Animation and Anime

AICN Anime-Great Seasonal Indie Animation, Gunbuster, Death Note, and Tokyo Majin

Published at: Nov. 30, 2007, 5:57 a.m. CST by scottgreen

Logo handmade by Bannister Column by Scott Green

Before getting into anime, the labors of For Tax Reasons have produced IM IN UR MANGER KILLING UR SAVIOR Check out ForTaxReasons.com for the Quicktime version. Also, if you haven't read it, Anime News Network founder Justin Sevakis' Open Letter to the Industry is provoking plenty of reactions. Anything I'd add is on a periphery level, regarding promoting and covering anime. Maybe I'll write something later, but it's probably not too interesting from a consumer perspective.

Anime Spotlight: Death Notes Volume 1 Released by VIZ Media

Madhouse delivers exactly what could be hoped for in a Death Note anime. For those who have not read the manga, the anime adaptation's taut suspense quickly establishes why Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata's lethal chess match became an international hit. For those who were already familiar, Black Lagoon, Galaxy Angel, and Gungrave's contributing storyboarder/unit director Tetsuro Araki has stepped up to the helm to put these characters into motion with an intensity that is sure to thrill manga readers. There's a broad target painted on Death Note. Other than a work tied to a ubiquitous brand (Pokemon, Yu Gi Oh, Dragon Ball), Death Note has achieved just about the zenith of North American manga popularity. That invites a certain degree of backlash. Beyond the success, its nihilistic approach to a central wish fulfillment/power fantasy and mass murderer deserves at least an ambivalent response. At the same time, the attraction is unignorable. There's a dangerous charisma and outward rationale to the protagonist that sets him apart from predatory serial killers: more Stalin than Chigurh. And more than anything, the work feels smart. Even if you are vicariously following the gamesmanship of onscreen geniuses, the nature of the conflict still elevates Death Note. In a field were contests are settled by physical toughness or personal integrity, a match of intelligence, both the IQ sense and the strategic knowledge sense, is an alluring prospect for a geek/genre fan. The titular Death Note is a note pad of a shinigami (death god, comparable to the notion of a grim reaper), which allows its owner to dictate the time and cause of death for the victim whose name is inscribed on one of its pages. This is a very rule based process, starting with the clause that if no cause is specified within 40 seconds, the victim will die of a heart attack, and getting more complex from there. Bored by the listlessness of his people, the shinigami Ryuk decides to amuse himself by dropping a Death Note into the human world. There, it is picked up by ace student Light Yagami. To Ryuk's amusement, Light proves unphased by the power to kill, the revelation that shinigami exist, or that using the Death Note ensures that a human will neither travel to heaven or hell upon death. After using the book to kill, the only repercussion incurred is that the user's name will be written in the book by its original shinigami owner upon the user's death. When it comes to shock, Light is revealed to have iron fortitude. After the ability to kill on a whim is dropped into his lap, he proves able to compose himself and push forward with his agenda. The certainty with which he embraces that power makes Light an intriguing character. Rather than following an every-person teenager or someone who is troubled in a conventional genre sense, Light is one of those perfect people that you occasionally find, who are universally well liked despite their gifts. His test scores place him at the top of the national charts, and he's in no way socially awkward. He has the respect of his family, peers and teachers. As such, he has the run of his domain, and consequently, before receiving the Death Note, he's already accustomed to power and control. With that well engrained arrogance and unchecked idealism, Light has no problem filling pages of the Death Note with the names of criminals discovered through combing the internet. There are certain conceits that Death Note rests on to move the conflict along. In order to follow Death Note, you need to accept that, given a pattern of events, smart people can deduce an insightful conclusion and geniuses can pin