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AICN ANIME: GATCHAMAN, BATTLE ANGEL ALITA, GHIBLI stuff and much much more!!!

AnimAICN

by Scott Green

Anime Preview Gatchaman
English dub of episodes 1-3 uncut

To be released by ADV June 14th

Gatchaman, aka Battle of the Planets aka G-Force aka Eagle Riders is a welcome addition to the older anime available in North America. Barring the nostalgia afflicted, there may be a little less urgency for Gatchaman than some of never released grails like Rose of Versailles or Ashita no Joe, but giving Gatchaman a new look, the sci-fi adventure series it is clearly on of the gems of anime's past. Though it isn't exactly an example of an unrepresented genre, Gatchaman is a rewarding chance to support some quality anime archeology.

Given the age distribution of anime fans, plenty of fans have probably heard of the series, but not many remember in it's original context. As new material, from an opening theme starts with "roaring engines, ninja of science" to episode titles like "The Giant Mummy That Summons Storms" there are plenty of reasons to smile in anime equivalent of the fresh or non-self conscious experience that would be called silver age in comics.

Though Gatchaman is a work of the 70's, it holds up better than Voltron or many of series of the 80. The fashion and hair look past expiration, but the animations remains engaging. It looks odd rather than dated in the way a classic Godzilla movie looks of a time. Gatchaman is directed well enough to stand up as technical tools improve. Its storytelling is likewise smarter than many of its descendants. For example, the hero team has a trump, get out the death trap maneuver, but it is anything but predictable, but it is used sparingly enough that the end of episodes aren't overly predictable.

The serial follows the feud between the evil Galactor and the benevolent International Science Organization over energy recourses. The ISO's combatants in the battle is the science ninjas, Gatchaman , a team who is sometimes five, and some times one (what ever that means) comprised of Ken, the team's driven leader and "Eagle" or "White Shadow", his darker rival Joe the "Condor", Jun the high kicking techie beauty "Swam", Jinpei the ninja-minded kid "Swallow", and Ryu the large, unwieldy "Owl"

With caped suited super heroes in bird helmets, plenty of strange vehicles, such as a tank that jumps over rhinos as it rolls across the savannah in the opening and stranger formations, such as a whirl wind attach that is commenced by the team forming a cheer-leader type standing human pyramid then spinning the formation there's plenty of material in vein of the campy incarnation of Batman. Through the oddity there is a focus on over-arching serial plot, with plenty of cliff hangers and building rivalry. There is also an interesting dynamic of character personalities that was later distilled into simpler roles by later anime series.

Despite the odd concepts Gatchaman throws against the wall, it is carried out well enough that it not really MST3K material. The exception is a number of instances of almost comically strange dialogue. Some it is part of the series, such as a caretaker/uncle who disciplines his nephew by saying that if he isn't good his missing father will never return. Part comes from some of the liberty in the dub. There are some quirky lines and inflections that suggest double entendres which play into the less traditionally heroic aspects of the character.

Manga Spotlight: Battle Angel Alita: Last Order
Volume 5: Haunted Angel

By Yukito Kishiro Released by Viz

Forget about the mess of an adaptation Tenjho Tenge received, it's Ultra Jump compatriot Battle Angel Alita: Last Order is the mature fighting series to follow. Yukito Kishiro's post- convalescence sequel series to the initial cyborg life's epic the journeyed through the convolutions in story of a human brain in an inactive artificial body, has solidified into Kung Fu Hustle by way of Masamune Shirow (with more consistent attention to character and without Shirow's clutter or cheese cake). Last Order invokes plenty of name dropping because it sights of the shoulders of genre greats, implemented with the action and imagination of Kishiro's considerable skill.

Volume 5 opens the first round Zenith of All Things (ZOT) fighting tournament, a winner names their prize trap by the part Heinlein, part Burrows government of the solar system to assert its dominance and lure dangerous elements into revealing themselves. Alita has entered with a team of three of her replacant copies: the battle Sechs (given an interesting new body after previously being reduced to a chibi-mini version of herself), and the sexpot twins Elf and Zwolf (now clad fuzzy bunny suits, and fighting with fiber strands that can cut, or, mid-battle, be woven into cloths or various purposes).

Kishiro has a gift for making physical activity compelling on the page of a comic. At one point in the earlier Battle Angel Alita engaged in a stretch of roller derby like game play. Roller derby in a comic is far from an easy sell. First, It's a strikingly weird amalgamation of on an activity that has to struggle not to look silly. Second, most comic illustrators struggle with simpler tasks like making a punch or sword stroke look good. With complex tracks, wide ranges of detailed body types and weapons, all kept dynamic and exciting, its little surprised that Kishiro worked himself into illness in the first series.

In the first round, the Space Angels fight the Guntrolls, a case where Kishiro turns a staggeringly goofy concept into something with all the qualities that make his working compelling. In this case it's a team of apparently fan designed representatives of the Stellar Nursery Society that throws together the likes of a Leiji Matsumoto-type heroin, a Rob Liefield like scarred cyborg warrior accompanied by a robot monkey and a sweet, young teacher in an apron. The story keeps flirting with how silly the idea is, not just a interplanetary nursery school, but ones whose staff is fit together without much logic. Still, there is little question of how well Kishiro puts use the characters with their range of battle field techniques, or how a sympathetic opponent whose motivations are for higher good than the protagonists add drama to the series.

Kishiro is fine with panel to panel flow, better than average, but not as impressive as a Tezuka or even Rumiko Takahashi. He good with a set up panel and a shift of perspective. He's unbeatable with single panel action composition. Scale, perspective, posture, and detail all come together to tell a story. Whether it is complex jumping, twist move, or a simple shoulder toss the vision of what to show, and the execution of how to show it are some of the best in action comic art. Kishiro clearly studied cinematic and practical martial arts before putting techniques to paper. The results are diverse and exciting. His Ju Jitsu looks different from his Kung Fu, they both look different from his original Panzer Kunst.

From a story perspective, Last Order is fascinating, but emitting too much information, and oddity to really mentally engage. There's too much universe expansion being added to evaluate what's been going on. Alita's life is no longer working in the nicely packaged stages of her early incarnation, where blocks of information nicely fit together with the building tragedies and triumphs along with their accompanying transformations. This time around there is no clear set of rules, professionals, and divisions. Half of the moves are feints, everyone one is struggling to figure out their role, and much of the time the characters can't figure out their own motivations. It's an interesting read, but without the irregular landmarks of the earlier Battle Angel Alita, it doesn't have the regular impactful crescendos.

The hitch is that the series takes it's first few volumes to clear the deck from it's previous incarnation and set up the new. The process is a mixed bag of intriguing ideas and killer action, along with a lot half formed instances of both. Initially it was incredibly fun for fans of the original, but it quickly became apparent, it was an exercise in getting through a perfunctory check list as quick as possible. For a new comer, it might almost be better to skip to the fourth or fifth volume of Last Order, pick up the background from the preface, then later fill back as needed. And, while there is nothing to preclude someone unfamiliar with the franchise from any of Last Order, new readers may want to try skipping to the point. The original Battle Angel Alita is premiere mix of sci-fi, action, and drama. Last Order, has it own, different, explosive appeal.

