Animation and Anime

Anime AICN - Hippie Robots and Macho Chefs

Published at: Oct. 3, 2006, 6:45 a.m. CST


Logo handmade by Bannister
Column by Scott Green


Be site to check out the Anime AICN - Serial Experiments Lain Contest The Second half of this week's post will be posted late 10.3.06

Manga Spotlight: Museum of Terror Volume 1 Tomie 1 by Junji Ito

Released by Dark Horse Manga

Junji Ito's Uzumaki proved to be an eye-opening read for many comics and manga fans. Even for those who had read horror comics, Umzumaki proved to be a fierce illustration of how comics could lend themselves to horror in ways that other media can't. Comics is THE progressional visual medium that can take the observer to a moment and leave them there. Hitting the shocking apex and lingering indefinitely at that instant such that the observer can stop and drink it in as long as they desire. Unlike movies, motion cannot mask the object of fear. The source must either be rendered clearly or artfully kept beyond the reader's vision. Uzumaki was Lovecraftian in that in labored in the hidden, malevolent rules of the universe. Except "Lovecraftian" also suggests indescribable, and Junji Ito's works specialize in capturing complex moments of shocking, visual terror. The illustrations are stomach - turning gruesome, but there's also a sense of irreverence and even humor. They are new and unexpected, but at the same time, they fit almost organically. This volumes collects the first half of Ito's "Tomie" works. These are early Ito, and in them Ito feels out the horror manga landscape with a crawling evolution of styles and themes. The collection does offer more than just a study of ito's development. He's able to put together pointedly irksome stories that get under your skin and plant offputting images into your imagination. It's mot that you're rooting for the victims demise, but that it is disturbing to see unfortunately familiar motivations leading to sickening scenarios. Tomie stories start story on a psychological, in which some impulse causes a person to run afoul of Tomie. The capriciously cruel and vengeful Tomie then needles the situation until people begins snapping. The stories capture an ugly, downward spiral that plays like a teenage girl sitting in for The Cat Came Back. They come to eventually work off the horror of Tomie's existence as a human flesh consuming being with an almost bacterial capacity for copying itself, but early on she's more a catalyst for self destruction. She entices males to pursue her and females to seethe in jealousy. From that standpoint, her existence becomes an affront the egos around her, after which, she is murdered. And she always comes back. Because each part of her body can re-grow a full copy, this can prove inconvenient if say, she's used as an organ donor. The stories that comprise this volume were written between 1987, when Ito was 24, and 1995. By the end, he was still three years away from Uzumaki, but through years captured in this volume, his mastery of the medium and his personal take on it had grown substantially. Thin forms, something he has kept, left the look of humans as a mentally and physically fragile creature to the characters throughout his work. We never seem to be a robust species in Ito's work. Whether destruction is ones own doing or from an outside force, that life will end in a messy fashion looks inevitable. Beyond that tenant, Ito's style changes radically. Patch lines are abandoned by the second Tomie story. Geometric forms, characterized by shapes in angles in his bodies, and positions of the bodies are phased out quickly. As the stories progress human oddities more from isolated, contained features to small, but notice hints. By the end of volume there were introducing the subtle tricks populating panels with distinct characters, all of which look convincingly capable of madness. The final story was created in 1995, and by the mid-90's he had refined fragility such that he was able to precisely direct the decomposition of composure. Two volumes of Tomie were previously released by ComicsOne. There are a number of improvements in DarkHorse's release such that if you already own the ComicsOne version, upgrading to the Dark Horse collection is worth the cost. Dark Horse put together the collection in its published order, where as ComicsOne moves the second story Tomie - Part 2, the basis for the Tomie: Replay movie, to the second volume. As a new Dark Horse manga release, the series is printed right to left (ComicsOne was left to right) and with original sound effect illustrations accompanied by translations. The contrast and sharpness is also right so that the manga meets quality expectations. The difference in some panels is amazing. Comparing the two translation is interesting, though not a clearly illuminating exercise. Dark Horse's still features some fully lines, such as "Egad! what a getup!", but there is an improved eloquence and clarity. from a narrative box "They put Tomie's head in a grocery bag and left, there shirts stained with blood" versus"With that they left, shirts stained crimson with blood and grocery bag in tow." The ComicsOne version read like it may have been too literally. That words were captured rather than the intent. There's rhythm that makes the characters less robot and ComicsOne panel 1: Tomie: ha ha ha ha panel 2: Tomie: "kill her?" panel 3: Tomie: Who told you that? Haha... That's funny. panel 4: Izumisawa: Yamazaki Did... before he tried to kill me. He's one of your minion isn't he? panel 5: Tomie: Cut it out. I don't even know who this Yamazaki is. panel 6: Tomie: He must've misunderstood what he heard. panel 7: Tomie: Or maybe... He liked you so much he wants to kill you. Dark Horse panel 1: Tomie: Tee Hee Hee Hee panel 2: Tomie: You think they want to kill you? panel 3: Tomie: Who told you that? Hee... That's silly. panel 4: Izumisawa: It wasYamazaki... Right before he tried it. I know he's your stooge panel 5: Tomie: For heaven's sake, "stooge?" Choice of words aside, I don't even know who Yazamaki is. panel 6: Tomie: He must have it all wrong. panel 7: Tomie: Or maybe... He liked you so much it's driving him mad.

