Print Run For Issue Two

With the entire 30,000-unit print run of Newtype USA Issue One shipped to subscribers and stores, and continuing retail demand for the magazine far outstripping aggregate availability, Newtype USA is doubling the print run for Issue Two, to a total of 60,000 copies.

More Anime Produced than Ever

From Natsume Maya A Japanese Language newspapers seen at Asahi.com is reporting that demand for anime in Japan is at an unprecedented level. More anime is being produced for broadcast, internet, and network television than ever before. International, and economic depression interest in the medium is encouraging further investment from major corporations.

In April 2000 there were 20 new anime TV series broadcast. Now there are 34 new works being broadcast, but critics have been concerned about reduced quality in what is being produced..

IC Entertainment Price Drops

IC Entertainment (formerly Studio Iron) will be dropping the prices of Vampire Princess Miyu, New Vampire Miyu & Vampire Yui from $17.95 to $15.95.

New ComicsOne Manga Sample

ComicsOne.com has include new sample of Bride of Deimos and Wild 7 on their site at here

Fushigi Yuugi: Eikoden Website Open

Pioneer has openned their site for the new Fushigi Yuugi: Eikoden OAV at FushigiYugiDVD.com. The series is schedule to be released November 12th.

Lone Wolf and Cub Back on TV in Japan

ICV2 reports Lone Wolf & Cub has returned to Japanese TV with a new live action series featuring Kinya Kitaoji as the awesome swordsman Ogami Itto, and three-year-old Tsubasa Kobayashi as Itto's son Daigoro. The new series, which is being broadcast in a widescreen format, includes some minor changes from the original manga series in the interests of greater historical accuracy.

Upcoming Funimation Releases

January 7
  • Kirby: Dark and Stormy

January 14:
  • Yu Yu Hakusho: The Spirit Detective Box Set 1 (the first 8 volumes for $99.95_
  • YuGiOh Vol.#05: Evil Spirit
  • YuGiOh Vol. #06: The Scars of Defeat

January 21
  • Fruits Basket Vol. #2: What Becomes of Snow?
  • Yu Yu Hakusho Vol. #09: Deathmatch
  • Yu Yu Hakusho Vol. #10: The Evil Dr. Ichigak

January 28
  • Blue Gender Vol. #8

March 4
  • Yu Yu Hakusho Vol. #11: Fairplay
  • Yu Yu Hakusho Vol. #12: The Rising Storm

March 11
  • Kirby: Kirby's Egg-Cellent Adventure
  • Kirby: Escargoon Squad

March 18th
  • YuGiOh Vol. #07: Double Trouble Duel
  • YuGiOh Vol. #08: Face Off

March 25
  • Fruits Basket Vol. #3: Puddles Of Memories

Readers Talkback
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  • Nov. 6, 2002, 11:11 p.m. CST

    Cowboy Bebop movie will kick ass

    by ProzacMorris

    First poster, so what?

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 11:13 p.m. CST

    Damn Columbia Tristar!

    by Craiggers

    ...oh, and I'm first. Wow, for the first time too. That is unless someone else posted something before I finished writing this. Oh well. I think that it sucks how distributers treat stuff like anime when it comes to theatrical release. Limited release sucks for people like me that have to drive two hours to the nearest city just to watch a damn movie because it isn't released in all theaters. They might as well just release it straight to video. Cowboy Bebop has a large fan following and I'm sure that with the right advertising, it's possible to get a lot of people to see the movie. I've told numerous people about Bebop who were not anime fans at all, but loved the show nonetheless. It appeals to a mainstream audience, but it still gets treated like some kind of freak to be released in 10 theaters for all the 'freaks' who might be interested. I was afraid that this might happen. I propose another online petition to Columbia Tristar to make them release it nationwide. If I only knew who to e-mail about this, I'd crusade for it myself.

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 11:13 p.m. CST

    Fist...

    by Costa-Gavras

    is the word used to describe our hands when they are closed.