Anime Spotlight: Appleseed

Released by Geneon

Because of the budgets available, the great achievements in anime have been theatrical features. Because of the possibilities this allows, the format is also the source of many of the greatest disappointments. It seems as if most anime creator's aren't comfortable with the constraints of a movie. There have been many breathtaking ones, but few have been able to effectively tell a story during the allotted time. The creators of Appleseed built an innovative and eye pleasing 3D cell shaded animation style that will stand out, and doubtlessly be re-used and copied going forward. The accompanying story is passable, at times entertainment, and better than many in high profile anime movies, but lags behind to quality of the animation to the point of detracting from it. Because the story telling doesn't cripple to the proceedings, it can be considered that the strength trumps average anime movie. Appleseed a must see for animation fans, but from a pure enjoyment standpoint, it is less dazzling.

Credited largely to the digital effects artist Fumihiko Sori (Titanic), Appleseed uses a cell shaded, technique that keeps some of the aesthetic of 2d animation, integrated with the depth of 3D animation. It is a distinctive look whose appeal is more than novelty. Viewers will not want every movie, anime or otherwise to look this way, but it is very forgiving of camera shifts as well as time deceleration and accelerations. The reasons the movie enthralled bullet ballet master John Woo is apparent, it fits perfectly with his trademark style. The animation technique good for a specific type of action story, that is a bit larger than life in it's depiction of abilities, but it's also great for large scale batter. For a movie with slightly sub-matrix departure from the laws of physics and set in another world of mecha assisted elite forces cyborg cops from Ghost in the Shell creator Masamune Shirow, (the trifecta Dominion Tank Police is also being revived), the animation is the perfect engine for Appleseed.

Based on a longer manga, by a creator with a habit for idea over-verbosity, the movie has a chore adapting the source. Following one of the first commando manga-chick to gain notoriety in North America, the movie has to work in a character who was a fighter in a war that was already over, forcibly recruited for a Utopian society's elite force, who rediscovers lost memories while dealing with factions that are hiding their true agendas. The saving grace that helps the movie remain watchable in the face of the complexity may have been relatively few popular characters vying for screen time.

The amazing to look of the cell shading is perhaps too amazing. It is immersive enough that in the movie's talkier middle you forget how impressive the look is. By the time you get through the false endings and twists that fall as flat melodrama thanks to characters and concepts didn't have time to establish themselves as engaging, the momentum of the kinetic earlier scenes has been stolen. By the time it reaches the bang up finale of Masasmune Shirow's landmate armors versus the mobile fortress the excitement has been tempered with shifting through the plot convolutions.

The movie opens with a bombed out city reminiscent of the future parts of the Terminator movies, established by the slow, freely shifting pans of video game cut scenes (a bit too much camera freedom, missing a little logic). A team of commandos, stalk and are at the same time stalked by a pride of rampaging, red eyed combat robots, backed by tanks. As the tide begins turning harshly against the humans, a small, but muscled, blonde woman fights her ay out of a circle of robots with bullets and tanks, and begins desperately trying to escape the tanks. Before the woman meets her fate at the hands of the robots, helicopters drop in Landmates, Appleseed's humanoid mech armors, which destroy or drive off the robots and capture the woman. The engagement provides the first hints of the some of the short cuts the movie will be taking in its plotting. Homicidally berserking cyborgs and robot tanks stop to move in slowly when the hero is surrounded might be explainable, but only with unnecessary and unrewarding logical exercises on the part of the viewer.

The woman, Deunan Knute is taken to the Utopian city of Olympus where informed that she had been fighting the echos of a war that had already ended. She is re-introduced to her former lover and partner Briareos, who is now has a largely artificial cyborg body (his metal head, with five red eyes, and rabbit ear protrusions is one of Appleseed's trademark features). Briareos doesn't seems to raise much of an argument Deunan is forcibly recruited for the city's ESWAT policing force.(A phase of the plot that isn't allowed much time for development in the movie).

Deunan is soon embroiled in new conflicts,but tangled in its source rather than as a foot soldier. Bioroids, artificial humans who manage and city, but are kept in check by accelerated aging that needs to be periodically reversed and the inability to breed, the city's human run military, Gaiai the city's powerful maintenance computer and the Seven Elder, a council of technologically preserved men from before the age's defining wars.

Unfolding in a manga it's interesting material. Unfolding in a 105 minute movie, there is too much on the agenda to sell the viewer on the characters' motivations. Deunan is a hard character to connect to in the movie. she's strong, but too confused and angry. She can barely keep up with unfolding events, and with all the conspiracies and counter-agendas. the viewer don't get a good sense of the characters. The twists fall as false melodrama.

For all the plot complications, the reward is rote flagellation about the sins of humanity along with the rejoinder giving it another change. Too much thought makes the plot seem brittle. For all the planning involved, it seems like one stray bullet could have easily unraveled the plan.

Manga Spotlight:
MAR: Marchen Awakens Romance

volume 1
by Nobuyuki Anzai
Released by Viz

MAR is a boys' shonen fantasy adventurer, but it's one with a talking, sharp mustache and beard sporting war hammer with ball and chain/large metal cup and ball game. There's some striking potential indicated in the character. If nothing else, his role is a draw to see what else the Flame of Recca creator is planning. Its headstrong approach to goofy action and degree to which the lead the lead enthusiastic is about his adventures make for appealing shounen.

MAR opens with Ginta loud and feisty, but weak, no stamina, bad eyesight. 102 times he has dreamed of a magic kingdom where he's a strong, questing warrior. When a magic door opens up, he jumps at the chance to follow it to fairyland Marchen.

In Marchen, Dorothy, a witch carrying flying broom with mounted blade, introduces him to the world, after attempting to mug him. ARMs, are the world's magic system, accessories (rings, changes and the like) with special abilities. Dorothy tricks Ginta into running interference while she attempts to grab Babbo, but during the confusion the Ginta picks up the attitude laden talking cup and ball ARM.

As the third manga, and second manga one, from Nobuyuki Anzai the illustration is seldom dazzling, but confident that is get across the intended effect. It's cuts and expressions have a cartooned dynamic than play of loud, strange characters in the Toriyama tradition.

Afro Samuria Site

The official site for Afro Samurai, which is schedule to air on Spike TV in 2006 is online at afrosamurai.com

Takahata Ghibli Movies in August

Accoridng to Ultimate Disney and Nausicaa.net Disney will be releasing Isao Takahata's Ghibli films My Neighbors the Yamadas and Pom Poko on August 16th on 2 DVD sets.

Pom Poko is the story of a shape shifting tanuki (often translated as "raccoon dogs") who try to protect their home from human development. The release will test Disney's agreement not to edit the content of Ghibli's films, thanks to the legendary testicle size of Tanuki.

My Neighbors the Yamadas is a digitally animated, water color looking adaptation of a family comedy manga strip.

My Neighbors the Yamadas Cast:

  • Jim Belushi ("Snow Dogs," TV's "According To Jim")
  • Molly Shannon ("The Santa Clause 2")
  • Tress MacNeille ("The Lion King 1 ½")
  • Daryl Sabara ("The Polar Express," "Spy Kids")
  • Liliana Mumy (TV's "Higglytown Heroes")
  • David Ogden Stiers ("Spirited Away," "Lilo and Stitch").