Manga Spotlight: Satsuma Gishiden Volume 1 by Hiroshi Hirata

Released by Dark Horse Manga

Some of the superlative labels and Carl Horn quotes applied to Satsuma Gishiden positions the discussion in terms of a manliest competition. Out of context, this chest thumping does the work a disservice. There's no way to punch holes in Satsuma Gishiden's fortitude in depicting violence, but its manliness doesn't arrive in through the tradition vehicle of displaying dominance in tough scrapes. There's no sense to comparing the Kazuo Koike works, Berserk, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure or a host of fighting manga. Just in terms of visceral impact, the fight is going to end in a no decision. The distinction that Satsuma Gishiden has, and perhaps what makes it work as a gekiga rather than a seinen manga is its boiling male rage. It's not "I'll be the best" or "I will kill all my foes" so much as "I have to get up every morning and deal with this colossal, growing pile of shit". Through the social strata depicted, it's a grind of men who can't feed their families, can't sanely interact with other people, or can't manage their domain. Much of this volume is consists of a case being built for why the samurai of the Satsuma domain are cracking under the burden of their untenable circumstances. With the Tokugawa shogunate in a firm position of power, the martial orders of the previous generation built for an era of warring domains were no longer needed. With battles being waged with politics and financial dealings, trade and public works rather than the military became the chief targets for labor. Both upper and lower class samurai found their pride and military codes obstacles in adapting to the new way of life. Without pay, the lower class samurai needed to turn to trades to feed their families. As the manga explains the situation, with no money, hungry families and their honor in a constant state of effrontery, the weak men cracked, and the hard men became harder. At the same time, the higher class samurai were part of an institution set up to inflexibly maintain tradition, loyalty and order. In a new age where change was unavoidable and scored were being settled through the political and finical arenas, it became a tragically ill-matched social model to cling to. The volume opens with a "hiemontori", an almost unimaginably chaotic sport, in which mounted, armored samurai compete, hoping to extract and retrieve the liver of the live prisoner released onto the battlefield. A man in a loin cloth is released on horseback into the frenzy. Limbs fly. Guts are spilled. One man's detached lower extremities fly from the dragged body, into the chest of a pursuing samurai. When little remains of the body, the samurai dismount and the competition gets even more bestial. When the time comes for the fifth prisoner, the stone faced, scarred veteran takes the initiative, kicking a samurai off his mount, grabbing a spear and charging. He volts onto the pickets around the event, and addresses his attackers, railing against the hiemontori as a false outlet for the rages of the warriors, saying that it is unworthy of samurai. This primary protagonist does embody a set of genre tropes. The warrior from the hiemontori is an granite figure, able to silently endure torture. The secondary protagonist seems form from a less familiar mold. He is a young, passionate liberal samurai who is never the less able to demonstrate great resolve. Both are complex characters who appealing for their morality and strength, yet feed the manga's unromantic portrayal of samurai. These are men from a failed system. There is no mission or ideal supporting their determination. Even the anger at institutions and rigid social orders whose construction is antithetical to needs the age doesn't provide a set of answers or ethics. At first glance, Hirata's art looks like Goseki Kojima's in Lone Wolf and Cub and his other Koike illustration. Both feature dark inking for the form of their figures with a system of interior lines to capture the contours of faces and bodies. The host of darkly rendered, distinctive and human, but unknown faces, create a sort of an alone in a crowd effect. The difference is that while Kojima's work have an uniform, evenly chronicled tone, Hirata's is full of spin. The view isn't that of a detached observer. It is full of bold calligraphy captured proclamations, by the characters and in a few cases setting the context, a narrator. Dark Horse preserves these trumpeted exclamations in their original presentation accompanied by foot noted translation. Sound effect illustrations are similarly unsubtle. Design is given a degree of fluidity, both loosening the constraints, given characters more caricatured, distorted faces, or tightening the form, increasing the details to photorealistic levels. Unlike Koike and Kojima, Hirata isn't just relying on the characters to convey information. There little ambiguity to the depiction of Ogami Itto and his relationship with his world, but that situation is strictly colored by a precise depiction the Lone Wolf's reaction to his circumstances. Whether it is panels of symbolism laden political cartooning or a sequence of occupational tasks depicted with text book illustration style clarity, the depictions in Satsuma Gishiden are imposing commentary. Given that its a manga of globally gritted teeth and explosive frustrations the active hand in the depiction works appropriately