point a precise cause. It's beyond Sherlock's "eliminate the impossible, and whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth," because, by any conventional understanding of the world, the MO of killing via Death Note is certainly impossible. First, the international police piece together that someone is responsible for the deaths of various imprisoned criminals around the world. The media furthers this by glomming onto the notion of a mysterious Kira ("killer"). Light might be a teenager who has to study for exams and help his sister with her homework, but he sees these reactions as the beginning of his ascent to godhood and commencement of a new global order. Even without a public embrace of Kira's actions, Light believes that the populous that is unwilling to buck social considerations and endorse him publicly privately thrills at his system of justice. Through these early episodes, Light's counter-measures against the police tasked with investigating the Kira case demonstrate his ingenuity and his unshakable conviction. Never a traditionally sympathetic protagonist, Light quickly establishes himself as an electric antihero, kindof a Highsmith protagonist, raised as a model Japanese student. By virtue of the fact that the narrative is linked to his perspective, Death Note projects his excitement as he jaunts over moral divides. You can judge Light. You can judge the people who endorse his behavior. But, Death Note effectively pushes you to side with him in the chase. Though Light remains troubled by operatives from various policing organizations, his archenemy (at this point at least, to following Chuck Klosterman's definition, this might evolve into a nemesis) arrives in the form of the mysterious super case-cracker "L". The volume ends with L still a shadowy figure, hunched over a Mac tower in a dark, bare room, but, unlike seasoned cops or daring young agents, L is the first to surprise Light and knock him back on his heels - a feat that even Ryuk hasn't accomplished. Even if Death Note conjures insight and calls it genius, it evokes the feeling of timeless strategy games in the binary nature of its conflict. Light and L's conflicting views of justice don't feel as relevant as their position as two kings on a chess board. With both sides demonstrating some willingness to sacrifice pawns, there is now evidence that the winner will be decided by position on a moral high ground. Instead, the mind game calls for attentive viewing. The winner is bound to be the party that reveals the right information, hides the right information and lays the right trap. Madhouse has previously done outstanding work animating manga adaptations, whether its by CLAMP (Chobits, Card Captor Sakura, X), Naoki Urasawa (Monster), Ai Yazawa (Nana) or Rei Hiroe (Black Lagoon). Death Note is no different, and the studio succeeds in establishing an experience that is faithful to the popular and particular manga. There is little in Death Note that requires the flexibility of anime. Ryuk, and beyond him, quick visions of the shinigami world are certainly within the realm of possibility for live action. With two movies and an L spin-off, that possibility is certainly not a revelation. Yet, anime and manga have long been conjoined media. Araki demonstrates a fondness for split screens to the extent that they become intrusive. When the effect is slowly brought into view, with one partition after another being filled, the depiction becomes more apparent than the depicted. But, that problem is the exception. All of the elements, from character design to music generally complement each other to establish a credibly dramatic, animated version of Death Note. Given that action is presented as a byproduct of plotting and that a glare is often more significant than a gun being drawn, Death Note relies on talking and performance. A dark palette and sharp designs are the perfect foundation for the series. Mamoru Miyano (Kiba of Wolf's Rain) as Light and Nakamura Shido (winner of the Best Newcomer award at the 2003 Japanese Academy Awards for Dragon in the live action Ping Pong) as Ryuk have the right confidence and forceful presence. There hasn't been too much Light yet, and his voice has generally been distorted, but one has to expect something interesting from veteran Kappei Yamaguchi (Ranma of Ranma 1/2, Inuyasha of Inu Yasha, Daisaku Kusama of Giant Robot, Usopp of One Piece).