  • ...if too mcuh goes wrong for ADV then, without any sort of partner, they'll be hemorraghing money and, quite frankly I don't want to see ADV go under because of this endaevor. Also, I hope they don't spend all of their resources on this channel (which I'll probably not even be able to see in Montreal, Quebec, Canada because of the protectionist CRTC, the Canadian version of the FCC), since I'm still waiting for many of the products they've licensed but not yet released and older back catalogue stuff on DVD, especially the YOU'RE UNDER ARREST "specials" and movie and the new dub DVD of ALL-PURPOSE CULTURAL CAT GIRL NUKUNUKU, and, I'd imagine they'll be the ones to license STAR OCEAN EX. ________ More of my thoughts on the subject, orginally posted by me at: http://www.animenation.net/forums/showthread.php?s=&postid=1285341#post1285341 ____________ First and foremost, there is the issue of the size of the audience for such a channel: I don't think there's any sort of census of anime fans in the United States (I'll leave out those of us in Canada since the CTRC probably wouldn't let this channel past the gates, should this channel come to be a reality, since it might "compete" with Teletoon and competition is "bad", especially if the channel's American.), but I estimate that there are a couple of hundred thousand hardcore fans (i.e. those of us that buy the DVDs and/or download digisubs and/or buy soundtrack CDs and/or attend conventions/festivals and/or read Animerica or Newtype and/or post on message forums like this one etc...) and maybe a million or two "reservists", by which I mean mainly "Ain't It Cool News types" that might see most of the limited theatrical releases and maybe watch a show or two on Adult Swim but think of themselves more as general "film geeks", "fantasy geeks" or "sci-fi geeks" ("geek" being the term used affectionately to describe themselves) rather than as "anime geeks". While a sizable portion of the first group would probably subscribe to an anime channel, I'm guessing only a small portion of the second group would, unless it was part of a package deal. I'm guessing an anime channel would attract more than 500 000 subscribers but less than a million. Additionally, I think the subscription rates per viewer will be very high. Not only will ADV have to pay for the broadcast rights for the programming 24/7, which will be very expensive for them, but they'll also have to compensate for the loss of sales of DVDs and videos. Some people who would not have bought a show on DVD or VHS (well, not so much VHS anymore) before would buy it after seeing it on "ADV-TV", it's true, but others who might buy a DVD just to watch it once or twice, wouldn't need to do that anymore and there's also the people who just tape everything off TV and never buy tapes. Today they have all-soaps channels and all-game shows channels, but the crucial difference between those sorts of channels and an all-anime channel is that there is absolutely no secondary video/DVD market for soaps and game shows, so the rebroadcast rights to those are dirt cheap. Obviously, there's also the operational costs of running a TV channel. All these costs will likely be passed on to the viewer as I do not see the revenue from advertisers to be enough to float the endaevor... if they even get mainstream advertisers to begin with, which would open another can or worms entirely regarding edits vs. purists which I'd rather not delve into right now as I'd be typing for hours. In short, it would be nice if it would happen, but I wouldn't get too excited about this yet as the size of the potential subscriber base might be too small to justify the costs.

  • Nov. 7, 2002, 1:06 a.m. CST

    100,000 x2 for Dragonball Z DVD set????

    by DoggyDaddi

    GOOOD fucking LORD!! Thats over $850 for each box set?!? DAMN.. rather spend $40 and get a decent VCD set and put the remaining $1700 in the bank... sheesh!

  • Nov. 7, 2002, 1:20 a.m. CST

    Not that I'd be buying it anyway, but, hypotheticaly...

    by Kiyone

    ..what if I was Japanese and only wanted *specific* episodes of DBZ on DVD... are they coming out with individual disks later or is that all there's ever going to be of DBZ in DVD in Japan? It would probably be cheaper for me to get a region 1 player (if I hadn't already moded my player or PS2 to play R1s) and get the American disks. For those of us in Region 1 land (but the northern part), I hope, besides the full-season subtitled SAILOR MOON and SMR sets ADV will hopefully make (if the Anime Channel doesn't sink them) that they'll also sell the component disks individually, because as much as I'd be intending on buying all of at least the first season, at 40+ episodes per season each box set will likely be in the $200 to 250 U.S. range SRP, which means that, even after a discount, I'd be easily out $400 Canadian, just waaayyy too much for me to spend at once; I'd pay a premium per disk if I could get them at a pace I can afford. On a somewhat related not, I wish Paramount would sell the disks from the full season boxsets of STAR TREK: TNG since I refuse to pay $1560 Canadian to get the handful of episodes per season I actually want to buy.