Manwha Spotlight: Banya: The Explosive Delivery Man Volume 1 By Kim Young-Oh

Released by Dark Horse Manwha

Banya is a quick read in a violent, cleanly rendered low-fantasy setting. If you've seen Sung-su Kim's 2001 swords swinging historical epic Musa the Warrior, the opening pages of Banya fantastically calls to Musa the Warrior meets Lord of the Rings: The Two Tower's battle of Helm's Deep. Despite the limb rending violence, there's a sense of irreverence to the clash of hordes, depicted with a level of detail reminiscent of Kentarou Miura (Berserk) or Takehiko Inoue (Vagabond). As armies of men and orc like beast men fight outside a citadel's towering walls, with men being bit, and weapons sinking into many combatants, Banya rushes in, only to smear himself with blood, dropping down to hold half a spear by either side of his head and play dead. With the backs of the nearest attackers turned, he rushes in again, vaults over the wall, knocking down an attacker on a siege ladder in his trajectory. He finds the defending general and reports the message from headquarters "The enemy's movements are suspicious. Gather your troops and be vigilant". After this demonstrative instance, the narrative jumps back before jumping forward in smaller increments, showing how Banya came to become a freelance messenger. Banya does get involved with various factions of armed men, but a key player in the action is the fauna of the world. The attention to realistic forms in the illustration and care in the staged encounters offer interesting naturalism in these dangerous animal. There behavior and ecological niches are laid out logically, so when a squad of desert dog toads stalks behind a traveler nearing, the feasibility and natural logic make the situations more compelling. The manwha is propelled by Kim Young-Oh's illustrations. An active world is created with detail in the design of ancillary characters or creatures and it breathes with live in the fearsome natural shapes of the creatures and sparks in the character's eyes. Action is handled well, frequently conveyed with large panels that offer bulk loads of information. The abundance of panels of this size contribute to the quick nature of the work. The work does, comparatively, close in the size of its panels for tighter more detailed choreography as well. Banya The Explosive Deliveryman isn't a work of big, novel ideas, but it does feature a survivor's wit, such as the chapter that opens with two lizards copulating on top of an animal skull that littering a sandy waste. The story is appealing in that is features quick thinking, physically able people trying to make some money via unconventional means and living the lives they choose. Delivery is a good vehicle gimmick for the action and rather than formula-bound shonen, it features characters who are ready to thrown down, carve a niche, with a live by your ideals and make sure you get paid attitude. It's a quick read that is sufficiently quirky, more than sufficiently fun