Anime Spotlight: Gunbuster Vs Diebuster Aim For The Top! The Gattai! Movie Released By Bandai Visual Usa Inc. Available through dot-anime.us/

Hideaki Anno's seminal, 1988 six episode OVA (original video animation, released direct to video), Aim for the Top! Gunbuster highlights what was special about the OVA format. It's animators at Gainax were anime creators who grew up as anime fans. Long before Evangelion, Anno experimentally inspected the psyche of a mecha pilot with devastating effect. Told through Forever War time dilation, it situated an eager young girl in the middle of a pitched battle while, as she warps between stars, humanity spends decades locked in fear of extinction, developing ever more drastic weapons and plans. As battle fleets, mecha and space monsters overload the screen and emotions are brought to a boil, Anno and Gainax demonstrate that their passions for sci-fi and anime, and demonstrate that they are not just stacking a new entry onto the tall library of genre works.
Kazuya Tsurumaki brought FLCL's manic expressiveness to 2004's six episode follow-up Aim for the Top 2! Diebuster. As the script was paying tribute to Gunbuster, Yoshiyuki Sadamoto's pop cartoonish design and Yoshitsune Izuna's totem-graffiti looking mecha set an interesting contrast to the classic look that Haruhiko Mikimoto and Kazutaka Miyatake employed in the prior anime classic. At it's most exciting, Diebuster demonstrated a tremendous sense of scale, tossing planets with a silver age comics headiness. Yet as energetic, well designed and well animated as Diebuster is, echoing the original a decade and a half later, it still feels like it operated from a settled form. It's the A Bigger Bang to Gunbuster's Beggars Banquet-maybe, arguably a contender for album of the year, but not in the running for the medium's best ever, or even best work by the artist.
For anyone with vague interest in mecha anime or sci-fi in general, Gunbuster in its OVA form is a must see. Those coming to Gunbuster for the first time should note that the Gattai compilation movies are not equivalent to a novel that has been condensed for its movie adaptation. These movies remain arranged pieces of the originals, set up in such a way as to capture the spirit of the earlier works. They aren't scripted to be a first time engagement, and as such, they have tertiary value to the Gunbuster experience. Gunbuster deserves a prominent position in the anime canon. Diebuster is a treat for fans of Gunbuster who still enjoy the recent aesthetic direction of anime. The Gattai movies are a convenient short cut to the experience for Gunbuster/Diebuster fans. Say the Good, the Bad and the Ugly is your favorite movie. You've seen it enough times that its structure is imprinted into your memory. If you could still see it in it's original form, would you want to have the option of revisiting it through an abridged version? Does the prospect of being able to sit down and watch the majority of the high spots with half the run length sound appealing? For many enthusiasts, the answer is likely to be "yes and no." As time crunched and media saturated as most fans are, the option to get the memorable bits with the loss of texture and development warrants some ambivalence.
Originally, Gunbuster vs. Diebuster: Aim for the Top Gattai Movie offered Japanese fans a chance to see both films on the movie screen. Each series was condensed into a 90 minute feature, with some new footage, mostly to adjust transitions. As such, the movie fits well into anime's tradition of feature compilations. However, unlike the Macross Plus movie or the Universal Century Gundam compilations movies based on the initial Mobile Suit Gundam and Zeta Gundam, Gunbuster vs. Diebuster: Aim for the Top Gattai Movie does not seem to be shaped by an ambition to update, rework, or even completely retell the original stories. There's more than adiquit motivation to justify a faithful retelling of the series, but it would have been intriguing to see a more creative edit of the pair. While the themes of "hard work and guts" and sorority are still projected, the pieces are not arranged in such a way as to provide any new commentary through the editing. The landscaping effort is direct: map the emotional and visual peaks, and then crop out the low lands in between. At most, juxtaposing Gunbuster with Diebuster highlights and perhaps deepens the link between the two. Seeing it in the immediate wake of Gunbuster, Diebuster takes the shape of a supplementary tribute to its influential forbearer. Shaped by this selection, the movies are not an appropriate first exposure to Gunbuster/Diebuster. It is possible to follow the plot for the features. In both cases, the arc is present. All of the key points are raised. An attentive viewer can fill in the gaps, but, the abridged editing is not done with that newcomer in mind. A lot of the speculative sci-fi, especially as it pertains to explaining each story's climax is left in. But, introductions aren't. It's not just that tertiary character arcs are removed. It's that supporting characters are left in, and still act on key scenes without these characters ever being introduced. If you hadn't seen the OVA's, the fiery Lunar Russian named Jung Freud would come across as a presumptuous bit player. She's in the background early on, never even properly named, but without explanation, she's still slapping the faces of the leads in pivotal sequences. Similarly, in Diebuster, the character Casio really doesn't appear in person until the climax of his personal involvement Of the two, Diebuster feels less altered by the transition to three act feature. It's an understatement to say that Gunbuster's evolution from sports parody to a fluctuating mix of hard-ish sci-fi and titanic giant robot mythology is unusual, but when it's simplified, the absence of the missing pieces is felt. Gunbuster leaves its mark thanks to scenes like a giant robot preparing to get rammed by an even more giant space-mollusk-ameba. Even if scenes of girls in gym uniforms piloting boxy robots through callisthenic routines or its heroine demonstrating how easily she could be frightened by unlighted, empty rooms warrant a "that's cute" affection at best, Gunbuster was written with them. Without them, the protagonist's advancement seems a function of contrivance rather than hard-earned development.
While Diebuster is missing the introduction of significant cast members, most of the OVA's episodic diversions are removed without significantly lessening its complete effect. Gunbuster was one conflict, told with a fluid, maturing perspective. While Diebuster's plot was more circuitous and indirect, the tone and model being employed was more consistent. When its arc was tightened, missing pieces were still recognizably absent, but the gaps has less of a jarring effect of the narative. Additionally, Diebuster was given to introducing elements that it never really had the space to develop properly. It was ambitious in what ideas it brought in, often without completing the statement or even the question being raised. In that respect, the movie edit adds to the central statement by subtracting the sometimes intriguing periphery noise. There's plenty for a geek to love in Gunbuster, and for those already in the sway of Gainax's work, Gattai is the kind of collector's package that is nice to have. Budget permitting, it's an attractive garnish on a collection.
images (c) BANDAI, VICTOR, GAINAX All Rights Reserved. (c) 2003 GAINAX / TOP 2 PROJECT All Rights Reserved.