Pom Poko Cast:

  • Jonathan Taylor Thomas (TV's "Home Improvement")
  • Clancy Brown ("The Spongebob SquarePants Movie")
  • J.K. Simmons ("Spider-Man," TV's "Law and Order")
  • Tress MacNeille ("The Lion King 1 1?2")
  • Olivia D'Abo ("Tarzan & Jane")
  • Maurice LaMarche ("Kim Possible: So The Drama")

Navarre Closes FUNimation Purchase

Home entertainment and multimedia publisher and distributor Navarre Corporation announced that it has acquired all general and limited partnership interests in FUNimation Productions, Ltd. and The FUNimation Store, Ltd. FUNimation is the anime North American distributor of Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Ball GT, Yu Yu Hakusho, Case Closed , Fruits Baskets and Fullmetal Alchemist among others.

Gen Fukunaga, President of FUNimation Productions Ltd stated, "We are very excited to join the Navarre family. FUNimation will benefit from Navarre's state-of-the-art retail distribution capabilities and Navarre offers FUNimation a capital structure to pursue new product opportunities and business initiatives."

Those interested in the financial aspects of the acquisition can find the number in the press release here

FUNimation has also changed it name to FUNimation Entertainment. The new logo can be seen at www.funimation.com

New Dark Horse Titles

Dark Horse will be releasing the volume of Kazuo Koike (Lone Wolf and Cub) and Kazuo Kamimura's Lady Snowblood on September 6th. The vengeance quest is one of the inspirations for Kill Bill.

From the pen of Kazuo Koike, of Lone Wolf and Cub fame, comes Lady Snowblood. A story of pure vengeance, Lady Snowblood tells the tale of a daughter born of a singular purpose, to avenge the death of her family at the hands of a gang of thugs, a purpose woven into her soul from the time of her gestation. Beautifully drafted and full of bloody, sexy action, Lady Snowblood lives up to its title and reputation.
288 pages, $14.95

Cannon God Exaxxion: Stage 4 Tpb was announced for August 3rd and Hellsing Volume 7 Tpb for September 21st.

Dark Horse Hase Also Licensed the following according to the Anime Central convention's blog:

Manga

  • Crying Freeman
  • Eden
  • Faces by Junji Ito
  • Romantic Worries of the Dead
  • Saiyuki Dendaio
  • Space Pinchy
  • Zombi-ya Reiko

Novels

  • Blood: Night of the Beast by Mamoru Oshii
  • Vampire Hunter D

Art Books

  • Fairies by Yoshitaka Amano
  • Le Mondes d’Amano
  • Tale of Genji by Yoshitaka Amano
  • The Art of Katsuya Terada

Space Pinchy was described as a pulp sci-fi parody, filled with space monsters and lots of fanservice.

Saiyuki Dendaio is another adaptation of the journey to the west legend with more of a Heavy Metal feel.

Dark Horse 2005 schedule includes:
June: What’s Michael vol. 10, Samurai Executioner vol. 6
July: Berserk vol. 8, Oh My Goddess vol. 21
August: Trigun Maximum vol. 6, Samurai Executioner vol. 7
September: Hellsing vol. 7, Lady Snowblood vol. 1
October: Berserk vol. 9, Samurai Executioner vol. 8, Oh My Goddess vol. 1 (re-release, flipped), Hellsing animanga vol. 1
November: Trigun Maximum vol. 7, Eden vol. 1, Oh My Goddess color special, Club 9 vol. 4
December: Lady Snowblood vol. 2, Samurai Executioner vol. 9, Oh My Goddess vol. 22

One Piece Speculation

Anime on DVD reports Bandai's One Piece game information distributor at the E3 video game expo included a logo for Toei Animation, and an indication that the anime pirate action series will be released on DVD. Anime powerhouse Toei released produced the anime and recently entered the North American video market, but 4Kids has licensed the series for adaption for North American television. The release of unedited versions of 4Kids anime was begun through FUNi,ation, but put on hold.

Blood TV Series News

Production IG's television follow-up to Blood: The Last Vampire will be called Blood+. Character designs for the new show, which will air on Japanese TV starting in October can be seen on the official site at blood.tv. An English language page is online at here

Black Cat to Be Animated

Anime News Network reports popular bounty hunter action Shonen Jump manga series Black Cat will be animated by Gonzo for a TV series to air on Japanese TV this fall.

Geneon To Release Karaoke Collection

Geneon will be releasing Anime Karaoke Collection with vocal songs performed by newcomer Stephanie and J-Pop/trance artist Kotoko on July 5th. The collection will feature karaoke renditions of 'Evangelion,' 'NOIR,' 'Chobits,' 'Ai Yori Aoshi,' and 'Utena' among others.

Tracks Listing:

  1. Eternal Flower
  2. A Cruel Angel's Thesis
  3. Hemisphere
  4. Walking through the empty age
  5. LOVE WILL LIGHT THE WAY
  6. Brilliant Road to Tomorrow
  7. truth
  8. I hear you everywhere
  9. On the way home
  10. Coppelia no Hitsugi (Coppelia's Casket)
  11. You know, I don't have an umbrella
  12. Ningyo hime (performed by Stephanie)
  13. SHIFT - Cross Over Generations (Japanese ver.)
  14. Sabaku no yuki (Snow in the Desert)
  15. SHIFT - Cross Over Generations (English ver.)
  16. Wing My Way (performed by KOTOKO)

Geneon will also be releasing the first volume of Dear S on July 5th.

Kenshin and Range Murata Figures Ship

Yamato USA has announced that the third 4.0" - 5.5" set of figures from Rurouni Kenshin and first set of 2.0" - 4.0" figures based on the designs of Range Murata (Blue Submarine No. 6, Last Exile) are now shipping.

Rurouni Kenshin, Vol. 3 can be seen here

Range Murata PSE Solid, Ver. 1 can be seen here

Banpresto: Please Twins! Resin Statues

CMX Editor Resigns

Newsarama that Jake Tarbox, Group Editor of DC’s CMX line of manga line has resigned from the company. Tarbox has previous been Gutsoon!'s International Affairs Manager and Vice-Editor-Chief of the now default Raijin Comics.

There are indications that Tarbox will continue to work with the company in a freelance capacity.

Jake Tarbox did not make the controversial decision to edit popular adult fighting manga Tenjho Tenge for to fit for a young audience, but he did implement it.

From the article:

At the recent WizardWorld LA, staffers at the DC booth had to keep an eye on the stack of the Tenjho Tenge sample book CMX had available for free, as occasionally, small notes that said "This manga is edited!" and went on to denounce DC and CMX for changing the material would appear on the top of the stack.

DC Comics has indicated that they plan to continue to edit the release of Tenjho Tenge to maintain a 13/teen rating. The newly solicited August release of the third volume includes the notice "Retailers please note: This title has been edited for U.S. release." Despite this, DC's CMX Manga solicitations also include the first volumes of new titles Testarotho by Sanbe Kei and Young Magician by Narushima Yuri, both of which are rated for "Mature Readers".