Manga Spotlight Kikaider02 | Code: Zero Two Story by Shotaro Ishinomori Art by MEIMU

Released by CMX

Kikaider 02 is a remake of Shotaro Ishinomori's Kikaider, a tokusatsu TV series inspired by Ishinomori's mentor Osamu Tezuka's character Astro Boy. Kikaider 01 followed the original TV series. The Kikaider 00 manga followed that. In 2001, the story was retold in the Android Kikaider anime TV series and OVA. Kikaider 02 tells the story again. In addition to retelling the story in an addition medium, it updates the style and content of the work. Jiro, who transforms into the android hero Kikaider is very much a creation of the early 70's. He's kind of the hippy robot. His human guise is a young man who travels Japan's road by motorcycle with a guitar strapped to his back. Unlike other robots in his story, he has been given the incomplete Gemini circuit that grants him a moral conscience, a duality visual depicted in that the left half of his body is unfinished and red, the right half is refined and blue. The structural difference in this telling of the story is that it is from the perspective of Mitsuko Komyoji, in this version a promising young roboticist who has been waiting for her father to return in the 10 years since he went missing following the death of her brother/his son. Believing that her brother was killed for his environmental activism, Mitsuko's father promises to build "mighty robot warriors" to complete his son's work. Unfortunately, the work is subverted by D.A.R.K's CEO Gil Helbart, who turns the robot creations against mankind, except for Jiro/Kikaider whose destructive impulses are kept in check by the Gemini circuit. To a large extent, Kikaider 02 is what might be expected from an early 2000's take on Kikaider. Environmental desperation and corporate malfeasance meet with post-Evangelion heavy religious allusions. And the Kikaider concept works well with these themes. Recreating a robot is always useful for Genesis call-backs, as well as references to Frankenstein and the story of the golem. The Gemini circuit offers an interesting twist. It is almost an inverse of original sin, the idea that a being an is created and caused from its inception to do good. On the other hand, Kikaider 02 puts a post-modern question to this concept, whether it is possible for a human to sufficiently divine "good" well enough to recreate it. Or, whether the mechanism being created is just able to cause the subject to conform to the goals of its creator. Up to this point, the manga has moved too quickly to explore the issues that it invokes beyond their introduction. This impression is enforced by MEIMU's work. Specific panels are stark and effective, but he cuts shifts the perspective from one panel to the next so rapidly that the manga seems disjoint. Consequently, a character will introduce a heavy concept, like use of a dead human brain in an android or an attention snaring panel will come along, such as human-formed Jiro on the ground, surrounded by a trio of titanically menacing mantis, beetle and centaur robots, but seldom is there a coherent stream of follow-ups. As a result, the reader has to be willing to do parsing work. These high spots will be enough to keep fans of the subject matter going, but more casual readers may find that work exhausts their patience. Kikaider 02 updates the look of the concept, aiming it at an older, less nostalgic audience. Kikaider himself still features a distinctive, bipolar look, but he and other characters abandon the simple, youthful look of earlier manga anime in favor of a tighter, sterner form. Robots features brain-like convulsions. Along these lines, the manga features a notable amount of non-sexual nudity, much of which is male. Though Kikaider 02 is a different take of the themes of Kikaider, ultimately, the series works best for robot fans who are at least somewhat familiar with Kikaider because for most readers, some topical disposition is needed when approaching the work. Because the series is from Mitsuko rather than Kikaider's perspective, the tone is more of agnostic confusion than personal existential angst. Rather than concerning itself with identity issues, it is more focused of trying to divine a moral compass in a system where all the potential models are compromised.