  • Nov. 7, 2002, 5:07 a.m. CST

    Cowboy Bebop is the best thing i

    by CuervoJones

    in years

  • Nov. 7, 2002, 5:53 a.m. CST

    COWBOY BEBOP: THE MOVIE: KNOCKIN ON HEAVEN'S DOOR

    by Harry Weinstein

    Sony better not fuck this up. If there was ever an anime feature that had "mainstream crossover potential" scrawled all over it in huge, easy to spot letters, this is the one. The show is one of Cartoon Network's crown jewels. People that I never in a million years would imagine watching any kind of anime watch COWBOY BEBOP. There's not going to be another anime feature this accessable to the average American for a while. In it's heart KNOCKIN' ON HEAVEN'S DOOR (the real name of the movie) is a gritty 70s American action movie.

  • ...it sure is nice to see people criticizing a company besides Disney for only planning to release an anime film in limited release (and probably a lot more limited than SPIRITED AWAY, based on C/TS's extremely limited release of METROPOLIS).

  • Nov. 7, 2002, 10:58 a.m. CST

    I'll bet they won't expand it to any town near me

    by Son Of Batboy

    Damn I just knew this was gonna be a limited deal. It'll probably be March before it arrives in my state. Then I'll have to drive 90 minutes through shitty construction in the middle of some ghetto with crack whores and toothless squeegee men. If I don't survive the drive-bys I'll probably get ripped from my car and sodomized at a stoplight. On second thought I think I'll just wait for the DVD.

  • Nov. 7, 2002, 12:57 p.m. CST

    Crossover potential

    by Harry Weinstein

    True, the very fact that it's animated is a stumbling block, and Sony's probably pretty apprehensive about its potential after what happened with FINAL FANTASY's dismal opening. But CB: KOHD is a much, much better film than FINAL FANTASY, which got deservedly bad reviews and really let down most fans of the game that I know - not the best recipe for success. The word of mouth and the critical reception will be a lot stronger, and I think the "sell it like it was a live action movie" approach that failed for FF would succeed with this movie. Not that we'll ever know, from the looks of it, since apparently there's not a studio out there with the balls to try a real release for an anime. Disney looked like they were going to do it with SPIRITED AWAY, but they went out like suckers and took the limited release/limited promotion route instead. COWBOY BEBOP has more American mainstream crossover potential than SPIRITED AWAY, and it looks like it'll get a smaller release. That's weak. If Sony doesn't at least buy some ad space on THE SIMPSONS and Cartoon Network Adult Swim for it, someone should be fired.

  • Nov. 7, 2002, 2:35 p.m. CST

    Anime Network Programming

    by Motterman2K3

    So, it's not limited to ADV titles, which is good. Some of the shows being mentioned are: GUNSMITH CATS, NEON GENESIS EVANGELION, GETTER ROBO, GASARAKI and RAHXEPHON. Tres Cool, no?

  • Nov. 7, 2002, 9:18 p.m. CST

    Estimated fan populations...

    by Zone Zero

    Star Trek: 7 million, Star Wars: 20 million, Babylon 5: 15 million, Fantasy (LOTR, and others): 50 million, Anime: 4 million. Of course, I've seen plenty of crossover. These guesstimate numbers I gather from going to cons, and seeing just how many are "multi-geeks" or "omni-geeks". 4 million Anime-Only geeks could be enough. Then the cross over potential from other "factions" of fandom will fuel the rest.

  • Nov. 10, 2002, 3:13 p.m. CST

    Can someone explain this to me?

    by Cajun Lightning

    I am not being a wise ass here. I am honestly curious because I myself am not in the biz and so I do not understand. Why would a studio, like Disney or Tristar or whatever, purchase the rights to a film they have no interest in promoting or attempting to turn a profit on? I haven't seen a single commercial for Spirited Away. Not one. And it does look even bleaker for the Cowboy Bebop film. Which is foolish, I think. If Spike Spiegal happened to be a live action character, there is no doubt in my mind he would be the next big action hero. The dude is the picture of Bad Ass Anti-Hero perfection. Sadly, he IS a cartoon, which is going to be a huge problem. But if you have something with that sort of potential, why not at least try? I just don't understand what anyone gains by burrying these films. Why just pass on them to begin with?

  • Nov. 11, 2002, 11:44 p.m. CST

    Cajun Lightning...

    by Kiyone

    Answer: there is enough of a profit to be had from sales of the videos/DVDs, where the overhead is much, much lower than theatrical releases, for it to be interesting to the studios... the limited theatrical releases are really just for the hardcore fans and for the free publicity from mainstream reviewers (as well as to get quotes to put on the box).