DC Describes the new titles as follows:

Testarotho Vol. 1
The best-selling title by blockbuster new talent Sanbe Kei (Kamiyadori)! In a dark future, rival warriors of warring sects persecute nonbelievers and die for their faith. But a disillusioned young novice and a deadly gun-toting priest may be about to change all that... Young Capria has completed her studies at the Arsenal School and has begun her internship with the Elysia Unification Council under Father Garrincha. But no lessons could prepare this sheltered novice for the outside world, where rebels battle against the dreaded "Testarotho." Heretics are tried and burned at the stake, warring religious factions battle for power, and the common people live a miserable life in feudal servitude. Can she bring a spark of hope to a world filled with destruction and madness? Maybe if she lives long enough!

Young Magician Vol. 1
CMX. From the creator of hit manga Planet Ladder comes a gothic tale of sorcery! A battle has broken out among rival sorcerers. The most nefarious group, the Necromancers, is killing young girls in Hong Kong to read the future in their entrails. Carno, a human youth raised by Aeromancers in a different dimension, is summoned back to his homeworld to join in the battle. Does Carno have what it takes to survive in a world of political alliances and emotional entanglements?

Other CMX releases include Gals! Vol. 3, Musashi #9 Vol. 4 and Swan Vol. 4.

New Geneon Licenses

AnimeNation reports Geneon has licensed the Tales of Phantasia OVA.
Geneon has also indicated that they have licensed the second season of Girls Bravo.

Upcoming Bandai Releases, including Mars Darkbreak Premiere

Bandai will be releasing the first volume of BONES' sci-fi Mars Daybreak on September 13th. The Limited Edition version of the series will feature an exclusive collector’s tin case and Mars Daybreak Original CD Soundtrack.

August Bandai releases include

DVD Release:

8/9/05

  • DICE Vol. 4: The Phantom Knight
  • DICE Vol. 5: Conspiracy-Factor
  • DICE Vol. 6: The Mystery of Heron
  • Dragon Dive Vol. 10 Showdown in D-Zone
  • Magical Mew Mew Taruto Vol. 4: Real Magic
  • Overman King Gainer Exodus 4
  • Planetes 2-Disc Special Edition Volume 2
8/24
  • Scrapped Princess Volume Vol. 3 Traveling Trouble
  • Hoop Days Volume 2

CD Release:

  • Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex OST 2

Viz Distributes Licensees for Preschool Series

VIZ Media, LLC. (VIZ Media) announced that they have named Spin Master Ltd. master toy license and Simon Spotlight, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, book-publishing licensee forDeko Boko Friends .These partnerships will bring the world ofDeko Boko Friends to life in toys and books to children across North America.

Deko Boko Friends, VIZ Media’s debut Japanese animation property for preschool audiences, is an exceptional property that sends positive messages to children in a charming and witty manner. Produced as 30-second animated shorts, Deko Boko Friends currently features 12 unique characters who help teach children about diversity and tolerance.

Live Action Cromartie Trailer

If you're curious to see a live action version of a manga/anime's Freddie Mercury look-alike TwitchFilm is hosting the live action trailer of live action adaptation of abustristic sketch comedy Cromartie High here.

Fullmetal Alchemist Manga Success

Viz has announced that the first volume of the Full Meta Alchemist manga by Hiromu Arakawa debuted in the Number 1 spot on the Nielsen Bookscan list for graphic novel releases. Bookscan also ranked the edition at Number 13 for Fiction-Trade Paperback and Number 58 in the Overall Fiction category for the first week of May. Additionally, USA TODAY ranked FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST at Number 89 in its renowned Top 150 Best Selling book list, which compiles a vast array of fiction, non-fiction, paperback as well as hardcover releases from all major genres.

The story of FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST begins with two young brothers named Edward and Alphonse as they try to use an alchemy technique called "human transmutation" to raise their mother from the dead with tragic consequences. As a result of a miscalculation, fifteen-year-old Edward loses his left leg and fourteen-year-old Alphonse loses his entire body. Immediately after the accident Edward sacrifices his right arm to save Alphonse’s soul, which is transmuted into a suit of armor that becomes his new body. Edward replaces his missing limbs with a biomechanical technology called auto-mail that gives him a new bionic arm and leg. The action begins as the pair heads to Central City in search of the Philosopher’s Stone, an object of immeasurable power and the only thing that can return the siblings to their natural states. But in this futuristic alternate world, the use of alchemy is widespread. Evil forces seek the magical stone and will use any ruthless means to try and thwart the two brothers from reaching their goal.

Naoki Urasawa Wins Second Grand Prize

Anime News Network reports Naoki Urasawa (Master Keaton, 20th Century Boys) on the Grand Price in the Osamu Tezuka Cultural for his manga series Pluto, based on the "The Biggest Robot on Earth," a story arc in Osamu Tezuka's Astro Boy. Urasawa previous on for his character driven thriller Monster.

Geneon Talks Summer Releases

Geneon Entertainment announced the debut of two titles to the new UMD format - the explosive sci-fi animated action adventure Appleseed and the hip-hop samurai action series Samurai Champloo. The PlayStation Portable discs will be available July 5th. Geneon Entertainment is among the first distributors to adapt to the new Universal Media Disc format. Launched in late March, in addition to the latest must-have for gamers, the handheld PSP device, plays UMDs - mini-discs featuring full-length feature films and programming.

Appleseed arrives on DVD May 10, followed by its July 5th UMD debut, priced at $19.98.

Incorporating the Okinawan word for "mixing," Samurai Champloo is a hard-edged, pulse-pounding blend of wry humor, hardcore samurai action, lush animation and more. Hailed as "hip beyond comprehension" (Anime Insider) and "anime with bite and both chompers clamping down hard" (DVD Etc.), Samurai Champloo is the latest project from director Shinichiro Watanabe, director of Cowboy Beebop series, and character designer and animation director Kazuto Nakazawa, who directed the animated portion of Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill. Powered by a smashing musical score with contributions by American and Japanese hip-hop artists ¯ including Tsutchie, fat john, Nujabes and FORCE OF NATURE ¯ Samurai Champloo is the cutting edge of cool and a redefinition of the genre. The first and second episodes debut on UMD and are priced at $14.98 each.

Girl's Bravo
A world populated by beautiful women should be the ultimate male fantasy¯ but for high school student Yukinari, who’s been beaten and bullied by girls his whole life, it’s a nightmare. In Girls Bravo Volume One, the sexy new comedy series debuting on DVD June 21 from Geneon Entertainment, Yukinari will have to come face to face with his fears¯ with hilarious results. Based on the six volumes of the manga that has sold over 900,000 copies in Japan, Girls Bravo is filled with outrageous fan-service and hilarious innuendos, with plenty of sex to satisfy male viewers and sweet comedy for young female audiences.

The series is directed by Ei Aoki (Please Teacher!, Please Twins!), and features an all-star cast of voice talent that includes Mamiko Noto (Full Metal Panic, X, Paranoia Agent, InuYasha), Ayako Kawasumi (Samurai Champloo, Ai Yori Aoshi, Mahoromaatic) and Chiwa Saito (Last Exile, R.O.D -The TV-).