Manga Quick Cut Kuro Gane Volume 2 By Kei Toume

Released by Del Rey

Beyond the visual design of its protagonist, the second volume of Kuro Gane doesn't utilize that the concept that it has constructed is build on the tradition of the crippled wandering swordsman. The stories are more in line with the generic form of the genre than they are with Tezuka's Dororo or Samura's Blade of the Immortal. This feeds into the problem with the series. The charisma free lead doesn't have enough presence to carry short, straight forward stories where the circumstances, though gritty are thoroughly by the numbers. Kei Toume's art isn't able to carry the work as an action series, though the size and quantity of fight scenes suggest that the work was envisioned as one. When the swords are drawn, the sequences turn incomprehensible. Weapons look to be held at the most awkward angles. Characters look to be flinging their bodies at each-other. Overly tight views, and cuts to combatants' hands and feet destroy choreography and flow. Toume is a talented artist, and excels, of all things, at rendering fabrics. The ornate kimono's of the work are artful and do contribute to its context. Static shots are often able to convey plenty about the characters. But when dynamic motion is involved, coherent story telling falls away. The second half of the volume is comprised of the four part "Colors" story. Unlike other stories that the series had previously processed, it wasn't simple matter resolved by physical means, namely, resolved at the end of swords. That it operated under tosei/mercinary honor and concern crime family distinguished the events from samurai/ronin swordsman story. The contradictory web of desires among networks of characters playing roles in the events gave the work a drama that it largely lacked in other stories.

Manga Spotlight: Iron Wok Jan Volumes 1 -3 By Shinji Saijyo

Released by DrMaster

Iron Wok Jan isn't just a cooking manga, and it's not just a cooking competition manga. It's on of the most macho mangas work to have to be released in English. Yakitate!! Japan is certainly a shonen cooking manga, but Iron Wok Jan follows the tradition of the works of Buronson (Fist of the North Star) Tetsuya Saruwatari (Tough, Riki-Oh) and Keisuke Itagaki (Baki the Grappler). Originally in anthology Shonen Champion, whose cred in these matters was build with works including Baki, Baron Gong Battle, Worst and Go Nagai's Cutey Honey, testosterone surges through the veins of the series. The series opens with preparations underway at the prestigious Gobancho Chinese cuisine restaurant. It opens with some didactic conversation about the fundamentals of Chinese cuisine and with an intricately carved phoenix food sculpture. But it also opens with the owner of Gobancho, a hunched old man with crazy wall-eyes and crossing scars that intersect on his nose, and with the fierce, vigorous act of wok cooking. A successful evening is interrupted by the arrival of Jan Akiyama, who learned cooking under the violent tutelage of his legendary grandfather. Jan arrives like a martial artist looking to destroy a rival school. With fierce, almost banded eyes, he stares down staff. After receiving the fried rice he demands, he smells it, storms the kitchen, with a flourish pours the rice into the trash, rips of his leather jacket and begins cooking. Jan lives by a strict philosophy concerning cooking. That it's a competition in which one must prove their superiority over others. That's is not subject to common sense or flourishes, just experience and effort. When Jan says "I'll prove it by making a better, more flavorful intestine dish," he might as well be saying "you're already dead." The character isn't just competitive, he's an outright heel: aggressively tactless and unremorselessly ruthless. The manga flares with the charisma of this devil. It is gleeful in its depiction of the manic cooking fiend. Staging cooking as pro-wrestling, Jan is the black hat hero. The progression lends itself to rooting for Jan to stomp on his foes, even the sympathetic ones. Jan is given character history justifications, and there is a convincing vulnerable side, but the series' best entertainment comes in seeing the demon applying Conan The Barbarian philosophy to cooking competitions. This said, a chapter opening illustration with a glowering Jan wearing a sweatshirt reading "Smith College" (in English), occurring several pages after he snared and hand-killed several quails, might be the most amusing image in manga. On the cooking side, if the manga is blowing smoke, it is doing it very convincingly. Progress, strategy and details are all captured in such as way that the principles and science of cooking seem to be depicted. That it backs up that look to be veracity with actual recipes apparently to boost the claim. Between the details Jan's intensity, and a sense that he's working and innovating with the complexity of a real endeavor, it's very easily to get caught not only in his desire, but in the act of cooking itself.