Anime Spotlight: Tokyo Majin Volume 1 Released by ADV Films

When Tokyo Majin is good, it's bat-guano crazy: students jumping from four story windows to fight gangsters who spit nails at each other in order to stud their baseball bats as prep work for a brawl; Chinese gangsters versus zombies that are animated by spider-webs. When it's bad, it's painfully overwrought: emo-rockers in the throws of tragedy "I changed the song so you could find friends who would make you happy..." "that song was just for us..." Five episodes into the fourteen episodes first season, the anime has oscillated in both directions. Shinji Ishihira (director of the Ichi the Killer prequel anime) has produced blistering action, in which, between the fast cuts, there is actually some impressive fight choreography happening. And, he has also allowed bad drama to overwhelm the action. Written by Toshizo Nemoto, whose credits include a few episodes of AD Police and some pornographic anime, the people and the material involved are not prepared to conceptually or philosophically elevate the familiar plot. Even if the "you must work together!" lectures are a bit repetitive, a sense of the heroes spiritually preparing themselves is fine. That feeds into a sense of righteous anger with which a series like this can work well. When the anime tries to turn on the theatrics, it founders out of its element. Fast, out of nowhere action, like mid-classroom fights in an which attacker rips through a chalkboard to get at his foe fuelTokyo Majin. While that sugar rush continues, it's perfectly diverting. When it gets too somber, it doesn't take long to wear out its welcome. Tokyo Majin starts in the throws of an "and then..." sputter. While it isn't the most sophisticated narrative technique, the bumpy ride does suck you into the right mindset for what's to come. Open shots depict a crying baby watching a rural (and pre-modern) looking village burning down. His eyes focus before a black sphere begins erupting Hermetic symbols. The anime then cuts to modern Tokyo "17 years later", where a host of mysterious and or dark deeds are being done: an old man drags a cart out of the thick mist; a young violinist hurries through the streets; zombies begin a shambling rampage; a gang arms themselves; a string of seemingly random, seemingly not-so-supernatural assaults take place, including shootings, stomping, teenage girls bludgeoning an unseen victim with pipes; hard boiled cops take note and, for some reason, a mysterious teenager in a hoodie bites down on an acorn. This mass of what looks like non-sequitur cuts is entirely inefficient storytelling, but Tokyo Majin is great for it. The opening act, and what is to follow makes only marginally more sense if you go back and rewatch the episode after completing the volume. Yet, the nature of the conflict can be reduced to something instantly comprehendible. A villainous pair consisting of a silver haired guy and a young, blond girl, both of whom dress flamboyantly in the Final Fantasy/Tetsuya Nomura tradition, are spawning various supernatural beings to plague Tokyo. To stop them, a fractious alliance of six teenagers is formed: mysterious transfer student/martial artist Tatsuma Hiyu, wooden sword wielding trouble maker Kyouichi Horaiji, student council president/social "princess" Aoi Misato, archery-kyudo club captain Komaki Sakurai (who has a thing for Aoi), wrestling club captain Yuuya Daigo (because Tokyo Majin is what it is, wrestling is of the Steve Austin, not the Dan Gable variety, and he has a thing for Sakurai), and ninja/antique dealer Hisui Kisaragi. There is no reason to believe that Tokyo Majin is equiped to deliver compelling character drama. On-off switch situations are fine: characters who go from boundless energy to immobile depression or roulette antagonism between heroes works as flashpoint for briskly propelling the momentum forward. When the anime wants more than a twitch reaction, Tokyo Majin is putting too much stock in its cartoonish subjects. If someone looks like Billy Kane from King of Fighters, but he can shoot lightening is fighting your mortal frienemy is a sullen guitarist kid who controls killers crows before turning into a giant bird, then one of the parties should go out in a blaze of glory. Tortured melodrama is not a credible way of dealing with those parties. The ideal output for Tokyo Majin is to have eccentric, pissed-off heroes versus disgusting monsters... a legitimately disconcerting boogeyman shows up and after a bit of flinch, the specter is met with a ferocious anime-style reprisal. In episode two, when Tatsuma Hiyu and Yuuya Daigo meet behind the school for some extracurricular fisticuffs, except instead of behind the schools its in an abandoned pre-war mansion, and the fruckus is interrupted by Sadako's pissed off aunt, whose nails are peeling off her finger, spine is popping out her back, and ribs projecting out of her chest, that's what it delivers. Quick, complete movement along with design that flexibly commits to expressiveness puts weigh behind the action. Tokyo Majin is unabashedly another entry in the long line of teen versus supernatural anime action pieces. To compare it to a boxing match, it wouldn't be a title fight, and it wouldn't be a chapter in the career of a historically significant fighter. Instead, it would be a solidly entertaining under card bout. If you are of the of the mind set that welcomes a good, unintelligent anime, even if later episode go no where and don't live up to the excitement of the highlights in the first set of episodes, volume one of Tokyo Majin was an out of nowhere treat.