Human Crossing
There’s so much more to anime than giant robots, buxom schoolgirls and seizure-inducing animation¯ and Human Crossing is the exemplar for this alternative. A quiet and humane examination of all the beautiful intricacies of normalcy, Human Crossing Volume Three ¯ Message In White debuts on DVD June 28 from Geneon Entertainment. A collection of short stories focused on the kaleidoscope of real-life humanity, Human Crossing is at its core a series about hope ¯ a reminder that beauty can be found even in life’s shadows. Based on the popular manga by Masao Yajima, Human Crossing offers a beautiful break from the fast-action and sensory overload of "typical" anime. A stunning ensemble of real-world experiences ¯ both shared and private ¯

Jubei Chan 2:

Jubei vs. Jubei! The fan-favorite samurai series is back¯ but this time the vessel for the famous swordsman’s spirit isn't clear! Two seemingly ordinary teenage girls vie for the vaunted title of the legendary samurai, Yagyu Jubei, in Geneon Entertainment’s Jubei Chan 2: Resurrection - Volume One, debuting on DVD June 28, 2005. The staff that brought the original Jubei Chan to life returns for the much anticipated sequel, which features original story, scripts and executive direction by Akitaroh Daichi (Fruits Basket, Rurouni Kenshin), character design and animation direction by Yoshihiko Umakoshi (Berserk, Street Fighter Zero), chief direction by Hiroshi Nagahawa (Now and Then Here and There, Revolutionary Girl Utena) and animation production by MAD HOUSE (Animatrix, Vampire Hunter D, Ninja Scroll).

Koi Kaze 3
The limits of love, social stigma and separation are tested in Koi Kaze Volume Three ¯ The Decision, on DVD July 26 from Geneon Entertainment. With the taboo of incestuous love casting a dark shadow over Koshiro and his teenage sweetheart Nanoka, Koshiro must take extreme measures in an effort to squelch his all-consuming emotions and moves out with the intention of never seeing his true-love again. As the saying goes, "Distance makes the heart grow fonder" ¯ for the love-stricken pair this proves to be true. Directed by Takahiro Omori (Haibane-Renmei) and produced by Yasuyuki Ueda (serial experiments lain, Neia_7, Haibane-Renmei), the anime drama features series structure/screenplays by Noboru Takagi (Texhnolyze) and character design by Takahiro Kishida (serial experiments lain).

Getter Robo Armageddon
The battleground is Earth; the combatants ¯ three deadly fighter pilots entrusted to the awesome Getter Robo and the demonic, chameleon-like Oni. A brand new series born of one of the most successful giant robot franchises of all time, New Getter Robo ¯ The Hell On Earth (V.3) lands on DVD July 26, 2005 from Geneon Entertainment. With Earth threatened once again, it is time for Ryoma, Hayato and Benkei to put aside their differences and restore order to the endangered world. Directed by Jun Kawagoe (ex-Driver OVA).

Additional Geneon Releases include:

Street date: June 14, 2005

  • Stellvia ¯ Foundation V (V.5)

Street date: June 21, 2005

  • R.O.D -THE TV ¯ The New World (V.7)
  • R.O.D -THE TV ¯The New World w/ LE Collector's Box & Action Figure (V.7)

Street date: June 28, 2005

  • Gad Guard ¯ Star Travel (V.7)

Street date: July 12 2005

  • Lupin the 3rd ¯ From Moscow With Love (V.11)
  • Gungrave ¯ To the Grave (V.7)

Street date: July 19, 2005

  • Cybuster ¯ The Dirty Plot (V.5)
  • Star Ocean E x¯ Ruins and Hopes (V.4)

Street date: July 26, 2005

  • Samurai Champloo ¯ (V.4)
  • Rumiko Takahashi Anthology ¯ Weird Stuff (V.4)

FUNimation Picks Up Slayers Anime

FUNimation announced at Anime Central that they have acquired the license for three seasons of the fantasy comedy/action Slayers: Slayers, Slayers Next, and Slayers Try. The anime had previously been released by Central Park Media/Software Sculptors, but FUNimation will be remastering the anime for a new release. The anime is scheduled to commence its release some time between fall 2005 and spring 2006, at approximately $50 per collection.

Anime Podcast Announced

San Francisco-based productions company, Project 760 Productions announces the launch of its latest production, World of Anime on Podcast(an RSS published online radio show), on May 14, 2005. World of Anime on Podcast features discussions on anime news, reviews, interviews, Japanese popular culture and all-around anime fandom with more content to be featured in future episodes.

The first episode is now available to podcast listeners here Upcoming Manga Releases

From Anime on DVD

Amazon is listing that TOKYOPOP will be releasing He is My Master, Nanase the Telapathic Wanderers, A Midnight Opera, Mark of the Succubus, a Pita-Ten Official Fan Book, a .hack Box, a Pita-Ten Box a Wish reissue, Scrapped Princess Novel, a Gundam Seed Novel, Off*Beat and Psy-Comm.

Amazon is listing listings for Bobobo-bo bo-bobo Vol 1, a Fullmetal Alchemist Hardcover Artbook, Death Note and Monster from Viz.

Bobobo-bo bo-bobo is a strange action comedy, the anime version of which will be airing on cartoon network.

Death Note is a thriller about a teen genius who acquires the notebook of a death god, which allows he to dictate the deaths of those whose name he enters.

Monster is an intelligent character drama/thriller about a promising Japanese doctor living in Germany who give up political favor in his hospital to save the life of a boy. Several years later a series of over convenient deaths put the doctor back on the path of success and influence.

ADV Announces Samurai Gun

ADV Films announced the acquisition of Samurai Gun, anime’s answer to the spaghetti western. The 13 episode series will be released on four DVDs, with the first release, "Cocked and Loaded", hitting store shelves August 16. A preview of the series is available here.

Samurai Gun is a blood-drenched tour of the bakumatsu years, a turbulent time that ultimately brought an end to Japan’s feudal system. A special breed of samurai stands against the corrupt Shogunate, armed with superior strength, speed, agility... and guns! Morally ambiguous "heroes," razor sharp dialogue, and hair-trigger violence give Samurai Gun the feel of a taut western. When one lone gunman takes on an army of Samurai, they don’t stand a chance.

Based on the popular manga by Kazuhiro Kumagai, Samurai Gun was produced by Studio Egg and Avex, Inc. (Initial D) in association with ADV Films. It was first aired on Japanese television less than a year ago. The DVD series will include a never-before-seen 13th episode.

Synopsis: It is the beginning of the industrial revolution, and feudal Japan is in turmoil. The ruling Shogun are wielding their abusive powers to instill fear and dominance over their oppressed subjects. Beatings, imprisonment, rape and even murder are the adopted tactics chosen to maintain their reign. The bloodshed must end. A group of Samurai have banded together, and, with the development of new weapons and new technology, they have both the will and the hardware to stand up and fight. Ichimatsu is one of these fighters. By day, he works incognito at a local tavern, in the evenings he frequents the brothels, and by the dark of night, he doles out some big-time, gun-barrel justice. He is here to help. He is Samurai Gun!