Kaiju to Battel In Boston October 20th

Man-in-suit giant monster film meets pro-wrestling Kaiju Big Battel will be celebrating its second season on G4 TV’s Action Blast with Shpadoinkel Mania XVIII, an event that will see the organizations return to Boston's Avalon for the first time in over two years. Taking place on October 20th, Shpadoinkel Mania XVIII promises to be " the biggest Shpadoinkel Mania ever". The event will feature thirty-three blocks of crushable cityscape, 2 Kaiju Jumbotrons, the fan favorite Danger Zone (a Double-Dare-inspired audience participation area), and over thirty Kaiju fighters including favorites, Dr. Cube, Kung-Fu Chicken Noodle, Pedro Plantain, Powa Ranguru and the evil Silver Potato. Japanese horror-core will band Gelatine will be opening the event to set the mood for the "Halloweenish Big Battel". Tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster.comand all Ticketmaster locations for $15.25 Schedule of events for Kaiju Big Battel: Shpadoinkel Mania XVIII Pre-fight live music by Gelatine Match 1) Space Invader: Tad Bradley Hawaiian Paddler Vs Giii the Space Pirate Match 2) Tag Team Championship: Apes of Wrath VS Sea Amigos Match 3) Amazon Street Fight: Pedro Plantain VS Silver Potato Match 4) Mystery Match: ? VS ? Main Event) Kaiju Championship: Soup VS Opponent of his Choice! Visit kaiju.com for more info and full descriptions of the match ups. For impressions of Gelatine from April's Kaiju Rally Party last April, see here For impression of Kaiju's event at Anime Boston, see here Kaiju Big Battel will be returning to the studios this December to record a second season of Action Blast, an hour long morning show of cartoons hosted by Kaiju which airs seven days a week on G4 TV from 8 to 9AM.

Founder of Comiket Passes Away

Yoshihiro Yonezawa, critic, novelist and found of the major doujinshi event Comiket died of lung cancer. Mainichi Daily News's article is online here

Dark Horse Licenses MPD Psycho

Dark Horse Manga announced at Anime Weekend Atlanta that the publisher had licensed the right to the manga version of MPD Psycho Eiji Otsuka and drawn by Shou Tajima. The manga was notably adapted into a live action TV series by Takashi Miike. The manga leverages shocking characters and vissuals in its depection of detective with multiple personality disorder tracking a profoundly disturbed killer

New ADV Licenses

ADV Films announced they have licensed UFO Ultramaiden Valkyrie seasons 3 and 4, the Moeyo Ken TV series and Coyote Ragtime. Moeyo Ken is a goofy anachronistic comedy featuring the daughters of prominent Shingengumi samurai law enforcement officers. The series was noteworthy for adapting a game that featured designs by Inu-Yasha creator Rumiko Takashi. ADV previously released the Moeyo Ken OVA. Coyote Ragtime is a space adventurer series debatedly compared to Cowboy Bebop and a bit more over-the-top.

FUNimation Plans Shoujo Anime

FUNimation has announced that they have licensed the 25 episode anime adaptation of popular shoujo drama Peach Girl. According to ICV2, FUNimation plans on releasing the first of six Peach Girl DVD, which will include 5 episodes, on February 20th in both a Regular Edition (MSRP $29.98) and a Starter Set (MSRP $39.98). The series follows an athletic girl whose relationships are complicated by a supposed friend who demonizes the protagonist behind her back.

New CLAMP Manga

MangaNews reports CLAMP will be launching the series Kobato, a sequel to Kobato (ka) starting in the November issue of the Monthly Sunday GX anthology.

Subtitled Paprika Trailer

A subtitled trailer for Satoshi Kon's sci-fi work Paprika can be seen streaming here Anime News Network has a review of the film here

Second Ultraman Set Date

Twitch points out that the second set of the original Ultrman TV series will be released on November 7th. The three disc set will feature both Japanese and English audio tracks.

Game News

Street racing manga Wangan Midnight is being adapted for the Playstation 3 and PSP for release second quarter 2007. Naruto for the XBox 360 can be seen here Crayon ShinChan is being adapted into a game for Nintendo Wii. Screenshots can be seen here The Captain Tsubasa adaptation of the internationally popular soccer anime can be seen According to The Magic Box, Bleach Wii: Shiraha Kirameku Rinbukyoku will be release in Japan on December 14, 2006. Gamespot looks at Mobile Suit Gundam: Crossfire here Anime News Service points out that space opera maestro Leiji Matsumoto appeared at Tokyo Game Show to promote a Galaxy Railways Story cellular phone game A trailer for Gundam: Target in Sight for the Playstation 3 is online here

New Advent Children Version

Ikimashou.net reports Square Enix announced at the Toyko Game Sgiw that they will be releasing an extended version of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children in Japan. Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete is planned for Blu-Ray release with a currently unquantified amount of new footage.