Nozomi Plans Boys Be Collection

Anime producer and distributor Right Stuf, Inc. and Nozomi Entertainment have announced the release of the BOYS BE... DVD Thinpak Collection on February 26, 2008 for $44.98. Based on the best-selling manga written by Masahiro Itabashi, illustrated by Hiroyuki Tamakoshi (Gacha Gacha) and released in North America by TOKYOPOP, this 13-episode anime series was directed by Masami Shimoda (Ai Yori Aoshi / Someday’s Dreamers / Zegapain) and has appeared on both Comcast Anime Selects and the Anime Network. Additionally, Boys Be... features a trio of performances by popular voice actors on both the Japanese- and English-language tracks: - Kenichi Suzumura (Super GALS! / Gundam Seed Destiny / Ouran High School Host Club), Akira Ishida (NANA / Naruto / Saiyuki / Slayers Next) and Hideo Ishikawa (Bleach / Death Note / Gravitation); and - Sam Regal (Fate stay/night / Paranoia Agent / The Third), Liam O’Brien (Comic Party / Ergo Proxy / Naruto) and Patrick Seitz (Hellsing / Paradise Kiss / The Third). There are two sides to every love story, and Boys Be... reveals what’s really going on - from the guy’s point of view! Meet three normal high school guys with just one thing on their minds: girls. Quiet Kyoichi has been friends with Chiharu ever since they were young, but lately, his feelings have begun to change. Lecherous Makoto, a self-proclaimed master of the rules of romance, is ready to sweep the ladies off their feet. And Yoshihiko, a handsome sports nut, is unfortunately a bit clueless in matters of the heart. Join this hapless trio for a year of romantic misadventures that will change their lives forever!