Volume: 1 of 4
Running Time: 100 minutes
Age Rating: TV MA (V, S, L)
Street Date: 8/16/2005
Format: DVD
SRP: $29.98 ($39.98 w/ collectors box)

To Heart Delay

Right Stuf posted on Anime on DVD's forum that their release of the To Heart DVD release has been delayed.

Hi fans! I’ve got an update for you on our upcoming release of the To Heart TV series. The masters that we received from japan were in rather bad shape, so unfortunately there’s going to be a bit of a delay in the US release of this series. The good news is that we’re working to totally remaster the video for this show which means that the US video quality will actually be better than its R2 counterpart! So please be patient with us as we work to restore this wonderful show to look better than ever.

Current ETA for release is totally dependent on how long the complete restoration will take and at this time we do not have a projected completion date for that work.

New Manga Publisher "Blasts Off" In October

Go! Media Entertainment C.E.O. David Wise announced today the company's first initiative, Go! Comi, a publishing imprint dedicated to both importing manga from Japan and developing new international collaborations. Wise and the Go! team will draw upon extensive relationships with publishers and creators on both sides of the Pacific to collaborate on projects that will take manga beyond the bookshelf.

"In Japan, manga is the backbone of the entertainment industry, serving as inspiration for television, films and a huge array of merchandise," said Wise. "In the rush to put out more and more titles, American publishers are overlooking the potential that each title offers. We see a field of opportunity that we're in a unique position to cultivate." Wise is no stranger at bringing comics to other media, having developed the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for television and toys, helping to turn the property into a multi-billion dollar phenomenon. He's also is a longtime manga enthusiast, having traveled to Japan to meet Osamu Tezuka in 1980. He has subsequently been a consultant to artists and executives in the manga & anime industries.

Go! Comi will debut with a quartet of Japanese manga series in October. These include the much-anticipated CANTARELLA by You Higuri, the fan-favorite creator who is a guest of honor at this weekend's Anime Central convention, HER MAJESTY'S DOG by Mick Takeuchi, CROSSROAD by Mizuki Shioko and TENSHI JA NAI!! (I'M NO ANGEL!) by Takako Shigematsu. Each of these series is still running in Japan, making these among the most current offerings from a manga publisher to date. The books will retail at $9.99, follow the industry standard trim size of 5" x 7 3/8", and read right-to-left.

Supervising Go!'s manga production is Jake Forbes, former Senior Editor for TOKYOPOP, who oversaw the localization of the #1-selling series Fruits Basket and Chobits. "With so many choices on bookstore shelves, manga readers are becoming more discerning about which series they collect," said Forbes. "Our mission is to bring fans closer to the Japanese manga experience - by publishing the newest series, with the most accurate translations, and the direct involvement of the manga-ka themselves wherever possible."

In addition to the licensed books, Go! is forging into new frontiers with THE ALMOST LEGENDARY SHANNON, a collaboration between Go!'s Creative Director Audry Taylor and manga creator You Higuri (Cantarella, Seimaden) for both the Japanese and American markets. "Licensing is only the beginning of the story at Go!," Taylor said. "We have access to extremely broad talent pools both here and in Japan. We are actively creating properties for both markets. Our mandate for the long run is to expand the readership of manga so that more people than ever can enjoy this incredible art form." A veteran of the videogame industry, Taylor developed a love of manga as a child growing up in Japan.

The Go! team promises surprises and major announcements in the months to come, starting with Go! Comi's unique website (www.gocomi.com), which will launch on the 4th of July weekend to coincide with Anime Expo.

Go! Comi's initial releases:

HER MAJESTY'S DOG is the story of Kamori Amane, a girl with no luck in love but a keen sixth sense and the ability to communicate with spirits. Is it good luck or great misfortune that she ends up with a loyal "inugami" -- spirit dog -- devoted to protecting her from the dangers of the spirit world? Having a hot bishonen panting at your heels can be both a blessing and a burden! Occult action and romance collide in this adventurous new series. (8 volumes and ongoing)

TENSHI JA NAI!! (I'M NO ANGEL!) is a story of celebrity, temptation and secret lives. Hikaru just wants to live quietly and be left alone at her boarding school, but when her new roommate Izumi turns out to be a super-popular TV idol, Hikaru's life is turned upside-down! But there's more to Izumi than the idol lets on, and once Hikaru finds out her secret, she gets dragged into a world of intrigue and scandal! (5 volumes and ongoing)

In CANTARELLA, master storyteller You Higuri spins a dark fantasy of one of history's most enigmatic figures, Cesare Borgia, casting the bastard prince as a demon-possessed youth so powerful that even the Pope trembles before him; and so fragile that only the purity of love can save him from an agonizing doom. Higuri herself will be collaborating on Go! Comi's very first "Signature Edition" manga. (10 volumes and ongoing)

In CROSSROAD, 15-year-old Kaijitsu finds herself living in a home with no parents and two step-brothers she hasn't seen in years. Older brother Taro is as obnoxious as ever, but pudgy younger brother Natsu has grown into quite a bishonen! Is forbidden romance in the air for the estranged "sister" and "brother?" The lives of these star-crossed teenagers get even more complicated when their utterly irresponsible step-mom stops by just long enough to drop off an adorable new kid sister! (5 volumes and ongoing)

New Stars In Japan

Anime on DVD reports Banner of the Stars III, a new entry in the cultural sci-fi epic, will be released in Japan starting this August.

Convention Guests and Screenings

AnimeNEXT has announced that Akitaro Daichi and Reiko Yasuhara have accepted invitations to appear at the event on June 17-19.

Mr. Daichi earned his first success when he directed Fairy Princess Ren, followed by the popular Nurse Angel Ririka. Mr. Daichi made his way into the main-stream anime community with his direction of the hugely popular Kodomo no Omocha, also known as Kodocha or Child's Toy. This was followed by his direction of the Sugoiyo Masaru-san (Sexy Commando Masaru-san) TV series.

Mr. Daichi then tried his hand at both writing and directing with Jubei-Chan, followed by Carried by the Wind: Tsukikage Ran. Mr. Daichi's more recent projects to be released in the US include the critically acclaimed TV series Now and Then, Here and There, a story he both created and directed. Mr. Daichi's latest projects which he directed are Fruits Basket and Jubei-Chan 2.

Singer and Voice Actress Reiko Yasuhara is best known in Japan as one of the three members of the all female j-pop group Shoujo Tai. Ms. Yasuhara has also performed the theme song to the anime Now and Then, Here and There as a solo artist. As a voice actress Ms. Yasuhara played Abelia in Now and Then, Here and There, Tsukikage Ran in Carried by the Wind: Tsukikage Ran, Kyoko Honda and Saki Hanajima in Fruits Basket and Tsumura Mikage in Jubei-Chan 2.

AnimeNEXT is a fan run anime convention from June 17 to 19, 2005 in Secaucus, New Jersey, just minutes from midtown Manhattan.