Solty Rei Premiere Schedule

FUNimation will be releasing the first volume of noir sci-fi Solty Rei on January 23th, 2007.

New Japanese Collection of CLAMP's X

Anime on DVD forum goers point out that the uncollected chapters for CLAMP's apocalyptic epic X will be released in the upcoming CLAMP Newtype (PLATINUM) special issue of the Japanese version Newtype.

English Paradise Kiss Site Opens

Geneon has opened an English site for their release of fashion drama Paradise Kiss here. A preview of the anime can be read here

Interviews

MangaBlog points out that Japan Times offers an interview with Yoshihiro Tatsumi (The Push Man) here. Newsarama interviews manga guru's CB Cebulski concerning his return to Marvel h Newsarama also talks to Colleen Doran about her book Girl to Grrrl Manga: How to Draw the Hottest Shoujo Manga here David Welsh interviews David Wise, the CEO of Go!Comi here Love Manga talks to Simon Jones of ero-manga Icarus Publishing here

Upcoming Dark Horse Manga Previews

From MangaCast Who Fighter with Heart of Darkness Banya: The Explosive Delivery Man Satsuma Gishiden Ohikkoshi

ADV Box Set Details

ADV will be releasing a collection the Ruruoni Kenshin/Samurai X Motion Picture and the original and directors cuts of the Trust & Betrayal and Reflection OAVs on November 21st for $99.98
Synopsis: Rurouni Kenshin was the premier assassin of the Ishin Shishi during the Meiji Restoration in Japan. Now discover the driving forces behind the life of the man known as the Hitokiri Battosai, the Man-Slayer. In Trust & Betrayal, uncover the tragic beginnings, the twists and turns of an unfeeling destiny that led a peaceful boy to become the most feared killer during one of the bloodiest eras of Japan’s history. In Samurai X: The Motion Picture Kenshin once again takes up his blade to protect the Meiji. The war against tyranny ended years ago, but demons from the assassin’s past have returned for revenge. When death challenges him to a final duel, the only thing he can do is draw his sword and fight to the death. Then, many years later, the past meets the present in Reflection as Kenshin remembers the moments that filled his life with pain, blood and love.
ADV Films announced that Elfen Lied: The Diclonius Report will be released in a collected packaged on November 28th for $49.98 DVD. Synopsis: A secret research facility has been doing “experiments” on mutants called diclonius. These mutants have extremely powerful, invisible arms that can literally rip people in half. As a result of these torturous experiments, they are extremely violent and will kill without warning. One of the more powerful ones, Lucy, has escaped the facility. If she gets out into the general population, it will be a killing spree like no one has ever seen before. The scarier thought is that if she reproduces, it could mean the end of humanity as we know it today. They need to do whatever they can the capture, or if need be, exterminate her. But there’s a twist... during her escape, Lucy sustained a head injury causing an alter personality to surface. This turns her into a child-like, innocent, clumsy girl who can’t say anything except “Nyu”. Between the two personalities and new found friends, Lucy must discover the human side of her self and allow herself to be loved. With the military and a rogue assassin consistently on her tail, she must choose to kill or to be killed.

Media Blasters Sets Date for Uncut Tekkaman

Media Blasters, who has already released two collections of the English "Teknoman" localization, has set a December 19th release date for the uncut/Japanese audio collection of the Tekkaman Blade version of the sci-fi/super hero anime.