Promotions

The Pop Japan Travel touring company is promoting their upcoming Cold Steel Tour of Tokyo, Kamakura and Sapporo Jan. 28 to Feb. 6. with a "Who wants to be a vampire?" contest. Entries should detail "your first night as a vampire" in 1,000 words or less, and are due on Dec. 15, the same day as applications for the Cold Steel Tour. The best entry wins a copy of the "Vampire Hunter D" novel signed by the author Mr. Kikuchi, a signed copy of Vol. 1 of the "D" manga, a copy of the Pop Japan Essential Otaku Guide, and a "manga care package" from PJT affiliate Digital Manga Publishing, including Berserk Vol. 1, a hardcover copy of Trigun Vol. 1, Twilight of the Dark Master and three other titles. The first runner-up will receive a hardcover copy of the first "D" novel (not available in stores), Vol. 1 of the "Vampire Hunter D" manga, the Essential Otaku Guide and the manga care package, while the second runner up will receive the otaku guide and the two "Vampire Hunter D" books. The Cold Steel Tour of Toky tour includes a meeting with Japanese horror icon Hideyuki Kikuchi, creator of "Vampire Hunter D," and "D" manga artist Saiko Takaki, plus a visit to Studio Pierrot ("Naruto," "Bleach"), the Ghibli Museum, and the Sapporo Snow Festival. Bandai Visual USA is celebrating the release of Gunbuster vs Diebuster Aim for the Top! The GATTAI!! Movie and SOS! TOKYO METRO EXPLORERS: THE NEXT, with holiday gifts for the Gunbuster fans and Otomo fans. The first 100 people to send the request to each title official English website will receive a holiday greeting card featuring each title's characters. Card will be sent out in the middle of December. The GATTAI Movie SOS!

Freedom OVA Expanded

Bandai Visual has announced that a special extra episoe of the OVA Freedom will followed the planned sixth volume of the sci-fi series. The series is currently being in North America on one episode DVD/HD DVD hybrid discs. To promote Freedom, Bandai Visual USA is releasing a set of episodes 1-3 with an original Freedom t-shirt at the discounted price of $100 through dot-anime.us For the North American release schedule of the series, see here and a product page here

Viz Goes Theatrical

VIZ Pictures, an affiliate of VIZ Media LLC that focuses on Japanese live-action film distribution, has announced that it has become an owner of an art-house movie theatre set to open in winter 2008/2009 in the heart of San Francisco’s Japan Town, a prominent and historical sightseeing spot in the San Francisco Bay Area. The theatre will specialize in screening Japanese films and anime. This 150-seat movie theatre, which is expected to open in winter 2008/2009, will be the main attraction within a multi-boutique commercial building called The J-Pop Center (for Japanese Pop culture) that will also house a bookstore, café and several hip fashion boutiques that originated in Tokyo.

Figures News

Anime News Network has learned that Southern Island LLC, who made figures based on Blue Gender, Case Closed (Detective Conan), Fruits Basket, and Fullmetal Alchemist has declared bankruptcy. BK Assets, a bankruptcy liquidator, will begin auctioning the manufacturer's remaining inventory on the Ebay online auction website on December 11. Organic Hobby, Inc in conjunction with CM’s Corporation will be bringing the ATM-FX Testa-Rossa (Version #2) to the North American market in January for $87.00. The character is "ATM-FX Testa-Rossa (Version #2)" from the novel "Blue Knight Berserga." The figure is a 8" tall and has multiple articulation points.
Organic Hobby, Inc in conjunction with Kaiyodo proudly introduces its two new products for the U.S. market, "Revoltech AV-98 Ingram 01 (Movie Version)" & "Revoltech Tetsujin No.28." The following two figures set to be released in January’.08 with a SRP of $22.00. Revoltech AV-98 Ingram 01 (Movie Vers.), the mecha piloted by Izomino Akira (or simply Noa) is based on the anime film "Patlabor, the movie," directed by Mamoru Oshii, with original story by Headgear. The figure stands five and half inches tall and has 40 articulation points with 11 joint parts. "Revoltech AV-98 Ingram 01 (Movie Vers.)" comes equipped with interchangeable weapons (3 revolver cannons, 1 riot gun and 2 stun sticks), interchangeable accessories/parts (3 set of hands, 1 extra head, 1 extra antenna and 1 display base).
Revoltech Tetsujin No.28 (also known as Gigantor or literally "Iron Man #28) the giant robot piloted by Shotaro, is originated from the manga by Mitsuteru Yokoyama published in 1958 which was later made into several anime series, the first in 1963. It was the first "giant robot" series. The figure stands five and half inches tall and has 43 articulation points with 18 joint parts. "Revoltech Tetsujin No.28" comes equipped with interchangeable accessories and parts (2 after burner, 2 set of hands, 1 extra head, 1 damaged arm and 1 display base).
From Yamato USA Yamato USA new accepting pre-orders for the Welcome to Pia Carrot!! G.O. PVC Statue. The Sunny Day sculpted Rumi Kinoshita waitress character comes from the Welcome to Pia Carrot!! G.O. dating sim game. The 9" figure comes complete with cast-off upper uniform and skirt, floor-mop, devil wings, and display base in a collector style window box.
Newly release figures include SIF EX: IKKI TOUSEN - Ryofu, 1/7 Scale PVC Statue
CREATORS’ LABO #013: AIR GEAR - Simca PVC Statue
1/15 MEGAZONE 23: Garland - Factory Color
1/12 ARMORED TROOPER VOTOMS: Fyana (Woodo) Action Figure
Coming Soon CREATORS’ LABO #014: Arisa, Inspired by the Works of Shunya Yamashita CAPCOM GIRLS COLLECTION: Poison SIF EX: IKKITOUSEN - Sonsaku (Fighting) TANDEM TWIN ANIMAL GIRLS: Lynx (Ruby) Redux 3 The GN-U: GALAXY CYCLONE BRAIGER - Braiger From Yamato USA is also offering an online special on direct pre-orders for Yamato’s ATM-09-STTC Scopedog Turbo Custom Full Action Model and Accessory Packs New add-on features for the ATM-09-STTC Scopedog Turbo Custom include for the Yamato’s "The Last Red Shoulder" Equipment Set and Weapon Set #3 .
The deals, which are good through December 12 include ATM-09-STTC Scopedog Turbo Custom, $155 (regularly $198) The Last Red Shoulder" Equipment Set, $55 (regularly $68) Weapon Set # 3, $48 (regularly $58) The Scopedog Turbo Custom - "The Last Red Shoulder" Set which includes Scopedog Turbo Custom and "The Last Red Shoulder" Equipment Set for just $199 (regularly $238). Product ships late April / early May. Toy Beast's preview of Be@rbrick Series 15 shows upcoming Evangelion and Berserk Be@rbrick's.