Designer and illustrator Range Murata will attend Anime Expo 2005 to premiere (eng) Robot vol.1

Robot is an all-color manga compilation compiled and edited by the elite manga artist Range Murata, character designer for Studio Gonzo's Last Exile and Blue Submarine No. 6. Murata's hand-picked contributors come together in a mind blowing experiment of what happens when top manga artists work in the unusual medium of color.

Range Murata whose work is well known with "Comic Kairakuten" and "Robot" published by Wani magazine in Japan. He was spotlighted and became very famous when he created the character design of the "Gouketsuji ichizoku" series and "Groove on fight". Some of his most memorable work in America is original character design for the television series "Blue Submarine No. 6" and "Last Exile".

Central Park Media has announced thatGrave of the Fireflies will be screened at The Museum of Modern Art as part of an in-depth retrospective on the careers of two anime pioneers. The exhibition, titled "Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata: Masters of Animation", includes more than a dozen of the creators’ greatest works from the past thirty years, and runs from June 3-30.

Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata are celebrated for their unique approaches to feature-length animation. While Miyazaki’s films revolve around complex legends in fantastic settings, Takahata explores ordinary life in grim, unwavering detail.

"Grave of the Fireflies is renowned as a film classic that touches the human spirit in a way that few other films, either animated or live-action, have been able to do, and we are honored to assist MOMA with this important retrospective," says Shigeki Morii, Marketing Manager.

Grave of the Fireflies, written and directed by Isao Takahata, follows the plight of two orphaned children and their struggle to survive in the Japanese countryside during World War II. Through desperation, hunger and grief, these children’s lives are as heartbreakingly fragile as their spirit and love is inspiring.

Later this summer, Central Park Media will again assist MOMA in its "Animé!!" exhibition by providing the popular programs Revolutionary Girl Utena and Cat Soup. "Animé!!" runs from July 10 through September 12.

Digi Charat TV Series Release Dates

Synch-Point will be releasing the limited edition version of the manic comedy shorts collection Di Gi Charat - The Original TV Series on July 26th, and the standard edition of August 23rd.

Gantz Format Change

Anime on DVD points out that the latest Diamond Previews lists that the 7th volume of Gantz is priced at $29.98 and a disc+box edition is priced for $39.98. Rather than the two episodes per disc of the ealier volumes, four episodes will be included in this volume.

Steamboy DVD Scheduled

The DVD release of Steamboy has been scheduled for a July 26th released. A $26.96 standard version and $49.95 gift set will be available.

CPM Press Unveils CPM Digi-Press

Central Park Media has announced the launch of CPM Digi-Press™, a new online resource that gives fans free previews of CPM’s latest graphic novels. CPM Digi-Press™ will enable fans to flip through virtual pages, zoom in on tiny details, and recreate the experience of reading a graphic novel while sitting at their computer. CPM Digi-Press™ content can be shared with friends via e-mail, and fans can purchase a hard copy of the title directly from the website www.CPMPress.com.

The first three titles currently available represent a variety of genres: Yongbi the Invincible 1 is a comedic sword & sorcery fable, Couple 1 is a lowbrow romantic comedy, and The World of Narue 1 is a romantic sci-fi comedy (which spawned a successful anime series by the same name). A new chapter, averaging 20 pages, will be added to each virtual book every week. New titles, such as the critically acclaimed Hard Boiled Angel 1 and the highly anticipated Masca 1 will debut soon, so fans are urged to check the website frequently for new content. L’Arc~en~Ciel Live DVD To Be Released Anime on DVD reports Tofu Records will be releasing the DVD version of the stadium show done at Otakon 2004 of L'Arc~en~Ciel, a music group who has preformed several anime themes.

New Sailor Moon Book at WarriorsofLegend.com

Genvid L.L.C. has announced Warriors of Legend: Reflections on Japan in Sailor Moon, a look a Japanese society through the lense of Sailor Moon. The 148 page book, which includes 45 photos & map, retails for $12.99 and is available at www.WarriorsofLegend.com.

TOKYOPOP Anime Releases

TOKYOPOP announced that the 14th volume of street racing anime will bre released November 8th and the first volume of Pyschi Academy on September 13th.

Gundam: True Odyssey Movies

Gunota points to a series of video for the upcoming Gundam Playstation 2 game True Odysessey, which will be set an a new, original timeline where the franchise's titular robot armor are common place and mundane rather than advanced war machine. Two game explaination, and two promo vidoes can be see at:

In other Gundam game news, the massively multiplayer UniversalCentury.net Gundam Online was demoed at E3, and scheduled for release in Spring 2006.

Early June ADV Releases

June 7th

  • Gantz: Process of Elimination 5
  • DNAngel Darkside Of Love (5 of 7)
  • E’s Otherwise: Headspin (3 of 6)
  • Madlax: The Red Book (2 of 7)
  • Petite Princess Yucie Echoes From The Past (5 of 6)
  • Saiyuki Double Barrel Collection (3 of 6) 2 disc collection

Gantz
Notorious for its off-the-wall premise and over-the-top violence, the fifth volume of Gantz promises a bloodbath as a biker gang, a grandmother, and a small child enter the deadly game.

Directed by Ichiro Itano and produced by GONZO Digimation (Chrono Crusade, Full Metal Panic!), Gantz is based on the ultra-violent, totally twisted manga series by Hiroya Oku (HEN, Zero One). If anything, the anime series surpasses its source material for sheer spectacle - so much so that it had to be heavily edited for broadcast on Japanese television.

The violence erupts as the second game not only pits the resurrectees against aliens, but against each other as well! As the new group of players fight amongst themselves, a newer and deadlier alien menace is thrown against them. Against the sonic screams and ever increasing numbers of their new opponents, the enhanced power suits and weapons provided by the Gantz are no guarantee of survival... and for the unsuited Kurono the likelihood of survival is almost non-existent!

Madlax
Directed by Koichi Mashimo (Noir, .hack//sign, Sorcerer Hunters) and designed by the full Noir team of Satoshi Osawa, Minako Shiba, Satoko Miyachi and Kinji Teraoka, MADLAX was produced by animation powerhouses Bee Train (Noir, .hack//sign) and Victor Entertainment (Excel Saga, Ghost In the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, RahXephon).

The Gazth-Sonika Civil War - As the death toll mounts, so do questions about both the conflict’s purpose and its highly secretive facilitators. Even the ruling power’s Army Commander hired mercenary Madlax to carry out his own assassination in the hopes of putting an end to the madness. Meanwhile, the quest for answers continues. Before being murdered by his bizarrely entranced daughter, resistance operative Piederica Morey sent a young boy named Chris deep into Gazth-Sonika in order to find the truth - and turn the tide of the war.

Right Stuf August Releases

The Right Stuf International will be releasing Piano: The Melody Of A Young Girl's Heart Dvd 2: Confessions and Gravitation: Lyrics Of Love Ova Dvd on August 2nd

Piano: The Melody Of A Young Girl's Heart
From director Tatsuo Sato (DIRECTOR: COMIC PARTY / ASST DIRECTOR: CASTLE IN THE SKY), with character designs by Kosuke Fujishima (OH MY GODDESS! / SAKURA WARS) and art direction by Junichi Higashi (MY DAYS WITH MIDORI / AI YORI AOSHI: ENISHI TV)

Contains episodes 4-7.