ADV Launches Download Service

ADV Films has announced the launch of the ADV Universe™ Digital Download Store. ADV Universe opens to the public with almost 1,000 minutes of anime available for download-to-own. As ADV Films has the largest English-language library in the world, the amount of shows available will constitute a significant portion of the anime available in the U.S. The site will have a release schedule as equally aggressive as the DVD releases. In some cases, episodes will be available for download before the U.S. DVD release date. To promote the new store, the first episode of the highly-anticipated new show GUYVER is FREE for downloading to anyone who registers now (free registration) as a member of ADV Universe. The promotion is available for a very limited time only and subject to system requirement compatibilities. The Guyver promotion is especially enticing as the DVD does not hit the retail stores until November 14th. New registrants simply click on the Guyver Promotion bar at the top of the homepage at www.advuniverse.com. The titles available this week include brand new anime shows which have just released to DVD (Comic Party Revolution TV, Jinki: Extend), fan favorites (Godannar, Gilgamesh), hard-to-find shows (Princess Tutu, Magical Play), movies (Lady Death, Parasite Dolls) and many more. The pricing runs around $4.99 for most half-hour episodes and $19.98 for most movies. The store will also include free content (trailers, screensavers, exclusive clips and downloadable art).

Otaku Hunting in Akihabara

Mainichi Daily reports eight youths were arrested for "otaku hunting" in the geek mecha of Tokyo's Akihabara district. The teen muggers targeted "Akiba-kei," or geeks who like the otaku culture found widely in retail outlets throughout Akihabara."Otaku are weak and they've got money, so we went after them," one of the arrested youths told the police.

Genshiken Sequel Happening, Sort Of

Heisei Democracy reports the sequel to the anime incarnation of geek comedy/drama Genshiken will be happening, but as extra material for the Kujibiki Unbalance DVD release. Kujibiki Unbalance is an anime parody that was formerly the fictional work watch by the anime/manga club members in Genshiken. Genshiken had previously been adapted into a 13 episode TV series, and rumors of a second season turned into the materialized Kujibiki Unbalance, scheduled to air on Japanese TV in October. A Genshiken is being animated to be packaged with the upcoming Kujibiki Unbalance DVD set. Speaking on Genshiken, yike!,n a Ohno jiggling figure.

Japan Media Arts Anime Selections

Gunota reports that The Japan Media Arts Festival's 10th anniversary poll received 12,840 for its animation category. 1) Neon Genesis Evangelion 2) Nausicaä Of The Valley Of The Wind 3) Laputa: Castle In The Sky 4) Mobile Suit Gundam 5) Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro 6) Mushishi 7) Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex 8) My Neighbor Totoro 9) Fullmetal Alchemist 10) Ghost In The Shell (1995) 11) Dragonball series 12) Princess Mononoke 13) Akira 14) Spirited Away 15) Doraemon 16) Fullmetal Alchemist: Conqueror of Shambala 17) Porco Rosso 18) Legend Of Galactic Heroes 19) Crayon Shin-chan: The Adult Empire Strikes Back 20) Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack 21) Card Captor Sakura 22) The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya 22) Kamichu! 24) Mobile Police Patlabor 2: The Movie 25) Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam 26) Voices Of A Distant Star 27) Mobile Police Patlabor 28) Galaxy Express 999 29) Nadia: The Secret Of Blue Water 30) Manga Nippon Mukashi Banashi 31) Crayon Shin-chan: The Battle Of The Warring States 32) Grave Of The Fireflies 33) Future Boy Conan 34) Howl's Moving Castle 35) Space Cruiser Yamato series 36) The Wings Of Honneamise 37) Slam Dunk 38) Sailor Moon series 39) Mobile Suit Gundam SEED 39) Keroro Gunsou 41) Top Wo Nerae! 42) Doraemon theatrical series 43) Yuusha series 44) Cowboy Bebop 45) Samurai 7 46) Martian Successor Nadesico 47) Heidi - A Girl Of The Alps 48) Urusei Yatsura 49) Tetsuwan Atom 50) Lupin III first TV series The ranking members of the arts and entertainment community include 1) Nausicaä Of The Valley Of The Wind 2) Tetsuwan Atom 3) Akira 4) Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro 4) Manga Nippon Mukashi Banashi 6) Neon Genesis Evangelion 7) Mobile Suit Gundam 8) Sazae-san 8) Galaxy Express 999 8) Doraemon 8) My Neighbor Totoro 8) Mt. Head
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