Casting News

Mexican actress Camila Sodi has reportedly audition for the role of the heroine Bulma in Fox's live action Dragon Ball Twitch notes that JPop star Sho Sakura will be the male lead in Takeshi Miike’s live action adaptation of Yatterman, based on Tatsunoko's 70's anime. The role of Ai Kaminari is expected next months, and the casting for the villains is scheduled for January. The movie itself is scheduled for release in Spring 2009.

Manga Cred For Eisner Judges

The judging panel has been announced for 2008 Eisner Awards. Judges include John Davis, director of pop culture markets for Bookazine Company, a longtime wholesaler to the bookstore market. Past manga experience include stints at Central Park Media and Koen Book Distributors. Paul Di Filippo, professional SF author Atom! Freeman, co-owner of Brave New World Comics in Santa Clarita Jeff Jensen, senior writer, Entertainment Weekly Eva Volin, supervising children's librarian for the Alameda Free Library in Alameda, CA. She also writes manga reviews for Library Journal's Xpress Reviews, ICv2 Guide to Manga, and Robin Brenner's NoFlyingNoTights.com

Lupin III: Legend of the Gold of Babylon DVD on Hold

Anime News Network reports that according to Reed Nelson of lupinthethird.net, Discotek Media has put its DVD release of Lupin III: The Legend of the Gold of Babylon on indefinite hold due "to the state of anime sales (i.e., slow)." The anime movie was co-directed by Seijun Suzuki (branded to kill). The company recently release Lupin the 3rd: The Fuma Conspiracy

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Readers Talkback

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  • Nov. 30, 2007, 6:23 a.m. CST

    First?

    by Madines Sideshed

    How immature

  • Nov. 30, 2007, 10:04 a.m. CST

    I like the anime where the plants rape the girls..

    by Baron Karza

    Thats good wholesome fun.

  • Nov. 30, 2007, 10:50 a.m. CST

    Still no MW

    by Prof_Ender

    I refuse to believe that Scott Green has NOT read what is possibly one of the best comics on the market this year. ;_;

  • Nov. 30, 2007, 1:57 p.m. CST

    Sound paragraph summing up Tokyo Majin

    by crayon

    The good bits are really good (the first episode is fucking brilliant) but like Coyote Ragtime Show, the bits that aren't good are just fucking painful. And the later definitely seems to be in the majority (with both series).