Gravitation: Lyrics Of Love Ova
Based on the best-selling graphic novel series by Maki Murakami, the Gravitation anime has been Rated one of the best romantic anime TITLES of all time (Anime Insider, 2003). As an all new story of the America's favorite shonen-ai couple from 2004's smash hit Gravitation TV Anime Series, this OVA series is eagerly awaited by fans throughout the anime community.

Bad Luck's lead singer and lyricist, Shuichi Shindo, is a total wreck. With deadlines for the band's next album looming, the pressure is on, but the normally energetic Shuichi has become listless and fallen into a writing slump. It's all because Yuki - the great love of his life - has suddenly become cold and distant. Depressed and anxious, Shuichi doesn't want to think about lyrics - he just wants to know how to get Yuki to talk to him!

Now, thanks to Shuichi's big mouth bragging to the press about how talented he is, the band can't even hire someone else to write the lyrics for them. If they don't manage to break Shuichi out of his slump soon, it could mean the end of Bad Luck for good!

Gunbuster 2 Volume 3 Trailer

Anime News Network points out that Japanese website

for Gunbuster 2 has a trailer for the June 24th release of the 3rd volume of the direct to video OAV series. The trailers are available in low and high resolution.

The series is one of Gainax's 20th anniversary works, and a follow-up to their Evangelion precursor.

Protoculture Addicts E-Book Back-Issues

The Protoculture Addicts anime periodical will be making back issues downloadable as e-books for $3.95 eacg. Issues 71-78 are currently available here, but all issues are intended to be put into the format.

Speed Racer Appearing In Geico Ad

Speed Racer Enterprises has announced that Geico Insurance has produced a TV spot that features the classic racing anime character.In the ad, Speed"s girlfriend Trixie informs the racing Speed Racer from her helicopter that the bridge is out ahead! ... but, she has some good news ... Bandai Games Announces ".HACK//G.U."

Bandai Games Inc. today announced ".hack//G.U." for the PlayStation2. Following the success of the four-volume ".hack" series that sold over 1.7 million copies worldwide, the latest iteration will feature a new cast of characters and an original storyline. Developed by Cyber Connect 2, ".hack//G.U." will launch in Japan and North America in 2006.

CPM Pre-Priced Re-Releases

Central Park Media announced that its July 26th releases will include the re-release of some of its classic mainstream anime programs re-priced of only $9.95srp.

DNA2 (DNA Squared): Metamorphosis
From the creator of Video Girl Ai!
Junta has a problem: he's deathly allergic to girls! All this changes when a beautiful woman arrives from the future and transforms him into the super-suave Mega-Playboy. But the transformation is unstable, and if Junta can't unravel the time traveler's mystery, he (and the fate of the world) will never be the same!
Running time: 75 minutes
Genre: Science Fiction, Comedy

DNA2 (DNA Squared): Turbulence
episodes 4-6.
Running time: 75 minutes

DNA2 (DNA Squared): Mutation
episodes 7-9.
Running time: 75 minutes

DNA2 (DNA Squared): Crossfire
episodes 10-12.
Running time: 75 minutes

DNA2 (DNA Squared): Epiphany
episodes 13-15.
Running time: 75 minutes

DNA2 (DNA Squared): DVD Collection
Running time: 375 minutes
SRP: $49.95

Animated Classics of Japanese Literature: Botchan Parts 1&2/Student Days
Botchan: Parts 1 & 2 by Soseki Natsume: The new teacher Botchan has arrived, and he challenges students and peers alike in one hilarious situation after another!
Student Days by Kume Masao: Young Kenkichi is determined to enter a prestigious school. He sacrifices every waking hour to his studies, but at what cost?
Only available in Japanese with English subtitles.
Running time: 75 minutes
Genre: Drama, Comedy
SRP: $9.95

Animated Classics of Japanese Literature: The Harp of Burma Parts 1&2/Season of the Sun
The Harp of Burma: Parts 1 & 2 by Michio Takeyama: Near the end of World War II, a soldier is missing and presumed dead by his captured comrades. A mysterious monk may hold the key to his disappearance.
Season of the Sun by Ishihara Shintaro: A boxer and a beautiful woman share a tumultuous relationship in post WWII Japan. Will love guarantee them a happy life, or will pride tear them apart?
Only available in Japanese with English subtitles.
Running time: 75 minutes
Genre: Drama
SRP: $9.95

Animated Classics of Japanese Literature: The Izu Dancer/The Dancing Girl/A Ghost Story
The Izu Dancer by Kawabata Yasunari: A young student falls in love with a traveling dancer, but societal differences may tear them apart.
The Dancing Girl by Mori Ohgai: A Japanese man working in turn of the century Be

Readers Talkback
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  • June 1, 2005, 4:47 p.m. CST

    The FMA Manga pales in comparison to the series

    by Johnno

    But if you just have to read it, I suppose it's alright, but really, the anime kicks much more ass, eagerly awaiting the film.

  • June 1, 2005, 6:36 p.m. CST

    Alita

    by Man Juice

    last?

  • June 1, 2005, 8:52 p.m. CST

    Appleseed & Gatchaman

    by Duncan_Idaho72

    Good review for the Appleseed OVA. I love the look for the new appleseed but I really perfer the original OVA story to this one. I too felt that this one was a bit rushed and a bit confusing as well. Any fan of Masamune Shirow should check out this site for some of his more perverted works (still the most gifted pervert I have ever known): http://mshirow.free.fr/ Also for Gatchaman enthusiasts please check out Amano's World as he has some of his work from that ground breaking anime as well as some of his work from Final Fantasy and Vampire Hunter D: http://www.amanosworld.com/

  • June 2, 2005, 9:09 p.m. CST

    Sailor Moon Book!?

    by Crasher

    I am intrigued. Has anybody else heard about this?

  • June 3, 2005, 11:42 p.m. CST

    Buying Gatchaman DVD

    by Xwatcher

    I am ready to buy the Gatchaman DVD. Based on what I've read on the internet, still need some clarification: Which DVD(s) collection should I buy that uses the English language in some form, shows all 105 episodes UNCUT, and comes the closest to the FIRST ever original Gatchaman when it started in the early 70's? Does this exist? Grew up with G-force, and older now so looking for the gritty version. Thanks if anyone can help out.

  • June 4, 2005, 1:30 a.m. CST

    gatchaman dvd

    by The Killer-Goat

    The latest ADV releases starting June 16th are supposed to be the original Gatchaman episodes with all the violence and death and drama that the american versions dubbed or edited out. It will have a brand new dubbing cast, supposedly, and has Alex Ross painted covers. Each set has 10 episodes. http://www.chronicsite.com/gatchaman/latestmerch.html

  • June 4, 2005, 9:50 a.m. CST

    Thanks Killer Goat

    by Xwatcher

    My brother is 33 years old and told me Star Wars is similar to Battle of the Planets. Do you find this to be true? Who had the idea of a glowing blue sword first? There is a picture of Ken with a glowing blue sword. Was this picture drawn in the early 70's b4 star wars came out or after 1977 when Star wars first came out? New to Japanese anime... so your opinions would be cool.