  • Nov. 30, 2007, 2:10 p.m. CST

    DEATH NOTE RULES

    by Psynapse

    Haters can suck it. That is all.

  • Nov. 30, 2007, 4:52 p.m. CST

    For Tax Reasons

    by veritasses

    That was fun. Good job. Re: Dragon Ball Live Action. I had a tiny bit of hope that this might actually be something worthy of seeing but it's really sounding like it's going to be on par with the JCVD Street Fighter flick. Re: Open Letter. I have no idea what the actual numbers are, but I would think they'd have numbers with the DVDs if they had some value added "something" that couldn't be digitally duplicated included with each purchase. Like a small figurine, coupon for figurines, printed "behind the scenes" booklets, a lottery for free merchandise, 3D posters, hologram trading cards trade-in program etc. This would give anime fans a reason to buy the DVD instead of or in addition to downloading. On a similar note, they should probably look to reap profit from merchandising and maybe events and less from DVD sales. Or maybe I don't know what I'm talking about. Just a thought though.

  • Nov. 30, 2007, 6:06 p.m. CST

    A piece of my childhood just died - Evel Knievel is Dead

    by Orionsangels

    I seriously cried

  • Nov. 30, 2007, 7:04 p.m. CST

    Memories of Murder, the "Good Deed Bite you In the Ass" theme is

    by NoDiggity

    The "Good Deeds biting you in the Ass" theme isn't adult. In fact, it's an argument against liberalism, leading down the path to "necessary" brutality. It's an argument in which democracy, decency, dies. Is this what you admire in SPR and Munich? Certainly SPR promotes that argument, once when the German soldier they let go returns to shoot the nice Tom Hanks, but also, cannibalistially, repeating it when Sgt. Upham, who let the German go, freezes in fear on the steps while a German soldier stabs the JEWISH soldier to death, turning it into another Holocaust allegory.<br><br> As for Munich, even though it looks like the writer of the screenplay was very much AGAINST assassination teams, and felt that violence begat violence, the film was shot in such a way that it seemed to forgive the Mossad assassination team everything. You had Raiders adventure music playing over the introduction to the conference with Golda Meier at the beginning, every Palestinian, no matter how heartfelt his lines, was played by someone unappealing. If the Spymaster was supposed to be an evil to be rejected at the end, then Spielberg went out of his way to make sure he was played like a loving dad, so the rejection later would play like ingratitude. Any rational consideration of the effect of condoning brutal solutions to problems, on the people who condone it's uses, is softened by cinematic tricks that tell us it's all Indiana Jones vs. the Nazis again. It's as childish as it ever was, except now it's supporting real world practices of torture and extra-legal murder. But when God is on your side, it's not really torture and murder, is it.

  • Nov. 30, 2007, 7:05 p.m. CST

    I'm sorry, wrong talkback

    by NoDiggity

    fuck

  • Dec. 1, 2007, 10:14 a.m. CST

    16,000 years

    by Wyrdy the Gerbil

    it takes 16,000 yrs for the two girls to get back to Earth at the end of Gunbuster,now thats a serious fucking road trip

  • Dec. 1, 2007, 1:01 p.m. CST

    Viz Theatre?

    by ApproachingOblivion

    I've lived in Japantown here in San Francisco and I haven't heard anything about this... Sound cool though. Another place to go and gawk at all the Japanese hotties! hehehe

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 10:50 a.m. CST

    I believe ...

    by Lain Of The Net

    ...NHK was reviewed here. A while ago. Concerning DeathNote ...it has some of the best writing and character interaction I have ever seen but in the last arc it is as if a train wreck occurs. Even with that it is still better than most stuff available. The characters are constantly trying to outwit each other - the complexity is amazing and Misa is just about as sexy and twisted as my next girlfriend should be.

  • April 4, 2009, 4:11 a.m. CST

    For this writing

    by msdos

    uhh! that is amazing. i dont know what i say. perhaps i say it is perfect.<a href="http://animeizleindir.blogspot.com">Anime İzle</a> is very popular site visit there.And you have a very popular site.congratulations